Magellan Ship Review

April 18, 2015

British based Cruise Operator, Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), has added ‘Grand Holiday’ from Costa Crociere to their fleet. She commenced ex-UK operations under the CMV livery earlier in March 2015.

(Magellan Newcastle 03/15)

(Magellan Newcastle 03/15)

She has been re-named Magellan and at 46,052grt will carry about 1250 passengers. She becomes  the new flagship of the CMV ocean fleet operating as an adult only (16 years plus) ship alongside Marco Polo (800pax), Astor (600pax) and Azores (550pax).

I undertook a short cruise on Magellan and have written a review:

New: Magellan Ship review:

It’s Not Rocket Science!

April 17, 2015

We are used to cruise  innovations being on a grand scale, such as RC’s ‘Central Park’ or NCL’s ‘Waterfront’. However a river cruise line has come up with something so much simpler:

Avalon Waterways, the river cruise line, have thought of a new innovation and are calling on all river cruisers to experience their re-designed staterooms.

(Image courtesy of Avalon)

(Image courtesy of Avalon)

The newly re-designed rooms have all had their beds moved to face the rooms giant picture-windows: “allowing all passengers to experience some of the most incredible views of Europe available rather than just a view of the wall as most of their competitors do”.

Whatever next? A shower curtain that does not stick to you back like superman’s cape and a toilet that does make your ears ‘pop’.

Disney/AmaWaterways Family River Cruises

(Image courtesy of AmaWaterways)

(Image courtesy of AmaWaterways)

European river cruising continues to be a growth area and is slowly evolving:

Disney is to partner with AmaWaterways to offer family-focused river cruises on the Danube from 2016.

A new AmaWaterways vessel will run the seven-night voyages between Budapest, Hungary and Vilshofen in Germany.

The 158-passenger AmaWaterways vessel AmaViola will feature several family-friendly cabin configurations, with the ability to accommodate up to five people. Shore excursions and on-board activities are also being designed to be family-friendly.

Adventure guides will run special entertainment activities for children such as movie nights.

Disney will add interactive games to family competitions on the ship’s top deck, and the company is lining up parks along the route where families can take a break from touring to play sports.

Custom-designed, family-friendly shore excursions will range from family bike rides along the Danube, to learning archery and other medieval activities at a historic castle, to strudel making.

“We think the Disney brand will bring families to the river cruising category, and we think that’s a very exciting development for the industry,” Disney executive Ken Potrock told USA Today.

Just five departures are planned initially, on July 7, 14, 21 and 28, and December 22, 2016.

 (USA Today)

Malcolm says: I’ve been saying for a while now, that River Cruises ALL seem to be aimed at the grey pound (or dollar). I want to see a wider range of products aimed at different clientele and a range of fares, not just the high-end variety. This new Disney/AmaWaterways partnership certainly breaks the mould, although I guess that we can still expect high fares.

Ovation will Home-Port in Australia

April 16, 2015

Royal Caribbean dominate the cruise news at the moment:

(Image source unknown)

(Image source unknown)

Royal Caribbean has announced that ‘Ovation of the Seas’, the third Quantum-class cruise ship, will be home-ported in Sydney, Australia for the winter of 2016-2017.

Ovation will be the largest cruise ship to ever sail out of Australia.

Ovation will be the fifth ship in the Royal Caribbean Australian fleet for winter 2016-17, joining four other Royal Caribbean ships: Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas in Sydney and Legend of the Seas in Brisbane.


Splendour Becomes Thomson Discovery

Thomson Cruises’ new ship will be called Thomson Discovery and it will homeport in Palma when it launches in June 2016.

The ship was formerly Royal Caribbean International’s ‘Splendour of the Seas’. The ship is 69,130 gross tonnes and carries 2,074 passengers.

Before cruising for Thomson, she undergo a re-branding and refurbishment.

The vessel will be the largest in the Thomson Cruises fleet.


Splendour Review:

Anthem Arrives In Southampton

April 15, 2015
(Courtesy of RCI)

(Southampton waters. Courtesy of RCI – click to enlarge)

Royal Caribbean International’s new ship, ‘Anthem of the Seas’, has arrived in Southampton.

Anthem, one of the new ‘Quantum Class’ ships is around 168,000 gross tonnes and accommodates up to 5,905 passengers.

Anthem is the second biggest class of cruise ship in the world. She is only topped by RCI’s ‘Oasis’ class (225,000 gt, 6,296 passengers max.)

The ‘Quantum class’  are also the most technological ships ever built.

80,000 passengers will cruise on the ship this summer, from Southampton.

(Courtesy of RCI)

(Courtesy of RCI – click to enlarge)


Review – World’s Biggest Cruise Ship:

MSC’s Vista Interiors Revealed

April 14, 2015
(MSC click to enlarge)

(MSC – click to enlarge)

In 2014 MSC cruises signed a letter of intent with STX France for the construction of two new ‘Vista Class’ cruise ships , with an option for two more. The two ships will join MSC Cruises’ fleet, currently comprising 12 ships, all built in the Saint-Nazaire yards.

(MSC - Click to enlarge)

(MSC – Click to enlarge)

Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises went on to say that “The new prototype will be the biggest cruise ship ever built by a European ship owner and the most versatile and flexible of the world: not only will it be able to call in most of the ports and destinations on earth, without compromise, but it will have extraordinary features that will make it the perfect choice at sea, in summer and in winter. The two new ships will reaffirm MSC Cruise’s dedication to outstanding and genuine dining options and out-of-this-world entertainment with new panoramic spaces, a bigger theatre and a spectacular amusement park connected to an outdoor aqua park as well as a two-deck inside promenade.”

Internal renderings have been leaked giving us an insight into the Vista ship interiors:

(MSC -  Vista aft lounge)

(MSC – Vista aft lounge)

The Vista ships are due for delivery in 2017 and 2019 and will have a a gross tonnage of about 167,600 tons, boasting 2,250 cabins for guests, nearly 820 crew cabins, and accommodating 5,700 passengers and 1,536 crew members. Among the new features of the ships there will be specially designed cabins for families and an “extend” MSC Yacht Club, the entirely self-contained private club on the prestigious foredecks that will now be completed with a vast solarium, a private lounge and restaurant and duplex suites.

(MSC - Click to enlarge)

(MSC – click to enlarge)

The contract signed is worth 16 million working hours for STX France and its subcontractors, 9 million for the prototype and 7 for the second unit. Building is due to start in spring 2015.

(MSC Fans - click to enlarge)

(MSC Fans – click to enlarge)

(‘MSC Vista’ ships are not to be confused with the Carnival ‘Vista’ ships .)

Malcolm Says: Looks like MSC have borrowed ideas from RCI’s ‘Seaplex’ ‘360 degree lounge’ and the ‘Royal Promenade’.

There two ships will be 167,600 gross tons, so just slightly smaller than Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class ships which will be 167,800 gross tons. However the MSC Vista ships will hold more passengers (at double occupancy) than Quantum (4,180 passengers), with 2,250 cabins (4,500 double occupancy) and a maximum capacity of 5,700 passengers.

These new ships will be the third biggest class in the world (based on gross tonnage). The Quantum class will be in second place with the Norwegian Breakaway+ ships being pushed down to fourth place. Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis’ class ships (Oasis, Allure and Harmony) will continue to hold the crown for being the biggest, by miles, at around 220,000 gt.




172,000 gt Futuristic Virgin Ships

April 13, 2015


A lawsuit against Richard Branson’s new company, Virgin Cruises, has revealed the futuristic design of the two Virgin cruise ships.

Former Norwegian Cruise Line CEO, Colin Veitch claims, that Virgin stole his ideas and plans for a new cruise line.

It has been revealed that Virgin was planning to get Meyer Werft, Germany to build two giant cruise ships.

The totally original ship design, unlike anything else afloat, was to be 172,900 gross tons carrying 4000+ passengers; making the ships the world’s second biggest.


(Emrys Thakkar cruisehive)

Malcolm says: Looks like an Art Deco railway train to me. I guess the legal action will delay the construction of the ships.

Anthem Delivered

April 12, 2015
(Image courtesy of RCI - click to enlarge)

(Image courtesy of RCI – click to enlarge)

German ship builder, Meyer Werft, officially handed ‘Anthem of the Seas’ over to Royal Caribbean in Bremerhaven, Germany on April 10, 2015.

Anthem, which is RCI’s second Quantum-class ship, the first being ‘Quantum last year, will cruise from Southampton, U.K. between April and November, before redeploying to its homeport of Port Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey.


Clive Palmer Blames ‘Ice’ For Delaying Titanic 2

April 9, 2015


Clive Palmer has today condemned the current ice epidemic (a drug*) sweeping through Australia and blamed it on causing delays with his company’s plans to rebuild the Titanic.

Currently the drug ice is sweeping through Australia to such a degree that Prime Minister Tony Abbott has committed to fighting a war against it.

Just what the drug ice has to do with the ship Titanic is beyond us however we reached out to Mr Palmer for comment to which he replied, “Isn’t it obvious? Rupert Murdoch** invented the drug ice because he knows that ice sunk the first Titanic so naturally it would sink the second. He’s clearly out to get me, who sent you? Did you kill my Dinosaur?”***

The (un)Australian reached out to Rupert Murdoch via twitter for comment however he had not replied by the time we went to press.

Courtesy of Mark Williamson (The un-Australian Blog)

*Ice is an methamphetamine, part of the amphetamine family. Ice is known as also know as crystal meth.

**Murdock and Palmer have had a number of political clashes in the media recently.

***A giant model Dinosaur, called ‘Jeff’ at Palmers Coolum resort, was recently destroyed by fire.


(Jeff, who is no longer with us.)

Malcolm says: This is the strangest story to ever appear in my blog. The above article is written by a guy who is a comedian and political commentator, amongst other things, so I’m not clear how factual it really is. News about the Titanic II is so rare these days, I will print anything!

Palmer has often been called ‘eccentric’ and the above article does nothing to suggest otherwise. I assume that his statements were all said in jest, if even genuine. However if true, he has effectively confirmed that the Titanic 2 project is ‘delayed’. However, no one has officially said that it has been cancelled.

Clearly something was wrong, as Palmer had said nothing about the project since July 2014. After all he had hyped it so much at the outset.

It has been reported that Naval Architects, ‘Deltamarin’ who were designing and tank-testing the ship, stopped working on it mid-late last year.

Since Palmer gave birth to the idea of a replica Titanic, he has become heavily involved in politics. He has also been involved is some legal action and has insulted the Chinese people, who’s shipyard was to build the Titanic 2. In addition business commentators suggest that Palmer is not quite as wealthy as he once was.

Maybe all the above have been a major distractions from his Titanic 2 project?

Maybe Palmer has now realised the complexity of the project, the high costs involved and the fact that there is no guarantee that the ship would even be profitable.

More about Titanic II:

MSC Seaside Flythrough

April 8, 2015
(MSC Image - Click to enlarge)

(MSC Image – Click to enlarge)

The first of a pair of MSC Cruises’ new generation of ships known as ‘Project Seaside’ is due to make its debut in November 2017. She will be  followed by the second in May 2018, with a possible third option in 2021.

At 154,000 gross tons, up to 5,300 passengers, the ships will some of the most innovative and  the largest ever built by Fincantieri.

MSC has created a video rendering of the Aqua-Park of their ‘Seaside’ newbuild, here:

More MSC information here:

(MSC image - click to enlarge)

(MSC image – click to enlarge)

Magellan & Marco Polo @ Tilbury

April 5, 2015
(Magellan Left, Marco Polo Right - Tilbury 03/15. Click to enlarge))

Magellan Left, Marco Polo Right – Tilbury 03/15. Click to enlarge

The Tilbury cruise Terminal (AKA The London Cruise Terminal) is located on the Thames, in Essex, England.

These days it is a sleepy place, with maybe a few dozen ship arrivals and departures per year. Many of those are ‘Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ (CMV) ‘Marco Polo’, which homeports there. Fred Olsen has occasionally offered some departures, too.

There was a time that the Tilbury landing stage was a very busy place. It had it’s own railway station at the terminal, a Hotel next door and many Ocean Liners arriving and departing for Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

However, Friday 27th March 2015 was a very busy day for Tilbury, by modern standards. There were two cruise ships in – CMV’s ‘Marco’ Polo and their new flagship ‘Magellan’, which will also homeport at Tilbury.

Marco Polo from the deck of Magellan - Click to enlarge

Marco Polo from the deck of Magellan – Click to enlarge

Magellan at 45,052 gross tonnes and 1,452 passengers is twice as big (by volume) as Marco Polo at 22,080 and 915 passengers. The Marco Polo is 50 years old this year (2015) but Magellan is a mere 30 years old.

I undertook a short cruise on Magellan and have written a review:

New: Magellan Ship review:

Marco Polo Ship Review:



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