Elandess Superyacht

July 17, 2018


July 2018: The £75million ‘Elandess’, superyacht, is owned by Travelex founder Sir Lloyd Dorfman. It is worth around £905 million and was making her maiden voyage via the Thames.

The yacht was built in a German shipyard and even has a full sized tennis court on-board.


Featured Ship: Norwegian Epic

July 15, 2018

An early rendering. (Courtsey NCL)

As NCL announce an additional two new ‘Leonardo’ ships (making a total; of six), lets look at an existing ship: Norwegian Epic

Epic has had an interesting history:  Built in 2010,  she was going to be one of two new ships for the Norwegian Cruise Line. At around 156,000gt these were to be the biggest NCL ships yet.  However for whatever reason, NCL cancelled number two. I believe they had to pay a large penalty to the shipyard for this and probably fell out with the French shipyard,  STX Europe Chantiers de l’Atlantique,  in the process. (They have not constructed a ship for them since).  However all NCL’s  focus (and money) went on making Epic pretty  ‘Epic’.

Epic felt like NCL existing fleet of ships on ‘steroids’. Everything was bigger from the entertainment to the number of dining options. The cabins were very stylish, although the in-cabin bathroom arrangement shocked some commentators.

In my opinion Epic was the first mega-ship to really compete with Royal Caribbean’s mega-ships.

I must say that Epic’s private ‘Haven’ complex (a ship within a ship), which is perched above he bridge, makes he look a rather top heavy ship, in fact ugly. I would go as far to say that externally Epic is one of the ugliest purpose-built ships I have ever seen. Fortunately her interiors are very stylish and not too OTT, as NCL ones used to be

NCL later now moved onto the ‘Breakaway’ and ‘Breakaway-Plus’ designs (built by Meyer Werft Germany, this time) however many of the design ideas were  borrowed from ‘Epic’, apart from the bathroom configurations!

Norwegian Epic review: HERE

New Cruise Terminal For Copenhagen

July 15, 2018

According to a statement, Copenhagen will be  building a new cruise terminal with capacity for 5,000 guests, a quay length of 370 meters and a water depth of 12 meters, for  April 2020.

The terminal building will have two floors, totalling 10,000 square meters and two gangway bridges.

Overall more than 1.1 million cruise passengers are expected to visit Danish ports this year, with an economic impact of 200 million euro.


NCL Confirms Fifth & Sixth ‘Project Leonardo’ ships

July 13, 2018

Even more big ship news:

July 12, 2018 – Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. today announced it confirmed its previously announced options for the fifth and sixth Project Leonardo Class ships with the Fincantieri  shipyard, Italy, for Norwegian Cruise Line for delivery in 2026 and 2027.

“These orders extend our disciplined and measured newbuild program and strong growth trajectory well into the future and will further drive long-term returns for our shareholders,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “Our six ship Leonardo Class fleet will allow us to broaden our deployment into strong performing and mature unserved and underserved markets and offer new experiences to our guests.”

At 140,000 gross tons and accommodating approximately 3,300 guests, this next generation class of ships will build upon the highly successful offering of freedom and flexibility found across Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet, including the most recent Breakaway Plus Class ships, and feature a host of inventive designs that will further elevate its already award-winning guest experience. A priority of the prototype design is energy efficiency, with the aim of optimizing fuel consumption and reducing the impact on the environment. The smaller footprint will also broaden deployment opportunities around the world. Details on the many innovative guest-facing and first at sea features will be announced at a later date.

“Following the Breakaway Plus Class, the most successful class in our Company’s history, the highly anticipated Leonardo Class will fuel future growth with exciting and innovative offerings that will meaningfully drive demand from new and loyal returning guests alike,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

With today’s announcement, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has seven ships on order for Norwegian Cruise Line and one for Regent Seven Seas Cruises for a total of eight vessels for delivery through 2027. The Company will take delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, in fall 2019.


Malcolm says: This new ships are based on the Fincantieri MSC Seaside design.  NCL Leonardo compared to MSC Seaside: HERE

A New Cruise Terminal For MSC’s ‘World’ Class vessels.

July 12, 2018

More big ship news:

MSC Cruises and Miami-Dade county announced the signing of an agreement for extended preferential berthing rights as well as of a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of a new Cruise Terminal at PortMiami. This will be built to accommodate MSC’s 200,000-ton World Class vessels.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, commented: “The new agreement and expanded partnership with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County is another key step forward in the business growth of MSC Cruises, as we continue to strengthen our global footprint, with a strategic focus on North America.”

In 2017, MSC Cruises worked with PortMiami on the completion of Terminal F, home to MSC Seaside, the first MSC Cruises ship to be built specifically for North American market and the Caribbean.

The new terminal is projected to be completed by October 2022.


Dining/Entertainment On-board P&O’s New Iona

July 10, 2018

The Grand Atrium (Courtesy P&O)

“As part of a new approach to dining, Iona will exclusively offer Freedom Dining in all of its main restaurants, a first for P&O Cruises. The move is designed to give more flexibility to each and every guest.  They can choose just where and with whom they want to eat, and when they will sit down for breakfast, lunch or dinner” (P&O)

Iona will offer guests unprecedented levels of quality and flexibility when it comes to food and drink. The exciting array of options combines brand-new dining and drinking concepts with much-loved signature venues to give new meaning to the word ‘choice’. With 29 different venues to choose from, there’s something for everyone, whatever their mood, at any time of day and night.

A P&O Cruises First, Iona will exclusively offer Freedom Dining in the main restaurants. This puts guests in the driving seat, giving them the flexibility to dine with friends and family any time from 6–9pm. At peak times, a pager will alert them when the table is ready so there’s time to relax with an aperitif.

Other P&O Cruises Firsts include two brand-new dining concepts and a new live music venue.

The Quays is an exciting foodie piazza offering a great range of self-service and takeaway venues and a lively atmosphere for sociable dining. Within The Quays, a host of new dining venues showcasing cuisines from around the world will create a vibrant buzz – from American diner classics to Asian fast-food favourites. Another foodie first is The Keel and Cow, a fabulous British gastropub serving hearty pub fare. The 710 Club serves up live music and stylish cocktails: the perfect combination to let the good times roll long into the night.

Of course, it’s not just about the new. Iona also celebrates the best P&O Cruises dining and drinking traditions with favourites such as Brodie’s, The Crow’s Nest, The Epicurean, Sindhu and The Beach House, along with pool bars and a pizzeria and grill.

Iona brings iconic P&O Cruises stars and new trends in food and dining under one fabulous roof.

The 710 Club, Deck 6

It’s all about the music at The 710 Club. The secret haven – exclusively for adults – is the perfect spot in which to relax and enjoy the musical atmosphere, day or night. During the day, it’s a retreat from the hustle and bustle, offering something a little different. At night, it transforms into a sophisticated venue hosting a diverse range of top-class singers and bands tailored to British tastes: acoustic covers, ‘impromptu’ performances, classic and modern jazz, swing, Rat Pack, modern and acoustic rock music will feature. The 710 Club offers a fun and lively atmosphere, and is sure to captivate guests night after night.

The Keel and Cow, Deck 8

The Keel and Cow is an unpretentious gastropub, where food and drink have been crafted into something truly special. Located on deck 8, it offers a quick and convenient breakfast for those going ashore, and lunchtimes bring top-quality, authentic gastropub fare to the fore, with dishes such as a signature beef and stout burger, beer-battered fish and triple-cooked chips, black-pudding scotch eggs and more. At night, guests can gather with friends to enjoy hearty dishes or select from a range of steaks from the dry-ageing fridge. With views over the Grand Atrium or out to sea, or even to the chefs at work in the open galley, The Keel and Cow is the perfect place to bring friends and family together to enjoy delicious food, real hand-pumped ales and a great selection of craft ales in a relaxed, informal environment.

The Quays, Deck 8

Head to The Quays for informal dining options to suit every mood. This multi-venue dining piazza offers an amazing array of eateries and restaurants and is a lively hub for socialising over food and watching the world go by. There’s a fun street-food atmosphere with plenty of buzz, theatre and colour adding to the beachfront promenade vibe. With access onto the Promenade Deck, outdoor dining is available too. It’s all about flexible, fun, family-friendly food – the perfect place for a quick snack, light lunch or informal dinner.

With such a choice of foodie venues, The Quays will hit the hunger spot, from morning breakfasts to late-night snacks. New dining concepts found in The Quays include:

• The Boardwalk Diner (all-day, self-service): American classics meet Southern soul food with an all-day menu including chargrilled burgers, hot dogs, eggs over easy, southern-fried chicken with a side of slaw and so much more. Head on over for informal fast-food dining from breakfast until dinner.

• Fusion (all-day, take-away): Fusion is a hot spot for lovers of authentic Asian flavours. Offering take-away dishes all day, enjoy an odyssey around South East Asia in a relaxed and casual environment.

• Hook Line and Vinegar (all-day, self-service): For seaside hunger cravings at lunch or dinnertime, nothing beats traditional British fish and chips. Think crispy battered fish, calamari, fish burgers, scampi, crab cakes – all served with chips and mushy peas.

• The Olive Grove (restaurant, lunch and evening service): With a strong focus on food provenance, The Olive Grove celebrates the flavours of the southern and eastern Mediterranean with authentic dishes and sharing platters. Mouthwatering aperitifs and a well-chosen list of regional wines completes the menu and adds to the relaxed dining experience. The Olive Grove is the ideal venue for intimate dinners for two or a celebratory family meal – with options to eat in the restaurant or in the conservatory area.

Eric Lanlard’s Afternoon Tea, Deck 17

For the ultimate daytime indulgence, Eric Lanlard’s Afternoon Tea is an on-board experience not to be missed. His unique twist on this classic British institution elevates the humble afternoon tea into something utterly decadent. As expected from the imagination of master pâtissier Eric Lanlard, delicious savoury and sweet surprises adorn each tempting cake stand, all served with a wide array of speciality teas.

Andersons, Deck 6

By day, Andersons is a quiet lounge bar with a library for browsing – the ideal spot for reading and relaxation. By evening, it becomes the place for before or after-dinner drinks – the main dining restaurants are located next door. The atmosphere is intimate, stylish and sociable with the feeling of a private members’ club. The exciting focal point of Andersons is a boutique gin distillery. Situated to the side of the bar, the statement piece in shining copper champions the art of artisanal gin. Guests will gather around it for masterclasses and gin tastings. Andersons is a must for connoisseurs in search of the finest tipples.

Beachcomber Pool and Bar, Deck 18

Situated to the fore of the ship, the Beachcomber Pool and Bar area offers plenty of space to relax in the sun and shade. The bar will rustle up a wide range of much-loved cocktails while guests relax and soak up the sunshine.

Brodie’s and Casino, Deck 7

Brodie’s, the much-loved British pub, is a sociable place where a good time is guaranteed. It boasts the ship’s largest range of British and international bottled beers, ciders and real ale. There’s a great selection on tap too, not to mention a well-stocked wine menu and tasty traditional British bar snacks such as pork scratchings, peanuts and crisps.

During the day, Brodie’s hosts quizzes and live sport. By night, it’s a popular spot for live entertainment, karaoke, quizzes and game shows. And don’t forget the adjacent Casino, which offers the latest gaming technology and games to suit all pockets, for novices and experts alike.

Crystal Bar and Laguna Bar, Deck 16

These poolside bars offer a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and are perfectly placed for al fresco refreshment when relaxing by the pool or enjoying fun activities such as sail-away parties. Both bars are located in the SkyDome.

Emerald Bar, Deck 6

For evening glamour, the stylish Emerald Bar in the Grand Atrium is the cocktail hotspot, thanks to its relaxed living-room feel and a Covent Garden-style buzz. With a large menu of premium cocktails, it’s an ideal location for pre-dinner drinks or as a late-night bar. From mid-morning, the space will host pop-up entertainment such as buskers and musical performances. From the early evening, guests will be treated to aerial circus performances. Whatever the time of day or night, spectacular sea views add to the unforgettable ambience.

Horizon Restaurant, Deck 16

The all-day self-service buffet is the perfect option for casual, flexible dining. The elegant design adds to the relaxed and easy atmosphere. Whatever the time of day or night, Horizon offers a wide range of tempting dishes, from traditional British favourites to foods from around the globe. Catering to a wide range of dietary requirements, vegetarian dishes, gluten-free choices and healthier eating options are all available. To top it off, all meals come with the best panoramic ocean views on the ship.

Main dining restaurants: Pearl, Coral, Aqua and Opal, Decks 6 & 7

All four main dining restaurants will offer Freedom Dining. This allows guests to enjoy dining with little more sense of occasion, and the flexibility to dine with chosen companions at a time that suits them. Although the surroundings are elegant in each restaurant, the atmosphere is always relaxed and welcoming with sittings for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

All Main Dining venues will also host the popular Gala Nights with a special Gala menu devised by P&O Cruises Food Hero Marco Pierre White.

Each of the restaurants has a distinctive design and style. Although grand in scale, the dining rooms will include more intimate areas with low balustrades and atmospheric mood lighting.

The largest, Pearl and Coral, are located on decks 6 and 7 respectively at the aft of the ship – and combine to make one large dining space over two levels. Here, the dining space spanning both decks is glazed full height with a feature staircase and

uninterrupted views over the ocean. Aqua and Opal are smaller restaurants, located port and starboard side respectively.

Gelateria, Deck 8

Located at the top of the Grand Atrium at the entrance to The Quays, and with access to the Promenade Deck, this is an informal and family-friendly gelateria serving scoops of modern Italian-style gelato in addition to premium tea and coffee. Guests can enjoy their goodies in the Gelateria or take them away to savour on the Promenade Deck.

Sindhu, Deck 16

Visit Sindhu to be treated to authentic Indian cuisine with a British twist. This Select Dining favourite offers a menu that is a triumph of perfectly balanced spices, delicate flavours and wonderful aromas. Dining amidst its sumptuous fabrics and opulent décor is a treat for the senses and an experience not to be missed.

SkyDome Pizzeria and Grill, Deck16

For peckish moments at any time of day, deck 16 is the place to go for fresh oven-baked pizzas and grilled goodies such as top-quality burgers and classic fish and chips. The food venue will also offer more global flavours with popular street foods from around the world.

Sunset Bar, Deck 8

At the aft end of the Promenade Deck, the Sunset Bar is the best place to enjoy a sundowner at the end of the day, with easy access to The Club House and its chilled evening vibe. By day, it’s equally atmospheric with cooling sun canopies to relax under and drink in the sea views.

Sundaes, Deck 16

For happy holiday treats, Sundaes in the SkyDome is perfect for all the family with a wide range of ice cream favourites to choose from.

The Beach House

In the evenings, the forward section of Horizon Restaurant transforms into a fun and informal Select Dining venue, The Beach House. Inspired by South American, Caribbean and Stateside cuisines, the menu offers hearty dishes and comfort-food favourites.

Highlights include the steaks, ribs, grills and burgers, hanging kebabs and a range of sharable sides. Save space for the decadent and delicious desserts.

The Club House, Deck 8

This flexible venue leads out into the aft end of the Promenade Deck to offer relaxing inside and outside spaces. It’s a bright, spacious, multi-purpose lounge by day – ideal for afternoon entertainment and family fun. By night, it transforms into a modern live-lounge and late-night disco, offering entertainment and dancing long into the night. The extensive bar area inside serves drinks and bar snacks.

The Crow’s Nest, Deck 17

The iconic observation lounge is a well-established feature of the fleet. Offering panoramic views of the ocean in a relaxed, modern and elegant setting, it’s a delightful spot for daytime reveries and reading. In the evening, the venue becomes a sophisticated cocktail lounge with a live pianist adding to the nostalgic sense of style. Located adjacent to The Epicurean, it’s a popular spot for aperitifs or after-dinner drinks, and relaxed socialising into the night.

The Epicurean, Deck 17

The Epicurean offers a gastronomic blend of classic and contemporary fine dining in elegant surroundings with uninterrupted sea views. The mood in this Select Dining restaurant is refined and intimate: impeccable service, crisp white tablecloths and a premium wine list complement the extraordinary food.

The focus is on provenance. Dishes are made with the finest and freshest local produce and prepared with great skill, fusing the best modern British and destination culinary traditions. The simple ingredients are the stars of the show. A Chef’s Table and a private dining area for up to eight guests provide further opportunity for special occasions and celebrations.

The Glass House, Deck 7

Created by award-winning wine expert and P&O Cruises Food Hero Olly Smith, The Glass House is for lovers of fine wine and great food. The premium wine bar boasts an impressive wine list curated by Olly and offers a sophisticated environment in which to enjoy breakfast, a light lunch, a leisurely glass of wine or an evening meal with family or newfound friends. Wine connoisseurs are well taken care of: Cellar Door at The Glass House offers wine talks, tastings and wine-pairing dinners. It’s in prime position to enjoy the Grand Atrium’s aerial performances, as well as magnificent views out to the horizon.

The Limelight Club, Decks 6

This supper-club venue is a fixed favourite. After the daytime dancing classes, The Limelight Club is the place to be for adult-only evening dining and entertainment. The club exclusively hosts established and emerging vocalists and is the dedicated venue for resident performers and the house band. As the entertainment gets underway, guests enjoy a unique dining experience: it starts with a welcome drink before a themed multi-course menu is served at intervals throughout the show. After the performances, the bar is open to all and becomes a lively late-night hotspot.

Vistas Café Bar, Decks 6

Located in the heart of the Grand Atrium, Vistas is a warm and welcoming café with a buzzing atmosphere. Serving premium tea, coffee and snacks, as well as tempting treats from P&O Cruises Food Hero and master pâtissier Eric Lanlard, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing pit stop while looking at fabulous ocean views or watching the world on ship go by.

In the evenings, it’s an ideal spot for an after-dinner coffee or wind-down tea. From mid-morning there will also be pop-up entertainment, and from early evening impromptu aerial circus performances will add to the drama and excitement of the Grand Atrium space.



The 710 Club, Deck 6

This is the venue all about the music, a secret haven exclusively for adults where relaxing in a musical atmosphere is the priority (day or night).

For guests who prefer this vibe during the day, what you will find is a retreat from the hustle and bustle, offering something a little different.

At night though, the spot transforms into somewhere oozing sophistication with a diverse range of top-class singers and bands tailored to British tastes.This can include acoustic covers, ‘impromptu’ performances, classic and modern jazz, swing, Rat Pack, modern and acoustic rock music.

SkyDome, Decks 16 and 17

A brand new entertainment done will be the SkyDome and guests can expect it to be one of Iona’s star attractions.

The roof will be one of the most impressive features along with a pool with a retractable stage, offering a unique space whatever the weather and the time of day.

During the day, SkyDome is the ideal place for relaxation and informal dining with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and poolside features, and shaded seating areas.

But by night, it comes alive with aerial performances, immersive shows and deck parties and above it all, it is a glazed dome roof designed by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, the team behind glass masterpieces such as Bulgari’s flagship New York boutique.

Ocean Studios, Deck 6

This is one for the film fanatics where you’re greeted with a warm welcome, comfortable seating and a relaxing environment for that premium cinema experience!

Four cinema screens will host everything from classics to recent blockbusters in surround sound with screenings throughout the day, popcorn and snacks for plush boutique surroundings.

The Club House, Deck 8

The non-stop upbeat atmosphere entertains both day and night where daytime sees the space function as a vibrant multi-purpose space that’s perfect for families to play games and enjoy afternoon entertainment including game shows!

Once the sun goes down, The Club House becomes Iona’s late-night venue, offering dancing in a modern ‘live lounge’ environment.

P&O guests can also enjoy the sounds of Iona’s talented house band, Pulse, at night with an indoor/outdoor space, boasting bar areas leading to the outdoor aft end of the Promenade Deck.

The Limelight Club, Deck 6

A feast for the senses, this venue blesses you with fantastic food, great company and top-notch entertainment.

The venue showcases established and emerging entertainers and is the dedicated space for resident performers, all accompanied by a gregarious compère and Iona’s house band.

Exclusively for adults, it’s also a hotspot for dancing, with daytime classes and hosted dancing events; guests can enjoy a drink on arrival before tucking into a menu full of unique, innovative dishes.

To heighten the sense of occasion, P&O have made sure the menus have a ‘show business’ theme where after each night’s show, the club transforms into a late-night venue for post-show drinks and revelry.

Headliners Theatre, Decks 6 and 7

This is perfect for a classic yet contemporary night with a sleek and sophisticated theatre experience: plush, comfortable seating and the latest LED technology deliver the ‘wow’ factor.

The two-deck-high auditorium on decks 6 and 7 ensures everyone has the best view in the house and during the day, guests can enjoy matinee performances and activities such as talks, films and Q&As.

But once night falls, full-scale production shows hit the stage– think dazzling West End style performances, cabaret, comedy and more!

The Ivory Suite, Deck 17

Love is in the air in The Ivory Suite as the primary venue for weddings and renewals of vows, it’s perfect for intimate and mid-sized ceremonies, all tailored to guests’ requests.

The premium location next to the Crow’s Nest and The Epicurean is light, airy whilst the elegant surroundings and ocean views provide a romantic backdrop for photographs.

Kids Clubs:

The Reef, Deck 17

This free on-board activity programme for children is a place to keep them safe and entertained throughout their entire cruise as and when they need, a place they can forge friendships with other children their own age.

Staffed by a crew of enthusiastic and qualified Reef rangers, it offers clubs with a wide range of age-specific entertainment:

  • Nursery (6 months-2 years)
  • Splashers (2-4 years)
  • Surfers (5-8 years)
  • Scubas (9-12 years)

There is also a secure outdoor play area and a designated splash park for these age groups whilst parents can make use of then complimentary Night Nursery available for ages six months to four years, open from 6pm to 2am each night.

A quiet area is created for the perfect surroundings for an infant to sleep; parents are contacted via a pager if their child wakes up.

Scene, Deck 6

Scene is a secret on-board hang-out for teens aged 13 to 17 and is separated from the rest of the children’s club, giving teens a chance to have their own space and allowing them to dip in and out of planned events.

It operates during high peak cruising season and in the low season, it becomes an entertainment space for adults.

Guests should note that in all children’s clubs, including the night nursery, allocation is on a first come, first served basis due to limited spaces available.


Malcolm says: This design of mega-ship will also be given to Costa, AIDA and Carnival. One assumes that much of the hardware, such as the dining rooms, will be similar for all brands. I fear that P&O will lose many of their traditions (such as two sitting for dinner and silver service) and become just another big mass-market line.  This ship will surely be aimed at multi-generational families, just like RCI, NCL and MSC ships are.  The ‘socks & sandal’ brigade are history!

I’m not suggesting that Iona will be a bad ship or offer a poor product. I am suggesting P&O are losing their original identity.  Did you know that ‘Oriana’ (1995) and ‘Aurora’ (2000) were the last two ships specifically built for P&O, all others since have been Princess/Carnival designs. (Oriana will be leaving the P&O fleet in 2019).

Iona will hold the record for the most number of passengers on-board a cruise ship (around 5,200 lower berths, + upper berths), although she is about 22% smaller than RCI’s ‘Oasis’ class, the worlds biggest cruise ships. That sounds a little worrying to me.

CMV’s 2019/20 Programme

July 6, 2018

Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ winter and spring 2019/20 cruise programme includes new winter voyages to Africa, a world cruise, Christmas and New Year cruises to the Canary Islands & Madeira, plus Mexico and Caribbean.

See full SEATRADE article: HERE

(Image Courtesy of CMV)

Details of new ship, Vasgo Da Gama: HERE

Superyacht In London

July 5, 2018


The Tottenham Hotspur FC owner’s (Joe Lewis) multi-million pound super yacht has been spotted turning around on the River Thames.

The 321ft-long state-of-the-art ship, called Aviva, took three years to build in Germany.

It features a full-size tennis court on board and can accommodate up to 16 guests. It is said to have artwork by Paul Cezanne and Picasso on board.

HAL’s Prinsendam Sold

July 4, 2018

(Courtesy HAL)

The Holland America Line has announced that Prinsendam has been sold and will leave its fleet July 1, 2019 and transfer to the German cruise company Phoenix Reisen. Following the sale, the 37,983-ton, 835-guest Prinsendam is being chartered back to Holland America Line to continue sailing its planned voyages through July 1, 2019.

Prinsendam’s itineraries from July 1, 2019, onward are scheduled to be assimilated by Rotterdam, Volendam and Veendam. Holland America Line is reaching out to booked guests and their travel professionals to re-accommodate guests on these cruises.

Prinsendam was built in 1988 as Royal Viking Sun for Royal Viking Line. The ship was operated by Cunard Line from 1994 through 1998 and then transferred to Seabourn Cruise Line, where it became Seabourn Sun in 1999. In 2002 the ship joined the Holland America Line fleet and was renamed Prinsendam.


Seabourn to Build Two Expedition Ships

July 3, 2018

(Image courtesy of seabourn)

The Seabourn cruise line has announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent for the construction of two new ultra-luxury expedition ships with a new partnership between shipbuilders T.Mariotti and Damen, who will collaborate on the construction of the vessels under a common name MARIOTTI DAMEN.

Seabourn has traditionally operated the Quest in Antarctica seasonally, and offers its Ventures by Seabourn program on other select sailings, but now is moving into the hot luxury expedition market with dedicated ships.

The 170 meter, 23,000 gross ton vessels will add new capacity for Seabourn in Antarctica, the Arctic, and other exotic destinations around the world while meeting PC6 Polar Class standards. Each will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites, which will be home for up to 264 guests.

Among the features are two submarines, a complement of kayaks and 24 Zodiac inflatable boats, which have operated as a part of the Ventures by Seabourn program offered in select destinations around the world.


Great Yarmouth Welcomes First Cruise Ship

July 3, 2018


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(Image: Courtesy ITV News Anglia)

The American cruise ship, ‘Seabourn Quest’ arrived in Great Yarmouth, U.K., on Saturday 30th June 2018. This the first time the Norfolk town has welcomed a cruise ship.

The luxurious Seabourn Quest, carrying 458 American passengers, docked at Peel Ports Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour, on Saturday morning.

The port of call was part of a Northern European cruise offered by Seabourn Cruise Line.

The passengers visited some of the town’s key attractions such as the Time and Tide Museum and the famous Golden Mile. Other went to the nearby city of Norwich for the day.

(Yarmouth Tourism)

Wonderful Waverley & Brilliant Balmoral

July 1, 2018

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to experience a day river cruise on the Balmoral Motor Cruiser (1949), and the Waverley paddle steamer (1947), both departing from Tilbury, via Southend, cruising the rivers Thames and Medway (U.K.).

Waverley is the only Ocean going paddle steamer left in the world.

Built on the Clyde in 1947 – to replace the original Waverley that sunk off Dunkirk in 1940, the Waverley was originally built to sail only between Craigendorran & Arrochar in West Scotland.

On my Waverley trip, I was  lucky enough to see the ‘Kingswear Castle’, paddle steamer, on route.

The coal-fired paddle steamer KINGSWEAR CASTLE was built in 1924 by Philip & Son of Dartmouth and sailed up and down the River Dart with her virtually identical sister ships and COMPTON CASTLE until the 1960s.

Unfortunately Balmoral is laid-up for 2018 as she needs her hull repainting and funding is often a problem. Hopefully she will be back in service in 2019?

I’d recommend any of these three ‘classic’ ships (Waverley, Balmoral & Kingsear Castle) to you, if you get the chance.

It is amazing to think that the Waverley still sails around Britain annually, Spring to Autumn. She offers regular trips on the Clyde, the Thames, South Coast of England and the Bristol Channel with other calls at various ports & piers throughout the UK. So look out for her at a UK port near you.


Waverley cruises: HERE

Oriana To Leave P&O’s Fleet

June 29, 2018

(Courtesy P&O)

P&O Cruises have announced a new guest experience program for 2019 and that Oriana (1995) will leave its fleet in August 2019.

The company did not specify where the 1,822-guest ship would operate next (but it is rumoured that China has purchased her).

P&O Cruises senior vice president, Paul Ludlow, said: “Oriana is an original, and a much loved P&O Cruises ship. Whilst we will miss her, her departure will allow us to focus on our remaining mid-sized and larger ships as the fleet expands with Iona.

Meanwhile, the new fleet program will cover three key areas of investment in shore excursions, dining and entertainment across mid-sized ships Arcadia and Aurora and Oceana as well as the larger ships Britannia, Azura and Ventura.

Aurora will be refitted next spring, prior to her re-launch as a ship exclusively for adults, when new cabins will be added as well as fixtures, fittings, soft furnishings and enhancements to public spaces throughout the ship.

The final sailing on Oriana will be announced shortly.


Sister ship, ‘Aurora’ slide-show: HERE

Malcolm says: I’m always a little sad when a ‘classic’ (smaller) ship leaves a fleet, probably forced out to make way for the giant ‘Iona’ in this case, which is being delivered in 2020.  At 23 year old Oriana has at least a decade left in her, possibly a lot more.

In contrast to Oriana, Iona will carry a record number of passengers at 5,200 (lower berths).  Iona represents the new P&O brand, aimed at attracting multi-generational families onto a mass market resort.  Oriana is/was a favourite with P&O’s original more mature ‘socks & sandals’ brigade.

Oriana and Aurora (2000) were actually specifically built for P&O – the P&O ships since have been Carnival/Princess designs.


The SS Great Britain

June 28, 2018


Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Britain (1843) is one of the most important historic ships in the world.

When she was launched in 1843 she was called ‘the greatest experiment since the Creation’. She was one of the first steel Ocean Liners with a screw propeller.

By combining size, power and innovative technology, Brunel created a ship that changed history. Brunel’s vision for the SS Great Britain made her the great-great-grandmother for all modern ships.

You can visit the SS Great Britain, which has been beautifully restored, at Bristol, U.K.


Trivia: The meaning of the phrase “shipshape and Bristol fashion”.  The saying in today’s form has been recorded as early as 1840 (“shipshape” alone being about 200 years older). The term developed most likely in view of the port of Bristol (U.K.) which had a very high tidal range of 13 metres (43 ft), the second highest in the world.  Ships moored in this area would be aground at low tide and, because of their keels, would fall to one side. If everything was not stowed away tidily or tied down, the results were chaotic and cargo could be spoiled.

Malcolm says: I believe ships/boats were later built in Bristol with a flat bottomed hull for stability when the tide went out.

The Last Ship (Musical)

June 27, 2018

I recently saw ‘The Last Ship’ (a musical) in Glasgow’s Theatre Royal.

‘The Last Ship’ is a musical about the decline of Newcastle ship building. I accept that it is not going to be every-bodies cup of tea. However the music is probably the best thing Sting has ever written, in my opinion. It’s autobiographical – his father built ships and expected Gordon (sting) to follow in his footsteps, but Gordon wanted more.

The theatre was lovely and the show was excellent.  The audience gave a spontaneous and unanimous standing ovation at the end.

It’s almost impossible to put such an audio/visual experience into words, so I will not even try.

From sting.com:

The Last Ship – the acclaimed musical by the internationally renowned musician Sting. The production, which stars Joe McGann, has a TONY-nominated original score and lyrics composed by Sting. It played a 4-week season in Newcastle before embarking on a major UK & Ireland Tour.

The production, which was initially inspired by Sting’s 1991 album The Soul Cages and his own childhood experiences, tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the town’s Swan Hunter shipyard.

When Gideon Fletcher returns home after fifteen years at sea, tensions between past and future flare in both his family and his town. The local shipyard, around which Wallsend has always revolved, is closing and no-one knows what will come next, only that a half-built ship towers over the terraces.

The show is directed by Lorne Campbell, the artistic director of Northern Stage, with set design by the Tony Award-winning 59 Productions.

This personal, political and passionate new musical from multiple Grammy Award winner Sting, is an epic account of a family, a community and a great act of defiance. With original music and lyrics by Sting.

This is the proud story of when the last ship sails.


Songs from the show (not the full production): HERE

Feature Ship: Fred Olsen’s ‘Balmoral’

June 23, 2018

Fred. Olsen cruise lines has a small fleet of small ships. They offer a very British cruise experience, although Olsen are a Norwegian family business.

Olsen have quite a hard-core following of satisfied customers, who do not want to cruise in a floating ‘shopping mall’. They do not need a water chute or rock-wall to climb up.

I have been lucky enough to cruise on all of the Fred. Olsen fleet and they are all intimate and charming. Their flag-ship ‘Balmoral’ is their biggest ship, but is still small, when compared to all modern ships.

Balmoral is possibly my favourite Olsen vessel.

Balmoral review: See Here

Hefty Growth for AmaWaterways

June 20, 2018


AmaWaterways has been growing at a measured pace of two new vessels a year for some time. In 2019, the company will add three, including the double-wide AmaMagna.

See full SeaTrade news story: HERE

Spectrum Of The Seas, Official Video

June 19, 2018


Presenting Boudicca’s New Oriental Room

June 18, 2018

(Image courtesy of Fred. Olsen)

With all four ships of our fleet now refurbished and refreshed, there’s plenty that’s new and improved. A highlight of these enhancements is Boudicca’s stylish Oriental Room. We thought you might like to see a little more…

This calming new lounge brings a touch of far-eastern style to the Lounge Deck on board. Inside you’ll find exotic décor, refined furnishings and a menu of quality teas and herbal infusions, so you can enjoy an authentic taste of the Orient.

(Image courtesy of Fred. Olsen)

There’s a tempting selection of oolong, black, green and white teas from China, Japan and Taiwan, as well as a few favourite blends from home, such as Earl Grey and English Chamomile. If you prefer something cold and refreshing, the choice of tea cocktails and delicious bottled beer from the Far East, including Tiger and Tsingtao, are sure to tempt too.

(Fred. Olsen)

Boudicca Review: HERE

Feature Ship: Brilliance of The Seas

June 17, 2018

Royal Caribbean International are the worlds number two cruise line, yet arguably they are the number one in building some of the worlds most innovative cruise ships. They have also built the worlds biggest cruise ships. These big ships almost generate their own publicity, but do take the focus away from their slightly smaller vessels.

BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS was the second in a series of four ‘Radiance’ class ships. At 90,090 gross tons she did not break any records for her size at the time, when she entered service in 2002. However she combined very impressive facilities with a slightly more ‘human’ scale.

I took the ships maiden cruise on July 15th, 2002, to the Norwegian Fjord, from Harwich (7 nights, return).

Brilliance of the Seas Review: HERE