Viking Sea: Sails Up River Thames For Christening

May 6, 2016
(Courtesy AP Evening Standard)

(Courtesy AP Evening Standard)

A luxury cruise ship is set to be the largest ocean vessel to be christened on the River Thames as hordes of people lined the banks to see it sail through the heart of London.

Full Evening Standard story: HERE

(Evening Standard On-Line)

Cliver Palmer’s Political Career Sinks

May 4, 2016

(Courtesy Sunshine Coast Daily)

Australian billionaire, Clive Palmer, Federal Member for Fairfax, has announced he won’t re-contest his seat at the upcoming Federal Election expected to be on July 2, 2016.

His political career has also hit a metaphorical iceberg.

Maybe now that his political dreams have turned into a nightmare, he will concentrate on his pipe-dream, ‘Titanic II’?


First US Cruise Ship In Decades Arrives In Cuba

May 3, 2016
(Courtesy BBC News)

(Courtesy BBC News)

A US cruise ship has docked in the Cuban capital, Havana, after sailing from Florida – the first such crossing in more than 50 years.

The Adonia sailed from the port of Miami carrying some 700 passengers…

Read the full BBC News story HERE

MS Koningsdam

May 2, 2016

Holland America’s ms Koningsdam ushers in a new class of ships for the premium line. The first of the new Pinnacle-class fleet, ms Koningsdam will boast room for 2,650 guests with plenty of light-filled public spaces characterized by elegant sophistication and creative designs.

The ms Koningsdam cruise ship will feature amazing signature spaces that Holland America’s guests have grown to know and love – like the Queen’s Lounge, fitness center, duty-free shops, teak Promenade deck, Explorer’s Lounge and casino – as well as a few new additions.

The onboard Explorations Café takes advantage of Holland America’s partnership with the New York Times to provide daily crossword puzzles, books, pastries and espresso beverages. When sailing aboard the ms Koningsdam, guests have their choice of a variety of elegant staterooms, including the Neptune Suite, Signature Suite, Vista Suite, Spa Verandah and more.


Click to enlarge (Courtesy of HAL)

Click to enlarge (Courtesy of HAL)

Introducing The World’s First Underwater Lounge

May 2, 2016
(Courtesy Ponant)

(Courtesy Ponant)

Cruise passengers will be able to sip their sundowners beneath the waves in full view of passing sealife from 2018, with the launch of the world’s first subaquatic ship lounge.

The brainchild of French expedition cruise line, Ponant, the underwater salon will offer passengers a fresh perspective on the world’s waterways thanks to giant windows built into the hull.

Read full Telegraph article HERE

Newbuilds (Courtesy Ponant)

Newbuilds (Courtesy Ponant)

Oldest River Vessel

April 29, 2016


(Courtesy Gota Kanal)

Cruis Blog reader ‘Max M’ suggested that after discussing the biggest river boats (here) we should discuss the oldest.

I have done a little research and it would appear that the oldest registered marine vessel with overnight accommodation, is in fact a vintage steam canal boat called M/S Juno.  Juno was built in 1874 (yes, 1874) and has 29 passenger cabins.

M/S Juno operates on the 120 mile Göta Canal between Stockholm and Gothenburg, built with the help of Scottish engineer Thomas Telford.

In fact there are three vintage vessels on this route: The M/S Wilhelm Tham was built in 1912 and their youngest ship, is the M/S Diana, in 1931.

More Information HERE

Doulos – The Oldest Ocean-Going Ship

The Medina was built in 1914 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company for the Mallory Steamship Company of the United States. She was a freighter serving the Atlantic; during World War II she served with the United States Coast Guard.

The Panamanian company Naviera San Miguel SA acquired the Medina in 1948; they renamed the ship the Roma, and converted her into a passenger ship with cabins for 287 people, and dormitories for an additional 694 people.

In 1952 Naviera San Miguel resold the Roma to Linea Costa, an Italian company. At this time the SS Roma, a steamship, was converted into a motor vessel and renamed the MV Franca C. She carried passengers between Italy and Argentina. In 1959, the Franca C was adapted into a cruise liner, principally cruising the Mediterranean.

In 1977, Gute Bücher für Alle (Good Books For All) acquired the Franca C, and renamed her the Doulos (Greek for servant). She was manned by a volunteer crew and made sea port visits worldwide as a missionary ship. The MV Doulos held the biggest floating library in the world. Normally there were somewhere between 3000 to 5000 books on the shelves and half a million in the hold.

She made her last world tour in 2009 and was de-commissioning at the end of 2009 due to expense of making her compliant with SOLAS (maritime safety) regulations .

The ship is currently known as the MV Doulos Phos. She is now owned by Mr. Eric Saw, Director and Chief Executive of BizNaz Resources International Pte Ltd in Singapore.

There are plans to use the ship as a floating hotel with restaurants, a bookshop and a banqueting hall. However such plans do not always come to fruition. The QE2 is a prime example.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Malcolm Says: As Doulos is no longer operational as cruise ship, this raises the question what ocean going ship is now the oldest? anybody know?

I got to go on-board MV Doulos in 2004, when she visited Southampton. Her interiors were quite a mess, looking more like a Hippy peace-camp than an historic ship. However you could certainly still see some of the Costa décor in places.

2016: Time to book your first River Cruise?

April 27, 2016
Amadeus Silver II (courtesy of Luftner)

Amadeus Silver II (Courtesy of Luftner)

O.k. so you have done some ocean cruising and love it. However maybe you starting to think of doing something a little different for your next holiday. How about a river cruise?

It’s still a holiday afloat, yet it is a completely different experience.

See my article: HERE

Shell Named LNG Supplier To New AIDA Ships

April 26, 2016
(Image courtesy of AIDA)

AIDAprima (Image courtesy of AIDA)

AIDA Cruises and Shell have announced a deal for Shell to supply LNG to AIDAprima and her sister ship AIDAperla.

Both ships have dual-fuel engines.

In all ports along its seven-day itinerary, the AIDAprima can be operated with LNG while docked at port. The preparations and initial permit procedures for the ports of Hamburg, Southampton, Le Havre, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge are already well underway for LNG trucks to supply fuel to the ship, said AIDA.


Malcolm says: We have future mega-ships coming form MSC and Costa which will also require LNG fuel.

So what is LNG? See HERE

Forther Details of MSC Seaside

April 25, 2016

21/04/2016:  MSC Cruises marked an important construction milestone in the building of MSC Seaside with the celebration of the traditional maritime coin ceremony held at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

MSC Seaside, set to come into service in December 2017, will sail year-round from Miami and is being designed with the North American market in mind.

More Details Revealed


Atrium (Courtesy of MSC)

MSC Cruises has revealed further details of MSC Seaside including suspended glass floors, a wrap around outdoor promenade with bars and restaurants, ocean-view elevators  and the highest ratio of outdoor space of any ship at sea.


Outdoor Sushi Bar (Courtesy MSC)

The concept behind MSC Seaside is to “bring the sea closer to passengers”, and is being designed with an exclusive warn weather aesthetic. The beach-condo-inspired concept will focus on the outdoor space of cabins and suites, many al fresco eating options including 20 bars; outdoor spa and fitness facilities, such as luxury cabanas for spa treatments, two wellness cabins, which feature advanced Kinesis Technoygm fitness equipment; and the private MSC Yacht Club, which features a lounge and restaurant and a solarium.

Fill Cruise Critic Article: HERE

Below: MSC’s other newbuild:


Astor Returns To The UK (Briefly)

April 22, 2016

Cruise and Maritime voyages will have  a fleet of five ocean ships by June 2017.

One ship in particular, ‘MS Astor’, spends most of her year in Australian waters,  occasionally the Indian Ocean and around South Africa.

At 20,606 gross tonnes and carrying just 600 passengers, she offers an intimate experience, compared to many of today’s mega-ships.

She was built in 1987 under the name Astor in Kiel, West Germany, as a combined ocean liner/cruise ship for the Southampton-cape town route.

She will make a rare appearance at Tilbury on Saturday 23rd of April 2016, offering an 8 night ‘British Isles Discovery’ (around Britain) cruise.  On 16th of October she will offering a 54 night voyage form Tilbury to Australia.

Between the ‘Around Britain’ cruise and her voyage to Australia, she will offer European cruises from Bremerhaven for the German market, under the ‘Transocean’ brand.

CMV say:

When travelling on larger ships it’s easy to feel intimidated, but on Astor it’s a different story. Whilst on board, you will be recognised by name and be able to enjoy a sense of familiarity not offered by other cruise lines. With fine cuisine, high class entertainment, comfortable lounges and accommodation, our philosophy is simply to ensure your voyage is an outstanding and memorable experience.

Astor has seven passenger decks and her wide range of public facilities include the impressive Waldorf Restaurant offering a traditional two sitting fixed time dining option, the Toscana and Romantic speciality dining rooms and, as an alternative, the more informal Übersee Club Bistro. There are five lounge areas – the theatre style Astor Lounge, for some truly sparkling entertainment from the wonderful show-team; the elegant Captain’s Club, a perfect venue for pre-dinner cocktails; the intimate Hanse Bar which leads onto the stylish Sun Terrace, with wonderful panoramic ocean views; and the Poolside Bar.

Other facilities include a well stocked Library, attractive Card Room, internet café and a shopping arcade featuring a boutique, jeweller and perfumery. The beautifully appointed Wellness Centre offers hairdressing and beauty treatments, an indoor swimming pool, ocean view gym with fitness and exercise equipment, and sauna and massage facilities. There is an outdoor swimming pool, two whirlpools and, in keeping with her heritage, a traditional walk around promenade deck. An outstanding feature of Astor is the sports deck where you can enjoy volleyball, half court tennis, table tennis, a jogging track, big board chess, golf practice and yoga.


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