£225 Million Super-Yacht

September 28, 2016

Inside ‘Motor Yacht A’ the £225 million vessel. The 390ft vessel is one of world’s 25 largest superyachts is owned by Russian tycoon Andrey Melnichenko. His wife is the model in the images.

Celebrity – Project Edge

September 27, 2016

Secret Ship

The announcement of newbuilds is nearly always shrouded in secrecy, these days.

Celebrity cruises ‘Project Edge’ is no exception.

We do not know very much, apart form ‘Project Edge’ represents two new ships, each carrying 2,900 guests. The first ship is scheduled to debut in 2018, the second is scheduled for 2020. We have yet to see any renderings of the inside or outside of the vessels.

A rather good web site (hideousjourneys.com) has some images which it claims are the Edge Staterooms, designed by Softroom Ltd.

Softroom have designed the interiors of aircraft (Virgin) and hotels and restaurants around the world.

(Courtesy of hideousjourneys.com/Softroom Ltd.)

Click to enlarge (Courtesy of hideousjourneys/Softroom Ltd.)

Unsurprisingly the staterooms look very stylish. The cabins shown are an interlocking design (a ’69’ configuration) which features on-board many new ships, to save space. It has been suggested that the balcony will merge into the rooms design, somehow.

More surprisingly the stateroom design picks up the controversial ‘open bathroom’ concept that debuted on-board Norwegian EPIC in 2010. The bathroom is next to the corridor door, so you pass through the ‘wet area’ to enter the cabin.

It has been suggested that the glass shower doors will be transparent until you switch a light on and they become opaque.

I rather liked the split-bathroom design on-board Epic, but some passengers were not so impressed. In fact NCL dropped the concept after Epic.  Maybe they were being too radical at the time?

Please bear in mind that the images may just be ‘concepts’ and NOT the finished designs.

Celebrity Stateroom Images – hideousjourneys.com: HERE

(Source: Hideousjourneys.com)

Below Norwegian Epic Stateroom:

Epic: The Author does some paperwork (without the modesty curtain)

Epic: The Author does some paperwork (without the modesty curtain)

Norwegian Epic Review (inc. Staterooms) HERE

Olsen To Mark 170th With Full Fleet In Cadiz

September 27, 2016

The 170th anniversary of Fred Olsen’s beginnings in the shipping industry is to be marked in 2018 with a special event in Spain.

The Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet of four ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – will dock together in Cadiz on September 10, 2018.

The ‘Captains in Cádiz’ get-together will feature celebrations and festivities on four themed cruise itineraries which go on sale from September 28.

(Fred. Olsen)

Tempers Flare In Venice As Protesters Block Cruise Ships

September 26, 2016
(Courtesy, Daily Telegraph)

(Courtesy, Daily Telegraph)

Hundreds of demonstrators have taken to the water in Venice to protest against visiting cruise ships, as relations between tourists and locals reach a new nadir.

Daily Telegraph article: HERE

Malcolm says: This may all seem like an over-reaction, until you visit Venice in the summer, when there may be six cruise ship visiting each day,  bringing maybe 12,000+ passengers to tiny Venice. Venice’s pavements  suffer from a human gridlocked. Then there is the  issue of building erosion caused by the wash form the may cruise ships.

Editors Comment – The China Syndrome

September 26, 2016
Norwegian Joy (Courtesy of NCL)

Norwegian Joy (Courtesy of NCL)

Once upon a time America was the biggest cruise market in the world, followed by the UK. Europe was in third place.

Today Germany has grown to be the number two cruising nation.

However in recent years the predicted growth of the Asian cruise market, especially China, has dominated the cruise business headlines. In fact so big is the expected growth, that it has been predicted that China will become world’s second largest cruise market by 2017.

The promise of such impressive  growth  has encouraged the major cruise lines to relocate tonnage to China.

For example: Royal Caribbean switched deployment of Quantum of the Seas, their first ‘Quantum’ class ship, from New York to China, where she is now based all year-round. Princess Cruises assigned its 2017 newbuild, Majestic Princess, to Shanghai.  Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Joy, aimed specifically at the Chinese market is currently under construction and will have two home-ports, Shanghai and Beijing’s Tianjin, China.  MSC Cruises has announced that the Splendida is heading to China in 2018, joining Lirica, which is home-porting at Tianjin.

Many other ships from the Carnival, AIDA, HAL, Genting and Costa brands are  also being deployed to Asia, in order to capture a slice of the Chinese market.


Beijing’s Tianjin Cruise Terminal, in the smog.

Some commentators feel that the Chinese market is gaining new ships at determent of the UK and USA markets. It has also been suggested that the Chinese market will  influence future ship design: for example public rooms, such as bars and lounges, restaurants and casinos.

For example the Chinese are very keen gamblers so will require very large casinos; on the other hand the Brits are not so enthusiastic. P&O ships, for example have relatively small casinos.  The Chinese are not big on sunbathing which could alter ships sundeck design.


Inside Beijing’s Tianjin Cruise Terminal

All of the major cruise lines want a slice of China. However I do wonder if the predicted growth will be as big and fast as predicted. There are bound to be winners and losers. I believe that the American cruise products that best adapt themselves to the Asian market, will win.

However we will be seeing home-grown Chinese designed and built ships in the future which will also be hoping to dominate the market.

The only certainty is that the future of cruising is unclear, so watch this space.


Norwegian Go-Karts For China

September 25, 2016

The Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) revealed some of the features and amenities for Norwegian Joy 喜悦号 (Xǐ Yuè Hào)  earlier in the year.

They call her their most innovative and luxurious ship ever, built and styled exclusively for Chinese guests, arriving Summer 2017. She will be home-porting in Shanghai & Tianjin (Beijing).

Norwegian Joy will be 168,000 gross tonnes and accommodate 3,900 passengers.


Entertainment & Activities

Norwegian Joy will continue Norwegian Cruise Line’s long history of innovation in providing engaging, exciting features and amenities for guests to enjoy. Sure to delight guests of all ages, the ship’s top decks will offer a wide-range of never-before-seen at sea experiences.

On of the most unique features is on the ships upper deck. Guests will take the ride of a lifetime on a thrilling two-level competitive racetrack– the first ever at sea. Cruisers can race family and friends in electric cars (a 5-6 minute course) and even share a photo of their first place finish.

‘Cruise Industry News’  has revealed that the Norwegian Cruise Line displayed a go kart, similar to the ones that will be featured on the Norwegian Joy, at the China Cruise Shipping conference and trade show being held in Tianjin, China.


(Courtesy Cruise Industry News)


Industry Leaders Confident on China Growth Prospects

September 23, 2016

The headline says it all…..

See ‘Cruise Industry News’ article: HERE

Chinese-Built Cruise Ships

September 23, 2016

The first Chinese-built cruise ships may be getting closer to being officially announced.

It is rumoured that the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and Carnival Corporation could announce a newbuild order for up to five cruise ships to be built in a Chinese yard for a yet-to-be-named domestic cruise brand.

As Chinese shipyards target ship orders, they are developing more varied ship concepts to sell to the cruise industry.

See renderings form ‘Cruise Industry News’: HERE

Chinese-Only Ships Coming to Mediterranean?

One of the next major steps in the Chinese cruise market will be a significant push to send more Chinese cruise passengers outbound, on fly/cruise packages.

According to multiple sources, ships fully tailored to Chinese guests could be the next step, especially in the Mediterranean

A dedicated Chinese ship would enable cruise companies to tailor the full hotel product to Chinese guests, and may make the prospect of a cruise in Europe more appealing to outbound Chinese travellers.


Viking Add River Sailing for Chinese Tourists

Viking River Cruises will offer its first European river sailings on a ship dedicated to Chinese cruisers later this Autum.

The cruises will take place on the Rhine River between Amsterdam and Basel, using an existing Longship. Mandarin will be the primary language onboard.

The move is only the first step in a “selection of cruise products” that Viking is developing for the Chinese tourism market, the company said in a statement.

The company also noted that the new sailings for Chinese passengers will be separate from the ones that are sold to English-speaking passengers from North America, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. The cruises are currently on sale in the Chinese market.


MSC Splendida Moving to China

September 21, 2016
(Courtesy MSC)

(Courtesy MSC)

MSC Cruises has announced that the Splendida is heading to China in 2018.

The 138,000-ton, 3,300-passenger Splendida will be joining the more modest 59,000 ton, 1,560-passenger Lirica, which has recently moved her year-round homeport from Shanghai to Tianjin.

MSC said that the Splendida will undergo a significant drydock refurbishment in late 2017, customizing her for the Chinese market.

Splendida will also be introducing the cruise line’s Yacht Club concept in China.


Malcolm says: Well MSC must be confident about the demand from China. If they are wrong, the Chinese will have a lot of discounted ships to choose from.

China: AIDA Has a U-Turn

September 20, 2016
AIDAbella (Courtesy AIDA)

AIDAbella (Courtesy AIDA)

AIDA Cruises has changed its plans to deploy AIDAbella all year-round in Shanghai, all year-round. This would have started from spring 2017. Instead, the ship will offer more Western Mediterranean cruises.

The news comes just a month after AIDA launched its China marketing campaign.


Malcolm says: We do not know the reason, however the number of berths being re-deployed to China may be in danger of exceeding the growth in demand. Maybe demand for Med cruises is more of a certainty?