CMV’s New Ship: Vasco da Gama

March 21, 2018


The CMV Travel & Leisure Group is pleased to announce the acquisition of Pacific Eden from P&O Cruises Australia.

Continuing the explorer theme, the ship’s new name is named ‘Vasco da Gama’.

Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese nobleman, navigator and explorer, famous for being the first European to reach India by sea. After thousands of lives and dozens of vessels lost in shipwrecks and attacks in search of this passage, da Gama successfully landed in Calicut on 20th of May 1498. In doing so, he connected the Atlantic Ocean with the Indian Ocean and the Western World with the Orient, paving the way for an age of global commerce and European establishment in Asia. His outward and return journey around the Cape of Good Hope was at the time the longest ocean voyage ever undertaken, a distance equal to the equatorial circumference of the Earth, being about 24,000 miles! He successfully conducted three such voyages, and also served as the Second Viceroy of Portuguese India.

Here is snap shot of the ship’s wide range of facilities:-

  • Gross Tonnage: 55,820grt, Draft: 7.7m, Length: 219m, Beam: 31m
  • Built in Fincantieri Shipyard, Italy in 1994 and launched as Statendam.
  • A three-decked central Atrium with a fine selection of retail outlets
  • Impressive passenger lower bed space ratio of 48.
  • Nine passenger decks serviced by eight lifts.
  • Fabulous tiered main show lounge spanning two decks.
  • Dome Observatory & Nightclub providing wonderful seascapes & scenic panoramas.
  • 149 balcony cabins including 28 suites. 80% of cabins with an ocean view.
  • Starboard and port side promenades with splendid traditional timber decking.
  • A well-appointed wellbeing centre with a fully equipped fitness centre.
  • Two outdoor swimming pools with the main pool having an all-weather retractable roof.
  • A tennis and basketball court.
  • Cinema and casino.
  • Two Conference Rooms.
  • Six dining options including five fine dining options.
  • In all, a choice of five lounge bars, one pool bar and four entertainment venues.

 The ship has a rich heritage and maritime pedigree and was originally launched in 1994 by Holland America Line as the Statendam. At 55,820grt and with an impressive space ratio, she will carry 1150 passengers accommodated in 630 cabins (including 100 singles and 149 balcony suites and cabins with an 80% ocean view ratio). She will operate alongside CMV’s flagship, Columbus (1400pax), Magellan (1300pax), Marco Polo (800pax), Astor (600pax) and Astoria (550pax).


CMV Flagship Columbus review: HERE

Malcom says: It’s great to see a British cruise line offering some reasonably priced cruises on ‘classic’ small ships, in this world of leviathans. However ‘Vasco da Gama’ essentially replaces the very charming ‘Astor’.

At around 56,000 the ‘Vasco da Gama‘ is about 10,000 gt bigger than Magellan and about 9,000 gt smaller than Columbus. However based on the standard passenger capacity of 1,150 she has the best passenger-to-space ratio (48) of the entire CMV fleet. She is also the youngest of the CMV fleet by six years.


Massive Expansion of RCI’s CocoCay

March 20, 2018


Royal Caribbean have recently announced that here will be a $200 million transformation of their private island of CocoCay, in the Bahamas.

Highlights include: Thrill Waterpark, Oasis Lagoon, A 1,600-foot zip line, a helium balloon, two specially designed beaches and the exclusive Coco Beach Club, The island transformation will roll out in phases beginning September 2018 until November 2019.


P&O: Ventura Refit

March 19, 2018

(Courtesy P&O)

In March 2018, Ventura will head to a shipyard in Brest, France for a refit. We’ll be making a number of improvements on board and bringing her in line with the other ships in the fleet. Keep an eye out for refurbished shops stocked with new brands, a new LED screen in the theatre, and new carpeting in the rooms and suites and in a number of the public areas.

Upon returning from her refit, Ventura will embark on a 12-night cruise to the Canary Islands and Portugal. For the rest of the year she’ll remain based in Southampton and take guests on Short Breaks to Belgium and Guernsey, adventures in the Norwegian Fjords and sunny holidays to the likes of Spain, Portugal, Greece and France.

We can’t wait to welcome Ventura back to the fleet, and we hope you’ll join us soon for more fun-filled holidays.


Whether you prefer the classic stylings of the two-tier Arena theatre, the opulent setting of the Tamarind Club or the Cuban vibe in Havana lounge, Ventura’s on board entertainment venues offer something for everyone. To make your nights out that much more special, we’ll be upgrading the Arena theatre with a brand new LED wall installation, similar to the ones found on Britannia and Azura. We’ll also be making updates to the sound and lighting desk.


Shopping is a popular pastime on any holiday, and whether you’re treating yourself to a luxurious new watch, handbag or fragrance or stocking up on travel essentials,our on-board shops are the perfect place to do it. We’re pleased to announce that Dufry, the world’s leading travel retailer, will be our new retail partner on Ventura.The ship’s shops will undergo a complete upgrade, and new brands such as Brics,Longines, Olivia Burton and Liu Jo will be sit alongside popular brands such as Radley, Cath Kidston and Kipling. A range of British gins will also be available. Further changes include a large glass display window added to the shops on deck 7.

Waterside and The Beach House

Ventura does laid-back dining right. As part of the refit, both Waterside (the ship’s 24-hour buffet) and The Beach House (the fun and informal Select Dining restaurant)will enjoy a spruce-up. Floors will be given new tiling in the main walkway area and a new carpet design, and new furniture will be incorporated.


The refit will see Ventura refreshed with new carpeting in a number of areas. In addition to all suites and cabins, the carpeting will also be replaced in a number of public areas: the Atrium; Oasis Spa & Salon; restaurants including Saffron,Waterside, The Glass House and The Beach House; and bars such as The Red Barand Havana lounge.

Dixons Travel Store

Dixons Travel, located on deck 7 by the photo gallery, sells the latest technology, from tablets to headphones to binoculars. As part of the refit, the Dixons Travel store will increase in size and a range of new products – including the Dyson supersonic hairdryer and the latest technology from brands such as Amazon, Apple, Bose,Canon, Fitbit, GoPro and more – will be available. Additionally, new carpeting will beintroduced, and the Photo Now digital screen will be moved to the ship’s aft.


Ventura Review: HERE

Genting: Global Class Details

March 18, 2018

(Image courtesy Gentling)

Genting Hong Kong has announced that Dream Cruises will get the first Global-class newbuild previously allocated to Star Cruises.

The 5,000-guest, 204,000-ton ship will join the Dream Cruises fleet starting in 2020. Genting Hong Kong has a sister ship set for a 2021 delivery as well, which could also be poised to join Dream Cruises.

Genting Hong Kong revealed more details of its upcoming 5,000-guest 204,000-ton Global-class ships, with the first set to debut for the Dream Cruises brand at the end of 2020, followed by a sister ship at the end of 2021.

The news was released at a steel cutting ceremony in Germany on Thursday.

“The Global Class ships will follow the embrace of Asians of artificial intelligence in their daily lives, with facial and voice recognition for most services onboard and robots to perform mundane tasks, allowing the crew to focus on service delivery,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, chairman and CEO of Genting.

According to a statement, the ships are designed specifically for the rapidly growing Asian cruise market with features such as a Cineplex, theme park, Asian spa, authentic multiple Asian dining experiences including fast food alternatives and affordable shopping facilities in addition to luxury shopping facilities.

The cabins are uniquely designed for the Asian family and can comfortably sleep two, three or four persons with split (two) bathrooms, allowing for a wider price point for the Asian market, Genting said.

With total life-saving capacity of up to 9,500 passengers, the Global Class ships can cater for the extremely high peak holiday periods in Asia, Genting said, in a statement.

The new ships will also have eight sets of escalators connecting the public areas.

With facial recognition, there will be minimal queuing for boarding, disembarkation and payments; contextual marketing to even out demand on ship facilities and other artificial intelligent systems, the company announced.


Crystal Endeavor – Where Luxury Roams Freely

March 17, 2018


Olsen’s Boudicca: Extensive Refit

March 17, 2018


(Boudiccca’s old livery and interiors)

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ 880-guest Boudicca is due to undergo an extensive refit starting on March 17 at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany.

The schedule for Boudicca comprises engineering works, general refurbishments and painting of the interiors and exterior, the company said.

In addition, one of the main areas of work will be the stripping out and rejuvenation of the 462 rooms across the ship.

All rooms will have new carpets installed, along with new soft furnishings and lamps. As with the rest of the fleet, brand new balcony furniture will be installed, and all rooms will be equipped with mini-fridges, safes and interactive smart TVs.

There will be extensive upgrading and remodelling of the vessle’s public rooms and dining facilities. The ship’s Morning Light Pub – a feature across the whole of the Fred. Olsen fleet – will be moved from to the portside of the Secret Garden Café. The Heligan Room will be converted into the Indian Ocean Restaurant.

Black Watch benefited from extensive improvement work at the end 2016 and has been achieving record revenues since, according to a company statement. Braemar and Balmoral were refurbished before the end of 2017.

(Fred Olsen)

Ponant: Two More Expedition Ships

March 16, 2018

(Image courtesy of Ponant)

Ponant has announced an ordered an additional two expedition ships from the VARD shipyard. This means that the company will have 12 ships by 2021.

Similar to its four-ship Explorer-class order, the additional two ships are sisters, which will accommodate 180 passengers each.

The ships will be named Le Bellot and Le Surville and delivery is set for the first and second quarter of 2020, respectively.


Malcolm says: Even more new expedition ships. I wonder who books them? I’ve yet to meet anybody – but maybe I mix in the wrong circles? Don’t get me wrong, I’d be on-board if I could afford it!

Viking Ocean Cruises – 16 Ships On Order.

March 14, 2018

(Image courtesy Viking)

Viking Cruises and Fincantieri announced an agreement for six further ocean-going newbuilds. The deliveries would come in 2024 (one), 2025 (two), 2026 (two) and 2027 (one).

Viking’s current ocean fleet includes four all-veranda-stateroom ships of 47,800gt, each accommodating 930 passengers. The line will welcome two more sister ships in the next two years, including Viking Orion this June and Viking Jupiter in 2019. Plus, 10 additional ships are now on order.

Sixteen ships is an all-time record, the highest number from a single shipowner for a shipyard.

(Viking Ocean Cruises)

Crystal River Cruises Introduces: ‘Crystal Debussy’

March 13, 2018

(Image courtesy of Crystal)

Crystal River Cruises welcomed the 106-guest Crystal Debussy to its fleet, which will enter next month. The latest addition to the Crystal portfolio brings the river fleet to four river ships.

Crystal Debussy will cruise along the Rhine River, beginning with her April 9, 2018 maiden voyage round-trip from Amsterdam. Throughout 2018 and 2019, the ship will sail routes of seven and 10 days between Amsterdam and Basel along the Rhine and Moselle rivers, visiting Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium.

In addition, Crystal will welcome the Crystal Ravel to the fleet next month, joining sister ships: the Crystal Bach, the Crystal Mahler, the Crystal Debussy, and the line’s first river ship the Crystal Mozart.



Disney – New Ship Renderings

March 12, 2018


Disney Cruise Line has released the first rendering of its new generation of ships, with deliveries set for 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively.

The ships will be powered by LNG with capacity for 2,500 passengers and will be 140,000 tons.


New Cruise Line Aimed At Millennials Scraps Age Limit

March 12, 2018

(Image Courtesy of Uniworld)

The world’s first cruise line for millennials – which intended to ban over-45s when it launches in April – has been forced to ditch its age limit just weeks before setting sail.

U by Uniworld, a new brand from the well-established cruise operator, had billed its two trendy new ships, called A and B, as strictly for 21- to 45-year-olds.


An image from Uniword’s ‘U’ Concept: But would these young women really take a river cruise? (Given the fact that they are probably models, you are more likely to find them on-board  a private yacht!)

“Originally, U was specific in defining its target market between the ages of 21 and 45, but has learned that the experience is less about a number, and more about attracting a new generation of adult travellers to river cruising.” said Chris Townson, the Uniworld’s UK managing director.


Malcolm says: I hate say that I told you so, but a while back I said: “The brochure is full of images of young people. In fact I am a little cynical that Uniworld can really attract people as young as the ones pictured, but I wish them luck.  The other big issue is the often high fares. I wonder how many financially comfortable millennials want to spend their money on a river cruise? An RCI, MSC or NCL mega-ship, full of high-energy activities and ‘gimmicks’, sounds much more likely to appeal to millennials, in my opinion. “

What were Uniworld’s marketing department thinking? Giving the brand a trendy new name and painting the boats black was obviously not enough! It was still a laid-back/very expensive river cruise experience, more suitable for the well-heeled, more mature guest.

I’m all for attracting a wider clientele to river cruising. However I think they need a total redesign of the boats and product, before river cruising will even begin to appeal to a younger crowd. Some good entertainment might help, for starters. I believe that many younger people generally need a higher level of activity and a more lively  atmosphere on-board a ship – ‘relaxation’ and a jigsaw puzzle may not be enough.

How long before they paint the boats white again? I’m taking bets!

Elaine Paige – Godmother

March 12, 2018

British singing star, Elaine Paige, will serve as godmother to Seabourn’s new Seabourn Ovation.

The naming ceremony will take place Friday, May 1 in Valletta, Malta during a ceremony that will light up the dramatic UNESCO World Heritage site and the 2018 European Capital of Culture.


(Courtesy Seabourn)

Crystal Endeavor – Details.

March 11, 2018


Crystal Cruises has release renderings and some details of its upcoming expedition yacht, Crystal Endeavor.

The ship will be a 19,800 ton, purpose-built polar class yacht and carry just 200 guests in all-suite accommodation. She is expected to enter service in August 2018.

Specialty restaurants will include Prego, which serves traditional Italian fare, and will also host Crystal’s signature “Vintage Room” winemaker dinners; and Umi Uma, serving signature sushi and specialties from Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Crystal said.

Additionally, the yacht will feature the elegant main dining venue, Waterside; the Asian-inspired Silk Kitchen & Bar, located in the two-story solarium during the evenings; and the European-inspired Bistro Café, which will offer full service breakfast and lunch and will be a go-to spot for freshly brewed espresso and teas.

Also part of the ship will be Crystal’s Palm Court, the Connoisseur Club cigar lounge; Crystal Cove, the heart of the ship where guests will gather for varied guest speakers, pre-dinner cocktails and late-night entertainment; and the only casino on an expedition yacht, the company said.

Enrichment venues will include the Captain’s Lounge, the Expedition Lounge, the Helicopter Lounge and the Library. The Promenade will stretch from Crystal Cove to Waterside and be a more intimate space for guests to enjoy cocktails, conversation and views.


NCL – A New Terminal at PortMiami

March 10, 2018

(Images courtesy of NCL)

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings today unveiled the design of the new and dedicated Norwegian Cruise Line terminal at PortMiami.

Pending the final approval, the project will commence in May 2018, and is scheduled for completion by the fall of 2019, as Norwegian Encore makes her debut in Miami with seasonal cruises to the Caribbean, the company said.

The modern terminal draws its inspiration from a nautilus, with its spiraled and multi-level façade, opening up to grand ocean views.

(Images courtesy of NCL)

At nearly 166,500 square feet, the debuting Norwegian terminal will accommodate ships of up to 5,000 passengers, and feature new technology to support faster and more efficient embarkation and disembarkation processes, as well as expedited security screening and luggage check-in. A dedicated lounge and service area will facilitate a warm and welcoming sense of arrival for large groups and charters, and a new parking garage, and valet parking area with direct access to the terminal and lounge are also scheduled to be completed.


Celebrity Edge – Dining Details

March 7, 2018


Our newest ship, Celebrity Edge, is truly designed to change the way you experience the world – and such an unbelievable ship needs cuisine to match. Celebrity Edge boasts a total of 29 distinctive restaurants, cafés, bars, and lounges to choose from, you’re sure to find a new favourite dish or cocktail every night of your holiday. With an incredible palate-pleasing collection of menus inspired by the destinations we visit, and visionary recipes created by our Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Gallagher, we’ll bring the flavours of the world to you – right on-board.


Celebrity Edge boasts four main restaurants.

Our most revolutionary ship had to boast a main dining experience to match, so we have created not one but four complimentary main restaurants, each inspired by the destinations we visit. Each restaurant will feature regionally inspired wines, cocktails, and dishes served nowhere else onboard, and a rotating selection of Signature dishes that changes every evening as well as our most popular Classic dishes available every evening.

The main restaurants onboard Celebrity Edge offer more intimate dining experiences than any other ship in our fleet, with the same impeccable service. Every table has a dedicated wait staff including a head waiter, assistant waiter, and sommelier to ensure every need is met.


We may have reinvented the main restaurant experience on Celebrity Edge, but we haven’t changed the way you plan your dining in our new main restaurants. You can still choose traditional early or late seating for your dining times, which allows you to enjoy dinner at the same table with the same waiter every evening. You’ll be assigned one of the four main dining restaurants, while having the option to dine in the other three upon request.


On Celebrity Edge, we continue to offer our Celebrity Select Dining option, but because you have four restaurants to choose from, we’ve renamed it Celebrity Select Dining Plus. This option allows you to dine when and where you’d like each evening. You can make reservations in any of the four restaurants if you know you want to eat at a specific time and restaurant, or you can simply show up and enjoy dinner on your own time. The choice as to how you plan your evening meals is, as always, up to you.


Exclusive complimentary restaurants for our Suite & AquaClass guests.

Amongst the 29 dining venues onboard Celebrity Edge, we have made sure to keep your favourite exclusive restaurants: Luminae and Blu.
Onboard Celebrity Edge, Luminae becomes Luminae at The Retreat, and forms part of our luxurious, private space exclusively for our guests staying in Suite Class accommodation. Guests staying in AquaClass accommodation will enjoy the exclusive restaurant, Blu. Blu features an undeniably delicious spa-inspired menu with clean, crisp flavours and inventive cuisine.


Complimentary dining venues in addition to our main restaurants.
In addition to our four main restaurants, we have plenty of complimentary venues to savour. Head to our signature Oceanview Café, now featuring more live action stations than ever before including a brand new bakery. Step outside and grab a burger in a relaxed poolside environment at the Mast Grill. If you’re looking for something new, try a creative take on healthy fare at the Spa Café & Juice Bar.

Or try Eden Café, offering a wide variety of choices for breakfast and lunch. At breakfast don’t miss the freshly baked to order Cinnamon Roll, the Steak and Egg Bagel, or for a healthier start try Steel Cut Oatmeal. Lunch brings new choices, including salads, and an incredible assortment of sandwiches and paninis. Whichever meal you’re enjoying at Eden Café, just steps away are two areas of outdoor seating where you can enjoy your meal al fresco.


Speciality dining, now even more special.
In addition to our complimentary restaurants, for Celebrity Edge we have designed exciting new speciality restaurants found nowhere else at sea.


A diverse range of bars and lounges for every taste.

So many mouth-watering restaurant choices need bars and lounges to match. Onboard Celebrity Edge we have a diverse range of eleven bars and lounges to suit every taste:

  • Café al Bacio
  • Eden
  • The Club
  • Martini Bar
  • The Sunset Bar
  • The Pool Bar
    Il Secondo Bacio
  • The Casino Bar
  • The Theatre Bar
    The Retreat Lounge
  • The Retreat Pool Bar


Red Funnel Places £10m Cammell Laird Order

March 6, 2018

Red Funnel has placed a £10 million order for a new ro-ro freight ferry from UK shipbuilder Cammell Laird.

The new ship is designed to provide additional year-round freight capacity for Red Funnel’s Southampton-East Cowes (the Isle of Wight, U.K.) route which currently handles 53 per cent of all freight movements across the Solent.

(Courtesy Red Funnel)

At 74 metres in length, she will provide 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity and will carry up to 12 passengers.

The use of azimuth thrusters supplied by Rolls Royce, will also make the ship very manoeuvrable.

The ship will be constructed at Cammell Laird’s yard in Birkenhead which built the White Star passenger liner Mauretania in 1938 and HMS Ark Royal in 1955.

(Red Funnel)

Fred. Olsen Jnr Hints At New-Build Ship

March 5, 2018

Black Watch (Tilbury, 14-12-16)

Stories about Fred. Olsen cruise line building a new ship/s has been circulating the Net for a few years now.

‘ShipMonk’ – Dave Monk’s excellent cruise blog, has some exciting new information on the subject:

See Here

Malcolm says: I think part of the charm of Fred. Olsen and CMV is their fleets of small old ships. They have so much more charm than big new ships. An Olsen newbuild will be a very different product. I can only imaging Olsen’s fare would go up to pay for for newbuilds and they are not cheap now. This would make Olsen a competitor of the likes of Viking Ocean Cruises, Saga’s new build and Oceania cruises etc.

Marco Polo To Be Sold?

Dave Monk also has some information about the rumour that CMV’s classic ship, ‘Marco Polo’ will be sold to become a ‘residential community’.

See Here

(Courtesy Storylines)

Storylines web site

Malcolm says: I have no idea is the Marco Polo story is true, but I can’t really think of a ship less suitable to become a luxury residential community. She is 53 years old with small cabins and no balconies.  I love the Marco Polo, but I would not spend 40 million on renovating a ship that old to become a  “contemporary” community’. She’s a modest little ocean liner and public cruising is what she does best.

Marco Polo Review

AIDA: Third LNG-Powered Cruise Ship

February 28, 2018


Carnival Corporation announced it has signed a shipbuilding contract for a third LNG-powered cruise ship for its AIDA Cruises brand. The ship will be built at Meyer Werft, with an estimated 2,700 staterooms at 180,000 tons.

With today’s announcement, AIDA Cruises now has a total of three LNG ships on order. AIDAnova is scheduled to join AIDA Cruises’ fleet in December as the first ship of its new generation of LNG vessels, and the first-ever cruise ship in the world to be fully powered by LNG. The second ship of this series will be christened in the spring of 2021.


Malcolm says: Carnival, Costa and P&O will also be getting this class of ship.

Eurostar Direct To Amsterdam

February 27, 2018

(Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters)

Eurostar marks an historic milestone in the expansion of international high-speed rail as it embarks on its inaugural journey from the UK direct to The Netherlands.

The tickets have gone on sale  for travel from Wednesday, April 4th.

With highly competitive fares from just £35 one-way, a journey time of three hours and one minute to Rotterdam and three hours and 41 minutes to Amsterdam, Eurostar will transform the connection between these key destinations, providing travellers with a compelling, environmentally friendly alternative to the airlines.


Malcolm says: This will allow Brits to travel to Amsterdam of Rotterdam to pick-up river or Ocean cruises. I’s also recommend a night on-board the SS Rotterdam (in Rotterdam) now a floating hotel.

Carnival Paradise Month-Long Refit

February 26, 2018

(Courtesy Carnival)

The Carnival Paradise is undergoing an extensive, multi-million-dollar refurbishment that will add a number of new features, including a spectacular water park, 38 new cabins, 98 balconies to existing staterooms, and new food and beverage concepts.

Following the month-long dry dock, which takes place in Freeport, Bahamas, Carnival Paradise will resume its year-round schedule form March 26, 2018. She will offer four- to eight-day cruises from Tampa, Florida.


Ocean Liners: Speed and Style Exhibition

February 26, 2018

I went to the ‘Ocean Liners’ exhibition on Saturday, at London’s ‘Victoria & Albert’ Museum. It was excellent.

It focused on posters, decor, furniture and clothing of the Great Ocean Liner era. It’s not really about steam engines and rivets, ladies! (Although these are mentioned).

It’s not exactly cheap, but I thought it was worth the money – but then I do have an interest in maritime history.

If you live near London or are visiting, it may be worth a visit. The exhibition is on until the 17th June, 2018.

Booking a timed slot in advance, is recommended, via the museum’s web site:


(Courtesy V&A)

Has Cruise Ship Innovation Run Dry?

February 24, 2018

Over the past two decades we have seen unprecedented innovation in cruise ship design.

Not only has there been a quest to build the biggest cruise ships, they have increasingly become floating resorts, rather than just ‘ships’.

However are the cruise lines running out new of ideas?

Full Article – HERE

Symphony of the Seas Under Construction

February 23, 2018


Aurora Goes Adults Only

February 22, 2018


P&O Cruises has announced that Aurora will return from its March 2019 refit as an adult-only ship.

From April 8, 2019, Aurora will join Arcadia and Oriana as a ship exclusively for adults.



Queen Elizabeth to be Based in Australia

February 20, 2018

(Courtesy Cunard)

Cunard have  announced that the Queen Elizabeth will be based in Australia for a 101 days for the 2019-2020 cruise season.

The Queen Elizabeth will sail on six roundtrip cruises from Melbourne and two from Sydney during the season, which will feature an array of itineraries to South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea between December 2019 and March 2020.

The new 2020 Australian deployment will be almost double the length of Queen Elizabeth’s scheduled 54-day season Down Under early next year, which will see the ship sailing from Sydney and Melbourne during February-March 2019, according to a statement.


Symphony of the Seas Completes First Sea Trials

February 19, 2018

(Courtesy RCI)

The first set of sea trials for Royal Caribbean International’s new ‘Symphony of the Seas’ mega-ship is complete, according to the shipyard, STX France.

STX said that ship completed the 80-hour trial run, which included 1,000 nautical miles of sailing, between Feb. 15 and Feb. 18, 2018.

A second test scheduled prior to a late March delivery to finalize the ship’s nautical performance parameters.


More information about ‘Symphony’: HERE

Roald Amundsen Launched

February 18, 2018


Hurtigruten’s new MS Roald Amundsen was launched at Kleven shipyard in Ulsteinvik, Norway in a ceremony on Saturday 17-02-18.

It will be the first Hybrid cruise ship equipped with battery power, enabling short, silent sailing periods.

Delivery is scheduled for August, and it is the first of two new ships the company will get in the next two years. For 2018-2019, the 530-passenger hybrid ship will sail in Antarctica.

the MS Lofoten, the oldest vessel in Hurtigruten’s fleet, sailed to Ulsteinvik to attend the launch.  The Lofoten was built in 1964.

The Lofoten (Samferdselsfoto, Oclin/ Hurtigruten)


Malcolm says: These days only some small ships are actually ‘launched’. Big ships are built in a shed, water is introduced and they are ‘floated out’.

Norwegian Bliss Floated Out Today

February 17, 2018

(Courtesy Meyer Werft)

NCL’s new vessel, Norwegian Bliss was floated out of the yard’s building hall today, at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany.

The 4,200-passenger ship debuts in the Alaska market this June.

The Bliss is the third of four Breakaway-plus ships, following the Escape and Joy, with Encore set to enter service in 2019.

Encore will be the last of this ‘class’ before the introduction of the ‘Leonardo’ class,  the first of which is scheduled for delivery June 2022. The rest to follow in 2023, 2024 and 2025, with an option for two additional ships to be delivered in 2026 and 2027.


Virgin Voyages: New Headquarters In South Florida

February 16, 2018

Florida Governor Rick Scott has announced that Virgin Voyages has selected ‘Plantation’ for its new headquarters, which will create 300 new jobs.

The company will also invest $15.9 million in the local community, according to a statement.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin said, “We basically decided, ‘Let’s have a blank sheet of paper, let’s create the kind of voyage company that we would like to go on,’ and that’s what we’ve done.”

Virgin Voyages will be hiring a range of roles in different departments from Finance to Customer Care, according to the statement.

Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic of the City of Plantation said, “Plantation has a long reputation as a location of choice for game-changing companies like Virgin Voyages. We look forward to their success and are proud to be home to the newest Virgin brand.


TUI Cruises Orders Mein Schiff 7

February 14, 2018

TUI Cruises and Meyer Turku have agreed to build a Mein Schiff 7 with delivery in 2023, which is based on the design of New Mein Schiff 1 & 2.

The ship will have capacity for 2,900 guests and is  110,000 gross tons. The brand is aimed at the growing German market which has exceeded the U.K. one.

The new pair of Mein Schiff 1 and 2 vessels are being built at Meyer Turku at a cost of $625 million each, with deliveries in 2018 and 2019, respectively.