What Does A ‘Luxuary Cruise’ Mean?

November 26, 2022

(Courtesy of Seaborne)

In regular life, the term ‘Luxury’ does not have a fixed definition, it is a very subjective term. It is occasionally used in sales to ‘promote a product, regardless of the actual quality of the product.

However from a cruise industry perspective, there are clear definitions of ‘quality’, without any debate. The cruise industry grades are: budget, standard, premium and luxury…

See full article: HERE

MSC Seascape Delivered

November 19, 2022

MSC Cruises has taken delivery of the new MSC Seascape from Fincantieri in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, Hon. Matteo Salvini.

The vessel is the 21st to join the MSC Cruises fleet and MSC Seascape is the fourth to have been built by Fincantieri (Italy) as part of a €7 billion investment package for 10 ships, according to a press release. 

Fincantieri said in a statement that the MSC Seascape is the largest and most technologically advanced cruise ship ever built in Italy and features important innovations from an environmental perspective.

(Text/Image MSC)

So what’s an MSC ship like onboard: See Here

Disney Buys Global Dream

November 17, 2022

Disney has acquired a 75 per cent completed cruise ship, the 6,000 guest, 208,000 gross ton, Global Dream.

The Global Dream was originally under construction for now defunct Dream Cruises and was designed for the family market, to sail year-round in Asia.

The ship is currently sitting at Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.

Disney will now work with the shipyard to complete the ship, which will be renamed and is expected to set sail in 2025.

(Disney/Genting)

Malcolm says: Look carefully at the rendering. Is that SIX funnels I see? Some of the old Ocean Liners had four, such as the RMS Titanic. It created the perception of speed, power and safety. However, six must surely be a record?

Queen Mary Still Closed

November 16, 2022

The 1936 Queen Mary Ocean Liner, permanently moored in Long Beach Harbor, has been closed to the public since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes drama as it was taken back into full ownership and control by the city of Lond Beach.

When this happened, it was discovered that the ship was in a much worse state than anyone thought, and it would need critical repairs to preserve it for future visitors.

Long Beach had originally anticipated a possible October 2022, reopening, but spokesman Kevin Lee said the city is still working on the ship and will soon release more details.

The aging vessel, which arrived in Long Beach in 1967, is undergoing $5 million in safety repairs after a report last year from marine engineering firm EllioJ Bay Design Group said the Queen Mary would need $23 million in urgent work to stay “viable” over the next two years.

(SSHSA Southern California Chapter )

Malcolm says: Have you ever visited her? She’s a mediocre hotel, but a wonderful experience, if you enjoy maritime history!

World Europa Christened in Doha

November 14, 2022

MSC Cruises’ newest ship, the MSC World Europa, was christened on Sunday night in Doha, Qatar.

Together with partners Qatar Airways, the celebrations were said to be part of MSC’s overall commitment to Qatar, reinforcing its commitment to supporting the growth of international tourism there as well as the broader Middle East region, where MSC Cruises is brand leader.

MSC World Europa is the most innovative and environmentally advanced cruise ship in the MSC Cruises fleet. On top of ground-breaking advances in terms of reduction of

A long-standing maritime tradition, the official naming ceremony of the ship took place in presence of the Master of the Vessel, Captain Marco Massa and distinguished guests from around the world.

The night culminated in a firework display against the stunning Doha skyline, and a gourmet gala dinner in the ship’s elegant restaurants.

After the FIFA World Cup, MSC World Europa will spend its inaugural season in the Gulf offering starting 7-night cruises on December 20, from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Doha, Qatar, before returning to Dubai with an overnight stay to discover the city.

MSC World Europa will then head to the Mediterranean in the summer of 2023, offering 7-night cruises with stopovers in the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseille in France.

(Text/Images MSC)

World Europa video – HERE

Norwegian Prima Arrives in Miami

November 12, 2022

The Norwegian Prima has arrived in Miami for the first time on 11/11/22.

The company’s newest ship is now set to embark on two inaugural voyages departing from the port.

Sailing from Nov. 11-14, 2022 and Nov. 14-17, 2022, the cruises will call Great Stirrup Cay, the company’s private island in the Bahamas.

Following an inaugural journey that began with a christening event in Reykjavik, Iceland in August and continued with inaugural sailings from New York, and most recently Galveston, Texas, the Norwegian Prima made its debut at the company’s cruise terminal at PortMiami.

The Norwegian Prima is the first in Norwegian’s Prima Class, which will see the debut of five additional vessels through 2027.

Among Prima’s features is the three-deck Prima Speedway, the world’s largest go-kart racetrack at sea, in addition to Indulge, an upscale food hall featuring indoor/outdoor seating.

Other features include a redefined The Haven by Norwegian, the company’s keycard only access ship-within-a-ship concept, as well as The Concourse, which boasts a multi-million-dollar outdoor sculpture garden.

(NCL)

Malcolm says: prima is NOT a bespoke design for NCL, she is based on Fincantieri’s Project Mille design, as is Virgin’s ships and MSC’s ‘Seaside’. However Leonardo is shorter than Seaside, so will have a smaller gross tonnage and carry less passengers.

Prima’s Interiors video – HERE

RCI Opens New Galveston Terminal

November 11, 2022

Royal Caribbean Group’s new cruise terminal in the Port of Galveston is officially open, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the new facility on Wednesday morning with the Allure of the Seas docked in the port.

The 161,334-square-foot facility can generating 100 percent of its needed energy through on-site solar panels.

Marking the arrival of the Oasis class to Texas, the vessel departed from its new homeport for the first time on Wednesday afternoon.  

Launching a series of Western Caribbean cruises departing from Galveston, the Royal Caribbean International ship is sailing on a promotional short cruise before kicking off a schedule of week-long cruises to Mexico and Honduras next Sunday.

The program features a regular itinerary that includes visits to Cozumel, Costa Maya and Roatán.

(RCI)

The Most Famous Ship vs The Biggest Ship

November 11, 2022

It’s almost impossible to compare the world’s most famous ship, the 1912 Titanic, (famous for all the wrong reasons) with the world’s and biggest ship, the Royal Caribbean’s ‘Icon of the seas’ (2022). However, I like to try the impossible.

Titanic is of course an Ocean Liner. Icon is a floating resort. 110 years of maritime history separate them. Plus the fact that icon is almost five times bigger and can carry three times as many passengers than Titanic can, all in more luxury.

Malcolm



Queen Anne Delayed

November 10, 2022

Cunard announced Queen Anne’s delivery is ‘slightly’ delayed.

Originally scheduled to enter service at the beginning of 2024, Queen Anne, under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard, will now undertake its maiden voyage four months later, on May 3, 2024 from Southampton.

Cunard commented, ‘Due in part to unforeseen events that have occurred in recent years, the shipbuilding industry, like other industries, has faced numerous challenges including energy shortages and global supply chain constraints and as a result Queen Anne will be arriving slightly later than expected.’

Maiden voyage early May

Cunard has automatically transferred passengers booked or waitlisted on the maiden voyage to the new seven-night maiden voyage, in early May, visiting A Coruña on May 5, 2024, Lisbon on May 7 and then returning to Southampton on May 10.

Queen Anne’s new maiden season voyages will include sailings from Southampton to the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, the Canary Islands and the Norwegian fjords.

(Cunard)

More info. – HERE

Oceandiva: Proposed £25m Thames Party Boat

November 8, 2022
  • A £25 million party boat is set to sail up and down the River Thames from Spring hosting high-end soirées
  • Oceandiva, a 282ft-long, net-zero ship, will host as many as 1,500 guests at luxury parties and conferences
  • But local residents along Thames expressed concerns around noise and number of partygoers disembarking
  • The company has applied to operate Monday to Sunday from 11am to 2.30am and until 3am six days a week

(Daily Mail)

Malcolm says: Any readers fancy a party?

MSC: Five Ships Deployed In South America

November 3, 2022

MSC Cruises will base six ships in South America for the 2023-224 season the line announced today as it started its 2022-2023 sailing season from the port of Santos in Brazil with the departure of the MSC Fantasia, according to a press release.

MSC said that next season it ill deploy five vessels in Brazil and one in Argentina to reinforce its position as the ocean cruise market leader in South America.

MSC Cruises forecasts that it will welcome nearly 400,000 guests for its 2022-2023 South American season including 50,000 international travellers.

Sales for MSC Cruises’ 2023-2024 South American season go on sale on Dec. 1.

(MSC)

Titanic II – A Rich Man’s Pipe Dream or Reality?

October 31, 2022

2022 was the year that Clive Palmer’s replica Titanic project, called Titanic II, was meant to set sail. However, there has been absolutely NO news about the Titanic II project, for two years.

(Titanic II, courtesy of Blue Star Line)

It would take at least a year to build such a ship, probably longer. No construction contract has been signed and no steel has yet been cut – therefore the ship will NOT sail in 2023 either.

Not usurpingly, Most people think that the project is cancelled, if they believe that it was real in the first place. However, there is has been no “official” word either way.

I personally still find the idea an intriguing one: So how do you build a replica 1912 ocean liner that would satisfy modern safety regulations and satisfy modern passengers?

However, some people, quite understandably find the concept of , a very “tasteless” one. Where do you stand on the idea?

See my dedicated Titanic II blog – HERE

Malcolm

Ferries: MV Ulysses

October 30, 2022

MV Ulysses is a RORO car ferry currently owned and operated by Irish Ferries. The ship was launched on 1 September 2003 at Aker Finnyards shipyard in Rauma, Finland and services the Dublin – Holyhead route.

The vessel stands 12 decks high, towering over most other vessels at a height of 167.5 feet[2] (approx. 51 metres) from keel to mast. The vessel has five vehicle decks, including a stowable mezzanine deck consisting of two ‘swing decks’, called ‘Plates’, which are lowered to accommodate a greater number of ‘low vehicles’ (i.e. vehicles up to 2 metres high) – these swing decks are primarily used in holiday seasons when there is a much greater number of passenger vehicles.

When launched she was the world’s largest car ferry in terms of vehicle capacity. (Color Line’s sister ships Color Fantasy and Color Magic remain the largest ferries in terms of gross tonnage at 75,156 gt).

(Wikipedia)

Video of Ulysses – HERE

P&O’s $260m Pioneer & Liberte Super-ferries

October 29, 2022

The first of P&O Ferries new $260m double-ended Dover – Calais ferries was floated out at Guangzhou, China on 2 January, 2022. At 230.5m in length, she will be the world’s largest double-ended ferry when she is delivered next year.

A sister-ship is also under construction at the same shipyard and is also expected to enter service during 2023. The new ferries will be named P&O PIONEER and P&O LIBERTE.

Major innovations of the new super-ferries will include:

  • Cutting fuel use by 40 per cent through a combination of fuel and battery propulsion
  • The heat recovery system saves fuel which reduces the vessel’s carbon footprint
  • Future proofing anticipates the ‘zero carbon emissions ship’
  • A double-ended design and two bridges on the ship, meaning that there is no need for it to turn around
  • Outside deck areas to provide viewing platforms of the White Cliffs of Dover
  • Panoramic sea views for passengers
  • A power management system to efficiently close down parts of the ship when not in use
  • A revolutionary new shape of hull for the English Channel and azimuth thrusters which increase manoeuvrability of the ship.

P&O Ferries is a leading pan-European ferry and logistics company, sailing 27,000 times a year on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium. It operates more than 20 vessels which carry 8.4 million passengers and 2.3 million freight units every year.

(P&O Ferries)

Malcolm says: Great Britain, being an island, has a fair number of ferries serving our coast, travelling to Europe. Even given the stiff competition from the budget airlines, many routes still survive. At the closest point, between Dover and Calais (France) there is only 26 miles of sea, the English channel.

See my ‘Spirit of Britain’ Ferry review: HERE

P&O Delays Debut of Arvia

October 28, 2022

P&O Cruises is pushing back the debut of the new Arvia.

According to a statement sent to booked guests, the LNG-powered vessel will not enter service in early December as initially planned.

“We are so sorry but for reasons beyond our control, we have regrettably taken the decision to cancel Arvia’s first cruise which was scheduled to depart Southampton on 9 December 2022,” P&O said in a statement sent to booked guests.

“Whilst we know this is disappointing, we will not compromise on the high standards of build, interior design and service for which P&O Cruises is known,” the company added.

According to the statement, affected guests will receive a full refund to the original method of payment, in addition to an additional 10 percent Future Cruise Credit.

Currently in final stages of construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, the Arvia is now set to launch service on December 23 with a 14-night cruise to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands.

(Text/Images P&O)

What’s a P&O cruise like? See – HERE

Record Bookings For RCI’s ‘Icon of the Seas’

October 26, 2022

Royal Caribbean International opened reservations for the new Icon of the Seas today 26/10/22 for cruises starting in Jan. 2024.

Royal Caribbean International said it saw its single largest booking day in its 53-year history when reservations opened for the cruise line’s first Icon class ship, the new Icon of the Seas.

“The enthusiasm and excitement for Icon are undeniable in more ways than one,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “The incredible response we have received from our loyal guests, vacationers new to cruising, crew members and travel partners continues to come in, and this is just the beginning. We can’t wait to share more of what Icon has in store in the coming months.”

The company said there are 14 new categories of rooms that range from standard rooms to suites, including more options for families – like Family Infinite Oceanview Balconies and Surfside Family Suites – and views in Panoramic Oceanviews, Sunset Suites and more, and spacious layouts across the board. 

The Icon will sail year-round, seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Miami. Every cruise will visit Royal Caribbean’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Bahamas, and a mix of destinations like Cozumel, Mexico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Roatan, Honduras.

(Text/Images – RCI)

More Icon info – HERE

Have cruise ships become too big?

October 25, 2022

Over the past decades cruise ships have been progressively getting bigger and bigger.

When I first started cruising 70,000 gt was classed as a mega-ship. Now that tonnage is just regarded as mid-sized, at best.

Royal Caribbean’s new class of ship, “Icon of the seas”, is an amazing 250,00 gross tonnes – the world’s biggest. Including the crew, she can accommodate over 9000 people! Icon exceeds the size of the world’s former biggest ship, Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis’ class.

In addition, there are many other very big ships (MSC, NCL, etc.) are already in the shipyards order books, which will be entering service within the next decade or so. Therefore it is hardly surprising  that there are two major concerns about today’s leviathans:

1) How well will the ships cope with the huge number of passengers that they carry.

2) How will the ports of call cope?

Many people are now asking the bigger question “Have cruise ships become too big”? 

Please read on…HERE

So does ‘Icon of the Seas’ really offer anything new?

October 19, 2022

Royal Caribbean International has been teasing cruise fans about the upcoming ‘Icon of the Seas‘ for several years, but the big reveal has finally happened!

The video below shows many of this new ship’s features:

History

RCI have certainly built some amazing ships over the past three decades. Personally, I did find the ‘Oasis’ class to be amazing, in terms of design, an evolution of the ‘Voyager/Freedom’ class. However, I found the Quantem class to be a little disappointing, resembling NCL’s newer ships, including a new NCL like dining system, called ‘Dynamic Dining’, which RCI later abandon, due to negative passenger feedback.

(Official rendering Courtesy RCI)

First Thoughts

Icon is clearly another AMAZING resort. if that’s your thing. However, I did note the overriding theme in the video, is of a “Family Vacation” and to appeal to “multi-generational families”, but what about those of us who travel without kids? I also note that the terms “cruise” and “ship” do not appear in the video, she’s a “vacation”. RCI clearly see that her main competition comes from beach resorts and theme parks, not other cruise ships.

So Does Icon really offer anything new?

Probably not. Most of her “innovations” come straight from the Oasis class ships (and not the Quantum class). However, they are arguably bigger and better!

The Oasis Aqua-Theatre is now indoors, under a dome, called the Aqua-Dome. This is a great show onboard the Oasis class. Production values will be higher indoors, where they can control the environment, lighting and sound better with little influence of the weather, apart from rough seas, I guess. However as this class of ship will mainly cruise in warm waters, so this aspect of the design seems to have a “belt and braces” approach.

The Aqua-Dome (Courtesy RCI)

Icon has a Conventional theatre, called the “Royal Theatre” and something called the ‘Music Hall’

The Royal Promenade now has some natural light from windows and not just from skylights, like Oasis. The mystery, sphere, called ‘The Peal’ is in the Royal promenade. We still don’t have the details, but it appears to be a walk though experience which I guess involves multimedia. I hope it’s great, because a lot of work appears to have gone into it.

The Pearl (Courtesy RCI)

Icon has a ‘livelier’ Central Park, but I enjoyed the more tranquil experience onboard Oasis.

Icon Central Park (courtesy RCI)

She has a bigger (circular) ice rink, than onboard Oasis, called ‘Absolute Zero’. RCI’s Ice show are spectacular.

Absolute Zero (Courtesy RCI)

The Oasis Boardwalk has become ‘Surfside’, but there are similarities.

Surfside (Courtesy RCI)

RCI were quite late in offering water/dry slides. NCL were ahead in this area. I believe the first Oasis class had none, but they were retro-fitted and were part of the subsequent oasis designs. Icon of course takes this to a new level with six slides of “Thrill Island”.

Thrill Island (courtesy RCI)

It appears that Icon has one large main restaurant, like Oasis, with some smaller alternatives. (As I stated above ‘Dynamic Dining’ has truly gone.)

Size

For many years, RCI suggested that Icon would be smaller than the Oasis class at around 200,000gt. However, this was a smoke-screen. She is longer than Oasis and has a bigger gross tonnage at around 250,000gt, making her the world’s biggest cruise ship. No other line comes close.

By the way, have you ever seen such a dense area of cabins, as Icon has at the bow of deck 10?

(Icon Deck 10)

Icon’s passenger capacity is larger than the Oasis class:

  • 5,610 passengers (Double Occupancy)
  • 7,600 passengers (maximum capacity)
  • Including crew, that’s over 9000 people.

Malcolm

Official RCI Icon movie – HERE

Oasis ship review – HERE

Norwegian Prima: The Atrium

October 18, 2022

The multi-deck atrium aboard the Norwegian Prima was designed for guests to spend time in and has become the heart of the ship.

(Courtesy NCL)

“On past ships, you’d walk through it and there would be three people sitting there,” said Studio DADO’s Greg Walton, founding partner, on the new Norwegian Prima. “No one stayed in the atrium. It was a passing space. We wanted this atrium to be a space where people stayed.”

We spent a lot of time … we looked at famous places around the world and famous gathering places such as the Spanish Steps, Piazza San Marco in Venice and Times Square in New York. We looked at what makes these spaces keep people.”

The company thus focused its attention on the entry points and edges of the space.

“We had no control over how we enter the space, that was set by the general arrangement. What we had control over was the edge and how we defined and sculpted the space. Much to the initial shock to the shipyard, we decided to cut a hole for the atrium that was not symmetrical and was not the same shape from one deck to another,” Walton said.

“That was a structural challenge for the shipyard, but they rose to the occasion with Independent Maritime Advisors.”

The atrium ties together lounging areas with retail, two bars, Starbucks and guest services. Extra space on the port side has expansive windows for guests to take in views.

“A lot of people criticized us about putting retail in the atrium, but that activates the atrium, especially on sea days,” he continued, underlining the atrium is mirrored to what makes spaces successful in an urban environment. “A lot of people asked about Starbucks. It’s going to activate the atrium just like an incredible bar or restaurant activates Piazza San Marco”.

“You can make an atrium where it is the hub and the piazza of the ship.”

(CIN)

Malcolm says: I can remember a time when cruise ships did not have an atrium. They all do now! I do agree that they now act as the ‘heart’ of a ship, giving it a focus.

If you are wondering what an NCL cruise is like SEE HERE

Ambassador Launches 2023-2024 Season

October 11, 2022

Ambassador Cruise Line has unveiled offers for its 2023-2024 no-fly itineraries for guests who complete their booking by November 21, 2022.

Through the cruise line’s offers, savings of up to 25 percent are available across the 2023-2024 season program, and guests who book before November 21 will receive onboard credit of up to £40 per cabin per night, depending on cabin grade, according to Ambassador Cruise Line.

Other promotions include a 20 percent discount on Expedition and Explorer drink packages for new bookings, special low supplements for third and fourth berths, and solo offers with single supplements as low as 30 percent.

(Ambassador)

Record Year for Ship Scrapping

October 8, 2022

Cruise Industry News reports: Keeping up with a trend that started in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, several older and smaller cruise ships continue to be sold for scrapping in 2022.

With 15 vessels beached so far, the year is setting a new record for the cruise ship breaking yards. The pandemic has brought unprecedented numbers for the recycling business.

With the first ships being sold for dismantling just a few months after the health crisis was declared, 2020 saw a total of nine ships beached for scrapping.

 2021 followed closely with a total of 11 vessels sent to the recycling yards.

By contrast, in 2019, just a single cruise ship was beached.

CMV’s Marco Polo, scrapped early 2021.

2022 Scrap List:

  • Fuji (former Fuji Maru)
  • Century Harmony (former Carnival Fascination)
  • Oriental Dragon (originally Song of Norway)
  • Carnival Sensation
  • Delphin (originally Byelorussiya)
  • Titan (former Gruziya/Salamis Filoxenia)
  • SuperStar Libra (former Norwegian Sea)
  • Odin (former Black Watch/Royal Viking Star)
  • Marella Dream (former Homeric/Westerdam)
  • Star Pisces
  • Pearl II (former Saga Pearl II/Astor)
  • Golden Iris (former Cunard Princess/Rhapsody)
  • Marella Celebration (former Noordam)
  • TSM Singapore (former Zenith)

My Most Unique Ships (1)

October 7, 2022

These days, many new ocean ships are pretty similar to each other in terms of design.

In fact some ocean cruise brands actually have the same design of ship/boat as each other. Often only the livery and decor distinguishes them, from each other. Carnival in particular share ship designs between many of  their brands. Likewise many new river boats for different river cruise brands actually come from the same ship yard, with the same basic design.

Likewise, many new river boats, especially European ones,  can be almost identical and

However the ‘American Queen’ is a totally unique design when compared to nearly all other vessels in the world!

The American Queen is the biggest paddle-steamer ever constructed*. She has  a real paddle-wheel and a real steam engine.

Internally she feels like a small cruise ship and nothing like a European river boat, for example. Her decor makes her feel like a  Victorian steamboat from the golden era.

The American Queen can be found cruising on the Mississippi and other great American rivers.

The American Queen is DEFINITELY one of my most unique ships that I have cruised on. (Or is she a boat?)

My extensive review is: HERE

Malcolm

*(Peter has kindly reminded me that Brunnel’s SS Great Eastern was nearly five times bigger! American Queen being the “biggest” paddle steamer was an American claim).

(The Great Eastern)

Hanseatic Inspiration In London

October 6, 2022

I spotted the Hanseatic Inspiration, in London on the 4th and 5th of October, 2022. She was moored alongside the historic cruiser, HMS Belfast.

(M.Oliver)

This luxury ship, built in 2019 by VARD, for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises in Germany, is one of three expedition cruise vessels. The other two identical sisters are: Hanseatic Nature (2019) and Hanseatic Spirit (June 2021). 

The ships are a mere 15,540 gt, carrying just 230 passengers.

The ship was doing a European cruise, finishing in Hamberg,

Malcolm

Former Zenith To Be Scrapped 

September 29, 2022

After nearly three years in limbo, the former Celebrity “Zenith” recently arrived at the Alang Ship Breaking Yard in India.

Named Singa for its final journey, the 47,255-ton cruise ship is now set to be dismantled. During the process, building materials, fixtures and equipment are set to be removed for repurposing or recycling.

Built for Celebrity Cruises at a cost of $200 million, the Zenith originally entered service in 1992. The vessel was a sister of the 1990-built Horizon – which was also sent to the scrapyard recently.

Malcolm says: I do get upset when old ships get scrapped, but at 30 years old, Zenith is at the end of her life expectancy, Celebrity Cruises first four ships: Horizon (1990), Zenith (1992), Galaxy (1996) and Mercury (1997) all had an interesting angular shape. By the way, Mercury was my first cruise ship and Galaxy was the one that made the UK’s Jane McDonald famous. I guess we will lose them all in the next five years.

The New Sun Princess

September 28, 2022

We can’t wait to welcome our next-generation cruise ships! Sun Princess® is the first ship in our fleet to be powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). This cleaner burning fuel will significantly reduce air emissions and marine gasoil to minimize our environmental footprint. She is the third ship to be honored with the Sun Princess name, adding to the legacy of the first ship sailing from 1974 to 1988 and the second ship sailing from 1995 to 2020. At that time, she had the largest number of balcony cabins and our first 24-hour cafe.

(Above unofficial Video)

Inaugural Cruise: 2024 Guest Cabins: 2,150 Guest Capacity: 4,300 Number of Decks: 21 Tonnage: 175,500 Length: 1,133 feet

(Princess Cruises)

Malcolm says: This is a new and bespoke ship platform – the brand’s largest ship ever.

MSC World Europa: Entertainment

September 26, 2022

MSC Cruises has revealed details of the entertainment options onboard the line’s new World Europa.

(Courtesy MSC)

There are three new concert-style shows in a multipurpose Luna Park Arena, five new full-scale theatre productions in the ship’s World Theatre, four themed experiences in the Panorama Lounge, plus surprise pop-up live exhibits throughout the vessel, according to the company.

The new Luna Park Arena is a 300-seat multifunctional entertainment venue that will host films, game shows, activities for children and different themed parties. During the day, the venue will host a variety of activities for all ages including a new virtual reality Drone Academy, a Digital Dance Academy with three bespoke ‘Dance with Flavia’ classes with ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ champion Flavia Cacace-Mistry, Doremi’s ‘Wake Up Rave’ for the ship’s younger guests and two new large scale interactive gameshows.

MSC World Europa, MSC Luna Park Arena

Throughout the cruise, guests will also have the opportunity to participate in a series of challenges aimed at breaking Guinness World Record titles through daytime events and an evening large scale show in the arena.

At night the venue offers three interactive concerts bringing together technology and visuals.

There are five new shows as the main stage on board MSC World Europa is the World Theatre that will stage five new original large-scale theatre shows focused on exploration, travel, the sea, theatre and sustainability.

The shows have been designed to include amazing talent, LED visuals and incredible scenery and props, as well as 350 spectacular custom-made costumes.

Shows include Eko with costumes made from recycled material, the original Amelia Earhart show with an E-Bike Stunt Wheel, A Night on Broadway featuring classic theatre show tunes, Cadmo The Landwalker focusing on exploration and Yellow Submarine which will feature amazing circus and magical elements based on songs by The Beatles.

Located at the aft of the ship, the Panorama Lounge will have music-themed experiences over pre-show drinks and an interactive floor featuring designs that will transform the space and changing screens that reflect the theme of the night.

MSC World Europa, Panorama Lounge

Guests during the day can project drawings they’ve made onto interactive screens on the lounge’s floor as GIFs or watch as the floor turns into a giant colouring book for all ages to fill in their own designs.

At night, guests can enjoy four immersive 90-minute music experiences that showcase styles of dance from over the decades and across the globe including samba, tango, waltz and disco.

With live bands, dancers, singers, aerialists and acrobats, each experience will follow different themes, such as Let’s Get Loud with fiesta themed music like ‘Despacito’ and ‘Bailamos’, Ultimate Disco featuring bright colors and classics including ‘Boogie Wonderland’ and ‘Turn the Beat Around’, ‘Bandstand Boogie’ with old-school tunes and ‘Rock Evolution’, a rock and roll dance party.

The MSC World Europa will also offer a variety of surprise moments that pop up throughout different areas of the ship during the entirety of the cruise. Two different living exhibitions focus on Instagrammable content that center on the themes of Earth and Ocean. Artists, actors, musicians and inflatables will contribute to these surprise experiences on the ship.

Other onboard entertainment attractions include The Venom Drop The Spiral that is the longest at sea dry slide that spans 11 decks.

MSC World Europa, Venom Drop

In addition, the ship will feature MSC Cruise’ largest waterpark with virtual reality technology in its fleet.

Guests can also participate in a variety of activities during their days at sea, from roller disco and rock ’n roll bingo to bumper cars and a football-themed challenge.

Completing MSC World Europa’s high-tech entertainment offering, a Sundowner DJ party will take place every evening with a holographic DJ experience.

(MSC)

P&O Arvia’s Entertainment

September 25, 2022

P&O Cruises new Arvia will offer guests a range of entertainment firsts, including WaveLength, a new interactive gameshow, virtually starring presenter and game show host Ben Shephard.

Created exclusively for P&O Cruises and hosted in The Headliner’s Theatre, WaveLength will give guests the opportunity to find out how well they know each other as they try to match their partner’s answers.

Also new to P&O Cruises on board Arvia:

Greatest Days

Arvia is the only place in the world where guests will be able to watch the stage musical, Greatest Days – The Official Take That Musical. Greatest Days is an adaptation of the acclaimed West End musical The Band, which features the songs of Take That and is a beautiful story by Olivier Award-winning writer Tim Firth. It will be brought to life on stage by an amazing cast from our Headliners Theatre Company, the company said.

Altitude – Arvia’s outdoor adventure zone for the whole family.

  • Situated at the very top of Arvia, families will be able to enjoy the new aqua zone at Splash Valley, where plenty of shade and sprinklers will make it the perfect place on a hot day with fantastic views.
  • Set 54m above the ocean, Altitude Skywalk is P&O Cruises first ever high-ropes experience and will offer guests a series of rope walks with different routes to suit all levels.
  • Altitude Minigolf will be the new, tropical island-themed minigolf open all day and illuminated at night. The whole family can enjoy the challenge together as they perfect their putts while dodging hippos, water hazards, and tiki huts to claim the winning title.
(Courtesy P&O)

Mission Control

Exclusive to Arvia, Mission Control is a unique immersive experience. Set on board the fictional submarine Arvia II, it combines an escape game with multimedia simulation and a live-action story to create a thrilling underwater challenge. The realistic 3D surroundings will take guests to the depths of ocean canyons, where they will be able to overcome danger and solve puzzles and problems.

Other entertainment highlights on Arvia include:

The 710 Club

he 710 Club on Arvia is a sophisticated bar crafted to Music Director Gary Barlow’s creative vision. Atmospheric and low-lit, The 710 Club offers live music from resident band The 710s with an unmistakably vintage vibe and stylish cocktails.

Aardman

P&O Cruises has partnered with Aardman to offer children a range of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep themed activities. Children will be able to join in a themed dance class or craft workshop such as making their own Gromit ears or can sit back and enjoy film premieres or Wallace & Gromit’s brand-new show, All Hands on Deck!

Ocean Studios

Located on Deck 6, Ocean Studios is Arvia’s three-screen multiplex cinema offering the latest blockbuster releases and family favourites in a plush setting.

(P&O)

AIDAaura @ Tilbury

September 19, 2022

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(M.Oliver)

AIDAaura was berthed at the Tilbury cruise terminal on Sunday 18/09/22. She was towards the end of a 12 day European cruise:  Bremerhaven, At Sea, Portland, Falmouth, Saint-Malo, Rouen, Rouen, At Sea, London Tilbury, Antwerp, At Sea, Bremerhaven.

(M.Oliver)

She is the third cruise ship operated by the German cruise line AIDA Cruises. AIDAaura was built in 2003 by the German shipyard Aker MTW in Wismar.

The ship has a 42,289 gross tonnage and capacity for 1,266 passengers.

Malcolm

New French Startup: CFC

September 6, 2022

Compagnie Française de Croisières (CFC) will start up in 2023 with the former Holland America Line Maasdam.

The ship has already has its new name (Le Renaissance) and will start operating in February for the new cruise brand, led by Clément Mousset and Cédric Rivoire Perrochat, two former cruise line executives that are experts in the French market.

The Maasdam was sold to Greek ferry operator Seajets at the start of the pandemic by Carnival Corporation and has been laid up since.

Now, the ship is getting a new lease on life, with Seajets said to be providing a financing package to the new operators, who will be responsible for getting the ship ready to sail, all upkeep and operations.

CFC, said that they are targeting an untapped market in France with a premium product aboard the Renaissance.

(CIN)

Malcolm says: You would not expect start ups, such as Ambassador, so quickly after the pandemic, but good luck to them. The ship is a pleasant 55,575 gross tonnes.

RCI Choose SpaceX’s Starlink For Internet

September 1, 2022

Royal Caribbean Group announced today its plan to implement SpaceX’s Starlink – making the group the first in the cruise industry (fleetwide) to adopt its high-speed, low-latency connectivity for a better onboard experience for guests and crew fleetwide.

The internet service will be installed on all Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises ships, along with all new vessels for each of the brands.

Deployment of the Starlink technology across the fleet will begin immediately, leveraging the insights obtained from the trial onboard the Freedom of the Seas, which has received tremendous positive feedback from guests and crew.

(RCI)

Introducing MSC’s Robotron

August 31, 2022

MSC Cruises has revealed details of the new onboard entertainment options for the MSC Seascape that is set to debut in December 2022.

The highlight will be ROBOTRON, an amusement ride that offers a rollercoaster at sea combined with a personalized DJ music experience.

The MSC Seascape will also feature two brand-new virtual reality experiences and a range of other high-tech entertainment designed to be enjoyed by holidaymakers of all ages.  ROBOTRON is a state-of-the-art robotic arm with an attached gondola that seats three guests – flying them 53 meters above the sea. 

Riders will have an unobstructed  360° view of the horizon as they hang over the edge of the deck, twist and turn upside down in different directions, and flip upside down.

ROBOTRON will offer a personalized DJ experience where guests are invited to curate their musical journey with colours, music preferences and more, according to the cruise line.

Seated on the mixer, guests will find themselves behind the DJ booth, with the rhythm and bass visualized as colorful patterns, pulses of light and people dancing on a giant video screen all while the robotic arm is bouncing and twisting in tempo. Riders can also select their thrill level, making ROBOTRON both a family-friendly and high-thrill experience.

 In addition to ROBOTRON, other high-tech entertainment features on board MSC Seascape include:

  • VR 360° Flight Simulator: An immersive simulator is the ultimate virtual roller coaster experience, complete with VR headsets and impressive special effects.  Guests may choose from various worlds in which to dive into a thrill ride like no other.
  • VR motorbikes: Guests will feel transported into the racing ring, with wind and water effects to complete the experience.
  • MSC Formula Racer: This activity will place guests in the driver’s seat for a thrilling racing simulation game with realistic effects.
  • Immersive XD Cinema: Using 3D glasses, guests can dive into alternate worlds through this immersive activity, where players will battle it out against zombies, skeletons and more.

(MSC)

Malcolm says: These ideas will divide opinion amongst my readers, about what should be on-board cruise ship. What ever happened to “Just cruising”? What’s wrong with a walk around a teak wrap-around promenade deck? I personally do not require a Robot on my ship.

Royal Caribbean even have a Robotic bartender gimmick – HERE

Where Are The Electric River Boats?

August 28, 2022
(Courtesy Viking)

Dear readers,

I was doing some thinking yesterday, rare I know, and I pondered this question: All the major ocean cruise lines are trying to be as environmental as possible, with new Eco-friendly ship designs. It’s become a major selling point. Therefore, why are European river boats still powered by fossil fuel and not electricity?

Now I’m not an engineer, but it’s clear that there have obviously been tremendous advances with electric cars, in recent years. I believe the battery technology has vastly improved and this was a major stumbling block, in the past.  So why not river cruise boats?

I do know that some small (pleasure) riverboats, on the UK’s Norfolk broads, for example, are electric powered or at least hybrid.

River cruise boats would seem an obvious choice to me, for electrical powered engines, offering zero emissions. Why you may say?

  • They are not as enormous as ocean cruise ships and normally carrying under 200 passengers
  • They do not have to battle extremely rough seas, like cruise ships can
  • River boats do not normally need achieve high speeds.
  • River boats often only travel for half a day or so, before berthing.

Shore power could be provided at the berths, so the river boats could literally “plug in” to run the hotel services and charge their batteries. OK there would of course be a cost for this new infrastructure.

The riverboats could carry a regular engine connected to a generator, so they would be hybrid. This would allow them to charge their batteries in transit, in periods of high-power consumption.

I am quite surprised a big river cruise line like ‘Viking’ have not already developed such a river boat. Or am I missing something?

One final question: “Where does river boats sewage go?”  I’ve never seen one being pumped out at a berth? I

If my suspicions are correct, this issue also needs addressing. Or am I missing something here, too?

Please feel free to reply and give me your thoughts.

Malcolm

Update:

(Image courtesy of A-Rosa)

Reader, Dan Ackermann, has now kindly pointed out that German leading River ship operator A-ROSA has christened in July the first luxury Rhine River ship A-ROSA SENA: See Website HERE

River cruise on the Rhine with the new A-ROSA Rhine ship. 

A-ROSA’s modern cruise ships on the Rhine offer much space for everything that makes guests‘ holidays even more comfortable. The new E-motion ship on the Rhine sets completely new standards and surpasses any river cruise ship you have ever seen. 

Sustainable cruising

The new ship is ideal for people who love cruising and also want to help reduce the environmental impact. The E-motion ship can come into port in an emission-free manner thanks to battery propulsion. Fuel consumption decreases and this helps keep the towns and cities en route clean. 

(A-ROSA)

Over 2.5 Millon Hits

August 26, 2022

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Just a quick note to thank my readers, for their support, as this modest blog tops 2.5 million hits.

Visitor numbers fell over the past few years because of the pandemic. After all, why read a blog about cruising when all of the worlds cruise ships are laid up? Plus the fact I had little to write about, apart from “scrapped” ships.

However, as cruises open up again, hopefully the traffic to my blog will increase.

I look forward to reaching 3 million hits.

Regards

Malcolm Oliver

Ambience Cruise Review

August 25, 2022

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(Image M.Oliver)

Dear readers,

Britain’s first new cruise line in a decade:

After the controversial news about Ambassador’s second ship, “Ambition”, here’s another chance to read my review of the maiden cruise, on their first ship, called “Ambience”.

I have been very honest, so you will get “warts and all”.

It is a very long review, so please use the sub-headings, to go directly to the bits that interest you.

Ambience Review – HERE

Regards

Malcolm Oliver

Ambassador’s “Ambition” Inaugural Season Delayed

August 16, 2022

15/08/22: In the words of Ambassador‘s CEO:

Dear Guest,

We would like to sincerely apologise to every guest and trade partner who saw the recent announcement in the national press regarding our decision to Charter Ambition to the Scottish Government, in order to facilitate the Scottish resettlement program for the Ukraine population to support those displaced by the war in Ukraine. 

We are disappointed that this announcement was shared prematurely without the appropriate advance communication and consultation we had intended for our valued guests.

To that end, we would like to alleviate any current concerns or unnecessary uncertainty by now providing an additional explanation.

As a new brand in the cruise industry, we, ourselves, were adversely affected by the war in Ukraine. Ambience’s initial launch was delayed and many of our esteemed crew incurred additional unforeseen personal challenges. We personally felt the impact acutely and the experience heightened our interest in wanting to support those most detrimentally affected by the devastation of the war. 

When the opportunity to work with the Scottish government to support the Ukrainian population presented itself, we felt morally obliged to accommodate such a worthwhile cause and amend some of Ambition’s initial itineraries for 2023. We had fully intended to communicate this decision via the appropriate channels, extending the courtesy and respect to our guests and trade partners you would expect. Now, belatedly we are hopeful that despite the incongruous news, you will join us in confidence and understanding to support this humanitarian strategy.

Let us explain what this will mean:

•    Ambition will be in Scotland from early September 2022 for 6 months and will then go into dry dock for soft refurbishment of public areas and cabins and her engine upgrades, rendering her one of the top 10% of sustainable ships afloat, like Ambience. 

•    This means that her inaugural season will unfortunately be delayed until mid-May 2023. We are working internally to ascertain the impact of this across our scheduled itineraries and will be able to offer you, our valued guests, recompense for the inconvenience you will incur as a result of this delay.

•    Guests will be able to receive either a full refund or an enhanced incentive to transfer to a comparable sailing or a discount against any Ambassador sailing in 2023.  If you desire a full refund, this will be offered without compromise on any Ambition sailing up to, and including 11th May 2023. Ambition cruises departing after 12th May 2022 will be operating as scheduled. Please note that in securing a full refund, any additional incentives will not be valid for future, separate re-bookings. These offers will be communicated to you by email on or before 26th August, at which time you will also be able to choose an option online for your affected sailing. Please note you will not be able to action any cancellations or transfers until you receive this email, and we will not be able to manually action this through our call centre.  Please do not contact us before you have received this email.

Your patience at this time is welcome. As ever, our guests remain our number one priority, as do the values by which we operate our business. 

We hope to be able to offer you a wonderful experience on board Ambition once we establish clarity around this realignment and fully explore all available options for your compensation offer.

Kind regards,

Christian Verhounig / CEO | Ambassador Cruise Line

Malcolm says: Ambassador’s first ship, “Ambience”, was delayed entering into service, earlier this year. I guess almost 3,000 passengers has their pre-booked cruises cancelled, when the maiden cruise date was moved forward. The maiden cruise was also problematic, with many technical issues, such as freezing cabins and no hot water, at times (see here). In fact, all passengers were compensated.

What a bizarre decision to make: chartering “Ambition” to the Scottish Government along with “MS Victoria” at Leith docks. If you had told me a week ago that Ukrainian refugees would be on-board “Ambition” before the pre-booked paying passengers, I’d think that you were mad.

If my math’s is correct, Ambassador has cancelled eleven cruises onboard Ambition (4th March to 11th May, 2023) including the maiden cruise in March and a Gala dinner, in April. That is around 13,000 berths lost, but we do not know how many were actually sold. Once again travel partners and customers will be very disappointed to have their bookings cancelled. This must still represent thousands of guests that have been inconvenienced.

I know for a fact, that their are lots of laid-up ships around the world, that could be used for humanitarian purposes. These DO NOT have cruise itineraries already published, passengers booked into cabins and deposits paid, as Ambition does.

Although I appreciate Ambassador’s humanitarian concerns, at the end of the day Ambassador are a cruise line and NOT a charity. Surely their first loyalty is to their booked customers. Maybe I’m too cynical, but I find it hard to believe that this decision has been made for purely for altruistic reasons. I’m speculating here (in the absence of facts): but maybe initial bookings for Ambition’s maiden season were poor and this deal is more lucrative. Maybe only a skeleton staff will be needed for the charter, saving more money. Maybe this arrangement will effectively fund the pre-launch refit. (What’s the betting that over runs too i.e. supply chain issues).

Let’s be honest, starting a new cruise line in the wake of a pandemic and a war, in the face of high inflation and an energy crisis, was very brave (or foolish?) I’m surprised that they purchased a second ship so quickly, before they had feedback from Ambience’s first season. Maybe they expended too quickly?

This is such a pity for the customers. Ambassador have a very good value product. Ambassador are now in serious danger of creating a widespread atmosphere of disappointment and distrust amongst their passengers and their prospective passengers. Many will feel that they have been told the full story. Would you be brave enough to book “Ambition” after this news, on the 12th or 26th of May or 3rd June etc. I wouldn’t.

I bet Fred. Olsen will benefit in 2023, in terms of increased bookings, from this decision.

What’s your take on this very unusual development? Do you agree with me or am I just being insensitive to the needs of the refugees ?

More info from the Scottish Press – HERE

Götheborg Returns

August 8, 2022
(Courtesy Amar Ghazzal)

Monday 08 August, 2022: A replica of historic 18th century Swedish trading ship made its first visit to London for more than 15 years The Götheborg arrived in Britain on Monday following its departure from Oslo, Norway on July 31, 2022. 

The Götheborg sailed up the River Thames and underneath the capital’s iconic Tower Bridge. The vessel, standing at 150ft tall and stretching 36ft wide, painstakingly reconstructed by shipbuilders in 2005 

The original Gotheborg sank in 1745 following a voyage to China where it traded for silk, tea and exotic goods.

(Courtesy Daily Mail)

Norwegian Fleet Expansion

July 31, 2022

Norwegain is about to undergo a new phase of fleet expansion.

With the “Norwegian Prima” entering service soon, the brand is introducing a new six-ship class which will add nearly 20,000 berths to its fleet.

(Courtesy NCL)

Here’s the complete list of ships presently on order for Norwegian Cruise Line:

Ship: Norwegian Prima
Debut Date: Summer 2022
Capacity: 3,215 guests
Tonnage: 140,000
Status: Under construction in Italy

Currently under final stages of construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the Norwegian Prima is poised to enter service this summer.

The first of the new Prima Class of ships, the 3,215-guest vessel will introduce several new features, including the fleet’s first three-deck go-kart track and a upscale food hall with 11 culinary venues.

Ship: Norwegian Viva
Debut Date: Q2 2023
Capacity: 3,215 guests
Tonnage: 140,000
Status: Under construction in Italy

Second in the Prima Class, the Norwegian Viva is scheduled for a Q2 2023 delivery.

The 140,000-ton vessel is being built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Venice, before launching service in the Mediterranean.

Ship: Prima Class III
Debut Date: 2024
Capacity: 3,550
Tonnage: 140,000
Status: Planned

Following the Norwegian Prima and the Norwegian Viva, the third Prima Class vessel will have increased guest capacity.

Set for a 2024 delivery, the vessel will be built at the Fincantieri shipyard, with capacity to accommodate 3,550 passengers in double occupancy.

Ship: Prima Class IV
Debut Date: 2025
Capacity: 3,550
Tonnage: 140,000
Status: Planned

Another Prima Class cruise ships is set to be delivered by Fincantieri in 2025.

Ship: Prima Class V
Debut Date: 2026
Capacity: 3,550
Tonnage: 140,000
Status: Planned

After originally ordering four Prima Class vessels, Norwegian Cruise Line confirmed options for two additional vessels in 2018. The series’ fifth vessel is set to enter service in 2026.

Ship: Prima Class VI
Debut Date: 2027
Capacity: 3,550
Tonnage: 140,000
Status: Planned

Closing out the Prima Class, a sixth sister ship is set to enter service in 2027.

With all the vessels in service, the brand will see a 50 percent growth in its capacity when compared to 2019 levels.  

(CIN)

Malcolm says: It is quite amazing that NCL are embarking on such an ambitious expansion project. Even acquiring a full complement of ships crew and selling all the berths, is a challenge at the moment. However, the new ships were planned and ordered before the pandemic.

For those of you that don’t like big ships, their new “Prima” class is actually a little smaller than their previous classes: “Breakaway” and “Breakaway Plus”. How rare is that, for a major cruise line to build a new class of ship, that is a little smaller, than those that came before. However the “Prima” design was an “of the shelf” designed by the Fincantieri shipyard and not NCL. It is similar in design to MSC’s “Seaside” class and “Virgin Voyages” new ships.

If you are wondering what an NCL cruise is like SEE HERE.

More about the new ‘Prima Class’ – HERE

Silversea Acquire The Crystal Endeavor

July 19, 2022

Silversea has acquired the Crystal Endeavor.

Royal Caribbean Group’s ultra-luxury brand is positioning itself for earnings growth in the expedition cruise market.

“With Endeavour, we are seeking to grow our world class fleet to meet the exceptional demand for ultra-luxury expedition cruising, while also enhancing our profitability profile and affirming Silversea’s position as the industry’s leading ultra-luxury and expedition cruise line,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. 

The purchase price for the vessel was $275 million, significantly below the cost of construction, according to a company press release.

“The expedition cruising industry is poised to resume accelerated growth driven by demand among high-end, affluent customers for travel to remote and hard-to-access destinations,” added Roberto Martinoli, president and CEO, Silversea Cruises, in a statement. “This ship will be the fourth vessel to join Silversea’s fleet since 2020, which demonstrates our commitment to growth.” 

(Silversea)

MSC: Ambitious Growth Plans 

July 12, 2022

MSC Group has ambitious plans to continue growing cruise capacity, with six more ships for its MSC Cruises brand set to be delivered over the next five years, plus another six ships for new luxury brand Explora Journeys.

Explora Journeys Vessel (Courtesy MSC)

Next up for the MSC  Cruises will be the Seascape, joining the brand from Fincantieri later this year ahead of tis New York christening. That will be followed by the World Europa, which will be the company’s first LNG-powered cruise ship, and will debut this winter in the Middle East following her delivery from Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

The Explora Journeys brand will see dramatic growth in the luxury sector, going from one ship to six ships between 2023 and 2028. The company recently announced that ships three and four will run on LNG, while ships five and six will get a new-generation powerplant that will enable the vessels to burn liquid hydrogen.

(MSC)

Crystal Cruises Ships Purchased

June 21, 2022

Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio seems poised to enter the luxury cruise market as multiple sources have said that the former Silversea founder and chairman is believed to be the buyer for the Crystal Serenity and Symphony.

The ships have been sold with the Serenity going for $103 million and Symphony for $25 million.

Legal proceedings in the Bahamas should wrap up soon, according to sources.

It is unknown whether the brand name will be retained. 

Lefebvre is best known for helping essentially create the luxury cruise market, launching Silversea in the 1990s and growing it aggressively before selling to Royal Caribbean Group in 2018.

Since moving on from Silversea, he has become chairman of the Heritage Group, a private equity player in travel and tourism; and is co-chairman of Abercrombie & Kent, a major player in luxury travel.

(CIN)

Update: A&K Travel Group, the pioneering travel company owned by Geoffrey Kent and Heritage (the industrial holding company chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio), has acquired the cruise vessels Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.


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