Titanic II Plans All At Sea – Clive Palmer Gets Cold Feet

May 24, 2016
Dreamer: Clive Palmer, Times Square, 2013. (Photo: Twitter)

Dreamer: Clive Palmer, Times Square, 2013. (Photo: Twitter)

An audacious plan to build a full-size, seaworthy replica of the Titanic has run aground.

Ironically, today was the original date proposed for the launch of Australian tycoon Clive Palmer’s Titanic II which, like its ill-fated, Belfast-built predecessor, was to be one of the most luxurious vessels ever built…

Full Belfast Telegraph article HERE

Malcolm says: It never did seem very likely, did it?  Mr Palmer is strong on ideas, but seems to lose interest very quickly and often fails to follow his ideas through. Sources say that he is not quite as rich as he once was. Maybe he has though of better ways to spend his retirement fund than building an historic Ocean Liner?

Holland America Names Second New Ship

May 23, 2016

(Courtesy HAL)

Holland America Line is to gain a second new ship in 2018, another Pinnacle-class vessel named Nieuw Statendam.

The 99,500 gross ton, 2,650 passenger ship, will be the sixth vessel in the line’s history to bear the name Statendam.


New Rendering: Star Cruises 201,000 gt Ships

May 22, 2016
Global Class (Courtesy of Genting)

Global Class (Courtesy of Genting)

Genting Hong Kong announced a few weeks ago that they would be building two new ships for Star Cruises in 2019 and 2020.

Genting has not surprisingly chosen the Lloyd Werft Group, there newly acquired shipyards in Germany, for the construction of their new vessels


Global Class (Courtesy of Genting)

The Star Cruises ships will be known as the Global Class for “worldwide” cruising at 201,000 gross tons with 5,000 lower berths. (Not to be confused with MSC’s future “World Class” 200,000 gross ton ships)

Malcolm Says: Genting/Star’s  two ‘Global Class’ ships will enter service in 2020 and 2021, becoming the world’s second biggest class of ship, eclipsing RCI’s Quantum class.  (The world’s biggest class, is still Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis’ class, with ‘Harmony’ at around 227,000 gt.)

MSC’s three ‘World Class’ newbuilds will not enter service 2024, 25 and 26 and are said to be around 200,000 gt. I guess we have to wait and see if they ate slightly bigger or slightly smaller than Star’s ships.

The forward  rendering of Star’s ships show a rather conventional design, externally – not unlike an RCI ship, although I do like the twin side-by-side funnels. (P&O’s Britannia has two funnels one behind the other).


The aft rendering reveals deck space not unlike NCL’s ‘Spice H2O’ area with a giant screen.  This could have a pool, double as a night-club and be a performance space. (On-board RCI’s  Oasis class this space is used for their unique Aqua-Theatre).

There appears to be a lounge (or restaurant) under the aft deck area . There appears to be four decks of balcony cabins (suites?) overlooking the aft area. I also see at least two water tubes/slides on the sun deck and a rear public area behind the two mini-funnels.

So nothing particularly original externally, but exciting none the less.

Will NCL go 200,000gt? Speculation HERE

Shanghai Port Takes The lead

May 22, 2016
(Source unknown)

(Source unknown)

Shanghai port is taking the lead in the Asia-Pacific market, having posted the biggest year-over-year traffic gains between 2014 and 2015, according to the 2016-2017 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

China’s main homeport grew some 60 percent year over year, with over 1.6 million passengers for 2015, putting it well inside the world’s top 10 list of ports by traffic.

Other ports in Asia-Pacific posting major gains included Tianjin, Hong Kong, Penang and Fremantle.

(Cruise Industry News)

Southampton To Become Home of Royal Caribbean

May 21, 2016
Harmony @ Southampton(Courtesy BBC)

Harmony @ Southampton(Courtesy BBC)

As Royal Caribbean’s latest, and the world’s largest, ship – Harmony of the Seas – arrives into Southampton, the global cruise line’s Strategic Operation Officer, Mike Jones, Managing Director of UK and Ireland, Stuart Leven, announced a seven-year deal with the port of Southampton…

Full ABP article HERE

Russian Shipyard To Build River Vessels

May 20, 2016
Russian shipyard (Source unknown)

Russian shipyard (Source unknown)

Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (RUSC) currently builds various military vessels for the Russian navy.

However it has been reported that RUSC will be building some riverboats: 300passenger 6,100 gross ton, for Moscow River Shipping.

Other media reports have suggested  that the shipyard will be returning to building cruise ships after 60 years.

Watch this space!

(Net Rumour)

Malcolm says: The Soviet Union had a fleet of ocean liners that made cruises on the Black and Baltic Seas. These ships were mostly built in East Germany, Finland and Yugoslavia. For example, the ‘Marco Polo’ (Aleksandr Pushkin) was built in East Germany in 1965.  The vast majority of these vessels, which operated in the Soviet era, have now been scrapped.

It will be interesting to see Russia return to the cruise business.

Just Back From MS Astor

May 17, 2016

Itinerary (Courtesy CMV)

Cruise and Maritime Voyages will have a fleet of five ocean ships, mainly operating form UK ports, by June 2017.

They have a growing reputation for good value cruising on-board classic ships.

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

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

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

She made a rare appearance at Tilbury on Saturday 23rd of April 2016, offering an 8 night ‘British Isles Discovery’ cruise. This was my chance to try her.

Here is my extensive Astor SHIP REVIEW

(Reviews of the rest of the CMV fleet: Marco Polo, Magellan and Astoria are also available menu right).

Fishguard: A Growing Port Of Call

May 16, 2016


The Pembrokeshire port (UK) has welcomed the first of 5,000 international visitors this summer.

Nineteen cruise ships are due to dock in Fishguard between May and September, the first being Corinthian on Monday.

Fishguard received just seven calls in 2015 and this year’s increase is down to the positive feedback received from visitors and support from Visit Wales.

(BBC News)

Malcolm says: I had to google the ‘MV Corinthian’:  “The all-suite Corinthian is a  yacht-like cruise ship accommodates only 100 guests in 50 suites. she had a gross tonnage of  just 4077 and was built in 1998”. In comparison ‘Harmony of the Sea’s’  lifeboats hold 300 passengers each!

TS Queen Mary Makes Her Return To The Clyde

May 16, 2016
(Courtesy Daily Mail)

(Courtesy Daily Mail)

Real flesh-and-blood royalty would not have drawn such Clydeside crowds yesterday – all the lined, quayside spectators; the excursion craft Clyde clipper on her special four-hour cruise for the occasion; the flotilla of small craft and the exuberant sharing of snaps on social media…

Read full Daily Mail article HERE

Another classic Paddle Steamer (1946):

The Big Ships Are Coming!

May 15, 2016
(Genting/Star 201,000 gt)

(Genting/Star 201,000 gt)

Have you ever noticed that new cruise ships of any period, tend to be built a similar size to each other?

Let me explain: When I first started cruising in 1998, the definition of a mega-ship was around 77,000 gross tonnes.

Celebrities Mercury and Galaxy were around 77,000 gt and so were a number of other ships at the time, give or take a little bit.  For example: Rhapsody, Enchantment, and Vision of the Seas, Norwegian Sky and Spirit were all of a similar size.

In 2004, for a period of a few years, many ship, like Cunard’s Queen Victoria, were around the 90,000 gt range, although Princess ships were around the 115,000 gt at the time.

However it’s not a mystery as to why:

Some ships are a similar design, or at least share the Hull design/size. P&O’s Arcadia (2005) is essentially the same ship design as Cunard’s Queen Victoria (2004) and Queen Elizabeth (2010), all are Carnival ‘vista’ Class.

Today (2016) I note that the future order books are being filled with newbuilds which are around an astonishing 200,000 gt.

Courtesy of Costa. (Click to enlarge)

183,000 gt – Courtesy of Costa.

Carnival are building Costa Cruises two 183,000 gt ships in 2019 and 2020. In 2018 and 2020, AIDA will also get two ships based on the same design.

The Mediterranean shipping Company (MSC Cruises) have announced four 200,000 gt “World Class” ships in 2022-2026.

Genting have just announced that they will build two “Global Class” ships in 2019/2020 for Star Cruises at 201,000 gt.

Global Class (Courtesy of Genting)

Global Class (Courtesy of Genting)

I’m sure that the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will also soon be following suit.

For those who don’t understand the maths, for comparison: the legendary ‘Queen Elizabeth II’ (QE2) was around 70,000 gt, and the ‘Marco Polo’ is a very modest 22,000 gt.

So Royal Caribbean’s ‘Harmony of the Seas’ is the world’s biggest cruise ship at 227,700 gt. but the other lines are fast catching up.

Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas

This is a golden age of ‘big’ ship building – these are the biggest moving objects ever made by man.




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