Crystal River Cruises: Newbuilds Commence

August 28, 2016
(Courtesy of Crystal)

(Courtesy of Crystal)

A keel-laying ceremony at the Werften shipyard in Germany, has marked the start of the building process for Crystal River Cruises’ Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler vessels. Both vessel will carry only 110 passengers in luxury.

The two new Rhine-class vessels will Join Crystal’s existing river cruise fleet in summer 2017. They will be dedicated to sailing Europe’s the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers.

(Crystal)

The Myths & Reality of River Cruising

There are many myths about river cruising and many truths too.

For example: Isn’t it overpriced? Isn’t it just for very old people? Isn’t it boring?

As a new convert myself, I have created a document to dispel some of the myths and confirm some of the truths. I hope that it is useful.

River Cruising – Myth & Reality: HERE

Malcolm

Hapag-Lloyd: Two New Expedition Ships

August 27, 2016
hlexp-fill-600x400

(Courtesy Hapag-Lloyd)

Germany’s TUI Group is investing in two new vessels for its Hamburg based subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has confirmed that they had ordered two expedition ships with the Fincantieri shipyard, Italy, which will both be delivered in 2019.

The ships will have capacity for 240 passengers at 16,100 tons.

(Hapag-Lloyd)

Malcolm says: It’s nice to see some small new-ships being built in this age of mega-ships, even if I won’t be able afford their fares!

Cruise Ratings Rise

August 26, 2016

cruise-ship-ratings-hdr

People are giving cruises more five-star ratings than before, with the biggest improvements in scores related to dining and entertainment, according to ‘cruiseline.com’.

In other findings, Disney is the top-rated line, closely trailed by Celebrity, and the most popular cruise ports are in the Eastern Mediterranean, Australia/New Zealand and the Baltic.

See full Seatrade article HERE

Malcolm says: Interesting reading. Cruise forums often contain comments that food and service in particular, are not as good as they used to be. Maybe the dissatisfied just speak louder?

However the amenities on-board ships have been expanding, especially the sports and ‘novelty’ facilities, such as ice bars, surf machines, rope-courses, bumper-cars, free-fall simulators and even Go karts.  RCI and NCL have definitely pulled out all the stops in their respective entertainment departments too. Branded entertainment and full Broadway shows are now on offer.

Fast Ferry

August 26, 2016

I know a few of my readers have an interest in ferries and fast-ferries.

DSC_0180

After all the big car ferries (such as Ulysses) are just like state-of-the-art cruise ships with a car deck or two.

Then we also have the fast-ferry technology: often catamarans (Seacats) propelled by water-jets.

Below is a slide-show of the fast-ferry ‘Condor Rapide’:

Regular readers will also know that I am a big fan of HOVERCRAFT.

Malcolm

Airlanded Crashes (In Slow-Motion)

August 25, 2016

 It was hailed a ‘great British innovation’ by its makers following a successful maiden flight just seven days ago.

However the world’s largest aircraft suffered cockpit damage in what was described as a ‘heavy landing’ yesterday.

_90897506_sbna_airlanderbadlanding2

(Courtesy BBC)

UK Power Networks said the aircraft had come into contact with one of its power lines. Hybrid Air Vehicles said a mooring line had been in “contact” with a cable.

All crew are safe and well, and there are no injuries.

It is estimated the damage will cost about £20,000 to repair.

Malcolm says: Now I’m no aviation expert, but when the £25m future of lighter-than-air hybrid aircraft crashes (sorry “lands heavily”) on it’s second flight, that is EMBARASSING.

I know it was a ‘test’ flight, but the flying conditions must have been very good, if not perfect. I believe the pilot’s have spent many hours training in flight-simulators to avoid such situations.  If I had ten tonnes of cargo to transport, Airlander would NOT be first choice at the moment!

Also see Zeppelin NT Flight: HERE

CMV’s Columbus: 2018 Round The World Cruise

August 24, 2016

Columbus-Ship-Image-edit

On 5th January 2018, Columbus (CMV’s latest addition to thier fleet) will set sail from London Tilbury on a spectacular ‘round the world’ voyage. It will be a truly historic occasion, as it will be 20 years to the date since this popular cruise ship operated her maiden world cruise.

Escape the winter and return home at the beginning of May on this 121 night grand voyage on which you can truly relax, enjoy leisurely days at sea, carefree evenings and so many incredible highlights as you circumnavigate the globe.

Columbus will take you to the Caribbean, Central America, the Panama Canal, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Dubai, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, the Suez Canal, Athens, Malta and home via the Mediterranean.

With her spacious lounge areas, comfortable accommodation and wide range of facilities, Columbus is the ideal ship for such an adventure. For most of this voyage, you will be able to enjoy warmer climes and therefore make full use of the expansive deck areas, swimming pools and whirlpools.

CMV have set aside 150 twin cabins for single occupancy priced with just a 25% single supplement on the equivalent category twin share prices. In addition, our special on-board singles programme of events including a welcome cocktail party and get together will ensure the opportunity to meet like-minded travellers.

(Cruise & Maritime Voyages)

Malcolm says: Columbus’s world cruise marks the day of the  20th Anniversary of the ship’s inaugural world cruise as P&O’s ‘Arcadia’ according to Mike Hall, CMV’s head of marketing.

Dream Cruises Branding Campaign

August 23, 2016
(Courtesy of Genting)

Click to enlarge (Courtesy of Genting)

As ‘Genting Dream’ floats-out (here) Dream Cruises is launching a new branding platform called “The Mermaid’s Dream.” The campaign features a love-story between a mermaid and an astronaut.

The campaign will include a commercial and was developed by Leo Burnett, China.

xxxxxmmmm

(Genting)

MSC Meraviglia – Virtual Tour

August 22, 2016

The Mediterranean  Shipping Company (MSC) have become a major player in the global cruise industry with three classes of innovative newbuilds on the way: Seaside, Meraviglia and their still somewhat secret ‘World Class’ ships.

I find myself increasing posting YouTube material here, as this provides some of the best renderings of these amazing new ships.

Malcolm

P&O’s Oceana To Homeport in Malta

August 21, 2016
Oceana (Courtesy P&O)

Oceana (Courtesy P&O)

P&O Cruises will sail a new Malta-to-Malta (Valletta) itinerary on the P&O Oceana in 2017 and 2018.

The Minister for Tourism in Malta, Edward Zammit Lewis, explained that this development “is exciting for the tourism sector” and that he looked forward to enhancing further the relationship with P&O.

The Minister remarked that during 2017 over 100,000 passenger movements will be handled through this fly and cruise program on 27 calls, with an extra 10,000 passengers on five more calls. Moreover, additional port calls are planned for 2018.

(Malta Tourism)

Malcolm says: An interesting move.  At the time of writing, I have yet to see the full itineraries.

 

NCL Cruise From Southampton (UK) in 2017

August 20, 2016
Norwegian Jade

Norwegian Jade

The Norwegian Cruise line have announce  new European itineraries for summer 2017 on-board the newly-refurbished, Norwegian Jade. Once completed she’s promised to look even better than when she first left the shipyard!

The good news for European cruisers is that there will be more cruises roundtrip from Southampton and Hamburg.

Itineraries include the Norwegian Fjords, Norway, Iceland & UK, Northern Europe Cities, all from Southampton and Norway & North Cape from Hamburg.

(NCL)

Norwegian Jade review HERE

Malcolm says: I always welcome more choices form UK ports. I cruised on-board Jade some years back and she’s a very nice ship.  Although she is hardly small at around 93,000 gt., she is starting to look medium sized by todays mega-ship standards. However there have been three generations of NCL ships since Jade entered service in 2006 – Epic, Breakaway and BreakawayPlus classes.  It would be nice to see a ‘Breakaway’ class offering cruises from UK ports, but maybe they fear that they could not fill one.


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