Featured Ship: Magellan

May 29, 2017

Magellan became Cruise & Maritime Voyages  new flagship in March 2015.

Formerly Carnival’s MS Holiday, she entered service in 1985.

Magellan is  46,052 gross tonnes, so CMV’s biggest vessel, carrying  a maximum of 1,452 passengers.

At 32 years old (In 2017), verses Azores 68 years, Marco Polo’s 52 years and Astor’s 29 years, Magellan will be their second youngest ship.

Read my Magellan ship review: HERE

Porsche Superyacht

May 28, 2017

£360million Yacht Puts Sails Up For The First Time

May 28, 2017

Sails down. (Image by KarleHorn )

Pictures exclusive to MailOnline reveal the superyacht’s sails up on its 300ft masts for the very first time:

See Daily Mail Images: HERE

Celestyal Cruises New Website

May 27, 2017

Celestyal Crystal (Courtesy Celestyal Cruises)

Celestyal Cruises has launched a completely new version of their  website http://www.celestyalcruises.com

The company said it is now compatible with all browsers and mobile devices, offering visitors a faster, simpler booking process and a comprehensive introduction to the company’s cruises, services and unique selling points.

Celestyal specialise in around-Cuba and Greek cruises.

The cruise line operates three ships (see the web site for more details).

(Celestyal)

Aerial Shots – MSC Seaside Under Construction

May 26, 2017

MSC Want To Build Barcelona Terminal

May 26, 2017

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MSC Cruises wants to invest in a massive state-of-the-art cruise terminal at the port of Barcelona, according to Pierfrancesco Vago, the executive chairman.

There are no further details or a timescale as yet.

(MSC)

Introducing AIDA’s Helios Class

May 24, 2017

AIDA Cruises has issued renderings and some details for its next class of ships, the Helios-class.

These ships are aimed at the German market and will be in excess of 180,000 gross tons and carry 5,200 passengers (lower berths), powered by LNG.

The first AIDA ship will be delivered from Meyer Werft in late 2018, the second in 2021.

The ships design will have 21 stateroom categories, ranging from penthouse suites to family, veranda staterooms and single cabins.

There will be 17 restaurants, including the traditional German self-service options, a-la-carte restaurants and five speciality options. Among the speciality options will be French Kiss, Casanova and the Brauhaus. (Apparently the German’s like buffets and there will be a good choice of them on-board).

(Image Courtesy AIDA)

(Image courtesy AIDA)

Deck 16 will be an activity deck with a waterslide, water park, mini golf and a ropes course.

The pool deck will have a light-weight retractable glass roof, making the ships suitable for deployment in Northern Europe, in the winter. This will feature AIDA’s popular beach-club as on-board AIDAprima.

(AIDA Cruises)

The Costa version  (Courtesy Carnival)

Malcolm says: We have now seen renderings of the Costa Cruises version of this amazing Carnival design, the P&O version and a leaked model of the Carnival Cruises version.

The P&O version

Although AIDA is aimed at the thriving German market, it looks as if the P&O and AIDA versions of this ship share a ‘Dome’. The Costa version does not appear to have this feature, but I guess she will spend much of her time in the hot Mediterranean. In the case of the leaked Carnival model, it is unclear as yet if she does have a dome or not – but I guess not, as she will probably be deployed in the Caribbean.

The deck space/prom looks to be extensive, rather like MSC’s ‘Seaside’ and NCL’s project ‘Leonardo’. Did you notice the two level prom deck, seen clearly in the AIDA renderings with an extremely long/steep staircase linking the two levels. It looks far from ideal!

Although these are not the biggest ships in the world (in terms of gross tonnage) some say that they will be the most crowded in the world!

Eurostar To Amsterdam

May 24, 2017

Siemens e320 (Courtesy Eurostar)

Eurostar will launch direct services from London to Amsterdam, taking four hours,  by the end of the year.

A direct route to Rotterdam is also said to be “final stages”.

The company has unveiled a preview of its new e320 trains set to run between London and Brussels, which will be introduced over the next 18 months as part of a £1 billion investment.

The new fleet has 20% more capacity than present Eurostar services and will have wifi plus 300 hours of on-board entertainment streamed to customer devices.

The e320 trains have been operating on the London-Paris route since November 2015.

The company hopes to entice some of the three million passengers who travel between London and Amsterdam by air each year.

(Kent Online)

Malcolm says: this service will make it a little easier to travel  into Europe for those Brits who can reach London.  I believe Eurostar will later be introducing non-stop services to Germany and France. These train routes could be useful for cruise passengers who do not want to fly, yet want to join ships (and river boats) from European ports.

Balmoral Cruises From Newcastle Again

May 23, 2017

Balmoral (Courtesy Fred Olsen)

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral will be starting her second cruise season from the Port of Tyne, Newcastle, on May 25.

The 1,350-guest Balmoral will be setting sail on a total of 13 voyages from Newcastle in 2017 – an increase on the 11 departures offered in 2016.

(Fred. Olsen)

My Balmoral review: HERE

Legend Becomes Discovery 2

May 22, 2017

Time-lapse video.

TUI Discovery 2′ is the former Royal Caribbean ship ‘Legend of the Seas’. The ship which entered service for RCI in 1994 is a modest 69,130 gross tonnes and carries 2,074 passengers.

Malcolm says: I do like what Thomson have done to the livery, It make this mature ship look quite contemporary.

My review of sister ship ‘Splendour of The Seas’: HERE

Featured Ship: The Marco Polo

May 22, 2017

Marco Polo @ Tilbury – Click to enlarge

The Marco Polo is a ‘classic’.

She is a ‘real’ ship.

There are no water slides or rock walls.

She is  52 years old.

She was built in East Germany.

She has an ice-strengthen hull.

She accommodates 820 passengers.

At 22,800 gt she is one of the  smaller ships to regularly operate from UK ports.

My Marco Polo review can be read HERE

 

Columbus: In Dry Dock Taking Shape

May 20, 2017

Chris Coates, Commercial Director. Gemma Watson, Customer Services Manager. Bob McGowan, Head of Customer Services. (CMV)

Cruise & Maritime Voyages’s Columbus, the latest addition to the fleet and new flagship, arrived in Rotterdam on Saturday 13th May for a three week dry dock at the Damen Ship Yard. She then sails to London Tilbury in early June for her Naming Ceremony and Launch Party on Thursday 8th June before commencing her CMV maiden summer season of ex-UK no fly cruises.

Chris Coates, CMV’s Commercial Director, who visited the ship this week in Rotterdam said, “After over a year of meticulous planning this impressive traditional cruise liner is coming back home to British waters where she was once adored by many passengers and proved a firm favourite with the UK cruise market. The extensive upgrade words are taking shape nicely and we are confident that our passengers will like what they see and the upgrades that we have implemented and Columbus will prove to be a great addition to our fleet”

A lot of the refurbishment and modification works have already taken place during her ballast voyage from Singapore. These ongoing works include re-livery and painting of the ship’s hull and superstructure and the adaptation of the existing child and teenage areas. These areas will be converted to suit CMV’s more mature market. They include a maritime themed Columbus Observation Lounge affording splendid aft ocean views, Trumps & Aces, a spacious Card and Bridge room, a Ship’s Library with a traditional country house style feel and a Crafter’s studio too. The casino has been scaled down and renamed Captain’s Club & Casino while the previously named Captain’s Lounge has been renamed Taverner’s Pub offering a selection of 4 popular draught beers and ales plus 15 other beers and a wide selection of wines and spirits.

Columbus entering dry dock. (Courtesy CMV)

After the initial days of welcome on-board events in Tilbury, Columbus will embark on a short three nights cruise 11 June, to Amsterdam and Antwerp, followed by a six nights voyage 14 June to the Norwegian Fjords. Columbus joins the CMV fleet that includes Magellan, Marco Polo, Astor and Astoria taking CMV’s lower bed ocean fleet capacity to almost 5,000 berths.

TV presenter Angela Rippon is to be godmother of Columbus. She will rename the ship at a ceremony at the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury June 8.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has also revealed a partnership with British tea brand Whittard of Chelsea, debuting on Columbus and Marco Polo.

The retailer, also known for its blends of coffee, plus china and confectionery — will supply ta range of tea and chocolate drinks, while gift collections will feature in the ship’s onboard boutique.

(Source: Cruise & Maritime Voyages)

Above is a slide-show of the new addition to Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet, formerly ‘Pacific Pearl’ for P&O Cruises Australia and before that P&O (UK) ‘Arcadia’.

I hope to cruise on this ship and write a review ASAP.

Malcolm

Taking Center Stage

May 19, 2017

On the subject of entertainment:

The big mass-market lines, like RCI, NCL and MSC, have really upped their game in recent years, in terms of entertainment.  In fact RCI have some of the best shows at sea, in my opinion.

MSC: New ‘Cirque Du Soleil’ Shows

May 18, 2017

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MSC Cruises have revealed the names and concepts for their two exclusive Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows that will be performed on board MSC Meraviglia, which enters service on June 4th, 2017.

Cirque-du-Soleil-at-Sea_VIAGGIO-1128x500

Malcolm says: It’s nice to see the major cruising offering entertainment beyond the normal ‘flesh & feathers’ type, which may best appeal to the more mature audience.

Carousel_Lounge_-_built_specifically_to_house_the_CDS_shows-fill-800x534

Carousel Lounge – built specifically for CDS shows (MSC)

Full ‘Seatrade’ article: HERE

Malcolm says: The ‘Carousel Lounge’ looks a little similar to RCI’s ‘360 Degree’ lounge on-board their ‘Anthem’ class vessels, also located at the stern, although RCI’s is VERY hi-tech indeed. In fact a number of Meraviglia’s features are not unlike RCI’s, such as MSC’s version of the ‘Royal Promenade’, but with a digital Sky.

msc-meraviglia-promenade-intc3a9rieure-1

Meraviglia Promenade (MSC)

Fred. Olsen Moves Into River Cruising

May 17, 2017

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has announced the launch of its new dedicated cruise programme by river boat, unveiled in its new ‘European River Cruising by Fred. Olsen’ brochure.

Fred. Olsen River Cruises is now offering European river cruise holidays, between 5th April and 3rd November 2018, on board 156-guest river boat, Brabant, to go on general sale from 26th May 2017.

Fred. Olsen will be operating its new river cruise programme – taking in some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers, including the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle – on a total of 30 departures in 2018, on duration’s ranging from five to 25 nights, complemented by a selection of high-quality chargeable shore excursions, designed to enhance guests’ experience of the destination.

Fred. Olsen will be bringing its unique style of ‘destination exploration’ to the river cruise market, with exciting itineraries visiting some of Europe’s most stunning rivers, canals and valleys. Guests can choose to sail the breath-taking Danube, taking in the major cities and wildlife-rich Danube Delta; savour the highlights of the heart of Europe, along the twists and turns of the Moselle, Rhine and Main valleys; or enjoy a ‘taster’ cruise to Amsterdam, when the tulips are in full bloom.

Importantly, Fred. Olsen has also incorporated a large amount of scenic cruising in daylight hours into its new river cruise itineraries, so that guests can make the most of the spectacular scenery on offer at the best time of the day.

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“At Fred. Olsen, we specialise in creating a ‘home-from-home’ atmosphere on our ocean cruises, and we are proud to be bringing our many decades of expertise and rich sailing heritage to the river cruise market for the very first time. In fact, the name Brabant harks back to Fred. Olsen’s historic passenger ship of the same name from the 1920s.

“Guests can rest assured that the new Fred. Olsen river cruises will be underpinned by the usual high standards, award-winning customer service and understated elegance that they have come to expect of our ocean-going offer. We firmly believe that we have crafted the perfect formula to ensure that our new river cruise guests are able to get the most out of their holiday with Fred. Olsen.”

Fred. Olsen’s new river cruise itineraries on board Brabant for 2018 include: Düsseldorf, Germany to Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Düsseldorf to Nuremberg, Germany; Nuremberg to Budapest, Hungary; Budapest to Hirsova (Bucharest), Romania; Düsseldorf to Basel, Switzerland;and Hirsova (Bucharest) to Düsseldorf.

Three Amadeus vessels – Danube (Click to enlarge)

Built in 2006, 110-metre-long Brabant is a stylish and comfortable river cruise boat, and has everything that guests will need to make their holiday a memorable one: from bright and spacious public areas, to well-equipped bedrooms and ample deck space, from which to enjoy the superb views. With just four decks – Haydn Deck 1, Strauss Deck 2, Mozart Deck 3 and Sun Deck 4 – and fewer than 80 rooms and suites, staffed by 40 crew members, Brabanthas the intimate and friendly feel that Fred. Olsen’s guests know and love.

Brabant’s classic design is smaller than many river boats, so guests will enjoy the usual hallmarks of Fred. Olsen’s ‘closer’ approach to cruising. In keeping with Fred. Olsen’s ocean-going fleet, this smaller-scaled vessel has the style, atmosphere and elegance of a country house hotel. Cherry wood interiors and contemporary colours combine to make guests feel relaxed from the moment that they step on board. Juliette balconies with panoramic windows are a feature of many of the rooms, so that guests can enjoy expansive views of Europe’s most impressive waterways.

Fred. Olsen guests – who are predominantly British – will also feel at home on board Brabant, with English spoken throughout and all transactions conducted in Pounds Sterling. The British taste will also be reflected in the cuisine, customer service and shore tours on offer.

All holidays featured in the new ‘River Cruising by Fred. Olsen’ brochure are based on fly-cruises, and include return flights from / to a London airport and transfers to / from the boat. Cruise-only options are also available

(Fred.Olsen)

Malcolm says: I predicted this last year when Olsen. hinted at a ‘new direction’. This is a clever move. Olsen passengers are very loyal and trust the Olsen name.  It seems that this will essentially be an ‘Amadeus’ (Luftner Cruises) product, with some Olsen tweaks like sterling as the on-board currency and British menus.

Having cruised with Amadeus twice I can vouch that they offer a pretty high standard of experience at a fare more reasonable than many.

The Amadeus experience is an international one, attracting many German and French passengers, but will equally suit Brits. All the crew speak English. The food normally served by Amadeus is arguably higher-class (better) than some of Fred Olsen’s fare. The small number of passengers on river boats should ensure excellent service. (See my Amadeus cruise reviews).

Amadeus do not have a very high profile in the U.K. so this partnership can only help them.

Olsen’s ‘Brabant’ is the ‘Amadeus Princess’ which entered service in 2006. The line has revealed that the vessel will not undergo a refurbishment before it sails as Brabant, but will receive Fred. Olsen River Cruise branding and a new livery/name.

There is already talk of a second Olsen river boat, later on.

Amadeus Elegant, my second river cruise review HERE

The Original Brabant

The Brabant was the first of a notable new generation of passengers ships, which was taken delivery of in 1926.  She had a gross tonnage of 2, 335 and was the Olsen’s biggest passenger ship so far, with accommodation for up to 70 first class passengers amidships, and could carry 30 third class travellers in less comfortable quarters at the stern.  She also had space for 2, 500 tons of cargo in two substantial holds.  (The Fred. Olsen Line and It’s Passenger Ships, by Anthony Cooke).

D-S_Brabant,_Fred_Olsen_&_Co_-_no-nb_digifoto_20160422_00162_NB_NS_000856Y

Olsen’s Brabant (National Library of Norway)

Thinking Of Taking Your First River Cruise?

It’s spring, so the major European river cruise lines are once again starting to operate cruises along the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Seine, Rhone/Saone and other European rivers.

River cruising is actually is the fastest growing segment of the cruise industry.

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

As a brand new convert myself, I have created a short article to dispel some of the myths and confirm some of the truths. Enjoy!

River Cruising – Myth & Reality: HERE

Malcolm

Queen Victoria Gets A New Aft Deck

May 17, 2017

During her month-long, £30 million refurbishment, at the Italian Fincantieri shipyard, Cunard’s Queen Victoria gained a new aft Lido deck.

The deck includes a new extended lounge and additional deck space for guests, as well as more staterooms.

Queen Elizabeth, built three years after after Queen Victoria, was built with a similar designed aft Lido deck to the new addition.

(Cunard)

Queen Victoria’s original aft design – top image. Queen Elizabeth – below. (Cunard)

Malcolm says: More cabins, more passengers, more profit – or am I being too sceptical?

American Duchess To Launch Service From New Orleans

May 16, 2017

American Duchess (Courtesy AQSC)

The American Queen Steamboat Company will launch service with its new American Duchess from New Orleans on August 14th, 2017.

The American Duchess is the first all-suite paddlewheeler on U.S. rivers, a floating, intimate masterpiece that can carry up to 166 guests through America’s heartland. The paddlewheeler, created from a 1995 hull, was completely reconstructed to become one of the most luxurious river cruising vessels in the country, featuring single-seating main dining and entertainment venues, soaring ceilings, and all of the features guests have come to expect on other American Queen Steamboat Company cruises.

Her suites range from 180 sq. ft to 550 sq. ft., allowing guests to stay in some of the largest accomodations on the rivers. Unique to the American Duchess are her spacious Loft Suites, that measure at 550 sq. ft.. The lower level features a full bathroom, small dining area, a beautiful lounge section furnished with a queen sofa-bed and desk area, along with sliding doors to access a private balcony. The loft area upstairs is a tranquil retreat with its semi-private bedroom, a full bathroom and gracious closet space.

Click to enlarge (Courtesy AQSC)

Featuring a single-seating schedule in the beautiful Grand Dining Room, dining on-board is an experience. Enjoy 5-star cuisine that blends local flavors and fine culinary traditions. A more casual atmosphere is offered at The River Club and Terrace, which can host over 80 guests who wish to dine at their own pace.

Combining the best of the old and the new, this beautiful lady of the river epitomizes the grace and grandeur that has made River Cruising a cherished American tradition for more than two centuries.

(American Queen Steamboat Company)

Amazing Aerial Pictures: Titanic Replica

May 15, 2017

Amazing aerial pictures show the £105m full-size Titanic replica set to be completed by this year as a part of a grand theme park in China. It will not be a functioning ship, but a hotel/attraction.

The project is NOT to be confused with the Titanic II project where the Australian millionaire, Clive Palmer,  claimed that he was going to build a full-sized cruising Titanic replica. Well, he never did and almost certainly never will.

Titanic II – Clive Palmer Gets Cold Feet: HERE

Bodies Of 3rd-Class Titanic Passengers Tossed Overboard

Rarely does a month go by without a story about the ill fated liner appearing in the media.

Here is a recent example.

Daily Mail article: HERE

Below is a link to my article comparing the worlds biggest ocean liner  in 1912, ‘RMS Titanic’, to the biggest modern class of cruise ship ‘Oasis of The Seas’.

Titanic v Oasis of the Seas: HERE  

Malcolm

Photos: TUI Discovery

May 14, 2017

Splendour (M.Oliver)

Photos by  Sergio Ferreira of Thomosn Cruises latest edition, ‘TUI Discovery’, the former Royal Caribbean ship ‘Splendour of the Seas’. The ship which entered service for RCI in 1995 is a modest 69,000 gross tonnes and carries 2,076 passengers.

See ‘Cruise Industry News Photos: HERE

Malcolm says: I do like what Thomson have done to the livery, It make this mature ship look quite contemporary.

My review of ‘Splendour of The Seas’: HERE

AmaWaterways To launch ‘Biggest River Boat’ In Europe

May 13, 2017

AmaMagna (Courtsey AmaWaterways)

AmaWaterways is to launch the ‘biggest river cruise vessel’ in Europe in 2019.

To be named AmaMagna, the vessel will have the same length, height and draft as the line’s other vessels, but at 22 meters it will be twice as wide. However she will only accommodate 194 passengers.

Its width also means it will be the only ship docked in ports that allow two-deep berthing..

The ship will sail the Danube.

President Rudi Schreiner said the ship, which will be called AmaMagna, would have more facilities and ocean style cabins.

He said: “While this new double-width concept has been on the table for some time, we believe, given the unique demand that exists, that now is the perfect moment to introduce this style of ship”.

“AmaMagna will provide guests with generous personal space, the freedom of multiple dining choices and exceptional stateroom comfort. “Combining this with our award-winning cuisine, noteworthy shore excursions and remarkable onboard service, we feel this ship is a game-changer.”

AmaMagna will accommodate 194 passengers, in 97 staterooms – the majority of which will be over 300 square feet.

Additional amenities include a large heated sundeck swimming pool with whirlpool and sky bar, spa area with new treatments, a fitness room large enough for small group classes.

The cruise line has 20 ships and is expected to launch another five by 2019.

(AmaWaterways)

Malcolm says: so it’s not only ocean cruise ships that are getting bigger, although AmaMagna will still be very intimate in comparison. I’m not sure if she really will be the biggest passenger-river vessel operating in Europe?  I suppose it depends how you measure ‘biggest’.

‘Crystal Mozart’ a twin hulled vessel, is about the same width as AmaMagna, yet a little longer, so she has more internal volume. However she carries less passengers – 154.  Both boats will be operating on the Danube.  These boats will only be able to navigate wider locks and will congest them.  Many larger locks can accommodate two standard river boats, side by side, but will only be able to accommodate one of these. This will slow things up a bit.

River Cruising – Myth & Reality: HERE

Malcolm says re: Poll – A river boat certainly do not feel ‘small’ when you are on-board one. There is normally one sitting for each meal and every passengers has a lounger on the sun deck. You obviously do not have the range of facilities and public rooms found on-board most ocean cruise ships. However, as there is normally under 200 passengers, you are not competing for space with thousands of other passengers.

Jade Refurbishment For UK Season

May 12, 2017

Norwegian Jade underwent a three week refurbishment in dry dock, in May 2017, as part of the ‘Norwegian Edge’ program.

£30 million has been spent replacing her Hawaiian-themed interiors, which were installed when the ship sailed as ‘Pride of Hawaii’ up until 2008.

New eateries and bars, refurbished staterooms and expanded restaurant spaces are just a few of the improvements competed.

The ship now offers 24-hour pub grub at O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill, complimentary poolside fare at Pit Stop and a 1950s-style diner where classic car themed décor, complete with vintage license plates.

Additionally, Moderno Churrascaria was relocated and now offers sea views; more seating was added to Cagney’s Steakhouse, which now boasts a virtual fireplace; La Cucina, the ship’s Italian restaurant, now features a wine wall; and the Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant, along with Jasmine Garden and Garden Café all have undergone a major face-lift.

Other upgrades to public spaces include upgrades to the pool areas, the Sugarcane mojito bar and the Spinnaker Lounge; new TechnoGym equipment in the fitness centre; and the addition of Bliss Ultra Lounge, the nightclub. In the atrium, a new custom-designed chandelier hangs overhead, replacing the Hawaiian ‘lays’.

All the staterooms have received new carpet, drapes, furniture, flat-screen TVs and headboards with USB charging outlets. The Haven also features four new cabanas. In all, the ship’s staterooms display more than 2,250 pieces of upgraded artwork.

Jade has become a firm favourite with US and UK passengers alike.

Jade will arrive at in the UK, on May 13th 2017, where she will spend the summer offering cruises to the Norwegian Fjords and Iceland. There will also be some cruises offered from Hamburg, Germany.

(NCL)

Thomson Reveals Details of its New Ship TUI Explorer

May 11, 2017

My humble blog cannot compete with the news-gathering might of the excellent ‘Cruise Critic’:

(Courtesy Thomson)

Thomson Cruises has revealed more features on its newest ship TUI Explorer including a new-to-the-line kids’ mini pool and a “really innovative and exciting entertainment” line up.

Cruise Critic article: HERE

Thomson Cruises Reveals a Host of Unique Features on TUI Discovery 2

 Cruise Critic article: HERE

Malcolm says: I am surprised about the poll results. I have found the Thomson product to be very good for the fare paid.  Some aspects of their operation are arguably better than some aspects of the big mass-market lines.  Their major weakness has been their hardware: older/well worn ships. However maybe this is about to change.

Introducing Viking Ra

May 10, 2017

Viking River Cruises has announced new details of its latest ship, the Viking Ra, which will sail the Nile River starting March 2018.

Recently acquired the vessel has been stripped down to the steel to undergo a complete renovation.

Viking said Viking Ra’s interiors are being designed by the same team of architects and engineers that developed its popular Longships in Europe. The design will blend the clean Scandinavian design for which Viking is known with local influences that include traditional geometric Arabic patterns and terrazzo floors.

Tailored to accommodate just 48 guests, Viking Ra will sail on a new Egypt cruisetour, ‘Pharaohs & Pyramids’ next March.

The development by Viking, North America’s biggest river cruise operator is the latest sign that river cruising on the Nile could be poised for a comeback, after years of security fears.

Viking said Viking Ra’s interiors are being designed by the same team of architects and engineers that developed its popular Longships in Europe. The design will blend the clean Scandinavian design for which Viking is known with local influences that include traditional geometric Arabic patterns and terrazzo floors.

(Viking)

My Nile cruise review: HERE

RCI Returns To New Orleans

May 8, 2017

Vision of the Seas (Courtesy RCI)

Royal Caribbean International has announced its return to New Orleans with a seasonal home-based cruise ship in late 2018.

The Vision of the Seas will sail seven-night itineraries each Saturday, across the Bahamas and Yucatan Peninsula from the Port of New Orleans’ Julia Street Cruise Terminal.

Before repositioning to New Orleans on Dec. 15, 2018, Vision of the Seas will offer two 16-night sailings through the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles and from Los Angeles to New Orleans. This is the  –first time in three years a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has navigated through the Panama Canal.

(Royal Caribbean)

Former Carnival Jubilee To Be Scrapped

May 8, 2017

(Courtesy RCI)

Carnival Jubilee is finally destined for the scrapyard. She was sold by Carnival in 2004 and has sailed under several names since

When introduced in 1986, Jubilee was one of three Holiday-class ships, along with the Holiday and the Celebration. And while Jubilee was the first of her class to be sold, by 2009, Carnival had divested itself of all three. The ships were around 47,000 gross tonnes and carried approximately 1,800 passengers.

The ship formerly known as Celebration, which was sold by Carnival in 2007, is known as the MS Grand Celebration and has sailed with the Bahamas Paradise Cruise lines since 2015. The Holiday was sold by Carnival in 2009, and now sails as the MS Magellan for the British company Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

(Internet)

Magellan review: HERE

Magellan, Tilbury 18/07/15

PortMiami – New Terminal For NCL

May 5, 2017

(Courtesy Miamiandbeaches.com)

PortMiami is moving forward to construct a brand new $100 million cruise terminal (Terminal B) for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which will get preferential use of the terminal.

Full ‘Cruise Industry News’ article: HERE

AIDAperla Delivered

May 5, 2017

AIDAperla (Courtesy AIDA)

The AIDAperla has been delivered to AIDA Cruises.

The ship is 124,400 gross tonnes and carries 3,286

Earlier this week, the new ship left Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, Japan, en route to Europe for her first summer season cruising in the Mediterranean.

(AIDA)

‘Home’ Super-Yacht

May 5, 2017

Norwegian Sky Arrives In Cuba

May 4, 2017

(Image courtesy NCL)

Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship to sail to Cuba, made her maiden call in the capital city of Havana on the 2nd May, 2017. Norwegian Cruise Line executives were on board to celebrate the voyage, including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings President & CEO Frank Del Rio and Norwegian Cruise Line President & CEO Andy Stuart.

“Today is a momentous day for Norwegian Cruise Line, our guests and our travel agent partners, as we open our doors to Cuba’s natural beauty, warm people and historical treasures,” said Frank Del Rio. “Sailing into the Havana Harbour today, we were welcomed by the Cuban people with open arms and excitement to share their incredible culture with our guests.”

Yesterday’s call was the first of Norwegian Sky’s weekly roundtrip cruises from Miami to Cuba. The ship will sail a total of 53 four-day voyages to Cuba, with 52 including an overnight stay in the historical and culturally-rich capital of Havana. Norwegian Sky will bring guests to the very heart of Havana, offering guests the opportunity to visit historical sites such as Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; view incredible art and listen to the vibrant local music scene; and visit with Cuba’s warm and friendly residents through people-to-people exchanges. Norwegian offers a selection of 14 half and full-day OFAC-compliant shore excursions, where guests aboard Norwegian Sky will have the opportunity to have a farm to table dining experience, explore the flora and fauna of Soroa, see modern Havana in an American classic car and much more.

(NCL)

Malcolm says: RCI  beat NCL to Cuba: See HERE

MSC’s World Class Ships

May 3, 2017

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On the 6th April 2016, MSC Cruises announced that the STX France shipyard would be building up to four new cruise ships for them, called the “World Class”. (What a great play on words!)

These four ships will be delivered between 2022 and 2026.

This is MSC’s latest statement and they are giving very little away:

The WORLD CLASS ships are so groundbreaking we can only tell you that when we confirmed and announced the order for these four vessels at the Élysée Palace in Paris. Our founder, Gianluigi Aponte, was invited to meet STX’s CEO, Laurent Castaing, and none other than the President of the French Republic, François Hollande.

For the moment all we can tell you is that they are the most futuristic ships ever conceived, and their development at the moment is top secret, which means news and information will slowly be released over the next few years.

Start making plans for your future MSC experiences.

(MSC)

Malcolm says: “Information will slowly be released over the next few years”. I can’t wait that long, I’m far to impatient!

The slide-show above is just pure speculation.

We do know that MSC’s ‘World Class’ ships will exceed 200,000 gross tons, so they will be one of the biggest class of ships in the world, possibly only superseded by  RCI’s ‘Oasis’ class ships, depending how big Genting’s ‘Global Class’ (2019) and RCI’s ‘Icon’ (2022) newbuilds are. All these new ships are currently listed at around 200,000 gt. (Carnival’s LNG ships will be a little smaller at around 185,000 gt).