Carnival Four Ship Deal with Fincantieri

January 2, 2016
Courtesy of Fincantieri

Courtesy of Fincantieri

The Carnival Corporation  has announced that it has signed a memo of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build four new cruise ships with final contracts expected to be executed in 2016. Two of the four new ships will be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, and one will be built each for P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises. With the new agreement, Carnival Corporation has 17 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2020.

The four new ships will be built by Fincantieri, at the company’s shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020. The two new 135,500-ton ships for Costa Asia and one new ship for P&O Cruises Australia will carry 4,200 passengers.

Additionally, Princess Cruises’ new 143,700-ton ship will carry 3,560 passengers and will be its fourth “Royal Princess” class vessel, featuring the successful design platform used on Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess scheduled for delivery in 2017. Each of the four new ships will be specifically designed and developed for the brand and guests it will serve, and support the company’s overall goal of providing exceptional vacation experiences for its guests.

The new Costa Cruises Asia ships will also strengthen Costa Asia’s leadership and position in the region, as well as its commitment and confidence to continuously develop Asia Pacific and China to be one of the leading cruise markets in the world.

The new P&O Cruises Australia ship will join the leading cruise line’s fleet that was recently expanded with the addition of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden in November 2015 and will reach six total with the introduction of Pacific Explorer in 2017 to meet growing demand for cruises in Australia. The new 4,200-passenger ship will have the largest passenger capacity from the line, with the next largest ship, Pacific Explorer, carrying 2,250 passengers, and will continue the brand’s tradition of innovative ships that reflect modern Australia.


Malcolm says: Carnival have been treading water for quite a few years, but  they definitely swimming flat out now, with 17 new ships on the horizon.  While Royal Caribbean and the Norwegian Cruise Line are busy innovating, Carnival just make money.

Empress Re-joins The RCI Fleet

January 1, 2016
(Courtesy of Pullmantur)

Pullmantur Livery (Courtesy of Pullmantur)

Royal Caribbean has confirmed Empress of the Seas will return to its fleet following a restructuring of sister company Pullmantur cruises, the Spanish based cruise line.

Empress of the Seas, simply known as ‘Empress’ in Pullmantur, will return to Royal Caribbean’s fleet following an “extensive refurbishment” in Spring 2016. She will return to being called ‘Empress of the Seas’.

Empress entered service in 1990 and is 48,563 gross tonnes. She can accommodate 2,020 passengers and 685 crew members.

(Courtesy of RCI)

RCI Livery (Courtesy of RCI)


Marco Polo Refurbished

December 31, 2015

(Image courtesy of Damen Shiprepair)

Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen (in the Netherlands) recently completed work on the 800-passenger Marco Polo, which is owned by Global Maritime and operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Launched in 1964 as the Aleksandr Pushkin, the Marco Polo was in for general maintenance and refurbishment.

The project took around five weeks and included an exterior repainting, interior repair and maintenance.

Other work was carried out on the propellers and shafts and the air-conditioning units. The life-rafts and other safety equipment were also removed and serviced, the cranes and winches were overhauled.


(Image courtesy of Damen Shiprepair)

(Cruise Industry News)

Marco Polo Review: HERE

The Onassis Yacht

December 29, 2015

It’s not all about big ships:

The Christina ‘O’ (1943) was moored in London in 2012 and open to the public for a short period.

John & Jackie Kennedy and Winston Churchill were regular guests of millionaire Aristotle Onassis, before Jackie later married him.

Here are my images of this charming and very historic yacht:

Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel-le-Ferne

December 27, 2015

If you are traveling to Dover, UK, to embark on a cruise next year, I’d recommend stopping off at ‘Capel-le-Ferne.

Costa Cruises cuts out agents in UK

December 20, 2015


Costa Cruises has decided to cut out travel agents in the UK and to sell its cruises through its website and through its call centre.

“Costa Cruises confirm that we are introducing a different business model in the UK that will see all passenger bookings made directly through our call centre and online sales platform,” the report said.

(Courtesy of Costa)

(Courtesy of Costa)

“This transition is intended to reflect the evolving state of the UK market, centralising UK operations through a single, dedicated team based in Costa head office in Genoa. All 2016 bookings made by British travel agents will be unaffected and will be managed by those agencies with the full support of the Costa Cruises customer service team,” the report quoted the company as saying.

(Travel Weekly)

Malcolm says: The future? I can see a time when few high street travel agents will exist and most cruise and holiday bookings will be made ‘direct’.

Costa trials ‘Emotional’ Robot

December 19, 2015

The Costa Group is trialling a robot called ‘Pepper’ that’s can read ‘human emotions.’

The ideas is that Pepper will both assist and delight passengers on the ships of Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises ships.

Pepper has completed a very successful trial on board AIDAstell.

‘With an emotional robot on board our cruise ships we are once again continuing our tradition of innovation. For us, this is an important step towards a digital future for our brands. I am confident that our guests will love Pepper,’ Costa Group CEO Michael Thamm said.

The use of Pepper robots is part of an exclusive agreement, worth more than a million euros, Costa signed with the French company Aldebaran.

(Costa Group)

Malcolm says: RCI have a lot to answer for by introducing bionic bartenders to their Quantum class ships (see video below). Personally I’d prefer some attentive human staff to a robot!  I bet a high-tech robots cost a lot more to buy/operate than a human on a modest wage.


MSC Seaside Bookings Open

December 18, 2015


(Image courtesy of MSC)

(Image courtesy of MSC)

MSC Cruises has announced that MSC Seaside, the first ship of the cruise line’s “Seaside” generation of ships, is now open for booking. The ship will sail from Miami with the first sailing leaving on Dec. 21, 2017.

MSC has opened sales exclusively to MSC Voyager Club Members through December 29. Members that book between December 15-December 29 will receive their standard 5 percent discount that Voyagers Club members receive on all cruises plus a bonus All-Inclusive Classic drink package applicable to first and second guest in a stateroom on all seven night or longer MSC Seaside sailings, said the company.

On December 29, sales will open to the general public offering a special All-Inclusive Classic drink package, applicable to first and second guest in a stateroom on all seven night or longer MSC Seaside sailings for all bookings made by January 31, 2016.

Two ‘seaside’ vessels will be built at Italy’s Fincantieri ship yard. They will have a low-level promenade with shops, bars and al fresco dining options. They are due for delivery in November 2017 and May 2018, with an option for a third in 2021. At 154,000 gross tons, up to 5,300 passengers, the ships will be the largest ever built by Fincantieri.

MSC Seaside is being purpose-built for the North American market, which is a departure for the line that has traditionally built ships for European cruisers. MSC Cruises’ CEO Gianni Onorato says it’s meant to sail in warm weather, calling it “the ship that follows the sun.”



Meraviglia details see HERE

Boudicca at Tilbury

December 17, 2015


Fred Olsen’s ‘Boudicca’ was at Tilbury cruise terminal today, one of several visits this month.

Her brand new livery, with her dark grey hull, can be seen.

Boudicca - Tilbury 17th Dec. 2015

Boudicca – Tilbury 17th Dec. 2015

I love it! I have never been keen on all white ships. Boudicca looks like a proper ocean liner now. Her identical sister*, ‘Black watch’ will also look great when she gets her face-lift.


Boudicca (1973) and Black Watch (1972) are full of charm and at around 28,000 gross Tonnes, carrying 900 passengers, are arguably the perfect size.

See Boudicca’s original livery below.

Boudicca ship review HERE

*(There is  a third sister currently called Albatros, operated by German travel agent Phoenix Reisen).

Harmony Gets 10 Story Slide

December 16, 2015
(Courtesy of RCI)

(Courtesy of RCI)

Harmony of the Seas will have two 10 foot slide known as, “Ultimate Abyss.” These will not be water slides but will involve passengers riding on a mat.

The Ultimate Abyss will be the tallest slide at sea.

Ovation Gets New Show



When Royal Caribbean’s new-build ‘Ovation of the Seas’ enters service in April 2016, she will have a brand new show on-board called, “The Dream”.

There is no further information, but I guess it may be another Hi-Tech show in the 270 Degree lounge?

Ovation of the Seas is their third ‘Quantum’ class ship sand will be offering cruise itineraries  in Asia and Australia.

(Unofficial RCI Blog)

Anthem of the Seas Review


Ripcord -Anthem of The Seas (Click to enlarge)

One of the biggest ships in the world inspired me to write one of the longest reviews in the world (well probably) – it’s around 6,000 words!

Here is a short extract:

“Anthem is different to all other RCI ship. If fact she did not feel like a RCI ship to me. This is because the ships basic design is not unlike NCL’s new ships, with multiple dining options and multiple entertainment venues”.


Anthem of the Seas review HERE


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