CroisiEurope Builds Second Ship For The Elbe

January 28, 2017
Elbe Princesse (Courtesy CroisiEurope)

Elbe Princesse (Courtesy CroisiEurope)

CroisiEurope has started construction on a third paddle wheel riverboat to be called MS Elbe Princesse II, to cruise the shallow Elbe River.

This follows the success of the MS Loire Princesse in 2015 and the Elbe Princesse in 2016.

Taking into consideration the navigational limitations on these rivers, MS Elbe Princesse II also has only two decks, a very shallow hull draft and stern paddlewheels. These  do not require a lot of water under them, compared to conventional propellers. .

MS Elbe Princesse II will be the second ship operating between Berlin and Prague on the Elbe and the Vltava Rivers.


Malcolm says: Old propulsion technology being used on a new ship, clever. However I have heard that these ships can rattle a bit at higher speeds.

Interestingly the MS Loire Princesse (not surprisingly cruising on the River Loire) has two paddle wheels, one mounted on each side of her hull. However the Elbe Princesse has two mounted at her stern.

I wonder why the difference? Maybe the best technical location for paddle wheels is on the ships sides. Maybe this allows for more manoeuvrability? Maybe the Elbe is too just narrow for that configuration?

Loire Princesse (Courtesy Croisieurope)

Loire Princesse (Courtesy Croisieurope)

The British ocean going paddle steamer, the PS Waverly (1946) has two paddle wheels, one on the on the port side of the hull and the other on the starboard side of her hull. This is similar to the Loire Princesse.

However traditionally the Mississippi type paddle-steamers of course have one very large stern paddle wheel. This of course has more in common with the Elbe Princesse, although she has two smaller stern mounted paddle wheels rather than one large one.

American Queen: the biggest, carrying 436 passengers

American Queen: the biggest, carrying 436 passengers

Can anybody tell me why there are two different paddle-wheel locations on these ship?


The Carnival Horizon to Launch in Europe

January 25, 2017
(Courtney Carnival)

(Courtesy Carnival)

Carnival Horizon will debut in April of 2018 and will offer a short Mediterranean season  before moving to New York in May.

The ship will be 133,500 gross tons and be able to carry 3,936 guests at double occupancy.

(Courtney Carnival)

(Courtesy Carnival)

“Carnival Vista delivered the next generation of ship for our brand with new, never-before-seen features at sea. From our amazing SkyRide and the WaterWorks aqua park to first IMAX Theatre on a cruise ship, Carnival Vista has offered our guests a brand new view of fun.  With Carnival Horizon, we continue to expand those themes to provide guests of all ages with the ultimate fun vacation with Carnival!” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.



(Courtesy Carnival)

Images of Carnival Horizon Staterooms: HERE

Expedition Cruise Ship Boom

January 24, 2017

The expedition cruise ship market booming.

There have been orders from a number of existing cruise lines and one new market entrant placed since last March 2016.

There are 12 orders which include Hurtigruten (two ships), Oceanwide (one ship), Hapag-Lloyd (two ships), Ponant (four ships), Crystal (three ships) a new market entrant (one ship).

New Ships for Princess and HAL

January 22, 2017
(Courtesy HAL)

(Courtesy HAL)

The Carnival Corporation has announced that it had signed a memorandum of agreement with Fincantieri to build two new cruise ships for Holland America and Princess.

With the new agreement, Carnival Corporation now has 19 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2017 and 2022.

Holland America Line’s new ship will be built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera, Italy, with an expected delivery in 2021, and the ship for Princess Cruises will be built at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone, Italy, shipyard with an expected delivery in 2022.

Holland America Line’s new 99,500-ton, 2,660-guest ship will be its third “Pinnacle” class vessel, following the design of the line’s newest and largest ship, ms Koningsdam, and its sister ship, Nieuw Statendam, scheduled for delivery in November 2018.

Princess Cruises’ new 145,000-ton ship will carry 3,660 passengers and will be its sixth “Royal” class vessel.

The two yet-to-be-named vessels also under construction by Fincantieri scheduled for delivery in 2019 and 2020.


Symphony of the Seas

January 20, 2017
Oasis (M.Oliver)

Oldest Sister: Oasis of the seas

The name for Royal Caribbean’s fourth Oasis class ship has been leaked.

The release allegedly came from FlowRider, Inc, which manufactures Royal’s signature surf simulators.

In the line’s exclusive announcement that the fourth Oasis-class ship will feature two simulators, the name Symphony of the Seas was revealed. The post has since been taken down from the website.

There is even an image from the shipyard which shows a partial name on the ships hull: “Symph…” so I take that as proof positive.

The ship is currently under construction and like its sister ship, Harmony of the Seas, will sit amongst the largest cruise ships in the world.

There has not been any details on itineraries or the ship itself revealed as of yet, although the line’s International CEO, Michael Bayley, confirmed in an interview that Royal’s next  ship will be coming to the United States, following a brief European summer season.

Bayley has also recently referenced the fourth in the line’s Quantum class by a name unheard of until now: “In 2019 we will have Quantum Plus.”


Oasis review: HERE

Genting World Dream Keel Laid

January 18, 2017

Genting Hong Kong and Meyer Werft recently laid the keel of ‘World Dream’ during a ceremony held in Papenburg, Germany on Tuesday, January 10.

This will be ‘Dream Cruises’ second luxury ship.

“After the successful debut of Genting Dream last November and the wonderful reception the ship has experienced from our guests, we are excited to start the construction process on World Dream,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Genting Hong Kong. “World Dream will push the bar even higher for the cruise industry through her quality construction and customized design, best in class service and diverse range of entertainment, dining, leisure and recreation options – all complemented by Dream Cruises’ Asian at Heart, International in Spirit hospitality.”

World Dream will join her sister ship ‘Genting Dream’ November 2017. Dream Cruises will have the newest fleet which is 100 percent dedicated to the Asia cruise market.

Genting Dream Itineraries

Dream Cruises has now announced summer 2017 cruise itineraries for the Genting Dream.

Beginning on April 2, the Genting Dream will set sail from her dual homeports of Hong Kong and Nansha, Guangzhou on five-night voyages to Naha and Miyakojima in Okinawa, Japan.

There will also be two-night weekend cruises sailing from Hong Kong


Oriana’s Refit

January 16, 2017

We’re excited to announce that Oriana has undergone a refit to improve the overall cruise experience for our guests. After listening to your feedback, we collaborated with leading cruise-industry architects Richmond on a refit programme that encompasses updates to the cabins, suites, entertainment areas, restaurants, bars and public areas and brought Oriana up to the high standards that we hold across our entire fleet. We have of course retained Oriana’s most distinctive features, but guests can now enjoy new luxurious materials, soft furnishings and carpets, upgraded furniture, improved lighting, rich colour schemes and the ultimate in comfort and relaxation.

Refit Summary

Traditional cruising at its best has become even better. Oriana has undergone a fabulous makeover by Richmond International (famed for creating luxury hotels on six continents, as well as our own beautiful Britannia).

She returns with defining features such as her Tiffany glass ceiling and Art Deco accents still in pride of place. Yet, elsewhere you’ll find subtle changes including renewed cabins, suites, entertainment areas, restaurants, bars and public areas. Looking forward to seeing her revitalised interiors? We can’t wait to welcome you back on board.

The Peninsular & Oriental Restaurants

The Peninsular and Oriental Restaurants are Oriana’s elegant main dining rooms, welcoming hundreds of guests each night and offering world-class dining surrounded by graceful décor and magnificent ocean views.

To refresh the areas, we have replaced the carpets and curtains, upgraded the lighting and changed the colour schemes in both restaurants. This rejuvenation ensures that you can continue to dine in elegance and style for years to come.


We know that the place you rest your head while on holiday is one of the most important aspects of a relaxing break. Your cabin should be where you look forward to heading to at the end of the day, and a space for some much-needed time out during busy holiday activities.

To that end, we’ve replaced all soft furnishings with more modern and elegant designs, and repaired furniture to a high standard or replaced it. Bathrooms and toilets have undergone repairs and upgrades to bring them up to the standard that our guests deserve, and maintenance work on balconies ensure that you see the sunset in style and comfort.

Salon, Spa & Gym

To offer guests the best salon treatments, we have introduced a new pedicure station and upgraded salon equipment such as the washbasins and treatment beds, so guests can be pampered to their heart’s content.

Our Spa has a new look, too, we have refurbished the spa and relaxation areas to rival your favourite spa on dry land. We’ve uplifted the sauna, steam-room, whirlpool and changing areas with new tiling, modern furniture and contemporary equipment. And also an improved layout meaning that you can focus on pounding the pounds in the gym area, while the relaxation areas are all about escaping to a calming retreat with soothing décor and natural effects such as wood, flowers and plants.

The Conservatory and The Beach House

Wherever you dine on board Oriana, we want to you to experience the best of our service. The Conservatory and The Beach House include new service counters as well as increased seating and two-seater tables so more guests can enjoy what both areas have to offer.

We also want you to enjoy the elegance and classic luxury of cruising in every part of the ship, so we’ve introduced new lighting designs, upgraded the furniture and replaced the carpet throughout the areas to ensure a refreshed and reinvigorated dining space.


Named after P&O founder Arthur Anderson, rest assured Anderson’s bar has retained its sense of understated luxury. Only now, it’s an even more ideal venue for a pre-dinner tipple or a relaxing nightcap, with stylishly elegant new bar stools, sofas, chairs, tables, lamps, carpets and rugs.

(Text/Images Courtesy P&O)

Amadeus Provence – The New Flagship

January 15, 2017

Many of you may not have heard of Amadeus river cruises (formerly Luftner cruises) before, at least until you read my blog.

Amadeus are a family owned business (the Austrian Luftner family) who will introduce their fourteenth river ship in April year.

I have now cruised with them twice simply because of their good quality product and some very competitive fares.

Their new ship called ‘Amadeus Provence’ (not Silver 4) is currently being built in the Dutch shipyard ‘De Hoop’.

She will be 110 meters long and carry 140 passengers. She is  shorter than some newbuilds, probably because of the constraints the rivers she will be cruising on. She will sailing on the French rivers Rhône and Saône.

Amadeus Provence (Click to Enlarge)

Amadeus Provence (Click to Enlarge)

In their own words: The AMADEUS Provence offers custom-designed luxury and features a unique combination of modern elegance and superb amenities:
8 spacious Suites with comfortable corner sofa, luxurious bathroom and walk-out exterior balcony
62 Staterooms with mainly drop-down panoramic windows, luxurious bathrooms and walk-in wardrobes
Spacious public areas such as the pool deck with swimming pool and Lido-Bar or the outdoor glass-shielded “River Terrace”.

The AMADEUS Provence will transport you on the river cruise of a lifetime. Don’t miss the breath-taking 8-day cruise “French Savoir Vivre” from/to Lyon and experience world-famous sights such as Pont du Gard, Gorges de l´Ardèche, the nature reserve Camargue und the wine area Beaujolais. 

The design of Provence is a little different to all the other Amadeus ships.

The ship has to pass under a number of low bridges on these itineraries, which means the sun deck has to regularly be closed to passengers.

However I believe the new ‘pool deck’ at the stern (not featured on any of their other ships) is located lower so it can still be used when the sun deck is closed.


Amadeus Silver II ship review: HERE

Amadeus Elegant ship review HERE

Crystal Cuts Riverboat Steel

January 11, 2017

Crystal Cruises and MV Werften today celebrated the cutting of the first piece of steel in Wismar,  Germany.

This  ceremony marks the start of construction of Crystal River Cruises’ two additional Rhine-class river yachts, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, scheduled to sail in spring 2018.

The first plates of the 106-guest river ships were cut in the presence of the Genting Group Executive Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay and numerous other guests.


Malcolm says: I don’t doubt the quality of Crystal’s cruise products. However unless they give me a free cruise (which is very unlikely) you will not see a Crystal review on this site. Unfortunately I can’t afford their fares!

Crowded Waters

January 10, 2017

There has been a lot of talk about the increasing number of ocean cruise ships in the past decade. In particular about the negative impact of mega-ships on the environment and their ports of call.

There are now ships on order that will carry in excess of 6,000 passengers, plus crew.

However, what about European river cruising which is a now booming business?

‘Viking River Cruises’ are a good example of success and expansion…

Read more…HERE

A busy Danube - Three Amadeus vessels (Click to enlarge)

A busy Danube – Three Amadeus vessels (Click to enlarge)