MSC Cruises Celebrates Construction Milestone For LNG-Propelled MSC World Europa

A maritime coin ceremony tradition took place earlier this week at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France when the keel was laid for MSC Cruises’ first liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, MSC World Europa.

The 200,000-plus GT ship is scheduled to enter service in 2022 and be one of most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNG-powered cruise vessels in its class, and the first ever to be built in France.

Zoe Africa Vago, daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago and her husband Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, and Aurore Bezard from the HR Department of Chantiers de I’Atlantique performed the traditional maritime ritual as godmothers representing the ship owner and the shipbuilder when they placed two coins under the keel as the historical sign of blessing and good fortune for the project, and the ship’s operational life at sea.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “MSC World Europa is further proof of our commitment to environmental stewardship as she is set to reduce carbon emissions even further than many other existing cruise ships powered by LNG, which is currently the most environmentally-friendly fuel for commercial maritime operations. With this vessel, we also reconfirm our belief in investing in advanced environmental technology to meet our long-term goal of zero emissions from operations.”

Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, added: “We are proud to start the building of a ship which will set the standards for the cruise of the future. This is a major milestone in the history of our 20-year cooperation with MSC Cruises, which has already resulted in some of the most innovative cruise ships ever built.

MSC World Europa will feature a new 50-kilowatt demonstrator system that incorporates solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and use LNG to produce electricity and heat on board, the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship.

This SOFC solution fuelled by LNG will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by about 30 per cent compared with a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles.  It also  offers the advantage of being compatible with LNG, as well as several low carbon fuels  such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.

MSC World Europa will also feature a new generation wastewater treatment system that exceeds some of the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, as well other cutting-edge environmental technology.

MSC Cruises’ next flagship MSC Virtuosa is currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire and readying for delivery next year. The Company also has firm orders with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for two additional LNG-powered ships, once each for the MSC World and Meraviglia classes of ships.

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Posted in Cruise News, MSC Cruises

Majestic Princess sailings To Debut From Los Angeles As Part Of Princess Cruises West Coast 2021 – 2022 Season

Princess Cruises welcomes Majestic Princess to Los Angeles adding to the robust deployment visiting top destinations including Mexico, Hawaii and the California Coast. On sale July 8, 2020, five ships will sail from the west coast including departures from Los Angeles and San Francisco, giving guests’ diverse experiences from wine tasting in California to culinary delights in Mexico to tropical island-life in Hawaii.

Majestic Princess will sail from Los Angeles for the first time sailing on 7-day Mexican Riviera voyages throughout the season as well as 7-day Classic California Coast voyages in the autumn and spring. In spring 2022, Discovery Princess joins Majestic Princess sailing from Los Angeles on 7-day voyages to Mexico and California – two sister ships on their maiden seasons from Los Angeles. Grand Princess also sails roundtrip from Los Angeles on either her 15-day Hawaiian Islands or 10-day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez voyages. Ruby Princess will sail her second season of Hawaii, Mexico, and California Coast sailings roundtrip from San Francisco, including a pair of Panama Canal – Ocean to Ocean voyages transiting the famed Panama Canal.

Princess MedallionClass is available for all west coast destinations on select ships, offering guests the MedallionClass experience including expedited embarkation, keyless stateroom entry, on-demand food and beverage delivery, the ability to locate friends and family, as well as the ability to stream your favourite shows, post photos and video chat with MedallionNet,™ the best Wi-Fi at sea, and more.

Additional 2021-22 west coast season sailing from September 2021 through April 2022 include:

Cruises to Mexico 
Majestic Princess and Discovery Princess (in Spring 2022) debut at the Port of Los Angeles, offering 25 cruises to the Mexican Riviera, including seven-day options to favourite ports including Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

Ruby Princess returns as San Francisco hometown ship to offer three, 10-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera from the Port of San Francisco, offering a memorable sail away under the Golden Gate Bridge. Guests will visit Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. In addition, Grand Princess and Sapphire Princess will sail seven, 10-day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez voyages, visiting Cabo San Lucas (overnight), La Paz, Loreto, and Puerto Vallarta, roundtrip from Los Angeles.
Whether ashore or onboard, guests will be surrounded by the local culture with regionally inspired menu items such as ceviche, tacos, mole, margaritas, and even a premium tequila tasting. Live Mariachi Bands will serenade guests performing traditional songs throughout the ship and younger cruisers can create Mexican crafts while learning about the traditions and customs of the places they’ll visit.

Cruises to the Hawaiian Islands
With two homeports offering 15-day roundtrip cruises to Hawaii, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, guests can choose their perfect itinerary island-hopping to Maui, Oahu, Kauai, and Hilo on Grand Princess and Sapphire Princess (Los Angeles) or Ruby Princess (roundtrip San Francisco).

During days at sea, guests can experience the Hawaiian Aloha Spirit with unique activities including lei-making, ukulele playing, hula dance lessons, Polynesian language classes, and even a farewell Hawaiian luau. Plus, delicious locally-inspired cuisine and beverages fill the daily menus.

Cruises to the California and Pacific Northwest Coasts
Princess Cruises offers two homeports from which to explore the relaxed lifestyle and scenic beauty of the California and Pacific Northwest Coasts.

Sailing seven-day cruises from Los Angeles onboard Discovery Princess and Majestic Princess and seven-day cruises from San Francisco aboard Ruby Princess, guests will experience coastal towns and cities including San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Monterey. Shorter, three-to five-day cruises also highlight these coastal towns as well as Ensenada, Mexico. Guests can enjoy another seven-day cruise opportunity from San Francisco on Ruby Princess that visits the historic cities in the Pacific Northwest including Astoria and Seattle.

Princess has also developed immersive shore excursion offerings in collaboration with Bill Esparza, James Beard award-winning cookbook author and leading expert on Latin American cuisine. Guests sailing the California Coast are invited to sample local cuisine, specifically focused on the Latin American influence in California. Esparza has developed exclusive culinary shore excursions for Princess in Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Ensenada. Princess also offers excursions to the California wine country, visiting local vineyards and winemakers throughout the region.

Captain’s Circle Savings
Princess Cruises past guests are eligible for a discount off launch fares when they book by November 30, 2020. This discount can be combined with launch and group promotions. These discounts do not apply to third or fourth berth guests.

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Posted in Cruise News, Princess Cruises

CMV Extends Suspension Of Cruises Until 25th August 2020

Due to the continued escalation of the global pandemic outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, Government advisories still in force and the lockdown of many countries and ports around the world, Cruise & Maritime Voyages has taken the decision to further extend the suspension of all its worldwide cruises from 1st July to 25th August 2020.

There were no reported cases of COVID-19 coronavirus on any of the lines small to medium-sized ships. The top and overriding priority has been the health and safety of their passengers and crew and they have been safely repatriated onboard the vessels now returned to their home ports in the UK & Germany.

Exceptional Value Transfer Offer

For those affected by this suspension, we know that you will have been looking forward to your cruising holiday and will want to cruise with CMV at a later date. That’s why they are continuing to offer a 125% Future Cruise Credit Voucher on the amount paid for the cruise fare.

Visit the CMV website for further details.

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Posted in Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cruise News

Hurtigruten Establishes Dover As UK Home Port For 2021 Expedition Sailings

Hurtigruten has launched 4 adventurous itineraries as expedition cruises from March 2021, on sale from 20 June.

The health and safety of guests and staff has always been the number one priority for Hurtigruten. Following guidelines recommended by the Norwegian Government, the company has built on existing protocols to introduce additional practices to ensure safe, sustainable and enjoyable expedition cruising.

MS Maud – a small, sustainable, expedition cruise ship

Taking less than 500 passengers, MS Maud will be freshly refurbished prior to her arrival in Dover. She goes into the refurb project as the currently in-service MS Midnatsol, already well-known to those who have sailed on Hurtigruten’s Coastal route in Norway.

As part of the multi-million-pound refurb project, MS Maud will proudly emerge with all new public areas. Natural Scandinavian materials will be used to seamlessly bring the great outdoors inside – Scandinavian wool, pine, birch, oak, and granite will unknowingly provide the perfect backdrop to your voyage from Dover.

Three new restaurants will be introduced – Aune, the main restaurant; Fredheim, for casual international dining; and Lindstrom, our exclusive fine dining restaurant. Each serving cuisine with character, locally sourced in line with our sustainability principles.

Departing directly from Dover

Eliminating a flight adds convenience and ease to your expedition cruise. You can begin your adventure from much closer to home and immediately you swiftly pass through the gorgeous cruise terminal, without suitcase restrictions or the need to pack and unpack multiple times. Dover is very well connected by road and rail, so joining is simple and quick, be it by private or public transport. Your fellow British passengers will be kindred spirits as you venture forth on your expedition.

Expedition cruising

At Hurtigruten, we actively shun the bright lights and the crowds of mass tourism; instead, we visit remote nature destinations; we engage in unassuming beach cleans; we showcase local wildlife; we take part in Citizen Science experiments; and we learn from each other and from the Expedition Team. You’ll certainly not get any stuffy formality, nor the needless luxury of boutique cruising, nor will you feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of your ship, the number of guests or the razzmatazz of ‘big white ship’ cruising.

In the recent past, MS Midnatsol has been in service in Antarctica, where she was heralded as the blueprint for modern expedition cruising in both size and facilities – most significantly, the tender pits and purpose-built platforms used to launch her fleet of expedition boats for landings and local exploration. These will be in use regularly as we bring expedition cruising to Dover.

Leading the cruise industry in sustainability and environmental standards

The very latest fuel and environmental advances will be incorporated ‘below decks’ as part of MS Maud’s refurbishment. The ship will be powered on BIOFUEL, mixed in with regular diesel, to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Furthermore, the BIOFUEL used will be environmentally certified and made from waste produce from other industries including fishing, meaning no palm oil used in its production and no negative effects on rainforests. Once in port, where possible, MS Maud will be fitted with shore power connectivity eliminating emissions whilst alongside.

Citizen Science

MS Midnatsol is a tried-and-tested thoroughbred and pioneer in expedition cruising, and through the refurb, MS Maud will emerge even stronger. A state-of-the-art Science Center is the ‘beating heart’ of all expedition cruises, and MS Maud’s will be complete with the very latest tech and experiment apparatus, touch screens and microscopes. Guests will not be disappointed, and the Science Center will become the hub to informally learn from the Expedition Team on topics ranging from geology to ornithology, from Northern Lights to the conservation and Citizen Science projects we support.

Crafted expedition cruise itineraries

Each of our 4 expedition itineraries visit hard-to-reach destinations, which test seamanship and resolve, and as a result, provide unique experiences to savour and share.

Norway’s winter fjords and the Northern Lights – 15-day voyages visiting Norway’s southern fjords and Arctic North. Highlights include Stavanger, Alesund, off-the-beaten-track Lofoten Islands, 2 days in Tromso, the North Cape and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bergen.  Hurtigruten’s unique Northern Lights Promise applies.

Departures from Dover in March 2021, and Oct 2021 – March 2022

Summertime in Norway’s fjords and her islands – 15-day voyages along the Norwegian coast, known to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, with countless fjords, mountains and charming coastal villages. Norway has been Hurtigruten’s backyard for 127 years – explore the hidden gems, handpicked by your expedition cruise experts.

Departures from Dover in Apr – September 2021

The British Isles – 13-day expedition cruise visiting remote islands off the British mainland – less-visited, mysterious and varied, where the elements, the coastline and the indigenous wildlife are to be both respected and revered. Highlights include Fishguard, Rathlin Island (excursion to Giants Causeway possible), Iona, Staffa (sail by scenic cruising of Fingal’s Cave), St Kilda, Stornoway, Islay, Isle of Man, Waterford, Isles of Scilly and Dartmouth.

Departures from Dover in May – September 2021

Southern Scandinavia – 15-day voyage offers expedition, culture, wildlife and nature, combined with urban exploration. Across 4 countries we encounter wide, white sandy beaches in Germany and Denmark, peaceful archipelagos and charming marinas in Sweden and the beautiful fjords and islets of Norway. Highlights include the Kiel Canal, Skagen, Koster, the Weather Islands, Oslo, Hardanger and Lysefjord.

Departures from Dover in June & July 2021

Voyages are on sale from 20 June 2020.

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Posted in Cruise News, Hurtigruten

Cunard Extends Pause In Operations

Luxury cruise line Cunard, announced today that, as a result of the continued impact of Covid-19, it will be extending the pause in operations.

For its ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, Cunard is cancelling all sailings that were due to depart up to and including 1 November, 2020 and for Queen Elizabeth, departures up to and including the 23 November, 2020.

Cunard President, Simon Palethorpe, said, “With many differing restrictions across countries, people’s ability to move freely and safely across borders remains seemingly someway in the distance. For Cunard, where we celebrate having a truly international mix of guests and sail all over the world, this becomes particularly impactful. We also need to better understand the implications Covid-19 will have on board our ships. We are therefore working, at the highest level possible, with government bodies, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the CDC – and Public Health England, as well as the industry collective body – CLIA – and other expert medical professionals to review every aspect of a holiday with us.”

He added: “Whilst we have always taken pride in having the highest levels of health and safety we are looking at enhanced protocols across all aspects of ship life and experiences on shore. We will only return to service when we have a comprehensive restart protocol with the stamps of approval and accreditation from the most trusted and informed sources.”

Cunard will be communicating with all guests, and their travel advisors, who are booked on affected voyages.

As Cunard has done previously during this pause period, guests who are booked on cancelled voyages will automatically be given a 125% Future Cruise Credit. This can be redeemed against any new booking made by the end of December 2021 on any voyage that’s on sale at the time of booking.

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Posted in Cruise News, Cunard Cruise Line

MSC Cruises Looks Ahead To The 2021 Cruise Season And Updates On 2020 Sailings Pause

As the world continues to face the challenges of the pandemic and with significant travel restrictions still in place in many regions, today MSC Cruises announced that it will further extend the temporary fleet-wide halt of its cruise operation through to 31 July 2020.

UK & Irish guests affected by the cancelled cruises will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for 125% of their cruise value which can be used on any ship, for any itinerary — through to the end of 2021. All Future Cruise Credits will be issued automatically. Guests will be able to redeem their FCC voucher starting from June 21 and reschedule their cruise to a time that suits them. For guests who do not wish to accept the Future Cruise Credit are entitled to apply for a refund equal to the original amount of the cruise fare paid only and the additional 25% will not be included. For full details on redeeming your FCC please see the voucher, contact your travel agent or visit the MSC Cruises website.

For all guests who are currently booked on cruises between 1 August and 31 October 2020 their bookings will be covered under an extension of the Company’s Flexible Cruise Programme allowing guests to reschedule their cruise to a future departure date through to 31 December 2021 up to 48-hours prior to the original cruise departure or, for Fly&Cruise packages, up to 96-hours prior to the flight departure.

In addition, today the Swiss-based cruise line reconfirmed its full Summer Programme for 2021, starting in March 2021, which will include two new ships currently under construction and a series of new or enriched itineraries and homeports.

Below are key highlights of MSC Cruises Summer 2021 programme, which features all 17 vessels currently part of the Company’s fleet as well as the two new ships currently still under construction, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore, for a total of 19.

MSC Cruises’ summer 2021 programme offers guests a huge amount of choice and flexibility, so whatever a guest needs from their holiday there is something for everyone to book with confidence.

  • A cruise length to suit everyone from mini-cruises of 3 or 4-nights, standard 7-night cruises to longer cruises of 9, 11 and 14-nights
  • With 19 ships to choose from guests can opt for more traditional, charming ships to larger and modern ships with an abundance of outdoor space
  • An unparalleled number of embarkation ports so that guests can find the one that is most convenient and easily connected to them however they like to travel

In addition to a tempting array of destinations, MSC Cruises’ ships offer a rich and enjoyable onboard experience with an award-winning family offering, world-class entertainment, superb international dining experiences all on board glamourous, modern ships with comfortable and spacious cabins, plenty of public spaces and cutting-edge technology. Not forgetting the exclusive MSC Yacht Club on Fantasia, Meraviglia and Seaside class ships, for those guests looking for even more personal service and private facilities.

Iconic Seaside Class Ships Set to be Sun-Kissed Stars of the Western Mediterranean

MSC Cruises’ three innovative, award-winning Seaside-class ships, designed to bring guests closer to the sea, will all be deployed together for the first time in the Western Mediterranean. These ships – MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview and MSC Seashore – have been designed for the warmer weather with more generous outdoor space and are the perfect ships for guests who want to enjoy the sunshine and stunning ocean views in this popular cruise region.

MSC Seashore will now come into service from 1 August 2021 due to the delay that was caused by the temporary closure of the shipyard due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for this period, MSC Fantasia will temporarily cover her itinerary (with guests receiving a shipboard credit of €100 for this change.) MSC Seashore will have the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet and will offer the popular ‘Six Pearls’ itinerary calling the Italian cities of Genoa and, for visits to Pompeii, Naples; Messina, Sicily; Valletta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.

She will be joined by sister ships MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview in their Genoa homeport and operate ever-popular 7-night cruises that sail the world’s most glamourous sea. And the Company will return to Tunisia from August when MSC Fantasia performs 7-night cruises from Genoa calling Marseille, Barcelona, the port of La Goulette in Tunis, Palermo and Civitavecchia.

Nine to 12-night cruises will also be available from Genoa, Italy in late summer to Morocco, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Portugal, Greece and Israel with MSC Poesia calling in the beautiful port of Haifa.

Enriched Eastern Mediterranean Itineraries

New for summer 2021, MSC Lirica will be deployed from Venice, Italy and will also offer embarkation in the northern Italian port of Trieste with stunning itinerary calling Zadar, Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro and Corfu in Greece.

In addition, MSC MusicaMSC OrchestraMSC Opera and MSC Sinfonia, will offer 7-night itineraries also departing from Venice and calling the Greek islands, Montenegro and Croatia.

Inspirational Range of Itineraries in Northern Europe

From 8 May the brand new state-of-the-art MSC Virtuosa will spend her first summer season with 7- to 14-night cruises from the German port of Kiel, Germany alternating between the fjords and the Baltic capitals, with all itineraries offering embarkation in both Kiel and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The famous fjords of the Norwegian west coast and the Baltic Capitals can also be enjoyed on a 7-night to 14-night (back to back) itinerary available on MSC Splendida and she will also offer longer 10 and 11-night cruises to the Baltic capitals or North Cape.

MSC Magnifica will homeport in Southampton, UK and offer 7-night itineraries to the magical fjords of Norway, 14-nights to the Baltic capitals or the Mediterranean in mid-August, 12-nights to the Canary Islands and a 7-night cruise to calling the “Northern Pearls” of Hamburg, Germany; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Zeebrugge, Belgium and Le Havre, France.

MSC Preziosa will offer from 9- to 14-night itineraries from Hamburg with destinations in Ireland, Iceland and North Cape and Spitzbergen in Norway.

Sun-soaked Caribbean and The Bahamas

Known as “the ship for all seasons”, MSC Meraviglia will offer 7-night cruises from Miami in Florida departing every Saturday, while the classic and charming MSC Armonia will offer new shorter 3-and 4-night getaway cruises also from Miami departing on Mondays and Fridays and calling Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

New for next summer, the elegant MSC Divina will sail for the first time from Port Canaveral, Florida – a new homeport for MSC Cruises – and offer a mix of 3-, 4- and 7-night cruises departing on Sundays and Thursdays. With this new home port, MSC Cruises’ guests will now have the option of exploring the Orlando area pre- or post-cruise and extending their holiday experience.

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will remain a key highlight of cruises in the Caribbean, with all three ships calling at the private island destination in The Bahamas. Exclusive to MSC Cruises’ guests, the private island — located just 65 miles from Miami, — is surrounded by 64 square miles of marine reserve, offering guests a unique opportunity to discover local marine life, soak up the spirit of Bahamian culture and reconnect with themselves and each other.

Guests can spend a full day enjoying two miles of pristine beachfront across eight world class beaches with a wide selection of ocean discovery activities like deep-sea fishing, snorkelling adventures, stand up paddle boarding, and kayaking. In the evening, the island comes alive with a spectacular lighthouse show, an authentic, high-energy Junkanoo parade and dancing under the stars with live music from Bahamian artists and DJs.

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Posted in Cruise News, MSC Cruises

SeaDream Yacht Club To Resume Sailings In Norway Later This Month

SeaDream Yacht Club is to resume some sailings in just a few weeks, with the focus being on some of the most stunning ports in Norway and they are available to book right now and will sail through until September.

The newly announced voyages include two options: a 7-day voyage to Bergen and a 12-day voyage with 3 days in Lofoten, one of Norway’s premier destinations. SeaDream’s voyages are unlike any other luxury travel experience. With an onboard lifestyle that exemplifies casual yachting, SeaDream sails to some of the region’s smallest ports and harbours, affording guests the opportunity to feel as if they are on their own private escape.

Norwegian itinerary highlights include:

Bergen – Known to Norwegians as “the Heart of the Fjords”, Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway. Two 7-day voyages will embark in Bergen and disembark in Oslo, with a third voyage embarking in Oslo and disembarking in Bergen. Additionally, all six of the 12-day voyages will offer opportunities to explore Bergen’s houses on hillsides, cobblestone alleys, and world-renowned gastronomy.

Olden – A small village located at the mouth of the Oldeelva river, Olden is Norway’s gateway to the glaciers. SeaDream guests will have the opportunity to explore its steep mountains and roaring waterfalls as well as many historic sites on all nine voyages.

Ålesund – SeaDream guests will delight in the Art Nouveau architecture and scenic landscapes of this town which stretches across several islands in the Atlantic Ocean. This destination is included in all nine of SeaDream’s new Norwegian itineraries.

Lofoten – A long-beloved summer destination for Norwegians, the Lofoten Islands are draped across the Norwegian Sea, far above the Arctic Circle. SeaDream guests onboard the 12-day voyages will enjoy 3 days in Lofoten filled with unforgettable views of majestic mountains, breath-taking fjords, and surf-swept beaches while basking in up to 24 hours of sunlight per day.

Additional new ports in the new itineraries include Geiranger, Flam, Rosendal, Skagen, Rorvk, and Tromso.

SeaDream’s yachts were repositioned to Lisbon when travel restrictions came into place and her crew have been working hard to ensure everything is ship-shape for when guests return. The installation of a basketball hoop by the pool deck, yoga, and other activities have kept the crew busy and active. The Chefs have spent the time coming up with new dishes, and the deck crew has painted, replaced teak deck, and other maintenance tasks without inconveniencing guests onboard.

This is fantastic news for the cruise industry and SeaDream are one of the first lines to kickstart cruising. I’m genuinely excited to see our ships once again back where there should be and showing people how incredible our world really is.

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Posted in seadream yacht club

Incredible Celebrations To Enjoy Around The World With Scenic In 2021

As lockdown begins to ease, turn your attention to ticking off that bucket-list next year as Scenic highlights a number of its itineraries that coincide with incredible celebrations around the world.

Cherry Blossom season in Japan

Join in hanami, the act of observing and appreciating cherry blossom in viewing season, on Scenic’s 19-day Essential Japan tour. Travelling from Tokyo to Osaka and visiting some of the most incredible places Japan has to offer, highlights of the itinerary include a visit to Fuji Five Lakes, the Miyagawa morning markets in Takayama, and Kyoto’s classical Zen garden at Ryoan-ji. Join Scenic’s 22 March 2021 departure to visit the incredible sights at the start of blossom season right across Japan.

Celebrate Diwali and the Pushkar Camel Fair in India

Wonder at the vibrancy of the festival of lights before immersing yourself in the annual Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan on Scenic’s 18-day Jewels of India tour. Be enchanted by the mesmerising holy city of Varanasi with a sunset river cruise on the mythical Ganges River before exploring magnificent World Heritage-listed temples in Khajurahoo. Marvel at the Taj Mahal while enjoying sundowners overlooking the architectural masterpiece and wander the charming streets of the gorgeous pink and blue cities, Jaipur and Jodhpur.

Total Eclipse with world’s first discovery yacht, Scenic Eclipse

Set sail to Antarctica’s total solar eclipse, with Scenic Eclipse’s 23-day Antarctica, South Georgia and Falkland Islands itinerary departing 20 November 2021. For most, a trip to Antarctica will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience in itself, but those heading to the Antarctic Peninsula in December next year will be treated to a two-for-one bucket-list trip with a front-row seat to the total solar eclipse. Heralded as the only location where the solar Eclipse will reach totality, guests can enjoy the ultimate adventure in six-star luxury. In addition to the solar eclipse marvel, guests can enjoy long days of discovery filled with whale sightings, a visit to the king penguin colonies on South Georgia, wandering the quaint streets of the Falkland Islands and discover the hidden coves around the peninsula surrounded by magnificent icescapes and wildlife including whales, seals, penguins, and marine birds.

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Cruise – We Will Be Back And We Will Be Stronger!

It’s been a while since I checked in with you all on here. A lot changed pretty much overnight between me returning from the Grand Voyage and then the UK going into lockdown – I was only back 4 days when the Stay Home, Stay Safe message started being drilled into us.

I’ve missed talking to you all and sharing updates on my adventures, I should be here now telling you all about my trip around the Eastern Mediterranean with SAGA and who knows what else, but of course, that cruise was cancelled. I’m sure a lot of you have had trips cancelled or postponed, so I thought we should take some time to reminisce and also look forward to what awaits us in the future when we can once again take to the ocean!

This time last year I was in Canada, loving every second of the freezing cold. We sailed past icebergs, I had cuddles with a gorgeous Newfoundland dog, I learned the art of Japanese Kumihimo and I met some wonderful people. Just a few weeks after I returned home, I was off again, on Spirit of Discovery’s maiden voyage around the British Isles. Yes, everything was so exciting and after a few other trips, including Scandinavia, I was embarking on Boudicca’s Grand Voyage. My goodness, where did the time go? Looking back, even on just the last 18 months, I have so many beautiful memories of cruise and I know there are many more to come.

So, the big question is what are you most looking forward to? I know I can’t wait to once again be sitting on the open deck watching the sun set. Those moments were always one of the most priceless experiences of a cruise for me and I know that now they’re even more valuable. I’m looking forward to the smell of warm wood as the deck toasts beneath the midday sun; seeing my wonderful ship families; the muster drill; the tender ride; walking up and down that lovely gangway; the food; the motion of the ocean. I’m looking forward to just about every single aspect of cruising that you could possibly think of.

To say I’ve missed my work and travels terribly over these last few weeks would be an understatement. It’s been awful seeing all of the ships just sitting there at sea and many filled with crew who couldn’t go home, some of whom still can’t. Yes, the world was thrown into a truly unimaginable pandemic and it’s going to take time for us to get out of it, but I do think that cruising will come back stronger than ever before. I’ve spoken to hundreds of people about future cruises and I’d say roughly 90% of those people can’t wait to get back onboard and the vast majority have opted to postpone their cruises rather than outright cancel.

The thing about the cruise community is that it is filled with people who all have at least one thing in common and that’s the sheer love for cruising. How amazing is that first cruise going to be after all of this? I think we will all be overwhelmed with emotion when we next walk up that gangway! It will be a moment that we’ll never forget.

So, tell me in the comments or head on over to Facebook and join the conversation there and share what you’re most looking forward to when our wonderful ships start sailing again.

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Posted in General Cruise Articles

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Confirms Four Fred.s In Lisbon For 2021

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has today confirmed that its third historic fleet get together will be ‘Four Fred.s in Lisbon’ in October 2021. It comes after the cruise lines’ ‘Four Fred.s in Funchal’ event, which was due to take place on 4th April on the garden island of Madeira, was cancelled due to the current coronavirus pandemic.

Three of Fred. Olsen’s four ocean ships – Boudicca, Black Watch and Braemar – were already scheduled to call into Lisbon, Portugal, on 22nd October, and a fourth itinerary aboard Balmoral has been specially created to complete the line-up.

To mark the launch, guests who book onto any of the ‘Four Fred.s in Lisbon’ sailings by 5th May 2020 inclusive will enjoy up to £200 per person to spend on board and the cost of tips covered, as well as a choice of cabin, restaurant and dining time, plus a number of other benefits.

Clare Ward, Director of Product and Customer Service at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“Of course, it is disappointing that our ‘Four Fred.s in Funchal’ event was unable to go ahead. But these fleet-wide get-togethers are years in the making, and none of us could have predicted the challenging situation we have all found ourselves in today.

“The safety of our guests and crew is always our number one priority, and last month we took the decision to take our ships out of action until the end of May – which included our scheduled ‘Four Fred.s in Funchal’ festivities.

“It is hugely exciting to be able to confirm a new date and destination for our fleet reunion so quickly, as I know so many of our guests were looking forward to being reunited with friends and crew members that they have met on their travels with us.

“All of us here at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can’t wait to welcome back our many loyal guests when we come together again in Lisbon next October, and are looking forward to seeing some new faces, too.

The four itineraries encompassing the ‘Four Fred.s in Lisbon’ event are:

Braemar’s 27-night M2125 ‘Iconic Sites of Croatia & Italy’ cruise, departing from Southampton on 30th September 2021. Prices start from £3,799 per person.

Ports of call: Southampton, UK – Cádiz, Spain – Crotone, Italy – Gallipoli, Italy – Kotor, Montenegro – Sibenik, Croatia – Venice, Italy – Chioggia, Italy – Split, Croatia – Dubrovnik, Croatia – Monopoli, Italy – Trapani, Italy – Cartagena, Spain – Lisbon, Portugal – Leixões (for Oporto), Portugal – Avilés, Spain – Southampton, UK

For more details: Visit M2125 ‘Iconic Sites of Croatia & Italy’

Balmoral’s 16-night L2132 ‘Heritage Sites of the Med’ cruise, departing from Newcastle on 12th October 2021. Prices start from £1,999 per person.

Ports of call: Newcastle, UK – La Coruña, Spain – Malaga, Spain – Cádiz, Andalusia – Leixões (for Oporto) – Antwerp, Netherlands – Newcastle, UK

For more details: Visit L2132 ‘Heritage Sites of the Med’

Black Watch’s 15-night W2125 ‘Exploring the Azores and Portugal’ cruise, departing from Liverpool on 18th October 2021. Prices start from £1,999 per person.

Ports of call: Liverpool, UK – Vigo, Spain – Lisbon, Portugal – Praia de Vitoria, Portugal – Horta, Portugal – Ponta Delgada, Portugal – La Coruña, Spain – Liverpool, UK

For more details: Visit W2125 ‘Exploring the Azores and Portugal’

Boudicca’s 17-night D2125 ‘Crossing the Atlantic with Bermuda & Havana’ fly-cruise, departing from Dover (return flight from Havana, Cuba) on 18th October 2021. Prices start from £1,999 per person.

Ports of call: Dover, UK – Vigo, Spain – Lisbon, Portugal – Horta, Portugal – King’s Wharf, Bermuda – Havana, Cuba

For more details: Visit D2125 ‘Crossing the Atlantic with Bermuda & Havana’

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