P&O Cruises Announces Updates On Fleet Additions

P&O Cruises has announced that it plans to take delivery of Iona “before the autumn” and that following discussions with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg Germany, Iona’s as yet unnamed sister ship will be delivered in December 2022.

Iona will be the latest addition to the P&O Cruises fleet and the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market. At 185,000 tonnes, 345m in length with 17 guest decks and setting new ground for guest experience, Iona will be the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, said: “Whilst our operations as currently paused, we are delighted that we have more clarity on the arrival of these two new ships.

The final outfitting of Iona is almost complete and is looking stunning and we will take delivery of her before the autumn. We also now know that her sister ship will join the fleet at the end of 2022.

“Both ships are eagerly anticipated by our guests and we are seeing strong demand for the future. The space on these two ships will allow for extraordinary experiences; visual entertainment displays; new dining concepts and many new areas for relaxation and indulgence.”

Itineraries for the second ship will go on sale in Spring 2021

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Posted in Cruise News, P&O Cruises

Aranui 5 To Restart Cruises For International Passengers From 8 August

On 8 August 2020 the passenger-cargo ship Aranui 5 is restarting cruises for international passengers to the remote and enchanting Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia in the South Pacific.

The move follows the lifting of travel restrictions to French Polynesia on 15 July and a special one-off cruise for local passengers, which departed on 18 July.

Despite the pandemic the historical links and supply-chain, which Aranui Cruises has provided to the islanders of the Marquesas for several decades, has been maintained by a monthly service, whilst upgrading the company’s health protocols and keeping crew and islanders COVID free.

Under these enhanced health protocols, and agreed by the State Sanitary Authorities as efficiently protective of both islanders and guests, Aranui Cruises will be among the first cruise companies worldwide to resume a cruise programme and will offer a reduced number of guests (from 254 to 230) the opportunity to participate in supporting the economy of these small, secluded islands.

The 13-day Marquesas Islands Cruise (from Euros 4,581pp) will make a total of nine scheduled cruises to the unique culture and landscape of the Marquesas during the remainder of 2020, with a further 18 cruises planned for 2021.

On each voyage, Aranui 5 visits all six inhabited islands in the Marquesas – Nuku Hiva, Ua Huka, Ua Pou, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva and Tahuata, with inclusive excursions in every port.

Highlights include exploring the archaeological sites of the Taipivai Valley on Nuku Hiva, which is dotted with stone tikis and rock art; traversing the mountains of Ua Huka by 4X4 or riding one of the famed Marquesan horses that roam wild on this island. On Hiva Oa there’s a visit to the former home of the artist Paul Gauguin and on Fatu Hiva, the most lush and distant of the islands visited on the voyage, there is an opportunity to watch the sunset in the UNESCO World Heritage Bay of Virgins.

Expanding the reach into 2021

For 2021 Aranui 5 is to add two new itineraries on specific dates, as well as continuing her regular cruise to the Marquesas and her annual call at Pitcairn.

Kicking off the year, from 9-21 January 2021, Aranui 5 will venture to the far-flung British outpost of Pitcairn, calling in at the Tuamotu islands to the east to Tahiti and the Gambier Archipelago.

Departing 4-16 September 2021, a further option sails west from Tahiti to reach the Cook Islands and south to the unspoilt beauty of the Austral islands.

Alternatively, departing 8-19 May 2021 there is the option for a more detailed exploration of the Society Island archipelago and the Tuamotu islands to the east of Tahiti, including time on the usually hard to reach island of Makatea.

Aranui 5 has 103 comfortable suites, staterooms and dormitory-style rooms, some with balconies. An onboard programme of insightful talks about life in the Marquesas takes place in the two spacious lounges, and there are also four bars – including the panoramic Skybar for relaxation. Meals are served in the dining room, where after the three-course dinners, the Aranui band performs. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, fitness room and boutique.

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Posted in Aranui 5, Cruise News

Princess Cruises Launches British Isles Sale

Princess Cruises has announced a British Isles sale starting Wednesday 29 July to 10  August.

15 voyages feature, with a choice of duration between eight or twelve nights departing between April and October 2021.

The cruises will sail roundtrip from Southampton on the 3,080-guest Crown Princess, which will be based in the UK from April to October next year. Fares start at £649pp for an eight-night cruise and £799pp for a twelve-night cruise, and with 3rd and 4th guests from £149pp there are some great deals for families to be had.

Deal fares include:

· 12-night ‘British Isles with Portland’ cruise calling at Portland, Guernsey (St Peter Port), Cork (Cobh), Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Invergordon, Edinburgh and Le Havre. Prices from £799pp for two people sharing an inside stateroom and £199pp for 3rd and 4th guests meaning a family of four could travel for £499pp or £599pp for a family of four sharing a balcony. Departs May 2, 2021.

· 8-night Ireland and Scotland cruise calling at Portland, Guernsey (St Peter Port), Cork (Cobh), Dublin, Glasgow and Holyhead. Prices from £649pp for two people sharing an inside stateroom and £149pp for 3rd and 4th guests meaning a family of four could travel for just £399pp or £484pp for a family of four sharing a balcony. Departs April 24, 2021.

· 12-night ‘British Isles with Cobh Overnight’ cruise calling at Guernsey (St Peter Port), Cork (Cobh) overnight, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Invergordon, Edinburgh and (Le Havre). Prices from £999pp for two people sharing an inside stateroom and £199pp for 3rd and 4th guests meaning a family of four could travel for £599pp or £749pp for a family of four sharing a balcony. Departs June 19, 2021.

In Cork, guests can see the city’s emerald terrains reflected in the lakes of Killarney National Park or enjoy a lunch on the hills of Cashel, with the Romanesque architecture of St. Patrick’s Rock as a backdrop. Once docked in Le Havre, guests can embark on a day-long adventure in one of two directions. Visit Paris, where famous artwork awaits, or head to Normandy and see the D-Day beaches or the tidal island of Mont Saint Michel. These British Isles cruises allow guests to experience even more history and culture with More Ashore late-night departures and overnight stays on several ports of call, including Dublin, Belfast and Edinburgh where guests can use this time to drink with the locals in world famous pubs, or see Edinburgh’s Royal Mile lit up by street lamps.

Crown Princess features the award-winning wearable OceanMedallion technology which has been designed to deliver an entirely new level of service and create a holiday that is more simple, effortless and personalised. Its enhancements include an expedited check-in process; touchless stateroom entry; the ability to order drinks, food and retail items from almost anywhere onboard; a family and friends locator; and MedallionNet – high-speed onboard WiFi which allows guests to connect, stream and keep in touch with family and friends.

 

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Posted in Cruise News, Princess Cruises

Spirit Of Adventure Floats Out Ahead Of Sea Trials

 

The latest addition to Saga’s ocean cruise fleet, Spirit of Adventure, floated out of the covered building dock at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany this morning.

Saga is expecting to take delivery of Spirit of Adventure, it’s second purpose-built boutique cruise ship, in the Autumn ahead of her planned inaugural sailing. She will shortly undergo sea trials and her interiors will be fully outfitted ready to welcome the first guests onboard. She has 554 all balcony cabins and can accommodate 999 passengers, with the ability to reach speeds of more than 18 knots.

For her first voyage, Spirit of Adventure will leave Southampton on the 5th November to sail the Mediterranean, before returning to the UK. The details of the naming ceremony will be provided nearer to the date of the inaugural cruise. This comes a year after the Meyer Werft shipyard floated its sister ship, Spirit of Discovery, in May 2019.

Nigel Blanks, Managing Director of Saga Cruises, said:

“This is a very exciting day as it brings us another step closer to being able to welcome Spirit of Adventure to our fleet. Over the past 18 months, we have been focused on creating a British boutique cruising experience for our guests that is not available elsewhere on the market. The arrival of Spirit of Discovery last year was the first milestone in this plan and the ship has been extremely well received by our guests. I’m confident that Spirit of Adventure will see an equally warm welcome and I cannot wait for guests to join us onboard and enjoy all she has to offer”.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saga has been working closely with the relevant government departments and industry trade body CLIA to ensure it has in place the most stringent health and safety measures to ensure a safe return to cruising once advice from the FCO changes.

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Unveils Two New Cruise Ships

Bolette

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is introducing two new ships to its ocean going fleet as the company looks to strengthen the brand and evolve for cruising on the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ships, to be named Bolette and Borealis, have been purchased from Holland America Line and previously sailed under the names Amsterdam and Rotterdam, carrying up to 1,380 and 1,404 guests.

The acquisition of Bolette and Borealis will modernise and increase capacity across Fred. Olsen’s fleet of small ships, a move that will ensure the cruise line returns to the water in a stronger position.

Fred. Olsen Junior, Chairman of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“I am delighted to be announcing this news today. We have chosen these vessels as they will fit seamlessly into our existing fleet of small ships, each carrying under 1,500 guests, bringing with them new and larger public areas whilst not compromising on our small ship experience.

“The naming of the vessels is important to us. Bolette and Borealis are both names of ships we have had in years gone by.

“This increase in our capacity demonstrates our confidence in the future. With over 170 years of seafaring history, we have sailed through many difficult periods. With these new additions to the fleet, we will come out of this current situation stronger than ever, ready to deliver the award-winning itineraries that we are famous for.”

Borealis

Peter Deer, Managing Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“This is an exciting chapter in the history of our company, and I know that our loyal and returning guests will be looking forward to exploring our new ships as soon as they can.

“Of course, we also hope to attract new guests to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and we look forward to demonstrating the exceptional service that makes us the best UK cruise line for repeat business.”

The two new ships will enter the fleet later this year following time to allow for rebranding work to be undertaken.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ current ocean ships – the 1,325-guest Balmoral, 924-guest Braemar, 853-guest Boudicca and 799-guest Black Watch – are currently in Babcock’s Rosyth Facilities in Scotland, where the two new ships will join them.

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Princess Cruises Announces Deployment Changes In Alaska And Europe For Summer 2021

Princess Cruises has announced changes to its deployment in Alaska and Europe for summer 2021 with Majestic Princess arriving to the West Coast and setting sail for her inaugural Alaska season, and Regal Princess returning to Europe.

In 2021, guests will be able to experience Majestic Princess for the first time in Alaska. She will be deployed to Alaska replacing Regal Princess, picking up all Regal Princess published Seattle Inside Passage departures from May to September, except Regal Princess May 4, 2021 departure of a five-day Alaska Sampler which will be cancelled.

Regal Princess will sail from Southampton, England replacing Grand Princess for summer 2021. Regal Princess will sail on 17 roundtrip departures from Southampton to the Mediterranean, Norway, Scandinavia, Iceland and other popular destinations in Europe. As a result of this change, the Regal Princess South Pacific Crossing, and two Grand Princess seven-day Europe cruises will be cancelled.

Grand Princess will be deployed to the West Coast for a new summer Mexico and California Coast season departing from Los Angeles with details to be announced later this summer.

Guests booked on Regal Princess Alaska and Grand Princess Europe voyages will have their booking automatically moved from Regal Princess to Majestic Princess in Alaska, and from Grand Princess to Regal Princess in Europe, and will receive a new booking confirmation.

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Carnival Cruise Lines Updates On Mardi Gras Delivery And Updates On Cancelled And New Itineraries Within The Fleet

Carnival Cruise Line updates on delivery of its newest ship, Mardi Gras, as well as the transformed Carnival Radiance – both resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic – and new itineraries for Carnival Breeze and Carnival Magic that are all part of an updated deployment plan from November 2020 to May 2021.

The key points of the changes:

·       Mardi Gras, the first LNG-powered ship to operate in the Western Hemisphere and featuring the first roller coaster at sea, will now enter into service from Port Canaveral, Fla. on Feb. 6, 2021.  Itineraries out of Port Canaveral for departures from Nov. 14, 2020 to Jan. 30, 2021 have been cancelled.

·       Carnival Radiance’s $200 million dry dock at the Cadiz, Spain shipyard was suspended this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a nationwide lockdown.  Carnival is now evaluating shipyard options to complete the transformation, but the ship is likely not going to be completed until the spring.

·       As a result of the delayed arrival of Carnival Radiance, Carnival Breeze will be redeployed from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral and will assume the itineraries for Carnival Radiance from Nov. 8, 2020 to Apr. 24, 2021.  Consequently, guests on 18 Carnival Breeze sailings from Fort Lauderdale scheduled to operate from Nov. 7, 2020 to Mar. 7, 2021 are being notified that their cruises have been cancelled.

·       Carnival Magic’s transatlantic and European itineraries from Mar. 13, 2021 to May 3, 2021 have been cancelled.  Seven sailings previously scheduled for Carnival Breeze from Fort. Lauderdale from Mar. 13 to Apr. 24, 2021 will move to Miami and those guests will sail on the same itinerary, but on Carnival Magic operating from PortMiami.

“We continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global commerce, public health and our cruise operations.  In addition to our current pause in service, there have been many other unintended consequences, including shipyard, dry dock and ship delivery delays, and related changes to our deployment plans for our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.  “While we had hoped to make up construction time on Mardi Gras over the summer, it’s clear we will need extra time to complete this magnificent ship.  We share our guests’ disappointment and appreciate their patience as we work through this unprecedented time in our business and the lives of so many people.  We remain committed to working with government, public health and industry officials to support the response to the pandemic and to return to operations when the time is right.”

Carnival expressed its appreciation for their guests’ and travel agent partners’ patience as it completes the notification process.

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Posted in Carnival Cruise Lines, Cruise News

Short Break Expedition Cruises In The UK This September Aboard Hurtigruten’s MS Roald Amundsen

The groundbreaking expedition cruise ship will offer a limited number of guests the chance to visit remote parts of the striking British coastline, taking in nature and cultural experiences, together with making full use of their expedition landing boats.

The series will consist of four sailings departing from Portsmouth (2nd September), Liverpool (7th September), Glasgow (12th September) and Liverpool (17th September). The hybrid-powered expedition cruise ship will visit hand-picked destinations such as the Isles of Scilly, Fowey, Rathlin Island, Fort William, Oban, Fishguard and Waterford.

Anthony Daniels, UK General Manager for Hurtigruten said: “We are delighted to offer guests the short break expedition cruises to experience the British coastline onboard our pioneering hybrid ship, MS Roald Amundsen. We will take guests to lesser-visited parts of the British Isles, and take them up close to nature, and conservation projects. This is a great opportunity for those looking to try expedition cruising for the first time, but from closer to home. Having operated in Norway throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, and having recently restarting regular operations in Norway, our robust health and safety procedures on and off board mean guests can relax and enjoy their UK short break.”

Unique itineraries

This special series of short breaks will allow for guests to explore UK shores and areas of natural beauty – so many to highlight. St Kilda, the UK’s only dual UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a protected haven for wildlife. Home to almost one million seabirds, including the UK’s highest concentration of Atlantic puffins, a wren unique to St Kilda can also be seen here. Or Rathlin Island boasting large seabird colonies and Northern Ireland’s only pair of breeding choughs.

In contrast, the archipelago of the Isles of Scilly allows guests to unwind, enjoy the stunning nature and soak in an easy pace of life. With five habitable islands all full of their own interpretation of adventure, and during our visit we will engage in beach clean-ups.

Onboard experience

Adventure can also be found onboard in the impressive Science Centre, the heartbeat of the ships, where guests can gain a deeper understanding of the areas explored with lectures and workshops by Hurtigruten’s handpicked Expedition Team. Packed with state-of-the-art technology and high-tech gadgets, there is no better place to learn more about the remote locations and areas of natural beauty on the itinerary. For those wanting to put this education to use, there is a two-level indoor/outdoor Observation Deck for guests to watch wildlife – it is also the perfect spot to admire the scenic landscape.

Inspired by our Norwegian polar heritage, three restaurants are located on the ship. Aune is the ship’s main restaurant, whilst Fredheim offers informal street food accompanied by amazing milkshakes, and Lindstrøm, a specialty ‘a la carte’ restaurant named after the polar chef chosen by Roald Amundsen himself on his many polar expeditions.

To relax after a day of exploring, guests can unwind and rejuvenate in the inviting Explorer Lounge, exercise in the large gym, enjoy a treatment at the wellness centre, or take a dip in the infinity pool or hot tubs whilst enjoying the scenery and catching the stunning sunsets in style.

The stunning scenery is reflected in the rich and comfortable interior design of the cabins. Scandinavian materials from nature, such as granite, oak, birch and wool have been used to create relaxed and stylish cabins and public areas. All cabins are outside, 50% have private balconies, and some of the suites feature a private outdoor hot tub with spectacular views.

Safety first – protective measures

The health and safety of guests and staff has always been the number one priority for Hurtigruten. Following guidelines recommended by the Norwegian Government and the local Governments of the destinations visited during the UK sailings, the company has built on existing protocols to introduce additional practices to ensure safe, sustainable, and enjoyable expedition cruising. This series will operate at a reduced maximum capacity of 350 guests (approximately 65% of total berths).

Hurtigruten will always comply with current Covid regulations in the waters, coasts, and ports we visit, and itineraries and excursions may be subject to change based on local Government advice.

World’s first hybrid ship and sustainability champions

Specially designed for exploring some of the most spectacular polar waters of the planet, MS Roald Amundsen features groundbreaking green technology. The hybrid-powered expedition cruise ship uses battery packs to support her low-emission engines and will reduce CO2 emissions with more than 20% compared to other cruise ships of the same size.

The introduction of the world’s first hybrid powered cruise ships is the latest in several Hurtigruten green initiatives. Hurtigruten celebrated its 125th anniversary by banning all single-use-plastics. In another industry first, Hurtigruten is completely rebuilding existing ships to run on a combination of large battery packs, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas (LBG) – produced from organic waste such as dead fish.

British Isles Itineraries

Voyage 1 – “Enchanting islands and coastal towns”

02 Sept 2020 – Portsmouth

03 Sept 2020 – Falmouth

04 Sept 2020 – Isles of Scilly

05 Sept 2020 – Waterford

06 Sept 2020 – Ramsey Island

06 Sept 2020 – Fishguard

07 Sept 2020 – Liverpool

 

Voyage 2 – “Isle of Man, Isle of Skye and magnificent Scottish Highlands”

07 Sept 2020 – Liverpool

08 Sept 2020 – Douglas

09 Sept 2020 – Loch Sunart

10 Sept 2020 – Portree

11 Sept 2020 – Fort William

12 Sept 2020 – Greenock

 

Voyage 3 – “Natural Habitats, Wild Nature and Fascinating History”

12 Sept 2020 – Greenock

13 Sept 2020 – Oban

14 Sept 2020 – Stornoway

15 Sept 2020 – St Kilda

16 Sept 2020 – Raithlin Island

17 Sept 2020 – Liverpool

 

Voyage 4 – “Magnificent gardens, unspoiled islands and rich history”

17 Sept 2020 Liverpool

18 Sept 2020 Pembroke Dock

19 Sept 2020 Cork (Cobh)

20 Sept 2020 Isles of Scillly

21 Sept 2020 Fowey

22 Sept 2020 Portsmouth (Disembarking)

 

Return of Hurtigruten’s Coastal Fleet

After a successful return to sailing in Norway on the 16th June and international expedition cruises from Germany from 26th June, Hurtigruten has also released its plans to further ramp-up operations with 14 of 16 ships returning in August and September.

Hurtigruten marked the return of cruising as MS Finnmarken became the first ocean cruise ship in the world to return to sailing with her June 16 departure. With limiting capacity and strict hygiene measures, Hurtigruten currently operates five ships on international and domestic Norwegian itineraries.

 

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Posted in Cruise News, Hurtigruten

P&O Cruises Sells Oceana

P&O Cruises confirms that Oceana will leave the fleet from July this year.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “Whilst we and many of our guests will miss Oceana, her departure will allow us to focus on our remaining ships in the fleet, as capacity expands with the delivery of Iona later this year followed by her sister ship, scheduled for 2022.

“During this pause in our operations we need to fit the fleet for the future and ensure we have the right mix of ships once we resume sailing.

“I am so sorry to disappoint those guests who were booked on Oceana but I hope they will be able to find a similar alternative holiday, whether that is ex UK from Southampton or a fly/cruise itinerary.”

All guests who have booked a holiday on Oceana will be offered a 125% Future Cruise Credit or refund.

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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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