Hurtigruten Introduces Northwest Passage By Hybrid Ship

With three ships in Antarctica and five ships calling in Svalbard in the 2019/2020 season, Hurtigruten is strengthening its position as the world leader in exploration travel.

In addition to the exceptional encounters with nature, wildlife, and culture offered at recognised Hurtigruten destinations, the new programme also offers several new destinations for modern-day adventurers:

  • Explore the full North-West Passage, following in the wake of polar explorer legend Roald Amundsen on board the state-of-the-art hybrid-powered expedition ship named after him
  • Break new ground when exploring the wild and rarely-visited Franz Josef Land in Russia, well north of the 80th parallel
  • Be amongst the first guests on board the hybrid powered MS Fridtjof Nansen, on voyages from Amsterdam to the Norwegian coast, via Bjørnøya, to Longyearbyen, Svalbard – or the reverse itinerary. A sailing inspired by the legendary Sportsman’s Route that Hurtigruten founder Richard With established in 1896
  • Experience highlights of the dramatic and alluring Norwegian coast including the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, the Lofoten Islands and tiny fishing villages under the Midnight Sun – by the hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen. Embarking and disembarking in Hamburg, Germany

Northwest Passage: From the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean

The first to conquer the Northwest Passage by ship was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on an expedition that lasted from 1903 to 1906, aboard a converted herring boat, the Gjøa.

In 2019, Hurtigruten will offer modern adventurers premium standard expeditions through the storied waterway.

“Guests of the cutting-edge MS Roald Amundsen will be the first in the world to experience the raw beauty of this rarely-travelled passage on board a hybrid powered expedition vessel,” said Skjeldam.

In addition to the full traverse with the MS Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten offers several Northwest Passage voyages on board the MS Fram, with turnarounds in the legendary settlement of Cambridge Bay.

Franz Josef Land: Northernmost Hurtigruten Expedition Ever

Franz Josef Land was discovered by an Austrian-Hungarian polar expedition 1873. However, eight years earlier, the Norwegian captain N. F. Rønnbeck had seen the islands from his ship, the Spidsbergen.

From 2019, Hurtigruten will let guests set foot on the world´s northernmost archipelago on board its namesake, the custom-built expedition vessel the MS Spitsbergen.

Hybrid exploration of the Norwegian coast

In addition to the eleven ships daily sailing the Norwegian coast, Hurtigruten will bring both their new hybrid powered vessels to the Norwegian coast for the summer of 2019.

*** Amsterdam-Norway-Svalbard: Inspired by the Original Sportsman´s Route

MS Fridtjof Nansen will depart from Amsterdam for a series of voyages, taking guests to explore the unforgettable Norwegian fjords, crossing of the Arctic Circle and visiting the North Cape – before sailing via the isolated Bjørnøya halfway between the North Cape and Svalbard, to call at Longyearbyen. Alternatively, they can choose to sail the same route southbound.

Highlights include known Hurtigruten ports and landing sites, and new unique destinations such as Rosendal, Sommarøy, Trollfjorden and Skarsvåg – described as the world’s northernmost fishing village – and several days of exploring Svalbard.

The itinerary is inspired by the Sportsman’s Route, established by Hurtigruten’s founder, Captain Richard With, to bring visitors to the high north in 1896.

** Hamburg-Norway-Hamburg: Best of Coastal Norway by Hybrid Propulsion

Departing from Hamburg, the MS Roald Amundsen in Hamburg, this series of new voyages along the Norwegian coasts are variations of the traditional Hurtigruten coastal sailings, tailored for guests seeking the ultimate nature and culture experience – aboard a next-generation expedition ship

As her hybrid sister MS Fridtjof Nansen, the MS Roald Amundsen offers great comfort, ground-breaking green technology, excursions, and the expert guidance of Hurtigruten expedition teams to all guests.

South America including land-based adventures

Hurtigruten’s 2019/2020 program also offers eight South American voyages with extended experiences at unique destinations such as the Galapagos Islands and the breath-taking Machu Picchu, included.

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Posted in Cruise News, Expedition Cruising, Hurtigruten

Princess Cruises Announces Longest Ever Season Sailing From The UK

Princess Cruises has announced that 2019 will see its longest ever season sailing from the UK, with over one million cruise nights available on voyages from Southampton and Dover.

The 2,670-guest Sapphire Princess will spend 198 days (between April and October) sailing from her home port of Southampton, the longest on record for a UK-based Princess ship. She will sail on a series of voyages to the Mediterranean and northern Europe.

Sapphire Princess will offer 3 new itineraries for 2019: a 24-night Canada and New England sailing that features the lines first ever call to Rockland in Maine, a 14-night Mediterranean Explorer that takes in the beauty of Spanish Morocco and a 12-night search for the Northern Lights that will see the ship overnight in Alta, Norway.

The announcement forms part of Princess Cruises’ 2019 programme, which includes sailings across Europe, Alaska, Japan, Canada and New England, and the Caribbean. The full programme goes on sale on Thursday December 14, 2017 at 4pm with Princess’ Elite guests* able to book a full 24 hours before.

This news is incredibly exciting! I don’t like to fly, so to have more ex-UK sailing choices with Princess is hugely appealing! I know which sailing I’ve got my eye on and it includes an overnight in New York City!

Europe 2019 highlights include:

  • Five ships sailing across the Mediterranean and northern Europe (Sapphire, Crown, Regal, Emerald and Pacific Princess) to 130 destinations. Guests can choose from 85 itineraries on 211 cruise departures, visiting 37 countries.
  • Overnight stays in St Petersburg, Dublin, Venice, Alta and New York.
  • A new 24-night ‘Canada & New England’ roundtrip from Southampton, which will call at ports including Charlottetown, Boston and overnight in New York.
  • A new 12-night ‘Search for the Northern Lights’ roundtrip from Southampton, which will call at ports including Tromso, Stavanger and an overnight in Alta.
  • A new 14-night ‘Mediterranean Explorer’ cruise, sailing roundtrip from Southampton and visiting Portimao, Cadiz, Ajaccio, Carcassonne and Ceuta (Spanish Morocco).
  • A new 18-night Greenland & Iceland cruise, sailing roundtrip round-trip from Dover and visiting Nanortalik, Qaqortoq, Reykjavik, Isafjordur and Akureyri.
  • The first ever roundtrip Dublin season on Crown Princess, 11 sailings around the British Isles.
  • 58 fly cruise sailings in the Mediterranean on the 3,082-guest Emerald Princess, ranging from seven to 21 nights and departing from Barcelona, Rome or Athens.
  • A Princess maiden call to Rockland, Maine (USA).
  • Access to more than 50 UNESCO world heritage sites including Venice and Edinburgh.

Tony Roberts, vice president Princess Cruises UK and Europe, said: “Europe remains our most popular holiday destination for the UK, so we’re pleased to confirm that in 2019 our guests will have more choice than ever.

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Posted in Cruise News, Princess Cruises

MSC Cruises Takes Delivery Of MSC Seaside And Announces Agreement For TWO Seaside EVO Ships

 

Today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, MSC Cruises officially took delivery of its new flagship MSC Seaside. The delivery ceremony took place at the presence of Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, Graziano Delrio, Italy’s Minister of Infrastructures and Transports as well as other authorities and dignitaries.

At the occasion of the delivery ceremony of MSC Seaside, the Company’ second newly-built to come into service in 2017, MSC Cruises and Fincantieri also signed firm orders for the construction of two Seaside EVO ships, a further evolution of the Seaside Class prototype, for a total investment of €1.8 billion.

Following the new agreement between MSC Cruises and Fincantieri, the initial slot reservation agreement to build a third Seaside Class ship to be delivered in 2021 has been replaced to instead build the first of two Seaside EVO ships. The second ship is set to come into service in 2023.

Key specs for the new Seaside EVO are as follows:

  • Length/beam: 339m/41m
  • Gross tonnage: 169,380 GRT
  • LSA: 7,280

In addition to offering even more space, Seaside EVO ships will have greater dimensions, more cabins, an even larger Yacht Club – with an additional deck and larger cabins — and will be hosting up to 5,646 passengers. At the same time, just like the Seaside Class, the Seaside EVO ships will be equipped with the latest advanced environmental technology, including: a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, an advanced active emissions control technology system, that significantly reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) into harmless nitrogen (N2) and water; exhaust gas cleaning (EGC) technology to meet the strictest exhaust regulations in port and in operating areas; state-of-the-art waste management and recycling systems; advanced water treatment systems – going above and beyond regulatory standards and meeting the highest industry standards; and, an advanced energy and heat recovery system. Across the ships, there will be the latest generation of energy-saving devices and all areas will feature LED lighting. The ships will be ultra-hydrodynamic and thanks to optimized hull lines, propellers and rudders, combined with the latest anti-fouling paint, wave resistance will be further reduced, and greater fuel-efficiency will be achieved.

With the addition of these new ships, the Company’s already industry-unprecedented investment plan will now account for 12 new ships to be built by 2026, for an overall investment of EUR 10.5 billion

During today’s delivery ceremony, which pays tribute to centuries-old maritime tradition, Roberto Olivari, Fincantieri’s shipyard director, handed over to Pier Paolo Scala, Master of MSC Seaside, an ampoule holding the first water that touched the hull when the ship was floated out earlier this year. After the closing of the delivery ceremony, MSC Seaside initially set sail for Trieste. From there, she will continue to Miami for her naming ceremony on 21 December.

MSC Seaside is the first ship in the Seaside Class and a completely new prototype pushing the boundaries of innovative ship building and design. At 153,516 GRT and with a guest capacity of 5,179, she is the second newly-built next-generation mega cruise ship in the MSC Cruises fleet and the first one to be delivered by Fincantieri.

MSC Seaside will be homeporting in Miami and will begin her first sailing in the Caribbean where she will call at various ports in the East and West Caribbean.

Fresh on the heels of MSC Seaside, her sister ship MSC Seaview will come into service in June 2018, starting her summer season in the Mediterranean. Today at the delivery ceremony, Mr Vago also announced that MSC Seaview will be christened in Civitavecchia, Italy, on June 2, 2018

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Posted in Cruise News, MSC Cruises

Celebrity Cruises’ 2019-20 Alaska And Pacific Coast Sailings Are Better Than Ever!

Sailing from Vancouver through the awe-inspiring Inside Passage to the iconic Hubbard Glacier and beyond, Celebrity Cruises’ 2019 Alaska cruise season features 13 unforgettable destinations, with more than 40 extended port visits and countless experiences.

With three ships in the region – Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Eclipse, and Celebrity Millennium – the brand’s seven-night itineraries and memorable shore excursions will bring guests up close and personal with all of Alaska’s must-see wonders. The new 2019 sailings are open to book from Thursday 30 November 2017.

Celebrity Eclipse

Embark on round-trip sailings from Vancouver through the stunning Inside Passage, visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, and more. Guests can settle in with a cup of hot chocolate and a warm blanket at The Lawn Club or on their spacious, private balcony, and watch the awe-inspiring scenery unfold before them.

Celebrity Eclipse will also be offering Pacific Coast sailings in 2019. Guests can sail round-trip from Los Angeles to Vancouver, or from San Diego to Vancouver, on an array of seven- to nine-night Pacific Coastal sailings. Destinations will include Monterey, Santa Barbara, Catalina, and more. Overnight stays in San Francisco mean guests can explore all the city’s must-sees, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Painted Ladies, head into the wine country and sample the best local vintages, and enjoy the legendary restaurant scene and nightlife.

Celebrity Millennium

Modern luxury travellers looking to venture farther into the vast expanse of the region can enjoy alternating open-jaw sailings out of Vancouver, British Columbia, or Seward, Alaska, aboard Celebrity Millennium.

Fresh from its multi-million-dollar refurb, part of the Celebrity Revolution, Celebrity Millennium returns to Alaska. Completely redesigned staterooms will make unwinding after a day of adventure easier than ever, and renovated public venues will be the perfect complement to the exciting destinations guests will visit along this Seward-to-Vancouver (or vice versa) route.

Celebrity Solstice

Once again, Celebrity Solstice embarks from Seattle for a roundtrip exploration that visits Victoria, Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, and traverses the incredible Tracy Arm Fjord. Under the starry Alaskan night sky, guests can enjoy the gastronomic adventure A Taste of Film, which pairs films that evoke a specific cultural, culinary or destination experience, with cuisine that brings the scenes on the screen to life through guests’ taste buds.

Cruisetour Experiences

Guests looking for a more in-depth encounter with Alaska are invited to embark on a Celebrity Alaska Cruisetour; pair an Alaska sailing with a guided land tour deep into the heart of Alaska, complete with luxury motor coaches, glass-domed trains, authentic lodging, and a knowledgeable, local tour director there every step of the way. With 11 Alaska Cruisetours to choose from, ranging from nine to 13 nights, Celebrity Cruises offers Alaskan adventures for every modern explorer.

Celebrity Cruises’ Canadian Rockies Cruisetour invites guests to journey into the heart of this majestic region. Embrace nostalgic flair with an overnight rail journey aboard VIA Rail’s legendary train, “The Canadian.” The route between Jasper and Vancouver offers daylight views of the mountains, which guests can take in from the domed cars, parlour cars, and their own private cabin. Guests can choose from two different Canadian Rockies Cruisetour options ranging from 12- to 13-nights.

Over the coming weeks, Celebrity Cruises will continue to reveal more of its 2019-2020 line-up.

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Posted in Celebrity Cruises, Cruise News

Spot The ‘Big 5’ On Safari With Voyages To Antiquity

In less enlightened times, hunters coined the term ‘Big 5’ for the most difficult creatures to take down with a single shot. These days, thankfully, the shooting is done with cameras, but the ‘Big 5’ – lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino – retain their iconic appeal for safari-goers. Voyages to Antiquity’s epic new 51-day ‘Grand Asia, Indian Ocean and South Africa’ cruise, sailing from Singapore to Cape Town on 23 January 2019, invites guests to take a walk on the wild side in three of South Africa’s finest game and nature reserves, with a good chance of spotting not just the ‘Big 5’, but also giraffe, hippo and countless other animal and bird species.

I don’t know about you, but this is on my bucket list! I would absolutely love to go on safari in South Africa. I am a huge animal lover, the African elephant is my favourite of all animals, and to see them in the wild must be breath-taking and incredibly enriching. To do this cruise with a company such as Voyages to Antiquity, I can think of nothing better – it’s all about immersing yourself into the heart of each destination that Aegean Odyssey visits.

In addition to memorable safari experiences, the cruise features specially curated excursions including a Malacca heritage tour (Malaysia) and Phang Nga Park by longboat (Thailand) – all part of Voyages to Antiquity’s award-winning enrichment programme, along with internationally renowned guest speakers accompanying every cruise.

Other, ‘bucket list’ stops on this outstanding itinerary include Singapore, Penang, Yangon, the Andaman Islands, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion Island and Cape Town.

The 51-day Grand Asia, Indian Ocean and South Africa cruise costs from £8,995 per person and departs 23 January 2019. The fare includes international flights and transfers, most shore excursions, hotel stays where detailed, all meals on board, drinks with dinner on board, gratuities on board and Voyages to Antiquity’s acclaimed lecture programme. Guests can take advantage of discounts up to £8,000 per cabin with current saver fares.

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Posted in Cruise News, Voyages To Antiquity

Are You A Cruise Junkie?

I came across a Facebook page a little while ago called ‘Cruise Junkie’, so obviously, I had to have a look. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was all about at first, I thought maybe there would be a blog attached to it, but it turns out that it’s simply just a group of people that love to cruise and they come together to chat, share ideas and info and, of course, to buy the ‘Cruise Junkie’ merchandise.

The brains behind it are Brandon and Tyrone, best friends and business partners that welcome to the group anyone and everyone that simply loves to cruise! They’ve both been in different areas of business for many years, but only recently did they decide to stop everything and focus solely on the growth of ‘Cruise Junkie’ and with over 20,000 people on the Facebook page, I’d say it’s going well.

The first thing you recognise is the ‘Cruise Junkie’ logo and its creation was a joint effort between the two creators. The aim was to come up with something that really identified the product and what ‘Cruise Junkie’ was all about. No detail was overlooked, from the different shades of blue that you encounter while cruising at different depths in tropical waters, to the “J” in Junkie being an anchor – it all represents the brand. You’ll also notice the sea birds above the ship, you don’t always see them when you’re far out to sea, but they always seem to be around when coming into port.

As there is merchandise attached to Cruise Junkie, I of course had to test some of it out! From the Cruise Junkie Store, I ordered a classic t-shirt, money belt and luggage tags. I think the last time I used a money belt I was maybe 8 years old, but it was something I’d thought about recently for my world cruise, so I figured I’d give it a try. It’s not big and bulky, it’s quite discreet and it’s got a lot of space! I wanted something that I don’t have to carry around in tropical heat and this really is ideal. It’s also small enough to throw in a beach bag, so you can keep things like money, cruise cards and mobiles separate from lotions and so on. I was also quite pleased to see that the belt is  elasticated, so I don’t need to worry about gaining a few pounds during my 108-night cruise and then it not fitting!

Although I really do like the money belt, the luggage labels are my favourite. They attach to your case via a steel ring – making it almost impossible for them to come loose. They will fit labels from most cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Carnival and Holland America Line. They don’t quite fit my Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines labels, but with a little snip here and there, I’ve managed to make them fit.

I like the Cruise Junkie brand and concept and don’t worry, you don’t NEED to buy anything to be part of the group, just show up and hit the ‘like’ button. If you do buy any merchandise from the Amazon store, let me know and I’ll look out for you on my next cruise!

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Posted in Cruise Shopping, General Cruise Articles

Introducing Celebrity Flora: A New Ship Designed For The Galapagos Islands

Celebrity Cruises unveils another stunning revolution in ship design: Celebrity Flora is an elevated and inspired approach to marine exploration, meticulously designed expressly for the awe-inspiring Galapagos Islands.

One of the most energy-efficient ship of its size in the diverse archipelago, the 100-guest Celebrity Flora will offer seamless sea-to-shore transportation, and includes anchorless technology that maintains the ship’s position while protecting the sensitive sea floor. Innovative outward-facing design gives guests 360-degree views of the islands, while personal suite attendants, new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform, and expert-lead ecological seminars will round out the modern luxury holiday experience.

Designed with the Destination in Mind:

The natural beauty of the islands, the diversity and uniqueness of the species that it harbours earned this archipelago the reputation of being a living laboratory of evolutionary processes still in progress. The region made room for the development of a large number of flora and fauna that do not exist anywhere else in the world, making the Galapagos a very unique place of global importance for the common heritage of humanity.

Featuring Celebrity Cruises’ signature outward-facing design, Celebrity Flora virtually erases boundaries and brings this typically remote destination closer to guests. Educational, research-based programming gives travellers an opportunity to continue learning about the wildlife-rich Galapagos Islands.

The Marina is the primary point of access to the ship and can accommodate up to three Zodiacs at once, reducing transport time to and from land and allowing more time for guests to explore the practically untouched islands. While on-board guests will unwind in the Sunset Lounge, find solace in The Vista, an open-air hideaway with 360-degree views, cocoon-style loungers and private cabanas, and enjoy the breath-taking surrounds in the floor-to-ceiling glass-wrapped Observatory.

Darwin’s Cove and the Naturalist Center provide a bounty of information on the destination, wildlife and environmental efforts, while the Discovery Lounge and will be home to expert naturalist presentations and excursion information. Guests can participate in a guided astronomy tour or enjoy star-lit skies on their own from the Stargazing Platform.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily in the Seaside Restaurant. The Ocean Grill offers a casual dining space, panoramic views and Dinner Under the Stars, or guests can choose from an indulgent in-room dining experience.

Sophisticated Accommodations, Attentive Service:

Celebrity Flora transports travellers in all-suite accommodations featuring oversized bathrooms perfect for post-adventure refreshing. These modern retreats bring the outside in through Celebrity Cruises’ signature outward-facing layouts and heralded Infinite Verandas, and come complete with sustainable, natural, regionally inspired materials. Personal suite attendants cater to guests’ every need.

Celebrity Flora’s two Penthouse Suites are the largest in the Galapagos with separate indoor and outdoor living areas, customisable lighting and blinds, and a telescope for stargazing or sea lion-peeping. Guests can also find relaxation in Royal Suites, Ultimate Sky Suites with Infinite Veranda, Premium Sky Suites with Infinite Veranda and Sky Suites with Infinite Veranda.

Environmental Stewardship and Innovation:

Celebrity Flora is one of the most energy-efficient ships in its class, with a 15 percent reduction of fuel consumption and equivalently fewer air emissions, thanks to the introduction of an advanced propulsion system, hull configuration and specially designed diesel engines. Two more firsts in the Galapagos, Celebrity Flora’s dynamic positioning system allows the ship to stay in position without physically anchoring and damaging the sea floor, with zero speed stabilizers promising smooth sailing throughout.

Celebrity Cruises will reduce the need for plastics on-board by introducing in-room water filtration stations and by converting sea water and air conditioning condensation into pure, fresh water. Any materials that can be recycled, reused or donated will be as part of a strict waste management system.

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Posted in Celebrity Cruises, Cruise News, Expedition Cruising

Seven Seas Splendor To Launch In 2020

Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the most inclusive luxury experience, has announced the name of its new ship, scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2020. The second Explorer-class ship will embody and enhance the elegance, style and luxury that brought forth the high-end features and amenities that have made sister-ship Seven Seas Explorer renowned as the most luxurious ship ever built with her launch in 2016.

“The naming of a ship is an important milestone in maritime tradition and it is my pleasure to announce that the name of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new ship to launch in 2020 is Seven Seas Splendor,” said Jason Montague, President and Chief Executive Officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “The extraordinary demand for Seven Seas Explorer has reinforced our decision to expand our fleet and Seven Seas Splendor will offer guests a fifth option that will provide unforgettable experiences in the world’s most compelling destinations, with the incredibly high standards of luxury and service that lure guests back again and again.”

As part of the naming process, Regent Seven Seas Cruises sought suggestions from its valued travel agents, loyal guests and employees for the ship’s name in a sweepstakes held in September. Seven Seas Splendor was chosen among nearly 2,600 unique names from more than 14,000 submissions.

The new all-suite, all-balcony ship will have a gross tonnage of 55,254 and capacity of 750 guests. Stay tuned for more details about Seven Seas Splendor and her exciting inaugural season.

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Posted in Cruise News, Regent Seven Seas

Cruisetouch Set To Launch Australia’s Social Media Cruising App

A brand new app launched recently and it is designed exclusively for those who love to cruise. It’s called Cruisetouch and having already downloaded it myself, I just have to share it with you because you are going to love it.

The Cruisetouch app, which is 100% free of charge, enables international users to read and write cruise reviews, post questions and comments in cruise forums, sign up to meet fellow cruisers on their upcoming cruise, read the latest cruise news as well as several other features that will be progressively rolled out over the coming months, from cruising groups to weather alerts, countdowns, packing checklists, daily cruising discussions, price alerts and a whole lot more.

Unlike other cruise apps, Cruisetouch has a heavy focus on design and technology and developers will constantly be working towards creating a clean design and incredibly smooth user-experience. Which is exactly what we want. There are too many apps out there that are unfriendly for the user, there’s just too much going on, but this one, I can tell you, is different and very easy to navigate.

Cruisetouch is the brainchild of Lachlan Andrews, a self-confessed cruise lover as well as the technical and business lead behind the platform. The Cruisetouch team is based in Sydney, Australia.

Cruisetouch has had extensive reach on social media, with an article published by the Cruisetouch team picked up by multiple national and international outlets that reached close to a million views, including the Daily Telegraph, Yahoo News & Express UK. With over 1.2 million Australians cruising in 2016 alone, Cruisetouch is sure to be the go-to app for all cruise fans, both in Australia and around the rest of the world.

The Cruisetouch App is available in the Apple & Google Play store right now and incremental updates & additional features will follow. Every Friday, a new feature will be added to the app, keeping content exciting and fresh. There are future plans to release a more intuitive onboard event system, price alerts, weather notifications, interactive deck plans, menus & onboard pricing, cruising chat, solo buddy matcher, cabin reviews, hot deals & much more.

Current features include cruise countdowns, personal cruising news feed, daily automatic cruising discussions, cruise forums, custom user profiles and a list of upcoming cruises.

I really do like this app. There are a few things that need ironed out, but I can tell that it is going to be a great tool for many cruisers. If you join, be sure to send me a friend request. You can find me under Danielle Fear (CruiseMiss).

Download the Cruisetouch app today!

For frequent app updates and news, follow Cruisetouch on Facebook.

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Posted in Cruise News, General Cruise Articles

Three Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Ships To Undergo Multi-Million Pound Refits

Three of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ships will undergo multi-million pound refits this winter – in preparation for the start of the 2018/19 cruise season.

Two of Fred. Olsen ships – Braemar and Balmoral – will be refurbished before Christmas with the third, Boudicca, upgraded in March 2018. Black Watch, benefitted from extensive improvement work at the end of last year.

Mike Rodwell, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are very proud of our smaller, classic cruise ships and we recognise the importance of investing in ongoing upgrades to ensure that our guests can continue to enjoy them at their best. The refreshed Black Watch has been very well received by both new and existing guests so we are delighted that the rest of the fleet will also benefit.”

The schedule for the Fred. Olsen ships includes: upgrading the existing public areas, creating new facilities – such as a new restaurants and gelato bar on Balmoral, a new dining room on Boudicca, a new buffet restaurant on Braemar – and cabin enhancements across the fleet.

The 929-guest ship Braemar will set sail from Southampton to Hamburg on 23rd November 2017 for a nine-day dry dock at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. Her first sailing after the refit will be a 16-night M1730 ‘Voyage to the Caribbean’ cruise from Southampton on 5th December 2017.

Fred. Olsen’s flagship Balmoral, will arrive in Hamburg on 10th December 2017 for a nine-day dry dock, before the 1,350 guest-ship departs on a 16-night L1728 ‘Canaries Christmas & Funchal Fireworks’ sailing from Southampton on 21st December 2017.

The 880-guest ship Boudicca will undergo a more extensive 13-day refurbishment in spring 2018, entering dry dock on 16th March 2018, before leaving from Dover on 29th March 2018 on a five-night D1804 ‘Mystery Cruise’.

In 2018/19 Fred. Olsen’s fleet of four smaller, more intimate cruise ships will be visiting no fewer than 228 destinations in 73 countries around the globe, covering 91 areas of scenic cruising, from the UK departure ports of Southampton, Dover, Liverpool, Newcastle and Edinburgh (Rosyth).

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Posted in Cruise News, Fred Olsen Cruise Line
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