Crystal “Discovers” The Northwest Passage – More Breakaway Plus Orders – Shipping Activity By Royal Caribbean Shareholders

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 21st July 2014..


Crystal Serenity in the iceLast week Crystal Cruises surprised the market with the news that it would send its 68,870-ton Crystal Serenity through the Northwest Passage in 2016. Last year the Danish cargo ship Nordic Orion ran from Vancouver across the Canadian Arctic with a cargo of coal for Pori, Finland, and this and other recent activity seem to have emboldened Crystal to try it for themselves. This is despite the fact that there have been times in the past when Ice Class ships have had to abandon their efforts and return from whence they came. Elsewhere, Norwegian Cruise Line has ordered two more Breakaway Plus class ships while there has been some more activity around Royal Caribbean’s shipping shareholders.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                         (See previous columns)

Complimentary Stateroom Upgrade On Compagnie du Ponant’s Le Boréal In The Gulf of St Lawrence This September

Quebec – Gulf of St Lawrence – Nova Scotia – Portland – Boston

  • Le Boréal at Percé
  • Le Boréal invites you to discover a truly Canadian experience: an unforgettable cruise among the waters of the Gulf of St Lawrence. Quebec – Saguenay – Tadoussac – Havre St Pierre – Percé (above) – Iles de la Madeleine – Louisburg – Lunenberg – Portland – Boston.
    Compagnie du Ponant gives you access to the most beautiful staterooms and suites during your cruise. For all new booking of a Deluxe Stateroom, enjoy a stateroom upgrade in Prestige stateroom on Deck 4 or 5.
    * Offer is valid for new bookings only. Subject to change or withdrawal at any time without notice and is not retroactive nor combinable unless otherwise stated. Non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

* Fares listed are per person, based on double occupancy. See Compagnie du Ponant terms and conditions for further particulars.

Crystal Cruises Package For UK Travellers To Washington In November

Crystal SerenityUK guests can now enjoy a 3-night stay in Washington before joining their All-Inclusive Crystal Cruise in Baltimore, and sailing down the US East Coast to the Caribbean.

The package includes:
• Return economy class flights London to Washington and Miami to London
• All overseas transfers
• A 3-night stay in Washington at the Fairmont Georgetown Hotel with its giant beds and great lobby bar (or similar hotel, subject to availability, so book early, book now to take advantage of this great pre-cruise stay)
• 11 nights All-Inclusive cruising on board the Crystal Serenity
• All port taxes and basic gratuities

Cruise 4328C – 5th November 2014 – 11 Nights

Itinerary: 3-night hotel stay in Washington DC before embarkation in Baltimore – Norfolk – Charleston – Turks & Caicos – Curacao – Aruba – Miami

Oceanview Fare: £3,983 pp (double occupancy) or £4,882 (single occupancy)
Balcony Fare: £4,774 pp (double occupancy) or £6,704 (single occupancy)
Penthouse Fare: £6,789 pp (double occupancy) or £11,757 (single occupancy)

For further details please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail

Crystal_The_All_InclusiveFares per person in Category C3 oceanview, B3 balcony and PH Penthouse for fly/cruise package as outlined. Hotel subject to availability at time of booking, may be substituted for a similar hotel without notice. Fares subject to availability and may be changed or withdrawn at any time. Fares are valid for residents of the UK and Eire only.

This Fall, Take A High-Quality Regent Cruise, Round Italy From Monte Carlo to Venice or The North American Coast From Montreal to Miami

Why not sit back and relax this autumn while Regent Seven Seas Cruises look after you on one of their all-inclusive (shore excursions too) cruises from two of the world’s most attractive embarkation ports?

On September 13, the 706-guest Seven Seas Mariner leaves Monte Carlo for a 10-night “Round Italy” cruise to Livorno, Civitavecchia, Sorrento, Taormina, Argostoli, Durres, Split, Koper and Venice, where you spend the night of September 22 on board before finally disembarking from your voyage the next morning. See Florence and Pisa from Livorno, Capri from Sorrento and Rome from Civitavecchia, while from Durres you will be able to visit Tirana, Albania, (where The Economist got its headline “Tirana Boom Today”). All-inclusive fares begin at £4,199 per person in a Category H Deluxe Veranda.

Seven Seas NavigatorThen, on October 22, the 490-guest Seven Seas Navigator (above) leaves Montreal for a 15-night North American Coast cruise to Quebec, Sydney, Halifax, Saint John, Portland, Boston, New York, Norfolk, Charleston, Port Canaveral and Miami, with overnight stays at New York and Charleston. All-inclusive fares begin at £5,239 per person in a Category H Deluxe Veranda.

For further details please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail Or in North America call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail

Duchess of Richmond’s 1939 Pacific Cruise From Montreal And New York To Hawaii, Alaska, British Columbia, California And Mexico

Seventy-five years ago today Canadian Pacific’s 20,022-ton Duchess of Richmond was steaming north from Balboa towards Los Angeles in the course of a 68-day “all in one” 1939 summer cruise that had sailed from Montreal on Dominion Day, July 1, and New York on July 6 for California, Hawaii, Alaska and Mexico. The same itinerary had been offered as a 59-day cruise from New York, from $595 per person, and sold through Thomas Cook with its ads espousing “17 ports, 18,000 miles and 2 World’s Fairs.”

Duchess of Richmond in the West Indies

Canadian Pacific’s Duchess of Richmond tendering passengers in the Caribbean

After departing New York, the Duchess had made calls at Kingston, Cristobal and Balboa and was now bound for Los Angeles, Honolulu, Yakutat Bay, Sitka, Juneau, Vancouver, Victoria, San Francisco, Los Angeles once more, Acapulco, the Panama Canal, Vera Cruz and Havana on her way back to New York and Montreal.

This cruise was unique, and the only one of its kind ever offered by Canadian Pacific. While the Duchess of Richmond had become the largest ship ever to call in Miami on a winter cruise in 1935, she was usually engaged on the North Atlantic in the summer time. The fact that it was 1939 and there were fears of impending war in Europe may have had something to do with it, but at the same time she visited both the World’s Fairs of the year. In New York, she stayed overnight on Wednesday, September 5, and in San Francisco, she spent two nights, from Saturday, August 12 until Monday, August 14.

An ominous-sounding radio news bulletin arrived from London on August 27 and was quoted in the “New York Times” the next day. Under the heading “Admiralty Takes Control,” the “Times” reported,

The Admiralty has taken over control of all British shipping, it was announced tonight. The control came into operation as from midnight last night. It means that all British ships must obey all Admiralty instructions, including changing course and destination while at sea.

On arriving at Vera Cruz on Sunday, August 27, the Duchess of Richmond was instructed to black out and when she arrived that way in New York, she incurred a delay at the pilots’ station because she could not bee seen.

Duchess of Richmond on an earlier cruise at Miami

The Duchess of Richmond was the largest cruise ship to call at Miami in the years between 1935 and 1939

On September 1, whilst the Duchess of Richmond was steaming towards New York, Germany invaded Poland and Britain and France each laid down an ultimatum to Germany. The Duchess’s arrival back at New York was scheduled for 8 am on September 3, the day on which both Britain and France declared war on Germany. That very same day, the U-30 torpedoed the Donaldson Line’s 13,465-ton Athenia, while on her way from Liverpool to Montreal, with the loss of 118 lives.

Already in New York when she arrived was the French Line’s flagship, the 83,423-ton Normandie, which had been laid up on her last arrival on August 28 in order to avoid her becoming involved in any possible war in Europe. But the Duchess of Richmond returned to the North Atlantic until November 1940. After the war, she became Canadian Pacific’s second Empress of Canada.

Regatta Vancouver

Oceania’s Regatta, seen here at Vancouver’s Canada Place, underwent an update at Vancouver earlier this year

Cruises like this one rarely come around these days but P&O’s Oriana did a long one from Southampton a couple of years back, and occasionally it is possible to book a Trans-Panama cruise all the way from Montreal to Vancouver or vice versa. This year, for example, Oceania Cruises’ Regatta leaves Vancouver on August 19 for a 40-day cruise that takes her to Ketchikan,  Juneau, Sitka, Victoria, Astoria, San Francisco, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Huatulco, Chiapas, Puntarenas, Cartagena, Norfok, New York, Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John,  Halifax, Sydney, Corner Brook, Quebec and Monrtreal, where she arrives on September 27.

Seven Seas Navigator

Like Regatta, Regent’s Seven Seas Navigator will cruise from Vancouver to Montreal via Alaska and Mexico later this summer

Regent’s Seven Seas Navigator also leaves Vancouver, on September 1 in her case, for a somewhat shorter 31-night cruise that takes her to Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Victoria, Astoria, San Francisco, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Chiapas, Puntarenas, Cartagena, Grand Cayman, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Norfolk and New York, Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Halifax, Sydney, Saguenay, Quebec and Montreal, where she arrives on October 2.

Both the Regatta and the Seven Seas Navigator will be offering similar cruises in 2015, so you can plan well in advance.

For further details of such opportunities please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail or in North America on 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail

Rising And Falling Cruise Markets – “The Cruise Ship” On ITV – Duchess of Richmond’s 1939 Pacific Cruise

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 14th July 2014..

Duchess of Richmond on an earlier cruise at Miami

Canadian Pacific’s Duchess of Richmond was the largest cruise ship to call at Miami between 1935 and 1939


Markets can go up as well as down is the frequent warning about the stock market and it appears that after years of non-stop growth the same is now true of the cruise market. While China and Australia boom and Germany and France grow, the UK is flat and markets in Brazil, Spain and even Italy are shrinking. As well as markets we have a look this week at the first episode of a new four-part ITV documentary based on life on board the new Royal Princess. And finally, seventy-five years later, we look at the Duchess of Richmond’s summer cruise from Montreal and New York to California, Hawaii, Alaska, British Columbia and Mexico just before war breaks out in Europe.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                          (See previous columns)

Passage Durations For Rickmers Pearl String Round-the-World Service

Rickmers HamburgAs some cargo ship passengers have noticed, the durations of Rickmers Pearl String round-the-world voyage sectors are actually longer than stated in their descriptions.
Here are some approximate durations for different world sectors:
European Coastal Legs
Antwerp – Genoa               12-15 days
Hamburg – Genoa                     9 days

Part World Sectors from Singapore

Singapore – Houston               73 – 80 days
Singapore – Antwerp                120-130 days
Singapore – Hamburg             125-135 days
Transatlantic Voyages
Philadelphia – Antwerp                 12-15 days        /        Houston – Antwerp                30-32 days
Philadelphia – Hamburg               18-22 days        /        Houston – Hamburg             34-38 days.

For further details or to request a voyage on any of these scctors please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail



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