Century Sold To Chinese “Joint Venture”– Norwegian Acquires Regent and Oceania – Things That Were Not To Be

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 8th September 2014..

Century CdF

Celebrity Cruises’ Century as she will never appear, in the colours of Croisières de France, as she was sold to China instead


Last week was full of news. First, Royal Caribbean announced that it was selling Celebrity Cruises’ Century to a newly formed subsidiary of China’s Ctrip. This was mixed in with rumours from China about additional ships from within the Royal Caribbean group. On the same day, although rumours had been circulating for some time of the acquisition of Prestige Cruise Holdings, owners of the Oceania and Regent brands, by Norwegian Cruise Line, the deal was finally announced. From Australia came word of the cancellation of Funchal’s short 2015 season, and then from France confirmation that the Zenith would remain with Croisières de France as the Century was now going elsewhere.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                            (See previous columns)

Century To Move To Croisières de France – NCL Shares vs Facebook – MSC’s New 902-Footers

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 9th December 2013..

CenturyLast week Croisières de France announced that in 2015 it would be acquiring Celebrity Cruises’ Century (above), to become the largest ship devoted to the French cruise market since the s.s. France was withdrawn in 1974. Croisières de France and Celebrity Cruises are both Royal Caribbean brands. So this week we have a quick look at the French cruise market for any further prospects of growth. Meanwhile, as Norwegian Cruise Line has announced the sale of 22 million new shares, we revisit our comparison of NCLH and Facebook share prices of earlier this year. And MSC Cruises confirms that Fincantieri Palermo will lengthen all four of its MSC Lirica class ships to 902 feet.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                    (See previous columns)

Pullmantur Cruises and Croisières de France’s 2014 Cruise Offerings Are Now Available In Their New 2014 On Line Brochure

Horizon alongside

Pullmantur and Croisières de France’s 2014 offerings are here:

Pullmantur Cruises & Croisières de France 2014 Brochure (English edition)

For bookings please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk

Crosières de France’s Horizon Offers 7-Night Winter Cruises From Barbados In 2013-2014 – Departures Every Tuesday At 8 pm

For those who remember Celebrity Cruises in its early days and who like a touch of French culture, Croisères de France is a offering a series of 7-night cruises from Barbados next winter on the Horizon. Built in 1990 as Celebrity’s first ship, the Horizon, which now has balcony cabins available, will be offering a great itinerary sailing to Martinique, St Kitts, Tortola, La Romana and St Lucia, with a day at sea between the last two.

Horizon alongsideWhat’s really great about this itinerary is that it visits real islands and does not visit either San Juan or St Thomas, places that are so much in demand by Americans but only for the duty free and double alcohol allowances allowed to US visitors. Instead, you will get six truly Caribbean islands that have no outlet shops on the docks.

But even more than that, Horizon operates an all-inclusive formula whereby all drinks at the bars and disco and wine with lunch and dinner is included in the main line cruising industry’s only really all-inclusive offering.

The Horizon will depart Barbados at 8 pm every Tuesday between November 30, 2013, and April 1, 2014. For further details please call The Cruise People Ltd on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Pullmantur Cruises Introduces Its New Fleetwide Branding Today

empress-in-bluePullmantur Cruises of Madrid, the Spanish arm of Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises, is introducing its new branding today, December 21st, including a new livery consisting of two hues of blue for its ships (see photo of Pullmantur’s Empress above).

Pullmantur operates the former Celebrity ships Horizon and Zenith and the former Royal Caribbean ships Empress and Sovereign, as well as its own fleet of 747 aircraft to feed its ships sailing from Venice and the Baltic. There are also plans to transfer the parent company’s Monarch into the Pullmantur fleet in 2013.

This line is actually a world leader in cruising as it was the first of the popular cruise lines to introduce the all-inclusive concept, where all beverages are included in the fare. North American lines are not even starting to catch up with drinks packages that cost on average about $50 per person per day.

Pullmantur has today sent us this rather catchy little video, which might put you in the mood to book another cruise:

As well as its core Spanish fleet Pullmantur operates Croisières de France, in the French market, on which The Cruise People have booked two quite successful groups on board Bleu de France and her replacement Horizon.

For further details on Pullmantur Cruises and Croisières de France please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

The Cruise Examiner Tries Out Croisières de France’s Horizon – Other Cruise News: s.s. Keewatin Finally Leaves Douglas, Michigan

          THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 4th June 2012

This Sunday in Marseilles, together with twenty-four members of the Ocean Liner Society, The Cruise Examiner completed a 7-night Western Mediterranean cruise on board Croisières de France’s new 46,811-ton Horizon. with calls at Santa Margherita (for Portofino), Civitavecchia (for Rome), Salerno (for the Amalfi coast), Trapani and Valletta. He filed his report from on board ship on the way back to Marseilles. Next year’s Ocean Liner Society cruise will be a 4-night voyage departing Hamburg on May 27, 2013,  for Kiel via Sylt and Heligoland, on Plantours + Partner’s m.s. Hamburg, until recently operating as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Columbus.
Meanwhile, last week, after forty-five years as a maritime museum at Douglas, Michigan, the former Canadian Pacific Great Lakes steamship Keewatin finally left Douglas, after a false start on a sandbar, on the first leg of a trip under tow to her previous home port in Canada. She will lay over at Mackinaw City, Michigan, before departing on her final leg to Port McNicoll, Ontario, where she is due at 2 pm on June 23, a hundred years to the day after her first passenger departure from that port.

                                          (See previous columns)

The Ocean Liner Society’s 2012 Cruise with Croisières de France and its new Horizon – Sunday, 27th May 2012, 7 nights from Marseilles

In 2010, the Ocean Liner Society chose Croisières de France and its 37,301-ton Bleu de France (delivered in 1982 as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ last Europa) for its annual group cruise. The “all inclusive” cruise proved such a success that in 2012 the Society is returning to Croisières de France to sample its latest ship, the 46,811-ton Horizon, the first new ship to be built for Celebrity Cruises in 1990.

The 2012 cruise will depart from Marseilles on Sunday, 27th May for Portofino, Rome, Salerno, Trapani and Valetta, with a full day spent at sea before returning to Marseilles.

Celebrity Cruises was formed as an upmarket division of Chandris Cruises in April 1988 in order to fulfil a new cruise contract it had negotiated with the Government of Bermuda to replace Home Lines. As well as acquiring the Italian liner Galilio Galileo, which it rebuilt in 1988/89 and renamed Meridian, Celebrity built two sister ships specifically for the Bermuda run. These were the Horizon of 1990 and the Zenith of 1992. The Horizon‘s initial run was the weekly service between New York and Bermuda, serving both St George’s, on the islands’ east end, and Hamilton. Regular service between New York and Hamilton had been started as far back as 1864 by the Quebec Steamship Co Ltd, which was taken over in 1919 by the Furness Bermuda Line, which in turn lasted until 1966.

In 1997, Celebrity Cruises was bought by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and the newer and larger ships of the Century and Millenium classes were introduced, eventually making the Horizon the smallest ship in the fleet. In 2005, the Horizon was allocated to a new joint venture with TUI Group called Island Cruises, taking on the new name of Island Star. When Royal Caribbean withdrew from Island Cruises, she rejoined her sister ship Zenith at Royal Caribbean-controlled Pullmantur Cruises in Spain and was again renamed, this time as Pacific Dream. Now having reverted to her original name, Horizon will join Pullmantur’s French-based cruise operation Croisières de France in the spring of 2012 to replace the Bleu de France, which has been sold to Saga Cruises to become the Saga Sapphire.

OLS group fares are valid for a minimum number of double cabins, and there is a limited number of category DE and DI cabins available for singles with no single supplement provided enough doubles are booked. Bookings can be made through the OLS group agent The Cruise People Ltd in London. But apply now while there is still space. There is only four months before sailing.

The 2012 Horizon fares compare very well with Bleu de France fares in 2010 as lead-in prices are lower – €510 per person for an inside cabin compared to €585 in 2010 and €630 per person for an outside cabin compared to €850 in 2010. While fares are all-inclusive of passage, full board, port charges and drinks, spirits, wine and beer in the dining rooms and bars on board, a service charge of €65 per person for gratuities will be added to your on board account.

Daily Itinerary

Depart MARSEILLES 17:00 hrs Sunday 27th May 2012

PORTOFINO (Santa Margherita) from 09:00 to 18:00 Monday

ROME (Civitavecchia) from 08:00 to 19:00 Tuesday

SALERNO from 08:00 to 19:00 Wednesday

TRAPANI from 08:00 to 19:00 Thursday

MALTA (Valletta) from 09:00 to 17:00 Friday


Arrive MARSEILLES 08:00 hrs Sunday 3rd June 2012 

Ocean Liner Society Group Fares – Horizon 27th May 2012

(Fares are cruise-only and include port charges of €175)

Tutti Frutti 27 May 2012

Brochure Fare (1)

Early Booking (2)

OLS Group (3)





DI Discovery Inside  




HI Horizon Inside  




DE Discovery Outside  




HE Horizon Outside  




C Comfort Outside  




P Prestige Outside  




PB Prestige with Balcony





JS Junior Suite




JB Junior Balcony Suite




S Royal Suite




S Royal Balcony Suite




(1) Fares are cruise only per person in double occupancy and do not include service charge of €65, which is added to your on board account [Croisières de France published brochure fares are €65 higher than fares shown here].  (2) For bookings made prior to 120 days before departure.  (3) OLS Group fares include no single supplement on a limited number of cabins in Categories DI and DE, provided the minimum number of double cabins is booked. Note: This allocation is now sold out, but we are able to offer a lump sum single supplement of €275 on any grade, subject to availability.

A deposit of 25% will confirm a reservation and penalties for cancellation by the passenger are as follows:

More than 31 days before departure: Euros 90

61-90 days before departure: 25% of the fare amount

30-60 days before departure: 50% of the fare amount

Fewer than 30 days before departure: 100% of the fare amount

Members of the general public can qualify to travel on this cruise by joining the Ocean Liner Society. Membership is £20 in the UK, £23 in Europe and £25 in the rest of the world. As well as the opportunity of joining OLS group cruises, this includes a subscription to their 48-page quarterly journal, Sea Lines. Further details can be found at www.ocean-liner-society.com.

For further information and availability for this cruise please contact The Cruise People Ltd at 020 7723 2450, Freephone 0800 526 313 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.


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