Aranui 5 Prepares For Her Maiden Voyage – Change Of Ships At Celestyal – CMI Leisure Takes FleetPro’s Ocean Fleet

The Cruise Examiner for 23rd November 2015.

Aranui 5

The new Chinese-built Aranui 5 has 254 berths on offer for those who want to cruise the South Pacific in a supply ship

November 9 saw the arrival of the new Aranui 5 at Papeete, Tahiti, where she is preparing to take up her supply role to the Marquesas and Tuamotu Islands next month. A product of Huanghai Shipbuilding in Shangdong, China, she is one of the world’s last mixed passenger and cargo ships. Elsewhere, Celestyal Cruises will be taking on a replacement for its third ship and mounting a program of 7-night cruises from Turkey. Meanwhile, the newly formed Miami-based Cruise Management International has taken over the ocean operations of the Swiss-based FleetPro Group.


FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                             (See previous columns)

New Monthly California-Europe Cargo-Passenger Service Begins Between Long Beach and Oakland And European Ports

MSC Monterey © Lotse 1967 @ Fleetmon
The NSB container ships MSC Cordoba and MSC Monterey are phasing in to MSC’s “USA West Coast Express” service with immediate effect. The full round voyage is 56 days, and while other ports can also be booked, as examples the voyage from Felixstowe to Long Beach is 26 days while that from Oakland to Felixstowe is 28 days.

The port rotation for this new service is Felixstowe – Bremerhaven – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Le Havre – Sines (Portugal) – Panama Canal – Long Beach – Oakland – Manzanillo (Mexico) – Balboa – Panama Canal – Cristobal – Sines – Felixstowe.

The first departures from Felixstowe have been scheduled as follows:

1)      MSC Cordoba on or about November 28, 2015

2)      MSC Monterey on or about December 12/13, 2015

Each ship can carry six passengers in one Owners Cabin and two Doubles. They are 4,870 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container) capacity vessels and single passengers are carried at a very modest single supplement of €15 per day on top of the normal fare.

A full US visa is required for all non-US and Canadian citizens and embarkation and disembarkation is not allowed in Sines, Portugal, nor in Panamanian ports except for touring.

NSB is offering a 10 % reduction on the initial departures listed above,

For further details please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail Miri Lopusna on

Be Among The First To Sail The Ovation Of The Seas, Singapore To Australia, November 30, 2016. You Can Be In Sydney By Christmas

Ovation Cruiseco charterThrough its membership in Cruiseco, The Cruise People is pleased to be able to offer its clients a once in a lifetime opportunity to be among the first to sail on board Ovation of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International’s third Quantum Class vessel, on its inaugural voyage to Australia.

The 4,180-berth ship will depart Singapore on November 30, 2016, with a spectacular itinerary showcasing four beautiful Australian ports including Fremantle, Adelaide, Hobart and Sydney.

Amber Wilson, Cruiseco’s International Marketing Manager, said: “Sailing on an inaugural voyage into Australia is an extremely special and memorable occasion. We are thrilled to offer our guests the opportunity to do just that with Cruiseco’s exclusive Ovation of the Seas charter. Cruising through Australia’s crystal waters is a lifetime goal for many UK travellers, and with the added advantage of concluding the voyage in Sydney, within view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, I encourage guests to book early to secure their spot before cabins sell out.¨

The following itinerary options are available for Ovation of the Seas‘ debut Australian voyage, with fares shown per person based on twin share:

  • Singapore to Fremantle: 6-night voyage, with fares starting from £530.
  • Singapore to Adelaide: 11-night voyage, with fares starting from £1,025.
  • Singapore to Hobart: 13-night voyage, with fares starting from £1,220.
  • Singapore to Melbourne: Ovation of the Seas will not visit Melbourne, but guests wishing to travel from Singapore to Melbourne can disembark in Hobart and fly to Melbourne. Fares for this 13-night option start at £1,275 per person, including transfers to Hobart airport and a one-way economy class flight from Hobart to Melbourne.
  • Singapore to Sydney: the full 15-night voyage, with fares starting from £1,415.

For further details on any of these cruise options please contact The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email

Dream Cruises, New Upmarket Brand For Asia – Vancouver Returns To Growth – Odds and Ends

The Cruise Examiner for 16th November 2015.

Genting Dream

The Genting Dream is the first of two 3,364-berth upmarket cruise ships being completed for Dream Cruises by Meyer Werft

Last week saw an announcement by Genting that it would be using the two ships it has on order at Meyer Werft for delivery in 2016 and 2017 to launch Asia’s first premium class cruise line. To be called Dream Cruises, the line’s new ships will have a passenger space ratio about 5% higher than Celebrity’s Solstice class vessels. Meanwhile, in Canada, the Port of Vancouver is slowly recovering from the onslaught it received from Seattle several years ago after newer and faster ships saw more Alaska cruises sailing the extra distance from Seattle. Finally, we have updates on previous stories on Crystal River Cruises and Thomson Cruises.

Grimaldi Lines’ New Cargo-Passenger Service Between Civitavecchia (Rome), Baltimore and Antwerp Includes Halifax

Grande Napoli © Ingo Seidlitz

Grande Napoli entered Grimaldi Lines’ new North Atlantic service in February 2015.

After years of very little happening as far as cargo-passenger service goes in the Port of Halifax, it turns out that the port is turning into a bit of a mecca for container ship travel. Soon after CMA CGM revealed that its Columbus Loop service would start calling at Halifax, Grimaldi Lines announced a new cargo-passenger service between Civitavecchia (for Rome), Baltimore, Halifax and Antwerp.

To start with, Grimaldi will offer Civitavecchia – Baltimore (sometimes other ports as well: Jacksonville, New York, Newport News and Halifax). An eastbound Baltimore and Halifax to Antwerp service is also available for passengers and it may be possible later to book accompanying vehicles as well. These ships carry up to twelve passengers each, the maximum allowed on a cargo ship.

Grimaldi Outside stateroom

One-way North Alantic fares for 2015:

Owners Category EM2: €1,700 (about US $1,905) per person for two
Outside Category DE2: €1,300 (about US $1,455) per person for two
Inside Categories DI2/BI2: €950 (about US $1,065) per person for two

Owners Category EM1: €2,300 (about US $2,575) for sole occupancy
Outside Category DE1: €1,700 (about US $1,905) for sole occupancy
Inside Categories DI1/BI1: €1,200 (about US $1,345) for sole occupancy

The duration of each voyage will be about 11-13 days and there is a sailing about every 13 days. When there are more voyages for Halifax it will be possible for passengers to travel with accompanied vehicles. Bookings are only accommodated about thirty days in advance.

The addition of Grimaldi Lines to the roster means that Halifax now has four different cargo-passenger routes served by fourteen ships:

o  The CMA CGM Columbus Loop (six ships carrying seven passengers each) about every 21 days via Suez to Malaysia, China, Vietnam and South Korea and then on to Vancouver and Seattle.

o  Grimaldi Lines’ Grande Marocco, Grande Guinea, Grande Sierra Leone and Grande Benin (Owners cabin and 5 Inside cabins), and Grande Napoli and Grande Roma (3 Outside cabins, max 4 per cabin) between Italy, Baltmire, Halifax and Belgium.

o  Melfi Line’s Vera D (one double and one single cabin) every 55 days to Cuba, Mexico and Italy.

o  The NSB-managed Zim San Francisco (three double cabins) every 77 days from Halifax to China and South Korea via the Panama Canal.

These recent announcements will be a boon for Halifax in particular as it means there will now be sveral hundred passenger berths available in each direction on board cargo ships calling there each year where previously there had been fewer than 40.

For further details on booking a voyage on Grimaldi Lines or any of the services listed above please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

Crystal River Cruises To Open In 2016 – Phoenix Reisen To Charter Deutschland – AIDA Cruises Announces AIDAbella for China

The Cruise Examiner for 9th November 2015.

River Yacht © Crystal Rover Cruises

Artist’s conception of one of the new Crystal River Cruises river yachts

This week sees two former Deilmann ships going to new operators. First, the Danube river cruiser Mozart has been purchased by Crystal Cruises for its nacent river yacht operation and second, the ocean-going Deutschland has been chartered from its US owners by Germany’s Phoenix Reisen for five summer seasons. Crystal has also announced orders for two new river yachts from Lloyd Werft. At the same time, AIDA Cruises followed Carnival Cruise Line last week with an announcement that it would be basing its AIDAbella year-round in Shanghai from the spring of 2017.

Australians Outstrip Canadians In Their Own Port of Montreal

Montreal’s cruise season opened in May with Haimark Line’s 210-berth Saint Laurent (below) and closed last week with the Regent’s 490-berth Seven Seas Navigator.

The 210-berth Saint Laurent. In this pic she is moored in Montreal

In all, Montreal recorded 73 cruise ships visits this year, 29 more than the 44 received in 2014. Preliminary figures indicate that more than 92,000 passengers and crewmembers transited the cruise terminal this season, a near 30% increase over 2014 and a 94% hike since the creation of the Montreal Cruise Committee in 2011. The committee was established with a brief to attract more international cruise lines to the Canadian port.

The St Lawrence River cruise season generally runs from May through October, with the busiest months being September and October, for the autumn leaves. According to data collected by the Montreal Cruise Committee, clients are primarily American (72%), Australian (8.5%), Canadian (7.5%) and English (4.5%).

Like Quebec, Montreal has adopted a bad habit of counting crew members along with passengers. The cruise lines regard crew as a cost centre and passengers as the revenue centre. If we take a ratio of say 2.5 passengers to every crewmember, then 92,000 represents about 66,000 passengers and 26,000 crew.

The Maasdam departing Montreal on a cruise. On the left is  the Sailors’ Memorial clocktower on Victoria Pier. This is where the Canada Steamship Lines and Clarke Steamship Company cruise ships sailed from

Holland America Line’s Maasdam departing Montreal on a cruise. She is Montreal’s most frequent caller. 

Reducing the passenger number further means about 5,600 Australian passengers outnumbered the roughly 5,000 Canadians who took a cruise over Montreal by 12 to 13%, which is quite ridiculous. Montreal is inside in a country with a population of 35 million, while Australia has only 23 million. And Sydneysiders have to travel 10,000 miles to get to Montreal!

Perhaps as well as attracting foreign cruise lines, the Montreal Cruise Committee should start working on attracting more domestic passengers to their local port, which is just down the street, along the highway or less than a half-hour drive away from Trudeau Airport.Essentially, this research means the number of Canadians cruising through Montreal numbers only one in every 7,000 of the country’s population and the nearby Americans outnumber them almost ten to one.

By comparison, this year Vancouver is expected to handle some 805,000 cruise passengers to Montreal’s 66,000, or about twelve times as many as its St Lawrence sister port, with 228 calls compared to Montreal’s 73.

Azamara QuestIf you want to cruise from Montreal next year, The Cruise People Ltd highly recommends Cruiseco’s charter of the Azamara Quest from Montreal to New Orleans, a voyage of 32 nights, next September and October, with 19 ports and 9 overnights.  Further details of the Montreal to New Orleans cruise can be found here

Ironically, this cruise is being offered by the Australian group Cruiseco, who will be bringing several hundred more Australian passengers to Montreal next year.

One way to reach this cruise will be a Transatlantic sailing from Southampton from September 9 to 24. Further details of this Atlantic crossing can be found here. 

For further details on these or any other Montreal cruises call us in London on 020 7723 2450 or email


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