The New Hurtigruten Ships – Other Cruise News: Titan Enters River Cruising With Serenade I – Grand Circle To Cruise To Cuba

The Cruise Examiner for 25th July 2016

Similarities in ship design a century apart

This week, we have a closer look at the first two new Rolls-Royce-designed Hurtigruten ships, recently ordered at Norway’s Kleven shipyard. Some of their features actually date back to ships in the Canadian coastal trades a century ago. Canada Steamship Lines’ Noronic, for example, was introduced in 1914 with covered observation area above a straight bow, rounded wheelhouse and funnel aft. But the new Hurtigruten ships will also include Rolls-Royce’s Unified Bridge concept, which will provide a more comfortable, clutter-free, safer and more efficient working environment on the bridge. We also look at Titan River Cruises, which will charter its own ship, the Serenade I, from Spring 2017. And Grand Circle Cruise Line of Boston plans to run its m.v. Clio between Miami and Cuba starting in January 2017.


FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                               (See previous columns)

“The World’s Most Luxurious Cruise Ship” – Other Cruise News: Ponant’s Sea Voyages – Trouble On The Amazon

The Cruise Examiner for 18th July 2016

Le Boreal

Let Ponant’s 10,922-ton Le Boréal take you non-stop from Boston to Panama in 7 nights this October

This week, we look at Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new Seven Seas Explorer, said by Regent to be the most luxurious ship ever built. We assess first reactions and also compare her to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2. Elsewhere, Marseilles-based Ponant is launching a number of sea voyages, mostly non-stop port-to-port ocean voyages such as 8 nights from Vancouver to Honolulu on board Le Soléal this September and 7 nights from Boston to Portland on board Le Boréal (above) this October. And trouble erupted twice on the Peruvian Amazon last week, with one river cruiser, the 40-berth Amazon Discovery, being attacked by bandits while another, the 24-berth Aqua Amazon, sank at her dock in Iquitos, with four crew members missing after an explosion on Saturday.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                         (See previous columns)

More Sea Voyages From Ponant: Easter Island to Chile; The Strait of Magellan; Marseilles to the Azores; Martinique to Lisbon via Bermuda

Vancouver to HonoluluIn order to reposition members of its fleet as needed, Ponant has begun offering pure point-to-point sea voyages from time to time. Two that are being offered in the very near future are an 8-night non-stop sailing from Vancouver to Honolulu, on September 4 on Le Soléal (above), and a 7-night non-stop sailing from Boston to Panama, on October 9 on Le Boréal.

Vessel       Date         Voyage (from and to)                                   Fare (pp)
Le Soléal      19.10.16      Easter Island to Talcahuano, Chile (6 nights)          €1,090
Le Ponant    01.11.16      Marseilles to Praia, Azores (10 nights)                    €1,700
Le Soléal      05.11.16       Talcahuano, Chile to Ushuaia (4 nights)                 €   800
Le Boréal     19.04.17       Martinique to Lisbon (12 nights) (1) (2)                  €2,360

(1) voyage is via Bermuda, with brief calls at St George’s and Hamilton
(2) including round trip flights from Paris

Le Ponant

Each of the Ponant ships takes up to 264 passengers but on these voyages numbers will be limited. Le Ponant (above), fleet “mascot” and namesake, carries just 60 guests.

For further details on any of these voyages please contact Giulia Marri at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

New 42-Day Cargo Ship Voyage Around Europe: CMA CGM’s Baltic Levant Express From Tilbury Includes St Petersburg And Alexandria


CMA CGM Homère and three sister ships now carry up to six passengers each around Europe

Leading French shipping group CMA CGM announced the launch of its new Baltic Levant Express service in May. Unique and innovative, it offers a direct connection between St Petersburg and the Eastern Mediterranean and provides some of the area’s best transit times. And four of its six ships carry passengers on their rounds.

  •  New service dedicated to the Eastern Mediterranean – North Europe trade.  CMA CGM now links four major North European ports (Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Le Havre) with four main Eastern Mediterranean ports (Alexandria, Beirut, Mersin and Aliaga). As part of this, Alexandria can now be reached directly from Le Havre in only 9 days.
  • An unmatched offer for Spanish fruits and vegetable exports to North Europe. Spanish citruses and vegetable producers will now be accommodated with new calls at Valencia and Cartagena. Transit times are among the best on the market: For example, Cartagena to Tilbury is only 5 days, and Alexandria to Tilbury is 18 days. For voyages of less than 8 days duration special fares apply.

The new Baltic Levant Express service now allows for a full round voyage from Tilbury of 42 days

Six 1,750 to 1,850 TEU-capacity vessels now operate on the following rotation: Tilbury, Antwerp, Rotterdam, St Petersburg, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Le Havre, Malta, Alexandria, Beirut, Mersin, Aliaga, Valencia, Cartagena, Tangiers and Tilbury. Note: Passengers are not handled at Beirut and no embarkation is allowed at St Petersburg.

Four of the ships on this run of the “Philosopher” class, CMA CGM Aristote, Herodote, Homère and Platon, were engaged until recently on the Caribbean, Guyana and North Brazil service. Each carries up to six passengers in three double-bedded cabins. The Owners cabin costs €120 per person per day and a Standard Double €110 per person per day, while the single supplement is a very reasonable €10 a day on top of the basic fare.

For further details on booking on this service or any other CMA CGM passenger route please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

From Ponant: Last-Minute Sea Voyages From Vancouver To Honolulu (8 nights in September) And Boston To Panama (7 nights in October)

Between two seas or between two continents, Ponant’s ships invite you on board for their Sea Voyages several times a year. Sea lovers, dreamers, keen observers of the endless horizon are invited to these non-stop sailings, which allow you to enjoy the convenience of ships and share the life at sea.

What’s more, the two voyages we have chosen here, both get you somewhere, sailing from Vancouver to Honolulu or from Boston to Panama. You can even do both if you want to!

Ocean Voyage : Vancouver - Honolulu


Ocean Voyage : Vancouver – Honolulu

From September 4  to September 12, 2016. Vancouver – Honolulu, Roundtrip flight included from Paris

LE SOLEAL  –  9 days (8 nights)  –   Fares from €2,739 per person including flights from Paris. Sterling and dollar fares by request.  Discover More

Ocean Voyage : Boston - Colon


Ocean Voyage : Boston – Colon

From October 9 to October 16, 2016. Boston – Colon

LE BOREAL  –  8 days (7 nights)  –  Fares from €1,250 per person cruise-only. Sterling and dollar fares by request.  Discover More

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

Last-Minute Transatlantic Passenger Berths Available On Grimaldi Lines From Civitavecchia And Polsteam From IJmuiden

For Americans and Canadians wishing to head home from Europe and for other nationalities holding US Category B1/B2 visas, last-minute berths are still available on some Transatlantic sailings by Polish Steamship Company from Amsterdam (IJmuiden) to Cleveland and Burns Harbor and on Grimaldi Lines from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Baltimore, and occasionally other ports.

Grande Sierra Leone (courtesy Marco Marri)

m.v. Grande Sierra Leone boarding today in Civitavecchia for Jacksonville (photo courtesy Marco Marri)

List of upcoming sailings:
m.v. Wicko boarding today in IJmuiden for Cleveland
m.v. Grande Senegal about July 20 in Civitavecchia for Baltimore
m.v. Isadora boarding about July 20 in IJmuiden for Cleveland
m.v. Grande Guinea about August 2 in Civitavecchia for Baltimore
m.v. Grande Cameroon about September 8 in Civitavecchia for Baltimore.


m.v. Wicko boarding today in IJmuiden for Cleveland and Burns Harbor (photo courtesy Vedran Milacic)

Fares with Polsteam are $1,772 per person in Double or Single cabins to Cleveland ($1,967 per person in the Owners Cabin, if available) and $2,012 per person in Double or Single cabins to Burns Harbor, Indiana ($2,497 per person in the Owners).

Fares with Grimaldi Lines are as follows:
Owners Cabin: €1,700 (about US $1,955) per person for two, €2,300 (about US $2,645) for sole use

Outside Cabin: €1,300 (about US $1,495) per person for two, €1,700 (about US $1,955) for sole use
Inside Cabin: €950 (about US $1,095) per person for two, €1,200 (about US $1,380) for sole use

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

The Potential Effects of Brexit On Cruising – Other Cruise News: Genting’s German Shipyards – Southern Sea Cruises In China

The Cruise Examiner for 11th July 2016

Britannia of Southampton by Andrew S-W

Only P&O Cruises’ Britannia is registered in Southampton – Queen Mary 2 and the rest of the Cunard and P&O fleet are registered in Bermuda. Britannia is actually a Cunard name, dating back to 1840

This week, although it is early to say, we have a look at the potential impact of the UK leaving the EU on cruise shipping. Much of the reaction so far, as in many other industries, is wait and see, and react when necessary, but it will be a while before all of the effects are known. We also have a look at what is happening to Genting’s shipyards in Germany and report on some of the inital reactions to the opening of China COSCO Shipping-affiliated Southern Sea Cruises in China. 

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                             (See previous columns)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,417 other followers