Satisfied Customers Report on their NSB Freighter Voyages from Le Havre to New York in the Hanjin Palermo and from La Spezia to Singapore in the Hanjin Basel

Happy clients Justin Webb and Stephanie Soleil reported to us today on their voyage this month from Le Havre to New York on the 45,625-tonne NSB container ship Hanjin Palermo:

“Just wanted to say thanks for organizing our container ship cruise. Man did we ever luck out. Smooth seas, good cook, an excellent captain, and we got out of NYC just before Hurricane Irene hit. Phew.”
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Here is Justin’s blog and some photos of their early morning arrival:

Arriving in New York by container ship
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Equally, Keith and Joyce Woodend wrote us from Singapore on their arrival by cargo ship from La Spezia on NSB’s somewhat larger 68,252-tonne Hanjin Basel:
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“We had a great time on the Hanjin Basel and the Captain and crew were exceptional in offering us whatever we needed including excursions in Barcelona and Port Said arranged by the agents there.  The vessel is only 8 years old and is in excellent shape.  We were very comfortable and can highly recommend NSB as a carrier for passengers.  The only drawback with NSB is that their ships only stay in port from 12 to 24 hours so sometimes it is difficult to get off and go ashore to see anything.”
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The Woodends continue their voyage across the Pacific and through the Panama Canal to Houston in the Rickmers Singapore..

To find out more about freighter travel in NSB Freighter Cruises’ container ships or Rickmers Pearl String’s multi-purpose ships please contact The Cruise People Ltd in London at 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk..

The Cruise Examiner for 29th August 2011 – Royal Caribbean Fails the Avis Test : “We Try Harder” – Other Cruise News: Of Boats and Balconies: Costa Romantica – Tahiti’s Aranui 3 To Be Upgraded

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com
by Kevin Griffin

Royal Caribbean Fails the Avis Test : “We Try Harder” – Other Cruise News: Of Boats and Balconies: Costa Romantica  – Tahiti’s Aranui 3 To Be Upgraded

Almost fifty years ago, in 1962, Avis came up with the advertising slogan “Avis Is Only No. 2, We Try Harder.” Last week, the number two in the cruising world, Royal Caribbean, failed this test by allowing Carnival to try harder while it did nothing, or at least very little. Costa Cruises, in recently announcing that it would add two more decks and some balconies to its Costa Romantica, has joined the ranks of Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line in making alterations to their ships that make them less aesthetically pleasing in order to make more money. And the 200-passenger Aranui 3 is to be upgraded this winter.

THIS WEEK’S STORY

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The Cruise Examiner for 22nd August 2011 – CLIA’s 2011 US Cruise Market Profile Study – Other Cruise News: The Cruise West Fleet Finds New Homes – A Brief History of Great Lakes Cruising

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com
by Kevin Griffin

CLIA’s 2011 US Cruise Market Profile Study – Other Cruise News: The Cruise West Fleet Finds New Homes – A Brief History of Great Lakes Cruising

InnerSea Discoveries' Wilderness Adventurer will cruise in Alaska

Today, we look the latest Cruise Market Profile Study from the US-based Cruise Lines International Association, which is quite positive in view of other factors bearing on the industry today. More ships from the former Cruise West fleet find homes, with three going to American Safari Cruises and its InnerSea Discoveries operation and the largest of the US-flag ships going to Travel Dynamics International of New York. As Travel Dynamics intend to use this ship, the Yorktown,  in the Great Lakes, we also have a brief look at the history of Great Lakes cruising.

THIS WEEK’S STORY

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A Brief Illustrated History of Great Lakes Cruising

“At one time there were more people asleep on boats on the Great Lakes than on any other ocean of the world” – marine historian Harry Wolf.

Most people don’t realize that the five Great Lakes – Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior – are where the seven-day cruise originated. This dates to 1894-1895, when the Northern Steamship Company introduced the North West and North Land, with their motto “In all the World, no trip like this.” Among the North Land‘s first passengers was one Samuel L Clemens, better known to most as Mark Twain. Part of the Great Northern Railway system, these ships were described as the “largest, most complete and luxuriously equipped passenger boats in the world.” The return voyage from Buffalo to Duluth or Chicago took seven days, and one of the most popular stops was at Mackinac Island, where automobiles are still not allowed to this day.

Many more cruise ships followed, on both sides of the border, carrying happy crowds for many decades, with cruise directors, live bands and even radio broadcasts from on board. The better-known included Great Lakes Transit’s Juniata, Octorora and Tionesta and Georgian Bay Line’s North American, South American and Alabama, and, on the Canadian side, Canada Steamship Lines’ Hamonic, Huronic and Noronic and Canadian Pacific’s Assiniboia, Keewatin and Manitoba. These ships were all between 300 and 400 feet in length, 3,000 to 7,000 tons, and carried between 280 and 500 passengers each. The Georgian Bay Line advertisment shonw here dates from 1916.

Overnight lines also got into cruising when the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company began a Detroit to Chicago service via Mackinac Island in 1924, with the 500-berth Eastern States and Western States. This service became  the company’s “Cruise Division.” In 1933, the Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Company, which had been offering end-of-season cruises from 1921 with its four-funnelled 1,500-passenger 6,381-ton Seeandbe, (above), began offering seven-day Great Lakes cruises all summer long. Unlike the traditional cruise ships, these were big side-wheel paddle steamers, the largest in the world, and they continued cruising until 1950, when D&C, deprived of its overnight business by the advent of the superhighway, closed down. Their most interesting amenity was suites with private balconies, many decades before they were introduced into modern-day cruise ships.

Most of the traditional ships, in typical lakes fashion, had their engines aft, presaging modern-day cruise ship design. These ships carried on until Canadian Pacific’s  Assiniboia (left) and Keewatin were withdrawn in 1965, and Georgian Bay Line’s South American in 1967, victims of obsolescence and new fire regulations. The Keewatin is now a museum ship near Saugatuck, Michigan, while the 100-passenger Norgoma, which sailed between Georgian Bay and Sault Ste Marie for the Owen Sound Transportation Company, is at Sault Ste Marie, Ont.

Overseas ships have also cruised the Great Lakes. From 1959, when the St Lawrence Seaway opened, to 1963, the Oranje Line offered cruises on three passenger/cargo ships carrying 60 to 115 passengers each between Montreal and Chicago while on their voyages to and from Europe. In 1959, Sun Line operated the first Stella Maris into the Great Lakes on a number of cruises from Montreal to Toronto, Hamilton and Rochester. Midwest Cruises of Indianapolis offered two seasons of Great Lakes cruises between Montreal and Chicago with the 233-berth Stella Maris II (right) in 1974 and the 168-berth Discoverer in 1975, but then closed down. More recently the lakes have seen the 90-berth French-flag Le Levant, built in 1998, and the 96-berth German-owned Orion, which Travel Dynamics engaged for the trade in 2004.

Between 1997 and 2011, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ 420-berth 14,903-ton Columbus became the largest ship to cruise the lakes, but she will leave the fleet in 2012. Most recently, in 2009 and 2010, Travel Dynamics operated the Clelia II (left), soon to be replaced by the Yorktown. With thirteen Great Lakes cruises in 2012, the Yorktown will more than double the capacity being offered this year by the much larger Columbus, which is doing only two Great Lakes cruises in her farewell season.

Full details of Great Lakes cruises can be obtained from The Cruise People Ltd of London. Please call  020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

The Cruise Examiner for 8th August 2011 – A New Concept in Cruising: STX Europe’s Eoseas – Other Cruise News: Cruising’s Economic Impact In The US – Canadian and US Reaction to North American ECA – Disney’s West Coast Itineraries

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com
by Kevin Griffin

A New Concept in Cruising: STX Europe’s Eoseas – Other Cruise News: Cruising’s Economic Impact In The US – Canadian and US Reaction to North American ECA – Disney’s West Coast Itineraries

Today, we look at a novel LNG-powered sail-assisted pentamaran cruise ship concept from STX Europe, which would bring several new (and old) ideas to the world of cruising: long promenade decks with balcony cabins off, forward-facing lounges, solar panels, split after superstructure and sail power among them. CLIA’s recently released figures reveal that the North American cruise market recovered quite well in 2010, with growth of 10%. In Canada and the US Pacific Northwest, the cruise associations look at the potential effect of the new North American ECA – to take effect in less than a year, it could cost them up to 390,000 cruise passengers. And on the West Coast, we look at progress in Vancouver and new itineraries from Disney.

THIS WEEK’S STORY

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The Cruise Examiner for 1st August 2011: Why Some European Cruise Lines Now Avoid America – Other Cruise News: On Board Drinks Prices in 1983 – The New Celebrity Silhouette

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com
by Kevin Griffin

Why Some European Cruise Lines Now Avoid America – Other Cruise News: On Board Drinks Prices in 1983 – The New Celebrity Silhouette

In the wake of the bureaucratic processing some “foreign” cruise ships have been receiving from the US Department of Homeland Security in recent years, several European-based operators of small to medium-size tonnage have started to avoid making calls in US ports. Now, after the 7-hour delay incurred by P&O’s Arcadia in Los Angeles in late May, we have a look at the situation in a bit more detail as it has affected other operators. On a lighter note, we look at shipboard drink prices in 1983 compared to today. And how the $1.60 Martini became $10 (or more). We also look at the latest changes to Celebrity Cruises’ “Solstice” class, as introduced by the Celebrity Silhouette, christened in Hamburg last week. These include The Lawn Grill, The Porch, The Art Studio and the new Alcoves.

THIS WEEK’S STORY

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