Cunard Line Announces 175th Anniversary World Cruises – s.s. Keewatin To Turn Over Her Engine This Week – Celebrity Millenium Cancels Balance Of 2013 Alaska Season

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 26th August 2013

s.s. Keewatin at Port McNicoll, circa 1912

Both Cunard Line and P&O Cruises announced their 2015 world cruises this week, to go on sale next Thursday. All three of Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will offer such itineraries in 2015, as will P&O’s Arcadia and Aurora. In Canada, meanwhile, engineers have succeeded in reviving a 106-year old quadruple-expansion steam engine of the Clyde-built s.s. Keewatin, which is due to turn again for the first time this Thursday (vessel shown above in Port McNicoll about 1912). Meanwhile, pod failures have meant the cancellation of the rest of Celebrity Millenium’s 2013 Alaska season.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                        (See previous columns)

Enjoy Learning Something New About Cruise Ships With Guest Columnist Danielle Fear

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 19th August 2013

DanielleThis week, Kevin Griffin is away working on a cruise ship project, so he has invited guest columnist Danielle Fear to make a contribution. Here are some Cruise Ship Fun Facts that Danielle recently ran in her own blog at Cruise Miss. We all enjoy learning something new and a little off-beat so we hope our regular readers will enjoy. Readers will find Danielle’s blog at

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                           (See previous columns)

Holland America Asserts Its Primacy In The St Lawrence – Brilliance of the Seas Drops Quebec – Updates Under Way For Several Ships

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 12th August 2013


Holland America Line last week confirmed that the St Lawrence River cruise trade to and from Montreal and Quebec will continue to benefit from its having abandoned Bermuda in 2012 in favour of moving the Veendam to trade to and from Quebec. Not all is well in the St Lawrence, however, as Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas will abandon three 10/11-night New York to Quebec autumn cruises this year in favour of a number of shorter 7-night cruises from Boston that will sail only to Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

We also look at the $50 million in updates planned for Oceania’s three “R” class ships, to be precipitated when Insignia redelivers from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises next spring, and Princess Cruises’ latest $30 million spend on its Asian-based Sun Princess.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                (See previous columns)

Rockefeller Tries To Tax Cruise Lines – Cruise Naysayers – Work Under Way on AIDA Sisters In Japan

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 5th August 2013

AIDA's new ships

Sometimes there seem to be endless negative voices braying about the big, bad cruise lines and all the wrongs they do. But a quick investigation by The Cruise examiner finds that this rump adds up to only two or three people, a senator, a university professor and a lawyer. In today’s lead story, we look at how that senator is trying to tax foreign-incorporated cruise lines trading from the United States, while in a follow-up story we look at the naysayers of the industry. Finally, we take a peek preview at two new ships now being built for AIDA Cruises of Germany by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Note the new bow design, unique for a cruise ship.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                (See previous columns)

The First World Cruises, from 1891 to 1923, And Beyond

Contrary to what most sources say, world cruising did not start with Cunard Line’s Laconia in 1922, but actually got its start way back in 1891 when Canadian Pacific took delivery of the first of three new Empresses, the 5,920-ton Empress of India.

Built at Barrow-in-Furness, in the shipyard where BAE Systems is to-day building seven “Astute” class nuclear-powered fleet submarines for the Royal Navy, the Empress of India was launched on August 30, 1890. After fitting out, she departed Liverpool on Sunday, February 8, 1891, on Canadian Pacific’s first world cruise, one in which it offered a voyage in the Empress of India from Liverpool via the Suez and Hong Kong to Vancouver, a journey across Canada on its famous trans-continental railway and a Transatlantic liner crossing back to Liverpool.

World Cruises - Empress of India (colour)On Tuesday, April 28, 1891, after a voyage of 79 days, the Empress of India thus became the first White Empress to arrive at Vancouver, whereupon her world cruise passengers continued their journey across Canada and the Atlantic Ocean to complete their trip around the world. Within less than six months, Canadian Pacific offered two more such cruises, with Empress of Japan leaving Liverpool on April 11, 1891, and the last of the trio, Empress of China, sailing from Liverpool on July 15. These ships, the first twin-screw liners on the Pacific, had been ordered by Canadian Pacific to fulfil a new mail contract that connected the UK and Hong Kong by way of its recently-completed transcontinental railway, over which the first train had run between Montreal and Port Moody in July 1886, with the line reaching Vancouver in May 1887.

While these were really positioning voyages to get the new ships from Liverpool to Vancouver, this was not the end of the story for Canadian Pacific. More world cruises would follow when new ships were ordered for its Transpacific service and in the 1920s and 1930s, Canadian Pacific would become one of the best-known names in world cruising, with several of its Empresses offering world cruises, and most particularly the 42,348–ton Empress of Britain (ii) of 1931, the first ship to be designed to cross the North Atlantic by summer and offer a world cruise every winter. Three famous Cunard ships would later follow this pattern, including the 34,274–ton Caronia of 1949, the 65,863-ton Queen Elizabeth 2 of 1969 and the 148.528-ton Queen Mary 2 of 2003, which is celebrating ten years of service this year.

World Cruises - Cleveland 1909After the delivery voyages of Canadian Pacific’s Empresses, the next stage in world cruising occurred in 1909, when a new world cruise routing was offered by Frank C Clark of New York, an early organizer of cruises, who chartered Hamburg America Line’s 16.960-ton Cleveland to offer two world cruises five years before the Panama Canal was opened.

The Cleveland left New York on October 16, 1909, and took 108 days to proceed across the Atlantic to ports in the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, India and the Far East before finishing her world cruise in San Francisco on January 31, 1910. Passengers then returned to their homes from the West Coast by train while the Cleveland operated a second world cruise in the opposite direction, returning from San Francisco to New York by way of Suez. More ships soon followed on similar routings.

Cunard Line’s claim that its 19,680-ton Laconia made the first world cruise in 1922-23 is correct only insofar as this was the first complete circumnavigation of the world by a cruise ship, something that obviously could not be done before the Panama Canal opened in 1914. The first full circumnavigation by Laconia thus left New York in November 1922, took 130 days and called at twenty-two ports on her way around the world.

World Cruises - Laconia 1922In fact, world cruises boomed in 1922-23, with the Laconia being only the first of four ships to leave New York on world cruises that winter. The others, booked either by Frank C Clark or by American Express, were United American Line’s 19,653-ton Resolute, Canadian Pacific’s 18,481-ton Empress of France and Cunard Line’s 19,602-ton Samaria, which sailed in the opposite direction from the other three, proceeding from west to east. The rest, as they say, is history.

Considering a modern-day World Cruise?  With offices in Europe and North America we are perfectly suited to booking your trip of a lifetime.  Start your journey now by calling The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, on 020 7723 2450 or by e-mailing us at