Northwest Passage Now Boasts Six Operators – Is The Day Of The Big Show Lounge Over? – Ambiente To Return In 2014 With MS Azores

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 30th September 2013

Hanseatic

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Hanseatic sails Russia’s Northern Sea Route from Nome, Alaska, to Bodo, Norway, in 2014

Last week saw the first cargo ship take the fabled Northwest Passage through Canada’s Arctic, on the way from Vancouver to Pori, Finland. This was big news in Canada and in the shipping world but no one mentioned that passenger ships have been transiting the Northwest Passage since 1984. Nor that next year six different expedition cruise operators will be offering such voyages. Elsewhere, as Carnival Sunshine’s show lounge loses one of its three decks we ask whether the day of the great show lounge is over. And finally, we have received news that Germany’s Ambiente will re-enter the cruise business in 2014.

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While First Commercial Cargo Ship Transits The Northwest Passage, Passenger Ships Have Been Doing It Since 1984

Nordic OrionThis week came news that the Danish bulk carrier Nordic Orion (right) has become the first commercial cargo ship to traverse Canada’s famed Northwest Passage, with a cargo of 73,000 tons metallurgical coal loaded at Vancouver and bound for Finland. The route saved her 1,000 miles and allowed her to load 25% more cargo than she can normally carry through the Panama Canal.

National_Geo_ExplorerMost people don’t realize, however, that commercial ships have been traversing the Northwest Passage for three decades. The Lindblad Explorer did it for the first time in 1984. Such transits are now offered by no fewer than six operators, including Compagnie du Ponant (Le Soléal) from France, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises (Bremen and Hanseatic) from Germany, Lindblad Expeditions (National Geographic Explorer, pictured) from the US , Adventure Canada (Sea Adventurer) and One Ocean Expeditions (Akademik Ioffe), both from Canada, and Silversea Expeditions (Silver Explorer) from Monaco.

NWPHapag-Lloyd, Ponant and Silversea transit the Northwest Passage to or from Nome, Alaska, or Anadyr, Siberia, while Adventure Canada, Lindblad and One Ocean turn at Coppermine (now called Kugluktuk), in the Canadian Arctic, at the western end of the Passage.

The Cruise People have been booking Northwest Passage passengers for several years now, but remember to book early as despite new ships being added to the route the season is limited to two months in high summer, usually departing in August, and these sailings sell out quickly.

For further information, here are a few earlier posts on the subject:

Northwest Passage post from The Cruise People

And for details on availability and fares please call The Cruise People L:td in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

APT, AMA Waterways and Noble Caledonia – Grand Mistral To Become Costa NeoRiviera – Australia Liner Profile Revealed

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 23rd September 2013

Project Orient

From starting a bus service in Melbourne in 1924, APT has come a long way in 85 years since it was formed in 1927, now having significant holdings in fifteen-ship river operator AMA Waterways and seven-ship small ship operator Noble Caledonia. As many will not have heard of them, we have an initial look this week at who they are. Meanwhile, Costa continues to cannibalize its Spanish subsidiary Iberocruceros by taking another of their ships for its own fleet. And finally, we have a look (see above) at what Project Orient’s mooted new Europe-Australia liners will look like.

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Hapag-Lloyd Takes Top Two Berlitz Cruise Ratings – Europa 2 To Sail Transatlantic in 2014-15 – Aegean Odyssey To East Africa & the Indian Ocean

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 16th September 2013

Europa 2 PromenadeIn its latest 2014 edition, the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships has awarded top honours to two Hapag-Lloyd ships, with the brand-new 516-passenger Europa 2 joining her fleetmate, the 408-berth Europa, as the only cruise ships in the world to be awarded Berlitz’s coveted 5-stars-plus rating. The Europa 2 makes the news once more with two Transatlantic crossings, her first to and from New York, in 2014-15. In November 2014, she will sail from Madeira to New York, then make some cruises from New York and Miami to the West Indies, while in April 2015, after circumnavigating South America and offering another West Indies cruise, she will sail from New York to Hamburg direct. And Voyage to Antiquity’s 350-berth Aegean Odyssey will be heading for East Africa and the Indian Ocean in 2014-15.

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