Saga Set To Announce Share Float – Twiggy Christens The New Emerald Sky – Norwegian Schedules Two Cruises For Southampton

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 28th April 2014..

Twiggy christens Emerald SkyThis week will determine whether UK travel and insurance group Saga, which owns the cruise ships Saga Pearl II and Saga Sapphire, goes for a flotation on the London stock market. Estimates put the company’s value at about £3 billion (or $5 billion). A good portion of Saga’s holiday business has always been cruising and before buying the Saga Rose in 1997, they were P&O Cruises’ largest customer. Meanwhile, earlier this month in Amsterdam, British model Twiggy (left) christened the 182-berth Emerald Sky, first of four new river cruisers for Emerald Waterways. She will also christen her sister ship Emerald Star in June. These ships, the first of four ordered by Australian-owned newcomer Emerald Waterways, promise  more light, more space and lower fares compared to river operators. They are also now bookable through travel agents. And finally, after an absence of five years, Norwegian Cruise Line will be back in the UK in 2015, with Norwegian Epic making two calls at Southampton. These will be positioning voyages to get her from Barcelona to her five-year drydocking at her builder’s yard in St Nazaire and then back again.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                        (See previous columns)

Saga Sapphire To Cruise To The St Lawrence In The Autumn Of 2015

Saga Sapphire by Stephed CardLeaving Southampton on September 21, 2015, Saga’s 720-berth Saga Sapphire will be heading off on a 32-night cruise to Canada and the Gulf and River St Lawrence. Ports of call will include Ponta Delgada, five nights to St John’s NF, les Iles de la Madeleine, Corner Brook, Havre-St-Pierre, Sept-Iles, Saguenay, Quebec, Montreal (October 9), Baie Comeau, Gaspé, an overnight stay in Halifax, Sydney and seven nights back to Southampton.

Follow in the footsteps of the great explorers and see isolated rural communities, homes to the first nations. See how the cultural identities of cities such as Quebec, Montreal and Halifax, Nova Scotia’s historic capital, were forged by their founding fathers and early settlers. Fares start at £7,199 per person for two sharing an inside cabin, £7,580 for an outside or £9,070 for a Superior with balcony. Ibncludes bathrobes, 24-hour room service

Saga Sapphire Canada cruiseSt John’s lays claim to being the capital of Britain’s oldest colony and the kick-off point for the British Empire. Explore its scrum of historic streets and admire the brightly-painted Victorian houses.

Discover the secrets of the St Lawrence River’s remote North Shore. From Havre-St-Pierre you can seek out the weather-beaten monoliths of the Mingan Archipelago and from Sept-Iles you can learn all about the indigenous Innu people.

Early risers are in for a treat when Saga Sapphire cruises up the 60-mile long Saguenay Fjord – watch the sunrise over forested cliffs that tower above depths of up to 800 feet.

Step into the pages of history when you venture behind the fortified walls of Quebec City. This French colonial city is ruled over by the Château Frontenac, an imposing hotel built at the end of the 19th century.

Visit Montreal, the dynamic cosmopolitan port city on the St Lawrence River. As you explore this UNESCO City of Design, you’re sure to be moved by its distinct brand of French and North American culture best evident in the pavement cafés, gourmet restaurants, art galleries and cobbled historic streets of Old Montreal.

For further details please casll The Cruise Poeple Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Illustration: Saga Sapphire as depicted by Stephen Card.

Passage to India: New Cargo-Passenger Service Between The UK And Sri Lanka Also Provides An Indirect Sea Route To India

Hanjin BostonEffective this month, we are able to offer regular sailings between Felixstowe in the UK and Colombo in Sri Lanka on board NSB’s Hanjin Boston (above) and Hanjin Yantian, which are able to carry up to ten passengers each in two Owners Cabins, two Doubles and two Single Cabins.

The complete rotation is Felixstowe – Hamburg – Rotterdam – Le Havre – Suez Canal – Colombo – Taipei – Ningbo – Shanghai (Yangshan) – Colombo – Felixstowe and the full round voyage is 70 days.Felixstowe to Colombo is 27 days via European ports (Le Havre to Colombo is 21 days) while Colombo to Felixstowe only 19 days as service is non-stop. Fares begin at €85 per person per day or €100 per day single, plus port charges and deviation insurance.

Since Indian immigration banned passengers from travelling to or from India by cargo ship, this is the next best way to get there by sea. Although Sri Lanka is close to India the last attempt at a ferry service between Colombo and Tuticorin by the Scotia Prince failed a couple of years ago. So passengers still have to fly the last bit from or to Colombo when travelling to or from India.

For further information please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Quantum of the Seas To Go To China – Holland America Expands UK Program (Again) – Who Needs A North Star Capsule When You’ve Got This?

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 21st April 2014..

QuantumoftheSeas

Last week, Royal Caribbean International shocked the industry by announcing that from June 2015, its newest ship, the 167,000-ton Quantum of the Seas (above), will be based year-round in Shanghai. We take a look at the repercussions for Royal Caribbean and what the other Asia players, Costa, Princess and Star, are up to as well. Meanwhile, Holland America has been quietly growing its UK round-trip cruise market to the extent that in 2015 it will be offering thirteen round-trip UK cruises with a dedicated ship, the Ryndam, and boat trains that come right alongside at Harwich. And finally, we have an interesting look at some overhead views.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                              (See previous columns)

Vancouver To Regain Its Lead Over Seattle? – Explorer of the Seas To Australia – Bermuda Forecasts 21,000 More Cruisers This Year

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 14th April 2014..

Zuiderdam Lion's Gate

As the Alaska trade prepares for its first sailings later this month, our main subject this week is the ongoing contest between Vancouver and Seattle. Since coming out of nowhere almost fifteen years ago to capture more than half the Alaska cruise trade in just a few years, an equilibrium seems to have been reached whereby Vancouver will see almost 40% more sailings than Seattle but the average passenger turnaround per ship on Seattle sailings will be more than a third higher than Vancouver’s. Elsewhere, the news has finally broken that after her 2015 season in the UK, Explorer of the Seas will join Voyager of the Seas to become one of “Australia’s two mega liners” during the southern hemisphere cruising season. And as the Bermuda season opens, it forecasts 356,000 cruisers this year, a rise of 21,000 over 2013.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                            (See previous columns)

Cruise Examiner Special – Cruise Ferries – Nova Star Cruises – Cruise Ferry Services Worldwide

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 7th April 2014..

Nova StarEvery few weeks The Cruise Examiner brings you a special report on niche areas of the cruise market. Last month it was on cargo ship travel and with today’s arrival in Lisbon of the 27,444-ton cruise ferry Nova Star, en route from Singapore to Canada, the subject is cruise ferries. One of the first such vessels, Kloster’s 8,666-ton Sunward, resulted in the formation of two cruise lines, first Norwegian Caribbean Lines, now Norwegian Cruise Line, and later Carnival Cruise Lines, the acorn from which grew the largest cruise line group in the world. Viking Line gave its starboard-side only promenades to Carnival Cruise Lines and Silja Line its central promenades to Royal Caribbean International. Today, we look on the other side of the fence at what the world of cruise ferries has to offer.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                         (See previous columns)