The Cruise People Ltd Offer You Twelve Inviting Voyages For 2015

Princess Patricia in Vancouver on delivery to Princess CruisesThis year we have decided to pick a dozen interesting cruises for 2015, one for each month. Each is different from the norm, and none are repetitive.

Canadian Pacific’s 6,026-ton Princess Patricia (left), when chartered to Princess Cruises in 1965, gave her name to a new cruise line. On December 3, 2015, Princess Cruises will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a commemoratve cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico on board the 30,277-ton Pacific Princess.

The Cruise People hope you enjoy our choice for 2015 at the same time as wishing you all a Happy New Year and A Prosperous 2015!

anchorJanuary 28, 2015 – Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral

BalmoralFred. Olsen Cruise Line offers a special 32-night departure from Dubai to Tokyo on the 43,537-ton 1,747-berth flagship Balmoral, leaving Dubai on January 28. Special last-minute fares are still available for this winter cruise, calling at Mumbai, Cochin, Galle, Port Blair, overnight at Rangoon, Kuala Lumpur, Semarang, Komodo, Ujung Pandang, Cebu, Naha and Tokyo. Pre-cruise stays are available at Dubai and post-cruise hotels at Tokyo. Once trading as Orient Lines’ Crown Odyssey, this ship is returning to familiar waters.

anchorFebruary 27, 2015 – Haimark Travel’s Ganges Voyager

Ganges Voyager - SuitesFebruary sees a 27-night Cruiseco package using river craft, rail, road and air to travel from Mumbai on India’s west coast to Kolkata on its east coast. The cruise vessel chosen is Colorado-based Haimark Travel’s 185-foot 56-berth Ganges Voyager, with the program including calls at Matiara, Kalna, Kolkata, Mumbai, Udaipur, Jodphur, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra, Delhi, Varanasi, Patna, Munger and Murshidabad. In addition to the 10-night luxury cruise, 17 nights are spent in five-star hotels such as the Taj Gateway in Varanasi, Imperial in Delhi, Amarvilas in Agra, Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur and the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. Other charterers of this vessel include APT Cruising and Vantage, while sister vessel Ganges Voyager II will be chartered by Uniworld River Cruises.

anchorMarch 16, 2015 – Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Astor

astorMarch sees Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ 20,606-ton 590-berth Astor departing Fremantle on the 16th for Tilbury via the Cape of Good Hope on a 38-night liner voyage that calls as Mauritius, Reunion, Durban, Mossel Bay, Cape Town, Walvis Bay, St Helena, Ascension, Casablanca and Lisbon. There is a special offer available in the UK that allows passengers to fly out to join ship for just £299. As all the originally scheduled West African ports have been eliminated because of the Ebola outbreak, she will arrive eight days early at Tilbury, so the opportunity has been taken of offering an 8-night Round Britain cruise from Tilbury on April 23.

anchorApril 25, 2015 – Aranui Cruises’ Aranui 3

Aranui 3On the occasion of its 30th anniversary of passenger sailings, Aranui Cruises has announced it will celebrate with a special sailing on April 25, 2015. For thirty years Aranui has been offering travellers the adventure of a lifetime across three French Polynesian archipelagos – the Marquesas, the Tuamotus and the Society Islands, with transport, meals, accommodation and all tours included. In 1960, the Wong family began offering a cargo service and in the early 1980’s modified its freighter with the introduction of a dozen cabins, a new galley, dining room, dormitory and other amenities. Three ships and thirty years later, Aranui Cruises’ vessels have carried over 44,750 passengers to the islands. Today, the Aranui 3 14-day voyage departs from Papeete, visiting Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Tahuata, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Huka in the Marquesas, Takapoto and Rangiroa in the Tuamotus, and will add a stop at Bora Bora to her itinerary in 2015. The present ship offers comfortable, air-conditioned accommodations for about 200 passengers. A new ship, Aranui 5, will be introduced in 2015.

anchorMay 7 and 18, 2015 – Oceania Cruises’ Marina

oceania_marinaOne of Oceania Cruises’ more popular cruises is on board the 66,048-ton 1,250-berth Marina, on May 7, an 11-night spring sailing from New York to Montreal, with gratuities included. The Four-Star-Plus Marina departs from Manhattan and calls at Newport, Boston, Portland, Saint John NB, Halifax, Sydney NS, Saguenay and Quebec before arriving at Montreal on May 17, a perfect time of year for the French-speaking capital of the New World. Then, on May 18, Marina undertakes a 16-night Transatlantic voyage from Montreal to Southampton, with calls at Quebec, Saguenay, Corner Brook, Sydney NS, St Pierre, St John’s NF, Belfast, Dublin, Holyhead and Guernsey.

anchorJune 27, 2015 – Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2

europa-2Hapag-Lloyd Cruises celebrated flagship, the 42,830-ton 516-berth Europa 2, top-rated by the Berlitz Guide to Cruising, offers a special 7-night cruise celebrating Andalusia’s bustling hotspots, leaving Lisbon on June 27 and making her way to Barcelona by way of Cadiz, Malaga, Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca. She then remains in the Mediterranean for the summer, offering a number of 7-night itineraries for the younger ultra-luxury crowd that are still working. Special drinks packages are available for UK and International passengers. Summer specials are available with savings of up to 30% if booked before the end of February.

anchorJuly 4, 2015 – Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 at Liverpool courtesy of Sea BreezesOn July 4, Cunard Line’s 148,528-ton 2,620-berth Queen Mary 2 sails from Liverpool, remembering the first Transatlantic crossing of the 1,154-ton Britannia from Liverpool to Halifax, which she made in 12 and a half days, and on to Boston. New York was not added until 1847, but Queen Mary 2 will proceed there after Boston on this year’s voyage. The July 4 departure will mark 175 years to the day since Britannia’s 1840 maiden Transatlantic voyage under the then-new mail contract. And for the first time in over fifty years, passengers will be able to board a Cunard ship in Cunard’s original home port and sail for the United States. Cunard’s first Atlantic sailing actually took place on May 16, 1840, when the 648-ton Unicorn left Liverpool with 51 passengers, six weeks ahead of Britannia. The Unicorn was sent to carry passengers and mail on a feeder service between Nova Scotia and Quebec in connection with the Atlantic ships.

anchorAugust 28, 2015 – Haimark Line’s Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent for'dThe newly-launched Haimark Line will introduce the 4,954-ton 210-berth Saint Laurent into service in Eastern Canada, New England and the Great Lakes in 2015. Available for sale now is a special 9-night Great Lakes cruise leaving Chicago on August 28 and including Mackinac Island, an excursion into Lake Superior, Georgian Bay and the Ojibwé Indians, the Henry Ford Museum, Niagara Falls, the Thousand Islands and the St Lawrence Seaway, and finishing in Montreal. The Saint Laurent previously cruised the Great Lakes in 2001 as Cape May Light. The Haimark Line will use the same ship to offer half a dozen cruises between Montreal and Portland, Maine. Ten more cruises will be offered on the French market by Rivages du Monde, with flights from Paris, sailing from Montreal to Toronto, Niagara Falls, the Thousand Islands, Quebec and back to Montreal.

anchorSeptember 7, 2015 – Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Marco Polo

Marco PoloSeptember sees Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ 22,080-ton 848-berth Marco Polo departing Tilbury on her 50th Anniversary voyage to Montreal. Fifty years ago, as the Alexandr Pushkin, she first crossed from St Petersburg (then called Leningrad), Helsinki, Copenhagen and Tilbury to Quebec and Montreal for the Baltic Shipping Company. This epic 34-night voyage remembers Marco Polo’s Transatlantic service during her Golden Anniversary year, with calls at Amsterdam and Cherbourg before crossing the Atlantic to St John’s NF. Twenty days will be spent rediscovering her old cruising grounds in Eastern Canada, including Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and two days each in Quebec and Montreal as she cruises the mighty St Lawrence River. New calls since she cruised as Alexandr Pushkin will include Sept-Iles, Havre St Pierre and the Magdalen Islands. Then it’s back across the Atlantic with a final call at Cobh before returning to Tilbury.

anchorOctober 27, 2015 – Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas

QuantumoftheSeasOctober will see the 168,666-ton 4,180-berth Anthem of the Seas (with a tonnage some 14% larger than Queen Mary 2 but a lower berth capacity 60% higher) making her maiden Transatlantic voyage when, at the end of her first season sailing Mediterranean cruises from Southampton, she departs on a 7-night Atlantic crossing to New York. From New York, Anthem of the Seas will offer a winter program of Caribbean Cruises from Cape Liberty, on the New Jersey side of the port near Newark Airport, before presumably returning to the UK for a second season of Mediterranean cruises in 2016. Sister ship Quantum of the Seas will be based in Shanghai from next Spring.

anchorNovember 1, 2015 – Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse

Celebrity EclipseCelebrity Cruises’ UK-based 121,878-ton 2,850-berth Celebrity Eclipse does her next Transatlantic voyage on November 1, departing her summer home port of Southampton for Miami, with calls en route at Boston, New York, Bermuda and Port Canaveral. Once in Miami, she will commence an autumn and winter Caribbean season, with durations varying from five nights (Miami-Nassau-Grand Cayman) to 14 nights (Miami-Southern Caribbean). She crosses the Atlantic again on April 17, 2016, heading back from Miami to Southampton via Bermuda and Lisbon.

anchorDecember 3, 2015 – Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess

Pacific Princess at SkagwayTo celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, Princess Cruises has scheduled the 30,277-ton 680-berth Pacific Princess for a special Mexican Riviera itinerary departing Los Angeles on December 3, 2015. She will leave fifty years to the day after the line’s original ship, the 6,062-ton 347-berth Princess Patricia, left on her first cruise in 1965. This vessel, from which Princess Cruises took its name, was chartered from Canadian Pacific, who normally operated her in the Alaska cruise trade by summer and laid her up each winter. Pacific Princess is the smallest ship in the Princess fleet, and her 14-night cruise will be of the same duration as that first cruise on the Princess Patricia. It will blend ports from the maiden itinerary, including Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Manzanillo, with newer destinations such as La Paz and Loreto. Princess Cruises’ first season offered ten cruises to Mexico between December and April, accommodating about 3,200 cruisers. Nearly fifty years later, Princess has seventeen ships and is now carrying 1.7 million cruisers annually.

For further details of any of these sailings please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruisepeopleltd@aol.com. In North America please call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail cruise@thecruisepeople.ca.

European River Cruising With Cruiseco – Amsterdam to Budapest (14 nights) May 30 & Lyon Return (7 nights) June 5 & 12, 2015

CRUISECO EXCLUSIVE CHARTER CRUISES

Cruiseco and CMV Signature River Cruises have teamed up to bring you Europe river cruising at its best.

The grand waterways of Europe wind their way through wars and triumphs, natural wonders and man-made masterpieces.

Linking countries and cultures, they reveal timeless stories right from their banks.

MS BELLEJOUR

EXCLUSIVE 14-night Rhine and Danube River cruise – AMSTERDAM TO BUDAPEST

Departure Date: 30 MAY 2015

MS BELLEFLEUR

EXCLUSIVE 7-night Rhone cruise – LYON RETURN

Departure Date: 5 JUNE 2015

12 JUNE 2015

For further details on these Cruiseco exclusive charter cruises please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450, use the application form at the date links above or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk

As The US Recognizes Cuba We Look At Cruising To The Largest Island In The Caribbean – And Two New Ships For Grand Bahama

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 22nd December 2014... ..

Thomson Dream arriving Havana

Thomson Cruises’ Thomson Dream arriving in Havana, where she began calling in 2011

 

Last week, as a result of a number of meetings in Canada that were arranged through the Vatican, President Obama surprised the world by announcing that after more than half a century, the United States would resume diplomatic relations with Cuba. Today, we have a look at what’s been happening in the cruise business in Cuba. Meanwhile, Costa Cruises’ Costa Celebration arrived in Freeport last Thursday to replace the damaged Bahamas Celebration on the Palm Beach-Freeport route – under her last name of Grand Celebration. What could be more appropriate?. Arriving in port that same week was the S F Alhucemas, a full-hulled replacement for the Fort Lauderdale-Freeport catamaran ferry. Both services will offer cruise and stay packages in conjunction with resort hotels in Grand Bahama, all backed by a $3 million advertising campaign by the Bahamian Government.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                (See previous columns)

The Cruise People Ltd Have Joined Cruiseco And Now Offer Cruiseco’s Exclusive Azamara Club Cruises Charters For 2016

Cruiseco’s 2016 Azamara Luxury Charters!

HIDDEN TREASURES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN

Cruiseco, a consortium of cruise travel agents based Down Under and in the UK, has looked to create a voyage that combines sophisticated sailing with authentic cultural experiences. The Azamara Journey departs Nice on April 24, 2016, visiting some of the Mediterranean’s least-visited gateways, getting closer than others can, while cosseting its guests in absolute splendour.

This luxurious cruise will take you from Nice to Venice over 34 enchanting nights, visiting 30 ports, with 5 overnight port stays. Earlybird offer available!

Click here for more information

DISCOVER THE ATLANTIC SEABOARD OF CANADA AND USA

Cruiseco offers a voyage that combines the bizarre, the beautiful and the absolutely breathtaking. This itinerary is for those keen to unlock lesser-known ports on North America’s historic eastern seaboard, while still enjoying some of its most iconic.

The Azamara Quest will leave Montreal on September 24, 2016, for New Orleans, on a cruise of 32 enthralling nights, visiting 19 ports with 9 overnight port stays. Earlybird offer available!

Click here for more information

For further details on either of these exclusive Cruiseco departures with Azamara Club Cruises please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450, complete the enclosed form by clicking on the links provided above or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Special Offer On 9-Night Atlantic Coast Cruise Package – Barcelona to Southampton on board Norwegian Epic, September 17, 2015

FROM CRUISCO – THE CRUISE SPECIALISTS – 9 NIGHT ATLANTIC COAST CRUISE & STAY SEPTEMBER 17, 2015

Balcony fly/cruise & stay offer on board the 155,873-ton Norwegian Epic from £1,229 per person ex-UK

Norwegian Epic in Barcelona

Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Epic embarking passengers in Barcelona.

Barcelona to Southampton  – 9 night package – departing UK September 17, 2015

Fares start from just £1,229 per person in a twin share Balcony Stateroom from Manchester

Available from Luton, Newcastle and Birmingham from £1,239, Edinburgh from £1,269 and London from £1,279

The Cruiseco Fare Includes:

One-way economy air fare to Barcelona

3 nights pre-cruise stay at the Petit Palace Opera Garden Ramblas Hotel

Private car transfers

6-night Atlantic Coast cruise: mv Norwegian Epic Barcelona via Cartagena, Malaga & Lisbon to Southampton

Port charges & taxes, air taxes and onboard gratuities

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

Costa Celebration Headed For The Bahamas – Sterling Cruise Lines From Aruba – Just Two European Cruise Ship Builders?

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 15th December 2014... ..

Grand Celebration

Three weeks ago Costa Cruises abruptly withdrew the Costa Celebration from the Costa fleet before she had even been introduced. According to some sources, an immediate sale was in the offing. Now, it seems clearer that the intention was to send her to the Bahamas as a substitute for Celebration Cruise Lines’ damaged Bahamas Celebration on the Palm Beach-Freeport route, again as Grand Celebration. Meanwhile, Clipper’s Gemini will soon leave her accommodation ship role in the Shetlands to go back into full time cruising for the first time since 2011, with start-up company Sterling Cruise Lines. Both the Grand Celebration and the Gemini are managed by Fleetpro of Miami. Finally, do rumours that Fincantieri would like to acquire STX France mean that there will be only two European cruise ship builders by next year instead of the four we had in the past?

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                  (See previous columns)

“Shipping Network” – Holidays in the hold – The Cruise People’s Kevin Griffin says take a trip on a cargo ship to get under the skin of shipping

This article appears in the December 2014 issue of “Shipping Network,” the official magazine of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.

Holidays in the hold    by Kevin Griffin

CMA CGM Andromeda © Walter Rademacher

The UK-registered 2009-built CMA CGM Andromeda carries ten passengers in two twin cabins and three doubles

As many shipping people are aware, there are about 300 passenger-carrying cargo ships on world trade routes, ranging from shortsea vessels to the world’s largest container ships. These vessels, all built in recent years, are limited to a maximum of twelve passengers each, above which they must carry a doctor.

Still, it never fails to surprise us the number of people engaged in shipping who do not realise that cargo ships might carry passengers. Twice, we have had booked passengers to board in Long Beach who were told by the local agent that their ships did not carry passengers!

As container ships displaced cargo liners in the 1970s, much cargo-passenger activity faded away, but over the years the practice has been revived as the concept was introduced to container ships. The first container line to carry passengers was Hamburg-Süd in 1985.

The changed nature of the chartering of container ships today can, however, cause problems for would-be passengers. While once owners operated their own ships, today’s fleets are divided into owned, leased and chartered vessels, and since 2008 many of the latter have been operating on some very short charters.

This particularly affects Germany with its shipowning tax saving plans. When ships change charterers or are withdrawn from one route and moved to another this causes problems for passengers This is something passengers are made aware of when they book of course, but it’s still a disruption.

To take a German example, Niederelbe Schiffahrtsgesellschaft Buxtehude (NSB) turned to passenger carrying after an unusual start. Managing newly-built container ships owned by many individuals investing in the 1980s and 1990s ‘KG’ tax saving schemes, it set aside accommodation for the owners’ holidays.

But when investors did not make use of the cabins NSB offered them to the public. It now operates about 40 passenger-carrying container ships on routes that are determined by charterers such as CMA CGM, Evergreen Line, Hanjin, MSC and Zim.

Chairman’s call

CMA CGM owns 75 passenger-carrying cargo ships, 30 of which are registered in London. After adding the privatised CGM to CMA to form CMA CGM in 1996, chairman Jacques Saadé decided that new container ships should have passenger accommodation, usually for eight or 10 passengers. This was his way of commemorating famous French liners such as the Normandie and the France.

CMA CGM’s Panama Direct Service between Europe and Australia and New Zealand is fully booked eighteen months in advance. A round voyage takes 84 days and one-way bookings are also accepted. But while cabins for voyages to Australia are full, trade with China means that there is still plenty of space for those wishing to travel to and from the Far East. CMA CGM carried 874 passengers during 2013.

Grande Costa d'AvorioFor its part, Grimaldi Lines provides passenger accommodation in about 35 cargo ships. As they are of a unique design, they are the only cargo ships offering inside cabins. Other lines have a maximum age limit of 79, but Grimaldi will accept passengers up to 85. Its most popular services run from Tilbury to South America and from Southampton to the Mediterranean and Scandinavia.

Hamburg’s Rickmers Line, meanwhile, operates nine multi-purpose heavy lift ships in round-the-world service. Spending more time in port, they are popular with passengers. Passengers join in Singapore, sail to ports in Southeast Asia and the Far East, transit the Panama Canal and call on the US eastern seaboard before crossing the Atlantic to Antwerp, Hamburg and Genoa. Those wishing to sail all the way round the world can connect to Singapore from Europe or North America by container ship.

Polsteam operates to the Great Lakes and has a fleet of 11 ships that accept passengers. Carrying steel from IJmuiden to the lakes and loading grain out, they offer the last opportunity to travel on a “tramp” bulk carrier.

In light of the popularity of passenger transits on cargo ships, why have some owners such as Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd taken themselves entirely out of the passenger game, while others such as CMA CGM, Grimaldi and Hamburg-Süd have upped their ante with more ships? When Hapag-Lloyd bought out CP Ships in 2005, for example, it took 21 container ships out of the passenger game.

One reason owners like passengers is that in a poor market a few passengers can add a few hundred dollars a day to the time charter return. Another, more altruistic reason, is that their officers and crew feel less isolated and disconnected from the real world, a worthwhile reason indeed. Fares average about €100 per person per day.

Kevin Griffin MICS is managing director of Griffin Maritime Co Ltd and its affiliate The Cruise People Ltd. Further details at www.cruisepeople.co.uk.