The World’s First Cruise Ships – The New Hapag-Lloyd Cruises – Royal Caribbean To Donate $5 Million To World Wildlife Fund

The Cruise Examiner for 25th January 2016

Augusta Victoria colour
As Hapag-Lloyd Kreutzfahrten renamed itself Hapag-Lloyd Cruises last week, it celebrated the 125th Anniversary of its first cruise, which was offered on the 7,241-ton Augusta Victoria (model, top) in 1891. On the occasion of this event we look back at some of the world’s earliest cruise ships and cruise operations, which date back to the early 1880s. Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean Cruises and the World Wildlife Fund have announced a $5 million cooperation program to help ensure the long-term health of the world’s oceans.

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Germany’s New Flagship – Scenic To Enter Ocean Cruising – Columbia Cruise Services Takes On New Business

The Cruise Examiner for 18th January 2016

AIDAprima © binmei.jp

Germany’s new flagship, the 125,000-ton 3,286-berth AIDAprima, is to be based in Hamburg

As a small fire struck the much-delayed AIDAprima in Nagasaki last week, we have a look at the role the new ship will play n the German market, where she will become the largest cruise ship in the market for the next three or four years, filling a role similar to the Britannia in the UK. Down Under, meanwhile, we have news of yet another river cruise operator expanding into ocean cruising, with a recent order in Croatia for a 16,500-ton 228-berth luxury expedition vessel to be named Scenic Eclipse (below). Finally, we have a quick look at recent activities at Columbus Cruise Services as it reaches its first anniversary of being based in Hamburg.

Scenic Eclipse

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Direct Europe-Australia Cargo-Passenger Trades Close – The End Of Direct Cargo-Passenger Service Between Europe and Hong Kong – Grimaldi Lines’ New Transatlantic Cargo-Passenger Service

The Cruise Examiner for 11th January 2016

Grande Napoli © Ingo Seidlitz

Grande Napoli is one of 7 ships in Grimaldi Lines’ North Atlantic service between Rome and Baltimore

Since our last cargo-passenger update on March 17, 2014, there have been many changes to these trades. A scheduling and slot sharing agreement called Ocean Three, which includes CMA CGM, China Shipping Container Lines and the United Arab Shipping Company, has seen many ships and routes change. Most significantly affecting passengers, the trades between Europe and Australia have lost all direct cargo-passenger connections save one lone ship that is full. Partly because of this agreement and partly because of increasing ship sizes, Hong Kong is no longer served direct from Europe either, meaning passengers must now embark or go ashore in nearby Yantian or Chiwan. Meanwhile, on the positive side, Grimaldi Lines has returned to the North Atlantic passenger trade for the first time in half a century with a new seven-ship cargo-passenger service between Rome’s port of Civitavecchia and Baltimore.

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End Of The Official Steamship Guide Closes Out An Era – P&O Cruises To Build New Ship For Australia – Costa Asia Orders Two Ships For China – Royal Princess 4

The Cruise Examiner for 4th January 2016

The Official Steamship Guide (1931-2015)                               The ABC Shipping Guide (1934-1998)
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The start of 2016 marks the end of the print era in cruise shipping guides, with the news last month that the Official Steamship Guide (OSG) has closed its doors. Elsewhere, Carnival Corp & plc stole all the year-end news with the announcement that it was ordering four new mega cruise ships, including the first newbuilding for the Australian market for P&O Cruises, two China ships for Costa Asia and a fourth ship of the “Royal Princess” class. Thus begins 2016.

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FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY
                                                                            
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Five Cunard Line and P&O Cruises Vessels Lined Up To Sail From Sydney to Southampton In Late February/Early March 2016

Aurora in Sydney 2015

P&O Cruises’ m.v. Aurora in Sydney in March 2015

For those planning to sail to Australia, the annual peregrination will be casting off from Southampton and heading south in the next week or so. Those arrangements have been made and tickets issued. But for their return voyages, the same five ships from the sister fleets of Cunard Line and P&O Cruises have been lined up to sail home from Sydney to Southampton over a short period of three weeks in late February/early March:

m.v. Aurora (P&O Cruises, 1,868 berths) – February 20, 2016 (66 nights)

m.v. Queen Elizabeth (Cunard Line, 2,092 berths) – February 21, 2016 (79 nights)

m.v. Arcadia (P&O Cruises, 2,064 berths) – March 1, 2016 (66 nights)

m.v. Queen Victoria (Cunard Line, 2,014 berths) – March 8, 2016 (63 nights)

r.m.s. Queen Mary 2 (Cunard Line, 2,620 berths) – March 11, 2016 (60 nights)

Two further sailings will take place after this fleet leaves Sydney.

First, Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ 590-berth Astor departs Fremantle March 16, 2016, for Tilbury. She is already fully booked to Tilbury, although some cabins are still available between Fremantle and Cape Town.

Two months after that, for those wanting more time in Australia, Princess Cruises’ 2,016-berth Sea Princess will sail from Sydney on May 15, 2016, on her own 55-night voyage to Dover.

Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 in Sydney 2011

m.v. Queen Elizabeth (foreground) and r.m.s. Queen Mary 2 in Sydney in 2011

Note: For those of you who have been travelling between Europe and Australia on the passenger-carrying container ships of CMA CGM and NSB over the past many years, the last direct ships were withdrawn in late 2015, when they were moved to other routes.

Cargo-passenger connections are still available via Philadelphia and Charleston (full US visa required) and Port Kelang and Singapore, but in order to make things easier for through passengers and make up for the shortfall in cargo ship berths, we have decided this year to offer additional berths on direct passenger ships.

To check fares and availability for any Australia or New Zealand voyage please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com.