Carnival’s Big Advertising Deal – Queen Mary 2 Begins Blohm & Voss Refit – New Orders For Royal Caribbean And Celebrity

The Cruise Examiner for 30th May 2016

Carinthia Lounge QM2

Artist’s impression of the new Carinthia Lounge that will replace the present Winter Garden on Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2

Last week, Carnival Corp & plc announced that it had awarded a major advertising contract to PHD to act as its international media agency of record for the seven of the ten brands that comprise its Anglo-American English-speaking market. The brands that are not included are AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises, which work in different language markets in Europe, and P&O Cruises Australia, which is based in a different geographical market. Meanwhile, Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 arrived at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg for a 25-day refit that will see new cabins and facilities added. Among the changes is the new ocean liner-style Carinthia Lounge, named after one of the first Cunard ships to offer World Cruises and a regular in the 1930s on the New York-Nassau run. And Royal Caribbean has ordered another “Oasis” class ship as well as two more “Edge” class ships for its Celebrity Cruises brand.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                          (See previous columns)

Expedition to the South Seas and Easter Island: A Voyage of Discovery in Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ 175-Guest MS Hanseatic

Hanseatic

Itineraries that go beyond classic cruise routes – follow in the footsteps of James Cook and Ferdinand Magellan

  • Calls include the Tuamotu and Pitcairn Islands, plus Easter Island
  • Cruise dates: November 25 to December 19, 2016

With a length of approximately 404 feet, a beam of 59 feet and a capacity for 175 passengers, MS Hanseatic is a small expedition ship, ideal for visiting more remote destinations and ports that are virtually unexplored by tourists. As part of the Expedition to the South Seas and Easter Island, guests on board the 5-star* Hanseatic will travel to destinations including the Tuamotu Islands in the heart of French Polynesia, go on Zodiac landings and discover the Moai statues on Easter Island.

Expedition to the South Seas and Easter Island is a 24-nightcruise that follows in the wake of famous seafarers such as James Cook. In the 18th century, Cook embarked on three South Sea voyages and discovered a number of different islands there. For many of the guests, this cruise will also be full of firsts – for example, when the Hanseatic heads for the Tuamotu Islands, the world’s largest archipelago. This group of islands was discovered in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan.

A further call will be made at Pitcairn, the only inhabited island in the archipelago of that name. Weather permitting, guests will land at Bounty Bay with the 14 Zodiacs – inflatable boats well suited to expeditions – and meet personally the descendants of the Bounty mutineers.

The highlight of the expedition will be the penultimate stop at Easter Island. The park where the Moai, the island’s famous stone sculptures, are situated is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A team of experts from different fields such as regional studies, cultural history, biology and geology will accompany the guests throughout the cruise. In lectures both on board and during the shore excursions and Zodiac excursions, these specialists will provide fascinating facts and insights about the different Polynesian peoples and the European expeditions of the 16th and 18th centuries.

MS Hanseatic – Expedition to the South Seas and Easter Island, from Tahiti to Puerto Montt, November 25 – December 19, 2016, 24 days, from €8,990 per person (£6,750, $10,790), cruise only. More information online at: http://www.hl-cruises.com/find-your-cruise/HAN1622

For further details or bookings please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise Peiople Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Philadelphia and Charleston to New Zealand and Australia Container Ship Passenger Service Via Panama – Round Voyage 70 Days

Five “Spirit” ships, the Spirit of AucklandSpirit of Melbourne, Spirit of Shanghai, Spirit of Singapore and  Spirit of Sydney now run in the well-established Hamburg-Süd cargo-passenger service from Philadelphia and Charleston via Cartagena and Balboa to Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne, then on to Port Chalmers, Napier and Tauranga before returning via Auckland, Punta Manzanillo in Panama and Cartagena to Philadelphia again. The meat-packing port of Philadelphia is of course the destination for most of the New Zealand lamb that arrives in these ships.

These modern 3,630 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container) ships offer one Owners Cabin and one more cabin, either a single or a double depending on the ship. The quickest southbound transit time is 24 days from Charleston to Auckland or 28 days Charleston to Sydney and the quickest northbound is 26 days from Auckland to Philadelphia or 37 days Melbourne to Philadelphia. The full 70-day round trip starts at €7,085 (about £6,075 or US $10,125) per person and one-way bookings are possible.

For further details and bookings please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Harmony of the Seas Enters Service – Koningsdam Christened In Rotterdam – Carnival Vista’s New Attractions

The Cruise Examiner for 23rd May 2016

Harmony of the Seas arrives Soton

Royal Caribbean’s 226,963-ton Harmony of the Seas arrives at Southampton last week

This week we have a look at three brand-new ships, the largest yet built for each of Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line. Harmony of the Seas arrived for the first time in Southampton last week, and we compare her not only with her earlier sister ships, but also with the US Navy’s “Nimitz” class aircraft carriers and with the 18,000 TEU container ship CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, which also carries a few passengers. We also have a look at Holland America Line’s Koningsdam, which was christened by Queen Maxima of the Netherlands last week. Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Carnival Vista, also entered service earlier this month.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                  (See previous columns)

Twenty-Five Years Of Cruise Line Branding – Genting’s World – Royal Caribbean Sells 51% Of Pullmantur – Two Orders For Vard

The Cruise Examiner for 16th May 2016

HAL the new

Holland America cleaned up its logo, changed its fonts and updated its tagline

This week we have a look at cruise line brands. Brands are supposed to differentiate products but with so many multiple and sub-brands these days, we wonder if they also serve to confuse. The branding of cruise lines did not really start in earnest until Carnival and Royal Caribbean started acquiring other cruise lines but has nevertheless been rampant now for a quarter century. Meanwhile, Genting Hong Kong last week confirmed an order for two 5,000-berth “Global” class ships (below) for Star Cruises in addition to its orders for Crystal Cruises and Dream Cruises, with the latter set to accept its first ship later this year. In a counter-move to the many acquisitions of recent years, Royal Caribbean last week announced that it was divesting itself of 51% of Pullmantur Cruises in Spain, but remaining as owner of its ships. And Fincantieri’s Italian subsidiary Vard announced orders for two more expedition ships from unidentified owners.

Star Cruises newbuildings

Star Cruises’ 5,000-berth “Global” class ships will echo NCL’s original side-by-side funnel arrangements

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                          (See previous columns)

An Opportunity To Travel On An Inland Canal Barge On The European Waterways Of The Benelux, Germany And France – Bikes Welcomed

This week we have been contacted by a Netherlands-based agency that books paying passengers (and their bikes) on inland canal barges plying the waterways of Europe. What follows are some views of typical units that can accommodate anything from a sole traveller up to eight paying guests, with fares about €100 per person per day. There is usually a ship’s dog as well.

Some of these are individual units while others are twin sets. One of these (top left), the KVB Tuna, consists of twin hulls that combine to make up a length overall of 738 feet (as long as the maximum size ship that can fit into the St Lawrence Seaway) and can transport a cargo of about 7,000 tonnes. Cargoes can be anything from coal and coke to containers and trading is not necessarily to a schedule.

We have had this type of request in the past and typical routes might be in Dutch or Belgian waters or the Rhine to and from Duisburg, as well as the French Canals. Let us know what you think at CruisePeopleLtd@outlook.com!

Cruiseco Signs Exclusive Charter On Ponant’s 264-berth L’Austral For A Circumnavigation Of Australia, Departing Sydney January 25, 2018

L'Austral

The 10,944-ton French-flag mega-yacht L’Austral is equipped with Zodiacs and accommodates 264 guests in 132 staterooms

Cruiseco, the Australia and UK-based provider of worldwide cruising options, has just announced the exclusive charter of Ponant’s 264-berth L’Austral for a unique 40-night Australian circumnavigation, departing Sydney’s iconic harbour on January 25, 2018. With an itinerary exclusively designed for Cruiseco, this voyage will highlight some of Australia’s most breathtaking destinations outside the capital cities.

L'Austral maoAmber Wilson, General Manager, Sales & Marketing at Cruiseco says: “Travelling around Australia is on every discerning traveller’s wish list, and now with the opportunity to sail aboard the magnificent L’Austral, guests are offered an intimate and authentic cruising experience. As a small luxury, expedition vessel, L’Austral has the capability to dock in smaller ports, providing guests with access to unique destinations and the ability to explore secluded locations via Zodiac.”

“To enhance the cruising experience, guests will also be accompanied by a specialist expedition team to provide insights into the history of each port, as well as flora, fauna and landscape of the country.”

The 40-night itinerary has been designed to offer guests the option to select from a number of overnight excursions away from the ship. For example, guests can depart L’Austral in Cooktown and rejoin her in Port Douglas, having visited Cape Tribulation and the Daintree National Park. Additional highlights of this voyage include: marvelling at the 12 Apostles in Port Campbell, Victoria, with an option to view this natural phenomenon from the sky; visiting the National ANZAC Centre in Albany, Western Australia; and exploring Darwin, Northern Territory with optional tours to Kakadu and its surrounds.

L'Austral's restaurant

Enjoy gastronomic delights in L’Austral‘s French restaurant, overlooking the stern of the ship

Accommodating guests within 132 cabins across nine suite categories, L’Austral is part of the Ponant philosophy of creating a unique atmosphere, with a subtle blend of luxury and well being. Guests aboard L’Austral will encounter a chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalised service, as well as gastronomic traditional French and international cuisine.

“Cruiseco was the first to charter an Australian circumnavigation, which sold out in less than a week, back in October 2005 on the 688-berth Pacific Princess. Now with the opportunity to sail aboard L’Austral and experience an expedition-style voyage, this package is sure to disappear quickly. We would encourage anyone who would like to cruise with us to secure their places soon,” added Wilson. This cruise can only be booked through Cruiseco members, of which The Cruise People Ltd in London is one.

L'Austral CircumnavigationEarlybird prices start at £14,575 for a Superior Stateroom per person twin share. Price includes: 40 luxurious nights travelling around Australia; all meals aboard L’Austral; house wine, beers, sparkling wine and non-premium spirits throughout the cruise; Zodiac tours in Wineglass, Talbot Bay, Yirrkala, Frangipani Beach, Cape York and Lizard Island; port charges; and gratuities.

For additional itinerary options or to book please call Giulia Marri at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.