Boutique Riverboat Louisiane Makes Her Way Slowly South From Portland, Oregon, To Her New Home Port Of New Orleans

The tug Jack Brusco and her tow of the Louisiane head down the Columbia River to the open sea

Last Friday evening, June 24, saw the 347-ton ocean tug Jack Brusco pick up her tow of the 150-berth boutique river cruiser Louisiane, loaded and secured on board the deck of the semi-submersible barge Columbia Newark, which can also double as  a container barge.

The Louisiane was built in 2000 as Columbia Queen, the last riverboat to be built by the New Orleans-based Delta Queen Steamboat Company. Her new owner, the Great Northern & Southern Navigation Co LLC, trading as the French America Line, is also New Orleans-based.

In the scene above, she is shown leaving the Columbia River in the State of Washington to her new home in Gretna, Lousiana, part of the Port of New Orleans where French America Line will have its own dedicated terminal.

The Louisiane, ex-Columbia Queen, is loaded to the semi-submersible barge Columbia Newark

The 4,332-ton Louisiane has now passed San Francisco and is nearing San Luis Obispo on her way south along the long Mexican coast to Panama. Once she arrives at New Orleans in mid-July she will go to Bollinger Shipyards for drydocking and will then commence a major refit to convert her into a luxury boutique river cruiser.

The full tow can be followed by AIS on this link.

The Louisiane is due to enter service on September 30, 2016, with a Pullman train linking from Chicago for an Upper Mississippi cruise from St Louis, Missouri, to St Paul, Minnesota. More details of the 2016 season can be found here.

For a longer 14-night exclusive Cruiseco charter from New Orleans to Nashville in October there is at the moment an offer of half off for the second passenger. Further details of this offer can be found here.

For fares, availability and bookings please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

Four Years Ago This Weekend: The Keewatin Came Back To Canada

By  Kevin Griffin

In June of 2012, I was privileged to be invited to join the s.s. Keewatin for her tow from Mackinaw City, Michigan, to her old home port of Port McNicoll, Ontario. The Keewatin is not only the last  Canadian Pacific passenger ship, but also the world’s last surviving Edwardian passenger liner. My connection with her is that at the age of seventeen, in the summer before I entered university, I landed my first real job working as a waiter on her sister ship Assiniboia.

Click here for the whole story.

Port Out Southampton Home, An Exhibition – Queen Mary 2 Refit Completes In Hamburg – A Note On Airline Seat Pitches

The Cruise Examiner for 20th June 2016

Queen Mary 2 refit

A painter puts the final touches to the hull of Queen Mary 2 at Blohm & Voss in Hamburg

This week we have a look at a 15-month exhibition being mounted by Southampton’s SeaCity Museum on the subject of ocean liners. This Thursday, meanwhile, sees the largest ocean liner ever built go back into service when Queen Mary 2 leaves Southampton for New York after a 25-day refit at Hamburg’s Blohm & Voss shipyard that is estimated to have cost about $55 million. She will have room for 75 more passengers and at least a dozen more pets. Finally, we look at the subject of seat pitch on cruise line flights.

 FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                          (See previous columns)

Two Weeks On The Mississippi This Autumn, With Cruiseco’s Exclusive 14-night Charter Of The All-Inclusive 150-berth Riverboat Louisiane

Veranda Exterior

26th October – 9th November 2016

Sail from New Orleans to Memphis and Nashville on board the all-inclusive riverboat Louisiane and experience the best of American Jazz, Blues and Rock and Roll.

Be one of just 150 lucky guests to explore the Heartland of America cruising America’s Deep South in the comfort of the French-inspired luxury riverboat Louisiane, which launches in September. Enjoy the finest of French cuisine, richly appointed staterooms with L’Occitane amenities and premium excursions throughout the itinerary.

LouisianePanoramaStateroomCruising from New Orleans, guests will visit Oak Valley, Natchez, Vicksburg, Memphis, Cape Girardeau, Paducah and Dover before arriving into Nashville.

Voyage Highlights include:
– Overnight port stay in Memphis with private after-hours visit to Graceland
– Music performances in New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville, home of jazz, the blues, rock & roll and country
– Spectacular scenery along the Cumberland and Ohio Rivers
– Special reception at Dunleith, one of the grandest plantation manor houses in the USA

Fares from £4,660 per person twin share / 2ns Guest at £2,330.

Cruiseco Rythms

For further details or a brochure please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

RMS St Helena Sailings Extended As Airport Delayed – Other Cruise News: National Geographic Quest – Iceland Pro Cruises

The Cruise Examiner for 13th June 2016

St Helena © Peter van den Berg

RMS St Helena makes an appearance in London on June 7, 2016, on her final UK voyage before being sold.

This week the news is all about small ships.  First, the 128-berth St Helena and Ascension supply ship RMS St Helena visited London during her last UK visit before leaving service. At the same time, however, because wind shear is preventing safe landings at the new St Helena airport, her contract has been extended for three more voyages from Cape Town. Next up, Lindblad have revealed preliminary itinerary details for their latest ship, the 100-berth Quest, which is due to enter service a year from now. And finally, the 224-berth Ocean Diamond has started her second season for Iceland Pro Cruises out of Reykjavik.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                            (See previous columns)

m.v. Leto Takes Over Europe-California Cargo-Passenger Service – Felixstowe to Long Beach Is 26 Days For £2,215 Single Or Double


Peter Doehle’s m.v. Leto © Ron van de Velde

The Peter Doehle-owned m.v. Leto will be taking over the passenger service on MSC’s “USA West Coast Express” service from the MSC Corboba and MSC Monterey. The full round voyage is 56 days, and while other ports can also be booked, the voyage from Felixstowe to Long Beach is 26 days while that from Long Beach to Felixstowe 30 days.

The Leto‘s port rotation will be Felixstowe – Bremerhaven – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Le Havre – Sines (Portugal) – Panama Canal – Long Beach – Oakland – Manzanillo (Mexico) – Balboa – Panama Canal – Cristobal – Sines – Felixstowe. Her first departure has been scheduled for about July 8.

The ship can carry four passengers in one Owners Cabin and two Singles. Sample fare for the 26-day voyage Felixstowe to Long Beach is €2,714 (about £2,215 or $3,195) for either a single cabin or per person double (there is no single supplement, just single cabins).

A full US visa is required for all non-US and Canadian citizens and passengers are not booked to or from Sines, Portugal, nor Panamanian ports.

Note: Passenger service on this route has been suspended. November 2016.

For further details of either voyage please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

P&O Australia’s South Pacific – Now Packaged With UK Flights From London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle And Glasgow

For the first time ever, P&O Cruises Australia is available with full flight round trip packaging from the UK. Here are details of three such possibilities between November 2016 and March 2017. Go and cruise the South Pacific that you have always wanted to see or explore Papua New Guinea in style and comfort the Down Under way. Packages from 17 to 22 nights with flights, hotel and transfers offered by Cruiseco (ATOL 10701).

Pacific Eden © Geoffrey Barrett

P&O Cruises Australia’s 1,266-berth Pacific Eden in Sydney


Departs UK November 11, 2016 | 6 night Sydney Stay and Tours | Pacific Eden 15-night cruise. Highlights  – Sydney Australia, Alotau Papua New Guinea, Madang Papua New Guinea, Vitu Islands (Scenic Cruising Port), Rabaul Papua New Guinea, Kiriwina Island Trobriand Islands, Kitava Trobriand Islands, Conflict Islands Papua New Guinea, Sydney Australia

Cat Cabin Type Ex London Ex Manchester Ex Newcastle Ex Birmingham Ex Glasgow
IF4 Inside Stateroom £2,995 £2,900 £3,005 £2,865 £3,125
OI4 Outside Stateroom £3,320 £3,220 £3,325 £3,185 £3,445
BE3/BD3 Balcony from £3,980 £3,885 £3,990 £3,850 £4,105

21-night holiday includes:

  • Return economy class flights from London, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham & Glasgow to Sydney
  • 3-night pre-cruise & 3 night post-cruise stay in Sydney including breakfast
  • 15-night Papua New Guinea cruise on board Pacific Eden
  • All main meals+ and entertainment whilst on board
  • Sightseeing tours to the Blue Mountains, Manly and Bondi Beach, Sydney city and beyond
  • Private car transfers between airport, hotel and port
  • Taxes and on board gratuities
Pacific Aria in Sydney

P&O Cruises Australia’s 1,266-berth Pacific Aria in Sydney


Departs UK March 12, 2017 | Pacific Aria 12-night cruise. Highlights  – Brisbane Australia, Port Vila Vanuatu, Port Denaru Fiji, Suva Fiji, Dravuni Island Fiji, Noumea New Caledonia, Brisbane Australia

Cat Cabin Type Ex London Manchester Newcastle Glasgow Birmingham
IC4 Inside Stateroom £895 £2,895 £2,905 £2,920 £2,865
OP4 Outside Stateroom £2,945 £2,945 £2,955 £2,970 £2,910
BC3 Balcony from £3,345 £3,345 £3,355 £3,370 £3,310

18-night holiday includes:

  • Return economy flights from London, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow and Birmingham to Brisbane
  • 3-night pre-cruise stay in Brisbane including breakfast
  • 12-night Pacific Islands cruise on board Pacific Aria
  • All main meals+ and entertainment whilst on board
  • 3 night post-cruise stay on the Gold Coast including breakfast
  • Sightseeing tours to Byron Bay, Mount Warning, Brisbane City and a Koala Sanctuary
  • Private car transfers between airport, hotel and port
  • Taxes and on board gratuities
Pacific Jewel

P&O Cruises Australia’s 1,708-berth Pacific Jewel in Sydney


Departs UK March 16, 2017 | 6 NIGHT Sydney Stay and Tours | Pacific Jewel 11 night cruise. Highlights – Sydney Australia, Santo Vanuatu, Champagne Bay Vanuatu, Port Vila Vanuatu, Mystery Island Vanuatu, Noumea New Caledonia, Sydney Australia

Cat Cabin Type Ex London Manchester Newcastle Glasgow Birmingham
IE4 Inside Stateroom £2,570 £2,730 £2,730 £2,750 £2,690
OD4 Outside Stateroom £2,660 £2,825 £2,825 £2,845 £2,790
BB Balcony from £2,930 £3,095 £3,095 £3,115 £3,055

17-night holiday includes:

  • 11-night Pacific Islands cruise aboard Pacific Jewel, round trip from Sydney
  • All meals and entertainment whilst on board
  • Return economy class flights with Emirates available for departures from London, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham & Glasgow
  • 3-night pre-cruise stay at the 4-Star Superior Rydges World Square Hotel in a superior double room with breakfast daily and complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Private car transfer Sydney airport to hotel
  • Afternoon tour to Bondi Beach and Sydney Highlights  (Half Day)
  • Morning Panoramic Sydney Sights tour 
  • Private car transfer Sydney hotel to the port of Sydney
  • Private car transfer from Port of Sydney to Sydney Hotel
  • 3-night post-cruise stay at the 4-Star Superior Rydges World Square Hotel in a superior double room with breakfast daily and complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Full day tour to the Blue Mountains, wildlife with lunch
  • Half-day morning tour to Manly Beach and beyond
  • Private car transfer Sydney hotel to Sydney airport
  • Port charges and fees, air taxes and on board gratuities

For further details please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

Packages offered under Cruiseco ATOL 10701, offers subject to change.