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 PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

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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 PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

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

Leto

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 PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

This Summer Book One Of Crystal’s New Getaway Voyages: Perfect For Those Who Just Want A Short Break Away

Tilbury to Bordeaux – 6th August 2016 – 7 nights in  Crystal Symphony – Cruise 6220A

Guests will love this beautiful Atlantic itinerary on board the magnificent 960-berth Crystal Symphony this summer. It includes opportunities to enhance the cruise itself with a journey to Paris,  a short distance from Honfleur, to see Versailles, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe; and the chance to explore Guernsey and see the unique pastel-coloured houses that line the streets and discover a wealth of activities centring around goldsmiths, silversmiths, woodcarvers and clockmakers.

Fares from £1,599 per person cruise only

  • 6th August – Tilbury, England (overnight)
  • 7th August – Tilbury, England
  • 8th August – Honfleur, France (overnight)
  • 9th August – Honfleur, France
  • 10th August – Guernsey/ St. Peter Port, Channel Islands
  • 11th August – St-Malo, France
  • 12th August – Cruising the West Coast of France
  • 13th August – Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux to Lisbon – 13th August – 5 nights in Crystal Symphony – Cruise 6220B

Or, this summer why not discover the resort towns that dot the coastline of Le Verdon. Where, in it’s harbour, stands the oldest lighthouse in France,  the Cordouan light, which boasts a petite chapel and royal chamber.

When in St-Jean-de-Luz, guests can venture into a town rich in historic Basque and stunning architecture, completed with cobblestone lanes, there really is plenty to explore!

Fares from £1,220 per person cruise only

  • 13th August – Bordeaux, France (overnight)
  • 14th August – Bordeaux, France
  • 14th August – Le Verdon/Bordeaux, France
  • 15th August – St-Jean-de-Luz, France
  • 16th August – Cruising the Bay of Biscay
  • 17th August – Lisbon, Portugal (overnight)
  • 18th August – Lisbon, Portugal

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