The New Hurtigruten Ships – Other Cruise News: Titan Enters River Cruising With Serenade I – Grand Circle To Cruise To Cuba

The Cruise Examiner for 25th July 2016

Similarities in ship design a century apart

This week, we have a closer look at the first two new Rolls-Royce-designed Hurtigruten ships, recently ordered at Norway’s Kleven shipyard. Some of their features actually date back to ships in the Canadian coastal trades a century ago. Canada Steamship Lines’ Noronic, for example, was introduced in 1914 with covered observation area above a straight bow, rounded wheelhouse and funnel aft. But the new Hurtigruten ships will also include Rolls-Royce’s Unified Bridge concept, which will provide a more comfortable, clutter-free, safer and more efficient working environment on the bridge. We also look at Titan River Cruises, which will charter its own ship, the Serenade I, from Spring 2017. And Grand Circle Cruise Line of Boston plans to run its m.v. Clio between Miami and Cuba starting in January 2017.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                               (See previous columns)

“The World’s Most Luxurious Cruise Ship” – Other Cruise News: Ponant’s Sea Voyages – Trouble On The Amazon

The Cruise Examiner for 18th July 2016

Le Boreal

Let Ponant’s 10,922-ton Le Boréal take you non-stop from Boston to Panama in 7 nights this October

This week, we look at Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new Seven Seas Explorer, said by Regent to be the most luxurious ship ever built. We assess first reactions and also compare her to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2. Elsewhere, Marseilles-based Ponant is launching a number of sea voyages, mostly non-stop port-to-port ocean voyages such as 8 nights from Vancouver to Honolulu on board Le Soléal this September and 7 nights from Boston to Portland on board Le Boréal (above) this October. And trouble erupted twice on the Peruvian Amazon last week, with one river cruiser, the 40-berth Amazon Discovery, being attacked by bandits while another, the 24-berth Aqua Amazon, sank at her dock in Iquitos, with four crew members missing after an explosion on Saturday.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                         (See previous columns)

More Sea Voyages From Ponant: Easter Island to Chile; The Strait of Magellan; Marseilles to the Azores; Martinique to Lisbon via Bermuda

Special Positioning Cruises From Ponant:

Vessel       Date         Voyage (from and to)                                   Fare (pp)
Le Ponant    01.11.16      Marseilles to Praia, Azores (10 nights)                    €1,700
Le Soléal      05.11.16       Talcahuano, Chile to Ushuaia (4 nights)                 €   800
Le Boréal     19.04.17       Martinique to Lisbon (12 nights) (1) (2)                  €2,360

(1) voyage is via Bermuda, with brief calls at St George’s and Hamilton
(2) including round trip flights from Paris

Le Ponant

Each of the Ponant ships takes up to 264 passengers but on these voyages numbers will be limited. Le Ponant (above), fleet “mascot” and namesake, carries just 60 guests.

For further details on any of these voyages please contact The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com

New 42-Day Cargo Ship Voyage Around Europe: CMA CGM’s Baltic Levant Express From Tilbury Includes St Petersburg And Alexandria

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CMA CGM Homère and three sister ships now carry up to six passengers each around Europe

Leading French shipping group CMA CGM announced the launch of its new Baltic Levant Express service in May. Unique and innovative, it offers a direct connection between St Petersburg and the Eastern Mediterranean and provides some of the area’s best transit times. Four of its six ships carry passengers on their rounds. Here is the day-by-day itinerary:

St Petersburg (day 1)
Hamburg (day 5)
Rotterdam (day 7)
Antwerp (day 8)
Le Havre (day 9)
Malta (day 16)
Alexandria (day 18)

Alexandria (day 18)
Beirut (day 20)
Mersin (day 21)
Valencia (day 28)
Cartagena (day 29)
Tanger Med (day 30)
Tilbury (day 34)
Antwerp (day 35)
Rotterdam (day 36)
St Petersburg (day 41)

For voyages of less than 8 days duration special fares apply.

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The new Baltic Levant Express service now allows for a full round voyage from Tilbury of 42 days

Six 1,750 to 1,850 TEU-capacity vessels now operate on the following rotation: Tilbury, Antwerp, Rotterdam, St Petersburg, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Le Havre, Malta, Alexandria, Beirut, Mersin, Aliaga, Valencia, Cartagena, Tangiers and Tilbury. Note: Passengers are not handled at Beirut and no embarkation is allowed at St Petersburg.

Four of the ships on this run of the “Philosopher” class, CMA CGM Aristote, Herodote, Homère and Platon, were engaged until recently on the Caribbean, Guyana and North Brazil service. Each carries up to six passengers in three double-bedded cabins. The Owners cabin costs €120 per person per day and a Standard Double €110 per person per day, while the single supplement is a very reasonable €10 a day on top of the basic fare.

For further details on booking on this service or any other CMA CGM passenger route please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

The Potential Effects of Brexit On Cruising – Other Cruise News: Genting’s German Shipyards – Southern Sea Cruises In China

The Cruise Examiner for 11th July 2016

Britannia of Southampton by Andrew S-W

Only P&O Cruises’ Britannia is registered in Southampton – Queen Mary 2 and the rest of the Cunard and P&O fleet are registered in Bermuda. Britannia is actually a Cunard name, dating back to 1840

This week, although it is early to say, we have a look at the potential impact of the UK leaving the EU on cruise shipping. Much of the reaction so far, as in many other industries, is wait and see, and react when necessary, but it will be a while before all of the effects are known. We also have a look at what is happening to Genting’s shipyards in Germany and report on some of the inital reactions to the opening of China COSCO Shipping-affiliated Southern Sea Cruises in China. 

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                             (See previous columns)

CMA CGM’s New Kingston Container Terminal Brings About A Return Of Cargo-Passenger Service To And From Jamaica

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CMA CGM’s intention to make Kingston, Jamaica, into a Caribbean hub port has brought about a revival of regular passenger links between Europe and Jamaica, as well as a new opportunity to take a local Caribbean freighter cruise from Kingston to countries where passengers used to cruise in banana boats.

With Kingston’s proximity to the mouth of the newly-enlarged Panama Canal, CMA CGM has acquired a thirty-year concession to run the Kingston Container Terminal. The terminal, once enlarged, will have 14 gantry cranes and an annual throughput potential of 3.6 million twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEUs).

The four 12-passenger container ships that previously operated on the French West Indies Line, CMA CGM Fort St Georges, Fort St Louis, Fort St Pierre and Fort Ste Marie, now offer 33 passenger-carrying sailings a year, sailing from Rotterdam, London, Hamburg, Antwerp and Le Havre to Caucedo in the Dominican Republic and then Kingston, Jamaica, before making three calls in Central America and returning to Kingston once more before heading back to the same ports in Europe. The UK terminal is DP World’s new London Gateway Terminal, which opened in November 2013.

ECS

One-way passenger service is available to or from any of the ports mentioned. From London to Kingston takes 17 days and the fare is €1,985 per person double or €2,155 single while Kingston to London takes 14 days with a fare of €1,655 per person double or €1,795 single including extras. Each ship accommodates a maximum of twelve passengers in one Owners Cabin, four Twin cabins and two Single cabins and features a swimming pool and passenger lounge. Dining is with the officers and includes complimetary table wine with lunch and dinner.

A new cargo-passenger cruise is also offered on these ships, round trip from Kingston. The 11-night cruise takes in Santo Tomas de Castilla (Guatemala), Puerto Cortes (Honduras) and Puert Limon (Costa Rica). The 11-night cruise costs €1,325 per person double or €1,435 for a single cabin.

The Transatlantic voyages and the Caribbean cruise can also be taken together as a 42-day cruise, with fares of €4,735 per person double or €5,155 single. The Owners suite is available for an additional €10 per person per day.

With a three-times monthly Transatlantic service and the same for the round the Caribbean cruise from Kingston, capacity on each route is about 36 berths a month, or 430 travellers annually in each direction to and from Jamaica.

For further details on cargo-passenger service to and from Jamaica and CMA CGM cargo ship voyages in general please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Queen Mary 2 Refit A Success – Louisiane Headed For New Orleans – Adventure of the Seas Acquires 100 More Cabins – New TUI Names

The Cruise Examiner for 4th July 2016

QueenMary2InHamburg©RobertLloyd2016

The Queen Mary 2 undergoes her 25-day drydocking at Blohm & Voss in Hamburg, a painting by Robert Lloyd

Now that Queen Mary 2 has completed her first Transatlantic voyage since her 25-day drydocking in Hamburg, we bring you the latest report from on board. Elsewhere, French America Line’s Louisiane has begun her 5,000-nautical mile journey from Portland, Oregon, to New Orleans in preparation for her entry into service on the Mississippi this autumn.  And on the other end of the scale, Royal Caribbean International’s Adventure of the Seas is to gain another 100 cabins in a refit later this year at Freeport, Bahamas. Finally, a quick footnote on upcoming changes at TUI Cruises and Thomson Cruises.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                   (See previous columns)