Roald Amundsen To Transit Northwest Passage – Azamara Pursuit Maiden Voyage From Southampton – Uljanik Shipyard In Difficulties

The Cruise Examiner for 15th January 2018

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The 684-berth Azamara Pursuit joins sister ships Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest in August

Announced before Christmas, Norway’s Hurtigruten is to join the cast of lines transitting Canada’s Northwest Passage, following in the steps of the Crystal Serenity, The World of Residensea and a number of smaller ships doing the full passage in recent years. The 530-berth Roald Amundsen will be the third largest passenger ship to do so when she sails through in August 2019. Meanwhile, Azamara Club Cruises’ new 684-berth Azamara Pursuit is being refitted at the historic Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast before departing on her maiden voyage from Southampton on August 1. And finally, Croatia’s Uljanik shipyard in Pula is looking to restructure. Uljanik is building the 228-berth Polar 6 expedition ship Scenic Eclipse.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                    (See previous columns)

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Hamburg-Süd Withdraws From The US/Australian Passenger Trades; CMA CGM Offers Substitute Service Via Singapore

Another shoe dropped this Friday following the December 1 acquisition of Hamburg-Süd by AP Moller (Maersk Line), with Hamburg-Süd announcing the end of its passenger services between North America and Australasia. These services have been offered since 1971, when Hamburg-Süd division Columbus Line became one of the first container lines to carry passengers.

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The Spirit of Sydney and sister ships will no longer carry passengers

Four ships, the 3,630 TEU Spirit of Auckland, Spirit of Hamburg, Spirit of Singapore and Spirit of Sydney (above), will no longer carry passengers from Philadelphia and Charleston, while the 3,675 TEU Cap Capricorn will cease carrying passengers from Los Angeles and Oakland. Existing bookings on all ships will be honoured but no new bookings will be accepted.

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The 10-passenger CMA CGM Thames and fleetmates will connect with Australia via Singapore

In their stead, CMA CGM’s Columbus JAX service will now offer an indirect service from Los Angeles and Oakland via Singapore, where passengers can transfer to the AAX service to Fremantle, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The voyage from Oakland to Singapore takes 25 days via Hong Kong and Vung Tau, while transit times from Singapore are 9 days to Fremantle, 15 to Sydney, 18 to Melbourne and 21 to Adelaide. A stopover is needed in Singapore between ships.

AAXA map

In the reverse direction, transit times are 20 days from Sydney, 17 from Melbourne, 14 from Adelaide and 9 from Fremantle to Singapore. From Singapore it is then 27 days to Los Angeles via Jakarta, Laem Chebang and Vung Tau.

Columbus Jax route

East Coast connections are also available to Singapore, with services from Halifax, New York, Norfolk, Savannah and Charleston, sailing via Port Kelang. Charleston to Singapore takes 32 days. In the opposite direction it is Singapore to Halifax, New York and the same ports via Port Kelang and Colombo. Singapore to Halifax is 25 days and Singapore to New York 28 days.

Fares for all these voyages are in the range of €100-110 per person per person per day in double occupancy and €110-120 per day for single travellers, plus a €45 management fee and €70 booking fee.

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

China Cruise Market Could Shrink 15% In 2018 – Two Megaships Now Planned For Alaska – Caspian Sea Cruise Ship Agreement

The Cruise Examiner for 1st January 2018

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The 300-berth cruise ship Peter the Great is being built in Astrakhan to cruise the Caspian Sea

Observers of cruising in China have been speculating that the market is becoming overtonnaged and these observations have been followed more recently by announcements of ship transfers to other markets. Last Thursday, Tom Hancock gave probably the best summary to date of elements that are affecting the China market in The Financial Times. Meanwhile, as a result of the softness in the China market, two fairly new megaships that weer noit planned for Alaska will be finding their way there over the next year or two. Elsewhere, Russian and Azerbaijani cruise companies have come to an agreement to operate the 300-berth Peter the Great as the first of a number of ships to cruise the Caspian Sea and adjoining waterways

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                 (See previous columns)