Cruise Lines Escape US-Cuba Travel Ban – The Flying Clipper Is Launched – Ex-Russian Ship Converted To Expedition Vessel

The Cruise Examiner for 19th June 2017


Royal Caribbean International’s Empress of the Seas arriving in Havana for the first time, on April 23, 2017

On Friday, in the “Little Havana” neighbourhood of Miami, surrounded by Cuban Americans, President Donald Trump’s words for Cuba were “we will enforce the ban on tourism.” However, his edict will have very little effect on the cruise lines that have been able to return to Cuba in the last year thanks to a loosening of regulations by former president Barack Obama. In Croatia, meanwhile, the world’s largest sailing ship, the 300-passenger Flying Clipper, was launched for Star Clippers. Finally, Sunstone Ships’ 230-berth Ocean Atlantic has recently re-entered service as an expedtion ship.

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The Northwest Passage: Yet Another Cruise Ship For 2017

The Cruise Examiner for 2nd May 2016

Seven Seas Navigator

The Seven Seas Navigator is a cruise ship that was built on an ice-strengthened hull

The fabled Northwest Passage took three years to cross when Raould Amundsen first traversed it from east to west in his Gjoa in 1903-06 and Henry Larsen of the RCMP made it the other way in the St Roch in 1940-42. A century later, however, large passenger ships such as the 43,524-ton residence ship The World and the 68,870-ton cruise ship Crystal Serenity are threatening to turn it into a tourist playground. Last week came news that yet another cruise ship, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 28,550-ton Seven Seas Navigator, would join the Crystal Serenity in making the passage in 2017. While Crystal sail from Seward to New York, Regent will be sailing from Seward to Montreal.

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TUI’s Expedition Side – Other Cruise News: Emerald’s Three New Ships – The Windsors’ Cruise To Bermuda and Nassau

The Cruise Examiner for 31st August 2015

Kapitan Khlebnikov

After leaving passenger service for icebreaking in 2012 the Kapitan Khlebnikov is back working for Quark Expeditions again

Two weeks ago, we covered the TUI cruise fleet operated by the TUI Cruises joint venture with Royal Caribbean and the wholly-owned Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Thomson Cruises. Today, we have a look at TUI’s expedition arm, with ships operated by Toronto-based Quark Expeditions and Seattle-based Zegrahm Expeditions. Emerald Waterways, meanwhile, is about to order three more 172-berth vessels for rivers they do not presently cruise on. And we have a quick look at the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s cruise from Europe to Bermuda and Nassau seventy-five years ago this month.

Costa Celebration Headed For The Bahamas – Sterling Cruise Lines From Aruba – Just Two European Cruise Ship Builders?

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 15th December 2014... ..

Grand Celebration

Three weeks ago Costa Cruises abruptly withdrew the Costa Celebration from the Costa fleet before she had even been introduced. According to some sources, an immediate sale was in the offing. Now, it seems clearer that the intention was to send her to the Bahamas as a substitute for Celebration Cruise Lines’ damaged Bahamas Celebration on the Palm Beach-Freeport route, again as Grand Celebration. Meanwhile, Clipper’s Gemini will soon leave her accommodation ship role in the Shetlands to go back into full time cruising for the first time since 2011, with start-up company Sterling Cruise Lines. Both the Grand Celebration and the Gemini are managed by Fleetpro of Miami. Finally, do rumours that Fincantieri would like to acquire STX France mean that there will be only two European cruise ship builders by next year instead of the four we had in the past?

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Mid-Size Newbuildings Gather Momentum – Celebrity Cruises’ New Class – Virgin Group To Branch Into Cruising

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 8th December 2014... ..

Celebrity EclipseThis week comes much news, with an order for another mid-size ship by Seabourn and pending orders for three more by Silversea, while the first of Viking’s new class enters service in just six months now. Elsewhere, Celebrity Cruises is introducing a new class of ship, just slightly smaller than the Solstice class (above), while Virgin Cruises has announced a chief executive for its planned two-ship Florida-based operation.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)

Canadian-Owned m.v. Nunavik Takes First Westbound Cargo Through The Northwest Passage As Our 2014 Passengers Arrive In Anadyr


Fednav, a Canadian-owned company and world leader in Arctic navigation, announced that its vessel, the m.v. Nunavik sailed from Deception Bay en route to China via Canada’s Northwest Passage, with a full cargo of nickel concentrate. The Nunavik will be one of the first commercial vessels to transit the Northwest Passage completely, and the first to do so unescorted with an Arctic cargo, and with Canadian expertise.

The Nunavik is the most powerful conventional (non-nuclear) icebreaking bulk carrier in the world, and sails from Deception Bay, Northern Quebec year round, transporting product from the Canadian Royalties mine. The Nunavik will deliver 23,000 tons of nickel concentrate to Bayuquan in China.

Meanwhile, our own Northwest Passage passengers for 2014 arrived in Anadyr, Siberia, this week from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, which they left on on August 26, in Ponant’s L’Austral. Ice conditions are fairly heavy this year. The ship needed an icebreaker in the Passage and was late arriving at Cambridge Bay and had to cancel her call there. The ice that is clogging the Northwest Passage right now is mostly multi-year ice breaking off from polar ice-packs and being pushed down from the Arctic Ocean.

We now have six companies offering the Northwest Passage: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Ponant and Silversea offering the full transit while One Ocean Expeditions, Adventure Canada and Lindblad transit the passage from the east and turn at Coppermine or Cambridge Bay. You will find some of the links here on our Expeditions page. Crystal Serenity in the ice

Crystal Cruises will transit the Northwest Passage from Seward, Alaska, to New York in 2006 with the 1,090-berth Crystal Serenity. Her passage has been planned by EYOS Expeditions and has been in the making for two years. Please call Gay Scruton on +44 (0) 20 7723 2450 for further details on this departure.

For further details on booking any transit of the Northwest Passage please contact The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail In North America call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail

Quark Takes Ocean Endeavour For Antarctica – Cruise Like A Mathematician – 4,000 Berths: The New Standard For Cruising

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 18th August 2014..

Ocean Endeavour starboard bow

Ocean Endeavour will cruise Canada’s north next summer before starting her first Antarctic season with Quark Expeditions in 2015-16


Toronto’s Quark Expeditions will join Adventure Canada as a joint charterer of Fleetpro’s Ocean Endeavour. While starting in 2015 Adventure Canada will employ her in northern waters by summer, Quark will take her for the Antarctica high season starting in 2015-16. Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest “all-inclusive” trial has left people to draw different conclusions. And the number of ships now being built with 4,000 berths is rapidly leaving behind the previous 3,600-berth ship as the standard for mass market cruising.

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