Quantum of the Seas Sails For New York – Oasis of the Seas Makeover – Cruise & Maritime Voyages Introduces CMV Magellan

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 3rd November 2014... ..

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Quantum of the Seas at SotonThe 4,180-berth Quantum of the Seas (left) visited Southampton last week, following by just sixteen days a similar visit by her larger fleet mate, the 5,488-berth  Oasis of the Seas. As Quantum departed yesterday for New York, we have a look at how she compares with the 2,620-berth Queen Mary 2 and we update readers on the changes effected to Oasis during her drydocking in Rotterdam. With today’s news that the 1,450-berth Magellan is about to join Cruise & Maritime Voyages on charter from Costa Cruises Group, we also have a look at some of the operators and the health of the European market for smaller more traditional ships.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)

Bermuda and Canada’s Two Italian-Flag Cruise Ships – Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ New Line-Up – The Two Queens Elizabeth

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 7th July 2014..

 

AidaLuna at Bermuda's Naval Dockyard 2 © generalalarm.de

Next year will mark the fifth season that an Italian-flag cruise ship has made three cruises from New York to Bermuda (above) in the autumn, while further north the same fleet will have been sailing between New York and Montreal for eight years. The fleet? Germany’s Aida Cruises, once owned by NCL, then by P&O and now part of the Costa Cruises Group. We also have a look this week at Cruise & Maritime Voyages, whose line-up has been undergoing some changes, particularly with the addition of the Azores. And we examine the Queen Elizabeth’s most recent refit at Blohm & Voss.

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Crystal Cruises Extends Getaway Cruises Offer – Cuba Back on the Map – World’s Largest Container Ship – South Africa Liner Voyages

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 25th February 2013

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Get away for 5, 6, 7 or 8 days on Crystal Cruises, from £1,248 per person all-inclusive for 5 nights

Crystal Cruises has announced an extension until the end of April of its special offer fares for shorter 5, 6, 7 and 8-night cruises for summer 2013. These “Getaway” cruises allow busy executives and first-timers to sample the now all-inclusive Crystal ships at lower fares. While Silversea has also announced some 4 to 7-night cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ new Europa 2 is due to enter service in May. Unlike the existing Europa, which offers longer cruises, she offers exclusively 7-night Mediterranean cruises this summer. Elsewhere, Cuba is back in the news with the announcement that Cuba Cruise will begin offering 7-night Round Cuba cruises from Havana this winter in the Louis Cristal. And CMA CGM, having opened up its largest container ship, CMA CGM Marco Polo, to passenger bookings, now offers almost 600 passenger berths on 70 ships on its various routes worldwide. Finally, Cruise & Maritime Voyages has just announced two South Africa liner voyages for the Astor in  2014.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                (See previous columns)

New Media: 1st Annual Cruise Examiner YouTube Survey – Carnival Splendor and Carnival Triumph – Cruise & Maritime Australia via Suez

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 18th February 2013

SeaDream IISeaDream Yacht Club win the Cruise Examiner YouTube award for 2013 with 1,014 views per berth. This week, we bring you the results of the 1st Annual Cruise Examiner YouTube Survey. With most cruise lines now having YouTube accounts, we felt it was time to compare how they are doing. The big winner is SeaDream Yacht Club, with a high score of 1,040 YouTube views for every lower berth in their two-ship fleet. Other high performers include Azamara Club Cruises, with 229 views per berth, and Cunard and Disney, with 224 and 223 views each, while at the bottom of the league is Crystal Cruises with just seven. With the arrival of the powerless Carnival Triumph at Mobile last week, we compare her situation to that of Carnival Splendor just over two years ago. We have up to date information on Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Australian positioning voyages and look at how Facebook shares now compare with Norwegian Cruise Line shares since last week, when they were both at around $28.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                        (See previous columns)

The Latest Cruise Ship Orders – Classic International Australia Charters The Delphin – Cruise Lines Cut UK Agents’ Commissions

           THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 29th October 2012

New orders have been placed in the past fortnight for three cruise ships, one for Norwegian Cruise Line, with an option for a second of a new “Breakaway Plus” class, from Meyer Werft in Germany; plus two new ships, in new classes for each of Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Lines, from Fincantieri in Italy. Elsewhere, after the arrest of four of Classic International Cruises’ fleet of five ships in Europe, that line’s Australian affiliate, working with UK-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages, has apparently succeeded in obtaining the slightly smaller German-based Delphin to replace the Athena in the Australian market this winter. Finally, after P&O, Princess and Cunard slashed commissions to UK travel agents to 5% at the beginning of 2012, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, and now Norwegian Cruise Line, have followed Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, who acted in March, to cut their own base rate to 10%, in an attempt to stop agents from offering rebates on cruise bookings.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                       (See previous columns)

Seabourn Goes To Antarctica, The Right Way – Discovery To Replace Ocean Countess – MS Hamburg To Sail To Antarctica

          THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

          by Kevin Griffin

     The Cruise Examiner for 3rd September 2012

Seabourn Quest © Robin West

Last week came news from Seabourn that it would be sending the Seabourn Quest to the Antarctic in 2013/14. This is a first for the line, although its now parent company Holland America Line, has been sending ships to the Antarctic for some time now. The difference is that Seabourn will make actual landings, instead of just cruising by. The whole idea of going to Antarctica without making any landings can best be compared to a date without a goodnight kiss! The surprise news also broke over the weekend that Voyages of Discovery will be chartering its Discovery to Cruise & Maritime Voyages as a replacement for the Ocean Countess. Voyages of Discovery, meanwhile, will take delivery of its newly-refitted single-sitting Voyager (above) in early December. Finally, Plantours is planning a return to the Antarctic in 2013 with its newly acquired MS Hamburg.

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The Cruise Examiner for 5th December 2011: Cruise & Maritime Voyages Sells Out Its Winter Program – Other Cruise News: Portsmouth International Port – London’s Cruise Port of Tilbury – Saga and Stern’s Guide to the Cruise Vacation

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com
by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 5th December 2011

Cruise & Maritime Voyages' 800-passenger Ocean Countess and Marco Polo operate no fly voyages from half a dozen UK ports.

This week, we look at a small two-ship cruise line that has managed to sell out its 2012 winter program, half of which are cruises going north of the Arctic Circle in February and March! Cruise & Maritime Voyages has been making good progress since it was formed in 2009 as the cruise-operating arm of Cruise & Maritime Services. The line carried 36,000 cruise passengers in its 800-passenger Marco Polo and Ocean Countess in 2010 and  another 44,000 this year.

We also examine Portsmouth and Tilbury, two of the UK’s second tier cruise ports. Portsmouth, where the Leading Cruise Agents of the UK held their November meeting, opened a new dedicated passenger terminal in May whereas Tilbury’s London Cruise Terminal, the base for Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Marco Polo, was first opened in 1930 and converted to a cruise ship terminal in 1995.

.And we remind Stern’s Guide to the Cruise Vacation that Saga’s minimum age is 50, not 60, while Quest for Adventure will accept any passenger older than 20.

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