An Ebb In Cruise Ship Size To 3,300 Berths – Cunard and P&O Cruises To Report To Seattle – Costa Chooses Tarragona

The Cruise Examiner for 27th March 2017

Project Leonardo

Norwegian Cruise Line’s new 140,000-ton ram-bowed “Leonardo” class ships will carry 3,300 in lower berths

As we reported in August 2014, 4,000 lower berths seemed to be developing as the new norm for cruise ships. But things have changed once again. With Norwegian’s reveal of its five new “Leonardo” class ships, today’s target size has come down to 3,300 berths, compared to the 4,000 plus of its previous ships. With the exception of Celebrity, whose exisiting “Solstice” class and planned “Edge” class ships are almost the same size, other lines such as Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises are doing much the same. On the management side, it has been announced today that Carnival UK will have a new boss from May, when Josh Weinstein moves from Miami to Southampton as president. In a significant reorganisation, Carnival UK will now report to group chief executive Stein Kruse in Seattle. Finally, Costa Cruises is adding another Spanish base port, in Tarragona.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                         (See previous columns)

Five US-Flag River Ships For American Cruise Lines – Cunard Line Cruises Down Under – Hainan’s South China Sea Cruises

The Cruise Examiner for 6th March 2017

ACL Hull 140a

Connecticut-based American Cruise Lines last week announced that over the next few years it would build five newly designed 200-berth US-flag riverboats for cruising American waters. At the same time, Cunard Line announced its first dedicated cruise season from Australia, using the 2,101-berth Queen Elizabeth. Meanwhile, China’s Hainan Strait Shipping sent its 499-berth Chang Le Princess on her first cruise to the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

 FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                          (See previous columns)

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)

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)

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)

Carnival’s Big Advertising Deal – Queen Mary 2 Begins Blohm & Voss Refit – New Orders For Royal Caribbean And Celebrity

The Cruise Examiner for 30th May 2016

Carinthia Lounge QM2

Artist’s impression of the new Carinthia Lounge that will replace the present Winter Garden on Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2

Last week, Carnival Corp & plc announced that it had awarded a major advertising contract to PHD to act as its international media agency of record for the seven of the ten brands that comprise its Anglo-American English-speaking market. The brands that are not included are AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises, which work in different language markets in Europe, and P&O Cruises Australia, which is based in a different geographical market. Meanwhile, Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 arrived at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg for a 25-day refit that will see new cabins and facilities added. Among the changes is the new ocean liner-style Carinthia Lounge, named after one of the first Cunard ships to offer World Cruises and a regular in the 1930s on the New York-Nassau run. And Royal Caribbean has ordered another “Oasis” class ship as well as two more “Edge” class ships for its Celebrity Cruises brand.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                          (See previous columns)

Five Cunard Line and P&O Cruises Vessels Lined Up To Sail From Sydney to Southampton In Late February/Early March 2016

Aurora in Sydney 2015

P&O Cruises’ m.v. Aurora in Sydney in March 2015

For those planning to sail to Australia, the annual peregrination will be casting off from Southampton and heading south in the next week or so. Those arrangements have been made and tickets issued. But for their return voyages, the same five ships from the sister fleets of Cunard Line and P&O Cruises have been lined up to sail home from Sydney to Southampton over a short period of three weeks in late February/early March:

m.v. Aurora (P&O Cruises, 1,868 berths) – February 20, 2016 (66 nights)

m.v. Queen Elizabeth (Cunard Line, 2,092 berths) – February 21, 2016 (79 nights)

m.v. Arcadia (P&O Cruises, 2,064 berths) – March 1, 2016 (66 nights)

m.v. Queen Victoria (Cunard Line, 2,014 berths) – March 8, 2016 (63 nights)

r.m.s. Queen Mary 2 (Cunard Line, 2,620 berths) – March 11, 2016 (60 nights)

Two further sailings will take place after this fleet leaves Sydney.

First, Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ 590-berth Astor departs Fremantle March 16, 2016, for Tilbury. She is already fully booked to Tilbury, although some cabins are still available between Fremantle and Cape Town.

Two months after that, for those wanting more time in Australia, Princess Cruises’ 2,016-berth Sea Princess will sail from Sydney on May 15, 2016, on her own 55-night voyage to Dover.

Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 in Sydney 2011

m.v. Queen Elizabeth (foreground) and r.m.s. Queen Mary 2 in Sydney in 2011

Note: For those of you who have been travelling between Europe and Australia on the passenger-carrying container ships of CMA CGM and NSB over the past many years, the last direct ships were withdrawn in late 2015, when they were moved to other routes.

Cargo-passenger connections are still available via Philadelphia and Charleston (full US visa required) and Port Kelang and Singapore, but in order to make things easier for through passengers and make up for the shortfall in cargo ship berths, we have decided this year to offer additional berths on direct passenger ships.

To check fares and availability for any Australia or New Zealand voyage please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

UK Distribution: Costa Direct & An Independent Cunard – MSC Doubles Its Cuba Fleet – Diamond Cruise Acquires Former Explorer

The Cruise Examiner for 28th December 2015

Cunard Line 2015

   Will Cunard Line get more independence? – Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria

Two different parts of Carnival Corp & plc are taking totally opposite actions in the UK market this month. While Costa Cruises announced that it will be cutting travel agents out of its UK marketing efforts in February, Cunard Line is about to be given a degree of independence from its big sister P&O Cruises in order that it can improve its relations with travel agents. Elsewhere, MSC Cruises has announced a doubling of its Havana-based fleet in 2016 while Diamond Cruise is set to introduce a former Celestyal ship on cruises out of Shanghai.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)

Genting Hong Kong Buys Lloyd Werft – Other Cruise News: Silversea’s Fourth Expedition Ship – Queen Mary 2 Refit Details

The Cruise Examiner for 21st September 2015

Silver Cloud (expedition ship)Following on the order for five Crystal ships from Lloyd Werft and reports in August, it has now been confirmed that Genting Hong Kong is taking a majority interest in the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven. And last Friday, Silversea announced that it would convert its 296-berth Silver Cloud to a 200/260-berth Ice Class polar expedition ship (above). Finally, Cunard Line has confirmed the appointment of SMC Design as lead contractor for the 25-day Queen Mary 2 refit scheduled to take place at Blohm & Voss in Hamburg next spring.
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Hamburg Cruise Days 2015 – Other Cruise News: Hamburg’s Third Cruise Terminal – A Visit To TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 4

The Cruise Examiner for 14th September 2015

MS4 at Hamburg

TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 4 passes Hamburg’s Hard Rock Café on her way upstream to join Saturday night’s Cruise Days parade

Seven cruise ships participated in the Hamburg Cruise Days that finished yesterday, an event that followed directly after this year’s Seatrade Europe convention in that famous port city. This week we take a closer look at what is going on in Hamburg – the market, the events and the industry. We examine the Hanseatic port’s third cruise terminal, opened just three months ago, and visit the German cruise fleet’s largest vessel and flagship, Mein Schiff 4, with her American captain.

The Queen To Christen P&O’s Britannia – Other Cruise News: Six New Vikings For The Mississippi

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 2nd March 2015

Britannia P&O

The newly-delivered Britannia in P&O Cruises’ new red, white and blue colours

When Queen Elizabeth II christens P&O Cruises’ Italian-built Britannia next week, she will become the second P&O ship to be named by Her Majesty, joining the German-built Oriana, which she named in 1995. Between 1947 and 2010, the Queen has also named four ships of the sister Cunard Line. Over in New Orleans, meanwhile, US cruise circles are abuzz with Viking River Cruises’ plans to introduce half a dozen new 300-passenger vessels, or 1,800 more berths, to the Mississippi River between 2017 and 2019.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                (See previous columns)

The Cruise People Ltd Offer You Twelve Inviting Voyages For 2015

Princess Patricia in Vancouver on delivery to Princess CruisesThis year we have decided to pick a dozen interesting cruises for 2015, one for each month. Each is different from the norm, and none are repetitive.

Canadian Pacific’s 6,026-ton Princess Patricia (left), when chartered to Princess Cruises in 1965, gave her name to a new cruise line. On December 3, 2015, Princess Cruises will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a commemoratve cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico on board the 30,277-ton Pacific Princess.

The Cruise People hope you enjoy our choice for 2015 at the same time as wishing you all a Happy New Year and A Prosperous 2015!

anchorJanuary 28, 2015 – Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral

BalmoralFred. Olsen Cruise Line offers a special 32-night departure from Dubai to Tokyo on the 43,537-ton 1,747-berth flagship Balmoral, leaving Dubai on January 28. Special last-minute fares are still available for this winter cruise, calling at Mumbai, Cochin, Galle, Port Blair, overnight at Rangoon, Kuala Lumpur, Semarang, Komodo, Ujung Pandang, Cebu, Naha and Tokyo. Pre-cruise stays are available at Dubai and post-cruise hotels at Tokyo. Once trading as Orient Lines’ Crown Odyssey, this ship is returning to familiar waters.

anchorFebruary 27, 2015 – Haimark Travel’s Ganges Voyager

Ganges Voyager - SuitesFebruary sees a 27-night Cruiseco package using river craft, rail, road and air to travel from Mumbai on India’s west coast to Kolkata on its east coast. The cruise vessel chosen is Colorado-based Haimark Travel’s 185-foot 56-berth Ganges Voyager, with the program including calls at Matiara, Kalna, Kolkata, Mumbai, Udaipur, Jodphur, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra, Delhi, Varanasi, Patna, Munger and Murshidabad. In addition to the 10-night luxury cruise, 17 nights are spent in five-star hotels such as the Taj Gateway in Varanasi, Imperial in Delhi, Amarvilas in Agra, Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur and the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. Other charterers of this vessel include APT Cruising and Vantage, while sister vessel Ganges Voyager II will be chartered by Uniworld River Cruises.

anchorMarch 16, 2015 – Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Astor

astorMarch sees Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ 20,606-ton 590-berth Astor departing Fremantle on the 16th for Tilbury via the Cape of Good Hope on a 38-night liner voyage that calls as Mauritius, Reunion, Durban, Mossel Bay, Cape Town, Walvis Bay, St Helena, Ascension, Casablanca and Lisbon. There is a special offer available in the UK that allows passengers to fly out to join ship for just £299. As all the originally scheduled West African ports have been eliminated because of the Ebola outbreak, she will arrive eight days early at Tilbury, so the opportunity has been taken of offering an 8-night Round Britain cruise from Tilbury on April 23.

anchorApril 25, 2015 – Aranui Cruises’ Aranui 3

Aranui 3On the occasion of its 30th anniversary of passenger sailings, Aranui Cruises has announced it will celebrate with a special sailing on April 25, 2015. For thirty years Aranui has been offering travellers the adventure of a lifetime across three French Polynesian archipelagos – the Marquesas, the Tuamotus and the Society Islands, with transport, meals, accommodation and all tours included. In 1960, the Wong family began offering a cargo service and in the early 1980’s modified its freighter with the introduction of a dozen cabins, a new galley, dining room, dormitory and other amenities. Three ships and thirty years later, Aranui Cruises’ vessels have carried over 44,750 passengers to the islands. Today, the Aranui 3 14-day voyage departs from Papeete, visiting Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Tahuata, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Huka in the Marquesas, Takapoto and Rangiroa in the Tuamotus, and will add a stop at Bora Bora to her itinerary in 2015. The present ship offers comfortable, air-conditioned accommodations for about 200 passengers. A new ship, Aranui 5, will be introduced in 2015.

anchorMay 7 and 18, 2015 – Oceania Cruises’ Marina

oceania_marinaOne of Oceania Cruises’ more popular cruises is on board the 66,048-ton 1,250-berth Marina, on May 7, an 11-night spring sailing from New York to Montreal, with gratuities included. The Four-Star-Plus Marina departs from Manhattan and calls at Newport, Boston, Portland, Saint John NB, Halifax, Sydney NS, Saguenay and Quebec before arriving at Montreal on May 17, a perfect time of year for the French-speaking capital of the New World. Then, on May 18, Marina undertakes a 16-night Transatlantic voyage from Montreal to Southampton, with calls at Quebec, Saguenay, Corner Brook, Sydney NS, St Pierre, St John’s NF, Belfast, Dublin, Holyhead and Guernsey.

anchorJune 27, 2015 – Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2

europa-2Hapag-Lloyd Cruises celebrated flagship, the 42,830-ton 516-berth Europa 2, top-rated by the Berlitz Guide to Cruising, offers a special 7-night cruise celebrating Andalusia’s bustling hotspots, leaving Lisbon on June 27 and making her way to Barcelona by way of Cadiz, Malaga, Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca. She then remains in the Mediterranean for the summer, offering a number of 7-night itineraries for the younger ultra-luxury crowd that are still working. Special drinks packages are available for UK and International passengers. Summer specials are available with savings of up to 30% if booked before the end of February.

anchorJuly 4, 2015 – Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 at Liverpool courtesy of Sea BreezesOn July 4, Cunard Line’s 148,528-ton 2,620-berth Queen Mary 2 sails from Liverpool, remembering the first Transatlantic crossing of the 1,154-ton Britannia from Liverpool to Halifax, which she made in 12 and a half days, and on to Boston. New York was not added until 1847, but Queen Mary 2 will proceed there after Boston on this year’s voyage. The July 4 departure will mark 175 years to the day since Britannia’s 1840 maiden Transatlantic voyage under the then-new mail contract. And for the first time in over fifty years, passengers will be able to board a Cunard ship in Cunard’s original home port and sail for the United States. Cunard’s first Atlantic sailing actually took place on May 16, 1840, when the 648-ton Unicorn left Liverpool with 51 passengers, six weeks ahead of Britannia. The Unicorn was sent to carry passengers and mail on a feeder service between Nova Scotia and Quebec in connection with the Atlantic ships.

anchorAugust 28, 2015 – Haimark Line’s Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent for'dThe newly-launched Haimark Line will introduce the 4,954-ton 210-berth Saint Laurent into service in Eastern Canada, New England and the Great Lakes in 2015. Available for sale now is a special 9-night Great Lakes cruise leaving Chicago on August 28 and including Mackinac Island, an excursion into Lake Superior, Georgian Bay and the Ojibwé Indians, the Henry Ford Museum, Niagara Falls, the Thousand Islands and the St Lawrence Seaway, and finishing in Montreal. The Saint Laurent previously cruised the Great Lakes in 2001 as Cape May Light. The Haimark Line will use the same ship to offer half a dozen cruises between Montreal and Portland, Maine. Ten more cruises will be offered on the French market by Rivages du Monde, with flights from Paris, sailing from Montreal to Toronto, Niagara Falls, the Thousand Islands, Quebec and back to Montreal.

anchorSeptember 7, 2015 – Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Marco Polo

Marco PoloSeptember sees Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ 22,080-ton 848-berth Marco Polo departing Tilbury on her 50th Anniversary voyage to Montreal. Fifty years ago, as the Alexandr Pushkin, she first crossed from St Petersburg (then called Leningrad), Helsinki, Copenhagen and Tilbury to Quebec and Montreal for the Baltic Shipping Company. This epic 34-night voyage remembers Marco Polo’s Transatlantic service during her Golden Anniversary year, with calls at Amsterdam and Cherbourg before crossing the Atlantic to St John’s NF. Twenty days will be spent rediscovering her old cruising grounds in Eastern Canada, including Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and two days each in Quebec and Montreal as she cruises the mighty St Lawrence River. New calls since she cruised as Alexandr Pushkin will include Sept-Iles, Havre St Pierre and the Magdalen Islands. Then it’s back across the Atlantic with a final call at Cobh before returning to Tilbury.

anchorOctober 27, 2015 – Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas

QuantumoftheSeasOctober will see the 168,666-ton 4,180-berth Anthem of the Seas (with a tonnage some 14% larger than Queen Mary 2 but a lower berth capacity 60% higher) making her maiden Transatlantic voyage when, at the end of her first season sailing Mediterranean cruises from Southampton, she departs on a 7-night Atlantic crossing to New York. From New York, Anthem of the Seas will offer a winter program of Caribbean Cruises from Cape Liberty, on the New Jersey side of the port near Newark Airport, before presumably returning to the UK for a second season of Mediterranean cruises in 2016. Sister ship Quantum of the Seas will be based in Shanghai from next Spring.

anchorNovember 1, 2015 – Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse

Celebrity EclipseCelebrity Cruises’ UK-based 121,878-ton 2,850-berth Celebrity Eclipse does her next Transatlantic voyage on November 1, departing her summer home port of Southampton for Miami, with calls en route at Boston, New York, Bermuda and Port Canaveral. Once in Miami, she will commence an autumn and winter Caribbean season, with durations varying from five nights (Miami-Nassau-Grand Cayman) to 14 nights (Miami-Southern Caribbean). She crosses the Atlantic again on April 17, 2016, heading back from Miami to Southampton via Bermuda and Lisbon.

anchorDecember 3, 2015 – Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess

Pacific Princess at SkagwayTo celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, Princess Cruises has scheduled the 30,277-ton 680-berth Pacific Princess for a special Mexican Riviera itinerary departing Los Angeles on December 3, 2015. She will leave fifty years to the day after the line’s original ship, the 6,062-ton 347-berth Princess Patricia, left on her first cruise in 1965. This vessel, from which Princess Cruises took its name, was chartered from Canadian Pacific, who normally operated her in the Alaska cruise trade by summer and laid her up each winter. Pacific Princess is the smallest ship in the Princess fleet, and her 14-night cruise will be of the same duration as that first cruise on the Princess Patricia. It will blend ports from the maiden itinerary, including Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Manzanillo, with newer destinations such as La Paz and Loreto. Princess Cruises’ first season offered ten cruises to Mexico between December and April, accommodating about 3,200 cruisers. Nearly fifty years later, Princess has seventeen ships and is now carrying 1.7 million cruisers annually.

For further details of any of these sailings please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruisepeopleltd@aol.com. In North America please call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail cruise@thecruisepeople.ca.