The New Virgin Voyages – Other Cruise News: Louisiane Sets Sail – Hanjin Shuts Down In Europe

The Cruise Examiner for 24th October 2016

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In an announcement that did not give too much away the Virgin Group announced last week that its new three-ship cruise operation would now be called Virgin Voyages. Meanwhile, French America Line’s 4,225-ton 150-berth Louisiane (photo © Times-Picayune) entered service from New Orleans on Saturday. And container operator Hanjin Lines, some of whose ships carried passengers, has announced that it is closing its Europe-Asia business.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                       (See previous columns)

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Last Remaining Cabins! 2nd Guest FREE! Exclusive “Rhythms of the Deep South” Charter – New Orleans to Nashville, October 26 (14 Nights)

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

 

Three New Mississippi Riverboats – Ponant Names Its “Four Explorers” – Two More Cuba Sailings From Fathom

The Cruise Examiner for 19th September 2016

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French America Line’s 150-berth Louisiane, due to enter service next month, is one of three new ships for the Mississippi.

This week we cover three new riverboats on the Mississippi, American Cruise Lines’ 195-berth America, French America Line’s 150-berth Louisiane and American Queen Steamboat Company’s 166-berth American Duchess, announced last week. Also announced last week were Explorer names for Ponant’s four 184-berth newbuildings: Le Bougainville, Le Champlain, Le Kerguelen and Le Lapérouse. Finally, earlier this month, Fathom announced two more Miami departures for Cuba with its 710-berth Adonia.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                            (See previous columns)

French America Line Announces 2017 US River Itineraries for m.v. Louisiane, March 4, 2017 – January 6, 2018

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New Destination Ports include Chattanooga, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Louisiane, an intimate riverboat for just 150 guests, begins her inaugural year on September 30, 2016, with first embarkation October 1. Her 2017 cruise season starts March 4, 2017

New Orleans – (August 15, 2016) – French America Line, the newest US cruise line, has opened 2017 itineraries for bookings aboard its elegant flagship Louisiane, a vessel that was created to bring a refined ambience to America’s waterways. The 2017 online brochure is now available to download.

Offered from March 4, 2017 to January 6, 2018, the forty-eight 5- to 14-day experiential cruise tours will celebrate regional food, music and culture on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Red Rivers. New in 2017 are itineraries that also sail along the rarely visited Illinois and Arkansas rivers.

New 2017 destination ports will include Chattanooga, Louisville and Pittsburgh, with pre-cruise one-night deluxe hotel stays prior to embarkation included in the tariff.

Guests will have the opportunity to explore vibrant American cities and charming small towns brimming with history, local art, diverse music, architecture, scenic countryside and more.

Sixteen 2017 itineraries will offer guests the opportunity to spend the night on board prior to disembarkation in four engaging ports of call, Louisville, Memphis, Natchez and St Louis, to permit personal explorations. Discover the allure of thoroughbred racing and aged bourbon; the beats of Beale Street; the charms of antebellum homes and southern entertaining, or the sights and tastes of Music City USA.

Pricing is virtually all-inclusive, with one-night pre-cruise deluxe hotel stay and breakfast; daily breakfast, lunch, dinner onboard in two open seating dining venues as well as 24-hour room service and free-flowing house wines, spirits, beers, coffees and teas, soft drinks, sparking and still water; nightly live entertainment; expert talks by onboard speakers, Traveller Collection guided shore excursions and complimentary use of bicycles with helmets and maps for private explorations are included in the tariff. Optional Curator Collection and pre- and post-cruise experiences are also available.

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DEEP SOUTH™ itineraries will sail the Lower Mississippi and rarely-visited Red River beginning March 4, 2017, departing from New Orleans and Memphis, with options that include

  • Antebellum Style, 8-day Classic Cruise Tour, begins and ends in New Orleans; 2017 Departures from $3,799 per person double occupancy: March 4-11, April 8-15 or welcome the New Year, from $3,599 per person double occupancy, December 30, 2017 – January 6, 2018
  • Southern Spirit, 10-day Grand Cruise Tour, from New Orleans to Memphis; 2017 Departures from $4,799 per person double occupancy for March 10-19, April 28 – May 7, May 12-21; from $4,599 per person double occupancy for June 2-11, June 16-25, November 10-19, December 5-14
  • Plantation Celebration, 8-day Classic Cruise Tour, from Memphis to New Orleans; 2017 Departures from $3,799 per person double occupancy for March 18-25, April 22-29, May 6-13; from $3,599 per person double occupancy for May 20-27, June 10-17, November 18-25 (US Thanksgiving sailing); from $3,499 per person double occupancy for December 10-17
  • Red River Holiday, 9-day Collector’s Cruise Tour, begins and ends in New Orleans; 2017 Departures from $3,999 per person double occupancy for March 24-April 1 or May 26-June 3, or enjoy the festival of holiday lights as you celebrate Christmas aboard December 19-27 from $3,799 per person double occupancy
  • Splendors of the South, 6-day Classic Cruise Tour, begins and ends in New Orleans; 2017 Departures from $2,599 per person double occupancy: March 31- April 5, April 4-9, November 24-29, December 26 – 31
  • Historic Currents, an 8-day Classic Cruise Tour, from Memphis to St Louis; 2017 Departures from $3,599 per person double occupancy: June 24-July 1, September 9-16
  • Sounds of the River, a 5-day Sampler Tour, beginning and ending in Memphis; 2017 Departure from $1,899 per person double occupancy: September 6 – 10

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MISSISSIPPI HEADWATERS itineraries will sail the Ohio, Mississippi and the rarely traveled Illinois River, departing from St Louis, St Paul and Chicago.

  • Jewels of the Heartland, a 10-day Collector’s Tour from St Louis, MO to St Paul, 2017 Departures: June 30-July 9, from $4,599 per person double occupancy; September 15-24; September 29 – October 8, from $4,799 per person double occupancy, beginning in Chicago with an overnight and breakfast at the historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel, then by private vintage Vista-Dome Streamliner train to St Louis for embarkation aboard Louisiane
  • Midwestern Majesty, an 8-day Classic Cruise Tour from St Paul to St Louis; 2017 Departures from $3,599 per person double occupancy July 8 – 15; from $3,799 per person double occupancy September 23-30, October 7-14
  • Marquette Explorer, an 8-day Classic Cruise Tour between St Louis and Chicago; 2017 Departures from $3,799 per person double occupancy: July 14-21 St Louis to Ottawa, Illinois, for disembarkation with coach transfer to Chicago; July 20-28 Chicago, with coach transfer to Ottawa for embarkation to St Louis

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RIVER CROSSROADS itineraries will sail the Ohio and Mississippi rivers beginning in St Louis, Louisville and Pittsburgh.

  • Enchanting Passages, a 6-day Cruise Tour from St Louis to Louisville; 2017 Departures from $2,499 per person double occupancy: July 26-31
  • American Adventure, an 8-day Classic Cruise Tour between Pittsburgh and Louisville; 2017 Departures from $3,499 per person double occupancy July 30-August 6 (Louisville-Pittsburgh); from $3,599  per person double  occupancy, August 5-12 (Pittsburgh-Louisville), August 11-18 (Louisville-Pittsburgh), August 17-24 (Pittsburgh-Louisville); from $3,799 per person double occupancy October 19-26 (Louisville-Pittsburgh)
  • Blue Grass Grandeur, 8-day Classic Cruise Tour from St Louis to Louisville; 2017 Departure from $3,599 per person double occupancy: October 13-20
  • River Pioneers, 14-day Collector’s Cruise Tour from Pittsburgh to New Orleans, travel in the wake of the New Orleans, the first steamboat on America’s rivers known for her epic 1811-1812 voyage from Pittsburgh to New Orleans; 2017 Departure from $6,699 per person double occupancy: October 25 – November 7 (Sold Out)

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WILDERNESS RIVERS itineraries will sail the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers beginning in Louisville and Chattanooga.

  • Appalachian Elegance, a 9-day Cruise Tour from Louisville to Chattanooga; 2017 Departure from $3,999 per person double occupancy: August 23-31
  • Backroads of America, a 9-day Cruise Tour from Chattanooga to Louisville; 2017 Departure from $3,999 per person double occupancy: August 30 – September 7

About French America Line’s Louisiane

French America Line was created to introduce a new era of premium US river voyages with the launch of the elegant flagship Louisiane. The intimate ship accommodates a maximum of 150 guests in 75 stylish suites and staterooms. Inaugural sailings begin September 30, 2016 (with first embarkation October 1). The charming ship is brimming with French flair and signature experiences celebrating regional food, music and history. Engaging itineraries on America’s most iconic waterways ranging from five to 10 days will present guests with unique insights into life along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Red rivers (and the Illinois and Arkansas rivers in 2017), visiting places where larger riverboats simply cannot navigate. Departures aboard Louisiane for fall 2016 and the 2017 season, from March 4, 2017 to January 6, 2018, are now on sale. Pricing is virtually all-inclusive, with pre-cruise one-night deluxe hotel stay; all meals and free-flowing hand-selected beverages, beers, wine and spirits; nightly live entertainment, informative cultural and historical talks, and memorable Traveller Collection shore excursions in every port of call included in the tariff.

To reserve or learn more, visit www.frenchamericaline.com, call our London office on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail kcgriffin@frenchamericaline.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

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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)

Boutique Riverboat Louisiane Makes Her Way Slowly South From Portland, Oregon, To Her New Home Port Of New Orleans

The tug Jack Brusco and her tow of the Louisiane head down the Columbia River to the open sea

Last Friday evening, June 24, saw the 347-ton ocean tug Jack Brusco pick up her tow of the 150-berth boutique river cruiser Louisiane, loaded and secured on board the deck of the semi-submersible barge Columbia Newark, which can also double as  a container barge.

The Louisiane was built in 2000 as Columbia Queen, the last riverboat to be built by the New Orleans-based Delta Queen Steamboat Company. Her new owner, the Great Northern & Southern Navigation Co LLC, trading as the French America Line, is also New Orleans-based.

In the scene above, she is shown leaving the Columbia River in the State of Washington to her new home in Gretna, Lousiana, part of the Port of New Orleans where French America Line will have its own dedicated terminal.

The Louisiane, ex-Columbia Queen, is loaded to the semi-submersible barge Columbia Newark

The 4,332-ton Louisiane has now passed San Francisco and is nearing San Luis Obispo on her way south along the long Mexican coast to Panama. Once she arrives at New Orleans in mid-July she will go to Bollinger Shipyards for drydocking and will then commence a major refit to convert her into a luxury boutique river cruiser.

The full tow can be followed by AIS on this link.

The Louisiane is due to enter service on September 30, 2016, with a Pullman train linking from Chicago for an Upper Mississippi cruise from St Louis, Missouri, to St Paul, Minnesota. More details of the 2016 season can be found here.

For a longer 14-night exclusive Cruiseco charter from New Orleans to Nashville in October there is at the moment an offer of half off for the second passenger. Further details of this offer can be found here.

For fares, availability and bookings please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Two Weeks On The Mississippi This Autumn, With Cruiseco’s Exclusive 14-night Charter Of The All-Inclusive 150-berth Riverboat Louisiane

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26th October – 9th November 2016

Sail from New Orleans to Memphis and Nashville on board the all-inclusive riverboat Louisiane and experience the best of American Jazz, Blues and Rock and Roll.

Be one of just 150 lucky guests to explore the Heartland of America cruising America’s Deep South in the comfort of the French-inspired luxury riverboat Louisiane, which launches in September. Enjoy the finest of French cuisine, richly appointed staterooms with L’Occitane amenities and premium excursions throughout the itinerary.

LouisianePanoramaStateroomCruising from New Orleans, guests will visit Oak Valley, Natchez, Vicksburg, Memphis, Cape Girardeau, Paducah and Dover before arriving into Nashville.

Voyage Highlights include:
– Overnight port stay in Memphis with private after-hours visit to Graceland
– Music performances in New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville, home of jazz, the blues, rock & roll and country
– Spectacular scenery along the Cumberland and Ohio Rivers
– Special reception at Dunleith, one of the grandest plantation manor houses in the USA

Fares from £4,660 per person twin share / 2ns Guest at £2,330.

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For further details or a brochure please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.