Victory II’s Maiden 9-night Great Lakes Cruise. Embark In Montreal On July 27, 2018, for Quebec, the St Lawrence Seaway, Kingston, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Cleveland And Detroit, from £3,320 pp

m.v. Victory II – 9 nights Montreal to Detroit, embarking 27th July 2018 – Cruise-only from £3,320 pp

Victory II Inaugural Now being prepared in Helsingborg, Sweden, to enter service with Victory Cruise Lines, the 202-passenger Victory II is scheduled to embark passengers for her maiden voyage from Montreal to the Great Lakes on Friday, July 27, 2018.

This 9-night cruise will include overnights in both Montreal and  Quebec City as well as the St Lawrence Seaway, the Thousand Islands, Kingston, Toronto, Niagara Falls and Cleveland and will finish this voyage in the “renaissance” port city of Detroit.

Later this summer the Victory II will cruise between Detroit and Halifax (click here for August itinerary), as well as Atlantic Canada and New England.

Montreal skyline

The 202-berth Victory II is due to leave Montreal on Saturday, July 28, for Quebec and the Great Lakes

Day        Date           Destination

1      27/07/2018      Montreal, Quebec (Embark Victory II)
2      28/07/2018      Montreal, Quebec
3      29/07/2018      Quebec Ciry
4      30/07/2018      Quebec City
5      31/07/2018      Scenic Sailing of the St Lawrence River
6      01/08/2018      Kingston, Ontario
7      02/08/2018      Toronto, Ontario / Welland Canal
8      03/08/2018       Port Colborne, Ontario / Niagara Falls
9      04/08/2018       Cleveland, Ohio
10    05/08/2018       Detroit, Michigan  (Disembark Victory II)

Victory I Bar.jpg

Victory Cruise Lines’ two sister ships, Victory I and Victory II, both feature a friendly bar

What’s Included:
o  9-night St Lawrence River and Great Lakes cruise including
o  All inclusive drinks on board
o  Immersive shore excursion programme
o  All meals and snacks on board
o  Speciality dining
o  Daily cocktail party
o  On board entertainment

Related image
Victory II passengers visit Niagara Falls while the ship transits the Welland Canal

Cruise-only fares starting at £3,320 per person on Category B, subject to availability, for 9 nights. Fares can also be paid in US Dollars.

For further details of cruising the Great Lakes, River and Gulf of St Lawrence, Atlantic Canada and New England please contact The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

Victory II 12-Night Canadian Maritimes, St Lawrence & Great Lakes Fly/Cruise Package, Departing London August 14, 2018

m.v. Victory II – 12 nights departing 14th August 2018 – From £4,199pp

Tadoussac whaleImmerse yourself in the historic gems of French Canada while navigating the 1,500-mile St Lawrence Seaway system with small ship operator Victory Cruise Lines. Your cruise on the 202-passenger Victory II features architectural, culinary and natural highlights, including the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, and two of Montreal’s high-points, the Notre Dame Basilica and the city’sworld-class botanical gardens. Natural wonders include whale watching off Tadoussac (above), and the splendour of Niagara Falls. As always, The Victory Experience™ includes 5-star service and cuisine on board.

Montreal skyline

The Victory II visits the metropolis of Montreal on Day 8, while en route from Halifax to Detroit

Day          Date                      Destination

1              14/08/2018         Depart London Outbound Flight – Overnight Hotel Stay Halifax
2              15/08/2018         Halifax, Nova Scotia (Embark Victory II)
3              16/08/2018         Scenic Sailing of the Atlantic & Gulf of St Lawence
4              17/08/2018         Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
5              18/08/2018         Scenic Sailing of the Gulf of St Lawrence
6              19/08/2018         Whale Watching / Tadoussac
7              20/08/2018         Quebec City
8              21/08/2018         Montréal
9              22/08/2018         Scenic Sailing of the St Lawrence River
10            23/08/2018          Niagara Falls
11            24/08/2018          Cleveland
12            25/08/2018          Detroit, Michigan (Disembark Victory II) – Return Flight
13            26/08/2018          Arrive London (am)

French Canadian Maritimes St Lawrence Seaway MapWhat’s Included:
           Return flights from London, England
           One night pre-cruise stay in Halifax – 4* hotel (room only)
           10-night St. Lawrence River cruise including
o             All inclusive drinks on board
o             Immersive shore excursion programme
o             All meals and snacks in board
o             Speciality dining
o             Daily cocktail party
o             On board entertainment
           Overseas Airport to Hotel private transfer

Related image
Victory II passengers visit Niagara Falls while the ship transits the Welland Canal

Fly/cruise prices from the UK from £4,199 per person for 12 nights.

For further details of cruising the Canadian Maritimes, Gulf of St Lawrence and the Great Lakes please contact The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail

Twenty-Seven Expedition, Adventure and Small Ships On Order, Mainly From Smaller European Shipyards

The Cruise Examiner for 22nd January 2018

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises 230-berth Hanseatic Inspiration and Hanseatic Nature will have stern marinas

Today, instead of the usual column, we have decided to update earlier news on new orders for expedition, adventure and small ships. This number has now reached twenty-seven vessels, twenty-three from European shipyards and four from China. Thirteen of these ships, will be completed in Norway, seven of which are due from Fincantieri affiliate Vard and the others from Kleven and Ulstein.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                    (See previous columns)

Great Lakes Cruises And Expeditions – MSC Seaside Class: Ships That Look Like Hotels – Seabourn Ovation Launched

The Cruise Examiner for 4th September 2017

Victory I Bar

The comfortable forward bar, looking aft, on the Great Lakes cruise ship Victory I

All of a sudden there is more activity on the Great Lakes, first with the announcement of the addition of Victory Cruise Line’ 202-berth Victory II for 2018 and then Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ new 230-berth expedition ship Hanseatic Inspiration in 2020. Another expedition ship, possibly Ponant’s 184-berth Le Champlain, is also said to be on the way. And we have a quick look at two impending newbuildings, MSC Cruises’ 4,134-berth MSC Seaside and the 600-berth Seabourn Ovation, new sister to the Seabourn Encore.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                         (See previous columns)

Haimark’s Saint Laurent Is The First Ship Of The Season At Montreal

St Laurent at Shed 3 MontrealThe St Lawrence cruise ship season opened on Tuesday May 12, with the arrival of Chicago-based Haimark Line’s 4,954-ton 210-berth Saint Laurent from Charleston, where she had just received a $3.5 million refit for her first season of Great Lakes and New England cruises.

The ship was built in 2001 as the now-defunct Delta Queen Coastal Voyages’ Cape May Light and although she has seen service in Haiti, Labrador and Chesapeake Bay waters, she has spent most of that time laid up at freshwater berths. Her present owners, Clipper Group of Copenhagen, also own sister ship Sea Discoverer, which is now in stationary use at Lerwick. Both ships are registered in the Bahamas.

Something over 71,000 domestic and international cruise passengers are forecast for Montreal this year, representing an increase of more than a quarter over 2014, when the port welcomed 56,466 passengers.

With calls by nineteen ships, Montreal expects a 2015 season that will also include five newcomers – Oceania’s 1,250-berth Marina and 684-berth Insignia, the 2,050-berth AidaDiva, 706-berth Saga Sapphire, and of course the Saint Laurent.

The largest carrier in the St Lawrence cruise trade at the moment is Holland America Line, whose 1,266-berth Maasdam trades from Montreal and 1,348-berth Veendam from Quebec.

The Saint Laurent is using Montreal as its home port for 2015 and became the first vessel of the year to take on passengers, departing on May 13 for a 9-night cruise to Clayton NY, Toronto, Port Weller (for Niagara Falls), Quebec and Trois-Rivieres. She will perform ten of these cruises for Paris-based operator Rivages du Monde. Saint Laurent will also offer 9-night Great Lakes itineraries between Montreal and Chicago and between Chicago and Toronto that will include all five Great Lakes by adding a brief lockage through the locks at Sault Ste Marie into Lake Superior. Port calls will be made at Chicago, Mackinac Island, Georgian Bay, Detroit/Windsor, the Welland Canal (for Niagara Falls) and either Toronto or Montreal.

In addition to the Great Lakes, the Saint Laurent will offer a number of 9-night Canada/New England cruises between Montreal and Portland, Maine. The May 30 departure from Montreal to Portland will feature as guest speaker renowned US television commentator Dan Rather, and calls will be made at Quebec, Gaspé, Halifax, Yarmouth, Saint John, Bar Harbor and Portland.

All Great Lakes and New England cruises have been scheduled for 9 nights. Outside cabins begin at $4,998 per person, including port charges, while inside cabins start at $4,598.

For a copy of the Great Lakes flyer click here: Cruise the Great Lakes and for further details and bookings please call The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail In North America call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail

Three Great Opportunities To Cruise The Great Lakes This Summer On The 210-passenger Saint Laurent, 10 Days From $4,199

Saint Laurent stateroom

Typical outside accommodations on the main deck of the 210-passenger m.v. Saint Laurent

Space is limited but there is still time to secure your place on a 10-night Great Lakes cruise on board the charming 4,954-ton 210-berth Saint Laurent this summer.

  • Sail into history with the first authentic Great Lakes voyages by classic passenger ship in decades, leaving right from Navy Pier in Chicago or from the Port of Montreal in the heart of that city.
  • A 9-night Great Lakes cruise on board a ship with nostalgic interiors and rich appointments.
  • Special on board events and shore excursions included in each port of call.
  • Elegantly casual dining and entertainment on board wth unlimited beverages, including beer, wine, spirits, cocktails, soft drinks, juices, coffee, tea and water.
  • Spectacular sightseeing through the Soo Locks, the St Lawrence Seaway, the Thousand Islands, the Welland Canal, as well as seeing Niagara Falls and Mackinac Island.
  • Departures from Chicago on July 14 and August 28 – from Montreal on July 5.
  • Fares from $4,199 per person in an inside cabin or $4,599 in an outside cabin plus $399 port charges
Haimark Great Lakes

July 14 & August 28 from Chicago, July 5 v.v. from Montreal

For a full copy of the flyer please click here: Cruise the Great Lakes

For further details and bookings please call The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail In North America call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail

TUI Orders Two Ships As Meyer Takes 70% Of Turku Yard – Rivages du Monde Expands – Xiamen Cruise Ship Won’t Be Built

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 11th August 2014..


Saint Laurent for'dThe destiny of the Turku shipyard, once Wärtsilä Marine, then Masa-Yards, then Kvaerner Masa-Yards, then Aker Yards Oy, and now STX Finland Oy, is about to be determined by an offer from Meyer Werft to take a 70% shareholding, alongside the Finnish government. Coincidental with this announcement comes an order for two 2,500-berth cruise ships from TUI Cruises, with options for two more, that will allow Germany to surpass the UK as the world’s second largest cruise market. From the growing French market comes news that Rivages du Monde is expanding into ocean cruising and has also developed a new St Lawrence product (above) for 2015. Meanwhile, Xiamen Shipbuilding’s plan to build China’s first 100,000-ton cruise ship has disappeared along with that of the Titanic II.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                               (See previous columns)

Inland Cruising Market Shows Huge Promise – A Third Royal Class Ship, Fourth Of The Line – Celebrity Eclipse Gets A Refit

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 4th August 2014..

Pearl Mist at Sault Ste Marie ON 02.08.14 © Angela at Sault Ste Marie Tourist Information Centre

Europe’s inland cruising market has been booming, as marked by the christening of 24 new river cruisers in March of this year alone. Now this trend is beginning to spread to North America, as American Queen Steamboat Co adds the 233-berth American Empress and Un-Cruise Adventures  the 90-berth s.s. Legacy to the Columbia River, American Cruise Lines orders three new 150-berth river ships, Pearl Seas Cruises began service this summer (their 210-berth Pearl Mist is shown above at Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, this weekend) and another new operator, Haimark Line, plans to revive a long laid-up coastal and inland vessel and bring her into service next year as the 214-berth Saint Laurent. Meanwhile Princess has ordered another ship, while the UK-based Celebrity Eclipse is due to go in for an update.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                  (See previous columns)

Queen Mary 2 Celebrates 10th Birthday – Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2 Celebrates 1st Birthday – Pearl Mist To Cruise The Great Lakes

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 12th May 2014..

Three Queens © Rex Features

Queen Mary 2 en route to Southampton, flanked by Queen Elizabeth (foreground) and Queen Victoria (background)

At dawn last Friday, the Queen Mary 2, accompanied by fleetmates Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, arrived in Southampton for her tenth birthday celebrations. During her stay, she was visited by His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Also in a celebratory mood, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises have announced some special fares for seven 7-night summer cruises on the world’s top-rated cruise ship, Europa 2. And elsewhere, itineraries and fares have been announced to the Pearl Mist’s first season on the Great Lakes.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                             (See previous columns)

Plantours Cruises To Offer Two 16-night Great Lakes Cruises From Montreal and a Round Trip Montreal-New York Cruise in Autumn 2014

m s Hamburg

Plantours Cruises of Bremen have announced a revised season of cruises to be operated from Montreal in the autumn of 2014 that will include two 16-night cruises into the Great Lakes, a 16-night round trip cruise from Montreal to New York and back and a positioning cruise from Montreal to Nassau.

Plantours’ 400-guest ms Hamburg is no stranger to the region, having operated Great Lakes cruises between 1997 and 2011 as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Columbus.

The first two cruises, scheduled for September 24 and October 11, will tour the Great Lakes as far as Chicago, and the third, scheduled for October 27, will cruise Canada and New England as far as New York. These cruises will be followed by a 14-night voyage from Montreal to Nassau via St Lawrence and East Coast ports, departing Montreal November 12. Ports of call are laid out below for each cruise:

September 24-October 11, 2014: 16-night Great Lakes cruise from Montreal to Toronto, the Welland Canal/Niagara, Windsor, Tobermory, Little Current, Chicago, Milwaukee, Traverse City, Mackinac Island, Kingston and return to Montreal.
October 11-27, 2014: 16-night Great Lakes cruise from Montreal to Toronto, the Welland Canal/Niagara, Windsor, Tobermory, Little Current, Chicago, Milwaukee, Traverse City, Mackinac Island, Kingston and return to Montreal.
October 27-November 12, 2014: 16-night Canada/New England cruise from Montreal to Gaspé, Sydney, Boston, Cape Cod Canal, New York, Martha’s Vineyard, Halifax, Cape Eternity, Quebec and back to Montreal.
November 12-26, 2014: 14-night cruise from Montreal to Nassau via Quebec, Halifax, Boston, New York, Charleston and Savannah.
For further details please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail

Viking Cruises Announces Details Of Its 925-Berth Viking Star – P&O Cruises Lays Keel For Its New 3,600-Berth Flagship – And 210-Berth Canadian-Built Pearl Mist Is Finally Delivered


by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 20th May 2013

Viking Star new

Today sees news of three different ships with tonnages in the four-digit, five-digit and six digit ranges. Thursday saw the announcement by Viking Cruises of details of its new 47,800-ton 925-passenger ocean-going cruise ship Viking Star, which will be offically named in Bergen in May 2015. The new ship will be built by Fincantieri in Italy. The day before this, P&O Cruises laid the keel for its new 141,000-ton 3,600-passenger flagship (above), also at Fincantieri. No name has yet been announced but she is based on the design of Princess Cruises’  Royal Princess, due to be named by the Duchess of Cambridge in Southampton next month, and the Regal Princess. The new P&O flagship is due to enter service in March 2015. Meanwhile, in North America, Pearl Seas Cruises, a sister company of American Cruise Lines, finally took delivery of its 4,985-ton 210-berth Pearl Seas, a ship that was completed in 2009. The Canadian-built ship is intended to cruise the Great Lakes and East Coast of North America.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                  (See previous columns)

On the Bridge On The Event Of The Return Of The Former Canadian Pacific Steamship Keewatin to Canada, June 23, 2012

Here we have Eric Conroy, project manager for s.s. Keewatin, in his role as Capt Rick and Kevin Griffin of The Cruise People Ltd on the day of her return to Port McNicoll. Kevin had been a waiter on sister ship s.s. Assiniboia and had been invalided off at Sault Ste Marie in late August 1965 with appendicitis. Some forty-seven years later, on his arrival at Port McNicoll, he met John Bell, the dishwasher at the time who had been promoted into his position as waiter. Both Eric and Kevin started their careers as 17-year-old waiters for Canadian Pacific Great Lakes Steamships and Kevin transferred out to Canadian Pacific BC Coast Steamships in 1966 to serve as chief night steward on the Alaska cruise ship t.e.v. Princess Patricia, summer work that helped put him through Western University in London, Ontario.

Here are some photos from that voyage:  Photo essay of the Keewatin‘s voyage from Mackinaw City to Port McNicoll.

For further information on cruising in the Great Lakes or to Alaska please feel free to call The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail