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... ..


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)

ms Hamburg To Offer Two Canadian Transatlantic Sailings In 2015

Plantours of Bremen have announced that the ms Hamburg will be making two Transatlantic crossings between Europe and Montreal in the summer and autumn of 2015. An August westbound passage will sail from Hamburg to Montreal via Greenland while a return crossing in September will leave Montreal for Lisb0n via the Azores.

m s HamburgThe 18-night westbound crossing leaves Hamburg on August 19, bound for Torshavn, Reykjavik and stops in Greenland at Prins Christian Sund, Julianehab, Frederikshab, Sukkertoppen and Nuuk, thence to L’Anse aux Meadows in Newoundland, the port of Saguenay and Quebec, before arriving at Montreal.

After a 16-night Great Lakes Cruise, ms Hamburg wil sail from Montreal on September 23 on a 14-night return crossing to Lisbon via Quebec, Gaspé, Halifax and Ponta Delgada in the Azores. The last regular crossings between Europe and Canada were offered by Polish Ocean Lines’ 15,015-ton Stefan Batory, which left service in 1987.

The 14,903-ton ms Hamburg was built in Germany in 1997 as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Columbus and carries 400 passengers. For further details please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk

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 cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk..

The Ocean Liner Society’s 2013 Annual Cruise On Board MS “Hamburg” – Hamburg to Kiel 27th-31st May 2013 Sold Out

In May 2013, the London-based Ocean Liner Society will cruise on Plantours’ MS Hamburg

In 2010, the Ocean Liner Society chose Croisières de France and its 37,301-ton Bleu de France (delivered 1982 as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ last Europa) for its annual group cruise. This cruise proved such a success that in 2012 the Society returned to Croisières de France in its 46,811-ton Horizon. In 2013, however, the Society will return to another former Hapag-Lloyd ship, this time the 15,067-ton MS Hamburg, which betwen 1997 and 2012 operated as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Columbus.

The 2013 cruise will take in a North Sea itinerary, departing Hamburg on Monday, 27th May for a five-day four-night cruise to Sylt, Borkum and Helgoland, and a transit of the Kiel Canal before arriving at Kiel on Friday morning, 30th May.  Here are some things to do in Hamburg before sailing.

For more than two decades between 1991 and 2012, Plantours + Partner operated the 7,478-ton Vistamar, which had been rebuilt in 1989 from the Spanish ferry Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Indeed, several Society members have cruised in her. The MS Hamburg, which has replaced the Vistamar, carries 400 passengers compared to the 299 in the earlier ship – twice the tonnage but only one-third more passengers, for a respectable passenger space ratio of almost 38 tons per passenger, compared to 25 on Vistamar.

The MS Hamburg was built by Mathias-Thiesen Werft (MTW) at Wismar, Germany, in 1997 as the Columbus, a ship whose design originated from a desire by Hapag-Lloyd to re-introduce cruising into the Great Lakes of North America. Indeed in her fifteen-year career with Hapag-Lloyd, the Columbus completed eleven seasons in the Great Lakes. She also undertook a world cruise every winter. After Hapag-Lloyd acquired a larger ship to replace the Columbus Bremen-based Plantours took her over, renaming her MS Hamburg at a ceremony in the old Hanseatic port of Hamburg in June 2012.

Plantours is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Venice-based Ligabue Group, which was founded  in 1919 by Anaceleto Ligabue, who began supplying food to the Società Veneziana di Navigazione a Vapore, a company whose fleet was absorbed into Italia and Lloyd Triestino in the 1930s. Today Ligabue is active in shipboard catering and river cruising, with a total of fourteen managed vessels, and also supplies catering services on  board the cruise ships Aegean Odyssey and FTI Berlin.

OLS group fares are valid for a minimum number of cabins, and there is an allocation of cabins available for singles. Bookings can be made through the OLS group agent The Cruise People Ltd in London.  Fares include passage, full board and port charges. A special drinks package is available for €52 per person (very good value at only €13 a day).

Daily Itinerary

Depart HAMBURG 16:30 hrs Monday 27th May 2013

LIST / SYLT (home of the famous Sansibar club) from 06:00 to 17:00 Tuesday

BORKUM from 08:00 to 19:00 Wednesday

HELGOLAND from 08:00 to 16:00 Thurssday


Arrive KIEL 08:00 hrs Friday 31st May 2013

Ocean Liner Society Group Fares – MS Hamburg 27.05.2013 

                             Early Booking Fares Expire 31.01.13

Five days (4 nights)  27-30 May 2013 Brochure Fare HAM1613 Special OLS Fare
OLS Cabins Remaining
Category Euros Euros Cabins
Cat 2 Double Inside   €749 €710 Sold Out
Cat 5 Double Outside   €949 €900 Sold Out
Cat 7 Double Outside   €1099 €1045 Sold Out
Cat 9 Double Outside   1259 €1195 Sold Out
Cat 2a Single Inside €1199 €1135 Sold Out
Cat 6a Single Outside €1299 €1235 Sold Out

Fares are cruise only, per person in double occupancy or single as indicated, and include port charges. Drinks package available for €52 per per person. OLS Group fares include an allocation of single cabins. Extra cabins beyond our allocation will be subject to availability. A deposit of 25% will confirm a reservation.

Members of the general public can qualify to travel on this cruise by joining the Ocean Liner Society. Membership is £20 in the UK, £23 in Europe and £25 in the rest of the world. As well as the opportunity of joining OLS group cruises, this includes a subscription to their 48-page quarterly journal, Sea Lines. Further details can be found at http://www.ocean-liner-society.com.

For further information and availability for this cruise please contact The Cruise People Ltd at 020 7723 2450, Freephone 0800 526 313 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

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.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                       (See previous columns)