The Cruise Examiner for 13th February 2012: Spirit of Chartwell to Become The Royal Barge For a Day– Other Cruise News: Quark Expeditions Makes Plans For Its Latest Ships – New Cargo-Passenger Voyages to Australia and Canada

The three vessels of the UK’s Magna Carta Steamship Company form a rather unusual cruising fleet, with the Spirit of Chartwell and Passepartout cruising the upper and lower reaches of the Thames and the Lord of the Glens the Caledonian Canal in Scotland. The 36-berth Spirit of Chartwell and 54-berth Lord of the Glens accept overnight passengers, with the latter having more recently been in the news as she has been chosen to act as the Royal Barge for this year’s Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in early June. As part of a flotilla of close to 1,000 vessels, she will celebrate sixty years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II by carrying the monarch herself. Elsewhere, TUI-owned Quark Expeditions has added two new ships to its expedition cruise fleet with the 114-berth Sea Spirit, ex-Spirit of Oceanus, and the 189-berth Ocean Diamond, ex-Le Diamant. And finally, for those wishing to travel by cargo ship, Germany’s NSB has opened up two new cargo-passenger routes, between Asia and Australia with the NYK Galaxy and between Europe and Canada with the Hanjin Palermo.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                          (See previous columns)

Cargo-Passenger Service Resumed Between Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand: Good News for Those Wanting to Sail via Suez

NSB’s 53,700 deadweight ton German-flag container ship NYK Galaxy has now entered service between Hong Kong and Brisbane, Auckland, Lyttelton, Napier and Tauranga, with a return by way of Tokyo, Kobe, Pusan and Shanghai to Hong Kong. For those travelling from Europe it is now possible to travel to Australia with a change of ship at Hong Kong, and the voyage can also be taken from Australia as a 32-day round trip freighter cruise.

The NYK Galaxy can carry a maximum of seven passengers in an Owners cabin, two Double cabins and a single cabin for sole travellers. Fares are €85 per day for the single cabin, €85 per person per day for the doubles and €95 per person per day for the Owners cabin, while sole occupany of a double is €110 per day and the Owners €110 per day. Port charges are extra at €85 and deviation insurance is €105 for voyages up to 15 days and €160 for longer trips. The vessel is equipped with an indoor pool and fitness room as well as lounge and video/tv room. Meals are taken with the officers.

For those who want to travel all the way by sea by way of the Suez Canal, as well as those who like to travel overland to or from Hong Kong,  there is once more a sea connection between Hong Kong and New Zealand that has been missing for some time. And for those who like to travel either way by sea, a change of ships can now be arranged at Hong Kong that will give them a through service to or from Europe.

NSB, or Niederelbe Schifffahrtsgesellschaft Buxtehude, offers cargo-passenger voyages on a fleet of forty container ships on routes worldwide. In addition to cargo ship services, NYK Line, charterers of the NYK Galaxy, offers cruises worldwide on Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony and its own Asuka II, formerly Crystal Harmony.

For further details please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail