One Ocean To Acquire Hanseatic – Other Cruise News: MV Werften Delivers First Ship – TUI Discovery To Be Based At Newcastle

The Cruise Examiner for 7th August 2017

RCGS Resolute profile

One Ocean Expeditions has taken a long-term charter on the 146-berth RCGS Resolute, to enter service in November 2018

Last week, Canadian-based One Ocean Expeditions announced the acquisition of a third ship for its expedition fleet, while indicating that it would probably be doing more business in non-polar regions as well as in the Nova Scotia port of Sydney. Meanwhile, the Baltic shipyard MV Werften has delivered the first vessel under its new ownership by Genting Group of Hong Kong. The 106-berth Crystal Bach, which will cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube, will be the second ship in the Crystal River Cruises fleet, following the 154-berth Crystal Mozart on the Danube. Finally, Thomson Cruises has confirmed that it will base its 1,830-berth TUI Discovery at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2018.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                         (See previous columns)

The Northwest Passage: Yet Another Cruise Ship For 2017

The Cruise Examiner for 2nd May 2016

Seven Seas Navigator

The Seven Seas Navigator is a cruise ship that was built on an ice-strengthened hull

The fabled Northwest Passage took three years to cross when Raould Amundsen first traversed it from east to west in his Gjoa in 1903-06 and Henry Larsen of the RCMP made it the other way in the St Roch in 1940-42. A century later, however, large passenger ships such as the 43,524-ton residence ship The World and the 68,870-ton cruise ship Crystal Serenity are threatening to turn it into a tourist playground. Last week came news that yet another cruise ship, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 28,550-ton Seven Seas Navigator, would join the Crystal Serenity in making the passage in 2017. While Crystal sail from Seward to New York, Regent will be sailing from Seward to Montreal.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                           (See previous columns)

The Cruise Examiner – Expedition Ships: To Convert Or To Build?

The Cruise Examiner for 28th September 2015

Seabourn Quest © Robin West

The Seabourn Quest in Antarctica, in an image by Robin West, Seabourn’s manager of expedition operations

There have been many changes in the field of expedition cruising in recent years. New ships were built, a few of them. Russian ships were chartered, a few more. And ships were converted, variously from small ships, coastal vessels and ice-class ferries. Last week’s announcement by Silversea that it was converting its Silver Cloud into an ice-class ship followed a move two years ago by Seabourn to ice-strengthen its own Seabourn Quest. Meanwhile, ship managers, naval architects and shipbuilders have all come up with various proposals for new designs. First off the block, a few years ago, was Sunstone Ships of Miami with its Project Unlimited. Then, STX France introduced its Ulysseas design this March, and the Danish firm of Knut E Hansen followed up with its own design six months later. This week we look at the two alternatives of converting or building.

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One Ocean Offer 20% Off July 7-16 Atlantic & Gulf of St Lawrence Cruise, 9 Nights Round Trip From Louisburg NS Now From $4,955

One Ocean GulfEnjoy the prolific wildlife around the remote and otherwise inaccessible islands of Nova Scotia (including Sable Island), Quebec, Newfoundland and the French territory of St Pierre et Miquelon on this quintessentialy Canadian voyage.

The islands of Atlantic Canada offer an abundance of birdlife and marine mammals, in addition to unique fishing and celtic cultures. Beaches and lagoons provide ample viewing opportunities for numerous shorebirds and as we cruise towards the mouth of the St Lawrence we hope to see whales such as the humpback, minke and blue whale as well as grey and harp seals. We will also look for eagles along the beach and gannets fishing the waters. Our onboard naturalists will be spotting and identifying the various creatures that surround us.

Starting and ending in historical Louisbourg on beautiful Cape Breton Island, this voyage offers a rare opportunity to explore this historic and beautiful region and take every opportunity to discover the Maritimes in all their glory. As we sail the Gulf of St Lawrence, we will be accompanied by a Cape Breton fiddler and an East Coast musician with a focus on the music of the small fishing villages.

DAILY ITINERARY 

 Day 1 – Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Our adventure begins in the historic port town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, where we board our expedition vessel, the 96-passenger Akademik Ioffe. First visited by the English in 1597, the town was fortified by the French in 1713 in recognition of its strategic location.  In the 18th century, Louisbourg was the third busiest seaport in North America. We will board in the late afternoon in time for a dinner of fresh, local lobster as we sail out past the lighthouse and onto the Grand Banks.

Day 2 – Sable Island

Located on the edge of the Grand Banks, hundreds of kilometers from the coast, Sable Island has a storied history as a graveyard of ships, with more than 350 wrecks. Sporadically inhabited by sealers, shipwreck survivors and salvagers, the island is now home to half a dozen year-round inhabitants and a herd of Sable Island ponies, and is now one of Canada’s national parks.

Day 3 – Bird Island

Off the north central coast of Cape Breton, the Bird Islands are home to a number of important species including the Great Cormorant, Atlantic Puffin, Atlantic Razorbill, black-legged kittiwake and an important feeding station for Cape Breton’s bald eagles.

Day 4- The Magdalen Islands (Les Iles-de-la-Madeleine)

These remote islands of the Gulf of St Lawrence, part of the province of Quebec,  are home to unique fishing communities with beautifully maintained waterfront houses and boats, flowing grassy plains and sculpted sandstone shorelines. In addition to the traditional fishing and sealing culture, we will see a wide diversity of bird life.

Day 5 – Bonaventure Island and the Gaspé Peninsula

At Bonaventure Island we drop anchor near the town of Percé and visit the island by zodiac. One of the largest northern gannet colonies in the world, Bonaventure Island is protected as a provincial park of Quebec. We visit the colony, indulging in close up views of these majestic seabirds.

Day 6 – Anticosti Island

At the mouth of the St Lawrence where the river water mixes with Arctic water from the Strait of Belle Isle and the more temperate Atlantic waters, Anticosti Island is rich in marine wildlife. We plan to wander the beaches near the eastern end of the island followed by a zodiac cruise along the cliffs at East Point.  We will be keeping eyes open for shorebirds and seabirds as well as whales and seals as we enjoy Anticosti.

Bonne Bay

Bonne Bay in Gros Morne National Park

Day 7 – Gros Morne National Park

Sailing into majestic Bonne Bay, in the heart of Gros Morne National Park, the cliffs soar up out of the water and are covered in a green blanket of tuckamore – windswept spruce sculpted by the ocean breeze. At Woody Point we are welcomed ashore by a delegation from the community before visiting the loval interpretation centre. From there, guided walks take us into the World Heritage-listed Tablelands and to the lookout for a view over much of the park – a spectacular experience!

Day 8 – Francois

Francois (pronounced Frans-way) is a small, isolated community steeped in the traditions of the sea, perched on the edge of a beautiful fjord on the south coast of Newfoundland. We are welcomed ashore by members of the community and, if we hit it off, we may be invited to a dance at the community hall.

Day 9 – St Pierre et Miquelon

The island of St Pierre, is a European enclave still under French control. Walking down the streets feels like taking a stroll through a provincial French town. There’s an excellent puffin colony here and if weather permits we cruise in the zodiacs to see these colourful birds. Tonight we enjoy a special dinner, attended by the Captain, to mark the end of our Maritime adventure.

Day 10 – Louisbourg

We sail back to Cape Breton across the mouth of the Gulf of St Lawrence, heading again for the historic port of Louisbourg.  We will disembark in the morning and while some of us hustle to the airport, many will add a few extra days in Cape Breton to enjoy one of the gems of Canada’s East Coast.

Fares were from US $6,195 per person in a triple cabin or $7,195 in a double cabin with sem-private facilities or $8,295 per person en suite.

Prices for the 10-day East Coast Wildlife Safari now start at US $4,955 per person including the 20% price reduction and all activities and excursions. Also included is a transfer from the meeting point in Louisbourg to the ship, and transfer from the ship to the departure point in Louisbourg.

Family packages are also available for this voyage: children 16 and under can join an adult for just US $1,500, while young people aged 17-20 can take advantage of a 25% discount.

For further details please call The Cruise People Ltd in London, England, on 020 7273 2450 or e-mail cruisepeopleltd@aol.com. In North America call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.ca.

Growth Of Major World Cruise Markets – A Revival Of Sorts At Punta Arenas – North Pole Icebreaker Cruises To Continue Into 2018

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 6th October 2014... …

The Mariner of the Seas, right, one of the Voyager-class vessels

Hong Kong’s new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal opened in 2013 on the site of its old international airport. Seen here is Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas, one of two sister ships that now sail in Chinese waters.

Today we look at comparative growth in different cruise markets and the expected impact of the addition of the Asian market, particularly China, to these figures. While China, Australia, Brazil, Germany and Scandinavia are growing much faster than other markets, Canada seems to be frozen in time, with no growth in five years. Elsewhere, Punta Arenas in Chile is seeing a bit of a revival as a setting off point for fly/cruises to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. One Ocean Expeditions’ Akademik Sergey Vavilov will source most of her 2015-16 Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia passengers from Punta Arenas’s port and airport. And icebreaker cruises from Murmansk to the North Pole have been granted a reprieve until 2018.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)

Thirty Years Of Northwest Passage Cruises – TUI Cruises Places Options For Two More Ships – New Ship Names For Royal Caribbean

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 22nd September 2014... ..

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Lindblad Explorer

Lindblad Explorer transited the Northwest Passage in 1984

northwest_passageThis month marks the thirtieth anniversary of the first full transit of Canada’s Northwest Passage by a commercial passenger vessel, with the Lindblad Explorer arriving in Yokohama on September 29, 1984. The 43-day voyage had departed St John’s, Newfoundland, on August 20. But things are now accelerating in the Northwest Passage. Last year saw the first commercial cargo, 73,000 tons of coal, move from Vancouver to Finland in the Nordic Orion, and this year the first westbound cargo, 25,000 tons of nickel concentrate, moving from Quebec to China in Fednav’s Nunavik. In 2015, Abercrombie & Kent will become the seventh company operating expedition ships through the Northwest Passage by chartering Ponant’s Le Boréal, and in 2016 Crystal Cruises plans to carry 900 passengers from Seward, Alaska, through the Northwest Passage to New York in the 68,870-ton Crystal Serenity.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)

Canadian-Owned m.v. Nunavik Takes First Westbound Cargo Through The Northwest Passage As Our 2014 Passengers Arrive In Anadyr

Nunavik

Fednav, a Canadian-owned company and world leader in Arctic navigation, announced that its vessel, the m.v. Nunavik sailed from Deception Bay en route to China via Canada’s Northwest Passage, with a full cargo of nickel concentrate. The Nunavik will be one of the first commercial vessels to transit the Northwest Passage completely, and the first to do so unescorted with an Arctic cargo, and with Canadian expertise.

The Nunavik is the most powerful conventional (non-nuclear) icebreaking bulk carrier in the world, and sails from Deception Bay, Northern Quebec year round, transporting product from the Canadian Royalties mine. The Nunavik will deliver 23,000 tons of nickel concentrate to Bayuquan in China.

Meanwhile, our own Northwest Passage passengers for 2014 arrived in Anadyr, Siberia, this week from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, which they left on on August 26, in Ponant’s L’Austral. Ice conditions are fairly heavy this year. The ship needed an icebreaker in the Passage and was late arriving at Cambridge Bay and had to cancel her call there. The ice that is clogging the Northwest Passage right now is mostly multi-year ice breaking off from polar ice-packs and being pushed down from the Arctic Ocean.

We now have six companies offering the Northwest Passage: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Ponant and Silversea offering the full transit while One Ocean Expeditions, Adventure Canada and Lindblad transit the passage from the east and turn at Coppermine or Cambridge Bay. You will find some of the links here on our Expeditions page. Crystal Serenity in the ice

Crystal Cruises will transit the Northwest Passage from Seward, Alaska, to New York in 2006 with the 1,090-berth Crystal Serenity. Her passage has been planned by EYOS Expeditions and has been in the making for two years. Please call Gay Scruton on +44 (0) 20 7723 2450 for further details on this departure.

For further details on booking any transit of the Northwest Passage please contact The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk. In North America call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail cruise@thecruisepeople.ca.