Seabourn Encore Delivered – Three Ships For Thomson Cruises’ Caribbean – Croisières de France to Disappear

The Cruise Examiner for 12th December 2016

Image result for seabourn encore

Recenly delivered in Italy, Seabourn’s new 600-berth Seabourn Encore (above), the line’s biggest ship since the 793-berth Seabourn Sun (1998-2002), has now joined the Seabourn fleet and is on her way to Singapore for her christening by Sarah Brightman. Meanwhile, the Royal Caribbean and TUI-affiliated UK arm of TUI Cruises will have three ships in the Caribbean this winter, with flights by Thomson Airways from a network of ten UK airports. And a week after the announcement of the disappearance of Fathom as a ship operator comes news that a longer-established brand, Croisières de France, is also being assigned to the dustbin of history.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                    (See previous columns)

The Ocean Liner Society 2017 Annual Cruise On Celestyal Nefeli, 7 Nights From Athens (Lavrion) on September 29

Celestyal-Nefeli

The 2017 Ocean Liner Society cruise is planned for the 19,093-ton Celestyal Nefeli (above), the former Gemini, operated by Celestyal Cruises of Piraeus. This 7-night cruise will depart Athens (Lavrion) on September 29, making calls at Santorini, Izmir, Nafplion, Crete, Rhodes, Cesme and Mykonos.

The last time the Ocean Liner Society travelled in Louis (now Celestyal) ships was in 2009, when it cruised back-to-back in the 23,149-ton Aquamarine and the 16,710-ton Aegean Pearl.

Group fares, all inclusive of drinks, shore excursions and gratuities, are as follows:

Category of Stateroom      Regular fare           Earlybird fare
Junior Suite (SJ)                       €1,725, book now for €1,625 per person
Outside Double (XD)                €1,455, book now for €1,375 per person
Inside Double (!D)                    €1,225, book now for €1,165 per person

Single Fares
Outside Single (XD)                  €1,915, book now for €1,795
Inside Single (!D)                      €1,575, book now for €1,485

The Ocean Liner Society is a non-profit organisation whose members celebrate the passenger ship in its many forms. 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 Society group cruises, this includes a subscription to its 48-page quarterly journal, Sea Lines. Further details can be found at Ocean Liner Society

For further details or to book the 2017 cruise  please call agents The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com 

The Ocean Liner Society Chooses Pullmantur Cruises’ Sovereign For Its 2016 Annual Cruise, From Barcelona On September 24

SovereignThe UK-based Ocean Liner Society  has this year arranged ti take its annual cruise on Pullmantur Cruises’ 73,192-ton Sovereign, sailing from Barcelona on 24th September. As Sovereign of the Seas, she was the world’s largest cruise ship when she entered service in 1988, exceeding both the 70,202-ton Norway and the 66,451-ton (at the time) Queen Elizabeth 2.

Several Ocean Liner Society group cruises have taken place on Pullmantur ships in the past. It is now over a decade since the Society first cruised in Pullmantur’s 39,241-ton Oceanic, once Home Lines’ flagship, and the 46,087-ton Sky Wonder, which had been built as the Sitmar Line flagship Fairsky. In more recent years, the Society has chosen Pullmantur associate Croisières de France, cruising in its 37,301-ton Bleu de France (now Saga Sapphire) in 2010, and the 46,811-ton Horizon in 2012.

For 2016, it is back to Pullmantur’s Spanish-based fleet, with a 7-night cruise from Barcelona on the Sovereign. Sailing on Saturday, September 24, 2016, this year’s cruise will call at Olbia, Civitavecchia, Livorno and Toulon before returning to Barcelona on October 1.

Sailing Itinerary
Date                                     Ports of Call    
Sat 24 Sep2016                   Barcelona
Sun 25 Sep2016                  At Sea
Mon 26 Sep2016                 Olbia, Sardinia
Tue 27 Sep2016                   Naples
Wed 28 Sep2016                  Rome (Civitavecchia)
Thu 29 Sep2016                   Florence/Pisa (Livorno)
Fri 30 Sep2016                     Provence (Toulon)
Sat 01 Oct2016                      Barcelona

Special Ocean Liner Society Fares

Luxury Outside A cabins (Doubles)         £880 per person
Outside cabins (Doubles)                           £695 per person
Inside Superior (Doubles)                          £635 per person
Outside cabins (Singles)                             £895 for sole use
Inside Superior (Singles)                            £795 for sole use

Above fares include port charges, standard Drinks package and gratuities.

Those interested in participating in this year’s cruise should register as soon as possible as the allocation is limited. A deposit of £150 per person will confirm a place and the final balance will be due 70 days before sailing (15.07.16)

The Ocean Liner Society is a non-profit organisation whose members celebrate the passenger ship in its many forms. 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 Society g oup cruises, this includes a subscription to its 48-page quarterly journal, Sea Lines. Further details can be found at Ocean Liner Society

Fior further details or to book this cruise  please contact agents The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 and ask for Mona Hedlund or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Crystal Examines s.s. United States – Other Cruise News: – Cruise Ship Creep – Ocean Liner Society Chooses Sovereign

The Cruise Examiner for 8th February 2016

s.s. United StatesLast week saw the news that Crystal Cruises was about to undertake a feasibility study into whether the 1952-built s.s. United States could be revived and put back into service as a fast 21st Century cruise ship (see artist’s concept, above). The results of this determination should be known by the end of the year. Elsewhere, we look at “cruise ship creep” as different classes of ship keep getting progressively longer, with more berths in each case. And the Ocean Liner Society has chosen to take this year’s annual group cruise on Pullmantur’s Sovereign, a vessel that when built in 1988 was the world’s largest cruise ship.

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FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                         
(See previous columns)

Azamara Club Cruises’ Cruiseco Charters – Pullmantur Changes UK Agent (Again) – Funchal Cancels 2015 Season

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 16th February 2015

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Azamara Quest leaves Nice for Southampton via the Baltic on May 28 and has some balcony staterooms remaining from £5,129 pp for 37 days. Apply through Cruiseco agents.

This week we have a look at the relationship between Azamara Club Cruises and the rapidly growing Cruiseco cruise agents consortium in Australia, an entity that is now expanding into the UK. Meanwhile, Pullmantur Cruises is on its fourth UK agent in the past several years, having now appointed a division of Fred. Olsen Travel to look after its business in the UK. And Portuscale’s Funchal, having had her 2015 cruise season cancelled, is now available for long-term charter.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)

Carnival Plan Evokes Return To The 1930s In Hispaniola – Major Changes At Pullmantur – Book Review: Great French Passenger Ships

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 20th October 2014... ..

.Great French Passenger Ships

This week we look at how Carnival Corp & plc’s investigation into developing a new two-berth cruise port at Haiti’s Tortuga Island, together with its Amber Cove development in the Dominican Republic, take us back to the 1930s. Both are on the island of Hispaniola and relatively close to Miami, especially in these days of high fuel costs. We also look at how Pullmantur is extending its reach far beyond Spain, while at the same time watering down its much-vaunted “All-Inclusive” plan. Finally, for a change, we review Bill Miller’s most recent book, Great French Passenger Ships, just published by The History Press.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)

Norwegian Breakaway Due New York – Monarch Enters Service For Pullmantur – Cruise Passengers Make Cheap Tourists

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 6th May 2013

Last Tuesday Norwegian Cruise Line’s new 144,017-ton Norwegian Breakaway departed Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York, where she is due on Tuesday. She will be named by the Rockettes this Wednesday. Meanwhile, another once-large ship, Royal Caribbean’s 73,937-ton Monarch of the Seas, has joined Spanish-based affiliate as the Monarch. And a survey from Norway tells us that cruise passengers are not necessarily those that spend the most money, at least ashore.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                         (See previous columns)

The Ocean Liner Society Chooses Croisières de France and its Horizon for its 2012 Group Cruise, Departing Marseilles 27th May

In 2010, the Ocean Liner Society chose Croisières de France and its 37,301-ton Bleu de France (delivered in 1982 as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ previous Europa) for its annual group cruise. This “all-inclusive” cruise proved such a success that in 2012 the Society is returning to Croisières de France to sample its latest ship, the 46,811-ton Horizon, the first new ship to be built for Celebrity Cruises in 1990.

The 2012 cruise will take the “Tutti Frutti” itinerary, departing Marseilles on Sunday, 27th May for Portofino, Rome, Salerno, Trapani and Valetta, with a full day spent at sea before returning to Marseilles.

Celebrity Cruises was formed by Chandris Cruises in April 1988 in order to fulfil a new cruise contract it had negotiated with the Government of Bermuda. As well as acquiring the Italian liner Galilio Galileo, which it rebuilt in 1988/89 and renamed Meridian, Celebrity built two new ships specifically for the Bermuda run. These were the sister ships Horizon of 1990 and the Zenith of 1992. The Horizon‘s initial run was the weekly service between New York and Bermuda, serving both St George’s, on the islands’ east end, and Hamilton. Regular service between New York and Hamilton had been started as far back as 1864 by the Quebec Steamship Co Ltd, which was taken over in 1919 by the Furness Bermuda Line, and which in turn lasted until 1966.

In 1997, Celebrity Cruises was bought by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and the newer and larger ships of the Century and Millenium classes were introduced, eventually making the Horizon the smallest ship in the fleet. In 2005, the Horizon was allocated to a new joint venture with TUI Group called Island Cruises, taking on the new name of Island Star. When Royal Caribbean withdrew from Island Cruises, she rejoined her sister ship Zenith at Royal Caribbean-controlled Pullmantur Cruises in Spain and was again renamed, this time as Pacific Dream. Now having reverted to her original name, Horizon will join Pullmantur’s French-based cruise operation Croisières de France in the spring of 2012 to replace the Bleu de France, which has been sold to Saga Cruises to become the Saga Sapphire.

OLS group fares are valid for a minimum number of double cabins, and there is a limited number of category DE and DI cabins available for singles with no single supplement provided enough doubles are booked. Bookings can be made through the OLS group agent The Cruise People Ltd in London.

2012 Horizon fares compare very well with Bleu de France fares in 2010 as lead-in prices are lower – €510 per person for an inside cabin compared to €585 in 2010 and €630 per person for an outside cabin compared to €850 in 2010.

While fares are all-inclusive of passage, full board, port charges and drinks, spirits, wine and beer in the dining rooms and bars on board, a service charge of €65 per person for gratuities will be added to your on board account.

Itinerary                                                       Arrive             Depart
MARSEILLE                                                                                17.00
PORTOFINO  (Santa Margherita)                09.00                18.00
ROME  (Civitavecchia)                                   08.00                19.00
SALERNO                                                        08.00                19.00
TRAPANI                                                          08.00                19.00
MALTA (Valletta)                                              09.00                17.00
AT SEA                                                                         (sea day)
MARSEILLE                                                      08.00        

Ocean Liner Society Group Rates – Horizon 27th May 2012
(Fares are cruise-only and include port charges of €175)
Category Brochure 120-day OLS Group
 Fares are in Euros € Fare (1) Fare (2) Fare (3)
Staterooms
DI Discovery Inside €725 €560 €510
HI Horizon Inside 825 630 570
DE Discovery Outside 925 700 630
HE Horizon Outside 1125 840 755
C Comfort Outside 1325 980 880
P Prestige Outside 1525 1120 995
PB Prestige with Balcony 1685 1232 1095
Suites       
JS Junior Suite €1785 €1302 €1145
JB Junior Balcony Suite 1925 1400 1235
S Royal Suite 2125 1540 1355
SB Royal Balcony Suite 2325 1680 1480
(1) The above fares are cruise only per person in double occupancy and do not include service charge of €65, which is added to your account on board  (CDF published brochure fares are thus €65 higher than brochure fares shown here).
(2) For bookings made prior to 120 days before departure.
(3) OLS Group fares include no single supplement on a limited number of cabins in Categories DI and DE, provided the minimum number of double cabins is booked. Note: This allocation is now sold out, but we are able to offer a lump sum single supplement of €275 on any grade, subject to availability.
   
A deposit of 25% will confirm a reservation and penalties for cancellation by the passenger are as follows:
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More than 90 days before departure: € 90
61-90 days before departure: 25% of the fare amount
30-60 days before departure: 50% of the fare amount
Fewer than 30 days before departure: 100% of the fare amount
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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 www.ocean-liner-society.com.
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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.

The Cruise Examiner for 30th May 2011: The Market for Middle Size Ships – Some Background And A Survey of Mid-Size Cruise Ship Opportunities

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com
by Kevin Griffin

The Market for Middle Size Ships – Some Background And A Survey of Mid-Size Cruise Ship Opportunities

 Now that cruise lines have evolved into mass market operations with mega-ships of well over 1,000 feet long and up to 225,000 tons, capable of carrying up to 6,000 passengers each, the whole industry has changed. Nevertheless, there is a still very much of a market for mid-size cruise ships and new ships continue to be added to those already in service. And contrary to public perception, not all these ships are ultra-luxury ships that the general public cannot afford. There still remains a good element of choice. So this week, we have a look at the mid-size cruise ship market and survey some of the choices that remain.

THIS WEEK’S STORY