Australian River Cruisers In Europe – MSC Armonia Returns To Sea – Saga To Sell Through Travel Agents

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 29th September 2014... …

Scenic Diamond

The Scenic Diamond is only one of about 30 Australian-owned river cruisers soon to be sailing the rivers of Europe

APT, Scenic and Evergreen may be new names to many, but together they are deep in the Australian psyche and are investing €360 million in European river cruise vessels. We have a quick look today at their latest moves. Meanwhile MSC Cruises’ MSC Armonia will finish her lengthening at Palermo in a few weeks, after which she will be able carry 400 more passengers. MSC has announced some special events for her November positioning voyage from Genoa to Las Palmas. And Saga in the UK is preparing to welcome bookings from travel agents instead of relying solely on direct sell as in the past.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                    (See previous columns)

Viking Star Floated Out At Marghera – Saga Takes Space With MSC Cruises – And What Happened In 1914

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 30th June 2014..

 

Berengaria,ex-Imperator

Hamburg America Line’s giant Imperator became Cunard Line’s Berengeria after the First World War

Last week saw the float out at Marghera of the latest thing in ocean cruising. Viking Cruises’ Viking Star is a ship that is very traditional and yet is right up to date, with every stateroom having a balcony and all modern luxuries. We also look at Saga’s move back into outsourcing cruises from Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and MSC Cruises, something it has not done in a major way since the 1990s. And we look back at passenger shipping a century ago, how the war delayed the building of fifteen liners, and how it would denude the Hamburg America Line of its six finest ships, from the Imperator to the Tirpitz.

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Saga Set To Announce Share Float – Twiggy Christens The New Emerald Sky – Norwegian Schedules Two Cruises For Southampton

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 28th April 2014..

Twiggy christens Emerald SkyThis week will determine whether UK travel and insurance group Saga, which owns the cruise ships Saga Pearl II and Saga Sapphire, goes for a flotation on the London stock market. Estimates put the company’s value at about £3 billion (or $5 billion). A good portion of Saga’s holiday business has always been cruising and before buying the Saga Rose in 1997, they were P&O Cruises’ largest customer. Meanwhile, earlier this month in Amsterdam, British model Twiggy (left) christened the 182-berth Emerald Sky, first of four new river cruisers for Emerald Waterways. She will also christen her sister ship Emerald Star in June. These ships, the first of four ordered by Australian-owned newcomer Emerald Waterways, promise  more light, more space and lower fares compared to river operators. They are also now bookable through travel agents. And finally, after an absence of five years, Norwegian Cruise Line will be back in the UK in 2015, with Norwegian Epic making two calls at Southampton. These will be positioning voyages to get her from Barcelona to her five-year drydocking at her builder’s yard in St Nazaire and then back again.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                        (See previous columns)

Saga Sapphire To Cruise To The St Lawrence In The Autumn Of 2015

Saga Sapphire by Stephed CardLeaving Southampton on September 21, 2015, Saga’s 720-berth Saga Sapphire will be heading off on a 32-night cruise to Canada and the Gulf and River St Lawrence. Ports of call will include Ponta Delgada, five nights to St John’s NF, les Iles de la Madeleine, Corner Brook, Havre-St-Pierre, Sept-Iles, Saguenay, Quebec, Montreal (October 9), Baie Comeau, Gaspé, an overnight stay in Halifax, Sydney and seven nights back to Southampton.

Follow in the footsteps of the great explorers and see isolated rural communities, homes to the first nations. See how the cultural identities of cities such as Quebec, Montreal and Halifax, Nova Scotia’s historic capital, were forged by their founding fathers and early settlers. Fares start at £7,199 per person for two sharing an inside cabin, £7,580 for an outside or £9,070 for a Superior with balcony. Ibncludes bathrobes, 24-hour room service

Saga Sapphire Canada cruiseSt John’s lays claim to being the capital of Britain’s oldest colony and the kick-off point for the British Empire. Explore its scrum of historic streets and admire the brightly-painted Victorian houses.

Discover the secrets of the St Lawrence River’s remote North Shore. From Havre-St-Pierre you can seek out the weather-beaten monoliths of the Mingan Archipelago and from Sept-Iles you can learn all about the indigenous Innu people.

Early risers are in for a treat when Saga Sapphire cruises up the 60-mile long Saguenay Fjord – watch the sunrise over forested cliffs that tower above depths of up to 800 feet.

Step into the pages of history when you venture behind the fortified walls of Quebec City. This French colonial city is ruled over by the Château Frontenac, an imposing hotel built at the end of the 19th century.

Visit Montreal, the dynamic cosmopolitan port city on the St Lawrence River. As you explore this UNESCO City of Design, you’re sure to be moved by its distinct brand of French and North American culture best evident in the pavement cafés, gourmet restaurants, art galleries and cobbled historic streets of Old Montreal.

For further details please casll The Cruise Poeple Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Illustration: Saga Sapphire as depicted by Stephen Card.