How Berlitz Rates The Ships For 2014 – Star Orders New Ship From Meyer Werft – Names For Seven New Cruise Ships

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 14th October 2013.

 

SuperStarSagittarius (II)

The new Star Cruises ship replaces an earlier concept for a SuperStar Sagittarius (ii).

Last week we posted the arrival of the 2014 issue of the Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships by Douglas Ward. This week, we have a look at how the new guide rates those ships, with the top five scores in each category. Elsewhere, after standing by the sidelines for many years while concentrating on its half-interest in Norwegian Cruise Line, Genting has finally ordered a large new cruise ship for its Star Cruises operation. And among them, Norwegian, AIDA and Royal Caribbean International have together revealed seven new cruise ship names.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                           (See previous columns)

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New Media: 1st Annual Cruise Examiner YouTube Survey – Carnival Splendor and Carnival Triumph – Cruise & Maritime Australia via Suez

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 18th February 2013

SeaDream IISeaDream Yacht Club win the Cruise Examiner YouTube award for 2013 with 1,014 views per berth. This week, we bring you the results of the 1st Annual Cruise Examiner YouTube Survey. With most cruise lines now having YouTube accounts, we felt it was time to compare how they are doing. The big winner is SeaDream Yacht Club, with a high score of 1,040 YouTube views for every lower berth in their two-ship fleet. Other high performers include Azamara Club Cruises, with 229 views per berth, and Cunard and Disney, with 224 and 223 views each, while at the bottom of the league is Crystal Cruises with just seven. With the arrival of the powerless Carnival Triumph at Mobile last week, we compare her situation to that of Carnival Splendor just over two years ago. We have up to date information on Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Australian positioning voyages and look at how Facebook shares now compare with Norwegian Cruise Line shares since last week, when they were both at around $28.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                        (See previous columns)

New Media: The Big (And Little) Cruise Lines – SeaDream Wins the YouTube Competition – But Do YouTube Viewings Generate Bookings?

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With nearly all cruise lines now having their own YouTube accounts, it is worth looking at the number of views each has attracted in its initial efforts, from mid seven digits down to low four digits, as at mid-day February 14, 2013:-

Princess Cruises (5,481,289)
Royal Caribbean International (4,287,689)
Carnival Cruise Lines (2,745,277)
Norwegian Cruise Line (2,064,530)
P&O Cruises (1,548,271)
Cunard Line (1,480,265)
Holland America Line (1,140,017)

MSC Cruises (740,467)
Celebrity Cruises (638,858)
Azamara Club Cruises (313,628)
Costa Cruises (276,417)
SeaDream Yacht Club (233,115)
Silversea Cruises (166,966)
Oceania Cruises (111,591)

Voyages of Discovery (93,588)
Regent Seven Seas Cruises (64,577)
Seabourn (55,563)
Paul Gauguin Cruises (54,632)
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines (39,624)
Swan Hellenic Cruises (28,111)
Louis Cruises (27,236)
Crystal Cruises (15,532)

Voyages to Antiquity (1,380)

Aside from the big numbers up top, the most notable of all these entries is SeaDream Yacht Club, which is punching way above its weight with over 1,000 views for every berth it has in its two-ship fleet. Compare this with only 7.5 views for every lower berth on Crystal and you will see what we mean.

But do YouTube viewings generate bookings? The question is probably of the same relevance today as asking if colour magazine advertisements generated business in their time (which is now largely past). Where Twitter and Facebook are probably not very productive, Blogs and YouTube videos are capable of conveying some of the actual experience of these products. Many of these videos can be found on our Cruise Lines Video Links Page.

Then if you want to know more about the art of cruising call 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

Never a Better Way to Sail the Upper Amazon, from Barbados to Peru

Join all The Cruise People clients who have enjoyed the trip either up or down the upper Amazon as far as Iquitos, Peru, and this time on a very classy vessel, one the top-rated SeaDream luxury yachts. This is the way to do it as well, 2o days up from Barbados or 2o days down to Barbados. Great all-inclusive yachting value from $15,499 per person plus $1,250 dues and taxes.

Each voyage gives you the chance to swim across the Equator, see the “Wedding Of The Rivers” and sail not just as far as Manaus, the biggest city on the river, but many miles further upstream to Iquitos in Peru, somewhere that very few passenger ships ever sail!

Book now for 2013, or try your luck for 2012 – there are still a handful of suites left if you’re lucky.

For further details please call Gay Scruton at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

85 Years Ago: The First Cruise Ship To Come To Miami

Have you thought about cruising the West Indies, in a ship that offers space, service and no crowds, to out of the way islands, like it used to be? It’s eighty-five years since the first cruises were offered from Miami, but it’s still possible, if you look around, to find ships that carry just a few hundred passengers and are not overwhelmed by children and attractions. When you get a chance, give us a call on 020 7723 2450 and ask, but, meanwhile, we thought you might find this little story of interest.

Eighty-five years ago, in the winter of 1926-27, the Clarke Steamship Co Ltd of Quebec became the first company to operate weekly cruises from Florida, in its s.s. New Northland. Here is a little background on an important part of history that is now long forgotten.

Winter cruises had been offered from Key West in 1913 and then from Jacksonville in 1914 by the Plant Line’s 3,786-ton Evangeline, the first ship of that name, that operated between Boston, Halifax and Charlottetown in the summer months. These longer 11-night cruises, which took guests down to see the Panama Canal, then under construction, and also called at Kingston, Jamaica, and Havana, Cuba, ended with the First World War. Twenty years earlier, in 1893, another Plant Line ship, the 1,738-ton Halifax, had offered an experimental series of three 10-day cruises between Tampa and Jamaica.

The New Northland arriving at Palm Beach in January 1927

Completed in April 1926 by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the same shipyard that had built Cunard’s famous 31,938-ton Mauretania twenty years earlier, the Clarke ship had actually entered service as the Northland. Before she arrived in Florida, however, she was renamed New Northland, chiefly in order to prevent confusion with the twenty-seven-year-old 3,282-ton North Land that ran between Key West and Havana in the winter (and Boston and Yarmouth NS by summer). With both the Northland and the North Land planning to be in Havana at the same time, there was no point in confusing passengers, let alone port authorities, ship chandlers and others as to which ship they should be going to! Besides, the change of name emphasized the age of the older ship, with which the New Northland also competed for one-way passengers between Florida and Cuba.

While the New Northland had been built to cruise the Gulf of St Lawrence from Montreal to Newfoundland, in the winter time, when the St Lawrence was blocked by ice, she needed to find alternative employment. Thus, for the winter of 1926-27  Clarke chose to place their new flagship into a new weekly cruise service from Palm Beach and Miami to Nassau and Havana. As a cruise ship, she could cater for about 140 first-class passengers.  In order to promote these cruises, a $5,000 model of the New Northland was put on display in the main window of Burdine’s department store (now Macy’s) in downtown Miami.

Downtown Miami, as it appeared in 1927

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The New Northland left Montreal at the end of her first Gulf of St Lawrence cruise season on November 26, 1926, and took a cargo south to Havana before presenting for her new duties in Florida.  She arrived in Miami on Sunday, January 9, 1927, and Palm Beach the following day. Several thousand Miamians came out to inspect the new cruise ship on her maiden call and a similar event was held the next day in Palm Beach, where the new Breakers Hotel had opened twelve days earlier. Unlike today, when ships generally sail on the weekend, the New Northland‘s weekly cruises left Palm Beach and Miami every Wednesday during the winter months. Typical of advertisements that appeared in the Miami Daily News was this one for her third cruise:-

Cruise Havana – Nassau from Miami and Palm Beach. Sailing Wednesday, January 26. s.s. NEW NORTHLAND (British Registry). This palatial ship is your hotel for six days, Full day in Nassau – three in Havana. No baggage transfers. All outside cabins, many with twin beds, private baths. $90 and up.

While she would later be registered at Quebec, for the first few years the New Northland indeed remained registered at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where she had been built, hence the British flag.

The first season went well, but things had been going on in the background. In January 1926, the Peninsular & Occidental Steamship Company, which had been operating the Miami-Nassau overnight service for thirty years, had been replaced by Munson Steamship Lines of New York, who also owned the British Colonial Hotel (now the British Colonial Hilton) in Nassau. In 1926-27, while the New Northland was cruising, Munson had contented themselves with the Red Cross Line’s 2,568-ton Rosalind, a fifteen-year-old second-hand ship that usually ran between New York, Halifax and St John’s NF. But by the time the 1927-28 winter season rolled around, Munson had arranged to charter the much more luxurious New Northland with her two sumptuous lounges, all-outside staterooms, verandah cafe and plentiful outdoor deck areas, to operate its three sailings a week between Miami and Nassau.

Today, there is a wide choice of Caribbean cruises, but the absolute best are from the likes of Azamara Club Cruises, Compagnie du Ponant, Crystal Cruises, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn and SeaDream Yacht Club, to name just a few that will take you off the beaten path. Not to San Juan, St Thomas and St Maarten but to places like Marigot and Soufrière, Jost van Dyke and Spanish Town, Havana and Santiago, St Barthelemy and Saba. Despite what some may try to tell you, the ship is not the destination at all, it is the means of getting there in great comfort and with good company and a means of enjoying the sea, with excellent cuisine and the type of understated service that really marks out luxury

The Tere Moana, for example, a 3,504-ton ship owned by Paul Gauguin Cruises, has almost exactly the same tonnage and dimensions as the New Northland, although her appearance is totally different. She carries just 90 passengers in great comfort, and no cargo, and visits many smaller ports where the big ships cannot enter. Formerly Compagnie du Ponant’s Le Levant, she sails from St Martin on her inaugural cruise on December 29, 2012.

For further details on any of these ships call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

The Cruise Examiner For 16th May 2011: Holland America To Cruise Year-Round From Rotterdam – Other News: American Lines Show European Weakness – MSC Takes Over Starlight Cruises – Mediterranean Port

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com
by Kevin Griffin

Holland America To Cruise Year-Round From Rotterdam – Other News: American Lines Show European Weakness – MSC Takes Over Starlight Cruises – Mediterranean Ports

At last week’s Cruise Europe meeting in Stavanger, Holland America Line announced that it would become the latest North American line to base a ship in Europe year-round and the second to base a ship year-round in northern Europe. Meanwhile, two American lines have now announced redeployments away from the eastern Mediterranean for the winter of 2011/12. In South Africa last week, MSC took over local cruise seller Starlight Cruises. And as Genoa and Marseilles announced booming cruise numbers, the MSC Opera sailed from Southampton and SeaDream I arrived in London, each for the first time.

THIS WEEK’S STORY

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