The Seven Seas Explorer – Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation – Silversea Yet To Order Against Chinese Finance

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 2nd February 2015... ..

Seven Seas Explorer

With Crystal not having taken delivery of a new ship for a dozen years now, Hapag-Lloyd having bedded in its STX-built 2013 vintage Europa 2 and Fincantieri completing the last of Ponant’s four 264-berth luxury cruisers as well as preparing to deliver the new Viking Star this spring, it appears that the Italian shipbuilder now dominates the market for ultra-luxury cruise ships. With Regent’s latest ship on the way for delivery in 2016, two new 604-berth ships for Seabourn and a potential new order from Silversea for three ships of similar size, Fincantieri has this market wrapped up for now. Today, we examine this situation in a little more detail.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                (See previous columns)

The “99,000-Tonners”: Mein Schiff 3 and Koningsdam – Chinese Finance For Silversea Three – Carnival Develops Its China Hand

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 27th October 2014... ..

.

Mein Schiff 3 © Frank Behling

ms Mein Schiff 3 – the first 99,000-tonner

This week we examine a new class of ship that is presenting itself – the “99,000-tonner” – embodied in Mein Schiff 3 and Koningsdam Not a mega ship, but still larger than we are used to, these new ships seem to offer the prospect of trying to fill a gap in the quality end of the premium cruise market. Elsewhere, while Silversea has not said anything, news has leaked from China about a potential €800 million financing deal for three new ships to be built by Fincantieri. And in a continuation of this “Marco Polo” theme, Carnival Corp & plc has announced an agreement with China State Shipbuilding Corporation to design the optimum cruise ship for China, an agreement to which Fincantieri might also become a party.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                 (See previous columns)

Vancouver To Regain Its Lead Over Seattle? – Explorer of the Seas To Australia – Bermuda Forecasts 21,000 More Cruisers This Year

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 14th April 2014..

Zuiderdam Lion's Gate

As the Alaska trade prepares for its first sailings later this month, our main subject this week is the ongoing contest between Vancouver and Seattle. Since coming out of nowhere almost fifteen years ago to capture more than half the Alaska cruise trade in just a few years, an equilibrium seems to have been reached whereby Vancouver will see almost 40% more sailings than Seattle but the average passenger turnaround per ship on Seattle sailings will be more than a third higher than Vancouver’s. Elsewhere, the news has finally broken that after her 2015 season in the UK, Explorer of the Seas will join Voyager of the Seas to become one of “Australia’s two mega liners” during the southern hemisphere cruising season. And as the Bermuda season opens, it forecasts 356,000 cruisers this year, a rise of 21,000 over 2013.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                            (See previous columns)

Crown Princess Trapped by Storm – The Winter Season Of Liner-Style Voyages – Four-Night Sampler Cruises On Top-Rated Europa 2

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 28th October 2013.

Crown PrincessAfter P&O Cruises’ Ventura left Southampton for Barbados at 5 pm on Friday, Princess Cruises’ near sister Crown Princess (above) was due to leave 24 hours later. However, Princess Cruises decided to hold her back due to the impending arrival in the early hours of Monday morning of a storm called St Jude. We have a look at what other ships in Southampton did. Elsewhere, November usually marks the great peregrination of cruise ships from Europe back to the Caribbean for the winter, while January sees the annual Australasian departures, so we have a look at opportunities here. Finally, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises have announced four 4-night opportunities to cruise in the top-rated Europa 2 in the Baltic next June.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                        (See previous columns)

While First Commercial Cargo Ship Transits The Northwest Passage, Passenger Ships Have Been Doing It Since 1984

Nordic OrionThis week came news that the Danish bulk carrier Nordic Orion (right) has become the first commercial cargo ship to traverse Canada’s famed Northwest Passage, with a cargo of 73,000 tons metallurgical coal loaded at Vancouver and bound for Finland. The route saved her 1,000 miles and allowed her to load 25% more cargo than she can normally carry through the Panama Canal.

National_Geo_ExplorerMost people don’t realize, however, that commercial ships have been traversing the Northwest Passage for three decades. The Lindblad Explorer did it for the first time in 1984. Such transits are now offered by no fewer than six operators, including Compagnie du Ponant (Le Soléal) from France, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises (Bremen and Hanseatic) from Germany, Lindblad Expeditions (National Geographic Explorer, pictured) from the US , Adventure Canada (Sea Adventurer) and One Ocean Expeditions (Akademik Ioffe), both from Canada, and Silversea Expeditions (Silver Explorer) from Monaco.

NWPHapag-Lloyd, Ponant and Silversea transit the Northwest Passage to or from Nome, Alaska, or Anadyr, Siberia, while Adventure Canada, Lindblad and One Ocean turn at Coppermine (now called Kugluktuk), in the Canadian Arctic, at the western end of the Passage.

The Cruise People have been booking Northwest Passage passengers for several years now, but remember to book early as despite new ships being added to the route the season is limited to two months in high summer, usually departing in August, and these sailings sell out quickly.

For further information, here are a few earlier posts on the subject:

Northwest Passage post from The Cruise People

And for details on availability and fares please call The Cruise People L:td in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Crystal Cruises Extends Getaway Cruises Offer – Cuba Back on the Map – World’s Largest Container Ship – South Africa Liner Voyages

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 25th February 2013

S24381K

Get away for 5, 6, 7 or 8 days on Crystal Cruises, from £1,248 per person all-inclusive for 5 nights

Crystal Cruises has announced an extension until the end of April of its special offer fares for shorter 5, 6, 7 and 8-night cruises for summer 2013. These “Getaway” cruises allow busy executives and first-timers to sample the now all-inclusive Crystal ships at lower fares. While Silversea has also announced some 4 to 7-night cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ new Europa 2 is due to enter service in May. Unlike the existing Europa, which offers longer cruises, she offers exclusively 7-night Mediterranean cruises this summer. Elsewhere, Cuba is back in the news with the announcement that Cuba Cruise will begin offering 7-night Round Cuba cruises from Havana this winter in the Louis Cristal. And CMA CGM, having opened up its largest container ship, CMA CGM Marco Polo, to passenger bookings, now offers almost 600 passenger berths on 70 ships on its various routes worldwide. Finally, Cruise & Maritime Voyages has just announced two South Africa liner voyages for the Astor in  2014.

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?

.
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