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Friday, July 13, 2012

Luxury Cruise Operator Silversea Purchases Galapagos Explorer II

Galapagos Explorer II to become part of the Silversea Fleet.
Galapagos Explorer II to become part of the Silversea Fleet.
The Silversea Group announced that it has purchased Canodros S.A., the premier Ecuadorian tourism company that operates in the Galapagos Islands, and their upmarket expedition ship, Galapagos Explorer II

Silversea plans to add Galapagos Explorer II to its ultra-luxury fleet of six ships next year, after the all-suite, 100-guest vessel undergoes a major refurbishment in September 2013 and is given a new name, steps that will ensure consistency with the standards of the Silversea fleet.
 
Until that time, Galapagos Explorer II will continue on its planned schedule of cruises and will continue to be operated by Canodros, which is based in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Canodros will also continue handling reservations for Galapagos Explorer II, as well as sales and marketing through its established network of travel companies and tour operators.
 
The acquisition will enable the award-winning cruise company chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre to expand the Silversea Expeditions brand. Its existing expedition ship, Silver Explorer, is regularly deployed in the polar regions, and the addition of a second vessel, offering year-round unique luxury expedition cruises in the Galapagos archipelago, means Silversea will have the opportunity to offer the adventure traveler a broader portfolio of itineraries, encompassing some of the world's most desired and least explored regions.
 
The 4077-ton Galapagos Explorer II offers the stylish elegance of a mega-yacht, attentive onboard service and an enriching naturalist education program. All of its 50 spacious suites feature ocean views and 24 include private balconies. Public spaces include a restaurant, piano bar, library and Internet station, main lounge, outdoor bar, two outdoor whirlpools, and a marine observation deck.
 
Guests sailing aboard Galapagos Explorer II will continue to enjoy the same exciting itineraries, luxury accommodations, shipboard amenities, informative lectures and sustainable tourism for which Canodros is known.
 
Potential guests and travel agents interested in booking a Galapagos Explorer II voyage should visit www.galapagosexplorer.com for more information.
 
Guests currently booked on Galapagos Explorer II, and travel agents or tour operators with clients booked on the ship, should continue to liaise through their normal channels with Canodros for any needed assistance with their reservation.  
 
In the coming months, Silversea will announce more details concerning plans for the ship after it is renovated and renamed.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

E-Ship 1 - Cargo Ship - New Design and Enegry Efficient.

e-Ship 1 - Fuel Efficient Enercon Ship
e-Ship 1 - Fuel Efficient Enercon Ship
The E-Ship 1 is a RoLo cargo ship that made its first voyage in August 2010. The ship is owned by the third-largest wind turbine manufacturer, Germany's Enercon GmbH.

The E-Ship 1 is used to transport wind turbine components. The E-Ship 1 is a Flettner ship: with  four large rotorsails that rise from its deck. The rotorsails are rotated via a mechanical linkage to the ship's propellers. The sails, or Flettner rotors, aid the ship's propulsion by means of the Magnus effect — the perpendicular force that is exerted on a spinning body moving through a fluid stream. Reports say that the Flettner rotors help the ship in saving fuel consumption up to 30-40%. at 16 knots.

 Flettner rotors, were first  developed in the 1920s by German engineer Anton Flettner.

The ship also has conventional diesel engines as well. The Exhaust Gas from the diesels is used also in process to generate additional energy.

The 4 Tower design allow for cargo to be easily loaded and off-loaded from the ships, interfering significantly less than sails. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Louis Cruise Lines' Emerald Sold for Scrap

Emerald of Louis Cruise Lines - Reportedly Sold for Scrap
Emerald of Louis Cruise Lines - Reportedly Sold for Scrap

Initially reported sold to South Korean buyers, Louis Cruise Lines has now reported that the 54-year-old Emerald has been sold for scrap in June for  $5 Million dollars.

This is the second cruise ship that Louis Cruise Line has sold in the last three months. The Sapphire was recently sold for scrap as well. The line is actively reducing the older tonnage of the fleet. Currently Louis Cruise Line has 7 ships.

Although the Emerald did go though a total rennovation in the last 10 years, her fuel hungry  steam turbine-powered engines have made it hard for her to find suitable active service.
The Emerald was originally bult as the Santa Rosa for Grace Lines.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

AbourMeri Cruises to Start Cruises From Lebanon with Orient Queen II

AbouMehri  Cruises has announced they will resume cruising with a different ship - the Orient Queen II.
AbourMeri Cruises to Start Cruises From Lebanon with Orient Queen II
AbourMeri Cruises to Start Cruises From Lebanon with Orient Queen II

Ths photo on the cruise line website appears to be the Vistamar which was previously operated by German Tour Operator Plantours.

The Orient Queen will operate 7-day cruises from  Beruit Lebanon to Limassol Cyprus, Rhodes Greece, Mykonos Greece, Bodrum Turkey, Marmaris Turkey.

No dates are listed on the website at the time this artilce was written.

It sill be interesting to see if consumers are confused because the AbourMehri Cruise's first ship - the Orient Queen is now sailing as the Orient Queen for Louis Cruise Lines.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

CPTM Contemplates New Ship

Aranui 3 - Compagnie Polynésienne de Transport Maritime - CPTM
Aranui 3 - Compagnie Polynésienne de Transport Maritime - CPTM Current Ship
The Financial Times has revealed that Compagnie Polynésienne de Transport Maritime (CPTM) is considering building a larger passenger freighter, Tentatively the ship is to be named Aranui 5 but no other details are available at this time.

The current ship operated by CPTM is relatively new - the Aranui 3 and operates throughout Polynesia. 

Compagnie Polynésienne de Transport Maritime (CPTM) is operated by the Wong Family and Chinese tradition states that 4 is an unlucky number so that is the reason the naming convention is skipping a generation.

More info will be shared as details are revealed.

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Training Ship State of Maine Runs Manovers Off of New York

On 6/27/2012, the Maine Maritime Academy training ship was heading straight for New York and then made a u-turn and headed out along Long Island Sound. The ship was most likely running training manauvers off the New Jersey and New York Coast.

I would have loved to see the ship come onto New York.

Maine Maritime Academy Training Ship - State of Maine Runs Maneuvers Off New York/New Jersey
Maine Maritime Academy Training Ship - State of Maine Runs Maneuvers Off New York/New Jersey - Photo Courtesy of AIS Vessel Tracking
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Friday, July 6, 2012

QE2 To Become Hotel In Saudi Arabia.

Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) to Open as Hotel in 2013
Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) to Open as Hotel in 2013
For the last three years Cunard's famous Queen Elizabeth 2 has been languishing in Dubai's Port of Rashid, Queen Elizabeth 2's.

After having to put their original conversion plans on hold for the QE2,  Dubai Ports (DP) World and the ship's current owners, Istithmar World,  announced the ship will be turned into a 300-room floating hotel, retaining most of her original fittings and layout. 


"The
70,327-ton, 1,791-passenger vessel will remain docked next to the original cruise terminal at Port Rashid. The cruise terminal is being developed into an attraction for arriving/departing cruise passenger featuring a maritime museum.

QE2 served as part of Cunard's fleet from 1969 until its retirement in 2008. In 2007, the QE2 was sold to
Istithmar World, (the investment arm of state-run Dubai World) for $100 million. Original plans called for a massive redesign and upgrade of the vessel, into a modern, floating high-end resort. Due to the world ecpnomic issues the grander plans have been put on hold for a more conservative approach.


Current owners state that the ship has a strong following and many prospective patrons would like to experience the ship as she was originally designed.

The QE2 Hotel is expected to be open in about 18 months. 


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Thursday, July 5, 2012

ISP charters Sea Spirit to Oceanwide Expeditions

Sea Spirit - International Shipping Partners - Charter to Oceanwide Expeditions
Sea Spirit - International Shipping Partners - Charter to Oceanwide Expeditions
International Shipping Partners arranged a summer charter of Sea Spirit to Oceanwide Expeditions of the Netherlands.

The 120-passenger vessel is en route from South America to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, where it will begin cruises to Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland on July 10.

Afterward, Sea Spirit will go back on charter to Quark Expeditions for the 2012/13 Antarctica season.
Built in 1991 as Renaissance Five, the 4,200gt vessel has sailed as Sun Viva and MegaStar Sagittarius.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Explorer of the Seas Encounters Rough Seas.

Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas Encounters Rough Seas
Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas Encounters Rough Seas
On June 29th, while heading back to New York, the Explorer of the Seas encountered rough seas and strong winds off the coast of New Jersey. The Explorer of the Seas was heading back to Cape Liberty, NJ after 8-days in the Caribbean and Bermuda. Guests were awakened at 3:30 AM, when the ship began to pitch and roll.  Hangers we jiggling in the closets and doors were opening and closing. At 4:30 AM the captain made an announcement advising guests that the ship was encountering rough seas and strong winds. He also advised guests that they should remain inside and not venture out on deck. The Captain further ensured guest that they were not in danger.

A number of severe storms, including strong winds, hail, heavy rain and lightening passed over New Jersey on Friday. The storms were triggered by the extreme heat that the area has been experiencing.

The Explorer of the Seas docked in Bayonne as planned on Saturday morning with no damage or injuries reported.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Great America Steamboat Company to Become American Queen Steamboat Company

American Queen - American Queen Steamboat Company Previously Great American Steamboat Company
American Queen - American Queen Steamboat Company
Following the lead of the legendary steamboat company Greene Line Steamers who renamed their company Delta Queen Steamboat Company after their most famous boat, the immortal Delta Queen. Yesterday (7/1), the Great American Steamboat Company became the American Queen Steamboat Company in honor of our wildly-popular lady, the American Queen.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria Meet in Flaam, Norway

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria in Flaam Norway
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria in Flaam Norway

Norway saw two of Cunard's liners together in the country for the first time this week as both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria took their respective guests on luxury cruise vacations through the breathtaking Fjords.  The ships are pictured here at Flaam, near Sognefjord, where they called for a day on 25 June.

In true Cunard style, the sister Queens saluted each other several times, with the echoes of their whistles reverberating through the lush mountains for long periods after the initial blasts.

Queen Elizabeth is currently on a 14-night Norwegian Fjords & North Cape Discovery voyage, while Queen Victoria completes her one week Fjords & Waterfalls voyage in Southampton today (6/29). 



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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Paul Gauguin Cruises Refurbishment Plans for Tere Moana


On December 29, 2012, the m/v Tere Moana sets out on her maiden voyage under the Paul Gauguin Cruises banner, following a multi-faceted renovation that brings her up to our high standards for luxury and comfort. But you don't have to wait until December to see what you'll enjoy aboard this exceptional ship!
m/v Tere Moana
Staterooms from 161 sq. ft. to 298 sq. ft. (including balcony), including 8 staterooms with private balconies. Shown: Balcony stateroom
m/v Tere Moana L'Etoile, our elegant main dining room, serving dinner only
m/v Tere Moana La Veranda, offering indoor/outdoor dining for breakfast and lunch and gourmet, reservation-only dining in the evening
m/v Tere Moana Le Salon, featuring live entertainment
m/v Tere Moana The Sun Deck, with plenty of seating to enjoy the sea breezes

For more information on the 90 passenger Tere Moana, please contact Paul Gauguin Cruises.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Celebrity Cruises Solsticizing Nearing Completion

Celebrity Cruises - Celebrity Summit  Has Completed Solsticizing
Celebrity Cruises - Celebrity Summit  Has Completed Solsticizing
Celebrity Cruises' Solsticizing of its Millennium class vessels is almost complete.

The effort started in 2010 when the Celebrity Constellation was the first vessel to undergo updating of amenities and modernization at Germany's Blohm + Voss Shipyard.

After applying the lessons learned from the Celebrity Constellation upgrade, the other 3 ships in the fleet were slated to undergo similar, more extensive refits.

In January of this year, the Celebrity Summit completed her recent refit in the Grand Bahamas Shipyard in about three weeks. Much of the work was completed before the ship arrived. The new pieces were put in place like Lego pieces once the ship arrived and demolition was complete.

New features included - the addition of specialty restaurants, Creation of  new AquaClass staterooms, additional inside and outside staterooms, the creation of a wine bar and the popular Celebrity iLounge (featuring Apple products).

The refit was completed in a record 3 weeks per ship.

The Celebrity Infinity completed her refit in December 2011, Celebrity Summit in January 2012 and the Celebrity Millennium in April 2012. The Celebrity Constellation will again be drydocked in 2013 to add the new features that were not included in her original refit.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Carnival Cruises Takes Possession of the New Carnival Breeze


Carnival Breeze - Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Breeze - Carnival Cruise Lines

 
On May 31, 2012 At a traditional maritime handover ceremony held at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, Carnival Cruise Lines took delivery of the new 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze, the 24th vessel in the line’s fleet. 
            Carnival Breeze departed on its inaugural cruise from Venice on June 3, operating a special 12-day Mediterranean cruise that ends in Barcelona June 15. Following a summer schedule of 12-day Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona that runs through October 25, Carnival Breeze will reposition to Miami for year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning November 24, becoming Carnival Cruise Lines’ largest South Florida-based ship. 
        “Carnival Breeze represents the continued evolution of our product, offering a huge array of branded experiences for our guests and inviting public spaces each with its own personality and character, all enhanced by the spirited fun that makes a Carnival cruise so memorable,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. 
        Carnival Breeze is the line's first ship to feature the Thrill Theater, an immersive multi-dimensional special effects experience that makes viewers feel as if they’re part of the movie.      Other highlights sure to provide fun for the whole family include WaterWorks offering splash-tastic water slides and a 300-gallon drenching bucket, and SportSquare, an expansive recreation area with a suspended ropes course, a miniature golf course, an outdoor fitness area and more.
        New dining options on Carnival Breeze include Bonsai Sushi, the line’s first full-service sushi restaurant, a free open-air barbecue venue called Fat Jimmy's C-Side BBQ, and The Comfort Kitchen, a casual poolside spot for American-style comfort food.  Other choices range from Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network personality Guy Fieri, to the Mexican-themed BlueIguana Cantina and Cucina del Capitano, a family-style Italian restaurant that brings the heritage of Carnival’s captains to the table. 
            Carnival Breeze is also the first ship in the fleet to feature all of the entertainment elements of the line’s groundbreaking “Fun Ship 2.0” enhancement initiative, including Hasbro, The Game Show, with larger than life adaptations of the brand’s iconic games, and Playlist Productions, which combine captivating live performances with high-tech LED staging and special effects to set a new standard in seagoing entertainment.  
        With a nod to its upcoming Caribbean itineraries, the tropics-inspired Carnival Breeze also features vibrant interiors and inviting public spaces, from the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar to the sun-splashed Lido Marketplace restaurant and a palm tree-lined indoor/outdoor café and live entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza. Even the staterooms incorporate a palette of pastel hues and a striking new design inspired by the Caribbean’s cool island breezes and warm sunsets.
            Carnival Breeze joins Carnival Cruise Lines’ 23 other ships which operate three- to 18-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Europe, Bermuda, South America, Tahiti, the Fiji Islands, New Zealand, Norway, the Baltic and the British Isles.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas Fresh From the Refit

Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas
Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas
On  June 1, 2012 – Royal Caribbean International’s Grandeur of the Seas completed its $48 million revitalization at the Navantia ship yard in Cadiz, Spain. The bow-to-stern revitalization of Grandeur of the Seas included the addition of five new dining venues, technological upgrades, a pool side LED screen, a refresh of all furniture, carpet, upholstery and staterooms as well as new entertainment offering including a spectacular aerial entertainment in its six deck Centrum. In addition, the ship received a new Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty guests, a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top-tier loyalty guests, a Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, as well as a transformed Viking Crown Lounge that will features a stunning new design, as well as a new menu featuring bite-size delectables.

Grandeur of the Seas will spend the summer offering a variety of Mediterranean itineraries from Venice, Italy and Provence, France.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Norwegian Cruise Line to Purchase the Norwegian Sky

Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sky
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sky
On June 1, 2012, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL Corporation Ltd., “Norwegian” or “the Company”)  announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement to exercise its option to purchase Norwegian Sky.  The transaction is expected to close shortly.

The Company currently operates Norwegian Sky under a Bareboat Charter with a purchase option from Ample Avenue, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong Limited, a 50% owner of the Company.  The purchase price is approximately $260 million pursuant to the option under the Bareboat Charter.  Financing is being provided by the seller.
The 2,002-berth Norwegian Sky currently operates three and four-night voyages year-round from Miami, Florida.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Video of the 3 Queens In Southampton for the Queen's Jubilee

Video of the 3 Queen' Arrival In Southampton for the Queen's Jubilee on June 5th, 2012.


Video Courtesy of Cunard Line.


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Friday, June 15, 2012

Historic Cunard Royal Rendezvous Pays Tribute to Her Majesty The Queen, Godmother of Flagship Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth

Cunards 3 Queens in Southampton
Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 sails majestically past sister ships Queen Victoria and
Queen Elizabeth during the fleet’s historic Royal Rendezvous in Southampton, England, on
5 June, kicking off day-long events celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen.



On June 5, 2012 - In what is believed to be the largest Diamond Jubilee celebration outside of London, all three ships of the Cunard Line fleet – flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth – sailed up Southampton Water in formation for the first time in preparation for a day of special tributes, celebrations and displays to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Her Majesty The Queen has long been associated with Cunard, being the only person to have attended the naming of all three Cunard Elizabeths, beginning in 1938 with the original Queen Elizabeth, then in 1967 when she launched Queen Elizabeth 2 and 2010 when she named the new Queen Elizabeth.

This is the first time that the three Queens – the largest Cunarders ever built – have been seen arriving and departing together in formation at their home port of Southampton, England. 

“Cunard is delighted to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in a way that gives everyone, especially our guests, a truly remarkable day that they will feel proud to talk about for years to come, taking part in history and marking the sixty glorious years of Her Majesty’s reign in fitting, legendary and memorable Cunard style,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.

Events were planned through the evening to create both an outstanding guest experience and a fitting commemoration of Her Majesty’s reign.  The celebrations culminated in an evening spectacular when all three ships were again brought within close proximity of each other, and from 10.20pm GMT, a fusillade of fireworks and special effects lite up the evening sky beyond them.

Queen Mary 2 lead Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth in single file down Southampton Water as all three ships set out on their celebratory Diamond Jubilee voyages.


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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Costa Concordia Impacts


Costa Cruises - Costa Concordia
Costa Cruises - Costa Concordia

I just recently read an interesting fact concerning the Costa Concordia. Costa Cruises estimated that some 400,000+ reservations were impacted due to the Costa Concordia disaster that happened in early January.

The 400,000+ reservations needed to be re-booked other Costa ships.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Queen of the Mississippi Spotted Off Miami

American Cruise Line - Queen of the Mississippi
American Cruise Line - Queen of the Mississippi
On 6-3-2012, American Cruise Line's New Queen of the Mississippi was spotted 10.6 Nautical Miles off the coast of Miami, Florida. The Queen of the Mississippi was en-route to New Orleans Louisiana where she was expected to arrive on 6-8-2012.

The Queen of the Mississippi will depart New Orleans on her maiden voyage on August 11th sailing on a 7 night voyages ending in Memphis Tennessee.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Plan For Refloating the Costa Concordia.

Costa Concordia Salvage Plan
Costa Concordia Salvage Plan
Recently the plans for re-floating the Costa Concordia were revealed. As you recall the ship hit a rock off an island in Italy in January. This occurred when the captain reportedly took the ship too close to shore to salute island residents.

The Costa Concordia, which is lying on its side is expected to be removed in one piece.
  • The plan calls for building a platform on the sea bottom next to the ship.
  • Attaching two cranes to the platform.
  • The cranes will be used to pull the ship to an upright position.
  • Attached to the ship will be large caissons on the side of the ship currently facing out. The caissons will be filled with water to help offset the weight of the ship while the cranes are pulling to upright the ship.
  •  After the Costa Concordia is resting upright on the new platform, caissons will be place on the opposite side of the ship.
  • The water will be removed from the caissons and filled with air.
  • Any holes in the hull will be patched.
  • The water will be pumped out of the hull and the ship will be afloat again.
  • The Costa Concordia will be towed to a nearby port where she will most-likely be scrapped.
The effort is expected to take a year.

Environmentally, Costa Cruises is stating that the ledge where the ship is currently lying will be restored, any contaminated water treated and any disturbed sea-life  / reefs reconstructed.

TITAN Salvage, a U.S. company owned by Crowley Maritime Group, is a world leader in the recovery of wrecks. Micoperi is an Italian company specializing in underwater construction and engineering, and has many years of experience in the field.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Scenic Cruise New River Ship in 2012

Cabin Scenic River Cruises
Cabin Scenic Cruises - European River Cruises.
 Scenic Cruises has announced the commission of a seventh Scenic ‘Space-Ship’ for its European fleet.  To be christened Scenic Jewel, she will undertake her inaugural voyage in 2013 along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest.  Scenic Jewel joins five other Scenic ‘Space-Ships’ that operate along Europe’s main waterways, including the just launched Scenic Crystal (April 2012).  Another, Scenic Emerald will be relocated and dedicated to Southern France for the 2013 season.

    “2011 was our most successful year to date for European river cruising and 2012 is shaping up to be even stronger, states Scenic Tours Managing Director, Glen Moroney.  “Our 2013 forecast and pre-release sales have demanded the addition of a new Scenic ‘Space-Ship’ as guests look for extra special features and all-inclusive luxury.”

    Focused on building and launching the finest fleet on Europe’s waterways, Scenic Cruises’ ‘Space-Ships’ continue to be ground-breaking.  Designed and built by leading Dutch specialist river cruise shipyard, Den Breejen, the ships were the first river cruisers to offer luxury suites with private full-size balconies.  And with the launch this month (April 2012) of the Scenic Crystal, Glen Moroney says that the unique Scenic ‘Sun-Lounge’ facility on the Crystal and the Scenic Jewel will be retro-fitted to the rest of the fleet (except Scenic Emerald)for 2013.  “Our private balcony suites are the largest of their kind and now boast state-of-the-art technology to convert the balcony to a Scenic ‘Sun-Lounge.’  This remote-activated, hydraulic-sealed glass window, allows our guests to always enjoy the advantage of extra balcony space no matter the time of day or the weather.”

    Renowned interior designer, Heather Buttrose, developed the interiors for both Scenic Jewel and Scenic Crystal.  Her special touches include spacious walk-in showers, larger wardrobes and marble bench tops.  "This project has been immensely rewarding,” she exclaims.  “My aim has been to enhance on board comfort and provide extraordinary finishes and guests can be assured of a truly world class cruising experience.”

    Scenic Jewel will also showcase a number of innovative new technical upgrades including a ‘silent drive’ system, which significantly reduces noise and vibration, and the most sophisticated air conditioning system ever fitted to a river cruiser.

    Scenic Cruises is renowned for all-inclusive luxury European river cruising on board Scenic ‘Space-Ships’, which feature all meals, complimentary beverages during meals, butler service on select decks, on shore excursions, airport transfers, tipping and gratuities.  Its fleet sail river voyages throughout Europe, Russia and Egypt, ranging from seven to 21 nights.  Guests enjoy more public space and also larger staterooms and suites, more than 80% of which offer full-size balconies.  Every room features a queen-sized “Scenic Slumber Bed” complete with fine linens and a pillow menu.

    Scenic Cruises’ parent company, Scenic Tours, offers award-winning, all-inclusive escorted tours in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.  Additional information on these and other cruises, brochures and reservations can be obtained from travel agents; Global Voyages Group, LLC, the United States representative for Scenic Tours and Scenic Cruises;

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Friday, May 25, 2012

The Approach to Venice May Be Changing


Crystal Cruises Ships In Venice's Main Canal
Crystal Cruises Ships In Venice's Main Canal
Based on the Costa Concordia incident, many port are now taking added precautions. One such port is Venice which is now actively working toward dredging an alternative channel which will no longer take ships through the center of the port. 

The picturesque entry into Venice - sailing by Saint Mark's will be a thing of the past. The Port Authority of Venice is now discussing routing the cruise ships into Venice from the South -away from the city, instead of from the East which takes the ships through the center of the city. The new route, which would require dredging, would take the ships from the Lagoon of Venice directly to the Marittima Passenger Terminal by-passing the main city channel. The dredging is expected to take 18 months once approved. 

Options are being evaluated at the prompting of environmentalists and preservation groups, who are concerned about the size of today's ships, the continuing need to dredge the channel through the middle of the city, the wake of the ships and overall safety.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Video: Disney Fantasy - New York Maiden Arrival.

Although this happened at the end of February - I still enjoy this video.

See the maiden arrival of Disney Cruise Line's Disney Fantasy on a cold, crisp, February morning. Another fine product of Germany's Meyer Werft.


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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Last Block of Celebrity Cruises New Celebrity Reflection Put in Place

At Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, the final building block - the tip of the bow - of the new Celebrity Reflection was  just recently put in place. Her inaugural Caribbean Cruise will be a 3 day voyage from Miami to Coco Cay Bahamas and Nassau in the Bahamas on December 5th, 2012.

She is the final ships in the Solstice class of ship for Celebrity Cruises.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gavin MacLeod Meets Gavin MacLeod on Princess' Island Princess

Gavin MacLeod Meets Gavin MacLeod on Island Princess
Gavin MacLeod Meets Gavin MacLeod on Island Princess
What’s in a name? Well, at Princess Cruises the name Gavin MacLeod naturally is associated with the famous TV captain of “The Love Boat.” But it turns out that the line coincidentally also has a real-life bridge officer with the same name. And the long-time Princess ambassador couldn’t wait to meet him.

When Island Princess Third Officer Gavin MacLeod, who hails from Inverness, Scotland, joined Princess in 2010, he never gave much thought to the fact that he shared a name with the actor who made the role of “Captain Stubing” an iconic part of television history.

But last week when Island Princess called at the port of Los Angeles, the two men met on the ship’s bridge and enjoyed lunch together at Sabatini’s restaurant. The pair also signed several navigational charts to be auctioned for charity.

Frequently filmed aboard Princess ships throughout its 1977-86 run, “The Love Boat” created a lasting legacy in the cruise industry. Actor Gavin MacLeod has continued his association with the cruise line ever since, serving as an ambassador who travels regularly aboard Princess ships and represents the company at a variety of events throughout the year.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Royal Caribbean 2013 European Deployment Down

Royal Caribbean to Sail 9 Ships in Europe in 2013
Freedom of the Seas to Sail Europe in 2013
Royal Caribbean International has announced that nine ships will sails the 2013 European Cruise Season. This is down from 12 ships sailing this year.

Royal Caribbean International today announced that Legend of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will complete the cruise line’s Europe 2013 deployments, totaling nine Royal Caribbean ships in the region. Legend of the Seas and Vision of the Seas augment already announced U.K.-based Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas, Barcelona-based Liberty of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas, and Italy-based Navigator of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas to offer vacationers a sum of 276 sailings to 88 culture-rich ports on 58 exciting Europe itineraries. Legend of the Seas and Vision of the Seas’ Europe 2013 season is open for sale.

Many cruise lines have stated that a slow down in the European Economy and outrageous transatlantic airfares have many cruise lines significantly discounting European cruises to fill the ships. Reports indicate that increased airfares during the summer months, especially July, have bookings light.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

1.4 Million People Turn Out to See Inaugural of AIDAmar and Parade of AIDA Ships


AIDA Ships Rendezvous For AIDAmar Naming
AIDA Ships Rendezvous For AIDAmar Naming
The latest cruise ship of the AIDA fleet – AIDAmar – was inaugurated on the evening of May 12, 2012 with an extravaganza at the Port of Hamburg, accompanied by her three sister ships. A total of 1.4 million guests attended the Port of Hamburg’s 823rd anniversary celebrations.

“The Port of Hamburg’s anniversary celebrations have set new standards with the world’s largest ship’s inauguration ceremony for AIDAmar. Hundreds of thousands of people attended the evening between the Grasbrookkai and the Fischauktionshalle. Thanks to the spectacular ceremony for AIDAmar, Saturday was also, in terms of visitor numbers, one of the busiest days ever in the history of the Port of Hamburg anniversary celebrations”, estimated Dietrich von Albedyll, Chairman of the Board at Hamburg Tourismus GmbH.

The cabins on board the four ships from the AIDA fleet had all been sold out far in advance, with more than 10,000 AIDA guests on the River Elbe to experience the event live. After the inauguration, the night sky above the Port of Hamburg was lit up by a spectacular firework display.

“Hundreds of thousands of people watching the inauguration of AIDAmar in Hamburg have experienced how fascinating and attractive cruise holidays can be. The huge public interest underlines the excellent prospects for the future of our growth sector”, said Michael Thamm, CEO-designate of the Costa Group and spokesman for the international cruise industry in Germany.

The visitors in Hamburg were able to experience the inauguration spectacular at first hand via two large LED screens, with hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world following the christening live on the Internet.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Holland America Signature of Excellence Stats


Holland America Statendam
Holland America Statendam
I happened to come across an older issue of Holland America's Mariner Magazine. In there I found some interesting stats on the Signature of Excellence enhancements that were conducted on the Statendam Class of ships.   

Here is some insight as to what is involved with a refit/conversion. The stats quoted are per ship (unless otherwise specified).

  • 600 tons of steel was added.
  • 3,250 new bathroom mirrors installed.
  • 12,600 new pillows fluffed.
  • 25,200 new lightbulbs added.
  • 78,750 new tiles installed in wet areas.
  • 320,000 Sq feet of new carpeting.
  • 280,000 feet of electrical cables.
  • 28 Days duration for renovations.
  • 39 Lanai Staterooms added on the Rotterdam.
  • 2.3 Million Labor Hours spent on renovating the 5 ships.

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