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Monday, August 20, 2018

Great Time Lapse Photography of the Construction of AIDA Cruises AIDAprima.



Here is a great time lapse photography video showing the construction of the  984 feet long AIDAprima at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki, Japan.

The 125,000 ton ship was delivered to AIDA Cruises in May 7, 2016 after a series of construction delays.

The video is a shows the benefit of modular ship building as many pieces of the ship are being built simultaneously and assembled in blocks.


 
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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises Unveils Itineraries For Crystal Endeavor


Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises Unveils Itineraries For Crystal Endeavor

Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises Unveils Itineraries For Crystal Endeavor


Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises unveiled the inaugural season of itineraries for its newest globetrotting vessel, Crystal Endeavor, spanning from August of 2020 through January 2021. Offering in-depth focus on some of the world’s most far-reaching and fascinating regions, the luxury expedition yacht will sail voyages of 12 to 22 days, far off the beaten path of traditional cruise routes. Voyages rich with discovery will explore the cultural and bio-diversity of Japan and the Russian Far East, New Zealand, Australia and Antarctica, with tropical wildlands also featured. Crystal Endeavor journeys will open for booking for Crystal Society guests on August 8, 2018 and to the public on August 22, 2018, with expedition and excursion details to be announced at a later date.

“Every facet of Crystal Endeavor is meant to take travelers beyond their previous travel boundaries and expectations. Her exceptional design, luxury accommodations and amenities have already set the stage for this, and now, as we unveil her first six months of journeys, travelers have a tremendous glimpse of the grand discoveries in store for this groundbreaking yacht,” said Crystal President and CEO Tom Wolber. “Crystal Endeavor will take guests to remote destinations not typically accessible on a cruise, as well as some iconic places, albeit with a decidedly adventurous twist.”

The locales visited will offer distinctive experiences, climate and terrain that are suited perfectly for the boldest travelers, with opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, helicopter and Zodiac tours, and much more depending on the region.

In addition to Antarctic exploration, Crystal Endeavor will follow seasonal shifts to warmer destinations, where sun-seeking guests can relish waterborne and nature quests. Crystal Endeavor’s initial roster of itineraries includes 12 unique voyages with fares starting from $12,749 per guest (based on double occupancy, excluding port taxes and fees). Guests on the maiden voyage will also receive a complimentary one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay and have the opportunity to participate in the yacht’s naming event.



 
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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Azamara Journey Meets Sister Ship Azamara Pursuit in Haugesund, Norway

 
Azamara Club Cruises Azamara Journey & Azamara Pursuit off of Haugesund, Norway
Azamara Club Cruises Azamara Journey & Azamara Pursuit off of Haugesund, Norway


August 6, 2018, Azamara Club Cruises celebrated a rare occurrence as two of its three vessels, Azamara Pursuit – currently on its maiden voyage – and Azamara Journey – welcoming new officers – met in Haugesund, Norway. The meeting was celebrated with a variety of activities including an on-shore gathering, which brought the guests and crew from each ship together, as well as a sail away party featuring Norwegian cuisine, cocktails and entertainment.

“Azamara Pursuit, joining its highly award-winning sister, Azamara Journey, marks a new era for the Azamara brand,” said Larry Pimentel, President & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “To celebrate the special meeting of the two ships, we could not think of a better way to welcome the new ship and team members than with a celebration that brings together our crew and guests. We are thrilled to do this in Norway – one of Azamara’s most popular destinations.”

Exploring the Destination   
As part of its land programing, enabling guests to explore deeper into Haugsesund, Azamara offered guests from both ships an exclusive tour of Kyvik Herring Factory, led by the executive chefs onboard Azamara Pursuit and Azamara Journey. During the tour, travelers met the local producers who are committed to keeping Norway’s vibrant Herring fishing tradition alive and learned the process of salting, seasoning, and preserving the fish for use in classic cuisine.

On-Shore Party
To give guests the opportunity to celebrate with crew from both ships, Azamara and the port of Haugesund hosted a party on the pier upon arrival and as guests were returning from their day exploring. The event featured a display of authentic Norwegian customs with a flag parade led by local children dressed in Bunad, traditional Norwegian folk costumes that are worn for special events. The event also included the opportunity for guests to join the plaque ceremony between both captains, the Haugesund Mayor and the port officials. 

Sail Away Party
The celebration continued on-board the vessels with a party showcasing Azamara’s commitment to Destination Immersion. As the ships departed from port, both blew their horns in unison as guests and crew waved goodbye. They also toasted the sister ships meeting with a cocktail mixed with Linie Akvavit – a signature liquor of Norway – all to the sounds of “We Are Family.” The evening concluded with Azamara’s white night-inspired sail away party with a special Scandinavian twist.

Exploring Azamara Pursuit and Azamara Journey    
Guests and crew had the opportunity to tour each ship upon arrival in port. They were guided through the various spaces of the ship including the restaurants, pool deck, fitness center, and more. 

About the Destination and Voyages
The port town of Haugesund is considered one of the country’s principal cultural centers and known as the birthplace of Norway. The lands around Haugesund were lands of power during the Viking Age, and the first king of Norway lived very near by the present city center. Azamara Journey is sailing the 15-Night Journey to North Cape and Azamara Pursuit is sailing the 12-Night Norway Intensive Voyage with eight stops in Scandinavian country. 


 
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Announces Efforts to Reduce Single-Use Plastics


Norwegian Cruise Line Joins the Movement to Reduce the use of Plastic Straws.
Norwegian Cruise Line Joins the Movement to Reduce the use of Plastic Straws.
     Norwegian Cruise Line has joined the movement started by Linblad National Geographic Cruises to stop the use of plastic straw to eliminate the negative Impact on the environment.
 
  • Plastic straws eliminated across all 26 ships in the Company’s fleet
  • Company’s island destinations, Great Stirrup Cay and Harvest Caye, to eliminate plastic straws by August 2018
  • Over 50 million plastic straws expected to be eliminated each year across fleet   
 Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (Norwegian) (NYSE: NCLH), a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, announced the important next step in its efforts to reduce its environmental impact by eliminating single-use plastic straws across its fleet of 26 ships and two island destinations, Great Stirrup Cay and Harvest Caye. The Company anticipates that it will eliminate over 50 million plastic straws each year across its fleet with these changes.
As a member of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance®, the Company is actively working towards solutions that will mitigate plastic waste entering the ocean.  The transition away from single-use plastics across the Company’s fleet and island destinations builds upon the Company’s environmental efforts already underway to increase sustainable sourcing, minimize waste to landfills, invest in emerging technologies and reduce CO2 emissions.
“Eliminating single-use plastic straws across our global fleet and island destinations builds on our global environmental program ‘Sail & Sustain’ and further reduces our environmental footprint," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.  “As a member of the Trash Free Seas Alliance®, we are committed to doing our part to protect the world’s oceans for future generations to enjoy.”
“We commend Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings for this important step to reduce single-use plastics,” said Janis Searles Jones, chief executive officer of Ocean Conservancy. “Plastic straws are just a fraction of the plastic in the ocean, but they are always among the top ten items collected during Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup and can be deadly to ocean wildlife, which is why we have long urged our supporters to skip the straw when they can.”
Founded in 2012, the Trash Free Seas Alliance® brings together thought leaders from industry, conservation and academia to create a forum for pragmatic, real-world collaboration focused on the measurable reduction of ocean trash.
In addition to Linblad National Geographic, Royal Caribbean has also agreed to reduce / eliminate the use of plastic straws on their ships as well.


 
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Monday, August 13, 2018

SEABOURN RETURNS TO AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND AND THE SOUTH PACIFIC WITH CAPTIVATING VOYAGES FOR THE 2018-2019 SEASON


Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Sojourn to Offer Luxury Sailings to Australia, South Pacific and New Zealand
Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Sojourn to Offer Luxury Sailings to Australia, South Pacific and New Zealand

Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is heading to Australasia again this year with Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Sojourn offering multiple cruises around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific over the 2018-2019 season. Guests will enjoy hand-selected itineraries headed into boutique ports, sheltered coves and hidden harbors that larger cruise ships cannot access, as well as onboard luxuries and on-shore experiences that has something in store for every type of traveler.

Get set to sail to warm, welcoming, spirited and stunningly beautiful lands beneath the stars of the Southern Cross, with unforgettable sights and experiences all along the way. Guests will have many opportunities to enjoy and explore the region, including via optional for-charge Ventures by Seabourn kayak and Zodiac tours in select destinations in the good company of skilled expedition teams. Special programming such as Shopping with the Chef excursions allow guests to discover local food markets; and special deck events, dance parties and Movies Under the Stars will keep things lively and engaging. In addition, the itineraries will offer not-to-be-missed shore excursions exploring UNESCO World Heritage Sites with enhanced content available only to Seabourn guests via the luxury cruise line’s unique partnership with UNESCO.

“We’re excited to be heading back to the beauty of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific over the 2018-2019 season ahead,” noted Chris Austin, Seabourn’s senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales. “With two ships sailing the region, guests will have a wide range of opportunities to soak up the ultra-luxury experience onboard our vessels and to explore on land and at sea, including Ventures by Seabourn excursions, mid-cruise overland tours, and special pre- and post-cruise journeys. It’s going to be quite a season for guests returning or visiting the region for the first time with Seabourn.”

The 2018-2019 season of Seabourn Encore in the South Pacific will launch with a 18-day cruise from Bali to Sydney (departing December 3, 2018) and will include four 16-day voyages between Sydney and Auckland (departing December 21, 2018, and January 22, February 7, and March 11, 2019, respectively). The start of spring will see the ship head out of Sydney on a 16-day voyage to Bali (departing March 27), featuring the Queensland Coast and the Great Barrier Reef, plus various islands of Indonesia. Two new and notable itineraries interspersed in between include:


    16-Day New Zealand’s Splendors (January 6-22, 2019 and February 23-March 11, 2019) – Seabourn Encore will set sail on two spectacular voyages along the coasts of New Zealand round trip from Auckland. Ports of call include Russell on the scenic Bay of Islands, where the signing of an historic treaty between Great Britain and the indigenous Maori created the nation of New Zealand in 1840; Milford Sound and Fiordlands National Park, a famed UNESCO World Heritage Site preserved as the heritage home of the Maori culture; tiny Oban (Halfmoon Bay), the southernmost of New Zealand’s islands, busy with seabirds, shorebirds, and friendly townsfolk. Guests may see sheep grazing on hillside meadows as the ship cruises the long, scenic harbor to Port Chalmers (Dunedin), as well as make a stop at charming Akaroa (Christchurch), a former French colony that still celebrates its historic character and is the only place to see the small, elegant and rare Hector’s dolphins. The itinerary will also take in Kaikoura, Nelson, Wellington, Napier, Gisborne, and Tauranga (Rotorua), as well as Kingston, Norfolk Island, Australia.

     The 2018-2019 season of Seabourn Sojourn in the South Pacific is similarly adventurous, with Extended Explorations including:

     22-Day Landfalls of Captain Cook (November 19-December 11, 2018) – Cruise from Auckland to Sydney while exploring New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papau New Guinea and Queensland, Australia including the Great Barrier Reef.

    36-Day Holiday Australia Exploration (December 11, 2018-January 16, 2019) – Celebrate the holidays while sailing to destinations throughout South Australia, West Australia and the Northern Territory, as well as to East Timor, Komodo Island, Bali and Java in Indonesia before two relaxing days at sea headed to Singapore. A highlight of this voyage is a stop in the Kimberley. Corrugated with red-hued cliffs and escarpments, and laced with pristine waterways, swimming holes and waterfalls, the Kimberley is unlike any other landscape on earth.  This voyage is also available in two segments with a 16-day itinerary departing from Sydney on December 11 and a 20-day itinerary departing from Perth on December 27.

Guests of Seabourn Encore will also have an opportunity to enjoy optional 3-day mid-cruise overland tours from Milford Sound to Queenstown, New Zealand. Available on Seabourn Encore voyages departing January 6, February 7 and February 23, 2019, the tours will include journeys into the UNESCO World Heritage Site Fiordland National Park; the charming former gold mining destination Arrowtown; a thrilling jet boat excursion on the Shotover River; and much more.

Seabourn will also offer “UNESCO Sydney, The Red Centre * Great Barrier Reef” Seabourn Journey, an 8-day pre-cruise or 7-day post-cruise land extension that embarks or disembarks at Sydney. The journey will start in Sydney; then venture to the majestic Red Centre, home of the towering 500-million-year-old monoliths The Olgas and Uluru; and then explore the beauty of Australia’s Tropical North including UNESCO-cited Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Departures for the Pre-Cruise journey are December 5 and December 15, 2018 and February 1, 2019; departures for the Post-Cruise Journey are December 11 and December 21, 2018 and February 7 and March 27, 2019.

Seabourn represents the pinnacle of ultra-luxury travel with intimate ships offering key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas and all 100% ocean front; superb dining in a choice of venues; complimentary premium spirits and fine wines available on board at all times; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board. The ships travel the globe to many of the world’s most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and lesser-known ports and hideaways.

Guests who sail on Seabourn will continue to find a number of innovative offerings and programs, including partnerships with a select group of companies and individuals whose dedication to superior quality, exceptional service and consistent customer satisfaction matches Seabourn. These programs include ‘An Evening with Tim Rice’, the new evening entertainment experience created exclusively for the line in association with Belinda King Creative Productions; Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, offering guests a holistic spa and wellness experience that integrates physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being; and The Grill by Thomas Keller, reminiscent of the classic American restaurant from the 50’s and 60’s. Exclusive to Seabourn, The Grill is a unique culinary concept for Chef Keller, focusing on updated versions of iconic dishes. Guests will be treated to table-side preparations of Caesar salad and ice cream sundaes, as well as a range of other favorites like premium steaks, whole roasted chicken, and Lobster Thermidor, presented à la carte.


 
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Friday, August 10, 2018

Artfully Inspired Design of Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam Reflects Evolution of Pinnacle Class


Artfully Mastered Nieuw Statendam of Holland America Line
Artfully Mastered Nieuw Statendam of Holland America Line

When Holland America Line welcomes Nieuw Statendam to the fleet in December 2018, the ship will showcase the evolution of design that was introduced with Koningsdam, the first Pinnacle Class ship. Focusing on the importance of thoughtful details and special touches, Nieuw Statendam’s musical design and “artfully inspired” finishing perfectly blend Holland America Line’s past, present and future and is showcased in a trio of videos on the design and artists now available on hollandamerica.com  and the line’s YouTube channel.

The new 2,666-guest ship will have an interior that balances a fresh, contemporary styling in perfect harmony with the line’s renowned classic elegance, while continuing a bold course forward. At the helm of the design and interiors once again are internationally acclaimed hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and Bjørn Storbraaten, one of the world’s leading architects working in the cruise industry.

Nieuw Statendam will join our fleet in just over four months and guests are excitedly reserving their place to sail on this beautiful new ship in its premier season,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Like its sister-ship Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam is all about fine details and thoughtful touches throughout the ship that create an ambiance of both elegance and style. From the public areas to the staterooms, Nieuw Statendam is going to be stunning and very popular with our guests.”

A leader in creating luxurious and creative interiors at some of the world’s most iconic properties and the designer for sister-ship Koningsdam, Tihany is approaching Nieuw Statendam with an eye toward creating public spaces that reflect the tradition and signature elegance for which Holland America Line is known, while elevating the design by introducing innovative new features.

Focusing on fluid curves and graceful lines, light-filled spaces and the natural flow of public areas, the key to Tihany’s concept is utilizing visual interaction, where guests actively engage with the interiors rather than passively moving through them.

Nieuw Statendam will showcase a dramatic three-deck-high central atrium that is graced by an airy stainless-steel sculpture that is meant to emulate the feeling of being inside and surrounded by a musical instrument. Like music, the experience changes as guests move around and through it, so no two perspectives are the same. The atrium is capped by a ceiling skylight that serves as a backdrop for subtly changing high-definition projections. Guests will look up by day and see wispy cirrus clouds floating in an azure sky or perhaps soothing images of light in water. By evening, the atrium takes on dramatic lighting hues or reflects the starlit constellations of the night sky.

The Dining Room aboard Nieuw Statendam will span two floors and be framed by views of the sea. A bright interior will be inspired by a modern, global design and sets the stage for the exceptional culinary experience to come. Strong, curved architectural pillars will accentuate the soaring ceiling. Chic, custom furnishings and modern glass lighting are being fabricated especially for the ship. The centerpiece is a curved copper sheath surrounding a two-story wine tower showcasing an impressive selection.

Rudi’s Sel De Mer, Holland America Line’s intimate French brasserie, is reimagined on Nieuw Statendam with expanded seating for 54 guests. The restaurant retains its original curving shape and polished walnut wood accordion-inspired column structure, while richly colored décor creates a sense of sophistication and elegance. The back wall is adorned with a collection of porcelain plates decorated with Chef Rudi Sodamin’s Food Faces culinary pop art, produced by the famed French brand Bernardaud.


Architect and Designer Bjørn Storbraaten Joins Tihany in Blending Contemporary Styling with Brand Hallmarks
Architect and designer Bjørn Storbraaten joins Tihany in bringing the ship to life in a familiar yet innovative style. With his previous work on Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam, Storbraaten adds continuity of the brand while taking elegance to the next level.

Storbraaten’s hand is clearly present in the design of the central pool area. The Magrodome area is two levels to create a vast glass-enclosed space. The lower level will feature traditional poolside elements, while the mezzanine level will showcase more seating, a giant screen for poolside movies and New York Deli and Pizza.

In addition to other areas, Storbraaten is designing the exotic look of Tamarind, the line’s Pan-Asian restaurant that emphasizes nature’s basic elements: water, wood, fire and earth. On Nieuw Statendam, the Tamarind experience expands with the addition of a new outdoor dining area, so guests can take in the sweeping views and fresh sea air.

Across the ship, Tihany and Storbraaten are working together to make Nieuw Statendam an exquisite evolution of the Holland America Line experience.

Nieuw Statendam Showcases the Caribbean in its Premier Season
Arriving just in time to whisk travelers away from winter weather, Nieuw Statendam will spend its first cruising season exploring the golden beaches and sun-kissed skies of the Caribbean, sailing roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from December 2018 through April 2019.  All Caribbean cruises include a day at Holland America Line’s idyllic and award-winning island Half Moon Cay. Next spring, the ship will cross the Atlantic Ocean and spend the summer and fall exploring northern Europe and the Mediterranean. Nieuw Statendam then returns to the Caribbean in October 2019.






 
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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces 2019 / 2020 - Pacific / Asian Itineraries.


Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Joy to Relocate From China to Alaska
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Joy to Relocate From China to Alaska

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced enhancements to its 2019 and 2020 itineraries to leverage the strong global demand environment in highly sought after destinations.

Norwegian Joy will join sister ship Norwegian Bliss sailing seasonally in Alaska in summer 2019 and will offer Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal voyages in winter 2019/2020.  Norwegian Pearl will sail to Europe as the cruise line’s sixth ship in the region in summer 2019, while Norwegian Jade and Jewel will significantly expand Norwegian’s presence in Australasia in winter 2019/2020.  Maintaining Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to serving the Chinese cruise market, Norwegian Spirit will sail seasonally in China beginning summer 2020.

“The booming demand environment in our core markets around the world, coupled with Norwegian Bliss’ record-breaking performance, continue to exceed our expectations,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.  “As a result, we are leveraging the strategic benefits of our growing fleet to quickly seize sizable opportunities in over performing, unserved and underserved markets to meet the demands of our global customer base and drive higher returns for our shareholders.”

-> Norwegian Joy to Sail Year-Round on the West Coast of the United States

Seasonal offerings to Alaska, the Mexican Riviera and the Panama Canal
In April 2019, Norwegian Joy will reposition to Seattle to offer seven-day voyages to Alaska, replacing Norwegian Pearl as Norwegian Cruise Line’s third ship in the region, joining Norwegian Bliss and Jewel.  Prior to her arrival in Seattle, Norwegian Joy will undergo approximately $50 million in upgrades to enhance her already popular features and bring her designs and offerings to be virtually identical to those of her sister ship, Norwegian Bliss, the newest and most successful ship in the line’s 51-year history. To complement Norwegian Bliss’ itineraries and provide guests with more places to explore and experience the natural beauty of Alaska, Norwegian Joy will cruise a variety of itineraries featuring Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Holkham Bay and Icy Strait Point, long recognized for its untouched wilderness, rich culture and fresh seafood. She will also call into Victoria, British Columbia.

“Norwegian Cruise Line expanded the Alaska cruise experience as the first line to sail to the state from Seattle over 24 years ago,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.  “I am extremely excited to further strengthen our presence in the region with the addition of Norwegian Joy, sister ship to Norwegian Bliss, the most successful ship in our 51-year history.  With $50 million in enhancements including the addition of a Starbucks® store as well as enhanced restaurant, bar and entertainment options, Norwegian Joy will be a welcome addition for guests looking to cruise on a world-class ship in one of the world’s most sought after destinations.”

He continued, “On these sister ships, guests will experience incredible ocean and glacier views from our stunning observation lounges and they’ll have access to the best-of-the-best at sea with entertainment options including Norwegian Joy’s Galaxy Pavilion, which features thrilling simulator rides and interactive video walls, as well as our race tracks and laser tag arenas, available on both ships.”

Following her inaugural Alaska season, Norwegian Joy will sail to Los Angeles for a season of Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal voyages in winter 2019/2020.This move will mark a turning point in the historically under-served winter cruise market on the West Coast of the United States with the arrival of a premier, state-of-the-art cruise ship.

Norwegian Joy’s new itineraries will be open for sale on July 24, 2018 at www.ncl.com.

Norwegian Pearl to Offer New Itineraries in Europe
As Norwegian Joy enters the Alaska market in summer 2019, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Pearl will deploy to Europe, further strengthening the line’s seasonal European deployment to six ships. She will offer new and varied itineraries from Amsterdam, a strategic pre-and-post cruise port where guests will have easy access to the heart of the city as well as Europe’s third largest and fastest growing airport. Norwegian Pearl will also embark on a variety of Mediterranean sailings from Rome (Civitavecchia), Barcelona, and Venice.

Norwegian Jewel and Jade to Deploy to Australia and Asia
Norwegian Joy’s seasonal sailings in Los Angeles in winter 2019/2020 allows for Norwegian Jewel, which will be refurbished this fall, to return to Australia/New Zealand, Asia and the South Pacific for a third year of seasonal cruises from Honolulu, Papeete, Sydney, Auckland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo (Yokohama).

Building even further on the line’s presence in the region, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Jade will offer a season of sailings throughout Southeast Asia departing from Singapore and Hong Kong in winter 2019/2020.  Port of call highlights include high demand locations such as Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) and Ha Long Bay. In addition, Norwegian Jade will offer several unique itineraries through the Suez Canal and Indian Ocean featuring calls in Greece, Israel, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Maldives, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. 

The deployment of Norwegian Jewel and Jade to the region is aimed to take full advantage of the flourishing source market in Australia, which remains the world’s highest-penetrated cruise market and one of its most desirable destinations.

Revitalized Norwegian Spirit to Serve China Market Seasonally Beginning Summer 2020
Norwegian Cruise Line remains committed to serving the Chinese cruise market and will deploy the 2,000 passenger Norwegian Spirit seasonally to the region beginning in summer 2020.  Prior to her arrival, Norwegian Spirit will undergo a previously scheduled bow-to-stern revitalization as the final ship to undergo enhancements under the Norwegian Edge® fleet refurbishment program.  In February 2020 her journey from Europe to Asia will feature several exclusive sailings with new calls for Norwegian Cruise Line including South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles and Maldives.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Princess Fleet Worldwide Webcam


Princess Cruise Fleet Bridge Cams
Princess Cruise Fleet Bridge Cams

I was out on the Princess Cruises Website and found a page of webcams on their fleet. I found it very interesting to see that the majority of their ships were in Alaska, Asia (China & Japan) and a modest presence in Europe. Traditionally Princess has had a significant presence in Europe - but is appears that the Carnival Group is letting the P&O, Cunard and Holland America brands lead the way in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Check out the Princess Cruise Webcams and see the exotic destinations.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

CPTM's Arauni 3 Emerges as M2 Under New Owners.

 
Passenger / Freighter Arauni 3 has emerged as M2 under Mexican Owners.
Passenger / Freighter Arauni 3 has emerged as M2 under Mexican Owners.


Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime (CPTM) has sold their Arauni 3 to Mexican interests. This week the passenger cargo ship sailed through the Suez Canal en-route to Limassol Cyprus. While approaching the port, the ship changed direction and start sailing toward Greece. The ship has been renamed M2. Little more is known about the ship, its destination and owners. More to come as details emerge. The M2 was originally built in Romania in 2003 and can carry 208 passengers.

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Monday, August 6, 2018

Lindblad Expeditions Announces Plans to Build an Additional Expedition Vessel.

 
Artists Rendering of Lindblad National Geographic New Ship.


“Lindblad”, the “Company”, the global leader of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences, today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the building of a new polar expedition ship.  This state-of-the-art vessel, which is anticipated to be delivered in 2021, will be the next phase of Lindblad’s fleet expansion following the launch of the National Geographic Quest in July 2017, the addition of the National Geographic Venture in December 2018 and the delivery of the National Geographic Endurance in the first quarter of 2020. 
 
As demand for high quality and authentic expedition travel continues to accelerate, both through market expansion as well as from sustained investment in their marketing and sales infrastructure, Lindblad is committed to expanding capacity to provide a growing audience with the opportunity to explore the world’s most unique and remote locations.  

This will be the fourth polar vessel in the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, joining the National Geographic Explorer and the National Geographic Orion, currently in operation, and the National Geographic Endurance, which is scheduled for delivery in early 2020.  The new vessel will be designed as the ultimate expedition platform with a focus on immersing our guests in these amazing geographies.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer, said “We are extremely excited to announce the further expansion of our expedition fleet.  This is the next step of our long-term growth strategy to capitalize on the expanding demand for high quality adventure travel.  By marrying additional capacity with a dedicated and growing loyal customer base and fifty years of experience, we will be able to build upon our proven track record of delivering unparalleled expeditions to the world’s most remarkable destinations.”

 
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Friday, August 3, 2018

UK's Saga Cruises Plans 21 Day Secret Cruise


Saga’s Secret Cruise
Adults Only Saga Cruises is planning a 21 day Secret Cruise where guest will be surprised each day of the voyage. 

No guarantee where Captain Horne will sail but there’s definitely all-inclusive drinks and tours plus entertainment from the Syd Lawrence Orchestra
  • Guaranteed VIP Chauffeur service to and from the port included in the price, along with travel insurance
  • Array of mystery celebrity guests onboard
When the crew aren’t sure where they’re going, you know it’s a real mystery tour. And that’s one of the magical twists to Captain Horne’s Mystery Cruise, surprising up to 720 passengers every day for three weeks.

The intriguing voyage aboard Saga Sapphire will leave Southampton in November, with Captain Stuart Horne promising: “I like to keep everyone guessing as long as possible. Perhaps I’ll head down an estuary towards a port, then simply turn around and go in another direction – that’ll bamboozle them.

“I’ll only tell my navigation team and engineers as much as they need to know for route planning and fuel management. After all, the more people in on it, the greater the risk that someone will let slip the next destination and spoil the fun.”

Ports will only be announced once the ship is berthed – but there will be a fascinating shore excursion included in every port.

There will even be an array of mystery celebrity guests!
One certainty of the sailing is the presence of the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, who will entertain on six nights. Directed by Chris Dean, since founder Syd’s retirement in 1996, and featuring star vocalist Sarah Eyden, the orchestra recreates big band standards by music legends, including Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey and George Gershwin.

The adventure will be Saga Sapphire’s last mystery cruise and features all-inclusive drinks with choice of table wines at lunch and dinner, house-branded spirits, draught beer and lager and soft drinks.

21 nights from £3,091, departs Southampton on November 27, 2018. Price is per person based on 2 people sharing a twin cabin. includes UK travel package to and from Southampton, all meals and entertainment, all-inclusive drinks with choice of table wines at lunch and dinner, house-branded spirits, draught beer and lager and soft drinks, afternoon tea, 24-hour room service, welcome cocktail party, unlimited tea and coffee in selected venues, free wifi, all on-board gratuities, porterage, an excursion from every port, optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a discount if passenger has own insurance.


 
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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Celebrity Cruises Futuristic Celebrity Edge Begins Sea Trials

Celebrity Cruises New Celebrity Edge Undergoes Sea Trials
Celebrity Cruises New Celebrity Edge Undergoes Sea Trials

The first of 4 ships ordered for Celebrity Cruises, the new Celebrity Edge emerged from her builders - Chantiers de L'Atlantique for sea trials. Sporting her dark blue hull (somewhat resembling the Mein Schiff brand), technologically advance bow, split wing funnel and hydraulic lounge on the outside of the ship (not visible in the photo above).

The ship 117,000 ton ship will undergo a number of maneuvers and tests, exercising technical equipment, ship handling, hotel operations and more.

It is expected that the ship will undergo a second set of tests before it's delivery to Celebrity Cruises  later this year.



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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Phoenix Reisen Celebrates 30 Years of History.


Phoenix Reisen Ships On the Approach to Hamburg for Phoenix Reisen's 30th Anniversary
Phoenix Reisen Ships On the Approach to Hamburg for Phoenix Reisen's 30th Anniversary.

German cruise operator, Phoenix Reisen celebrated their 30th anniversary by having all four of their ships rendezvous in Hamburg, Germany.  The Amadea, Albatros, Artania and Deutschland all met at the port of Hamburg on July 25, 2018.

Just last month, Phoenix Reisen announced the purchase of the 5th ship in their fleet. The Amera, which will join the Phoenix Reisen fleet in July 2019, is currently sailing as Holland America's Prinsendam.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Louis Cruise Line Announces the Sale of the Majesty.


Louis / Celestyal Cruises Majesty Sold to Unknown Buyers.
Louis / Celestyal Cruises Majesty Sold to Unknown Buyers.

Louis Cruise Line has announced that the Louis Majesty has been sold to Israel's Mano Cruises. Reports indicate that the ship will initially be chartered - potentially to Far East interests and eventually join the Mano fleet in 2019/2020. At this time the ship has been renamed the Princess Iris (sure to get the attention of Princess Cruises) and is heading to Chalkis Greece shipyard.

The ship most recently sailed on charter to TUI Thomson / Marella Cruises as the Thomson Majesty. The 40,876 ton ship carries a max of 1,970 passengers and 620 crew. The charter of the Majesty to TUI ended in November, 2017 and has since been operating for Louis / Celestyal Cruise Line.

The Princess Iris was originally built for Majesty Cruises as the Royal Majesty sailing from Florida to the Caribbean, and from New York and Boston to Bermuda.

Below is a history of her names and owners..
  • Royal Majesty (1992–1997) - Majesty Cruise Line.
  • Norwegian Majesty (1997–2009) - Norwegian Cruise Line.
  • Louis Majesty (2009–2012) - Louis Cruise Line
  • Thomson Majesty (2012–2017) - Thomson / TUI
  • Majesty (2017-present) - Louis Cruise Line.
Check back soon for more details.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

Louis Cruise Line's Orient Queen Is Scrapped in Alang India.


Louis Aura Louis Cruise Lines Scrapped in Alang India July 2018
Louis Aura Louis Cruise Lines Scrapped in Alang India July 2018

Starting her career as one of Norwegian Caribbean Line's (now Norwegian Cruise Line) first ships - the Aegean was beached in Alang, India on March 27th 2018. Originally built as the Starward in 1968, the 15,781 ton, 698 passenger ship has had a long career spanning 50 years. One of the pioneers of cruising, the ship was extensively renovated in 2005/06 and emerged almost new.  By 2015, the ship was having trouble finding employment and the Louis Aura was at a disadvantage not offering balcony accommodations.  The ship was basically out classed by today's mega-ships. but outlasted many ships of her day. She was beached just 5 months before her 50th birthday.

Here is a brief listing of the ship's name and owners.


  • 1968 - 1995: Starward - Norwegian Cruise Line
  • 1995 - 2006: Bolero - Festival Cruises
  • 2006 - 2013: Orient Queen
  • 2013 - 2017: Louis Aura - Louis Cruise Line
  • 2017 - 2018: Aegean Queen - Louis Cruise Line on Charter to TUR Cruises
 
 
With the scrapping of the Aegean a big piece of cruising history was lost.




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Friday, July 27, 2018

Sneak Peak at Norwegian Cruise Line's Private Resort / Beach in Belize.


Here's a sneak peak at Norwegian Cruise Line's private resort Harvest Caye. Harvest Caye was voted best new cruise port in 2017 by Porthole Magazine, and is located in Southern Belize. Here you can immerse yourself in natural beauty and culture on a 75-acre oasis featuring an expansive pool with a swim-up bar, salt-water lagoon for water sports, exclusive 7-acre beach and exciting shore excursions ranging from zip lining across the island to snorkeling the world's second largest barrier reef.
The development of Harvest Caye is part of The Norwegian Edge™, a program that is set forth to bring higher standards to the high seas.
  • Expansive pool area with swim-up pool bar, cascading waterfall and private canopy cabanas available for rent.
  • Luxurious beach side cabanas that accommodate up to 6 guests and feature concierge food and beverage service, lounge chairs, private bathrooms and air conditioning, with access to golf carts for easy transportation around the island.
  • The Flighthouse, a thrilling 136-foot high venue for aerial activities featuring 3,000 feet of zip lining across the island, quick jumps and an observation deck with mainland views.
  • Salt water lagoon for water-sports such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and electric float boats.
  • Large marina with food and bar area, offering guests a variety of exciting shore excursions.
  • Expansive shopping village featuring popular name-brand retailers as well as local Belizean crafts.
Check out Norwegian Cruise Line's website for additional details.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Seabourn Cruise Line Sailing to Antarctica & Patagonia Between November 2018 and February 2019


Seabourn Cruises Seabourn Quest Sails to Antarctica and Patagonia.
Seabourn Cruises Seabourn Quest Sails to Antarctica and Patagonia.
 Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is returning to the “White Continent” with a series of five 21- and 24- day itineraries sailing to Antarctica & Patagonia aboard Seabourn Quest between November 2018 and February 2019. Guests will experience exciting adventure and spot-on explorations through complimentary Zodiac tours and landings, along with the line’s popular Ventures by Seabourn, an optional for-charge excursion program which includes guided kayak tours launching directly from the ship.

In addition, award-winning photographers will be on board to offer digital photography coaching, providing helpful tips for guests to capture images of the incredible natural beauty. Team members will also host complimentary enrichment lectures on a variety of topics such as the indigenous wildlife and conservation topics. Through the line’s unique partnership with Swarovski Optik, Seabourn Quest’s expedition team and bridge staff will utilize high-precision, long-range binoculars to spot wildlife and view the stunning landscapes from on board the ship and ashore.

“We’ve assembled a great team to lead guests to the wonders of Antarctica & Patagonia, and their expertise and articulation will serve to make the experience all the more enriching for guests,” said Robin West, vice president of Expedition Operations & Planning for Seabourn. “Now set to embark on our sixth season to the bottom of the world, the team on Seabourn Quest will continue to create enjoyable journeys and deliver exceptional Seabourn Moments.”

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