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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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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Windstar Cruises Named #1 on Travel + Leisure World’s Best List for Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Line

Windstar Cruises Sail Powered Cruise Ship Rated #1 in Travel Leisure Survey of Readers.
Windstar Cruises Sail Powered Cruise Ship Rated #1 in Travel Leisure Survey of Readers.

Windstar Cruises has been ranked #1 in the Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines category of the 2018 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards, honoring the top travel destinations and companies around the globe as rated by its readers. The World’s Best Awards appear in the August 2018 issue of Travel + Leisure, on sale July 27, and online at this link: https://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by Travel + Leisure readers, and welcome the chance to celebrate our talented staff as the true creators of the Windstar experience,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “Our officers and crew are the best in the industry – delivering a vacation unlike any other with personalized and immersive experiences that allow our guests to discover and be inspired by people, places and cultures around the world. A sincere thank you to T+L and their fans for honoring our dedicated team with this prestigious award.”

Every year for the magazine’s World’s Best Awards survey, the publication asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines and more. Readers rated individual cruise ships on their cabins and facilities, food, service, itineraries and destinations, excursions and value. Those assessments were combined to generate results for the cruise lines in five categories; Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines have vessels that can carry 250 to 599 passengers.

Windstar’s 310-guest flagship Wind Surf draws admiring glances as she glides majestically into port with her tall sails billowing. The ship, one of the largest commercial sailing vessels in the world, wows guests with some of the most beautiful public spaces at sea and a classic and timeless design, but it’s Windstar’s “180 Degrees from Ordinary” approach to cruising that helped earn the line the top spot.

In addition to the midsize-ship ocean cruise line distinction, Windstar was also ranked in the Top 10 Small-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines category. small-ship ocean cruise lines have vessels that can carry up to 249 passengers. Five of Windstar’s ships carry fewer than 249 passengers, with Wind Star and Wind Spirit at 148 passengers each, as well as Star Pride, Star Breeze and Star Legend all with 212 passengers each.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Seabourn Cruises Announces Expedition Ship Market Entry - Shipbuilding Yards Form Partnership.



Seabourn Cruises to Enter Small Ship Luxury Exploration Market - Ships to be ordered from T. Mariotti Damen Cruise
Seabourn Cruises to Enter Small Ship Luxury Exploration Market - Ships to be ordered from T. Mariotti Damen Cruise
T. Mariotti, leading Italian luxury cruise shipbuilding company, and Damen Shipyards Group
have announced the creation of a new partnership to build cruise vessels. T. Mariotti, which
will celebrate its 90th anniversary this year, has a long-standing reputation within the cruise
industry.  Damen,  which  celebrated  its  90th  anniversary  in  2017,  operates  in  different 
sectors across the maritime industry and has recently announced its intention to move into
the cruise market. The partnership between the two companies is a complementary fusion
of expertise and facilities that will focus on the construction of cruise vessels.



This partnership will operate under a new common brand, MARIOTTI DAMEN Cruise. As the
two companies made their announcement, ultra-luxury cruise line Seabourn made public the
signature of a letter of intent for two ultra-luxury expedition vessels with the newly
-formed partnership. T. Mariotti Managing Director Marco Ghiglione said, “We are very pleased to work together with Damen on the construction of  newbuild cruise vessels as both Mariotti and Damen share a common vision of the future of the cruise industry. This long-term partnership will offer our current and prospective clients access to a comprehensive suite of shipbuilding services and
capabilities in terms of high quality, sustainable vessels demanded by the cruise industry of
tomorrow.”Damen  Senior  Vice  President  Sales  &  Marketing  Cruise  Andrea  Trevisan  said,  “We  are  very  honored  by  this  collaboration.  The  combination  of  T.  Mariotti  luxury  cr
uise  shipbuilding’s  experience   of   long   standing   with   the   high-class   facilities   of   Damen   Shipyards   Group   represents a unique synergy in the cruise industry. Our partnership brings together two proud family businesses, both of which enjoy a reputation for shipbuilding excellence.”

 For the Seabourn project, Damen will build the hulls, and T. Mariotti will handle the outfitting. No other details are available at this time concerning the Seabourn Newbuilds but news is expected in the year ahead.


**

T. Mariotti
Founded in 1928, T. Mariotti is a leading company in the field of ultra luxury shipbuilding. Since 2008, T. Mariotti has been part of the holding Genova Industrie Navali, established with another historic Genoese shipyard, San Giorgio del Porto. Thanks to its ability to innovate and anticipate the market’s needs, T. Mariotti is today highly specialised in the design and construction of ultra-
luxury cruise ships, mega yachts and supply vessels.

Genova  Industrie  Navali  is  one  of  the  most  important  players  in  the  shipbuilding,  ship  repair  and  green  ship  recycling industries in the Mediterranean and is the second player in the industry in Italy. The group has major assets in the ports of Genoa (in the ship repairs area, which covers a total area of about 53,000 square meters with five drydocks) and Marseille (three drydocks including basin n.10, the largest in the Mediterranean), and is completing the process for the concessi
on of the port areas of Piombino (approximately 80,000 square meters).

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Cunard Receives ‘No. 1 Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line’ in Travel + Leisure’s 2018 World’s Best Awards


Queen Victoria - One of Three Ships in the Highly Rated Cunard Fleet.
Queen Victoria - One of Three Ships in the Highly Rated Cunard Fleet.

Luxury Cruise Company Cunard has merited ‘No.1 Mega- Ship Ocean Cruise Line’ in Travel + Leisure’s 2018 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey- the third consecutive year that Cunard has received this accolade. Since 1995, the readers of Travel + Leisure, the largest travel magazine brand in the United States, vote on their favorite destinations, hotels, spas, airlines, cruise lines and more in its World’s Best Awards survey.


For 178 years, Cunard’s three Queens - Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth - have sailed the world on epic voyages, offering effortless and unforgettable ways to experience the world, seamlessly connecting iconic destinations in the utmost style, all with impeccable attention to detail. Cunard holds a unique place in the cruise landscape, continuing a timeless legacy of great ocean liners and transatlantic travel.



“On behalf of Cunard, we are honored to receive the No.1 position on Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards in the Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line Category for the third consecutive year,” said Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president, Cunard North America. Cunard continues to innovate our award-winning guest experience including significant investments in our young fleet, enhanced White Star Service training, and extraordinarily popular event cruises that celebrate the worlds of fashion, astronomy, and genealogy. We are grateful to the readers of Travel + Leisure for recognizing Cunard with this honor.”


Since January 2018, Cunard has implemented enhancements to its legendary White Star Service which included innovative retraining for over 3,000 crew and shoreside employees. With today’s rapidly evolving society, tastes and needs in mind, Cunard has continued to commit itself to providing its guests an unprecedented level of service at sea

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Luxury Exploration Cruise Line Ponant Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary With Promotion.


Le Lyrial - One of  the growing fleet for Luxury Operator Ponant Exploration Cruises
Le Lyrial - One of  the growing fleet for Luxury Operator Ponant Exploration Cruises

I received this announcement / promotional notice from Ponant Cruises. Ponant is a leader in luxury, expedition / adventure cruises in a small ship environment. There is also a link below to their Website to explore their unique and diverse itineraries.

2018 marks the 30th anniversary of PONANT. Our three decades of experience has made us the world leader in small ship cruising, and now we are inviting you witness our expertise first-hand, on the trip of a lifetime!

When you book a 2018/2019 expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic between now and August 31, 2019 you will save $2,000 per couple off the cruise fare—these are in addition to our PONANT Bonus Fares, which offer savings up to 30% off.

A special occasion calls for celebration. Whether Antarctica, South Georgia, the Falkland Islands, Greenland, Spitsbergen, or Alaska are on your bucket list, journey with the authority in polar cruising and enjoy an unparalleled adventure to the world’s last wild places.

                                                          Discover►


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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Luxury Operator Viking Ocean Cruises Rated #1 For Ships in the 600-2,1999 Passenger Range.


Luxury Operator Viking Ocean Cruise Lines Rated #1 in 2018 Survey.
Luxury Operator Viking Ocean Cruise Lines Rated #1 in 2018 Survey.

Received this impressive press release from Luxury Cruise Operator - Viking Ocean Cruises President Torstein Hagen. Viking Ocean Cruise Line has been rated number 1 by Travel + Leisure Readers for the Third year in a row.

Dear Nick,

I am writing to share great news—and to thank you for making it happen: For the third year in a row, Viking has been rated the #1 Ocean Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure readers in the World’s Best Awards 2018 and one of the world’s Best River Cruise Lines. We are immensely proud to be honored this way, but what makes it especially meaningful to us is the fact that it was based on votes from our guests.

We have been offering ocean cruises for three years, and for all three years we have been voted the world’s #1 Ocean Cruise Line. To receive such a positive reception so quickly and consistently is unprecedented. From our beginning, we have set out to do things differently. We focus on the destination, and we provide a better value than any other cruise line.

Surpassing the highest standards has been a driving force throughout my career, going back to my “youth” when I helped run Royal Viking Line, the company founded by legendary Warren Titus, which (at that time) set the standard for excellence at sea. I took the best of what I learned there; listened to what you, today’s discerning traveler, wanted; then enlisted the industry’s top professionals to deliver something even greater. Here are some of our guiding principles:

Viking will never try to be all things to everyone. We provide an intimate, small ship experience for the curious, intelligent and engaged traveler who values enrichment over extravagance.

We promise you The Thinking Person’s Cruise. Count on more time in port to explore the world’s great places, thoughtful enrichment programs that open doors to the world’s cultures and like-minded adults to share the experience.

Your Viking home will always be an elegant, calm, state-of-the-art ship that embodies the best of Scandinavian design.

You will not find casinos, children or umbrella drinks on board. You will find an atmosphere that is serene and refined.

You will not find hidden charges. Our goal is to provide you with great value, so we have designed our cruises to give you more for your money, with a cruise fare that includes everything you need, from meals and beverages to shore excursions and free Wi-Fi.

I am so grateful for the passion and commitment of our team—the people you speak with on the phone, our officers and staff, and those who work behind the scenes to make your journey exceptional. Together with your support, their hard work is of course what has helped us achieve this great award. We are all deeply honored.

Sincerely,

THUMBNAIL 360 Torstein Hagen
Chairman
Viking

*Ship size category: 600–2,199 guests


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Saga Sapphire 2019 Cruise Now All-Inclusive.



Saga Cruises' Saga Sapphire to Offer All-Inclusive Cruises In 2019
Saga Cruises' Saga Sapphire to Offer All-Inclusive Cruises In 2019
Cruises on all 2019 Saga Sapphire sailings are now all-inclusive – and that means free drinks, a chauffeur service within 250 miles from the port, included travel insurance, daily afternoon tea and a 24-hour room service and free wifi – what more could you ask for from a cruise!

And as if that wasn’t enough, Saga also has a ‘no-tipping’ policy so guests are assured there are no surprise extras when they sail on the chic and friendly 720-passenger boutique cruise ship.
When calling into destinations, a free shuttle bus to the town center (if the port is more than 500 yards away) also adds to the value-for-money cruise fare.

Fine dining in the Pole to Pole restaurant is standard, and eating in the specialty Asian restaurant East to West also comes at no extra charge.

Complimentary drinks include selected wines with lunch and dinner, house-branded spirits and cocktails, draft beer and lager, plus all mixers and soft drinks, so guests can enjoy their favourite tipple in their favorite spot on the ship – be it on the deck in the sunshine, Aviators or Cooper’s Bar or the beautiful Drawing Room.

At the Beach Club, poolside treats continue with fish ‘n’ chips and ice-cream, while in The Pantry, guests can help themselves to cakes or cookies as well as quality tea, coffee and hot chocolate 24 hours a day.

Whether in port or at sea, guests can tuck into a daily afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes, scones, jam and cream while a pianist plays favorite melodies in the Britannia Lounge.

All entertainment, lectures and classes are also complimentary on-board Saga Sapphire.

The Saga Sapphire previously sailed as the:
 
  • 1981–1999: Europa for Hapag-Lloyd
  • 1999–2000: SuperStar Europe for Star Cruises
  • 2000–2004: SuperStar Aries for Star Cruises
  • 2004-2008: Holiday Dream for Pullmantur
  • 2008–2011: Bleu de France
  • 2011 onwards: Saga Sapphire - Saga Cruises.
  •  
  • The Saga Sapphire is expected to leave the Saga Fleet mid-2019 to make way for Saga's new ship. No new operator has been named for the Saga Sapphire yet.

  • Saga Cruises caters to cruise passengers 50+ years of Age.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Star Cruises Announces Sailing Ship Itineraries Through 2020.


Star Clipper 2019/2020 Brochure Now Available.
Star Clipper 2019/2020 Brochure Now Available.

Star Clippers is pleased to announce the launch of their new, full-color Sailing Collection brochure detailing the line’s unique sailing itineraries around the globe from October 2018 through April 2020. Star Clippers fleet of three tall ships sail year round, with itineraries in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indonesia and Thailand, as well as Atlantic Ocean crossings. Those interested can request a print brochure by mail, or download a digital PDF on the Star Clippers website.

        Star Clippers has kept many of their most popular itineraries, while adding new routes that are sure to become instant classics. In the Mediterranean, the Mamma Mia Highlights sailing visits some of the off-the-beaten-path Greek Isles where the iconic film was shot. In Southeast Asia, new 10- and 11-night sailings between Singapore and Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of the island of Borneo, offer travelers a unique look into some lesser-known ports in Malaysia and Brunei. And in the Caribbean, Star Clippers will now sail a full season out of beautiful St. Maarten.

        Guests booking their October 2018-April 2020 sailings by September 30 2018 will receive 65% brochure pricing, a cabin upgrade and pre-paid gratuities.

 For more than 25 years, Star Clippers has been introducing travelers to the thrill of modern tall ship sailing to remote ports in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indonesia and Far East. The company operates three of the world’s largest and tallest sailing vessels: Star Clipper and Star Flyer are traditional clipper ships with modern amenities carrying 170 guests, while the 227-guest Royal Clipper holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest and only five-masted, full-rigged sailing ship in service today. All three ships have expansive teak decks, swimming pools, informal dining, convivial tropical bars on deck and piano lounges.  The brand’s newest vessel, Flying Clipper, will debut in late 2018.

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Seabourn Cruises Has Announced a Letter of Intent For the Construction of 2 Exploration Vessels.



Seabourn announced  that it has signed a Letter of Intent for the construction of two new ultra-luxury expedition ships with a new partnership between shipbuilders T.Mariotti and Damen, who will collaborate on the construction of the vessels under a common name Mariotti Damen.




The 558 foot, 23,000 gross ton vessels will add new capacity for Seabourn in Antarctica, the Arctic, and other exotic destinations around the world while meeting PC6 Polar Class standards. Each will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites, which will be home for up to 264 guests, the company said.

Delivery for the first vessel is expected in June of 2021 and the second, May 2022.

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Friday, July 13, 2018



Holland America's Prinsendam as Phoenix Reisen's Amera - Sailing starting in August 2019
Holland America's Prinsendam as Phoenix Reisen's Amera - Sailing starting in August 2019
After years of trying to come to an agreement on the price of the ship, Holland America Line and Germany's Phoenix Reisen have come to an agreement on the sale of the Prinsendam to the German operator. Expected to join the Phoenix Reisen fleet in July 2019, the upscale ship will fit nicely into the German operator's fleet and phovide the company with a larger inventory of balcony staterooms.
The sale price for the ship has not been released nor have the 2019 itineraries for the ship have been published.

Phoenix Reisen has stated that the 1988 built ships will be named Amera. It should be noted that the ship was originally built for Royal Viking Line as the Royal Viking Sun and later became the Seabourn Sun for Seabourn Cruises.

In her new role, the Amera will cater primarily to German speaking passengers.

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: Third New Expedition Ship To Be Named Hanseatic Spirit

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Hanseatic Spirit - Ordered From VARD Shipyard for 2021 Delivery
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Hanseatic Spirit - Ordered From VARD Shipyard for 2021 Delivery

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: Third New Expedition Ship To Be Named HANSEATIC Spirit

·         TUI Group banks on growth for its Hamburg subsidiary
·         Contract given to Norwegian VARD shipyard
·         First ‘adults-only’ ship in the fleet
·         Commissioning planned for second quarter of 2021

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is set to add another expedition ship to its fleet. TUI Group, the world’s number one tourism group, will invest in another new-build for its Hamburg-based subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.  On July 2, 2018, the management of the Hamburg-based cruise company signed a contract for another ship with the Norwegian VARD shipyard. The new expedition ship will be called the HANSEATIC spirit and will launch in the second quarter of 2021 as the fleet’s first ‘adults-only’ ship. Before this, the company will add two more expedition ships to its fleet in the form of the HANSEATIC nature (spring 2019) and HANSEATIC inspiration (autumn 2019). The parties involved have agreed not to disclose the financial details.

Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, said: “Our expedition segment is already a success and offers potential for growth in the 5-star segment that we want to harness with these three new ships. With the new ships, we are launching a new expedition class and strengthening our leading position in this segment. By investing in the new Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ ships, the TUI Group is underlining its strategy for this cruise segment and the importance of our luxury brand to the group portfolio.”

The structurally-identical expedition ships will be built in the Norwegian VARD shipyard of Vard Holdings Limited, which is a subsidiary of the Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri. The new ships will be fitted with cutting-edge equipment and environmental technology. They will also have the highest ice class for passenger ships (PC6), meaning that they will be positioned in the polar regions (the Arctic and Antarctic), as well as in warmer destinations such as the Amazon region. The on-board Zodiacs will make it possible to land in expedition areas that do not have ports, and there will be a marina for water sports.


Further information on the new ship:

-       5-star expedition segment
-       Gross tonnage: 15,650
-       Length: 139 metres (456 ft)
-       Beam: 22 metres (72 ft)
-       Draught: 5.6 metres (18 ft)
-       Passenger decks: seven
-       Cabins and suites: 120
-       Maximum passenger capacity: 230 people (199 for Antarctic expeditions and circumnavigation of Spitsbergen)
-       Crew: approx. 175
-       High proportion of balcony cabins
-       Restaurants: three
-       Interior design: OCEANARCHITECTS architectural office

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Scenic Luxury Cruises Newest Yacht Cruise Ship Delivery Delayed Until January 2019.

Scenic Luxury Cruises Scenic Eclipse Delivery Delayed Until January 2019.
Scenic Luxury Cruises Scenic Eclipse Delivery Delayed Until January 2019.

The management of Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours today announced that the launch of Scenic Eclipse, the World’s First Discovery Yacht, has been delayed until late January 2019.
Scenic Founder and Chairman, Glen Moroney, cites construction issues within the shipyard have caused the delay. “Despite the best efforts of our Scenic Eclipse Build Supervision Team to make up construction time, we are not prepared to compromise the quality of the vessel and potentially impact guest experiences to meet the original late August 2018 launch date,” said Mr. Moroney.
“We have apologized to affected guests for the inconvenience caused and confirmed that Scenic will provide a full refund for the cost of their Scenic Eclipse cruise and consideration of any other reasonable associated costs incurred with their travel plans.”
“In addition, the Scenic team will work closely with guests to reschedule their trip at a suitable time, for travel within the next two years. Scenic will provide all guests who rebook a Scenic Eclipse voyage during this time a future cruise credit to the value of 25% of the cost of their rebooked cruise,” said Mr. Moroney.
Scenic is contacting all guests and their travel agents affected by the delay as a matter of priority.


 
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

UnCruise Adventures Announces 2019 Schedule of Small Ship Adventure Cruise



Longer explorations planned in Costa Rica and Panamá
UnCruise Ship Wilderness Adventurer
UnCruise Ship Wilderness Adventurer


 New 10- and 12-night cruises in Costa Rica and Panamá highlight what’s new in UnCruise Adventures’  2019 schedule of adventure cruises.  Based in Seattle, Washington, the line operates eight adventure ships, plus a partner vessel in the Galápagos, carrying 22-90 guests in Alaska, coastal Washington, Columbia & Snake Rivers, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Hawaii, Galápagos, Costa Rica and Panamá.

Small ships decked out with adventure gear take travelers deeper into the destination: kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff excursions, hiking, bushwhacking, biking, snorkeling and rafting.

“After a year of operating in Costa Rica and Panamá, we’re combining elements of our two itineraries into longer, more in depth voyages,” said Captain Dan Blanchard, CEO. “The cultural experience in Panamá is meaningful; it’s worth the time to explore both countries and makes the trip even more memorable.”

Costa Rica and Panamá – New 10 and 12-night cruises
Beginning in April 2019 and continuing through September, the Safari Voyager sails nine departures on a 12-night Pure Panamá & Costa Rica cruise.  Panamá highlights include a late afternoon/evening transit of the Panamá Canal, Guna Yala (formerly San Blas) Islands, Fort San Lorenzo, Pearl Islands, visit to an Embera Village in the Darien Jungle and Coiba National Park. In Costa Rica, travelers explore the Golfo Dulce, Osa Conservation Area and Curú National Wildlife Refuge.  In November and December, five departures on a new 10-night Costa Rica & Panamá cruise visit places detailed on the 12-night cruise minus Panamá’s Guna Yala Islands. The eight-night Unveiled Wonders itinerary will sail between Costa Rica and Panamá 15 times from January 2019 until its last departure on April 12. Rates begin at $4,795 per person, based on double occupancy.

Columbia and Snake River cruise – New wine and culinary cruise
A new weeklong Rivers of Wine & Culinary cruise debuts aboard the S.S. Legacy in 2019 with six sailings planned in November and December. Sailing roundtrip Portland, Oregon, the cruise visits wineries in four AVAs, a brewery, a cidery and emphasizes hand-crafted meals with local ingredients, as well as wine and food pairings. A sommelier and wine expert sail on board for the week; a guest chef joins for presentations.  Areas visited include Astoria, Hood River, Columbia River Gorge, Walla Walla, Palouse Falls State Park, The Dalles and Willamette Valley. Eight departures on a weeklong Rivers of Adventure cruise sail between Portland, Oregon and Clarkston, Washington (or reverse) packing in adventurous explorations of diverse scenery with hiking, biking, skiff excursions, kayaking, and swimming in the river.  Hike the Rowena Plateau and Multnomah Falls. Raft the Deschutes River and take a jet boat deep into Hells Canyon.  Visit Palouse Falls State Park—hike and kayak. Transit eight locks along the way and taste local wine at Terra Blanca.  Rates begin at $3,745 per person, double occupancy.

Southeast Alaska – 1 new itinerary; Glacier Bay National Park-UNESCO site
Seven small ships sail 142 departures on 11 itineraries with a new Alaska’s Glacier Country itinerary sailing roundtrip from Juneau, Alaska.  Ships sail from homeports of Seattle, WA; Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau and Petersburg, Alaska from April through early October. Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight on many cruises with time to explore by kayak and hiking ashore. In spring 2019, UnCruise will feature 24 Alaska Awakening departures in April and May and will begin spring Alaska sailings on April 6, the earliest in company history. Alaska Awakening highlights the benefits of spring and encourages visiting Southeast Alaska during the driest months of the year. On every Alaska Awakening departure, an Alaska Awakening Insider theme host will share their intimate knowledge of the land with guests. Rates for weeklong Alaska cruises sailing April through October begin at $2,995 per person, double occupancy. Two-week itineraries are available.

Mexico’s Sea of Cortés – UNESCO Site
From January through March and December, the Safari Endeavour sails 16 departures on a weeklong Baja’s Bounty itinerary roundtrip San José del Cabo with an included transfer to the ship in La Paz. A week of exploring remote islands and waters in the UNESCO World Heritage Site includes a burro ride into an  arroyo led by a local ranchero family, snorkeling with sea lions at Los Islotes, desert hikes and marine life searches. Depending on the time of year, don snorkels and swim with whale sharks (gentle giants) or cross the Baja peninsula to Magdalena Bay, board a panga boat and see grey whales and calves up close. Rates begin at $3,795 per person, based on double occupancy.

Galápagos Islands –UNESCO site
Six departures of a 7-night Darwin’s Discoveries itinerary aboard La Pinta sails roundtrip Guayaquil, Ecuador and explores seven islands and islets in the Galapagos Islands –Islas Baltra, Seymore Norte, Isabella, Fernandina, Rábida, Santa Cruz and Floreana. A pre-cruise hotel night in Guayaquil is included along with roundtrip air between Guayaquil and the Galapagos. Local guides lead excursions ashore and by sea exploring wildlife. Snorkel, kayak, swim, glass-bottom boat and hike.  See giant tortoises and visit the Charles Darwin Research Center. Rates begin at $8,345 per person, based on double occupancy.

Hawaiian Islands – Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
The Safari Explorer sails 22 departures on a Hawaiian Seascapes itinerary one-way between Moloka’i and Hawai’i (or reverse) from January through March and November through December. The island hopping cruise visits Maui, Lana’i, Moloka’i and the big island of Hawai’i. An overnight and full day on Moloka’i explores traditional Hawaiian culture with locals in Halawa Valley, as well as a Pa’ina feast in the evening. Snorkeling and small boat explorations reveal the universe of marine life—dolphins, tropical fish, whales, green sea turtles and a night snorkel with Giant Pacific Manta rays. Watch for whales in the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Rates begin at $4,695 per person, based on double occupancy.

Coastal Washington – Olympic National Park-UNESCO site
In spring and fall, 15 departures on a weeklong Explore! Olympic Wilderness and San Juan Islands itinerary sail roundtrip Seattle exploring Puget Sounds’ shores, the Olympic Peninsula and the San Juan Islands. The 22-guest Safari Quest tucks into small bays for explorations. Hike Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, take in the views from Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island, kayak off Lopez Island, and hike across Sucia, a Washington State marine park. Rates begin at $4,195 per person, based on double occupancy.

With a focus on exploring nature and wildlife outside, UnCruise carries its own adventure equipment and employs a team of knowledgeable expedition guides to lead adventures off ship. Guests are immersed in the destination and can choose from varying levels of activities—kayaking, hiking, beachcombing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, skiff excursions and wildlife searches.

Inclusive cruises include fresh, innovative meals; all beverages including alcohol; adventure activities; transfers day of cruise and wellness amenities. Port taxes and fees are additional. Stopover hotel stays and land packages are available in connection with cruises. Theme cruise topics include photography, marine biology, ornithology, wellness and wine. A Family Discoveries program encourages families to bring children 8 years and older with a savings of $500 for kids ages 8 to 13 years old.


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Monday, July 9, 2018

Windstar Cruises Star Legend Transits Ballard Locks to Union Lake


Windstar's Star Legend Transits into Union Lake Seattle.
Windstar's Star Legend Transits into Union Lake Seattle.

On June 27, 2018, Star Legend became the largest cruise ship ever to transit the Ballard Locks and sail onto Lake Union in Seattle, Washington. Star Legend’s inaugural visit to Seattle was especially significant, as the 212-passenger ship is owned by Seattle-based Windstar Cruises, a small ship cruise line with a fleet of six ships sailing worldwide but that had not had a ship in Seattle in nearly three decades.

Star Legend called on Seattle as a special detour from its summer series of inaugural Alaska cruises, running from May through September.

The ship carried Windstar employees, VIPs, travel partners and media on board for the day, which was a grand homecoming for the company with hundreds of people lining the locks and shoreline for the event and local media covering the spectacle live on board and from helicopters above. The ship had roughly 12 feet to spare as the 63-foot wide and 440-foot-long vessel made its way through the locks. 

Beginning at Pier 66 in Seattle, Legend first took a scenic cruise of Elliott Bay before transiting through the Ballard Locks, as well as through the Lake Washington Ship Canal and under the Ballard and Fremont Bridges. On board, catering was provided by Seattle’s own Renee Erickson, a James Beard award-winning chef who has sailed with Windstar as part of its unique partnership as the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation.

While on Lake Union, Zodiac rides were given to guests, highlighting the new fleet of six inflatable rugged boats that are a key part of Windstar’s new Signature Expeditions program in Alaska. During an official ceremony on board, the Zodiacs were named after prominent Seattle figures including Chef Renee Erickson and Bonnie Elgin, brand advisor and the wife of Seattle advertising guru who penned Windstar’s tagline, 180 degrees from ordinary.

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