Cunard Line and P&O Cruises Each To Offer Three World Cruises in 2014 – Other Cruise News: Royal Princess Floated Out – The Cruise Examiner Goes To Sea Again
by Kevin Griffin
Last week both Cunard Line and P&O Cruises announced that they would be offering three world or extended cruises in 2014. Cunard’s cruises involve all three of its Queens, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, while P&O Cruises’ voyages will be offered by three of the line’s “A” team – Arcadia, Aurora and Adonia. Meanwhile, at Monfalcone last week, Princess Cruises floated out its newest ship, the third Royal Princess. And finally, The Cruise Examiner is today on board a 10-passenger French container ship, en route from Southampton to Rotterdam and Hamburg, and will report next week on the revived popularity of cargo ship cruising.
THIS WEEK’S STORY
Cunard Line and P&O Cruises Each To Offer Three World Cruises in 2014
Cunard Line will once agin offer three world cruises in 2014, one by each of the Queens, while P&O Cruises will offer two world cruises and an extended Asia voyage, using three of their “A” team.
Cunard’s flagship, Queen Mary 2, will set out on her 119-night World Cruise in her tenth anniversary year. Following the success of her inaugural circumnavigation of Australia in 2012, QM2 will undertake a repeat performance in 2014, with calls at eight different Australian destinations during a 33-day circumnavigation.
Fremantle, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will all feature twice, making it possible to circle the continent from and back to any of these ports of call. The voyage will also feature overnight calls in Dubai, Hong Kong and Cape Town.
Queen Elizabeth’s 118-night World Cruise will feature forty ports in twenty-three countries with overnight calls in San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai.
This sailing will see her debut in Japanese waters, with maiden calls at Kochi, Yokohama, Kobe and Nagasaki, as well as Pusan, Shanghai Xiamen, Abu Dhabi and Aqaba for Petra.
The Queen Victoria’s 116-night cruise takes in thirt-three ports in seventeen countries and includes an overnight call in San Francisco and once-in-a-lifetime moments such as rounding Cape Horn and taking in the scenic views of Chile’s Amalia Glacier, Pio X Glacier, Easter Island, Pitcairn and New Zealand’s Milford Sound.
Maiden calls include Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, Moorea and Suva.
With all three Cunard ships cruising the globe it will be possible to create a two-ship voyage incorporating an extended stay on land in Australia.
Board any ship for the sailing down to Sydney, followed by a period of nine, 12 or 14-days before the chosen return voyage departs.
The homeward voyage can be either with Queen Mary 2 via the Orient, Arabia and the Mediterranean, or Queen Victoria, travelling in the opposite direction, port-hopping along the east coast of New Zealand before crossing the Pacific, transiting the Panama Canal and crossing the Atlantic back to Southampton.
P&O Cruises, meanwhile, will also offer three world cruises, collectively visiting eighty-one destinations in forty-one countries. The Arcadia and Aurora will undertake full world cruises while Adonia will offer a port-rich itinerary in Asia. All three ship will sail roundtrip from Southampton.
At 92 nights, Arcadia’s cruise is shorter than many other full world circumnavigations, offering a more cost-effective way of travelling the globe yet calling at the main highlight ports. This ship caters to adult passengers only,
The Arcadia departs Southampton January 10, 2014, sailing out via the Caribbean and west coast USA before sailing to Australasia via French Polynesian islands, then on to Indonesia, India, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. This cruise departs just a month after she returns from a 17-night refurbishment in Germany, with new soft furnishings and carpets in public rooms, bars, cabins and restaurants. In addition, ten new single cabins will be added.
The Aurora departs from Southampton January 4, 2014, also sailing west via the Caribbean and San Francisco before sailing to Asia via Honolulu, New Zealand and Australia, then on to India and South Africa.
Aurora, a classic world cruise ship, is family friendly. At 109 nights, this ship will spend more time in Asia and Africa.
Adonia is the smallest ship in the fleet and can travel to less visited ports, with five of the seven new ports for 2014 being on Adonia’s 112-night cruise that explores Asia in more depth. The Adonia, also exclusively for adults, offers real small ship charm
The Adonia Asian cruise departs Southampton January 7, 2014, sailing east via the Mediterranean and Middle East before exploring Asia. Ports include Petra, Malacca, Manila, Hiroshima, Hong Kong, Sihanoukville, Langkawi and Mumbai. New ports will be Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, Yangon in Burma, Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kuching in Borneo and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines.
Extended calls will be made in Port Said, for Cairo and the Pyramids, Dubai and Safaga, for Luxor and Valley of the Kings.
In addition to the three world cruises, there are sixteen voyages to and from Australia and New Zealand on Aurora and Arcadia, wit shorter sectors available.A 37-night Southampton to Auckland cruise on Aurora makes calls in Ponta Delgada, Antigua, and Aruba, transits the Panama Canal, then calls San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, San Francisco, Honolulu, Pago Pago, Nuku Alofa and Auckland and there are several other laaternatves available.
OTHER CRUISE NEWS
Royal Princess Floated Out
Princess president and ceo Alan Buckelew and Royal Princess Capt Tony Draper attended the float out last Thursday in Monfalcone of Princess Cruises’ new protoype ship, the Royal Princess. Also attending were long-time Princess master Captain Nick Nash and his daughter Victoria, who served as godmother to the new ship.
As is tradition, the ship’s bell was used as her christening bowl during that ceremony in 1996, and Victoria’s name was subsequently engraved inside the bell to commemorate the occasion. Thanks to the Nash family, this same bell will now go on board the new Royal Princess, third of the name. The second now saisl as P&I’s Adonia.
“Capt. Nash was presented with the ship’s bell from our original Royal Princess following its decommissioning, and we are delighted that he has very generously offered this bell to be placed aboard our new Royal Princess, in honor of his daughter,” Buckelew said.
Following Fincantieri tradition, the float out of a ship is celebrated when the godmother cuts the cord that begins the flow of water into the ship’s dock. Victoria Nash was chosen because she has a special connection to the first Royal Princess – as a baby, she was christened aboard that ship.
Delivery of the 141,000gt vessel is scheduled for spring 2013, while a sister ship, whose construction will start this month at the same yard, will be delivered in 2014. A third ship, not the same but based on the same platform, will be delivered to P&O Cruises in 2015.
The new Royal Princess is 1,083 feet long and 125 feet in beam, making her the largest ever built by Fincantieri. She has 1,780 cabins, 1,438 of which (81%) have balconies. She will accommodates 3,600 passengers on double occupancy.
The Cruise Examiner Goes To Sea Again
The Cruise Examiner boarded the 10-passenger 5700 TEU French-flag container ship CMA CGM Chopin in Southampton last night and is presently on his way to Rotterdam and Hamburg.
Next week he will also report on the growing world of freighter travel.
(Kevin Griffin is managing director of specialist cruise agency The Cruise People Ltd in London, England. For further information concerning cruises mentioned in this article readers can visit his blog)