AIDA Orders Third LNG Ship – Other Cruise News: Riviera To Add Two River Cruisers And Titan One – This Week’s Voyage

by Kevin Griffin

Carnival Corporation last week ordered a third mega-cruise ship from Meyer Werft in Germany. One of nine LNG-powered ships, she will join the AIDA fleet in 2023. Elsewhere, UK-based river cruise lines Riviera and Titan will be adding another three ships in 2018-19. And for this week’s voyage we have a look at Norwegian Bliss’s maiden Transatlantic voyage from Southampton to New York next month.

THIS WEEK’S STORY

AIDA Orders Third LNG Ship

Carnival Corporation has ordered a third 5,400-berth cruise ship for its AIDA Cruises division, the leading cruise line in Germany. The new 180,000-ton ship, being built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, scheduled for delivery in 2023, will be capable of being fully powered by LNG both at sea and in port.

AIDANova (Artist impression) (Click to enlarge)

AIDANova (Artist impression) (Click to enlarge)

With this announcement, Carnival Corporation has twenty ships scheduled for delivery between 2018 and 2023, including nine LNG-powered ships for four of its nine major cruise brands.

AIDA Cruises now has three LNG ships on order, including AIDAnova, scheduled to join the fleet this December as the first cruise ship in the world to be fully powered by LNG, plus a second, set to debut in 2021. As of 2023, more than half of AIDA Cruises’ guests will be cruising on ships that can run either fully or partially on LNG.

This is the tenth AIDA ship to be built in Papenburg, emphasising the long-term partnership between AIDA Cruises and Meyer Werft.

Artist impression of the new dual-fuel LNG ship Costa Smeralda (Courtesy of Costa Cruises) (Click to enlarge)

Artist impression of the new dual-fuel LNG ship Costa Smeralda (Courtesy of Costa Cruises) (Click to enlarge)

Carnival Corporation now has agreements with Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku for nine LNG-powered ships for four brands, with delivery dates between 2018 and 2023. Three are for AIDA Cruises, with delivery dates between 2018 and 2023, two for Costa Cruises with delivery in 2019 and 2021, two for P&O Cruises UK with delivery in 2020 and 2022 and two for Carnival Cruise Line with delivery in 2020 and 2022.

OTHER CRUISE NEWS

Riviera To Add Two River Cruisers And Titan One

Riviera Travel will introduce two new river cruisers, the Dylan Thomas and the George Eliot, in 2019, replacing the Swiss Corona, which will be phased out, and the Swis Tiara, which has already left the fleet.

The 169-berth Dylan Thomas will be a sister ship to the line’s Robert Burns, Thomas Hardy, Emily Bronte and Oscar Wilde. Equipped with a panoramic observation lounge, sun deck and boutique-style cabins, she will cruise the Danube in 2019.

The 180 passengers Bellejour (Click to enlarge)

The 180 passengers Bellejour (Click to enlarge)

The 132-berth George Eliot, on the other hand, will be of a new design to cruise the Rhine, Moselle and the Danube.

Meanwhile, following the successful introduction of the chartered Serenade 1, Saga subsidiary Titan Travel will take a second river cruiser from Select Voyages in 2019.

Norwegian Bliss at Meyer Werft, Papenburg (Click to enlarge)

Norwegian Bliss at Meyer Werft, Papenburg (Click to enlarge)

Having enjoyed a successful partnership with Select since 2017, Titan will work with them again using the 180-berth Bellejour for 2019 cruises on the Danube. Serenade 1 will continue to offer itineraries on the Rhine.

This Week’s Voyage

Two days after the 4,004-berth Norwegian Bliss is delivered to Norwegian Cruise Line on April 19, she will undertake her first Transatlantic crossing, a 12-night voyage from Southampton to New York. She will depart Southampton on April 21, calling en route at Ponta Delgada and Halifax and arriving at New York on May 3.

Norwegian Bliss first Transatlantic crossing, a 12-night voyage from Southampton to New York

Norwegian Bliss first Transatlantic crossing, a 12-night voyage from Southampton to New York

There is still availability and the crossing is being sold under Norwegian’s Premium All-Inclusive system.

On similar dimensions to Queen Mary 2, the Bliss has 4,004 lower berths compared to 2,750 on Queen Mary 2, but she will be sailing several week’s before Queen Mary 2’s first westbound Transatlantic crossing of 2018, which is scheduled for June 3.

The Norwegian Bliss at Seattle (Artist impression courtesy NCL) (Click to enlarge)

The Norwegian Bliss at Seattle (Artist impression courtesy NCL) (Click to enlarge)

Following previews in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, Norwegian Bliss will sail into Seattle for her official christening on May 30. Cruises to Alaska will then begin on June 2. Originally intended for the China trade, she will instead become the first mega cruise ship to sail to Alaska.

The Norwegian Bliss will offer weekly cruises to Alaska, with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, as well as in Victoria, BC.

In the autumn, the Bliss will sail to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles, and move to the Caribbean in the winter with cruises from Miami. For the 2019 winter season, she will cruise from New York to Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

(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)

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