Hurtigruten’s Maud To Be Based At Dover For Winter Sailings – Other Cruise News: MSC Luxury Brand Head Announced – New Australia Direct Cargo-Passenger Sailings
by Kevin Griffin
This week we carry the news of a new winter-based cruise program to be operated from Dover by Hurtigruten’s expedition conversion m.s. Maud. Elsewhere, a head is named to MSC’s new luxury cruise division, and direct sailings are re-introduced between Europe and Australia by CM A CGM.
THIS WEEK’S STORY
Hurtigruten from Dover
Hurtigruten is to offer winter sailings from Dover for the 2021-2022 season, a first for the line. Fourteen-day cruises will be offered on board the 822-berth m.s. Maud from Dover from October 2021 to March 2022, as part of the company’s new Norway Expedition portfolio.
The Maud is one of three Hurtigruten vessels to be transformed into premium hybrid-powered expedition cruise ships.
The Maud currently sails as the Trollfjord, while the Finnmarken will be renamed Otto Sverdrup and the Midnatsol will be renamed Eirik Raude, after Erik the Red.
Hurtigruten said the voyage will offer more time in familiar and new ports and there will be more expedition team members on board. Daily excursions are included in the price, with other options available at an additional charge.
Hurtigruten is not the first to have cruised to Norway from the UK. In the accompanying photo, Orient Lines’ Otranto stands by at Immingham as the boat train arrives from Manchester in the 1930s.
The Wilson Line also offered cruises from Hull to the North Cape in ships such as their Angelo, Domino and Eldorado, which cruised south in the winter.
Thomas Cook’s charter of the Bergen-based Krohn Line’s 411-ton President Christie had taken the first 21 British cruisers to the North Cape in 1875.
Port of Dover chief commercial officer Barbara Buczek said of the news: “We are really excited to be working with Hurtigruten to bring a new winter cruise season to Dover, and to become their first ever UK port of call.”
Fares start from £3,299 per person.
MSC Luxury Brand Head Announced
A former boss of German line Aida Cruises and Carnival Corporation brands in China is to head MSC Group’s foray into luxury cruising.
Industry veteran Michael Ungerer has become ceo of the start-up line, bringing with him more than thirty years of senior management experience in cruising as well as in luxury hospitality.
He will be based at the company’s global headquarters in Geneva, reporting to Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group’s cruise business.
MSC confirmed a €2 billion order earlier this year for four luxury cruise ships to be built by Italian ship builder Fincantieri. The first 64,000-ton “super yacht” is due to be delivered by spring 2023, with the remainder entering service over the following three years. MSC is promising a broad range of new passenger experiences and activities as well as generous ratios of public spaces and innovative design.
Vago said: “I am particularly pleased to make this announcement as it marks a key step forward in the set-up of the organisational structure that will lead the development of our new luxury brand. “For us, this was a natural progression of the work done across our contemporary brand MSC Cruises since its inception, including with the development of our highly-successful premium ship-within-the-ship concept MSC Yacht Club.”
Ungerer added: “I am immensely honoured and totally excited about the opportunity this one-of-a-kind, truly outstanding project presents. This crowns my professional career and perfectly complements my luxury hospitality and cruise industry experience.”
New Australia Direct Cargo-Passenger Sailings
CMA CGM has announced the return of the company to the Europe-Australia route, with the 10-passenger CMA CGM Rhone and three 4-passenger ships, the APL Danube, APL Detroit and APL Phoenix, from subsdiary APL. These ships have now entered Europe-Australia route from London Gateway via Suez to Australian ports, in what is called the North Europe Mediterranean Oceania Express (Nemo) Line.
The full round voyage is 97 days. The CMA CGM Rhone offers five Double cabins and a swimming pool, and carries a maximum of 10 passengers, while the APL ships carry four passengers each in two Oners Cabins with a common lounge. London to Sydney on the Nemo service is 45 days. Sydney back to London is 52 days. Ports served are London – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – Le Havre – Fos sur Mer – La Spezia – Genoa – Gioia Tauro – Mauritius – Reunion – Sydney – Melbourne – Adelaide – Fremantle – Singapore – Colombo – Gioia Tauro – Vaencia – London.
Fares for voyages of 20 days and more are €150 per person per day in double occupany or €170 per day or sole use of a cabin.
(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)