Archive for the ‘The Cruise Examiner’ Category

Marella Cruises Replaces Thomson – Other Cruise News: Five Home Ports For SkySea – Voyages To Antiquity Cancels Caribbean Program

Monday, October 16th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, Thomson Cruises, now the UK’s second-largest cruise line, announced that it would be taking on a new name, Marella Cruises, in order to differentiate the UK cruise brand from the German-based TUI Cruises. This will also mean a new naming scheme for the TUI Discovery and other UK ships that had been earmarked for TUI names. Meanwhile, poor bookings have seen Voyages to Antiquity cancel its 2017-18 Caribbean season, which was to have included Cuba. And in China, the SkySea Golden Era has sailed on her two-hundredth cruise for SkySea Cruises, the joint venture between Royal Caribbean Cruises and China’s Ctrip. (more…)

Queen Mary 2 Arrives A Year Early At Sept Iles – Other Cruise News: Norwegian Breakaway From New Orleans – Viking Orion To Alaska

Monday, October 9th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, on fairly short notice, Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 added a new port of call to her collection when she made her first visit to Sept Iles, on the Quebec North Shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence. A former fur trading centre and now an iron ore port, Sept Iles has been going after cruise business since opening a cruise terminal at its Quai Monseigneur Blanche berth in 2010. Elsewhere, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it will be moving its New York ship, Norwegian Breakaway, to the Baltic next summer and then to New Orleans at the end of 2018. Viking Cruises, meantime, has announced that its fifth ship, Viking Orion, will be sent to cruise in Alaska in 2019. (more…)

Azamara Pursuit To Join Two Sisters – Other Cruise News: Cruising To Chicago In 2020 – Silver Spirit To Be Stretched To 691 Feet

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last week Azamara Club Cruises announced that it was acquiring the newest of the eight “R” class ships, thus giving it a fleet of three sister ships. She will be named Azamara Pursuit. Still in the all-inclusive arena, Silversea has announced that it will lengthen its Silver Spirit so as closely to approximate the size of its newest ship, the Silver Muse and her planned sister ship Silver Moon. Both Azamara Pursuit and the lengthened Silver Spirit will be delivered in March 2018. Elsewhere, with two new ships due to be introduced to the Great Lakes in 2020, initial itineraries can now be pre-booked with both lines. But the question arises as to where they will berth in Chicago. (more…)

Cunard Orders A Fourth Ship – Other Cruise News: Saga Orders Second Ship From Meyer Werft – Crystal: Next Northwest Passage For Crystal Endeavor

Monday, September 25th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Today, the announcement was made by Cunard Line that it had ordered a fourth ocean liner, for delivery in 2022. The 3,000-berth vessel will be based on Holland America Line’s Koningsdam platform. Elsewhere, Saga Cruises announced last week that it had ordered a second 999-berth ship, to be named Spirit of Adventure, from Meyer Werft in Papenburg. And finally, Crystal Cruises is calling time after two successful Northwest Passage transits and has made it known that the next such crossing would be made by its newbuilding, the Crystal Endeavour, in 2019 or 2020. (more…)

Silver Moon And Seabourn Ovation – Other Cruise News: Coral Expeditions Order From Vard – APL Back In The Cargo-Passenger Trades

Monday, September 18th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, after some delay, Silversea finally announced that it would build a sister ship to the Silver Muse. This followed an announcement ages ago by Seabourn that it would build two ships of similar size for the same upmarket range. Elsewhere, Vard has secured its eighth order for an expedion ship, this time from Coral Expeditions of Australia. And a name from the past, APL, has re-entered the passenger trades after a very long absence, by accepting passengers on some of its container ships. (more…)

The Tampa to Havana Route – Other Cruise News: AidaNova’s Virtual Keel Laid In Hamburg – Irma Plays Havoc With Cruise Ship Schedules

Monday, September 11th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

This year saw two ships come back after sixty years to revive a long-standing route that had first been opened 132 years earlier – that between Tampa, Key West and Havana. The 1,600-berth Empress of the Seas and 2,052-berth Carnival Paradise succeed to a route that had been operated by uniquely one predecessor for more than seventy years. Meanwhile, last week in Hamburg saw the virtual keel-laying for AIDA Cruises’ 183,000-ton 5,200-berth AIDANova. And on the other side of the Atlantic, Hurricane Irma has led to the cancellation of seventeen cruises from Florida ports. (more…)

Great Lakes Cruises And Expeditions – Other Cruise News: MSC Seaside Class: Ships That Look Like Hotels – Seabourn Ovation Launched

Monday, September 4th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

All of a sudden there is more activity on the Great Lakes, first with the announcement of the addition of the 202-berth Victory II in 2018 and then Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ new 230-berth expedition ship Hanseatic Inspiration in 2020. Another expedition ship is also said to be on the way. We also have a quick look at two impending newbuildings, MSC Cruises’ 4,134-berth MSC Seaside and the 600-berth Seabourn Ovation, new sister to the Seabourn Encore. (more…)

West Palm Beach To Freeport Daily – Other Cruise News: P&O: UK’s Largest Ship – Uniworld’s Fifth S.S. Super Ship

Monday, August 28th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

An announcement has been made that a second ship will be added to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s West Palm Beach to Freeport, Bahamas, service. This will increase the getaway cruise departures up to daily service, with as many days stopover as one wants. If all goes to plan, the existing Grand Celebration will be joined by a renamed Costa neoClassica next spring. We take the opportunity to look back at some of the earlier cruise services that operated from Palm Beach. Meanwhile, P&O Cruises’ naming contest for its new 5,200-berth megaship, to enter service in 2020, has closed. And Uniworld have announced that it will convert an existing vessel into its latest S.S. Super Ship. (more…)

A Ten-Ship Weekend At Southampton – Other Cruise News: Mascot, Pathfinder or Ambassador? – Crystal Cruises Back In Dover

Monday, August 21st, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

This weekend at Southampton was one of the busiest of the season seeing five cruise ship visits on each of Saturday and Sunday, for a total of ten ships over the weekend, plus a passenger-carrying container ship on Sunday. Elswehere, we look at fleets that feature one smaller ship in addition to their main fleet of larger cruise ships. Finally, Crystal Cruises has returned to Dover after a two-year absence. (more…)

The Legacy Lines 50 Years Ago – Other Cruise News: Older Costa Ships Cascading – Ocean Adventurer Has A Remake

Monday, August 14th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Continuing on the theme of fifty years ago that we started a couple of weeks ago with Cunard, this week we look at the legacy lines that survive today. The names of these lines, Cunard, Holland America, Costa and P&O, are all historic, and as it happens they are all owned by Carnival Corp & plc. The only lines outside these direct links are Celebrity Cruises, formed by Chandris Cruises, which is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Lauro Lines, which was the foundation of today’s MSC Cruises. Elsewhere, we look at recent fleet announcements from Costa Cruises. And another veteran expedition ship gets a remake in Norway and Denmark. (more…)

One Ocean To Acquire Hanseatic – Other Cruise News: MV Werften Delivers Its First Ship – TUI Discovery To Be Based At Newcastle

Monday, August 7th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, Canadian-based One Ocean Expeditions announced the acquisition of a third ship for its expedition fleet, while indicating that it would probably be doing more business in non-polar regions as well as in the Nova Scotia port of Sydney. Meanwhile, the Baltic shipyard MV Werften has delivered the first vessel under its new ownership by Genting Group of Hong Kong. The 106-berth Crystal Bach, which will cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube, will be the second ship in the Crystal River Cruises fleet, following the 154-berth Crystal Mozart on the Danube. Finally, Thomson Cruises have confirmed that they will base their 1,830-berth TUI Discovery at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2018. (more…)

Mystic Cruises’ World Explorer – Other Cruise News: The Evolution Of A Chinese Ship Type – 50 Years Ago: All Change At Cunard

Monday, July 31st, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

It came as a somewhat of a surprise this month when Quark Expeditions revealed that its 2018-19 Antarctic season would be led by a newbuilding that so far had not caught anyone’s eye. We have a look at Mystic Cruises, who will own the new 176-berth World Explorer, and the Portuguese shipyard it works with in Viana do Costelo. Meanwhile, a new passenger and container ship has recently entered service in China and we have a look at a ship design that, while particular to China, has also spread to Mauritius and French Polynesia. Finally, it is fifty years since Cunard Line announced that it would withdraw its iconic Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, so we look back to 1967. (more…)

Disney Orders Seventh Ship – Other Cruise News: Thomson Spirit To Return In 2018 – All Change In The Europe-Australia Cargo-Passenger Trades

Monday, July 17th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

This weekend saw the announcement of a seventh ship for Disney Cruise Line, which will serve to expand their potential areas of operation in the world market quite significantly. One of a trio of new 2,500-berth ships to be built by Meyer Werft at Papenburg, all three will be LNG-powered. Elsewhere, Thomson Cruises has announced that it will retain an old favourite, the Thomson Spirit, for one more season in 2018, despite that fact that it is introducing the 1,870-berth TUI Explorer in the same year. And in the Australian cargo-passenger trades, four of the five existing CMA CGM Europe-Australia ships are being transferred to ANL’s Singapore-Australia service. Two German-owned ships will replace the four leaving the Europe-Australia service, meaning a 60% drop in passenger capacity. (more…)

Seabourn And Windstar Finally Return To Alaska – Other Cruise News: Celebrity Cruises Changes UK Ship – Trouble At Falmouth?

Monday, July 10th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Seabourn’s first Alaska departure in fifteen years left Vancouver last month when the Seabourn Sojourn sailed north to Seward and went on during her return to add calls at ports in northern British Columbia that will make their itineraries very unique. And next year, Windstar Cruises will return to Alaska, after an absence of twenty years in their case using the Star Legend, which sailed for many years as the Seabourn Legend. In the UK, meanwhile, Celebrity Cruises will be changing from the Celebrity Eclipse to the Celebrity Silhouette in 2018. And trouble seems to be brewing in Falmouth, Jamaica, the six-year-old mega-ship port that was opened by Royal Caribbean in 2011, after the number of complaints from passengers about surly welcomes to Jamaica. (more…)

Norwegian Joy Christened For China Trade – Other Cruise News: Fram To Sail Atlantic Canada & New England – Cruiseco’s Ex-UK Music Cruises

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, in Shanghai, Norwegian Cruise Line christened its first purpose-designed cruise ship for the China market, the “Breakaway Plus” class Norwegian Joy, or Xi Yuè Hoo in Chinese. With a Ferrari-branded go-kart racetrack on board, this ship offers a number of new attractions for the Chinese market. Eleswhere, Hurtigruten has announced a half dozen Atlantic Canada and New England cruises for Spring 2018. And, after its successes with music cruises in Australia, Cruiseco continues now with a series of UK music cruises. (more…)

Seeing Cuba The Small Ship Way – Other Cruise News: The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection – Newbuilding For Antarctica XXI

Monday, June 26th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, we received word from Victory Cruise Lines of Miami that it had received approval to cruise to Cuba and that president and ceo Bruce Nierenberg is now in Cuba making arrangements. Victory operate the 210-berth Victory 1, which is presently sailing the Great Lakes. Victory’s Nierenberg advises us of the relatively new line’s plans for Cuba. Elsewhere, Ritz-Carlton has announced that it will enter the yacht cruise business with three new 298-berth cruising yachts of 623 feet each. Meanwhile, Chile’s Antarctica XXI has announced a 70-berth 298-foot newbuilding for its Antarctic fly and sail business. (more…)

Cruise Lines Escape US-Cuba Travel Ban – Other Cruise News: The Flying Clipper Is Launched – Ex-Russian Ship Converted To Expedition Vessel

Monday, June 19th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

On Friday, in the “Little Havana” neighbourhood of Miami, surrounded by Cuban Americans, President Donald Trump’s words for Cuba were “we will enforce the ban on tourism.” However, his edict will have very little effect on the cruise lines that have been able to return to Cuba in the last year thanks to a loosening of regulations by former president Barack Obama. In Croatia, meanwhile, the world’s largest sailing ship, the 300-passenger Flying Clipper, was launched for Star Clippers. Finally, Sunstone Ships’ 230-berth Ocean Atlantic has recently re-entered service as an expedtion ship. (more…)

MSC Orders Two World Class Cruise Ships – Other Cruise News: Ups & Downs In World Cruise Markets – Southampton Sets Cruise Ship Record

Monday, June 12th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last week came confirmation that MSC Cruises had ordered two new “World” class cruise ships, among the largest in the world, with an option for two more, from STX France. This news is not shocking, seeing that there will soon be 120 cruise ships in the world measuring over 100,000 gross tons, and this order will bring the number of about eight 200,000-ton ships, including five operated by Royal Caribbean International and one by Star Cruises. While vessels grow in size, we also have a look at rising (and in some cases falling) markets in the cruise industry. And finally we note that Southampton last week received a record fifteen cruise ships in three days. (more…)

Ulstein Letter Of Intent For New Expedition Ships – Other Cruise News: Brodosplit May Build Two 1200-berth Cruise Ships – Porto & Douro Cruise Forum

Monday, June 5th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last week came an announcement from Ulstein Group in Norway that it had signed a letter of intent to build one or more new X-Bow design expedition cruise vessels. For an unidentified owner, these vessels would follow closely on the framework agreement signed in March for up to ten slightly smaller X-Bow ships for SunStone ships. Also unidentified for now is the German owner who is negotiating for two new 820-foot 1,200-berth cruise ships to be built by the Brodosplit shipyard in Croatia. Finally, we have a look this week at the recent Porto & Douro Cruise Forum. (more…)

Holland America Adds Cuba Calls – Other Cruise News: Black Sea Cruises Start Up June 11 – Turkey’s Etstur Charters Aegean Queen

Monday, May 29th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last week it was announced that Holland America Line is the latest cruise line to acquire rights to sail to Cuba, with its inaugural voyage set to be performed in December by the Veendam. Elsewhere the new Black Seas Cruises sent its recently-acquired Knyaz Vladimir on her trial voyage before she enters service in two weeks. And Turkey’s Etstur has announced another season of Greek Isles cruises, this time using the Louis Group-owned Aegean Queen. (more…)

Fincantieri Takes 66.66% Share Of STX France – Other Cruise News: Carnival Maritime Extends To Three Centres – European Cruise Market To Grow 60% In A Decade

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last Friday it was announced that Fincantieri was to acquire a 66.66% shareholding in STX France, a company that will no doubt soon be renamed. The balance of the shares are held by the French State. At the same time, following the opening of Fleet Operations Centres in Hamburg and Seattle, Carnival Corp & plc has started hiring for a third such centre in Miami to manage the twenty-five ships of original group member Carnival Cruise Line. Meanwhile, Cruise Industry News Annual predicts 60% growth in the European cruise market over the next decade. (more…)

Two “Icon” Class Ships For Royal Caribbean – Other Cruise News: Europe’s Largest River Cruiser, AmaMagna – Disney Magic Set For Quebec City & Bermuda

Monday, May 15th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

In its latest move to greener ships, Royal Caribbean has confirmed orders for the first two of its new “Icon” ships from Meyer Turku. For delivery in 2022 and 2024, the new ships will fall somewhere between the “Oasis” class and the “Quantum” class ships in size. Disney Cruise Line, meanwhile, has announced new sailings to Quebec and Bermuda, both new for the line. The 1,754-berth Disney Magic will be used to open up both of these new destinations in the autumn of 2018. And finally, after christening the AmaKristina last week, AmaWaterways announced that it would build Europe’s largest river cruiser, to be called AmaMagna, for delivery in 2019. (more…)

The Two River Amadeus’s – Other Cruise News: The Brazilian Cruise Slump – Royal Caribbean To Return To New Orleans

Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

When Ama Waterways first opened in 2002 it was known as Amadeus Waterways, but changed names in 2008 to Ama Waterways. Meanwhile, Lüftner River Cruises has since adopted for itself the name Amadeus River Cruises. We have a look at both operators today. Meanwhile, with cruising booming worldwide, the Brazilian market has taken a tumble seeing passenger figures tumble as the number of passengers handled at Santos drops by more than 40%. Finally, Royal Caribbean is to return to New Orleans on 2018. (more…)

Ten For Viking Ocean – Other Cruise News: Viking Ocean’s Resident Historians – First Carnival Newbuild To Go For Scrap

Monday, May 1st, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

When Viking Ocean Cruises introduced the 930-berth Viking Star in 2015, it was projected that the line could build up to six sister ships of the same design. But with last month’s order from Fincantieri for two more plus an option to build another two, this could take the Viking Ocean fleet to ten ships by 2024. In other news Viking is introducing resident historians to lecture on board its first three ocean ships. And as time passes one of Carnival Cruise Line’s early cruise ships has become the first of the line’s newbuilds to go for scrap. (more…)

Sailings To Australia – Other Cruise News: New Yachts On The Dalmatian Coast – Princess To Prune China Plans

Monday, April 24th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Years ago there used to be year-round passenger sailings between Europe and Australia, serving every type of passenger from First Class travellers to emigrants going Down Under to make a new home. Fifty years later, as we see, it is still possible to sail to Australia but one must choose among just a few sailings each year, most of them part world cruises, or container ships that sail once or twice a month with just a few passengers. This week we also have a look at three new yachts that are now cruising the Dalmatian Coast for Riviera Travel. And Princess Cruises has announced that it will send its new China-dedicated ship Majestic Princess to Australia and New Zealand for the Austral summer of 2018-19. (more…)

Silversea: Up To Three New Ships – Other Cruise News: Norwegian’s Premium All Inclusive Fares – Queen Mary Village

Monday, April 10th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Silversea chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio has once again made reference to Silversea soon ordering three new ships for delivery in 2020, 2021 and 2023, but no further information has been announced. The company has been talking about three new ships since 2015. Elsewhere, Norwegian Cruise Line has stolen a march on its mass market competition by moving to Premium All Inclusive pricing in the UK and other European markets – this pricing is not available in North America. And finally, a new operator has plans to expand the Queen Mary tourist attraction in Long Beach into a village called Queen Mary Island, with a second hotel, cafés, amphitheatre and other attractions, which would also include the exisiting cruise terminal. (more…)

Canada’s 150th Anniversary and Montreal’s 375th – Other Cruise News: Oceania Choses New York – Azamara Adds Alaska In 2019

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

This year sees the 150th Anniversary of Canada’s founding as a nation, so on this event we also look back fifty years to the special cruise sailings that were offered in connection with Expo ’67 that included stays on board in Montreal. This year will also see a boom for Montreal and Quebec, with traffic up about a third. Elsewhere, Oceania Cruises will be basing their Insignia at New York for the late summer this year as well as the summer of 2018. Finally, in a first for the line, Azamara Club Cruises has announced a series of eleven Alaska cruises for 2019. (more…)

An Ebb In Cruise Ship Size To 3,300 Berths – Other Cruise News: Cunard and P&O Cruises To Report To Seattle – Costa Chooses Tarragona

Monday, March 27th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

We reported in August 2014 that 4,000 lower berths seemed to be developing as the new norm for ship size. But things have once again changed. With Norwegian’s reveal of its five new “Leonardo” class ships, the target size has come down to 3,300 berths, compared to 4,000 or more in its previous ships. With the exception of Celebrity, whose exisiting “Solstice” class and planned “Edge” class ships are of almost the same size, other lines such as Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises are doing much the same. On the management side, it has been announced today that Carnival UK will be acquiring a new boss in May when Josh Weinstein moves from Miami to Southampton as president. In an organisational change, Carnival UK will now report to group chief exeutive Stein Kruse in Seattle. Finally, Costa Cruises is adding another Spanish base port, in Tarragona. (more…)

Celebrity’s “Edge” Class – Other Cruise News: Sunstone Announces Chinese XBows – Arena Buys River Cruise Line – UK Sets New Cruising Record

Monday, March 20th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, on the event of Seatrade Cruise Global in Fort Lauderdale, Celebrity Cruises chose to release the first detailed images of their five new “Edge” class ships. Also from Miami comes word of orders for four X-Bow expedition cruise ships for Sunstone Ships. On the other side of the Atlantic, meanwhile, Arena Travel in the UK announced its acquisition of The River Cruise Line and the UK hit a new cruise turnover record with 1.9 million cruises in 2016, although this was still short of Germany’s 2.02 million. (more…)

Thomson Cruises To Sail From The UK – Other Cruise News: Italy To Lose Cruise Business – Hapag Lloyd Names Hanseatic Class Ships

Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Following this year’s sailings of the Thomson Celebration from Newcastle, Thomson Cruises will be bringing its newest ship, the TUI Discovery, to the UK in 2018, with sailings from both Newcastle and from Southampton. Meanwhile, Italian ports are forecast to lose traffic this year because of the smaller number of cruise offerings in the Mediterranean. And Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has announced the names Hanseatic nature and Hanseatic inspiration for its new 230-berth expedition cruise ships. (more…)

Five US-Flag River Ships For American – Other Cruise News: Cunard Cruises Down Under – Hainan’s South China Sea Cruises

Monday, March 6th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

American Cruise Lines last week announced that over the next few years it would build five newly designed 200-berth US-flag riverboats for cruising American waters. At the same time, Cunard Line announced its first ever dedicated cruising season from Australia. Meanwhile, Hainan Strait Shipping sent its 499-berth Chang Le Princess on her first cruise to the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. (more…)

Saga’s First Newbuilding – Other Cruise News: China Cruise Update – Holland America’s 70 Years In Alaska

Monday, February 27th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Saga last week released further images of its 999-berth newbuilding now under way at Meyer Werft in Papenburg for delivery in 2019. Meanwhile, Carnival Corp and plc has announced that it has ordered two ships, with options for an additional four, for its new Carnival-China brand, with deliveries to commence in 2023. Finally, in Seattle, Holland America Line this year is celebrating seventy years of cruising to Alaska. (more…)