Category: The Cruise Examiner

The colum is published weekly at the internet cruise news website CyberCruises.com.

A New Era Of Real Ships (250-550 berths) – Other Cruise News: The New Explorers (200-249 berths) – Hotel Yachts (298 berths) – Norwegian Coasters (468 berths)



by Kevin Griffin

Since the introduction of the first of the big ships, with the Sovereign of the Seas in and the first 100,000-tonner with the Carnival Destiny in there has been a substantial evolution in ship design among smaller vessels. The Cruise Examiner first covered these trends on May 12, 2008, in an article entitled “The Middle Way – A Return to Medium-Size Ships?”   and a follow up three years later, “The Market for Middle Size Ships,” on May 30, 2011. However, these ships came in to the 30-50,000-ton range whereas the latest crop are mostly Polar Class 6 vessels in the 15-30,000-ton range. Le Commandant Charcot is an exception, a real Polar Class 2 icebreaker.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Hapag-Lloyd Christens Hanseatic Inspiration in Hamburg – Other Cruise News: Inaugural Voyage, Hamburg to Antwerp – Inspiration’s Maiden Voyage From Antwerp




by Kevin Griffin

This weekend saw The Cruise Examiner on board Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ newest expedition ship, the Hanseatic Inspiration, on a 2-night Shakedown cruise from Hamburg, where she was christened on Friday night, to Antwerp, the boarding point for today’s 15-day maiden voyage to Tenerife.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Windstar Announces 2021 Alaska Season – Other Cruise News: Princess Cruises’ New Discovery Princess – Costa To Shed Five Older Ships

by Kevin Griffin

Seattle-based Windstar Cruises today announced its 2021 Alaska program. Added in 2021 will be 7-night cruises between Vancouver and Juneau, as well as a call at the railway port of Skagway for the White Pass & Yukon Railway. Los Angeles-based Princess Cruises has revealed that its sixth “Royal Princess” class ship will be named Discovery Princess. And Costa Cruises is about to shed five of its older ships, while one already gone, now the Grand Classica, will begin 2-night cruises from West Palm Beach to Nassau this Saturday.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Atlas Ocean Voyages – Other Cruise News: Delay For Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection – Scenic Eclipse Debut




by Kevin Griffin

Back in 1901, the then Hamburg America Line acquired the New York-based Atlas Line, one of the early cruising pioneers in the Caribbean. Now Mario Ferreira’s newly-formed North American cruise operation is adopting a similar name, as Atlas Ocean Voyages. Elsewhere, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s first ship has been delayed at her Croatian shipyard. And Scenic’s new expedition yacht Scenic Eclipse, has just been christened in New York by Emma Thompson.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

A Look Back To Thomas Cook’s Early Days In Cruising – Pioneers To Bermuda – West Indies Cruises From New York – The New York & Bermuda Line




by Kevin Griffin

A travel industry giant closed today when Thomas Cook went into administration. While it never operated its own cruise ships, like recent days competitor Thomson Holidays, Thomas Cook nevertheless had a significant impact on the early days of cruising. From organising its first cruise to Norway’s North Cape in 1875, using the chartered Norwegian barque President Christie, to organising full World Cruises from 1925. In 1880, not long after its first North Cape cruise, Thomas Cook found itself promoting cruises from New York to Bermuda, the West Indies and Canada. Here we have a brief look at a corner of history. In the boom years of 1894 and 1895, New York featured highly in Thomas Cook’s priorities, with offices on Broadway, two on Fifth Avenue and another on Madison Avenue. Its new partner was the Quebec Steamship Company of 25 Broadway.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Enlarged MSC Magnifica To Sail From Southampton In 2021 – Other Cruise News: End of the Line for Voyages To Antiquity – Nome Has A Busy Late Summer



by Kevin Griffin

MSC Cruises has this week disclosed that its MSC Magnifica will be based in the UK starting in 2021, with twenty-four sailings from Southampton. Elsewhere, Voyages To Antiquity will close at the end of October while the ship goes on charter to Road Scholar next year. Meanwhile, the northern Alaska port of Nome has seen a busy late summer period, with Bremen sailing for the Northern Searoute across Russia and Roald Amundsen arriving from the Northwest Passage across Canada.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Flying Clipper Appears – Other Cruise News: The First Six “Infinity” Class Expedition Ships – More New Cruise Ship Names




by Kevin Griffin

This week we have salad bowl of stories. Reports say that Star Clippers may be avoiding the French coast as part of their dispute over “their” latest cruise ship, the Flying Clipper. Meanwhile, the new ship operated her first cruise carrying Ultra Europe group passengers under the flag of her builders, Brodosplit. We also examine the first half dozen “Infinity” class expedition ships and survey some new names in the field of cruising.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

The British Cruise Fleet In 2020



by Kevin Griffin

A lot is happening right now in the UK cruise world. An “upstart” line for the over 50s has just taken delivery of its first newbuilding, which it calls a luxury boutique ship. Another “upstart” line for the below 50s is adding four newbuildings that will eschew the traditional cruise buffet first introduced by Holland America Line as Statendam’s Lido Cafe back in the 1970s. One traditonal line is going to 5,200-passenger ships fuelled with LNG while another is adding a fourth Queen. And of two second-tier lines, one is adding one or two ships year, mostly early balcony second generation ships, the other is standing pat with the same four ships.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Australia And New Zealand: If You’re Planning To Sail There By Cargo Ship In 2020, This Is What You Need To Know

by Kevin Griffin

Once or twice a year we have a look at the cargo ship passenger market, which counts around 300 passenger-carrying ships in the trade. Now offered solely by European owners, services are by shipowners from Germany and Poland in the north and from France and Italy in the south. The main cargo-passenger operators now are Marseilles-based CMA CGM, Naples-based Grimaldi Lines, a number of different German owners, including NSB, but no longer Hamburg-Süd and Rickmers Line, which have both withdrawn. The Polish Steamship Company operates about fifteen ships in the North Atlantic Great Lakes trade. Two older names have also re-entered the passenger trades, as Atlantic Container Line (ACL), a subsidiary of Grimaldi Lines, now has five 12-passenger ships on the North Atlantic, and APL, now part of CMA CGM, has revived passenger service on eighteen of its Singapore-based ships, mainly in the Pacific.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Saga Cruises Introduces The Spirit of Discovery – Vancouver Welcomes Cunard and Hurtigruten – Ponant’s Ninth Ship – Mardi Gras (II) To Sail Southampton to New York

by Kevin Griffin

On Friday, July 5, Saga Cruises’ new ship Spirit of Discovery was named in Dover by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Elsewhere when Cunard’s 2,101-berth Queen Elizabeth left Vancouver for the first time in May, it also marked the first time in more than twenty years that a Cunard ship had docked in the city. And finally, Ponant has launched the ninth ship to its fleet and the fourth in its “Explorer” class.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Vancouver Welcomes Cunard and Hurtigruten – Other Cruise News: Ponant’s Ninth Ship – Mardi Gras (II) To Sail Southampton to New York

by Kevin Griffin

Following many years of stagnation after the opening up of Seattle as a cruise gateway to Alaska, Vancouver finally celebrates being in the million-plus passenger league again with the arrival of short seasons this year and full seasons in 2020 from Cunard Line and Hurtigruten. Elsewhere, Ponant has taken delivery of its ninth ship with Le Dumont d’Urville and Carnival has announced that it’s biggest ship, the 5,200-berth Mardi Gras (II), will make a Transatlantic crossing between Southampton and New York in 2020.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Great Lakes To Feature Nine Cruise Operators By 2020 – Other Cruise News: Captain Wendy Williams To Command Scarlet Lady – More Ships And Itineraries From Uniworld




by Kevin Griffin

After many years of stop-and-go come-and-leave progress, the Great Lakes are finally coming to a stage where in 2020 they will have a fleet of eleven vessels offering cruises, mostly of between 7 and 11 days. These ships will be able to accept a total of 1,852 berths among them at one time. Elsewhere in North America, Virgin Voyages has announced the woman who will command its first ship, the Scarlet Lady. And we observe that five new ships will be delivered to Uniworld Boutique River Cruises by next year, to serve variously Venice, Bordeaux, Portugal, the Nile and the Mekong.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Cruise & Maritime Voyages To Add More Ships – Other Cruise News: Crystal Endeavor’s Japan Itineraries – Star Clippers Sailing Holidays With UK Flights




by Kevin Griffin

This week, The Cruise Examiner reports on indications that Cruise & Maritime Voyages will be acquiring three new ships for its mid-size cruise fleet, two to join its UK-based fleet and a third to be based in Germany. And while Crystal Cruises’ 200-berth Crystal Endeavor had been designed for exotic expedition itinerary we have a look at three cruises planned to operate from Tokyo in 2020. And we look at a trio of tall ship cruises from Star Clippers in the West Indies and in Thailand.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Cuba Loses The US Passenger Trade (Again) – Other Cruise News: Norwegian’s New Base In Amsterdam – Second “Infinity” X-Bow For Aurora




by Kevin Griffin

Recent surprise news is that the US has banned all cruise ships sailing from US ports from entering Cuba, effective immediately last week. Elsewhere, Norwegian Cruise Line has decided to base its Norwegian Pearl in Amsterdam. And Aurora Expeditions has ordered a second X-Bow expedition ship.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Kaliningrad Akademiks Drop Passenger Trade – Other Cruise News: SunStone Up To Seven Ships – Another Luxury Yacht For Ritz-Carlton

by Kevin Griffin

Recent surprise news is that the Russian-owned Akademik Ioffe and the Akademik Sergey Vavilov have apparently been withdrawn from carrying passsengers after twenty-five years. In a possibly contradictory announcement it was stated that the charteres in charge of these ships is actuallly a company based in Cyprus and not the Kalinigrad-based owners P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanography.

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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