Archive for the ‘The Cruise Examiner’ Category

Boom In Expedition Ship Orders – Other Cruise News: A’Rosa Plans New River Ships – Swan Hellenic: Minerva Or Another?

Monday, February 13th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Over the past year there has been a boom in expedition ship orders, with sixteen vessels now on order and options placed for at least five more. Of these, half a dozen will be Polar Class 6, built for summer/autumn operation in medium first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions, in Arctic and Antarctic waters. Elsewhere, Rostock-based A’Rosa Cruises may be about to order additional river cruisers, while Swan Hellenic is looking for a replacement ship for the Minerva. (more…)

Bravo UK: A Cruise Of The Performing Arts – Other Cruise News: Silversea To Issue Bonds – G Adventures Acquires Swan Hellenic

Monday, February 6th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Late last month, Cruiseco UK and Choose Your Cruise announced a charter cruise of the performing arts on board Celebrity Cruises’ “Solstice” class ship Celebrity Silhouette. To be named Bravo, it will sail from Southampton on May 19, 2018, and follows four such cruises performed or scheduled from Sydney since 2014 in Radiance of the Seas. Topping the bill of twenty-five acts are Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE and English tenor Alfie Boe. Elsewhere, Silversea has become one of the first cruise lines to issue bonds in a $550 million refinancing package. And Toronto-based G Adventures is now set to resurrect Swan Hellenic for a second time, in 2018. (more…)

Millennials And Cruising – Other Cruise News: Russians Aquire Cruise Ship For Crimea – Stern’s Guide to European Riverboats

Monday, January 30th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Recently there has been more attention paid to the younger passengers, the so-called millennials, and their role and interest in cruising. So this week we take a quick look at what is happening in the cruise market for 18-34-year olds. The Russians, meanwhile, are busy getting back into the cruise business with a newly-acquired cruise ship to serve Crimea. And the latest edition of Stern’s Guide to European Riverboats and Hotel Barges is now available. (more…)

Two New Ships For Holland America Group – Other Cruise News: Virgin To Fly Adonia Passengers To Barbados – Carnival Australia To Report To Los Angeles

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

This week sees two items of news from Carnival Corp & plc’s Pacific-based operations. First it has ordered new ships for each of Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. And second, Carnival Australia is now to report to Los Angeles instead of Seattle. And elsewhere under the Carnival umbrella, the Adonia returns to P&O Cruises from Fathom, and will be based in Barbados next winter. (more…)

Empress Follows Churchill’s Tampa Route To Cuba – Other Cruise News: Oceania And Viking Sail To Havana From Miami – Small Ship Cruises To Cuba

Monday, January 16th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Cruises from the US to Cuba have been making the news over the past year, with the final result that permission was granted last month for seven US-based cruise lines to make calls on Cuba in 2017. While this is a big difference from the days when a ship that called in Cuba was not allowed to re-enter the United States for six months, there remains an air of uncertainty to the whole subject. So far, the majority of cruises have only been approved until May. And with a change of US administration this week, it is perhaps too early to know where this will go. But here we briefly survey the product that has been approved for sale so far. (more…)

Seabourn Encore Named In Singapore – Other Cruise News: “No Leisure Group” – Star Cruises From Taiwan

Monday, January 9th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

Saturday saw the naming in Singapore of the 604-berth Seabourn Encore, latest addition to the world’s fleet of ultra-luxury cruise ships. As promised last week, we bring you an update on the liquidation of Britain’s All Leisure Group. And finally, Star Cruises has announced a new series of 5-night cruises from Kaohsiung, Hong Kong and Manila for the 1,870-berth SuperStar Virgo. (more…)

All Leisure Cancels Voyager And Minerva Cruises – Other Cruise News: TUI Group Cruise Business Up – UK Minor Cruise Ports On The Rise

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

This week sees some surprise news from All Leisure Group, who have just cancelled cruises scheduled to leave this week on the Minerva from Marseille and on the Voyager from Port Kelang. Speculation has the two ships going to other operators and rumours so far have centred on Phenix Reisen or Saga Cruises for the Minerva (both of these companies have operated this ship before) and an Asian operator or Celestyal Cruises for the Voyager. Meanwhile, TUI’s cruise business continues to thrive and we have a look at the latest cruise port news from Holyhead and Poole, two smaller cruise ports in the UK. (more…)

P&O Australia Back To Hand-Me-Downs – Other Cruise News: Search On For New Liverpool Cruise Terminal – New 42-Day Caribbean Cargo-Passenger Service

Monday, December 19th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Last week it was announced that P&O Cruises Australia’s first newbuilding would instead be allocated to Carnival Cruise Line, from whence had sprung the design for this ship. At the same time, Liverpool is looking to build a new cruise terminal and CMA CGM is introducing a new Europe-Caribbean cargo-passenger service from London. (more…)

Seabourn Encore Delivered – Other Cruise News: Three Ships For Thomson Cruises’ Caribbean – Croisières de France to Disappear

Monday, December 12th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Recenly delivered in Italy, Seabourn’s new 600-berth Seabourn Encore, the line’s biggest ship since the 793-berth Seabourn Sun (1998-2002), has now joined the Seabourn fleet and is on her way to Singapore for her christening by Sarah Brightman. Meawnhile, the Royal Caribbean and TUI-affiliated UK arm of TUI Cruises will have three ships in the Caribbean this winter, with flights by Thomson Airways from a network of ten UK airports. And a week after the announcement of the disappearance of Fathom as a ship operator comes news that a longer-established brand, Croisières de France, is also being assigned to the dustbin of history. (more…)

Fathom To Become Phantom? – Other Cruise News: Crystal Esprit’s Caribbean – Jacques Cartier To Enter Overnight Cruise Trade

Monday, December 5th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

This week we have a look at the recently-announced demise of Fathom as its own ship operating company, although it will continue to exist. The line will operate the 704-berth Adonia to Cuba and the Dominican Republic until the spring of 2017, at which time she will go back to P&O Cruises in the UK. Elswhere, a small ship called the Jacques-Cartier is being converted into a 66-berth cruise ship in the St Lawrence while the 62-berth Crystal Esprit will be moved to the West Indies next year. (more…)

Oceanwide Expeditions’ 180-berth Hondius – Other Cruise News: 50 Years Ago: The Jamaica Queen and The Sunward – Saga’s Second Ship Still An Option

Monday, November 28th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Last week came news that Oceanwide Expeditions has ordered a new 180-berth expedition ship from the Brodosplit shipyard in Croatia for delivery in 2019. We also have a look back this week at events of fifty years ago that featured Arison Shipping and two ships, the short-lived Jamaica Queen and the somewhat longer-lived Sunward. These events precipitated not only the founding of Norwegian Cruise Line but also what later became today’s Carnival Group & plc. Finally, we have received a correction from Saga on the planning of their second new vessel. (more…)

MSC Cruises To Return To The UK – Other Cruise News: Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen – Saga Confirms Second New Ship?

Monday, November 21st, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Last week came news from MSC Cruises that it would be returning to the ex-UK market in 2017/18, with its 2,550-berth MSC Magnifica to be based in Southampton in 2018. Elsewhere, Hurtigruten has announced that its new 530-berth expedition ship Roald Amundsen would be based at Punta Arenas, Chile, in 2018, while the 254-berth Fram and 600-berth Midnatsol will work from Ushuaia, Argentina. Meanwhile, Saga is reported to have confirmed a second order for a less than 1,000-berth ship from Meyer Werft in Papenburg. (more…)

New Ships For Celestyal Cruises? – Other Cruise News: New Owners For STX? – Amadeus Picks Up Rhone Slack

Monday, November 7th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

This week, from a study that Knud E Hansen did of mid-size cruise ships powered by LNG versus HFO come two illustrations that might be protoypes for Celestyal Cruises, who admitted a couple of months ago that they were investigating newbuildings. Meanwhile, four bidders have made offers to acquire either the shipbuilders STX or cruise ship builders STX France, or the two together. As two of the bidders are Fincantieri and Damen, speculation is STX France, the former Chantiers de l’Atlantique, may soon acquire new owners. And on the Rhône, Amadeus looks set to pick up to some of the slack Crystal left behind when they cancelled their French river cruise plane. (more…)

Contest To Name P&O’s New 5,200-Berth Ship – Other Cruise News: Ventus Australis – Fifty Years Ago: The Stars of 1966

Monday, October 31st, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

This week, we have a look at P&O’s new flagship, which is to be introduced four years from now, and their plans to choose a name for her by running a contest. Elswhere, Cruceros Australis have chosen the name Ventus Australis for their own new 210-berth flagship. And we travel fifty years back in time, to 1966, to have a look at the Kungsholm and the Eugenio C, two of the finest ships produced in the era just before the cruise ship boom of the early 1970s. (more…)

Virgin Voyages – Other Cruise News: Louisiane Sets Sail – Hanjin Shuts Down In Europe

Monday, October 24th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

In an announcement that did not give too much away the Virgin Group announced last week that its new cruise operation would now be called Virgin Voyages. Meanwhile French America Line’s 150-berth Louisiane has now entered service from New Orleans. And container operator Hanjin Lines, some of whose ships carried passengers, has announced that it is closing its Europe-Asia business. (more…)

Royal Caribbean’s New LNG Orders – Other Cruise News: Damen Reveals New Expedition Design – More New Ships For Norwegian?

Monday, October 17th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Last week came news that from Royal Caribbean that it would be introducing a new class of mega 200,000-ron cruise ship to carry 5,000 passengers. But this class will be different because it will be dual-fueled, relying mainly on LNG for its main proplulsion units by Caterpillar MaK. The first to ships are to be delieverd in 2022 and 2024. Meanwhile, the Netherlands-based shipbuilder Damen has released details of a new expedition cruise ship design that joins three or four others that are also now on the market. And from Italy come rumours of a new multi-ship order for Fincentieri from Norwegian Cruise Line. (more…)

Crystal Cruises Slows Its Tempo – Other Cruise News: Dream Cruises’ First New Ship – Genting Malaysia Shares To Golden Hope

Monday, October 10th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Over the past few weeks has come news that the various arms of Crystal Cruises are incurring delays or postponements in the delivery of new ships from what was originally announced. Now part of cruise operator Genting Hong Kong, Crystal shares quarters with Dream Cruises and Star Cruises in the pantheon of Genting cruise products. Dream Cruises’ first new ship delivers in Germany this Wednesday. And out of Malaysia comes news of Golden Hope taking its interest in Genting Hong Kong up to 64%. (more…)

China Closer To Building Cruise Ships – Other Cruise News: MSC Cruises Adds More China – NCLH Management Triumvirate

Monday, September 26th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Last week came news that the Carnival-China State Shipbuilding-China Investment cruise shipping joint venture would order two with an option for two more 133,500-ton cruise ships from the Fincantieri-China Shipbuilding joint venture. The four ships are to be built by China Shipbuilding’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipyard in Pudong. These vessels, along with a number of existing ships to be transferred in from the Carnival fleet, will form the basis of a new Chinese brand to be based in Hong Kong. Just before this announcement, MSC Cruises said that it would be sending its 3,274-berth MSC Splendida to work out of China in 2018. Meanwhile, over at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, each of the three brands, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises has now been given its own president and ceo. (more…)

Three New Mississippi Riverboats – Other Cruise News: Ponant Names “Four Explorers” – More Cuba For Fathom

Monday, September 19th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

This week we cover three new riverboats on the Mississippi, American Cruise Lines’ 195-berth America, French America Line’s 150-berth Louisiane and American Queen Steamboat Company’s 166-berth American Duchess, announced last week. Also announced last week were Explorer names for Ponant’s four 184-berth newbuildings: Le Bougainville, Le Champlain, Le Kerguelen and Le Lapérouse. Finally, earlier this month, Fathom announced two more Miami departures for Cuba with its 710-berth Adonia. (more…)

New P&O Flagship To Follow AIDA/Costa Design – Other Cruise News: Celestyal Cruises Plans Newbuildings

Monday, September 12th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Last week came an announcement from P&O Cruises that it was ordering a new 5,200 lower-berth cruise ship that will have 42.5% more lower berth capacity than the line’s last ship, the 3,647-berth Britannia, but 10% less space per passenger. At the same time, Celestyal Cruises is talking about building a pair of 60,000-ton 1,800-berth ships that would be designed for 3- and 4-day cruising, and making some other changes in its operations as two ships are due to return from the end of charters with Thomson Cruises. (more…)

Two Sister Ships For Hapag-Lloyd Cruises – Other Cruise News: New Ship For Cruceros Australis – Ugliness of the Seas

Monday, August 29th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has announced plans for two 240-berth expedition cruise ships that will be the third and fourth in the world to be constructed to Polar Class. To be delivered in 2019, they will follow the Crystal Endeavour and Scenic Eclipse, both due in August 2018. Down Under in Chile, Cruceros Australis have confirmed an order for a 210-berth cruise ship from Chilean builders Asenave. Meanwhile, we also have a look at scrubbers on cruise ships. (more…)

CMV’s Columbus Plans 121-Night 2018 World Cruise – Other Cruise News: New Cruise Ship Design For Russia

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Following the 2017 Word Cruise planned by its 1,250-berth Magellan this winter, CMV will upgrade its World Cruise ship in 2018 to the 1,550-berth Columbus, which it is acquiring from P&O Cruises Australia. Meanwhile, in Russia, plans are unveiled for a new 310-berth Sea and River class cruise ship. (more…)

CMA CGM’s North Atlantic Passenger Services – Round the World In 84 Days – Baltic Levant Express – Passengers In Kingston Again

Monday, August 8th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

In January, we brought you the relaunch of CMA CGM’s Europe-Australia cargo-passenger service with four new ships. But now, with so many things happening at CMA CGM, we have decided to devote this column to bringing readers up to date. First off, CMA CGM is reviving its North Atlantic service, with four ships on two regular routes. It has also recently lauched a 7-ship 84-day Round-the-World service from Ensenada, Mexico, and Singapore. In Europe, it has added four ships to its new Baltic Levant Express service that connects the UK and European ports with St Petersburg at one end and Alexandria at the other. And finally, the purchase of Kingston Container Terminal may soon see more passenger trade via Jamaica. (more…)

Montreal’s New Cruise Terminal – Other Cruise News: New Investors In Hurtigruten? – “Shipless” In Seattle

Monday, August 1st, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Montreal’s cruise terminal is closed down this summer while it is rebuilt and two temporary terminals have been installed downstream from the iconic Jacques Cartier Bridge to stand in for this season. About five miles from town, passengers are being given free shuttles into town but it will be a welcome day next year when the new terminal opens as it is within walking distance of downtown montreal. Elsewhere, we examine a rumour that new owners may be in the mix for Hurtigruten in the near future and look briefly at small ship marketing in Seattle. (more…)

The New Hurtigruten Ships – Other Cruise News: Titan Enters River Cruising With Serenade I – Grand Circle Cruise To Cuba

Monday, July 25th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

This week, we have a closer look at the first two new Rolls Royce-designed Hurtigruten ships, recently ordered at Norway’s Kleven shipyard. Some of their features actually date back to ships on the Great Lakes a century ago, while others will be much more modern. We also look at Titan River Cruises chartering its own ship from Spring 2017. And Grand Circle Cruise Line of Boston plans to run its m.v. Clio between Miami and Cuba starting in January 2017. (more…)

“The World’s Most Luxurious Cruise Ship” – Other Cruise News: Ponant’s Sea Voyages – Trouble On The Amazon

Monday, July 18th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

This week, we look at Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new Seven Seas Explorer, said by Regent to be the most luxurious ship ever built. We assess the first reactions and compare her to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2. Elsewhere, Marseilles-based Ponant is launching a number of sea voyages, mostly non-stop port-to-port ocean voyages such as Vancouver to Honolulu and Boston to Portland. And trouble erupts on the upper Amazon River in Peru, where one river cruiser was attacked by bandits last week and another sank at her dock in Iquitos, with four crew members missing after an explosion on Saturday. (more…)

Potential Effects of Brexit On Cruising – Other Cruise News: Genting’s German Shipyards – Southern Sea Cruises

Monday, July 11th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

This week, although it is early to say, we have a look at the potential impact of the UK leaving the EU on cruise shipping. Much of the reaction so far, as in many other industries, is wait and see, and react when necessary, but it will be a while before all of the effects are known. We also have a look at what is happening to Genting’s shipyards in Germany and report on some of the inital reactions to the opening of China COSCO Shipping-affiliated Southern Sea Cruises in China. (more…)

Queen Mary 2 Refit A Success – Other Cruise News: Louisiane Headed For New Orleans – Adventure of the Seas To Acquire 100 More Cabins – New TUI Names

Monday, July 4th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, internet problems caused the column to be postponed, but now that Queen Mary 2 has completed her first Transatlantic voyage since her 25-day drydocking in Hamburg, we bring you the latest report. Elsewhere, French America Line’s Louisiane has begun her 5,000-nautical mile journey from Portland, Oregon, to New Orleans in preparation for her entry into service on the Mississippi. And on the other end of the scale, Royal Caribbean International’s Adventure of the Seas is to gain another 100 cabins in a refit later this year at Freeport. Finally, a quick footnote on upcoming changes at TUI Cruises and Thomson Cruises. (more…)

Port Out Southampton Home, An Exhibition – Other Cruise News: Queen Mary 2 Refit Completes – Airline Seat Pitches

Monday, June 20th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

This week we have a look at a 15-month exhibition being mounted by Southampton’s SeaCity Museum on the subject of ocean liners. This Thursday, meanwhile, sees the largest ocean liner ever built go back into service when Queen Mary 2 leaves Southampton for New York after a 25-day refit estimated to have cost about $55 million. She will have room for 75 more passengers and more pets. Finally, we look at the subject of seat pitch on cruise line flights. (more…)

St Helena Sailings Extended As Airport Delayed – Other Cruise News: National Geographic Quest – Iceland Pro Cruises

Monday, June 13th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

This week the news is all about small ships. First, the 128-berth St Helena and Ascension supply ship RMS St Helena visited London during her last UK visit before leaving service. At the same time, however, because wind shear is preventing safe landings at the new St Helena airport, her contract has been extended for three more voyages from Cape Town. Next up, Lindblad have revealed preliminary itinerary details for their latest ship, the 100-berth Quest, which is due to enter service a year from now. And finally, the 224-berth Ocean Diamond has started her second season for Iceland Pro Cruises out of Reykjavik. (more…)

Legend of the Seas To Become TUI Discovery 2 – Other Cruise News: Celebrity’s Exclusive Charter Flights – First Carnival Newbuild Goes For Scrap

Monday, June 6th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Last week came news that Royal Caribbean would be selling its Legend of the Seas to Thomson Cruises, following in the wake of the Splendour of the Seas, which was delivered to Thomson last month and now operates as TUI Discovery. We also have a look at Celebrity Cruises’ dedicated charter flights in two different markets, the UK and Canada. And finally, the first of Carnival’s purpose-built cruise ships to go to the scrappers is the Henna, which was built as Carnival’s third new ship, the Jubilee, in 1986. (more…)

Carnival’s Big Advertising Deal – Other Cruise News: Queen Mary 2 Begins Blohm & Voss Refit – New Orders By Royal Caribbean

Monday, May 30th, 2016

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, Carnival Corp & plc announced that it was awarding a major advertising contract to PHD to act as its international media agency of record for the seven of its ten brands that comprise the Anglo-American English-speaking market. The brands that are not included are AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises, which work in different language markets in Europe, and P&O Cruises Australia, based in a different geographical market. Meanwhile, Queen Mary 2 arrived at the Blohm & Voss yard in Hamburg in for a 25-day refit that will see new cabins and facilities added. And Royal Caribbean has ordered another “Oasis” class ship as well as two more “Edge” class ships for its Celebrity Cruises brand. (more…)