Category: The Cruise Examiner

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

MSC Seaside Heads For Miami – Other Cruise News: Cruise Passenger Growth At Montreal – Hamburg-Süd Ships To Drop Passenger Trade

by Kevin Griffin

As MSC Cruises’ new MSC Seaside, first of a new class of cruise ship heads for her christening by Sophia Loren in Miami next week, we have a look at her on board offering. Montreal meanwhile reports a record cruise season, with 114,517 visitors. And Maersk Line’s December 1 acquisition of Hamburg-Süd sees the latter’s cargo ships leaving the passenger trades.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

MSC Cruises Plans Two Seaside Evo Ships From Fincantieri – Other Cruise News – New Sky Princess To Debut In 2019 – Northern Sea Wolf Passes Panama

by Kevin Griffin

As MSC Cruises’ new MSC Seaside, first of a new class of cruise ship, is being prepared to enter service later this month, an order has been placed for two “Seaside Evo” ships that will carry an extra 420 passengers. Elsewhere, Princess Cruises has announced that its fourth ship of the “Regal Princess” class will be named Sky Princess when she enters service in 2019. And in British Columbia, the third of their northern tourist ships, the Northern Sea Wolf, has now passed through Panama and will arrive soon for conversion into a day cruise ship between Vancouver Island and Bella Coola in the Great Bear Rainforest.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

World Dream Christened In Hong Kong – Other Cruise News – Celebrity Orders Galapagos Newbuilding – Celestyal Aegean Itineraries

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, Dream Cruises christened its new 3,352-berth World Dream at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong. Also last week, Celebrity Cruises announced that it would be introducing a newly-built 100-berth cruise ship to the Ecuadorean-flag Galapagos Islands fleet on 2019, and that a sister ship was planned to follow. Meanwhile, Athens-based Celesytal Cruises has confirmed that the Thomson Majestic would be joining the Louis-owned Celestyal Cruises fleet as Celesytal Majestic.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Lindblad Orders X-Bow Ship – Other Cruise News: New Chinese Cruise Ship Concept – Shell Cruising With LNG And Carnival

by Kevin Griffin

Lindblad Expeditions has now joined Aurora Expeditions in ordering a new 138-berth X-Bow expedition ship in Norway. The similar Aurora ship is being built in China. Elsewhere, current ferry builder Guangzhou Shipyard has exhibited a new design for a mid-sized cruise ship at the China Cruise Shipping event in Sanya last week and Carnival Cruise Line and Shell have announced an agreement for LNG bunker barge fuelling of two new ships to be built for Carnival.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Virgin Voyages: Adults Only – Other Cruise News: Coral Adventurer Itineraries – Queen Mary’s New Paint Job

by Kevin Griffin

Last Tuesday, Virgin Voyages unveiled initial details of its trio of 110,000-ton 2,860-berth new generation cruise ships. The most important announcement was that to the relief of many they will be adult ships. No waterslides, no bumper cars, no cartoon characters and noone else’s children. Still in the adult world, Coral Expeditions has announced its opening itineraries for its 120-berth Coral Adventurer, due out in 2019. And guest writer Shawn Dake from Long Beach tells us how the Queen Mary in Long Beach, which still accommodates regular guests, is getting a long overdue lick of paint after fifty years in Long Beach.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Queen Elizabeth: North To Alaska – Other Cruise News: Neo-Panamax Cruise Ships – Saguenay Season

by Kevin Griffin

In May 2019, after crossing the Pacific from Japan, Cunard Line’s 2,101-berth Queen Elizabeth will offer a spring season of four cruises from Vancouver to Alaska. This will also be the first time a ship called Queen Elizabeth has visited British Columbia since 1942. Meanwhile, the Panama Canal Authority marked the passage of the first super-sized Neo-Panamax cruise ship to use the expanded waterway, when the 3,114-berth Caribbean Princess did so last Thursday. And back up north, the Canadian port of Saguenay closed out another successful cruise season.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Celebrity Edge To Europe In 2019 – Other Cruise News: The B Debuts – Crystal’s Shorter Cruises

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, it was announced that the Celebrity Edge, the first of four new generation ships, will be based in Europe in 2019. On top of this, the existing Celebrity fleet of nine will be refurbished between 2019 and 2023 as the four new ships are delivered. Elsewhere, the world’s first cruise ship designed for Millenials, U by Uniworld’s The B, is to enter service on the Seine next spring, to be followed by a second ship, The A, on the Rhine. Finally, Crystal Cruises has added to its selection of short cruises with five 6- to 8-day cruises for 2018 in addition to the seven that are being sold this year.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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

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.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner