Category: The Cruise Examiner

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

Royal Caribbean Acquires Silversea – Other Cruise News: New Expedition Ship For Quark – Havana Expansion

by Kevin Griffin

The big question before last week was who would eventually take over Silversea Cruises, and the shoe has finally dropped. After some experimental financing through Chinese interests on recent years, Royal Cariibean Cruises has finally walked away with a two-thirds share of Silversea for about $1 billion. Elsewhere, Quark Expeditions has ordered a new 13,000-ton 200-berth expedition ship, and Turkish port operator Global Ports Holding has signed a 15-year contract to manage the cruise port in Havana.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Holland America Acquires White Pass & Yukon Route – Other Cruise News: 105 Years Ago – The Endurance

by Kevin Griffin

Last week came news that Carnival Corp & plc, through a member of its subsidiary Holland America Group, was acquiring the 400,000-passenger White Pass & Yukon route, the narrow gauge railway that connects Alaska’s Inside Passage with Canada’s Yukon Territory over the Gold Rush route of 1899. Elsewhere, we look back a little more than a century to one of the world’s first expedition cruise ships, the Polaris of 1913, which in 1914 would become Shackleton’s Endurance.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Thirty Years of Ponant – Other News: James Cook – The Voyages

by Kevin Griffin

From its beginnings in April 1988, when it was founded by several officers of the French mercant marine, Ponant has been the only cruise line to sail under the French flag. The line has introduced a new style of cruising, an amalgam of sea travel, exceptional itineraries and elegant hotel service aboard ships of an intimate scale. And now, by 2021, it will be the world’s largest expedition cruise company, with a full icebreaker, ten expedition ships and the line’s mascot, the original sailing ship Le Ponant.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Virgin Voyages Reveals Public Areas – Other Cruise News: P&O Cruises’ Iona – This Week’s Voyage

by Kevin Griffin

Virgin Voyages, the new cruise line that does not enter service until 2020, has revealed some images of its proposed ships’ interiors. Meanwhile, P&O Cruises in the UK has announced the name Iona for its newest and largest ship, which also enters service in 2020. And this week we look at itineraries of the Baltimore-based Grandeur of the Seas.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Hapag-Lloyd To Order A Third Hanseatic Class Ship – Other Cruise News: Azamara To Include South Africa – Recent River Line Changes

by Kevin Griffin

As the German and international cruise markets continue to grow TUI Group has chosen to order a third 230-berth “Hanseatic” class expedition ship, for delivery in 2021. And with the addition of a third ship, Azamara Club Cruises has announced that South Africa will be added to its itineraries in 2020. Finally we have a look at changes on the river cruise line scene in the UK.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

The Marella Explorer Class – Other Cruise News: Norwegian Bliss Sets Panama Record – This Week’s Voyage

by Kevin Griffin

As the first of two sister ships delivers this week to TUI UK’s Marella Cruises, we have a look at the original Celebrity Cruises trio of Century, Galaxy and Mercury. Elsewhere, the Norwegian Bliss has today set a record for largest cruise ship to transit the Panama Canal. And Oceania’s Sirena offers an interesting Calfornia itinerary for December 2019.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Antarctica Passenger Record – Other Cruise News: Solid Growth at Lindblad – This Week’s Voyage

by Kevin Griffin

The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) reported a record of 51,700 cruise and expedition visotors to Antarctca in 2017-18, a new record. The 1st Quarter Earnings report from Lindblad Expeditions came as evidence of this growth. Elsewhere, Princess is reporting strong demand for a UK to Canada and New England cruise in 2019 with the 2,670-berth Sapphire Proncess.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

SunStone Firms Second Ship Contract – Other Cruise News: Antarctica 21 Rebrand – EYOS Luxury Yacht Departure For Antarctica

by Kevin Griffin

Last week SunStone Ships firmed up the second of a planned ten expedition ship orders from the China Merchants shipyard near Shanghai. In Chile, Antarctica 21 revealed its new branding. And EYOS Expeditions is planning an Antarctica explorer yacht voyage with the 30-berth Legend for January 2019.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Norwegian’s “Leonardo” Class Ships – Other Cruise News: Emerald Expands Into Coastal Cruising – APL Expands Transpacific Passenger Business

by Kevin Griffin

Last week Norwegian Cruise Line chief Andy Stuart spoke to Cruise Critic about the new Italian-built “Leonardo” class project of four 3,300-berth ships on which the line also has further options. On coastal and inland waterways, meanwhile, Emerald Waterways is adding a 36-berth yacht, the Adriatic Princess II, on the Dalmatian coast in 2019. And APL has now built up its passenger-carrying container ship fleet to fourteen ships.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Crystal Accepts Fifth River Cruiser – Other Cruise News: Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel Opens In October – Princess To Carry 200,000 From Australia In 2019/20

by Kevin Griffin

Last week saw the delivery of Crystal River Cruises’ fifth ship and fourth newbuilding in eight months, when the 106-berth Crystal Ravel was delivered in Wismar, Germany. Elsewhere, Cunard’s former North Atlantic liner Queen Elizabeth 2 is finally advancing towards opening this October as a floating hotel in Dubai. And Princess Cruises, with its Majestic Princess, Golden Princess, Ruby Princess and Sun Princess, prepares for a 200,000-guest season in Australia and New Zealand in 2019-20.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

ACL’s New Trans-Atlantic Passenger Service – Other Cruise News: Viking To Enter The Expedition Market? – Voyage of the Week: Bravo Music Cruise Sails In May

by Kevin Griffin

Last week saw the return of regular cargo-passenger service between Europe and New York, as well as Canada, with Atlantic Container Line inaugurating weekly passenger service on its new G4 roro container ships, carrying up to twelve passengers each. From Norway meanwhile came news that Viking Cruises was planning to order two “special” cruise ships from shipbuilders Vard. Finally, for this week’s voyage we look at Cruiseco’s Bravo Cruise of the Performing Arts on board Celebrity Silhouette in May.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Norwegian Coast Service To Be Revised – Other Cruise News: Symphony of the Seas Delivered – Voyage of the Week

by Kevin Griffin

The Norwegian Government has announced that effective January 2021 it will reorganise its subsidised coastal voyages by dividing contracts between two operators, the exisiting company, Hurtigruten, and newcomer Havila, who will build four new ships. Elsewhere, the world’s largest cruise ship, the 228,081-ton Symphony of the Seas, left Malaga on a sampler voyage on Saturday before setting out on her maiden voyage from Barcelona this Friday. Finally, for our special voyage this week we have chosen One Ocean Expeditions’ newest addition, their RCGS Resolute, which has been chartered by UK-based Exodus Travels for a special Antarctica voyage in November.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

National Geographic Endurance – Other Cruise News: SkySea Golden Era To Go To Marella – UK Christening For MSC Bellissima

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, at the keel-laying of Lindblad Expeditions’s new 12,300-ton 126-berth expedition ship, it was announced that she would be named National Geographic Endurance, after Shackleton’s ship. She could prove to be the first of three such Polar 5 sister ships, higher-rated than any expedition ship other than Ponant’s planned Polar 2 icebreaker. Elsewhere, Royal Caribbean has decided to close its SkySea joint ventuire with China’s CTrip and their SkySea Golden Era will be transferred to TUI’s UK affiliate Marella Cruises as Marella Explorer 2. Finally, MSC has announced that it will christen its 4,500-berth MSC Bellissima in Southampton on March 2, 2019.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

More Ships For Fewer Than 1,000 Passengers – Other Cruise News: UK Cruise Market Misses Two Million – CMV Acquires Pacific Eden

by Kevin Griffin

While recent news indicates that Viking Cruises’ ocean fleet may eventually number sixteen 930-berth ships, there is the possibility of four 700-berth ships being built for MSC Cruises, and four more 600-berth vessels for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. These would be in addition to the pair of 999-berth ships being built by Meyer Werft for Saga. The latest statistics for the UK cruise market revealed paltry growth last year, at 0.5%, for a total of 1,959,000 Brits taking a cruise. Germany surpassed two million cruisers in 2016. Finally, Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced yet another acquisition, whose name will be announced tomorrow.




Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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