Archive for the ‘The Cruise Examiner’ Category

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…)

Norwegian’s New Class Of Ships – Other Cruise News: More Cuba Cruises – The Quintessential One

Monday, February 20th, 2017

by Kevin Griffin

First mooted in the Italian press last October as an order for six 130,000-ton €700 million ships for Norwegian Cruise Line, announcement was made last week for four, with an option for two more, 140,000-ton ships of a slightly larger size and cost. Elsewhere, there has been more news of approved US sailings by mainline cruise lines to Cuba and from London comes news of a potential new super yacht to be called Quintessential One. (more…)

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…)