Category: 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Lines, a number of different German owners, including NSB, but no longer Hamburg-Süd and Rickmers Line, which have both withdrawn.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. (more…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Scarlet Lady To Visit The UK – Other Cruise News: Silver Discoverer To Become La Belle des Océans – Crystal Mozart To Leave The Crystal Fleet

by Kevin Griffin

At CLIA’s annual UK Cruise Conference last week, Virgin Voyages announced that its new ship, the 2,700-berth Scarlet Lady, will visit one or maybe two UK ports on her way from her builders in Genoa to her home port of Miami next March. From elsewhere came news that river operator CroisiEurope would acquire a second seagoing vessel, by acquiring the Silver Discoverer from Silversea. And finally, the Crystal Mozart will leave the Crystal River Cruises fleet to operate for Genting Cruise Lines next year. (more…)

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Hanseatic Nature Sails From Hamburg – Other Cruise News: Victory Cruise Lines’ Great Lakes For 2020 – Two New Ships For Albatros Expeditions

by Kevin Griffin

This week sees news of two classes of expedition vessel, the first of three 230-berth “Hanseatic” class ships for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and the second and third of the 200-berth “Infinity” class for SunStone Ships. The Hanseatic Nature sailed from Hamburg on her maiden voyage last week and Victory Cruise Line’s announced that its Ocean Victory would trade to Alaska in 2021. The 8,000-ton Ocean Victory will be the largest “small ship” in Alaska since the 214-berth 8,282-ton Song of Flower, operated by Radisson Seven Seas Cruises and sold in 2003, and Cruise West’s 120-berth 4,280-ton Spirit of Oceanus, sold in 2010. Neatly tying in to the Ocean Victiory story is news that while Denmark’s Albatros Travel will be chartering her for use in Antartica, SunStone ships will build a sister vessel for Albatros, the Ocean Albatros, thus giving the latter two X-bowed sister ships of the “Infinity” class. In North America, meanwhile, the 202-berth sister ships Victory I and Victory 2 will introduce new itineraries next year. (more…)

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Voyages To Antiquity Cancels Ten Cruises – Other Cruise News: Saga Pearl II Sold – More Australian Cargo-Passenger Voyages

by Kevin Griffin

Last week Voyages to Antiquity was forced to cancel ten summer cruises due to engine trouble with their sole ship, Aegean Odyssey. Working With Ponant, Culture Cruises offered to rebook affected passengers on eight cruises by the French line. Elsewhere came the announcement that Saga had sold its Saga Pearl II to owners in the British Virgin Islands. And charters on three passenger-carrying container ships to Australia and New Zealand have been extended. (more…)

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

A Review Of The Luxury River Ship Crystal Debussy – Other Cruise News: Five “Edge” Class Ships For Celebrity Cruises – Jalesh Cruises Acquires Pacific Jewel

by Kevin Griffin

Built at MV Werften in 2018, the Crystal Debussy is one of two sister ships to have entered service on European rivers last year for Crystal River Cruises, bringing their fleet to five river ships. Last Tuesday, The Cruise Examiner, was able to visit the vessel in Amsterdam. Elsewhere, Celebrity Cruises announced an order for a fifth “Edge” class ship, the last three of which will be completed to a lengthened design. And in India, Essel Group’s Jalesh Cruises has commenced service between Mumbai and Goa with the 2,000-berth Karnika, formerly P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Jewel. (more…)

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner



An Announcement From The Cruise Examiner: The Launch Of Culture Cruises Limited – Other Cruise News: Virgin Jet Transfers

by Kevin Griffin

For more than a decade now, The Cruise Examiner has been taking an interest in cruises that are different from the norm. Columnist Kevin Griffin is now pleased to announce the formation of a new organisation to deal exclusively with small ship cruising, river cruises and expedition cruising. The new company will concentrate on special interest cruises and will go by the name of Culture Cruises Limited. (more…)

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

Seadream Announces New Ship – Other Cruise News: Dublin To Cut Cruise Ship Calls In Half – Viking Sky Escapes Harm

by Kevin Griffin

Last week saw the announcement of the name SeaDream Innovation as the line’s third yacht, and first expedition yacht. Able to travel the globe, she is for delivery in 2021. Elsewhere, Dublin surprised the whole world when it announced that it was going to cut the number of cruise calls at its port in half, in favour of cargo. And finally, Viking Cruises’ Viking Sky managed to escape a more serious fate when she managed top recover power on the night of Saturday and Sunday off the west coast of Norway. (more…)

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner



First Seabourn Expedition Ship Named – Other Cruise News: MSC Confirms Order For Four Luxury Ships – Queen Mary 2 To Offer Liverpool to New York Sailing

by Kevin Griffin

Last week saw the announcement of the name Seabourn Venture for the first Seabourn expedition ship, as well as the news that she would be built solely by Mariotti. Original joint venture building partner Damen is meanwhile proceeding on its own with an expedition ship order for another operator. From MSC Cruises came new last week of a firm order for four new luxury ships from Fincantieri. And news from Cunard of a July crossing from Liverpool to New York renews an old Cunard connection at Liverpool. (more…)

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

The MSC Bellisima Is Christened – Other Cruise News: Saga Cruises To Go All-Inclusive Earlier – Oceanco Unveils 345-foot Expedition Yacht Design

by Kevin Griffin

This weekend saw the stormy christening of MSC Cruises’ new MSC Bellissima in Southampton, from where she had just departed when this column was completed. Elsewhere in the news, Saga has announced that its new Spirit of Discovery will become an all-inclusive ship earlier than thought, while Holland’s Oceanco have introduced a new expedition yacht design at the Dubai Boat Show. (more…)

Posted in: News / The Cruise Examiner

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