Posted in Cruise News

The Ritz-Carlton To Enter Luxury Cruise Market With Three Lavish ‘Yachts’

One of the world’s leading names in Luxury hotels,  The Ritz-Carlton, are to expand their operations into the luxury cruise market with three lavish ‘yachts’ as part of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

The new venture is a partnership between The Ritz-Carlton and maritime experts, Douglas Prothero and Lars Clasen with funds from Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. The Ritz-Carlton will provide guests with the luxury hospitality that land guests in their hotels are accustomed to and this will be part of a long term operating agreement. .

Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. added:

“The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true stand outs in some of the most glamorous ports around the world. This unique combination of yachting and cruising will usher in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover the world in a relaxed, casually elegant and comfortable atmosphere with the highest level of personalized service.”

Rendering of the new yachts. Image: The Ritz-Carlton.

The three ‘yachts’ will each measure 190 metres in length and will be able to accomodate 298 guests in 149 suites with their own balconies and also a selection of duplex penthouse suites. The interior designing will be a combination of The Ritz-Carlton and expert cruise ship design firm, Tilberg Design of Sweden. The interiors will offer a luxury but modern feel and this will allow the on board experience to parallel the experience of their luxury hotels on land of which The Ritz’Carlton are famed for.

Observation Lounge: Image: The Ritz-Carlton.
Living Room: Image: The Ritz-Carlton.
Owners Suite: Image: The Ritz-Carlton.
Grand Suite: Image: The Ritz Carlton

Douglas Prothero, Managing Director for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection expressed his and the company’s delight at the prospect of entering the luxury cruise market and continuing and expanding the reputation of the company. He added:

“The Ritz-Carlton is known for its legendary service and high standards”

Lars Clasen, co-Managing Director of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection shared his excitement at the prospect of establishing the company into the luxury cruise market. He said:

” We are delighted to collaborate with The Ritz-Carlton as our hospitality operator in offering the most exclusive yachting experience to be found at sea in a venture that will give new meaning to curated luxury travel,” 

Guests will enjoy itineraries that have been created to combine life in the The Ritz-Carlton’s luxury resorts and the idea of a cruise experience through a ‘yachting vacation’. Itineraries will range from seven to ten days and the first yacht will incorporate destinations including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Caribbean and Latin America. Unique destinations, not open to the likes of larger cruise ships, will include Capri and Portofino to St Barths and Cartagena. There will be a combination of both daytime and overnight ports of call of which guests will be able to enjoy more time ashore.

On board the yachts, guests will be able to enjoy unparalleled luxury with a restaurant by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg. Guests will enjoy being pampered in the signature Ritz-Carlton Spa. The ‘yacht’s will also boast a Panorama Lounge and wine bar, which will indulge guests with a variety of on-board entertainment.  The ‘yachts’ will offer a unique curated destination journeys through collaborations with local chef, musicians and artists, which will allow guests to enjoy the authentic experience of the destinations’ culture and traditions. 

The first ‘yacht’ in the series is due to enter service in late 2019.

Reservations will open in May 2018 and the ‘yachts’ will be available for private charter too.

The Ritz-Carlton are part of the Mariott International chain.


Source, feature image and main images: The Ritz-Carlton.


Posted in Cruise News

Pacific Explorer Says Hello To Sydney

P&O Cruises Australia’s newest and largest addition so far to the fleet, Pacific Explorer arrived in Sydney for the first time yesterday following her refit from Dawn Princess into her new guise as Pacific Explorer.

The 77.000grt ship underwent an extensive 12 day refit program which saw 25,000 square metres of new carpets laid on board, 10,000 square metres of walls repainted with the addition of more than 3,000 pieces of new furniture and over 1,200 pieces of artwork.

From Dawn Princess to Pacific Explorer. The ship in dry dock. Image: P&O Cruises Australia

The main additions to the ship were the two longest waterslides to ever be placed on an Australian based cruise ship.  In addition to that, a new Aqua Park was also added with other additions including a barefoot bowling green and P&OEdge Adventure Park.

Emblazoned on her bow is the new signature Southern Cross artwork, which debuted on Pacific Dawn earlier this year during her refit.

Pacific Explorer will depart Sydney on Wednesday on a one night cruise to no where, where travel agents, suppliers and Carnival Australia staff will be on board.

Once she arrives back into Sydney on Thursday, Pacific Explorer will then depart on her first departure of her scheduled year round departures from Sydney.

Whilst Pacific Explorer joins , Pacific Aria, Pacific Dawn, Pacific Eden and Pacific Jewel into the P&O Cruises Australia fleet, there will be another addition in 2019 with the introduction of the current Carnival Splendor. As yet there has been no decision on her new name but at 113,000grt and capacity for 3000 passengers, she will be the largest ship ever to sail in the P&O Cruises Australia fleet.

Feature image: Clyde Dickens/Cruise Industry News

Image: P&O Cruises Australia


Posted in Cruise News

7 Across…..The Crossword Crossing On Board Queen Mary 2

Cunard have announced in collaberation with The New York Times, a special Transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2 to help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the famed New York Times crossword.

Departing New York on 8th December 2017 bound for Southampton, guests on board the Cunard flagship will have the opportunity to test out their crossword skills on the 7 night crossing.

The New York Times crossword was created in January 1942 in an effort to distract readers from the attack on Pearl Harbour the month before and to offer comfort. Since then, the crossword has gone from strength to strength.

Speaking of the partnership with The New York Times for this crossing, Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president, Cunard North America said:

“The New York Times is one of the most esteemed news organizations in the world.We are proud to offer collaborations like this one, which will give our guests an extraordinary travel experience that they would not be able to find anywhere else.”

Sailing on board will be crossword experts such as Deb Amlen, Joel Fagliano and Ben Zimmer, whom all have had an influence on the New York Times crossword over the years.

Guests will also have the chance to purchase a special cruise package which includes brunch at The New York Times which will be hosted by Will Shortz, aka the ‘Puzzle Master’.

On board, there will be daily game sessions, lectures and also other crossword-themed activities in order to keep guests occupied.

Prices for this crossing start from £863 (Early Saver fare) for an inside stateroom, including flights, based on two sharing.

Source: Cunard/PR Newswire

Posted in Cruise News

Queen Mary 2 To The Rescue!

Cunard’s flagship, Queen Mary 2 became involved in a rescue operation on Saturday in the mid Atlantic after a number of yachts got into difficulties due to treacherous sea conditions in a severe storm.

Queen Mary 2 answered the distress calls from solo yachtsman Mervyn Wheatley’s yacht, Tamarind,  and was able to rescue him and bring him safely on board.

Mervyn and his yacht were part of a floatilla of 22  yachts competing in a transtatlantic race, organised by the Royal Western Yacht Club (RWYC)  from Plymouth, England to Newport, Rhode Island and the sea conditions on Saturday were so severe that they were facing waves of 15 metres and wind speeds of 60 knots.  Two other yachts also got into difficulty, one losing their mast and the other one sinking.


Queen Mary 2, seen here departing Southampton on 7th June, was on her way to New York via Halfiax on her 8 night Transtatlantic crossing when she answered the distress calls of Mervyn Wheatley.  Image: Cruisemarsh

Mervyn is safely on board Queen Mary 2 and they are now heading for Halifax.

Race director for the RWYC,  John Lewis, spoke to the  BBC  and confirmed that three race competitors gave off emergency signals, and a further two needed help from the Canadian coastguard in Halifax.

“I’ve been involved with these races for 25 years now, and this is the most extreme low depression going across the Atlantic at this time of year. So it’s very unusual, but these are professional sailors, they’re used to arduous conditions but not really a once in a lifetime storm like this one.”

Captain Chris Wells confirmed the safe rescue of Mr Wheatley by Queen Mary 2, he spoke to the BBC and said:

“Mr Wheatley had been found in “big seas” with high waves, and was brought aboard via the ship’s rescue boat. He is very happy to be here. I think he will have a much more leisurely and luxury transit to the other side of the Atlantic than he would have done in his 38-foot boat.”

The crew of the other yachts affected by the storm were safely rescued too.

Queen Mary 2 is expected to berth in Halifax on Tuesday 13th June before departing for New York.


Feature Image: Cruisemarsh

Image: Cruisemarsh

Source: BBC

Posted in Cruise News

Columbus Is Officially Re-Named By Angela Rippon

A new era for Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV)  has begun after their newest aquisition and  flaghip Columbus was named by famed British tv presenter and former newsreader, Angela Rippon, in a glittering ceremony on board in Tilbury, on Thursday 8th June. Our editor, Anthony and Assitant Editor Christian were on board to witness proceedings.

                       Angela Rippon about to pull the chord to unveil the naming plaque for the ship. Image: Anthony Marshall

As her role of Godmother, Angela Rippon performed the re-naming duties and welcomed the ship into the Cruise and Maritime Voyages fleet.

During the ceremony, Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ CEO and Chairman Christian Verhounig raised the possibility of another new ship was in the offing and that an announcement will made very soon.

                                   Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ CEO and Chairman Christian Verhounig Image: Anthony Marshall

Chris Coates, Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ Commercial Director also revealed that the future of Marco Polo was secure until 2019, ending speculation that they were looking to move her on from the fleet.

                                                                  Chris Coates, Commercial Director of CMV. Image: Anthony Marshall.

Columbus, at 63,786grt is the largest ship within the CMV fleet. at 811 feet long, the ship can accomodate 1400 passengers in 775 cabins and will have a crew of just over 700, which means 1 crew member to every 2 passenger ratio.

The launch of Columbus coincides with a successful period for CMV with expected figures of 130,000 passengers in 2018 over the 5 ships within the fleet. This is a marked contrast to figures from their first year of service in 2010 when only 30,000 passengers sailed with the company that year.  With that in mind, CMV carries 5000 beds, 4000 staff members and crew and with 1.3m bed nights at their disposal. 2018 will see CMV and their fleet of 5 ocean going ships visit 65 countries around the world, including Columbus’s 121 night maiden world cruise which departs in January 2018.

After the renaming ceremony, an evening’s programme of entertainment got underway, including a sumptious 5 course Gala Dinner in the Waterfront Restaurant at 19.00 with a Baked Alaska parade included.

The hightlight of the entertainment schedule was the firework display at 10pm. This was to celebrate the renaming of the ship as Columbus and it certainly lit up the Kent sky, it was quite a show indeed.  A deck party followed with celebrity looalikes including Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous and Captain Jack Sparrow making an appearance. Guests were then able to enjoy what Columbus had to offer and the late night disco in The Dome proved very popular indeed.


What a show CMV put on. Columbus looked splendid as she basked in her new CMV colurs and the benefit of the recent refit in Rotterdam. It was the first naming ceremony that our Editor and Assistant Editors Anthony and Christian had been too and they both were not disappointed. It was an incredible welcome for Columbus in her home within the CMV fleet.

Columbus will depart on her maiden voyage on Sunday 11th June for 3 nights to Amsterdam and Antwerp. Our editor, Anthony, will be onboard for the cruise, so please look out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates throughout the cruise.


Images: Anthony Marshall








Posted in Cruise News

New Cruise Ships Set To Be Built For Un-Named German Company In Croatia?

Reports are circulating that an un-named German cruise company is set to conclude a deal with Croatian shipyard, Brodosplit, to build two new ships which both would carry 1200 passengers.

Although no such contract has been signed or finalised, it is believed that negotiations are coming to a successful conclusion.

Croatian newspaper website Slobodna Dalmacija are reporting that the two new ships will be the largest passengers ships constructed in Croatia and each will measure 250m long, have 12 decks and cost €340m each.

It is anticipated that once the full financial package and contracts have been agreed, then an announcement will be made.


Feature Image: Brodosplit Shipyard

Source: Slobodna Dalmacija

Posted in Cruise News

Tilbury Welcomes Columbus For The First Time

Cruise and Martime Voyages (CMV) new flagship, Columbus, has arrived into Tilbury for the first time after her refit work in Rotterdam was completed.

The 63,786grt ship will be hosting various events over the next few days, prior to her maiden three night cruise on Sunday. She will be named by Angela Rippon on Thursday with guests being invited from all spectrums of the travel industry to witness the event.

                               Columbus arriving in Tilbury this morning. Image: London International Cruise Terminal Facebook

Columbus at 811ft long and with a beam of 105ft, will be able to accomodate 1400 passengers in 775 cabins, with 150 being allocated for single occupancy. She is the largest cruise ship in the Cruise and Maritime Voyages fleet.

Originally ordered for Sitmar, she was to be named Sitmar FairMajesty. However with the takeover of Sitmar Line by Princess Cruises, the ship was transferred whilst still under construction to Princess Cruises and in 1989 she emerged as Star Princess.

In 1997 she was transferred over the Princess Cruises then parent company, P&O Cruises and was re-named Arcadia. She was seen as a replacement for then recently retired Canberra which had left the fleet to head for the breakers yard.

2003 saw her change liveries and lines again but this time she was transferred to a new cruise line created by P&O Princess to attract a younger clientiele of passengers who ‘don’t do cruising’, called Ocean Village. Her name was also changed to Ocean Village and her time was split between sailing in the Med and the Caribbean throughout the year.

Her nomadic career continued in 2010 when she was again transferred to another Carnival Corporation brand, P&O Cruises Australia where she was renamed Pacific Pearl. She would prove to a popular ship for the Australia and New Zealand Market and completed 294 cruises for the company, carrying 500,000 passengers in her near 7 year spell with the company.

It was announced in Spring 2016 that Pacific Pearl would be leaving the P&O Cruises Australia fleet due to a planned fleet renewal programme for the cruise line and shortly afterwards it was announced that Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) would be the new home for the popular ship, with cruises departing in summer 2017.

And so, 6th June 2016 represents another milestone for the well travelled ship, with her arrival as Columbus into her new homeport of Tilbury.

Another exciting new chapter in the history of Cruise and Maritime Voyages too!

Columbus’s maiden three night voyage on Sunday will take her to Amsterdam and Antwerp and our editor, Anthony, will be on board for the cruise. So please keep an eye out for updates on our Facebook page.


We wish Columbus every success in her new home.


Featured Image and main image: London International Cruise Terminal Facebook Page

Sources: P&O Cruises Australia, Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV)



Posted in Cruise News

MSC Orders 4 New ‘World Class’ Cruise Ships

MSC Cruises today announced that they have ordered 4 ‘World Class’ cruise ships which will be the largest ships constructed for the company

According to the MSC Fans website, the new ships will measure 200,000grt with a length of 335m with capacity for 5400 passengers in double occupancy. The ‘World Class’ ships will also be powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). Another interesting feature will be the x-bow, which will give the ships a more modern and somewhat streamlined appearance. More and more cruise lines are looking to the x-bow design with Norwegian Cruise Line adding the design to their Project Leonardo design.

The first ship is scheduled for delivery in 2022 with the remaining three due for delivery in 2024, 2025 and 2026 respectively.

Image: MSC Cruises

Source: MSC Fans.

Posted in Cruise News

Keel Laying Of Norwegian Bliss Taken Place Today

The first section of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss’s keel was laid today at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. This marks the start of the construction and assembly of the ship, which is scheduled to be delivered in Spring 2018.

The 350 ton section was positioned by crane on to the traditional “Glückscent” (lucky penny) which Andy Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line had placed on the stocks moments earlier.

Rendering of Norwegian Bliss. Image: Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)

Andy Stuart ackowledged his and on behalf of NCL’s delight at the partnership between the cruise line and Meyer Werft and the start of construction for Norwegian Bliss.

“We are thrilled today to celebrate the binding of Norwegian Bliss with the Meyer shipyard,”

“Today we have placed the first of 90 blocks in our Baudock. With Norwegian Bliss, we will once again create a very innovative and technologically sophisticated vessel with our team“. Added Tim Meyer, Meyer Werft Managing Director.

The ship will measure 167,800grt, with a length of 324m and a width of 41.4m and will be the largest ship constructed to date for Norwegian Cruise Line.

Once the ship is completed and passed all sea trials and formalities, the Norwegian Bliss will depart for a summer season in Alaska in 2018 before heading to the Caribbean for the winter.


Feature Image: Meyer Werft

Source: Meyer Werft.

Image: Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)


Posted in Cruise News

Fred Dips Toes Into European River Cruising Scene

Fred Olsen have announced they are entering European River Cruising in 2018 with the introduction of Brabant.

The 156 passenger ship, currently sailing as Amadeus Princess, will be chartered by Fred Olsen between April and November 2018 with a total of 30 departures pencilled in.

Brabant will undertake various itineraries on some of Europe’s most iconic rivers, including the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle, ranging from five nights to 25 nights. Guests will have the opportunity to visit countries such as Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Hungary, Switzerland and Romania on the 2018 itineraries.

Guests will enjoy a good proportion of scenic cruising during the day time as well as making the most of the time in the various ports of call.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Sales and Marketing Director, Justin Stanton Justin Stanton, was delighted at the news and said:

“At Fred. Olsen, we specialise in creating a ‘home-from-home’ atmosphere on our ocean cruises, and we are proud to be bringing our many decades of expertise and rich sailing heritage to the river cruise market for the very first time. In fact, the name Brabant harks back to Fred. Olsen’s historic passenger ship of the same name from the 1920s.

“Guests can rest assured that the new Fred. Olsen river cruises will be underpinned by the usual high standards, award-winning customer service and understated elegance that they have come to expect of our ocean-going offer. We firmly believe that we have crafted the perfect formula to ensure that our new river cruise guests are able to get the most out of their holiday with Fred. Olsen.”

Brabant is a fairly modern river cruise ship, built in 2006 but is equipped to ensure guests will have a relaxing cruise. With 80 cabins accomodating 156 guests over four decks, guests will be attended to by 40 crew members.  Brabant fits in perfectly with Fred Olsen’s ethos of an intimate and friendly environment.

Itineraries for Brabant between 5th April and 3rd November will go on general sale from 26th May.


Feature Image and Source: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines