Category Archives: Cruise News

101 Days For Queen Elizabeth In Australia In 2019/20

Cunard have announced that they are basing Queen Elizabeth in Australia for 101 days during the 2019/20 season.

Between December 2019 and March 2020 the 2010 Italian built ship will undertake 6 round-trip itineraries from Melbourne and 2 from Sydney as the Cunarder visits places such as South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and  Papua New Guinea.

This move further enhances the Australian cruise market with a greater influence from Cunard ‘Down Under’ as popularity increases for the Cunard product in Australia. It will also be the longest length of time that a Cunard ship has been based in Australia.

Queen Elizabeth will also undertake a series of cruises from Australia between February and May 2019 as part of her Grand Voyages programme.


Nieuw Statendam To Be Based In Europe For Summer 2019

Holland America Line have announced that their latest newbuild, Nieuw Statendam will be based in Europe for Summer 2019.

Currently under construction in Italy, Nieuw Statendam is scheduled for delivery on 1st December 2018. At 99,500grt, she will be able to accomodate 2666 guests and will be the second ship in the Pinnacle class after Koningsdam.

Nieuw Statendam will spend her inaugural winter season in the Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic in late April 2019, where she will be based out of Amsterdam and Civitavecchia from May til October.

From May til September, she will be based from Amsterdam. Here she will undertake a series of 7 and 14 day itineraries to the Norwegian Fjords, the Baltic, Iceland and North Cape.  In August, she will also sail a 14 day British Isles itinerary with calls to   Newcastle upon Tyne, South Queensferry (Edinburgh), for an overnight permitting guests to attend the Edinburgh Military Tattoo,  Reykjavik (overnight), Isafjordur and Akureyri, Iceland; and Ålesund and Bergen, Norway.

She will then head for the warmer waters of the Mediterranean in September on a 12 day cruise from Amsterdam to Civitavecchia.  From Civitavecchia, she will sail on three 10 day cruises to the eastern and western Mediterranean. On 27th October, she will embark on a 14 day crossing back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with calls at Cartagena, Málaga (Granada) and Cádiz, Spain; and Ponta Delgada, Azores.

Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America Line,  spoke of his delight at the itineraries for Nieuw Statendam in Europe for 2019. He said:

“Holland America Line is known for offering incredible itineraries that deeply immerse our guests in the places we visit, and for Nieuw Statendam’s inaugural season in Europe we crafted cruises that will deliver an unforgettable experience. By offering nearly six months of cruising in the region, we’re able to take the ship from Iceland to Greece and everywhere in between. We encourage everyone to book early because interest has been remarkably high for our newest ship.”

Source and feature image: Holland America Line


Vote For The Chance To Plot Ship’s Course On Braemar Baltic Cruise

Every wondered what it would be like to be a navigator on board a cruise ship? Well……….

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are allowing guests on board Braemar for her 14 night cruise to Baltic, departing 29th May 2018 from Southampton,  to vote for a chance to ‘steer the ship.’

Guests will vote in a ballot and the winning vote will be picked by the captain. The winning guest will then get the chance to ‘chart the ship’s course’ and choose between two ports of call as the ship sails. The destinations will be kept a mystery.

Guests can chose from the capital cities of the Baltic or decide to perhaps visit less known ports of call with hidden gems across The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

There are two highlights that have been pre-determined before the cruise and that is an overnight stay in the Russian city of St Petersburg and the transiting of the Kiel Canal.

Speaking of Braemar’s cruise with a twist, Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines said:

“The atmosphere is electric each voting day, and this exciting two-week cruise puts guests firmly in command! ‘You Choose Your Cruise’ creates a holiday made especially for those who love mystery, adventure and the smaller-ship atmosphere of a Fred. Olsen cruise.

“The first of the difficult destination choices that guests will have to make on board will be between Amsterdam and Rotterdam; both offer a number of attractions, but have a very different feel. Guests’ influence continues from there for the rest of the cruise!”

Starting from £1799 per person, Braemar’s ‘You Choose Your Cruise- Baltic Sailing is an adult’s exclusive sailing and departs Southampton on 29th May 2018.

Ports of call up for the vote are: Amsterdam or Rotterdam, Copenhagen or Hundested in Denmark, Tallinn or Saaremaa in Estonia, St Petersburg  (overnight) in Russia, Helsinki or Kotka in Finland, Wismar or Travemunde in Germany with a transit of the Kiel Canal before returning to Southampton.

Fred. Olsen are also offering special added benefits of £200 per person FREE cashback on board, plus FREE drinks or FREE shore excursions  on all new bookings made until 1st March 2018 (inclusive).

Source: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines


Quantum Class Ship To Be Based In Southampton In 2020

2020 will see a Quantum Class ship be based out of Southampton for its homeport for a season.

Speaking to TTG Media,  Michael Bailey, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, has said there will be a Quantum Class Ship sailing out of Southampton as its homeport in 2020. He said:

“There is going to be a ship in the UK market in 2020 – there is a Quantum-class ship coming to the UK market, and it will be sailing out of Southampton and homeporting there for a season.” 

He also indicated that it would likely be either Anthem or Quantum of the Seas that would be based from the Hampshire port.


Source: TTG Media



Cartoon Network To Sail The High Seas

Cartoon Network will be hitting the high seas later in 2018 after it was announced that a partnership between Turner Asia Pacific and Oceanic Management will see the creation of a Cartoon Network themed cruise ship.

The renderings appear to show Pacific Jewel, as  Cartoon Network Wave and will undergo a radical transformation which will see the exterior of the ship emblazon the image of Jake The Dog.

The 11 deck, 2000 passenger ship will be a ‘haven’ for ‘toon-loving travellers’ where familes will enjoy the first immersive Toon holiday at sea, where kids will be able to meet their Toon heros from shows such as The Powderpuff Girls, Adventure Time, Ben 10 and We Bare Bears.

Attractions set to be onboard include Bravo’s Place, a Johny Bravo-themed burger bar, a Toonix pool and a rope adventure park.

Sailing from Singapore Cruise Centre, Cartoon Network Wave will sail to 13 destinations in the Asia Pacific region, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia and Japan. The dates and itineraries for these cruises will be released in the near future.

Daniel Chui, Oceanic Group Chief Executive believed the joint partnership to develop Cartoon Network Wave will enhance Asia’s growing cruise travel market. He said:

 “A homegrown cruise project, Cartoon Network Wave heralds the start of a new vacation experience for cruise-goers in Asia where cruise travel meets personalised journeys through experiential story-telling. With Singapore’s position as a cruise hub in Asia, we believe it is only fitting that we dive right in and ride the surging tide of this passenger cruise wave.”

“Cartoon Network Wave will revolutionise cruise travel in the Asia-Pacific region and create and curate new cruise experiences for holiday makers, cruise goers and generations of pop culture fans,” 

Turner Asia Pacific President, Ricky Ow was equally excited at the new joint venture. He said:

“Turner is always looking at new ways to bring our characters to life – and Cartoon Network Wave will be their home on the high seas. The ship has remarkable potential to offer our existing fans a truly unique immersive experience, as well as create new ones. We couldn’t be more excited by the partnership with Oceanic Group in jointly creating a world first.”

From a tourism perspective, Yap Chin Siang, Assistant Chief Executive (Policy & Planning Group) for the Singapore Tourism Board also believed it would enhance the appeal for Singapore as being a leading cruise hub in Asia, stating:

“The debut of Cartoon Network Wave as a new homegrown cruise product is testament to the vitality of Singapore as Southeast Asia’s leading cruise hub. It will also augment Singapore’s appeal as a top family destination by adding to the diversity of Singapore’s line-up of offerings.  We look forward to more family visitors coming from the region with Cartoon Network Wave’s exciting deployment here.” 

Bookings will soon be opened on the Cartoon Network Wave website later this year, with updates on their soon to be launched Facebook and Instagram pages.


Source: Turner Asia Pacific/Oceanic Management

Feature image: Cartoon Network Wave

P&O Cruises Announce Second New Ship To Enter Service In 2022

P&O Cruises have today announced a second new ship for the fleet, scheduled to enter service in 2022.

A sister ship to the current un-named vessel, scheduled to enter service in 2020, the new ship will be 180,000grt and will accomodate 5200 guests (lower berths) and both ships will be registered in the UK.

The new ship will be built at Meyer Werft’s shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and will feature Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” design as one of the first generation of cruise ships to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) both at sea and in port. This will see a significant reduction in air emissions.

Speaking of the latest new ship for P&O Cruises, Carnival UK President, Josh Weinstein was delighted at the prospect of P&O Cruises having another new ship in the fleet. He said:

“We are seeing the momentum in awareness of cruising both across the media and in our national psyche as ever-increasing numbers of people see first-hand the value for money, unrivalled service and extraordinary onboard experience. These two next-generation ships for delivery in the next four years are real and tangible evidence of our absolute optimism for future growth.”

P&O Cruises Senior Vice President, Paul Ludlow welcomed the announcement of a second new ship for the British market. He said:

 “We have a bold and ambitious vision for P&O Cruises to become Britain’s number one holiday choice and we can only do that by increasing our fleet. The build for our 2020 ship begins this spring and it will offer all generations of British guests the holiday of a lifetime on the next generation of P&O Cruises ships.

In four years’ time when her sister ship is launched, adding an additional 22 percent capacity, we will see an even greater rise in the popularity of cruising across all demographics and all age ranges including both Millennials and Generation Xers. Many of them have already learned to appreciate cruising by going on cruises with their families while growing up. Additionally, there are millions more we will attract in the future by retaining the amazing onboard and on-shore experiences and itinerary choices P&O Cruises is known for, while reflecting forward-thinking trends and tastes of British holidaymakers.

“This evolution of the guest experience will be evident over the next few years but will be underpinned throughout with in-depth market insight and feedback we receive from the best source: our current, past and prospective guests.

“The first of our new ships will go on sale in September and we will be announcing key elements of the design and build this year. Our P&O Cruisessignature features in dining and entertainment will be across all our ships, but the space and build of the two new ships allows us to have innovative new experiences to create the most memorable holidays.”

Adding to the announcement of the latest new ship, Thomas Weigend, Managing Director of Meyer Werft, was delighted at the continued partnership with Carnival Corporation and P&O Cruises. He stated:

“We are very happy to continue our excellent partnership with Carnival Corporation and P&O Cruises.”

There are currently 8 ships in the P&O fleet, which will soon be reduced to 7 when Adonia leaves the fleet to join Azamara Club Cruises in March. So, by 2022, there could be 9 ships in the P&O fleet. However, the ordering of two new ships begs the question about the futures of the older ships in the fleet, such as Oriana, Oceana and Aurora.

The two ships for P&O Cruises is part of a Corporation wide expansion across 4 brands. In total there will be 8 new LNG powered ships built between 2018 and 2022, including two for AIDA Cruises in 2018 and 2021, two for Costa Cruises in 2019 and 2021 and two for Carnival Cruise Line in 2020 and 2022.


Source: Carnival Corporation/P&O Cruises

Feature Image: PR Newsfoto/Carnival Corporation/P&O Cruises

Carnival Splendor To Host Carly Rae Jepsen Gig In February

Carnival Cruise Line have announced that Grammy Award-nominated, multi-platinum singer and songwriter, Carly Rae Jepsen will perform a free concert onboard Carnival Splendor in February this year.

The artist, who has sold more than 20 million singles worldwide will perform as part of the Carnival LIVE Concert Series and will be the first time Carnival and Universal Music Group and Brands (UMGB) have collaborated.

The concert will take place on 18th February, whilst at sea on the Lido deck,  on Carnival Splendor’s seven day cruise to to the Mexican Riviera from Long Beach California.

Carly Rae Jepsen is to perform on Carnival Splendor. Image:

“While I’ve performed all over the world and on Broadway, I’ve never performed on a cruise ship and I’m really looking forward to a night with my fans in what promises to be a unique venue for an incredible night” Jepsen explained.

Sarah Beth Reno, Carnival’s Vice President Entertainment was delighted to have attracted such a high profile name to the Carnival Live Series.  She said:

“We’re delighted to have Carly bring her signature brand of pop music to guests sailing aboard Carnival Splendor,” said Sarah Beth Reno, Carnival’s vice president of entertainment. “A free open-air concert on Lido Deck is an exciting new twist for Carnival LIVE and we can’t wait for our guests to experience this one-of-a-kind entertainment concept in an entirely new setting,”

Having broke onto the music scene in 2012, Carly Rae Jepsen has had major hits including “Call Me Maybe” and “I Really Like You” which featured Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber in the music video. She has also started in Fox’s Emmy Award winning musical. GREASE:LIVE and also voiced the character Odette in the animated movie, “LEAP!”

Jepsen joins an incredibly impresive lineup of Carnival LIVE artists which offers such musical genres as rock, country, R&B and pop. Previous Carnival LIVE stars included Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood.

Source: Carnival Cruise Line via PR Newswire




Carnival Fascination Set For Refit

Carnival Cruise Line’s popular Carnival Fascination will be undergoing a multi million dollar refit in February at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport.

During the 13 day refurb (4th-17th February 2018) an array of food and beverage areas will be added, including Guy’s Burger Joint, Cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, BlueIguana Cantina Mexican Eatery, Cherry on Top Sweets shop, RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar and Bonsai Sushi Express venue.

The ship will then resume her year round schedule of seven day Southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico, beginning on the 18th February.

“We can’t wait for our guests to experience these exciting new features aboard Carnival Fascination when she returns to her year-round homeport of San Juan early next year,” explained Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line President.

The new food and beverage options will compliment various other attractions onboard including a WaterWorks aqua park, which features a 300 foot long Twister slide, Seuss at Sea which is operated exclusively with Dr. Seuss Enterprises. There will also be a choice of entertainment including the Punchliner Comedy Club, Playlist Production shows and Hasbro, The Game Show with also larger than life adaptions of the company’s iconic games.

Carnival Fascination will sail on week long sailings from San Juan, visiting five Caribbean Islands: St.Lucia, Barbados, St.Kitts, St.Thomas and St.Maarten.

The 70,367GRT ship was built in 1994 and is the fourth ship in the Fantasy Class. She measures 855 feet in length and can accomodate 2056 guests onboard.


Source and Feature Image: Carnival Cruise Line


Nieuw Statendam Floated Out In Italy

Holland America Line’s latest newbuild, Nieuw Statendam, has been floated out for the first time at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Venice, Italy.

The 99,500grt vessel will be a sister ship to Koningsdam and will accomodate upto 2660 guests. She is scheduled to be delivered to Holland America Line in Autumn 2018.

The float out consisted of a traditional ‘coin ceremony’ where a silver dollar was welded onto the deck of the ship before the water was released into the dry dock. She will then undergo the fitting out process at another berth within the shipyard.

The Madrina for the ceremony was Anne Marie Bartels, a member of Holland America Line’s Elite President’s Club Loyalty Program. She had first sailed across the Atlantic to New York from Rotterdam as a young woman.

In attendance at the ceremony, was Executive Vice President for Fleet Operations for Holland America Group, Keith Taylor and Antonio Quintano, shipyard director, Fincantieri.

Nieuw Statendam will be the sixteenth ship built by Fincantieri for Holland America Line and the second Pinnacle class ship after Koningsdam, which was delivered in 2016.  She will have a contemporary style which will blend with the traditional elegance that all the ships offer in the fleet. Designs for the ship are by Adama D. Tihany and architect, Bjorn Storbraaten whom also helped create the design elements for Koningsdam.

Nieuw Statendam will operate to the most energy efficient technology which will will allow for a more environmentally friendly cruising and will feature the latest and most demanding safety regulations.


Source: Fincantieri

Sovereign Completes €20M+ Refit

Pullmantur’s 1988 built Sovereign has completed a €2om+ refurbishment program in Cadiz, Spain, ahead of her 2018 season.

The former Sovereign of the Seas entered the dry dock in November at the Navantia Shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, where she remained for three weeks whilst more than 1000 workers from a selection of 42 companies completed the various improvements and refreshments onboard.

Improvements onboard included the restaurants and bars recieving makeovers which included new carpets, upholstery and furniture. To put that in numbers, over 18,000sq metres of carpet was replaced, 400 metres of piping renewed and a total of 1700 chairs were reupholstered.  In addition, there were 1700sq metres of tiles laid and an incredible 1500kg of cement was used.

The work has amassed more than €20m and it is anticipated that the refurbishment will enhance the overall experience for guests onboard. The ship has left the shipyard now and is sailing towards Brazil where she will be based for the winter season.

It will be a double celebratory year for the veteran cruise ship next year as she will be celebrating her 30th season in service and 10th season with Pullmantur as she joined the company from Royal Caribbean International in 2008.


Source: Pullmantur Cruises (UK Blog)