Norwegian Prima – UK debut in Pictures

Norwegian Cruise Lines newest ship Norwegian Prima made her UK debut when she arrived in the port of Southampton on 20th August.

Norwegian Prima is the first of 6 new “Prima-Class” cruise ships ordered from the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri under the project name “Leonardo-Class”. Theses are the first ships for NCL that are being constructed by the Italian shipbuilder.

Norwegian Prima was handed over on the 8th August and left the shipyard a couple of days later, she made brief stops in Civitavecchia and Barcelona before making her arrival in Southampton early 20th August.

Below are a series of images from arrival to sailing during her visit to Southampton.

Arrival

Alongside the Horizon Cruise Terminal

Evening Departure

Check out my 4K arrival video

All images/Video © Andrew McAlpine

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post

Norwegian Viva Float out

LONDON (2nd August 2022) – Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced that Norwegian Viva, the second of six vessels in its ground-breaking Prima Class, floated out from her drydock at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera (Venice), Italy, marking a major construction milestone and the first time the new vessel touches water.

Images Courtesy of Camilla Bach / Fincantieri

To celebrate the occasion, a commemorative coin was welded into Norwegian Viva in a traditional maritime ceremony, presided over by Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line and Antonio Quintano, shipyard director of Fincantieri.

Images Courtesy of Camilla Bach / Fincantieri

The float out signifies the completion of external works and painting of Norwegian Viva, including the striking hull artwork designed by Italian graffiti artist Manuel Di Rita, commonly known as “Peeta.” Construction now continues on Norwegian Viva’s interior fittings and guest accommodations before she is officially delivered to the cruise line and commences sailing in 2023.

“The float out of Norwegian Viva has been much anticipated and it’s an incredibly proud day for us all,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of NCL. “As our nineteenth ship and the second in our innovative Prima Class, Norwegian Viva continues to represent our ongoing commitment to giving guests the best holiday experience imaginable. With Norwegian Viva’s name meaning “to be alive”, and her motto being ‘Live it Up’, we simply cannot wait to put this into practice and welcome guests on board soon for the vacation of a lifetime.”

Images Courtesy of Camilla Bach / Fincantieri

In 2019 Norwegian Cruise Line registered the following names for Prima Class: Aqua, Aura, Bella, Luna, Ombra, Ultima and Vela, the names Prima and Viva have already been used by the company.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE TAKES DELIVERY OF NORWEGIAN PRIMA

Cruise Line Welcomes First of Six Ships in Ground-Breaking Prima Class, the Brand’s Newest Class of Ships in Nearly a Decade

This highly anticipated milestone marks the arrival of the first ship in NCL’s Prima Class that will see six new ships delivered through 2027. Present at the landmark event was Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd; Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line; Luigi Matarazzo, general manager of the Merchant Ships Division of Fincantieri; as well as other notable NCLH and Fincantieri executives. The delivery celebration was followed by the traditional flag exchange ceremony.

Harry Sommer, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line said: “Today we usher in a thrilling new era in cruising as we celebrate the delivery of Norwegian Prima, the long-anticipated first ship in our extraordinary new Prima Class. She is a true testament to our Guest First philosophy as well as our commitment to deliver unforgettable experiences that exceed expectations. We thank our wonderful partners at Fincantieri, whose coveted craftsmanship, expertise, and dedication, helped bring Norwegian Prima to life. We cannot wait to welcome our guests on board.”

At 965 feet/294 m long, 142,500 gross tons and with capacity for 3,100 guests, Norwegian Prima is designed to put guests first. She features wide-open spaces, thoughtful and stunning design, and a variety of brand and industry-first experiences. She lays claim as the most spacious new cruise ship in the contemporary categories and offers the most outdoor deck space and expansive accommodations of any new build.  Her variety of elevated experiences and epicurean delights include the Brand’s first upscale open-air food hall, Indulge Food Hall; the largest and first three-level racetrack at sea on the Prima Speedway as well as The Drop, the world’s first freefall dry slide offering a 10-story plunge experience that reaches more G-forces than an accelerating F1 race car.

Other onboard standouts include Ocean Boulevard, which wraps around the entire deck; that’s over 44,000 square feet, allowing guests to connect to the ocean while enjoying alfresco dining and elevated experiences. Guests will enjoy the ultimate in relaxation via Infinity Beach, boasting two stunning infinity pools which are positioned close to water-level to take in the vastness of the ocean with uninterrupted views as well as Oceanwalk, where two glass bridges make guests feel as though they are walking on air over the water. An oasis for art lovers, Norwegian Prima will boast The Concourse, the first outdoor sculpture garden at sea with six installations created by international metal artist Alexander Krivosheiw and an art wall designed by David Harber.  

Luigi Matarazzo, general manager of the Merchant Ships Division of Fincantieri said: “We’re glad to work with Norwegian Cruise Line to create a world-class series of ships, and it’s a proud day seeing the first of the six Prima Class vessels delivered today. Norwegian Prima is packed with world-firsts, never-before-seen features, and extraordinary attractions you would never expect at sea”.

Launching this August, Norwegian Prima will be the first major cruise ship christened in Iceland, commencing her eight-day inaugural voyage in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik on 27th August,2022, sailing to Amsterdam. Global popstar Katy Perry, who serves as Norwegian Prima’s Godmother, will fulfil the longstanding maritime tradition of blessing and officially naming the ship, as well as performing during the christening ceremony.

The second ship in the series Norwegian Viva is due to be floated out from the dry dock in the next few weeks.

Following her inaugural voyage, Norwegian Prima will sail a series of eight-day voyages from Amsterdam and Copenhagen offering guests the opportunity to explore Northern Europe and the Norwegian Fjords. She’ll then sail Bermuda from 10th October,2022; Caribbean itineraries from 15th October, 2022; and Western Caribbean voyages from 11th December , 2022 to 19th March 2023, before returning to Bermuda from 28th March to 7th May, 2023. She’ll then offer cruises to Northern Europe from 14th May through 17th September, 2023.

For more information about Norwegian Cruise Line ships and their itineraries, or to book a cruise, please contact a travel professional, call 0333 2412319 or visit www.ncl.com.

image courtesy of Fincantieri

Welcome Celebrity Beyond

CELEBRITY CRUISES’ NEWEST SHIP, CELEBRITY BEYOND, DEFIES IMAGINATION, WONDER AND LUXURY

Yesterday, Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo unveiled the company’s third ship in the company’s industry-transforming “new luxury” Edge SeriesCelebrity Beyond. Designed to give guests endless opportunities to disconnect from the world — while simultaneously reconnecting with the world that surrounds them — Celebrity Beyond goes further than imagined possible for a cruise ship, creating a new world of wonder and luxury.  

You can watch the full reveal here:

Inspired by a vision to take the cruise industry into the next era of luxury, Lutoff-Perlo assembled a dream team of modern lifestyle icons to bring to life extraordinary experiences that allow guests to connect with each other, the sea, and their journey. Celebrity Beyond showcases the design talents of multi-award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE; celebrated American designer Nate Berkus; and lauded Paris-based design firm Jouin Manku; the innovation of British architect Tom Wright; and the culinary gifts of Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud. The ship will also feature experiences and products from goop CEO and founder Gwyneth Paltrow, the brand’s new Well-Being Advisor.  

Redefining luxury again, Celebrity Beyond builds on the features and design of its award-winning predecessors Celebrity Edge (2018) and Celebrity Apex(2020) by creating innovative spaces that set the brand apart from others in the industry. Every element of Celebrity Beyond’s look and feel has been carefully curated with re-imagined spaces and more luxurious versions of the brand’s most popular signature spaces, including:

  • The Retreat®, an exclusive resort-within-a-resort area for suite guests, highlighted by a new two-story sundeck;
  • Transformed accommodations from modern two-story villas with private plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas, blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living; 
  • An expanded Rooftop Garden and stunning Resort Deck featuring unique cantilevered float pools;
  • A multi-level, multi-terraced Sunset Bar redefining the ship’s aft;
  • A first-ever Daniel Boulud fine-dining restaurant at sea; 
  • A boldly redesigned Grand Plaza spanning three decks, creating an airy and open indoor space;

And, the return of the  Magic Carpet®, an engineering feat soaring cantilevered above the sea, offering guests uninterrupted vistas while sipping cocktails or having dinner.

“Celebrity Cruises has always been an innovator at sea, and now we have challenged the status quo with a vessel that goes beyond expectations, beyond imagination,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “Celebrity Beyond shatters any and every preconceived notion of the cruising experience. This exquisite ship offers a journey at the intersection of elegance and approachability filled with what’s important to our guests today: forward-thinking design, culinary excellence, unparalleled well-being and incomparable service.” 

The Retreat: A Resort In and of Itself 
One of the most sought-after interior designers in the world, Kelly Hoppen CBE, has reimagined aspects of the design for The Retreat, the unrivaled and exclusive resort space for suite guests, including all new suites, and brought her globally renowned style to outdoor venues such as the Rooftop Garden and the main pool area on the Resort Deck.

The new, two-story Retreat Sundeck will offer more unadulterated outdoor bliss and ways to rejuvenate in the fresh ocean air with secluded cabanas, chic new seating areas, additional water features and the exclusive Retreat Bar. The warm and inviting Retreat Lounge is a newly stylish space to unwind; while Hoppen’s new take on the adjacent private restaurant Luminae, now at the front of the ship, becomes a space where every corner provides a new experience with each visit, in keeping with the daily changing menu.   

An array of contemporary suite accommodations featuring fresh colour palettes and design details by Hoppen await guests of The Retreat, including the redesigned two-story Edge Villas with outdoor plunge pools, and Celebrity’s famous Iconic Suites, the largest in the fleet, offering better views than the captain’s quarters.

Connecting Two Worlds
Nowhere is more rejuvenating than the open sea, and Celebrity Beyond ensures guests are able to take full advantage of both the luxurious design of the ship while soaking in the world around them. 

Perhaps best known for designing the world-famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, lead architect Tom Wright of WKK has expanded the exterior spaces on Celebrity Beyond, transforming them into serene outward-facing sanctuaries leveraging endless ocean vistas and breath-taking panoramas of the extraordinary places the ship will visit. His design both lengthens the ship by 20 meters and raises the ship to 17 decks tall, allowing for the reimagination of The Retreat, the Resort Deck, and the Rooftop Garden – outdoor spaces increasingly important to today’s traveler. 

The main open deck, 40 percent larger than on previous Edge Series ships, features an enormous living Rooftop Garden designed by Hoppen and includes increased seating offering new private nooks and more spaces for movie watching, enjoying live music and outdoor dining at the expanded Rooftop Grill. A highlight of this area is Wright’s incorporation of two spectacular floating pools cantilevered six and a half feet over the side of the ship, taking guests beyond the water’s edge

On the Resort Deck, guests will enjoy a stunning asymmetrical space with a 25-yard lap pool surrounded by a terraced pool deck and new sunken seating areas designed by Hoppen. 

Wright also designed the signature Edge Series Magic Carpet, a tennis-court sized cantilevered platform that scales the side of the ship and transforms from open-air lounge or restaurant hovering above the ocean along higher decks to a tender platform for going ashore on lower decks.  Featured on Celebrity Beyond, it debuted on Celebrity Edge in 2018 and is still considered one of the most unique design innovations ever for a cruise ship. 
Celebrity Cruises’ Edge Series Design Ambassador Nate Berkus stepped into the role of designer himself, to imagine one of the most anticipated venues on Celebrity Beyond – the Sunset Bar.

Inside space that is nearly twice as large as previous iterations, Berkus has created a chic, Moroccan-inspired escape that is reminiscent of a modern-day Casablanca. 

Guests will enter through a pergola-covered entrance to enjoy one of the hottest spots at sea. With more conversation niches and covered enclaves to allow guests to connect in a more intimate way, the Sunset Bar’s cascading terraces will combine to provide the perfect place to soak in spectacular views and create unforgettable memories. 

Luxury in Every Detail

The core of Celebrity Beyond’s vision of luxury is the Grand Plaza, a transformational place at the center of the ship designed by Jouin Manku — the team responsible for designing the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower — and offering a different experience with every visit. Inspired by the piazzas of Italy that serve as life centers of towns where architecture and social connection become one, the Grand Plaza spans three decks at the heart of the ship, boldly declaring it is the place to see and be seen.  

Larger than Grand Plazas on its sister Edge Series ships, the Celebrity Beyond Grand Plaza has an airier atmosphere with more room for intimate seating. The added space allowed designers to move the Martini Bar into the center of the venue as a full, circular bar.

Hanging proudly above the new Martini Bar, the Grand Plaza’s iconic chandelier boasts a new, organic shape with hundreds of individual LED lights that cast an inviting glow at all hours—taking center stage with talented bartenders at night during their exciting and theatrical Flash Flair Fusion performance. 

Connected to the Grand Plaza is the top table of culinary excellence at sea, the new, intimate 50-seat restaurant by world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Aptly named Le Voyage, travel is the inspiration for the globally inspired flavors within, designed to transport guests to the very places that inspire the Michelin-rated chef. Complementing the menu, world-class sommeliers will pair the perfect wine with every dish from Celebrity Cruises’ “most awarded” wine collection at sea. 

Complementing Chef Boulud’s world-class menu is the restaurant’s ambiance, which is also the result of Jouin Manku’s creative talents. Intimate seating cocoons are surrounded by luminous portals highlighting the themes of journey and travel, while graphically lit “glass flutes” provide layers of light and texture to create an enchanting experience. 

Providing a sense of occasion and flow, the Le Voyage experience begins with a dedicated entrance and concludes with a customized sweet prepared in Daniel’s own farewell boutique as guests are wished ‘au revoir.’ 

Rethinking Wellness at Sea

Luxury didn’t stop at the architectural design and culinary experience, but extended into how Celebrity Cruises thought of wellness on Celebrity Beyond. New to the ship are AquaClass SkySuites, an immersive living experience that helps guests find their center. From floor-to-ceiling ocean views, private verandas, luxurious bedding and other wellness amenities, Celebrity Beyond has thought of everything to nourish its guests’ mind, body, and spirit on vacation.

Celebrity Beyond also sets sail with a new partnership with actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, serving as the line’s new Well-being Advisor. All Aqua Class guests across the entire Celebrity Cruises fleet (excluding Galapagos sailings) will be treated to onboard wellness offerings, including fitness kits from Paltrow’s modern lifestyle brand goop, aimed at enhancing self-care and collective well-being. Paltrow and her team at goop will also curate onboard wellness programming and participate in the line’s new Women in Wellness initiative. 

Welcome Beyond

Celebrity Beyond will depart on her maiden voyage on April 27, 2022 from Southampton, England, on a 10-night Western Europe cruise visiting Bordeaux, France; Lisbon, Portugal; and Seville, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain. She will then offer a variety of Mediterranean journeys including nine-night Italian Riviera and France itineraries and 10-night Greek Isles itineraries through early October, when she then heads to the Caribbean. Voyages are on sale as of April 28, 2021 at 3p.m. ET.

For more information on all of Celebrity Beyond’s inaugural 2022-2023 sailings, visit https://www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-ships/celebrity-beyond


Like her industry-changing sister ships, Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex, the former of which was named one of TIME Magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places” following her 2018 debut season, Celebrity Beyond will connect guests to the breath-taking world around them like never before. Celebrity Cruises’ onboard and onshore experiences stand it apart as a new luxury travel brand without comparison. For more information on all Celebrity Cruises’ offerings and to book the vacation of a lifetime, visit http://www.celebritycruises.com.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post.

IONA Arrives in Bremerhaven – On Board Work is temporarily suspended

On 20th March P&O Cruises new flagship Iona arrived in Bremerhaven having completed her conveyance from Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg and sea trials.

In a press release ahead of the conveyance, the shipyard advised that extensive preventive measures against the spread of the corona virus have been taken for the transfer and test-drives in close coordination with the authorities.

“Part of the preventative measure meant that the temperature of all people who board is measured. In addition, the processes on board are equalized, so that no large groups come together on board in a confined space.”

Following her arrival in Bremerhaven the shipyard announced that all interior fitting out work would be suspended indefinitely due to the continued corona virus threat:

A statement on the Meyer Werft website read:

In order to continue to ensure the health of the employees and due to increasing and changing restrictions and requirements of the authorities, the management of the shipyard has decided to reduce the number of people on board the Iona to a minimum. On board the new cruise ship, only a greatly reduced crew, which is necessary for the operation and safety of the ship, will be on site. The interior work and testing at sea will initially be suspended.

At the same time, MEYER WERFT tries to maintain the yard operations at the Papenburg location through numerous measures. So far, a chain reaction and the spread of the pandemic at the shipyard itself have been prevented.

“We have been working intensively on a variety of preventive measures at all locations for weeks and are constantly optimizing them in order to delay the spread of the corona virus. In addition, we are constantly in close coordination with the shipping companies, ”explains Thomas Weigend, Managing Director of MEYER WERFT.

I always like to bring you super cruise ship photos so take a look at these wonderful photos of Iona as she arrived in Bremerhaven taken by my good friend Christian Costa.

Iona014Iona006Iona024Iona036Iona058Iona052Iona048

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post

Images and sources Meyer Werft & Christian Costa

Meet the class of 2020 – The new cruise ships arriving this year – updated

This year will be a record year for the cruise industry with no less than 24 new ocean going cruise ships coming into service. What is interesting is the sheer variety of ships and on board facilities being debuted. The ships range from 5,200 passenger mega-ships through to 100 passenger ultra-luxury,  polar expedition ships and even a modern sail ships. On board facilities and activities are just as diverse as the ships themselves, ranging from a roller coasters to a tattoo parlor, and helicopters, submarines and even mast climbing!

If ever there was a year that summed just how diverse the cruise industry it then this is the year.

Lets take a brief look at the ships setting sail and meet the class of 2020:

Fridtjof Nansen – Hurtigruten

Fridtjof Nansen
Image: Andrew McAlpine

 

Builder: Montex Shipyard (Gdansk, Poland), Kleven Shipyard (Ulsteinvik, Norway)

Launching: March

Tonnage: 20,890gt

Cabins: 265

Passengers: 530

Stand Out feature(s): Hybrid powered,  Observation platforms (on several decks), infinity pool, custom-built expedition equipment inc underwater drones, Zodiacs, Kayaks

Delivered ahead of schedule MS Fridtjof Nansen is the second in a 2-ship series of hybrid-powered expedition ships which were designed for Norwegian coastal and Polar expedition cruises (Arctic and Antarctica itineraries) Fridtjof Nansen” and her earlier sister Roald Amundsen were both named after the most influential Norwegian polar explorers.

 

Seven Seas Splendor – Regent Seven Sea

Seven seas splendor
Image: Seven Seas Splendor

Builder: Fincantieri (Trieste, Italy)

Launching: January

Tonnage: 56,000gt

Cabins: 377

Passengers: 750

Stand Out feature(s): A large number of passenger Lounges, Pickleball Court on deck

Seven Seas Splendor itinerary is based on a series of Caribbean, North America and Europe (Mediterranean) cruises, with Transatlantic repositioning crossings, together with a Panama Canal transit between Florida and California. The inaugural cruise season in the summer of 2020 is in Europe, featuring 15 port destinations, including Italian and French Riviera, Greek Islands, British Isles.

 

 

Scarlet Lady – Virgin Voyages

IMG_2710
Image: Andrew McAlpine

Builder: Fincantieri (Sestri Ponente, Italy)

Launching: February

Tonnage: 110,000gt

Cabins: 1,430

Passengers: 2770

Stand Out feature(s): First tattoo parlour at sea, vegan eateries, adults only

Scarlet Lady is the first cruise ship for Virgin Voyages. The inaugural cruise season starts in April and is based on 7-day Caribbean round trips departing on Sundays from Miami. New/revised itineraries now offer late-night call port departures (some at midnight). Virgin Voyage has a total of four “Lady Ships” on order with the second Valiant Lady, due for delivery in 2021 with the other following in 2022 and 2023.

 

 

Silver Origin – Silversea

sILVER oRIGIN
Image: Silversea

Builder: Shipyard De Hoop BV (Lobith, Holland)

Launching: March

Tonnage: 5800gt

Cabins: 51

Passengers: 102

Stand Out feature(s): The Grill (outdoor dining venue) Observation Lounge located at the bow, Marina Platform (Snorkeling Area)

Silver Origin is a Galapagos-based luxury superyacht. The newbuild is owned by Silversea Cruises and operated by company’s “Silversea Expeditions” division. Silver Origin will sail year-round itineraries in the Galapagos Islands upon entry into service in Summer 2020. Voyages will sail from Baltra to San Cristobal, or reverse, lasting one week in duration.

 

Celebrity Apex – Celebrity Cruises

IMG_5830
Sister ship Celebrity Edge Image: Andrew McAlpine

Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, France)

Launching: April

Tonnage: 129500gt

Cabins: 1467

Passengers: 2918

Stand Out feature(s): Magic carpet (a cantilevered platform on the side of the ship), Eden and rooftop garden

Celebrity Apex is the second of five new Edge Class ships. Once delivered Apex will be christened on March 30, 2020, in Southampton by best-selling author, activist and CEO of non-profit organisation Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani.

Celebrity Apex cruise itinerary is based on roundtrips from homeport Southampton. The liner offers a short pre-naming voyage (April 2020) for travel agents only. From Southampton is scheduled a mini-season with 5 departures to ports in northern Europe and Mediterranean. Ex-UK roundtrip itineraries are 7 and 10 days.

 

Le Bellot – Ponant

40-127ee3d99dedc
Image: Ponant

Builder: VARD shipyards (Tulcea Romania and Soviknes-Alesund Norway)

Launching: April

Tonnage: 10700gt

Cabins: 92

Passengers: 184

Stand Out feature(s): “Blue Eye” underwater lounge,Navigation Bridge has an open-bridge policy, infinity pool

She is the fifth in a series of six Explorer-class vessels for the ultra-luxury expedition brand. Set to join the Ponant fleet in April 2020, Le Bellot cruise itinerary offers unique itineraries to to unusual ports and island destinations around the world. On each voyage, passengers enjoy professional lectures and media presentations, led by the ship’s naturalists and themed on the regional wildlife and local cultures.

 

Silver Moon – Silversea

1618-10948f9073c
Sister ship Silver Muse image: Silver Sea

Builder: Fincantieri (Sestri Ponente, Italy)

Launching: April

Tonnage: 40700gt

Cabins: 288

Passengers: 596

Stand Out feature(s): Observation Lounge (with 270-degree panoramic views and a radar screen, Salt water swimming Pool, heated during cool-weather cruises.

Based on the same design same design as the sisterships Silver Muse (2017) and Silver Dawn (2021). Silversea Cruises has a planned expansion up to 12 ships. The last newbuild in this series (still unnamed) is planned for delivery in 2023

 

National Geographic Endurance – Lindblad Expeditions

National Geographic Endurance_0
Image: Ulstein Group

Builder: CRIST Shipyard (Gdynia, Poland), Ulstein Verft (Ulsteinvik, Norway)

Launching: April

Tonnage: 12000gt

Cabins: 69

Passengers: 126

Stand Out feature(s): highest ice-class rating – PC5 (Category A), X-Bow design, two Infinity Edge Pools, Observation Deck

The first of two new polar vessels for the line, the 126-passenger National Geographic Endurance is is built to PC5 Category A standard and is fully stabilized. The maiden voyage, ‘Svalbard in Spring: Polar Bears, Arctic Light and Epic Ice,’ is set to embark April 2, followed by a series of expeditions exploring areas both familiar and new to Lindblad.

Crystal Endeavor – Crystal Cruises

Crystal Endeavor
Image: Crystal Cruises

Builder: Lloyd Werft (MV Werften Stralsund) Germany

Launching: May

Tonnage: 19800gt

Cabins: 100

Passengers: 200

Stand Out feature(s): 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio, fleet of 8 electric amphibious zodiacs, 2 submarines (7-person mini-subs), 2 helicopters

Scheduled for launch in 2020, Crystal Endeavor is a polar-class superyacht and the world’s first purpose-built cruise yacht with P6 (polar-class) hull designation. The itinerary program includes as destinations Europe’s and the Canadian Arctic and Antarctica (during winter), the Americas, Europe, Pacific and Atlantic islands, Russian Far East (including Kuril Islands), Australia New Zealand. Itineraries as length range between 12-22 days.

 

Iona – P&O Cruises

IMG_5746
Image: Christian Costa

Builder: Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)

Launching: May

Tonnage: 184700gt

Cabins: 2500

Passengers: 5200

Stand Out feature(s): biggest-ever ship built for the U.K. market, LNG powered, glass roof covered swimming pool – “SkyDome”, “Lanai Deck” (800m) long outdoor Promenade Deck

P&O newest and largest new ship is set to debut in May with her naming ceremony being held in Southampton on 4th July. The vessel has a sistership (still unnamed) of the same design, scheduled for delivery in 2022.    ship’s itinerary program is based on 7-day Norwegian Fjords cruises roundtrip from homeport Southampton (England), visiting in Norway ports Stavanger, Olden, Hellesylt (or Alesund), Geiranger, Bergen. The inaugural season starts on May 14, 2020 (maiden voyage) and includes only no-fly cruise itineraries round trip from the UK.

 

World Voyager – Mystic Cruises

1839-6dfc2437118
Image: Mystic Cruises

Builder: WestSEA shipyard (Viana do Castelo, Portugal)

Launching: June

Tonnage: 9300gt

Cabins: 86

Passengers: 196

Stand Out feature(s): Glass-domed observation lounge,  shoreside activities include: camping, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, Zodiac boat tours

World Voyager is an ice-strengthened expedition cruise ship designed for operations in the polar regions (Arctic and Antarctica) and the second vessel in Mystic Cruises  planned fleet of ten ships. The inaugural season will see the ship in Europe (Mediterranean, Western and Northern Europe / Baltic Sea). A total of 24 different routes were announced, with 7 cruises in Northern Europe leaving from Germany (homeports Kiel and Hamburg).

Evrima – Ritz-Carlton

Evrima
Image: Ritz-Carlton

Builder: Barreras Shipyard (Vigo, Spain)

Launching: June

Tonnage: 26500gt

Cabins: 149

Passengers: 214

Stand Out feature(s): 10 ultra-premium dining options, aft marina platform for watersports with direct access to the sea

Scheduled for inauguration in June 2020, Ritz-Carlton’s Evrima ship (fka “Ritz-Carlton Azora” ) is the first of all three ultra-luxury expedition yachts owned by Marriott International Inc (shipowner). The mega-yacht is operated by The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection (cruise brand and subsidiary of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company). MS Evrima ship’s inaugural cruise (maiden voyage) date is June 14, 2020. The 7-day itinerary departs from Barcelona (Spain) to Palma (Mallorca Island, Balearic Spain).

Enchanted Princess – Princess Cruises

IMG_3156
Image: Princess Cruises

Builder: Fincantieri (Monfalcone, Italy)

Launching: June

Tonnage: 143700gt

Cabins: 1834

Passengers: 3668

Stand Out feature(s): New Sky suite’s, three-deck-high Piazza atrium, new Wakeview swimming pool, Movies Under the Stars (LED screen outdoor cinema)

Launching in June 2020 and being named in Southampton, Enchanted Princess is the 5th Royal-class for Princess Cruises fleet, with fleetmates and sisterships Royal Princess (2013), Regal Princess (2014), Majestic Princess (2017), Sky Princess (2019) and Discovery Princess (2021). One more Royal-class liner (still unnamed) is due for launch in 2022. Enchanted Princess itinerary starts with an inaugural cruise season in Europe (Mediterranean). Departures are offered from homeports Civitavecchia-Rome, Barcelona and Piraeus-Athens.

Le Jacques Cartier – Ponant

le j carter
Image: Ponant/Cruisemapper

Builder: VARD shipyards (Tulcea Romania and Soviknes-Alesund Norway)

Launching: July

Tonnage: 10700gt

Cabins: 92

Passengers: 184

Stand Out feature(s): “Blue Eye” underwater lounge,Navigation Bridge has an open-bridge policy, infinity pool

Le Jacques Cartier cruise ship (initially named “Le Surville”) is the 6th (last) in a six-ship series Ponant Cruises-owned polar expedition vessels. Advertised as “expedition yachts” Le Jacques Cartier cruise programme offers unique itineraries to offbeat port and island destinations around the world, including Caribbean, Europe (Baltic and Mediterranean), East Asia, Australia, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean islands (Oceania), Canadian Arctic, Brazil Amazon (Orinoco River), South America and Antarctica.

Spirit of Adventure – Saga Cruises

IMG_6794
Sister ship Spirit of Discovery Image: Andrew McAlpine

Builder: Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)

Launching: August

Tonnage: 58258gt

Cabins: 540

Passengers: 1000

Stand Out feature(s): Wraparound Promenade Deck, new venues inc Nepalese restaurant, Khukuri  House, inspired by Gurkha heritage

Spirit of Adventure is the second of two identical polar expedition vessels built for Saga Cruises. This month it was announced that her official naming ceremony would be held in Portsmouth 19th August, which is a first for the South Coast port. The itinerary is based on round trips from two UK homeports (Dover and Southampton) and starts with “The Inaugural Cruise” from Dover departing August 21, 2020. The 17-day Baltic Sea voyage features an overnight in St Petersburg (Russia).

Sea Cloud Spirit – Sea Cloud Cruises

Sea Cloud Cruises stellt 2020 neuen Großsegler in Dienst
Image: Sea Cloud Cruises

Builder: Metalships & Docks Shipyard (Vigo, Spain)

Launching: Summer

Tonnage: 4228gt

Cabins: 69

Passengers: 136

Stand Out feature(s): world’s first sail ship with an elevator, Swimming Platform (extending from Deck 2), dining venues feature panoramic 270-degree views

Sea Cloud Spirit is a full-rigged, 3-masted barque and currently world’s largest sail ship.The ship was originally named “Sea Cloud Hussar” and due for delivery in 2010 but was delayed due to the original shipyard going bankrupt. Sea Cloud Spirit itinerary was announced in June 2019. The Megayacht’s inaugural season (August through December 2020) will be in the Caribbean and will feature a new destination – USVI (Virgin Islands).

Ocean Victory – Albatros Expeditions

1801-eff214e9e06
Image: Victory Cruise Lines, Albatros Expeditions

Builder: CMIH-China Merchants Heavy Industry (Haimen shipyard, Jiangsu China)

Launching: September

Tonnage: 7400gt

Cabins: 93

Passengers: 146

Stand Out feature(s): Observation Deck with two Hydraulic Platforms and two Viewing Platforms), Four Zodiac Docks (2 on each side, hull access at sea-level), 1 x “family stateroom” for up to 6 persons.

MS Ocean Victory is the second in a series of ten ice-strengthened (polar class 1A / PC6) expedition cruise ships scheduled for delivery in September 2020. Starting operations for Victory Cruise Lines, Ocean Victory’s itinerary program 2021 (May through September) includes a total of 20 cruises in Alaska (USA) and British Columbia (Canada). Itineraries lengths range between 7 to 10 days.

 

MSC Virtuosa – MSC Cruises

IMG_1526
MSC Virtuosa Sister ship MSC Grandiosa Image: Andrew McAlpine

Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire France)

Launching: October

Tonnage: 181,000gt

Cabins: 2405

Passengers: 4810

Stand Out feature(s): 111-meter-long indoor promenade with “digital sky” LED screen, Zoe personnel assistant,  2-deck Super Amusement Park, 4D Cinema; Flight Simulator

MSC Virtuosa is the second Meraviglia Plus-class vessel – and follows 2019 built sistership MSC Grandiosa. The Meraviglia-Plus vessels are an upgraded (enlarged design) the previous Meraviglia-Class ships. MSC Virtuosa’s maiden season in Europe is based on 5 homeports (Barcelona Spain, Genoa Italy, Civitavecchia -Rome, Palermo Sicily, Marseille France) and 7-day Western Mediterranean cruises. The 6-port roundtrip itineraries, along with the rotational homeports, also visit Malta (Valletta).

 

Costa Firenze – Costa Cruises

Costa Firenze
Image: Costa Cruises

Builder: Fincantieri (Marghera, Italy)

Launching: October

Tonnage: 135,225gt

Cabins: 2116

Passengers: 4232

Stand Out feature(s): Designed to showcase Italian food, lifestyle, and culture, Gondola Lounge, Bridge of Sighs, Golden Party where there are gifts and surprises won every ten minutes

Costa Firenze like her earlier sister has been designed specifically for China’s cruising market. The inaugural cruise (7-day itinerary Trieste to Savona) starts on October 1, 2020, and visits Bari, Barcelona and Marseille.  with a month-long inaugural season in Europe/Mediterranean, from the Italian homeports Trieste and Savona. From November the liner starts a 51-day relocation from Savona to Hong Kong.

 

mardi Gras – Carnival Cruise Line

Mardi-Gras-FO-2
Image: Carnival Cruise Line

Builder: Meyer Werft (Turku, Finland)

Launching: October

Tonnage: 180,800gt

Cabins: 2641

Passengers: 5285

Stand Out feature(s): “BOLT Ultimate Sea Coaster” the industry’s first roller coaster at sea, Grand Central (midship on Decks 6-8) is an expanded Atrium

Carnival Mardi Gras is the largest and most technologically advanced vessel ever constructed for the line. She is the same basic design as AIDAnova, and Costa Smeralda  delivered 2019 and P&O’s Iona also due this year. The separate Carnival brands all refer to them as different classes e.g XL Class Carnival/P&O, Helios AIDA Cruises, Excellence-Class Costa Cruises. The itinerary program offers a diverse schedule with 6-day to 15-day voyages in Europe and the Caribbean.

Odyssey of the Seas – Royal Caribbean

1861-b5e1c3fc867
Sister ship Spectrum of the Seas Image: Meyer Werft

Builder: Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)

Launching: November

Tonnage: 168,666gt

Cabins: 2095

Passengers: 4246

Stand Out feature(s): North Star, extending s up and over the ship for 360-degree views, “iFly by RipCord” (skydiving simulator) Skypad, Inside cabins featuring “virtual balconies, outdoor theater a large LED screen for movies nightly and live media streaming daily

Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship is the second Quantum-Ultra class vessel. The class is an enhanced version of the Quantum-class ships but in reality they are only slightly larger than the Quantum class, with gross tonnage increasing from 168,666 to 168,800gt. Odyssey of the Seas will homeport in Fort Lauderdale with an inaugural four-night Bahamas cruise departing November 5, 2020. Prior to an the inaugural cruise season the liner will visit Southampton as part of a  Transatlantic re-positioning crossing from Europe.

 

Coral Geographer – Coral Expeditions

Coral-Adventurer2
Image: Coral Expeditions

Builder: VARD (Vaung Tau, Vietnam)

Launching: December

Tonnage: 5,536gt

Cabins: 64

Passengers: 120

Stand Out feature(s): wrap-around promenade deck, trademarked “Xplorer” tenders, Six Zodiacs used for landings and close to shore excursions

Scheduled for launch in 2020 (inauguration in January 2021), the MS Coral Geographer cruise ship is the 5th ship in the fleet of the Australian cruise company Coral Expeditions and is designed for ocean cruising to more isolated and shallower tropical destinations. MS Coral Geographer itinerary program is based on Asia-Pacific cruises to Kimberley region, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and South Pacific Islands.

Ultramarine – Quark Expeditions

Ultramarine
Image: Quark Expeditions

Builder: Brodosplit Shipyard (Split, Croatia)

Launching: Q4 TBC

Tonnage: 13,500gt

Cabins: 102

Passengers: 200

Stand Out feature(s): Panorama Lounge and Bar – A relaxed gathering spot with unobstructed panoramic views and an outdoor, forward-facing Observation Deck. Zodiac’s for onshore landings, Polar Boutique – Stocked with the industry’s top cold-weather expedition gear and a carefully curated selection of polar keepsakes

Quark Expeditions’ Ultramarine ship was named after the color ultramarine, the name also means “beyond the sea”. The vessel was specifically designed to navigate the ice-filled polar waters. The ship’s inaugural season includes voyages in the Canadian Arctic (including Northwest Passage), Greenland, Spitsbergen Norway.

 

Flying Clipper – Star Clippers

1335-5bf62ce93df
Image: Star Clippers

Builder: Brodosplit Shipyard (Split, Croatia)

Launching: TBC

Tonnage: 8,770gt

Cabins: 150

Passengers: 300

Stand Out feature(s):  Glass-bottomed swimming pool, Complimentary water sport activities include snorkelling, dinghy sailing, waterskiing, sea kayaking. signature onboard fun activity is the supervised mast-climbing,

Flying Clipper is Star Clippers’ biggest ship, and was originally due for delivery at the end of 2017. The ship is modelled on France II, the legendary sailing vessel which was launched in 1912, was the biggest in the world at the time. During summer 2020, Flying Clipper cruises in Europe (Mediterranean). Following Transatlantic re positioning crossing, during winter the ship will be based in the Caribbean. Itineraries including homeports, ports of call etc are yet to be announced.

Of all the ships launching this year what one are you excited about?

As always thank you for reading my latest blog post

 

 

Virgin Voyages names second ship ‘Valiant Lady’

LAUNCHING 3 EXHILARATING 7-NIGHT

ITINERARIES FROM BARCELONA WITH

OVERNIGHT STAYS IN IBIZA

Virgin Voyages, the new lifestyle brand shaking up the travel industry, announced their second ship will be called ‘Valiant Lady’ and that she will sail 7-night Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona, Spain when she debuts in May 2021. Bookings for the three feature itineraries, that all offer overnight and late-night stops across some of the hottest destinations in France, Italy and Spain, will open December 19, 2019.

“We are thrilled to unveil the name of our second ship – Valiant Lady – and to deliver on our commitment to offer travelers a sea change in how they can experience cruising in this fantastic part of the world. Our Sailors will fall in love with the places we go and the moments and memories they will be able to create on our gorgeous ship. After all, there is no better way to sail the seven seas than doing it the Virgin way,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.

Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady
Valiant Lady, sister ship to Scarlet Lady Image: Virgin Voyages

2021 Summers on the Med with a home in Barcelona 

Valiant Lady will dock just steps from Las Ramblas at the World Trade Center Barcelona, positioning Sailors as close to the heart of this stunning departure-port-city as possible. This prime location, usually reserved by luxury liners and mega-yachts, gives walking access to the dynamic and diverse neighborhoods of Poble Sec, el Raval, Barri Gotic, Port Vell and the famed urban beach of La Barceloneta. With a weekly Sunday sail away, sailors will enjoy extra time in Barcelona and be able to take advantage of many different flight options. Virgin Voyages is partnering with Global Ports Holding, the world’s leading independent cruise port operator, to prepare for Valiant Lady’s arrival in early summer 2021.

 

Open for bookings December 2019, 7-nightsailings start May 2021 and feature an overnight in Ibiza 

The Med, home to some of the world’s best beach clubs, cultural experiences, restorative spas, yacht clubs and nightlife, is a perfect choice for Virgin Voyages. Valiant Lady will sail 3 different itineraries with truly breathtaking ports of call.

  • Itinerary 1 includes the exotic delights of Barcelona, Ibiza, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Olbia
  • Itinerary 2 includes a fantastic sampling of the Med featuring Barcelona, Ibiza, Toulon, Ajaccio, Marina di Carrara and Cagliari
  • Itinerary 3 is a mostly Spanish immersion, stopping by Barcelona, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and the British port of Gibraltar Virgin Voyages also revealed that the name ‘Valiant Lady’ was inspired by the Latin wordvalere and from the French origin, vaillant, meaning “bold”, “strong”, and “courageous.”While historically, the image of women only graced the bows of ships to bring protection to a vessel, ‘Valiant Lady’ embodies the idea that women design, captain, lead and champion change in the maritime industry.

The Scarlet Lady’s sister ship ‘Valiant Lady’ will continue Virgin Voyages’ ‘Scarlet Squad’ program aimed at recruiting, supporting and mentoring female shipboard talent, and growing opportunities to access leadership roles in onboard areas such as marine, technical and hotel management that statistically show low numbers of female leadership.

Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady
Valiant Lady launching 2021 Image: Virgin Voyages

Introducing ‘Valiant Lady’

 Hearing Sailor and First Mates (travel partners) requests for later stays in ports, Virgin has delivered this on every itinerary. This means Sailors have the flexibility to make the most of their time in port and take in all that these destinations have to offer. Of particular note, every sailing features a Friday overnight stay in Ibiza, one of the most stunning and thrilling Balearic Islands. Whether it’s a blissed-out beach club, a bohemian market, a serene spa, watching the stunning sunsets, or a late night out, there is no comparable place that offers the variety and style of this ultimate destination.

All Virgin Voyages ships have been designed by a leading creative collective who are the brains behind some of the world’s most loved boutique hotel brands. The collective includes names like Design Research Studio (Tom Dixon), Roman & Williams and Concrete Amsterdam who have all been inspired by the brand’s design concept- the Modern Romance of Sailing and Mission to Redefine the Experience of a Vacation at Sea.

As always thank you for taking to time to read my latest post.

 

MSC Grandiosa arrives in Southampton for an extended stay

On Tuesday morning (11th November) the port of Southampton welcomed MSC Cruises newest flagship the brand new MSC Grandiosa on her inaugural visit to the UK’s no.1 cruise port.

MSC Cruises MSC Grandiosa alongside in Southampton

Just two days after she was christened in Hamburg her visit to Southampton is part of a series of inaugural celebrations as she heads to the Mediterranean to start her maiden season.

MSC’s new flagship

With a length of 331 metres, 181,541GRT and with a maximum capacity of 6334 guests, MSC Grandiosa is the first of the new Meraviglia-plus class and is now the largest ship in MSC Cruises ever growing fleet.

According to the line she is also one of the most environmentally friendly ships at sea and features a host of technology including closed loop Hybrid Exhaust cleaning system (EGCS) which reduces SOx exhaust emissions, Ballast water treatment system, energy-saving LED lighting throughout, and shore-to-ship power technology all of which are designed to reduce the ships impact on the environment.

MSC Grandiosa technical sheet infographic

Along with 500 travel agents, travel media and a host of other UK cruise bloggers I was invited by MSC Cruises for an overnight stay on board to take a look around and to sample what MSC Grandiosa has to offer.

view of the atrium onboard MSC Grandiosa

As usual MSC now how to put on a party an following on from the success of local musician Craig David at the MSC Bellissima event earlier in the year MSC invited another famous Southampton local to play none other than Radio One DJ Scott Mills who went to Crestwood School in Eastleigh rocked the galleria grandiosa with an hour long set of music.

LED Ceiling onboard MSC Grandiosa

MSC Grandiosa was originally due to sail for Barcelona the following day however due the forecast of severe storms in the Bay of Biscay her stay has been extended, and she sailed for Barcelona  0700hrs this morning.

MSC trade media all stars plaque

I will be posting a full ship review, and video coming soon.

As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.

Five things I loved about Norwegian Encore plus one I didn’t!

Norwegian Encore is a fitting name for the fourth and final ship in Norwegian Cruise Lines successful breakaway-plus class. She was launched last week, and I was invited on her preview cruise from Bremerhaven to Southampton to get a taste of what she has to offer.

Ahead of her arrival in New York today and my full ship review here are the five things I loved about the ship and one I didn’t!

5 things I love about Norwegian Encore

Largest race track at sea

The first race track at sea was introduced in 2017 on Norwegian Joy, the following year Norwegian Bliss followed with a longer 1,000 feet track and once again the track has been increased in length on Norwegian Encore. At  a whopping 1,100 feet long the Norwegian Encore Speedway holds the record for the longest race track at sea. The track loops around over two storeys and now includes two sections which extend 13 feet over both sides of the ship. As with the previous track on Joy and Bliss there is a viewing gallery which is covered on Encore and gets you up close to the racing action but in a new addition spectators can now fire a laser at the cars to give them a turbo boost.

Encore Speedway (1)

Encore Speedway (2)
Encore Speedway

Observation Lounge

Originally debuted on Norwegian Joy, the observation lounge is an amazing public space and more akin to the luxury haven area also found on these ships. The 20,000-square foot space is located forward above the bridge, which on the last three Breakaway-plus ships has been lowered in order to accommodate it. Spanning the forward section on decks 15 and 16 the area was designed primarily for taking in the wonderful views of Alaska, but no matter where you are cruising you will be wowed by the beautifully elegant décor as you walk through, only for your breathe to be taken away by the floor to ceiling windows and wonderful view. The huge lounge is the perfect place to grab breakfast in the morning avoiding the buffet crowds, enjoy that mid morning coffee while reading a book or your favorite cruise blog! In the evening its the prefect pre-dinner drinks venue, due to its small bar and no live music.

IMG_0967

Observation lounge (2)
The elegant Observation Lounge

The District Brewhouse

The District brewhouse is an adults only venue designed in partnership with Miami’s  Wynwood Brewing Company. It features its own its own keg room which is visible behind a glass wall and if you like craft beers this is the place for you with over 50 different bottled and 22 draft beers to choose from plus hand-crafted speciality cocktails are also available. During your cruise you can even get a list of the different beers to try that and the bartender will happily tick them off for you!

The Waterfront

I am a fan of promenade a deck, and so many modern ships don’t incorporate them anymore. For me there is nothing better than looking out to sea while sat outside enjoying your favorite food, drink and company. And this is why I love the waterfront, and both the breakaway and breakaway-Plus class ships feature this quarter mile oceanfront promenade, with many of the bars and restaurants having an outside area along the waterfront.

IMG_0831

IMG_0809
The Waterfront

Single use plastics ditched!

So anyone that knows me or reads my blog will be aware that the environment is of great importance to me. And one area I am very keen on is the single-use plastics issue. I am personally trying to reduce my families single use plastics usage at home and it frustrates me that when I step onboard many cruise ships there is still so many of these items being used. But things are changing, as part of the companies Sail & Sustain initiative in 2018 the line removed all plastic straws from its fleet of 16 ships and starting with Norwegian Encore it is eliminating all single-use plastic bottles, totaling round 6 million bottles per year. Instead, Norwegian will stock water from the Jaden Smith-founded company JUST. 

The JUST water cartons are made from paper, while the cap and shoulder are made from a sugarcane-based plastic, whats more the cartons are refillable and recyclable.

PhotoData_IMG_0911
Just water cartons in the cabins

 

So those were five things I loved about Norwegian Encore, it wasn’t an easy choice but these were firm favorites for me.

No vegan options!

Unfortunately there was one area that did disappoint me, and it may actually dissuade me from cruising on Encore or with Norwegian in the future which is a shame, and that was the lack of vegan options in the restaurants.

On the two nights I was on board my restaurants were pre-chosen for me as it was a press trip. The first was Q Smoke House and the second was Ocean Blue. On the first night I tried the smoke house but unsurprisingly there was not a vegan option and I ended up with fries and a sweet potato jacket with salad! On the second night I spoke to the restaurant in advance and was told that they don’t cater for vegetarians or vegans. So that night I ate at the Manhatten Lounge which is a beautiful venue and from the food and décor you would think it was be a specialty restaurant but it isnt, along with Savor and Taste its the equivalent of a main dining room with all three venues sharing the same menu. Although there were vegetarian options which were clearly marked there weren’t any vegan options, and alot of the veggy options came with cheese! Luckily our table had a very helpful waitress who was only to happy to help and thanks to her I enjoyed a specially made salad as a starter, followed by pasta, and for dessert I enjoyed sorbet and a surprise chocolate gateau which wasn’t on the menu but when I enquired both were actually vegan although not marked as such.

IMG_1010IMG_1012

My point is that while I have no problem that not every restaurant has a vegan option, vegan passengers should be able to find something suitable on the menu in at least one of the restaurants be it the MDR or buffet.

Overall I have to say I loved the ship, I love the decor on this class of ship and find them very easy to find may way around and really like the large children’s areas which are som of the largest I’ve seen on any ship. If I knew that I could easily find vegan dining options onboard I wouldn’t hesitate to book a cruise and it’s something I will be looking into further.

Are you due to cruise on Norwegian Encore? I would love to hear your thoughts.

My full Norwegian Encore ship review coming soon.

As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.

 

MSC Grandiosa officially named in Hamburg

In a dazzling event in the port of Hamburg last night MSC Cruises christened MSC Grandiosa, its newest, most environmentally-advanced flagship, on the fourth and final night of celebrations in the Blue Port. Part of the cruise line’s largest and longest christening event ever, this part of MSC Grandiosa’s series of celebrations which span 27 days, 8 countries and 11 ports and will engage over 14,000 travel agents from around the world. Following on from the Christening, MSC Grandiosa will embark on a grand tour, visiting Southampton, UK, Lisbon, Portugal, Barcelona, Spain, Marseille France and Genoa, Italy, before commencing her usual 7-night cruises on 23 November.

MSC Cruises celebrates the christening of MSC Grandiosa in Hamburg, Germany (14).JPG
Port of Hamburg turns blue in celebration Image: MSC Cruises

It’s an extraordinary welcome for an extraordinary ship. Designed to ensure even cleaner air emissions and improved overall environmental performance both at sea and ashore, MSC Grandiosa is equipped with advanced cutting-edge technologies and sets a new standard for sustainability at sea.

On board, guests of all ages and interests will find something exciting waiting, including:

  • Two original new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea exclusive to MSC Cruises guests
  • A 93-metre-long Mediterranean Promenade lined with international shops and restaurants
  • An immersive art experience featuring etchings from Edgar Degas’ Danse Dessin series
  • Dedicated children’s areas designed in partnership with Chicco and LEGO
  • The world’s first virtual digital cruise assistant – ZOE – in every cabin

MSC Grandiosa arrives in Hamburg (3)
MSC Grandiosa arrives in Hamburg Image: MSC Cruises

Since arriving in Hamburg on 6th November, MSC Grandiosa has been the subject and star of an immersive lightshow at the German city’s Blue Port. Spectacular light installations by renowned artist Michael Batz have bathed the port in shades of blue reminiscent of the sea to symbolise MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to the ocean, and MSC Grandiosa’s striking silhouette can be seen shimmering alongside the famous Elbphilharmonie on Hamburg’s Elbe river.

The traditional Christening ceremony took place in different locations across the ship, and the proceedings will be hosted by talented actress, TV presenter, model and singer, Michelle Hunziker alongside co-host TV host & actor Jochen Schropp, one of Germany’s favorite entertainers.

 

The festivities didn’t stop there – a purpose-built “MSC Village” on the banks of the River Elbe will brought the festivities to shore, welcoming 5,000 locals to experience the christening from land with live music and food trucks. Guests were joined by the popular German TV couple and even hosts Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale. 

MSC Cruises celebrates the christening of MSC Grandiosa in Hamburg, Germany (6).jpg
Sophia Loren names her 15th MSC Cruises ship Image: MSC Cruises

The evening’s main spectacle occurred as MSC Grandiosa passed the Elbphilharmonie just as a special light show illuminates the building and ship. She’ll then take centre stage on the River Elbe as Godmother Sophia Loren officially names her 15th MSC Cruises ship, followed by a celebratory firework display. MSC Grandiosa will then pass through a spectacular gateway of blue night returning to her dock, symbolising the new ship’s entry to the world.

MSC Cruises celebrates the christening of MSC Grandiosa in Hamburg, Germany (17).JPG
MSC Grandiosa passes the Elbphilharmonie Image: MSC Cruises

Guests onboard will then enjoy a gourmet four course menu created by renowned 3 Michelin starred German chef Harald Wohlfahrt at the Gala Dinner. The menu for guests will start with Chilled king crab salad with crustacean coulis and imperial caviar or Guinea fowl napoleon with apple-ginger quenelle, Riesling gelée and brioche. Next up will be the traditional German dish, “Maultasche” – pasta filled with winter truffles and pistou sauce. The main dish will Oven-roasted turbot in a saffron-mussel fumet and vegetable mélange or Duo of veal tenderloin and braised cheek, tender savoy cabbage, glazed carrot and roasted herb jus. Finishing off the gourmet feast, guests can choose a Pistachio parfait with orange granité and exotic fruit cocktail or Chocolate tart with caramelised pears and vanilla-mascarpone ice cream.

Guests then danced into the night in the Galleria Grandiosa, the ship’s iconic 93-metre-long Mediterranean promenade where popular German DJ Mousse T. and from British singer Emma Lanford will perform.

MSC Cruises celebrates the christening of MSC Grandiosa in Hamburg, Germany (13).JPG
DJ Mousse T Image: MSC Cruises

MSC Grandiosa will commence her regular 7-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean from 23rd November with six embarkation ports calling Genoa, Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.

I am lucky enough to be joining MSC Grandiosa during her visit to Southampton on Tuesday, so be sure to follow my social media channels for updates and images.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.