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.

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

MSC cruises to become the world’s first global cruise line to go carbon neutral

All of CO2 emissions from MSC Cruises’ fleet to be offset as of 1 January 2020 through high-grade that will increasingly rely on Blue carbon credits 

Announcement comes as part of a broader vision to support UN Sustainable Development Goals and in tandem with continued investments in the accelerated development of advanced environmental technology that will allow for zero-emissions ship operations

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MSC Grandiosa in Rotterdam Image MSC Cruises

The environment is something very close to my heart and as I work in the shipping industry any news of companies working to reduce the impact on the environment is of great interest to me, so I was very pleased to see the announcement by MSC Cruises yesterday that it is to become the first global cruise line to go carbon neutral.

How does a company become Carbon Neutral?

Becoming carbon neutral is achieved by calculating a carbon footprint and reducing it to zero through a combination of in-house efficiency measures and funding an equivalent amount of carbon savings elsewhere in the world through carbon offsetting projects.

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What is carbon offsetting?

Each and everyone of us has a carbon footprint, from individuals to organisations, and quite simply our carbon footprint is defined as the total emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, or product, expressed as carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent. If a cruise line was to reduce its carbon footprint then the easiest steps could be to stop using single use plastics, invest in ship-shore power technology while in port and use power saving technology onboard its ships. Once these steps have been taken carbon offsetting is the way for the company to take full responsibility for its residual carbon emissions, e.g. by paying or investing into projects that aim to reduce the amount of C02 in the atmosphere with schemes like planting trees, renewable energy etc.

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Carbon Offsetting

MSC Cruises announced that it will will offset all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its fleet marine operations through a blend of carbon offset projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take immediate action on greenhouse gas emissions. All costs for the offsets as well as any other associated items will be covered directly and in full by the Company.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman said: “Our focus on innovation since we built our first cruise ships only in 2003 ensures that we have one of the most modern fleets at sea as well as one of the highest environmentally performing. And, thanks to our long-term planning, this will allow us to already achieve a fleet-wide 29% reduction in carbon intensity (rate) by 2024 vs. 2008, well on our way to meet the 40% reduction target set for 2030.

 “Additionally, last week we announced that the LNG-powered fuel cells PACBOAT project will be hosted on board MSC Europa – the first of 5 LNG-powered cruise ships that are due to join our fleet. This is not only a world-first for a technology that promises to be most efficient for high-power maritime operations but also yet another concrete example of our firm commitment to partner and support the accelerated development of the next-generation technologies that will lead us and this industry to zero-emissions ship operations.”

 “As we recognize that today’s even most advanced maritime environmental technology alone is insufficient to immediately reach carbon neutrality, the further commitment we make today ensures that our fleet makes no negative contribution to climate change, starting 1 January 2020. We are a company with over 300 years of maritime heritage and an historical focus on the long-term that is especially typical of family-owned businesses like ours. For us, this is another step forward in our long-standing commitment to protecting the oceans, the destinations we visit and the port communities we touch.”

All new ships that have joined the fleet since 2017 MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa have been fitted with ship-to-shore power, also known as “cold ironing” this technology allows the ship to plug directly into the ports electrical supply rather than keep their generators running.

Mr Vago added: “We will work with leading providers in carbon credits able to offset CO2 emissions with the highest level of integrity. Our vision is to also invest in projects that provide quantifiable community benefits, protect the environment and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

In particular, MSC Cruises aims to develop a carbon offset portfolio that incorporates projects which protect and restore Ocean and coastal habitats while also absorbing more CO2 than currently occurs. As Blue Carbon projects focused mainly on coastal habitats are currently scarce, MSC Cruises will itself support the development of what aims to become the first carbon credits to be generated from the earth’s vast ocean, constituting an important new means for protecting and enhancing marine biodiversity and to support communities that rely on the highly pressurized resources of the sea.

Mr Vago concluded: “Blue carbon offsets will be a specific area of focus of our commitment to ensure carbon neutrality with immediate effect. We will put our people and our resources to work to also support the development of the specific type of projects, and the enabling certification processes, that can generate this innovative form of offsets which directly benefit the oceans and communities that live by the sea. As more of these become available, we will steadily increase our reliance on them as an additional area of focus within our overall long-term commitment to achieving zero-emissions operations.”

MSC Cruises’ commitment to delivering zero-emissions operations also includes a specific focus on energy efficiency and other aspects of its end-to-end operations beyond emissions. In particular, since 2017 all MSC Cruises new ships come equipped with ship-to-shore power facilities, a feature that would allow cruise ships to immediately go “zero-emissions” in any port that is ready for this technology. And this will provide even greater overall benefit when the ultimate source of shore power is renewable.

Currently, MSC Grandiosa and 10 other ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet of 17 ships are equipped for cleaner emissions with hybrid EGCS’ (Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems) which remove 98 percent of sulphur dioxide from a ship’s exhausts.

The line’s six other ships will be retrofitted with the technology by the end of 2021, the company said, and until then will rely on the use of low sulphur fuels to always fully comply with the strictest current and new maritime regulations.

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MSC Grandiosa arriving in Hamburg ahead of her naming ceremony Image: MSC Cruises

Details of MSC Cruises’ carbon neutral initiative was revealed at a dedicated media briefing on board MSC Grandiosa, MSC Cruises’ newest flagship and one of the most environmentally-advanced ships at sea yet. MSC Grandiosa was delivered to the Company only last week. On the same day, MSC Cruises started construction on MSC Europa, its first of five liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ships that will come into service between 2022 and 2027.

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MSC Europa first World Class ship Image: MSC Cruises

MSC Grandiosa and MSC Europa together represent significant additional progress in terms of delivering against MSC Cruises’ objective to minimize and continuously lowering its fleet environmental footprint.

 

I am excited to be joining MSC Grandiosa for an overnight stay on board in Southampton on Tuesday so be sure to follow my social media channels for updates.

you for taking the time to read my latest post.

Global Dream Hull art revealed

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Singapore, 16 October 2019 – “Genting Cruise Lines officially announced the world premiere and unveiling of Global Dream’s brand new hull artwork, entitled “A Dream Through Time and Space” at ITB Asia in Singapore today. Building on the successful debuts of Genting Dream, World Dream and Explorer Dream, Dream Cruises’ new 208,000 gross tonne ship, Global Dream, is currently under construction at Genting Hong Kong’s very own MV Werften shipyard in Germany. Global Dream is set to enter into service in early 2021 and will invite more Asian guests to cruise worldwide on inspiring voyages on board the largest cruise ship to homeport in the Asia Pacific region.

With Global Dream’s sister ship to debut in 2022, Dream Cruises’ five ship fleet will be the youngest and most modern in the world. As the only global cruise line with all “Made in Germany” cruise ships, Dream Cruises’ fleet will feature the highest safety standards, build quality, speed, power and luxury finishes. A testament to Dream Cruises’ quality vessels and exemplary service, the latest edition of the well-respected Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships 2020 has again ranked Genting Dream and World Dream in the Top 10 ‘Large Resort Ship’ – the only two highly ranked cruise ships to homeport year-round in Asia. Dream Cruises’ latest addition, Explorer Dream, also made her debut in the Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships 2020 guide under the “Mid-Sized Ship” category, earning a Top 20 ranking.

In addition to the unveiling of the hull artwork, guests attending ITB Asia will have the chance to preview and experience Global Dream through a specially constructed, full-scale smart show cabin on display during the event for the very first-time in Southeast Asia, allowing guests to find out more about the outstanding features of the new ship.

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Image: Dream Cruises

Guest of Honour, Mr. Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Education, Singapore helped preside over the unveiling ceremony along with Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Genting Hong Kong, Mr Hui Lim, Deputy CEO & Executive Director of Genting Hong Kong, Mr. Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines and Mr Michael Goh, President of Dream Cruises and Head of International Sales, Genting Cruise Lines.

“Singapore has been an important homeport for Genting Cruise Lines over the last 26 years and we are pleased to announce that Global Dream will celebrate her inaugural arrival in Singapore in Q2 2021 during her relocation cruise from Germany to Asia,” said Mr. Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines. “We greatly appreciate and look forward to the continued support from the Singapore Tourism Board and our partners from Singapore and across the region.”

“Having just celebrated our 25th Anniversary in Singapore last year, we are excited to return with the unveiling of Global Dream’s hull artwork at this year’s ITB Asia in Singapore. As arguably the most identifiable feature of a cruise ship, the hull artwork is another important milestone in the development of any cruise ship and will set the personality of the ship when she launches,” added Mr. Zhu. “The new hull artwork provides a fresh take on our beloved mermaid and astronaut characters and captures the adventurous spirit and sense of modernity that will be the hallmarks of Global Dream’s essence.”

Shanghai native and London based Illustrator, Shan Jiang, was commissioned to create the latest chapter of the Dream Cruises hull art romance. Having worked with a variety of notable companies and publications, Mr Shan’s work is strongly influenced by his home city of Shanghai; its skyscrapers and bungalows, contemporary concepts and traditional superstitions and flourishing subcultures.

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London based Illustrator, Shan Jiang was commisioned to design the hull art “A Dream Through Time and Space”

“A Dream Through Time and Space” continues the epic journey of the mermaid and the astronaut as they seek to satisfy their boundless curiosity and explore an infinite universe – driven by the desire for the extraordinary. Embodying the independent and fearless spirit of a new generation of traveller, the two worlds of the mermaid and astronaut blend together, resulting in a new way to explore the seven seas– one that combines age-old maritime tradition with space-age technology.

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Image: Dream Cruises / ITB

Guests attending ITB Asia were also among the first in the Southeast Asian region to experience Global Dream’s specially constructed balcony show cabin, which was built in Germany. Featuring 20 square metres of space, the luxurious Global Class cabins will be the industry’s most spacious staterooms at approximately 15% larger than standard cabins found on most other cruise lines.

Global Dream’s cabins will also feature cutting edge, state-of-the-art technology, redefining the concept of cruising with Bluetooth locks and a new smart system, enabling passengers to control different functions such as the LED mood lighting and climate control with a smartphone app, voice recognition or through a touch-screen control panel. Smart sensors will also be able to detect occupants in the cabin to automatically adjust the lights and temperature for better energy efficiency and triple vent air-conditioning outlets ensure even air distribution for maximum comfort.

Accommodating over 9,000 passengers and with lower berth capacity of 4,700 passengers, Global Dream will be the largest cruise ships in the world by passenger capacity and brings affordable, high-end cruising to a wide range of passengers with 2,350 cabins consisting of a variety of categories including villas, penthouses, suites, themed suites, balcony cabins and inside cabins. Global Dream will also feature Dream Cruises’ signature 151-suite luxury “ship-within-a-ship’ concept, “The Palace”.

Featuring a variety of innovative new features and facilities, Global Dream will include the industry’s most spacious staterooms and most luxurious suites, the first-ever theme park concept at sea – “Dream Park at the Pier” highlighted by the “Space Cruiser”, the world’s longest roller coaster at sea – the largest cinema at sea with eight theatres to meet the leisure and entertainment needs of travellers and MICE guests, and more. Singapore’s homegrown and internationally renowned nightlife brand, Zouk, the 3rd best club in the world, will also have a presence on Global Dream while Dream Avenue will provide guests with a multi-purpose outdoor leisure and recreational space.

Below are artist impressions of some of the interior spaces onboard:

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Image: MV Werften
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Image: MV Werften

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Image: MV Werften
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Image: MV Werften

GLOBAL DREAM FACTFILE

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IMO No.: 9808998

Launch: 2020

Shipyard:  MV Werften (Wismar and Rostock, Germany)

Building Cost: EUR 940 million, (USD 1,1 billion)

Hull No.: 125

Steel  Cutting: 8th March 2018

Keel laid: 11th September 2018

Class: Global Class

Sister Ships: second vessel in 2022

Length:  342 m

Width: 46 m

Draft: 9.5 m

Gross tonnage:  204,000 GT

Passengers: 4,700

Staterooms & Cabins: 2,500

Decks: 20

Cabin Decks: 11

Crew: TBC

Cruising speed: 23 knots

Thankyou for taking the time to read my lastest post.

MSC GRANDIOSA COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL SEA TRIALS

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MSC Grandiosa leaves Saint Nazaire for sea trials Image: MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises’ first Meraviglia-Plus class ship MSC Grandiosa has successfully completed her first intensive systems tests at sea during a three-day trial in the Atlantic Ocean between 28-31 August.

MSC Cruises’ latest flagship will next receive her finishing touches at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France before being officially delivered to MSC Cruises on 31 October.

With a gross tonnage of 177,000, the ship has a total guest capacity of 6,334 and will feature some of the latest innovative marine technology and systems to become MSC Cruises’ most efficient and environmentally clean ship in its fleet.

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The Meraviglia-Plus class are 16m longer than Meraviglia class
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© Andrew McAlpine

MSC Grandiosa is equipped with two new and important technological innovations including a selective catalytic reduction system to decrease nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 per cent and transform it into pure water and nitrogen.  The flagship is also fitted with a state-of-the-art advanced wastewater treatment system that will lead to nearly zero impact on discharges and allow her to operate in delicate environments such as the Baltic Sea and Alaska.

MSC Grandiosa will feature extended 111-meter-long indoor promenade featuring an extended screen of 95 meters by 6 meters supplied by Samsung. The extended promenade area which will house two extra restaurants, giving passengers a wider dining choice.

The new environmental features add to other effective technologies deployed on MSC Grandiosa to further reduce her environmental impact including a cutting-edge exhaust gas cleaning system, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, a ballast water treatment system and various energy-saving improvements such as heat recovery systems and LED lighting.

The christening ceremony for MSC Grandiosa is due to take place on 9th November in Hamburg and will be hosted by German TV star Michelle Hunziker. The ship will then head to Southampton arriving 12th November for two days of celebrations after which she will then head for an inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean with maiden calls from her Genoa homeport to Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseilles.

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Image: MSC Cruises

MSC Grandiosa Factfile

IMO No.: 9803613

Shipyard:  Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Saint Nazaire

Length: 331 m

Width: 51 m

Draft: 8,75 m

Gross tonnage: 177,000

Passengers: 6,334

Staterooms & suits: 2,444

Decks: 18

Crew: 1,700

Cruising speed: 21.8 knots

 

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

To find out more about MSC Grandiosa visit here http://www.msccruises.co.uk

World’s first hybrid powered cruise ship to be named in Antarctica

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Image: Hurtigruten

NAMED IN ICE – WITH ICE: Hurtigruten’s new hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen will be the first ship in history to be named in Antarctica. Photo: ESPEN MILLS/Hurtigruten

Hybrid powered expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen continues to make history – as Hurtigruten announces the first ever ship naming ceremony in Antarctica. Instead of the traditional bottle of champagne, MS Roald Amundsen’s explorer heritage will be honored by naming the vessel with a chunk of ice.

The naming ceremony will take place this fall, as the first world’s first hybrid powered cruise ship makes her way to the white continent on her maiden Antarctica voyage.

– We can think of no better place to name the truly unique MS Roald Amundsen than the waters of Antarctica – where no ship has ever been christened before, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

Named in ice – with ice

Named after polar hero Roald Amundsen – who led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage, the first expedition to the south pole and the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole – the MS Roald Amundsen naming ceremony is set to honor his legacy with a ritual invented by Amundsen himself.

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When christening his famed expedition ship “Maud” in 1917, Roald Amundsen switched the traditional bottle of champagne for a chunk of ice. Before crushing the ice against her bow, he stated:

“It is not my intention to dishonor the glorious grape, but already now you shall get the taste of your real environment. For the ice you have been built, and in the ice, you shall stay most of your life, and in the ice, you shall solve your tasks”.

Hurtigruten – and the yet to be disclosed godmother – will use the same ritual when naming MS Roald Amundsen.

– To honor Roald Amundsen and his explorer heritage, we will revive his ritual. With over 125 year of Polar experience, Hurtigruten will use the first ever ship naming ceremony in Antarctica to pay our respects to our oceans, the environment and past and present explorers, Skjeldam says.

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Image: ESPEN MILLS/Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten’s hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen made maritime history by being first cruise ship in the world to sail purely on battery power – as she left Kleven yard for her maiden voyage off the coast of Norway in late June.

IMAGES AND VIDEO: Watch MS Roald Amundsen sailing on battery power
MEET THE CAPTAIN: Hurtigruten veteran Kai (54) to captain MS Roald Amundsen

Specially designed for exploring some of the most spectacular waters of the planet, MS Roald Amundsen features groundbreaking green technology.

The hybrid powered expedition cruise ship is using battery packs to support her low-emission engines and will reduce CO2 emissions with more than 20 % compared to other cruise ships of the same size.

– This opens a new chapter in maritime history. MS Roald Amundsen is the first cruise ship equipped with batteries, something deemed impossible just a few years back. With the introduction of MS Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten sets a new standard not only for cruising, but for the entire shipping industry to follow, said Skjeldam (pictured).

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Image: Hurtigruten

The stunning scenery will be reflected in a modern Scandinavian design – with features spanning from the high-tech Amundsen Science Center, vast observation decks, an infinity pool, panoramic sauna, wellness center, three restaurants, bars, Explorer Lounge, aft-facing suites with private outdoor hot tubs, and the laidback atmosphere that creates the special Hurtigruten on board feel.

EXPLORE THE GREEN PIONEERVirtual tour of MS Roald Amundsen

From pole to pole

MS Roald Amundsen’s maiden season includes expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast, to Svalbard and Greenland, before becoming the first hybrid powered ship to attempt a traverse of the legendary Northwest Passage – following in the wake of the namesake explorer Roald Amundsen’s famed expedition.

In addition to eco-friendly expedition cruises along the west coast of North- and South America – with destinations bigger cruise ships cannot reach – the MS Roald Amundsen will head to the extreme south for a full 2019/2020 Antarctica season.

On board facilities includes: A fully equipped Science Center, observation decks, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, wellness center, three restaurants, bars, Explorer Lounge, more than 50 % of cabins with private balconies.

Hurtigruten – World leader in exploration travel

Building on 125 years of Norwegian pioneering heritage, Hurtigruten is today the world’s largest expedition cruise company.

Hurtigruten’s rapidly growing fleet of custom-build expedition ships takes modern-day adventure travellers to the world’s most spectacular destinations on our Planet – from the High North to Antarctica in the south.

Being the world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility. Hurtigruten is enhancing destinations and runs an responsible, sustainable global operation. Read more about Hurtigruten’s sustainability efforts here.

Hurtigruten is introducing the world’s first hybrid battery powered cruise ships, the MS Roald Amundsen (2019) and the MS Fridtjof Nansen (2020).

MS Roald Amundsen Factfile

IMO No.: 9813072

Shipyard:  Kleven Yards, Norway

Length: 140 m

Width: 23,6 m

Draft: 5,3 m

Gross tonnage: 20.889

Passengers: 530

Staterooms & suits: 265

Crew: 151

Cruising speed: 15 knots

Ice class: PC-6

The World’s first hybrid powered cruise ship equipped with large battery packs and groundbreaking green technology.

Want to learn more about the worlds first battery powered cruise ship? then be sure to check out my next post when I will be profiling this remarkable ship.

Hurtigruten website

http://www.hurtigruten.co.uk

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