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)

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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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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.

HRH THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL BECOMES GODMOTHER TO SAGA’S SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY IN DOVER

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Image: Saga Cruises

On Friday 5th July HRH The Duchess of Cornwall today became Godmother to Saga’s new boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery, in Dover, Kent. It’s the first cruise ship to be named at the Port of Dover for over a decade.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall joined over 500 guests in true British style, at what is thought to be the first ever garden party on a quayside.  Grass grown in Yorkshire adorned the harbour, surrounded by traditional bunting and table settings, stunning foliage, florals, trees and parasols.

HRH was given a tour of the ‘contemporary classic’ Spirit of Discovery which has been designed and built to be a British ‘boutique’ hotel on the sea. Whilst on board she met Jools Holland OBE in ‘The Club by Jools’, as well as Captain Julian Burgess and crew on the Bridge and entertainers in the Playhouse, the ship’s theatre. She also viewed some of the 400 plus pieces of original art commissioned by British based artists and artisans. These include a striking glass work created by sculptor Peter Layton, and inspired by the Royal Gardens at Highgrove.

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HRH The Duchess of Cornwall cuts the cake image: Saga Cruises

Following the tour of Spirit of Discovery, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall cut a specially made cake, a two-metre long replica of Spirit of Discovery, designed and made by Mark Tilling, award winning chocolatier and winner of Bake Off Crème de la Crème. During the official naming ceremony, HRH and guests were entertained by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Collingwood and the Morriston Orpheus Choir. The ship was blessed by The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall formally named Spirit of Discovery with a jeroboam of the specially-blended Hush Heath English sparkling wine, before an eco-confetti cannon fired across the proceedings.

HRH is the patron of the charity The Silver Line, which provides a 24-hour telephone service for older people who are feeling lonely or isolated, and is Saga’s first national charity partner. During her speech she said of The Silver Line, “Since its launch in 2013, it has received over 2 million calls – and the support of Saga will ensure that its vital work can continue.”

Robin Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Saga Travel, said, “This is an immensely proud moment for Saga. We started this journey to build something special some three and a half years ago, and today, we are honoured to be joined by our Godmother, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. We firmly believe that Spirit of Discovery creates a new British quality standard in the cruising market and we can’t wait to welcome guests on board.”

The occasion celebrated the start of a significant new era for Saga Cruises, the only remaining British registered, independent, cruise company, whose headquarters are in Folkestone and Best Small Cruise Company winner at the British Travel Awards 2019. Saga’s Spirit of Discovery is their first commissioned ship, and is the only ship built and delivered exclusively for the British market this year.  She has been registered in the UK and will proudly display London as her port of registry on her stern. Her sister ship, Spirit of Adventure, will also fly the Red Ensign when she launches in 2020. Moreover, Spirit of Discovery is the first ship to be docked, and named, at Dover Western Docks following the £250m redevelopment of the area.

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Image: Saga Cruises

The inaugural cruise of Spirit of Discovery, named ‘A British First’, will depart from Dover on 10th July and sail around the British Isles and will make her first visit to Southampton 22nd July.

You can find out more by visiting Saga Cruises website https://travel.saga.co.uk/cruises/ocean/our-ships/spirit-of-discovery.aspx?pid=ppsl&scid=ppc-b&infinity=ict2~net~gaw~ar~338966019539~kw~saga%20cruises~mt~e~cmp~Brand_Long+Tail_Cruises_X_X_X_Core_X_Exact~ag~Cruise&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_bnnnaui4wIViEHTCh1b4AY5EAAYASABEgKLZvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

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

 

New cruise ships still to enter service in 2019

With the first half of 2019, being busy with 12 new cruise ships delivered to various owners the second half of 2019 looks to be just as busy. According to the latest cruise ship order book there are a another 12 new ships set for delivery in the second half of the year, with an average of two ships being delivered each month..

The remaining order book is valued at around $5.5 billion with an estimated 24,190 new berths entering service. Of the ships yet to be delivered, five are expedition vessels and one is LNG-fuelled ship.

2019 New cruise ships

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Take a look at what new ships are due for delivery:

JUNE

Spirit of Discovery

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Image: Meyer Werft

$350,000,000
Capacity: 1,000 Guests

Constructed by Meyer Werft in Papenburg Saga’s first-ever new build, the Spirit of Discovery was delivered in mid-June ahead of her inaugural cruise from Dover in July. Departing from Dover on July 10th, the new ship’s first voyage is aptly named British First, circumnavigating the UK and adding calls to Ireland.

All Saga Discovery ship’s 540 staterooms have private balconies, which also means that the ship has no Inside cabins. Cabin categories include Standard Balcony, Deluxe Balcony, Mid-ship Suites and larger Panorama Suites. 100 single cabins are specifically designed for solo travellers (can be booked with single-occupancy rates and without single supplement), which is approx. 20% of ship’s total capacity.

https://travel.saga.co.uk/cruises/ocean/our-ships/spirit-of-adventure.aspx


Le Dumont-d’Urville

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Image: Ponant Cruises

$110,000,000
Capacity: 180 Guests

Le Dumont d’Urville will be the fourth in Ponant’s six-ship Explorer-class of expedition vessels. Named after the French explorer and naval officer who explored the south and western Pacific, Australia. The Dumont d’Urville scientific station in Antarctica is named after him.
Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience. the ship will have reinforced hulls for when sailing in polar regions and an aft marina for when it’s in tropical destinations.
Standout features on Le Dumont d’Urville will be an aft marina and the underwater Blue Eye Lounge. The marina, located at the back of Deck 3, gives cruisers easy access to the ship’s fleet of Zodiacs, as well as for entering the water (conditions permitting) for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding.

https://en.ponant.com/le-dumont-d-urville-eu-2

August

Greg Mortimer

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Image: Sunstone Ships

Cost: $65,000,000
Capacity: 160 Guests

Named after the Australian mountaineer, the “Greg Mortimer” is a modern, purpose-built vessel designed specifically for expedition cruising, and is the first polar expedition  vessel in SunStone Ships’ INFINITY series. Being constructed the CMHI yard in Shenzhen China. Four firm contracts have so far been signed, and six options. The INFINITY Class vessels are 104.4 m long and 18.4 m wide. They have a passenger capacity of 130-200, and a crew capacity of 85-115, and are built to the ice standard PC5, Cat B. The  most striking feature is the X-BOW®, an inverted bow  which results in smoother sailing and increased efficiency. Rather than rising over and then dropping onto waves like a traditional ship, the X-BOW® pierces through them, splitting the wave’s energy.

https://www.polar-navigator.com/antarctica/greg-mortimer?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoPj-0emD4wIVipXtCh23owPPEAAYAiAAEgKXe_D_BwE

Scenic Eclipse

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Image: Scenic Eclipse

Cost: $185,000,000
Capacity: 228 Guests

Constructed by the Uljanik Group in Croatia “Scenic Eclipse” is a six-star, ultra-luxury mega yacht developed by Australian river cruise operator Scenic. It is the first ocean cruise ship for the company, which specialises in luxury river cruises. The yacht will carry 228 guests (restricted to 200 in Polar Regions) in 114 all-veranda suites. It will carry a crew of 172 for normal regions and 182 for Polar Regions.

https://www.scenic.co.uk/our-offers/2019-20-scenic-eclipse-offers?_$ja=tsid:|cid:1668893272|agid:68275068127|tid:aud-324131906785:kwd-329353149497|crid:329359115984|nw:g|rnd:707794943279525039|dvc:c|adp:1t1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMItpWP3emD4wIVCLLtCh0qJgsCEAAYASAAEgL4pvD_BwE

September

Magellen Explorer

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Image: Antarctica XXI

$50,000,000
Capacity: 100 Guests (max)

The Magellan Explorer was constructed in Chile and will be primarily used for fly-in voyages, with a maximum of 100 passengers it will be sail with 73 passengers for the season, which is the exact number of seats the company has on its plane that flies to King George Island. The ship features comfortable and spacious cabins, with twin, queen or king-size beds. The ship also features dedicated single cabins. All cabins except the Porthole category feature a private balcony and separate sitting area.

https://antarctica21.com/ships-aircraft/mv-magellan-explorer/

October

Hanseatic Inspiration

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Image: Hapag Lloyd Cruises

$155,000,000
Capacity: 230 Guests

The 230-passenger cruise ship Hanseatic Inspiration is the second of three identical ships under construction by Norwegian company VARD Holdings Ltd (a subsidiary of Fincantieri) at Tulcea shipyard (Romania). The vessel has ice-class PC6 (highest for passenger ships) and offers 5-star premium hotel service and amenities, gourmet cuisine, large staterooms, and public spaces. The HANSEATIC inspiration will be an international ship, with all cruises conducted in both English and German.

https://www.hl-cruises.com/ships/hanseatic-nature-hanseatic-inspiration-hanseatic-spirit

Costa Smeralda

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Image: Costa Cruises

Cost: $950,000,000
Capacity: 5,224 Guests

The second of carnivals groups Excellence-Helios class ships is currently under construction at Meyer Werft, Turku shipyard in Finland. Costa Cruises will take delivery its new LNG powered flagship in October. Costa Smeralda’s itinerary program is based on 7-day Western Mediterranean cruises sailing round trip from the Italian homeports Rome-Civitavecchia, Savona, Barcelona, and Marseille. To be able to handle the large cruise liner, Port Savona’s terminal had to be modified. In 2020, two other Carnival brands will take delivery of the same class of ships as Carnival Mardi Gras & Iona enter service.

https://www.costacruises.co.uk/B2C/GB/Ships/Pages/costa-smeralda.aspx

Sky Princess

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Image: Sky Princess Official

Cost: $760,000,000
Capacity: 3,660

Sky Princess is the fourth Royal-class vessel all of which have been constructed by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri at its Monfalcone Shipyard. The class offers a unique glass-enclosed walkway over the ocean known as the SeaWalk. There are 1539 staterooms in 38 categories. 36 are the wheelchair-accessible rooms. The ship will also debut the new and innovative Princess Sky Suites. After a three-day preview cruise from Port Everglades, the new ship launches alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale Dec. 7, 2019 – April 4, 2020.

https://www.princesscruises.de/en/ships/sky-princess

Norwegian Encore

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Image: Meyer Werft

$1,100,000,000
Capacity: 4,200 Guests

Norwegian Encore is the fourth and final ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway plus Class. Currently under construction at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Papenburg, and is the 13th ship built for NCL at Meyer Werft. Norwegian Encore will feature a two-level race track that is larger than the go-“karts at sea” tracks featured on Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy. After her debut in Miami, the Encore will head to Seattle in 2021, sailing seven-day cruises to Alaska.

https://www.ncl.com/uk/en/cruise/norwegian-encore/overview

November

MSC Grandiosa

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Image: MSC Fans

$900,000,000
Capacity: 4,888 Guests

The first of MSC’s MSC Meraviglia-plus class MSC Grandiosa is under currently construction at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint Nazaire.  She is able to accommodate 6334 passengers with 75% of all staterooms featuring private balconies. MSC Grandiosa deck plans feature “cluster cabins” (up to 3 connecting staterooms for families) allowing up to three rooms to be interlinked for max capacity 10 guests. The vessel will spend her inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean. The ship will offer a seven-night sailing calling in Genoa, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseille, with its first cruise sailing from Genoa on November 16, 2019.

 

Carnival Panorama

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Image: Fincantieri

Cost: $780,000,000
Capacity: 4,000 Guests

The third Vista class ship for Carnival Cruises was originally ordered for P&O Cruises Australia, but in December 2016 was changed to Carnival. She is being constructed by Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard in Italy. As with the previous sister ships Carnival Panorama features 1965 cabins, of which 48 percent of the staterooms on board have balconies. For the first time in its history, the cruise line announced that the ship would feature a female cruise director with British-born Emma Nixon taking the role. The ship will sail from Long Beach, California, offering seven-day Mexican Riviera itineraries. She will be Carnival’s first new ship homeport on the West Coast in more than 20 years.

https://www.carnival.com/cruise-ships/carnival-panorama.aspx

TBA

Flying Clipper

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Image: Brodosplit Shipyard

 

Cost: $100,000,000
Capacity: 300 Guests

Currently under construction at the Brodosplit Shipyard in Croatia, the ‘Flying Clipper’, is 162 meters long and 18.5 meters wide with a deadweight of 2000 tons. The ship will have five masts and sails with an overall surface of 6.347 square meters, making it the largest sailing ship in the world.  Flying Clipper has five decks, with accommodation for 450 persons, of which 300 are passengers in 150 luxury cabins, and 74 crew cabins for 150 crewmembers.

https://www.starclippers.co.uk/flying-clipper-launch-moved-to-2018.html

Are you booked on any of these new ships?

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
 

GERI HORNER TEST DRIVES ROCKSTAR SUITES ABOARD VIRGIN VOYAGES’ SCARLET LADY

·         Exclusive partnership with Virgin Voyages sees Geri Horner give RockStar seal of approval on the ship’s Mega RockStar Suites

·         The brand expands offerings for Mega RockStar Suite Sailors

·         Lavish Mega RockStar Suites package will now include a dedicated hair and makeup crew, unlimited complimentary alcoholic and specialty beverages*, personalised in-room bar* and more

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Geri Horner Test Drives RockStar Suites Image: Virgin voyages

Virgin Voyages is upping the game for its top suites aboard the highly anticipated Scarlet Lady, with new offerings to ensure that Mega RockStars won’t have to worry about a thing during their voyage.

In celebration of the expanded offerings, the brand has today released exclusive video content of the suites, which features Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson, and legendary British pop star, Geri Horner, of the hugely successful girl group, the Spice Girls.

 

The video documents Horner test driving the Virgin Voyages ‘Gorgeous Suite,’ one of the ship’s most glamorous cabins, as a favour to her longtime friend, Branson. Following Horner’s journey through the suite, the footage chronicles her full RockStar experience, as she’s seen spinning records, reading Branson’s book, rocking out with a guitar, indulging in champagne and partying the night away in true Rebellious Luxe fashion.

image003.jpgExpanded Mega RockStar Offering

With only 78 RockStar Suites designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio  aboard the Scarlet Lady, among them are 15 Mega RockStar Suites, aptly named the Massive Suites, Fab Suites, Posh Suites and Gorgeous Suites. Mega RockStar Suites offer the ultimate VIP experience for anyone looking to live their best life at sea.

As announced today, to ensure that Mega RockStars always look red-carpet-ready, Virgin Voyages will now have a dedicated hair and makeup crew available for them upon request.

Mega RockStar Suite Sailors will now be able to indulge in beverages to their heart’s content thanks to access to unlimited complimentary alcoholic and specialty beverages* in all bars and eateries onboard, plus a free personalised bottomless in-room bar*. 

Should they seek time to unwind, Mega RockStar Suite Sailors can head to Redemption Spa’s thermal suite, the ship’s mermaid and merman hideaway complete with a hydrotherapy pool, mud room, salt room, cold plunge pools, quart` beds– where they will now receive complimentary access throughout their voyages.

What’s more, Mega RockStar Suite Sailors will receive complimentary laundry service, plus the option to curate bespoke activities in any port-of-call, tailored to fit individual needs and requirements. Be it foodie experiences or private tours of local landmarks, no ask is too big for the RockStar Agents. RockStar Agents will tend to their rockstar rider list, digging up whatever their heart may desire to make their voyage perfect– all red gummy bears, an electric guitar and beyond.

The Mega RockStars Suites are primely located on deck 15 of the ship and feature a Peek-A-View outdoor shower. Designed by Tom Dixon’s leading design research studio and inspired by mega yachts and rock and roll style icons like Grace Jones, the Mega RockStar and RockStar Suites offer an unrivalled on board experience.

How All RockStars Will Sail

While all Sailors enjoy unlimited WiFi on board, as part of Virgin Voyages’ new expanded offerings all RockStar Suite Sailors will now enjoy upgraded premium WiFi with streaming.

The new offerings will complement the robust existing benefits of all RockStar Suite Sailors, which include:

  • RockStar Agent support from time from time of booking, to sail away and throughout the voyage
  • Backstage access at every corner, with early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants, Shore Things and more
  • Luxe private transfers to and from the ship in Miami
  • An exclusive express pathway to the ship during embarkation
  • Access to Richard’s Rooftop – RockStar Suite Sailor’s very own VIP private club, a secluded place for them to bask under the sun or have a drink under the stars
  • Access to an exclusive VIP area at The Beach Club at Bimini
  • A fully stocked in-room bar with the first round on the house
  • Wardrobe team to help unpack and repack
  • Complimentary pressing service
  • Nightly express swimsuit drying service
  • Premium linens and a plush European king bed
  • Upgraded bath amenities for pampering

For more information on the Mega RockStar and RockStar Suite offerings, future Sailors and travel partners are invited to check out Virgin Voyages by visitingwww.virginvoyages.com.

 

P&O Cruises celebrates coin ceremony milestone for Iona

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Hull block containing the bow thrusters Image: P&O Cruises

A key stage in the construction of the P&O Cruise Iona was held at Meyer Werft shipyard earlier today.

P&O new build and yard team celebrated the milestone with the traditional coin-laying ceremony for the 180,000-ton LNG-fueled vessel. 

A bronze coin from the historic Iona Abbey and a slice of precious green Iona marble from the island were placed under the block housing the bow thrusters before the block was then lowered onto these items.

Watch the keel laying ceremony here:

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “This was an auspicious occasion in Iona’s build. The coin-laying is a long-held ship-building tradition which is to bring good luck to the ship and its crew through from construction to the future at sea.

“It is very special to think that a small part of the island of Iona will live within our own Iona. We hope that the qualities of beauty, heritage, pride, camaraderie, mutual support and loyalty from the island which attracted us to the name will be inherent in our ship, its crew and guests.

“The build of any ship is an incredible achievement but to see one of this size and scope is an extraordinary feat of skilled design and engineering. To view Iona’s SkyDome take shape was literally breath-taking – no other ship in the world has a glass dome of this quality of construction and scale. The extent of the space on Iona has allowed us to create not only spectacular spaces for shows, entertainment, dining and wellness but also many more intimate spaces for tranquility and relaxation as well as exclusive performances. Iona will be game-changer for holidays.”

As part of the ceremony the ship’s central steel block, the mega block, which has already been constructed was floated out on to the water, according to a press release.

The 21.5 metre long block weighs 461 tons, is 19.4 metres wide and 9.8 metres high and had to be lifted by a 600 ton crane.

Take a look at the build so far:

Iona which will be P&O Cruises first LNG powered ship is due to be launched in May 2020 and will spend its inaugural season sailing with 7 night itineraries from Southampton to the Norwegian Fjords, followed by a winter in the Canaries, Spain and Portugal.

Iona Factfile

IMO: 9826548

Shipyard: Meyer Werft, Papenburg

Hull No.: S710

Ship Class: Excellence Class

Sister Ships: AIDAnova, Costa Smeralda, Costa 2021, Carnival Mardi Gras

Cost: USD950 million

Registered: TBC

Steel cutting: April 2018

Launch: May 2020

Length: 337m

Beam: 42m

Service Speed: 23 Knots

Max Capacity: 6,600

Crew; 1,800

Decks: 20

Cabin Decks: 11

 

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