Award-Winning Line Adds New Itineraries, New Ports of Call in the Caribbean, Europe and South America
MIAMI – Nov. 17, 2020 – Today, Celebrity Cruises announced its updated 2021-2022 winter sailings programme for the Caribbean, Europe and South America. The new offerings, informed by market research and valuable feedback from guests and travel partners, are highlighted by an expanded Caribbean presence with new seven-night and overnight itineraries; new Spain and Portugal itineraries in Europe; and an exciting new homeport and new shorter itineraries in South America.
The new sailings further complement Celebrity’s award-winning itineraries, curated to feature the world’s most beautiful places and create memories that last long after each destination has sailed out of view.
And, because holidays should be effortless from the start, Wi-Fi, drinks and tips are now ‘Always IncludedSM’ on every Celebrity cruise, simplifying the luxury holiday experience.
Eight of Celebrity’s award-winning ships will sail the sun-drenched tropics, including its newest Edge Series ships, Celebrity Edge and brand-new sister ship Celebrity Apex – known for being destinations in their own right. Altogether, these Celebrity ships offer a variety of exciting itineraries, from shorter escapes that are perfect for romantic getaways to more immersive sailings that allow extra time to unwind in paradise and enjoy Celebrity’s luxurious ships.
Celebrity Edge will offer a full winter season of seven-night Caribbean itineraries to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
Celebrity Silhouette, which recently enjoyed a multi-million dollar upgrade as part of the fleet’s transformative Celebrity Revolution® will sail new Southern Caribbean itineraries featuring overnights in Aruba and Curaçao.
Another “revolutionised” ship, Celebrity Summit, will replace Celebrity Infinity to sail four- and five-night itineraries from Miami plus two new Mexico holiday sailings in December, 2021.
Celebrity Infinity will offer new ways to experience the beauty of Europe next Autumn, by extending its season into October and November:
The award-winning Celebrity Infinity sails the Mediterranean from the home port of Lisbon, Portugal and adds a new 10-night “Best of Spain and Portugal” and two new seven-night Iberian Peninsula sailings visiting such beautiful coastal destinations as Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Alicante and Malaga in Spain; and Porto, Portugal. She then embarks on her new 12-night transatlantic from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, visiting ports of call in Spain and the Canary Islands.
Beginning in December 2021 until March 2022, Celebrity Infinity will explore the exciting continent of South America from the towering Fjords of Chile to the tropical beaches and rain forests of Brazil to the tip of Antarctica. With a new homeport, Valparaiso, Chile, known as “Little San Francisco” for its rich theatre, music and street art scene, the all-new schedule features:
Four new nine- to 12-night itineraries calling on ports throughout the stunning landscapes of Argentina and Patagonia, or the exciting cityscapes found in Argentina and Brazil.
One new 14-night sailing to the ever-popular, bucket-list destination of Antarctica, for a total of three sailings to a part of the world revered by history’s greatest explorers.
Celebrity Cruises is applying the recommendations of its Healthy Sail Panel of public health and scientific experts to ensure a safer and healthier cruise holiday on all of its sailings. For more information on the latest health and travel advice, please visit www.celebritycruises/travel-alert.
MSC CRUISES AND CHANTIERS DE L’ATLANTIQUE CELEBRATE KEY CONSTRUCTION MILESTONE FOR LNG-PROPELLED MSC WORLD EUROPA
MSC World Europa to become one of the most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNG ships in its class
Geneva, Switzerland and Saint-Nazaire, France, 29 June 2020 – A maritime coin ceremony tradition took place earlier today at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France when the keel was laid for MSC Cruises’ first liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, MSC World Europa.
The 200,000-plus GT ship is scheduled to enter service in 2022 and be one of most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNG-powered cruise vessels in its class, and the first ever to be built in France.
Zoe Africa Vago, daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago and her husband Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, and Aurore Bezard from the HR Department of Chantiers de I’Atlantique performed the traditional maritime ritual as godmothers representing the ship owner and the shipbuilder when they placed two coins under the keel as the historical sign of blessing and good fortune for the project, and the ship’s operational life at sea.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “MSC World Europa is further proof of our commitment to environmental stewardship as she is set to reduce carbon emissions even further than many other existing cruise ships powered by LNG, which is currently the most environmentally-friendly fuel for commercial maritime operations. With this vessel, we also reconfirm our belief in investing in advanced environmental technology to meet our long-term goal of zero emissions from operations.”
Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, added: “We are proud to start the building of a ship which will set the standards for the cruise of the future. This is a major milestone in the history of our 20-year cooperation with MSC Cruises, which has already resulted in some of the most innovative cruise ships ever built.”
MSC World Europa will feature a new 50-kilowatt demonstrator system that incorporates solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and use LNG to produce electricity and heat on board, the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship.
The (SOFC) system has been developed by French research centre CEA as part of MSC Cruises’ and Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s PACBOAT project. France-based contractor Entrepose Group will design and build the demonstrator, which will be approved by classification society Bureau Veritas.
This SOFC solution fuelled by LNG will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by about 30 per cent compared with a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles. It also offers the advantage of being compatible with LNG, as well as several low carbon fuels such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.
MSC World Europa will also feature a new generation wastewater treatment system that exceeds some of the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, as well other cutting-edge environmental technology.
MSC Cruises’ next flagship MSC Virtuosa is currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire and readying for delivery next year. The Company also has firm orders with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for two additional LNG-powered ships, once each for the MSC World and Meraviglia classes of ships.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.
Hurtigruten, world leader in expedition cruises, announces a year-round programme of unique voyages departing from Dover from mid March 2021.
The Norwegian operator, considered to be the world’s greenest cruise line, has launched 4 adventurous itineraries as expedition cruises from March 2021, which go on sale from 20th June.
The health and safety of guests and staff has always been the number one priority for Hurtigruten. Following guidelines recommended by the Norwegian Government, the company has built on existing protocols to introduce additional practices to ensure safe, sustainable and enjoyable expedition cruising.
MS Maud – a small, sustainable, expedition cruise ship
Taking less than 500 passengers, MS Maud will be freshly refurbished prior to her arrival in Dover. She goes into the refurb project as the currently in-service MS Midnatsol, already well-known to those who have sailed on Hurtigruten’s Coastal route in Norway.
As part of the multi-million-pound refurb project, MS Maud will proudly emerge with all new public areas. Natural Scandinavian materials will be used to seamlessly bring the great outdoors inside – Scandinavian wool, pine, birch, oak, and granite will unknowingly provide the perfect backdrop to your voyage from Dover.
More sustainable expeditions
As the first cruise line in the world, we are introducing biodiesel as fuel on a number of ships – including MS Maud. Biodiesel reduces (CO2) emissions with up to 80 %. Single use plastic is also banned.
Three new restaurants will be introduced – Aune, the main restaurant; Fredheim, for casual international dining; and Lindstrom, our exclusive fine dining restaurant. Each serving cuisine with character, locally sourced in line with our sustainability principles.
Departing directly from Dover
Eliminating a flight adds convenience and ease to your expedition cruise. You can begin your adventure from much closer to home and immediately you swiftly pass through the gorgeous cruise terminal, without suitcase restrictions or the need to pack and unpack multiple times. Dover is very well connected by road and rail, so joining is simple and quick, be it by private or public transport. Your fellow British passengers will be kindred spirits as you venture forth on your expedition.
At Hurtigruten, we actively shun the bright lights and the crowds of mass tourism; instead, we visit remote nature destinations; we engage in unassuming beach cleans; we showcase local wildlife; we take part in Citizen Science experiments; and we learn from each other and from the Expedition Team. You’ll certainly not get any stuffy formality, nor the needless luxury of boutique cruising, nor will you feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of your ship, the number of guests or the razzmatazz of ‘big white ship’ cruising.
In the recent past, MS Midnatsol has been in service in Antarctica, where she was heralded as the blueprint for modern expedition cruising in both size and facilities – most significantly, the tender pits and purpose-built platforms used to launch her fleet of expedition boats for landings and local exploration. These will be in use regularly as we bring expedition cruising to Dover.
Leading the cruise industry in sustainability and environmental standards
The very latest fuel and environmental advances will be incorporated ‘below decks’ as part of MS Maud’s refurbishment. The ship will be powered on BIOFUEL, mixed in with regular diesel, to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Furthermore, the BIOFUEL used will be environmentally certified and made from waste produce from other industries including fishing, meaning no palm oil used in its production and no negative effects on rainforests. Once in port, where possible, MS Maud will be fitted with shore power connectivity eliminating emissions whilst alongside.
MS Midnatsol is a tried-and-tested thoroughbred and pioneer in expedition cruising, and through the refurb, MS Maud will emerge even stronger. A state-of-the-art Science Center is the ‘beating heart’ of all expedition cruises, and MS Maud’s will be complete with the very latest tech and experiment apparatus, touch screens and microscopes. Guests will not be disappointed, and the Science Center will become the hub to informally learn from the Expedition Team on topics ranging from geology to ornithology, from Northern Lights to the conservation and Citizen Science projects we support.
Crafted expedition cruise itineraries
Each of our 4 expedition itineraries visit hard-to-reach destinations, which test seamanship and resolve, and as a result, provide unique experiences to savour and share.
Norway’s winter fjords and the Northern Lights – 15-day voyages visiting Norway’s southern fjords and Arctic North. Highlights include Stavanger, Alesund, off-the-beaten-track Lofoten Islands, 2 days in Tromso, the North Cape and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bergen. Hurtigruten’s unique Northern Lights Promise applies.
Departures from Dover in March 2021, and Oct 2021 – March 2022
Summertime in Norway’s fjords and her islands – 15-day voyages along the Norwegian coast, known to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, with countless fjords, mountains and charming coastal villages. Norway has been Hurtigruten’s backyard for 127 years – explore the hidden gems, handpicked by your expedition cruise experts.
The British Isles – 13-day expedition cruise visiting remote islands off the British mainland – less-visited, mysterious and varied, where the elements, the coastline and the indigenous wildlife are to be both respected and revered. Highlights include Fishguard, Rathlin Island (excursion to Giants Causeway possible), Iona, Staffa (sail by scenic cruising of Fingal’s Cave), St Kilda, Stornoway, Islay, Isle of Man, Waterford, Isles of Scilly and Dartmouth.
Southern Scandinavia – 15-day voyage offers expedition, culture, wildlife and nature, combined with urban exploration. Across 4 countries we encounter wide, white sandy beaches in Germany and Denmark, peaceful archipelagos and charming marinas in Sweden and the beautiful fjords and islets of Norway. Highlights include the Kiel Canal, Skagen, Koster, the Weather Islands, Oslo, Hardanger and Lysefjord.
– We are thrilled to present expedition cruises from Dover year-round. It is a needed boost for the UK cruise industry at this time, and is especially important to showcase how expedition cruising differs from mainstream ‘big white ship’ cruising, says Anthony Daniels, General Manager, Hurtigruten UK & Ireland
– These sustainable new itineraries visit off-the-beaten-track waters, coastlines and islands; they are brim-full of unique experiences and destinations rarely visited, says Anthony Daniels, General Manager, Hurtigruten UK & Ireland
Hurtigruten is set to a full service of coastal voyages with MS Finnmarken sailing from Bergen from next Tuesday (16th June), and will be the first ocean cruise line to do so.
As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest post
P&O Cruise’s new flagship Iona has set sail from Bremerhaven to embark on a series of technical tests.
In a recent press release Meyer Werft confirmed that following the sea trails Iona will then head to Rotterdam arriving on 2nd June where she will undergo a dry-dock inspection at the Damen Shipyard.
On board Iona, a hard-working team have been following the relevant German Coronavirus guidelines in order to help finish the outfitting of the ship since her River Ems conveyance.
The German shipbuilder confirmed that everyone is working hand in hand to complete the 50th cruise ship built by Meyer Werft. The work has been going on since the ship was transferred over the river Ems. Nevertheless, the corona crisis is causing considerable restrictions in the final fitting of Iona. However a plan drafted by the Port Medical Service (Hafenärztlicher Dienst, HÄD), the Bremerhaven Port Authority and Meyer Werft allowed for the continuation of outfitting working whilst following Coronavirus protection conditions.
The delay in the outfitting has meant the hand over to P&O Cruises was postponed and her maiden voyage cancelled. With outfitting now restarted both Meyer Werft and P&O Cruises are currently in close dialogue for a suitable delivery date.
Cruise Ship Profiles has been made aware that P&O Cruises are considering moving Iona to Norway for warm layup once she has officially been handed over.
Yesterday (2nd June) P&O announced that the suspension in cruise operations would be extended until October.
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The Cruise Line that Defined Modern Luxury at Sea Reflects on its History of Innovation and Looks Ahead to the Next Chapter of Sailing Beyond Expectations
Yesterday, Celebrity Cruises marked its 30th birthday by reflecting on its journey to push the limits of traditional cruising and create a unique modern luxury experience at sea. Established in 1990 by the Greece-based Chandris Group, the line became part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) seven years later in 1997. Celebrity Cruises now boasts 14 stunning ships and thousands of team members from over 60 countries.
Over the years, Celebrity Cruises has delivered a number of industry firsts and innovations including: introducing specialty dining (2000); the creation of the modern luxury cruise category with the introduction of the Solstice Series (2008); the first solar panels at sea (2008); the first American female captain of a cruise ship (2015); the Magic Carpet, the first cantilevered dining venue on a cruise ship (2018); the first ship to replace plastic water bottles (2018); and the first all-female bridge and leadership team to command a cruise ship (2020); among many others.
“Having recently celebrated my 35th Anniversary with the company, my time at RCL predates the acquisition of Celebrity Cruises, giving me a unique perspective in watching Celebrity grow from day one. I was a District Sales Manager in New England, at the time, and Celebrity was a formidable competitor that really started to change the complexion of premium cruising. For me, Celebrity’s legacy will be setting modern luxury cruising standards that are Celebrity’s to own, and then resetting and raising the bar, again and again. It is that spirit of pioneering that continues to take the brand and our guest experiences to new heights – and I’m not just talking about the view from the Magic Carpet℠,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises.
“As we look ahead to the post-pandemic world we will sail in, there is more progress to be made in our industry. I am confident Celebrity – and the entire RCL family – will continue to lead every step of the way. Our next 30 years will be even more incredible thanks to the ongoing support of our travel partners, our loyal guests, our Captains and crew, and our shoreside team members,” she added.
Since joining the RCL family, Celebrity Cruises has sailed to all seven continents and launched three series of ships. In 2000, the company introduced the Celebrity Millennium Series, the first new-build vessels for the brand following Celebrity’s acquisition by RCL. It was followed by the Celebrity Solstice Series in 2008 with five additional casually elegant ships emphasizing the intersection of indulgence and fun. More recently, in 2018, the Celebrity Edge Series was introduced to critical acclaim, with the first-in-series Celebrity Edge being named to Time Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places to visit list in 2019. In addition, the line began operating three smaller expedition ships that sail the beautiful Galapagos Islands including the 2019 debut of Celebrity Flora, the first purpose-built ship for the islands.
A special celebratory birthday tribute video highlighting some of Celebrity Cruises defining moments from throughout its 30 years can be viewed below:
Happy Birthday Celebrity Cruises and hre’s to another 30 years of sailing!
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.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post
It was announced yesterday that all CLIA ocean-going cruise lines will be voluntarily and temporarily suspending cruise ship operations from U.S. ports of call for 30 days as public health officials and the U.S. Government continue to address COVID-19.
A number of cruise lines had already announced the suspension of cruise operations prior to the announcement from CLIA and following the unprecedented announcement by Princess Cruises earlier this week.
What follows is a list of all cruise lines and links to their announcements and planned resumption dates (in alphabetical order).
I will try and keep the post upated as the situaion changes and more announcements are made.
List of all lines suspended cruise operations
AIDA Cruises has cancelled all cruises until early April 2020
AmaWaterways cancelled all river cruises in Europe and Asia until 25th April 2020 (including April 26, 2020 aboard AmaCerto)
Royal Caribbean commencing 13th March all cruises in the United States have been suspended for 30 days. The line also has a number of restrictions for passengers who have certain passports or visited certain countries.
“Today, March 24th, we have decided to extend our voluntary suspension until May 11th, 2020. Our goal is to resume operations for most of our ships on May 12th, 2020. Because of announced port closures, there are other itineraries we will be suspending.
• Ships sailing out of Singapore, and ships sailing through Canada have all been impacted differently due to port closures.
◦ Canadian ports will remain closed until July 1st, 2020.
◦ The Port of Singapore will remain closed through May 2020.”
Paul Gauguin Cruises
Paul Gaugin has cancelled all cruises until 11th April 2020.
P&O Cruises The line has cancelled all cruises until 11th April (updated 16th March)
Aurora is currently returning early from a Norwegian Fjords cruise, and due Southampton 16th March instead of instead of 23rd March. Staff onboard have been advised that she will not be sailing for 2-3 weeks so expecting a further announcement in due course.
Ventura passengers booked on the next cruise (N004) an 11 night cruise to Spain and Portugal have been advised that it has been cancelled and have been offered a future cruise credit of 125% on any cruises booked before 31st December 2021.
Phoenix Reisen has announced cancellations for 4 of it 5 is ocean going ships through to April/May 2020.
Quark Expeditions has not advised of any cancellations as yet but has implemented extra precautions and health screening for passengers and crew.
River Cruises (except Nile):
As things are changing rapidly the line has announced it will make further announcements Monday, March 16th, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. regarding all river trips up to and including April 14th, 2020.
River trips to China, Vietnam and Cambodia have been cancelled.
Ponant has not advised of any cancellations as yet but has implemented extra precautions and a ban on any guest or crew member one who falls into following categories:
1. Who passed through China (including Macao and Hong Kong), South Korea, Iran and Italy (even a transit airport) 30 days prior to embarkation.
2. Presenting with a temperature above 100.4°F (38°C) at the time of embarkation and who passed through Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan (even a transit airport) in the last 30 days.
3. Who arrives with a temperature above 100.4°F (38°C) and who is considered a risk by the company’s medical team. The risk will be assessed in line with our protocol for reviewing the information provided in the compulsory health questionnaire, associated symptoms, recently frequented geographic areas, etc.
Princess Cruises has suspended all cruise operations for all 18 ships in the fleet until 10th May 2020.
Saga Cruises has cancelled all ocean cruises until 1st May 2020.
Silversea has amended itineraries due to the closure of Italian ports. and also has restrictions on guests who have traveled from, visited or transited through airports in China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, South Korea and specific areas of Italy (the affected cities within Lombardy and Veneto region) within 15 days of their voyage embarkation, regardless of nationality, will not be allowed to board any of its vessels. Guests who are denied boarding will be issued a full cash refund.
Star Cruises (Hong Kong)
Star Cruises has implemented a number of precautionary measures and extra health screening for guests.
TUI (Mein Schiff)
TUI Mein Schiff brand has amended itineraries as a result of Spanish ports being closed.
Uniworld has cancelled all cruises until 23rd April 2020.
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:
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
Builder: Fincantieri (Trieste, Italy)
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
Builder: Fincantieri (Sestri Ponente, Italy)
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
Builder: Shipyard De Hoop BV (Lobith, Holland)
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
Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, France)
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
Builder: VARD shipyards (Tulcea Romania and Soviknes-Alesund Norway)
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
Builder: Fincantieri (Sestri Ponente, Italy)
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
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.
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
Builder: Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
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
Builder: WestSEA shipyard (Viana do Castelo, Portugal)
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
Builder: Barreras Shipyard (Vigo, Spain)
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
Builder: Fincantieri (Monfalcone, Italy)
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
Builder: VARD shipyards (Tulcea Romania and Soviknes-Alesund Norway)
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
Builder: Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
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).
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
Builder: CMIH-China Merchants Heavy Industry (Haimen shipyard, Jiangsu China)
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
Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire France)
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
Builder: Fincantieri (Marghera, Italy)
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
Builder: Meyer Werft (Turku, Finland)
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
Builder: Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
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
Builder: VARD (Vaung Tau, Vietnam)
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
Builder: Brodosplit Shipyard (Split, Croatia)
Launching: Q4 TBC
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
Builder: Brodosplit Shipyard (Split, Croatia)
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
Inaugural nine-cruise whale-watching programme announced as part of the partnership
Anyone that knows me will be aware that I have a special fascination with Cetaceans e.g. Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. I am totally against the captivity and exploitation of these intelligent social creatures in marine parks around the world, and firmly believe that the only place they should be seen is swimming free in the wild. I live on the South Coast of the UK and a few miles away in Portsmouth the charity ORCA is based. The charity is entirely dedicated to studying and protecting whales, dolphins and porpoises in the UK and European waters, I have attended a number of their functions and hoping to complete the Marine Mammal Surveyor course later this year. The charity already works with a number of ferry and cruise companies around the UK but I am pleased to see the news regarding their latest partnership this time with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has confirmed a nine-cruise whale-watching programme as part of its first official year in partnership with marine conservation charity ORCA in 2020.
The cruises will enable ORCA to collect vital data on the number and species of whales and dolphins sighted and identify marine wildlife hotspots, feeding directly into the charity’s Cruise Conservationist Programme and its conservation work.
ORCA volunteers will be on board for all nine sailings, who will feed into Fred. Olsen’s onboard enrichment programme with wildlife watching opportunities, lectures, workshops and a host of other activities, including trips on Fred. Olsen’s rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs).
Thomas Rennesland, Hotel Operations Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “All of us here at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are incredibly proud of our partnership with ORCA. Our organisations share similar values and both parties are committed to working together to preserve and protect our oceans, and the wildlife within them, for future generations.
“These cruises will be mutually beneficial for both ORCA, Fred. Olsen and our guests. We know that whale-watching is a real highlight for those taking their holidays with us, and having ORCA on board not only supports the collection of vital data, but also enables our guests to learn more about the marine wildlife that they see on their travels, and further enriches their cruise experience.”
Steve Jones, Head of Partnerships at ORCA, said: “ORCA and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines share so many common values, and our burgeoning partnership has shown that the two organisations have a strong cultural fit.
“We’re continually amazed at how seamlessly we’ve been welcomed into the Fred. Olsen family, both on land and at sea, and everyone we’ve met, from the guests to the staff, have fully embraced our mission to protect whales and dolphins.
“We’re looking forward to a promising future working together, both through the great itineraries we have announced for the rest of 2020 and the incredible adventures we are planning for 2021 and beyond.”
Features of the ORCA cruise programme include:
Black Watch’s 16-night W2018 ‘A Voyage to Remote Spitsbergen’ cruise, departing from Liverpool on 25th June 2020. Prices start from £2,599 per person.