Norwegian Cruise Lines newest ship Norwegian Prima made her UK debut when she arrived in the port of Southampton on 20th August.
Norwegian Prima is the first of 6 new “Prima-Class” cruise ships ordered from the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri under the project name “Leonardo-Class”. Theses are the first ships for NCL that are being constructed by the Italian shipbuilder.
Norwegian Prima was handed over on the 8th August and left the shipyard a couple of days later, she made brief stops in Civitavecchia and Barcelona before making her arrival in Southampton early 20th August.
Below are a series of images from arrival to sailing during her visit to Southampton.
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.
VIRGIN VOYAGES CELEBRATES DELIVERY OF SCARLET LADY, WITH LOVE
Virgin Voyages Welcomes Scarlet Lady, the Inaugural Ship in Her Fleet as Carbon-Neutral from the First Day of Commercial Operation
Virgin Voyages, the new lifestyle and travel brand delivering irresistible vacations in cruising, announced today that the Scarlet Lady has officially reached completion. Nearly three years in the making, Virgin Voyages formally welcomes its first ‘Lady Ship,’ Scarlet Lady, in its fleet of four to the open waters, departing the shipyard in Genoa, Italy. In just 46 days, Sailors will embark on the Maiden Voyage, departing from her home port in Miami.
On the heels of this celebratory occasion, Virgin Voyages welcomes Scarlet Lady with an industry-leading approach that takes immediate action to address climate change. Not only has the brand designed its fleet of ships to the latest energy-efficiency standards with state-of-the art equipment, Virgin Voyages is offsetting its direct climate change emissions through the purchase of carbon offsets. This commitment makes the brand the first cruise line to become carbon-neutral for its direct emissions footprint from its first day of commercial operation. The projects that will be supported by Scarlet Lady will meet high-quality, internationally-recognized verification standards, including The Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard.
“It’s wonderful to welcome Scarlet Lady today,” says Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson. “I’m so proud that as we start this exciting journey, we also bring to life Virgin Voyages’ commitment to preserving the ocean and the first of many steps towards a net zero carbon future.”
The brand has recognized that climate change is an urgent, global issue for every industry and business. Like others, Virgin Voyages’ long-term ambition is a net-zero carbon future. This will require significant advancements in technology and infrastructure, and access to solutions that remain in development. And, Virgin Voyages is committed to working with the industry to support the necessary research and development to advance carbon-free fuels and to scale commercially viable solutions.
“The ocean is our home, and we are on a mission to protect it. The single-biggest threat facing our ocean is climate change, and we want to be part of the solution,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO and President of Virgin Voyages. “We are committed to pioneering new technologies onboard and working with our industry peers to advance research and development for zero-carbon fuels.”
Virgin Voyages is one of first cruise lines to use Climeon, a technology that utilizes heat generated from the ship’s engines to generate electricity, thereby decreasing the demand for fuel. While the industry continues to improve on the journey for readily available and commercially viable solutions, purchasing high-quality carbon offsets allows us to take immediate action, while also supporting a long-term strategy that secures a net-zero future for the cruise industry.
Her ladyship sailed from the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa late in the afternoon today and is now enroute to Dover where she is due to arrive next Friday. She will spend 3 days in Dover, before heading to Liverpool for the final part of her UK showcase. During the events Virgin Voyages aims to showcase whats onboard their first ship to over 1000 agents or first mates! According to Shane Riley, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson could make an appearance at the pre-inaugural events.
Virgin Voyages have invited me to visit her ladyship in Dover next weekend, I cant wait to step onboard and get a dose of vitamin sea and find out just what the epic sea change is all about. I intend to share everything on my social media channels during the visit so be sure to follow me on twitter and instagram.
ABOUT VIRGIN VOYAGES
Virgin Voyages is a global lifestyle brand committed to creating the world’s most irresistible holiday. With operations in the US, UK, and Europe, Virgin Voyages currently has four ships on order with master shipbuilder Fincantieri.
With its inaugural season scheduled for 2020, Virgin Voyages’ first ship the Scarlet Lady was designed to reflect a yacht’s sleek luxury. Featuring spaces designed by some of the top names in contemporary design, the Scarlet Lady will be Adult-by-Design, a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveller.
A dose of ‘Vitamin Sea’ will be naturally intertwined across the entire ship, with well-being activated through a mix of high-energy moments coupled with relaxation and rejuvenation. The Scarlet Lady will also feature alluring entertainment and 20+ world-class intimate eateries on board. Putting a twist on luxury, which the company refers to as Rebellious Luxe, Virgin Voyages will offer incredible value for its Sailors with all restaurants, group fitness classes, soft drinks, and many more Virgin surprises included within the voyage fare.
Saga has announced that Portsmouth has been chosen as the location for the official naming ceremony of their second new-build boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Adventure. The prestigious event will be held on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.
The city’s dramatic harbour, maritime heritage, and wider regeneration plans for the port were crucial deciding factors for their choice of Portsmouth for what will be a first for the Port.
In recent years, Saga has pioneered the boutique cruising experience for its customers. In 2019, the company launched its first-ever, purpose-built boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery, to great acclaim, and the launch plans for Spirit of Adventure promise to be just as exciting.
Nigel Blanks, Managing Director of Saga cruises, said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce that our second new ship, Spirit of Adventure, will be named in Portsmouth. The city is steeped in British maritime history and it will be another first for Saga Cruises with Spirit of Adventure being the first ever cruise ship to be named in this historic port.
“The naming of Spirit of Discovery has been shortlisted for best cruise ship launch for 2019 and we intend to create an event that is just as special for Spirit of Adventure. Whilst the ships are recognizable sisters, they are most certainly not twins. Spirit of Adventure will have a distinctly different identity to her sister ship, which is why we have chosen a different port for her Naming Ceremony. Alongside the port and the cities partners we are planning another utterly memorable event.”
Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: “We’re so proud Saga has chosen Portsmouth to host the naming ceremony for its newest ship, Spirit of Adventure, which is a first for the city.
“Portsmouth’s dramatic harbour entrance is a stunning backdrop to showcase the ship and we will work closely with Saga to put on an event to match.
“It will also be a fantastic spectacle with the opportunity to welcome the ship as she arrives in Portsmouth and put on a firework display that will take place in the evening from Southsea Common.
“We’re looking forward to Saga’s new vessels becoming a familiar sight in our city. Our cruise transformation is already well under way with a significant berth extension plan, followed by a terminal transformation, which will be completed next year.
“This is a new cruise era for Portsmouth, and we can’t wait for leading brands like Saga to join us on our journey.”
Spectators will be encouraged to welcome Britain’s newest boutique cruise ship, as she sails into Portsmouth for her UK arrival.
Nigel Blanks continued: “Carrying just 999 guests, Saga’s unique boutique cruise ships have been designed specifically for the needs and tastes of the over 50s luxury market. This means there’s no Casino, ice rink or climbing wall. Instead they boast the largest percentage of single cabins of any modern ship, a high crew to guest ratio, West End standard entertainment, five different dining options, balcony cabins for all guests and countless other features offering the latest in luxury, boutique cruising.
The interior design for Spirit of Adventure is bold and striking. Yet again we have risen to the challenge set us by our guests. They have told us that life for them is not ‘beige’ and they want to see something that showcases the best of British contemporary design.”
Spirit of Adventure will feature three speciality restaurants including the world’s first Nepalese restaurant at sea – KhukuriHouse, alongside Amalfi, a high-end Italian cuisine restaurant and the SupperClub a dining and live entertainment venue.
The ship will also feature a 500 sq metre spa, The Lido outdoor pool, The Playhouse, a 444-seat theatre and a large library.
Spirit of Adventure’s 17-night The Inaugural Cruise will depart from Dover to the Baltic on August 21, 2020, with further cruises scheduled for 2020 including the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and Norway.
IMO No.: 9818084
Shipyard: Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany
Building Cost: USD 346 million (GBP 280 million / EUR 310 million)
Hull No.: 715
Keel laid: 3rd June 2019
Sister Ships: Spirit of Discovery (2019)
Length: 236 m
Width: 31 m
Draft: 3 m
Gross tonnage: 58,250 GT
Staterooms & Cabins: 540
Cabin Decks: 6
Cruising speed: 23 knots
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On Tuesday morning (11th November) the port of Southampton welcomed MSC Cruises newest flagship the brand new MSC Grandiosa on her inaugural visit to the UK’s no.1 cruise port.
Just two days after she was christened in Hamburg her visit to Southampton is part of a series of inaugural celebrations as she heads to the Mediterranean to start her maiden season.
MSC’s new flagship
With a length of 331 metres, 181,541GRT and with a maximum capacity of 6334 guests, MSC Grandiosa is the first of the new Meraviglia-plus class and is now the largest ship in MSC Cruises ever growing fleet.
According to the line she is also one of the most environmentally friendly ships at sea and features a host of technology including closed loop Hybrid Exhaust cleaning system (EGCS) which reduces SOx exhaust emissions, Ballast water treatment system, energy-saving LED lighting throughout, and shore-to-ship power technology all of which are designed to reduce the ships impact on the environment.
Along with 500 travel agents, travel media and a host of other UK cruise bloggers I was invited by MSC Cruises for an overnight stay on board to take a look around and to sample what MSC Grandiosa has to offer.
As usual MSC now how to put on a party an following on from the success of local musician Craig David at the MSC Bellissima event earlier in the year MSC invited another famous Southampton local to play none other than Radio One DJ Scott Mills who went to Crestwood School in Eastleigh rocked the galleria grandiosa with an hour long set of music.
MSC Grandiosa was originally due to sail for Barcelona the following day however due the forecast of severe storms in the Bay of Biscay her stay has been extended, and she sailed for Barcelona 0700hrs this morning.
I will be posting a full ship review, and video coming soon.
As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.
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.
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.
“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.
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:
GLOBAL DREAM FACTFILE
IMO No.: 9808998
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
Staterooms & Cabins: 2,500
Cabin Decks: 11
Cruising speed: 23 knots
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