ROYAL CARIBBEAN REVEALS NAME & HOME PORT OF FIFTH OASIS CLASS SHIP

World’s Largest Cruise Ship to Sail from China

LONDON, UK, Oct 10, 2019  Today, Royal Caribbean International announced the home port and name of its fifth Oasis Class ship. The next ship to join the leading cruise line’s innovative lineup will be named Wonder of the Seas and will set sail from Shanghai, China. 

The details were revealed by Royal Caribbean President and CEO, Michael Bayley, at a global cruise industry conference event held in Shanghai.Debuting in 2021, the world’s largest cruise ship will introduce a new era of cruising as the first of the renowned Oasis Class to sail the Asia Pacific.

“Royal Caribbean is known for its innovation and constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and an Oasis Class ship in China is proof of that,” said Bayley. “Wonder of the Seas will redefine the ultimate vacation and be revolutionary in her own right, and she marks one of Royal Caribbean’s most exciting chapters to come.”

“Royal Caribbean has been a market leader in China for more than 10 years by consistently showcasing bold deployment strategies and driving growth of the new to cruise market,” said Dr Zinan Liu, Chairman, Royal Caribbean Asia. “The deployment of Wonder of the Seas is a manifesto of new era for Royal Caribbean.”

image001.jpg
Image: Royal Caribbean

What to expect onboard

Wonder of the Seas will be part of the Oasis class of ships which are the largest in the world. The new ship will combine the iconic seven-neighbourhood concept that her sister ships feature along with a bold lineup of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology.

image002.jpg
Image: Royal Caribbean

Construction

Today also marked an important milestone for Wonder of the Seas as the ship began construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. During what is known as the keel-laying ceremony, Wonder’s Keel, a 970-tonne block measuring 155 feet by 65 feet, was lifted onto the building dock with a 1,400-tonne crane. This ceremony marks the beginning of her construction.

image003.jpg
1st keel section lifted in to building dock at Saint Nazaire Image: Royal Caribbean

Wonder of the Seas continues the popular Oasis Class ship series, whose last introduction was 2018’s Symphony of the Seas. Royal Caribbean has said Oasis 5 will have the same seven-neighborhood concept, thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, exciting entertainment and the latest technologyMore information on Wonder of the Seas itineraries and brand-new adventures will be announced soon.

No further details of the ship have been revealed but she will be a similar design to her sisters’ ships however comparing the renderings to her earier sister Harmony of the Seas she some significant changes in her design.

IMG_0244
Comparison between Harmony & Wonder of the Seas 
wonder-forward-min.jpg
Note: huge Royal Caribbean Logo 

 

wonder-aft-min.jpg
Sports Deck & Aqua Theater Image: Royal Caribbean

Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean entered into an agreement with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for a sixth Oasis-class ship, to be delivered late in 2023.

The cruise line currently has six cruise ships currently under construction or on order. Odyssey of the Seas will be the next new ship to join the fleet in 2020 and then followed by Wonder of the Seas in 2021. In 2022 the first Icon-Class Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered Royal Caribbean ship will arrive taking the cruise line into a new era of cruising.

Have you sailed on an Oasis class? and are you excited for the fifth Oasis class ship?

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

About Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International is the world’s largest global cruise line, delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous holidaymakers. The cruise line continues to revolutionise holidays with itineraries to more than 260 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s highly anticipated Perfect Day Island Collection including the first private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

UK consumers and travel agents think we’re doing great things… in 2018, Royal Caribbean won over 30 national and international awards including “Best in Cruise ” in the Sun Travel Awards, “Best Cruise Line for Entertainment” and “Best Cruise Line for Suites” in the Cruise Critic UK Editor’s Picks, and “Best Mainstream Cruise Company” in the Globe Travel Awards.

The cruise line sails 26 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in Bermuda and the Caribbean, Europe, Canada and New England, Alaska, South America, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand. 

MSC CRUISES UNVEILS FOUR NIGHTS OF GRAND CELEBRATIONS FOR THE HAMBURG CHRISTENING OF MSC GRANDIOSA

·         The star-studded Christening events will feature big name presenters and artists presenter Michelle Hunziker, Jochen Schropp, Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale and Mousse T.

·         The MSC Village on the banks of the Elbe will livestream the festivities to thousands of Hamburg residents

·         3 Michelin-star German chef Harald Wohlfahrt will design the menu for the Gala Dinner

MSC GRANDIOSA.jpg
MSC Grandiosa see on sea trials Image: MSC Cruises

With just one month until the Christening of the first Meraviglia-Plus generation ship, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Cruises has announced an exciting line-up for the star-studded four-night celebration. With international and German celebrities, the events have been designed for international guests from all around the world as well as special events for the city of Hamburg.

The celebrations will commence with the arrival of the ship in Hamburg on the November 6 and that evening will see the start of four nights of illuminations in the Blue Port by renowned international light artist Michael Batz. From 20 different locations, light installations will bathe the port in blue symbolising the colour of the sea and MSC Cruises’ commitment to the ocean. With respect for the environment and the climate, many small lights with low energy consumption will be used. In this way, a sympathetic ensemble image is created, crowned by the sparkling silhouette of the Elbphilharmonie and the illumination of the MSC Grandiosa.

Elbphilharmonie_Illumination_svensson_31423763713
the stunning Elbphilharmonie hamburg’s opera house seen at night

Each night on board, MSC Grandiosa will also host German musical artists in the lead-up to the main event.

The traditional Christening ceremony will take place on board the ship, making MSC Grandiosa the true star of the show. With different celebrations taking place all over the ship, guests will have a chance to discover everything that the stunning ship has to offer. The proceedings will be hosted by Michelle Hunziker, who launched MSC Seaview in June 2018. Born in Switzerland and now a popular star in Italy, the talented actress, TV presenter, model and singer embodies the international spirit of MSC Cruises. She will be joined on board by co-host TV host & actor Jochen Schropp, one of the most likeable entertainers in Germany.

On the banks of the River Elbe, the purpose-built MSC Village will welcome 5,000 people so that the city can join the celebrations from 5pm, enjoying food trucks and live music on the evening of the Christening. Presenters Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale, probably the most popular family on German TV, will be hosting the events ashore, linking live to the ceremony on board.

MSC Grandiosa takes her place centre stage in the middle of the River Elbe for the culmination of the evening’s events with a special light show at the Elbphilharmonie concert halls as the ship passes by. The official naming of the ship will then take place by MSC Cruises’ Godmother Sophia Loren and a stunning fireworks display will be launched.  The Port of Hamburg is known as “the gateway to the world” and so MSC Grandiosa will then pass through a spectacular gateway of blue night as she returns to her dock, symbolising the new ship’s entry to the world.

"Retouch_DSC6691_HD.jpg"
MSC Cruises Godmother Sophia Loren Image: MSC Cruises

No MSC Cruises Christening event would be complete without a glamourous Gala Dinner on board, with a gourmet menu created by German chef royalty, Harald Wohlfahrt. Chef Wohlfahrt was voted one of the Top 10 Chefs in the World and is the only German chef to hold a three Michelin Star rating for 25 years in a row.

Guests will round off the evening in the iconic 93-metre-long Mediterranean promenade, Galleria Grandiosa, dancing the night away to music from popular German DJ Mousse T. with live vocals from British singer Emma Lanford. The duo have toured together worldwide and will definitely get the party started!

About MSC Grandiosa

Not only will MSC Grandiosa become MSC Cruises newest flagship but she will also become the Company’s most environmentally advanced ship to-date. The new ship is setting the standard for the future as she is equipped with some of the latest cutting-edge environmental technology including a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system and has been designed to meet the world’s strictest environmental standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

MSC Grandiosa is the first Meraviglia-plus generation ship and will offer a richness of guest experiences, from world-class entertainment with two brand new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, a wide choice of international dining options, original activities for families to an enhanced MSC Yacht Club. MSC Grandiosa will become the second MSC Cruises ship to feature ZOE, the world’s first virtual cruise personal assistant and new updates to the innovative MSC for Me digital innovation program.

grandiosa
MSC Grandiosa in numbers

 

MSC Grandiosa will depart Hamburg on November 10th to commence her inaugural cruise to Genoa. From November 23rd MSC Grandiosa will commence 7-night itineraries in the Mediterranean calling Genoa, Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.

I will be on board MSC Grandiosa for two days while she is in Southampton so be sure to follow my social channels for updates and the latest from MSC largest ship to date.

To find out more about MSC Grandiosa visit here.

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

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady to feature “Shake for champagne” an on- demand champagne delivery service

 Scarlet Lady also unveils Sip, A Luxuriously Effervescent Champagne Lounge

and Caviar Bar

7AM EST- MIAMI, Fla. October 9, 2019 – Virgin Voyages, the new lifestyle brand set to disrupt the travel industry, today announced its exclusive on-demand champagne delivery service, Shake for Champagne. Continuing to create the most irresistible experiences at sea, Virgin Voyages is enabling Sailors to request champagne, anywhere on board Scarlet Lady, with a simple shake of their phone.

VV_Shake For Champagne-App Screen(1)
Virgin Voyages App soon to be on your mobile

 

Those looking to take indulgence to the next level, can also treat themselves in the newly revealed luxurious champagne lounge and caviar bar, Sip.

“It is never too early for champagne and there is always something to toast to while aboard Scarlet Lady. We want our Sailors to enjoy a glamorous holiday and what better way to feel like a RockStar than a sip of bubbly whenever and wherever you want it,” said Tom Mcalpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages.

SHAKE FOR CHAMPAGNE

Virgin Voyages is giving its Sailors one more reason to celebrate all of life’s moments with its on-demand delivery service, Shake for Champagne. When the Virgin Voyages Sailor App is shaken, a secret Virgin Voyages Champagne button is revealed and, with just one press, a bottle of Möet Chandon Impérial will be delivered to the Sailor.

“There’s nothing more luxurious than having champagne at your beck and call or even a shake. We are committed to creating the world’s most irresistible travel brand, so we thought long and hard about how to help our Sailors effortlessly get a sip of bubbly during their voyage, and presto Shake for Champagne was conjured up!” said Nathan Rosenberg, CMO for Virgin Voyages.

Delivered in an eye-catching, gleaming Virgin red champagne bucket, which is sure to make everyone around envious, the service includes a 750ml bottle of Möet Chandon Imperial with two glasses. Möet Chandon Imperial is a blend of over 200 crus, mingling the full body of pinot noir with the suppleness of Meunier and the finesse of chardonnay – the perfect pairing for a day or evening sailing in the warm Caribbean sea. 

SIP

Sip is a decadent lounge designed to be enjoyed with a chilled glass of bubbles. Featuring a diverse curation of champagne labels, including Moët Chandon – Virgin Voyages’ featured champagne house. Sailors can opt for a glass of bubbles priced from $9 or splash out on a $1,000 vintage bottle. In a nod to Virgin’s quintessential British heritage and eccentricity, Sip will offer a signature afternoon high tea, which will delight the eyes as well as the taste buds, while celebrating oceanic elements.

Designed by the Virgin Voyages design team, with spatial design by HKS Hospitality Interiors, the lounge was inspired by the glamour and effervescence of champagne. Featuring a long marble bar with rose-gold inlay, Sip encourages Sailors to indulge in one of the most luxurious pairings of them all, champagne and caviar. Gold and rose-pink hues echo the color of the champagnes that will be served, and are beautifully offset by deep watery blues and carrara white marble bars and tables. The deep ocean blue banquette wall and carpet that wraps through the space, will create a chance to revel or relax at all times of day as the ship sails through the ocean’s blue waves.

be sure to check out this great video….. Shake for champagne  ……….

LIMITED-TIME BOOKING OFFER 

Sailors can toast to Virgin Voyages’ inaugural season now through November 30, as those who book April or May sailings will receive a complimentary special Virgin Voyages limited-edition bottle of Möet Chandon Imperial in their cabin upon their arrival. In addition, Sailors who book now can snag their voyage with half off their deposit. Future Sailors and First Mates are invited to check out Virgin Voyages by visiting www.virginvoyages.com.

Are you booked on Scarlet Lady next year? I am loving the look of the interior spaces and SIP champagne bar looks stunning.

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

Norwegian Cruise Line Partners with JUST® Goods, Inc. to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic Bottles Across Fleet

Norwegian will be the First Major Global Cruise Company to Become Plastic Bottle Free by January 1, 2020

Miami, FL, US – Sep 25, 2019

Just Water + NCL.jpg

Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel with a 52-year history of breaking boundaries, today announced another first as a result of its partnership with JUST® Goods, Inc., which will enable the Cruise Line to replace all single-use plastic bottles across its fleet by January 1, 2020, beginning with its newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore. 

Over Six Million Plastic Bottles to Be Eliminated Each Year

The decision is the latest sustainable step forward for Norwegian Cruise Line. In 2018, the Company eliminated single-use plastic straws across its 16-ship fleet and private destinations, and as a result of this most recent initiative, it will replace over six million single-use plastic bottles every year. These efforts are driven by the Company’s Sail & Sustain Environmental Program which is its commitment to minimize waste to landfills, reduce its CO2 emissions rate, increase sustainable sourcing and invest in emerging technologies.

“We are a leading Company – one that is in the business of creating memorable experiences for our guests,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “It is imperative that we take meaningful steps to preserve our oceans and the destinations we visit. Partnering with JUST is one of my proudest moments as the head of our pioneering brand. This latest effort – the elimination of single-use plastic bottles across our fleet – is just the latest environmentally responsible action we are taking to reduce our footprint and encourage others to protect our natural resources. While we are aware that this is just the beginning of what we and others need to do to be good stewards of our environment, we are committed to our Sail & Sustain initiatives and will continue to innovate for the overall benefit of the planet and its future.”

Envisioned and founded by American rapper, songwriter, actor and activist Jaden Smith and family, JUST takes an innovative approach to sourcing and packaging the world’s most valued resource – water.  The revolutionary company focuses on an impact model, taking into consideration both how the water is sourced and packaged. JUST is 100% spring water in a plant-based carton. The carton is made of 82% renewable materials – the paper carton is made from trees grown in responsibly-managed forests and the cap and shoulder are made from a sugarcane-based plastic. It is refillable and recyclable. JUST has a global presence with bottling facilities in Glenn Falls, NY; Ballymena, Northern Ireland; and Ballarat, Australia, thus allowing the company to meet demand around the world without shipping water from a single production source. JUST takes care to use the most efficient shipping options available.

“It’s critical that businesses take a leading role in efforts to lighten the impact we have on our planet,” said JUST Goods, Inc. CEO Ira Laufer. “We created JUST to do just that – to be a better option in a category that has created a lot of the damage and continues to do so.  The JUST team couldn’t be happier to now share this goal with our partner, Norwegian Cruise Line. We’re deeply appreciative of Norwegian’s commitment that’s so similar to ours – the Company is pushing the boundaries of what’s always been done because it knows we all need to do better.  We’re thrilled to be taking steps in the right direction alongside NCL.”

For more information about Norwegian Cruise Line ships and their itineraries, visit www.ncl.com.

encore float out 2
Norwegian Encore Image Meyer Werft

I like to cover the environmental side of the cruise industry in my blog so am pleased to see this announcement from another big cruise line. I am especially please to see that the change will be debuted onboard Norwegian Encore as I will be onboard for her preview cruise in October so be sure to follow my social channels.

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

MSC CRUISES AND FINCANTIERI UNVEIL FURTHER DETAILS OF MSC SEASHORE AT COIN CEREMONY

New ship to feature the latest and most advanced environmental technology, including a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and a next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system

–          Further enhanced ship design and intelligently distributed deck space adds new dimensions for guest experience at sea, from accommodations to dining and entertainment including the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in the company’s fleet

seashore-schiffsansicht.8uhyzp71A traditional maritime coin ceremony today took place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, when the keel was laid for MSC Seashore.  At the milestone event, MSC Cruises revealed details of the significantly transformed overall design and new features of the ship.

MSC Seashore will be the Company’s longest ship – 339 metres – when she enters service in June 2021, the first of two enriched “Seaside Evo” Class ships with the latest available environmental technology, extended public spaces, more cabins and the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in the company’s fleet.

msc-seashore-evo.jpg
with a length of 339m MSC Seashore will be MSC largest ship Image: MSC Cruises

Long-standing employees Marianna Cicala, Ground Services Planning Manager, MSC Cruises and Silvia Bozzetto, Production Planning & Control Commissioning of the Monfalcone shipyard, performed today’s ritual as godmothers when they placed two coins under the new ship’s keel as the historical maritime sign of blessing and good fortune.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “Today’s ceremony marks another key milestone in the construction of one of our most innovative all-around ships yet. Most importantly, MSC Seashore – which will feature the latest and most advanced environmental technology currently available – represents another proof of our long-standing commitment to preserve the environment in our ongoing journey to minimise and continuously reduce the impact of our operations.”

 MSC Seashore will be fitted, amongst other, with a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and a next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system. SCR’s helps reduce nitrogen oxide by 90 per cent through advanced active emissions control technology. Nitrogen oxide from the engine operations is conducted through a catalyst and converts them into nitrogen and water, both harmless compounds. With AWT’s, wastewater undergoes a comprehensive purification process through a very fine filtration process that transforms it to near tap-water quality.  The system meets the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’ and treats the wastewater to a higher standard than most waste standards available in cities around the world. The new build will also be fitted with shore-to-ship power which connects cruise ships while at berth to a port’s local power grid to reduce further the ship’s emissions.

These new features add to other effective environmental technologies deployed on MSC Seashore and across the Company’s fleet to minimise and continuously reduce environmental impact, including:  cutting-edge hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning systems (EGCS) that removes 98 per cent of sulphur oxide from ship emissions; advanced waste management systems; ballast water treatment systems approved by the United States Coast Guard; latest-technology systems for the prevention of oil discharges from machinery spaces and various effective energy-efficiency improvements – from heat recovery systems to LED lighting.

Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri CEO, commented: “The beginning of drydock works of MSC Seashore, the largest ship so far built in Italy, is for us a source of great satisfaction:  she is the symbol of “Evo”, a successful project for our Group, innovating the already futuristic “Seaside” concept, that created two units highly welcomed by the market. It is a real challenge in terms of structural and managerial aspects, which powers the impressive workload for the shipyard and the local area. We therefore are very pleased for such a celebration which seals the fruitful partnership with MSC Cruises and we are confident that there will be other similar moments in the future”.

MSC Seashore is based on the ground-breaking “Seaside Class” prototype with a range of breathtaking design features enabling guests to connect with the ocean such as the spectacular Bridge of Sighs, stunning panoramic aft lifts and stylish glass catwalks. More than 40 per cent of the ship has been redesigned and enhanced, making MSC Seashore a significant evolution and improvement of sister ships MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview.

msc-seashore-infinity-pool8179912526205240294..jpg
Image: MSC Cruises

Some of the new enhancements are visible to the naked eye and include the 16-metres extended length of the ship, 200 additional cabins, a larger MSC Yacht Club and an additional double-deck aft lounge.  The internal architecture has been completely redesigned with two central meeting points positioned at the middle and forward part of the ship, as well as specific measures to further enhance passenger flows.  Overall the ship has 10,000 square metres of additional deck space for an even greater and more spacious onboard experience.

MSC Seashore will offer more suites thanks to the addition of 28 more terraced suites, two suites with private whirlpools and the MSC Yacht Club – the all-inclusive ‘ship within a ship’ premium concept available on MSC Cruises ships – will see two new cabin categories: 41 Deluxe Grand Suites and two Owner’s Suites with whirlpools.

msc-seashore-main-pool5091987456034933620..jpg
Image: MSC Cruises

The ship will feature new cabin designs such as cluster cabins for families that link two or three adjoining cabins and can accommodate between six and 10 people, plus bigger and more spacious cabins for guests with a disability – 75 in total – will be available.

Two brand new restaurants will be introduced, including one exclusively for Aurea guests.  There will be a new location for the five specialty restaurants to allow for waterfront seating on the ship’s breathtaking boardwalk to give guests a greater sea view as they dine al fresco.

  • Main restaurants (dining rooms) offer traditional Italian cuisine and wines. Dining rooms are open for Breakfast (7-9:30 am), Lunch (12-noon – 2 pm_ and Dinner with 2 fixed seatings (7 pm and 9:30 pm) with a 7-course dinner menu that also includes vegan and vegetarian meals.
  • Lido Buffet Restaurant
  • Seafood Restaurant
  • Teppanyaki Restaurant
  • Fusion Restaurant
  • Steakhouse
  • Sushi Bar
  • VIP Restaurant
msc-seashore-aft-lounge8001378234617339277..jpg
Double-decker show lounge Image: MSC Cruises

MSC Seashore will have a new double-decker show lounge at the aft part of the ship, a bigger casino and 20 distinct specialty bars.  The ship will feature a new design of her aft pool design, an enlarged indoor pool and a new interactive waterpark will provide thrills and spills for guests of all ages. Clubs for young children and teenagers have been separated from a larger kids’ zone.

The ship will provide all her guests with latest customer-centric technology, including ZOE – the world’s first-virtual personal cruise assistant and an MSC Cruises exclusive in every cabin – and MSC for Me.

MSC SEASHORE FACTFILE

 

IMO No.: 9843792

Launch: 2021

Shipyard:  Fincantieri (Montalcone, Italy)

Building Cost: EUR 900 million

Hull No.: 6283

Class: Seaside-Evo Class

Sister Ships: 

Length:  339 m

Width: 41 m

Gross tonnage:  169,380 GT

Passengers: 5,632

Staterooms & Cabins: 2270

Decks: 9

Cabin Decks: 6

Crew: 1,648

Cruising speed: 22 knots

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post

VIKING ANNOUNCES NEW OCEAN OFFERINGS & MEDITERRANEAN ITINERARIES FOR 2021, PLUS THE LAUNCH OF VIKING VENUS

London, 18 September 2019: Viking announces its seventh ocean ship, Viking Venus, will join its award-winning fleet in early 2021, further solidifying the company’s standing as the largest small-ship ocean cruise line. The newest 930-guest sister ship will spend her maiden season sailing popular itineraries in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, including British Isles Explorer, In Search of the Northern Lights, Viking Homelands and Into the Midnight Sun. 

created by dji camera
Viking Cruises 2019 built Viking Jupiter see entering Portsmouth on her maiden call in May                         © Andrew McAlpine

“The spirit of exploration is at the heart of everything we do. We have always drawn inspiration from the original Viking explorers, who were the first to use the stars and constellations for long-distance navigation. Many elements onboard our ships honour those Viking explorers, and we are proud to host our guests on itineraries that sail some of those historic trading routes,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “I am pleased to announce that Viking Venus will join our fleet in 2021, allowing us the ability to introduce even more travellers to the Viking way of exploration.”

“Viking offers cruises that allow our guests to explore the world, experience destinations and learn about new cultures, all from the comfort of our small, beautifully designed, Scandinavian-inspired ships. Viking Venus will be identical to our six existing ocean ships, allowing our guests to enjoy a familiar ‘home away from home’ experience wherever they choose to cruise with us.  Demand from the UK market for our ocean cruises is very high so we would advise travellers to book as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment – especially if they would like to sail on Viking Venus in her maiden season,” said Wendy Atkin-Smith, Managing Director of Viking UK.

Viking will also expand its offerings in the Mediterranean with five new itineraries that include stops in Istanbul, marking the company’s return to the iconic city. The new 8-day Ancient Mediterranean Treasures will sail between Athens and Istanbul, with overnight stays in both cities. Guests looking for an extended experience in the region can choose a longer versions of the itinerary, including the 15-day Ancient Adriatic Treasures, which sails between Venice and Istanbul; the 15-day Ancient Mediterranean Antiquities, which sails between Rome and Istanbul; the 22-day Iconic Mediterranean Treasures, which sails between Barcelona and Istanbul; or the 29-day Mediterranean’s Iconic Shores, which also sails between Barcelona and Istanbul and includes stops in Montenegro and Croatia.

Beginning in April 2021 and sailing on Viking’s award-winning 930-guest all-veranda Viking Sky, guests embarking on the new Ancient Mediterranean Treasures itinerary or its longer combination cruise options will witness the origin of civilisation while cruising the fabled Aegean Sea. Highlights of the new itinerary include:

Istanbul_5_189.jpg

·         Istanbul, Turkey: Guests begin their journey with an overnight stay in Istanbul, allowing more time to explore the iconic city. Guests can visit a wealth of religious sites including the “Blue Mosque” one of the city’s most recognisable sites, watch the mesmerising whirling dervishes perform at a local venue, or participate in a centuries-old tradition at a hammam, a Turkish bath. Plus, Viking’s Privileged Access offers guests the chance to tour the legendary Hagia Sofia free of crowds.

·         Troy (Çanakkale), Turkey: Guests can explore the nearby well-preserved ruins of Troy, most remembered as the setting of the Trojan War, described by Homer in the Iliad, or visit the nearby Battlefields of Gallipoli, the tranquil memorial site of one of World War I’s longest and deadliest battles.

·         Ephesus (Kuşadasi), Turkey: One of the best-preserved cities of antiquity in the world, Ephesus is rich in history and ancient relics. While in port, guests can visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, walk through the Byzantine Basilica of St. John, or visit the modest home where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary lived out her final days.

·         Rhodes, Greece: While on the island of Rhodes, guests can explore within the city walls of Old Town, Europe’s largest active medieval town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, learn about island culture through a visit to a traditional village home, or head to one of the island’s scenic mountaintops for sweeping views of the island and the Turkish coast.

·         Heraklion, Greece: Located on the island of Crete, Heraklion boasts millennia-old history and was once the strongest fortified city in the Eastern Mediterranean. Guests can take in archaeological splendours whose history is interwoven with the legends of Greek mythology, including the Palace of Knossos and the village of Arolithos, or explore the ruins of the Minoans, Europe’s oldest recorded civilisation.

ATHENS_4_823.jpg·         Athens, Greece: The journey concludes with an overnight stay in Athens, known as “the birthplace of democracy,” where guests can witness iconic sites such as the Hellenic Parliament, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the mighty Parthenon atop the Acropolis. Viking also offers guests Privileged Access to the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation’s exhibit on British naval icon Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson and the chance to tour a reconstructed ancient Athenian warship, the Olympias, once the dominant warship on the Mediterranean Sea from the 7th to 4th centuries BC.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of several recent accolades for Viking. Just this month Viking was named Best River Cruise Line at the Food and Travel Reader Awards and Best Overall Cruise Line and Best River Cruise Line at the British Cruise Awards, as well as being highly commended for its culinary offering.  Earlier in 2019, Viking went straight to the top of the table in a Which? ocean cruise consumer satisfaction survey – the only brand to score five stars for its on-board facilities. Viking is a Which? Recommended Provider for both its river and ocean cruises.  In 2018 Viking was awarded Best Boutique Cruise Line and Best River Cruise Operator at The Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards and, for the 10th consecutive year, rated Best River Cruise Line at the 2018 British Travel Awards, one of the largest and most influential polls of consumer opinion in the UK.

Have you cruised with Viking or are you booked?, I have only visited a couple of their ships which are just amazing onboard.

I love the Scandinavian design and feel of the onboard, below are a few of my favorite spaces.

For more information or to make a booking go to http://www.vikingcruises.co.uk or call 0800 298 97 00.

VIKING VENUS Factfile 

Launch: 2021

Shipyard:  Fincantieri (Ancona, Italy)

Building Cost: EUR 340 million USD 400 million 

Hull No.: 6283

Class: Viking Ocean

Sister Ships: Viking Star, Sea, Sky, Sun, Orion, Jupiter

Length:  227 m

Width: 28 m

Gross tonnage:  47,842 GT

Passengers: 930

Staterooms & suits: 464

Decks: 9

Cabin Decks: 6

Crew: 465

Cruising speed: 20 knots

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post

Princess Cruises celebrates construction milestone for Enchanted Princess

Princess Cruises has celebrated a significant construction milestone with the float out of the 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess from its building dock at Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

enchanted-princess-float-out-cropped_orig
Enchanted Princess in Fincantieri shipyard Image: Princess Cruises 

A ceremony marked the occasion when the ship officially met the sea for the first time.

The float out of a ship is Italian shipyard custom and celebrated by a ‘Madrina’ blessing the vessel and wishing it a safe onward journey, as well as signalling the flow of water into the ship’s building dock.

Serving as the Madrina was Doris Ho, president and CEO of the Magsaysay group based in the Philippines – one of the largest human resource companies in the Asia Pacific region. Ms. Ho has been head of a long-standing partnership with Princess Cruises to recruit, train and develop crew members who work onboard the line’s fleet of ships.

The ship will officially launch in Southampton in June 2020.

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ vice president UK and Europe, said: “We’re delighted to see another significant stage of Enchanted Princess’ construction successfully completed. The countdown to her launch in Southampton next year continues and we’re eagerly anticipating the final development of this stunning ship over the next few months.”

The 143,700-tonne Enchanted Princess will include the signature features of sister ships Royal Princess, Regal Princess, Majestic Princess and Sky Princess, as well as offering new innovations that represent an evolution of the current ships’ designs, including:

·         Two ‘Sky Suites’, which have the largest balconies at sea and will be centrally located on the top decks. Measuring 1,012 square feet (starboard side Sky Suite) and 947 square feet (port side Sky Suite) the balconies will provide a private vantage of the top deck Movies Under the Stars cinema screen, offer 270-degree panorama views and sleep up to five guests. They will feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a dining area with skylight as well as a host of exclusive amenities

·         First-of-its-kind digitally enhanced ‘Phantom Bridge’ experience, combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate escape room at sea

·         New entertainment such as the jazz lounge ‘Take Five’, a redesigned Vista Lounge, an enhanced Princess Theatre and the recently announced production show ‘Rock Opera’

·         More than 25 dining venues and bars including the World Fresh Marketplace and speciality restaurants Bistro Sur La Mer (French bistro), Crown Grill Steakhouse and Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria

·         A redesigned Sanctuary area, the spa-inspired top deck retreat reserved for adults. The Sanctuary will feature an enhanced, contemporary design including twice as many private cabanas as its sister ships, as well as new lounge furniture and the option for guests to indulge in a spa treatment

·                The Enclave at the Lotus Spa, which will include the largest thermal suite at sea, including hydrotherapy pool, heated stone beds, Turkish bath and dry, steam and aromatherapy chambers.

IMG_8146
Ocean Medallion © Andrew McAlpine

·        Princess MedallionClass experience, featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion wearable device, which is the same size as a 10p piece, delivers an entirely new level of service and creates a holiday that is more simple, effortless and personalised with:
–         Expedited arrival – Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their holiday started even sooner
–         Touchless stateroom entry – No need to touch, swipe or insert cards or devices into the door handle to unlock the stateroom. As a guest approaches their stateroom the door automatically unlocks
–         On-demand services – Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items such as suntan lotion and have them delivered directly anywhere onboard, including to their stateroom
–         Interactive game play – Available on portals throughout the ship, PlayOcean allows guests to take part in digital scavenger hunts, interactive games and create their own avatars, as well as turning their smart device into a game controller for interactive gaming on the Movies Under The Stars top-deck screen
–         Family and friends locator – Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, OceanCompass leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family onboard. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest
–         Interactive voyage timeline – Available on ship portals and via smart devices, JourneyView is an interactive timeline that lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage and bookmark activities they’re interested in to their own personalised itinerary. Voyage itineraries are available as many as 60 days in advance, allowing guests to start planning before they leave home

Princess Cruises is offering a 7-day Mediterranean and Aegean voyage on Enchanted Princess, departing September 12, 2020. Sailing from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Athens and calling at Naples, Kotor, Corfu, Chania and Mykonos. Prices from £1,009 per person.

Enchanted Madrina.jpg
Rai Caluori EVP guest experience and product development, Doris Ho and Tony Roberts Image Princess Cruises

About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year on 170 itineraries to more than 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England and World Cruises. Itineraries range in length from three to 111 days.

In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass cruises enabled by the Ocean Medallion – the cruises industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalised cruise, giving guests more opportunity to enjoy their time onboard. Ocean Medallion will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.

Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship, Sky Princess, under construction scheduled for delivery in October 2019. Princess recently announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests with expected delivery in 2023 and 2025.  Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 & 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post

Princess Cruises to feature in TV series ‘Monster Ships’

I don’t know if you are anything like me but as a complete ship geek I just love any television show featuring a ship, if you do to then you will like this announcement from Princess Cruises.

IMG_8185
Crown Princess seen sailing from Southampton © Andrew McAlpine

Princess Cruises’ 3,080-guest ship, Crown Princess, will appear in an episode of a new TV documentary, ‘Monster Ships’. The episode will air on UKTV’s Yesterday Channel on Thursday 3 October at 8pm.

Providing a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of a cruise ship, the hour long episode follows Crown Princess as she sails a 10-day Caribbean voyage roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. The ship visits local islands including Princess Cruises’ own private Bahamas resort, Princess Cays.

The programme provides an insight into the day-to-day roles of the 1,200 crew members and what it takes to ensure a seamless transition onboard when a new voyage begins. With 17 restaurants and bars, round-the-clock room service, four swimming pools, guest entertainment and over 1,500 staterooms, the vessel is a 24-hour operation 365 days of the year.

Monster Ships was commissioned by Discovery Networks International, and made by WAG TV, a leading international producer of TV shows.

Tony Roberts, vice president Princess Cruises UK and Europe, said: “We’re delighted to see Princess Cruises once again feature on the small screen, this time providing viewers with a rare onboard glimpse behind-the-scenes. The Crown Princess episode of Monster Ships is recommended viewing for anyone with an interest in the incredible mechanics and logistics of a cruise ship, or who wants to see the premium guest experience we offer on one of our stunning Caribbean sailings.”

Viewers can also experience the ship for themselves when she sails out of the UK next year on a series of voyages to the Mediterranean and northern Europe.

About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year on 170 itineraries to more than 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England and World Cruises. Itineraries range in length from three to 111 days.

IMG_8146
The Ocean Medallion © Andrew McAlpine

In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass cruises enabled by the Ocean Medallion – the cruises industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalised cruise, giving guests more opportunity to enjoy their time onboard. Ocean Medallion will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.

Sky Princess 2
Sky Princess on Sea trials Image Princess Cruises

Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship, Sky Princess, under construction scheduled for delivery in October 2019. Princess recently announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests with expected delivery in 2023 and 2025. Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 & 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

Princess Cruises has a multi-year partnership with Discovery, Inc. known as Discovery at SEA. The Discovery at SEA experience is available onboard all Princess Cruises and features immersive activities for the whole family from Discovery and Animal Planet that include exclusive shore excursions to onboard activities. The experiences are based on Discovery’s breadth of brands and programming. The interactive experiences are designed to bring to life the nature, wildlife and history of the regions guests are sailing. Onboard the Crown Princess, passengers can participate in the Discovery at SEA “How It’s Made Tour”, which brings guests backstage to see how production shows come to life onboard a ship.
default_image.jpg
About Yesterday:
UK: Freeview 25, Sky 155, Virgin 129, BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk and YouView 25, Freesat 159
Yesterday +1: Sky 255, Virgin 200. Catch-up: UKTV Play
ROI: Sky 161, EIR 537, VF Ireland 229

Yesterday showcases original series such as Abandoned Engineering, Secrets of the Railways and Underground Worlds as well as new and exclusive observational documentaries including Bangers & Cash, Steam Train Britain and Train Truckers.
The channel also features stunning nature and science programming including David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities and Planet Earth 2, plus seminal war documentaries such as The World at War.

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

First steel to be cut for MSC World Class ships

00.MSC-Worldclass.jpg
Image: MSC Cruises 

On 31st October MSC Cruises is set for a joint celebration at the Chantiers de l’Atlantic shipyard in Saint Nazaire.

Firstly, the worlds fastest growing cruise line is set to take delivery of MSC Grandiosa the first of three Meraviglia-Plus class ships.

"Credit - Bernard Biger & Chantiers de l'Atlantique (2).jpg"
MSC Grandiosa seen departing for sea trials Image: MSC Cruises

On the same day the first piece of steel will be cut for the first of MSC’s four World Class ships.

ATrip (4).JPG
The two giant cranes 80m high cranes seen from Saint Nazaire town  © Andrew McAlpine

The World Class ships belong to a new class of ship which are the 5th class developed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique for MSC Cruises and will bring to 20 the number of ships delivered by the French yard over the last 15 years.

When the first one is delivered in May 2022, it is set to be the worlds largest passenger ship by capacity. Currently the world’s largest cruise ship is Symphony of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean. Launched in 2017 and built at the same shipyard, she has a passenger capacity of 6,680 but is longer and wider than MSC new class. According to figures released so far the first world class ship who’s name is yet to be announced, will have a passenger capacity of 6,850.

The world class ships will feature what the shipyard calls a innovative ‘G’ bow which together with the streamlined hull form is designed to cut through the water.

os-msc-world-class-cruise-ships-pictures.jpg
Streamlined hull form and ‘G’ Bow designed to cut through the water Image: MSC Cruises

 

Like many of the cruise ships now on order will feature LNG propulsion. According the the shipyard among the main features developed for these innovative ships, the new LNG propulsion and system of waste management are noticeable. The design implemented by Chantiers de l’Atlantique will allow the passengers first to enjoy an outstanding view over the ocean thanks to the aft Y-shaped structure and also to take advantage of an enhanced comfort thanks to the stem designed specially to increase both stability and aero dynamism. The ship’s other guest-centric innovations include family-friendly ‘villages’, a panoramic aft deck, and a glass pool lounge.

MSC-Worldclass-1.jpg
Image: MSC Cruises 

Take a look at the video to learn more:

MSC World Class Factfile

Number of Ships; 4

Delivery: 1st ship May 2022 (Hull no. W34), 2023, 2024, 2025

Shipyard: Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Saint Nazaire, France

Length: 333.3 m

Gross weight: 205,700

Breadth Moulded: 47 m

Height from keel to mast: 68 m

Design Draught: 9.15 m

Max Speed: 22.7 knots

Decks: 23

Flag: Malta

Passenger Capacity: 6,850

Crew: 2,126

No. of cabins: 2,760

MSC-Worldclass-2 (1)
Image: MSC Cruises 

I will bring you more news on this innovative new class as details are announced.

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

 

 

Princess Cruises unveils 2021 Canada & New England cruises

C&NE2.jpg
Image: Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises has announced its Canada & New England voyages departing throughout summer and autumn 2021.

The 2021 programme, which goes on sale from September 18, 2019, offers holidaymakers a choice of 17 cruises, visiting 18 destinations on seven itineraries. Princess will have three ships in the region, with voyages ranging in length from seven to 24 days.

Sky Princess 2
Image: Princess Cruises

The 3,660-guest Sky Princess and 3,140-guest Caribbean Princess will sail from August to October on a series of departures from New York, Quebec and Fort Lauderdale. And as previously announced by the line, September will see the 2,600-guest Grand Princess sail roundtrip from Southampton on a 24-night voyage, calling at Boston, Bar Harbour, Halifax, Sydney (Nova Scotia), Quebec (overnight call), Saguenay, Charlottetown and St. Johns (Newfoundland).

The programme will see the line’s maiden call into Sept-Îles, Quebec, and afford guests more time to explore ashore with a series of late night departures in Boston and Charleston, as well as overnight calls in Quebec on select sailings. There is also the opportunity to visit Greenland, the world’s largest island.

Guests can take advantage of the variety of cruisetours available which encompass the region’s must-see attractions such as Niagara Falls, the Rideau Canal UNESCO World Heritage site in Ottawa, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and Washington DC.

All three ships will feature the multi award-winning OceanMedallion, which has been designed to deliver an entirely new level of service and create a holiday that is more simple, effortless and personalised with:

IMG_8146
© Andrew McAlpine

·         Expedited arrival – Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their holiday started even sooner
·         Touchless stateroom entry – No need to touch, swipe or insert cards or devices into the door handle to unlock the stateroom. As a guest approaches their stateroom the door automatically unlocks
·         On-demand services – Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items such as suntan lotion and have them delivered directly anywhere onboard, including to their stateroom
·         Interactive game play – Available on portals throughout the ship, PlayOcean allows guests to take part in digital scavenger hunts, interactive games and create their own avatars, as well as turning their smart device into a game controller for interactive gaming on the Movies Under The Stars top-deck screen
·         Family and friends locator – Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, OceanCompass leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family onboard. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest
·         Interactive voyage timeline – Available on ship portals and via guests’ smart devices, JourneyView is an interactive timeline that lets guests scroll through all of the events available onboard during their voyage and bookmark activities they’re interested in to their own personalised itinerary. Voyage itineraries are available as many as 60 days in advance, allowing guests to start planning before they leave home

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ vice president UK and Europe, said: “With its vibrantly-coloured Autumn foliage, and the chance to visit stunning maritime provinces and quaint seaside towns such as Newport and Bar Harbour, the region continues to be a hit with new and past guests alike.

“As well as a variety of fly-cruise options, for guests wishing to experience everything the east coast of North America has to offer and spend plenty of time relaxing and enjoying the wealth of activities onboard, we are delighted to once again offer them the opportunity to sail across the Atlantic with us, from Southampton.”

Princess cruises is offering 24-day Canada & New England voyage, departing September 18, 2021 on Grand Princess. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton, calling at Boston, Bar Harbour, Halifax, Sydney (Nova Scotia), Quebec (overnight call), Saguenay, Charlottetown and St. Johns (Newfoundland). Prices from £2,399 per person. Special offer currently available with prices from £3,499 per person for a free upgrade from an oceanview stateroom to a balcony.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post