CELEBRITY CRUISES MARKS SUMMER RETURN TO UK, WITH NEW LUXURY ‘STAYCATIONS’

Celebrity Silhouette sporting her new hull colour Image: Celebrity Cruises
  • Revolutionised Celebrity Silhouette returns to the UK this summer with new spaces designed by Kelly Hoppen CBE
  • Celebrity Silhouette will sail with all guests aged 18 and above vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 with negative PCR test results
  • Announcement is welcome boost for Southampton and UK tourism

LONDON (March 29th, 2021 09.00BST) – Celebrity Cruises announced its long-anticipated return to UK shores today, as company President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, confirmed that its newly revolutionised ship, Celebrity Silhouette, will set sail from Southampton this summer, offering new luxury staycations to discerning British guests.

Celebrity Silhouette’s return to UK shores will be welcome news, not just for holidaymakers looking for a luxury staycation to reconnect with friends and family, but also for the British tourism industry.

Celebrity Silhouette will sail with all guests aged 18 and over vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 with negative PCR test results. The announcement comes just days after Celebrity Cruises announced its Caribbean comeback with Celebrity Millennium departing from St. Maarten and Celebrity Apex departing from Greece, both in June.

Image: Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said, “We’re delighted to be returning to Southampton after over a year away. We are truly committed to the UK market and can’t wait to welcome guests back onboard. What could be better than a new luxury ship, ready to take guests on a journey around one of the world’s most beautiful and impressive coastlines? Not only is this extremely significant to us as a business but also to the local tourism industry.”

Setting sail from Southampton from Saturday, July 3rd, the stunning new luxury Celebrity Silhouette will embark on a series of six- to eight-night itineraries around Britain’s coastline. Guests will have the chance to explore the Jurassic Coastline from Portland, discover the bustling Scottish cities and stunning highlands from Inverness, Kirkwall and Glasgow, uncover the rich history of Belfast, plus immerse themselves in the creative and cultural hub of Liverpool, home of the Beatles!

Jo Rzymowska, Vice President and Managing Director EMEA, said: “We are excited to offer guests the chance to reconnect at sea with family and friends and to make up for all those missed celebrations. I cannot thank our UK travel partners enough for their unwavering support throughout this unprecedented time. We can’t wait to welcome our mutual guests onboard Celebrity Silhouette.”

From bow to stern, the ship has been ‘revolutionised’, following a multi-million-pound refit last year, designed to ensure an unparalleled new luxury experience for guests needing to feed their love of travel.

Celebrity Silhouette’s new look includes:

  • Completely modernised staterooms and suites with stunning enhancements designed with guest comfort in mind
  • The addition of The Retreat for suite guests, an exclusive open-air hideaway featuring a private sundeck and redesigned lounge offering complimentary beverages, gourmet bites, live entertainment, and concierge service, designed by award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE
  • Stunningly reimagined restaurants, bars, and lounges where guests can enjoy unparalleled culinary experiences in captivating environments
  • A redesigned spa and casino
  • New designer boutiques featuring the hottest designer names
  • Advanced RFID lock technology with digital key access to every stateroom door

Celebrity Silhouette’s restart in UK waters underlines the brand’s commitment to the UK market and its confidence in its trusted travel partners. Incentives and resources made available to support agents in selling a new luxury staycation with Celebrity this summer include £20 Celebrity Rewards points on every booking, a dedicated marketing toolkit on the Revolutionised Celebrity Silhouette available on Celebrity Central and double Captain’s Club loyalty points for guests.

And, because Celebrity Cruises believes holidays should be effortless from start to finish, Wi-Fi, drinks and service charges are now ‘Always Included’SM in every purchase, bringing that wonderful feeling of ‘everything is taken care of’ to life. 

In addition, the company’s ‘Cruise with Confidence’ programme provides flexible cancellations and best price guarantees. 

All guests already booked to sail on Celebrity Silhouette this summer will be contacted to discuss the options for their current booking.

Healthy at Sea

The company’s first priority is the health and safety of guests, crew, and the people in the places that Celebrity Silhouette will visit. The ship will sail with comprehensive, multi-layered health and safety measures leveraging expert guidance from its Healthy Sail Panel; Royal Caribbean Group’s Global Head of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer; and local UK health and government authorities. These measures, including vaccination and testing requirements, will evolve along with public health standards. 

Details on all health and safety measures across the entire Celebrity Cruises holiday experience can be found at https://www.celebritycruises.com/healthy-at-sea. Further details on the additional health and safety measures to be implemented by Celebrity Cruises will be announced at a later date. 

For more information on Celebrity Cruises UK comeback, guests and travel advisors should visit: celebritycruises.com/ukcruises

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

Dover becomes UK home port for Hurtigruten expedition cruises from March 2021

Hurtigruten, world leader in expedition cruises, announces a year-round programme of unique voyages departing from Dover from mid March 2021.

Port of Dover

The Norwegian operator, considered to be the world’s greenest cruise line, has launched 4 adventurous itineraries as expedition cruises from March 2021, which go on sale from 20th June.

The health and safety of guests and staff has always been the number one priority for Hurtigruten. Following guidelines recommended by the Norwegian Government, the company has built on existing protocols to introduce additional practices to ensure safe, sustainable and enjoyable expedition cruising.

MS Midinstol (meaning midnight sun)
will be refurbished and renamed MS Maud
Image: Hurtigruten

MS Maud – a small, sustainable, expedition cruise ship

Taking less than 500 passengers, MS Maud will be freshly refurbished prior to her arrival in Dover. She goes into the refurb project as the currently in-service MS Midnatsol, already well-known to those who have sailed on Hurtigruten’s Coastal route in Norway.

As part of the multi-million-pound refurb project, MS Maud will proudly emerge with all new public areas. Natural Scandinavian materials will be used to seamlessly bring the great outdoors inside – Scandinavian wool, pine, birch, oak, and granite will unknowingly provide the perfect backdrop to your voyage from Dover.

More sustainable expeditions

As the first cruise line in the world, we are introducing biodiesel as fuel on a number of ships – including MS Maud. Biodiesel reduces (CO2) emissions with up to 80 %. Single use plastic is also banned.

Three new restaurants will be introduced – Aune, the main restaurant; Fredheim, for casual international dining; and Lindstrom, our exclusive fine dining restaurant. Each serving cuisine with character, locally sourced in line with our sustainability principles.

Departing directly from Dover

Eliminating a flight adds convenience and ease to your expedition cruise. You can begin your adventure from much closer to home and immediately you swiftly pass through the gorgeous cruise terminal, without suitcase restrictions or the need to pack and unpack multiple times. Dover is very well connected by road and rail, so joining is simple and quick, be it by private or public transport. Your fellow British passengers will be kindred spirits as you venture forth on your expedition.

Expedition cruising

At Hurtigruten, we actively shun the bright lights and the crowds of mass tourism; instead, we visit remote nature destinations; we engage in unassuming beach cleans; we showcase local wildlife; we take part in Citizen Science experiments; and we learn from each other and from the Expedition Team. You’ll certainly not get any stuffy formality, nor the needless luxury of boutique cruising, nor will you feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of your ship, the number of guests or the razzmatazz of ‘big white ship’ cruising.

In the recent past, MS Midnatsol has been in service in Antarctica, where she was heralded as the blueprint for modern expedition cruising in both size and facilities – most significantly, the tender pits and purpose-built platforms used to launch her fleet of expedition boats for landings and local exploration. These will be in use regularly as we bring expedition cruising to Dover.

Leading the cruise industry in sustainability and environmental standards

The very latest fuel and environmental advances will be incorporated ‘below decks’ as part of MS Maud’s refurbishment. The ship will be powered on BIOFUEL, mixed in with regular diesel, to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Furthermore, the BIOFUEL used will be environmentally certified and made from waste produce from other industries including fishing, meaning no palm oil used in its production and no negative effects on rainforests. Once in port, where possible, MS Maud will be fitted with shore power connectivity eliminating emissions whilst alongside.

Citizen Science

MS Midnatsol is a tried-and-tested thoroughbred and pioneer in expedition cruising, and through the refurb, MS Maud will emerge even stronger. A state-of-the-art Science Center is the ‘beating heart’ of all expedition cruises, and MS Maud’s will be complete with the very latest tech and experiment apparatus, touch screens and microscopes. Guests will not be disappointed, and the Science Center will become the hub to informally learn from the Expedition Team on topics ranging from geology to ornithology, from Northern Lights to the conservation and Citizen Science projects we support.

Crafted expedition cruise itineraries

Each of our 4 expedition itineraries visit hard-to-reach destinations, which test seamanship and resolve, and as a result, provide unique experiences to savour and share.

Norway’s winter fjords and the Northern Lights – 15-day voyages visiting Norway’s southern fjords and Arctic North. Highlights include Stavanger, Alesund, off-the-beaten-track Lofoten Islands, 2 days in Tromso, the North Cape and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bergen.  Hurtigruten’s unique Northern Lights Promise applies.

Departures from Dover in March 2021, and Oct 2021 – March 2022

https://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/destinations/norway/dover-north-cape-dover/

Summertime in Norway’s fjords and her islands – 15-day voyages along the Norwegian coast, known to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, with countless fjords, mountains and charming coastal villages. Norway has been Hurtigruten’s backyard for 127 years – explore the hidden gems, handpicked by your expedition cruise experts.

Departures from Dover in Apr – September 2021

https://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/destinations/norway/norwegian-fjords-north-cape-and-the-arctic-sunshine/

The British Isles – 13-day expedition cruise visiting remote islands off the British mainland – less-visited, mysterious and varied, where the elements, the coastline and the indigenous wildlife are to be both respected and revered. Highlights include Fishguard, Rathlin Island (excursion to Giants Causeway possible), Iona, Staffa (sail by scenic cruising of Fingal’s Cave), St Kilda, Stornoway, Islay, Isle of Man, Waterford, Isles of Scilly and Dartmouth.

Departures from Dover in May – September 2021

https://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/destinations/british-isles/remote-islands-natural-wonders-and-a-diverse-coastline/

Southern Scandinavia – 15-day voyage offers expedition, culture, wildlife and nature, combined with urban exploration. Across 4 countries we encounter wide, white sandy beaches in Germany and Denmark, peaceful archipelagos and charming marinas in Sweden and the beautiful fjords and islets of Norway. Highlights include the Kiel Canal, Skagen, Koster, the Weather Islands, Oslo, Hardanger and Lysefjord.

Departures from Dover in June & July 2021

https://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/destinations/europe/southern-scandinavia-archipelagos-fjords-fishing-towns/

Prices are yet to be released by Hurtigruten, and the voyages go on sale from 20 June 2020.

You can pre-register your interest here; https://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/pre-registration/

MS Maud

– ENDS –

SELECTION OF QUOTES:

– We are thrilled to present expedition cruises from Dover year-round. It is a needed boost for the UK cruise industry at this time, and is especially important to showcase how expedition cruising differs from mainstream ‘big white ship’ cruising, says Anthony Daniels, General Manager, Hurtigruten UK & Ireland

– These sustainable new itineraries visit off-the-beaten-track waters, coastlines and islands; they are brim-full of unique experiences and destinations rarely visited, says Anthony Daniels, General Manager, Hurtigruten UK & Ireland

Hurtigruten is set to a full service of coastal voyages with MS Finnmarken sailing from Bergen from next Tuesday (16th June), and will be the first ocean cruise line to do so.

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

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines teams up with marine conservation charity ORCA for 2020

 Inaugural nine-cruise whale-watching programme announced as part of the partnership

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Image: Richard Lovelock

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).

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Image: Richard Lovelock

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.”

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Image: Richard Lovelock

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.

Ports of call: Liverpool, UK – Ålesund, Norway – Cruising Rørvik, Norway – Cruising Torghatten, Norway – Cruising Seven Sisters mountain range, Norway – Crossing the Arctic Circle, Norway – Djevelen Tanngard, Norway – Honningsvåg, Norway – Longyearbyen, Norway – Cruising Tempelfjorden, Norway – Cruise by Nordenskiöldbreen, Norway – Pyramiden, Norway – Tromsø, Norway – Bodø, Norway – Lerwick, UK – Liverpool, UK

For more details: Visit W2018 ‘A Voyage to Remote Spitsbergen’

Boudicca’s 16-night D2021 ‘Fjords & Icebergs of Remote Greenland’ cruise, departing from Dover on 11th August 2020. Prices start from £2,199 per person.

Ports of call: Dover, UK – Reykjavik, Iceland (overnight stay) – Cruising Prins Chrustian Sund, Greenland – Cruising Torssukatak, Greeland – Narsarsuaq, Greenland – Qaqortoq, Greeland – Nanortalik, Greenland – Cruising Tasermiut Fjord, Greenland – Scrabster, UK – Dover, UK

For more details: Visit D2021 ‘Fjords & Icebergs of Remote Greenland’

For further information on ORCA sailings with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit www.fredolsencruises.com/our-ships/activities-and-entertainment/orca Book online, call Reservations on 0800 0355 242 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 9am to 5pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm), or visit an ABTA travel agent.

To find out more about ORCA, visit www.orcaweb.org.uk

ORCA-LOGO-with-web

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Iona floated out at Meyer Werft

Iona reaches next construction milestone

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Iona seen during floatout Image: Meyer Werft

P&O cruises new flagship Iona has left the building hall at Meyer Werft. She was floated out early on Friday morning marking another construction milestone for the LNG-powered vessel.

The 5,200-passenger ship — the largest-ever purpose built for the UK — will launch in May.

Iona’s interior will now be fully fitted out, before the ship makes its way along the River Ems at the end of March. Iona will then undergo a series of sea trials before she is finaly handed over.

The ship joins the P&O fleet this summer as the British brand’s flagship, and will be the largest ship in the company’s fleet at 5,200 guests and 183,900 tons.

Iona will be named in Southampton on July 4, followed by a week-long celebration called Ionafest which will include a special performance from the ship’s Musical Director, Gary Barlow.

A sister ship is set to follow in 2022.

Here is a great video show the float out from the building hall.

 

Thank you for reading my latest blog post

 

Portsmouth selected as host for Saga’s Spirit of Adventure naming ceremony 

First naming ceremony for Portsmouth 

Rendering of Saga Cruises Spirit of Adventure
Spirit of Adventure Image: Saga Cruises

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 – Khukuri House, alongside Amalfi, a high-end Italian cuisine restaurant and the Supper Club 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.

Ship Factfile

IMO No.: 9818084

Launch: 2020

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

Passengers: 1,000

Staterooms & Cabins: 540

Decks: 10

Cabin Decks: 6

Crew: 505

Cruising speed: 23 knots

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

Virgin Voyages names second ship ‘Valiant Lady’

LAUNCHING 3 EXHILARATING 7-NIGHT

ITINERARIES FROM BARCELONA WITH

OVERNIGHT STAYS IN IBIZA

Virgin Voyages, the new lifestyle brand shaking up the travel industry, announced their second ship will be called ‘Valiant Lady’ and that she will sail 7-night Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona, Spain when she debuts in May 2021. Bookings for the three feature itineraries, that all offer overnight and late-night stops across some of the hottest destinations in France, Italy and Spain, will open December 19, 2019.

“We are thrilled to unveil the name of our second ship – Valiant Lady – and to deliver on our commitment to offer travelers a sea change in how they can experience cruising in this fantastic part of the world. Our Sailors will fall in love with the places we go and the moments and memories they will be able to create on our gorgeous ship. After all, there is no better way to sail the seven seas than doing it the Virgin way,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.

Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady
Valiant Lady, sister ship to Scarlet Lady Image: Virgin Voyages

2021 Summers on the Med with a home in Barcelona 

Valiant Lady will dock just steps from Las Ramblas at the World Trade Center Barcelona, positioning Sailors as close to the heart of this stunning departure-port-city as possible. This prime location, usually reserved by luxury liners and mega-yachts, gives walking access to the dynamic and diverse neighborhoods of Poble Sec, el Raval, Barri Gotic, Port Vell and the famed urban beach of La Barceloneta. With a weekly Sunday sail away, sailors will enjoy extra time in Barcelona and be able to take advantage of many different flight options. Virgin Voyages is partnering with Global Ports Holding, the world’s leading independent cruise port operator, to prepare for Valiant Lady’s arrival in early summer 2021.

 

Open for bookings December 2019, 7-nightsailings start May 2021 and feature an overnight in Ibiza 

The Med, home to some of the world’s best beach clubs, cultural experiences, restorative spas, yacht clubs and nightlife, is a perfect choice for Virgin Voyages. Valiant Lady will sail 3 different itineraries with truly breathtaking ports of call.

  • Itinerary 1 includes the exotic delights of Barcelona, Ibiza, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Olbia
  • Itinerary 2 includes a fantastic sampling of the Med featuring Barcelona, Ibiza, Toulon, Ajaccio, Marina di Carrara and Cagliari
  • Itinerary 3 is a mostly Spanish immersion, stopping by Barcelona, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and the British port of Gibraltar Virgin Voyages also revealed that the name ‘Valiant Lady’ was inspired by the Latin wordvalere and from the French origin, vaillant, meaning “bold”, “strong”, and “courageous.”While historically, the image of women only graced the bows of ships to bring protection to a vessel, ‘Valiant Lady’ embodies the idea that women design, captain, lead and champion change in the maritime industry.

The Scarlet Lady’s sister ship ‘Valiant Lady’ will continue Virgin Voyages’ ‘Scarlet Squad’ program aimed at recruiting, supporting and mentoring female shipboard talent, and growing opportunities to access leadership roles in onboard areas such as marine, technical and hotel management that statistically show low numbers of female leadership.

Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady
Valiant Lady launching 2021 Image: Virgin Voyages

Introducing ‘Valiant Lady’

 Hearing Sailor and First Mates (travel partners) requests for later stays in ports, Virgin has delivered this on every itinerary. This means Sailors have the flexibility to make the most of their time in port and take in all that these destinations have to offer. Of particular note, every sailing features a Friday overnight stay in Ibiza, one of the most stunning and thrilling Balearic Islands. Whether it’s a blissed-out beach club, a bohemian market, a serene spa, watching the stunning sunsets, or a late night out, there is no comparable place that offers the variety and style of this ultimate destination.

All Virgin Voyages ships have been designed by a leading creative collective who are the brains behind some of the world’s most loved boutique hotel brands. The collective includes names like Design Research Studio (Tom Dixon), Roman & Williams and Concrete Amsterdam who have all been inspired by the brand’s design concept- the Modern Romance of Sailing and Mission to Redefine the Experience of a Vacation at Sea.

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

 

Virgin Voyages announces two sneak-a-peek sailings as Scarlet Lady heads out for sea trials

Celebrity-packed maiden voyage

Virgin Voyages have announced exciting additions to the Scarlet Lady’s Maiden Voyage on April 1, 2020. To mark the celebration in a very Virgin way, this first celebratory sailing will be packed full of currently unnamed celebrity-guest appearances, special events, exclusive surprises and an overall enhanced Virgin Voyages experience for sailors to revel in, but as yet specific details have not been released.

Sneak-a-Peek sailings

Accompanying the announcement of the extra experiences for the Maiden Voyage, Virgin Voyages also announced that will open bookings for two Sneak-a-Peek sailings ahead of the April 1, 2020 sailing. Both sailings are a unique opportunity to experience a taste of Virgin Voyages before the inaugural season begins.

People who book the Sneak-a-Peek sailings beginning March 26, 2020 will get a selected highlights version of the full Virgin Voyages experience before Scarlet Lady officially sets sail on its Maiden Voyage April 1st. The three night Sneak-a-Peek Scarlet Lady sailings will feature the ship’s marquee experiences including a stunning day at the Beach Club at Bimini, a Scarlet Night Party, access to all restaurants and complete versions of entertainment offered on board. Short preview cruises like these are open to only media and selected travel partners. Virgin’s decision to make these pre-inaugural sailings open to the general public is a relatively new concept.

The announcements come on the same day Scarlet Lady left the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa to set sail for her first series of sea trials which are due to last for three days.

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady leaves shipyard in Genoa for sea trials

Bookings for Sneak-a-Peak sailings open on VirginVoyages.com Friday, November 15th. The first sailing will run from Thursday, March 26 – Sunday, March 29. The second sailing will run Sunday, March 29 – Wednesday, April 1.

Scarlet Lady is now in Marseille as fitting out work continues.

Take a look at this great video of Scarlet lady setting off on her sea trials shared with the kind permission of Claire Aitken 3rd officer on board.

Be sure to take a look at the first of my “stray the course” series looking at what we know and Scarlet Lady so far:

http://www.cruiseshipprofiles.com/2019/05/21/stray-the-course-with-virgin-voyages-part-1/

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

Global Dream Hull art revealed

Global Dream Hull Art Rendition.jpg

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

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

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

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Image: Dream Cruises

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Image: Dream Cruises / ITB

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

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

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

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

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

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Image: MV Werften

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Image: MV Werften

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Image: MV Werften

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Image: MV Werften

GLOBAL DREAM FACTFILE

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IMO No.: 9808998

Launch: 2020

Shipyard:  MV Werften (Wismar and Rostock, Germany)

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

Hull No.: 125

Steel  Cutting: 8th March 2018

Keel laid: 11th September 2018

Class: Global Class

Sister Ships: second vessel in 2022

Length:  342 m

Width: 46 m

Draft: 9.5 m

Gross tonnage:  204,000 GT

Passengers: 4,700

Staterooms & Cabins: 2,500

Decks: 20

Cabin Decks: 11

Crew: TBC

Cruising speed: 23 knots

Thankyou for taking the time to read my lastest post.

Keel-laying for AIDAcosma at Neptun Werft shipyard in Rostock

AIDA’s second LNG cruise ship has been named AIDAcosma and will sail from Kiel to Norway and the Baltic Sea in summer 2021

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AIDAcosma Image: AIDA Cruises

On October 15, 2019, the first building-block for AIDA Cruises’ second LNG-powered cruise ship was put in place at the NeptunWerft shipyard in Rostock. The two trainees, Charleen Hoffmann (AIDA Cruises) and Kenny Schaft (Meyer Werft shipyard) placed the traditional lucky coin beneath the first of a total of 90 blocks.

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Two trainees, Charleen Hoffmann (AIDA Cruises) and Kenny Schaft (Meyer Werft) place a traditional lucky coin under the first block Image: AIDA Cruises

On the occasion of the keel-laying, the name of the new ship and its first routing were announced: the ship will be named AIDAcosma,and will be cruising from Kiel to the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic Sea from summer 2021.

Together with the Managing Director of the Meyer Werft shipyard Tim Meyer and the head of the Neptun Werft shipyard in Rostock Manfred Ossevorth, AIDA President Felix Eichhorn welcomed numerous guests from the worlds of politics and business including Birgit Hesse, President of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomeraniastate parliament, Rostock’s Mayor Claus Ruhe Madsen,and the President of Rostock’s municipal assembly Regine Lück.In his speech Harry Glawe, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Minister for Economics, Construction and Tourism emphasized the importance of this maritime location on the Warnow, and praised AIDA Cruises for its great commitment.

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Kiellegung_AIDAcosma_Tim_Meyer_Charleen_Hoffmann__Kenny_Schaft___Felix_Eichhorn Image: AIDA Cruises

AIDA President Felix Eichhorn: “With AIDAcosma we are consistently continuing our sustainable growth. The keel-laying of our second LNG-powered cruise ship here in Rostock is also an expression of our company’s economic and innovative power in Rostock and throughout northern Germany.” In 2018 AIDA Cruises alone contributed over 1.6 billion Euros to northern Germany’s economic growth. The company’s economic performance in Rostock alone (exclusive of ship-building) amounted to around 160 million Euros according to a study carried out by Deloitte & Touchein conjunction with the Universities of Hamburg and Genoa. “AIDA stands for some 8,200 direct and indirect jobs with our suppliers here in the north. With our investments in the development and use of sustainable technologies, we are providing key momentum for research and science clusters throughout Germany,” Felix Eichhorn added. By making investments of over two billion Eurosin Germany by 2023 with the construction of AIDAcosma and a third LNG-powered cruise ship, the company will be contributing to further value creation and the creation of secure jobs in ship-building and the maritime supply industry.

With gross tonnage of 183,900and a length of  337 meters, AIDAcosma will have 20 decks, and space for 2,600 staterooms. A new feature on this ship is the Fun Park at the stern of the ship with a children’s pool, a twin water chute and the Water Slide.

For the first time, the outdoor Sport Deck will have a boulder wall. The Pool Deck in the stern extends across the entire width of the ship. The crowning touch is the breathtaking infinity pool. The ship has more spaces in the sun on the three tiered Sun Decks above. Guests will be pampered in culinary terms at 17 restaurants and 23bars. The diverse range of gastronomic choices is being enhanced with a new restaurant: The Beach House Restaurant will be serving deliciously summery and light dishes. The interior, in soft cream and sand shades, conjures up a pure vacation feel. The specialty restaurant Mamma Mia is also new, offering home-made pasta and fresh Italian cuisine with table service.

The many public amenities include the Theatrium, shops, a disco, a gym area, the lavish Body & Soul Organic Spa, and the clubs for tiny tots, kids and teens.

AIDAcosma will begin her maiden season in summer 2021: From May to October she will be sailing from Kiel on two beautiful northern routes. On alternating weeks,the ship will travel to the Norwegian fjords and to some of the most beautiful cities on the Baltic Sea. Depending on the travel date, AIDAcosma will stay overnight in St. Petersburg, Tallinn or Helsinki. Those who wish to secure their places immediately can pre-book a cruise now. Booking officially opens on November 21, 2019.

With the keel-laying for AIDAcosma, the company is continuing on its current course, making a further contribution to reducing emissions in cruising.

In 2023 the third of AIDA Cruises’ LNG-powered cruise ships “Made in Germany” will be put into service. Thanks to the use of LNG, emissions of particulates and sulfur oxides are almost totally avoided, while emissions of nitric oxides and CO2are long-lastingly reduced.

AIDAcosma FACTFILE

 

IMO No.: TBC

Launch: 2021

Shipyard:  Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)

Building Cost: EUR 700 million (USD $950 million)

Hull No.: TBC

Class: Excellence / Helios Class

Sister Ships: AIDAnova, Costa Smeralda, P&O Iona, Carnival Mardi Gras,               Costa Toscana,

Length:  337 m

Width: 42 m

Gross tonnage:  183,900 GT

Passengers: 5,400

Staterooms & Cabins: 2,600

Decks: 20

Cabin Decks: 11

Crew: TBC

Cruising speed: 23 knots

Thankyou 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.

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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.