Norwegian Cruise Lines newest ship Norwegian Prima made her UK debut when she arrived in the port of Southampton on 20th August.
Norwegian Prima is the first of 6 new “Prima-Class” cruise ships ordered from the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri under the project name “Leonardo-Class”. Theses are the first ships for NCL that are being constructed by the Italian shipbuilder.
Norwegian Prima was handed over on the 8th August and left the shipyard a couple of days later, she made brief stops in Civitavecchia and Barcelona before making her arrival in Southampton early 20th August.
Below are a series of images from arrival to sailing during her visit to Southampton.
When the Disney Wish sets sail on 9 June, 2022, families will discover a mesmerising new world created especially for them: a celebration of Disney’s rich legacy of enchanting storytelling that brings to life the fantastical worlds and beloved characters at the heart of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars adventures like never before.
Families will embark on a splashtacular adventure with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse aboard the first-ever Disney attraction at sea; revel in a royal celebration during a theatrical dining experience with “Frozen” friends; team up with the Avengers on a Marvel cinematic dining adventure; and travel to a galaxy far, far away in a first-of-its-kind Star Wars experience on board a Disney ship.
“With the Disney Wish, we’re continuing our tradition of delivering the most magical and relaxing holidays at sea, combining legendary service and entertainment with imaginative storytelling and all the care you expect from a Disney holiday,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “Our newest ship will celebrate everything that families love about sailing with us, from the incredible dining experiences and character interactions, to dazzling shows and the crew’s thoughtful attention to detail. We can’t wait to welcome our guests aboard the Disney Wish as we expand the reach of our world-class fleet.”
In keeping with the tradition started by Walt Disney Imagineers on the first ship Disney Magic the cartoon character Rapunzel will adorn the stern and add touch of magic to the luxury liner’s hull.
Wish Upon A Star
The Disney Wish will feature a brand-new, distinctly Disney design concept inspired by timeless tales of wishes come true. The motif of enchantment — a theme found at the heart of so many beloved Disney stories — will manifest in wondrous ways throughout the ship, from the magical forest setting of the Walt Disney Theatre to storybook-inspired staterooms to the fairytale castle-inspired Grand Hall, where a dazzling wishing star descends from the shimmering chandelier above.
“Daring to dream even bigger, our Imagineers are creating a breathtaking new world of enchantment aboard the Disney Wish,” said Laura Cabo, portfolio creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. “This motif provides the perfect platform to infuse Disney storytelling into every aspect of the design, giving the Disney Wish its own unique personality and a completely new look unlike anything else at sea.”
To “Swim”-finity and Beyond
Disney Cruise Line will take fun in the sun to the next level on board the Disney Wish with a brand-new family water attraction and three themed districts that offer dedicated space for families, children and adults alike.
Guests will be immersed in “The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse” animated shorts aboard the first-ever Disney attraction at sea, AquaMouse. Complete with show scenes, lighting and special effects, and splashtacular surprises, this wild water ride is sure to delight everyone in the family as they zig, zag and zoom through 760 feet of winding tubes suspended high above the upper decks.
Families will have more pools, more deck space and more dining than ever before in an expansive district themed to Mickey and friends. In addition to AquaMouse, the area will feature six pools — spaciously staggered among tiered decks and surrounded by lounge chairs — and a fresh take on quick and casual fare with a festive character twist.
Little ones will delight in an all-new Toy Story-themed district designed especially for families with toddlers and young children. This whimsical water wonderland will include a splash zone, wading pool, family waterslide and smoothie bar.
Adults will indulge in sun-drenched serenity at Quiet Cove, a peaceful refuge dedicated to lounging and sipping on refreshing beverages. Set away from the bustle of family activities, this secluded adults-only district will feature a luxurious infinity pool, poolside bar and chic cafe.
Prepared and Served with Flair – A Culinary Cabaret
With the debut of three brand-new family dining concepts ranging from theatrical entertainment to cinematic adventure to sophisticated elegance, dinner on board the Disney Wish will be so much more than a meal – it will be a chance to interact with favourite Disney stories in exciting new ways that only Disney Cruise Line can cook up.
Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is Disney’s first “Frozen”-themed theatrical dining experience that will bring the world of Arendelle to life through immersive live entertainment — featuring favourite characters like Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf — and world-class cuisine infused with Nordic influences.
Worlds of Marvel is the first-ever Marvel cinematic dining adventure, where guests will play an interactive role in an action-packed Avengers mission that unfolds around them, complete with a worldly menu inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
1923, named for the year The Walt Disney Company was founded, is an elegant celebration of the company’s legacy, paying homage to the golden age of animation and offering a tasteful tribute to its Californian heritage with dishes inspired by the state’s unique fusion of cultural flavours.
In addition to elaborately themed, upscale restaurants, the Disney Wish will offer a variety of dining options ranging from quick bites, casual dining and 24-hour room service to specialty treats, gourmet cafes and premium dining exclusively for adults.
A Whole New World of Family Entertainment
Disney Cruise Line is combining innovative design and technology to create immersive entertainment environments that will surround guests in storytelling in new and unexpected ways on board the Disney Wish.
The Grand Hall will evolve from a fairytale gathering space into an environmental theatre through the magic of built-in special effects and the first-ever atrium stage on a Disney ship. Dedicated shows and interactive entertainment will come to life all around the hall, putting guests front and centre as they play a special role in the magic.
Luna is a brand-new entertainment hub that will transition from a daytime setting for family fun into an elegant evening venue for adult-exclusive entertainment, offering a variety of live shows and interactive programming throughout the day.
Hero Zone is a futuristic sports arena where physical activity will blend with imagination during action-packed challenges and game show-style competitions for families to take on together.
The Walt Disney Theatre is an opulent show palace that will come alive with original Broadway-style stage productions developed exclusively for Disney Cruise Line.
The Wonderlandand Never Land Cinemas are intimate screening rooms that will provide guests more options than ever to watch classic and first-run films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and more.
In true Disney Cruise Line fashion, the Disney Wish will offer a robust menu of world-class entertainment throughout every voyage, including spectacular stage shows, exhilarating deck parties, one-of-a-kind character experiences, fun family activities, contemporary cabarets and more.
Imaginations, Assemble! Cool Clubs for Kids of All Ages
Aboard Disney Cruise Line, kids get to be the heroes of their own Disney stories. With dedicated clubs for every age group and imaginative programming facilitated with the care and expertise of Disney-trained counselors, children will be immersed in Disney storytelling on board the Disney Wish.
Children ages 3 to 12 will enter the captivating worlds of favourite Disney stories in the reimagined Disney’s Oceaneer Club, a real-life wonderland featuring more spaces and stories than ever before. Expertly developed programming combines deeply engaging, enriching activities with special playtime with Disney friends – and when characters stop by, they stay to play, offering uniquely interactive, memorable character experiences exclusive to Disney Cruise Line.
Marvel Super Hero Academy is a high-tech Avengers headquarters where young “recruits” will train to be the next generation of Super Heroes with the help of their own heroes, like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Fairytale Hall is a royal trio of activity rooms where princesses and princes will let their creativity shine at Rapunzel’s Art Studio, read and act out stories at Belle’s Library, and test newfound icy powers at Anna and Elsa’s Sommerhus.
Walt Disney Imagineering Lab is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for kids to discover the secrets of world-renowned Disney Imagineers — the creative masterminds behind Disney theme parks, resorts and cruise ships — with hands-on activities and inventive experiments.
For the littlest cruisers ages 6 months to 3 years, It’s a Small World Nursery will offer babysitting services in a whimsical environment inspired by the beloved Disney attraction of the same name.
Edge (ages 11 to 14) and Vibe (ages 14 to 17) are trendy hangouts where tweens and teens will chill and play in their own way, with dedicated programming designed to engage the unique interests of these age groups.
A Trove of Untold Treasures Exclusively for Adults
Adults aboard the Disney Wish will escape, relax, dine and play in more ways than ever with exclusive venues and entertainment tailored just for them, featuring elevated interpretations of Disney stories through sophisticated theming that ranges from subtle inspiration to full-scale immersion.
For the first time on a Disney ship, guests will embark on a space-jumping tour of the Star Wars galaxy at Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge, a high-end bar styled as a luxurious yacht-class spaceship. This richly themed, immersive experience will be reserved for adults every evening, offering interactive tasting experiences and signature beverages inspired by destinations such as Batuu, Tatooine and Mustafar.
Aboard the Disney Wish, guests will savour gourmet meals and exceptional beverages at Palo Steakhouse, Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement and The Rose, an upscale suite of epicurean excellence exclusively for adults, inspired by the elegant icons of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Beauty and the Beast.”
Palo Steakhouse is an evolution of the Palo restaurant that Disney cruisers know and love, now combining the relaxed sophistication of authentic Italian dining with the classic refinement of a modern steakhouse in a genteel setting inspired by Cogsworth, the tale’s majordomo-turned-enchanted-clock.
Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement will offer the most luxurious dining experience on board, featuring a gourmet menu crafted by three-Michelin-starred Chef Arnaud Lallement. This romantic and intimate venue will evoke the dazzling spirit of the film’s candelabra maitre d’, Lumiere.
The Rose is a chic lounge at the entrance of Palo Steakhouse and Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement. Inspired by the fateful flower at the heart of the story, The Rose will be an idyllic setting for a pre-dinner aperitif or after-dinner cocktail.
Senses Spa is a tranquil oasis offering indulgent spa and beauty treatments, drawing on the serenity of natural elements to promote pampering and relaxation. The spa will feature private treatment rooms, lavish spa villas, and steam and aromatherapy rooms, while the reimagined Senses Fitness will offer state-of-the-art exercise and wellness facilities.
Other adult-exclusive spaces on board the Disney Wish will include the Quiet Cove pool district; a variety of gourmet cafes, relaxed bars and upscale lounges; and more.
Artful Accommodations Where Dreams Do Come True
With an all-new look and feel steeped in enchantment and inspired by dreamy Disney stories, every stateroom on board the Disney Wish will be a luxurious, peaceful retreat designed with ample room for families, plenty of storage and upscale amenities. Most will feature Disney Cruise Line’s signature split-bathroom concept for utmost comfort and function.
Most of the ship’s 1,254 staterooms will offer an ocean view — including877 (70%) with a spacious verandah — and there will be 451 connecting doors that adjoin rooms to accommodate larger families.
The Disney Wish will elevate the concierge experience with more than double the number of premium concierge staterooms and suites, including Disney’s first-ever staterooms located above the bridge, boasting floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal breath-taking ocean views overlooking the bow of the ship. An exclusive lounge with private sun deck will be the perfect place for concierge guests to relax, sip a cocktail and enjoy a premium level of dedicated service throughout the voyage.
The Disney Wish will also debut four royal suites – richly adorned, lavishly appointed suites that accommodate up to six guests and feature extravagant details and first-class amenities. These include a pair of two-story suites, the first of their kind within the Disney fleet, which will feature stunning statement pieces like an elegant spiral staircase and a spectacular two-deck-high stained-glass frieze.
Into the Unknown – Expanding the Disney Cruise Line Fleet
The Disney Wish is the first of three new Disney Cruise Line ships to be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany through 2025. All three ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons, will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
The Disney Wish will sail its maiden voyage — a five-night cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay — on 9 June, 2022, followed by an inaugural season of three- and four-night cruises to the same destinations from Port Canaveral, Florida. Bookings open to the general public on 27 May, 2021.
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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.
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.
Hurtigruten, world leader in expedition cruises, announces a year-round programme of unique voyages departing from Dover from mid March 2021.
The Norwegian operator, considered to be the world’s greenest cruise line, has launched 4 adventurous itineraries as expedition cruises from March 2021, which go on sale from 20th June.
The health and safety of guests and staff has always been the number one priority for Hurtigruten. Following guidelines recommended by the Norwegian Government, the company has built on existing protocols to introduce additional practices to ensure safe, sustainable and enjoyable expedition cruising.
MS Maud – a small, sustainable, expedition cruise ship
Taking less than 500 passengers, MS Maud will be freshly refurbished prior to her arrival in Dover. She goes into the refurb project as the currently in-service MS Midnatsol, already well-known to those who have sailed on Hurtigruten’s Coastal route in Norway.
As part of the multi-million-pound refurb project, MS Maud will proudly emerge with all new public areas. Natural Scandinavian materials will be used to seamlessly bring the great outdoors inside – Scandinavian wool, pine, birch, oak, and granite will unknowingly provide the perfect backdrop to your voyage from Dover.
More sustainable expeditions
As the first cruise line in the world, we are introducing biodiesel as fuel on a number of ships – including MS Maud. Biodiesel reduces (CO2) emissions with up to 80 %. Single use plastic is also banned.
Three new restaurants will be introduced – Aune, the main restaurant; Fredheim, for casual international dining; and Lindstrom, our exclusive fine dining restaurant. Each serving cuisine with character, locally sourced in line with our sustainability principles.
Departing directly from Dover
Eliminating a flight adds convenience and ease to your expedition cruise. You can begin your adventure from much closer to home and immediately you swiftly pass through the gorgeous cruise terminal, without suitcase restrictions or the need to pack and unpack multiple times. Dover is very well connected by road and rail, so joining is simple and quick, be it by private or public transport. Your fellow British passengers will be kindred spirits as you venture forth on your expedition.
At Hurtigruten, we actively shun the bright lights and the crowds of mass tourism; instead, we visit remote nature destinations; we engage in unassuming beach cleans; we showcase local wildlife; we take part in Citizen Science experiments; and we learn from each other and from the Expedition Team. You’ll certainly not get any stuffy formality, nor the needless luxury of boutique cruising, nor will you feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of your ship, the number of guests or the razzmatazz of ‘big white ship’ cruising.
In the recent past, MS Midnatsol has been in service in Antarctica, where she was heralded as the blueprint for modern expedition cruising in both size and facilities – most significantly, the tender pits and purpose-built platforms used to launch her fleet of expedition boats for landings and local exploration. These will be in use regularly as we bring expedition cruising to Dover.
Leading the cruise industry in sustainability and environmental standards
The very latest fuel and environmental advances will be incorporated ‘below decks’ as part of MS Maud’s refurbishment. The ship will be powered on BIOFUEL, mixed in with regular diesel, to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Furthermore, the BIOFUEL used will be environmentally certified and made from waste produce from other industries including fishing, meaning no palm oil used in its production and no negative effects on rainforests. Once in port, where possible, MS Maud will be fitted with shore power connectivity eliminating emissions whilst alongside.
MS Midnatsol is a tried-and-tested thoroughbred and pioneer in expedition cruising, and through the refurb, MS Maud will emerge even stronger. A state-of-the-art Science Center is the ‘beating heart’ of all expedition cruises, and MS Maud’s will be complete with the very latest tech and experiment apparatus, touch screens and microscopes. Guests will not be disappointed, and the Science Center will become the hub to informally learn from the Expedition Team on topics ranging from geology to ornithology, from Northern Lights to the conservation and Citizen Science projects we support.
Crafted expedition cruise itineraries
Each of our 4 expedition itineraries visit hard-to-reach destinations, which test seamanship and resolve, and as a result, provide unique experiences to savour and share.
Norway’s winter fjords and the Northern Lights – 15-day voyages visiting Norway’s southern fjords and Arctic North. Highlights include Stavanger, Alesund, off-the-beaten-track Lofoten Islands, 2 days in Tromso, the North Cape and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bergen. Hurtigruten’s unique Northern Lights Promise applies.
Departures from Dover in March 2021, and Oct 2021 – March 2022
Summertime in Norway’s fjords and her islands – 15-day voyages along the Norwegian coast, known to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, with countless fjords, mountains and charming coastal villages. Norway has been Hurtigruten’s backyard for 127 years – explore the hidden gems, handpicked by your expedition cruise experts.
The British Isles – 13-day expedition cruise visiting remote islands off the British mainland – less-visited, mysterious and varied, where the elements, the coastline and the indigenous wildlife are to be both respected and revered. Highlights include Fishguard, Rathlin Island (excursion to Giants Causeway possible), Iona, Staffa (sail by scenic cruising of Fingal’s Cave), St Kilda, Stornoway, Islay, Isle of Man, Waterford, Isles of Scilly and Dartmouth.
Southern Scandinavia – 15-day voyage offers expedition, culture, wildlife and nature, combined with urban exploration. Across 4 countries we encounter wide, white sandy beaches in Germany and Denmark, peaceful archipelagos and charming marinas in Sweden and the beautiful fjords and islets of Norway. Highlights include the Kiel Canal, Skagen, Koster, the Weather Islands, Oslo, Hardanger and Lysefjord.
– We are thrilled to present expedition cruises from Dover year-round. It is a needed boost for the UK cruise industry at this time, and is especially important to showcase how expedition cruising differs from mainstream ‘big white ship’ cruising, says Anthony Daniels, General Manager, Hurtigruten UK & Ireland
– These sustainable new itineraries visit off-the-beaten-track waters, coastlines and islands; they are brim-full of unique experiences and destinations rarely visited, says Anthony Daniels, General Manager, Hurtigruten UK & Ireland
Hurtigruten is set to a full service of coastal voyages with MS Finnmarken sailing from Bergen from next Tuesday (16th June), and will be the first ocean cruise line to do so.
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Inaugural nine-cruise whale-watching programme announced as part of the partnership
Anyone that knows me will be aware that I have a special fascination with Cetaceans e.g. Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. I am totally against the captivity and exploitation of these intelligent social creatures in marine parks around the world, and firmly believe that the only place they should be seen is swimming free in the wild. I live on the South Coast of the UK and a few miles away in Portsmouth the charity ORCA is based. The charity is entirely dedicated to studying and protecting whales, dolphins and porpoises in the UK and European waters, I have attended a number of their functions and hoping to complete the Marine Mammal Surveyor course later this year. The charity already works with a number of ferry and cruise companies around the UK but I am pleased to see the news regarding their latest partnership this time with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has confirmed a nine-cruise whale-watching programme as part of its first official year in partnership with marine conservation charity ORCA in 2020.
The cruises will enable ORCA to collect vital data on the number and species of whales and dolphins sighted and identify marine wildlife hotspots, feeding directly into the charity’s Cruise Conservationist Programme and its conservation work.
ORCA volunteers will be on board for all nine sailings, who will feed into Fred. Olsen’s onboard enrichment programme with wildlife watching opportunities, lectures, workshops and a host of other activities, including trips on Fred. Olsen’s rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs).
Thomas Rennesland, Hotel Operations Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “All of us here at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are incredibly proud of our partnership with ORCA. Our organisations share similar values and both parties are committed to working together to preserve and protect our oceans, and the wildlife within them, for future generations.
“These cruises will be mutually beneficial for both ORCA, Fred. Olsen and our guests. We know that whale-watching is a real highlight for those taking their holidays with us, and having ORCA on board not only supports the collection of vital data, but also enables our guests to learn more about the marine wildlife that they see on their travels, and further enriches their cruise experience.”
Steve Jones, Head of Partnerships at ORCA, said: “ORCA and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines share so many common values, and our burgeoning partnership has shown that the two organisations have a strong cultural fit.
“We’re continually amazed at how seamlessly we’ve been welcomed into the Fred. Olsen family, both on land and at sea, and everyone we’ve met, from the guests to the staff, have fully embraced our mission to protect whales and dolphins.
“We’re looking forward to a promising future working together, both through the great itineraries we have announced for the rest of 2020 and the incredible adventures we are planning for 2021 and beyond.”
Features of the ORCA cruise programme include:
Black Watch’s 16-night W2018 ‘A Voyage to Remote Spitsbergen’ cruise, departing from Liverpool on 25th June 2020. Prices start from £2,599 per person.
Saga has announced that Portsmouth has been chosen as the location for the official naming ceremony of their second new-build boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Adventure. The prestigious event will be held on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.
The city’s dramatic harbour, maritime heritage, and wider regeneration plans for the port were crucial deciding factors for their choice of Portsmouth for what will be a first for the Port.
In recent years, Saga has pioneered the boutique cruising experience for its customers. In 2019, the company launched its first-ever, purpose-built boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery, to great acclaim, and the launch plans for Spirit of Adventure promise to be just as exciting.
Nigel Blanks, Managing Director of Saga cruises, said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce that our second new ship, Spirit of Adventure, will be named in Portsmouth. The city is steeped in British maritime history and it will be another first for Saga Cruises with Spirit of Adventure being the first ever cruise ship to be named in this historic port.
“The naming of Spirit of Discovery has been shortlisted for best cruise ship launch for 2019 and we intend to create an event that is just as special for Spirit of Adventure. Whilst the ships are recognizable sisters, they are most certainly not twins. Spirit of Adventure will have a distinctly different identity to her sister ship, which is why we have chosen a different port for her Naming Ceremony. Alongside the port and the cities partners we are planning another utterly memorable event.”
Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: “We’re so proud Saga has chosen Portsmouth to host the naming ceremony for its newest ship, Spirit of Adventure, which is a first for the city.
“Portsmouth’s dramatic harbour entrance is a stunning backdrop to showcase the ship and we will work closely with Saga to put on an event to match.
“It will also be a fantastic spectacle with the opportunity to welcome the ship as she arrives in Portsmouth and put on a firework display that will take place in the evening from Southsea Common.
“We’re looking forward to Saga’s new vessels becoming a familiar sight in our city. Our cruise transformation is already well under way with a significant berth extension plan, followed by a terminal transformation, which will be completed next year.
“This is a new cruise era for Portsmouth, and we can’t wait for leading brands like Saga to join us on our journey.”
Spectators will be encouraged to welcome Britain’s newest boutique cruise ship, as she sails into Portsmouth for her UK arrival.
Nigel Blanks continued: “Carrying just 999 guests, Saga’s unique boutique cruise ships have been designed specifically for the needs and tastes of the over 50s luxury market. This means there’s no Casino, ice rink or climbing wall. Instead they boast the largest percentage of single cabins of any modern ship, a high crew to guest ratio, West End standard entertainment, five different dining options, balcony cabins for all guests and countless other features offering the latest in luxury, boutique cruising.
The interior design for Spirit of Adventure is bold and striking. Yet again we have risen to the challenge set us by our guests. They have told us that life for them is not ‘beige’ and they want to see something that showcases the best of British contemporary design.”
Spirit of Adventure will feature three speciality restaurants including the world’s first Nepalese restaurant at sea – KhukuriHouse, alongside Amalfi, a high-end Italian cuisine restaurant and the SupperClub a dining and live entertainment venue.
The ship will also feature a 500 sq metre spa, The Lido outdoor pool, The Playhouse, a 444-seat theatre and a large library.
Spirit of Adventure’s 17-night The Inaugural Cruise will depart from Dover to the Baltic on August 21, 2020, with further cruises scheduled for 2020 including the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and Norway.
IMO No.: 9818084
Shipyard: Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany
Building Cost: USD 346 million (GBP 280 million / EUR 310 million)
Hull No.: 715
Keel laid: 3rd June 2019
Sister Ships: Spirit of Discovery (2019)
Length: 236 m
Width: 31 m
Draft: 3 m
Gross tonnage: 58,250 GT
Staterooms & Cabins: 540
Cabin Decks: 6
Cruising speed: 23 knots
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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.
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.
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 Sailingand Missionto Redefine the Experience of a Vacation at Sea.
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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.
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.
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:
Singapore, 16 October 2019 – “Genting Cruise Lines officially announced the world premiere and unveiling of Global Dream’s brand new hull artwork, entitled “A Dream Through Time and Space” at ITB Asia in Singapore today. Building on the successful debuts of Genting Dream, World Dream and Explorer Dream, Dream Cruises’ new 208,000 gross tonne ship, Global Dream, is currently under construction at Genting Hong Kong’s very own MV Werften shipyard in Germany. Global Dream is set to enter into service in early 2021 and will invite more Asian guests to cruise worldwide on inspiring voyages on board the largest cruise ship to homeport in the Asia Pacific region.
With Global Dream’s sister ship to debut in 2022, Dream Cruises’ five ship fleet will be the youngest and most modern in the world. As the only global cruise line with all “Made in Germany” cruise ships, Dream Cruises’ fleet will feature the highest safety standards, build quality, speed, power and luxury finishes. A testament to Dream Cruises’ quality vessels and exemplary service, the latest edition of the well-respected Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships 2020 has again ranked Genting Dream and World Dream in the Top 10 ‘Large Resort Ship’ – the only two highly ranked cruise ships to homeport year-round in Asia. Dream Cruises’ latest addition, Explorer Dream, also made her debut in the Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships 2020 guide under the “Mid-Sized Ship” category, earning a Top 20 ranking.
In addition to the unveiling of the hull artwork, guests attending ITB Asia will have the chance to preview and experience Global Dream through a specially constructed, full-scale smart show cabin on display during the event for the very first-time in Southeast Asia, allowing guests to find out more about the outstanding features of the new ship.
Guest of Honour, Mr. Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Education, Singapore helped preside over the unveiling ceremony along with Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Genting Hong Kong, Mr Hui Lim, Deputy CEO & Executive Director of Genting Hong Kong, Mr. Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines and Mr Michael Goh, President of Dream Cruises and Head of International Sales, Genting Cruise Lines.
“Singapore has been an important homeport for Genting Cruise Lines over the last 26 years and we are pleased to announce that Global Dream will celebrate her inaugural arrival in Singapore in Q2 2021 during her relocation cruise from Germany to Asia,” said Mr. Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines. “We greatly appreciate and look forward to the continued support from the Singapore Tourism Board and our partners from Singapore and across the region.”
“Having just celebrated our 25th Anniversary in Singapore last year, we are excited to return with the unveiling of Global Dream’s hull artwork at this year’s ITB Asia in Singapore. As arguably the most identifiable feature of a cruise ship, the hull artwork is another important milestone in the development of any cruise ship and will set the personality of the ship when she launches,” added Mr. Zhu. “The new hull artwork provides a fresh take on our beloved mermaid and astronaut characters and captures the adventurous spirit and sense of modernity that will be the hallmarks of Global Dream’s essence.”
Shanghai native and London based Illustrator, Shan Jiang, was commissioned to create the latest chapter of the Dream Cruises hull art romance. Having worked with a variety of notable companies and publications, Mr Shan’s work is strongly influenced by his home city of Shanghai; its skyscrapers and bungalows, contemporary concepts and traditional superstitions and flourishing subcultures.
“A Dream Through Time and Space” continues the epic journey of the mermaid and the astronaut as they seek to satisfy their boundless curiosity and explore an infinite universe – driven by the desire for the extraordinary. Embodying the independent and fearless spirit of a new generation of traveller, the two worlds of the mermaid and astronaut blend together, resulting in a new way to explore the seven seas– one that combines age-old maritime tradition with space-age technology.
Guests attending ITB Asia were also among the first in the Southeast Asian region to experience Global Dream’s specially constructed balcony show cabin, which was built in Germany. Featuring 20 square metres of space, the luxurious Global Class cabins will be the industry’s most spacious staterooms at approximately 15% larger than standard cabins found on most other cruise lines.
Global Dream’s cabins will also feature cutting edge, state-of-the-art technology, redefining the concept of cruising with Bluetooth locks and a new smart system, enabling passengers to control different functions such as the LED mood lighting and climate control with a smartphone app, voice recognition or through a touch-screen control panel. Smart sensors will also be able to detect occupants in the cabin to automatically adjust the lights and temperature for better energy efficiency and triple vent air-conditioning outlets ensure even air distribution for maximum comfort.
Accommodating over 9,000 passengers and with lower berth capacity of 4,700 passengers, Global Dream will be the largest cruise ships in the world by passenger capacity and brings affordable, high-end cruising to a wide range of passengers with 2,350 cabins consisting of a variety of categories including villas, penthouses, suites, themed suites, balcony cabins and inside cabins. Global Dream will also feature Dream Cruises’ signature 151-suite luxury “ship-within-a-ship’ concept, “The Palace”.
Featuring a variety of innovative new features and facilities, Global Dream will include the industry’s most spacious staterooms and most luxurious suites, the first-ever theme park concept at sea – “Dream Park at the Pier” highlighted by the “Space Cruiser”, the world’s longest roller coaster at sea – the largest cinema at sea with eight theatres to meet the leisure and entertainment needs of travellers and MICE guests, and more. Singapore’s homegrown and internationally renowned nightlife brand, Zouk, the 3rd best club in the world, will also have a presence on Global Dream while Dream Avenue will provide guests with a multi-purpose outdoor leisure and recreational space.
Below are artist impressions of some of the interior spaces onboard:
GLOBAL DREAM FACTFILE
IMO No.: 9808998
Shipyard: MV Werften (Wismar and Rostock, Germany)
Building Cost: EUR 940 million, (USD 1,1 billion)
Hull No.: 125
Steel Cutting: 8th March 2018
Keel laid: 11th September 2018
Class: Global Class
Sister Ships: second vessel in 2022
Length: 342 m
Width: 46 m
Draft: 9.5 m
Gross tonnage: 204,000 GT
Staterooms & Cabins: 2,500
Cabin Decks: 11
Cruising speed: 23 knots
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