Disney Cruise Line Announces Disney Magic Staycation Itineraries for Summer 2021 UK Sailings

Yesterday, Disney Cruise Line released the eagerly awaited itineraries for the Disney Magic at sea staycation sailings. These limited sailings will allow U.K. residents to experiance the magic of Disney Cruise Line much closer to home than usual.

According to the cruise line these new staycation sailings will be limited to U.K residents only and feature multiple layers of health and safety measures considering the guidance from the UK government, health authorities and medical experts.

Disney Magic is scheduled to sail a variety of itineraries which include 2 and 3 night voyages, as well as a limited number of 4-night round-trip sailings from Tilbury, Newcastle, Liverpool and Southampton.

When to Book

As yet no prices have been announced but advance bookings open from 14th April for Castaway Club members with bookings open from 19th April for the general pubic.

14th April 2021: Platinum Members (By Phone Only)

15th April 2021: Platinum and Gold Members (By Phone Only)

16th April 2021: Platinum, Gold and Silver Members (By Phone Only)

19th April 2021: All Guests (By Phone and Online)

Disney Magic at Sea Summer 2021 Sailings

London Tilbury, England

Situated on the north shore of the River Thames, Tilbury (aka ‘the quay to the capital’) is less than 30 miles away from the iconic sights and sounds of London. Depart on 2- and 3-night cruises on selected dates from 11th June – 25th June.

2-Night Disney Magic at Sea UK Staycation Sailing from London Tilbury:
14th June, 16th June, 21st June, 23rd June

Day 1: Departure from Tilbury (London), England
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: Return to Tilbury (London), England

3-Night Disney Magic at Sea UK Staycation Sailing from London Tilbury:
11th June, 18th June, 25th June

Day 1: Departure from Tilbury (London), England
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: At Sea
Day 4: Return to Tilbury (London), England


Newcastle, England

From its engineering marvels to its scenic gardens, Newcastle is one of England’s greatest cultural centers, and easy to reach from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Depart on 2- and 3-night cruises on selected dates from 29th June – 9th July.

2-Night Disney Magic at Sea UK Staycation Sailing from Newcastle:
5th July, 7th July, 9th July

Day 1: Departure from Newcastle, England
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: Return to Newcastle, England

3-Night Disney Magic at Sea UK Staycation Sailing from Newcastle:
29th June, 2nd July

Day 1: Departure from Newcastle, England
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: At Sea
Day 4: Return to Newcastle, England


Liverpool, England

With convenient transportation links, Liverpool is known for its historic sites, celebrated architecture, fabulous food and rock and roll! Depart on 2-, 3- and limited 4-night cruises on selected dates from 13th July – 30th July.

2-Night Disney Magic at Sea UK Staycation Sailing from Liverpool:
13th July, 18th July

Day 1: Departure from Liverpool, England
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: Return to Liverpool, England

3-Night Disney Magic at Sea UK Staycation Sailing from Liverpool:
15th July, 20th July, 27th July, 30th July

Day 1: Departure from Liverpool, England
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: At Sea
Day 4: Return to Liverpool, England

4-Night Disney Magic at Sea UK Staycation Sailing from Liverpool:
23rd July

Day 1: Departure from Liverpool, England
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: At Sea
Day 4: At Sea
Day 5: Return to Liverpool, England


Southampton, England

One of England’s major ports, Southampton has been called Britain’s “Gateway to the World” and offers everything from a fascinating history to modern art. Depart on 2-, 3- and limited 4-night cruises on selected dates from 4th August to 1st September.

2-Night Disney Magic at Sea UK Staycation Sailing from Southampton:
4th August, 16th August, 18th August, 30th August, 1st September

Day 1: Departure from Southampton, England
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: Return to Southampton, England

3-Night Disney Magic at Sea UK Staycation Sailing from Southampton:
6th August, 13th August, 20th August, 27th August

Day 1: Departure from Southampton, England
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: At Sea
Day 4: Return to Southampton, England

4-Night Disney Magic at Sea UK Staycation Sailing from Southampton:
9th August, 23rd August

Day 1: Departure from Southampton, England
Day 2: At Sea
Day 3: At Sea
Day 4: At Sea
Day 5: Return to Southampton, England

I will update this post as soon as further information becomes availble.

In the meantime would love to know if you will you be booking so drop me a comment below.

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

MSC World Europa reaches key construction milestone

MSC CRUISES AND CHANTIERS DE L’ATLANTIQUE CELEBRATE KEY CONSTRUCTION MILESTONE FOR LNG-PROPELLED MSC WORLD EUROPA

New rendering of MSC World Europa the first World Class Cruise ship for MSC Cruises.
New rendering of MSC World Europa Image: MSC Cruises

MSC World Europa to become one of the most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNG ships in its class

Geneva, Switzerland and Saint-Nazaire, France, 29 June 2020 – A maritime coin ceremony tradition took place earlier today at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France when the keel was laid for MSC Cruises’ first liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, MSC World Europa.

Keel laying Iof MSC World Europa at Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Saint Nazaire France.
Keel laying Image: Chantiers de l’Atlantique

The 200,000-plus GT ship is scheduled to enter service in 2022 and be one of most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNG-powered cruise vessels in its class, and the first ever to be built in France. 

Zoe Africa Vago, daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago and her husband Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, and Aurore Bezard from the HR Department of Chantiers de I’Atlantique performed the traditional maritime ritual as godmothers representing the ship owner and the shipbuilder when they placed two coins under the keel as the historical sign of blessing and good fortune for the project, and the ship’s operational life at sea.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “MSC World Europa is further proof of our commitment to environmental stewardship as she is set to reduce carbon emissions even further than many other existing cruise ships powered by LNG, which is currently the most environmentally-friendly fuel for commercial maritime operations. With this vessel, we also reconfirm our belief in investing in advanced environmental technology to meet our long-term goal of zero emissions from operations.”

Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, added: “We are proud to start the building of a ship which will set the standards for the cruise of the future. This is a major milestone in the history of our 20-year cooperation with MSC Cruises, which has already resulted in some of the most innovative cruise ships ever built.”

MSC World Europa will feature a new 50-kilowatt demonstrator system that incorporates solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and use LNG to produce electricity and heat on board, the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship. 

The (SOFC) system has been developed by French research centre CEA as part of MSC Cruises’ and Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s PACBOAT project. France-based contractor Entrepose Group will design and build the demonstrator, which will be approved by classification society Bureau Veritas.

This SOFC solution fuelled by LNG will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by about 30 per cent compared with a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles.  It also  offers the advantage of being compatible with LNG, as well as several low carbon fuels  such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.

MSC World Europa will also feature a new generation wastewater treatment system that exceeds some of the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, as well other cutting-edge environmental technology.

Rendering of MSC World Europa the first World Class Cruise ship for MSC Cruises.
Rendering of MSC World Europa Image: MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises’ next flagship MSC Virtuosa is currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire and readying for delivery next year. The Company also has firm orders with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for two additional LNG-powered ships, once each for the MSC World and Meraviglia classes of ships.

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

CELEBRITY CRUISES MARKS 30TH BIRTHDAY

The Cruise Line that Defined Modern Luxury at Sea Reflects on its History of Innovation and Looks Ahead to the Next Chapter of Sailing Beyond Expectations

Constellation (1) April 2007
Constellation April 2007 Southampton

Yesterday, Celebrity Cruises marked its 30th birthday by reflecting on its journey to push the limits of traditional cruising and create a unique modern luxury experience at sea. Established in 1990 by the Greece-based Chandris Group, the line became part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) seven years later in 1997.  Celebrity Cruises now boasts 14 stunning ships and thousands of team members from over 60 countries.

Over the years, Celebrity Cruises has delivered a number of industry firsts and innovations including: introducing specialty dining (2000); the creation of the modern luxury cruise category with the introduction of the Solstice Series (2008); the first solar panels at sea (2008); the first American female captain of a cruise ship (2015); the Magic Carpet, the first cantilevered dining venue on a cruise ship (2018); the first ship to replace plastic water bottles (2018); and the first all-female bridge and leadership team to command a cruise ship (2020); among many others.

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Celebrity Eclipse sailing from Southampton june 2013

“Having recently celebrated my 35th Anniversary with the company, my time at RCL predates the acquisition of Celebrity Cruises, giving me a unique perspective in watching Celebrity grow from day one. I was a District Sales Manager in New England, at the time, and Celebrity was a formidable competitor that really started to change the complexion of premium cruising. For me, Celebrity’s legacy will be setting modern luxury cruising standards that are Celebrity’s to own, and then resetting and raising the bar, again and again. It is that spirit of pioneering that continues to take the brand and our guest experiences to new heights – and I’m not just talking about the view from the Magic Carpet℠,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises.

“As we look ahead to the post-pandemic world we will sail in, there is more progress to be made in our industry. I am confident Celebrity – and the entire RCL family – will continue to lead every step of the way. Our next 30 years will be even more incredible thanks to the ongoing support of our travel partners, our loyal guests, our Captains and crew, and our shoreside team members,” she added.

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Celebrity Edge sailing from Southampton May 2019

 

 

 

Since joining the RCL family, Celebrity Cruises has sailed to all seven continents and launched three series of ships. In 2000, the company introduced the Celebrity Millennium Series, the first new-build vessels for the brand following Celebrity’s acquisition by RCL. It was followed by the Celebrity Solstice Series in 2008 with five additional casually elegant ships emphasizing the intersection of indulgence and fun. More recently, in 2018, the Celebrity Edge Series was introduced to critical acclaim, with the first-in-series Celebrity Edge being named to Time Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places to visit list in 2019. In addition, the line began operating three smaller expedition ships that sail the beautiful Galapagos Islands including the 2019 debut of Celebrity Flora, the first purpose-built ship for the islands.

A special celebratory birthday tribute video highlighting some of Celebrity Cruises defining moments from throughout its 30 years can be viewed below:

Happy Birthday Celebrity Cruises and hre’s to another 30 years of sailing!

MSC cruises to become the world’s first global cruise line to go carbon neutral

All of CO2 emissions from MSC Cruises’ fleet to be offset as of 1 January 2020 through high-grade that will increasingly rely on Blue carbon credits 

Announcement comes as part of a broader vision to support UN Sustainable Development Goals and in tandem with continued investments in the accelerated development of advanced environmental technology that will allow for zero-emissions ship operations

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MSC Grandiosa in Rotterdam Image MSC Cruises

The environment is something very close to my heart and as I work in the shipping industry any news of companies working to reduce the impact on the environment is of great interest to me, so I was very pleased to see the announcement by MSC Cruises yesterday that it is to become the first global cruise line to go carbon neutral.

How does a company become Carbon Neutral?

Becoming carbon neutral is achieved by calculating a carbon footprint and reducing it to zero through a combination of in-house efficiency measures and funding an equivalent amount of carbon savings elsewhere in the world through carbon offsetting projects.

17247 COM Infographics SM FA

What is carbon offsetting?

Each and everyone of us has a carbon footprint, from individuals to organisations, and quite simply our carbon footprint is defined as the total emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, or product, expressed as carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent. If a cruise line was to reduce its carbon footprint then the easiest steps could be to stop using single use plastics, invest in ship-shore power technology while in port and use power saving technology onboard its ships. Once these steps have been taken carbon offsetting is the way for the company to take full responsibility for its residual carbon emissions, e.g. by paying or investing into projects that aim to reduce the amount of C02 in the atmosphere with schemes like planting trees, renewable energy etc.

emissions-offset
Carbon Offsetting

MSC Cruises announced that it will will offset all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its fleet marine operations through a blend of carbon offset projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take immediate action on greenhouse gas emissions. All costs for the offsets as well as any other associated items will be covered directly and in full by the Company.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman said: “Our focus on innovation since we built our first cruise ships only in 2003 ensures that we have one of the most modern fleets at sea as well as one of the highest environmentally performing. And, thanks to our long-term planning, this will allow us to already achieve a fleet-wide 29% reduction in carbon intensity (rate) by 2024 vs. 2008, well on our way to meet the 40% reduction target set for 2030.

 “Additionally, last week we announced that the LNG-powered fuel cells PACBOAT project will be hosted on board MSC Europa – the first of 5 LNG-powered cruise ships that are due to join our fleet. This is not only a world-first for a technology that promises to be most efficient for high-power maritime operations but also yet another concrete example of our firm commitment to partner and support the accelerated development of the next-generation technologies that will lead us and this industry to zero-emissions ship operations.”

 “As we recognize that today’s even most advanced maritime environmental technology alone is insufficient to immediately reach carbon neutrality, the further commitment we make today ensures that our fleet makes no negative contribution to climate change, starting 1 January 2020. We are a company with over 300 years of maritime heritage and an historical focus on the long-term that is especially typical of family-owned businesses like ours. For us, this is another step forward in our long-standing commitment to protecting the oceans, the destinations we visit and the port communities we touch.”

All new ships that have joined the fleet since 2017 MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa have been fitted with ship-to-shore power, also known as “cold ironing” this technology allows the ship to plug directly into the ports electrical supply rather than keep their generators running.

Mr Vago added: “We will work with leading providers in carbon credits able to offset CO2 emissions with the highest level of integrity. Our vision is to also invest in projects that provide quantifiable community benefits, protect the environment and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

In particular, MSC Cruises aims to develop a carbon offset portfolio that incorporates projects which protect and restore Ocean and coastal habitats while also absorbing more CO2 than currently occurs. As Blue Carbon projects focused mainly on coastal habitats are currently scarce, MSC Cruises will itself support the development of what aims to become the first carbon credits to be generated from the earth’s vast ocean, constituting an important new means for protecting and enhancing marine biodiversity and to support communities that rely on the highly pressurized resources of the sea.

Mr Vago concluded: “Blue carbon offsets will be a specific area of focus of our commitment to ensure carbon neutrality with immediate effect. We will put our people and our resources to work to also support the development of the specific type of projects, and the enabling certification processes, that can generate this innovative form of offsets which directly benefit the oceans and communities that live by the sea. As more of these become available, we will steadily increase our reliance on them as an additional area of focus within our overall long-term commitment to achieving zero-emissions operations.”

MSC Cruises’ commitment to delivering zero-emissions operations also includes a specific focus on energy efficiency and other aspects of its end-to-end operations beyond emissions. In particular, since 2017 all MSC Cruises new ships come equipped with ship-to-shore power facilities, a feature that would allow cruise ships to immediately go “zero-emissions” in any port that is ready for this technology. And this will provide even greater overall benefit when the ultimate source of shore power is renewable.

Currently, MSC Grandiosa and 10 other ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet of 17 ships are equipped for cleaner emissions with hybrid EGCS’ (Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems) which remove 98 percent of sulphur dioxide from a ship’s exhausts.

The line’s six other ships will be retrofitted with the technology by the end of 2021, the company said, and until then will rely on the use of low sulphur fuels to always fully comply with the strictest current and new maritime regulations.

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MSC Grandiosa arriving in Hamburg ahead of her naming ceremony Image: MSC Cruises

Details of MSC Cruises’ carbon neutral initiative was revealed at a dedicated media briefing on board MSC Grandiosa, MSC Cruises’ newest flagship and one of the most environmentally-advanced ships at sea yet. MSC Grandiosa was delivered to the Company only last week. On the same day, MSC Cruises started construction on MSC Europa, its first of five liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ships that will come into service between 2022 and 2027.

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MSC Europa first World Class ship Image: MSC Cruises

MSC Grandiosa and MSC Europa together represent significant additional progress in terms of delivering against MSC Cruises’ objective to minimize and continuously lowering its fleet environmental footprint.

 

I am excited to be joining MSC Grandiosa for an overnight stay on board in Southampton on Tuesday so be sure to follow my social media channels for updates.

you for taking the time to read my latest post.

Royal Caribbean newest ship Odyssey of the Seas homeport and itinerary revealed

Odyssey of the Seas Inaugural Season Starts November 2020, sailing from South Florida

Royal Caribbean has just released details of where it’s newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas will sail when she launches in November 2020.

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Steel cutting ceremony 1 February 2019 Image Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean International will dial up the adventure in South Florida in autumn 2020 with the debut of the highly anticipated Odyssey of the Seas – the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to arrive in North America. The global cruise line’s 27th ship will arrive to her seasonal home port of Fort Lauderdale in November 2020 to offer 6- and 8-night Caribbean cruises. Odyssey will then continue her inaugural year in Europe for summer 2021.

 

Offering even more ways to experience the sun-soaked islands of the Western and Southern Caribbean, Odyssey of the Seas will be the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to call on Aruba and Curacao as part of its 8-night itineraries. Island-hopping holidaymakers can explore Aruba’s rugged landscape off-roading in Arikok National Park, and discover the beloved architecture and narrow streets of Willemstad, Curacao. Primed for memory-making, Odyssey’s 6-night adventures will open the door to deep diving in Cozumel, Mexico; swimming with sea turtles in George Town, Grand Cayman; and a day of thrill and chill on Perfect Day at CocoCay, home to Daredevil’s Peak, the tallest waterslide in North America; Up, Up & Away, the helium balloon experience that soars up to 450 feet in the air; Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool; and the pristine, white sand beaches of The Bahamas.

Odyssey’s Caribbean cruises are now open for sale; and Europe itineraries will open in November 2019.

As part of the Quantum Ultra Class, Odyssey of the Seas will represent the next evolution of Royal Caribbean’s groundbreaking and high-tech Quantum Class. First introduced in 2014, Quantum Class ships boldly redefined the industry with unprecedented innovations in design, thrilling activities, game-changing technology and multidimensional entertainment.

Travellers on board Odyssey can expect to find an unrivaled combination of new, soon-to-be-announced features, plus “Only on Royal” features, including the RipCord by iFLY sky-diving adventure; North Star, a glass observation capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean;

North Star onboard Anthem of the Seas © Andrew McAlpine

The state-of-the-art Two70 entertainment venue; and a robust line up of culinary experiences. The ship will also tout SeaPlex, the largest and most revolutionary indoor active space at sea, featuring a trapeze school, full-size basketball court, roller-skating rink and bumper cars.

SeaPlex & bumper cars onboard Anthem of the Seas © Andrew McAlpine

The second Quantum Ultra Class ship, Odyssey of the Seas will  offer a number of activities and entertainment.  Royal Caribbean will announce new, soon-to-be-announced experiences soon.  The ship will offer a number of Quantum Class activities, including:

  • RipCord by iFLY sky-diving simulator
  • North Star observational capsule
  • Two70 entertainment venue
  • SeaPlex featuring
    • Trapeze school
    • Full-size basketball court
    • Roller-skating rink
    • Bumper cars

For a taste of what will be on offer take a look at the following video from Royal Caribbean:

Odyssey of the Seas will be the cruise line’s second Quantum Ultra Class ship and is under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Odyssey of The Seas Factfile

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Shipyard:  Meyer Werft, Papenburg (Germany)

Hull No.: S713

Keel Laid: May 2019

Class: Quantum – Ultra (sister ship Spectrum of the Seas)

Length: 348 m

Width: 49 m

Gross tonnage: 168,666 GT

Passengers: 4246 – 4819

Staterooms & suits: 2,095

Decks: 16

Cabin Decks: 9

Crew: 1551

Cruising speed: 22 knots

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

 

GERI HORNER TEST DRIVES ROCKSTAR SUITES ABOARD VIRGIN VOYAGES’ SCARLET LADY

·         Exclusive partnership with Virgin Voyages sees Geri Horner give RockStar seal of approval on the ship’s Mega RockStar Suites

·         The brand expands offerings for Mega RockStar Suite Sailors

·         Lavish Mega RockStar Suites package will now include a dedicated hair and makeup crew, unlimited complimentary alcoholic and specialty beverages*, personalised in-room bar* and more

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Geri Horner Test Drives RockStar Suites Image: Virgin voyages

Virgin Voyages is upping the game for its top suites aboard the highly anticipated Scarlet Lady, with new offerings to ensure that Mega RockStars won’t have to worry about a thing during their voyage.

In celebration of the expanded offerings, the brand has today released exclusive video content of the suites, which features Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson, and legendary British pop star, Geri Horner, of the hugely successful girl group, the Spice Girls.

 

The video documents Horner test driving the Virgin Voyages ‘Gorgeous Suite,’ one of the ship’s most glamorous cabins, as a favour to her longtime friend, Branson. Following Horner’s journey through the suite, the footage chronicles her full RockStar experience, as she’s seen spinning records, reading Branson’s book, rocking out with a guitar, indulging in champagne and partying the night away in true Rebellious Luxe fashion.

image003.jpgExpanded Mega RockStar Offering

With only 78 RockStar Suites designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio  aboard the Scarlet Lady, among them are 15 Mega RockStar Suites, aptly named the Massive Suites, Fab Suites, Posh Suites and Gorgeous Suites. Mega RockStar Suites offer the ultimate VIP experience for anyone looking to live their best life at sea.

As announced today, to ensure that Mega RockStars always look red-carpet-ready, Virgin Voyages will now have a dedicated hair and makeup crew available for them upon request.

Mega RockStar Suite Sailors will now be able to indulge in beverages to their heart’s content thanks to access to unlimited complimentary alcoholic and specialty beverages* in all bars and eateries onboard, plus a free personalised bottomless in-room bar*. 

Should they seek time to unwind, Mega RockStar Suite Sailors can head to Redemption Spa’s thermal suite, the ship’s mermaid and merman hideaway complete with a hydrotherapy pool, mud room, salt room, cold plunge pools, quart` beds– where they will now receive complimentary access throughout their voyages.

What’s more, Mega RockStar Suite Sailors will receive complimentary laundry service, plus the option to curate bespoke activities in any port-of-call, tailored to fit individual needs and requirements. Be it foodie experiences or private tours of local landmarks, no ask is too big for the RockStar Agents. RockStar Agents will tend to their rockstar rider list, digging up whatever their heart may desire to make their voyage perfect– all red gummy bears, an electric guitar and beyond.

The Mega RockStars Suites are primely located on deck 15 of the ship and feature a Peek-A-View outdoor shower. Designed by Tom Dixon’s leading design research studio and inspired by mega yachts and rock and roll style icons like Grace Jones, the Mega RockStar and RockStar Suites offer an unrivalled on board experience.

How All RockStars Will Sail

While all Sailors enjoy unlimited WiFi on board, as part of Virgin Voyages’ new expanded offerings all RockStar Suite Sailors will now enjoy upgraded premium WiFi with streaming.

The new offerings will complement the robust existing benefits of all RockStar Suite Sailors, which include:

  • RockStar Agent support from time from time of booking, to sail away and throughout the voyage
  • Backstage access at every corner, with early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants, Shore Things and more
  • Luxe private transfers to and from the ship in Miami
  • An exclusive express pathway to the ship during embarkation
  • Access to Richard’s Rooftop – RockStar Suite Sailor’s very own VIP private club, a secluded place for them to bask under the sun or have a drink under the stars
  • Access to an exclusive VIP area at The Beach Club at Bimini
  • A fully stocked in-room bar with the first round on the house
  • Wardrobe team to help unpack and repack
  • Complimentary pressing service
  • Nightly express swimsuit drying service
  • Premium linens and a plush European king bed
  • Upgraded bath amenities for pampering

For more information on the Mega RockStar and RockStar Suite offerings, future Sailors and travel partners are invited to check out Virgin Voyages by visitingwww.virginvoyages.com.

 

KEEL-LAYING CEREMONY HELD FOR CARNIVAL MARDI GRAS

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Image: Carnival Cruise Line

In keeping with maritime tradition, a keel-laying ceremony was held yesterday at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, for Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, which is set to debut in August 2020.

The ceremony, which dates back hundreds of years, was highlighted by the placement of coins placed on top of a 750-ton keel block called 3C signifying good luck for the ship and the official start of construction.  

Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Newbuilds Ben Clement and Mardi Gras Captain Giuseppe Giusa, Chief Engineer Ferdinando Ruocco and Hotel Director Pierre Camilleri joined Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer at the festivities. 

Mardi Gras will be a stunning expression of the Carnival holiday experience offering a variety of ground-breaking innovations, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea; the first seagoing restaurant by legendary chef Emeril Lagasse; and six themed zones with a wide range of culinary, beverage and activity choices.   Mardi Gras will also be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform.

“This is a historic day for Carnival – the official start of construction of the spectacular Mardi Gras which will usher in an exciting new chapter for our company and introduce so many guest-pleasing innovations,” said Clement.

 “We have been very excited to design and now finally to start assembling Carnival Mardi Gras. All these different features onboard require a lot of engineering and design expertise which we have been happy to provide to our customer,” CEO of Meyer Turku Jan Meyer states.

 Mardi Gras is set to debut in Europe on 31st August 2020, then reposition to New York for a series of voyages before shifting to Port Canaveral for year-round Caribbean departures.

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Image: Carnival Cruise Line

To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, visit www.carnival.com. For reservations, call 0808 234 0680. Carnival can also be found on: FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube

 About Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line, part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®” with 26 ships operating three- to 24-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Cuba, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia.  The line currently has three new ships scheduled for delivery – Carnival Panorama™ in 2019, Mardi Gras in 2020 and an as-yet-unnamed ship in 2022.

Aye Aye Captain Virgin Voyages announces female captain for Scarlet Lady

CANADIAN CAPTAIN WENDY WILLIAMS TO LEAD FIRST VIRGIN VOYAGES SHIP

●        Sir Richard Branson’s new cruise line appoints first Canadian woman to captain a ship for a major cruise brand

●        Company replaces Cuba sailings with new Riviera Maya voyages and new four-night Fire and Sunset Soirées voyages to Key West with enhanced Beach Club programming in Bimini

●        New seven-night holiday sailings featuring Puerto Rico now available for booking

Sir Richard Branson and Capt Wendy
Richard Branson with Captain Wendy Williams Image: Virgin Voyages 

TORONTO- June 11, 2019 – Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin announced the appointment of Captain Wendy Williams as Master of Scarlet Lady. When Captain Williams takes the helm of Scarlet Lady in spring 2020, she will become the first Canadian woman to be captain of a ship for a major cruise brand. The company also announced a brand-new lineup of itineraries for their premier 2020 season.

“Captain Wendy’s extensive maritime background makes her an excellent choice to lead the Scarlet Lady, but it is her spirit and drive to approach life at sea differently that make her the perfect fit to join the Virgin Voyages family,” said Tom McAlpin, president and chief executive officer for Virgin Voyages.

Originally from the coastal city of Sept-Îles, Quebec on the Northeastern coast of Canada, Captain Williams now resides on her hobby farm on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Captain Williams has more than 28 years of experience working on ships at sea. Her extensive background includes more than a decade as a deckhand in commercial fishing off the western coast of Canada as well as working as a ferryboat captain. Although she has spent more than 15 years working on the bridge of mega cruise ships, her role with Virgin Voyages will be her first promotion to Master of a cruise ship.

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“I have salt water in my veins and nothing brings me more joy than being at sea,” said Captain Wendy Williams. “It’s a dream come true to be working with Virgin Voyages, a company that is focused on creating an incredible experience not only for our Sailors but for our Crew as well; while also taking action to minimize our footprint on our oceans.”

CaptainWendy_Office_Edit8.jpgJust last year, Virgin Voyages announced its Scarlet Squad program, an initiative dedicated to bridging the gender gap in leadership roles across the maritime industry, where women represent less than three percent of the workforce. The program aims to recruit, support and mentor female shipboard talent, and to grow opportunities for leadership roles in marine, technical and hotel management positions on board.

While Virgin Voyages is still in the early stages of the crew for Scarlet Lady, the company has already recruited Captain Williams as well as nearly a dozen other female officers, including Jill Anderson as hotel director, Christin Wenge as safety officer, Lindsay Kerber as environmental officer, among other incredibly talented female engineers as well as second and third officers.

Virgin Voyages’ intention is to create an onboard environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.

New Voyage Offerings

In response to the U.S. government’s new restrictions on travel to Cuba from the United States, Virgin Voyages has also developed an exciting lineup of new itineraries featuring destinations that its Sailors expressed interest in exploring while on a voyage aboard Scarlet Lady.

960ab1d1-2dc2-49f1-92be-684025a48317.jpgContinuing the company’s mission to provide its Sailors with epic day and nighttime experiences, the all new itineraries will feature multiple late-night sail aways, including a midnight departure on all new sailings.

Virgin Voyages will now offer five-night Riviera Maya sailings to Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Cozumel and Playa del Carmen offer opportunities for Sailors to experience some of the world’s best diving, as the area is home to 26 coral species. Sailors will also have the opportunity to explore ecological and archeological treasures, including Mayan ruins, or even opt to explore neighboring Tulum, the elevated Bohemian sanctuary with picturesque beaches and diverse nightlife.

For those who just want a quick getaway, Virgin Voyages’ four-night sailings will now become Fire and Sunset Soirées including a sunset departure from Key West and a midnight departure from Bimini. Sailors will experience the cultural and boating paradise of Key West, paired with a day of rejuvenation in Bimini, Bahamas that’s topped off by an exclusive late-night beach bonfire soiree. This celebration under the stars is exclusive to these sailings, and the artistic fire installations draw inspiration from the fireball sculptures on Branson’s Necker Island and the alluring communal nature of a traditional beachside bonfire.

dd2772f2-09f1-4f30-af23-871512eda256.jpgIn response to Sailor demand for longer voyages aboard Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages has developed special seven-night sailings for the 2020 festive holiday season. Those looking to get a jump start on their holiday planning can opt for the all-new Holidaze and Nights and New Year’s Ahoy voyages, which fall over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays respectively, and feature stops in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and late-night sail aways in both Bimini, Bahamas and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

All voyages will feature a stop in Bimini, Bahamas, home to The Beach Club, a private club for Virgin Voyages Sailors while Scarlet Lady is on the island.

For more information on Scarlet Lady, future Sailors and First Mates (travel partners) are invited to check out Virgin Voyages by visiting www.virginvoyages.com

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog

Disney Cruise Line Announces Fall 2020 Itineraries

 

0415ZR_0518MS-5-750x500.jpgHalloween and winter holiday adventures are closer than ever with departures from New York, California, Texas and Florida

CELEBRATION, Fla. (June 6, 2019) – In fall 2020, Disney Cruise Line will enchant guests of all ages with Halloween and winter holiday celebrations on sailings departing from New York, California, Texas and Florida. The 2020 fall season offers a range of itineraries that will visit a variety of tropical locales, with most sailings featuring that extra-special Disney holiday sparkle.

Halloween on the High Seas returns to Disney Cruise Line in September and October 2020 with spooky good times for the entire family. On select sailings across the fleet, guests are treated to a “mouse-querade” costume party, lively entertainment, ghoulish food and beverage delights, trick-or-treating, seasonal kids’ activities, a villainous party just for adults and a ghostly ship takeover with elaborate décor and a magical pumpkin tree.

From early November through December, the Disney Cruise Line fleet is decked from bow-to-stern with holiday cheer and entertainment during Very Merrytime Cruises. Holiday adventures are unwrapped for the whole family with merry parties, a tree lighting ceremony, festive activities, special food and beverage surprises, favorite characters in their finest holiday attire, a winter wonderland ball with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a flurry of “Frozen” snowfall.

Disney Magic in New York CitySailings to Bermuda and Canada from New York

The Disney Magic returns to New York in October for sailings to Bermuda and Canada, all featuring Halloween on the High Seas. Three five-night cruises offer two days in Bermuda, giving guests extra time to indulge in the island’s famous pink-sand beaches, abundant water activities, stylish shopping and distinctive blend of British and Caribbean culture.

One five-night cruise will visit Canada’s charming seaport cities including Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada’s oldest incorporated city, which is home to outdoor activities and an impressive natural phenomenon called the “reversing falls rapids.” Guests on this sailing will also visit Halifax, the provincial capital of Nova Scotia. Rich in maritime history, Nova Scotia boasts Victorian-style public gardens and one of the world’s largest natural harbors.

Baja and Mexican Riviera Voyages from California        

The Disney Wonder sets sail from San Diego in September, with Halloween on the High Seas cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. Baja itineraries of two, three, four and five nights highlight the region’s famous beaches and water activities with calls on Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. One seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise, with additional stops in Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, completes the southern California sailings. On Nov. 6, the Disney Wonder departs San Diego for a 14-night Panama Canal crossing.

qdwaedqw92s.jpgBahamas and Caribbean Cruises from Texas     

From late November through December, the Disney Wonder will make Galveston, Texas, its homeport for Very Merrytime Cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas, with four-, five-, six- and seven-night sailings. Caribbean itineraries include stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Cayman. Bahamian cruises feature stops at Nassau, Bahamas and Key West, Florida, as well as Disney’s private island Castaway Cay.

mlskcvdfsi02.jpgTropical Island Vacations from Florida

In fall 2020, the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will sail to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Florida. Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime Cruises will delight guests on most sailings.

The Disney Fantasy will sail Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries ranging from three to eight nights, and the Disney Dream will sail three- and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay. Each of these cruises includes a day of fun in the sun on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.

Bookings open to the public June 13, 2019. More details on 2020 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2020 page of http://www.disneycruise.com

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, visit http://www.disneycruise.com call Disney Cruise Line in the USA on 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog

 

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to name Saga’s new cruise ship Spirit of Discovery

Saga is delighted to announce HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as the Godmother of its newly built boutique cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery. The naming ceremony will take place in Dover, Kent, on 5 July 2019. She will be the first cruise ship to be named at the Port of Dover for over a decade, and the first to be docked at Dover Western Docks following the £250m redevelopment of the area.

 Before the naming ceremony, HRH will be given a tour of the ship. In building Spirit of Discovery, classic and contemporary materials and furnishings have been combined to create a luxurious environment. The 1,000 plus pieces of art on board will include 400 original pieces commissioned from British based artists and artisans. Hush Heath, an independent wine producer from Kent, will provide a jeroboam of their sparkling wine for the naming ceremony that has been specially blended for Spirit of Discovery.

The Duchess of Cornwall and Saga share a common link in their support for The Silver Line, a charity founded by TV presenter Dame Esther Rantzen after she experienced intense loneliness following the death of her husband. HRH is the patron of the charity and The Silver Line is Saga’s first national charity partner.

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Spirit of Discovery seen during her Ems conveyance image: Saga Cruises

Lance Batchelor, Group CEO of Saga, said: “I am delighted that The Duchess of Cornwall has agreed to be Godmother of the Spirit of Discovery. The launch of our new ship is a key moment in both the history and future of Saga. Carrying fewer than 1,000 passengers, she is a boutique ship that offers our customers and members the highest standards of accommodation, furnishings, cuisine and entertainment. I am immensely proud of what we have created with shipyard Meyer Werft.”

Sophie Andrews, CEO, The Silver Line, said: “Our team is absolutely delighted to see this coming together of our Patron and our charity partner, Saga. The Silver Line helpline receives more than 10,500 calls every week from vulnerable and isolated older people, many of whom have nowhere else to turn which demonstrates the depth of loneliness felt by huge numbers of the UK’s older population.

Saga has shown its firm commitment to Britain as Spirit of Discovery has been registered in the UK and will proudly display London as her port of registry on her stern. Her sister ship, Spirit of Adventure, will also fly the Red Ensign when she launches in 2020.

Saga employed London based design company, SMC Design, to design some of the interiors onboard both new ships. The company has extensive experience with cruise vessel design. SMC Design’s also designed a number of interior’s for other cruise lines including P&O Cruises, (Sindhu / Indian restaurants), Viking ocean cruises (Explorers Lounge), Norwegian cruise Line (Mandara Spa).

One thing I have already fallen in love with is a sneak peak of the series paintings by the UK based artist Kate Jackson. Saga along with SMart Consultancy commissioned UK artist Kate who specializes in urban landscapes. Kate conceived a series of paintings designed to capture the essence of the Spirit of Discovery.

I really like the look of these paintings which although are obviously modern also remind me of the classic liner adverts from the 1930’s and am sure they wil look stunning on board.

 

Ship Factfile

IMO No: 9802683

Construction start: March 2019

Shipyard: Meyer Weft, Papenburg, Germany

Building Cost: USD 350 million

Overall Length: 236m

Width: 31.2m

Gross Tonnage: 58,250 tonnes

Max Speed; 23 knots

Decks: 10

Decks with Cabins: 6

Passengers: 1000

Crew: 505

Have you booked a cruise of Spirit of Discovery or are you planning to?

To find out more about Saga cruises take a look here https://www.saga.co.uk/

To find out more about the artist Kate Jackson check out her website here https://katejackson.co.uk/about

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog