Iona arrives for dry dock in Rotterdam & P&O considering lay up in Norway.

Image © Marc Petrikowski/Meyer Werft

P&O Cruise’s new flagship Iona has set sail from Bremerhaven to embark on a series of technical tests.

In a recent press release Meyer Werft confirmed that following the sea trails Iona will then head to Rotterdam arriving on 2nd June where she will undergo a dry-dock inspection at the Damen Shipyard.

On board Iona, a hard-working team have been following the relevant German Coronavirus guidelines in order to help finish the outfitting of the ship since her River Ems conveyance.

The German shipbuilder confirmed that everyone is working hand in hand to complete the 50th cruise ship built by Meyer Werft. The work has been going on since the ship was transferred over the river Ems. Nevertheless, the corona crisis is causing considerable restrictions in the final fitting of Iona. However a plan drafted by the Port Medical Service (Hafenärztlicher Dienst, HÄD), the Bremerhaven Port Authority and Meyer Werft allowed for the continuation of outfitting working whilst following Coronavirus protection conditions.

The delay in the outfitting has meant the hand over to P&O Cruises was postponed and her maiden voyage cancelled. With outfitting now restarted both Meyer Werft and P&O Cruises are currently in close dialogue for a suitable delivery date.

Cruise Ship Profiles has been made aware that P&O Cruises are considering moving Iona to Norway for warm layup once she has officially been handed over.

Yesterday (2nd June) P&O announced that the suspension in cruise operations would be extended until October.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post

IONA Arrives in Bremerhaven – On Board Work is temporarily suspended

On 20th March P&O Cruises new flagship Iona arrived in Bremerhaven having completed her conveyance from Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg and sea trials.

In a press release ahead of the conveyance, the shipyard advised that extensive preventive measures against the spread of the corona virus have been taken for the transfer and test-drives in close coordination with the authorities.

“Part of the preventative measure meant that the temperature of all people who board is measured. In addition, the processes on board are equalized, so that no large groups come together on board in a confined space.”

Following her arrival in Bremerhaven the shipyard announced that all interior fitting out work would be suspended indefinitely due to the continued corona virus threat:

A statement on the Meyer Werft website read:

In order to continue to ensure the health of the employees and due to increasing and changing restrictions and requirements of the authorities, the management of the shipyard has decided to reduce the number of people on board the Iona to a minimum. On board the new cruise ship, only a greatly reduced crew, which is necessary for the operation and safety of the ship, will be on site. The interior work and testing at sea will initially be suspended.

At the same time, MEYER WERFT tries to maintain the yard operations at the Papenburg location through numerous measures. So far, a chain reaction and the spread of the pandemic at the shipyard itself have been prevented.

“We have been working intensively on a variety of preventive measures at all locations for weeks and are constantly optimizing them in order to delay the spread of the corona virus. In addition, we are constantly in close coordination with the shipping companies, ”explains Thomas Weigend, Managing Director of MEYER WERFT.

I always like to bring you super cruise ship photos so take a look at these wonderful photos of Iona as she arrived in Bremerhaven taken by my good friend Christian Costa.

Iona014Iona006Iona024Iona036Iona058Iona052Iona048

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post

Images and sources Meyer Werft & Christian Costa

Iona floated out at Meyer Werft

Iona reaches next construction milestone

85173452_2501772840085799_2300906919264518144_o
Iona seen during floatout Image: Meyer Werft

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

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

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

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

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

A sister ship is set to follow in 2022.

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

 

Thank you for reading my latest blog post

 

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

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

Miami, FL, US – Sep 25, 2019

Just Water + NCL.jpg

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

Over Six Million Plastic Bottles to Be Eliminated Each Year

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

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

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

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

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

encore float out 2
Norwegian Encore Image Meyer Werft

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

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

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.

Odyssey of the Seas_MG_6496.jpg
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

1862-6403cb2e42c.jpg

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.

 

Meyer Werft due to float out Norwegian Encore – plus 5 things to love about the final Breakaway-plus ship

Norwegian-Encore.jpg
Norwegian Encore Image: Meyer Werft

German shipbuilder Meyer Werft has announced that Norwegian Encore is due to leave  the covered building dock no.II on Saturday 17th August 2019 subject to weather conditions on the day.

Norwegian Encore is the latest breakaway-plus class ship being constructed for Norwegian Cruise Line.

Providing weather conditions on the day are good the operation will start around 8 a.m. Once Norwegian Encore has left the dock, it will berth at the shipyard’s out-fitting pier to be fitted with its funnel cladding. The ship will then remain in the shipyard port for further out-fitting work and on-board trials until its passage through the river Ems up to the North Sea, which is expected to take place end of September.

Norwegian Encore is the thirteenth ship built for NCL at Papenburg, and is the fourth and final ship in the Breakaway-Plus class which comprises of Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss.

Once delivered Encore will sail on a two night inaugural cruise from Bremerhaven to Southampton arriving on 2nd November. Later the same day same day she will head across the Atlantic for Miami with a stop at Ponta Degada in the Azores before arriving at her home port 13th November where she will offer week-long Caribbean cruises departing every Sunday.

 An Encore to Norwegian Bliss !

In 2018 I was invited on board the inaugural cruise of the previous ship Norwegian Bliss as she sailed from Bremerhaven to Southampton.And I am so excited to reveal that once again I will be one of the first to step on board and sample what Norwegian Encore has to offer as I have been invited on the inaugural cruise at the end of October. I hope to bring you everything new and exciting she has to offer.

So to wet your appetite………

5 Things to Love About Norwegian Encore

 

The biggest race track at sea

Norwegian-Encore-Go-Kart-TrackRS

Originally introduced on Norwegian Joy and improved on each of the following ships the racetrack on board Norwegian Encore will have a length of 1,150ft. The extended track will feature  10 turns including 4 that extend up to 13 feet over the side of the ship. There will also be a covered viewing area where fellow passengers can watch the race. In addition, the people watching can provide drivers with some extra speed using a laser system to tag go-karts with a temporary speed boost!

I was lucky enough to try out the go-karts on board Norwegian Bliss and they were such fun…. whats more I even won my race! so the enlarged track will be awesome!!

Immersive Galaxy Pavilion

Norwegian-Encore-Galaxy-Pavilion-VR-MazeRS

The Galaxy Pavilion on board Norwegian Encore is set to be one of the most interactive and technologically advanced spaces at sea. First debuted on Norwegian Joy, the pavilion is being re-envisioned by the cruise line. This 10,000 square foot family-friendly area will feature a variety of virtual reality experiences suitable for all and among the known attractions are a driving simulator, two dark ride simulators, and a virtual reality maze. With all of these new features, this indoor venue is sure to be very popular with cruisers of all ages.

Enhanced Laser Tag

Norwegian-Encore-Laser-Tag-RS.jpg

One of the popular on board activities on Norwegian Bliss is the laser tag. On board Norwegian Encore, the cruise line has taken this concept and enhanced it with digital technology, based around the resurrected lost city of Atlantis. The enlarged outdoor arena will see augmented reality as part of each game. Players will wear virtual reality headsets, and while avoiding being targeted by opponents, cruisers will also have to be wary of “digital” obstacles which adds a new element and makes this game unlike anything else at sea and an epic battle for the whole family to enjoy.

Your favorite venue’s

IMG_6204
The stunning observation lounge onboard Norwegian Bliss © Andrew McAlpine

Along with all these and more new features, Norwegian Encore will feature many of the popular venues and amenities found on earlier Breakaway-Plus ships. These include the  quarter-mile oceanfront promenade promenade where a number of bars and eateries can be found, the Observation Lounge on Deck 15 which was my favorite venue on board Norwegian Bliss. The “ship within a ship” Haven area, together with a variety of complimentary and specialty dining. plus a full-service Starbucks for those coffee lovers, although personally I prefer Costa Coffee!!

New Shows

Kinky-BootsRS.jpg

Winner of six Tony Awards, Kinky Boots is now exclusively on Norwegian Encore. Based on true events, This Broadway production will feature original music from Grammy winner Cyndi Lauper and will be a 90-minute show in the main theatre. Also featured will be the West End show choir of Man which debuted on Norwegian Escape.

Are you planning to cruise on board Norwegian Encore? What is your favorite new feature feel free to drop me a line and let me know.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog