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.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post
This year will be a record year for the cruise industry with no less than 24 new ocean going cruise ships coming into service. What is interesting is the sheer variety of ships and on board facilities being debuted. The ships range from 5,200 passenger mega-ships through to 100 passenger ultra-luxury, polar expedition ships and even a modern sail ships. On board facilities and activities are just as diverse as the ships themselves, ranging from a roller coasters to a tattoo parlor, and helicopters, submarines and even mast climbing!
If ever there was a year that summed just how diverse the cruise industry it then this is the year.
Lets take a brief look at the ships setting sail and meet the class of 2020:
Stand Out feature(s): Hybrid powered, Observation platforms (on several decks), infinity pool, custom-built expedition equipment inc underwater drones, Zodiacs, Kayaks
Delivered ahead of schedule MS Fridtjof Nansen is the second in a 2-ship series of hybrid-powered expedition ships which were designed for Norwegian coastal and Polar expedition cruises (Arctic and Antarctica itineraries) Fridtjof Nansen” and her earlier sister Roald Amundsen were both named after the most influential Norwegian polar explorers.
Seven Seas Splendor – Regent Seven Sea
Builder: Fincantieri (Trieste, Italy)
Stand Out feature(s): A large number of passenger Lounges, Pickleball Court on deck
Seven Seas Splendor itinerary is based on a series of Caribbean, North America and Europe (Mediterranean) cruises, with Transatlantic repositioning crossings, together with a Panama Canal transit between Florida and California. The inaugural cruise season in the summer of 2020 is in Europe, featuring 15 port destinations, including Italian and French Riviera, Greek Islands, British Isles.
Scarlet Lady – Virgin Voyages
Builder: Fincantieri (Sestri Ponente, Italy)
Stand Out feature(s): First tattoo parlour at sea, vegan eateries, adults only
Scarlet Lady is the first cruise ship for Virgin Voyages. The inaugural cruise season starts in April and is based on 7-day Caribbean round trips departing on Sundays from Miami. New/revised itineraries now offer late-night call port departures (some at midnight). Virgin Voyage has a total of four “Lady Ships” on order with the second Valiant Lady, due for delivery in 2021 with the other following in 2022 and 2023.
Silver Origin – Silversea
Builder: Shipyard De Hoop BV (Lobith, Holland)
Stand Out feature(s): The Grill (outdoor dining venue) Observation Lounge located at the bow, Marina Platform (Snorkeling Area)
Silver Origin is a Galapagos-based luxury superyacht. The newbuild is owned by Silversea Cruises and operated by company’s “Silversea Expeditions” division. Silver Origin will sail year-round itineraries in the Galapagos Islands upon entry into service in Summer 2020. Voyages will sail from Baltra to San Cristobal, or reverse, lasting one week in duration.
Celebrity Apex – Celebrity Cruises
Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, France)
Stand Out feature(s): Magic carpet (a cantilevered platform on the side of the ship), Eden and rooftop garden
Celebrity Apex is the second of five new Edge Class ships. Once delivered Apex will be christened on March 30, 2020, in Southampton by best-selling author, activist and CEO of non-profit organisation Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani.
Celebrity Apex cruise itinerary is based on roundtrips from homeport Southampton. The liner offers a short pre-naming voyage (April 2020) for travel agents only. From Southampton is scheduled a mini-season with 5 departures to ports in northern Europe and Mediterranean. Ex-UK roundtrip itineraries are 7 and 10 days.
Le Bellot – Ponant
Builder: VARD shipyards (Tulcea Romania and Soviknes-Alesund Norway)
Stand Out feature(s): “Blue Eye” underwater lounge,Navigation Bridge has an open-bridge policy, infinity pool
She is the fifth in a series of six Explorer-class vessels for the ultra-luxury expedition brand. Set to join the Ponant fleet in April 2020, Le Bellot cruise itinerary offers unique itineraries to to unusual ports and island destinations around the world. On each voyage, passengers enjoy professional lectures and media presentations, led by the ship’s naturalists and themed on the regional wildlife and local cultures.
Silver Moon – Silversea
Builder: Fincantieri (Sestri Ponente, Italy)
Stand Out feature(s): Observation Lounge (with 270-degree panoramic views and a radar screen, Salt water swimming Pool, heated during cool-weather cruises.
Based on the same design same design as the sisterships Silver Muse (2017) and Silver Dawn (2021). Silversea Cruises has a planned expansion up to 12 ships. The last newbuild in this series (still unnamed) is planned for delivery in 2023
National Geographic Endurance – Lindblad Expeditions
Stand Out feature(s): highest ice-class rating – PC5 (Category A), X-Bow design, two Infinity Edge Pools, Observation Deck
The first of two new polar vessels for the line, the 126-passenger National Geographic Endurance is is built to PC5 Category A standard and is fully stabilized. The maiden voyage, ‘Svalbard in Spring: Polar Bears, Arctic Light and Epic Ice,’ is set to embark April 2, followed by a series of expeditions exploring areas both familiar and new to Lindblad.
Stand Out feature(s): 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio, fleet of 8 electric amphibious zodiacs, 2 submarines (7-person mini-subs), 2 helicopters
Scheduled for launch in 2020, Crystal Endeavor is a polar-class superyacht and the world’s first purpose-built cruise yacht with P6 (polar-class) hull designation. The itinerary program includes as destinations Europe’s and the Canadian Arctic and Antarctica (during winter), the Americas, Europe, Pacific and Atlantic islands, Russian Far East (including Kuril Islands), Australia New Zealand. Itineraries as length range between 12-22 days.
Iona – P&O Cruises
Builder: Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
Stand Out feature(s): biggest-ever ship built for the U.K. market, LNG powered, glass roof covered swimming pool – “SkyDome”, “Lanai Deck” (800m) long outdoor Promenade Deck
P&O newest and largest new ship is set to debut in May with her naming ceremony being held in Southampton on 4th July. The vessel has a sistership (still unnamed) of the same design, scheduled for delivery in 2022. ship’s itinerary program is based on 7-day Norwegian Fjords cruises roundtrip from homeport Southampton (England), visiting in Norway ports Stavanger, Olden, Hellesylt (or Alesund), Geiranger, Bergen. The inaugural season starts on May 14, 2020 (maiden voyage) and includes only no-fly cruise itineraries round trip from the UK.
World Voyager – Mystic Cruises
Builder: WestSEA shipyard (Viana do Castelo, Portugal)
Stand Out feature(s): Glass-domed observation lounge, shoreside activities include: camping, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, Zodiac boat tours
World Voyager is an ice-strengthened expedition cruise ship designed for operations in the polar regions (Arctic and Antarctica) and the second vessel in Mystic Cruises planned fleet of ten ships. The inaugural season will see the ship in Europe (Mediterranean, Western and Northern Europe / Baltic Sea). A total of 24 different routes were announced, with 7 cruises in Northern Europe leaving from Germany (homeports Kiel and Hamburg).
Evrima – Ritz-Carlton
Builder: Barreras Shipyard (Vigo, Spain)
Stand Out feature(s): 10 ultra-premium dining options, aft marina platform for watersports with direct access to the sea
Scheduled for inauguration in June 2020, Ritz-Carlton’s Evrima ship (fka “Ritz-Carlton Azora” ) is the first of all three ultra-luxury expedition yachts owned by Marriott International Inc (shipowner). The mega-yacht is operated by The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection (cruise brand and subsidiary of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company). MS Evrima ship’s inaugural cruise (maiden voyage) date is June 14, 2020. The 7-day itinerary departs from Barcelona (Spain) to Palma (Mallorca Island, Balearic Spain).
Enchanted Princess – Princess Cruises
Builder: Fincantieri (Monfalcone, Italy)
Stand Out feature(s): New Sky suite’s, three-deck-high Piazza atrium, new Wakeview swimming pool, Movies Under the Stars (LED screen outdoor cinema)
Launching in June 2020 and being named in Southampton, Enchanted Princess is the 5th Royal-class for Princess Cruises fleet, with fleetmates and sisterships Royal Princess (2013), Regal Princess (2014), Majestic Princess (2017), Sky Princess (2019) and Discovery Princess (2021). One more Royal-class liner (still unnamed) is due for launch in 2022. Enchanted Princess itinerary starts with an inaugural cruise season in Europe (Mediterranean). Departures are offered from homeports Civitavecchia-Rome, Barcelona and Piraeus-Athens.
Le Jacques Cartier – Ponant
Builder: VARD shipyards (Tulcea Romania and Soviknes-Alesund Norway)
Stand Out feature(s): “Blue Eye” underwater lounge,Navigation Bridge has an open-bridge policy, infinity pool
Le Jacques Cartier cruise ship (initially named “Le Surville”) is the 6th (last) in a six-ship series Ponant Cruises-owned polar expedition vessels. Advertised as “expedition yachts” Le Jacques Cartier cruise programme offers unique itineraries to offbeat port and island destinations around the world, including Caribbean, Europe (Baltic and Mediterranean), East Asia, Australia, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean islands (Oceania), Canadian Arctic, Brazil Amazon (Orinoco River), South America and Antarctica.
Spirit of Adventure – Saga Cruises
Builder: Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
Stand Out feature(s): Wraparound Promenade Deck, new venues inc Nepalese restaurant, Khukuri House, inspired by Gurkha heritage
Spirit of Adventure is the second of two identical polar expedition vessels built for Saga Cruises. This month it was announced that her official naming ceremony would be held in Portsmouth 19th August, which is a first for the South Coast port. The itinerary is based on round trips from two UK homeports (Dover and Southampton) and starts with “The Inaugural Cruise” from Dover departing August 21, 2020. The 17-day Baltic Sea voyage features an overnight in St Petersburg (Russia).
Stand Out feature(s): world’s first sail ship with an elevator, Swimming Platform (extending from Deck 2), dining venues feature panoramic 270-degree views
Sea Cloud Spirit is a full-rigged, 3-masted barque and currently world’s largest sail ship.The ship was originally named “Sea Cloud Hussar” and due for delivery in 2010 but was delayed due to the original shipyard going bankrupt. Sea Cloud Spirit itinerary was announced in June 2019. The Megayacht’s inaugural season (August through December 2020) will be in the Caribbean and will feature a new destination – USVI (Virgin Islands).
Ocean Victory – Albatros Expeditions
Builder: CMIH-China Merchants Heavy Industry (Haimen shipyard, Jiangsu China)
Stand Out feature(s): Observation Deck with two Hydraulic Platforms and two Viewing Platforms), Four Zodiac Docks (2 on each side, hull access at sea-level), 1 x “family stateroom” for up to 6 persons.
MS Ocean Victory is the second in a series of ten ice-strengthened (polar class 1A / PC6) expedition cruise ships scheduled for delivery in September 2020. Starting operations for Victory Cruise Lines, Ocean Victory’s itinerary program 2021 (May through September) includes a total of 20 cruises in Alaska (USA) and British Columbia (Canada). Itineraries lengths range between 7 to 10 days.
MSC Virtuosa – MSC Cruises
Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire France)
Stand Out feature(s): 111-meter-long indoor promenade with “digital sky” LED screen, Zoe personnel assistant, 2-deck Super Amusement Park, 4D Cinema; Flight Simulator
MSC Virtuosa is the second Meraviglia Plus-class vessel – and follows 2019 built sistership MSC Grandiosa. The Meraviglia-Plus vessels are an upgraded (enlarged design) the previous Meraviglia-Class ships. MSC Virtuosa’s maiden season in Europe is based on 5 homeports (Barcelona Spain, Genoa Italy, Civitavecchia -Rome, Palermo Sicily, Marseille France) and 7-day Western Mediterranean cruises. The 6-port roundtrip itineraries, along with the rotational homeports, also visit Malta (Valletta).
Costa Firenze – Costa Cruises
Builder: Fincantieri (Marghera, Italy)
Stand Out feature(s): Designed to showcase Italian food, lifestyle, and culture, Gondola Lounge, Bridge of Sighs, Golden Party where there are gifts and surprises won every ten minutes
Costa Firenze like her earlier sister has been designed specifically for China’s cruising market. The inaugural cruise (7-day itinerary Trieste to Savona) starts on October 1, 2020, and visits Bari, Barcelona and Marseille. with a month-long inaugural season in Europe/Mediterranean, from the Italian homeports Trieste and Savona. From November the liner starts a 51-day relocation from Savona to Hong Kong.
mardi Gras – Carnival Cruise Line
Builder: Meyer Werft (Turku, Finland)
Stand Out feature(s): “BOLT Ultimate Sea Coaster” the industry’s first roller coaster at sea, Grand Central (midship on Decks 6-8) is an expanded Atrium
Carnival Mardi Gras is the largest and most technologically advanced vessel ever constructed for the line. She is the same basic design as AIDAnova, and Costa Smeralda delivered 2019 and P&O’s Iona also due this year. The separate Carnival brands all refer to them as different classes e.g XL Class Carnival/P&O, Helios AIDA Cruises, Excellence-Class Costa Cruises. The itinerary program offers a diverse schedule with 6-day to 15-day voyages in Europe and the Caribbean.
Odyssey of the Seas – Royal Caribbean
Builder: Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
Stand Out feature(s): North Star, extending s up and over the ship for 360-degree views, “iFly by RipCord” (skydiving simulator) Skypad, Inside cabins featuring “virtual balconies, outdoor theater a large LED screen for movies nightly and live media streaming daily
Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship is the second Quantum-Ultra class vessel. The class is an enhanced version of the Quantum-class ships but in reality they are only slightly larger than the Quantum class, with gross tonnage increasing from 168,666 to 168,800gt. Odyssey of the Seas will homeport in Fort Lauderdale with an inaugural four-night Bahamas cruise departing November 5, 2020. Prior to an the inaugural cruise season the liner will visit Southampton as part of a Transatlantic re-positioning crossing from Europe.
Coral Geographer – Coral Expeditions
Builder: VARD (Vaung Tau, Vietnam)
Stand Out feature(s): wrap-around promenade deck, trademarked “Xplorer” tenders, Six Zodiacs used for landings and close to shore excursions
Scheduled for launch in 2020 (inauguration in January 2021), the MS Coral Geographer cruise ship is the 5th ship in the fleet of the Australian cruise company Coral Expeditions and is designed for ocean cruising to more isolated and shallower tropical destinations. MS Coral Geographer itinerary program is based on Asia-Pacific cruises to Kimberley region, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and South Pacific Islands.
Ultramarine – Quark Expeditions
Builder: Brodosplit Shipyard (Split, Croatia)
Launching: Q4 TBC
Stand Out feature(s): Panorama Lounge and Bar – A relaxed gathering spot with unobstructed panoramic views and an outdoor, forward-facing Observation Deck. Zodiac’s for onshore landings, Polar Boutique – Stocked with the industry’s top cold-weather expedition gear and a carefully curated selection of polar keepsakes
Quark Expeditions’ Ultramarine ship was named after the color ultramarine, the name also means “beyond the sea”. The vessel was specifically designed to navigate the ice-filled polar waters. The ship’s inaugural season includes voyages in the Canadian Arctic (including Northwest Passage), Greenland, Spitsbergen Norway.
Flying Clipper – Star Clippers
Builder: Brodosplit Shipyard (Split, Croatia)
Stand Out feature(s): Glass-bottomed swimming pool, Complimentary water sport activities include snorkelling, dinghy sailing, waterskiing, sea kayaking. signature onboard fun activity is the supervised mast-climbing,
Flying Clipper is Star Clippers’ biggest ship, and was originally due for delivery at the end of 2017. The ship is modelled on France II, the legendary sailing vessel which was launched in 1912, was the biggest in the world at the time. During summer 2020, Flying Clipper cruises in Europe (Mediterranean). Following Transatlantic re positioning crossing, during winter the ship will be based in the Caribbean. Itineraries including homeports, ports of call etc are yet to be announced.
Of all the ships launching this year what one are you excited about?
As always thank you for reading my latest blog post
Norwegian Encore is a fitting name for the fourth and final ship in Norwegian Cruise Lines successful breakaway-plus class. She was launched last week, and I was invited on her preview cruise from Bremerhaven to Southampton to get a taste of what she has to offer.
Ahead of her arrival in New York today and my full ship review here are the five things I loved about the ship and one I didn’t!
5 things I love about Norwegian Encore
Largest race track at sea
The first race track at sea was introduced in 2017 on Norwegian Joy, the following year Norwegian Bliss followed with a longer 1,000 feet track and once again the track has been increased in length on Norwegian Encore. At a whopping 1,100 feet long the Norwegian Encore Speedway holds the record for the longest race track at sea. The track loops around over two storeys and now includes two sections which extend 13 feet over both sides of the ship. As with the previous track on Joy and Bliss there is a viewing gallery which is covered on Encore and gets you up close to the racing action but in a new addition spectators can now fire a laser at the cars to give them a turbo boost.
Originally debuted on Norwegian Joy, the observation lounge is an amazing public space and more akin to the luxury haven area also found on these ships. The 20,000-square foot space is located forward above the bridge, which on the last three Breakaway-plus ships has been lowered in order to accommodate it. Spanning the forward section on decks 15 and 16 the area was designed primarily for taking in the wonderful views of Alaska, but no matter where you are cruising you will be wowed by the beautifully elegant décor as you walk through, only for your breathe to be taken away by the floor to ceiling windows and wonderful view. The huge lounge is the perfect place to grab breakfast in the morning avoiding the buffet crowds, enjoy that mid morning coffee while reading a book or your favorite cruise blog! In the evening its the prefect pre-dinner drinks venue, due to its small bar and no live music.
The District Brewhouse
The District brewhouse is an adults only venue designed in partnership with Miami’s Wynwood Brewing Company. It features its own its own keg room which is visible behind a glass wall and if you like craft beers this is the place for you with over 50 different bottled and 22 draft beers to choose from plus hand-crafted speciality cocktails are also available. During your cruise you can even get a list of the different beers to try that and the bartender will happily tick them off for you!
I am a fan of promenade a deck, and so many modern ships don’t incorporate them anymore. For me there is nothing better than looking out to sea while sat outside enjoying your favorite food, drink and company. And this is why I love the waterfront, and both the breakaway and breakaway-Plus class ships feature this quarter mile oceanfront promenade, with many of the bars and restaurants having an outside area along the waterfront.
Single use plastics ditched!
So anyone that knows me or reads my blog will be aware that the environment is of great importance to me. And one area I am very keen on is the single-use plastics issue. I am personally trying to reduce my families single use plastics usage at home and it frustrates me that when I step onboard many cruise ships there is still so many of these items being used. But things are changing, as part of the companies Sail & Sustain initiative in 2018 the line removed all plastic straws from its fleet of 16 ships and starting with Norwegian Encore it is eliminating all single-use plastic bottles, totaling round 6 million bottles per year. Instead, Norwegian will stock water from the Jaden Smith-founded company JUST.
The JUST water cartons are made from paper, while the cap and shoulder are made from a sugarcane-based plastic, whats more the cartons are refillable and recyclable.
So those were five things I loved about Norwegian Encore, it wasn’t an easy choice but these were firm favorites for me.
No vegan options!
Unfortunately there was one area that did disappoint me, and it may actually dissuade me from cruising on Encore or with Norwegian in the future which is a shame, and that was the lack of vegan options in the restaurants.
On the two nights I was on board my restaurants were pre-chosen for me as it was a press trip. The first was Q Smoke House and the second was Ocean Blue. On the first night I tried the smoke house but unsurprisingly there was not a vegan option and I ended up with fries and a sweet potato jacket with salad! On the second night I spoke to the restaurant in advance and was told that they don’t cater for vegetarians or vegans. So that night I ate at the Manhatten Lounge which is a beautiful venue and from the food and décor you would think it was be a specialty restaurant but it isnt, along with Savor and Taste its the equivalent of a main dining room with all three venues sharing the same menu. Although there were vegetarian options which were clearly marked there weren’t any vegan options, and alot of the veggy options came with cheese! Luckily our table had a very helpful waitress who was only to happy to help and thanks to her I enjoyed a specially made salad as a starter, followed by pasta, and for dessert I enjoyed sorbet and a surprise chocolate gateau which wasn’t on the menu but when I enquired both were actually vegan although not marked as such.
My point is that while I have no problem that not every restaurant has a vegan option, vegan passengers should be able to find something suitable on the menu in at least one of the restaurants be it the MDR or buffet.
Overall I have to say I loved the ship, I love the decor on this class of ship and find them very easy to find may way around and really like the large children’s areas which are som of the largest I’ve seen on any ship. If I knew that I could easily find vegan dining options onboard I wouldn’t hesitate to book a cruise and it’s something I will be looking into further.
Are you due to cruise on Norwegian Encore? I would love to hear your thoughts.
My full Norwegian Encore ship review coming soon.
As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.
In a dazzling event in the port of Hamburg last night MSC Cruises christened MSC Grandiosa, its newest, most environmentally-advanced flagship, on the fourth and final night of celebrations in the Blue Port. Part of the cruise line’s largest and longest christening event ever, this part of MSC Grandiosa’s series of celebrations which span 27 days, 8 countries and 11 ports and will engage over 14,000 travel agents from around the world. Following on from the Christening, MSC Grandiosa will embark on a grand tour, visiting Southampton, UK, Lisbon, Portugal, Barcelona, Spain, Marseille France and Genoa, Italy, before commencing her usual 7-night cruises on 23 November.
It’s an extraordinary welcome for an extraordinary ship. Designed to ensure even cleaner air emissions and improved overall environmental performance both at sea and ashore, MSC Grandiosa is equipped with advanced cutting-edge technologies and sets a new standard for sustainability at sea.
On board, guests of all ages and interests will find something exciting waiting, including:
Two original new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea exclusive to MSC Cruises guests
A 93-metre-long Mediterranean Promenade lined with international shops and restaurants
An immersive art experience featuring etchings from Edgar Degas’ Danse Dessin series
Dedicated children’s areas designed in partnership with Chicco and LEGO
The world’s first virtual digital cruise assistant – ZOE – in every cabin
Since arriving in Hamburg on 6th November, MSC Grandiosa has been the subject and star of an immersive lightshow at the German city’s Blue Port. Spectacular light installations by renowned artist Michael Batz have bathed the port in shades of blue reminiscent of the sea to symbolise MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to the ocean, and MSC Grandiosa’s striking silhouette can be seen shimmering alongside the famous Elbphilharmonie on Hamburg’s Elbe river.
The traditional Christening ceremony took place in different locations across the ship, and the proceedings will be hosted by talented actress, TV presenter, model and singer, Michelle Hunziker alongside co-host TV host & actor Jochen Schropp, one of Germany’s favorite entertainers.
HAMBURG, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 09: Michelle Hunziker attends the launch of the MSC Grandiosa Naming Ceremony on November 09, 2019 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images for MSC)
HAMBURG, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 09: Ramon Freixa attends the MSC Grandiosa Naming Ceremony on November 09, 2019 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images for MSC)
The festivities didn’t stop there – a purpose-built “MSC Village” on the banks of the River Elbe will brought the festivities to shore, welcoming 5,000 locals to experience the christening from land with live music and food trucks. Guests were joined by the popular German TV couple and even hosts Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale.
The evening’s main spectacle occurred as MSC Grandiosa passed the Elbphilharmonie just as a special light show illuminates the building and ship. She’ll then take centre stage on the River Elbe as Godmother Sophia Loren officially names her 15th MSC Cruises ship, followed by a celebratory firework display. MSC Grandiosa will then pass through a spectacular gateway of blue night returning to her dock, symbolising the new ship’s entry to the world.
Guests onboard will then enjoy a gourmet four course menu created by renowned 3 Michelin starred German chef Harald Wohlfahrt at the Gala Dinner. The menu for guests will start with Chilled king crab salad with crustacean coulis and imperial caviar or Guinea fowl napoleon with apple-ginger quenelle, Riesling gelée and brioche. Next up will be the traditional German dish, “Maultasche” – pasta filled with winter truffles and pistou sauce. The main dish will Oven-roasted turbot in a saffron-mussel fumet and vegetable mélange or Duo of veal tenderloin and braised cheek, tender savoy cabbage, glazed carrot and roasted herb jus. Finishing off the gourmet feast, guests can choose a Pistachio parfait with orange granité and exotic fruit cocktail or Chocolate tart with caramelised pears and vanilla-mascarpone ice cream.
Guests then danced into the night in the Galleria Grandiosa, the ship’s iconic 93-metre-long Mediterranean promenade where popular German DJ Mousse T. and from British singer Emma Lanford will perform.
MSC Grandiosa will commence her regular 7-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean from 23rd November with six embarkation ports calling Genoa, Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.
I am lucky enough to be joining MSC Grandiosa during her visit to Southampton on Tuesday, so be sure to follow my social media channels for updates and images.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.
New ship to feature the latest and most advanced environmental technology, including a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and a next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system
– Further enhanced ship design and intelligently distributed deck space adds new dimensions for guest experience at sea, from accommodations to dining and entertainment including the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in the company’s fleet
A traditional maritime coin ceremony today took place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, when the keel was laid for MSC Seashore. At the milestone event, MSC Cruises revealed details of the significantly transformed overall design and new features of the ship.
MSC Seashore will be the Company’s longest ship – 339 metres – when she enters service in June 2021, the first of two enriched “Seaside Evo” Class ships with the latest available environmental technology, extended public spaces, more cabins and the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in the company’s fleet.
Long-standing employees Marianna Cicala, Ground Services Planning Manager, MSC Cruises and Silvia Bozzetto, Production Planning & Control Commissioning of the Monfalcone shipyard, performed today’s ritual as godmothers when they placed two coins under the new ship’s keel as the historical maritime sign of blessing and good fortune.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “Today’s ceremony marks another key milestone in the construction of one of our most innovative all-around ships yet. Most importantly, MSC Seashore – which will feature the latest and most advanced environmental technology currently available – represents another proof of our long-standing commitment to preserve the environment in our ongoing journey to minimise and continuously reduce the impact of our operations.”
MSC Seashore will be fitted, amongst other, with a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and a next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system. SCR’s helps reduce nitrogen oxide by 90 per cent through advanced active emissions control technology. Nitrogen oxide from the engine operations is conducted through a catalyst and converts them into nitrogen and water, both harmless compounds. With AWT’s, wastewater undergoes a comprehensive purification process through a very fine filtration process that transforms it to near tap-water quality. The system meets the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’ and treats the wastewater to a higher standard than most waste standards available in cities around the world. The new build will also be fitted with shore-to-ship power which connects cruise ships while at berth to a port’s local power grid to reduce further the ship’s emissions.
These new features add to other effective environmental technologies deployed on MSC Seashore and across the Company’s fleet to minimise and continuously reduce environmental impact, including: cutting-edge hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning systems (EGCS) that removes 98 per cent of sulphur oxide from ship emissions; advanced waste management systems; ballast water treatment systems approved by the United States Coast Guard; latest-technology systems for the prevention of oil discharges from machinery spaces and various effective energy-efficiency improvements – from heat recovery systems to LED lighting.
Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri CEO, commented: “The beginning of drydock works of MSC Seashore, the largest ship so far built in Italy, is for us a source of great satisfaction: she is the symbol of “Evo”, a successful project for our Group, innovating the already futuristic “Seaside” concept, that created two units highly welcomed by the market. It is a real challenge in terms of structural and managerial aspects, which powers the impressive workload for the shipyard and the local area. We therefore are very pleased for such a celebration which seals the fruitful partnership with MSC Cruises and we are confident that there will be other similar moments in the future”.
MSC Seashore is based on the ground-breaking “Seaside Class” prototype with a range of breathtaking design features enabling guests to connect with the ocean such as the spectacular Bridge of Sighs, stunning panoramic aft lifts and stylish glass catwalks. More than 40 per cent of the ship has been redesigned and enhanced, making MSC Seashore a significant evolution and improvement of sister ships MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview.
Some of the new enhancements are visible to the naked eye and include the 16-metres extended length of the ship, 200 additional cabins, a larger MSC Yacht Club and an additional double-deck aft lounge. The internal architecture has been completely redesigned with two central meeting points positioned at the middle and forward part of the ship, as well as specific measures to further enhance passenger flows. Overall the ship has 10,000 square metres of additional deck space for an even greater and more spacious onboard experience.
MSC Seashore will offer more suites thanks to the addition of 28 more terraced suites, two suites with private whirlpools and the MSC Yacht Club – the all-inclusive ‘ship within a ship’ premium concept available on MSC Cruises ships – will see two new cabin categories: 41 Deluxe Grand Suites and two Owner’s Suites with whirlpools.
The ship will feature new cabin designs such as cluster cabins for families that link two or three adjoining cabins and can accommodate between six and 10 people, plus bigger and more spacious cabins for guests with a disability – 75 in total – will be available.
Two brand new restaurants will be introduced, including one exclusively for Aurea guests. There will be a new location for the five specialty restaurants to allow for waterfront seating on the ship’s breathtaking boardwalk to give guests a greater sea view as they dine al fresco.
Main restaurants (dining rooms) offer traditional Italian cuisine and wines. Dining rooms are open for Breakfast (7-9:30 am), Lunch (12-noon – 2 pm_ and Dinner with 2 fixed seatings (7 pm and 9:30 pm) with a 7-course dinner menu that also includes vegan and vegetarian meals.
Lido Buffet Restaurant
MSC Seashore will have a new double-decker show lounge at the aft part of the ship, a bigger casino and 20 distinct specialty bars. The ship will feature a new design of her aft pool design, an enlarged indoor pool and a new interactive waterpark will provide thrills and spills for guests of all ages. Clubs for young children and teenagers have been separated from a larger kids’ zone.
The ship will provide all her guests with latest customer-centric technology, including ZOE – the world’s first-virtual personal cruise assistant and an MSC Cruises exclusive in every cabin – and MSC for Me.
MSC for Me App
ZOE Cruise Assistant
MSC SEASHORE FACTFILE
IMO No.: 9843792
Shipyard: Fincantieri (Montalcone, Italy)
Building Cost: EUR 900 million
Hull No.: 6283
Class: Seaside-Evo Class
Length: 339 m
Width: 41 m
Gross tonnage: 169,380 GT
Staterooms & Cabins: 2270
Cabin Decks: 6
Cruising speed: 22 knots
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On 31st October MSC Cruises is set for a joint celebration at the Chantiers de l’Atlantic shipyard in Saint Nazaire.
Firstly, the worlds fastest growing cruise line is set to take delivery of MSC Grandiosa the first of three Meraviglia-Plus class ships.
On the same day the first piece of steel will be cut for the first of MSC’s four World Class ships.
The World Class ships belong to a new class of ship which are the 5th class developed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique for MSC Cruises and will bring to 20 the number of ships delivered by the French yard over the last 15 years.
When the first one is delivered in May 2022, it is set to be the worlds largest passenger ship by capacity. Currently the world’s largest cruise ship is Symphony of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean. Launched in 2017 and built at the same shipyard, she has a passenger capacity of 6,680 but is longer and wider than MSC new class. According to figures released so far the first world class ship who’s name is yet to be announced, will have a passenger capacity of 6,850.
The world class ships will feature what the shipyard calls a innovative ‘G’ bow which together with the streamlined hull form is designed to cut through the water.
Like many of the cruise ships now on order will feature LNG propulsion. According the the shipyard among the main features developed for these innovative ships, the new LNG propulsion and system of waste management are noticeable. The design implemented by Chantiers de l’Atlantique will allow the passengers first to enjoy an outstanding view over the ocean thanks to the aft Y-shaped structure and also to take advantage of an enhanced comfort thanks to the stem designed specially to increase both stability and aero dynamism. The ship’s other guest-centric innovations include family-friendly ‘villages’, a panoramic aft deck, and a glass pool lounge.
With the first half of 2019, being busy with 12 new cruise ships delivered to various owners the second half of 2019 looks to be just as busy. According to the latest cruise ship order book there are a another 12 new ships set for delivery in the second half of the year, with an average of two ships being delivered each month..
The remaining order book is valued at around $5.5 billion with an estimated 24,190 new berths entering service. Of the ships yet to be delivered, five are expedition vessels and one is LNG-fuelled ship.
2019 New cruise ships
Take a look at what new ships are due for delivery:
Spirit of Discovery
Capacity: 1,000 Guests
Constructed by Meyer Werft in Papenburg Saga’s first-ever new build, the Spirit of Discovery was delivered in mid-June ahead of her inaugural cruise from Dover in July. Departing from Dover on July 10th, the new ship’s first voyage is aptly named British First, circumnavigating the UK and adding calls to Ireland.
All Saga Discovery ship’s 540 staterooms have private balconies, which also means that the ship has no Inside cabins. Cabin categories include Standard Balcony, Deluxe Balcony, Mid-ship Suites and larger Panorama Suites. 100 single cabins are specifically designed for solo travellers (can be booked with single-occupancy rates and without single supplement), which is approx. 20% of ship’s total capacity.
Le Dumont d’Urville will be the fourth in Ponant’s six-ship Explorer-class of expedition vessels. Named after the French explorer and naval officer who explored the south and western Pacific, Australia. The Dumont d’Urville scientific station in Antarctica is named after him.
Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience. the ship will have reinforced hulls for when sailing in polar regions and an aft marina for when it’s in tropical destinations.
Standout features on Le Dumont d’Urville will be an aft marina and the underwater Blue Eye Lounge. The marina, located at the back of Deck 3, gives cruisers easy access to the ship’s fleet of Zodiacs, as well as for entering the water (conditions permitting) for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding.
Named after the Australian mountaineer, the “Greg Mortimer” is a modern, purpose-built vessel designed specifically for expedition cruising, and is the first polar expedition vessel in SunStone Ships’ INFINITY series. Being constructed the CMHI yard in Shenzhen China. Four firm contracts have so far been signed, and six options. The INFINITY Class vessels are 104.4 m long and 18.4 m wide. They have a passenger capacity of 130-200, and a crew capacity of 85-115, and are built to the ice standard PC5, Cat B. The most striking feature is the X-BOW®, an inverted bow which results in smoother sailing and increased efficiency. Rather than rising over and then dropping onto waves like a traditional ship, the X-BOW® pierces through them, splitting the wave’s energy.
Constructed by the Uljanik Group in Croatia “Scenic Eclipse” is a six-star, ultra-luxury mega yacht developed by Australian river cruise operator Scenic. It is the first ocean cruise ship for the company, which specialises in luxury river cruises. The yacht will carry 228 guests (restricted to 200 in Polar Regions) in 114 all-veranda suites. It will carry a crew of 172 for normal regions and 182 for Polar Regions.
The Magellan Explorer was constructed in Chile and will be primarily used for fly-in voyages, with a maximum of 100 passengers it will be sail with 73 passengers for the season, which is the exact number of seats the company has on its plane that flies to King George Island. The ship features comfortable and spacious cabins, with twin, queen or king-size beds. The ship also features dedicated single cabins. All cabins except the Porthole category feature a private balcony and separate sitting area.
The 230-passenger cruise ship Hanseatic Inspiration is the second of three identical ships under construction by Norwegian company VARD Holdings Ltd (a subsidiary of Fincantieri) at Tulcea shipyard (Romania). The vessel has ice-class PC6 (highest for passenger ships) and offers 5-star premium hotel service and amenities, gourmet cuisine, large staterooms, and public spaces. The HANSEATIC inspiration will be an international ship, with all cruises conducted in both English and German.
The second of carnivals groups Excellence-Helios class ships is currently under construction at Meyer Werft, Turku shipyard in Finland. Costa Cruises will take delivery its new LNG powered flagship in October. Costa Smeralda’s itinerary program is based on 7-day Western Mediterranean cruises sailing round trip from the Italian homeports Rome-Civitavecchia, Savona, Barcelona, and Marseille. To be able to handle the large cruise liner, Port Savona’s terminal had to be modified. In 2020, two other Carnival brands will take delivery of the same class of ships as Carnival Mardi Gras & Iona enter service.
Sky Princess is the fourth Royal-class vessel all of which have been constructed by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri at its Monfalcone Shipyard. The class offers a unique glass-enclosed walkway over the ocean known as the SeaWalk. There are 1539 staterooms in 38 categories. 36 are the wheelchair-accessible rooms. The ship will also debut the new and innovative Princess Sky Suites. After a three-day preview cruise from Port Everglades, the new ship launches alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale Dec. 7, 2019 – April 4, 2020.
Norwegian Encore is the fourth and final ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway plus Class. Currently under construction at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Papenburg, and is the 13th ship built for NCL at Meyer Werft. Norwegian Encore will feature a two-level race track that is larger than the go-“karts at sea” tracks featured on Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy. After her debut in Miami, the Encore will head to Seattle in 2021, sailing seven-day cruises to Alaska.
The first of MSC’s MSC Meraviglia-plus class MSC Grandiosa is under currently construction at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint Nazaire. She is able to accommodate 6334 passengers with 75% of all staterooms featuring private balconies. MSC Grandiosa deck plans feature “cluster cabins” (up to 3 connecting staterooms for families) allowing up to three rooms to be interlinked for max capacity 10 guests. The vessel will spend her inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean. The ship will offer a seven-night sailing calling in Genoa, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseille, with its first cruise sailing from Genoa on November 16, 2019.
Capacity: 4,000 Guests
The third Vista class ship for Carnival Cruises was originally ordered for P&O Cruises Australia, but in December 2016 was changed to Carnival. She is being constructed by Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard in Italy. As with the previous sister ships Carnival Panorama features 1965 cabins, of which 48 percent of the staterooms on board have balconies. For the first time in its history, the cruise line announced that the ship would feature a female cruise director with British-born Emma Nixon taking the role. The ship will sail from Long Beach, California, offering seven-day Mexican Riviera itineraries. She will be Carnival’s first new ship homeport on the West Coast in more than 20 years.
Currently under construction at the Brodosplit Shipyard in Croatia, the ‘Flying Clipper’, is 162 meters long and 18.5 meters wide with a deadweight of 2000 tons. The ship will have five masts and sails with an overall surface of 6.347 square meters, making it the largest sailing ship in the world. Flying Clipper has five decks, with accommodation for 450 persons, of which 300 are passengers in 150 luxury cabins, and 74 crew cabins for 150 crewmembers.