There’s a ton happening in the cruising world this week – from new ships to new itineraries. Meanwhile, we’ve started using a blue pen instead of a black one to spice things up a bit.
Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic announces new epic Antarctica itinerary
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced an additional voyage for the newest addition to its fleet, National Geographic Endurance. Slated for delivery in 2020, the 126-guest vessel is the first new polar build in the line’s history.
Following her inaugural season voyaging the Arctic in 2020, National Geographic Endurance will depart on a new and unique itinerary that explores the seventh continent with two departures only. The voyage will explore where few humans have been before and will discover four stunning wilderness regions, from the Peninsula to the Ross Sea and New Zealand’s Sub-Antarctic Islands. Lindblad Expedition’s Epic Antarctica itinerary is a 34-day expedition starting from AUD$61,000, departing on 27 December 2020 and 26 January 2021, with the second departure date operating in reverse.
In the company of a renowned expedition team, guests will witness the big ice of remote West Antarctica; prolific wildlife and impressive ice shelf of the Ross Sea region; and the sub-Antarctic islands of New Zealand and Australia, World Heritage sites for the thousands of seals and millions of penguins here, including huge colonies of king penguins and the endemic royal penguin. This is wilderness and wildlife at its finest, with Lindblad given special permission to explore strictly regulated islands, which are protected at the highest level of conservation status by the New Zealand government.
The new National Geographic Endurance will be in full expedition mode exploring West Antarctica, granting thrilling opportunities to crunch through thick ice and explore places few have seen.
Scenic’s China & Japan 2019/2020 brochure out now
Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours has launched its Oriental Wonders of China and Japan 2019/2020 brochure, with a new flagship tour through China – 27 Day Silk Road and Tibet Discovery travelling from Beijing to Chengdu.
In an offering unique to Scenic, this new itinerary takes in a section of the ancient Silk Road and includes two nights in Dunhuang or the City of Sands where guests will have the opportunity to experience incredible natural wonders that are surely once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Such as the Yadan Landform, a massive geological park that is comprised of strange wind eroded landforms, which appear like a medieval city. Or a camel ride through the Singing Sand Dunes, a natural phenomenon where sand grains shuffle down the slopes of sand dunes and produce a deep, groaning hum that reverberates for miles.
Onto the Crescent Moon Spring, a natural wonder of the Gobi Desert. Just as its name implies, the lake appears like a crescent moon and with its crystal clear water, resembles a turquoise or pearl inlaid in the vast desert sand dunes surrounding it. Or a day visit to the Mogao Museum, Caves and Grottoes. Once home to many monks and nuns, the caves are a system of sanctuaries and temples filled with ancient Buddhist statues and paintings dating back thousands of years.
There are many jewels in the 2019/2020 China program, from Beijing to the Gobi Desert and the mighty Yangtze River to the Tibetan Plateau. However, you can also look forward to so much more. Discover exciting Shanghai, delight in unique Xi’an. Indulge in China’s incredible cuisine and in the visual splendour of its greatest waterway. When all is done, you may find yourself changed by all you’ve seen and experienced. And that, of course, will be the finest jewel of all.
Construction of the polar exploration vessel, Le Commandant Charcot, has officially started
PONANT, the only French-owned cruise line and the world leader in luxury expeditions, is building an exceptional polar exploration vessel. Delivery of the new flagship, the most ambitious ever designed both in terms of travel experience and respect for the environment, is scheduled for 2021.
The vessel will bear the name of a great French explorer: Le Commandant Charcot. An explorer by vocation with a true passion for sailing, Jean-Baptiste Charcot is one of the emblematic figures of French polar expeditions. By naming its forthcoming polar exploration vessel after him, PONANT is paying tribute to this “pioneer of the poles”, a man respected by all. The choice of name is even more meaningful given that this new ship will be fitted with the latest technology for minimising environmental impact, as well as a scientific laboratory to be used by operational and research missions on oceanographic research.
Thus, at Tulcea in Romania, home of the Vard shipyard, the Norwegian subsidiary of Fincantieri, PONANT is pioneering a new era in polar travel. Designed to be a new type of cruise ship, the vessel will incorporate all the latest innovations in environmental protection, making PONANT a world leader in responsible tourism.
Indeed, Le Commandant Charcot will be the first exploration vessel to surpass the ecological standards set out in international regulations. An electric hybrid vessel, it will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Designed for intense polar explorations, and with PC2 Polar Class certification, Le Commandant Charcot will push back the boundaries of imagination, by sailing to the Geographic North Pole.
U by Uniworld launches its slick black 2019 brochure
U by Uniworld, the first ever river cruise line dedicated to a new generation of travellers, has launched its 2019 brochure for the young and young at heart – and it’s set to hit agents shelves this week!
Keeping with the brand essence, the cover is black, sleek and chic, in line with the uber cool luxe black ships. And by incorporating some exciting innovation, agents and clients can now interact with the brochure by ‘zapping’ the pages with their smartphone to bring them to life.
By using the augmented reality Zappar app, users can view U videos, interactive itineraries and photos – this technology is also the perfect tool for agents to help sell the U by Uniworld experience to their clients.
Be prepared to be greeted by a fun and friendly crew combined with the high-standard of luxe service and amenities that the Uniworld brand is renowned for. Cruises on The B start from only $2,399 per person, including accommodations, daily delicious farm-to-ship meals, select offshore excursions, two dedicated U hosts, onboard activities such as paint and wine and mixology classes, karaoke, silent discos, rooftop fitness and more.
Free beverage & Wi-Fi package now available on Pride of America
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in cruise travel, has announced exciting new enhancements to its long-standing Free at Sea program, providing guests with even more freedom, flexibility and value to design their ideal cruise holiday.
Norwegian’s enhanced Free at Sea program sees free beverage and Wi-Fi packages now available on Hawai’i sailings for the first time from 5 January 2019 onwards – providing guests access to an exciting, all-inclusive island getaway experience, where they can sip a glass of their favourite tipple while discovering destinations such as the Nā Pali Coast and picturesque islands of Maui and Kua’i.
Norwegian’s unique Free at Sea program provides guests with a fantastic selection of up-to five free offers including a beverage package, shore excursion credit, specialty dining package, Wi-Fi package and the Friends & Family Sail at a reduced rate initiative – with the program offering now consistent across Norwegian’s 16-strong fleet.
Enjoy a ‘Cruisey’ Christmas Day
Spend Christmas Day relaxing on Sydney’s magnificent Harbour on a Captain Cook Cruises Christmas Day lunch cruise. With no meals to prepare and no washing up to be done, the whole family can enjoy a stress-free Christmas.
Held on-board the prestigious MV Sydney 2000, with three separate dining decks and an open top deck offering 360-degree views of Sydney Harbour, choose from three Christmas Day lunch cruises. The Sky Deck Christmas lunch is the ultimate Christmas Day experience. Soak up the million-dollar views from the uppermost dining deck while enjoying a five-course premium menu and an open bar of superior spirits, premium wines, beers and soft drinks.
The Club Deck lunch offers a fabulous festive Christmas buffet feast including Virginia baked leg ham, roast turkey, Marinated Beef Sirloin, Sydney rock oysters, king prawns, N.Z Mussels, Barramundi, smoked salmon, a wide selection of salads and vegetables, assorted petit cakes, plum pudding and mince pies. The Club Deck lunch also includes a superior selection of wines, beers and soft drinks.
The MV Sydney 2000 departs 12 noon on Christmas Day, Tuesday 25th December 2018 from No.1 King Street Wharf, returning at 3.00pm.
MSC Cruises names first seaside Evo ship MSC Seashore
MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and leading cruise brand in Europe, South America, South Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Fincantieri, one of the largest shipbuilding groups in the world, today cut the first steel of MSC Seashore, the first of two MSC Cruises Seaside EVO ships currently on order at Fincantieri. At a ceremony held at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago and Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Bono launched the cutting of the first steel of this new ship.
Coming into service in Spring 2021, the 169,400 GT MSC Seashore will be the first in its kind, further enriching MSC Cruises’ Seaside Class of ships with new cutting-edge features including: an additional lounge at the aft; a further enhanced MSC Yacht Club covering three forward decks; specialty restaurants at the level of the promenade at deck eight for dining al fresco whilst being close to the sea; a larger number of whirlpools across the ship; and 200 additional cabins as well as even more generous public spaces.
Moreover, the Seaside EVO ships will be equipped with the latest advanced environmental technology, including a selective catalytic reduction system; exhaust gas cleaning technology; state-of-the-art waste management and recycling systems; advanced water treatment systems; and an advanced energy and heat recovery system, as well as other technology and measures to further increase energy efficiency.