Cruise

Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Vanessa Bussoletti

We were absolutely drowning in news for our Cruise Wrap this past week. Well, maybe not drowning, but we were definitely swimming in the shallow kids pool.

Antarctic Cruising Season set to break Records – Chimu urges Agents to book now to take Advantage of Best Value Deals

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For 2017-2018, Antarctica visitation is projected to see a 5% increase to reach a peak of 46,385.

The number of Australian visitors increased by 5% compared to the previous year, ranking them third on the list of passenger nationalities, behind the US and China.

Chimu Adventures are warming up for the upcoming seasons by unleashing fantastic Charter Specials for 2017/18, as well as offering Early Birds on selected 2018/19 departures, giving agents the opportunity to take advantage of last minute offers for this coming season and secure and enjoy Early Bird savings on next season’s departures:

2017/18 Charter specials:

Chimu are currently offering a number of specials charter deals with savings of up to 25%* to be enjoyed on numerous charters including the best-value 10-day Images of Antarctica,  the 10-day Discover Antarctica, the 11-day Frozen Frontier fundraising cruise, the 18-day Shackleton’s Antarctica, or the 26-day In the Wake of Mawson, Chimu’s exclusive Hobart departure.

2018/19 Early Birds:

  • MS Expedition Early Birds on all MS Expedition itineraries, starting from AU$6,799*
  • Sea Spirit Early Birds, starting from AU$9,845*
  • Luxury Antarctica Early Birds on The Le Boreal fleet, save up to 30%

For more information on Chimu’s Antarctica deals click here.

Royal Caribbean opens first year-long program to Cuba

Royal Caribbean is giving travellers more opportunities than ever to explore the vibrant island destination of Cuba with new sailings to Havana on Empress of the SeasThe newly refreshed ship will sail 58 cruises of four and five-night itineraries from January 2018 through March 2019, more than half of which will offer overnight stays in the culturally vibrant city. Empress’ Western Caribbean and Havana sailings are now open for booking.   

The vibrant Cuban culture extends beyond land to the experience on board Empress of the Seas. From cortaditos and café con leche in Café Royal to salsa music and dancing in Boleros Latin lounge, guests can enjoy a range of onboard activities developed to bring the spirit of the island to life throughout the entire journey.

Empress of the Seas spans 11 guest decks, encompasses 48,563 gross registered tons, carries 1,602 guests at double occupancy and features 795 staterooms.

Celebrate Maria Theresa’s 300th Birthday like its 1717

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Maria Theresa was one of Europe’s most beloved and longest reigning monarchs; the Holy Roman Empress, German Queen and Archduchess of Austria.

Throughout 2017, Uniworld invites guests onboard the legendary S.S. Maria Theresa, a floating homage to the former Austrian empress, to commemorate her 300th birthday on the Enchanting Danube itinerary.

Guests will celebrate like Austrian royalty both onboard and onshore throughout their eight-day journey from Budapest to Passau. A visit to Vienna, commonly referred to as the “City of Waltzes,” provides guests the opportunity to celebrate Maria Theresa’s legacy in the beautiful city she once called home. In light of her 300th birthday, Uniworld is offering the following activities:

  • Guests will have a “Morning with the Masters” sipping on Bellini cocktails while admiring the stunning views from the prestigious Kunsthistorisches Museum’s cupola terrace. With exclusive early-morning access to the world-famous museum, guests will explore the royal Habsburg family’s treasures and their famous collections of art, including Raphael’s Madonna in the Meadow, Vermeer’s The Allegory of Painting and the Infanta paintings by Diego Velázquez, among others. 
  • Guests will have the exclusive opportunity to experience Europe’s rich aristocratic heritage with a private “Royal Anniversary” concert and dinner, celebrating Maria Theresa’s 300th birthday and legacy in a Viennese palace, where they will partake in traditional ballroom dancing.
  • Whether aboard the S.S. Maria Theresa or on land, guests on the Enchanting Danube itinerary will ride in style. A trip to Vienna’s Spanish Riding School allows guests to discover the 450-year-old equestrian tradition of the Lipizzaner Stallion.

Flagship Achievers Encouraged to Sell Big for First Taste of Pacific Explorer

Akaroa, New Zealand
Akaroa, New Zealand

With the countdown on for Pacific Explorer, P&O Cruises is offering agents in its Flagship Achievers program the chance to be the first to get a taste of its latest ship. The six travel agents with the highest revenue booked and deposited between May 15-28, 2017 on any Pacific Explorer sailings will win a twin share balcony room on the 77,000-tonne ship’s one-night showcase cruise on Wednesday June 21.

Performer, writer and comedian Jean Kittson is Godmother to Scenic Azure

Jean Kittson, the Australian performer and writer – and now Godmother to Scenic’s first river cruise ship on Portugal’s Douro River, Scenic Azure ­– christened the ship on Saturday 29 April. Scenic Founder and Chairman Glen Moroney was also in attendance.

The 96-passenger river cruiser is now sailing through the sun-drenched Douro Valley from World Heritage-listed Porto down to Vega de Terron over the Spanish border.

Scenic is the first operator to own and operate a purpose built river cruise ship in the region. At 80 metres long and with only 48 cabins, Scenic Azure is the next-generation of river cruisers and has been custom built to sail the picturesque Douro River and deliver a truly exceptional and intimate river cruising experience for only 96 guests.

The 5-star Scenic Azure boasts the same all-inclusive luxury experience synonymous with all Scenic Space-Ships, from butler service and unlimited complimentary beverages including mini-bar re-stocked daily, to full-size private balcony suites with exclusive Scenic Sun Lounges. Plus there is a vitality spa on the Sun Deck and a guest lift between decks. As with all Scenic river cruises, guests will also enjoy included tips and gratuities, expert local guides, all Scenic Freechoice activities and Scenic Enrich special events.

South Sydney Marches Out to Sea with P&O

Souths CEO Blake Solly with former players Roy Asotasi Mario Fenech and Ben Lowe on Pacific Jewel

Hundreds of Souths fans marched the green and red army out to sea as a loyal group of Rabbitohs’ supporters joined a special roundtrip cruise from Sydney late last week.

More than 200 South Sydney Members and supporters joined former players Roy Asotasi, Ben Lowe and Mario Fenech, as well as club CEO Blake Solly, onboard P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel on a four-night cruise to Moreton Island.

During the cruise Members had the chance to rub shoulders with club heroes at a special welcome reception; take on Roy, Ben and the “Maltese Falcon” at trivia, and watch the Kangaroos beat New Zealand on the top deck screen.

There was also Q&A sessions with the team legends and plenty of opportunities for photos and autographs.

As Official Membership Partner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, P&O Cruises is the first cruise line to come onboard with the club and offer exclusive opportunities for club Members to cruise with their heroes.

Grand Gala Dinner in Sydney to Commemorate Regent Seven Seas Explorer’s Return to Monaco

Andrew M. Cannon AM- Honorary Consul of Monaco (SA, TAS , VIC, WA), Steve Odell, Senior Vice President, Managing Director Asia Pacific Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings, Lisa Pile, Vice President Sales, Australia & New Zealand, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Guillaume Brahimi, Celebrated Sydney Chef, Alison Roberts-Brown, Regional Director, Australia & NZ, Monaco Tourism, Hadrien Bourely, Honorary Consul of Monaco (NSW, NT & QLD) and Mathew Butterworth.
Andrew M. Cannon AM- Honorary Consul of Monaco (SA, TAS , VIC, WA), Steve Odell, Senior Vice President, Managing Director Asia Pacific Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings, Lisa Pile, Vice President Sales, Australia & New Zealand, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Guillaume Brahimi, Celebrated Sydney Chef, Alison Roberts-Brown, Regional Director, Australia & NZ, Monaco Tourism, Hadrien Bourely, Honorary Consul of Monaco (NSW, NT & QLD) and Mathew Butterworth.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises and the Monaco Government Tourism & Convention Authority have come together again to celebrate the one year anniversary of the christening of the Seven Seas Explorer in Monaco, which was presided over by the Seven Seas Explorer’s godmother, HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco on 13 July 2016. The anniversary celebration recognises the unique link between the most luxurious ship ever built and the most luxurious port of call in the world.

Held last night at Bistro Guillaume, the newly opened restaurant of one of Australia’s most popular chefs, Guillaume Brahimi, the celebratory dinner included an impressive ensemble of valued guests and friends of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and the Monaco Government.

The newest member of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet, Seven Seas Explorer boasts one of the highest space and staff to guest ratios in the cruise industry and includes a range of unique features, including a one-of-a-kind 360-square-metre suite, extravagantly designed lounges and showplaces, and lavish gourmet restaurants.

MTA’s Gina Edwards springs into Dutch tulip time

Gina (centre) enjoying the Spring tulips with Avalon Waterways’ Josh Galea (left) and Greg Morris at the famous Keukenhof Gardens in Holland.
Gina (centre) enjoying the Spring tulips with Avalon Waterways’ Josh Galea (left) and Greg Morris at the famous Keukenhof Gardens in Holland.

Joining Avalon Waterways 2017 National Familiarisation, MTA – Mobile Travel Agents’ Gina Edwards had the opportunity to cruise from Brussels to Amsterdam aboard the Avalon Passion as part of the cruise company’s ‘Holland & Belgium with tulips in Early Spring’ program complete with an unusual ‘beer themed’ departure.

MSC Cruises gives your kids a chance to shine

MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, is further deepening its family entertainment by giving younger guests the opportunity to star in the second series of MSC’s popular kids web series ‘Kelly & Kloe’ via onboard auditions.

Following the success of the first series in 2016, MSC Cruises is developing a second series consisting of four episodes, each with its own theme: one on the brand new ship MSC Meraviglia, one for Halloween, one for Christmas and a special themed episode, Masquerade.

To date, the web series and trailer has been enjoyed by over 1.5 million people via social and web media with over 40,000 children, who have taken part in the Kelly and Kloe experience day. In addition to being part of the series there are a range of interactive activities, specially designed for kids of all ages.

As a family owned business this series for children widens an already exciting range of family and child friendly styles aboard the MSC fleet. Children under 12 year cruise free in 2017 and from Summer (April 2018), over selected sailings, this will increase to under 18 years, when sharing one cabin with two adults only paying port charges. In addition the new mega ships, MSC Meraviglia being the first in June 2017, will debut some stunning Super Family cabins allowing families of up to 10 people at amazing prices.

Aqua Expeditions Releases 2017-18 Hosted Departures

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Aqua Expeditions has unveiled its 2017-18 four-colour glossy brochure focussing on the leading luxury cruise operator’s hosted departures on its boutique Aria Amazon and Aqua Mekong cruises.

The new brochure provides fully illustrated details of 3, 4 and 7-night cruise offerings being hosted by Aqua Expeditions CEO and Founder, Francesco Galli Zugaro and Aria Amazon Executive Chef, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and a special focus on cruises being led by champion of ocean conservation and environmental protection, Jean-Michel Cousteau.

Upcoming Hosted Departures 2017 & 2018

Princess Cruises Adds More Sailings to Experience Majestic Princess

Majestic Princess email

Princess Cruises has announced the addition of two 14-day Grand Asia voyages sailing between Shanghai and Singapore on its newest ship, Majestic Princess.

Available to guests throughout the world, the sailings will visit Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand and offer more time ashore with a late night call in Hong Kong. The first voyage departs Shanghai on February 25, 2018, with the second departing Singapore on March 11, 2018.  Fares start from $2519* per person twin share.

Launched in Europe last month, Majestic Princess will offer cruises in Europe and China before heading south to Sydney where she will be homeported from September 2018 through to March 2019, when she will return to China.

Among the exceptional venue designs, amenities and entertainment experiences, Majestic Princess features two new restaurant concepts, La Mer and Harmony.  La Mer offers an authentic yet updated Parisian bistro experience with a fine dining dinner menu featuring authentic French cuisine made unique with modern twists by three Michelin-star chef Emmanuel Renaut.

In addition, guests on board also have the opportunity to taste Gong Cha, the Chinese-style bubble milk tea, the authentic American steakhouse experience of Crown Grill familiar across the global fleet, Lobster Grill and Dim Sum Bar as well as Alfredo’s featuring “The Best Pizza at Sea”.

P&O Young Explorers Advise on Finishing Touches to Pacific Explorer

Mitch Lowe Photo - P&O Young Explorers-109

P&O Cruises has made the final touches to its latest ship Pacific Explorer ahead of its launch next month – with a little help from a panel of four young holiday critics.

The children, all aged 10 years, were selected from more than 3500 entrants who applied to be a P&O Young Explorer, providing input on the activities, food, entertainment and design of the 77,000-tonne ship.

Degan Charman from New South Wales’ Coffs Harbour, who was named the Young Adventurer for his love of watersports, tested all of Pacific Explorer’s new onboard activities.

Meanwhile, Caitlin Leece from the Gold Coast reviewed the food; Lily Corliss from Caloundra in Queensland critiqued the entertainment and Juno Jones from Sydney assessed the proposed interior design of the ship.

The panel of Young Explorers spent a day onboard Pacific Dawn in Brisbane testing and providing feedback on a multitude of features earmarked for Sydney’s latest cruise ship.

NOW OPEN FOR BOOKING: SILVERSEA’S WORLD CRUISE 2019, A ‘TALE OF TALES’

 

Designed to spark the imagination of avid travellers, Silversea’s World Cruise 2019 — an epic 132-day voyage from San Francisco to London — is now open for reservations. Hosted aboard the elegant, all-suite Silver Whisper, travellers will voyage in luxurious comfort to 52 ports in 31 countries across five continents. Plus, with 16 overnight calls and numerous late-night stays, guests will have ample time to delve deeper into iconic destinations.

This one-of-a-kind journey, titled “The Tale of Tales,” offers innovative destinations and unique features, such as an overnight stay in Tokyo with two full days to explore, a circumnavigation of Africa with an overnight in Cape Town, and a double overnight in Bordeaux to enjoy the region’s famous wines.

There is also a stopover in Saint-Malo, gateway to Mont Saint-Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests will also have the chance to sail the Guadalquivir River in Seville and savour Bilbao’s cultural scene with a visit to the Guggenheim Museum, before the voyage concludes in London, renowned as a financial centre and one of the great capitals of the world.

FLY THE FALKLANDS CROSSING WITH LINDBLAD EXPEDITIONS-NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Pioneers of global exploration, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, has announced for the first time ever two exclusive opportunities in the 2017 season to fly directly one way to or from the Falklands instead of crossing by sea.  The new flights provide guests one more day along the Antarctic Peninsula or in South Georgia.

The 17-day South Georgia and the Falklands departs October 24, and allows guests to spend one full day among the incredible penguin colonies of South Georgia and fly home from the Falklands through Santiago, Chile.  The voyage welcomes special global guest speaker Greg Marshall, wildlife expert and National Geographic crittercam filmmaker.

Guests on the 23-day Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland’s departure on November 7 will fly direct to the Falklands from Santiago to experience the largest albatross colony in the world, and will also experience the majestic wildness of South Georgia and with an extra day in Antarctica.

The expedition will also welcome two stellar global guest speakers, U.S. Arctic Research Chair Frances Ulmer and former astronaut Kathy Sullivan.

Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most travellers and including South Georgia and the Falklands provides the ultimate expedition for first-timers.  Guests will marvel at the thousands of king penguins as they go about their business in South Georgia; hike, Zodiac, cross-country ski and kayak in Antarctica, as well as observe the remote and untrammeled wildness of the Falklands. Both voyages are set aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer.

Adventure World, the exclusive GSA in Australia for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, has released a special offer on this incredible journey, offering savings of up to $1,000 per person on both departures plus free round-trip charter airfare for clients on the October 24th departure (Buenos Aires/Ushuaia and Falklands/Santiago. 17-day cruises on the National Geographic Explorer start from $18,910.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

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Travel warnings for Gallipoli after terror threats

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Find out who won new roles & who fell on their swords in this week’s Flavour of the Week. Yes, we added that sword bit for effect.

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Cruise

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52% of travellers swayed by Facebook photos: study

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Is your boss the Executive of the Year?

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Travel Agents

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We’re re-running this again from Monday (minus the typos). You get déjà vu & we do less work. A win-win, we say.

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Destinations

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Visit Sunshine Coast has partnered with Escape Travel to launch a major new campaign offering a wide range of activities […]

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Hotels

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If you read one thing today make sure it’s Travel Weekly’s hotel wrap. Actually, your medication instructions and train timetable probably take priority.

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