Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Big Fat Cruise Wrap

We wish we were waking up on a cruise ship today to tropical weather. Not that our freezing cold apartment and arctic Sydney winds aren’t nice too. Sort of.

Crystal Endeavor’s Keel Laying marks next construction milestone for the game-changing ship


Today, Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises celebrated the next important milestone in the construction of Crystal Endeavor as the keel was laid at MV WERFTEN’s Stralsund shipyard for the company’s first luxury expedition yacht.

During the special ceremony, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her role as a member of the German Bundestag, joined Crystal President and CEO Tom Wolber and Genting Hong Kong’s Executive Chairman and CEO Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, as well as Mecklenburg Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig for the festivities.

Also in attendance were Minister of Economic Affairs Harry Glawe and CEO and President of MV WERFTEN Peter Fetten as well as hundreds of MV WERFTEN team members clad in “Team Endeavor” shirts, showing their enthusiasm and anticipation of the grand vessel they will help build. Once the traditional lucky coins had been put into place, the 400-ton section was lowered onto the keel blocks.

The 20,000 GRT yacht will be the world’s largest and most spacious purpose-built Polar Class ship. Crystal Endeavor will feature 100 suites and all the luxurious amenities and special touches for which Crystal is known. The yacht will boast generous public spaces, a full-service spa & salon, six restaurants including Nobu Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma, expedition rooms and elegant suites that contrast beautifully with the rugged adventures beyond the vessel.

P&O Cruises celebrates a fashion-filled Melbourne Cup Program with international model Madeline Stuart

P&O_Melbourne Cup_Ambassador Madeline Stuart

P&O Cruises Australia has revealed a bumper Melbourne Cup cruise 2018 line up headlined by Madeline Stuart, the world’s first professional adult supermodel with Down Syndrome, a star renowned for bringing style and flair to the catwalks of Paris, London and New York fashion week.

Almost 2000 guests on P&O’s flagship, Pacific Explorer, will have the opportunity to see Brisbane-born Madeline open the cruise line’s highly anticipated ‘Fashions at Sea’ catwalk show featuring more than 20 local and international designers and brands including Leona Edmiston, Allanah Hill, Swarovski, Nicola Finetti and Sportscraft. P&O’s biggest fashion show in history will be produced by esteemed Australian fashion stylist Fernando Barraza and choreographer Amé Delves.

Madeline, the international diversity game changer, who has had astonishing success and captured media attention both in Australia and internationally, will be joined by her manager Rosanne Stuart who will partake in a live Q&A about her daughter’s rise to fame and how she is changing society’s perceptions of people with disabilities one photo shoot at a time.

P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the cruise line was honoured to have Madeline Stuart headline this year’s ‘Fashion at Sea’ catwalk show which is now in its 49th year.

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic receives Virtuoso Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic was recognised by Virtuoso the international luxury travel network, with their 2018 Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award which honours outstanding leadership and commitment to sustainable tourism principles and practices among Virtuoso Preferred Partners and Hotels.

In its eighth year, the award underscores the valuable role travel and tourism can play in the protection of cultural and natural heritage for future generations, including environmental preservation and the well-being of local communities, and is open to on-site, tour operators, cruise lines, airlines, service and specialty providers.

Lindblad has built a global travel company with conservation and environmental stewardship as core business tenets. The company’s commitment to the places they explore includes (since 1997) $15.8 million USD to support stewardship efforts, currently through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund (LEX-NG Fund), which awards approximately $1.5 million USD in grants per year.

The award was presented at Virtuoso’s 30th annual Travel Week before more than 3,000 of luxury travel’s most prominent figures during a gala dinner at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Hosted by Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch, the evening celebrated some of the most innovative and revered agencies, advisors and partners worldwide.

Aurora Expeditions set to explore Latin America, Caribbean Coast and East Coast Canada with new world-class expedition ship Greg Mortimer

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 10.29.00 am

Aurora Expeditions, Australia’s leading expedition cruising company, continues to reinvent itself having today launched expeditions to all-new destinations including Latin America, Caribbean, Iceland, Greenland and East Coast Canada.

The new destinations were revealed as a part of the full 2019/20 global program that features five brand-new expedition itineraries in regions between the poles, as well as six new trekking itineraries including the reintroduction of two treks in Nepal.

The global program marks a new chapter in Aurora Expeditions’ proud history as it prepares to launch the Greg Mortimer in October 2019. The new state-of-the-artvessel has been purpose built for adventure and will allow the expeditioners on board to explore new destinations and disembark the ship for small group excursions and cultural activities unique to each destination.

Countdown to Carnival Legend‘s return for Aussie summer season begins


Last week marked 50 days until Carnival Legend arrives in Sydney on 13 October to begin her summer season of sailings, fresh from a multi-million dollar upgrade. Australians who book on Carnival Legend will be some of the first local guests to experience her Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades made during a dry dock in Portland, Oregon earlier this year.

The well-received upgrades include Alchemy Bar, a vintage themed cocktail ‘pharmacy’ and Guy’s Burger Joint developed by Food Network superstar Guy Fieri, delivering fresh-off-the-grill burgers Guy’s way. Enjoy freshly made tacos and homemade tortillas from BlueIguana Cantina and enjoy poolside bars BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar for a great selection of cocktails.

Carnival Legend will sail from Melbourne and Sydney, offering locals fun cruise holidays right from their doorstep to a range of popular destinations including the South Pacific, New Zealand and Tasmania.

P&O Cruises Australia continues to transform its fleet – welcoming another Grand Class Ship and bidding farewell to much loved favourite

P&O Cruises Australia announced today a second Grand Class ship will join the family while bidding farewell to one of its “jewels” as part of the cruise line’s commitment to refresh the fleet over time.

Carrying more than 3,100 guests, Star Princess will join her sister ship, Golden Princess, in the P&O Cruises Australia fleet from the end of 2021. Star Princess will replace the much-loved and considerably smaller Pacific Jewel, which will leave P&O Cruises in March next year, by which time she will have served the brand for almost 10 years.

President of P&O Cruises and Carnival Australia, Sture Myrmell, said welcoming two Grand Class ships – Star Princess and Golden Princess – was part of the evolution of the P&O Cruises fleet. In September last year, P&O Cruises announced its plan to refresh its fleet over time, continuing to evolve the guest experience and creating economies of scale necessary to compete effectively in today’s environment.

A transformed Golden Princess will join the P&O Cruises fleet in October 2020 while her sister ship, Star Princess, will join P&O Cruises at the end of 2021. Pacific Jewel’s final voyage will depart from Melbourne on 24 February, 2019 before being transferred to a new operator following her sale.

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic eliminates single-use plastic fleet wide 

National Geographic Orion

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic have announced that they have successfully completed a comprehensive single-use plastics elimination program across their fleet.

Having also just won Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award at Virtuoso 30th annual Travel Week last week, reinforcing their commitment to sustainability, Lindblad’s ships are now 100 per cent free of all single-use plastic bottles, cups, straws and stirrers. The accolade is especially noteworthy as only a fraction of the network’s 1,700 partners are honoured at Virtuoso Travel Week.

The effort supports National Geographic’s Planet or Plastic? campaign, a multiyear initiative aimed at raising awareness about the global plastic crisis and reducing the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans.

Lindblad Expeditions began working towards the elimination of avoidable plastic waste in 2007 when they banned single-use plastic water bottles. Instead, guests receive individual reusable stainless-steel bottles that may be refilled at filtered-water stations located around the vessels. Lindblad’s commitment continues as they work with suppliers and seek partners to eliminate and reduce plastic packaging for the items they supply.

Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural season now open to the public for booking


The world’s most adventurous luxury travellers can now book their next great adventure with Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises, as the line opened bookings today for Crystal Endeavor, its first luxury expedition yacht. The itineraries for Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural season sail from August of 2020 through January 2021, with voyages of 12 to 22 days travelling far off the beaten path of traditional cruise routes.

Voyages rich with discovery will explore the cultural and bio-diversity of Japan and the Russian Far East; Indonesia, Borneo and the Philippines; New Zealand and Australia (including the Great Barrier Reef); and Antarctica via the Ross Sea.

Crystal opened Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural season bookings to Crystal Society members on August 9 and reports significant interest in the expedition yacht’s voyages from that pre-sale alone, with 52 percent of the maiden voyage round-trip from Tokyo reserved; 25 percent of the Antarctica sailings reserved; and 22 percent of the overall season reserved.

Coral Expeditions supports Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition

Coral Expeditions_ AG photographer of the year

As part of its new partnership with Australian Geographic, Coral Expeditions is proud to be this year’s Presenting Partner for the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition.

Produced by the South Australian Museum, this breathtaking photography exhibition celebrates the beauty of the natural world through stunning images by professional, emerging and junior photographers who have shown impeccable timing, patience, artistry and technique.

Coral Expedition’s alliance with Australian Geographic will coincide with the arrival of the Coral Adventurer, Coral Expeditions fourth expedition vessel, which will set sail on her maiden voyage in April 2019. The partnership will encompass special Australian Geographic-curated expeditions and the development of year-round Australian Geographic Society “In Residence” programs using the research facilities on the new-built Coral Adventurer.

The Australian Geographic, Principal Sponsors of the exhibition, are pleased to be working closely with Coral Expeditions.

Carnival Cruise Line brings a little fun to Brisbane


To celebrate Carnival Spirit’s impending arrival into her new home port of Brisbane in 2020, Carnival Cruise Line brought fun to the skies and streets of the CBD.

The skies lit up with Carnival’s firework show at Redcliffe KiteFest 2018 on Saturday. The display took place in the foreground of the new International Cruise Terminal at Port of Brisbane (which is currently under development).

Earlier in the day, locals were also treated to a special visit from Little Carnival, the brand’s newest and smallest ship, made by a 3D printer. The pedal-powered mini ship was joined by Flight Centre’s very own ‘Captain’, Richard Klinge of Noosa.

Carnival Spirit will commence sailing from Brisbane in 2020 – the brand’s first ever ship to call Brisbane home.

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