Cruise

Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Kate Webster

Norwegian Cruise Line kick-starts nationwide on-board entertainment audition series in Sydney

Proving the current cruising boom is creating waves beyond tourism, thousands of performers across Australia will be battling it out for lead dancing and singing roles as part of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ (NCLH) nationwide audition series, commencing today in Sydney.

Celebrated as the world’s leading cruise company for entertainment, NCLH will be scouring Australia for performers to fill hundreds of roles across its portfolio of award winning cabaret, circus and Broadway productions including After Midnight, Rock of Ages, Cirque Dreams and Australia’s own home-grown sensations Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Burn the Floor.

“Long recognised as the global leader in the delivery of dynamic, award winning shows, NCLH’s dedicated production division is now responsible for the entertainment offering across NCLH’s entire 25-strong fleet – encompassing all Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises vessels,” said Mr Steve Odell, Managing Director, NCLH.

“This means that at any one time, more than 450 performers are working across our ships, supported by many more hundreds of production and backstage crew. We are especially proud that nearly 35% of these positions are sourced from Australia – creating a raft of employment opportunities which transcend tourism and enable local talent to pair their passion for performance with world exploration during their tenure with NCLH,” added Mr Odell.

 

Radiance of the Seas makes cruise industry’s maiden call to Wollongong

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Wollongong in New South Wales just became Australia’s newest cruise port with the arrival of Royal Caribbean International’s Radiance of the Seas: the first time a cruise ship has ever visited the South Coast tourist destination.

The 2,200 guests on board arrived in Port Kembla at 8am and were welcomed with a special fly-over by a vintage Catalina flying boat, as well as thousands of excited locals waving the ship in from vantage points along the South Coast.

“We have been working towards our call to Wollongong for quite some time. Guests onboard Radiance of the Seas had a wonderful day exploring the city and local area, making the dedication and hard work that’s gone into this project for the past two and a half years all worthwhile,” said Adam Armstrong, managing director, Royal Caribbean Australia & New Zealand.

Destination Wollongong General Manager, Mark Sleigh said: “When Councillor Leigh Colacino first approached Royal Caribbean to discuss bringing cruise ships to Wollongong, he promised that the community would look after their guests as well as any destination in the world.  I’m delighted that Wollongong more than delivered on that promise, and made the maiden voyage of Radiance of the Seas a day that Wollongong, and indeed our visitors, will never forget!”

Guests were treated to a special “Welcome to Wollongong” marketplace at Lang Park organized by Destination Wollongong, which showcased local produce and products from the region. More than 400 local volunteers were also on hand throughout the day to help guests get the most out of their day in port.

Seven different shore excursions also showcased the region outside of the city, with visits to scenic Bald Hill Lookout, Jamberoo Action Park, Kiama, Shellharbour Village, Symbio Wildlife Park and the tranquil Nan Tien Temple among some of the most popular.

 

Festive Fun on the Murray Princess

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Celebrate the festive season with a well-deserved relaxing holiday along the beautiful Murray River on Captain Cook Cruises seven night Christmas Cruise departing Friday 23rd December, 2016 or three-night New Year’s Eve Cruise departing Friday 30th December, 2016.

The special Christmas and New Year’s Eve cruises combine the popular seven-night and three-night cruise itineraries with Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The Christmas cruise includes a traditional Christmas lunch, a range of Christmas themed activities and games, Christmas carols, egg nog, and of course a visit from Santa with presents for all the guests.

The New Year’s Eve cruise includes a spectacular New Year’s Eve dinner hosted by the ship’s Captain and officers and will celebrate the year of 2016 and welcome in 2017 with a fantastic evening filled with music, dancing and fun.

In between celebrating Christmas or the New Year its full steam ahead down the mighty Murray River as guests discover Australian history, culture, and wildlife on the newly refurbished PS Murray Princess, a modern replica of the paddle wheelers that cruised the Murray in the 1800’s.

Sit back in one of two air-conditioned paddlewheel lounges, displaying views of the working paddle wheel, and enjoy the enchantment and beauty of the river as the Murray Princess cruises past towering limestone cliffs and along riverbanks lined with mallee scrub and red gum forests.

Bird watchers will love the abundance of Australian birds along the Murray River and get up close to river bird life on-board the ‘Dragon-Fly’ flat bottomed boat.

 

Crystal announces partnership with the Peninsula Hotels for Crystal Aircruises inaugural journey

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Crystal CEO and President, Edie Rodriguez announced today a partnership with The Peninsula Hotels for the maiden journey of Crystal AirCruises ultra-luxury Boeing 777-200LR jet, taking off on August 31, 2017.

The 27-day “The Peninsula Grand Inaugural Crystal AirCruise” flies from New York to Paris, stopping in 10 glamorous cities, where guests will embark on cultural, culinary and exhilarating adventures. In each destination, The Peninsula Hotels will welcome Crystal guests, offering the superior standard of luxurious hospitality for which both companies are celebrated. Additionally, in each destination, guests will be treated to exclusive events that showcase the locale.

 

APT sails back to Antarctica in style in 2018

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Available for booking from today, APT’s Antarctica Luxury Expedition Cruising 2018 program features a privately chartered expedition cruise on board the luxurious Le Lyrial, the newer sister ship to the previously chartered Le Boreal.

The ten night cruise sails from Ushuaia in Argentina, across the Drake Passage and to the islands at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Once in Antarctic waters, the ship’s captain will charter a flexible course to maximise sight-seeing opportunities. The journey also takes in the deserted whaling station at Deception Island and, weather permitting, a visit to an active scientific research station.

An expert expedition team, including naturalist guides and marine biologists, will lead daily zodiac excursions of no more than ten people per vessel, allowing travellers to see glacial landscapes, penguin rookeries, seal colonies and icefields up close.

With its small ship agility and ocean-liner grade luxury appointments, Le Lyrial is the perfect vessel for APT’s Antarctica program, which operates in February, when the weather is at its best and the wildlife active.

A high crew to guest ratio – 139 crew for 200 passengers – means guests can expect a high level of personalised service both on board the ship and on zodiac excursions. There are two dining options: the elegant Gastronomic Restaurant and the more casual Grill Restaurant and the ship also features stylish lounge areas, a library, cinema and a lecture room where guests can learn about Antarctica’s history and environment in depth.

 

Meraviglia a new delight in the MSC fleet

The diverse range of facilities and services brings a unique cultural experience. This next generation ship will be spacious, at 331 metres long and offering over 5,000 guests a choice of a variety of cabin styles for couples and friends right up to large groups of up to 10 passengers to enjoy.

“MSC Meraviglia will be christened in France, in the beautiful UNESCO-listed port of Le Havre on 1 June 2017,” says Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman. He also commented, “We chose a name that denotes the sense of awe and wonderment felt when you experience the ship’s stunning features, which only an MSC cruise, with its unique Mediterranean-style, can deliver.”

This triumphant ship will be home to the first and only floating classic and contemporary fine art museum at sea – another MSC Cruises industry-first.

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Wholesalers

Wholesaler Wrap: Collette celebrates 5th anniversary in Australia, Globus previews 2021 European tours + MORE!

Out of sorts when it comes to the who’s who of the wholesaler scene? This week’s Wholesaler Wrap comes in the nick of time. 

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Aviation

Boeing confirms debris found in 737 MAX engines, as Qantas eyes cut-price deal

by Christian Fleetwood

Alan Joyce says Qantas’ “unmatched” safety reputation positions it to negotiate a discounted deal with Boeing for a new fleet of 737 MAXs when the jet is re-certified.

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Travel Agents

AFTA considers partial ATAS review following collapse of online travel agency

by Huntley Mitchell

The liquidation of an OTA and ATAS member has caught AFTA by surprise. Travel Weekly apologises for the excessive acronym usage.

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Tourism

Police shoot man dead in Brisbane after tourist stabbing

by Christian Fleetwood

Police officers were called to a disturbance on Sunday following reports a man armed with a knife had stabbed an overseas tourist.

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Travel Agents

Helloworld posts profit and record TTV, but expects “minimal growth, if any” for rest of FY20

by Huntley Mitchell

Can you hear the popping of champagne corks coming from Helloworld HQ? Well, it’s either the company celebrating its half-yearly results or a staff member trying out their new pop gun.

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Cruise

More Diamond Princess evacuees catch coronavirus

Meanwhile, experts fear quarantines could be compromised by a longer incubation period.

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Aviation

Flight attendant says keto diet got him fired

The flight attendant claims he was fired for testing negative in a breath test, but says it was caused by the keto diet – not alcohol.

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Tourism

Ardent Leisure suffers another loss, warns of further impact from Dreamworld tragedy

by Huntley Mitchell

The company has warned investors it is unlikely that Dreamworld will break even in the second half of FY20.

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Destinations

Destination Wrap: Abu Dhabi’s record-breaking visitor numbers, Tourism Fiji rolls out new stage of Bulanaires + MORE!

Meanwhile, the only destination Travel Weekly staff will be exploring today is the streets of Surry Hills in search of a cheaper coffee than the place downstairs.

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Cruise

Hurtigruten makes history in Antarctica

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly’s editor has entered the office record books for shortest distance thrown in the staff paper plane throwing competition.

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Wholesalers

Aussie wholesaler expands to New Zealand

Staff at an Aussie wholesaler are beginning to work phrases like “choice bro”, “sweet as” and “chur” into their vocabulary upon receipt of this news.

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Cruise

Coronavirus: Diamond Princess passengers die, as two evacuated Aussies test positive

The coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc on the travel industry, prompting the federal government to extend its travel ban for another week.

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