Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Wednesday means we’re halfway through the working week, and it’s time to kick back with a jam-packed Cruise Wrap. Enjoy, dear readers, feel the knowledge wash over you.

European Waterways offering new experiential excursions and experiences 

European Waterways will be expanding its excursions and on-board ship options to include more immersive activities that meet travellers’ rising demand for experiential holidays.

With an 18-vessel fleet in Europe and the British Isles – the company plans to add unique, highly personalised experiences such as an exclusive tour of a castle garden in Scotland led by the head gardener; enjoying a plate of fresh oysters after a private tour of an oyster farm; and a visit to an artisanal chocolatier to learn first-hand about the art of making chocolate.

According to Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, the company is continuously curating and tailoring new guest experiences which are truly immersive of the local culture. In recent years, they have also begun to further personalise their classic wine tastings excursions, expand their culinary demonstrations to include more private one-on-one with regional chefs, and other activities that enhance the intimate nature of hotel barge cruising.  

European Waterways are currently offering up to 20% off for cabins and charters on select cruises throughout the spring and summer, which is exceptional value for those interested in the distinctive benefits of canal cruising.

No single supplements on the world’s most advanced explorer ship


Hurtigruten’s MS Roald Amundsen will be the safest, greenest and most advanced expedition ship ever created and to celebrate the announcement of it’s maiden sailing, Bentours and Hurtigruten have announced a no single supplement deal.   

Available on select departures between 23 Oct to 27 Dec 2018, including the maiden sailing on the 23 Oct 2018, now is the time to secure cabins for solo travellers.   

Discover Antarctica, Patagonia and the Chilean Fjords Southbound. Visit one of the most scenic national parks in the world, see the rich wildlife of Patagonia, the Chilean fjords and Cape Horn before the highlight of the journey, Antarctica. Prices start form $13,150 per single traveller and departs 23 Oct 2018.  

Or travel to the White Continent with Hurtigruten’s itinerary Explore Antarctica, the Falklands and Chilean Fjords. En route, you will experience the wild natural wonders of the Chilean fjords. Once in Antarctica, the sight of mighty glaciers calving into the ocean, flocks of penguins and whales in the icy seas.     

Prices for the 18 day expedition start from $11,410 per single traveller and departs 9 & 25 Sep and 11 & 27 of Dec 2018 on the no single supplement deal. Book by 30 June 2017 to receive discount.

PANDAW makes it cheaper for solo travellers

Pandaw is offering solo travellers a cheaper way to travel South-East Asia offering cabins with no single supplement on a wide selection of expeditions and departure dates right up until 2019, and allowing solo travellers the chance to visit amazing destinations in the space and comfort of a twin room at no extra cost.

Travellers can book no single supplement on a range of Pandaw cruises in Indochina and Burma by booking their trip with their local travel agent or visiting the website.

Some of the Burma journeys:

  • PAGAN & THE UPPER IRRAWADDY – 10 Nights – No Single Supplement on selected dates
  • The MANDALAY PAGAN PACKET – 7 nights- No Single Supplement on selected dates
  • PAGAN & The IRRAWADDY 14 Nights- 600 miles and see ALL Burma. No Single Supplement on selected dates
  • THE UPPER IRRAWADDY – 7 Nights – No Single Supplement on selected dates
  • A VOYAGE TO NAGALAND – 7 Nights – No Single Supplement on selected dates
  • THE CHINDWIN: 7 NIGHTS – 7 Nights – No Single Supplement on selected dates

Some of the Indochina offers:

  • CLASSIC MEKONG -7 Nights – No Single Supplement on selected dates
  • HALONG BAY & RED RIVER – 10 Nights – No Single Supplement on selected dates
  • The Laos Mekong- Vientiane to Chiang Saen- No Single Supplement on selected dates

Fares include on board meals aboard Pandaw’s boutique, colonially-styled river steamers as well as local soft drinks, beer and spirits, crew gratuities and excursions ashore to local villages, markets and pagodas. Fares are subject to availability and conditions apply.

Redevelopment of Newcastle cruise ship terminal to drive cruise ship tourism growth

Port of Newcastle mooring bollards project 18.5.17

Newcastle will soon host larger cruise ships and more passengers due to the redevelopment of the city’s new cruise terminal. It is expected to bring millions of dollars in economic benefit for Newcastle and the Hunter region.

The State and Federal Governments’ $800,000 investment in new mooring bollards will enable larger, heavier cruise ships carrying up to 3,900 passengers to dock at Newcastle. The Royal Caribbean vessel Explorer of the Seas will make two calls to Newcastle and the Hunter region in February 2019 carrying 3,900 passengers per visit – this is more than 1,000 extra tourists per visit.

Installation of the bollards is the first stage of construction of the $13.5 million new cruise terminal facility for Newcastle and will be completed by mid-next year. The construction of the $12.7 million Newcastle Cruise Terminal building, funded by the NSW Government, will commence in early 2018 and is due for completion by the end of that year.

Lonely Planet photographer to escort Hurtigruten midnight sun tour


50 Degrees North has teamed up with Lonely Planet Photographer, David Evans for this world first exclusively escorted photography tour of Norway’s Lofoten Archipelago & North Cape under the Midnight Sun.

Photography tuition and support will be provided for by David Evans, Lonely Planet photographer, writer and award-winning travel, landscape and commercial photographer as well as two local photographers joining the group on location in Lofoten and Tromsø.

The High Arctic’s 24-hour midnight sun is the hero of this tour, creating endless chances to capture the magnificent colours of the Norwegian Coast. Our activities and excursions are tailored towards seeing and capturing the best light and most photogenic locations.

A 50 Degrees North Scandinavian escort will also accompany this group – min group size is 8, maximum is 12 people. This premium 12-day tour is priced at AUD 12,960 per person, twin share. Departures: 26 May 2018.

Oceania Cruises rolls out new vegan menus 

Oceania cruises has announced the debut of the most expansive vegan menu offerings and the only cold-pressed raw juice and vegan smoothie bars at sea. The juice and smoothie bars are currently available onboard Marina and Riviera and the vegan menus are available fleet wide on the brand’s six ships – Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, Marina, Riviera, and Sirena. These dishes are in addition to the line’s already comprehensive selection of vegetarian, gluten-free, and kosher meals.

The vegan menus will be featured in the Grand Dining Room at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including a total of more than 250 dishes including appetisers, soups, salads, entrees, and desserts. 

Grand Dining Room and Terrace Café Highlights:

Breakfast: Vegan Tortilla Española with potato, onions, and tofu; vanilla waffle with fresh berries; apricot and pistachio muffins; cream of wheat or oatmeal served with cinnamon powder, organic sugar and choice of nuts. Side dishes always available include: grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, vegan link sausage and Lyonnaise potatoes.

Lunch: Tuscan-style bean soup with garlic croutons, a fantasia Italian salad with assorted greens, roasted bell peppers and toasted garlic bread followed by a succulent involtini stuffed with tofu, spinach, and capers served with pasta and olive tapenade sauce and topped off with a delicious Italian chocolate vegan-ricotta pie with vanilla and raspberry sauce.

Dinner: Quinoa salad and vegetable tartare, creamy truffle flavored parsnip soup with chopped tarragon, Thai red vegan curry with steamed jasmine rice and a decadent dessert of vegan strawberry sable, a shortbread with passion fruit cream and strawberries.

Raw Juices and Smoothies:

The Raw Juice and Smoothie Bar is located on the pool deck, adjacent to Waves Grill, and serves raw, cold-pressed juices and vegan smoothies all morning long from 7:00 AM until 11:00 AM.  Choices include the Rise & Shine juice, Coco Island juice, Tropical Green smoothie, Sweet Green juice, Yellow Sunshine smoothie, Cacao Joy smoothie, Cold Brew latte, Acai Berry bowl, and Chia Cashew Yogurt bowl.

Norwegian Jewel six month countdown celebrated with onboard credit offer

Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Monaco Tourism Dinner

Norwegian Cruise Line will begin its inaugural Australian season from Sydney in just under six months. Norwegian Jewel will be sailing into Sydney Harbour this November, and to celebrate this milestone Norwegian Cruise Line is offering up to US$500 in on board credit on Australia and New Zealand sailings, when booked before 25 May 2017. Guests will also receive Norwegian’s Free at Sea, where they can choose up to five free offers, including a beverage or dining package, plus reduced deposits.

During her November 2017 to March 2018 season, Norwegian Jewel will undertake 15 incredible sailings around the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, visiting iconic Australian ports from Tasmania to Darwin, before making her way to Singapore.

Norwegian Jewel’s local season will feature seven Sydney round-trip itineraries, including a five-day ‘Taste of Tasmania’ cruise departing 12 November, which is an ideal option for first-time and experienced cruisers looking for shorter itineraries.

Other highlights include a nine-day voyage taking in regional gems such as Eden, Kangaroo Island and Tasmania’s Burnie, departing 14 December 2017, and a series of ten to 16-day Australia & New Zealand itineraries departing between November 2017 and February 2018. These itineraries will take in fabulous destinations such as the striking Milford Sound and the spectacular Bay of Islands. 

Technology takes centre stage in Royal Caribbean’s Royal Theatre

Royal Caribbean’s Royal Theatre is a state-of-the-art venue with broadway-style productions that brings classic shows and performances to life with endless possibilities for lighting, technology and scenery to create the ultimate entertainment experience for guests.

To watch how the entertainment team bring these amazing Broadway productions to sea click here.

Carnival Corporation rated among America’s 100 best corporate citizens

The world’s largest leisure travel company Carnival Corporation was ranked 23rd in annual survey of 1,000 largest U.S. public companies by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. This was a significant improvement from the previous year’s ranking of 51.

The company achieved the highest rank in corporate responsibility among firms in the travel and tourism sector and was the only cruise-specific company to make the list. This marked Carnival Corporation’s fifth time in the past seven years to be recognised with the 100 Best Corporate Citizens distinction.

Of all companies on the 100 Best Corporate Citizens list, Carnival Corporation ranked in the top quarter in two categories: environmental (at number 16) and governance (at number 23). The environmental category includes environmental disclosure, policy disclosure and performance. The governance category is how a company establishes policies, policing itself and its employees from the top executives on down.

Cunard shares behind the scenes images of aft lido deck being lifted onto Queen Victoria 

Queen Victoria refit 1 Queen Victoria refit 2

Following Cunard’s recent announcement of plans for a AU$59 million refurbishment of Queen Victoria, the luxury cruise line has revealed behind the scenes images and video of the aft lido sun deck being lifted into place at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo, Italy. The extended lounge space – only one of the many highlights amongst the new and refreshed onboard features – provides guests with additional deck space and unprecedented access to rays of light from sunrise to sunset.
Queen Victoria was taken out of service on May 5 and is scheduled for completion on June 4, 2017. The newly refurbished ship will then return to Southampton before embarking on its maiden four night voyage, via Amsterdam and Bruges, before arriving back at Southampton.

Registrations open for Australian Cruise Association Conference

Four inspiring keynote speakers are secured to headline the Australian Cruise Association’s annual conference themed “Together Towards Tomorrow” taking place from 6-8 September.

Celebrating the importance of regional ports, the conference will be held in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast and hosted by Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC). It is is anticipated around 140 people will attend the event which will include leading national and international cruise executives and representatives from the supply side of the cruise sector as well as the invited keynote speakers.

Steve Odell, Senior VP and MD Asia Pacific for Norwegian Cruise Line, will kick-off the event speaking on Opportunities, Challenges and Brand Diversity. Steve will draw on the extensive experience gained in his current role, and his previous work for Silversea, to make some fascinating observations on where the industry is headed in the next few years.

Steve Odell

Steve Odell

The second guest speaker is Matt Grimes from Viking Cruises responsible for itinerary development and deployment. Supporting destination development is a key platform for ACA and with Viking Cruises being a newcomer to Australia – its first ocean cruise is due in early 2018 – Matt’s insights will be extremely valuable.

Chair, Asia Pacific for Ponant Yacht Cruises and Expeditions, Sarina Bratton will present Delivering the Expedition Experience. Sarina’s visionary approach to the cruise business, evidenced as founder of Orion and now special adviser to Ponant as they set an aggressive course for growth in APAC, will no doubt be of high interest to the audience.

Sarina Bratton

Sarina Bratton

Rounding out the keynote presentations will be Tammy Marshall, founder of innovation and change mangement consultancy, The Bhive. Tammy will be delivering a Demand Study commissioned by ACA which addresses trends and future projections for the industry. She has driven change in Australia for major organisations such as Carnival and TFE helping them forge new paths.

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