Big Fat Cruise Wrap

It’s Wednesday and that can only mean two things; Cruise Wrap and our turn to take the office dog to his pamper session.

U By Uniworld launches 2018 brochure

U by Uniworld - Three Brochures

U by Uniworld, the new travel brand from the Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, has launched its much anticipated 2018 brochure.

Due to hit shelves this week, agents can expect three different cover options which capture the vibrant brand essence of U and the scenic waters it’s set to sail in.

U by Uniworld is shaking up the cruise industry with a fresh approach to how 21-45 year olds view and experience some of the great cities and rivers of Europe. Encouraging first-timers and ‘cruisers for life’, guests will celebrate the chic and comfortable experience of each room and enjoy the comforts of hassle-free travel with meals, transportation and activities all built-in, plus not have to re-pack at each new destination.

Guests will step on board one of two designer-inspired floating boutique hotels, The A and The B (basically, a waterfront hotel crossed with a yacht and resort), and then can tailor activity to suit their personal style from yoga, paint and wine tasting classes, to mixology and a chef’s table cooking class; and to get the festivities started, watch the sunset on the rooftop lounge or revel in the onboard club with local DJs and other like-minded travellers.

The brochure also explains how to match U traveller types with an epic itinerary curated for the foodie, adventurer, culture vulture, explorer, the romantic and the night owl.

Eight-day itineraries on The A start at $2,499 per person and include sailings along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. Pricing for The Bwhich sails exclusively on the Seine River and throughout France, starts at $2,999 per person. Starting rates are based on double occupancy and are inclusive of gratuities and port charges.

Celebrity Cruises Launches New Brochure


Celebrity Cruises has launched its new local brochure, showcasing Australia’s highest rated ship, Celebrity Solstice and her voyages throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the South Pacific for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 summer cruise seasons.

The stunning cover, featuring Solstice’s new alcoves and signature real-grass lawn set against the breathtaking Milford Sound, opens up to a host of new additions for agents to better showcase Celebrity to their clients, including a new “Go Big, Go Better, Go Best” grid that simplifies the popular evergreen deal, more in-depth destination descriptions, details on inclusions for each stateroom category, as well as special tips and tricks for cruisers – like what to wear and pack.

New highlights for 18/19 include an overnight in Hobart, and calls to ports never before visited by the line, including Apia in Samoa, Pago Pago in American Samoa, and Vava’u and Nuku’alofa in Tonga.

Featured itineraries range from nine to 19 nights, including a new 13-night South Pacific roundtrip departing Auckland on 16 March 2019, calling at Bay of Islands, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, with fares starting from $2209 per person for an Interior stateroom.

Welcome to the Garden of Eden on Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Cruises has revealed the next dramatic feature on its newest ship, Celebrity Edge, is a design and architectural marvel spanning three decks called Eden.

It is a unique venue brought to life by internationally-renowned visionaries, where state of the art design is fused into every element, including cuisine served by “Edenists” and the Library of Plants, a five metre tall garden that serves Eden Bar with fresh cocktail ingredients.

Eden embodies the innovative outward-facing design of the new Edge Class ships, launching with Celebrity Edge in December 2018. Spanning three decks at the aft of the ship with nearly 650 square metres of glass, Eden has more outward-facing glass than any other room at sea.

The scale of Eden, measuring 10,438 cubic metres, is bigger than the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, and Eden’s area, at 1175 square metres, is larger than the Van Gogh Museum atrium in Amsterdam.

Three innovators partnered with Celebrity to help create the multi-story venue, including veteran Scott Butler of Wilson Butler Architects and internationally renowned designer Patricia Urquiola – who has never designed a venue at sea before.

Celebrity also engaged Queen of the Night creators Variety Worldwide, who have been blending unconventional theatre with dining and nightlife for years. The result is an ever-evolving theatrical journey that puts guests at the centre of the performance.

Princess Cruises expands wearable Ocean Medallion device to Australia

Princess Cruises, the world’s largest international premium cruise line, announced today that Golden Princess, Crown Princess and Ruby Princess will be the next three ships to feature the Ocean Medallion.

The wearable device — powered by a first-of-its-kind interactive technology platform within the One Cruise Experience Access Network (O·C·E·A·N) — enables a new level of personalisation and delivers an enhanced guest experience not previously available in the global holiday industry.

Golden Princess (November 2018), Crown Princess (November 2018) and Ruby Princess (January 2019) join four other Princess ships scheduled to debut Ocean Medallion — Regal Princess on November 13, 2017, followed by Royal Princess on January 19, 2018, Caribbean Princess on March 18, 2018 and Island Princess on May 16, 2018.

The Ocean Medallion makes cruising more personal, immersive, simple and seamless than previously considered possible. At the heart of this personalised experience is the Ocean Medallion, which enables endless holiday possibilities.

The Ocean Medallion has no discernible technology — no on-off switch, no charging, no menu to navigate — and can be worn as a pendant, on a wristband, in a clip or simply placed in a pocket to reveal enhanced services and personalised experiences without guests having to push a button or take any action.

The pre-cruise engagement will allow guests to provide preferences that detail their wants, needs and desires so their on-board experience can be personalised.

Pairing with the Medallion is the Ocean Compass — a digital concierge accessible by all guests using interactive displays throughout the ship, on stateroom TVs, via guests’ own smart devices or through a crew member.

River Cruising earlybird discounts with Tempo Holidays


Tempo Holidays have announced an earlybird saving with 10% off a range of Europe river cruising for travel in 2018.  

Valid on new bookings made and deposited by the 31 Aug 2017, take advantage of this deal available across France, Portugal and Spain.  

Included in the deal is Tempo Holidays eight day Portraits of Andalucia with prices starting from A$1940//NZ$2070, save A$215//$230 per person.  

Imagine cruising on sparkling rivers as you glide past quaint villages, ancient hillside castles and stone forts. This package includes breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, assistance from an onboard multi-lingual host/hostess and a variety of shore excursions including Granada and the Isla Minima.   

Other tours include Portraits of the Duoro, The Loire’s Royal Legacy and Discover the Great Bordeaux Wines.  

New Patagonian cruise ship meets sea for first time

Ventus Australis – the new expedition cruise ship being built for Patagonian cruise line, Australis, for ‘bottom of the world’ voyages to Cape Horn and the glaciers and fjords of Tierra del Fuego – has met the sea for the first time with a float out in Chile.

To mark the occasion, Australis is offering a 10 per cent discount on bookings made by July 31, 2017, on the new ship’s debut season this coming summer.

Latin for southern winds (Australis – southern; Ventus – wind), the new, 210-passenger Ventus Australis slid smoothly out of the Asenav shipbuilding yard, where she has been under construction since February, 2016, and into the Calle Calle River in the southern Chilean city of Valdivia.

Tailor-made for cruising on the southern tip of South America, Ventus Australis  replaces the smaller, 136-passenger Via Australis, which was built in 2005 and sold recently to Lindblad Expeditions. Ventus Australis will be a twin sister to Australis’ other ship, the 210-passenger Stella Australis, launched in 2010, which also offers expedition voyages through the channels and fjords of southern Chile.

When she commences service, Ventus Australis will offer four-night cruises from Ushuaia in Argentina to Punta Arenas in Chile or return – the two southern-most towns in the world.



Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Cruise Line’s first custom-designed ship for the Chinese cruise market, was christened today in a lavish ceremony held onboard the vessel in Shanghai that featured an over-the-top performance by the ship’s Godfather, singer songwriter, music producer, actor and film director, Wang Leehom.

At 167,725–gross-tonnes and accommodating 3,883 guests, Norwegian Joy features an innovative design, world-class finishes and amenities tailored to provide a “First Class at Sea” experience for Chinese guests, along with Norwegian’s signature cruising style that offers guests the freedom and flexibility to design their perfect holiday experience.

In homage to Norwegian Joy’s eye-catching hull art, designed by famed Chinese artist Tan Ping and featuring a majestic phoenix, the christening ceremony began with a performance by renowned dancer and choreographer Yabin Wang, with her interpretation of the spirit of the phoenix through dance.

Tan Ping, who also made a special guest appearance at the ceremony, selected the phoenix as the focal point for the ship’s hull artwork, as the iconic bird represents beauty and good luck in Chinese culture.

The pinnacle moment of the christening ceremony came as Wang Leehom, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings executives and local Chinese government officials simultaneously smashed bottles of champagne against the side of a replica ship hull, which released an oversized bottle of Veuve Cliquot that shattered against the ship’s actual hull, signifying the maritime tradition of bringing good luck to all who sail on her.

Viking Sky Christening in Norway

Viking Sky in Eidfjord Norway on her way to be christened in Tromsø on June 22 - HR

Viking Cruises has announced that its third ship, Viking Sky, was officially christened during a public celebration in Tromsø, Norway. Located above the Arctic Circle on Norway’s northwest coast, Tromsø is a popular destination for viewing the northern lights – and a key port of call on Viking’s popular Into the Midnight Sun itinerary, which sails between Bergen and London.

The 930-guest, 47,800-tonne Viking Sky navigated into the Tromsø harbour this morning, where she received a warm welcome with coordinated water cannons from Norwegian redningsskøyten boats, music from local bands and flag-waving Tromsø residents.

After arriving today in Tromsø, Viking Sky was positioned in the harbour adjacent to a concert stage constructed specifically for the celebration, with performances from a variety of Norwegian musicians – including Arctic Philharmonic, Lisa Stokke, Violet Road, Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska and Jørn Hoel.

Marit Barstad, sister of Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen, served as ceremonial godmother and offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for Viking Sky – a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years.

Several elements of the christening ceremony paid homage to the Norwegian heritage of both the company and godmother. Instead of champagne for the traditional bottle-breaking, Viking Sky was christened with a bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit.

Additionally, in honour of the original Viking explorers, a gilded Viking axe was used to cut the cord for the aquavit christening. This particular axe used is a replica of a gilded Viking axe artifact discovered near Tromsø.

Immediately following the christening, Viking Sky set sail from Tromsø with a convoy of small boats and fishing vessels to spend the longest day of the year in Nordkapp (North Cape).

The ship will now spend the summer season sailing Viking’s popular itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, before crossing the Atlantic in September on her way to the Americas and the Caribbean.

Captain Cook Whale Watching Cruise & Taronga Zoo Combo

Captain Cook Cruises whale watching cruise

Captain Cook Cruises have partnered with Taronga Zoo to offer the ultimate Sydney wildlife package for animal lovers – a Taronga Zoo and Whale Watching Cruise Combo deal operating daily until 01 November 2017.

Start the day on a relaxing rocket ferry from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour to Taronga Zoo, enjoying some of the famous Sydney Harbour sights along the way.

On arrival at Taronga Zoo, catch the Sky Safari Cable car to the top of the park before spending the morning visiting the Zoo’s 4,000 animals, including the new Asian elephant male calf. Other Zoo enclosures include the Sumatran Tigers, Koala’s, Australian Sea Lions, Chimpanzees, Giraffe’s and many more. There are also keeper talks and animal shows to see throughout the morning.

Then departing from Taronga Zoo Wharf, spend the afternoon on the Captain Cook Whale Watching Cruise. This fantastic open-water cruise passes through the Harbour headlands and into the open water where the excitement begins.

Your guide will provide expert commentary on the variety of marine life including Humpbacks, Southern Rights, Orcas and Minke whales, seals, albatross and fairy penguins. Dolphins nearly always accompany the cruise, with some pods numbering up to 100 individuals.

According to Ecological Consultant and Captain Cook Cruises Marine Commentator, David James, 2017 is already proving to be a fantastic whale season.

P&O Cruises Shows Character Revealing Dora the Explorer as Godmother of Latest Ship

Sabre Norris with Dora the explorer on Sydney Harbour for the launch of the P&O Pacific Explorer. Photo by Damian Shaw
Sabre Norris with Dora the explorer on Sydney Harbour for the launch of the P&O Pacific Explorer.
Photo by Damian Shaw

One of the world’s most loved adventurers, Dora the Explorer, is exploring new territory as the first Nickelodeon character to be crowned Godmother of a cruise ship, P&O’s Pacific Explorer.

Pacific Explorer is set to have the ‘slime of her life’ when Dora christens the ship at a naming ceremony at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal on Sunday July 2.

The popular character will be joined by her closest Nickelodeon friends including SpongeBob SquarePants, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Skye from PAW Patrol at a Welcome Party to celebrate the fifth ship in P&O’s fleet.

Fans can win tickets to the celebration with Dora the Explorer and friends and be the first to experience Pacific Explorer’s exciting new features.

Pacific Explorer is fitted a range of new activities including the longest and wildest waterslides at sea, an interactive water park, P&O Edge Adventure Park – with activities such as zip lining and rock climbing, an outdoor Big Screen, and barefoot lawn bowls.

Princess Cruises announces naming ceremony and ambassadors for Majestic Princess


Princess Cruises have revealed that Yao Ming and his wife, Ye Li, will serve as Inaugural Cruise Ambassadors for Princess Cruises in China and officially name the new Majestic Princess during a ceremony and gala celebration.

The inaugural festivities will take place aboard Majestic Princess in Shanghai on July 9, as the culmination of weeks of celebrations, upholding maritime traditions, as well as featuring traditional Chinese, contemporary Chinese, and western-inspired cultural performances that took place between Rome and Xiamen.

Yao Ming and his wife, Ye Li, were both born in Shanghai and were both team members of China’s national basketball teams. Yao Ming is an icon, one of the world’s best-known athletes, a global ambassador of basketball, an eight-time NBA All-Star, and most recently, an inductee into the NBA Hall of Fame.

The couple has established The Yao Foundation in response to the devastating 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China in 2008.

The Yao Foundation funded the construction of 23 schools in the region, Yao Foundation Hope Primary Schools, and is currently focused on helping provide sports education to the youth generation in the countryside regions of China with the implementation of “Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Season” projects.

The Great European Trifecta

Charles Dickens

It’s all there in The Great European Trifecta, the latest river-cruise holiday from Cruise Traveller. It spans the whole of Europe from Portugal in the west to Hungary in the east.

The Australian small-ship cruise specialist has created an imaginative and appealing itinerary that combines a river cruise from Porto along Portugal’s Douro with its terraced vineyards; a cruise from romantic Budapest on the Danube; and a cruise along the Rhine from Germany to Switzerland.

Each of those three cruises lasts a full week (seven nights) and together they cover some of the most memorable and magnificent sights in Europe. Between cruises, explore beautiful Budapest, staying three nights there in a four-star hotel.

Enjoy a night in Porto, with its lively bars and medieval centre, and two nights in Germany’s great cathedral city of Cologne. Breakfast is included in all of those stays.

The Great European Trifecta fly-triple-cruise-and-stay holiday provides excellent value for couples and singles alike. It last 28 nights and costs from A$14,995 twin share per person, including flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Portugal to join the first cruise, and return flight back to Australia from Zurich after the third and final cruise.

It also includes two European flights between cruises: from Porto to Budapest and from Budapest to Cologne. For singles, sole-use occupancy prices for The Great European Trifecta start at A$21,985.

To make the value even greater, Cruise Traveller is throwing in a very attractive beverage bonus. On all three cruises the following is included with lunch and dinner while cruising: draught beer; non-alcoholic beer; soft drinks; juices; red, white and rosé house wines; and wine recommendations from the menu.

This package is valued at A$507 per person and Cruise Traveller is providing it free. The Great European Trifecta departs 18 July 2018 with a flight to Portugal.


Nepal Bodhnath Stupa Kathmadu has just released an interesting exclusive cruise tour package that explores the historic and scenic sights of Nepal and includes a cruise from Singapore to Sydney on board Ovation of the Seas.

This comprehensive 23-night itinerary has been introduced at $6499 per person (was $12,499) but must be booked and deposited by August 31, unless sold out prior.

The inaugural departure will be on October 10, 2018, when you arrive in Kathmandu. The roundtrip tour from Kathmandu includes visiting Bharatpur, Chitwan National Park and Pokhara.

The touring includes many interesting and contrasting highlights such as Swayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath (UNESCO World Heritage Sites) in and around Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park to experience a river safari, visit a crocodile breeding centre, bird watching and to be brief on the conservation efforts of the local elephant community and a visit the International Mountain Museum in Pokhara and to see the Phewa Tal-the second largest lake in Nepal.

Fly to Singapore to embark on Ovation of the Seas and enjoy all the world-class facilities and activities at sea with Australian port visits in Perth, Adelaide and Hobart before reaching your final destination, Sydney.

Priced from $6499 per person twin share, the package includes one-way flight from Sydney to Kathmandu (other capital cities available),one-way flight from Kathmandu to Singapore, domestic flights in Nepal, seven-nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels, a private eight-day Nepal land tour with comprehensive sightseeing, transportation, English-speaking guide, entrance fees and some speciality meals, 14-nights cruise accommodation with all meals,  transfers in Singapore as well as port charges and government taxes.

Celebrity Edge keel laying at STX France


The ceremonial keel laying took place last week for Celebrity Edge in Saint-Nazaire, France setting the foundation for the ship’s innovative new structure.

An 875-ton block was lifted in the air and a lucky coin was placed in the dock before the block was lowered into position. With the solid foundation in place, the building blocks can be joined together to create the ship of the future. 

Leaders from both Celebrity Cruises and STX France were at the event to celebrate the next stage of the ship’s evolution. 

Celebrity Edge will homeport in Fort Lauderdale, FL, making her first sailing 16 December, 2018. 

Bookings are now open for the ship’s two 7-night itineraries: an eastern and western Caribbean. Guests will also have the option to book back-to-back sailings for a 14-night journey. Celebrity Edge will be joined by three sister ships in 2020, 2021 and 2022.




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