Big Fat Cruise Wrap

There’s more cruise news in here than when the Titanic first launched, except these stories have a far more successful outcome.

Silversea’s Silver Cloud embarks on inaugural expedition voyage

Screen Shot 2017-11-21 at 2.12.44 PM

Silversea’s luxury Silver Cloud has just come out of an AU$52.8 million (US$40 million) refurbishment and conversion to an ice-class expedition ship. It set sail this week from Buenos Aires on her first-ever expedition voyage, to explore the iceberg sculptures, calving glaciers, and rare and majestic wildlife of Antarctica.

The Silver Cloud accommodates 254 guests (200 in polar waters) in updated suites, most featuring a private veranda. The redesigned public spaces include the new Tor’s Observation Lounge, offering commanding views of the scenery, and refreshed boutiques stocked with essential expedition gear.

Other amenities rarely found on an expedition ship include a heated, resort-style pool, the all-new Zàgara Spa, and the new Photo Studio, where a manager, state-of-the-art equipment and professional photo editing software are available to assist guests with their photography needs.

Easter cruise with the Murray Princess

Over the Easter long weekend, Murray Princess is hosting a special three-night Easter cruise getaway. The cruise will feature three-night itinerary combined with some Easter fun including an Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday and some Easter entertainment.

Onshore activities include a visit to historic Murray Bridge, on a guided tour of the town’s landmarks and local attractions. Activities include a visit to Monarto Zoo,  guided nature walk at Salt Bush Flat,  and visit River View Lodge.  Onboard the PS Murray Princess sample some of the local produce and wines with a structured tasting event, participate in a lively quiz, play some bocce on the riverbank or relax with some fishing off the side of the ship.

Guests will enjoy buffet breakfast each morning, a two-course or buffet lunch each day and a three-course or buffet dinner each evening.The three-night Easter Cruise departs Mannum on Friday 30 March 2018 and early booking saver fares start from A$851 per person, twin share.

Ponant release new brochure for October 2018 – May 2019 season

Ponant’s new brochure will detail the 71 sailings on offer for the period October 2018 through to May 2019.

There is an expanded fleet for a wide range of destinations from the beaches of the Seychelles, the Kanak culture of New Caledonia, and the intoxicating perfumes of Sri Lanka to the majestic fiords of New Zealand and the indigenous people of South America…

The season will introduce the first two new small ships in the Ponant Explorer series; Le Lapérouse and Le Champlain, designed for luxury expeditions. There will now be seven Ponant ships sailing around the globe in 2018-2019.

There will be 28 polar expedition cruises and 18 tropical expedition cruises on offer among the itineraries. Closer to home, Ponant are offering a  Cairns to Sydney cruise  ‘Food & Wine’ themed cruise onboard Le Lapérouse from 28 January 2019. Or join an expedition exploring the remote New Zealand and Australian Subantarctic Islands, departing 23 February 2019 from Dunedin.

Pandaw debut new ship on the Mekong River 

Construction of Pandaw River Expeditions’ newest ship, RV Sabei Pandaw is underway in South East Asia. The ship will make its river cruise debut on 11 November 2018. It will become Pandaw’s third ship on the Mekong River in Laos and the 17th vessel in the fleet.

The highly skilled, local craftsmen are laying the new ship’s keel plates using coconut tree trunks for support. The hull is expected to be completed by January 2018 and the remainder of the build by summer, ready to journey along the Mekong from November.

The RV Sabei Pandawwill feature fourteen classic Pandaw staterooms and an open plan saloon with flexible indoor or outdoor dining. It will begin by sailing the 10-night “The Laos Mekong” itinerary, from 11 November 2018, priced from US$4,200pp. From September 2019, it will move further along the mighty Upper Mekong to China’s Yunnan province, to sail the 14-night “The Mekong: from Laos to China” expedition, priced from US$6,808.50pp based on twin-share.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Name New Ship launching in 2020

The second Explorer-class ship will embody and enhance the elegance, style and luxury that brought forth the high-end features and amenities of the sister-ship Seven Seas Explorer.

“The naming of a ship is an important milestone in maritime tradition and it is my pleasure to announce that the name of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new ship to launch in 2020 is Seven Seas Splendor,” said Jason Montague, President and Chief Executive Officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

As part of the naming process, Regent Seven Seas Cruises sought suggestions from its valued travel agents, loyal guests and employees for the ship’s name in a sweepstakes held in September. Seven Seas Splendor was chosen among nearly 2,600 unique names from more than 14,000 submissions.

The new all-suite, all-balcony ship will have a gross tonnage of 55,254 and capacity of 750 guests. Stay tuned for more details about Seven Seas Splendor.

Last minute savings on Celebrity Cruises’ South Pacific and Asia itineraries

Travellers can save on Celebrity Cruises’ select South Pacific and Asian itineraries, with prices starting from just $999 per person.

Two South Pacific sailings are included in the offer, including a 9-night round-trip sailing departing Sydney on 21 March 2018 onboard Celebrity Solstice. Priced from just AUD$999 per person, twin share, the cruise calls at the stunning Isle of Pines, Lifou and Noumea in New Caledonia as well as Mystery Island in Vanuatu.

Or, choose an 8-night round-trip departing Sydney on 14 January 2018 onboard Celebrity Solstice. Starting at AUD$1,249 per person, twin share, the cruise calls at Isle of Pines, Noumea and Lifou in New Caledonia.

A 14 night China, South Korea and Japan cruise, departing from Shanghai on 1 April 2018 on Celebrity Millennium, takes travellers to Beijing, Seoul, Jeju Island, Kobe, Mt Fuji and finishing in Tokyo, from just $2,199 per person, twin share.

Dream Cruises launch #TogetherWeBuildDreams in time for the christening of new ship 


Dream Cruises have christened their new mega ship, World Dream, in Hong Kong. It made history as the first cruise ship to be christened in Hong Kong today.

In celebration, Dream Cruises launched an innovative “#TogetherWeBuildDreams” campaign, which engaged cruise enthusiasts from around the world to build a large-scale replica of World Dream, in attempt to break the current world record of the largest LEGO® ship.

The giant ship model was collectively built by over 1,000 cruising guests, members of the public, as well as Mr. Andy Hung and Legend Creative, the first LEGO® Certified Professional in Greater China region and his team. It was officially unveiled at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal on 15 November 2017, and the official Guinness World Records certificate presentation.

Prior to verification by the official Guinness World Records adjudicator, honourable guests completed the model by placing the final LEGO® blocks onto the ship, symbolising the collaboration between Dream Cruises and the citizens of Hong Kong to set the new world record.

Agents will benefit from Carnival Cruise Line’s Onboard Future Cruise Sales

Carnival Cruise line have introduced Onboard Future Cruise Sales on Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend in Australia.

Deposits start from only $100 per person, and guests will also receive exclusive onboard credit offers.

Travel agents will benefit from any Onboard Future Cruise Sales made by clients, with the booking automatically allocated to them, along with their commission.

Aurora Expeditions name new expedition ship after co-founder

Screen Shot 2017-11-21 at 2.28.20 PM

Aurora Expeditions has named its new world-class expedition ship Greg Mortimer, in honour of the Australian adventurer and Aurora Expeditions co-founder.

The state-of-the-art Greg Mortimer is the first expedition cruise ship featuring the patented ULSTEIN X-BOW®, and the 104-metre ice class 1A expedition ship will launch in 2019. It will utilises the latest advancements in naval design and technology to make exploring remote destinations even easier. The main advantage of the ULSTEIN X-BOW® is its ability to pierce waves with much greater stability than a traditional bow.

Mortimer co-founded Aurora Expeditions in 1991 with his wife Margaret, with a shared passion for adventure, exploring wild places and sharing the experience with friends. The ship will also be fitted with state-of-the-art offshore dynamic positioning technology, and feature observation decks and plenty of outdoor viewing areas.

Greg Mortimer is set to conduct its first sea voyage adventure in 2019/20.

American Cruise Line launch new river boat

American Cruise Lines launched new riverboat, American Song into the Wicomico River on Friday, November 17th. It is the first ship in the Line’s Modern Riverboat Series, and will debut in spring 2018

American Song has 5 decks, accommodates 190 passengers, and has 102 staterooms. The bow of American Song is designed to open, allowing a retractable rotating gangway to extend from the ship’s main deck directly to a river bank or dock. The uniqueness of this advanced bow and nimble gangway gives the ship the ability to make “bow landings” wherever needed. This feature will give American Song an array of options for its itineraries unmatched by other ships.

American Song is also equipped with 2 advanced main engines from Caterpillar. These twin, ultra-low-sulfur diesel engines require less fuel and produce lower emissions than other engines currently in use on the market. In all, American Song will be the most technically superior, efficient, and environmentally friendly ship in U.S. river cruising.



Leave a Reply


Bali travel forced to refund attendees after “underwhelming” event

A festival aiming to quench the thirst of those who would rather be in Bali right now was forced to issue refunds and offer free entry after attendees claim they were lied to.




ScoMo “in no hurry” to reopen Australia’s international borders

It appears the likelihood of more travel bubbles being announced soon is about the same as ScoMo’s beloved Sharkies winning the NRL Premiership this year … not good.




YIPPEE! Two-way trans-Tasman bubble finally kicks off

Today is the day, folks! As of midnight last night, the two-way trans-Tasman bubble is FINALLY open! Get the lowdown on NZ flights and tour discounts right here.




“Do not trust the GPS”: Google Maps places rural town 85km north of its actual location

According to the mayors of a handful of rural Aussie towns, this isn’t the first time the popular travel app has caused problems for them.



Travel Agents

“We call it the triple win”: Global Work & Travel launches new affiliate program

Have you been searching for ways to earn some much-needed moolah ever since JobKeeper ended? Here’s one that doesn’t involve busking on the street or spinning signs.




CLIA to welcome 18 new ships with virtual showcase

The association is bringing you all the latest vessel news from the maritime world with this exclusive showcase.




GM appointed to lead Best Western’s newest Aussie hotel

Australia’s newest luxe boutique hotel has named its GM who, according to the accompanying press photo, has a strong beard game.



Travel Agents

Savenio restructures commission model

There’s been plenty of tszujing happening over at Savenio lately. However, that’s not to suggest the “Fab Five” paid the agency network a visit.




Qantas still committed to October restart for international flights, says Joyce

Qantas’ CEO doesn’t plan on letting a few vaccine “speedbumps” get in the way of the flying kangaroo going international in October.




Florida Governor sues CDC and Biden administration, demanding resumption of cruising

The lawsuit claims the US government is “singling out” the cruise industry and costing the state billions.




Man blows almost $20,000 after refusing temperature check at Disney World

Today, in what NOT to do at Disney World, we bring you reports of a man who blew almost $20,000 after getting kicked out for refusing a temperature check.



Road & Rail

Rail Europe launches fresh e-learning program for agents

Are you looking to get your rail bookings back on track? Go full steam ahead with this new online training tool.