Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Big Fat Cruise Wrap

If you were to research and read all of this cruise news it would take 2.25 hours. Yet, this synopsis takes mere moments.

Carnival Cruise Line backs winning talent line-up for 2018 Melbourne Cup cruise

Wendy Green and Rogan Josh copy

Carnival Cruise Line is already gearing up to host its next Melbourne Cup cruise with a number of Australian racing legends confirmed to join guests onboard Carnival Spirit in 2018.

A mix of racing talent and experts will accompany cruisers onboard, hosting a range of popular events in the build-up to the Cup, including Q&As, photo opportunities with the Cup, racing trivia, fashion parades, millinery workshops and betting masterclasses.

The six-day return Melbourne Cup cruise will depart Sydney on Sunday, 4 November 2018 and sail into Melbourne on Tuesday, 6 November, providing guests with tickets to the Melbourne Cup and to Oaks Day at Flemington Race Course.

Norwegian Cruise Line wins best suites in the 2017 Cruise Critic Australia Editors Picks Award

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Norwegian Cruise Line has today been awarded “Best Suites” in Cruise Critic Australia Editors’ Picks Awards for 2017. The purpose of the awards it to highlight the best cruise lines of the year across dozens of categories, as chosen by the site’s international team of editors.

Norwegian Jewel has introduced the ‘ship within a ship’ concept to Australia with The Haven. Hidden away on the top deck, this private area houses huge family suites, courtyard penthouses and a three-bedroom garden villa with three bathrooms and terrace. Other perks for Haven passengers include an exclusive lounge, sun deck, pool and hot tub, with a dedicated butler and concierge service

Norwegian ensures that guests staying in The Haven will be pampered with privacy, personalised service and a deluxe array of complimentary amenities so they can experience everything a luxury holiday should offer discerning guests.

European Waterways announces new seven-night Italy Opera Cruise for 2018

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European Waterways are excited to announce the return of its popular Opera Cruise for guests on board hotel barge La Bella Vita for their 26 August 2018 departure.

Guests can book a place on this one-off seven-night itinerary aboard the spacious and luxurious vessel with prices starting at €4,090 (AU$6,400) per person, based on double occupancy.

In addition to a cruise on the Po Valley in Venice, the Opera Cruise includes a stay in a four-star hotel prior to the cruise, dinner, and premium seats to watch Georges Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ in the Arena di Verona; a Roman amphitheatre renowned for staging some of the most lavish, large-scale productions in the world. Other restrictions may apply.

Opera Cruise charters can also be booked, based on ticket availability, during the run of ‘Carmen’ for any departure from June 24 – August 26, 2018.

Silver Cloud makes inaugural expedition to Antarctica

Silversea’s first crossover luxury expedition ship arrived successfully in Antarctica this week, marking her maiden visit to the remote continent following an AU$52.8 million (US$40 million) refurbishment and conversion into an ice-class polar expedition ship.

Currently sailing a 10-night Antarctic Peninsula expedition roundtrip from Ushuaia, guests are being treated to vistas of towering icebergs, snow-capped mountains, and awe-inspiring wildlife aboard the completely refitted ship that includes the only Relais & Châteaux restaurant on an Expedition ship.

Silversea’s first crossover luxury expedition vessel can accommodate 254 guests in non-polar regions and just 200 when cruising in polar waters to allow all guests to disembark at the same time. Almost all of Silver Cloud’s all-suite accommodations feature generous private verandas along with luxury touches that include a choice of European bath amenities, butler service for all guests, sumptuous Pratesi bedding and a nine-option pillow menu.

A photographer’s wish-list of bird and marine wildlife


A voyage to the Sub Antarctic Islands provides the perfect opportunity for bird watchers, wildlife photographers and nature lovers to observe in close-up the extraordinary density and variety of bird and marine life found on and around this scattering of remote islands lying to the south of New Zealand and Australia.

Strict restrictions on annual visitor numbers to the Sub Antarctic Islands apply, resulting in a mere trickle of tourists – a small fraction compared to the numbers of visitors to the Galapagos and even less than the numbers who scale Mt Everest each year. Protected by their remoteness these islands of impeccable natural beauty are breeding grounds for vast colonies of penguins and giant petrels, and home to pods of orcas, fur seals and sea lions.

The A$13,300pp fare includes accommodation onboard as booked, all meals onboard, selected wines, beers and spirits, Open Bar, 24 hour room service, Zodiac exploration and shore excursions, boot hire, lectures and presentations. This is a very special expedition – albeit experience in luxury aboard Ponant’s new ship Le Laperouse during her inaugural visit to these waters in 2019

Discover Pitcairn in 2019 with Tahiti Travel Connection


Tahiti Travel Connection, in conjunction with Aranui 5, is adding the riveting Pitcairn Island in 2019 to its growing list of beautiful tropical destinations with a 13-day cruise across three of the most stunning archipelagos in the South Pacific: Tuamotu, Gambier and Austral Islands. The Aranui 5 is scheduled to call to Pitcairn for the first time on 14 January.

Situated thousands of kilometres from the nearest continent, the quiet, isolated island of Pitcairn is home to only 50 people and is only accessible by sea. Walk back in time as you learn the story of HMS Bounty, visit the grave of John Adams, walk to Christian’s Cave where Fletcher Christian watched for passing ships, and meet the descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Polynesian consorts.

The Pitcairn cruise package includes return economy-class flights with Air Tahiti Nui to Papeete, two nights at Manava Suite Resort in a Garden Studio, Stateroom accommodation for 12 nights aboard the Aranui 5, three meals per day, all transfers, all mandatory resort fees and port charges, and all Aranui 5 planned shore excursions to remote villages, archaeological sites with lecturers on site, dance shows, hiking, picnics, restaurants, and 4×4 sightseeing tours. A complimentary glass of wine offered for scheduled “on-board lunches and dinners”.

New For APT, Papua New Guinea by small ship


Today, leading cruise and tour operator APT, announced a brand new, one-off departure cruise to Papua New Guinea in partnership with Noble Caledonia.

Departing 2 October, 2018, hosted by APT CEO Steve Reynolds, this bespoke cruise is a unique opportunity to discover this exotic country in APT comfort.

Travelling aboard the luxury MS Caledonian Sky, guest will reach the remote coves of the Papua New Guinea’s islands in APT style. Recently awarded a ‘Star Performer – Top Ten’ rating in the 2018 Berlitz Cruise Guide Boutique Ship category, the small ship’s crew of 75 ensures personalised attention for the 110 passengers aboard.

Guest can rest assured that all the finer details of the cruise are catered to as all meals and beverages, gratuities, Wi-Fi and port charges are included in the price. Including a Superdeal, early booking saving of $1,000 per couple, prices start from $8995 per person, twin share.

Holland America Line celebrates a milestone for Newbuild Nieuw Statendam with Coin Ceremony Celebration at Fincantieri Shipyard


In anticipation of the upcoming float-out of ms Nieuw Statendam, Holland America Line held the ship’s coin ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 6, at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. Following Italian shipbuilding tradition, Anne Marie Bartels, a member of Holland America Line’s esteemed President’s Club, served as the ship’s Madrina and participated in the festivities.

During the coin ceremony, observed to bring good fortune, a Dutch guilder was welded to the forward mast of the ship by Bartels; Antonio Quintano, director of the Fincantieri Marghera Shipyard; and Keith Taylor, executive vice president, fleet operations for Holland America Group, followed by speeches and a blessing by the shipyard chaplain.

Cyril Tatar, Holland America Group’s vice president of newbuilding services, also was in attendance. The Dutch Guilder brings sentiment and history to the newbuild — it is from 1898, the year Holland America Line’s first Statendam came into service.

Set sail with On The Go Tours’ Croatia cruise special

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On The Go Tours are preparing you for the 2018 European summer with 10 per cent off Croatia cruises for selected dates between April and October, on sale until 31 December 2017.

Set sail from the ancient port of Split on Croatia’s Adriatic Coast on an eight-day Sailing Split tour. Discover sun-kissed beaches and pebbled bays amongst the medieval backdrop of Dubrovnik. Receive 10 per cent off the 14, 21 and 28 April 2018 departures, sale price from $896 per person.

Island hop around the beautiful Dalmatian Coast to see the crystal-clear Adriatic waters, medieval towns of Korcula and Dubrovnik, and the culinary delights in Hvar. The Cruise Dubrovnik eight-day cruise is 10 per cent off selected May to October 2018 departures, sale price from $896 per person.

Enjoy two of On The Go’s premium Croatia cruises – the Adriatic Explorer and Crème de la Croatia.

Silversea voyage of the week – the ultimate Cuban adventure

Join Silver Cloud on a journey of indefinable magic, departing Nassau, Bahamas on 3 October 2018 for a spectacular 12 day expedition to Colon, Panama, taking in the incredible sites of Cuba, Colombia and Jamaica. Fares start at AU$7,830 per person in a Vista Suite, based on double occupancy and includes Early Booking Bonus savings if paying in full before 28 December 2017.

Guests will discover the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Cuba and Colombia, sample local Cuban and Caribbean food and drink, relax on sandy white beaches and admire a dazzling array of tropical fish and colourful coral on this expedition beyond the beaches.

A particular highlight of this voyage is a two day stopover in La Habana, the largest city in Cuba, where a guided tour will take in the sights of Metropolitan and Modern Havana, Revolution Square and the Historical Centre of Old Havana. Guests will experience the luxurious and spectacular Havana Tropicana Show before being driven to the ‘Cigar Factory’ in vintage American cars to learn about the history of cigars and discover how Cuban cigars are hand-rolled.

Scenic’s redesign of French ships wins Cruise Critic Award

Scenic Diamond Salt Room

Scenic’s redesign of Scenic Diamond and Scenic Sapphire, two of its France-based Space-Ships, has received the Cruise Critic Editor’s 2017 Pick Award for Best Ship Refurbishment.

The refresh of the ships, which took place over the European winter, included reducing the number of suites on each ship to 78 to cater for a revised guest count of 155, whilst keeping the same crew count for even greater personal service; the addition of Scenic Culinaire – a private cooking emporium offering tailored cooking classes; the addition of two new 47m² Royal Owners Suites; the installation of a salt therapy room in the extended wellness centres; and a vitality pool.

Continuing its history of innovation, Scenic is now the first and only river cruise line to offer a therapeutic salt therapy room and a dedicated cooking emporium.

The three-station salt therapy room offers guests a non-invasive way to re-energise during their cruise. The humidity and temperature-controlled room is handcrafted from salt bricks and creates a micro-climate of a natural salt mine. The addition of low-level lighting and calming music promotes the natural relaxing effects of the salt.

The Best Cruise Lines of the year for Australian travellers named by Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, has named the winners of its second annual Cruise Critic Australia Editors’ Picks Awards, naming the best cruise lines of the year for Australian travellers, in more than a dozen categories.

Award Highlights:

  • P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean International led the awards with three awards each –P&O’s significant investment in ship upgrades helped the line win Best New Ship for Pacific Explorer, and Best Ship Refurbishment for Pacific Dawn. The line also won Best Nightlife. Royal Caribbean was awarded Best Entertainment and Best for Families – both for the second year in a row – and was also named Best Cabins.
  • Princess Cruises was praised for its innovations both onboard and ashore, winning Best Dining and Best Shore Excursions.
  • Carnival Cruise Line was awarded Best Value for Money for the second year in a row, and also received the award for Best Service, with editors praising the line for the spectacular crews on Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend.
  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Seabourn Cruise Line were each awarded best in class, with Uniworld named as the Best River Cruise Line, and Seabourn receiving Best for Luxury.
  • For the second straight year, Sydney was named the Best Australian Homeport.

Celebrity Cruises unveils its biggest Australian season yet


Celebrity Cruises has revealed details of its biggest Australian cruise season yet, with more cruises and more overnights on offer than ever before, together with the line’s first ever turn in Melbourne. The 2019/20 summer season will be open for sale from Friday 15 December 2017.

Confirming the much-loved Celebrity Solstice will return for her eighth season, the line unveiled 20 local cruises over more than seven months during the 2019/20 summer, making it the longest season ever offered by Celebrity Cruises down under. In addition, Celebrity has revealed the line’s first ever turnaround from the growing cruising hub of Melbourne, a brand new port of call at Eden in NSW together with six overnight calls in Sydney, Hobart, Cairns and Tauranga – the highest number of overnights for an Australian season.

Itineraries range from four to 17 nights, sailing to and from Honolulu, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland. Solstice will call to 35 destinations in 11 countries – including ports in Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Hawaii, New Caledonia, Fiji, Loyalty Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa.

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