Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Happy Tuesday? Wednesday? Whatever. All we know is that the weekend is in two day’s time and today is cruise wrap day!

PONANT: Bookings open for Antarctic luxury expedition cruises in 2019-2020


PONANT, the world leader in expedition cruises to the polar regions, has opened bookings for more than 22 departures to the Antarctic for the 2019-2020 season.

Between November 2019 and March 2020, PONANT has 22 cruises aboard 4 of its modern luxurious expedition ships: L’Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial and Le Soléal; each voyage offering just 200 guests on each ship the opportunity to discover extraordinary landscapes and experience a unique adventure, sailing in the wake of the great explorers of these uninhabited lands.

In addition to established emblematic itineraries, PONANT is drawing on more than 20 years of experience in the polar regions to introduce wonderful new offerings for this new season:

  • On The Antarctic Odyssey, a brand-new itinerary, Le Lyrial will be sailing to the South Orkney Islands, an extension of the Andean Cordillera. These islands, more than 85 per cent glaciated, are home to leopard seals and numerous penguin species.
  • For this new season it is not just one but three expeditions that will be taking PONANT guests beyond the polar circle, at latitude 66° 33’ 39’’ South.
  • For increased convenience and peace of mind, a new premium package is available for all cruises departing from Ushuaia. It includes an overnight stay in the luxurious Arakur Resort, as well as an excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park.

With more than 20 years’ experience in these remote regions, PONANT considers environment protection to be one of its highest priorities. The cruise line carefully considers its itineraries, educates passengers and crew, and is an executive member of the IAATO (the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators). The mission of the IAATO is to promote responsible tourism in the Antarctic.

Silversea’s Silver Whisper to undergo refurbishment in 2018

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Ahead of her World Cruise 2019, Silver Whisper is preparing to undergo a refurbishment. Between the 8th and 19th of December 2018, Silver Whisper will go into dry dock in Freeport in the Bahamas, for improvements that will further increase the already excellent level of guest satisfaction. This exciting announcement follows the opening of sales for Silversea’s pioneering 140 day World Cruise, 2020, which will see Silver Whisper travel to all seven continents, including Antarctica, as part of an itinerary that is unprecedented in its variety.

Guests embarking Silver Whisper will benefit from a broad-ranging set of enhancements. Skilled craftspeople will invigorate many of the ship’s public areas, both inside and out, with a fresh décor, including a refresh to all guest suites. The ship’s latest enhancements will be implemented with a similar stylistic motif to the recently delivered Silver Muse, Silversea’s flagship, and Silver Spirit, which is currently undergoing a significant renovation.

Inside Silver Whisper, new carpets will be laid in the hallways, main restaurant, casino, card/conference room, main bar and in the theatre. The main restaurant will undergo a full upgrade, bringing it to an exceptional standard, while Le Dame, another sophisticated dining space, will benefit from new soft furnishings and a polished floor. The casino and card/conference room will have the soft furnishings refreshed and new furniture. The Zagara Spa, which was recently introduced to Silver Whisper following its success aboard Silver Muse, will receive an added level of luxury, complete with new furniture and equipment. In the ship’s gym, new state-of-the-art machinery will be installed to optimise the offering of on board wellness facilities.

Book Now for 2019 Europe River Cruises at 2018 Prices with Scenic

Scenic’s 2019 Europe River Cruising Pre-release brochure is available now, with a fantastic range of offers ensuring travellers can secure the best offer for travel in 2019.

Available for a limited time only, the special deals include:

  • Book now and travel in 2019 at 2018 prices on all departures all year
  • Included flights* to Europe year round when booking a Standard Suite on a cruise of 11 days or more; or, combine with an escorted land tour, or another cruise of equal or longer duration to receive included flights year round in all suite categories
  • Fly to Europe for $995 per person* – a saving of up to $2,165 per person – when booking a Balcony Suite on a cruise of 11 days or more, departing between April and September
  • Upgrade to business class from $3,995 per person* when booking a Diamond Deck suite on selected cruises of 15 days or more departing in March, October or November

Travellers who book now and pay the journey in full by 31 May 2018 will also secure an additional $600 per couple discount when booking cruises of 11 days or longer, and $300 per couple when booking cruises of 10 days or less.

The new 2019 Europe River Cruising Pre-Release brochure is out now.

Seabourn Ovation successfully completes final sea trials

Seabourn Ovation Sea Trials

Seabourn’s newest ultra-luxury vessel, Seabourn Ovation, achieved another important maritime milestone with the completion of its final round of sea trials in the Mediterranean off the coast of Italy.

Seabourn Ovation departed the Fincantieri shipyard on March 14 for four days at sea, where a team of officers and engineers tested the ship’s technical and mechanical systems. Seabourn Ovation returned to the shipyard in Genoa on March 18, and staff and workers are putting the final touches on the ship. The delivery ceremony of the ship is on schedule to take place on April 27, 2018.

Seabourn Ovation will begin her maiden season with an 11-day inaugural voyage departing May 5, 2018, from Venice, Italy, to Barcelona, Spain. The ship’s naming ceremony will take place on Friday, May 11, in the beautiful baroque harbour of Valletta, Malta. One of the world’s highly-acclaimed actresses and singers, Elaine Paige, will serve as godmother and will name the ship during a spectacular ceremony that will light up the dramatic UNESCO World Heritage site and the 2018 European Capital of Culture.

The ship will spend the majority of its maiden season cruising the waters of Northern Europe, offering a series of seven-day Baltic and Scandinavian sailings between Copenhagen and Stockholm, which will include the line’s signature three-day stay in St. Petersburg, Russia. Seabourn Ovation will also sail on longer 14-day voyages, visiting the majestic Norwegian fjords and British Isles.

Norwegian Encore open for sale with cruises to the Caribbean


Norwegian Encore, the latest addition to Norwegian Cruise Line’s young and modern fleet, will invite travellers to discover or rediscover the beauty and culture of the Caribbean islands with cruises now on sale for voyages beginning in the North-American autumn of 2019. Guests can now book their ultimate cruise holiday on Norwegian’s fourth Breakaway-Plus class ship, the final ship in the most successful class of the company’s history. For her inaugural 2019 season, Norwegian Encore will cruise out of Miami every Sunday, and sail seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean, beginning with her first journey on November 17, 2019 through April 12, 2020.

Norwegian Encore’s Eastern Caribbean cruises will feature some of the region’s most popular destinations offering a perfect mix of leisure activities, culture immersion and adventurous experiences. On this spectacular seven-day voyage, guests will first visit San Juan, Puerto Rico where they can explore everything the city has to offer. Guests can stroll through the colourful plazas and cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, tour the island’s popular Bacardi Rum distillery, and visit historic sites including the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, immersing themselves in the history of the citadel.

Norwegian Encore will then make her next call into St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, notably known for its picturesque beaches, amazing snorkelling locations and bountiful shopping options. Finally, guests will have the chance to revel in the exotic, beautiful isle of Tortola, British Virgin Islands and relax on its sprawling white sandy beaches while surrounded by its lush tropical scenery.

That New Ship Feeling with APT’s Croatia Cruising 2019

APT Queen Eleganza (Render)

Australia’s most awarded luxury cruise and tour operator, APT, today released its Small Ship Croatia Cruising itineraries, setting sail in 2019 along the Adriatic Coast aboard the brand new small ship, MV Queen Eleganza.

In partnership with Noble Caledonia, APT will be chartering the brand-new purpose built, yacht-style, small ship along the famed coastline. With only 18 passenger cabins, the MV Queen Eleganza will allow exploration of hidden gems that other larger ships cannot access. Thanks to the small group of only 34 guests on-board, the ship creates a relaxed, resort style atmosphere, allowing plenty of access to the ships swimming platform and sun decks. All itineraries offered are exclusive to APT and the hand-picked small excursions have been tailor made to get the most out of the magnificent coastline.

Sail away on a nine-day Croatian Island Discovery, starting at $6,495pp, twin share, including a SuperDeal saving of up to $1,000 per couple. Visit the spectacular waterfalls of Krka National Park; Explore Vis island which has been closed off to tourism until 1989 and has retained its charm; be transported back in time as you visit the traditional village of Radosici with its fully restored stone houses.

Furthermore, 17 of APT’s top selling agents will be among the first in the world to sail on this brand new small ship, part of APT’s 2018 famil trips. Qualify as a top achiever before the 31st May for your chance to secure your stop on the brand new MV Queen Eleganza.

Royal Caribbean welcomes World’s Largest Cruise Ship


36 months, 4,700 shipbuilders and crew, and one common goal: to deliver the ultimate family adventure. Royal Caribbean International honoured the instrumental project team of Symphony of the Seas during the highly anticipated delivery event at STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and Laurent Castaing, General Manager of STX France, led the traditional flag-changing ceremony, which symbolizes the ship’s official delivery from the ship builder to Royal Caribbean. The maritime ritual was followed by a celebration of the industry’s best, the crew whose hard work and meticulous collaboration came together to create the world’s largest cruise ship.

The 25th ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, the Oasis-class Symphony of the Seas weighs in at 228,081 gross registered tons, measures 72 metres tall and spans 362 metres long. She will welcome 5,518 guests at double occupancy in 2,759 staterooms, including 28 additional balcony rooms that overlook the ocean or signature Boardwalk neighborhood. One ship, seven distinctive neighborhoods, the tallest slide at sea with the Ultimate Abyss and countless adventures for guests of all ages, the family adventure of a lifetime has surprises at every turn.

The ship’s maiden seven-night Mediterranean voyage departs Saturday, April 7 from Barcelona, Spain, where the crescendo of thrills will be brought to life by the 2,200 international crew members who proudly represent 77 countries around the world. Symphony of the Seas will homeport in Barcelona for the summer, visiting Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; and Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy.

Seabourn offers an impressive line up of “Ventures by Seabourn” excursions

Seabourn Alaska - Ventures by Seabourn - Kayaking LR

Following a very successful 2017 season Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is headed back to Alaska and British Columbia in 2018 with an exciting lineup of guided Ventures by Seabourn optional, for-charge shore excursions. The new excursions for 2018 invite your clients to explore the extraordinary natural beauty and wildlife of The Last Frontier and Canada’s Inside Passage via double sea kayak, Zodiac, catamaran and hikes.

The 11-, 12- and 14-day sailings planned in the region aboard Seabourn Sojourn will feature multiple opportunities for clients to enjoy up-close exploration that is enjoyable, approachable and eye-opening. Guests opting to take a Ventures by Seabourn experience will enjoy adventurous activities that are professionally planned and operated, and escorted by expert guides. The line has released a new video showcasing a captivating look at the luxuries, excitement and expertise that combine to create the Seabourn experience and Ventures by Seabourn in Alaska and British Columbia.

Ventures by Seabourn distinguishes Seabourn from other cruise lines in the region, blending the worlds of ultra-luxury and expedition-style travel into one. Since its introduction in 2015, the program has become an enormously popular option for your clients to enhance their travel experiences in a number of ports around the world. The program also offers informative complimentary lectures by knowledgeable and articulate teams of scientists, scholars, naturalists and more. Meanwhile, the modest size of Seabourn ships and the length of their itineraries afford opportunities to explore many sites, scenes and destinations many other cruise ships can’t reach.

Australian Superyacht Rendezvous 2017


The business and pleasure of the Australian and international world of superyachts gathered over two days when the second annual Australian Superyacht Rendezvous was staged at Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard from 20-21 April.

Superyachts attending this year’s Australian Superyacht Rendezvous included Antalax, Atlantic Princess, Aurora, Aus Pro, Blinder, Corroboree, Crystal Blue, Deep Blue, Lady Pamela, Masteka 2, Murcielago, Mystic Tide, Oneworld, Pacific Quest, Patriot 1, Sassy, Settlement and Silentworld.

The 2018 Australian Superyacht Rendezvous included four events, including an industry round table, superyacht industry networking event, an “open decks” showcase of superyachts and a high glamour VIP cocktail event celebrating the economic potential of Australia and the Asia Pacific as a superyacht hotspot.

The host venue for the 2018 Australian Superyacht Rendezvous was once again the landmark Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM) – the largest facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere with a capacity for more than 50 superyachts at any one time. The internationally accredited five gold anchor marina and shipyard is home to over 80 on-site marine-related trades and currently employs well in excess of 600 marine contractors.

Uniworld shares sneak peek of S.S Beatrice

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Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is thrilled to share a sneak peek of the S.S. Beatrice, the fifth Super Ship in its award-winning fleet of floating boutique hotels, ahead of its confirmed April 4 debut, when she will embark on her maiden voyage along the Danube from Budapest to Giurgiu, with a land extension in Bucharest.

The S.S. Beatrice is the first vessel in the Uniworld fleet to be upgraded to a Super Ship. The S.S. Beatrice offers a fresh, sleek look with a graceful bow, redesigned lounge, amazing yacht-like finishes throughout and an elegant grand staircase – a signature design element of Uniworld’s Super Ships. Customers will enjoy two additional dining venues: Max’s, designed for a hands-on cooking and dining experience and Schubert’s, a casual restaurant, both of which are designed to expand and enhance the onboard culinary experience.

The ship offers two new Royal Suites each measuring 34 square metres and a second Owner’s Suite. Additionally, connecting rooms, ideal for friends and families travelling together, have also been added. Uniworld has adapted the latest trends and the changing needs of its customers to create the stunning S.S. Beatrice.


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