Cruise Wrap: A-ROSA restarts all river cruises, PONANT’s ‘close-to-home’ voyage + MORE

Toot toot! That’s the sound of this week’s Cruise Wrap pulling into the harbour with some fresh updates! Or maybe our deputy editor has just gone mad.

A-ROSA resumes voyages across all rivers and extends its early-booking-discounts for 2021

After a successful restart of its Douro sailings in Portugal, A-ROSA River Cruises recommenced its cruises on the Rhine river on 17 June 2020 and on the Danube on 20 June 2020. The resumption of A-ROSA’s French operation will take place on 11 July 2020.

Depending on the ship, guest capacity is being reduced for the first departures.

An extension of A-ROSA’s popular early-booking-discounts until 31 August 2020 allows guests to book their 2021 river cruise and benefit from savings of up to $1,000 per person.

Silversea to deploy three ships to Asia as part of summer 2021/22 itinerary release

Silversea Cruises has launched 86 new classic itineraries for (southern) summer 2021/2022 across 222 destinations in 67 countries, with eight maiden calls, including three in Asia – Miyako, Japan; Makassar, Indonesia; and Vigan-Salomague Port, The Philippines.

Departing between October 2021 and April 2022, the new program features voyages in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, South America, Galapagos, the Caribbean and the Middle East. Of particular note is an expanded program of sailings in the Asia Pacific region with the brand new Silver Moon and the reimagined Silver Shadow to join flagship Silver Muse as the third Silversea vessel to offer voyages in Asia.

On new bookings made before 30 June 2020, travellers will benefit from Silversea’s new Double Bonus offer, through which guests can reserve their voyage with low deposits from just USD 1,000 per suite. Guests will also receive $1,000 to spend on board. This offer is fully combinable with the Early Booking Bonus and, for select sailings, qualifies for Silversea’s ‘Cruise with Confidence’ policy.

Find out more information about Silversea’s new summer 2021/2022 itineraries here.

Scenic unveils the new 2021 European river cruise brochure collection and ‘Book with Confidence’ program

Scenic has unveiled its 2021 ‘Hidden Wonders of Europe’s Rivers’ brochure collection and its new ‘Book with Confidence’ program to provide guests with greater flexibility and peace of mind.

Working with agent partners, clients can now plan and book their 2021 Scenic river cruise with confidence by benefiting from a range of included offers available until 30 September 2020 or until sold out.

PONANT announces ‘close-to-home’ voyage between Melbourne and Fremantle

For travellers focusing on close-to-home Australian travel destinations, PONANT has released an inaugural 12-night voyage features an enticing range of iconic Australian mainland and island destinations.

It includes shore excursions created by PONANT’s expedition team capturing the essence of Australia’s southern coastline, exploring the Great Australian Bight from east to west from onboard the new eco-sensitive small luxury expedition ship Le Bellot.

Hurtigruten shares updated health and safety policies 

With the resumption of sailing on the Norway coast this week, Hurtigruten has released its detailed health and safety plan. With a 127-year record of safety and no cases of Covid-19 on any of its ships, the updated policy reflects Hurtigruten’s ongoing commitment to the safety of its guests, crew and staff.

 The new health and safety policy reflects the centuries-old Norwegian concept of dugnad (duty to the community above oneself), with both crew and guests taking responsibility for the health and safety of everyone on board.

Hurtigruten has strict procedures for protection against infection on board its ships and follows the Norwegian Institute of Public Health guidelines. In addition, Hurtigruten has introduced some extra health and safety procedures for its 2020 sailings.

The full health and safety policy is available here.

Carnival Cruise Line extends operational pause through September 30

Carnival Cruise Line has advised guests and travel agents that it has extended its operational pause in North America through to 30 September 2020.

Carnival initially announced a voluntary 30-day pause in operations on 13 March, and has now extended that pause three times, reflecting the public health challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Celebrity Cruises extends global suspension of operations

In alignment with the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) recent announcement, Celebrity Cruises will also be extending the suspension of global operations for all sailings departing on or before 15 September 2020.

MSC’s Future Cruise Credit webinar, travel agents Facebook group AND winter cruises program for 2020/21

Do you have questions about MSC Cruises’ Future Cruise Credit (FCC)? Watch MSC Cruises’ key accounts manager, Aaron Christian, give you a detailed explanation on the value of the credit and its validity. 

The webinar also includes where to find further information and how to contact MSC Cruises.

The line has also created a private Facebook group to keep valued travel agent partners up to date.  The group “MSC CRUISES TRAVEL AGENTS AUS/NZ” is dedicated to keeping trade partners informed on all aspects related to MSC Cruises, including COVID-19 updates, latest news, promotions and training sessions.

On top of this, MSC has confirmed details of its winter 2020/2021 season, offering over 90 different itineraries across the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula, South Africa, South America and Asia – all of the regions where MSC Cruises traditionally operates.

Itineraries range in length from two to 24 nights, along with the third MSC World Cruise departing in January 2021 and an extensive Grand Voyages program.

Free drinks package for new 2021 European river cruise bookings

Until August 31, 2020, Riviera Travel River Cruises and its Australian representative, Cruise Traveller, are offering a free drinks package for all new cruise-only bookings on any of Rivera Travel’s 350 luxury cruises across Europe in 2021.

CMV presents seven-day Dream Cruise itinerary designed by guests 

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) recently asked its community of Australian and New Zealand travellers which ports they would include on a seven-day #CMVDreamCruise that could go anywhere they desire, with no time or distance restrictions. If it was possible to visit Santorini one day and Jamaica the next, where would guests choose to cruise?

The results are in and, according to votes from CMV guests and agents, Fremantle scored the top spot as the departure point for the cruise. The fantasy voyage would then take travellers from Australia to Africa, then the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, before ending in London – all in just seven days. 

The #CMVDreamCruise Itinerary is as follows:

Day 1: Fremantle, Australia

Day 2: Cape Town, South Africa

Day 3: Venice, Italy

Day 4: Day at sea

Day 5: Reykjavik, Iceland

Day 6: St Petersburg, Russia

Day 7: London, UK

Captain Cook Cruises selects Vox to power post-COVID recovery

Captain Cook Cruises has partnered with the Vox Group to help build its post-COVID recovery plan.

Using Vox’s powerful POPGuide application, guests can use their own phones to listen to captivating storytelling and commentary in their choice of language, further enhancing their enjoyment of these popular harbour sightseeing cruises.

Once downloaded, the ‘Points of Interest’, containing audio, text and imagery, are triggered by GPS and delivered instantly to guests via their own devices. Users can listen safely and securely via their personal earphones, with crystal clear clarity.

Cruise Traveller teams up with Crystal for Christmas and NYE special

Travellers can spend their 2021 Christmas relaxing and exploring the majestic mountains and fjords of New Zealand before cruising to Australia to celebrate the 2022 New Year in Sydney on an ultra-luxury cruise offered by Crystal Cruises and Australian small ship cruise specialists, Cruise Traveller.

Including free flights to Auckland pre-cruise (from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide) and from Melbourne (to Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide) post-cruise, a bonus US$200 onboard spending credit per person, onboard beverages, a specialty dining experience, WiFi and gratuities, the 17-night luxury package in December 2021 is available from $10,765 per person, twin share (a saving of $4,115 per person); and from $13,975 for solo travellers (a saving of $14,640).

The cost from Perth is $250 extra, and the savings are available for bookings made by 30 September 2020.


Leave a Reply


Queensland to reopen its border to Victorians just in time for the Chrissy break

Queenslanders would be well advised to take cover, as we imagine waves of Victorians and NSW residents will be descending on the Sunshine State in the coming weeks.




COVID-19 deniers threaten to boycott Qantas after Joyce’s vaccine revelation

by Ali Coulton

Anti-vaxxers, COVID-19 deniers and general conspiracy theorists are having an absolute field day following the news that Qantas passengers will need a COVID-19 vaccine to travel internationally.




Travel tops the list of COVID-related complaints received by the ACCC

In what will probably come as a shock to no one, travel has been the most-complained about topic by consumers since COVID-19 hit.




Viking appoints former US Navy Vice Admiral as chief health officer

Viking staff are busy shining their shoes and ironing their uniforms upon learning that a former Navy officer is now among the cruise line’s ranks.




Birmo says international travel may be back on the cards in 2021

International travel in 2021 may not be off the cards just yet, but Australia’s Tourism Minister said getting Aussies overseas in the first half of the year will be challenging.




Thirty-cent beers, anyone? Bookshop discovers Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar menu from the 1970s

Ah, the good old days of flying, where the drinks were cheap enough to get completely sloshed for under a $1 and the cabin was so full of smoke you could hardly see the ‘fasten seat belt’ sign.




TFE Hotels to introduce new brand in Australia

We’ll give you two clues for the name of the new hotel brand: it’s coming all the way from Singapore, and it rhymes with ‘wincy’. And no, it’s not Incy.



Travel Agents

Travel agent’s email spree brings in $40,000 in sales

Fancy making a few phat sales? Here are some handy tips from TravelManagers’ Julianne Gazal-Rizk, who has been busy bringing in the big bucks.




Air New Zealand and the All Blacks share motivational tips and messages of support for travel industry

by Sponsored by Air New Zealand

Ever wondered how the All Blacks cope when the chips are down? Get some daily insights right here, along with the chance to win one of five signed jerseys!



Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with APT Travel Group’s Mladen Vukic

This week, APT Travel’s GM of product showed us his best home-haircutting techniques, and we smiled and nodded while we watched him slowly descend into madness.




Airline executive arrested on suspicion of treason

This airline executive could face a long, cold holiday in the slammer if found guilty.




Queensland to reopen border to Greater Sydney travellers from December

Palaszczuk has extended a pre-emptive welcome to Sydneysiders who want to spend their summer in Queensland, while hinting an announcement about Victoria may come tomorrow.