Cruise

Cruise Wrap: Aussies keen on Euro cruises, New CLIA training, Antarctica cancellations + MORE

This week’s Cruise Wrap is brought to you by three shots of espresso, half a pack of Tim Tams and plenty of cuddles with the office dog.

Celebrity Cruises reveals Aussies are keen on Europe 

A survey by Celebrity Cruises of travel partners across Australia and New Zealand revealed 56 per cent of clients are keen to experience Europe through a cruise holiday once more.

While domestic sailings remain favoured amongst 72 per cent of clients, recent government suspensions present an opportunity for travel partners to shift demand to already popular destinations, including Europe and Alaska.

Launching this October, Celebrity Cruises is providing agents the opportunity to upskill on Europe and Alaska with their dedicated webinars.

CLIA puts the focus on luxury with online event series

Luxury cruise leaders have outlined their visions for the future and priorities for their Australian and New Zealand markets in a four-day virtual event series hosted this week by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia.

Over the four days, members heard from the global leaders of some of the world’s best-known cruise brands who were interviewed from their headquarters in North America and Europe. They included Silversea Cruises president and CEO Roberto Martinoli; Seabourn president Josh Leibowitz; Regent Seven Seas Cruises president and CEO Jason Montague; and Crystal Cruises president and CEO Tom Wolber.

CLIA’s online events program continues with a Virtual River Cruise Showcase on September 23, a Spring Webinar Series focussed on expedition and small ship cruising from September 29 to November 24, and a Cruise Port & Destination Showcase from December 1 to 10.

In other CLIA news, the Port of Seattle has launched a training program and agent resource centre for Australasian agents, which is now live on the CLIA training hub.

Running until the end of December, CLIA member agents who complete the program will be entered into a fortnightly draw to win a $100 Mastercard gift card, with the first winner announced as Selena Luscombe from Helloworld Parkdale.

With nine more chances to win, agents are encouraged to complete the course soon to increase their chances of winning the remaining gift cards.

New 2023 departure for Viking’s ‘Baltic Jewels and The Midnight Sun’ itinerary

Viking has released a new 2023 departure for one of its most popular itineraries, the epic 29-day ‘Baltic Jewels & The Midnight Sun’ from London and the UK to Stockholm in Sweden via Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Russia, Finland and Sweden.

Sailing onboard Viking Venus and departing on 22 July 2023, the voyage visits 10 countries and includes 19 guided shore excursions.

Priced from $18,495 per person in a Veranda stateroom, the itinerary includes savings of $2,000 per couple and is backed by Viking’s Risk-Free Guarantee, delivering peace of mind to plan with the freedom to change your cruise up to 24-hours prior to departure.

Virgin Voyages announces new Caribbean itineraries for 2021 and 2022

Valiant Lady is headed home from the Mediterranean to soak up some Caribbean sun for the winter. With that, Virgin Voyages is introducing new, longer itineraries — which include new eight-night and six-night sailings, and two brand new destinations in the Caribbean.

And for the first time, your clients will have the opportunity to join a 15-night transatlantic sailing from Barcelona to Miami and a 14-night transatlantic back — featuring brand new destinations in the Med.

Hurtigruten cancels Antarctic sailings 

Hurtigruten has cancelled its Antarctica expedition cruises that depart in October, November and December 2020.

The cruise line said the decision is due to rapid changes in international travel restrictions and port closures.

Riviera Travel River Cruises’ 400pc increase in solo guests paves ways for record number of solo-only European river cruises in 2021

A 400 per cent surge in solo passenger bookings for Riviera Travel River Cruises has prompted the company to offer a record 15 solo-only sailings across an unprecedented 10 itineraries in 2021.

The 15 dedicated departures for solo-only guests in 2021 are four more than the line’s 11 solo-only departures in 2019 and 14 more than the one solo-only sailing in 2018. In 2021, each of Riviera Travel River Cruises’ popular eight-day river cruise itineraries across Europe will have at least one sailing reserved exclusively for solo passengers only, with each guest enjoying a supplement-free cabin to themselves across the ship, saving them thousands of dollars.

The 15 new solo-only sailings in 2021 range in length from five to eight days, departing between March to November, 2021. Fares are available from $2179 for solo travellers for a five-day ‘Amsterdam, Kinderdijk and Dutch Bulbfields cruise in Holland. Fares for an eight-day cruise start at $3599 for solo travellers for a ‘Douro, Porto and Salamanca’ river cruise in Portugal.

Crystal Cruises offers pre-cruise planning with no money down

Crystal Cruises is encouraging travellers dreaming of a post-pandemic cruise to fuel their wanderlust and curate future travels now with total peace of mind.

For a limited time, Crystal Confidence 2.0 invites travellers to plan a future voyage and reserve their shore excursions with no money down and a 30-day option window.

First steel cut for Seabourn’s second purpose-built expedition ship 

Seabourn is celebrating the commemorative cutting of the steel for the brand’s second ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship.

The second ship, which has yet to be named, is scheduled to launch in 2022, with sister ship Seabourn Venture slated to launch in 2021 with a first season of voyages during the Norwegian Winter, where guests may see the Northern Lights up close.

The line is also extending its Sensational Suite Savings promotion through November 20 2020 offering huge savings on even more sailings.

Carnival appoints new senior vice president, deputy chief ethics and compliance officer

Carnival Corporation has appointed Peter Hutchison as senior vice president, deputy chief ethics and compliance officer, effective 25 September 2020. Hutchison will report directly to Peter C. Anderson, chief ethics and compliance officer.

Serving for the past three years as vice president, governance, at Carnival UK, Hutchison will play an integral role in supporting the overall implementation of the ethics and compliance program with primary responsibility for overseeing and further improving the investigative function for incidents involving health, environment, safety and security (HESS).

More specifically, as the new leader of Carnival Corporation’s incident analysis group, Hutchison will be responsible for all efforts to investigate certain health, environmental, safety and security issues – including near misses. He will also manage the team of investigators, and assist in improving the investigative functions throughout the entire organisation.

Norwegian encourages agents to register for ‘walk for wellness’ challenge 

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL has opened registrations for a new initiative for its travel partners in Australia and New Zealand, encouraging them to join NCL in a walking challenge like no other.

Using a free mobile phone app, travel partners can get active and track their steps, embarking on a walking adventure while journeying around an interactive map of the world, reaching virtual global landmarks and completing fun weekly challenges, all alongside travel industry friends.

Participants will learn interesting facts about key destinations as walking milestones are reached and will be presented with various small challenges during the month, giving them the chance to win great prizes, including fitbits and gift cards.

To take part in NCL’s Walk for Wellness challenge, travel partners will need to register their details HERE. Once registered, you will be sent information on how to get started, including steps on connecting to the app. The first 100 agents to register will also receive a “Walk for Wellness” t-shirt.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines welcomes new ship

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has completed its fleet by welcoming Bolette to Rosyth, Scotland – just two weeks after taking delivery of another new ship, Borealis.

Bolette arrived at Babcock’s Rosyth Facilities this morning, sailing under the Forth and Queensferry bridges.

The line has also launched eight new itineraries for its ship, Balmoral, including a number of regional departures from Portsmouth.

For selected Balmoral sailings of five-nights or more, guests will also enjoy a free drinks package, plus the cost of their tips covered, for bookings made by 31 October 2020 inclusive.

AIDA Cruises expands range with new autumn voyages

AIDA Cruises will expand its range of cruises this autumn with new voyages visiting the highlights of Italy, starting on 17 October 2020.

The new seven-day itinerary departs from Civitavecchia near Rome and travels to Palermo and Catania in Sicily, Naples and La Spezia.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises unveils trade initiatives

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has launched an extensive collection of communication channels, tools and resources to help travel advisors across the Tasman adapt to the evolving climate and enhance their professional skills.

The new tools include travel partner dedicated Facebook page, one-on-one appointments with the cruise line’s sales team, virtual events, a new hard copy newsletter and marketing materials.

Ponant release 4th issue of DISCOVER magazine

Ponant is fueling wanderlust with the fourth issue of its travel magazine, DISCOVER, an anthology of travel writers’ published articles reflecting their take on some of the cruise line’s range of global destinations.

The articles, written by well-known writers Helen Anderson, Angela Macdonald-Smith, Catherine Marshall, Brook Turner, Clare Colley and Belinda Luksic reflect on some of the diversity Ponant offers across hundreds of luxury expedition and small-ship itineraries that stretch from the polar regions to tropical and sub-tropical destinations.

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by Ali Coulton

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