Cruise Wrap: Carnival and WTTC present COVID-19 scientific summit, earn bonus commission with Creative Cruising + MORE

Miami - May 4, 2018: Passengers on a Carnival Victory cruise ship stand out on the deck under billowing smoke stacks, where air pollution has been found to be dangerously high.

Are your clients fanging to get back out to sea? Here’s all the latest releases, guidelines, incentives and sales from the cruise industry that you need to get them there.

WTTC and Carnival Corporation present unique COVID-19 scientific summit

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has teamed up with Carnival Corporation & plc to host the WTTC/Carnival Corporation Global Science Summit on COVID-19.

Taking place from 2:00pm to 5:30pm GMT (12 am to 3:30am AEST) on Thursday 23 July, the summit, which is open to the public, will share the latest scientific knowledge and evidence-based best practices related to prevention, detection, treatment and mitigation of COVID-19.

The joint summit will see global tourism leaders, WTTC Members, government agencies, destination partners, trade and private businesses, share the very latest science and medical evidence that can be used to inform practical, adaptable and science-based solutions for mitigating and living with COVID-19.

To register for the summit, go HERE. Global participants will be invited to submit questions in advance and during the online event. Members of the media are welcome to join for all or part of the sessions or connect with members and/or presenters.

Earn bonus commission on Oceania Cruises with Creative Cruising

Throughout July, Creative Cruising’s network of travel agency partners will receive bonus commission at point of sale when booking any Oceania Cruises sailing. Bonus commission is applicable to new bookings deposited between 1 to 31 July 2020.

Until 11 July, guests will benefit from an exclusive Upgrade Sale, with up to a 4-cabin category upgrade.

To assist with the incentive offer, Creative Cruising has tailor-made some spectacular packages with incredible savings for their travel agency partners to on-sell to their clients.

What A-ROSA’s guests said!

A-ROSA River Cruises set sail again mid-June with the first sailing on the Rhine river taking guests to the vibrant Dutch cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam and then cruising south on the romantic Mosel, through fairytale-like countryside, passing lush terraced vineyards, quaint villages and ancient castles.

Guests’ unanimous feedback was that the new health and hygiene concept was applied smoothly and non-intrusively.

Tour guide Franziska Bergmann wasn’t sure what to expect on a river cruise ship post-COVID-19 lockdown.

“Not only was I impressed by the crew’s attention to detail and premium facilities on board,” she said.

“I can, hand on my heart, recommend a river cruise on board of A-ROSA. None of the adjustments made, to adhere to the health protocols diminished the wonderful time our group had. Everyone enjoyed their well-deserved holidays on board of the beautiful A-ROSA Flora.”

Other guests on other A-ROSA ships echoed Bergmann’s statement.

“The service on board of A-ROSA MIA was outstanding. The crew was a perfect team, doing an excellent job in the new normal environment,” said Renate Lange Heinicke and Jürgen Luce who sailed on the Danube.

Crystal Cruises gives solo travellers reduced single supplement

Crystal Cruises has announced reduced single supplements of just 105 per cent for six Crystal Getaways aboard Crystal Symphony.

The applicable Getaways – abbreviated segments of longer full itineraries – sail in November and December 2020 as well as January and February 2021 and range from seven to 10 nights.

The reduced single supplements apply to the following voyages:

  • November 14-21, seven-night sailing from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai
  • November 21-30, nine-night sailing from Mumbai to Yangon
  • December 7-15, eight-night sailing from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City
  • December 28 – January 6, nine-night holiday sailing from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok
  • January 27 – February 4, eight-night sailing from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City
  • February 19 – March 1, 10-night sailing from Singapore to Malé

The reduced solo rates are combinable with the Crystal Confidence program for the select 2020 voyages, which offers reduced deposits of just $100 and extended final payment deadlines of 60 days prior to sailing.

Viking Mississippi 2023 now on sale 

In response to strong demand, Viking has announced that 2023 sailings of its Mississippi River cruises are now open for sale.

The inaugural 2022 Mississippi River cruises were officially announced in April and already several sailings have completely sold out, including all 2022 departures of the 15-day America’s Great River itinerary. This strong demand has led Viking to open additional 2023 sailing dates sooner than originally expected.

The company’s first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 sailing voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River between New Orleans and St. Paul, with the new cruises expected to bring more than 5,800 guests to the region in 2022 and 17,600+ during the first full sailing season in 2023.

P&O Cruises presents ‘Live in Your Living Room’

P&O Cruises’ has launched ‘Live in Your Living Room’, a month-long celebration of some of the cruise line’s most popular onboard entertainment – trivia, music, comedy, games and events – which will be delivered to guests through Facebook.

The Live in Your Living Room entertainment extravaganza will launch tonight with P&O’s first virtual Cruise Director Trivia hosted by the ever-popular Zoltina-J.

Next week, fans can turn back the clock with a whole week dedicated to the extremely popular 1980s Tribute Cruise including exclusive performances from the Eurogliders and Eric Weideman from 1927, plus trivia and music from the decade and much more.

P&O’s entertainment team will wrap up the month with the fan favourite comedy cruise chat show Up Close and Funny. This special event will be broadcast from the iconic Sit Down Comedy Club and will be hosted by the hilarious Kat Davidson, along with her comedy all-stars Lindsay Webb, Ellen Briggs and Terry Hansen.

Hurtigruten returns 14 ships to operation, launches new September British Isles expedition cruises

After a return to sailing last month, Hurtigruten has released its plans to further ramp-up operations with 14 of 16 ships returning in August and September. The line has also launched a series of new itineraries in the British Isles over the coming months.

Hurtigruten marked the return of cruising as MS Finnmarken became the first ocean cruise ship in the world to return to sailing with her June 16 departure. With limiting capacity and strict hygiene measures, Hurtigruten currently operates five ships on international and domestic Norwegian itineraries.

Emerald Waterways 2021 European river cruise season now on sale

Fresh from the recent announcement that Emerald Waterways has launched in Australia, the river cruise line has opened the books on their 2021 river cruise season.

The season will feature a new Star-Ship, Emerald Luna, the line’s eighth in Europe, new land extensions to Istanbul and Transylvania, and new itineraries on some of Europe’s most popular rivers, plus savings of up to $4,300 per couple.

All 2021 river cruise bookings now also include Emerald Waterways’ Deposit Protection Plan, valued at $125 per person, as well as a reduced deposit of $500 per person, so guests can book with confidence. The complete 2021 river cruise program is detailed in the new 160-page brochure, now available to view HERE.

New port noise policy for Sydney’s Glebe Island and White Bay


Port Authority of NSW has released a draft Port Noise Policy and Vessel Noise Operating protocol for Glebe Island and White Bay for the community to review and have their say.

The Policy aims to manage noise in a way that that is acceptable to the community, port users, and other stakeholders while recognising and optimising Glebe Island and White Bay’s ongoing, long-term status as a working port.

The Port Noise Policy includes:

  • Guidelines and explanations of noise triggers for individual ships visiting Glebe Island and White Bay, and consequences if the ship exceeds those triggers, explained in the draft Vessel Noise Operating Protocol
  • Guidelines and explanations of precinct-wide landside noise criteria.
  • A framework to guide future noise assessments and planning controls.
  • A goal for gradual long-term reduction of ship noise while at berth.

The community, port users and other stakeholders are invited to review the draft and have their say via emailing or calling 9296 4595 until 10 August 2020.

Online information sessions to explain the policy and allow the community to ask questions will be held on:

  • Wednesday 22 July: 5pm to 6pm
  • Thursday 23 July: 12pm to 1pm

Celebrity’s Captain Kate McCue joins The Big Cruise Podcast

The Big Cruise Podcast has released an exclusive interview with Kate McCue, captain of the highly-acclaimed Celebrity Edge and first female to ever captain a cruise ship.

Hosted by Barry Downs from Bicton Travel in WA, the interview reveals the inspiring story behind Captain McCue’s career, what she loves most about the newest ship in the Celebrity Cruises fleet, and much more, including a guest appearance from Bug Naked, her Insta-famous floating feline.

Listen to the podcast HERE.

MSC’s blue-ribbon COVID expert group validates protocol 

Over the past months since temporarily halting its cruise operation in connection with the global health pandemic ashore, MSC Cruises has been hard at work to develop a new health and safety operating protocol to support its return to service once the time is right.

Having set up a cross-functional task force comprised of in-house experts in the areas of Medical Services, Public Health and Sanitation, Hotel Services, HVAC and other Shipboard Engineering Systems, Information Technology and Logistics, MSC Cruises also engaged a world-renowned expert consultancy of Aspen Medical to further assist with the development of the Company’s own enhanced protocol and procedures.

MSC Cruises’ Blue Ribbon COVID Expert Group has been personally formed by the Company’s executive chairman and includes: professor Christakis Hadjichristodoulou,  professor of hygiene and epidemiology at the faculty of medicine as well as its vice president, school of health sciences, University of Thessaly, Greece; professor Stephan J. Harbarth, hospital epidemiologist, infectious diseases specialist and head of the antimicrobial stewardship program at the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) and Faculty of Medicine; and Doctor Ian Norton, a specialist emergency physician with post-graduate qualifications in surgery, international health and tropical medicine, currently managing director of Respond Global, formerly the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) emergency medical team initiative program from 2014 until January 2020.

Oceania Cruises launches online training 

Oceania Cruises has launched an online training program, enabling its valued travel partners to become Oceania Cruises experts upon completion of the course.

For a limited time only, travel partners can also receive $20 in Oceania Trade Rewards points when signing up to the Online Training Platform, in addition to earning 10 CLIA accredited points. As an extra incentive, Oceania Cruises is offering agents who complete the course by 31 July, a chance to win $250 worth of Oceania Trade Rewards points.

The new Oceania Cruises Online Training Platform comprises six learning modules. The first module focuses on the basics, including a company overview and an introduction to Oceania Cruises’ brand pillars. Module two highlights the line’s OceaniaNEXT initiatives, ‘Savour’ allows travel partners to discover Oceania Cruises’ one-of-a-kind culinary offering, while module four, Explore, delves into Oceania Cruises’ shore excursions, wellness tours, and destination-rich itineraries. Your Home at Sea, provides an in-depth look at inside life onboard the line’s fleet of small luxurious ships, and the final module, ‘How to Sell’, takes a deep dive into selling tips, Oceania Cruises’ best price guarantee, the booking process, offers, reservations, group bookings and more.

All modules end with a multiple-choice quiz to assist with cementing product knowledge.

Carnival Cruise Line sets ship delivery changes and related deployment plans

Carnival Cruise Line has updated its deployment plan from November 2020 to May 2021.

The key points of the changes:

  • Mardi Gras, the first LNG-powered ship to operate in the Western Hemisphere and featuring the first roller coaster at sea, will now enter into service from Port Canaveral, Fla. on Feb. 6, 2021. Itineraries out of Port Canaveral for departures from 14 November 2020 to 30 January 2021 have been cancelled.
  • Carnival Radiance’s $200 million dry dock at the Cadiz, Spain shipyard was suspended this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a nationwide lockdown. Carnival is now evaluating shipyard options to complete the transformation, but the ship is likely not going to be completed until the spring.
  • As a result of the delayed arrival of Carnival Radiance, Carnival Breeze will be redeployed from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral and will assume the itineraries for Carnival Radiance from 8 November 2020 to 24 April 2021. Consequently, guests on 18 Carnival Breeze sailings from Fort Lauderdale scheduled to operate from 7 November to 2020 to 7 March 2021 are being notified that their cruises have been cancelled.
  • Carnival Magic‘s transatlantic and European itineraries from 13 March 2021 to 3 May 2021 have been cancelled. Seven sailings previously scheduled for Carnival Breeze from Fort Lauderdale from 13 March to 24 April 2021 will move to Miami and those guests will sail on the same itinerary, but on Carnival Magic operating from PortMiami.

Virtually escape to Seattle’s secret islands 

The Whidbey and Camano Islands are just a two-hour drive from Seattle, you can watch whales wallow in calm waters, bald eagles soar, herds of wild deer wander through villages and great food such as local oysters are washed down with Washington’s superb wines.

Or, you can virtually visit the islands from the comfort of your own home HERE.

Costa extends pause 

Costa has extended the pause for all its cruises until 15 August 2020 and the cancellation of all cruises in Northern Europe for the remainder of the 2020 summer season.

The decision is linked to the uncertainty on the gradual reopening of ports to cruise ships and the restrictions that may still be in place for the movements of people due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.

In addition, the Company is also communicating the cancellation of all future cruises of Costa Victoria.

Costa is taking steps to inform both travel agents and guests affected by these changes.

AIDA Cruises extends pause

Given the gradual easing in intra-European travel, AIDA Cruises believes it will resume its cruise operation later this summer. However, the conditions for safe travel do not yet exist in many destinations worldwide.

The company has extended its pause of operations until 31 August 2020. This does not apply to individual departures from AIDAprima, AIDAperla and AIDAdiva.

Featured image source: iStock/PeskyMonkey

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