Cruise

Cruise Wrap: CLIA offers training to non-members, more lines extend pause in operations + MORE

Here’s all the latest cruise news from near and far, brought to you by Travel Weekly.

CLIA offers open access to Cruise Champion training

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is offering open access to its new online training course Cruise Champion, making it available to travel agents and other industry supporters from outside CLIA’s membership.

The course has been designed to provide a deeper insight into the workings of the global cruise industry, helping to combat misperceptions and raise awareness of the strict regulations that govern cruising operations worldwide.

Some of the topics Cruise Champion covers include regulations, safety, health, security, environmental protection and corporate social responsibility.

Cruise Champion has been introduced within CLIA Australasia’s new Members Hub online learning platform, launched earlier this month to provide an improved and streamlined education service for travel agent members.

While other CLIA education options will remain exclusive to members, Cruise Champion can be accessed without charge by creating an account HERE

CLIA travel agent members can access Cruise Champion and other courses via the new CLIA Member Hub HERE.

Costa, P&O and Aida Cruises extend pause in operations 

Three Carnival Corporation cruise lines have extended their pause in operations to reflect the changing circumstances of travel during the global pandemic.

Costa will extend its pause in operations until 31 July 2020, due to the uncertainty of 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. The line is taking steps to inform travel agents and guests affected by the changes. They will be guaranteed a re-protection in accordance with the applicable legislation, which offers the greatest guarantee in this contingency situation.

P&O Cruises has extended its pause until 15 October 2020 as it focuses on working in close coordination with public health bodies to approve further health and safety protocols.

Following feedback from guests, P&O Cruises has also confirmed that the Future Cruise Credit, which may be held until the end of 2021, may be put against any holiday on sale at that time, giving guests maximum flexibility and choice. FCCs may also be used to upgrade or for a second cabin for any existing booking and also may be gifted or transferred to someone else. This option will also be available until the end of December 2021.

Aida has extended its pause to 31 July 2020, with all guests having booked a cruise with AIDA during this period to be informed. Bookings will be processed chronologically according to departure date. AIDA will reimburse guests who do not wish to use their travel credit including the 10 per cent bonus upon request in the amount of the payment already made.

Croatian Prime Minister visits Scenic Eclipse

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic visited Scenic Eclipse on 24 May to celebrate the commitment made by Scenic Group to build five new custom vessels in the Rijeka shipyard in Croatia.

Scenic Group chairman and founder Glen Moroney greeted the Prime Minister via video call from Switzerland. Plenkovic then met with Sasa Coklijat, director of Scenic Group subsidiary MKM Yachts, and Scenic Eclipse Captain James Griffiths, for a private tour of the 228-guest Discovery Yacht. The shipyard visit follows the commencement of steel cutting and construction of Scenic Eclipse II, the second Discovery Yacht in Scenic Group’s ocean fleet.

MKM Yachts recently completed an agreement with the Croatian government for a dedicated and separate section of the existing Maj 3 Shipyard in Rijeka. The ocean ship builds will commence with the construction of Scenic Eclipse II, with a further four custom-built vessels to follow over the next six years. All vessels will be of the highest ultra-luxury standards.

Riviera Travel River Cruises launches Australian brochure for 2021 program

Riviera Travel River Cruises has launched an Australian brochure for its biggest-ever program of river cruises in Europe in 2021. Priced in Australian dollars, the full, 152-page brochure is available in contactless, digital, flip-page form on the cruise line’s special Australian site.

The brochure highlights a new, five-star ship, a record number of sailings, a brand new cruise itinerary, new-look dining amenities, new VIP benefits and more solo-only cruises.

Riviera Travel River Cruises will offer a record 350 sailings across Europe in 2021 on an unprecedented 20 different itineraries and 14 luxury river ships, including the new, five-star MS Geoffrey Chaucer, named after the 14th Century poet. The 169-guest ship – offering a panoramic lounge, two restaurants, gym, plunge pool (heated in winter) – will reaffirm Riviera Travel’s fleet as one of the youngest in Europe.

The new 2021 brochure also includes a new itinerary for 2021. The eight-day ‘Amsterdam, Cologne and the Best of Holland and Flanders’ river cruise from Amsterdam to Cologne will feature the canals, windmills, palaces and cultural highlights of Holland, the cobbled, medieval streetscapes of Belgium and the Gothic marvels of Cologne in Germany.

Also new in the 2021 brochure is ‘Riviera Plus’, a program for premium passengers in deluxe and superior suites and all upper-deck cabins. Benefits include use of a smart handset with maps, translator, currency converter, unlimited calls, text messages and internet service while on board or ashore. 

Fares in 2021 for an eight-day cruise start at $2,459 per person, twin-share, or also for solo guests, subject to cabin availability. Fares include shore tours as well as free WiFi.  Drink packages in 2021 are available from $199 per person for an eight-day cruise.

Click here to check out the new brochure.

Hurtigruten launches its “book with confidence” campaign with new Norway and Antarctica offers 

Hurtigruten’s new Book With Confidence campaign, which launched 1 June 2020, includes Norway and Antarctica offers, with free and flexible rebooking policies so guests can book their future travel today with total confidence.

Guests can save 30 per cent on any eligible MS Roald Amundsen sailing, and 15 per cent on any eligible MS Fridtjof Nansen sailing, departing up to April 2021.

And guests who book now for the “world’s most beautiful journey” on the Original Coastal Voyage for sailings up to 30 September 2021 can take advantage of generous onboard credit offers of up to $500 per person to spend however they wish.

Live trade webinar with Aqua Expeditions

Join Benjamin Seelos, Aqua Expeditions’ regional sales director for APAC and Europe, on a webinar to discover Aqua Mekong’s itineraries and what makes them so unique for guests. There will be a live Q&A following the presentation.

The webinar will take place on 10 June 2020 at 1pm AEST, and will run for approximately 30 minutes. To register, go HERE.

Oceania Cruises unveils ‘Remember the Future’ campaign

Oceania Cruises unveiled its new ‘Remember the Future’ print and digital brand campaign.

Premiering in consumer- and trade-facing print publications, as well as digitally and across social mediums, the new branding was developed in conjunction with the London-based creative Latitude Agency. The campaign reminds travellers why they love travel and aims to inspire them to look to the future.

Socially, travellers and travel advisors should use the hashtag #RememberTheFuture to showcase their upcoming travels and travel dreams.

The ‘Remember The Future’ social campaign elements will include guest experiences and insightful destination recommendations; memory-making service stories from the cruise line’s guests and crew; and content from executive culinary director Jacques Pépin, Sirena godmother Claudine Pépin, director of culinary enrichment; and executive chef Kathryn Kelly, acclaimed artists-in-residence and more.

Find out about the Sub-Antarctic Islands with PONANT

PONANT is conducting a second series of premiere lectures to be broadcast on their Facebook page during June, this time focussing on the remote Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia

PONANT invites agents to sit in on any, or all four weekly presentations during June on Facebook to learn more from each specialist as they share their personal experiences. 

This series of virtual lectures are easily accessible every Thursday in June on PONANT’s Australia and New Zealand Facebook page.

Join the lectures:

  • One lecture each Thursday in June starting at 5pm AEST.
  • Viewers can submit questions to the presenter in advance. Be sure to ‘like’ PONANT’s Australia and New Zealand Facebook page for updates and how to submit questions 
  • Lectures to be broadcast on PONANT’s Australia and New Zealand Facebook page HERE
  • Following the live presentation, the videos will be available on PONANT’s Australia and New Zealand Facebook page
  • Click here to submit your photographs to Nick Rains for a chance to be reviewed during his photography lecture and receive his tips and best practice.

Port of Seattle creates bespoke Spotify playlist

The Port of Seattle has partnered with famed Seattle radio station KEXP, one of the original champions of Northwest rock, to create a bespoke playlist highlighting Seattle’s rich musical heritage.

Seattle is known as the home of countless artists across multiple genres, including Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Macklemore. A musical incubator, the city’s iconic venues make it an excellent destination for live music, though it is perhaps best known for the creation of The Seattle Sound during the Grunge Rock movement.

Monuments to two of the city’s most famous sons, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, can be found at Greenwood Cemetery and Viretta Park. Recording studios Sub Pop and London Bridge Studios, which produced albums for Nirvana, Mud Honey and Soundgarden and Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam respectively, are still headquartered in Seattle and offer tours.

The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is an interactive museum about all things music. It boasts exhibitions exploring the city’s musical history, including Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses; Hendrix: Wild Blue Angel; a famous guitar gallery and the Interactive Sound Lab.

Historic hotels such as The Edgewater have hosted a plethora of famous musicians including The Beatles on their first tour of the USA, Led Zeppelin, Rod Stewart and Willie Nelson. The city’s historic record stores transport visitors to a different time – check out Silver Platters, Holy Cow Records, Easy Street Records or Jive Time.

A-ROSA announces concrete dates for resumption of sailings

With travel warnings for 31 European countries scheduled to be lifted mid-June, A-ROSA ALVA, sailing on the Portuguese Douro river will recommence operations on 17 June.

Voyages on Rhine and Danube are scheduled to follow on 19 and 20 June 2020 and the restart of A-ROSA’s French operation, on the Seine and Rhône/Saône rivers is intended for early July.

Any possible adjustments of A-ROSA’s plans would be communicated promptly. The cruise line noted that these might become necessary, should authorities’ COVID-pandemic related regulations and local circumstances change.

A-ROSA has developed a comprehensive hygiene and health concept to ensure that hygiene and distancing protocols will be suitably applied. Supported by medical doctor Jens Tülsner, he will continue to lend his expertise and advise A-ROSA in the capacity of in-house medical practitioner.

Oceanwide Expeditions holds keel-laying ceremony for Janssonius

Oceanwide Expeditions newest vessel m/v Janssonius had its keel-laying ceremony this week, the traditional shipbuilding event that marks the official “birthday” of a vessel.

This ceremony took place at Brodosplit shipyard in Split, Croatia, and celebrates the formal start of Janssonius’s construction. Aside from the ship launch, which for Janssonius is planned for late summer 2021, the keel-laying ceremony is one of the most significant dates in the life of a vessel.

Janssonius is designed in the same fashion as the line’s last ship, Hondius, and will be a Polar Class 6 vessel with a passenger capacity of 170 in 80 cabins and a crew of 72 that includes hotel staff, ship crew, and expedition guides.

Upon the launch of Janssonius next year, she will begin her voyages in the Antarctic season.

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