Cruise Wrap: CMW and Hurtigruten extend suspensions, Carnival’s new shareholder + 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.

Travel Weekly is doing its best to prevent you from watching Netflix’s entire content catalogue with plenty of news in this week’s Cruise Wrap.

CMV and Hurtigruten extend operation suspensions

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has announced it will extend the suspension of its cruise operations until 24 May 2020 due to the escalating nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This will apply to CMV cruises across the globe and affects passengers booked to embark from 24 April – the original suspension cut-off date – until 24 May 2020.

Hurtigruten has also extended the temporary suspension of its operations worldwide.

All Hurtigruten expedition cruises will be suspended until 12 May. In addition to already cancelled cruises, this includes the MS Fridtjof Nansen’s departure from Hamburg, Germany on 29 April as well as MS Spitsbergen’s departure from Longyearbyen on 6 May.

Hurtigruten’s Alaska expedition cruise season will be postponed to July due to new travel restrictions from Canadian authorities. This means that the 17 May, 31 May, 12 June, 24 June, and 1 July MS Roald Amundsen Alaska departures will be cancelled.

The cruise line’s operations on the Norwegian coast will be suspended through to 20 May. As of now, the first scheduled round trip departure from Bergen will be on 21 May.

Carnival closes share offering, as Saudis acquire stake

The Carnival Corporation has announced the closure of its registered public offering of 71,875,000 shares of common stock of the at a price of US$8 ($13) per share. This includes 9,375,000 shares of common stock of the company sold pursuant to the full exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares.

Carnival said it expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

The cruise giant has also received backing from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which has acquired an 8.2 per cent stake in Carnival.

Crystal goes virtual, announces 2023 World Cruise

As the world puts a collective pause on travel, Crystal is sharing its renowned Crystal Experience with an engaging new virtual program created to satisfy the wanderlust of its guests while they remain at home.

Utilising varied digital and social media platforms, travellers are invited to stay connected and interact with Crystal and each other via Crystal@Home, which offers a weekly series of live streaming events, conversations on the cruise line’s social media channels, compelling stories on the Crystal Insider blog, a re-release of Crystal Storytellers, Crystal’s podcast guest lecture series, and more.

The company is also looking ahead toward future explorations with luxury travellers, announcing its 2023 World Cruise, which is now available for booking.

The extensive ‘Wild Kingdoms & Exotic Discoveries’ world cruise aboard Crystal Serenity is packed with 73 diverse destinations – including five maiden ports and 16 overnight cities spanning 40 countries – with a focus on the world’s greatest wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Taken in full, the 140-night journey embarks from Miami on 11 January 2023, ending in Barcelona on 31 May, with two alternate disembarkation options in Venice and Athens for 128- and 119-night itineraries, respectively.

Fares for Crystal’s 2023 Wild Kingdoms & Exotic Discoveries World Cruise begin at $72,399 per person, including Book Now Savings.

Agents key to recovery, says CLIA

Travel agents and the wider cruise community will be key to recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA’s) managing director for Australasia, Joel Katz, who has rallied industry supporters to make their presence known.

Katz said the cruise industry faced a lack of understanding about its size and economic significance, even after decades of strong growth in Australia.

The number of Australians taking a cruise reached a record 1.35 million in 2018, while the cruise industry contributed more than $5 billion to the Australian economy last financial year.

CLIA has written to travel agent members in Australia seeking their support to inform others of cruising’s significance.

“We’d like your help in speaking out about how deeply rooted cruising is in our part of the world, and how vital it is to our tourism industry and the wider economy,” Katz wrote.

“Although we are in a challenging news environment, our wider CLIA community is well placed to tell a more positive story.”

Viking.TV launches

Viking has announced the official launch of Viking.TV, a new digital platform designed to provide enriching cultural content and live-streaming video experiences from around the world.

The announcement was made by executive vice president Karine Hagen in a video for current and past Viking guests, posted on the homepage of Viking.TV.

“Right now, we are all staying at home instead of travelling together, but that does not have to mean that the only thing we can do is watch the news,” Hagen said.

Viking.TV has been created to enable the cruise line’s customers to stay connected and share positive experiences at a time when people are staying home.

In addition to housing a library of enriching content that Viking guests would have enjoyed on board their respective cruise itineraries, Viking.TV will also feature live content from a variety of experts, cultural partners and notable individuals.

A-ROSA staff adopt new way of working

Germany based A-ROSA River Cruises just completed the mammoth task of successfully transitioning its entire head office team of 130 employees to working from home.

The move was strategically planned to ensure business continuity in an environment ruled by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the cruise line.

“We started the project early. It was in January that I instructed our IT department to compile a feasibility study and purchase the necessary equipment,” A-ROSA chief executive Jörg Eichler said.

“My top priorities were staff protection from COVID-19 and business continuity during these uncertain times. We just didn’t know what was coming and wanted to be prepared.”

“It’s a big relief to know that our employees are all well and can work from the comfort of their own homes, doing what they do best – look[ing] after the needs of our valued guests and trade partners around the world.”

Coral Expeditions’ all Australian-flagged fleet safely home in Cairns

Responding quickly to the current pandemic and daily changing regulations around port access in the Asia-Pacific region, Coral Expeditions has brought back its four ships to Cairns homeport.

Coral Adventurer returned early from Sulawesi and Coral Discoverer was able to steam from Tasmania to Sydney to disembark guests there.

Coral Expeditions I simply terminated her last Great Barrier Reef trip as per normal in Cairns port. By 22 March, all guests across the fleet were back in port on Australian soil with no operational issues, and by 31 March, all ships were safely berthed in Cairns and crew home.

“A very difficult decision”: Silversea CEO’s video message to guests

Silversea Cruises CEO Roberto Martolini has updated travellers on the cruise line’s response to the COVID-19 crisis in a message from its headquarters in Monaco.

Martolini said that in his 40-plus years in the travel industry, he has never experienced anything “as far-reaching and impactful” as COVID-19.

Silversea’s CEO also noted the difficult decision to stop its ships from sailing, and said that in the longer term, the cruise line “will never stop being curious and wanting to learn more about the beautiful world that surrounds us”.

Watch Martolini’s video message in full below:

Lindblad Expeditions brings remote places to guests

During this time of social isolation, Lindblad Expeditions is bridging the distance through virtual expeditions to explore the world’s remote pristine reaches.

The small-ship adventure travel company’s virtual expeditions are designed to offer the engaging and reassuring rhythms of life on board, from morning stretch classes, to exhilarating sights, photo ops and an evening recap daily at 6pm, complete with cocktail recipes from fleet menus.

Guests can get travelling virtually with Lindblad here.

Genting Dream lights up with message of hope

Dream Cruises’ Genting Dream is currently tendering in Langkawi with her sister ship, Explorer Dream, both with only essential crew on board.

The vessel took the opportunity to issue a special message to the cruise and wider travel community. Check it out below:


Featured image credit: iStock/PeskyMonkey

Latest News

  • Hotels

QT Singapore set to open in heritage Eastern Extension Telegraph building

Bookings open today for QT Singapore, in the historic former Eastern Extension Telegraph building along Robinson Road, the first property from QT Hotels & Resorts to open outside Australian and New Zealand. Previously Accor’s So Singapore, then the Hotel Telegraph, QT Singapore will officially launch on September 16 and will feature 134 rooms, ranging in […]

  • Health & Wellness

Sydney is named the world’s top running destination

In the last week, searches for ‘running shorts’ have increased by 82 per cent! Fitness holidays are in high demand with over 200K searches (Google, TikTok and Instagram) but of all the fitness travel trends ‘trail running’ is the peak of popularity with searches up 50 per cent since the start of 2024! So which […]

  • Aviation

Hawaiian Airlines celebrates 20 years of flying to Australia

Hawaiian Airlines marked 20 years of flying to Australia at an appropriately themed cocktail party for 150 guests at Hyde Bar, Pullman Quay Grand Circular Quay, featuring hula dancers, Hawaiian musicians, mai tais, mango martinis and leis. Among the guests were Sydney Airport Station Manager Kathy Mainerd who was also present for the very first […]

  • Aviation

How well did Singapore Airlines handle the aftermath of turbulence terror

It was a routine flight for the passengers and crew of SQ321, taking off from London en route to Singapore. But about 10 hours into the flight, with breakfast service underway, horror-struck, the plane entered an air pocket and dropped a suspected 6000 ft in just three minutes, killing one man and injuring several others. […]

  • Hotels
  • News

Hari Nair On How Expedia Is Tackling Hotel Industry Challenges Head On

Like its counterparts globally, the Australian hotel industry faces many challenges, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rising operating costs, increased competition for talent, and changing traveller expectations have forced hotels to adapt quickly to remain competitive. At the recent EXPLORE conference in Las Vegas, Hari Nair, Global SVP & GM of Lodging […]

  • Attractions
  • Tourism

“I wanna try it!” – Internet goes WILD over the world’s largest plastic slide

If you are of a certain millennial age persuasion you may remember rainbow road on Nintendo’s Mario Kart. Evidently created by someone fresh from an acid trip, rainbow road allowed you to drive your kart merrily over a twisting, luminous, multi-coloured road suspended in space, all whilst listening to mildly aggressive techno music. If your […]

  • Aviation

Board Air Canada in Sydney’s CBD via a sleek Light Rail

Visitors flocking to Vivid Sydney will glide through the CBD in the newest addition to the Air Canada fleet – a sleek Light Rail tram wrapped in the airline’s unique livery. The Air Canada-themed tram is part of a new marketing campaign designed to put Air Canada in lights during the Vivid Sydney festival (25 […]

  • Destinations

Australia’s value to the UK visitor economy now the highest on record

A record number of Australians are visiting Britain and spending more than ever before, according to the latest official statistics highlighted by Britain’s National Tourist Agency, VisitBritain. In 2023, Australia’s value to the visitor economy was the highest on record. Visitors from Australia spent a record-breaking £1.6 billion ($3.07 million) on their trips to the […]

  • Tourism

Sensory Tourism Australia launches new travel experiences for vision-impaired international visitors

Sensory Tourism Australia launched its brand at the Australian Tourism Exchange in Melbourne this week and is set to provide inclusive and accessible products for vision-impaired international visitors. Sensory tourism is an emerging concept that presents destinations differently, with less emphasis on traditional sightseeing – created by the founders of Cocky Guides, an award-winning group […]

  • Destinations

Dubai tourism numbers soar despite Middle East conflict, top boss tells Travel Weekly

An exclusive Q&A with Shahab Shayan, Dubai Tourism Regional Director for Asia-Pacific addressing all the questions you might have. The Middle East is opening its doors to tourism. Qatar airport has been crowned No.1 airport globally and Saudi Arabia seems to be attracting a buzz. Where does Dubai fit into this equation? We are excited […]

  • Cruise
  • News

Carnival Splendor to the rescue of Aussies and Kiwis left stranded in Vanuatu

Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor has come to the aid of a group left stranded in Vanuatu, following the collapse of Air Vanuatu. The group, eight Australians and one New Zealander, were visiting the island of Santo when Air Vanuatu cancelled all flights, leaving them without a way home. Carnival Cruise Line responded by offering […]

  • Hotels
  • News

Minor Hotels’ Anantara group reimagines the brand as its portfolio surpasses 50 properties

Anantara Hotels & Resorts is marking a significant milestone with a reimagined brand identity as recent openings across Europe, Middle East and Asia have propelled the brand portfolio beyond 50 properties. Part of the Minor Hotels group, the Anantara visual refresh takes an elegant, pared-back approach that enables each hotel’s unique character to shine – […]