Grab a cocktail put on your favourite Hawaiian shirt, because your Wednesday is about to get a whole lot more cruise-y with this wrap.
Hurtigruten returns to sailing
Hurtigruten’s MS Finnmarken set sail from Bergen yesterday on the classic 12-day ‘Original Coastal Voyage’ on the coast of Norway.
With mostly Danish and Norwegian holidaymakers on board, this is the first time Hurtigruten passengers have been able to take a full coastal cruise since COVID-19 suspensions.
On other news, Hurtigruten will offer year-round expeditions on the Norway coast from 1 January 2021, with departures from Bergen, Dover and Hamburg to the North Cape. Each departure will feature unique itineraries such as the British Isles and southern Norway.
Creative Cruising helps out agencies with new white-label offer
Creative Cruising has introduced a compelling white-label offer to help provide further resilience to its travel agency partners coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For a limited time only, Creative Cruising will waive white-label set-up fees and reduce monthly subscription fees for the remainder of 2020.
The special offer is available to the first 50 travel agencies who sign up for a new cruise website, and is open to new or existing agencies.
Carnival brands extend operational pause
Three of Carnival Corporation’s cruise lines have announced an extension of their pause in operations.
P&O Cruises has extended its pause until 15 October 2020 as it focuses on working in close coordination with all relevant public health bodies to approve further enhancement of the brand’s health and safety protocols.
For its ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, Cunard is cancelling all sailings that were due to depart up to and including 1 November 2020; and for Queen Elizabeth, departures up to and including the 23 November 2020.
Meanwhile, AIDA Cruises has suspended all its cruises with ports in the US and Canada this year, citing the lack of conditions in place for international travel to both destinations.
Ponant creates COVID-safe protocols
Ponant has developed a comprehensive set of COVID-safe protocols in preparation for anticipated progressive resumption of sailings.
You can check out the cruise line’s new protocols in full here.
Viking unveils 2021-22 Ocean Cruises brochure
Viking has launched its brand-new 2021-22 Ocean Cruises brochure, available to order from TIFS today or to view online.
The coffee-table-worthy tome features the much-anticipated Viking Venus, which will launch next year, as well as two new ports of call, two new itineraries and multiple new 2022 departure dates for popular voyages.
Aranui Cruises to resume next month
Aranui Cruises is set to recommence passenger services on 18 July, with some enhanced health and hygiene measures.
With some uncertainty around who will be able to travel to French Polynesia in the coming months, Aranui is kickstarting passenger operations with a locals’ cruise.
As a mixed passenger-freighter vessel, Aranui 5 is one of the few ships that continued sailing during the pandemic, carrying on with its essential service of cargo delivery to the Marquesas Islands.
Crystal provides update on Aussie operations
Having closed its Australian office earlier this year, Crystal has reassured agents that things will be “mostly business as usual” Down Under.
Carmen Roig, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Crystal Cruises, said contact details for its Australia office will remain the same, as will its locally-based reservations team.
“The only significant change will be the new sales team at your service,” she said in a statement.
“Your sales team now includes Genting Cruise Lines sales managers Andrew Loving and Natalie Freeman, who will work with Australian travel advisors, while New Zealand travel advisors will work with inside sales manager Aaron Eilers.
“Leonie Fraser, marketing manager, will be as the primary contact for all marketing, media and public relations enquires.”
The contact details for Crystal’s Aussie team are as follows:
Australia: 1300 059 263 or (02) 8074 6500
New Zealand: 0800 600 108
Brigita Devries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Loving (NSW, Queensland and the ACT): email@example.com
Natalie Freeman (Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and WA): firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron Eilers (NZ): email@example.com
Leonie Fraser: firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrity Cruises offers ‘Book Now Bonus’
For a limited time, agents can secure their clients a free Classic Beverage Package with Celebrity and savings of up to $600 in any stateroom when they book a cruise-only rate.
Ending 22 June, the offer applies to four-night and longer sailings departing from 3 October 2020 to 4 May 2022, but excludes Galapagos cruises.
Aqua Expeditions unveils private charter offering for 2021
In line with its ‘Dream Now, Travel Later’ campaign, Aqua Expeditions has announced what it’s calling “unmatched” private charter experiences for next year.
With itineraries ranging from three to seven nights (12 nights are also available for Aqua Blu), guests will embark on an exclusively private journey to some of the most remote locations in the world.
Guests booking an Aqua Expeditions charter can save between 10 per cent to 15 per cent in comparison to regular rates per person.
Uniworld adds new course to agent training platform
Uniworld University, the comprehensive agent training program of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, has launched its latest course educating travel agents on what’s new for the brand in 2021.
Travel agents will learn the ins and outs of Uniworld’s updates for 2021, including a new rail itinerary, more dates for the popular new Peruvian Amazon itineraries, and the new health and sanitation protocols that will go into effect when the cruise line resumes sailing.
Uniworld is also currently hosting its virtual Soirée Series, a collection of online information sessions celebrating the magic of river cruising.
These sessions have been developed for consumers to learn more about river cruising across many popular destinations from the comfort of their own home. Trade partners are also encouraged to attend, and can do so by registering here.
CMV extends cruise suspension to August
Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has made the decision to further extend the suspension of all of its worldwide cruises to 25 August 2020. The suspension was first introduced on March 14.
All of the ships in CMV’s global fleet have returned to their home ports in the UK and Germany, and there have been no cases of COVID-19 on any of the cruise line’s ships.
American Queen Steamboat Company reveals 2021 cruise brochure
The American Queen Steamboat Company has released its 2021 brochure, enabling travellers to cruise down America’s most famous rivers aboard majestic paddle-wheelers.
To mark the release of the brochure, Australian partner Cruise Traveller is offering savings of up to US$1,500 per couple for bookings made on a 2021 Pacific Northwest river cruise by 30 June 2020.
Oceania Cruises launches trade incentive
As a thank you to its travel partners for their ongoing loyalty and support, Oceania Cruises has launched a trade incentive via the Oceania Trade Rewards platform.
The cruise line is offering a $250 gift voucher for any new bookings made and deposited during ‘The Ultimate Sale’ between 9 June and 30 June 2020, valid for any sailing departing in 2021 and 2022.
In other news, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has announced an extension of its previously announced suspension of global cruise voyages to include all voyages embarking between 1 August and 30 September 2020 for its three cruise brands.
The voyage cancellations exclude September Seattle-based Alaska voyages (for NCL only). The company is also cancelling select voyages through October 2020, including Canada and New England sailings, due to travel and port restrictions.
Beyond Travel announces further savings on Croatian small-ship cruises
Australian-owned destination specialists Beyond Travel has announced savings of up to $1,700 per cabin on a selection of small-ship cruises in Croatia for travel in 2021, for sale until 30 June 2020.
In order for your clients to secure the discount and their cabin, a special $49 per cabin ‘Risk Free’ deposit is available, which is 100 per cent refundable until the end of August 2020.
Featured image: Hurtigruten/Agurtxane Concellon