Cruise Wrap: MSC and Carnival’s new ship updates, Ponant’s first online event + MORE

Cruise through the rest of the week with this fresh assortment of cruise news. Get it? Cruise through? Like a cruise ship? Yeah, we cringed too.

MSC Cruises and Fincantieri celebrate float out of MSC Seashore + postpones restart of MSC Magnifica 

The float out of MSC Seashore (pictured above) took place today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

MSC Seashore, which will be the company’s longest ship at 339 metres and the largest and most innovative ever built in Italy, has now been moved to a wet dock until her delivery in July 2021 to allow for work on her interior.

MSC Seashore will become the third of a total of fours vessels in MSC Cruises’ innovative and ground-breaking Seaside class of ships, following MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview, which launched in 2017 and 2018 respectively, and the first of two enriched Seaside Evo ships with newly designed public spaces, more cabins and the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in the company’s fleet.

In other MSC news, the line has postponed the restart of MSC Magnifica until 26 September.

In connection with the recent introduction of additional testing measures for residents of Italy having travelled to Greece, the line is seeing cancellations and a softening in demand since the ship’s itinerary includes as many as three ports in that country. This has led to the decision to delay the restart of the ship by four weeks.

MSC Magnifica’s sales are open to residents of the Schengen area, at the same time in this early phase of restart the majority of guests are expected to be Italian nationals and residents.

As a result of this, MSC Magnifica cruise departures from 29 August to 19 September have been cancelled. The first cruise will depart from Bari, Italy with an unchanged itinerary on 26 September.

MSC Grandiosa is currently offering 7-night cruises with embarkation in the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples and Palermo and calling additionally at Valetta, Malta.

Crystal Yacht Cruises previews itineraries for Crystal Esprit

Crystal Yacht Cruises has announced a preview of the complete deployment for the all-suite, 62-guest Crystal Esprit for 2023 through the first quarter of 2024.

Following the yacht’s previously announced January-March 2023 Seychelles voyages, the collection of 35 all-inclusive luxury sailings in 2023 invites travellers to fully immerse themselves in the most historically rich and famously beautiful destinations through the Mediterranean, Adriatic and the Holy Land.

Most of the itineraries – eight of them brand new – are intensively focused on specific regions, with multiple options featuring all or most ports in the Greek Isles, Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast, Italy and France, plus Holy Land voyages exploring beyond Israel to Egypt, Jordan and Cyprus.

In all, Crystal Esprit’s 2023 deployment comprises 12 sailings through the Seychelles; 13 intensive Greek Isles sailings; 10 voyages through the Adriatic in Croatia and Turkey; seven Holy Land and Middle East sailings; and five Mediterranean sailings through Italy and France. Nearly all 2023 and early 2024 Crystal Yacht Cruises are six, seven or eight nights in length, with select Holy Land and Holiday sailings of 11 and 12 nights.

Carnival’s new ship to be called Carnival Celebration 

Carnival Cruise Line today announced that its next Excel-class ship arriving in 2022 to coincide with its 50th birthday celebration will be named Carnival Celebration.

A full roster of Carnival partners, including Kathie Lee Gifford, Guy Fieri and Shaquille O’Neal, unwrapped boxes that revealed the letters of the Celebration name, which is both a throwback to one of the popular early ships in the Carnival fleet, as well as a recognition of Carnival’s 50th birthday celebration that will take place in 2022 when the new Carnival Celebration will join the fleet. The video announcement was made across Carnival’s social media channels and can be viewed here.

Carnival Celebration will debut from PortMiami in November 2022, and will be a sister ship to Mardi Gras, the first in the Excel series scheduled to enter service on 6 February 2021 from Port Canaveral, Florida.

The addition of Carnival Celebration to Miami will maintain PortMiami’s position as the top embarkation port for Carnival Cruise Line.

Hurtigruten presents at 2020 open science conference  

Hurtigruten presented at the 2020 Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research’s (SCAR) Open Science Conference this month, sharing its knowledge and experience of hosting and collaborating with scientists, and the benefits of its onboard Citizen Science programs to raising awareness of the challenges facing the Polar regions.

The Open Science Conference is a biennial event designed to draw attention to Antarctic issues and provide an opportunity for scientists from a variety of disciplines and countries to present their work, network and become more involved in SCAR science activities.

Biologist and Hurtigruten chief scientist Verena Meraldi’s presentation focused on a range of Hurtigruten scientific collaborations as well as the contribution of Hurtigruten’s Citizen Science programs to raising awareness about the Polar regions.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises releases new Europe 2021 brochure

Regent Seven Seas has released its new Europe 2021 brochure, featuring 80  voyages to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Baltics.

The line offers free, unlimited shore excursions in every port of call, so your clients can get out and about as much as they want.

The brochure features 15 new ports of call including Dunkerque (France), Eskifijordur (Iceland), Kaliningrad (Russia), Klaksvik (Faroe Islands), Liepaja (Latvia), Nordfjordeid (Norway), Oban (Scotland), Turku (Finland), Wismar (Germany), Chios (Greece), Igoumenitsa (Greece), Monemvasia (Greece), Nessebur (Bulgaria), Paphos (Cyprus) and Pergamum (Turkey).

Cruise Traveller unveils new luxury, all-inclusive cruise package from Australia to NZ

Cruise Traveller has released a new, luxury fly, cruise and stay package for December 2021 which offers free domestic and international flights and savings of up to 51 per cent for couples and 43 per cent for solo travellers for bookings made by 30 September 2020.

The new 17-night, all-inclusive ‘Facets of Australia’ package begins on 4 December 2021, with free flights to Perth from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Brisbane. Guests will enjoy a free two-night stay in a five-star hotel in Perth and a free day trip to Rottnest island before boarding Crystal Cruises’ ultra-luxury, 848-passenger Crystal Symphony for a 15-night voyage to Auckland.

Ports include Bunbury near the famous Margaret River wine region, Adelaide, the spectacular scenery and wildlife of Kangaroo Island, Melbourne for pre-Christmas shopping, Sydney and the Bay of Islands in New Zealand.

At journey’s end in Auckland on 21 December 2021, guests will fly home free to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide.

Cunard extends pause in operations

In an acknowledgement of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance and the complexity of operating world voyages, luxury cruise line Cunard will be extending its pause in operations from November 2020 until 25 March 2021 for its ship Queen Elizabeth; until 18 April 2021 for Queen Mary 2 and until 16 May 2021 for Queen Victoria.

Viking announces Mississippi trade training prize winner

In celebration of the line’s newly announced Mississippi River cruises, Viking has announced the winner of its second email trade training program as Jacqui Ingram from Flying Colours Travel in Sale, Victoria.

Ingram has won a gourmet hamper filled with true southern hospitality, such as authentic Louisiana hot sauce, White Lightnin’ Moonshine and a collection of reading material, from cookbooks to cocktails and leather-bound Mark Twain novels such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Agents can sign up to receive Viking’s weekly trade partner emails here.

Silver Spirit becomes first luxe cruise ship to sail with new CIP-M certification 

Silversea’s Silver Spirit has become the first ultra-luxury cruise ship to sail with a certification in infection prevention for maritime (CIP-M) from DNV GL, the world’s leading classification society.

The certification of Silversea demonstrates the cruise line’s commitment to enhancing its onboard sanitation protocols to further protect the health, safety and wellbeing of its guests and crew.

The CIP-M programme is built on DNV GL Healthcare’s expertise in infection risk management. Using the experience from over 4,000 audits in more than 640 hospitals worldwide, experts from DNV GL Maritime’s Cruise Center in Miami and leading medical professionals, tailored the existing infection prevention programme for hospitals to meet the needs of shipowners and operators.

The certification is built on a unique combination of technical maritime knowledge and infection prevention expertise and is the most comprehensive infection prevention certification available in the maritime industry.

Join Ponant’s first online event and spot the Kimberley’s ‘Big 5’


Hosting their first live online event on Tuesday 1 September, Ponant is offering the opportunity to discover Australia’s Kimberley’s ‘Big 5’ with some of the top experiences to have along this North West coastal jewel.

Attendees will be able to tune in and listen to a panel of Ponant’s in-house Kimberley experts, Mick Fogg and Sandrine Erwin-Rose. As regular expedition leaders to the Kimberley, they will join host and business development manager Craig Farrell for Ponant’s first online live event.

Click here to register.

Become a Quark Expeditions PolarPro

Quark Expeditions has introduced Quark Expeditions PolarPro, its new easy-to-use learning platform.

Through quick learning modules, the platform provides agents with key information such as why to travel to the Arctic or Antarctic, the best times to travel to the Polar Regions, and itinerary overviews.

On top of learning modules to grow your knowledge on Polar Travel, the platform gives you the videos, images and marketing materials needed to sell.

Learn quickly from any device and gain your certificate of completion on your own time here.

New Viking combo cruise + river cruises now on sale 

Viking has just released two brand-new September 2021 departures for its popular river/ocean combination cruise.

The 22-day ‘Grand European & Viking Fjords’ combination river/ocean voyage from Bergen to Budapest or v.v. But agents are urged to be quick as they are known to sell-out fast.

With new departures on 13 and 20 September 2021, the 22-day voyage combines Viking’s 15-day ‘Grand European’ river cruise between Budapest and Amsterdam with the eight-day ‘Viking Shores & Fjords’ ocean cruise between Amsterdam and Bergen, including a seamless transfer between ships in Amsterdam.

Visiting six countries and including 17 guided shore excursions, the new departures are priced from $11,990 per person – a saving of up to $4,500 per couple on the brochure price when booked before 31 August 2020.

Meanwhile, the line has also released its 2023 selection of Europe, Russia, Egypt and Southeast Asia river cruises for sale – the first major river cruise operator to do so.

This exclusive preview of 2023 departures is available at 2020 prices when booked before 31 August 2020, offering savings of up to $4,600 per couple on selected itineraries while enjoying the peace of mind that only Viking’s Risk-Free Guarantee can deliver, with the freedom to change plans up to 24 hours before departure.

Viking’s early release of 2023 sailings provides Australian and New Zealand travellers with an opportunity to snap up Viking’s typically very popular brand-new ships, including Viking Osiris sailing the Nile River in Egypt, Viking Saigon sailing the Mekong River in Southeast Asia and Viking Mississippi, launching in the heart of America.

A-ROSA’s E-Motion now scheduled for March 2022 delivery

The delivery of A-ROSA River Cruises’ new E-Motion ship, which was originally planned for May 2021, has been postponed until March 2022 as a result of disruption to the supply chain caused by the pandemic.

The ship is currently under construction at the Severnav shipyard in Romania. The interior will be completed at the Concordia Damen shipyard in the Netherlands. The first departures are now planned for April 2022 on the Northern Rhine.

The ship will feature an ‘e-motion’ concept which allows the ship to switch to battery power when approaching a city and arrive emission-free and can be charged overnight by shore power connection.

Costa Cruises to restart in September with two new itineraries for Italian guests + gains biosecurity certification

Costa Cruises has released two new itineraries for the restart of its cruises in September.

From 6 September to 27 September, Costa Deliziosa will depart every Sunday from Trieste, allowing guests to rediscover five destinations in Southern Italy rich in charm, history and culture, such as Bari and Brindisi in Puglia, Corigliano-Rossano in Calabria, Siracusa and Catania in Sicily.

On 19 September, Costa Diadema will leave from Genoa to call at magnificent Italian art cities and seaside resorts in the western Mediterranean: Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.

The two new Costa Cruises itineraries are reserved for Italian guests only, in order to ensure a responsible and safe restart, given the recent evolution of the epidemiological scenario.

The line has also become the first cruise company to earn the Biosafety Trust Certification from RINA, the over 150-year-old testing, inspection, certification and ship classification company that developed the innovative management system certification program.

The certification process, carried out through audits, examines all aspects of life on board and ashore – from the embarkation procedures to hotel services, catering, fitness, relaxation areas and shore excursions – and assesses the compliance of the system with the scheme procedures aimed at the prevention and control of infections.


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