Cruise wrap: MSC teams up with Martha Stewart, RCL begins construction on new ship + more!

This cruise wrap is bigger than some of the cruise ships featured! And yes, we’d like you to take everything we say literally.

Silversea cruises opens exclusive pre-sale on groundbreaking new summer 2020/2021 voyages


Silversea Cruises announces 54 new summer 2020/2021 voyages and opens an exclusive pre-sale for its Venetian Society members.

The remarkable range of voyages will unlock more immersive experiences for the cruise line’s guests, with an increased number of unique ports for the summer season and 20 maiden calls.

Silversea’s team of destination experts has crafted the voyages to incorporate both iconic and rare travel experiences, enabling guests to travel deeper into the authentic beauty of the world in whispered luxury.

Comprising the summer itineraries of Silver Muse, Silver Whisper, Silver Shadow, Silver Spirit and Silver Moon ­­­– an ultra-luxury sister ship to Silver Muse, due to join the fleet in August 2020 – the new collection of voyages will showcase the wonders of the Caribbean, springtime in Asia, and the best of both Australia and South America on respective circumnavigations, among other remarkable experiences.

Simplifying guests’ journeys, travellers can enjoy included round-trip economy class flights, or reduced business class upgrades, and transfers on virtually all voyages in the new collection (exceptions and market-specific conditions may apply).

Azamara’s last-minute Alaska cruise deals are about to set sail

Azamara Club Cruises announces a final call for holidaymakers to save up to 50 per cent on last-minute immersive voyages to Alaska, across a range of itineraries and stateroom categories.

Choose an Alaska adventure cruise on Azamara Quest departing Vancouver on 14 June 2019. The 8-night sailing visits extraordinary Alaska destinations including Ketchikan, Juneau, Haines, Sitka and Icy Strait Point before finishing up in Seward, Alaska. Fares begin at $2,159* per person based single occupancy or twin share.

Or choose a Japan, Russia and Alaska cruise departing Tokyo on 12 May 2019 onboard Azamara Quest. The 14-night sailing visits Sapporo and Kushiro in Japan, Petropavlovsk in Russia and Dutch Harbour, Kodiak and Homer in Alaska finishing in Seward, Alaska. Fares begin at $3,719* per person based single occupancy or twin share.

MSC Cruises announces exclusive partnership with Martha Stewart


MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe and South America – is partnering with internationally acclaimed home and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart on new, exclusive culinary and discovery experiences onboard and ashore to make MSC Cruises’ guests holiday moments even more special and memorable.

The partnership, themed ‘Celebrate, Discover, Experience’, includes specially curated shore excursions, celebration surprise gift packages, and onboard special holiday dinner menus and recipes.  Martha Stewart is an Emmy Award-winning television show host, entrepreneur, bestselling author of 94 books, and America’s lifestyle expert and teacher.

Major milestone set for Lindblad Expeditions


April marked a major milestone for Lindblad Expeditions as the hull of National Geographic Endurance, the world’s most advanced polar expedition ship and the first polar build in the history of Lindblad Expeditions, arrived in Ulsteinvik, Norway after traveling nearly six days from Gydnia, Poland where construction of the main hull steel work was completed.

The ship arrived under tow with 100 per cent of structure steel and major foundation work having been completed at Crist S.A..

The ship currently has all bow thruster and major HVAC equipment installed. The main engines, generators, stabilisers, cranes and other essential equipment will be installed in dry dock at Ulstein Shipyard, along with the completed piping, electrical and hotel outfitting.

The last two steel blocks on the housetop which make up the ships masts will be erected later in the construction stage as air space becomes available at Ulstein Shipyard. The ship is scheduled to be delivered at the end of January 2020.

Lindblad recently announced an agreement with Ulstein on the design and construction of a second polar vessel, due for delivery in 2021.

Avalon announces new ‘Special Interest’ cruises for 2020

Avalon Waterways will introduce a handful of exciting new Special Interest cruises for its 2020 program – with itineraries specifically crafted for photography aficionados, culinary connoisseurs, history-buffs and nature-enthusiasts, there’s a cruise for every type of traveller.

“Avalon’s ‘Special Interest’ itineraries complement stories with stout, history with harmony and impressions with impressionism,” said Gai Tyrell, Managing Director Australasia, Globus family of brands.

“In addition to announcing new author and photography cruises in 2020, we are also unveiling new culinary-themed cruises and favourites featuring wine, beer, history, heritage and of course, Christmas. Regardless of the theme, our passion-filled cruises have the great distinction of uniting our guests with their pastimes and other like-minded travellers.”

Princess Cruises celebrates 50 years in Alaska with beloved bear and his new moose friend 


In celebration of Princess Cruises 50 years of sailing to the Great Land of Alaska, the cruise line is introducing McKinley the moose, a plush character friend of Stanley, who was first introduced in 2017 as the official bear plush for the cruise line, named after the company’s founder Stanley B. McDonald.

McKinley, in reference to Mt McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge or “Denali” the highest mountain peak in North America, was named by Princess Cruises Facebook fans in the cruise line’s “Name Stanley’s Friend Contest,” receiving more than 2,400 entries.

Stanley’s new buddy McKinley, or “Mac” to those who know him well – is always ready for adventure and has spent hours exploring his home in Denali National Park but even six million acres of wilderness isn’t enough to satisfy this adventurous moose.

So when Stanley stopped by on a Princess Alaska cruisetour, McKinley asked if he could join his friend at sea. Now the pair will be celebrating the upcoming Alaska season, sailing together and bringing joy to guests from around the world.

Say Aloha to great prizes with Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Hawai’i competition

Norwegian Cruise Line has today launched a competition giving Australian and New Zealand travel agents the opportunity to win amazing weekly prizes whilst increasing their Hawai’i product knowledge.

Each week, the competition will focus on one of the four islands visited by Pride of America – O’ahu, Maui, Hawai`i and Kaua`i. There will be one major and one runner up prize to win each week, with a total prize pool value of nearly $5,000. Prizes include a Samsung Galaxy S10e mobile phone, an Apple Watch Series 4 and an Apple 12.9 inch iPad Pro, to name but a few.

To go into the draw to win, agents need to head to and answer two simple questions on Norwegian’s Hawai’i cruise experience. Agents can find all the answers in the latest Hawai’i brochure and flyer, both housed on the competition website.

The competition commences at 9am, 29 April, 2019 and will run until the 27 May, 2019. Prize winners will be drawn each Sunday and announced weekly on the competition website every Monday.

Voted ‘The Best Hawaii Itinerary’ 13 years in a row by Porthole Cruise Magazine, Pride of America is the only ship to sail the four Hawaiian islands in seven days every Saturday, year-round. This unique itinerary includes overnight stays in breathtaking Maui and Kaua‘i and almost 100 hours onshore with no sea days.

Please find a link to Norwegian’s Hawai’i competition microsite and T&Cs here.

Carnival Corporation hosts Herbie Hancock ahead of International Jazz Day

Ann Sherry and Herbie Hancock in Sydney - Photo by James D Morgan

The legendary master of modern jazz, Herbie Hancock and Carnival Australia Chairman, Ann Sherry celebrated Carnival Corporation’s support of the 2019 International Jazz Day program with the world’s largest travel leisure company hosting an intimate reception at the Sydney Opera House on Friday April 26.

Sydney was the start of Australia’s International Jazz Day program with workshops and masterclasses hosted by the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz.

It all culminates in an all-star global concert in Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on Tuesday April 30 — International Jazz Day — featuring more than 30 of the world’s greatest jazz musicians including Herbie and Australian jazz legend James Morrison.

Royal Caribbean begins construction of fifth Oasis-class ship 


The revolutionary Oasis Class will soon have a new sister, as today Royal Caribbean International celebrated the steel cutting of a fifth Oasis Class ship, scheduled to be delivered in 2021. The steel cutting, marking the official start of construction, took place at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

The Oasis Class took the cruise industry by storm with the introduction of Oasis of the Seas a decade ago and again with the introduction of Symphony of the Seas in 2018. The fifth Oasis Class ship will combine the iconic seven-neighborhood concept that her sister ships feature with a bold and unexpected lineup of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology.

Tickets for CLIA’s Cruise360 Australasia Conference now available


Have you reserved your place at CLIA’s 2019 Cruise360 Australasia Conference and Trade Show.

Cruise360 is the largest cruise industry conference in the southern hemisphere, and attracts over 500 delegates. Speakers include industry leaders from Australia, New Zealand and across the globe.

Cruise360 2019 will take place this year at the Hyatt Regency, Darling Harbour, Sydney on Friday August 30 2019.

Tickets are now available and selling fast. Our records show that you attended Cruise360 last year, so make sure that you don’t miss out, as Cruise360 has sold out in previous years!

Evergreen launches exciting new Japan 2020 touring program  

Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto, Japan

Responding to demand from its customer database, Evergreen Cruises & Tours has launched an exciting new 2020 touring program into Japan.

On the 14 day Japan Encompassed tour, guests will experience the iconic sights and attractions of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, and will explore the beautifully preserved old town of Takayama and World Heritage-listed village of Shirakawa-go. They will visit Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial museum, discover the magnificent Kenroku-en Garden, ride the bullet train, and enjoy unique local experiences like spending the night in a traditional ‘ryokan’ and dining with a maiko (apprentice geisha). Evergreen’s brand new program takes you on a journey of discovery to experience the incredible contrasts of Japan.

With just four very special departures – including one in the famous cherry blossom season and one timed for the stunning autumn colours – Evergreen is offering guests the chance to experience the magic of Japan in 2020 from just $8,645pp*.


Leave a Reply


Tourists stranded as Europe’s rivers continue to drop

Water levels across Europe’s rivers continue to plague cruise operators with reports of marooned boats on the Doubs River.




Midweek Interview

Midweek catch-up with Italian hotelier Gai Quartucci

This week, we sat down with Gai Quartucci, global sales and marketing director for part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the world group.



Travel Agents

Malaysia Airlines launches free trip incentive for agents

This incentive is like a buy one, get one free, except instead of buying something, you’ve got to sell airfares… which is likely your job anyway so win-win.




Ennismore to bring four new lifestyle hotels to NZ

Accor’s quirky stepchild is spreading its wings across the Pacific with four new signings in New Zealand.




Missed the Visit USA Expos? Fear not, we’ve got your biggest questions covered.

by sponsored by Visit USA Australia

No more FOMO! These hot tips will get you in top-tip shape to visit the USA.




Jetstar launches Sunny Coast sale with fares cheaper than a tank of petrol

With prices this low, Jetstar will have to steal Bunnings’ famous tagline. Hopefully they’ll start hosting sausage sizzles as well.




Hotel Review: La Sultana is an oasis among the chaos of Marrakech

by Nancy Hromin

A peaceful hideaway right in the centre of the Medina’s hustle and bustle, La Sultana is an oasis among the chaos of Marrakech – a chaos we absolutely loved.




Aussie travel start-up Ok Away partners with Air Doctor

While it is a cool name, Ok Away also sounds like a good way to end a sentence with someone you wish would leave you alone.




“It’s a shocking insult”: Qantas slammed for asking execs to work as baggage handlers

The bags on your next flight may be handled by Alan Joyce, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your confidence in his ability to fling around 30 kg bags.




Travellers warned over bomb threats against Moldova’s international airport

The government’s travel alert website is advising Aussies to reconsider their need to travel to Moldova, which, given the bomb threats, is probably sound advice.




Intrepid launches citizen science programs in Antarctica

Believe it or not, there is more than one program about understanding phytoplankton (which are a lot more important than you would think)!




IHG celebrates 60 years with big surprises + Tim Tam cake

The brand is celebrating its Diamond anniversary with a series of events and surprises for guests, but honestly, they had us at “Tim Tam”.