Cruise wrap: NZ’s new cruise visa, Scenic Eclipse update, Cruise360 host reveal + MORE!

There are some pretty big updates featured in this week’s cruise wrap. Maybe not as exciting as today’s ibis attack story, but we promise it’s still worth reading.

New cruise travel rules for New Zealand 

From 1 October 2019, some international visitors, transit passengers and all cruise ship passengers must have an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) before travelling to New Zealand.

You are required to hold an NZeTA before travelling to New Zealand if you are:

  • Travelling on a passport from a visa waiver country
  • Travelling on a passport from a transit visa waiver country
  • An Australian permanent resident
  • A cruise ship passenger, regardless of nationality

Most visitors will also need to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) at the same time the NZeTA is requested.

Dame Helen Mirren announced as godmother of Scenic Eclipse + Scenic launches new modules for e-training platform

Helen Mirren - Photo Credit Trevor Leighton

Scenic today announced the appointment of Academy Award winner Dame Helen Mirren as the godmother for Scenic Eclipse, the world’s first discovery yacht. The maiden voyage of this luxury vessel is scheduled for August 15, 2019, departing Reykjavik Iceland on a 13-day discovery sailing, ending in Quebec on August 27.

Meanwhile, the cruise line has launched the latest module updates for its new global e-learning platform – Agent Academy – with the release of South East Asia River Cruising courses on 30 July.

As an incentive for agents to complete these new modules, Scenic is offering $250 Scenic Rewards points to the first consultant in each Australian state to complete the two courses by 30 August. The next 50 to complete the courses will receive $50 Scenic Rewards points.

Introducing Fernando De Oliveira: 25 years at the heart of Silversea Cruises

25th Anniversary

The Chairman’s Ambassador to the Venetian Society, Fernando de Oliveira joined Silversea Cruises 25 years ago, in 1994 — the same year the cruise line launched. During his time at the heart of Silversea’s family, Fernando has befriended thousands of the cruise line’s discerning guests, travelling aboard World Cruises and Venetian Society sailings.

Many guests would consider Fernando’s presence as being a primary reason to sail; he is charismatic, extremely personable and speaks seven languages, which is useful when conversing with guests choosing to sail with Silversea from around the world. He understands better than most what makes the Silversea experience special to so many travellers.

It’s the final countdown: new Star-Ship from Evergreen Cruises & Tours set to sail in Southeast Asia

Emerald Harmony Star-Ship

To celebrate one month until Evergreen’s brand new Star-Ship, Emerald Harmony, begins sailings along the Mekong River, a time-lapse video of the Star-Ship build and the first live image have been released.

Catering to just 84 guests, the chic Star-Ship provides spacious suites and public areas and includes the lines’ signatory Sun and Pool decks, a wellness area with spa, the Horizon Bar & Lounge, and Reflections Restaurant. Exclusive to Emerald Harmony is the Lotus Lounge, an area to relax after a day exploring onshore.

The sleek and contemporary Star-Ship has been custom designed to cruise into Ho Chi Minh City, offering river access into the heart of the city.

Emerald Harmony is the river cruise operator’s eighth Star-Ship, and the first to operate outside of Europe. Its sister Star-Ships currently sail a range of cruises along the Rhône, Douro, Rhine and Danube rivers with visits to Bulgaria, France, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland.

Thinking Cruise? Think Viking information sessions

Viking has announced a vast array of new destinations for its second round of complimentary information sessions for 2019, Think Viking Information Sessions, including Sutherland Shire and Manly in NSW, Mornington Peninsula and Ballarat in VIC, and Toowoomba and the Gold Coast in QLD.

Launching in Darwin, NT on 27 August 2019, these one-hour showcase events are designed for travellers who haven’t cruised with Viking previously and are interested in discovering the style of cruising that the award-winning small-ship cruise line offers, as well as the destinations that Viking visits.

Plus, a $1,000 Viking travel voucher is up for grabs at each location for one lucky guest, as well as special booking offers available for those who attend on the day.

RSVPs are essential – Click here to secure your place.

APT launches bespoke UK barge cruise for 2020

APT has opened up an intimate small group holiday experience aboard the handsomely outfitted barge Magna Carta. A unique floating hotel, accompanied by an expert crew and on-board chef, the Magna Carta accommodates just eight guests in four spacious suites, to entertain the ultimate boutique cruising experience.

Cruise360 host revealed


Television and radio presenter James O’Loghlin has been named as the host of this year’s Cruise360 Australasia conference, heading a packed program of international speakers and panellists who will gather to address the future of the global cruise industry.

Best known as the presenter of ABC TV’s The New Inventors and programs on ABC Local radio, O’Loghlin will act as MC for the August 30 event, to be held at Hyatt Regency Sydney.

O’Loghlin’s role was confirmed today with the release of the full program for Cruise360 Australasia, presented by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) under the theme #NextGeneration.

How Celebrity Cruises is championing gender equality

Championing gender equality has always been important at Celebrity Cruises.

Celebrity Cruises and the entire leadership team have made a commitment to increasing the number of women working on board.

From 3 per cent women in our fleet in 2015 to 22 per cent fleet-wide in 2019, the company’s movement is gaining pace.

Get an inside look at the stories behind the great strides taken towards achieving gender equality at Celebrity Cruises with the above video, produced by Pitch Her Productions, a non-profit, female-led production company supporting women in the film industry.

Trade winds, coral and spices… PONANT’s Africa, Asia, Indian Ocean and Polynesia 2020-21 voyages are now open for sale


PONANT’s ever-expanding list of global itineraries, epitomised by this latest release of 2020-2021 season of voyages, is now open for sale.

The sales opening features 37 departures with new itineraries out of the 62 total luxury cruises and expeditions released. This enticing assortment of 7 to 15-night voyages includes a wide range of destinations that extend from Africa, the Maldives and the Arabian Gulf to India, Sri Lanka, China, Myanmar, Japan and Tahiti.

Christmas (deals) in July

It is time to Deck the Holidays with incredible savings on holiday cruises from Royal Caribbean!

Go dashing through the seas and enjoy a romantic Christmas getaway. (Over)indulge with a holiday feast of everyone’s favourite festive dishes, learn to decorate gingerbread cookies, or maybe even run into the big guy himself delivering gifts to each Royal Caribbean ship.

Holiday travellers can also take part in the time-honoured tradition of lighting the tree –transforming each Royal Caribbean ship into a Christmas wonderland not to be missed.

Festive activities to get any Grinch into the holiday spirit include Christmas Eve carolling, ugly sweater and ornament decorating, holiday games and trivia, and a holiday movie night. Midnight Mass will be held on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Escape the mess and stress by sailing with Royal Caribbean this festive season!

NCL gives loyalty members best offer yet 


Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has announced its best Latitudes Rewards Programme offer to date, with Australian and New Zealand members, at bronze level and above, able to access 20 per cent off an array of sailings.

Past guests can select from over 350 different itineraries to bucket-list destinations including Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Hawai’i, the Caribbean, Alaska and more.

These savings can also be combined with a number of current offers including ‘Take 5 Free’, giving guests who book a Balcony stateroom or above all five ‘Free at Sea’ offers – in addition to receiving US$200 onboard credit when they book their next Hawai`i cruise holiday, or US$100 onboard credit for a range of other destinations.

NCL’s ‘Take 5 Free’ offer is available across its 16-strong fleet for a limited-time, and offers guests a free beverage package, free shore excursion credit, free specialty dining package, free Wi-Fi package and access to NCL’s ‘friends and family sail at a reduced rate’ on a wide range of departures.

Past guests simply need to log in to their My NCL account to view eligible sailings, with this never-before-seen-offer available until 31 July 2019.

Seabourn unveils dining experiences, design of ‘The Restaurant’ on new expedition ships

Seabourn Expedition Ships - The Restaurant Rendering Reduced

Seabourn has given travellers a glimpse of the eight dining experiences, as well as a first-ever look at The Restaurant, on its two new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships set to launch in June 2021 and May 2022.

Diners are sure to be delighted for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout their adventures with Seabourn. Each dining experience showcases the high quality and breadth of cuisine crafted by Seabourn’s skilled chefs from top-quality ingredients with an eye toward the latest culinary innovations and trends, and service by talented staff who are always at the top of their game.

New immersive jazz theatre experience celebrates the cultural and musical history of jazz


Signature jazz evenings will regale guests onboard the new Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess at Take 5, the only jazz theatre at sea. Celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz, the new lounge will also feature hand-crafted cocktails by Princess partner and Master Mixologist Rob Floyd in a chic bar setting.

Debuting onboard the cruise line’s newest ships Sky Princess (October 2019) and Enchanted Princess (June 2020), Take 5 will offer curated experiences honouring the roots of jazz, the birth of BeBop, contemporary jazz and iconic female artists, while highlighting how destinations helped shaped this musical genre.

MSC Cruises’ 2020-2021 mid-year sale 

Choose from the Caribbean, Mediterranean or Arabian Peninsula and you’ll be rewarded with up to $600 onboard credit per cabin.

Visit MSC’s private island Ocean Cay Marine Reserve in the Bahamas and explore Belize and Mexico. Priced from $714 per person for a 7-night cruise departing Miami 1 December 2019 aboard MSC Meraviglia.  Plus bonus onboard credit!

In the Mediterranean over 11 nights aboard MSC Opera, you’ll visit Rome and Messina in Italy, Olympia, Heraklion and Rhodes in Greece, Limassol in Cyprus and Jerusalem in Israel.  Priced from $959 per person based on 12 December 2019 departure with bonus onboard credit! Or over 11 nights enjoy Morocco, Spain and Portugal aboard MSC Opera priced from $1,049 per person.  Based on 4 January, 2020 departure with bonus onboard credit.

An Arabian nights adventure awaits aboard MSC Bellissima. Priced from $784 per person, over 7 nights you can sail from Dubai, with ports of call including Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Doha, Bahrain, Khasab, Muscat, plus bonus onboard credit!

Valid on selected departures from November 2019 to April 2020.

Unique Vanuatu chocolate flavours now on P&O Cruises’ menu as Aelan chocolate makers reach supplier status

Vanuatu Chocolate_P&O Partner

Vanuatu-grown cocoa transformed into a rich uniquely flavoured dark chocolate has found its way onto dessert menus on P&O Cruises’ ships as the island nation’s Aelan Chocolate Makers reach official supplier status.

In another sign of support for the Vanuatu economy, the first shipment of the chocolate has already been made to P&O and its onboard galley teams are devising dessert treats using the celebrated dark chocolate.

The cruise line’s guests will soon be able to order exotically flavoured desserts such as a chocolate grand marnier torte incorporating the Vanuatu produced chocolate along with a rich chocolate sauce flowing over it.

Viking offers once-in-a-lifetime cruise opportunity from Mumbai to the Mediterranean

Indian spice market

Your clients can save up to $1,000 per couple on Viking’s 30-day Mumbai to Mediterranean Passage, departing 3 April 2020 and priced from just $12,995 per person in a Veranda stateroom. Plus, the can add return economy flights from just $1,295 per person.

There is only a single departure for this once-in-a-lifetime voyage, which visits 10 countries on four continents and includes 12 guided tours.

Departing from Mumbai in India onboard Viking Sun, this epic voyage of discovery calls in Oman, Jordan and Egypt before sailing the engineering marvel that is the Suez Canal. Guests will journey on to the Mediterranean jewels of Malta, Italy, Algeria, Spain and Portugal, before arriving in the UK with a call to Dover and ending in London.

Known as ‘the thinking person’s cruise’, Viking is destination-focused, culturally enriching and carefully curated. Itineraries are developed with curious, experienced travellers in mind. Once onboard, every detail of Viking’s ships is designed to enhance and enrich the travel experience, so that guests can deeply understand and connect to the destinations they visit.

This deal is eligible for bookings before 31 August 2019. Terms and conditions apply.

Windstar Cruises’ new 2019-2021 voyage collection debuts 50 new itineraries


In our high-tech digital world, the simple pleasures of a beautifully produced print publication speaks wonders. That’s the concept behind Windstar Cruises’ new 2019-2021 Voyage Collection.

The brochure presents an abundance of colourful choices including 50 brand new itineraries, featured amongst nearly 700 cruise and cruise tour dates available now through 2021. The award-winning small ship line now visits 330 ports of call around the world and offers more than 2,500 shore excursions to bring cruise guests closer to new destinations and local cultures.

The boutique line’s deployment expansion includes adding the following regions in 2018: Alaska; Canada & New England; Asia including the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan; increasing Northern Europe sailings with more visits to Norway, United Kingdom, and Greenland; while 2019 saw more ports in Japan, cruises to Indonesia, the U.S. West Coast, and Mexico. In 2020 and 2021, Windstar will sail to: Australia & New Zealand; South Pacific Islands; Western Caribbean featuring cruises homeporting from Miami; Central America; and expanded Mediterranean sailings to Israel and Egypt, as well as returning to Istanbul, Seville, and the Corinth Canal, with more to come.

Exclusive to Australians: save US$1,000 per couple on river cruises in America’s Pacific Northwest

American Empress pic

Fresh from being named the best river cruise line in North America at Cruise Critic’s Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards this month, the American Queen Steamboat Company is offering savings of up to US$1000 per couple on eight-night cruise packages along North America’s historic Columbia River.

The river snakes through scenic gorges and canyons and past sunburnt hillsides, spectacular waterfalls and the oldest American settlements west of the Rocky Mountains.


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