Here is a quick snapshot of what’s happening in the cruise world around us.
Royal Caribbean year-round to Cuba
Royal Caribbean has announced a 12-month cruise program with stops in Cuba, over 58 new cruises on Empress of the Seas, through to Mar 2019. The liner will operate four and five-night itineraries departing from the popular Florida port of Tampa during the northern summer. The vessel will make stops in Key West, Costa Maya and Cozumel, as well as Cuba’s capital city of Havana, on most sailings.
Sydney cruise infrastructure woes
The popular harbour city of Sydney has seen a large increase in the size and number of cruise ships visiting the past few years, adding a strain to the city’s infrastructure and ability to service the industry. But the pressure to upgrade and add new cruise ship docks and facilities comes with a hefty price tag, with the city wanting cruise lines to foot the bill.
This has led to some cruise lines with ships based year-round in Sydney seeing red, thanks to the already high port charges and taxes being charged. Royal Caribbean has scaled back future cruise operations to the NSW capital and Carnival Cruise Lines has said it will move some of its operations to Melbourne and Brisbane, dealing a blow to the harbour city’s economy. Watch this space for future announcements and potential new cruise docks.
Princess film festival at sea
Princess Cruises has announced it will bring award-winning films to the seas again this year, as it celebrates the third Travelling Film Festival at Sea on Sun Princess in November.
Lovers of cinema will enjoy a selection of high calibre film screenings curated by Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley and hosted by acclaimed film critic Richard Kuipers during the ship’s six-night roundtrip cruise from Sydney to Tasmania (November 5-11). Call us for more information on tis cruise on 1300 041 781.
Majestic Princess delivered
Princess Cruises has taken delivery of Majestic Princess, from shipbuilder Fincantieri, at an official handover ceremony at the shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
Princess Cruises’ first international luxury ship tailored for the China market, Majestic Princess will start her inaugural season in Europe before embarking on a repositioning cruise, themed the Silk Road Sea Route journey, to Shanghai,where she will begin her first homeport season in July.
New Pacific Explorer restaurants
P&O Cruises will soon be serving gourmet burgers and traditional Italian Neapolitan pizzas at sea, revealing plans to launch a new poolside grill called Luke’s, by Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan, in partnership with Melbourne-based pizza maker Johnny Di Francesco on its latest ship, Pacific Explorer
The new casual dining outlets have been unveiled in the cruise line’s latest brochure, which features record ship deployments for both Brisbane and Adelaide as part of P&O’s 2018-19 offering.
Record cruise season in-store for Brisbane and Adelaide
For the first time, Australia’s home grown cruise line P&O will base three ships in Brisbane, with Queensland holidaymakers able to enjoy a spring season of cruises on Pacific Jewel from September to November 2018, as well as year-round cruising on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria.
READ: It’s a new Dawn for P&O
Between them, the three ships are scheduled to offer 126 cruises from Brisbane in 2018 – an 18 per cent increase on 2017. Their itineraries will feature an unprecedented 27 short three- and four-night cruises.
Meanwhile, South Australians will be able to cruise from their doorstep in February and March 2019 with a record 12 P&O cruises on offer including Sea Breaks visiting Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island and Melbourne.
New UNESCO World Heritage tours in Europe
Seabourn has announced new UNESCO Partner Tours at World Heritage Sites across Europe over the cruise season ahead, as part of its exclusive partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The tours will offer guests privileged access, guide-led exploration, and remarkable experiences, as with all such offerings since the partnership began in 2014.
Available on select scheduled Seabourn cruises starting this summer season, each UNESCO Partner Tour focuses on individual UNESCO World Heritage Sites selected – and protected – for their cultural, historical, scientific or other significance to humankind.
Tours include visits to Stonehenge, cooking classes on Italy’s Amalfi Coast; The Silk Exchange in Valencia, Spain; Gorham’s Cave Complex in Gibraltar; tour of famed architect Antoni Gaudí sites in Barcelona; and Megalithic Malta & the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta, Malta.
New Viking ship for Egypt
Viking Cruises has announced the launch of their new ship, Viking Ra with guests setting sail on a new Egypt itinerary, Pharaohs and Pyramids in March 2018. The all-suite Viking Ra will boast 24 suites and accommodate 48 guests, reflecting Viking’s award-winning Scandinavian design and intimate sailing experience.
“We are excited to announce our new ship, Viking Ra, in Egypt”. With her introduction, we will be one of the only Western companies to own and operate a ship on the Nile, with Viking staff to guarantee the delivery of our award-winning service”, said Michelle Black, Managing Director of Viking Cruises Australia and New Zealand. “As we continue to grow our river fleet and provide new itineraries, we look forward to providing our guests with even more choice to explore the world in ‘the Viking way’.”
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