Thursday, 26 June 2008

Star Cruises look to Europe

Star Cruises are significantly increasing their European marketing after establishing that interest and sales have grown steadily in the market recently.

Michael Dupont has been promoted to Assistant VP Sales which the company say is a reflection of their optimism for the European market for cruising in the Far East, year round.

Said Dupont: “The untapped potential in the European market is a large growth area for Star Cruises. "The increasing number of long-haul friendly cruises of at least five-nights means that we have more options to sell in these markets. "To support this we have enhanced the booking process and agents can now take advantage of live availability online and sell cruise-only itineraries as part of a tailormade Far East tour.”

Star Cruises sail from the ports of Hong Kong and Singapore.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Carnival wheel for Oasis of the Seas

When RCI unveil the Oasis of the Seas, soon to be the worlds largest cruise ship it will feature a carnival wheel and loft apartments. The ship which will sail in the Caribbean from December next year, will also feature an amphitheatre, the first of it's kind on a cruise ship.

A 43-foot rock-climbing wall and a "zip-line" which will run at a level of 9 decks above the ship's main deck is also a unique feature to be unveiled.

The twin level suites will be the loftiest accomodation available at sea with features such as windows that stretch from floor to ceiling.

This huge new ship will carry 5,400 passengers in 7 areas , each with it's individual theme which will include Central Park. RCI's Oasis of the Seas will also feature 16 decks with 37 different grades and types of accommodation, the views from some of these will be unique.

At 220,000 tonnes the ship is huge by current standards and will initially operate from its home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, begining on 12th December 2009.

Booking will be available from 3rd September 2008. The ship will operate 19, 7 nights cruises in succession to the ports of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau, Bahamas in the Eastern Caribbean.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Norwegian Jewel Sails on Inaugural Cruise from Southampton

With 1,500 British passengers on board NCL's Norwegian Jade started out on its inaugural cruise, leaving Southamptom, its new home port for this Summer.
Having now established a foothold in Southampton NCL, are set to offer competition to Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International who are well established there and are competing favourably with P&O Cruises for a share of the ever increasing cruise market in the United Kingdom. With a projected market of 1,500,000 British people expected to take a cruise in 2008 the number of customers will grow from 1,370,000 in 2007, so say the PSA. Norwegian Jade, the renamed Pride of Hawaii as she was previously named has been made available in a move which has shrunk the operation in Hawaii, to the benefit of the UK and European market.
Norwegian Jade's arrived in Southampton to a warm welcome from the City’s mayor and after the exchange of plaques, the ship made ready to leave for the Mediterranean with a passenger list of principally UK and US citizens who made up the 2,400 passengers. Other than to recognise the British taste for British beer NCL have not changed the theme of the ship, which still carries a Hawaiian feel which may seem misplaced in the Mediterranean, but which NCL are sure will be a hit with passengers.

Norwegian Jade will offer the Freestyle 2.0 upgrades, which include a glass of bubbly on embarkation, better mattresses and linens in the cabins and more lobster at dinner.
As gambling is banned in Hawaii this will be the first time gaming has been available onboard.

Visit CruiseDirect to book.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Silversea's Prince Albert II Ready for Adventure

The Prince Albert II, Silversea's new luxury expedition ship arrived in London earlier this week as it made ready for it's first voyage.
As it sailed under Tower Bridge to collect it's first passengers, the ship which had made its way from Monte Carlo and its naming ceremony, looked magnificent.

With accommodation for a maximum of 132-passengers the Prince Albert II will be be the first ultra-luxury expedition ship in the world, it is claimed by Silversea.

The vessel then made it's way down river, setting off an a series of adventures which will last between 10 and 22 days. The main focus will be Polar adventures, heading for the Arctic Circle, Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland during the summer months. Following this it will sail for South America and Antarctica with a programme of winter sailings planned.

The ship has under gone a multi million dollar renovation and has a 1A ice rating ensuring that the lucky 132 passengers will be carried in safety and ultra-luxurious surroundings throughout their journey

Although it is by definition a smaller ship Silverseas claim the that the cabins offered on the Prince Albert II are on average the largest on any expedition ship. With 66 ocean-view cabins, all of which feature private bathrooms decorated with marble, and many of which have double private balconies or large private verandas, comfort is assured. Butler service is available as one might expect also.

Silversea is a provisional member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, dedicated to managing respectable, environmentally friendly and safe expedition cruising in the Arctic.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Crossing the Panama Canal is an Expensive Business for Disney Cruise line

It has been reported in Panama City that The Disney Cruise Line has paid over 330,000 US Dollars in canal fees to cross the Panama Canal.

The fees were increased in 2007 and are now applied according to the number of beds on board a ship rather than the amount of cargo it can carry. The "Disney Magic" with 875 staterooms is the biggest ship yet to pay the fee at the new tarrif and so now holds the record for the highest price paid..

The most paid by any other ship uptil this point had been 317,142 US Dollars, by a cargo ship, the "MSC Fabienne." Close behind this the record for a cruise ship had been 313,000 US Dollars, set in October 2007 by 2 NCL ships.
The fees increase is obviously needed to help cover the costs of a 5.25 Billion Dollar expantion to the canal which is not due to be finished for at least another 6 years.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Myleene Klasse to name Splendor

Musician and singer Myleene Klass has been lined up to be godmother of and to name Carnival Splendor in Dover next month. The 4,914-passenger ship will be the first Carnival ship to be named in the UK.

In addition to this Carnival Splendor will have the honour of being the biggest, at 113,000-tonne, ship to sail out of Dover after the naming ceremony on 10th July 2008. It’s first work will be a preview cruise lasting 3 days berthing in Amsterdam, Holland and returning to Dover where it will begin it’s official inaugural cruise, lasting 12 days and berthing in Copenhagen, Warnemunde (for Berlin), Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Amsterdam.

“Myleene is the perfect Godmother to name Carnival Splendor, with her many talents complementing the many features on the ship, which is already attracting a broad passenger base - from families to couples to groups of friends – all with a common desire to enjoy a fun, casual and memorable vacation. “The British cruising market is growing fast, with over 1.3 million taking cruises from the UK last year, and this is why we have chosen Britain for our inaugural summer season for Carnival Splendor.” Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO Gerry Cahill said.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Highlights from the NCL Freestyle Cruising Brochure 2009/10

NCL’s first ever programme of winter sunshine cruises in Europe aboard the beautiful Norwegian Jade.

Fly-cruises from Barcelona to exotic ports like Alexandria, Casablanca and out to the Canary Islands with prices starting at only £699*pp for a 9 night fly-cruise.

Summer 2009 Europe Cruises

Including roundtrip itineraries from Dover and Southampton to the Med and Northern Europe, and Mediterranean fly-cruises – 7 night fly-cruise from £649*pp

Hawaii and Alaska 2009

Two must-cruise destinations and a great time to book with sensational savings.

Early booking discount applies to all of these cruisesSave up to £400 per stateroom*

This unmissable offer is valid for bookings made before 31 July 2008.
Book your cruise right now for the best availability and the widest choice of accommodation.

Call NOW on 0141 242 1313.
Click here for details

On Sale Now

Itineraries now available to book
Europe, Mediterranean & Baltic
Caribbean from Miami
Alaska & the Canadian Rockies

On Sale 6 June
Caribbean from New York & New Orleans

On Sale 13 June
California, Mexico & South America

On Sale 20 June
Canada & New England

On Sale 27 June
Mexican Riviera

On Sale 4 July
Atlantic Voyages

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Celebrity Cruises Offer On-Line Dinner Reservations

Celebrity Cruises has long been known for its outstanding dining. And now, there’s even more reason to celebrate: their onboard Speciality Restaurants can now be booked in advance, online.

Celebrity Millennium will be the first ship available to pre-reserve with full roll out the rest of the fleet over the next few months. By pre-reserving your Speciality Restaurant now, you can relax knowing that you’re all set to enjoy and unforgettable dining experience once onboard.

Logging in to make reservations for our Speciality Restaurants has several great advantages:
  • Shop Securely
  • Modify your confirmed Speciality Restaurant reservations
  • Access your reservation information
  • Reserve a table for all guests in your reservation or another reservation (up to six guests) with the interactive calendar.
  • Pay for Speciality Restaurant reservations with multiple credit cards.

    Full information is available at

Cruising Booms in difficult times

One might be be fooled into thinking that this was a bad time to go cruising.

Fuel prices and the credit crunch have taken the headlines by storm, crude oil prices are at their highest ever levels with expectations of even greater increases. Predictions of doom from the worlds business guru's ensure that all aspects of personal expenditure are coming under scruitiny, not least holidays. For those looking to take a traditional holiday to Europe the problems are compounded by a very strong Euro and little sign that it's strengthening will abate.

All of these are valid reasons to be careful with your choice of holiday both in terms of destination and type.

Under scruitny cruising comes out very well indeed.

Early booker 2009 prices for Cruising with CruiseDirect are in some cases 30% cheaper than previous years, with special offers and bargains to be had all around.

Most of the major cruise operators will have hedged their fuel, giving them a stable platform from which to manage their prices, and bigger ships with more capacity have introduced even greater saving, not to mention increased choice and quality.

American owned ships, of which there are many sailing in European waters, use US Dollars as the currency of choice on all ships. Holland America, Carnival Cruises, R.C.I., Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Lines and NCL to name but a few, give passengers the undoubted benefit of paying for everything on board in Dollars. The US dollar is as weak against Stirling as the Euro is strong giving cruisers a huge boost when it comes to counting the cost os a holiday.

There may be trouble ahead for some but cruising should stay well clear of those stormy waters for the forseeable future.

Expedition Cruise Ship Is To Replace Lost Explorer Cruise Ship

The MS Explorer which sank in 2007 in the Antarctic is to be replaced by the MS Expedition, owners GAP Adventures have anounced.

At the cost of £8 million to buy and refit the larger vessel, this is a significant investment for the company.

Sailing under the flag of Sweden the ship, has until now worked up and down the coast of Scandinavia. It will begin offering trips to the Antarctic in January 2009.

A brochure with full itineraries will be available from CruiseDirect, hopefully by the middle to end of August.

132 passengers can be accommodated but this will be restricted to 120 to allow for those who wish to take single cabins. The Expedition will undergo a four-month refit before it is available to carry passengers for GAP Adventures on January 4 2009.

The vessel is bigger than the Explorer at 345ft, some 70 ft longer.