Cruising Updates

Hurtigruten’s spring trips to 80° North

Hurtigruten will be the only company offering spring expedition cruises as far as 80° North to remote Svalbard when it launches cruises to the region in 2016.

Departing on 25 April and 4 May, the ‘Polar Pioneers of Svalbard’ is a new ten day itinerary departing from Tromso and exploring the remote island of Bjornoya, Spitsbergen and the North Cape (the northernmost point of mainland Europe) before heading back to Tromso – a sailing distance of 1,600 miles.

In Svalbard the first day of midnight sun is 20th April, making for an incredible experience.

While flowers are starting to blossom on the European mainland, in Spitsbergen the polar winter still reigns with sea ice  dominant in the fjords.

On land passengers will encounter snow, ice and possibly female polar bears and seals with their young.

The voyages have gone on sale as part of Hurtigruten’s Explorer programme for 2016.

Those who book from the new preview brochure can save more than 25% per person.

Prices for the Polar Pioneers of Svalbard start from £1,222 per person including the early booking offers.

The price includes the ten day voyage in an inside cabin on MS Fram, full-board basis plus landings.

Phone 09 623 4293 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Cruising Updates

Cruise3sixty Australasia line up announced

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has revealed a line up of local and international cruise industry professionals for the second Cruise3sixty conference from 27-28 February.

CLIA’s president and Chief Executive Christine Duffy will open the event, Norwegian Cruise Line Executive Vice President Andy Stuart will make the keynote address.

A further 20 industry professionals will join a series of panel sessions and presentations covering topical issues in the industry.

Royal Caribbean Regional Vice President Gavin Smith, Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry and Silverseas Cruise Asia Pacific and Europe President Steve Odell will join Mr Stuart as part of a cruise industry leaders panel.

Other speakers include Google Australia’s head of travel Ross McDonald, Aqua Expeditions chief executive Francesco Galli Zugaro, Star Cruises vice president of sales Braydon Holland, senior vice president of international sales Windstar Cruises Dan Chapelle, vice president of international sales Holland America and Seabourn Mark Kammerer, Princess Cruises vice president of Australia Stuart Alison, vice president of Commercial Royal Caribbean Sean Tracy, senior vice president of Australia P&O Cruises Tammy Marshall and vice president Australia Carnival Cruise Lines Jennifer Vandekreeke.

The conference will be held at The Star in Sydney on 27 February 2015, the latest program can be seen at


Cruising Updates

Earlybird deals on Aranui 5

Aranui Cruises has released earlybird fares for the first 2016 sailings of its new Aranui 5, offering savings of up to $1760 per cabin.

The new cruise freighter is due to commence sailing the waters of the South Pacific in late 2015, replacing Aranui 3 which will be retired after more than twelve years servicing the remote Tuamotu and Marquesas archipelagoes.

With capacity for 256 passengers, the modern Aranui 5 will offer a range of new accommodation options including the operator’s first single suites and new premium and deluxe cabins with balconies.

On sale until February 6, 2015, a superior deluxe balcony cabin is priced from $7148*; premium balcony suite starts from $8220* pp twin share.

The earlybird fare represents a 10% discount on the standard 2016 fares for suites, deluxe cabins and staterooms and is valid for the first three voyages of the year departing Papeete on January 16 and February 6 and 27, 2016.

*Subject to availability, conditions apply. Prices are in NZD per person twin-share. Single occupancy attracts a 50% surcharge.

For more information visit or call 03 9449 3778.

Cruising Updates

ms Koningsdam premier sailings

The maiden voyage of Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam will be a seven- day sail of the Mediterranean.

Setting sail in February 2016, the 2,650-guest ship will continue on a series of 12-day premier sailings on two alternating itineraries roundtrip from Civitavecchia through to early May 2016.

The debut cruises will explore some of the region’s most popular capitals, culturally rich cities, charming villages and beautiful beaches. Bookings for the premiere voyage and sailings open 1 December 2014.

Cruise fares on the premier sailings begin at AU$1,199 per person, double occupancy. Taxes are additional.

Cruising Updates

Scenic Spirit launches January 2016

Scenic Tours’ new luxury ship Scenic Spirit will launch on the Mekong River in January 2016, travelling over eight days between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap.

Sleeping 68 guests, all 34 suites feature separate bedroom, living room and balcony and range in size from the 32sqm Deluxe Suite complete with Scenic sun lounge up to the 80sqm Royal Panorama Suite which features a bathroom with extra-large bathtub, rainfall shower and walk-in dressing room; bedroom; living room and outdoor forward facing deck complete with daybed, jacuzzi and al fresco dining table.

The five star Scenic Spirit has four dining venues offering a la carte to casual dining; resort style pool deck and bar; full spa with sauna and steam room; and a sun deck with open air cinema. Beverages are complimentary and all guests have butler service. As with allScenic river cruises, tips and gratuities are included, as are local guides, all Scenic FreeChoice activities plus Scenic Enrich special events.

Scenic Tours is offering some good value new early bird offers for bookings made by 30 April 2015, including free return flights to Asia including taxes.

Scenic Spirit joins the Scenic fleet of 13 luxury river cruise ships throughout Europe, Russia and South East Asia.

The new 84 page Scenic Tours 2016 Mekong River Cruise brochure is out now.

Cruising Updates

Sail SeaDream from Gallipoli to Greek Isles

SeaDream Yacht Club has announced a nine day Istanbul to Athens cruise aboard its SeaDream I on 21 May 2015.

The cruise will visit Gallipoli, Ephesus or Kusadasi’s grand bazaar, medieval Rhodes, the Greek Islands’ Santorini, Mykonos, and motor vehicle-free Hydra, where locals and visitors alike get around on foot or by donkey.

There will also be the recently excavated Terrace Houses an the House of the Virgin Mary near Kusadasi, the Monastery of St John on Patmos Island (where he wrote the Book of Revelations), and Bodrum’s Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

SeaDream Yacht Club includes five- star cuisine and premium wines and bardrinks in its prices, together with power and sail water-sports (where locally permitted,) a 30-international course golf simulator, state of the art fitness centre, mountain bikes for shore excursions, port charges and taxes, and gratuities.

Prices start at US$6048pp twin-share. SeaDream I has a mximum of 112 guests served by 95 crew.

Cruising Updates

Carnival's positive outlook on results

According to the Cruise New Zealand study, the cruise sector contributed a record $365.3 million to the New Zealand economy in the 2013-2014 cruise season, with a projected increase to $421.5 million in 2015-2016.

Ann Sherry CEO Carnival Australia says Carnival New Zealand accounted for the lion’s share of cruising activity in New Zealand waters and was on the threshold of another spectacular summer cruise season.

'New Zealand is a vital part of the world’s fastest growing cruise market and it is satisfying to know that beyond the positive economic data are real people; tour operators, cafe and restaurant owners and taxi drivers, are all benefiting from cruise industry growth,' she says.

Carnival New Zealand represents five cruise brands in the local market and will account for 271 destination calls from October 1 to the end of April next year.

Highlights of Carnival New Zealand’s 2014-2015 cruise season include:

  • In total, Carnival New Zealand will have 11 ships across five brands visiting New Zealand
  • Cunard Line ships will make 10 calls with all three Queens visiting New Zealand waters
  • P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Pearl will make 12 visits (November-December 2014 and then back in April for the start of her record 10-cruise 2015 season)
  • P&O Cruises World Cruising (UK) Aurora will make seven calls including her maiden call to Akaroa on March 12
  • Princess Cruises will make 242 calls across six ships during cruise season

Cruising Updates

Celebrity signature sailings

Celebrity Cruises is broadening its 2015-16 programmes with a series of exclusive Signature Event Sailings, in Europe, the Far East and South America.

Providing passengers with inside access into a series of the most desirable events across the globe, Celebrity’s Signature Event Sailings immerse guests in each culture-rich destination with specially designed shore excursions that place them in the middle of the action or a VIP vantage point.

Signature Event Sailings for 2015-16 include:

Anzac Day - 100th Anniversary Commemoration in Turkey: As part of a 12-night Turkey and Greece cruise departing on April 22, 2015, history buffs can step back in time with a visit to the battlefields of Gallipoli during the 100th Anniversary of Anzac Day. Guests also have the chance to explore and enjoy a tour of the Gallipoli Peninsula, which showcases Turkey’s rich culture and history.
Onboard Celebrity Constellation, vacationers can learn about World War I and II from historian and author Peter Donovan, plus there will be a special viewing of the 100th Anniversary of Anzac Day service televised from the beaches of Gallipoli as well as a commemorative onboard ceremony.

Cannes Film Festival: On a 10-night Mediterranean cruise, departing on May 11, 2015, from Barcelona, Spain, Celebrity Equinox will make an iconic visit to the Cannes Film Festival. Passengers can attend an exclusive VIP rooftop celebration ashore with live French music, cocktails and a view of the picturesque harbor. Onboard, guests can enjoy Celebrity’s film festival ­– a celebration of past Cannes Film Festival winners – and watch live presentations from a film historian.

Redentore Festival in Venice: This 14-night Turkey and Black Sea cruise, departing on July 5, 2015 from Istanbul, Turkey, will visit Venice, Italy during the historic Redentore Festival – a festive celebration that dates back to 1577. Onboard Celebrity Constellation, guests can view a fireworks displays and enjoy a themed poolside and interactive masque event inspired by a Venetian masquerade ball.

The British Open in Edinburgh: Departing on July 15, 2015 from Amsterdam, Netherlands, golf enthusiasts can enjoy the oldest and most prestigious of the major professional golf championships – the British Open – while on the 12-night British Isle cruise aboard Celebrity Silhouette. Celebrating the championship’s 144th year, passengers can enjoy VIP experiences that include special onboard events hosted by a golf pro, entry at the historic championship in St. Andrews, teeing up for a round of golf on courses in three different locations during the sailing, and the rare opportunity to walk the Old Course.

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro: Guests can be part of the action in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during Carnival by sailing on Celebrity Infinity’s special 14-night South America and Rio Carnival cruise, departing on January 31, 2016 from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Guests can take a seat in the Sambadrome for the Samba Parade in grandstand or VIP seating. The party continues onboard, as professional samba dancers perform on stage.

Chinese New Year in Hong Kong: Guests can experience Chinese New Year in Hong Kong during the 14-night Chinese New Year cruise, departing on January 31, 2016 aboard Celebrity Millennium. While in Hong Kong, guests can explore historic landmarks, from the Wong Tai Sin Temple to Kowloon Walled City Park, and participate in a local tradition by visiting the Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree. At sea there will be live performances by Shaolin Monks, Tai Chi lessons and celebrations for the Year of the Monkey.

Cruising Updates

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