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Cruising Updates

Avalon launches latest suite ship

Avalon Waterways has launched its newest river cruise ship Avalon Illumination in classical Viennese style at a ceremony on the banks of the Danube.

Christened by Avalon brand ambassador Deborah Hutton in Vienna early June, Illumination is the third addition to Avalon’s European fleet this year.

The 83-cabin Illumination is the eighth vessel introduced by Avalon since its Suite Ship concept made its debut three years ago with the launch of Avalon Panorama.

Designed with Australasian travellers in mind, the Suite Ships form part of the most modern river cruise fleet in Europe and offer 30 per cent more cabin space than the average competitor

Each has two decks of all-suite accommodation and wall-to-wall panoramic windows that slide back to turn the entire cabin into an open-air balcony.

Next year Avalon will introduce another two Suite Ships – Avalon Tapestry II and Avalon Tranquility II – giving it a total of 10 Suite Ships in an overall European fleet of 15 vessels

Globus Australasia MD Stewart Williams with godmother Deborah Hutton and Avalon Waterways MD Patrick Clark

Cruising Updates

Starwood joins CLIA

In a nod to the growing value of cruising to the hotel sector, Starwood Hotels and Resorts has signed on as an executive partner of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia.

A long term member of CLIA USA, the Sydney-based Starwood branch decided to join the Australasian association after attending the inaugural regional Cruise3sixty in February.

The agreement aims to provide an accommodation solution pre and post cruise at Starwood properties and strengthen the group’s association with the cruise industry.

Cruising Updates

Cruise New Zealand looks at AKL progression

Cruise New Zealand has identified the upgrading and 'right sizing' of Auckland's cruise infrastructure, as well as further research into cruise visitor spend, as imperative focuses for the progression of New Zealand's cruise sector.

Cruise New Zealand recently met with CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) Australasia to engage with key stakeholders with the objective of demystifying the cruise sector and establishing a blueprint for New Zealand's cruise future.

Given that Asia Pacific is seeing larger ships, new entrants and new builds to the region, with ships increasingly carrying in excess of 3000 passengers, Cruise New Zealand is focusing on streamlining port infrastructure and shore-side processes in Auckland, New Zealand's primary exchange port.

CLIA Australasia chairman Gavin Smith, who headed the delegation from Sydney, envisages New Zealand’s growth through positioning Auckland for more fly-cruise opportunities. 'New Zealand has largely been a successful cruise destination. However if we can make it easier for guests to cruise from Auckland, and can create new experiences, Auckland will become a better cruise hub.'

Cruise New Zealand chairman Graeme Marshall says the body is prioritising research as one of its key focuses, and says the meeting with CLIA was beneficial. 'This was a great opportunity for the cruise lines through CLIA Australasia to connect with our stakeholders on what is required to grow New Zealand as a successful cruise destination. It was heartening to hear that everyone had the same objective, to not only see New Zealand succeed further as a cruise destination, but with new exciting ideas on the table to do things more intelligently,' says Marshall.

Cruising Updates

Mexican Riviera and Alaska cruising

Carnival Cruise Lines fun ship, Carnival Miracle will sail year-round to the Mexican Riviera departing October 4 2014 from Long Beach, CA.

The programme will encompass three different week-long itineraries, including a ports of call at Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.

Alaska

Following its inaugural season in Australia, Carnival Legend will operate the line’s seasonal Alaska programme beginning in May 2015. In total, 16 week-long Alaska cruises will operate from the Port of Seattle from May 26 to September 8, 2015, departing each Tuesday.

Port calls on include the Alaskan towns of Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, as well as Victoria and cruising Tracy Arm Fjord or sailing Glacier Bay. Carnival Legend will also operate a special one-time eight-day Glacier Bay voyage departing Vancouver May 18 and arriving in Seattle May 26, 2015.

Cruising Updates

Hail a Huskey

For the winter 2014 sailings, Hurtigruten has an optional transfer by Huskey between Kirkenes Airport and the SnowHotel.

On arrival at Kirkenes airport, guests will be given all the suitable clothing to make the 45 minute journey by husky sledge to the hotel. The luggage will be transferred by mini-bus.

The transfers will be available to customers flying into Kirkenes for a ‘Classic Voyage South’, but who are staying overnight at the SnowHotel in Kirkenes for a night before joining the ship.

For more information email Discover the World on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (09) 623 4293.

Cruising Updates

Carnival and confetti

Confetti was flying moments after Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry announced to her staff that two ships are being added to the P&O Cruises fleet in November 2015.

The additional tonnage will give P&O Cruises a five-ship fleet making it the largest fleet of ships home-ported in this market year round.

Emphasising Carnival Australia’s ‘House of Brands’, there will be 12 Carnival-brand ships either home-ported year round or seasonally representing 10% of Carnival Corporation’s worldwide fleet of 101 cruise ships. Announcements will follow on home-porting arrangements and itineraries for the ships joining the P&O Cruises fleet.

Confetti flies at the announcement by Ann Sherry

The additional ships, which will transfer to P&O Cruises from Holland America Line, will deliver much needed capacity in the world's fastest growing cruise market.

Having a five-ship fleet will give P&O Cruises greater flexibility in its increased offering of short-break cruises, traditional cruises to the South Pacific and cruises to new destinations such as Papua New Guinea and Asia.

The company’s ships sail from five Australian cities as well as Auckland in New Zealand.



Cruising Updates

RCI orders fourth superliner

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has ordered a fourth ‘Oasis-class’ ship for delivery in 2018. Th announcement was made at the keel-laying ceremony for the third Oasis-class ship at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

Oasis III will be approximately 20% more energy efficient than Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas and the fourth Oasis-class ship will further build on that efficiency.

The keel laying of the third Oasis-class ship marks an important milestone in the development of the ship, as it signifies the beginning of its physical construction. During the ceremony, a 1,000-ton block measuring 32-ft by 154-ft (10 x 47 meters) was lifted by crane into the building dock. Newly minted coins were placed under the keel and will stay in place there until the end of the ship’s construction. Once the ship is near to completion, the coins are retrieved and presented to the ship’s Captain and crew to be placed onboard the ship. According to maritime tradition, the coins are said to bring luck to the ship during its construction process and then to its Captain and crew when she is sailing out at sea. Still to be named, the third Oasis-class ship will be delivered in spring 2016.

Oasis class ships feature a revolutionary design with a split superstructure and the cruise line’s neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas. At 225,282 gross registered tons and spanning 16 decks with 2,700 staterooms, the Oasis-class ships also introduced 'firsts' at sea such as an 82 foot-long zip line, a handcrafted carousel, the Rising Tide elevating bar, the AquaTheater high-diving performance venue, and the Central Park with more than 12,000 live trees and plants.

The Oasis Class also offers amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean, such as twin FlowRider surf simulators, cantilevered whirlpools, an ice-skating rink, the H2O Zone kids aquapark, and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship and flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques, among many others.

Cruising Updates

Legend of the Seas - Brisbane based

Royal Caribbean International will base Legend of the Seas in Brisbane for the 2015/16 summer cruise season. Brisbane becomes RCI’s second Australian home port and takes the line’s Australasian fleet to an unprecedented four ships. The addition of Legend of the Seas, along with the recent announcement that Explorer of the Seas will replace Rhapsody of the Seas represents a total capacity increase of 47%.

The 2,000-guest Legend of Seas has been selected to homeport in Brisbane to meet the growing demand from the region and international guests.

Legend of the Seas arrives in the region in December 2015 for a five-month season.  At 70,000 tons she is one of the largest superliners able to navigate her home port on the Brisbane River and dock at Brisbane Cruise Terminal.

Following a $50 million revitalisation in 2013, the ship boasts a central Atrium with an acrobatic aerial show, a rock climbing wall, a mini golf course, an indoor swimming pool, a babies’ nursery and multiple speciality dining venues, a two-deck grand dining room, an 800-seat theatre, the Vitality Spa & Fitness centre, a beauty salon and shopping arcade.

 

Cruising Updates

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