Majesty back on course after engine room fire

Cruise ship Thomson Majesty returned to harbour for repairs after fire broke out in the engine room.

The incident occurred on Friday, shortly after the 1,462-passenger vessel had left the port of Livorno, in north-west Italy.

Repairs to the 24-year-old ship were completed yesterday evening and the ship arrived in Barcelona today – although scheduled calls to Calvi and Marseille had to be cancelled.

A Thomson Cruises spokesperson told me: “We can confirm that there was a small fire on board Thomson Majesty when sailing from Livorno to Calvi on Friday evening.  It was immediately contained and extinguished and no passengers or […]

Refit adds steakhouse and new Brigadoon restaurant to Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are investing millions of pounds in a 26-day dry-dock to keep Black Watch as fresh as the day she was launched in 1972.

The company’s pride and joy – and the first ship that I ever cruised on – will be fitted with new restaurants and bars, and gains an interactive TV system, during an extensive refit to be carried out at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, next month.

Managing director Mike Rodwell said: “It is important that Black Watch always looks her best. We will be undertaking major upgrades to the cabins and […]

Branson promises the ‘irresistible style’ of Virgin Voyages will change cruising for good

Although Sir Richard Branson has raised about £2 billion to launch a cruise line, he admitted this week that he has yet to set foot on a cruise ship.

He doesn’t even like the word “cruise.” With three years still to go before the first Virgin passenger (or “sailor” as he wants to call them) steps across one of his gangways, he has changed the name to Virgin Voyages.

Fifteen months after first announcing the Virgin brand was taking to the seas, Branson joined his Voyages CEO, Tom McAlpin, at a press conference in Miami to confirm that Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri […]

Proud Norwegian names for Hurtigruten’s striking new Polar expedition ships

Two expedition ships being built for Hurtigruten will bear the names of Norway’s most influential Polar pioneers – Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen.

The vessels, with a striking design created by Rolls-Royce in collaboration with Norwegian yacht designer Espen Øino, are scheduled for delivery in 2018 and 2019. A second pair is expected to follow later.

Driven by hybrid technology with the option for short periods of fully battery-powered propulsion, the ships will have ice-strengthened hulls and are designed to carry 530 passengers. Most of the 265 cabins will have their own balconies.

Large observation platforms will be a feature on several […]

Taking the smoke out of smokestacks: Royal Caribbean orders two clean-fuel cruise ships

Royal Caribbean International has added two more vessels to the growing number of cruise ships on its order books.
Code-named Icon, the new class of vessel will be powered by clean fuels, a combination of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and – another first –  fuel cell technology. The 5,000-passenger ships will be built by the Meyer Turku yard in Finland, and are expected to enter service in spring 2022 and 2024.
“With Icon class, we move further in the journey to take the smoke out of our smokestacks,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We are dedicated […]

Is this the world’s longest cruise? Seven ships, seven continents, and 357 days

For most of us, a world cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – a voyage lasting three months or so that might travel around the world but will visit only a fraction of it.

But if you think you’ve “been there, done that” until there’s nothing left, get ready for the “World of Travel” cruise, a 357-day marathon that goes further than anything before.

Visiting all seven continents, and combining voyages on seven different ships, this voyage brings together visits to Machu Picchu, Table Mountain, Angkor Wat, the Panama Canal and the Great Barrier Reef all in one package.

Ticking off must-visit cities from […]

Edie’s Crystal ball predicts delays for the arrival of Endeavor and Exclusive-class ships

Crystal Cruises’ ambitious expansion plans are beginning to slow down. Work is progressing on building the first of six planned river ships, but the arrival of an innovative expedition ship and the first 1,000-passenger Exclusive-class ship have been deferred.

Endeavor, announced at a lavish event in Fort Lauderdale in March, was promised for August 2018 but will not now be ready until 2019. The Exclusive ship has already been postponed by a year and has now been put back two more years, to 2021.

There is no word on when its promised two sisters will be complete, but there are hints […]

Seabourn debuts An Evening With Tim Rice

Sir Tim Rice presents the narration of a musical journey through some of his best-known work for a new production that will debut on Seabourn Encore in January and follow on every ship in the fleet.

An Evening With Time Rice brings together his work as a lyricist with composers Andrew Lloyd Webber on Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita; Elton John’s The Lion King; Alan Menken, on Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast; and ABBA’s Bjorn and Benny on Chess.

The new show has been created exclusively for Seabourn by Belinda King Creative Productions. It will […]

Fred Olsen’s four ships to meet in Spain for party to celebrate 170th anniversary

Cruise lines love an anniversary, and will seize any excuse for a party.

Cunard and P&O are past masters at bringing their ships together to celebrate any event that has a zero or a five at the end of it.

It’s only 15 months since Balmoral, Black Watch, Boudicca and Braemar sailed in convoy into Bergen to mark the 200 birthday of the original Fred Olsen.

Now Fred Olsen Cruise Lines are planning another celebration, this time the 170th anniversary of the company’s beginnings, carrying cargo on sailing vessels.

The four cruise ships will gather in the Spanish port of Cadiz on September […]

Merchant Navy Medal for Saga Cruise captain Philip Rentell

Saga’s senior captain, Philip Rentell, is one of 13 recipients of the new Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service, awarded for “exemplary service and devotion to duty.”

Philip, who addresses his intrepid passengers as “Saganauts” and is due to retire next year, has been at sea since 1969.

He will be at the helm of Saga Sapphire in November for a 24-night mystery cruise – only he and his senior officers know the itinerary, and passengers will have to guess whether to pack for warm or cold weather.

On a previous mystery cruise, he brought along a friend who flew a hot-air […]