Splendour to become Thomson Discovery


Get ready to discover Thomson’s newest cruise ship – the former Splendour of the Seas is to be re-named Thomson Discovery  and will be based in Palma, Mallorca, next summer.

The 1,830-passenger ship is a huge step up for Thomson and will be their first to offer a significant number of balcony cabins – almost 40 per cent of the 915 total.

Originally launched in 1996, the ship was given a $55 million makeover less than four years ago, when the entire interior of the ship was refurbished, new propellers and thrusters were fitted, and 126 balconies added.

Its family-friendly facilities include a rock […]

Top acts lined up for Carnival LIVE 2015 concerts


They’ll be Dancing on the Ceiling – All Night Long – on cruise ships Carnival Freedom and Carnival Pride this year, when Lionel Richie joins the roster of singers performing as part of the Carnival LIVE concert series.

Following the success of the debut season in 2014, when Chicago, Jennifer Hudson, Styx and Kansas were among the bill-toppers, a new line-up has been announced for 2015.

Richie’s two performances will take place while the ships are berthed in Nassau, Bahamas, on October 14 and 15.

Boston appear on four different ships in Nassau – Carnival Sunshine, Fantasy, Sensation and Ecstasy, between August […]

How to stretch a cruise ship by 24m

Work has started on MSC Cruises’ €200 million (£160 million) project to stretch four of the line’s ships. The first, MSC Armonia, was cut in two in a dry dock in Palermo, Sicily, today; over the next few weeks a pre-fabricated 24 metre mid-section will be welded in place, adding extra cabins, public rooms, and crew space.
The Renaissance Project will then repeat the procedure on sister ships MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera, and MSC Lirica, all built between 2003 and 2005. They are each 251 metres long, measuring 60,000 gross tons, and carrying 2,199 passengers.
After the lengthening, they will […]

What next for Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises after £3bn takeover?

The deal in which Norwegian Cruise Line has spent more than $3bn (£1.8bn) to buy the company which operates Oceania and Regent Seven Seas amounts to much more than simply adding 6,500 berths to the total fleet capacity.
If that’s all Norwegian wanted to do, they could have simply built a couple more mega-ships for far less money. (And they are already doing that with Norwegian Escape under construction with more to follow).
No, the takeover of Prestige Cruises International transforms Norwegian from a one-trick pony into a much more complete cruise operator.
Having already turned the company’s fortunes round, CEO Kevin […]

Norwegian close to $3bn takeover of luxury cruise lines Regent and Oceania

Norwegian Cruise Line is reported to be close to taking over the company which operates the luxury brands Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania in a deal worth $3 billion (£1.8 billion).
Although there is no official comment from either side, Reuters claims that “people familiar with the matter” say a deal could be announced this week.
At the moment, Norwegian operates 13 family-friendly ships ranging in size from the 2,000-passenger Norwegian Spirit to the 4,000-plus passenger Norwegian Epic. Total passenger capacity is more than 34,600. The company’s next new ship, Norwegian Escape, is due to launch next autumn.
Regent and Oceania […]

Round-Britain cruise on CMV’s Astor

An enforced itinerary change has brought an unexpected bonus – in the shape of a one-off round-Britain cruise – for Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Astor.
The ship, which CMV take to Australia during the winter, usually spends the summer on charter to German operator Transocean Toursand is not available on European cruises to British guests.
Next year’s return voyage from Fremantle has been cut from 46 nights to 38 as the ship will no longer be calling at ports in West Africa because of the current outbreak of Ebola fever.
The 600-passenger vessel will now arrive at Tilbury Docks, on the Thames, […]

Robots and RFID make Quantum the most advanced cruise ship ever

Bionic barmen and a selection of ground-breaking apps for passengers and crew are coming to Quantum of the Seas – making it the most high-tech cruise ship ever.
From check-in to cocktail hour, holidaymakers on Royal Caribbean’s newest ship – calling at Southampton at the end of October – will be helped on their way by a gallery of gadgets.
The robotic mixologists will be serving drinks in the Bionic Bar, where passengers will pay by using radio-enabled wristbands – just one more example of what makes Quantum – and sister ship Anthem of the Seas, launching next year – a […]

Cunard cancel two Queen Victoria cruises to carry out Azipod repairs

Two cruises on Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria have been cancelled so that a bearing can be replaced on one of the vessel’s Azipod propulsion units.
The cruise ship’s scheduled maintenance dry-dock has been brought forward from December 2015 to January so the work can be carried out before its next world voyage, embarking on January 20.
The affected cruises are a 12-night trip to the Canaries from January 3 to 15, and a five-nighter to Amsterdam and Cherbourg on January 15-20.
Passengers who had hoped to travel on the cancelled dates will be given a £100 on-board credit if they book any […]

Love Boat cast to christen Regal

When it came to finding a godmother for their newest ship, Princess Cruises was never going to be able to match the glamour and prestige of the Duchess of Cambridge, who officiated at the christening of Royal Princess.
Kate Middleton, wearing a striking black and white outfit and in her last solo public engagement before giving birth to Prince George, was a publicist’s dream, continuing to provide TV footage and newspaper column inches long after the event in Southampton last June.
Sister ship Regal slipped quietly into service this summer and will not be officially named until she gets to Florida […]

Venice cruise ship ban reinstated

Restrictions on cruise ships entering Venice past St Mark’s Square and along the Guidecca Canal are to be reinstated, the Italian government has announced.
Vessels larger than 96,000 gross tons will be banned from sailing though central Venice from next January. A ban which was put in place last year was lifted by a regional court, whose ruling has now been overturned..
The number of cruise ships of more than 40,000 gt entering the city each year will be reduced by 20 per cent.
Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) members have been complying voluntarily with the restrictions while waiting for the situation […]