Southampton cruise terminals upgraded

Southampton’s Mayflower Cruise Terminal has been reopened following a £6 million pound refurbishment that will enable it to cater for some of the largest cruise vessels afloat, long into the future.

The terminal, one of four in the port, now features a remodelled open plan interior, with expanded security, check-in and passenger reception areas.

The increased number of cruise ships visiting Southampton, and the fact that most new ships are larger and carry more passengers, means P&O Cruises, Cunard and other brands of the Carnival Group,are expecting passenger volumes through Southampton to increase by 25 per cent over the next two years.

Steven […]

Cunard passengers in moving Anzac Day tribute

Almost 500 Australians and New Zealanders took part in a memorial service on the decks of Cunard Lines’ Queen Elizabeth this morning as the ship sailed the waters off the Gallipoli Peninsula.

They were joined by hundreds of other passengers marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the eight-month First World War campaign that cost more than 140,000 lives.

Crew and guests laid wreaths in the water in remembrance of the soldiers who died. A six-foot high poppy wall floral tribute, shaped as ‘100’ to mark the Anzac centenary, formed the centrepiece for the ceremony. The wall was filled with […]

MSC Cruises move ships away from conflict regions of Egypt and Ukraine

Continuing political unrest has led MSC Cruises to cancel cruise ship calls to Egypt and Ukraine which had been scheduled for later this year and spring 2016. Alternative ports of call have been arranged in the Mediterranean.

The company says the move is “in response to market demand”; translated that probably means there is currently a distinct LACK of demand for cruises to the affected regions.

The affected cruises are:

MSC Opera: 12-night Eastern Mediterranean sailings – Rhodes, Greece and Heraklion, Crete replace Alexandria, Egypt. Three departures affected [28 September, 10 October and 22 October, 2015].

MSC Sinfonia: 12-night Eastern Mediterranean and Black […]

Oriana under way again after fire

A British cruise ship was forced to make an unscheduled return to port last night after a fire on board. P&O Cruises’ Oriana was en route to a day in Key West, Florida, but turned round and returned to Miami, which it had left only a few hours earlier.

A P&O spokeswoman said the fire was minor and “localised” and that the safety of passengers and crew had not been affected.

She said that in order to allow for a mandatary US Coastguard inspection, the ship would remain in Miami until 8.00 am local time (1.00 pm BST) and the call […]

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, […]