Carnival builds new ships for Princess and Holland America; order book now at 19

Carnival Corporation has today added two more cruise ships to its order book and now has 19 vessels scheduled for delivery between 2017 and 2022.

The latest orders are for Princess Cruises and Holland America Line. Britain’s P&O Cruises takes delivery of a new ship in 2020, but there are still no plans for Cunard Line to add to its fleet of three Queens.

The Carnival announcement in full:

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company, today announced that it has signed a memorandum of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A. to build two new cruise ships with final contracts expected […]

Viking Ocean ships cruise further into 2019

I’m on my way home after 10 days on board Viking Star during her maiden season of cruises in the Caribbean. And today, Viking Ocean Cruises has announced more new itineraries for its expanding fleet – two more ships will be launched in 2017.

The new vessels, Viking Sky and Viking Sun, will be joined in 2018 by Viking Spirit and a sixth, as-yet-unnamed sister, debuts in 2019.

Chairman Torstein Hagen said: Viking will mark major milestones in 2017. We celebrate our 20th anniversary; we will welcome two new Longships on the rivers in Europe; and we will double our ocean fleet […]

BBC launches TV channel for cruise passengers

© John Honeywell 2017

If the prospect of missing Danny Dyer mouthing off in the latest episode of EastEnders is enough to put you off booking a cruise holiday, then worry no more.

The BBC has launched a global entertainment channel – BBC HD – exclusively for cruise ships and the rest of the maritime market. The first customers to be signed up are P&O Cruises and Cunard Line and it will be available to other cruise lines soon.

The new channel complements BBC World News, which launched in 2010 for broadcast on in-cabin TVs around the globe.

Content on HD will include […]

Why Princess Cruises want us all to become medallion men (and women)

You thought cruise holidays were about visiting sun-kissed beaches or sights from antiquity, eating the finest food and watching a West End musical in a world-class theatre?

Think again. Princess Cruises want to to think it’s all about a high-tech disc the size of a 10p coin that can track your every move, anticipate your every thought – especially if it involves ordering a cocktail – and open doors as if by magic.

Arnold Donald, the boss of Princess parent company Carnival, introduced the Ocean Medallion to a spellbound audience at the mega Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – an annual event […]

Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery were victims of a ‘perfect storm’ says ALG boss Allard

© John Honeywell 2017

The cruise plans of 7,000 holidaymakers were sunk today when it was confirmed that All Leisure Group – owner of Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery – had gone bust.

About 400 passengers on Minerva (above) and Voyager were coming home at the end of their Christmas cruises on scheduled flights that had already been paid for.

Those with future bookings will receive financial compensation. The CAA, through its ATOL scheme, will take care of claims for holidays that included a flight element to get to or from the ships. Cruise-only passengers will be dealt with by ABTA. Administrators […]

Future still uncertain for Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery cruise operations

© John Honeywell 2017

As the business world rubbed the sleep from its eyes and returned to work today after the extended Christmas and New Year break, more details began to emerge about the future of the All Leisure Group – owners of Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery.

It was disclosed that Hebridean Island Cruises was sold last month to a company headed by All Leisure chairman Roger Allard. Also involved in the new venture are Hebridean managing director Ken Charleson, and a number of executives from elsewhere in the travel industry.

The Hebridean Princess has a Royal Warrant, having been […]

Passengers and crew wait to learn if Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery have a future

© John Honeywell 2017

The news that Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery have cancelled the first cruises of 2017 on their ships Minerva and Voyager has been seen by many as a precursor to the closure or sale of the two famous names.

Executives at All Leisure Group (ALG), which owns both companies, have not responded to calls or emails over the New Year holiday weekend and will not – officially at least – be back at their desks until Tuesday (January 3).

One leading cruise travel agent has described the news as “grim”, while another I spoke to said the […]

Fears for future of two cruise ships after last-minute cancellation of New Year voyages

The first New Year voyages of two of Britain’s best-known cruise lines have been cancelled at short notice “due to operational reasons.”

A one-line message on the website of Voyages of Discovery announces with regret that Voyager’s “Riches of the Orient cruise due to start in Malaysia on 4th January 2017 has been cancelled. Voyages of Discovery apologises to all of its passengers who were due to sail on this cruise.”

An almost identical message on the Swan Hellenic website announces the cancellation of Minerva’s “Gateway to the Atlantic Isles” cruise scheduled to leave Marseille on January 3.

Unconfirmed reports say that […]

Adonia leaves Fathom to return to P&O Cruises and sail discovery itineraries from June 2017

Adonia, the smallest ship in P&O Cruises’ fleet, is coming back to the UK after a brief spell chartered to Carnival Corporation’s Fathom brand, which was pioneering “social impact” cruises to Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
The 700-passenger vessel will be sailing “discovery itineraries” from June 2017, taking in off-the-beaten-track ports of call across Europe, the Mediterranean, Iceland, eastern Atlantic Islands and the Caribbean. 
These include a seven night round-trip tour of Europe’s west coast to the pretty ports of Bordeaux, St Peter Port and Honfleur, and a 14 night Iceland cruise featuring Reykjavik, Isafjordur and Heimaey, plus Killybegs, Klaksvik (Faroe […]

Celebrity Cruises move closer to The Edge


The next generation of cruise ships moved from concept to construction this week, with the ceremonial cutting of the first piece of steel for Celebrity Cruises’ newest, and boldest, ship.

The company has been keeping details of the project firmly under wraps, but if the steel silhouette in the picture is anything to go by, the design includes an aggressive cruiser bow, along the lines of the most recent newbuilds from AIDA.

The ship, due to launch in two years’ time, will be called Celebrity Edge. The name of her twin sister, scheduled for spring 2020, has been revealed as Celebrity […]