Concordia search is abandoned

Divers have finally abandoned their search for remaining bodies in the flooded section of cruise ship Costa Concordia, which capsized off the coast of Italy on January 13. The Civil Protection agency said it was too dangerous to continue.
Relatives and diplomatic officials representing the countries of the 15 passengers and crew still listed as missing have been informed of the decision.
The agency says emergency crews continue to inspect the part of the ship that still above the water line and will use specialist equipment to check whether there are any bodies on the sea bed.
Meanwhile, Costa Corporation, parent company […]

Salvage of Costa Concordia wreck could take up to 10 months

Residents on the island of Giglio, where cruise chip Costa Concordia ran aground more than two weeks ago, are growing concerned that the wreckage may not be removed until the end of the year.
The start of work to remove more than 2,000 tons of fuel from the vessel was delayed by rough weather this weekend. Only when most of the tanks have been emptied of diesel and heavy fuel oil can salvage experts take the next step – either to refloat the ship and tow it away, or to start cutting it up where it lies.
The population of the […]

Day of reckoning for priest who lied about his cruise on Costa Concordia

A Catholic priest who told his parishioners he was taking time off to spend a week at a spiritual retreat is going to have to explain to them how he came to be rescued from the wreck of Costa Concordia.
For Father Massimo Donghi had booked a cruise instead of locking himself away in prayer and meditation, and was caught out when his niece said on Facebook that he was among family members safe and well after the ship hit rocks two weeks ago.
“What do you want me to say?” the 41-year-old priest told an Italian news magazine. “I […]

Globe Award for unsung hero who flies to help if a cruise goes wrong

Heather Small and the X-Factor’s Misha B sang their hearts out, beat-boxer Faith SFX brought the house down, and comedian Jack Whitehall tried to blag himself a day out at Alton Towers – when he could have been trying to grab a luxury cruise or an all-inclusive stay at Sandals.
Such was the madness of the Travel Weekly Globe Awards ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House this week.
Among the star-studded celebrations and self-congratulatory sponsorships, one winner stood out above all the rest. Andrew Baldwin, 32-year-old leader of the Customer Care Team for P&O and Cunard cruise lines, picked up the Unsung […]

Southampton cheers as Liverpool cruise plans are back to square one

There are celebrations in Southampton at the news that a rival city’s plans to cash in on the cruising boom have taken another knock.
Liverpool received £18 million in aid from the Government and Europe to develop its Pier Head cruise terminal, on condition it was used only for day visits rather than more lucrative turnaround business, with passengers embarking and disembarking at the start and end of a voyage.
An unseemly battle has been raging over the Mersey port’s plans to upgrade the new facilities so it can move turnaround trade from the industrial backwater of Langton Dock […]

It’s a winter in the Caribbean for Azura instead of cruising the world

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time . . . when P&O’s itinerary planners were looking at their schedules for 2013 they saw an opportunity to increase the number of passengers they could send on world voyages by adding 3,100-passenger Azura to join Aurora, Arcadia and Adonia sailing marathon three-month cruises.
The company even hired the Mahiki nightclub in London’s West End – one-time hang-out of Princes William and Harry – to launch the brochure, with managing director Carol Marlow promising fares as low as £79 a day for cruises up to 106 nights long.
But now […]

AWT pulls out of cruise with MSC

Shamed chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson – cautioned by police after being caught shoplifting from his local Tesco supermarket – has withdrawn from guest appearances on MSC cruise ship Splendida.
The TV chef will be replaced by Michelin-starred Paul Rankin who joins the ship in Barcelona on February 5.
A statement on MSC’s website said it was making the announcement “with regret,” but made no mention of Worrall-Thompson’s recent troubles. A spokesperson later added: “In the wake of the coverage which appeared in the media and Mr Thompson’s own public announcement of his desire to seek appropriate treatment for his condition, we […]

Shipyard strikes delay Riviera debut

Striking shipyard workers in Genoa have forced Oceania Cruises to delay the maiden voyage of their newest ship, the 1,250-passenger Riviera. The debut, scheduled for April 24, has been pushed back to May 14. Plans for the elaborate naming ceremony, originally scheduled to take place in Monte Carlo, are still unclear.
Two cruises have been cancelled; a 12-night sailing from Athens to Istanbul, and a 10-nighter from Istanbul to Venice. The new maiden voyage is a 10-night Pearls of the Adriatic cruise beginning in Venice and visiting Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Monemvasia, Crete, Santorini, Kusadasi, Mykonos and Athens.
“We sincerely regret any […]

Concordia: Arison must act now

Jim Walker is an American attorney specialising in representing passengers and crew members in legal actions against cruise lines. It’s his job to think the worst of those cruise lines. We don’t agree on much, and his opinions have been known to leave me almost speechless with rage.
However, I have a begrudging admiration for his Cruise Law News blog which is well-written and informative, though in my view frequently biased and prejudiced. A few weeks ago, in a completely impartial moment, he included me in a list of his Top 12 cruise blogs for 2012.
He surprised me a few […]

It’s Magic: Disney cruise ship will return to the Mediterranean in 2013

Disney fans disappointed that its cruise line has no ships sailing in Europe this year have something to celebrate today – Disney Magic will be back in the Mediterranean in 2013.
The 1,750-passenger ship was based in Barcelona for the last two summers, sailing to the UK on a few occasions. It is seen off the White Cliffs of Dover in the picture above. It will spend this year sailing from New York but the arrival of newer and bigger ships Disney Dream, which entered service 12 months ago, and Disney Fantasy – to be launched in March – now […]