Cruise Destinations

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Cruise lines stir up their plans for 2018

It’s Stir-Up Sunday this weekend, when households traditionally mix their Christmas puddings. Cruise lines are intent on getting us to focus our attention a little further into the future, to 2018. PRINCESS CRUISES took over a hotel swimming pool in central London last night to announce their biggest-ever season of ex-UK cruises. For the first time, the line will offer more than 1 million bed-nights on sailings to northern and southern Europe. The 2,700-passenger Sapphire Princess (above), built in Japan in 2004, will make its maiden visit to Europe to sail 16 cruises from Southampton between April and October. Fares from £799 for [...]

By | 2016-11-18T10:14:40+00:00 18 November 2016|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

Embark on a cruise adventure with Ben Fogle

Much-travelled TV adventurer Ben Fogle is bringing his  experience - and his charm - to Celebrity Cruises again this year. In his role as the line’s “destination expert” he will be joining two cruises in the Med, and is curating a series of ‘Great Adventure’ shore excursions that offer rafting in Rome, hiking in Montenegro, speedboating in the Helsinki archipelago, and and mountain biking in Malaga. While on board Celebrity Reflection he will present travel seminars and adventure talks, and show guests another side to some of the ports of call. He says: “I am thrilled to be able to [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:24+00:00 10 March 2016|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

Carnival invests €30 million in new cruise terminal for Barcelona

Barcelona, the busiest cruise port in Europe, is to get a new passenger terminal, with an investment of €30 million from Carnival Corporation. Construction work is expected to start in 2016 and the new facility is scheduled to open in time for the 2018 summer cruise season. Barcelona currently has four cruise terminals – one operated exclusively for Carnival brand ships – on its main breakwater jetty. There are two more closer to the city centre, next to the World Trade Centre building. The new building, which is likely to handle passengers travelling with Cunard, P&O Cruises and Princess, as well [...]

By | 2015-07-23T10:19:42+00:00 23 July 2015|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

How will Caribbean cruising be changed when ships can take passengers to Cuba?

I wrote this piece in February for publication in World of Cruising magazine. After this week's announcements from MSC Cruises and Carnival's fathom brand, it seems more appropriate than ever.   Just imagine waking up one morning to the news that a new island had suddenly appeared in the middle of the Mediterranean. Not one of those barren volcanic outcrops that occasionally surface off the coast of Iceland, but a fully-functioning community, with a history and culture all its own. Ancient ruins from another era, a thriving industry producing potent alcoholic drinks, and even an exotic nightclub with a the most over-the-top song and [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:24+00:00 12 July 2015|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

Traditional lion dance celebrates keel-laying for Princess Cruises’ China-bound ship

A Chinese lion dance marked the keel-laying of Princess Cruises’ third Royal class ship in the Italian shipyard where sister ships Royal Princess, Regal Princess, and P&O Cruises Britannia were built. The 3,600-passenger vessel will follow rival Quantum of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean, to be based in Shanghai when it is launched in summer 2017 and will have a number of features tailored for the Chinese market. The ceremonial placing of the first 500-ton section of the ship in dry dock at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard near Trieste was also celebrated with a blessing by a Catholic priest. Julie [...]

By | 2015-07-11T16:57:17+00:00 11 July 2015|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

Northern Delights – but don’t sleep through your chance to see the Aurora Borealis

The Northern Lights are on every traveller’s bucket list. It doesn’t matter that – apart from on the rare occasions when they can be seen from the UK – a winter journey into the frozen Arctic is a pre-requisite for a sighting. The journey might be arduous, but the reward makes even a fleeting glimpse worthwhile. We’ll put ourselves through many privations for the privilege, but let’s face it, there can be fewer more comfortable ways of travelling in search of the Aurora Borealis than by cruise ship. Which is what I did earlier this year on Saga Pearl II. [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:24+00:00 8 July 2015|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

MSC Cruises first to base a ship in Cuba

MSC Cruises is to become the first major operator to base a ship in Cuba. The company has cancelled MSC Opera’s winter season sailing in the Canaries in order to base it in Havana. The move comes as President Obama bids to re-establish diplomatic relations with the Castro regime and lift the trade embargo which has been in place for half a century. American operators are still not free to trade with Cuba. British lines such as Thomson, Fred Olsen and Saga have visited Cuba in recent years, but none has home-ported a ship for the length of time planned [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:24+00:00 3 July 2015|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

Galápagos cruise fleet is joined by an old friend

Back in 2010, I travelled on a memorable cruise around the tip of South America on board the delightful Via Australis (above) – a 136-passenger ship that took me as close as I have ever been to glaciers and penguins. In January this year, visiting Chile on a cruise aboard Golden Princess, it was something of a disappointment to see sister ship Mare Australis (below) laid up in Punta Arenas. She looked rather forlorn, hauled out of the water and sitting on wooden blocks. I was delighted to discover last night that Mare Australis has a new life, and a [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:25+00:00 23 June 2015|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

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 [...]

By | 2014-08-11T15:25:24+00:00 11 August 2014|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

Celebrities unite to renew call for a ban on cruise ships in Venice

In the week that the rusting hulk of Costa Concordia is finally sent on its way from Giglio accompanied by a flotilla of tugs and salvage vessels, it was almost inevitable that Venice would launch another headline-grabbing protest against cruise ships. The city's plans to banish large vessels from St Mark's Basin and the Guidecca Canal were thwarted earlier this year by a regional court - and by the absence of an alternative channel through the lagoon to the cruise terminal. Now an assorted collection of Venice supporters - from the Aga Khan to Miami Vice's Don Johnson - have [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:27+00:00 26 July 2014|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments