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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 - [...]
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 [...]
Cruise & Maritime Voyages have found a replacement ship to take over from Discovery next year. The company, which also operates Marco Polo and Astor, is to charter Azores from Portuguese operator Portuscale. The ship's first cruise in its new colours will leave Bristol's Avonmouth docks on January 26 - a 30-night voyage to the Caribbean. During the course of 2015 the ship will also be sailing from London's Tilbury docks and Hull. The details of itineraries to destinations including the Northern Lights, Mediterranean and a Scottish-themed Edinburgh Festival cruise, will be announced next week. Azores, which first entered service [...]
Outnumbered star Daniel Roche talks about "the best holiday I've ever had" - a P&O fly-cruise to the Mediterranean on board Ventura - with his real family rather than the TV family Brockman.
The officers and crew of Queen Mary 2 continued the flagship's 10th Anniversary celebrations in New York, by thanking her US homeport for a decade of outstanding partnership. The ship has visited the city many times over the decade, as this brief clip will show, along with a few highlights of the day's events.
Robert Louis Stevenson got it right. "To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive," he wrote in El Dorado. He also said "I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." I should have been thinking of those two statements when the alarm woke me at 4.15 am on Friday morning. It had been set so there was time to drag myself from bed in time for a landmark moment in Queen Mary 2's Transatlantic crossing. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge spans the entrance to the harbour, crossing [...]
Genesis of a Queen: It's a talk that Dr Stephen Payne has delivered countless times since he designed Cunard's flagship, Queen Mary 2. He must have given it to gatherings of schoolchildren and students, industrialists and Rotarians, around the UK and across the world. Today, however, was very special. He was addressing 1,000 passengers on board the ship during the 214th Transatlantic crossing which has been chosen to mark its 10th anniversary. Undeterred by a momentary microphone malfunction, he stood on the stage of the vessel's magnificent Royal Court Theatre, beaming under the spotlights' glare. It was, he revealed, the [...]