First look at Saga Cruises’ newbuild ship

Saga has released images of its first new build cruise ship, due to be launched in summer 2019. The name of the 999-passenger vessel has not been confirmed, but it is being referred to in-house as Project Olympic.
Construction will begin soon at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Papenburg, north Germany. It will be overseen by new build director David Pickett who has joined Saga from Carnival UK where he worked on P&O’s Britannia, Azura and Ventura.
Every one of the Saga ship’s 540 cabins and suites will have its own balcony and 15 per cent of the accommodation will be designed […]

Norwegian Cruise Line orders four new ships

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has won an order from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. for the construction of four new generation cruise ships, plus an option for additional two, for the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) brand. 
The value of each ship is approximately €800 million (£680 million)  with one delivery per year from 2022 to 2025, stretching to 2027 if the option is confirmed
The ships will form the backbone of the future Norwegian fleet, being about 140,000-tons, almost 300 meters long, and accommodating 3,300 guests – somewhat smaller than the 4,000-passenger Breakaway class (above).
The order is based on a prototype project […]

Carnival Paradise joins US ships cruising to Cuba

Add Carnival Cruise Line to the growing list of American operators sailing to Cuba. Carnival brand Fathom pioneered cruises to the island last year using the P&O Cruises ship Adonia.

Although British and international passengers have been able to visit the Communist state without restriction, Americans were prevented by a long-standing trade embargo.

The Obama administration began to loosen restrictions and a number of US lines have already beaten Carnival to the punch – including Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Non-US-registered companies such as MSC, Fred Olsen and Thomson, have been taking passengers to the island for some time.

From June 29, Carnival […]

Jane McDonald cruises again in a new TV series

Set the PVRs to record – or the phasers to stun, take your pick. Jane McDonald is returning to her cruising roots in a four-part TV documentary series starting this week.

The singer rose to fame 19 years ago in the early TV reality show The Cruise (accept no imitations) and has more recently been one of ITV’s Loose Women presenters.

Cruising With Jane McDonald launches on Channel 5 at 9.00pm on Friday with a voyage on board MSC Cruises’ Divina for seven nights in the Caribbean.

Subsequent episodes will see Jane downsizing from the 3,500-passenger Divina to the Majestic Line’s rather […]

MSC Cruises £7.76 billion investment will triple passenger capacity in 10 years

MSC Cruises now has two ships under construction at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard near Trieste in north-east Italy.

Tied up alongside the berth is MSC Seaside, the first-of-class built to an interesting new design, due to be christened in Miami in December. A few hundred yards away, in dry dock, twin sister MSC Seaview is beginning to take shape.

A traditional coin ceremony for Seaview was held last week, with two madrinas – one from the cruise line and one from the shipyard – chosen to place the coins in a tube which was then welded in place in a section of the […]

Swan Hellenic is rescued by G Adventures

Expedition holiday specialist G Adventures has bought the Swan Hellenic cruise brand and plans to relaunch it in 2018.

Swan was founded in the 1950s and counted renowned TV archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler among its early advisers. Together with sister company Voyages of Discovery it went bust at the beginning of January following the collapse of parent company All Leisure Group.

Liquidators Grant Thornton blamed the cruise lines’ losses, made worse by the turmoil in Egypt, the Black Sea and Turkey, plus currency losses after Brexit, for the failure of the whole business.

Toronto-based G Adventures bought tour operators Travelsphere and Just You from […]

Cunard’s Queen Victoria is the largest passenger ship to reach the Amazon port of Manaus

Queen Victoria has become the biggest passenger ship to dock at the port of Manaus, 900 miles up the River Amazon.
Cunard’s 2,000-passenger vessel is on a 120-night World Voyage round-trip from Southampton, calling at a total of 32 ports in 17 countries.
Captain Peter Philpott was at the helm as the ship arrived in the Brazilian port. Passengers disembarked for excursions including a city tour to see sights including the Teatro Amazonas opera house and the municipal market. Others took a boat trip to the Meeting of the Waters, where the Rio Negro joins the Amazon.
He said:  “I feel immensely proud and […]

Design ambassador Nate Berkus is chosen to give Celebrity’s new cruise ships the Edge

Design guru Nate Berkus – America’s answer to Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen except he’s Jewish, gay, and cool – is to be a major influence on the look of Celebrity Cruises’ newest ships.

Berkus, who was the host of two series of home makeover shows on network TV in the US, has been appointed Design Ambassador for Celebrity’s Edge class.

Alongside Celebrity’s president and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, he will be at the helm of a series of events revealing details of the ships from March onwards.

Until now, Celebrity has disclosed little about the four planned vessels – scheduled for launch between 2018 and […]

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 […]