Get Cruising!

Saturday, 16 June 2018

MSC Seaview is named in glittering ceremony in Genoa, Italy

  • The striking ship has been designed for the Mediterranean to create a very special connection between guests and the ocean
  • Godmother Sophia Loren cut the ribbon on her 13th MSC Cruises ship
  • MSC Seaview became the third MSC Cruises ship to be launched in just 12 months 
The newest addition to the ever-growing MSC Cruises fleet and new flagship MSC Seaview was christened in true MSC style in the presence of a suite of stars, VIPs, key travel partners and international media as well as top management from MSC Cruises and its parent company MSC Group. Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group's founder and executive chairman as well as the ship owner, attended together with the Aponte and Aponte-Vago families.

The christening ceremony was hosted by Italian TV star, Michelle Hunziker who welcomed to the stage 'father of Italian blues' Zucchero Fornaciari. TV star Lorella Cuccarini hosted a special moment on stage and Italian children's choir Piccolo Coro Dell'Antoniano performed as the UNICEF ambassadors, to acknowledge the important partnership that seeks to improve the lives of children and their families in developing countries and those affected by crises. Also taking to the stage was Matteo Bocelli, son of the world-famous Andrea Bocelli.  Matteo Bocelli sang during the Officers' Parade, an important tradition to honour the crew from the ship.

Finishing off the traditional proceedings, Godmother Sophia Loren cut the ribbon to launch the bottle of champagne to name MSC Seaview.

Also present at the ceremony was Ramon Freixa, the Spanish two Michelin-starred chef who has now extended his partnership with MSC Cruises to develop his first restaurant at sea on board MSC Seaview. Pan-Asian chef Roy Yamaguchi attended his second MSC christening along with other stars such as Spanish model and actor Jon Kortajarena, Brazlian presenters and actors Giovanna Ewbank and French television personality Ariane Brodier.

Described as a game-changing cruise ship, the vision was to create something truly unique that would enable guests to enjoy the beauty of the Mediterranean sea. The ship is designed to enhance the enjoyment of the open water and sunshine, specifically intended to cruise in warmer climates and to create a very special connection between guests and the ocean.

Most cruise ships are planned and engineered to offer entertainment, dining and other experiences inside the ship whilst MSC Seaview is designed to bring guests to the outside of the ship to the open decks and walkways. Featuring the highest ratio of outdoor spaces of any MSC Cruises ship every element of the ship enables guests to enjoy the outdoors in every aspect of their life on board, from cabins and suites with outdoor spaces such as terraces and balconies, eating and drinking in true Mediterranean style "al fresco" through to outdoor fitness and luxury spa cabanas in the open air.

MSC Seaview is the 15th addition to the MSC Cruises fleet and the third ship to come into service just 12 months under the Company's industry-unprecedented €10.5 billion investment plan.

MSC Seaview commenced her maiden voyage from Genoa on June 10 offering six embarkation ports in the Western Mediterranean including the popular ports of Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona as well as other much sought after Mediterranean destinations including Naples, Messina in Sicily and Valetta in Malta.


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Cruise & Maritime Voyages itineraries for new ship launch

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) today announced its new ship Vasco da Gama will sail from Singapore to London and London to Sydney in 2019 before launching its inaugural Australian cruise season. Passengers can choose from a range of options along the routes of up to 55 nights with bookings open from Thursday 17 May 2018.

The ship's exciting 44-night Maiden Voyage from Singapore to London will include Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Jordan, Egypt and the iconic passage through the Suez Canal. The cruise will continue to Israel and around the best of the Mediterranean, finishing with Morocco and Portugal before docking in London. Guests wanting more can stay aboard and disembark in Amsterdam (Netherlands) or Bremerhaven (Germany).

Vasco da Gama's 53-night Inaugural Southbound voyage will depart London on 9 October 2019. The Southbound cruise includes 16 ports of call in countries such as Morocco, Barbados, Mexico and New Zealand before arriving in Sydney.

"Our special Southbound voyage will appeal to cruise devotees and discerning travellers alike; we've had unprecedented interest in the new Vasco da Gama from our customers and agents since announcing the acquisition in March," said Dean Brazier, Managing Director of CMV Australia.

"Passengers will have the opportunity to transit the Panama Canal and cross the equator in an experience reminiscent of the grand days of cruising – but with all the mod cons of a contemporary ship.

"Vasco da Gama offers two gorgeous pools, the state-of-the-art Jade Wellness Centre and Spa, a two-tiered theatre, and five inviting bars and lounges. Six dining venues feature cuisine from around the world – The Grill's succulent steaks are expected to be a hit with passengers, and the 'Chef's Table' will provide a degustation menu plus an insight into the workings of the galley.

"The ship's country club ambiance will be suited to couples, groups and solo travellers wishing to explore some of the most fascinating cities in the world while enjoying the comforts of a quality cruise – all among good company. These voyages should be on everyone's bucket lists and we expect them to sell-out quickly," said Mr Brazier.

CMV has launched a 'SELL & SET SAIL' promotion for travel agents. The winner and a friend will spend five nights aboard Vasco da Gama during its inaugural Australian Season in 2019/2020.

The agent who books the highest number of cabins on Vasco da Gama's Maiden Voyages or Inaugural Southbound Voyages by 30 June 2018 will be selected. Register at

Vasco da Gama compliments CMV's Astor, which has been in the Australian market for six years. The new ship will offer more onboard facilities and increased passenger capacity with CMV's hallmark personalised service, while the Astor will maintain its appeal as a boutique and intimate cruising experience.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages will acquire Pacific Eden from P&O Australia in April 2019 and the ship will be dry docked in Singapore before beginning its maiden voyage on 23 April. The vessel will be refreshed while in Singapore and undergo its Vasco da Gama 'makeover' (named after the famous Portuguese explorer and navigator).

London to Sydney cruise-only fares start from AU$6,899 per person twin share for an inside cabin (53 nights), which includes up to AU$2,200 free on-board credit per cabin – for bookings made up until 31 July 2018 – to allow guests to experience even more of the new ship. Singapore to London cruise-only fares start from AU$5,399 per person twin share (44 nights).

Vasco da Gama will be deployed and dedicated to both the German and Australasian cruise markets. During the European summer (May-October) the ship will operate under CMV's German brand, TransOcean Kreuzfahrten, homeporting from both Bremerhaven and Kiel; and during the Australian summer season (December-March) will sail from Fremantle and Adelaide.

For further information, customers can contact their travel agent or register their interest at To begin selling the cruises, agents can contact their local CMV Sales Representative.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Silversea orders Silver Dawn

She will be the third ship of the Silver Muse class

Silversea Cruises has awarded Fincantieri with an order for another ultra-luxury cruise ship, with delivery scheduled for Q4 2021. The contract is valued at over €320 million (AUD$507.3 million).

Named Silver Dawn, the new vessel will be a sister ship of Silversea's flagship, Silver Muse, which was launched from the Fincantieri shipyard of Sestri Ponente (Genoa) in April 2017 and was welcomed with great acclaim by guests. Silversea has therefore committed to constructing a new ship that will share Silver Muse's ultra-luxury qualities.

The order of Silver Dawn comes just months after the cruise line signed a contract with Fincantieri for the construction of Silver Moon, another sister ship to Silver Muse, which is due to be delivered in 2020. Part of the cruise line's expansion plan, the fleet's eleventh ship – the third ship in the Muse-class series – will strengthen the strategic musification of Silversea's fleet.

Silver Dawn will benefit from the same sense of intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodation options that characterise all Silversea vessels. Providing superlative comfort and an enhanced on-board experience, she will unlock authentic travel experiences for Silversea's discerning guests in the world's most spectacular destinations.

"Following the extraordinary success of Silver Muse, we are delighted to announce Silver Dawn as the eleventh ship to join the Silversea fleet," comments Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, Silversea's Chairman. "Silver Dawn will bear the same hallmarks of quality that guests currently enjoy on our 6-star ships. We look forward to welcoming guests aboard in November 2021. It was my father's dream to grow Silversea to at least a 12-ship fleet; today, we are one step closer to fulfilling his vision".

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: "It is a great satisfaction for our Group to see an ambitious project like Silver Muse establish itself on the market and get the highest appreciation from an exclusive and demanding customer like Silversea, that today confirms his trust in us. Thanks to this partnership, based on the quality of the product, our leadership position in the cruise sector is further strengthened, not only from a technological point of view, but also for the commercial ability to find the best agreement with the shipowner".

Fincantieri has built 82 cruise ships from 1990 to today (59 from 2002), while another 44 are currently being designed or built in the Group's yards.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Asia's Dream Cruises heading Down Under

Dream Cruises is working to build up the Australian market to allow it to bring a Global Class vessel to local waters in 2021.

At 204,000 tonnes, the Global class would be larger than the 168,666-tonne Ovation of the Seas, which currently holds the title for the largest cruise ship to ever sail in Australian waters.

Dream Cruises are aiming to bring the ship down under in 2021 and firm deployment plans would have to be ready by 2019.

Sydney and Melbourne have been pinpointed as potential ports for the Global class, with Dream Cruises emphasising it would have to be a major city which could support the ship’s capacity for up to 9,000 people, including crew.

Dream Cruises would target a mix of Australian guests and fly-cruise, anticipating a split of 50-60% local cruisers and the remaining from international passengers.

Construction is underway on the first of two Global class ships on order with shipyard MV Werften, with delivery slated for late 2020 and 2021.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Windstar Cruises - New Sommeliers, Beverage Experts and Beverage Package Enticements on Star Collector Voyages

Windstar Cruises Announces Sommeliers on Four Ships, Beverage Experts on James Beard Culinary Cruises and Beverage Package Enticements on Longer Star Collector Voyages

Small ship cruise line, Windstar Cruises has hired a team of Sommeliers to serve guests on sailings in 270 ports around the world.

These new wine experts provide a major guest enhancement as the northern Summer cruise season begins and builds on the trend for ongoing fleet-wide enhancements to Windstar's wine, beverage and culinary programs in 2018.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

MSC Cruises announces MSC Bellissima's deployment to Asia in Spring 2020

MSC Splendida arrives in Asia after completing maritime Silk Road sailing

On the occasion of MSC Splendida's arrival in Chinese waters, MSC Cruises, the world's largest privately-owned cruise line, announced that MSC Bellissima will be deployed in Asia in Spring 2020. She will become MSC Cruises' newest flagship for the region. MSC Bellissima, MSC Cruises' second Meraviglia-class ship, is currently being constructed at STX France's shipyard in Saint-Nazaire and is due to first come into service in March 2019.

Following her inaugural season in the Mediterranean next summer, MSC Bellissima will bring a range of cutting-edge innovations to China and Japan, including the longest LED Sky Screen at Sea at 80 metres long encompassing a stunning 96 metre long Mediterranean-style promenade, designed to become the social hub of the ship. Guests will be able to enjoy brand-new and exclusive to MSC Cruises Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows every night as well as next-generation MSC Yacht Club, with new features and luxurious accommodations spanning three decks, private facilities and butler service round-the-clock. MSC Bellissima will be among the biggest and most innovative cruise ships deployed in the region.

While MSC Bellissima will be mostly based in Shanghai to serve the Chinese home market, she will also offer a number of sailings from Japan with a number of Asian sailings for guests wanting to discover this popular region from the comfort and style of an MSC Cruises ship.

Speaking at an official meeting with Mr CHEN Qun, Vice Mayor of Shanghai, Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises' CEO, commented: "MSC Splendida does not mark the end of our ambitions in China and Asia overall. This market is a global priority and we are committed to serving it with our very best ships and product. For this reason, I'm delighted to announce that MSC Bellissima will homeport in Asia as of Spring 2020, marking the next step of our growth in one of the world's most appealing cruise markets."

MSC Splendida has completed her Maritime Silk Road sailing, which has taken her from Dubai, UAE, to Shanghai, China. During her season in Asia, she will also operate mostly out of Shanghai as well as Yokohama, Japan. With 137,936 GRT, MSC Splendida is one of the largest, most modern cruise ships currently operating in the Asia region. She features 1,637 cabins, 76% of which come with a balcony and can accommodate up to 4,363 guests.

Prior to her arrival in Shanghai, MSC Splendida went through an extensive overhaul process to renovate her interiors, install new as well as upgrade the onboard experiences. MSC Splendida now features an exclusive selection of Asian and Western cuisines in three new restaurants: the signature hot pot restaurant Sea Pavilion by the acclaimed Chinese chef Jereme Leung globally recognised for his contemporary interpretation of Chinese cuisine; the Hong Kong style Dim Sum & Teahouse; and the Butcher's Cut, a popular American-style steak house on board MSC Cruises' fleet.

MSC Splendida is also now equipped with the latest evolution of MSC for Me, MSC Cruises' digital innovation programme bringing the very latest advances in customer-centric technology to guests at sea. The holistic and guest-centric programme is focused on connecting guests to their desired holiday experience through cutting-edge technology that is specially engineered to meet their every need, regardless of how they prefer to use technology when travelling. MSC for Me provides guests with smart features geared toward a fully optimized holiday experience. These include a dedicated app to help guests tailor their holidays at any point on their journey, whether they are booking their excursions prior to embarkation or a specialty restaurant whilst relaxing by the top-deck pool. This will improve the overall guest experience, while also freeing up more time to enjoy one's holiday at sea.

MSC Splendida is due to arrive in Yokohama on 27 April, where MSC Cruises will also celebrate its ten-year anniversary in Japan.

MSC Splendida further information here

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Norwegian Cruise Line takes delivery of Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian's newest ship debuts in Europe before commencing her inaugural tour around the U.S. and her official christening ceremony in Seattle, Washington

Bernard Meyer, Managing Director of Meyer Werft, Captain Karl Staffan Bengtsson, Andy Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line

Today, Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the 168,028-gross-tonne Norwegian Bliss, from Meyer Werft during a ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany, marking the conclusion of an 18-month building period. In attendance were executives from Norwegian Cruise Line, including Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer, Harry Sommer, executive vice president of international business development, Robin Lindsay, executive vice president of vessel operations for the 16-ship fleet, representatives from Meyer Werft including Bernard and Tim Meyer, managing partners of the German-based shipyard, and the ship's captain and hotel director. Before cruising to Southampton, England to begin her transatlantic journey on April 21, Norwegian Bliss will showcase all she has to offer to her first guests during a two-day European inaugural preview cruise hosted by Andy Stuart and Harry Sommer.