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Wednesday 29 May 2013

Grandeur of the Seas fire. Sailing cancelled.

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Royal Caribbean International announced earlier the May 31st, 2013 sailing of Grandeur of the Seas from Baltimore, Maryland, will be cancelled to allow for repairs to damages sustained as a result of a fire.

Guests booked on the sailing will be provided a full refund of the cruise fare paid for their sailing.

Royal Caribbean also will provide these guests with the opportunity to sail in the future by providing a future cruise certificate for 50 per cent of the cruise fare.

Guests who booked air transportation through Royal Caribbean International will receive a full refund for air costs.

If they did not purchase air transportation through Royal Caribbean International, the cruise line will pay for their airline change fees.
Grandeur of the Seas was en route to CocoCay, The Bahamas, when the ship experienced a fire in the mooring area in the aft of the ship.

The ship was redirected to Freeport, The Bahamas, where it remains.

Grandeur of the Seas is part of Royal Caribbean International's fleet of 21 cruise ships.

The ship was launched in December 1996 and recently refurbished in May 2012.

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Diamond Princess to Sparkle Around Australia as Princess Cruises Announces New Circumnavigations

Princess Cruises' stunning Diamond Princess is set to add some sparkle to the Australian coastline, with the cruise line announcing the 116,000-tonne ship will sail on its first circumnavigation of the country in November next year.

With features ranging from more than a dozen restaurants and bars to its very own wedding chapel, the 2670-guest Diamond Princess will have heads turning during its inaugural voyage around the country, departing Sydney on November 18, 2014.

Priced from $4679* per person twin share, the 28-night voyage will include visits to all state and territory capital cities, as well as the picturesque towns of Airlie Beach and Port Douglas in Queensland, Bunbury and Albany in Western Australia and Indonesia's Bali to the north.

The voyage, which will be repeated in February 2015, marks the largest Princess Cruises' ship to sail around Australia and is a highlight of the cruise line's new 2014-15 Australasian program, now on sale.

Launching the program, Princess Cruises Commercial Director Alan Stuart said the cruise line offered the biggest choice of ships, homeports and itineraries in Australia, with four ships deployed in local waters over the 2014-15 season.

Friday 24 May 2013

8 Blissful Bites Of Brazil With Crystal Cruises

With 11 Brazilian ports on its fall cruise calendar, luxe Crystal Cruises has set dozens of cool ways to explore the country's hot culture, culinary arts, and landscape. 

Sugar Loaf, samba, and snorkeling may be most famous, but guests can take in such varied Crystal Adventures as:

  1.  Learning the secrets of making Moqueca, a traditional Brazilian seafood stew, from a local instructor in Rio de Janeiro.
  2. 4x4-ing to swim in waterfalls and lagoons otherwise only accessible by foot, followed by cachaca- tasting at a local Paratydistillery.
  3. Reveling in the charms of  Buzios, know as Brazil's St-Tropez, via foot, land trolley or ocean schooner. ( Brigitte BardotfamouslyCRYSTAL CRUISES SYMPHONY fell in love with this charming old fishing village!)
  4. Strolling the cobblestone walkways of Paraty's pedestrian-only historic core, an UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its beautifully preserved colonial architecture.
  5. Sampling multiple varieties of caipirinhas while sailing along beaches and an ecological preserve in Ilha Grande , local forro and samba band in the background.
  6. Attending a private, Crystal clergy-led Mass at the base of Rio's famous Corcovado: Christ the Redeemer statue.
  7. Marveling at the magic of capoeira, an African-Brazilian mix of martial arts and dance, in Natal.
  8. Hiking through the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest to a hidden waterfall, in Ilha Grande .
Crystal begins its South American cruise season with a 16-day, November 23, Miami-to-Rio voyage, followed by a 12-day,December 9, Rio-to-Buenos Aires sailing.   To savor more South America, as well as Crystal's delicious, award-winning experience, travelers can combine the two voyages for an additional 5% savings.  In all, Crystal Symphony's Brazilian calls include Belem, Fortaleza, Natal (maiden call), Maceio, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro (overnight), Buzios, Ilha Grande , Paraty, Santos/Sao Paulo, and Rio Grande du Sol.  Depending on the departure, the cruises also include ports in the Caribbean,Uruguay and Argentina.

"Our itineraries are designed to showcase the many flavors of Brazil," says John Stoll , vice president of land and port operations.  "On the December cruise, Rio and Sao Paulo may be familiar star destinations, while Buzios is a less familiar delight.  What makes this cruise itinerary even more unique is that we stay in Buzios into the night because of its wonderful evening cafe scene."

All-inclusive fares start at $3,990 and $3,555 per person, for November 23 and December 9's voyages, respectively.  Travelers can save 5% off cruise fares when combining the two cruises.  Travelers also have a choice of Crystal Getaways carved from each voyage: 12 days starting November 27 from Barbados to Rio de Janeiro, or seven days starting December 14 from Santos to Buenos Aires.

Crystal Cruises' passion for creating unique luxury experiences both on land and at sea have helped earn the company top ratings from international travelers for two decades.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Royal Caribbean International announces Quantum of the Seas’ first Caribbean sailings

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Groundbreaking New Ship Opens for Sale on May 28, 2013 and Inaugural Voyage Set for November 23, 2014


23 May 2013 – With more game-changing "firsts at sea" being introduced on Royal Caribbean International's new Quantum class of ships, holidaymakers will be hard pressed to find another experience that delivers the "WOWs" like Quantum of the Seas. The cruise line known for introducing incredible signature onboard offerings, such as the rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, FlowRider surf simulator, zip-lining and a park with more than 12,000 plants and trees, today unveiled Quantum of the Seas' first 18 Caribbean sailings, ranging from seven to 12 nights, with the official inaugural voyage set for November 23, 2014. Bookings will be available to Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members beginning May 28, 2013 before opening to the general public on June 4.


The groundbreaking new ship will sail roundtrip from Cape Liberty Cruise Port near New York City, USA to the most popular Caribbean destinations.  Guests can choose among Bahamas (seven and eight nights) and Caribbean (eight, 11 and 12 nights) itineraries aboard Quantum of the Seas. Cruises will be on sale through to April 2015 and the ship will debut new unprecedented features, such as a skydiving experience; a thrilling adventure that transports guests more than 300 feet in the air on a breathtaking journey; cutting-edge transformative venues including the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line's largest and most advanced staterooms ever. To view the reveal film which introduces Quantum of the Seas' innovative at-sea "first", please see


"Royal Caribbean is proud to partner with some of the Caribbean's premier destinations for the inaugural season of Quantum of the Seas," said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "The Quantum class of ships will combine a new set of truly exciting and first-at-sea innovations that can only be found on Royal Caribbean, with some of the most incredible destinations in the region. We can't wait to WOW vacationers with the new Quantum class."  


On the Bahamas cruises, guests call at Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau and CocoCay – Royal Caribbean's private tropical island paradise. Caribbean cruises will include port calls to San Juan,  Puerto Rico; Samana, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas; St. Kitts; Martinique, Barbados and St. Maarten – as well as Labadee, Royal Caribbean's very own private beach paradise on the north coast of Haiti.


Building on a legacy of more than 40 years of innovation and creative design, Royal Caribbean's Quantum class of ships will take a dramatic leap forward, introducing more game-changing "firsts at sea," such as RipCord by iFly (, the first skydiving experience at sea, which allows everyone from first-time flyers to seasoned skydivers to enjoy the sheer thrill and exhilaration of skydiving in a safe, controlled and simulated environment. North Star (, an engineering marvel, will take guests to new heights – literally – with a jewel-shaped, glass capsule, transporting them on a spectacular journey more than 300 feet above the ocean and over the sides of the ship to deliver awe-inspiring 360-degree views.


The new Quantum class also will introduce new cutting-edge, transformative venues, including Two70° (, a multi-level great room aptly named for its magnificent 270-degree panoramic sea views through three-deck high, floor-to-ceiling glass walls at the stern of the ship; SeaPlex (, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and circus school with trapeze; and Music Hall (, a two-story performance hall, inspired by the spirit of rock and roll, and the hottest live music venue on Quantum class. 


Quantum class also will offer Royal Caribbean's largest and most advanced staterooms ever, including the industry's first interior staterooms with Virtual Balconies, ensuring that every stateroom on Quantum of the Seas will have a view. For multi-generational families, Family-Connected staterooms deliver more flexibility, using three different stateroom categories that connect to form a special layout that provides separate bedrooms and bathrooms for all. Royal Caribbean also will introduce new Studio staterooms – some featuring balconies – for single travelers, three new Junior Suite categories, and larger Loft Suites. For an informative overview of Quantum of the Seas' new stateroom concepts, please see


Quantum of the Seas will debut in October 2014, followed by her sister-ship Anthem of the Seas in early 2015.  Quantum Class ships span 16 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms.  More information on Quantum of the Seas is available at



For additional information or to make reservations, contact your travel agent, call 1800 754 500 or visit or Travel professionals can call 1300 754 500 or visit


Windstar Cruises Introduces New Yacht and Voyage Collection

Windstar Cruises, a leader in yacht-style cruising, has announced the debut of its new all-suite yacht, Star Pride, and the 2014 Pride Voyage Collection. The new voyages are now open for sale and feature four new itineraries exclusive to the all-suite yacht, including Windstar's new itinerary through the Black Sea. Star Pride's nine distinctive voyages highlight small-ship ports throughout the Mediterranean seas and French Riviera, tucking into tiny harbours and hidden coves that others cannot reach. The collection features voyages from May 5 to October 21, 2014.

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We are thrilled to welcome Star Pride to our fleet in Spring 2014, enabling Windstar to cruise a global set of itineraries to new destinations including our new Black Sea Tapestry voyage," said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises' chief executive officer. "With a maximum of 212 guests on board, Star Pride delivers our promise of the private yacht experience in a casually elegant setting, all while exploring some of the world's most legendary destinations and hidden harbours."

The four exclusive Star Pride 2014 European voyages include:

Black Sea Tapestry

For the first time, Windstar offers the enigmatic, once hidden, wonders of Europe's Black Sea in signature Windstar yachting style. This seven-day, roundtrip voyage from Istanbul, Turkey departs June 13, 20; and September 8, 2014, and visits five new ports including Yalta, Sevastopol, and Odessa, Ukraine; Constanta (Bucharest), Romania; and Nessebar, Bulgaria. Highlights include: Istanbul's elegant Blue Mosque; Swallow's Nest Castle in Yalta; the intriguing Potemkin Steps in Odessa; Sevastopol's beautiful beaches; and medieval Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its impressive collection of historic churches.

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Pride of the Aegean

Explore the breadth of the Aegean Sea, from the southernmost azure tip of Crete to the soaring spires of Istanbul, in one comprehensive nine-day sailing departing from Athens, Greece or Istanbul, Turkey on June 4, and 27; August 30; September 15 and 24; and October 3, 12, and 21, 2014. Star Pride visits Monemvasia, Chania, Santorini, and Rhodes, Greece; and Bodrum, Kusadasi, and Cesme, Turkey. Highlights include: Chania's beautiful Venetian mansions and churches; the whitewashed buildings and blue domes of Santorini; the ancient Acropolis of Lindos in Rhodes; Cesme's 14th century Genoese castle, as well as the marble, myths, and magic of Athens and Istanbul's world-famous Grand Bazaar.

Riviera Enchantment

Discover the glamour, the enchantment, the excitement, and the exquisite élan of the world's most famous yachting playgrounds on this seven-day voyage roundtrip from Rome, Italy departing May 21; and August 6, 2014. Rome sets the stage for this exciting cruise which visits some of the world's most glamorous ports along the French Riviera including Cannes, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Portoferraio, Portofino, and Portovenere, Italy. For an added thrill, guests sailing on the May 21 departure can add Windstar's Grand Prix Cruise Package and experience the perfect combination of luxury cruising and Formula One racing.

Venetian Passageways

Uncover the wonders of Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic, as Windstar overnights in this magical city on this nine-day voyage along the ancient trade routes through the narrow Corinth Canal, to the ancient oracle of Delphi, and into the majestic fjords of Montenegro. Star Pride departs July 6; and August 21, 2014 from Athens, Greece or Venice, Italy visiting Hydra, Corinth Canal, Delphi/Itea, and Zakynthos, Greece; Butrint, Albania; Kotor, Montenegro; and Dubrovnik and Hvar, Croatia.

Also new for 2014, is Windstar's Sicilian Splendors voyage. Sail around the Isle of Sicily and discover wonders from the ruins of Pompeii and Capri's Blue Grotto to Baroque marvels and the breathtaking beauty of the Amalfi Coast with this 10-day sailing roundtrip from Rome, Italy departing May 11, 2014. This new 2014 voyage visits five new ports including Catania, Porto Empedocle, and Trapani, Italy; and Valletta and Gozo, Malta; as well as Lipari (Sicily), Sorrento, and Capri, Italy, and also spends one romantic night at sea. Highlights include: the ancient city of Syracuse in Catania; historic tapestries and armor in Valletta's Palazzo Parisio; and some of the world's best-preserved Greek ruins at the Valley of the Temples in Porto Empedocle.

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In addition, Star Pride will offer many Windstar favourites including:

·         Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast: Discover the magic of Venice, the grandeur of Rome and the captivating island of Capri before cruising the privileged waters of the Ionian Sea with visits to the breathtaking fjords of Montenegro and the sundrenched shores of Croatia on this eight-day cruise departing from Rome or Venice on July 15 and August 13, 2014.

·         Glitter & Glam of the Rivieras: From the sparkling cities of Marseille and Portofino to the chic style of Monaco and Cannes, Star Pride explores the legendary ports of the world's most privileged yachts on this seven-day voyage departing from Rome or Barcelona on July 23 and 30, 2014.

·         Enchanting Greece & the Amalfi Coast: This seven-day cruise departing May 28, 2014, explores the idyllic islands, charming cobbled villages, spectacular scenery, and intriguing history of the heart of the Mediterranean.

·         Star Pride, with a guest capacity of 212 in 106 suites, will undergo several upgrades and changes in styling and décor to align with Windstar's brand. Star Pride will showcase many signature Windstar experiences, including the line's famous Sail Away party, Yacht Deck Barbecue gala and Open Bridge policy.

About Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of small luxury cruise ships known for their intimate yacht-style experience and unique voyages to the world's best small ports and hidden harbors. Its three recently renovated sailing yachts carry just 148 to 310 guests and cruise to 50 nations, calling at 100 ports throughout Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and Central America. In February 2013, Windstar entered into an agreement to purchase three all-suite motorized yachts with a capacity of 212 passengers each. Under the project name Global Windstar, the expansion will double the size of Windstar's fleet, making the company the market leader in small-ship cruising with 300 or fewer passengers, with a total of 1,230 berths.

For bookings please contact Travel the World on 1300 950 622 or


Monday 20 May 2013

Serendipity Rules As P&O Cruises’ Superliner Pacific Pearl Joins Vivid Sydney’s Celebration Of Light And Sound

An unusual two-night stay in Sydney on a cruise itinerary planned more than two years ago has led to P&O Cruises’ superliner Pacific Pearl becoming the canvas for a spectacular Vivid Sydney light and sound display – the first time a cruise ship has been part of the festival.

Timed perfectly for the start of the 18-day annual Winter festival of light, music and ideas, Pacific Pearl will come alive with the P&O Cruises’ ‘See Voyage’ taking excited viewers on a virtual cruise.

P&O Cruises ship projection image
Pacific Pearl
Close to 2000 New Zealand visitors whose Pacific Pearl cruise to Australia started in Auckland on May 21 will have a front row viewing platform of Vivid Sydney on May 24-25.

“It’s unusual for a P&O Cruises’ ship to have an overnight transit call at the Overseas Passenger Terminal on a cruise itinerary that was determined two years ago,” said Tammy Marshall, Senior Vice President P&O Cruises.

“To have Pacific Pearl at Circular Quay on the first two nights of Vivid Sydney and to be able to project images of the sea and the islands on her side in an extravaganza of light and sound, was an opportunity that was just too good to miss.”

On both nights of Pearl’s transit call, the P&O Cruises’ ‘See Voyage’ five-minute presentation will run every 30 minutes from 6pm – midnight with the Sydney Opera House and its vicinity the best viewing spot to take in the eclectic display.

The colourful fast moving show captures Vivid Sydney’s festival of creativity, enjoyment and escapism, which are also part and parcel of cruising to the Pacific Islands to visit some of the world’s most beautiful destinations.

“Pacific Pearl’s passengers are in for a very special treat as their superliner becomes one of the many Vivid Sydney light installations around the world’s most spectacular harbour,” Ms Marshall said.

“In addition to taking in the Vivid Sydney sights and sounds, for two nights they will have all the time needed to fan out and enjoy the dining, shopping and touring opportunities that the city has to offer.

“To have Pacific Pearl’s two-night transit call to Sydney coincide with Vivid Sydney is pure serendipity and we couldn’t be more excited at this chance to present wonderful images of the islands and maritime themes.”

Fly Free with Celebrity Cruises

Click here to view this promotion in a browser window

Hi Cruisers,

Cruise New Zealand in a premium Veranda, Concierge Class or Aqua Class stateroom and receive free return flights~ from Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney.

For a limited time only, when you book a selected Celebrity Solstice cruise to New Zealand in the summer 2013-2014 season, you'll receive a free pre- or post-cruise flight to or from Auckland. This is your chance to enjoy New Zealand and take in some of the region's rich scenic views from your private veranda, as very few ever will.

Sale features:
- Offer is valid until 31 July 2013
- Book a selected Celebrity Solstice New Zealand cruise in a premium Veranda, Concierge Class or AquaClass and receive free return flights!
- Strictly for new individual bookings only made within the sale period

BOOK NOW! Free Call 1300 369 848

Keep Cruising,
Jay & the ecruising team

South America Fly and Cruise Package with Celebrity

CRUISE specialist has released a new exclusive South American fly/cruise/tour package - a 35-night itinerary which includes a 14- night cruise aboard Celebrity Infinity from Buenos Aires in Argentina to Valparaiso in Chile.

"The Amazing South America" tour departs Sydney on February 9, 2014, for three nights in Santiago, Chile, before travelling to Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu by scenic train then flying to Rio de Janiero in Brazil.  Travel back to Argentina and spend three nights at Iguazu Falls to take in the superb waterfalls on both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides.

Fly to Patagonia in Argentina to experience the Perito Moreno Glacier and a full day River of Ice cruise. Head back to the capital BA to view the famous Tango show and have a traditional pampas gaucho party- the cowboys of South America- before boarding your ship.

Cruise through Uruguay towards Chile with port visits in Montevideo, Punta Del Este, Cape Horn, Punta Arenas and Puerto Montt, sail through the Strait of Magellan and the Chilean Fjords before reaching your final destination of  Valparaiso.

The itinerary includes private touring in Santiago, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Rio de Janiero, Iguazu Falls, Patagonia and Buenos Aires.

Priced from $16,469 per person twin share, the package also includes return economy air fares from Sydney, 21 nights superior hotels including Grand Hyatt, Swissotel, Aranwa Boutique Hotel and Alvear Palace Hotel, 14 nights cruise accommodation with all meals on board the Celebrity Infinity, air and port taxes as well as all transfers with airport meet and greet service.

The cruise tour is for sale until June 30, for more details contact on 1300-369-848 or check out


Saturday 18 May 2013

P&O Cruises Showcases Multi-million Pound Ventura Refurbishment

P&O Ventura
A multi-million pound refurbishment has been carried out to Ventura to incorporate features which have proved popular with passengers on sister ship Azura.

Successful concepts from Azura, such as The Glasshouse, The Retreat, menus designed by Michelin -star chef Atul Kochhar in speciality restaurant East and single cabins have all been introduced on board Ventura as part of P&O Cruises ongoing refit programme.

Highlights include:

The Glasshouse
  • The Glasshouse has been introduced, to replace Las Ramblas bar and restaurant on Deck 7
  • Installation of enomatic wine system allows passengers to buy premium wines by the glass selected by TV wine expertOlly Smith
  • Conversion to The Glasshouse menu with a selection of small and large plates available for lunch and dinner (additional charge). Small plates include:chorizo, pork belly and butter bean cassoulet and larger plates include a selection of steak, burger and fish dishes with triple cooked chips as well as vegetarian options including woodland mushroom and spring onion risotto with melting camembert
East now features a new menu designed by Michelin-star celebrity chef Atul Kochhar
Atul has devised a unique Thai/Indonesian menu, which also includes influences from Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisine. Sample dishes include:
  • -24 Hour Slow Cooked Lamb Rendang - Indonesian style curry with coconut milk, shallots, garlic and ginger
  • -Spiced Sea Bream - wrapped in banana leaf and griddled with shallots and green chillies
Atul Kochhar said: "Exploring flavours from across the Far East, including Indonesia and Thailand, this new and exciting menu showcases modern Asian cuisine. Incorporating mystical spices with subtle ingredients this menu is inspired by my travels throughout Asia and my love of spice."

Single cabins
18 new single cabins added: 12 outside and six inside
Located in the same area as Azura, adjacent to the Exchange Bar on Deck 6, a central location

The Retreat
  • Installation of The Retreat into the forward area on Deck 16
  • The Retreat is a sumptuous open-air spa terrace with sun loungers, a separate pool and stunning sea views, exclusively for adults
  • Passengers can buy a full day pass to The Retreat for a small cover charge
Other changes
  • The atrium features a new dance floor which will host dance lessons day and night with a live band in the evening
  • Ventura is now fully wi-fi enabled
  • The cyberstudy has been converted into the ship's new library (with some fixed PCs)
  • A new perfumery has replaced the old library
  • A new enomatic wine system has been introduced in Waterside, the ship's buffet restaurant. This self-service system allows passengers to buy premium wines by the glass, similar to The Glasshouse, by purchasing a wine card on board
P&O Cruises managing director Carol Marlow said:

"This is the latest of several refits to our fleet. Oriana and Oceana have already had multi-million pound investments and Arcadia will be at the end of the year. We are delighted with the changes on Ventura. All of the enhancements have been made following feedback from both existing passengers and potential cruisers. Research showed that speciality restaurants were very important as well as a variety of dining with premium grills, classic fine dining, Asian and Indian menus being the most popular.

"As a result we have added these innovations onto Ventura. We have a new Asian Fusion menu in East, designed by Atul Kochhar and we added The Glasshouse grill and wine bar, both of which have proved so popular on Azura.

"Following the success of the single cabins on Azura and Oriana, we also now have 18 new single cabins on Ventura. This offers an attractive and cost effective option to solo travellers.

"The Retreat has also been a huge hit with passengers on Azura and so we now have the same concept on Ventura. The Retreat offers a private area, exclusively for adults and is the perfect place to relax, unwind and be pampered.

"All in all, these changes are very well suited to passengers seeking a relaxed and contemporary cruising experience - perfect for families, friends and couples alike. We are very excited to have these latest innovations in time for Ventura's new fly-cruise programme to the Mediterranean next summer. Our passengers can enjoy some of Europe's most iconic destinations in greater style and even more comfort on our new-look Ventura."

The changes are reflected in the new P&O Cruises 2014/15 brochure. The new programme, which has significant savings for early bookers, is on sale now.

A Ventura refit video is available with Laurence Llewelyn Bowen talking through the exciting changes. To view it, please visit P&O Cruises YouTube page or click on the following link:

Crystal's New Explorer Combinations Offer Longer Vacations for Less

For those for whom one luxury cruise just isn't enough, Crystal Cruises is offering incredible new discounts of up to 25% off the best cruise-only fares for combining select 2013 and 2014 voyages.

Crystal Cruises
The new Explorer Combinations promotion boasts savings of up to $12,200/person for travelers who combine two to three of the Crystal Serenity Mediterranean cruisesback-to-back. Itineraries feature calls in Dubrovnik, Sicily, Montenegro, Malta, Mykonos, St-Tropez and more, with overnight stays in Venice, Monte Carlo, Lisbon, Istanbul, Barcelona and Sorrento.

"Extending one's vacation via an Explorer Combination allows one to see more of Europe, in an extremely convenient and luxurious way," says Jack Anderson , senior vice president, marketing and sales. "All-inclusive fares start from just $217 per person per day – an incredible value for a Six-Star vacation visiting so many of Europe's most storied and charming locales."

Combo options include:

October 17 & October 26: Istanbul to Rome (16 total days) from $3,770
October 26 & November 2: Venice to Lisbon (20 total days) from $4,535
October 17, October 26 and November 2: Istanbul to Lisbon (29 total days) from $6,320

May 30 & June 8: Barcelona to Venice (16 total days) from $3,975
June 8 & June 15: Rome to Istanbul (14 total days) from $3,640
May 30, June 8 and June 15: Barcelona to Istanbul (23 total days) from $5,795

All fares are per person, and must be booked by June 28, 2013. Individual cruises and Crystal Getaways offer luxury vacations starting from just five days in length in the Mediterranean, as well as the Baltic, North Cape, Western Europe, British Isles, and Black Sea. Crystal also offers 5% savings for all other back-to-back cruises.

Crystal Cruises' award-winning "World's Best" ocean resort experience always includes a host of complimentary amenities, from enlightening enrichment speakers and fitness classes to pampering pillow menus and specialty restaurant dining, featuring the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa and all-inclusive beverages and gratuities.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

Moose and Marsupials. Two great cruises unite South Pacific and Alaska

A double cruise aboard two fine Holland America Line cruise ships this year explores Alaska’s renowned Inside Passage and visits Los Angeles, Hawaii, Samoa, Vanuatu and Noumea before sailing back to Australia.

It’s part of a holiday from CruiseAway ( that also ventures into Canada’s Rocky Mountains on a two-day tour and spends five nights in Vancouver.

Rocky Mountaineer
‘Moose and Marsupials’ (as the holiday is named) uses Holland America Line’s ms Zuiderdam and ms Volendam. The latter ship will visit Australia this October, providing the perfect means of sailing back home across the Pacific after this great North American adventure.

‘Moose and Marsupials’ lasts over five weeks – 37 nights, to be precise. It costs from A$5599 twin share per person, valid at that rate till 30 June 2013 or until sold out, whichever comes first. That’s a reduction of A$400 on the previous price levels.

This fly-double-cruise Canada and Alaska adventure begins on 12 September 2013 with a flight from Sydney to Vancouver. Your hotel is the Rosedale on Robson in the heart of Vancouver’s entertainment district. Accommodation is in a deluxe suite, with time to explore one of North America’s most livable and scenically dramatic cities.

Then board ms Zuiderdam for a fabulous seven-night round-trip into the dramatic fjords of Alaska’s Inside Passage. Despite the snow-capped mountains, the region’s mild, maritime climate makes it prime habitat for bald eagles, sea lions, porpoise and whales. Highlights among these forested islands include the historic town of Juneau at the foot of mountain peaks, the Klondike gold-rush settlement of Skagway, Ketchikan with its totem poles and phenomenal Glacier Bay, where bears forage and 16 tidewater glaciers plunge into icy fjords.

All shipboard main meals (excluding specialty restaurants) and most onboard entertainment is covered. ms Zuiderdam amenities include The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine; Greenhouse Spa & Salon; and Explorations Café powered by The New York Times.

After another night in Vancouver, set out along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway on a two-day Discover Whistler mini-stay. The journey to Whistler includes free entry to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, focusing on the culture of two local indigenous nations. The Rocky Mountaineer rail trip back, from Whistler to Vancouver, is one of Canada’s great rail journeys, taking in the magnificent scenery of Howe Sound and British Columbia’s coastal mountains.

Your Whistler accommodation is the gracious Fairmont Chateau Whistler alpine resort, located dramatically between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

Two more nights in a deluxe suite at the stylish Rosedale on Robson hotel give you time to relax in Vancouver. Perhaps saunter the cobblestone streets of Gastown, the city’s oldest neighbourhood, full of artists’ studios and boutique designer shops in refurbished heritage buildings.

The main cruise of the holiday is now about to begin – 24 nights from Vancouver to Sydney aboard ms Volendam, a ship known for flowers, art and fine dining. First port of call is Los Angeles, with time to visit Hollywood, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills or those famous LA shopping malls.

Four days at sea gives time to explore ms Volendam. Artwork aboard runs from pre-Columbian sculptures to Renaissance-era Italian fountains. Dining can involve five-course menus or you can opt for vegetarian or low-carb choices. Take time to explore the lounges, bars, Lido Pool and Frans Hals Show Lounge. Once again, all shipboard main meals (excluding specialty restaurants) and most onboard entertainment is covered in the price.

Next stop Hawaii – first at Hilo on the Big Island, then a full day in Honolulu to visit Pearl Harbor, stroll Waikiki Beach or do as you will. Onward to Pago Pago (pronounced pango pango), capital of American Samoa.

On the other side of the date line lies Suva, Fiji, for a full day to shop, take it easy, maybe sip kava. ms Volendam also visits Port Vila in Vanuatu and Lifou on the Loyalty Islands – perfect beaches on a far-flung archipelago. Then visit Noumea, capital of New Caledonia. Perhaps find a café, sip a Pernod; contemplate practicing your French.

The next stop is super-special. Try to rise early to catch dawn arrival in Sydney, ending your holiday on a serene and beautiful note.

For details, contact Cruiseaway 1300 887 590

Monday 13 May 2013

Windstar’s New Yacht and Voyages On Sale May 14th

This year continues to be an exciting one for Windstar Cruises. As most of the cruise industry focuses on bigger ships, we continue to invest in small-ship opportunities and intimate yacht-style cruising with the addition of our three new all-suite power yachts and the completion of the renovation on our three sailing yachts.

I am delighted to announce that voyages for Star Pride, Windstar Cruises' first all-suite power yacht, will open for sale tomorrow. Star Pride's Voyage Collection includes four new itineraries exclusive to the Star Pride. The one I am most excited about is Black Sea Tapestry. For the first time, Windstar Cruises will cruise the enigmatic, once hidden, wonders of the Black Sea in our signature, private yacht style. The voyage will depart from Istanbul, Turkey and visit Yalta, Sevastopol, and Odessa, Ukraine; Constanta (Bucharest), Romania; and Nessebar, Bulgaria. Visit our web site later this week to learn more about all Star Pride voyages. I'm also sending you a comprehensive brochure on the Star Pride Voyage Collection later this month.

As the three all-suite power yachts enter our fleet, with Star Pride being the first in May 2014, they will undergo upgrades and changes in styling and décor to align with Windstar's brand. The new power yachts will accommodate a maximum of 212 pampered guests with 106 suites, including four deluxe Owners' Suites, two beautiful Classic Suites, and 100 Balcony and Ocean View Suites.

Keeping true to our signature private yacht style, guests sailing on board Star Pride will experience Windstar's casual elegance and legendary service. With our new private all-suite yachts, you will continue to enjoy our celebrated Sail Away party, famous Yacht Deck Barbecue gala, access to the Bridge and exclusive experiences on shore as your yacht tucks into delightful tiny harbors and hidden coves that others can't reach.

I especially hope to see you on Star Pride's inaugural voyage in the Mediterranean, sailing May 5 to May 11, 2014. This six-day voyage is an exclusive event for Windstar's alumni members and invited guests. Following a christening ceremony, Star Pride will depart from Barcelona to Rome with several unique experiences throughout the voyage. Your invitation to this exclusive event will arrive soon and you are welcome to call Windstar Reservations for more information.

We will continue to share new details on these beautiful all-suite power yachts in the coming months. I look forward to seeing you on board one of our yachts soon.


Hans Birkholz
President & CEO
Windstar Cruises

Overboard case reveals truth about falling from cruise ships

The young Australian couple who plunged from the cruise ship Carnival Spirit into the ocean on the high seas last Wednesday night was even by the weekend presumed dead.

Paramedic Paul Rossington, 30, and his girlfriend Kristen Schroder, 26, both of Barraba, 90 kilometres north of Tamworth in New South Wales, were on the cruise with seven family and friends.

Their disappearance overboard happened on the final day of the 10-day cruise. The final day is statistically the most likely day for such events to occur, for reasons that remain unclear.

With the search having been called off at the weekend, their deaths off the NSW coast seem destined to remain forever a mystery, with CCTV footage aboard revealing that they went overboard separately, though close together.

Surveillance video showed them going over the railing about the same time, with a brief pause between them, NSW Police Superintendent Mark Hutchings said.

Police said initially that it was hard to tell who went overboard first, but images were enhanced and the Sydney Morning Herald surmised that Rossington “was believed to have been valiantly trying to save his girlfriend when they both went overboard”.

The paper continued: “Reports say that Ms Schroder fell from the Carnival Spirit at 8.50pm on Wednesday night and that Mr Rossington fell only seconds later while trying to save her.”

The Herald attributed to a “senior police source” a report that CCTV taken in the ship’s casino on Wednesday evening showed the couple having “a short but heated argument”. Friends said the couple were known to argue frequently, but only for about five minutes a time. The newspaper said other CCTV footage later showed Schroder climbing over the railing, falling or jumping (not clear which), hitting a lifeboat on the way down, and Rossington jumping in shortly afterwards, perhaps to try and save her.

The circumstances and motives seem bound to remain forever a matter of conjecture. Note that the Herald report uses the word “fell”. It is standard journalistic practice to use that word, unless there is overwhelming evidence that the event was intentional, rather than misadventure or accident. The word is also used, quite understandably, out of consideration for the victims’ families and friends, who have enough to contend with at so tragic a time.

However the word “fall” could suggest to readers unused to cruising that a passenger could trip on a cruise ship deck and fall overboard. The truth is that anything like that would be profoundly difficult, if not impossible, on a cruise ship. Railings are built above waist height, even for a tall person.

Chief executive of Carnival Australia, Ann Sherry, said the railing over which the couple went was five centimeters higher than industry safety regulations mandate.

“It’s designed really to prevent accidental tripping” overboard, she told reporters.

“We want to make sure that it’s not possible for people to fall overboard or to trip and fall overboard … so I think it would be highly unlikely, but again, in this case, the police are conducting a full investigation,” the US Huffington Post reported.

Carnival Spirit has about 600 surveillance cameras that are constantly monitored. Sherry said at least four crew were monitoring the ship’s surveillance cameras at any time.

“There is also a balance, of course, around privacy. We don’t watch what people are doing in their private spaces.”

That is a very good point. Most passengers enjoy the privacy of their cabins and balconies. They don’t want crew observing what they do there in private – especially when they know there is not the slightest chance they will fall or jump overboard.

It was the last night of a fantastic cruise, Sherry noted. “Virtually everybody else was in the public spaces on the ship, and they’re the areas that we focus on in those times.”

The final night of the cruise is when such things tend to happen.

About 18 months ago, the US-based International Cruise Victims Association estimated that 165 people had gone missing at sea since 1995. In the same period, over 180 million passengers worldwide have taken cruises. Even taking into account repeat passengers, the chances of going overboard still appear to be less than one in a million., which lists some of those who have gone overboard, makes several observations. Males are much more likely to go overboard than females, the average age of a passenger who goes overboard is 41 years and – crucially – “you are most likely to fall overboard on the last night of your cruise”.

Peter Needham

Royal Caribbean's 2014-15 Australasian season is on sale now

Voyager of the Seas

  • Voyager of the Seas' multimillion dollar revitalisation
    brings cruising's latest innovative features Down Under
  • Earlybird savings of up to $1,000 per person on offer 

May 14, 2013 – Royal Caribbean International has announced its biggest summer season to date, with its 2014-15 Australasian program on sale from today. The cruise line also revealed news that the biggest ship sailing Down Under, Voyager of the Seas, is scheduled to undergo a major multimillion-dollar "revitalisation" just ahead of the season. Voyager of the Seas will be joined by Rhapsody of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas – which themselves recently enjoyed over $80 million worth of improvements – in a three-ship fleet of superior superliners sailing local waters together for a third consecutive season.

"Royal Caribbean ships unfailingly deliver the "wow'" factor and in 2014-15, we will continue to bring the best and latest cruising innovations to the region.  We began with the revitalisations of Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas in 2011-12, and now we've come full circle as Voyager of the Seas will undergo a bow-to-stern refurbishment to offer even more amazing features.  We'll be able to share further details later this year – but you can be sure that guests will find many of the features found on our newest Oasis Class ships and more," said Adam Armstrong, commercial director, Royal Caribbean International.

"More than 140,000 guests from over 100 countries will enjoy our new summer 2014-15 program of cruises. Guests will experience a truly international style of cruising on the three most modern, amenity-rich freshly-revitalised ships ever to be based in the region."

In the summer of 2014-15, Royal Caribbean will be offering Australian families, groups, couples and singles even more choice with three impressive ships and a wide range of itineraries to choose from. Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas will arrive in Sydney in October 2014 for the start of their season, and sister ship Voyager of the Seas will join them in December 2014. Guests can choose from 55 cruises – more than any other Sydney-based cruise line – ranging from two to 18 nights calling at 37 ports across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, with departures from September 2014 to April 2015.

Now is the time to book for these exciting cruises as Royal Caribbean is offering Earlybird savings of up to $1,000 per person for bookings made by 31 December 2013. With fares starting from $389 per person twin share and a seven-night South Pacific cruise from under $1,000 per person twin share, be quick as the cruises are bound to be sold out way before the deals' deadline. Other Earlybird deals include savings on bookings for balcony cabins, suites, children and third and fourth berths in a stateroom. 

Voyager of the Seas will arrive for her 2014-15 season fresh from her comprehensive revitalisation in October 2014. Guests can expect exciting onboard amenities, including those featured in Royal Caribbean's newest Oasis-class ships.  During her third season down under, Voyager of the Seas will sail from Sydney and Perth, offering four new itineraries along with some favourites:

  • NEW A 13-night cruise from Singapore to Sydney on 25 November 2014 which calls at Darwin and Brisbane and has Earlybird fares which start from $1,549 per person.
  • NEW Royal Caribbean has added an additional 3-night long weekend sampler cruise departing Sydney with Earlybird prices from $599 per person.
  • NEW A spectacular Australia & New Zealand 16-night cruise from Sydney ending in Perth has Earlybird fares from $2,149 per person.
  • Six Fiji cruises ranging in duration from 9 to 14 nights, including a NEW 14-night itinerary with Earlybird fares from $2,449 per person.
  • One 14-night Pacific Island Fusion cruise which uniquely combine calls to New Caledonia and Fiji with New Zealand; Earlybird pricing for this cruise starts from $1,849 per person.
  • Three 11-night cruises to New Zealand – offering a shorter 'express' itinerary than the traditional 14-night option on Radiance of the Seas – with Earlybird fares start from $1,429 per person.
  • Voyager of the Seas will return to Asia on a 14-night sailing on 1 April 2015 from Perth to Singapore, via Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. Guests can experience this cruise from just $1,849 per person if they book before 31 December 2013.

Radiance of the Seas will sail out of Sydney and Perth with a wide variety of seven- to 18-night itineraries to Tasmania, around Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Often referred to as the "Foodies' Ship" for her unmatched 10 restaurants onboard, Radiance of the Seas had a ship-wide revitalisation in 2011 which can be viewed here. Her 2014-15 Australasian season features:

  • Two 'Trans-Pacific' cruises between Honolulu and Sydney on 22 September 2014 (18 nights) and 19 April 2015 (17 nights) with calls in Tahiti and New Zealand. Earlybird fares for this cruise begin at $2,549 per person.
  • Two 14-night New Zealand cruises with eight ports of call each plus scenic cruising of Milford Sound, Dusky Sound and Doubtful Sound – Earlybird fares start from $1,849 per person.
  • Eight South Pacific island cruises ranging in duration from seven to 12 nights – including the inaugural call for Radiance of the Seas into Mare, New Caledonia on the 12-night Christmas cruise. If booked by 31 December 2013, fares start from $1,069 per person for a seven-night cruise departing 12 April 2015.
  • Two full circumnavigations of Australia and New Zealand. Guests may choose to sail a 16-night 'Top End' cruise or a 17-night 'South Coast & New Zealand' sailing – or combine the cruises into one majestic 33-night voyage. Cruises depart 20 October 2014 and 26 February 2015 and Earlybird fares start from $2,109 per person for a 16-night Top End cruise.
  • A seven-night Tasmania sailing on 13 January 2015 with fares from $1,419 per person.

Rhapsody of the Seas' season will feature a wide variety of itineraries including two new ones, ranging from two to 16 nights, sailing to Tasmania, Queensland, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The ship also went through an extensive refurbishment in 2012 which added many new features including a restyled seven-deck high Centrum atrium where breathtaking aerial-acrobatic shows take place.  In 2014-15, Rhapsody of the Seas will sail the following cruises out of Sydney:

  • Two 16-night 'Trans-Pacific' cruises between Hawaii and Sydney which travel through the South Pacific islands of Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and New Caledonia; departing on 16 September 2014 (ex Honolulu) and 17 April 2015 (ex Sydney) – Earlybird fares start from $1,969 per person.
  • Ten South Pacific island cruises ranging in duration from 7 to 11 nights – including three calls to the port of Mare, New Caledonia for the first time. A seven night South Pacific cruise has Earlybird fares from $999 per person.
  • NEW A 10-night 'Tasmania & South Australia' cruise which calls at Hobart (overnight), Burnie, Adelaide and Melbourne with fares from $1,309 per person if booked by 31 December 2013.
  • NEW A two-night weekend sampler cruise departing Sydney on 3 October 2014 with Earlybird fares from $389 per person.
  • Two 12-night South Pacific Fiji cruises New Caledonia, Fiji and Vanuatu; Earlybird fares start from $1,659 per person.
  • Four 11-night Queensland sailings which call at Newcastle, Cairns, Airlie Beach and Brisbane. These cruises offer the best of Australia's northeast coast and include a unique 2-day, overnight call in Cairns – allowing plenty of time to explore the city's nightlife as well as the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.  Earlybird fares begin from just $1,459 per person.

Unique amenities already offered on board Royal Caribbean's Australasian fleet include an ice-skating rink, rock-climbing walls, a Royal Promenade of shops, mini-golf courses, water parks, Broadway-style theatre and full sized sports courts. For more details, please visit .

Sunday 12 May 2013

Southampton to Sydney aboard P&O Arcadia

LOOKING for some time out from the children or grandkids, cruise specialists has the perfect 48-night package on board the elegant adult only Arcadia ship on a cruise from Southampton to Sydney which has been discounted by up to 52 per cent per person.

Departing on January 8, 2014 the ship calls at Azores in the North Atlantic Ocean on the way to Bridgetown and Willemstad in the Caribbean before transiting the Panama Canal to Guatemala. After visits to San Diego and Los Angeles Arcadia then sails for Papeete and Bora Bora in French Polynesia on the way to the Fijian capital Suva. There are calls at Bay of Islands and Auckland in New Zealand before disembarking in Sydney on February 25.

There is plenty of time at sea to relax and enjoy more than 13 different lounges, bars, pubs and restaurants- including the renowned Ocean Grill Marco Pierre White restaurant. There are a variety of entertainment venues to experience such as "The Screening Room" a 30-seat cinema, "The Globe" with live music and comedy acts as well the casino, three tier showroom, art and photo gallery and much more.

The itinerary is available from $6669 per person twin share from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, from $6869 from Adelaide and from Perth is priced from $6969.

The price includes one-way economy airfare from Australia to London, two nights' accommodation at St Ermins Hotel in London, a London sightseeing pass, 46-nights cruise accommodation with all meals, on board entertainment, private transfers and port and government charges. Passengers can upgrade their accommodation to stay at the Savoy Hotel in London from an extra $330 per person.

The package is for sale until January 3, 2014 unless sold out, for more details check out or call 1300-369-848

Saturday 11 May 2013

EUROPA 2 Formally Christened at the 2013 HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY in Hamburg

*       The ship was Christened on 10 May near Blankenese in Hamburg
*       The godmother of the ship is Dana Schweiger
*       Maiden voyage from Hamburg to Lisbon

In line with the motto "Great moments. Truly exclusive." the newly- built EUROPA 2 has been christened in celebratory and stylish fashion by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises on 10 May 2013, during the 824th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY. Godmother Dana Schweiger smashed the champagne bottle against the bow of the ship near Blankenese, Hamburg. The special invitees on board experienced the new ship while attending numerous events with celebrity guests.

At around 19.00 hrs EUROPA 2 embarked on a twilight voyage - with the city of Hamburg as its backdrop - sailing to its launch site near the riverside district of Blankenese. Godmother Dana Schweiger officially gave the new ship her name at 21.36 hrs. "I christen you the EUROPA 2 and wish you and your crew good voyages and safe returns, and may there always be enough water beneath your keel," said Dana Schweiger.

Dr Wolfgang Flägel, Managing Director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: "This is a special moment for our company and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for their commitment. I am certain that the EUROPA 2 with raise the bar in the luxury sector with its modern interpretation. We wish the ship and her crew safe journeys and enthusiastic passengers."

Around 700 guests on board enjoyed a brilliant fireworks display to round off the ceremony in style. Afterwards, observing tradition, the godmother presented the neck of the bottle to EUROPA 2 Captain Friedrich Jan Akkermann. After the christening ceremony, the star act Dick Brave & the Backbeats created a party atmosphere with their rockabilly music.

The fully-booked 14-day maiden voyage departs on 11 May from Hamburg and will sail to Lisbon via Amsterdam, Antwerp, Honfleur, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Bilbao and Leixoes (Porto). At the start of the voyage, the EUROPA 2 will cruise in the port with special on-board celebrations. Guests can enjoy the cruise through the lively Port of Hamburg, box seats at the famous Tugboat Ballet and other exclusive surprises. After the big fireworks display at the 824th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY at around 22.30hrs., the EUROPA 2 will set off on its maiden voyage and leave Hamburg.

The EUROPA 2 is a modern and casual luxury ship, which does away with cruise traditions such as the captain's dinner. With up to 516 guests,EUROPA 2 provides the greatest space per passenger on a cruise ship anywhere in the world. The ship features exclusively suites with verandas and a minimum area of 28 square metres. Eight restaurants and six bars are dedicated to serving up culinary diversity and a large spa and fitness area accommodates the well-being trend on cruises. Its flexible route concept will appeal to professionals and families in the luxury sector in particular.

For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises visit

Thursday 9 May 2013

Carnival Cruise Lines to deploy Carnival Legend down under

Carnival Cruise Lines has just announced that its Carnival Legend will sail the summer season from Sydney effective from 24 Sep 2014.

Legend is a sister ship to the 2680-passenger Carnival Spirit which already operates year-round from Sydney, with the second vessel heading to Australia after a dry dock in 2014 when she will be upgraded "to ensure she's perfectly suited for the tastes of the Aussie market," according to Carnival Cruise Lines director Australia/NZ, Jennifer Vandekreeke.

"We will be using our valuable learnings from the first year of Carnival Spirit's deployment to decide on the best features and enhancements for Australians," she said.

Vandekreeke said Legend would operate a series of 8-12 day cruises, then spend the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere before returning again to Australia in the spring of 2015.

Bookings for the second ship will open next month.

More information in today's issues of Travel Daily and Cruise Weekly.This Cruise Weekly breaking news brought to you by Cruise Weekly.

Tuesday 7 May 2013

First pictures of EUROPA 2

With thanks to Gerd from Landmark Travel.

She will be christened on 10th May at 21.00 Hamburg time.
You can watch this life on your computer 

Sunday 5 May 2013

Celebrity Local Solstice Sale

Hi Cruisers,

We are very pleased to announce Celebrity's Local Solstice sale which is offering up to US$300 onboard credit plus 50% reduced deposit. Hurry though, as the deal runs for one week only and finishes on 11 May 2013. Offer is available for Celebrity Solstice Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific itineraries of 5 nights or longer departing between October 2013 and April 2014. Please find below a summary of the upcoming Celebrity Local Solstice sale.

Sale features:

- On sale from Sunday 5 May until Saturday 11 May 2013
- Offer consists of an Onboard Credit & 50% reduced deposit
- Cruise around Australia, New Zealand or to South Pacific on Celebrity Solstice.

(Departing between October 2013 and April 2014)

- Strictly for new individual bookings only made within the sale period

BOOK NOW! Free Call 1300 369 848

Keep Cruising,

Jay & the ecruising team

Mothers Day Cruise a break for 'raw deal' mums

Mothers' Day - Sunday 12 May 2013

 An astonishing two thirds of Australian mums are still expected to do household chores and cook family meals on Mother’s Day, according to a new national survey released by P&O Cruises.

And just to confirm mums are getting a raw deal, when asked if they were treated to breakfast in bed, a romantic dinner or relief from household chores on Mother’s Day, nearly half the mums surveyed said ‘none of the above’.

However, the revealing P&O Cruises survey of more than 1000 mothers also showed that keeping the peace is the byword for mums when it comes to how they are treated on Mother’s Day.

Twenty-five per cent of mums who said they received a Mother’s Day gift they didn’t like said nothing but passed the unwanted gift on to someone else.

Sixty-four per cent put the gift somewhere they were never likely to see it again but five per cent said they would sell it on e-bay and use the proceeds to buy something they liked.

Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, said she was stunned to discover from the survey that not all Aussie mums are being spoilt rotten on Mother’s Day.

nearly half of mums surveyed were still doing chores on Mothers Day
 “On Mother’s Day of all days mums should be getting pampered in every way and given a break from
the usual daily grind,” Ms Sherry said.

“It’s no surprise why women are so likely to choose a cruise holiday where someone else does all the
cooking and cleaning and helps explain why there has been such strong demand for P&O Cruises’
inaugural Mother’s Day cruise.”

Other key findings in the P&O Cruises’ national survey of just over 1000 Aussie mums included:
  • 42% had holidayed with their mothers as an adult and based on that experience a resounding
  • 82% would do it again
  • 22% had holidayed with their mothers-in-law as adults but some – 2.4% -- preferred not to remember the experience
  • 17% would definitely holiday with their mothers-in-law again but 22% wouldn’t back up for a second and for 15% it was ‘definitely no’
  • 49% would prefer a Mother’s Day getaway with their husband or partner but 16% would prefer to travel solo and 14% preferred a getaway with girlfriends
  • 87% thought a Mother’s Day break where they didn’t have to cook, make a bed or do any household chores would be appealing
  • 47% who contemplated a Mother’s Day cruise would do it for its complete freedom from domestic chores and obligations
When asked which famous mum they would like to spend Mother’s Day with, Michelle Obama was
the standout choice (22%) followed by Maggie Beer (18%) and Nicole Kidman (15%). Posh Spice was
the least popular Mother’s Day choice (2%).

“Our special Mother’s Day survey is a wake-up call for Aussie families,” Ms Sherry said. “Aussie mums want a better deal and it sounds like a cruise is just the sort of Mother’s Day pampering they have in mind.”

The three-night Mother’s Day cruise on Pacific Jewel leaves Sydney on Friday May 10.

For more information on cruises and bookings contact a licensed travel agent or P&O Cruises on 13
24 94 or visit

Australia is world's fastest growing cruise market

The newly rebranded Cruise Lines International Association has just released its annual passenger statistics for the Australasian market, revealing that growth in the local cruise sector continues to lead the world.

A record high of 694,062 passengers cruised with CLIA member lines last year, with a growth rate of 11% equalled only by Germany - and significantly outstripping growth in the US at 2% and flat industry performance in the UK.

CLIA Australasia chairman Gavin Smith said it was the eighth consecutive year of double digit growth for Australasian cruise passenger numbers, which have more than doubled since 2008.

"Clearly Australians are responding to the growing number of cruise holidays on offer from Australian ports, as well as our strong dollar, which is encouraging more people to cruise overseas," he said.

For the first time this year the report breaks down passenger numbers by age, with almost half less than 50, 25% aged under 40 and a third over 61 years.

43% of cruise passengers came from NSW in 2012 - almost double that from Queensland which accounted for 22% and ahead of Victoria at 16% and WA 9%.

CLIA also analysed the passenger mix on board round trip cruises from Australia as well as trans-Tasman and trans-Pacific voyages, with 84% being Australians and international travellers accounting for 16% or close to 100,000 passengers.

River cruising numbers also continued to expand, up 12% to 39,275 for the year.