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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Around the world with Princess Cruises

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Sail to the world's most exotic destinations and only unpack once with the trip of a life time - a 104-night roundtrip cruise from Sydney sailing to 27 countries on board Sea Princess, now available with great incentives from cruise specialist ecruising.travel .

Ecruising is offering up to $4000 on-board credit per cabin for passengers who have travelled on a Princess Cruise before and up to $2000 for non-past passengers as a bonus to book this once in a lifetime cruise.


Departing Sydney Harbour on May 22, 2015 you will board your home away from home to travel across southern Australia up to Sri Lanka before cruising to the Middle East and visiting Dubai in the UAE, Oman, Jordan and Egypt.


After traversing the Suez Canal the next stops are Greece, Turkey, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, England and Ireland. From there continue onto Iceland, New York and head south to the South American destinations of Curacao, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Easter Island in Chile.
Your final destinations are French Polynesia, American Samoa and New Zealand before sailing into Sydney Harbour.

Sea Princess offers guests The Sanctuary, a secluded oasis exclusively for adults. The ship is known in the fleet for being a large ship with a small-ship intimacy, allowing passengers a relaxing experience on-board. Whether you love activity and entertainment or prefer relaxing days at sea, you'll be spoilt for choice with the many activities and facilities on board including theatres, bars and lounges, the lotus spa and fitness centre, movies under the stars just to name a few.

The ship also offers a variety of dining experiences including traditional, anytime, casual and speciality- allowing passengers more freedom and flexibility, as well as a 24-hour bistro.
The cruise is priced from only $19,649 per person twin share for an inside cabin and includes 104 nights cruise accommodation with all main meals and entertainment on board Sea Princess.
For more details contact ecruising.travel on 1300-369-848 or visit www.ecruising.travel



Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Azamara Quest Europe sailing. Rare opportunity.

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Cruiseco is offering travellers the opportunity to experience the best of Europe on its extensive 37 night voyage, "European Enchantment." Scheduled to depart from Nice on 28 May, 2015, Cruiseco guests will visit 22 of Europe's most enchanting destinations on board the luxurious Azamara Quest.

Laura Clarke, Manager of Special Projects at Cruiseco, says that limited spots are still available on this unforgettable journey through the heart of Europe.

"The Azamara Quest allows guests to travel in pure luxury whilst seeing some of the most magnificent countries the world has to offer. The mid-sized ship matches all the facilities of larger ships, offering guests a variety of onboard dining options, boutique rooms and superb facilities," says Clarke.

"The comprehensive itinerary means that guests are able to visit a vast array of countries and ports and discover for themselves why Europe is so enchanting. With nine overnight port stays and a wide variety of excursions available, guests have plenty of opportunity to properly explore each locale. Travelling in such a unique way is a fun and memorable way to experience this incredible part of the world," adds Clarke.

The European Enchantment will visit 22 ports in 13 countries with a total of nine overnight port stays. Guests will cruise the spectacular Mediterranean before visiting the Atlantic coast of Spain and Portugal, areas of France, the Channel Islands, England, Ireland, Scotland and six

Baltic countries. Guests will disembark in Southampton on 4 July, 2015.

Your European Enchantment cruise includes: a 37 night cruise aboard the luxurious Azamara Quest; all meals plus gratuities; house wine and beer served with lunch and dinner; bottled mineral water throughout your cruise; full on board programme of entertainment, enhancement and port lectures; transfers from airport to port and port to airport on embarkation and disembarkation days.

Prices per person, based on twin share start from $11,000 for an Interior Stateroom cabin.

To book whilst cabins are still available, or to find details of your local Cruiseco agent, please visit www.cruising.com.au.

 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Cyber Cruises Cruise News - 27 January 2014


MSC Cruises Reaches 2 Million Fans On Facebook
January 27th, 2014
As part of the company's fast-growing online and social media presence, MSC Cruises announced that it has just reached more than two million fans on Facebook around the world.
Tags: - Posted in Books / Publications / Websites / Blogs, News

Cruising tips - and a chilly welcome for Kai Tak passengers
January 27th, 2014
The new cruise liner terminal is now finally up and running at Kai Tak. A few ships have used it, but once passengers get over the disappointment of not docking at Ocean Terminal, they face another surprise. No taxis. (scmp.com)
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More than 300 people fall ill aboard cruise ship
January 27th, 2014
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating how more than 300 people have fallen ill on board a ship cruising the Caribbean. (foxnews.com)
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Carnival Imagination Kicks Off New Short Cruise Program from Long Beach
January 27th, 2014
Yesterday, the 2,052-passenger Carnival Imagination kicked off a new West Coast cruise schedule when it departed on a four-day cruise from Long Beach. (cruiseindustrynews.com)
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CLIA Australasia Announces 2013 Cruise Awards Finalists
January 27th, 2014
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has announced the finalists for the 2013 Cruise Industry Awards, the first to be held under the CLIA banner. (australia.etbnews.com)
Tags: - Posted in Event / Convention / Exhibition, News


New short cruise from Paris to Hamburg on Sea Cloud II
January 27th, 2014
Sea Cloud IISea Cloud II will depart on a 4 night sailing departing Le Havre (Paris), France on 07 June 2014 and arriving into Hamburg on 11 June 2014. (australia.etbnews.com)
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Royal Caribbean Earnings Call Comments
January 27th, 2014
Royal Caribbean Cruises hosted a very upbeat and optimistic earnings call today, with Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain pointing out that the year's earnings ended spot on with the guidance given a year ago, despite all the bad media coverage. (cruiseindustrynews.com)
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Costa’s Scott Knutson Talks Sales, Marketing and Corporate Focus
January 27th, 2014
As Costa Luminosa sails each week from PortMiami to the Caribbean, Costa Cruises’ staffers in the line's North American headquarters in Fort Lauderdale can revel in the sales accomplishment. (travelagentcentral.com)
Tags: - Posted in Interview / Video / TV, News

Star Offers New Tours in Taiwan
January 27th, 2014
Star Cruises will let passengers discover Taiwan's cultural, historical and scenic treasures when SuperStar Virgo takes guests from Hong Kong to Keelung (Taipei), Kaohsiung and Taichung this summer. (cruiseindustrynews.com)
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Royal Caribbean Shortens Cruise Struck by Illness
January 27th, 2014
Royal Caribbean has announced that Explorer of the Seas will return home two days early to allow for an extensive cleaning of the ship, its third round of sanitation since reports of gastrointestinal illness began to emerge last week. (cruisecritic.com)
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Holland America Hawaii Cruise Delayed Due to Medical Emergency
January 26th, 2014
Holland America’s Veendam was forced to change course on Thursday after a passenger required emergency medical attention, according to the United States Coast Guard. (cruisecritic.com)
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Sarina Bratton awarded Order of Australia (AM)
January 26th, 2014
Sarina Bratton, a leading travel industry figure with a stellar reputation gained for her role in pioneering luxury international cruising in the Australian market, has been awarded an Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours announced today. (expeditioncruising.com)
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Antarctic Whale watching with One Ocean Expeditions
January 25th, 2014
Join Dr Ari Friedlaender, One Ocean Expeditions' Marine And Conservation Expert, onboard the Akademik Sergey Vavilov 16 March 2014 voyage to discover how these magnificent animals behave in the icy waters of Antarctica. (adventurecruising.blogspot.com)
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New Look for Louis Vessels
January 25th, 2014
It’s a new year and Louis Cruises has rolled out a new vessel livery. According to a spokesperson: “We have now added this new livery to our corporate identity which is based on our colours of red and blue.” (cruiseindustrynews.com)
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BVI Ports Moving Forward with Online Berth Booking
January 25th, 2014
The British Virgin Islands Ports Authority (BVIPA) is almost ready to launch its Online Cruise Ship Booking service and is currently training shipping agents how to use the new system. (cruiseindustrynews.com)
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U.S. Veterans Wins Cruise Planners-American Express Travel Franchise
January 25th, 2014
A U.S. Military Veteran, Don Snyder, and his wife, Sharon Snyder were awarded a Cruise Planners-American Express Travel franchise at the Renaissance in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (cruiseindustrynews.com)
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Port Canaveral Elects Thomas Weinberg to 2014 Chairman
January 24th, 2014
Thomas "Tom" Weinberg will serve a second consecutive term as chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Board, accepting the job after an unanimous vote during the January Commission meeting. (travelagentcentral.com)
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Arnold Donald Hosts First Open Media Call Conference
January 24th, 2014
It is important to open lines of communications and create dialogue across the board, according to Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, who held the company's first general conference call and frank Q/A session by the CEO with American and European media today. (cruiseindustrynews.com)
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A pretty good cruise season in 2013 for Goulette Shipping Cruise, la Goulette cruise Terminal (Tunisia)
January 24th, 2014
MSC Splendida at the cruise port of La Goulette in Tunis The terminal has reached almost 515000 passengers onboard 202 calls from several Cruise Lines. Most of them were regular lines like MSC, Pullmantur, Croisière de France, Aida Cruises, Holland America Line.
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Say ‘I Do’ With Carnival’s Totally Revamped Wedding Program Offering New Choices, Upgraded Amenities and More
January 24th, 2014
Carnival Cruise Lines has totally revamped its popular wedding program, upgrading everything from floral arrangements, decorations and photography to delicious new culinary selections and an even greater variety of romantic on-island ceremonies.
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No sign of ‘rat-infested ghost ship’ Lyubov Orlova off UK
January 24th, 2014
Lyubov OrlovaAccording to newspaper reports, experts believe winter storms may have driven the boat towards Ireland, Scotland or England. (bbc.co.uk)



Cruise Critic Launches New Cruise Shopping Tool
January 24th, 2014
Cruise Critic, the world’s largest cruise reviews site, announces the launch of Price Drop, a new way to shop for cruise deals. (online.wsj.com)
Posted in Books / Publications / Websites / Blogs, News

Port Tampa Bay: New Name and Logo
January 24th, 2014
The new logo and brand approach were launched at the annual State of the Port event, attended by more than 300 port stakeholders and elected officials, at Cruise Terminal 2, in Tampa. (cruiseindustrynews.com)
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Allyse Ishino Wins Holland America Line’s FIrst “Dancing With the Stars: At Sea”
January 24th, 2014
During the January 12 Champions Cruise aboard ms Nieuw Amsterdam, Holland America Line crowned guest Allyse Ishino of Santa Ana, CA, the line's first "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" Champion. (travelagentcentral.com)
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Royal Caribbean: Update on Pork Industry’s Efforts To Eliminate 'Gestation Crates'
January 24th, 2014
“Royal Caribbean takes corporate responsibility seriously, including when it comes to the welfare of animals in the food system,” said Michael Jones, vice president of supply chain management for Royal Caribbean Cruises. (cruiseindustrynews.com)
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Louis Cruises Launches New Greece and Turkey Cruise and Land Packages for 2014
January 23rd, 2014
Louis Cruises has announced new cruise and land packages for 2014 in cooperation with Karavan Travel. Louis is offering savings of 10 percent for bookings made by March 30, 2014. (cruiseindustrynews.com)
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5 Cruise Trips Where You Get Your Own Private Island
January 23rd, 2014
Here is a selection of photos of private islands or beach destinations operated by cruise lines for the exclusive use of their guests. (travelpulse.com)


Australis Offers Free Air from Santiago for Select Sailings
January 23rd, 2014
Chilean expedition cruise operator Australis has announced free air roundtrip between Santiago, Chili, and the ports of Punta Arenas, Chili and Ushuaia, Argentina. (cruiseindustrynews.com)
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Cruise records hits Marseilles Fos
January 23rd, 2014
Passenger throughput rose 7% to 2.62 million after cruise numbers soared 31% to 1.17m for a new port record.
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Prestige Cruises Files for Initial Public Offering
January 23rd, 2014
Prestige Cruises International, the parent company of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, filed papers Jan. 22 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of about $250 million. (travelpulse.com)
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Costa Offers Upgrades, Lowers Deposits
January 23rd, 2014
Costa Cruises is offering free cabin upgrades and half-price deposits for select cruises beginning in April through 2014. (travelpulse.com)
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Older Entries

Mid-Size Newbuildings Take On New Importance – Other Cruise News: Small Ship Fleets Continue To Evolve – Carnival To Charge For Live Concerts

by Kevin Griffin
The recent delivery and orders for several new midsize ships signify a change in cruise ship development, one that harks back to the traditional days of cruising and make the big new ships begin to look like circuses. At the same time, the small ship market continues to evolve, with the smallest Seabourn ships soon to go to Windstar Cruises. Meanwhile, elsewhere, Carnival Cruise Lines continues the trend of adding extra charges to mainline cruises, with the addition of live concerts at a charge on board eight of its ships in the Caribbean and Mexico.




THIS WEEK’S STORY

Mid-Size Newbuildings Take On New Importance

The delivery of Oceania Cruises’ 66,048-ton Marina and Riviera (1,250 passengers each) in 2011 and 2012 and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ 42,830-ton Europa 2 (516 passengers) last year, together with orders for a pair (with options for four more) of 47,800-ton ships, capable of carrying 925 passengers each, by Viking Ocean Cruises, of which the first, Viking Star, is to enter service in May 2015, have begun what we hope is a new trend in the market.
Prinsendam in New York
photo credit Andy Newman/Holland America Line

This trend is to more vessels in the more traditional size sector between 40,000 to 60,000 tons.
This trend has been reinforced recently by the latest order from Seabourn, which calls for a vessel of 40,350 tons capable of carrying 604 cruisers.
This is one-quarter more tonnage and one-third more passengers than the largest existing Seabourn ship, meaning a slightly lower passenger space ratio, about 9.55 less than the most recent ships.
What is interesting about the new ship, especially since Holland America took over management of the Seabourn brand, is that in tonnage terms she will actually be larger than Holland America’s 38,100-ton Prinsendam, with her 835 passengers.
Interestingly, Prinsendam once operated as Seabourn Sun and was actually the first mid-size Seabourn ship, especially when compared with the original 212-passenger trio of Seabourn Legend, Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Spirit.
Seabourn Pride in Malaga

Within the same general bracket is Douglas Ward’s measure for midsize cruise ships at Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships (750 to 1,750 passengers), and although some of the ships cited carry fewer in numbers, they are of about the same tonnage.
Whatever the exact measure, there is a clear increase in the number of ships being built in this range.
The simple comparison is
The days of megaships such as the 5,408-passenger Oasis of the Seas are not over of course, as while Royal Caribbean has more recently come up with the more moderate 4,180-passenger Quantum size, it continues to experiment with the Oasis in Europe and has indeed ordered another Oasis class vessel from STX France.
But the latest rumour is that Royal Caribbean will not exercise its option for yet another of the class.
Oasis of The Seas

In the long run, however, it is quite possible that ships of this size may find another home in the Far East market.
What is key about the new mid-size fleet, however, is that they mark a return to the traditional style of cruising and are clearly differentiated from the megaships that are so popular today, so much so that on an architectural scale, the new mid-size ships can be compared concert halls, as opposed to the football stadium-scale of the big ships, just as in their day, the small luxury ships once called themselves boutique.
Clearly the market for cruising is now dividing itself between the megaships and a resurgence of mid-size ships. This is interesting when it is noted that the public can pay for a day on one of the new midsize ships, where things are both more exclusive and more inclusive, what one might pay for a week on a megaship, where many of the extras cost money and the cruise line seems constantly to be trying to dip its hand into one’s wallet.
As one commentator put it some time back, it’s not what it costs to get on the ship, it’s what it costs to get off.
Essentially, the new midsize ships are developing into the First Class of 21st Century cruising while the megaships are becoming the Tourist Class.

OTHER CRUISE NEWS

Small Ship Fleets Continue To Evolve

With Seabourn’s sale of its three smallest vessels, the 212-berth Seabourn Legend, Pride and Spirit to Windstar Cruises, will soon join the 148-berth sailing ships Wind Spirit and Wind Star and 312-berth fleetmate Wind Surf, likely as Star Legend, Star Pride and Star Spirit.
Wind Star out of Portofino

Indeed, Star Pride enters service for Windstar this spring. Following renovation, she will set sail this May in the Mediterranean. The Legend will follow a year later, in April 2015 and the Spirit a month after that, in May 2015. After a summer season in the Mediterranean, the Star Pride will move to the Arabian Gulf and then to Southeast Asia for the winter.
One interesting prospect is that, although nothing yet has been said about this and itineraries have so far been announced only for the Star Pride, Windstar could well decide to bring one of the former Seabourn trio into the Alaska trade.
former Spirit of Oceanus, now Sea Spirit

In the Alaska market, while Un-Cruise Adventures has filled part of the gap created by the demise of Cruise West in 2010, the replacement has not been complete. The Un-Cruise fleet consists of seven ships of 22 to 88 berths each, with the s.s. Legacy as flagship, while Cruise West also had seven vessels, but in the range of 60 to 114 berths, with the Spirit of Oceanus as flagship.
The role that was once played by the Spirit of Oceanus has not yet been filled in the Alaska trade, and one wonders if this might not happen in 2015 when Windstar will have its next two former Seabourn vessels coming available.

Carnival To Charge for Live Concerts

Over the past several years, in order to try to keep ticket prices down, the cruise lines have added more and more in the way of extra-tariff amenities, services and facilities. Among the best-known of these are extra-tariff restaurants and coffee shops, bridge, galley and engine room tours that used to be free of charge but now must be paid for and now, with this latest move, some elements of the entertainment.
Last week, to set themselves apart, Carnival Cruise Lines announced that it had started recruiting name entertainment to appear on its ships in port, under the banner of Carnival Live. Tickets will cost $20 to $40 per passenger while they will range from $100 to $150 for the VIP experience, which includes an artist meet and greet, photo opportunity, seating in the first three rows and a commemorative laminated concert pass.
Carnival Liberty: the Theatre

Tickets can be purchased through Carnival’s online shore excursion reservation system.
Performers and bands scheduled to perform in this new program include Chicago, Daughtry, Foreigner, Gavin De Graw, Jennifer Hudson, Jewel, Kansas, Lady Antebellum, LeAnn Rimes, Martina McBride, Olivia Newton-John, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Trace Adkins and 38 Special.
In all, fifteen artists will perform some forty-nine concerts on eight ships while docked in Cozumel, Nassau and Catalina Island. Artists will join the ship while in port, perform in the main theatre and then depart after their shows. Bands have been chosen through a survey of Carnival’s own passengers concerning their music choices.
Styx will kick off the series with an April 7 show on board Fantasy in Nassau.
It is estimated that this series alone will net Carnival several million dollars a year in extra revenues. A full list of 2014 Carnival Live concert dates can be found on Carnival’s website.

(Kevin Griffin is managing director of specialist cruise agency The Cruise People Ltd in London, England. For further information concerning cruises mentioned in this article readers can visit his blog)

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Silversea Cruises for solo travellers in 2014

 

 

 Solo guests now have the opportunity to take advantage of exceptional savings when travelling onboard a selection of Silversea Cruises throughout 2014.  The luxury cruise line is offering an extensive array of single supplements across both its Classic and Expedition fleets.

As a result, single occupancy guests can experience the delights of independent luxury cruising, complete with Silversea's signature butler service which is available onboard every Silversea voyage.

Karen Christensen, General Manager and Director of Sales & Marketing, Australasia, says that Silversea Cruises is ideal for those travelling by themselves.

"Many of our guests enjoy the social connection with likeminded, well-travelled people.  Often the friendships that are made onboard our ships last a lifetime.  At Silversea, it's our priority to ensure that our intimate luxurious ships are available to singles as well as couples, therefore we are offering single supplements across a wide range of voyages in 2014," says Christensen.

"For solo travellers, our cruises offer the perfect way to meet people along the way. They are of course all-inclusive, which provides peace of mind when meeting new friends at the many bar and restaurant venues onboard as there is no tab or bill to be concerned with.  We also offer a range of independent traveller options including Gentlemen Hosts on select sailings to accompany guests during onshore excursions, as dinner companions, or as dance partners," says Christensen.

SILVERSEA'S 2014 HIGHLIGHT VOYAGES FOR SOLO GUESTS

MARCH:

Callao, Peru to Cristobal, Panama, on board Silver Explorer, 11 days, 27 March – 7 April. Highlights: Sail through the Panama Canal, visit remote islands and ancient Mochica temples, prepare Ecuadorian cuisine with a local chef and discover Colombia's Pacific coast.  Solo Traveller fares start from AU$8,063. Voyage 7408.

APRIL:

Monte Carlo, Monaco to Istanbul, Turkey on board Silver Wind, 11 days, 14 – 25 April. Highlights: overnight stays in Sorrento, Italy and Istanbul, Turkey.  Solo Traveller fares start from AU$6,438. Voyage 2410.

MAY:

Lisbon, Portugal to Southampton, UK on board Silver Whisper, 9 days, 7 – 16 May. Highlights: Overnight stay in Bordeaux, France and guest lectures from the esteemed author and broadcaster, Brian Hoey. Solo Traveller fares start from AU$6,313. Voyage 4409.

OCTOBER:

Athens (Piraeus), Greece to Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy on board Silver Spirit, 14 days, 17 – 31 October.  Highlights: Overnight stay in Alexandria, Egypt allowing time for an optional overnight excursion to experience the splendour of the Great Pyramids. This voyage also includes Gentlemen Hosts.  Solo Traveller fares start from AU$8,313. Voyage 5433.

DECEMBER:

Singapore to Hong Kong, China on board Silver Wind, 11 days, 1 – 12 December. Highlights: Overnight stays in Bangkok, Thailand and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This voyage also includes Gentlemen Hosts.  Solo Traveller fares start from AU$6,313. Voyage 2436.

For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit www.silversea.com

 

Follow Silversea on Twitter, Facebook and the Silversea Blog.

 


5-STAR CRUSOES – THEY’RE SEADREAMING

 


David Ellis

with

Frank Linn

 

ASK the all-knowing Mr Google how many islands there are in Asia, and you'll get an answer akin to asking how long is a piece of string?

 

So when SeaDream Yacht Club decided to embark on a first-ever season in Asia with its luxury SeaDream II, and knowing past guests' fondness for the serenity of remote islands away from the rat-race, they took to their charts and the tens of thousands of islands from India to Indonesia (plus for one itinerary across to Far North Queensland, PNG and the Trobriand Islands,) with a fervour akin to that of planning a Moon Landing.

 

For here they found islands with no more than a handful of subsistence farmers-and-fishers, others with a couple of thatch-roof "resorts" beachside for more-adventurous holidaymakers, plenty with flashy 4- and 5-star hotels, and some others simply devoid of any human life whatsoever.

 

"We had the perfect scenarios for all occasions," says the company's Director of Business Development in Asia, Richard Jones who was a driving force behind the decision for this first-ever venture, and who scouted-out the best of island offerings with the help of local tourism offices, tour guides, village chiefs, resort owners and anyone else who could give him input.

 

And their choices have proven winners with the hundreds of guests who've sailed so far on mega motor-cruiser SeaDream II, including colleague Frank Linn who, with a handful of fellow travel scribes, recently did a week from Phuket in Thailand to Yangon in Myanmar (Burma,) and another from there back to Singapore.

 

So this week it's Frank's turn to do the writing, and here's his story:

 

WHILE always a thrill to re-visit cities and towns across the region we've a fondness for from past meanderings – like frenetic Phuket, ever-delightful Langkawi, always-spotless Singapore, and Yangon (Rangoon) for a mind-blowing first-time experience – it was our days ashore on smaller and remoter islands that won our hearts.

 

For here were specks on the maps we'd in many cases never heard of, or if we had, never had the opportunity to visit previously: rarely-visited places like the Similan Islands in Southern Thailand, Nyang Wee and 115 Island amid the remote Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar, Ko Lanta Yai in Thailand…

 

And while there may have been only our fellow SeaDreamers and crew on their sands, rather than confronting on-the-knees picnic tucker for the day, we were ferried ashore by the yacht's inflatable Zodiacs to find roaring gas barbecues under shady trees, prawns (and locally-caught lobsters on one occasion,) steaks, chicken, sausages and lamb chops already sizzling away, nearby trestles loaded with salads… and just off the beach, a surfboard "bar" from which crew were dispensing Champagnes, wines and caviar to guests thigh-deep in the water.

 

All this 5-star Robinson Crusoe stuff having been ferried ashore from SeaDream hours earlier.

 

And on tiny Nyang Wee the company's first-ever Night-time Beach Party, complete with a serenading guitarist who had us toe-tapping the sands to John Denver and Beatles' numbers as we tucked into a gourmet barbecue under flickering flares… the night ending with the lighting of traditional Lucky Lanterns that drifted heavens-ward with our secret wishes (apparently for most, for another week aboard SeaDream…)

 

Back onboard, the indulgences continued: 5-star dining with breakfast and lunch under shade on deck, no stuffy jackets or ties in the Dining Room for dinner (only "Country Club Smart Casual",) no-charge drinks from the open bars, nightly cocktail gatherings, use of a 30-course golf simulator, a free state-of-the-art fitness centre, all staterooms with either a picture window or twin portholes…. and more crew (95) than guests (just over 70 on our sailing.)

 

And on two full-days at sea surprise midday poolside snack pass-around's with Bloody Mary's, afternoon movies (including The Lady, the story of Aung San Suu Kyi and her fight for Democracy in Burma….)

 

Subsequent sailings have taken-in Thailand's Ka Tarutao, believed to have been a first by any ship to this-now National Park that in the 1930s was a penal settlement for political prisoners, and Ko Lipe with its extraordinarily sparkling green waters.

 

SeaDream II stays in Asia until April when she'll sail 15-days from Mumbai to Athens; for still-available Asia itineraries and the sailing to Athens, see travel agents or visit www.seadream.com

 

                                                       ……………………….

 

PHOTO CAPTIONS:

 

[] SEADREAM looks ideally at home off Phuket Beach. (Richard Jones)

[] NICE touch: Steward Severin polishes a guest's sunglasses during a SeaDream day ashore's Beach Party. (David Ellis)

[] BAR'S open! Guests head for the Beach Party's Surfboard Bar and Champagne and caviar. (David Ellis)

[] FIRST-ever SeaDream Night Beach Party on a remote Thailand island. (Roderick Eime/Travography.com)      

[] TRADITIONAL Lucky Lantern sets off heavens-ward to join others already well into the sky. (Richard Jones)

[] BACK onboard: lunch on deck under shade-cloths – 5-star indulgence at its best.  (SeaDream Yacht Club)

 


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Voyager of the Seas - 15 nights - less than $2000

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15 NIGHTS OF RELAXATION FOR LESS THAN $2000

CRUISE specialist ecruising.travel has released a 15-night fly/cruise package from Singapore to Sydney on board Voyager of the Seas  for less than $2000 per person including one-way airfares.

Spend two nights at the five star Shangri La hotel in Singapore before boarding your cruise and heading south to the top end of Australia. Spend a few days at sea before enjoying full days on-shore in Darwin and Brisbane before your reach your final destination of Sydney.

With plenty of time at sea, passengers will have ample time to experience the numerous activities and  facilities on board Voyager of the Sea. Those looking for active pastimes can take part in a huge range of sporting activities such as ice-skating, or on the nine-hole miniature golf course, golf simulator, rock-climbing wall, in-line skating, and a full sized basketball court. For those looking for more relaxing activities there are many restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges as well as day spa and the Casino Royale.

Departing November 25, the package is now priced from only $1929, it includes return economy airfares from Sydney, 13 nights cruise accommodation with main meals and entertainment, two night's accommodation at the Shangri La in Singapore, entry to the Singapore Flyer and transfers in Singapore. Prices are subject to change due to the airfare portion of the package.

For more details contact ecruising.travel on 1300-369-848 or check out www.ecruising.travel

 

Luxury Seabourn Quest voyage to Antarctica

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Luxury Journey to the Seventh Continent

Cruise from colourful Valparaiso in Chile to the flamboyant Buenos Aires in Argentina on board the elegant  Seabourn Quest, part of a luxury expedition cruise package now available from cruise specialist ecruising.travel.

The voyage departs on December 20 and includes extensive scenic cruising through Reloncavi Sound, Gulf of Corcovado, Chilean Fjords, Amalia Glacier, Canal Sarmiento, Glacier Alley and Beagle Channel.

A highlight of this special cruise is the five day Antarctica experience, which consists of five planned Antarctica landings via Zodiacs that hold a maximum of 100 people. This ensures guests receive an up close and personal experience ashore exploring the spectacular landscape and wildlife.

On-shore visits will also be made at Puerto Mont, Castro and Punta Arenas in Chile, Ushuaia in Argentina, Grytviken in South Georgia and Montevideo in Uruguay. Whilst on board you can take part in special guest lectures, photography workshops and other exclusive amenities and activities to enhance your cruising experience.

The package also includes return economy air fares from Australia, three nights at the Ritz Carlton Santiago, three nights at the Alvear Palace Buenos Aires, 24 night Seabourn suite accommodation, all gourmet meals and complimentary open bar on board, Santiago and Buenos Aires city tours, air and port taxes as well as all airport transfers.

Prices start from $21,799 per person twin share for Sydney, Gold Coast and Perth passengers, from $22,129 from Adelaide and from $22,149 for Melbourne passengers. Prices are subject to change due to the airfare component of the package.

The voyage is on sale until February 28. For more details contact ecruising.travel on 1300-369-848 or visit www.ecruising.travel

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Rock the Boat cruise with Molly Meldrum

 

 

Cruiseco, the leading supplier of cruising options in Australia and New Zealand, is pleased to announce the return of Rock the Boat which is scheduled to depart from Sydney on 12 October 2014 for its fourth consecutive year.

Amber Wilson, National Marketing Manager at Cruiseco, explains that music cruises are more popular than ever before.

"Due to overwhelming popularity, Rock the Boat 4 returns again in October this year, it and will feature the very best of Australian and international rock n' roll artists including our homegrown legend Molly Meldrum plus Daryl Braithwaite, The Angels and  many more, "says Wilson.

"Guests can enjoy music from the 50's, 60's right through to the 80's and 90's. There will be non-stop entertainment from live performances, daily dance lessons with expert dance instructors and the opportunity to meet and greet with artists."

"Rock the Boat will visit an array of exotic islands. With its beautiful white sandy beaches, the Isle of Pines is always a hit with our guests. We also port at Mystery Island which is uninhabited and is one of the most southern of the Vanuatu group," says Wilson.

Your rock n' roll cruise includes: nine nights aboard the luxurious Rhapsody of the Seas; all meals; entertainment; and gratuities; as well as port and government charges.

Prices start from $2,729 based on per person, twin share for an Interior Stateroom cabin.

Visit www.cruising.com.au or call (02) 9492 8520 for further information and to find details of your local Cruiseco agent.

 


 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Get On Board with Qantas Cruises, Powered by Cruise Guru

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Qantas and Cruise Guru have today announced a partnership that will launch Qantas into the fast-growing cruise market.


Qantas customers can now book cruises online through Qantas.com, using the unique technology of Cruise Choice, powered by Cruise Guru.

The integration of cruising onto Qantas.com will allow Qantas to leverage the largest and fastest growing market in the travel industry, as well as one of the fastest growing cruise markets in the world*.

Unique to Qantas Cruises is the ability for customers to access to a full range of cruise lines and ships, with live cabin availability and prices, and instant confirmation.

Cruise Guru Joint Managing Director Justin Montgomery said that he was thrilled to be able to use Cruise Guru's unique technology to create new opportunities and services for the growing number of Australians choosing to holiday by cruise.

"With 17 international cruise lines, 162 ships and over 10,000 cruise itineraries, Cruise Choice technology leads the way for the Australian consumer. We are delighted to partner with Qantas to provide efficiently serviced and competitively priced cruise offers," he said. "This partnership also provides Qantas Frequent Flyers with new ways to earn Qantas Points," he added. "Qantas Frequent Flyers will be able to earn 1 point for every A$1 spent on any Qantas Cruise booking".

Qantas Cruises are available to book from tomorrow at qantas.com/cruises.


About Cruise Guru:

Cruise Guru is a specialist cruise website that offers a unique, one-stop shop for Australian cruise customers. Cruise Guru provides consumers with the best prices, the most up-to-date deals, a wealth of knowledge, unbiased experience and support, and the convenience of full live online booking for major cruiselines. Cruise Guru began operation in January 2012, and in just two years has revolutionized the cruise market with its unique technology and unrivalled service levels.

Cruise Guru is part of the Travel the World Pty Ltd group of companies, which has been involved in the cruising sector for over 30 years. It is 100% Australian owned and operated. The Cruise Guru team has a combined number of days at sea of well over 1,000, which ensures that the customer experiences expert service levels. 

Since Cruise Guru's Facebook page launched two years ago, it has grown to well over 60,000 active fans, making the Cruise Guru Facebook page the largest in the Australian retail cruise community, and giving fellow cruisers and new-to-cruise clients the ability to interact and discuss all things cruise.

Cruise Guru is the leader in the online cruise space offering the ability for consumers to book search, book and review over 17 different cruise lines 24/7.

About Cruise Choice

The technology that sits behind Cruise Guru and Qantas Cruises is Cruise Choice, a platform that opens up a gateway for the consumer to book their cruise holiday online, 24/7 with up-to-the-minute live pricing, and availability. With 17 international cruise lines, 162 ships and over 10,000 cruise itineraries, Cruise Choice technology leads the way for the Australian consumer. Cruise Choice allows the consumer to be in control of their cruise holiday from start to finish, with the ability to choose the latest specials and prices, cabin type, cabin number and confirm their cruise without lengthy delays or interference.  They see exactly what the cruise lines are seeing in the comfort of their own home.

*About the Australian Cruise Market
Cruising is becoming ever-more popular for Australian tourists. In 2011 the number of passengers grew by 34 per cent, and in 2012 they grew by an additional 11 per cent. This trend has been sustained over the past decade: with nearly 700 000 passengers in 2012, Australian cruising is now almost six times the size it was in 2002. Remarkably, the Australian cruising industry has now had eight consecutive years of double-digit growth, and growth is expected to continue.
*Cruise Lines International Association Australasian Cruise Industry Report 2012