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Saturday 26 April 2014

Biggest and smallest cruise ships meet


IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says European cruise ship company MSC Cruises has ordered not one, but two 5,700 passenger cruise liners that will each need 1,500 crew to look after all those passengers – and its put in an option for a further two more of similar gargantuan size it thinks it will need to keep up with continually-growing cruise-holiday demand.


Yet big as they'll be, these two will not be the world's largest passenger ships: that honour stays with Royal Caribbean International whose Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas can each carry 5,412 passengers in double cabins, and a total 6,300 each with some cabins having additional bedding. And each needs 2,400 crew to look after all those passengers.


MSC's two newies, that are yet to be allocated names, will be built in France and will launch in 2017 and 2018.


And at the other end of the scale, two of the world's smallest but most highly-rated boutique passenger vessels, SeaDream I and SeaDream II of SeaDream Yacht Club, each weigh-in at a mere 4,300 tonnes, and carry a maximum of  just 112 guests served by 95 crew.


Our picture shows the difference between those biggest and smallest, with SeaDream I dwarfed at St Thomas in the Caribbean by Oasis of the Seas.


Tuesday 15 April 2014

Golden Princess to operate from Melbourne

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Princess Cruises to base five ships in Australia next year

Princess Cruises has just released details of its 2015-16 Australian program, which will see the first time deployment of the 2600-passenger Golden Princess from Melbourne.

The program will also feature Princess Cruises' first summer season of voyages from Fremantle, doubling the cruise line's WA offering to give the state its first ever year-round cruise program.

Brisbane cruisers will also enjoy a full nine months of Princess sailings in 2015-16.

The record five-ship program will see the Golden Princess and Diamond Princess sailing in Australian waters over the 2015-16 summer, while the Sun Princess will remain in Australia during the winter, joining Dawn Princess and Sea Princess in offering year-round voyages.

Princess Cruises vice president Australia/NZ, Stuart Allison, said the record fleet would increase this year's capacity by 35%, further consolidating Princess Cruises' position as "Australia's biggest cruise line," with Aussies spending more nights on board Princess ships than any other line.

With five of its 18-strong fleet cruising down under, Princess Cruises ranks Australia as its biggest market outside the US - and for the first time all of the vessels will offer A$ pricing as they deliver more than 80 cruises from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Fremantle and Auckland.

More information at

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