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Saturday 17 October 2015

Princess Cruises names new ship: Majestic Princess

Princess Cruises announced today that its ship now under construction, a sister ship to Royal Princess and Regal Princess, will be named Majestic Princess. The new ship will be based in China year-round beginning in summer 2017 and become the first vessel built specifically for Chinese guests incorporating a unique blend of international and Chinese features.

"Royal Princess and Regal Princess were named after iconic previous vessels, while Majestic Princess will carry a name that was chosen by our global employees," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "The name Majestic Princess is well suited to the Princess Cruises experience in China, and she will offer a truly magnificent experience to our Chinese guests," added Swartz.

Befitting her dedication to the Chinese market, Majestic Princess will also carry a Chinese name on the hull (Shèng Shì Gōng Zhǔ Haò) – an interpretation selected by Carnival plc's China employees, which has the suggestive meaning of "Grand World" or "Grand Spirit."

The 143,000-ton vessel, Majestic Princess, is being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. She will be home-ported in Shanghai, carrying 3,560 guests for cruises to Japan and Korea, and will offer many of the special features that have made Royal Princess and Regal Princess so popular and distinctive. These include a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship; the unique over-the-ocean SeaWalk - a glass-floor walkway extending 8 meters (28 feet) beyond the edge of the ship; the Princess Live! interactive studio; and the special Chef's Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds guests in a curtain of light

Friday 9 October 2015

Royal Caribbean set for biggest season yet


3: All three Royal Caribbean brands in Australia for the first time with Azamara Club Cruises' debut

2: Voyager-Class ships based in Sydney, Australia including new ship Explorer of the Seas

1: Legend of the Seas – the first Brisbane-based ship for RCI

9 October 2015: Today marks the start of RCL Cruises Australia's biggest, boldest season yet, with the arrival of Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas to Sydney – the first of seven of the biggest, youngest and most exceptional cruise ships to sail local waters this summer.

For the first time ever, all three RCL Cruises brands will be based down under, with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and new arrival Azamara Club Cruises offering a range of 95 itineraries around Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia.

RCL will carry a quarter of a million guests over the season with almost 60,000 of them coming from overseas countries including the USA, Canada, UK and Germany.

"Today marks the start of a record-breaking season in which we will double our guest capacity, introduce a new cruise brand to the region and offer a total of seven ships – around 20 percent of RCL's global fleet," said Gavin Smith, Regional Vice President, RCL Cruises Asia-Pacific.

"For nearly a decade we have delivered the world's biggest and best ships to Australians, offering them a cutting edge cruise product and a style of holiday that they would previously have had to travel overseas to experience," Smith continued.

Already an Australian favourite, the destination-focused Azamara Club Cruises brand will sail in Australia for the very first time this summer.  Normally based in Europe and Asia, the 686-passenger Azamara Quest arrives in Darwin on 28 December as the first of three new ships to join the local fleet this season.

Sydney's biggest summer cruise line, Royal Caribbean International, will welcome Explorer of the Seas, which sets sail from Barcelona today en route to Sydney.  The 3,800-passenger megaliner will take the title of Australia's largest cruise ship from her twin sister, Voyager of the Seas, and the ships will meet in beautiful Sydney Harbour on Saturday evening on 28 November for a historic big-ship harbour rendezvous.

Both Voyager Class vessels are the largest cruise ships based in the southern hemisphere and have recently emerged from a combined USD$160 million bow-to-stern facelift, equipping them with brand new features never seen before at sea in Australasia such as the FlowRider surf simulator and revolutionary Interior "Virtual" Balconies.

Finally, Royal Caribbean International will base a ship in Brisbane for the first time.  From 8 December, Queenslanders will have their very own world class ship, Legend of the Seas, when she commences sailing from Portside Wharf, Hamilton with no less than 15 itineraries.

The seven ships will make 185 port calls and 85 turnarounds in Australia this season, which is expected to inject more than $185 million into the local economy in passenger spending alone.

Key Dates

Friday 9 Oct: Radiance of the Seas: Arrives Sydney, kicks off RCL's cruise season

Wednesday 21 Oct: Celebrity Solstice: Arrives Sydney, starts Celebrity Cruises' local season

Thursday 5 Nov: Voyager of the Seas: Arrives Sydney, starts local season

Friday 13 Nov: Explorer of the Seas: Arrives in Fremantle (Perth), first ever Australian port

Tuesday 17 Nov: Explorer of the Seas: Maiden Adelaide call

Thursday 19 Nov: Explorer of the Seas: Maiden Melbourne call

Saturday 28 Nov: Sydney Harbour Rendezvous: Explorer of the Seas is welcomed to Sydney for the first time by twin sister Voyager of the Seas

Wednesday 2 Dec: Legend of the Seas: Arrives in Darwin – first Australian call for season

Tuesday 8 Dec: Legend of the Seas: Arrives in Brisbane to start maiden season and Royal Caribbean's first season sailing out of Brisbane

Monday 28 Dec: Azamara Quest: Arrives in Darwin – first ever Australian port call for Azamara Club Cruises

Monday 4 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden Cairns call

Tuesday 5 Jan: Azamara Quest: Departs Cairns on first ever local voyage

Monday 11 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden call in Brisbane

Thursday 14 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden arrival Sydney

Monday 18 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden arrival Melbourne

Wednesday 20 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden arrival Hobart

Saturday 13 Feb: Azamara Quest: Departs Sydney on last local sailing

Saturday 19 Mar: Explorer of the Seas: Maiden Hobart call

Tuesday 29 Mar: Celebrity Millennium: seventh and final ship of the season arrives in Sydney

Sunday 3 Apr: Radiance of the Seas: Departs Sydney, completing local season

Saturday 9 Apr: Celebrity Solstice: Departs Sydney, completing local season

Saturday 16 Apr: Voyager of the Seas: Departs Sydney, completing local season

Wednesday 20 Apr: Legend of the Seas: Departs Brisbane, completing local season

Saturday 23 Apr: Explorer of the Seas: Departs Sydney, wrapping up the 2015/16 international cruise season

For more information visit, or, call 1800 754 500 or contact your travel agent.

Sail along French and Spanish shores with Silversea

From the sun-drenched shores of Nice, to the bohemian spirit of Barcelona, sail through the Balearic Sea on a 7-day luxury cruise aboard Silver Cloud.  

Commencing on 15 April 2016, guests are first treated to an overnight stay in beautiful Nice, France, offering ample time to discover the Old World charm, admire the beauty and explore the stunning architecture of the city and its surrounds.  Continuing her journey through France, guests then travel to Saint Tropez, made famous by Brigitte Bardot, before anchoring in Marseille, home to the Notre-Dame de la Garde, a basilica boasting panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the city.  From here, Silver Cloud ports at the gateway to Montpellier, Sete, where guests can choose to visit the Château de l'Engarran, a prestigious wine estate dating back to the 18th century, or play a round of golf at the Cap d'Agde Golf Club, a championship course, as part of Silversea's optional excursions.

Beginning the Spanish portion of this journey, Silver Cloud sails south to the island of Mallorca, renowned for its coastal beauty.  Silver Cloud then sails to Valencia, where guests can enjoy a range of optional activities, from a culinary introduction to cooking Paella, to a sightseeing excursion where guests are taken underground to the cellars and caves situated beneath the Old Quarter.  To conclude this spectacular voyage, Silver Cloud docks in Barcelona overnight, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia, wander down La Rambla and indulge in the regional tapas cuisine, before disembarking on 22 April 2016.  

Prices are per person starting from AU$3,650 in a Vista Suite double occupancy. Silversea fares include: one hour of complimentary WiFi for every guest per day, all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; and all gratuities.

This voyage is subject to availability.  Terms and conditions apply.  For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to headline Bravo! South Pacific cruise


On sale Tuesday 6 October, 2015
Australia's leading music themed charter company Choose Your Cruise is pleased to announce BRAVO! Cruise of the Performing Arts 2016 featuring a stunning program of over 30 acts and artists from musical theatre, the classics and opera.   The star-studded line-up is the largest gathering of artists from the world of the Performing Arts ever assembled on water.  Tickets go on sale Tuesday 6 October.
For an exclusive performance and headlining this grand maritime production is Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  one of the most beloved sopranos in the world who says "I was delighted to be invited to share my music on the high seas!  I've performed at venues as diverse as Glyndebourne, Tanglewood and the Verona Arena – and in many unusual places – golf courses, vineyards, viaducts, the Outback of Australia and even a helicopter hanger – but this will be my first performance during a Bravo! South Pacific cruise and I'm really looking forward to it."

On the concert stage, her natural serenity and vocal beauty have joined with major orchestral ensembles on the world's most coveted stages, and she "can't wait to do it with BRAVO!"

Born in New Zealand with European and Maori heritage, Dame Kiri gained legendary status almost overnight following her sensational debut in Figaro and moved rapidly into the front rank of international opera to become a familiar figure in the leading opera houses of the world including Covent Garden, the Metropolitan, Paris Opera, La Scala and the Sydney Opera House.
Choose Your Cruise is delighted to reveal Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will be joined on BRAVO! by a long list of sensational artists showcasing an array of magnificent music, traversing classical, musical theatre, opera and much more, including:-
Teddy Tahu Rhodes, David Hobson (Ambassador of Bravo!), Marina Prior, Cheryl Barker AO, Peter Coleman-Wright AO, Greta Bradman, Jonathon Welch AM, Simon Tedeschi, The Idea of North, Richard Fidler, Rachael Beck, Guy Noble, The Metropolitan Orchestra and many more. Over 30 acts in total.

Internationally renowned operatic bass-baritone, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, is thrilled to be included in the line-up for the second time and joining the star-studded extravaganza at sea, bringing his award-winning performances to the stage. Teddy has established an international career on both the opera stage and concert platform having enjoyed huge success with South Pacific for Opera Australia, in 2014 the role of the King in The King and I, and more recently his leading role performance of Don Giovanni for Opera Australia.

Passengers will have the opportunity to experience performances by world class International and Australian acts, all while taking in the dazzling indulgence of Royal Caribbean's luxurious cruise-liner, Radiance of the Seas, featuring seven unique performance venues to be explored and experienced across seven days and nights October 17 – 24, 2016.  Departing from Sydney BRAVO! will visit the best that the South Pacific has to offer including Mare and Noumea (New Caledonia).  
As well as its 1000 seat Aurora Theatre, Radiance of the Seas features acres of glass enclosing the nine-storey central atrium, lifts facing the sea and floor-to-ceiling windows throughout.  Plus eight new dining experiences, ranging from casual eats to premium dining.

The return of BRAVO! is another affirmation of the cruise industry's incredible growth in Australia. The Australian cruise industry is celebrating a quadruple whammy of accomplishments, revealed in its latest source market figures cracking one million passengers (1,003,256) in a calendar year for the first time, becoming the world's fastest growing source of cruise passengers, retaining its top global position for market penetration, and becoming the first nation to exceed 4% penetration in cruising history.
Prices start at $2,414.00 pp Twin Share

For more information including how to book your cabin go to

OR call 1300 247 371.

P&O Cruises Australia fleet to grow to six

Princess Cruises vessel to transfer to P&O Australia fleet

Carnival Australia has just announced changes to its Australia-based year-round fleet, which will see Princess Cruises offload its Dawn Princess vessel to P&O Cruises, with the move effective from May 2017.

The 2000-passenger Dawn Princess will become the sixth and largest vessel in the P&O Cruises Australian fleet. The news comes just over a month out from P&O taking delivery of its fourth and fifth ships Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden.

P&O Cruises senior vice president Sture Myrmell said Dawn Princess would be reflagged and renovated to take on the P&O product prior to its transfer to the fleet.

"This ship is a great addition to P&O Cruises' fleet, with her larger size opening up opportunities for new onboard product and experiences," he added.

The gap created in the Princess inventory will be filled by Golden Princess (pic above), which will now remain in Australian waters throughout 2017. To make its debut in Australia this summer peak season, based in Melbourne and initially as a seasonal visitor, Golden Princess will join Sea Princess and Sun Princess in the line's locally based fleet on a year-round basis from May 2017.

"One of Golden Princess' key sailings for the year will be a 75-night Circle Pacific itinerary taking holidaymakers on a roundtrip cruise from Australia to Asia, Alaska and America," Princess Cruises senior vice president Australa and New Zealand Stuart Allison said.

More information in today's Cruise Weekly, to be published soon.Source: Cruise Weekly.

Friday 2 October 2015

QM2 - the word's largest ocean liner

The RMS Queen Mary 2 was introduced in 2004 and is the largest, longest, tallest and widest passenger liner in the world today, writes Alex Naughton.

When she entered service she took over the mantle of the transatlantic ocean liner tradition from the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2. Remarkably she is the first true transatlantic ocean liner to be built for over 30 years since the introduction of the QE2.

RMS Queen Mary 2 - the Biggest Ocean Liner in the World (supplied)
She is a dual role ship combining the transatlantic crossing (Southampton to New York) and world cruising. When not on the transatlantic route she cruises around European waters, the Caribbean and to South America. In 2006 she will make a historic voyage around South America from New York to Los Angeles, thus becoming the largest passenger liner to pass the Cape Horn and circumnavigate South America since the original RMS Queen Mary. In 2007 she will make yet another historic voyage when she departs on her Maiden World Cruise and thus joins the QE2 in this noble tradition.

Which cruise lines have the best shows? - Cruise Critic