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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Royal Caribbean Welcomes World's Largest Cruise Ship




Royal Caribbean International's Symphony of the Seas departs from Saint-Naziare, France for her new homeport in Barcelona, Spain.

36 months, 4,700 shipbuilders and crew, and one common goal: to deliver the ultimate family adventure. Royal Caribbean International honoured the instrumental project team of Symphony of the Seas during the highly anticipated delivery event at STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and Laurent Castaing, General Manager of STX France, led the traditional flag-changing ceremony, which symbolizes the ship's official delivery from the shipbuilder to Royal Caribbean. The maritime ritual was followed by a celebration of the industry's best, the crew whose hard work and meticulous collaboration came together to create the world's largest cruise ship.

"Symphony of the Seas is the latest example of how our people work to push the envelope of innovation with each new ship," said Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain. "The Oasis Class has been a trend-setting design, but the team has evolved the design to build on that success to provide even more incredible family adventures. We're thankful to have a partner in STX France that is every bit as ambitious as we are about building technologically advanced ships."

"It is a proud and exhilarating moment to welcome a new member to the family. Thanks to our stellar crew and partners at STX France, we now are ready to embark on this new boundless adventure that comes to life on Symphony of the Seas," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Symphony will take family vacationing to an all new level with energy and options never before found in one place. This ship is the perfect blend of our greatest hits we know guests love and a lineup of vibrant, new restaurants, activities and unparalleled entertainment – all purposefully designed around vacationers' preferences."

"Today is a day of pride for me, all STX France and sub-contractor teams as we hand over Symphony of the Seas to her owner as the largest cruise ship ever built," said Laurent Castaing, General Manager of STX France.  "Symphony will leave Saint-Nazaire yard as the ultimate example of our progress-driven spirit and commitment to innovation, which are at the heart of our partnership with Royal Caribbean, who is always challenging us in this direction."

The 25th ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet, the Oasis-class Symphony of the Seas weighs in at 228,081 gross registered tons, measures 72 metres tall and spans 362 metres long. She will welcome 5,518 guests at double occupancy in 2,759 staterooms, including 28 additional balcony rooms that overlook the ocean or signature Boardwalk neighborhood. One ship, seven distinctive neighborhoods, the tallest slide at sea with the Ultimate Abyss and countless adventures for guests of all ages, the family adventure of a lifetime has surprises at every turn:


Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Silver Whisper to undergo refurbishment.



Ahead of her World Cruise 2019, Silver Whisper is preparing to undergo a refurbishment.

Between the 8th and 19th of December 2018, Silver Whisper will go into dry dock in Freeport in the Bahamas, for improvements that will further increase the already excellent level of guest satisfaction.  This exciting announcement follows the opening of sales for Silversea's pioneering 140 day World Cruise, 2020, which will see Silver Whisper travel to all seven continents, including Antarctica, as part of an itinerary that is unprecedented in its variety.

Guests embarking Silver Whisper will benefit from a broad-ranging set of enhancements.  Skilled craftspeople will invigorate many of the ship's public areas, both inside and out, with a fresh d├ęcor, including a refresh to all guest suites.  The ship's latest enhancements will be implemented with a similar stylistic motif to the recently delivered Silver Muse, Silversea's flagship, and Silver Spirit, which is currently undergoing a significant renovation.

Inside Silver Whisper, new carpets will be laid in the hallways, main restaurant, casino, card/conference room, main bar and in the theatre.  The main restaurant will undergo a full upgrade, bringing it to an exceptional standard, while Le Dame, another sophisticated dining space, will benefit from new soft furnishings and a polished floor.  The casino and card/conference room will have the soft furnishings refreshed and new furniture.  The Zagara Spa, which was recently introduced to Silver Whisper following its success aboard Silver Muse, will receive an added level of luxury, complete with new furniture and equipment.  In the ship's gym, new state-of-the-art machinery will be installed to optimise the offering of on board wellness facilities.

Guest accommodation will be improved in line with the design of Silver Muse to ensure that ultimate comfort is delivered to travellers.  Nine Terrace Suites on deck five will be transformed into Veranda Suites, offering guests enhanced privacy with their own outdoor retreat.  In addition, 40" flat screen televisions, loaded with innovative interactive media systems, will advance the in-suite entertainment options.  All bathrooms will be revitalised with polished granite surfaces.

Outside, storage space for Zodiac® boats and a crane will be installed, in preparation for the addition of these nimble motorboats ahead of the World Cruise 2020.  As a result, guests travelling aboard Silver Whisper for the World Cruise 2020 will have further opportunities to access remote locations and travel deeper when visiting destinations on this extraordinary itinerary.

From the selection of entertainment available in guest suites to the assigned scents of each space, every aspect of the refurbishment project has been conceived with guest comfort in mind.  Silver Whisper's background music will also undergo a transformation, which will see Silversea partner with Radiopark, a specialist supplier of mood music, in order to enhance the on board atmosphere, offering modern renditions of timeless melodies.

The renovation of Silver Whisper is just part of Silversea's extensive investment in its famous fleet.  With the addition of Silver Muse and the conversion of Silver Cloud to an expedition ship in 2017, and the current extensive renovation and lengthening of Silver Spirit, this is an exciting time in the history and development of Silversea.

For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand), or visit www.silversea.com.


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Viking orders Six more Ocean Ships




Viking today announced a new agreement with Fincantieri that could see the delivery of six additional ocean ships by 2027. The new understanding expands Viking's partnership with Fincantieri, raising the company's total ocean ship order and options to 16 – the highest-ever for a shipyard from a single owner. The agreement for the six additional ships, which will be delivered in 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027, is subject to specific conditions.

“When we launched our first ocean ship in 2015, we set out to reinvent ocean cruising. We focus on the destination, and we do not cram our ships with gimmicks and waterslides. Our understated, elegant, award-winning ships are designed to simply enable our guests to better explore their destination,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “In our first two years of operation, we have been named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line, and this new order speaks to the positive response we have received from our guests and the industry. As we continue to expand our brand, we look forward to bringing guests to more destinations around the world and introducing them to the Viking way of exploration.”

This announcement comes just prior to the naming of Viking's fourth ocean ship, Viking Sun, on March 8 in Shanghai. The ship is currently sailing Viking's sold-out 141-day World Cruise from Miami to London, and its stop in Shanghai will mark the first time one of Viking's ocean ships has visited China. Viking Sun will also be the first-ever cruise ship to be named in Shanghai.

Viking Sun is the newest addition to Viking's award-winning ocean fleet. The line will welcome two more sister ships in the next two years, including Viking Orion in June 2018, which will home port from Sydney to Auckland from December this year. With the arrival of Viking Jupiter in 2019, Viking will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. Ten additional ships are now on order for delivery starting in 2021, which will bring Viking's ocean fleet to 16 ships by 2027.

For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 138 747 (Australia) and 0800 447 913 (New Zealand) or visit www.vikingcruises.com.au.



Monday, 5 March 2018

MSC Cruises Northern Europe for 2018




  • MSC Cruises Northern Europe itineraries take you to the Norwegian Fjords, Baltic Capitals & Iceland.
  • Weekly departures every Saturday & Sunday with four ships seasonally
  • Be quick to secure your spot on one of the hottest itineraries for 2018!


Departing Hamburg, Germany on July 29, 2018 MSC Meraviglia takes you on an 11-night journey.  Launched in June 2017, MSC Meraviglia is packed with extraordinary features. Enjoy outstanding dining options and entertainment including the exclusive Cirque du Soliel at Sea. An innovative ocean-view aft lounge, a two-deck "inside promenade" with a 480 square metre LED dome and a spectacular amusement area connected to an outdoor water park, will keep everyone entertained. In the Shetland Islands visit the 17th century town of Lerwick and Scalloway Castle, built by tyrant Patrick Stewart, in 1600 before admiring the peat and heather covered landscapes. Continuing to Iceland you will stop at three ports, Reykjavik for an overnight stay, Isafjordur and Akureyri. From here you will sail to Invergordon in the UK before returning to Hamburg. Priced from $3,099*pp twin share. PLUS your choice of FREE gift- onboard credit, all-inclusive drinks package or WiFi package, if you book by March 15, 2018.

MSC Meraviglia (supplied)

Ranked among the most beautiful destinations in Europe, the Fjords of Norway are a must see on everyone's bucket list. Departing July 14, 2018 MSC Orchestra takes you on a 7-night journey through the fjords from Copenhagen, Denmark. Priced from $2,199*pp twin share for a balcony cabin. PLUS your choice of FREE gift- onboard credit, all-inclusive drinks package or WiFi package, if you book by March 15, 2018.

Departing August 18, 2018, from Kiel, Germany, MSC Preziosa, calls at Bergen, where you will see Sognefjord, the country's longest and deepest fjord and the colourful wooden houses of Bryggen and the fjords of Flaam and Hellesylt/ Geiranger on a 7-night cruise. Priced from $1,427*pp twin share. PLUS your choice of FREE gift- onboard credit, all-inclusive drinks package or WiFi package, if you book by March 15, 2018.

For a longer journey join MSC Magnifica on a 10-night journey through the Norwegian fjords.  Explore the Fjords of Stavanger, Bergen, the pretty town of Olden and Alesund.  Founded in 1793 and destroyed by fire, today Alesund is one of the great art nouveau towns. Ports of call also include Le Havre (Paris) and Hamburg, Germany. Departing Southampton on July 9, 2018 and priced from $2,199*pp twin share.  PLUS your choice of FREE gift- onboard credit, all-inclusive drinks package or WiFi package, if you book by March 15, 2018.

With weekly departures, you can choose a date to suit, but don't delay to secure your cabin for 2018!  Book TODAY by calling 1300 028 502, www.msccruises.com.au or call your local travel agent and don't miss out.

*Conditions apply. Pick your gift on selected departures only. New bookings only. Onboard credit, based on twin share booking Inside cabin $100pp, Oceanview $150pp, Balcony $200pp. Adult all inclusive drinks package available for first passenger only. All passengers in the cabin must purchase the all-inclusive drinks package. Wifi Streamer package with 340MB up to 4 devices
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Why Australians Have Fallen in Love with Cruising Alaska




Australians are choosing to cruise Alaska in record numbers, as premium cruise line Celebrity Cruises prepares to send three ships to the region for the 2018 summer season to cater to the incredible demand.

"The number of Australians choosing an Alaskan cruise with Celebrity has grown by more than 100 per cent over the past five years – a phenomenal increase which is significantly higher than the industry-wide upward trend for Alaska cruising," said Adam Armstrong, managing director, Celebrity Cruises Australia & New Zealand.