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Thursday, 28 November 2019

CMV announces two additional cruise ships for 2021





British-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has announced the acquisition of two more cruise ships to join its expanding ocean fleet – increasing to eight cruise ships in 2021.

The independently owned CMV Group will take delivery of P&O Australia’s Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria in Singapore on 2 March and 2 May 2021 respectively, increasing CMV’s capacity to 9,000 berths and an increase in passenger capacity by 30% in 2021.

The duo will be officially re-named in mid-2021, following dry docking in Singapore where some minor upgrades will be completed, and the ships’ livery updated. The vessels will then embark on maiden positioning voyages via the Suez Canal to Northern Europe.

Pacific Dawn (to be renamed) at 70,285grt, with 798 passenger cabins and carrying around 1,400 passengers, will be deployed to the UK market in late May 2021, bolstering much-needed capacity and cruising year-round alongside Columbus ex-London Tilbury.



Pacific Aria (to be renamed) at 55,819grt, with 630 passenger cabins and carrying around 1,100 passengers, will be deployed to the German market under the TransOcean Kreuzfahrten brand with a much-needed increase in capacity, cruising alongside Vasco da Gama and replacing the 580 passenger Astor. Astor is being re-named Jules Verne and will be re-deployed to the French market in May 2021.

CEO Christian Verhounig commented, “The introduction of two more ships to the global ocean fleet is the next exciting chapter of our strategic growth objectives. This will enable us to service increasing market demand for our traditional brand of cruising, generated by our expanding international network of in-house sales offices and developing source markets. We have now acquired five cruise ships in just five years and are firmly on course in carrying 200,000 passengers in 2021.”

The new ship names will be unveiled later in December 2019 under CMV’s explorer theme, providing a more traditional cruise experience that can access harder-to-reach ports.

Chris Coates, Group Commercial Director, added, “As the CMV brand continues to evolve, the growing popularity of our traditional product, classic ships and destination-focused cruise programs has encouraged us to accelerate plans to add capacity to the two top European cruise markets in the UK and Germany, which represent 85% of our business.

“These two fine cruise ships perfectly complement our existing fleet, providing trade partners and consumers alike with much needed extra capacity. For 2020, we expect close to 70% of capacity to be sold by the year end, in line with expectations. This provides an ideal platform for the early introduction of new tonnage and opportunities for 2021.”

CMV Australia’s National Sales Manager, Darren Chigwidden, said, “We’re so excited to welcome these new vessels in joining our fleet. We look forward to discussing this soon with our trade partners at the upcoming inspections and events onboard as we welcome our newest ship, Vasco da Gama. Her arrival into Australian waters for the first time with CMV on Sunday marks our growth and commitment to the Australasian market.

“This growth has not only been in domestic cruising, but also in CMV’s international voyages with our small to mid-size ship offering. Having Pacific Dawn among our fleet is a great opportunity for our travel agents – who are key to our ongoing success – as they are already familiar with the unique selling points of the ship itself.

“Combined with Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ reputation for friendly, traditional service and value for money, we believe this presents a fantastic proposition for agents and their clients to venture to new destinations aboard vessels they already know and love.”

The inaugural 2021 programs will go on sale via travel trade and CMV’s international sales offices and websites during Q1-2020, with special 2021 launch incentives planned to encourage early bookings.

www.cmvaustralia.com

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Return of Viking to Australian waters




The countdown is on to the return of Viking to Australian waters from December 2019. The line’s third year of operating in Australia and New Zealand will be heralded by the arrival of two of Viking’s fleet of award-winning small ships; Viking Orion and Viking Sun.

December 2019 marks Viking Orion’s return to her seasonal Sydney and Auckland home ports for the second year in a row, from where she will offer eight local cruises over three months. Meanwhile sister ship Viking Sun visits Australia in February 2020 for the third time, as she circumnavigates the globe on her Guinness World Record-setting Ultimate World Cruise, an extraordinary 245-day voyage which is the longest continuous passenger cruise on record.

Boasting the most high-tech planetarium at sea, Viking Orion will reach Australian waters on 15 December 2019 when she arrives in Darwin before sailing into Sydney on 27 December 2019. She will sail six 15-day Australia & New Zealand itineraries between Sydney and Auckland, bookended at each end of the season by the 17-day Komodo and the Australian Coast itinerary between Bali and Sydney.

Viking Sun will arrive in Hobart on 7 February 2020, the first of eight Australian destinations during her epic 245-day voyage, which visits six continents, 51 countries and 111 ports over eight months. When Viking Sun reaches Australian waters, she’ll mark day 160 of her Guinness World Record-setting voyage from London to London, with 10 Australian guests sailing the full itinerary.

Together, the two state-of-the-art 930-guest sister ships will call at 10 Australian ports and seven New Zealand ports, including major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland and Wellington, as well as smaller destinations like Thursday Island, Cairns and the Whitsundays. Viking Sun and Viking Orion will offer guests no less than 16 overnight stays on Australian and New Zealand shores.

“Since launching our very first ocean ship in 2015, demand to sail from Australia and New Zealand has grown from strength to strength,” said Michelle Black, Viking’s Managing Director ANZ.

“One third of Viking’s fleet of six ocean ships will be based in our waters for a month, demonstrating both the importance of this region to Viking, and the incredible popularity of our destinations to Viking’s discerning guests,” she concluded.

Since Viking’s very first ocean ship sailed in 2015, the cruise line has won an incredible array of awards globally, making a name for itself and gaining loyal followers by offering ‘The Thinking Person’s Cruise’.

A voyage with Viking is destination focused, culturally enriching and carefully curated. Itineraries are developed with curious, experienced travellers in mind and once onboard, every detail is designed to enrich the travel experience, so that guests can deeply connect to the destinations they visit.

Viking’s all-new, all-veranda, ocean ships are engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports around the world, and each identical sister ship features understated elegance coupled with modern Scandinavian design.

Viking Sun will spend a month in Australian waters, departing Darwin on 23 February 2020 as she travels onwards to Asia, India and the Middle East. Meanwhile Viking Orion will depart Sydney bound for Bali on 20 March 2020, marking the close of three months based down under. Viking Orion will return to Australia for her third and longest ever local season in October 2020, when she will sail eight 15-day Australia & New Zealand itineraries. Plus Viking Orion’s fourth Australian season has just been announced, arriving December 2021.

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

Silversea Silver Muse returns to Australia for longest season




This week Silversea’s flagship vessel, Silver Muse departed Singapore for Sydney, returning to Australia and New Zealand for her longest season to date. Currently in Bali, Indonesia, she will arrive in Sydney on 5 December 2019. The luxurious Silver Muse will stay in the Australia-Pacific region until the end of March, transporting guests in complete luxury on numerous sailings between Auckland and Sydney, including maiden calls in Hobart, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.
Silver Muse’s next port of call will be her first in Australia for the season. Arriving in Darwin on 25 November she will set sail along Australia’s east coast, making ports of call at Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane, before sailing under the harbour bridge and into Sydney. Offering guests a home away from home, the luxurious Silver Muse will sail between Sydney and Auckland, transporting guests in understated Italian elegance which is apparent on board each of Silversea’s intimate vessels.

Adam Armstrong, Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, Silversea Cruises said,

“We are thrilled to welcome back our stunning flagship vessel, Silver Muse to Australia and New Zealand. We are continuing to increase the range of unique destinations on offer and this season Silver Muse will make maiden ports of call in the Pacific Islands, Hobart, Bluff, Timaru and Wellington. We are absolutely committed to the growth of the Australia and New Zealand market, which we expect to soon become our second-biggest market globally.”

For those guests missing out this season, Silver Muse returns to the region in 2020, offering a complete circumnavigation Australia, where guests will have the incredible opportunity to discover one of the world’s most exhilarating continents. Departing Sydney on 31 October 2020 guests will discover the delights of Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia on this once in a lifetime voyage over 50 days, including overnights in Perth, Bali, Cairns and Sydney.”

Silversea travels over 1,000 destinations worldwide, more than any other cruise line, and its itineraries feature worldwide voyages to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, both Polar Regions, The Russian Far East, the Galapagos Islands, Australia and New Zealand and many other fascinating destinations in between.

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

Friday, 15 November 2019

MSC to be carbon neutral from January 2020


                                   

- All of CO2 emissions from MSC Cruises’ fleet to be offset as of 1 January 2020 through high-grade offsets that will increasingly rely on Blue carbon credits

- The announcement comes as part of a broader vision to support UN Sustainable Development Goals and in tandem with continued investments in the accelerated development of advanced environmental technology that will allow for zero-emissions ship operations


On the occasion of the celebrations held in Hamburg, Germany for the coming into service of its most environmentally-advanced cruise ship yet – MSC Grandiosa – MSC Cruises announces its commitment to become the world’s first fully carbon neutral major global cruise line.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive chairman said: “Our focus on innovation since we built our first cruise ships only in 2003 ensures that we have one of the most modern fleets at sea as well as one of the highest environmentally performing. And, thanks to our long-term planning, this will allow us to already achieve a fleet-wide 29% reduction in carbon intensity (rate) by 2024 vs. 2008, well on our way to meet the 40% reduction target set for 2030.

Pierfrancesco Vago,
MSC Cruises Executive chairman
“Additionally, last week we announced that the LNG-powered fuel cells PACBOAT project will be hosted on board MSC Europa – the first of 5 LNG-powered cruise ships that are due to join our fleet. This is not only a world-first for a technology that promises to be most efficient for high-power maritime operations but also yet another concrete example of our firm commitment to partner and support the accelerated development of the next-generation technologies that will lead us and this industry to zero-emissions ship operations.”

“As we recognize that today’s even most advanced maritime environmental technology alone is insufficient to immediately reach carbon neutrality, the further commitment we make today ensures that our fleet makes no negative contribution to climate change, starting 1 January 2020. We are a company with over 300 years of maritime heritage and a historical focus on the long-term that is especially typical of family-owned businesses like ours. For us, this is another step forward in our long-standing commitment to protecting the oceans, the destinations we visit and the port communities we touch.”

MSC Cruises will offset all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its fleet marine operations through a blend of carbon offset projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take immediate action on greenhouse gas emissions. All costs for the offsets as well as any other associated items will be covered directly and in full by the Company.

Mr Vago added: “We will work with leading providers in carbon offsets able to offset CO2 emissions with the highest level of integrity. Our vision is to also invest in projects that provide quantifiable community benefits, protect the environment and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

In particular, MSC Cruises aims to develop a carbon offset portfolio that incorporates projects which protect and restore Ocean and coastal habitats while also absorbing more CO2 than currently occurs. As Blue Carbon projects focused mainly on coastal habitats are currently scarce, MSC Cruises will itself support the development of what aims to become the first carbon credits to be generated from the earth’s vast ocean, constituting an important new means for protecting and enhancing marine biodiversity and to support communities that rely on the highly pressurized resources of the sea.

Mr Vago concluded: “Blue carbon offsets will be a specific area of focus of our commitment to ensure carbon neutrality with immediate effect. We will put our people and our resources to work to also support the development of the specific type of projects, and the enabling certification processes, that can generate this innovative form of offsets which directly benefit the oceans and communities that live by the sea. As more of these become available, we will steadily increase our reliance on them as an additional area of focus within our overall long-term commitment to achieving zero-emissions operations.”

MSC Cruises’ commitment to delivering zero-emissions operations also includes a specific focus on energy efficiency and other aspects of its end-to-end operations beyond emissions. In particular, since 2017 all MSC Cruises new ships come equipped with ship-to-shore power facilities, a feature that would allow cruise ships to immediately go “zero-emissions” in any port that is ready for this technology. And this will provide even greater overall benefit when the ultimate source of shore power is renewable.

Details of MSC Cruises’ carbon neutral initiative will be revealed later today at a dedicated media briefing on board MSC Grandiosa, MSC Cruises’ newest flagship and one of the most environmentally-advanced ships at sea yet. MSC Grandiosa was delivered to the Company only last week. On the same day, MSC Cruises started construction on MSC Europa, its first of five liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ships that will come into service between 2022 and 2027.

MSC Grandiosa and MSC Europa together represent significant additional progress in terms of delivering against MSC Cruises’ objective to minimize and continuously lowering its fleet environmental footprint.  

Thursday, 7 November 2019

MSC World Cruise 2022




MSC Cruises, has revealed the itinerary for the MSC World Cruise 2022 as sales opened today exclusively for MSC Voyagers Club members, with wider sales opening on December 9th, 2019. Being able to travel around the world is a dream for many people but with the MSC World Cruise, this dream can become a reality. What better way to discover new cultures and new places in each corner of the world without having to unpack a suitcase! MSC Poesia will set sail from four embarkation ports in Europe in January 2022, calling at more than 43 exciting ports of call, 9 overnights across 24 countries and 5 continents. Following a westerly route via Cape Horn and Suez, guests will be able to circumnavigate the globe whilst cruising in style.


Guests will be able to embark from Civitavecchia (Rome) and Genoa in Italy, Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France. After calling at Lisbon and Funchal, Portugal, MSC Poesia will offer the chance to explore the island of Cape Verde before heading to South America. She will bring guests to dream destinations such as Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Bueno Aires (Argentina) - where they will enjoy an overnight adventure and Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. The ship then makes her way from Valparaiso (Chile) and its perfect wines from the Chile’s Casablanca Valley to Callao (Peru) where guests will get to explore Machu Picchu and the amazing Amazon jungle. The journey continues to Arica (Chile) and Hanga Roa - capital of Easter Island, without forgetting an exciting overnight at Papeete (Tahiti) before heading to Aiutaki and Rarotonga – largest island of Cook Islands but also an exciting special sailing to Bounty Bay Passage (Pitcairn islands).

Auckland and Napier – Art Deco capital of the world open the explorations of ports in New Zealand, just before guests can soak up the majestic scenery of both the Fiordland National Park and the Great Barrier Reef (Cairns, Australia) with overnight in the iconic port of Sydney (Australia). From there, the ship tours the natural wonders of Darwin (Australia) – steeped in ancient Aboriginal culture and untouched national parks. MSC Poesia then makes her way to the turquoise waters of Lifou Island in New Caledonia ; the charming Port Vila (Vanuatu) and Alotau of Papua New Guinea. On her return leg, MSC Poesia will visit the relaxing and breathtaking Lombok island (Indonesia), Singapore and Port Klang (Malaysia). Calling in Sri Lanka will offer the vibrant capital Colombo before overnighting in Mumbai (India). Salalah (Oman) and Aqaba (Jordan) for the ancient site of Petra are the calls before her transiting the Suez Canal on the way back to Europe.

With no more than four consecutive sea days, guests will also enjoy a total of nine overnight calls in ports including Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Ushuaia (Argentina), Valparaiso (Chile), Callao (Peru), Papeete (Tahiti), Sydney (Australia), Benoa (Indonesia) and Mumbai (India) allowing plenty of time to explore these stunning destinations and enjoying an evening ashore.

MSC Cruises is known for offering an incredible choice of shore excursions designed to suit all tastes, giving guests the freedom to make the most of every moment ashore. The 2022 World Cruise is no exception with 15 shore excursions included in the cost of the cruise ticket and of course other excursions, including some exciting overland tours away from the ship, can be booked both in advance or during the cruise.

Some of the shore excursion highlights include:

· In Hanga Roa, Chile, from the iconic Moai sculptures and other relics of ancient Rapa Nui life to a museum visit that will acquaint you with Easter Island’s history, experience a fascinating encounter with one of the farthest-flung spots on the planet.

· In Aqaba, Petra, get lost in the ancient city of Petra hidden for centuries in the middle of the Jordanian desert. As you emerge from the canyon and its narrow cut-through ravine, the bright daylight will reveal Petra in all its rose-hued glory.

· In Tauranga, New-Zealand, ride through the countryside where farms and forests combine to make this region one of the most beautiful in New Zealand. Experience the wondrous geothermal valley of Whakarewarewa on a guided walking tour among unique geological patterns, shapes and surreal colours that have taken thousands of years to form.



About MSC Poesia

MSC Poesia is an innovative cruise ship with an elegant style that brings traditional craftsmanship to creative designs. Step aboard and you’ll enter a refined world of comfort, from the spectacular foyer waterfall to the Zen Garden, authentic Japanese Sushi bar and opulent MSC Aurea Spa wellness center with steam room, sauna and divine Balinese massages to pamper body and mind, it’s the perfect place to unwind. Relish the gourmet cuisine inspired by your destinations and combine fun and fitness on the tennis court or in the panoramic gym. Relax in the 3 swimming pools and 4 whirlpool baths, and enjoy the giant poolside cinema screen, among many other superb facilities.

Booking Information:

During the exclusive one-month presale for MSC Voyagers Club members, loyal MSC Cruises’ guests won’t only enjoy the usual 5% club discount but can also select their perfect cabin while earning triple membership points, credited to their account at the time of booking allowing them to enjoy all the added benefits right away.

Guests who are not already an MSC Voyagers Club member but are in possession of a loyalty card from another leading travel reward programme can join the MSC Voyagers Club at a similar or higher level thanks to MSC Status Match. For more information on the MSC Voyagers Club or the MSC Status Match programme, visit msccruises.com.au or msccruises.co.nz

As part of their cruise ticket, guests booking will also benefit from:

· Complimentary Dine & Drink beverage package including house wines, draught beer and a selection of other drinks offered during lunch and dinner
· 30% discount on laundry services
· A comprehensive activity schedule with theme evenings, language classes, cultural guest speakers and much more

For guests who just cannot wait to explore the world on an MSC World Cruise can still book the last remaining cabins for the 2021 departure.