Carnival Cruise Line officially took delivery of the new 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon, the 26th ship in its fleet last week.
The 3,954-passenger ship has now embarked on a 13-day voyage from Barcelona in Spain, the first of four sailings from the European port.
Carnival Cruise Line is now accepting reservations for the 133,500-ton Carnival Panorama, which kicks off its year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera schedule from Long Beach, California, on 14 December 2019, becoming the first new Carnival ship homeported on the West Coast in 20 years.
Prior to the launch of seven-day service, Carnival Panorama will offer a special one-time three-day cruise to Ensenada from Long Beach, 11-14 December, 2019.
With Japan’s cherry blossom season approaching in March and April, travellers keen to discover the country’s mix of ancient sites and modern cities can book a spot aboard Norwegian Jewel.
Guests can choose from three never before offered immersive itineraries, spanning from 11 to 15 days, with the chance to stroll through the cherry blossoms in full bloom.
A group of travellers, including a number of Kiwis, are currently on a 115-day world voyage from Auckland to London, aboard Azamara Journey.
The cruise ship will call in at 30 countries along the way, including visits to Australia, Brunei, Yangon, Myanmar, the Suez Canal, Greece and Spain to name a few.
Two of three Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ brands crossed paths in Sydney Harbour for the very first time this week.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) Norwegian Jewel and Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ (RSSC) Seven Seas Voyager were both in port, representing more days in the region for NCLH ships.
Viking is inviting botanical enthusiasts to the Viking Cruises High Tea at the upcoming Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show.
The setting will be modelled on the Wintergarden venue, where High Tea is served aboard Viking’s industry-leading ocean ships.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced its 77-night Grand Arctic Quest itinerary, departing London on June 18, 2019, bound for New York City aboard Seven Seas Navigator.
This new itinerary visits the British Isles, Iceland, Scandinavia, Greenland and New England, taking in coastal villages, remote islands, waterways and cities, including Reykjavik, Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital.
CroisiEurope is launching its first ever small ship, First Class Canadian cruise series combining St Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.
The ten-day cruise from Quebec to Toronto aboard the boutique 34 cabin MS Jacques Cartier will launch in August.
The 2018 dates are out for Captain Cook Cruises’ seven-night Loxton cruises onboard small ship paddle wheeler the Murray Princess.
The Mannum to Loxton cruise will depart Mannum on Friday 23rd November at 4.30pm and disembark at Loxton on Friday 30th November at 9:00 am. The Loxton to Mannum cruise will depart Loxton on Friday 30th November at 4.30pm and disembark at Mannum on Friday 7th December at 9:00 am.
Aranui Cruises first voyage to Pitcairn Island has sold out within weeks of going on sale in Australia and New Zealand.
The one-off 13-day round-trip cruise from Papeete to Pitcairn Island was released as part of Aranui’s bumper 2019 cruise program at the end of November and Aranui’s regional representative Australia New Zealand Laurent
Quark Expeditions has announced the completion of the Ocean Adventurer’s multi-million-dollar renovation.
Previously known as Sea Adventurer, the class 1A ice-strengthened ship is already taking passengers to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands this season.
Viking Cruises recently hosted 13 travel agents from New Zealand and Australia on board Viking Sun, travelling on Viking’s 12-day Mid-Atlantic Crossing itinerary between Lisbon and Miami.
‘The Mid-Atlantic Crossing was the perfect cruise for introducing agents to the Viking ocean product due to the unusual number of sea days,’ says Liz Sawers, director of sales Viking Cruises Australia & New Zealand.
The House Boat or Kettuvallam cruise in Kerala, India, commencing from either from the Spice Coast boat landing or Coconut Lagoon, is available through Exotic Holidays.
The cruise takes clients across Lake Vembanad, through narrow canals heading South - passing low lying rice fields, churches temples, schools and a complete life style in a water world.
They can stop to buy fish or coconut, enjoy food off the boat men or just relax and enjoy the beauty. The boat anchors at sunset to prevent getting entangled in the fish nets.
Aranui Cruises is adding a new cruise to Pitcairn Island, as part of its bumper 2019 cruise programme.
It’s the first time the cruise line has offered a different itinerary from its regular roundtrip voyage from Papeete to the Marquesas, Society and Tuamotu islands, and marks the first new destinations added to the programme
Sanctuary Retreats has savings on Nile cruises from Aswan to Luxor in Egypt on Sanctuary Sun Boat IV.
Smaller than the average Nile cruiser, Sanctuary Sun Boat IV offers personalised service coupled with the leisurely pace of a longer cruise.
Royal Caribbean Cruises unveiled some new innovations at its Sea Beyond tech conference in New York recently.
A new app that will be made available across the company’s 48 ship fleet over the next two years, allowing guests to order drinks from anywhere in the ship and skip lines by making use of facial recognition technology.
A specific focus is on giving guests more time.
Viking Cruises is offering guests the chance to head off on its 15-day Grand European Tour in 2018 for the price of $6,745 per person inclusive of return airfares to Europe.
The 15-day itinerary takes guests through four countries including Hungary, Austria, Germany and The Netherlands.
Guests will have the opportunity to visit nine UNESCO World Heritage sites and embark on 12 guided tours.
Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas has a range of new features and experiences including laser tag, stateroom slides, ‘counterless’ mobile check in, and new venues.
Debuting in April 2018 for a first season in Europe, Symphony of the Seas will include a ten story waterslide, an aquatic amphitheatre, two FlowRider surf simulators, a zip line, two rock climbing walls, a 1400 seat theatre for live shows and movies, the Bionic Bar with robot
Carnival Cruise Line is holding two information evenings for travel agents this month, coinciding with a visit to New Zealand by the line’s UK and international sales manager Iain Baillie.
They also follow the release of Carnival’s ‘hot off the press’ 2018-19 brochure.
The functions will be held on Monday 16 October 2017 at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland and on Tuesday 17 October at Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club, Tauranga.
Mega liner the Majestic Princess arrives in New Zealand in 12 months. The 143,000-tonne mega-liner will be the largest Princess ship ever to sail in NZ waters.
At 330-metres long, the ship will sail through Fiordland on Sunday 30 September before docking in Dunedin, her first NZ port on Monday 1 October. As part of a 13-night roundtrip voyage from Sydney, Majestic will travel from Dunedin through to Akaroa, Wellington, Tauranga, Auckland and Bay of
Silversea has unveiled plans for its first-ever ship lengthening.
The transformation of the company’s Silver Spirit will happen early next year at the Palermo shipyard of Fincantieri.
Starting in early March, Silver Spirit will be lengthened by inserting a prebuilt 49-foot-long midsection housing 6 Silver Suites, 26 Veranda Suites and 2 Panorama Suites.
Viking Cruises has announced two new ocean cruises in the northern hemisphere spring and summer months of 2019, highlighting Iceland and Russia.
The Iceland’s Majestic Landscapes 13-day exploration overnights in Bergen and Reykjavík. In Norway, guests view the contrast of Ålesund and Geiranger’s. Guests will meet the people who live on the water’s edge of the Faroe archipelago, while in Iceland’s north they encounter polar fox, tern, eider ducks and whales. They can also soak in the mineral rich waters of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, and view the landscapes as they tour the ‘Island of Fire and Ice.’ Clients can sail from
The Australian-based arm of international luxury cruise line, Viking Cruises, has been accepted as a Virtuoso partner, which includes a group of more than 1700 suppliers hand picked to provide high-end Virtuoso clients with exclusive benefits with the best products in the luxury travel market.
Ensuring that new and innovative cruise tourism products and attractions are developed and regionally dispersed is one of the key strategies of the New Zealand Cruise Association over the next three years.
Deputy chair Karen Thompson-Smith presented the organisation’s three year strategic plan at its AGM last night and says cruise is ideal for getting people into regional destinations. ‘We also want to make sure passenger satisfaction ratings remain high for all our prts through sharing of best practice.’
The New Zealand cruise industry is on the cusp of losing business as a direct result of lacking infrastructure, the sector’s leading body heard recently.
Debbie Summers, chair of what was until last week known as Cruise New Zealand, accepts that port infrastructure is not a new issue.
‘But now it is time to get it done. We’ve got everyone sitting in the same room so here is our opportunity. Without doubt it is our most pressing issue, with wins to be celebrated and challenges to be conquered.’
Tahitian cruise line Aranui Cruises will include a call to the Marquesas Festival this year. Held every two years in the Marquesas Islands, the festival alternates between a mini and main arts festival. The 2017 mini festival will be four days of Polynesian music and dance from 18-21 December 2017, at Tahuata, the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands. To coincide, Aranui Cruises’ ship Aranui 5 will make an extended visit to Tahuata on 20 December so guests can participate in cultural festivity and feast.
Seven Seas Mariner’s guests will touch on 30 countries in six continents as they circumnavigate the globe, visiting 36 UNESCO World Heritage sites among a total of 66 ports, 13 in which are overnight stays. The all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner will host Regent’s new 2020 Navigate the World cruise, a 131-night itinerary, departing 24 January 2020, round-trip from San Francisco, to islands of the South Pacic and ancient cultures of sub continental India and around the Arabian Peninsula, and then plying the Mediterranean in springtime and cruising the Caribbean and Central America in early summer.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, is entering the luxury yachting and cruise sector – bringing the brand’s service and style to sea.
Named The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, this venture represents a foray into the cruise industry for a luxury hotel operator.
The first of three cruising yachts in this series is scheduled to take to sea in the fourth quarter of 2019.
UnCruise Adventures is launching an enhanced and expanded range of small ship cruises for 2018.
The itineraries range from Alaska to South America, World Journeys report.
As part of a new itinerary on the Columbia and Snake rivers, the 88-guest SS Legacy has been transformed into an adventure-equipped ship to offer activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff excursions and whitewater rafting.
UN Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai has been named as the godmother of Celebrity Cruises newest ship, Celebrity Edge, which will debut late 2018.
Yousafzai is a 19-year-old Pakistani woman who received the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy of girls’ education. She came to prominence in 2012 when she was shot by a Taliban gunman for her campaign.
News Lyttelton is back in the cruise-sector game has been met with sound applause from the industry.
Lyttelton Port Company has released plans for the first custom-built cruise ship facility for Christchurch. The $55 million development will open for the 2019-2020 season.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has expanded this year’s Cruise360 Australasia conference to include interactive discussions and workshops as well as a range of keynote addresses from international cruise executives.
The event this year is being held at the Hyatt Regency Sydney on 25 August, and will be followed by an inspection of the latest addition to P&O Cruises’ fleet, Pacific Explorer, the following day.
Managing director Joel Katz says delegates will now have a choice of educational breakout sessions, designed to help boost their business.
First Travel Group is not ruling out more niche travel brands under its YOU Travel banner.
The group’s general manager retail, John Willson, hints at new developments, saying ‘watch this space’.
‘We feel the future of retail travel is a niche product with trained staff providing the service and expertise clients require.
The trend towards longer cruises, back-to-back cruise itineraries and the resulting open jaw flights this can result in, is all falling in favour of travel agents, says the vice president sales Australia and New Zealand for Oceania Cruises, Steve McLaughlin.
‘The travel agent is an integral part of relatively complicated, high value cruising now,’ says McLaughlin.
New Zealand agents will have their biggest opportunity yet to learn about the high end Aqua Expeditions journeys in Peru and on the Mekong when the company holds a trade information night early next month.
GSA (general sales agent) for Aqua Expeditions, Tony Smith of Francis Travel Marketing, says agents who don’t properly acquaint themselves with this sort of product are definitely missing opportunities.
First Travel Group expects its YOU Cruise brand, launched this week, to expand steadily and eventually be joined by all existing 35 YOU Travel retail members.
YOU Cruise currently encompasses 27 stores: Bon Voyage Cruise & Travel, Capital Travel, Stars Travel & YOU Travel New Plymouth, and YOU Travel stores in Bethlehem, Birkenhead, Fielding, Ferrymead, Helensville, Katikati, Mairangi Bay, Manly, Manukau, Mount Manganui, Napier, New Lynn, Newmarket, Orewa, Southern (Invercargill), Takapuna, Taupo, Tauranga, Waiheke, Westgate, Whangarei, Whitianga, CBD – Auckland, and Wellington.
If you think Celebrity Cruise’s newest ship, the ultra modern Caribbean-bound Celebrity Edge, is out of reach of most
Kiwi pockets, then think again – the ship was selling here days before its industry launch on Thursday.
Infinity Holidays’ Adrian Cooper, who was among trade who attended Celebrity Edge’s big reveal at Soul Bar in Auckland, says he booked two back-to-back cruises aboard the new vessel for March 2019 when
Ovation of the Seas well-trumpeted arrival into New Zealand waters has more than doubled Kiwi sales for RCL Cruises’ three brands this season.
Mark Kinchley, RCL sales manager New Zealand, says sales have risen to ‘new heights’ year on year since the company set up here with only one ship seven years ago.
But the impact Royal Caribbean’s 348m-long mega ship has had on sales across the six vessels it now has in its stable has been nothing short of ‘incredible’, Kinchley says.
An initiative by Takapuna Beach Business Association to expand its visitor horizons has seen the beachside region on Auckland’s North Shore welcoming cruise visitors to its shores since the season began
Takapuna Beach Business Association chief executive Terry Holt says he is always looking for ways to share the Takapuna experience. He approached inbound tour operator ID New Zealand with the concept of including day visits to Takapuna as part of the shore excursion offerings for visiting cruise ships. It seemed like a new experience for visitors and a way to deliver an additional retail market opportunity for Takapuna Beach businesses, he says.
Emerald Princess made a rousing maiden entry into Auckland yesterday, announcing Kiwi sales far outstrip its cruising peers across the ditch.
The 3200-guest superliner is the biggest Princess Cruises ship to visit New Zealand this summer.
The arrival of Emerald Princess, stretching to 290 metres, headlines a record cruise season for the country that will see an unprecedented 33 cruise ships arrive in New Zealand waters.
If cruising is all about the ports of call, why not extend the onboard experience by bringing the destination onto the ship?
That’s the theory behind Princess Cruises’ new Across the Ditch programme that was launched at the World’s Leading Cruise Lines Summit over the weekend.
Stuart Allison, vice president Australia & New Zealand with the cruise line, says Across the Ditch is starting this summer to give passengers authentic experiences onboard the ships, ranging from a greater selection of New Zealand wines to Maori content such as poi dancing and haka lessons and having park rangers from Fiordland on the ship to explain the local surroundings.
New Zealanders who attended the World Leading Cruse Lines 2016 Summit out of Sydney last week say they like what they heard and it gives them added confidence to sell the brands showcased at the event.
Mark Smith and Debbie Christian, of Let’s Cruise, says the announcement of the 2018 World Cruise by Sea Princess was particularly timely and having new destinations in Greenland and Eastern Canada provides something to sell for the big repeat market.
‘We’ve got people queuing up for the (2018) cruise already,’ says Smith, ‘and the repeat demand that Princess Cruises talks about is for real.’
He says 75% of what Let’s Cruse sell onto process is repeat business. ‘It’s our biggest seller in the cruise industry.’
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, has welcomed the New Zealand Government's trial of a new biosecurity accreditation scheme for cruise lines.
The trial, announced by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries this week, will reduce the current biosecurity inspections undertaken by NZ Border Clearance Services for accredited cruise lines from November. To become accredited, cruise lines must demonstrate that they have appropriate systems in place to reduce biosecurity risk.
CLIA Australasia Chairman Steve Odell says the organisation is pleased to have worked with the New Zealand Government on the initiative. ‘The trial means cruise passengers will benefit from more efficient disembarkations and a more positive cruise experience – which will give them
Kiwis taking domestic cruises present major potential for the trade here, says Michael Mihajlov, director destination management with Carnival Australia. He says 75% of domestic bookings from New Zealand and Australia still go through the trade, meaning it is a way agents can make commissions out of their own country.
‘There is going to be a big push to engage the New Zealand trade to get more Kiwis cruising New Zealand.’ He says this year’s maiden visit to Stewart Island by P&O Cruises generated plenty of interest amongst new Zealanders. ‘A lot of New Zealanders have always wanted to go there. It can be a big ask because access is problem in terms of weather and anchorage but demand goes through the roof form the domestic sector. The idea is definitely to go to Stewart Island again.’
Carnival incorporates brands such as P&O and Princess Cruises, along with Seabourne, Holland America Line, Cunard and others.
Mihajlov says P&O in particular is targeting a sector seeking shorter cruises – people primarily in the 30 to 55 age bracket travelling as couples or groups. ‘We’ve got to give them reasons to go on short cruises – food and wine festivals, sorts events, musical and cultural festivals all work well.’