Marriotti Damen To Build Expedition Ships For Seabourn – Other Cruise News: Prinsendam To Leave Holland America In July 2019 – Iona’s Grand Atrium

by Kevin Griffin

Last week it was announced that a new shipbuilding joint venture, Marriotti Damen Cruise, will build two 23,000-ton 264-berth PC6 luxury expedition ships for Seabourn, for delivery in 2021 and 2022. Meanwhile, the Prinsendam, once Seabourn Sun, is to leave the affiliated Holland America Line fleet in 2019. And P&O Cruises have released a rendering and some details of the new Grand Atrium proposed for the Iona, due in 2020.


Marriotti Damen To Build Expedition Ships For Seabourn

Seabourn has announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent for the construction of two 264-berth ultra-luxury expedition ships with a new partnership between shipbuilders T.Mariotti of Italy and Damen of the Netherlands.

Seabourn Quest (Photo Robin West)

Seabourn Quest (Photo Robin West)

A newly-created concern, Marriotti Damen Cruise, will cooperate on the construction of these vessels.
The new ships will be of a design created specifically for the ultra-luxury expedition traveller, and will include many features that have made Seabourn ships successful as well as features to enhance the expedition experience.

The first delivery is expected in June 2021 and the second anticipated in May 2022.

The 558-foot 23,000-ton vessels, which will add new capacity for Seabourn in Antarctica, the Arctic, and other exotic destinations worldwide, will meet PC6 Polar Class standards. They will compare with three 525-foot 20,000-ton ships being built for Crystal Cruises.

Ventures by Seabourn: kayak and Zodiac expeditions

Ventures by Seabourn: kayak and Zodiac expeditions

A new offering will be two submarines carried on board, providing a view of the world beneath the ocean’s surface. The ships will also be designed to carry a complement of kayaks and twenty-four Zodiac inflatables.

“It’s been amazing to watch the growth of our expedition-style experiences since our first sailing to Antarctica in 2013 through today,” said Robin West, vice president of expedition operations and planning for Seabourn. “A year ago we started developing the concept for this next chapter of our expedition story with dedicated ships built to take luxury travellers to the most coveted places on the planet.”

Details of itineraries and booking availability will be released in early 2019. The first ship is currently planned to sail in the Arctic in late summer 2021, followed by a full winter season in Antarctica.


Prinsendam To Leave Holland America In July 2019

Holland America Line’s smallest ship, the thirty-year-old Prinsendam, has been sold to Germany’s Phoenix Reisen and will leave the Holland America fleet on July 1, 2019.

Phoenix Reisen's Amera

Phoenix Reisen’s Amera

Following the sale, the 835-berth ship will be chartered back by Holland America to continue her planned voyages through July 1, 2019.

The Prinsendam’s itineraries will then be assumed by the 1,404-berth Rotterdam, 1,440-berth Volendam and 1,348-berth Veendam.
“The Prinsendam has proudly served our guests since 2002, and we share in the fondness that many of our loyal cruisers have for this special ship,” HAL president Orlando Ashford said.

The Prinsendam in New York (Photo credit Andy Newman/Holland America Line)

The Prinsendam in New York (Photo credit Andy Newman/Holland America Line)

The Prinsendam was built for Royal Viking Line in 1988 as the Royal Viking Sun. She was operated by Cunard Line from 1994 through 1998 and then transferred to Seabourn, where she became Seabourn Sun in 1999. In 2002, she joined Holland America Line as the Prinsendam.

On delivery to Phoenix Reisen, the Prinsendam will be renamed Amera. There, she will join the 1,176-berth Artania, 862-berth Albatros, 594-berth Amadea and the 552-berth Deutschland. The company also markets many riverboats. The Albatros is also a former Royal Viking ship, having been built in 1973 as Royal Viking Sea.

Iona’s Grand Atrium

P&O Cruises have unveiled details of what will be Iona’s centre piece, a stunning Grand Atrium with uninterrupted panoramic views of the sea, framed by large glass widows stretching over three decks.
The Grand Atrium will be the heart of Iona, a focal point that encapsulates the spirit of the company’s new flagship, which will debut from Southampton in May 2020.

Iona's Grand Atrium (Courtesy P&O Cruises)

Iona’s Grand Atrium (Courtesy P&O Cruises)

Spanning three decks, each level of the Grand Atrium will offer a different experience for guests but with the same views and natural light.
The plans for the Grand Atrium were created by architecture and interior design practice Jestico + Whiles, creators of W Hotel London and the Aqua Shard restaurant in the Shard tower.

A staircase will take guests through the open area, designed to complement and reflect the outdoor views.
The Grand Atrium will be a key entertainment space on board Iona and the sea will provide an ever changing backdrop to a variety of experiences.

As day moves into night the area will transition as the designers employ the most modern lighting techniques to create a warm and intimate atmosphere.
The Grand Atrium will be home to The Glass House Deck 7. With a wine list and menu created by award-winning wine expert Olly Smith, wines from around the world will be served by the glass. Wine connoisseurs will be well taken care of with a new experience, Cellar Door at the Glass House will offer wine talks, tastings and wine-pairing dinners.
P&O also announced the The Keel and Cow, a gastro pub to be located on Deck 8 with views over the Grand Atrium.

(Kevin Griffin is managing director of specialist cruise agency The Cruise People Ltd in London, England. For further information concerning cruises mentioned in this article readers can visit his blog)

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