Category: The Cruise Examiner

A Special Report from the Cruise Examiner: Why And How Canada Closed The Alaska and New England Cruise Trades For 2020

by Kevin Griffin

Actions by Canada have now effectively cancelled the 2020 Alaska and Canada and New England cruise seasons by banning cruise ships from operating into Canadian ports until November 1, 2020. An earlier ban had already been enforced in March, which was now simply being extended. Prohibited vessels are defined as having overnight accommodation for more than 100 persons. The order came from Transport Minister Marc Garneau. The reason given by Transport Canada is to close a potential line of infection and protect its population from Covid-19. (more…)

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How To Turn Risk Into An Opportunity: Part 4 – Other Cruise News: ACL Drops Passenger Service Till Year-End – By Cargo Ship From Asia To USA With An ESTA

by Kevin Griffin

This week sees The Cruise Examiner’s guest editor Jennifer Holland deliver the conclusion of her four-part series concentrating on the perceptions of risk in the cruise industry. Elsewhere in these days of non-stop Covid-19, bad news returns with the announced withdrawal until the end of the year of Atlantic Container Line’s weekly North Atlantic cargo-passenger service. Once or twice a year we do a cargo-passenger update so this week we will also advise of better news elsewhere. And that is that the NSB container ship Conti Annapurna now offers a way to travel from Asia to the USA on an ESTA Electronic System for Travel Authorization, whereas previous carriers had required a full US B1/B2 Visa. (more…)

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How To Turn Risk Into An Opportunity: Part 3 – Other Cruise News: Residential Yacht Njord Announced – Brodosplit Launches Quark’s Ultramarine

by Kevin Griffin

This week sees The Cruise Examiner’s guest editor Jennifer Holland deliver her third article in a four-part series concentrating on the perceptions of risk in the cruise industry. Elsewhere in these days of non-stop Covid-19 bad news in an industry that has been devastated we are pleased to have some good news. Ocean Residences has set in course a program to build an 85,000-ton residential yacht to be called the Njord. And this weekend, Brodosplit launched Quark Expeditions’ new 200-berth Ultramarine in Croatia. (more…)

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How To Turn Risk Into An Opportunity: Part 2 – Other Cruise News: Canadian Crew Sent Home From Bahamas Via The UK – Congressional Hearings Into Carnival Corp

by Kevin Griffin

This week sees The Cruise Examiner’s guest editor, Dr Jennifer Holland deliver the second of her four-part series concentrating on the perceptions of risk in the cruise industry. Elsewhere we look at how the combination of Covid-19 and the CDC have affected the repatriation of thousands of cruise ship workers to their homelands. Finally, Congress is preparing to throw the Christians to the lions in Washington. (more…)

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How To Turn Risk Into An Opportunity: Part 1 – Other Cruise News: Victory And Hapag-Lloyd Cut Great Lakes Cruises – One Ocean To Make Proposal

by Kevin Griffin

This week sees The Cruise Examiner introduce a guest editor, Dr Jennifer Holland, who over four weeks will deliver a four-part series concentrating on the perceptions of risk in the cruise industry. Elsewhere we look at how Covid-19 has affected two Great Lakes operators, causing the withdrawal of two ships with a total of 432 berths from that market this year. And we catch up with the latest news from One Ocean Expeditions. For them, after the edicts of Public Heath Canada and Transport Canada, there would have been no Canadian Arctic season this year anyway (more…)

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Alaska Trade Will Drop By Almost Half In 2020 – Other Cruise News: Of Penguins And Polar Bears – Coming: How To Turn Risk Into An Opportunity

by Kevin Griffin

With Cunard Line, Hurtigruten and Windstar all cancelling their Alaska cruise seasons this year and industry leaders Holland America and Princess cutting back substantially, Canada’s inside Passage and Alaska’s fjords will be seeing much less traffic this summer than last. Cunard’s 2,101-berth Queen Elizabeth, now in the UK, is a long way from Alaska and after an appearance in 2019 will be absent for the whole of 2020. Similarly, Hurtigruten’s 530-berth Roald Amundsen has cancelled her planned Alaska season as well, in her case because she will not be able to perform her planned transit of the Northwest Passage in 2020. And Windstar’s 320-berth Star Breeze will be delayed from her refit in Italy. Disney’s 1,750-berth Disney Wonder, however, will likely offer a truncated Alaska season from Vancouver. This week, we have a new book for you and next week the start of a 4-week series from guest editor Dr Jennifer Holland that we are sure you will find of interest. (more…)

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The Viking Mississippi – Other Cruise News: Crews’ Ships – Captain Petr Golikov, 74

by Kevin Griffin

The 386-berth Viking Mississippi and intended sister ships start service in 2022 and reservations have now opened. Elsewhere we look at how cruise lines are using their own ships to repatriate cruise ship crews to their home countries until they are needed again. And we observe the passing of Capt Petr Golikov, well-known for many years as the master of the Kapitan Khlebnikov, who passed in Toronto last week. (more…)

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CDC Stops Cruising From US Ports For Four Months – Other Cruise News: Cholera And The Dunbrody – The St Louis 1939

by Kevin Griffin

For the past three weeks, cruise ship news has been overwhelmed by the Corona-virus. This week, it gets worse with the CDC starting to interfere with how cruise ships should organise themselves. And while we note what is occurring with the present virus, we look back to another life-threatening disease from almost two centuries ago, that of cholera. And a replace of an Irish trader of the period. And we look at another ship, the St Louis, that was refused docking in US ports, a position in which several cruise ships have unwantingly fiound themselves. (more…)

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Covid 19: Zaandam and Rotterdam In Port Everglades – Other Cruise News: Covid 19: Fourth Strike For Princess Cruises – New Covid-19 Rules For US-Arriving Cruise Ships

by Kevin Griffin

Last week, Holland America’s Zaandam and Rotterdam arrived at Port Everglades. Last week we looked at a third Princess ship affected by corona-virus as Ruby Princess arrived and was laid up at Sydney. This week it is the turn of the Coral Princess arriving at Miami from South America. Meanwhile US authorities have issued new regulations concerning domestic fights in the US. (more…)

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Third Strike For Princess Cruises – Other Cruise News: Canadian Arctic Closed For 2020 – Kind Tidings From A Good Customer

by Kevin Griffin

This week we look at a third Princess ship affected by corona-virus (why is it only Princess as a brand that seems to have this draw?), as Ruby Princess is laid up at Sydney. The Canadian Arctic meanwhile will see no cruises this year unless one of the professional expedition companies manages to negotiate its way in. (more…)

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Government Support of Business and a Week Out – Surviving The Worst of Times

by Kevin Griffin

In a period of just three weeks, the Coronavirus C-19 has hit the world hard. Cruise ships taken out of service for 30, sometimes 60 days, ports refusing entry to cruise ships where there is any hint of fever on board, whole countries such as India and Canada banning cruise ships to protect their own populations, whole fleets of aircraft grounded, huge hospital ships deploying to New York and Los Angeles. Kevin Griffin has been writing the weekly “Cruise Examiner” column since 2008. He also owns The Cruise People in London, and is now called away to save his business and its jobs. Lots of things are happening to tight deadlines this week. So because of the various items delineated in his briefing below, there will be no “Cruise Examiner” this week. But we plan to return next week. (more…)

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Cruise Market Slammed By Coronavirus – Other Cruise News: Trump’s North Atlantic Travel Ban – Canadian Cruise Ban Threatens Alaska Trade Too

by Kevin Griffin

Yesterday, “USA Today” informed its readers that “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all people avoid travelling on cruise ships, not just the most at-risk for the coronavirus.” Never in peacetime has there been such a disruption of sea travel as is occurring right now, with announcements of wholesale global suspensions, port bans for cruise ships and travel bans for individuals of many nationalities. (more…)

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US State Department Issues Cruise Warning – Other Cruise News: Viking To Announce Mississippi Plans In April – Victory To Promote Two Ships In Alaska

by Kevin Griffin

Last night, the US State Department issued a warning to its citizens, especially older ones or those with underlying health conditions, not to travel by cruise ship. How much this is exaggeration is not known, but more residents appear to have died in a single nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, than in the entire world cruise fleet. Meanwhile, domestically, after as many as seven years under study, Viking River Cruises is about to make a move into US-flag Mississippi River cruising. And Victory Cruise Lines is planning to offer a two-ship Alaska cruising operation in 2021. (more…)

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Virgin Fires The Cruise Director – Other Cruise News: Arena River Cruises – New Ships For APT River Cruises

by Kevin Griffin

According to Wikipedia, a cruise director is “a high-ranking or senior officer of a cruise ship with responsibility for all onboard hospitality, entertainment and social events, who acts as the public face of the company.” As far as can be determined, the first cruise directors seem to have appeared about a century ago on American banana boats. As the number of passengers carried rose from 12 to 30 to 60 and eventually to 120, the fruit companies had found that they needed to introduce more diversions to distract their paying passengers from being bored at sea. Elsewhere this week, we look at changes at Arena River Cruises and APT River Cruises. (more…)

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Some Diamond Princess Passengers Going Home – Other Cruise News: The Seven Seas Splendor Enters Service – First World Cruises To Call On Antarctica

by Kevin Griffin

This week we look at how the coronavirus is continuing to affect cruise shipping, and particularly one ship berthed at Yokohama. On a more upbeat note we look at Regent Seven Seas’ new 750-berth Splendor of the Seas. And take a quick glance at the first World Cruises to call in Antarctica, back in 1999-2000. (more…)

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Visitors To China To Be Denied Cruise Ship Boarding – Other Cruise News: Affordable Yachting From Emerald – World’s Largest Cruise Ship

by Kevin Griffin

This week we look at how the coronavirus is affecting cruise shipping and other passenger operations. On a more upbeat note we look at Emerald Yacht Cruises new 100-berth Emerald Azzurra. And take a quick glance at the Wonder of the Seas, which will be next year’s largest cruise ship in the world. (more…)

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Viking Octantis To Cruise The Upper Great Lakes – Other Cruise News: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Eyed For A Joint Venture – Two Ladies To Join Cruise & Maritime

by Kevin Griffin

This week we look at Viking’s first two expedition ships and the new itineraries that will be offered by the Viking Octantis starting in 2022. From Germany come reports that Royal Caribbean Cruises may take a half share in Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, in a similar manner to its 50% share it owns in TUI Cruises. And finally today, we look at the two lady names that have been chosen by CMV for its next two ships. Virgin will not be the only cruise line to have ladies in its fleet. (more…)

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SeaDream Innovation Cancelled – Other Cruise News: Bankrupt Shipyard Building Scenic Eclipse II – Ritz-Carlton Yacht To Be Four Months Late – Havila Shipping Delays – More Ex-UK Cruises From Hurtigruten

by Kevin Griffin

With almost forty new small ships and expedition vessels being built in shipyards that are new to building cruise ships, it is not surprising that there have been some serious delays and cost-over-runs. But why SeaDream cancelled the order or its 220-berth SeaDream Innovation is not fully known yet. And while the Scenic Eclipse was delivered a year late, Scenic Eclipse II is being built in a bankrupt shipyard. Elsewhere, two ships ordered in Spain by Havila Shipping have been so badly delayed that the owner is looking to charter two ships from elsewhere to fill in for the new ships on the Norwegian coast. And after a series of winter cruises announced for the Maud from Dover in 2021 comes news that the Fridtjof Nansen will offer a series of ex-UK cruises in 2020 as she’ll be delivered a month before intended. (more…)

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CMV To Acquire Two More Ships For 2021 Season – Other Cruise News: Bremen To Become Viva Cruises’ Seaventure – Valiant Lady To Be Virgin’s Second Ship

by Kevin Griffin

Cruise & Maritime Voyages last week announced the acquisition of two more ex-Carnival Group cruise ships to become fleet-mates of the three they already own – the Columbus, Magellan and Vasco da Gama. Elsewhere, it has now been announced that Scylla Cruises’ Bremen, to be renamed Seaventure, will be operated by Viva Cruises starting in May 2021. And Virgin will name its second new ship the Valiant Lady. (more…)

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Ponant Orders Two Option Three Ships for Paul Gauguin – Other Cruise News: New For The Adriatic: The Picasso – Luxury Helicopters At Sea

by Kevin Griffin

In an interesting twist this week, Ponant has announced an order for two expedition cruise ships from its newly-acquired Paul Gauguin Cruises brand, with an option for a third. Elsewhere, a 159-berth Adriatic cruise ship that has been five years being built, may be about to enter service with a new brand called DIV Cruises. And we have a brief look at the 6- and 8-passenger helicopters that are now being added to the Scenic Eclipse and Crystal Endeavor and planned sister ships. Each ship will have two helicopters. (more…)

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Croisières Maritimes et Voyages (CMV) – Other Cruise News: New In 2020: The Sea Cloud Spirit – St Hilda Sea Adventures Expands

by Kevin Griffin

The latest announcement, following the demise of Pullmantur’s Croisières de France brand in 2017, is the establishment of another French cruising company, to be called Croisières Maritimes et Voyages. And around the same time Sea Cloud Cruises will introduce their third ship, the Sea Cloud Spirit. Elsewhere, St Hilda Sea Adventures in Scotland has now added a third ship to bring its fleet to three small ships. (more…)

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Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen Named in Antarctica – Other Cruise News: Marella Cruises To Sail From US Ports – Europe-Australia Cargo-Passenger Service Returns

by Kevin Griffin

Last week saw Hurtigruten’s new 530-berth Roald Amundsen christened in Antarctica, thus becoming the first ship to be named there. Also last week, Marella Cruises began accepting bookings on its new US-based program with the 1,8s0-berth Marella Discovery. And finally this week we report on the return of CMA CGM’s new Europe-Australia cargo-passenger service. (more…)

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Stern’s Guide to The Cruise Vacations 2020-21 – Other Cruise News: The Trials Of One Ocean Expeditions – Saga’s Spirit of the Rhine

by Kevin Griffin

This year marks the 30th Anniversary Stern’s Guide to the Cruise Ships. Meanwhile, after the withdrawal of the two Russian ships on which the company had built its success, Canada’s One Ocean Expeditions is going through a test for its survival. This week we also look at Saga’s third newbuilding, this time a river cruise ship. (more…)

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The Berlitz Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2020 – Other Cruise News: A New Small Ship St Lawrence Route – A Half Dozen New Ships For 2020

by Kevin Griffin

This year marks the 35th Anniversary of the first appearance of the Berlitz Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. Meanwhile, in the small ship trades, CroisiEurope has announced a different itinerary in the St Lawrence for its 124-berth La Belle des Océans than had been expected. And at the other end of he scale, we take a quick look at some of the giants planned for 2020. (more…)

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A New Era Of Real Ships (250-550 berths) – Other Cruise News: The New Explorers (200-249 berths) – Hotel Yachts (298 berths) – Norwegian Coasters (468 berths)

by Kevin Griffin

Since the introduction of the first of the big ships, with the Sovereign of the Seas in and the first 100,000-tonner with the Carnival Destiny in there has been a substantial evolution in ship design among smaller vessels. The Cruise Examiner first covered these trends on May 12, 2008, in an article entitled “The Middle Way – A Return to Medium-Size Ships?”   and a follow up three years later, “The Market for Middle Size Ships,” on May 30, 2011. However, these ships came in to the 30-50,000-ton range whereas the latest crop are mostly Polar Class 6 vessels in the 15-30,000-ton range. Le Commandant Charcot is an exception, a real Polar Class 2 icebreaker. (more…)

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Hapag-Lloyd Christens Hanseatic Inspiration in Hamburg – Other Cruise News: Inaugural Voyage, Hamburg to Antwerp – Inspiration’s Maiden Voyage From Antwerp

by Kevin Griffin

This weekend saw The Cruise Examiner on board Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ newest expedition ship, the Hanseatic Inspiration, on a 2-night Shakedown cruise from Hamburg, where she was christened on Friday night, to Antwerp, the boarding point for today’s 15-day maiden voyage to Tenerife. (more…)

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Windstar Announces 2021 Alaska Season – Other Cruise News: Princess Cruises’ New Discovery Princess – Costa To Shed Five Older Ships

by Kevin Griffin

Seattle-based Windstar Cruises today announced its 2021 Alaska program. Added in 2021 will be 7-night cruises between Vancouver and Juneau, as well as a call at the railway port of Skagway for the White Pass & Yukon Railway. Los Angeles-based Princess Cruises has revealed that its sixth “Royal Princess” class ship will be named Discovery Princess. And Costa Cruises is about to shed five of its older ships, while one already gone, now the Grand Classica, will begin 2-night cruises from West Palm Beach to Nassau this Saturday. (more…)

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Atlas Ocean Voyages – Other Cruise News: Delay For Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection – Scenic Eclipse Debut

by Kevin Griffin

Back in 1901, the then Hamburg America Line acquired the New York-based Atlas Line, one of the early cruising pioneers in the Caribbean. Now Mario Ferreira’s newly-formed North American cruise operation is adopting a similar name, as Atlas Ocean Voyages. Elsewhere, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s first ship has been delayed at her Croatian shipyard. And Scenic’s new expedition yacht Scenic Eclipse, has just been christened in New York by Emma Thompson. (more…)

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A Look Back To Thomas Cook’s Early Days In Cruising – Pioneers To Bermuda – West Indies Cruises From New York – The New York & Bermuda Line

by Kevin Griffin

A travel industry giant closed today when Thomas Cook went into administration. While it never operated its own cruise ships, like recent days competitor Thomson Holidays, Thomas Cook nevertheless had a significant impact on the early days of cruising. From organising its first cruise to Norway’s North Cape in 1875, using the chartered Norwegian barque President Christie, to organising full World Cruises from 1925. In 1880, not long after its first North Cape cruise, Thomas Cook found itself promoting cruises from New York to Bermuda, the West Indies and Canada. Here we have a brief look at a corner of history. In the boom years of 1894 and 1895, New York featured highly in Thomas Cook’s priorities, with offices on Broadway, two on Fifth Avenue and another on Madison Avenue. Its new partner was the Quebec Steamship Company of 25 Broadway. (more…)

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Enlarged MSC Magnifica To Sail From Southampton In 2021 – Other Cruise News: End of the Line for Voyages To Antiquity – Nome Has A Busy Late Summer

by Kevin Griffin

MSC Cruises has this week disclosed that its MSC Magnifica will be based in the UK starting in 2021, with twenty-four sailings from Southampton. Elsewhere, Voyages To Antiquity will close at the end of October while the ship goes on charter to Road Scholar next year. Meanwhile, the northern Alaska port of Nome has seen a busy late summer period, with Bremen sailing for the Northern Searoute across Russia and Roald Amundsen arriving from the Northwest Passage across Canada. (more…)

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Hurtigruten’s Maud To Be Based At Dover For Winter Sailings – Other Cruise News: MSC Luxury Brand Head Announced – New  Australia Direct Cargo-Passenger Sailings

by Kevin Griffin

This week we carry the news of a new winter-based cruise program to be operated from Dover by Hurtigruten’s expedition conversion m.s. Maud. Elsewhere, a head is named to MSC’s new luxury cruise division, and direct sailings are re-introduced between Europe and Australia by CM A CGM. (more…)

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Flying Clipper Appears – Other Cruise News: The First Six “Infinity” Class Expedition Ships – More New Cruise Ship Names

by Kevin Griffin

This week we have salad bowl of stories. Reports say that Star Clippers may be avoiding the French coast as part of their dispute over “their” latest cruise ship, the Flying Clipper. Meanwhile, the new ship operated her first cruise carrying Ultra Europe group passengers under the flag of her builders, Brodosplit. We also examine the first half dozen “Infinity” class expedition ships and survey some new names in the field of cruising. (more…)

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The British Cruise Fleet In 2020

by Kevin Griffin

A lot is happening right now in the UK cruise world. An “upstart” line for the over 50s has just taken delivery of its first newbuilding, which it calls a luxury boutique ship. Another “upstart” line for the below 50s is adding four newbuildings that will eschew the traditional cruise buffet first introduced by Holland America Line as Statendam’s Lido Cafe back in the 1970s. One traditonal line is going to 5,200-passenger ships fuelled with LNG while another is adding a fourth Queen. And of two second-tier lines, one is adding one or two ships year, mostly early balcony second generation ships, the other is standing pat with the same four ships. (more…)

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Australia And New Zealand: If You’re Planning To Sail There By Cargo Ship In 2020, This Is What You Need To Know

by Kevin Griffin

Once or twice a year we have a look at the cargo ship passenger market, which counts around 300 passenger-carrying ships in the trade. Now offered solely by European owners, services are by shipowners from Germany and Poland in the north and from France and Italy in the south. The main cargo-passenger operators now are Marseilles-based CMA CGM, Naples-based Grimaldi Lines, a number of different German owners, including NSB, but no longer Hamburg-Süd and Rickmers Line, which have both withdrawn. The Polish Steamship Company operates about fifteen ships in the North Atlantic Great Lakes trade. Two older names have also re-entered the passenger trades, as Atlantic Container Line (ACL), a subsidiary of Grimaldi Lines, now has five 12-passenger ships on the North Atlantic, and APL, now part of CMA CGM, has revived passenger service on eighteen of its Singapore-based ships, mainly in the Pacific. (more…)

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Saga Cruises Introduces The Spirit of Discovery – Vancouver Welcomes Cunard and Hurtigruten – Ponant’s Ninth Ship – Mardi Gras (II) To Sail Southampton to New York

by Kevin Griffin

On Friday, July 5, Saga Cruises’ new ship Spirit of Discovery was named in Dover by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Elsewhere when Cunard’s 2,101-berth Queen Elizabeth left Vancouver for the first time in May, it also marked the first time in more than twenty years that a Cunard ship had docked in the city. And finally, Ponant has launched the ninth ship to its fleet and the fourth in its “Explorer” class. (more…)

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Vancouver Welcomes Cunard and Hurtigruten – Other Cruise News: Ponant’s Ninth Ship – Mardi Gras (II) To Sail Southampton to New York

by Kevin Griffin

Following many years of stagnation after the opening up of Seattle as a cruise gateway to Alaska, Vancouver finally celebrates being in the million-plus passenger league again with the arrival of short seasons this year and full seasons in 2020 from Cunard Line and Hurtigruten. Elsewhere, Ponant has taken delivery of its ninth ship with Le Dumont d’Urville and Carnival has announced that it’s biggest ship, the 5,200-berth Mardi Gras (II), will make a Transatlantic crossing between Southampton and New York in 2020. (more…)

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Great Lakes To Feature Nine Cruise Operators By 2020 – Other Cruise News: Captain Wendy Williams To Command Scarlet Lady – More Ships And Itineraries From Uniworld

by Kevin Griffin

After many years of stop-and-go come-and-leave progress, the Great Lakes are finally coming to a stage where in 2020 they will have a fleet of eleven vessels offering cruises, mostly of between 7 and 11 days. These ships will be able to accept a total of 1,852 berths among them at one time. Elsewhere in North America, Virgin Voyages has announced the woman who will command its first ship, the Scarlet Lady. And we observe that five new ships will be delivered to Uniworld Boutique River Cruises by next year, to serve variously Venice, Bordeaux, Portugal, the Nile and the Mekong. (more…)

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