Catch up on Cruising: Latest cruise news in bite size

American Queen christened in Memphis
There were no blues in Memphis last week when Priscilla Presley had the honour of christening American Queen, the largest paddlewheel  steamer ever built.

Presley said the American Queen would forever change the landscape of Memphis, Cruise Weekly reported.

“Just like the blues, just like barbeque and, yes, just like Elvis Presley, it’s going to be part of Memphis,” she added.
American Queen has had a complete overhaul and refit following her purchase from the US Maritime Administration last year.

After her christening, she cruised down the legendary Mississippi and Ohio Rovers, stopping in Kentucky and Indiana.


Scenic Tours’ all-inclusive deals for river cruising
Scenic Tours claims a world first by taking the hassle out of European river cruising and offering all-in-one luxury deals.
Guests will be treated to unlimited complimentary drinks (including alcohol), a private butler service and free Wi-Fi internet access. Shore excursions, airport transfers, tipping and gratuities are also included.

Not only that but every ship (except Scenic Emerald) will have a new River Café for “all- day grazing” and Table la Rive for degustation dining. Other dining experiences include high tea, served on the terrace, and themed dinners with regional food and live entertainment.

Those wanting to go on-shore can do so with a personalised GPS tour system, choosing between independent walks and cycling tours exploring the food, wine and history of the area, or just the guests’ own personal interests.

Scenic Tours’ Managing Director, Glen Moroney, told Cruise Weekly that these changes upped the standard for river cruising in Europe and redefined the term ‘all-inclusive luxury’.

“There is basically nothing more to pay except for personal expenses,” he added.

Launching its 2012 Europe River Cruising portfolio, the travel company also announced 18 new tours, including the Hockenheim Formula  1 Track in Heidleberg and a private dinner and concert at Rastatt Palace. The company also announced a 14-day South of France trip, starting from Paris before transferring from Chalon-sur Saone  for a cruise to Arles along the Saone and Rhone rivers onboard Scenic Emerald.
Scenic Jewel will join the fleet in 2013 and cruise along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest.


Scenic Crystal in Germany
Scenic Tours launched a brand-new ‘Space-Ship’ in Germany last week.

The sixth ship in Scenic’s fleet, Scenic Crystal, features four decks and has capacity for 169 passengers and 169 crew.

One of its newest features is a Scenic Sun Lounge on all balcony cabins. Passengers can see the sights and relax on their own private sun decks, either taking in the fresh air with open windows, or with the  flick of  a switch, create their own weatherproof indoor lounge.


New Safety Laws in place
New safety rules have been adopted by the cruise industry and will be implemented with immediate effect.

The European Cruise Council and the Cruise Lines International Association announced the three new safety policies relating to passage planning, bridge access and life jackets.

The passage planning policy requires cruise lines to follow the International Maritime Organisation’s guidance on passage planning as a mandatory minimum requirement. Cruise lines also have to follow “best practices” contained in the International Chamber of Shipping Bridge Procedures Guide.

These best practices include the stipulation that only authorised operating staff are allowed on the bridge, particularly when the ship is undergoing restricted manoeuvring or when extra vigilance is required.

In addition, vessels are also required to carry extra adult life jackets on board each cruise ship, meaning the number of life jackets is far in excess of the number of passengers on board the ship.


Norwegian Breakaway sports a new look
Children and sports-lovers will be well catered for with Norwegian Breakaway’s new vessel in April next year.

A three-story sports complex on the top levels of the ship will feature a nine-hole minigolf course, a ropes at sea course (including a zip track), a rock climbing wall, basketball court, bungee trampoline and ‘spider web’.

Probably the biggest highlight for the kids is the Aqua Park, featuring five multi-story waterslides, as well as a Nickelodeon-themed Kids Aqua Park.


Celebrity pulls the stops out for suite guests
A slew of great new offerings and amenities on Celebrity Cruises will ensure that suite guests will be extra comfortable on their voyages.

Passengers will get a great night’s sleep with Celebrity’s  eXhale bedding programme; premium mattresses, 100% Egyptian cotton bed linen and plush pillows and bedding.

Other extras include Bvlgari bath products, dual iPod and iPad docking stations, reserved theatre seating, and a “welcome bottle” of Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine.


Captain Cook Cruises Fijian Golfing Cruise
Golf-lovers will have a unique golfing experience on Captain Cook Cruises’ first seven-night Golf Cruise in Fiji.

Passengers will be able to visit some of the region’s top golf courses onboard the Reef Endeavour, departing 11 September 2012.

“Fiji has some fantastic golf courses and a lot of our passengers love golf, so we thought why not offer a cruise where passengers will have the chance to play golf at some of Fiji’s leading courses and still discover the beauty of the real Fiji,” Captain Cook Cruises’ managing director, Jackie Charlton told Cruise Weekly.

Keen players can improve their handicaps at Denarau Golf Course, the Koro Sun Resort at Savusavu, The Fiji Golf club, Pacific Harbour’s Pearl Champion Course and the Natadola Golf Course.

But the cruise isn’t just for golf lovers. Those not wanting to play can enjoy on-shore tours and water activities or just relax in the great facilities at Savusavu, Pacific Harbour and Natadola.

Fly/Cruise package includes:
– Return Economy Class Airfares from Auckland on Air Pacific- including beverages, meal, entertainment & luggage allowance of 23 kgs
– Exclusive bonus of one FREE checked in Golf Bag per player (standard weight & conditions apply for the piece)
– 1 Night Pre & Post cruise at Mercure Nadi
– 7 Night Captain Cook Cruise
– All transfers as required
– All ship board meals & accommodation
– Daily island stopovers & water activities
– Guided island, village & school tours
– Snorkelling & glass bottom boat tours
– Use of snorkelling equipment & mini gym
– Tropical island lovo feast & kava ceremony, Entertainment
– Child minding (5-10yrs) – selected times
– 24 hour self-service tea & coffee bar
– Transfers from the ship to most Nadi & Denarau Island hotels
– Opportunity to Play Golf: Denarau, Savusavu, Suva Pacific Harbour & Natadola

Golfer Package add on $399 per person includes:
– Denarau Island – Denarau Golf Club:
18 Holes: 1 x round of golf, cart, green fees
– SavuSavu – Koro Sun Resort:
9 Holes: 1 round of golf, green and caddie fees
– Suva – Fiji Golf Club:
18 holes: 1 x round of golf, green & caddie fees
– Pacific Harbour – Pearl Champion Course:
18 Holes: 1 x round of golf, green & caddie or cart fees including BBQ buffet lunch
– Natadola Beach – Natadola Golf Course:
18 Holes: 1 x round of golf, green and cart fees
– Transfers to/from the ship are include for all golf courses

To book these great packages visit


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