Papua New Guinea set up to go
As more cruise ship companies look for unspoilt destinations off the beaten track, remote Papua New Guinea fits the bill perfectly.
And in the wake of P & O Cruises’ decision to make PNG a new port of call, the PNG government has given the go-ahead to an upgrade of its port facilities at Port Alotau .
The country’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, reacted with excitement to the news, telling Cruise Weekly that they wanted more tourism for their economy.
“Infrastructure improvements are part of that strategy,” he added.
After a recent meeting with the Prime Minister, Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, (which operates P & O Cruises), was pleased with the government’s decision.
“[It] is a positive investment to achieve the economic benefits of regular cruise ship visits.”
Seattle’s Double Christening
It’s not often that two cruise ships from completely different cruise ship companies are christened together but this is exactly what happened last week at Seattle’s Fisherman’s Wharf.
At a dual christening ceremony, Innersea Discoveries welcomed the 76-guest Wilderness Explorer cruise ship to its fleet, and American Safari Cruises welcomed the 86-guest Safari Endeavour.
The Safari Endeavour has just had a major 11-month refit which saw her passenger capacity reduced from 102 guests to 86. It also included the addition of four Commodore Suites, flatscreen TVs, DVDs and iPod docking stations in every room plus updates to public areas with new furnishings and fixtures.
A new library, wine bar, two new massage rooms and hot tubs, a sauna, fitness equipment, and a high-tech kayak launching platform, complete the renovation.
Safari Endeavour also underwent a seven-month refit of all her interior spaces, as well as new décor, linens, flatscreen TVs/DVS and iPod docking stations in all her Suites.
Orion’s Bumper Month
The economy must be on the up if bookings for Orion Expedition Cruises are anything to go by.
They enjoyed a record month for sales in April this year for their 2013 Calendar of Expeditions – so much so that the company’s sales doubled the previous year’s results.
The company puts it down to a very strong repeat-customer base and, increasingly, cruisers new to Orion.
Its April booking success would mostly have been due to its early-bird April deals, says the company.
“We have experienced unprecedented sales, increasing confidence in the market as well as recognition that the earlier you book, the better price you will receive,” Orion founder and managing director, Sarina Bratton told Cruise Weekly.
Because the early-bird deals were only held for April, prices for the popular cruises have been increased, with the new fares guaranteed until the end of June. Prices will then be reviewed again and yield-managed by the company, possibly increasing again at that time.
Costa increases Asian fleet
Costa Cruises is doubling its capacity in the Asian region next year, where since 2006 it has carried over 350,000 passengers.
Last week Costa replaced its 1680-passenger Cost Classica with its 2394-guest Costa Victoria.
The company is also planning to use the 2680-guest Costa Atlantica in Asia from May next year to further strengthen its place in the Asian cruise market.
Costa told Cruise Weekly that they made the move because of the strong “positive response” to its Asina cruises.
“Costa Atlantica and Costa Victoria will bring a piece of ‘Italy at sea’ to Asia as Costa has successfully done in all other countries throughout its 64 years of history,” said Pier Luigi Foschi, CEO of
Both cruise ships will offer some great itineraries departing from Singapore, Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong.
From May to June 2013, Atlantica will depart from Singapore on seven-night cruises to Malaysia and Thailand, and on three/four-night cruises to Malaysia. Between June and October 2013 she will depart from Shanghai on short cruises to South Korea and Japan.
Between now and October 2012, Costa Victoria will sail out of Shanghai, offering short cruises and seven-night sailings to Japan and South Korea. Between November 2012 and January 2013, the ship will be based in Singapore to offer seven-night cruises to Malaysia.
Following this, and running until October 2013, Victoria will depart from Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tianjin for short cruises to Taiwan or South Korea, Japan and Vietnam.
Wind Star now under sail
The newly renovated 148-guest Wind Star is ready to set sail!
Wind Star is the first of the Windstar Cruise fleet to undergo a refit. The 148-guest four-masted sailing yacht has new teak decking and white canvas sails, as well as a complete makeover of the yacht’s furnishings and fittings.
The other two yachts in the fleet, Wind Spirit and Wind Surf, are undergoing corridor and stateroom renovations which are set to be completed in December.
Celebrate with P & O
If you’re wondering where to go for that special celebration, P & O Cruises has the answer with four packages covering a range of occasions.
Available to guests cruising for five days or more, the packages provide a series of extra inclusions.
For any celebration, there is the ‘Special Occasions’ package which provides guests with a bottle of Moet, dinner at Salt Grill for two people, Ernest Hillier chocolates and $50 onboard credit.
Couples will enjoy the ‘Romance’ which includes all of the above, with the addition of a dozen roses, a teddy bear and a framed portrait photo from the cruise.
For gourmets there is a ‘Foodies’, with dinner at Salt Grill for two, the P & O Cruises cookbook, Holidays, a bottle of Trout Valley Pinot Noir and a bottle of Glandore Estate Chardonnay, with $50 onboard credit.
Last but not least there is a group package, ‘Double the Fun’, which gives a group of four dinner at Salt Grill, a bottle each of Tyrell’s Old Winery Rose and Dusky Sounds’ Sauvignon Blanc, plus a $100 casino credit.
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