Carnival Spirit responds to high demand
Due to popular demand down-under, Carnival Cruise Lines has established Sydney as a homeport for its 2680-guest Carnival Spirit in 2014.
This is a first for the cruise company who has up until now only operated from the United States.
The cruise line’s core market in Australasia is mostly time-strapped 30-50 year-old couples and busy families with school-age children.
Carnival Spirit will therefore only operate weekend and eight-10 day itineraries which will fit nicely into hectic lifestyles.
From January to December 2014, there will be 41 sailings out of Sydney which will almost exclusively cruise around the Pacific Islands.
These trips will include eight and nine-day sailings around New Caledonia, 10 and 11 day sailings to Vanuatu and New Caledonia, and 12-day sailings to Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
Additionally, there will be two three-day weekend cruises and a five-day cruise to Tasmania.
Arriving in Sydney in October this year, Carnival Spirit offers some new dining experiences for guests. The Chef’s Table experience has private dining for up to 12 guests, a gallery tour and tasting. There’s also the Taste Bar, where you can get a sample of all that’s on offer at each of the ship’s dining venues.
To celebrate the launch of the Carnival Spirit, there’s a ‘That’s the Spirit’ three-in-one sale, which provides guests with great rates and a free upgrade to a higher category (based on availability) for sailings between 20 October 2012 and December 2014.
But book early ! The deal is only applicable on bookings made between 17 June and 17 August for sailings between 20 October 2012 and 30 December 2013; and between 01 July and 17 August 2012, and for sailings between 09 January and 30 December 2014.
MSC’s ‘Allegrissimo’ drinks package
You won’t have to worry about the drinks bill at the end of your cruise with MSC, if you purchase an all-inclusive drinks package in advance.
The Allegrissimo drinks package for adults will include unlimited wines by the glass, cocktails, draught beer, soft drinks, juices, mineral water, smoothies and ice creams.
Or you can upgrade to the ‘Allegrissimo Premium’ package which includes premium brands, signature cocktails, mini-bar drinks, items from the ‘gelateria’ menu, pastry shop, and food from the room service menu.
Children are also catered for with a package for non-alcoholic drinks, smoothies and ice creams.
The drinks package is valid in every venue throughout the ship during the entire cruise, except a-la-carte restaurants and cabin mini-bars.
Scenic Tsar Revamp
River cruise experts, Scenic Tours, have added the luxury small-ship, Scenic Tsar, to its fleet.
The only small ship in Scenic’s river-cruising fleet, the Scenic Tsar has been registered in Russia and undergone an extensive refurbishment transforming it into a premier, luxury, 112-passenger cruise ship.
The Tsar was rebuilt almost from scratch, resulting in all-new cabins, restaurants and bars with great new facilities such as satellite TVs, unlimited free wi-fi, and an onboard doctor.
Scenic Tours’ managing director, Glen Moroney, told Cruise Weekly that they had built a first-class boat at world-class standards.
“Scenic Tsar is a new style of ship and will take the experience of river cruising in Russia to a whole new level,” he added.
Scenic Tsar’s first cruise departed last week from St Petersburg to Moscow on the Imperial Jewels of Russia Cruise.
APT gets into cruising
Family-owned, award-winning luxury tour operator, APT, is heading for the seas by buying into the UK-based Noble Caledonia cruise company.
Noble Caledonia has been in the cruise market for 21 years and offers river cruising,, expedition cruises, small-ship cruising and land-touring options including the Arctic Circle, Alaska, Greenland, Cuba and Asia Pacific.
APT owner, Geoff McGeary, told Cruise Weekly that Noble Caledonia fitted perfectly with APT’s way of doing things.
“[By] providing high quality, high comfort, small-group, fully inclusive pricing and professionally escorted travel experiences, primarily for the discerning 50-plus market,” he added.
APT has already incorporated Noble Caledonia vessels into its Botanica garden tours, European river cruise programme and its most recent Canada-Alaska brochure.
APT acquired Golden Eagle Luxury Trains in 2009, and is also a co-owner of the European river cruise operator AMAWaterways, which means APT is the largest supplier of European river cruises in Australasia.
Variety’s MegaYacht joins the exclusives
Luxury megayacht, Variety Voyager, is the first ocean vessel ever to be accepted into the exclusive ‘Preferred Hotels and Resorts’ organisation.
The organisation represents more than 700 premium, independent hotels and resorts in more than 75 countries around the world.
Launched last May, and described by Variety as the ‘millionaire’s super yacht,’ it hosts up to 72 passengers with 28 crew. They currently operate charters and scheduled cruises in the Adriatic, and will head to the West Mediterranean in July for four months, with sailings from Nice and Salerno.
Track your journey with MSC
MSC crew can now track their journey in real-time on every vessel in the fleet.
A tracking, tracing and monitoring system has been designed by MSC in partnership with software design company Quality Positioning Services.
This allows the cruise line to implement route analysis and to track every vessel in its fleet with an update rate of one second and accuracy of up to five metres.
“By providing this additional back-up system, we are able to make sure that our crew are 100 per cent supported at all times and in all circumstances,” MSC’s Emilio La Scala told Cruise Weekly.
P & O’s Evening Tours
Passengers onboard P & O’s Pacific Islands cruises can now enjoy evening on-shore excursions to experience the local night-life.
Tours are now available onboard three of Pacific Dawn’s 11-night Pacific Islands cruises, with a new overnight Port Vila experience.
These include a Melanesian feast and cultural performance and the A Toast of Vila experience which shows off the best of local cuisine.
InnerSea Discoveries’ Hawaiian Adventure
Small-ship adventure cruise company InnerSea Discoveries is adding another boat to its Hawaiian fleet in 2013.
Wilderness Explorer, the 76-guest small-ship, will leave Alaskan waters and join the 36-guest Safari Explorer to tour the Hawaiian Islands.
Within the region, she will sail seven-night AdventureBound Hawaii cruises between Oahu and the Big Island (and the reverse) from November 2013 to April 2014.
The seven-night itinerary includes visits to Ka’ena Point, State Park, Wai’anae Harbor, Maui, Lana’I, Honomalino Bay, Opihihali and Kailua-Kona.
As well as the scenic cruises on offer, keen wild-life watchers can take in whale and dolphin watching in the Humpback National Marine Sanctuary.
Tim Jacox, Innerseas Discoveries’ executive vice-president of sales and marketing told Cruise Weekly that they were sending the Wilderness Explorer to Hawaii to give customers more options for adventure sailing at a moderate price.
“It’s tremendous value when you add in all the included activities and the ability to explore multiple scenic islands,” he added.
Silver Spirit offers upgrade
Book early on selected Mediterranean sailings on Silver Spirit, between July and October this year, and receive a complimentary suite upgrade.
The 540-guest Silver Spirit is the newest of the Silversea fleet and boasts the largest suites out of all the Silversea vessels.
Guests booking a vista suite will be upgraded to a veranda suite; and those booking a veranda suite will be upgraded to a mid-ship veranda suite.
Her 2012 Mediterranean seven-night cruises will sail between Venice and Monte Carlo, Istanbul and Athens, and Barcelona and Rome.
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