Catch up on Cruising: Latest cruise news in bite size

Pacific Pearl all set for friends and family
If you’re thinking of taking a cruise with your family and friends this coming summer, then you should check out the newly refurbished Pacific Pearl.

Often in short supply on cruise ships, ten interconnecting cabins are about to be added to P & O’s superliner, in time for Christmas and the summer holidays.
On sale now, the cabins will be configured as quad-quad, twin-quad or twin-twin bedding to suit different family and friend groups.

A spokesperson for Carnival Australia (P & O’s operator) told Cruise Weekly that he expected the new cabins would appeal to immediate and intergenerational families travelling together, as well as groups of friends.

“The interconnecting cabins make it easier to cruise together, and we expect they’ll be a hot item for bookings on the Christmas cruise and January school holiday cruises around the Pacific Islands,” he added.

An added bonus to cruising on the Pacific Pearl is its very own ice cream parlour !

The New Zealand Natural Ice-cream parlour will be part of its refurbishment and will serve 16 flavours of ice cream, including P & O’s exclusive chocolate hokey pokey flavour.


QE2 becomes a hotel
Queen Elizabeth II is about to become a permanent fixture in Dubai – as a floating hotel!

The future of the classic cruise liner has been uncertain in the past few years but now she will be re-launched as a 300-bed floating hotel at Port Rashid.

Istithmar World, her new owners, announced she will keep her original furnishings, art and historical artifacts.

“Our vision is to enhance the facilities on board but retain the very strong sense of history that is a fundamental part of her attraction,” the company said.

It is expected she will be open for bookings by the end of 2013.


Single Supplement halved with Scenic
Single travellers are being favoured by Scenic Tours next season, with a 50% discount off the single supplement cost of selected cruises.

For a limited time only, the single traveller price on the 15-day Jewels of Europe River Cruise and the 14-day South of France River Cruise will be reduced.

Prices include unlimited drinks, private butler service, all excursions, events and entertainment, Wi-Fi, airport transfers and all tipping and gratuities.


Crystal’s World Cruise
Crystal Cruises has announced details of its 2015 108-day world cruise.

In honour of its 25th anniversary, and to mark its 20th World Cruise, the luxury cruise line is planning a new circumnavigation around the world, including New Zealand and Australia.

The round-trip from Miami will also cover Central and South America, the South Pacific, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa and the Caribbean.

Passengers who book for the whole 108 days will get extra perks such as private enrichment classes, fitness programmes, entertainment events, social invitations, and mementos of the cruise.

Crystal president, Gregg Michel, told Cruise Weekly that passengers can expect to have a wonderful time.

“For our 20th World Cruise, travellers can expect an especially spectacular addition to their personal bank of once-in-a-lifetime memories, with popular cultural capitals and off-the-beaten-path jewels that appeal to both our loyal regulars and those new to us,” he said.

The six all-inclusive segments include: Miami  to Callao/Lima (16 days); Callao/Lima toAuckland (19 days); Auckland to Perth (21days); Perth to Cape Town (21 days); CapeTown to Rio de Janeiro (15 days); Rio deJaneiro to Miami (16 days).

Maiden calls will be made in Albany,Australia; Santo Domingo, DominicanRepublic; Ambodifotra and Taolagnaro,Madagascar; and Richards Bay, South Africa.Other highlights include stops in Sydney,Melbourne, Wellington, the Cook Islands, Easter Island, Reunion Island, Bora Bora,Buenos Aires, Cartagena, Turks & Caicos.


MS Europa 2 set to go in April 2013
The construction of Hapag-Lloyd’s brand new luxury cruiseliner, Europa 2, is on track for completion in April 2013.

The first stage of the construction is complete – that’s the exterior – and now the keel has been laid down and she’s floating on water ready for the second stage, the interior fitting.

Advertised by Hapag Lloyd as being a “lifestyle-oriented, casual alternative” in the luxury sector of the cruising world, the 516-guest ship will offer more space per passenger than any other cruise liner.

Each of the 251 suites will have a veranda and there will also be seven family apartments, all with modern, high quality furniture and art, as well as free soft drinks in each mini bar.

More, the ship will boast eight restaurants, a modern theatre, six bars, a large spa and fitness area, as well as lounges and public areas.


Shrek and Po on Voyager
If Madagascar and Shrek feature among some of your favourite movies, then take a look at the Voyager of the Seas’ first season Down Under.

Royal Caribbean has entered into an agreement with DreamWorks, the film animators and creators of Shrek, Madagascar and other loved movies, which will see some of the movie characters on board the ship !

The characters, which will include the Madagascar penguins, as well as Po and Shrek, will entertain guests on the ship and participate in special breakfasts, photo sessions, street parades, as well as surprise appearances.

And the characters will also attend Voyager’s youth centre, Adventure Ocean, where they’ll interact with all the kids.

Voyager will of course be showing 3D DreamWorks movies in the ship’s cinema, and will play the movies 24/7 in guest cabins.


World Tour on Silver Whisper
Silver Whisper, the 382-guest luxury cruise ship, is all set to depart on a 115-day World Cruise from Los Angeles in early January 2013.

The ship will visit 28 countries, including New Zealand, before finishing up in Port Lauderdale on 01 May.

Other destinations to be visited are French Polynesia, Australia, Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique, Central America and the Caribbean.

The voyage will be broken up into smaller segments, so you can pick and choose among the destinations you want to visit.


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