Catch up on Cruising: Latest cruise news in bite size

Norwegian Cruise Line goes bigger and better
Norwegian Cruise Line is about to go bigger and better with its soon-to-be-built Breakaway Plus ship.

The new ship, which is due for delivery in 2015, will join two of their other ships under construction, the Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.

But the as-yet-unnamed ship will be a larger edition of the Breakaway brand, enhancing the cruise line’s innovative and stylish reputation.

The ship will have room for 4,200 passengers and will incorporate many of the design features of the other two ships.

Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO, told Cruise Weekly the new Breakaway Plus ship will further distinguish the Norwegian brand.

“This new order further solidifies our commitment to continued innovation in terms of the guest experience and will incorporate technical and environmental advances as well,” he added.


Visit Quebec and Montreal with Holland America Line
Holland America Line has just signed a new agreement that will see more visits to Quebec and Montreal.

The cruise line has agreed to add at least eight embarkation/disembarkation points in Quebec and Montreal on board the Veendam, during each Northern Hemisphere summer.

The visits will commence in 2013 and run throughout three consecutive years.


Silversea’s Alaskan adventures
Silversea’s Silver Shadow will embark on its new Alaskan season in 2013, with 15 sailings between May and September.

The itineraries, departing from Anchorage, Vancouver and Seward, will include a seven-day sailing between Seward and Vancouver, cruising the Inside Passage and visiting the Alaskan ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Sitka, as well as Tracy Arm Fjord and Sawyer Glacier.

She will also embark on an 11-day round-trip voyage from Vancouver, taking in Wrangell and the Canadian ports of Prince Rupert and Victoria on Vancouver Island.


Christchurch postpones cruise port development
After the devastating earthquake and subsequent tremors in Christchurch, the new port development has been postponed.

The $13.7 million plans have had to be revised to take the new seismic activity into account.

The new plans will increase the costs to an estimated $20 million dollars.

The Port’s CEO, Peter Davie, told Cruise Weekly that the complex nature of the development and the limited timeframe meant it would be challenging to meet the opening of the 2013/14 cruising season.

“LPC is simply not prepared to take short cuts on or risks with the design and construction given what we now know about seismic activity in this region and impact on physical structures,” he added, saying “We have to do it right first time around”.


Fun and games with Celebrity
Celebrity is combining the traditional with the digital with its new Game On room on board Celebrity Reflection.

With a nod to the traditional Card Room, the room will have two standard card tables, an array of board games and then, with a more modern twist,  a new interactive gaming experience with six, new, touchscreen display tables allowing guests to play eight types of digital games with up to four players each.

Celebrity said in a statement to Cruise Weekly that the cruise company wanted to encourage guests to challenge themselves and promote healthy brain function.

“Certain games also have the capability to interact with other tables, engaging participants in competitive play for honours of highest scores,” the cruise line added.


Royal Caribbean enhances its food offerings
Not content with upgrading its ships, Royal Caribbean is upgrading its culinary offerings.

An upgrade of the main dining room will be matched by greater variety of choice on the menu, more international food options and wonderful desserts.

Old favourites will also be available, such as the classic rack of lamb, surf and turf, beef sliders, hand-cut Manhattan steak, escargot bourguigonne, shrimp cocktail and crème brulee.

And for the health conscious, there will be heart-healthy, gluten-free and lactose-free food options which will all be clearly marked on the menu.

And wait staff will be fully trained about the new menus, standards training and allergen and dietary programmes.


Regent Seven Seas’ winter programme
Regent Seven Seas will be visiting New Zealand in its new Northern Hemisphere winter programme.

Between November 2013 and May 2014, the ship will visit three new ports, there will be five Grand Voyages, and itineraries in South America, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Caribbean and Alaska.

Highlights of the season include the visit to New Zealand, as well as Australia, the South Pacific, Vietnam, China, Japan and India between November 2013 and June 2014.

And there will be a return to South America for Seven Seas Mariner, with a range of sailings from 10-to 70-nights including the popular “Circle South America” Grand Voyage.


Sydney shows a friendly face
Cruise ship visitors to Sydney will get a pleasant surprise when they disembark.

The city will show a friendly welcome with a fleet of volunteer ambassadors.

So if you need to know what to do, where to go, the best shopping and how to get around, they will be able to help.

Mayor Clover Moore said the cruise ship industry is an important part of Sydney’s tourism, with a record 265 cruise ship visits in the coming season.

“Our ambassadors ensure that when visitors arrive in Sydney, they are greeted by a friendly face and a depth of local knowledge so that they can get the most out of their visit,” she told Cruise Weekly.


Oceania Cruises changes Alaskan itinerary
Oceania Cruises has added a new 14-day Pacific Exploration package voyage round-trip to its 2013 Alaskan itinerary.

The new voyage, on Regatta, replaces two seven-day scheduled sailings which were set to go on 4 June and 11 June 2013.

The itinerary will include stops at Kodiak, Hoonah and Seward as well as cruising Alaska’s Inside and Outside Passages and the Hubbard Glacier.

After feedback from customers, Oceania has also amended its 28 June and 5 July 2013 to now depart and end up in Seattle.


Singapore’s new terminal
Cruise visitors to Singapore will now be able to dock near the city with the city’s new cruise facility.

The new Marina Bay Cruise Centre can host the world’s largest megaliners.

The old terminal was well away from the city, so visitors had a half-hour drive to see the sights.


Silversea’s new expedition ship
Silversea now boasts a second small adventure vessel offering socially and environmentally eco-tourism to the Galapagos Islands.

The newly named 100-passenger Silver Galapagos will focus her sailings solely around the world-heritage-listed archipelago.

Bookings are set to open in mid-November for its seven-day itineraries commencing in late September 2013.

Expeditions with Silversea include ocean-view accommodation, butler service, complimentary drinks and all gratuities.

Complimentary shore excursions are taken by an expedition team (certified by the Galápagos National Park Service), providing up-close encounters with the wildlife.

Other activities include swimming and snorkelling, hiking through mangrove forests and across volcanic fields, and spotting wild flamingos (in season).

“The addition of Silver Galapagos to our fleet next year will open up many new opportunities for our experienced guests to discover one of the world’s most pristine environmental destinations and its amazing wildlife,” said Karen Christensen, general manager and director sales marketing Australasia.

The two core itineraries sail Saturday to Saturday, roundtrip from Baltra Island, with one route via Santiago, Bartolomé, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, San Cristóbal, and Santa Cruz; and the other route encompassing Santa Cruz, Genovesa, Seymour Norte, San Cristóbal, Española, and Plazas Sur.


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