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MSC Armonia adds Miami as base port to Cuba itinerary

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

MSC Cruises has announced that, as of December 10, 2018, MSC Armonia will add Miami to its 7-night Cuba and Caribbean itinerary and will homeport there alongside MSC Divina and MSC Seaside. "With the addition of Miami, guests will be able to enjoy an even richer itinerary across the Caribbean, as well as benefit from more in- and outbound traveling options for their cruise vacation. Moreover, MSC Cruises will be the only cruise line offering a 7-night program regularly including two days in Havana, featuring the largest and most modern cruise ships calling Cuba," MSC Cruises said in a statement.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, commented: “Miami is known internationally as the "Cruise Capital of the World" and it is often referred to as the world’s leading cruise port as it continues to excel in its principal homeport status with modern passenger terminal facilities, great accommodation options and outstanding end-to-end logistics and supply chain infrastructure. It is a truly exciting destination in itself and guests who visit Miami will enjoy a destination unlike any other, with a dramatic skyline, bustling cultural life, arts, great food, entertainment and so much more, as well as all that the state of Florida and beyond has to offer.”

“This new MSC Cruises product out of Miami allows to us to further enrich our offer to North American guests. MSC Armonia will in fact feature Havana and its culture together with the best of Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Mexico.”

“Additionally,” added Onorato, “by having Miami as homeport this will give European and international guests an opportunity to add a pre- or post- cruise portion to their land vacation from New York, Orlando or other U.S. cities. Miami also offers a greater array of inbound and outbound options when traveling from within the U.S. or internationally.”

MSC Armonia was the first ship in MSC Cruises’ $250 million Renaissance Program and has been recently and extensively overhauled, in late 2014. The ship has been tailored with a wide range of amenities and services for families; exquisite, varied dining offerings; outstanding, all-hours entertainment; a broad choice of relaxation and wellness options, and more, all provided with a touch of Mediterranean flair and flavor.

With her new 7-night itinerary, MSC Armonia’s guests will embark in Miami on Mondays, with the ship then calling Montego Bay (Jamaica), Georgetown (Cayman Islands), and Cozumel (Mexico) before arriving in Havana, the Cuban capital, on Saturday and staying through to Sunday. Upon departing Havana, the ship will return to Miami.

While in Cuba, guests will be able to choose from a broad range of shore experiences rich in cultural and historical discovery. The Caribbean island is a unique cultural hub, offering a distinct combination of traditions thanks to its rich heritage which is unique in the region.

The visits to Cuba comply with regulations of the U.S. Department of Treasury that permit travel operators to transport approved U.S. citizens to Cuba to engage in activities as defined by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control. As such, all sailings to Cuba from the U.S. offer shore excursions that comply with the people-to-people educational exchange activities requirement as set forth in the U.S. regulations.

Mein Schiff 1 to feature new cooperation partners 

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

TUI Cruises, the German premium market cruise brand, will introduce a number of venues set up in cooperation with new partners onboard Mein Schiff 1, the next ship of the Hamburg based line, the company said in a statement.

Bar Saftwerft is a juice and coffee bar set up in cooperation with Rauch Juice Bar, a chain of detox and cold pressed drink bars.

Ebbe & Flut will be the name of a bar that serves craft beers in cooperation with Bauerei Ratsherrn, the Hamburg based brewers. Food will also be available here.

DEDON, the German outdoor and garden furniture company, will supply the furniture to the Hohenluft Bar and Schau Bar plus balconies of suites on board.

First steel cut for Seven Seas Splendor at Ancona

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The steel cutting ceremony of Seven Seas Splendor, the second cruise ship which Fincantieri will build for Regent Seven Seas Cruises, a brand of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, has taken place at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona. The delivery is scheduled for early 2020, the shipbuilder said in a statement.

The ceremony was attended, among others, for the ship owner by Jason Montague, President and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Robin Lindsay, Executive Vice President of Vessel Operations of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and, for Fincantieri, Giovanni Stecconi, Director of the Ancona shipyard.

With its 55,500 gross tons, Seven Seas Splendor will be 224 meters long and accommodate 754 passengers on board in 375 suites. The new ship, which will follow Seven Seas Explorer delivered by the shipyard in Sestri Ponente (Genoa) last year in June, will be built using the very latest in environmental protection technologies.



Fred. Olsen’s Boudicca to receive Tea Room, Indian Ocean Restaurant in 12 day refit

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ 880-guest Boudicca is due to undergo a 12 day refit from 17t March 2018, at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany that comprises engineering works, general refurbishments and painting of the interiors and exterior, the company said in a statement.

In addition, one of the main focusses will be the stripping out and rejuvenation of the 462 rooms across the ship. All rooms will have new carpets installed, along with new soft furnishings and lamps. As with the rest of the fleet, brand new balcony furniture will be installed, and all rooms will be equipped with mini-fridges, safes and interactive smart TVs.

There will be extensive upgrading and remodelling of Boudicca’s public rooms and dining facilities. The ship’s Morning Light Pub – a feature across the whole of the Fred. Olsen fleet – will be moved from to the portside of the Secret Garden Café. The Heligan Room will be converted into the ‘Indian Ocean Restaurant’, with an Indian Ocean theme, offering the same style of imitate dining space as sister ship Black Watch’s ‘Orchid Room’.

The space vacated by the Morning Light Pub on Lounge Deck 6 will be converted into the ‘Oriental Tea Room’, serving exotic teas and other Oriental specialities, with a Far Eastern influence and exotic décor. The Guest Services area, the focal point and ‘hub’ of the ship – on Main Deck 5 – will also be renewed, making it more inviting and user-friendly for guests.


Cruise lines should offer tailor made packages to attract UK first timers

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Cruise lines should move away from traditional all-inclusive pricing and instead draw up tailor-made packages to attract new passengers, according to Alistair Pritchard, Deloitte’s lead partner for travel.

Talking to Travel Weekly, he said that Millennials and single parent families were much more “cost conscious” than traditional cruise customers. Lone parent travellers, which amount to 1.9 million of the 4.8 million families with dependent children in the UK, are not “particularly well addressed” by the travel industry, Pritchard said.

He also said the added challenge of having just one income made single parents more focused on what they could afford. Speaking at Abta’s Attracting First Time Cruisers Conference on Wednesday, he told delegates that the consumer should also be able “to choose what is all inclusive”.

He was quoted as saying: “If we move forward a few years it is going to have to be a very different product to what it is now.

It is going to have to be much more tailored to people. It isn’t just everyone gets all-inclusive drinks, all-inclusive food. People are going to want to be able to pick and choose what is all inclusive. Some people might want alcoholic drinks included, some people won’t be interested in that at all and may want a daily spa treatment.”

Pritchard said it was important for the cruise industry to show people “the flexibility of pricing”. Going on a cruise would become “much more the norm” in the next few years, Pritchard argued, adding “there is a tipping point to come”.

He also suggested virtual reality devices would help travel agents offer passengers a “try before you buy” experience in stores in the future. “How do you bring the product to life for the consumer?,” he said. “Virtual reality is something that can be used in that way.”