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P&O Cruises unveils first winter cruise to Norway

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

P&O Cruises, which is part of the Carnival Corp & plc group, will send its 69,153 gross ton Oriana to Norway in March 2014 on what will be the first winter cruise to that country by the Southampton based company.

The 12 night cruise will start on 13 March and include calls at Bergen, Tromso, Alta and Stavanger. Excursions will include dog sledding, snowmobile safaris and visit to the Igloo Hotel. Northern Lights are an added plus that obviously cannot be guaranteed.

Such winter cruises have become increasingly popular on the UK market and this is the first time that a Carnival group brand will operate such an itinerary. Oriana will also be the largest ship that will have undertaken such a cruise.

Saga Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and in particular Cruise & Maritime Voyages have operated winter itineraries to Norway.

Engine trouble aborts Saga Sapphire inaugural cruise

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Engine trouble has cut short the inaugural cruise of Saga Cruises 37,000 gross ton Saga Sapphire in Valencia in Spain, media reports say. The 1981 built ship that underwent four month refurbishment prior to entering service with the UK company ship is currently in Valencia, Spain awaiting repairs.  Passengers that were on this cruise will be flown home to the UK on Monday. The cruise was delayed a week because its multi-million pound refit overran.  Passengers that were due to join the next voyage have been told that they will now be flown on April 25 to Marseille.

Costa says Easter cruise bookings exceed year-on level

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Costa Crociere, which is part of Carnival Corp & plc group, says that bookings over the last two weeks for its Easter cruises in 2012 have exceeded figures recorded over the same period for its Easter cruises in 2011, demonstrating that cruising remains one of the most popular types of holiday this Easter.


Costa Cruises has five ships operating in the Mediterranean this Easter offering a variety of itineraries. Costa neoRomantica departed on a nine-day Western Mediterranean cruise on 31 March to Savona, Marseilles, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari, Malta, Catania and Naples, while Costa Mediterranea departs today, 4 April, on an 11-day cruise to Greece, Israel and Turkey, a route also operated by Costa Pacifica, leaving on 8 April. On 6 April, Costa Deliziosa sets sail on a five-day mini-cruise to Savona, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Ajaccio, while Costa Serena embarks on a one-week Western Mediterranean itinerary on 8 April visiting Savona, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia and Marseilles.


Among the most popular new cruises in the Mediterranean this season are the mini-cruises of Costa Luminosa, Costa Atlantica and Costa Deliziosa, introduced for spring 2012 and especially suited to first time cruisers and people with a limited time frame who want to make the most of their holiday.


For those wishing to venture further afield to more exotic destinations this Easter, there are also one week cruises to the Caribbean on Costa Atlantica and Costa Luminosa, one week cruises to the United Arab Emirates and Oman departing from Dubai on the flagship Costa Favolosa, and two weeks on Costa Classica to Malaysia and Thailand, departing from Singapore.

Thomson Dream and Thomson Celebration due for multi million pound refurbishment

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Thomson Cruises, which is part of TUI Travel plc, plans to spend millions of pounds to refurbish two its best performing ships, Thomson Dream and Thomson Celebration, Travel weekly reports in an email newsletter.

The news comes only a few weeks after the company said it would replace the 1982 built Thomson destiny with Louis Majesty, eight years younger and slightly larger at 40,186 gross tons, whicvh would be renamed Thomson Majesty this summer.

The 53,876 gross ton Thomson Dream was built in 1986 as Homeric for the now defunct Home Lines and traded as Westerdam for Holland America Line (not to be confused with present ship of the same name) and Costa Eueopa before joining the Thomson fleet in 2010. The 33,930 gross ton Thomson Celebration started life as Noordam of Holland America Line in 1984 and it has served with Thomson since 2005.

Thai and French restaurants will be introduced on board both ships, while public areas and cabins would also be upgraded. Spa facilities will also upgraded and both ships will feature spa cabins after their respective refits. Thomson Dream will re-enter service for its Winter 2012-13 Caribbean programme and Thomson Celebration for a series of cruises in the Mediterranean from Marmaris in Turkey in 2013, the report said.




Saga Sapphire arrives at Southampton for first time

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Saga Sapphire, the 37,300 gross ton addition to the Saga Cruises' fleet, has arrived at Southampton in the UK for the first time after a four month long refurbishment at Fincantieri's shipyard in Palermo in Italy.

The 1981 built vessel that started life as Europa of Hapag-Lloyd and last traded as Bleu de France for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd's Crioisieres de France brand, received additional balcony cabins and underwent complete renovation of its public areas and cabins.

It will join the 1973 built Saga Ruby of 24,292 gross tons on cruises that embrace most parts of the world over a year, with most of those in the summer and autumn sailing from Southampton or Dover. In addition, the Saga group operates a second brand, Spirit of Adventure, whose 1981 built 18,835 gross ton Quest for Adventure operates mainly fly cruises.

The Saga Group, which is headquartered in Folkestone in Kent,  sells its products to customers over the age of 50 only and its portfolio includes  a wide range of products, from holidays to financial services .