A+ A A-

Keel laid for Norwegian Breakaway at Meyer Werft

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Norwegian Cruise Line executives and officials from Meyer Werft took part in the Keel Laying Ceremony of Norwegian Breakaway at the ship yard in Papenburg, Germany on Friday, May 4. During the official ceremony, the first of 73 blocks that will comprise the 144,000 gross ton vessel was lifted into the covered building dock, marking the start of the block assembly.

In the dock, Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer, laid the traditional "lucky coin," before the 350-ton first block was placed by the 800-ton crane. A special commemorative coin was created to celebrate the day's activities.

"The anticipation is building for this incredible ship," said Sheehan. "It's thrilling to mark the start of the block assembly and realize that in one year we will take delivery of Norwegian Breakaway. We can't wait."

Norwegian Breakaway is the first ship being built by Meyer Werft utilizing a more efficient construction process which will deliver a ship of more than 140,000 gross tons in less than 12 months.

"We are so proud to begin the process of constructing the ship out of 73 blocks that form the structure of the ship and are looking forward to seeing it take shape over the coming months," said Bernard Meyer, managing director of MEYER WERFT. "Norwegian Cruise Line has a reputation in the industry for innovation and we are very happy to continue that with this new ship."

The 4,000 passenger Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in her year-round homeport of New York City in early May 2013. The ship will begin weekly summer seven-day cruises to Bermuda on Sunday, May 12, 2013. From October 2013 through April 2014, the ship will offer voyages from the heart of Manhattan to the Bahamas & Florida and the Southern Caribbean.

To date, the company has revealed the ship's groundbreaking design, including The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place, a wide range of indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that will create a whole new complex at sea that enhances guests' connection with the ocean. The top decks of Norwegian Breakaway will feature the first Aqua Park at sea with five full-size water slides, including twin Free Fall slides, the first ever at sea, and a three-story sports complex that includes the largest ropes course at sea, a nine-hole miniature golf course, basketball court, rock climbing wall and more.

The ship will also feature a rich mix of stateroom options including The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 Suites at the top of the ship and 18 additional Suites located throughout the ship; the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; the re-introduction of Oceanview staterooms, Balcony and Mini-Suites; along with Spa Balcony, Mini-Suites and Suites in close proximity to the spa.

Fred. Olsen’s Braemar to embark indoor bowling enthusiasts

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ship Braemar will be carrying a special group of guests on her nine-night ’Around the UK and Ireland’ cruise, M1212, departing from Dover on 22nd May 2012; they will be keen indoor bowls enthusiasts, the company said in a statement.

They will be going ashore to indulge their passion during the cruise, and also enjoying the company of bowls supremo and guest speaker, Greg Harlow. Greg – who is ranked No. 1 in the world – has seven World Bowls Tour Titles to his name, and is the only player ever to win the International Open three times in a row. This cruise is part of a very successful partnership between Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and No Fly Cruising, and is the first a number of dedicated ‘Cruises with Bowls' in 2012. No Fly Cruising’s sister company, Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk, plays host to the annual World Indoor Bowls Championships, and Fred. Olsen became sponsors of this prestigious tournament in 2012 for the first time.

 Simon Chambers, Sales Executive for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are delighted that we will be welcoming this very special bowls group on board for Braemar’s beautiful cruise around the UK and Ireland; it is typical of the wide variety of interests and activities that can be enjoyed on a Fred. Olsen cruise, along with all the onboard entertainment and daily activities that our ships have to offer, and, of course, a wonderful choice of varied and stimulating ports of call.”

 John Potter, Owner of Potters Leisure Limited and Chairman of Potters No Fly Cruising, said: “This is the perfect combination of a great cruise holiday with optional games of bowls arranged for our guests at local clubs along the way. This friendly bowls cruise will be the first of many, allowing our guests to cruise with like-minded people, with lots to look forward to for bowlers and non-bowlers alike. We are delighted to be partnering with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines for our inaugural bowls cruise and look forward to developing and expanding the concept in the years to come.”

Celebrity Cruises widens services to suite guests

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

In addition to one of Celebrity Cruises’ top suite offerings – 24/7 butler service – suite guests now will enjoy an even broader list of services and features, including dual iPod/iPad docking stations; BVLGARI luxury bath products; the Celebrity eXhaleTM bedding programme, featuring premium mattresses, plush duvets and pillows; reserved theatre seating, and an upgraded “welcome” bottle of sparkling wine, the company said in a statement.

“Expanding our already broad slate of suite features is yet another outgrowth of Celebrity Cruises’ deep understanding of how rare and meaningful holiday time is for our guests, so we’re completely focused on offering the absolute best ways for them to escape from their everyday routine and feel totally relaxed and re-energised,” said Celebrity Cruises’ Senior VP of Hotel Operations, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “Guests investing in suites expect – and deserve – a luxurious experience with a generous host of premium services, which we’ve always been devoted to delivering. And now, we’re thrilled to enhance their experience even further, with additional features that match their lifestyle and reflect our modern luxury ambience.”

The new features enhance the premium services and privileges already provided in every category of suites across the Celebrity Cruises fleet, beginning with European trained personal butlers, who offer assistance with unpacking and packing, arranging in-suite dining and afternoon tea service, shoe shining and booking spa treatments, shore excursions and speciality dining. Additional offerings include priority boarding and debarkation, priority boarding of tenders ashore, one complimentary dinner for two (on seven-night itineraries) or two dinners for two (on eight-night or longer sailings) in one of Celebrity Cruises’’ speciality restaurants, priority selection of dining time, spacious verandas, 100% cotton bath towels and bathrobes, a pillow menu, fresh cut flowers, a daily fresh fruit platter and a complimentary tote bag.The enhancements are rolling out fleet-wide now, with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition which sails year-round in the Galapagos Islands.

 “We continue to hear from guests who’ve sailed with the leading all-inclusive luxury lines that Celebrity Cruises’ suite experience is just as spectacular, and represents an even better value,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “And just wait until you see the suites we’re introducing on Celebrity Reflection.” The new categories of suites debuting on Celebrity Reflection in October this year and their features include:

 ·         Celebrity Cruises’ two-bedroom, 1,636-square-foot “Reflection Suite” with 194-square-foot wraparound balcony will feature a fully glass-enclosed shower room extending out over the edge of the ship, offering 360 degree ocean views, a rain showerhead and heated bench seat. In addition, the Reflection Suite will also feature 10-foot-high floor-to-ceiling windows, a grand piano, dining room table, wet bar, and choice of a complimentary bottle of vodka, scotch or gin with accompanying mixers, all in addition to Celebrity Cruises’ existing range of suite features.

 ·         Celebrity Cruises’ new 441-square-foot “Signature Suites” debuting on Celebrity Reflection also will boast stunning views via 10-foot-high floor-to-ceiling windows leading to a 118-square-foot veranda, and will complement the host of previous and new fleetwide suite offerings with a whirlpool on the private veranda, which is also associated with the “Celebrity Suite” category across the fleet.

 ·         Guests holidaying in Celebrity Cruises’ new “AquaClass Suites” can enjoy the additional services of a personal Spa Concierge to arrange AquaSpa treatments; exclusive access to the Mediterranean-themed specialty restaurant, “Blu”, along with AquaClass stateroom guests; complimentary access to the Persian Garden and Relaxation Room; custom-blended bath products; and on-demand wellness programming on the in-stateroom network, including meditation and yoga.

Holland America Line unveils three ship 2012-13 South America programme

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Holland America Line has announced an expanded South American programme for 2012/2013. Between autumn 2012 and spring 2013, three ships, ms Veendam, ms Maasdam and ms Prinsendam, will be taking guests to explore the continent on a series of expeditions designed to showcase the very best of South America, the first of which is due to depart Boston on 20 October 2012.

The 13 different South American itineraries will appeal to travellers looking for vibrant ports of call, historical adventures and a huge variety of landscapes, from the frozen glaciers of Chilean Patagonia, to the tropical Amazon Jungle in Brazil. Guests can also choose from Holland America Line’s award-winning shore excursions or in-depth overland tours, many of which visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

 The itineraries range from 13 to 68 days, including a new 49-day extended, port-intensive Amazon and Carnaval Voyage aboard Maasdam, departing in early 2013. A 23-day Amazon Explorer Cruise in November 2012 and a 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage in January 2013 aboard Prinsendam are additional highlights of Holland America’s South America cruise schedule.

“South America remains a favourite of our guests because it offers everything in one region – from exotic ports of call to well-known cities, and from the warmth of the Amazon to the snow-capped glaciers of Antarctica,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Holland America Line offers travellers an opportunity to explore the cultures and natural treasures of South America via an extraordinary premium cruise experience at an exceptional price.”

Cruise fares are priced from £999 per person for the 13-day sailings to £9,199 per person for the 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage, based on double occupancy.

 South America and Antarctica onboard Veendam

From November 2012 to March 2013, the 1,350-guest Veendam will sail a series of six 13-day and one 17-day itineraries between Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The sailings will visit the scenic fjords of Chile, call at exotic locations such as Ushuaia (the southernmost town in the world), travel around Cape Horn and visit the Magellan Strait, gateway to Antarctica. Cruise fares begin at £999 per person, based on two sharing, for the 13-day sailings, and £1,199 for the 17-day voyages.

 There are also two non-repeating itineraries available: a 14- or 18-day South America cruise to Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile, departing Boston or Fort Lauderdale on 20 or 24 October 2012 respectively; and an 18- or 21-day South America cruise departing Valparaiso on 13 April 2013 and finishing in either Fort Lauderdale or Boston. These itineraries include a full transit of the Panama Canal plus extended port calls at Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama, and Callao (Lima), Peru.

Additional Veendam itineraries include a 21-day South America and Antarctica Explorer Holiday cruise departing Rio de Janeiro to Valparaiso on 20 December 2012, and a 20-day South America and Antarctica Explorer cruise departing Valparaiso to Buenos Aires on 10 January 2013. A 21-day South America and Antarctica Explorer cruise returns from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso on 30 January 2013. All voyages include scenic cruising throughout the spectacular Antarctic Peninsula and an overnight call at Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires. Cruise fares begin at £1,299 per person, double occupancy, for the 14- and 18-day sailings; £1,599 for the 18- and 21-day sailings departing Valparaiso; and £2,549 for the 20-day Antarctica sailing.

 The Amazon and Carnaval onboard Maasdam

Aboard Maasdam, guests can sail one unique 49-day Amazon and Carnaval Explorer Voyage, conveniently sailing on a round trip from Fort Lauderdale on 18 January 2013. Guests will spend 49 days exploring 25 ports throughout Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Barbados, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Dominica, French Guiana, Trinidad and Tobago, crossing the equator twice during the voyage. A highlight of the voyage is Carnaval, a festive four-day celebration often referred to as the world's largest party that happens from 9-12 February.  Extended calls at seven ports  — Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curaçao; Buenos Aires, Callao (Lima), Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Manaus and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil allow extra time ashore to enjoy historical and local attractions.

Shorter segments of Maasdam’s Amazon and Carnaval Explorer Voyage are available for those with less time. The 23-day segment departs Fort Lauderdale for Rio de Janeiro on 18 January 2013, and a 26-day segment departs Rio de Janeiro for Fort Lauderdale on 10 February 2013 which cruises down the Amazon River and crosses the equator. The 26-day itinerary also includes a two-night call at Rio de Janeiro where guests can experience exciting Carnaval.. Cruise fares begin at £5,099 per person, double occupancy, for the full 49-day Amazon and Carnaval Explorer Voyage; £1,999 per person for the 23-day Amazon and Carnaval Explorer Voyage and £3,449 for the 26-day segment.

 Grand South America and Antarctica voyage onboard Prinsendam

Departing 5 January 2013, Prinsendam sails south on a 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. During the voyage, Prinsendam will circumnavigate the continent, spend seven full days cruising the Amazon River and four days of scenic cruising in Antarctica. Overnight calls include Callao, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus. Shorter segments are available. Cruise fares begin at £9,199 per person, based on two sharing.

Hebridean Island to celebrate 25th anniversary

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Hebridean Island Cruises, the UK based destinational upscale boutique brand,  is celebrating the 25th season of its luxury small cruise ship, Hebridean Princess, by offering guests the chance to sail on one of the original itineraries and save up to 25% off the cost of their cruise, the company said in a statement.

Hebridean Island Cruises has launch the 2013 Cruise Directory for Hebridean Princess and celebrates her 25th season with three original sailings being replicated include; ‘The Islands of the Inner Hebrides’, ‘St Kilda, the Inner and Outer Hebrides and the Small Islands’ and ‘The Islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides’ – a replica of the first ever Hebridean Princess cruise which first set sail in May 1989.

In addition, Hebridean Island Cruises is offering a 10% early booking discount on all 2013 bookings made before the 15 June 2012, as well as an additional 5% loyalty discount for past guests. Guests booking two 2013 cruises with Hebridean Island Cruises at the same time will also receive 25% off their second sailing. New for 2013 are four new Footloose walking itineraries – providing walkers the opportunity to get off the beaten track and explore untamed landscapes - as well as partnership cruises with the NADFAS, the National Trust, and the Royal Horticultural Society.

 Hebridean Princess was built in 1964 as Clansman, a ferry to operate services in the Firth of Clyde region on Scotland’s west coast. It was extensively rebuilt before being introduced as Hebridean Princess and the 49 passenger vessel continues to receive regular refits each year during a winter lay up, usually in Greenock.