Costa Cruises, the Italian unit in Carnival
Corp & plc group, has introduced Costa Voyager of 24,400 gross tons and with 927
berth in its fleet.
The ship entered originally entered service
in 2000 with now defunct Royal Olympic Cruises, but it joined costa from the
fleet ofIberocruceros, the Carnival group’s Spanish company. “Costa Voyager will
offer Guests 416 cabins in total, including 16 panoramic suites and 12 suites
with private balcony. Relaxation and fun will be guaranteed by 3 restaurants, 4
bars, a theatre, wellness centre with gym, treatment rooms, sauna and Turkish
bath, swimming pool, disco, shopping centre and Squok club (children's club),”
the company said in a statement
The arrival of the Costa Voyager is in line
with the Italian company’s policy of having a versatile fleet of ships with a
range of dimensions and differing characteristics, so as to be able to offer
its customers a series of brand new itineraries.More specifically, the technical
characteristics of the Costa Voyager make her especially suitable for cruises
to the Red Sea, a new destination that Costa Cruises added to its range of
itineraries last winter and will be offering throughout 2012.
Costa Voyager's first cruise will be a
15-day journey from Savona, leaving on 20 November 2011 and travelling to Sharm
el-Sheikh in the Red Sea. From 5th December 2011 to the end of 2012, Costa
Voyager will be offering week-long cruises in the Red Sea, departing on Mondays
from Sharm el-Sheikh, where the ship stops for 2 days, and calling at Eilat
(Israel), Aqaba (Jordan), Safaga (Egypt), Sokhna (Egypt).
Voyages of Discovery, the only cruise line
to offer a dedicated school at sea programme in the UK, says it has completed another
successful ‘Schools Cruise’ this past week – its first one having taken place
More than 750 pupils and staff enjoyed an
opportunity to cruise to Eastern Mediterranean’s sites of antiquity in support
of their GCSE and A level studies The
students, from 29 schools on this cruise, took part in a comprehensive
itinerary designed to give every student maximum educational benefits from
their cruising experience.
“This year’s cruise set sail from Kusadasi
in Turkey and proceeded on to Haifa for Galilee, Ashdod for Jerusalem and the
Dead Sea, Port Said for Cairo and the island of Rhodes before reaching Athens.
While at sea and prior to each port, students were treated to a stimulating
programme of on-board lectures given by expert Voyages of Discovery staff,” the
Voyages of Discovery has revived a
tradition from the 1960s and the 1970s, when a P&O subsidiary British India
Steam Navigation Company operated passenger ships on this business. The last one, Uganda of 16,907 gross tons,
was withdrawn from requisitioned for the Falklands War in 1982 and remain in
military service until scrapped in 1985. A much larger vessel, the 20,526 gross
ton Nevasa, operated alongside Uganda in 1965-75. Both ships had rather spartan
accommodation for students, but good cabins and public rooms for other passengers.
Voyages of Discovery accommodates students
in normal passenger cabins on board the 20,636 gross ton Discovery. These are
far superior in quality compared to the student accommodation on British India
“With an extensive amount of experience
running a ‘school at sea’, the specialist staff were responsible for all
aspects of the schools’ daily routine including the timetabling and programming
arrangements so essential for the smooth operation of an educational cruise,”
the company continued.
Featuring some of the Eastern
Mediterranean’s most renowned historical sites including Ephesus, Jerusalem and
the ancient Egyptian Pyramids, the itinerary was carefully crafted to give
students enough time ashore to absorb something of the history, culture and way
of life of the places and people the ship visits. When not immersed in culture
and learning the students were able to kick back and enjoy some of the many
entertainment and leisure options available to them onboard including a cinema,
disco, pool, organised quizzes, art and photography plus a large selection of
board games to keep busy.
Mo Holland, School Cruise Manager, Voyages
of Discovery explains the benefits to students: “It is so rewarding to be
involved in such an exceptionally unique programme in which young people have
the opportunity to gain a different perspective on our world’s many cultural and
historical sites. In all my years as School Cruise Manager I have yet to find
any student that has not been entranced at some level by the engaging programme
of lectures and shore excursions that Voyages of Discovery is consistently able
to offer year after year.”
As the only cruise line available to
schools for an exclusive voyage of exploration, Voyages of Discovery offers
students a unique and specialised cultural cruising experience of a lifetime
and one that is a world away from normal day at school. For normal itineraries, Discovery’s smaller
size accommodates around 650 passengers, allowing it to visit ports and
destinations which larger cruise liners are unable to, bringing each
destination to life with renowned guest speakers.
Research from an online cruise travel
agency has revealed that half of British cruisers are loyal to cruise brands, a
fifth of which have only ever cruised with one company. A further 16% of
respondents claimed to have always been loyal to one specific cruise ship, a
report in traveldailynews.com says.
“As part of ongoing research into the
holiday habits of Britons, an independent online cruising travel agency
conducted a study into the loyalty of cruisers. 1,214 British cruisers, each of
whom had embarked on more than three cruises, were polled,” the report said. The study, conducted by Bonvoyage.com,
initially asked the respondents to the study if they were loyal to specific
cruise operators, to which more than half, 52%, said ‘yes’. These respondents
were then asked how many cruise operators they have travelled with, almost a fifth,
19%, admitted to only having ever cruised with one operator.
Of the fifth of respondents who admitted to
being loyal to one specific cruise operator, 23% stated that they were loyal
because of the ‘high quality’ of cruise offered by their favoured operator;
whilst 18% said it was because they were ‘cheaper’ than any other liner. In a bid to investigate the matter further,
bonvoyage.co.uk, created by the founders of online travel agency
sunshine.co.uk, asked respondents to detail which other habits or loyalties
they had when it came to cruising. Sixteen percent of the
respondents polled claimed to be ‘loyal’ to a specific cruise ship, admitting
to only ever having cruised on the same cruise liner. A quarter of these, 24%,
said they were loyal to a particular ship because of the ‘luxury’ onboard.
Furthermore, more than a tenth, 12%, of
those polled claimed to be ‘loyal’ to a particular cruise route, stating that
they always travelled to the same destinations through the same route; therefore,
essentially being loyal to the destinations rather than the cruise operator or
Chris Brown, co-founder of bonvoyage.co.uk,
spoke about the results of the study: “It was interesting to see that some
cruisers are loyal to a particular operator, even though they had only ever
embarked on a cruise supplied by them. However, it is understandable, as a
first cruise is often a very special experience. I would always recommend
trying a new operator and ship though; as long as you do your research and
travel with a well known and respected operator, everything should run
He continued: “Many holidaymakers are loyal
to a specific aspect of their holiday, whether it be the operator, destination,
resort or liner...the list is endless!Holidays are such an important part of our lives that we may not want to
risk trying something new, it can make sense to stick with what you know. Maybe
next time you are booking a holiday, consider trying something new, you will
probably love it!”
MSC Cruises, the Geneva based cruiseshipping company,is launching a “dietthemed cruise” on 30 January next year with one of the most famous nutritionistsin the world, French diet specialist Dr Pierre Dukan, to give guests the rareopportunity to shed kilos, tone up and tan during a mid-winter holiday in theMediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean
"Losing weight naturally is key to theinternationally famous Dukan Diet Method, so it’s not surprising that the11-night cruise created especially for French speaking guests aboard theflagship MSC Fantasia is all about having fun, enjoying great food and beingexposed to the ship’s extensive state-of-the-art physical fitness facilities," the company said in a statement.
Even the shore excursions and walking toursof the famous cities where MSC Fantasia calls during the cruise will form anintegral part of the scientifically structured diet programme. And the highlight of the cruise will be thechance to meet Dr Pierre Dukan himself at a private onboard party. Anutritionist and specialist in food behavior for over 30 years, his 19 booksincluding the French best seller “I don’t know how to lose weight” (The DukanDiet book) have sold 2.5 million copies and brought him over 20 millionfollowers worldwide.
A team of expert nutritionists, dieticiansand a specialist physician trained in the Dukan Method will be onboard to giveprofessional advice and care throughout the cruise which departs Genoa, Italy,on 30 January and returns on 10 February. Guests will receive a Diet Kit and undergoa personal health assessment at the start of the cruise before being advised onindividual diet and sports training programmes. They will also be invited todaily workshops on procedures and technical aspects of losing weight, culinarydemonstrations, cooking lessons and themed conferences.
Dr. Dukan says he has strived to develop amethod that allows him to have fun while dieting because he himself has alwaysfought against being overweight. “This method works because you can eat asmuch as you like from a list of 100 different foods as long as you follow thementoring and monitoring of my team of experts,” says Dukan.
Following on from a successful first
season, P&O Cruises is adding a number of new options to its Green World
Tours programme for 2012. This also comes after the programme received an
Environmental Initiative Award for its notable contribution to advancing the environmental
aspect of cruising, the company said in a statement.
Green World Tours are a range of charitable
and responsible tourism based shore experiences designed to support the towns
and communities visited on longer itineraries, as well as giving the passenger
a unique experience ashore. The first Green World Tour was in November
2009 and tours are now operated by P&O Cruises in 16 destinations
worldwide. The tours vary in price and are non-profit
making. Some include a donation and others just cover costs and passengers are
free to donate as they choose.
New tours for P&O Cruises in 2012 are:
Rural Life & SOS Village, Nha Trang, £26
A visit to the local SOS Children’s Village
- an independent, non-governmental social development organisation that works
to meet the needs and protect the rights of children without parental
care.The tour then continues on to the
Vinh Thanh commune to see how local farmers plant and harvest the rice;
followed by the opportunity to visit a family in a typical Vietnamese rural house
and to visit a communal house at Vinh Ngoc Village.
Mondesa Township, Walvis Bay, £99
A visit to the Mondesa Township in
Swakopmund, which was established in the early 1950s to provide housing for
Owambo, Damara and Herero people working in Swakopmund. Mondesa is a township
where poverty and unemployment is high and by opening their lives to travellers
and visitors, the township community raises awareness and can provide
opportunities for growth, friendship, support and a greater understanding
between varied cultures.
Kibbutz voluntour, Ashdod, £44
A visit to a kibbutz, a collective
community way of living which only exists in Israel. Kibbutzim began as utopian
communities, a mixture of socialism and Zionism with ideals based on the
principle of joint ownership of property, equality and cooperation of
production, consumption and education.The tour then offers the chance for participation in ‘Project Leket’ an
initiative that sends volunteers into fields and orchards to gather produce for
donation to those in need in Israel.
Tours are offered on some longer
itineraries, such as Oceana’s 24 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise departing
February 26 (including a call in Ashdod), and all world cruises. In 2012
Arcadia, Aurora, Oriana and Adonia are offering world cruises of between 87 and
109 nights in duration with shorter sectors available. Tours are offeredin ports of call including Limon, Bali, Cape
Town, Rio de Janeiro, Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur), Phuket and Port Elizabeth.
P&O Cruises managing director, Carol
Marlow, said: “We have seen an excellent response to this new collection of
tours and this shows that our passengers and crew really value the destinations
that they visit and want to give something back. “The recent Environmental Initiative Award
for this programme is fantastic recognition for the steps these Green World
Tours are taking to advance the environmental aspect of cruising and we will
continue to expand this programme to offer tours to even more passengers in
more ports of call.”
Green World Tours are also offered to
various wildlife centres and charitable projects, such as the Sea Turtle
Conservation Centre in Laem Chabang and the Cats and Dogs Rescue Centre in Koh