A+ A A-

Princess details 2012-2013 Caribbean and Panama Canal sailings

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Princess Cruises ships will sail to the balmy waters of the Caribbean from both Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Galveston, Texas during the fall 2012 to spring 2013 cruise season, plus will offer a variety of ways to cruise through one of the world's engineering wonders, the Panama Canal.

Princess' upcoming Caribbean schedule will feature five ships sailing to the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean, including a Western Caribbean route aboard Crown Princess that will mark the lines return to sailing from Galveston. During the fall to spring season, passengers can choose from 115 voyages sailing to 22 destinations on 10 itineraries, ranging from seven-day island getaways to relaxing 20-day sojourns.

Additionally, Princess continues to be the leader in Panama Canal cruising with two ships – Coral Princess and Island Princess – sailing in the region on eight itinerary options, including both full and partial Canal transits. The vessels, built especially for sailing through this marvel of engineering, together will offer 40 cruise departures for an up-close look at the fascinating process of moving up and down through the famous locks.

"Whether they want beautiful beaches, natural wonders, colorful culture or intriguing history, passengers will find the ports of our Caribbean and Panama Canal sailings are the perfect way to escape from the cold of winter, the stress of work or everyday routine," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

Princess Cruises 2012-13 Caribbean season includes:

Ruby Princess/Eastern Caribbean – Ruby Princess sails to the Eastern Caribbean, with roundtrip seven-day cruises from Ft. Lauderdale on Sundays. The itinerary features calls at the lines own Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. Ruby Princess sails between October 28, 2012 and April 28, 2013.

Crown Princess/Western Caribbean from Galveston – Crown Princess makes Princess return to Galveston, Texas for seven-day sailings to Costa Maya, Roatán, Belize and Cozumel. Cruises depart between December 22, 2012 and April 27, 2013.

Caribbean Princess/Southern Caribbean – Caribbean Princess sails from Ft. Lauderdale on a seven-day roundtrip voyage to Princess Cays, Curaçao and Aruba. Departures run from November 10, 2012 to April 27, 2013. Caribbean Princess will also offer a special four-day Bermuda Sampler voyage to Bermuda on a roundtrip sailing from New York, departing on Oct. 27, 2012; and a 10-day Caribbean Islander voyage from New York to Ft. Lauderdale, calling at San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua and Aruba, departing on October 31, 2012.

Grand Princess/Eastern and Southern Caribbean – Grand Princess sails on alternating seven-day voyages from Ft. Lauderdale. The ship sails to San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Princess Cays in the Eastern Caribbean; and Princess Cays, Curaçao, and Aruba in the Southern Caribbean. Grand Princess sails between November 17, 2012 and January 19, 2013. Voyages can be combined for a longer 14-day cruise among the islands.

Emerald Princess/10-Day Eastern and Southern Caribbean – For a more in-depth island vacation with the convenience of roundtrip travel from Ft. Lauderdale, Emerald Princess offers alternating 10-day roundtrip itineraries  one to the Southern Caribbean and the other to the Eastern Caribbean. The Southern Caribbean Medley itinerary calls at Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. The Eastern Caribbean Voyager itinerary offers calls at Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. Emerald Princess sails between November 7, 2012 and April 26, 2013. Voyages can be combined into a 20-day Caribbean Grand Adventure.

Panama Canal itineraries include:

Roundtrip Panama Canal Cruises – Coral Princess and Island Princess again sail the classic 10-day roundtrip itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale, which offers a partial Panama Canal transit to Gatun Lake followed by an evening a call in Colón, plus calls in the Caribbean ports of Aruba, Cartagena, Limón (Costa Rica), and Grand Cayman or Ocho Rios. The ships sail between October 13, 2012 and April 15, 2013.

Full Panama Canal Transit Sailings – This 14-day itinerary between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles offers a full Panama Canal transit plus visits to Aruba, Cartagena, Puntarenas (Costa Rica), San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua), and Cabo San Lucas. Island Princess offers four sailings on this route, with departures on November 12 and 26, 2012, plus March 8 and 22, 2013.

Panama Canal Two-Day Experience Cruises – Coral Princess and Island Princess will feature three itineraries offering Princess Two-Day Canal Experience  a full Panama Canal transit combined with a full day at Fuerte Amador on the Pacific side of Panama. The 14-day itinerary sails between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles with calls at Aruba, Cartagena, and Puntarenas (Costa Rica) in addition to the Two-Day Canal Experience. A 15-day option offers an additional call in Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala). And another 15-day option sails from San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale with calls at Cabo San Lucas, Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Cartagena, and Aruba. Sailings on these itineraries depart between September 20, 2012 and May 4, 2013. Coral Princess and Island Princess also offer longer Grand Adventures of 17, 18 and 19 days, sailing to and from Vancouver.

The Panama Canal and Caribbean have been featured on the Princess Cruises blog, 50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List. Travel stories from Princess destination experts include inspiring stories about sailing through the Canal, bobsledding in Jamaica, and exploring Tulum in Mexico.

Saga to cruise South and West Africa in winter of 2012-13

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Saga, the UK based company that caters for people over the age of 50, will send two of its ships to South and West Africa in the winter of 2012-13.

Quest for Adventure, the 19,000 gross ton ship that will enter service with Saga’s Spirit of Adventure brand next spring, will operate a fly cruise from Manaus in Brazil to Tema in Ghana in February 2013. It wil be followed by a 15 night fly cruise from there to Cape town, with calls at Lome, Contonou, Sao Tome, Luanda, Walvis Bay and Luderitz on the way.

A 16 night fly cruise from Cape Town to Mosel Bay, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, Richard’s Bay, Maputo and Beira will be next on the schedule, after which the ship will head up north to Tema, replicating the same itinerary as on the way south.

On 15 March 2013, Quest for Adventure will sail from Tema to Takoradi, Freetown, Banjul and Dakar, with a further two calls at the Canary Islands and two in the Madeira archipelago. The cruise will terminate in Funchal, from where passenger will fly to the UK.

Meanwhile, Saga Ruby, the 24,300 gross ton ship of Saga Cruises’ brand, will make a world cruise again in 2013, but this time the ship will sail westbound,  through the Straits of Magellan and around the Cape of Good Hope. This will take the ship to Walvis Bay, Sao Tome, Lome, Takoradi and Freetown in western Africa before the ship will reach Southampton.








Voyages of Discovery to offer 147 night Central and South America cruise in 2012-13

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Voyages of Discovery, the destinational unit in the UK based All Leisure group of cruise brands, will send its 15,300 gross ton Voyager for a 147 night cruise that  take the ship to Central America before sailing around South America and touching the coast of West Africa before return to the UK. The ship will sail from Portsmouth on 4 December 2012 and return there on 29 April 2013, thus making this probably the longest cruise currently for sale in the UK.

“Central America promises a bounty of natural and historic wonders. Uncover the mysteries of the ancient Maya, unlock the secrets of the rainforest and step ashore in cities where architecture reflects the cultures of conquerors past. South America is truly a ‘World in One Continent’ – an amalgam of primitive and sophisticated, spiritual and spectacular, tropical rainforest and endless beaches, snow-capped mountains and ochre-red desert,” the company said in a statement.

Voyager, which was launched in 1990 as Crown Monarch for the now defunct Crown Cruise Line, has been operated on charter by German and Turkish operators, but owned by the All Leisure group since 2009. It will join the UK group’s Voyages of Discovery brand next year and operate in tandem with the 20,636 gross ton Discovery.


Swan Hellenic unveil details of Minerva refit

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Swan Hellenic, the educational cruise brand in the All Leisure group in the UK, have unveiled details about a major refit of their 12,500 gross ton deep sea cruise vessel Minerva. The ship has been on charter to the company since All Leisure group relaunched the previously Carnival owned brand in 2007. The current charter was due to expire in 2013, but a company spokesperson says it has been extended.

“Imaginative design will transform the public areas on board providing increased passenger space for our 350 passengers. A new wrap-around Orpheus Lounge and Bar will be created at the forward end of the top deck providing expansive panoramic views,” the company said in a statement.

Shackleton’s Bar will be extended into a horseshoe shape allowing passengers additional space in which to relax and enjoy the intimate on board ambience prior to dining in the newly named signature Swan Restaurant, named after our founders W F and R K Swan. A new walk round teak Promenade Deck, which preserves the classic days of cruising, will be laid at the top of the ship. This, with the Orpheus Lounge and Bar, will offer the perfect vantage points, both inside and out, for arrivals and departures, early morning walks and pre and post dinner cocktails.

“A reconfiguration of the public areas on Bridge Deck will see the former cinema upgraded to an additional lounge, to be known as the Livingstone Lounge. The internet area, currently located in the Library, will move to the port side of the ship and be renamed the Internet Lounge. This larger facility will meet our passengers’ expectations, allowing them to remain in close touch with family and friends. The renowned and popular Swan Hellenic library, which boasts some 5,000 volumes, an integral part of the Swan Hellenic heritage, will remain unchanged. “

Furthermore, a new Salon Centre and Gymnasium will be created at the aft end of Aegean Deck. The aft end of the new Sun Deck will be extended with teak decking to create an additional, sheltered outside space for relaxation, while the teak deck surrounding the pool area on Bridge Deck will now benefit from a canopy arrangement to provide protection from the sun. This will create an enhanced space for dining alfresco and also create a late evening entertainment venue.

All Discovery Cruising restructures for expansion

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

All Discovery Cruising North America promotes Ivonne Brown to Vice President of Sales & Marketing and creates three Key Account Specialist roles to manage top agency account relationships.

In response to recent announcements of a multi-million dollar investment to develop its three cruising brands which includes new ship Voyager (Voyages of Discovery), a major design upgrade for Minerva (Swan Hellenic) that increases balcony cabin accommodations to 23%, and a new Five-Star river cruising program aboard Royal Crown (Hebridean Island Cruises), All Discovery Cruising is restructuring its North America office to support their growing presence.

Reporting to Steve Novello, President of All Discovery Cruising's North America office, Ivonne Brown will manage North America's marketing, sales, and public relations initiatives. She most recently served as Senior Director of Marketing and brings a wealth of experience to the role with her strong sales and marketing background acquired within the cruise, travel, GDS, and publishing industries.

"We've come a long way since the day we hired Ivonne. She was the key hire that played a significant role in strengthening our North American market presence. Ivonne's marketing expertise allowed us to re-establish our relationship with our loyal past guests, get exposure in front of new travel agents, and most importantly, provide key marketing tools to our agent partners who were loyal to these brands in the past. Her contribution, along with a committed investment in marketing and operations for the North American office by the UK parent, is indicative of the transformation that Ivonne helped to lead in our market. Without her, and the commitment and belief of our current staff in her, this would not have been possible," states Novello.

In her new role, she will focus on growing the business by introducing advanced marketing efforts to help educate agents and their clients about our numerous niche offerings. The strategy includes converting three current positions to new dedicated Key Account Specialists that work closely with key travel partners to provide a "boutique" approach to sales and service.

All Discovery Cruising is a niche cruise company (accommodating 50-to-650 guests), with each brand offering its own distinctive characteristics and style. Together they share a combined focus on delivering superior destination and enrichment cruises to the world's most beautiful destinations. "Because of the unique nature of our cruises, our strategy is to continue developing new and existing partnerships with those travel partners who have the right demographic mix for our products. In addition, travel partners will benefit from new programs that will be implemented in the coming months to improve operational efficiencies through enhanced technology," adds Novello.