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Oriana re-enters service after refit

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

P&O Cruises welcomed Oriana back into Southampton today after a month-long dry dock refurbishment which transformed the ship so it is exclusively for adults. The refit saw the addition of 27 new cabins and the introduction of an Ocean Grill restaurant by Marco Pierre White, now proving very popular on Adonia, the company said in a statement.

The multi-million pound overhaul to the ship named by HM The Queen in 1995, also includes the addition of Sorrento, the new Italian restaurant concept also launched on Adonia, but this time with an outdoor dining area; a newly designed aft deck with bar; refreshed decoration in the public areas and Oasis Spa, which also now features thermal loungers and a dedicated aerobics floor; and a new look to the Al Fresco Mediterranean cafe.

Oriana departs today on a 17 night Western Mediterranean Christmas and New Year cruise, before departing on a 97 night world cruise on January 5, 2012.

P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow, said: “It is wonderful to welcome Oriana back into the fleet today with a fresh new look including new cabins, new dining options and all exclusively for adults.  Oriana is the most established ship in our fleet, having been named by HM The Queen in 1995. Since then she has carried hundreds of thousands of British cruisers all over the world and I know that everyone will be excited to see her after her latest make-over.”


Signature and Reflection Suites to be introduced on Celebrity Reflection

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Celebrity Cruises has announced plans to introduce its first “Signature Suites,” and the  new “Reflection Suite” onboard Celebrity Reflectionlaunching October 2012. 


Following the successful launch of Celebrity Silhouette in July with its new features including The Lawn Club and The Alcoves, Celebrity is working with New York interior design firm BG Studio to add a new class of accommodation for Celebrity Reflection, the company said in a statemen. Located via a private entrance on deck 14 and accessed via key card, both the Signature Suites and the Reflection Suite will have use of a deck area which is exclusive to the suite guests. The entire deck can also be reserved for a private event, accommodating up to 26 guests.

Celebrity Reflection’s five Signature Suites start from £12,813.00 per person and each offer:

A 441-square-foot suite with a 118-square foot veranda

Floor-to-ceiling windows and veranda doors, all designed to maximise the stunning views of the sea.

In-room iPad

The 24/7 butler service that is a hallmark of every suite across the fleet.

Can each accommodate up to four guests


The Reflection Suite starts from £5,311.00 per person and will be the brand’s first two-bedroom suite and will feature:

A 1,636-square-foot suite with a 194-square-foot wraparound veranda, offering Panoramic views

A sea-view bathroom extending out over the edge of the ship

A veranda tub with a rain shower

Celebrity’s  24/7 butler service

In-room iPad

Can accommodate up to six guests

Another first for Celebrity Reflection is the addition of the first AquaClass Suites. Each of the new 34 suites will offer 300 square feet of interior space and 79-square-foot verandas, paired with all the features from the AquaClass accommodations. This includes exclusive access to speciality restaurant, “Blu,” for healthy cuisine and unlimited access to the serene Persian Garden .

The 34 new AquaClass Suites start from £3,722.00 per person and will bring Celebrity Reflection’s stateroom/suite total to 1,515 along with an additional eight luxurious new Sky Suites, 19 additional ConciergeClass staterooms and 11 additional inside staterooms.

“Everything we introduced on Celebrity Silhouette illustrated our devotion to offering new and differentiated experiences for our guests, and the feedback we’re receiving is rewarding validation that our guests love it – from The Lawn Club Grill, to The Porch, to The Alcoves, to The Hideaway, not to mention they continually tell us how much they love the first three Solstice Class ships,” said Celebrity’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. “On Celebrity Reflection, we’ve taken the opportunity to further elevate our onboard offerings, with entirely new ‘Signature Suites’ and our first ‘Reflection Suite,’ in addition to our first-ever AquaClass Suites, collectively creating the most vivid examples yet of the modern luxury that defines Celebrity.”









Guests booked in Celebrity Cruises’ Reflection Suite, Signature Suites and Penthouse Suite, can enjoy a premium Reverie®mattress that allows guests, with the assistance of their butler, to customise the softness of their bed. Reverie's exclusive technology enables the suite’s iPad to act as a remote control for the Reverie Sleep System, allowing guests to easily operate massage features and adjust the elevation of the mattress.   In addition, Reverie also offers and integrated remote control technology, which also enables guests to control the in-room technology from the iPad. 


Celebrity Reflection will also offer:

  • 245 more loungers on its expanded pool deck to suit the increased overall guest capacity
  • 45 additional seats in the Celebrity Theatre
  • 118 additional seats in the Oceanview Café
  • 24 additional seats each in Blu and in Tuscan Grille
  • Four additional seats in Qsine
  • 40 additional seats in the main dining room


Celebrity Reflection, fifth in class of Solstice class ships will enter service on 12 October 2012 sailing a nine-night European cruise from Amsterdam to Barcelona.


MSC Cruises adds Cork and Dublin to turnaround ports

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News
MSC Cruises says that for the first time it will be adding Cork and Dublin to four new itineraries next August and September as turnaround ports for Irish passengers.

With no fly cruising becoming increasingly popular, Irish passengers will now be able to enjoy a cruise on board the luxurious MSC Lirica without the hassle and additional expense of having to fly to their embarkation port. Customers can embark and disembark in Cork.  They will also be able to visit Dublin for excursions, while ship visits will be available for local residents and visitors alike.

Commented Lorenzo Diamantini, MSC Cruises Director of Sales for Ireland and Northern Ireland, “ The company is featuring the two ports due to the incredible growth it has experienced in the Irish market over the last three years. By positioning one of our ships in Cork , we can give many more local passengers the opportunity to experience the superb itineraries on offer.” The new itineraries that will sail to Northern Europe are as follows: (please note passengers can embark/disembark in Cork only, with day excursions and ship visits on offer in Dublin):

7-15 August 2012: Hamburg, Helgoland, South Queensferry, Invergordon, Stornoway, Kirkwall, Oban, Dublin, Cork

15-26 August 2012: Cork, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Helgoland, South Queensferry, Invergordon, Stornoway, Kirkwall, Oban, Dublin, Cork

26 August – 5 September 2012: Cork, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Helgoland, South Queensferry, Invergordon, Stornoway, Kirkwall, Oban, Dublin, Cork

5 September – 8 September 2012: Cork, Amsterdam, Hamburg

Celebrity Cruises to launch Modern Luxury marketing platform, sale on flight prices in UK

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The New Year is driving a new look for Celebrity Cruises as the cruise line celebrates a new marketing platform and its first ever sale on flight prices to make cruises more affordable than ever, the company said in a statement. New initiatives targeting agents are also on the pipeline.

‘Modern Luxury’, the new marketing platform for the brand, will be featured in all new point of sale materials for agents highlighting the strong turn-of-year offer from Celebrity Cruises. Agents can take advantage of selling the first ever flight promotion from the cruise line as part of the new ‘Modern Luxury’ activity including subsidised European flights from £49 per person and complimentary balcony upgrades when customers book an ocean view stateroom on selected sailings in 2012. 

Cruises departing the UK onboard the hugely popular Celebrity Eclipse, and the new wine themed cruises onboard Celebrity Constellation also based from Southampton for the first time in September and October 2012, will feature accommodation upgrades and complimentary car parking or coach transfers.

Modern Luxury is a new marketing platform to showcase Celebrity Cruises’ contemporary attributes and differentiate it from traditional cruising. The concept sums up the experiences that Celebrity Cruises’ target market already aligns themselves to, and looks for in their holiday. Its key principles are built around matching and exceeding the aspirations of guests including via an innovative and young fleet, distinctive and exquisitely presented cuisine, personalised service and the range of activities and experiences available on board.  Many of the fleet’s quirky features are in response to modern life, such as providing iPad menus in Qsine. Celebrity Cruises has launched a new training module dedicated to the ‘Modern Luxury’ platform, providing agents with the tools to understand and sell the concept to clients. 

Michael English, head of sales, Celebrity Cruises, explains: “The Celebrity Cruises fleet is undergoing a huge revamp to add popular features found onboard Solstice Class ships to many of our other ships. This investment delivers new restaurants, bars and accommodation that all complete what we term as a ‘Modern Luxury’ holiday experience. We hope that the strong offers for the peak turn-of-year period help to get agents behind selling what is exciting and different about Celebrity Cruises. The number of cruises from the UK increases in 2012 and we remain commitment to training and incentivising agents to ensure they are best placed to sell.”

To support the turn of year offer and ‘Modern Luxury’ marketing platform, Celebrity Cruises is also running an agent incentive including a goody bag prize draw with the chance to win an iPod nano, itunes voucher, champagne and chocolates. Agents simply need to sell any Celebrity Cruises 2012 itinerary and complete the new Modern Luxury training module between 12 December 2011 and 31 January 2012 to be entered into the daily goody bag prize draw. Plus, once a week there will also be the chance to win an iPad 2. The two agents who make the most entries to the prize draw during the incentive period, and therefore make the most sales, will also win a 14 night European cruise for two people from Celebrity Cruises.

Offers available for agents to sell from 12 December 2011 to 31 January 2012 include:


·         12-night Mediterranean Venice cruise departing Barcelona onboard Celebrity Silhouette in May 2012 with a fly cruise starting from starting from £1,499 per person

·         Upgrade to balcony accommodation for the same price as an oceanview stateroom on an eight-night Norwegian Fjords cruise onboard Celebrity Eclipse from Southampton in May 2012. Prices, including a free balcony upgrade, start from £1,199 per person

·         Immersive wine cruise during the Autumn harvest directly from the UK .  A 12 night cruise from Southampton on board Celebrity Constellation departing 7 September starts from £1,099, including a free balcony upgrade and complimentary car parking or coach transfers to Southampton .


As part of the new ‘Modern Luxury’ marketing platform, agents are also receiving a fully updated sales and marketing support pack detailing new logos, images, brand guidelines and template marketing material to use with their own databases. Plus, simple selling guides include details on the offers and applicable sailings.


Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines adds Harwich to turnaround port portfolio

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, which operate four medium sized cruise liners on the British market, says it  will start using Harwich International Port in 2013, with 804-guest Black Watch making four turnaround visits to the Essex port in May and June 2013. The company already operates cruises from Southampton, Portsmouth, Dover, Newcastle, Rosyth and Greenock. It recently decided to pull out from Liverpool.


Matt Grimes, Director of Planning for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said“Harwich International Port has long been on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ radar as a turnaround port following a series of successful transit calls in recent years. Its direct rail connections from London – whereby guests alight right next to the Cruise Terminal – make this an extremely easy port to access. The addition of this new regional departure port means that Fred. Olsen is able to operate a vessel within only 100 miles of over 90% of the UK population, which will enhance further our reputation as the UK’s local cruise line with a global choice of itineraries.” 

Black Watch will be offering three cruises from Harwich in May 2013 – to the Baltic, Norway and Lapland, through the Gulf of Bothnia – and a mini-cruise in June 2013. The cruises will range in length from 3 to 14 nights.

Paul Davey, Head of Corporate Affairs at Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owners of Harwich International Port, said: “We are delighted that Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has decided to commence turnaround calls at Harwich International Port after such successful visits by Black Watch in 2010, and Balmoral in 2011.

“Harwich International Port has developed over a number of years into one of the UK’s leading cruise ports, and we look forward to working with Fred. Olsen to offer its guests the highest quality facilities and customer service, which we are sure will see the Port rapidly gain popularity with them.”

Black Watch is no stranger to Harwich, and welcomed a delegation of local VIPs on board when she made her inaugural call at the Port in August 2010, as part of an ‘Around UK’ cruise. Amongst the local dignitaries visiting Black Watch were the Mayor of Harwich and regional trade and tourism bodies, including the Haven Gateway Partnership. 






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