PRESS RELEASE_MIAMI, July 31, 2018 – Carnival Cruise Line today revealed plans for a nearly $200 million bow-to-stern makeover for Carnival Triumph in the spring of 2019 that will include renaming the ship to reflect its significant transformation. The ship will join Carnival’s Sunshine class and will be named Carnival Sunrise after a two-month-long refurbishment that will take place in Cadiz, Spain, starting March 1. The dry dock makeover will add all of Carnival’s wildly popular branded food, beverage and entertainment innovations, as well as update all staterooms in a broad spectrum of new accommodations providing guests fresh and exciting seagoing vacation choices.
Following a renaming ceremony, Carnival Sunrise will re-enter service with a series of five- to seven-day voyages from Norfolk, Va., beginning April 29, 2019, a summer schedule of four- to 14-day departures from New York commencing May 23, 2019, then move to Fort Lauderdale in October.
“The introduction of Carnival Sunrise will provide our guests with an array of exciting dining, bar and entertainment choices. The new Carnival Sunrise is part of our multi-billion-dollar ship enhancement program that is transforming our fleet on an unprecedented scale,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Carnival Sunrise enhancements include the redesign of two luxurious Captain’s Suites adjacent to the navigational bridge offering floor-to-ceiling windows and extended balcony grand suites. All of the ship’s staterooms will be updated to offer island-inspired interiors with bright colors and soothing pastels inspired by the line’s Caribbean itineraries. Other new features will include:
PRESS RELEASE_Seattle, Wash., July 30, 2018 — When Holland America Line welcomes Nieuw Statendam to the fleet in December 2018, the ship will showcase the evolution of design that was introduced with Koningsdam, the first Pinnacle Class ship. Focusing on the importance of thoughtful details and special touches, Nieuw Statendam’s musical design and “artfully inspired” finishing perfectly blend Holland America Line’s past, present and future and is showcased in a trio of videos on the design and artists now available on hollandamerica.com and the line’s YouTube channel.
The new 2,666-guest ship will have an interior that balances a fresh, contemporary styling in perfect harmony with the line’s renowned classic elegance, while continuing a bold course forward. At the helm of the design and interiors once again are internationally acclaimed hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and Bjørn Storbraaten, one of the world’s leading architects working in the cruise industry.
“Nieuw Statendam will join our fleet in just over four months and guests are excitedly reserving their place to sail on this beautiful new ship in its premier season,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Like its sister-ship Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam is all about fine details and thoughtful touches throughout the ship that create an ambiance of both elegance and style. From the public areas to the staterooms, Nieuw Statendam is going to be stunning and very popular with our guests.”
A leader in creating luxurious and creative interiors at some of the world’s most iconic properties and the designer for sister-ship Koningsdam, Tihany is approaching Nieuw Statendam with an eye toward creating public spaces that reflect the tradition and signature elegance for which Holland America Line is known, while elevating the design by introducing innovative new features.
Focusing on fluid curves and graceful lines, light-filled spaces and the natural flow of public areas, the key to Tihany’s concept is utilizing visual interaction, where guests actively engage with the interiors rather than passively moving through them.
PRESS RELEASE_SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 30, 2018) – Princess Cruises has unveiled new details revealing features onboard its new ship Sky Princess, including a first look at its first-ever Sky Suites.
As seen in the first released image of the Sky Suites, the accommodations are centrally located on the top decks of Sky Princess and feature the largest private balconies ever offered by the line. Measuring 700 square feet, the balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship’s Movie Under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer a 270-degree panorama and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more for entertaining -- making them ideal for families.
“Our two new Sky Suites reflect Princess Cruises’ continued commitment to offer new and expansive accommodations that meet the needs of our guests who wish to explore the world in ultimate comfort,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises
Debuting in the Mediterranean in October 2019, the 143,700-ton Sky Princess will include the best of the stunning features found on its three sister ships - Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess - as well as new offerings that represent an evolution of the current ships’ designs.
New for Sky Princess will be the addition of a Wakeview pool on its aft decks. In addition to the Wakeview pool, Sky Princess guests will enjoy two new deep-tank top deck pools, a restorative Retreat Pool, and more Jacuzzis than previous Royal-Class ships including two Jacuzzis cantilevered over the deep-tank pools.
Meanwhile Sky Princess will introduce more ways for guests to unwind, with its relaxing Sanctuary area offering a new contemporary design and twice as many private cabanas as its sister ships.
Guests will also be able to enjoy the new look of the ship’s Vista Lounge complete with a full bar offering, an evolution of the popular lounge on other Princess ships. Guests can take advantage of a new café in the Princess Live venue, serving barista made coffee, tea and quick bites.
Ms Swartz said Princess Cruises’ guests could look forward to the rollout of more new features as the cruise line’s fleet expanded.
For more Sky Princess updates visit www.princess.com/skyprincess
PRESS RELEASE_VALENCIA, Calif., July 26, 2018 — Luxury cruise line Cunard today released a video that showcases the iconic transatlantic experience on flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2. Guests featured in the video describe the line’s signature seven-night Transatlantic Crossing, which travels between New York and London, as a unique and unforgettable way to escape day-to-day life. Video can be viewed here.
In the video, passengers describe their experience on the voyage as cherished time to relax and recharge, filled with innovative cuisine, peaceful spa days, engaging enrichment programs and inspired entertainment.
“The Transatlantic Crossing video was created as a resource for Cunard’s devoted travel agent community and as a sentimental piece for our loyal guests,” said Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president, Cunard North America. “As a brand, we at Cunard have continued to innovate and update our trade and consumer marketing materials, and this video conveys the spirit of the Transatlantic Crossing that we so often hear cannot be put into words.”
The video highlights some of Cunard’s most exceptional characteristics, such as the grand and elegant scale of the ship, as well as Cunard’s unparalleled guest service. “There’s no better way to get back and forth across the ocean,” said MaryBeth Kardos, a loyal Transatlantic cruiser.
Aboard Queen Mary 2 guests can unwind, experience new pursuits and meet like-minded travelers. Activities range from ballroom dancing lessons, fencing, wine tasting and exploring the skies in the largest planetarium at sea. Cunard’s Insights program features experts from various industries with fascinating workshops and Q&As, allowing passengers to connect and make personal interactions. Upcoming special event Crossings on Queen Mary 2 include A Journey of Genealogy -- a collaboration with Ancestry.com, Transatlantic Fashion Week and World Space Week. Queen Mary 2 is currently sailing her 2018 Transatlantic season now through December.
Until August 3, 2018 Cunard is featuring a 10-Day Sale (promo code: RG5), which includes up to 50% off Launch Fares plus up to $800 onboard credit per stateroom. The sale applies to a variety of voyages on all three Queens including Transatlantic Crossings on Queen Mary 2 from $749.
Bookings are based on double occupancy. Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses of $60 to $270 per person are additional and subject to change. For full details, click here.
For more information about Cunard, or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Consultant, call Cunard Line at 1-800-728-6273 or visit www.cunard.com.
PRESS RELEASE_SAINT-NAZAIRE, FRANCE – July 23, 2018 – Celebrity Cruises is poised to transform the way modern travelers experience the world – all over again – as the first piece of steel is cut on its newest ship, Celebrity Apex, at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard (formerly STX France) in Saint-Nazaire, France. When completed, Celebrity Apex will take her place as the height of modern luxury, so its name couldn’t be more apt. The second ship in Celebrity’s revolutionary Edge series, Celebrity Apex comes right in the wake of the industry’s most anticipated new ship, Celebrity Edge.
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises, who attended the ceremony accompanied by her leadership team, said: “Welcoming Celebrity Apex into our family with the leadership team was a very special moment, especially when we all signed the ship silhouette cut from the first piece of steel.”
Lutoff-Perlo added: “We are so grateful for our partnership with Chantiers de l’Atlantique and are thrilled to work on another very special ship together. The success and momentum for Celebrity Edge has been incredible, and with Celebrity Apex we will yet again show how we are taking our brand to the next level. We are offering our guests the best way to experience the world in modern luxury style.”
Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, said: “We are proud to celebrate the launch of another incredible Edge Class ship with Celebrity Cruises. The brand is known for many industry firsts so it’s fitting that Celebrity Apex is the first to participate in a steel cutting ceremony under our new name Chantiers de l’Atlantique, another milestone of the great partnership we have built together.”
Celebrity Apex is expected to make her debut in spring 2020, with the third and fourth Edge series ships arriving in Fall 2021 and Fall 2022, respectively. For more information on Celebrity and the Edge series, visit www.celebritycruises.com.
PRESS RELEASE_SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 23, 2018) – Princess Cruises, a leading global cruise brand of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest leisure travel company, today announced a memorandum of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A. to build two new cruise ships on a next-generation platform designed to further enhance an already world-class vacation experience for its guests. The new builds are slated to be delivered in late 2023 and spring 2025, respectively.
The new vessels will be Princess Cruises’ first ships to be dual-fuel powered -- primarily by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the marine industry’s most environmentally friendly advanced fuel technology and the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, which will significantly reduce air emissions and marine gasoil (MGO). The new ships, which will be the largest by capacity in the Princess Cruises fleet, will be built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
“This revolutionary platform for next-generation, LNG-powered cruise ships will introduce innovative design and leisure experiences driven by the future vacation and lifestyle trends of our guests – further evolving the already best-in-class Princess Cruises experience we deliver today,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “We look forward to collaborating with Fincantieri to bring our vision for this next- generation premium cruise ship into service,” added Swartz.
The two ships will be 175,000 gross tons and will accommodate approximately 4,300 guests (lower berths). Specification details for the ship design, along with anticipated features and amenities of this all-new platform design for Princess Cruises, will be shared in the future.
Added Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri: “We are proud to extend our long-established partnership with Princess Cruises, a brand we have been tied to since our return to the cruise ship building industry in 1990. After so many years, we are ready to enter, together, a new era of this industry, increasingly aimed at reducing even more of our environmental impact. We proudly do this with an all-time record project, both in terms of size and technology. We believe that there are no more significant milestones than these to reaffirm our market-leading position. This builds upon the solid partnership between our country and Carnival Corporation -- the largest foreign investor in Italy – while at the same time building upon our technological strength and increasing employment.”
In addition to today’s news, Princess Cruises has three new Royal-class ships on order with Fincantieri, including its next new ship, Sky Princess, which is currently under construction and scheduled for delivery in October 2019. The two other Royal-class ships are planned for delivery in 2020 and 2022.
The agreement for Princess Cruises’ next-generation cruise ships represent Carnival Corporation’s 10th and 11th contracted LNG-based vessels and are part of the company’s ongoing fleet enhancement strategy, aimed at creating excitement in the vacation market while accelerating demand for cruising, the fastest growing segment in the vacation industry. Carnival Corporation currently has 20 new ships under contract and scheduled for delivery between 2018 and 2025.
Built in Rangoon in 2002, the RV Mekong Pandaw ship was designed specially for the Mekong and unlike our other P class ships does not have a flying bridge. The vessel boasts an incredible 750 square meter teak deck that even has a full size billiard table. The MP, as she is affectionately known, is Pandaw Expeditions most spacious ship with wider promenades, a larger dining hall and more public space per passenger than any known ship afloat. In 2012, the ship was refitted and lower deck cabins removed in favor of a professional spa, gym, library lounge and office. The ship has quality mountain bikes for independent exploration. (Credit: Pandaw Expeditions)
PRESS RELEASE_Cruise pioneer Pandaw Expeditions is continuing to offer a Classic Mekong cruise that presents a cruise that is both fascinating and varied on the River Mekong.
The cruise features a striking cultural contrast between the bustling Vietnam delta and the tranquility of Cambodia. The RV Mekong passes from the vibrant French colonial port of Saigon and along the main channel into the rich countryside of Cambodia. Travelers experience a full day in the charming Phnom Penh and then explore remoter waterways as the cruise progresses to the great monuments of Angkor.
The cruise is now offering a new and exclusive upgraded itinerary that allows cruise goers to visit Kratie and the Mekong dolphins. For dates, visit, https://www.pandaw.com/expeditions/classic-mekong/
The 7 NIGHTS SAIGON - SIEM REAP Is Price From $1,840.50 USD
The price includes: entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water. Transfers between the meeting point and the ship at the start and end of a voyage.
For reservations and more information, call 0208 326 5620 or go to www.pandaw.com.
Pandaw is the pioneer of boutique river expeditions throughout Southeast Asia. The unique design of Pandaw’s small but powerful shallow-draft ships, beautifully hand-crafted in teak and brass, allows them to sail through a tapestry of remote rivers and coastal routes in Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China.
The original company, known as the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, founded in 1865, was acquired by Paul and Roser Strachan in 1995. Renamed Pandaw, following the discovery and acquisition of this last remaining Clyde-built steamer, the company has consistently cruised through new frontiers, pushing the boundaries beyond its original home of Burma. Pandaw brought its unique concept and style to expeditions along the Mekong River through Indochina in 2003, and pioneered the first routes on both the Red River in Northern Vietnam and the Upper Mekong through Laos into China in 2015.
Pandaw believes in giving back to society. Paul Strachan, Founder & CEO, established the Pandaw charity in 2008 to support education and health care efforts in Burma. The charity is entirely sponsored by donations from Pandaw passengers and a profit share from Pandaw’s expeditions.
For reservations and more information call 0208 326 5620 or go to www.pandaw.com
PRESS RELEASE_Seattle, Wash., July 17, 2018 — The mysteries of the Far East unfold for guests on Holland America Line’s Westerdam when the ship embarks on its robust 2018 -19 season in Asia. From September 2018 through April 2019, the 1,916-guest Westerdam extensively explores China, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam on cruises ranging from 10 to 31 days.
Departing from Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan; Hong Kong and Shanghai, China; and Singapore, ancient temples and cultures steeped in tradition collide with soaring skyscrapers and bustling capitals. Ten different itineraries showcase the diversity of the countries while celebrating their histories that have been thousands of years in the making. Late departures and nine overnight ports allow extra time for exploration, while Hong Kong and Singapore departures provide an incredible opportunity for Holland America’s exclusive Signature Experience pre-cruise tours.
“As travelers seek more meaningful and experiential vacations, our Asia itineraries remain in high demand for their depth of cultural exploration and once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “For many, a cruise to the Far East is long-awaited and highly anticipated. To ensure we exceed their expectations, we designed Westerdam’s season to be among the most comprehensive and memorable in the industry.”
Westerdam kicks off the season with a 14-day North Pacific Crossing from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan. The ship then begins a series of voyages that explore the Far East, from Japan to Vietnam.
Westerdam’s 16-day Far East Discovery cruise between Singapore and Hong Kong calls at Sanya, China; four ports in Vietnam, including an overnight stay in Halong Bay; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; Ko Samui and an overnight at Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand. A 13-day Far East Discovery option eliminates Nha Trang in Vietnam and Sanya, while a 15-day Far East Discovery eliminates the overnight stay in Halong Bay, Vietnam.
PRESS RELEASE_SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 17, 2018) – Princess Cruises guests aboard Sun Princess will now have access to the newest onboard enhancements following an extensive 14-day, multimillion dollar dry dock in Singapore, continuing the line’s “Come Back New Promise” commitment focused on investing more than $450 million across the global fleet.
From Singapore, Sun Princess is sailing the waters of Southeast Asia before returning to Australia for the 2019 winter season, where her itineraries begin on the Western coast of the island nation before transitioning to eastern coast and New Zealand itineraries.
“Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand have always had an allure for travellers, and cruising is one of the best ways to explore this part of the world,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We are thrilled to provide guests sailing the regions with our newest onboard features that enhance their cruise experience while sailing this beautiful part of the world.”
Sun Princess is the latest ship in the fleet to receive the elegant livery design featuring the Princess Cruises logo, one of the most recognized brand logos in cruising. The design features the smooth and flowing gracefulness of ocean waves and represents the excitement and adventure of discovering the great destinations of the world aboard a Princess cruise.
In addition to displaying the line’s signature logo on her bow, new and enhanced onboard offerings have been added on Sun Princess including:
Club Class Mini-Suites – Sun Princess offers Club Class Mini-Suites, the new premium stateroom category featuring VIP amenities and exclusive dining. This elevated mini-suite category features select perks including new Club Class Dining, a reserved dining area with expedited seating and expanded menu options, as well as priority embarkation and disembarkation.
Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center – for cruisers ages 3-17, Sun Princess will offer a reimagined youth center – Camp Discovery – created in partnership with Discovery™, as part of the cruise line’s Discovery at SEA program. Catering to specific age groups, kids and teens can make new friends and participate in activities specially designed to help them discover, play, create and huddle.
Enhanced Boutiques – guests will enjoy aesthetic enhancements to the Shops of Princess, offering an upgraded shopping experience, such as a branded Effy Fine Jewelry boutique. There will also be new products to choose from featuring a collection of Princess branded athletic wear and logo apparel displayed in a newly designed Logo shop. In the newly renovated branded designer shop, you will find new designer handbags and accessories from Burberry, Coach, Longchamp, and Guess.
Princess Cruises offers guests the opportunity to sail the waters of Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand in 2019 with ships sailing more than 80 departures on 20 unique itineraries to 64 destinations in 14 countries.
A highlight of the ship’s upcoming Australia winter season schedule includes a four-day Sun Princess Australia Getaway departing on January 5, 2019. The itinerary features a maiden call to Moreton Island, located just off the Queensland coast and boasts to be one of the world’s largest sand islands.
Sun Princess guests sailing Southeast Asia will have a chance to witness the storied dragons of Komodo as the ship makes her only call to Indonesia’s Komodo Island during the 15-day sailing departing December 23, 2019.
PRESS RELEASE_“Deerfield Beach, Fla. July 17, 2018 – Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line (BPCL), the only provider of two-night cruises and cruise & resort stays to Grand Bahama Island departing daily from the Port of Palm Beach, has partnered with TravTech’s integrated booking application Cruisebase. Opening the gateway for BPCL vacations to be available through online travel agencies (OTA), Cruise.com is the first leading OTA to now offer seamless booking for the line with the Cruisebase software addition. Cruisebase travel agent users and their consumers can efficiently access booking inventory for both the Grand Celebration and Grand Classica directly online. The integration allows BPCL to connect with large intermediary partners and hundreds of thousands of their consumers.
The popularity of our convenient and flexible two-night cruises continues to grow with a wider customer base of many first-time cruisers as well as seasoned travelers seeking a quick escape,” shares Oneil Khosa, CEO of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. “Partnering with TravTech’s leading technology and Cruise.com, one of the top online cruise sellers, broadens our distribution strategy providing greater access to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s unique offering of a two-night cruise and cruise & resort stay.”
TravTech, developer of web-based travel applications with its flagship application suite CruiseBase, is the primary technology supplier of Cruise.com.
“The growth of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line in such a short time is an exciting story and TravTech is delighted to partner with the team as they expand their reach into new markets,” shares Vinod George, Executive Vice President of TravTech. “We look forward to bringing such innovative partners onto the booking platform and supporting the growth of their products.”
Cruise.com, a subsidiary of Omega Travel, Inc. based in Dania Beach, Fla. is one of the leading online cruise sellers delivering personalized service as well as exceptional value to its customers.
“With the trend of shorter sailings catering to guests with busy schedules, the Cruise.com team is thrilled to welcome Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to our portfolio of leading cruise products,” explains Anthony Hamawy, President of Cruise.com. “We recognize the line’s two-night sailings are exactly what so many of today’s consumers are seeking.”
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Classica and Grand Celebration offer daily departures from the Port of Palm Beach, making it easy for travelers to schedule an island retreat any time with an itinerary all their own. Whether seeking to relax and rejuvenate or experience some fun and adventure, a two-night cruise is the perfect length of time for a mid-week escape or weekend getaway. Guests looking to experience Grand Bahama Island even longer can combine a beach resort stay with their cruise, selecting from four spectacular beach properties.
Stay current with the latest news from the cruise lines.
Follow Gerry Barker
on All Things Cruise.