It's been a busy 24 hours as three popular cruise lines confirm a new build, addition and a ship leaving the fleet.
Over the last few years, we have had so much to be proud of at Cunard – from the magnificent celebrations for our 175th anniversary, that drew crowds of more than a million people in Liverpool, to the stunning £120m refurbishments of our flagship Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. As we mark 50 years since the naming of the much loved liner QE2, we wanted to share our most exciting news yet.
A new ship is to join Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth as the fourth member of the fleet. She will be the first new Cunard ship in 12 years, making it the first time since 1998 that we’ll have four ships in simultaneous service, an investment in ambitious plans for the future of Cunard globally. Sharing the iconic livery and red funnels, the new ship will accommodate up to 3,000 guests. Distinct Cunard signatures and brand new experiences will combine as part of this next generation of the Cunard fleet and we’re looking forward to sharing exciting details in the coming years.
We can now confirm that small ship Adonia will be leaving the fleet next year. The sale will be completed in March 2018 and Adonia's last cruise as a P&O Cruises ship will be D804 leaving Barbados on February 23 and ending in Barbados on March 9, 2018. Guests booked on any Adonia cruises after March 2018 will be contacted directly either by P&O Cruises or their travel agent in the next few days. We know this has been the subject of much speculation but as we are sure you can appreciate we were unable to confirm anything until an agreement was in place.
During her time with us Adonia has captured the hearts of many thousands of P&O Cruises guests. She has ventured into new ports of call around the globe and has negotiated Icelandic Fjords, European rivers and Caribbean coves. We will be making sure that these discovery itineraries are continued on other ships in the fleet. With almost six months until Adonia leaves the fleet, we will ensure that each of the cruises in her final season with us are extra special and celebratory.
Azamara Club Cruises
MIAMI, September 26, 2017 – Azamara Club Cruises®, the upmarket cruise line subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase a sister ship to Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, with delivery taking place in March 2018.
We are pleased to expand our portfolio by 50%, allowing us to visit even more regions of the world through the acquisition of this sister ship,” said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises®. “Our loyal guests and travel partners have asked for this expansion for a long time; we are very pleased to deliver this to them.”
The new addition, the Azamara Pursuit, is comparable in size to the Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. As such, it will also allow visits to unique ports that larger ships are unable to reach. Together, the three ships will support the brand’s commitment to enrich destination immersion around the world, by staying longer in port to allow guests to experience more.
The ship’s décor will be updated to match the brand’s upmarket position. These updates will be similar to the renovations recently introduced on the Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, bringing guests the experience of a boutique hotel at sea. Information about deployment and itineraries for Azamara Pursuit will be available in October.
Images & text from www.cunard.co.uk, www.pocruises.com, www.azamaraclubcruises.co.uk
MSC reveal digital technology, Celebrity launch Edge, Cunard return to Alaska, Symphony is announced, Norwegian Joy float out, Princess release guest speaker names & Boyzlife to perform on P&O Cruises...
MSC Unveils Digital Technology Debuting On Meraviglia
MSC Cruises has revealed more details on the new digital technology that will allow passengers to start their cruise before they have even boarded the ship. Passengers will be able to book restaurants, shore excursions and other services as well as select their onboard preferences before setting foot onboard their ship.
MSC for Me will consist of 130 different functions, including a smart watch, mobile app for passengers as well as crew, tablet and website as well as in-cabin technology through the TV.
The technology will provide passengers with the ability to find venues onboard the ship, access menus and the ship’s daily programme – and even find the nearest bathroom for when nature calls! In addition to this the next-generation smart watch will also allow passengers access to their cabins, make purchases and request support.
Celebrity Cruises Reveals Edge-Class Detail
As it goes on sale for the first time, Celebrity Cruises have announced the first details for their new class of ship, Celebrity Edge.
Celebrity Edge’s inaugural sailing will take place in December 2018, offering two itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The first will sail to the Eastern Caribbean taking in destinations such as San Juan, Puerto Rico and Philipsburg. Whilst the second is a Western Caribbean voyage stopping off at at destinations including Costa Maya, Cozumel and Grand Cayman.
One of the standout features of Celebrity Edge is the ‘Magic Carpet’ – which is a ship climbing platform which can travel 13 stories and re-position itself alongside decks, allowing for new or extended venues depending on position. During the day, the Magic Carpet will serve as an al fresco extension to a raw bar restaurant on Deck 5. The movable deck will rise to the pool deck ( deck 14) for happy hours and late-night parties. At dinner time, it will be used as an alternative restaurant on Deck 16 where the theme will change every night.
New suite categories have also been added, which have been designed in partnership with interior designer Kelly Hoppen. These include Iconic Suites located above the bridge of the ship. These will offer panoramic views of the ocean and a private veranda; and Edge Villas, which will feature plunge pools, ocean views and direct walk-out access to ‘The Retreat’.
Another innovation that Celebrity Edge will introduce is the Infinite Veranda, a cabin designed to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor. The Infinite Veranda makes your balcony part of your room, thanks to bi-fold doors that can be opened completely, adding roughly 23% more space to the room.
Cunard Returns To Alaska For First Time In 20 Years
For the first time in more than 20 years, Cunard will sail to Alaska as part of its ‘Oceans of Discovery’ program in 2019.
Queen Victoria will operate the only full world cruise in 2019, which will leave Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 as well as Queen Elizabeth with greater flexibility to travel to a mixture of destinations the line has said.
Queen Elizabeth will undertake its first Alaskan cruise, crossing the North Pacific and Gulf of Alaska en route to Vancouver, this will be the first time that any of the line’s current fleet will have travelled to Alaska. She will run a total of 41 cruise combinations ranging from 2 to 38 nights overall.
Queen Victoria which is scheduled to undergo a refit in June will run a 107-night world voyage in 2019 on a western circumnavigation via the Panama Canal. Passengers will be able to travel on sections, which sees the ship end up sailing the Indian Ocean to South Africa before returning to Southampton.
Queen Mary 2’s 2019 deployment features UK departures visiting the Mediterranean, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean to Far East and back, these journeys range from one to three weeks, but they can be combined to a full 94 day voyage.
Symphony Of The Seas Announced As Royal’s New Ship
It has been confirmed that Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, which is set to launch in April 2018 will be named Symphony of the Seas, and will be the largest cruise ship in the world.
At a massive 230,000 gross registered tons and measuring 362m long, the vessel will offer 28 more staterooms than her newest sister ship, Harmony of the Seas.
Symphony will also include many of the same features as Harmony, such as the seven-neighbourhood concept, the Bionic Bar, AquaTheatre and the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides. Symphony will spend her inaugural season exploring the Mediterranean calling into destinations such as Barcelona, Naples and Provence before heading to Miami. She will begin seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries on 17th November 2018 from the ‘Crown of Miami’ Terminal A.
Norwegian Joy Floats Out As First Chinese Ship For NCL
Norwegian Joy floated out from Meyer Werft’s shipyard located in Papenburg, Germany on the 4th March, becoming Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship for the Chinese market. The ship is the second ship in the cruise line’s Breakaway Plus Class, but will offer a significantly different experience from one you would expect to find onboard sister ships Norwegian Escape which sails out of Miami.
The 168.000-ton Norwegian Joy, which can carry 3,850 passengers, features the Haven, the line’s ship within a ship concept, a 180-degree view observation desk, open-air laser tag, a shopping district and colourful artwork by Chinese artist Tan Ping. The ship is scheduled to be delivered to Norwegian Cruise Line next month, and it will being sailing voyages from Shanghai and Tianjin (Beijing) beginning in summer 2017.
Princess Cruises unveils star-studded guest speaker line-up
Princess Cruises has revealed that names from across the world of royalty, entertainment, politics and sport will speak on Crown Princess, one of its Southampton-based ships for this spring and summer. Crown Princess will sail to the Mediterranean and northern Europe from April to September 2017 on seven and 14-night cruises.
The line-up is the first time Princess has introduced a speaker programme on one of its UK ships. It forms part of Princess’ Encounters with Discovery speaker series and comprises the following:
– Katie Nicholl (Royal correspondent and commentator), on a 14-night Med cruise, departs April 22
– Beverley Callard (actress, Liz McDonald in Coronation Street), on a 7-night cruise, departs May 6
– Harry Redknapp (former footballer and manager), on two 14-night Med cruises, April 22 and May 13
– Graham Gooch OBE (former England cricket captain), on a 7-night Scandinavia cruise, departs May 27
– Peter Shilton OBE (former England goalkeeper & football manager), on a 14-night North Cape and Norwegian Fjords cruise, departs June 17
– John Virgo (former snooker player, current snooker commentator), on a 7-night Fjords cruise, July 1
– Terry Butcher (former England captain and football manager), on a 14-night Baltic cruise, departs July 8
– Paul Burrell RVM (butler to Diana, Princess of Wales), on a 7-night Fjords cruise, departs July 22
– Mike Gatting OBE (former England cricket captain), on a 14-night Mediterranean cruise, departs July 29
– Sherrie Hewson (actor, presenter, broadcaster and novelist), on a 14-night cruise, departs August 12
– Edwina Currie (former MP. Novelist and broadcaster), on a 7-night Scandinavia cruise, August 26
Each speaker will host a 45-minute talk with questions and answers, as well as a meet and greet session including photographs and book signings. Additionally some speakers will be judges on ‘The Voice of the Ocean’, an onboard singing competition for guests, which is based on ITV’s ‘The Voice’.
Irish supergroup Boyzlife to perform on Britannia this August
Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy from Westlife and Boyzone are joining forces to create Boyzlife and will be performing in Britannia’s Limelight club in August this year. Guests on board can pay £49 per person for the unique show which will feature dinner, plus a performance from the boys. Boyzlife will be performing on the first five nights of Britannia’s 14-night Spain, France & Italy cruise round trip from Southampton. The cruise departs August 12, 2017 with prices starting from £1,299 per person.
Dome design tops new innovations at sea on P&O Cruises new ship
A major new entertainment hub called The Dome will be among the star attractions to feature on the biggest cruise ship built for Britain. Featuring an impressive clear sky dome, a pool with a retractable stage, water feature and whirlpools, The Dome will act as an all-weather venue for all day entertainment and informal dining. At night The Dome – one of four primary entertainment spaces on P&O Cruises new 180,000 ton ship – will come alive with aerial performances, projection onto the roof and immersive shows.
An uninterrupted half-mile Promenade around the ship on Deck 8 provides easy access to al fresco dining at a range of restaurants and relaxation areas under shaded pavilion awnings.
Glass walls spanning three decks will flow natural light into P&O Cruises signature Atrium, the central heartbeat and focal point of the 5,200-guest ship, complete with a grand staircase, gallery and overhead walkways.
Cutting-edge designers and architects will work on creating the next generation ship, the first new-build in five years when it enters service in early summer 2020.
Initial concepts for differentiated cabins will be created by Acumen (London), a contemporary design practice behind British Airways’ first-ever lie-flat beds, Air France first class and The Residence, Etihad Airways’ opulent three-room suites in the sky.
The ship will be the most environmentally efficient in P&O Cruises history with “green cruising” design using liquefied natural gas (LNG) to generate the primary source of power both in port and on the open sea. This will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment in support of the company's sustainability goals.
Guests will be spoilt for choice for dining, entertainment, socialising and relaxation options:
• 17 places to eat
• 7 speciality restaurants
• 12 places to enjoy a drink and see the sea
• 13 entertainment venues from the theatre to adult only venues
• Three pop-up entertainment spaces/venues
• 16 whirlpools
• 4 swimming pools (three outside, one inside)
• 9 places to have breakfast
• 5 places to enjoy afternoon tea
• 7 places to have coffee
Built by Meyer Werft at its shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, cruises on the new ship will go on sale in autumn 2018.
P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow said: “Choice, flexibility and the ability to create individual holiday experiences on board will be at the heart of the new ship which, thanks to an innovative use of space, will offer an extensive range of dining, entertainment and relaxing areas.
“Understanding the psychographic - the mindset - of our current and future guests is the key – acknowledging and realising what they want from a holiday and then providing it for them.
“Our vision is to offer the next generation of British guests the holiday of a lifetime on the next generation of P&O Cruises ships. This new ship will bring an array of new cruising experiences to guests and attract newcomers to our brand, whilst instantly resonating with forward-thinking guests, encapsulating the ‘P&O-ness’ they recognise and love.”
P&O Cruises has been partnering with some of the world's leading hospitality, interior design, maritime and aeronautical architectural experts, as well as leading cruise ship designers and builders including:
• Meyer Werft (Papenburg): world-leading builder of luxury passenger ships. They have built ships for AIDA, RCI, Disney, HAL, NCL, Celebrity, Saga & Dream
• Jestico & Whiles (London): award-winning residential & commercial architects. Their work includes Aquashard (London), the Yas Hotel, Abu Dhabi, Andel’s Lodz Hotel, Poland, The Chinese Embassy (London), Hakkasan, the W Hotel (London)
• Richmond International (London): hotel architecture and interior experts. Previously partnered with on Britannia. Their work includes The Langham Hotel, London & Chicago, P&O Cruises Britannia, The Four Seasons Moscow, Boca Beach Club Restaurant (Waldorf Astoria), Sandy Lane Hotel (Barbados)
• Acumen (London): multidisciplinary design and product practice, engaged to consult on initial concepts for differentiated cabins. Their work includes British Airways (the first ever lie-flat bed), Etihad Airways ‘apartment’, Ora, Britax and Lewmar deck gear (sailing) and Air France first class
• Partner Ship Design (Hamburg): experienced in maritime architecture and specialists in on board guest experience / flow. AIDA, Costa, P&O Cruises, Carnival
For more information or to book call Vision Cruise on 0800 655 6449
Welcome to Ventura. She is one of the larger ships in the P&O Cruises fleet, benefiting from great facilities for all the family. I recently went on board to have a look around. On board you can find an impressive 12 dining options, a lavish two-deck theatre, 11 places to socialise including four deck bars and lots of areas to relax and unwind.
Ventura offers a choice of cabins to suit all budgets and tastes from insides to balcony cabins. All cabins are air conditioned and have the British favourites like tea and coffee making facilities and three pin plug sockets so no need for adapters! All bedding is Egyptian cotton, you’ll also find a hairdryer, safe and en-suite bathroom with toiletries. And to service your cabin twice daily, or for any questions, you will receive a personal cabin steward who is there to look after you.
When it comes to dining, Ventura can offer something for every taste. There are three main restaurants on board (Saffron, Cinnamon & Bay Tree), all these restaurants offer five course gourmet evening meals served either at the same time every evening on the same table (Club dining) or no fixed seating or dining times (Freedom dining). I really do like the idea of freedom dining, if you have been busy exploring a port of call, there’s no need to rush back for you meal. If its casual dining you want, there is a choice of options. For speciality dining, you can choose to eat in Sindhi with tastes by Atul Kochhar or if you fancy selected wines by Olly Smith with some affordable tapas, head to The Glass House. The Epicurean is also a good alternative choice too. Snacks are available from the poolside grill in addition to the main buffet.
Once we have eaten, it’s time to look at the entertainment options on board. The Horizon newspaper is posted inside your stateroom every evening, this details everything that is going on around the ship the following day, and is a handy thing to keep in your pocket as you go around the ship. Included in the price of your holiday you will sample a choice of entertainment including: dazzling west-end style performances, comedy shows, cabaret, live music, night clubs, dance classes, pub quizzes and much more. The Arena Theatre is the main show venue. With its two-tiers, you can enjoy a great west-end style show. The Tamarind club offers live music and dancing. Havana is the Cuban themed nightclub, the ideal place to try that Latin American dance! The Metropolis bar has an ever changing skyline – one night you may be in Sydney, the following night you may be in New York!
If you are enjoying a sea day on board Ventura, there are plenty of things to do, from dance classes to deck games and watercolour art, or just simply relaxing with a book on top deck. If its shopping you are after, a choice of boutiques stock essentials, souvenirs and of course duty free!
Ready for the formal night, if you wanted a massage or your hair cut, head to Oasis spa for a choice of treatments. The Retreat is the adult only area and you’re own little private sanctuary. There is a sports court, fitness centre and gym, these are included in the cost of your cruise.
Ventura is a fantastic choice for everyone, if you are a solo traveller you will make new friends. If you are cruising as a couple, you can enjoy the tranquil spa facilities. A family will love Ventura, the kids can be entertained in the free age-specific children’s clubs ranging from 2-17 years, with a night nursery for the under 4s. There are special children’s areas in the restaurants plus a separate swimming pool at the back of the ship.
I really enjoyed my time on board Ventura and the staff are so friendly and go out of their way to make sure you have the cruise holiday of a lifetime I just can’t wait to get back on board, its quintessential quality with P&O Cruises.
At only 710 passengers, Adonia is the smallest of P&O Cruises fleet. Designed to offer an intimate experience, she’s ideal for meeting new friends on board and welcoming back familiar faces. Because of her smaller size, she is also able to get into the smaller ports of call that the larger vessels cannot.
From the moment you step on board, you are greeted by the reception area, explorers (the excursion desk) and the grand atrium with its grand staircases. Fitted with wood-style panelling and rich with traditional artworks, her ambience and décor are in keeping with the traditions of cruising, and nobody does it better than P&O Cruises.
Out on top deck is the Crystal Pool, with a traditional lido feel, the perfect place to be when at sea. If you want to keep in shape, the gymnasium on board is well equipped with all the state of art equipment you would expect to find back home. When it’s time to pamper yourself, head to the Oasis Spa with all the treatments you could want, there’s also a salon which is the perfect place to head if you want to look your best.
Crystals bar out on top deck serves the Crystals Pool, here you can get a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, whilst you're sat in your sun lounger!
And when it comes to dining, there’s no shortage of choice either. The Lido café offers great food in a relaxed outdoor setting. The Pacific Restaurant is the main restaurant on board, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Conservatory & Bar is the buffet restaurant which offers a relaxed dining venue. Sorrento Restaurant serves classic Italian dishes, whilst Ocean Grill is Marco Pierre White’s on board restaurant creating stunning dishes at sea.
If you like your shopping, there’s a couple of great shops on board (Mayfair & Emporium) selling branded goods, clothing, jewellery and much more.
There’s a great selection of accommodation on board Adonia, it’s the perfect choice if you prefer smaller intimate cruising with a traditional British atmosphere on board.
P&O Cruises have teamed up with literally an army of chefs and cooks to create the first cookery school on board a British ship, headed up by celebrity chef James Martin. James is joined by Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar and wine guru Olly Smith who are already well established P&O Cruises favourites. Also involved with the cookery school is acclaimed patisserie Eric Lanlard and cheese expert Charlie Turnbull, who together with James, Marco and Atul make up the ‘P&O Cruises Food Heros’. The chefs are cruising on selected sailings throughout the 2015/2016 programme, so worth checking when you’re looking to book to see who is on board.
For entertainment, P&O Cruises innovation continues in The Limelight Club, the fleets first dinner and entertainment venue in the great tradition of the supper club. The stunning Headliners Theatre boasts digital technology to rival almost any West End stage, and The Studio, Crystal Room and Live Lounge complete the line-up for both daytime and evening entertainment. Another place you can head to is Brodies on Deck 6 – delivering a menu of British beers from over 56 counties in the UK, from lagers, to ales, to ciders, to beers, you can find it all here.
On Deck 7, you will find the Crystal Room with its beautiful wooden dance floor to gleaming chandeliers, and this is the venue where stars from Strictly Come Dancing will perform on board selected cruises.
Wow – with so much choice there really has never been a better time to take a cruise holiday. And if your spoilt for choice and not sure if there’s enough for you out there – then there are a plethora of new ships launching over the next few years…
Royal Caribbean International are launching the Quantum of the Seas in Autumn 2014, this will be the first of three next generation ships for the fleet. Quantum of the Seas really is packed with the latest innovations at sea including; the North Star (360 degree view viewing capsule that extends over the ship), bumper cars, the Two70 lounge that is a fantastic venue both day and night and the first for cruising ‘Virtual balconies’ essentially an inside stateroom with a TV screen floor to ceiling that shows a live link of the outside.
P&O Cruises will be launching their new Britannia ship in February 2015, it will be the biggest in the fleet, carrying over 3,600 passengers and built especially for the UK market. With lots of new features, and designed on 5* boutique hotels, she will still carry the traditional British cruising elements, with one of the largest spa at sea and a new giant union jack along the side of the ship, something that will be introduced across the whole fleet over the next few years.
Anthem of the Seas, the second of Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum class of ships will be launching in Spring 2015. During the summer she will be based out of Southampton offering itineraries in Europe before moving over to the Caribbean for Winter. All the facilities from Quantum of the Seas can be found on board Anthem of the Seas too.
Viking River Cruises are stepping into Ocean travel with the launch of Viking Star, the first ship to enter the fleet specifically for Ocean Cruising. Some of the old riverboat favourites from the lines other vessels will be included on board – the alfresco dining for example. A promenade will full circle the ship
Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest offering Norwegian Escape will launch in October 2015, she will be the first in the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway-Plus class, carrying 4,200 passengers. If you’ve sampled the lines latest editions – the Norwegian Breakaway or Getaway and thought they were impressive! Prepare to be amazed as Escape will have an additional deck of cabins and facilities! Two more ships are on order for Spring 2018 and Winter 2019 as part of the Breakaway-Plus class of ship, both unnamed and again, are expected to carry 4,200 passengers.
Holland America Line will launch their next vessel in February 2016, named as the ms Koningsdam, this will reflects the company’s roots in the Netherlands. ‘Koning’ meaning King in Dutch and ‘dam’ has been used in every Holland America passenger vessel name since 1883. This will be the companies first new ship since 2010.
In mid-2016 Royal Caribbean International will add the third ship to the Quantum Class fleet, the Ovation of the Seas. Joining her sisters Quantum & Anthem of the Seas she will include all the new features, North Star, Virtual balconies and lots more! Meanwhile a new ship will join the Oasis class fleet, with the possibility of a fourth launching mid-2018.
Ultra luxury line, Regent Seven Seas cruises will launch the Explorer in Summer 2016, it will be the largest in the fleet, growing its capacity by 40 percent. With 369 suites, six open seating restaurants, a stunning 9 deck atrium and two tier theatre.
Looking further ahead, Seabourn Cruise Line will add a further as-yet-unnamed ship to the fleet in the second half of 2016 and sister brand Carnival Cruise Lines will launch the Carnival Vista in Winter 2016. This will be the line’s first new ship since the Carnival Breeze in 2012, she will feature the line’s 2.0 enhancements and will be the 25th fun ship for Carnival.
Following on from the success of the Royal Princess and Regal Princess, Princess Cruises will build a third ship in its Royal Class of Ships. Currently little information has been released, but it is expected to cost in the region of 600 million euros! She will, however, feature the Princess favourites including the adult-only Sanctuary, Movie’s Under the Stars and lots of balcony staterooms.
MSC Cruises are adding a further ships to the fleet in 2017, 2018 & 2019, all are currently unnamed but are expected to hold a large number of passengers, become one of the biggest ships in the World, behind the Oasis and Allure of the Seas from Royal Caribbean
Cruising really is popular not only with Brits but around the World, over the next 5 years there are thousands of new cabins that will appear on innovate and ground-breaking ships. And as the popularity of cruising continues to grow, so will the number of ships…