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A collection of the snippets I find about the world of cruising...

Last updated Tue 3 May 2018

Crystal Cruises used to be 2 ships... "BUT LOOK AT ME NOW"  -  Ocean Cruises, serious Yachts and River Cruises.
A musical theme through out.
And all of the river ships with Composers names doing the rivers of Europe, Mozart, Ravel, Debussy, Bach etc.
They are beautiful, purpose built ships with the same attention  to detail and luxury across the Line.
I am not the only one to think this. Crystal has won the most illustrious awards given.

Now owned by Genting in Hong Kong, there is obviously no limit to the budget for these beauties.
Los Angeles, May 15, 2015 – Genting Hong Kong (GHK) today announced that it has completed
 the acquisition of “The World’s Most Awarded and Best Luxury Cruise Line,” Crystal Cruises (Crystal),
from Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), for a total transaction of US$550 million.
“Genting Hong Kong is delighted and honored to add Crystal to our global hospitality and leisure brands,”
 said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay. “We will ensure Crystal’s reputation as
 “The World’s Best and Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line,” by maintaining its integrity
 and work to continue elevating its status as the highest standard of luxury cruising.
 The current management team and crew will continue to lead Crystal’s six-star operation while
 Genting will provide the financial resources and proven expertise in innovative ship design to
 deliver a new ultra-luxury ocean vessel by 2018.”

As always, I can assist if you want to know more about Crystal's cruises and specials - 0412 278 888


LUXURY cruise line Cunard has announced it will be extending its Australian season to a record 101 days over the 2019-20 summer period. The company’s Queen Elizabeth vessel will make six sailings between December 2019 and March 2020, departing from Sydney and Melbourne during that time and exploring a varied list of itineraries including trips to South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
News of the 2019/2020 season extension sees Cunard almost double the length of the ship’s scheduled 54-day stay in early 2019, a decision the company says was fuelled by continued uptake in the Aussie market for its products.
“Over the past few years we’ve seen unprecedented growth in demand for the Cunard experience in Australia so it made sense for us to invest further in the market and extend the sailing season,” said Cunard senior vice president Simon Palethorpe. “Our new 2019-20 summer season will not only feature more cruises, it will also offer some exciting new itinerary options,” he added. Cunard has experienced solid sales traction in Melbourne recently, driving a decision to have the Queen Elizabeth homeport in the city for two months.


AS SHIPYARD theatrics go, it was an impressive show. Beneath the rugged peaks of western Sicily in the ancient harbour of Palermo, Silversea Cruises last month heralded its latest cruising evolution with a spectacular feat of engineering. The line’s eight-year-old Silver Muse, a 36,000-ton luxury vessel with
capacity for 540 guests, was sliced in half before onlookers at the Fincantieri shipyards and separated into two parts like a vaudeville magician’s assistant.
The next day, local dignitaries and industry guests returned for a sequel performance, in which a new 15m section of ship weighing 1,000 tons was manoeuvred through the
drydock upon computer-controlled rollers and eased into the middle of the ship as neatly as a book being returned to a shelf.It was the highlight of a process costing more than US$70 million that will lengthen the ship to 210m and add 34 new cabins. Coming with an end-to-end interior upgrade, it will boost the ship’s capacity to 608 guests and allow the introduction of four new restaurant concepts.
Construction of the new section began in October and work to strip the ship’s interior started as it sailed towards Sicily from the Middle East in February. The act of slicing the vessel took just four days, and work is now underway to re-join the ship’s segments and complete the interior fit-out in time for its hand-back on 1 May.In just over six months – and after 450,000 hours of labour –Silver Spirit will have been taken to a new level of luxury in what Silversea’s chief marketing officer Barbara Muckermann says will be an emulation of the line’s flagship Silver Muse, launched last year. “Silversea is the leader in the luxury and expedition sector – we have a market share of 19.2% and we’re the biggest player in the market,” Muckermann told guests at the shipyard
“It’s fundamental for us on one side to always consider our current customers... but also to start working towards a product that can more and more intercept the desires of the baby-boomers, who will be our customers of tomorrow.” While existing guests preferred intimacy, Muckermann said increasing numbers of baby-boomers were expecting greater variety in their cruise offering. “Luxury is really about choice. That’s why we’re increasing the number of restaurants, we are increasing the variety of cabins to be able to accommodate all of their desires, and through the addition of ships we will increase the range of itineraries we can offer at the same time,” she said.Mirroring Muse, the revamped Silver Spirit will dispense with its main dining room in favour of two new fine dining restaurants, Atlantide and Indochina. They will be joined by two other Muse-inspired additions, Silver Note and Spaccanapoli, as well as an Arts Cafe that doubles as exhibition and performance space, and four existing restaurants.
New cabins include six Silver Suites, 26 Veranda Suites and two Panorama Suites, while a redesigned Balsorano Suite will be the ship’s pinnacle accommodation, fitted with items chosen by Silversea Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio di Balsorano de Clunieres.Even the ship’s pool has been sliced in two and extended, increasing from 30m2 to 40m2.
Guests will get their first look at the extended Silver Spirit on 6 May when she commences a seven-day cruise from Rome’s port of Civitavecchia to Barcelona.



THE ACCC last month gave a preliminary green light to a proposal issued by the Port of Brisbane and Carnival Cruise Line that would see a new $158 million cruise terminal constructed in Brisbane. A plan was submitted by both parties for
ACCC approval back in October last year, with the bid outlining a commitment from Carnival to adhere to a “take or pay” obligation, meaning the cruise line would need to pay a fixed yearly amount to the port over the term of a 15-year agreement in exchange for preferential berthing rights.
The ACCC believes the project represents a positive economic opportunity for Brisbane. “A new dedicated cruise terminal in Brisbane, capable of berthing the increasingly popular ‘mega’ cruise ships, would be a real public benefit to the community as this is infrastructure that is currently lacking in Brisbane,” said ACCC commissioner Roger Featherston said.“Of course, the ACCC recognises that commercially, having a foundation customer
helps to underwrite the projected $158 million investment for the Port of Brisbane to build the new terminal,” he added. Despite the positive returns, the ACCC has also expressed concerns over the proposal. “Carnival is proposed to have preferential access...this may limit or prevent competition from other cruise liners
wishing to dock at the terminal in Brisbane during the peak summer cruising season,” Featherston said. The ACCC also conveyed trepidation over the prospect of Carnival being granted the right of first refusal over a possible future second berth at the terminal. “We are concerned this will block other cruise operators from being able to offer alternate cruise options to consumers in Brisbane,” Featherston added. A final determination on the plan will be handed down by the ACCC this month.


VIKING Cruises has significantly shored up its growth plans moving forward by ordering six additional ocean ships to be delivered in stages from 2024.
The deal struck with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri will raise Viking’s total ocean ship order and options to 16, with the six new additions
scheduled to be rolled out over 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027.

Viking Star and Viking Sea meet in Santorini
“This new order speaks to the positive response we have received from our guests and the industry,” said Torstein Hagen,
chairman of Viking. “As we continue to expand our brand, we look forward to bringing guests to more destinations
around the world and introducing them to the Viking way of exploration,” he added.
The news accompanies a recent announcement from Viking that it will be bulking up its river fleet by adding 24 more vessels.
The rapid expansion strategy would see Viking build 14 river vessels in addition to the seven already announced for 2019.
“On a relative size basis, our market share has continued to grow year after year and we will absolutely intend to ensure our
market share outpaces any of the other river cruise providers,” said Viking Cruises senior vice president of marketing, Richard Marnell.

 As always, I can assist if you want to know more about Viking cruises and specials - 0412 278 888

I’d like to share this with you.
Mornington Racecourse, 1st floor, members stand overlooking the track.
The sprinklers are on, the patio doors open and a light breeze comes through.
Two tables of coffee and biscuits, the hot tip for the day are the ginger nuts.
It doesn’t get any better than this…what a great couple of hours, what I learned.
48,000 tons, there will be six of them, they take 930 passengers each.
Because of the size, they can dock at Greenwich which is just 5klms from central London.

There are no casinos, no photographers, no one under 18 years old, no cocktail umbrellas, (could be a deal breaker??).
There is 24-hour room service, everyone has a verandah, no inside staterooms, walk in showers (increasingly more important and sensible),
270 sq. ft lead in cabins, Scandinavian furnishings, residential lecturers.
There is complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi, beer/wine/soft included with lunch and dinner, providing not over us$15 per drink
which is easy when a glass of wine is about us$4 or 5.
An optional us$20 per person per day unlimited Silver Beverage Package exists, with some restrictions.
(On their old ports for example.) Gratuities are included. There is free bottled water in every room.
You can bring duty free on board, there is no corkage and there is a bar fridge in the room.
A complimentary self-service laundry including soap powder.  Magnificent SPA facilities.

A sightseeing tour is included in each port, you can pay for extras.
You can also pay for the PRIVILEGE PACKAGE, which opens some terrific options.
In Rome a tour of the Vatican after hours, or in St Petersburg a tour to the outskirts of St Petersburg to 5 very large storage sheds
which store items unable to be exhibited in the Hermitage. This alone would be a reason for me to do a Viking Cruise.

I know there are also some floors in the basement of the Hermitage which house untold treasures, not all belonging to the Russians.
I remember after my 5th visit to St Petersburg (you guessed it, in my top 10) I was on a Lufthansa flight back to Frankfurt
and opened the paper to read the Russians had agreed to return some of the German Art.
Normally the other way around I know but there must be untold treasures in both St Petersburg and Moscow.
Shades of the George Clooney movie where they break in to the Museum to recover items.

Viking ships are a soft neutral pallet, washed oak look alike flooring throughout.
I loved the Stainless steel kitchens very visible to the guest. You could watch them cook your meal.

With 51 Longboats on the Rhine, Danube, Main and Elbe, more on the Douro, river boats on the Nile in Egypt, Ukraine,
Russia and the Volga, the Mekong and the Yangtze, Viking are the largest river boat company globally,
registered in St Petersburg and head office in Basle, Switzerland.
Staff are Swiss hotel trained, no contractors, a sightseeing tour included in every port, local guides,
QUIETVOX audio system, so you can always hear what is said, even if you wander away.
The dress is relaxed, no formal nights, no jackets/ties unless you would like to.
There is a dance floor, a library and laptops if you don’t bring your own devices.
Silver Spirit us$20 per person per day applies for unlimited beverages and you may again bring alcohol
on board with no corkage. It is Open Seating Dining.
Most of the Long Boats are 135 meters long, 12 meters wide and go through 64 locks.
On the Douro they are shorter and on the Elbe they are shallower, both purpose built.
The advantage of Viking is that they have access to many of the best berths in the docks/cities/ports of Europe.

Story has it the current owner’s daughter was studying at university in St Petersburg for a year
and during the break her mother and grandmother visited. They booked a Volga River Cruise.
The daughter was so impressed at how much she learned she told dad and he was looking for a new adventure
so purchased the 4 river boats and registered the company in St Petersburg.
As he improved the ships and business grew he decided to expand his boating interest and purchased KD RHINE LINE.
People my age will remember this happening.
I had booked this line many times over the years so was surprised to find a shipping company this big being bought.
Anyway, that’s how Viking was born, he took over KD and all their prime berths, ships and business and here we are today.
This gave priority to the ability to do things in Russia other companies can’t, they say, thus the PRIVILEGE visits etc.
There’s a story behind everything and today of course it’s hard to know who owns what.
Often companies don’t own a ship they just lease it and rename it.

Viking Ocean and River Cruises are not going anywhere!!!! well you know what I mean!!!!
If you like their product and ethos there is an itinerary in most parts of the world which could take up your holidays for years to come.
They are beautiful ships and river boats and Viking will be/are huge. So GET ON BOARD…. Sorry.


\Scenic releases Eclipse 2019/20 brochure
with earlybird offers

New destinations and itineraries mark the release of Scenic’s 2019/2010 brochure for the expanded Scenic Eclipse fleet.

The 2019/2020 season will see the launch of several new itineraries across Scenic’s fleet of innovative, 6-star luxury Discovery Yachts. Scenic has revealed a selection of new Arctic destinations that will join its itinerary line up, including the Russian and Canadian Arctic, and the Northwest Passage, as well as an expansion of its European Arctic itineraries.

Scenic has also introduced new summer departures of its popular Antarctica in Depth cruise, as well as an additional departure for its Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands itinerary.

In the Americas, Scenic Eclipse will have three new cruises to discover the Canadian Maritimes and the east coast of the USA. Scenic is also pleased to announce the return of its popular cruises to Cuba, the Caribbean and down the coastline of South America, which include a transit of the awe-inspiring Panama Canal.

A popular destination with cruisers, Scenic is offering an expanded range of Mediterranean itineraries, which will be followed by a selection of unique Baltic itineraries to discover the culture, history and diversity of the eight nations bordering the Baltic Sea.

Group General Manager, Sales & Marketing Australia/Asia Pacific, Anthony Laver, said interest in Scenic Eclipse was very strong following the announcement of a second ship earlier this year.

"The addition of a new ship to the Scenic Eclipse fleet has allowed us to add an exciting range of new destinations and itinerary options for the 2019/2020 program," Mr Laver said.

"We are confident they will prove popular with guests, and with just 114 suites (and only 100 in the Arctic and Antarctic) available on each sailing, we encourage travellers to secure their preferred cabin by booking now to receive the best offer."

A range of special earlybird offers include the option to book now and save up to 10 per cent off the full fare.





I've had very happy passengers on Uniworld - well worth considering...

Suite 409:   Bar Max
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has previewed S.S. Beatrice, the fifth Super Ship in its award-winning fleet of floating boutique hotels, ahead of her confirmed April 4 debut, when she will embark on her maiden voyage along the Danube from Budapest to Giurgiu, with a land extension in Bucharest.
“We are absolutely delighted to share that the incredible transformation of the River Beatrice to the S.S. Beatrice is complete and even more amazing than I could’ve imagined,” said Ellen Bettridge, Uniworld CEO and President. “Uniworld is committed to providing the utmost in luxury and we are confident that this ship will exceed our guests’ every delight and expectation.”
The S.S. Beatrice is the first vessel in the Uniworld fleet to be upgraded to a Super Ship, offering two new Royal Suites, each measuring 34 square metres, and a second Owner’s Suite plus connecting rooms, ideal for friends and families travelling together.
“We’re beyond excited to see yet another Uniworld ship transformation move from visionary to reality. What a pleasure it will be to welcome Australian guests onboard the newly relaunched S.S. Beatrice on the Danube,” said Fiona Dalton, Managing Director Uniworld Australia.


- March 2018 -
My first item of Cruise News is a list of all the new cruise ship builds
that are expected to come on line over the next few years.
Click on the two thumbnails below to download the
two parts of the list (each file is just over a Meg):

(After displaying the download, click the back-arrow [<-- in a circle] at top left to return to the web page)
As you will see, not all the details are known
for each build, but I'll keep you posted.....


I have recently completed four CLIA modules for the 2018 accreditation.

Some interesting facts present themselves and I'll share some here with you.

I should not copy the whole course however will give you
most of the first two Dynamics because they have
the most interesting information re new builds.

Sixteen ocean-going cruise ships valued at a total $8.4bn are due to arrive in 2018,
according to Seatrade's orderbook.
They'll add 34,395 lower berths to global capacity and loads of novel features - from
a magic carpet, racetrack and underwater viewing lounge to full LNG propulsion and
the ability to operate for stints on battery power.
2018's crop compares to the 10 ocean-going newbuilds with 27,700 lower berths that
arrived in 2017, valued at $6.7bn.

These newbuilds are packed with plenty of cutting-edge characteristics. They include
environmental advances like the world's first fully LNG-powered cruise vessel
(AIDAnova) and an expedition ship (Roald Amundsen) that can sail for short periods
on energy from silent, emissions-free fuel cells.
Speaking of expedition cruising, no fewer than five of the vessels are designed for
this, with ice-strengthened hulls and novel elements like an underwater viewing
lounge (Blue Eye on Ponant's Le Laperouse and Le Champlain), helicopters and
submarines (Scenic Eclipse), underwater drones (Roald Amundsen) and other hightech gadgets.
While the expedition ships are at the smaller end of the size range, the year's
smallest new ship is a sail-cruise vessel, Flying Clipper, at 8,770gt. It's a replica of
1912's France II, the largest square-rigged tall ship ever built. Smallest in terms of
double occupancy capacity are Ponant's pair of 184-berth ships.
Also coming in 2018 is a new world's largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas,
at 230,000gt and 5,497 lower berths. It will be the first Oasis-class ship to sail from
PortMiami, resident at Royal Caribbean's new Terminal A. Some fresh features
include a two-level Ultimate Family Suite with a slide and a balcony climbing
experience, a reimagined Boardwalk with a massive sports bar/arcade, a redesigned
Solarium containing a seafood spot and the world's largest laser tag arena.
Next biggest is the 180,000gt AIDAnova, in a size leap for the German operator (its
current largest ships are just under 126,000gt). After that, size-wise, comes
Norwegian Bliss, measuring 167,800gt. It's the third in NCL's Breakaway Plus class
and builds on China ship Norwegian Joy's features, including a racetrack (enlarged),
The Haven Observation Lounge, an open-air laser tag course plus a new Texas
smokehouse. The ship will debut in Alaska as the largest passenger vessel ever to operate there.
Another large entrant, the 154,000gt MSC Seaview, is the sister of the just-introduced
MSC Seaside and will be first of its class to sail in Europe.
One of the year's most anticipated ships is surely the 117,000gt Celebrity Edge, with
a completely new design (as featured next page).
Carnival Horizon continues the 133,500gt Vista series, with new features like a Guy
Fieri barbecue/craft brewery and Carnival's first teppanyaki venue and Dr. Seussthemed WaterWorks.
Further series ships include Seabourn Ovation (sister of late 2016's Seabourn
Encore), Nieuw Statendam (following 2016's Koningsdam) and Viking Orion, the fifth
in fast-growing Viking Cruises' lineup.
Mein Schiff 1, meanwhile, is 20 meters longer than its fleetmates, with space for 180
additional accommodations. It's the fifth ship built by Meyer Turku for TUI Cruises.
(Originally designated as Mein Schiff 7, it's supplanting the Mein Schiff 1 that's exiting
to Marella Cruises.)
Two new entrants to ocean cruising are building ships-Australia-based tour operator
Scenic and Portugal's Mystic Cruises. Both companies bring river-cruise expertise.
While Scenic Eclipse will roam widely for Scenic, Mystic Cruises' World Explorer is
set for charters by Quark Expeditions and Germany's Nicko Cruises, a company
owned by Mystic Invest.
The year's new tonnage will serve primary markets including North America,
Germany and France. Unlike in 2017, though, none of the newbuilds is tailored for
(In addition to these ocean-going additions, new coastal vessels this year include
Lindblad Expeditions' National Geographic Venture, from Nichols Brothers near
Seattle and the sister of 2017's National Geographic Quest, and American Cruise

Lines' American Constitution, from Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland.)
While 2018 is a big year for new ships, even more are coming in 2019, when 22
ocean-going newbuilds are scheduled for delivery




Perhaps the most interesting thing for me was to learn ship builders/companies are designing ships for a specific area.

In the past they would have purchased a pre used ship and reconfigured it for use in a number of areas
(for example the Renaissance group of six ships) or they would have built a ship which could have
gone between different areas chasing the seasons and weather patterns.

Now it would seem they are building some ships to spend their life in one or two areas.

For example there will be wider/bigger ships doing the Danube.
Before a river ship could have been used on a number of rivers.
In the Elbe the new ones will have a shallower draft.

There are new ones especially for the Galapagos and the new Polar ships will have
all the new Polar ratings along with a shape that will make travelling through rough icy waters easier.
Very pointy bows. They are purpose-built.

More on individual ones later.


CELEBRITY EDGE is one of the new ships which has spectacular new designs which
have not been found before on ships.
It will be stationed at Port Everglades Terminal 25
which has been designed especially for Celebrity Edge.

Summary of innovative features new to the industry found on Celebrity Edge.
The Magic Carpet
A platform the size of a tennis court that's cantilevered from the side of the ship.
At sea level it serves as a lounge-like tender embarkation area particularly good for
those with walking challenges.
Can rise all the way up to Deck 16, where a 'Dinner on the Edge' experience for up
to 90 people will be unlike any other.
Or, when alongside Deck 14, the Magic Carpet becomes an extension of the pool area.
At Deck 5, it provides alfresco seating for the restaurants.
The asymmetrical Pool Deck
Features a Rooftop Garden with (artificial) designer trees that people can relax in
and live greenery.
One side of the deck has cabanas with soaring ceilings. and the resort (pool) deck
chaise lounges face outward, overlooking the ocean.
At night, the space will transform for live music and movie/meal pairings that are
part of Celebrity's 'A Taste of Film.'
The Edge stateroom with infinity veranda
A whole new look of accommodations from the inside as the veranda comes INTO
the room, while on the outside looks like a smooth wall of windows.
The veranda doors, styled like elegant French doors, can slide to the side to make
the veranda a seamless part of the room. When those French doors are closed,
creating a separate veranda area, the top of a floor-to-ceiling outside window can be lowered to the open air.
The design allows for bigger bathrooms, bigger beds, more storage, and more living area.
There are 918 of these Edge staterooms with infinite verandas, including 16 for solo travellers.
Standard balcony staterooms across the cruise industry average about 15 square
meters, with Celebrity Solstice's slightly larger 16 to 17 meters. Celebrity Edge's will
be much larger - about 21 square meters.
In addition, Celebrity Edge more than doubled the number of suites. Suites comprise
5% of the rooms on the brand's current ships; they'll be 12% on Edge.
Two suite categories are new. At the top of the line: the pair of Iconic Suites,
positioned above the bridge. These sprawl over nearly 2,600 square feet with two
bedrooms and two baths, panoramic windows and a 700-square-foot veranda with 270-degree views.
Also new (and very cool) are the six split-level Edge Villas, with stunning views from
two stories of windows, private plunge pools and direct walk-out access to The Retreat Sundeck.
There are many more features in addition to the head-turning ones above, including
many with technological advancements. Passengers can open their stateroom doors
with a new, much more sophisticated app loaded to their smartphones that offers a
host of other functionality such as the ability to breeze through embarkation (thanks, in
part, to facial recognition related to a pre-loaded security photo), the possibility to plan
and schedule activities, order drinks delivered where desired, and to make restaurant
and excursion reservations and more via a virtual concierge.
(Fain said 15% to 20% of the total RCL fleet, including Royal Caribbean International
and Azamara Club Cruises brands will have at least parts of this functionality this year.)
The 2,900-passenger (double occupancy) ship will be based at Port Everglades'
Terminal 25, which is designing a Celebrity experience especially for Edge.

Celebrity ships are well received.
They are fresh and open, concentrating on meal presentation and have many facilities.
They are a little larger than others but are well worth the experience.




Again thanks to Clia there are some excellent articles below.

I'll include most of them but I must attribute them to Clia.

By John Gaudiosi - Posted on December 16, 2017 Digitaltrends.com
The cruise industry is rapidly evolving to integrate the Internet of Things - with
sensors, connected devices, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing - into the
experience passengers will have, both on and off the mammoth, state-of-the-art,
billion-dollar ships. It's created a veritable wearable wars that spans companies like
Carnival, MSC, and Royal Caribbean, which have all implemented new technology to
change the way guests interact while onboard.
The initial wave in this sea change of tech can actually be traced to the indoor water
park company, Great Wolf Lodge, which debuted RFID-based smart wristbands that
provide visitors electronic access control and cashless payments to its resort and
waterpark guests, in 2005. The technology has made its way through various parts of
hospitality and travel, from theme parks to hotels, and now, cruise companies see it
as one key in offering personalized service to the thousands of passengers onboard
and more efficient operations for their staff.

But it was the land-locked city of Orlando, Florida, home to the Walt Disney World
Resort, that's had the biggest impact on what's currently happening at sea. In 2013,
Disney unveiled the MagicBand, a wearable device that uses radio-frequency
identification (RFID), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and near-field communication
(NFC) technologies to connect guests' park tickets, hotel room keys, payments,
and PhotoPass information - providing access to resort rooms, merchandise
payment, theme parks, rides, and attractions.
John Padgett, who's currently chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival
Corporation (the world's largest cruise operator), was the mastermind behind the
MagicBand while working 18 years at Disney Parks and Resorts.
Anyone who hasn't worn the waterproof MagicBand hasn't really experienced the
simplicity of a connected vacation. Available to every guest who stays at a Disney
World resort (over 30 million have been distributed as of April 2017), the band does
away with the need for credit cards, room keys, passes, park tickets, dining
reservations, meal vouchers, and transportation tickets. Everything is stored on the
MagicBand, which connects to the MyDisneyExperience app and website for a
frictionless experience.
When Padgett moved on to Carnival, in 2014, he enlisted former Disney MagicBand
colleagues Jason Moffitt and Rich Criado to help develop a new project that would
become the technology backbone of the companyŐs Medallion Class ships. Another
MagicBand alum, Joey Hasty, moved on to Royal Caribbean, which recently unveiled
a suite of new ship-board technology systems, called Excalibur. With the experience
and knowledge they culled from their days at Disney, these individuals are now
changing the dynamic of the cruise vacation.

Princess Cruises is the first of Carnival's 11 brands to embrace the Ocean Medallion,
a device that interacts with the ship, allowing passengers to interact with food and
beverage, retail, entertainment, lodging, recreation, and excursions seamlessly -
without ever taking it out of their pocket, off their necklace, or swiping a band. (The
Medallion can be tossed in a pocket or purse, or worn in a variety of cases, like a necklace or band).
Beyond the ability to open and lock doors, order drinks, make dining or entertainment
reservations, or purchase excursions, the Ocean Medallion ecosystem embraces
artificial intelligence that tracks and learns about the guest with every interaction.
Padgett said this AI evolves in real-time, multiple times per second, to offer
suggestions for guests based on where they are on the ship, time of day, and what
activities are occurring at that time.
"The Ocean Medallion" gives guests the option of connecting to other Carnival
technologies, including Ocean Ready (to answer health questions, scan passports,
and go paper free), Play Ocean (a suite of mobile video games that can be played on
or off the ship), and Ocean Compass (a schedule of on-board activities as well as a
custom virtual sea avatar that appears across the ship).
"The way we use the mobile phone is as a guest option," Padgett said. "The guest
can choose how much digital exposure they want, from zero to 100. If you reject the
mobile phone from the Ocean Medallion experience, you're at no experiential
disadvantage from other guests."
The Regal Princess is the first of multiple Princess ships that will launch over the
coming years featuring this technology. And Padgett said the hope is that additional
Carnival brands like Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, and Cunard adopt
this technology in the future.

In 2014, Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited (RCL) debuted the Wow Band, using the
same RFID technology Great Wolf Lodge had leveraged for almost a decade. These
bands provide stateroom access and the purchase of onboard food, beverages, and
merchandise. Beginning this fall, the company's Royal Caribbean International,
Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises brands are rolling out a new connected
experience dubbed Excalibur, which integrates the Sea Beyond mobile app, the Wow
Bands, and augmented and virtual reality.
Joey Hasty, head of innovation and transformation at Royal Caribbean International,
told Digital Trends the company is refocusing its efforts squarely at smartphones
because it's the one device passengers never forget, even while on vacation. Royal
Caribbean Cruises' app comes with a virtual concierge, built on artificial intelligence.
RCL already is developing technology that uses facial recognition at the terminal to
streamline the embarkation process, making it as seamless as ordering fries. They
are further combining technologies ranging from RFID tagging to GPS mapping to
Bluetooth-enabled beacons in an effort to streamline boarding, manage check-ins
automatically, and improve wayfinding. But the tech goes beyond providing
passenger comfort; it helps each ship and its crew to operate more efficiently. For
example, if there were passengers unaccounted for, it could use location tracking to
find missing guests. This can help with keeping the ship on schedule and monitoring
the safety and security of passengers.
RCL is also implementing augmented reality aboard its ships in the form of video
games that come to life through boardwalk posters, when viewed through a
smartphone. The company is using both ARKit and ARCore to make better use of
ship space. Hasty said this could allow a section of the ship to transform from a
family-friendly area during the day, into something different at night. These games will
reward players with digital badges in the app, encouraging families to play together.
Another AR implementation: Giving guests a behind-the-scenes look of areas that
are normally off limits, such as galleys or the bridge. This allows passengers to
engage with ship personnel without compromising security and safety.
Virtual reality is also part of the excursion desk experience, thanks to a series of 360-
degree videos created by Jaunt VR that gives guests a realistic preview of what to
expect when they purchase an activity at ports of call. VR could also change the way
future guests eat: At the NYC unveil, RCL took attendees through an
experimental HTC Vive VR dining experience that combined food with virtual themed
environments for a multi-sensory experience. Schneider said he'd like this concept to
be turned into an actual restaurant at sea.





One of the foremost names in luxury hotels is taking to sea. The Ritz-Carlton today announced its plans
to launch a niche cruise product called the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection - the first hotel company to
create such an offering on a major scale, with three custom-built superyachts.
Set to debut its first ship in November 2019, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection hopes to attract luxury
travellers by offering larger suites, fewer passengers and more specialized itineraries and experiences
than traditional cruise companies.
"We are opening up a whole new world of opportunities for the RitzCarlton,"
says Herve Humler, the brand's president and COO.

To steer its entrance into this sector of hospitality, Ritz-Carlton partnered with cruise industry veterans
Lars Clasen, owner of the German river cruise company A-Rosa, and Douglas Prothero, a long time
consultant in shipping and maritime industries.
"We're maritime specialists with over 90 years of combined experience," Prothero says.

Designed by Swedish cruise specialist firm Tillberg Design, each Ritz-Carlton yacht is 623 feet long and
features 149 suites ranging from 312 to over 1,000 square feet, all with private balconies. That size not
only guarantees fewer passengers - a maximum of 298 - and more comfort, but it also makes the ships
suitable for cruising to smaller ports not accessible by larger boats, such as Portofino, Capri and St.
Barths, or in North America the towns along the St. Lawrence River, Toronto and even Chicago. The
ships will feature five restaurants, including one by three Michelin-starred German chef Sven Elverfeld.
Other amenities include a full Ritz-Carlton spa, swimming pools and a marina-style platform with direct access to the water.
Another point of difference is the experience, which Prothero says will be slower paced and with more
personalized shore experiences. Though itineraries are still in the works, passengers will have the
opportunity to explore their ports of call with renowned lecturers, local musicians, artists and chefs.
"It's really about taking guests into the destination rather than to the destination," he says.
Reservations are to open in May 2018.



SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 15 May 2017 - Aurora Expeditions, Australia's leading polar
adventure cruising company, has today announced the delivery of its first brand new,
purpose-built, expedition vessel.
With 25 years' experience in expedition cruising to Antarctica and the Arctic, Aurora
Expeditions has worked closely with US-based ship builders SunStone Ships Inc. to
create a custom-designed ship that remains true to the company's ethos of
pioneering adventures, intimate experiences with nature and exploring new regions.
The state-of-the-art ice class 1A ship will be built to the latest polar code
specifications, offering unprecedented levels of safety and environmental protection -
for operations not just in the high latitudes, but across the planet. Exclusively
designed for expedition cruising, the 104-metre vessel will allow Aurora Expeditions
to continue to provide the authentic, small-ship experience for which they are renowned.
"With the development of our purpose-built expedition ship, we stay true to our
smallship philosophy where the focus is on the experience and engagement with the
environment while at the same time providing the most comfortable form of travel in
these challenging environments. In the polar regions, we will have the ability to
reduce passenger numbers so we can continue to visit existing landings sites as well
as explore new areas where strict regulations enforce no more than 100 people
ashore at any one time." says Robert Halfpenny, Managing Director of Aurora Expeditions.

Aurora Expeditions' new ship will be the first in a new series of high-performance
vessels designed to make the oceangoing experience as safe and comfortable as
possible in the Polar Regions.
"We are excited to be the first to market with this exciting new design. The vessel is
the first to use the patented X-BOW technology which has the ability to pierce waves
with much greater stability, making open sea journeys - like Antarctica's notorious
Drake Passage - more pleasant for passengers than what is currently available from
other small ships on the market today." Halfpenny says.
While a traditional bow vessel rises on the waves and then drops violently onto the
surface of the water, an X-BOW vessel, less subject to the vertical motions induced
by the waves, continues on course more smoothly, while maintaining its speed.
Because it uses less fuel to get through the waves, it also helps to save energy
versus a conventional bow designed vessel.

Aurora Expeditions' new ship will make access to nature easier and offer passengers
a more comfortable experience than ever before. It will also allow for greater
adventure opportunities with a custom-designed platform to cater for additional
numbers of kayakers and divers, and a mud room for easier preparation for climbers
and skiers. Small inflatable Zodiac crafts will continue to carry expeditioners between
ship and shore, with a dedicated sea-level Zodiac loading platform for quick and easy boarding.
At a time when the cruising industry is focused on 6-star luxury and onboard activities
to attract passengers, Aurora Expeditions remains steadfast in its belief that its
destinations are best-experienced in small groups, as close as possible to the heart
of nature. This means getting off the ship as often as possible with multiple daily
landings and getting amongst the action; seeing up close penguin adults feeding their
chicks, polar bears hunting seals on pack ice or Galapagos sea turtles diving for a meal.
The yet-to-be-named ship will be delivered in time for Aurora Expeditions' 2019/2020
Antarctic season (November to March) and will complement the company's existing
fleet of vessels and destinations.

Note: the Ship has since been named (Nov 2017) the Greg Mortimer, in honour of the
Australian adventurer and Aurora Expeditions co-founder.
What this means to the Cruise Industry:
Firstly some of the design innovations are real game-changes in the expedition
landscape, so much so we saw further announcements at the end of last year that
some of the designs are being replicated by another cruise line. In particular, the way
they have constructed the platform to get into and out of Zodiacs, which will help
some of those passengers more challenged for this task. Since the announcement,
we have also seen X-BOW "like" designs (the front part of the hull that looks like it's
been inflated) featured in new-build announcements such as MSC World Class,
Virgin Voyages, and SunStone (see next article).

Despite most of the recent focus of new expedition ships have
been directed towards the luxury sector, Aurora definitely changes that as it will be
available for those with lesser incomes, hence - a new demographic is born
(Contemporary Expedition). Some may argue some existing ocean cruise lines who
have smaller ships in their fleet (older ocean vessels renovated for the expedition
segment) could fall into this category, though in this case the whole new ship is being
built specifically for expedition (e.g. mud room, etc.)




The AmaMagna began construction on March 6 of this year, and is due for launch in
2019. It will offer a new concept in river cruising being twice the width of traditional
European river ships.
It will welcome just 194 guests and feature luxurious living spaces, multiple dining
options including an al fresco glass-enclosed restaurant, more onboard activities and
enhanced evening entertainment.
The ship will debut a quieter and more fuel-efficient engine and, in a first for river
cruising, an open-water sports platform, complete with zodiac boats, canoes and
recreational equipment.
Commenting on the new ship, APT Travel Group Managing Director Chris Hall said,
"From the engine room to the fine dining areas, AmaWaterways president Rudi
Schreiner and his team have worked extremely hard to ensure the AmaMagna will be
in a class of its own in terms of amenity and performance, and we believe that now is
the time to launch this game-changing style of ship."
In total, AmaMagna will feature 97 staterooms - the majority of which will be over 300
square feet, some of the largest in river cruising.
Additional amenities will include a large heated sundeck swimming pool with
whirlpool and sky bar, a spacious spa area with new treatments, a fitness room large
enough for small group classes and generous common areas designed to
accommodate a variety of events.
The announcement comes as APT and AmaWaterways this week christened their
latest river ship the AmaKristina.
What this means to the Cruise Industry: It's a trend we really saw evolve last year,
and that is ships diversifying design for specific rivers. The wide version of
AmaMagna is a concept we can see in the Crystal Mozart, both are for the Danube
only, while rivers such as the Elbe saw paddle engines come to vogue because of
low drafts. Now that there is so much inventory in Europe, design seems to be
breaking away from the uniform moulds they once needed. This is because today's
larger fleets can spread out and specialize, they don't have the need anymore to
have to be able to conform to various rivers during the one year



May 2017 - Cruise Weekly
TAUCK'S current three to five year plan will see small ship cruising split into two
different styles of travelling: expedition and cultural journeys.
Speaking to Cruise Weekly at an event in Sydney on Tue, Steven Spivak, VP global
sales said Tauck is leveraging "lessons we learned and our expertise in river cruising"
and applying it to small ship cruising.
In the next two to four years the company will double its small ship capacity by
growing its partnerships, itineraries and doing more complete charters.
Tauck will utilise all four of Ponant's newbuilds, starting with La Leperouse in Iceland 2018.
The brand's cultural itineraries will all be part of its BBC Earth journeys, many of
which will have naturalists on board the vessels.
Tauck is also revamping its digital presence, reinventing its website and creating an
app guests can use before, during and after travel and focusing on giving its guests
more choice and small group activities.


EXCLUSIVE: Blue Eye, the underwater lounge aboard the PONANT . . . . .
Yes this design needs to be featured as it really is
a winner for expedition. Passengers aboard
PONANT's new Explorers series of yachts will be
able to go beneath the surface of the
ocean...without leaving the ship.
In a world first, the four new ships will be equipped
with Blue Eye, described as a multi-sensory
underwater lounge offering a unique visual and
audio immersion, which will be located within the
hull but beneath the water line.
Safely ensconced in the lounge, guests will be able
to gaze out into the ocean world while three
underwater cameras project live images onto
digital screens. It is expected those images will
include dolphins playing in the bow waves, along
with other marine life discovered in the sub-aquatic
world. The sound system uses state of the art
technology to project the underwater world through
hydrophones, developed in consultation with
specialists from the French Research Institute for
the Exploration of the Sea.
PONANT chose a media lunch in Sydney to unveil
details of their new Blue Eye project, which will be
introduced on Le Laperouse and Le Champlain in 2018
and Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d'Urville in 2019.



Thank you Clia . . .

30th October 2017
The cruise ship and shipbuilding industries marked an important milestone recently
with the beginning of construction of the AIDAnova in Germany and the Costa
Smeralda in Finland. Far more than just two more new cruise ships, they will be the
first of a new generation of cruise ships fully powered by LNG.
The adoption of LNG-power represents the first significant development in ship power
in nearly a century. Since the conversion from coal the 1920s, ships have used heavy
oil as their fuel source. In the 1960s the modern, purpose-built cruise ships
standardized on diesel motors, but in an effort to control fuel costs most of the current
generation of ships have plants that can use either diesel or heavy oil. Yet, while
there have been further improvements in engine efficiency and better environmental
performance, the core technology has remained largely unchanged.
"Without a doubt, the future belongs to low-pollutant LNG," asserts Meyer Werft, one
of the world's leading shipbuilders.
Encouraged by the potential for cost savings and the ability to meet pending air
quality regulations, maritime industry expects the number of LNG-powered ships to
more than double by 2020 with the cruise lines being among the early adopters of
this technology. In fact, there are already 16 confirmed orders for large LNG-powered
cruise ships, representing a quarter of all the cruise tonnage on order. Carnival
Corporation has contracted with Meyer Werft for seven LNG ships, including two
each for AIDA and Costa, as well as two for Carnival Cruise Line and one for P&O Cruises.
Other firms that are adopting LNG-power include Royal Caribbean International,
which has ordered two ships from Meyer, and Disney Cruise Line, which will use
LNG-power for its three cruise ships also on order at Meyer. In addition, MSC Cruises
plans to build four 200,000 gross ton LNG-powered cruise ships at STX France.
The first fully LNG-powered cruise ship, the AIDAnova, is due to enter service in 15
months. In the interim, Carnival and AIDA have already been gaining experience
successfully using LNG in the dual-fuel engines on AIDA's new cruise ship the
AIDAprimato generate power while in port at Hamburg, Southampton, Le Havre, and
Zeebrugge. There are, however, a number of challenges, including creating a global
LNG supply network and storage facilities, still to be resolved.
We have been discussing this move to
LNG for some time now with the cruise industry leading the way, though scrubber
technology is still a strong option for lines due to the uncertainty of supply as this
article points out. Well we can let you know that right at the end of 2017 a report
came out very favourably on the future distribution patterns of LNG, both from port
and mobile bunkering services, mentioning that the supply stream is maturing to farer
reaches of the globe (we saved you reading all those articles). This is great news for
areas outside of Europe, who at the moment will be the only one getting these
newbuilds until the availability is expanded.
Note: USA will have supply for two new Carnival vessels in 2020 and 2022.


Venice Changes - from CLIA Australasia

Latest Update - November 2017
Italy's government has moved to ban the largest
cruise ships from Venice's Giudecca Canal, a
move that responds to criticism from local residents
and from UNESCO, which has warned that it may
list the city as a "threatened" site over perceived
conservation risks from large vessels.
"We want it to be clear to UNESCO and the whole
world that we have a solution," said Venice mayor
Luigi Brugnaro. "This takes into account all the jobs
created by the cruise industry, which we absolutely
couldn't afford to lose, and we can start to work
seriously on planning cruises."
The new plan will eventually divert larger vessels
around the historic canal to Venice's commercial
seaport. Within a few years, "the big ships . . . will
stop at Marghera's North Canal. There is no
interference with commercial traffic so the two
activities can coexist," said transport minister
Graziano Delrio. Implementation will take time,
though. "The ships will pass [San Marco] for at
least another two or three years, the time to realize
the new channel and docks. But the decision is
taken," Delrio added.
UNESCO has called for limits on tankers and large
cruise ships in the area, and cruise operators have
already complied with voluntary measures. "The
impact of boats and shipping is acknowledged and
new measures to manage water traffic, including a
"Lagoon Vessel Traffic Service System" are being
implemented, as well as self-imposed limits of
96,000 tonnes by cruise companies.
It should be noted that the proposed restriction are
for ships over 96,000 GRT or equivalent to around
2,500 pax, so smaller ships will still have access.
We think the changes are minimal when
considering the overall experience the guests will
have in Venice over a day or two



Thanks to Clia. . . .

October 2017
Crystal Cruises selected Rutter's sigma S6 Small Target Surveillance (STS) and Ice
Navigator systems for its historic 2016 Crystal Serenity voyage. Crystal Serenity was
the world's first luxury cruise liner to sail from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean via the
Canadian Northwest Passage.
"Many expedition cruise ships are going off the beaten path into waters that are not
well surveyed, exploring regions where glaciers have receded. This has created a
new demand for precise radar technology in harsh weather environments," says
Rutter, "and has prompted increased research and development work on Rutter's
sigma S6 Ice Navigator in order to provide premium ice management, planning and
safe navigation capability."
This year, the company released several new upgrade features to their flagship ice
radar system, including the ability to detect icebergs embedded in pack ice,
identification and outlining of open water leads within an ice floe and outlining and
drift tracking of ice floes and pans.
Rutter's sigma S6 line of enhanced radar systems provides a suite of offerings to
both detect and track obstacles in the water including icebergs, other vessels, debris
and to measure sea states and ocean surface currents while underway.
The PC based system connects to the ship's existing X-band navigational radar to
provide quantifiable information serving to avoid collisions with icebergs and other
ships and small craft, and measurements of ocean surface currents and waves.
These products are decisive tools for voyage planning resulting in improved safety at
sea, says Rutter.
Additional information is made readily available ... Such a system allows captains
and crews to take less risk and provides a detailed record of vessel whereabouts that
can be stored and shared with other vessels or shore-side operations, says Rutter.
Not only is it possible to identify obstacles in the water with unparalleled reliability,
with the sigma S6 WaMoS II Wave and Current Monitoring system crews can monitor
sea states in real-time, accurately measuring the magnitude of waves and
distinguishing between wind and swell wave systems and surface current measurements.
Implementation of state-of-the-art navigational technology on board cruise vessels is
essential to maximize the safety of passengers and crew, says Rutter. The sigma S6
suite of products, with their ability to work under harsh environmental conditions and
at low visibility, day or night, provides the utmost in route planning and risk mitigating solutions.
What this means to the Cruise Industry: Another example of new technology
opening up pathways of cruising previously not considered. This coupled with
equipment upgrades in material and functionality that are more reliable in harsh
conditions, means we will continue to get new itineraries in remote parts of the world,
particularly in the Polar Regions.















I hope you've enjoyed reading about what's new in cruising...?

Please contact me for any of your cruise or international travel arrangements.

Yours sincerely

Di Sabben
Phone:      61 03 97878888 
61 03 97878888
0412 278888
Email:        disabben@ozemail.com.au