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Ambassador launches conservation cruises

Ambassador Cruise Line has partnered with marine conservation charity ORCA, a move in tune with the cruise line’s continued investment into sustainable cruising. The partnership includes the launch of the first ever cruise line “Anti-Whaling Campaign”.

The pledge includes ORCA placing two ocean conservationists onboard Ambience in 2022 and 2023 on 11 sailings totaling over 200 days. Two of the 11 cruises will be Ambassador’s multi-generational cruises in summer 2022. ORCA will work with families to teach them about the marine environment and involve them in conservation projects on the ship.

The first ORCA sailing was completed on June 7 2022 and the next one up is the 11-day British Isles Discovery sailing on July 12 2022. The team will have the opportunity to explore and celebrate the diversity of wildlife around the UK, showing guests how rich the waters so close to home can be.

Ambassador’s CEO Christian Verhounig said: “We are thrilled to have launched our first ORCA-Ambassador cruise. Our partnership brings together incredible experiences and insights for guests along with credible research work to the benefit of marine conservation.

“As part of the partnership, ORCA will have a permanent presence on Ambience with a dedicated enrichment area including a range of fun and exciting activities about whales and dolphins”.

Celestyal Cruises introduces Authentic Encounters

Celestyal Cruises has introduced a new small-group shore experience programme “Authentic Encounters”.

The new intimate, immersive and hands-on shore excursions allow guests to delve deeper into a destination and pursue personal passions such as food and wine, art and archaeology, and culture and active adventure. The shore excursions are offered in ports in Greece and Turkey and range in size from two to 20 participants. These start at £61pp.

Sample “Idyllic Aegean” itinerary experiences range from wine tasting in Thessaloniki, hiking in Santorini and pottery making in Rhodes to home cooking in Mykonos and sea kayaking in Milos.

Olive oil harvesting in Volos, baklava baking and a special gentleman’s Hammam Experience in Istanbul round out new experiences on the “Eclectic Aegean” Itinerary.

“Today’s traveller is looking for more immersive and experiential holiday options. We have reimagined our shore excursion programme with this in mind and have created a bespoke destination rich programme exclusively for smaller groups. This allows us to include more interactive experiences such as art, cooking and adventure activities,” said Leslie Peden, Chief Commercial Officer.

Amadeus Cara is christened

The latest addition to the Amadeus fleet, Amadeus Cara, has been christened against the backdrop of Cologne Cathedral. Following the naming ceremony with godmother Anna Lüftner, Director of Digital Marketing for Amadeus River Cruises, guests were treated to a short cruise on the Rhine.

The 135-metre Amadeus Cara can accommodate up to 163 guests, with window fronts extending almost across the entire width of the cabins. On board there are a variety of bar areas with views of the river landscapes including the River Terrace at the bow, the Amadeus Club at the stern, the Café Vienna in the lobby area and the Panorama Bar with dance floor. There is also a spacious sundeck featuring a lounge that can be used even on stretches of river with low bridge crossings, as well as a wellness area with massage and a fitness room.

Amadeus Cara has already received the Green Award for its engine that significantly reduces CO2 output and air filter system which ensures hygienic air in the interior.

The ship’s inaugural voyage departed from Cologne on July 2 and is travelling via Rüdesheim to Wertheim, Würzburg, Bamberg and Nuremberg as well as Regensburg to Passau in Bavaria.

Big savings on new APT Asia itineraries

APT has launched its 2023 Asia river cruise and tour programme, with savings of up to £3,300 per couple. APT will offer two luxury Mekong cruises, and its four-star brand Travelmarvel will provide four flexible itineraries through Vietnam and Cambodia.

Mekong Serenity will sail two Luxury APT itineraries for the 2023 season, including the 15-day Vietnam and Cambodia Highlights cruise, from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, which starts at £4,495pp and includes home-to-airport transfers by private car, return flights, UK airport lounge access, seven nights aboard Mekong Serenity and luxury hotel accommodation on land, luxury dining with a total of 32 meals and a wide range of onboard beverages and all transportation on trip.

RV Apsara will sail four Travelmarvel Essential itineraries in 2023 including the 15-day Essential Vietnam and Cambodia, from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, which costs from £3,195pp. This Includes return flights, seven nights aboard RV Apsara and hotel accommodation on land, 29 meals and select complimentary beverages served with lunch and dinner on board.

Brad Bennetts, APT’s Head of Sales and Business Development, said: “The launch of Mekong Serenity has been three years in the planning and brings a new level of elegance to the Mekong for 2023.

“For all guests travelling to Asia with APT, the luxury holiday begins on their doorstep, with home-to-airport transfers included and now complimentary airport lounge access rolled in.’

Scenic vows to support trade

The Scenic Group is beginning its biggest ever push into the trade, with the promise to engage with every agent keen to learn more.

Recruitment for its 10-strong trade team was recently completed with the appointment of Ryan Readman in a new sales support role. He joins a restructured team that has been bolstered this year with the addition of Jonathan Davies (Sales Manager North), Louise Tansey (Sales Manager Central) Christina Cooper (Trade Marketing Executive) and Jonathan Edwards (Trade Support).

They join Andrea Stafford, Director of Trade Sales, who arrived from MSC Cruises in March. Priority for the expanded team will be deepening Scenic and Emerald Cruises’ strong existing relationship with retailers, with an emphasis on getting out to visit agents, boosting product knowledge with new training, and forming fresh relationships with the homeworking sector.

Stafford said that agents and industry colleagues should expect to see the team at more industry events, and that the emphasis would be on “bringing the Scenic and Emerald Cruises’ experience to life.”

Part of these efforts will include giving as many agents as possible the opportunity to get on board Scenic and Emerald Cruises’ ships. This includes a recent FAM trips on on Scenic Eclipse that saw over 50 agents join the yacht in Fowey, Cornwall, and via a new competition to win a place on Emerald Azzurra in the Red Sea this December.

Silversea launches new round trips

Silversea Cruises has launched new round-trip itineraries for November 2022, sailing on Silver Dawn. The sailings take in Portugal, Spain and the Canaries, before embarking on a winter season in the Caribbean and Central America.

New itineraries include:

Showcasing the extraordinary city of Casablanca, and the vibrant culture of Spain and Portugal. Departing November 9 2022, these cruises are priced from £4,300pp, including door-to-door private executive transfers, return flights, all food and beverages, 12-nights’ accommodation on Silver Dawn, butler service and shore excursions.

Morocco and Spain’s Sunshine Coast. Departing November 21 2022 and priced from £3,900pp, the cruises include door-to-door private executive transfers, return flights, all food and beverages, 12-nights’ accommodation on Silver Dawn, butler service and shore excursions.

Utopia of the Seas hits first milestone

Utopia of the Seas has reached its first major milestone with its keel-laying ceremony. Taking place at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyardin Saint-Nazaire, France, the event celebrated the official start of Utopia’s physical construction ahead of the ship’s introduction in spring 2024.

As the second Royal Caribbean ship that will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), Utopia will also advance Royal Caribbean’s commitment to the environment. The ship’s LNG technology will join a line up of the cruise line’s already-established environmentally friendly initiatives on its ships. From shore power connection to waste heat recovery systems, the applications have been developed and continually enhanced as part of Royal Caribbean’s dedication to making strides toward a clean-energy future.

Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, said: “Utopia’s debut in 2024, on the heels of Icon of the Seas setting sail in fall 2023, will build on a new, exciting chapter that is set to redefine family vacations and getaways for all ages in ways we’ll soon reveal.”

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