Cruise update

by Steve Hartridge

Emerald combines cruises for 'Epic Voyage'

Emerald Cruises has unveiled a series of 'Epic Voyages' - combining multiple river or yacht cruising itineraries.

Combining two, or even three, river or yacht cruising itineraries, the new ‘Epic Voyages’ offer further exploration for those looking for longer duration cruises.

Clients can cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers in one 23-day journey with the Rhine, Main & Danube River Cruise between Bucharest and Amsterdam. Combining two of Emerald Cruises’ most popular journeys, this itinerary takes in the dramatic history and culture of nine countries, including Austria, Croatia, Serbia and Romania. The cruise is priced from £6,765pp and departs June 4, 2022 onboard Emerald Destiny Star-Ship

A 15-day Discover French & Italian Coastlines itinerary onboard new luxury superyacht, Emerald Azzurra takes guests on an all-encompassing journey of Italy’s Mediterranean coastline when it travels from Dubrovnik to Nice. Prices for the cruise start from £7,385pp, departing August 6, 2022.

While the 15-day Discover the Eastern Mediterranean itinerary takes guests from Dubrovnik to Athens on a journey through Montenegro, Albania, Greece and Turkey. Prices for the 15-day voyage start from £7,340pp, departing May 7, 2022.

Emerald Cruises is currently offering savings of up to 30% on all 2022 yacht cruises when booked and paid in full 12 months prior to departure.

Guests booking and paying for their cruise in full on the same day will save an additional 10% with Emerald Cruises’ Super Earlybird Offer, and get a complimentary Premium Drinks Package.

For peace-of-mind, all new bookings include a complimentary Deposit Protection Plan, valued at £100pp, as well as the reassurance of a Flexible Booking Policy. All prices include return UK flights, transfers, the cruise as stated, tipping and gratuities, on board meals, as well as included excursions and experiences with knowledgeable local guides.

Celebrity adds UK cruises

Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette has expanded its UK cruise portfolio with three additional itineraries.

The ship will visit Dover, Belfast and Portland as part of a seven-night itinerary on September 4, followed by another seven-night sailing to Liverpool, Belfast and Dover the following week.

A final nine-night sailing will visit Kirkwall, Inverness, Liverpool, Belfast and Glasgow on September 18.

The ship will sail around the British coast and return to its homeport, Southampton.

Seabourn plans inaugural Caribbean Ovation

Seabourn has released several new itineraries for Seabourn Ovation, which will operate out of Miami between November 2021 and April 2022.

For the first time, the ship will cruise the Caribbean, starting with three 11-day voyages from Miami and and will visit Caribbean destinations, including San Juan, Guadeloupe, Jost Van Dyke, St. Kitts & Nevis and Antigua. Departure dates include November 18 and 29 and December 10 2021.

Following the Caribbean voyages, Seabourn Ovation will explore the Panama Canal and Central America between December 2021 and March 2022. On December 21 it will sail on a 21-Day Holiday Panama Canal voyage from Miami to Los Angeles, followed by a 19-day voyage back to Miami. Both of these voyages will include a full transit of the Panama Canal.

And from January 30 2022, Seabourn Ovation will set sail to Central America with four voyages from Miami, allowing guests to discover remnants of ancient Mayan civilisations and tropical destinations in Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize and Panama.

Prior to its arrival in the U.S. this autumn, the ship will visit the Canary Islands, with a 14-day voyage from Barcelona to Lisbon departing on October 23.

It will then cross the Atlantic Ocean, to Miami, on a 12-day voyage departing from Lisbon.

Guests who book on one of these new itineraries on Seabourn Ovation by August 31 2021 will receive up to $1,000 Shipboard Credit or up to $2,000USD Shipboard Credit for a Penthouse or Premium Suite, as well as Business Class Air for Mediterranean & Canary Island sailings.

PONANT'S cruise of Islamic treasures

PONANT is renewing its partnership with the Louvre for a one-off special cruise in January 2022 to discover the Arabian Gulf’s cultural and artistic treasures.

Le Jacques-Cartier will will leave Oman’s capital, Muscat, on an eight-night Treasures of the Arabian Gulf’ 'yachting cruise' on January 5, heading to Dubai.

Along the way guests will discover Fujairah Fort, built in 1670, and Al Bidya, the oldest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. They wll also see the atypical architecture of Khasab Fortress and visit cultural locations at the Al Aïn Oasis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore the cities of Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Many of the ports of call also offer the opportunity to admire nature sites such as the “Arabian fjords”, canyons and oases and Sir Bani Yas Island, an open-air reserve dedicated to protecting species threated with extinction.

Onboard the cruise will be Yannick Lintz, curator and director of the Louvre’s Arts of Islam Department, who says: “Having specialised in the Iranian world for 30 years, and being in constant contact with my Arab friends, I am delighted to share this other passion I have for the Arabian Gulf on Le Jacques-Cartier.

“In ancient times, this region was at the heart of civilisations routes from India to the Mediterranean. Today it is the centre of cultural innovation with new museums like the Abu Dhabi Louvre.”

Designed by architect Jean Nouvel and opened in 2017, the Louvre Abu Dhabi brings together objects and artworks from the world’s civilisations to promote dialogue between peoples and oriental and western art.

The small-capacity Le Jacques-Cartier ship features 92 staterooms and suites, all with balcony or private terrace. Below the waterline, the ship claimsa world first with the “Blue Eye”, a multi-sensory lounge where guests can fully immerse themselves in the underwater world.

Prices start from £4,160

Seattle welcomes return of Alaska cruising

USA west coast cruising hub Seattle celebrated the start of its truncated 2021 cruise season this week, with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Ovation of the Seas and the Serenade of the Seas the first cruise ships to arrive in the city in 18 months.

This Monday (July 19), Seattle’s homeport cruise business operations kicked off 84 round-trip voyages to Alaska that are planned before the end of October 2021, with sailings every day except for Wednesdays.

Serenade of the Seas left on a seven-day Alaska itinerary and before the end of July, the port will welcome passenger ships from Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises and Silverseas.

Patti Denny, International Tourism Development Manager, Port of Seattle, commented; “The Port of Seattle is delighted to be welcoming passengers to and through Seattle once again as part of an Alaska cruise.

"Passenger, crew and the port staff safety is of paramount importance for bringing back cruising to and from the city and the huge strides to address this over the past 18 months by the port authorities and our partners have been tremendous.

"We look forward to the safe return of passengers from the UK, Ireland and Europe in 2022 and continuing our work with the travel trade to promote Washington state cruise and stay itineraries once border restrictions allow.”

 Ambassador finds right Ambience

Ambassador Cruise Line has awarded BSM Cruise Services vessel and technical management of Ambassador’s first ship,  Ambience.

Martin Springer, Managing Director of BSM Cruise Services states: “BSM Cruise Services is excited to welcome this fine vessel into our management, and to be part of launching Britain’s newest cruise line.

"We look forward to supporting our new customer on this inspiring journey by leveraging our expert knowledge in maritime technologies.”

Ambassador, the first British cruise line to launch in a decade, has refurbishment plans in place for their first vessel Ambience, formerly known as Pacific Dawn. The ship is presently laid up in Bar in southern Montenegro and will undergo extensive upgrade and refurbishment prior to her inaugural sailing from London Tilbury in April 2022. 

Ambience’s maiden voyage will sail on a short break cruise to Hamburg on April 6 2022.

The ship, which will carry up to 1,400 guests in 798 cabins, will sail from London Tilbury on a no-fly range of voyages that are adult-focussed and primarily aimed at the 50-plus market. After completing its inaugural season in Spring 2023, the cruise line plans to extend sailings from additional regional ports.

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