Cruise update

by Charlotte Flach

Brightwater Holidays launches Floriade and river cruise for 2022

Brightwater Holidays has launched a new ‘Floriade and a Summer River Cruise’ itinerary for 2022, in partnership with A-ROSA River Cruises.

This cruise on board A-ROSA AQUA includes a series of excursions with visits to various outstanding gardens of the Rhine, plus a full day at the Floriade 2022 Expo in Almere, near Amsterdam.

Prices are from £2295pp, departing June 19 2022, including Eurostar travel from London St Pancras to Paris Gard Du Nord, a seven-night cruise on an all-inclusive basis and six exclusive Brightwater excursions.

Over the eight-days there is also the chance to enjoy other garden themed excursions. These include: a visit to the Botanical Gardens at the University of Ghent; a trip to Rubens House in Antwerp which has a 200 year-old Botanic Garden; a guided walking tour of Nijmegen and a visit to Hortus Nijmegen, which contains both a botanical garden and a tea garden. There is also a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kingerdijk to see the windmills and a trip to the outdoor museum complex at Zaanse Schans.

Alison Wilson, Managing Director at Brightwater Holidays, said: “Interest in gardening as a hobby exploded during the pandemic. This new river cruise for 2022 is the perfect choice for those who have a love for all things horticultural and offers the chance to enjoy the incredible Floriade exhibition which only comes around every 10 years. I’d encourage agents to contact any local special interest groups in their area as I’m sure this will appeal.”

Avalon introduces late booking campaign

Avalon Waterways is offering savings of up to £3,800 per couple on last minute cruises departing between September and December.

With cruises priced from £429pp for a three night Danube cruise or £999pp for seven nights, there are 100 sailings to choose from and multiple departure dates.

A few of the cruises on offer include:

Romantic Rhine - eight-day river cruise, Amsterdam to Basel, £999pp. Based on October 16 2021 departure.

Burgundy & Provence - eight-day river cruise, Port-Saint-Louis to St. Jean-de-Losne priced £999pp. Based on October 26 2021 departure.

A Taste of the Danube - four-day river cruise, Budapest to Vienna priced £429pp. Based on November 27 2021 departure.

Festive Season in the Heart of Germany - six-day river cruise, Nuremberg to Frankfurt priced £699pp. Based on December 11 2021 departure.

All cruises include full board dining with wine and beer at lunch and dinner, complimentary Wi-Fi, gratuities, and shore excursions at every port of call led by Certified Local Guides.

PONANT unveils voyages to the end of the earth for winter 2022

Expedition cruise line PONANT has launched new cruises to the heart of Antarctica for winter 2022-2023.

New expedition ‘Unexplored Antarctica between Two Continents’ explores the Bellingshausen, Amundsen and Ross seas, the world’s largest marine sanctuary, where whales, orcas, seals and penguins can be seen, as well as Marie Byrd Land, the last unclaimed land on earth. The 30-day 28-night cruise departs from Ushuaia on January 15, returning to Dunedin on February 13. Priced from £37,530pp.

Travelling aboard the polar exploration ship, Le Commandant Charcot, guests can choose from a range of new activities from citizen science to kayaking, hiking or snowshoeing, to polar diving without a wetsuit and polar swimming in a drysuit.

More than 20 naturalist-guides will supervise the activities and Zodiac and hovercraft outings to meet wildlife.

Princess Cruises extends pause of cruise holidays in Australia 

Princess Cruises is extending its pause of cruise holidays in Australia and New Zealand through to January 17, 2022.

As a result of the pause extension, Coral Princess voyages through to January 27, 2022 are cancelled and Royal Princess and Sapphire Princess seasons through to March 2022 are being cancelled.

Princess will protect travel agent commissions on bookings that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success.

“It became apparent we would not be able to deliver planned deployment of Royal Princess and Sapphire Princess in Australia before they were due to start their published northern hemisphere voyages,” said Deanna Austin, Princess Cruises Chief Commercial Officer.

“We recognise that guests planning cruises over the popular summer and new year holiday period will be particularly disappointed with the changes, however, we wanted to give guests as much notice as possible so they could plan their holidays with certainty.”

Guests booked on a cancelled cruise have the option to move to an equivalent cruise. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests’ fare on their replacement cruise. Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum £25) or a full refund to the original form of payment.

 Requests must be received through this online form by October 31 2021, or guests will automatically receive the FCC option. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by December 31 2022 and sailing by April 30 2023.

MSC pledges net zero emissions from cruise by 2050

MSC Group has reaffirmed its long-standing commitment to sustainability by pledging to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its cruise marine operation by 2050.

MSC has signed Getting to Zero Coalition’s Call to Action to accelerate the decarbonisation of the overall shipping sector, including cruising. The Call to Action includes three demands to enable this: setting a target for zero emission shipping by 2050; deploying commercially viable zero emission vessels by 2030; and joint action by the private and public sectors. The Call to Action will be delivered to world governments in November 2021, in advance of COP26.

This target will cover both its contemporary MSC Cruises and luxury Explora Journeys brands and goes beyond the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) ambition to reduce emissions from shipping by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said: “Today we are taking our commitment one step further by embracing a net zero emissions future within the next three decades.

“Collaboration between operators, shipyards, technology manufacturers, academic institutions, public authorities and governments will be essential. There are already encouraging signs of such partnerships enabling progress, but more can and must be done. I call on all parties to work relentlessly towards this end and bring about the next great energy transition in our industry.”

In recent years, MSC has focused on reducing GHG emissions intensity through the introduction of energy efficiency and operational improvement measures across its fleet and is on track to meeting the IMO’s 2030 40% intensity reduction target.

Hurtigruten sends expedition ship on inaugural departure from UK

Hurtigruten Expeditions has launched MS Maud’s inaugural sailing from Dover. The ship will offer year-round sailings from the UK.

An example itinerary is its ‘Dover:Northern Lights and Fjords Expedition’, departing October 2021 to March 2022. Priced from £2,999pp for 15 days, guests will experience the Northern Lights, explore Norway’s coastline in the winter and join free daily excursions.

Anthony Daniels, General Manager at Hurtigruten Expeditions UK and EMEA, said: “We’ve been waiting patiently for this day to arrive and are delighted to finally see MS Maud set sail on her maiden voyage from the Port of Dover.

“Hurtigruten Expeditions is committed to investing in the UK travel industry and delivering guests new adventures, and our year-round sailings offer UK travellers an expedition experience closer to home. From witnessing majestic nature in the Scottish Isles to spotting whales off the Norwegian coast, guests can anticipate a unique and adventurous voyage from the comfort of our small expedition ship MS Maud.”

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