Travel Bulletin Cruise Supplement 2015

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Your one-stop guide to all the latest news and developments in Cruising

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S CRUISELINES continue to build, innovate and develop, the choice and range of cruise holidays available is expanding exponentially. There has never been a better time to attract that ever-elusive market – the new-to-cruisers. Smashing the myths that surround cruising – it’s only for ‘old’ people; you’re stuck on a ship all day with nothing to do; you have to eat dinner at a fixed time – continues to be a challenge, but cruiselines are rising to it in formidable ways. Reaching a younger, more communityconscious market is Carnival, with its new Fathom brand, offering passengers the opportunity to spend their on-shore visits working on voluntourism projects. We are witnessing the birth of a new brand and a new travel experience – social impact travel. While this actual concept isn’t totally new -– other lines offer similar initiatives, including You care. We care by Crystal Cruises – the Fathom idea is certainly ground-breaking, in that we are seeing the introduction of a new type of cruise holiday experience with a dedicated ship. Meanwhile, Richard Branson is promising to make waves with his new company, Virgin Cruises. All at once, cruising is seen as a sexy product, thanks to Virgin’s savvy branding and marketing strategy over the years. This opens up the cruise audience to the massive Virgin audience, many of whom, I think it’s safe to say, would not have previously considered cruising as a holiday option. Destinations remain a driving force behind customers’ choice of holiday, so a cruise which can take in as many as 11 or 12 different destinations in a two-week holiday is ideal for those looking to explore the world and is another strong hook for new-to-cruisers. River cruises, for example, cover some of the world’s most iconic rivers in Europe, Africa, America and the Far East, providing passengers weird and wonderful experiences in places that perhaps they would not expect. Luxury travel continues to flourish in all sectors, including cruise. We wait with bated breath for the launch of Regent Seven Seas’ Seven Seas Explorer in 2016, which will take the luxury cruising industry up a notch. Labelled the most luxurious vessel in the world, it promises to evolve the style and quality of cruise accommodation, with its private dining rooms, living rooms, private gardens, saunas and steam rooms, among its many other facilities and amenities. Further luxury ship launches include Seabourn’s Seabourn Encore next year and Silversea’s Silver Muse in spring 2017. The ease of a cruise holiday is only amplified by UK departures and the range of ships and itineraries from ports such as Southampton, Dover and Liverpool continues to grow. The trade plays such a vital role in helping us disseminate these stories and more to the travelling public: offering up the best ship with the most appropriate onboard facilities and the all-important destinations is key in securing a booking – particularly with a first-timer. So for help with racking up those cruise sales and news about agent initiatives from the cruiselines, check out the CLIA website.

Andy Harmer, director, CLIA UK & Ireland

CONTENTS New ships - 4

River cruises - 7

Luxury cruises - 11

Solo cruising - 15

Ex-UK sailings - 18 Published by

Lower Ground Floor, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London SW1W 0EX Tel: 020-7834 6661 Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe Written and researched by: Angela Cronin Email: Design/Layout: Lee Telot Printed by: Buxton Press Cover Picture: Shutterstock ISSN: 0956-2419

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It looks like there will be no let-up in the growth of the cruise industry as six of the leading cruiselines put in orders for new ships

OCEANIA CRUISES Oceania Cruises is adding to its fleet of five ships with the launch of Sirena in April next year. Sirena will be joining sister ships Insignia, Regatta and Nautica, and two larger ships Marina and Riviera next spring following an extensive refurbishment, which will see the introduction of restaurants and cafes that can be found on other ships in the Oceania fleet. These include specialty dining restaurants Toscana and Polo Grill, Baristas and the cookto-order grill Terrace Café. Sirena’s maiden voyage will be a 14-night cruise from Barcelona to Venice on 27 April 2016. The inaugural season features a new lineup of 10 to 14-night voyages, featuring a mix of classic and new destinations throughout the Mediterranean, including two voyages venturing to Seville and Lisbon. The ship will make 11 maiden calls for Oceania Cruises, such as the beaches of Gaeta in Italy, the rainforest of Golfito in Costa Rica and the provincial township of La Paz in Mexico. QUARK EXPEDITIONS Quark Expeditions is introducing a third ship, Ocean Endeavour for its 2015/16 Antarctic season. The small luxury cruise ship will replace Sea Spirit and will be sailing 12 voyages to Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia from November. Ocean Endeavour is engineered to explore the polar regions, with an ice-strengthened hull, Zodiacs for exploration and remote landings, generous deck space and advanced navigation equipment. Endeavour will be the only polar adventure ship in Antarctica with a special focus on health and wellness, which will include yoga and stretching classes, massage therapy sessions, a sauna and gym.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL Royal Caribbean International has put in an order with the Meyer Werft dockyard in Germany for a fourth Quantum-class ship for delivery in 2019. Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain said; “We have received a remarkable response from travel agent partners and travellers, and are thrilled that we’ll be able to deliver another revolutionary ship with our partners at Meyer Werft.” Royal Caribbean International president and CEO Michael Bayley said: “The fourth Quantum class vessel will be a trailblazer in smart-ship design and holiday innovation. Royal Caribbean International is synonymous with adventure, and the icons and amenities on this ship will continue to challenge and expand guests’ expectations of the cruise experience.” Meanwhile, the cruise line will be taking delivery of its third Quantum-class ship, Ovation of the Seas in April. Before being deployed to Tianjin, China, Ovation of the Seas will embark on a 52-night Global Odyssey from Southampton to Tianjin. Before Ovation embarks on its world voyage, it will sail three itineraries from Southampton. These include: a five-night round trip cruise via France and Belgium, departing on

April 17; a seven-night round trip cruise calling at Spain, the Channel Islands and Paris, departing on April 22; and a seven-night England to Barcelona cruise, departing May on 3. The cruiseline also has a fourth 5,400passenger Oasis-class ship on order which is due to embark on its inaugural voyage in the middle of 2018. STAR CLIPPERS The tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers has confirmed plans to build a fourth ship, its

MSC Meraviglia's new ship launches in 2017 and will be sailing western Mediterranean voyages

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Norwegian Cruise Line is launching its latest ship, Norwegian Escape on October 28. The ship will be Norwegian’s largest in the fleet carrying 4,200 passengers and sailing year-round from Miami.

first new-build since the launch of Royal Clipper in July 2000. The new 150-suite vessel, yet to be named, will be the biggest and most ambitious to date and will be launched in the second half of 2017, carrying 300 passengers, measuring 8,770 tons and powered by more than 6,350 square metres of sails. The new ship will be a five-masted, square-rigged barque and will be the largest ship of its kind afloat. The new member of the fleet will be a near-replica of the France II, commissioned in 1911 and the largest square rigger ever built. The new vessel will have three pools, one that funnels sunlight through the ship’s atrium into the dining room. There will be a watersports platform in the stern for use when the ship is at anchor and a variety of cabin grades, including 34 suites with balconies and four luxurious owner’s suites. While the ship will have high-tech engines, it will, like its sister ships, rely on wind power and its sails wherever possible. The new ship will initially sail the company’s most popular itineraries in the

Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Star Clippers are expected to take bookings for the new ship next year. MSC CRUISES The Italian cruiseline has invested 5.1 billion euros on four new ships across two different classes, with an option for three more. The Vista project vessels are being built by STX France and will be MSC Cruises biggest ships, carrying 4,500 passengers. MSC Meraviglia went on general sale earlier this month and is due for delivery in May 2017. The ship will be sailing western Mediterranean voyages, and will count Genoa, Barcelona and Marseille as its three home ports. Among the features planned for the ship is the creation of special interlinked ‘cluster cabins’, which will allow up to three cabins to be opened up to accommodate larger family groups. There will be Family, Superfamiliy and Superfamily Plus grades available with the Superfamily Plus cabins accommodating up

to 10 passengers. Entertainment options will include a large outdoor waterpark connected to a doubledeck indoor amusement park; double-deck aft lounge and entertainment space; and a two-deck interior promenade styled like a Mediterranean village packed with shops, bars and speciality dining and covered by an awe-inspiring 480sq metre LED dome ceiling. The screen will form a ‘digital sky’ beaming out compelling images and visual shows at scheduled times. The second Vista project ship is due for delivery in the middle of 2019. Meanwhile, the Seaside class ships are being built by Fincantieri shipyard in Italy and will carry 4,140 passengers with the delivery date set for November 2017. MSC Cruises are hoping to break new ground with this class of ship, which will feature low-level promenades filled with shops, bars and al fresco dining options to maximise the outdoor space for guests. The Seaside ships will feature one of the most interactive aqua parks at sea, with four slides and attractions for all ages. Guests will be able to take part in slide boarding where they will get the chance to race down a two-storey, 112-metre slide on a raft that includes an embedded game controller with coloured buttons. The goal is to match the colour of the flashing strobe lights seen on various sections of the slide with the coloured buttons on the raft. There will also be duelling high-speed aquatubes which will see guests racing against each other in single or double inner tubes. The water park will also have an AquaPlay and AquaSpray area for younger children. An Adventure Trail ropes course will be connected to the aqua park which guests will have to navigate while being fired at from friends and family below with water spray cannons. The first Seaside ship will be based at a new MSC terminal in Miami and offer Caribbean itineraries year-round. The second Seaside ship will arrive in the middle of 2018 with the option for the delivery of two more Vistas and another Seaside vessel in 2020, 2022 and 2021 respectively. SILVERSEA Silversea Cruises will be taking delivery of a new flagship, the Silver Muse, in the spring of 2017. The new ultra-luxury ship is being built by Fincantieri and will accommodate 596 guests. The addition of the Silver Muse will expand Silversea's fleet to nine ships.

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Viking makes light work of selling the best river cruises

Illuminating itineraries. Dazzling ships. Glowing reviews. Selling river cruises to the more discerning traveller has never been easier. Or as worthwhile. At Viking we give you more destinations, more award-winning ships and more dates to sell than any other river cruise operator. Call our friendly UK-based sales team seven days a week on 020 8780 7985.

Eight-day European river cruises from ÂŁ895pp. For details of all our award-winning journeys, visit

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Viking’s eight-day Romantic Danube voyage is in demand with prices from £2,745 per person

With river cruising going from strength to strength, and the families market emerging as a firm favourite for the next growth area, now is the time to make sure you know all there is to know about this expanding area of cruise


iver cruising has seen phenomenal growth over the last few years and this looks set to continue as the lines look to reach out to a new market – families. Over the next few pages, this feature will look at the cruiselines that are making child’s play of getting the families on board as well as finding out what else is new in the river cruise market for 2016. AMAWATERWAYS The river cruiseline has set its sights on the family market with plans to build a new ship, 159-passenger AmaViola, specifically

with families in mind. And its seems AmaWaterways has read the market really well as US-based Adventures by Disney has already chartered the market for four cruises on the Danube in July and one in December, each offering special, family-friendly excursions and activities. And there’s no other company that knows the family market as well as Disney. Special family features on AmaViola will include specific room configurations, six sets of interconnecting staterooms, as well as rooms and suites that accommodate three and four guests.

Shipboard spaces are being designed to provide for activities geared towards different age groups. Adults will be able to enjoy wine tasting, music, dancing and an on-board fitness centre and spa, while children can make the most of the pool, the giant chess set on the upper deck and the in-cabin ‘Infotainment’ system. The ship will also carry a fleet of bicycles for families to use. Sister ship AmaStella will also be launching next year, and will feature interconnecting staterooms and larger suites. Sales manager Natalie O’Mahoney says: “As the river cruise market grows and the

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RIVER CRUISES AmaWaterways is targeting the family market with the 2016 launch of AmaViola

Europe’s Finest River Cruises Rhine, Danube, Moselle, Main, Elbe, Rhône, Seine or Douro 8 days from only £999 per person 14 days from only £1,399 per person Selected departures up to November 2015 and April to November 2016 Experience truly unique cruises with perfectly balances itineraries, all escorted by an experienced cruise director and tour manager. • Which? recommended provider for the last three years, beating all other river cruise lines • More people would travel with us again than any of our competitors* • The industry’s finest tour managers* • Some of the largest cabins available on river cruise vessels • One of Europe’s most modern fleets - seven five-star and two four-star superior vessels, four launched in the past two seasons


To book, call: 01283 744370 Reservations now open Saturdays 9am-2pm

Visit: Holidays organised by and subject to the booking conditions of Riviera Travel, ABTA V4744 and ATOL 3430 protected. Price based on two people sharing a twin cabin. *Source - Independent research in Autumn 2014 by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Single cabins and optional insurance available at a supplement. Images used in conjunction with Riviera Travel. Additional entrance costs may apply. Cruise duration dependant on selected itinerary. ABTA No. V4744

ships on offer are more varied in style and sophisticated, there is every reason for families to try river cruising, especially given the current trend towards multigenerational travel.” Meanwhile, AmaWaterways is upping its presence in France with the launch of 22 Taste of Bordeaux sailings next spring. AmaDolce will be sailing the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers in France’s most renowned wine region. Eight of the 22 departures will be special wine-themed voyages. How much? A seven-night cruise

from Budapest to Nuremberg costs from £1,562 per person departing on 8 December 2016. The price includes full board with free-flowing wine, beer and soft drinks with meals, excursions, wifi, use of bicycles in port and port taxes. This price features an earlybooking discount if confirmed by 31st July 2015. A seven-night Taste of Bordeaux cruise on AmaDolce round trip from Bordeaux costs from £1,559 per person, departing on 25 March 2016 and calling at Cadillac, Pauillac, Blaye, Bourg, Libourne and Cubzac-Les-Ponts.

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The price includes: full board on the ship; wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and evening meals; complimentary daily excursions; free wi-fi; free use of on-board bicycles; on-board entertainment. To book: EUROPEAN WATERWAYS The barging cruise specialist has also seen a rise in families opting for river cruises, in particular multigenerational holidays where grandparents take their children and grandchildren along with them. Marketing manager Chris Gant says that the operator can see this trend continuing: “so many people lead busy lives and they love the idea of being able to have a private, relaxing

and off-the-beaten-track holiday with their loved ones. “That’s why we offer family-themed charter cruises that have activities for the children, but also allow the adults to relax. For example, a cruise on our hotel barge, Anjodi, on the Canal du Midi, will include visits to the underground Limoussis Caves, Carcassone and a dinosaur park, and perhaps a wine tasting or two and the chance to soak in the on-deck spa pool with a glass of wine in hand for mum and dad.” Prices for a full barge charter start at £15,000 for a hotel barge that can accommodate six people with prices rising to £35,300 for a 12-passenger hotel barge. European Waterways is poised to expand

with the launch of its luxury hotel barge Finesse which will be taking to the water in May next year. The eight-passenger, 38-metre, doubledecker vessel will feature a demonstration gallery where guests can watch the on-board chef preparing the daily gourmet meals. Finesse will cruise the River Saône and Canal du Centre in Southern Burgundy. How much? Cabins start at £3,950 per person, all-inclusive, based on double occupancy, with private charters from £27,200. Each fullycrewed, six-night cruise includes all gourmet meals prepared by the on-board chef, fine wines, an open bar, daily escorted excursions, admissions and local transfers. To book:

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RIVER CRUISES TAUCK The river cruise specialist has launched its 2016 European river cruising brochure with new ships, itineraries and flight-inclusive packages. Tauck’s two new river cruise ships, Grace and Joy, will launch next year and will carry 130 passengers in 22 luxury suites – the fewest number on that size of boat on European river excursions. The new voyage for next year is along the Rhine, taking in Europe’s highest railway station in the Bernese Alps, and private tours, dinner and music at Schloss Ehreshoven, a moated German castle normally closed to the public, and Schloss Johannisberg, a former Benedictine monastery with a 1,200-year history of wine-making and home to the first Riesling wine estate. As well as the new, cruise, Tauck’s other European river voyages include several unique excursions along the Danube, Rhone and Seine. Also new for 2016, Tauck is including air travel in the price. Vicepresident Steve Spivak said: “From the moment you take off until you touch down on your return journey, everything is covered in the price including champagne and single malt whisky.” How much? Prices lead in at £2,995 for the 10-day Rhine, Swiss Alps and Amsterdam trip. To book:

‘There is every reason for families to try river cruising, especially given the current trend towards multigenerational travel’ UNIWORLD The boutique river cruise operator has launched a stand-alone Asia 2016 programme featuring India on board a new luxury all-suite ship for the first time. The new all-suite 56-passenger Ganges Voyager ll will feature in the 13-day India’s Golden Triangle and Sacred Ganges cruise with seven nights on-board the ship sailing the Ganges River and five nights on shore at three Oberoi Hotels and Resorts’ properties in New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. “We are excited about our product offering in Asia, especially with our newest destination, India, and the new all-suite Ganges Voyager II featured in the brochure for the first time,”

said Kathryn Beadle, managing director of Uniworld UK. “River cruising is such an amazing way to experience the fascinating destinations of India, China, and Vietnam and Cambodia, as there is so much life and activity to see along the banks of the Ganges, Yangtze and Mekong rivers, giving guests a true sense of their locality. And with Uniworld they can be sure of experiencing these destinations and rivers in ultimate luxury.” How much? Prices start at £5,169 per person for the 13-day India’s Golden Triangle and Sacred Ganges cruise. Savings of up to £800 are available on bookings made by 31 July, 2015. To book:

BEST SELLERS VIKING RIVER CRUISES’ 15-day Magnificent Mekong river cruise is a big hit with its customer base. The 15-day voyage on board Viking Mekong starts off in Ho Chi Minh City and then heads along the Mekong to Sa Dec, the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, the protagonist in Marguerite Duras’s beloved autobiographic novel, l’Amant (The Lover). Next stop is Tân Châu for a visit to a floating fish farm and a boat ride to Vinh,

Hoa, known as Evergreen Island. The cruise then crosses into Cambodia for a two-day visit to the capital Phnom Penh. The voyage spends the next five days in Cambodia, visiting Kampong Cham, Siem Reap and Angor Wat before sailing on to Hanoi for a three-day visit and the conclusion of the cruise. Sample price: from £4,499 full board including all meals and drinks (wine,

beer and soft drinks only) 14 guided tours and flights. In Europe, Viking’s eight-day Romantic Danube voyage is in demand. The cruise explores the grand cities and quaint villages along the Danube River. Sample price: from £2,745 per person full board including all meals and drinks (wine, beer and soft drinks only), six guided tours and flights.

RIVIERA TRAVEL says its eight-day cruise along the River Douro is proving particularly popular. It was the first time the operator has offered that itinerary, and it proved so

popular, Riviera is featuring it for the full 2016 season. The voyage calls in at Douro, Oporto and Salamanca. Sample price: from £1,199 per person with post-cruise extensions in Lisbon

available on selected dates in 2016 from £399 per person for three nights in a five-star hotel, transfers, guided excursions and a tour manager. To book:

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SUITE TIMES AHEAD From exclusive destination experiences to fullyinclusive wifi packages, the luxury lines are looking at new ways to spice up their high-end voyages


uxury, ultra-luxury, six-star cruiselines – what does it all mean and are people’s expectations of luxury changing with new trends emerging? According to Richard Twynam, managing director of Azamara Club Cruises, UK and Ireland, the biggest change in the luxury market in recent years is how people choose their luxury holiday. “The two most important trends are that people instantly search online content, and then look for recommendations by word of mouth to endorse their own thinking. “So snackable relevant, targeted content is the new battleground among suppliers. Mobile is increasing all the time in its importance as well.” So while your potential customers are sourcing information online about what it is available, they still need the experience of an agent who knows first hand due to the trade’s strong ties with the cruiselines the variety of luxury that’s on offer. And the value that agents add when it comes to matching clients with the right cruise can never be underestimated. With this in mind, here is a brief round-up of what luxury means in the world of cruise for 2016. SILVERSEA Based in Monaco, Silversea has five small, traditional cruise ships, with a new one on

It’s all about attention to detail on Crystal Cruises

order to be delivered by 2017, and three expedition ships. Silversea appeals to the type of customers who want luxury, but want it in a laid-back fashion, meaning that they can rock up to dinner in a jacket but no tie; casual, informal dining is all the rage with Silversea. What makes the cruiseline an upmarket one is the fact that 85% of suites on its classic fleet of ships have a private veranda and all suites on-board the expedition fleet have ocean views. Guests are greeted with champagne on arrival and a butler, who is available on all ships for all suites, will unpack luggage and help guests settle in to their suite. The same butler will be available

throughout the voyage to make dinner reservations, arrange private fitness sessions, polish and condition shoes, replenish the suite bar, turn down bed covers nightly and pack luggage at the end of the voyage. And they can also arrange 24-hour in-suite dining, with a full breakfast or formal dinner delivered straight to suite. The inclusive tag with Silversea means the price can also include champagne and a bar fridge in suites that is stocked to individual preferences including wines and spirits. Gratuities are always included in the cruise fare except those for the spa and shore excursions. And new for this year, a choice of Silver Shore Select excursions are also included in

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LUXURY overcrowded ‘hotspots’ and to the authentic restaurants where locals dine. The line’s two ships are set to enter drydock early next year for some renovation. The ships will be fitted with new venues, public spaces and technology to bring redesigned spaces and fresh services to guests. The transformation will cover all staterooms and suites, dining, spa and entertainment. Sample price: the 12-night European Jewels Voyage that departs on 30 May 2016 costs from £4,906 per person including flights. The cruise visits Nice, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Seville, Lisbon, Honfleur and Guernsey. To book:

Azamara has rolled out a new range of Destination Immersion experiences

the inclusive fare along with at least one hour of free wifi per day for all guests on voyages departing from January 2016. There is unlimited free wifi for guests sailing in the Owner's, Grand, Royal, Silver and Medallion suites on the line's ocean ships. Sample price: from £4,650 per person for the 12-day voyage from Tower Bridge, London to Stockholm on board Silver Wind. The cruise departs on 27 June 2016 and calls in at Amsterdam, Netherlands; Kiel Canal, Germany; Wismar, Germany; Ronne, Bornholm, Denmark; Gdansk, Poland; Visby, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; St Petersburg, Russian and Tallinn, Estonia. To book: AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES The luxury offering from the Royal Caribbean stable, Azamara has two “boutique” ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, that carry a maximum of just 694 guests. The cruiseline prides itself on the small stature of its ships which means that they can dock at smaller ports that the bigger ships cannot access, which allows them to

base their voyages around the global calendar of events and celebrations, for example, visiting Monaco for the Grand Prix. And unlike other cruiselines, they overnight in ports, which has led Azamara to create a new innovation called Destination Immersion and under this brand umbrella is Azamazing Evenings, which feature authentic free events that give cruisers an insight into local life in their destinations. There’s also Land Discoveries, which are a range of exclusive excursions that aim to get under the skin of a destination. New additions to this concept include Insider Access which take cruisers behind the scenes at ancestral homes, workshops or places of business for locals such as farms and shops. Nights and Cool Places is also new and allows guests the chance to discover a destination after dark, such as visiting Malaga’s Picasso Museum after hours or enjoying an evening gondola serenade in Venice. Azamara has also recently launched Cruise Global, Eat Local which aims to guide guests away from the tourist traps and

CRYSTAL CRUISES Crystal likes to distinguish its luxury offering from other cruiselines in this space by talking about the ‘Crystal Experience’ and the ‘Crystal Difference’ which the cruiseline claims has enabled them to set one simple goal – to provide its guests with the finest travel experience available in the luxury service business, not just the luxury cruise industry. Well, if the figures are correct then Crystal’s attention to detail and personalised service has helped it to achieve the objective of having the highest number of repeat guests in the industry. Crystal has two ships, Crystal Serenity and the Crystal Symphony. The majority of the staterooms of both ships have verandahs, and the service to rooms includes with 24-hour in-stateroom dining, with wine, champagne, or cocktails, and a Pillow Menu to give guests the opportunity to choose the perfect pillow for a great night’s slumber. The cruiseline’s penthouse staterooms really are the icing on the cake though with full sofas, walk-in closets, separate showers, Jacuzzi tubs with breathtaking views, top-ofthe-range sound-systems, separate living rooms, dining areas, and guest bathrooms. As well as the stunning dining rooms for casual and formal dining, there’s the Vintage Room experience, Silk Road and The Sushi Bar with Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature cuisine, and Prego, featuring fine Italian cuisine.

‘mobile is increasing all the time in its importance’

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Silversea has built its reputation on offering laidback luxury

As regards experiences, Crystal offers diverse options varying from more adventurous, such as flying in a MiG fighter jet in Russia, hot-air ballooning in Italy, a jet boat ride on a wild New Zealand river and cage-diving with sharks in Cape Town to relaxing painting lessons and wine tastings in Europe, discovering the culinary secrets of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine at private cooking demonstrations and enjoying an exclusive evening of classical music and art at the St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum. And the luxury future looks very bright for Crystal following its acquisition by Genting Hong Kong, which has pledged to broaden the line’s offerings to welcome more intrepid luxury travellers with new ships and new itineraries. So watch this space. Sample price: from £2,171 per person for a seven-night cruise on Crystal Symphony from Venice to Athens departing on 17 April 2016. To book: SEADREAM YACHT CLUB Less ship, more mega yacht, Seadream’s luxury offering is for the more adventurous cruiser who likes the idea of a smaller vessel rocking up at an intimate port where he won’t be vying for docking space with a 5,000-passenger ship.

Seadream has two yachts which both carry 112 guests and 95 crew, which ensures the crew to guest ratio is high. Highly trained chefs prepare meals using ingredients sourced from local ports of call, creating menus that change daily alongside an award-winning wine list. SeaDream also offers a variety of dining experiences from a traditional Japanese menu to an optional Raw Food menu. The SeaDream Spa is the only Thaicertified spa at sea offering 40 different therapies and treatments, many of which may be enjoyed outdoors, on deck in the private, open-air massage area. The yachts also carry with them a number of water toys in what they call a retractable water sports Marina so guests can play with the glass bottom kayaks, try a stand-up paddle board, go water skiing, ride the banana boat, go tubing or boarding, go snorkelling and try sailing on a Laser sailboat. Sample price: a seven-night Caribbean voyage costs from £2,085 per person and sets sail on 5 December 2015 and visits: St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands; Saba, Netherlands Antilles; Gustavia, St Barts and Marigot, Saint Martin; Soper’s Hole, Tortola, Great Harbour; Peter Island and White Bay, Jost van Dyke, British Virgin Islands.; and Charlestown, Nevis. To book:

SOME OF the big cruiselines want to get a piece of the luxury pie with a differentiated approach by creating luxury enclaves on board their ships. MSC Cruises pioneered this concept in when it introduced the MSC Yacht Club experience which is now available on its four largest vessels, MSC Divina, MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida and MSC Prezios. This private haven has 76 superior suites of different sizes, private lounges, exclusive à la carte Yacht Club restaurant and private sun deck with pool and buffet area. There’s a butler on call 24 hours a day and a dedicated concierge to tend to guests every need. MSC Cruises’ executive director UK and Ireland Giles Hawke said: “The thing that really attracts people to Yacht Club is that it gives them all the benefits of a ‘big ship’ experience – the great theatre shows, bars and entertainment options – but also the opportunity to retreat to their own area if they wish. We describe it as a ‘ship-withina-ship’, and guests’ can participate with life on board as much or as little as they want. “There are many positives for agents too. MSC Yacht Club is an incredibly well priced product for the luxury it offers. The butler service and attention to detail within Yacht Club mean it is a truly fivestar experience. It is fantastic value and has an incredibly loyal customer base. Guests who try it once keep coming back. “Areas such as this are great for multigenerational groups. We find that grandparents will opt for the Yacht Club because they can spend time with their families during the day but have that little bit of luxury when they want time on their own. ”Such is the success of MSC Yacht Club that it is expanding the luxury areas on its new-build ships. Both MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside will have enhanced – and entirely self-contained – Yacht Club areas at the front of the ships”. Sample price: seven-night fly-cruise from Genoa (Portofino), Italy aboard MSC Fantasia, departing May 8 2016, calls at Cannes, France; Palma, Majorca; Barcelona, Spain; Ajaccio, Corsica; Naples, Italy; la Spezia, Italy and Genoa (Portofino). MSC Yacht Club price starts at £1,549 per person, including British Airways return flights to Genoa and overseas transfers. To book:

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SOLO CRUISING NCL pioneered cabins for solo travellers with the launch of the Studio cabin back in 2010


orwegian Cruise Line’s decision to introduce Studio cabins for solo travellers on Norwegian Epic back in 2010 was seen as a bold move by many in the cruise industry. Cruising has always been seen as the perfect holiday for people travelling alone as it is such a sociable experience, so it always seemed a little strange that the cruiselines don’t do more to court single travellers. However, fast forward five years and it’s clear to see that other cruiselines are following NCL’s example. P&O Cruises has a total of 74 single cabins across its fleet of ship with 15 singles with a balcony and 12 single inside cabins on its newest ship Britannia. Royal Caribbean’s flexible accommodation structure on Quantum and Anthem of the Seas means that its new category of family-

With the number of people choosing to travel on their own, what are the cruiselines doing to appeal to this growing market? connecting rooms can be adapted to single cabins if needed. But what are the other cruiselines who haven’t been able to roll out dedicated single accommodation doing for single travellers. Are they still making them pay the price for opting to travel alone? CMV Solo cabins: CMV has set aside 150 superior twin cabins aside for single cabins on board the 1,250-passenger vessel Magellan. Any supplement? On these 150 twin cabins, there will be a 25% supplement for single occupancy. Sample package: prices start at £1,049 per person for single occupancy on a category three superior twin inner cabin. A category 9 superior ocean view starts at £1,399 per person. These prices are for the nine-night

British Isles Discovery cruise from London Tilbury. To book: HOLLAND AMERICA LINE Solo cabins: HAL launches its new ship Koningsdam next April, which will have 12 single ocean-view cabins, ranging from 127 to 172sq ft in size and will be available on multiple decks at a variety of forward, midship and aft locations. Executive vice-president, sales, marketing and guest programmes Richard Meadows said: “These new one-person staterooms enable us to serve the growing market of solo travellers.” The cruiseline has also developed a programme of activities for solo travellers. Koningsdam will have a brand new Culinary Arts Centre, which will feature a show kitchen

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CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY! You could win one of 10 Christmas stockings~ packed with festive goodies Simply by booking 5* Rotterdam Mediterranean or Canaries cruise! Our mid-sized Rotterdam will offer an incredible choice of Europe cruises this autumn - from a 13-night Med cruise from Southampton to Barcelona on 27 September to some gorgeous Canaries cruises which sail roundtrip Southampton - including a very special Christmas Cruise featuring festive cuisine and seasonal entertainment.

27 Sep: 13-night European Splendour


From £999pp

10 Oct: 14-night Mediterranean Romance


From £899pp

24 Oct: 14-night Hellenic & Anatolia Explorer


From £899pp

7 Nov: 14-night Holy Land Explorer


From £899pp

21 Nov: 11-night Iberian Discovery


From £649pp

2 Dec: 17-night Canaries Adventure

Roundtrip Southampton

From £1,199pp

21 Dec: 18-night Canaries Christmas

Roundtrip Southampton

From £1,899pp

Leisurely Collector Voyages from £1,299pp Please ask for our special fly/cruise fares

Ways to book: POLAR online – register on Reservations by phone – 0844 338 8600 Online training – Visit Christmas Stocking promo terms and conditions: Agents booking any ms Rotterdam Med or Canaries cruise departing 27 Sep- 21 Dec 2015 is eligible to win one of 10 special Christmas stockings packed with seasonal goodies. Bookings must be made by 31/08/15. Lead in fares are cruise only, fly/cruise fares from London and regional airports on request. All itineraries and fares are subject to change. Agents will need to email with client booking reference and their own details to be entered into the prize draw with winners announced by mid September 2015.

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SOLO CRUISING with individual cooking stations that will be used for cooking demonstrations and handson classes from visiting celebrity chefs and the ship’s own experts. In the evening, the centre will transform into a new dining concept called Dinner, a farm-to-table style experience where the chefs prepare simple, artisanal dishes in the show kitchen and guests enjoy each course as it’s freshly prepared. Sample package: prices lead in at £1,689 per person for a single room on a seven-night Viking Sagas sailing departing from Amsterdam on 22 May. To book:

on all cruises to serve as professional dance partners for its solo female travellers and female guests whose partners are not comfortable dancing. Hosts also dine, participate in shore excursions and socialise with guests, serving as liaisons between singles and the onboard social community. There are usually four hosts per cruise with eight on World Cruises and as many as 12 on select trans-ocean sailings. And for the first time last year, two women ambassador hosts joined the Ballroom at Sea themed cruises. Single supplement? It starts at 10% Sample package: fly-cruise prices start at £2,368 for a solo traveller on a seven-night cruise from Venice to Athens departing on 17 April 2016. This includes the 10% single supplement. To book:

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE Solo cabins: NCL has been somewhat of a pioneer of the solo cabins. Back in 2010, the cruiseline introduced 128 Studio cabins on its new ship Norwegian Epic, specifically designed for solo travellers. The line has now rolled out the Studio cabins on to Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, which have 59 each, while new ship Norwegian Escape, which launches in October will have 82. The cabins have 100sq ft of living space with a full-size bed and separate areas for the bathroom, sink and shower. They all feature a large, round window that looks out into the corridor with privacy closure. All of the Studio rooms are located in a private keycard-access complex with their own Studio Lounge and bar so that Solo guests can meet and interact with others who are cruising alone. Also, some of the Studio staterooms are connecting, which allows groups of friends travelling together to create their own private space. Sample package: a Studio cabin on Norwegian Escape’s nine-night Eastern Caribbean fly-cruise from Miami starts at £1,777 per person departing from Heathrow on 6 May 2016. The cruise visits the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. To book:

VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY Solo cabins: the number of single occupancy cabins with no supplement vary depending on the cruise. The cruiseline pulls out all the stops to ensure that solo travellers get the most out of their voyage. There are a number of on-board activities and shore excursions that bring singles together on board Voyager. As early as possible during the cruise, single travellers are invited to a lunch, and for the remainder of the cruise, the maitre'd will endeavour to seat single travellers together. The cruiseline has also introduced a notice board where customers can leave each other messages if they want to take part in activities with someone else. Single supplement? The number of cabins with no supplement vary depending on the cruise. Sample package: prices for the 14-day Mediterranean Reflections cruise that departs on 23 September this year start at £999 for an inside cabin. To book:

CRYSTAL CRUISES Solo cabins: the ultra luxury cruiseline doesn’t have any dedicated single occupancy cabins, but it ensures that the atmosphere on board the ship is as inviting as possible for solo travellers. There is assigned seating in the Crystal Dining Room, while a singles get-together and a Table for Eight programme joins single cruisers together for dinner in specialty restaurants such as Nobu Matsuhisa’s Silk Road and the Sushi Bar. Crystal Cruises also has ambassador hosts

FRED.OLSEN Solo cabins: the relatively small size of Fred Olsen’s ships make them particluarly popular with single travellers. The cruiseline has 190 single cabins across its fleet of four ships, including 40 on Braemar, 43 each on Black Watch and Boudicca and 64 on Balmoral. The cruiseline hosts exclusive gettogethers for solo travellers where they have the opportunity to get to know each other. Staff on board will seat single travellers together for dinner, and arrange companions

for solo cruisers when going ashore, if required. There are also gentleman hosts and dance couples on board the ships to provide dancing partners for solo guests. Single supplement? While Fred Olsen has a number of single cabins for 2016, Fred.Olsen has introduced twin-for-sole occupancy discounts, which mean that a solo guest, occupying a twin cabin, will pay either no single-supplement or receive up to 75% off the supplement cost, depending on the selected cruise. Sample package: prices start at £349 per person for a four-night Belgium and Amsterdam cruise from London Tilbury. There is no single supplement for an outside twin cabin, E, D and B Grades only. The cruise on board Boudicca departs on 17 December 2015. To book: HURTIGRUTEN Solo cabins: 37 across the coastal voyage fleet, 27 of which are on the Lofoten. Single supplement? the Norwegian cruiseline is offering no single supplements on 80 different departures until the end of this year. Sample package: prices start at £899 per person on a full board basis on an inside cabin on the seven-day Classic Voyage North from Bergen to Kirkenes cruise only. Flight and transfer packages cost from an additional £395 per person. This cruise visits 34 ports along the Norwegian coast before crossing into the Artic Circle for a trip to the North Cape, the last stop before the North Pole. Although T&Cs apply, single travellers booking a 12-day voyage from October to December will also be eligible for the Northern Lights Promise, which means if this spectacular light show doesn’t make an appearance, cruisers will get another six or seven-day voyage for free next year. To book: QUARK EXPEDITIONS Solo cabins: no single cabins specifically designed for solo travellers. A Total of 25 cabins on board Ocean Endeavour will be priced for single occupancy and will have no single supplement. Single supplement: However, with the growing demand of solo travelers, 25 cabins on board Ocean Endeavour will be priced for single occupancy and will have no single supplement. Sample package: Prices lead in at £6,700 for a solo traveller on the 11-day Antarctic Explorer voyage. Departures are on 6 and 16 November 2016. To book:

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HOME STRAIGHT The appeal of sailing out of the UK shows no signs of abating as cruiselines add more ex-UK sailings for 2016


etting sail out of UK port has never been so popular so it seems. Southampton retained its position as Europe’s largest embarkation and disembarkation port last year, with a total of 1.57 million passengers passing through the port in 2014. During the year, there were 422 cruise ship turnarounds at Southampton, each of which is estimated to contribute £2 million to the local economy according to research undertaken by the port. But Southampton is not the only port to be optimistic about the growing popularity of cruising out to the UK. London Cruise Terminal, Port of Tilbury, has also seen a large increase in cruise traffic. Passenger traffic last year totalled 54,000 and the port is forecasting that this will almost double to 100,000 passengers this year, with further growth also expected in 2016. Other ports predicting an increase in cruise traffic include Liverpool, which in May hosted Cunard’s Three Queens – the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2

– and forecasts cruise passenger growth of 12% to 83,000 this year. Bristol’s renaissance as a port continues this year, having restarted cruise ship sailings in 2013 for the first time in 20 years, with passenger traffic forecast to grow 11.5% in 2015 to 20,000. Cruise traffic to islands around the UK mainland is forecast to grow strongly too with cruise traffic through Guernsey port predicted to jump 20% to 130,000 and through Orkney by 17% to 79,000 passengers. CLIA UK and Ireland director Andy Harmer applauds these figures, saying: “Across the UK, ports and the cruiselines that serve them are playing an ever-increasing role in boosting the economies that surround them.” Angie Redhead, new chair of CruiseBritain, said while UK ports welcome some of the world’s biggest ships, any of Britain's ports are ideally placed to attract smaller vessels looking for something off the beaten track. So with this in mind, here is a round-up of the cruiselines who have big plans for ex-UK sailings in 2016.

FRED.OLSEN CRUISE LINES UK port: Newcastle The cruises: the 14-night Wonders of Spitsbergen and 11-night Icelandic Wildlife, Falls and Hot Springs voyages The details: Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines will be basing its 1,350-guest flagship, Balmoral, in Newcastle for the first time ever, from May to August 2016. The cruiseline has been operating cruises from Newcastle since 2006, and has seen the popularity of its Norwegian fjords cruises rocket. With this decision to base Balmoral in the port for four months, managing director Mike Rodwell said it means that Fred.Olsen is increasing its capacity by 45% and “offering our guests in the northeast an even greater number of cruise departures than ever before, with a choice of 11 in total. “Bookings for 2016 have shown that, so far, our 14-night Wonders of Spitsbergen and 11night ‘Icelandic Wildlife, Falls and Hot Springs’ cruises are best sellers. “The Port of Tyne is also ideally placed for our ever-popular Norway, Scandinavian and

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EX UK Disney Magic will be sailing the Norwegian fjords for the first time next year

FOR AGENTS MSC CRUISES The Italian cruiseline is keen to keep a strong relationship with the trade and has recently joined TIPTO so will be taking part in its roadshows all over the UK. MSC Splendida is visiting Southampton in September and the cruiseline has a number of agent visits planned. The cruiseline has already hosted 800 agents on ship visits this year in Glasgow, Dublin and Southampton with the same number planned for next year. Also, a big event for the cruiseline next year is the Advantage conference taking place on MSC Fantasia in the Mediterranean next April, which is the first time this event has ever been hosted on a ship. Agents interested in ship visits should email

Baltic itineraries, and we can save up to three days’ cruising time sailing from Newcastle to Norway than from Southern ports.” Balmoral’s 2016 cruise season from Newcastle will commence on 21 May 2016, with a five-night Norwegian Festival and Fjords cruise. Other departures include a 10-night UK Castles sailing, which offers guests the chance to visit Balmoral and Braemar Castles and an 11-night Spain, Portugal & Guernsey getaway. The Port of Tyne’s International Passenger Terminal welcomes around 620,000 passengers each year. Passenger shipping generates around £60 million for the northeast economy each year, supporting over 2,000 tourism-related jobs. Other UK ports Fred.Olsen sails out of include Dover, Harwich, Forth, Liverpool, London Tilbury, Newcastle, Rosyth, Bristol and Clyde. The cruiseline’s Black Watch and Boudicca will be embarking on two epic Grand Voyages in January 2017 from Southampton visiting a total of 67 ports in 38 countries between

them. Black Watch will be setting sail on 3 January taking in the exotic destinations of Hanga Roa (Easter Island), Bora Bora, in French Polynesia, and three stops in New Zealand – Auckland , Tauranga and Wellington – on a 107-night ‘Around the World’ cruise. Boudicca will be departing on 8 January on a 77-night South American Discovery, which includes stops in Brazil ’s Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires , in Argentina, as well a cruise of the Chilean fjords and a maiden call at Laguna San Rafael. How much? Prices start at £599 per person for the five-night Norwegian Festival and Fjords cruise, which departs from Newcastle on 26 May 2016 and calls in at Lysefjord (Pulpit Rock & Kjerag Boulder), Bergen, Eidfjord, Hardangerfjord, Fureberg Waterfall, Maurangerfjord, Hidrasund, Strandsfjord, Flekkefjord and Stolsfjord. The price includes accommodation in an inside twin-bedded cabin, food and entertainment on board, and port taxes. To book:

CRUISE AND MARITIME VOYAGES Agents keen to get the CMV experience have the opportunity to visit the cruiseline’s ships while they are in port this year. There are still places available for visits to Magellan and Azores in July, September and October this year at London Tilbury, Liverpool and Bristol. The line’s buy one get one free campaign has helped agents to secure early bookings, according to head of trade sales at CMV Lisa Jacobs. “This has helped the trade get more bookings up front and 93% of this year’s programme is now sold.” Agents interested in ship visits, should email AZAMARA The luxury cruiseline has teamed up with sister line Royal Caribbean International to launch loyalty scheme, Club Royal. For every Azamara booking made, (including netts) agents receive a £10 credit loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard for immediate use on almost anything. Agents sign up for the programme at where they need to be a Royal Caribbean ‘Captain’ on the award-winning e-learning programme, Cruising for Excellence. Once registered, agents will receive their Mastercard within 28 days of registration.

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EX UK PORT UPDATE PORTSMOUTH INTERNATIONAL PORT PIP has introduced free high-speed internet access at its passenger terminal. The port is also setting its sights on encouraging cruisers leaving or arriving from the city to extend their stay by visiting some of the city’s main attractions, which include Mary Rose, Victory and Warrior in the Historic Dockyard, and newest attraction the Ben Ainslie Racing Visitors Centre. PORT OF TYNE Named as the UK’s Port of the Year at the 2014 National Transport Awards, the Port of Tyne welcomed 600,000 passengers last year. This year, Oceania Cruises have sailed out of the port for the first time, Regent Seven Seas visited with the Seven Seas Voyager luxury cruise on one transit call the inaugural call of Crystal Symphony and Holland America Line operated a

ROYAL CARIBBEAN UK port: Southampton The cruises: Independence of the Seas will be doing a selection of sailings from Southampton to Europe and the Mediterranean next year, which will include three and four-night mini breaks to Paris and Bruges, seven-night cruise itineraries to France and Spain, and a number of 14 night breaks from Southampton to the Mediterranean. Navigator of the Seas will offer a wide range of new sailings from Southampton, including six to 14-night Norwegian Fjords, Baltic, Mediterranean and Canary Island itineraries. The details: the seven France and Spain cruises set sail from Southampton and heads to Gijon, Bilbao, Cherbourg and Le Havre for Paris before returning to Southampton. The 14-night Central Med round-trip cruise from Southampton calls in at Barcelona, Villefrance, Civitavecchia for Rome, Valencia, Malaga and Cadiz, while the 14-night Italian Med round-trip from Southampton visits Gibraltar, Villefranche, Rome, Florence/Pisa, Provence, Malaga and Lisbon. Gibraltar, Villefrance, Ajaccio, Corsica, Cagliari, Majorca and Cadiz feature in the 14night Med Beaches round trip, while the 14-night Med Cities cruise visits Malaga, Cannes, Barcelona, Majorca, Valencia, Cartagena, Lisbon and Vigo. Finally, the 13-night Western Mediterranean voyage visits Gibraltar, Cartagena, Majorca, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Cadiz and

transit call with Eurodam. The Port of Tyne is capitalising on its growing popularity as a port of call on the cruiseline itineraries with the launch of a new cruise brochure and itinerary pack for 2015, which includes information on the network of tourism businesses that have developed special tours of the region. PORT OF DOVER The port has recently completed a £10 million restoration project on the glass roof of Cruise Terminal 1. Originally built in 1914 as Dover Marine Railway Station, the renovation has retained the old station while adding modern facilities to the departure lounge. The iconic sculpture of the Dove of Peace by artist Antony Heywood was unveiled at Cruise Terminal 1 at the end of last year as part of the Port of Dover’s commitment to commemorating both World War I and II.

Portugal Returning to the UK after a £50 million makeover, Navigator of the Seas will offer a wide range of new sailings from Southampton, including six- to 14-night Norwegian Fjords, Baltic, Mediterranean and Canary Island itineraries. Its eight-night Spain, France and Portugal sailings from Southampton call in at Le Havre for Paris, Gijon and Lisbon, its eight-night Norway cruise visits Flam, Skjolden, Olden, Alesund and Stavanger, while its eight-night Canaries voyage stops in at Funchal (Madeira), Tenerife, Las Palmas, Gran Canria, Lanzarote and Vigo. How much? A seven-night France and Spain cruise leads in at £700 per person based on two guests sharing. To book: AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES Port: Southampton The cruise: the 12-night London to Baltics Voyage. The details: Azamara has teamed up with golf travel experts PerryGolf to create the perfect voyage for golf fanatics on board Azamara Quest. Setting sail from Southampton on 11 June 2016, the voyage will give guests the chance to explore Amsterdam’s medieval town, take in Copenhagen’s colourful waterfront, visit Helsinki’s Sibelius monument and rock church, experience the magnificence of St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum and Catherine Palace, get

TORQUAY The Devon port , which can accommodate two cruise ship tenders at a time in its newly installed pontoon on Beacon Quay, is in the process of improving its road transport links with the installation of the new South Devon Link road, due to open at the end of this year. The new connections will make the port more accessible. PORT PARKING Holiday Extras offers parking tailored to cruise customers at both Southampton and Dover ports. At Southampton there’s a choice between Meet and Greet, with prices from £73.99 for a week, and Park and Ride options from £47.00. At Dover Port, Park and Ride parking starts at £40 for a week, rising to £71.20 to park right next to the Cruise Terminal.

lost in the cobbled streets of Tallinn crowded with crafts shops, cafes and beer bars, followed by scenic cruising in the Stockholm Archipelago, where the cruise ends During the voyage, keen golfers will get the chance to play a round at Ian Woosnam’s new club The International, The Scandinavian by Robert Trent Jones II and the Bro Hoff Slott Stadium Course in Sweden. PerryGolf’s cruise staff will join the cruise to oversee all aspects of the golf programme from daily pairings to the handling of clubs. How much? Prices lead in at £3,357 per person and include flights from Stockholm to Heathrow. To book: MSC CRUISES Port: Southampton The cruise: MSC Cruises is making a limited return to the UK next year when Fantasia-class ship MSC Splendida will offer six ex-UK sailings for the first time. The details: the Southampton departures will include two round-Britain sailings in April and May, which will be 12 nights and 11 nights respectively. The voyage will call in at Le Havre, Hamburg, Invergordon in Scotland, Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, Greenock, in Scotland, Dublin and Cork. A May 6 departure leads in at £899per person. Additionally, there will be four seven-night continental coastal cruises from September, featuring visits to Zeebrugge, Amsterdam,

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Fred.Olsen will be basing its flagship Balmoral (pictured below) in Newcastle next year

Hamburg and Le Havre. How much? Prices for the 11-night round-Britain cruise departing from Southampton on 6 May lead in at £899 per person, while the seven-night continental coastal cruises start at £539 per person and departs on 28 September. To book: CRUISE AND MARITIME VOYAGES UK ports: CMV has eight UK departure ports. Magellan sails out of London Tilbury, Newcastle and Dundee, Marco Polo from Bristol, Hull, Newcastle, Leith, Greenock and Liverpool and Astoria from Bristol. The cruises: the big news from CMV is the launch of its first round-the-world cruise on board its new flagship, Magellan. The 1,250-passenger vessel will set sail from

London Tilbury on 5 January 2017 circumnavigating the globe over four months via the West Indies, Panama Canal, French Polynesia, Australasia, South East Asia and the Far East, India, the Red Sea, Suez Canal, Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Israel, Greece, Malta, Gibraltar and Portugal before returning to London Tilbury on 5 May 2017. How much? Early-booking twin saver fares represent savings of up to 40% and start at £8,999 per person with a reduced 25% single supplement on superior grades starting from £13,629. This offer is available on bookings made before 31 July. To book: DISNEY CRUISE LINE UK port: Dover The cruises: Disney will be sailing its first

British Isles itinerary when Disney Magic embarks on a 12-night cruise from Dover on 5 June 2016. Ports of call include Invergordon, Kirkwall and Greenock (Glasgow) in Scotland; Newcastle and Liverpool; Dublin; Le Havre (Paris), France; and Guernsey. Another first for Disney from the UK is a seven-night cruise to the majestic Norwegian fjords, the destination that inspired the blockbuster movie Frozen. Departing on May 29, Disney Magic will visit Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger and Bergen, Norway, giving families the opportunity to experience the land that inspired the story of Anna, Elsa and Olaf. Disney Magic will also be sailing two new 12-night Iceland and Norway sailings. Each itinerary includes two days in Reykjavik and a stop in Akureyri, Iceland; Bergen, Norway; and

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EX UK Famed for its Artic and Antartica cruises, Quark Expeditions has a 14day adventure around the Orkneys, Shetlands and Norway's Fjords for next year with two departure dates

Kirkwall, Scotland. This voyage also spends three days in Iceland with the opportunity to take part in shore excursions that will explore the country’s rich natural wonders such as volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers and thermal springs. Departing from Dover, England and concluding in Copenhagen, Denmark, the June 17 cruise also visits Stavanger, Norway and Newcastle. The July 13 cruise sails out of Copenhagen, Denmark and concludes in Dover with ports of call including Oslo and Kristiansand in Norway and in Invergordon, Scotland. How much? The seven-night Norwegian Fjord cruise on board Disney Magic leads in at £851 per person and departs on 29 May 2016. To book: CRYSTAL CRUISES UK port: London Tilbury The cruises: the ultra luxury cruiseline has three ex-UK sailings from London Tilbury next year. These include the seven-night Tilbury to Copenhagen voyage on board Crystal Symphony that departs on 5 June and calls in at Antwerp, Amserdam, Arendal and

Goreburg with prices from £2,458 per person. The 14-night British Isles cruise round trip from Tilbury sets sail on 23 July and visits Guernsey, Waterford in Ireland, Holyhead in Wales, Liverpool, Greenock in Scotland, Dublin, Belfast, Derry, Portland and Jersey before returning to Dover. Meanwhile the 12-night London Tilbury to Lisbon cruise on Crystal Serenity departs on 6 August and sets sail for Honfleur, Guernsey, St Malo, Bordeaux, St-Jean-de-Luz, Bilbao, La Coruna and Oporto. How much? Prices lead in at £2,458 per person for the seven-night London Tilbury to Copenhagen, including flights. To book: HEBRIDEAN ISLAND CRUISES UK port: Oban The cruises: for 2016, the small luxury cruise line that is a big hit with the royal family has introduced two new cruises that will complement its existing programme of 16 themed voyages and its perennially popular cruises around the Scottish coast. The first new cruise on board the 50passenger Hebridean Princess is the eight-day Northern Ireland Explorer in partnership with the National Trust, which

sets sail from Oban on 17 May and visits Antrim Bangor Warrenpoint Belfast and Tayvallich before returning to Oban on 24 May. Highlights of the cruise include visits to National Trust properties and gardens, a stop-off at Queens Island, the birthplace of the Titanic and a few hours at Giant’s Causeway. Meanwhile, the second new voyage is the seven-night Manx Heritage cruise that aims to capture the magic and mystery of the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and Scotland, all linked by their Celtic and Gaelic ancestry. Hebridean Princess sets sail from Oban on 21 June and visits Port Ellen for a stop-off at the Laphroaig distillery. It then sails across the North Channel to Bangor for a visit to Grey Abbey House, the Montgomery family home since 1607 before heading to the Isle of Man for a two-day exploration of the island. The RSPB bird reserve of Rathlin Island is next on the cruise before heading to Loch Sween and back to the home port of Oban. How much? 2016 cruises start at £1,210 per person based on two people sharing an inside cabin on a four-night cruise commencing 8 and 12 November. To book:

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EX UK Caption Hebridean Island Cruises has introduced two new cruises for 2016, the Northern Ireland Explorer in partnership with the National Trust and the Manx Heritage voyage

VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY UK port: Harwich The cruises: Voyager will set sail from Harwich on a 12-day British Isles cruise on 9 June 2016 and head to the Shetland and Orkney Isles, the Isles of Lewis, Skye, Mull and Scilly before exploring Guernsey en route back to Harwich. How much? Prices lead in at £1,709 per person for the 12-day voyage. To book: OCEANIA CRUISES The ports: Southampton and Dover The cruises: the small luxury cruise line has 20 ex-UK cruises in 2016, 19 sailing out of Southampton and one from Dover. These include the 64-day Emerald Exploration round-trip cruise from Southampton which visits a multitude of destinations in Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Belgium and Greenland. Other ex-UK voyages for 2016 include the 44-day Northern Sojourn round-cruise from Southampton, which explores Northern Europe, Russia, Scandinavia and some of the Baltic States; 12-day British Isles Tapestry, the 24-day Celtic Charms; 52day Viking Quest; 32-day Princely Passages; 12-day Scandinavian Glory; the 19-day Fairytales and Folklore; the 10-day Regal Routes; the 20-day Age of the Vikings; the

14-day Baltic Brilliance; the 30-day Noble Crusade; the 22-day Windmills and Waterways; the 11-day Royals and Vikings; the 19-day Artisans and Explorers; the 19day Steeples and Spires; and the 11-day Northern Serenade. How much? Prices start at £1,799 per person for the 10-day Regal Routes Southampton to Copenhagen voyage through Scandinavia. The cruise line has just launched the OLife Advantage programme to encourage customers to book early. The scheme highlights incentives for guests to book in advance and guests that do and go on to book a veranda stateroom or above will get a beverage package, unlimited internet and pre-paid tips. To book: SWAN HELLENIC The port: Portsmouth The cruises: Swan Hellenic has seen an increase in demand for sailings out of Portsmouth and Harwich so the cruiseline has increased the number of departures for next year. Between April and August 2016, there are 10 departures for Minerva from Portsmouth. These include the 14-day Trois Rivieres de France voyage that departs on the 15 April to explore Bordeaux and Nantes. Then the 14-day Glorious Gardens and Chelsea Flower Show follows on 14 May

which is a cruise designed in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society and features a range of garden-themed excursions. The 15-day Icelandic Cruise departs on 27 May, with the 14-day Celtic Traditions and Edinburgh Tattoo voyage leaving Portsmouth on 3 August. How much? Prices lead in at £2,160 per person for the 15-day Icelandic Cruise. To book: QUARK EXPEDITIONS UK port: Aberdeen The cruises: the Orkneys, Shetlands and Norway's Fjords The details: Quark Expeditions has a 14-day adventure that takes cruisers on an excursion through the northern Atlantic, offering the opportunity to explore the medieval art, architecture and archaeology of Britain's northernmost archipelagos of the Orkney and Shetland Islands, and discover contemporary life and Viking history there, before continuing east to the picturesque port of Bergen. The voyage then continues northwards into the Norwegian Sea to experience the UNESCO-protected Vega Island, an ornithologist’s dream. How much? Departing on 29 May and 16 June 2016, prices start at £5,600 for the 14-day Orkneys, Shetlands and Norway's Fjords expedition with accommodation. To book:

23 All about Cruising

S06 TB Cruise Supplement - Ex UK_Layout 1 21/07/2015 15:29 Page 24

We go further

7 night cruise from only

DISCOVER A WORLD OF WONDERS ON A NILE RIVER CRUISE Step aboard the stylish and sophisticated MS Grand Rose and become enchanted by the Nile’s majestic history. From Luxor to Aswan, immerse yourself in ancient Egyptian culture and uncover the secrets of the Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel* and the Temple of Karnak.





Wave goodbye to boring holidays and make yours the stuff of legends.

• • • • •

5 star, all inclusive river cruise ship 40kg luggage allowance, free transfers and free late checkout Expertly-guided itinerary


All cabins have exterior views


Award-winning service from our attentive crew

Just £75pp

Speak to us today on 0207 332 2660 or visit

ABTA No.Y2507

Subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Lead-in price shown is based on 2 adults sharing, and is available on at least one departure date from at least one UK airport. Correct at date of publication. Once sold out there is no guarantee that alternative holidays will be available at that price. Other conditions apply; see brochure for details. *Optional Abu Simbel excursion payable locally. ATOL protected 9749. ® Red Sea Holidays logo is a registered trade mark of Red Sea Holidays UK Ltd. © 2015.

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