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T U O B A L AL

G N I S I U CR 3

JULY 201

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ALL ABOUT

CRUISING A

t the beginning of May, the cruise association CLIA UK & Ireland was launched as the Association of Cruise Experts and the Passenger Shipping Association merged to create one of 13 new national bodies within the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). CLIA, which has 60 cruiseline members, now serves as the unified voice of the industry across the globe and provides increased benefits to travel agents, cruise lines and business partners. For agents, the new association offers expanded training, shared marketing and promotional activities, greater support and networking opportunities. We deliver learning online, at seminars, specialist expo events, evening showcases and at larger cruise conferences – all of which are designed to keep travel agent members informed and best placed to take advantage of all the opportunities to increase cruise sales. We launched a new training website last year introducing new courses and learning platforms and we’re delighted that our association has now become the first organisation to be recognised for the excellent standard of agent cruise training by the UK’s leading awards company in vocational training, City & Guilds. Our next major conference is Columbus Day which will take place in Liverpool on 19 September. The event is designed for directors, senior managers and owner/managers who will hear talks on topics ranging from global changes within cruising to how retailing is adapting to reflect a rapidly changing customer. We have respected cruise industry figure Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises as key note speaker and entrepreneur Jo Malone whose eponymous line of fragrances is still one of the world’s best-selling luxury lines. The day will also feature networking opportunities and the CLIA UK & Ireland Cruise Excellence Awards designed to recognise the contributions made by agents within the cruise sector. National Cruise Week is also taking place in September (21-29) and is a time when we all come together to promote the many great reasons why a cruise is such an ideal holiday and to dispel some of those myths that still surround cruising. So there’s much happening and we at CLIA UK & Ireland look forward to working with you on increasing the number of people who choose to cruise. Andy Harmer Director CLIA UK & Ireland All About Cruising

CONTENTS What’s new - 4

Family cruises - 7

Question time - 10

New ships - 12

Luxury cruises - 13

Niche cruises - 15

River cruises - 19

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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: angelacronin2003@yahoo.co.uk Design/Layout: Genaro Santos & Lee Telot Printed by: MCR Print Cover Picture: Norwegian Cruise Line ISSN: 0956-2419

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CRUISE NEWS

What’s new

The Duchess of Cambridge performed the naming ceremony for Princess Cruises’ latest ship, Royal Princess, last month

The popularity of cruising shows no signs of abating, with new ships, tours and more regional departures from UK ports

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nother year, another 12 months jam packed full of new itineraries, ship launches and product additions from the cruiselines. And as if cruising didn’t need any more assistance with publicity, the Duchess of Cambridge performing the naming ceremony for Princess Cruises’ latest ship Royal Princess has really helped to put cruising on the radar of people who may not have considered it as a holiday option in the past.

Crystal has ramped up its voyages offering for 2014

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Also, the fact that there has been a 3% growth in the number of ex-UK departures means that, like the growth in regional airports, cruising out of your nearest UK port is giving the industry a further boost. Here is just a snapshot of what is happening in the world of cruises to ensure you stay ahead of the pack when it comes to selling the latest voyage.

MSC Cruises The Italian cruiseline will be returning to the United Arab Emirates for winter 2013/14 with the positioning of MSC Lirica in the region from November. The 2,069-passenger ship will set sail from Genoa on November 5 on a 16-day grand voyage to the UAE calling in at Civitavecchia, Italy; Valletta, Malta: Piraeus (for Athens), Greece; Port Said, Egypt; Safaga, Egypt; Salalah and Muscat in Oman before finally arriving in Dubai on 22 November. From 23 November until 29 March 2014, MSC Lirica will offer 18 seven-night cruises from Dubai, calling in at Abu Dhabi, UAE, Khor al Fakkan, UAE, and Muscat and Khasab, Oman, with an overnight stay in Dubai. Prices lead in at £819 per person including flights. Crystal Cruises The ultra luxury cruiseline has introduced new ports of call and itineraries for 2014. The new ports include: Galway, Ireland; Luanda, Angola; Lombok, Indonesia; Ibiza, Spain; Oban, Scotland; Skagen, Denmark; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; while the new voyages featured are: the 89-night World Cruise from Los Angeles to Southampton, departing 18 January 2014 All About Cruising


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CRUISE NEWS and back-to-back Polynesian explorations, beginning with a southern Trans-Pacific cruise, stopping at Easter Island, Pitcairn Islands, Mo’orea and Papeete (overnight), then continuing on to the Cook Islands, Tonga and Fiji. Departures are on 8 and 20 January 2014. Also new are the 15-night Tokyo to Los Angeles ocean crossing, departing on 1 May 2014; the Java/South cruise featuring four Indonesia ports-of-call, including a Bali overnight plus Malaysia and Brunei; and the 14-night Southeast Asia cruise, with three stops in Malaysia, an Andaman Islands visit and two nights in Myanmar. The 10-night All-China voyage includes a Hong Kong overnight, double overnight in Shanghai and optional three-day, addon land package to Beijing, while the Japan-China itinerary includes three stops in China and four in Japan, with one night in Osaka and two in Shanghai. Prices lead in at £2,454 per person based on a seven-night cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona on 10 August. Fred. Olsen Fred. Olsen’s 2014/15 programme features new ports of call, voyages and products following extensive research carried out with guests. Avonmouth and Tilbury have been added as new regional departure points and two new Grand Voyages have also been introduced in 2015. These include Balmoral's 119-night Exploring the Far East cruise – the cruise line’s longest-ever sailing – departing from Southampton on 4 January 2015 – and Black Watch's 73-night South American Discovery cruise, departing from Southampton on 6 January 2015. New product types to be launched include: Inspirational Experiences, such as Film Stars and Fast Cars and Northern Lights; the new Triple-City Cruise Break, which allows guests to overnight in each city, and new Introductory Cruises, with the cruiseline’s first series of two-night cruises. Hurtigruten  Hurtigruten has added direct charters from Bournemouth and Glasgow to hook up with the cruiseline’s voyages in 2013/14. These new departures are featured within the operator’s 2013/14 In Search of The Northern Lights winter brochure. From Bournemouth, it is now possible to book the five-night ‘Arctic Highlights’ All About Cruising

Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch will be sailing a new 73-night South American Discovery cruise

voyage from Tromso to Kirkenes and back on 2 February 2014 and the full 12-day ‘Classic Round Voyage’ from Bergen to Kirkenes and back on 10 March 2014. From Glasgow a six-night ‘Arctic Highlights’ voyage is available on 27 February 2014. These are alongside all the other existing regional airports Hurtigruten features in the winter, including Gatwick, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Bristol, Edinburgh and Belfast. Prices lead in at £995 per person for a five-day Arctic Highlights voyage from Tromso to Kirkenes and back. Meanwhile, Hurtigruten is offering free flights from Gatwick plus a free excursion to North Cape on 20 selected dates this October/November for the 12-day Classic Round Voyage travelling from Bergen in

the South to Kirkenes in the far north and back again. Regent Seven Seas The luxury cruiseline has launched 10 cruises with expanded itineraries that include sailings to far-flung destinations such as Tahiti and South Africa. Managing director Graham Sadler said the changes to the 2014 sailings are as a result of feedback from guests and agent partners about the desire for expanded voyages, particularly to the South Pacific and Africa. The new sailings on Seven Seas Mariner include an 18-night Los Angeles to Papeete trans-pacific cruise, a 10-night round-trip Papeete voyage and a 17-night Papeete to Auckland cruise. 5


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CRUISE NEWS For Seven Seas Voyager, the line has added a 30-night Dubai to Cape Town cruise which will have overnight calls in Mumbai, India; Male, Maldives; Port Victoria, Seychelles and Cape Town, South Africa with visits to Mombasa, Kenya; Zanzibar, Tanzania; Maputo, Mozambique; and Richard’s Bay and Durban, South Africa. The company has also created a number of Mediterranean sailings that have a similar itinerary as previously offered. Seven Seas Mariner’s previouslyscheduled Mediterranean cruises from 23 September to 18 December 2014 as well as Seven Seas Voyager’s 21 October to 28 November 2014 cruises have been cancelled to allow for the new cruises. Prices lead in at £4,649 per person for the 10-night South Pacific cruise roundtrip from Papeete. Hebridean Princess The luxury, small-ship cruiseline will be returning to Norway in 2014 after a fiveyear absence. Three new itineraries - Norwegian Symphony, Footloose in the Fjords and Majestic Sognefjord - are planned for August.

Hurtigruten has added regional departures from Bournemouth and Glasgow to hook up with Northern Lights tours for winter 2013/14

There will also be new Footloose walking cruise itineraries for 2014 The first one combines a number of new walks with some old favourite – Footloose to the Lochs and Isles – with seven nights from £2,390. Hebridean has also teamed up with the

Royal Scotsman train again for 2014 to offer the pre-cruise extension package that includes two or three nights on the Royal Scotsman, overnight stay at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and a chauffeur-driven transfer to the private coach in Glasgow.

News from the CLIA UK & Ireland The cruise association CLIA UK & Ireland, formerly the Passenger Shipping Association, has a number of big events for agents to get involved in this year. CLIA Luxury Expo Dover – September 2-3 Three luxury cruise ships will be in Dover during this two-day event so agents can experience what five-star cruising is really like. There will be ship visits to Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity and Seabourn Sojourn alongside a trade fair and a dinner at Canterbury Lodge, within the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral. A first for delegates will also be the opportunity to ‘virtually’ visit Regent Seven Seas’ Voyager, which will be docked in Southampton. How to book: tickets are £20 and and can be booked via eventbrite.co.uk/event/5750529990/eorg; non-CLIA UK & Ireland members should email afoster@cruising.org to book your place. For more details: cruiseexperts.org or call 0207 436 2449 Columbus Day Conference Liverpool – 19 September The event is designed for directors, senior managers and owner/managers who will hear topics ranging from global 6

changes within cruising to how retailing is adapting to reflect a rapidly changing customer. The day will also feature networking opportunities and the CLIA UK & Ireland Cruise Excellence Awards to recognise the contributions made by individuals within the cruise sector.  The deadline for entries is Friday 16 August.  Michael Bayley, president & CEO of Celebrity Cruises, is keynote speaker and will be joined by Steve Odell, president Europe and Asia Pacific for Silversea Cruises. How to book: tickets are £50 + VAT and can be booked via cruiseexperts.org, or tel: 01920 444 827 River Cruise Expo Cologne – 12-18 November The German city of Cologne will host this year’s CLIA UK & Ireland River Cruise Expo, and for the first time, delegates will take to the water for the conference and trade fair which is taking place on board RheinEnergie, a floating business centre. Delegates will also be able visit six ships provided by eWaterways, Lueftner Cruises, Riviera Travel, Shearings, The River Cruise Line and Uniworld.  A trade fair and meeting opportunities will take place on Sunday morning followed by the conference in the afternoon, with ship visits taking place on Monday. How to book: cruiseexperts.org or call 0207 436 2449

All About Cruising


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FAMILY CRUISES

Pirates, princesses and Kung-Fu Panda With Royal Caribbean debuting its Barbie Premium Experience and Paul Gauguin Cruises offering kids the chance to be mini Jean-Michel Cousteaus, the choice of voyages for the family is big in 2013/14

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t goes without saying that a family holiday is all about making sure the kids are alright. After all, happy children equals relatively content parents. So when it comes to booking a family on a cruise, what the cruiselines are doing to keep the kids entertained is more of a priority for parents over the destinations that the ships are visiting. So we catch up with the major players in this market to find out what they are doing this year to ensure that parents aren’t tormented by the “I’m bored” chant throughout their holidays.

often set against the backdrop of deck parties and fireworks at sea. In the arena of kids’ clubs, the Flounder’s Reef Nursery is ideal for toddlers and runs for 12 weeks, offering books, crafts and games. Then there’s the Disney’s Oceaneer Club, a piratethemed adventure area and home to Peter Pan’s Never Land with games, storytelling, musical fun and dancing. Disney’s Oceaneer Lab offers exploration with experiment stations, music stations, computers and video games for teens. The Vibe is a teen-only hangout with music, Internet access, plasma-screen TVs, MP3 players, games, karaoke and snacks. How much? Prices lead in at £327 per person for a three-night Bahamian cruise.

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian really pushes the boat out when it comes to family entertainment with bells and whistles on. For the kids: Norwegian knows how to keep their guests happy and, as a result of its tie-up with the Blue Man Group, cruisers on board Norwegian Epic can expect to see Cirque Disney Cruise Lines Dreams and Dinner. Other No one does family fun quite like Disney. highlights include the Its 4,000-capacity ships Disney Fantasy and Spiegel Tent, Headliners’ Disney Dream and the 2,700-passenger Comedy Club, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic fuse the improvisation shows, jazz majesty of life on a cruise ship with clubs and casinos. The innovation and some of those magical cruiseline prides itself on Disney touches. its Freestyle Concept, which For the kids: there are more means families are not performances than you can wave restricted to set meal times. Tinkerbell’s wand at on all voyages. Newest ship Norwegian Think big, think Broadway. There’s Breakaway has a number of Disney’s Believe, The Golden family-oriented features on Mickeys, Villains Tonight, Disney board, including the largest Dreams… An Enchanted Classic youth and teen dedicated and Twice Charmed: An Original facilities in the fleet. There is Twist on the Cinderella Story. also a teen space, called And we haven’t even got ‘Entourage’, where teenagers started on the Walt Disney can relax in lounges designed Theatre that hosts first-run specifically for them with air Disney film premieres. Also hockey, video games and an each ship’s forward funnel arcade centre. On Norwegian has a giant LED screen Getaway, which launches showing Disney classics, Mickey and his fellow young pirates do their best Captain Jack impersonation next year, the on-board Aqua All About Cruising

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FAMILY CRUISES Park will have five multi-storey water slides and there will also be a three-storey sports centre that will feature a multilevel elevated ropes course that will challenge guests to more than 40 different elements, including a zip track. Norwegian’s partnership with kids TV channel Nickelodeon means the children can expect to be hanging out with the likes of Dora the Explorer and Spongebob. How much? The seven-night Western Mediterranean from Barcelona fly-cruise on board Norwegian Epic, departing 11 May 2014 costs from £2,772 for a family of four (two adults, two children) including return flights from London. MSC Cruises The Italian cruiseline puts families at the heart of their cruise, particularly when it comes to pricing, as children sharing with two full-fare-paying adults travel free. For the kids: split into four age-range categories carefully tailored to suite each group; the Mini Club (from three to six years), Juniors Club (from seven to 11), Young Club (from 12 to 14) and a Teens Club (from 15 to 17). Since 2012, programme enhancements have been rolled out across the MSC fleet, with a focus on popular sporting activities, arts and crafts, theatre and technology. There are also kids-only fun areas and pools. For teens, there’s the teen card, which is a pre-paid card that is like a real credit card and gives the kids the chance to enjoy some special teenage features and keep an eye on what they spend. The teen area on board every ship in the MSC fleet is now equipped with games consoles, dockings station for iPods, iPhones, iPads and USB readers. In the evening, there are parties, with a Teens Club Live event that includes live music shows, hip-hop, Latin and group dancing, plus much more. There’s even a disco just for teens. When it comes to dining, there’s a variety of family options available, from more formal family dining to Happy Dinners, where the kids eat within the Mini and Junior Clubs, enabling parents to enjoy their meal at leisure. How much? Prices lead in at £599 per person for the 10-night Northern Europe cruise onboard MSC Opera.

The Dreamworks Animations parade on Royal Caribbean ships

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Norwegian’s Aqua Park will definitely fill the day-time hours with lots of water fun

Crystal Cruises The ultra luxury cruiseline can do child-friendly too and Crystal really pulls out all the stops to keep the kids entertained. For the kids: Crystal really ramps up the kids activities during the peak school holiday periods on select sailings. A daily Surf Runner newsletter provides details on the following day's activity schedule, tailored by age group. Activities for the younger children include scavenger hunts, stretch-ercise, bridge tours, cookie baking, fashion shows, karaoke, movies, mini Olympics, pool games, water polo, pyjama parties, pizza making, galley tours, mask parade, relay races, paddle tennis. Activities for teenagers include late night pool parties, Trivial Pursuit, teen disco, karaoke, popcorn parties and pizza parties. The Fantasia playroom has supervised activities, tables and chairs for board games, arts and crafts, giant padded cubes, games console kiosks and large-screen televisions. Teenagers can use the Waves video arcade while the Library offers a selection of children's books and DVDs for in-room viewing. Children can also see recently released films in The Hollywood Theatre. How much? Crystal’s 2014 programme leads in at £2,454 per person based on a seven-night cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona on Crystal Serenity departing 10 August. Price includes return flights. Royal Caribbean With a sizeable number of ex-UK sailings, Royal Caribbean ticks the box for parents who want to avoid flying with the kids. And the sheer size of the line’s ships – Allure of the Seas can carry 6,296 passengers – means there is plenty of space and facilities for the children to be entertained. For the kids: for 2013/14, the cruiseline is really focusing on its partnership with Dreamworks. For example, kids will now get the chance to meet some of their favourite characters from the movies – think Shrek, Puss In Boots, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar. The children can enjoy special onboard productions of Let You Entertain Me, an ice-skating show of How to Train Your Dragon, a DreamWorks Animation parade down the Royal All About Cruising


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FAMILY CRUISES Promenade; interactive character breakfasts in the main dining room and various other shows and activities. Barbie is also getting her sea legs on for the very first time in 2013 with the all-new Barbie Premium Experience. Young girls will be able to have their staterooms decorated in the iconic doll's signature style as well as exclusive, themed activities throughout the duration of their cruise – from an invitation-only Tiaras & Teacups party and mermaid dance class to a fashion design workshop and Barbie Girls fashion show.

Other facilities on board Royal Caribbean’s mega ships include the adventure beach family pool area, H2O zone children’s water park, Johnny Rockets American Diner, a video arcade, computer stations, video games, a teens-only nightclub, the Flowrider surf simulator, an onboard ice-skating rink, rock climbing wall, basketball and volleyball courts, and miniature golf course. How much? Royal Caribbean offers a seven-night Western Caribbean fly-cruise on Freedom of the Seas from £1,028 per adult and £1,026 per child. Prices include flights.

Mini-environmentalists at sea Small-ship cruiseline Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering children the chance to get up close with the underwater world of French Polynesia with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Programme. Under the guidance of expert Ocean Future Society naturalists, young Ambassadors (ages 9-17) get the chance to explore coral reefs, hike rainforest trails, experience Polynesian culture and visit marae (ancient Polynesian temples). They also learn how black pearls and vanilla are cultivated, how volcanic islands become coral atolls and how to paddle an outrigger canoe. Parents are encouraged to join their children on eco-excursions and other activities onboard and ashore.

Royal Caribbean now offers a Barbie Premium Experience on its ships

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All About Cruising

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FOR AGENTS Both agents say they have seen a increase in clients booking river cruises

my customer base, I am finding that an increasing number of younger couples and families are trying a cruise for the first time. I feel that much of this interest can be attributed to the innovations being added to ships by cruiselines, and by Royal Caribbean in particular.” James Crossland: “Most are still 55 plus although younger families are predominantly in the school holidays. I am seeing more grandparents and extended families but mainly during the school holidays. Cruising still remains a holiday that you take when you are older as it is still expensive compared to package holidays, particularly now that so many are all-inclusive.”

Question time In the third of our new Question Time features, we talk to two agents about their experiences of selling cruising

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eicester-based Ian Warren from GoCruise and James Crossland from Cruise.co.uk talked to Travel Bulletin about the ups and downs of selling cruise holidays in 2013. Which cruise destinations are selling well and why do you think this is? Ian Warren, GoCruise: “Norwegian Fjords. Not only is this a great destination, but at seven or eight nights, it is a great option for first-time cruisers.” James Crossland, Cruise.co.uk: “The Med always sells well but we are also seeing people booking Far East and Australia voyages which are booking well in advance.” 10

What destinations are not selling well and why do you think this is? Ian Warren: “I normally sell a good number of Nile cruises, but they have now diminished due to the ongoing problems in Egypt.” James Crossland: “Iceland and fjords have been a bit of a struggle and this may be that there are more ships/cruises in this region this year.” Are your clients that book cruises from a certain demographic (eg over55s) or are you seeing more younger people and families embrace the cruise as a holiday option? Ian Warren: “While the 55 plus population still make up a big part of

4. Is the increase in ex-UK cruises helping you to sell voyages? Ian Warren: “More people tell me that they are fed up with the increasing delays at airports, and diminishing seat space and luggage allowances on the aircraft. Cruising from the UK gets rid of all these problems.” James Crossland: “It does help for those that do not like flying or firsttimers. But people that want a destination understand that you lose a couple of days at the beginning and end of a cruise going around the Bay of Biscay.” Do you find that your clients are loyal to one cruiseline, or do you feel that they want to try a variety? Ian Warren: “The recent offers in the market have led some ‘brand loyal’ clients to try other cruiselines for the first time.” James Crossland: “They are happy to take advice from me on what is the best option for the time of year, experience on-board and price – so yes will try a variety.” Are you starting to sell more river cruises, and if so, where to? Ian Warren: “I am noticing more people looking for their first river cruise, which is often on the Rhine or Danube. For obvious reasons, my Nile cruise numbers are down at present.” James Crossland: “Yes, seen a huge increase this year – still the Danube and the Rhine – again something on All About Cruising


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FOR AGENTS the list of most people that they want to cross off.” Do you feel that you get all the support you need from the cruiselines? Ian Warren: “There are some cruiselines who profess to be agent friendly but severely restrict the days and times we can phone them, and then keep us hanging on the line, whereas direct customers can get through almost immediately, seven days a week.” James Crossland: “Yes.” What sort of information/fam trips would you like to receive more of from the cruiselines? Ian Warren: “For me, it would be

shorter fam trips. I work for myself, so would often find it too difficult to take a whole week off. Some companies get around this by splitting the week in two, and giving twice as many agents the opportunity to experience their product.” James Crossland: “We have a lot of information on our site that comes from people that have cruised or thinking of cruising which we and consumers find valuable.” Have you been on many ship visits and educationals in the last five years? Ian Warren: “In the last five years I have been on five fam trips and visited 47 ocean and river cruise ships. In addition I have been on eight cruises

and mini cruises at my own expense.” James Crossland: “I have been fortunate and have had a mix of educationals on rivers, cruiselines etc. Also the Norwegian and Princess ship launches have helped.”

Ian Warren

James Crossland

Training Complete Cruise Solution has added some new modules to its training academy including the 2014/2015 programme launch for P&O Cruises, which features all the information about the new Ventura fly Med cruises and 2014 programme launch for Cunard including detailed information about the new land tours on offer in New York. All of the Academy content is being refreshed and updated to include product changes and the new programme releases. If agents have already completed modules, they can recap by visiting the history tab – this will also show them the most recent version of the module with any changes that have been made included. The Academy benefits now apply from First Officer on Princess Cruises with the introduction of the new Medallion Captain’s Circle tier for agents travelling on their own holidays. There is also still availability on the ship visit programme for 2013 with visits across the majority of our fleet and some regional visits too. World Cruise 2015 modules for both Cunard and P&O Cruises with all the programme highlights and tips on who the ideal world cruise passengers are will be introduced to the academy soon. There will also be new modules for all brands and Refresher modules coming towards the end of the year Hapag-Lloyd The German cruiseline has launched an agents’ campaign in line with the slogan ‘Time is precious’. The campaign aims to provide agents and sales partners with effective sales support with one of the main objectives being to save the partners time. The epicentre of the campaign is the new portal www.time-is-precious.com: The portal contains a All About Cruising

dedicated area for sales partners with information relevant to the counter quickly, clearly and concisely. The new sales community is also available in the portal, allowing partners to communicate and network on a regional level. Agents that complete e-learning courses and take part in training courses will receive free fictitious “seconds” as part of a rewards system. These can be redeemed in the new rewards shop – for time on board the Europa 2, for instance, or other high-quality prizes. Star Clippers The cruiseline has two sales managers dedicated to give agents face-to-face training. UK account manager, Danielle Dudley and UK sales manager, Kelly Brooks train agency staff in groups to suit their time-tables and opening hours. They are also happy to attend client evenings, organised by the agent. Star Clippers also hold training roadshows in conjunction with Kirker Holidays so agents can learn about the product. There are also plans to start running online webinars which will be advertised to the trade. Regent Seven Seas The cruiseline has a regional sales team who are keen to visit agents for some face-to-face training. Consultants who would like to request a visit should email: Sarah Brooks, senior regional sales manager – South sbrooks@rssc.co.uk Lisa Donovan, senior regional sales manager – North ldonovan@rss.co.uk Eric Williamson, national account manager and Midlands ewilliamson@rssc.co.uk Linda McDonald, regional sales manager – Scotland/Ireland lmcdonald@rssc.co.uk 11


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NEW SHIPS

The new world order The new ship launches are still coming thick and fast. Here is a round-up of the latest members of the cruise family – both big and small Aqua Expeditions The small-ship cruiseline has unveiled plans to launch its third luxury vessel early next year. Aqua Mekong will operate on the Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam How big? The vessel will have 20 outward-facing suites with floor-toceiling windows. Life on board: there will also be a spa and fitness centre, dining room, library, screening room and an observation deck with a swimming pool and lounge bar.  How much? Aqua Mekong will operate three, four and seven-night itineraries that will run from Siem Riep down river to My Tho, near Saigon, stopping in Phnom Penh along the way, and vice versa. G Adventures The adventure specialist is increasing its capacity on the Amazon River by more than 30% with the launch of a newly refurbished, purpose-built vessel. Queen Violeta will cruise along the Amazon and will stop off for visits to local villages. How many cabins? Queen Violeta can accommodate 32 passengers in its 16 cabins. Life on board: there’s a large open upper deck with bar area and lounging with deck chairs and hammocks. There’s also a dining room on the second deck. How much? the new Amazon Riverboat sails a nine-day trip from Lima return with prices leading in at £1,162 per person. Hapag-Lloyd The luxury cruiseline has launched its latest ship Europa 2, which will sail seven-day combinable cruises around the eastern and western Mediterranean in the summer months, with 13-20 day combination cruises to faraway destinations in the winter, such as the 12

Arabian Peninsula and Southeast Asia. The smaller size of the ship means it is able to dock in smaller, less-visited ports such as Bonifacio and Portofino in Italy. How many cabins? 251 suites in seven different categories that can accommodate up to 516 passengers. Life on board: eight restaurants and six bars. There is also an on-board culinary school, theatre, spa and gym and kids and teens’ club. How much? Prices lead in at £3,230 per person for an eight-night round trip from Dubai departing on 25 November. Silversea The luxury cruiseline will be launching its new expedition ship Silver Galapagos in September, which will operate cruises around the Galapagos archipelago. How many cabins? 50 cabins will accommodate 100 guests Life on board: the ship will have two restaurants, a library, expedition deck, piano bar, spa and fitness centre How much? Fares start at £3,550 per person based on double occupancy in Adventurer Class. Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Getaway is poised to launch in February with its maiden nine-night, eastern Caribbean fly-cruise departing from Miami. How big? Getaway will carry 4,028passenger in 2,015 staterooms across 26 categories Life on board: the cruiseline will be offering a new raft of entertainment options including a magic show called The Illusionarium and The Grammy Experience, which will be a venue for live performances from past Grammy winners and nominees. The Aqua Park will have five multi-storey water slides and there will also be a three-storey

Hapag-Lloyd's Europa 2 was christened in Hamburg on May 10

sports centre that will feature a multilevel elevated ropes course that will challenge guests to more than 40 different elements, including a zip track. There will also be The Plank – a platform that extends eight feet over the side of the ship for adrenalinejunkee guests to explore – a nine-hole golf course, a rock-climbing wall, bungee trampoline and spider web. Getaway will feature adult-only outdoor enclave at the back of the ship on deck 16 and on deck 17. How much? A nine-night Eastern Caribbean fly-cruise departing from Miami on 28 February 2014 starts at £1,729 per person including flights. MSC Cruises Europe’s largest cruise ship, MSC Preziosa is the 12th addition to MSC Cruises’ fleet, as well as the fourth ship in the series of Fantasia-class ships. How big? The 18-deck MSC Preziosa can accommodate 4,300 passengers in 1,751 cabins. Life on board: there are four main restaurants, two speciality restaurants, 21 bars, a casino, four swimming pools, the longest water-slide at sea, 12 whirlpools, a bowling alley, a sports area with playing fields, a fitness centre, a children’s area and the MSC Aurea Spa. The ship also has MSC Yacht Club, a private VIP area located on the top decks. How much? A seven-night cruise calling in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Khor Al Fakkan, Muscat and Khasabrom starts from £819 per person including flights. All About Cruising


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LUXURY CRUISES

The finer things in life...

Seadream I will be operating its first-ever cruise from the UK next year with a 14-night Baltic Capitals voyage departing on 16 August sailing a round trip from Dover

Finest Egyptian cotton sheets? Check. The fluffiest of fluffy towels? Check. The finest of wines? Check. 24-hour butler service? Check. The most decadent of destinations? Check. These ultra luxury cruiselines really know how to make their guests feel like royalty

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ho would have thought that in these tough times luxury cruises would be one of the growth areas of the industry – but it is. Figures from the CLIA UK & Ireland for 2012 showed that there is ongoing growth in ultra luxury cruising with a year-on-year rise of 10%, meaning 1.7% of all cruises booked in 2012 came in this sector. Whether it’s rocking up at Monaco for the Grand Prix, or dropping anchor at an All About Cruising

uninhabited island in the Caribbean, the experiences the ultra luxury lines give their guests create memories of a lifetime. Here is a round-up of the major players in this market and what they are up to in the next year. Crystal Cruises The ultra luxury line is not resting on its laurels for 2014 and is rolling out more themed cruises for the new year.

These include: Extreme Thrill Seekers; Explorations in Elegance; Gladiators and Empires; Maritime: Past, Present, and Future; Up Close and Magical; and Wine and Food: Microbrews. These new themes will give guests an insight into a wide range of activities as experts give talks on their varied experiences such as expert shark divers, underwater photographers and marine scientists, who will be joining passengers on Extreme Thrill Seekers as part of Crystal’s World Cruise. On a cruise around Italy, guest speakers on the Gladiators and Empires voyage will look back over the highs and lows of the Roman Empire, while Explorations in Elegance tour of western Europe will welcome auction houses such as Christies and Sotheby’s and masters of fashion, design and style to share their knowledge of the finer things in life. Other new innovations range from culinary enhancements in Prego and Tastes restaurants to production shows, including iLuminate, an America’s Got Talent musical of light and movement. More shorter cruises – 34% of 10 nights or less in 2014 alone – port-intensive voyages and Caribbean and Asian offerings have been introduced along with new cruises in the North Cape, Andaman Sea and Polynesia. How much? From £2,454 per person based on a seven-night cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona including flights and transfers. Compagnie du Ponant The boutique French cruiseline that specialises in yacht cruising has introduced its new ship – its fourth – to its ultra-luxury fleet. Le Soléal, which has 132 staterooms, started its voyages this month, with its inaugural season seeing the ship head to the Arctic region, sailing through the North West Passage to the Bearing Strait and beyond to the Arctic Circle. For winter 2013/14, Le Soléal will be heading to Asia for 17 cruise circuits. There will the eight-day Otaru to Osaka cruise around Japan with prices from £2,132 per person, then there is the nine-day Kuala Lumpur to Colombo, Sri Lanka cruise that takes in Thailand and Burma. For winter 2013/14, the cruiseline’s three other ships will be operating a number of itineraries, including the Caribbean or a cruise circuit in South America and Asia. L’Austral will be sailing a brand new 15day itinerary around Brazil’s northwest 13


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LUXURY CRUISES coast, taking in Recife, Fortaleza, Itaqui, Sao Luis, Belém before spending three days cruising the Amazon before heading to Îles du Salut and Cayenne in French Guiana. For the first time ever, the three-mast yacht Le Ponant will be sailing to the heart of the Cape Verde islands. For the first time, Le Ponant sets sail for West Africa on an eight-day cruise to explore Cape Verde’s islands: Maio, Sao Nicolau, Mindelo, Porto Novo, Brava and Fago. How much? The 15-day cruise around the northwest coast of Brazil on L’Austral leads in at £2,352 per person for a 23 March departure.

Azamara Club Cruises This luxury small-ship line likes to differentiate itself from other high-end rivals by promoting its destination-immersive approach. As well as all the attention to detail on board, Azamara pays the same attention to the quality of its destination with voyages that feature longer stays in ports and more overnights at ports to provide guests the opportunity to experience night touring at some of the most intriguing destinations in the world. Fine dining, exquisite wines, English butler service and everything all-in - yes, everything - are all part of what is expected from the luxury lines but what Azamara likes to offer its guests is AzAmazing Evenings events that showcase the unexpected colours and flavours of a destination. For example on an eight-night New Year’s Voyage on Azamara Quest from St Barts to Miami’s South Beach, the AzAmazing Evening included on this sailing is Exotic Gardens and Calypso in St. Martin. Guests will be given the opportunity to explore a private nature reserve deep in the heart of St Martin and discover lush gardens and vegetation found nowhere else on the island, before enjoying rum punch and fresh island fare garnished with flowers and fruit from the reserve. How much? Prices lead in at £3,365 per person and include return flights from London, transfers and a one-night pre-cruise hotel stay in San Juan and the eight night cruise that takes in St John (US Virgin Islands), Philipsburg (St Martin), Gustavia (St, Barts), Charlestown (Nevis) and Virgin Gorda (British Virgin Islands), before arriving in Miami (Florida) for the flight home. 14

Crystal Cruises will be looking over the Roman Empire on a themed Gladiators and Empires cruise around Italy

Seadream Luxury small-ship cruising is one of the fastest growing parts of the UK industry and US cruiseline Seadream is looking to get a bigger slice of that pie, particularly as it plans to add new ships in the future. The line has recently restructured the way it sells to the UK market, including pricing in sterling instead of dollars, which UK managing director Andy McGowan believes will help agents to sell the luxury line. “Luxury the Seadream way is all about the destination and the informality of our experience. There’s no captain’s night or formal evenings, it’s all about barefoot luxury, niche menus, fine wines – and the off-the-beaten-track destinations of course. Also, we have nearly as many staff to passengers with 95 staff and 116 guests. “In the UK, we feel the Seadream offering appeals to 40-somethings who wouldn’t normally consider a cruise, but can see we offer something completely different and don’t think anything of spending £15,000 on holidays throughout the year,” he adds. As a result of its focus on the UK, Seadream will be operating its first-ever cruise from here with a 14-night Baltic Capitals voyage departing on 16 August sailing a round trip from Dover. After the inaugural round-trip UK sailing, SeaDream I heads for Lisbon, then Rome and on to Athens to join sister SeaDream II in the Mediterranean through to the end of the summer. Also, new for autumn/spring 2013/14, SeaDream II will be visiting 18 different departures and almost every nation with a coast in Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), East Timor,

Indonesia, New Guinea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Hong Kong. Sailings range from seven to 14 nights’ duration. The programme kicks off with an inaugural trans-Suez and a trans-Indian Ocean sailing. SeaDream’s spring 2014 Caribbean voyages will be venturing far away from the well-trodden cruise trail and heading to the uninhabited Culebrita Island, St Barts, Norman Island, Jost van Dyke, Bequia, Virgin Gorda and Montserrat.   Seadream I will return to the Baltic and Fjords for the first time since its inaugural visit in 2011 with five sailings in the Baltic followed by three in the Norwegian Fjords. How much? The 14-night, ex-UK Baltic Capitals voyage leads in at £7,099. A seven-night Asian Fantasia round-trip cruise from Singapore on 4 April 2014 costs from £3,302. Typical seven-night Northern Europe departures start at £3,821. All prices are per person.

Penthouse views Seabourn has introduced penthouse spa suites on three of its new ships. Seabourn Quest will have four new elegant Penthouse Spa Suites located directly above the Spa at Seabourn facility. Guests will access the suites by means of a spiral staircase in the lobby of the spa, and have unlimited access to the spa’s Serene Area, as well as spa amenities in the suite itself and the services of a spa concierge during voyages. The new suites will also be added to Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Sojourn during their next scheduled drydocks.

All About Cruising


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NICHE CRUISES

Ice or a slice? Star Clippers is introducing cruises to Cuba for 2014

From Arctic and Antarctic cruises to the indulgence of gourmet voyages, speciality cruises are a big part of what cruiselines are all about

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iche cruises are all the rage, it seems, as repeat cruisers look for more varied and adventurous experiences. And it seems, there is a cruise to satisfy almost every interest. From horticultural voyages – Voyages of Discovery offers a Colours of the Indian Ocean and the Magic of the Med in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society – to yoga cruises from Star Clippers, if you can match your client to the right cruise, then you are guaranteed to secure that booking. There are so many to choose from, but here is just a snapshot of what’s on offer. One glass or two… Wine tours specialist Arblaster and Clarke know a thing or two about combining fine wines and memorable holidays and for 2014, they will be the only UK charter for private yacht Sea Cloud, which was built in 1931. The vessel only carries 50 passengers and its size means the cruise can rock up at smaller ports in the Med and reach a more diverse range of winemakers The eight-night Venice to Athens voyage departs from the Italian port on 6 August and calls in at Mali Losinj in Croatia, the small wine-producing island of Susak, Korcula and Monopoli in Puglia before heading to Greece for All About Cruising

visits to Kyllini, Elafonisas, Monemvasia, Astros and finally Piraeus. The wine lovers will get a chance to visit some wine estates on the way as well as enjoy on-board presentations from winemakers. How much? Prices are from £5,849 per person which includes all meals, wines, tastings, excursion to Olympia, tips, porterage and airport transfers. Flights are not included. Down south For clients who have an overwhelming desire to get up close and personal with the wildlife of the Antarctic Circle but don’t want to compromise too much on their creature comforts, then Exodus Travels has just the tour for them. The 20-day Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic Circle Crossing on board Sea Adventurer begins in Ushuaia, Argentina before heading east along the Beagle Channel to the Falklands where guests will get the chance to explore the wildlife and fascinating history of the islands. Sea Adventurer then sets sail for South Georgia where passengers will be able to take in some of the wildlife including 75,000 pairs of King penguins nest at St Andrews Bay. There’s also the opportunity to visit an old whaling station, and the grave of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

The voyage continues to the South Orkney Islands and then enters an enchanted world of icebergs and ice-covered mountains as the ship makes its way through the bays and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula. There will be plenty of wildlife to spot along the way, particularly during the guided hikes with the expedition teams to visit a research station and penguin colonies – there may even be the odd friendly minke whale to see too. How much? Prices lead in at £11,250 per person with departure on 17 December 2013 and 2 February 2014. Flights are not included. Solar power A total solar eclipse is due to occur in March 2015 and the best place to see it will be two minutes 47 seconds off the coast of the Faroe Islands. To coincide with the event, Fred. Olsen’s 804-guest ship, Black Watch, will be at the precise co-ordinates at this time during its 15-night Solar Eclipse Cruise which departs from Southampton on 16 March 2015. The cruise takes in the Faroe Islands and then heads to Norway to the Lofoten Islands, Tromso, Alta, Trondheim and Alesund before returning to Southampton. How much? Prices for this ex-UK cruise start at £1,699 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside cabin. 15


Luxury Cruising by Compagnie du Ponant

(1) Ponant bonus fare based on two people sharing a cabin, excluding pre/post transport, port and security taxes. Ponant bonus fare is susceptible to change depending on the availability at the moment of the reservation. More informations on www.ponant.com

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ASIA: A YACHTING ESCAPE BETWEEN EARTH & SEA From the Japan of the Samurais to the impossibly green rice terraces of Bali through the legendary Ha Long Bay, cruising with Compagnie du Ponant offers the privilege of waking each morning to a different landscape of eternal Asia and discovering its most beautiful sights. The brand new 132-cabin, 5-star yacht LE SOLEAL reaches some of Asia’s best kept secrets while treating guests to unrivalled passenger service, the finest cuisine and a bilingual crew ready to tend to your every need. Discover the treasures of the World by sea. Winter 2013-2014 – 17 departures from £1950(1)

Contact your travel agency or call our UK call centre

0800 980 4027

Start your journey on ponant.com


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NICHE CRUISES

Hurtigruten’s Heart of Greenland voyage gives passengers the chance to get to grips with the culture of the Inuit people - and spot a glacier or two

The green scene Hurtigruten has an extensive programme of cruises during the winter season, particularly for winter 2013/14 as the cruiseline capitalises on the last of the increased Northern Lights activity. But for those who fancy venturing a bit further afield, say Greenland, then Hurtigruten’s the line for you. The Heart of Greenland voyage, which begins with an overnight in Copenhagen before a flight up to Kangerlussuaq, allows guests the chance to really get under the skin of the Inuit way of life in Greenland as they are welcomed into their homes and schools. When the ship docks in the Ittileq township guests, crew and locals join together for a traditional football match. Passengers can also get up close to some impressive glaciers and the odd whale on Zodiacs if they are lucky. And depending on what time of year they go, the Midnight Sun is also on the itinerary. The Norwegian cruiseline has also introduced new summer excursions in the Lofotens Island of Norway. All About Cruising

These include horse riding, reindeer spotting by night, a visit to a salmon farm and whale watching How much? Prices for the nine-night Heart of Greenland voyage lead in at £4,196 per person excluding international flights. Gourmet adventures Expect to put on a pound or two if you sign up to Silversea’s Italian Gourmet Cruise programme, which departs Venice on 24 October 2013 for a nine-day sailing to Rome. Passengers are guaranteed to delight in a showcase of Italian offerings served up by Emanuele Scarello, a double Michelin star chef, who will be preparing a twocourse gala dinner. Guests will also get some insight into cooking up the finest Italian dishes at Scarello’s cookery courses, and with the assistance of L’Università del Caffè, they will also have the chance to become a real coffee connoisseur. Grappa Nonino will reveal the secrets of the art of handmade distillation and the correct manner in which to

appreciate the Nonino Monovitigno Grappa. Carlo Dall'Ava will lead a guided tour to the “prosciutto learning centre DOK”, and along with his staff, will explain the correct complements necessary to fully emphasise the taste of Italian prosciutto. How much? Prices lead in at £2,750 per person.

Havana, Hemingway and haciendas Star Clippers is sailing to Cuba in 2014 for the first time, offering a series of itineraries exploring the island in depth, visiting beaches and anchorages, colonial towns and villages and with a pre and post-cruise option to stay in historic Havana. The Cuba programme will be offered on the 170-passenger Star Flyer, which will sail four itineraries starting with a 14-night Costa Rica to Cuba via the Panama Canal. Prices lead in at £2,440 cruise only. 17


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7 nights from

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Fly direct from the UK to the mesmerising ancient city of Luxor and embark.

Visit the Philae temple on Agilika Island, dedicated to Isis, then the Aswan High Dam, and after lunch, take a ride in a traditional “felucca”.

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Visit the famous Valley of the Kings, the Colossi of Memnon, Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple, and Medinet Habu.

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Enjoy a day at leisure exploring the souks and cafes of bustling Aswan or take an optional excursion to Abu Simbel.°

Enjoy a some last minute sightseeing or sunbathing and a leisurely lunch before your return to the UK.

Make the most of the unique views and onboard facilities as you sail down the Nile to Luxor.

All Inclusive

Elegant and sophisticated, the MS Grand Rose offers first class service and stunning views, whether from the sun deck or the tastefully appointed cabins, all of which have have large picture windows.

Hg[hZk]_^Zmnk^l_Z\bebmb^l Outside cabins  Panoramic windows  Lounge bar Restaurant

Swimming pool Shops  Entertainment  5 decks  UK exclusive

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7 nights from £599PP* Rhnkikb\^bg\en]^l 10 fully-guided excursions All meals on board Local alcoholic and soft drinks Return flights from the UK

To find out more, visit www.redseaholidays.co.uk/agent or speak to one of our experts on 0845 072 2477

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The Egyptian Experts ABTA No.Y2507

*Price shown based on 2 adults sharing. Correct at time of going to press; subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. °Payable locally. ATOL protected 9749. © Red Sea Holidays 2013.


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RIVER CRUISES

Viking Freya on the Danube

Banking on success With the launch of modern vessels and an increase in the variety of journeys available, the future looks very bright for river cruising

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ntil recently, river cruises were seen as the toddler to the ocean-cruising teen, but things are starting to change. Figures from the Cruise Lines International Association UK and Ireland reveal more Britons than ever took a river cruise last year, with figures up by 14% to 130,000. European river cruises saw the biggest increase – 12% up on the previous year. While it still has a long way to go to catch up with the popularity of the ocean cruises – 1.7 million passengers last year – the introduction of new ships and the variety of voyages that are tempting ocean cruisers to try out the river journeys are guaranteed to give the operators a boost. Here is a round-up of what lines are heading upstream around the world in 2014. Europe Viking River Cruises is setting its sights on the French waterways for 2014 with the launch of its eight-day Heart of Bordeaux cruise. Viking Forseti will operate the itinerary along the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers. Starting and ending in Bordeaux, the voyage will take in the historical towns of Pauillac, Blaye, Libourne and Cadillac, visiting three UNESCO sites, including Blaye’s 17th-century Citadel and SaintEmilion. Viking believes this cruise will be popular with food lovers, who will have ample opportunity to enjoy the region’s specialities such as oysters, truffles, cognac All About Cruising

and the region’s famed wines, with time built in to tour the wine country. How much? From £1,095 per person. Avalon is aiming to appeal to its guests who have cruised with them before, with a new range of themed cruises that will allow them to combine their hobbies with a river cruise. The new voyages include the nine-day Austrian Highlights and Bavaria River cruise for beer lovers. With departures on 7 July and 13 October 2014, the cruise takes in the charming towns, castles and museums along the Bavaria River as well as giving guests the chance to enjoy a food and beer-pairing dinner with special courses and beers chosen by an expert; on-board lectures; visits to Kuchlbauer World of Beer in Abensberg and the German Hop Museum in Wolnzach with tasting; and visits and tastings at a number of historic breweries along the way. How much? Prices lead in at £1,499 for the nine-day cruise including flights. History lovers will be enchanted by the eight-day Paris to Normandy Landing Beaches voyage, which departs on 1 April and the 16-day Grand France cruise that leaves Paris on 24 March and heads through Normandy to the D-Day landing beaches before returning to Paris where guests board the second cruise ship and set sail for the Cote d’Azur. Both itineraries will mark the 100 years since the start of World War I and will include visits to some of Europe's most famous war sites, on board lectures about

World War I and a visit to the Museum of the Great War in Meaux. These new cruise options are in addition to the existing choice of wine, music, art and impressionist, culinary, European history and politics, Jewish heritage and festive cruises. How much? From £1,379 including flights for the Paris to Normandy Landing Beaches, with the 16-day Grand France tour starting at £3,215. Africa AmaWaterways has introduced new itineraries based around the boutique, 28passenger Zambezi Queen, which sails the Chobe River in southern Africa. The cruiseline’s 16-day Stars of South Africa voyage includes three nights in Cape Town, a four-night safari cruise on Zambezi Queen, two nights at Victoria Falls, one night in Johannesburg and three nights in Kruger Park. The 15-day Rivers and Rails of Africa takes in three nights in Cape Town, a fournight safari cruise on Zambezi Queen and two nights at Victoria Falls, followed by two nights on the Rovos Rail luxury train and one in Johannesburg. Finally, the 19-day Golden Trails of East Africa includes one night in Johannesburg, a four-night safari cruise on Zambezi Queen, two nights at Victoria Falls and one night in Johannesburg before flying to Nairobi for a six-night tour of East Africa, including Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. Zambezi Queen is a luxury river boat with 10 suites and four master suites, all en-suite with king or twin beds, private balconies and full length sliding shutters. How much? From £7,791 per person for a 13-night cruise and land safari, excluding flights and transfers. 19


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RIVER CRUISES The river cruise that is on everyone’s bucket list has to be the Nile, and Red Sea Holidays guarantees the ultimate Egyptian experience with its own custom-built cruise ship, the five-star Grand Rose. The vessel operates all-inclusive, sevennight cruises, including 10 excursions, which are only available to UK guests. This particular cruise starts in Luxor on a Wednesday as opposed to a Monday when most of the other cruise companies start their voyages. Guests get the chance to venture on to the East Bank of Thebes and the Temples of Luxor and Karnak and the Great Hypostyle Hall before setting sail for Kom Ombo via Esna Lock to discover more temples. The voyage also takes in Aswan, the island of Agilika and Philae Temple, and a felucca ride along the Nile before returning to Luxor and on to the west back of Thebes and the Valley of the Kings. How much? Seven nights’ all-inclusive costs from £695 per person including flights.

Asia New destinations are always appealing and with Burma beginning to emerge from decades of being well and truly off the tourist trail, river cruise operators have started to base some of their itineraries around the waterways of this intriguing country. Viking’s 16-day Memories of Mandalay cruise and tour itinerary starts off in Bangkok before heading to the Burmese capital of Yangon and on to the charming town of Pyay on the Irrawaddy River to pick up the river cruise ship, Viking Mandalay. The ship cruises down the Irrawaddy to Thayetmyo Frontier Post, a town that once guarded the border between Royal Myanmar and British Myanmar. Sites to see here are the 19th-century covered market and colonial houses. Next stop is Minhla and Gwechaung, two Italian-built forts constructed to protect Royal Myanmar from the British before heading to the small city of Magway, packed full of narrow streets, shrines and temples.

Aria operates three, four and seven-night cruises along the Amazon


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RIVER CRUISES Then on it’s on to the Salé Monasteries, Bagan, the capital of Burma from the 9-12 century, Yandabo, Ava and Amarapura (two former Burmese capitals), Mandalay and then back to Bangkok for the journey home. How much? This 16-day cruise and tour itinerary costs from £5,199 per person including flights. Like the Mississippi is to the southern US, the Mekong River is the heart and soul of mainland southeast Asia and passes through China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam; more than 60 million people depend on it for food, water and transport. Riviera Travel has a 15-day Journey on the Mekong on Jayavarman, a 20thcentury boutique ship that tips its hat to French colonial-style design. This voyage starts in Cambodia with a stay in Siem Reap, gateway to the complex of temples within the ancient city of Angkor, before heading off to the capital of Phnom Penh and Tonle Sap (Great Lake).

The cruise then takes Binh Thanh Island, Cai be and My Tho before crossing into a complex underground network stretching for 200 kilometres, which provided a base for the Vietcong to attack US forces within just 30 miles of the city. How much? Prices lead in at £3,599 per person and include flights. North America Think about cruising the great rivers of North America, and evocative images spring to mind of sailing down the Mississippi in a paddle steamer from a time when Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer would have been getting up to mischief on the banks of the river. Avalon gives you the chance to grab a bit of America 19th-century style with its 13-day Music City to the Big Easy voyage. This itinerary includes two nights in Nashville and one night in Memphis before hopping on board American Queen, a classic-style paddlewheel steam boat for a cruise down the Mississippi with visits to

River Journeys

Go with the flow in Europe 2014 river and coastal cruises now on sale

CroisiEurope River cruises Travel agents information and bookings: Tel +44 (0) 208 3 281 281 resuk@croisieurope.com Group Sales: Tel +44 (0) 208 328 0649 - www.croisieurope.com All About Cruising

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RIVER CRUISES Helena, Vicksburg, Natchez, St Francisville, Baton Rouge, Housmas House and New Orleans. The steam boat has a pool, gym, spa, multi-dining options, nightly entertainment and a theatre on board. How much? From £4,665 per person. South America Depending which website you read and where they measure the start of the rivers, there has been debate for a few years about which is the longest river in the world – the Amazon or the Nile. Well, whichever it is, the Amazon is undoubtedly the most ecologically fascinating. Its source is in the Andes Mountains of Peru and it runs through Colombia and out to the Atlantic ocean in Brazil. There are a number of river cruises to choose from that can be done as standalone cruises or incorporated into longer South American itineraries. Aqua Expeditions launched luxury cruise ship Aria just two years ago and it operates

AMAWaterways is offering cruises along the Chobe River as part of its 2014 programme to Africa

three, four and seven-day cruises along the Amazon, taking in the sights and sounds from the riverbank and venturing into the Pacaya Samiria Reserve in the Amazon rainforest to encounter some of the wildlife in the region. How much? Avalon operates a 12-day From

the Inca Empire to the Peruvian Amazon, which includes a three-day Amazon Cruise on board Aria as well as two nights in Lima, one night at the Sacred Valley of the Incas with visits to Kenko and Sacsayhuaman, one night at Machu Picchu and two nights at Cusco. Prices start at £5,499 with flights.

News in brief Titan has launched its new-look The World’s Best River Cruises 2014 brochure, featuring all-inclusive cruises, a new vessel and new cruises. Sister ship to Antoinette, Catherine will come into operation in 2014, replacing River Royale on the eight-day Burgundy & Provence itinerary, sailing from Lyon to Avignon, with prices from £2,099 per person. River Royale will be relocated to the French waterways – the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde – on the brand new 8-day itinerary Bordeaux, Vineyards and Chateaux with prices from £2,099 per person. And Antoinette will be joined by River Queen on the Castles Along the Rhine itinerary with eight-day Amsterdam to Basel itineraries. Prices lead in at £2,099 per person. Riviera Travel has seen strong demand for its European waterways cruises and has added an extra 13-night Cruise the Heart of Europe departure. The voyage on Lord Byron will depart on 3 November 2013 from Budapest to Cologne with prices from £1,399 per person. Riviera will be adding two new vessels to its fleet for 2014; the five-star Swiss Tiara and Swiss Sapphire. The operator also has a new Seine, Paris & Normandy itinerary. Prices for Riviera Travel’s new River Cruise programme start at £669 per person for a four-night, mini-cruise. Croisieurope has expanded its fleet with the addition of the 12cabin crewed hotel barge, La Jeanine. The barge operates in Burgundy, in Alsace, from Strasbourg to Xouaxange and from Dijon, sailing through the Saône-et-Loire 22

and La Côte d'Or regions of France. More hotel barges will be joining the CroisiEurope fleet over the next couple of years. The American Queen Steamboat Company is to start selling cruises through the trade following the opening of a UK office. The company owns American Queen, the largest riverboat in the world, and operates cruises on the Mississippi. Light Blue Travel has been appointed as UK booking agent, the company has joined the CILA and will offer training, fam trips and 10% commission. AmaWaterways will launch two new ships next year. AmaSonata and AmaReina, sisters to the 164-passenger AmaPrima and AmaCerto will feature twin balcony staterooms and suites. AmaSonata will travel the Danube and Rhine Rivers on seven itineraries, while AmaReina will be dedicated to the Enchanting Rhine seven-night itinerary. Avalon Waterways has unveiled its 2014 European River Cruise brochure with three new Suite Ships due for delivery in the spring. The new Avalon Suite Ships, Avalon Poetry II, Illumination and Impression will bring the total number of Suite Ships to eight. Avalon is offering £600 off per couple on any cruise booked before 30 September. Viking Cruises has a busy few years ahead with the launch of 14 new ships. Twelve Longships and two new ships are due to launch in Amsterdam in March next year. The Longships will be sailing on the Danube, Rhine and Rhone, while the other two ships will cruise the Douro in Portugal.

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Travel Bulletin Cruising Supplement 2013