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July / August 2017 | Forward ED’S LETTER

The industry promises to grow and grow There’s a eyeopening statistic ROMAN HOLIDAY that is often wheeled out at conferences but bears repeating: when it comes to guest numbers, the cruise industry accounts for just two per cent of the total global travel market. So, the fact that 26 million people took a cruise in 2016 sounds mightily impressive, until you consider it under this light. It’s why cruise lines are obsessed with the idea of the new-to-cruise customer, focusing on widening their pool of potential clients, rather than simply cannibalising the existing cruise industry. Paul Ludlow of P&O Cruises recently told Cruise Adviser that he prefers the term ‘yet to cruise’ – using the logic that, as there’s a cruise for everyone, most people will eventually try it out. CRUISE ADVISER THE ONLY DESTINATION FOR THOSE SELLING CRUISES


Princess Cruises in the Mediterranean








We’ve dedicated this issue of Cruise Adviser to this very idea – exploring the ever-expanding and increasingly diverse cruise industry that promises to grow and grow. We visit Rome with Princess Cruises, a line that deftly combines luxury, traditional and modern cruise in one package and check in with the always innovative Norwegian Cruise Line. Jeannine Williamson hops on board the game-changing MSC Meraviglia, while first-time cruiser Sheridan McCoid joins Saga in Denmark, and Simon Leeming sails the Rhine on Titan’s newly refurbished Serenade I. Elsewhere, Sam Ballard speaks to the industry’s leading voices about what needs to be done to attract new-tocruise customers, plus we join Cruise & Maritime Voyages as it launches its new flagship, Columbus, at London Tilbury. There’s also a competition (p71), giving you the chance to win a trip with Uniworld.



CROWN PRINCESS HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE It could be the ideal ship for new-to-cruise customers


MERAVIGLIA IS THE ‘EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD’ If it’s good enough for Sophia Loren, it’s OK with us


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Why Barcelona is one of the great cruise destinations, p56

Contents MIDSHIP 39

Saga in Denmark New-to-cruise customer Sheridan McCoid puts her preconceptions to one side


Roman holiday Anthony Pearce lives la dolce vita on Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess on an ex-UK sailing to the Italian capital


The eighth wonder Jeannine Williamson joins MSC’s flagship Meraviglia


10 of the best… ... destinations for those who have never cruised before


InFocus: Celebrity Cruises We chat to the progressive premium luxury line



Infographic Meet the cruise tribes

Talking heads Want to attract those elusive new-to-cruise customers? The cruise industry’s brightest minds tell us how





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Voyages to Antiquity Aegean Odyssey Best Small Ship: Shore Excursions

July / August 2017 | Forward


Ed’s letter


News MSC goes large, Riviera is ‘put up for sale’ and Holland America Line reveals its Westerdam refit


Interview We sit down with Nick Wilkinson and Christian Boell from Norwegian Cruise Line


Secret agent In the first of a new series, our unnamed and opinionated travel agent muses on fam trips




Destination focus From bucolic rivers to the beautiful Riviera, France is a country that offers something for everyone


Columbus launch Cruise & Maritime Voyages introduces its fifth and largest ship to date and reveals why it is looking to expand again


New crew The latest staff news


Fam trips / incentives The best agent opportunities

Titan’s Serenade I Simon Leeming boards the partially refurbished ship on a trip along the Rhine and speaks to Titan’s MD about the move into river cruise


Jargon buster What is a coastal cruise and how can you benefit?


Directory Got a query? Let us assist you






Recipe A mouthwatering key lime pie by Bea Tollman, founder of Uniworld owner The Travel Corporation


On the road We speak to the people who make your job easier. This month: G Adventures’ Marine sales specialist


Final word Why the news that Donald Trump is to reverse his White House predecessor Barack Obama’s deal with Cuba is as puzzling as it is troubling

Email to share your thoughts


July / August 2017 | Forward

Do you have a story for us? Email


MSC unveils World class At the Meraviglia christening, MSC announced plans to build ships with a higher maximum occupancy than Harmony of the Seas, the largest ship in the world MSC Cruises has annouced that the first of its World-class vessels will become the second largest cruise ship ever built when it launches in 2022. At the christening of Meraviglia, its new flagship (see p16 and p48), the Italian company signed a new memorandum of understanding with STX France firming up the order of two LNG-powered cruise ships, with options for two additional vessels. The World-class cruise ships will feature 2,760 cabins and a maximum occupancy of 6,850 guests, a higher passenger capacity than any ship currently operating across the global market. The vessels, which will be delivered in 2022 and 2024 – the

options are for 2025 and 2026 – will have a length of 330 metres. The ships will eclipse Royal Caribbean International’s Harmony of the Seas, currently the largest ship in the world, although will be slightly smaller than Symphony of the Seas, which is due to launch next year. However, with MSC Meraviglia already larger than RCI’s Anthem-class ships (previously the second largest class in the world), MSC will compete directly with the company in the mega-ship market. Speaking at the ceremony, Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, said: “Today,

as we unveil MSC Meraviglia, a new vessel that marks the start of the next phase of our growth, we are delighted to confirm another key component of our ten-year investment plan: the World class. These new vessels will further expand our partnership with STX France all the way to 2026, with up to seven additional innovative ships to be built during this period.” The World-class ships’ “Y” shape structure will enable panoramic sea views and increase the proportion of balcony cabins, according to MSC. It added that the “G” bow (vertically positioned at a 90 degree angle) has been designed to improve stability and hydrodynamics.












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July / August 2017 | Forward


Riviera Travel to be sold for £250million


Venice votes against large cruise ships An unofficial referendum in Venice has seen local residents vote overwhelmingly against large ships sailing into the Italian city’s lagoon. Out of the 18,000 people who voted, 17,874 people voted against the ships, according to The Times. Activists set up 60 voting booths around the city. More than 600 ships sail past the city’s historic St Mark’s Square annually and protestors claim they have a negative impact on the environment and mean the city is frequently overrun with visitors. “The cruise ships have a devastating effect,” said Luciano Mazzolin, one of the vote’s organisers. “To get this many turning out to vote shows a large part of Venice is against the ships. If the government wants to resolve this, why doesn’t it have the courage to hold its own, official referendum?”


Phoenix Equity Parnters reportedly looking to sell Online training session the escorted tour operator and river cruise specialist to increase onboard sales Riviera Travel, the escorted tour operator and river cruise specialist, is to be sold for £250 million, it has been reported. Phoenix Equity Partners, which bought a majority stake in the company less than three years ago, has hired PwC to find new investors, according to The Sunday Times. When Phoenix bought its stake the company was valued at £120 million. Founder Michael Wright held on to a “significant minority” stake when he sold the company, meaning a new sale would add further to his windfall. He already has a £135 million fortune, according to the paper’s rich list, which ranked him as the 820th richest man in the country.

Riviera has recently launched operations in America and Australasia following the successful launch of its solo tour operation. Wright set up Riviera Travel in 1984 and it has become renowned for a luxury river cruise offering at a much cheaper price than many of its competitors. Riviera Travel has been able to offer a cheaper price point by not including alcohol or gratuities, something which the company says many of its customers do not want. The company is, however, offering meal-time drinks packages on its 2018 cruises for the first time. The packages can be purchased before travelling and a seven-night drinks package costs £99.



Celebrity Cruises is looking to help agents increase its onboard sales with an online training session. Held on September 20, the 20-minute session will be hosted by the onboard sales manager and will give agents advice on how to get guests to book while on their cruise. Claire Stirrup, director of sales UK and Ireland, Celebrity Cruises, said: “We have already seen a record increase this year in demand from guests keen to book their next sailing with us while on their current holiday. We are keen to ensure our agents have the training, support and knowledge to maximise this and let us do the work for them. It’s an opportunity not to be missed.”

July / August 2017 | Forward


River sales increase by 30 per cent


Silversea announces Peninsula deal Silversea Cruises, the ultra-luxury cruise operator, has announced a partnership with The Peninsula Hotels. The deal means that guests on Silversea’s 73-night Grand Asia Pacific Voyage will spend three-nights at The Peninsula Tokyo at the end of their cruise, including a meal in the hotel’s grand ballroom. “We are delighted and honoured to have this opportunity to partner with such a legendary brand,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea’s executive chairman. “The Peninsula Hotels share our commitment to excellence and providing the highest level of personal attention, and we are certain this will be reflected in every detail of their contributions to our guests’ travel experience.” The Peninsular Hotels will also arrange exclusive events in select Asian cities for Silversea guests.

Glasgow-based travel agency Barrhead reporting huge rise in new-to-cruise river customers Barrhead Travel, the Glasgow-based travel agency, has said that its river sales have increased by 30 per cent in the last year, including a 50 per cent rise in the last month. Catriona Parsons, cruise director at Barrhead Travel, said: “River cruising is growing in popularity, with bookings up by almost one third compared with last year. “Many of those opting for river cruises previously booked ocean cruises, while 41 per cent are new to the cruise market. The figures reflect the increasing popularity of experiential travel. These customers are looking for authentic experiences coupled with fine dining and greatquality accommodation.”

The company said that its Danube, Rhine and Rhône cruises were among the most popular, while its Douro programme had almost sold out. Parsons added: “Our specialists understand why a river cruise is the ideal break for those looking for a comfortable yet adventurous break, as they have experienced many itineraries for themselves. “River cruises are much smaller than ocean cruises, yet travellers still enjoy fantastic food and entertainment while taking in a number of fabulous locations. It’s easy to understand why at least threequarters of customers who embark on a river cruise, will re-book another one soon after they return.”


Royal Caribbean to sponsor Abta conference Royal Caribbean International has been unveiled as the new headline sponsor of the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) Travel Convention. The conference, Abta’s annual key event, will take place in the Azores from October 9 to October 11. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines chose not to renew its partnership with the association after 12 years of sponsoring the conference. Arnold Donald, the CEO & president of Carnival Corporation, has been unveiled as the keynote speaker for this year’s Travel Convention. Registration is now open, see for more details. CRUISE-ADVISER.COM


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July / August 2017 | Forward


Meraviglia launched at Le Havre ceremony MSC’s 13th ship named by Sophia Loren MSC Cruises has launched Meraviglia, its 4,500-passenger vessel, at a ceremony in Le Havre. The ship was christened by Sophia Loren. The line marks the beginning of a rapid period of growth for MSC. While Meraviglia is its 13th ship, it will be followed by MSC Seaside in December. Nine other ships are either under construction or being planned. Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC, said: “I’m proud to say this is just the beginning. We will build up to four 200,000GT ships in Saint-Nazaire. These ships will be

called World Class. The investment will be €4.5billion.” “We have an ambitious vision for the future, and MSC Meraviglia marks the start of the second phase of growth for our company. For this reason, this evening is an extremely proud moment for all of us at MSC Cruises as we see the first of our nextgeneration ships being named. “The new ships that we are building are purpose-built featuring



MS Douce France II joins CroisiEurope Rhine fleet

New flagship Columbus unveiled at Tilbury

French river specialist CroisiEurope has launched MS Douce France II, at a small ceremony in Strasbourg, adding capacity to its Rhine programme. The ship, which has capacity for just 106 guests, was formerly the MS Douce France – but has undergone an extensive upgrade, with special attention paid to open spaces and natural light. It will now sail four and seven-day cruises on the Rhine, as well as the Moselle, Main and Rhine valleys. CroisiEurope includes accommodation, meals, drinks and on board activities within the price of its cruises.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has launched its new flagship vessel, Columbus, at a ceremony in Tilbury. The company, which now has a five-strong fleet, increased its capacity by 25 per cent with the 1,400-passenger vessel, which used to sail under the Ocean Village and P&O Australia brands. During the ceremony Christian Verhounig, the company’s CEO & chairman, said that CMV was on the lookout for further additions to its fleet. “We are currently looking for new ships and we’re also looking for strategic acquisitions,” he said.

innovation in both product and design as well as the very latest cuttingedge marine and consumer-facing technology to create unforgettable holiday experiences at sea for guests of all ages. MSC Meraviglia is the first to make this vision come to life as it sets a new standard for cruise ships as a destination in itself.” Read more about MSC’s new ship Meraviglia on p48

Read more about Columbus on p34 CRUISE-ADVISER.COM



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July / August 2017 | Forward


HAL unveils newlook Westerdam

The line unveils the ship’s new Explorations Central and Rijksmuseum at Sea at an event in Barcelona Holland America Line (HAL) has revealed the new Explorations Central and Rijksmuseum at Sea on board Westerdam. In an event in Barcelona attended by travel agents and press, including Cruise Adviser, the line revealed the new-look vessel following a 12-day dry dock at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Palermo, Italy. As part of the refit, Westerdam now has the Music Walk venues Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard. Elsewhere, the Gallery Bar, a new Lido Market and The Retreat area with private cabanas have been added. With the addition of 25 guest staterooms, including 18 verandah and seven interior staterooms, on Deck 10, the ship’s capacity has been increased to 1,964 guests. Explorations Central, or EXC, forms part of what HAL calls destination immersion. The area includes interactive screens designed to enrich guests’ experiences.

The area is ‘powered’ by The New York Times, and guests will be able to the read the celebrated broadsheet newspaper on iPad screens. Perhaps most impressive, however, is HAL’s partnership with Rijksmuseum. Rijksmuseum at Sea will allow guests to enjoy reproductions of some of the museum’s most famous masterpieces in a dedicated space located on Deck One of the Atrium. The artworks will appear on giant LED screens. The features are being rolled out across the fleet, with EXC to be added to each vessel within two years. “We have many innovative new programs and enhancements launching across the fleet, and it’s exciting to see them finally come to life on Westerdam,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Holland America Line is in a transformative era, and that will be reflected in on board spaces over the coming years.”


New badge offered on Silver Academy Silversea Cruises is offering a new badge – and prize draw – on its Silver Academy agent portal. The Silver Cloud badge allows agents to learn about the line’s soonto-be refurbished ship, which will finish its final season in the classic fleet in August 2017. Silver Cloud will then join the expedition fleet, sailing primarily in polar waters. Agents who achieve 100 per cent on the module before September 6, will be entered into a prize draw to win a cruise on board the new ship. The prize is for a sailing on the June 2, 2018 British isles cruise. “Silversea’s expedition ships are designed to take our guests to some of the most remote places on the planet while offering our worldrenowned ultra-luxury service,” said Connie Georgiou, Silversea’s head of trade sales and partnerships, UK and Ireland.


Ama expands its pre and post-cruise Mekong stays AmaWaterways is offering more choice for guests embarking on one of its Mekong cruises, by expanding its pre and post-cruise stays. The company will be adding a twonight stay in Siem Reap, three nights in Hanoi and one night in Ha Long Bay as part of its 15-night Charm of the Mekong itinerary – one example of the wider choice. “We are pleased to offer our guests more opportunities to experience the unique authenticity of the Mekong and the villages that line the riverbanks,” said Kristin Karst, executive vice president and coowner of AmaWaterways. “Our guests can now dive deeper into the culture and history of this region.” CRUISE-ADVISER.COM


July / August 2017 | Forward


Hurtigruten goes virtual reality


Journey and Quest meet in Barcelona Azamara Club Cruises’ two ships, the Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, made a rare public appearance in Barcelona – the first time the pair have been spotted together in four years. The event was marked with a sail-away party on the pool deck of both ships.

Hurtigruten has launched a virtual reality (VR) experience – featuring off-board activities in the Arctic, Antarctica and Norway – so that agents and customers can get an idea of excursions on offer. Anthony Daniels, head of UK sales at Hurtigruten, brought the

equipment to Cruise Adviser HQ, where we happily tested it out. He said: “Our ambition with this VR experience is to give guests and agents a small taste of the explorer offering. The nine experiences on the headset highlight the diversity of adventures available.”


Spirit of Discovery unveiled Saga Cruises has unveiled the first images of its new ship, the Spirit of Discovery, due to be launched in 2019. The ship, which will carry less than 1,000 passengers, will “feature design cues from London’s finest hotels and restaurants”, according to Saga. New build director David Pickett said: “We’ve spent a huge amount of time reviewing and taking inspiration from the best in contemporary British architecture and design.” Spirit of Discovery cruises will go on sale in September, see p39. CRUISE-ADVISER.COM



Founded in 2014, cruise adviser brings together the most insightful commentary, news and analysis for those looking to sell cruise holidays Published ten times a year, cruise adviser is aimed at front-line travel agents and other sellers of cruises

You can find us at (compatible with smartphone and tablet), on Twitter (@cruiseadviser) and Facebook Sign up for our monthly update for the chance to win prizes when selling cruises by emailing

July / August 2017 | Forward


“It’s a way of really standing out. It makes us an easier sell” Sam Ballard sits down with Nick Wilkinson and Christian Boell from Norwegian Cruise Line to find out why they decided to go premium all-inclusive When Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it was going to be going premium all-inclusive for British passengers, it took many people by surprise. This was a mainstream, resort-style cruise company for which drinks (especially in the case of Brits) were always a bit of a money-spinner. What was the reason behind the change? Part of the decision, no doubt, has been a narrowing in on the importance of the British market. The company is homeporting Norwegian Jade in Southampton – the first time it has had a ship stationed in the UK since 2010. That is a huge investment, and commitment, to the UK market,

and it needs to make sure there is a return on investment. We sat down with Nick Wilkinson and Christian Boell of Norwegian to find out a bit more about the decision to go all-inclusive and where agents stand in their plans. Cruise Adviser: Tell me more about the decision to go allinclusive. Why now? Christian Boell: It was definitely not a decision that we took lightly. It was trialled across Germany first, which is a similar market to the UK in many ways, before we were sure it was right for the Brits. Nick Wilkinson: Going premium



all-inclusive is also a way of really standing out. Ever since the management changes at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and we joined up with Regent and Oceania, we have made incredible improvements to the service levels across the fleet. We now see ourselves as more of a premium luxury cruise line. What makes you think that this will work for the British market? NW: We’ve had a huge amount of support from our trade partners on the back of this decision. In many ways it makes us an easier sell – agents can talk to their customers and instead of putting us against other

July / August 2017 | Forward

cruise lines we are now challenging other all-inclusive land-based resorts. CB: That is where the future of the cruise industry lies – the yet-to-cruise market. Not cruise lines trying to take each other’s passengers. With a simpler product proposition we can start to capture new customers. Was going all-inclusive a decision that was made to bolster UK sales or make your proposition easier to understand? NW: Whenever we ran campaigns in the past allowing guests to choose an added extra – be it a drinks package, shore excursions or on board spending money – they would inevitably choose the drinks. I think this makes us a far more attractive proposition for British holidaymakers, while also making our product, and the costs associated with a Norwegian cruise, a lot easier to understand and more transparent.

Your corner of the market is becoming increasingly busy. How do you plan to maintain demand as you increase capacity? CB: We are constantly introducing innovations on board – be it electric go-karts or laser tag – and will introduce more. However, while we know that differentiation is key to success, we also know agents need to look at cruise lines differently. They have to start putting us in the mix with land-based resort-style holidays. How are sales for Jade now that it’s back in Southampton? NW: Sales have been very strong and, until very recently, were the best in the company, so the British public have really embraced having a ship sailing from Southampton again. It makes a huge difference to how we can sell the brand too – we have better access to our hardware and can show her off to agents and passengers alike.

How important are agents to your future plans? NW: Agents are absolutely crucial to our growth. They are our partners. We’ve recently finished a workshop series where our on the road sales team went out and saw as many members of the trade as possible and updated them with our plans, from our premium all-inclusive offering to ex-UK sailings with Norwegian Jade. How do you plan to take them along with you as capacity grows? CB: Agents are at the forefront of everything we do. Our recent roadshows highlight just how important they are to our business and these activities allow them to better understand how to sell our product. We have to keep innovating and they, as our partners, have to get the perfect passengers on board. If they do their customers will be happy and their businesses will grow. CRUISE-ADVISER.COM



Norwegian Breakaway Copenhagen (round-trip), September 23 From £1,219pp Nine days touring around the delights of Scandinavia – including Stockholm and Helsinki as well as Copenhagen – and the Baltic, including Tallinn and St Petersburg.

Seven days in the Caribbean

Norwegian Escape Miami (round-trip), October 21, 2017 From £849pp A relaxing week sailing around the islands of the eastern Caribbean – including St Thomas, Tortola and Nassau – beginning and ending at Miami. Norwegian Escape is one of the line’s newest ships.

Nine days to the fjords

Norwegian Jade Southampton (round-trip), June 8, 2018 From £1,469pp An ex-UK cruise on the line’s popular Southampton home-ported ship. Nine days taking in the stunning and unforgettable beauty of the Norwegian fjords in the lap of luxury. CRUISE-ADVISER.COM


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Overfamiliarity breeds... successed?and s, our unnam In the first of a new serie muses on fam trips opinionated travel agent !” “Amazing! We all got a fam reported a colleague when we were catching up on the Clia Cruise Conference in Southampton last May. Despite some disbelief, every travel agent in n attendance had indeed bee er own the by fam offered a or, of the river cruise operat i Rud s, way AmaWater note Schreiner, who was a key . nce fere Con the at speaker ld Even better, the agents cou up had and r tne bring a par 8 to the end of December 201 rd. boa to get on

ut This got me thinking abo s. fam of s con the pros and At what stage does a ship p visit become a fam? A shi here visit for lunch, whether there in the UK or a short flight l, and back over the Channe and – lify qua not s clearly doe rd maybe an overnight on boa ; fam a ute stit does not con y but two nights, particularl , ves mo ly ual act if the ship does seem to do so! Short fams run by river vely cruise companies exclusi , rs) tne par (no for agents can show off the ship, the


accommodation, food and above all the ability of the free bar staff to serve a lot of not do ybe ma but – ks drin allow agents to see how the product really works for fare-paying customers. Ocean cruise fams often involve a small number of cruise agents joining an actual you – ry era itin for part of the up in can usually spot this gro ere the bar before dinner wh rage they have reduced the ave be up y ma e som as age on board the to 40 years younger than ed other passengers, and rais

July / August 2017 | For wa



the blood pressure of the typical passenger not used to suc h youth and beauty. So to have a whole week to really experience the pro duct does seem to mean that the fam should give the agent in-d epth knowledge and confidence to create and close sales… but there are few pitfalls to be thought about. For the employed agent, a two-nighter may be seen as working, but a week, esp ecially with a partner, will probab ly be viewed as holiday – and the agent, not to mention the partner, may prefer to spe nd precious holiday time doi ng

something else – perhap s some late nights at BCM in Ma galuf! For the small agency the shop still needs to be manned, so fams represent time awa y that has to be covered by coll eagues. The self employed, commission-only, agent has to carefully balance the cos t of ‘lost or shared bookings’ when away from the phones wit h the possible value gained from an in-depth fam. If viewed as holiday time, again the issu e of what the partner and the family may prefer is raised (a retu rn to the villa, golf on the Algarv e). Once all the above has bee n sorted, the agent has to dec ide


on how to choose a travelli ng companion. Presuming no Pippa rules of “no ring, no fam ”, an actual partner or maybe best friend is the obvious cho ice, but perhaps the younger age nts should look at taking a par ent or grandparent whose age is nearer the passenger pro file… and thus able to really ma ke the fam worthwhile. How many agents were in Southampton at the Clia Conference, around 400 ? That is a lot of fams and, hopefu lly, with a little thought and planni ng, every agent will be selling more river cruises over the nex t two years after a successful week.

July / August 2017 | Forward



From bucolic rivers to the beautiful Riviera, France is a country that offers something for everyone From the white-chalk cliffs of Normandy down to the cobblestone fishing villages and exclusive beach resorts of the south, and everything in between, France is a country of remarkable diversity, in both scenery and culture. Paris may be the world’s third most popular city for tourists (after Bangkok and London, according to most recent figures), but there is plenty more to enjoy, whether that’s in the pretty boulevards of Lyon, the vineyards of Burgundy or the medieval lanes of Alsace. It’s not always acknowledged, but France is almost two and half times the size of the United Kingdom, giving it a geography that offers everything you could possibly want from a holiday. A customer who wants to visit France has any number of options when it comes to cruise. Many minicruises, transatlantic voyages and even itineraries ostensibly focused on the British Isles, will call at Le Havre, the gateway to Paris. The port is actually 210km from the capital (a

good two a half hours’ drive), but is an increasingly popular port of call, and a good no-fly option. Then there are river cruises on the Seine that usually start and end in Paris, a twohour train journey on Eurostar. It’s always worth remembering that when customers ask about no-fly cruises, you’re not restricted to focusing on ex-UK departures, because of this high-speed rail link. It’s the reason why Tauck combines Paris cruises with a pre or post London stay (usually in the Langham, one of the finest examples of a grand hotel). Most itineraries head to Normandy, many with a focus on the poppy fields, 100 years on from the horrors of World War One. Uniworld has just added a ship, the Joie de Vivre (see Cruise Adviser’s June issue) on the Seine, which, with its ornate interiors, is a suitably luxurious way to enjoy the City of Light (particularly while sat at the gingham-clothed tables of Le Bistrot). With a length of 125m, rather than the more typical 135, the



July / August 2017 | Forward ship is able to dock nearer the action in the centre of the city, with the Eiffel Tower in full view. It may be one of the best cities in the world to wander around, but those that embrace the excellent Metro system will be best rewarded. On a sunny day, the opulent Palace of Versailles (and particularly its gardens) is well worth a visit, although the delights of Paris are enough to hold one’s attention for a lifetime. Exploring the sprawling and magnificent Louvre could fill a week, and, given the queues, is often best saved for those who are rich of time. Of course, Paris would be a highlight of any itinerary, but there are other delights on the Seine: Giverny, home to Claude Monet’s house and garden, preserved since he was painting it around the turn of the 20th century. The most popular rivers in France, however, remain the Rhône and Saône (although the Garonne and Loire are magnificent, too). The towns that line them may not be as famous as, say, Amsterdam or Vienna, but for bucolic charm, there is perhaps no better river cruise in Europe. Often these itineraries, which sail from Burgundy through lavender fields to Provence, are badged as food and wine specials, and there are no prizes for working out why. Again, with any cruise to France, it’s worth remembering the country’s excellent

railway system makes getting to Lyon or Avignon, where these cruises call, incredibly easy (and, of course, customers can fly, too). Those who want more than just a casual enjoyment of the world’s most famous wine region can book trips that include in-depth vineyard visits, wine tasting, with onboard food and drink that is locally sourced. Less well known are trips that take in Strasbourg, in the Alsace region, an area fought over by Germany and France for centuries. The result is a city where two cultures collide, and the language and cuisine are unique. Riviera Travel, for example, offers a

cruise that begins over the border in Cologne and heads back to France on the Rhine. For ocean-goers, ships call at Cherbourg, Rouen and Villefranchesur-Mer (Nice) as well as Marseille. MSC Cruises runs a number of itineraries out of the latter, which usually take in the likes of Genoa, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Valencia on the round-trip. Marseille may not have the glitz and glamour of some of the towns and villages it shares the French Riviera with, but still has plenty to offer, not least incredible seafood, including bouillabaisse, which originated in the city.

THREE FRENCH CRUISES Four nights from Paris

Seven days on the Rhône

Seven nights on the Seine

CroisiEurope – Raymonde Paris (round-trip), September 25, 2017 From £480pp

Emerald Waterways – Emerald Liberté Arles-Lyon, April 21, 2018 From £1,695pp

AmaWaterways – AmyLyra Paris (round-trip), June 7, 2018 From £2,578pp

This barge trip on the Canal St Martin with CroisiEurope gives guests the chance to explore the City of Light in a different way than usual.

This cruise takes in lavender fields, vineyards and quaint cobblestone villages, as well as beautiful Lyon.

This Seine cruise is one of many that heads from the French capital up to Normandy. Guests can add two nights post-cruise in Paris for £507. CRUISE-ADVISER.COM


July / August 2017 | Forward


CMV christens Columbus and reveals further expansion plans The ex-UK specialist introduces its fifth and largest ship to date and reveals why it is looking for more additions and is also targeting markets outside the UK Last month, ex-UK specialists Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) christened Columbus, continuing the company’s remarkable growth. The 1,400-guest ship – formerly P&O Cruises’ Arcadia and then Ocean Village 1 – will increase the line’s capacity by 25 per cent, and become its flagship, just two years after Magellan joined the fleet. The line, which was only formed in 2009, has quietly expanded its fleet to five, after acquiring the historic Marco Polo in 2010, by providing an unashamedly traditional type of cruise aimed at older passengers by utilising often neglected regional

ports. Next year, it will welcome 130,000 guests on board its ships, according to its chief executive Christian Verhounig. In Tilbury, former newsreader Angela Rippon christened the ship, but the big news of the day was the announcement that the company is already looking to expand further, a sure sign of its ambition. At the event, Verhounig said: “We are currently looking for new ships and we’re also looking for strategic acquisitions. An announcement will be made very soon.” With so much attention given to new builds, Columbus, originally



launched for Princess Cruises in 1989, is a reminder of the quality of ships that are already on the market, even those built 30 or more years ago. After spending a night on board, Cruise Adviser was able get a sense of why the vessel was so beloved by P&O customers when it sailed as Arcadia. Columbus, which underwent an extensive refit in Singapore before being transferred to CMV, is certainly another step up for the line, and feels spacious without being too large for a clientele that wants small and medium-sized cruise ships. In particular, customers are likely to be impressed by the number of dining

July / August 2017 | Forward options available, more than on any other ship in CMV’s fleet. There’s the Waterfront restaurant, which is open from breakfast through to dinner; Fusion, an Indian; the Grill, a finedining steakhouse; plus the airy and light Plantation Bistro, which serves buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is particularly impressive. The ship also boasts seven different lounges and bars including the Captain’s Club and Casino, Connexions, Raffles, as well as Taverner’s Pub, which is sure to prove a hit with the almost exclusively British customer base. The traditional style pub has also been added to Magellan, replacing the ship’s rarely used nightclub. Following in Magellan’s footsteps, Columbus will sail the company’s second-ever world cruise in January 2018, a 120-night round-trip from its homeport in London Tilbury. The line will offer the cruise in segments, giving guests the chance to experience a fly cruise with the line, from ports such as Amsterdam, Sydney and Hong Kong. Among the many highlights are French Polynesia, including the paradise that is Bora Bora, the skyscrapers and deserts of Dubai and fascinating Singapore. For the remainder of 2017, Columbus will sail itineraries that take in northern Europe, including the increasingly popular Iceland, as well as Spain, Portugal and France. On October 29, it will sail on a 38-night trip from London Tilbury (which guests can join a day later in Amsterdam, should they wish) to the Caribbean and Central America, taking in Cuba, Panama and Columbia. At the event on June 8, Verhounig also added that CMV is targeting markets outside the UK. “We have a growing presence in Germany, a thriving US and Australia sales office and watch this space for expansion news in new territories and strategic acquisitions in the very near future,” he said. “The introduction of 64,000GT Columbus, the fifth ship in the fleet, shows we are determined to make a mark in the global cruise market.”



July / August 2017 | Forward

THREE COLUMBUS CRUISES 46 nights in the Caribbean

Round the world cruise

Vegan cruise to Norway

London Tilbury (round-trip), October 29, 2017 From £2,799pp

London Tilbury (round-trip), January 5, 2018 From £18,169pp

London Tilbury (round-trip), September 25, 2017 From £899pp

This epic voyage includes an overnight in Havana, Cuba, as well as calls in Mexico and Costa Rica. It’s a bargain at just £60 a night.

This spectacular 121-night voyage is a true world cruise. CMV is also selling it in segments, too, for those who can’t do the whole thing.

The menu on this unique cruise to the fjords will be 100 per cent vegan, and there will be a wellness programme including yoga and pilates.



July / August 2017 | Forward


Titan joins the river cruise market with Serenade 1 Simon Leeming boards the partially refurbished ship on a trip along the Rhine and speaks to Titan’s MD about why the they have moved into river cruise now

Founded in 1978, Titan Travel were one of a handful of traditional tour operators who helped develop the UK escorted touring market. Brothers Hugh and Irwin Ferry were determined to offer something unique and what they decided upon has since become synonymous with the brand and something that is unrivalled today: the VIP Home Departure service which picks up customers in a chauffeur driven vehicle from anywhere in mainland UK to their chosen UK departure airport.

In 2009 Titan was bought by Acromas Holdings, parent company of Saga, and ditched the Titan HiTours name. They became a big player in cruise, packaging both river and ocean cruises through other operators, often in addition to their own coach tours. A partnership with Uniworld saw Titan make big strides into the river cruise market before deciding to charter a heavyweight of the river cruise world: Serenade 1. It was a clever move by Titan, chartering a ship that is well known

to many British river cruisers, thus giving them an established place in the market. The partially refurbished ship was launched last March with a mini-cruise from Cologne and cruise adviser was on board. Being picked up by a private chauffeur driven car is a great way to start your holiday, taking the stress out of the rush to the airport. The service is included as standard on every Titan holiday, an impressive feat, as is having not one, but two tour managers on every cruise. CRUISE-ADVISER.COM


July / August 2017 | Forward

Cologne is a staple of every Rhine cruise and it’s a beautiful place to embark and have a relaxing walk through the Rheingarten and watch life go by in the evening. During the cruise, we got to experience several Titan excursions, of which customers will usually have three included during a standard seven-night cruise. One of our included tours was in Arnhem, a quaint Dutch city with an impressive history and imposing cathedral, which, despite the destruction of the Second World War, features 18th century taverns. It is also the site of the failed British military advance during the war as featured in the film A Bridge Too Far. Another delightful stop in the Netherlands is Hoorn, on the banks of the Markermeer, with canals reminiscent of Amsterdam and a 16th century tower. It’s also the former home and trading base of the Dutch East India Company. With enough capacity for 136 guests in 68 cabins, Titan have done



July / August 2017 | Forward their best to provide a product that perfectly fits their target audience: Brits. While plug sockets are still European, they have provided tea and coffee facilities and baths in every cabin, English is the only language spoken on board and food is restaurant standard without it being too fancy for the British palate. But why now? “It has been something we have been carefully considering for the past couple of years,” says Andy Squirrell, Titan’s managing director, who added that the company has long-term plans for the sector with the charter running into 2018 with an option for 2019. “River cruise is a natural crossover for our escorted touring customers, with some very similar characteristics,” he added. The ship is four-star, at odds with Titan’s five-star coach product. While good progress has been made following a recent partial refurb, several areas require improvement, particularly the cabins which are due to be renovated later this year. Customers will also be without basics that other river cruise operators provide, such as fruit baskets and bathrobes. Wi-fi is only available in the lounge and restaurant. But that doesn’t take away from it being a fantastic, relaxing ship. Service is good and there is plenty of quality food, with large buffet

breakfasts, and four-course à la carte feasts for lunch and dinner, including themed meals such as a Bavarian Lunch complete with Leberkäse and pilsner. If that doesn’t fill you, there is also afternoon tea, midnight snack and a 24-hour tea and coffee station. The comfortable lounge is contemporary in feel and complete with local musicians, the restaurant feels bright and welcoming, and the sun deck is large and features an enclosed sun room with 360-degree views of passing scenery, along with plenty of sun chairs and giant chess. Sixty of the cabins on board feature Juliette balconies with wall-to-wall sliding doors, providing plenty

of light. Having eaten too much, customers can also work out in the gym or have a sauna. Their tours are unashamedly more expensive than their competitors’, highlighting that customer experience and value of inclusions is often more important than a price point. However, launching their new ‘all inclusive’ cruises from only £699pp and with a standard week’s cruise on the Dutch waterways at £1,299pp, it has given them a new edge. With the market flooded with new five-star river ships, providing another suitable, British focused four-star cruise is exactly what this industry needs.

THREE TITAN CRUISES Five days of Christmas markets

10 days from Montreux

10 days along the Douro

Serenade 1 Cologne (round-trip), December 10, 2017 From £629pp

Serenade 1 Montreux-Amsterdam, October 18, 2017 From £1,821pp

Spirit of Chartwell Lisbon-Porto, September 27, 2017 From £2,899pp

This shows off the best of the seasonal markets along the Rhine, complete with VIP home pick-up and transport via Eurotunnel.

A wonderful autumnal trip with a two-night hotel stay in beautiful Montreux, followed by seven nights along the Rhine to Amsterdam.

A visit to Lisbon followed by a wonderful cruise down the Golden River, surrounded by Port vineyards known as Quintas and plenty of history, on the Queen’s royal barge. CRUISE-ADVISER.COM


July / August 2017 | Midship


“Consider me converted!” New-to-cruise customer Sheridan McCoid puts her preconceptions to one side and enjoys a relaxing sail around Scandinavia on Saga Sapphire I’d never been on a cruise. I’d never felt the need and also had a vague sense that it wasn’t for me; that it would feel a bit lazy, a bit over organised. Well, ship ahoy, and consider me converted after my first brush with life on the ocean wave courtesy of Saga’s On the Trail of the Vikings cruise up into Scandinavia. Turns out it’s a delightful and relaxing way to travel. The Saga Sapphire is a relatively small ship with 374 cabins over ten passenger decks, so it’s pretty easy to find your way around. Built in 1981, the ship joined Saga in 2012, and features numerous restaurants, two swimming pools, a large drawing

room-cum-library, a spacious lounge with dancefloor and other smaller rooms for idling the time away with a book and a cup of tea or cocktail. To join the cruise, we flew into Aarhus, up on the northeastern coast of Denmark. This is Denmark’s second largest city after Copenhagen, and one that is going places; it’s one of two (the other is Pafos in Cyprus) that has been named European Capital of Culture 2017. The place has a vibrant, youthful feel to it, all set against the backdrop of heritage and history. We packed in a lot during our 24-hour stay, including a visit to the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, which features Your rainbow panorama, a circular



coloured glass walkway perched on the top of the building, with 360-degree views of the city. The next day we joined the ship. First, we settled into our comfortable cabin and then went off for a wander and to get the lie of the land. Well, not the land. I’ve heard that, on some of the newer cruise ships, the focus is always inwards, but here there are views to the sea most of the time, often out to both port and starboard at the same time. Over the next couple of days we slipped into the relaxed and friendly vibe, sharing tables with other passengers and hearing their stories. I spoke to Melanie from Peterborough

July / August 2017 | Midship who was celebrating her 60th birthday on the cruise, and also Jane and Richard from Ipswich, who had nothing but praise for Saga’s food, cabins and staff. They also told me how, on ex-UK cruises, it’s a relief to bypass the whole airport experience when going away on holiday. There is also plenty of live music on board and we also sat for hours in the Drawing Room, took part in a general knowledge quiz, browsed the books in the library, fell in love with the blueberry pancakes at breakfast and ate them every morning for the rest of the cruise, listened to a talk in the Britannia Lounge, and generally enjoyed ourselves. Next stop was Aalborg, where we strolled the streets and drank hot chocolate in the most hygge of cafés. But it was cold and, after a while, the warmth of the ship beckoned us back on board in time for supper. Somebody once said that life is a series of gaps between meals, which is true, and so the seamless rotation of endlessly delicious food, peppered with tea and coffee stations with cakes and cookies to hand, plus a wonderful afternoon tea every day, sent me to the happiest of places. The food was superb and plentiful throughout the day. Highlights for me were, as mentioned, the blueberry pancakes, plus a delicious beef




July / August 2017 | Midship teriyaki and a lavender panna cotta. Oh, and an amazing fish pie. And the chocolate tea was a real treat, complete with chocolate fountain and chocolate scones. We certainly did not go hungry. That evening we set off for a 24hour sail up to Oslo. Our first full day at sea and time to talk to the other passengers. I spoke to Sheila and Graham, who are both Diamond Members, meaning they have each notched up more than an astonishing 1,000 nights of Saga cruising. “We’ve only ever cruised with Saga and our first one was to the Caribbean in 2000,” said Sheila. “We were immediately hooked. We’d never really travelled before and we’ve now been to so many places around the world, some of them we would never have dreamed we would see, such as Midway Island in the Pacific, a magical tiny triangle of land in the middle of nowhere and Spitzbergen right up in the Arctic Circle. “It’s a great life, you can truly relax and we have made so many friends over the years. And we plan to carry on for as long as we can afford to and our health allows.” We sailed into Oslo the following evening, and as we were leaving the cruise and heading home the following morning, decided to do a quick turn. It was cold and snowy, and under brooding skies we walked as big a circle as we could muster before, yet again, heading back to the warmth of the ship. So I can’t honestly give you my take on Oslo. It’s one to go back to. Finally, a shout out for the staff. They were, without exception, rather wonderful – friendly, professional, smart and hardworking. And with a ratio of 415 staff to 720 passengers, the whole experience is one of total comfort. Plus, there’s this luxury: VIP car transfer is included in the cost of the cruise, meaning travellers are looked after from door to door and back again. Scandinavian Cities on Saga Sapphire, departing Dover on May 10, 2018. Prices from £1,878 per person. See Directory on p65 for more details




Roman holiday Anthony Pearce lives la dolce vita on Princess Cruises’ ship Crown Princess on an ex-UK sailing to the Italian capital via Barcelona

July / August 2017 | Midship It takes two hours and 10 minutes to get from London to Barcelona by plane or three days and four nights, if you decide to go by ship. To many, the choice is obvious – why begin your holiday braving the British Isles’ choppy waters when you can hop on a plane and be sipping sangria before you’ve had time to read the in-flight magazine? It’s an argument put forward by those who have failed to truly experience the joys of ex-UK, a holiday that begins as soon as you set foot on the ship. If there’s a finer way to relax than days at sea I’m yet to find it. On a sailing from Southampton to Rome on Princess Cruises (we do a sevennight cruise; half of a 14-night itinerary that continues on to Florence, Marseille and Gibraltar), our days at sea are gloriously inactive. We breakfast on our balcony, lunch by the pool, luxuriate in the spa and relax in the blissful Sanctuary area. Evenings – spent in the Da Vinci dining room and then in Crooners bar or watching a movie on deck – are just as strenuous. The urge to do something, anything at all, other than read, eat and occasionally visit the gym (well, once), disappears almost immediately. I’m not usually one for sitting still, but I’m suddenly happy doing nothing at all. Crown Princess is one of three ships sailing ex-UK for Princess this year, and one of two, along with Caribbean Princess, from Southampton (Pacific Princess sails from Dover). In 2018, the line will run its largest ever ex-UK season, which includes epic, 38-night cruises to Singapore. Part of the Grand-class, Crown Princess sailed its maiden voyage back in 2006 and has a maximum capacity of 3,080 guests, although (save for when it gets busy around the ship’s glitzy atrium) you’d never know it. Before we embark, I read a Cruise Critic review, which notes the ship “tries to be everything to everyone – and largely succeeds” which sticks with me. The ship’s appeal is immediately obvious, with its greatest strength lying in the variety of its offering. When schools are out for summer, younger families will be on board, but on our cruise the clientele is older, as CRUISE-ADVISER.COM


July / August 2017 | Midship is often the case with ex-UK cruises. It’s also mostly British, but there are Americans, Australians and plenty of pre-school kids, young adults and twenty, 30 and 40-something couples, too. Crown Princess may not have the go-karts-and-all vibe of some of the most modern ships, but there’s as much to do for the young – there are three lounges and three small pools – as there is for the old. We stay in a spacious and wellappointed balcony stateroom, but are invited to enjoy Club Class dining, reserved for suite-level rooms, where the staff are as attentive as any you’ll find at sea. The same is true in the speciality restaurants such as Sabatini’s (Italian), the Crown Grill (American steakhouse) and the Salty Dog gastropub, all of which cost extra ($25, $29 and $19 respectively, plus wine). The huge rib-eye streak from Crown Grill is the meal of the cruise. Not everything is included on Princess Cruises, but that brings the overall price down (although UK guests should note the $13.50 a day gratuity charge, or $14.50 in mini-stateroom or above, which will feel more familiar to Americans). Maybe it’s a British thing, maybe it’s our particular cruise, but the guests on board on this sailing tend to avoid anything that incurs an extra cost. It does make sense, as what’s included is not only excellent, but varied: there’s ‘anytime dining’ in Da Vinci’s or Michelangelo’s, or set-time dining in the main room, for those who like a little structure even when on holiday. The pool area is nicely done and Movies under the Stars, which screens new and old films (we watch La La Land one night), is an inspired idea. In the day, there are films or football when it’s on, which British guests will no doubt appreciate. The bars, particularly Crooners and the speakeasy-like Adagio, which is notably quiet, are superb. But for guests who want to push the boat out, there are some very luxurious options, such as the aforementioned Sanctuary, an adultsonly area at the ship’s forward, which costs $40 a day ($20 for half a day) to use. It’s the most tranquil area on the ship, made up of softly padded CRUISE-ADVISER.COM


July / August 2017 | Midship sun loungers, some directly under the sun, others under a canopy, and is populated by diligent waiters who serve afternoon tea and cocktails. There’s even a playlist ‘menu’, meaning you can soundtrack your relaxation, however you see fit. The area turns out to be a favourite of former Tottenham Hotspur manger Harry Redknapp, on board as a special guest lecturer, and whose presence causes a bit of a stir among football-watching guests. Just below the area is the Lotus Spa, where the well-equipped gym is found. The spa treatments, of which there are countless options, cost extra, but the sauna and steam rooms and beautiful, quiet pool and Jacuzzis are free, as is the gym. Our arrival in Barcelona is almost a culture shock after over 1,000km spent luxuriating. For a major city, it’s remarkably easy to visit by cruise ship. Five minutes after hopping on a bus, we’re strolling La Rambla, the tree-lined boulevard, of which Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said “the only street in the world that I wish would never end”. The city is a showpiece of Antoni Gaudí’s distinctive modern art and architecture, including the incomplete, beguiling La Sagrada Familia, which was started in 1882 and should be finished by 2028, and the unique, fantastical, Casa Batlló.

WHEN IN ROME… Rome wasn’t built in a day, and exploring it in one isn’t easy, either. Cruise ships dock in Civitavecchia, 80km and an hour’s drive northwest of the Italian capital, meaning shore excursions are a good option for those on day trips. Our cruise ended there, as many do, and so we stayed on for two nights in a hotel. It’s a city of unrivalled appeal, and the sheer number of historic sites it offers can feel daunting. If you want to experience its culture and cuisine properly, there’s no chance of taking in everything, particularly in high season, when queues exceed the size of Roman Legions. We picked up a Roma Card (see;; or call 00 39 0606080), which includes access to dozens of sites, as well all public transport,

before we made our picks. Via dei Fori Imperiali, built under fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s rule as a sort jingoistic open-air museum, is a good bet for those with finite time. Running from the imposing Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum, it takes in the Forums of Trajan, Augustus and Nerva, breathtaking more than 2,000 years on. North of it is the city’s fascinating, crumbling Jewish quarter and the Campo De Fiori, where some of the city’s

best food is served. Tourists are also increasingly finding their way across the Tiber to Trastevere, the bohemian districts, home to latenight bars and glorious trattorias.



July / August 2017 | Midship Another Gaudi masterpiece, Park Güell on Carmel Hill, also comes with a panoramic view of the city, and more examples of Catalonian modernism. Aside from the two characteristically idiosyncratic buildings that sit at the entrance to the park, from here you can see La Sagrada, Torre Glòries (Barcelona’s answer to – or some would say imitation of – The Gherkin in London) and the striking W Hotel at the edge of La Barceloneta beach. The maître’d on Crown Princess recommends we ‘tapas hop’, so we try a few spots, sampling the likes of Jamón Ibérico, patatas bravas and croquettes at each, feeling like a true Catalonian watching the world go from a shaded, outdoor table. The next morning, from our balcony, we enjoy our most indulgent moment of the cruise: a champagne breakfast, made up of three courses – a bacon and cheese quiche, smoked salmon with dill butter, followed by Danish pastries and croissants, coffee and Buck’s fizz. As we do so, wondering if we’ll ever need to eat again, the dramatic scenery of Corsica comes into view. Suite-class guests get one of these breakfasts included, or you can pay for it (for $45), but it’s well worth it, easily ranking among the most luxurious experiences we’ve ever had at sea.

THREE ROMAN CRUISES 21 nights from Rome

Five nights from Cannes

12 nights in the winter

Princess Cruises – Crown Princess Rome (Civitavecchia) (round-trip), July 21, 2018 From £2,819pp

Star Clippers – Star Flyer Cannes-Rome (Civitavecchia), June 30, 2018 From £1,040pp

This three-week cruise starts and ends in Rome taking in Montenegro and Santorini on the way.

This tall ship cruise starts in the south of France, before heading to Italy via the beautiful island of Corsica.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Seven Seas Explorer Rome (Civitavecchia)-Lisbon, November 19, 2017 From £6,299pp



Not cheap, but includes everything (such as flights and transfers).


Eighth wonder

MSC’s new flagship Meraviglia – launched in June after being christened by Sophia Loren – heralds a new era for the Italian, family-owned line. Jeannine Williamson takes a closer look at the ship that offers more choice than ever before and might just be the perfect entry point for new-to-cruise customers

July / August 2017 | Midship Many cruise ships match a specific demographic, be it fans of tradition that enjoy dressing for dinner, luxelovers wanting to push the boat out in butler service staterooms, laid-back younger passengers or families with children to entertain. There’s never been one ship with something for everyone, especially new to cruisers who are unsure about giving up land-based holidays to experience life on the ocean wave. MSC’s eagerly awaited Meraviglia comes as close as it gets, with a raft of innovations and amenities to attract all kinds of clients. The line’s 5,714-passenger flagship, the 13th in the fleet, was launched in June after being christened by legendary Italian screen icon Sophia Loren at a glittering ceremony in Le Havre. It heralds the latest chapter in the meteoric growth of the Italian, family-owned company that began life as a container shipping operation in 1970 before entering the cruise industry in 1988. MSC is now the world’s fourth biggest cruise line and the largest that is privately owned.

With 2,244 cabins, including 75 per cent with balconies, Meraviglia – which means ‘wonder’ in Italian – showcases a number of MSC firsts. These include ten stateroom categories, four more than before, with new single studio accommodation and ‘modular’ cabins sleeping up to ten, the largest number

of dining options, an extended twodeck indoor promenade and original Cirque de Soleil productions in a purpose-built venue. There have been significant changes to MSC’s exclusive “shipwithin-a-ship” Yacht Club, where passenger perks include 24-hour butler service, priority boarding and

ON BOARD MSC MERAVIGLIA Rosemary Shaw from Knowle Travel won a fam trip on Meraviglia in the March issue of cruise adviser and wrote about her experience for us After a long day travelling, it was great to finally get onboard MSC Meraviglia. Our first impressions were of grandeur – it’s a very glitzy glamourous ship with plenty of Italian style and flair. Following a very welcome glass of champagne, we set off to find our cabin, which was surprisingly straightforward considering the size of the ship! We had a balcony cabin, quite a good size, nice bathroom. We were able to wander around the ship at our leisure, we started at the top and worked our way down. We were very impressed with the pool areas – the Polar Aquapark at the rear of the ship comes complete with water slides, overlooked by the Himalayan Bridge, a rope course with bridges and towers. The main pool was much bigger than I’ve seen on other ships, with plenty of deck space and sun loungers and a bar at both ends. The adjacent Bamboo Pool was a bit of an oasis, with a

solarium and sliding roof, catering for all weathers. The Marketplace Buffet Bar on Deck 15 looked very enticing, with plenty of tables and nice looking food, including a rotisserie for freshly cooked chicken – an original touch. The central public areas are a nice mix of bars, speciality restaurants and quite upmarket shops all under a quite amazing LED domed ceiling. There was a very relaxed vibe on board, with plenty of quiet areas to relax and enjoy a cocktail or two, but when you wanted to ramp up the entertainment, MSC had that covered, too. We especially enjoyed the Sportsplex area with the sports court, F1 simulator, bowling alley, flight simulator and 4D cinema. Add to this the Superhero disco – complete with actual dancing superheroes – and it all meant we had a rather late night! I loved the ship, it definitely has the wow factor and is a great addition to the MSC fleet. I don’t think there was one overall best thing, we just loved the general ambience. It has a glitzy atmosphere and an amazing choice of pools,

bars and restaurants, shopping and entertainment options. I am so glad I’ve had the chance to see it for myself, it’s so much easier to sell from personal experience.



July / August 2017 | Midship

disembarkation and a private lounge, restaurant and sun deck. Meraviglia’s enlarged 94-suite Yacht Club is spread over three decks and includes two 56-square-metre Royal Suites. For the first time the restaurant is part of the Yacht Club complex, rather than in a separate area.

Elsewhere, the ship is big on the wow factor, from the trademark sweeping Swarovski crystalstudded staircases in the atrium to the interactive 4D cinema, F1 racing car and flight simulators. The promenade, lined with shops and cafés, is covered by a vast LED



screen ceiling that illuminates the whole area with an ever-changing panorama of classical architecture, skyscapes and underwater scenery. Steve Williams, MSC’s director of sales UK and Ireland, described Meraviglia as game-changer with a huge potential to attract firsttime cruisers, adding that high street agents will play a key role in switch-selling new-to-cruise clients. MSC has always been a trade focused business, and the latest initiatives include a new e-learning programme, MSC Masters. “We’re offering an unprecedented number of choices on Meraviglia such as 12 dining venues,” Williams continued. “People on land-based holidays now expect different restaurants at resorts so we’ve moved away from the main dining room concept to offer multiple venues. Similarly, there are three types of nightclubs and different pool areas.” Antonio Paradiso, MSC’s managing director UK and Ireland, said cruises offered the same amenities as resortbased holidays – more in Meraviglia’s case – with the added bonus of visiting exciting destinations. A highlight is the partnership with Cirque de Soleil where the cast will perform two different shows created for MSC on each cruise. At the christening event MSC’s executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said Meraviglia epitomises the future of cruising and will help overcome dated preconceptions. “First timers still think of it like The Love Boat,” he admitted. “Boring, expensive and only for old people. But cruising has evolved and has huge potential for growth.” With a firm eye on that market, he also announced an ongoing €9 billion investment between 2017 and 2026 with the potential to build a total of up to 11 next-generation ships with environmentally-friendly LNG propulsion technology. In the meantime Meraviglia will spend a maiden season in the Mediterranean. If your new to cruise clients are wondering which ship is for them, the one that MSC has dubbed “the eighth wonder of the world” could prove just the ticket.

July / August 2017 | Midship


Celebrity Cruises Sam Ballard looks at the genuinely progressive premium luxury line that puts design and innovation – and also the trade – at the forefront of its business With a fleet of 12 ships, and another four on order, it is clear that Celebrity is a company that generates attention. Under a strapline that promises “modern luxury”, Celebrity occupies the premium luxury segment alongside companies such as Princess, Viking and Holland America Line. Essentially, the firm’s offering is more luxurious than the big, resort-style companies – MSC, NCL and sisterbrand Royal Caribbean – without trying to join the ranks of the allinclusive ultra-luxury brands such as Silversea, Crystal and Seabourn. The company plays on the design aspect of its ships. It’s next vessel, the Edge-class (due in 2018), has cabins overseen by designer Kelly Hoppen.

While Celebrity has mass appeal, its typical passengers are couples who enjoy the finer things in life, not to mention some of the world’s more exotic destinations. The amount of media attention that the company generated at the announcement of Celebrity Edge was testament to its hard-won reputation. While it was the Magic Carpet – an exterior platform that adds an outdoor space to alternative decks – that grabbed the most headlines, the number of innovations goes far beyond that. As Adam Coulter, the UK managing editor of Cruise Critic, wrote in June’s Cruise Adviser, the infinite balconies on board Edge are “the big wow” on board.

The company is also undoubtedly trade friendly, with its managing director, Jo Rzymowska, being a past chairwoman of Clia UK & Ireland. It has also invested heavily in agent schemes and training, with two dedicated trainers for the trade as well as an on-the-road sales team. An interesting recent development was the decision to push agents to drive onboard sales. The company will be running a 30-minute online training session on September 20 offering insights into how best to convert sales from guests currently enjoying their cruise. Claire Stirrup, director of sales UK and Ireland, Celebrity Cruises explains: “2016 was a strong year for



July / August 2017 | Midship us in terms of onboard sales and we have already seen a record increase this year in demand from guests keen to book their next sailing with us while on their current holiday.” Guests who rebook their cruise while on board a Celebrity cruise will have their booking credited to their preferred travel agent, who will then receive commission. Rzymowska herself received plaudits recently during a challenging time for the company after Celebrity Constellation suffered a technical fault that resulted in a two-day delay to a Mediterranean cruise. She led a team of 12 staff who headed out to Barcelona to give regular face-to-face updates to guests affected. Another area where the company has been progressive is in the way it has embraced LGBT customers. For four years running it has been a big winner the Cruizie Awards, given out by the LGBT cruise travel community. There is little doubt that now is an exciting time for Celebrity Cruises. As the company continues to make more announcements about Celebrity Edge and other developments happening across its fleet it will increasingly rely upon the trade to help sell that extra tonnage. Those who embrace the company will no doubt be rewarded with more support that will all lead to increased sales.


Seven nights in the Caribbean

14 nights to India

Celebrity Silhouette Southampton (round-trip), May 7, 2018 From £1,349pp

Celebrity Edge Fort Lauderdale (round-trip), December 16, 2018 From £1,455pp

Celebrity Constellation Abu Dhabi (round-trip), December 19, 2017 From £899pp

Incredible no-fly ex-UK cruise that takes in the delights of Scandinavia en route to St Petersburg.

Spend a week sailing the calm waters of the Caribbean on Celebrity’s innovation packed new ship.

A leisurely cruise from the Arabian Sea to Cochin, Goa and Mumbia, before returning via Dubai.




How to navigate the new-to-cruise market INFOGRAPHIC

New to cruise

We match eight of the most common new-to-cruise tribes with the We’vecruise matched upthat ninewe new to cruise tribes three lines think will best suitwith theirthree requirements recommended cruise lines. How do you think we’ve done?

Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Princess Cruises With their iPads and Ocean Medallions the level of technology on board these lines is incredible. You can use it as a tool to get those new sales.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Saga These ex-UK specialists are also renowned for sailing to distant lands such as the Far East, Amazon and Australia, making it the easiest way to travel.

Thomson, Celestyal Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line With incredible kids’ clubs and bags of family-friendly fun, these three cruise lines are among our favourites for very young families. Silversea, Viking Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd With Silversea’s expedition cruises, Viking’s incredible spa and Hapag Lloyd’s tailored approach, these three lines are perfect for the time-poor power couple.

Hurtigruten, Pandaw, Voyages To Antiquity These specialist cruise lines are renowned for knowing their regions inside out. From the rivers of southeast Asia, to Norway’s coastal route or the architectural wonders of north Africa.

P&O Cruises, Holland America Line, Riviera Travel With interesting itineraries and well thought out partnerships – from the BBC to Marco Pierre White – these three lines are perfect for anyone with a bit more time and money on their hands.

Norwegian Cruise Line, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, G Adventures All three of these cruise lines are renowned for their offering to solo passengers with cabins or even entire dates dedicated to singles.

SeaDream, Uniworld, Seabourn Intimate ships, luxurious surroundings – what more could a couple of loved up honeymooners want after their wedding?

July / August 2017 | Midship


Tempting destinations Here are some of the places that could convince new customers to get on board 1




One cruise and you’re hooked: that’s what the remarkably high retention rates within the cruise industry suggest. But how do you get customers on board for the first time? Well, these 10 destinations are the perfect place to start. 1. Amsterdam. The river cruise capital, from where most Rhine



cruises begin or end, is also a minicruise favourite. With the city centre on your doorstep, there’s no reason to fork out for a shore excursion. 2. Norway. Not only the best way to see the magnificent fjords, but really the only way to explore them in any depth. We defy anyone to visit the fjords and not fall in love with cruise.

3. Paris. Seine river cruises, which sail from Paris, are the perfect way to explore the City of Light. Just a twohour trip on the Eurostar (see p30) 4. Budapest. The Danube, which snakes through Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, may well be Europe’s greatest river. The Hungarian capital is undoubtedly the highlight. CRUISE-ADVISER.COM


July / August 2017 | Midship




5. Barcelona. The capital of Catalonia is a joy to visit by cruise ship – its modern terminal is just 10 minutes from the centre or the beach. Some of the world’s best food and most incredible architecture awaits. 6. Bruges. This charming city, found in West Flanders, is one of the most regular mini-cruise stops. For those


who want a quick taster of what cruise is about, a Christmas market itinerary is a great idea 7. British Isles. For those looking to dip their toe into cruise waters, a British Isles cruise is a perfect start. 8. Vietnam. For travelling in South East Asia, a cruise can be a great way to delve a little deeper in the region.



9. Porto. The Portuguese city is where the Douro, an increasingly popular river, meets the ocean. With great food, wine and architecture, it’s one of Europe’s most charming cities. 10. Russia. Baltic cruises, many of which leave from the UK, are a great way to explore Russia. With a cruise, it’s suddenly accessible.

Highlight how many different destinations they will get to visit on a cruise – and they only have to unpack once

Don’t write someone off because their last holiday was land-based. A nudge in a seaward direction may be all it takes Ben Bouldin, Associate VP & MD, UK & ROI, Royal Caribbean

Jo Rzymowska, VP & MD Celebrity Cruises UK & Ireland and Asia

erything v e f o s r e m o Remind cust d in the price. Top class de that is inclu ent, amazing food and entertainm ng destinations exciti UK es ts, VP

Sell a cruise as you would a land-based hotel. Highlight the incredible destinations, dining, entertainment and accommodations, but avoid talking cabins, decks etc!

ober Cruis Tony Re, Princess p o r and Eu

Lynn Narraway, MD, Seabourn & HAL

Know your product insi de out, confidence and kn ow le dg e is everythi and remember sell on the benefits rathnerg than the features Steve W director o illiams, f sales, MSC

Knowledge is power – understand your customer, and the whole range of experiences available on cruise holidays Andy Harmer, SVP Membership & Director, CLIA UK & Ireland

Cruises give you th foods without woerropportunity to try new With Saga, your fo ying about the cost. o and room servicd,espiseciality dining included Wayne Bea rd, cruis

Agents should get behind our five-night Norwegian fjords product from Newcastle or Edinburgh – the ideal taster break for new-to-cruise guests Mike Rodwell, MD, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

e sales ex ecutive, Saga



July / August 2017 | Midship


The cruise industry’s brightest minds tell us how to attract new-to-cruise customers The UK cruise industry is an exciting place – you only have to take a look at the numbers. About two million British passengers took a cruise last year (if you include non-Clia members). However, about two-thirds of those two million passengers are repeat customers. Add to this picture the fact that just one in nine package holidays booked in the UK is a cruise and you will see that the potential for growth is huge. But how do you tap into the lucrative new-to-cruise market? Some of the best advice we’ve heard has ranged from get your clients on to a mini-cruise first to let them dip their toe in the water to take a cruise with plenty of ports of call so that they don’t fear being “trapped” on a ship for their entire holiday. However, for agents, it’s all about getting the right person on the right cruise. Use your sales experience to ask the right questions: where do they want to go? What do they want to get out of their holiday? Who is travelling? Which companies have they travelled with before? Use that information. Not only to recommend a cruise line, but also to recommend a time of year, an itinerary and a ship. There are a whole host of variables and, while

there is no easy way to learn about them all, there are tricks to help you get there faster. The most obvious way is to specialise in an area and understand it inside out. Whether that’s the river sector, luxury, family or even expedition. Which of these do you think is most relevant to your customer base? Where do you think you could see the most conversions? Our infographic on p54 is designed to give you a bit of a helping hand here. However, whether your bread and butter is resort-style family holidays, lakes and mountains or breaks for adventurous millennials there are a number of different types of cruise to specialise in. If you want to specialise in family style holidays, what ships have what amenities? Which company has the best kids’ facilities. What about dining? Are there child-friendly shore excursions? Use websites like Cruise Critic to see what other past cruise passengers have said. If you get the chance to have a look around a ship then do – if you can sail then all the better. Once you’ve identified the corner of the market that most applies to your speciality then you can start to dig deeper. Does your agency have



a Clia membership? Are you part of a consortia or homeworking network? Is there a person somewhere, either within your organisation or in the surrounding support network, who can get you started on the best companies to research? After that it’s time to train. Clia offers fantastic resources for those looking to get to grips with the industry, while individual cruise lines also have their own on-theroad teams who can get out to stores around the country and answer all of the questions you might have. Those resources are all available and designed to help you – no matter what stage of the learning process you’re at – so don’t feel like you’re beyond them, or not at that stage yet – they can always be tailored accordingly. The key to cracking the new-tocruise sector, whether you want to specialise in one corner of the market or the entire cruise industry, is to become an expert. Our point is there are different levels of expertise – you don’t need to be all things to all people. Once you know what you’re talking about, you’ll be able to get people over those infamous misconceptions about cruise. From there on in it’s plain sailing.

Be prepared with the positives of cruising, have price comparisons ready vs other holidays and make sure you match the right cruise with what customers enjoy doing Giles Hawke, CEO Cosmos

If you are new to cruise you need to think hotel. A glorious hotel that comes with you, is full board, often inclusive, harnesses the wonders of the oceans and will beckon you to return

Help by Understanding the Real Trigger Indicators, Getting Right Under Their Essential Needs Hurtigruten – be different, exciting and go Exploring! Anthony Daniels, head of sales, Hurtigruten

holiday Ask guests if they would like amo y, with great service, value for nneto unpacking once and the optiotions discover lots of new destina a , MD, Azamar Richard Twynam

Jos Dewing, Managing Director, Voyages to Antiquity

t is matched It is imperative thatdeastguinesation and to the right ship, year to travel at the right time of

Listen… Listen… and listen a more… if appropriate add valulittle the holiday selection, suggest e to Luxury for the same total holiUldatra price as a premium line y Paul Beale, he ad of sales, Regent

president, , senior vice Paul LudlowP&O Cruises

When I was an agen t down to the customit was all about drilling expectations from ers’ needs, wants and the product that suit the holiday and offering s their lifestyle and pocket Neil Barc la y, head of sa les, Vikin g

that's g n i h t y r e v e n i Expla d focus on the total includedsapnend, rather than just holiday et price of the cruise the tick , vel Grimley Joseph es, Riviera Tra l a s e d a tr head of

Call it a holiday and not a cruise – people get hung up on the fact they are considering a cruise but really it’s another holiday – just an amazing one! Claire Brighton, Senior Commercial Manager, Advantage

Emphasise the choice of amazing destinations. At Silversea we sail to over 900 fascinating places around the world from Alaska to Zanzibar! Connie Georgiou, head of trade sales and partnerships, UK & Ireland, Silversea

Treat every customer as an individual. Knowing their unique wants and needs will help match them to the perfect cruise Nick Wilkinson, GM Northern Europe & MEA, Norwegian Cruise Line

Float the idea of a river cruise to your city break guests. River cruising is like taking lots of city breaks through the heart of Europe’s fascinating cities David Winterton, brand curator, Emerald

Suggest to customers a river cruise, using the same criteria they would have In selecting a hotel, and emphasise that the hotel will then move between destinations Kathryn Beadle, managing director, Uniworld

Use the videos and clips provided by the cruise lines to excite the client about the destinations and onboard experiences Helen Beck, Crystal Cruises

Give first time cruisers the option of a shorter cruise to be combined as part of an overall holiday experience Iain Baillie, VP, UK & international sales, Carnival Cruise Lines

July / August 2017| Aft


Royal Caribbean appoints new Scottish regional sales manager

Anna Perrott joins JTA as sales and cruise manager JTA Travel has appointed Anna Perrott as commercial, sales and cruise manager. Wayne Darrock, managing director said: “We are delighted to have Anna on board as part of our continued expansion of the JTA brands. Perrott will be responsible for managing cruise and commercial supplier and key agent relationships. She said: “I am so excited to be working with the team.”

New job pay hits six-year high, study finds Royal Caribbean International has announced the appointment of Michelle Nagy as Regional Sales Manager for Scotland. Michelle joins Royal Caribbean from L’Oréal where she was account manager in Scotland. She has previously worked with Virgin Atlantic and Rentokil Initial Group. Michelle will report into Sarah Weetman, head of retail, UK & Ireland and will be responsible for growing trade partnerships in

the region. She will also look after the implementation of new ideas and reinforcing Royal Caribbean’s commitment to finding the right type of cruise holiday for Scottish guests. Sarah Weetman, head of retail, UK & Ireland said, “Michelle brings with her a wealth of FMCG experience which will provide valuable insight to her role as RSM for Scotland.” Michelle added, “The future looks exciting as I work to open up the world to more guests from Scotland.”

Average pay for the typical new travel job has risen to a six-year high, according to the latest Travel Salary Index from recruitment firm C&M. The average new job in the industry now pays £23,607, a 3.4 per cent rise when compared with May last year. C&M director Barbara Kolosinska said: “With an average of £23,607, the typical new travel job in the UK is now paying more than ever before! This means that job seekers across the country have a wealth of roles available to them.”

Sam Otter named director of marketing and PR, UK and Ireland by Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Cruises has appointed Sam Otter to the role of director of marketing and PR, UK and Ireland. Otter has previously held senior marketing roles with brands including Cheapflights, Virgin Holidays, O2 and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. She joins with immediate effect. The new appointment follows the departure of Toby Shaw from the role in June 2017 after three and a half yeas. Otter will report to Celebrity Cruises’ UK, Ireland and Asia VP and

managing director, Jo Rzymowska. “I’m thrilled to welcome Sam to the Celebrity Cruises UK and Ireland team. Her impressive track record in working with household names both within and outside the travel sector brings valuable experience to our business,” Rzymowska said. “Celebrity currently enjoys its highest levels of brand awareness and with the new Edge Class ships joining our fleet in 2018, our future couldn’t be more exciting.” CRUISE-ADVISER.COM


July / August 2017| Aft


The Great Viking Trade-Off giveaways revealed

Viking Cruises is giving away 20 places on an ocean fam and another 20 on a river fam as part of its Great Viking Trade-Off. The company is also offering runner-up prizes including 20 cinema tickets, 20 bottles of prosecco and 20 chocolate hampers. Viking’s head of sales Neil Barclay said: “To celebrate Viking Cruises’ 20th anniversary we are giving away 20 fam trips and loads of other goodies. With so many different itineraries and fabulous, awardwinning ships there is a cruise to suit every customer – so get booking!’ Viking christened its most recent ocean ship, the Viking Sky, at a

ceremony in Norway in June. The ship, the third ocean-going vessel Viking has launched in as many years, is part of a fleet which will eventually number eight. Viking already has the largest river fleet in the world, having broken the world record for the number of ship launches at one time on numerous occasions. To be in with a chance of winning agents need to book a Viking Cruise between now and September 30. To enter the competition email the Viking reference number, along with your name and contact details to the trade email: madefortrade@

Princess Cruises’ £100,000 giveaway winners named Chloe Williams of Bolsover Cruise Club has won £10,000 in Princess Cruises’ £100,000 giveaway. The line has been giving away one £10,000, two £5,000 and 15 £1,000 prizes throughout May, June and July. Agents wanting to enter must make a balcony booking or above on the 2018 programme and log it online on at princess100k.

Rachel Poultney, director of sales for Princess Cruises UK and Ireland, said: “We like to show our love and support for travel agents and our £100k giveaway is our biggest incentive yet. We’re thrilled to see just how engaged agents are. Entries have skyrocketed since we announced the first £10,000 winner.” Read more about Princess on p42



Champagne and hampers from P&O and Cunard P&O Cruises and Cunard are giving travel agents the opportunity to win champagne for their whole team and a luxury hamper respectively. P&O, which is celebrating its 180th anniversary, is asking agents to send a photo of themselves and their team “celebrating” to their agent Facebook page before July 31 to be in with a chance of winning the prize. Cunard is giving away five ‘feel special’ hampers which include a Cunard Grill robe and slippers and Laurent Perrier Champagne. To win, agents must visit the Cunard agent sales’ Facebook page between July 1 and July 31 for more information.

Win Bose headphones with Silversea Advocates Silversea is giving agents the opportunity to win one of 10 pairs of Bose earphones as part of its Silversea Advocates programme this July. The winners will be chosen by the company’s regional sales managers, based on sales performance, marketing promotions or events. Connie Georgiou, head of sales said: “Our Silversea Advocates programme enables us to recognise the dedication and commitment that our agents show to Silversea.”

July / August 2017 | Aft


Going coastal: the ideal mix of river and ocean cruise Coastal cruises have the intimacy of river cruise without the restrictions For those thinking of making the switch between river and ocean cruise, there is a good mid-way point. Coastal cruises are an often overlooked but important part of the industry. A type of small-ship cruise that provides the intimacy and scenery of river cruise, but with freedom of ocean cruise, the vessels hug a country’s coastline, providing a gentle sailing with many stops. The most popular itineraries you’re likely come across sail the Dalmatian coast, taking in Croatia and, sometimes, Montenegro. A typical round-trip from Dubrovnik will call at Split, Hvar, Korcula and Sibenik over eight days, such as on CroisiEurope’s MS La Belle de l’Adriatique, which holds 198 passengers. Without the restrictions of locks and bridges, these vessels can be wider and taller than their river-going counterparts, but are far smaller than the majority of ocean-going ships. Often, they also

usually provide a good small-ship budget option, costing far less than some of the ultra-luxury yacht-like ships on the market, and may be appealing to those who want to travel by ship but don’t feel that comfortable sailing off into the big wide ocean, where things can get a little rocky,

or for those who want to explore a country in depth. Hurtigruten’s coastal cruise around the Norwegian fjords, which is has been running since the 1890s, is perhaps the most famous, but customers can look towards Corsica, French Polynesia and even the Great Barrier Reef.

THREE COASTAL CRUISES 12 nights in Norway

Eight days in Croatia

Seven nights in Tasmania

Hurtigruten – MS Lofoten Bergen (round-trip), November 25, 2017 From £947pp

Riviera Travel — MS Admiral Split-Dubrovnik, August 26, 2017 From £1,629

Coral Expeditions — Coral Discoverer Hobart, Tasmania (round-trip), January 29, 2018 From AUD $4,990pp

Hurtigruten means “fastest route” in Norwegian and refers to this historic voyage along west Norway. This winter sailing is a chance to see the fjords when other ships don’t visit.

Riviera Travel operates the 39-guest MS Admiral yacht, which is just 43m long. The perfect way to explore the stunning Dalmatian Coast, this cruise also includes two nights in beautiful Dubrovnik.

This coastal cruise on a 72-guest ship allows guests to witness Tasmania’s incredible wildlife, including seals, dolphins and albatross, and the pristine scenery of Wineglass Bay. CRUISE-ADVISER.COM


July / August 2017| Aft

DIRECTORY Got a cruise query? Let us assist you. The cruise adviser directory provides you with the vital contact details for all major cruise lines operating in the UK – meaning trade sales support is never more than a phone call away


Information missing or out of date? Email



July / August 2017 | Aft Tom Dumbrell, sales manager — Afloat in France 020 3117 1408 


A-Rosa Lucia Rowe, head of sales UK and Ireland 078 4202 6013  Amadeus River Cruises Brooke Daniels, UK sales manager 080 0035 6411  AmaWaterways Jamie Loizou, sales, marketing and digital director 033 3305 3902  American Cruise Lines Susan Shultz, director of sales +1 203 453 6800  American Queen Steamboat Company Katrina Weston, general manager 01223 568 904  APT Touring Kate Ashman, sales and commercial specialist 01494 736 147  Atlas/Kompas Predrag Krivokapic, president +1 954 258 8531 / +385 9 1975 1735  Aurora Expeditions Talia Schwartzman, sales executive +61 2 9252 1033  Avalon Waterways James Mortimer, agency sales executive 020 8315 4585  Azamara Club Cruises Lori Scanella, business support executive 01932 834 379 


Carnival Cruise Line Luke Smith, senior partnership manager 020 7378 4660  Celebrity Cruises Isabelle Charlton / Victoria Shipp 01932 834 379 (option 2)  Celestyal Cruises Andreas Genthe, country manager sales +30 216 400 9633  Coral Expeditions Jan Jepsen, UK and Europe representative 07702 714 150  Cosmos Tours & Cruises James Mortimer, agency sales executive 020 8315 4585  CroisiEurope Gabrielle Alam, head of sales and marketing UK 020 8328 1281  Cruise & Maritime Voyages Lisa Jacobs, head of trade sales 0844 414 6140  Crystal Cruises Mick Dupont, head of UK sales 020 7399 7602  Cruising Excursions Simonne Fairbanks, chief operating officer 0800 091 8274  Cunard Line Natasha Richardson, director of sales operations 023 8065 7259


Belmond Alexis Viols, director of sales – Road to Mandalay and Belmond Orcaella +66 2 267 4881 2 Ext 19



July / August 2017 | Aft

Hebridean Island Cruises Lisa White, reservations manager 01756 704 704  Heritage Line Andreas Schroetter, director of sales and marketing +84 120 395 2242  Holland America Line James Scott, business development representative 0844 338 8600 Lucy Harris, business development representative 0844 338 8600  Hurtigruten Anthony Daniels, head of sales 020 8846 2666 


Disney Cruise Line Juliet Holden, account executive 080 0171 2317  E

Emerald Waterways Lewis Quigley, trade marketing executive 0161 233 1988  eWaterways Cruises Emma Wild, head of sales 0808 168 1458  F

Far Horizon Brooke Daniels, UK sales manager 0800 035 3189  Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Becky Smith, trade support manager 01473 746 164  Fred Olsen River Cruises Brooke Daniels, UK sales manager 0800 021 3172  French America Line Kevin Griffin, director 020 7723 2450 


Intrepid Travel Andrew Turner, senior business development manager 080 8274 5719  K

Katerina Line Dea Baretincic, sales manager +385 51 603 409  L

Lindblad Expeditions Jacinta McEvoy vice president global sales +1 212 261 9000 


G Adventures Jerrine Barnett, new business development manager 07432 429 836 / 020 7243 9870 ext. 9948 


The Majestic Line Marie McGhee, sales manager 01369 707951  MSC Cruises Victoria Taylor, sales operations manager 020 7092 8182


Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Mike Flanagan, sales representative UK and Ireland 07921 223 176



July / August 2017 | Aft

Poseidon Alexandra Prokopyeva, sales and marketing 0870 068 9142  Princess Cruises Victoria Snelgar, sales operations manager 023 8065 6613  Pullmantur Simon Chambers, operations manager 0800 021 3180 


Noble Caledonia Agency sales 020 7752 0000  Norwegian Cruise Line Jeremy McKenna, head of sales UK and Ireland 07408 805 216 Karen Kundi, partnership relations manager 023 8124 5242  O


Oceania Cruises Priti Mehta, head of sales UK and Ireland 023 8024 8604  One Ocean Expeditions Debra Taylor, new business development 07956 852 197 

Quark Expeditions Pushparaj Shetty, senior distribution manager +1 416 645 8248  R

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Caroline Moody, business development executive 023 8068 2283 Anna Salter, business development executive 023 8068 2283  Royal Caribbean International Trade support team 01932 834 379  Riviera Travel Darren Mussell, agency sales assistant manager 01283 744 307 


P&O Cruises Natasha Richardson, director of sales operations 023 8065 7259  Pandaw Marco Rosa, vice president sales and marketing 07973 876 967  Paul Gaugin Mick Dupont, head of UK sales 020 7399 7602  Pearl Seas Cruises Susan Shultz, director of sales +1 203 458 5280  Ponant Stephen Winter, international sales director +33 6 4803 7931 


Saga Travel Sukina Fagg, national account manager 080 0074 8021  Scenic Lewis Quigley, trade marketing executive 0161 233 1988



July/ August 2017 | Aft

Seabourn James Scott, business development representative 084 4338 8600 Lucy Harris, business development representative 084 4338 8600  SeaCloud Anja Ringel, vice president, international markting and sales +49 40 3095 9217  SeaDream Yacht Club Mark Schmitt, sales director 07904 068 407  Shearings Michael Bowers, national sales manager 01942 823 449  Silversea Sales support 020 7340 0700  Star Clippers Danielle Dudley, UK sales manager 077 6585 2116 


Uniworld Boutique River Cruises David Chidley, national sales manager 07408 855 544  V

Variety Cruises Chris Lorenzo, managing director, Seafarer Cruises 020 8324 3114  Victoria Cruises Tom Antonucci, sales manager +1 212 818 1680  Viking Cruises Andrew Schweitzer, regional sales manager (south) 07825 986 996 Jenny Wade, regional sales manager (north) 07966 995 012  Volga Dream Brooke Daniels, UK sales manager 0800 021 3186  Voyages to Antiquity Michelle Daniels, head of groups and partnerships 01865 302 2565 


Tauck Kathryn Coles, UK and Ireland sales manager 080 0810 8020  Thomson Cruises Andrew Isherwood Commercial support team 020 3451 2762  Titan Travel Edwina Coppock, agency sales manager 012 9345 0726; 078 3465 2135 


Wendy Wu Tours  Adam White, trade support and marketing executive 020 7939 9560  Windstar Cruises Sales team (The Cruise Line) 0800 852 7248 



July / August 2017 | Aft THINGS TO DO


Each month, we bring you a selection of things to do on your lunch break or journey to the office

CROSSWORD See the next cruise adviser in September for the answer




5. Tarantino black comedy (4,7)

1. Fills in (11)

7. Spacious hotel accommodation (5) 8. Blether (4) 9. A tiny amount (3) 10. Contend (3 11. Residue (3) 12. French lake (3) 14. Patron saint of lost causes (4)


See the next cruise adviser in September for the answers

2. Very popular holiday destination (5) 3. Hopefully they will never be needed on your cruise (4,7)


4. The planets, or a rooftop array? (5,6)





5. Diplomacy (4)


12. Supports (4)

8 9

15. Speedos at sea use these (5)





6 8




2 8

6 1


6 4

16. Articles (4,7)


3 1


13. University town on the Loire (5)

8 6


1 2

5 2




















































































July / August 2017 | Aft


WIN! Christmas markets fam trip with Uniworld

See bottom of page for answers

1. Which album by Radiohead turns 20 years old this summer? 2. Meraviglia has just joined the MSC Cruises fleet. Which ship will follow this year? 3. Christopher Columbus was from which country? 4. Boxing film Raging Bull starred which Italian-American actor? 5. Ajaccio is the capital of where? 6. Le Havre is the cruise port that serves which French city? 7. What was the first ship built for Royal Caribbean International? 8. Aftermath is 1966 album by what band? 9. Heddon Street in London has a blue plaque for which musical creation? 10. Claude Monet lived in which French town? 11. Addis Ababa is the capital of where?

Win a place on a Christmas Markets fam trip along the Seine with Uniworld on their brand new Super Ship, the Joie de Vivre.

12. Which national newspaper was launched in Manchester in 1821?

To enter, answer the following question and send your answer to info@cruise-adviser. com with the subject line as ‘July/August competition’. Three runners-up will get a bag of Mallow & Marsh goodies.

13. What is the largest living organism on Earth? 14. What is the highest confirmed recorded temperature on Earth?

What is the name of the ship launched by Uniworld in March 2017?

15. What is the lowest confirmed recorded temperature on Earth?

Terms and conditions apply, see cruise-adviser. com/terms-conditions-uniworld

QUIZ ANSWERS 1. OK Computer 2. MSC Seaside 3. Genoa, Italy 4. Robert De Niro 5. Corsica 6. Paris 7. Song of Norway 8. The Rolling Stones 9. Ziggy Stardust 10. Giverny 11. Ethiopia 12. The Guardian 13. A fungus in the Blue Mountains in Oregon 14. 56.7 degrees Celsius in Death Valley, California 15. -89.2 degrees Celsius in Antarctica



July / August 2017 | Aft



In the galley A mouthwatering key lime pie by Bea Tollman, founder of Uniworld owner The Travel Corporation Uniworld – River Royale Bordeaux (round-trip), August 20, 2017 From £3,509pp This Connoisseur Collection cruise on the Garonne, the Dordogne and the Gironde rivers includes a visit to the Rémy Martin Estate for some cognac tasting.

12 days in the Caribbean

Silversea – Silver Wind Bridgetown, Barbados (round-trip), December 2, 2017 From £2,280pp

Ingredients 200g plain Hobnob biscuits (or digestives if you prefer) 60g melted butter 10g soft butter to grease the pie tin 2 tins condensed milk 20ml key lime juice zest of two limes 8 egg yolks 250ml double cream 10g sugar 21cm fluted round pie dish. If you want to take the finished pie out of the dish make sure you use a pie dish with a loose bottom Method Grind the biscuits in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs, then slowly add the melted butter. Grease the pie dish with the softened butter, then, using a spoon,

press the biscuit crumbs into the sides and base of the pie dish. Bake at 160C for five minutes until the base is just starting to colour, then take out of the oven. Whisk all of the remaining ingredients, except for the cream and sugar, together and pour into pie shell. Bake in the centre of the oven until just set: 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool completely, preferably overnight in the fridge. Whip the cream and sugar together to form stiff peaks, then pipe rosettes of cream onto the pie and decorate with slices of lime. Recipe taken from A Life In Food by Bea Tollman, the co-founder of The Travel Corporation who are the owners of Uniworld.

This 12-night winter sailing around the Caribbean will give you plenty of time to sample La Champagne, the only Wine Restaurant by Relais & Châteaux at sea.

23 nights in the South Pacific

Holland America Line – Noordam San Francisco-Sydney, September 23, 2017 From £2,299pp Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant (in the Pinnacle Grill) will be on Noordam during this epic cruise. A must for seafood fans.



July / August 2017 | Aft


Sarah Schlederer, G Adventures, Marine sales specialist We speak to the people who make your job easier. This month: G Adventures’ Marine sales specialist What does your job entail on a day-to-day basis? I oversee sales of G Adventures’ programme of Marine trips, which include our G Expedition cruises to Antarctica, the Arctic and Norwegian fjords, our Galápagos cruises (we operate a fleet of five yachts and catamarans), our extensive sailing programme, with nine different destinations, and our new river cruise itineraries (Mekong, Amazon, Ganges and Burgundy). I predominantly look after our trade partners and act as a point of contact to support them with closing the sale on these high value enquiries. How long have you worked in the travel industry? I have worked for G Adventures for nearly five years now and, before that, I worked in the hotel industry for six years. What’s the best thing about being on the road? My role is predominantly officebased, however my favourite part of the job is when I get to go out on the road and deliver training to our partners on what I believe is our most exciting product – our floating trips! I have developed strong relationships with our Marine partners over the last few years and it’s great to be able to get out and see them face to face. I love to meet new partners, too! What’s the worst? Nothing!

What’s your favourite place to visit? I’m a huge wildlife and nature enthusiast so nothing beats Antarctica for me. Hundreds of penguins, whales, seals, and beautiful sea birds. The scenery is also spectacular and other-worldly. I consider myself an ice addict and I can’t get enough of seeing enormous tabular icebergs, some the size of a small city, or the huge calving glaciers. There really is nothing like hearing the crunch of the pack ice as the ship pushes through it, or the sound of brash ice sloshing against the zodiac. What do you listen to in the car? Chart music on the radio. One thing you couldn’t live without? My iPhone charger, those things die way too quickly! What’s your favourite thing about working for G Adventures? G Adventures has an amazing culture, really unlike any other company. My friends are always so jealous of me when I tell them that we get free massages every now and again to “celebrate winning” and face-painters coming in on Halloween. We have 25 plus offices all around the world, but everybody in the company is so well connected through our internal chat system – G Nation. We can share photos, polls and great feedback about our CEOs (chief experience officers, or tour leaders) and it really helps to feel connected and a part of something bigger than just yourself.



What is the biggest myth about G Adventures? That we run tours just for young people! We have 700 tours on all seven continents split across nine different travel styles. It’s really only one of these travel styles – our YOLO tours that are aimed at 18 to 30-somethings. The average age across all of our Marine tours is actually 48, believe it or not! The word “adventures” is often misunderstood, but we believe the adventure in travelling is all about getting underneath the skin of a destination and seeing it in a whole new way, through using local transport, staying in homestays and experiencing off the beaten track activities in those destinations. We do of course have an ‘Active’ travel style but these hard adventures (trekking, cycling, white-water rafting etc) only make up about 11 per cent of the tours that we offer. If agents want to find out more, what should they do? We have an amazing team of GCOs (Global Connection Officers) who are happy to take your call 24/7. We also have a fantastic agent website ( which shows you live availability, allows you to hold an obligation-free option, view all current promotions and gives access an extensive set of destination training modules. If it’s a Marine trip you’re trying to piece together for a client, feel free to reach out to me directly on 0344 272 2190 or at

July / August 2017 | Aft


Could Trump disrupt Cuba deal? Why the news that Donald Trump is to reverse his White House predecessor Barack Obama’s historic deal with Cuba is as puzzling as it is troubling Barack Obama’s historic 2014 deal with Cuba – which effectively put an end to a 60-year trade embargo designed to asphyxiate the communist country – was a watershed moment. During the embargo, no trade was allowed to pass between the US mainland and the Caribbean island. That included tourism, meaning visits to Cuba by US citizens was illegal. In 1999 the rules were relaxed slightly to allow for specific types of travel, for 12 reasons on the grounds of education or religion, before Obama relaxed these rules further. And, while tourism in of itself wasn’t reason enough to go to Cuba, there was a blurring of the rules. What happened next changed everything. While there had been limited air travel to Cuba, the cruise industry had been totally off-limits. Carnival Corporation’s new brand, Fathom, dedicated to education and cultural immersion, was given

permission to sail to Cuba from Miami, a US port. It was the first time a ship from America had visited Havana in 50 years. The outpouring of good feeling from Cuban citizens was incredible. This felt like the walls were coming down and, through tourism, the Cuban people would be able to start entering the world and the process of rebuilding their economy. It was the perfect example of how tourism is one of the best ways to understand other cultures and help improve lives abroad. Other Carnival brands were soon granted permission to travel to Cuba, as well as brands belonging to Royal Caribbean Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and MSC. However, what had been the good news story of the entire cruise industry is now up in the air. According to The Hill, a US politics website, under Trump’s new restrictions “Americans will only be

able to visit Cuba as part of a tour group if they want to go to the island for educational purposes”. Only time will tell whether Trump’s rules define a Carnival Cruise Line Caribbean cruise as educational. In a statement, Carnival Corporation said: “Carnival Corporation is pleased that the policy changes announced by the Trump administration will allow our ships to continue to sail to Cuba. We will review the extent of the tightening of the travel rules, but our guests have already been traveling under the 12 approved forms of travel to Cuba since we undertook our historic first cruise to Cuba more than a year ago. “Our experience in Cuba this past year has been extremely positive… Travel brings people and cultures together, so we are excited about the upcoming cruises to Cuba.” We can only hope that this remains the case.

COMING NEXT TIME Viking Cruises in Tromsø

InFocus: Coral Expeditions

The rise of the barge

Sam Ballard joins the fastexpanding cruise line for the launch of another ocean ship.

We check in with the small ship expedition cruise line as part of our adventure special.

Jeannine Williamson experiences the joys of barging on a trip from Venice through the Po Valley.



20 1 O 8 IS N fr £6 SALNOW 4 E

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With an all-inclusive drinks concept, pools and/or whirlpools on every vessel and 15% off all SPA & Beauty treatments, your clients can concentrate on having an unforgettable cruising experience! A-ROSA is the only river cruise to offer free cruises to kids under 15 (transfers and flights must be paid for), so it’s a great family holiday choice!

We’ve been part of the same family-owned company since 1961 Great value holidays with no hidden costs Your holiday is fully protected through ABTA and ATOL VIP private home pick-up service is included on all holidays with flights, to take customers to and from the airport Great for single travellers Generous travel agent incentive programme

DANUBE FAMILY CRUISE ITINERARY 8 day Danube Route on board A-ROSA DONNA From £850 per person Depart 12th October from London Luton A variety of child-friendly excursions A variety of child-friendly excursions Includes flights, transfers and taxes plus a VIP home pick-up service from home to airport (within 50 miles)

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Order your 2019 ocean cruise brochure today! Our exciting 2019 cruise collection has just gone on sale. African safaris on Saga Pearl’s II’s last ever cruise, husky dog sledging in Alta, an overnight stay in Marrakesh… these are just some of the amazing experiences awaiting your customers. Remember, you get £100 in shopping vouchers for every ocean cruise you sell!






Call FREE on 0800 074 8021 or visit Become a Saga expert, visit Find us on social media – Saga Trade Team *To claim your vouchers, simply email with booking details. Applicable to bookings confirmed July 1-31, 2017. Vouchers will be sent by email from Red Letter Days, please allow four weeks for delivery. NHA-SC6627

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Cruise Adviser — July/August 2017  

Cruise Adviser — July/August 2017