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Australian growth is world’s highest The number of Australians taking a cruise has skyrocketed since last year – and we’re also cruising for longer, according to a new report. IN 2011, 623,294 Australians took a cruise holiday – nearly 160,000 more than the previous year – a record growth of 34%. By comparison, the world’s largest cruise market, the United States, recorded only 4% increase in passenger numbers, while the UK reported a 5% rise. The latest local figures, released yesterday by the International Cruise Council Australasia (ICCA), mean that 2.7% of the population went on a cruise holiday last year, which places Australia second in the world in terms of “market penetration”. According to the report, the number of Australians taking a cruise has almost tripled over the past five years. ICCA Chairman Gavin Smith attributed the growth to the wider range of ships available locally and overseas, as well as increasing awareness of the “all-inclusive” value that cruises offer. “Every year we are seeing more cruise ships based in Australia and more ships visiting our shores, taking the profile of cruising to new heights and prompting an unprecedented number of Australians to take to the seas for their holidays,” he said. The 2011 Cruise Industry Report also estimated that Australians spent 6.5 million days at sea – up 36% on 2010. Local cruising to Australia, NZ and South Pacific Islands accounted for 70% of Australian cruise guests numbers in 2011, with the South Pacific retaining its position as the most popular destination, attracting 37% of passengers. The number of Australians cruising to New

Titanic II announced AUSTRALIAN billionaire Clive Palmer has signed an agreement with a Chinese shipyard, CSC Jinling, to build the Titanic II. "It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but will have state-of-the-art 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems," said Palmer. According to reports the Titanic II will debut in 2016 with a Trans-Atlantic crossing.

Zealand surged by 80%, largely due to the increase in the number of trans-Tasman cruises. River cruising saw a growth of 22% (almost 35,000 people), accounting for 6% of Australian cruise passenger numbers. Breaking the numbers down by state, ICCA found that 40% of the nation’s cruise passengers live in NSW, 24% in Queensland, 16% in Victoria and 9% in WA. The country’s largest cruise operator, Carnival Australia, welcomed the results as evidence of Australians continued confidence in cruising. “Strong local support for cruising as an exciting holiday choice has led to another year of extraordinary growth for the Australian cruise industry, again confirming it as the standout success of Australian tourism,” the company’s CEO Ann Sherry said. “We have merely scratched the surface of the Australian cruise industry’s growth potential,” she added.

Uncover answers with Adam HAVE you got a few burning questions you would love answered by a cruise expert? If so, this is your lucky month, as Cruise Weekly has enlisted the expertise of Royal Caribbean’s Commercial Manager for Australia, Adam Armstrong, to put an end to your cruiserelated question quest. So, don’t be shy, you may have questions about safety at sea, shore excursions, food, tipping, booking or even specific Royal Caribbean ships, whatever your questions are, CW would like to hear them. So, be sure to send your questions in to expert@cruiseweekly.com.au. For more information about Royal Caribbean visit www.royalcaribbean.com.au.

Brisbane’s cruise boon PACIFIC Dawn’s two-week multi-million dollar refurbishment, currently underway at the Forgacs Cairncross Dockyard, will result in flow on benefits to the local economy, according to P&O Cruises. Around 600 specialist workers will handle the scheduled refurbishment of Dawn, alongside 600 ship crew and the dockyard’s workforce of more than 200, with work including the installation of a giant poolside entertainment screen, ice-cream parlour and new interconnecting family cabins. “Queensland’s cruise industry has boomed over the past five years to a point where the Sunshine State now has Pacific Dawn based here full time and a Princess ship homeported here each summer, so there are massive flowon benefits to local businesses year round,” said Carnival Australia CEO, Ann Sherry. “Refurbishing our ships in Brisbane just adds more money to the local economy.” “What’s more, cruising’s economic contribution in Queensland is forecast to rise to $340.8 million in 2019-20, so the cruise industry has an important future in the state,” she added.

TODAY’S ISSUE OF CW Today’s issue of Cruise Weekly features five pages of all the latest cruise news.

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River cruising goes all-inclusive Scenic Tours has launched European river cruises with fares including drinks, Wi-Fi, butler service and other new experiences. IN what is being claimed as a world first, Australian travel company Scenic Tours has revealed it will introduce “all-inclusive” cruising in Europe next year, as well as a range of new options for dining and land touring. Releasing its 2013 Europe River Cruising portfolio, the company announced several new onboard inclusions, such as unlimited complimentary drinks (including alcohol), private butler service for every passenger and free Wi-Fi internet access. Every ship (except Scenic Emerald) will have a new River Café for “all-day grazing” and Table La Rive, offering a degustation dinner. Other new dining experiences include high tea, served on the terrace, and themed dinners with regional food and live entertainment. Personalised GPS guided tour system devices have also been created to allow guests to choose between independent walks and cycling tours exploring food, wine, history or other personal interests. On shore, 18 tours have been added to Scenic’s selection, including the Hockenheim Formula 1 Track in Heidelberg and a private dinner and concert at Rastatt Palace. Scenic Tours Managing Director Glen Moroney said these changes would further

Want the thrill of a tour? IF you want a taste of what a shore tour with Royal Caribbean is like, CLICK HERE to view the cruise line’s latest video, titled ‘The Thrill of an Alaskan Cruise Tour: Gold Mining and Canyoneering with Royal Caribbean’.

elevate the standard for river cruising in Europe. “We are redefining the term ‘all-inclusive luxury’ with the addition of unlimited complimentary beverages available at any time throughout the ship,” he said. “There is basically nothing more to pay except for personal expenses,” he added. Moroney said the company’s other major point of difference was the new all-day café (with no surcharge) so that passengers could have a snack or espresso coffee between meals. Scenic ‘Space-Ships’ are also set to receive technical upgrades including a ‘silent drive’ system, which significantly reduces noise and vibration, and more sophisticated air-conditioning. Scenic Tours fares will continue to include shore excursions, airport transfers, tipping and gratuities, Moroney said. Meanwhile, the company also announced the launch of a 14-day South of France trip, starting from Paris before transferring to Chalon-sur-Saône for a cruise to Arles along the Saône and Rhône rivers onboard Scenic Emerald. A seventh vessel, Scenic Jewel, will join the European fleet in 2013, operating along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest.

Crystal sparkles in Germany A BRAND new ‘Space-Ship’ for Scenic Tours, Scenic Crystal, launched in Germany last week. The sixth Space-Ship in Scenic’s fleet, Crystal features four decks and has capacity for 169 guests and 48 crew. New features that set Crystal apart, include the installation of the Scenic Sun Lounge on all balcony cabins. The Sun Lounge basically consists of remoteactivated sliding hydraulic sealed windows which move into place over the balcony with the flick of a switch, converting it from an open air balcony into a private weatherproof indoor lounge.

Cruise Weekly’s cruise calendar details upcoming port calls of passenger cruise ships at various destinations in Australia. SYDNEY Pacific Pearl

Sat 05 May

BRISBANE Pacific Dawn Pacific Sun

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DARWIN Orion Sun Princess

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P&O’s destination deals P&O Cruises has launched a week-long sale between 30 April and 06 May. Dubbed Destination Deals, the sale offers special fares for a selection of Fiji, New Zealand and Australian voyages, with fares starting from $199pp quad share. See your travel agent for details, or visit www.pocruises.com.au.

Cruise Calendar

Scenic Crystal

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Last Minute Deals This weekly column highlights hot deals on cruises departing soon – ideal for our spontaneous readers. Check out this week’s cruise bargain: 21-night Sydney to Dubai cruise onboard Sun Princess • From: $3,870pp twin share (inside cabin) • Departs: 16 May 2012 • Visits: Darwin, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Mumbai and Dubai

• Includes: 21-nights cruising, one way airfare Dubai to Sydney, three-nights accom in Dubai, transfers, up to $150 onboard credit, 4WD dune safari with BBQ dinner.

• Contact: www.ecruising.travel

Follow us on: Just one click away from keeping up to date with all the breaking news as it comes to hand...

New cruise safety laws THREE new safety policies relating to passage planning, bridge access and lifejackets have been adopted by the cruise industry, and will be implemented with immediate effect. Announced by the European Cruise Council and the Cruise Lines International Association the first policy requires cruise lines to follow the International Maritime Organisation’s guidance on passage planning as a mandatory minimum requirement, and to also follow the “best practices” contained in the International Chamber of Shipping’s Bridge Procedures Guide. In addition, under this policy each passage plan is to be thoroughly briefed to all bridge team members well in advance of its implementation and it is to be drafted by a designated officer and approved by the master. The second policy stipulates that bridge access is to be limited to those with operational functions during any period of restricted maneuvering or when extra vigilance is required. The third rule requires vessels to carry extra adult lifejackets onboard each cruise ship in excess of legal requirements, so that the number of additional adult lifejackets to be provided must not be less than the total number of persons berthed within the ship’s most populated main vertical fire zone. This ensures that the number of lifejackets carried is far in excess of the number of persons actually onboard the ship.

Three decks of sports for two people on Voyager of the Seas’ inaugural sailing!

WITH features like a three-story sports complex, when she launches in April next year, Norwegian Breakaway will be a sure hit with families. Located on the top levels of the vessel, the sport’s complex will feature a nine hole minigolf course, a ropes at sea course (including a zip track), a rock climbing wall, basketball court, bungee trampoline and “spider web”. Also sure to be a hit with kids of all ages, will be Breakaway’s Aqua park (which will feature five multi-story waterslides), as well her Nickelodeon themed Kids’ Aqua Park.

Silver Savings in Nth Europe CRUISERS can score special Silver Saving fares with Silversea on a range of the cruise line’s Northern European voyages setting sail this year on Silver Cloud and Silver Whisper. Fares for Silver Whisper’s 10-day sailings between Stockholm and Southampton in July and August start from US$4,299pp/ts, in an ocean view vista suite, with US$1,000 onboard spending credit per suite.

3 2 5 7 + 2 / ( SEE Saw at sea! Thrill-seekers looking to jazz up their holidays with a touch of blood curdling fear will be pleased to hear that Twisted Pictures is bringing Saw to Sea. Saw, a seven-film horror franchise focus’ on the gory exploits of the deranged John Kramer, also called the Jigsaw Killer. As part of the Saw at Sea cruise onboard Carnival Glory departing in November, fans of horror will be able to meet and greet Saw stars including Costas Mandylor, aka “Hoffman”, and the actress Rebecca Marshall “Suzanne” (one of Jigsaw’s many victims). Jigsaw’s legendary Puppet, will also make a special cameo appearance onboard, as will Dan Yeager aka “Leatherface” from the whimsical Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D.

Riviera comes home OCEANIA Cruises has finally taken delivery of its newest baby, the 1,250-passenger Riviera. Sistership to Marina, Riviera will be christened in Barcelona on 11 May by her godmother, chef Cat Cora, before departing on her maiden voyage from Venice to Athens on 16 May.

Australians love sea dreaming SEADREAM Yacht Club has seemingly captured the hearts Australian cruisers, who now according to the company, make up an impressive 10% of its guest numbers. Australians also make up the lion’s share of the company’s back-to-back cruise bookings, with SeaDream President, Bob Lepisto, positing the reason for this is because of the distance Australians have to travel to cruise in Europe. “Because you’ve travelled so far you want to enjoy longer than just one week relaxing aboard, so you now take the record for backto-backs,” he said. To reward Aussie cruisers for their support, SeaDream is now offering 10% off the price of the second week of back-to-back bookings. Prices for back-to-back SeaDream I cruises start from US$8,452pp/ts for a Dubrovnik to Kotor cruise departing 18 August, followed by a weeklong cruise from Civitavecchia to Capri. See your travel agent for details.

Website: www.cruiseweekly.com.au | Phone: 1300 799 220 | Fax: 1300 799 221 | Email: info@cruiseweekly.com.au

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A patriotic Dawn for Diggers in Brisbane AS the light of morning bled across the Brisbane sky last Wednesday, Pacific Dawn paused to remember the service and sacrifice of all Australians and New Zealanders in the armed forces, past and present, and those diggers who paid the ultimate price. The service, conducted by Dawn’s Captain, was a joint initiative between P&O, the ship construction company Forgacs and Inter-Marine, and was held for crew and dockyard staff working on Dawn during her current multi-million dollar drydock in Brissie. ANZAC day services were also held onboard P&O’s Pacific Jewel and Pacific Sun, with attending passengers at Jewel’s dawn service including members of the Royal Australian Navy Veterans Band and the Navy’s former Director of Music, Lt Commander Jim McDonough. Meanwhile, a moving sunset service was conducted on Pacific Pearl late Tuesday as she arrived in Sydney.

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“Anzac Day is always a special day on our ships,” said Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia which operates P&O Cruises. “There is a great tradition of officers and crew doing everything possible to enable passengers to remember the service and sacrifice of our veterans,” she added. Dawn’s drydock dawn service

Crew Profile This week Cruise Weekly speaks with Aksel-Arne Antonsen, Hotel Manager onboard Hurtigruten’s mv Midnatsol. How long have you been working on cruise ships? 30 years. When did you join Hurtigruten? I have been working for Hurtigruten for 17 years.

Balcony bonanza sale ROYAL Caribbean has launched a Balcony Bonanza sale on six Voyager of the Seas 14night NZ roundtrip cruises departing from Sydney during the 2012/13 summer season. The deal gives guests who book an oceanview cabin on the selected cruises, between 21 April and 31 May 2012, a free upgrade to a balcony cabin, see www.royalcaribbean.com.au.

Legendary cruising in Fiji THIS year a new adventure cruising company was born, Legend Cruises, offering Aussies even more small ship cruising options around Fiji’s Yasawa Islands. Just three months old, the company offers five-day cruises onboard the 160-foot Yasawa Legend, which depart Lautoka Wharf for the Blue Lagoon Caves, Yasawa I Rara and Nacula Island, and provide guests with opportunities to snorkel; swim; explore caves, villages and local schools; hike; kayak; and enjoy a traditional kava ceremony and lovo feast. For more info see www.legendcruisesfiji.com.

Sunsailing to a new site SUNSAIL has launched a new easy to navigate website which features customer reviews, videos, an image gallery, destination information, ship layouts and specs, ship tours and special offers. MEANWHILE the company has also announced new bases in San Francisco, Grenada, Athens and Belize, meaning that holidaymakers will be able to charter Sunsail yachts for adventures sailing out of and around these hubs. Sunsail has also confirmed that this year 35% of its fleet will be brand new. For more details visit www.sunsail.com.

What is the best thing about working onboard mv Midnatsol? The best thing is that the work is so varying. It is new challenge every day. What is your favourite cruising destination? That must be from Harstad through Vesterålen and down to Lofoten islands. It is a fascinating landscape – you have the combination of sea, mountains and cozy villages which makes it special. The area “Raftsund” and the only 100 meters narrow Trollfjord are amazing. Briefly explain what your job entails. The most important thing is that our guests feel comfortable onboard and that they enjoy their vacation. The atmosphere is informal on board and our focus is to present the Norwegian culture and nature to them – we offer them onboard activities, lectures and excursions and serve the menu “Coastal Flavors” with Norwegian raw materials. I am here for the guests which also means that the basics need to be done – e.g. I have to make sure that our guests get clean cabins/ public areas, that the processes in the restaurant/café/tour leader desk work. But to deliver the best service to the guest needs teamwork – I need to make sure that my team cooperates together and we have the same target: to make the guest happy! What do you enjoy most about your job? The best is to meet people from all over the world and make sure that they get a good holiday onboard. Who is the most famous person you have served? That is very difficult to say, I feel that all our guests are VIPs. What is the most interesting question you’ve received from a passenger? Many are asking for bad weather, but the question of the year must be “how much water is in one wave?” How do you spend your holidays/vacation when you return home? Holidays at home together with my family and reading good books are my favorite time.

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Return to Papua New Guinea by: Roderick Eime When P&O announced their new Papua New Guinea itineraries beginning in October 2013, Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, billed it as “a first for the company”. But Ms Sherry was being modest. P&O pioneered cruises to Papua New Guinea in the 1930s with the classic mail steamer SS Strathaird as part of their flourishing pre-war Pacific activities which included Norfolk Island, Noumea and then New Hebrides (now Vanuatu). The SS Strathaird, which sailed for P&O from 1932-61, was of remarkably similar appearance to my first cruise ship, the venerable SS Himalaya, and was one of five ‘Strath’ class steamers that served as both jolly tourist ships and sombre troop transports. This writer’s uncle made a one way trip to North Africa aboard Stratheden with his Australian 2/48 Battalion comrades in November 1940. Pacific cruising was all the rage in the post-depression years with cheery reports like this appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald. “More than eleven hundred happy, contented souls disembarked reluctantly from the giant liner as she lay at Circular Quay, and from their remarks it was apparent that this newly introduced mode of spending a short holiday at sea had captured the Australian imagination and come to stay.” – SMH 30 Dec 1932. While cruises resumed to other Pacific ports soon after WWII, PNG was much slower to recover and it wasn’t until 2005, when Cairnsbased Coral Princess Cruises took their then brand new Oceanic Princess into these neglected waters. This was certainly the first commercial cruise by an Australian vessel since the glory days of Strathaird and Oronsay and was quickly followed up by rival operators Orion Expeditions and North Star

Trobriand children

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Cruises, cementing the destination firmly on the adventure cruise calendar. P&O’s new itinerary includes visits to Alotau, Doini Island and Trobriand Islands by the comparatively massive, 70,000 ton Pacific Dawn which can carry more than 2000 passengers. This area of Milne Bay has substantial historic significance to Australians as the first land victory against the Japanese in August 1942. The remains of the rusting Japanese barges can still be seen today near the port of Alotau. Also on the itinerary is the nearby resort island Doini, where the mandatory aquatic frolics are planned, but the jewel in the crown would have to be the planned stop in the fabled Trobriand Islands for the sacred Canoe and Kundu Festival. Called ‘the islands of love’ for the particularly striking men and women of Kiriwina and surrounding islands, the Milne Bay folks know how to throw a festival. Guests can expect to see extravagant and elaborate costumes and dancing which will reinforce the legends and fables of these mysterious little islands. The inaugural sailing, PNG Paradise (Cruise code W343), departs Brisbane on 31 October 2013 for nine nights stopping at Townsville, Alotau, Kiriwina Island, Kawanasausau Strait and Milne Bay (cruising) and Doini Island. I’m predicting a sell-out for this departure and a strong demand for future bookings as PNG regains its place on the big ship cruise map.

Pacific Dawn

“Pacific cruising was all the rage in the postdepression years.”

Strathaird departing first Australian cruise, 1932

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