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Cruise W E E K L Y

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Australians snap up local SeaDream The inaugural Asia/Northern Australia season of the world’s top rated boutique ship, SeaDream II, still has availability. Since last year’s announcement that SeaDream Yacht Club would make its first venture down under, company president Bob Lepisto has been looking forward to welcoming past and new guests from Australia and New Zealand. Speaking to Cruise Weekly from the company’s Miami head office, Lepisto said the 18 Asia-Australian sailings had attracted most booking from locals and Europeans, rather than Americans. “We love Australians,” he said. “It actually surprises me how we get so many Australian guests who travel as far as Europe,


the Caribbean and the Amazon to sail with SeaDream.” Lepisto also expects to see many Aussies aboard the company’s new Baltic cruises. “These itineraries are relatively new for us but our owner is Norwegian, so guests will discover a few surprises he has organised in Norway, and we also spend multiple nights in St Petersburg,” he said. SeaDream II is schedules to enter dry dock in Singapore in May before the Asia season. “She’ll be repainted and get new decking, new soft coverings, wall coverings, furniture and some steelwork and maintenance, so Australians will see her absolutely pristine,” Lepisto said. Departing 1 February 2014, the 14-night Cairns to Bali voyage, via Papua New Guinea has a starting price of US$10,909 per person twin-share including all drinks, meals, tipping, room service and “water toys” from the yacht’s marina. Also included are “shore side casuals” with the crew, such as bike tours, kayaking or food shopping with the chef. For the same price, the reverse 14-night Bali to Cairns sailing, departing 18 Jan 2014, visits three Indonesian islands, West Timor, Darwin and Seven Spirit Bay in the Northern Territory, Thursday Island, Cooktown and Port Douglas, Queensland. A seven-night Singapore to Bali voyage, is priced from US$4,254 per person twin-share. Staterooms aboard a 13-night Phuket to Singapore, with two overnights in Yangon, Myanmar, starts at $8,044 ppts. More information on SeaDream II’s range of local itineraries, ports of call visited and more features aboard the ship can be viewed online at

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2014 brochure out now *

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Book by 30 November 2013

CALL 1300 278 278 or visit *Conditions apply. Contact APT for full terms & conditions. Australian Pacific Touring Pty Ltd ABN 44 004 684 619 Lic. No. 30112 MKT11807

Silversea D-Day memorial sail SILVERSEA Cruises has formed a partnership with The National WWII Museum to operate a 10-day educational voyage commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. American journalist & author Tom Brokaw and Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson will both take part in the voyage, which departs from Lisbon, Portugal on 30 May 2014 sailing aboard the Silver Cloud. The sailing is the second publically available cruise being operating in memory of the landings of 06 Jun 1944 (CW 02 May). For more info, see

Incident free Triumph return CARNIVAL Triumph has yesterday departed on its second journey - a five day cruise to Mexico - following an incident-free four-day voyage marking a successful return to service for the vessel. Cruise passengers have warmly embraced the revitalised ship following a US$115m investment in its upgrade by Carnival following “that cruise” earlier this year, with both of the first two voyages entirely sold out. Among the improvements made was better fire safety technology which ensures main hotel services are not affected by a loss of main power, as well as the addition of a number of new restaurants and bars.

Solar eclipse sailings sell out A NUMBER of travel operators, including Fred Olsen Cruise Lines are reporting strong interest in cruise voyages encompassing the Faroe Islands, in order to maximise viewing opportunities of the next total solar eclipse, scheduled for 20 Mar 2015. Cruise and Maritime Voyages, operators of the Fremantle-bound Astor, will be cruising in the region with the Marco Polo and has reported the cruise was a quick sell-out.

Lindblad launches Galapagos EXPEDITION voyages in the Galapagos Islands aboard luxury vessel Orion have been released for sale by Lindblad Expeditions. Available for sale through Orion Expedition Cruises, four itineraries operating year-round were launched, with two operated by the 96-passenger National Geographic Endeavour and two aboard the 48-passenger National Geographic Islander. Expeditions start from $5,720pp twin share with an add-on itinerary in Peru available to extend the experience. Phone 1300 361 012 for more information.

Culinary MSC pre-book dining MSC Cruises has launched a new collection of pre-book packages for a number of culinary journeys across its global fleet. Cruises incorporating Mexican & Steakhouse dining experiences can now be pre-booked aboard the MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida and the MSC Divina. Elsewhere, Oriental & Eastern experiences can be reserved in advance for MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, MSC Poesia & MSC Magnifica.

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cruise W E E K L Y

Tuesday 18 June 2013

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Oceania Cruises celebrates 10 years This week sees the first of four anniversary cruises hosted by the company’s top executives. Bob Binder, vice chairman and co-founder of Oceania Cruises, is currently onboard Marina to mark a decade of operation. Blogging from the ship, he said: “I’m looking forward to meeting many of our valued guests whose loyalty has allowed us to reach the milestone of 10 years at sea.” The 11-day ‘Scandinavian Serenade’ from London to Stockholm commenced on 11 June, with ports of call including Oslo, Copenhagen and St. Petersburg. As part of the festivities, the company launched a new season of Culinary Discovery Tours in the Baltic, offering in-depth, hands-on “foodie experiences”. Binder and almost 700 guests also enjoyed the 82 new meals recently introduced in the

Book from 13 16-19 June 20

All worldwide cruises Up to US 200 Onboard Credit Half price deposits Save up to PERSON 1340PER Terms and conditions apply

ship’s Grand Dining Room. “Our culinary team spent nearly a year designing and testing the new dishes, including three new lobster dishes and 10 new pastas and risottos,” he said. Passengers who sail with the company founders and managers on anniversary sailings this year can attend a cocktail reception, caviar brunch, and gala dinner served with complimentary private label 10th anniversary wine. The next anniversary sailing is the 10-day ‘Italian Escapade’ onboard Riviera from Rome to Venice on 3 July, which will be accompanied by Kunal Kamlani, president of Oceania Cruises. In the same week, Regatta will sail from Seattle to Alaska, while the fourth celebratory cruise, from Barcelona to Athens in September on Nautica, visits France, Italy, Sicily & Turkey. “This promises to be another unforgettable Oceania Cruises voyage, made uniquely special by all of the onboard events in celebration of our 10th anniversary,” Binder added. “I will enjoy reflecting on the past decade and looking forward to the next as I celebrate with our cherished guests,” he concluded, promising more blogs as the cruise continued.

P O R T H O L E A PROTESTER lobbying against a new oildrilling joint venture between Russian and Norwegian firms in the Arctic tried to make his point by rowing down a Russian river dressed in a polar bear costume. The Greenpeace activist was spotted paddling down the Moskva River in Moscow aboard a home-made iceberg with two signs that said “Help” and “Arctic not for sale”. Russian authorities promptly arrested the protestor, who was later released without any charges being laid. The two companies are planning to drill for untapped oil reserves in the Barents Sea, north of Russia.

A royal welcome for the new Royal Princess IN A ceremony befitting royalty, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton officially named the newest addition to the Princess Cruises fleet - the 3,600 passenger Royal Princess. Heavily pregnant with the future King or Queen of England, the Duchess stood on the naming platform alongside the ship’s Captain Tony Draper and cut the rope attached to a giant bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne, which smashed against its hull. The week leading up to the event for Royal Princess was filled with celebrations and events, including a star-studded gala ball attended by representatives of a number of charities of whom members of the Royal Family serve as patrons of honour. “We can think of no more fitting godmother for our magnificent new Royal Princess,” Princess Cruises’ president and CEO Alan Buckelew proudly beamed. Royal Princess boasts a number of innovative features at sea including an over-water SeaWalk - a top-deck glass bottomed walkway that extends over the ship’s side, poolside cabanas that give the impression of floating on water, a Princess Live! television studio and a multi-storey atrium that serves as the ship’s grand centrepiece attraction.

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Tuesday 18 June 2013

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Awaken Burma by: Roderick Eime IT SEEMS everyone’s eyes are on Burma as the new tourism destination. But after languishing for years with sanctions and restrictions, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar will struggle to cope with the anticipated influx of western travellers eager to experience this once mysterious destination. A shortage of hotel beds and other critical infrastructure like air capacity is set to play into the hands of cruise operators as the ideal means of exploring this newly opened nation. In 2012, Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism released figures that quoted a doubling of arrivals over six years to just over one million. Cross-border arrivals are static, while air arrivals are soaring. Much of the romantic allure of Burma was formed during the British colonial era when the country was absorbed into the Empire in the closing years of the 19th century. Of course, life under British rule was not ideal for the devout Buddhist population of Burma, but stories of the steamy, mysterious land by the likes of 1907 Nobel laureate, Rudyard Kipling, set the scene with tales of adventure and derring-do for generations of imaginative English-speaking children. One of the enduring visions of colonial Burma is that of the many hard-working steamboats of the 1865-formed Irrawaddy Flotilla Company that traversed the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers in the service of the British Empire. When the British recovered Burma in 1945 after Japanese occupation, the IFC was reformed. Today the original vessels of the IFC are gone, but their spirit

Orient Express Road to Mandalay

lives on in a new and rebuilt fleet of replica vessels, constructed with absolute authenticity to recapture that romantic colonial spirit. Enter Pandaw. Building on the overwhelming popularity of the nostalgic river cruising concept established on the Mekong with RV Indochina Pandaw, the company expanded river operations to include the Irrawaddy with an identical sister vessel, the Orient Pandaw. The name Pandaw derives from the last of the original, Clydebuilt vessels recovered and restored to its former glory in the late 1990s, thus reviving the name and the concept of Asian retro river cruising. While pioneering the riverboat trade along the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers, Pandaw’s success quickly attracted new operators. Pandaw continued to profit from their exclusivity and many cruise wholesalers like Cruiseco and Viking employed the classic vessels while others like Orient-Express launched their own. Smaller, local operators like Yangon-based Myanmar River Cruises are also getting in on the action with a fleet of six varied vessels including day boats. While more and more visitors are arriving in Burma and many looking at the floating option, knowledge within the retail cruise sector is limited to specialist agencies with actual on-the-water experience. A good reason to consult ICCA accredited cruise agents. See for members.

Original RV Indochina Pandaw

Cruise Weekly is Australia’s favourite online cruising publication. In production since 2007, Cruise Weekly is published each Tuesday, with a further travel industry update each Thursday. Cruise Weekly is free and is sent to subscribers via email as an Adobe Acrobat PDF document. Sign up for a free subscription at PO Box 1010, Epping, NSW 1710 Phone: 1300 799 220 Fax: 1300 799 221

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1998-built Irrawaddy Princess

Publisher/Managing Editor: Bruce Piper Editor: Louise Goldsbury Production Editor: Matt Lennon Contributors: Roderick Eime and Chantel Housler Email:

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Cruise Weekly is a publication of Cruise Weekly Pty Ltd. All content fully protected by copyright. Please obtain written permission to reproduce any material. While every care has been taken in the preparation of Cruise Weekly no liability can be accepted for errors or omissions. Information is published in good faith to stimulate independent investigation of the matters canvassed. Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by Bruce Piper.

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CW for Tue 18 Jun 2013 - SeaDream II, Oceania anniversary, Royal Princess, Carnival and much more  
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