Page 24

MARCH 2019 PAGE 24


follow-up ship to Spectrum of the Seas in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Ultra Class will be called Odyssey of the Seas, and will launch in autumn 2020.

JETLINE Clem Walshe’s Local Mar-

keting is promoting Jetline Cruise Ireland, the Irish arm of the agency that combines cruise trips with land-based breaks. The company also has themed cruise/land packages, including a music capitals-based package to the US and Caribbean, plus partnerships with rail operators including the Venice-Simplon Orient Express and Rocky Mountaineer.

VIKING The sixth ship in Viking Ocean Cruises’ fleet, Viking Jupiter, has been delivered to the line at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. STENA

Line is to launch a Chatbot named Stina which can give customers updates regarding information on departure times, prices and can answer other FAQs.

PRINCESS Cruises is updating Caribbean Princess, replacing its Pirate’s View aft pool with an all-new Reef Family Splash Zone. HAL Oprah Winfrey launched Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam in Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades.


by Uniworld’s The B will be moving to Central Europe from France’s River Seine for the 2020 season.

MSC Cruises launched its own voice-activated version of Alexa: it says the world’s first “personal cruise assistant”, called Zoe, will be in every cabin onboard MSC Bellissima.

PRINCESS Cruises’ two newest ships, Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess, will offer two Sky Suites - each with the largest balconies ever offered by a cruise line, at around half the size of a tennis court. ROYAL CARIBBEAN

is looking for an explorer to test out shore experiences for the line - and be paid €2,200 a week for the three-week experience. Hopeful applicants must be 21 years or over, hold a valid passport and be able to travel this year. 


Cruises’ Marella Explorer 2 is now dry dock in Cadiz where it is getting a makeover for its launch in April.


Cruises’ ships will not have plastic water bottles from April as part of its Sail & Sustain environmental programme.

CARNIVAL Pride had to be re-routed after a fire broke out on Princess Cruises’ Princess Cays private island in the Bahamas. P&O

Cruises announced four different drinks packages – £10.95 for a hot drinks package; £19.95 for a non-alcoholic package; and £39.95 for an “Ultimate Drinks Package”.

AUSTRALIA’s APT is adding three new ships to its Essential River Cruising fleet between 2020 and 2024.

Engineers inspect the Ulysses rudders

Ulysses 4m refurb

Bid to prevent ‘unprecedented’ cancellations of 2018


he MV Ulysses, the leading Irish Ferries freight and tourism vessel on the Dublin to Holyhead route, returned to Dublin on Wednesday February 13th following a €4m upgrade at Cammell Laird shipyard in Merseyside. The four week upgrade included new propellers, new rudder components, a full refurbishment of her stern thruster, underwater works, engine overhauls and Vehicle Deck painting programmes. Ulysses, one of three of Irish Ferries fleet of six ships to service the Dublin to Holyhead route, suffered chronic unserviceability in the final

week of June due to technical difficulties. These related to the Ulysses’ starboard controllable pitch propeller which required an out of schedule drydock and the lead-time to machine specialist parts. This level of cancellation was unprecedented given that vessel’s previous 99pc schedule integrity since entering service in 2001 to 2017. While Irish Ferries undertook mitigating actions to reduce the effect of the disruption by rescheduling other vessels in its fleet, the disruption resulted in a significant reduction in Irish Ferries Ro Ro capacity in June.

Andrew Sheen, Irish Ferries Managing Director said “Birkenhead based shipyard and engineering service company Cammell Laird was chosen for the MV Ulysses dry dock refurbishment due to their extensive expertise and a strong track record with this vessel. This is a significant investment in the Ulysses, which we know is a much-loved ship for both freight and tourism traffic. We are delighted to see her return to service to continue to provide the comfort and reliability that our customers expect from the Irish Ferries fleet”.



niworld Boutique River Cruise Collection released more details on its new lineup of “super ships” coming in 2020. The new ships will replace older vessels on some of Uniworld’s more exotic itineraries, including the Mekong in Southeast Asia, the Nile in Egypt, the Douro in Portugal and the islands surrounding Venice in Italy. SS Satet, which will offer 12-day Nile River cruises to and from Cairo beginning January 6, 2020. The 84-passenger chartered ship will have three dining venues, including

an al fresco dining experience on the upper deck, a swimming pool and a massage room. It replaces River Tosca. Mekong Jewel, which will sail a 13-day itinerary on the lower Mekong River with stops in Vietnam and Cambodia beginning January 3, 2020. The 56-passenger ship will have two dining venues: one main restaurant and an al fresco eatery on the upper deck. The chartered boat is being constructed with sustainable and ecofriendly materials, such as special paint used for the hull of the ship that creates less drag, specially de-

signed ship propellers that increase performance and efficiency, energy-efficient LED light fixtures, and a water-cooled air-conditioning system that will save energy. It replaces Mekong Navigator. SS Sao Gabriel, which will launch on the Douro River in Portugal on March 26, 2020. The 100-passenger chartered ship will have butler service and feature Spanish and Portuguese culture and cuisine; it replaces Queen Isabel. Uniworld will remove River Countess from service to undergo a complete renovation. It will reemerge as S.S. La Venezia

on March 27, 2020 and offering 10 or 8-day itineraries that focus on the Venetian lagoon; longer trips will offer a land-trip option to Milan. Bettridge said last year that guests wanted to move away from the Po River in Italy and spend more time around Venice and surrounding islands such as Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello. At 130 passengers, the line is slightly reducing capacity; River Countess carries 134 guests. Uniworld won the specialist cruise operator at the ITIAs for the seventh time since the category was introduced in 2013.

Profile for Travel Extra

Travel Extra March 2019  

Special awards issue of Ireland's most important source of travel information

Travel Extra March 2019  

Special awards issue of Ireland's most important source of travel information