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We have a junior officer’s cabin available on a container ship from Auckland NZ to Oakland CA, departing on or about Feb 20 2011. Fare is €2035 for sole use.
We have a junior officer’s cabin available on a container ship from Auckland NZ to Oakland CA, departing on or about Feb 20 2011. Fare is €2035 for sole use.
27 December 2011
Dear Travel Partner:
Due to the continued escalation of fuel prices, Cunard Line will increase our fuel supplement from $3.85 (USD) to $6.00 (USD) per person per day. This supplement will not exceed $200.00 per person, per voyage. The supplement applies to each paying guest travelling, including 3rd and 4th person fares and paid children’s accommodations.
The new fuel supplement will apply to all new bookings made on or after
31 December 2010 for voyages departing on or after 14 April 2011.
We regret having to take this action, but as fuel prices continue to rise we now find it necessary to implement this additional supplement.
Thank you for your business and continuous support.
Executive Vice President
Sales, Marketing & Customer Service
It is now possible to sail between either coast of North America and the Far East. Segments may be booked subject to availability and cabotage restrictions. Please inquire for availability and pricing.
Some sample itineraries follow:
56 Days – New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Panama Canal, Kaohsiung, Shekou, Hong Kong, Panama Canal, Kingston, New York
42 Days – Long Beach, Oakland, Pusan, Yantian, Kaohsiung, Shanghai, Kwang Yang, Pusan, Long Beach.
– Long Beach, Oakland, Xiamen, Chiwan, Hong Kong, Yantian, Long Beach.
– Long Beach, Oakland, Nan Sha, Hong Kong, Yantian, Xiamen, Long Beach
33 Days – Long Beach, Oakland, Dalian, Xingang, Shanghai, Ningpo, Long Beach
35 Days – Long Beach, Oakland, Kaohsiung, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Yantian, Long Beach
– Long Beach, Pusan, Shanghai, Kwang Yang, Pusan, Long Beach, Manzanillo, Ensenada, Long Beach
– Seattle, Yokohama, Hong Kong, Yantian, Yokohama, Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Seattle
With the demand for unusual and educational experiences on the rise, Hurtigruten has created an expanded roster of fascinating theme cruises for 2011 – and with eight unique itineraries ranging from classical opera and photography to astronomy and New Year’s celebrations to birding and polar explorers, there is an option for everyone. Early-booking prices on reservations made by Dec. 31, 2010, available on most voyages, offer savings of up to 20% and range from $722 to $4,989 per person, double. Voyages booked after Dec. 31 range from $722 to $5,252; suites are priced higher.
· “Astronomy Voyage” gives guests the chance to see (without the interference of city lights) and learn about the Arctic night sky as well as the Aurora Borealis, with renowned guest lecturers and a visit to the Northern Lights Planetarium in Tromso; high demand means there are now three departure dates available: Jan. 29, Feb. 20 and Mar. 25.
· “Winter Digital Photography Voyage” offers photographers with varying degrees of experience the opportunity to capture a diverse range of subject matter, from wheeling sea eagles to brightly painted fisherman’s boats, in the company of a seasoned photographer – Beginners Level, Jan. 11; Intermediate Level, March 8.
· "Celebrations in the Arctic" – ringing in the New Year as no one else can – with the countdown held on the North Cape, Europe’s most northern point, departing Dec. 26, 2011.
· "Opera Voyage" is an opera-lover’s dream trip – daily concerts on board and a Norwegian New Year’s Concert at Oslo’s Concert Hall with a tour of the Opera House the next day – Jan. 6, 2011.
· "Birds of the Nordic Coast" takes place as millions of migrating birds return to the Arctic for nesting and shows passengers why Norway can justifiably be called “Nature’s Wonderland” – a true ornithological event with lectures and stellar bird-watching opportunities – May 20, 2011.
· “Norway’s Big Day Out” celebrates Norway’s Constitution Day and gives guests a deeper understanding of the Norwegian culture that Hurtigruten has been a part of for more than 100 years – departs daily May 6-16, 2011.
· “Hall of the Mountain King” is a classic voyage that immerses passengers in the music and background of Edvard Grieg, Norway’s best-known classical composer, and a program of captivating on board lectures and piano recitals – Oct. 9 and 15, 2011.
· “The Ice-Breakers” delves deep into the history of the polar explorers, their voyages and the culture and inhabitants of the Polar Regions; lectures and optional excursions ranging from a Viking feast to the Polaria Centre enrich the experience – Oct. 14, 2011.
Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway’s coast and Europe in the spring. Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from The Cruise People, Ltd. 1-800-961-5536 in North America or +44 (0)20 7723 2450 in Europe.
…with kind permission of Mark Tre
Well, this year it has all finally come true, and in a way that is quite surprising really. The evolution of cruise ships has now worked its way from traditional cruise ship through floating resort to its latest incarnation, floating theme park. Bob Dickinson at Carnival Cruise Lines used to say that cruising’s real competition was not other cruise ships but Las Vegas and land-based attractions.
But in the past few months, it has not been Carnival that has taken on this competition, but its arch-competitors in Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line. Contrary to what some may have expected, in the past, Carnival is now emerging as one of the more conservative lines.
When ships started to be built of a size above 100,000 tons it began to be said that they were no longer cruise ships but were in fact floating resorts, complete with their spas and various other divertissements. Even Douglas Ward of the "Berlitz Guide to Cruising" started to call them floating resorts. But in the past year, with ships either side of 200,000 tons, we have in fact been presented with floating theme parks, with Starbucks, Guess shops, beaneries and yes, kids’ entertainment.
NCL was the first to follow in the steps of Premier and Disney by signing to bring cartoon characters on board, in their case, from Nickelodeon, which previewed in Norwegian Jewel in April and on the new Norwegian Epic in July. NCL was followed six months later by Royal Caribbean International, who signed a similar deal with DreamWorks Animation, and went even further by engaging the fictitious character of Princess Fiona to christen its latest and greatest ship, Allure of the Seas.
Premier Cruise Line, founded in 1983, had been the first line to adopt cartoon characters. Working with the Universal Studios theme park at Orlando, it also obtained a contract from Disney to package its 3- and 4-day cruises to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral together with a visit to Disney World at Orlando.
Sold as "the official Disney cruise line," its ships were also marketed under the name "The Big Red Boat," and they sailed from Port Canaveral because it was the closest cruise port to Orlando.
When Disney decided to start its own cruise line in the early 1990s, Premier signed a deal with Warner Brothers and the cartoon characters appearing on board became those of Looney Tunes instead.
In those days, this was a minor part of the market, operated by second-hand ships sailing from an out-of-the-way port. After trying to get into the mainstream cruise market as well using more second-hand ships, Premier would survive for a while but eventually went bankrupt in September 2000.
With the formation of Disney Cruise Line, brand-new ships were introduced to the Port Canaveral-Bahamas circuit with the 83,300-ton Disney Magic in 1998 and her sister ship Disney Wonder in 1999. The first real ships to operate more or less as theme parks, these 1,750-berth sisters offered complete facilities for families and specific facilities for children of all ages. While Disney operates more as a niche product than a mainsteam one, this is not a detriment. In fact, Disney’s niche has allowed it to charge a premium on fares compared to the more mainstream lines.
Last week, Disney’s expansion continued when it took delivery of its third ship, the new 122,000-ton Disney Dream, with 2,500 lower berths. She will be followed by a fourth, her sister ship Disney Fantasy, in 2012. Through expanding its itineraries into Europe, the Far East, Alaska and the West Coast, Disney Cruise Line has expanded its scope of operation but also continued to be a non-mainstream type of operation.
More alarming than Premier or Disney, is the crossover that is now taking place into the mainstream market, where cartoon characters have invaded the normally more restrained world of cruising. This started on January 13, with NCL announcing that it was introducing "Nickelodeon at Sea," with a claim that Nickelodeon was the "number one entertainment brand for kids."
Beginning in April on Norwegian Jewel and in July on Norwegian Epic, strange characters such as Spong Bob Square Pants and Dora the Explorer began to appear on what used to be quite normal cruise ships. Nickelodeon at Sea had ironically started as a joint venture of Viacom, its owners, with Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International, but after a couple of test cruises by Royal Caribbean in 2009, they dropped out.
The NCL and Nickelodeon announcement has been carried a step further by Royal Caribbean, who announced on June 4, that it had signed with DreamWorks Animation to offer similar kids’ programmes. Starting with the Allure of the Seas on December 1, this contagion will spread to the Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas in 2011.
Instead of Sponge Bob, the likes of Shrek, Princess Fiona and Kung Fu Panda will appear on board, "live and in person" according to Royal Caribbean. The reality, however, will be that some poor real person will be in each costume, perspiring profusely in the Caribbean heat. One irony is that, although this could change, DreamWorks Animation films are distributed through Viacom’s Paramount Pictures. So there is a Viacom connection with both NCL and Royal Caribbean’s kids’ programmes.
In the case of both NCL and Royal Caribbean, passengers can look forward to themed interactive shows, poolside entertainment, character breakfasts, character meet and greets, dance parties and more. We can only hope that they do like Disney Cruise Line and announce when these various sessions will be held, so that more serious-minded adults can avoid them. And in an underhanded sort of way, NCL will be charging for the kids’ parents for character breakfasts, where their children get to meet who they think are their heroes, while Royal Caribbean will be holding regular parades on its Royal Promenades.
In the end, trying to attract the kids market really seems sneaky. It’s like trying to sell cruises the way sugar-coated cereal companies and chocolate bar producers used to advertise their goodies on television. The aim is clearly to attract more families to cruise, and it appears that the debate will no longer be whether to appeal to the husband or the wife but how to get at them through their children.
A couple of things are interesting here. First, at least for now, these programmes are restricted to only a few ships, something that indicates that they are probably still under trial. And second, Royal Caribbean has already tried this with Nickelodeon but gave it up. Presumably it feel that DreamWorks is a better asset than Nickelodeon.
On the other side, it is interesting that Carnival has not signed up for any kid’s shows yet, nor does it seem to feel it has to. In fact, its newest ship, Carnival Breeze, will be the first whose interior design is not headed up by Joe Farcus. Perhaps these are signs that it might be interested in picking up that element of the clientele of their competitors that will be disaffected by these childish hijinks.
Meanwhile, the children’s entertainment contest goes international in 2011, with Nickelodeon signing a deal with Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach, where a Nickelodeon Land is set to open in April, and Shrek the Musical scheduled to open at London’s Theatre Royal in Drury Lane in May. But what has this got to do with cruising?
When Inger Klein Olsen assumed command of Cunard’s Queen Victoria on Wednesday 1 December 2010, she made history by becoming the venerable shipping line’s first female Captain. But her first task as Captain was simply to take the ship, without passengers, to drydock in Hamburg for its planned refit. Next Wednesday (15 December), though, she will be on the bridge as the ship sets sail with a full complement of passengers.
43-year-old Captain Olsen was born and brought up in the Faroe Islands, which goes some way to explaining her maritime abilities, and she joined Cunard in 1997 as First Officer on board Caronia. In 2001 she transferred to the Seabourn fleet – at that time part of Cunard. She sailed in Seabourn Sun and Seabourn Spirit before being promoted to rank of Staff Captain in Seabourn Pride in 2003.
Following some years with other companies within the Carnival group, Captain Olsen returned to Cunard in August this year as Deputy Captain of Queen Victoria.
Commenting on the new appointment, Cunard’s President and Managing Director, Peter Shanks, says:
“While we are far from being the first shipping company to have a female Captain, it is nonetheless noteworthy when such a long-established British institution as Cunard makes a break with its captaincy tradition. But as Mark Twain drily observed, ‘the folks at Cunard wouldn’t appoint Noah himself as Captain until he had worked his way up through the ranks’. Inger has certainly done that, and we are delighted to welcome her as our first woman driver”.
Captain Olsen now lives in Denmark.
through the courtesy of Mark Tre
A circular sent by Britain’s "Daily Mail" to potential advertisers last week made an interesting revelation. According to a survey of "Mail" readers who go on cruises, they spent on average £722 per person on board ship. At to-day’s rate of exchange that’s about $1,155 each.
This seems to contradict the general rule of thumb these days, however, that 25% of the cost of a cruise is in spent on board. If this were true, the corresponding ticket price to go with a $1,150 on board spend would be $3,450. The "Mail," however would only say that it’s readers on average spend in excess of £1,000 (about $1,600) or less than half this level.
Has the “Daily Mail" made an error or is there something some of the cruise lines would rather not tell us once they have attracted their customers on board? The lines have never paid more attention to increasing on board revenue.
On one of the top lines, for example, there is now an Onboard Revenue Manager who reports to the Hotel Director, and through a dotted line to the shore-based Manager of Onboard Revenue. Reporting to the Onboard Revenue Manager are the managers of the casino, art auctions, shore excursions, golf, aquapunture, photos, the spa, computing, florist, port shopping and desktop publishing, with another dotted line extending down to the laundry master, activities manager and bar manager, the latter for revenue purposes only.
The Onboard Revenue Manager is responsible to "optimize on board revenue generation by analyzing financial data and developing cross-marketing and sales strategies." Working with set revenue targets, the task is then to increase onboard revenue by increasing "guest participation" – what one cruise line calls their "guest experience." Nothing could be clearer – we are all "consumers." But it does make one feel a bit creepy to think that whenever a crew member looks at you they may only see dollar signs.
Whatever happened to the good old purser?
Entertainment Tonight hostess Mary Hart is confirmed as the godmother of Oceania Cruises’ new cruise ship Marina. Ms Hart will name the ship in Miami at a lavish, invitation-only christening ceremony February 5, which will culminate with a 15-litre Nebuchadnezzar of champagne, custom-made by Armand de Brignac, commemoratively crashing against the hull.
This year marks Ms Hart’s final season as hostess of Entertainment Tonight– the number one syndicated entertainment newsmagazine show in the world, which enters its 30th season this year. Ms Hart joined the popular show as a correspondent in June 1982, and within weeks was named co-anchor.
In her personal life, Ms Hart has been involved with philanthropic causes devoted to children. A member of the board of trustees for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, she currently serves as Leadership Chair of the New Hospital Campaign. She is also an ambassador for Childhelp USA, which combats child abuse. For many years she served on the board of directors for the National Childhood Cancer Foundation and continues her affiliation with the Children’s Miracle Network, for which she was telethon co-host for 15 years. Ms Hart is the recipient of the Samaritan Award from the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation for her work on behalf of several children’s charities. In 2001, she was honoured with the first-ever Children’s Miracle Achievement Award for her “long-standing commitment to children and contributing in many ways to bettering the lives of children everywhere.”
“It’s very exciting, and a bit humbling,” said Ms Hart, “I’m truly honoured to serve as the Godmother for Marina – she will be a very special ship. And, I look forward to smashing a great bottle of champagne as we let the celebration begin!”
After christening festivities in Miami, Marina sets sail Feb. 8 on the first of two 18-day Panama Canal transits that visit San Francisco or San Diego, both new ports for Oceania Cruises. Marina then operates a 12-day Caribbean cruise, round-trip from Miami, departing March 16, before sailing along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and on to Europe to begin her inaugural Mediterranean season.
At 66,000 tons and carrying 1,250 passengers, Marina features an array of bars and lounges and 10 dining venues – six of which are open-seating, gourmet restaurants – including Jacques, the first restaurant at sea for Chef Jacques Pépin. Other highlights include a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub, Bon Appétit Culinary Center, Owner’s Suites furnished exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home, and a grand stairway custom-crafted by renowned French glass master, Lalique.
Princess Cruises has introduced a new Alaska cruisetour option just for fishermen (and women) as part of the 2011 season. This new 14-day land/sea holiday includes special excursions just for anglers, with opportunities to cast their lines in some of the state’s premiere fishing spots.
Participants on the new tour can try their hand at salmon fishing in the Inside Passage from Ketchikan, bottom fishing for halibut near Juneau, and river fishing on two Alaskan rivers — the Kenai and Talkeetna — on excursions from Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge and Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.
"Fishing is such an iconic part of the Alaska experience, that it made sense to offer a special tour especially for those who want to focus their time on the sport," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "We include a variety of fishing experiences so our passengers can get a taste of the array of fishing opportunities found throughout the state."
The new fishing cruisetour includes a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise through the Gulf of Alaska featuring scenic cruising in Glacier Bay National Park, plus two nights at the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, two nights at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, two nights at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and one night in Anchorage. Participants will not only enjoy fishing tours throughout their vacation but also scenic travel via Princess Rail and a Natural History Tour in Denali National Park.
Fishing excursions include:
Alaska Sportfishing Expedition (Ketchikan) Participants can experience the thrill of fishing in the "Salmon Capital of the World" in the calm, protected waters of the Inside Passage. Passengers will travel in a large, heated cabin cruiser and can test their salmon sportfishing skills on a five-hour expedition to troll for king salmon, pink salmon, chum salmon, and silver salmon, depending on the season.
Halibut/Bottom Sportfishing Adventure (Juneau) This excursion takes a small group on a journey to experience bottom fishing for halibut, Pacific cod, arrow-tooth flounder and nearly a dozen species of rockfish, depending on the season. The five-hour experience includes fishing in 180 to 350 feet of water with bait or plastic lures near the ocean’s bottom. Bottom fishing appeals to anglers of all experience levels, as fish are easy to hook and usually very abundant. During the trip to the fishing grounds, participants may also spot some of the region’s other wildlife, including whales and sea lions.
Kenai Upper River Sportfishing (Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge) Famed for its trophy-sized fish, the beautiful upper Kenai River is one of the finest recreational areas in Alaska. Tour participants can experience world-class fishing surrounded by dazzling mountain scenery aboard a non-motorized drift boat or raft. Anglers will be catching either sockeye salmon, Dolly Varden or rainbow trout, according to the season.
Alaska Sportfishing (Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge) Both experienced and novice fishing fans will enjoy testing their luck on the Talkeetna River. Anglers will travel by boat to a secluded fishing spot in the shadow of Mt. McKinley, where they will cast for king, silver or red salmon, rainbow trout, grayling and Dolly Varden, depending on the season. An experienced guide will steer the group to the area’s optimum fishing holes.
All tours follow fishing seasons and regulations as determined by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). Fishing licenses are not included in the package price; participants can purchase appropriate licenses at each location or directly from the ADF&G. Passengers must be at least 12 years old to participate in the cruisetour.
Fares for the new fishing cruisetours begin at US$3,248 per person, based on double occupancy.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through The Cruise People, Ltd. 1-800-961-5536
Costa Maya, a cruise destination on Mexico’s southern Yucatan Peninsula, recently added two new attractions — Dolphin Discovery, which offers dolphin encounters, and Señor Frog’s Restaurant and Bar. Costa Maya’s Dolphin Discovery is the first dolphinarium facility to be located within a cruise terminal and offers both “dolphin encounter” and “dolphin swim” tour options to visitors.