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Britain’s Dame Shirley Bassey DBE, is to be Godmother to Adonia, the latest addition to the P&O Cruises fleet.
Dame Shirley will name the ship in a ceremony in Southampton on Saturday May 21, 2011.
Adonia is considerably smaller than the larger ships of to-day. Carrying just 710 passengers, the ship will be able to reach off the beaten track ports of call, yet is big enough to provide an extensive range of on board facilities. Exclusively for adults, Adonia will offer an atmosphere that is intimate and refined, and the on board excellence for which the company is renowned.
‘I have had the most exciting career imaginable, but to be invited to be Godmother to a cruise ship is something very special and very personal’, said Dame Shirley.
Dame Shirley is Britain’s most successful female artiste ever, a national treasure who defines the word ‘superstar’. We are Britain’s favourite and most successful cruise line and can trace our British history back longer than any other line. It’s a perfect match and I am sure on our naming day she will need no excuse to ‘get the party started!’ said P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow.
During a career that has included 135 million record sales, Dame Shirley has had many highlights, including being the only singer to record three James Bond movie theme songs & most recently releasing ‘The Performance’, an album which she describes simply as ‘The performance of my life’. Dame Shirley has received numerous awards and accolades including being named a DBE [Dame of the British Empire] in 1999.
‘Adonia will be the jewel in the P&O Cruises crown and will celebrate all those things our regular passengers love about cruising with us, a classic dance floor, Crow’s Nest observation lounge, formal nights, classical music recitals, guest speakers, silver service dining and a dedicated card room. Loyal cruisers and those new to cruising alike will be charmed by the refined P&O Cruises experience Adonia will offer, and entertainment will form a vital part of that, so it is entirely fitting for Dame Shirley to give Adonia the best possible start to her life with P&O Cruises’, continued Carol Marlow.
Over 500 invited guests will witness the naming ceremony on Adonia’s top deck in Southampton Docks on Saturday, May 21, prior to the vessel’s inaugural voyage the following day, a 16 night cruise to the Western Mediterranean, which includes calls to Alghero in Sardinia; Portofino in Italy; Sete in France; Port Mahon and Barcelona in Spain.
Built in 2001, for Renaissance Cruise as R Eight, Adonia has all the facilities you would expect of a modern ship, with a classic and refined interior style.
Adonia‘s main restaurant will be the Pacific Restaurant and there will be two further Select dining venues, Italian ‘Sorrento’ and a steakhouse and grill. There will also be a buffet restaurant, with some al fresco dining and a barbecue area out on the Lido deck.
For entertainment, Adonia will have eight bars, including P&O Cruises signature ‘Crow’s Nest’ observation lounge; Andersons, the familiar club-style lounge bar; and Raffles, which will also offer a coffee shop menu throughout the day with pastries, chocolates, hot drinks and afternoon tea. There is also a traditional library with fireplace and views on three sides.
Adonia will also feature The Curzon Lounge, where passengers can enjoy a drink with a sea view during the day, and by night enjoy a performance by the Headliners theatre company, concerts, dancing, or after dinner speakers.
There will be the signature Oasis Spa, offering a range of treatments and therapies such as hot stone massages and body scrubs, Aromatherapy, and reflexology. There is also a well equipped gym with panoramic sea views.
Adonia‘s well appointed cabins will feature Egyptian cotton linen, tea and coffee making facilities so popular with British passengers, and over 75% of the cabins will have a private balcony.
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Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas became the first ship to call at Historic Falmouth port. Situated between the popular cruise ports of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, Historic Falmouth is the first-ever thematic cruise port and is also a convenient gateway for guests to embark on more than 60 and experiences along the north coast of Jamaica. Additionally, restoration throughout the town of Falmouth offer visitors a wide selection of cultural and historic experiences.
"We are delighted to see Voyager of the Seas make the first-ever ship call at Historic Falmouth," said Craig Milan, senior vice president of Land Operations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "By partnering with the Port Authority of Jamaica, we are working to deliver our shared vision of Falmouth’s rebirth. Together, we are bringing the town’s historic sites to life and integrating the culture and authenticity of this destination into a superior guest experience."
The grand opening celebrations of Historic Falmouth port will take place on March 22, 2011 when Oasis of the Seas makes her inaugural call into the port. Other Royal Caribbean ships that will be calling at Historic Falmouth include Freedom of the Seas on Feb. 23; Navigator of the Seas on Feb. 24; and Allure of the Seas debuting on March 30. Passengers can experience a diverse variety of shore excursions at an additional cost while at Historic Falmouth, including:
- Good Hope Great House: located fifteen minutes from Falmouth, guests can choose from the new horse & carriage ride, river-tubing, ATV exploring, among others, on this former 18th century Jamaican plantation.
- Dolphin Cove & Dunn’s River Falls: adventure seekers can climb Dunn’s River Falls; zip-line through the lush rainforest canopy or wind down the mountainside on a Jamaican bobsled at Mystic Mountain; or swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove.
- Appleton Estate: after a scenic drive through the Cockpit Country and Bamboo Avenue, travellers can indulge in one of Falmouth’s old-world delicacies by learning to make rum and sampling different aged rums.
- Rafting on Martha Brae: located five minutes from Falmouth, guests can enjoy a tranquil ride on a 30-foot bamboo raft.
"Falmouth has an important place in the cultural history of Jamaica. It is especially rewarding for us to use that history as an entree for a new generation of guests," said Hon Mike Henry, Jamaica’s Minister of Transport and Works, who has portfolio responsibility for cruise shipping. "Our sights have always been set on being the preeminent cruise destination, and with the best-in-class berthing facilities at the Historic Falmouth port, we’ll now easily welcome the world’s largest ships."
The revitalization of Historic Falmouth is a multi-phased development project with the first phase near completion offering a two-berth pier, retail and restaurant services as well as a transportation centre. Subsequent phases will include onsite attractions and experiences, hotel and residential developments, as well as additional retail and restaurant options. The town also has many prominent houses, shops and public buildings built in the 18th and 19th centuries that are still standing, but are in need of refurbishment. The restoration and preservation of several historic buildings in Falmouth is currently underway.
Falmouth was founded in 1790 from land owned by Edward Barrett. His granddaughter Elizabeth Barrett Browning would later be celebrated as one of the greatest poets in the English language. At that time Jamaica was the world’s leading sugar producer, and this was most evident in Falmouth with more than 80 sugar estates nearby. The town was meticulously mapped out in the Colonial tradition, with streets named after British royalty and heroes–King Street, Queen Street, Rodney Street (after 18th century naval leader Admiral Lord George Rodney) and Wellington Street (after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington). The remarkable density of historic Georgian architectural buildings, which residents have lived in and maintained, is reflective of the town’s rich heritage. Its public amenities included the first piped water supply system in the Western Hemisphere, established in 1799. The town prospered throughout the first half of the 19th century and was the birthplace of the abolition slavery movement. Falmouth was the site of many revolts, and many of the buildings in the town served as safe houses for those who had escaped. In fact, a prominent Falmouth reverend, William Knibb, whose house still stands in the town, was granted Jamaica’s highest civil honour, the Order of Merit, in 1988, 150 years after the abolition of slavery.
This list is simply a suggestion for things to include in your kit.
This is a good time to replenish all items in your kit that have expired in 2010.
Whether you are driving a few hours for a weekend away or travelling across the globe, a good first-aid kit is a must.
You should include most of the following items:
2. Gravol or motion sickness medication
3. Fiber supplements, laxatives & diarrhea medication
4. Cold suppressants and decongestants
5. Antibiotic cream
6. Anti fungal skin cream
7. After sun lotion
8. Hand sanitizers
9. Antiseptic wipes
10. Bandages of all sizes
11. Tensor bandage
12. Sterile gauze pads to put over wounds
13. Adhesive tape
14. Disposable non-latex gloves
15. Scissors, tweezers & safety pins
17. Single use ice packs
18. Vitamins you would normally take
19. Prescriptions in the original pack
20. Copies of passport, insurance papers, emergency contacts.
Most 2011 voyages now offer generous Onboard Spending Credits
Silversea Cruises has launched a new "Passport to Luxury" promotion with the addition of 30 new voyages offering Onboard Spending Credits of up to US$1,000 per suite ($500 per person) — meaning most voyages (over 90) in 2011 now feature the promotion. These offers are available on new bookings made by 30 June 2011.
Steve Tucker, Silversea’s vice president of field sales for North America, said: "With Onboard Spending Credits of up to $1,000 per suite now offered on most sailings this year, we’re giving travellers essentially a ‘passport to luxury’ that lets them enjoy a completely personalised, all-inclusive holiday experience. Maybe you’re interested in taking a French cooking class … or surprising your spouse with a gift from the onboard boutique. Why not go for it? The choice is yours."
The "Passport to Luxury" Onboard Spending Credit lets Silversea guests craft their own luxury experience. You can treat yourself to an oriental aroma stone massage at the onboard spa while sailing to Asia. Hire a private car and driver in St. Tropez to explore the Riviera. Or savour an exquisite six-course dinner in Le Champagne — the only Relais & Châteaux wine restaurant at sea.
Onboard Spending Credit options include:
- Spa treatments
- Speciality restaurants
- Premium spirits and rare vintages from the Connoisseur’s List
- Silver Shore excursions (none are excluded)
- Boutique purchases
- Internet packages
- Laundry service
- Personal fitness training
- Direct-dial phone calls
Aboard Silversea’s ships, passengers enjoy spacious, ocean-view accommodation, gourmet cuisine, the personalised service of a butler assigned to every suite, and a selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, 24-hour room service, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet and all gratuities.
Following is a small sampling of new 2011 voyages offering a$1,000 Onboard Spending Credit, Silver Savingsfares, plus*included roundtrip air and transfers (available from select gateway cities):
Transoceanic Voyage 3125: Silver Shadow, 8 – 23 September, Seward to Tokyo, with calls in Homer, Kodiak, Dutch Harbour, Kamchatka, Kushiro, and Hakodate. Silver Savings fares start at $6,118.
Transoceanic Voyage 5132: Silver Spirit, 21 October – 5 November, Lisbon to Barbados, with calls in Funchal, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Las Palmas, La Gomera, Antigua, Guadeloupe and St Lucia. Silver Savings fares start at $5,638.
Far East Voyage 3130: Silver Shadow, 9 – 18 November, Hong Kong to Singapore, with calls in Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Chan May, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City (overnight visit). Silver Savings fares start at $5,318.
South America Voyage 4135: Silver Whisper, 26 November – 4 December, Rio de Janeiro (overnight visit) to Buenos Aires (overnight visit), with calls in Parati, Santos (Sao Paulo), Rio Grande do Sul, and Montevideo. Silver Savings fares start at $4,798.
Far East Voyage 3132: Silver Shadow, 27 November – 6 December, Hong Kong to Singapore, with calls in Hanoi (overnight visit), Ha Long Bay, Chan May, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City (overnight visit). Silver Savings fares start at $5,318.
South America Voyage 4136: Silver Whisper, 4 – 20 December, Buenos Aires to Santiago, with calls in Montevideo, Punta del Este, Puerto Madryn, Falkland Islands, Punta Arenas (overnight stay), Laguna San Rafael, Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Montt. Silver Savings fares start at $7,598.
All fares listed above are per person based on double occupancy for a Vista Suite and do not include port charges and handling fees that can range from $209 to $500 per person on these sailings, depending on the itinerary. Silver Savings is a capacity-controlled programme and subject to availability.
*Included roundtrip air and transfers: A roundtrip economy air package (included in the cruise fare), that includes transfers between airport and pier on the day of embarkation and disembarkation, is available from select gateway cities in the US, Canada and UK. It is a capacity-controlled programme offered for a limited time. Additionally, there are specially priced economy air programmes available from other gateway cities in the US, Canada and UK.
The Onboard Spending Credit is a capacity-controlled programme and subject to availability. The Onboard Spending Credit is offered per suite, not per voyage, and only once to guests sailing on consecutive voyages. Maximum value of Onboard Spending Credit is either $1,000 or $500 per suite, depending on voyage. Single occupancy suites will receive 50% of the Onboard Spending Credit. It is valued in U.S. dollars, regardless of booking currency. It may not be redeemed for cash, and any unused portion will be forfeited. Additional restrictions may apply.
Crystal Cruises is marking its first season back in Alaska since 2005 with excursions that extend way beyond shore. Think air, railway, sea, and ice — with more than half its 100+ Crystal Adventures brand new.
Passengers can explore the state’s waterways by safari boat, private catamaran, white-water raft, canoe, kayak, or WWII duck vehicle. View the breathtaking landscapes and wildlife by seaplane or helicopter, or stay planted on terra firma in a horse-drawn trolley, ATV, jeep, sled, motorcycle, old-fashioned railcar, private Hummer, or Unimog 4×4.
Sitka Sound Science Center Volunteering—A new “You Care, We Care” excursion enables guests to assist with the operation/maintenance of a salmon hatchery or marine-life exhibits.
Champagne & Glaciers by Helicopter—Cascade over mountain passes and alpine meadows before indulging in champagne and chocolate atop a centuries-old glacier.
White Pass Scenic Railway & Bike Ride—Ride 100-year-old parlour cars through vertical granite cliffs before biking down the Klondike Summit.
Extreme adventurists can rock climb, fly-fish, or zip line over rainforest canopies. Amateur Ansel Adamses can shutterbug away on custom photography excursions. Families can pan for gold, create 24K gold glass-blown art, golf, or scout for killer whales, bald eagles, or bears. History buffs will love adventures profiling bordellos and shoot-outs, native traditions, Alaska’s Russian past, and even Sarah Palin’s childhood home.
Gourmet, local cuisine like alderwood-smoked salmon, fresh halibut chowder, and all-you-can-eat crab will be showcased Crystal-style via cooking classes, wilderness camp dining, and a five-course, Alaskan Chef’s Table in Ketchikan.
Guests seeking an ultra-intimate, individualized travel experiences can sail through the island-studded waters of Sitka Sound on a private sightseeing/wildlife expedition via deluxe catamaran—just for you and your loved ones, with personal Captain and expert naturalist to guide you.
Crystal Symphony will make nine 12-day sailings round-trip from San Francisco from May through August to Victoria, Vancouver, Sitka, Juneau, Skagway/Haines, Ketchikan and either Hubbard Glacier or Glacier Bay.
Per-person, Two-for-One fares begin at $4,650, including free air transportation from many U.S./Canadian gateways (or $400 air discount) plus $500 spending credits. A Veranda and Penthouse sale, Crystal Family Memories group perks, and bonus Bring-a-Friend programme offer additional savings.
Diana and I sailed on Crystal Cruises to Alaska when its ships were last there. Di can be reached on 1-800-961-5536 Ext 24.
Meyer Werft of Papenburg, Germany, pulled off a coup on Friday with the announcement of an order for the first of a pair of large cruise ships for Royal Caribbean. Apart from a raft of five ships for Celebrity, this is the third pair to be ordered at Meyer Werft recently, following two ships for Disney Cruise Lines and more recently, another pair for Norwegian Cruise Line.
Project Sunshine is the name Royal Caribbean has given to this next generation of ships, the first of which will be delivered in the autumn of 2014 and the new ship will be the fifteenth ship to be built for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines by Meyer Werft. The yard has built ten ships for Celebrity Cruises, starting with its first newbuilding, Horizon, in 1990, plus the four Brilliance class ships for Royal Caribbean International.
An option has also been placed for a second Project Sunshine ship for delivery in the spring of 2015. These new 158,000-ton ships will carry something over 4,100 passengers in lower berths at an overall cost per berth of €170,000 (170 thousand).
Richard Fain, chairman and ceo of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, in announcing the letter of intent, stated that "Royal Caribbean has worked hard to earn a reputation of offering the most innovative ships in the cruise industry and this next generation will not disappoint. While we continue our policy of keeping our newest ideas and features under wraps during the early stages of construction, I can say that I am very excited about the passion and imagination that our teams have devoted to the project. Project Sunshine builds on the best ideas of our existing ships and adds exciting new activities and entertainment concepts.
It will offer features for everyone: from grand, spectacular spaces to small intimate settings; from active, invigorating activities to the serenity of more personal space; and from a plethora of dining alternatives to a cornucopia of opportunities for families. I am also excited about the energy efficiency and environmental technologies which have been incorporated. Our existing ships are some of the most energy efficient in the world and Project Sunshine takes this one further step. Based on our over 20 years of experience with Meyer Werft, along with their compelling proposal, we know they will deliver on all of the innovations Royal Caribbean’s guests have come to expect."
Of the ships previously on order for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Silhouette is to be delivered later this year and Celebrity Reflection in 2012. Meanwhile, Meyer Werft has just delivered the first of another pair for Disney, with Disney Dream now in service, and Disney Fantasy to follow in 2012.
This latest announcement leaves Korean-owned STX out in the cold. For now, having lost these latest orders to the competition, it has only three new ships on order, MSC Divina for MSC Cruises, Phoenicia for GNMTC of Libya and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europe 2, just announced. STX’s large cruise ship shipyards in both Finland and France now seem to be genuinely short of possible places to obtain new orders.
Fincantieri, meanwhile, continues to thrive on orders from Carnival Corp & PLC, from Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Crociere and Princess Cruises. And to the chagrin of STX, even Meyer Werft has a steady supply of Carnival Corp orders, for its German-based Aida brand.
Courtesy of Mark Tré – "The Cruise Examiner" at Cybercruises.com
The most significant transformation ever of a Princess Cruises ship will occur this spring aboard Grand Princess. During a 24-day makeover the ship, which was the prototype for the line’s "Grand Class" vessels, will undergo renovation to receive many of Princess’ trademark features introduced since the ship’s 1998 debut including the signature Piazza atrium. Several new features will be also be added including a unique tea lounge and library called "Leaves"; and "Alfredo’s," a full-service pizzeria showcasing this Princess dish.
A brand new nightclub called One5, inspired by its deck location, will be created on the top deck of the ship, replacing its iconic Skywalker Nightclub, which has given the ship its distinctive profile. Skywalkers will be removed from its 18th deck perch, with its replacement located on deck 15. This change will significantly improve the operational performance of the ship, including greater fuel efficiency.
"This is the largest makeover we’ve ever undertaken for any of our ships," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "When Grand Princess was launched she was the most innovative ship at sea, and now we’re adding some of the later innovations we introduced on subsequent ships."
Artist renderings of the Grand Princess changes are available in a Flickr gallery at: http://bit.ly/g0JA8I.
The changes will be made during a drydock from April 11 to May 4 at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas. Highlights of the makeover include:
Also part of the renovation will be 10 new suites; remodelled casino, boutiques and art gallery; enhancements to the Horizon Court, Lotus Spa, and wedding chapel; and the addition of Crooner’s Martini Lounge.
The newly renovated Grand Princess will debut on May 5 in Ft. Lauderdale where the ship will depart on an Atlantic crossing for her summer and autumn homeport of Southampton, from which she will cruise a variety of European itineraries.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through The Cruise People, Ltd 1-800-961-5536
Image via Wikipedia Gallard Cut Under Construction
We are pleased to welcome a new product which allows voyages between Europe and the west coast via the Panama Canal.
Segment bookings between Europe and North America may be available subject to availability and cabotage restrictions.
European Ports – Hamburg, Le Havre, Tanger Med, Rotterdam, and Tilbury.
West coast ports – Puerto Quetzal, Lazaro Cardenas, Long Beach, Oakland, Manzanillo, Seattle, and Vancouver. The Jones Act prohibits voyages between west coast ports. Atlantic crossing is compulsory.
Yellow fever shot is required for the canal transit.
There is a small swimming pool aboard.
Please inquire for availability and current prices. E-mail is the best way to contact us.
Courtesy of Mark Tré – "The Cruise Examiner" at Cybercruises.com
For some expedition cruise ship operators, this has been a particularly bad year. First, in the Canadian Arctic, Clipper Adventurer ran aground on August 27 while on charter to Adventure Canada and then her near sister ship Lyubov Orlova, which had just completed her season for Cruise North Expeditions, was arrested in St John’s, Newfoundland in September.
And if that were not bad enough, so far in this Antarctic season, three more ships have got themselves into trouble. First, Clelia II was hit by a large wave on December 9 and was out of service until December 26, then Le Boréal had to cancel her January 4 voyage, an Abercrombie & Kent charter, because of mechanical problems and last week Polar Star hit an uncharted rock, damaging her outer hull while sailing through the Matha Strait, and has had to cancel her February 6 voyage.
Polar Star‘s 80 passengers were returned from Antarctica to Ushuaia last week on board ships of other operators. The largest, number, 42, were brought back by the Marina Svetaeva, operated by One Ocean Expeditions of Vancouver. Twenty more were transferred to Ushuaia of Ushuaia-based Antarpply Expeditions. And the last eight passengers were brought back by Expedition, operated by Toronto-based GAP Adventures. Among these passengers were thirty-two Americans, fourteen Brits, nine Canadians and eight Australians.
There have been years when one or two or even three ships have had problems, but not a year recently when five have lost voyages. The silver lining here is that operators such as One Ocean, GAP and Antarpply have gained a little more business from the three ships affected, all of which have had to cancel voyages at very short notice. With passengers either already in Ushuaia or en route, the other operators have been able to step into the gap, so to speak, several benefiting more than once.
Of the above, meanwhile, Lyubov Orlova has reportedly now been sold to Norwegian owners and Clipper Adventurer has been replaced in the Quark fleet by Sea Spirit, formerly the troubled Cruise West’s Spirit of Oceanus, which has been chartered from International Shipping Partners, who also manage a number of Quark’s own ships.
Sea Spirit is now working the 2010/11 Antarctic season out and will return for 2011/12, after which she will again be on the market for charter. Another silver lining here is that Sea Spirit has brought a much more luxurious level of ship and accommodation to the Quark fleet, who have primarily used chartered Russian and Ukrainian tonnage in the past. Quark is now part of the TUI Group, which also includes Hapag-Lloyd Cruise, Thomson Cruises and TUI Cruises, the latter being a joint venture with Royal Caribbean.
One thing that is notable in looking at these various companies is how many of them are now based in Canada, six in all. Toronto now boasts four expedition cruise operators – owners GAP Adventures and Quark Expeditions and charter operators Adventure Canada and Cruise North Expeditions. Halifax meanwhile has Polar Star Expeditions while Vancouver has its own One Ocean Expeditions.
One Ocean Expeditions has also recently announced that it will be returning to using the Akademik Ioffe in 2012.