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TUI Cruises adds golf package to Western European cruise

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

TUI Cruises, the German premium markert operator, will offer a golf package on a western European cruise in the spring, the company said in a statement. It includes an opportunity to play the game on courses at Cadiz, Lisbon, La Coruna, Southampton, Le Havre and Zeebrugge on a cruise that Mein Schiff 2 will undertake from 22 April to 3 May this year. The package costs 890 euro per person and includes e.g. transfers and green fees.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines extend call centre opening hours

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines says it will be extending the opening hours of its Reservations Department, with effect from Monday 5th MarchThe new opening times will be as follows:-


·         Monday to Friday                     08.00hrs to 20.00hrs

·         Saturday                                  09.00hrs to 17.00hrs

·         Sunday                                    10.00hrs to 16.00hrs


The move has been made in response to increased demand from both travel agents and Fred. Olsen guests.


Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:


“These days, we all expect to be able to shop, do our banking, contact suppliers, and handle a host of other transactions at a time that suits us. This may be early in the morning, or later in the evening, to fit in with the working day, or at the weekend, when we are less pressurised.


“As a dynamic operator, we must listen to our guests and our travel agent partners, and respond to their needs. These extended hours will allow us to provide an improved and even more customer-friendly service all round.”


MSC Cruises opens up new destinations in Guadeloupe and Martinique

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

With the introduction of the French Antilles as a new destination for the 2012-2013 winter season, and the prospect of a vast array of fascinating shore excursions, MSC Cruises has created a unique opportunity for guests to experience the very best of this idyllic region.

The 59,000 gross ton MSC Lirica features 780 cabins, a sophisticated and elegant decor, superb attention to detail in all areas, the finest Mediterranean and international cuisine and a dazzling selection of entertainment. The ship boasts 4 restaurants, 8 bars and lounges, the 1,000 m² MSC Aurea Spa, a running track, a mini golf course, numerous boutiques, a casino, a 700-seat theatre, a nightclub, and a children’s club.

On 30 November 2012 MSC Lirica will depart from Genoa, Italy for a 15-night cruise, arriving at her new homeport in Martinique just over two weeks later. MSC Lirica’s course will take her from the Mediterranean Sea through the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, with scheduled stops in Marseilles, France, Barcelona, Spain, Funchal, Portugal and, after five full days at sea, Bridgetown, Barbados. Scheduled stops then follow in Saint George in Grenada, Basseterre in Saint Kitts and Nevis and Castries in Saint Lucia, with MSC Lirica arriving in Fort-de-France in Martinique on 15 December 2012. With a total of 7 full days at sea, this cruise provides guests with the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the many impressive facilities on board the luxury ship.

From 15 December 2012 through to 16 February 2013, MSC Lirica has a full schedule of ten 7-night cruises, departing every Saturday from Fort-de-France, Martinique, and every Sunday from Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.

The French Antilles will say farewell to MSC Lirica on 23 February 2013, when she starts her 15-night return cruise from Fort-de-France in Martinique to Genoa in Italy. Scheduled stops are, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, Castries, Saint Lucia, Funchal, Portugal, Malaga, Spain, Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.

During the Caribbean experience, guests on board MSC Lirica can enjoy the region's most charming attractions and discover not only the breathtaking beauty but also the rich history of the islands, with scheduled stops in St John’s in Antigua and Barbuda, Road Town in Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, Santo Domingo and La Romana in the Dominican Republic, and Philipsburg in St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles.

Itineraries offer up the perfect balance of relaxation, adventure and historical discovery through a diverse choice of shore excursions.

The adventurous will not be bored, with spectacular bird’s eye views of the rainforest on offer in the zip-lining Canopy Tour, and opportunities to swim and snorkel with stingrays, discover the region on horseback, swim with dolphins in a natural lagoon, kayak, go off-road in 4 X 4 Jeeps, river raft and ride along the coast in a speed boat.

Learning about the region, its history and culture is easy and enjoyable with the many informative excursions on offer. You can visit the fishing village where Christopher Columbus landed in 1502, historic plantations and distilleries, and take the Chocolate Tour to the Caribbean’s largest organic cocoa processing plants where only the most exquisite raw materials are used. Discovering historical Philipsburg is especially enjoyable on the bicycle tour, and you can revisit the 1950s on the Creole Bus Sensation Tour, as well as appreciating the enchanting views of Sabana Grande de Boyá which also commemorates the region’s fight to abolish slavery.

By providing so many imaginative options, MSC Cruises is confident of offering guests an unforgettable Caribbean adventure.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines replaces Braemar's 2013 UK winter programme with fly cruises from Tenerife

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines says it is introducing a new programme of fly-cruises to the Canary Islands, West Africa and the Cape Verde Islands aboard Braemar, to go on general sale from 10th February 2012. "The exciting new fly-cruise itineraries – including ‘Sun and Souks’, ‘African Beaches and Tropical Islands’ and ‘Morocco, Madeira and the Canaries’ – will depart from London Gatwick and Manchester airports and are available between 6th January 2013 and 17th March 2013."

 “This is a really exciting, innovative development for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. While we know that many of our regular cruise guests relish several days at sea, there are many would-be cruisers who are slightly younger and cannot take time for a leisurely voyage, or simply prefer to start enjoying their sun-seeking as soon as possible. The short and easy flight to Tenerife means that guests can start to enjoy their cruise holiday in the sun within hours. This is a great new product to help agents sell cruises to those who might otherwise take a traditional package holiday," said Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

The new fly-cruises will be between seven and 14 nights’ duration, with exclusive charter flights from London Gatwick and Manchester to Santa Cruz, Tenerife. The fly-cruises are available as a ‘cruise only’ option, so that guests have even more choice when booking their Fred. Olsen cruise holiday. This flexibility means that agents can take advantage of ‘dynamic packaging’ to create a tailor-made cruise experience that is just right for their customer.

It also means that agents can sell cruises to their local markets using convenient regional airports, as Tenerife is served by flights from London Gatwick, London Stansted, London Luton, Manchester, Birmingham, Blackpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Bristol, East Midlands, Cardiff, Aberdeen, Belfast, Bournemouth and Doncaster Sheffield.

The cruise ship Braemar, which in previous years has been based in the Caribbean over the winter, will be based in Tenerife from January to March 2013. Braemar will depart from Southampton on 6th January 2013, on her repositioning cruise of seven nights, and will return to the UK on 24th March 2013.

Prices for the new fly-cruises start from £799 per person, based on M1305FC, a seven-night cruise departing from London Gatwick/Manchester on 17th February 2013, visiting Lanzarote, Madeira, La Palma, El Hierro, La Gomera, with return flights from Tenerife. Prices include accommodation, all meals and entertainment, as well as flights, and airport taxes.


Costa denies child labour accusations

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Costa Cruises denies the news published by some Italian websites regarding the possible presence on board Costa Concordia of unregistered underage workers. 

The accusations raised against the company that it exploits unregistered or underage labour are vile and baseless. Costa is SA8000 certified and was the first shipping company in the world to submit voluntarily to social responsibility certification. Costa Cruises has maintained this certification since 2004, ensuring the maximum possible protection with regard to:
– child labour, not only for the Company, but also its suppliers, who have to certify they do not use child labour;
– gender parity;
– religious parity;
– ethnic parity; and
– pay parity according to the type of work performed.

Costa Crociere is closely monitored by US certification entity Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS), which developed and oversees SA8000 certification, and is audited twice a year by RINA. 

All crew members who work on board Costa Cruises ships have a regular contract of employment. The pay conditions of all personnel on board Costa Cruises ships are regulated by first and second level employment contracts signed with Flag State trade unions affiliated to the ITF (International Transport Federation workers).
Costa Cruises guarantees payment of salaries based on current legislation, verifying that they are sufficient to ensure a dignified standard of living for the whole family.

With regard to working conditions on board, the Company clarifies that the crew members on board Costa ships are accommodated in single cabins with private bathroom, twin cabins with private bathroom, and twin cabins with bathroom shared with another twin cabin. All cabins have comfortable beds and furniture, television and DVD player.

As regards the accusation that there were unregistered guests on board Costa Concordia, Costa Cruises reiterates that every single person on board is registered, both crew and passengers. It is impossible for someone to gain access to the ship without authorisation by the security officer and registration. Strict controls are in place. The embarkation process, depending on the port, involves controls by the various port entities to gain access to cruise terminals and entranceways. On board security personnel control access points to check that those wishing to board the ship have the necessary documents.

The list of people on board Costa Concordia, which has always been in the company’s possession, has also been made available to the authorities in charge of rescue operations, including the total count of people.

Costa Crociere reserves the right to assess the appropriate action to take to defend itself.