Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’1988 built Balmoral
was detained in Southampton for two days in September due to safety related
deficiencies, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said in a statement.
“The vessel was detained in Southampton for
2 days because several track rollers of the starboard lifeboat davits were
seized, the hours of rest records for the master, chief officer, chief engineer
and senior first engineer were false for several days during September 2011,
and the deficiencies identified were objective evidence of a serious failure or
lack of effectiveness of the implementation of the ISM code,” MCA said in a
statement. MCA enforces maritime safety regulations in the UK and posts details
of vessels detained for violations of these regulations on its website.
“Other deficiencies identified included;
the crew showed a lack of knowledge and training in respect of the abandon ship
drill in addition fire screen doors 402A I and 2409 in the laundry were not
closing. The vessel was released from detention on 28/09/2011,” MCA said.
The ship’s classification society is Bureau
Veritas and the recognized organization for ISM (International Ship Management)
Code is Det Norske Veritas, MCA said.
TUI Cruises, the German premium market
cruise operator, is offering a special wedding package for those that marry on
12 December – at a price of €1,212 per person.
The package, which includes a 112 minute
spa programme, a bottle of champagne, box of chocolates and e.g. invitation to dine at the Surf
& Turf specialty restaurant, will be available on Mein Schiff 1 on a 7
night Caribbean fly cruise that departs 14 December 2012 and on Mein Schiff 2 on a
similar cruise out of Dubai that departs 16 December 2012.
The company is also preparing a present for
those couples that marry on 11 November 2011. It also offers the option to have
a wedding at sea as masters of the two Maltese flag vessels have the right to
conduct marriage ceremonies while the shipa re in international waters, TUI
Costa Cruises, the Italian unit in Carnival
Corp & plc group, has introduced Costa Voyager of 24,400 gross tons and with 927
berth in its fleet.
The ship entered originally entered service
in 2000 with now defunct Royal Olympic Cruises, but it joined costa from the
fleet ofIberocruceros, the Carnival group’s Spanish company. “Costa Voyager will
offer Guests 416 cabins in total, including 16 panoramic suites and 12 suites
with private balcony. Relaxation and fun will be guaranteed by 3 restaurants, 4
bars, a theatre, wellness centre with gym, treatment rooms, sauna and Turkish
bath, swimming pool, disco, shopping centre and Squok club (children's club),”
the company said in a statement
The arrival of the Costa Voyager is in line
with the Italian company’s policy of having a versatile fleet of ships with a
range of dimensions and differing characteristics, so as to be able to offer
its customers a series of brand new itineraries.More specifically, the technical
characteristics of the Costa Voyager make her especially suitable for cruises
to the Red Sea, a new destination that Costa Cruises added to its range of
itineraries last winter and will be offering throughout 2012.
Costa Voyager's first cruise will be a
15-day journey from Savona, leaving on 20 November 2011 and travelling to Sharm
el-Sheikh in the Red Sea. From 5th December 2011 to the end of 2012, Costa
Voyager will be offering week-long cruises in the Red Sea, departing on Mondays
from Sharm el-Sheikh, where the ship stops for 2 days, and calling at Eilat
(Israel), Aqaba (Jordan), Safaga (Egypt), Sokhna (Egypt).
Voyages of Discovery, the only cruise line
to offer a dedicated school at sea programme in the UK, says it has completed another
successful ‘Schools Cruise’ this past week – its first one having taken place
More than 750 pupils and staff enjoyed an
opportunity to cruise to Eastern Mediterranean’s sites of antiquity in support
of their GCSE and A level studies The
students, from 29 schools on this cruise, took part in a comprehensive
itinerary designed to give every student maximum educational benefits from
their cruising experience.
“This year’s cruise set sail from Kusadasi
in Turkey and proceeded on to Haifa for Galilee, Ashdod for Jerusalem and the
Dead Sea, Port Said for Cairo and the island of Rhodes before reaching Athens.
While at sea and prior to each port, students were treated to a stimulating
programme of on-board lectures given by expert Voyages of Discovery staff,” the
Voyages of Discovery has revived a
tradition from the 1960s and the 1970s, when a P&O subsidiary British India
Steam Navigation Company operated passenger ships on this business. The last one, Uganda of 16,907 gross tons,
was withdrawn from requisitioned for the Falklands War in 1982 and remain in
military service until scrapped in 1985. A much larger vessel, the 20,526 gross
ton Nevasa, operated alongside Uganda in 1965-75. Both ships had rather spartan
accommodation for students, but good cabins and public rooms for other passengers.
Voyages of Discovery accommodates students
in normal passenger cabins on board the 20,636 gross ton Discovery. These are
far superior in quality compared to the student accommodation on British India
“With an extensive amount of experience
running a ‘school at sea’, the specialist staff were responsible for all
aspects of the schools’ daily routine including the timetabling and programming
arrangements so essential for the smooth operation of an educational cruise,”
the company continued.
Featuring some of the Eastern
Mediterranean’s most renowned historical sites including Ephesus, Jerusalem and
the ancient Egyptian Pyramids, the itinerary was carefully crafted to give
students enough time ashore to absorb something of the history, culture and way
of life of the places and people the ship visits. When not immersed in culture
and learning the students were able to kick back and enjoy some of the many
entertainment and leisure options available to them onboard including a cinema,
disco, pool, organised quizzes, art and photography plus a large selection of
board games to keep busy.
Mo Holland, School Cruise Manager, Voyages
of Discovery explains the benefits to students: “It is so rewarding to be
involved in such an exceptionally unique programme in which young people have
the opportunity to gain a different perspective on our world’s many cultural and
historical sites. In all my years as School Cruise Manager I have yet to find
any student that has not been entranced at some level by the engaging programme
of lectures and shore excursions that Voyages of Discovery is consistently able
to offer year after year.”
As the only cruise line available to
schools for an exclusive voyage of exploration, Voyages of Discovery offers
students a unique and specialised cultural cruising experience of a lifetime
and one that is a world away from normal day at school. For normal itineraries, Discovery’s smaller
size accommodates around 650 passengers, allowing it to visit ports and
destinations which larger cruise liners are unable to, bringing each
destination to life with renowned guest speakers.
Research from an online cruise travel
agency has revealed that half of British cruisers are loyal to cruise brands, a
fifth of which have only ever cruised with one company. A further 16% of
respondents claimed to have always been loyal to one specific cruise ship, a
report in traveldailynews.com says.
“As part of ongoing research into the
holiday habits of Britons, an independent online cruising travel agency
conducted a study into the loyalty of cruisers. 1,214 British cruisers, each of
whom had embarked on more than three cruises, were polled,” the report said. The study, conducted by Bonvoyage.com,
initially asked the respondents to the study if they were loyal to specific
cruise operators, to which more than half, 52%, said ‘yes’. These respondents
were then asked how many cruise operators they have travelled with, almost a fifth,
19%, admitted to only having ever cruised with one operator.
Of the fifth of respondents who admitted to
being loyal to one specific cruise operator, 23% stated that they were loyal
because of the ‘high quality’ of cruise offered by their favoured operator;
whilst 18% said it was because they were ‘cheaper’ than any other liner. In a bid to investigate the matter further,
bonvoyage.co.uk, created by the founders of online travel agency
sunshine.co.uk, asked respondents to detail which other habits or loyalties
they had when it came to cruising. Sixteen percent of the
respondents polled claimed to be ‘loyal’ to a specific cruise ship, admitting
to only ever having cruised on the same cruise liner. A quarter of these, 24%,
said they were loyal to a particular ship because of the ‘luxury’ onboard.
Furthermore, more than a tenth, 12%, of
those polled claimed to be ‘loyal’ to a particular cruise route, stating that
they always travelled to the same destinations through the same route; therefore,
essentially being loyal to the destinations rather than the cruise operator or
Chris Brown, co-founder of bonvoyage.co.uk,
spoke about the results of the study: “It was interesting to see that some
cruisers are loyal to a particular operator, even though they had only ever
embarked on a cruise supplied by them. However, it is understandable, as a
first cruise is often a very special experience. I would always recommend
trying a new operator and ship though; as long as you do your research and
travel with a well known and respected operator, everything should run
He continued: “Many holidaymakers are loyal
to a specific aspect of their holiday, whether it be the operator, destination,
resort or liner...the list is endless!Holidays are such an important part of our lives that we may not want to
risk trying something new, it can make sense to stick with what you know. Maybe
next time you are booking a holiday, consider trying something new, you will
probably love it!”