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Food and architecture broadcaster Jonathan Meades to speak on two Fred. Olsen cruises

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The award-winning former restaurant critic of The Times and acclaimed broadcaster on food and architecture, Jonathan Meades, will be the guest speaker on two Fred. Olsen cruises in 2012.  Both cruises are aboard Black Watch, the first to the Western Mediterranean and the second to the Baltic, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines said in a statement.

A writer on food, architecture and culture, as well as being an author and broadcaster, Jonathan Meades wrote reviews and articles for The Times for many years and was its restaurant critic between 1986 and 2001. Voted ‘Best Food Journalist’ in the 1999 Glenfiddich Awards, he has also presented a number of TV series on architecture, notably  ‘Abroad in Britain’ and ‘Further Abroad’ both taking a quirky and individual approach to the subject. His television work also includes two separate one-off documentaries about the architectural legacy of both the Third Reich, ‘Jerry Building’, and Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union, ‘Joe Building’.

Jonathan promises to be a highly entertaining and knowledgeable Vistas speaker. The cruises he will be joining are as follows:-

Black Watch W1211 is a 13-night cruise to the Baltic, departing from Dover on 20th August 2012. The cruise calls at Warnemunde (Germany) for tours to Berlin, then Estonia’s pretty capital, Tallinn. A highlight of the itinerary is an overnight stay in St. Petersburg, Russia’s rich storehouse of fine art and stunning architecture, founded by Peter the Great. The cruise then visits Helsinki, cosmopolitan capital of Finland, and the less well-known Finnish port of Turku. Next is the Danish capital, Copenhagen and finally Aalborg (also in Denmark) before returning to Dover.  The Vistas theme on this cruise is ‘Food and Drink of the North’ and is co-presented by Jonathan Meades and Stuart Walton. Prices for the cruise start from £1,919 per person, based on two adults, sharing an outside twin cabin, Grade ‘E’.

Black Watch W1216 is a 16-night cruise to Spain and Algiers, departing from Dover on 23rd October 2012.  This cruise calls at Cadiz, Castellon and Palamos (all in Spain), Ajaccio – Napoleon’s birthplace on Corsica – (France), Mahon, capital of the island of Menorca (Spain) and Algiers (Algeria), then returns to Dover. The Vistas theme, presented by Jonathan Meades, along with Nathan Manzaneque, is, appropriately, ‘Spanish: Language of Food and Romance’.  Prices for this cruise start from £1,619 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside twin cabin Grade ‘I’, and include all meals and entertainment on board, as well as port taxes. There is no extra charge for taking part in Vistas activity.

Fincantieri launches the Carnival Breeze at Monfalcone yard

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone launched Carnival Breeze, the new flagship of Carnival Cruise Lines, on September 16. Delivery is scheduled for Spring 2012.

The launch was preceded by the traditional coin ceremony to bring good luck by welding in place a silver dollar on the last deck of the ship, in keeping with an old shipbuilding tradition. Godmother to the ship was Monica Conte, a shipyard employee.

Measuring in at 130,000 gross tonnes, for a length of 306 metres with a beam of 37 the Carnival Breeze is the sister ship of Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic which Monfalcone shipyard delivered in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

In building the Carnival Breeze Fincantieri will further strengthen its leading position as builder of build the largest passenger ships in the history of Italian shipbuilding. Indeed the new vessel will have 1,845 cabins, plus 746 for the crew, for a total maximum capacity of over 6,000. A record for ships built to date for Carnival by Fincantieri.

In the next few months the Carnival Breeze will be fitted out to the highest standards of comfort in readiness to offer her passengers a wide range of entertainment such as bars, restaurants, theatres, shops and wellness centres. She will boast a totally new design, inspired by intriguing tropical atmospheres with warm colours and pastel shades exclusively created in Germany by Partner Ship Design for Carnival. New also is the large availability of sea view cabins with two bathrooms suitable for up to 5 guests, ideal for larger families.

Since 1990 Fincantieri has built 60 cruise ships and a further 7 ships are under construction or scheduled to be built at Fincantieri shipyards.

Princess details 2012-2013 Caribbean and Panama Canal sailings

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Princess Cruises ships will sail to the balmy waters of the Caribbean from both Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Galveston, Texas during the fall 2012 to spring 2013 cruise season, plus will offer a variety of ways to cruise through one of the world's engineering wonders, the Panama Canal.

Princess' upcoming Caribbean schedule will feature five ships sailing to the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean, including a Western Caribbean route aboard Crown Princess that will mark the lines return to sailing from Galveston. During the fall to spring season, passengers can choose from 115 voyages sailing to 22 destinations on 10 itineraries, ranging from seven-day island getaways to relaxing 20-day sojourns.

Additionally, Princess continues to be the leader in Panama Canal cruising with two ships – Coral Princess and Island Princess – sailing in the region on eight itinerary options, including both full and partial Canal transits. The vessels, built especially for sailing through this marvel of engineering, together will offer 40 cruise departures for an up-close look at the fascinating process of moving up and down through the famous locks.

"Whether they want beautiful beaches, natural wonders, colorful culture or intriguing history, passengers will find the ports of our Caribbean and Panama Canal sailings are the perfect way to escape from the cold of winter, the stress of work or everyday routine," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

Princess Cruises 2012-13 Caribbean season includes:

Ruby Princess/Eastern Caribbean – Ruby Princess sails to the Eastern Caribbean, with roundtrip seven-day cruises from Ft. Lauderdale on Sundays. The itinerary features calls at the lines own Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. Ruby Princess sails between October 28, 2012 and April 28, 2013.

Crown Princess/Western Caribbean from Galveston – Crown Princess makes Princess return to Galveston, Texas for seven-day sailings to Costa Maya, Roatán, Belize and Cozumel. Cruises depart between December 22, 2012 and April 27, 2013.

Caribbean Princess/Southern Caribbean – Caribbean Princess sails from Ft. Lauderdale on a seven-day roundtrip voyage to Princess Cays, Curaçao and Aruba. Departures run from November 10, 2012 to April 27, 2013. Caribbean Princess will also offer a special four-day Bermuda Sampler voyage to Bermuda on a roundtrip sailing from New York, departing on Oct. 27, 2012; and a 10-day Caribbean Islander voyage from New York to Ft. Lauderdale, calling at San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua and Aruba, departing on October 31, 2012.

Grand Princess/Eastern and Southern Caribbean – Grand Princess sails on alternating seven-day voyages from Ft. Lauderdale. The ship sails to San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Princess Cays in the Eastern Caribbean; and Princess Cays, Curaçao, and Aruba in the Southern Caribbean. Grand Princess sails between November 17, 2012 and January 19, 2013. Voyages can be combined for a longer 14-day cruise among the islands.

Emerald Princess/10-Day Eastern and Southern Caribbean – For a more in-depth island vacation with the convenience of roundtrip travel from Ft. Lauderdale, Emerald Princess offers alternating 10-day roundtrip itineraries  one to the Southern Caribbean and the other to the Eastern Caribbean. The Southern Caribbean Medley itinerary calls at Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. The Eastern Caribbean Voyager itinerary offers calls at Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. Emerald Princess sails between November 7, 2012 and April 26, 2013. Voyages can be combined into a 20-day Caribbean Grand Adventure.

Panama Canal itineraries include:

Roundtrip Panama Canal Cruises – Coral Princess and Island Princess again sail the classic 10-day roundtrip itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale, which offers a partial Panama Canal transit to Gatun Lake followed by an evening a call in Colón, plus calls in the Caribbean ports of Aruba, Cartagena, Limón (Costa Rica), and Grand Cayman or Ocho Rios. The ships sail between October 13, 2012 and April 15, 2013.

Full Panama Canal Transit Sailings – This 14-day itinerary between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles offers a full Panama Canal transit plus visits to Aruba, Cartagena, Puntarenas (Costa Rica), San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua), and Cabo San Lucas. Island Princess offers four sailings on this route, with departures on November 12 and 26, 2012, plus March 8 and 22, 2013.

Panama Canal Two-Day Experience Cruises – Coral Princess and Island Princess will feature three itineraries offering Princess Two-Day Canal Experience  a full Panama Canal transit combined with a full day at Fuerte Amador on the Pacific side of Panama. The 14-day itinerary sails between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles with calls at Aruba, Cartagena, and Puntarenas (Costa Rica) in addition to the Two-Day Canal Experience. A 15-day option offers an additional call in Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala). And another 15-day option sails from San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale with calls at Cabo San Lucas, Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Cartagena, and Aruba. Sailings on these itineraries depart between September 20, 2012 and May 4, 2013. Coral Princess and Island Princess also offer longer Grand Adventures of 17, 18 and 19 days, sailing to and from Vancouver.

The Panama Canal and Caribbean have been featured on the Princess Cruises blog, 50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List. Travel stories from Princess destination experts include inspiring stories about sailing through the Canal, bobsledding in Jamaica, and exploring Tulum in Mexico.

Saga to cruise South and West Africa in winter of 2012-13

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Saga, the UK based company that caters for people over the age of 50, will send two of its ships to South and West Africa in the winter of 2012-13.

Quest for Adventure, the 19,000 gross ton ship that will enter service with Saga’s Spirit of Adventure brand next spring, will operate a fly cruise from Manaus in Brazil to Tema in Ghana in February 2013. It wil be followed by a 15 night fly cruise from there to Cape town, with calls at Lome, Contonou, Sao Tome, Luanda, Walvis Bay and Luderitz on the way.

A 16 night fly cruise from Cape Town to Mosel Bay, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, Richard’s Bay, Maputo and Beira will be next on the schedule, after which the ship will head up north to Tema, replicating the same itinerary as on the way south.

On 15 March 2013, Quest for Adventure will sail from Tema to Takoradi, Freetown, Banjul and Dakar, with a further two calls at the Canary Islands and two in the Madeira archipelago. The cruise will terminate in Funchal, from where passenger will fly to the UK.

Meanwhile, Saga Ruby, the 24,300 gross ton ship of Saga Cruises’ brand, will make a world cruise again in 2013, but this time the ship will sail westbound,  through the Straits of Magellan and around the Cape of Good Hope. This will take the ship to Walvis Bay, Sao Tome, Lome, Takoradi and Freetown in western Africa before the ship will reach Southampton.








Voyages of Discovery to offer 147 night Central and South America cruise in 2012-13

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Voyages of Discovery, the destinational unit in the UK based All Leisure group of cruise brands, will send its 15,300 gross ton Voyager for a 147 night cruise that  take the ship to Central America before sailing around South America and touching the coast of West Africa before return to the UK. The ship will sail from Portsmouth on 4 December 2012 and return there on 29 April 2013, thus making this probably the longest cruise currently for sale in the UK.

“Central America promises a bounty of natural and historic wonders. Uncover the mysteries of the ancient Maya, unlock the secrets of the rainforest and step ashore in cities where architecture reflects the cultures of conquerors past. South America is truly a ‘World in One Continent’ – an amalgam of primitive and sophisticated, spiritual and spectacular, tropical rainforest and endless beaches, snow-capped mountains and ochre-red desert,” the company said in a statement.

Voyager, which was launched in 1990 as Crown Monarch for the now defunct Crown Cruise Line, has been operated on charter by German and Turkish operators, but owned by the All Leisure group since 2009. It will join the UK group’s Voyages of Discovery brand next year and operate in tandem with the 20,636 gross ton Discovery.