Cruise news

by Charlotte Flach

Azamara Announces new five-month World Voyage

Azamara has launched its new World Voyage aboard the company’s newest ship, Azamara Onward. Starting on January 5, 2024, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the 155-night journey will reach over 40 countries in six continents with 22 overnight stays and 27 late nights in port.

Highlights of immersive experiences of the World’s Wonders:

● Great Wall of China (three-night land excursion)
● Great Pyramids of Giza (shore excursion)
● Chichén Itzá (shore excursion)
● Petra (shore excursion)
● Taj Mahal (three-night land excursion)
● Christ the Redeemer (six-night land excursion)
● Colosseum (shore excursion)

Azamara’s World Voyage comes with $7,000 in onboard credit, business class air travel, a pre-voyage hotel stay and gala, access to World Voyage events, a premium beverage package for two, and more. Shore excursions and overnight land excursions will be available at an additional price.

Bookings are currently open to Azamara Circle Loyalty members only and will be open to all on December 7, 2021.

“We are thrilled to finally unveil our World Voyage,” said Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara.

“With opportunities to visit the Seven Wonders of the World and other iconic sites such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos, and the Black Sea, we are allowing our guests to check off all their bucket list destinations in one sailing and to connect with more countries and cultures than ever before.”

AMADEUS fleet will expand in 2022

AMADEUS River Cruises will launch its new five-star ship, the AMADEUS Cara, in spring 2022.

The ship’s first sailing will be an eight-day Classical Rhine Cruise between Basel and Amsterdam departing June 10, 2022 with prices from £1,686.40pp based on two people sharing with all meals; beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; onboard entertainment; use of onboard bicycles; WiFi; and taxes and port charges included.

The 135-metre-long ship will accommodate 163 guests and operate on the Danube, Rhine and its tributaries.

It also features a newly designed sun deck with a lower sun deck lounge, panoramic windows in the staterooms on the Strauss and Mozart decks, and a walk-in balcony in the 10 suites.

A newly developed air filtration system onboard, provides a two-stage cleaning system, which is effective against Covid 19 virus particles and bacteria.

“The new ship in 2022 will not only serve as much needed extra capacity increase for the great demand for our high quality river cruises, but is also a promise to our passengers that we will continue to offer one of the most modern fleets in the five-star segment,” says Kirsty Reid, Product and Sales Manager for AMADEUS River Cruises in the UK.

Riviera Travel launches 2023 European river cruise programme

Riviera Travel has put its 2023 European river cruises on sale. It has also published its European programme earlier than ever before, with all prices matched with 2022 sailings for launch.

Sailing from March to November, there are 299 cruises, across 14 itineraries available, including six sailings exclusively for solo travellers.

The itineraries cover countries such as France, Germany, Portugal, Hungary and the Netherlands, and include:

* Douro, Porto and Salamanca. Eight-day sailing featuring eight guided tours and visits, including tours of Porto and Salamanca; dinner at a traditional Portuguese quinta; and visits to Castelo Rodrigo, Mateus Palace Gardens and Lamego. From £1,569pp.


* Burgundy, the River Rhône and Provence. Eight-day sailing featuring seven visits and tours including Lyon, Arles, Avignon and Vienne; a wine tasting in Beaune; and excursions to the Ardèche Gorges, Popes’ Palace and the Pont du Gard. From £1,569pp.
* The Blue Danube River Cruise: Vienna, Budapest and Salzburg. Eight day sailing featuring seven tours and visits including guided tours of Vienna, Salzburg or Linz, Dürnstein, Budapest and Bratislava; and visits to Esztergom Basilica and Melk Abbey. From £1,519pp.
* Amsterdam, Kinderdijk and the Dutch Bulbfields. Five-day cruise, featuring five visits and tours including visits to the Keukenhof Gardens, Enkhuizen, Kinderdijk and Rotterdam, and a canal cruise in Amsterdam. From £929pp.

Prices include return flights with regional airport options available; Eurostar travel on select itineraries; full board; and scheduled visits and tours. Excursions are available in every port visited, while sailings also include on-board lectures, port talks, entertainment and authentic regional menus.

Katja Hildebrandt, Head of Cruise at Riviera Travel, said: “From the Douro to the Danube, and the Rhine to the Rhône, we’re pleased to be able to offer an extensive range of river cruises along Europe’s most incredible waterways during 2023. We've launched our European programme earlier than ever before to help meet demand for these sailings.

“Guests can effortlessly soak up the views from on-board as they enjoy all-inclusive dining and impeccable service from our wonderful crews. Off the ship, our enthusiastic experts will bring the destinations to life, so guests can immerse themselves in the local culture and history.”

Fred. Olsen returns to its homeland

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is making a return to its homeland of Norway as new ship Borealis sets sail in search of the Northern Lights.

This is Fred. Olsen’s first cruise to Norway since the line resumed sailing in the summer, and marks the start of a new programme of cruising to the region, with 22 sailings across all four seasons in 2022.

Some highlights of the Norway 2022 sailings include:

Bolette’s 14-night ‘In Search of the Northern Lights’ cruise, departing from Southampton on January 30 2022. Prices start from £1,399p.

Borealis’ eight-night ‘Classic Norwegian Fjords’ cruise, departing from Liverpool on April 6 2022. Prices start from £999pp.

Balmoral’s 15-night ‘Rugged and Remote Spitsbergen’ cruise, departing from Newcastle on June 22 2022. Prices start from £2,599pp.

Braemar’s five-night ‘Summertime Fjords in Five Nights’ cruise, departing from Edinburgh (Rosyth) on July 29 2022. Prices start from £799pp.

Martin Lister, Head of Itinerary Planning and Destination Experience at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “At Fred. Olsen, we are proud to sail our own course, and our homeland of Norway is somewhere this really shines through.

“This is especially true in the fjords, where we frequently travel away from the well-sailed route. Here we can offer truly special experiences for our guests, such as sailing Maurangerfjord to show our guests the sprawling Fureberg Waterfall.

“The smaller size of our ships opens up so many possibilities for us. We can sail the size-restricted Lysefjord so guests can look up at the famous Pulpit Rock, or cruise Åkrafjord to the tall and tumbling Langfoss Waterfall, often regarded as the best waterfall in Norway, offering views of spectacular scenery direct from the ship.”

Guernsey reinstates cruise for 2022

Guernsey has reopened for cruise ships. The channel isle will see its first return call taking place on April 14 2022 with the arrival of Hanseatic Spirit.

Running right through the season with the last call to Guernsey’s St Peter Port scheduled on October 30, with the visit of Vasco da Gama, the season will see cruise call numbers returning to pre-pandemic levels.

“Over the last five years we have worked hard to establish an attractive, compelling cruise proposition that offers an unrivalled product in the British Isles,” said Wendy Pedder, Marketing Manager, Trade and Media Relations, Marketing and Tourism, VisitGuernsey.

“We have invested heavily in our cruise infrastructure focusing on our welcome, disembarkation process and extensive and themed shore excursion that in turn have made us attractive to the leading international cruise lines. We are delighted to be bouncing back and seeing the level of interest and commitment from the flagship cruise lines.”

CrosiEurope offers discount on new itinerary

CroisiEurope, has introduced a brand new ‘Prague, Dresden & The Castles of Bohemia’ cruise along the Elbe and Vltava rivers.

The seven-day cruise will operate from March to November 2022. It will take place onboard a paddlewheel ship, sailing round trip from Prague and features calls in Stechovice, Slapy and Melnik.

If booked before December 31 2021, travellers will receive a 15% early booking discount with cruise prices from £1,336pp for the cruise with all meals and drinks, entertainment, port fees and repatriation insurance. Prices after December 31 2021 are from £1,572pp

Highlights of the cruise include the Golden City of Prague; the castles of Bohemia – Konopiste Castle, a former hunting lodge of the Habsburgs, and the Renaissance-style Nelahozeves Castle with its private artwork collection; a visit to the birthplace of the famous Czech composer Antonin Dvorak to learn more about his life and works including the New World Symphony; and a full day in Dresden – also known as the Florence of the Elbe.

Holland America Line launches Black Friday sale

Holland America Line is offering a selected range of Black Friday cruises with the Have It All package included for a reduced deposit of just £99pp between November 23 and 30.

The Have it All package in this offer is worth over $200 per stateroom per week and includes a drinks package, one speciality dining experience, two shore excursions, WIFI and for one week only, crew appreciation (gratuities).

● A seven-night Mediterranean Rivieras, Nieuw Statendam: departing May and 8 for fly/cruise from £1,499pp (including free air from London and regional airports).
● An 18-night Circle Hawaii, Koningsdam: departing February 2 and April 10 2022; and January 31 and April 8 2023. Priced from £2,329pp. Fly/cruise from £3,129pp.
● A 10-night Newfoundland & New England Discovery, Nieuw Statendam, departing September 7 2022, priced from £1,709pp. Fly/cruise from £2,559pp.

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