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Tuesday 12 March 2013
TODAY’S ISSUE OF CW
Cruise Weekly today features four pages
packed full of all the latest cruise news.
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Is Titanic 2 inappropriate?
CUNARD President Peter Shanks has voiced
his opinion on the creation of the Titanic 2,
saying he does not think the ship is
“appropriate”.
“My personal view on the Titanic is that it
was a tragedy”.
“During the 100th anniversary of the Titanic
we took a very low key approach to it, we
talked about the Carpathia that rescued 800
people from the Titanic but we didn’t get
involved in any of the commemorations,” he said.
“From our perspective we don’t think it’s
appropriate to go for a Titanic 2,” he added.
Australian holidaymakers are
flocking to Princess Cruises in
droves, with the company
reporting strong growth in the
market, despite the presence of
so much competition.
SPEAKING to media onboard Diamond
Princess in Sydney last Friday, Princess Cruises
Commercial Director Alan Stuart said “it’s a
very exciting time for Australian cruising”.
“The growth has been very strong, and
obviously that has brought in competition, so
we’ve always got to be ahead of our game, not
only in terms of product delivery but in terms
of destinations,” he said.
Currently three Princess vessels homeport in
regional waters, Sun Princess, Sea Princess and
Dawn Princess, plus the popularity of the
cruise line with Aussies has also prompted
regular guest appearance from the cruise line’s
largest ship, Diamond Princess.
“We’re really fortunate to have Diamond
come in and join Sun, Sea and Dawn, and I’ll be
putting my hand up for it to come more often
than not in the future,” he said, adding that
Princess Cruises is determined to build on
Australia’s burgeoning love affair with cruising.
“We’ve now got our own team in Australia,
with its own sales department [which came
into effect yesterday], to take us to that next
step,” he said.
“The challenges in this market, whilst they
are challenging, are also very exciting,” he
added.
Meanwhile in terms of popular cruising
spots, it seems Australians are not only falling
in love with regional cruising around Australia,
NZ and the Pacific, but also with voyages
farther afield, with Stuart confirming that the
company’s 104 night World cruise from Sydney
in 2014 has proved a big hit with locals in
particular.
The landmark voyage is the first world cruise
departing roundtrip from Sydney to visit South
America, and will include maiden calls in Peru,
Ecuador and Easter Island.
Sailing onboard Dawn Princess the cruise will
also include an optional overland excursion to
Machu Pichu as well as a voyage through the
iconic Panama Canal.
MEANWHILE, Stuart also confirmed that
construction of Princess’ 17th ship, Royal
Princess, is coming along to schedule, with
shipyard workers putting the final touches on
the lady before her big debut in June.
The first Princess newbuild in five years,
Royal will begin her life in the Mediterranean
before heading to the Caribbean.
To learn more about Princess Cruises see
your local travel agent, or visit
www.princess.com.
MSC’s Grand Voyages
MSC Cruises has unveiled two grand voyage
fly-cruise holidays including a 25-night Red Sea
Renaissance Grand Voyage aboard MSC Armonia
(from $4,369); and a 38-night Arabian Nights
Grand Voyage aboard MSC Lirica (from $5,824pp).
The fly/cruise packages begin with flights
from Australia on 24 Oct 2013, and once in
Europe, the Red Sea Renaissance cruise
departs roundtrip from Venice to Kotor, Corfu,
Dubrovnik, Heraklion, Marmaris, Port Said, Sharm
el Sheikh, Safaga, Eilat, Aqaba and Sokhna.
Meanwhile the Arabian Nights Grand Voyage
begins in Genoa and calls at Civitavecchia,
Messina, Marmaris, Limassol, Haifa and
Zakynthos before returning to Genoa.
The MSC Lirica then returns to Rome, before
venturing to Valetta, Piraeus, Port Said, Muscat,
Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Fujayrah and Khasab.
See msccruises.com.au.
Princess eyes Australian growth
Website: www.cruiseweekly.com.au | Phone: 1300 799 220 | Fax: 1300 799 221 | Email: info@cruiseweekly.com.au Page 2
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ZZZFUXLVHZHHNO\FRPDX Tuesday 12 March 2013
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Caledonian Sky makes maiden visit
APT's newly acquired 110-
passenger expedition cruise
ship has arrived in Sydney for
the first time.
CALEDONIAN Sky made its maiden visit to
Sydney Harbour on Sunday following a 25-day
cruise starting in New Zealand for passengers
from the UK.
The event was marked by Sydney Port
Corporation's traditional presentation of a
plaque to ship operator, Australian-owned APT.
APT's General Manager Marketing, Debra Fox
received the plaque and hosted groups of
agents, media and staff on tours of inspection.
“It feels like a private yacht or a fine country
club,” she said.
In June last year, APT invested in the Noble
Caledonia cruise company and its specialists
ships Caledonia Sky and Island Sky.
Caledonia Sky is the main ship featured in
APT's Luxury Small Ship Expedition Cruises
2013-14, specifically created for the Australian
and New Zealand market for cruises covering
the regions of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea,
Australia's Kimberley coast, and Japan while
the Island Sky offers a circumnavigation of Cuba.
Each departure is a one-off, which the
company says makes the APT expedition
program the most specialised on the seas.
Caledonia Sky is equipped with a fine dining
restaurant, lounges and sun decks.
It visits smaller ports where big ships cannot
stop because of their need of greater facilities
and infrastructure.
Passengers can also undertake excursions at
the same time because it has 10 onboard
Zodiacs, with expeditions led by marine
biologists, historians, geologists,
anthropologists, explorers and botanists.
Five different cabin styles are offered, and each
suite is at least 216 square feet, which is almost
twice the size of suites on standard big ships.
The stars come out to shine in Sydney onboard Celebrity Solstice
LAST week Celebrity Solstice played host to
celebrities and philanthropists alike at a
glittering McGrath Foundation event to raise
money for McGrath Breast Care Nurses in
communities right across Australia.
The evening began with pre-dinner drinks at
the ship's Lawn Club, and was followed up
with dinner in the ship's specialty dining
restaurant, Tuscan Grille, where Foundation
Friend and TV personality, Johanna Griggs, emceed as guests ate a sumptuous dinner, while ‘The
Voice’ finalist Darren Percival crooned soulful tunes and entertained guests with skills not seen
on TV, from beat-boxing to Louis Armstrong impersonations.
Pictured (from left) is: Adam Armstrong (Commercial Director, Celebrity Cruises Australia), Kylea
Tink (CEO, McGrath Foundation), Sara McGrath, Glenn McGrath AM (Chairman McGrath Foundation),
Clare Sellers, Basil Sellers AM, Ken Moran (Board Director, McGrath Foundation), Tracy Bevan
(Foundation Ambassador & Director), and Terry Brown (Board Director, McGrath Foundation).
Cruise Weekly’s cruise calendar details
upcoming port calls of passenger cruise
ships at various destinations in Australia.
DARWIN
Sea Princess Wed 13 Mar
Radiance of the Seas Thu 14 Mar
Diamond Princess Fri 15 Mar
BRISBANE
Pacific Jewel Sat 16 Mar
Sun Princess Mon 18 Mar
Cruise
Calendar
MELBOURNE
Carnival Spirit Thu 14 Mar
Dawn Princess Sat 16 Mar
Marina Sun 17 Mar
Oosterdam Mon 18 Mar
SYDNEY
Marina Wed 13 Mar
Pacific Jewel Thu 14 Mar
Oosterdam Sat 16 Mar
Pacific Jewel Mon 18 Mar
Queen Mary 2 Tue 19 Mar
HOBART
Carnival Spirit Sun 17 Mar
Carnival Spirit Tue 19 Mar
Marina Tue 19 Mar
BURNIE
Carnival Spirit Sat 16 Mar
CAIRNS
Caledonian Sky Thu 14 Mar
Still time for Uniworld deals
CRUISERS still have some time to make use
of Uniworld’s program offering discounts of up
to $1500 per couple off select departures
across Europe and up to $650 per couple on
select Asia departures, with the cruise line
extending the deal until 31 March.
As such, to take advantage of the deal, cruisers
need to book and pay their deposit by 31 March,
on itineraries ranging from eight to 27 days.
Reduced prices start from $3,265pp for an
eight-day Venice and the Po River voyage.
See your travel agent for details.
Website: www.cruiseweekly.com.au | Phone: 1300 799 220 | Fax: 1300 799 221 | Email: info@cruiseweekly.com.au Page 3
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Tuesday 12 March 2013
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MIDDLE EAST & ASIA
Discovery Cruising on Voyager
Dreaming in the Caribbean
CARNIVAL Dream has had her 2014/15
Caribbean line-up out of Port Canaveral spiced
up with new five, seven and eight night
itineraries.
Marking the first “short” Caribbean
itineraries sported by one of Carnival’s Dream-
class ships, the two five-day voyages will
depart between May 2014 and March 2015,
and will call into ports including Key West,
Nassau, Freeport and Grand Turk; whilst the
new once-a-month four-port seven-day cruises
will include stops at Grand Turk, San Juan, St.
Thomas and Nassau.
Meanwhile the eight-day itineraries include
a three-port Southern Caribbean voyage which
stops at Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk; as
well as an eastern Caribbean itinerary
featuring visits
to St. Maarten,
Tortola, St.
Thomas and
Grand Turk.
Pictured right:
Carnival Dream
Regional ports prepare for future
Geelong, Cairns, Newcastle
and Hobart are among the
cities stepping up ship access,
facilities and activities for
cruise passengers.
SMALLER cities around Australia are jumping
on the cruise bandwagon with new ways to
entice world-class ships, according to Cruise
Down Under, an organisation representing
regional ports and tourism bodies.
Geelong, in Victoria, has committed $5m to
the redevelopment of Yarra Street Pier to make
the arrival and docking process safer and easier.
At present, visiting ships use a swing mooring
and have to tender passengers ashore.
The proposal provides adequate berthing for
large ships and involves dredging an approach
channel to enable access to the new pier.
The Royal Geelong Yacht Club has also
pledged $2.5 million for the project, while the
city's council is lobbying the State and Federal
Government to fund the balance.
The City of Greater Geelong anticipates the
number of cruise ships visiting the region to
grow to 25 annually by 2025.
Cairns has also commenced a shipping
channel expansion project, which will see
shipping access to the port expanded to cater
for mega cruise ships up to Voyager Class by 2016.
The project will widen the existing 90m
channel to 140m and increase its depth from
8.3m to 9.4m, while also improving the wharf
structure.
In NSW, Newcastle Port Corporation recently
completed a dredging program that has
increased the depth of the cruise berth to
9.7m, which will allow the berth to be more
accessible to the larger cruise ships now
deployed to the Australian region.
A new 'meet & greet' initiative this cruise
season has also seen the introduction of an Art
Bazaar held at Newcastle Museum specifically
for cruise ship visits.
In NT, Darwin has doubled its capacity to
receive cruise ships, with a $21m
infrastructure upgrade to the Stokes Hill
Wharf, which is now able to accommodate
ships up to 30,000GT and 200 metres long.
Stokes Hill Wharf housed the original Darwin
Cruise Ship Terminal until Fort Hill Wharf was
opened in 2008.
Passengers arriving at Stokes Hill Wharf can
use a coach rank, shuttle bus pick-up and
drop-off as well as the local restaurants and
cafes.
Tourism Victoria has also put together new
itineraries in the Yarra Valley aimed at families
and in Mornington Peninsula and Daylesford
for high-end passengers.
IF you love B.B King then Eurodam’s for you!
The smooth sounds of the legendary B.B.
King will soon be heard aboard Holland
America Lines’ Eurodam, with the launch of
the vessel’s new B.B. King's Blues Club.
Between now and 20 June, the Club will
transform Eurodam’s Queen's Lounge into a
vibrant blues musical experience five nights
each week, with guests entertained by an
eight-piece band backed by a drummer,
bassist, guitarist, sax player, trumpet player
and Hammond B-3 organ player.
The Club will also be decorated with
portraits of King and other musical legends.
Website: www.cruiseweekly.com.au | Phone: 1300 799 220 | Fax: 1300 799 221 | Email: info@cruiseweekly.com.au Page 4
Cruise Weekly is Australia’s favourite online cruising publication.
In production since 2007, Cruise Weekly is published each Tuesday,
with a further travel industry update each Thursday.
Cruise Weekly is free and is sent to subscribers via email as an Adobe
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Sign up for a free subscription at www.cruiseweekly.com.au.
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Phone: 1300 799 220 Fax: 1300 799 221
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Cruise Weekly no liability can be accepted for errors or omissions. Information is published in good faith to stimulate independent investigation of the matters canvassed. Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by Bruce Piper.
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Tuesday 12 March 2013
APT MS Caledonian Sky- Transportation to Van Diemans Land
by: Roderick Eime
Caledonian Sky in Coles Bay, Tasmania Guests explore Maria Island Zodiac operations at Flinders Island
“Sit down now!” “Don't step onto the boat until you are told to do
so!” “Give me both hands first!” Such are our stern orders as we
prepare to go ashore at Maria Island, one of Tasmania's gruesome
penal sites off the east coast of the 'apple isle'. Whoa-betide any
clumsy lubber who should fail to observe these directions.
No, we are not re-enacting a chapter from “For the term of his
natural life” and our instructions are not being delivered by some
savage cat-o-nine-tails wielding overseer, but rather our diminutive
Zodiac driver keen to ensure her self-loading cargo is stowed
promptly without incident. I shouldn't wince at the directness, as I'm
sure the guests making this short journey 150 years ago received far
less polite requests.
I am aboard MS Caledonian Sky, formerly Hebridean Spirit, a
recently refurbished expedition vessel and one of the eight compact
Renaissance class ships that include the former Orion II, Island Sky
and Sea Spirit. Most have had numerous names and lives with at
least as many masters but they have proven themselves perfectly
capable in delivering at the soft end of expedition cruising.
Several of the expedition team I have met on previous ships,
reinforcing the 'small world' of adventure cruising but my biggest
surprise is to find Australian Capt Frank Allica back at the helm after
last sailing under his charge on Orion II.
“She's been much better maintained than Orion II,” Capt Frank tells
me candidly as we sit for a coffee out on the sun-drenched Lido
Deck, “and not had such a hard life.” His relaxed demeanour speaks
volumes.
The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114
passengers in 57 spacious outside suites across seven categories, 23
with private balconies. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some
feature bathtubs, making them deserving of the 'luxury' title. There
are two restaurants, a Club, small gym, library, clinic, salon and
lounge/lecture room across five decks.
The significance of this vessel's arrival in Australian waters is its
new position in the Noble Caledonia fleet and the 85th anniversary
of APT, the Australian family-owned business which bought a
strategic stake in Noble Caledonia this year.
Formed in 1991, Noble Caledonia operates river cruises, expedition
cruises, small ship cruises and land tours in 15 world regions,
including Antarctica and the Arctic with seven vessels hosting
between 50 to 160 passengers. Noble Caledonia owns two vessels
and operates the others on long-term charters, marketing its
holidays to a predominantly UK clientèle. A point made clear by the
make up of passengers aboard this itinerary, the Antipodean
Odyssey, a journey beginning in Wellington NZ, crossing the Tasman
and culminating in Sydney after visits to Hobart, Port Arthur, Wine
Glass Bay, Maria Island, Flinders Island and Melbourne. From
Sydney, she continues to Cairns, West Papua, Indonesia, Borneo, the
Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Kamchatka, Alaska and Vancouver
where she arrives in July.
For comparative purposes, these itineraries are approx AU$750 per
person, per night twin share (without airfares) and includes wine,
beer and soft drinks with meals, all excursions, taxes and gratuities.
Extras include premium drinks and minibar outside meal times,
espresso coffee and Internet (GBP12 for 100mins).
For details of future sailings see your ICCA agent, contact 1300 278
278 or see www.aptouring.com.au.