Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

World’s longest cruise set to visit 59 countries in 245 days

<p>Fancy a world cruise that calls at 113 ports in 59 countries across six continents in 245 days?</p> <p>That'll be $117,995 thanks. For the most basic room. Prefer to travel in the top-of-the-range owner's suite? If you had a spare $342,895 you would have been in with a chance but it's already taken.</p> <p>Billing itself as the longest ever continuous world cruise, the Norwegian-owned Viking Sun embarks on the eight-month journey on August 31, 2019. </p> <p>Departing from London's Greenwich, the 930-passenger vessel stops in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Faroe Islands and Norway before crossing the Atlantic to Iceland and Greenland. </p> <p>From there, it makes its way around America to Los Angeles where it skips through the South Pacific to New Zealand, calling at several ports on both islands before heading to Australia. </p> <p>Then it's up through Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa and southern Europe, eventually arriving back in London. </p> <p>The price includes business class airfares, private car transfers to the ship, "virtually all drinks on board" and one excursion in each port. </p> <p>The cheapest fare of $117,995 per person means a couple travelling together will pay $235,990, or $963 a day between them. </p> <p>The cruise appears to be filling up fast, with only wait list spaces for the cheapest fares. There are spaces available in mid-range cabins. </p> <p>Luxury touches aboard the 465-stateroom ship include a glass-backed infinity pool cantilevered off the stern, a Nordic spa with a "snow grotto" where snowflakes descend from the ceiling through chilled air, a winter garden and eight restaurants. </p> <p>Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said the lines world cruises "offer guests the rare opportunity to unpack once and explore dozens of the best destinations on earth - at a value that is unprecedented in the travel industry". </p> <p>If nearly A$117,995 is your idea of a value holiday that is. </p> <p><em>Written by Lorna Thornber. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz"><strong><u>Stuff.co.nz.</u></strong> </a></em></p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

Richard Branson is building a luxury cruise ship for adults only

<p>Virgin Voyages, the cruise line launched by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, has released renderings of its new adult-only cruise ship.</p> <p>The <em>Scarlet Lady</em> will have an 18-year-old age requirement and will feature a nightclub, a thermal spa, two restaurants, athletic clubs and a barbershop.</p> <p>The interior and exterior have been conceptualised by some of the world’s most successful design firms, including Tom Dixon Design Studio of London, Roman and Williams of New York and Concrete Amsterdam.</p> <p>“Our design partners together with our internal design team have dreamed up eye-catching, intimate and alluring spaces that we can’t wait to see come to life,” said Tom McAlpin, President and Chief Executive Officer for Virgin Voyages, in a statement to <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au"><strong><em><u>Business Insider</u></em></strong></a>.</p> <p>There will also be an exclusive outdoor lounge called Richard’s Roof-deck for suite guests.</p> <p>Inside the ship, guests can choose between two restaurants, Pink Agave and Test Kitchen.</p> <p>The ship will have an outdoor athletic club for guests who are interested in joining a boxing class or running track. The indoor gym will offer group fitness classes, yoga and stationary bicycles.</p> <p>There will also be a thermal spa called Redemption that will have a hydrotherapy pool, mud room, salt room, cold plunge rooms, quartz beds and other spa treatments.</p> <p>For those looking for furthering pampering, there will also be a nail salon, a barbershop and a hair salon.</p> <p>The ship is expected to arrive in Port Miami in 2020 for its maiden journey.</p> <p>It will hold 2,700 passengers and 1,150 crew members.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see inside the luxury cruise line.</p> <p><em>Photo: Virgin Voyages</em></p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

Cruise ship worker rescued 22 hours after falling overboard

<p>A cruise ship worked who fell overboard has been miraculously rescued by another passing cruise ship.</p> <p>The 33-year-old man, who was working for Norwegian Cruise Line, is in a stable condition after reportedly treading water for 22 hours to stay alive.</p> <p>According to the US Coast Guard, the worker went overboard at around 3.20 pm local time on Saturday, 45 kilometres north west of Pinar del Rio, Cuba.</p> <p>The man fell off the <em>Norwegian Getaway</em> and was rescued by Carnival Cruise Line’s <em>Carnival Glory</em>.</p> <p>“It was nothing short of miraculous,” president of Carnival Cruise Line, Christine Duffy, said in a statement.</p> <p>The search for the man was suspended on Saturday evening, but a cabin steward from the <em>Carnival Glory</em> spotted him in the water at around 1.20 pm on Sunday.</p> <p>Carnival spokeswoman AnnMarie Matthews said the man did not have any safety device on when he was rescued and they “can only surmise that he was likely treading water the entire time”.</p> <p>“Kudos to the <em>Carnival Glory</em> team for this amazing effort to rescue a fellow seafarer,” Ms Duffy said.</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://miami.cbslocal.com/2018/07/01/missing-cruise-employee-found/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em>CBS Miami</em></strong></span></a>, US Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally said: "The <em>Carnival Glory</em> had found someone in the water waving their arms and they rescued him and he was the missing <em>Norwegian Getaway</em> crew member and that was roughly about 21 miles north of Cuba.”</p> <p>Norwegian said in a statement that the line is “extremely thankful” to Carnival Cruise line.</p> <p>“We are so happy to know that the individual is safe and will soon be reunited with friends and family,” the Norwegian statement said.</p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

Rare Titanic letter offers insight into life on doomed ship

<p>A rare letter written on-board the Titanic recently went up for auction, giving a glimpse of what life was like on the historic ship.</p> <p>According to auction house Henry Aldridge &amp; Son, the letter was written by Second Class passenger and survivor Kate Buss.</p> <p>The letter, written on April 10, 1912, is addressed to her brother Percy James and was in response to a letter she had received from him while on the historic ship.</p> <p>“I’ve been quite alright — but now feel dead tired and more fit for bed than anything,” Ms Buss wrote.</p> <p>“Have to go to dinner-tea in half an hour.”</p> <p>The letter reveals more about everyday life on the Titanic, which sank on April 15, killing 1503 passengers.</p> <p>“Mr Peters spent about an hour on the vessel and they might easily have spent another without waste of time,” Ms Buss wrote.</p> <p>“The first class apartments are really magnificent and unless you had first seen them you would think the second class were the same.”</p> <p>Ms Buss said the ship had not yet reached Cherbourg, France, but the mail had cleared.</p> <p>“I think I’d best try and get some postcards of the vessel,” she wrote.</p> <p>She also said that the passenger she was sharing her stateroom with had not yet turned up. She was also told by two clergymen sitting opposite her at the table to eat a good lunch.</p> <p>Ms Buss finished her letter by informing her brother that she was putting her letter in the post.</p> <p>“Must clear and have a wash now,” she wrote. “Will pop this in the [mail] in case I’m sea sick tomorrow. PW brought a box of chocolates — shouldn’t wonder if I’m like Jim Buss and get it the other way. Give my love to all enquirers — must go. Much love, Kate.”</p> <p>Ms Buss was travelling to America to marry her fiancé Samuel Willis.</p> <p>She survived the Titanic sinking when the <a href="http://www.oversixty.co.nz/travel/travel-trouble/2018/04/the-call-that-sealed-the-fate-of-titanic-victims/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Carpathia</span><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> picked her up</span></strong></a> along with 705 other passengers.</p> <p>Kate Buss and Samuel Willis married on May 11 as planned.</p> <p>She passed away on July 12, 1972 at the age of 96.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Henry Aldridge &amp; Son</em></p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

What it’s like to cruise around NZ solo

<p>The last time I sailed on Azamara Journey was in 2014, on an unforgettable cruise from Athens to Rome.</p> <p>A general strike in Athens meant Syntagma Square was packed with  protesters and tours to the Acropolis were out of the question. No matter; my cruise companion and I boarded the Journey at Piraeus to find we'd been magically upgraded to the Club World Owner's Suite. Any sense of sightseeing disappointment evaporated in a trice.</p> <p>Four years on, I'm on a mission to check out what's changed since the ship had a multimillion-dollar refurb in 2016 – and to experience sailing solo for a change. Azamara Journey's cruise starts in Auckland, recently rated the world's third-most liveable city (after Vienna and Zurich). I'm not surprised by this news – Auckland is easy to get around on public transport, scores highly on the shopping, dining and natural-attractions scene and its cruise port is right there in the middle of the city.</p> <p align="center"><img src="https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/p/j/0/b/p/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620x349.1pj0lo.png/1524519902434.jpg" alt="The ship had a multimillion-dollar refurb in 2016." class="photoborder"/></p> <p align="center"><em>The ship had a multimillion-dollar refurb in 2016.</em></p> <p>Before we sail out of Auckland, we are treated to an impressive onboard performance of the haka and other tribal dances by a local band of musicians. They manage to entice a surprising number of passengers to join them on the deck and it's a fun start to the cruise.</p> <p>After the excitement of sailaway – and a vaguely worrying thought about dining alone – dinner on the aft deck of Windows Cafe proves to be a breeze. A seafood buffet is in full swing – you pick your own ingredients and the chefs cook it all in front of you – and my table for one (OK four, with three empty places) overlooking the Hauraki Gulf is the best place to be for amazing sunset views and casual conversations.</p> <p align="center"><img src="https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/p/j/0/b/o/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620x349.1pj0lo.png/1524519902434.jpg" alt="The pool deck on Azamara Journey." class="photoborder"/></p> <p align="center"><em>The pool deck on Azamara Journey.</em></p> <p>Has the ship changed much over four years? Yes and no. The decor is brighter and lighter, a selection of house drinks is now included in the fare, dining is better than ever and the service even more attentive than I recall. The former Looking Glass Lounge is now the more attractive Living Room, where wine and tapas are served in the evening and coffee and snacks during the day, while favourite features such as the painted tromp de l'oeil ceiling in the library (Drawing Room) remain.</p> <p>On the way to the Bay of Islands I join a table of single travellers for dinner, hosted by cruise director Tony Markey. You have to book a spot in advance and there are so many of us we spill onto a neighbouring table. It's a lively evening. On one side of me sits a former US senator, on the other a retired teacher, also from the US. An English woman gets straight to the point – "What are you going to do about your gun laws?" Then we talk Trump, Brexit, travel, sex and everything else under the sun.</p> <p>Over the next few days, friendships develop; Azamara Journey's size and spaces are very conducive to sociability, whether you're travelling with a group, couple or on your own. And if you're not the most confident single traveller, organised cruise excursions are a boon. Whether you take a ship's tour or a cheaper option offered by a local operator, it takes the hassle out of making the arrangements yourself and, particularly if you choose a small-group tour, you get to know fellow passengers along the way.</p> <p align="center"><img src="https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/p/j/0/b/q/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620x349.1pj0lo.png/1524519902434.jpg" alt="The Aqualina restaurant." class="photoborder"/></p> <p align="center"><em>The Aqualina restaurant.</em></p> <p>I join a Waitangi walking tour at the Bay of Islands. Guide Morrie is a straight-talking Māori who shares his extensive knowledge of his ancestors' culture as we wander along the glittering rocky coastline. He explains the significance of the massive ceremonial canoe, which is launched every February for Waitangi Day celebrations, and inside the surprisingly homely Treaty House we inspect a replica of the historic Waitangi Treaty.</p> <p>At the ornately carved Meeting House, which symbolically faces the Treaty House, we see a dazzling display of Māori weaponry, stick games and the haka; later we split up to try our hands at wood-carving or flax-weaving. Not something I'll be doing again, by the way, crafts are not my forte. Azamara Journey's visiting magician Paul Draper accompanies the tour – his show in the new 54 Below venue that evening is mind-boggling.</p> <p>My next outing is with eight other passengers from Tauranga to Rotorua, the birthplace of Maori culture. Minibus driver John keeps up a running commentary during the 45-minute drive, on everything from soaring real-estate prices in seafront Mount Maunganui to how the freshwater lakes surrounding Rotorua are full of trout. You can catch the fish but selling them is illegal.</p> <p align="center"><img src="https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/p/j/0/b/s/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620x349.1pj0lo.png/1524519902434.jpg" alt="Kayaking the Queen Charlotte Sound." class="photoborder"/></p> <p style="text-align: center;" align="center"><em>Kayaking the Queen Charlotte Sound.</em></p> <p>The gushing geysers and bubbling mud pools at Te Puia are as dramatic as I'd imagined and the sulphur smell much fainter. It's a key tourist attraction and very managed – however, our onsite guide talks geology with authority and takes us through a nocturnal sanctuary to observe a pair of young kiwi birds. You can only see the native "slow breeders" in the wild if you're accompanied by a ranger.</p> <p>After a look through the inspirational new NZ Arts &amp; Crafts Institute in Te Puia we spend an hour or so at the Polynesian Spa, languishing in geothermal pools that overlook steaming, multicoloured Lake Rotorua and far distant mountains. We agree on the drive back to the ship that another hour there would have been preferable to the educational pit stop we make at a kiwifruit farm – but it's a first-world problem.</p> <p>By the time we reach Picton the weather is considerably cooler and the prospect of kayaking on Queen Charlotte Sound is suddenly not so enticing. Nobody else is piking out, though, and it turns out to be a wonderful, energising experience. Ten of us paddle about 14 kilometres in and out of bays and coves in a mountainous landscape that's so vast and silent it's quite mystical; our entertaining guide's dry comments bring us back to earth (or sea).</p> <p>Another highlight is the AzAmazing Evening in Wellington. These special events are held once on every cruise and almost everyone on the ship attends the superb Symphony by the Sea in Wellington Cathedral. Even if you don't know much about classical music you recognise these pieces; two are traditional songs made famous by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.</p> <p>I jump ship in Dunedin and catch a glimpse of Azamara Journey a few days later in Sydney, where it's setting off on its 102-night Bridge to Bridge voyage to London. Fifty-two passengers are on board for the full cruise; as Captain Johannes Tysse says, "I hope they won't be climbing the walls by the end of it, but we have plenty of things to keep them entertained."</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p><strong>Cruise</strong></p> <p><em>Azamara Quest will sail four voyages between Australia and New Zealand in 2019; 16-night Melbourne to Auckland, departing January 6; 16-night Auckland to Sydney, departing January 22; 14-night Sydney to Auckland, departing February 7; and 15-night Auckland to Cairns, departing February 21. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__azamaraclubcruises.com&amp;d=DwMGaQ&amp;c=N9aEhCy8U0rJkO1xCZf7rgM9fohfR5qe_N93viZd7O8&amp;r=kNONHh_9qghstnaZzt5LFySipmRKjcpxz7waAfXLdzs&amp;m=jqIGzfOoUiMQ3dWC9TedpQQtBI1lo6umx6SU66fU_60&amp;s=KMSZ5_2TXwEZLDFa5Q4vaRWekJRzkbWSDWBwQ9_fc_Y&amp;e=" target="_blank">azamaraclubcruises.com</a></strong></span></em></p> <p><em>Sally Macmillan travelled as a guest of Azamara Club Cruises and Emirates.</em></p> <p><em>Sally Macmillan. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz.</span></strong></a></em></p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

3 very good reasons to try a senior singles cruise

<p>Sometimes the most rewarding things we do in life are those that force us to get out of our comfort zone. Whilst the thought of going on a cruise by yourself might be terrifying, all the other passengers onboard will be in the same boat. Here are some of the great benefits of embarking on a senior singles cruise.</p> <p><strong>1.  Meet new people</strong></p> <p>Whether you end up finding love on the cruise or not, you will have the opportunity to meet plenty of people who are in the same season as life as you. If you don’t meet a partner, you could still end up finding terrific friends. Singles cruises are very social, so expect to meet new people on a day-to-day basis. Singles cruises will strategically help you form friendships with fun classes, social mixers and seating at mealtime.</p> <p><strong>2. Same motives</strong></p> <p>Singles cruises are exclusive to singles so all passengers can have an opportunity to find love. While enjoying the ocean views and blue skies, whoever you come across you will know they are on the cruise as the same reason as you – to meet someone new in an exciting way!  Knowing that everyone on board is single, will help you know that whoever catches your eye is open to starting a relationship.</p> <p><strong>3.  Fun environment</strong></p> <p>Whatever way you like to have fun, whether that be pottery or dance classes or playing golf, senior singles cruises have it all. If you find someone on board, you have a list of great date activities that you can do together as you get to know them. If you are finding it hard to strike up a conversation with someone or feel like you are getting lost in the crowd, you can do a social activity to get out of your cabin.</p> <p>Have you ever been on a singles cruise? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments below.</p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

Should you take your own pillow on a cruise?

<p>Going on a cruise, no matter how long your journey may be, requires you to pack some essential items to make it through the trip.</p> <p>One cruiser has asked other travellers on <a href="https://boards.cruisecritic.com.au/showthread.php?t=833016" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Cruise Critic</strong></em></span></a> if it is necessary to pack his pillow for his sea adventure.</p> <p>“I was wondering if anybody every brings their own pillows. If the pillows are good, I won't worry about it. I just don't want to have neck cramps all week,” he asked.</p> <p>Here are the responses he received from a community of avid cruisers.</p> <p>CruiseDude_83 said: “Yes every cruise. It is not because I feel that the ones on the cruise are dirty i just sleep on my own better…”</p> <p>ChristieNJ wrote” “Never! It's sad that the cruise pillows are WAYYY more comfortable than my own!”</p> <p>CL-JW agreed: “We’ve found the pillows to be good on board.”</p> <p>Tika shared: “I always take my little travel pillow with me when I travel. It is about half the size of a standard pillow and scrunches real small so easy to pack. I know some folks have asked their cabin stewards for different pillows and they always accommodate their requests. One line we cruised on actually asked us in a pre-cruise questionnaire what type of pillows we wanted and bed duvet or standard spread.”</p> <p>Retiredawacs said: “I’ve travelled all over the world and I don't leave home without my pillow. I always find a way to make room for it. I've been told though that on our cruise in three weeks that there is a pillow menu to select from. We are staying in a GS. I still think I will take my own.”</p> <p>Cruiser starlake shared his tricks to travelling with his pillow.</p> <p>“I always take my own pillow. I don't have any problem with the ship's pillows, I just like my own,” he wrote. <br /> “I have a standard size pillow and either make room for it in my checked luggage, or if there is no room there I have simply tied it to my carry-on and go through airport security. I have never been asked to find room inside the carry-on and have never had anyone even say anything about it. It is amazing if you look around airports and see how many people carry their own pillow.”</p> <p>Do you pack your pillow when you go on a cruise? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

Aboard Australia’s only country music cruise

<p>The Australian country music cruise, <em>Cruisin’ Country</em>, is back for its eighth consecutive year.</p> <p>Departing from Sydney in October 2018, the seven-night cruise has an impressive line-up of the best Aussie country musicians.</p> <p>The cruise will be on luxury liner <em>Radiance of The Seas</em> and will travel to Noumea and the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia.</p> <p>Artists who will perform on the cruise include John Williamson, Troy Cassar-Daley, Graeme Connors, Gina Jeffreys, Sara Storer, Tania Kernaghan, Anne Kirkpatrick, James Blundell and Amber Lawrence.</p> <p>But the country music isn’t the only treat lined up for guests. The cruise will also have activities such as dancing lessons, workshops, bush poetry and open mic sessions.</p> <p>This cruise, which is part of the Choose Your Cruise brand, has seen more than 38,000 passengers embark on this Aussie country escape since 2009.</p> <p>Choose Your Cruise’s Caitlin Manov said: “The minute you get onboard – even if you are travelling alone – you are part of 2000-plus country fans who are onboard for the very same reason as you, a shared passion for music.”</p> <p>“In many cases, if you were to go to a concert or music festival at home, it isn’t that often that you would strike up a conversation with the person next to you, as you are usually there to see the artists and then move on to your next destination. The great thing about <em>Cruisin’ Country </em>is that everyone feels so relaxed being on holiday, it creates an atmosphere that you want to be part of every year,” she said.</p> <p>“There is something very special about the country music industry in Australia,” she added.</p> <p>“It comes down to the fact that artists and punters alike are genuine, good people. There are no egos or rock stars in country music, there are just people with a story to tell and new friends you are yet to meet that are there to listen.</p> <p>“This welcoming attitude is what made <em>Cruisin’ Country </em>a possibility for us. We dreamed of creating an inclusive atmosphere where artists and guests could be entertained and enjoy some time away from the real world.</p> <p>“Luckily, this dream was able to become a reality by the incredible artists we have onboard, who are more than happy to stop for a chat after a show, or stop for a photo by the pool. The intimacy that comes with being on a ship with your favourite artist is something you will not find at any concert or music festival elsewhere and we are very proud of that. We love our <em>Cruisin’ Country </em>family.”</p> <p>The family cruise takes place from the 9-16 October and <a href="https://chooseyourcruise.com.au/cruises/cruisin-country-8/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">tickets are now on sale.</span></strong></a></p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

The extraordinary story of the British sailor who could have saved the Titanic

<p>In 1912, sailor David Blair avoided death when he was taken off the crew for Titanic’s maiden voyage.</p> <p>It turns out, the sailor could’ve played an unknowing role in the historic tragedy by walking away with the key to a locker containing the vessels crow’s nest binoculars.</p> <p>Historians believe if the binoculars had been accessible on the journey, the iceberg which caused the fatal sinking, may have been spotted earlier.</p> <p>According to the Britain’s Burton Mail, Titanic survivor Fred Fleet told an official inquiry that if they had access to binoculars, they would’ve spotted the iceberg earlier.</p> <p>“David Blair was standing by for three months in Belfast when the Titanic was being built and was signed on for the whole of the New York voyage,” retired Derby headteacher Murray Shaw told the Burton Mail.</p> <p>"He would have been responsible for all the navigation equipment but was taken off the ship in Southampton, surplus to requirements. As a former Navy man myself, I can understand why he would have been upset."</p> <p>Mr Blair was involved in sea trials to assess the Titanic prior to its maiden voyage to New York.</p> <p>He was supposed to be the second officer on the trip when the ship’s owner drafted in senior officer Henry Wilde from sister ship the Olympic.</p> <p>In a postcard to his sister, Mr Blair his expressed his disappointment that he was replaced.</p> <p>"Am afraid I shall have to step out to make room for chief officer of the Olympic. This is a magnificent ship, I feel very disappointed I am not to make her first voyage,” he wrote.</p> <p>On April 14, 1912, the Titanic hit an iceberg at 11:45 and by 2:20am the next morning, it had sunk.</p> <p>More than 1,500 passengers and crew, including Mr Blair’s replacement died.</p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

The bizarre way to make a cruise ship bigger

<p>In a world first for a luxury cruise ship, Silversea's Silver Spirit has been sliced in half during an ambitious lengthening project.</p> <p>A prebuilt 15-metre segment will be inserted inside in order to create more space on board the ship for public areas.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="497" height="280" src="/media/7818109/in-text_497x280.jpg" alt="In Text (3)"/></p> <p>The dissection of the 32,600 tonne ship occurred in front of an audience of international press and VIP guests, who were able to watch the manoeuvring of the vast new midsection into place.</p> <p>The operation will not be completed until May 5 and is expected to take 450,000 hours to complete with more than 500 skilled workers.</p> <p>The Silver Spirit's new length of 210.7 metres is expected to increase the capacity of the ship by around 12 per cent.</p> <p>Four new restaurants will be found on board the ship's new midsection, bringing the total number of dining rooms to eight, capable of seating 15 per cent more diners.</p> <p>On top of the extension is an additional 15 metres of sky deck alongside the pool area, with 20 per cent more outdoor seating and a new aerobics area.</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>Inside, there will be a new spa, expanded gym and two cafes.</p> <p>All suites will also undergo a refurbishment before the ship sets sail again on May 6.</p> <p>Silversea donated all the ships' old furniture to charity, filling 11 containers with 4652 items of furniture, computers and other articles, to be used for social welfare purposes in institutions across the island of Chania, Crete, identified as an island in need.</p> <p>The ship's first service will be a seven-day cruise between Rome and Barcelona.</p> <p><em>Written by Kylie Mclaughlin. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz.</span></strong></a></em></p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

This tiny Alaskan town is preparing for its first cruise ship visit ever

<p>The Alaska village of Larsen Bay - with a population of 87 - will have its first luxury cruise ship visit this summer.</p> <p>Kodiak city harbourmaster Lon White said it's the first time he can remember a cruise liner visiting one of Kodiak's outlying villages, the Kodiak Daily Mirror <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://bit.ly/2DKXGEM" target="_blank">reports</a></strong></span>.</p> <p>Village Mayor Alice Aga said the ship's stop will allow residents to supplement their income at a time when the Icicle Seafoods processing plant will be closed. Jobs in the village depend almost entirely on tribal and local government administration when the plant is closed.</p> <p>“The community is really excited,” Aga said.  "This is a high-end cruise."</p> <p>The SilverSea cruise will be a 12-day Alaska trip costing US$9900 (NZ$13,684) per person. It includes luxury ocean-view suites, a spa and fitness centre, fine-dining restaurants and a personal butler.</p> <p>Aga said village leadership is working with SilverSea to plan activities for the tourists. Officials are considering a tour of the village and fish cannery, a lesson in the preparation of traditional foods, a hike to the village reservoir, a kayak trip and a demonstration of how to process salmon and deer.</p> <p>"We're just hoping that we can pull something together that's presentable and represents our community," Aga said.</p> <p>Aimee Williams, director of Discover Kodiak, said developing a tourism programme on short notice in a village where none existed before is a challenge.</p> <p>"We're struggling a little bit, because we don't have a lot of touristy things to do over there," she said. "We're working with them step-by-step."</p> <p>Aga said village leadership is working with SilverSea to plan activities for the tourists. Officials are considering a tour of the village and fish cannery, a lesson in the preparation of traditional foods, a hike to the village reservoir, a kayak trip and a demonstration of how to process salmon and deer.</p> <p>"We're just hoping that we can pull something together that's presentable and represents our community," Aga said.</p> <p>Aimee Williams, director of Discover Kodiak, said developing a tourism programme on short notice in a village where none existed before is a challenge.</p> <p>"We're struggling a little bit, because we don't have a lot of touristy things to do over there," she said. "We're working with them step-by-step."</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz.</span></strong></a> Image credit: Instagram@krimsonfromkodiak</em></p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

Expectant mother kicked off cruise for being “too pregnant”

<p>A pregnant cruise passenger claims she was kicked off a cruise by armed guards for being too pregnant to go on the trip.</p> <p>Emily Jackson said she was ready to enjoy her holiday on a Disney cruise with her husband, two kids, parents and siblings, when staff approached her, reported the <a href="https://nypost.com/2018/04/02/mom-says-armed-guards-yanked-her-off-disney-cruise-for-being-too-pregnant/" target="_blank"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">New York Post</span></strong></em></a>. </p> <p>Emily said she was informed that she wasn’t allowed on the boat because she was 25 weeks pregnant – one week past the House of Mouse’s policy.</p> <p>Emily, who had flown from St Louis for the trip, said her doctor had given her permission to travel and she was unaware of Disney’s policy.</p> <p>Emily’s father tried to see if there was a way the family could still go on their vacation, but the situation quickly worsened.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QCwvLoSBkdA?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Video footage that Emily posted to YouTube shows an armed guard telling her to “Wait outside. Step outside” as he escorted the family to the door.</p> <p>Emily said she was horrified that the guard, who was carrying an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, was scaring her children by smirking and laughing.</p> <p>“It was just terrible. They had the guy with a gun following us, they had the K9 unit,” she said.</p> <p>Emily and her young two kids were instructed to wait outside in the heat for two hours while the crew located their luggage.</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>“I felt so bad because I felt like it was my fault that everybody couldn’t go,” Emily explained in the footage.</p> <p>Emily said her issue with the cruise line was not because of the policy but “how they treated us after that point”.</p> <p>“I’m mad because of how they treated me and my children … The fact that they felt they needed AR-15s to escort us out.”</p> <p>Emily said Disney offered to reimburse their cruise tickets but not their flights to and from St Louis.</p> <p>Have you ever had a nightmare cruise experience? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

Australian family attacked by pirates on sailing trip

<p>An Australian family travelling around the world on a sailing trip has reportedly been attacked by pirates off the coast of Yemen.</p> <p><a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>The Daily Telegraph</strong></em></span></a> reports Louise Turner, her husband Lachin and their two young children were sailing in what they believed to be a safe corridor when they were approached by the rouge vessels.</p> <p>“We were essentially sitting ducks,” Ms Turner told the paper.</p> <p>“We were at the wrong place at the wrong time. We were completely vulnerable.”</p> <p>The family was reportedly stalked by the pirate skiff for about four hours, with more vessels approaching them with intermediary tactics designed to halt their progress.</p> <p>The vessels continued to follow and Ms Turner grew terrified for the safety of her children Siara, 11, and Kai, 4, issuing a frantic mayday call of “imminent pirate attack”.</p> <p>As Ms Turner operated the catamaran and her husband frantically manned the engine, the mayday was received by a container ship and passed onto warships patrolling the area.</p> <p>The pirates reportedly “looked eerily focused as they completed their reconnaissance.”</p> <p>“Effectively they were shepherding us away from the closest vessel that could assist us,” Ms Turner said.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMERCHANTNAVAL.OFFSHORE%2Fposts%2F1812515665475982&amp;width=500" width="500" height="519" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe></p> <p><span>With things looking decidedly grim, the family was relieved to receive a radio message advising a helicopter from a Japanese warship was on its way. </span></p> <p><span>The Turners changed course to meet up with the warship, but not without more intimidation from the pirates who remained close. </span></p> <p><span>Ms Turner said: “This was it for us. Attack imminent­. Simply put, we could not possibly prevent them boarding us. But fate intervened and we believe it was only by minutes that the appearance of two warships on the horizon thwarted the attack.”</span></p> <p><span>The Turners managed to make it to the friendly vessel and refuel, but are thanking their lucky stars the attack wasn’t a lot worse. </span></p> <p><span>“We are incredibly lucky that we were not attacked, however, the threat was all too real,” Ms Turner said, with the family now back home safe.</span></p> <p><span>“This has been a sobering and frightening experience.”</span></p> <p><em>Hero image credit: The Daily Telegraph</em></p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

“16 days of hell” on a cruise ship

<p><span>More than 200 passengers have voiced their fury after spending thousands of dollars on a dream cruise holiday only to have their ship transformed into a construction zone.</span></p> <p><span>Two thousand passengers embarked on the two-week voyage between Miami and Los Angeles via the Panama Canal on the <em>Norwegian Sun.</em></span></p> <p><span>Despite paying thousands of dollars for their holiday, the upgrades closed restaurants and amenities, caused excessive noise and leaked the smell of chemicals.</span></p> <p><span>Passenger Mae-Claire Locke says her family endured “16 days of hell” on the cruise.</span></p> <p><span>“It wasn’t a vacation,” she said. “It was a full-on construction zone.”</span></p> <p><span>Mae-Claire also said that shards of metal went into her son’s eyes.</span></p> <p><span>“We had to take him to the doctor as we couldn't unglue his eyes with hot or cold face cloths. They put us all in significant danger.”</span></p> <p><span>Passenger Charles P. O’Dale complained about the metal shards on a Facebook page created to bring attention to their nightmare cruise.</span></p> <p><span>“These are the metal shards that rained down on us in our balcony from a jack hammer one metre above us.</span></p> <p><span>“This is the danger to my health and safety they put me in with metal chips/filings that we were exposed to on our cabin balcony. Hopefully we did not inhale any while we vacated.</span></p> <p><span>“Work like this requires eye/ear/breathing protection, we had none.”</span></p> <p><span>Annie Barber, another passenger on the cruise, said she was stunned at the amount of construction work being done.</span></p> <p><span>“By Sunday 18th March we were shocked at the level of work that was being carried out,” she said.</span></p> <p><span>“Old deck flooring was being removed and new liquid flooring laid and then polished.</span></p> <p><span>“Existing metal supports were also rubbed down when old decking was being removed. Debris from this work was constantly falling everywhere on the ship and airborne particles were very evident.</span></p> <p><span>“There was a strong smell of chemicals for long periods during the cruise, not only in the public areas but also in our stateroom.”</span></p> <p><span>Passengers Annie Barber and Alan Taylor sent a letter to the cruise line in the hope of receiving some compensation for their ruined holiday.</span></p> <p><span>“We made many complaints to Guest Services as the noise was becoming impossible and we were getting quite worried by what we might be inhaling and ingesting through food and drink,” she wrote. </span></p> <p><span>“We were also concerned that some deck areas (some still open to passengers and some not) were being used as storage areas for what looked like chemicals and paint tins, plant equipment etc.</span></p> <p><span>“There was constant noise from equipment workmen were using, such as jack hammers and sanding/sawing equipment. Old deck flooring was being removed and new liquid flooring laid and then polished, existing metal supports were also rubbed down when old decking was being removed. Debris from this work was constantly falling everywhere on the ship and airborne particles were very evident.</span></p> <p><span>“There was a strong smell of chemicals for long periods during the cruise, not only in the public areas but also in our stateroom. A lot of passengers were complaining of irritation to eyes/skin/breathing. Workmen were provided with industrial masks.</span></p> <p><span>“ ... We will be looking for a refund of our entire so-called holiday — cruise fare, all flights and transportation costs. We would also expect some compensation for the ruined holiday of a lifetime, the stress and discomfort that this work created and now the amount of time that we are having to spend dealing with all this.</span></p> <p><span>“We are also concerned at potential long/short term health problems passengers may suffer due to inhaling and ingesting these unknown chemicals and substances throughout the entirety of this cruise.</span></p> <p><span>“ ... Had we been informed prior to the cruise that this extensive work would be carried out, we would have cancelled.”</span></p> <p><span>The cruise line responded by offering impacted passengers a 25 per cent discount on their next cruise.</span></p> <p><span>The passengers have criticised this offer and called it unacceptable.</span></p> <p><span>A spokeswoman for Norwegian Cruise Line told Newsweek: “At Norwegian Cruise Line, we continuously aim to offer the best vacation experience for all our guests. As part of our Norwegian Edge program, Norwegian Sun is currently undergoing enhancements to better serve our guests. The program is a significant investment designed to ensure every ship across the fleet delivers a consistently high-quality experience to all of our guests.</span></p> <p><span>“While we do our utmost to minimise any impact on the guest experience when these enhancements are taking place, we recognise that in this situation our guests experienced some inconvenience.”</span></p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

Husband’s horror: Desperate search after wife falls overboard on cruise ship

<p>A desperate search is underway for a cruise ship passenger knocked overboard, after a freak wave struck the top deck of P&amp;O’s Pacific Dawn.</p> <p><a href="http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/incidents/woman-overboard-from-pacific-dawn-liner/news-story/54a4109235d78dbaeeb2f2d98327ebd1" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>News.com.au reports</strong></em></span></a> a crew member saw the woman, who had apparently gone outside to vomit as she was seasick, fall off the side of the ship about 4pm AEST yesterday afternoon.</p> <p>Her husband, who also saw the fall, immediately went into shock.  </p> <p>Life rings were thrown into the water, but to no avail.</p> <p>“A crew member notified the bridge straight away and the ‘man overboard’ incident response was activated immediately,” said David Jones, a spokesman for the ship’s owner P &amp; O.</p> <p>“In line with this response, Pacific Dawn turned around to follow the course it was on at the time of the incident.”</p> <p>The Australian Maritime Safety Bureau and New Caledonian authorities reportedly issued a call for help, but there were no rescue boats in the immediate vicinity.</p> <p>“It would take days for anyone to reach the area it’s so remote,” the spokeswoman said.</p> <p>As the ship trawled around the area, passenger Jon Trevithick posted a picture on Twitter of a lone rescue ring in the sea.</p> <p>“Horrendous here on ship,” he wrote.</p> <p>“Ship going round and round searching”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Horrendous here on ship. Man over board an hour ago. Ship going round and round searching. <a href="https://t.co/jpC0NGRomU">pic.twitter.com/jpC0NGRomU</a></p> — Jonathan Trevithick (@JonTrevithick) <a href="https://twitter.com/JonTrevithick/status/984332724658843648?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 12, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>“We have been told very little,” he tweeted. “I didn’t know it was a woman. It happened around 5pm. I was on deck and heard someone cry, ‘man overboard’. The ship ground to a halt which took a while, of course. It turned around and found the (possibly 2nd) lifebuoy (pictured).</p> <p>“Not looking good. Nightfall now. Ship still searching.”</p> <p>Another passenger <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>told ABC Online</strong></em></span></a> news of the incident was relayed over the ship’s speakers.</p> <p>"It came over the speakers straight away that a person was overboard," the passenger said.</p> <p>"We are hearing lots of different stories from other passengers on the ship. We were all moved inside.</p> <p>"Nearly an hour ago they updated us over the speakers and said they were still searching and will continue to search.</p> <p>"No luck as of yet."</p> <p><strong>UPDATE: </strong> <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/qld/a/39830034/woman-falls-from-cruise-ship-in-pacific/" target="_blank">Yahoo 7 reports the captain</a></strong></em></span><em><strong> </strong></em> of the Pacific Dawn near New Caledonia has made a sad announcement that the woman who fell overboard hasn’t been found, and the ship will be heading back to Brisbane.</p> <p>"It is with a very heavy heart that I need to let you know that we have been unable to locate our guest," the captain of the Dawn Pacific told passengers on Friday morning.</p> <p>"We are still in the area of the incident, and the weather conditions with the swell three to four metres high, as you can see outside, the strong wind made our search extremely challenging.</p> <p>"As a result, we have now made the extremely difficult decision to continue our journey towards Brisbane.</p> <p>"I know I speak on behalf of all of you when I say our thoughts and prayers are with the family."</p> <p>Our thoughts are with the passenger and her family.</p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

Giant cruise ship smashes into dock after failing to stop

<p>On Tuesday morning, a MSC Cruises ship “deviated from her course” and crashed into a dock on Honduras.</p> <p>The <em>MSC Armonia,</em> which was in the middle of a cruise to the Caribbean, was aiming for Port Coxen Hole on the island of Roatan when it didn’t slow to a stop and crashed into the dock.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="400" height="300" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8cCAKVGLPsM?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Footage of the incident was uploaded to YouTube, showing the moment when the 59,000 tonne ship made impact with the pier, causing it to crunch under the weight.</p> <p>One of the witnesses in the video is heard yelling “get out of the kitchen” to a nearby restaurant.</p> <p>“While manoeuvring alongside, for reasons that are currently still being duly investigated, the ship deviated from her course and grazed the end of the pier,” a spokesman for MSC Cruises said in astatement to Fox News.</p> <p>“There was never any risk for guests or crew on board,” added MSC. “There was also no impact for the environment.”</p> <p>When crew members realised the ship was travelling too fast into port, they threw two anchors overboard, reported NPR.</p> <p>However, the anchors were deployed too late to slow the vessel down but luckily, damage to the ship was said to be minimal.</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>“As to the ship, the damage was minor,” MSC stated. “She has also since been cleared by Honduran Port State Control authorities to continue her journey as soon as the necessary repairs are concluded.</p> <p>“At the present time, ship personnel and external experts are still at work to complete such repairs.”</p> <p>MSC’s statement confirmed that no passengers were injured by the incident and the ship has already left for its next port of call in Belize.</p>

Cruising

Placeholder Content Image

Brisbane woman “deliberately” fell off cruise, police say

<p>The <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/cruising/2018/04/husbands-horror-desperate-search-after-wife-falls-overboard-on-cruise-ship/">Brisbane woman who fell overboard</a></span> </strong>from the Pacific Dawn and disappeared at sea has been identified as Natasha Schofield, but police have now confirmed the tragedy “wasn’t an accident”.</p> <p>Ms Schofield, 47, fell from an upper level deck into the ocean around 150 nautical miles west of New Caledonia on Thursday afternoon. She is presumed dead thought her body has not been found. A search for Ms Schofield was called off on Friday morning.</p> <p>The cruise ship docked in Brisbane on Sunday morning, where Queensland Police were waiting to board the ship and investigate.</p> <p>Ms Schofield was travelling with her husband and three children, aged from 12 to 16.</p> <p>Queensland Police Inspector Rob Graham said Ms Schofield’s death was intentional.</p> <p>“This wasn’t an accident,” he said. “Let’s be open and honest about mental health.”</p> <p>He added: “It’s a tragic end to what should’ve been a lifetime holiday experience for a loving family.</p> <p>“Her husband was standing right next to her when she went over.”</p> <p>Earlier reports she had been sick and fell due to a freak wave were incorrect, according to police.</p> <p>“The missing person did make intentional actions and deliberately propelled herself overboard the ship,” Insp Graham said, after police had reviewed the incident which was captured on security cameras.</p> <p>“What I saw was a couple of loving people on the top deck of a cruise ship,” he said.</p> <p>“I saw them leaning on the rails and I saw the intentional actions of the missing person take two steps back and then propel herself over the railing.</p> <p>“Her husband tried in vain to grab her when she went over ... grabbing onto her legs ... she was too far gone and subsequently she fell.</p> <p>“You’ve got three kids who are never going to see their mum again.”</p> <p>After the woman fell, her husband immediately raised the alarm and the ship began searching for the woman.</p> <p>Insp Graham said there were no nearby ships to help in the search because of “the remoteness of the location”.</p> <p>The cruise operator, Carnival Australia, said it was co-operating with the police investigation and counselling has been made available for passengers.</p> <p>“We will be able to give police CCTV footage providing an unobstructed view of what happened and portraying an obviously devoted and loving couple,” Carnival said in a statement.</p> <p>“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and hope that they will find comfort in their grief.”</p>

Cruising