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Articles from 2017 In July


A massage before cocktails on Lindblad's trips with spa provider exhale

(Map: Lindblad Expeditions)
'Base Camp Baja' program is set in the Sea of Cortez, 'among the most peaceful corners of the world'

The 'Base Camp Baja' voyages will explore Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida, spectacular regions within the Sea of Cortez, aboard the 30-cabin National Geographic Sea Bird. Seven departures are offered, December through January.

'The Sea of Cortez is among the most peaceful corners of the world. I can think of no better place to realize the mindfulness that exhale offers,' said Sven Lindblad, ceo and president, Lindblad Expeditions.

He added the itinerary offers a mix of exploration and restorative exercise in a setting where participants might not see a human being other than their shipmates for the duration of the voyage.

National Geographic Seabird will serve as a floating base camp. Passengers can customize each day as they wish: they can snorkel among sea lions and through schools of colorful reef fish, explore the coastline by kayak and stand-up paddleboard, challenge body and mind through exhale wellbeing programs and spend evenings at beachside bonfires and barbecues. They can hike for miles over black lava and pink volcanic ash and spend hours photographing arroyos, cacti and birdlife alongside a Lindblad-National Geographic photography instructor.

Well-being programs include core fusion barre, bootcamp and high intensity interval training classes as well as exhale power yoga classes on deck, stand-up paddleboard yoga, transformational mindfulness hikes and assisted stretching. Hour-long neck and shoulder massages will be offered prior to evening cocktails, while exhale chill yoga classes will be offered in the evening, alongside group guided meditation.

Beyond the daily activities, the exhale experience will be integrated throughout the journey to include healthy food options, spa therapies and in-room products.

Rates begin at $1,990 per person, double occupancy, for the three-night voyage and $2,650 for the four-night voyage. Both include free bar tab.

Lindblad to report Q2 earnings Aug. 3

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A conference call with analysts is set for 8:30 a.m. ET that day. The call will be webcast at investors.expeditions.com.

One Ocean Expeditions announces a third ship

(Photo: One Ocean Expeditions)
RCGS Resolute - built in 1993 at the same yard as the company's Akademik Ioffe and Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Seatrade Cruise News understands the ship is Hanseatic, currently on charter to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises through September 2018. The 146-passenger vessel was built as Society Adventurer for Society Expeditions in 1993 at Finnyards in Rauma, Finland, the same yard that produced One Ocean Expeditions' Akademik Ioffe and Akademik Sergey Vavilov. 

One Ocean Expeditions founder and managing director Andrew Prossin announced the additional ship Monday in Sydney, Nova Scotia, at an event attended by Mayor Cecil Clarke.

'We have been looking for just the right vessel to expand our shipboard operations. For the last two years we have experienced exponential growth and have seasons which have sold out across the breadth of our departures, in Antarctica, the High Arctic and the East Coast of Canada,' Prossin said.

Cape Breton-born Prossin recently disclosed his company will use the new Sydney pier to refuel and provision One Ocean Expeditions ships before they embark on voyages north. He noted that Sydney has historically been on the direct route north for explorers seeking to reach the North Pole, and that the telegram announcing Robert E. Peary’s successful visit to the North Pole was sent from Sydney in 1909.

The company's third ship is named after HMS Resolute, a British Royal Navy Arctic exploration vessel, as well as the Inuit town of Resolute in Canada’s Nunavut Territory. It also carries the name of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS), since One Ocean Expeditions is the society's exclusive education, environmental science and expedition partner in Canada’s north.

This longstanding partnership gives passengers the opportunity to learn from and interact with world-renowned educators, researchers, naturalists, marine biologists, artists, historians and photographers.

RCGS Resolute offers modern stabilization and unsurpassed ice classification (Lloyds 1AS).

The ship has two separate bar and lounge areas featuring 180-degree views and a well-stocked library. There are two dining rooms, one with a bistro menu offering quick and easy meals for those prioritizing time out on deck. Both dining rooms have ample, open seating paired with modern furnishings and large picture windows with 180-degree views.

Other facilities include a theater-style presentation room, gift shop, gymnasium, wellness center, hot water spa, sauna and steam room and saltwater pool.

Panama, Copa Airlines, Pullmantur jointly promote cruises from Colón

(Photo: Pullmantur Cruises)
Monarch of the Seas will sail weekly from Colón

The goal is to attract Latin Americans to Panama, boosting tourism and Pullmantur's sailings from Colón, one of the line's three regional homeports.

Under the agreement, Copa Airlines will provide exclusive rates to passengers joining a Pullmantur cruise in Colón who fly from 14 airports in eight Latin American countries: Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Río de Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City, Mexico; Asunción, Paraguay; Lima, Peru; and Montevideo, Uruguay.

The rates will be used by wholesalers to create fly-cruise packages, according to Karla Guillén, manager of wholesale sales, Copa Airlines.

The Panama Tourism Authority will work with Pullmantur Cruises on various promotions in the Southern Cone, including exposure on television and in movie theaters in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador with 10- and 20-second spots about seven-night vacation packages to five destinations.

The packages will also be promoted on mobile and fixed billboards and signs in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Costa Rica, as well as in newspapers and magazines.

'We will have weekly cruise arrivals, which will generate more income and higher hotel occupancy,' Panama Tourism Authority administrator Jennifer Champsaur said.

Agusto Terracina, manager of the cruise terminal Colón 2000, said the marketing collaboration will bring more tourists to Panama, who stay two or three days before or after their cruise, boosting business, especially on weekends when there's less business in hotels and shopping centers.

Pullmantur's Monarch will sail from Colón on 52 departures of its 'Antilles and Southern Caribbean' and 'Legendary Caribbean' routes, and is expected to double the number of passengers carried from there.

Richard Vogel, president and ceo of Pullmantur Cruises, expressed his confidence that the cooperation with the Panama Tourism Authority and Copa will give an important boost to sales and help make Pullmantur's product even more attractive.

Pullmantur estimates $19m in spending by pssengers and crew in Panama, on top of the line's own spending there.

Deadline day for entering the Seatrade Cruise Awards 2017

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Time is fleeting, deadline for entering the 2017 Seatrade Cruise Awards is end of today

Nominations must be submitted online using the form found here by the end of July 31.

The 2017 Awards will be presented in front of cruise industry peers at Seatrade Europe in Hamburg on Sept. 6.

The awards cover six categories: Port of the Year, Destination of the Year, Supplier of the Year, Environmental Initiative Award, Innovative Shorex of the Year and a new category, Marketing Initiative of the Year - sponsored by Cruise Baltic.

A panel of international judges will select the winners of the six categories.

In addition, the Seatrade Cruise Personality of the Year 2017 - sponsored by V. Ships Leisure will be presented. Seatrade and V. Ships will select the winner based on nominations received.

The Seatrade Outstanding Achievement Award winner will be selected by Seatrade based on nominations received.

Principal sponsor of the Seatrade Cruise Awards for the 11th year running is Oracle Hospitality Cruise which will be presenting the Oracle Hospitality Cruise Technology Innovator Award exclusively for enterprises utilizing Oracle products given to a company that has innovatively and successfully carried out projects that quantitatively improved processes, business results, and competitiveness. Deadline for the Oracle Award submission only is August 9, 2017. To submit a nomination email: [email protected]

 

Ulstein completes extensive ship modernization for Quark

(Photo: Ulstein Verft)
The former Sea Adventurer, re-engined and modernized, is now called Ocean Adventurer

The ship is owned by Adventurer Partners Ltd. and operated by Quark Expeditions.

'The new and improved Ocean Adventurer is designed to carry 132 travelers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world,' Quark said. Built in Yugoslavia in 1976, this 'nimble, ice-strengthened ship has become a passenger favorite over the years' and underwent refurbishments in 1999 and 2002 before this, the most significant one, Quark added.

Ulstein Verft, which provided engineering for the project, said updating a 40-year-old vessel was complicated. Passenger cabins were updated and upgraded, public areas were rebuilt and modernized and significant technical upgrades were completed, including the installation of new gears, generator and two Rolls-Royce engines.

Six new twin cabins and three new suites were added. Existing accommodations got new bathrooms and all new soft furnishings. The lounge, dining room and bar were remodeled.

'We put together teams across the group to solve the upgrading tasks. We have an experienced workforce that has solved this challenge in a most satisfactory way,' yard manager Kristian Sætre said.

Starting soon, Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch summer season from Rosyth

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Black Watch in the Norwegian fjords

In total, Fred. Olsen will be offering eight cruises from Edinburgh (Rosyth) aboard Black Watch this year, until mid-October 2017– an increase of one turnaround call since 2016.

Itineraries include a seven-night Norway Fjords, a 10-night ‘Cultural Cities of Northern Europe’ sailing, and a 16-night ‘Landscapes of Portugal & the Canaries’ getaway.

In 2017, Fred. Olsen has also included two river cruises – ‘German Waterways’ and ‘French Rivers’ – both of which are itineraries that have not been offered from this Scottish port before.

Clare Ward, Director of Product and Customer Services at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: ‘The Port of Rosyth is quite unlike anywhere else that we visit in the world, boasting spectacular scenery and three iconic bridges, and Black Watch’s guests will be amongst the first to sail under the new Queensferry Bridge, which opens in September.'

Robert Mason, Capital Cruising’s head of cruise at Rosyth, said:

‘Across all our Scottish ports, we are enjoying a very busy cruise season this year and – with the arrival of the Black Watch we will have welcomed over 100,000 passengers in 2017, with more due over the next few months.’

Black Watch undwent an extensive multi-million pound refurbishment at Blohm+Voss last November, adding a new informal dining area, Brigadoon, and the creation of a new speciality dining restaurant, The Black Watch Room, as well as an upgraded Glentanar main restaurant and new 3D-enabled Marina Theatre.  

In 2018/19, Fred. Olsen is reinforcing its commitment to Edinburgh (Rosyth) by introducing 1,350-guest flagship, Balmoral, which will be sailing from the port for the first time on nine itineraries between May and July.

 

 

Australia’s Aurora Expeditions celebrates 25th year

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Polar Pioneer will make an 18-day anniversary voyage later this year

Aurora Expeditions, named in honour of Sir Douglas Mawson’s ship, made  its first journey to Antarctica with a small group of intrepid  travellers in 1992.

The company has specialised in ship charters to take small groups of  passengers to the world’s wildest and remotest places. Over the years it has expanded its scope from polar exploration to include off-the-
beaten-track destinations, like Papua New Guinea and the Russian Far  East.

To mark its quarter of a century, Aurora will operate a ‘25 Year Anniversary’ expedition to Antarctica and South Georgia aboard Polar Pioneer, built in Finland in 1985 as a Russian research ship and 
refurbished in St Petersburg in 2000 to provide comfortable accommodation for 54 passengers.

The 18-day anniversary voyage aboard the ice strengthened 1,753gt vessel departs Ushuaia, Argentina, on December 27 and arrives in Santiago, Chile, on January 13, 2018.

One of Aurora’s original expedition leaders, Gary Miller, will be on board with other polar specialists. Dr Miller, who is a Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, has had almost 30 
years’ experience in Antarctica and 15 in the Arctic.

Passengers will attend a special anniversary dinner on board and will receive a commemorative book, with photographs from the past 25 years.

 

Underway at last: The new National Geographic Quest

(Photo: Ian Strachan/Lindblad Expeditions)
National Geographic Quest is on an eight-day expedition in Southeast Alaska

The 100-passenger, US-built coastal ship is on an eight-day expedition exploring Southeast Alaska.

National Geographic Quest's delivery was delayed after the ship sustained damage during its launch down the slip on June 14. The July 8 and July 15 cruises were canceled.

After that setback was overcome Sven Lindblad, ceo and president of Lindblad Expeditions, commended the team: 'You all must feel a deep sense of pride and accomplishment. You have all worked tirelessly to make this possible, and are a part of history having played an important role in the building and launch of the most sophisticated and beautiful ship built in the US in decades.'

National Geographic Quest will operate the 'Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness' itinerary through Aug. 26, and will finish the Alaska season with a 'Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska and British Columbia' cruise on Sept. 2.

The ship will then remain in the Pacific Northwest for a series of new voyages between Seattle and Vancouver, with stops at the San Juan Islands, Victoria, Alert Bay and more far-reaching visits to British Columbia’s channels and fjords.

Beginning in December, National Geographic Quest will reposition for expeditions in Costa Rica and Panama before starting a series of new voyages in Belize and Guatemala in February.

New ship, new departure port for a Royal Caribbean Cuba cruise

(Photo: Royal Caribbean International)
Majesty of the Seas will become Royal Caribbean's second ship to sail to Cuba. So far, just one cruise from Port Canaveral has been announced

The four-night Majesty voyage sails from the central Florida port on March 25, 2019, and spends a full day in Havana (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.), sandwiched between two sea days.

Fares start at $540 per person, double occupancy. Taxes, fees and port expenses are an additional $90.86. This is a nonrefundable deposit booking; cancellations prior to final payment due date will receive a future cruise credit in the amount of the deposit minus a $100 per person service fee.

Via Royal Caribbean's short 'Explore More Sale,' bookings by close of day on July 31 are eligible for a 50% discount for the second passenger and 25% off for third and fourth passengers sharing the same stateroom. Plus, passengers will get an on-board credit of $25 in inside and ocean-view rooms or $50 in balconies and suites.