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Are Cruise Lines Becoming Greener?

clock 3rd September 2018 | comment0 Comments

Fans of cruising can sometimes find themselves wondering, ‘what are cruise lines doing to help and contribute towards protecting the environment?’ Well, there are in fact a number of initiatives to reduce waste and carbon emissions and become more eco-friendly in general. From solar panels to powering private islands with waste materials, cruise companies have been making great strides in becoming greener.

 

 

How Are Cruise Lines Protecting the Environment?

 

Many cruise lines have backed plans to protect the various environments on their itineraries, in several ways. For example, there's now an alliance between Carnival Cruise Lines and the International SeaKeepers Society, which monitors water quality in some of the places visited by Carnival Triumph and Carnival Spirit. Equipment is has been built into these ships to gather data wherever they are. This is then relayed via satellite to scientists at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami, where they can keep on top of the water quality levels.

However, this is merely one example of many systems in place for monitoring the environment's health. There are groups all around the world dedicated to tracking this kind of data, including the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the Southeast Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System.

 

What Changes Are Being Made to help the Environment?

 

One of the biggest changes we’ve seen is to the hull on cruise ships. By painting the hull with silicon-based paint, the ships glide through water more efficiently, therefore saving fuel. Royal Caribbean Cruises have taken this a step further by designing aerodynamic hulls, increasing the benefit of this fuel-saving tactic.

Fuel is a key economic and environmental issue for cruise lines. Keeping the incredible ships afloat and operating at 100% takes a huge amount of energy. Today’s cruise ships can carry more 6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew members - which is the equivalent of a small town.

 

 

Here are some examples of other positive changes:

  • The US National Park Service has taken measures to reduce the environmental impact of cruising in Alaska, and there are strict regulations for the passage through Glacier Bay. Only one ship at a time is permitted to enter the bay and the number of total visits per season is also restricted.
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  • Holland America Line has partnered with the US National Park Service and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to protect whales in the oceans. Together their programmes educate mariners about recognising when whales are in close proximity and how to avoid them.
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  • Royal Caribbean has invested $100 million into converting wastewater treatment systems into advanced purification systems, the cruise line uses 18 million gallons of biodiesel used each year.
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  • Disney Cruise Line recycle the condensation from air conditioning units and use it for things such as laundry or cleaning decks, which saves gallons of water per day. They also recycle a mix of materials onboard; some of which is processed by their partners, Keep America Beautiful - an organization which is all about preserving the environment.
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  • Celebrity Cruises, have heat transfer windows that allow more light, which then reduces the cooling needed in the cabin.
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  • Norwegian Cruise Lines donates cooking oil to farmers in port cities to be used as fuel. The cruise line uses an eco-ballast system which is a water treatment system, to ensure the ship doesn’t send toxins into the water.
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    Overall, it’s clear that a number of popular cruise lines are investing in the environment in one way or another, and as science develops, this will surely only improve. If this information has struck a chord with you, find out more about how you can do your bit for the world and the communities in it, with our five holidays that make a difference.



    Virgin Voyages Announce Name of New Ship

    clock 20th July 2018 | comment0 Comments

    A lot of excitement is building around all-new cruise line Virgin Voyages, and even more highly-anticipated news has just come in hot off the press - the name of their first ship will be…

    Drum roll, please…

    Scarlet Lady!

     

     

    What else do we know about Virgin Voyage’s Scarlet Lady?

     

    Scarlet Lady’s home port will be Miami, from where she will set sail as early as 2020. Designed with a futuristic, sleek design and plenty of outdoor space, Scarlet Lady aims to be as pioneering to the world of cruise as all other Virgin brands that have gone before. You can see this in her emblem on her hull of a mermaid adorning the Virgin logo - in contrast to the Flying Lady adorning Virgin Atlantic’s aeroplanes. This emblem, colour scheme, and name all pay homage to Sir Richard Branson’s first foray into the travel industry, Scarlet Lady being one of the first planes to fly for Virgin Atlantic.

    As well as celebrating Virgin’s past, Scarlet Lady looks to the future. This includes a commitment to achieving sustainable cruise holidays by converting clean energy onboard the ship and pledging to be single-use plastic free. A second philosophy pledged by Virgin is a focus on getting women into jobs higher up the chain of command onboard.

     

    What can we expect onboard Virgin Voyage’s Scarlet Lady?

     

    Scarlet Lady will be an adult-only ship catering to up to nine-hundred ‘sailors’, aged 18-years-old and above. This means there is a focus on wining, dining, and relaxing while onboard. There are some fantastic onboard venues to enjoy and socialise in while cruising with Virgin Voyages, including Richards’ Rooftop, a huge open deck terrace on the top of the ship. There is also an experimental lab-styled restaurant called ‘The Test Kitchen’ which comes complete with periodic table, test tube décor, and experimental dishes to sample.

    One major feature on Scarlet Lady, and the two future ships following, is the focus on the concept Virgin are calling ‘Vitamin Sea’. This is a focus on their ‘sailors’ getting the right balance of ‘detox and retox’. This entails the process of having a great time and then recovering again afterwards. Vitamin Sea includes yoga meditation, fitness classes, sports activities, a juice bar, the largest day-bed afloat, and Runway jogging track. For sure, a Virgin cruise will be a zen-like balance of good times and rejuvenation!

    Stay up to date with all the latest cruise news by signing up to our mailing list.



    Discover Marella By U

    clock 11th July 2018 | comment0 Comments

    Marella Cruises take great pride in being able to offer all kinds of different cruisers a wide variety of things to do, both onboard and when in port. Whether you prefer relaxing with a book, getting to know different cultures, dining on new cuisines, or having an active holiday, this popular cruise line have you covered with Marella By U.

     

     

    Marella Cruises recently invited ex-S Club Juniors singer Frankie and her ex-football player husband Wayne Bridge onboard, for them to create their very own cruise itinerary. The pair were taken on a Norwegian Fjord cruise, exploring stunning parts of the country like Bergen and Geiranger. With a real love of fitness and well-being, it will be no surprise to learn about the kind of activities Frankie and Wayne chose.


     

    Making the most of the local scenery, the pair chose an active excursion of kayaking in the beautiful waters of Geirangerfjord, where they could bask in the incredible views all around. While onboard their cruise ship Frankie and Wayne spent time doing an upbeat couples work out, as well as taking on the onboard rock-climbing wall together. With a little playful competition the two of them were able to work on their well-being and had some fun doing so.

     

     

    After well and truly working up a sizeable appetite, Frankie and Wayne explored the dining opportunities onboard. The enjoyed a special evening together at the Surf & Turf steak house where they relaxed and re-energized for the next day’s adventure!

    Take a look at our wonderful range of holidays with Marella Cruises, and begin planning your own Marella By U cruise.



    A Sneak Peek into whats in Store onboard P&O Iona

    clock 9th July 2018 | comment0 Comments

    As the construction of the highly-anticipated Iona continues, we’re eager to get our hands on all the information we can about what she’ll be like. How will the cabins be decorated? What restaurants will there be? How many pools will she have? Well as time goes on, we’ll be hearing more and more, so register your interest with us to make sure you get all the latest updates. You can find Iona's deals here. But for now, read on for a sneak peek into what’s in store onboard P&O’s Iona.

     

     

    With an absolute commitment to bringing guests’ attention to the sea, P&O Cruises informed their esteemed designers – Richmond International and Jestico + Whiles – to ensure they well and truly stuck to this theme. And the result is idyllic.

     

    What we know About the Cabins on Iona

     

    Cabins have been adorned in a gorgeous array of gentle colours, with soft furnishings and extra little details only complimenting the overall design. Guests can expect a palette of creams, golds, and whites, with a peppering of different tones of brown. Against this calm and warm backdrop there will be a range of blue tones, focussing of course on the classic, nautical navy blue.

     

     

    Richmond International have remarked that the guidelines for Iona included that it should be British contemporary luxury, meaning P&O’s well-loved British theming will be evident throughout but with a few added and opulent extras. In cabins and suites, furniture will be of an excellent standard, showcasing high quality natural wood materials, which again echo the essence of the ocean and all things natural. The porthole style mirrors are a fabulous example of this.

    Ever-wanting to increase choice and comfortability for guests, P&O Cruises have introduced a new style of accommodation with Iona; the Conservatory Mini-suite. This brings the total of cabin types to an impressive seven; an abundance of choice to suit all passengers. These new cabins boast a new cool and shaded space which can open out fully onto the balcony. It’s a great area for relaxing, socialising, or enjoying that morning coffee while gazing at the surrounding views.

    What we know About the Atrium on Iona

     

    The glorious atrium – the focal area of the ship – will span three decks: 6, 7, and 8. The surrounding ocean will always be in a prime position with floor to ceiling, panoramic windows on all three floors, enabling guests to gaze out at the horizon at any time. The staircase itself will be reminiscent of cruise ships of the past, having been designed in a commanding and highly impressive fashion.

     

     

    The atrium will be one of four popular entertainment spaces onboard, and throughout the day guests will be treated to some unexpected performances including aerial circus-style shows. These will be visible from the various cafes and restaurants located in the atrium as well;

     

  • The Keel & Cow – a first for P&O Cruises, this down to earth, gastronomic pub will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Expect favourite British dishes like fish and chips at lunch, and a variety of hearty meals in the evening. You’ll even be able to choose from some fabulous cuts of steak from the dry-aging fridge.
  • The Glass House – this venue offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with a fantastic selection of wines from a list curated by wine expert and P&O Food Hero Olly Smith. Each bottle has been specifically chosen, and the venue hosts regular wine talks, tastings, and wine-pairing dinners for guests to attend.
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  • Emerald Bar – a wonderfully sophisticated area to enjoy drinks before dinner, or a tasty cocktail afterwards. Guests can socialise with new friends or relish in an intimate evening with loved ones while sipping a drink and gazing at the sea.
  • Vistas Café Bar – this casual area is perfect for a treat during the day should you need to recharge! Order a tea or coffee and choose from a selection of snacks including cakes and desserts curated by P&O Cruises Food Hero and highly-esteemed patissier, Eric Lanlard.
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    What we know About the Other Facilities on Iona

    P&O's new vessel will introduce some fantastic firsts for the cruise line, not only eateries but also entertainment and activities. Here are a few of the onboard opportunities you can look forward to:


  • 710 Club – this adult only club is perfect for an evening of fun and socialising. Think Covent Garden-style ambience, with live music ranging from acoustic covers, classic and modern Jazz, rock classics, Rat Pack, and all sorts in between.
  • Sky Dome – we are particularly excited about this new feature; a high-roofed pool with retractable stage which will live on decks 16 and 17. During the day this is the spot to grab your morning coffee from 7am, while watching the sea views glide by, then on to poolside fun, informal dining, and impromptu entertainment. Then into the evening you’ll be treated to stunning aerial performances and all sorts of audio-visual effects, as well as DJ led parties and live music.



  • Ocean Studios - here guests have a choice of four, boutique-style cinema screens where they can watch both recent blockbusters and some fantastic classic cinema.
  • Offering such a wealth of choice when it comes to how to spend time on Iona, another fantastic comfort to the adults is the onboard children's clubs. Separated into five different age groups (6mnths - 2yrs, 2-4yrs, 5-8yrs, 9-12yrs, and 13-17yrs), all younger cruisers will find plenty to keep occupied with. There's even a night nursery at which little ones from 6 months to 4 years can be left during the hours of 6pm to 2am; rest assured parents are given a pager so they will be alerted straight away if their child wakes or there are any problems.

     

    What we know about Iona’s destinations

     

    When she first hits the waves in 2020, Iona will spend her first spring/summer season traversing the Norwegian Fjords. This incredible part of the world has plenty to offer all its visitors, whether you’re looking for family fun, serenity, culture, or an action-packed trip. Here’s a snippet of what you can expect to see and do:

     

     

  • Kayaking in and around the beautiful scenery at areas such as Nordfjord and Geirangerfjord
  • Trying local treats such as brunost (brown cheese) and skillingsbolle (cinnamon bun)
  • Exploring history in towns such as Stavanger, known as the ‘Cradle of the Vikings’
  • Gasping at stunning views from mountain cable cars and funicular railway
  • Iona is a fantastic ship for this destination, in part due to the fact that the views of the fjords and general surroundings can be admired from her brilliant glass-walled atrium. This means that you can sip on your morning coffee or enjoy some live music as you sail past the gorgeous vistas of Innvikfjorden and Storfjorden for example.

    Cruises onboard P&O Iona will go on sale to past passengers on Monday 10th September and on general sale on Wednesday 12th September. You can pre-register from Monday 3rd September.

    Be sure to sign up to our mailing list, and register your interest in P&O’s Iona with us.



    10 Worldwide Events to See on a Cruise

    clock 31st May 2018 | comment0 Comments

    Why watch the big event you’ve been waiting for on the TV, when you might be able to get out on a cruise and see it? From sports tournaments to festivals, the world’s most popular events are more accessible than you think. Discover how you can combine your interest with your holiday, with our 10 worldwide events you can see on a cruise.

     

     

    1. World Cup

    The world cup is arguably the most highly-anticipated sports event of all, with patriots all over the world getting involved and excited whether they’re usually interested in football or not. This year the prestigious tournament will be held in Russia, and many cruise lines – including Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Azamara Cruises, and P&O Cruises - are including a stop in St Petersburg, so that passengers can take in a game or two.

    2. Cannes Film Festival

    This stunning, annual festival is watched by film fans and celebrity followers all over the world, whether it be for the unique productions or the fashion choices. Located on the Cote d’Azur, Cannes often features on European cruises, so if you’ve dreamt of seeing the event, why not consider a Mediterranean cruise in May?

    3. Grand Prix

    The exciting F1 calendar takes race competitors all over the world, and happily many of the locations can be reached on a cruise. Get in touch with our team about cruises to see the grand prix in Singapore, Japan, Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, and Monaco, and about the various cruise and stay F1 packages we offer.

     

     

    4. New Orleans Mardi Gras

    This world renowned festival in New Orleans dates back to 1699, when French explorers arrived to the area. Celebrations have thrived over the years, and the rhythm, colour, and flavours of the event have captured the attention of people all over the globe. There are a number of Caribbean cruises which include New Orleans in their itinerary, on which you can be a part of this springtime event.

    5. US Tennis Open

    Located in New York in August/September, the US Tennis Open is the last Grand Slam event of the season. Held in the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre, tennis fans all over tune in to watch the world champions battle it out. Royal Caribbean often cruises in this region of North America, or why not consider adding a few days on to a grand Cunard transatlantic?

    6. NY Fashion Week

    In September every year fashionistas everywhere look to New York for new styles and inspiration. Instead of simply being glued to the media for a week, consider being a part of the action on one of Cunard’s unique Transatlantic Crossing Fashion Week cruises. Onboard events include catwalk shows, exhibitions, and specialist guest lecturers, and of course you can add a few days on to your trip to spend in New York itself.

     

     

    7. British Golf Open

    Golf cruises are a very popular choice when it comes to themed cruises, and the annual British Golf Open in particular is easy to experience as part of a holiday. Talk to our sales team about arranging a UK cruise in conjunction with the Open, which will include tickets to a round or two and possibly some special golf experiences onboard.

    8. Rio Carnival

    The mere mention of Brazil often generates visions of colourful feathers and samba music, thanks to the world-renowned Rio carnival. This 5-day party happens every year before Lent, and offers a fantastic excuse to eat, dance, and celebrate for anyone who needs one! See the carnival on a South American cruise which includes a stop in Rio de Janeiro.

    9. ICC Cricket World Cup

    Held at four year intervals since 1975, the ICC World Cup has been held in gorgeous locations including the Caribbean, Australia, and India. Those who enjoy the game can combine their interest with a cruise by simply timing their holiday with the tournament. It can also be possible for us to procure tickets to the games and add a few land days to your trip if necessary.

     

     

    10. Melbourne Horse Racing

    One of the most highly-esteemed horse races in the world, the historic Melbourne Cup has been captivating enthusiasts since 1861. Held in early November, cruise lines such as Carnival and P&O Cruises usually offer cruises that begin or end in either Sydney or Melbourne, and often include tickets to the races in with the package.



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