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Ponant Partners With National Geographic

clock 1st October 2018 | comment0 Comments

The only French cruise line, Ponant is still relatively niche with British cruisers despite sailing luxury yacht cruises all around the world since 1988, offering bilingual, all-inclusive sailings to Alaska, the Indian Ocean and even the Amazon River. Having said this, with National Geographic selecting Ponant as their partner cruise line, we are set to see Ponant emerge fully onto the already growing British cruise market

Beating off fierce competition from their competitors such as Seabourn and Silversea in a partnership said be worth around 200 million euros, National Geographic was impressed by Ponant’s upholding of the non-profit organisation’s three core principles of adventure, education, and conservation.

 

 

With their luxury explorer yachts named after famous French explores, Laperouse, Champlain, Bougainville, Dumont-D’Urville, Surville and Bellot, Ponant are trailblazers when it comes to adventure and expedition cruising. Their small yachts have hull draughts of less than five metres, meaning Ponant’s fleet of luxury yachts can go closer to nature than other ships. Plus their new icebreaker, le Charcot, is the world’s first officially classified, cruising icebreaker-class ship. Their fantastic Blue Eye lounge even lets you be immersed in nature while aboard the ships too. The multi-sensory lounge is located 2.5 metres below sea level, and features a window in each side of the ship to gaze through, as well as hydrophones, and vibrating furniture to pick up and immerse you in your surroundings.

Education also plays a large part of the Ponant cruise experience. To fully appreciate the wonders you are seeing each day, Ponant provides fantastic lectures and excursions led by expert guides. Now in partnership with National Geographic, many of these excursions and presentations will be hosted by one of National Geographic’s own naturalists and photographers. Ponant are also dedicated to the communities they work with around the world, and take pride in showing their guests the real lives of people who live at one with nature. Experiences include everything from local aboriginal dances in Australasia to cooking seal outdoors with a native Alaskan fisherman. The partnership with National Geographic gives these communities even more of a chance to flourish.

 

Conservation is another factor that’s important to Ponant, and influences the creation of their life-changing itineraries and the design of their yachts. With their new icebreaker, le Charcot, Ponant are the first line to not only have a genuine icebreaker, but also have a hybrid powered cruise yacht with liquid natural gas engine. The result is a noise and toxin pollutant-free sailing, a dynamic positioning system rather than anchors that destroy fragile seabed ecosystems, energy saving lighting, liquid refrigeration, and even pollutant free paint. Ponant and National Geographic share a mission of showing the present generation the wonders of our world, and preserving it for those in future.

The amazing sailings from 31 July 2018 will go to all corners of the planet, from the poles to the tropics. Check out our Ponant sailings with National Geographic and start your adventure here.



Celebrity Cruises Announce Details of 2020 Ship

clock 13th September 2018 | comment0 Comments

Celebrity Cruises invited UK cruise agents to St Nazaire in France, to visit the shipyard in which the highly anticipated Celebrity Edge ships is being built. Whilst being shown around, the cruise line made another very exciting announcement, that of the details of their next big project: Celebrity Apex.

 

 

After seeing the hype and attention surrounding Celebrity Edge, this highly-esteemed cruise line resolved to bring another ship to the market. Celebrity Apex will be identical to her sister ship, offering cruisers some incredible, innovative design features, a wealth of accommodation choices, and outstanding dining. The Edge class of ships are said to elevate the meaning of modern luxury cruising. Every inch of the ships has been well-thought out and designed to a tee, with aspects like panoramic ocean views wherever possible, the fabulous ‘Dinner on the Edge’ experience on the cantilevered ‘Magic Carpet’, and more suites than any other Celebrity Cruises ship. We are especially excited about the twin-level Edge villas, which even feature an outdoor plunge pool.

 

 

Celebrity Apex is due to hit the waves in April 2020, after her naming ceremony in Southampton. This is an especially apt date as it will be ten years since Celebrity Cruises had another of their ships named in the UK, and operated from here too – Celebrity Silhouette. Lisa Lutoff-Perlo – Celebrity Cruises’ president and CEO – has said that Apex’s station in Southampton was decided upon in recognition of the strong UK cruise market. With British cruisers being eager for Celebrity Edge, it seems that Celebrity Apex will too be well-received.

The Godmother for Celebrity Apex is yet to be decided, but considering who Celebrity Cruises have chosen for other ships in the fleet, it seems likely that we can expect an inspiring, and well-respected individual. The globally admired, Nobel Prize-winning activist, Malala Yousafzai is Godmother to the Edge.

 

 

After her naming ceremony, Celebrity Apex will embark upon a mini-series of sailings out of the UK. More details about the itineraries will be available when she goes on sale on 29th November 2018. Pre-register your interest in Celebrity Apex today to ensure you are among the first to get more information and be given an opportunity to book your place onboard.



Carnival Cruises Announce Makeover of Carnival Triumph

clock 1st August 2018 | comment0 Comments

This well-loved, American cruise line has decided to give one of their classic ships something of a rejuvenation, in fact, a $200 million rejuvenation. Having been sailing since 1999, naturally, Carnival Cruises feel that the ship is due for a facelift, and with it will come a whole host of exciting new additions relating to onboard accommodation, dining, and activities. Find out more about what will be included in the makeover of Carnival Triumph.

 

 

Will Carnival Triumph have a New Name?

 

Yes. She will be joining Carnival Cruises’ Sunshine class, and a fitting new name will be attributed after she has been remodelled. She will enter a dry dock period in March 2019, in Cadiz, Spain, and will then return to the seas at the end of April after a naming ceremony, after which she’ll be known as Carnival Sunrise.

 

How will the accommodation on Carnival Triumph change?

 

All staterooms will benefit from a refit and will be decorated in bright colours and soft pastel hues reminiscent of the cruise line’s itineraries in the sunny islands of the Caribbean. As well as this, the two Captain’s Suites, in particular, will boast some stunning changes; for example, the windows will be floor-to-ceiling, offering the perfect view of the surrounding ocean.

 

How many new things will there be to do onboard?

 

Carnival Triumph already offers a great range of exciting onboard activities and pastimes, from the Dive-In movies to the waterslides and Seuss at Sea. But, in true Carnival Cruises fashion, more and more activities are being thought up all the time. Here are some of our favourite new options that will be found on Carnival Sunrise;

 

  • Serenity Adult-Only Retreat – ideal for when you need just a little ‘me-time’, and to relax in a perfectly tranquil setting complete with superb sea views.
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  • The Warehouse – a great space for letting go and having a laugh, where you can play a range of exhilarating video and arcade games with all the family.
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  • WaterWorks – cool down in this brilliant water park, under the drench bucket or zooming down the tunnel or twister slides.
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    What will be improved when it comes to dining?

     

    There will be some new restaurants brought onboard the ship, including some real Carnival Cruises favourites;

     

  • Lido Marketplace – for poolside snacks including lobster rolls, pizzas, and frozen yoghurt
  • Cherry on Top – a fun candy shop will all sorts of sweets and gifts
  • JavaBlue Café – a trendy coffee shop offering classics as alcoholic coffees
  • Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse – a casual BBQ joint with al fresco seating
  • Cucina del Capitano – for delicious Italian meals in a family-style environment
  • The Chef’s Table – for an extra special evening with a number of courses
  • Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse – for succulent steak and first class service
  • Bonsai Express – a popular venue serving a range of delicate sushi and sashimi
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    Will there be any new public lounges onboard?

     

    Yes, cruisers can expect a few new haunts in which to spend their evenings onboard. Enjoy a crisp beer or some of the Caribbean’s finest rums in the RedFrog Pub, or sing along with live entertainment in Piano Bar 88. Or, spend the whole night in the Limelight Lounge for some good comedy before it transforms into a nightclub, or head to the new, multi-purpose Liquid Lounge where you’ll find all kinds of entertainment day and night.

    To stay up to date with all the latest cruise news be sure to sign up to our mailing list.



    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.



    Everything you need to Know about P&O Iona’s Construction

    clock 18th June 2018 | comment0 Comments

    More information about P&O Cruises’ new ship, Iona, is being released all the time, and as the largest ship to ever have been built for the UK market, cruise fans everywhere are eager for every little detail. So with this in mind, why not read on for all you need to know about the P&O Iona’s construction?

     

     

    First of all, how has Iona been designed?

     

    P&O Cruises intend to make Iona the largest ship for the UK cruise market, accommodating an incredible 5,200 guests. This means that utilising space in the best way has been a big priority, as was avoiding a congested, city atmosphere. Because of this, much attention has been given to ensuring the sea itself is a big focus, to ensure that guests don’t lose sight of the fact that they’re on a cruise holiday exploring the world’s magnificent oceans.

    With guest experience at the height of concern, modern technology has also been greatly considered throughout the design of Iona. Much thought has been given to the best ways to make the most of today’s fast-paced technological developments, which has led to the addition of a number of exciting features; one of which being The Dome. This venue is a pool area with retractable stage and roof, which will be used for poolside fun, entertainment, dining, and even aerial performances.

    With an eye on environmental responsibility, P&O Cruises have ensured that Iona is designed to have a minimal impact in this respect. Using liquefied natural gas, she will be the cruise line’s most environmentally-friendly ship, giving fewer exhaust emissions than the rest of the fleet.

     

    Who has been involved in the design of P&O’s Iona?

     

    To help develop Iona into the ship that P&O Cruises’ visualise, the nation’s favourite cruise line has collaborated with some of the most highly-esteemed experts in the world;

     

  • Meyer Werft – a German ship-building company with ample respect in the industry, they are known for working on luxury ships for Disney Cruise Line, Saga, Celebrity Cruises, and more.
  • Partner Ship Design – also based in Germany, this company offer expertise in maritime architecture as well as developing the guest experience. Previous clients include Costa Cruises and Carnival Cruises.
  • Richmond International – this London-based firm are well-known for their interior design and architectural work for leading hotels, including Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, and The Four Seasons in Moscow.
  • Jestico + Whiles – also located in London, this company has been involved in the design of prestigious locations such as the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, and London’s The Shard, Aqua Shard restaurant.
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    Where are we now, in the construction process?

     

    The first piece of steel was cut to mark the beginning of construction on April 25th, 2018. This glamourous occasion took place in Papenburg, Germany, at the aforementioned ship builder’s yard – Meyer Werft. Iona will be the first ship Meyer Werft have built for P&O Cruises in 20 years.

    To mark the occasion, the steel-cutting ceremony was attended by Paul Ludlow- P&O Cruises’ senior vice president, Josh Weinstein – Carnival UK’s president, and Tim Meyer – Meyer Werft’s managing director. With construction underway, P&O Cruises’ Iona is expected to set sail in 2020, with cruises going on sale later this year, in September 2018.

    Stay up to date with more news about Iona but registering your interest with us, or to receive all sorts of cruise gossip straight to your inbox, sign up to our mailing list.



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