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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.



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!

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A Sneak Peek into what's 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.



    P&O Cruises' Iona: The Story Behind the Name

    clock 25th May 2018 | comment0 Comments

    P&O Cruises thrilled cruise fans everywhere on Thursday 24th May, by announcing the name of their next, 2020 cruise ship on Facebook with a live feed. Thousands of people tuned in to watch as British TV presenter Stephen Mulhern revealed the name; Iona.

    Stephen was aptly located in the beautiful Scottish Isle of Iona, and local resident Jane had the honour of choosing a winner from a group of people who had voted for the name; Mrs Gillian Crooks of Dundee was selected. She’ll receive two tickets for the ships naming ceremony, and gifts will be sent to everyone else who suggested ‘Iona’.

     

     

    The name itself has great significance for P&O Cruises, as senior vice-president Paul Ludlow explains, ‘it seems very fitting to highlight one of our most notable islands and celebrate the geographic diversity of the UK, especially as we can trace back our roots to the Scottish Isles’.

    Not only this, but the significance of the sea to Iona was a big consideration when deciding on the ship’s name. It’s possible to see the vast waters surrounding the island from most locations, and islanders have long depended on it for trade and tourism. Paul remarked that P&O Cruises had a similar outlook when designing the ship, wanting the world’s seas and oceans to always be in primary focus.

    Sign up to stay up to date with future news about Iona.

    To browse P&O Iona's itineraries and prices click here the cruise deals' page!



    Welcome Onboard Symphony of the Seas

    clock 6th March 2018 | comment0 Comments

    With the debut cruise of Royal Caribbean’s latest ship just around the corner, we decided to take a closer look at some of the wowing features and facilities onboard the largest cruise ship in the world; Symphony of the Seas.

     

     

    At 362 metres long, and designed to carry a total of 7,865 passengers and crew, it’s almost inevitable that Symphony of the Seas is stock full of all sorts of fun things to do, exciting things to watch, and a range of places to eat.

     

     

    Brand New Royal Caribbean Features

     

    Symphony of the Seas boasts some fantastic firsts for Royal Caribbean, here are some or our favourite innovations:

    The Accommodation

    Not only does this vibrant and fresh cruise ship boast some brilliant entertainment, activities, and cuisine options, but plenty of thought has also gone into the accommodation. The Ultimate Family Suite has all your family could need, from comfy bean bags and funky décor, to the foosball table and big screen TV.

    Laser Tag

    This activity is so much fun for friends and family, and indeed is a fantastic way to meet fellow cruisers. Unite as one or go head to head in a battle between robots and aliens, in which only one team can win. Laser tag is suitable for both adults and young cruisers.

     

     

    Playmaker’s Sports Bar & Arcade

    Spanning the entire length of the boardwalk, this new sports bar is the perfect getaway for any sports fans. It boasts 30 TV screens showcasing a range of popular sports, a bar serving a great selection of beers and favourite snacks like wings and burgers, and classic arcade games including Ms Pac-Man.

     

    Returning Features

     

    Returning on Symphony of the Seas are some of our favourite Royal Caribbean features, as seen on Quantam and Oasis class ships.

    The Bionic Bar

    This extraordinary venue will keep all guests amused and captivated, as they watch robots create their perfect cocktail. Order your own creation, or a classic cocktail, from a state-of-the-art computer tablet and prepare to be amazed.

     

    The Aquatheatre

    Professional performers will leave all members of the audience astonished by their skills in synchronised swimming and high-diving. The whole family can enjoy the production of Hiro in which acrobats showcase some incredible choreography combining lights, water, music, and of course their incredible physical abilities.

    Izumi

    Any lover of Asian food will certainly want to dine at this Japanese restaurant at least once during their cruise. With sleek and stunning Japanese décor, and a menu full of beautiful sushi, sashimi, and more, an evening meal at Izumi will be one to remember – not least because of the hot rock cooking right next to your table.

    Splashaway Bay

    Adults are bound to envy this adventurous, kids-only waterpark, which is also seen on Harmony of the Seas. Parents can enjoy some chill-time while safe in the knowledge that their little ones are meeting new friends and having great fun playing with the climbing frame, drench bucket, and several water cannons.

     

     

    Take a look at our selection of Symphony of the Seas sailings and discover this exciting new Royal Caribbean ship for yourselves.



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