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Viking Ocean Cruises Takes Delivery Of Second Ship

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Viking Ocean Cruises(r) today announced it took delivery of Viking Sea, the company's second ship. The delivery ceremony took place today when the ship was presented at Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, Italy. On April 3, Viking Sea will set sail from Istanbul and will make her way through the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic on her way to be officially christened on May 5 on London's Thames River in Greenwich. (PRNewsFoto/Viking Cruises)
(PRNewsFoto/Viking Cruises)

LOS ANGELES, March 24, 2016 / — Viking Ocean Cruises® ( today announced it took delivery of Viking Sea, the company’s second ship. The delivery ceremony took place today when the ship was presented at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy. On April 3, Viking Sea will set sail from Istanbul and will make her way through the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic on her way to be officially christened on May 5 on London’s Thames River in Greenwich. Following the christening, Viking Sea will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, as well as the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.

“What a remarkable 12 months this has been, launching our first ocean ship, taking delivery of our second ship and preparing for the final outfitting of our third ship. I am proud of everyone at Viking and Fincantieri for their contributions,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises. “As we take delivery of Viking Sea we now double Viking’s ocean capacity, which demonstrates how enthusiastic our guests are for destination-focused cruises. We look forward to further increasing our presence next year and the years after that.”

Classified by Cruise Critic as a “small ship,” the all-veranda Viking Sea is a sister ship to Viking Star, which launched in April 2015 to great customer and industry acclaim. In addition to being named “Best New Ocean Ship” in the Cruise Critic® 2015 Editors’ Picks Awards, Viking Star received three First Place Placements in the 6th Annual Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards. The ship was also rated number one in its category in Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2016. In 2015, Viking was also rated the highest of all river and ocean cruise lines in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards.

Viking’s ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boast 465 cabins and accommodate 930 passengers. Viking Sea is the second of six ocean cruise ships on order. The third ship, Viking Sky, will be delivered in early 2017; the three remaining yet-to-be-named ships will be delivered in late 2017, 2018 and 2020, respectively.

Designed for discerning travelers, Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. The Viking Difference is providing guests with extraordinarily well-designed cruises that bring them closer to the cultures of the world. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port, more overnights and fewer days at sea. Onboard, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. All-veranda ships mean that guests experience every day with a new, expansive vista. With the most al fresco dining at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and onboard. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.

In addition, Viking Inclusive Cruising provides a small ship experience at a big ship value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service—a value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise.

UK Government extends commitment to Royal Navy’s Type 26 programme

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The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded BAE Systems a £472 million contract to progress the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme following the UK Government’s commitment in the Strategic Defence and Security Review to buy eight of the advanced anti-submarine warfare ships.

The announcement continues the UK Government’s investment in Type 26, reflecting its commitment to the UK’s strategic warship building industry and the programme to deliver the Royal Navy’s next generation warships. Effective from April 2016, the 15 month contract extends the current demonstration phase ensuring continued momentum to further mature the detailed design of the Type 26 ships and to manufacture key equipment for the first three ships.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “These highly advanced ships will help keep Britain safe and support our shipbuilding industry. Investing in them is part of our plan to increase defence spending so our armed forces have the most modern equipment they need.”

Geoff Searle, Type 26 Programme Director at BAE Systems, said: “This is a significant investment in the programme and an endorsement of the Government’s commitment to sustain this important national capability. The Type 26 programme is progressing well and over the coming months more of our partners in the supply chain will start to manufacture equipment for the first three ships as we continue to progress towards the manufacturing phase.

“We are committed to working with the Ministry of Defence and wider industry to ensure the Royal Navy has the capability it needs to protect national interests, whilst ensuring value for money for UK taxpayers. Through the Type 26 programme, we are transforming the way we design and manufacture warships with innovative new technologies, systems and processes to ensure we continue to deliver the highest quality equipment at the lowest possible cost.”

To date, there are 27 companies across the maritime supply chain working with BAE Systems to deliver the Type 26 ships, including seven firms with contracts underway to manufacture key equipment for the first three ships. This includes manufacturing contracts with Babcock for the ships’ air weapons handling systems, GE Power Conversion for the electric propulsion motor and drive systems and Rolls-Royce for the gas turbines, the first of which passed its factory acceptance test in January.

Under the extended demonstration phase, BAE Systems expects to award manufacturing contracts to a total of approximately 50 companies, helping to support a vibrant maritime industry. Key equipment to be delivered includes the Combat Management System and the Shared Infrastructure IT system developed by BAE Systems. This innovative hardware solution will allow the crew to access all software, such as navigation, communications and sonar needed to operate a ship’s combat systems through a single console.

The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship and will in time replace the Type 23 frigates. Globally deployable, it will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group.

Fred. Olsen to sail from more regional UK ports than any other cruise line in 2017/18

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is reinforcing its reputation for offering the greatest choice of ex-UK departures to cruise guests in 2017/18, with its fleet of four smaller, more intimate ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – sailing from ten convenient regional ports: Southampton, Dover, Tilbury, Harwich, Falmouth, Liverpool, Newcastle, Greenock (Glasgow),Rosyth (Edinburgh) and Belfast.

Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“We know that travel to and from a departure port is a key influencer for guests booking a cruise holiday, and Fred. Olsen is continuing to offer the widest range of regional departure ports of any cruise line, with a total of ten, covering all the important cruise markets of the UK.

“We are also committed to ensuring that we match our departure ports to the right kind of cruise itinerary, meaning that we can offer the shortest duration of Norwegian fjords experience, of just five nights, from the North Eastern port of Newcastle, and a Canaries and Madeira holiday of just 12 nights from Falmouth, in the South West.”

In 2017/18, Fred. Olsen 1,350-guest flagship, Balmoral, will once again be sailing from Newcastle, with a record 13 departures, which is an increase of two sailings on the previous cruise season. Balmoral’s cruise programme from the Port of Tyne will commence on 25th May 2017, with a ‘Five-Night Fjords’ cruise. Other departures include: an 11-night ‘Swedish Fjords & Fjards’ cruise in May 2017 – a ‘fjard’ being similar to a fjord, but characterised ‘by a shorter, shallower, and broader profile’; a 14-night ‘Spitsbergen & the Midnight Sun’ departure in June 2017; and a nine-night ‘German Waterways’ sailing in August 2017. In addition to Newcastle, Balmoral will also be serving the Southern ports ofSouthampton and Dover in 2017/18.

929-guest Braemar will be serving Southampton and Dover in 2017/18, offering smaller-ship cruising to the UK cruise market on a variety of itineraries, including a 14-night ‘Spain & France Rivers’ sailingin April 2017 – which incorporates the Andalusian celebration of ‘The Seville Fair’, or ‘Feria de abril de Sevilla’ – a 10-night ‘Baltic’ cruise in July 2017, taking in the spectacular ‘Baltic Tall Ships Regatta’ in Klaipeda, and a seven-night ‘Belgium & Holland Rivers’ voyage in November 2017. Braemar will also be making a return to its popular Caribbean programme in 2018, with six fly-cruises between December 2017 and March 2018.

Fred. Olsen’s 880-guest Boudicca will be cruising from the port of Falmouth in April, for its second season, in 2017/18 – offering guests in the South West a 12-night ‘Canary Islands & Madeira’ cruise and a 16-night ‘Amalfi Coast’ adventure – an ideal itinerary for the ‘new-to-cruise’ market, as it only requires 10 days of annual leave. Boudicca will also be offering four sailings from Greenock (Glasgow) and two from Belfast.

Fred. Olsen remains one of the leading cruise lines operating from the port of Liverpool in 2017/18, with a total of 11 calls on board Boudicca, including a 26-night ‘Azores, Bermuda & the America’s Cup’ cruise in June 2017 – which is already proving a best-seller – and an eight-night ‘Lochs of Scotland’ sailing in July 2017.

In 2017/18, Fred. Olsen’s smallest, most intimate ship, 804-guest Black Watch, will be offering departures fromSouthampton, Dover and Rosyth (Edinburgh), with eight sailings – an increase on the seven available in 2016 – along with two cruises from Harwich and five from Tilbury.

Highlights of Fred. Olsen’s 2017/18 regional departure programme include:

– Balmoral’s 11-night L1711 ‘Swedish Waterways’ cruise, ex Newcastle on 30th May 2017

Balmoral calls first at the coastal town of Lysekil, which offers a distinctive charm, akin to a British seaside resort. Next comes a spellbinding exploration of Sweden’s vast fjordland, taking in majestic Gullmarsfjorden, Färlevfjorden andSaltkallefjorden.

Helsingborg is the next port of call, home to a rejuvenated waterfront, the elegant Sofiero Gardensand a flourishing local food scene, followed by UNESCO-listed Karlskrona. Here, guests can visit the town’s collection of 17th and 18th Century naval architecture, including a charming shipyard. A scenic cruise of the Stockholm Archipelago is not to be missed, with its unique network of nearly 30,000 islands, islets and rocks.

Balmoral then arrives in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, for a two-night stay. Guests will have the choice of visiting the ‘Gamla Stan’, the atmospheric ‘Old Town’, or take in the nearby ABBA Museum, or beautiful Drottningholm Palace, amongst other attractions in this buzzing metropolis.

After a return cruise of the Stockholm Archipelago, guests will then have the chance to witness more spectacular fjords:Älgöfjorden, Hakefjorden, Brattöbadan, Askerofjorden, Halsefjorden, Havstensfjorden and Byfjorden.

The final port of call on this Swedish waterways voyage is Arendal, from where guests can journey to the culture-rich hub of Gothenburg, with its cutting-edge architecture and famous botanical gardens. Balmoral returns to Newcastle.

– Black Watch’s W1713 ‘Greenland, Iceland & Norway Exploration’ cruise, ex Rosyth (Edinburgh) on 21st August 2017

Black Watch first visits Reykjavik, Iceland’s up-and-coming capital, where guests can relax in the mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, or seek out the incredible Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.

After a scenic cruise of Angmagssalik Fjord, made all the more momentous by the ship’s smaller, more intimate size,Black Watch then calls at Tasiilaq, on the eastern side of Greenland. Discover fascinating artefacts at the Tasiilaq Museum; go hiking through the rugged, unspoilt landscapes; or travel a short distance across the fjord to uncover the breath-taking Flower Valley.

Iceland’s Akureyri comes next.Here, guests can admire some of nature’s most magnificent creatures in their natural habitat on a whale-watching tour, or pay a visit to Godafoss – ‘Waterfall of the Gods’!

Black Watch then undertakes a cruise of Eyjafjörður, the longest fjord in Iceland, located off the north coast, and sails past Hrísey, a tiny island set at its heart. The ship continues towards the east coast and glides along the 30km-longReyðarfjörður, the longest of the fjords along this coastline.

The last call in Iceland is to Eskifjörður, an authentic example of traditional urban life. Here, Mount Hólmatindur, at just under 1,000m tall, is a sight to behold!

Black Watch then makes her way to the first port in Norway, Ålesund, one of the country’s top visitor destinations, with panoramic views from Mount Aksla and the surrounding Sunnmøre Alps.The final port of call on this fjords exploration is picturesque Olden, where guests can take in the majesty of the Jostedalen Glacier and its famous Briksdal branch, as well as the Lovatnet Lake and Olden Church, built in 1759. Black Watch then cruises along the tranquil Nordfjord, and returns to Rosyth (Edinburgh).

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at 

Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum System selected for all three Maersk line new building projects

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Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply the Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum integrated navigation, automation, and propulsion control systems for 27 new container vessels being built for Denmark based Maersk Line A/S. The contracts with Wärtsilä were signed in July and October 2015, and January 2016.

The vessels are under construction at yards in China and South Korea. With these orders, the latest 47 new buildings in the Maersk line fleet will all be fitted with the Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum system, thus emphasising its market application success. Wärtsilä will also provide a power management system and control consoles, as well as external communication facilities. The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yards commencing in April 2016.

The integrated Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum system covers the control systems for navigation, automation, power and propulsion. By integrating all these functions into a single system, the vessel can be navigated, controlled, and monitored from various onboard positions. The truly multi-functional operator stations enable unequalled flexibility and convenience.

The increasing levels of automation and ship wide connectivity of essential sources of information continue to present opportunities for further operational expenditure reductions. Enhanced data has the potential to underpin these cost savings and become the bedrock of future competitive advantage.

“The broad scope of solutions to be provided by Wärtsilä represents further evidence of the company’s extensive portfolio to the global shipping industry. Wärtsilä’s capability to offer owners and operators fully integrated navigation and automation control systems underlines the company’s position as the market leader for such systems – especially for high specification container vessels,” says Stephan Kuhn, Vice President, Electrical & Automation, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.

“We are looking at a global service and support network as one parameter when systems are selected,” says Jørgen Hansen, Maersk Line Ship Management. “Furthermore, with the ongoing and growing need for data availability, both internally as well as externally, Maersk Line finds the Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum an attractive solution. We also foresee many synergies across the 3 projects, not only in the design phase but also later when the vessels enter service, since operations with further innovation and developments are simpler and faster with one single supplier responsible for the whole system, rather than with several.”

Wärtsilä has more than 50 years of experience in providing integrated navigation, automation, communications, and propulsion control systems for all types of ships. The company’s Electrical & Automation capabilities feature unique sector competences and a broad scope of offerings, including dynamic positioning technology, power supply and conversion, safety and security, entertainment systems as well as sensor, sonar and underwater communications technology for the marine, naval and offshore markets.

Links to related information:
Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum – Navigation
Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum – Automation

Viking Supply Ships develops the first Polar Code Course

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During week 9 the first test courses, named Polar Code Course, Basic and Advanced, was completed in cooperation with the Linnæus University in Kalmar.

-We are very satisfied having developed the course in cooperation with Viking Supply Ships and Viking Ice Consultancy. Together we have the competence and experience that is required to develop courses of highest standard within navigation in ice, says Ted Bågfeldt, Head of Kalmar Maritime Academy.

The course covers all requirements in the IMO Polar Code, which will be mandatory as of 1 January 2017. The course has been developed in close cooperation with Kalmar Maritime Academy as part of a cooperation agreement named Ice Academy.

Both the Swedish and Danish Maritime Administrations were present during the course in order to review the implementation and content of the course.

-The test course went very well and both the Danish and Swedish authorities were satisfied. Whether the Polar Code Course is approved will however not be decided until May, when IMO concludes on the requirements for Polar Code courses, says Jan Persson, coordinator for Polar Code Traning within Viking Ice Consultancy. Should the course be approved by the IMO, Viking Supply Ships and the Kalmar Maritime Academy will be the first to offer approved Polar Code courses globally.

-Safeguarding our personnel and protecting the environment in cold climates are amongst our main tasks and responsibilities. Implementing the new Polar Code will be an important part of this work, says Andreas Kjol, Project Director in Viking Ice Consultancy.

AIDA Cruises takes delivery of new flagship AIDAprima

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Additional short cruise to start from Hamburg from April 25, 2016 onwards / Christening on May 7, 2016 by Emma Schweiger

On March 14, 2016, AIDA Cruises took delivery of its first newbuild of a new ship generation from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) in Nagasaki during a formal ceremony. In the presence of Michael Thamm, CEO of the Costa Group, and Felix Eichhorn, President AIDA Cruises, AIDAprima was handed over to the cruise line by Shunichi Miyanaga, President and CEO, and Yoichi Kujirai, President and CEO, Commercial Aviation & Transportation Systems MHI. The ship has left Nagasaki today towards Hamburg. AIDAprima, the 11th ship in the AIDA fleet, will be christened by Emma Schweiger on May 7, 2016, in front of an audience of millions as the climax of the 827th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY.

“AIDAprima is the first ship of an entirely new AIDA product family. With creativity and great innovativeness, our team has managed to implement our high standards in terms of product quality and environmental friendliness in an exemplary and impressive way. We are extremely pleased with the successful design of the ship, and look forward to welcoming guests aboard her, who are going to be equally impressed,” said Michael Thamm, CEO Costa Group, on the occasion of the ship’s handover.

Felix Eichhorn, President AIDA Cruises: “20 years ago, AIDA launched its concept of modern cruising. With our new flagship and the three newbuilds to follow, the company will continue to provide important growth impulses for the German cruise market. We are once again charting new territory by being the first German cruise line to offer cruises starting from Germany the whole year round. I am convinced that we will reach new guest groups with our unique variety of offerings aboard AIDAprima.”

Shunichi Miyanaga, President and CEO MHI, commented: “We are proud to deliver AIDAprima, the first of a new generation of energy-efficient cruise ships superbly equipped to provide a fantastic cruising experience for passengers.”

From April 30, 2016, Hamburg will be the home port for seven-day round trips to Western Europe’s most beautiful metropolises such as London, Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.

Before the first metropolis cruises get officially underway, AIDA Cruises is offering an additional 4-day short cruise from Hamburg to Southampton/London and back from April 25 to 29, 2016. This exclusive cruise can be booked from EUR 499 p.p. in an interior stateroom (AIDA PREMIUM rate incl. EUR 50 Early Saver discount).

Cunard Debuts Largest Programme Launch Ever Featuring 2017 Voyages and 2018 World & Exotic Voyages Programme

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Cunard's Three Queens, Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth. Photo credit: James Morgan (PRNewsFoto/Cunard Line)
Cunard’s Three Queens, Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth. Photo credit: James Morgan (PRNewsFoto/Cunard Line)

2018 World & Exotic Voyages Programme on sale April 13, 2016

SOUTHAMPTON,  England, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Cunard is pleased to announce its largest launch ever – the 2017 Voyages and 2018 World & Exotic Voyages Programme – featuring a greater number of voyages and more destinations than ever before.

From classic Transatlantic Crossings, epic World Cruises and exotic voyages, to Mediterranean explorations and convenient New York roundtrip itineraries, Cunard has a wide selection of voyages to choose from to make sailing a truly memorable experience.

2017 Voyage Programme
Cunard’s distinction lies not only with its fleet – Queen Mary 2Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria – but also with its deployment. In 2017, the Cunard fleet will travel over 207,000 nautical miles, visit 93 destinations in 32 different countries, and will include four maiden calls for the current fleet. These maiden calls will include: Souda Bay, Greece; Sibenik, Croatia; Brindisi, Italy; and Praia da Vitoria, Portugal.

Highlights include:

  • Overnight calls in 8 cities including St. Petersburg, Venice and Barcelona
  • 18 evenings in port including Dublin, Monte Carlo and Boston
  • 14 roundtrip New York sailings
  • 2 World Voyages – one on Queen Mary 2 and one on Queen Elizabeth
  • South America exploration with 22 ports around the continent on Queen Victoria

As the only cruise company to offer regularly scheduled Transatlantic Crossings, Cunard expertly bridges the gap between the old and new worlds in the most luxurious of ways. Queen Mary 2 will enter 2017 with every stateroom on board refurbished as part of the ship’s dramatic remastering taking place this year, and she will cross the Atlantic 24 times, from May to December, in seven-to-eight night voyages between New York and either Southampton or Le Harve.

Queen Mary 2 will also offer roundtrip New York and Southampton cruises to New England & Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Cunard’s truly flexible Mediterranean cruise season on the refurbished Queen Victoria will allow guests the opportunity to embark from one of four ports on voyages lasting from seven to 21 nights:

  • Embarking in Rome, Venice, Athens and Barcelona, Queen Victoria will visit 29 different ports in the Mediterranean from July to November. Overnight stays will include Venice, Istanbul and Barcelona, with late evening departures in Cephalonia, Barcelona, Dubrovnik and Monte Carlo. Queen Victoria will also offer select voyages from Southampton both to European destinations and to the Caribbean.
  • Queen Victoria will be fresh from her refit for the 2017 Mediterranean season and will offer Britannia Club dining and accommodations for the first time.

Queen Elizabeth will operate regular roundtrip Southampton voyages that visit locations such as The Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, British Isles, Canary Islands and Iberia. New this year for Queen Elizabeth are 4 roundtrip voyages sailing from Rotterdam, to the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and the British Isles.

2017 Special Event Cruises
Cunard is pleased to announce new theme cruises that will feature landmark celebrations and cultural experiences around the world, from the oldest open-air opera festival in the world at the Arena di Verona, to a celebration marking the city of Le Havre’s 500th Anniversary in France, to Kiel Week, the largest annual sailing event in the world.

Cunard’s award-winning Insights programme will bring together renowned thought leaders from a wide variety of industries to curate in-depth discussions on topics ranging from fashion to astronomy.

Highlights to look forward to in 2017 are:

  • Queen Mary 2’s World Space Week (M737), a Transatlantic Crossing to celebrate the United Nations International World Space Week, featuring top space experts: Astronaut, Scientist and former Shuttle Pilot, Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman; Charles Barclay, of the Royal Astronomical Society; Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director of Virgin Galactic; and Ken Taggart, NASA historian.
  • Queen Elizabeth’s Arts and Literary Tour of the British Isles (Q723), an exploration of the artistic side to the British Isles in the company of actor Robert Powell, and Louise West, Trustee of the Charles Dickens Museum and Former Senior Curator of the Jane Austen House.
  • Queen Elizabeth celebrating QE2’s 50th Anniversary (Q729), a special cruise honouring the 50th anniversary of Cunard’s best-loved ship, the iconic QE, which will feature a commemorative dinner and Insight speakers QE2 expert and historian, Chris Frame, former Captain of QE2.
  • Queen Victoria’s Festival of Flowers (V714), an itinerary that includes an overnight stay in the floral paradise of Madeira, excursions to many beautiful gardens and flower markets of the Canary Islands, and an evening dinner at Madeira’s botanical garden hotel, Quinta Jardins do Lago.

Cunard will also be hosting the spectacular “Big Band Ball” on board Queen Elizabeth (Q727) and Queen Victoria (V726), a magnificent 13 piece Big Band Orchestra, for guests who like to dance and sing to the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Michael Bublé and Frank Sinatra.

2018 World & Exotic Voyages Highlights

Ever since inaugurating the first world cruise in 1922, Cunard has undertaken more world voyages and taken more passengers around the globe than any other cruise line and is the undisputable world voyage expert. In 2018, Cunard will continue this grand tradition and will visit 93 unique ports in 46 countries, have 17 ship maiden calls and visit nine new ports for the current fleet.

Queen Elizabeth will operate a full 122 night world circumnavigation calling on 39 ports in 25 countries and featuring overnight stays in New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong and Cape Town. Her voyage will offer guests the chance to experience the classic world voyage, a westbound circumnavigation of the globe featuring a transit of the iconic Panama Canal. Queen Elizabeth will have six maiden calls: Hamilton, Bermuda; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Mo’orea, French Polynesia; Kochi, Japan; and Malacca, Malaysia.

  • 112-night round trip Southampton, fares from $19,999
  • 72-night New York to Hong Kong, fares from $11,799
  • 22-night San Francisco to Sydney, fares from $3,799
  • 16-night Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco, fares from $2,399

Queen Mary 2’s 120-night East-West voyage will call on 46 ports in 24 countries and will feature two maiden calls in New Zealand, as well as overnight stays in Cape Town, Hong Kong and Dubai. Her 2018 World Voyage will allow for full immersion in destinations in Australia and New Zealand, with experiences featuring the Margaret River, Kangaroo Island and New Zealand’s South Island. On departure from Australia Queen Mary 2 will visit Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand, providing access to a wide array of exotic Asian cultures. On her return leg, Queen Marywill call on Aqaba for the ancient site of Petra before transiting the Suez Canal and calling at the classic Mediterranean destinations of Rome and Barcelona.

  • 134-night round trip New York, fares from $22,399
  • 120-night round trip Southampton, fares from $19,999
  • 13-night round trip Sydney, fares from $2,299

For the first time ever, Cunard will offer a 2-3 month exotic mid-duration voyage on Queen Victoria for guests seeking a winter escape round trip experience that offers an in depth exploration of South America. This voyage will offer more immersive destinations and scenic cruising in the Magellan Straits, Chilean Fjords and Cape Horn. Her voyage will also feature nine maiden calls, ports in the Caribbean, a transit of the Panama Canal, and overnight stays in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

  • 50-night round trip Fort Lauderdale, fares from $7,999
  • 34-night Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso, fares from $5,499
  • 15-night Fort Lauderdale to Rio de Janeiro, fares from $2,299

“We are proud to announce a robust 2017 Voyages and 2018 World & Exotic Cruise Programme,” comments Richard Meadows, president, Cunard North America. “With the remastering of our flagship Queen Mary 2 this year, and Queen Victoria’s planned refit in 2017 – which includes the significant addition of Britannia Club accommodations – Cunard’s iconic vessels will be more luxurious than ever offering new and richer experiences for our guests.”

Early Booking Benefits
2018 Full World Voyage – Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth
Cunard offers guests on Full World Voyages (89 nights or longer) on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth a number of benefits for bookings made by December 31, 2016: these include: Reduced Deposit, Free Gratuities, Gala World Voyage Special Event, Commemorative Gifts, an exclusive invitation to the World Voyage Cocktail Party, an Onboard Credit of up to $3,000 per stateroom, and a host of other amenities based on category.

Early Booking Onboard Credit on Exotic Voyages (25 to 88 Nights)
Guests booked on exotic voyages between 25 and 88 nights on any of our three ships will receive Onboard Credit up to $1,500 per stateroom. Offer applies to bookings made by December 31, 2016 for the first and second guests only.

World Club Member Savings
For 2017 Programme, members of the Cunard World Club will benefit from an additional 5% discount off launch fares effective at programme launch. This 5% Cunard World Club discount is applicable on all cruises, for past guests only, until August 31, 2016. Not applicable to third and fourth berth guests.

For 2018 World and Exotic voyages, Cunard World Club members receive discounts up to $4,000 per stateroom on bookings made by December 31, 2016.  Discounts apply to 1st and 2nd berth guests only.

For more information about Queen Mary 2Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Consultant or call Cunard toll free at 1-800-728-6273, or visit

About Cunard
Defining true excellence at sea with over 175 years of legendary voyages, Cunard is the operator of luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth that are renowned for impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment. Cunard has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries since the company’s first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840. Today Cunard offers the only regularly scheduled Transatlantic liner service and continues the legacy of world cruising which it began in 1922.

World’s Leading Cruise Lines
Cunard is a proud member of World’s Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, Seabourn and fathom. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, World’s Leading Cruise Lines inspires people to discover their best vacation experience. Together, we offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations. Visit us at

Web Site:

Concordia Maritime signs three-year time charter contract for P-MAX tanker

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Concordia Maritime has signed a contract to charter out another P-MAX tanker, Stena Progress. The contract, which comes into effect in April 2016, is for three years. Contract partner is a national oil company. 

We are continuing to take advantage of the market momentum by chartering out another of our P-MAX tankers over a longer period. We have now chartered out three of our ten P-MAX tankers over longer periods and are continuously evaluating the possibility of similar arrangements. All contracts are fully in line with our chartering strategy. We ensure a good level of income for the vessel over the coming year, while balancing the exposure to the spot market in a well-judged way,” says Kim Ullman, CEO of Concordia Maritime.

The vessel will be mainly used for niche trades in the Atlantic Basin. With her shallow draft and high load capacity, the P-MAX tanker will allow efficient transportation of large volumes.

ATSB: Fire on board the livestock carrier Ocean Drover, Fremantle, WA on 9 October 2014

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On the morning of 9 October 2014, a fire started in Ocean Drover’s crew accommodation while the livestock carrier was berthed in Fremantle, Western Australia. The fire quickly spread across both accommodation decks. The ship’s crew and shore emergency response teams responded and fire-fighting efforts continued for the rest of the day.

By the time the fire was extinguished late that evening, the ship’s accommodation areas and its navigation bridge had been extensively damaged. Four of the ship’s crew sustained injuries that required medical treatment.

The ATSB found that the fire started in a centrally located forward cabin on Ocean Drover’s upper deck. The intensity of the fire and the severity of the damage made it impossible to identify an exact point of origin or source of the fire.

The ATSB investigation found that the cabin door was left open after the fire was discovered allowing smoke and flame to spread beyond the cabin. Further, the bridge deck stairwell fire door was hooked open, which allowed the fire to rapidly spread and engulf both the upper and bridge decks.

The investigation also identified that the ship’s crew did not complete a muster and accurate head count when responding to the fire.

While cigarette smoking was not identified as a contributing factor, it was found that the smoking policy and associated risk controls on board were not effectively managed.

Safety message
Containing a shipboard fire in the compartment where it originates is critical to firefighting. Effective containment relies on maintaining the integrity of fire divisions, including bulkheads, decks and doors. In this regard, particular attention must be paid to ensuring fire doors, designed to limit or prevent the spread of fire, are never latched/lashed open, or otherwise compromised.







ATSB investigation report: Fire on board the livestock carrier Ocean Drover, Fremantle, WA on 9 October 2014

Star Cruises Flagship SuperStar Virgo Debuts Cruise to Picturesque Okinawa from Hong Kong – Nansha Double Homeport

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HONG KONG, March 8, 2016 / — On 17 April 2016, Star Cruises’ flagship SuperStar Virgo will commence her premiere 5-month Japan itinerary from her double homeport at Hong Kong and Guangzhou, Nansha homeport, offering a 6-night journey to Okinawa, Japan; and a 1-night holiday experience in between Guangzhou, Nansha and Hong Kong. Star Cruises has also invited Mr. Guo Chuan, the First and Only professional offshore sailor in China, World Guinness Record Breaker; as well as Mr. Lee Ming Hay, renowned Hong Kong Cyclist and Backpacker with epic 7-month solo bicycle journey from Berlin to Hong Kong, to meet and greet passengers onboard, sharing their inspirational and thrilling world adventures.

Since SuperStar Virgo debuted her double homeport of Hong Kong and Guangzhou, Nansha in January 2016, travelers from the Pearl River Delta have been enjoying cruise journeys to Halong Bay, Da Nang and Sanya, Hainan, marking a new era in the cruise industry of China. Stepping into the next season of the year, Star Cruises extends the voyage to Okinawa, Japan, which passengers can have a convenient and relaxing journey to Okinawa and enjoy the culture and delicacies of Japan.

To enrich passengers’ experience, starting from March 2016, Star Cruises introduces the “Life Journey” series on SuperStar Virgo, where leaders from all walks of life share their successful stories, including Mr. Guo Chuan, the First and Only professional offshore sailor in China and World Guinness Record Breaker, who will host a sharing session about the challenges he faced in the sea, as well as the different cultures he observed from his trips around the world; Mr. Lee Ming Hay, a renowned Hong Kong Cyclist and Backpacker with epic 7-month solo bicycle journey from Berlin to Hong Kong, will also share precious memories from his voyage to cruisers onboard.

SuperStar Virgo offers a wide spectrum of entertainment programs, including world-class magic spectacle, astounding theatrical performances, yoga and ballroom dancing lessons instructed by professional trainers, wine tasting sessions conducted by certified sommelier, glass art and craft workshops, kung fu and qi gong lessons, themed parties and more to offer. A rich schedule of activities is available daily for passengers to enjoy a unique and pleasant vacation.

Famous pop artists from Hong Kong and Taiwan including Richie Ren, Andy Hui, Michael Wong, Tiger Huang, and William So will perform at The Lido of SuperStar Virgo on a weekly basis, bringing the best hits of the region back to live. All guests sailing throughout the months of March and April will enjoy perhaps the most extraordinary musical performance on the sea at no extra cost#.

# Tickets will be made available on first-come first-served basis.


The 13-storey SuperStar Virgo is equipped with 935 cabins, including sea-view cabins and balcony suites. Offering a wide variety of dining, shopping and entertainment choices, its facilities embrace Chinese, international buffet and Japanese restaurants, an alfresco bar, foot reflexology salon and spa, gym, steam and sauna rooms, hairdressing salon, two-level theatre, duty-free shops, a 100-metre mega water slide, outdoor swimming pool, mini golf course, karaoke room, children’s activity Centre and more. A calendar of themed entertainment constantly refreshes the onboard fun and excitement, ensuring every voyage is a brand new enjoyable experience.

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