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Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) have confirmed that Columbus is to return to the Netherlands for checks and repairs after developing a technical issue and her current cruise be curtailed.

It comes after the ship made minor contact with an object whilst departing Amsterdam on Friday 31st March. After initial inspections from divers and surveryors, she was cleared to depart. However, a technical issue has arisen which requires attention.

CMV have released the following statement with regards to the situation:

Incident involving Columbus during 7-night Majestic Fjordland cruise.

Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) would like to reassure all current and future passengers following an incident on Friday 31st May during which Columbus experienced a technical issue following minor contact with a foreign object on departure from Amsterdam. After the incident surveyors and divers attended and cleared Columbus to sail.

Unfortunately, Columbus has now developed a techincal issue and is returning to the Netherlands CMV wish to stress that this not an issue which places the safety of any passengers or crew at risk. However, this technical issue prevents Columbus from continuing on her current Majestic Fjordland itinerary and Columbus is returning to the Netherlands for further checks and repairs.

Cruises & Maritime Voyages are working on a detailed compensation package for passengers whose cruise has been affected and details of this will be provided to passengers on board Columbus today. CMV would like to apologise for the disruption caused and will ensure all passengers are kept fully informed. The health and safety of all passengers and crew is of paramount importance to Cruise & Maritime Voyages. 

The 63,786 grt Columbus is currently sailing on a 7 night Majestic Fjordland cruise with 1323 passengers and 616 crew on board and called at Amsterdam on Friday 31st May. Columbus was scheduled to visit Eidfjord, Norway on Sunday 2 June before visiting Flåm and Bergen. Columbus is due to return to London – Tilbury on Wednesday 5 June.”

Columbus joined CMV in April 2017 from P&O Cruises Australia and underwent a refit before sailing on her maiden voyage in June 2017. She had originally been laid down for Sitmar Cruises as Sitmar FairMajesty but with Princess Cruises aquiring Sitmar, she was switched to Princess Cruises in the shipyard and was named Star Princess, entering service in 1989. She would enjoy spells with P&O Cruises as Arcadia from 1997 to 2003 and Ocean Village as Ocean Village from 2003 to 2010 before sailing as Pacific Pearl between 2010 and 2017.

Statement: Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV)

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Silversea have announced that their 388 guest Silver Shadow is to undergo an extensive refurbishment in November this year, which will enrich the ship’s comfort further the cruise line’s guests.

The refurbishment will see the creation of a new Atrium area on deck 5, with major enhancements to all guest suites, corridors and many public spaces including a remodelling of the ship’s La Dame Restaurant, Connosseur’s Corner and the Casino.

Silver Shadow at 28,258 GRT can accomodate 388 guests and was last refitted in 2017. Image © Silversea

The refurbishment is part of Project Invictus, a long term plan to grow and enhance Silversea’s ultra-luxury fleet of ships and will be inspired by the design of Silver Muse.

The refurbishment will consist of:

Suites: All of the ships guest suites and corridors will benefit from a floor-to-ceiling renvovation, inspired by the design and color palette of Silver Muse. Vista and Verandah suites will benefit from a full renovation of all the fixed and loose furniture plus new lighting, carpets and headboards. Bathrooms will also recieve upgrades with new sinks. Silver Shadow’s Medallion, Silver, Gran and Royal suites will be renovated with new colour schemes and materials. The Owner’s suite will be entirely renovated too, including full refurbishment of the bathroom.

New Atrium & Arts Cafe: The space currently occupied by the Lobby, Boutique and Casino will undergo a re-design and incorporate a new Atrium. As a social hub, there will be an updated interactive guest reception area along with an open-plan Atrium which will incorporate boutiques and, as its centrepiece, the Arts Cafe – a Silver Muse- inspired space where guests can relax whilst surrounded by sophisticated artworks, whilst enjoying a coffee, pastry, sandwich and other delicacies during the day or cocktails during the evening hours.

La Dame: Excelling in French cuisine, the popular La Dame restaurant will be refurbished and enlarged to accomodate 40 diners to ensure every guest has the opportunity to experience its chic style, exceptional service and sophisticated cuisine.

Connoisseur’s Corner: Offering fine cognaces and premium cigars, Connoisseur’s Corner will be a rich and luxurious lounge on Deck 8 and will be housed within the former Library and Internet Cafe. There will also be an addition of a new outdoor smoking area with comfortable seating.

Casino: The casino will undergo a complete redesign with it moving to Deck 8 and placing it next to the Connoisseur’s Corner. The newly located casino will house 11 slots machines and 2 gaming tables in beautifully updated surroundings.

Observation Library: Formerly known as the Observation Lounge, this area will be a quiet space for reading and reflection and guests will enjoy panoramic ocean-views from the fore of the ship on deck 10.

Zagara Beauty Spa & Fitness Centre: A complete renovation of the Zagara Beauty Spa and Fitness Centre will see new steam and sauna rooms added. Treatment rooms will enjoyed a makeover with new furniture and flooring along with updated state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

Refreshed Public Spaces: There will also be comprehensive renovation for public spaces including The Restaurant, La Terrazza, Panorama Lounge, The Bar, The Show Lounge and Card/Conference Rooms, including decor upgrades, new furniture, carpets and upholstery. The pool area will also boast new outdoor furniture, refurbished teak flooring with a new canvas awning with inserted lighting and new outdoor heaters, whilst the jogging track will benefit from new teak resin.

Speaking of Silver Shadow’s upcoming refurbishment, Roberto Martinoli, Silversea’s CEO said:

“We are committed to maintaining the impeccable standards of the Silversea experience, and this major refurbisument of Silver Shadow represents a significant investment for the benefit of our guests. Whether relaxing in the new Atrium or sipping a cognac in the expanded Connoisseur’s Corner, our guests will notice not only a revitalized look but also greater choices and flexibility as a result of this project’s enhancements.”

Silver Shadow will depart on her first post-refit voyage to the Caribbean on 3rd December 2019 on a seven night itinerary from Fort Lauderdale.

Source and images: Silversea

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Celebrity Cruises newest and most technologically advanced ship, Celebrity Edge, made her maiden call to Southampton this morning.

She is making the call to the Hampshire port after her Transatlantic sailing from the US, bound for her Summer season in Europe.

The 129,500 GRT, 2908 passenger ship will depart this afternoon for a two night press and travel agents cruise and will arrive back into Southampton on 15th May, before departing on a 10 night Iberian Peninsula cruise later that day.

The Magic Carpet can be seen as Celebrity Edge docked at Berth 101 this morning. Image © Jordan Bailey.

As one of the most technolocially advanced cruise ships, Celebrity Edge offers unique features such as the ‘Magic Carpet’, the world’s first cantilevered, floating platform that reaches heights of 13 decks above sea level and combines as a restaurant/bar or tender embarkation point, depending where it is situated at any given time and Eden, a three level sensory eperience which is fully enclosed in glass and views out to sea and includes the Eden Bar, Eden Cafe and Eden Restaurant. Whilst the accomodation has been designed with modern luxury in mind with British designer, Kelly Hoppen taking the design lead.

Her sister ship, Celebrity Apex will launch in April 2020 where she will be named in Southampton and undertake a series of cruises from the British port. Another two  further two Edge class ships will enter service in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Images © Jordan Bailey

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Today, Saga Cruises brand new ship, Spirit of Discovery was floated out from the building hall at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Spirit of Discovery moving out of the building hall this morning. Image © Saga

During the process, the 58,250 GRT, 999 passenger ship had her funnel and mast installed before she was moved to the fitting out berth. She will then embark her crew before departing the shipyard for a conveyance voyage to Emden where she will then undertake sea trials in the North Sea before being offically delivered to Saga.

She will then sail for Dover, England where she will be named on 5th July. She will then depart on her 13 night maiden voyage around the British Isles on the 10th July will calls to Newcastle, South Queensferry (For Edinburgh) Kirkwall, Belfast, Liverpool, Dublin, Cobh (For Cork) Portland, St Peter’s Port and Southampton before returning to Dover.

She is the first of two new ships for Saga with a sister ship, Spirit of Adventure scheduled for delivery in Summer 2020.

Images © Saga

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The last sea going paddle steamer Waverley has been withdrawn from service for 2019 .

The vessel had been undergoing maintenance on her boilers since February but after extensive consultation, the boilers on board will have to be replaced.

                             Waverley berthed alongside at Pacific Quay in Glasgow in 2010. © Cruisemarsh

This decision has resulted in all her sailings for the 2019 being cancelled and an appeal for donations has started to help raise funds in order to make sure she returns to service for the 2020 season.

Waverley Excursions Ltd General Manager, Paul Semple released the following statement:

“Today I have to announce that following extensive efforts to repair Waverley’s boilers, we have reached the conclusion that we must top repairs. We now know that to give Waverley a future, she will need new boilers.

The challenge ahead is significant and unlike previous challenges the ship has faced in the last 45 year through her preservation. I am personally appealing to anyone that wants to see the this historic ship sail again. I know first-hand the fondness that the general public have for Waverley and I know this news will be upsetting. However, Waverley can sail again if we can raise the funds required if we can raise the funds required to purchase and install new boilers. 

The Registered Charity which owns Waverley will shortly launch an appeal to save the ship and ensure she sails again. The cost of the required works is significant but if every passenger who would have sailed this year donated the cost of their ticket towards our appeal, we will return Waverley to steam. More than ever we need support to preserve this iconic vessel as the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world.”

For those whom are interested in making a donation, please visit the Waverley Excursions website.  Alternatively text  STEAM 20 to 70085 to donate £20.

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Royal Caribbean International have announced that Independence of the Seas will no longer be sailing from Southampton in 2020 and instead will be homeporting in Fort Lauderdale.

Sailing on itineraries to the Caribbean, Independence of the Seas will be making calls to the newly relaunched private island, Perfect Day at Coco Bay.

A statement concerning booked guests on Independence of the Seas itineraries from the UK in 2020 stated:

“Your sailing is being cancelled because we’re making changes to our 2020 season that require the Independence of the Seas to remain in the Caribbean, instead of sailing to Southampton. 

Our goal is to provide our guests with the best itineraries that take you to exclusive parts of the world and have decided to make these changes for the 2020 season to maximise our capacity in the Caribbean. We are terribly sorry. We know this news is disappointing. We do hope you find an alternate vacation option with us.”

Booked guests will also recieve a full refund and a future cruise credit, which is valued at 25% of their Independence of the Seas cruise fare, as a result of their cruises being cancelled and will be notified as soon as possible by the cruise line or their travel agents.

Explorer of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas will still be operating from Southampton in 2020.

Source: Royal Caribbean International.

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Sunday 12th May will see a significant milestone take place for Saga Cruises new build, Spirit of Discovery, as she is floated out from the building hall at Meyer Werft’s shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Spirit of Discovery set for float out on 12th May. © Saga Cruises

The floatout is scheduled to start at 9.30am, subject to weather conditons. During this process, her mast and funnel will be positioned into place and later will be moved to the fitting out berth at Meyer Werft, where the final fitting out and addition of equipment will take place.

The 58,250 GRT, 999 passenger ship will then embark her crew before departing the shipyard for a conveyance voyage to Emden where she will then undertake sea trials in the North Sea before being offically delivered to Saga.

She will then sail for Dover, England where she will be named on 5th July. She will then depart on her 13 night maiden voyage around the British Isles on the 10th July will calls to Newcastle, South Queensferry (For Edinburgh) Kirkwall, Belfast, Liverpool, Dublin, Cobh (For Cork) Portland, St Peter’s Port and Southampton before returning to Dover.

She is the first of two new ships for Saga with a sister ship, Spirit of Adventure scheduled for delivery in Summer 2020.

Images © Saga Cruises

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It has been announced that P&O Cruises have raised a staggering £300,000 for the Teenager Cancer Trust, to help with young people with cancer.

Since the partnership began between P&O Cruises and the Teenage Cancer Trust in 2015, P&O Cruises have raised the money by holding fundraising initiatives from staff, crew and passengers both at the head office and also on board. This has included foreign coin collections and summer fetes. Donations have also been recieved from ship visit tickets whilst team members have taken on some gruelling sponsored challenges including the London and Edinburgh Marathons.  The amount raised could pay for 10,000 hours of expert, age-appropriate nursing care for teenagers and young adults with cancer.  P&O Cruises are not finished with the fundraising efforts as they look to smash their £500,000 target by December 2020.

At least half of the £300,000 raised was through P&O Cruises ‘Trek the Deck’ challenge. Guests donated £10 to enter the challenge and walked 5km around the ship’s deck, wearing their own specially-designed Teenager Cancer Trust and P&O Cruises ‘Trek the Deck’ t-shirt.  This was initially launched on two of the P&O ships in 2018 but has been so popular that it’s now a year-round feature on all the ships in the P&O Cruises fleet.

Head of Partnership Management at Teenage Cancer Trust, Laura Pearce stated their delight at the fundraising efforts by P&O Cruises. She said:

We are so grateful to P&O Cruises for their continued suport, generosity and enthusiasm for our vital cause. This incredible funding boost from P&O Cruises will help us to continue and grow our work with young people diagnosed with cancer in the UK.”

Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises President, stated:

” I am so proud of this fundraising total which is thanks to the generosity of our guests and the hard work and dedication of our crew. I look forward to seeing this increase even further this year.”

For more information on what the Teenage Cancer Trust does, please give give their website a visit.

Source: Teenage Cancer Trust

Image © P&O Cruises/Teenage Cancer Trust

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There was disappointment in the Scottish town of Fort William yesterday when the scheduled first cruise ship visit of the season had to be cancelled due to bad weather.

According to the Press and Journal newspaper, Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) Astoria was scheduled to anchor off the West Coast town but after several attempts of trying to get into a suitable area through the Corran Narrows, the visit was cancelled on the grounds of safety due to the wind conditions.

The 16,144 GRT ship with capacity for 550 passengers would have provided a welcome economic boost to the local economy. There had been various activities and tours arranged around the town for the visit of the 1948 built cruise ship but they had to be cancelled and meetings between families had to be be postponed too.

Speaking to the Press and Journal, Mike Hall Head of Marketing at CMV stated:

“We are very disappointed that Astoria was unable to make her scheduled call to Fort William today. In spite of several attempts, the weather conditons today prevented a safe passage. The safety of our passengers and crew is always paramount.”

Astoria departed Poole on 3rd April on a 10 night Scottish Highlands, Islands and Lochs cruise.  She is today anchored off the Scottish town of Oban.

Source : Press and Journal (Online)

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Holland America Line have announced that the third Pinnacle class ship to enter the fleet in May 2021 will be named Ryndam.

At 99,500 GRT and accomodation for 2666 passengers, Ryndam will be a sister ship to Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam.

She will be the fourth ship in the line’s history to bear the name Ryndam, with the original Rijndam entering service in 1901. She recieved her English spelling Ryndam in 1923 and would then sail with the company for a further 6 years. The second Ryndam sailed for the company between 1951 and 1973, whilst the third Ryndam entered service in 1993 and enjoyed a successful 22 year career with the line until she was transferred to fellow Carnival Corporation cruise line, P&O Cruises Australia in 2015 and is now sailing as Pacific Aria.

The first steel was cut for the new ship last month at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy.

Feature image © Holland America Line

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