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P&O Cruises: Dumbing down on Aurora?
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 00:00

When P&O Cruises’ Aurora has her major refit in November 2014, she will undergo some major internal changes in a makeover estimated to be costing £26 million. Externally, the most visible sign will be the stylised union flag along the sides of her bow and the blue funnel with a rising sun motif. P&O Cruises believe that this new look will celebrate the company’s heritage, although there must be better ways to do this than change a livery that has been in use since the 1930s.

Internally, the rather magnificent library on deck 8 will be moved to the much smaller cyb@study space behind the Crows Nest on deck 13, and the vacated space will be filled with an Indian fusion restaurant under the Sindhu name. Café Bordeaux, the 24-hour restaurant on deck 8, will be replaced by the Glass House, a restaurant and wine bar, with much of the focus on the latter element. Other less significant changes will be made to the public areas during Aurora’s stay at Blohm + Voss in Hamburg from 29 November to 18 December.

Louis Cruises: Partial rebranding and possible ship acquisitions
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 00:00

Having just been repainted, Louis Cristal is set to get another new livery. William MayesHaving just been repainted, Louis Cristal is set to get another new livery. William MayesLouis Cruises intend to rebrand the ex-Piraeus cruises currently operated by Louis Cristal and Louis Olympia. In future these cruises will be marketed as Celestyal Cruises, which will presumably involve renaming and repainting the ships once again.

In 2015 Louis Cruises plans to expand into the Ionian and Adriatic Seas, with cruises to the Dalmatian Coast, but it is unclear if this will be achieved using the existing fleet or if another vessel will be acquired. Having scrapped a number of ships recently, Louis has just one other ship, Louis Aura, which has been on charter to Taaj Croisieres, of Rivages du Monde.

Currently that ship is serving Louis’ seasonal Cypriot market, but, with a longer charter to Taaj for 2015, Louis will need another ship for its Limassol sailings which, this year, appear to be sailing full. Louis Aura is one of the oldest of the mainstream cruise ships, having been built in 1968 as Norwegian Caribbean Cruise Line’s Starward.

Cunard: Refit brought forward
Thursday, 18 September 2014 17:41

Cunard Line is bringing forward the dry-docking of Queen Victoria as a result of problems with one of her Azipods. During the maintenance period in January 2015, the ship will also get her major refit, previously scheduled for December 2015. Blohm & Voss in Hamburg will undertake the work between 4 and 20 January and will add nine single cabins. Engine emissions will be cut with the installation of scrubbers.

Celebrity Cruises: Engine problems
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 00:00

Celebrity Silhouette off Kotor during her disrupted summer.Celebrity Silhouette off Kotor during her disrupted summer.During June and July, following a problem with the her propulsion system, Celebrity Silhouette was forced to alter a number of itineraries by shortening port calls and substituting other ports. The problem was said to affect only the ship’s speed and not her manoeuvrability.

At the time of writing, a solution to the problem had not been decided and a number of amendments to published itineraries lasting into October had been made. Celebrity Silhouette is the fourth ship in a five-ship series built by Meyer Werft at Papenburg and was delivered in 2011. The 121,878gt ship, with a passenger capacity of 2,850, has generally spent her summers in Europe and winters in the Caribbean.

Celebrity Cruises has its largest ever fleet in Europe this year, with three of Celebrity Silhouette’s sisterships, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Reflection, together with two of the Millenium class ships, Celebrity Constellation and Celebrity Infinity.

Port of Hamburg: Third cruise terminal
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 00:00

Deutschland was one of seven participants at Hamburg’s 2014 Cruise Days.Deutschland was one of seven participants at Hamburg’s 2014 Cruise Days.Construction of Hamburg’s fourth cruise terminal, at Kronprinzkai at Steinwerder, south of the river Elbe in the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Hafen, began on 4 July with a traditional ground-breaking ceremony. Along with the existing Altona and Hafencity facilities, the new Cruise Centre 3 will be operated by Hamburg Cruise Centre. When completed, the terminal will be able to process up to 8,000 passengers at any time, with separate embarkation and disembarkation facilities.

Hamburg’s cruise terminals will see 43 calls in August, handling an estimated 125,000 passengers. The busiest period generally for Hamburg coincides with the bi-annual Hamburg Cruise Days, with seven ships due in port: Delphin and Europa on 1 August, Gann, Aidastella, Deutschland  and MSC Magnifica on 2 August and Aidaluna on 3 August.

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