Saturday, 6 December 2014

Week ending December 7th

Wow!  What a week for the cruise industry with no less than 3 cruise lines announcing brand new ships... and the announcement that Richard Branson is to launch Virgin Cruises by building 2 ships.  That is all a huge investment in the future of our holidays!

Let us start with that news from Virgin Cruises of two ships initially, based from Miami, and headed by industry veteran Tom McAlpin: read here

Celebrity Cruises have been making their own announcement of a new class of ship being built and delivered in 2018 and 2020 under the code name Project Edge: read here

And finally - the big reveal from Regent Seven Seas Cruises of their new ship - the 750 guest Seven Seas Explorer: read here

We should also say that Oceania Cruises are also expanding their fleet - this time with a ship bought from Princess Cruises.  Oceania Princess is to be refurbished and join the fleet under the name Sirena - read here

Norwegian Cruise Line also very much wanted to be heard this week - with the announcement of the tie in with Jimmy Buffet to provide a themed bar and restaurant on-board the new Norwegian Escape that launches in the autumn of 2015 - read here

Over at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines there was the announcement this week that they will feature the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix as part of a special itinerary in May - read here

Being Christmas we know there is a lot to think about - so let the December Informer do the hard work so you do not miss a Cruise Thing with details of everything going on at CLIA UK & Ireland - read here

Until next week!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Week ending Sunday Nov 23

As we near the end of the year, then there has been no slowdown in news from the cruise industry.

Last weekend was the 2014 CLIA UK & Ireland River Cruise Convention in Amsterdam, featuring 7 river cruise ships and a barge.  Some great coverage from trade media partners Travel Weekly on a number of stories.  Here Lucy Huxley, moderator at the Convention, tells us that river cruise offers a great opportunity: read here.

We used the Convention to announce that we would be adding river cruise brochures to our Brochure Bank this year - and we would be adding river ships to the Meet the Fleet Guide in the new year.  We will also be holding a special River Cruise Masterclass in 2015, and a special river cruise campaign.  Red here.

More coverage here of the river sector, this time from TTG on some of the changing river cruise landscape and how UK companies are reacting to the increased demand: read here

The other big news of the week was the purchase of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises by Norwegian Cruise Lines.  And one of the first impacts of that is the promotion of Francis Riley  - congratulations to him!  Read here.

And whilst the big new launch this autumn was Quantum of the Seas, Royal has announced that Majesty of the Seas is to head to Pullmantur: read here.  Over at MSC Cruises meanwhile MSC Armonia is off on her first voyage since being stretched: read here.

And finally - great to read the latest thoughts from CLIA UK & Ireland Chair Jo Rzymowska - this time on the trend for cruise lines to launch their post-Christmas campaigns early: read here

Monday, 17 November 2014

Week ending Fri Nov 14

It is the weekend of the 2014 River Cruise Convention, and what better way to end the week than with a story from CLIA itself that the number of training courses completed by CLIA member travel agents has doubled year on year - well done everyone! Read here

As part of the build up to the River Cruise Convention some agents were taken to a river cruise ship shipyard to see 2 new AmaWaterways ships under construction - you can read more here, and can see our images on our Facebook page

Meanwhile over in New York Quantum of the Seas was officially christened on Fri in a ceremony attended by some key travel agents: Read here

Royal Caribbean are not the only cruise line adding ships - closer to home Cruise & Maritime Voyages announce the addition of an ex-Carnival Corporation ship in spring next year: Read here

And another British based line, Thomson Cruises this week also announced that they would be adding 10 new ports to their next season itineraries: Read here

There will be plenty of reports to follow from our River Cruise Convention next week - until then have a great week.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Week ending Friday Nov 7th

What a week for our industry! Three new ships made their debut - and one of them was in the UK!

The week started with the Southampton celebrations onboard Quantum of the Seas - check out our Facebook page for photos and video:

On Wednesday the new Princess Cruises ship - Regal Princess, sister to Royal Princess launched last year, was formally named in Florida by the cast of The Love Boat: read here

And it was Friday that the newest Costa Cruises ship, Costa Diadema, was launched in Genoa - read here

Closer to home, at WTM CLIA UK & Ireland held a special seminar with Phil Nuttall, Anne Brine, Dean Harvey, and Adele Mcgrary of Royal Caribbean on how social media has helped the industry spread the word: read here and read here.  Thank you to all of our panelists.

Staying with the UK, Ipswich based Fred Olsen also announced a refurbishment programme for three of its ships before Christmas - Black Watch, Braemar and Balmoral: read here

On the subject of new cruise ships - Carnival Corp are increasing capacity by 10% with Britannia, Diadema, Regal Princess and XX, whilst a further 5 new ships are scheduled to be delivered between 2016 & 2017: read here

And finally ahead of the 2015 River Cruise Convention in Amsterdam next weekend - see more at - Avalon announced this week that they are combining rail and river cruising: read here.

Until next week!

You can keep up to date with CLIA activity and events via our Informer magazine: read here

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Week ending Friday 31 October 2014

Cruise has taken centre stage this week within the travel pages as on Wednesday night we witnessed the long awaited arrival of Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas - a new class of ship for the cruise line.  Dubbed 'high tech' or the 'SMART ship' - she will be in town for a weekend of celebrations before heading to New York to be officially christened.

She has been widely covered in both trade press and consumer press.  Here is the Southampton Daily Echo - read here - and here is coverage from Travel Weekly: read here.

Meanwhile it looks as if Hurtigruten are about to be bought by a UK based Private Equity Company - with no immediate plans to change ownership or workforce - read here.

Whilst over at MSC Cruises the big news was a little less corporate - and more to do with building bricks!  MSC Cruises announced a partnership with Lego

Staying in the Mediterranean it was great to see some great predictions from Italy this week as they predicted almost 11 million would pass through the 31 Italian cruise ports: read here

In addition to the Quantum of the Seas news this week - Costa Diadema was delivered by the shipyard to Costa Cruises this week ahead of being christened on November 7: read here.

You can keep up with the latest news, events and webinars online at and via our Facebook page.

Until next week.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Week ending October 24

Your regular summary of the week in cruise is back - and there is plenty of news to catch up on!

Oasis of the Seas was in the UK last week, and the ship that is fresh from dry dock played host to a number of UK travel agents - read the Travel Weekly special report where Royal Caribbean reveal that the High Street is vital to their growth plans: read here.

TTG also covered the arrival of Oasis of the Seas as the cruise lines looks set to be the largest cruise line in the world by 2016 as their new ship building programme continues: read here

We are very excited that Quantum of the Seas arrives in Southampton this week - as is Richard Fain the Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean - who 'marvels' at its technology and elegant design: Read here.

And here are ten things you should know about Quantum of the Seas: Read here.

Meanwhile it was good news all round for Carnival Cruise Lines as Ian Baillie and Erin Johnson both receive promotions at work - well done both! Read here  

There have also been promotions and changes over at Holland America Line and Seabourn with both Slattery and Kammerer both benefiting from the changes: Read here.

Over at Celebrity Cruises it is the agents that are being rewarded as the line rolls out its brand new rewards programme from 1 November that will give travel agents the freedom to choose their own incentive.  Read here.

We all enjoy cruise ship entertainment - and one of the stars is Craig Revel Horwood, star of Strictly and P&O themed cruises - who talks here exclusively to Cruise International: Read here.

With Costa Diadema getting ready for launch - read here - with Regal Princess about to be christened in Florida - with Quantum of the Seas coming to the UK and with the CLIA UK & Ireland River Cruise Convention coming soon - see here - there is a lot to be excited about!

Until next week!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Thursday October 9

Firstly an apology for a gap in our weekly blogging - with lots of travelling and so much happening in the industry (including Cruise Week) we have skipped a couple of weeks... but we are back to business!

We start with a great opinion piece in Travel Weekly from Lucy Huxley who tells us why we should keep the selling of cruise holidays nice and simple - read here - and in that vein Thomas Cook unveil their first 11 cruise concept stores too! - read here

CLIA has also been very busy!  We announced last week that we have teamed up with Travel Counsellors as our new travel agent members - really great to have them on-board - read here - and we have launched a worlds first - a 100 Brochure Rack where the latest brochures can be downloaded, printed or shared - read more

In other news, great to see Kathryn Beadle, formerly of Hurtigruten now heading to the rivers with Uniworld - read here.  We wish her every luck in the new role.

Celebrity Cruises this week looked to families as they launched teenage-friendly shore excursions - read here.

Silver Galapagos, one of a number of expedition ships operated by the ultra-luxury cruise line, is finishing off its latest renovation programme - read here -  whilst Oasis of the Seas gets a refurb on entirely different level! - read here.

Over at American Cruise Lines their new 150 guest riverboat has now been named as American Eagle - the new ship will operate on the Mississippi from March next year.

All Cruise Week Travel Weekly have been running daily blogs by key people within the CLIA family - you can catch up with them all on the Travel Weekly website, but here is a flavour from CLIA Chair Jo Rzymowska on why we should all #lovecruise - read here,  and here from Lynn Narraway, Chair of the CLIA UK & Ireland PR Committee on why we are stronger together - read here.

Have a great week!