CruiseInd Your Industry Insider Source for Information, News and Analysis of the Cruise Industry Mon, 20 May 2019 20:56:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 First Look: HANSEATIC nature Mon, 20 May 2019 20:56:50 +0000 German Hapag-Lloyd Cruises newest ship has just entered service. The HANSEATIC nature is the first ship in their luxury expedition class.


European tour operator TUI Group’s cruise division contains three divisions: the all German TUI Cruises (a JV with RCCL), the UK focused Marella Cruises and the mostly-German Hapag-Lloyd. While it’s mostly intended for German speaking guests, they do offer English on select cruises for a more diverse clientèle. To cater to both segments, TUI ordered two ships to be built. These adult-only ships are built to Polar Class PC6 which is the highest of all the classes allowing arctic expeditions to be offered.

They partnered with VARD in Norway, a subsidiary of Fincantieri, to design and construct them. Because labor is so expensive in Norway, the hull and superstructure are constructed in Romania. The ship is then towed to
Vard Langsten in Norway for the final outfitting and installation of the technical equipment.

The passenger area span across 7 decks. The bottommost deck accessible to passengers, deck 03, contains the infirmary midships and the marina off the stern.

The next deck up contains passenger areas. Amidships is the the main lounge, HanseAtrium. This area features drinks in the evening and presentations during the day.

There’s a smoking room off to the side.

Past that is the main reception area.

Just beyond that is the specialty restaurant on the HANSEATIC nature, the Hamptons. This features North American cuisine with an emphasis on New England seafood.

The main dining room, called the HANSEATIC Restaurant, seats 180 pax and is open for all three meals.

There’s also 3 pax cabins on the portside, forward.

Deck 05 contains outside and balcony cabins. The aft part contains the casual Lido Restaurant. The area seats 84 indoors and 110 outdoors. This is the ships buffet.

Deck 06 is all cabins with a bow observation platform at the very front.

Deck 07 contains all cabins. The bridge is at the front.

Deck 08 contains the observation lounge forward.

The pool is midships.

Surrounding the pool is the ships main feature, the Glass Balcony.

The spa is located aft.

Deck 09 is just a sundeck with storage for the zodiacs and toys, aft.


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First Look: Celebrity Flora Tue, 14 May 2019 18:51:53 +0000 Celebrity Cruises just took delivery of their next vessel, Celebrity Flora, and she’s unlike any other.


2019 will be the year of the expedition vessel. Of the 25 vessels due out this year, almost half are dedicated expedition vessels. This means they have low passenger count, small draft, and, in most cases, are built to polar code.

Celebrity’s new ship won’t be needing that last part as she’s planning on being in warm waters her whole life. The ship will sail between 10 and 16 night trips around the Galapagos archipelago starting at the end of June.

The 334ft vessel was built in the Netherlands at De Hoop. As the Galapagos are strictly environmentally controlled, there is a emphasis on designing her to be as energy and ecologically efficient as possible.

The Ship

Passenger areas span across six decks. The bottom-most contains the infirmary towards the front and the Darwin’s Cove aft. This serves as the main lobby and reception area.

At the very back is the marina.

Deck 04 has the galley in the forward section and the Seaside Restaurant amidships.

Walking through a tiny lobby area, there’s the Discovery Lounge.

Past that, outdoors, is the Sunset lounge.

Decks 05 and 06 are where the cabins, all balconies, are located. The aft part of these two decks contain the large Penthouse Suites.

Deck 7 is mostly outdoors. There’s a small Observatory forward then two outdoors venues behind it. The Ocean Grill amidships and the Vista off the stern.

Deck 8 is only a forward sun deck.


As the ship carries only 100pax there are 6 different types of cabins. There’s the standard balconies with the Infinite Veranda or a standard veranda, the Sky Suites, Royal Suites and the two Penthouses.

Silversea Sells Vessel Tue, 14 May 2019 14:16:45 +0000 The 1989-built 5,218gt luxary expedition vessel, Silver Discoverer has been sold to CroisiEurope.
via Shipspotting

France’s CroisiEurope specialize in river cruises throughout Europe. They currently operate only one other bluewater vessel, the La Belle de l’Adriatique, but that vessel is basically a jumboized riverboat in her construction. The addition of this new vessel, which will be called La Belle des Oceans, will give them more opportunities to grow that bluewater market.

The Silver Discoverer (ex-Clipper Odyssey, Oceanic Odyssey) has been at the forefront of Silverseas expedition itineraries, focusing on off-the-beaten-path ports in Greenand, Canada, Australia & South Pacific and others.

Her first cruise with CroisiEurope is scheduled for a year from now, in spring 2020.

First Look: Carnival Sunrise Thu, 09 May 2019 15:53:02 +0000 The new Carnival Sunrise (ex-Carnival Triumph) has just set sail on a series of inagural voyages from the East coast.



As part of a fleetwide enhancement, Carnival Cruise Lines have turned the Carnival Triumph into the Carnival Sunrise. Taking place at the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, the work took two months to complete. They added new public areas, remodeled current ones, as well as refurbed all staterooms. Highlights of the project include:

  • Venues such as Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, as well as upgrades to the Lido Marketplace, the Java Blue coffee bar and 24-hour Pizzeria del Capitano.
  • The Chef’s Table fine dining experience, as well as new Italian, sushi and seafood options.
  • A Cherry on Top sweet shop, Pixels photo gallery, expanded retail outlets.
  • A new water park with slides and a kiddie splash zone, a Serenity adults-only retreat, and a SportSquare recreation area with ropes course and mini golf.
  • Dedicated Camp Ocean, Circle “C” and Club O2 facilities.
  • The Punchliner Comedy Club in the new Limelight Lounge, Playlist Productions shows in the Liquid Lounge.

In Depth

Below deck, the bottom two decks didn’t see much change other than refreshing the cabins. Deck 3 is where the changes start. What used to be the bottom, main floor of the main theater, is now 42 cabins. Behind that is the revitalized main atrium. There’s then the two restaurants behind those as was before. Off the forward one is where the new Chefs Table is located.

One deck above, is the remodeled main theater. As mentioned, the bottom floor has been moved up to accommodate the additional cabins, so this is the main entrance into the lounge. This is one of the new multi-purpose lounges on the new carnival ships. They function as the traditional main theater, but double as a general banquet room for special occasions, as well as the night club late at night.

Off the second floor of the atrium are the new pixels photo studio as well as the Javablue Cafe in what used to be the library. Aft of those is the top floor of the forward main dining room. The port side of this has been partitioned off to create the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse.

Past that, in what used to be the Oxford bar and the internet cafe, is now the Limelight Lounge. This serves as the alternate lounge that used to be one deck above, right at the aft.

The next deck is arguably the most changed. They completely remodeled the promenade. At the forward end of it is the location of the new Cherry on Top candy store. Tucked around that is the arcade. Past that, they redesigned the walkway through the casino.

At the end of it is the remodeled Alchemy bar. Where the night club used to be, there’s now the Red Frog Bar and the Piano Bar. The aft part is all cabins.

Decks 6,7&8 are all cabins. The forward part of deck 9 has the new captains suites. These are the panoramic suites directly above the bridge. The secret deck has been move up to deck 10. The forward cabins of decks 10 & 11 are now Cloud 9 Spa category cabins and also the location of the spa. On top of the Spa is the children’s area as well as a two level Serenity deck on decks 12 & 14.

Aft of the cabins on these decks is the remodeled lido decks. The waterslide has been replaced with Carnival Waterworks.

The lido buffet has been refurbished into the Lido Marketplace on deck 9. Back outdoors, off the aft pool is the Pizzeria del Capitano and the brand new Seafood Shack.

Above the buffet is the Italian restaurant, Cucina del Capitano. The sports deck above this has also been remodeled. There’s now a ropes course and a new mini golf course up on deck 12.

And lastly, here’s what her cabins look like now:

First Look: Coral Adventurer Tue, 30 Apr 2019 14:41:29 +0000 Australia’s Coral Expeditions took delivery of their largest vessel.


The 120pax purpose build expedition ship was built in Vietnam at VARD. The ship takes its inspiration from the North Sea vessels that VARD has had decades of experience designing in Norway.

The ship is expedition centric carrying six zodiacs as well as two Xplorer tenders cradled to the back of the vessel. A neat feature of the ship are a lot of the technical areas are accessible to the passengers. These include a navigation lounge off the wheelhouse, engine room tours as well as an emphasis of all crew interacting with guests.

Passenger areas span across 4 decks of the 310ft ship. The bottommost accessible deck to passengers is Deck 03 Coral Deck. There are 12 porthole cabins in the forward section. Off the stern is the marina and tender boarding area.

The next deck, Promenade deck, features 16 outside staterooms in the forward end.

Amidships is the reception area. When the vessel is alongside, this is where you board via the gangway. There’s also a small gift shop off the reception.

Toward the aft is the singe seating restaurant and the outdoor dining areas. All meals, a buffet breakfast, lunch and multi-course dinner are in this area. The highlight of the room is the ‘communal wine table’.

The next deck up is deck 05, Explorer Deck. This features 28 balcony cabins. There’s also a small gym amidships.

The topmost deck, Bridge Deck, houses, you guessed, the bridge at the front. This is where the observation lounge is. Just off the bridge is the Expedition room. This is a multipurpose room that enables her to host marine research missions.

There’s two suites behind that as well as two balcony cabins.

Aft of that is the lounge.

At the very back is the Bridge Deck Bar.

Above this deck is a shaded outdoor area. There’s also the storage area for the zodiacs here as well.

The ship will spend her time cruising the South Pacific. Destinations include New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Great Barrier Reef. These voyages range from 11 to 26 days with most cruises starting and/or ending in Australia.

Carnival Corp. Faces Penalties for Possible Probation Violation Mon, 29 Apr 2019 17:55:44 +0000 Carnival Corp. has been in the news quite a bit the last two weeks. The main story floating around concerns comments made by a US District Judge for the Southern District of Florida.

That hearing was taking place to report on a Court Appointed Monitor’s (CAM) findings into environmental practices taking place onboard Carnival Corp’s 100+ vessels. The Miami Herald was actually present during the hearing and reported it accordingly. From then on, other news outlets picked it up and it kind of went viral. As typically happens, some of those reports became wildly inaccurate, and some future cruisers are now worried.


Let’s begin with what started all of this. Between 2010 to 2013, the US Coast Guard investigating the Caribbean Princess . They alleged that the ship was discharging oily bilge from her slops and machinery spaces without passing it through the Oil-Water separator. The Chief Engineer then falsified the discharge logs which is recorded from the ships white box. This is a supposedly tamper proof device that keeps a record of the discharges from the ships bilge out to the sea.

In December 2016, Carnival Corp., more specifically Princess Cruise Lines Ltd., pled guilty to seven felony counts levied against them by the U.S. Department of Justice. It breaks down as follows:

  • One count of conspiracy,
  • Four counts of valuating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships of 1980,
  • And two counts of obstruction.
Exhibit 7: Before and after photographs of the carbon pump showing the bypass in place.
Exhibit 15: Depiction showing how a portable pump and flexible hoses were used to transfer from the the Clean Bilge Tank (R) to the top hatch of graywater tank (L).

Under Section 2, Part D of the plea agreement Princess Cruise Line’s parent company Carnival Corp., would incur “a term of probation of five years, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3561(c)(1).” This probation includes many items that Carnival Corp. must adhere to. For example, to “develop, adopt, establish…remedial measures set forth in the Environmental Compliance Plan (“ECP”).“ Another requirement as part of the agreement is the requirement of CAM’s to keep an eye on all their ships via random and announced audits.

It was this CAM’s report that was submitted in court the other week. On the surface, it seems the sheer number of separate instances brought to light sparked all the stories and accusations against Carnival. It may have also been the judge’s remarks that sparked them as well.

The people at the top are treating this as a gnat. If I could, I would give all the members of the executive committee a visit to the detention center for a couple of days. It’s amazing how that helps people come to focus on reality.

She also mentioned that at the official probation hearing in June, she will decide whether or not to take Carnival off of probation or to enact further punishment against them. There are many levels of punishments that can be levied against Carnival Corp. for the apparent violations. The judge had stated that an extreme option would be to blacklist the major offending ships. This is what had cruisers worried as the clickbait headlines soon started appearing coming out with that blacklist claim, minus the context. It’s causing unnecessary concern amongst future cruisers. A trip to your local cruise forum finds summer passengers worried that their cruises will be canceled. This won’t happen.

The Report

During the hearing the entire confidential report was submitted that covered all reported instances of a possible non-conformity within the established ECM. This totaled 835 separate instances across 79 vessels.

Those 835 violations are individual recorded instances of a non-compliance with the ECP as outlined as a result of the 2016 plea deal and/or the lines International Safety Management (ISM) Code. These 835 break down as follows:

  • 77 cases of seals or locks failing
  • 69 cases of refrigerants being emitted
  • 64 cases of an oil water separator failing or whitebox
  • 47 instances of issues with the lifeboats
  • 71 inconsistencies with recordkeeping
  • 54 instances of inconsistencies of training and certificates
  • 35 voyage planning issues
  • 34 instances of scrubbers not working
  • 26 instances of issues with the oil control monitoring systems  
  • There’s an additional 358 documented instances. These are documented as the being in the miscellaneous category.

These are two examples from the miscellaneous filed category. They show how in depth the auditors were being. This explains why that 835 number is so high.

(click for larger)

(click for larger)

It’s no wonder Carnival fought hard to have these expunged from the record as they feel it’s out of their control if the new hardware and technology breaks down.

It’s important to remember that Carnival Corp. must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Public opinion, due to the hastily written articles, appears to have shifted. They have released a statement is as follows:

“It appears there were some mischaracterizations made by others to the court. We intend to fully address the issues raised at today’s court conference. Our environmental responsibility has been and continues to be a top priority for the company. Our aspiration is to leave the places we touch even better than when we first arrived. This is only in the best interest of our guests, our company and the oceans upon which we travel.”

Throughout the report, there’s also many, many positive remarks towards Carnival. It must be stated that the CAM’s are not ‘out to get Carnival.’ There are comments along of the lines of Carnival going above and beyond their ECP requirements, or their internal initiative called Operation Oceans Alive and it has been documented and submitted to the court. They also hired a classification society to run mock audits of the ships to ensure that they are up to the correct standard.

We’ll see what happens at the June hearing. Once again I must state that future cruises have nothing to worry about. Don’t cancel your cruise, don’t change your plans in anticipation of some sanctions happening. You can bet that Carnival will be taking measures between now and then (and probably have already since the report was issued to them). They will present them to the judge at the hearing and make sure their side is heard and understood.


In 1999, Royal Caribbean pled guilty and was fined by the DOJ for dumping oily waste and then falsifying the logs to the US Coast Guard. It was that last part that warranted the $18 million fine. I bring this up because at the time, it was the largest fine against a cruise line by the DOJ. Janet Reno handled the case.

In 2002, NCL plead guilty in the same court to a similar offense. They incurred a $1 million fine and also established a court mandated ECP.


A lot of work and research went into this article including consulting former federal law enforcement. My source material is as follows:

  • Status of ECP Year One Requirements – LINK
  • ECP Year One Incidents Tracked by the CAM – LINK
  • First Annual Report of the Court Appointed Monitor (2017-2018) – LINK
  • 16-20897-CR-SEITZ Plea Agreement – LINK
  • 16-20897-CR-SEITZ/TURNOFF full case – LINK
  • Government’s Exhibits in Support of the Joint Factual Statement – LINK
The Future of Cuban Cruises (2019 edition) Thu, 18 Apr 2019 02:04:17 +0000 So just to add in a quick update on this and that is there is no update. People in the know are even confused themselves as to the comment on the rescinding of the 12 allowable reasons to travel to Cuba. The cruise lines unofficial stance on this is that it’s “business as usual,” but they will be monitoring the situation.

In the every changing world of the politics of Cuban cruises, there are now more changes that could impact cruise passengers.

Louis Cristal Cuba
Louis Cristal Cuba

Today, April 17, 2017 the US state department issued more sanctions and restrictions against Cuba. Cruise lines have yet to respond and this page will be updated accordingly.

The real purpose of these additional sanctions have to deal with Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996. Title III would allow lawsuits to be filed in the US against persons trafficking US goods into Cuba. Up until now, this part of the bill had been temporarily suspended in order to promote more positive diplomatic relationships between the US and Cuba. The announcement today is that the US will go back to enforcing this starting on May 02 of this year.

To real intent is to stop United States currency from entering the country. Where cruises get involved is when US passengers exchange their currency (USD) for CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) in the Havana terminal. This is allowing the Cuban government to now have access to US hard currency.

Back in 2017 we explored the first round of sanctions and what they meant for cruises.

First Look: Costa Venezia Sun, 14 Apr 2019 11:14:58 +0000 Costa Cruises just started sailing their first purpose built ship for China.

Before we begin looking at her public areas, first some background. Carnival Corp designs ships for multi-brand deployment. The Venezia is part of the Vista-class of ships. She joins her sisters, Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon. You can take a detailed tour of the Horizon here. The Venezia is technically 2,000gt larger than her sisters, with the Venezia coming in at 135,000gt. If you’re interested in her Chinese name it’s 歌诗达邮轮威尼斯号.

There’s no question that ships that are intended for the Chinese cruise market are different than their western hemisphere counterparts. When NCL or Princess send their latest mega-ship over there, they enlarge certain areas (casino) and scale back others (main pool and lido). The same is done here on the Costa Venezia but what’s unique about here is they take the ships theme to the extreme.


The overall theme of the vessel is the city of Venice. Venezia gets her name from venice after all. Costa ships also tend to be a bit more colorful and bolder than their Carnival and Holland America counterparts. This ship takes it’s overall decor to the extreme. There is no better example of this than the dining room. The left is the Carnival Vista and the right is the Venezia.

Amidships is the main atrium, Piazza San Marco. Lot’s of gold’s and blues.

Towards the front is the main theater styled like a Venetian theater. On Venezia it’s called Teatro Rosso.

Similar to the Havana concept on the Carnival versions, here we have the Lounge Delle Stelle. The entrance has life-size action film-star mannequins.

As we head further up to the Lanai deck, another Venetian themed venue is the Gondola lounge. More blue and gold.

A new venue found on the same deck are the Calle Larga Boutiques. This is where the brewery restaurant is typically found on the CCL vessels. Calle Larga are high end shopping boutiques.

There’s also new restaurants added to this deck for the purpose of the local clientele. There’s a Hot Pot, Teppanyaki, and a smaller Italian and steakhouse.

Then above deck, the pool area has also been changed up a bit. It now features a glass dome.

Lastly just to give you a glimpse of the cabins, here’s some stock photos from Costa covering the 4 main cabin types.

Top tips on keeping the cost down when booking a cruise Fri, 12 Apr 2019 12:30:29 +0000 Sponsored Content:

On a cruise ship is one of the most magical ways to see the world, but if costs are left unchecked – it can get pricey. If you’re looking for an affordable adventure at sea, these top tips are guaranteed to help you squeeze every penny out of your travel budget.

Go all-inclusive

These types of cruises are popular and for good reason – nothing beats knowing in advance that your accommodation, food, soft drinks and entertainment are all paid for. You can add on an alcoholic drinks package, which means you get to enjoy all the onboard signature cocktails without the worry of having to work out how much you’ve spent. A more all-inclusive deal could include your air fare to and from the cruise ship’s port. From basic to all-out luxury, there’s a package to suit every budget – it just depends how much you are willing to spend.

Pre-pay your onboard spend account

A cruise ship is generally a cashless environment. You are allocated a card linked to a personal spending account which is used for expenses and purchases onboard. Instead of linking it to your credit card you can opt for a cash account and set a daily limit, making it easier to keep track of what you spend. Like a piggy bank, you can also begin to pay into it months in advance until you make the final payment on your cruise fare. Exchanging your local currency for the one your ship trades in is a good move as you can then load up your account as soon as you board. This also helps you avoid using the onboard ATM which is expensive and best of all you get any leftover money back at the end of the cruise.

Travel off-season

Cruise lines offer specials on their popular destinations all of the time. If you travel in the off-season, you can bag yourself a cruise package at a major discount. Popular destinations in the Mediterranean or Red Sea offer good weather conditions, fewer tourists and friendlier prices. Egypt, for example, scorches during the summer with highs of 40°C, while off-season temperatures hover at a more comfortable 18°C which means you get to explore the desert sands, pyramids and sites like Luxor and Aswan along the Nile without the sizzling heat and throngs of tourists.

Independent shore excursions

Cruise-sponsored shore excursions can be dramatically higher in price compared to a local independent tour operator which is a popular choice as they cost less and cater to private or smaller groups. It’s even cheaper to organise your own shore excursions. You could rent a bike or hire a car to explore a new city, or maximise your shore leave with cost-free activities like wandering around quaint shops and market stalls or soaking up the sun on the beach, swimming and snorkelling (remember to pack your own snorkelling gear!). Just make sure you get back to the ship with time to spare as it will leave without you.

Pre-book spa days

You look forward to your sunny escape all year so a luxurious spa treatment should definitely be on the menu. Onboard spas however, rival the rates you would pay at an upscale spa on land. There are exceptions, though – rates can drop by 30% on port days and on the day you embark. If you can’t forego any of your port days, a well-deserved indulgence on embarkation day is the perfect way to unwind after a long day of travelling. Make sure you reserve your spa treats when you book your cruise.

Do a social media detox

Internet access and Wi-Fi are among the more expensive amenities at sea; so, you may want to combine your holiday with a social media detox. Escaping the social media deluge means you have more time to focus on your holiday and make those all-important memories. By leaving it to the end of your holiday, posting all your favourite pics will keep you reminiscing for hours on end. If you can’t go cold turkey, save your online surfing for port days – this way you can avoid racking up a hefty bill, and depending on your itinerary, you might even get mobile coverage.

It’s always important to obtain more information on hidden extras or unexpected costs before you book your dream cruise holiday, making sure you consider everything from laundry charges and gratuities to babysitting costs. Setting sail with all of your ducks in a row means you can enjoy life on the high seas with complete peace of mind.

Recap Seatrade Cruise Global Final Day Fri, 12 Apr 2019 00:06:12 +0000 Seatrade Cruise Global 2019 has come and gone. Here’s what happened today:

Celebrity Edge

The biggest news of the day is Celebrity Cruises announcing that they will build a fifth Edge-class ship. The ship will be built in France, like her sisters, at Chantiers de l’Atlantique. She will be delivered in 2024.

Royal Caribbean has taken delivery of their newest ship the Spectrum of the Seas in Germany. She will be the first in their Quantum-ultra class. We will be publishing a First Look at her shortly.

Carnival Corp. decided to pull all ships out of Antigua less than a month ago. During the show, Carnival CEO Arnold Donald visited with them at their booth to smooth things over. As a result of the meetings, Carnival agreed to send some ships back to the island.

Greece/Cyprus based Celestyal Cruises announced they’re expanding their cruises more northwards. In 2020 they’ll sail to northern Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia.

Quark expeditions revealed its 2020 season featuring the World Explorer which they’re chartering from Mystic Cruises.

Speaking of the World Explorer. She was just named in Portugal this week.

French luxury expedition line Ponant has taken delivery of their third Ponant Explorer-class vessel, the Le Bougainville.