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The Big Ships are coming!

Royal Caribbean International has announced that Explorer of the Seas will join the region's local fleet in November 2015. This 3,800-guest megaliner is part of the Voyager Class of ships and is the sister ship to Voyager of the Seas. Both ships will be based in Sydney. Explorer of the Seas replaces Rhapsody of the Seas, which will leave the local fleet in April 2015 after eight successive seasons. Radiance of the Seas will return to the region again for the 2015-2016 Australia New Zealand cruise season and continue to sail on her popular itineraries, with a focus on cruising in the South Pacific and around Australia.

Explorer of the Seas

Princess Cruises has announced it will base a record five ships in Australia next year, with the 2600-guest Golden Princess debuting down under as the biggest ship ever to homeport in Melbourne. Golden Princess’ maiden summer deployment, which will increase Princess Cruises’ capacity in the Victorian capital by more than 20 per cent, is a highlight of the cruise line’s new Golden Anniversary 2015-16 program.

Big Ships are Coming

The program also features Princess Cruises’ first summer season of cruises from Fremantle, doubling the cruise line’s Western Australian offering to give the State its first year-round cruise program, as well as Princess Cruises’ biggest ever presence in Brisbane, with Queenslanders set to enjoy nine months of sailings in 2015-16. As part of the record five-ship program, the 108,000-ton Golden Princess will join the 116,000-ton Diamond Princess in Australian waters for the 2015-16 summer, while the 77,000-ton Sun Princess will remain in Australia next winter, joining sister ships Dawn and Sea Princess in providing cruises year round.

MSC Welcomes MSC Preziosa to its fleet

In a glittering ceremony in Genoa, Italy on Saturday night 23 March 2013 screen legend Sophia Loren cut the ribbon for the champagne bottle to break against the bow and officially named MSC Preziosa. It was a big night in Genoa as thousands of locals watched the ceremony shoreside.

MSC Preziosa

MSC Preziosa is 333 metres long, 38 metres wide and weighs 140,000 tonnes. The 4,345 guest luxury cruise ship is able to travel up to 23 knots, offering smooth cruising in sumptuous surroundings. MSC Periosa had arrived in Genoa on Friday 22 March 2013 from her pre-inaugural 9-day/8-night cruise from Saint-Nazaire calling at Lisbon, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain; Casablanca, Morocco; Valencia, Spain and Marseille, France. That cruise followed the official delivery of the ship to MSC at the STX France shipyard at Saint-Nazaire, France in a ceremony there that saw the honour of cutting the ribbon carried out by Alexa Aponte Vago, MSC Vice President, followed by the traditional breaking of a bottle of champagne.

Cruising News was there to cover the official christening ceremony and the cruise that followed. Watch our web site and the April issue of the magazine for a complete report.

P&O Cruises 175th Anniversary

On Tuesday 3 July 2012 at Southampton P&O celebrated 175 years with all seven of its cruise ships arriving, docking and departing on the same day. Cruising News reader Richard Pocock was there and sent this photo.

Behind the Scenes

It is always interesting and exciting to be invited to do a behind the scenes tour of a ship. Such was an occasion on MSC Divina recently. Down below is another city within a ship – large corridors lead to kitchens, large warehouse size storage area for food and general items, staff quarters and canteen, rubbish disposal, even a tailor’s area. Here's a quick tour. John Treacy read full story

Sophia Loren’s Royal Suite... and you can stay there!

Sophia Loren once said, “Style must be adapted to the Oman and not vice versa:"

It was with this in mind that MSC Cruises set about designing a special Sophia Loren themed cabin in the MSC Yacht Club on their new ship MSC Divine. Lucky guests staying in suite number 16007 on deck 16 can revel in the glamour and style of a suite designed for and with the help of Ms Loren.

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Marseille in France

If you are travelling to Marseille in France a great place to stay is the Sofitel Hotel in the old port area. Ideal location, great rooms, friendly staff and the Buffet Breakfast a must!

I was there in Marseille for this exciting event! – John Treacy, Editor Cruising News.

‘Med with passion’ was the tag chosen by MSC Cruises for the naming ceremony of its newest flagship, MSC Divina, which took place alongside the Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal. Prior to the naming ceremony MSC Cruises ceo Pierfrancesco Vago, resident godmother Sophia Loren, French actor Gerard Depardieu and celebrity chef Christian Constant, creator of the gala dinner menu, held a press conference with about 400 members of the media from around the world. As Sophia Loren was escorted to the room by MSC owner Gianluigi Aponte the media clamoured extremely close to take photos and ask questions.

After a cocktail party it was time for the specially planned high-profile evening event dockside which began under blue skies and sunshine. The just over two-hour spectacular commenced with the Captens Aerobatic Display Team and the Breitling Jet Team presenting an aerial stunt show around and above the ship. This was followed by a performance from La Poulido de Gèmo, a local folk-group who preserved regional traditions through dance, music and traditional costumes. A dynamic medley of MSC Divina’s theatrical shows followed with energetic dance, acrobatics, and an impressive 14-person pyramid. Next it was sistership MSC Fantasia setting sail from the port, sounding her horn in tribute to the new addition to the fleet.

Read the full story here




John Treacy's Travels on MSC Orchestra

The Big Ships are Coming

Behind the Scenes

Sophia Loren’s Royal Suite

Marseille in France

Marseille exciting event




Photo Gallery




Sky Wonder, ex Pacific Sky laid up in Marseille, France - Photo Paul Carman






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