Monday, April 30, 2018

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Bliss To Call At New York During Maiden Voyage.


Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Bliss to Call At New York On Maiden Voyage - Feature Race Track At Sea
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Bliss to Call At New York On Maiden Voyage - Feature Race Track At Sea

The Norwegian Cruise Line's new Norwegian Bliss will make a one time visit to New York on May 3rd and 4th, 2018 in New York City. The ship, which was just delivered by Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany will call at the port as part of her transatlantic voyage on her way to the West Coast. The Norwegian Bliss will spend her summer season in Alaska.

Unique features: On board, guests will be able to experience their favorite amenities by Norwegian Cruise Line, plus some new first-at-sea offerings.  Norwegian Bliss will thrill and excite guests with the largest competitive race track at sea, a first for any North America-based cruise ship. The two-level electric-car race track sits at the top of deck 19, offering guests amazing views while twisting and turning at a speed of up to 30 miles per hour.  After a thrilling ride, guests can then test their agility at the open-air laser tag course, or race side-by-side on the Aqua Racer waterslide at the expansive Aqua Park, with two multi-story waterslides, one of which extends over the edge of the ship and loops down to the deck below

In the 2019 fall/winter season, the Norwegian Bliss will cruise from New York City to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

This Day In History - Italia Leaves Home Lines Fleet to Become Floatimng Hotel in the Bahamas


Home Lines Italia - 54 Years Ago - To become the Imperial Bahamas Hotel in Freeport, the Bahamas
Home Lines Italia - 54 Years Ago - To become the Imperial Bahamas Hotel in Freeport, the Bahamas

On April 28, 1964, An aging luxury liner started her third career at a Hoboken pier yesterday—This new role... a floating Hotel in the Bahamas.
The liner is the 36‐year‐old Italia. Wth the stroke of a pen at a Hoboken pier, her name was changed to Imperial Ba­hama and title transferred from Home Lines to Canaveral International Corporation.
For the 16,777‐ton passenger liner, which retained her Pan­amanian registry, it meant the end of two career—as a trans‐Atlantic passenger ship and cruise ship to the Bahamas, both out of the Port of New York, and as a World War II troop and war bride transport under United States registry.
Before heading out of port later this week, the 609‐foot vessel will spend a few days at the Brooklyn yard of the Todd Shipyards Corporation for sur­vey of her hull and a “haircut and shave”—shipyard slang for hull cleaning and painting.
She is then scheduled for several weeks at a Miami ship­yard where she will undergo alterations to become a 500‐room hotel before heading for her final and permanent an­chorage at Freeport, Grand Ba­hama Island in June where she will be known as the Imperial Bahama Hotel.
Once the Kungsholm of Swedish America Line
One of the port's best known medium liners, the Italia made her debut here in 1928 as the Swedish American Line's Kungsholm. She sailed under United States registry during and after World War II as the transport John Ericsson and de­livered more than 300,000 troops to the theaters of war.

In 1948 she was acquired by the Home Lines and refitted for passenger duty and placed on the Europe South‐America run. A year later she was as­signed to service between New York and European ports. She stayed on that route until 1960 when she was refurbished again and fully air-­conditioned to begin a successful career as a cruise ship.

Until last Saturday, when she made her last arrival NYC, she had traveled between New York and Nassau 146 times, carrying about 800,000 vacationers to and from the Bahamas island destination.

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Norwegian Bliss Delivered from Meyer Werft to Sail From NYC in 2019.


Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Bliss Delivered from Meyer Werft.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Bliss Delivered from Meyer Werft.

On April 19, 2018, Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the 168,028-gross-ton Norwegian Bliss from Meyer Werft during a ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany, marking the conclusion of an 18-month building period.  In attendance were executives from Norwegian Cruise Line, including Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer, Harry Sommer, executive vice president of international business development, Robin Lindsay, executive vice president of vessel operations for the 16-ship fleet, representatives from Meyer Werft including Bernard and Tim Meyer, managing partners of the German-based shipyard, and the ship’s captain and hotel director. Before cruising to Southampton, England to begin her transatlantic journey on April 21, Norwegian Bliss will showcase all she has to offer to her first guests during a two-day European inaugural preview cruise hosted by Andy Stuart and Harry Sommer.

Upon her arrival to the U.S. on May 3, the festivities for her U.S inaugural tour will commence with two-night preview events in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, and will conclude with a grand christening ceremony and sailing from her first homeport at Pier 66 in Seattle, Washington on May 30. Following a three-day inaugural voyage with a call into the port of Victoria, British Columbia, she will return on June 2 and will then embark on her first seven-day voyage to Alaska.

“Norwegian Bliss is one of our most highly-anticipated ships to date, and today marks another exciting milestone for the newest and most innovative ship of our young and modern fleet,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “The Meyer Werft team, along with our operations teams, ship officers and crew members, has done an incredible job bringing Norwegian Bliss to life and we cannot wait for guests to experience all she has to offer.”

“We’re happy to deliver another ship to Norwegian Cruise Line,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft. “We are extremely proud of our partnership of over 15 years and are confident that the first ship custom-built for cruising to Alaska will exceed the expectations of their guests.”

Norwegian Bliss, the third ship in the line’s Breakaway Plus class, the most successful class in the company’s history, is the first cruise ship specifically designed with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruising experience.  On board, guests will be able to experience their favorite amenities by Norwegian Cruise Line, plus some new first-at-sea offerings.  Norwegian Bliss will thrill and excite guests with the largest competitive race track at sea, a first for any North America-based cruise ship. The two-level electric-car race track sits at the top of deck 19, offering guests amazing views while twisting and turning at a speed of up to 30 miles per hour.  After a thrilling ride, guests can then test their agility at the open-air laser tag course, or race side-by-side on the Aqua Racer waterslide at the expansive Aqua Park, with two multi-story waterslides, one of which extends over the edge of the ship and loops down to the deck below.

Aboard Norwegian Bliss, culinary enthusiasts can savor new exclusive specialty dining and bar concepts such as the debuting Texas smokehouse – Q, the cruise line’s first full-service Starbucks® store at sea, and Coco’s – a chocolate and sweet treats shop.  At The District Brew House, guests can enjoy a variety of craft cocktails and beers, including local Seattle favorites from Red Hook Brewery.

Continuing with Norwegian’s commitment to offering incredible entertainment across the fleet, Norwegian Bliss features new programming that includes the Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical, Jersey Boys, and ¡Havana! – an original musical theater show created and produced specifically for Norwegian Bliss.  The creative group behind ¡HAVANA! include Tony Award®-winning director and choreographer Warren Carlyle, Cuban-American design duo Isabel and Ruben Toledo and features original songs by Cuban-American, Grammy-winning singer – Albita. Norwegian Bliss also features a new theatrical cocktail hour experience, Happy Hour Prohibition – The Musical that will transport guests to a New Orleans speakeasy on the eve of the Prohibition era. At The Cavern Club, guests can enjoy their favorite songs from The Beatles live with a talented cover band, in a setting inspired by the Liverpool Club where The Beatles famously performed countless times.

Guests on Norwegian Bliss can relax with a variety of accommodations including luxurious suites in The Haven by Norwegian®, studio staterooms for solo travelers with virtual ocean views, and plenty of connecting staterooms ideal for large groups and families. Two expansive observation lounges, one exclusively accessible for Haven guests, will offer cruisers uninterrupted views of the natural beauty of the sea and shore throughout their journeys.

Beginning June 2018, Norwegian Bliss will spend her summer cruising seven-day voyages to Alaska, and fall season cruising to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles.  In winter of 2018, she will sail the Caribbean from Miami, and in the 2019 fall/winter season she will cruise from New York City to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

SilverSea Cruises Silver Muse Makes New York Debut.

Luxury Cruise Ship Silver Muse - Silversea Cruises  Maiden Arrival in New York
Luxury Cruise Ship Silver Muse - Silversea Cruises  Maiden Arrival in New York

On April 24, 2018, the Silver Muse maiden her maiden debut in NYC. The high-end luxury ship is the latest vessel from SilverSea Cruises delivered in 2017. The Silver Muse has a high space to passenger ratio with the 40,700 ton ship carrying only 596 passengers. At 698 feet long  and 86 feet wide she is considered a medium size ship.

The Silver Muse is repositioning from the Caribbean to Northern Europe Via Canada, Greenland and Northern Europe. The Silver Muse will spend the summer in the Med.

The Silver Muse is registered in the Bahamas.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Video Flashback: Greek Line's New Olympia Though the Eyes of a Young Greek Sailor.



While searching through videos on the internet I found this very interesting video on Greek Line's Olympia. The story is told through the eyes of a young Greek Sailor and this thought process around being in New York and working on the new ship.

The Olympia was purposely built for Greek Line and operated for them from 1953 to 1975. The ship was originally intended for the New York to Piraeus, Greece. After the transatlantic trade started to diminish the Olympia was put on the cruise trade from New York, Boston and Norfolk. She actually spent her final days under the Greek Line flag sailing from Piraeus - fleeing New York to escape creditors. The ship went on become the Caribe for Commodore Cruises and Regal Empress for Regal Cruises.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Norwegian Escape Moves to New York to Replace Norwegian Breakaway.

Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Escape Sailing from New York - Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Escape Sailing from New York - Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Last Sunday Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Breakaway departed its long time homeport of New York for European Waters. The Norwegian Breakaway will sail a spring, summer and fall season of cruises from Germany and Copenhagen Denmark to Northern Europe.

Her replacement, the Norwegian Escape, after loading stores but NO passengers, departed Miami early on Friday morning (4/20/2018). The ship cruised full speed to New York and arrived on Sunday 4/22/2018 entering the harbor at 11:00 AM and docking at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal shortly after noon.

The ship was quickly readied for embarking passengers who were supposed to board at 1:00 PM. Passengers boarded as scheduled and at approximately 6:45 PM the Norwegian Escape dropped her lines started her 7 Day cruise to Bermuda.

The Norwegian Escape will assume the Bermuda, Caribbean, New England, Canada, Florida and Bahamas sailings usually covered by the Norwegian Breakaway.

The Norwegian Breakaway will conduct 2 Caribbean sailings from New York in October / November 2018, one of which is a repositioning cruise from New York to the Caribbean but ending in New Orleans. The Norwegian Breakaway will sail the winter and early spring from New Orleans.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Germany's Phoenix Reisen's Artania Arrives in New York


Germany's Phoenix Reisen Artania Sailing into New York.
Phoenix Reisen Artania - Paid New York a Visit this past weekend.
The Artania arrived in New York on Saturday (April 21, 2018) at 10:00 AM with 1,200 German  passengers. The ship was on one of the final leg of her 136 Day World Cruise which departed Marseilles, France on 12/21/2017 and will end in Bremerhaven, Germany on May 6, 2018. The  44,650 Ton ship was build in 1984  but has been extensively refitted and updated to a modern cruise ship. The Artania was originally built as the Royal Princess for Princess Cruises (1984) and later became the Artemis of P&O Cruises (2005) and became the Artania in 2011 for Germany's Phoenix Reisen.

Passengers enjoyed 2 great days in New York. The weather cooperated and the temperature was mild for this time of year making exploring New York pleasurable.

The ship sailed on Sunday evening shortly after 6:00 PM heading to its next port of call - Newport RI.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

American Cruise Line's American Constellation Completes Sea Trials.

American Cruise Line's  New American Constitution Completes Sea Trials.
American Cruise Line's  New American Constitution Completes Sea Trials.
 With US Coast Guard officials on board, American Constitution underwent speed trials and an endurance run and was thoroughly tested in all areas of safety and maneuverability.

American Cruise Lines’ American Constitution has successfully passed sea trials in Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, US.

Built by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland, the 175-guest American Constitution underwent speed trials, an endurance run and safety checks.

“American Constitution passed with flying colours,” said Paul Taiclet, vice president of hotel operations at American Cruise Lines. “The ship performed exceptionally well and has a number of enhancements that further American Cruise Lines’ tradition of innovation in small-ship cruising.”
New advanced features onboard American Constitution include acoustic treatments and vibration dampening systems, which will make the ship quiet even when running at full speed.

American Constitution will sail her inaugural cruise from Baltimore, US, on 18 April 2018. The voyage will also mark the line’s first ‘American Revolution Cruise’, which will enable guests to spend 10 nights sailing around Chesapeake Bay.

For the remainder of 2018, the new ship will stay on the US East Coast, offering a series of trips from Boston, Massachusetts and New York.


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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Scandinavia ex StarDancer, Viking Serenade, Isalnd Escape, Ocean Gala Arrives at Scrappers.


Ocean Gala in Happier Days as Royal Caribbean's Viking Serenade - Ship was Beached in India for Scrapping.
Ocean Gala in Happier Days as Royal Caribbean's Viking Serenade - Ship was Beached in India for Scrapping.

It is with sad news that I report the Ocean Gala 1 was beached in Alang, India in early April.  The Ocean Gala 1 started her career as the Scandinavia of Scandinavia World Cruises. The ship was designed with an extensive car deck and was supposed to be used to carry cruise passengers from New York to the Bahamas with a second ship connecting from the Bahamas to Cape Canaveral. This was done in an effort to attract vacationer that wanted to take their cars with them and have a Bahamas, Orlando vacation combination.  Sailing were supposed to be every 4 days.
 
The effort proved unsuccessful and the Scandinavia was placed on the 7 day New York ->Bahamas route until she was re-positioned to Northern Europe. The ship was sold to Admiral Cruises as the Star Dancer and was later moved to the Royal Caribbean (after Royal purchased Admiral /Eastern Steamship / Western Steamship Line). The car deck was removed and replaced with staterooms. In addition the ship was fitted with a crown lounge – signature of Royal Caribbean ships and renamed the Viking Serenade sailing Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe and the West Coast.
 
The Viking Serenade last sailed as the Island Escape for Island Cruises until 2017 but her lack of balcony cabins and age of 36 made finding further employment difficult. Under the name Ocean Gala 1 the ship arrived at Alang on March 30th, 2017 and was beached on April 4th.
 
1982–1985: Scandinavia;
1985–1990: Stardancer;
1990–2002: Viking Serenade
2002–2015: Island Escape
2015–2017; Ocean Gala
2017-2018: Ocean Gala



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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel Poised to Open In Dubai This Week



Queen Elizabeth 2 QE2 Hotel Grand Opening in Dubai - ex Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2
Queen Elizabeth 2 QE2 Hotel Grand Opening in Dubai - ex Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2 - Courtesy QE2.com
Reports out of Dubai say that the Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel is preparing to open. Reportedly having an limited introduction starting today, the Hotel is expected to be in full swing by October, 2018.

At this time, 5 of the ship's expected 13 restaurants will be operation. Sitting in Dubai for over a decade and with a number of false starts, it now appears that it is official. The permanently docked liner looks totally restored and modern in photos on the hotel website. It appears that the ships lifeboats have been removed to provide unobstructed views from guest rooms.

Additional information and booking information is available on qe2.com.

QE2 was a famed liner serving the transatlantic trade from New York to Southampton, England for more than 39-years with Cunard. In her career, the QE2 completed 806 transatlantic and 25 circumnavigation voyages and hosted over 2.5m passengers while traveling over 5.6m miles.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hutrigruten's Fram Make a Number Of Calls In NYC Sailing to New England & Canada

Hurtigruten's Exploration Ship Fram - Has a number of Sailing From New York in 2018 and 2019
Hurtigruten's Exploration Ship Fram - Has a number of Sailing From New York in 2018 and 2019
Hurtigruten's Exploration Vessel Fram arrived in New York this past Saturday (4/14) to embark passengers on a Spring, Exploration, New England Canada Cruise. The 12,000 ton, 374 foot long, Ice Certified vessel, carries 317 passengers usually traveling in Antarctic and Arctic Polar Regions.


 On April 22 the Fram will sail on a 9 Day cruise from Halifax to New York

Hurtigruten's Fram New England Canada Cruise From Halifax to New York.
Hurtigruten's Fram New England Canada Cruise From Halifax to New York.


Returning to New York on April 30th the Fram will sail on a New England Canada cruise before sailing around Iceland and traveling to Sweden and Norway for the the Winter season.

For more information on the Fram and other Hurtigruten's Ships check out Hurtigruten's Website.

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