Cruise News: Crashes, christenings and canals

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From local and international ports to the deep blue – here’s all the latest cruise news for you.

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Royal Caribbean wows all with new ship
Royal Caribbean International (RCI) christened its newest ship, Spectrum of the Seas in Shanghai earlier this month. The new Ultra Quantum Class vessel – a first for RCI – is packed with features and attractions, including innovative dining concepts as well as a selection of well-appointed staterooms and facilities. The ship will be based out of China – check out the features in the video below.

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Venice cruise ship crash leads to push for alternate canal
This follows an incident in Venice earlier this month, where the MSC Opera cruise ship crashed into Uniworld’s River Countess river boat while attempting to dock at Giudecca Canal.

As the video shows, terrified tourists watched or fled as the 275m cruise ship collided with the pier and then the smaller boat. The collision only injured four passengers – including two Australians – but it could have been so much worse.

Venetians have long protested about the number of cruise ships allowed into the canal, with many arguing they should be banned altogether. Since this latest incident, the Mayor of Venice has demanded an urgent solution to allow cruise ships to enter from an alternative to the main Giudecca Canal. Adam Goldstein, chairman of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) likes the idea. 

“The cruise industry has worked diligently with the Mayor of Venice, the Veneto region, the Port Authority and many others, to find viable solutions to allow larger cruise ships to access the Marittima berths without transiting the Giudecca Canal,” he said.

“We are in agreement with the solution developed by Comitatone in 2018 to utilise the Vittorio Emanuele Canal as the best and most prudent means to move larger cruise ships away from the Giudecca.

“It’s also important to note that the cruise industry is especially sensitive to the heritage significance of Venice and has worked closely with authorities to address local issues.

“CLIA also backs plans to create a new route that will avoid the Guidecca Canal, and we are encouraging local authorities to move this plan forward.

“Venice is a world treasure that requires careful consideration, and the cruise sector will continue to engage with local communities to maintain responsible tourism management for the city.”

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CMV releases Vasco da Gama’s second season itinerary
Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) will cover all corners of Australia in its 2020-21 season, with a range of new destinations announced last week.

In its second season, Vasco da Gama will make compelling domestic destinations even more accessible to Australians with the ship’s new ports of call including Darwin and Port Arthur, while a visit to Geelong will be a first for the cruise line.

“We are delighted to be welcoming the Vasco da Gama to Geelong as part of the 2020-21 season for the first time,” said Brett Ince, executive director of Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine.

“Visitors will have the opportunity to explore our clever and creative city, experience our world-class wineries and coastal landscapes, and take advantage of our proximity to the Great Ocean Road.”

 

Vasco da Gama will also cruise Sydney to Adelaide via Melbourne, allowing east coast guests to take only one flight. Prices start from $535 per person twin share (first guest from $1069 – second guest sails free).

Other highlight voyages include a 14-night trip along the north-west coast of Australia from Fremantle to Singapore, visiting Geraldton, Broome, Darwin, Bali, and Java, and a seven-night Southern Explorer cruise that will head from Adelaide to Melbourne, Burnie, Portland and Port Lincoln before heading back to Adelaide.

“Our new season on Vasco da Gama will really shine the light on domestic cruising for Australians, as we have found that many of our Australian guests are passionate about exploring their own backyard,” says Dean Brazier, managing director of CMV Australia.

“These new itineraries allow our guests to immerse themselves in the wildlife and nature of the Kimberley and Northern Territory, delve into the rich colonial histories and breathtaking landscapes of Tasmania, or enjoy a day exploring the relaxed coastal towns of Victoria.

CMV has also announced a range of short-break cruises that should appeal to weekend wanderers.

“Our short-break domestic cruises, in particular, have always been very popular for Australians,” said Mr Brazier.

“Many travellers enjoy the opportunity to take a week or so off and explore new areas within Australia, while also experiencing the wonderful facilities on board our ships.

“Some of our voyages within Australia are just two-nights long, so travellers may not even need to take a day off work in order to take a relaxing cruise to world-class destinations.

For bookings or enquiries visit www.cmvaustralia.com

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Family-crewed sailing holidays
Looking for a family holiday with a difference? Why not do something the whole family can get involved in? A private charter or Flotilla with Sunsail allows the whole family to take sailing lessons from the experts as you explore the islands around Greece, Croatia, British Virgin Islands and The Bahamas. Find out more at www.sunsail.com.au

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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