Cruise agents are in for another exciting year, so don’t miss a moment of it, writes Jane Archer.
Stuck for ideas on where to send cruise clients this year? Travel Weekly comes to the rescue with our annual run-down of some highlights coming up over the next 12 months.
Whether clients fancy sailing through Borneo jungle or tapping their feet to live jazz on Silversea’s first new vessel since 2009, there is a cruise to suit. They can brush up on their kitchen skills in new cooking schools on Scenic vessels on the Rhône and Garonne/Dordogne rivers, or splash around on waterslides on MSC Cruises’ new MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside.
Fancy some French flair? Suggest Uniworld River Cruises’ Joie de Vivre or Amadeus River Cruises’ stylish Amadeus Provence.
The new year was only seven days old when Seabourn christened Seabourn Encore in Singapore. It was the first new ship of 2017, but don’t worry if you missed it as there are plenty of other newbies to look out for, including six more new ships on the ocean and around 20 bound for the rivers.
Prices listed are per person cruise-only unless stated otherwise. Other inclusions may apply. Contact the cruise lines direct for more information.
What’s new? Passengers can lay bricks or dig water systems on Uniworld River Cruises’ new pre-cruise ME to WE voluntourism extension to its 13-day Golden Triangle and Sacred Ganges cruise-tour, launching this month.
Sample price: From $2,375 for the five-day ME to WE experience. The cruise-tour costs from £5,979, including flights.
What’s new? Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Sky enters service in late February. It is the company’s third ship and features multiple places to eat and a Kitchen Table where passengers can take cooking lessons.
Sample price: From £2,940 for an eight-day Romantic Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Civitavecchia departing March 4, including flights.
What’s new? AmaWaterways is launching the AmaKristina, named after the river cruise company’s executive vice-president and co-owner Kristin Karst. To suit families, the vessel has cabins with balconies and connecting doors.
Sample price: From £1,933 for a seven-night Enchanting Rhine cruise from Amsterdam to Basel departing April 15.
What’s new? US-owned Azamara Club Cruises makes a debut call to Cuba on a Hemingway Hideaways voyage that stays overnight in Havana. City tours and an excursion to Ernest Hemingway’s home and favourite bars are on offer.
Sample price: From £1,529 for a 12-night cruise round-trip from Miami departing March 21.
What’s new? Titan’s Serenade 1 sets sail on its debut cruise on March 31 – the first time that the company has chartered its own vessel for a whole season. Fares are tailored to its British clientele and include UK transfers, drinks with lunch and dinner and selected tours.
Sample price: From £1,549 for a seven-night Castles & Cathedrals of Germany cruise from Basel to Dusseldorf departing April 17, including flights.
What’s new? Classical singing star Aled Jones is joining a music-themed cruise on the Danube with Scenic. He will be singing duets with a projection of himself aged 15 during a private concert at the Arsenal in Vienna.
Sample price: From £2,140 for an eight-night Iconic Danube cruise from Budapest to Passau departing April 24, including flights.
What’s new? Silversea’s first new ship for eight years, Silver Muse, will be named in Monte Carlo on April 19. It will have eight places to eat, including French La Dame and Silver Note, which serves tapas to the sounds of live jazz.
Sample price: From £5,040 for a 10-day cruise from Civitavecchia to Piraeus departing May 6.
Silversea’s first new ship for eight years, Silver Muse, will be named in Monte Carlo on April 19
What’s new? Emerald Waterways is making its debut on the Rhône with the new Emerald Liberté. It’s one of two new rivers for Emerald. Voyages on the Douro in northern Portugal start in May.
Sample price: From £2,595 for an eight-day Sensations of Southern France cruise from Avignon to Lyon departing April 8, including flights.
What’s new? The Crow’s Nest on Holland America Line’s Westerdam becomes Explorations Central (EXC) during a refit. The venue is a new initiative designed to help passengers learn more about the places they are visiting.
Sample price: From £1,409 for a 12-night Adriatic Dream cruise from Civitavecchia to Venice departing April 27.
What’s new? Darren McGrady, chef to the Queen and five US presidents, will talk about life in the royal kitchens and show passengers how to cook his favourite dishes while cruising with Seabourn in Asia.
Sample price: From £5,999 for an 18-day Asian Capitals cruise from Hong Kong to Kobe in Japan, departing April 23.
What’s new? Norwegian Jade sets sail on Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ex-UK cruise since 2010. It is offering 14 no-fly cruises, including voyages around the UK as well as to the Norwegian fjords and Iceland.
Sample price: From £869 for an eight-day Norwegian Fjords cruise departing May 14.
What’s new? Variety Cruises is launching cruises around Spain and Portugal on the 50-passenger Panorama II. The itinerary includes calls at Gibraltar, Motril and Cadiz for excursions to Grenada, Seville and Jerez.
Sample price: From £1,730 for a seven-night Glories of Spain and Portugal cruise from Lisbon to Malaga departing May 13.
What’s new? Royal Caribbean International’s Legend of the Seas joins Thomson Cruises as Tui Discovery 2 after being refitted with British-style restaurants and bars. It will sail from Malaga in summer and Montego Bay, Jamaica, in winter.
Sample price: From £828 for a one-week Continental Coasts cruise round-trip from Malaga departing May 14, including flights.
What’s new? German river cruise line A-Rosa is moving A-Rosa Viva to the Seine, where it will sail round-trip from Paris. Three ‘international’ departures – in May, August and December – are available for UK agents to sell.
Sample price: From €1,499 for a seven-night cruise round-trip from Paris departing May 27.
Clia UK & Ireland’s 11th cruise convention opens in Southampton on May 24 on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2
What’s new? Clia UK & Ireland’s 11th cruise convention opens in Southampton on May 24 on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. The two‑day event includes conference sessions and ship visits. It finishes on Royal Caribbean International’s Navigator of the Seas on May 26.
Sample price: £100. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for availability.
What’s new? Oceania Cruises culinary director Jacques Pépin is hosting cookery demonstrations, taking part in lectures and cooking up some of his signature dishes on a cruise of North European capitals.
Sample price: From £2,352 for a 10-day Regal Routes cruise from Southampton to Copenhagen departing June 2, including flights.
What’s new? Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Columbus will be named in Tilbury on June 8. The vessel, which previously sailed as Arcadia for P&O Cruises, has multiple bars and restaurants and 150 cabins set aside for solo travellers.
Sample price: From £499 for an inaugural three-night Amsterdam and Antwerp round-trip break from Tilbury departing June 11.
What’s new? Cirque du Soleil is coming to the high seas with the June launch of MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia. The ship will have water slides, family cabins for up to 10 people and an indoor promenade lined with cafes.
Sample price: From £859 for a nine-night cruise round-trip from Barcelona departing June 9.
What’s new? Crystal Bach, Crystal Cruises’ first new river boat, launches on the Rhine with features that mimic the company’s ocean-going ships, including a bistro dining venue and palm court. Sister vessel Crystal Mahler launches in August.
Sample price: From £4,890 for a 14-night cruise from Amsterdam to Frankfurt departing July 2.
What’s new? Adonia returns to P&O Cruises’ fleet after a stint sailing to Cuba and the Dominican Republic for Carnival Corporation’s Fathom. A small vessel, it is offering discovery-style cruises to ports that big ships can’t visit.
Sample price: From £819 for a seven-night Western Europe cruise round-trip from Southampton departing June 16.
What’s new? American Queen Steamboat Company’s American Duchess enters service on the Mississippi. A former casino boat, it is being rebuilt as a luxury vessel with room for just 166 passengers, and has two-storey Loft Suites.
Sample price: From £3,839 for a seven-night cruise from Minneapolis to St Louis departing July 23, including flights and a one-night pre-cruise hotel stay.
What’s new? Fred Olsen Cruise Lines will be in Klaipeda, Lithuania, for the annual Tall Ships Races regatta when more than 100 sailing yachts gather for the festivities.
Sample price: From £1,299 for a 10-night Tall Ships and Cultural Trips cruise round-trip from Southampton, departing July 26.
What’s new? Voyages to Antiquity is bringing its cultural cruising to the UK with a short season of no-fly voyages from Tilbury that visit Ireland, Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.
Sample price: From £2,495 for a 16-night voyage from London to Edinburgh departing July 13.
What’s new? Riviera Travel’s new vessel, Oscar Wilde, sets sail on the Rhine. It’s the last of four new vessels from Riviera this year. In a nod to the company’s British client base, it has tea and coffee-making facilities in its cabins.
Sample price: From £1,478 for an inaugural seven-night Rhine, Strasbourg and Heidelberg cruise departing August 7.
What’s new? The River Cruise Line’s Lady Anne is joining a flotilla of small boats during the Rhine in Flames festival, celebrating the wine harvest.
Sample price: From £809 for an eight-day cruise departing August 8, including coach and ferry travel from the UK.
What’s new? Clia’s first Cruise360 event in Europe is in Copenhagen from September 9-11. There will be conference sessions, a trade fair, local excursions and tours of Regal Princess and Norwegian Getaway. A luxury masterclass will be held on Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer during an optional pre-day on September 8.
Sample price: £36 for members; £168 for non-members.
APT launches all‑inclusive cruises on the Ayeyarwady in Burma on the river boat Samatha
What’s new? APT launches all‑inclusive cruises on the Ayeyarwady in Burma on the river boat Samatha, which include a cruise beneath the U Bein Bridge in Amarapura and a sunset visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.
Sample price: From £5,195 for a 17-day Hidden Wonders of Myanmar cruise from Yangon to Mandalay departing September 6, including flights.
What’s new? Master chocolatier and Bake Off: Crème de la Crème winner Mark Tilling is cooking up sweet memories for passengers on Saga’s Sapphire as he hosts chocolate-themed workshops and creates a dinner that features the cocoa confection in every course.
Sample price: From £3,294 for a 16-night Spanish Adventure cruise round-trip from Southampton departing October 28.
What’s new? Viking Ocean Cruises’ second new ship, Viking Sun, sets sail on a maiden voyage from Miami that overnights in Havana. Come December, it departs Miami for the company’s first‑ever round-the-world cruise.
Sample price: From £3,140 for an eight-day Central American Shores cruise round-trip from Miami departing November 17, including flights.
Viking Ocean Cruises’ second new ship, Viking Sun, sets sail on a maiden voyage from Miami that overnights in Havana
What’s new? Crystal Cruises visits Israel for the first time since 2012 on a voyage from Civitavecchia to Dubai, hosted by company president Edie Rodrigues. The itinerary calls at Haifa and Ashdod, and includes an overnight in Aqaba in Jordan.
Sample price: From £5,115 for a 10-day Holy Land and Suez Canal cruise departing November 4.
What’s new? MSC Seaside, the new MSC Cruises ship built to follow the sun, sets sail from Miami. It will have alfresco restaurants and bars, an aquapark with four water slides and a 120-metre-long zipline.
Sample price: From £679 for a seven-night Caribbean, Cuba and Antilles cruise round-trip from Miami departing December 23.
What’s new? Star Clippers’ new Flying Clipper is slated to start sailing in late 2017, but so far no date has been confirmed. It will be modelled on the 1911-built France II, the world’s largest square-rig sailing ship, and carry 300 passengers.
Sample price: Not available at the time of going to press.