Jane Archer presents the Travel Weekly 2013 Cruise Calendar – make sure you don’t miss those important dates

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Another exciting 12 months are under way for the cruise industry, bringing new ships and river cruise boats, fresh itineraries and products for agents to sell.

The first river cruise boat launch of the year has already happened, with Uniworld’s River Orchid making its maiden voyage on the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia on January 9.

An incredible 19 more river cruise vessels will launch this year, underlining the rapid growth of this sector – with 10 of these coming from Viking River Cruises alone.

By comparison, there are just five new ocean-going vessels on their way, but with three prototypes – Norwegian Breakaway, Europa 2 and Royal Princess – there’s plenty of exciting new tonnage for UK agents to sell.

To help you, we’ve rounded up the key events in this handy calendar. Prices are per person including flights and transfers unless otherwise stated.


What’s new? Crystal Cruises has made black tie optional on formal nights. The change, to make Crystal more in tune with 21st-century living, took effect on Crystal Symphony on January 5 and begins on Crystal Serenity on March 31.

How much? From £2,269 for a seven-night cruise from Istanbul to Civitavecchia (for Rome) on Crystal Symphony on July 6 including drinks and gratuities. crystalcruises.co.uk


What’s new? Oceanographer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau is on board Paul Gauguin in the South Pacific on February 2, June 26, September 21 and November 2, presenting lectures and taking scuba dives.

How much? From £4,472 for a 10-night Society Islands and Tuamotus cruise from Tahiti on June 26 including drinks and gratuities.


What’s new? Discovery, previously operated by Voyages of Discovery, enters service in its new Cruise& Maritime Voyages colours, starting with eight departures from Bristol Avonmouth, a new departure port for CMV.

How much? From £489 cruise-only for a five-night Springtime Gardens and Charms cruise from Bristol on April 7.



What’s new? Uniworld River Cruises’ new 118-passenger Queen Isabel, sold in the UK through Titan Travel, launches on the Douro in Portugal on March 14, offering a mix of cabins with full-size and French balconies.

How much? From £1,949 for an 11-night holiday on October 31 combining three nights in Lisbon with a seven-night cruise including UK transfers, shore excursions and drinks with dinner.


What’s new? Viking River Cruises makes its debut on the Douro in Portugal on March 22 with the 124-passenger Viking Douro.

How much? From £1,495 for a nine-night holiday combining two nights in Lisbon with seven nights on the river on December 6 or 13 including shore excursions and drinks with lunch and dinner.


What’s new? MSC Preziosa, the fourth of MSC Cruises’ Fantasia- class ships, launches in Genoa on March 23 featuring Vertigo, a 120-metre water slide that extends over the side of the ship, a water park and adult-only solarium.

How much? From £399 cruise-only for a Western Mediterranean cruise from Genoa on October 27.


What’s new? Ama Waterways returns to the Douro in Portugal with the new AmaVida on March 23. The 108-passenger vessel has cabins with balconies, a top-deck heated pool and alfresco dining.

How much? From £1,374 cruise-only for a seven-night round-trip cruise from Porto on March 23 including shore excursions and drinks with dinner.


What’s new? Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Quest goes more inclusive on March 27, with Azamara Journey following on May 15. The change means drinks are free during bar hours.

How much? From £1,919 for an eight-night Western Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Monaco on Azamara Quest on April 2 including drinks and gratuities.


What’s new? The first eight of Viking River Cruises’ 10 new longships launch in Amsterdam at the end of March. The last two, Viking Baldur and Viking Magni, enter service in August and September respectively.

How much? From £1,995 for a 15-day cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking Skadi on November 17 including shore excursions and drinks with lunch and dinner.



What’s new? AmaWaterways’ AmaPrima enters service on April 3 featuring the line’s trademark twin balcony suites, a heated swimming pool and multiple dining venues.

How much? From £1,811 for a seven-night cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen on May 22 including shore excursions and drinks with dinner.


What’s new? Amadeus Silver, the 178-passenger river cruise vessel from Luftner Cruises, enters service on April 13. It’s the first vessel in the Austrian company’s fleet to have full-size balconies and a cafe.

How much? From €498 cruise-only for a three-night taster cruise from Amsterdam to Cologne on October 26 including wine with dinner.


What’s new? Holland America Line is celebrating its 140th anniversary on April 18 with the naming of a white tulip in Keukenhof Gardens in Holland.

How much? From £2,799 for a 29-night Grand Mediterranean voyage from Piraeus to Fort Lauderdale on Prinsendam on anniversary day, April 18.


What’s new? Norwegian Breakaway, the Norwegian Cruise Line ship, is coming to Southampton for an overnight visit on April 29 so agents can see the vessel before it heads to its new home in New York.

How much? From £1,727 for a seven-night round-trip voyage from New York to Bermuda on September 8.


What’s new? Century River Cruises’ Century Legend enters service on the Yangtze in China in April. On sale in the UK through Titan Travel and Avalon Waterways, the vessel holds 398 passengers and has suites with balconies.

How much? From £2,949 for an 11-day Impressions of China and the Yangtze holiday on April 13 including two nights in Shanghai, a four-night cruise and three nights in Beijing.


What’s new? The former Carnival Destiny emerges from the Fincantieri shipyard on April 12 as Carnival Sunshine after a $100 million makeover that will add cabins, places to eat and drink, water slides, an adult-only solarium and more.

How much? From £626 cruise-only for a 14-day voyage from Venice to Barcelona on April 12.



What’s new? Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2 is sailing a one-night preview cruise for agents from Southampton on May 5. The vessel has eight places to eat and open-seating dining, and will be named in Hamburg on May 10.

How much? From €7,990 cruise-only for a 14-day maiden voyage from Hamburg to Lisbon on May 11.


What’s new? Avalon Waterways’ Avalon Expression enters service on May 4-8. The vessel, to be named in Cochem, Germany, on May 7, has large cabins with wall-to-wall French windows, plus new tapas-style dining in the lounge. A sister vessel, Avalon Artistry II, enters service on April 11.

How much? From £3,285 for a 15-day cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest on October 9, including UK transfers, shore excursions, wine with dinner and gratuities.


What’s new? The Ace Cruise Convention is in Southampton on May 23 and 24, with a trade fair, networking and seminars on day one and ship visits on day two. An optional extra day, May 25, offers visits to MSC Opera and Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.

How much? £50 per person until the end of January, when it rises to £75.



What’s new? Royal Princess, the new Princess Cruises’ ship, is sailing two three-night preview cruises from Southampton between June 10 and 16 before relocating to the Mediterranean for the summer.

How much? From £1,399 cruise-only for a 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Barcelona on August 22.


What’s new? Pasha Kovalev and Katya Virshilas from Strictly Come Dancing will be entertaining passengers on P&O’s Aurora this month as professional dancers take to the high seas.

How much? From £1,749 cruise-only for a 17-night Central Mediterranean cruise on Aurora on June 18.



What’s new? Le Soléal, Compagnie du Ponant’s new boutique 264-passenger cruise ship, will be named in Italy on July 1 before heading north to spend summer in the Arctic.

How much? From £2,519 for a 10-night voyage from Lisbon to Reykjavik on July 13.


What’s new? Orient-Express is launching the 50-passenger Orcaella on the Ayeyarwady in Burma. The ship is named after the dolphins that live in the river.

How much? From £3,270 cruise-only for a seven-night Jewels of the Ayeyarwady cruise from Yangon to Bagan on July 11.



What’s new? Hurtigruten is visiting the Hjørundfjord for the first time in 20 years this month and next, as an alternative to the Geirangerfjord.

How much? From £1,398 cruise-only for a 12-day Classic Round Voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes and back from September 15 to October 31.


What’s new? Ace Columbus Day, with business seminars, debates and networking for owner-managers, will be held in Liverpool on September 19. The day ends with the Ace Cruise Excellence Awards and gala dinner.

How much? £50 per person. Registration opens May 1 but pre-registration is available at:


What’s new? Silversea’s new Silver Galapagos starts sailing seven-night cruises around the Galapagos on September 28.

How much? From £3,550 cruise-only departing October 5 including excursions, drinks and gratuities.



What’s new? Wine guru Jilly Goolden will be hosting talks and tastings on Fred Olsen’s 10-night Iberia cruise from Dover on October 4.

How much? From £979 cruise-only.


What’s new? SeaDream II sets off from Mumbai in India, marking the start of SeaDream Yacht Club’s debut in Asia and Australia.

How much? From £3,884 cruise-only for a 13-night voyage from Mumbai to Singapore on October 27 including drinks and gratuities.



What’s new? Princess Cruises is the first major cruise line to homeport a ship in the Port of Houston, Texas. Caribbean Princess will be based there until April 2014, sailing seven-night Caribbean cruises to Cozumel, Honduras and Belize.

How much? From £459 cruise-only on November 9.



What’s new? Swan Hellenic’s Minerva arrives in the Caribbean en route to the Panama Canal and a voyage circumnavigating South America.

How much? From £2,820 for a 16-day Rhythms of Cuba cruise from Barbados to Jamaica on December 4.