New expedition vessel for Aurora

One of Australia’s favourite adventure companies, Aurora Expeditions announced it would be building its first new expedition ship. The line has released images of its first custom-designed ship which will be built for polar voyages as well as environmentally friendly. “With the development of our purpose-built expedition ship, we stay true to our small-ship philosophy where the focus is on the experience and engagement with the environment while at the same time providing the most comfortable form of travel in these challenging environments,” Managing Director of Aurora Expeditions, Robert Halfpenny said. “In the polar regions, we will have the ability to reduce passenger numbers so we can continue to visit existing landings sites as well as explore new areas where strict regulations enforce no more than 100 people ashore at any one time.” The ship will be ready in time for the 2019/202 Antarctic season.

Holland America opens bookings for its newest ship

Guests can now book their place HAL’s newest ship, the ms Nieuw Statendam, which will be launched on December 1, 2018. The ship, which is the second Pinnacle class ship from the line will be delivered in Venice next year before a 14-day transatlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale in Florida. The ship will then spend the winter season cruising roundtrip from the South Florida port on seven-day Caribbean itineraries, with select three-, four- and 10-day options. “Every milestone we reach with Nieuw Statendam brings us closer to delivery, and opening for bookings in the inaugural season is an exciting step as we officially give guests the opportunity to start planning their vacations on this beautiful new ship,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “The crossing is a great chance for guests to really get to know the ship and explore every corner during the sea days, and the Caribbean season is a perfect blend of ports that highlight the beauty, diversity and relaxed ambiance of that region.”

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Royal Caribbean to make maiden call to Newcastle

The NSW State Government has announced it would be upgrading the port facilities at Newcastle and Royal Caribbean will be sending Explorer of the Seas for her maiden call. The ship will visit in February 2019. Managing director of Royal Caribbean in Australia and New Zealand Adam Armstrong said, “We’re incredibly proud to announce the maiden call to Newcastle for the country’s second largest cruise ship, Explorer of the Seas, on 10 February 2019, and returning again on 16 February 2019.  We’re delighted to be working closely with the Port of Newcastle as it enters a new era of mega cruise ship travel.”