SEPTEMBER 2023 ISSUE
CUNARD HAS announced an exclusive partnership with two Michelin-starred chef, Michel Roux.
Chef Michel will be working alongside Cunard’s culinary development chefs to create an exclusive gala menu for new ship Queen Anne’s Queens Grill restaurant and a new menu for Queen Anne’s pub, the Golden Lion.
Currently in development, the new menu will feature a selection of refined pub favourites, reimagined by Michel. It will launch on board Queen Anne in May 2024 before being rolled out to the existing fleet later in the year.
The cruise line has also revealed four additional dining experiences that will be available on Queen Anne – Aji Wa, Aranya, Sir Samuels and Tramonto – which will offer guests more choice than ever before.
“Cunard is renowned for high-quality dining options and we’re delighted to be working with the very best chefs at the top of their different culinary fields to offer such a wide range of dining options to our guests,” said Angus Struthers, Acting Senior Vice President, Cunard.
“From embracing the best of Japan in our new sushi and sake bar to dining al-fresco in Tramonto or enjoying a pub meal in the Golden Lion, there really will be something for everyone.”
AUSSIES LEAD A RIVER CRUISE BOOM
THERE’S BEEN a remarkable recovery in river cruising with one company reporting numbers out of Australia higher than pre-pandemic.
“We had a better year in 2023 out of Australia than we did in 2019,” said Pam Hoffee, President of Avalon Waterways, during a recent visit to Sydney.
“The first quarter of this year was also our biggest sales quarter ever for the company, so that was huge to see that comeback.”
That success has seen Avalon Waterways add more departures on their French wine cruises and festive season tours, along with rumours of a new destination in Europe.
Speaking about current trends in river cruising, Ms Hoffee said COVID had starved people of the chance to travel and they now wanted to make up for lost time.
Gai Tyrrell (Avalon Waterways), Pam Hoffee (Avalon Waterways), Mel Doyle, Chris Fundell (Avalon Waterways)
“Australia has really been a trendsetter in terms of longer trips and now we’re seeing it more from all markets with people wanting to stay longer in our destinations.
“So, we have a whole new series of nine-night cruises coming out in 2025 and we’ve had a fabulous set of 14-night cruises for quite a while.
“I think the whole perception of river cruising has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. It used to be thought of that it was for a certain type of traveller and that was an older, sedentary traveller.
“Certainly, if you want to come on board and just relax and sit on the deck, it can be a great holiday for that.
“But if you want to go out and hike and bike and explore, it’s also fabulous for that. And there are so many people who are choosing river cruising more and more for that type of experience.”
On the topic of hot destinations for 2024 and beyond Ms Hoffee highlighted Avalon’s new ship about to debut on the Douro in Portugal along with Egypt, the Mekong and Europe as popular spots.
With sustainability at the top of many people’s thoughts when booking travel, Ms Hoffee highlighted the fact Avalon had eliminated single use plastics and 95 per cent of the paper used on board, while also investing in better working conditions for crew members.
“We have done so much on sustainability. It’s really near and dear to my heart.”
VENICE SEND OFF FOR VIVA
SOME VERY lucky guests have been the first to sample the delights of the latest ship from Norwegian Cruise Line.
The company’s second prima class vessel, Norwegian Viva embarked on its maiden voyage from Venice.
The nine-day sailing through the Mediterranean took guests to Lisbon with stops in some of Europe’s best seaside destinations including Salerno off Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Cannes and Ibiza.
Viva will sail a selection of Greek Isles and Mediterranean voyages through November before homeporting in Puerto Rico in December for a season in the Caribbean.
“Norwegian Viva’s tagline is ‘Live It Up,’ and I have no doubt our guests will be doing just that while they cruise to some of the liveliest cities in Europe and the Caribbean during the ship’s inaugural season,” said David J. Herrera, President of Norwegian Cruise Line.
Mirroring the design of award-winning sister ship Norwegian Prima, Norwegian Viva features the Viva Speedway (a three-level racetrack), Indulge Food Hall, an upscale food market exhibiting 11 unique eateries, the fastest slides at sea, The Drop and Rush, and NCL’s industry-exclusive sustainable cocktail bar, the Metropolitan Bar.
THINGS GET A LITTLE SAVAGE AT SEA
A PLAYGROUND at sea for curious minds awaits on a specially themed cruise hosted by television personality Adam Savage.
Guests will have the opportunity to meet the host of the Emmy-nominated Discovery series MythBusters.
They will learn about his career through several hosted activities and get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Discovery Princess with Savage as guide.
Throughout his career, Savage has crafted an impressive array of projects, spanning from colossal Buddha statues and futuristic weaponry to exquisite fine-art sculptures and spacesuits.
His professional journey encompasses roles such as projectionist, animator, graphic designer, carpenter, interior and stage designer, toy designer, welder and scenic painter.
“When I was asked what part of the ship I wanted to see during the christening of Discovery Princess in 2022, I chose the engine room and spent five hours learning about how the many complex systems onboard are able to efficiently – and almost invisibly – service thousands of customers’ needs. The scale of it is staggering,” said Savage.
The cruise sets sail onboard Discovery Princess from November 25-29 from Los Angeles for a four-day West Coast Getaway to San Diego and Ensenada.
YOGA WITH GURU TO THE STARS
CAPTAIN COOK Cruises Fiji has partnered with celebrated yoga teacher Charlotte Dodson in the first of an exclusive new series of wellness cruises.
Dodson has been trusted to train some of the world’s most famous celebrities, including Miranda Kerr, Gerard Butler and Orlando Bloom.
The seven-night ‘Remote North Wellness Cruise with Charlotte Dodson’ sets sail from Port Denarau on November 25, taking in remote and pristine destinations not often seen by visitors to the region.
The cruise is a chance for guests to nurture mind, body and soul in Fiji’s natural paradise. Two small group wellness classes will be held each day for guests led by Charlotte, including yoga, breathwork and postural alignment.
Over seven days, guests onboard the newly arrived MS Caledonian Sky will enjoy the small luxury expedition ship’s raft of available outdoor activities onshore and in the water – from kayaking and ocean swimming to snorkelling and stand-up paddle boarding.
These will be a perfect complement to the gym, spa and Charlotte’s personally guided yoga and positive movement classes onboard. Rates start at $7,693 per person.
HUGE SAVINGS ON LUXURY CRUISE
A COMPLIMENTARY stay at a five-star resort in Bali and a free business class flight back to Australia are on offer in a new five-star cruise package.
Cruise Traveller’s 20-night, ultra-luxe ‘Elite Australasia’ package begins on January 7, 2024, with an 18-night cruise from Melbourne to Bali aboard MS Europa.
Crewed by 275 staff who look after just 408 guests, the spacious and sleek five-star ship has been consistently rated by critics as one of the world’s best cruise ships, with fine dining, personal service and an elegant ambience.
The journey starts with complimentary champagne and includes visits to Eden, two nights in Sydney, K’gari (Fraser Island), the Whitsundays and overnight calls to Cairns and Darwin.
A free mini bar is included as well as all specialty dining onboard and free use of bicycles ashore.
The cruise ends in Bali where guests will receive a private car transfer to the five-star Jimbaran Puri resort for a free, two-night stay in a beach-view pool villa with daily breakfast.
After the stay, a private car transfer to the airport will be offered, followed by a free business class flight back to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth.
The package is available from $15,995 per person twin share – a saving of $5,110 per person. Bookings must be made by September 30.
THIS PURSUIT IS FAR FROM TRIVIAL
SEABOURN HAS taken delivery of its second expedition ship which will eventually lead it to Australia’s Kimberley Coast.
Seabourn Pursuit entered service last month for a year of explorations beginning with five voyages in the Mediterranean.
The vessel will then cross the Atlantic for a short stay in the Caribbean before transiting the Panama Canal bound for the upcoming Southern Hemisphere summer in Antarctica.
Australia will welcome Seabourn Pursuit to its remote north-west coast from June to August 2024 as part of an extended stay in regional waters from March to October, which will also include sailings in Papua New Guinea, Melanesia and the South Pacific.
Guests onboard can enjoy all-suite accommodations, eight dining facilities and included water sports equipment including scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaks and a six-guest submarine for expanded ocean exploration.
A 24-person expedition team consisting of renowned scientists, scholars, naturalists and explorers will display their knowledge and expertise through engaging demonstrations and seminars and lead guests onshore to learn more about their surroundings.