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Cruise travel news: 4 cruising updates that advisors need to know

Have you missed any recent cruise travel updates? Expert cruise contributor Sally Macmillan helps bring you up to speed with the latest intel in this weekly wrap of what's making waves in cruising right now.

Have you missed any recent cruise travel updates? Expert cruise contributor Sally Macmillan helps bring you up to speed with the latest intel in this weekly wrap of what’s making waves in cruising right now.

Queen Anne to be christened in Liverpool

Queen Anne's first captain, Inger Klein-Thorhauge_cruise
Queen Anne’s first captain, Inger Klein Thorhauge.

On 3 June 2024, Cunard’s fourth queen will be christened in Liverpool, England, a city that has been central to the venerable cruise line’s operations since 1840.

While the name of Queen Anne’s godmother has not been announced yet, the event will take place on the Mersey waterfront during the ship’s inaugural voyage around the British Isles. The city is expecting thousands of spectators – more than a million people gathered to witness the three queens’ royal rendezvous in 2015 when Cunard celebrated its 175th anniversary.

Guests onboard Queen Anne’s 14-night British Isles Festival Voyage, departing Southampton on 24 May, will have an exclusive opportunity to join the naming celebrations before a spectacular, late-evening departure for Cobh, Ireland.

The ship’s first captain is also Cunard’s first female captain, Inger Klein Thorhauge. Originally from the Faroe Islands, her career with the company has seen her travel the world many times over as captain of Queen Victoria and more recently Queen Elizabeth.

“I am very proud to be Cunard’s first female captain, but to be named as the first captain of Queen Anne is the greatest honour. It means the absolute world to me to be a part of the next chapter of Cunard,” Thorhauge has said.

For more information, visit cunard.com

Crystal’s 2024 golf and Broadway-themed voyages

Crystal ship in New York Harbour.
Crystal ship in New York Harbour.

Crystal is bringing back a limited season of its popular themed cruises, starting with Crystal Symphony’s 12-night Lisbon to Dover voyage departing 18 July 2024. This one is for golf enthusiasts, with all the action happening onboard.

Renowned golf instructors David Leadbetter and Roberto Borgatti will be aboard to guide guests interested in perfecting their swings. Leadbetter is known for his work with star players such as Nick Faldo, Greg Norman and Ernie Els, and has a track record of coaching 26 players to Major Championship titles.

Borgatti leads clinics for players of all skill levels, helping aspiring candidates pass the PGA Player Ability Test. These seasoned pros’ presence ensures an unparalleled golfing experience for followers of the sport.

Later in the year, fans of Broadway productions will be entertained aboard Crystal Serenity by award-winning American actress and singer Rachel York. She is known for her roles in stage shows such as City of Angels, Les Miserables and Kiss Me Kate.

Crystal Serenity departs New York City for Quebec City on 14 September 2024 on a 10-night cruise and returns from Quebec over eight nights from 24 September.

Book by 31 March 2024 for a free suite upgrade (up to three categories). The offer is based on availability.

For more information, visit crystalcruises.com

Bookings open for Paspaley Pearl by Ponant

Ponant in West Papua at the KitiKiti Waterfall. Credit: ©StudioPONANT Juliette Leclercq_cruise
Ponant in West Papua at the KitiKiti Waterfall. Credit: ©StudioPONANT Juliette Leclercq.

As reported in Karryon last week, Ponant has opened a dedicated website and booking platform for its latest vessel, the luxury, 30-guest expedition motoryacht Paspaley Pearl by Ponant.

When her multimillion-dollar upgrade is complete, Paspaley Pearl by Ponant will begin her inaugural season with a 11-day sailing from Dili in East Timor to Bali departing 10 January, 2025.

She will then sail year-round to some of the world’s most unspoilt and intriguing warm-climate destinations – East Indonesia, including Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands (January to March); the Kimberley, Arnhem Land and Cape York (April to October); and Papua New Guinea (October to December).

Paspaley Pearl’s crew of 22 will include four expert expedition guides and the all-important crew-to-guest ratio is right up there at 1:1.3. There are four categories of staterooms – the Pearl and Ocean suites have balconies – and the cuisine will be designed by acclaimed chef Serge Dansereau (formerly of Sydney’s Bathers’ Pavilion).

In the Kimberley, the inspired partnership between Paspaley Pearls and Ponant gives guests the chance to visit exclusive pearling locations.

“Sharing the routes that my crew and I pioneered in the 1970s onboard our pearl luggers will provide wonderful opportunities for guests,” said Nicholas Paspaley AC, Paspaley Executive Chairman.

For more information, visit paspaleypearlbyponant.com.au

&Beyond launches expedition ship in the Galapagos

A Deluxe View suite on Galapagos Explorer_&Beyond_cruise
A Deluxe View suite on Galapagos Explorer.

If seeing giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies in their natural habitat and snorkelling with turtles and sealions is on your travel wishlist, you will have checked out lots of incredible trips in the Galapagos Islands. Now there’s another option to consider.

The highly respected conservation-led travel company &Beyond, which was established some 30 years ago in South Africa, is launching a newly refurbished boutique expedition vessel in the Galapagos Islands.

&Beyond Galapagos, a 38-metre motoryachtthat accommodates a maximum of 12 guests, will provide the region’s highest guide-to-guest ratio when she launches in June 2024.

Operating on two different seven-night itineraries, &Beyond Galapagos Explorer will offer the choice of discovering the east or the west of the main cluster of islands, while including the highlights of the destination in both. Both itineraries present plenty of opportunities for land and sea adventures such as snorkelling, hiking and birdwatching.

Joss Kent, &Beyond Executive Chairman & CEO, said, “We have long believed that the best way to encourage our guests to help protect the world’s wild places is for our skilled guides to help travellers not only fall in love with those places, but also to gain an understanding of the threats that they are facing.”

For more information, visit andbeyond.com