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CRUISE PLANNER COVER STORY


PRINCESS CRUISES Ship


Sun, Dawn, Sea Princess


borders on Boutique for those looking for something different. Second ship Orion II (ex-Clelia II of Travel Dynamics International), an all-suite vessel originally built for Renaissance Cruises in 1990 and heavily refurbished, joined in 2011, with itineraries further into Asia, including Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Japan. Gratuities not included. www.orionexpeditions.com


PAUL GAUGUIN CRUISES Ship


Rating Type


Paul Gauguin Moana


5*-Plus Boutique 5*-Plus Boutique


SR Dining Tonnage P / C


57.83 Open 19,200 332/215 38.88 Open 3,500


90/50


This operation will become a 2-ship fleet in December 2012 with the addition of MV Moana (formerly Le Levant of Compagnie du Ponant). The original ship is a South Seas fantasy, a deluxe and highly personal adventurer based year-round in Tahiti. Formerly with Regent, the award-winning Paul Gauguin is now a solo proposition as part of the Pacific Beachcomber hotel group, offering 38 voyages a year around the South Pacific to the Cook Islands, Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand. The ship is purpose-designed for the shallow seas of French Polynesia and features a relaxed, informal style highlighted by the onboard Gauguines – a local Tahitian group who serve as cruise staff, entertainers and storytellers to enhance the efficient, friendly service throughout. Heavily refurbished in late 2011, the Gauguin is beautifully fitted and furnished, with excellent cabins and a good choice of public rooms for such an intimate vessel, including a superb Carita Spa and a casino. Fine dining in three different venues is another highlight, with the French art of joie de vivre firmly to the fore as well as genuine tastes of Polynesia. Cruises vary from 7-15 nights and include a wide variety of watersports as well as all soft drinks, bottled water and select wines and spirits, plus gratuities. Moana will add deluxe winter voyages in the Caribbean and South America, with summers in the Med. www.pgcruises.com


P & O CRUISES Ship


Oriana Aurora Oceana Adonia Arcadia


Ventura, Azura


Grand, Golden, Star Princess


5*


5* 5*


Rating Type 4*-Plus Resort


Resort


Resort Resort


SR


Dining Tonnage P / C 39.48 Open 77,000 1950/900 41.92 Open 109,000 2600/1100


Pacific, Ocean Princess 5*-Plus Boutique 45.07 Open 30,200 670/360 Coral, Island Princess Diamond,


Sapphire Princess


Caribbean, Crown, Emerald, Ruby Princess


5* Resort 36.80 Open 113,000 3070/1100


Princess now has Personal Choice dining across all their tonnage, which gives them excellent restaurant options to go with the wide range of ultra-smart facilities on their large, modern fleet. The Sun trio offer a slightly more small-scale but still chic Resort experience, with the bonus of the alternative Sterling Steakhouse. The Grand-class vessels introduced a new level of big-ship sophistication on their debut in 1999, and the latest group of six 100,000-ton-plus leviathans add still further to that excellent range of facilities, style and service, with features like Movies Under The Stars, greater alternative dining, the Sanctuary area (adults only for quiet, on-deck relaxation), and even ‘street entertainment’. Princess work especially hard at their onboard delivery, with a terrific range of small-scale creature comforts and services that mark them out from the mainstream. The two smaller ships are all ex-Renaissance Cruises vessels and feature a more intimate, country-house touch, with a choice of 4 restaurants and more lifestyle-orientated programmes. In the Caribbean year- round, they offer extensive summer itineraries around Europe and seasonal programmes to South America, Alaska, the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii & Tahiti, Asia, Canada & New England, Australia and New Zealand, plus two contrasting World Cruises. Gratuities not included. www.princess.com


REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES Ship


Rating Type Seven Seas Navigator 6*


Seven Seas Mariner, Voyager


Rating Type 4*


SR Resort


4*-Plus Resort 4*-Plus Resort 5*


Boutique


4*-Plus Resort 4*-Plus Resort


Dining Tonnage P / C


37.80 Two 69,000 1830/760 41.00 Two 76,000 1900/875 37.70 Open 77,500 2050/900 45.07 Open 30,200 710/360 43.54 Two 85,000 1952/984 37.66 Open 116,000 3080/1230


The all-British cruise line continues to offer a winning combination of slick style, quality entertainment and modern ships dating back to the introduction of Oriana in 1995. Both the onboard activities and food pander expertly to the UK palate and maintain an element of traditional cruise formality. Adonia – the former Royal Princess – is a child-free ship, and provides an additional element of smaller-scale, classic style with excellent alternative dining, while the chic Oceana was previously Ocean Princess of sister line Princess Cruises. Ventura and Azura (2008 and ’10) added a whole raft of novel facilities and smarter Resort style, plus the option for open-seating Freedom dining (also on Oceana), as well as five excellent alternative dining choices. Children’s facilities are particularly good and the big production shows among the best at sea, while there are big- name British entertainers periodically. P&O’s vessels are based in Southampton for most of the year, sailing extensively to the Med and northern Europe, with fly-cruise winter operations to the Caribbean and South America, plus four grand world cruises and Adonia’s 87-night South America circumnavigation. Gratuities not included. www.pocruises.com


Boutique 6*-Plus Boutique SR


46.70 Open 92,000 1970/900 43.44 Open 116,000 2670/1100


Dining Tonnage P / C


61.21 Open 30,000 490/325 70.60 Open 50,000 700/440


Navigator heralded a new style of 6-star cruising in 1999, introducing all-suite accommodation, nearly all with balconies. Fine dining with well-selected gastronomic menus, open seating in the main dining room and bookings required for the three alternative restaurants. Mariner and Voyager added even more choice to the range of gracious, ultra-chic facilities and styling, with impeccable service. The retro-fitting of the Canyon Ranch SpaClub in all ships added further refinement in 2009 and a major fleet refurb in 2010 ensures their look and style remain fresh and contemporary. They cover a wide range of itineraries, from northern Europe and the Med to the Caribbean, Mexico, Panama, Alaska, Asia and Australia, Indian Ocean and South America, while Voyager offers a stunning annual World Cruise. Prices include in-suite bars, wines with meals, tax and gratuities. They continue to offer great deals to the UK market, with free flights and shore excursions on all cruises. www.rssc.co.uk


RESIDENSEA Ship


The World


Rating Type 6*-Plus Boutique


SR n/a


Dining Tonnage P / C Open 40,000 396/252


With just 88 guest suites as well as 110 privately-owned apartments, this ship has set a new benchmark in 6-star cruising. She has a choice of restaurants together with all the amenities of a luxury retreat. These include outstanding golf facilities (including a floating target range which is towed behind the ship), a full-sized tennis court (a first on any ship) and a hydraulic water sports platform. This is no ordinary ship and is not run like one. Quite unique, it allows you


Winter 2011-12 WORLD OF CRUISING 93


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