◗ P&O Cruises will base a ship in Dubai between January and March 2019. Oceana will sail five 10-night voyages in the Middle East that visit Abu Dhabi, Oman, Bahrain, Sir Bani Yas Island and spend a night in Dubai. Flights are with Emirates and add-on city stays in Dubai are available.

◗ Thomson Cruises will add Tui Explorer to its fleet in May 2018. The vessel, currently sailing as Mein Schiff 1 for Tui Cruises, will have 10 eateries including a sushi bar, tapas restaurant and pizzeria. It will sail the western Mediterranean from Palma.

◗ Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has cut back its regional no-fly programme to offer a selection of fly-cruises in India, the Indian Ocean, South Africa and the Middle East. Options include a 14-night round-trip voyage from Cape Town in January.

◗ Cunard is spending £34 million adding Britannia Club dining, which allows passengers to eat when they choose, to Queen Victoria. The ship is also being fitted with 43 Britannia Club cabins and five Penthouse Suites. The Chart Room replaces Cafe Carinthia.

Premium all-inclusive is worth about £1,200

New Norwegian pricing adds gratuities and drinks

Clients sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line no longer have to budget for tips. New Premium All--Inclusive fares not only include gratuities, which previously added up to $16.50 per day per passenger, but also premium alcoholic and soft drinks. Cruise lines have long

acknowledged that British passengers object to tipping but NCL is the first mainstream cruise line, apart from Thomson Cruises, to include them in its fares. It said the move recognises that its main competition is not other cruise lines, but land-based resorts, which do not charge gratuities. It is estimated the inclusions will save passengers on a one-week cruise

about £1,200 per cabin. Fares are increasing, but by as little as £20 in some cases. Premium All-Inclusive fares also

include Lavazza speciality coffees in restaurants and one bottle of water per person per day. Passengers in Haven suites enjoy three free meals in speciality restaurants and 250 minutes of free Wi-Fi per cabin. The move comes as NCL

launches its first ex-UK cruises since 2010. Norwegian Jade is offering sailings from Southampton that visit Norway, Iceland, Scandinavia and the British Isles. NCL’s Premium All-Inclusive fares

have already been introduced in Germany and France. There are no plans to introduce them in the US.

Symphony of the Seas to spend first summer in Med

The world’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, will spend its inaugural summer in the Mediterranean next year. The Royal Caribbean

International vessel is under construction at the STX Europe shipyard in St Nazaire, France. The ship will have 28 more cabins than Harmony of the Seas, which launched last year and currently


holds the ‘world’s largest’ title. The ship will be based in Barcelona from April 21 and

operate seven-night itineraries that visit France, Spain and Italy. Round-trip cruises from Civitavecchia, the port for Rome, are also available. Onboard features include the

helter-skelter-like Ultimate Abyss, three water slides and an AquaTheater with high divers. In all, Royal Caribbean will have eight ships in Europe in 2018.



May 2017 | Travel Weekly Cruise | 5

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