Anthem of the Seas to be based in Southampton
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anthem of the seas

Royal Caribbean have recently announced that its newest ship Anthem of the Seas, will be based in Southampton from April 2015. Anthem of the Seas will divide its time between Southampton, where it will operate a selection of Mediterranean cruises and Fort Lauderdale in Florida where it will sail to the Caribbean during the winter months.

The ship will be part of the Quantum Class of ships and will include Quantum of the Seas which will be delivered in November 2014.

A third Quantum Class ship is also expected to be delivered sometime in 2016.

Dominic Paul, Royal Caribbean’s VP International said ‘we have a long history of activity in the UK market, we have been investing in the UK for 20 years. We have seen good quality growth in the UK market…Anthem is the next step in that investment’.

Anthem of the Seas will be able to hold a maximum of 4,905 passengers, making it one of the largest cruise ships in the world. The majority of the details of Anthem of the Seas’ deck plans have not yet been revealed.

Adam Goldstein, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International said ‘fundamentally Anthem is the sister ship to Quantum, but it’s possible it may have a few tweaks. It’s still a little too early in the game, we’re still hard at work on Quantum. We continue to consider various options, we’re always willing to do that’.

WATCH ANTHEM OF THE SEAS BY THE NUMBERS

Both Quantum and Anthem of the Seas will include a number of exclusive at sea activities. These will include a skydiving experience and North Star, a glass walled capsule that extends 300 feet above the ocean and over the sides of the ship. Perfect for adventure seekers!

Quantum is also set to have the very first ‘virtual balconies’ at sea in its inside cabins. These will be in the form of a digital television screen which will take up an entire wall and show passengers in inside cabins exactly what is going on outside. It’s a great idea for those who would like to splurge on an outside cabin but simply cannot afford it.

Quantum of the Seas is also set to have the largest indoor entertainment and sports complex at sea, Seaplex. This will have roller skating, bumper cars, a basketball court, a flying trapeze school and a large dance floor. It’ll be great for both kids and adults on board.

Both ships will also have a kids’ water park, ‘H2O Zone’, 4 whirlpools, an indoor solarium, a luxurious spa and fitness centre, an ice bar, a food truck in SeaPlex and more flexible dining options and more speciality restaurants than ever before.

Anthem of the Seas being based in Southampton will mean British passengers will have a greater choice of Mediterranean itineraries than before so there’s sure to be a cruise suitable for everyone.

Image courtesy of Royal Caribbean Cruises

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Watch the P&O Cruises Britannia Animation Video
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Carnival Corporation, owners of successful cruise line P&O, have revealed that their new ship, set to launch in February 2015, will be named Britannia. They announced the name of the ship after learning that the Queen had no objections to P&O using the name, which has been for years associated with the Royal Yacht.

P&O’s Britannia is set to be an incredible 1,082 feet long – the equivalent of more than four Airbus A380 planes. It will hold a 4,372 passengers and 1,400 crew, making it their largest ship ever, by quite some way. It will weigh 25,000 tons more than any of the other ships in P&O’s fleet.

Watch the P&O Britannia Video

P&O have stated that Britannia is set to be ‘built exclusively for Britain’, presumably in order to cater to its majority British passengers. Richmond International have been commissioned to design the new ship and it is set to ‘wow…with her striking décor and breathtaking interiors…designed to make you feel special, her rooms have been planned with imagination and flair, while bold features create a real talking point.’

The ship is set to incorporate the best features from its other ships such as Aurora and Azura, both of which are firm favourites with passengers. Britannia is also set to have more single berth cabins than any other cruise ship, in order to cater to the growing solo cruise travel market. Many of the single berth cabins are also set to have balconies, allowing their inhabitants to enjoy the same comforts as everyone else on board without paying a premium to do so.

It will have four different swimming pools on board, which will surely appeal to passengers and especially to families with children. Britannia will also have thirteen different bars for passengers to choose from, as well as thirteen restaurants and cafes for passengers to dine in.

The keel of the new Britannia has already been laid. This took place in Monfalcone shipyard in Italy on May 15th 2013. The keel consists of six different parts and weighs a phenomenal 408 tons.

The name of P&O’s latest ship was announced at around the same time as the Carnival Corporation faced yet another stumbling block. One of their ships from the Princess line, Royal Princess, lost power completely during a Mediterranean cruise between the Greek island of Mykonos and the Italian port of Naples. The cruise had to then be cut short and the ship has now been taken to Barcelona for repair.

Hopefully the announcement of the name of its latest cruise ship will mark a turning point for Carnival Corporation, who have suffered from many setbacks in the last few years. They own the Costa Cruise line, which tragically struck rocks off the Italian island of Giglio, claiming the lives of thirty two passengers and crew on board early last year.

What are your views on the size of these mega ships. Prefer something smaller?

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Costa Concordia Salvage team to upright Vessel
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On January 13, 2012, the cruise ship, Costa Concordia went aground in Italy and took 32 lives. It is viewable from the shoreline of Giglio as an awkward and oversized carcass of metal lying on its side.

Several flotilla platforms for the salvage project surround the submerged vessel. This event changed the once popular summer tourist haven’s pristine appearance to that as an industrial maritime centre.

Costa Concordia

One year after the disaster, at a news conference, it was announced that by the end of the summer 2013, the ship would be removed.

The original course of action was running a few months behind schedule. But they made it clear that setting an exact date would be “both misleading and unrealistic”. Obviously the statement proved to be true as the Costa megaship, Concordia, still remains capsized off the island of Giglio. Many are asking as to ‘why is it taking so long to upright and remove the vessel’?

Even with the labours of the crews working round the clock for months, the complex reality of rough seas and undermining granite rocks held up projected schedules. The island has seen 30 to 35% drop in tourism last summer and it appears that this will remain the same or higher for summer 2013.

Giglio

Those working on this massive project claim they are making progress with this delicate endeavour. The salvage experts, Costa Crociere and Titan-Micoper have speculated that the vertical rotation of the wreck and placed upright will take place this coming September.

This is no easy task and nothing is assured that it will be successful. The project entails having the team arrange a detailed observation system of installing microphones and cameras throughout the ship prior to trying to flip the ship upright.

If all goes according to plan, the 114,000-ton cruise ship will be supported on six steel platforms that have been placed on the sea bed. The vessel is presently lying on two underwater reefs with a gap in between them. To help support the ship’s hull, the space has been filled up by 18,000 tons of cement.

If successful, there is still more on the agenda. The conjecture from all involved is that an additional 8 to 10 months will be required before the ship can be dismantled and finally towed away.

Overseeing the project is South African, Nick Sloan. According to Sloane, on the crucial mission that will commence in September, “It’s going to be a long, nerve-wracking day.”

No one should speculate what happened that fatal day that the Concordia ran aground off Italy’s western coast until all the facts are calculated. However, the cruise industry upholds an exceptional safety record.

WATCH THE 3D VIDEO OF THE COSTA CONCORDIA SINKING

Several changes to cruise line policies have transpired through the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review with the participation of International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee, The European Cruise Council (ECC) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

The first of new safety policies were adapted in June 2012, including the issue of the proper recording of each passenger’s nationality and pertinent information and on elements of musters and emergency instructions.

Since then, these organisations have issued several adjustments to previous guidelines to assure the public that what had transpired aboard the Costa Concordia will never occur again.

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Cruises from the Bristol Port of Avonmouth
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The United Kingdom has long been a popular place to embark on a cruise holiday with the most obvious benefit being that there are no airports to contend with!

Cruises from Bristol are relatively new and Avonmouth docks are easily accessible by road and rail plus of course Bristol airport is available for UK regional flights and for international travellers.

Avonmouth Station

Bristol is proud to call it’s port ‘Britain’s most centrally located deep sea port’, meaning passengers can easily reach the city centre from where their cruise ship docks and explore all that Bristol has to offer. Bristol’s prosperity has been linked to the sea since it was founded as early as the Palaeolithic era and has many attractions and sights for cruise passengers to visit and enjoy.

The city is famous for its music and film industries and also has several very famous artworks throughout the city by world renowned artist Banksy.

The City Museum and Art Gallery is popular with many visitors and it is home to a large collection of archaeology, natural history, Chinese ceramics and art. It is also free for all visitors and open daily.

MANY EXCURSIONS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE CITY

Bristol is also home to a wonderful historic city centre which has a number of large Tudor mansions which were once built for wealthy sea merchants who used Bristol port to trade goods in days gone by. There are also several buildings in the Byzantine architectural style which are unique to the city and sure to appeal to any fans of architecture and culture.

Many great day trips are available from this port for cruise passengers to enjoy. The charming city of Bath with its natural hot springs is just over 30 minutes away, Shakespeare’s beloved Stratford-upon-Avon and the university city of Oxford are both just an hour and a half away, and the historical wonders of Stonehenge are also less than 90 minutes from the port.

Bath Hot Springs

The two main cruise lines who offer cruises from Bristol are Fred Olsen and Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Popular British cruise line Fred Olsen’s ship Boudicca will be sailing from here for the first time in 2014 and appeals to passengers who enjoy a smaller, more intimate ship as it has capacity for just 800 guests, a mere minnow in comparison to the modern super liners of today – the largest of which can hold more than 6,000 passengers and more than 2,000 crew!

The Cruise and Maritime ship that offers itineraries from Bristol is the MV Azores. Again, this is perfect for those guests who like to enjoy a smaller ship with less passengers and a more personalised cruise experience.

WATCH THE MV AZORES VIDEO BELOW

With all of these great reasons to visit the port of Bristol and two beautiful ships departing from this port why not enquire here to see if a cruise from this wonderful city should be included in your future holiday plans.

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Have you ever taken a cruise from Bristol? Tell us below.

Brilliance of the Seas Refurbishment
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Royal Caribbean International’s popular liner Brilliance of the Seas has recently completed her 30 million dollar refurbishment and promises passengers new, exciting and innovative activities and on board features, whilst retaining the ones which they already know and love.

This refurbishment comes as part of Royal Caribbean’s overhaul of their entire fleet which sees them spending an incredible 300 million dollars to modernise and update their fleet of liners.

Brilliance of the Seas

The dramatic focal point of the ship, the Centrum has undergone intensive refurbishment. New carpets have been put down, furnishings have been changed, and new features have been added.

This includes a feature which I believe to be one of the most exciting entertainment forms at sea – aerial acrobatics dangling from the roof of the Centrum. I’ve been lucky enough to see this on board Grandeur of the Seas previously and was absolutely blown away by how impressive it was. It’s something guests are sure to love.

One of the biggest changes the refurbishment has brought is the number of dining options available to guests. Giovanni’s Table is a brand new Italian trattoria style restaurant which is sure to appeal to families. Izumi Asian Cuisine promises to offer an exciting twist on the normal cruise ship fare and other options also include Rita’s Cantina and Park Café.

The bars on board have also all been refurbished. An English style pub has been created which is sure to appeal to many of the British passengers. A plush new cocktail bar has been introduced and the popular R-bar has undergone a 60s style refit.

Watch the New Brilliance of the Seas Video Below.

Staterooms have undergone refurbishment too including the introduction of flat screen televisions in all cabins. New cabin designs have been introduced and have meant cabin furnishings have been updated and refreshed to keep them looking as good as possible, and as comfortable as possible for guests.

Families will be pleased to hear the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery area has been fully refurbished. This allows parents to leave their children there with fully trained and qualified staff who will look after your children safely and allow them to explore the ships facilities and enjoy some much needed down time. A valuable part of every parents holiday!

The ship has had many technological features introduced, which are found as standard on all of it’s newer ships. There are now flat screen televisions around the ship which act as digital way-finding systems and show passengers what is near them on each deck and where they can find the venue or activity they’re looking for.

Royal Caribbean have also added wi-fi throughout the entire ship which is sure to please guests who like to stay connected throughout their holiday.

With all of these features added and updated, plus many more, why don’t you have a look at the exciting itineraries offered on board Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas and check them out for yourself.

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