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Please Note: Cruise-Australia and my other related maritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Please be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise company or any travel or cruise agency, etc. In addition we do not accept advertising nor donations as all sites are fully funded by me! Therefore all views herein are completely without any bias whatsoever!

Introduction:

Welcome to Cruise-Australia.com a website that has been online since the early 1990’s. Cruise-Australia has been designed especially for Australian’s, New Zealanders and the Asian cruise market, not to forget all those who love heading overseas and joining ships in other countries, therefore many have become worldwide cruise travellers and explores of destinations far-afield.

Records have proven that Australia has become the world’s fastest growing cruise market, and considering I have been in the Passenger Shipping and the Cruise Industry for over sixty years, having commenced in New Zealand as a travel agent and then worked up to a manager, later to become the head of a major International around the world passenger Shipping Company in Australia, followed by operating a Cruise Company, I certainly know a great deal about the industry, an industry I love greatly! Although now many years later, I had to retire due to rather extreme ill health, but when it is possible I still make an attempt to continue to share my vast knowledge with those who love to take their vacation by sea. Although I have to be honest, myself like many regular cruise passengers are not fond of the today’s modern great big cruise ships that 1. Look more like Apartment Blocks, or as many regulars say per email; “Great big square boxes on a hull” or 2. “Massive Theme Parks and Shopping Centres at sea, where there are countless thousands of passengers travelling with you, thus are always queues, and more queues, where you will have to queue up at a variety of venues on a daily basis!” And the aforementioned is very true indeed, as a recent passenger told me who returned from a cruise on one of these big ships. “Besides the hordes of children everywhere, the ship just felt over crowded, even though it was such a huge ship with so much space, but I had a problem to find a quiet space, except in my mini-suite. My next cruise will be back on a much smaller ship!”

Royal Caribbean International’s 168,666-tone & 348 m - 1,142 ft long MV Ovation of the Seas

Accommodating 4,905 passengers & a crew of 1,500, thus a total of 6,405 persons on board

That is called “Vacation with a Crowd”!

Please Note: Whenever I and Mr. Hun-Eng Tan who has been my friend, assistant and carer for many years, head off on a cruise I always pay the full fare, for I do not believe in freebies! My only aim is to provide my knowledge to all who are seeking the right cruise ship for their needs, and thus when I review a ship I have cruised on, or other ships that are currently in operation regardless if they are based in Australia, New Zealand or visit here, as well as ships from around the world, you can be assured that you will be reading about them without any bias what so-ever!

Reuben Goossens - September 2015

Seen aboard MV Diamond Princess during a 13 Day New Zealand cruise

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Lecturer.

I have been in the Passenger Shipping and Cruise Industry for over 60 years.

In conclusion; countless millions around the world know me well as a Maritime Historian, and cruise-australia.com and ssmaritime.com has been online since the early 1990’s. I have now written on well over 1,350 classic Liners and Cruise Ships, both the grand ships, as well as some of the less significant migrant ships, but all these ships are very important. Then there were those wonderful passenger-Cargo-Liners that would take between 20 to around 400 passengers, many of them offered sheer luxury. The aforementioned has now resulted in having an amazing 533.2 million readers to date and I am sure that you will have noted that you will never find any advertising on any of my pages, or asking for donations, for all this cruise information and maritime History is online for you for free to enjoy, as it is financed 100% by the author!

Please Note: This page is in Two Parts. Part One directly below has two News Items and an point of interest, whist Part Two contains stories regarding four cruise companies, operating from small luxury cruise ships to larger ones, and each is highly recommended! Also a story regarding various ships operating on our shores. Then there is an item regarding a series of my personal Cruise Reviews, mostly on the Pacific Aria and other ships on Pacific, NZ, Barrier Reef or PNG cruises, etc. Enjoy!

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Part One

 

 

SEABOURN NEWS

 

Seabourn elevates “Tea Time” with a Newly Enhanced

Daily Afternoon Tea Service aboard every Ship!

SEATTLE, January 10, 2020: Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury travel experience, is inviting guests to sip tea at sea with an enhancement on the cruise line’s beloved Afternoon Tea Service across the entire fleet. Steeped in the tradition of proper English tea service, yet as fresh and memorable as a newly brewed pot, the cruise line’s new daily tea service is the latest innovation designed to ensure that every detail of the Seabourn experience is constantly evolving and delighting guests near and far.

The key element of Seabourn’s new Afternoon Tea Service is the line’s addition of the finest luxury tea brand “TWG Tea”. Established in Singapore in 2008, TWG Tea (which stands for The Wellbeing Group) offers the largest collection of over 800 different single-estate, fine harvests, and exclusive tea blends from renowned tea estates in every tea-producing region around the globe.

“We are always looking at ways to take the amenities and services at the heart of the Seabourn cruise experience to the next level, and our new Afternoon Tea Service does just that,” said Gerald Mosslinger, Seabourn’s senior vice president of Hotel Operations and Onboard Revenue. “New guests will be delightfully surprised, while returning guests already familiar with our tea traditions will be impressed with the upgrades we’ve made to brighten their afternoons.”

In keeping with English tradition, Seabourn’s new Afternoon Tea Service is nestled conveniently between lunch and dinner, available from 4 and 5 p.m. daily in the Observation Bar.

The Observation Bar on board the Seabourn Odyssey

Served are, loose-leaf tea selections from “TWG Tea”, the finest luxury tea brand whose collection is the largest in the world, include choices such as English Earl Grey, Imperial Lapsang Souchong, and Highlands BOP Ceylon. They are delivered to the table by the highly trained staff and properly served on handcrafted china from “Bernardaud”, the family-owned French porcelain company originally established in Limoges, France in 1863. Bernardaud remains in the elite of design and innovation and each piece that bears the company’s signature brings the grace of simple luxury to everyday life and demonstrates that, after two thousand years, porcelain continues to prove its worth as an exceptional material.

TWG Tea has been greatly awarded as being one of the finest Teas in the world!

Afternoon Tea will also be accompanied by a set selection of sweet desserts and savoury snacks that will change daily on a rotating cycle, including gluten-free and vegetarian options, presented upon a stylish three-tiered display tray at the guest’s table in the Observation Bar. A sand clock, started as soon as the tea hits the water, is left at the table to ensure that guests can steep their tea precisely the way they like it while the service staff explains the tea’s origins and how different steeping times can enhance the flavour.      

Afternoon Tea is a traditional British tea service served at 4 p.m. between lunch and dinner, focused on serving light fare that includes scones, finger sandwiches, jam and marmalade. With roots going back for generations, history says that Afternoon Tea dates back to the mid-1800s and the Duchess of Bedford. At the time, kerosene lamps in wealthier homes helped usher in a late dinner, often served around 8 or 9 p.m., leaving people of the era, including the Duchess, feeling a bit hungry between meals. She decided to regularly invite friends over for tea and a selection of snacks during the late afternoon.

The idea of Afternoon Tea eventually spread across society, growing into a social occasion that continues to draw people together for interesting conversation to this day.

Seabourn’s enhanced Afternoon Tea Service is now being offered across the Seabourn fleet, with the TWG brand implementation ongoing and set to be completed in the coming weeks.

The wonderful Seabourn Odyssey is seen her at-Dusk

 

Enter my Seabourn feature

 

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P&O Cruise News

Pacific Aria SOLD (tragic) - Pacific Dawn SOLD (good riddance):

P&O Cruises - will off-load the Pacific Dawn to her new owners in February 2021, but the bad news for Australian cruise lovers, P&O is also getting rid of their best ship and most luxurious ship in the entire P&O Cruises Australia fleet, as she is the only ship that has ever retained the N° One rating throughout her entire career with P&O, and no other ship has been able to get it from her not even the Pacific Explorer. Thus sadly, the Pacific Aria will leave Australia in April 2021 to be handed over to her new owners.

The proud bow of the wonderful Pacific Aria is seen with the Southern Cross beautifully draped over it

Both ships are to be retired as they will be replaced by the very much larger Pacific Adventure (ex Golden Princess) and the just named Pacific Encounter, currently sailing as the Star Princess, which will join the fleet in November 2021.

Pacific Dawn’s final voyage under the P&O Cruises Australia banner is scheduled on February 8, 2021, which will see her sail from Melbourne, Australia, around the east coast of Australia and then to Singapore where she will end her voyage and be handed over to her future owners. The Pacific Aria will make a similar voyage from Australia to Singapore in April of that that same year for her handover.

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Just for Interest:

On the P&O webpage - https://www.pocruises.com.au/about/history-of-our-fleet - it states;

*P&O Cruises Australia's first permanent ship was the Fairstar, followed by Pacific Sky, Pacific Star, Pacific Sun, Pacific Jewel, Pacific Eden, Pacific Aria & then Pacific Explorer.”

Well, the question is the above is incorrect! The truth is, sadly the P&O Media does not even know very much about P&O’s past and their own fleet’s history, thus let me a maritime historian remind them. Below I will also provide the year that each ship commenced with P&O, and departed to be either broken up or join another company.

*Also note that the name “P&O Cruises Australia” did not exist at the time of the Fairstar in 1988, as it did not come about until the time of the Pacific Sky after the year 2000!

The correct ship listing of ships operated by P&O from 1988 to 2019 should read as follows.

“P&O’s first permanent ship (based in Australia) was the Fairstar 1988-1997, followed by Fair Princess 1997-2000, Pacific Sky 2000-2006, Pacific Sun 2004–2012, Pacific Star 2005–2008, Pacific Dawn (2007–2021), Pacific Jewel 2009-2019, Pacific Pearl 2010-2017, Pacific Eden 2015-2019, Pacific Aria 2015-2021 & then Pacific Explorer 2017 - total of 11 ships.

For interest, ships marked in Blue, were either Sitmar ships obtained in 1988 by P&O/Princess, or were in construction at that time, thus all were designed by Sitmar Cruises! Ships in Red were a couple of old Carnival ships, and the two Orange ships were 5 Star luxury cruise ships transferred to P&O from Holland America Line, The last ship in Blue-Gray is an 23 old and troublesome Princess ship Dawn Princess. And don’t I know, as I and several friends undertook a 106 night on her around the world, SYD/SYD/BNE on this which was one of the most troubled ships in the Princess fleet as well in her early days with P&O with ongoing engine problems and health issues!

Therefore, soon the P&O fleet will consist of just three ships, the aging 77,441-tonne Pacific Explorer, then joining this year (2020) the 108,865-tonne Pacific Adventurer will join the fleet (I sailed on her in her Princess days, a very good ship, but just too big for me), and her almost identical sister the 108,977-tonne Pacific Encounter will join a year later in 2021.

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Part Two

Let’s Talk About Cruising

What is New?

Over countless years I have written features and reviews on countless worthy Cruise Ships and their respective companies in order to better inform cruise and ship enthusiasts … 1; for their pleasure, 2; but more so to ensure that you, my wonderful readers will make the best-informed choice possible on what kind of ship, or which ship will be just right for you. Below I am featuring some wonderful small-ship operators that offer as you will see with the next some real Magic, and by that I really mean it, for the reviews I received have simply outstanding to say the least. Thereafter I cover the luxury passenger/cargo ship MV Aranui 5 based in Tahiti and she is an ultra modern super luxury ship offering the very best of everything. She is followed by the greatly awarded Australian Coral Expeditions fleet of luxury small ships that cruise around Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Indian Ocean, etc and so much more! I then cover various ships cruising out of Australia, and finally England’s much loved “Cruise & Maritime Voyages,” who has a large fleet of fine ships and also cruises from Australia annually. I conclude with some links to some of my cruise reviews. Enjoy reading what is on offer!

Let’s Start with some Scottish Mini-Cruising MAGIC:

“The Majestic Line”

You will discover that on Cruise-Australia there is a vast variety of cruise options available from mini-cruise ships to those giants of the sea; however I will start with these wonderful mini-cruise ships based in Scotland, owned by the acclaimed “The Majestic Line”, who offers one of the worlds most exciting, yet comfortable and an intimate ocean going experiences possible. Their first two vessels were originally Irish wooden Herring Trawlers that were converted in Scotland into the most delightfully beautiful eleven guest cruise vessels with all cabins having private facilities with windows or a porthole. There is a spacious Lounge, Bar, Library, Flat Screen TV and a Dining Room aft on Main Deck, as well as ample outdoor deck spaces.

The spacious Dinning Room, Lounge, library & Bar on the Glen Tarsan

 

The Lounge on the Glen Etive

And believe me there is not a fishy smell to be found anywhere, except when that giant seafood buffet is on the table! The Bridge on all ships is open to the Guests. These well designed ships cruise around the west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides. Very, very rapidly these two small cruise vessels were such a huge success not just in Britain, but around Europe as well as worldwide, thus the owners decided to build two brand new ships based on the first two, but with steel hulls and new improved facilities including stabilisers and Wi-Fi. These vessels looked much the same externally, but on the internally on Main Deck, rather than having the one large main public venue, the new ships had two, with a large, Lounge, Bar, Library and flat screen TV located forward, and the Dining Room with a smaller Lounge area being located aft. However there is a comprehensive two page feature online detailing this really worthwhile cruise experience with a difference. World famous TV star and vocalist Miss June McDonald has already cruised on the Glen Tarsan and she loved it so much, she said, “I will be going again, but next time on the 10 day cruise, for it is the experience of a lifetime, and I just loved it!”

“The Majestic Line” fabulous four mini-cruise-ships that will capture you and delight you!

Enter The Majestic Line Feature

 

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Cruising the Islands of Tahiti in Luxury:

Then what about Tahiti? There is a very special luxury ship based in Papéeté, which is owned by “Compagnie Polynésienne de Transport Maritime” or just (CPTM), with the ship being the Passenger-Cargo cruise Ship the A

MV Aranui 5 is seen at Bora Bora - “Aranui” means “The Great Highway” in the

Maori language being all part of the CPTM ships great Polynesian history and culture

Photograph © by CPTM

Thus as you can see from the amazing ship above, the MV Aranui 5 will offer her 254 Guests comfortable, air-conditioned accommodations in remarkable comfort, for this is certainly not a traditional cargo ship that just has some passenger accommodations, but this is more of a luxury passenger ship that just happens to also carry cargo and mail to the many Islands it visits, which really makes the voyage so much more interesting! On her spacious aft decks the ship offers her Guests space to sunbathe, swim in the pool and enjoy exotic tropical drinks while she wends her way among the countless beautiful tropical Islands. All in the wonderful comforts of a superb ship!

Enter the MV Aranui 5 Cruising around the Beautiful Tahitian Islands

Including the magical Tuamotu and Marquesas Archipelago’s

 

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Coral Expeditions:

This is Australia’s small-ship luxury cruise operator, which was established in 1983 and today they are one of Australia’s most awarded a “Certificate of Excellence” by “trip adviser” and “Cruisers Choice” by “cruise critic,” and awarded
“Quality Small-Ship Cruise Operator” by “cruise-australia.com”.

The Company has grown from just one small rather basic vessel to a fine fleet of glamorous small expedition ships that sail around Australia, Asia and much further afield into the Indian Ocean and the Pacific!

Meet the Newest Ships in the Fleet:

The new 5,599-tonne Coral Adventurer, will be followed by her new sister

the Coral Geographer which will arrive in November 2020

Image © Coral Expeditions

Launched in April 2019 and purpose-built to take guests closer to unspoilt vistas in comfort, style and safety, the luxurious Coral Adventurer accommodates 120 guests in 60 spacious staterooms and she has a cruising speed of 13.5 knots. She is a culmination of years of design and three decades of passion for expedition cruising, the Coral Adventurer has over 1000 sqm of open deck space including a wrap-around promenade deck with panoramic views. There are multiple indoor and outdoor bars, including the Explorer bar up on sundeck, she has a well-equipped gym, and a passenger elevator, all of which creates an environment designed for guest comfort. Coral Adventurer has captured the unique requirements for both guests, and the ships crew.

But above all it will be the countless incredible destinations she will visit that will make the cruise, combined with a ship that has the highest quality equipment and technology that will make her perfect ship to sail the Indonesian archipelago, Papua New Guinea, as well as the famed Kimberley coast of West Australia!

Then there is also the state-of-the-art 1,838-ton, MV Coral Discoverer (built in 2005, but completely refurbished in 2016), being an intimate, Australian cruise ship and she has become a much sought after small cruise ship operating at a cruising speed of 14 knots.

The luxurious MV Coral Discoverer

In Addition there is also the Coral Expedition II, which mostly operates 3 and 4 night Great Barrier Reef cruises, which can be combined as a 7 night cruise. The 3 night cruise heads south from Cairns to Hinchinbrook Island, and the 4 night cruise heads north as far as Lizard Island, with the countless treasures in between! Coral Expeditions II hosts just 42 guests in spacious Staterooms with ocean views and all rooms have private facilities. The ship has a spacious Panoramic Lounge and Bar topside up on A Deck, as well as a fine Dining room and Bar on C Deck. Like all ships she is packed with special expedition facilities, and you can snorkel right from the ship itself as she has a special deck that is at water level aft.

Explore the Magic of the Coral Expeditions a fleet of Intimate Expedition Ships

 

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Various Ships:

Besides the smaller companies shown on this page, there are the more traditional larger ship companies, as well as the more glamorous super luxury smaller up-market Cruise Lines, such as “Silversea,” “Seabourn”, “SeaDream Yacht Club” and “Viking Ocean Cruises” and of course the luxurious “Holland America Line.” HAL’s luxury ships cruise to and from Sydney between September and April annually. In 2021 the much loved ms Oosterdam returns to our shores replacing her sister the ms Noordam.

Ms Oosterdam is seen arriving at Circular Quay Sydney, and berth at the International Cruise terminal

 

Visit my ms Oosterdam Feature

 

Another HAL visitor to Australia

 

Holland America Lines 5 Star luxury cruise ship, the ms Amsterdam is seen departing Sydney Australia,

whilst she is on her around the world voyages. HAL is the world’s highest Rated Cruise Line

as well as having the highest Rated Cuisine served to their Guests at Sea

Enter my ms Amsterdam Ship Review when she was in Brisbane

All Cruise Companies & ships can be found on the Index Bar at the bottom of the page.

 

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Cruise & Maritime Voyages:

But I would now like to turn to an ever growing and a most successful British cruise company “Cruise Maritime Voyages” or CMV, who commenced in 2010. Today they have a fleet of six ships in operation, and they prefer to operate both modern as well as some of the best maintained and beautifully refurbished classic style cruise ships including the greatly loved MS Marco Polo.

The superb CMV Classic Liner and much loved Cruise ship is the MS Marco Polo celebrates her 55th anniversary in 2020, and she is scheduled to sail well into late 2021

Enter the MS Marco Polo a Two Page Feature

A cruise review by Mr. John Happs & His dear wife Hazel who cruised on her in June 2016 to Iceland

CMV operates some magnificent traditional Classic Cruise ships, such as the Marco Polo of course, as well as the MV Astoria, but then they also operate the luxurious and very much newer cruise ship; Vasco Da Gama. This is without a doubt a wonderful cruise company with an excellent fleet of ships, but also known for its excellent service and entertainment! In 2021 two further ships will join their fleet; one is the identical sister of the Vasco Da Gama, and another ship that will come from the same reliable source. Thus the CMV fleet will have an amazing fleet of ships sailing the globe, including around the world voyages and cruises within as well to and from Australia and New Zealand.

I recommend a cruise on the traditional Marco Polo, as she seems to remain one of the most popular ships in the fleet!

The newest ship in the fleet the ms Vasco Da Gama

Also visit https://cmvaustralia.com/ for Australian based voyages

 

 

Above I have shown just a very small insight into a very big world of cruising that is available to you, and I have not forgotten the local scene, such as P&O cruises Australia, as I have cruised on the Pacific Aria frequently, being such a fine ship, and of course P&O Cruises Australia has undergone a complete transformation, with all the existing ships that remain having taken on much of the very stylish décor and themes from the Pacific Aria and placed them on the Pacific Dawn, giving the old girl a whole new look! And of course on P&O’s newer arrivals the ex Dawn Princess, now she has been completely refitted and she also has taken on a modified Aria look plus so much more! And this will go on with the ex Grand Princess soon  to arrive as the MV Pacific Adventure, which will also feature many of the same venues as on the Pacific Aria, the wonderful Blue Room, the Ocean Bar, and all the familiar Restaurants, such as the Waterfront and topside The Panty, plus so many more new exciting additions.

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Pacific Aria Cruise Reviews by the Author:

November 2019: My dear friend and Carer, Eng Tan have just returned from one of our many cruises on the delightful ms Pacific Aria, we have reached every corner of the Pacific as well as North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, as we have been so fortunate to cruise a good number of times to magical Papua New Guinea, as well as the wonderful “The Bounty” cruise, which visits Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, amongst other wonderful tropical Islands.

However, our last cruise was our beloved PNG cruise and we had smooth sailing to say the least, but soon we will see the Aria head off to New Zealand and Adelaide, and in February 2021 she will leave P&O forever, like a few of the other ships that have been sold off. Yet the Pacific Aria is the best ship in the fleet! You will soon come to see that I and countless of other past passengers who love this magnificent ship, considering she has the best cabins of all the P&O ships, as all cabins has a lounge area with a sofa and a coffee table and so much more, etc. In addition, she is officially rated the Number One ship in the fleet, yet they are dumping her. My review of our recent PNG cruise will cover some of the reasons quite comprehensively.

Pacific Aria seen at anchor off Kiriwina IslandPapua New Guinea on November 25, 2019

Photograph by & © Mr. Hun-Eng Tan

 

Enter my Pacific Aria Reviews

Including an INDEX to other cruises & “The … “Papua New Guinea Experience”

The November 19, 2019 10 day PNG Cruise Review and Commentary will be online soon 

 

 

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Now ~ Come and enjoy the many Cruise riches that here is to discover!

 

Enter the Cruise Index Below

 

 

 

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Photographs on cruise-australia.com & .net are: 1. By the author. 2. From the author’s private collection. 3. As provided by Shipping Companies and their Publicity Companies as well as by private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided without details regarding the photographer concerned., therefore I hereby invite if owners of those images to be so kind and make them-selves known to me, in order that due credit may be given!

 

This notice covers all pages, although, I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displayed on each page, that is, when a page is updated!

 

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