River cruise lines forging ahead with Christmas market voyages

Christmas celebrations may end up being rather different this year, with the potential of tough restrictions on how many can gather, and where we can travel, but river cruise fans can still get into the festive spirit amid Covid-19.

For while the situation with ocean cruising remains largely uncertain – the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opted to extend its ‘no sail’ order through October 31 while Canada, the Cayman Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the Seychelles all have cruise bans in place until the end of the year – river cruise lines have been quietly making their comeback.

German river cruise company, A-Rosa, successfully resumed cruises on the Douro, the Danube, the Rhine and the Rhone over the summer, as did Amadeus and Strasbourg-based CroisiEurope. And all three outfits are offering Christmas markets cruises to British passengers – even with quarantine requirements on the arrival

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Mystic Cruises buys Vasco da Gama, first CMV ship to be auctioned

Portugal-based Mystic Cruises is the buyer of Vasco da Gama, the first of five vessels operated by insolvent Cruise & Maritime Voyages that are being auctioned this month.

The 630-cabin Vasco da Gama was auctioned by CW Kellock & Co on October 9. The sale price has not been disclosed.

Mário Ferreira, chairman of Mystic Invest, parent company of Mystic Cruises — and Seatrade Cruise Personality of the Year 2020 — called the acquisition an ‘opportunity to grow the company’s fleet and to better position it for the expected uptake of the market after the COVID-19 pandemic.’

Smaller ship focus

He said, ‘Our focus is on smaller cruise ships, under 1,000 passengers, to create a more personalized, safe and intimate cruise experience for our guests,’ adding, ‘We believe that this segment of the market is better placed to answer to what cruisers will expect in the near future.’

Currently docked

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P&O Cruises takes delivery of LNG-powered ship | News

Also the largest cruise liner ever built for the UK market, boasting 17 guest desks, 13 entertainment venues, a gin distillery and 16 whirlpool, Ioana weighs 185,000 tonnes and is the length of four football pitches (345m).

Powered by LNG, Iona’s eco-friendly drive system prevents the emission of sulfur dioxides and soot particles.


As gasworld highlighted in its recent feature, IMO 2020 – A new wave in LNG, 2020 is a key year for the LNG business. IMO 2020 takes effect and the maritime industry implements a new sulfur cap on its fuels. LNG is regarded as key to compliance with these new regulations.

Under the new global cap, in force from 1st January 2020 by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), ships have to use marine fuels with a sulfur content of no more than 0.50% against the current limit of 3.50%, in an effort to reduce the

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Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line Might Not Sail Until 2021

Carnival (NYSE:CCL)(NYSE:CUK) tried to dip its feet into the chilly November waters, but it’s now joining its smaller rivals in hoping for a December relaunch. Things could get worse. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reportedly has its way, we may have to wait until at least February to get the out-of-favor cruising industry back in business. 

The moment the CDC extended its No Sail Order until the end of October, we saw Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NASDAQ:NCLH) cancel all U.S.-originating sailings until early December. With the CDC extending the order a few times now — and often near the end of the travel ban — they didn’t want to be caught with displaced passengers scrambling at the port for nixed voyages. Carnival initially decided on a clever gamble. It would move most of its future cruises until at least December, but

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P&O Cruises welcomes Iona to its fleet

At an official handover ceremony with Meyer Werft in Germany on Friday, P&O Cruises took ownership of Iona, the latest addition to its fleet and the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market.

At 185,000gt, 345mtr in length with 17 guest decks Iona is the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas.

P&O Cruises President Paul Ludlow, who was present at the event in Papenburg. said: ‘Iona is now officially part of the P&O Cruises fleet and we are focused on readying her to welcome guests during her new maiden season to Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from our home port of Southampton.’

Iona is the first of two new ships for P&O Cruises.

20-year link

Shipyard Managing Director Jan Meyer commented, ‘This is really a very special delivery for us for a variety of reasons. Not only because of the

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P&O Cruises Accepts Delivery of Delayed Iona from Meyer Werft

Iona on her sea trials – courtesy Meyer Werft


The Maritime Executive

10-12-2020 02:37:59

P&O Cruises accepted delivery of its newest cruise ship, the Iona, on October 9 after a long pause due to the global pandemic. Built at Meyer Werft in Germany, the Iona is one of the first LNG-powered cruise ships in the world and also the largest ever built for the U.K. market.

The Iona had been due for delivery in the spring of 2020 with her maiden voyage planned for May. As the pandemic spread across Europe, Meyer Werft arranged for the ship to complete its conveyance on the Ems River from Papenburg to Bremerhaven before the increased restrictions due to the virus. While work was slowed in March by precautions related to the health and safety of the shipyard workers and contractions completing the outfitting,

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P&O Cruises welcomes new cruise ship in British ‘first’ ahead of holidays 2021 | Travel News | Travel

P&O Cruises now has a new cruise ship to add to its fleet. The Iona joined last week at an official handover ceremony with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, in the latest cruise news. She is the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market.

The area is a tranquil pool environment by day with dining and entertainment by night.

Here, guests can expect specially commissioned aerial entertainment shows under the stars when the Iona sets sail.

Holidaymakers will also be able to enjoy craft individual gins at the first-ever gin distillery at sea or unwind in the Oasis spa featuring a range of destination-themed treatments.

Iona will have eight speciality restaurants including yet-to-be-unveiled concepts.


There will also be 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools – including a spectacular infinity pool at the aft of the ship – and 16 whirlpools.

P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow,

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New ship Iona ‘a very positive signal’ for cruise industry

P&O Cruises has taken delivery of the largest cruise ship built for the UK market.

a building covered in snow: P&O Cruises has taken delivery of the largest cruise ship built for the UK market (P&O Cruises/PA)

© Provided by PA Media
P&O Cruises has taken delivery of the largest cruise ship built for the UK market (P&O Cruises/PA)

Iona weighs 185,000 tonnes, is 345 metres long and has 17 passenger decks.

It has a maximum capacity for 5,200 holidaymakers, before social distancing measures are taken into account.

Features include a glass dome roof above a dining and entertainment venue, and a gin distillery.

The ship was due launch in May but that was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Passengers will have to wait even longer to experience Iona, as P&O Cruises has suspended its operations until

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Learn more from executives with MSC Cruises and Cruise Planners on a special TPG Talks webinar

a large ship in a body of water

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The cruise industry was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and it continues to impact lines all over the world. Many major cruise lines have extended cancellations through November, and there’s still a lot of uncertainty of when most ships will begin sailing again. And once they do, there will likely be notable changes in light of COVID-19.

Thankfully, there is some good news for cruisers, as limited sailings have restarted in Europe.

And this week, you have a chance to hear directly from two major executives in the cruise industry on this initial comeback of cruising.

Join TPG’s Cruise Reporter Gene Sloan as he sits down with Ken Muskat, the executive vice president

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P&O takes delivery of its BIGGEST ever cruise-liner

P&O Cruises has taken delivery of the biggest ever leisure ship built for the UK market – but it won’t welcome passengers until at least 2021.

The Iona weighs 185,000 tonnes, is 1131ft long and has 17 passenger decks – with a maximum capacity for 5,200 holidaymakers before social distancing measures are taken into account.

The ship, which arrived at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany on Friday, was originally due for launch in May but this was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Cruise ships were home to the some of the earliest clusters of Covid-19, when the virus infected hundreds of passengers onboard the Diamond Princess in Japan and the Grand Princess in the US.

Public Health England has advised against cruise ship travel since July 9 due to the pandemic, aside from trips in ferries or privately-rented boats.

The Iona (pictured) weighs 185,000 tonnes, is 1131ft long and has 17 passenger decks - with a maximum capacity for 5,200 holidaymakers before social distancing measures are taken into account

The Iona (pictured) weighs 185,000 tonnes, is 1131ft long

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