In brief: cruise March 2019

Cunard ups Aussie focus

CUNARD’S confidence in growing its share of the Australian market has continued with the cruise line recently announcing its biggest program ever in 2020/21.

Queen Elizabeth will undertake a record 118 days in local waters featuring more than 60 itineraries.

Cunard President Simon Palethorpe was in Australia last month to talk up the company’s recent success and what factors are fuelling demand.

“The growth is predominately coming from Australian guests, if you look at how much our Australian numbers have grown from 2016 to 2019, Australian passenger numbers have increased by 62% — which we are obviously delighted by,” Palethorpe said.

Silversea flagship down under

Silversea Cruises showcased a momentous rendezvous in Sydney Harbour last month, with its flagship Silver Muse meeting Silver Whisper — the first time two of the ultra-luxury line’s vessels have been together in Sydney in 20 years. The arrival was part of the inaugural Australian season of Muse, which cruised into local waters in late December 2018 before undertaking a series of trans-Tasman itineraries.

The local debut of Silver Muse was celebrated at a gala event featuring the Australian Girls’ Choir, where the cruise company unveiled a campaign to support Australia’s drought-stricken farmers and their families — including a generous donation made in lieu of a fireworks display.

Uniworld’s awesome four

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has revealed more details regarding its four new “Super Ships”, with CEO of parent The Travel Corporation Brett Tollman suggesting the vessels would maintain the brand’s “exclusive positioning as offering the absolute best in the river cruise industry”.

New vessels launching in 2020 include the SS Satet in Egypt; the SS Sao Gabriel on Portugal’s Douro river; the Mekong Jewel in Vietnam and Cambodia; and the SS La Venezia which will be a complete bow-to-stern transformation of the existing Venice-based River Countess.

The announcement means that by next year more than half of the Uniworld fleet would be made up of “Super Ships”.

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