Ponant’s undersea lounge

Ponant has announced what it says will be a world-first aboard its new ship Le Laperouse, revealing details of a “multi-sensory underwater space” called Blue Eye. The lounge will be located within the hull beneath the water line and has been designed by architect Jacqus Rougerie who has been charged with enabling guests to “perceive and feel the underwater universe”.

Features include two portholes for viewing the under-sea world, digital screens showing images from live underwater cameras and a sound system that will allow guests to hear sounds via hypdrophones and “subaquatic music” by contemporary composer Michel Redolfi. The lounge will debut with Le Laperouse next year and will also feature in subsequent ships Le Champlain, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville.

MSC adding World Class fleet

Italian cruise line MSC Cruises has inked a new Memorandum of Understanding with STX France to develop two 200,000 GRT LNG-powered mega cruise ships, with options for an additional two vessels. Branded as MSC Cruises’ World Class fleet, the enormous 6,850 passenger ships will be equipped with new-generation LNG-powered engines and waste water treatment systems. The first of the 330m long World Class vessels will be delivered in 2022 and the second two years later, while the options (if converted) would join MSC’s stable in 2025 and 2026. They will feature a futuristic “Y” shape structure designed to “enable panoramic sea views and increase the proportion of balcony cabins”, family-friendly villages, a panoramic aft and a glass pool lounge.

Travelmarvel coastal cruising

Greek Island, Adriatic, Dalmatian and Montenegro coastal cruise options have been introduced to Travelmarvel’s Europe River Cruising program for 2018. Labelled as “boutique coastal cruising”, Travelmarvel has chartered the 36-guest Princess Eleganza and 49-passenger Panorama II to offer sailings taking in ports such as Mykonos, Crete, Santorini, Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and the Bay of Kotor. The 11-day Greek Islands Odyssey and Adriatic Coast & Dalmatian Islands are priced $6,995ppts and $4,995ppts, which includes an earlybird saving of $1,000 per couple.

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