This Week in Cruise: COVID Outbreak, Queen Anne Delay, New Itineraries

This past weekend, Majestic Princess sailed into Sydney, Australia from New Zealand with 800 passengers who'd tested positive on board for the COVID-19 virusPrincess Cruises said in a statement that it had assisted those guests with accessing private transport and accommodations to continue isolating after they'd disembarked the ship. Majestic Princess, which can carry more than 3,500 guests, has since departed on its next voyage. Australia and New Zealand only recently reopened to cruise ships.

Elsewhere, Royal Caribbean International's new $125 million cruise terminal in Galveston, Texas, recently opened its doors and welcomed the state's largest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas. The facility has a sustainable design and is poised to become the first LEED Zero Energy facility in the world, generating 100 percent of the energy it needs through onsite solar panels. 

On the new ship front, Cunard Line pushed back the debut of its new ship, Queen Anne, the fourth ship in Cunard’s fleet, from January 4, 2024, to May 3, 2024. The line cited “unforeseen circumstances" and such challenges as supply chain issues in the shipbuilding industry.

Crystal Mozart, previously operated by Crystal River Cruises, has a new home.Seaside Collection, an owner and operator of 11 boutique properties in Europe and the Maldives, is expanding into river cruising. So, in spring 2023, the new Riverside Collection will introduce Danube River luxury cruises on MS Mozart.

Itineraries Galore

Oceania Cruises has introduced its 2024-2025 Tropics and Exotics Collection of itineraries. The line-up offers travel to seven continents on 157 new voyages of seven to 200 days. Now open for sale, the new itineraries also include 14 new, off-the-beaten-path ports.

Ultra-luxury Seabourn plans 25 close-to-home voyages during 2024. Encompassing many North American destinations, these cruises will sail to Alaska, along the Pacific Coast and to New England and Canada. 

Also on the itinerary front, Scenic Group USA announced new Antarctica expedition cruises for 2023, while Aqua Expeditions is back sailing on the Mekong River, both according to our sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor.

Other Cruise News

Luxury travel, river cruise and World Cruise sales are soaring, Cruise Planners executives told 600 travel advisors attending the franchise group’s annual "CP World" conference. It opened late last week at Miami’s Intercontinental Hotel and is now continuing on board the new Norwegian Prima.

Another new ship, Celebrity Beyond, arrived in South Florida earlier this month and last week Travel Agent offered first impressions of that new 3,260-passenger ship.

As fewer lines retain tough restrictions for COVID-19, Holland America Line and Seabourn have simplified their requirements

Norwegian Cruise Line donated $250,000 to the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) to bolster the industry’s training and education programs for advisors who are new to selling cruise vacations.

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