Carnival Legend to Offer Europe and More in 2020

Carnival Legend in the port of Dover.

Carnival Legend will sail a European season in 2020 with nine- to 16-day voyages calling at 34 ports in 16 countries, Carnival Cruise Line announced.

“We’ve put together an unmatched program of European cruises, featuring off-the-beaten-path destinations as well as some of the most popular seaside port cities.  There’s no better way to Choose Fun in Europe,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Itinerary Highlights:

A 16-day Northern trans-Atlantic crossing from New York to London (Dover) June 3-19, featuring day-long visits to these spectacular destinations: Qaqortoq, Greenland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Lerwick, Shetland Islands; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Cork (Cobh), Ireland.

A nine-day Norwegian Fjords cruise round-trip from London June 19-28, visiting six scenic Norwegian ports:  Bergen, Olden, Molde, Trondheim, Alesund, and Stavanger, with ample opportunities to view the Norwegian fjords.

A nine-day Western Europe cruise June 28 – July 7 from London to Barcelona, visiting Le Havre (Paris), France; La Coruña, Spain; Leixoes and Lisbon, Portugal; Gibraltar; and Malaga, Spain.

Nine- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises between Venice and Barcelona with stops including Marseilles, France; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Greece; Valletta, Malta; and Dubrovnik and Rijeka, Croatia.

A 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to Tampa Oct. 30 – Nov. 15, highlighted by visits to Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands; Antigua; San Juan; and Amber Cove (Dominican Republic).

Carnival Legend Voyages from Tampa, New York

Before her summer in Europe, the Carnival Legend will operate a 13-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal voyage from Tampa to New York May 3-16, 2020, with calls in Cozumel, Mexico and Limon, Costa Rica prior to a partial Panama Canal transit followed by visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Aruba; and Grand Turk.

Once in New York, Carnival Legend will operate two nine-day Caribbean sailings departing May 16 and 25, 2020 and featuring San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk.

Carnival Legend will also offer a schedule of six- and seven-day Caribbean sailings featuring calls at a variety of tropical islands, including Grand Cayman, Belize, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), as well as eight-day partial Panama Canal voyages, round-trip from Tampa in winter 2020-21.

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Cruising into the future: the glorious truth about life at sea

Today’s luxury ships offer facilities to rival the most glamorous hotels and everyone can find a cruise to suit their needs. So let’s ditch a few myths about holidays afloat…

Carnival Legend – it’s the length of three football pitches – packs in the family fun

Carnival Legend – it’s the length of three football pitches – packs in the family fun

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Cruises have changed out of all recognition in recent years and are no longer seen as the preserve of the newlywed, overfed and nearly dead.

As maritime meandering comes of age, fleets of sparkling new ships are offering every facility you can think of – plus many you couldn’t begin to imagine. They have something aboard for everyone, from families and foodies to adventurers and cultural buffs.

For those still on the fence, here we debunk some of the most common cruise misconceptions:

Live it up in Las Vegas then cruise the Californian coast – the ultimate flexible holiday

Live it up in Las Vegas then cruise the Californian coast – the ultimate flexible holiday

Cruises are too rigid – I want more flexibility to explore

Some of the most enjoyable cruise holidays include stays ashore, and there is a fabulous range of combinations on offer. Combine Florida’s theme parks with a Caribbean voyage, or stay in Las Vegas then sail along the Californian coast. Cruise-and-stay can simply mean tagging on a few nights in one of the cruise’s port stops, such as New York, Miami or Hong Kong. Alternatively, step up to a cruise-and-tour option to indulge in a variety of tempting trips. One of the most popular among Britons is Virgin Holidays Cruises’ spectacular Rocky Mountaineer train ride through the Canadian mountains, followed by a cruise to Alaska. The company also offers beach-and-cruise breaks with a stay in Barbados followed by the chance to sail around the Caribbean. Virgin’s cruise-and-stay selection additionally offers: New York breaks with voyages to Bermuda or the Bahamas; Fort Lauderdale and Miami stay with the Caribbean, and Singapore with Vietnam and Thailand.

There’s something for everyone aboard Carnival Sunshine, from a super-splashy waterpark to a Serenity area

There’s something for everyone aboard Carnival Sunshine, from a super-splashy waterpark to a Serenity area

Cruises aren’t family friendly

As long as you pick the right cruise ship, it can be a veritable playground of family-focused activities. Carnival Cruise Lines is among the most kiddie-orientated companies afloat thanks to its fun and friendly atmosphere and host of attractions. In addition to the Camp Ocean kids’ clubs, with activities as diverse as Build-A-Bear workshops, pirate parties and teen karaoke sessions, there’s a stack of deck attractions, such as water play zones and speedy water slides, daredevil ropes courses and Carnival’s SkyRide aerial bike ride. The fun continues ashore with child-friendly excursions encompassing boat trips, kayaking adventures and visits to animal attractions. Family-friendly dining onboard is another plus with a choice of restaurants and the ease of flexible buffets in the Lido Marketplace. Family cabins, some with their own private deck area and pool, complete the all-around generational appeal.

Irresistible dishes created by the celebrity chef Curtis Stone for Princess Cruises

Irresistible dishes created by the celebrity chef Curtis Stone for Princess Cruises

The food won’t be up to scratch

It’s a well-known joke among cruise veterans that passengers can easily put on a pound in weight for each day of their cruise because of the culinary temptations: the range of dining spots covers everything from speciality restaurants to snack bars serving pizzas, burgers and ice creams. Princess Cruises has even teamed up with Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone to bring passengers the culinary pleasures of his “Share” menu. Travellers can also sample upscale Tuscan-inspired dishes at Sabatini’s, a classic Italian trattoria, and succulent prime cuts at the Crown Grill steakhouses. Cruisers on Majestic Princess can try the Chinese cuisine of Harmony, the restaurant set up with chef Richard Chen, and the La Mer bistro, established with French chef Emmanuel Renaut. Princess has also carved out an impressive reputation for its excellent Chef’s Table dinners, hosted by a ship’s executive chef, and its balcony dining, where breakfast and dinner are served in the privacy of your own balcony.

The whimsical Rooftop Garden is a peaceful haven for guests aboard Celebrity Edge

The whimsical Rooftop Garden is a peaceful haven for guests aboard Celebrity Edge

Cruise ships are claustrophobic

With the world’s largest cruise ships taking nearly 7,000 passengers and boasting different neighbourhoods across 18 decks, the last thing anyone will feel is hemmed in. Even on smaller ships, there are lounges, bars and spacious open-deck areas. Modern ship designs are geared to bringing the outside in, with light and airy interiors, while the decks, too, are becoming increasingly imaginative. One of the best exponents is Celebrity Cruises with some of its ships boasting half-an-acre of real grass where passengers can play bowls or take picnics. Its new ship Celebrity Edge promises to push the boundaries with notable design firsts: the Magic Carpet, a cantilevered moving platform on the side of the ship that transforms into different venues; Eden, a giant glass-fronted entertainment venue with windows stretching up three decks; and the whimsical Rooftop Garden, inspired by children’s playgrounds.

Whether you want to learn to scuba dive or salsa, there’s a cruise for you

Whether you want to learn to scuba dive or salsa, there’s a cruise for you

I won’t learn anything new

Cruising is all about new experiences, different destinations and the opportunity to try something fresh. There could be classes on digital film-making, salsa sessions or even scuba diving lessons. With so many new vessels equipped with show kitchens, budding chefs can brush up their culinary skills, too. On the tall ships of Star Clippers, the entire cruise can be a learning process and a refreshing taste of sailing in some of the world’s biggest yachts, powered by Mother Nature. Simply observing the crew shimmying up the masts is fascinating enough, but passengers can help to heave up sails as the ship departs and learn how to tie nautical knots and navigate by the stars. Test your climbing skills by climbing nearly 50ft to the crow’s nest or try kayaking and water-skiing from the ship’s water-sports marina.

Ports of Auckland Challenged on Shore Power Plan

The Carnival Spirit is based year-round in Australia (photo: Clyde Dickens)

Ports of Auckland (POAL) has announced that it has decided to adopt the recommendation of a recent study to plan for shore power, which it said will have an estimated cost of some $18.3 million and the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent.

Commenting on POAL’s decision, however, CLIA Australasia’s managing director Joel Katz stated that a key strategy of the major cruise lines in meeting the IMO requirements is the adoption of exhaust gas cleaning system technology to achieve emission reductions. But, with the advancements in cleaner fuels and emissions abatement systems, he said, the usefulness of shore power will likely decline over time, and it should not be assumed that the next generation of cruise ships will be designed and built as shore power enabled, he said.

Katz added that it was worth noting that the Ports of Auckland said it will carry out further work on shore power, including a detailed cost estimate, a cost-benefit analysis and an investigation of funding options so there is still a lot discussion to be had with industry.

According to the POAL, cruise ships were selected for the study as the cruise industry has been proactive at addressing environmental issues over the past decade and these vessels are more frequently fitted with the onboard infrastructure required. This, combined with high individual electricity demand while at berth (compared to other vessel types), is expected to increase utilization and deliver the highest emission reduction return.

The study looked at the feasibility of a wide range of emission reduction technologies, including shore power (grid supplied, local generation including renewables, hybrid); fuel switching (methanol, LNG, low sulfur diesel); land/barge based exhaust capture systems; and ship based scrubbers.

Viable solutions were assessed against a range of social and environmental attributes in addition to the whole of life cost. This holistic approach was adopted to provide a balanced assessment of the alternatives, with consideration of the stakeholder values.

The report recommended two options: To implement shore power at one cruise berth in the next five years; and/or fuel switching to 0.1% sulfur fuel.

The report or the recommendation did not address the issue, however, that very few of the ships currently sailing year-round or seasonally from Australia are equipped to plug in.

The Carnival Spirit and Legend, for example, are not shore power enabled, according to Carnival Australia.