Western Australia Committed to Growing Cruise Business

Ovation of the Seas arrives in Perth

“The State Government (of Western Australia) is committed to growing the cruise industry by addressing regulation and infrastructure issues,” said Tourism WA (Western Australia) Acting CEO Stephen Wood.

Among the changes for cruise operators, casino operations are permitted when ships are traveling between WA ports.

With nine ports, including Perth as a key homeport, WA is in close proximity to ships coming from Southeast Asia, offering a variety of niche destinations.

Mid-West Ports recently installed two sets of shore tension units for Geraldton, Wood said, to ensure reliable berthing. There is also funding heading to Kimberly Ports to purchase an all-tide gangway system for the Port of Broome.

In Exmouth, a steering group has been formed to enhance anchor and tender operations. Wood said Exmouth was a transformational cruise port that holds the key to growth for WA.

“Perth and the port city of Fremantle are also undergoing massive transformations, thanks to unprecedented levels of public and private investment, making both more attractive places to visit,” Wood told Cruise Industry News. “Perth has seen redevelopments on a huge scale including improvements at Perth Airport and the Elizabeth Quay waterfront precinct. Fremantle is undergoing major redevelopment, with more than $1 billion in the investment pipeline. New small bars, restaurants, cafes and retail precincts have popped up in both cities, giving cruise visitors many shore options for dining and shopping.”

Recent highlights included the Queen Mary 2 making a visit to Busselton, with a return call planned in February 2018. The Ovation of the Seas called in Fremantle last December and comes back earlier this year, with a November call on the books.

This coming season will see 44 cruise ship visits for Fremantle, a small decline as some capacity has been moved elsewhere. Cruise & Maritime Voyages is a key customer, homeporting the Astor for a fifth consecutive season.

Inaugural visits are scheduled by the Regatta, Ocean Dream, Azamara Journey, L’Austral, Seven Seas Navigator and Golden Princess.

Tourism WA is pushing its strategy to make its nine ports a key cruise destination, by developing the necessary infrastructure to serve industry capacity, according to Wood.

“Since 2012, Tourism WA has helped to deliver 30 ‘Welcoming Cruise Passengers to the West’ workshops to more than 1,000 tour guides/drivers and volunteers across the state,” he said.

In addition is a newly accredited training program for tour guides funded by Tourism WA, which will debut in Geraldton, Busselton, and Albany.

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What Sets Regent Seven Seas Cruises Apart

Image result for regent seven seas explorer

By  JASON LEPPERT 

I have now personally sailed aboard the new Seven Seas Explorer and toured the Seven Seas Navigator from Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and I can better outline what is special about the luxury line and sets it apart from the competition.

The Seven Seas Explorer

The Seven Seas Explorer itself is such an incredible ship that its mere inclusion in the fleet is a differentiator for the entire Regent brand. Its attention to detail is unparalleled at sea, and the palatial Regent Suite is unlike any other accommodations.

Its passenger space ratio ensures ample space for each guest with no crowding, and altogether the ship feels much larger than it is. The atrium soars through all the public decks, the Constellation Theater is an impressive two stories in height and private balconies are massive.

Genuinely All-Inclusive

Despite what it says, all-inclusive as a description is often not accurately applied to cruise lines. There are many cases where others are nearly all-inclusive or an all-inclusive experience can be purchased for an extra fee, but Regent is easily the most genuinely all-inclusive cruise line there is.

Understandably, things like the casino, retail shops and spa services are excluded, and likely always will be, but just about everything else is complimentary including unlimited shore excursions, premium drinks and specialty dining, 24-hour room service, pre-paid gratuities, WiFi internet access, airport transfers, a pre-cruise hotel night and even airfare.

Seamless Service

Other cruise lines may have a very friendly crew, but not all of them exhibit the best in actual service. Regent’s crew tirelessly provide guests with everything they need, and passengers are seldom in a position to ask or request. The crew does not hover but rather blends in such that the service seems effortless, which means plenty of effort is made behind the scenes to make it appear so.

L’Occitane Bath Products and Teddy Bears

Accommodations onboard are extremely comfortable and well configured, but it’s the extra touches that especially make them stand out to guests. L’Occitane has long been my favorite purveyor of fine soaps and shampoos, and it’s a delight to see that Regent exclusively features its excellent Mer & Mistral line of bath products on its ships. Similarly, as a collector of teddy bears, I was overjoyed to see that a welcoming Regent bear greets guests in top-tier suites as a lovely touch of home.

Extending elegant flourishes throughout the public areas of the ship as well as private suites is a beautiful collection of artwork. The breadth of paintings, mixed-media pieces and sculpture is very intriguing without ever being too bold or offensive. Several pieces speak to guests on different levels emotionally and literally across different decks. There are even plans in the works to showcase the collection with a detailed book.

Best Main Dining Room at Sea

Often it’s the specialty restaurants that most impress from a culinary perspective on ships, but Regent’s equivalent of a main dining room, Compass Rose, actually makes a bigger statement by offering a menu that is beyond extensive.

There are still a dozen or so options offered daily on a rotating basis, but when combining that with the dozens more of always-available choices, the combinations of courses to order are seemingly endless. Guests can pick their favorite proteins, sauces and sides to craft a customized meal as well as experiment with new flavors in a single evening.

Culinary Arts Kitchen

Regent’s Culinary Arts Kitchen is the cherry on top of the sundae for allowing guests the opportunity to learn how to cook gourmet cuisine in a hands-on setting in addition to enjoying world-class cuisine. Individual cooking stations ensure each participant can fully prepare several dishes during a single course of instruction and then be able to sample it on the spot before taking their newfound knowledge home with them.

Regent cancels Northwest Passage cruise


Map of The Northwest Passage

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has canceled a Northwest Passage cruise scheduled to depart Alaska next summer.

Based on this year’s weather pattern, Northwest Passage navigational experts said too much sea ice was likely on the route during July.

The cruise was scheduled to depart July 19, 2017, from Seward, Alaska, and terminate in Montreal, with calls in Alaska, Canada and Greenland.

Regent spokesman Jason Lasecki said that the July departure date became problematic when the climate variance this summer caused large Arctic ice packs to flow south in July, producing transit delays. Postponing the cruise until August, as experts recommended, would have had a cascading effect on subsequent itineraries, Regent said.

Instead, the Seven Seas Navigator will do three cruises, from Vancouver to San Francisco, San Francisco to Miami and then Miami to Montreal.

Guests booked on the Northwest Passage voyage will get a refund and a $1,000 credit that may apply to any other 2016 or 2017 Regent cruises. Travel partners who had guests booked on the trip will get $250 per booking.