Regent Seven Seas Cruises has two new Grand Voyages for its 2018-19 season which provide extended cruises with no repeating ports, plus exclusive shore-excursion experiences. The 66-night Grand Pacific Paradise, which departs on October 10, 2018, sails from Miami to Sydney on Seven Seas Mariner by way of Hawaii, French Polynesia, various other Pacific Islands and New Zealand. Meanwhile the 66-night Circle South America itinerary sailing round-trip from Miami, also on Seven Seas Mariner, circumnavigates South America and cruises up the Amazon River. It departs on November 1, 2019.
Phone 1300 455 200. See rssc.com.au
Silversea Cruises, which has only just recovered from the euphoria of launching Silver Muse earlier this year, has announced it has signed a $463 million-dollar contract with an Italian shipyard for the construction of another luxury vessel. The sister ship to Silver Muse, tentatively named Silver Moon and the 10th in the Silversea fleet, is set to sail into the Mediterranean in 2020 and will carry 596 passengers in all-suite, luxury accommodation. The company says its outstanding feature will be its green credentials, reduction of air and water pollution, and high noise-reduction rating.
Phone 1300 306 872. See silversea.com
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has outlined itineraries for its new Hanseatic Inspiration, which include a mix of short and long cruises to mainstream destinations as well as expedition cruises to remote regions. The ship will sail the Amazon, Chilean fiords, Azores and Cape Verde islands among other interesting destinations, and will be the first Hapag-Lloyd ship to sail North America's Great Lakes in 10 years. Hanseatic Inspiration makes its maiden voyage from Antwerp to Teneriffe in October 2019. Sister ship Hanseatic Nature, launching in April 2019, will cater only to German-speaking guests.
Phone 02 9977 7100. See hl-cruises.com
QUITE A DISH
Oceania Cruises, already noted for its culinary focus, recently unveiled a new on-board epicurean adventure called La Cuisine Bourgeoise, developed by famous chef and Oceania culinary consultant Jacques Pepin. The elegant seven-course affair, paired with wines, features classic Pepin dishes from the mid-20th century, including lobster and cheese souffle; Dover sole with shellfish mousse and black truffle; and baked Alaska with Williams pears and chestnut ice cream. All finished off with petits fours, of course. La Cuisine Bourgeoise is available on Marina and Riviera and limited to 24 people at a time.
Phone 1300 355 200. See oceaniacruises.com
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released its 2017 report on Asian cruise trends. It records that just over three million Asians took cruises in 2016, a 55 per cent increase from 2015. Nearly all of them (95.4 per cent) cruised within Asia itself. Two-thirds were from mainland China, a market which almost doubled last year, confirming China as the world's fastest-growing major source of passengers. This year, 66 cruise ships will be deployed in Asian waters, with 10,196 operating days in Asia scheduled, an increase of 25 per cent from 2016. More than 2000 voyages will operate in or through Asia this year.