"AF MICHELA" arriving Ancona on the 6th November 2017 from Durazzo in Albania, the ship is operated by ADRIA FERRIES, a company based at Ancona, on the Ancona to Durazzo route, she has just over 24000 G.T., capacity for 950 passengers and 850 vehicles, she was built in 2001and looks a very smart ship indeed with a service speed of 21 knots, photos Vitor Francisco.
The mega cruise ferries STENA HOLLANDICA and BRITTANICA are wonderful ships with great passenger facilities, for the overnight trip and for an added touch of luxury the Captain's Class cabins are amazing, truthfully all the cabins on board these ships are some of the best on the business, but a voyage on Captain's Class is definitely a great experience, photos included were taken on STENNA HOLLANDICA, 20.9.2017 Vitor Francisco.
The fifth cruise ship for VIKING OCEAN CRUISES is named "VIKING ORION" not VIKING SPIRIT, she is seen here the day she was moved to her fitting-out basin, the 29th of September 2017, she took to the water for the first time the week before, water can still be seen where she was built on the third photo, the day before, the 28th, her sister ship, the VIKING SUN, departed Ancona to Montenegro, a cruise destined to crew training purposes, with guests on board. Photos taken at FINCANTIERI Shipyard, their Ancona division by Vitor Francisco
For the past two years I have been sailing often with P & O FERRIES from Hull to Rotterdam or Zeebrugge, this was my first trip of the year on the PRIDE OF BRUGES, a trip that I was antecipating very much as I have not sailed on her after the massive makeover, refit, that took place earlier this year, in a way I knew what to expect as I have been on board her sister PRIDE OF YORK four times this year,once on board, the ship looked very much the same as the YORK, the refurbishement to the passenger facilities are no different on both ships, they both look very smart and ready for the next chapter for years to come, how many I don't know, but they certainly can guarantee the service for several years more, the service on board both ships is improving, the food is getting better, I recommend the Asian dishes and breakfast on the KITCHEN, the self-service Restaurant on board, the ships continue to deliver and offer a first time cruise experience to the passengers wishing to cross the North Sea and experience the magnificent city of Bruges, or York, for the passengers sailing from Belgium to the UK. Photos included 3.10.2017 by Vitor Francisco
MSC SINFONIA is seen here at Ancona on the 29.9.2017, the ship was originally built for FESTIVAL CRUISES as the EUROPEAN STARS and delivered by her builders, the CHANTIERS DE L'ATLANTIQUE at Saint-Nazaire in 2002, her career with FESTIVAL was short lived, she was sold to MSC in 2004 after a few months laid-up, she emerged for the new owners/operators in April of 2005 with the present name, MSC SINFONIA has capacity for just over 2500 passengers and has a displacement of G.T. 58.675, considered a small ship by today's standards, she looked a giant though when enetering the port of Ancona, a city in the Province of Marche, central Italy, passengers calling at this Port can visit apart from the city, the outstanding Riviera Del Conero, photos Vitor Francisco.
New onboard cruise ferries sailing from Newcastle to Amsterdam, a culinary adventure from around the World, a new concept taking place from May to September this year, this new experience known as "Pop-Up Restaurant" takes place at the BLUE RIBAND Restaurant in a new designated area, June is the month for the "Latin Tapas Concept", prices and menu are shown above, for all "tapas" aficionados, this is an experience not to be missed, excellent quality food served in very generous portions, for all the other culinary experiences, please visit the DFDS official website. Photos taken onboard PRINCESS SEAWAYS, Sunday the 18th of June 2017.
"STENA HOLLANDICA" departing Hoek Van Holland to Harwich in the UK, the more I see and travel on these ships, meaning the sisters HOLLANDICA and BRITANNICA, the more I like them, for their size, they are very sleek, the recent installation of scrubbers hardly changed their profile, really nice ships both inside and outside, both ships are really comfortable to sail on, photos 23.6.2017 Vitor Francisco
This week ends with some very exciting news for the Cruise Ferry Industry and the Maritime World in general, BRITTANY FERRIES released details of their new ship to be named "HONFLEUR", named after the picturesque town in Normandy on the Seine estuary, in line with all the other ships on the fleet, this is a very fortunate choice, the company is known for a fleet where each ship has a different personality and character and this starts with the name allocated to the ship, "HONFLEUR" is the first new build for the company since the introduction of ARMORIQUE back in 2009, she is expected to debut in June of 2019, the new ship will have capacity for 1680 passengers and will replace the NORMANDIE on the Ouistreham ( Caen ) to Portsmouth route, the famous and now legend NORMANDIE will be moved to the Portsmouth to Le Havre service, good news for the service, meaning more garage capacity and cabin availability. "HONFLEUR" will offer fully cruise ferry service with a "A La Carte Restaurant", WI-FI and TV on every cabin, the ship's information desk will be fully adapted to the digital age with large screens helping passengers to research new places to visit upon arrival at destination. "HONFLEUR" will be built in Germany by FSG-(Fleinsburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft) and will be powered by LNG-electric propulsion, this innovative system will reduce vibration, LNG emits lower levels of pollutants enabling the ship to be more environmentally-friendly, the photo released by the shipyard designers gives me the impression of a ship that will be a evolutionary version of the ARMORIQUE. The significant investment by BRITTANY FERRIES on the new ship is not only a commitment but also a re-assurance to the many passengers sailing with the company and for the regions and environments that the company operates.
SOVEREIGN at Livorno during a cruise, built in 1988 as the SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS for ROYAL CARIBBEAN, she was at the time the largest cruise ship in the World, today she is operated by PULLMANTUR CRUISES, she's lost a long time ago the status of the biggest cruise ship in the World, she is today a classic, a class of her own, she is seen here from cruise ferry CRUISE OLBIA, photos 26.4.2017
REFRESHED, UPGRADED, IMPROVED that's how P & O describes the recent refit on both PRIDE OF YORK and PRIDE OF BRUGES, some 8.5. million have been spent to guarantee a new lease of life for both ships connecting Hull in the UK with Zeebrugge in Belgium, I have sailed twice this year on PRIDE OF YORK after the new makeover and really value the changes on the ship, she looks ready for several more years in service which is good news for the much loved route, the mini cruise to Bruges is quite popular and a very good first time cruise experience. Photos of the PRIDE OF BRUGES sailing from Hull on the 18th of April 2017 included
Just over a week ago I went to Sardinia for the first time, sailed from Mainland Italy using the Tuscany Port of Livorno, a city steeped in maritime history, my round trip was to the Port of Olbia in Northern Sardinia, outbound sailed on ZEUS PALACE, my second trip on the ship, returning on CRUISE OLBIA, my first trip on this former SUPERFAST FERRIES cruise ferry, a ship very similar to my very well known CAP FINISTERE of BRITTANY FERRIES, Olbia is a wonderful destination for ships enthusiasts, cruise ferries book a presence on daily basis and also cruise ships call now and then. Photos selected were taken onboard the GRIMALDI's CRUISE OLBIA on the 26th April 2017.