The week in cruise…April 14


Fancy having a cocktail while surrounded by fish? Luxury line Ponant announced this week that its new ships will feature underwater lounges (pictured above), the first of their kind at sea. The lounge will sit below the waterline and have large windows looking out into the ever-changing ocean. And local cruisers will be among the first to experience the new ships as Ponant also announced that the first of the four ships on order will be sailing in Southeast Asia from 2018. It will launch in the Kimberley region of Australia before heading to Bali, Kota Kinabalu, Singapore and Yangon. The 180-passenger ship will also feature an infinity swimming pool and a three-level marine deck for swimming and watersports.

Royal Caribbean will soon be offering passengers a range of multi-day shore excursions available mid-cruise. Passenger will disembark the ship at one port, take an extensive, in-depth tour, and then rejoin the ship at the following port in featured regions such as Asia, the Caribbean and Central America, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. These fully-guided excursions include hotel accommodation, dining, transportation and airfares (where applicable). For example, a two-day adventure to Bangkok takes participants into the city’s canals and river tributaries via motor launch and visits monuments and sites including the Wat Traimit, known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha, the Asiatique riverfront, Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and the Grand Palace, adorned with murals and gilded spires.

It has been revealed that Lindblad’s new-build National Geographic Quest will sail in Alaska, Canada, the Pacific Northwest and Central America. The 100-passenger ship is currently under construction in Seattle and will launch in June 2017. Guests will have access to high-tech exploration gear, including an underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV), hydrophone (for listening to underwater sounds), underwater video camera, crow’s nest remote-controlled camera and video microscope.