Balmoral launches Newcastle season

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' 1350-guest flagship, Balmoral, has started its  2019/20 cruise season from Newcastle. It will extend from August to October, with a further two departures in March 2020.

Balmoral's Newcastle sailings in 2019/20 include:

  • Five-night 'The Norwegian Fjords in Five Nights' cruise on August 23. Prices start from £649 per person.
  • 11-night 'France, Spain and Portugal' cruise on August 28. Prices start from £1199 per person. Ports of call: La Coruna, Spain- Vigo, Spain- Lisbon, Portugal- Leixoes, Portugal (for Oporto)- Lorient, France.
  • 12-night 'Uncrowded Baltic' cruise, from Newcastle on October 6, 2019. Prices start from £1499 per person. Ports of call: Copenhagen, Denmark- Helsinki, Finland- St Petersburg, Russia (overnight stay)- Tallinn, Estonia- Oslo, Norway.

Meanwhile, over in Merseyside, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' 804-guest Black Watch has begun its 2019/20 cruise season.

Black Watch, pictured, will be operating a record 22 cruises from Liverpool in 2019 up to March 2020- an increase on the 18 departures offered in 2018- giving holidaymakers in the North West the choice of a host of destinations, including Norway, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, Greenland and the Baltic.

For more information of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, see the website:

You can also book online, contact reservations, tel: 0800 0355 242, or visit and ABTA travel agent.


Hurtigruten goes green with 'silent ships'

Exploring some of the most pristine waters of the planet has never been more eco-friendly- as Hurtigruten introduces silent, electric-powered and emission-free catamarans.

The worlds leader in exploration travel has partnered with the Norwegian company Brim Explorer, introducing battery-powered catamarans custom built for Polar water exploration.

To be launched in spring 2020, the 24-metre vessel will operate a variety of daily silent and sustainable ocean excursions from her homeport Longyearbyen on the Arctic island of Svalbard- under the Hurtigruten Svalbard brand. The introduction of the battery-powered excursion catamarans is the latest in a number of Hurtigruten green initiatives. Hurtigruten celebrated its 125th anniversary by banning single-use plastics. In 2019, it will introduce MS Roald Amundsen, the world's first hybrid-powered cruise ship.

Hurtigruten is completely rebuilding existing ships to run on a combination of large battery packs, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas (LBG)- produced form organic waste such as dead fish.


Silver Shadow to be transformed

Silversea's all-suite, 388-guest Silver Shadow is set to undergo an extensive refurbishment in November. The renovation will include the creation of a new atrium area on deck five, and major enhancements to all guest suites, corridors and many public spaces- including a remodelling of the ship's La Dame restaurant, Connoisseur's Corner and the Casino.

Silver Shadow's first voyage following the transformation will enable guests to travel deeper into the Caribbean on a seven-night itinerary, departing from Fort Lauderdale for San Juan on December 3.

Discover more about Silversea at:


American Jazz on song for Mississippi

American Cruise Lines has announced a third new ship for its revolutionary Modern Riverboat Series. The American Jazz will join sister ships American Song and American Harmony in sporting elegant modern design, state-of-the-art technical features and enhanced environmental credentials.

The American Jazz is currently under construction at Chesapeake Shipbuilding and is scheduled to begin cruising the Mississippi in 2020, visiting destinations such as Memphis, New Orleans and St Louis.

Slightly larger than both the first and second ships, the American Jazz will share features including multi-storey glass atriums, private furnished balconies- a rarity on US rivers- and a unique opening bow and retractable gangway, designed to enable 'bow landings' direct to a river bank or dock wherever needed,

There are five modern riverboats planned for the series. American Song is already sailing the Columbia and Snake Rivers and American Harmony, begins cruising the Mississippi River in August. American Jazz, will join her on the Missisippi in 2020.

For more information on how to book call free, tel 0800 035 0237. Itineraries and UK pricing can also be viewed online: