Dream Cruises to launch a 9,000-passenger ship

Dream Cruises, Asia’s first luxury cruise line, will use its first Global class ship to sail globally on grand voyages, including Australia, New Zealand, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean.


The new vessel being built by ship-builders MV Werften will have 2,500 cabins as well as Asia’s largest luxury ship-within-a-ship concept, The Palace, which has 151 suites. The staterooms boast 20 square metres of space and a unique two-bathroom design. They are designed for two but can accommodate up to four guests when using the sofa bed.


The ship’s state-of-the-art technology includes Bluetooth locks and a new smart system allowing passengers to control functions such as the LED mood lighting and climate control through a smartphone app, voice recognition or touch-screen control panel. Smart sensors detect if the cabin is occupied and automatically adjust the lights and temperature for better energy efficiency, and triple-vent air-conditioning outlets ensure even air distribution.


Singapore-owned expedition brand Coral Expeditions explores Australia

Coral Expeditions has launched its latest ship, the Coral Adventurer. She was launched in Singapore and is currently sailing on a number of itineraries around Australia where guests can see the saltwater crocodiles in the Northern Territory of Australia or the red rock cliffs in Broome, Western Australia.


Coral Expeditions started with environmentally sensitive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, and 34 years later the fleet has grown to four ships. Coral Expeditions offers expedition cruises to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the Kimberley region, Tasmania, Cape York and Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea, Sulawesi, Spice Islands and Raja Ampat, and the Islands of the South Pacific.


The world's first electric ship

The world's first battery-powered adventure ship has set sail, as cruise passengers demand more sustainable vessels and better protection for the environment.

MS Roald Amundsen, a ship from the Hurtigruten line, is a hybrid that can glide noiselessly and with no emissions into sensitive Polar regions. 


The engines run on marine gasoil.  But the batteries can  power the vessel for 45 to 60 minutes, which allows for visits to particularly sensitive areas of the world.

The company maintains it can save 20% in carbon dioxide emissions, compared to if the ship was operating on marine gasoil alone.


The ship will sail the Northwest Passage to Alaska before heading south, reaching Antarctica in October.

NEWS


How to get the best value out of your cruise

Cruising can be an affordable way to travel – you’ll see wonderful destinations around the world, while having meals, accommodation and many, many activities all provided for on your journey.

But you may get a shock at the end of the trip when you’re settling your bill and there are a load of extra charges, ranging from the bar, to spa visits and shore excursions. And you might not know this as a first-time cruiser. We often don’t think twice about buying that extra bottle of champagne or splurging on a spa treatment, especially with the convenience of having our cruise cards, or Ocean Medallions (on a Princess ship) at the ready. Here are some of the ways to make sure you get the best value out of your holiday:


Rethink the specialty dining

There is a wealth of onboard dining options. Lines like Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines offer up to 18 different dining options – from high end restaurants to cafes and eateries. And that extra meal can cost anything from $15 to $45 per person. Most lines also offer Chef’s Tables which can stretch as far as $100 per person for a full degustation menu. But remember, all cruise lines have included dining options, and most of the larger ships have several dining rooms. Their menus are extensive and change often, so you won’t be eating the same thing twice.


There is often tea and coffee available all day, as well as some snacks. For example, on Carnival Cruise Line Australia’s ships you can grab a burger from Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint or a taco from the BlueIguana Cantina throughout the day, at no extra cost. The best saving tip, if you want to include specialty dining in your cruise, is to budget for those meals. Also look out for lines that offer cruise deals. Norwegian Cruise Line often offers packages that bundle several specialty dining restaurants for a discounted price. Royal Caribbean also has a specialty dining restaurant package.

Look for more affordable shore excursions

Shore excursions are are the best way to experience the ports you visit in the short amount of time you have ashore. Cruise lines offer their guests a range of activities – everything from adrenalin-pumping ziplining in Costa Rica to cooking schools in the Mediterranean. These all come at a cost and some shore excursions can be extremely expensive. Luxury lines can charge guests thousands of dollars for a bespoke experience.


If you want to save some money, plan and book your own shore excursion – it may cost you only half the price of what the cruise lines offer. But be wary, if your shore excursion tour is running late, the ship will not wait for you. The cruise lines also provide information to guests on what to do in each port, so you can plan your own walking tour of the city or simply wander down to the beach. Visit the port’s website before disembarking, or visit its information desk when you’re ashore, to get an idea of how to maximise your onshore time.

Look for spa treatment specials

Pampering yourself at the ship’s spa can be extremely expensive. Spa treatments can range from SG$120 for a one-hour massage to as much as SG$500 for some exotic treatments. If you do want to treat yourself, check the daily program for spa treatment specials – they are often available on that day, during certain hours. Or, purchase a thermal suite pass. Norwegian Cruise Lines offers some amazing thermal suites on its newer ships and a week-long pass will give you access to facilities like the sauna, snow room, steam room and thalassotherapy pool.

Choose your beverage package wisely

Most cruise lines do not include alcoholic beverages in fares (with the exception of some river cruises and luxury lines). So you can quickly rack up quite a fair bit on your account if you pay-as-you-go for beverages. The best savings tip is to first of all, see whether a drinks package is worth your money. If it is, then it’s worth purchasing before your cruise. If you’re a soft-drink guzzler, it’s worth buying the soda packages offered by lines such as P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean. If you want to pinch pennies, you can look for free booze at events like Champagne art auctions or the Captain’s cocktail parties. Also, another tip is if you want a glass of vino with dinner, it’s worth buying a bottle and taking it with you to dinner the following night. It’s often cheaper than buying by the glass.

Do laundry on shore or wait till you get home

If you’re on a long voyage, you’re most likely going to have to use the laundry facilities. Like hotels, cruise lines charge an exorbitant amount to launder clothes. But most cruise ships have a self-service launderette for guests to use. Lines like Cruise & Maritime Voyages only charge guests $2 for a wash and $2 for a dry. You can either pack enough clothes for your cruise or, if you’re on a long cruise, try to find a laundromat in port.

Check the cost of activities

There are so many activities available to guests, especially on larger contemporary family ships from Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line. And some activities can be extremely expensive. P&O Cruises’ Adventure Park, which is filled with adrenaline-pumping activities, can cost up to $189 for a Gold Pass. Not bad considering there are 19 different activities to try. But still costly if you have to purchase passes for two children and two adults.


Cruise lines, though, have lots of different activities you can do for free. Most entertainment on ships, such as Broadway shows are free. On Royal Caribbean, you can try things like the FlowRider, a surf simulator or the iFly. Our savings tip: make sure you budget for them. In the gym, you can find pilates and yoga classes for as little as $10 per session, which is cheaper than a yoga session on land.

Internet is expensive at sea

Staying connected on your cruise is expensive and some lines charge up to 75 cents a minute for pay-as-you-go plans. WiFi is getting faster as the cruise lines continually update their technology. If you are desperate to stay connected, you can purchase an internet package, rather than pay as you go. Lines like Royal Caribbean offer guests different packages, depending on their expected usage. There is a streaming package if you’re desperate to watch your favourite Netflix programs from your cabin. Princess Cruises, which claims to have the fastest internet at sea, has a special social media package to keep you active on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. But if you don’t want to fork out up to $200 for a package, you can wait till you’re on land to use the internet. It will save you a bundle.

NEWS


How to get the best value out of your cruise

Cruising can be an affordable way to travel – see wonderful destinations around the world, while having meals, accommodation and the use of many facilities provided on your journey.

But you may get a shock at the end of the trip when you’re settling your bill and there are a load of charges, ranging from the bar, spa and shore excursions.

And you might not know this as a first time cruiser.

We often don’t think twice about buying that extra bottle of champagne or splurging on a spa treatment, especially with the convenience of having our cruise cards, or Ocean Medallions (on a Princess ship) at the ready.

Here are some of the ways to make sure you get the best value out of your holiday:


Rethink the specialty dining

There is a wealth of onboard dining options. Lines like Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines offer up to 18 different dining options – from high end restaurants to cafes and eateries. And that extra meal can cost anything from $15 to $45 per person. Most lines also offer Chef’s Tables which can stretch as far as $100 per person for a full degustation menu. But remember, all cruise lines have included dining options, and most of the larger ships have several dining rooms. Their menus are extensive and change often, so you won’t be eating the same thing twice.


There is often tea and coffee available all day, as well as some snacks. For example, on Carnival Cruise Line Australia’s ships you can grab a burger from Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint or a taco from the BlueIguana Cantina throughout the day, at no extra cost. The best saving tip, if you want to include specialty dining in your cruise, is to budget for those meals. Also look out for lines that offer cruise deals. Norwegian Cruise Line often offers packages that bundle several specialty dining restaurants for a discounted price. Royal Caribbean also has a specialty dining restaurant package.

Look for more affordable shore excursions

Shore excursions are are the best way to experience the ports you visit in the short amount of time you have ashore. Cruise lines offer their guests a range of activities – everything from adrenalin-pumping ziplining in Costa Rica to cooking schools in the Mediterranean. These all come at a cost and some shore excursions can be extremely expensive. Luxury lines can charge guests thousands of dollars for a bespoke experience.


If you want to save some money, plan and book your own shore excursion – it may cost you only half the price of what the cruise lines offer. But be wary, if your shore excursion tour is running late, the ship will not wait for you. The cruise lines also provide information to guests on what to do in each port, so you can plan your own walking tour of the city or simply wander down to the beach. Visit the port’s website before disembarking, or visit its information desk when you’re ashore, to get an idea of how to maximise your onshore time.

Look for spa treatment specials

Pampering yourself at the ship’s spa can be extremely expensive. Spa treatments can range from SG$120 for a one-hour massage to as much as SG$500 for some exotic treatments. If you do want to treat yourself, check the daily program for spa treatment specials – they are often available on that day, during certain hours. Or, purchase a thermal suite pass. Norwegian Cruise Lines offers some amazing thermal suites on its newer ships and a week-long pass will give you access to facilities like the sauna, snow room, steam room and thalassotherapy pool.

Choose your beverage package wisely

Most cruise lines do not include alcoholic beverages in fares (with the exception of some river cruises and luxury lines). So you can quickly rack up quite a fair bit on your account if you pay-as-you-go for beverages. The best savings tip is to first of all, see whether a drinks package is worth your money. If it is, then it’s worth purchasing before your cruise.


If you’re a soft-drink guzzler, it’s worth buying the soda packages offered by lines such as P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean. If you want to pinch pennies, you can look for free booze at events like Champagne art auctions or the Captain’s cocktail parties. Also, another tip is if you want a glass of vino with dinner, it’s worth buying a bottle and taking it with you to dinner the following night. It’s often cheaper than buying by the glass.

Do laundry on shore or wait till you get home

If you’re on a long voyage, you’re most likely going to have to use the laundry facilities. Like hotels, cruise lines charge an exorbitant amount to launder clothes. But most cruise ships have a self-service launderette for guests to use. Lines like Cruise & Maritime Voyages only charge guests $2 for a wash and $2 for a dry. You can either pack enough clothes for your cruise or, if you’re on a long cruise, try to find a laundromat in port.

Check the cost of activities

There are so many activities available to guests, especially on larger contemporary family ships from Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line. And some activities can be extremely expensive. P&O Cruises’ Adventure Park, which is filled with adrenaline-pumping activities, can cost up to $189 for a Gold Pass. Not bad considering there are 19 different activities to try. But still costly if you have to purchase passes for two children and two adults.


Cruise lines, though, have lots of different activities you can do for free. Most entertainment on ships, such as Broadway shows are free. On Royal Caribbean, you can try things like the FlowRider, a surf simulator or the iFly. Our savings tip: make sure you budget for them. In the gym, you can find pilates and yoga classes for as little as $10 per session, which is cheaper than a yoga session on land.

Internet is expensive at sea

Staying connected on your cruise is expensive and some lines charge up to 75 cents a minute for pay-as-you-go plans. WiFi is getting faster as the cruise lines continually update their technology. If you are desperate to stay connected, you can purchase an internet package, rather than pay as you go. Lines like Royal Caribbean offer guests different packages, depending on their expected usage. There is a streaming package if you’re desperate to watch your favourite Netflix programs from your cabin.


Princess Cruises, which claims to have the fastest internet at sea, has a special social media package to keep you active on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. But if you don’t want to fork out up to $200 for a package, you can wait till you’re on land to use the internet. It will save you a bundle.


Dream Cruises to launch a 9,000-passenger ship

Dream Cruises, Asia’s first luxury cruise line, will use its first Global class ship to sail globally on grand voyages, including Australia, New Zealand, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean.

The new vessel being built by ship-builders MV Werften will have 2,500 cabins as well as Asia’s largest luxury ship-within-a-ship concept, The Palace, which has 151 suites. The staterooms boast 20 square metres of space and a unique two-bathroom design. They are designed for two but can accommodate up to four guests when using the sofa bed.

The ship’s state-of-the-art technology includes Bluetooth locks and a new smart system allowing passengers to control functions such as the LED mood lighting and climate control through a smartphone app, voice recognition or touch-screen control panel. Smart sensors detect if the cabin is occupied and automatically adjust the lights and temperature for better energy efficiency, and triple-vent air-conditioning outlets ensure even air distribution.


Singapore-owned expedition brand Coral Expeditions explores Australia

Coral Expeditions has launched its latest ship, the Coral Adventurer. She was launched in Singapore and is currently sailing on a number of itineraries around Australia where guests can see the saltwater crocodiles in the Northern Territory of Australia or the red rock cliffs in Broome, Western Australia. Coral Expeditions started with environmentally sensitive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, and 34 years later the fleet has grown to four ships. Coral Expeditions offers expedition cruises to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the Kimberley region, Tasmania, Cape York and Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea, Sulawesi, Spice Islands and Raja Ampat, and the Islands of the South Pacific.


The world's first electric ship

The world's first battery-powered adventure ship has set sail, as cruise passengers demand more sustainable vessels and better protection for the environment. MS Roald Amundsen, a ship from the Hurtigruten line, is a hybrid that can glide noiselessly and with no emissions into sensitive Polar regions. The engines run on marine gasoil.  But the batteries can  power the vessel for 45 to 60 minutes, which allows for visits to particularly sensitive areas of the world.

The company maintains it can save 20% in carbon dioxide emissions, compared to if the ship was operating on marine gasoil alone. The ship will sail the Northwest Passage to Alaska before heading south, reaching Antarctica in October.