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P&O deals, MSC’s new robot ride & Saga’s celeb line-up – latest cruise news

Cruise news this week includes updates from P&O Cruises, MSC Cruises, Riviera Travel and more – here is what you need to know.

Cruise lines have issued exciting new updates on the latest ships, revealed fabulous money-saving offers and shared updates on itineraries.

What’s more, a huge number of cruise lines have this week axed requirements to test for Covid before sailing and are now allowing unvaccinated passengers to travel – check out our full guide to the new rules here.

We’ve rounded up the latest cruise news to help you stay up to date.

P&O Cruises

Save money

P&O Cruises has announced three new offers to help your vacation money go even further (something we all need given the current cost of living crisis!).

Cruisers can bag extra onboard spending money to be used against a variety of experiences including on P&O cruise excursions, spa treatments or dining in the speciality restaurants. The spending money offer is available on Select Price vacations departing between September 6, 2022, and October 29, 2024.

Secondly, a discount of £100 per person is now available on Arvia departures between December 9, 2022, and September 29, 2024, available on new Select Price or Early Saver bookings made by November 30, 2022.

The third off is a 10 percent deposit on new Select Price or Early Saver bookings made by November 30, 2022, on departures between September 6, 2022, and October 29, 2024.

P&O Cruises has also announced that Azura will carry out Canary Islands fly-cruises for the first time, sailing seven and 14-night itineraries with flights from Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Newcastle.

The popular cruise line was among the brands slashing Covid rules this week – as you can see in our P&O guide.

MSC Cruises


MSC Cruises has unveiled a very exciting feature on its new cruise ship MSC Seascape called ROBOTRON.

The “thrilling amusement ride… is a state-of-the-art robotic arm with an attached gondola that seats three guests – flying them 53 metres above the sea,” explained MSC Cruises of its new entertainment offering.

“Riders will have an unobstructed 360° view of the horizon as they hang over the edge of the deck, twist and turn upside down in different directions, and flip upside down.”

What’s more, ROBOTRON offers a “personalised DJ experience where guests are invited to curate their musical journey with colors, music preferences and more.”

The ship will also feature two brand-new VR experiences – all of which will be suitable for all ages.

In further MSC news, it’s been revealed that the naming ceremony of MSC Cruises’ flagship MSC World Europa will take place in Qatar this fall on November 13, ahead of the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The event will take place at Doha’s new Grand Cruise Terminal, which is expected to handle up to 28,000 passengers a day and has capacity for two mega cruise ships.

MSC Cruises has not updated its Covid rules, with pre-cruise tests needed and only vaccinated travelers allowed to sail.

Carnival Cruise Line

Testing, testing

Carnival cruise ships Carnival Celebration, the second Excel-class cruise ship for the line has begun sea trials ahead of its launch in November 2022.

The vessel sailed on Monday, September 5 from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and is expected to be out at sea for several days.

During this time, engineers will be testing all of the technical systems onboard, along with manoeuvrability and speed.

As for Covid, Carnival will no longer require testing for vaccinated guests on cruises less than 16 nights while unvaccinated guests only need to show a negative test result at embarkation now.

Riviera Travel

Me hearties!

Riviera Travel has launched a new one-off Star Clipper cruise for 2023 that will take in the French Riviera and Corsica.

The 16-sail Star Clipper is a reconstruction of a 19th-century, four-masted vessel, combining age-old design with state-of-the-art safety features and luxury onboard facilities.

The new 10-day itinerary will depart on August 11, 2023, calling at Cannes, St Tropez, Calvi, Ajaccio, Bonifacio, Bastia, Portoferraio and Civitavecchia for Rome and offering overnight hotel stays in Nice and Rome.

Saga Ocean Cruises

Star studded

Saga has revealed its celebrity-studded line-up for cruises is late 2022 and throughout 2023.

Jools Holland, Alfie Boe, Phil Vickery and Kevin Woodford are all set to sail onboard.

Composer, pianist, bandleader and broadcaster Jools Holland will be on six cruises between February and September 2023.

Singer Alfie will perform on the Morocco and the Islands of the Atlantic cruise departing on November 15, 2022, on Spirit of Discovery.

Chef, presenter and cookery book author, Phil Vickery, will be joining the Cape Verde and the Canaries cruise departing November 19, 2022.

Chef and presenter Kevin Woodford, will join the Flavours of the Western Mediterranean cruise departing on October 31, 2022.

Set sail

Canary Islands with P&O Cruises

Duration: 7 nights

Where: Tenerife | Gran Canaria | Madeira | Lanzarote | Tenerife

Ship: Azura

Find out more
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Published 09.08.22