Continuing Shawn J. Dake’s
Cruise Ships 2012, The Year In Review
The CRYSTAL SERENITY rests alongside the Ocean Terminal in Hong Kong during a World Cruise. Photo by Shawn J. Dake © 2008.
Crystal Cruises enhanced their luxury cruise experience for 2012 by becoming all-inclusive, with gratuities and an open-bar policy, including alcoholic beverages now included in the cruise fare. Combined with some of the best specialty restaurants such as Prego for Italian and Continental cuisine and the famous Silk Road by Nobu, with its own sushi bar, for Asian cuisine at no extra charge, this company continues to maintain their high standards year after year. Crystal Cruises two ship fleet, consisting of the 1995-built, 51,044 gross ton CRYSTAL SYMPHONY and the 2003-built, 68,870 gross ton CRYSTAL SERENITY, is owned by Japan’s NYK Line.
The GALAPAGOS EXPLORER II in a fine stern view flying the Ecuadorian flag. Courtesy of Canodros, S.A.
Silversea Cruises acquired the Ecuadorian company Canodros S.A. in June along with their only ship the GALAPAGOS EXPLORER II (ex RENAISSANCE THREE) built in 1990 to carry 104 passengers. Renamed the SILVER GALAPAGOS, the 4,077 gross ton ship is 290 feet long with a beam of 50 feet and will be Silversea’s second expedition-type ship when it is fully integrated into the fleet in September, 2013 following a major refurbishment.
In addition to the two small expedition ships the company also owns five medium-size luxury cruise ships. In a rendezvous of their own, three of those vessels met at the port of Corfu on September 27th. The 17,000 gross ton sisters SILVER CLOUD and SILVER WIND were joined by the newest member of the fleet, the 36,000 ton, SILVER SPIRIT built in 2009.
Shawn Dake is a freelance photo-journalist and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters.com. For more than a decade he has written his annual “Cruise Ships, The Year In Review” which has now grown to a nearly 15,000 word essay recalling all of the events that have taken place within the cruise industry the previous year.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.
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