New ship on the German cruise market!
In 1988 the Royal Viking Line introduced the Royal Viking Sun into the cruise market, a perfect example of the so-called wedding cake ships. Royal Viking Line was taken over by Cunard in 1994, and the ship sailed under Cunard before being transferred to Seabourn as the Seabourn Sun in 1999, this only lasted a few years as she was transferred yet again in 2002 to Holland America Line as the Prinsendam, after a long career she has now been taken over by the German cruise operator Phoenix Seereisen to become their Amera!
The best way to find about daily life at sea is looking for cruise ship jobs on various websites and seminars.
So why do I write about this ship coming from Holland America Line being introduced on the German market? Only because the cruise industry is developing more and more new vessels that grow bigger and bigger with each new ship and it ‘s nice to see that not the whole cruise market is going in the same direction. Let’s take a closer look into the current cruise market, shall we?
When you decide to go on a cruise, what are you actually looking for? Is it the swimming pool, the casino, the shows, the sauna, the … euhm … well … the resort that a modern cruise ship has to offer … for a reasonable to even pretty low price? Well then the newest generation of big mega-ships are precisely what you are looking for, you can find this kind of vessels in most companies these days from the Italian Costa and MSC cruises to British P&O & Princess, the Dutch company Holland America Line and even the German companies Aida cruises and Mein Schiff have introduced some mega-sized newbuilds lately. Do you rather fancy a more intimate feeling on a cruise and don’t you want to share your ship with 6000 other people? Well then you better dig deep in your wallet as Seabourn, Ponant, Hurtigruten and many others are offering small ship cruising, with a focus on expedition-style cruise ships becoming very popular these days but these remain costly cruises! So what if you don’t like the mega resort-style and you are not keen on spending a fortune for just one cruise? In that case, you may want to check out some alternatives like the few that I will list here.
Cunard … yes, the one and only!
The only real ocean liner in service at the moment is their flagship Queen Mary 2, and although she ‘s built to perform a regular service between Europe and the US East coast, she is designed to be able to cruise around the world in style and comfort, she can handle the worst the ocean has to offer with ease and is possibly the fastest large passenger ship in the world with a top speed of over 30 knots! All this comes at a price, and although Cunard is not as expensive as the small ship companies and the expedition-style cruises, they are still in a somewhat more expensive price range. The advantage is that Cunard ships are all pretty large but more spacious, they don’t take 6000 passengers on a Queen, do they? I say “Queen” because Cunard’s fleet consists of 3 ships named Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria & Queen Elizabeth, a fourth ship is due to enter service in 2022.
Holland America … not actually a Dutch company anymore but even if their newest ships are large mega-ships as Eurodam, Koningsdam and the latest Nieuw Statendam, they still retain some more traditional smaller vessels like Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Maasdam & Volendam. These ships offer excellent service for reasonable prices.
Now if we check out P&O cruise we can immediately see that they also have a mixed fleet of slightly older smaller sized vessels with fewer passengers like Aurora, Oceana and Arcadia but the newest ships in the fleet have followed the same mega-ship design as most others with Britannia being in service and Iona on the way, again the prices for these cruises are pretty reasonable!
Cruise and Maritime Voyages or as they are branded in Germany, Transocean cruises offer an entirely different market, these ships are smaller, somewhat older to even … very old in the case of the Astoria and Marco Polo but reasonably priced and they cover almost the entire planet all year round! Service is outstanding, and the atmosphere on board is relaxed compared to the mega-ships.
So, now let’s see what Phoenix Seereisen has to offer, shall we? This company doesn’t have any newly built ship and all of their ships come from other companies in the past, they have all been renamed and refurbished completely according to Phoenix standards with the Amera being the latest addition to the fleet. Amadea was built in Japan in 1991 as Asuka, Artania was built in 1984 in Finland as the famous Royal Princess for Princess cruises, Albatros was built-in 1973 in Finland as the Royal Viking Sea and has since had a pretty long career with various companies before she became Albatros at Phoenix, Deutschland was initially built in 1998 in Germany for a German company and the German market, you can’t get any more German than that!