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2013 OLS Group Cruise Reinstated!

MS Hamburg from Hamburg on 27th May 2012

Plantours cancelled our trip having received a large block booking. Some more cabins have now been released and the 2013 OLS cruise is back on. 

In 2010, the Ocean Liner Society chose Croisières de France and its 37,301-ton Bleu de France (delivered 1982 as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ last Europa) for its annual group cruise. This cruise proved such a success that in 2012 the Society returned to Croisières de France in its 46,811-ton Horizon. In 2013, however, the Society will return to another former Hapag-Lloyd ship, this time the 15,067-ton MS Hamburg, which between 1997 and 2012 operated as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' Columbus.

The 2013 cruise will take in a North Sea itinerary, departing Hamburg on Monday, 27th May for a five-day four-night cruise to Sylt, Borkum and Helgoland, and a transit of the Kiel Canal before arriving at Kiel on Friday morning, 30th May.

For latest details see:-  http://cruisepeople.co.uk/ols.htm

MS Hamburg

For more than two decades between 1991 and 2012, Plantours + Partner operated the 7,478-ton Vistamar, which had been rebuilt in 1989 from the Spanish ferry Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Indeed, several Society members have cruised in her. The MS Hamburg, which has replaced the Vistamar, carries 400 passengers compared to the 299 that could be accommodated in the earlier ship - twice the tonnage but only one-third more passengers, for a respectable passenger space ratio of almost 38 tons per passenger, compared to 25 on Vistamar.

The MS Hamburg was built by Mathias-Thiesen Werft (MTW) at Wismar, Germany, in 1997 as the Columbus, a ship whose design originated from a desire by Hapag-Lloyd to re-introduce cruising into the Great Lakes of North America. Indeed in her fifteen-year career with Hapag-Lloyd, the Columbus completed eleven seasons in the Great Lakes. She also undertook a world cruise every winter. After Hapag-Lloyd acquired a larger ship to replace the Columbus, Bremen-based Plantours took her over, renaming her MS Hamburg at a ceremony in the old Hanseatic port of Hamburg in June 2012.

Plantours is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Venice-based Ligabue Group, which was founded in 1919 by Anaceleto Ligabue, who began supplying food to the Società Veneziana di Navigazione a Vapore, a company whose fleet was absorbed into Italia and Lloyd Triestino in the 1930s. Today Ligabue is active in shipboard catering and river cruising, with a total of fourteen managed vessels, and also supplies catering services on board the cruise ships Aegean Odyssey and FTI Berlin.

OLS group fares are valid for a minimum number of cabins, and there is an allocation of cabins available for singles. Bookings can be made through the OLS group agent The Cruise People Ltd in London. Fares include passage, full board and port charges. A special drinks package is available for Euros 52 per person (very good value at only Euros 13 a day).

Daily Itinerary
Depart HAMBURG 16:30 hrs Monday 27th May 2013
LIST / SYLT (home of the famous Sansibar club) from 06:00 to 17:00 Tuesday
BORKUM from 08:00 to 19:00 Wednesday
HELGOLAND from 08:00 to 16:00 Thursday
Transit KIEL CANAL on Thursday night
Arrive KIEL 08:00 hrs Friday 30th May 2013

Latest Updates (The Cruise People website):-
The Ocean Liner Society's 2013 Annual Cruise To Take Place On Board MS "Hamburg" [The Cruise People Ltd]

To Book or Obtain More details:-
Clink Here To Enquire About the 2012 Ocean Liner Society Group Cruise or phone +44 (0)20 7723 2450

Ocean Liner Society Group Fares
MS Hamburg 27th May 2013

(Fares are cruise-only and include port charges)

Five days (4 nights)

27-30 May 2013

HAM1613 Brochure Fare

Special OLS Fare

OLS Cabins Remaining

Category Euros Euros Cabins
Cat 2 Double Inside



Three (3)

Cat 5 Double Outside



Three (3)

Cat 7 Double Outside



Sold Out

Cat 9 Double Outside



One (1)


Cat 2a Single Inside



Three (3)

Cat 6a Single Outside



Two (2)

OLS Group Cruises - FAQ

OLS Group cruises - what to expect

A group cruise with the Ocean Liner Society is a fantastic way to try a different ship, meet some fellow ship lovers and generally make sure that the society part of our named is fully lived up to. The Ocean Liner Society likes to organise at least one group cruise per year to make this happen. When we do so we want to make sure that everyone has a good time but in doing so, it is important that everyone knows what to expect. Here are some pointers

How do we choose the cruise?

The OLS committee meets several times per year and each meeting discusses options. We are looking for something which is a bit different than the usual trip. You won’t find us booking a P&O trip from Southampton for instance. As you would expect of ship lovers, the choice is primarily done starting with the ship. Then we look at the itineraries and try to find the most interesting. We are generally looking at something around 7 days duration, with a preference for a European departure point. Obviously we are looking for something which looks sensibly priced, you won’t find us proposing a luxury world cruise for instance. We have recently cruised with Pullmantur (Oceanic and Sky Wonder) and Phoenix Reisen's Maxim Gorky in 2008.

Who do we book with?

Given our choice of ships, these are often not ships which can be booked in an average high street travel agents. Therefore we choose specialist agencies who are able to get our groups on the ships we want. Its important to note that the Ocean Liner Society itself is not a travel agent. We won’t directly take your bookings or your money. We will provide you with the details of the cruise and the agent appointed, together with a price list which is as up to date as can be. Your booking would be direct with the agent. It would be subject to normal rules of that agent and cruise line. This includes things like prices, any supplements and changes in itinerary and cancellation costs.
Are there any special activities as part of the cruise?

Any special activities are usually spontaneous. On previous trips there have been special talks, behind the scenes tours etc. All of these are subject to the willingness of the operators, and participants. We can guarantee that we would ask for bridge visits, engine room visits etc. But we cannot guarantee they would be granted.

What about port calls and excursions?

One great thing about going with a group of ship lovers, is that there is usually someone who knows something about the ports and their attractions. We have not in the past organised any special excursions, however in most ports groups head off to do things together.
Why do I need to register with the Society for a group cruise?
If you let us know you are coming, we can make sure with the agent that our bookings are handled together. This means any special perks, events or information get to everyone. We will also have an email list of people going so that we can share thoughts and ideas on getting there and back, ports of call and whether anyone wants to bring along some material for a talk or similar. This is spontaneous, comes from the community going and is of course not guaranteed.

How will I get to the cruise?

Simple – you choose. We don’t want to dictate anyone’s arrangements. Some will take their car, or the train, or the plane direct to the port, others may travel by a more circuitous route. Its up to you as individuals. The society will share ideas and provide pointers, but your arrangements outside the cruise are yours to make.

How will I find out about cruises?

Several places – the OLS website, the email newsletter, ask at the monthly meeting, visit the OLS stand at the ship show, and most importantly in the ‘Engine Room’ section of Sea Lines. We won’t be writing to you as individuals (that costs money from your subscriptions that we would rather spend on producing a great magazine and having monthly talks). We won’t bombard you with junk mail, or harangue you into going. But we do hope you’ll join us.

Anything else?

Some of our cruises are on ships where the language isn’t English onboard. We will make sure you know this when you book.

Travel insurance, vaccinations, visas etc. Like any group trip, these are the responsibility ultimately of each individual traveller. We can provide links to guidance, but we’ll leave the rest up to you.  

That’s it really. OLS group cruises, are for a group of ship lovers and their family who fancy trying something different together. They’re not high pressure sold, over organised or bossy. You can do your own thing if you want to, whenever you want to. But past trips have been great fun so do think about it.

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