Classic International Cruises has announced a one-week extension of the 2012-13 summer season of Athena in Australia, with two new short cruises added to the program in April, 2013.

Australia’s only traditional liner, the 580-passenger Athena was scheduled to depart Perth and return to Europe at the end of Classic International Cruises’ ninth annual season in Western Australia on April 8, 2013, but her 40-night voyage to the UK will now leave Perth a week later on April 15, 2013, on the same itinerary via Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

Classic International Cruises Managing Director Grant Hunter said that due to strong and increasing demand for Athena in Australia and the requirements of her northern summer deployment in Scandinavia from May, 2013, Athena’s program from Perth would be extended by seven days.

“Rather than sitting idle for a week in Europe before the commencement of her Swedish deployment, Athena will be able to spend an extra week in Australia catering for the record demand she has been enjoying here as a smaller, friendlier and more intimate liner, offering a traditional onboard experience,” Mr Hunter said.

“The scheduling change means passengers on our line voyage from Perth on April 15, 2013, to the UK will also be able to remain on Athena for the first of her European cruises to Scandinavia. Many of our growing legion of loyal passengers have in the past remained aboard Athena once she arrives in the UK to enjoy another cruise with us so they can do the same next year as well.”

Mr Hunter said CIC was working with travel agents to notify passengers of the date change.

Two New Cruises

The one week extension of the 2012-13 season means Athena will offer two new short cruises from Perth:

* A 5-night round-trip cruise from Fremantle on April 8, 2013, to Albany and Esperance from $995 per person, twin-share, with children under 18 sharing a cabin with two adults paying only taxes of $175

* A two-night weekend cruise to ‘nowhere’, sailing from Fremantle on Saturday, April 13, 2013, and returning Monday morning, with fares from $470 per person, twin-share. Fares for children under 18 sharing a cabin with two adults are available from only $130.

“Our two extra cruises in April, 2013, will enable Australians, particularly those in WA, to enjoy a short and relaxing break aboard Athena while the weather is still warm,” Mr Hunter said.