NYK Cruises (Small Cruise Lines)
Asuka 2 Review and Specifications
Specifications of Asuka 2
|Year built||1990 / Age : 28|
|Builder||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Nagasaki, Japan)|
|Owner||NYK Line (Nippon Yusen Kaisha)|
|Operator||NYK Cruises Co Ltd|
|Speed||22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph|
|Length (LOA)||241 m / 791 ft|
|Beam (width)||30 m / 98 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||50142 gt|
|Passengers||872 - 960|
|Decks with cabins||8|
|Former names||Crystal Harmony|
Review of Asuka 2
MS Asuka II cruise ship is owned and operated by NYK Cruises - subsidiary company of the Japanese container shipping line Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line). The ship's namesake - "MS Asuka" is currently operated (chartered) by Phoenix Reisen under the name Amadea.
History - construction & ownership
Asuka II was built in Japan and originally named "Crystal Harmony". The vessel was constructed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at the shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan, The cruise ship was ordered by and built for Crystal Cruises.
In 2006, Crystal Harmony ship was transferred from Crystal Cruises to the parent company Nippon Yusen Kaisha. The vessel began operations under its current name, "Asuka II". As of 2017, Asuka 2 is the largest cruise ship registered in Japan, followed by Pacific Venus.
During the ship's maiden voyage (as Crystal Harmony ) in South American and Caribbean waters, the ship caught on fire after water entered the engine room. The ship drifted for 3 days. All passengers were offloaded in Panama City, then the ship was towed to Curacao island for drydock repairs.
Cruise itinerary program
NYK Line's Asuka II cruise itinerary program offers short Japan-based cruises leaving out of Yokohama and Kobe. Aslo offered is an annual World Cruise (round-trip from Yokohama Japan). The 102-day long itinerary visits ports in Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong, other ports in China), also (via Suez Canal) in Europe (Mediterranean, Azores Islands) and USA (New York, Florida, California, even Alaska). NYK Line's World Cruise 2018 feature ports of call were Lisbon, Rome-Civitavecchia, Valencia, Gibraltar, Bilbao, Hamburg, Halifax (NS Canada) Saint John (Canada), Baltimore MD (USA).
Yokohama-based NYK Cruises witnessed huge demand for its 6- to 13-day trips to Nansei and Ogasawara Islands in autumn 2017 and beyond. In addition, the company resumed its 102-days 'round-the-world cruises from March 2018 (departure March 25) after suspending the service in 2016 because of a series of global terrorist attacks and a variety of other factors. The roundtrip world voyages depart from Yokohama and visit ports in Europe, North America and Southeast Asia. All of them take place on NYK Cruises flagship Asuka II - Japan's largest luxury liner. The ship has been docked due in part to terrorism concerns, but NYK Line decided to reopen it after being flooded by clients requests.
Most Asuka II staterooms are outside. There are a total of 461 outside cabins, of which 260 feature private balconies. There are also 19 inside cabins. All cabins have TV & DVD player, mini-refrigerator, safe, mini bar, tea-making set, hairdryer. A full range of toiletries is provided.
Dining options - Food & Drinks
There are several dining venues on Asuka II. The non-smoking Four Seasons is an elegant dining room with a raised central section and a lot of space around each table. Dinner in the MDR is in two seatings. There are no set table assignments. Other dining options include the Japanese extra-charge Umihiko restaurant, specialized in sushi and sashimi dishes. The 40-seat Prego is for occupants of Royal and Asuka suites. For casual meals, there are Lido Cafe and Lido Garden Grill. Additionally, The Bistro ia a casual spot for pastries and coffees.
Entertainment options - Fun & Sport
Asuka II has 8 passenger accessible decks, a pair of swimming pools, eight bars, tea room, casino, theatre and fitness centre. The one-level Galaxy Lounge is the ship's show lounge, with a sloping floor. There is a good amount of open deck space onboard and despite her age, Asuka 2 is among the top rated luxury cruise vessels serving Japanese market.
Asuka 2 wiki
- For 2017, the Japanese liner was honored "Cruise Ship of the Year". The award marked the 26th straight year that NYK LIne-owned ship (Asuka II, and the boat's predecessor Asuka / now Amadea) has been selected for this honor. The highest rating was given to the vessel by the readers of the Japanese magazine "Cruise". Each year they vote for their favorite ship, also sharing the reason for the vote. Many readers underscored the boat’s modern interior, stylish atmosphere and superb hospitality (omotenashi) marked by highest-quality service and staff's exquisite manners.
- In 2017, Asuka 2 was selected as best in 2 categories - "best Japanese-flagged" and "best overall" ship. Fun fact is, that the Asuka cruise brand is receiving the "Cruise Ship of the Year" award every year since 1992.
- In January 2018, all passenger cabins were upgraded with new power adaptors and USB ports A large flat TV was installed in Palm Court (top-deck located bar lounge) to display cruise itinerary maps and call port information.