‘The Cruise’ set for ITV return in 2018

Dirk Brand and Scott Grayson

Television’s love affair with cruises and cruising people is blossoming – with two familiar series being readied for a return to our screens next year.

Princess Cruises announced tonight [Thursday] that a third six-part series of The Cruise is being filmed on board the 3,560-passenger Royal Princess in the Mediterranean this summer.

And if that wasn’t enough, a three-part series is to be shot on board 2,600-passenger Star Princess in Alaska, before the film crew returns to Royal Princess in November for a special three-parter in the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, singer and TV presenter Jane McDonald is in the middle of recording a 10-part follow-up to her own cruising documentary series that was a hit for Channel 5 earlier this year.

ITV has announced the new series on Princess will again be made by Wild Pictures, one of the UK’s leading factual documentary makers. As well as following passengers on their holidays, the cameras take a peek at life behind the scenes, making stars of hotel director Dirk Brand, and engineer Scott Grayson (above).

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ vice president UK and Europe, said: “After the success and popularity of the first and second series of The Cruise we are thrilled to have ITV back on board.” “We are looking forward to what the new series will bring as viewers will have the chance to see destinations from the ports of the Mediterranean to the breathtaking glaciers of Alaska and the stunning beaches of the Caribbean.” Paul Hamann, executive producer at Wild Pictures, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Princess Cruises again on this successful returning series. Viewers are really fascinated by the world of cruising, the workings of such a large operation and the exciting destinations this series gives them a passport to see.”

Jane McDonald’s first series focussed on cruises with MSC in the Caribbean, Holland America to Alaska, Uniworld on the Danube, and The Majestic Line in Scotland. Every one of them saw an immediate surge in bookings as a result of the TV exposure.