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Friday, May 27, 2016

Royal Caribbean Fully Renovated Empress of the Seas Return to Full Time Cruising From Miami.

MIAMI, May 25, 2016 – Miami’s newest hometown ship, Empress of the Seas, arrived to her new homeport today after a $50 million revitalization. The ship will set sail on her first sailing on Friday, May 27 visiting Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay, Bahamas and Nassau, Bahamas. The ship will then offer short 4- and 5-night getaways from Miami to Nassau, The Bahamas; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Grand Cayman and Key West, Florida. With longer stays in every port, guests will be able to experience spectacular golden sunsets in the Caribbean. Plus, on select 5-night itineraries, guest can experience the authentic Mexican culture and cuisine during overnight stays in Cozumel, Mexico.

Royal Caribbean's Totally Renovated Empress of the Seas Returns to Miami.
Royal Caribbean's Totally Renovated Empress of the Seas Returns to Miami.
Empress of the Seas will offer signature amenities including a thrilling rock-climbing wall for adrenaline seekers; new pools and whirlpools; a spa with an extensive treatment menu; and a complimentary Adventure Ocean youth program. Empress also will offer a variety of dining options, including the casual atmosphere of the Windjammer Café and fine dining at the brand’s signature steakhouse Chops Grille. In addition, the ship will offer Voom, the fastest internet at sea. 

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New York's Fleet Week is in Full Swing This Holiday Weekend

Fleet Week May 2016 New York
New York's Fleet Week is in Full Swing. Tours of Military and Navy ships are being conducted as well as other activities.

To learn about the events scheduled for this weekend, check out the Fleet Week website.

Fleet Week Website - May 25th to May 31st 2016

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cunard's Queen Mary 2 to Undergo Major Refit at Blohm & Voss

Cunard's Queen Mary 2 is undergoing a refit at Germany's Blohm & Voss. To learn more details and see artists rendering of the improvements please check out our sister site - Learn More About the Queen Mary 2's Refit

Cunard's Queen Mary 2 Is Undergoing a Refit at Blohm & Voss
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 Is Undergoing a Refit at Blohm & Voss

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Fathom Cruises to Cuba or the Dominican Republic.

Fathom Cruises Adonia Sails Humanitarian Cruises to Cuba or the Dominican Republic
Fathom Cruises Adonia Sails Humanitarian Cruises to Cuba or the Dominican Republic

Although many US cruise lines have said they will start cruises to Cuba, so far Carnival Cruise Line's Fathom Cruise Line has been the only successful company to launch cruises.

Sailing to Cuba, from Miami, as part of a humanitarian mission, passengers are allowed to part-take in activities to help improve the life of Cuban citizens. The ship also alternately sails to the Dominican Republic performing humanitarian work as well.

Here is a  photo of the deluxe cruise ship Adonia which is sailing for Fathom. The Adonia, previously sailed for P&O Cruises (originally constructed as part of the Renaissance fleet in 2001). She is ideal in size at 30,277 tons and measures 594 feet long and 84 feet wide. She carries 702 passengers and 373 crew. Her cruising speed is 18 knots.

For additional information on Fathom Cruises, visit the Fathom Cruises website.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Amenities On Board the New Norwegian Joy Built Exclusively for the Chinese Market.

Norwegian Joy’s First Class at Sea experiences include a multitude of VIP accommodations;  a technology-driven interactive Galaxy Pavilion; international luxury shopping boutiques; and serene open space at the top of the ship for relaxation and renewal

Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Joy Built Exclusively for the Chinese Market
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Joy Built Exclusively for the Chinese Market

SHANGHAI – Norwegian Cruise Line 诺唯真(NCL) today revealed features and amenities for Norwegian Joy 喜悦号 (Xǐ Yuè Hào), its most innovative and luxurious ship ever, built and styled exclusively for Chinese guests, arriving Summer 2017. Home porting in Shanghai & Tianjin (Beijing), Norwegian Joy was designed by the team at NCL to provide First Class at Sea experiences specifically for the Chinese traveler, with onboard amenities that cater to the unique vacation desires of Chinese guests. Built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, the ship features German precision engineering to the highest possible standard, all while offering superior customization for the culture and preferences of Chinese guests along with the exciting and innovative features found on NCL’s most recent vessels.

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Joy Haven Lounge
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Joy Haven Lounge

With a capacity of 3,900 guests, Norwegian Joy will deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy ‘First Class at Sea’ experiences, starting with her VIP accommodations.  As the World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line, an honor bestowed upon the company by the World Travel Awards, Norwegian Cruise Line is known in the industry for offering innovative, stylish and first class accommodations.  Norwegian Joy will feature The Haven by Norwegian®, the line’s exclusive, ship-within-a-ship suite luxury complex.  Accessible only by personalized key card, The Haven offers a private respite for the most discerning travelers that features personal butler service, a dedicated concierge, priority access to entertainment and specialty dining, a private restaurant, enclosed courtyard and 74 spacious and meticulously decorated suites. The ultra-exclusive experience in The Haven on Norwegian Joy will also include an all-new Observation Deck that will feature 180 degree views, the same as the ship’s officers experience from the Bridge, with gourmet canapés and premium beverages.

Norwegian Joy will also debut an all new accommodations category: the first at sea Concierge level 行政楼. Guests who stay in the Concierge staterooms aboard Norwegian Joy will enjoy a VIP experience, featuring larger balcony staterooms with luxurious en suite amenities and the services of a dedicated concierge to make arrangements on board, from entertainment to dining. A perfect category for families and guests looking for extra personal service, the Concierge staterooms will also offer guests an exclusive Concierge lounge, with a private bar and refreshments available throughout the day.
The ship also features a wide array of mini-suite, balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms, many with virtual balconies, to fit every traveler’s need.  Accommodation offerings also include staterooms designed specifically for families and a multitude of connecting staterooms, for extended families traveling together.
Entertainment & Activities
Norwegian Joy will continue NCL’s long history of innovation in providing engaging, exciting features and amenities for guests to enjoy. Sure to delight guests of all ages, the ship’s top decks will offer a wide-range of never-before-seen at sea experiences.
At the very top of the ship, guests will take the ride of a lifetime on a thrilling two-level competitive racetrack– the first ever at sea.  Cruisers can race family and friends and even share a photo of their first place finish. Afterwards, they can challenge one another to a game of laser tag in the open-air course, sure to be a hit with both kids and kids-at-heart. 

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Joy Bumper Cars - Sport Complex
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Joy Bumper Cars - Sport Complex

When guests step inside Norwegian Joy’s Galaxy Pavilion, they will find themselves in a world unlike anything they’ve ever seen at sea, complete with immersive virtual reality experiences, thrilling simulator rides and interactive video walls. Guests can go for a spin with friends or family on exciting hover craft bumper cars or start their engines in a professional single-seat racecar that’s been converted into a state-of-the-art racing simulator. Three interactive dark ride simulators provide guests with a captivating experience featuring real-time 3D graphics, 360- degree surround sound and multi-sensory special effects, while flight and car simulators will let guests take flight or take to the road for an adrenaline-filled experience.  Movie buffs will be transported to a galaxy far, far away and into an intense battle as they pilot a fighter to take on the forces of the dark side in a Star Wars® battle pods video game, and gamers can partake in a contest of skill at six Xbox® console stations.  Those guests who enjoy advanced technology will be exhilarated by state-of-the-art virtual optic experiences by Oculus that include designing and then riding a personal roller coaster; soaring to new heights over mountains and oceans; or living on the edge and walking along a cliff or on top of a ten-story building.

Continuing the adrenaline pumping recreation activities on the ship, Norwegian Joy will also feature two multi-story waterslides. Not for the faint of heart, the high-speed Double Aqua Loop free fall slide includes two exhilarating loops, one that extends out over the side of the ship and second see-through loop that stretches down to the deck below, sure to offer a wet and wild ride. The tandem Aqua Racer slide allows guests to race side-by-side on inner tubes for more than 360 feet as they twist and turn to the finish line.
The top deck of Norwegian Joy will also feature a tranquil open space park, where guests can enjoy a partially covered serene setting designed for relaxation. Offering greenery, a soothing pool and chaise lounges, it’s the perfect spot to meditate in the fresh air, gaze out to the open sea or practice tai chi and yoga.

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Joy Deck Park
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Joy Deck Park

No vacation experience is complete without shopping, and Norwegian Joy will not disappoint. The ship will feature an upscale shopping venue, the largest in Norwegian’s fleet, complete with everything from exceptional duty-free shops to high-end international brands. The shops will offer renowned global luxury brands, in fashion, jewelry and electronics. 

Of course, Norwegian Joy will also offer bow to stern Wi-Fi connectivity, the fastest in the Norwegian fleet, so that guests can share their exciting First Class at Sea cruise experiences and stay in touch with family and friends during their cruise.
Norwegian Joy fuses a western cruise vacation with the comforts and preferences that Chinese guests expect, plus the freedom and flexibility that only Norwegian Cruise Line can offer, for a fabulous combination of culture and cuisine and a true east meets west experience.
With a fleet of 14 liners cruising worldwide, Norwegian Cruise Line was this year voted “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” for the eighth consecutive year in the prestigious World Travel Awards, as well as “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line” for the third time and “World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line” for the fourth year running.
For more information visit To view a video of Norwegian Joy’s First Class at Sea experiences, please click here.
About Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 49-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising.  Most notably, Norwegian revolutionized the cruise industry by offering guests the freedom and flexibility to design their ideal cruise vacation on their schedule. Today, Norwegian invites guests to “Feel Free” to explore the world on one of 14 purpose-built ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed, resort style cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. 
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For more information visit
To view a video of Norwegian Joy’s First Class at Sea experiences, Norwegian Joy Video.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Hurtigruten Completes Upgrading and Refurbishment of Kong Harald and Polarlys

Hurtigruten's Polarlys Receives Makeover
Hurtigruten's Polarlys Receives Makeover
Award-winning explorer cruise line Hurtigruten has begun the process of upgrading four of its 11 Norwegian Coastal ships, as well as adding a new expedition ship, the MS Spitsbergen -- its first in 10 years. The extensive refurbishment of the first two - MS Kong Harald and MS Polarlys - has been completed and are receiving rave reviews from their guests. The makeovers of the MS Nordkapp and MS Nordnorge will be completed in April and November, respectively.

        “We are a first mover company and we are now reinventing the Hurtigruten experience,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “By combining tradition, innovation and sustainability, we aim to ensure the position as world leader in nature-based explorer travels in polar waters.”

        The new look, aptly named the “New Artic Interior,” includes the replacement of the cruise interior and furnishings typical of the nineties with a modern Scandinavian interior, drawing inspiration from the spectacular nature outside the panoramic windows. The new design entails a stylish and yet unpretentious feel and affects all of the ship’s common areas -- reception foyers, cafes and bistro areas and the aft deck. The colors will be earthy and derived from the coast and the sea, while making use of many natural materials, such as wood, slate and leather. Designs and shapes are expected to bear a resemblance to those found in nature - such as the flow of the waves or the strength of the majestic fjords.

        Of equal importance is the ongoing transformation of the restaurants. With more than 100,000 foreign guests sailing annually, Hurtigruten has partnered with dozens of local food suppliers to develop the Coastal Kitchen concept. With seasonal ingredients, often harvested the same day, guests are able to enjoy the freshest and best Norwegian food available. A range of fresh pastries from the ship’s own bakeries will be offered and barbecue stands are being added to the outside decks. The all-important bar will be moved to the panoramic lounge, offering incredible views as guests enjoy an afternoon or evening cocktail. And fitness rooms will now have the world's best views.

        In addition, Hurtigruten has purchased and is doing a near-complete reconstruction of the MS Spitsbergen. She was built in Portugal in 2009 at the Viana do Castelo shipyard, and is now undergoing adaptation for polar waters; upgrading the cabins, suites and public spaces for the 320 guests; and adjusting the power plants and emissions so as to meet Hurtigruten’s high standards. The ship will join the fleet along the Norwegian Coastal Voyage route later this spring and replaces the MS Midnatsol, which will join the MS Fram in Antarctica for the 2016/17 season.

        Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition voyages, sailing to the most remote of destinations, including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen, as well as year-round along Norway's coast and to Europe in the spring and fall.  The company’s fleet of 14 intimate ships, which each carry 100 to 646 guests, allows travelers to enjoy the scenery and culture of the destination in a relaxed atmosphere.

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------------------- - Free information on Cruises Departing from New York and New Jersey.
NYCruiseInfo Blog - Free Information on Cruises From New York and New Jersey.
Norwegian Cruise Line

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pride of America Receives Bow to Stern Enhancements

Norwegian Cruise Line - Pride of America - Fresh From a Refit.
Norwegian Cruise Line - Pride of America - Fresh From a Refit.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s US-flagged Pride of America returned to her homeport of Honolulu this Saturday, March 26, as a nearly new ship following a three and half week dry dock where she received ship-wide enhancements, including newly designed public spaces, brand new venues and refreshed décor in all staterooms. Pride of America’s extensive renovation is a part of The Norwegian Edge™ program, a $400 million investment that sets a new standard of excellence for the Norwegian brand encompassing the entire guest experience.
            “When guests step aboard the all new Pride of America they will be amazed by the breadth of this renovation,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief operating officer. “This is much more than just a fresh coat of paint and new drapes. Pride of America is now essentially a new ship, and the only one to offer this incredibly unique way to experience the Hawaiian Islands with 100 hours of time in port.”
Many of Pride of America’s public spaces, along with several of the ships’ restaurants as well as bars and lounges, were refreshed from top to bottom to receive a modern updated look with new contemporary décor and furniture as well as new lighting and flooring. Every stateroom aboard Pride of America was touched by this renovation, receiving new bedding, new furniture, new flat screen televisions and updated flooring.
ncl_POA_Photo_Gallery NEW (1)Pride of America guests will now be able to enjoy not only refreshed spaces but also new modern venues including the Soho Art Gallery, an expansive venue that features original works of art available for purchase; the new Perspectives Photo Studio, an area for couples, families and friends to have professional photo memories of their vacation; and Dolce Gelato, Norwegian’s signature gelateria. Those looking to tie-the-knot while in any of the ship’s enchanting ports-of-call can do so in the ship’s wedding chapel, now in a new location on deck six with new flooring, furniture and wall fixtures.
The ship’s pool deck underwent a complete refurbishment to create an upscale feel onboard with a refinished pool, new loungers ncl_POA_East_West_Entrance_NEWand Jacuzzis.
Guests looking to enjoy some quiet time can now do so in the completely transformed Conservatory; complete with new furniture, flooring and modern décor; and the library and card rooms, which were outfitted with new flooring, furniture and six computer stations for Internet access, for those who prefer to leave their personal devices at home. Relaxation will take center stage at The Mandara Spa, which is being expanded and revitalized to feature more treatment rooms so guests can enjoy massages, facials and more. The spa will feature New Mexican décor including soft, neutral colors and natural elements like stone and wood to provide a tranquil atmosphere. 
Dining enhancements for Pride of America include extensive renovations to all of the existing complimentary dining venues, most notably the ship’s Skyline Main Dining Room, which received a refreshed look with new décor including a new entrance, new carpet design, new furniture upholstery, new window drapes and new columns throughout the restaurant. La Cucina, Norwegian’s signature Italian restaurant, aboard Pride of America has been transformed into an elegant and intimate venue where guests can enjoy fine Italian fare. The ship’s specialty restaurants East Meets West, Cagney’s Steakhouse and Jefferson’s Bistro also received enhancements to upgrade the venues to a modern look with new flooring, reupholstered furniture, new artwork, lighting fixtures, new window treatments and more.
ncl_POA_LaCucina_NEWBeyond hardware upgrades, guests sailing aboard Pride of America can now enjoy new menus in all dining outlets offering more freedom and flexibility to guests with additional choices and à la carte priced items in complimentary dining rooms and specialty restaurants. Building on the success of the enhanced menus aboard Norwegian’s newest ship Norwegian Escape, Pride of America’s new menus now feature increased variety and have been carefully developed by Norwegian’s culinary team with a focus on balancing popular traditional dishes like prime rib, chateaubriand, rack of lamb and escargot with current dining trends and heightened guest expectations. 

Pride of America is the only ship that sails year-round from Honolulu on seven-day intra-Hawaii cruises. This one-of-a-kind itinerary offers nearly 100 hours of port time and visits Hawaii’s main islands, including an overnight in Kahului, Maui; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kaua`i; stops in Hilo, Hawaii and Kona, Hawaii; as well as an afternoon cruise by the spectacular Nãpali Coast.

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Norwegian Cruise Line

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line Celebrates the Keel Laying for the New Norwegian Joy.

Keel Laid For Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Joy
Keel Laid For Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Joy

 PAPENBURG, GERMANY – APRIL 5, 2016 – Norwegian Cruise Line 诺唯真(NCL) together with executives at MEYER WERFT, celebrated the keel laying ceremony today in Papenburg, Germany for Norwegian’s first ever ship styled exclusively for Chinese guests  Norwegian Joy 喜悦号 (Xǐ Yuè Hào), arriving Summer 2017.

During the ceremony, the first of 80 blocks that will comprise the 168,800 gross ton vessel was lifted into the covered building hall, officially marking the start of the ship’s assembly. Norwegian Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) executives were present in the hall and laid the traditional “lucky coin,” before the first block, weighing 680 tons, was placed by a massive crane.

“We are absolutely thrilled to celebrate the Keel Laying for Norwegian Joy today with our partners at MEYER WERFT,” said Norwegian Cruise Line President and Chief Operating Officer Andy Stuart. “Norwegian Joy is yet another evolution for Norwegian Cruise Line and we know the outstanding work of the teams at MEYER WERFT will truly make her a first class vessel.”

A special commemorative coin featuring the ship was created to celebrate the day’s activities. In a ceremony held at the XingTian Temple at Fang Ta Park in Shanghai on March 31, 2016, NCLH China executives gathered for a traditional prayer and pledge ceremony to the Chinese Goddess of the sea, Mazu 媽祖, to bring blessings to the coins, the ship and all of the guests who sail on her.  The same coin was then placed under the block during the ceremony.

“We are carefully designing every element of Norwegian Joy, from her VIP accommodations to gourmet dining venues, outstanding recreation and entertainment choices and family-friendly features, to create a First Class at Sea experience that is completely focused on exceeding the expectations of our Chinese guests,” said NCLH China President David Herrera.

In addition to the ceremony, Norwegian Cruise Line also announced the appointment of David Herrera as President, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings China. Previously Senior Vice President Strategy and Business Development for NCLH, David will assume new responsibilities for the sales, marketing, public relations and operations for all three brands within the NCLH portfolio in his new role. To lead the launch efforts for Norwegian Joy, Mr. Herrera, his wife Patty and their three young sons will be relocating to Shanghai this summer.

“David is building an incredible team of talented individuals in China who are committed to making the launch of Norwegian Joy a resounding success, and that dedication starts at the top,” said Harry Sommer, NCLH executive vice president for International Business and Operations. “It was abundantly clear that David’s involvement in our China efforts since 2012, as well as his enthusiasm and passion, made him the right person to lead the team on the ground in Shanghai and we are so pleased to have him in this new role.”

Home porting in Shanghai & Tianjin (Beijing), Norwegian Joy was designed by the team at NCL to provide First Class at Sea experiences specifically for the Chinese traveler, with onboard amenities that cater to the unique vacation desires of Chinese guests. Built at MEYER WERFT in Papenburg, Germany, the ship features German precision engineering to the highest possible standard, all while offering superior customization for the culture and preferences of Chinese guests along with the exciting and innovative features found on NCL’s most recent vessels.

“This steel block for Norwegian Joy marks another milestone of our successful partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line,” said Bernard Meyer, Managing Director of MEYER WERFT. “We are thrilled to build a totally new ship which is designed for the fast growing Chinese market and will be delivered in just 12 months.”

Norwegian Joy’s experiences include a multitude of VIP accommodations, from exclusive suite complex The Haven by Norwegian®, an all-new Concierge category and the most family-friendly stateroom options in the fleet; along with a technology-driven interactive Galaxy Pavilion outfitted with bumper cars, Oculus Rift virtual reality; car racing simulators and much more.

Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Joy - Race Track/GoCart Track
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Joy - Race Track/Go-Cart Track

The ship’s top decks will feature the only race track at sea and laser tag, along with two water-slides and a serene open space for relaxation and renewal. Norwegian Joy will also offer international luxury shopping boutiques with renowned global luxury brands, in fashion, jewelry and electronics. 

With a fleet of 14 liners cruising worldwide, Norwegian Cruise Line was this year voted “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” for the eighth consecutive year in the prestigious World Travel Awards, as well as “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line” for the third time and “World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line” for the fourth year running.

For more information on Norwegian Joy, please contact an authorized Norwegian travel partner or visit (in China) or (in US).

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas Features Extensive Artwork.

April 11, 2016 – Royal Caribbean International’s newest smartship, Ovation of the Seas, is setting sail from Southampton, U.K. this week on her 52-day Global Odyssey visiting exotic ports of call from the Mediterranean to the Far East and beyond. Guests on-board Ovation will experience these extraordinary ports while enjoying an 11,000-piece, $4.5 million dollar art collection that has been inspired by the words of Confucius: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” The collection was curated by London-based Peter Millard and Partners and features contemporary art from artists from around the world.

“The true essence of a Royal Caribbean vacation is to broaden travelers’ horizons by introducing them to new and unexpected adventures and that includes the art we feature onboard our ships,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Ovation of the Seas features unexpected and destination-inspired artwork, unique pieces and interactive art experiences that will surprise and delight our guests.”

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas - Panda Figures
Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas - Panda Figures

33-Foot Panda and Cub Set Sail
One of the ultimate photo ops onboard Ovation of the Seas is “Mama and Baby,” a larger-than-life commission designed by a U.K.-based artist Jo Smith. Perched atop the SeaPlex on deck 15, the piece depicts a mother panda and her cub, reaching out to one another. Considered a symbol of good luck and a national treasure in Chinese culture, the peaceful creatures with the distinctive black and white coat were curated with Ovation’s primarily Chinese guests in mind, and intended to bestow peace and prosperity on all who interact with them. The pandas are also a playful nod to the cruise line’s newly announced partnership with World Wildlife Fund, which focuses on ensuring the long-term health of the oceans its ships sail upon.

Mama and Baby together weigh approximately six-and-a-half tons. Mama is 10 meters high, or approximately 33 feet, from the deck to the top of the sculpture, while Baby is approximately three meters, or ten feet tall.

Smart Art Includes First Moving Sculpture at Sea
It wouldn’t be a smart ship without smart art, and the Quantum class hallmark of high-tech pieces continues on-board Ovation with “Sky Wave,” a piece sure to be a guest favorite. Created by New York-based Hypersonic and Boston-based Plebian Design, Sky Wave is the first ever kinetic moving sculpture at sea. The installation pivots and curves at different points to mirror the flow of both wind and water. Further inspiration was also taken from the ship’s movement, culminating in a piece that combines both maritime elements and engineering.

Each petal in Sky Wave is made of handcrafted fiberglass and varies in length to hone the flawless rolling sway. Located on deck 5 just in the Royal Esplanade, the eye-catching, carefully crafted art piece was commissioned specifically for Ovation.

Elevator Art Gets an New Look, Still Prime for Selfies
The elevator art on Quantum class is known for selfie-taking, and Ovation of the Seas is no exception. Ovation is elevating the selfie art game with all-new imagery from Chinese photographer Huainan Li’s series, “The World of the Senses.” The powerful series features the futuristic faces of women accented in metallic hues and sporting glasses that reflect a variety of whimsical scenes. The collection of 10 pieces is sure to surprise and delight guests each time they ride from deck to deck, and pack an unexpected punch when the doors open.

The Red Thread
One of the most iconic art locales on Quantum-class ships is the rotunda, which connects mid-ship’s Jamie’s Italian and Vintages. Ovation does not disappoint as passersby can enjoy the work of Bieli Liu, a Chinese artist who played into the natural movement of the ship with an adaptation from her “Lure” series of installations. The sculpture was created to fit the rotunda location and represents an ancient Chinese legend depicting the red threads that connect Chinese children to their soulmates. A disc may be connected to another, as a pair; and a pair of disks may sprout from a single thread. The installation is designed to suspend from the ceiling forming a vibrant and energetic piece that responds to subtle air currents and movement as the red coils turn, and strands of thread become entangled.

Figures from artist Zheng Lu are located outside Two70 onboard Ovation of the Seas
Figures from artist Zheng Lu are located outside Two70 on-board Ovation of the Seas
Throughout the entire ship, guests will find curated art at every turn, all inspired by the exotic destinations Ovation will visit. Figures from artist Zheng Lu are located outside Two70. The sculpture – inspired by the artist’s father, a Chinese poet – weaves Chinese symbols together in a delicate fashion.

Heading into the Royal Theater, artist Dominic Harris engages show-goers with an interactive piece titled “Flutter Wall.” The 120-inch screen showcases butterflies on a black canvas that seemingly fly away as guests walk up for a closer view. A true surprise and delight experience akin to the additional installations that travelers can enjoy on-board. To learn more about the on-board art collection click here.

Ovation and her sister ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, belong to the Quantum class of ships and are built with the most advanced technology. They feature first-at-sea amenities including the North Star, an observation capsule that gently rises more than 300 feet in the air to treat guests to breathtaking panoramic views; thrilling skydiving and surfing experiences; Two70, a daily social space which transforms into a multi-functional entertainment place in the evening; and SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, which includes basketball, roller-skating, bumper cars, and more.

Each ship offers 18 restaurants on-board with a variety of cuisines to choose from as well as the industry’s most relaxing and luxurious accommodations at sea with the unique Loft Suites and groundbreaking Virtual Balcony staterooms, interior accommodations that feature large digital screens displaying real-time views, ensuring that every room has a view.

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas
Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

Ovation spans 18 decks, encompasses 168,666 gross registered tons, carries 4,180 guests at double occupancy and features 2,091 staterooms.

Related Links:
Royal Caribbean International

Monday, May 16, 2016

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas To Be Named in Tianjin, China on June 24, 2016.

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas Naming in China June 2017
Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas Naming in China June 2017
April 12, 2016, Beijing – Royal Caribbean International today announced that internationally-acclaimed Chinese actress, Fan Bingbing, will be the Godmother for Ovation of the Seas, the world’s newest and most technologically advanced cruise ship. The announcement was made by Dr. Zinan Liu, President, Royal Caribbean International - China and North Asia Pacific, at a press conference at the Great Hall of People in Beijing. Bingbing is the first Chinese celebrity selected to be the Godmother of an international cruise line and will officially name Ovation of the Seas at the ship’s inaugural ceremony in Tianjin, China on June 24, 2016.

            The second Quantum-class ship to be deployed in China, Ovation of the Seas, will sail its inaugural season from Tianjin after a one month mini season from Hong Kong before the ship re-positions to its winter homeport in Australia in December 2016.

            “We are delighted to welcome Fan Bingbing to the Royal Caribbean family as Ovation of the Seas’ godmother,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Bingbing is number one on the Forbes China ‘Celebrity 100’ list and has held that top position for three years making her one of the most influential Chinese stars and in the world. She has received awards from many international film festivals and is recognized as a fashion icon for her extraordinary style on the red carpet, at movie premieres and iconic fashion events. She is innovative, smart, ambitious, trendy and elegant, and that makes Bingbing the perfect person to be selected as the Godmother of our newest ship.”

            “My father was a singer in the art troupe of the Political Department of the Navy in China. My childhood was filled with the melodies of the sea and I often dreamed about sailing out to sea for an adventure,” said Fan Bingbing at the press conference. “Now, thanks to this invitation from Royal Caribbean, my dreams will come true. I am really honored to be the first Godmother of Chinese nationality for such a prestigious international cruise line as Royal Caribbean International. And I like the name of Ovation of the Seas which in Chinese is interpreted as ‘praising the world and welcoming guests from everywhere’. As Godmother of Ovation of the Seas, I would like to invite more international guests to cruise from China on Ovation of the Seas.”

            The role of Godmother is a lifetime title bestowed upon an individual, who figuratively presides over the ship and imparts good luck and divine protection over the vessel and all that sail aboard. Traditionally, Godmothers have celebrity status or even royal connections. Godmothers for Royal Caribbean ships have included, performer Gloria Estefan, actress Jane Seymour, comedian/actress Whoopi Goldberg and tennis champion Steffi Graf, to name a few.

            Ovation of the Seas and her sister ship, Quantum of the Seas are both Quantum class ships built with the most advanced technologies. The Quantum-class features unprecedented first-at-sea features and amenities, including the North Star, an observation capsule that gently rises more than 300 feet in the air to treat guests to breath-taking panoramic views; thrilling skydiving and surfing experiences; Two70, a daily social space which transforms into a multi-functional entertainment place at night; SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, that features basketball, roller skating, bumper cars and other entertainment. There are 18 restaurants on-board with a variety of cuisines to choose from. The unique loft suites offer the most luxurious accommodations at sea, and Virtual Balcony staterooms are interior accommodations with large digital screens displaying real-time views which ensure that every room has a view.

            Ovation of the Seas was officially delivered on April 8th 2016 and will sail from Southampton, United Kingdom for Tianjin, China on a 52-day Global Odyssey. She will begin her first homeport sailing season in China from Tianjin in June 2016. Ovation of the Seas, together with Quantum of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas, will make up the largest fleet of any cruise line sailing in China.

Related Links:
Royal Caribbean International for More Information on the Ovation of the Seas

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Royal Caribbean's New Harmony of the Seas Sails for Southampton, England.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas Departs Saint Nazaire, France for Southampton, England
Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas Departs Saint Nazaire, France for Southampton, England

5/15/2016 - Today Royal Caribbean's new Harmony of the Seas left the STX Shipyard in Saint-Nazaire France.  An estimated 70,000 spectators lined the Saint-Nazaire jetty and shoreline as two tugboats escorted the cruise ship to the open ocean. The Harmony of the Seas is expected to arrive in Southampton, England on Tuesday.

In Southampton the ship will be toured by the media and travel agents before sailing on 2 short cruises. before heading to the Mediterranean. The Harmony of the Seas will then sail to Barcelona, Spain where she will operate a series of 34 seven-night cruises  in the western Mediterranean. In late October, the Harmony of the Seas will re-position to Port Everglades, Florida for the winter season. During the winter, she will sail to the Eastern Caribbean or Western Caribbean on 7-day cruises.

Here are some great photos of the Harmony of the Seas' departure front STX Saint-Nazaire France (Please note this link will take you to the UK newspaper - the Daily Mail).

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas weighs a whopping 226,000 tons, measures 1,187 feet long, 154 Feet wide and 16 decks high.  She carries 5,400 passengers double occupancy and crew of 2,394.The Harmony of the Seas has a cruising speed of 23 knots.
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Friday, May 13, 2016

Hurtigruten Orders 2 New Ships and Holds Option for 2 More.

Hurtigruten Order 2 New Ships for 2018 - 2019
Hurtigruten Order 2 New Ships for 2018 - 2019
Hurtigruten, operators of a number of vessels on the coast of Norway and expedition regions, has placed an order for two new ships for deliveries in 2018 and 2019.

The new 600 passenger ships will be build by Kleven Verft, a shipyard in Norway and be designed by Rolls-Royce. The ships will be built on an integrated, small-ship platform which can be scaled for for further newbuilds or lengthening.

The initial agreement is for 2 vessels with an option for 2 more.

Related Links:
Hutrigruten Website for additional information on newbuilds.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Holland America's New Koningsdam is Christened.

Holland America Line's New Koningsdam
Holland America Line's New Koningsdam

April 18, 2016 — Holland America Line’s tradition will continue when Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands christens Holland America Line’s new Pinnacle-class ship, ms Koningsdam, in a ceremony in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, May 20, 2016, on board the ship. The 2,650-guest ship is the first in a new class of vessel for the line.

Members of the Dutch Royal Family have launched 11 Holland America Line ships. Most recently, then-Princess Máxima christened ms Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010 and then-Queen Beatrix served as ms Eurodam’s godmother in 2008. Statendam III in 1929 was launched by Prince Hendrik and Nieuw Amsterdam II in 1937 by Queen Wilhelmina. Then-Princess Beatrix named Statendam IV in 1957 and Prinses Margriet in 1960. Rotterdam V was launched in 1958 by Queen Juliana. Princess Margriet dedicated Prinsendam in 1972, Nieuw Amsterdam II in 1983, ms Rotterdam VI in 1997 and ms Oosterdam in 2003.

“We are incredibly honored that Her Majesty Queen Máxima will carry on the tradition of Dutch Royalty christening Holland America Line ships, which began 87 years ago,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We chose Rotterdam as the location for the official ceremony because of the deep historic connection between Holland America Line, the city and the people of the Netherlands. May 20 will be a very special day in our company’s 143-year history as we officially dedicate ms Koningsdam.”

The official ceremony will take place in Rotterdam onboard the ship during a special 13-day Christening Cruise departing Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, May 9. Following that voyage Koningsdam will spend the summer sailing from the port of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on itineraries to Norway, the Baltic and Iceland.

Holland America's Koningsdam Pool Area
Holland America's Koningsdam Pool Area
Following its Europe season, Koningsdam will sail to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for winter and spring Caribbean cruises. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Oceania Cruises Schedules Another 180-Day World Cruise

Insignia Oceania Cruises 2018 World Cruise

Oceania Cruises is planning another 180 day around the world cruise. The 684-passeneger Insignia will depart Miami on January 3, 2018 and sail more than 39,000 nautical miles to 87 different ports of call in 40 countries.

The traditional world cruise is approximately 3-months. Voyages of 6 months or more were unheard of - until Oceania pioneered the concept a few years back. This is the 5th 180 day cruise Oceania has offered to its clients and the past cruises have been very positively received. The full voyage is available at a price starting at $39,999 per person double occupancy including first-class airfare, gratuities, free on-board medical attention and unlimited internet.

Related Links:

Oceania Cruises

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

AIDA Cruise's AIDAprima Arrives in Southampton.

For our fluent German speaking cruise passengers - AIDA Cruises long awaited arrival of the NEW AIDAprima is finally over. The AIDAprima was built in Japan, operates on LNG fuel and has a new bow design.

Aida Cruises AIDAprima
Artist Rendition of Aida Cruises New AIDAprima

On the morning of April 27, 2016, AIDAprima, the new flagship of AIDA Cruises, docked in Britain's Port of Southampton for the first time as part of a four-day cruise.

From May 3, 2016 onwards, AIDAprima will be visiting Southampton on Mondays. This British port is one of the highlights on the seven-day cruises to Western Europe's most beautiful metropolises. The AIDAprima  Cruises originate from Hamburg and offer a cruise experience catered to German speaking passengers.

AIDAprima is the first cruise ship to depart from a German port all year round.
Starting April 30, 2016, Hamburg will be the origination point for seven-day round trips to Western Europe's most beautiful metropolises such as London, Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.

The highlights of AIDAprima include the Beach Club under a weather-independent transparent foil dome, the "Four Elements" with two water slides, a climbing garden, and the brand new Mini Club providing childcare for young children starting from age of 6 months and older. Spectacular veranda staterooms, the Lanai Deck with infinity pools, an exclusive patio deck with panorama staterooms, numerous new restaurants, the 3,100 m² Organic Body & Soul Spa wellness area, glass elevators and a skywalk. These are only a few of the new offerings making this ship an attractive year-round destination.

Technical data AIDAprima:
Shipyard: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Nagasaki
Keel laying: June 30, 2013
Commissioning: March 14, 2016
Length: 300 meters
Width: 37.6 meters
Max. draft: 8.00 m
Gross tonnage: 124,100 GT
Number of staterooms: 1,643
32 suites
1,101 veranda staterooms:
198 oceanview staterooms:
312 interior staterooms:
Restaurants: 12
Bars: 18
Crew members: over 900

Related Links - AIDA Cruises - Cruises departing from New York and New Jersey

Monday, May 9, 2016

Carnival Cruises Takes Delivery of the New Carnival Vista

Carnival Cruises New Carnival Vista

(April 28, 2016) – At a traditional maritime handover ceremony held earlier today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, Carnival Cruise Line took delivery of its newest, largest and most innovative ship, the 133,500-ton Carnival Vista. 
The 3,954-passenger ship will re-position to Trieste, Italy, where it will depart on its maiden voyage May 1, kicking off a summer schedule in Europe that runs through October 2016.  Following a 13-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Vista will operate a pair of 11-day cruises from New York in November 2016 then launch year-round Caribbean service from Miami later that month.

Carnival Vista offers a number of unique features, including a groundbreaking suspended cycling experience called SkyRide, the first IMAX Theatre at sea and the RedFrog Pub & Brewery offering three different kinds of beer brewed on board.   

Carnival Cruises Carnival Vista - Skyride
Carnival Cruises Carnival Vista - Skyride

Also new is Family Harbor with special family accommodations and a family concierge, along with the tropics-inspired Havana staterooms and suites featuring a dedicated pool area.   The ship’s outdoor spaces include a massive WaterWorks aqua park, highlighted by the 455-foot-long Kaleid-o-slide, the longest slide in the fleet. 

“Carnival Vista is a spectacular addition to our fleet and we can’t wait for our guests to experience all of the ship’s exciting new features,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.  “Carnival Vista will provide our guests an opportunity to create a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories while offering our valued travel agent partners another exciting vacation option to market to their clients,” she added. 

The Carnival Vista will sail the summer in the Med and head toward New York for a short series of cruises before spending the winter in the Caribbean.

Related Links:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Oceania Cruises Christens The Latest Addition to the Fleet - the Sirena.

Christening of the Oceania Sirena

On April 27, 2016, Sirena, the newest member of the Oceania Cruises fleet, was christened in Barcelona, Spain. Watch the event as it happened live, including opening remarks from Oceania Cruises’ President Jason Montague, Sirena’s Godmother Claudine Pépin, the christening of the ship and all the festivities!

 View the Christening of the Oceania Sirena

Sirena Specifications
  • Year Built: 1999
  • Year Refurbished: 2016
  • Gross Tonnage: 30,277
  • Length: 593.7 feet
  • Beam: 83.5 feet
  • Maximum Draught: 19.5 feet
  • Stabilizers: Yes
  • Cruising Speed: 18 knots
  • Guest Decks: 9
  • Total Decks: 11
  • Electric Power or Voltage: 110, 220 AC
  • Guest Capacity: 684 (Double Occupancy)
  • Staff Size: 400
  • Guest to Staff Ratio: 1.71 to 1
  • Nationality of Officers: European
  • Nationality of Staff: International
  • Country of Registry: Marshall Islands

Related Links:

Oceania Cruises - Information on Cruises From New York and New Jersey