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Monday, August 22, 2016

Windstar Offers 2017 European Program

Cruisers can choose from more than 120 unique sailings visiting small port gems and classic harbors around Europe with two new sailings to Croatia and more Iceland & Scandic sailings
Cruisers can choose from more than 120 unique sailings visiting small port gems and classic harbors around Europe with two new sailings to Croatia and more Iceland & Scandic sailings
Boutique cruise line Windstar Cruises is preparing for a remarkable Europe sailing season in 2017, with 22 unique itineraries being offered between May and November on 120 plus cruises including two brand new itineraries focusing on the trendy destinations of Croatia, Slovenia, and Montenegro. Windstar is also doubling capacity on its popular Around Iceland cruises that sail roundtrip from Reykjavik, Iceland.
“The elegant sailing and all-suite yachts of Windstar can be found in the classic and quaint harbors across Europe from the Baltic to the Adriatic and many stops in between,” noted John Delaney, president of Windstar Cruises. “Discovering destinations the Windstar way means visiting local markets with the yachts’ executive chefs; staying in port longer – often with an overnight, in places like Bordeaux and St. Petersburg; and indulging in over-the top complimentary local events that provide guests a fusion of culture, cuisine and entertainment to overwhelm the senses and create a cultural encounter not soon forgotten.”
Small ship cruise innovator Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of six yachts sailing internationally to more than 150 ports of call — three new-to-brand, all-suite yachts, including Star Breeze, Star Pride, and Star Legend carrying 212 guests, as well as Windstar’s classic sailing yachts Wind Surf with 310-guests, and Wind Star and Wind Spirit carrying 148 guests. Windstar provides a casual yet elegant approach to cruising with stops in smaller harbors, cultural immersion with complimentary Destination Discovery shore events, as well as local musicians and dance performances. Exemplary personalized service by attentive ship staff combine to generate an unmatched vacation experience for guests.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

MasterChef Cruise New Press Release Announcing Updated Programming Slate For A Week- Long Culinary Adventure At Sea

MasterChef Cruise reveals tentative programming plan
MasterChef Cruise reveals tentative programming plan

  • All-new events on the week-long culinary adventure at sea include Nacho Battle, Cupcake Tower Battle, MASTERCHEF Classic Relay Race Challenge and more
  • Expanded programming slate to include live stage demonstrations hosted by the MASTERCHEF All-Stars MASTERCHEF Season Seven winner (To be announced on the Sept. 14 finale), Claudia Sandoval (MASTERCHEF Season Six winner), Addison (MASTERCHEF Junior Season Four winner), Luca Manfé (MASTERCHEF Season Four winner), Elizabeth Cauvel (MASTERCHEF Season Five runner-up, Leslie Gilliams (MASTERCHEF Season Five Contestant), Zac (MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Season Four contestant) and Sean (MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Season Two contestant)
    • Special VIP Event to be announced soon which will give guests a chance to experience a 5-course luncheon by the MASTERCHEF Season 7 Winner
MasterChef Cruise announced today the all-new expanded slate of entertaining and theatrical programming on the seven-day cruise sailing through the Caribbean November 6-13, 2016. Guests have the opportunity to expand their culinary skills and a chance to cook with their favorite MASTERCHEF All-Stars in live theatre demonstrations during the culinary adventure at sea.
Presented by Endemol Shine North America, producers of the television series, and events company Life Journeys, the MasterChef Cruise will satisfy guests’ appetites with culinary events and demonstrations featuring the MASTERCHEF All-Stars who are set to appear, including MASTERCHEF Season Seven winner (To be announced on the Sept. 14 finale), Claudia Sandoval (MASTERCHEF Season Six winner), Addison (MASTERCHEF Junior Season Four winner), Luca Manfé (MASTERCHEF Season Four winner), Elizabeth Cauvel (MASTERCHEF Season Five runner-up), Leslie Gilliams (MASTERCHEF Season Five Contestant), Zac (MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Season Four contestant) and Sean (MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Season Two contestant
In addition to previously announced programming such as intimate dining experiences, a Mac-N-Cheese @ Sea Showdown, Iconic Mystery Box Challenges as seen on the show, Meet-and-Greets, Book Signings and an All Stars Finale “Best of the Best” Competition, guests will enjoy a number of new entertaining challenges and exciting demonstrations based on the full schedule available on the MasterChef Cruise website:
  • Taste Test Trivia: If you’re lucky, you could be chosen to test your own skills in our first Taste Test Trivia competition.
  • Luca's Pasta 101: Learn from the pro as Luca demonstrates key steps to making the perfect pasta.
  • Simple Sushi By Sean: It’s not as hard as you think!  Watch as junior contestant Sean walks you through simple and fun ways to build and serve classic sushi favorites.
  • The Soul of Mexico With Claudia: Claudia will inspire you as she dazzles us with her creations inspired by heritage, family, friends and history.  A true labor of love!
  • Grill Master Leslie: He knows his way around a grill and during this demo you’ll get his tips and tricks to kick your grilling game up a notch!  
  • Designing a Dinner Party with Elizabeth: Food preparation is most important but sophisticated details and playful touches can help you bring life to your next dinner party. 
  • Nacho Battle: It’s your turn as we challenge a few audience members to build the best nachos to impress Claudia, Sean and Zac.
  • A True MasterChef Dish: Our Season 7 Winner will guide you through a quick and easy way to turn a family favorite into a MasterChef masterpiece.
  • The Art of Decorating with Addison & Sean: Let these juniors inspire your creativity as they share beautiful and fun ways to elevate your baking game!
  • Relay Race: Working together is the key to success.  Watch as our All-Stars compete in an exciting relay race culinary competition.
  • Cupcake Tower Battle: Can you build the ultimate cupcake tower in less than 30 minutes?
Soon, the MasterChef Cruise will also be announcing premium VIP experiences such as an available 5-course lunch menu created by the MASTERCHEF Season 7 winner and much more. Check the MasterChef Cruise website often for updates!
All programming is subject to change.
The seven-day cruise sets sail November 6-13, 2016 on board Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam. Embarking from Fort Lauderdale, FL, it will visit Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private island in the Bahamas.
For additional details and the full MasterChef Cruise itinerary visit For additional information about the onboard event schedule visit
Further information:
Julie Holland
Endemol Shine North America
(310) 691-7247

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

German Cruise Operators Eye China As Well

AIDA decided to base AIDAbella in China
AIDA decided to base AIDAbella in China

Recent events in the cruise industry has had many cruise operators focusing on China and it growing middle class. Operators such as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line have based NEW ships in China - geared 100% to Chinese cruise passengers.

Surprisingly, the German cruise operator - AIDA - is basing one of their ships in China in 2017. Although Not altering their German onboard experience - but offering a German experience to the Chinese Market.

Here is an excerpt  from the AIDA press release.....

AIDA Cruises launched the first marketing campaign on the Chinese market. From April 2017, with AIDAbella, AIDA Cruises will, for the first time, deploy a ship in China all year round and, in close cooperation with Costa Asia, be offering cruise vacation "Made in Germany" from Shanghai as a new premium product for the booming Chinese market.

"The ongoing growth of AIDA has made Germany the second biggest cruise market in the world. [Re Entry into the Chinese Martket] -The expansion of our product portfolio to include an AIDA Cruises ship on the fastest-growing market in the world is a strategic step for the further successful development of Costa and AIDA", said Michael Thamm, CEO of the Costa Group.

"AIDA would not be as successful today if we had not constantly entered uncharted territory in the 20 years since the commissioning of our first new vessel. 

We are now venturing a further important step and, with AIDAbella, exporting our successful concept to China, the fastest-growing cruise market in the world. With our lifestyle-oriented and innovative product, we will provide further important momentum for the emerging Chinese market and thrill entirely new groups of guests. I would like to thank our colleagues at Costa Asia for supporting us with their know-how", commented Felix Eichhorn, President AIDA Cruises.

AIDAbella will be prepared for service in Asia during a dockyard refit in spring 2017. Without changing the essence of the successful AIDA brand, the ship and services will be oriented to the wishes and demands of Chinese guests. Under the motto "cruise vacation Made in Germany" i.a. the "Brauhaus" featuring a blend of Bavarian conviviality meets with modern far eastern cuisine in the in the spacious buffet restaurant "World of Asia" where the hot pot restaurant "Hot & Spicy" will be integrated. New on board are as well successful German brands as Rimowa or Hugo Boss.

Christened in Rostock on April 23, 2008 by supermodel Eva Padberg, AIDAbella was the fifth ship in the AIDA fleet. Since then, the ship has welcomed more than 750,000 guests on board to explore the most beautiful holiday regions in the world - including the Baltic Sea, the Canaries, the Mediterranean, the Orient, Southeast Asia, USA and the Caribbean. Since going into service, AIDAbella has covered over 600,000 nautical miles.

AIDAbella will bid farewell to all her German fans with unique cruises to exotic dream destinations along the most splendid coastlines of Southeast Asia. From mid-December 2016 to the beginning of March 2017, the ship will depart from Bangkok on eight fascinating 14-day cruises through Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. The countries of smiles promise everything that is exotic - perfect for a summer break in the middle of winter.

On all the cruises of AIDAbellas farewell tour, guests can expect a fantastic entertainment program on board with excellent guest artists, well-known speakers and inspiring workshops.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Introduces the Ultra Luxury Seven Seas Explorer

Regent Seven Seas new Seven Seas Explorer
Regent Seven Seas new Seven Seas Explorer

Seven Seas Explorer, the first newbuild for Regent Seven Seas Cruises in over thirteen years, joined the fleet in June. Godmother of Seven Seas Explorer, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco, officially christened the ship in Monte Carlo, one of the world’s most glamorous cities, and included a special private concert by world-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.

The ship features extravagantly designed theaters and lounges, an unparalleled collection of opulent and spacious suites, five lavish gourmet restaurants and an unprecedented level of personalized service. At 55,254 gross tons and carrying only 750 guests, the all-suite, all-balcony ship boasts one of the highest space ratios and lowest guest to crew ratios in the cruise industry, the largest private verandas in the cruise industry and a new category of luxury suite, the nearly 4,500-square foot Regent Suite.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lindblad Expeditions - National Geographic Orders Two New Coastal Cruisers

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders has entered into an agreement  to build two U.S. coastal vessels for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders has entered into an agreement  to build two U.S. coastal vessels for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic.  

Each vessel will have a passenger capacity of 100 people and consist of 50 cabins, 22 having balconies. A sundeck outdoor walkway, al fresco bar and grill, lounge bar, presentation amenities, fitness room, and wellness spa are just a few of the luxuries that will be offered by each ship.
Sea kayaks, paddleboards, landing crafts, remotely operated vehicles, video microscopes, and hydrophone and bow-cam designed to record sea-life are available to enhance interactive learning and guests' overall experience.

The vessels' names and gross tonnage are not yet confirmed. The ship is said to be delivered by the end of the second quarter of 2017, with the second following a year later. 

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Silversea Announces $170 Million Fleet-Wide Refurbishment Program

The Silver Whisper is just one of the many ships planned to be upgraded in Silversea's fleet
The Silver Whisper is just one of the many ships planned to be upgraded in Silversea's fleet

On August 3, Silversea announced a $170 million refurbishment plan intended to rejuvenate its fleet.
New suites, bathrooms, and interior upgrades are just a few of the improvements intended for the Silver Whisper by the end of 2016. A company statement also promise two additional satellite antennas meant to improve onboard internet speed, bettering guests' networking experiences.

Similar renewing alterations are planned for the Silver Wind and Silver Discoverer in October 2016.

“We are thrilled to be moving ahead with these major refurbishments and look forward to welcoming guests aboard and sharing our unique vision of ultra-luxury cruising, both in terms of service and physical environment... We pride ourselves on being the reference when it comes to ultra-luxury cruising and this investment reflects our long-term commitment in this regard toward our ships, our guests and our crew”
                -Manfredi Lefebvre, Chairman of Silversea

Friday, August 12, 2016

Genting Hong Kong Forms MV Werften To Focus on New Shipbuilding

Genting Hong Kong Forms MV Werften To Focus on New Shipbuilding

Genting Hong Kong Forms MV Werften To Focus on New Shipbuilding
During a recent annual staff meeting in Germany, Genting Hong Kong announced the three shipyards in the German State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern bought this April will be named MV Werften*, be managed in Wismar and will focus on building large new ships. Lloyd Werft, located in Bremerhaven and bought last September, will focus on its prior business of repairs, conversion and building of megayachts.

"To make MV Werften into one of the world’s most modern and efficient cruise shipyards, we will invest 100 million euros in a thin plate laser welding line, a cabin module factory, a new covered section block building hall, the modernization of manufacturing control systems and new executive and employee offices and facilities,” says Tan Sri KT Lim, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Genting Group. 

“We are also pleased to announce Mr. Jarmo Laakso as the Managing Director of MV Werften. Mr. Laakso has more than 35 years’ experience in building passenger ships, including the latest generation of mega cruise ship, including the Quantum of the Seas. Mr Laakso has a unique yard and owner perspective as he has worked for Meyer Werft from 1998 to 2004 and for Royal Caribbean International from 2005 to 2015,” he added. 

"We highly appreciate the commitment of Genting Hong Kong. This is a strong signal and a clear statement from Genting on the shipbuilding industry in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern - and in particular, the shipyards in Wismar, Rostock and Stralsund," says Harry Glawe, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's Economy Minister. 

MV Werften will deliver the first of four luxury Crystal River ships in 2017, the first of a series of 20,000 gross ton Crystal Endeavor Class polar expedition yachts in 2018 and the first of a series of 201,000 gross ton Star Cruises Global Class cruise ships by 2020. The planned annual output of MV Werften will be stepped up in future years to eventually build two Neo- Panamax cruise ships of over 200,000 gross tons each and one Panamax cruise vessel. MV Werften has docks, fabrication halls and painting shops which are all covered and, as a result, is able to produce cruise ships of the highest quality and workmanship, valued at more than 2.5 billion euros. 

“We will build on the strength of the 1,400 employees of MV Werften,” says Managing Director, Jarmo Laakso. “We have hired and are still hiring more people with cruise shipbuilding experience who, with the current workforce, will make MV Werften one of the most efficient and innovative cruise shipbuilders in Europe.”

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