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Monday, September 30, 2019

Disney Cruise Lines Returns to New Orleans in 2021.


Disney Cruise Line to Sail from New Orleans in 2021


In early 2021, Disney Cruise Line will return to New Orleans for a limited-time engagement with sailings to the Bahamas and Caribbean, including visits to Disney’s private island paradise, Castaway Cay. A lineup of popular itineraries will continue across the Disney fleet with cruises to tropical destinations from Texas, California and Florida.

Bookings open to the public on Oct. 3, 2019. More details on the itineraries spanning from January through May 2021 can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2021 page of disneycruise.com.

Return to New Orleans
Back by popular demand, the Disney Wonder will return to the bayou from late January through February 2021 with a series of magical voyages. A pair of four- and five-night cruises to the Western Caribbean kick off the season from New Orleans. The five-night voyage includes a visit to Progreso, Mexico, a new port of call for Disney Cruise Line on the Yucatan Peninsula. This quaint town is filled with treasures for families to explore together, from ancient Mayan ruins to hidden swimming holes filled with crystal-clear water.

Three seven-night sailings to the Bahamas with a stop at Castaway Cay, plus a 14-night Panama Canal cruise, round out the departures from the Crescent City in early 2021.

Guests sailing from New Orleans will experience the flavors and flair of the Big Easy both onboard the Disney Wonder and ashore. The sounds and sights of New Orleans come to life at Tiana’s Place restaurant, where families are transported to an era of southern charm, spirited jazz and street party celebrations with live music and other surprises inspired by the Disney animated film “The Princess and the Frog.” Before or after their cruise, guests can savor the city’s distinct cuisine, visit family-friendly museums and parks, and take in the sounds of world-renowned live jazz music.

Popular Itineraries from Texas and California
 The Disney Wonder will also return to the popular home ports of Galveston and San Diego in early 2021. Guests sailing from Texas can enjoy the white-sand beaches of the Western Caribbean on a series of four- and six-night cruises to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. One seven-night departure will feature stops at Key West, Nassau and Castaway Cay.

Following the season in New Orleans, the Disney Wonder heads to the West Coast for a variety of sailings to Baja and the Mexican Riviera departing from San Diego. Families can hunt for gold aboard a pirate ship in Cabo San Lucas, embark on an off-road adventure in Ensenada or sunbathe on glittering sand beaches on cruises ranging from three to seven nights. 

Bahamian and Caribbean Getaways from Florida
Disney Cruise Line will have three ships sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida in early 2021, and every cruise includes a day at Disney’s private island paradise, Castaway Cay. This award-winning destination, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests, is the ultimate escape for everyone in the family. A day at Castaway Cay offers opportunities for adventure and relaxation in a lush, tropical setting filled with classic Disney storytelling.
  • From Miami, the Disney Magic will sail three-, four- and five-night Bahamian and Western Caribbean cruises.
  • From Port Canaveral, the Disney Fantasy will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.
  • From Port Canaveral, the Disney Dream will sail three- and four-night Bahamian cruises.
With a variety of options from Florida, guests can experience spectacular cruises full of fun and relaxation – featuring Broadway-style shows, immersive themed dining, imaginative kids clubs, character encounters and spaces for everyone in the family.


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Friday, September 27, 2019

Costa Luminosa to Join Costa Pacfica and Costa Fascinosa in South America in 2020-2021






Costa Luminosa to Join Costa Pacfica and Costa Fascinosa in South America in 2020-2021 Cruises from Brazilm Argentina
Costa Luminosa to Join Costa Pacfica and Costa Fascinosa in South America in 2020-2021

Costa Cruises today announced the Costa Luminosa will become the the company's third ship in South America in 2020-2021, alongside the Costa Fascinosa and Costa Pacifica.

“The arrival of Costa Luminosa for the 2020/2021 season reflects Costa Cruises' desire to strategically invest in the South American market, a market with a great potential for growth. For this reason we want to gradually increase our presence in the region,” stated Dario Rustico, General Manager for Central and South America at Costa Cruises.

The Costa Luminosa, Costa Pacifica and Costa Fascinosa will offer various itineraries to discover Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

The Costa Fascinosa will be based in Santos, sailing to Buzios, Salvador, Ilheus and Ilha Grande.
After the transatlantic crossing departing from Genoa on November 13, 2020, the Costa Pacifica will mainly concentrate on Argentina, Uruguay, and the southern part of Brazil. Calls are scheduled at Buenos Aires (Argentina); Ilhabela, Buzios, Rio de Janeiro, and Ilha Grande (Brazil); Montevideo (Uruguay).

The Costa Luminosa will also leave from Santos, with seven-night cruises heading to to Itajai (Brazil), Buenos Aires, and Montevideo.




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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Cunard Unveils 2021 Itineraries for Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, Queen VIctoria

Cunard Announces 2021 Cruise Itineraries for Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth (pictured) and Queen Victoria, mediterranean, Transatlantic Alaska, world cruise
Cunard Announces 2021 Cruise Itineraries for Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth (pictured) and Queen Victoria

Luxury cruise line Cunard has announced its voyage program for the remainder of 2021, including an extended season in Japan and new voyages in Iceland, the Baltics, and North Cape. Cunard’s iconic ships – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria – will pamper travelers, offering an exquisite onboard experience as they visit remarkable cities around the globe.

Queen Victoria will offer a new 14-night itinerary in majestic Iceland, and will also sail a new nine-night Baltic itinerary with a maiden call at Aarhus, Denmark. Queen Elizabeth will spend more time in East Asia with five roundtrip Tokyo voyages, including a maiden call at Seogwipo in Jeju Island, South Korea, followed by two Southeast Asia sailings before heading to Australia. Flagship liner Queen Mary 2 will increase the number of the brand’s signature Transatlantic Crossings in 2021, with short breaks in Europe, along with New England & Canada voyages.

“In 2021, Cunard will focus each ship in unique regions of the world to offer our guests more immersive experiences,” said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “Queen Elizabeth will offer an extended Spring season in Japan, Queen Victoria in Europe, and Queen Mary 2 will sail the unparalleled Transatlantic Crossing.”

Queen Mary 2
Queen Mary 2 will continue to be the only ship to offer regularly-scheduled service between New York and London, making 23 Transatlantic Crossings from April through December in 2021, including Crossings from Hamburg, Germany and Le Havre (Paris), France. Queen Mary 2 will also sail her very popular New England & Canada voyages over the July Fourth holiday with an overnight in Boston, and in early October with overnight calls in Québec City. Other itineraries include the Norwegian Fjords, Caribbean, and short break five-night voyages in Western Europe.

Queen Mary 2 voyage highlights include:
  • 23 seven- and eight-night Transatlantic Crossings, including those docking at Hamburg, Germany and Le Havre, France
  • Western Europe Short Breaks, which can be added to a Crossing or booked separately; are five nights in length and feature stops in Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, St. Peter Port and Cherbourg
  • Three seven-night Norwegian Fjord voyages roundtrip from London, in July and August
  • The Fourth of July six-night Independence Day cruise, roundtrip from New York, with an overnight stay in historic Boston
  • Two seven-night New England & Canada sailings between New York and Québec City on October 1 and 8, each including an overnight stay in Québec City
  • A fourteen-night roundtrip NYC New England & Canada voyage
  • Two Caribbean sailings roundtrip from New York including stops at a variety of islands; of which one will be a Thanksgiving voyage, and the other voyage during Christmas and New Year’s holidays
Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria will sail Northern Europe itineraries from May through November 2021, interspersed with a few Southern Europe voyages in late spring and during autumn, all of which are roundtrip out of Southampton, England. The ship will make one maiden call in Aarhus, Denmark, and will have overnight stays on various voyages in St. Petersburg, Russia; Reykjavik, Iceland; as well as Funchal and Lisbon, Portugal. Evening departures will be offered in Liverpool, England; Tromso and Narvik, Norway; and Funchal, Portugal.
Queen Victoria highlights include:
  • Two new 14-night itineraries in Iceland, one featuring the British Isles ports of Belfast and Liverpool, and the other visiting the Scottish ports of New Haven and Invergordon; also calling at the Faroe Islands, Reykjavik, Inverness, and more
  • A new nine-night Baltic itinerary calling at Aarhus (a maiden call) and Bornholm, Denmark; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Kiel, Germany; and Gothenburg, Sweden
  • A new twelve-night North Cape voyage calling at six Norwegian ports
  • A thirteen-night British Isles voyage, calling at St. Peter Port, Liverpool, Inverness, Glasgow, Belfast, and more.
  • Four 7-night Norwegian Fjord voyages
  • Two 14-night Western Mediterranean sailings calling at Porto, Barcelona, Cannes, Gibraltar and more; one 19-night Central Mediterranean voyage featuring calls at Dubrovnik, Zadar and Sibenik in Croatia 
  • Two 14-night Canary Islands itineraries calling at Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote
  • A four-night Western Europe cruise visiting Rotterdam and Bruges
Queen Elizabeth
In 2021, Queen Elizabeth will offer an extended season in Japan with two additional Tokyo roundtrip sailings in the spring. The first will visit Western and Southern Japan ports of Kagoshima, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Busan and a maiden call at Seogwipo in Jeju Island, South Korea. The second will circumnavigate Japan with calls in Aomori, Akita, Kanazawa, Nagasaki and Busan. After her June-August Alaska season (details to be released later this year), Queen Elizabeth will return to Japan for three Tokyo roundtrip voyages and then sail to Southeast Asia with overnight stays in the iconic ports of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. In November, the ship will sail to Australia and New Zealand.
Queen Elizabeth highlights include:
  • Five roundtrip Tokyo itineraries ranging from seven to nine nights in May, September and October
  • Two Asia/Orient sailings, 8 and 10 nights; port calls include Nagasaki, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Da Nang, Singapore, and more
  • One 15-night Asia/Australia voyage from Singapore to Sydney in November with port calls at Jakarta, Bali, Brisbane, among others
  • One 11-night Australia voyage from Sydney to Auckland, New Zealand with port calls at Melbourne, Dunedin, Bay of Islands, and more
2021 Early Booking Benefits
Guests who book launch fares by December 4, 2019 will receive exclusive benefits including:
  • Up to $1,000 per person Onboard Credit based on cabin category and voyage length; applies to the first two guests in a stateroom
  • Free drinks and gratuities in Princess Grill and Queens Grill Suites
Use promo code ZEB.

World Club Member Savings
World Club Members receive a 5% past guest discount off launch fares, available for past guests only, until February 27, 2020. Use promo code PA1.

Value Fares
Cunard is offering Value Fares for the 2021 Program Launch. Value Fares feature the following:
  • Up to 25% off public standard fares
  • Reduced non-refundable and non-transferable 12.5% deposit (required within three days of reservation)
Fares are capacity controlled, subject to change, and may not be combinable with any other public, group or past guest discount. Bookings are on guarantee status, meaning that a cabin assignment will not be available at the time of booking. Guests are guaranteed the category booked or higher. Offer expires April 30, 2020; promo code is KG5.


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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

SUNSTONE SHIPS TAKES DELIVERY OF THE FIRST INFINITY-CLASS VESSEL


GREG MORTIMER WAS NAMED AND DELIVERED ON 6 SEPTEMBER 2019
 
Delivered from a Chinese Shipyard Delivered the Greg Mortimer for sailing to Arctic and Antarctica
SunStone Ships Takes Delivery of X-Bow Exploration Ship Greg Mortimer - Ship on Charter to Aurora Expeditions


New Exploration Vessel Greg Mortimer Delivered from Chinese Shipyard
Stateroom on SunStone's Greg Mortimer Luxury Exploration vessel On Charter to Aurora Expeditions.

Greg Mortimer from Sunstone Shipping Exploration Vessel being prepared to launch
Earlier Photo of the Greg Mortimer prior to launching

 September 10, 2019 - SunStone Ships, the largest tonnage provider in the expedition market, announced the successful delivery of their first next-generation, INFINITY-class vessel - delivery was 24 days ahead of schedule.
With a goal of marrying European design and quality with Chinese ship-building efficiency, the INFINITY-class delivers cutting-edge design, innovations like X-bow technology, and significant operating efficiencies.


SunStone President and CEO, Niels-Erik Lund, commented, “We are very pleased with the quality and high building standards of China Merchants Heavy Industry, which are fully at the level of European Shipyards. A quality this high will not go unnoticed in the Cruise industry. We are looking forward to continuing our relationships with all our partners in the Infinity-class project and we are moving fast forward as planned at very satisfactory speed, safety and quality level”.


The vessel will be chartered out to Aurora Expeditions, a world leader in expedition cruising and has been named after Aurora Expeditions’ adventurous co-founder.


The vessel has departed China Merchants Heavy Industry, Haimen, and is on its way to Singapore for a one day stop for further supplies, then a two day stop in Cape Town to get the remaining hotel crew and supplies onboard, and from there to Ushuaia where cruising will begin in late October as planned.


INFINITY Class Vessels are 104 meters long, and 18 meters wide, having a draft of 5.1 meters. They feature a passenger capacity between 130-200 and a crew capacity between 85 and 115. The Vessels are Ice Class 1A, Polar Code 6 and are being built with Safe Return to Port, Dynamic Positioning and Zero Speed Stabilizers. The Vessels are featuring the X-Bow® by Ulstein Design & Solutions. They are small enough to give an exclusive atmosphere and yet large enough to yield all expected services and facilities such as a swimming pool, bar and restaurants, lounges, boutique, gym and spa.


Current INFINITY Class new-builds under way after the delivery of GREG MORTIMER are; the OCEAN VICTORY with delivery October 2020, the OCEAN EXPLORER with delivery January 2021, the Infinity-class vessel no. 7 (TBN) with delivery September 2021, the OCEAN ODYSSEY with delivery March 2022, the OCEAN DISCOVERER with delivery September 2022 and the OCEAN ALBATROS with delivery October 2022. All vessels ordered have long-term charter agreements in place.


In addition to the seven vessels already ordered, SunStone has options to build another three Infinity-class vessels.



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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Ocean Cruise Line Will Launch Seventh Ocean Ship; Viking Sky Will Return to Istanbul with New Voyages

Viking Ocean Cruises Viking Venus Scheduled to Debut in 2021 calling in Istambu
Viking Ocean Cruises Viking Venus (actually Identical Sister-ship Shown) Scheduled to Debut in 2021.


Viking® today announced its seventh ocean ship, Viking Venus®, will join its award-winning fleet in early 2021, further solidifying the company’s standing as the largest and world’s best small-ship ocean cruise line. The newest 930-guest sister ship will spend her maiden season sailing popular itineraries in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, including British Isles Explorer, In Search of the Northern Lights, Viking Homelands and Into the Midnight Sun .

“The spirit of exploration is at the heart of everything we do. We have always drawn inspiration from the original Viking explorers, who were the first to use the stars and constellations for long-distance navigation. Many elements onboard our ships honor those Viking explorers, and we are proud to host our guests on itineraries that sail some of those historic trading routes,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “I am pleased to announce that Viking Venus will join our fleet in 2021, allowing us the ability to introduce even more travelers to the Viking way of exploration.”

Viking will also expand its offerings in the Mediterranean and today announced five new itineraries that include stops in Istanbul, marking the company’s return to the iconic city. The new 8-day Ancient Mediterranean Treasures will sail between Athens and Istanbul, with overnight stays in both cities. Guests looking for an extended experience in the region can choose a longer versions of the itinerary, including the 15-day Ancient Adriatic Treasures, which sails between Venice and Istanbul; the 15-day Ancient Mediterranean Antiquities, which sails between Rome and Istanbul; the 22-day Iconic Mediterranean Treasures, which sails between Barcelona and Istanbul; or the 29-day Mediterranean’s Iconic Shores, which also sails between Barcelona and Istanbul and includes stops in Montenegro and Croatia.

Beginning in April 2021 and sailing on Viking’s award-winning 930-guest all-veranda Viking Sky®, guests embarking on the new Ancient Mediterranean Treasures itinerary or its longer combination cruise options will witness the origin of civilization while cruising the fabled Aegean Sea. Highlights of the new itinerary include:
  • Istanbul, Turkey: Guests begin their journey with an overnight stay in Istanbul, allowing more time to explore the iconic city. Guests can visit a wealth of religious sites including the “Blue Mosque” one of the city’s most recognizable sites, watch the mesmerizing whirling dervishes perform at a local venue, or participate in a centuries-old tradition at a hammam, a Turkish bath. Plus, Viking’s Privileged Access® offers guests the chance to tour the legendary Hagia Sofia free of crowds.
  • Troy (Çanakkale), Turkey: Guests can explore the nearby well-preserved ruins of Troy, most remembered as the setting of the Trojan War, described by Homer in theIliad, or visit the nearby Battlefields of Gallipoli, the tranquil memorial site of one of World War I’s longest and deadliest battles.
  • Ephesus (Kuşadasi), Turkey: One of the best-preserved cities of antiquity in the world, Ephesus is rich in history and ancient relics. While in port, guests can visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, walk through the Byzantine Basilica of St. John, or visit the modest home where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary lived out her final days.
  • Rhodes, Greece: While on the island of Rhodes, guests can explore within the city walls of Old Town, Europe’s largest active medieval town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, learn about island culture through a visit to a traditional village home, or head to one of the island’s scenic mountaintops for sweeping views of the island and the Turkish coast.
  • Heraklion, Greece: Located on the island of Crete, Heraklion boasts millennia-old history and was once the strongest fortified city in the Eastern Mediterranean. Guests can take in archeological splendors whose history is interwoven with the legends of Greek mythology, including the Palace of Knossos and the village of Arolithos, or explore the ruins of the Minoans, Europe’s oldest recorded civilization.
  • Athens, Greece: The journey concludes with an overnight stay in Athens, known as “the birthplace of democracy,” where guests can witness iconic sites such as the Hellenic Parliament, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the mighty Parthenon atop the Acropolis. Viking also offers guests Privileged Access to the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation’s exhibit on British naval icon Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson and the chance to tour a reconstructed ancient Athenian warship, the Olympias, once the dominant warship on the Mediterranean Sea from the 7th to 4th centuries BC.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of several recent accolades for Viking. For the fourth consecutive year, Travel + Leisure readers voted Viking® to the top of its categories in the 2019 World’s Best Awards, which were announced in by the publication. Earlier this year, the company’s first five 930-guest sister ships, Viking Star®, Viking Sea®, Viking Sky®, Viking Sun® and Viking Orion® dominated the Cruise Critic® 9th Annual Cruisers’ Choice Awards, receiving 11 First Place honors. All six of Viking’s ships have been awarded a top rating of five stars by Cruise Critic – and Viking also received five awards in the luxury ocean and river categories of Cruise Critic’s 2018 Editors’ Picks Awards. Viking was again named the #1 River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards – and has also been honored as “Best Cruise Line for Luxury Ocean Cruises” and “Best Luxury River Cruise Company” in Luxury Travel Advisor magazine’s 2018 “Awards of Excellence” for a second consecutive year.




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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Victory Cruise New's Newest Ship - Ocean Victory Celebrates Keel Laying Ceremony.

Artists Rendering of Victory Cruise Line's Ocean Victory. The ships keel laying happened on 9-17-2019 in China
Artists Rendering of Victory Cruise Line's Ocean Victory. The ships keel laying happened on 9-17-2019 in China

September 18, 2019 - Following a successful inaugural year of cruising the Great Lakes, and waterways and coasts of the American Borderlands, Victory Cruise Lines has now reached another milestone, thanks to a successful keel-laying for its highly-anticipated, new vessel, the M/V Ocean Victory. With it, Victory Cruise Lines plans on bringing its high standards of elegant cruising to both Alaska and British Columbia, beginning in Spring 2021.

The M/V Ocean Victory will be a Sunstone Ships’ third next-generation, INFINITY-class Vessel. European aesthetic and design, and Chinese ship-building efficiency combine to produce these intimate expedition ships that deliver on refinement, along with cutting-edge design and operations.
MORE Cruise Line & Cruise Ship
Carnival Ship Sustains Damage Passing Through Panama Canal
The Ocean Victory will include the following dynamic features:
— 104 meters long, 18 meters wide, with a draft of 5.1 meters
— Ice Class 1A, Polar Code 6
— Featuring the X-Bow by Ulstein Design & Solutions
— Equipped with Safe Return to Port, Dynamic Positioning and Zero Speed Stabilizers

With a passenger capacity of 200, and crew capacity between of 85 and 115, the Ocean Victory will be small enough to provide passengers with a sense of exclusivity, yet large enough to incorporate high-end facilities, such as a swimming pool, gym, spa, lounges, restaurants and bars, the Ocean Victory will surpass guests’ expectations of small-ship sailing.

Like its sister vessels, the M/V Victory I and M/V Victory II, Ocean Victory is designed to be agile enough to navigate the narrow locks and canals, hidden ports and secluded bays where larger ships dare not go. Its 2021 itineraries will take discriminating explorers up-close to discover the wonders of British Columbia and Alaska, both from on board ship and with immersive shore excursions.


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Friday, September 20, 2019

CELEBRITY APEX DEFINES THE PEAK EUROPEAN EXPERIENCE

European Cruises Featured on Celebrity Cruise Newest ship  - the celebrity Apex in 2020
Celebrity Cruises Newest Cruise Ship Celebrity Apex to Sail in Europe in 2022

With Celebrity Cruises’ 2020 Europe season poised to be the line’s most “revolutionary” yet, today the brand unveiled four new longer European sailings on board its newest ship, Celebrity Apex, the second ship in the brand’s innovative Edge Series.

“Like her industry-changing sister ship, Celebrity Edge – which was just named one of TIME Magazine’s 2019 World’s Greatest Places – Celebrity Apex will feature an innovative outward-facing design and transformational accommodations that invite guests to take in the breathtaking world around them,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Now, with these four new and longer Mediterranean sailings, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the peak European experience in true Celebrity style.”

Among the new sailings on board Celebrity Apex are three 10- and 11-night Eastern Mediterranean sailings and a new 11-night Western Mediterranean sailing. The two 11-night Greece, Malta and Turkey sailings will depart from Rome, Italy, visiting Istanbul, Turkey; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Athens, Greece; Valletta, Malta; and Barcelona, Spain; while on the 10-night Greece, Malta and Turkey cruise, guests will be immersed in eight beautiful ports, including Barcelona, Spain; Crete, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Bodrum, Turkey; Athens, Greece; Naples, Italy; and Rome, Italy. The one-of-a-kind 11-night Spain, France and Italian Riviera expedition will sail round-trip out of Barcelona, Spain, calling Provence (Marseille), France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Nice, France; Santa Margherita, Italy; Rome, Italy; Naples, Italy; Palma De Mallorca, Spain; and Valencia, Spain.

From impeccable accommodations, including Edge Staterooms with Infinite Verandas and two-story Edge Villas with outdoor plunge pools, to 29 world-class culinary venues, Celebrity Apex has it all. Following the ship’s Southampton debut, Celebrity Apex will offer a mini season of five sailings to European destinations, including the Norwegian Fjords and the northern coasts of Spain and Portugal. Aboard the game-changing new vessel travelers can experience a new 10-night Capital Cities Cruise with visits to iconic cities including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Paris.

After Celebrity Apex’s Northern Europe mini season, she’ll spend the rest of her inaugural summer sailing seven- to 12-night itineraries in the Mediterranean, with visits to bucket-list destinations such as Lisbon, Portugal; Istanbul; Monte Carlo; Cannes, France; and more. Intrigued European explorers are able to book cruises on board Celebrity Apex now.

Joining Celebrity Apex in Europe is her award-winning sister ship, Celebrity Edge, and the newly revolutionized Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Constellation – featuring new staterooms and suites, new public spaces, and new luxurious designs. An exciting addition to the European itineraries is Trieste, Italy, and the first-ever mini season of sailings from Lisbon, that includes overnight stays in this incredible city. Country-immersive sailings are also being introduced that focus on Italy and Greece, designed to give guests an ever greater, in-depth experience. Celebrity will be returning to Istanbul and Kusadasi, Turkey, and Oslo, Norway, featuring overnight stays in the land of the midnight sun, as well as offering overnight stays in the guest-favorite cities of Dublin, Ireland, and Reykjavik, Iceland. Celebrity’s European itineraries will offer incredible choice, with over 90 destinations and 48 overnights, so travelers have more ways to explore Europe like never before, all while sailing on an award-winning fleet of modern luxury ships.


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Thursday, September 19, 2019

OCEANIA CRUISES UNVEILS 2021 EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA VOYAGES




Oceania Cruises' Riviera - Popular among luxury passengers in Europe
Oceania Cruises' Riviera - Popular among luxury passengers in Europe
Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary- and destination -focused cruise line, launched its new 2021 Europe & North America Collection of voyages which went on sale today.

The new 2021 Europe & North America Collection is, an imaginative selection of itineraries filled with more overnight stays and off-the-beaten-track destinations. Featuring 70 overnight stays, this collection encourages deeper immersion and invites travelers to experience each region from the inside – celebrations of endless summer sunlight in the far reaches of Northern Europe; the tucked-away neighborhoods, tavernas and piazzas across the Mediterranean; hiking, fishing and glacier adventures with local experts in Alaska; and the perfect blend of hidden seaside retreats and cosmopolitan pleasures in Canada and New England.

2021 Europe & North America Collection Highlights
  • 110 itineraries, 97 of them brand new, and 15 exciting new ports to explore which feature some of Europe’s unique treasures – the dramatic fjord of Eskifjördur, Iceland; the UNESCO-protected town Alberobello from Monopoli, Italy; and the gourmet pintxo bars of San Sebastián
  • Experiencing the traditions and cultural nuances of Turkey with 13 voyages that begin or end in Istanbul, 12 overnights in Istanbul as well as calls on Antalya, Bodrum, Ephesus, Pergamum and the new port of Bozcaada (Troy)
  • Immersion into bold and beautiful Alaska with myriad adventures such a cruise along a glacier-dotted bay in Kenai Fjords National Park while in Seward, a personalized fishing and culinary expedition from Ketchikan or a remote glacier trek via helicopter from Juneau
  • Wanderlust cruising to some of the world’s most enticing corners with the voyages in our new Sirena Exotic Collection, which feature in-depth explorations of the Holy Lands of Egypt, Israel and Turkey as well as the Arabian Peninsula, India, Myanmar and Indonesia
Providing the ultimate in destination explorations, Oceania Cruises offers the widest and most immersive range of touring options – Oceania Exclusive and Oceania Select collections of mainstream excursions, trademark Culinary Discovery Tours, Food & Wine Trails tours for the ultimate foodie experiences, the most expansive offering of Wellness Tours which are available across six continents, and the new, ground-breaking Go Local series.

A Better Than New Fleet of Intimate, Luxurious Ships
With the OceaniaNEXT initiative the line has elevated the guest experience to new levels, completely transforming its four most intimate 684-guest vessels from stem to stern while updating and adding surprising new delights to its two newest 1,250-guest ships, Marina and Riviera. After a sweeping series of enhancements, Regatta, Insignia, Nautica and Sirena are better than new. All 342 suites and staterooms are new from top to bottom with luxurious touches such as decadent marble, classic granite and European fabrics. A lighter color palette graces all-new public spaces, accented with crisp white millwork, Italian glass chandeliers, bespoke glass artwork and stunning verre églomisé walls. A passion for flawless detail stimulated a re-inspiration of Marina and Riviera as well. A tony new lounge and coffee bar crowns the ships while rich fabrics and carpeting in stylish tones of caramel, ivory and espresso complement the suites and staterooms. The three jewel-like Owner’s Suites are likewise all-new and furnished exclusively from the Ralph Lauren Home Collection. With a lively new air to all six of our ships, OceaniaNEXT signals a new era for Oceania Cruises and a reinforcement of our unwavering commitment to creating unforgettable vacation experiences.

Extraordinary Value with the Inclusive OLife Choice Package
Travelers should book early to receive the best fares and promotional amenities on these new voyages. A highlight is the $149 Premium Economy Air Upgrade on select European voyages along with the value-packed OLife Choice promotion. These offers are capacity controlled and expire no later than March 31, 2020.

2 for 1 Cruise Fares & Free Internet
OLIFE CHOICE Including Roundtrip Airfare plus a choice of:
FREE - Shore Excursions
FREE - Beverage Package
FREE - Shipboard Credit


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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Aranui Cruises / Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime or CPTM Has Announced a New Ship For Delivery in 2022

Aranui Crioses announces construction of new ships Aranui from China's Hunghai Shipyard
Artists Rendering of Aranui Cruise's CPTMs  - Aranui 6 Expected Delivery in 2022

Aranui Cruises (Compagnie Polynesienne de Transport Maritime or CPTM), announced it is ordering a new cruise ship from the Chinese Hunghai Shipyard, the same that completed Aranui 5 in 2015.

The new order comes on the heals of the popularity of the Aranui 5 and the increase in bookings.

Construction is scheduled to begin next summer, and delivery is expected in 2022. Early reports say the ship will carry around 400 passengers in 200 staterooms.


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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Road Scholar Launches Its First-ever Floating Campus, New Grandparent Camping Programs And Expeditions To Antarctica In 2019


Senior travel has emerged as a travel trend to watch in 2019. According to the AARP’s Travel Report of 2018, an estimated 37 percent of boomers spent more on travel in 2018 than they did in 2017, with no end to their increase in spending in sight. Road Scholar, the world’s largest not-for-profit educational travel organization, is impacting the lives of a greater number of adults, with nearly 125,000 individuals on target to experience its educational programs this year alone.
“From our new floating classroom aboard the Aegean Odyssey, to our expeditions to Antarctica, Road Scholar learning adventures offer participants the opportunity to explore the world and be a part of our community of learners,” said James Moses, president and CEO of Road Scholar. “Everyone who embarks on a Road Scholar program learns something new—whether it be about a particular destination, culture, or the transformative experience of learning something new about themselves. We invite boomers and beyond who wish to enroll in a truly unique experience to consider an educational journey with us in 2019.”

Enroll now for Road Scholar’s First Floating Classroom
Beginning in 2020, Road Scholar will operate 10 new learning adventures aboard the 350-passenger Aegean Odyssey. These voyages will combine Road Scholar’s signature educational programs and world-class instructors with the convenience and comfort of travelling by ship. Road Scholar has arranged a special, long-term agreement for the exclusive use of the ship through 2023, complete with new itineraries to explore its top 10 destinations like Portugal, France, Italy and Greece.
Benefits include:
  • A floating campus of Road Scholar participants and instructors
  • Costs 20-30 percent below the cost of commercial voyages
  • Single accommodations at low additional cost to solo travelers
  • Free airfare from as many as 40 departure cities
To learn more, visit https://www.roadscholar.org/odyssey


Enroll now for fall 2019 expedition to Antarctica
Whether your goal is to see penguins and other bird species in their natural habitat, or to check the seventh continent off your bucket list, Antarctica is considered an expedition for the truly adventurous learner.



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Monday, September 16, 2019

Windstar Now Offering...Now Offering More Than 2,500 Tour Choices in 330 Ports on Sailings through 2021

Windstar Cruises Offers a Wide Selection of Shore Excursions in 2020 for exotic cruises
Windstar Cruises Luxury Sail Ships part of fleet offering Expanded Itineraries in 2020

Windstar Cruises has dramatically broadened its award-winning shore excursion program over the last three years, more than doubling its options for guests to upwards of 2,500 choices. The increase is a direct result of the line’s expanded global deployment to new regions like Alaska, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, and the Holy Land.
The small ship leader in destination delivery and diverse itineraries now sails to over 330 ports of call worldwide, with 700 cruise departure dates available through 2021. The company’s global expansion offers cruise guests itineraries that are immersive in a particular region or country such as Grand Japan, Around Iceland on the line’s all-suite ships, or Grand Caribbean Adventure on Wind Surf, the world’s largest sailing ship. In addition, nearly half of Windstar’s itineraries offer late night departures and overnights in port for more diverse excursion selections, including evening tours and overnight or multi-day options such as exploring Spain’s mystic inland region in the new “Beyond Ordinary: Alhambra In Depth & Insider’s Granada Overnight Tour.”
With smaller ships that can access and stay longer in smaller ports, Windstar’s shore excursions are authentic and personalized, allowing time and space to explore local cultures. To help guests navigate the many choices and match shore excursions to their interests, activity levels, and budgets, Windstar offers three shore tour categories. The award-winning line has recently debuted 10 Beyond Ordinary Tours, in-depth experiences offered in select ports. These tours complement the small ship line’s popular Concierge Collection and Essentials Collection, offered in every port.
Beyond Ordinary tours are comprised of the most over-the-top experiences that deserve to be called “once in a lifetime,” such as a panoramic helicopter flight from Monte Carlo that transports guests to Alain Ducasse’s La Bastide de Moustiers in Provence for a Michelin-starred lunch. A bit less high-flying but still exceptional is an excursion in Roses, Spain, with access to the Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery for a private yoga session on the rooftop, followed by brunch with views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Windstar introduced three Beyond Ordinary Tours last summer to great response, and has launched seven new ones in 2019 so far. The one-of-a-kind tours, bookable now, are designed for sophisticated travel tastes. Windstar’s knowledgeable Product Development team is actively curating new tour options daily, with the goal to deliver exclusive visits to rarely accessible places, matched with definitive experiences that are unique to a port, region or culture – creating storied moments that last a lifetime.
The intimate capacity of Windstar’s elegant, small cruise sailing and all-suite ships, each carrying just 148 to 342 guests, allows the company’s Product Development team to craft tours that visit exclusive and unusual sights and out of the way local favorites, personalized for much smaller groups as few as 2-4 guests.
Windstar’s 10 new Beyond Ordinary experiences include those noted above and the following:
  • Málaga & Almeria, Spain, Beyond Ordinary: Alhambra In Depth & Insider’s Granada Overnight Tour
  • Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala, Beyond Ordinary: Tikal National Park
  • Portimao, Portugal, Beyond Ordinary: Algarve Premium Race Tour
  • Ashdod, Israel, Beyond Ordinary: Masada Flightseeing & Jerusalem Exploration
  • Haifa, Israel Beyond Ordinary: Jerusalem, Masada Dead Sea, and Petra Overland
  • Melbourne, Australia, Beyond Ordinary: Decadent Wine & Foodie Experience by Helicopter
  • Bergen, Norway, Beyond Ordinary: Helicopter to Baroniet Manor with Horse Carriage
  • Heimaey Island, Iceland, Beyond Ordinary: Snowmobile & Helicopter Glacier Adventure
“Our team is located around the world and works incredibly hard to develop unusual tours that will interest our guests and be considered the best in destination delivery. With 50 new itineraries visiting Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Fiji, the South Pacific and Cook Islands, Mexico, U.S. Coasts and more, we’re tapping a host of fresh experiences and destinations that are truly special,” says Windstar Director of Product Development Kelly Hubbard. “Our Beyond Ordinary and Concierge Collection excursions are authentic, next-level outings that show exactly how Windstar does things differently.”
Windstar has doubled its Concierge Collection excursions in two years to more than 110 tours featuring intimate experiences that typically range in size from four to 16. Concierge tours present off-the-beaten path experiences, whether visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, discovering street art with artist Eduardo Hermida in El Ferrol, Spain; taking a “tree to bar” chocolate-making class in St. Lucia using prized trinitario cocoa beans or exploring remote Dry Tortugas National Park by seaplane.
“It’s no longer enough to say that our cruises visit interesting, out of the way ports; it’s about painting the picture of the overall destination and explaining exactly what a guest will do that day, with specifics on how we deliver those experiences,” explains Hubbard. “The majority of our shore excursions are available to review at the same time as guests are considering the cruise itinerary they want to book. This gives Windstar guests the advantage of knowing all of the great shore excursion options available, so they can make the most of their vacation time and get excited about cruising with Windstar.”
Examples of newly developed and popular Concierge Collection tours include:
Adelaide, Australia Concierge Collection: Sea to Wine Biking TourAn easy bicycle ride from gorgeous Henley Beach traces the River Torrens right into the heart of Adelaide, where a private wine tasting is arranged at the National Wine Centre with a myriad of South Australian wines to learn about and enjoy. After tasting, guests stroll through the Botanic Gardens for a picnic lunch in the park.
Tracy Arm & Endicott Arm, AlaskaSignature Expedition Tracy Arm Kayaking Windstar Signature Expeditions operate directly from the ship and are led by Expedition Leaders who provide insight, education and commentary while exploring Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness.  Kayak in front of the South Sawyer Glacier or Dawes Glacier, both actively calving tidewater glaciers, spot harbor seals hauled out on ice floes, or mountain goats high on vertical granite cliffs that rise from the sea and spout waterfalls. John Muir referred to this area as “a wild, unfinished Yosemite.”
San Francisco, California – Concierge Collection: Sonoma Wine & Olive Oil Tasting with Lunch — Guests are whisked away by luxury van to the Gloria Ferrer Winery for a private cave tour followed by a wine and cheese tasting. Enjoy lunch in quaint downtown Sonoma Square before traveling to Figone Olive Oil & Production Mill for a private tour and tasting of olive oil and balsamic vinegars, finished with another private winery tasting. This tour offers a full day of classic California wine country experiences.
Balboa, Panama – Concierge Collection: Coffee & Chocolate Foodie ExperienceAt Casco Viejo, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, guests enjoy a walking “foodie” experience starting at a coffee house with a focus on Geisha coffee, famed for being the most expensive on earth. Naturally next stop is a chocolate shop with an expert chocolatier to guide tastings. The experience finishes in a rum distillery that uses sugar cane cut by hand in a small farm in Chiriqui. The rum tasting is complemented by local ceviche and traditional Panamanian snacks. 
Cozumel, Mexico Concierge Collection: Chichén Itzá Overnight & Sunrise Guests head to the Hacienda Chichén Resort for a delicious dinner from acclaimed Mayan chefs serving up exclusively organic and local fare. After a restful sleep at the eco-resort, guests rise by dawn to hike and catch the first sun rays touching the Chichén Itzá ruins, one of the most important archaeological sites of the Maya, before the grounds are open to the general public.
Geiranger, Norway – Concierge Collection: Geirangerfjord RIB AdventureOn a RIB (rigid inflatable boat), guests zip through Geirangefjord with a chance to get up close to the famous waterfalls in the scenic fjord, as well as the hauntingly beautiful abandoned farms.  
Hubbard and her team travel the globe to hand-select tour components and operators that are a unique fit for Windstar guests, testing and fine-tuning to ensure each location, activity, meal and experience is the best representation of each port of call. The tour development process, while sounding glamorous, relies on years of expertise and relationships with partners around the globe, Hubbard notes.
Windstar’s aptly named Essentials Collection offers an abundance of options for guests to maximize time in port and truly “see the sights.” These tailored tours guarantee an authentic taste of regional geography, culture and cuisine, and are deemed “must do” activities for first-time visitors providing classic experiences and a comprehensive overview.
Windstar offers more than 1,900 Essentials Collection tours, such as visits to mystical ancient Olympia, or an underwater coral garden in Bora Bora. A few of the new Essentials Collection tours include:
Lembar, Indonesia – Essentials Collection: Sasak Traditional Village & Kuta BeachExperience the rural lifestyle of a traditional Sasak village in Central Lombok, while your guide shares insights on local culture and architecture. Kuta Beach offers the best seascape in Lombok, and an Indonesian buffet lunch is served at a beautiful tropical resort, with ample time to enjoy the beach.
Istanbul, Turkey – Essentials Collection: Turkish Bath ExperienceRelax at the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Turkish bath, where guests are welcomed in Hammam Square with takunya (wooden sabots) and pestemal (loincloth) then ushered to heated ‘gobektasis’ for a rub down massage and bath.
Messina, Italy – Essentials Collection: 500 Vintage Tour Visit hidden gems of Eastern Sicily while driving a classic vintage car (Fiat 500) along the beautiful Taormina seafront to the town of Savoca, Francis Ford Coppola’s infamous setting for “The Godfather.”  
Windstar’s “Destination Event” Offers Up to $1,000 Shipboard Credit per Suite to Spend on Shore Excursions and more In celebration of Windstar’s 2,500 shore excursions, the line’s “Destination Event” is offering cruise guests who book late summer and into fall, a shipboard credit to spend on board on shore excursions, alcoholic beverages and spa services. The up to $1,000 per suite shipboard credit is available on more than 700 voyages to more than 330 ports of call on sailings through 2021; credit varies based on length of cruise and cabin category:
Voyages 14 days or more:
  • $1,000 SBC per suite ($500 per guest) for Premium Suites
  • $400 SBC per suite ($200 per guest) for Standard Suites & Staterooms
Voyages 5-13 days:
  • $400 SBC per suite ($200 per guest) for Premium Suites
  • $200 SBC per suite ($100 per guest) for Standard Suites & Staterooms
Premium Suites include: Owner’s Suites, Classic Suites, Officer’s/Bridge Suites and Wind Surf Suites. To use the shipboard credit for shore excursions, tours must be booked on board. 


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Friday, September 13, 2019

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to Hold Naming Ceremony for the HANSEATIC Inspiration in Hamburg

 
Hapag-Lloyd to name its newest luxury Expedition cruise ship - Hanseatic Inspiration in Hamburg in October 2019
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to Hold Naming Ceremony for the HANSEATIC Inspiration in Hamburg


The HANSEATIC inspiration, which is the second of the three new expedition ships from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, will be named on Friday October 11, 2019 with an exceptional ceremony in true expedition style at Uberseebrucke in the Port of Hamburg. The invited guests will watch the naming ceremony of the small expedition ship from the water.

The new expedition class, which consists of three structurally identical ships designed for a maximum of 230 passengers, is being financed by an investment from the parent TUI Group. The entire Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ fleet is therefore the property of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and the TUI Group. The investment highlights the strategy of the global TUI Group, which is focused on its cruise business. The Group is investing in its cruise portfolio and is expanding, modernizing and rejuvenating the fleet. Additional new ships will be added to the overall fleet in the coming years.
“Our ships may travel all over the world, but Hamburg is and will remain our home port. It is therefore a very special occasion for us to be naming the HANSEATIC inspiration against the fantastic backdrop of the Port of Hamburg,” said Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has organized a special ceremony for the naming of the HANSEATIC inspiration. The invited guests will watch the naming ceremony live from Zodiacs. Launches will be available for those who find the expedition rubber boats a little on the adventurous side. Further details of the naming ceremony are being kept as a surprise for the invited guests. “Of course, we want to surprise our guests. But one thing they can be sure of is that it will be a very special ceremony and we are looking forward to enjoying it with our evening guests and the crew,” added Karl J. Pojer. 
On October 14, HANSEATIC inspiration Captain Ulf Wolter will welcome guests aboard the sold-out maiden voyage in Antwerp and set sail with them on a 15-day sailing: The Channel Island of Guernsey, Islas Cies in Spain, Portimao in the Algarve, Casablanca and Madeira are just some of the nine ports of call on this cruise, which ends in Tenerife. 
The HANSEATIC inspiration offers 5-star service with around 175 crew members looking after a maximum of 230 guests – or just 199 guests on Antarctic cruises and circumnavigations of Spitsbergen. The ship has the highest ice class for passenger ships and is fitted with cutting-edge equipment and environmental technology such as cold ironing and an SCR catalytic converter. From July 2020, the entire Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ expedition fleet will use low-pollutant marine gas oil fuel on all routes.
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