Monday, October 16, 2017

Star Clippers Waive Single Supplements on Select Mediterranean and Transatlantic Sailings

More and more travelers are choosing to go solo, including solo cruises—an experience that’s traditionally priced and designed for couples. Star Clippers embraces this growing trend with its social on-board atmosphere and diverse range of sailing itineraries that appeal to the solo traveler. And now, Star Clippers is waiving single supplements on select 2018 Mediterranean and Transatlantic sailings, making solo cruising an affordable option and great value.

Star Clippers is waiving single supplements on a variety of 2018 Mediterranean sailings, ranging from five to 14 nights on board the Royal Clipper (pictured here)and Star Flyer. Examples of included sailings on board the Royal Clipper include a five-night Spain and Morocco itinerary from Lisbon to Malaga on April 23, and a 12-night version of the same sailing that goes on to the Balearic Islands, Corisca and Cannes. On the Star Flyer, a seven-night French Riviera sailing round trip from Cannes departs June 2.

For solo travelers looking for longer journeys, Star Clippers has waived the single supplement on two epic Transatlantic sailings. Ship enthusiasts will be drawn to the 20-night Eastbound Crossing, from St. Maarten to Lisbon aboard the Star Flyer, which features 19 nights at sea. Sailing departs March 31. Travelers who want a mix of land and sea will love the 28-night Eastbound Crossing from Barbados to Cannes with stops in the Azores, Portugal, Morocco, Spain, the Balearic Islands and France. This sailing aboard the Royal Clipper departs Barbados on April 7.

For more than 25 years, Star Clippers has been introducing travelers to the thrill of modern tall ship sailing to remote ports in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indonesia and Far East. The company operates three of the world’s largest and tallest sailing vessels: Star Clipper and Star Flyer are traditional clipper ships with modern amenities carrying 170 guests, while the 227-guest Royal Clipper holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest and only five-masted, full-rigged sailing ship in service today. All three ships have expansive teak decks, swimming pools, informal dining, convivial tropical bars on deck and piano lounges. The brand’s newest vessel, Flying Clipper, will debut in Fall 2018. For more information, visit Starclippers.com.

Image © Linda Coffman, CruiseDiva.com

Oceania Cruises' Sirena Makes Inaugural Call To St. Kitts

Pictured: Oceania Cruises' MS Sirena alongside
the Caribbean Princessat Port Zante, St. Kitts
Oceania Cruises' newest cruise ship, Sirena, made its inaugural visit to St. Kitts on Wednesday, October 11, bringing more than 600 visitors to the island, who enjoyed the island's beaches, tours and many attractions.

Launched in 1999, Sirena was one of the now defunct Renaissance Cruises R-class ships, which joined Oceania Cruises together with other R shipsRegatta, Insignia, and Nautica. Until 2016, Sirena was part of Princess Cruises' fleet sailing as "Ocean Princess."

Oceania Cruises is a Miami-based company operating a fleet of premium cruise ships world-wide. The cruise line bills itself as upper-premium line, positioned squarely between the luxury and the premium segment.

Also in port the same day was the Caribbean Princess with a maximum capacity of 3,140 passengers. Last Sunday, October 8, the Adventure of the Seas visited St. Kitts with a maximum capacity of 3,840 passengers. An estimated 120 vessels are scheduled to visit St. Kitts from October 7 to December 31, 2017.

About St. Kitts
Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination's natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. The island's stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking or ziplining through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island's former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are water sports, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts' exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach. For more information about St. Kitts, visit StKittsTourism.kn.

Image Courtesy St. Kitts Tourism

Cruise Lines International Association Celebrates Cruise Travel in the Americas & the Caribbean as Part of Plan a Cruise Month

It’s the second week of Plan a Cruise Month and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community, is highlighting cruise destinations in the Americas and the Caribbean. While areas in the Caribbean were recently impacted by hurricanes, the industry is reporting that close to 50 destinations are still welcoming cruise travelers. Additionally, there are several other cruise embarkation ports and destinations throughout the Americas.

“First and foremost, our hearts go out to those impacted by the hurricanes; they have been a cherished part of our cruise family for over 40 years,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Fortunately, the vast majority of ports in the Caribbean are welcoming guests, having sustained minimal or no direct damage from the storms. The Caribbean islands and destinations throughout the Americas rely on tourism and the cruise industry is dedicated to continuing to bring vacationers to these beautiful areas. I’m proud of the collective efforts of CLIA Cruise Line Members along with the industry associations, providing more than $30 million in financial resources, temporary housing, transporting families and pets as well as a variety of supplies to people in need.”

Highlights of Cruising through the Americas & the Caribbean

Diverse Destinations: From treks down the Mississippi to paddling the Panama Canal, there’s something for every type of traveler in the Americas and Caribbean.
• Sitka, Alaska: Alaska’s “most exotic” cruise port is full of storied history that includes being home to Tlingit Native Americans and formerly acting as a major pulp mill town. Travelers can visit the totem pole park or walk along Katlian Street on the Sitka Channel waterfront, full of sights of colorful fishing boats and harbor town houses.
• Montevideo, Uruguay: This South American port city is a hidden gem full of old and new sights to see and architecture to take in, and offers a great spot to relax during a full itinerary with monuments, restaurants, and beaches. Travelers can walk the ultra-modern Plaza Independencia main square or take in afternoon tea in historical Ciudad Vieja.
• Quebec City, Quebec: This mostly French-speaking Canadian province offers travelers an unexpected taste of Europe with bistro and boutique-lined cobblestone streets. Adventure seekers and nature lovers can indulge in biking tours along famous waterfalls like the Montmorecny Falls, while history lovers can enjoy famed sites like the Basilique Cathedrale.
• Bonaire, Caribbean: The B in ABC islands, Bonaire is the original leader in ecology and eco-tourism, with bustling sanctuary colonies of flamingos, wild donkeys, and sea horses. Travelers to this island off the coast of Venezuela can participate in windsurfing, kayaking, bird watching, kite boarding, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding or “diver’s paradise” activities like diving and snorkeling.
• St. Kitts, Caribbean: This West Indies isle, originally discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, offers travelers a peek into preserved history with its 17th and 18th century military architecture. The island also offers lush rainforests, with more than a quarter of its land protected as a National Park.
Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures: Travelers looking to kayak through glacier water or snorkel along exotic reefs can find a variety of special activities and excursions on a cruise through the Americas or Caribbean.
• Ride the River: Vacationers yearning to experience U.S. history have a chance of following in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark while viewing classic Americana with a trip down the Columbia/Snake River, complete with trips through Hells Canyon and views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood.
• Photos in Peggy’s Cove: Peggy’s Cove in Halifax is home to smooth boulders that have buoyed waves for 450 million years, in addition to perhaps the most photographed lighthouse in the world—a must-see and must-photograph spot for photo enthusiasts.
• Roatan Rum: Rum and sweets-loving cruise travelers can take part in authentic culture with Mayan chocolate and rum cake tastings in Roatan.
• High on the Haleakala: Nature lovers and photo buffs alike should experience the Haleakala Volcano in Maui, which rises 10,023 feet above sea level and offers some of the most beautiful volcanic sights in the world. Thrill seekers can even bike down the sides. To make the trip a once-in-a-lifetime event, travelers can also see the ahinahina plant, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
CLIA Travel Tips when Cruising the Americas or the Caribbean
Any vacation takes planning, and cruising is no different. CLIA has outlined tips for how to take the stress out of cruising in any waters, including the Americas or the Caribbean.
• Strike a Balance: Cruisers can benefit from striking a fine balance between scheduled excursions or entertainment and leaving time to relax. Travelers should be careful not to overbook their schedules on the ship or in port in order to leave room to enjoy the ship’s many amenities or sight see. Whether it b whale watching or a helicopter ride over active volcanoes, book two to three activities or excursions at most per day, with some downtime in between, when possible, to avoid travel fatigue.
• Ask the Question: Travelers should never hesitate to stop and ask questions when in doubt. Whether questions are directed at a cruise-certified travel agent while booking a cruise, or to the ship’s staff while aboard – there are knowledgeable resources to help provide answers to any question that arises.
• Rest Assured while Aboard: Travelers that take advantage of booking with cruise-certified travel agents can rest assured while resting up on any cruise, as a professional travel agent can help if things go wrong while cruising.
More about Plan a Cruise Month
October is Plan a Cruise Month—a worldwide movement to learn more about cruising and how to plan and take a cruise vacation. The campaign, created by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community, offers insight on the best cruise destinations, special cruise line deals and promotions as well as experts to help navigate the many cruise vacation options available for every travel style and budget. More information is available at Cruising.org.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Princess Cruises Celebrates The New York Premiere Of “Born To Dance” Aboard Regal Princess

Princess Cruises celebrated the New York premiere of “Born to Dance”, the latest offering from its first-of-its-kind partnership with Stephen Schwartz, Oscar®, Grammy® and Tony Award®-winning composer of “Wicked,” “Godspell,” and “Pippin.” Joining Schwartz aboard Regal Princess for the premiere was director/creator Daniel C. Levine (“Les Miserables,” “Mamma Mia!”).

Born to Dance celebrates the aspirations, hurdles and triumphs of professional dancers, as told through tributes to Broadway’s greatest choreography in a feel-good story. Princess audiences get a glimpse of what it takes to be a dancer, the highs and lows and that driving need to dance brought to life by some of Broadway’s most famous hits including “West Side Story,” “A Chorus Line,” “Chicago” and more. A who’s-who of acclaimed choreographers and dancers virtually join the multi-media production, tracing the journey of the great artists and shows that made musical theater history.

Overseeing the creative development of four entertainment shows for Princess Cruises, Schwartz brings together an illustrious team of Broadway talent to support the productions through direction and design. “Born to Dance” is created and directed by Levine and is now showing aboard Golden Princess, Grand Princess, Star Princess, and Regal Princess. Additional creative team talent includes costume design by six time Tony Award® winner William Ivey Long, musical arrangement by Bryan Perri (“Wicked”), choreography by Al Blackstone (“So You Think You Can Dance”), and scenic design by Tony Award® winner Beowulf Boritt.



Find more information at Princess.com/borntodance.

Image & Video Courtesy Princess Cruises

Celebrity Cruises is Proud to Offer Legal Same-Sex Marriages On Board

Celebrity Cruises is proud to announce that same-sex marriages performed onboard are now legally recognized, marking a historic first for the premium brand.

The motion follows a transformative vote in Malta, where a majority of the Celebrity fleet is registered, which passed the country's parliament 66-1. The long-awaited referendum opens the door for Celebrity to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed onboard, and have the fleet's captains officiate the ceremonies.

"Celebrity Cruises has a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and I cannot think of a more important time in our history than right now to do all we can to support inclusion. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that starting today, we welcome same-sex couples to marry on our ships while in international waters," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "This is one for the history books!"

"Celebrity Weddings has already hosted many same-sex weddings in the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean, where legal," said Barbara Whitehall, Managing Director, The Wedding Experience. "We are ecstatic that this new Malta ruling opens up marriage equality for anyone and everyone sailing with Celebrity Cruises while in international waters."

The Celebrity Weddings program offers onboard ceremonies and destination weddings for lovebirds. The Nautical Nuptials at Sea package includes a Captain-led ceremony, an event coordinator's services, live music, one hour of photography, cake for two, bottle of Champagne, a bouquet and boutonniere, plus additional romantic turndown amenities post-ceremony.

To learn more about the Celebrity Weddings program and The Wedding Experience, visit Celebrity Weddings.

Photo © Linda Coffman, CruiseDiva.com

American Cruise Lines Announces Complimentry Pre-Cruise Packages

American Cruise Lines announces special 2018 Complimentary and Extended Pre-Cruise Packages on many of its most popular itineraries. All Complimentary Pre-Cruise Packages include a premium hotel stay, welcome reception, and complimentary transport to the ship. Complimentary Pre-Cruise Packages are available on the following 2018 itineraries:

• All cruises in the Mississippi River region departing from New Orleans, St. Louis, St. Paul, Pittsburg, Nashville and Memphis.
• All Columbia Snake River cruises departing from Portland or Clarkson.
• All cruises in Alaska departing from Juneau. The complimentary package also includes a guided Juneau city tour and visit to Mendenhall Glacier.

In 2018, American Cruise Lines will also offer many exciting Extended Pre-Cruise Land Packages. Guests departing from Memphis can enjoy a Graceland package with a 2-night stay at the Guesthouse Hotel, 2 VIP tickets to Graceland and a Memphis city tour with transfer to the ship. Guests traveling on Columbia Snake River itineraries, departing from Clarkston, can take an exhilarating Jet Boat tour of Hells Canyon before transferring to the ship. There are also Extended Pre-Cruise packages available on itineraries departing from Seattle, Boston and Providence.

With over 35 itineraries visiting 30 states, American Cruise Lines offers the most comprehensive and extensive travel options on U.S. waterways. In addition to the fabulous Pre-Cruise & Extended-Cruise Packages, most cruises regularly include complimentary guided tours at each port, onboard experts, historians, and nightly entertainment. American Cruise Lines provides both award-winning enrichment and the broadest selection of fascinating all-American travel itineraries.

About American Cruise Lines:
American Cruise Lines is the recognized leader in small ship cruising and the largest cruise Line in the United States. Its fleet of 10 modern authentic paddlewheelers and sleek coastal cruise ships travel the rivers and coastal waterways of Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Mississippi River and the East Coast. Regularly the recipient of the most prestigious travel awards in the industry, American Cruise Lines is renowned for providing superb service aboard the finest ships—exceeding the expectations of even the most seasoned traveler.

To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit AmericanCruiseLines.com.

Image Courtesy of American Cruise Lines

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Silversea Introduces Inaugural 2018 ʻCouture Collection'

Luxury Silversea Cruises is introducing a new 2018 Couture Collection, an exclusive series of ocean and land adventures custom-designed for the world’s most discerning travelers. The inaugural 2018 Couture Collection is an inspired portfolio of nine pre- and post-cruise luxury land programs of five to 11 days, offering authentic and immersive travel experiences in the most remote and untouched regions of the Earth.

"Our guests are seasoned luxury travelers looking to discover the least accessible corners of our planet, where nature can still astound with its untouched beauty," said Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, Silversea’s Executive Chairman. "The Couture Collection reveals the most exotic places, cultures and people on carefully curated journeys that feature all the extraordinary touches of comfort and luxury for which Silversea is renowned."

Silversea’s own experienced architects, drawing on the best itinerary expertise and global knowledge, have custom-crafted each element of the 2018 Couture Collection down to the smallest details. Silversea’s experts designed the inaugural collection with inspiration from Silversea guests; a survey of North American travelers, 87 percent of whom are from the United States, explored guests’ “dream destinations” and most sought-after cultural experiences.

The pre- and post-cruise Couture Collection includes exclusive amenities ranging from private helicopter service in Mongolia to vintage rail in India and Gulfstream jets in and out of Antarctica. Prices average $34,000 per guest for each five- to eleven-day adventure, with the 11-day South Pole itinerary leading the collection starting at $78,000 per guest.

The Couture Collection programs are limited to small groups and include most meals, beverages and exclusive culinary events. Guests enjoy inclusive luxury accommodations at renowned boutique hotels, lodges and private tents specifically built for these experiences. Each bespoke adventure is fully escorted. Each program provides a perfect extension to select Silversea cruises, creating an unrivaled luxury travel experience, deeper on land.

Conrad Combrink, VP Product Development Expeditions and Experiences, hand crafted each of these expeditions under the watchful eye of Silversea’s Executive Chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio.

The following is a snapshot of the all-new Couture Collection programs:
• Rwanda & Serengeti: Walking in the Footsteps of Giants -- Come face-to-face with the power and beauty that is Africa. Explore the lush rain forests of Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park while looking for the majestic mountain gorilla in an exclusive two-day trekking experience. Go on a game drive seeking the Big Five from a custom 4x4 in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site best known for its amazing annual migration of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras. Eight days from $19,959; departures on Nov. 20 or 27; combinable with Silver Discoverer expeditions departing on Nov. 16 or 27.
• White Desert & South Pole: Standing on the Bottom of the Earth -- No place on Earth can compare to the vast white desert of Antarctica. Explore spectacular ice caves and tunnels. Climb a glacial island. Photograph a remarkable colony of emperor penguins at Atka Bay. Follow in the footsteps of Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott and be among the privileged few who have reached the South Pole. Enjoy the comforts and luxury of a stay at Whichaway Camp. Fly in and out of Antarctica on a Gulfstream business jet. Eleven Days from $78,000; departure on Jan. 2; combinable with Silver Spirit's Dec. 18, 2017 voyage.
• Namibia & Rovos Rail -- Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Namibia Desert at the award-winning Little Kulala Camp in the Kulala Wilderness Reserve. Go flight seeing over the Skeleton Coast. Marvel at Sesriem Canyon. Float above enchanting desert landscapes in a hot-air balloon. From Pretoria to Cape Town, journey in luxury aboard the iconic Rovos Rail, known as The Most Luxurious Train in the World. Savor the South African scenery from a carefully restored carriage that evokes the charms of a bygone era. Six days from $11,299; departures on Jan. 8 or Mar. 14; combinable with cruises on Silver Spirit (Jan. 15) or Silver Cloud (Mar. 21)
• India: In the Path of Powerful Titans -- Enjoy the luxury of private flights throughout India. Track tigers in Ranthambore wildlife reserve. Journey by vintage rail to the magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, where an elegant dinner includes stunning views of Mehrangarh, an impressive centuries-old fort. Witness the charms of the ancient city of Jaisalmer from the comfort of The Serai luxury camp. Explore majestic desert dunes on a jeep or camel safari, then sample delicacies at an elegant bush dinner. Six days from $32,799; departure on Oct. 23; combinable with Silver Muse's Oct. 8 cruise.
• Australia: Exploring the Unforgiving and Unforgettable Outback -- Enjoy private air travel to and from Darwin to experience an authentic outback adventure at the Bullo River Station, a cattle ranch tucked in the northwest corner of Australia's Northern Territory. Explore Aboriginal rock art galleries. Cruise up the spectacular Bullo River Gorge. Discover the amazing landscape of the Bungle Bungle Range. Swim in the jade-green natural rock pools of the Cascades. Five days from $19,919; departures on Jul. 23 or 29; combinable with Silver Discoverer expeditions departing on Jul. 19 or 29.
• Iceland: Revealing the Legends of Fire and Ice -- From thermal springs to glaciers, Iceland is a land of remarkable contrasts. Enjoy private helicopter travel to explore its most amazing wonders. Sip a champagne toast at the famous Godafoss Waterfall. During at stay at Deplar, a sheep farm turned luxury lodge, go kayaking, mountain biking, whale watching and more. Visit the bird-watching wonderland of Drangey Island. Lunch atop a glacier-capped volcano. Enter a man-made ice tunnel at Langjokull Glacier. Five days from $45,199; departures on Aug. 2 or 8; combinable with Silver Cloud expeditions departing on Jul. 27 or Aug. 8.
• Tibet: Standing on the Rooftop of the World -- Discover some of the most amazing and isolated places on Earth. Observe morning prayers at a Buddhist nunnery. Visit Jokhang Temple, considered the holiest temple in Tibetan Buddhism. Witness a lively debate among monks at Sera Monastery. Unwind with a meditation class led by a monk. Picnic amid the stunning beauty of Yamdrok Yumtso Lake. Stroll through Norbulingka, the splendid former summer palace of the Dalai Lama. See the gigantic gilded statue of Maitreya Buddha at Tashilhunpo Monastery. Five days from $12,499; departures on Oct. 7 or 14; combinable with a Silver Shadow cruise departing Sept. 28 or Oct. 14.
• Mongolia: Echoes of Genghis Khan -- Visit with one of the last remaining groups of reindeer herders, the Tsaatan community of Northern Mongolia. Marvel at the beauty of Lake Khuvsgul. Learn about the culture of the Kazakh people and witness their ancient tradition of hunting with golden eagles. At the Naadam Festival (Three Games of Men), observe an ancient spectacle of horse racing, archery and wrestling, valued as sports of strength, wisdom and courage. Six or seven days from $29,199; departures on May 2 or 10; combinable with a Silver Shadow cruise departing Apr. 25 or May 10.
• Bolivia: A Short Walk onto Another Universe -- Stay at the bottom of ice-capped Sajama, Bolivia's highest peak. Explore volcanoes, hot springs and 3,000-year-old plants. Visit Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat, and stay in a unique luxury camp of geodesic dome tents. Discover the small village of Tahua, at the foot of the Tunupa Volcano, then hike to the cave of the Coquesa mummies and learn about their history. Relish stunning vistas on a drive through Los Flamencos nature reserve before indulging in the luxuries of the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and Spa. Eight or ten days from $24,499; departures on Oct. 17 or 26; combinable with Silver Cloud expeditions departing on Oct. 15 or 26.
Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio di Balsorano di Clunières, Executive Chairman Silversea Cruises, was born in Rome, the son of the renowned entrepreneur and lawmaker Antonio Lefebvre de Clunières di Balsorano. Lefebvre started his career working in family companies but moved swiftly to build his own companies. In 2001, he took control of Silversea Cruises, a family company and global leader in luxury cruising and became Executive Chairman.

He transformed Silversea from a cruise line with three vessels to the market leader with nine ships cruising to over 900 destinations worldwide. Further, he expanded the product range of the company by adding the Expedition fleet, quickly becoming a leader in luxury expedition cruising as well. The addition of the Couture Collection expands Silversea's destination reach even further.

Mr. Lefebvre is a recognized leader of the global cruise Industry and has held key roles in CLIA (Cruise Line International Organization), WTTC (World Tourism and Travel Council) and is a Member of WEF (World Economic Forum) and Aspen Institute. He is Chairman of the Monegasque Chamber of Shipping and was nominated Chevalier de L’Ordre de Saint Charles and Grimaldi by SAS Prince Albert II.

Conrad Combrink, Vice President Strategic Development Expedition and Experiences, is a native from Cape Town, South Africa. Within months of Silversea’s 2007 purchase of their first expedition ship, Conrad Combrink was given the responsibility for creating and coordinating many of the important aspects of the newly created Silversea Expeditions cruise program.

Today he is in charge of developing and coordinating all Silversea Expedition itineraries, shore programs, oversees expedition staff recruitment and regulatory compliance. Conrad also oversees all aspects of the development and delivery of the very unique Silversea Couture collection, and more recently all World Cruise and Grand voyage events and experiences. Conrad spends a good amount of time each year traveling the globe in search for new and exciting destinations to bring to life for Silversea Expeditions and now the Silversea Couture Collection.

A rich and very exciting career in the in the expedition cruise industry brought Conrad to Silversea. Conrad has an infectious passion for expedition travel and exploration that has taken him to all seven continents and some of the world’s most remote destinations including Antarctica, the South Pacific, Russia’s Far East, Alaska, North Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, Micronesia and Melanesia and most recently Bhutan, Nepal and Mongolia. Conrad holds a degree in tourism management.

Image Courtesy Silversea Cruises

Guy Fieri’s ‘Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse’ To Debut Aboard New Carnival Horizon

Guy Fieri, a member of the American Royal National Barbecue Hall of Fame whose namesake burger joints are featured on 19 Carnival Cruise Line ships, will introduce a brand new full-service barbecue venue aboard Carnival Horizon when it debuts in spring 2018. An expansion of Fieri’s casual barbecue eateries on several Carnival ships, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse combines the best of both worlds: authentic, down-home smoked-on-board barbecue and traditional sides created by the renowned chef, along with a selection of distinctive craft beers brewed on board at a brewery located within the restaurant.

The announcement will be made by Fieri at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas during the “Carnival’s BBQ Challenge with Guy Fieri” event during which kids from the local 4H Club were tasked to come up with unique barbecue recipes inspired by Pig & Anchor. The three finalists will each receive a free cruise and Carnival is making a $20,000 donation to the 4H Club of Texas in support of its mission of engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.

Diners are encouraged to have lots of napkins ready as they enjoy Guy’s Smokehouse favorites such as brisket custom-smoked for 12 hours, Memphis-style baby back ribs, dry-rubbed and grill-finished chicken, pulled pork, and cedar-smoked salmon with an apricot glaze, all cooked “low and slow” using Fieri’s signature rubs and spices. All Smoke House items are served with coleslaw, sweet pickles, and golden honey cornbread or Texas toast.

The restaurant will also offer Fieri’s signature dishes like Dragon Chili Cheese Fries featuring smoked beef brisket, cheddar cheese, onions and jalapenos; Trash Can Nachos topped with pulled pork, Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ sauce and melted cheese; and The Smokehouse Melt, with pulled pork, sliced brisket, double smoked pork belly bacon, two slices of cheddar cheese, homemade pickles and donkey sauce. Side dishes are just as tantalizing with Fieri-created favorites like the Longhorn Cheddar Mac & Cheese, Beer-Braised Cowboy Pinto Beans, Sweet Potato Bourbon Mash, Mashed Potatoes with Red Eye Gravy and Burnt Ends, and Buttermilk Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Almonds.

BBQ fans can spice up their dishes with the chef’s own sauces, including Kansas City (smoky and sweet), Sriracha BBQ (spicy and tangy), Carolina #6 (tangy and sweet heat), and award-winning Bourbon Brown Sugar (sweet and sticky), along with exclusive-to-Carnival sauces like Smokey Chipotle, Gold Coast Yellow Mustard, Black Pepper, and Burning Tomato. Decadent desserts like freshly baked cobbler, piled-high banana cream pie, and gooey pecan pie offer a sweet conclusion to a satisfying and memorable meal.

Paired perfectly with barbecue is a delicious and refreshing craft beer created by Carnival’s award-winning beverage team which includes Colin Presby, the only brew master in the North American cruise industry. Presby and team are developing four distinctive micro-brews specifically designed to pair with the venue’s wide-ranging menu. Specific details will be announced at a later date.

“I’m excited about launching my newest shipboard eatery at Carnival,” said Fieri. “I know what it takes to make real-deal barbecue—quality meats smoked ‘low and slow’ and top-notch sides using the freshest ingredients. And when you combine down-home barbecue with a cold beer brewed right on board, you have a truly outta bounds experience!”

Added Carnival’s Director of Specialty Dining Greg Poplewko, “Guy has been a great partner for the past six years and his new Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse aboard the new Carnival Horizon is the perfect expansion of our partnership, offering lip-smacking barbecue and refreshing craft beers enjoyed in a fun and festive atmosphere.”

The new 138-seat BBQ venue will be located along the ship’s Promenade with indoor and outdoor seating and authentic touches like ceiling tiles made of weathered galvanized siding, red brick walls, hardwood floors, and booth and high-top seating with Fieri’s signature FLAVORTOWN catch phrase illuminating the full-service bar.

The restaurant will be open from 5 pm ‘til late every night of the cruise with menu items offered on an a la carte basis and live music nightly. Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse will offer a free-of-charge self-service BBQ lunch buffet from noon to 2:30 p.m. on embarkation day and sea days.

Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse will be among the dozens of different dining and beverage venues available aboard Carnival Horizon. These include the line’s first teppanyaki restaurant, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, the Mexican-themed BlueIguana Cantina serving authentic tacos and burritos, the 24-hour Pizzeria del Capitano, and the New England-inspired Seafood Shack.

Other features include the groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, and the first Dr. Seuss-themed water park at sea

A wide range of accommodations will also be offered, including spa cabins with exclusive privileges at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, extra-roomy staterooms in Family Harbor, and tropics-inspired Havana staterooms and suites with exclusive daytime access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool.

Carnival Horizon is scheduled to make its maiden voyage April 2, 2018, with a 13-day Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona—the first of four round-trip departures from that port. Carnival Horizon will reposition to the U.S. with a 14-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to New York May 9-23, 2018.

Following its summer schedule of 4-day Bermuda and 8-day Caribbean departures from the Big Apple, Carnival Horizon will shift to Miami and kick off a year-round schedule of 6- and 8-day Caribbean cruises beginning Sept. 22, 2018. Carnival Horizon will also offer a special 2-day cruise to Nassau from Miami Sept. 20-22, 2018. To learn more, visit Carnival.com.

Image Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean Reveals New WOWs on the World’s Largest Cruise Ship, Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas under construction
Royal Caribbean has orchestrated a new vacation experience that is set to redefine family and adventure travel in 2018. Symphony of the Seas, the cruise line’s newest ship, brings together the award-winning and acclaimed features only found on Royal Caribbean, with distinct new experiences that will continue to inspire adventure among guests of all ages. New dining concepts and family activities, awe-inspiring theater, aerial, ice and aqua entertainment, and the most dynamic suite in family travel will join the lineup of Royal Caribbean exclusives—such as the robot bartenders at the Bionic Bar, powered by Makr Shakr; the iconic AquaTheater showcasing unrivaled high-flying, high-diving performances; and the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea—for a thrilling crescendo of diverse experiences, all set in the unique seven-neighborhood concept of the award-winning Oasis-class ships.

Symphony of the Seas will claim the title of the largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts in April 2018 for her inaugural season in Europe. The architectural marvel will accommodate more balcony staterooms overlooking the open ocean and legendary Boardwalk and Central Park neighborhoods than her popular sister ship Harmony of the Seas. But there is much more to this ship than her impressive size.

“We’re excited to introduce Symphony of the Seas, our boldest composition yet, offering the best of Royal Caribbean with some new surprises for our guests to create a vacation that adventurers of all ages can enjoy together,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We set out to create a new level of vacation adventure and deliver the ultimate escape for families of all shapes and sizes. Symphony will introduce the most cutting-edge, customizable, and digitally-enhanced experiences in the Royal Caribbean fleet.”

Boardwalk Reimagined
Symphony of the Seas will introduce the new generation of Royal Caribbean’s famed Boardwalk neighborhood, infused with new energy, interactive experiences and lively venues conceptualized for endless entertainment for all ages. Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade will be the place to watch the “big game” from around the world across 30 big-screen TVs, ensuring everyone has the best seat in the house to cheer on their favorite team.

Spanning the length of the Boardwalk, the vibrant sports bar and arcade will be a hot spot for families to enjoy wings, burgers and craft beer on draft, as well as friendly competitions of Ms. Pacman, Star Wars Battle Pod, Ice Skee-ball, and other popular games. Across the way, aptly adjacent to the Boardwalk’s iconic hand-carved carousel, Sugar Beach candy and ice-cream shop will bring a sugar high of sweet treats to adults and kids alike, enticing them with colorful candy-packed walls and tempting ice cream and toppings galore. The sweetest spot on the high seas also will feature family-friendly activities for aspirational bakers.

The highly anticipated additions to the Boardwalk will round out the signature offerings that propelled the neighborhood’s popularity. The Ultimate Abyss will catapult only the brave from the tallest slide at sea into the heart of the Boardwalk to revel in their adrenaline rush. Johnny Rockets is where indulgences of burgers, fries and milkshakes will be celebrated with 1950s diner music and entertainment. The awe-inspiring AquaTheater will activate the ocean backdrop and starry nights with a breathtaking show of aquatic acrobatics and stunning high-diving aerial performances found only on Symphony of the Seas.

The Ultimate Family Suite
Symphony will introduce the world’s most adventurous and interactive family suite. The next generation of family accommodations, the two-level Ultimate Family Suite is a dream come true for kids of all ages and will debut eye-popping features, including: an exclusive slide from the kid’s only bedroom to the living room below; a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, an air-hockey table and hidden nooks for chilling.

A separate 3D movie theater-style TV room, complete with a popcorn machine and a library of video games across multiple gaming systems will bring a new level of euphoria and competition to gamers in every family. And that’s just the inside; the 212-square-foot wraparound balcony touts a bumper pool table, a climbing experience and a full-size whirlpool that will provide unmatched ocean views. The Ultimate Family Suite spans 1,346 square feet, accommodating a family of up to eight in two bedrooms, and uses every inch of space to activate the imagination and provide the most brag-worthy accommodations imaginable. And if that wasn’t enough, guests in the Ultimate Family Suite will have their own personal Royal Genie to take care of their every need while they enjoy all the services and premium amenities of the Royal Suite Class. This ultimate expression of family vacation indulgence joins the wide variety of contemporary suite accommodations available throughout the ship, from the Loft Suites with their breathtaking views to the spacious multi-room Owner’s Suites.

All New Culinary Creations
Symphony will debut new food and beverage concepts adding to an already diverse lineup of more than 20 specialty and complimentary restaurants across the ship’s seven neighborhoods. Hooked Seafood, Royal Caribbean’s first New England-style seafood restaurant, will feature fresh seafood and a robust raw bar complete with oysters shucked to order. Located at the front of the ship in the Solarium, the casually sophisticated restaurant will offer expansive views of the open water, serving lunch and dinner. El Loco Fresh will offer made-to-order tacos, burritos, and other popular Mexican fare. The open-air restaurant in the Sports Zone will seat more than 100 guests.

The cruise line’s signature culinary favorites, including Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver, 150 Central Park with its American seasonal menu, Park Café, and Izumi Hibachi and Sushi, also will introduce refreshed designs and new menu specialties on Symphony, offering guests the widest choice and variety of dining options.

Entertainment Elevated
Royal Caribbean’s unparalleled entertainment will once again raise the bar, touting immersive shows where theater magic extends beyond the stage and into the audience. Back by popular demand, the hugely successful “Hairspray”—the brand’s first Broadway musical at sea—will return on Symphony with a total refresh to headline the Royal Theater along with a new original Royal Caribbean show, “Flight,” a historical satire on the evolution of air travel that ends with homage to the famed Wright Brothers. In the iconic AquaTheater open-air amphitheater, a new aqua show, “HiRo,” offers serious wow factor with high-diving and acrobatics. Studio B will showcase a new time-travel adventure. A high-tech ice-skating show,“1977” will bring guests to London on the eve of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee when her Crown Jewels are stolen in the heist of the century.

For thrilling live-action adventure at sea, guests can gear up for an epic glow-in-the-dark laser tag experience like no other. State-of-the-art technology and special effects will transform Studio B into the world's largest and ultimate laser tag arena as family, friends and foes battle over the fate of the last planet in the galaxy. Vacationers looking for a challenge can experience a new Puzzle Break experience on Symphony, where teams will race against the clock and learn to work together toward a common goal – to escape the submarine-themed room before time runs out.

All New Mobile Check-in Debuts on Symphony
The latest technological innovations will be integrated throughout Symphony, including a redesigned check-in experience that eliminates lines and bypasses the counter. The new process will leverage a combination of facial recognition, bar codes, and beacons to make boarding fast and frictionless.

Guests will check-in via the brand’s new mobile app and seamlessly upload their security “selfie” to create their onboard account from the comfort of their home. Upon arrival, guests will go through a security screening and then head straight to their stateroom, where their key will be ready and waiting. In addition to mobile check-in, Symphony will feature all of the pioneering and award-winning guest technology the cruise line is known for, including VOOM—the fastest internet at sea, state-of-the-art wayfinding and virtual balconies.

Seven Neighborhoods in Perfect Sync
One ship, seven distinctive neighborhoods for families to explore together or individually, Symphony is the ultimate playground for guests of all ages, with new surprises at every turn.
• Boardwalk—Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade and the Sugar Beach candy and ice-cream shop bring a new spin to this outdoor space inspired by the nostalgic seaside piers of yesteryear. The Boardwalk, with its original hand-carved carousel, will offer classic family fun combined with a high-energy vibe felt throughout its casual eateries, retail shops and activities for a day of family fun. The signature AquaTheater, located at the stern of the ship with a distinct ocean backdrop, is a dazzling amphitheater-style venue where guests can experience stunning aquatic acrobatics and high-diving aerial performances.
• Central Park—With more than 12,000 lush tropical plants, this open-air neighborhood is a serene retreat that features meandering walkways with quiet nooks for reading and relaxing, retail boutiques and specialty restaurants including Chops Grille, Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver, 150 Central Park and Vintages wine bar. The expanded Park Café, with its communal table and additional outdoor bistro seating overlooking a central piazza, is the perfect spot for meeting friends and people watching.
• Entertainment Place—A contemporary night club district, where more intimate venues cater to different moods and preferences, is anchored by Casino Royale, which will take the title of the largest casino at sea, and Studio B, home to a full-scale ice rink and newly introduced glow-in-the-dark laser tag game. The Attic exudes the vibe of a downtown comedy club and transforms into a lounge for late-night drinks and dancing, while Jazz on 4 features live jazz and blues performances with the convenience of table service for couples and groups.
• Pool and Sports Zone—Home to the ship’s most active adventures, including the Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea, The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, two FlowRider surf simulators, a mini-golf course, a nine-deck-high zip line, and the beach pool, plus the all new El Loco Fresh
• Royal Promenade—Dining, bar-hopping and shopping abound on this bustling main street at sea. The Promenade features a café, the industry-changing robot bartenders at the Bionic Bar, powered by Makr Shakr, and the Rising Tide Bar that transports guests up to Central Park.
• Youth Zone—From adventurous tots to teens, young travelers can dive into the widest array of youth facilities and innovative programming at sea, including a yet-to-be-revealed new Puzzle Break challenge where teams will race against the clock to escape the submarine-themed room before time runs out.
• Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center—Chill out or work out at the largest spa and fitness center on the high seas.
The 25th ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, Symphony of the Seas will set sail in April 2018 to kick off a summer season in the Mediterranean, calling on ports in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; and Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy. Beginning Nov. 24, 2018, the adventure-packed ship will make Miami, FL her year-round home, sailing 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from the state-of-the-art new Terminal A at PortMiami. Symphony of the Seas will span 16 guest decks, encompass more than 230,000 gross registered tons, carry 5,500 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,774 staterooms. For more information about Symphony, visit RoyalCaribbean.com/SymphonyoftheSeas.

Image Courtesy Royal Caribbean

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

MSC Cruises Becomes The Official Cruise Line Of The Miami Dolphins

MSC Cruises USA announced a new partnership with the Miami Dolphins to offer a variety of distinctive and inspired experiences to Dolphins fans both on board and on the field.

The three-year, one-of-a-kind partnership—representing the teaming up of two champions in their respective industries—kicked off at the Miami Dolphins first home game for the season against the Tennessee Titans. Throughout the partnership, football fans will have the opportunity to tailgate with fun activities at all Miami Dolphins home games at Hard Rock Stadium, rally the stadium with MSC Cruises before the fourth quarter and sail on an official Dolphins Fan Cruise.

MSC Cruises' partnership with the Miami Dolphins—one of South Florida's most impactful and legendary organizations—is testament to the cruise line's dedication to the South Florida community as it expands its presence in North America overall and Miami in particular. In fact, the kickoff of the partnership comes just before the arrival of MSC Cruises' newest ship, MSC Seaside, to Miami in December 2017 as well as the opening of a newly renovated and expanded terminal at PortMiami, which will be home to MSC Cruises' ships serving the region.

The relationship with the Dolphins also demonstrates MSC Cruises ongoing commitment to partner with world-class and innovative brands in order to bring unique and enriching offerings to its guests.

"As part of a sharpened focus on the US market, MSC Cruises is gearing up to introduce the innovative new MSC Seaside to Miami, so it is only natural that we have decided to collaborate with an American institution like the Miami Dolphins, representing one of the most loved teams not only by Miami residents but also football fans throughout the U.S. and worldwide," said Roberto Fusaro, president of MSC Cruises USA. "MSC Cruises is redefining the future of cruising with next-generation ships such as MSC Seaside and appealing to a new audience in the US. Similarly, the Dolphins have made a significant investment in the design of Hard Rock Stadium, taking their game experience to the next level and setting a new standard as a global destination for world-class entertainment."

"We are excited to partner with an innovative brand which has an authentic approach to hospitality like MSC Cruises to offer memorable experiences to our Miami Dolphins fans and family," Miami Dolphins Senior Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer Todd Kline said. "We are committed to enhancing the fan experience, and this new partnership will bring several fun options for fans to enjoy at Hard Rock Stadium as well as at sea."

The joint endeavor includes several tailor-made activations and engagement opportunities, providing Miami Dolphins football fans the opportunity to:
• See a life-like version of MSC Seaside. Guests can come "on board" MSC Seaside with a 12 ft. high, 14 ft. wide model of the aft of the ship and take a photo with Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders and the beloved mascot T.D. before kickoff.
• Cheer during MSC Cruises' Fourth Quarter rally! Guests will hear the iconic cruise horn and watch Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders take the field with MSC Cruises flags.
• Stay charged all day with MSC Cruises interactive cell phone charging stations around the stadium.
• See their photos featured on the stadium video boards by submitting game time snapshots via social media and using #MSCSeaside.
• Sail with Dolphins legends onboard MSC Seaside: Fans have the chance to experience the Miami Dolphins at sea and meet team alumni on a themed cruise on MSC Seaside in 2018.
• Relish a rivalry game with MSC Cruises. MSC Cruises will be the presenting sponsor of the Miami Dolphin's 2018 regular season home game at Hard Rock Stadium against New York Jets.
As part of MSC Cruises nearly $10 billion investment plan—which includes a total of 11 next-generation ships coming into service between 2017 and 2026—the company is committed to strategically growing its presence in North America, with a strong focus on South Florida. Of note, the revolutionary MSC Seaside will arrive in Miami in December 2017 and be the first MSC Cruises' ship christened in the U.S. Built for warmer weather and featuring an innovative beach condo design, MSC Seaside will bring guests closer to the sea than ever before.

In addition to MSC Seaside sailing from Miami, MSC Cruises also will deploy MSC Meraviglia, its next-generation ship that launched in June 2017, to North America from 2019. As a result, in the company's latest phase of expansion in the North American market, three of MSC Cruises' newest, most innovative ships will serve the region: MSC Divina, MSC Seaside, and MSC Meraviglia from 2019.

For more information about MSC Cruises and the Miami Dolphins, visit MSCCruises.com and MiamiDolphins.com.

Carnival Cruise Line Partners With Dr. Seuss Enterprises To Introduce New 'Be Kind/Dare To Care' Shipboard Activities

Carnival Cruise Line and Dr. Seuss Enterprises have teamed up to offer a series of fun, educational shipboard activities designed to promote kindness, compassion and generosity among its younger cruisers and inspired by Dr. Seuss' beloved children's book Horton Hears a Who! Part of an annual national campaign by Dr. Seuss, the new "Be Kind/Dare to Care" activities are rolling out this month across the Carnival fleet and complement existing programming within Seuss at Sea, the line's exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Published in 1940, Horton Hears a Who! is one of Dr. Seuss' most famous and cherished books. It tells the story of Horton the Elephant, a loyal and faithful creature who discovers a tiny planet that is home to a community called Whoville. Despite objections from his disbelieving friends, Horton vows to protect Whoville, proclaiming throughout the book that "a person's a person, no matter how small."

Patterned after the book's universal message of love and acceptance, the new shipboard programming will include a "pledge to be kind" activity where kids and their families are encouraged to write down their kindness pledges that will be posted on a special banner on board with prizes awarded for the most creative and heartfelt submissions. Kids can also create friendship bracelets and other keepsakes as part of the Horton Hears a Who!-themed arts and crafts with screenings of the iconic movie shown on board throughout the month of October.

Horton Hears a Who! also takes center stage as part of the line's ongoing Seuss-a-Palooza Parade and Story Time during which kids and their families participate in a swirly parade down the ships' promenade followed by an interactive reading of the book in the main show lounge where the young and the young at heart portray different characters in the book.

"Horton Hears a Who! is one of Dr. Seuss' most heartfelt and thought-provoking books and we're delighted to partner with Dr. Seuss Enterprises on this exciting new venture that teaches children the value of kindness and compassion in a fun, positive way," said Caroline Lombardi, director of youth experience for Carnival Cruise Line.

In addition to the new "Be Kind/Dare to Care" shipboard activities, other offerings within Seuss at Sea include The Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends, Dr. Seuss Bookville, a family reading venue on select ships, including the new Carnival Horizon set to debut next year, as well as character interactions, Dr. Seuss toys and games, and popular movies shown on board.

For additional information, visit Carnival.com.

Image Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Holland America Line Celebrates 2017 Plan a Cruise Month with Two Premium Promotions

Holland America Line is supporting October's National Plan a Cruise Month organized by Cruise Lines International Association with two premium offers: onboard spending money for 2017-18 Caribbean cruise bookings and additional onboard spending money for all Explore 4 promotion bookings covering several cruise destinations in 2018 and 2019.

The month-long event offers promotions that aim to give consumers the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about cruising, as well as plan and book a Holland America Line cruise vacation while taking advantage of one of the richest promotions of the year.

"Plan a Cruise Month continues to be a very successful initiative that puts a spotlight on what is certainly the best vacation value and most enticing way to see the world," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "By creating extra booking incentives, we're making October the best month to plan your first or your next Holland America Line cruise."

Caribbean is Open for Travel & Bookings Receive Up to $300 Onboard Spending Money
For Plan a Cruise Month, new bookings in an ocean-view stateroom or higher for all of Holland America Line's upcoming Caribbean cruises from October 2017 through March 2018 are eligible to receive up to $300 in onboard spending money.

"While a few islands in the Caribbean were impacted by recent storms, more than 40 ports are currently open and welcoming cruise guests right now, so we extended this offer to include our upcoming Caribbean season to focus positive attention on the region," added Ashford. "Making our Caribbean cruises eligible to receive the onboard spending money shows our confidence that cruises to these beautiful islands will deliver an exceptional vacation."

2018-19 Cruises Include Onboard Spending Money & Explore 4 Perks
For the second Plan a Cruise Month offer, travelers making a booking on select 2018 and 2019 cruises receive onboard spending money up to $400, depending on the length of the cruise and type of stateroom booked. This offer can be combined with the cruise line's Explore 4 promotion that provides four added-value extras on select March 2018 through April 2019 cruises. The four offers include a Signature Beverage Package valued at up to $1,400 per stateroom, dinner for two at the Pinnacle Grill, reduced cruise fares for third and fourth bookings in the same stateroom, and 50 percent reduced deposits.

Suite bookings also receive $200 onboard spending money per stateroom ($100 per person) in addition to the four offers and exclusive Plan a Cruise Month onboard spending money, making it possible to receive a total of up to $600 in onboard spending money.

Guests looking to take advantage of the special savings can choose itineraries to nearly all of Holland America Line's global destinations, including Alaska and Alaska and the Yukon Land+Sea Journeys, Australia/New Zealand, the Baltic, Bermuda, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, Cuba, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, Mexico, Northern Europe, the Panama Canal, South America and the South Pacific.

For additional information, visit HollandAmerica.com.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

MSC Cruises To Ring In The Holidays In The Caribbean With A Brand New Ship, Festive Entertainment, Themed Activities & Special Culinary Creations

The holidays are nearly here, and MSC Cruises USA—the North American arm of MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world's largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe and South America—is ringing in the season with unforgettable on board experiences, with holiday themes and inspiration to make every celebration, from Thanksgiving to the New Year, memorable for the whole family.

MSC Seaside, MSC Cruises' newest ultra-modern mega ship arriving just in time for the holidays in December 2017, will join MSC Divina in sailing the Caribbean from PortMiami. As one of MSC Cruises' most ultramodern ships sailing from Miami to the Caribbean, MSC Divina brings elegance and glamour to the cruise experience with stylish features including Swarovski crystal staircases, glass elevators and European marble furnishes. With a host of on board entertainment designed for the entire family, MSC Seaside offers a relaxing, fun, and stress-free vacation for everyone.

"With incredible 7- to 11-night itineraries on both MSC Divina and MSC Seaside, our guests can celebrate the holidays while soaking up the sun in beautiful eastern and western Caribbean destinations," said Roberto Fusaro, president of MSC Cruises USA. "As the Caribbean continues to recover from the impacts of recent weather events, travelers can rest assured that we are adapting our itineraries to visit ports of call that guarantee the most enjoyment for our guests. MSC Cruises will maintain a strong commitment to the Caribbean, and while we help the affected areas recover, we will continue to deliver unforgettable vacation experiences for our guests by sailing to alternate destinations."

Highlights of MSC Cruises' seasonal voyages include:
Thanksgiving on MSC Divina – Nov. 18th departure to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and the Bahamas
Guests will be thankful for stunning sea views and the shimmering Caribbean sun while spending Thanksgiving Day at sea. Guests will enjoy a traditional Turkey dinner and the modern tradition of all-day football cast on various large screen TVs in the ship's sports bar. Kids ages 3-11 can participate in a special Turkey Day cooking class and a Thanksgiving Day costume parade and show. Teens ages 12-17 can compete in a Thanksgiving scavenger hunt, participate in a flash mob and party at the disco.

Hanukkah on MSC Divina - Dec. 9 departure to Antigua and Barbuda, St. Thomas and the Bahamas
For those celebrating Hanukkah, MSC Divina will host a nightly Menorah lighting and on board daily prayer service as well as serve traditional Hanukkah foods in the buffet and main dining rooms. Kids and families can play Dreidel together, with dreidels and chocolate coins handed out as well as instructions on how to play. A large menorah will also be on display in the main atrium. Special kosher meals can be ordered in advance.  
Christmas on MSC Seaside – Dec. 23rd departure to Antigua and Barbuda, St. Thomas and the Bahamas
Cruisers have the unique opportunity of celebrating the holiday on board the hottest new ship to sail the Caribbean, MSC Seaside, as she sails her very first 7-night itinerary. With a revolutionary beach condo design and activities for all ages, MSC Seaside will make the holiday truly unique as guests find their sun-lover's paradise. During Christmas, guests can kick off the voyage with an embarkation photo with Santa and his elves. Once aboard, MSC Seaside will be dripping in festive holiday décor, with sparkling lights and decorations and stunning Christmas trees. For a complete holiday experience, guests will hear traditional Christmas carols throughout the ship; a Broadway-style festive show; live musicians playing holiday music in the atrium, a special tree lighting ceremony in the evening with Gluhwein, hot cocoa, eggnog and Christmas cookies; holiday gifts delivered to each stateroom; holiday themed games including trivia, bingo, karaoke; seasonal Christmas movies played on an outdoor jumbo screen; and more. On Christmas Day, Santa will even arrive by one of the zip lines on the ship! A Christmas mass will also be available on board. The holidays are about more than just good spirit in the air, and MSC Cruises will delight with special culinary creations for its guests. Guests will savor a special Christmas Eve Gala dinner, including roast turkey, panettone, yule log, and Christmas lunch offering all of the holiday specialties as well as festive cocktails served throughout the cruise such as the Christmas Star, made using a mixture of limoncello and Prosecco, and the Snowflake, made with dark rum and fresh banana.  
Christmas and New Year's on MSC Divina – Dec. 23 departure to Bahamas, Jamaica, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Belize
On board MSC Divina, guests can take fullest advantage of the holiday season with an 11-night sailing through the Caribbean and South America. The ship will be adorned with Christmas and New Year's decorations, with themed activities, games and trivia throughout the week to celebrate the holidays. Dining will be a delight with special themed menus to celebrate both Christmas and New Year's. To ring in 2018, guests will also enjoy a champagne toast and party on the pool deck on New Year's Eve.

New Year's on MSC Seaside – Dec. 30th departure to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and the Bahamas
Travelers will ring in 2018 in style on board the revolutionary MSC Seaside, just after her arrival to Miami. The voyage begins with a glass of champagne at embarkation, igniting the celebration on board. Say goodbye to 2017 with themed trivias, and bingo. Guests will celebrate the incoming 2018 with a special New Year's Eve Gala Dinner, and then head up to the pool deck for the ship's New Year's Eve dance party, complete with themed decorations, a countdown to midnight, and champagne. Guests will also enjoy a special New Year's lunch as well as special cocktails to toast the occasion. For those traveling with kids, MSC Cruises is extending the kids club hours and offering babysitting in the kids club for free so that parents can enjoy New Year's celebrations. 
2018 Holiday Cruises
It's never too early to start planning your next family vacation, and with two ships sailing 7- to 11-night itineraries from Miami to the Caribbean, there is truly something for everyone. To learn more about MSC Divina and MSC Seaside's upcoming sailings, visit MSCCruisesUSA.com.

Holland America Line Makes $25,000 Donation to Seattle Children's Hospital as Part of K's for Kids with the Seattle Mariners

Holland America Line Vice President, Public Relations, Sally Andrews recently presented a check for $25,000 to Seattle Children's Hospital's Uncompensated Care Fund at a Seattle Mariners' home game at Safeco Field. The company made the donation as part of its partnership with the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team and the K's for Kids program that debuted during the 2014 baseball season.

With K's for Kids, for each strikeout (represented as a "K" on a baseball score card) recorded by a Mariners pitcher at Safeco Field throughout the season, a cash donation was made to reach the $25,000 donation to Seattle Children's Hospital. Andrews was joined on the field during the check presentation by 15-year-old Seattle Children's patient and cancer survivor Annalise Haines.

"This year puts our total donation to Seattle Children's Hospital through K's for Kids since we began the program at $100,000, and we couldn't be more proud to partner with an organization like the Seattle Mariners to make this program such a success," said Orlando Ashford, president, Holland America Line. "Presenting the $25,000 check to a courageous superhero like Annalise on behalf of Seattle Children's is an honor, knowing that it will go toward helping many other kids in need."

For the past six years, Holland America Line and the Mariners have enjoyed a partnership that goes beyond the K's for Kids donation. In addition, Seattle's Hometown Cruise Line is the presenting sponsor of the Salute to Those Who Serve program honoring the men and women of the United States military. As well, the line sponsors Get Well Tours to area hospitals and the annual Fan Appreciation Night where two lucky fans at that game win Holland America Line cruises.

Salute to Those Who Serve Military Program
At 26 Mariners home games this season, the Salute to Those Who Serve program honored some of the men and women of the United States armed forces. During Friday and Sunday games, a member of the military (active, reserve, veteran or retired) was recognized on field for his or her service to our country. Each honoree received four tickets and one parking pass to the game. Holland America Line is the presenting sponsor of the program.

Holland America Line Get Well Tours
Holland America Line is the presenting sponsor of the Seattle Mariners Get Well Tours, visits to area hospitals by Mariners players and the Mariner Moose where children receive photos and autographs and a Holland America Line-branded sports bag filled with Mariners- and baseball-related items such as replica baseballs and a stuffed Moose doll.

Holland America Line Fan Appreciation Night
Holland America Line is the presenting sponsor of the annual Fan Appreciation Night celebration at Safeco Field. Traditionally the final Friday home game of each season, Fan Appreciation Night celebrates the loyalty and support of Mariners fans with prize drawings throughout the game. As part of its sponsorship, Holland America Line provides two cruise giveaways at Fan Appreciation Night.

For more information about Holland America Line, visit HollandAmerica.com.

Image Courtesy of Holland America Line

Monday, October 9, 2017

American Cruise Lines Takes Alaska Summer 2018

American Cruise Lines’ newest ship, American Constellation, sets sail to Alaska for the 2018 cruise season. With special cruise ship access to Glacier Bay from The National Park Service, American Constellation’s arrival this June will more than double American Cruise Lines’ capacity in the region and help meet the recent demand for cruise travel to Alaska.

The brand new, 175-passenger American Constellation is the only fully-stabilized ship in the region and has the largest staterooms of any small ship in Alaska. Appointed with furnished balconies and full-size bathrooms, American Constellation elevates cruising in Alaska by providing the intimate access of smaller ships coupled with the comfort and sophistication of larger ships. American Cruise Lines’ American Constellation will provide its guests with the most authentic Alaska experience and the most modern spacious staterooms available for cruising America’s last frontier.

“It’s a privilege to be a part of the ongoing preservation and conservation of Glacier Bay. We are continuously looking for ways to provide our guests with the most memorable cruising experience and this rare glimpse of the world’s most magnificent biosphere does just that,” says Charles A. Robertson, CEO of American Cruise Lines.

Complimentary pre-cruise hotel packages are available for all cruises departing from Juneau, Alaska. With itineraries ranging from 8 to 15 days, the Alaska cruises visit such beautiful ports-of-call as Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Kake and Glacier Bay—among others. With complimentary guided tours offered at each port and onboard historians, naturalists, and local experts, American Cruise Lines offers award-winning enrichment and entertainment suitable for the most sophisticated and discerning traveler.

About American Cruise Lines
American Cruise Lines is a recognized leader in small ship cruising and the largest American-flagged cruise line. With over 35 itineraries along the rivers and inland waterways of Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Mississippi River, and the East Coast, the Line operates the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships in the U.S. Regularly the recipient of the most prestigious travel awards in the industry, American Cruise Lines is renowned for providing superb service aboard the finest ships—exceeding the expectations of even the most seasoned traveler.

To learn more about American Cruise Lines or the 2018 cruise season aboard American Constellation, visit AmericanCruiseLines.com

Image Courtesy American Cruise Lines

Cruise Lines, Passengers & Crew Spent a Record $21.69 Billion in 2016, Up 15 Percent Since 2011

Cruise lines, their passengers and crew spent a record $21.69 billion in the U.S. in 2016, a 15 percent increase since 2011 and representing a new peak in U.S. cruise industry expenditures, according to a new study from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade association.

CLIA’s 2016 Economic Impact Analysis, an independent study commissioned by CLIA and conducted by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA), shows that total contributions[1] of the global cruise industry to the U.S. economy reached a record $47.76 billion in 2016, up 3.6 percent from 2014. This includes generating 389,432 U.S. jobs paying more than $20.5 billion in wages and salaries.

“The global cruise industry is a critical contributor to the U.S. economy and we see clear evidence of the industry’s positive impact across the country,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “We saw cruise lines purchasing goods or services in support of their operations, and passengers traveling for their cruise vacations. The cruise industry continues to prosper and set economic records, and that’s good news for cruise lines, cruise employees, suppliers and passengers.”

Record U.S. Embarkations
According to CLIA’s study, 11.66 million cruise passengers worldwide embarked from U.S. ports in 2016, setting a new high and growing 5.4 percent since 2014.

The top ten U.S. cruise ports[2] accounted for 87.2 percent of 2016 embarkations, and Florida—whose ports handled 7.08 million embarkations—accounted for nearly 61 percent of all U.S. cruise embarkations. Embarkations from California’s ports (Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego and San Francisco) increased 5.5 percent since 2014 to 1.06 million, with an increased number of embarkations from Long Beach accounting for 57 percent of California’s total growth.

“While Florida remains the center of cruising in the United States, we continue to see steady growth in all four of California’s ports,” said D’Aoust. “Long Beach had an incredible impact on California’s growth, and we can only expect that to continue as cruise lines complete new terminal expansions and extend long-term leases.

About the CLIA 2016 Economic Impact Analysis
The CLIA 2016 Economic Impact Analysis is an independent study conducted by BREA and commissioned by CLIA. Spending estimates were compiled based on surveys of cruise lines, passengers and crew. Economic impacts of cruise lines, passengers and crew spending were generated using generally accepted input/output methodology.
[1] Total economic contributions include direct, indirect and induced impacts. This includes direct spending by cruise lines and passengers, including food and beverages, fuel, financial and business services and entertainment in support of cruise operations, as well as the goods and services purchased by the directly impacted businesses and employees from other B2B and B2C enterprises.
[2] Miami, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, Galveston, Long Beach, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, Tampa, Los Angeles

Friday, October 6, 2017

Carnival Elation Undergoing Extensive Renovation

Carnival Elation is in the final stages of a multi-million-dollar makeover that includes the addition of an expansive new WaterWorks park, 38 new cabins, 98 balconies to existing staterooms, and a variety exciting food and beverage concepts.

Following the extensive renovation, Carnival Elation will resume its year-round schedule of four- to eight-day cruises from Jacksonville, Florida, tomorrow—Oct. 7. The ship’s new features include:
• Guy’s Burger Joint: a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a décor that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture.
• RedFrog Rum Bar: a poolside watering hole offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red.
• BlueIguana Cantina: a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar.
• BlueIguana Tequila Bar: a fun and festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin’ by the pool.
• Camp Ocean: a colorful marine-inspired play area designed for kids ages 2-11 that showcases the wonders of the sea through fun and engaging interiors and more than 200 ocean-themed activities, including arts and crafts, science-oriented programming, and more.
• New Cabins, Stateroom Enhancements: Thirty-eight cabins have been added–two Grand Vista suites offering floor-to-ceiling windows, 22 junior suites, two scenic ocean view cabins and 12 interior accommodations. Additionally, private verandahs have been added to 98 existing staterooms, creating spacious new 230-square-foot balcony staterooms. All staterooms will offer new island-inspired interiors with bright colors and soothing pastels inspired by Carnival Elation’s tropical itineraries.
• WaterWorks: Located on Verandah Deck, this expansive all-ages water park features an enclosed 300-foot-long Twister water slide full of exhilarating twists and turns, two 82-foot-long racing slides, and a splash zone for kids.
• Mini-Golf Course: A nine-hole miniature golf course has been relocated to Deck 14, providing a fun and relaxing pastime for families to enjoy in the fresh sea air.
Carnival is Jacksonville’s only year-round cruise ship offering four- and five-day cruises to The Bahamas featuring stops at Freeport, Nassau and the private destinations of Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays. Carnival Elation will also offer a special six-day Bahamas cruise and an eight-day Bermuda voyage in April 2018 as well as a one-time seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise the following month. To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, visit Carnival.com.

Image © Linda Coffman, CruiseDiva.com

Viking Looks To The Stars For Debut Of Fifth Ocean Ship

Viking has announced that American chemist, emergency room physician, and recently retired NASA astronaut Dr. Anna Fisher will be honored as godmother to its fifth ocean ship, which will debut in July 2018. The new ship has been named Viking Orion after the prominent constellation and in honor of Dr. Fisher's contributions to NASA's Orion exploration vehicle project. The announcement was first made by Viking Chairman, Torstein Hagen, during a press conference in New York City celebrating the first call in Manhattan for the company's third ship, Viking Sky.

The 930-guest Viking Orion reached a major construction milestone last week, when the ship met water for the first time during her "float out" ceremony at Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard. Dr. Fisher attended the September 28 ceremony and assisted with several maritime traditions. Viking Orion will spend her maiden year sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean, before making her way to Asia, Australia, and then Alaska.

"Vikings were the original long-distance explorers and the first to use the stars and constellations as a way to navigate uncharted territory," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "The spirit of exploration is at the heart of everything we do, and so I am especially proud that an astronaut will be honored as godmother to our new ship. Dr. Fisher is a past Viking guest, a fellow scientist and a true explorer. As one of the first women in space, she has inspired generations of curious minds, and I look forward to welcoming guests onboard Viking Orion to learn more about her impressive career in space exploration."

"The idea of exploring new territories has always appealed to me, whether through science or by traveling the world. I was 12 years old when I heard Alan Shepard's voice on the radio during his sub orbital flight, and at that moment, I knew that I also wanted to explore beyond earth's atmosphere. I knew from that young age that I wanted to be an astronaut," said Dr. Fisher. "I always wanted to be an explorer and I am proud and honored to be godmother to Viking Orion, a ship that was designed to help her guests see more of the world."

A float out ceremony is significant because it denotes the first time a ship touches water and moves into its final stage of construction. Viking Orion's float out began at approximately 11:00 a.m. local time, and in keeping with maritime tradition, Dr. Fisher, as godmother to the ship, assisted with the ceremony, first "mast stepping," by welding coins under the ship mast. The commemorative coins she welded represented her birth year, as well as the birth year of Chairman Hagen. Two special coins were also welded to represent members of the Hagen family: 1911 to represent Ragnhild "Mamsen" Hagen, the mother of Chairman Hagen, and 2012 to represent Finse, the yellow Labrador of Karine Hagen, Viking's senior vice president and daughter of Torstein Hagen. Dr. Fisher then cut a cord to allow water to begin flowing into the ship's building dock. Following a two-day process that set Viking Orion afloat, the ship was then moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.

Dr. Anna Fisher, Godmother of Viking Orion
Born in New York City and raised in Southern California, Dr. Fisher holds bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry, as well as a Doctor of Medicine degree, from the University of California, Los Angeles. Selected as an astronaut in January 1978, Dr. Fisher was one of the "original six" women accepted into NASA's Astronaut Training Program. Dr. Fisher became the first mother in space when she served as a mission specialist on STS-51A aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, which launched on November 8, 1984. During her NASA career, which spanned more than three decades, Dr. Fisher contributed to three major initiatives: the Space Shuttle program, the International Space Station and Orion, NASA's new crew-rated exploration spacecraft. Prior to her retirement in April 2017, Dr. Fisher was also the oldest active American astronaut. In celebration of her retirement, Dr. Fisher sailed on Viking's Rhine Getaway itinerary in July 2017.

Viking Orion
Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, have 465 cabins and accommodate 930 guests. Viking Orion, formerly known as Viking Spirit, is the fifth of eight ocean cruise ships currently planned for the fleet. By 2019 Viking will welcome its sixth ship and will become the largest small ship ocean cruise line. Two additional ships are on order for delivery in 2021 and 2022. Viking's ocean fleet features understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design. Highlights include:
• All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from a 270 sq. ft. Veranda Stateroom, all with private verandas and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, large showers, luxury toiletries, heated bathroom floors and large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand.
• Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. that offer sweeping views from wraparound private verandas as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category onboard.
• Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.
• LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Spa onboard is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air. Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 named it one of the "5 best cruise ship spas."
• Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow and designed in the Scandinavian spirit, for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.
• The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.
• Dining Choices: Viking's ships offer multiple restaurant locations and food choices—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and the widest choice of culinary options, and the World Café, which serves international fare and regional specialties—to intimate dining experiences at The Chef's Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu complete with wine parings, and Manfredi's, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. Additionally, The Kitchen Table focuses on regional dishes from market to table; the Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers; afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden; and Mamsen's serves Norwegian deli-style fare. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking's ocean ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea.
• Enriching Entertainment: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking in creating "the thinking person's cruise." Instead of casinos and water slides, guests are offered Viking's Culture Curriculum® including: world-class lectures on history and art; personalized opportunities for learning with the Viking Resident Historian program; tasting of vintage wines from their destinations; restaurant menus inspired by local cuisine; informative port talks; enriching Destination Performances featuring folkloric shows and musicians playing regional and classical music; an onboard cooking school allowing guests to learn how to prepare local specialties. Onboard Viking Orion, guests will also enjoy lectures on astronomy and space exploration.
• Sustainable Features: Designed with the environment in mind, Viking's ships feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations.
The Viking Difference
Designed for discerning travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests "the thinking person's cruise" as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. Onboard, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. All-veranda ships mean that guests experience every day with a new, expansive vista. With the most al fresco dining at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking's guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and onboard. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.

In addition, Viking Inclusive Value provides a small ship experience at a big ship value and no nickel-and-diming—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service—an included value of more than $200 per person, per day for an average cruise.

Booking Details
From now through October 31, 2017, Viking is offering U.S. residents special offers, with 2-for-1 cruise fare and up to free international air on select river and ocean itineraries.

About Viking
Viking was founded in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia and is now celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017 as a leader in river and small ship ocean cruising. Designed for discerning travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests "the thinking person's cruise" as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Viking currently operates a fleet of 63 vessels, offering scenic cruising on rivers and oceans around the world. By 2022 the company will operate eight 930-guest ocean cruise ships and will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. For additional information, visit VikingCruises.com.

Image Courtesy Viking Ocean Cruises

Oceania Cruises Unveils Enhanced Concierge Level Amenities

Oceania Cruises, a leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, has unveiled enhanced Concierge Level Stateroom amenities which include free laundry and in-stateroom dining service from The Grand Dining Room during lunch and dinner.

“The last thing you want to worry about on vacation is doing chores such as laundry,” stated Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. “You want your vacation to be relaxing, so we’ve solved that problem and we’ve provided an even greater incentive to relax in the comfort of your stateroom – lunch or dinner from the Grand dining Room. The laundry is done and lunch and dinner are taken care of, what more could you ask for?”

After a long invigorating day of exploring ashore, guests may indulge in the luxury of ordering room service from The Grand Dining Room dinner menu, enjoying favorite courses—such as the Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Vegetable Ratatouille & Gratin Dauphinois and the mouth-watering Papuan Chocolate Volcano with a passion fruit center—all in the exquisite comfort of their stateroom. Need a few items of clothing washed for later in your voyage? The staff will take care of that too so guests can spend extra time relaxing. It’s all included with the newly expanded amenities in the Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms.

NEW Concierge Exclusive Privileges:
• NEW – Room service from the Grand Dining Room menu during lunch and dinner
• NEW – FREE laundry service—up to 3 bags per stateroom
• Priority noon embarkation
• Aboard Marina and Riviera, exclusive card-only access to private Concierge Lounge staffed by a dedicated Concierge and featuring complimentary soft drinks, coffees and snacks throughout the day
• Unlimited access to Canyon Ranch SpaClub® private Spa Terrace
• Complimentary welcome bottle of Champagne
• Priority online specialty restaurant reservations
• iPad upon request for your enjoyment onboard
• Free Unlimited Internet
• Complimentary Oceania Cruises logo tote bag
• Cashmere lap blankets, perfect for relaxing on the veranda
• Complimentary pressing of garments upon embarkation
• Complimentary shoe shine service
New amenities take effect on the following cruise embark dates:
REGATTA – October 17, 2017 – Miami
RIVIERA – October 17, 2017 – Monte Carlo
INSIGNIA – October 20, 2017 – Montreal
MARINA – October 28, 2017 – Athens
SIRENA – October 30, 2017 – Rio de Janeiro
NAUTICA – November 6, 2017 – Dubai
For more information about Oceania Cruises, visit OceaniaCruises.com.