Welcome

Greetings to the many thousands of readers the past month from across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as well as Russia, France, Germany, Japan, China, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Vietnam and Australia.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Celebrity Cruises mixes it up modern luxury style



COMPLEMENTING MOLECULAR AND MARTINI BARS WITH NEW CRAFT COCKTAILS
Hawthorn Beverage Group to bring artisanal style to bar selections at sea 
 
MIAMI – Modern luxury line Celebrity Cruises is shaking up the bar scene onboard by significantly expanding its selections of the beverage world’s favorite comeback kid – the cocktail – with a selection of 30 entirely new craft cocktails offered exclusively on Celebrity’s ships.
       
Already known for its popular Molecular and Martini Bars, Celebrity’s new craft cocktail experience was developed through an alliance with artisanal cocktail developers Hawthorn Beverage Group, founded by noted cocktail creator Josh Durr.

Carnival Cruise Lines names four experts to Safety and Reliability Review Boad

(News Release)

MIAMI – Carnival Cruise Lines has appointed four highly esteemed maritime and transportation industry experts – Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, Rear Admiral Joseph F. Campbell, Ray Valeika and Dr. John K. Lauber -- to the company’s new Safety & Reliability Review Board.
Announced in April as part of Carnival’s comprehensive fleetwide technical enhancement program, the review board was created to provide independent third-party perspective and to drive continuous improvement across the line’s fleet. 
The core objectives of the board are to review Carnival Cruise Lines’ current policies, practices and performance and to guide the company in incorporating best practices from other relevant fields and industries.  The four new board members are:

Cunard presents video highlights of Queen Mary 2 milestone 200th Transatlantic crossing




Following on Queen Mary 2's historic 200th Transatlantic Crossing, which departed New York for Southampton, England, on 6 July 2013, Cunard released video highlights from the flagship's milestone Atlantic voyage.

The video features footage of the ship's special sail-by of the iconic Statue of Liberty, and the always anticipated sailing under the Verrazano Bridge.

During the feature, Commodore Christopher Rynd speaks about this significant Crossing, which included lectures by Queen Mary 2’s Chief Naval Architect, Stephen Payne; and famed BBC broadcaster, Nick Owens; enthralling performances by Juilliard Jazz School musicians; and a grand, celebratory dinner.

Un-Cruise Adventures offers four holiday cruises in 2013—Hawaiian Islands and Mexico’s Sea of Cortés

Travelers receive up to $800 travel credit per couple

Seattle, WA, – Unwind over the winter holidays this year on one of four weeklong yacht cruises offered by Un-Cruise Adventures in the Hawaiian Islands or Mexico’s Sea of Cortés.

Holiday departures are scheduled for December 21 and 28, 2013 aboard the 64-guest Safari Voyager in Baja, Mexico and the 36-guest Safari Explorer in Hawaii.

Travelers booked on a 2013 holiday cruise by August 30 receive a per couple travel credit of US$800 in Hawaii and US$500 in Mexico.

Country artist Rockie Lynne to perform during Princess Cruises’ veterans charity cruise

Singer Joins Impressive Lineup of Special Guests Appearing During
November 5-9 Sailing

Country artist Rockie Lynne will perform during Princess Cruises’ November 5-9
veterans charity cruise.
    
 SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 25, 2013) – Country singer Rockie Lynne has been announced as a featured performer during Princess Cruises’ first-ever fundraising cruise to support U.S. veterans.

Lynne, a veteran himself who frequently supports military causes, will perform with his five-piece band during the November 5-9 sailing.
 
Lynne’s debut single, "Lipstick," spent an impressive 10 consecutive weeks in the #1 slot on Billboard’s Country Singles Sales chart.

Irom Chef Geoffrey Zakarian to host dining experiences at sea


Celebrity Chef will sail on board Norwegian Breakaway during the November 3 and December 1, 2013 sailings


MIAMI – July 25, 2013 – Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that Celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian will host a number of special activities on board Norwegian Breakaway during two of the ship’s upcoming sailings: November 3 and December 1, 2013. 

These sailings will feature an exclusive opportunity to meet and interact with the Iron Chef in his on-board restaurant, Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian.
 
While sailing on board Norwegian Breakaway from November 7 through 10 and December 5 through December 8, Zakarian will offer Norwegian guests a variety of unique and interactive opportunities.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Disney Cruise Line unveils new celebrations for holidays on the high seas

CELEBRATION, Fla. – Disney Cruise Line is taking fall and winter holidays to a whole new level, introducing Halloween on the High Seas Cruises and Very Merrytime Cruises, with extra-spectacular celebrations from late September through the new year.

Disney Cruise Line kicks off the holiday season Sept. 22 with Halloween on the High Seas Cruises aboard the Disney Dream, a brand-new event with Halloween-themed parties, lively entertainment, elaborate décor and tons of spooky fun.

New and noteworthy Norwegian cruise vacations and hot cruise deals


FEATURED PROMOTIONS:
Ø  Norwegian Getaway Sailings: Receive $100 onboard credit per stateroom, through July 26, 2013.
Ø  Upgrade and Go: Receive free Balcony upgrades and up to $350 OBC when you book a select cruise, through July 26, 2013.
Ø  Air Credits: Receive up to $1,000 in airfare credits on select sailings.
Ø  The Haven and Suites: Receive up to $300 onboard credit per stateroom for the Haven and Suites fleet-wide for reservations booked nine months or greater prior to sailing, through December 31, 2013.

Explore the best of land and sea with a Cunard Australian adventure

Come ashore in Sydney to explore iconic Australian sights between voyages on two Cunard ships
A Cunard Royal Rendezvous with flagship Queen Mary 2 (foreground)
and Queen Elizabeth near the world–famous Sydney Opera House
in Sydney, Australia (2011)



























































































17 July 2013 – Cunard Line understands that even the most ardent cruise aficionados enjoy going ashore to find new adventures.

Now travellers may combine World Voyage Segments on two different Cunard liners – Queen Mary 2,  Queen Elizabeth or Queen Victoria – with an exciting Australian Land Stay excursion that explores the continent’s most iconic destinations.
 
This unique offering allows travellers to experience a perfectly timed land excursion and voyages aboard two Cunard ships during one seamless vacation.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Silversea reveals "Grand Voyages" for 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
New perks include complimentary hotel stay, $2,000 onboard
spending credit, exclusive shoreside event and Silversea Experience

(Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- July 15, 2013) Following on the heels of the unveiling of its World Cruise 2015 last month, ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises today opened the books on its two Grand Voyages for 2015, offering a further tantalizing peek at the line's soon-to-be-announced schedule for the full year.

Silver Shadow will depart January 7 on a 62-day "Circle South America" roundtrip voyage from Fort Lauderdale with calls in Key West, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Falkland Islands, Uruguay, Brazil, French Guiana, Barbados, Grenada, Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas.

Highlighting the itinerary's 36 intriguing destinations is a crossing of the Panama Canal, two days cruising Chile's majestic fjords, a two-night stopover in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, overnight stays in Callao and Punta Arenas, plus many late-night port departures. Fares start at $24,390 per person, based on double occupancy.

Norwegian Cruise Line confirms order for second Breakaway Plus vessel

MEYER WERFT to deliver second “Breakaway Plus” ship in Spring 2017

MIAMI – July 16, 2013 – Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it has confirmed an order for a second “Breakaway Plus” cruise ship with MEYER WERFT GMBH of Papenburg, Germany for delivery in spring 2017. 

Along with the first Breakaway Plus ship, which is scheduled for delivery in October 2015, these two new vessels will be the largest in the line’s fleet at approximately 163,000 gross tons and 4,200 passenger berths each and will be similar in design and innovation to the line’s current Breakaway class, the first of which, Norwegian Breakaway, launched in New York in early May.


The combined contract cost of the two Breakaway Plus class ships is approximately €1.4 billion. The company has export credit financing in place that provides financing for 80 percent of the contract price.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Carnival Cruise Lines offers bonus commissions to travel agents on Carnival Splendor bookings

(News Release)

Special Earning Opportunity Results from Carnival Conversations Feedback;
Available on New Individual Bookings Made Between July 12 - August 31

MIAMI (July 12, 2013) – Carnival Cruise Lines is offering travel agents a $25 bonus commission on new individual Carnival Splendor bookings made between July 12 - Aug. 31, 2013.
This new bonus commission is being implemented as part of recent Carnival Conversations feedback indicating positive travel agent response toward incremental earning opportunities.
Carnival announced the bonus commission to an audience of 200 travel agents at the first Carnival Conversations road show, held earlier today aboard Carnival Splendor in New York City. Carnival Conversations, the line’s new travel agent outreach program, is designed to increase dialogue and strengthen ties with travel agents.

Princess Cruises' Balcony Bonanza Deals offer free balcony upgrades through July 24


 SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 12, 2013) – With Princess Cruises’ Balcony Bonanza Sale, passengers can treat themselves to the luxury of a balcony stateroom with a free upgrade. 

Through July 24, select cruise vacations feature balconies at the same price as oceanview staterooms, giving travelers an incentive to enjoy these favorite shipboard accommodations.

The sale features departures to some of the most exciting cruise destinations, including Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Tahiti & the South Pacific and South America.
 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Silversea Cruises offers exciting Australian Open tour package


(Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- July 11, 2013) Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is offering an optional pre-cruise "2014 Australian Open" land package for tennis enthusiasts sailing on Silver Shadow's January 19, 2014 voyage.

The first of four major international tennis events held annually (the others being the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open), the Australian Open attracts the best tennis players from around the world -- all competing for the first Grand Slam title of the year.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Oceania Cruises announces its inaugural Around the World cruise


(News Release)

Insignia's dream voyage to circumnavigate the globe in 180 days

MIAMI, July 8, 2013 – Oceania Cruises, the award-winning upper-premium cruise line, announced today its first ever Around the World in 180 Days cruise, a star-studded, port-intensive 180-day voyage aboard the 684-guest Insignia, setting sail round-trip from Miami on January 10, 2015.

This extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime voyage visits five continents, 44 countries and 89 ports of call and will feature 11 overnight calls plus 4 two-night calls in Cape Town, South Africa; Yangon, Myanmar (Burma); Singapore, Singapore; and Shanghai, China.

Insignia's 180-day journey begins by visiting boutique ports in the Caribbean then steers south to South America and east to Africa before heading to India, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Hawaii before returning via the Panama Canal to Miami on July 8, 2015.

Avalon Waterways invites cruisers to indulge in their passions with "special interest" cruises for 2014

 
From wine and wellness to culinary and culture, next year, Avalon is increasing its “special interest” cruises by 30 per cent to meet the increased demand for passion travel.

In 2014, the award-winning river cruise company will be adding beer tasting, golf, wellness and World War I history cruises to its already diverse lineup.

NEW! BEER TASTING CRUISE
“Many of our cruisers have enjoyed beer tastings on our Austria and Germany cruises,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways.  “Now, we’re inviting like-minded travellers to come together for a cruise focused on discovering regional beers.” 

On this cruise (October 13, 2014 departure of Austrian Highlights & Bavaria), travellers will have the chance to enjoy onboard beer tastings, visit historic breweries and learn about European beer-brewing techniques via onboard lectures. 

Cunard Line holds Big Balcony Event July 10-17 for cruises to Europe

 

Free Stateroom Balcony Upgrades

Balcony Fares from $999 on Select 2013 Sailings
throughout the Mediterranean and Europe

Special Single Occupancy Fares from $1,349 on 12-day

Queen Elizabeth Mediterranean Cruises


WHAT:  European cruises are now available in Cunard Line’s Big Balcony Event. Passengers who book select Cunard Line European voyages between 10-17 July will receive free Balcony upgrades.

The promotion is available on select European voyages sailing from Southampton, Venice, Athens and Rome on board Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.

In addition, special Single Occupancy fares from $1,349 are available on 12-day Mediterranean cruises aboard Queen Elizabeth.

Sample Itineraries for the Big Balcony Event European voyages include:

Un-Cruise Adventures explores four islands by yacht on new Hawaii itinerary


Travelers receive a $700 travel credit per couple on Hawaii cruises
 
Seattle, WA, July 10, 2013 – From November 2013 to April 2014, Un-Cruise Adventures’ 36-guest yacht Safari Explorer explores the Hawaiian islands on a new itinerary sailing one-way between Moloka’i and Hawaii, the Big Island or reverse.

Week-long Luxury Adventure cruises in Hawaii include activities and tours while exploring four islands—Moloka’i, Lana’i, Maui and Hawaii, the Big Island.

New this season, Moloka’i—a quieter, less-visited island—takes center stage as the beginning or ending point for the line’s cruises. Exclusive cultural activities are included for guests on Moloka’i with the vessel spending an evening at dock to allow for a full day of activities and cultural immersion.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 celebrates 200th Transatlantic crossing

8 July 2013 – Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 is making her historic 200th Transatlantic Crossing, having sailed from New York on Saturday 6 July en route to her homeport of Southampton, England, arriving 13 July.

Queen Mary 2 bids farewell to New York on 6 July and heads to
Southampton, England, on milestone 200th Transatlantic Crossing
To mark the beginning of the historic voyage from New York, Queen Mary 2 performed a sail-by of the world’s most iconic statue atop Liberty Island.  On board are keynote speakers presenting talks about the ship’s design, as well as special Big Band performances, and a celebratory Gala Dinner to be held on 11 July.

Five new China offices established to support Princess Cruises’ expansion in growing market


SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 8, 2013) – Carnival plc has announced the opening of five new offices in China that will represent Princess Cruises and support the brand’s increased passenger sourcing in this growing market.

 The new offices are located in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

The offices will be overseen by Cherry Wang, who has been appointed Princess Cruises country director for China. She will be based in Shanghai. Wang was previously general manager of Princess Cruises’ ISA group in China, the international sales agent for Princess Cruises and Cunard Line since 2005.

Windstar Cruises ranked among top three best small-ship cruise lines in Travel + Leisure 2013 World’s Best awards

(News Release)


Seattle, July 8, 2013 – Windstar Cruises, a leader in yacht style cruising, was named one of the Top Small-Ship Cruise Lines in the prestigious Travel + Leisure 2013 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey.

The line was ranked #3 with a score of 90.96 beating out five other small-ship lines. This is the third time Windstar has been named a “World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure, ranked at #5 in both 2011 and 2010.

Cruise line rankings in the 2013 Travel + Leisure's World Best Awards are based on readers’ ratings of cruise ships on the following characteristics: cabins, restaurants/food, service, itineraries/destinations, excursions/activities, and value. This year’s full results will be published in the August 2013 issue of the magazine, as well as on www.travelandleisure.com.

Norwegian Cruise Line upgrade and go

 Offer includes free balcony upgrades, up to $250 on board credit and more
Norwegian Cruise Line launched its “Upgrade and Go” sales event offering guests free balcony upgrades and more when they book a new cruise vacation now, through August 3, 2013.

Guests who take advantage of this special offer can book a balcony stateroom for the price of an oceanview stateroom or an oceanview stateroom for the price of an inside stateroom to one of Norwegian’s popular destinations including the Caribbean, Bahamas & Florida, Hawaii and Europe.

 Select sailings are also eligible for up to $250 in on board credit to use towards spa treatments, personal training sessions, discounts in the casino and more. Plus up to $1000 in air credits, Latitudes Rewards Member, Military and AARP discounts may also apply.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Disney Magic sails to Dubrovnik, Croatia for the first time


DUBROVNIK, Croatia (July 5, 2013) – Today, the Disney Magic cruise ship arrived in Dubrovnik, Croatia for the first time, sailing past the iconic coastal landscape.

The Disney Magic was in Dubrovnik as part of the 2013 Mediterranean season and this is the first time a Disney Cruise Line ship has called on a Croatian port.

In 2014, the Disney Magic will return to Dubrovnik on select European itineraries. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Holland America Line commemorates 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal with 28 voyages in 2013-14


The Rotterdam cruise ship is at anchor in Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal. (Jim Fox photo)  

 Six Ships to Transit the Panama Canal with Unparalleled Itinerary Offerings

Seattle, Wash., July 1, 2013 — Six Holland America Line ships will sail 28 full and partial transits of the Panama Canal during the fall 2013 through spring 2014 season, which coincides with the canal’s 100th anniversary.

Ranging in length from 10 to 22 days, the extensive itinerary options provide guests with more ways to experience the Panama Canal than any other cruise line.

From September 2013 through April 2014, ms Amsterdam, ms Statendam, ms Veendam, ms Westerdam, ms Zaandam and ms Zuiderdam will transit the canal from six departure cities — including Veendam’s new departure from Boston, Mass. — going between the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

Travel + Leisure Readers Name Disney Cruise Line the Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line for Families in the World’s Best Awards


Disney Cruise Line was recognized as the No. 1 Mega-Ship Cruise Line in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards for Families 2013, making it the fifth consecutive year to be ranked in the top spot.

Winners were selected by Travel + Leisure readers who participated in a survey and rated cruise lines on criteria including cabins, food, service, itineraries and destinations, activities and value.

Oceania Cruises rolls out extensive new menu for its Grand Dining Room


MIAMI – Oceania Cruises has an extensive new menu rollout featuring 85 new dishes for its Grand Dining Rooms on the line’s ships.

“Since the founding of Oceania Cruises 10 years ago, we have held a reputation for serving cuisine that is the finest at sea and even rivals the best restaurants ashore,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, the line’s president.

“Our latest innovations in the Grand Dining Room are inspired by classic European fare, with a contemporary, creative touch. They reflect our ongoing commitment to provide an exceptional dining experience that starts with a thoughtful and meticulously researched menu concept, the highest-quality ingredients and the perfect execution of traditional culinary techniques.”

Regent Seven Seas Cruises announces new itineraries for fall 2014


Miami -- Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced changes to its Fall 2014 itineraries for Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager.

The company launched 10 new cruises with expanded itineraries that include cruises to sought-after destinations such as Tahiti and South Africa.

It has been four years since a Regent ship called in South Africa and almost three years since one of its ships visited Tahiti.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The great outdoors make for great new excursions during Crystal's New England-Canada season

 Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Crystal Cruises has unveiled more than 65 new Crystal Adventures for outdoor enthusiasts sailing on five Canada & New England cruises this fall.

Travelers who love outdoor activities, wildlife, vistas, and ecology can explore nature in a variety of ways during one seven-day and four 10-day Crystal Symphony sailings beginning September 16.

The season begins with a new, 10-day, Boston to Montreal itinerary that features two maiden calls, and wraps with a 10-day Montreal-New York voyage that visits off-the-beaten-path Québécois ports alongside East Coast “old money” hideaways like Bar Harbor, Maine and Newport, Rhode Island.  Crystal Serenity will explore the region in 2014 with five itineraries.

Disney Magic returns to Venice, Italy


VENICE, Italy (July 3, 2013) – Today, the Disney Magic cruise ship called on Venice, Italy for the first time since the ship was constructed in nearby Marghera and Ancona, and the vessel set sail from Venice on July 1, 1998.

The ship is in Venice as part of the Disney Cruise Line 2013 Mediterranean season and will return again later this summer. In 2014, the Disney Magic will return to Europe with Venice as its homeport for select sailings. (David Roark, photographer)


Destination immersive Azamara Club Cruises ranks in Travel+Leisure's World's Best Awards

(News Release)

MIAMI, July 3, 2013 – Azamara Club Cruises, the destination immersive cruise line that pioneered longer stays and more overnight port stays on every voyage,  has ranked #3 among Top Large Ship Cruise Lines in the Travel+Leisure 2013 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey.


Continuing to build awareness and respect among up-market travelers, the cruise line has been recognized for a fifth straight year, not only for its exciting destinations and unique experiences around the world, but for its signature warm and attentive service onboard its two intimate ships. 

“We are honored to be recognized by such discerning travelers as the readers of Travel+Leisure with an award that is a testament to the genuine experience guests enjoy aboard our ships,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises.

Royal Caribbean wins Canadian Agent's Choice Awards for 10th consecutive year

(News Release)

MIAMI, July 3, 2013 – For the 10th consecutive year, Royal Caribbean International was voted top cruise line by Canadian travel agents in Baxter Travel Media’s 2013 Agent’s Choice Awards.


In the Cruise category, the cruise line earned the first and second most votes in the Large Ship (over 2,500 passengers) and Medium Ship (600 – 2,500 passengers) division, respectively.

Baxter Travel Media is the publisher of Canadian Travel Press and Travel Courier magazine and has been the main source of information for the Canadian travel industry for more than 60 years.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Windstar Cruises celebrates America’s birthday with spectacular savings

More than 25 Grand Voyages reduced to $1,776 per person

Seattle, July 1, 2013   - Windstar Cruises, a leader in yacht-style cruising, celebrates the Fourth of July with exceptional savings on 2013 sailings.

Guests can book the yachting vacation of their dreams for as low as $1,776 per person on more than 25 grand voyages through July 8, 2013. 

Take advantage of these savings and cruise in Windstar Style, the perfect pairing of comfort and luxury. Experience the glamorous ports of the French Riviera on Glitter & Glam of the Riviera.

Queen Victoria maiden call is also birthplace of Cunard's first female captain

A Faroe First for Cunard
Captain Inger Olsen takes in the view of Torshavn from the Bridge of Queen Victoria
 1 July 2013 – Captain Inger Olsen, Cunard Line’s first female Captain, took her ship home to her birthplace when Queen Victoria made her maiden call to the Faroe Islands in Denmark, with visits to Klaksvik on 26 June and Torshavn the next day.

Captain Olsen was born in Vestmanna in the Faroe Islands, which lends some explanation for her maritime abilities, and she joined Cunard in 1997 as First Officer on board Vistafjord.  In 2001, she transferred to the Seabourn fleet, which at that time was part of Cunard.  She sailed on Seabourn Sun and Seabourn Spirit before being promoted to the rank of Staff Captain on Seabourn Pride in 2003.

Following some years with other companies within the Carnival group, Captain Olsen returned to Cunard in August 2010 as Deputy Captain of Queen Victoria and was then appointed Captain in December that year.