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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.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Norwegian Escape launch progressing; sea trials to begin


Papenburg, Germany – Norwegian Escape, soon to be the largest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, departed MEYER WERFT in Papenburg, Germany on Sept. 18 for her approximately 24-hour long conveyance along the Ems River.

Norwegian Escape's river conveyance marks another key milestone in the ship's highly anticipated delivery. Measuring 1069 feet long and 136 feet wide, the ship is the first in the line’s Breakaway Plus class. Three additional ships in the class are on order at Meyer Werft.
 
*Photo credit: Patrick Buß.
“After seeing firsthand this week how spectacular Norwegian Escape already looks, I am thrilled that she is officially on her journey to welcome guests next month,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “As the first Breakaway Plus class ship, she will offer the very best in freedom and flexibility for our guests and we cannot wait to officially welcome her to the fleet.”

Broadway Theatre Cruises launches “Sailing with the Stars” program


New cruise package features exclusive access to Broadway stars
 
Palm Beach Gardens, FL  Broadway Theatre Cruises, the new and exciting theme cruise organizer – specializing in creating entertainment experiences that feature Broadway stars – has announced its inaugural cruise, Sailing with the Stars, is open for bookings. The seven-night Caribbean cruise departs November 5, 2016 onboard Celebrity Cruises’ modern luxury ship Celebrity Reflection.
 
Sailing with the Stars will provide guests, who enjoy live theatre, cabaret, music and cruising, and have booked the new package, with exclusive access to seasoned Broadway stars at intimate shows and events. The inaugural cruise is slated to feature well-known Broadway performers Lee Roy Reams, Robert Cuccioli, and Eden Espinosa, who have starred in 42nd Street, The Producers, Jekyll & Hyde, Les Misérables, Spiderman, Wicked, and Rent, among others.
 

Carnival, Mobile announce year-long season of cruises from Alabama beginning in 2016

2,056-Passenger Vessel to Undergo Multi-Million-Dollar Dry Dock
Prior to Launching Four- and Five-Day Departures From Mobile In November 2016
 
MIAMI (September 23, 2015) – Carnival Cruise Line and the City of Mobile announced today that the Carnival Fantasy will operate a year-long schedule of four- and five-day cruises to Mexico from the Mobile Cruise Terminal beginning in fall 2016.

Prior to its deployment to Mobile, the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy will undergo a multi-million-dollar refurbishment that will add several elements of the cruise line’s popular Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement program, including Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, two poolside watering holes, the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, and the BlueIguana Cantina Mexican-themed eatery. 

On its new schedule from Mobile, Carnival Fantasy will offer four-day cruises to Cozumel and five-day cruises to Cozumel and Costa Maya or Progreso from November 2016 to November 2017.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New M/V Origin sets the standard for sustainable luxury in the Galapagos

 
BOULDER, CO, Sept. 10, 2015 – The world’s premier nature travel company, Natural Habitat Adventures (Nat Hab - http://www.nathab.com), announces the addition of a new ship to its Galapagos fleet.

This is M/V Origin, a 142-foot, 20-passenger sustainable luxury yacht debuting in 2016. Origin’s arrival brings the company’s chartered fleet to four, offering the most varied slate of small-ship cruise adventures in the islands.

Providing elegant access to this privileged world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where wildlife is unaffected by humans, Origin’s addition sets a new standard for luxury and environmental sensitivity among Galapagos ships.

“This ship helps fill our growing demand for top-end accommodations and rounds out the best and most comprehensive slate of small-ship trips in the islands,” said Ben Bressler, founder and president of Nat Hab.

Guests are accommodated in ten 140-square-foot staterooms with panoramic windows. From the privacy of these spacious cabins and a variety of outdoor viewing areas, guests on Nat Hab’s 10-day Classic Galapagos adventure will witness dolphins on display, magnificent frigate birds circling overhead and families of sea lions sunning on shore.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Crystal concludes 25th anniversary year with 'Silver Celebration Event'

Spending Credits and Booking Deadline Extended for Agents to Maximize Value for Clients

LOS ANGELES, September 1, 2015 – The world’s most awarded luxury cruise line is continuing the celebration of its 25th anniversary by extending the opportunities for travel agents and partners to lock in the best possible fares for their discerning clientele.

For Crystal Cruises’ 2015 and 2016 ultra-luxury voyages on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, the line is extending the “Book Now” deadline to December 30, 2015, allowing travel professionals to offer savvy travelers the most attractive fares without the risk of increases before the end of the year.

Actress Jill Whelan named “Celebrations Ambassador” for Princess Cruises

Former Love Boat Star Offers Tips for Celebrating 

Actress Jill Whelan
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Actress Jill Whelan, known as one of the stars of The Love Boat television show, has been named “Celebrations Ambassador” for Princess Cruises , a role that has been created to help spread the message that special occasions become extraordinary when celebrated on one of the company’s cruiseships or in a spectacular destination.

Whelan is well-qualified to represent Princess Cruises’ celebrations experiences.  Not only has she been godmother to three of the company’s cruise ships – Dawn Princess, Caribbean Princess and, most recently, Regal Princess – she got married onboard Caribbean Princess and, along with the rest of the Love Boat cast, rode aboard the line’s float in the iconic Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. on New Year’s Day.
 
As Celebrations Ambassador her role will include representing Princess at various trade and consumer travel and lifestyle shows, authoring a series of celebration guides for an array of special occasions, staring in a celebrations video series, and she will occasionally cruise aboard Princess ships to surprise guests who are celebrating a special occasion.

Cunard history: Remembering a legend





This article, written by Michael Gallagher, public relations executive and historian for Cunard Line,
 is part of an ongoing series of key moments in Cunard Line's history

 On 9 January 1972, Seawise University, the former Queen Elizabeth, caught fire and sank in Hong Kong Harbour during her conversion to a floating cruise ship / university. She had left Cunard service in 1968.

Queen Elizabeth was launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth (later The Queen Mother) in 1938 and was originally to have entered service in 1940. Queen Elizabeth did not make her passenger maiden voyage until October 1946 and throughout her career The Queen Mother maintained a keen interest in 'her' ship.
Boarding Queen Mary II at Greenock  for the short trip to Queen Elizabeth.
I thought that as well as remembering today's anniversary we would reflect on a happier time - when The Queen, accompanied by Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, boarded Queen Elizabeth for her post-war sea trials in 1946. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Celebrity Cruises joins Dîner en Blanc as official modern luxury vacation sponsor


 
MIAMI, FL and MONTREAL, QUEBEC – July 22, 2015 As the annual secret affair known as “Le Dîner en Blanc” pops up in select cities around the globe this year, modern luxury cruise brand Celebrity Cruises will be bringing a taste of its award-winning onboard experience to Dîner en Blanc attendees.
 
“Just as Celebrity Cruises offers award-winning globally inspired cuisine, sexy and stylish spaces, and intuitive service on our stunning ships, Le Dîner en Blanc consistently offers unforgettable evenings of elegance, beauty and magic around the globe, and there is a natural synergy between our brands,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “We are thrilled to have a strong presence at Dîner en Blanc events in key cities in 2015, and to bring special elements of Celebrity’s modern luxury to everyone who attends these incredibly visual, chic events.”
 
Bystanders will witness groups of guests all dressed in white gathering at specific rallying points all across the city. Guided by Dîner en Blanc volunteers, these groups will then converge on one of the city’s most beautiful settings, which is revealed only when guests arrive. Every guest brings their own gourmet feast, table, chairs and table setting. Over the course of the evening, they will eat and celebrate amid music, entertainment and dancing.

Carnival to offer a wide variety of Bermuda cruises in 2016 with nine different voyages between April and November

MIAMI -- With its famous pink-sand beaches, turquoise waters and picture-perfect weather, Bermuda is one of the most popular destinations in cruising. And Carnival Cruise Line will provide its guests with a variety of opportunities to visit the island paradise in 2016 with nine departures that feature at least one overnight docked alongside at historic King’s Wharf. 

From April through November 2016, guests can embark on four different Carnival ships departing from five convenient U.S. homeports offering itineraries ranging from five to eight days — making 2016 one of the cruise line’s most robust Bermuda programs ever. 

Carnival’s 2016 Bermuda schedule includes: 
·         Carnival Pride: five-day cruises from Baltimore departing April 10 and Oct. 26 as well as seven-day voyages departing Sept. 4 and 18.
·         Carnival Victory: an eight-day sailing from Port Canaveral departing May 19.
·         Carnival Ecstasy: seven-day cruises from Charleston departing May 12 and Nov. 5.
·        Carnival Sunshine: a seven-day cruise from New York departing Oct. 1 and a five-day sailing from Norfolk departing Oct. 23.

Norwegian Escape floats out from building dock in Germany

PAPENBURG, GERMANY – Norwegian Escape, soon to be the largest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, was floated out of MEYER WERFT’s covered building dock II on August 15 in Papenburg, Germany, where the 164,600-ton ship has been under construction since September 2014.

The 4,200 passenger vessel, with her signature hull artwork designed by famed marine wildlife artist and conservationist Guy Harvey, departed building dock II. Norwegian Escape is the first ship in the line’s Breakaway Plus Class, measuring 1,098 feet in length and 136 feet wide.

Norwegian Escape’s float out represents a major milestone in the vessel’s construction, with the ship being well on her way to completion she will now move into the final phase of construction with delivery taking place on October 22, 2015.