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Cruise News
January 1-31, 2015

Click the following headline links to the cruise news stories below...

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What's on Cruise Diva's mind? A bit of editorializing, news, announcements, and travel tips...find that and more in Cruise Diva's Blog. Recent headlines appear below.

Cruise Diva

Seabourn Reveals Newest Ship Names & Dedicated Microsite

Seattle, Jan 29: The award-winning ultra-luxury, small ship cruise line Seabourn has unveiled the names of its two new ships, both inspired by its current fleet. Announcing Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation, the first will launch in late 2016 and the second in spring 2018.

Expanding on the line's popular and highly acclaimed Odyssey-class ships, Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation will build on the success of the Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest. This award-winning class of ships revolutionized ultra-luxury cruising with enhanced accommodations and innovative amenities when they were introduced between 2009 and 2011. Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation will maintain the line's high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service by close to one staff member for each guest on board. With the addition of the two new ships, Seabourn will have the youngest and most modern ultra-luxury fleet in the industry.

"Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation will applaud the current fleet in both vessel design and guest experience," said Seabourn President Richard Meadows. "Both words, Encore and Ovation, pay tribute to the tremendous success and outstanding accomplishments our current ships have achieved. They are perfect names to celebrate Seabourn's expanding fleet."

Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation will be configured with one additional deck, newly expanded public areas, and modern design elements and innovations consistent with Seabourn's reputation for understated elegance. The new 40,350-GRT vessels are expected to carry 604 guests each, based on double occupancy, and every suite will feature a private veranda. Hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany has signed on to design both Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation in their entirety, drawing inspiration from the line's rich history and yachting heritage. He will design all indoor and outdoor guest areas, including the multiple dining venues, The Spa at Seabourn, showrooms, casino and lounges, outdoor deck areas, and the popular Seabourn Square, the social hub of the ship with a club-like ambiance.

Seabourn offers key elements that set the cruise line apart: thoughtfully appointed all-suite accommodations, most with verandas; superb dining in a choice of venues; complimentary open bars throughout the ship; complimentary fine wines poured at lunch and dinner; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board. The ships travel the globe throughout the year, sailing to many of the world's most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and lesser-known ports and hideaways.

The line has revealed renderings and updates about Seabourn Encore via a new dedicated microsite: Filled with imagery, details and news on the ship's progress, including "sunsets until launch," the microsite offers an inside look at Seabourn's stunning new ultra-luxury ship. Additional details, news and images will be revealed on the site on an ongoing basis.
For more details about the Seabourn fleet, or to explore the worldwide selection of Seabourn cruising options, visit

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Details on Carnival Vista's European Itineraries Revealed

Following its official handover ceremony from the Fincantieri shipyard, Carnival Vista will embark on its inaugural cruise from Europe: a 13-day voyage departing Trieste, Italy, May 1 and arriving Barcelona on May 14, 2016.

The voyage is the first of 18 European departures from Barcelona and Athens through October 21, 2016, that will feature a number of new ports for Carnival, including Crete (Heraklion), and Corfu, Greece; Valletta, Malta; Palermo, Sicily; Cagliari, Sardinia; and Gibraltar. Carnival Vista’s European sailings include:

• May 1 (Trieste to Barcelona) – 13-day cruise calling at Dubrovnik, Athens, Izmir (Ephesus), Crete (Heraklion), Valletta, Palermo, Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Florence/Pisa), and Marseilles (Provence)
• May 14, June 11, July 9, September 3 and October 1 (Barcelona to Athens) – 10-day voyage visiting Marseilles (Provence), Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples (Capri/Pompeii), Crete (Heraklion), Rhodes, Izmir (Ephesus), and Athens (overnight)
• May 24, June 21, July 19, September 13 and October 11 (Athens to Barcelona) – 10-day sailing featuring Izmir (Ephesus), Rhodes, Valletta, Messina, Naples (Capri/Pompeii), Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Florence/Pisa), and Marseilles (Provence)
• June 3, September 23 (round-trip Barcelona) – 8-day departure with stops at Palermo, Naples (Capri/Pompeii), Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Marseilles (Provence), and Palma de Mallorca
• July 1, August 18 and 26 (round-trip Barcelona) – 8-day voyage calling at Messina, Naples (Capri/Pompeii), Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Marseilles (Provence), and Palma de Mallorca
• July 29 (round-trip Barcelona) – 8-day voyage featuring Cagliari, Naples (Capri/Pompeii), Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Marseilles (Provence) and Palma de Mallorca
• Aug 6 (round-trip Barcelona) – 12-day cruise visiting Marseilles (Provence), Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples (Capri/Pompeii), Dubrovnik, Corfu, Messina, and Cagliari
• Oct 21 (Barcelona to New York) - Carnival Vista’s inaugural European season will conclude with a 13-day transatlantic crossing departing Barcelona Oct 21 and arriving New York Nov 3, 2016, calling at Gibraltar, Ponta Delgada, and Bermuda (overnight call), followed by a series of voyages from the Big Apple.

Carnival Vista’s European cruises are currently available for reservations. Additional information on the New York departures will be available next month. For additional information on Carnival Vista visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Opens Sales Office in Brazil

MIAMI , Jan 28: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announced the expansion of its sales presence in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with the establishment of a sales, marketing and reservations center to support the growing demand for cruise travel in the region. The company’s three lines: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises have all experienced growth in the number of Brazilian guests that have chosen to take a cruise vacation, particularly in Europe, Alaska and Caribbean itineraries.

“Given its economic growth and the increasing interest of Brazilians to experience the world by taking a cruise, Brazil represents a significant opportunity to advance Norwegian Cruise Line Holding’s international growth strategy,” said Andy Stuart, executive vice president of international sales for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. has acquired Firstar Representacoes, the local representative for Norwegian Cruise Line and Oceania Cruises in Brazil. Estela Farina will lead the new office as general manager. The company will have its main office in Sao Paulo and a satellite office in Rio de Janeiro.

The new office provides multiple benefits for local travel partners. For Norwegian Cruise Line bookings, these include the ability to offer cruise fares in BRL (Brazilian Reais), accept payment in up to ten installments with no financing fees and an on-line booking engine in Portuguese. For Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Sea Cruises bookings, the sales center will allow guests to pay in up to four installments with no financing fees. The office will also offer local reservations, sales and marketing support for all three brands, providing direct access to travel partners and consumers. The local reservation center will be available to make reservations in real time and invoice directly from the cruise line. Additionally, individual travel agency sales will be recorded and recognized for performance and compensation based on production. Finally, travel partners will continue to be provided training opportunities, now on a more regular basis and directly by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd staff.

About Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. is a diversified cruise operator of leading global cruise lines spanning market segments from contemporary to luxury under the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands. These brands operate a combined 21 ships with approximately 40,000 lower berths visiting more than 430 destinations worldwide. The company’s brands will introduce six new ships through 2019.

Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising, which revolutionized the industry by giving guests more freedom and flexibility on the most contemporary ships at sea. Oceania Cruises is the market leader in the upper-premium cruise segment featuring the finest cuisine at sea, gourmet culinary experiences, elegant accommodations, impeccable service and destination-driven itineraries. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the market leader in the luxury cruise segment with all-suite accommodations, highly personalized service and the industry’s most inclusive luxury experience featuring round-trip air, fine wines and spirits and unlimited shore excursions among its numerous included amenities.

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Viking Cruises Cooks Up New Sponsorship Deal For "The Great British Baking Show" On PBS

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28: Viking Cruises announced that it has signed on as a sponsor of The Great British Baking Show, which recently premiered on PBS stations in the U.S. The new deal extends Viking's presence on PBS beyond its highly visible partnership with the celebrated series MASTERPIECE, which includes the Emmy(®) Award-winning series Downton Abbey and Sherlock. Similar to its MASTERPIECE sponsorship, Viking commercials will bookend each episode of The Great British Baking Show, airing on Sundays at 8 p.m. in January and February. Viking will also leverage recipes from the show across its marketing channels.

Already a hit series in the U.K., The Great British Baking Show follows the trials and tribulations of passionate amateur bakers whose goal is to be named the U.K.'s best. Each week, the bakers tackle a different skill, the difficulty of which increases as the competition unfolds. Mary Berry, a leading cookbook writer, and Paul Hollywood, a top artisan baker, serve as judges. Together with hosts and comic foils Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, Berry and Hollywood search for the country's best amateur baker by testing the competitors' skills on cakes, breads, pastries and desserts, crowning a winner after 10 weeks of competition.

"We have enjoyed an incredibly successful partnership with MASTERPIECE and PBS over the last four years largely because our audiences value the same types of enriching entertainment and life experiences," said Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Viking Cruises. "Our guests are often interested in the intrinsic connection between food and travel, which makes The Great British Baking Show a particularly good fit for our brand. Of course we are also proud to support Mary Berry, godmother to our new Viking Longship Alsvin."

"The Great British Baking Show is a great complement to MASTERPIECE Downton Abbey, which Viking Cruises has supported for the last four years," said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming at PBS. "We are thrilled that Viking is also supporting The Great British Baking Show, which has been gaining a passionate audience of its own here in the U.S."

In March 2014, Viking set a world record for christening 18 vessels across four countries in five days - each of which was "named" by a prominent ceremonial godmother. Because enriching culinary experiences are at the heart of every experience Viking offers its guests, Mary Berry was selected as godmother of Viking Alsvin. "After spending some time onboard Viking Alsvin, I can see why people are so taken with river cruising. As someone who is fascinated by travel, culture and food destinations you certainly get a sense of the Viking spirit on board," Berry said at the christening.

With river cruising still the fastest-growing segment of travel, Viking continues to expand in order to meet customer demand. This year the company will launch more new river vessels and will introduce two new itineraries celebrating springtime on the Rhine River. Additionally, the company's first ocean ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star(®), is currently in the final construction phase and will set sail in April 2015. For more information, visit

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Cunard Royal Rendezvous: Queen Elizabeth & The Queen Mary in Long Beach

SOUTHAMPTON, England, Jan. 28: On 5 Feb 2015, Cunard'sQueen Elizabeth will meet her royal relative, the legendary Queen Mary, in a Cunard Royal Rendezvous when Queen Elizabeth docks in Long Beach for the first time ever. This historic maiden call is particularly significant, not only because it is the first time a Cunard vessel has ever called at Long Beach, but because both Cunard and the Queen Mary are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. Cunard is marking 175 years since the first Transatlantic Crossing from England to the United States, inaugurating scheduled mail service to the U.S. and changing the face of ocean travel forever. The Queen Mary, who has crossed the Atlantic over 2,000 times while in service and is now a permanent hotel and museum in Long Beach harbor, is commemorating 80 years afloat.

The day will be marked with celebration and fanfare for the public, with traditional whistle salutes between the ships and a robust fireworks display. The best public viewing location is on the Promenade Deck of the Queen Mary, at the aft (back) of the ship. Complimentary access will be offered, and parking will be $15.00. Queen Elizabeth will sail into Long Beach harbor at approximately 7:00am, and depart the port at approximately 6:00pm, followed by a whistle exchange salute with the Queen Mary, and fireworks display, before she proceeds on her journey.

"During our 175-year history, the Queen Mary has been one of our most beloved ships," said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard, North America. "This meeting of the Queens will be especially memorable for our passengers, as this maiden call offers them the opportunity to disembark in Long Beach and experience the Queen Mary, an integral part of our history and tradition."

Prior visits by Cunard ships to Long Beach have been restricted to floating salutes where the modern ships hovered in place while honoring their ancestor. The 5 February visit will see Queen Elizabeth dock nearby the Queen Mary, a first for Long Beach and Cunard... and the royal relatives.

Enhancing the Queen Elizabeth's visit, and in recognition of the Queen Mary's 80 years of public life, a new Ship Model Gallery will be dedicated on the Queen Mary in a private ceremony at 11:00am. Located on the Promenade Deck, the model gallery will open to the public at 12:30pm, and will house many important ship models and is the first phase of the Queen Mary's announced plans to create a world-class maritime museum and learning center aboard the ship.

"Having Queen Elizabeth in port for the Gallery dedication makes it even more special," said The Queen Mary's General Manager, John Jenkins.

Included in the Gallery will be priceless large models of some of the world's greatest ships; Titanic, Lusitania, Normandie along with contemporary Cunard liners, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and QE2. Overall some 15 ship models will debut - with others on the way. The exhibition will also present the original Bassett-Lowke shipbuilder's model of the Queen Mary - a spectacular and historically significant ship model measuring over 20 feet in length.

During Cunard's legendary history, the iconic Queen Mary epitomized the Golden Age of Ocean Travel. She also served as a British Royal Mail Ship (RMS) and as a troopship during World War II. Winston Churchill credited the Queen Mary and the original Queen Elizabeth with ending World War II one year early as they carried over 1.5 million troops between them. The Queen Mary's influence lives on today, inspiring Cunard's modern fleet; and she continues to be a popular tourist and maritime destination as a hotel and museum in Long Beach Harbor, located 40 miles south of Los Angeles.

The elegant Queen Elizabeth captured the world stage in 2010 when Her Majesty The Queen christened her in a Royal Naming Ceremony in Southampton, England, amongst more than 1,500 guests, celebrities and dignitaries. As the youngest in Cunard's fleet, Queen Elizabeth recalls the rich heritage of the first Cunarder to bear the name, and features many unique Cunard traditions linking her with her predecessors, but with all the modern day luxuries Cunard guests have come to expect. The ship's adherence to liner traditions is most evident through art deco touches, elegant double- and triple-height public rooms on a grand scale, intricate mosaics, hand-woven carpets, gleaming chandeliers and cool marbles. Key features of Queen Elizabeth include a specially commissioned portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, as well as an 18.5 ft. marquetry piece of the original Queen Elizabeth, expertly created by David Linley, the only nephew of Her Majesty.

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Queen Mary 2 & Queen Victoria to Support Magna Carta's 800th Anniversary

SOUTHAMPTON, England, Jan. 27: A rare facsimile of arguably one of the most important documents in English history, the Magna Carta, will be going on display on board Cunard's flagship liner, Queen Mary2 and sister ship Queen Victoria between May and September 2015, as the 'Great Charter' sealed by King John in 1215 celebrates its 800th anniversary year. As the shipping line continues to celebrate its 175th anniversary year, Salisbury Cathedral will be lending a rare facsimile of its Magna Carta, one of only four of the original 1215 documents in existence, to Cunard. The facsimile will be displayed in the Grand Lobby of Queen Mary 2 from early May until September 2015, with a 6 night sojourn aboard Queen Victoria in late May.

Cunard and the Magna Carta share some interesting history. During WWII, the Lincoln Magna Carta, one of the four originals, was moved to Washington DC for safe-keeping. In January 1946 it began its journey home, first to New York and then on board Queen Elizabeth for the voyage to Southampton. The ship's Captain, Commodore Sir James Bisset, kept the metal box containing the precious document in the safest place he could think of for the duration of the crossing, under his bed!

Robert Key, Chairman of the Salisbury Cathedral 2015 Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Board, and a Member of the National Magna Carta 800th Committee will be escorting the copy of Salisbury's Magna Carta during crossings aboard Queen Mary 2 on 10-17 May 2015 and 4-11 September 2015, and aboard Queen Victoria's cruise on 22-28 May 2015. Robert will hold two talks on each voyage about the legacy of the Magna Carta, and the profound effect it had in shaping the world as we know it today.

The Magna Carta was a series of written promises between the king and his subjects that he, the king, would govern England and deal with its people according to the customs of feudal law. The Magna Carta was an attempt by the barons to stop a king—in this case John—abusing his power and causing suffering to the people of England.

Robert explains to significance of partnership with the Magna Carta and Cunard in their joint anniversary year:

"I, and Salisbury Cathedral, are delighted to be working with Cunard as we celebrate the Magna Carta's 800(th) anniversary by loaning a very rare facsimile of the document. The impact of the Magna Carta was not only felt ashore, but in these lectures we have a golden opportunity to explain and explore those fundamental freedoms that give Cunard ships the right to sail the seven seas, rights that we won 800 years ago and for which people the world over are still prepared to fight and to die."

"It is an honor to welcome the Magna Carta, such a significant piece of world history, to both our flagship liner, Queen Mary 2, and Queen Victoria during our 175(th) anniversary year," said Richard Meadows, President, Cunard, North America. "Hosting someone such as Robert Key, and providing our guests a glimpse into the enduring impact of this historical document on our world today, truly exemplifies what Cunard's Insights enrichment program is all about."

The Magna Carta copy will join Queen Mary 2 from 10 May and will stay on board until 11 Sept 2015. It will be transferred to Queen Victoria for a short period, 26-28 May, part of the ship's Liverpool Salute sailing 22-28 May 2015. On 25 May 2015, all three Queens will sail together into the Liverpool, the spiritual home of Cunard, for the first time. For more information, visit

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Holland America Line Features Robust Canada & New England Cruise Options for Summer & Fall 2015

Seattle, Jan. 27: With 39 cruises throughout Canada and New England in 2015, Holland America Line offers an extensive array of cruises in the region that range from seven to 15 days. The voyages carry guests in elegant comfort aboard ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam or ms Veendam. Whether exploring the area during the summer when the skies shine blue or in the fall when the leaves put on an incredible display of jewel-toned hues, Canada and New England is perfect for cruising in either season.

“We offer an incredible number of Canada and New England cruises because this in-demand region is rich in culture, history and stunning scenery—making it an ideal cruise destination that’s close to home,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “There’s something for everyone on these itineraries, whether it’s exploring nature, trying local cuisine, antique shopping or visiting historical locales.”

Scheduled May through October, the cruises depart from Boston, Mass.; Montréal and Québec City, Quebec, Canada; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and New York City, N.Y., and visit some of the region’s most iconic destinations.

Idyllic Summer Climate & Seven-day Cruise Options Perfect for Family Vacation
Maasdam begins the season with a 15-day northbound cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Montréal departing May 1, 2015, that includes scenic cruising in the Saguenay Fjord. From May 16 through the Oct. 10 departure, Maasdam offers 22 seven-day sailings between Montréal and Boston, featuring scenic cruising in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on the St. Lawrence River. Maasdam concludes the season with a 13-day coastal sailing departing Oct. 17 from Montréal to Fort Lauderdale. Guests can take in the beautiful landscape at peak fall foliage time on scenic cruising along the St. Lawrence River, Saguenay Fjord and Gaspé Bay. Guests also can choose a 10-day option to sail from Montréal to New York.

Bermuda Collectors’ Voyages & between Quebec & Boston
Veendam kicks off its Canada and New England season with a 14-day Bermuda and Canada/New England Collectors’ Voyage departing Boston May 9, 2015. Highlights include three full nights at Hamilton, Bermuda, and an overnight at Quebec City. This itinerary also is offered in June and July, as well as the reverse route from Quebec City to Boston in May and June. From May 16 through the Oct. 10 departure, Veendam sails 12 seven-day cruises between Québec City and Boston. These sailings include scenic cruising in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and an overnight at Québec City.

For seven-day Maasdam and Veendam itineraries, back-to-back sailings on the same ship can be combined for an extended 14-day roundtrip Collectors’ Voyage, allowing extra time ashore to get to know each port better with repeating calls.

Fall Foliage Cruises Bring Region to Life with Nature’s Colors
In September and October, during the height of the 2015 fall foliage season, Eurodam will sail a 10-day cruise between New York and Québec City, and a 14-day cruise from Québec City to Fort Lauderdale. Both itineraries include scenic cruising in Saguenay Fjord and an overnight at Quebec City.

Veendam kicks off Sept. with a 7-day Historic Coasts roundtrip Boston cruise departing Aug. 29. Ports feature Portland, Maine, Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia. Maasdam and Veendam also continue with seven-day fall foliage cruise options into October.

On Location Provides Engagement with Cruise Destinations
On each Canada and New England cruise, Holland America Line’s “On Location” enrichment activities brings local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life both onboard and ashore to deepen guests’ appreciation of the region.

Guests on a Canada and New England cruise might enjoy a New England clam bake or a “Fiddlin’ Flapjack” breakfast, complete with authentic Canadian maple syrup and featuring local Cape Breton Celtic fiddlers. Other activities include regional beer and wine tastings, a Canadian Bar mixology class, cultural cooking demonstrations and a special historical and musical performance featuring the Halifax Citadel Highlander & Bagpiper. For more information about Canada and New England cruises and Holland America Line, visit

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Convenient Jaunts Or Extended Vacations: Crystal Offers Expanded Selection Of European Escapes

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 27: Proving that when it comes to luxury vacations, quality trumps quantity, luxury cruise leader Crystal Cruises is offering travelers a varied menu of conveniently scheduled itineraries through Europe, including Sunday to Sunday and seven-day voyages this summer and fall. Sailing throughout the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea, and Northern Europe, the shorter itineraries complement the line's more common 10-, 11- and 12+-day voyages. Each seven-day cruise offers at least one overnight stay, often upon embarkation and/or disembarkation, allowing travelers ample time to immerse themselves in destinations before, during and following their Crystal cruise.

"The departures and returns afford those with limited travel time the ability to enjoy a dream vacation abroad without overextending their time away from work and other commitments," said Crystal's president, Edie Rodriguez. "Our varied range of itineraries is carefully designed to meet any traveler's dreams of a journey to new and favorite destinations."

Among the 7-day, Crystal Serenity voyages in 2015 are:

-- Aug 30, Rome to Venice (overnight): Sorrento (overnight), Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; and Rijeka, Croatia
-- Sept 6, Venice (overnight) to Istanbul (overnight): Dubrovnik, Croatia; Mykonos, Greece; and Izmir, Turkey
-- Sept 13, Round-trip Istanbul (begins with overnight): Kusadasi, Rhodes and Santorini, Greece
-- Oct 11, Athens to Venice (overnight): Monemvasia and Katakolon, Greece; Sarande, Albania; and Split, Croatia
-- Oct 18, Venice (overnight) to Monte Carlo: Kotor, Montenegro; Naples, Rome and Florence, Italy
-- Nov 6, Monte Carlo (overnight) to Lisbon: Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Spain; Gibraltar, United Kingdom; Portimao, Portugal
-- Nov 22, Monte Carlo (overnight) to Marseille: Genoa, Florence, Rome and Naples, Italy; and Corsica, France

The line's other acclaimed vessel, Crystal Symphony, sails an August 16 seven-day jaunt round-trip from Copenhagen, calling in Berlin/Warnemunde, Germany and Helsinki, Finland and overnighting in St. Petersburg, Russia. This is followed by a Copenhagen to Amsterdam voyage beginning August 23, featuring an overnight in Edinburgh/Rosyth, Scotland and Hamburg, Germany; and calling in Newcastle, England; and Helgoland, Germany (maiden call).

For more information, visit

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Un-Cruise Adventures Offers Theme Cruises in 2015

Seattle, WA, Jan 27: Whether it’s a new angle on the history of a destination or learning the right settings for photography, hobbyists and experts alike have seven theme cruise topics to choose from on select small ship cruises with Un-Cruise Adventures in 2015. Theme cruises explore Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Alaska, coastal Washington and the Columbia & Snake Rivers. Un-Cruise Adventures’ fleet of boutique yachts and small ships carry 22-88 guests on adventure and river cruises lasting one week to 21 nights. All adventure activities and shore excursions are included. For theme cruise departures, a guest expert joins the cruise for a week of special presentations and hands-on learning opportunities.

“We invite specialists on board to add another element to the week’s adventure,” said Captain Dan Blanchard, CEO. “Since our vessels are intimate with less than 90 guests on board, you’ll have time to meet and talk to the photographer or marine biologist. Nothing is taken away from our regular programming; we’re adding to it.”

Mexico’s Sea of Cortés - The 84-guest Safari Endeavour sails roundtrip from San José del Cabo exploring islands, bays and marine life in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

• Birding/Ornithology: Nov 14 with Dave Verner, a lifetime birder now living in Mexico

Columbia & Snake Rivers—The 88-guest S.S. Legacy, a replica coastal steamer, explores the scenic beauty and history of the area, including the Lewis & Clark expedition, with living history presentations, and excursions to museums, wineries and forts.

• Enhanced Lewis & Clark: May 16, 23; Oct 31; Nov 7; with Todd Weber, an expert on American history and the Lewis & Clark expedition
• Music: Aug 8 with Letters from Home, a singing duo specializing in 1940s style harmonies, tap dancing and comedy
• Wine & Culinary: A new Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine and History itinerary visits nine wineries; Aug 15 with Steven (a certified sommelier) and MaryAnn Sinkler, owners of the Wine Shack in Cannon Beach, OR; Aug 22 with Kevin Correll, owner of Barrage Cellars; August 29 with Jameson Fink, wine expert and blogger

Coastal Washington/British Columbia—The 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer explores Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. The 22-guest Safari Quest explores British Columbia and Princess Louisa Inlet.

• Craft beer(coastal WA): April 25 with Robyn Schumacher, owner and brewer at Seattle’s Stoup Brewing; Oct 3 with Nate and Becca Schons, owners and brewers at Orcas Island’s Island Hoppin’ Brewery
• Birding/Ornithology(in B.C.): May 2 with Ken Wilson, teacher and expert in natural history and birding.

Alaska—Theme cruises in Alaska are offered aboard the 84-guest Safari Endeavour sailing adventure cruises in remote Alaskan wilderness roundtrip from Juneau.

• Photography: July 5 with Peter West Carey, professional photographer and adventurer
• Marine Biology: July 26 & Aug 2 with Jackie Hedgpeth, a marine biology expert and teacher; Aug 16 with Gary Freitag, an oceanography expert

Find more information on theme cruises online; visit

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Carnival Corporation & China Merchants Group Sign Memo of Understanding for Two Potential Joint Ventures to Help Expand the Cruise Industry in China

MIAMI, Jan. 26: Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest travel and leisure company, today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China Merchants Group (CMG) to explore the possibility of two joint ventures designed to accelerate the development and growth of the overall cruise industry in China. The MOU outlines a potential strategic partnership between Carnival Corporation and CMG that includes exploring two possible joint ventures in support of China's ambitions to grow the cruising industry in China and meet escalating demand for cruises amongst Chinese travelers:

-- Ship-Owning Joint Venture: Carnival Corporation and CMG will explore a joint venture that would own and operate its own cruise ships as part of the first-ever domestic Chinese cruise line specifically targeted to the Chinese market. The joint venture would explore the possibility of sourcing new ships that are designed and built in China, along with the possibility of acquiring existing cruise ships.
-- Port & Destination Development Joint Venture: In this potential joint venture, CMG and Carnival Corporation would collaborate to develop turnaround and transit ports within and around China beginning with a flagship port currently being developed by CMG called Prince Bay Cruise Terminal in Shekou, which is located in Shenzhen. The partners would work to have cruise ships sail from this flagship port, while also developing other cruise ship destinations across China and Northern Asia.

"The MOU we signed today signifies a great opportunity to take the next step in the future of Chinese cruising, while addressing some key needs for both the cruise industry and its passengers in China," said Alan Buckelew, COO of Carnival Corporation. "With CMG's amazing track record, reach and influence in the market, we are working with a strategic partner that can help us explore immediate ways to impact cruise growth in China, including the possibility of a new Chinese cruise brand and new destinations."

Carnival Corporation and CMG formalized their strategic partnership during an event held today at the Hilton Shenzhen Shekou, including an MOU signing ceremony involving Yang Tian Ping, general manager of China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone, and Alan Buckelew, chief operations officer of Carnival Corporation. The ceremony was also attended by the vice president of China Merchants Group, Sun Cheng Ming, among other distinguished officials and guests.

CMG, China's oldest state enterprise founded in 1872, focuses on transportation, infrastructure, financial services and real estate development, and has had a critical impact on the development of China's economy over the company's more than 140-year history. In support of China's goal to become a preeminent global cruise market, CMG and Carnival Corporation are collaborating as strategic partners to develop the infrastructure required to help accelerate growth in the cruise industry, which is one of the key emerging industries that could help fuel China's overall maritime economy.

While pursuing potential joint ventures to develop and grow the overall cruise market in China, Carnival Corporation remains committed to serving its Chinese guests who are already sailing on the two Carnival brands that give the company the cruise industry's leading presence in China - Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises.

Carnival Corporation just recently announced its plans for immediate capacity growth in China in 2015 to meet growing demand. With Costa Cruises adding the Costa Serena in China in April of this year, Carnival Corporation will be the first global cruise company with four ships homeported in China. Costa Serena joins Costa Atlantica, Costa Victoria and Sapphire Princess already homeported in China. Carnival Corporation is growing its leading market presence by 140 percent from 2013 - 2015 and expects to carry 500,000 cruise passengers in China in 2015.

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Holland America Line's ms Veendam Rescues Pilot Who Ditched His Aircraft in the Pacific Ocean
 Off the Coast of Maui, Hawaii

SEATTLE, Jan. 26: On Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, at 5:21 p.m. local time while en route to Lahaina, Hawaii, Holland America Line's ms Veendam answered a request for assistance from the United States Coast Guard to rescue a pilot who had ditched his single-engine Cirrus SR-22 after he experienced a mechanical issue with the fuel system. The pilot was located approximately 225 nautical miles off the coast of Maui, Hawaii.

In partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, Veendam was able to successfully rescue the pilot, who deployed the aircraft's airframe parachute system and safely exited the plane into a life raft. Holland America Line crewmembers brought him aboard Veendam and provided him food and accommodations. The pilot, who was in good condition, disembarked today, Jan. 26, at Lahaina.

"Congratulations to the team on ms Veendam for coming to the aid of the pilot and for working together with the Coast Guard to conduct this successful rescue operation," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "January has been an eventful month for our ships with several rescues around the world, and we are honored to be able to assist in any distress situation when needed."

This is the third rescue at sea by a Holland America Line ship in 2015. On Jan. 3, ms Zuiderdam rescued eight crewmembers from a sinking vessel in the Caribbean, and Jan. 4 ms Zaandam came to the aid of seven stranded crewmembers at the Arctowski Polish research station at King George Island in Antarctica. Veendam currently is in the middle of an 18-day Circle Hawaii cruise roundtrip from San Diego, Calif., which departed Jan. 20.

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Princess Cruises Salutes Seattle Seahawks Super Fan PJ Ledorze for his 12s Spirit

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan. 26: Princess Cruises, the Official Cruise Line of the Seattle Seahawks, honored Seattle Seahawks fan PJ LeDorze for embodying the spirit of the 12s and presented him with an invitation to cruise aboard its first-ever "Sail with the 12s Seahawks Fan Cruise" over Father's Day this June. LeDorze performed a random act of kindness following the Jan. 18 conference championship game, giving his Seahawks jersey to a young, dejected Packers fan and highlighting the true spirit of sportsmanship.

The 7-night Alaska cruise aboard Crown Princess will depart Seattle on June 20 and feature the ultimate in player interaction and onboard fan activities as it sails to Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Ketchikan, and Victoria, B.C. Fan cruise activities will include:

-- Meet and greet autograph signings and photo opportunities with Seattle Seahawks players in featured ports
-- Q&A "Chalk Talks" with alumni
-- Seahawks "Rally at Sea" Appearances by Blitz the Mascot and the Sea Gals
-- On-deck Tailgate Party with game-day inspired food
-- Football inspired movie nights on the giant Movies Under the Stars poolside LED screen
-- "Spirit of the 12s" contests and Seahawks trivia contests
-- And more!

"PJ created a special memory for a young sports fan and this unforgettable fan voyage will now create a special memory for PJ," said Lisa Syme, vice president product development for Princess Cruises' Seattle office.

"I've never been on a cruise. I've never been to Alaska. This is unbelievable!" said LeDorze in accepting the cruise invitation in front of CenturyLink Field.

LeDorze will also be among the fans gathered Sunday, Jan. 25 outside CenturyLink Field to send-off the Seahawks as they travel to Arizona, and will have a surprise for another lucky fan courtesy of Princess Cruises. Additional information about the "Sail with the 12s" fan cruise can be found at

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Sales Soar As Bookings Open for Seven Seas Explorer

MIAMI, Jan. 26: The world’s most luxurious ship is already surpassing expectations, as Regent Seven Seas Cruises reported both single-day and first week record bookings for the line’s new flagship Seven Seas Explorer. The ship went on sale exclusively to members of the line’s loyalty program, the Seven Seas Society, on Jan. 19 and reservations made that day surpassed the line’s previous single-day revenue record by nearly three times. The new level of grandeur offered on Seven Seas Explorer generated strong demand for the ship’s inaugural season, resulting in a new weekly sales record for Regent Seven Seas Cruises that more than doubled the previous high. Currently, reservations for Seven Seas Explorer are limited to past cruisers with the line and will become widely available starting Feb. 4.

“We meticulously designed every detail aboard Seven Seas Explorer in order to make it the most luxurious ship ever built, and we are thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response from our past guests and travel partners,” shared Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “The maiden voyage is nearly sold out and demand for the inaugural season is extremely strong, it underscores the global excitement surrounding the world’s most luxurious ship.”

Scheduled to set sail in the summer of 2016, Seven Seas Explorer’s maiden voyage will be a 14-night sailing from Monte Carlo to Venice on July 20, 2016. The inaugural season highlights a variety of iconic locations throughout the Mediterranean including Ibiza, Barcelona, St. Tropez and Venice.

At 56,000 gross-registered tons and carrying just 750 guests, the all-suite, all-balcony ship will boast one-of-the-highest space ratios in the cruise industry and an exceptionally high staff-to-guest ratio. The ship is designed to be the most luxurious ship ever built, with the one-of-a-kind, opulent 3,875-square-foot Regent Suite, extravagantly designed lounges and showplaces, and lavish gourmet restaurants. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is setting a new standard for luxury vacations with the launch of Seven Seas Explorer.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world’s most inclusive luxury cruise line. The line’s fares include all-suite accommodations, round-trip air, highly personalized service, acclaimed cuisine, fine wines and spirits, sightseeing excursions in every port, all gratuities, and a pre-cruise luxury hotel package and complimentary Wi-Fi for those guests staying in concierge and higher suites. Three award-winning, all-suite vessels, Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner, and Seven Seas Voyager, are among the most spacious at sea and visit nearly 350 destinations around the globe. The line is currently building the 750-guest Seven Seas Explorer, which will be delivered in summer of 2016.

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Tripping Cool Named Carnival Cruise Line's First 'Tour Operator of the Year'

MIAMI, Jan 26: Tripping Cool, which hosted thousands of Carnival Cruise Line guests on exciting and memorable shore excursions over the past year, has been named the cruise line’s first-ever “Tour Operator of the Year.” Cozumel-based Tripping Cool was selected from hundreds of tour operators who work in tandem with Carnival to provide guests with unforgettable landside experiences throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Tour Operator of the Year award is based on nominations by the company’s shoreside tour operations personnel in its Miami headquarters and shore excursion managers on board its ships, as well as guest ratings and feedback. Tour operators were evaluated on a points-based system on the following criteria: innovation, creativity, quality, professionalism, communication and overall guest reviews. After all the results were tabulated, Tripping Cool was selected as the winner.

“We work with hundreds of highly qualified tour operators who play a huge role in delivering exceptional landside experiences and we’re delighted that Hector Zapata and his talented team at Tripping Cool have earned their well-deserved distinction,” said Mico Cascais, Carnival’s vice president of tour operations. “Amazing experiences provided by our valued shore excursion partners like Tripping Cool—combined with groundbreaking programs such as our Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee—have enabled Carnival to achieve a leadership position in this all-important area,” he added.

Established in 2012, Tripping Cool offers a wide range of unique and memorable on-shore adventures, many of which are exclusive to Carnival Cruise Line. One of Tripping Cool’s signature excursions is “Casa en la Playa—A Select Retreat,” an exclusive luxury experience limited to 30 participants where guests are provided with their own five-star beach house for the day complete with a personal chef and wait staff. During the five-hour tour, participants can learn how to cook authentic Mexican cuisine, as well as make refreshing Margaritas, mojitos, and other popular cocktails, or simply relax on their own private beach while enjoying pampering service by attentive staff.

Nominees from other destinations included:

• Antigua: Coral Island Tours & Tropical Adventures Antigua
• Aruba: De Palm Corporation
• Barbados: Caves of Barbados Ltd. – Harrison’s Cave
• Belize: H2O Tierra, Ltd.
• Cozumel: Cancun Sea Adventure Sapi & Alaska Mountain Guides de Mexico
• Curacao: Funbini
• Freeport: Freeport Bahamas Adventures, Ltd.
• Grand Cayman: Nautilus Grand Cayman
• Grand Turk: Oasis Divers
• La Romana: Central Romana Corp.
• Nassau: Island Hotel Company Limited & Bahamas Experience Tours and Transfers
• Montego Bay: World Tours & Cruises Limited
• Ocho Rios: Dolphin Cove
• Port Canaveral, Fla.: Fun Day Discovery Tours
• San Juan: Eco Quest, Inc.
• St. Kitts: St. Kitts Scenic Railway Lmtd.
• St. Lucia: Elite Shore Excursion Foundation
• St. Maarten: Snorkel Safari & Dutch Tours
• St. Thomas: Cruise Ship Excursions & Aqua Adventures LLC

With Carnival’s one-of-a-kind Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee, guests who find the same tour offered by another operator at a lower price than their booked excursion either before or during their cruise can receive 110 percent of the difference in the form of a shipboard credit, providing peace of mind knowing they are getting the best price available.
For additional information on Carnival’s cruises, visit

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Carnival Corporation Launches Shipboard Mobile Gaming Solution For Mid-Cruise Wagering

MIAMI & NEW YORK, Jan. 23: Carnival Corporation, the world's largest travel and leisure company, is using the award-winning iGaming Mobile Platform from Scientific Games to offer its adult guests the ability to wager on their mobile devices throughout its ships while in international waters. The game offerings available on Carnival's Mobile Casino include a host of best-in-class poker, slot, and table-game content from Scientific Games' Bally® product line, Las Vegas From Home, Play'n GO and PokerTek.

"We're excited to partner with Scientific Games and our content providers to offer our guests a new and thrilling entertainment option that will enhance their experience aboard our ships," said Marty Goldman, senior vice president of global casino operations for Carnival Corporation. "Scientific Games is a leader in the mobile gaming space and offered the best solution for our needs. For the first time, we're bringing the casino to our guests so they can play their favorite games on their mobile devices when they are lounging by the pool, relaxing in their rooms, or anywhere else onboard."

The service is already in successful operation on the Carnival Breeze and the Carnival Freedom from the company's Carnival Cruise Line brand and will be launched shortly on the Regal Princess from the company's Princess Cruises brand, with additional installations pending for the Holland America Line, P&O Cruises (UK) and AIDA Cruises brands. The mobile gaming application is available for download before your cruise in the App Store for iOS® devices, and on Google Play for Android® devices. If you've forgotten to download before you sail, the game content may also be accessed from onboard by visiting

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Queen Victoria Debuts a Dazzling Re-Fit on 2015 World Voyage Departure

SOUTHAMPTON, England, Jan. 23: Queen Victoria sailed past a fusillade of fireworks to mark the start of her 2015 World Voyage and show off her stunning new look. The ship set out from Southampton in tip-top form having just returned from an intensive 20 day refurbishment at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg. You can view footage of Queen Victoria's refurbishment here. 2,000 contractors representing thirty different nationalities worked a total of 600,000 man hours around the clock to replace all 215,278 square feet of carpet in the passenger areas. They also renewed all 3,167 mattresses on board and replaced over 19,685 square feet (3.75 miles) of pipe work insulation. 2,695 gallons of paint were used inside and out, enough to paint 54 Boeing 737's.

Nine brand new single staterooms were installed as part of the refurbishment. In addition to refreshing existing furnishings, enhancements have been made to the outdoor spaces, beverage provision in the ship's informal Lido restaurant and eight brand new internet stations have been installed on the upper floor of the library.

"The results of Queen Victoria's refit are a true testament to Cunard's ability to respond to passenger input. We are delighted to incorporate their wish for more outdoor space with enhancements to the Upper Grill Terrace and additional areas for sunbathing. We also provided more single staterooms for our single travelers. It's this commitment to our passengers that keeps Cunard's 175 year heritage going strong," commented Rick Meadows, President of Cunard, North America.

In honor of the company's anniversary, Queen Victoria welcomed her World Voyage passengers aboard with a commemorative flag-raising ceremony which took place at the ship's mast. This was to hoist the signature flag for the first time on board and as is traditional, was performed by the youngest crew member, 20 year-old deck cadet Fraser Browne. The flag will be flown at iconic landmarks across the world during all three of the fleet's World Voyages and will be auctioned at their conclusion with all proceeds going to The Prince's Trust, Cunard's official charity.

A volley of fireworks illuminated the sky overhead as Queen Victoria set sail. The ship's first call will be Ponta Delgada in the Azores on 23 January before she sails to the Caribbean, transits the Panama Canal and heads for Hawaii and Australia.

About Cunard Line
Cunard Line, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and the epitome of British refinement since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840. Cunard voyages bring together like-minded travellers who seek a civilised adventure and relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment. Today, Cunard offers the only regularly scheduled trans-Atlantic liner service and continues the legacy of world cruising which it began in 1922. For more information about Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 or Queen Elizabeth, visit

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New Carnival Vista to Connect Guest to the Sea

MIAMI, Jan 22: There’s big fun and spectacular views on the horizon, as Carnival Cruise Line today announced the details of its most innovative ship ever, Carnival Vista, debuting in spring 2016. Designed to connect guests to the ocean with sweeping views and plenty to do both outdoors and in, Carnival Vista will take cruising to new heights and introduce an exciting array of groundbreaking new features including: SkyRide, a breakthrough suspended open-air cycling experience; the world’s first IMAX® Theatre on a ship; an expanded water park featuring the colorful Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first raft-riding water tube slide; Seafood Shack, a delectable New England-inspired eatery; RedFrog Pub, including the line’s first onboard brewery, and other enhanced dining, bar and entertainment options; as well as new scenic and family-friendly accommodation types. The ship’s inaugural Mediterranean itineraries will mark the line’s return to Europe.

High-Powered Outdoor Fun
With SkyRide, the cruise industry’s first pedal-powered open-air aerial attraction, Carnival is creating some of the best and highest outdoor vistas ever offered on a cruise ship. Adventurous riders can climb aboard hanging recumbent-like bikes to cycle their way around the 800-foot suspended track with panoramic views from 150 feet above the sea. Nearby will be SkyCourse, an exhilarating suspended ropes course. Both are part of the expanded outdoor activity park that also includes a new indoor sports hangout, The Clubhouse at SportSquare¸ featuring mini-bowling, ping-pong, arcade basketball, sports video gaming and more.

In the largest WaterWorks water park in the fleet, kids and kids at heart will find a thrilling array of splash-tastic fun including Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first-ever water tube attraction. Riders will hop on inflatable one or two-person rafts taking them on a fun-filled 455-foot adventure of exhilarating twists and turns with stunning kaleidoscopic visual effects.

Big-Time Entertainment at the Multiplex
Carnival Vista’s views are truly spectacular inside, too. Carnival is partnering with entertainment innovator IMAX® (NYSE: IMAX) to bring the world’s most immersive cinematic experience to sea with the first-ever IMAX® Theatre on a ship. Guests will take in the latest Hollywood blockbusters, IMAX classics and IMAX documentary content on a screen that’s three decks high. Next door at the Thrill Theater, moviegoers can enjoy a multi-dimensional special effects experience. Both are part of the Carnival Multiplex, a first at sea for film fans, complete with concession stand offering popcorn and movie snacks. The Warehouse, featuring a variety of video and arcade games, is located adjacent to the Carnival Multiplex.

Fresh New Dining & Bar Options
Featured on Carnival Vista and a first for the fleet will be the New England-inspired Seafood Shack, a casual indoor/outdoor dining venue near the Lido Marketplace eateries. This seafood-lovers’ paradise will feature a menu full of delicious, fresh favorites available for purchase, including lobster rolls, steamed lobster, fried shrimp, crab cakes, fried clams and more.

At the RedFrog Pub, Carnival will brew up great beer for good times in its first ever brewery. During each sailing two giant copper-topped glass kettles will create tasty ales and lagers that can be enjoyed on tap from the bar and through unique tabletop taps that allow guests to pour their own beer. The full bar will also offer an array of Caribbean-inspired cocktails, beers and rums. Indoor/outdoor seating, live music and brewing tours and tastings will also be offered in this fun venue.

Carnival is expanding the line’s popular Latin-infused Havana experience inside and out on Carnival Vista. Celebrating Cuba’s gloried past, Havana Bar serves traditional cocktails and bites during the day and transforms into a sizzling Latin dance club at night. The fun also extends outdoors with a new Havana Pool located aft and offering stunning views of the ocean, whirlpools and relaxation area, complete with colorful umbrellas, faux palm trees, thatched patio huts and comfy seating, perfect for soaking up the sun while enjoying a refreshing mojito.

More Accommodation Options
Carnival Vista will offer a wide variety of well-appointed, beautifully designed staterooms and suites including two new accommodation classes. Tropics-inspired Havana Cabanas feature accommodations with private outdoor patios, complete with lounge chairs and hammock, that face the expanded Lanai ocean-air outdoor promenade and offer magnificent sea views in addition to easy access to the Havana Bar and Pool.

Located within a new dedicated family zone on Deck 2, the new Family Harbor accommodations offer an array of deluxe ocean-view, balcony and interior staterooms that accommodate up to five family members. Parents and kids will have even more room to relax at the new, exclusive Family Harbor Lounge, a secluded space designed as the ultimate family hang out with large-screen TVs, games and complimentary breakfast and snacks. A special family concierge desk will be available here to assist families in making this their best vacation ever.

“Carnival Vista celebrates the connection to the oceans on which we sail and gives our guests amazing seascapes around every corner and more ways to enjoy every moment of sun and fun during their cruise vacation,” said Mark Tamis, Carnival’s senior vice president of guest operations. “From our exhilarating new high-altitude SkyRide to the Kaleid-O-Slide water tube slide to our IMAX anchored Carnival Multiplex to the multitude of dining and bar options, we are thrilled to share the details about our largest and most innovative ship with our guests while providing our valued travel agent partners with an exciting new option to offer to their clients.”

New Meaning to Dining Out
Thanks to an expanded Lanai on Deck 5 guests can stroll or sit and enjoy a beverage at one of the many dining and bar venues that will now feature outdoor areas.

• The line will offer its first-ever outdoor seating options at specialty eateries including Fahrenheit 555, a classic American steakhouse, and Japanese-style Bonsai Sushi restaurant where diners will enjoy sea views as delicious as their meals. Cherry on Top will be the sweetest spot at sea, with a new premium mixed-to-order custom ice cream creation bar, outdoor seating and more than 80 bulk candy options.
• The intimate Library Bar will also offer guests indoor/outdoor options, in addition to the hoppin’ RedFrog Pub and stylish Havana Bar.

Vacationers will find Fun Ship 2.0 favorite poolside eateries and bars including Guy’s Burger Joint, award-winning burgers and hand-cut fries created by chef and author Guy Fieri, and BlueIguana Cantina, featuring freshly made tacos and burritos. Poolside bars BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar will also provide innovative cocktail options, as will the mixologists at the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar.

The ship’s main dining rooms, Reflections and Horizons, offer an array of delicious menu items for guests who want to enjoy a full-service breakfast, lunch or dinner. The striking modern interiors created by award-winning designer BigTime Design Studios offer decidedly different décor than previous Carnival ships. The Horizons dining room will also feature a unique bar that’s the perfect spot for meeting friends and enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail or an after-meal aperitif.

The Vista Atrium will set a festive mood with its giant, multi-deck-high centerpiece that will delight guests with its LED screens and changing visuals to create the right atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to welcome guests boarding the ship, meet friends at the bar or enjoy live entertainment and dancing.

Relax & Recharge
For those looking to unwind and relax, Carnival Vista has a lot to ahhh about. The luxurious two-level Cloud 9 Spa will feature an array of chill-worthy amenities, including a thalassotherapy pool, four steam chambers, the line’s first infrared sauna and hamam, and special “experience showers” that provide a soothing fragrance element, along with a high-tech indoor cycling studio. Guests can get away from it all at the adults-only Serenity retreat, where there’s breathtaking views, tranquility and even more lounging options to relax including the line’s first outdoor massage huts.

Family Fun for All
As the family cruise leader, carrying more than 700,000 children on board each year, the company designed Carnival Vista with even more fun for families day and night.

• The indoor/outdoor Camp Ocean for children under age 12 is a dedicated undersea-themed play space with more than 200 fun and educational ocean-inspired activities.
• Carnival Vista will be the second ship in the fleet to feature Dr. Seuss Bookville, a special reading and play space inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. Here kids and their families can read beloved Dr. Seuss books, make arts and crafts and stretch their imagination with toys and games. Also part of the line’s Seuss at Sea program, Carnival Vista guests can enjoy Green Eggs and Ham with The Cat in the Hat and Friends character breakfast, the Seuss-a-palooza Story Time and Parade and more.
• Carnival Vista will also introduce four new games at the family-centric HASBRO the Game Show, as well as special family-friendly comedy performances at Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez.

Carnival’s Return to Europe
The largest ship in the fleet, Carnival Vista will measure 133,500 tons, 1,055 feet long and have a guest capacity of 3,936 (based on two per cabin). The new vessel will debut May 1, 2016, with a 13-day cruise departing from Trieste, Italy, the first European voyage for Carnival in three years. A variety of spectacular Mediterranean itineraries will be offered with port calls throughout Italy, France, Spain, Croatia and Turkey, as well as several new destinations for Carnival such as Crete (Heraklion), and Corfu, Greece; Valletta, Malta; Palermo, Sicily; Cagliari, Sardinia; and Gibraltar. On Oct 21, 2016, Carnival Vista will embark on a special 13-day transatlantic crossing and arrive in New York Nov 3, 2016, then operate a series of voyages from the Big Apple. Carnival Vista’s European cruises are currently available for reservations. Additional information on the New York departures will be available next month. For additional information, visit

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Full Interior Renovations Transforms National Geographic Sea Bird & Sea Lion Ships

NEW YORK, NY, Jan 2015 --- Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced that a full interior renovation has been completed on their twin 62-guest ships, National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Sea Bird. The extensive renovation to guest cabins, the lounge and bar, dining room, public areas and spa has transformed the ships to provide the ultimate in expedition hospitality and comfort. Nothing has been left untouched, from the sleekly framed wall photos, to the fresh paint, and new carpets throughout the ships. Highlights include:

• The lounge and bar, the epicenter of onboard life, has been completely redesigned and reconfigured to provide an open, enhanced environment with additional seating and better flow. The modern design features new tables and chairs, upholstery of settees, overhead ceiling panels, and LED dimmable lighting. The lounge also hosts a new food & beverage area, library and Global Market.
• The dining room’s upgrade features all new tables, chairs, ceiling panels and LED dimmable lighting. The wine bar has been replaced and features a display showcasing selections from the regions explored.
• Every cabin has been completely redone and all furnishings have been replaced. Modern aged cherry bed boxes, faux leather headboards, Lindblad signature bed linens, new windows, lighting, and additional USB outlets provide a dramatic makeover for a relaxing guest experience. Bathrooms now feature new shower doors and all new hardware.
• Exterior renovations include new deck furniture and outdoor awning.

The National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion voyage Alaska; Baja, California; Pacific Northwest; and Costa Rica & Panama. With a shallow draft and small size, they can easily reach places inaccessible to larger ships; venture into fast-moving channels where whales come to feed, transit a series of locks in the Pacific Northwest, nose up to waterfalls in secluded coves, and sail into protected anchorages in small bays perfect for snorkeling and kayaking.

For more information or to book your Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic experience today, visit

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Land of “Frozen” Coming to Disney Cruise Line This Summer

CELEBRATION, FL, Jan. 22: Beginning in summer 2015, Disney Cruise Line guests can immerse themselves in the animated hit “Frozen” with brand-new experiences inspired by the film, including a spectacular deck party, a three-song stage show production number, new character meet and greets, storybook adventures ashore and more.

A Day of Frozen Fun, Including New Deck Party
Debuting this summer, on select Disney Magic and Disney Wonder sailings to Europe and Alaska, Disney Cruise Line guests are transported to the land of “Frozen” when the ship is transformed into a winter wonderland and a day of frozen fun culminates with an extravagant celebration with friends from the Kingdom of Arendelle. On one special morning, guests will awake to discover a magical freeze has overtaken the atrium lobby with sparkling icicles adorning the grand staircase, resembling the majestic mountain-top ice palace of Queen Elsa.

Icy adventures and fun for the entire family throughout the day include all-new meet and greets and themed experiences:

• Memorable moments with Anna, Elsa, and for the first time in forever, Kristoff and Olaf
• “Anna’s Chase for the Chocolate” scavenger hunt for those who share Anna’s sense of adventure, with a special surprise for finishing the game
• “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” activity where kids take on Elsa’s magical powers to make snow and ice
“The Maypole Swirl and Twirl” for families to learn a traditional Scandinavian dance spinning and braiding giant ribbons
• “Frozen” themed dining experience, including a menu inspired by traditional Nordic fare and special dishes inspired by the film

The evening fun kicks off with “Freezing the Night Away with Anna, Elsa and Friends,” a family-friendly interactive deck party featuring the famous royal sisters of Arendelle and their fun-loving Nordic companions. By now, the freeze has spread to the upper decks of the ship, with giant snowflakes, icicles and snow-covered rocks. The celebration begins with a high-energy line dance, set to the movie’s ice cutting scene, featuring the arrival of Kristoff, impressively twirling his ice picks, and Princess Anna. Anna and Kristoff’s beloved companions, Sven, the trolls and Olaf, make virtual appearances at the party. Sven engages the crowd in reindeer games like “Sven Says” and the “Troll Stroll,” and Olaf leads a sing along to his signature song, “In Summer.” Elsa arrives with a snowy gust of wind, calling on guests to sing “Let it Go” with her as she conjures up a wintry spectacle to cool things down for Olaf. In true Disney fashion, Elsa unleashes her magic, sending a chill through everyone as the powerful Academy Award-winning song echoes from the ship. The evening concludes with more family dancing on the pool deck, followed by fun just for adults in the nightclub featuring dance performances and frozen specialty drinks.

New Production Number in “Disney Dreams”
This summer, friends from “Frozen” are making their stage show debut at sea in the Walt Disney Theatre aboard the Disney Magic. In the Disney Cruise Line original production, “Disney Dreams … An Enchanted Classic,” Anna, Elsa and Olaf join the line up of beloved Disney characters who together teach a young girl the power of her dreams. Brand-new scenes featuring “Frozen” characters include renditions of three popular songs: “Let it Go,” “For the First Time in Forever” and “In Summer.” The new show segment is a heartfelt, humorous and memorable tribute to the “Frozen” film, preserving its endearing and playful tones with an inspiring message. Special effects are magical, with a snowfall throughout the theatre and a breathtaking transformation of the young girl’s room into her own ice palace.

Magical Meet & Greets
Olaf will be giving warm hugs when he joins Anna and Elsa on their royal tour of the Disney Cruise Line ships, beginning this summer. Children and families will have the opportunity to meet and take photographs with their favorite “Frozen” friends on the Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic.

Adventures Ashore in Norway
Disney Cruise Line guests who travel aboard the Disney Magic to Norway, the land that inspired Arendelle from “Frozen,” will have the opportunity to join exciting new Port Adventures that bring this fairytale setting to life. One signature adventure ashore in Ålesund, Norway, created exclusively for Disney Cruise Line, will immerse guests in the splendor and charm of Norway, with the help of Anna and Elsa, in an enchanting storybook village. Other shore excursions take Disney Cruise Line guests to discover the breathtaking natural wonders, stunning architecture and rich Scandinavian culture depicted in the film. Seven and nine-night voyages begin June 6, 2015, sailing through Norwegian fjords and calling on ports including Stavanger, Ålesund, Geiranger, Molde, Olden and Bergen, Norway.

Olaf’s Summertime Freeze on Castaway Cay
With the help of everyone’s favorite snowman, Disney Cruise Line is cooling down Castaway Cay with the addition of Olaf’s Summertime Freeze bar. Serving non-alcoholic specialty frozen drinks in souvenir cups, the creative menu features refreshing beverages such as “Olaf’s Flurry Freeze,” “Sven’s Carrot Delight” and “Warm Hugs.” Olaf’s Summertime Freeze opens summer 2015 near the Pelican Point tram stop by Castaway Cay Family Beach.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line,  visit

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MSC Cruises Launches New, Free Interactive Mobile App

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Jan. 22: MSC Cruises has launched a new, interactive, mobile app for iOS and Android devices that allows vacationers to easily explore the fleet’s 12 ultramodern ships and the multiple destinations visited around the world.
The official MSC Cruises app, which is free to download from the App Store and Google Play, is packed with easy to use functions, tips and information, from finding the perfect itinerary and shore excursions to 360 degree virtual ship tours in which users can view actual staterooms, restaurants, lounges, pool decks, the theatre and spa.

“As MSC continues to grow in the North American market, it’s critical that vacationers can quickly and easily get a sense of the overall MSC Cruises’ experience across our 12 ship fleet,” said Ken Muskat, executive vice president of sales, PR and guest services for MSC Cruises USA. “The new app is the perfect tool to help potential guests discover MSC Cruises and our huge range of cruise offerings.”

Key functions of the MSC Cruises’ app include:

• View hundreds of MSC Cruises’ worldwide itineraries and info about the destinations and ports visited.
• Find all the latest cruise deals and news from MSC Cruises.
• Take virtual tours of the 12 ships in the fleet including staterooms, restaurants, public lounges and sun decks.
• Watch live onboard webcam feeds from each ship (including the view from the bridge).
• Save “favorite” cruises of interest so that they can easily be viewed later.
• Track the fleet in real time through a global positioning feature.

The launch of the MSC Cruises’ App is the first phase of a strategic effort by MSC to enhance the overall user experience. Throughout the year, MSC will introduce improved consumer and travel agent platforms, ultimately resulting in more consumers engaging with MSC and exploring the line’s diverse cruise offerings and travel agents having the tools to better sell and promote MSC. For more information on MSC Cruises’ App, visit

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Finding the Right Balance: Celebrity Cruises & Randi Zuckerberg Encourage Vacationers
 to ‘Take Care of YourSelfie’

MIAMI, FL, Jan 22: Celebrity Cruises has partnered with digital trailblazer Randi Zuckerberg as part of a year-long campaign to ‘Take Care of YourSelfie’. The modern luxury cruise brand has revealed a unique program curated by Randi to encourage guests to find a tech-life balance while on vacation. Launching today, the first part of the program is a new lineup of specially designed spa treatments and services available at Canyon Ranch SpaClub onboard Celebrity's ships beginning February 2015.

Zuckerberg, Editor-in-Chief of Dot Complicated, an online website that navigates the ever-evolving universe of technology and social media, curated the one-of-a-kind program to inspire vacationers to take a break from their daily dose of technology and recharge. As a pioneer in the tech-life balance movement, Zuckerberg encourages the importance of finding time for one’s self, both online and off. “The digital revolution has changed and enriched every facet of our lives, and now more than ever, it is essential for us to find a healthy tech-life balance,” says Zuckerberg. “Celebrity Cruises is a leader in providing relaxing and restorative vacations, and by partnering with them, I hope to inspire moments of logging off and shutting down for a few hours or even a day. We want guests to explore ways to embrace a balance that complements their lifestyle onboard and at home.”

"When I heard Randi talk about Take Care of YourSelfie, I realized I was a perfect candidate for this program," says Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "Like so many of our guests, I live a connected, always-on life, with a great reliance on technology. Randi's fresh approach helps bring balance back into our lives, and is another way to make sure our guests enjoy a relaxing, restorative vacation." Lutoff-Perlo added: “The new program perfectly complements our luxurious accommodations, award-winning dining, rich destination experiences and intuitive service. I can’t wait to sign up for one of the treatments."

As the first installment of the new, exclusive Take Care of YourSelfie program, the spa treatments and services curated by Zuckerberg will be available onboard Celebrity ships at Canyon Ranch SpaClub operated by Canyon Ranch, leaders in spa and wellness:

• “fACEial Time” (Environ Ultimate Vitamin Therapy): This facial is designed to effectively treat a wide range of skin care needs related to staring at computer and tablet screens. This facial provides intense penetration of active ingredients – including skin-nourishing antioxidants, peptides and vitamins A, C and E – for visible results.
• “InstaGlow” (Detoxifying Ritual with Signature Add-On): A detoxifying 100-minute ritual with a signature add-on creates an intense, therapeutic transformation. The Red Flower cleansing body scrub includes coffee, olive stones and fresh lemons as well as rich rhassoul clay to draw out impurities. Guests can set the intention add-on at the beginning to take time to disconnect and be in the moment for this rejuvenating treatment.
• “Get wrAPPed” (Seaweed Peat Wrap): This VOYA organic seaweed peat body wrap treats a variety of skin and rheumatic conditions and increases detoxification by mixing seaweed extracts with micronized peat. The treatment is richly infused with trace elements, vitamins, carbohydrates, polyphenols, lipids, and humic acid to help drain toxic substances from the body.
• “Texticure” (Hands So Soft Manicure): A warm paraffin manicure hydrates dry skin, softens cuticles and soothes aching joints like nothing else. This beauty treatment combines nail polishing and buffing with skin softening and moisturizing. The entire hand is dipped in paraffin wax to seal in softness and moisture. This experience is the perfect treat for hands always texting and responding to emails.
• “Control ALT Delight” (Unique yoga experience with T-Spheres): This mind-body yoga workout features T-Spheres to help stretch and flex out of the workstation slump or texting crouch. The pressure-point experience facilitates unwinding with quiet, precise movements that corrects poor body alignment, increases flexibility, relieves mental stress and promotes restorative sleep.

In 2014, Celebrity Cruises partnered with Canyon Ranch to unveil the largest and most comprehensive Canyon Ranch SpaClub at Sea offering onboard its luxurious ships. The state-of-the-art facilities include spa, beauty, wellness, and fitness amenities, with signature Canyon Ranch offerings and those exclusive to Celebrity.

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Cunard Announces The Grills Suites Inclusive Package in Honor of the Line's 175th Anniversary

SOUTHAMPTON, England, Jan. 22: To celebrate Cunard Line's 175th Anniversary and the storied Queens Grill and Princess Grill Suites tradition, the company announces TheGrills SuitesInclusivePackage, featuring an array of complimentary amenities, elevating what is already an unsurpassed level of elegance at sea aboard flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. TheGrills SuitesInclusive Package is available for bookings made now through 28 February 2015. Grills passengers will enjoy a number of complimentary services and amenities such as a wine package, Internet minutes, a keepsake photo, a specialty coffee card, gratuities and an alternative dining credit. Britannia guests sailing in Inside, Oceanview and Balcony staterooms will also have something to celebrate with a 175th Celebration Package offering complimentary Balcony upgrades and Onboard Credit.

The Grills tradition began on the original Queen Mary in 1936 when guests paid an extra tariff for an evening of dining and dancing in the sophisticated Verandah Grill. The extra amenity touches proved so popular that Queen Elizabeth 2 continued the concept with the Grill Room.

Today, the iconic Grills experience continues aboard Cunard's current fleet of Queens, providing passengers with deluxe suite accommodations and the opportunity to unwind in the sublime comfort of intimate, sophisticated spaces reserved exclusively for them. Once onboard, Grills guests discover fresh strawberries and a bottle of wine or champagne chilling in their suites. As they toast their voyage, a special concierge is available to orchestrate arrangements. For Queens Grill guests, a friendly yet formal butler is on hand to assist with every need, from unpacking to serving nightly canapes. Dining is equally seamless and refined as Grills Suites guests enjoy single seating, exemplary White Star Service, and the freedom to order personalised, one-of-a-kind meals in the world-renowned Queens Grill or Princess Grill restaurants.

Now, with TheGrills Suites InclusivePackage, Grills guests can indulge in an array of complimentary services for an even more carefree voyage. In 2015 (excluding World Voyages), Grills Suite staterooms (Q1 - P2) will include the following:

• Onboard Credit: Grills guests will receive an Onboard Credit of $60 per stateroom ($30 per person) per day.
• The Captain’s Wine Collection: Grills guests will receive four select bottles of wine per stateroom for voyages of 13-days or less, six select bottles of wine per stateroom for voyages of 14-20 days, and nine select bottles of wine per stateroom for voyages of 21-days or more.
• Alternative Dining Credit: Grills guests will receive a dining credit of $70 per stateroom for Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth voyages, or $48 per stateroom for Queen Victoria voyages.
• Complimentary Gratuities: The suggested daily amount of $13.50 per person for Grills Suites will be credited.
• Keepsake Photo: Grills guests will receive up to two 8” x 10” professional portraits per stateroom.
• Internet Minutes: Grills guests will receive 120, 240, or 480 minutes per person based on voyage length. Voyages of 13-days or less, 120 internet minutes per person; voyages of 14-20 days, 240 internet minutes per person; voyages of 21-days or more, 480 internet minutes per person.
• Specialty Coffee Card: Grills guests will receive up to two specialty coffee cards per stateroom.

For Britannia guests, the 175th Celebration Package offers special complimentary Balcony upgrades, Onboard Credit and a reduced, refundable deposit on all three Cunard Queens. For Europe voyages, the offer features Complimentary Double Upgrades from Inside to Balcony stateroom; up to $300 Onboard Credit per stateroom; and a reduced, refundable deposit of $175 per person. For Transatlantic Crossings, New England & Canada and Caribbean voyages, the offer features Complimentary Upgrades from Oceanview to Balcony staterooms; up to $200 Onboard Credit per stateroom; and a reduced, refundable deposit of $175 per person. Free Gratuities on select 14-day Mediterranean, 5-day New England & Canada and 13-day Caribbean.

TheGrills Suites Inclusive Package and the 175th Celebration Package are applicable to most sailings from 3 May 2015 to 3 January 2016. The packages can be booked with the following promotional codes: R2G/R3G and Z2G for TheGrills Suites InclusivePackage and R2W/R3W for the 175th Celebration Package. These offers apply to new bookings only on select Queen Mary 2,Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth voyages. For more information about Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, visit

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Carnival Foundation Donates $5 Million to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami
to Create Carnival Center for Excellence

MIAMI, Jan. 22: Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation & plc, is donating $5 million to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami to create the Carnival Center for Excellence. The donation, timed to celebrate National Mentoring Month, marks the largest gift ever received by the organization's Miami chapter. The Carnival Center for Excellence building at 550 Le Jeune Road in Miami will serve as the headquarters for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami and will provide facilities to support ongoing mentoring and educational activities for Big Brothers Big Sisters' participants, often referred to as "Littles."

"Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami makes a huge impact in the lives of so many kids in our community, and for years it's been Carnival Corporation's goal to take our longstanding relationship and make an even greater difference," said Linda Coll, Carnival Foundation's director. "The Carnival Center for Excellence will enable us to greatly expand the services both the Carnival Scholarship and Mentoring Program and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami can provide to students and families in South Florida."

"We are a proud supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, and it is an honor to help them secure a permanent home at the Carnival Center for Excellence," said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, the world's largest travel and leisure company with its headquarters based in Miami. "Through this facility and the contributions of our volunteer mentors, we will continue to work together to make a real difference in the lives of deserving South Florida students for many years to come."

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami closed on the purchase of the building Tuesday, Jan. 20, and is scheduled to relocate there in the first quarter of 2016. The building will provide office space for more than 50 agency staff members, as well as house a digital learning center, library, meeting and tutoring facilities, and more. Various additional services will be rolled out in phases, with the digital learning center and library slated to be operational by the time the building opens. Other services and facilities such as tutoring and family classes will be introduced during the first year.

"We are honored to be selected by the Carnival Foundation for this very generous investment in shaping the lives of Miami's kids," said Lydia Muniz, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami. "Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami's purpose is to provide a personal hero to every child in need. The new Carnival Center for Excellence at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami will enable us to awaken new possibilities for more of Miami's kids, and to ultimately make this city one where kids can build a brighter future."

The building was selected because it is conveniently located on a major thoroughfare with access to public transportation and free ground-level parking. BB&T Bank is serving as the financing bank for the acquisition from Keystone Property Management.

Carnival Foundation's signature initiative, the Carnival Scholarship and Mentoring Program, pairs a Carnival employee with a South Florida high school student matched by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami. Currently, 95 Carnival management team members mentor 95 Miami-Dade County high school students through the in-the-workplace program sponsored by Carnival in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami.

The program also awards four-year college scholarships to 15 participating students every year. For the past 12 years, Carnival Foundation has purchased STARS scholarships representing a collective value of more than $2.1 million. Since 2010, 75 scholarships have been awarded, and in 2014 several students from the first group of recipients graduated college.

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Seabourn Launches Partnership with Swarovski Optik for Antarctic Season

SEATTLE, Jan 21: Seabourn, the award-winning ultra-luxury small ship cruise line, embarked on a new partnership with Swarovski Optik, making the high-quality optical instruments the official optical equipment for Seabourn's Antarctica and Patagonia cruises. Under the partnership, Swarovski Optik will outfit Seabourn Quest's expedition team and bridge staff with their high-precision, long-range binoculars for spotting diverse wildlife and viewing the remarkable landscapes from on board the ship and during landings ashore. In addition, a selection of Swarovski binoculars will be available for sale, providing guests the option to purchase and use the optics during their Antarctic cruise.

"Viewing Antarctica's diverse wildlife and magnificent scenery is the highlight of any cruise to the white continent and Swarovski's exceptionally fine binoculars will ensure that both our staff and guests will not miss a thing during their Antarctic journey," said John Delaney, Seabourn's senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Like all other aspects of our award winning cruises, we wanted to offer the best possible experience to our guests when viewing wildlife in this pristine part of the world."

"We are very excited about our partnership with Seabourn," said Dean Capuano, Swarovski Optik's director of communications. "The overall corporate product and our brand is a perfect fit, but moreover they will be using the product in the conditions it was designed for. Seabourn travels to some of the most beautiful and exotic locations on earth, and we are very eager to help both the staff and Seabourn travelers get closer to nature."

Seabourn Quest is currently operating a series of 21- to 24-day voyages between Valparaíso, (Santiago) Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Each includes days exploring the Chilean coast and fjords, Beagle Channel, Glacier Alley, the breathtaking Torres del Paine National Park,the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, Montevideo and six days of cruising and landings on the Antarctic Continent in uncompromised Seabourn luxury.

For more information, visit

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Bonaire Celebrates Inaugural Visit of Carnival Cruise Line

Kralendijk, Bonaire, (Jan 21: On Monday, January 19, 2015, the people of Bonaire gave a heartfelt greeting to the Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Liberty, officially marking the first time the cruise line has included Bonaire on its itineraries. The ship docked at the island's port of Kralendijk carrying 2,984 passengers.

To welcome Carnival Cruise Line, Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) hosted a ceremony for the ship's passengers and crew at Wilhelmina Park to give them a real taste of Bonaire. The event highlighted various elements of Bonairean culture, from entertainment and local cuisine to arts and crafts, while providing the people of Bonaire with the opportunity to showcase their genuine hospitality. During the course of the event, Governor Mr. Edison Rijna and Commissioner James Kroon presented Captain Leonardo Contarino,of the Carnival Liberty with a plaque commemorating the ship's first port of call to Bonaire, and the Bonaire flag. Captain Contarino and Carnival Officers were also presented with Gold Ambassador Medals and Bonaire coffee books by TCB representatives and Commissioner Edsel Winklaar, Commissioner of Tourism and Economic Development.

"It is a distinct pleasure for us to welcome Carnival Cruise Line to Bonaire," commented Commissioner Edsel Winklaar, Commissioner of Tourism and Economic Development. "The arrival of the first Carnival ship is a testament to the hard work and perseverance of our Government and cruise tourism representatives to increase port calls from key cruise lines operating in the Caribbean region. Bonaire offers a unique island experience, which is clearly a contributing factor to its appeal to cruise ship passengers."

Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Liberty will return to Bonaire again for a total of nine calls throughout 2015. The Carnival Pride, Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Triumph and Carnival Valor will also visit Bonaire in 2015 and the island will receive additional port calls from Carnival in 2016.

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Seven Seas Explorer Ceremonial Keel Laying Event

GENOA, Italy, Jan. 21: The first building block for Seven Seas Explorer was placed this morning during a special keel laying ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy. The keel laying signals a significant milestone in the construction for what will be the most luxurious ship ever built, and brings the vessel one step closer to its July 20, 2016 maiden voyage.
In a ceremony befitting of the world’s most luxurious ship, a sleek black Rolls Royce Phantom transported the three symbolic coins to the keel laying event. Upon arrival, a dapper butler emerged with a red velvet pillow carrying the coins to be welded into the keel, including a rare 1921 U.S. silver coin known as the Peace Dollar symbolizing the safe passage of Seven Seas Explorer; a 1959 silver Italian Lire representing the year the Fincantieri shipyard was established; and a commemorative coin specially minted for this occasion.

Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruise, Robin Lindsay, executive vice president of vessel operations and Franco Semeraro, senior vice president of hotel operations welded the coins into the ship’s keel before the building block was lowered into place in the dry dock.

“With construction beginning in earnest today, we took a major step closer to realizing our vision, to provide our guests with a vessel that will be hailed as the most luxurious ship ever built,” said Montague. “Every inch of the Seven Seas Explorer will exude elegance and grandeur, and that extends to all aspects of the ship from the lavish suites to the gourmet restaurants and stylish public spaces. We even ensured that the keel coins convey a sense of luxury.”

At 56,000 gross-registered tons and carrying only 750 guests, Seven Seas Explorer will boast one of the highest space ratios in the cruise industry and among the highest staff-to-guest ratio, further strengthening Regent Seven Seas Cruises' widely recognized position as the leader in the luxury cruise segment. World-renowned architectural interior design firms Tillberg Design AB, RTKL Associates and ICRAVE are designing the vessel. Seven Seas Explorer will join the award-winning Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet in the summer of 2016. Reservations for Seven Seas Explorer’s maiden voyage and inaugural season opened Jan. 19, 2015 exclusively for Seven Seas Society members and will become widely available starting Feb. 4, 2015.

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American Cruise Lines Unveils Plans for American Eagle’s Maiden Voyage

GUILFORD, CT, Jan 21: American Cruise Lines announced today that it has a special celebration planned for American Eagle’s Maiden Voyage, which departs on April 11th from New Orleans. To celebrate this exciting cruising event, the line has planned a variety of special events for guests, including:

• Champagne Reception
• Welcome performance and greeting by the vocal trio, “The Victory Belles”
• Performance by the “Tuneful Twosome,” featuring music from the Great American Songbook
• Meet and greet with American Cruise Lines executives
• Onboard photographer to capture guests and the Maiden Voyage festivities
• Private reception at Oak Alley, complete with hors d’oeuvres and signature beverages
• Exclusive pianist concert at the JN Stonehouse in Vidalia
• Special gift: Engraved picture frame with guests’ photo of choice

“We look forward to welcoming guests aboard for American Eagle’s first sailing,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “Their enthusiasm and support has really inspired us to create a great product and we look forward to a successful inaugural season. The highest-quality onboard experience is what our guests can expect aboard American Eagle. Every day we think of more ways to maximize comfort and address the desires of our guests. This ship will truly raise the bar in U.S. river cruising.”

American Eagle will carry 150 guests in the most spacious staterooms available on any Mississippi riverboat. Of the 84 staterooms, 78 feature large private balconies, all of which have sliding glass doors for optimal views and enjoyment. The new riverboat will offer all the amenities today’s travelers expect, while maintaining the elegance of classic late 1800s riverboats. American Cruise Lines will operate the new paddlewheeler primarily on the Lower Mississippi River between New Orleans and Memphis.

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Holland America Line Reveals Summer 2016 European Itineraries for Newbuild ms Koningsdam

Seattle, Jan. 20: In summer 2016, Holland America Line’s newest ship, ms Koningsdam, will debut a series of northern Europe and Baltic cruises as part of the premium line’s robust Europe season that features seven ships sailing throughout the region. Koningsdam’s summer itineraries—and all of Holland America Line’s 2016 summer Europe sailings—will be available for booking in early February.

Following a series of previously announced 7- and 12-day Premiere Sailings from Feb. 20 through April in the Mediterranean, the ship will reposition from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, to its summer homeport of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Koningsdam will then go on to sail roundtrip Amsterdam itineraries to Norway, the Baltic and Iceland, where breathtaking vistas and grand fjords await.

“For the first summer sailing season of our beautiful new ship ms Koningsdam, we’ve crafted some incredible itineraries to Europe’s most beautiful ports,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We recommend booking early because response to Koningsdam’s Premiere Voyages was overwhelmingly positive.”

Koningsdam’s 13-day repositioning cruise from the Med departs May 9 and explores 10 ports in Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, France, Belgium and the Netherlands before ending with an overnight at Amsterdam.

Once at Amsterdam, the ship will begin 7- and 14-day cruises to Norway that showcase the country’s majestic scenery and quaint landscapes. A seven-day itinerary in May, July and August calls at Flam, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Oslo, with scenic cruising in Sognefjord and Oslofjord. Another seven-day itinerary in June and July calls at Eidfjord, Ålesund, Geiranger and Bergen, with scenic cruising in Hardangerfjord and Geirangerfjord. A 7-day voyage in August calls at Bergen, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Ålesund and Eidfjord, with Hardangerfjord and Geirangerfjord scenic cruising.

A longer 14-day Norwegian exploration departs May 29 and July 17, and crosses the Arctic Circle while calling at eight ports in Norway. Guests also will enjoy memorable scenic cruising in Hardangerfjord, Geirangerfjord, Trondheimsfjord, the North Cape and Sognefjord.

Travelers looking to visit the British Isles and Iceland can embark Koningsdam Aug. 14 for a cruise to Newcastle upon Tyne, England; South Queensferry (Edinburgh) and Invergordon (Inverness), Scotland; Reykjavik (overnight), Isafjordur and Akuruyri, Iceland; and Ålesund and Bergen, Norway.

The Baltic awaits Koningsdam’s guests on two 14-day itineraries in June and September, also sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam. The ship calls at the most sought-after ports in the region, with visits to Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde (Berlin) and Kiel (Hamburg), Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg (overnight), Russia; Helsinki, Finland; and Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden.

At the end on the season, Koningsdam sails from Amsterdam to Civitavecchia on a 12-day journey that visits England, Gibraltar, Portugal and four ports in Spain. On Oct. 24 the ship repositions to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on a 14-day voyage that crosses the Atlantic following calls at Alicante, Malaga (Granada) and Huelva (Seville), Spain; and Funchal, Madeira.

About ms Koningsdam
Koningsdam represents a new Pinnacle Class of ship for Holland America Line. The vessel will debut several innovative concepts and new public spaces and venues, while still featuring popular amenities guests associate with Holland America Line.
To bring a fresh vision to ms Koningsdam, Holland America Line tapped Adam D. Tihany, one of the world’s pre-eminent hospitality designers. Tihany joins distinguished maritime designer and architect Bjørn Storbraaten who worked with Holland America Line on ms Eurodam and ms Nieuw Amsterdam. The two firms will create an interior that blends a fresh, contemporary styling in perfect harmony with the line’s renowned classic elegance.

The line recently unveiled the first series of interior renderings for ms Koningsdam on their website, and additional details will continue to be revealed over the coming months, including plans for the ship’s official christening. For more information about Holland America Line, visit

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First Look Into New Suite Class Restaurant“Luminae”

MIAMI, FL, Jan 20: Inspired by the essence of light, exceptional food, wine, and luxuryCelebrity Cruises has revealed the first look into newly named “Suite Class” restaurant, “Luminae.” Vacationers who indulge in the premium brand’s Suite Class now can discover more details about the exclusive dining experience. Luminae will be introduced onboard Celebrity’s modern luxury ships beginning in April.

Guests dining at the brand's first suite restaurant will enjoy warm hospitality, impeccable Celebrity service, and eclectic, one-of-a-kind menus that are only available in Luminae. Celebrity's dedicated team of chefs has created the new elegant menus for the venue’s complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner - each menu item will only be featured once during a two-week cruise vacation. With handcrafted dishes that are made from scratch, the unique menus will also feature locally sourced regional and seasonal ingredients inspired by the destinations Celebrity sails to among the world’s seven continents.

"Everything about Luminae embodies an inspirational culinary journey for our guests. We want them to savor soulful, technique-driven cuisine, while enjoying warm and personalized service in a relaxed, stylish setting," said John Suley, James Beard-featured Executive Chef, Celebrity Cruises. "The menus will be exquisite and guests can choose from dishes such as caviar and crème fraîche, a creamy black truffle risotto with fricassee of wild mushrooms and Parmigiano-Reggiano and a côte de bœuf with roasted root vegetables and béarnaise sauce. The handcrafted desserts will provide the sweetest ending, and a favorite of mine is the mascarpone cheesecake and pistachio nougatine with yuzu brown butter and apricot sorbet. Every menu has been precisely designed with our guests’ varied palates in mind, and we hope they will love our informal, luxury dining experience."

With special touches like tableside preparation of signature dishes and the daily presentation of a new delectable gourmet chocolates and desserts cart, the menus are complete with pairings made by the restaurant’s dedicated head sommelier. The wine list, specially designed for Luminae guests, will feature more than 400 selections, each from the most notable wine-producing countries in the world.

Realizing Celebrity's Suite Class experiencethe culmination of warm intuitive service, award-winning dining and upscale benefitsLuminae is a culinary experience of modern, diverse cuisine that will scintillate the tastebuds.

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Escape to New Flavors & Dazzling Sights

NEW YORK, Jan 16: Norwegian Cruise Line today announced a multitude of new partnerships with leaders in the fields of dining, beverage and entertainment to feature innovative branded experiences onboard Norwegian Escape. During an exclusive event in New York City, the line revealed that their largest ship ever, Norwegian Escape, will include several new culinary experiences, along with two Tony Award-winning musicals, and a unique Supper Club, when she begins sailing from her homeport of Miami in November 2015.

Foodies will delight in Norwegian Escape’s ultimate culinary experiences, which will be helmed by James Beard Award-winning Iron Chef Jose Garces and Miami restaurateurs Jose Mendin, Andreas Schreiner and Sergio Navarro of The Pubbelly Restaurant Group; in addition to new beverage concepts The District Brewhouse, featuring craft beers from Wynwood Brewing Company, and The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar. Guests will be dazzled by three new shows, including Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals After Midnight and Million Dollar Quartet, along with a new supper club concept exclusive to Norwegian Escape, For The Record presents Dear John Hughes, featuring classic soundtracks from favorite motion pictures in a one-of-a kind 360° post-modern cabaret and dinner experience.

“With Norwegian Escape, we are transforming culinary experiences at sea and continuing our legacy of innovation that has revolutionized dining in the cruise industry,” said Drew Madsen, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief operating officer. “We are building on our solid foundation of branded partnerships, including Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, and welcoming new ideas and flavors from award-winning chefs. Norwegian also continues to pave the way as a leader in entertainment, as we bring two Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals and a post-modern cabaret direct from Los Angeles to Norwegian Escape.”

New Concepts by Jose Garces
James Beard Award-winning Iron Chef Jose Garces will launch two specialty restaurants onboard Norwegian Escape, his first at sea. Known for his dining concepts from Philadelphia to Phoenix, Chef Jose Garces brings Latin-inspired culinary expertise, ranging from classic Mexican dishes to Cuban specialties. His breadth of culinary expertise along with his passion for cooking made him the perfect choice to lead the signature dining concepts on Norwegian Escape. Bayamo by Jose Garces will highlight Latin dishes with a Cuban-influence in a chic dining room and al fresco on The Waterfront. Dishes will feature the flavors of Latin America with Spanish influences, such as Berenjenas, roasted eggplant with tomato rice and a saffron emulsion; and Bacalao Carbonizado, black cod with a squid ink glaze, saffron, and tomato and chorizo rice, among others.

Pincho Tapas Bar by Jose Garces will offer traditional Spanish tapas à la carte in a lively, casual setting. Plates will be prepared on an authentic la plancha grill right at the bar in front of guests and feature Latin dishes including Tortilla Espanola (Spanish omelette), Boquerones (white anchovies with pine nuts), and Jamón Ibérico (specialty ham imported from Spain).
Sugarcane Mojito Bar, a Norwegian guest favorite, will complete the space and serve as an entry to Bayamo. Guests who wish to have a cocktail before dinner can settle into the tropical setting, enjoy live Latin music, and select from more than 10 different mojitos and rum-based cocktails and can even select a “flight” of mojitos to sample to tantalize their taste buds.

Food Republic
A brand new concept for Norwegian, the Food Republic will be a modern, upscale food emporium from The Pubbelly Restaurant Group featuring global cuisine for sampling and sharing. Guests dining in the Food Republic will experience a culinary journey via small plates, with flavors ranging from Asia to Central Europe and the Mediterranean, all available à la carte.

As some of the hottest restaurateurs in Miami, partners Jose Mendin, Andreas Schreiner and Sergio Navarro, have opened six concepts in the Magic City over the past three years. With a focus on creating unique flavor combinations and precise techniques, Director of Culinary Operations and Founding Partner Jose Mendin has been recognized as a semi-finalist for Best Chef South by the James Beard Foundation for three consecutive years, as well as nominated as People’s Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine.

Open for lunch through dinner, Food Republic menu highlights include Dates with Chorizo featuring smoked bacon, spicy tomato and goat cheese crema; Japanese Amberjack with lemongrass romesco, charred tomato and hazelnuts; and Black Truffle Braised Shortrib Dumplings, with white corn soy, red shiso leaf, and grana padano. The Food Republic offers guests the freedom and flexibility to choose what they want, when they want it, with convenient iPad ordering. With a simple swipe of their key card, food is prepared to order and brought directly to the guest’s table.

The District Brew House
A concept never before done at sea, the District Brew House is a hip, urban craft beer hall featuring an exclusive partnership with Miami’s own Wynwood Brewing Company. Complete with a keg room, 24 draft beers on tap and more than 50 different bottled beers, the District Brew House is sure to be the new hangout onboard for beer connoisseurs and fans alike. The award-winning Wynwood Brewing Company is known for their signature brew, La Rubia Blonde Ale, perfect for the warm Caribbean weather. Along with La Rubia, the District will also serve an all-new brew from Wynwood Brewing Company that will be available exclusively on Norwegian Escape. The District Brew House will also offer a menu of gastropub-style plates for snacking that will complement the beer and beverage offerings, including handcrafted cocktails from Bar Lab’s James Beard Award-nominated mixologists Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi. Guests sampling the District’s many offerings will also be well-entertained, with interactive nightlife and sing-alongs of everyone’s favorite tunes, as well as a traditional photo booth, where guests can add their photo to the District’s pin board and leave their mark on this cool new space.

The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar
Norwegian Escape will also be home to the line’s first wine bar in partnership with the Michael Mondavi Family - The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar. From the novice to the enthusiast, The Cellars features an array of immersive wine experiences, focusing on tasting, education, and the enjoyment of wine, all accompanied by small plates and tapas, available à la carte.

The curated wine list features 35 grape varietals including top selections from Tuscany’s Ornellaia and Michael Mondavi’s own Napa Valley Estate. The Wine Bar offers guests both a sleek indoor tasting room, and 180 degree ocean views at the outdoor wine bar on The Waterfront, with service provided by a Court of Master Sommeliers certified Sommelier.

Carlo’s Bake Shop
While onboard, guests will also enjoy delicious treats from Carlo’s Bake Shop by Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s “Cake Boss” and “Next Great Baker.” The decadent confections that the original Carlo’s bakery is known for, including Carlo’s Bake Shop’s famous cannolis, lobster tails, tiramisu, plus a variety of other unique cakes, cupcakes and Italian cookies, will all be available à la carte for guests who wish to indulge their sweet tooth.

New Entertainment Offerings
Continuing with Norwegian’s commitment to excellence in entertainment, Norwegian Escape will feature two Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals headlining in the Escape Theater that will have guests dancing in the aisles. Winner of the Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire Awards for Best Choreography, After Midnight, which recently completed its run on Broadway, is the smash-hit musical that combines the big-band songs of Duke Ellington, a roof-raising onstage jazz band, and the best dancing from Broadway. A cast of megawatt singers, dancers and tappers will bring Harlem's Cotton Club to life in a never-before-seen phenomenon at sea. After Midnight on Norwegian Escape will be presented by special arrangement with Scott Sanders Productions.

Also showing in the Escape Theater following a successful run on Broadway and currently touring nationally as well as performing in Las Vegas, Million Dollar Quartet is the smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock 'n' roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. On December 4, 1956, these four young musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. Million Dollar Quartet brings that legendary night to life, featuring a score of rock hits including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Great Balls of Fire," "Walk the Line," and more. This thrilling musical will bring guests inside the recording studio with four major talents who came together as a red-hot rock 'n' roll band for one unforgettable night.

In a new concept exclusive to Norwegian Escape, the Supper Club has been re-imagined for an unforgettable dinner and show. For The Record is a critically acclaimed Hollywood night that celebrates classic soundtracks of motion picture masters in a one-of-a kind 360° post-modern cabaret. Guests will spend an evening with a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal in this mashed-up retrospective of the John Hughes' coming of age 1980's teen films. The audience will laugh, cry, stomp their feet and relive the classic new wave sounds from Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty In Pink and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Expanding a successful run that began on Norwegian Getaway, Headliners Comedy Club will offer up the nation’s top comedians through the line’s expanded partnership with Levity Entertainment Group, the world’s largest producer of live comedy. Levity employs over 300 artists nationwide each week, including some of the biggest names in comedy, including Daniel Tosh, Amy Shumer and Jeff Dunham, who is currently the most successful touring comedian worldwide.

Norwegian Escape
Currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Escape will sail weekly 7-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean beginning on Nov 14, 2015. The 164,600 gross ton ship will be the largest ever to home port year-round in Miami, carrying 4,200 guests to tropical Caribbean destinations including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. Norwegian Escape’s signature hull artwork is designed by marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, Guy Harvey.

Norwegian Escape’s dining and entertainment will include outposts of several popular land-based outlets, including the first-ever floating Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, a music venue and outdoor bar on The Waterfront that will feature live nightly performances where guests can enjoy the sounds of the tropics. Norwegian Escape will also feature Miami’s oldest and most legendary bar, Tobacco Road.

The ship will feature the largest ropes course at sea, a three-story multiplex of heart-pounding challenges complete with two planks and five Sky Rails, zip tracks that allow guests to soar through the air. Norwegian Escape’s Aqua Park will be the largest at sea and includes a new Aqua Racer slide, while the expansive sports complex boasts a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle miniature golf course. Adding to the family fun, Norwegian Escape will also feature an expanded Kids’ Aqua Park; entertainment from Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids; along with the line’s first dedicated nursery for young cruisers two and under.

The Mandara Spa will transport guests to a deep state of relaxation and will feature the line’s first snow room and the largest Thermal Suite at sea, with 17 heated loungers, hydro-therapy pool, whirlpools, steam room, dry sauna, sanarium and salt room. In addition to the luxurious spa, adults will have two private lounge spaces to enjoy onboard at Vibe Beach Club and Spice H2O, which will feature an all-new grotto area for guests to cool off after a day of sunbathing.

Accommodations include the company’s signature luxury ship–within-a-ship complex: The Haven by Norwegian; along with Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; and many options for families, multi-generational groups, spa enthusiasts and more.

For additional information, visit

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Silversea Launches Included Shore Excursions & WiFi on Mediterranean Cruises

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Jan 16: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is kicking off 2015 with an enticing new program that includes shore excursions and WiFi. This program is available for new bookings made on or after January 15, 2015 on any of the line's 52 Mediterranean cruises this year.

"We're delighted to enhance the value proposition for our guests with the launch of this new ultra-inclusive pricing initiative," said Kristian Anderson, Silversea's senior vice president and general manager for the Americas. "Our company is known for pioneering the concept of all-inclusive voyaging. By including shore excursions and WiFi in the cruise fare, we're making the Silversea vacation experience more indulgent and relevant for today's active luxury traveler."

Guests may enrich their travel experience with a choice of included Silver Shore Select excursions offered in every port of call. Whether it's exploring the ancient Acropolis of Athens, strolling back through time along the marbled lanes of Ephesus, or discovering the Renaissance treasures of Florence, these small-group excursions present a destination's art, history, and culture in an intimate, authentic way, utilizing comfortable transportation and expert local guides.

These special all-inclusive fares also include two hours of complimentary WiFi per guest, per day, and unlimited complimentary WiFi for the line's larger suites (Medallion and higher categories).

The new perks join an array of included amenities that already features: open-seating gourmet dining; butler service for all suites; select wines, champagnes, premium spirits, specialty coffees, bottled water, juices and soft drinks; in-suite bar stocked with guests' preferences; in-suite dining and 24-hour dining service (from a formal dinner ordered from The Restaurant menu and served in-suite, to lighter fare served in attended lounges); lecture and enrichment programs; roundtrip transportation into town (in most ports); and onboard gratuities (exclusive of spa treatments).

In addition to the included Silver Shore Select excursions, guests may purchase tours from a variety of land programs offering exceptional value, including the more-immersive Silver Shore Collection tours, as well as Silver Shore Privato, which provides a private car and driver for independent exploring.

For further details and a full list of the Mediterranean cruises, visit

Back to the top of the news list Invites Single Travelers in their 20s, 30s and 40-Plus
to Sail with their Peers on Specialized Cruises

Fort Lauderdale, FL, Jan 15:, the United States’ largest organizer of hosted singles cruises, has announced details of four special cruises in 2015 that are customized for single travelers within specific age groups. The first of these cruises will cater to single travelers in their 30s and 40s, aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Getaway, departing from Miami on February 21, 2015. is offering a selection of ships, itineraries and activities appealing specifically to the individual age groups to provide just the right atmosphere for meeting other like-minded single travelers. Space is still available for those interested in the upcoming age-specific sailings.

“ is known for generating a sense of community among single travelers, no matter what their age or the size of our group. However, our age-specific sailings offer unique opportunities to enjoy a vacation with single travelers who are in a similar age bracket and tend to possess similar interests. For example, onboard activities such as waterslides and ropes courses as exceptionally popular with those in their 20s and 30s,” said Jody Ryland, Vice President of “For our 30s and 40s cruisers, many of them are busy professionals who know how to have fun but don’t have time to plan a trip with others on their own, and that’s where we step in. For our 40-plus cruisers, they feel they have earned the right to celebrate life’s successes – so they look for a more refined experience, with the highest quality onboard entertainment or unique ports on each cruise itinerary.” Age-Specific Cruise Highlights:

7-Night Caribbean Getaway for 30s and 40s: Feb 21, 2015, from Miami, FL
This Miami-based cruise takes place on one of the newest and hippest cruise ships – Norwegian Breakaway. The ship features an oceanfront walkway lined with bars, restaurants and shops. Broadway shows, including Legally Blonde and Burn the Floor, will entertain guests late into the evening. “Plus, we plan to weave in our own exclusive activities throughout the week, blending the ship’s groundbreaking activities with our tried and true recipe for helping our guests to mingle and become friends,” added Ryland.

6-Night Caribbean Conquest for 20s and 30s: March 1, 2015, from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Cruisers in their 20s and 30s will appreciate this western Caribbean cruise, which features port calls in the bustling destinations of Key West, FL; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; and Cozumel, Mexico. Ryland stated that most cruisers in this age group relish outdoor events, and that typically organizes more active shore excursions for them.

7-Night Caribbean Oasis for 40-Plus: April 11, 2015, from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas is a major draw for the “40 and over” cruisers who will depart from Fort Lauderdale. They will visit the cruise line’s private paradise in Labadee, Haiti; along with Falmouth, Jamaica; and Cozumel, Mexico.’s 40-plus cruises draw vacationers anywhere from their 40s to 70s, with the majority typically in their 50s and 60s.

7-Night Canada-New England Brilliance for 40-Plus: Sept 27, 2015, from Boston, MA
This itinerary includes port calls in Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. “ features a sailing of New England and Canada nearly every year, due to the high demand for viewing the stunning fall foliage and visit the region’s quaint fishing villages and scenic overlooks,” said Ryland. “Our single guests appreciate that we tailor mixers for them on this itinerary, which is otherwise quite popular with couples.” sailings are not charters, meaning there will be other paying passengers aboard. However, provides its guests with a significant number of exclusive “members only” events throughout each sailing. Perks and events for guests include:

• Friendly, experienced cruise hosts who lead special onboard events and ensure that all guests feel welcome.
• A complete schedule of exclusive activities including: cocktail parties, group dining, theme nights, dance lessons, speed meeting, karaoke parties and more.
• Specially-curated shore excursions that interest the single traveler, especially for their respective age groups for the aforementioned cruises.
• Complimentary roommate matching. Upon request, will assign guests a same-gender roommate to avoid the single supplement that solo cruisers typically have to pay.
• Private online message boards and social media groups for singles to connect before their cruise and to keep friendships blooming after they return home. has 17 cruises and land-based vacations scheduled for the remainder of 2015. For more details on upcoming vacations, go to

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Windstar Unveils Plans to Introduce Star Breeze & Star Legend

Seattle, Jan 15: Windstar Cruises expands their fleet from four ships to six in May 2015 with the addition of two small luxury ships from Seabourn. Today, Windstar unveils the changes planned to transform these yachts to Windstar’s signature style. Windstar takes possession of the first Seabourn ship on April 15, 2015, when it undergoes an $8.5 million, three-week renovation in Genoa, Italy. It will debut as Star Breeze during a christening ceremony on May 6, 2015 in Nice, France. The second ship follows suit, joining the fleet on May 4, 2015, and completing a similar $8.5 million renovation. The yacht will be christened Star Legend on May 25, 2015 in Rome, Italy.

Star Breeze and Star Legend join sister-ship, Star Pride, marking the completion of the acquisition announced in February of 2013. The expansion doubles the size of Windstar’s fleet of three luxury sailing yachts, making the company a market leader in small ship cruising with 300 or fewer passengers, with a total of 1,242 berths and six ships.

“Star Breeze and Star Legend will receive a full stem-to-stern transformation, more than doubling the investment that was spent on Star Pride’s original enhancements,” says Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “We learned a lot about our guests’ preferences with the debut of Star Pride last year. We are taking their feedback and giving them what they want with the launch of these two all suite yachts.”

Key changes on Star Breeze and Star Legend that differ from Star Pride include:

• Lounge: The entertainment lounge completely transforms with new flooring, and furniture. The added elegance creates an ambiance that makes the show lounge an amenable space for entertainment, meetings or small gatherings.
• Veranda: the restaurant in the aft of the yacht will have expanded outdoor seating, complete with a garden wall.
• Star Deck: the outdoor deck will expand by four feet on each side, giving additional space for guests to relax on lounge chairs
• Star Screening Room: The space completely transforms from a card room to an intimate screening room where guests can watch current movies and play video games.

Both yachts, each holding 212 passengers at double occupancy, will also receive upgrades to the suites, public areas, and dining venues.

Public areas receive updated décor, complete with new, more modern upholstery, lighting, wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, window treatments, and floors. The contemporary color palette combines sand and marine shades to contrast with the warmth of wood finishes, thereby creating an upscale, nautical feel, signature to Windstar. Some public space renovation highlights include:

• Yacht Club: The observation lounge on the top deck was one of the most well- received spaces on Star Pride. The space becomes a chic coffee bar and lounge where guests can enjoy espresso and light bites. The lounge receives a complete overhaul, including new flooring, lounge furniture, and an open layout that embraces the view of the shoreline.
• Reception: The carpeting receives an upgrade to Windstar’s signature blue, while new accent lighting and art give the reception area the quintessential Windstar welcoming look.
• Compass Rose: The club space will turn into Windstar’s popular Compass Rose, redesigned with all new contemporary furnishings, including rich new flooring finishes, plantation shutters, and comfortable chairs and bar stools designed for socializing. Live music can be found here nightly.
• Star Bar: The Star Bar will offer casual drinks during the day and a venue for star-gazing by night. The bar area will be expanded with teak decking, new stools, new awning, and lighting.

All restaurants will be transformed to embrace Windstar’s casual elegance, where guests are free to eat when, where, and with whom they please (no jackets or ties required). All dining experiences are complimentary.

• AmphorA: Windstar’s formal dining experience will be introduced as AmphorA Restaurant. The main dining room will be redesigned, featuring mirror panels with Murano glass, new soft lighting, wall coverings, and art work. The room will feature a new seating layout; setting the stage for Windstar’s signature dining experience featuring contemporary, international menus and fresh, local dishes.
• Candles: At night Veranda will transform to Candles, a favorite Windstar romantic experience where guests can dine with table service under the stars. The added elegance enhances the guest experience with culinary offerings to match.

Every guest suite (a total of 106 suites) undergoes upgrades to reflect a more luxurious and stylish experience. Changes include new carpets, linens, couches, chairs, mattresses, curtains, and headboards, as well as a modern color palette including vibrant blue hues, rich brown tones, and opulent greys.

• Destination Suites: the Owner’s Suites will now showcase different, unique Windstar destinations, such as the Bora Bora Suite. Guests can get a taste of one of the hidden harbors that Windstar sails to, all in the comfort of their suite.

Coming in 2016: Star Pride Renovation
Windstar is planning a $3 million additional renovation of Star Pride in April 2016. The Star Pride joined Windstar’s fleet from Seabourn in May of 2014, after a moderate facelift and updated furnishings with some remodeling. The continuation of the transformation includes the completion of the AmphorA dining room remodel and a total renovation of the Lounge, Veranda, Screening Room, and more.

“With the addition of these two newly renovated yachts, we can meet our consumer demand, enhance the feel of luxury, and continue to rank at the top of the small cruise line industry,” concludes Birkholz.

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Carnival Cruise Line Launches New Shipboard App & Pilots Social Media Internet Package

MIAMI, Jan 15: Carnival Cruise Line has launched a new free mobile app that provides vacationers aboard Carnival Breeze with a variety of useful information to maximize the fun on their next Carnival cruise. The app includes an innovative “chat” feature that allows guests to exchange messages with their traveling companions using their mobile devices throughout the voyage for a low flat fee of $5 for the entire cruise. The line is also piloting enhanced Internet access aboard Carnival Freedom, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Sunshine that dramatically increases bandwidth and speed and also includes a first-ever social media package providing unlimited access to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other popular sites for a fee of just $5 per day or $25 per voyage during the testing period.

“Consumers expect a high level of connectivity even while on vacation and these new enhancements provide our guests not only with helpful tools for getting the most out of their cruise but also a convenient and cost-effective way for keeping in touch with their family and friends while on board,” said Gus Antorcha, Carnival’s senior vice president of guest commerce. “We recognize the increasingly important role that technology plays in people’s daily lives and the launch of this application and new Internet packages provides us with a strong platform for introducing additional innovations and ways to use technology to enhance our guest experience even further.”

New Mobile Smartphone App Pilot on Carnival Breeze
Currently being piloted on Carnival Breeze, the new free Carnival Hub app is designed to provide guests with a convenient, at-a-glance view of the ship’s many shipboard facilities and features along with updates on events and happenings taking place on board. Also available is a “chat” feature where guests can communicate with anyone on board from their mobile devices. The price for the chat feature, which includes a group chat option, is $5 per voyage during the testing period.

The app also includes:

• A day-by-day schedule of hundreds of on-board events, from nightly show times at the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez and Playlist Production shows to movies and sporting events on the big screen at Seaside Theatre and Seuss at Sea events
• A “favorites” feature that allows guests to see what events and activities their sailing companions are participating in
• Information on casual dining options such as Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina and The Taste Bar, along with details on the RedFrog Pub and other popular watering holes
• Searchable deck plans with key areas highlighted, providing a comprehensive layout of the ship’s various on-board offerings
• Itinerary details, including current ship time and arrival/departure times for upcoming port calls
• Real-time information on guests’ current Sail & Sign shipboard account balance

The app is currently available for the Carnival Breeze for iPhone and Android users via their respective app stores with fleetwide rollout planned within the next 18 to 24 months. During this time, the line will continue to add more fun and functional features to help guests have an even more personalized and memorable cruise vacation, such as the ability to purchase shore excursions, view photos taken by the ship’s professional photographers on board, and more.

Enhanced Internet Beta-Testing on Carnival Freedom, Carnival Breeze & Carnival Sunshine
Carnival is also piloting new Internet access and plans on Carnival Freedom, Carnival Breeze, and Carnival Sunshine, including the cruise industry’s first social media package. With these new choices, consumers are offered a wide range of convenient options as well as increased bandwidth, providing enhanced service and connectivity, all at prices that are significantly lower than previous plans.

With the new social media package, guests can use popular apps or sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest for a flat fee of $5 per day or $25 per voyage during the initial testing period. Unlike other Internet packages, the social media package is unique in that it allows guests a convenient, flexible, and highly affordable option for updating their favorite social media pages during their cruise at one low price.

Guests can also upgrade to a “value” package that includes unlimited access to the Web for checking email, sports scores, weather updates and a wide range of other applications.

There’s also a “premium” package that provides the fastest available connection speed allowing guests to access video calling sites like Skype.

The mobile app and enhanced Internet packages will roll out to additional ships following successful completion of the initial pilot programs. Additional features and functionality are also in development and will be phased in over time.

“In creating both the Internet plans and the app, we spent a lot of time listening to our guests to understand their needs and develop these products accordingly,” said Gabriela Gonzalez, Carnival’s vice president of guest technology and photo. “While we trusted the plans and the app would be well received, we are stunned by how quickly and widely they have been embraced during the pilot period. We’re excited to bring these innovations to more ships over the coming months while we continue to work to make them even better,” she added.

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More Travelers Are Seeking Long Cruises

ARLINGTON, VA, Jan. 15: According to recent survey of travel agents by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), 37 percent of agents reported an increase in bookings of 14- to 100-day cruises. Longer sailings, including world cruises of several months, are increasingly popular among both retired and affluent travelers, according to travel agents. Agents also reported that the top advantage of long cruises is the ability to see many places hassle free, without having to deal with multiple airports and packing and unpacking. Travelers also like the exciting itineraries offered by cruise lines to places around the world that would be difficult to visit on land.

Long and world cruises are offered by several cruise lines. Here is a sampling of upcoming itineraries from member lines of CLIA.

-- Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sun returns to South America for the first time in five years with 14-day cruises between Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile and Buenos Aires, from November 2015 through March 2016. Included is scenic cruising in the Chilean Fjords, Strait of Magellan and around Cape Horn.
-- Carnival Cruise Line's long itineraries include a 12-day Journey of Discovery sailing from Galveston on the Carnival Triumph, embarking March 2. The ship calls in Grand Cayman, Limon (Costa Rica) and Cartagena and Santa Marta (Colombia). In Colon, Panama, guests will have the opportunity to take an optional excursion for an up-close view of
the wonders of the Panama Canal. The call at Santa Marta will mark Carnival's first-ever visit to this beautiful seaside city. On the West Coast, the Carnival Miracle will operate three 15-day round-trip cruises from Long Beach to Hawaii, embarking Oct 17 and Nov 28, 2015, and Nov 16, 2016. On these sailings, guests can visit Maui, Honolulu, Kauai, Kona and Hilo, as well as Ensenada, Mexico. From Baltimore, Carnival passengers can cruise on the Carnival Pride, embarking March 13, 2016, on a 14-day eastern Caribbean cruise that visits Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Maarten.
-- All three Cunard ocean liners will celebrate the line's 175th anniversary in 2015 with world cruises. The Queen Mary 2 sets sail on a 113-day voyage from Los Angeles, embarking in January, and visiting 54 ports in 29 countries including in the South Pacific, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. A unique 57-day Boomerang cruise (back by popular demand) has passengers embarking in February on the Queen Elizabeth from San Francisco and then switching ships in Australia to the Queen Victoria, with an 8-day land stay exploring deeper into the land Down Under.
-- Princess Cruises has 10-day and longer cruises including a 40-day World Cruise Segment on the Sea Princess, embarking New York on July 25 and taking passengers to Sydney by way of the Panama Canal and South America, French Polynesia and New Zealand. Highlights will include a visit to Easter Island. Princess Cruises' Full World Cruise on Pacific Princess will be the first time a Princess' World Cruise will depart and return from North America. The 111-day voyage sails round-trip from Los Angeles, embarking Jan 23, the itinerary spanning six continents.
-- Holland America Line's long cruises include a 114-day Grand World Voyage on the ms Amsterdam, also available in segments. For instance, set sail in February on a 22-day sailing from Sydney to Singapore on the ms Amsterdam. Port calls give you an extended look at Australia, including Melbourne, Adelaide, Albany, Fremantle and Geraldton, as well as Bali.
-- Central and South America get focus on a 34-day itinerary embarking March 21, 2016, on the luxurious Seabourn Odyssey. The Path of Galleons cruise, from Los Angeles to Barcelona brings guests to ports in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama (including the Panama Canal and San Blas Islands) and Colombia, and also visits Fort Lauderdale and the
Portuguese island of Madeira.
-- Silversea Cruises' World Cruise 2015 will take passengers on the elegant Silver Whisper on an epic, 115-day voyage to 30 countries and 50 ports of call. The sailing embarked January 5.
-- Luxury line Crystal Cruises has a variety of 10-day or longer sailings on its 2015 to 2017 calendar including a 108-day Crystal Silver Celebration World Cruise on Crystal Serenity, embarking in January.
-- Set sail with Italian line Costa Cruises on a 115-day, 40-port voyage to five continents. Cruising from Savona, Italy in January, the Costa Deliziosa will visit such "Bucket List" places as Rio de Janeiro, Tahiti, Auckland, Sydney and Cape Town.

The survey of 434 CLIA travel agents was conducted September 2014. The survey was distributed via Survey Monkey, and the report draws on data related to short and long cruise itineraries.

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Music Legends Crosby, Stills & Nash Announced as Headline Act aboard Queen Mary 2

SOUTHAMPTON, England, Jan. 15: Cunard is proud to announce that Crosby, Stills & Nash will perform a series of exclusive concerts on board the company's Flagship, Queen Mary 2, during her Sept 4-11 Transatlantic Crossing. The Grammy® Award winning trio, who first performed together at the now legendary Woodstock Festival over four decades ago, will perform three exclusive concerts for passengers on board Queen Mary 2 during the 7-night Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton.

"We are excited to welcome Crosby, Stills & Nash onboard Queen Mary 2 during Cunard's 175th anniversary year. Having these music legends perform will be nothing less than thrilling for our passengers," said Richard Meadows, president of Cunard Line North America. "The band's presence onboard demonstrates Cunard's continued commitment to providing unique access to some of the world's most legendary artists, resulting in a truly unforgettable ocean travel experience for our guests."

Crosby, Stills & Nash (CS&N) burst onto the music scene in 1969 with their self-titled debut LP, now one of Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time." The band members are among the few to have been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once with Crosby, Stills & Nash, and a second time with The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and the Hollies. They have also been inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of fame, with the honour recognizing both CS&N as a group and each member as individual solo artists.

During the Queen Mary 2 Crossing from New York, the trio will perform some of their greatest hits including "Teach Your Children," "Southern Cross" and "Wooden Ships" in the Royal Court Theatre. They will also participate in a Q&A session and special autograph opportunity for passengers on board.

"This will be a unique experience for us," said Graham Nash. "We're really looking forward to making music, bringing back memories and creating new ones--and this journey from New York to Southampton, on this beautiful vessel, will do just that."

For more information, visit

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Celebrity Cruises Launches Celebrity City Stay Vacation Packages

MIAMI, FL, Jan 15: Guests can now begin their cruise vacation earlier with Celebrity Cruises’ new “Celebrity City Stay” vacation packages. Combining destination expertise with unbeatable value, the newly curated pre-cruise experiences will be available in 16 of the most intriguing and dynamic cities. Celebrity City Stay packages bring vacationers even closer to the world’s must-see cities, including Athens, Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Sydney. The one-of-a-kind packages are available in nearly every port city the cruise vacation company sails from.

Enhancing guests’ Celebrity vacations, City Stay vacation packages include:

• Three nights in four-star, luxury hotel accommodations, with complimentary breakfast
• Transfers to and from the airport, hotel and the booked Celebrity cruise
• Full day of an in-depth fully guided City Highlights Tour and lunch
• Half day with an in-depth fully guided tour and a farewell dinner
• Dedicated Celebrity Cruises Hospitality Desk at the luxury hotel, to provide personalized, premium service
• Classic Beverage Package for two, including wine and spirits, while sailing with Celebrity
• Families and friends in a stateroom as additional guests can receive a Classic non-alcoholic beverage package and a 40-minute internet package

“Our destination experts have specially curated each Celebrity City Stay so that vacationers can get even more up close and personal with the destination before departing on their cruise. Our guests can enjoy upscale and immersive three-night experiences in some of the world’s most beautiful and captivating cities,” said Bernardo Carrillo, Managing Director, Celebrity Vacations, Celebrity Cruises. “From authentic dining, in-depth tours hosted by local experts, free time to go off the beaten path, and four-star accommodations to come back to, there’s no better start to a modern luxury vacation than an early one.”

For full details about the new Celebrity City Stay vacation packages, visit

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Costa Cruises to Participate in the International Day of Italian Cuisines

GENOA, Italy, Jan. 15: On Jan.17 Costa Cruises joins the ninth International Day of Italian Cuisines, preparing parmigiana di melanzane (eggplant parmesan), the typical Italian dish, cooked according to the authentic recipe, onboard 13 ships sailing in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, United Arab Emirates, South America, Indian Ocean, and the Around-the-World Cruise. A total of about 30,000 portions of parmigiana di melanzane will be served as an additional main course of the menu onboard. Furthermore, Costa ships involved in the initiative will offer cooking presentations in the pool area, showing guests how the real parmigiana di melanzane is prepared, starting from the preliminary phases, and providing them with the true recipe.

Parmigiana di melanzane is the official dish of the ninth International Day of Italian Cuisines, a worldwide celebration of authentic and high quality Italian gastronomy. On Jan. 17 Costa ships will be part of a "Global Ola of Parmigiana di Melanzane," involving hundreds of Italian chefs and restaurateurs all around the world. The complete program of the IDIC is available on the official website, together with the map of the "Ola."

Costa Cruises' support of this event is a further sign of the company's mission to promote Italy's finest in the world. Costa ships offer Italian gastronomic excellence, providing the best products from first-rate Italian suppliers. For instance, Costa guests can taste Barilla pasta, drink the well-known Ferrari Spumante and have a cup of excellent Illy coffee, but also try out the awarded patisserie and chocolates of Luigi Biasetto and Guido Gobino, available on the new flagship Costa Diadema.

The International Day of Italian Cuisines will also be the occasion to discover the origin of the well-known parmigiana di melanzane, which is still controversial: some claimed that the dish is Neapolitan, as it would be first described back in 1837 in the essay "Cucina Teorico-Pratica," by the chef Ippolito Cavalcanti, while others maintain it was created in Sicily, where eggplants first arrived and then were spread nationwide.

As a matter of fact, in the past couple of decades, this traditional dish originated in Southern Italy has become increasingly popular also in the rest of Italy and around the world, thanks to the boom of Italian restaurants with chefs trained in Italy. Moreover, a number of variations to the original recipe have been created worldwide, confirming the dish's success.

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Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge 5K Event on Disney Cruise Line Private Island

CASTAWAY CAY, Bahamas Jan. 14: More than 700 runners cruised over the finish line during the inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge, a brand-new 5K event hosted by runDisney and Disney Cruise Line on Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. The event was the first of its kind to be held amid the lush palm trees and turquoise waters of a private island paradise, making it the ultimate tropical fun run in the sun.

Participants earned an exclusive inaugural race medal to commemorate the event, which came on the heels of the annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. The experience was made complete during a 4-night cruise aboard the Disney Dream which sailed from Port Canaveral, Florida, and featured special activities, speakers, and merchandise designed exclusively for the Castaway Cay Challenge.

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Princess Cruises Unveils North To Alaska! Cruise Vacation Offerings

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan. 14: Building on its long-standing recognition as the best Alaska cruise vacation, Princess Cruises announced the launch of North to Alaska!, a series of new onboard offerings that fully immerse guests in the Great Alaska experience. Created in partnership with local experts, North to Alaska! features a variety of authentic Alaska culinary, educational and entertainment experiences designed to delve deeper into the fascinating frontier guests are exploring around them. The program includes expanded Alaska seafood offerings, with signature dishes from local chefs and restaurants; unique interactions with Alaskans; and onboard festivals to allow guests to eat like a local, learn from the locals, and celebrate like a local. North to Alaska! debuts in May 2015 on Princess cruises to Alaska.

"From world-famous Alaska seafood, to learning about life as a lumberjack, to Midnight Sun deck parties and more, we're bringing the last frontier onboard Princess ships to make the #1 vacation experience in Alaska even better," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "The new program also demonstrates Princess' ongoing innovation in cruise vacations and our commitment to super-serving our guests with highly engaging and memorable experiences for the vacation of a lifetime."

North to Alaska! highlights include:

Eat Like A Local
Providing a culinary journey sure to be savored, Princess has partnered with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to feature nightly a variety of authentic Alaska cuisine - including King Crab, King Salmon and fresh Halibut, among others - prepared by Princess chefs specially-trained by Alaska seafood chefs to capture a true taste of the North. Specialty restaurants will also offer a regional Alaska cuisine menu on select evenings.

In addition, Princess has partnered with some of the best Alaska area joints to provide local favorites and signature dishes onboard including crab cakes from Tracy's King Crab Shack in Juneau; fish tacos from Ketchikan's Alaska Fish House; and the Mermaid Burger from the Skagway Fish Company. The winning dish from the 2014 Great Alaska Seafood Cook-off, pan-seared Alaska salmon with root vegetable hash and mushroom tea, created by local chef Travis Haugen of Southside Bistro will be featured in the main dining rooms.

Learn From the Locals
With Alaska cruises all about discovery and exploration, Princess is bringing the variety of Alaska cultures onboard to regale guests with stories of life in Alaska and "a day in the life" hands-on interactive activities:

-- From the popular Discovery Channel program, "The Deadliest Catch," Captain David Lethin and his shipmates from the Aleutian Ballad will relate their true-life adventures and experiences in the Bering Sea in pursuit of crab.
-- Guests will live like a "logger head," learning the history of logging from a local lumberjack and participating in an axe-throwing competition.
-- New York Times best-selling author and renowned storyteller Nick Jans will tell his compelling, emotional story of Romeo, the wolf, and the effect he had on the people of Juneau, as told in his book, "A Wolf Called Romeo."
-- Kids and teens will explore their adventurous side with activities including a Jr. Ranger program, panning for gold, "The Deadliest Catch" crab-sorting game, an interactive green screen game and more.

Celebrate Like a Local
Guests will experience the thrill and excitement of the Klondike, harkening back to the glory days of gold rush fever. Fun for the whole family, the Klondike festival onboard activities will include Alaska icon and sled-racing presentations, penny whistle classes, traditional dance performances, an arts and crafts show, and more. The festival day will culminate with a celebration of the natural phenomenon of a visible sun at night during the Midnight Sun top-deck party, complete with entertainment, games and specialty drinks.

In total, seven Princess ships offer more than 120 Alaska cruise departures during the summer season, May-September, originating from San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver B.C. and Whittier (Anchorage), Alaska.

For passengers interested in experiencing even more of the Great Land, Princess cruisetours offer an unmatched variety of itinerary options for a complete land and sea Alaska experience ranging from 10 to 15 nights. All cruisetours include a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers sailing including a visit to Glacier Bay National Park, plus up to four nights in the Denali National Park area with stays at Princess' riverside wilderness lodges. Additional information about all of the Princess Alaska cruise options and North to Alaska! can be found at

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The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Revealed: Seven Seas Explorer

NEW YORK, Jan. 13: With a one-of-a-kind, opulent 3,875-square-foot suite, extravagantly designed lounges and showplaces, and lavish gourmet restaurants, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is setting a new standard for luxury vacations with the launch of Seven Seas Explorer. At 56,000 gross-registered tons and carrying just 750-guests, the all-suite, all-balcony ship will boast the highest space ratio in the cruise industry, and is designed to be the most luxurious ship ever built, with every inch of the vessel evoking elegance and grace. With its debut in summer of 2016, Seven Seas Explorer will offer guests another exciting option to explore the world with Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ signature brand of all-inclusive luxury.

“We set a high benchmark for Seven Seas Explorer, not only to build a ship that far surpasses the current standard in luxury cruising, but to design a ship that will be recognized industry-wide as the most luxurious ship ever,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “This ship will offer our guests a new level of grandeur throughout, from its lavish suites to its elegant public spaces and gourmet restaurants. We cannot wait to share this ship with the world when she joins our fleet in the summer of 2016.”

The meticulous level of craftsmanship and lavish detail is what guests will first notice upon boarding the ship through the main atrium lobby. A beautiful, circular inlaid marble floor marks the heart of the ship. Steps away and anchoring the lobby are twin, elegantly etched glass staircases that draw the eye upward towards a magnificent cascading crystal chandelier. After walking through the lobby, it will be evident to guests that Seven Seas Explorer is truly in a category of its own, and that promise of a high luxury standard continues throughout the vessel.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises will introduce a new category of luxury suite exclusively for Seven Seas Explorer that sets the tone for the well-appointed and spacious all-suite accommodations found throughout the ship. Named the Regent Suite, the plush two-bedroom, 3,875-square foot suite comes complete with an in-room spa retreat, a first at sea, with personal sauna, steam room and treatment area. The suite also features an outdoor, glass-enclosed sitting area aptly named
the Vista Garden, where guests can enjoy magnificent, unobstructed 270-degree views over the ship’s bow and toward the horizon. The astounding design and artistry found in the Regent Suite is evident in every suite throughout the ship. Each suite category features its own unique layout and design elements, ranging from the warm and welcoming island manor appeal of the Deluxe Suite to the sumptuous and alluring sapphire jewel inspired Penthouse Suite. The spacious interiors are complemented by the largest verandas in the cruise industry, providing guests ample space to enjoy fresh ocean breezes without leaving their suites.

Seven Seas Explorer will feature an unrivaled collection of specialty, casual and main dining options for guests to enjoy aboard the ship. Each restaurant exhibits its own intricate and elegant design, providing a dining atmosphere that deftly complements the high service level and diverse menu offerings.

Catering to guests’ culinary desires, the ship will offer three distinct specialty restaurants, including Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ fleet-wide signature steakhouse, Prime 7. Aboard Seven Seas Explorer, Prime 7 will feature a new décor highlighted by dark purple hues, silver accents and plush leather seating, reminiscent of a London private member club. Intimate seating alcoves specifically for couples looking to enjoy a secluded, romantic meal are sure to be a highlight with guests. The restaurant’s luscious ambiance will only be matched by the gourmet offerings on its menu.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ hallmark main dining room, Compass Rose, will receive a new, contemporary look with the debut of Seven Seas Explorer. The restaurant’s look features a sophisticated and airy design motif with a beautiful, cascading aqua-blue chandelier that conveys a whimsical grotto feel throughout the restaurant. Guests can enjoy casual indoor and al fresco dining in the effortlessly chic Italian Riviera-inspired La Veranda on deck 11. With incredible 270-degree ocean views, La Veranda offers a delectable buffet for breakfast and lunch, and transforms into an elegant fine dining restaurant, Sette Mari at La Veranda, each evening for dinner.

Within the luxuriously appointed lounges aboard Seven Seas Explorer, guests can enjoy a wide variety of complimentary libations while being entertained by live musical performances or breathtaking production shows. The ship’s primary showplace, the two-tiered Constellation Theater, pays homage to the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age. The ornate 694-seat theater beckons guests with posh cabaret-style seating intermixed with cocktail tables that feature hand-blown Murano glass lamps. Subtly woven into the theater’s design is the motif of a swan. Guests with a keen eye will find abstract and not-so-abstract aspects of this elegant creature in theater’s seating banquettes, ceiling architecture and entry-way mosaic.

The Observation Lounge brings to life the opulence and indulgences of the Roaring Twenties. A folded metal canopy surrounds the lounge’s signature bar and a delicate crystal chandelier hovers over the dance floor. As if ripped from the pages of The Great Gatsby, the lounge’s design features a color palate of rich silver, gold, black and white hues. Floor to ceiling windows surround the room, providing guests with incredible ocean vistas. Just off the ship’s atrium lobby, the Explorer Lounge provides more of a country club vibe with rich mahogany wood columns, comfortable leather chairs, deep blue fabrics and sumptuous flooring. On one side of the lounge, a golden proscenium outlines a small stage where live musical performances will take place, and anchoring the opposite end, a polished black marble bar ringed by plush, deep opal blue bar stools stands ready to serve guests their favorite beverages.

The maiden voyage for Seven Seas Explorer will be a 14-night sailing from Monte Carlo to Venice on July 20, 2016. The ship will remain in Europe for its inaugural season, sailing 11 voyages that crisscross the Mediterranean and visit sought-after destinations such as Barcelona, Ibiza, St. Tropez, Venice, Istanbul, Alexandria (Egypt) and Jerusalem.

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Carnival Cruise Line To Celebrate Texas Arrival of Carnival Freedom With Special Event

MIAMI, Jan 13: Carnival Cruise Line, Texas’ number one cruise operator, will welcome Carnival Freedom to its new year-round homeport of Galveston, Texas, on Saturday, February 14, by hosting a celebration to honor U.S. military families. Through a partnership with Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial and other assistance to military families, Carnival will provide a day of onboard fun and exciting activities for service members and their families. Among the day's festivities will be a special outdoor Carnival LIVE performance by country superstar Martina McBride.

“The arrival of Carnival Freedom to its new Galveston homeport is historic as it marks the first time a cruise line has based three year-round ships in Texas,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Line. “We’re thrilled to celebrate this occasion by giving back to the great state of Texas and welcoming aboard military families who make our freedom possible.”

As part of the festivities, 14-time GRAMMY® nominee Martina McBride will perform that afternoon outdoors on one of the ship's top decks. The country singer has previously performed as part of the line’s breakthrough onboard concert series, Carnival LIVE, which offers guests the best live music at sea from some of the most popular and highly requested music acts.

“I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to perform again on a Carnival ship and am thrilled that I was chosen to be part of this wonderful event that honors U.S. service members and their families,” said Martina McBride. “I’ve played for many audiences in my career, but it will truly be a privilege to salute these incredible families and partner with Carnival to bring them an extra special Valentine’s Day.”

Military families who have registered through Operation Homefront will enjoy a full day and evening of fun aboard the 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom while it is in port, including overnight accommodations, meals, entertainment and activities, all compliments of Carnival Cruise Line. Prior to the concert, Carnival will conduct a special check presentation to Operation Homefront providing $100,000 to the organization.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Carnival to honor military families and celebrate the cruise line’s expansion in Texas,” said Tim Farrell, chief operating officer of Operation Homefront. “While we serve military families across the nation, we’re grateful for a partner like Carnival who wants to give back right here in our home state of Texas where we have the second largest active duty and veteran population in the country.”

Carnival Freedom recently underwent a $70 million makeover which added an array of Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancements. Event attendees will have access to the ship’s new family entertainment programming including Seuss at Sea, as well as the new Camp Ocean kids facilities. The latest updates also incorporated a number of bar, dining and entertainment innovations including complimentary eateries such as BlueIguana Cantina and Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri, poolside bars serving up delicious frozen drinks and cocktails including BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar, as well as the pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar and the line’s Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub.

Carnival Freedom kicks off year-round sailings from Galveston February 15, 2015, with a special six-day voyage to Mexico followed by the launch of 4- to 7-day cruises that visit beautiful ports throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida. Together with Carnival Triumph and Carnival Magic, the line will carry more than 600,000 passengers annually from Texas.

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Olympian Mark Spitz to Host the Windstar Inaugural Island Experience in the Caribbean

Seattle, Jan 12: Windstar Cruises announces their new Island Experiences in the Caribbean, part of the complimentary Private Event program launching around the world in 2015. The new Island Experience is designed to treat guests to the feeling of having their “own private island” for the day, and is offered on every Windstar Caribbean itinerary.

Windstar’s inaugural Island Experience debuts on the January 31st voyage of the Yachtsman’s Caribbean with special celebrity guest Olympic legend Mark Spitz. Best known for his astonishing win of seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Spitz will serve as host at the Island Experience on Prickly Pear Beach, a secluded and uninhabited nature refuge in the British Virgin Islands. Spitz will conduct a series of swimming master classes for guests who want to enhance their swimming abilities, or for those who simply want to get to know the Olympian. Spitz is also slated to give an onboard lecture and to join guests for dinner.

All Island Experience Private Events will offer beach and sport activities such as volleyball, snorkeling, and bocce ball, as well as a full beach barbeque with dishes including lobster and shrimp mac and cheese, “surfs up” tequila lobster tacos, Cajun jambalaya, a full burger bar, and more. The events will also include a Selfie Station, where guests are encouraged to pose for selfies and tag pictures with the hashtag #WindstarCruises.

“We are thrilled to have a renowned athlete like Mark Spitz join us for the launch of our new Island Experience,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Our Private Events were designed for our guests to really experience the local culture in an exclusive way. The new Island Experience will allow them to feel like they are on their own slice of paradise for the day.”

Other notable Private Events debuting around the world in 2015 include private dining under the stars at the Celsus Library of Ephesus; wine tasting and tour in Italy with traditional Sicilian lunch; tapas and folk dance lessons; and an equestrian ballet and sherry tasting in Spain. Additional celebrity hosts will be announced in the coming months.

Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of small luxury cruise ships known for its intimate yacht style experience and unique voyages to the world’s best small ports and hidden harbors. Its three recently renovated sailing yachts carry just 148 to 310 guests and cruise to 50 nations, calling at 150 ports throughout Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and Central America. In May 2014, Windstar launched Star Pride, the first of three newly acquired power yachts. In May 2015 the company launches Star Breeze and Star Legend, making the company the market leader in small ship cruising with 300 or fewer passengers. Windstar was recently named Condé Nast Traveler’s #1 small ship cruise line in the world. For more information, visit

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Cunard Commences 175th Anniversary Year with Spectacular Start

Jan 12: Cunard has commenced its 175th anniversary year with a spectacular start, as fireworks and marching bands marked the departure of Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth on their World Voyages this weekend. A magnificent year of celebrations is planned, with special features on board, a top-flight line-up of celebrity speakers and a series of World Class events and commemorative sailings in place for 2015.

Flagship Queen Mary 2 and sister ship Queen Elizabeth took centre stage in Southampton on Saturday as the two Queens embarked on their 2015 World Voyages. Joining guests on board were acclaimed British actress, Celia Imrie (aboard Queen Mary 2), and former chief news correspondent for the BBC, Kate Adie (aboard Queen Elizabeth), as part of Cunard’s acclaimed Insights speaker program, featuring high-caliber presenters throughout the year. Further leading lights, including statesmen, authors, actresses, poets and politicians, will share their knowledge, stories and experiences with passengers on board Cunard’s ships during this anniversary year. These include:

• FW De Klerk (Queen Mary 2, Port Elizabeth to Durban, 15-17 April 2015),
• Sir Max Hastings (Queen Mary 2, Dubai to Hong Kong, 29 January-21 February 2015)
• John McCarthy (Queen Elizabeth, Dubai to Southampton, 13 April-3 May 2015)
• Sir Jackie Stewart (Queen Mary 2, Dubai to Hong Kong, 29 January-21 February 2015)
• Actress Kim Novak (Queen Elizabeth, Honolulu to Auckland, 13-27 February 2015)
• Lord Michael Howard (Queen Victoria, Istanbul to Rome cruise, 10-24 October 2015)
• Anne Widdecombe (Queen Victoria, Canaries, 10-22 May 2015)
• Simon Weston (Queen Victoria, Caribbean, 20 January-2 February 2015)
• Pam Ayres (Queen Elizabeth, Mediterranean, 21 October-7 November 2015)
• David Blunkett (Queen Victoria, Mediterranean cruise, 12-19 September 2015)

The 175th anniversary will be celebrated across all three Cunard ships during the year, with

• Gala dinners with souvenir menus on cruises of more than four nights
• “Black, Red and Gold” themed Balls in the Queens Room aboard each ship
• 175th themed commemorative drinks, from special blends of wine to craft beers, plus 175th themed cakes and deserts at afternoon tea and formal dinners.
• Themed entertainment, including 175th anniversary quizzes and the quirky side of Cunard’s history presented by the RADA theatre group travelling aboard Queen Mary 2’s transatlantic crossings
• Specially created 175th merchandise, from collectible posters to teddy bears and polo shirts to cufflinks and 18 carat Clogue gold jewelry
• Mail posted on board with be over-stamped with the 175th anniversary logo
• In cabin stationery (postcards, writing paper and envelopes) will display the 175th anniversary logo

Richard Meadows, President, Cunard Line, North America said, “2015 is going to be an amazing year for Cunard. We’ll be celebrating our 175th anniversary throughout the year with an exciting program of commemorative sailings and special events. Celebrity speakers will add an extra touch of sparkle and insight to the celebrations on board while the sheer spectacle of bringing the fleet together in Southampton and Liverpool and marking key dates in Cunard’s history will make compelling viewing for both passengers and spectators ashore. We want everyone across the globe to be able to share in these historic celebrations. “

Highlights of Cunard's 175th year will include the gathering of Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria in their home port of Southampton on 3 May for a spectacular sailaway of the three Queens. And up to one million spectators are expected to gather in the company's spiritual home of Liverpool for the "Three Queens, One Magnificent City" three day event 24-26 May. This will culminate on 25 May when the Cunard fleet, made up of the three largest ships ever to appear in formation on the Mersey, will perform a series of carefully choreographed maneuvers within sight of the Three Graces on Pier Head waterfront, including the iconic Cunard Building which was the company’s headquarters for nearly 50 years.

Cunard will also re-create the transatlantic voyage that marked the start of the company’s 175 years of operation. Queen Mary 2’s "175th Anniversary Crossing" (Southampton to New York 2-14 July 2015 M511D) will sail into Liverpool on 4 July and depart the same day, exactly 175 years since Cunard’s ship Britannia made her maiden crossing from the port, heading for Halifax and Boston.

One of Cunard’s most famous ships, Lusitania, will also be respectfully saluted by Queen Victoria during a special Lusitania remembered sailing (3-10 May 2015, V510) as the ship sails into Cobh, exactly 100 years since Lusitania was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland on 7 May 1915. A series of commemorative events have been organised in the town which passengers are invited to attend, while on board, expert historian Eric Sauder will display on board a special collection of Lusitania memorabilia including china, silver, brochures, postcards and souvenirs that will help tell the story of Cunard's former flagship. A few places remain on this historic sailing. Further details on 175th anniversary sailings will be announced shortly. For more information, go to

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Princess Launches 2015 “Come Back New” Advertising Campaign

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan 12: To ring in the new year Princess Cruises has launched a fresh advertising campaign to remind travelers of the memorable moments they can experience while aboard a Princess Cruises vacation. The multi-million-dollar program comes on the heels of last year’s successful “come back new” marketing campaign that marked the return of the line’s advertising on television in more than a decade and reminded viewers that cruising can transform and enrich their lives.

The new travel advertising campaign debuts at the beginning of “wave season” when many guests book their cruise vacations for the upcoming year, and promotes Princess Cruises’ 50th anniversary milestone with national broadcast, print and digital advertising.

Created by San Francisco-based, award-winning agency Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, the broadcast creative evolves the storytelling approach of the “come back new” theme to showcase Princess guests experiencing unforgettable events as they happen on Alaska cruises and cruises to the Caribbean, two of the line’s most popular destinations. Print ads explore a variety of cruise destinations, cultures and culinary experiences that can lead guests to discover new things while on a cruise vacation. The ads and other campaign materials will roll out through the month of January.

“This new campaign is an exciting opportunity for us to continue the successful momentum of our first ‘come back new’ campaign with fresh content for our 50th anniversary year,” said Gordon Ho, senior vice president of marketing, Princess Cruises. “These new spots showcase the juxtaposition between the reality of daily life and the experience our guests have when they cruise with us to amazing destinations. Princess Cruises passengers are passionate about exploring and experiencing the world around them and the new Discovery partnership takes this to a whole new level.”

Many of the ads also promote the cruise line’s recently announced partnership with the Discovery Channel and the “Discovery at Sea” program, including stargazing, interactive onboard activities and shore excursions based on top-rated Discovery network shows and designed to entertain and delight families aboard Princess ships.

The new broadcast spots are available at Additional information about Princess Cruises is available on the company's website at

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Ain't We Got Fun: Kathie Lee Gifford Boards Carnival Breeze to Announce 'GIFFT' Wine Partnership

MIAMI, Jan. 12: Kathie Lee Gifford, former spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line, returned to “The World's Most Popular Cruise Line®” Sunday to introduce her GIFFT Collection of wines at a tasting event for cruise guests on Carnival Breeze at PortMiami. The wines are now available for sale fleetwide on Carnival's 24 ships.

Gifford became closely associated with the Fun Ship brand in the 1980s when Carnival launched the first national television ad campaigns in the cruise industry, becoming the line’s first spokesperson and appearing in such memorable campaigns as: “If You Could See Me Now” and “Ain’t We Got Fun?” The “Today” show host yesterday surprised guests embarking on a six-day western Caribbean cruise to officially introduce GIFFT wines at an onboard tasting event.

Created in consultation with California-based Scheid Family Wines—one of the largest vineyard owners in Monterey County—the GIFFT Collection consists of a Red Blend and a Chardonnay, both estate-grown. In September 2014, Wine Enthusiast magazine gave the red 91 of a possible 100 points and the Chardonnay 88 points in its tasting rating. The GIFFT Red Blend combines Merlot (42 percent), Petite Sirah (25%), Syrah (12%) and Petit Verdot (10%); while the Chardonnay is a flavorful estate-grown Coastal California dry white. Carnival is the only cruise line to feature GIFFT wines, and both varietals are now available at a wide array of bars and in the main dining rooms on all Carnival ships.

“I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me to be back on board with Carnival!” said Gifford. “It’s like coming home again—this time bearing great wines!”

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome back Kathie Lee, whose upbeat and spirited personality to this day reflects the essence of the Carnival brand,” said Eddie Allen, Carnival Cruise Line Vice President, Beverage Operations. “For many people, wine is an integral part of a truly exceptional vacation experience, and the GIFFT Collection is a great addition to our onboard wine offerings."

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American Cruise Lines Announces Plans for New Fleet of Modern Riverboats

GUILFORD, CT, Jan 9: American Cruise Lines announced today its plans for the construction of a new fleet of modern riverboats, which will add a new dimension to river cruising in the United States, and a wide selection of new river itineraries throughout the country. The concept for the new riverboats will differ from that of the line’s existing paddlewheelers and coastal ships by offering a more contemporary approach to their design.

Modern exteriors and spacious, elegant interiors are planned. The new riverboats will feature open deck plans to allow for maximum exposure of natural light and unobstructed viewing for guests. Glass-enclosed lounges with panoramic views, spacious, well-appointed staterooms with large, furnished balconies, and a variety of outdoor public spaces are planned. Additional details on the line’s future expansion, including new designs and artists’ renderings of the new riverboats, and newly-introduced itineraries in additional regions of the U.S., will be announced in the coming months.

The new-design riverboats are in addition to the Victorian-style riverboats American Cruise Lines is currently building, which include the American Eagle, a new paddlewheeler for the Mississippi River nearing completion at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD.

American Cruise Lines is the largest U.S. cruise company and operates the newest fleet of riverboats and coastal cruise ships on more than 35 itineraries around the country. The line is known for working closely with guests and travel agents before, during, and after a cruise to create a highly personalized cruise experience. Long established and deeply experienced in cruise travel, American Cruise Lines has most recently received world-wide recognition as the first line to revive paddlewheel river cruising in America. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit

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Princess Cruises Announces Seattle Seahawks Fan Cruise

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan 8: Princess Cruises, the Official Cruise Line of the Seattle Seahawks, has announced “Sail with the Seahawks – A Cruise for the 12s,” featuring a 7-night Alaska cruise over Father’s Day, departing from Seattle, Wash., on Crown Princess on June 20, 2015.

Guests will enjoy the ultimate in player interactions and onboard fan activities including:

• Meet and greet autograph signings and photo opportunities with Seattle Seahawks players
• Q&A “Chalk Talks” with alumni players
• Seahawks “Rally at Sea”
• Appearances by Blitz the Mascot and the Sea Gals
• On-deck Tailgate Party with game-day inspired food
• Football inspired movie nights on the giant Movies Under the Stars poolside LED screen
• “Spirit of the 12s” contests
• Seahawks trivia contests
• Chances to win signed merchandise and tickets to regular season home games
• And many more surprises to be announced!

The cruise to Alaska will feature spectacular glaciers, abundant wildlife and the area’s incredible natural beauty with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Ketchikan, and Victoria, B.C.

Guests who book by Feb. 26, 2015, can take advantage of Princess Cruises’ 50th Anniversary Sale which includes free dining for two at one of the cruise ship’s specialty restaurants; up to $100 per stateroom of free onboard credit to be spent as they wish, including spa treatments and shore excursions; and booking with a reduced, refundable deposit of only $100 per person. Additional information about the “Sail with the Seahawks” cruise can be found at

“Princess Cruises is very excited to be the Official Cruise Line of the Seattle Seahawks and we are thrilled to host the 12s, some of the most passionate fans in sports, on the ultimate fan cruise vacation,” said Gordon Ho, Senior Vice President of Marketing and North America Sales for Princess Cruises. “Sailing with the Seahawks is the perfect Father’s Day gift for the whole family. Add in Princess’ long-standing recognition as the best Alaska cruise vacation, and this will be one unforgettable voyage.”

The fan cruise builds on the partnership Princess Cruises and the Seattle Seahawks established last fall, offering fans special cruise deals on Princess cruise vacations and opportunities to win a cruise. Princess Cruises also now shows games on its giant “Movies Under the Stars” poolside LED screen and throws tailgate parties at sea on Caribbean cruises and West Coast cruises, allowing football fans to watch the playoffs and catch more of the action than ever before during the season.

Princess Cruises operates two cruise ships out of Seattle, sailing to Alaska from May to September. In total, seven Princess ships offer more than 120 Alaska cruise departures during the summer season, originating from San Francisco, Calif., Seattle, Wash., Vancouver B.C. and Whittier (Anchorage), Alaska.

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Port Everglades Opens Updated Cruise Terminal 4

BROWARD COUNTY, FL: Broward County’s Port Everglades completely remodeled its sixth cruise terminal in five years with $24 million worth of renovations and upgrades designed for greater efficiency and guest convenience. Cruise Terminal 4 officially opened today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that also celebrated Broward 100, the County’s centennial year and commitment to the arts. The ceremony was attended by travel agents, elected officials and cruise line executives who toured the modernized cruise terminal and were entertained by grant recipients from Broward’s Cultural Division.

“We continuously re-invest in our facilities to keep pace with the today’s customer-service driven cruise industry, to provide our guests with a seamless boarding experience,” said Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Steven Cernak. “Our goal when we reconfigured Cruise Terminal 4’s traffic pattern and updated the interior, was to make it easier for the cruise lines to process passengers while providing guests with a bright, comfortable experience.”

Port Everglades is one of the world’s leading cruise ports, this year exceeding 4 million passengers and ranking as the second busiest multi-day cruise port in the world.

Improvements to the 140,000-square-foot Cruise Terminal 4, located in Fort Lauderdale, include:

• Moving passenger drop-off from the east side of the terminal to the west side to separate the traffic from neighboring Cruise Terminal 2 and reduce traffic congestion in that area
• Providing covered loading/drop-off areas as part of the ground transportation area
• Adding 172 surface parking spaces at ground level adjacent to the ground transportation area
• Replacing the single escalator and older elevators with two new escalators and two new elevators for improved passenger flow
• Improving lighting and acoustics, and a high-efficiency air conditioning system
• Installing 50 check-in counters to meet the demands of larger capacity cruise vessels
• Updating with new restrooms
• Adding an additional new loading bridge to expedite embark and debark processes
• Installing a prominent art piece by South Florida artist Xavier Cortada. Cortada’s work, entitled “Pelican Path” is a 4-foot by 40-foot ceramic mural that will be used to guide cruise guests from the arrival area and onto their ship.

In addition, the terminal’s many energy-efficient improvements will qualify the facility to become certified through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – a first for Port Everglades. LEED, a U.S. Green Building Council program, is a green building certification that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification.

Port Everglades’ next project for this terminal will be to lengthen the adjacent slip by 250 feet, for a total 1,150 feet of berth length to accommodate larger cruise ships. The $18 million slip extension is slated to be completed by the end of 2016.

Located in the second largest county in Florida, Broward County’s Port Everglades is consistently ranked as one of the three busiest cruise ports in the world with more than 4 million passengers 2014. Eight cruise lines, one ferry and more than 40 cruise ships sail from the South Florida seaport including: Balearia’s Bahamas Express, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn and Silversea Cruises. The Port's wide-ranging fleet of cruise ships provides guests with an array of cruise vacation choices from the sunny Greater Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach area. View details on the latest cruise offerings at

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A Toast to 25 Years of Celebrity Cruises Vacations

Miami, FL, Jan. 8: To celebrate a milestone anniversary, Celebrity Cruises has kicked off 2015 with a lineup of exclusive surprises to thank guests who have supported 25 years of unforgettable modern luxury vacations.

Available through Sunday, January 11, Celebrity’s vacationers can enjoy a token of thanks toward their next vacation with a limited-time $25 deposit. This promotion can be combined with the benefits of the popular “123go! All Inclusive” campaign. Vacationers can indulge in all three benefits: complimentary beverage packages, gratuities and up to $300 to spend onboard when booking a Concierge Class stateroom or higher or choose one of these offers with a oceanview or veranda stateroom reservation. Guests can also celebrate onboard Celebrity’s 11 stunning ships by raising a glass of the new one-of-a-kind “25th Anniversary Martini.”

"The culmination of 25 years has seen Celebrity elevate every aspect of the modern luxury experience, from industry-first vacation packages and unique partnerships with Top Chef and leading spa and wellness brand Canyon Ranch, to award-winning onboard offerings and amenities,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “To have then been pleased to announce the order of two new iconic ships with Project EDGE, as we reached our 25th year, was the perfect way to celebrate Celebrity's success. We look forward to the next 25 years and beyond, and thank all who have made it possible – our guests, our travel partners and our dedicated and hardworking employees on land and at sea.”

Celebrity will reveal more ways to celebrate its special 25th anniversary throughout 2015. For more information, visit

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Disney Cruise Line Expands Collection of Premium Culinary Offerings at Remy

CELEBRATION, FL: Adult guests aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy can enjoy new premium culinary experiences and menus in Remy, one of Disney Cruise Line’s fine dining specialty restaurants. The expanded collection of offerings in the French-inspired Remy include a unique tasting opportunity, a decadent dessert experience, a seasonal truffle menu and special caviar selections.

Petites Assiettes de Remy
Petites Assiettes de Remy, or Small Plates of Remy, is a brand-new culinary journey at Remy on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy that provides a taste of the elegant dishes developed by award-winning Chef Arnaud Lallement and Chef Scott Hunnel. Hosted by the Executive Chef, who serves as an epicurean guide for this progressive tasting experience, adult guests travel throughout the restaurant to sample small plates of Remy’s gourmet cuisine and fine wine.

Offered during the early evening hours on the first day of each cruise, this one-of-a-kind event includes six exquisite dishes from the restaurant’s seasonal menu, along with wine pairings for each course. The first course of blinis with Californian caviar and Champagne is served in Remy’s spectacular wine room with floor-to-ceiling rows of world-class wines. For the next four courses, guests move through the main dining room where they are presented with a superb French-inspired dish, such as grilled salmon with smoked salmon cream and Kobe beef with turnip and potato gratin, along with a specially selected glass of wine at each station. This unique tasting opportunity concludes with a sophisticated dessert and the final wine pairing in the private Chef’s Table dining room. Petites Assiettes de Remy is $50 per person and includes a wine pairing with each course.

Pompidou’s Patisseries Dessert Experience
An exclusive event on the Disney Fantasy, Pompidou’s Patisseries Dessert Experience offers adult guests the chance to indulge in decadent desserts while Remy’s Executive Chef and Executive Pastry Chef provide insight into the history and artistry of crafting sweet masterpieces.

Named after the dessert chef from the Disney•Pixar’s “Ratatouille,” the Pompidou’s Patisseries Dessert Experience begins with a greeting from these culinary masters in the private Chef’s Table dining room, Chez Gusteau, inspired by the fictional Paris restaurant in the film. Guests are then seated in the main dining room for presentations and tastings of six desserts, such as French praline topped with milk chocolate mousse and dark chocolate glaze; raspberry sorbet paired with vanilla ice cream, French vanilla meringues and fresh raspberries; and orange crème pâtissière inside an orange-flavored tuile wafer. As each dessert is served, Remy’s world-class chefs share fun facts and discuss the evolution of the dessert, allowing for an intimate and in-depth culinary dialogue. The dessert experience at Remy, offered on sea days exclusively on the Disney Fantasy, is $50 per person and includes one complimentary glass of Champagne, wine or a cocktail.

Truffle Collection
From November through February on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, the chefs at Remy celebrate truffle season with the addition of the Truffle Collection, a premium menu inspired by this uniquely flavored delicacy featuring white Alba and black Périgord truffles. The rich flavors of this luxurious ingredient are infused throughout the six-course menu with exquisite dishes such as gnocchi potato served with a truffle puree and garnished with grated truffle, fresh Maine lobster coupled with lobster bisque and truffle-seasoned Parisian fried potatoes and seared Wagyu beef over truffle glazed baby vegetables, followed by a selection of refined cheeses and a sweet indulgence. The truffle menu at Remy is $250 per person.

Caviar Selections
Special caviar selections are offered a-la-carte at Remy on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Options include farm-raised varieties of Osetra and Sevruga caviars from regions in France and Russia. All caviar is served with specially selected Krug Grande Année Champagne, and menu prices for a 1-ounce tin range from $99 to $360.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line, visit

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises & Smithsonian Institution Launch The Smithsonian Collection
by Smithsonian Journeys

MIAMI, Jan 8: Regent Seven Seas Cruises and the Smithsonian Institution are pleased to announce a new enrichment program, The Smithsonian Collection by Smithsonian Journeys. This new guest lecture series will feature a wide range of charismatic experts, from noted art historians to prominent authors and geopolitical experts, leading spirited discussions both aboard the ships and ashore. Starting in July, The Smithsonian Collection by Smithsonian Journeys will be available on a majority of sailings, with more than 80 voyages scheduled across the fleet for the 2015/2016 season, and featured on itineraries throughout the world, including South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

“For nearly 170 years, the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex, has been recognized as an icon within academic communities,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “This partnership gives our guests access to some of the most authoritative thought-leaders in the world, providing deeper insights into the history, art, culture and politics of the destinations visited by our ships. With The Smithsonian Collection by Smithsonian Journeys, we add another unforgettable experience at sea and a perfect fit for our all-inclusive brand of luxury.”

Organized by Smithsonian Journeys, a leader in cultural and enrichment travel, the series is designed to be interactive, encouraging guests to not only attend the talks, but also to participate in informative Q&A sessions. Several more intimate opportunities with the presenter will be available so guests can connect on a personal level in a friendly, social setting. Guests looking to more fully immerse themselves in the destination can opt for select shore excursions escorted by The Smithsonian Collection by Smithsonian Journeys lecturer and gain deeper insight into the ports of call.

“Smithsonian Journeys’ focus on providing life-enriching, learning opportunities for travelers supports our important educational mission,” said Carol LeBlanc, senior vice president for Smithsonian Enterprises. “The experts chosen to sail on Regent Seven Seas Cruises will be leaders in their field and possess the expertise and affability to create a truly memorable experience for guests.”

A full list of all Smithsonian Collection lecturers will be available at

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Princess Cruises Announces Finalists for Fourth Annual Entertainer of the Year Competition

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan 7: Princess Cruises will soon crown the top guest entertainer for 2014 during the cruise line’s fourth annual Entertainer of the Year competition. Four talented finalists have been carefully chosen from the vast array of onboard performers—including vocalists, comedians, magicians, tribute bands and other specialty acts—who delight guests each year, and will compete for the title during Princess’ upcoming Entertainer of the Year cruise. Guests aboard Crown Princess’ March 14, 2015 Mexico cruise will be able to cast their ballot for their favorite performer after viewing several live performances from each act during the cruise vacation.

The four nominees for the title of “Entertainer of the Year” are:

Ben Seidman — Comedic magician Ben Seidman, the only person in history to be named the Resident Magician at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, currently stars in Magic Outlaws on Travel Channel and is a favorite at the world famous Comedy and Magic club in Hermosa beach, Calif., a headliner at the Catch A Rising Star comedy club, and a frequent performer at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. He was previously a creative consultant for three seasons on A&E’s Mindfreak, where he designed the illusions performed by Criss Angel. His energetic and playful performances combine stand-up comedy and world-renowned sleight-of-hand.

Lovena Fox — Vocalist Lovena Fox, who is also a gifted actress and songwriter, has worked with numerous well-known artists, including Bon Jovi. She performed on Broadway and played the role of “Sarah” in the National Tour of Ragtime and received the honor of being nominated best actress at the 2001 National Broadway Theatre Awards for that performance. Fox also won two Juno Awards for her lead vocals as part of BMG/RCA recording duo “Love & Sas” on four top-ten singles that reached number 42 on Billboard. Her triple-threat talent along with her ability to connect with audiences of any age leaves a lasting impression.

Steve Caouette — Comedian Steve Caouette’s talents have been seen in many TV commercials and performances in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Caouette has even performed in an opening act for former First Lady Barbara Bush. His act combines impressions, improvisation, sound effects and classic stand-up comedy. His sound effects will whisk you away to a babbling brook; make you feel like you’re in a lightning storm or in the depths of the sea in a submarine. Each exhilarating performance is fresh and unique, a little wacky, and is sure to leave audiences in stitches.

Christopher Watkins — Violinist and Entertainer, Christopher Watkins, has been taking the world and seas by storm with his arousing renditions of greatest hits from every genre of music. With his personally handcrafted Swarovski Yamaha violin, “Marilyn”which boasts over 1,000 Swarovski crystalshe captures the heart of his listeners as he makes his violin sing. He is an entertainer on every level, showcasing his dance, fiddle and personality with his captivating and awe-inspiring performances.

“We look forward to showcasing these immensely talented performers during our fourth Entertainer of the Year cruise,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “It will be tough to crown just one winner, so I’m thrilled our guests will be the ones to cast their vote and choose 2014’s best onboard act.”

The finalists have been determined by the Princess Cruises entertainment department based on guest surveys and onboard audience response. The winner, who will hold the title of “2014 Princess Cruises Entertainer of the Year,” will be announced on the final night of the cruise at a celebratory event in the Piazza and will receive a $5,000 cash prize. Previous Princess Cruises Entertainer of the Year winners include comedian Carlos Oscar and vocalists Tony Tillman and Zach Winningham for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The fourth annual Entertainer of the Year voyage will depart on March 14, 2015 aboard Crown Princess on a cruise to Mexico, and ports include Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. The 7-day sailing from Los Angeles is currently available for booking with fares beginning at $469 plus a $50 onboard credit per person, based on double occupancy. More information about Princess Cruises’ live entertainment and other onboard activities is available at

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Pearl Seas Cruises Exploring Cuba for Itineraries

GUILFORD, CT, Jan 7: Pearl Seas Cruises announced today that it is exploring possible itinerary options for Cuba. The Cuba cruises would offer guests a genuine experience to a variety of different ports, particularly those which larger ships cannot visit.

“Cuba has been on our radar for quite some time,” said a spokesperson for Pearl Seas Cruises. “Our small ships are perfect for exploring the most beautiful areas by docking in small towns or in the heart of historic cities in addition to Havana. Many ports require infrastructural changes to accommodate larger ships, but we can visit easily.” Rich in history and culture, Cuba is a great fit from a passenger-interest perspective. “Our clientele is well-traveled and enjoys visiting exotic destinations where they can find enriching experiences.”

Pearl Seas Cruises is considering cruises which will operate on both the Southern and Northern coasts of Cuba. Cruises could begin and conclude in South Florida or at one of many island nations near Cuba. Various length cruises are being considered, all which will offer a unique perspective of Cuban culture--its heritage, education, economy, history and more.
Further details on the line’s consideration of Cuba as a cruising destination will be released in the coming months.

Pearl Seas Cruises, the newest specialty ship cruise line in the United States, has developed a new style of upscale small ship cruising, starting with its brand new 210-passenger flagship, the Pearl Mist. The ship features the latest technology in safety, navigation and communication and the finest accommodations and amenities. The Pearl Mist currently operates various Great Lakes, Canadian Maritimes and New England cruises. Caribbean cruises are planned for 2015.To learn more about Pearl Seas Cruises, visit

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Seabourn Unveils 2016 Europe Cruise Season with over 100 Destinations

SEATTLE, January 6: Seabourn has unveiled its 2016 Europe cruise season, featuring more than 60 departures and 100 destinations aboard the line's three intimate, award-winning ships, Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest. Ranging from seven to 22 days in length, the cruises will feature many beautiful destinations and desirable locations along the stunning coastlines of the French, Spanish and Italian Rivieras, the picturesque Greek Isles and scenic Norwegian fjords.

Seabourn Quest will begin its Europe season in the Western Mediterranean, followed by a summer of cruising in Northern Europe. During a series of seven- to 14-day voyages, the ship will explore the majestic fjords of Norway, the Baltic Sea and St. Petersburg. Highlights include a new 12-day voyage from Copenhagen to Dover in July, calling on ports throughout Norway and offering scenic Fjord cruising, as well as a 16-day cruise roundtrip from Dover in August, visiting such Scottish and Irish gems as Greenock (Glasgow/Edinburgh), Liverpool, Dublin and Cobh (Cork), and an overnight in Belfast. The ship rounds out its Europe season with a 22-day crossing from Dover to Montreal, stopping at beautiful destinations in Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Greenland and Canada.

Seabourn Sojourn will return to the Western Mediterranean and offer an enticing mix of seven-, 10- and 11-day voyages between Rome and Barcelona. The ship will visit quintessential Mediterranean towns and ports along the Spanish and French Rivieras, the stunning Amalfi Coast in Italy, and charming and idyllic islands such as Sicily, Malta, Corsica and Sardinia.

Seabourn Odyssey will traverse the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean on a series of seven-day cruises departing from Athens, Istanbul, and Venice. These voyages, which can be combined for two- or three-week cruises, will explore the beautiful Greek Isles, historic cities of Turkey and scenic ports on the Dalmatian Coast. New in the season is a 12-day Moroccan Gems & Canary Islands voyage from Barcelona to Lisbon in mid-November, visiting Morocco's stylish and modern capital city of Casablanca, and the beach towns of Arrecife and Tenerife on the Canary Islands.

In addition, Seabourn's 2016 Europe season will include stops at a number of ports that are home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These itineraries will offer optional World Heritage Tours to visit these historic sites, as well as special Discovery Tours, featuring exclusive enhanced content developed in cooperation with UNESCO World Heritage site managers and tour experts.

The Europe season will offer many of the line's signature and unique experiences. In various ports throughout the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, the three ships will feature the popular "Shopping with the Chef" excursion, where a small group of guests accompany the executive chef to local markets to learn about local produce and see how the freshest ingredients are selected for their dining pleasure. Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Odyssey will offer the hallmark "Marina Day" experience, featuring complimentary watersports from the ships' fold-out watersports platform at some of the most scenic ports in the Mediterranean. In addition, many of Seabourn Odyssey's itineraries will include Kusadasi, Turkey, featuring Seabourn's signature complimentary "Evening at Ephesus," a private classical concert in the ancient ruins under the stars.

The three ships garnered rave reviews for the luxury cruise segment when they entered service beginning with Seabourn Odyssey in 2009, and followed by Seabourn Sojourn in 2010 and Seabourn Quest in 2011. The ships offer key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, most with verandas; superb dining in a choice of venues; open bars throughout the ship; fine wines poured at lunch and dinner; award-winning personalized service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere. At 32,000 tons and carrying just 458 guests each, the ships provide one of the highest ratios of space per guest in the industry and unmatched levels of personalized service from nearly one staff member per guest. For additional information, visit

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SeaDream Yacht Club Announces 2015 Wine Voyages

MIAMI, Jan. 6: After the successful debut of SeaDream Yacht Club’s Wine Voyages in 2014, eight vino-intensive voyages have been added to the 2015 season. Showcasing the most picturesque yachting ports of the Mediterranean on five to nine-day sailings, each dedicated Wine Voyage provides guests with heightened wine experiences including sit-down tastings featuring wineries from regions visited, a Wine Master Class Tasting led by an internationally recognized wine expert and one tasting held by a top winemaker. At an exclusive Winemaker’s Dinner taking place onboard, the chef will craft a special menu to match the wine of the winemaker joining for the evening. Together with SeaDream’s Wine Director Erica Landin, additional casual tastings are organized throughout sailings to highlight local producers or favorite wines from the SeaDream cellar.

“The cuisine onboard SeaDream Yacht Club continues to receive rave reviews from past guests as our culinary team incorporates local ingredients of the ports we visit as only possible sailing with 112 guests,” shares SeaDream Yacht Club President Bob Lepisto. “Our extensive 2015 Wine Voyages build on this tradition by pairing legendary vineyards with expert instructors and winemakers to develop a truly one-of-a-kind experience on land and sea.”

SeaDream Wine Voyages add to the two mega-yachts’ innovative culinary and beverage program, which features the first and only full raw cuisine menu onboard as well as showcasing local delicacies from ports of call. Examples include:

Civitavecchia (Rome) to Dubrovnik, Croatia
Sailing SeaDream I Aug. 8 to 15 from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Dubrovnik, guests will enjoy a memorable meals paired with the great wines of Chianti and other regions. Onboard this sailing is Wine Writer Anthony Rose of the British daily newspaper The Independent and Decanter Magazine, who will take guests on a tasting tour of the Italian greats including super-Tuscans as well as mini-tastings of wine from regions passing including Sicily, Puglia and Manduria. Special Wine Land Adventures include a visit to Cantina Benanti with owner, Antonio Benanti in Sicily and an intimate tour of Cantine Marisa Cuomo with Marisa Cuomo in Positano, Italy.

Civitavecchia (Rome) to Malaga, Spain
Guests onboard the 112-guest mega-yacht for the Oct. 23 to Nov. 1 voyage sailing from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Malaga, Spain will be hosted by Guy de Rivoire, international export director of the Bollinger champagne house in Monaco, as he guides them through a tasting from rosé to vintage wines followed by a special Winemaker’s Dinner. On the same voyage, the head winemaker and/or one of the Martínez Bujanda family, owners of the Finca Valpiedra Winery, will present a special tasting menu onboard. Exclusive Wine Land Adventures on this voyage include a visit to the 1500-acre private estate of Château de Berne, Sanary-sur-Mer, the Cavas Recaredo winery in Sant Sardurní d’Anoia hosted by winery founder’s grandson, Ton Mata while docked in Barcelona, and the Simon Coll Chocolate Factory.

Below is a full listing of SeaDream’s 2015 Wine Voyage itineraries:

Malaga to Monte Carlo Wine Voyage, departing May 1.
Eight days including boutique ports of Ibiza, Valencia, and Palma de Mallorca (Spain).
Monte Carlo round trip Wine Voyage, departing May 9.
Seven days including ports of St. Tropez, Calvi (France), and Portofino.
Monte Carlo round trip Wine Voyage, departing May 16.
Five days including ports of St. Tropez, Portofino and Portovenere (Italy).
Civitavecchia (Rome) to Dubrovnik Wine Voyage, departing August 8.
Seven days including Positano, Sorrento, Crotone and Taormina (Italy).
Dubrovnik to Venice, departing August 29.
Seven days calling on Croatian ports of Piran, Pula, Rab, Sibenik, Hvar and Korcula.
Dubrovnik to Civitavecchia (Rome), departing Sept. 12.
Seven days calling on Kotor (Montenegro), Saranda, Corfu and Paxos (Greece).
Civitavecchia (Rome) round trip, departing Sept. 26.
Seven days calling on Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, Costa Smeralda (Italy) and Bonifacio (France).
Civitavecchia (Rome) to Malaga, departing Oct. 23.
Nine days calling on Porto Ercole, Portofino, Monte Carlo, Sanary-sur-Mer (France) and Valencia.

For additional information, visit

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Fun Ship 2.0 Innovations To Be Added to Carnival Miracle During Extensive Dry Dock in Spring 2015

MIAMI, Jan 6: Carnival Miracle will undergo an extensive refurbishment this spring that will add an array of new and exciting on-board innovations, from unique bar concepts like RedFrog Pub and Alchemy Bar to fun entertainment choices such as Playlist Productions and Hasbro, The Game Show, and the family-friendly Seuss at Sea program. The new features, part of the line’s ongoing Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative, will be added during a two-week-long dry dock that will take place March 7-21, 2015.

The enhancements include:

• RedFrog Pub – a Caribbean-inspired watering hole featuring the region’s best rums and beers – including Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red – enjoyed in a distinct British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West atmosphere
• Alchemy Bar – at this vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy,” mixologists “prescribe” concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients with creative names like “Forty is the New Twenty” and “Restorative Basil Drop”
• Playlist Productions – these four spectacular shows – 88 Keys, 80’s Pop To the Max, Getaway Island and Heart Of Soul – combine captivating live performances of recognizable pop and rock songs with dazzling special effects to create unforgettable evenings of entertainment
• Seuss At Sea – part an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Seuss at Sea brings the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss to life with fun activities like the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends, Seuss-a-Palooza Story Time, and more
• Hasbro, The Game Show – this audience-participation favorite features larger-than-life adaptations of the company’s iconic and popular games with titles like Connect4 Basketball, Sorry Sliders, and Yahtzee Bowling
• Cherry On Top – this “candy and more store” celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more
• New SPORTS Bar – at this sports lovers’ paradise, guests can catch live sporting events and check out scores on the real-time 24/7 sports ticker
• Spin U – developed in partnership with legendary DJ IRIE – Carnival’s official DJ who has entertained crowds from South Beach to Las Vegas – this fun DJ academy provides aspiring spin-masters ages 15-17 all they need to know to "hit the decks" and rock the club!

These innovations complement a wide range of existing onboard features such as the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez, a Serenity adults-only retreat with magnificent ocean vistas, a classic American-style steakhouse serving prime cuts of beef and other gourmet cuisine, a nine-hole miniature golf course, a 14,500-square-foot health and wellness center, and The Taste Bar offering bite-size samples from popular Fun Ship 2.0 dining venues.

“We’re really excited that the Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement program that began rolling out three years ago continues to bring innovative, fun and memorable dining, bar and entertainment options to the entire Carnival Cruise Line fleet and to the millions of guests who sail with us annually,” said Mark Tamis, Carnival’s senior vice president of guest operations. “The fantastic renovations on Carnival Miracle will also provide our valued travel agent partners with an exciting new cruise experience for their clients.”

Carnival Miracle operates year-round departures from Long Beach, Calif., encompassing three different week-long Mexican Riviera cruise options: a three-port itinerary featuring Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas; a two-port option that includes a stop in Cabo San Lucas, along with a two-day overnight stay in Puerto Vallarta; and a third choice featuring a day-long visit to Puerto Vallarta, along with a two-day call at Cabo San Lucas.

Carnival Miracle will also offer 15-day Hawaii cruises round-trip from Long Beach departing Oct. 17 and Nov. 28, 2015, and Jan. 16, 2016, along with a special one-time 13-day Mexican Riviera cruise departing Jan. 31, 2016.
Reservations are currently being accepted for all of Carnival Miracle’s seven- to 15-day departures from Long Beach. For additional information on Carnival Miracle or any of the line’s cruises, visit

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Cool Down in the Hottest New Spots at Sea on Norwegian Escape

MIAMI, Jan 6: Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest and largest ship, Norwegian Escape, will offer a wide array of spaces for guests to relax and unwind while at sea when the ship debuts in October 2015. Guests will be transported into sheer serenity with the line’s most innovative Mandara Spa to date, a tranquil hideaway that at its epicenter will feature the largest Thermal Suite at sea, outfitted with the line’s first Snow Room. In addition to the luxurious spa, adults will have two private lounge spaces to enjoy onboard at Vibe Beach Club and Spice H2O, which will feature an all-new grotto area for guests to cool off after a day of sunbathing.

Norwegian Escape’s Mandara Spa experience, spanning two decks, will transport guests to a deep state of relaxation, with unobstructed views of the ocean, the opportunity to melt away on one of the 17 heated loungers, or find instant stress relief in the spa’s hydro-therapy pool, whirlpools, steam room, dry sauna, sanarium and salt room.

Once guests have heated up, they can step into the rejuvenating cold Snow Room, a first for the line, and enter into arctic refreshment. The Snow Room, which ranges from a frosty 21 degrees to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, sends out a flurry of powdery snow throughout the day. Norwegian Escape’s Snow Room offers guests a multitude of health benefits, including stimulating blood circulation in the body and strengthening the immune system.

In addition to the spectacular Thermal Suite, Norwegian Escape’s Mandara Spa will be equipped with 24 contemporary furnished treatment rooms offering more than 50 signature services for both men and women including massages such as the Elemis Aroma Spa Seaweed Massage; Elemis signature facials such as the luxurious Elemis Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Facial; and signature body enhancing treatments like the Exotic Lime & Ginger Salt Glow.

Norwegian Escape’s full service salon will have guests looking their very best with a wide-array of hair, nails, waxing and kid-friendly services, along with acupuncture, teeth whitening and cosmetic medical treatments, performed by a licensed medi-spa doctor, such as Botox® Cosmetic, Dysport™, Restylane® and Perlane®. In addition, guests can go home tightened and toned by opting for a Thermage® CPT treatment, a premier non-invasive skin rejuvenating therapy that uses radiofrequency to improve the appearance of skin on the face and body in just one contour treatment. The salon area will also feature a Barber Shop, offering exclusive men’s signature services such as the Elemis Pro-Collagen Grooming Treatment with Shave and more.

Guests looking to stay fit while sailing, or who wish to try an exciting new exercise experience, can do so in Norwegian Escape’s state-of-the-art fitness center furnished with the latest Technogym® weight training and cardio equipment. All cardio equipment will synch to Apple music devices and feature a large, HD screen from which guests can watch television, follow a set training program or navigate the playlist. Norwegian group fitness favorites will be offered on board including Pilates, body sculpting boot camp, yoga, Zumba and TRX. Boxing buffs can enjoy Norwegian Fight Klub™, a high-intensity cardio boxing class. Personal training sessions will also be available, along with nutritional consultations and metabolic testing.

Norwegian Escape will also feature Spice H2O and Vibe Beach Club, two adult-only outdoor favorites perfect for lounging away the day. Spice H2O, located at the back of the ship on deck 17, is an adult-only enclave offering day-time complimentary leisure. A bevy of sun loungers surround a huge video screen, while two hot tubs await for those looking to de-stress. An all-new soothing grotto area, complete with waterfalls and perfect for cooling off from the warm Caribbean sun, will enchant guests upon entering the venue, offering an exotic escape. At night, all guests can dance under the stars in this open-air dance club or enjoy a cocktail at the bar with accompanying lounge area, featuring comfortable seating while admiring the ocean views.
Guests ages 18 and over will also have the opportunity to enjoy another private retreat – Vibe Beach Club – by purchasing an access pass. Complete with ocean views, a large hot tub, luxurious chaise loungers and a soothing water feature, Vibe Beach Club will be the ideal spot for adults to escape, offering a serene, comfortable setting while soaking up the sun. A full-service bar, water spritzers and chilled towels complete the exclusive experience.

Currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Escape will sail weekly 7-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean beginning on November 14, 2015. The 164,600 gross ton ship will be the largest ever to home port year-round in Miami, carrying 4,200 guests to tropical Caribbean destinations including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. Norwegian Escape’s signature hull artwork is designed by marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, Guy Harvey.

Accommodations include the company’s signature luxury ship–within-a-ship complex: The Haven by Norwegian; along with Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; and many options for families, multi-generational groups, spa enthusiasts and more.

Norwegian Escape’s dining and entertainment will include outposts of several popular land-based outlets, including the first-ever floating Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and Miami’s oldest and most legendary bar, Tobacco Road. Norwegian Escape will also feature the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, a music venue and outdoor bar on The Waterfront that will feature live nightly performances where guests can enjoy the sounds of the tropics.

The ship will feature the largest ropes course at sea, a three-story multiplex of heart-pounding challenges complete with two planks and five Sky Rails, zip tracks that allow guests to soar through the air. Norwegian Escape’s Aqua Park will be the largest at sea and includes a new Aqua Racer slide, while the expansive sports complex boasts a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle miniature golf course. Adding to the family fun, Norwegian Escape will also feature an expanded Kids’ Aqua Park; entertainment from Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids; along with the line’s first dedicated nursery for young cruisers two and under.

For more information, visit

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American Cruise Lines to Celebrate Five Years on the Columbia River

GUILFORD, CT, Jan 6: American Cruise Lines announced today that this year will mark its fifth season on the Columbia and Snake Rivers with Queen of the West. To kick-off the anniversary the company has a special celebration planned on the very first cruise of the year, which departs on March 28th. This includes a complimentary pre-cruise package, which features a bonus night onboard the riverboat with added events and tours, including:

• Pittock Mansion – A private tour of the historic estate which is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. Afterwards, guests will enjoy a special reception hosted by the Executive Director.
• Portland Saturday Market – A special visit to the one of the largest open air markets in the United States, which offers a celebration of spring and the artistic culture for which Portland is known.
• Welcome Reception – Guests will arrive at the Queen of the West and be welcomed aboard by musical entertainment and a champagne toast.
• Welcome Performance – Guests are invited to an evening show the night before departure, featuring the musical duo Dave & Bo as they perform music from the Great American Songbook.

“Our guests are in for a treat,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “We have some exciting festivities planned and look forward to celebrating this important milestone with them. Now offering more than double the number of cruises since its first season in 2010, Queen of the West has proved to be a great success. Increasingly more people are finding the comfort and convenience of modern riverboats appealing.”

American Cruise Lines acquired Queen of the West in 2009, and since has completed various multi-million dollar renovations on the riverboat. While maintaining its historic look and feel, Queen of the West was updated with all modern conveniences, including oversized staterooms and private balconies. Sailing on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, guests learn about the Lewis and Clark expedition while enjoying the Pacific Northwest’s breathtaking views. Throughout their eight-day journey, guests also enjoy complimentary shore tours in each port and a personalized experience onboard.

American Cruise Lines is currently building a new Columbia riverboat, which has a planned capacity of 175 passengers. The new riverboat will allow American Cruise Lines to offer expanded itineraries on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, adding new cruise options for those looking to experience this unique region.

About American Cruise Lines
American Cruise Lines is the largest U.S. cruise company and operates the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships on more than 35 itineraries around the country. The line is known for working closely with guests and travel agents before, during, and after a cruise to create a highly personalized experience. Long established and deeply experienced in cruise travel, American Cruise Lines has most recently received world-wide recognition as the first line to revive paddlewheel river cruising in America. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit

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MSC Cruises Launches Its 'Greatest Cruise Sale Ever'

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Jan. 5: MSC Cruises, the fastest growing cruise line in the world with a fleet of 12 ultramodern ships, is celebrating "Wave Season" by providing guests valuable perks such as up to $200 in shipboard credits, beverage packages and reduced deposits. Shipboard credits can be used for items such as specialty restaurants, spa treatments or shops onboard. In addition, MSC is offering Kids 11 and Under Sail Free!

Value-added benefits are based on the "Inclusive Experience" category and stateroom selected. Benefits include the following:

Bella Experience: Ocean view or balcony staterooms receive up to $50 per stateroom to spend on board and reduced deposits of $100 per person.

Fantastica Experience: Ocean view or balcony staterooms receive up to $100 per stateroom to spend on board, reduced deposits of $100 per person, and a drink package consisting of 12 vouchers per person for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages that can be used throughout the cruise.

In addition, Fantastica experience guests always receive a premium location stateroom; priority choice of early or late dining; 50 percent off all fitness classes and personal training; free delivery of room service between 6 a.m. - 11 p.m.; and enhanced recreational activities for children including cooking and foreign language classes.
Aurea Experience and MSC Yacht Club: Balcony staterooms and suites receive up to $200 per stateroom to spend on board and reduced deposits of $100 per person.

In addition, Aurea experience guests always receive "My Choice Dining" flexible times; priority boarding; an all-inclusive beverage package; a spa package; access to the exclusive adults only Top 18 sun deck; and all the perks associated with the Fantastica experience. MSC Yacht Club guests always enjoy an all-inclusive VIP club level experience with priority check-in and check-out reception; signature Butler service; dedicated 24-hour concierge; exclusive Top Sail lounge and pool; 24/7 complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available within the Yacht Club area; and a private MSC Yacht Club restaurant.

MSC Cruises' launched Inclusive Experiences, a new pricing structure in which guests choose an "experience" based on their own personal preferences and amenities desired while cruising in Fall 2014. MSC's Wave Season promotion applies to select Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe, Canary Islands, and Transatlantic Grand Voyage sailings that are 5 days or longer and booked between Jan. 1, 2015 and Feb. 15, 2015. More information on MSC's Inclusive Experiences can be found at:

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Seabourn Announces 2015 Signature Savings Event

SEATTLE, January 5: Seabourn has announced its 2015 Signature Savings Event, featuring exceptional offers and savings, along with additional value-added extras, on a selection of ultra-luxury cruises on the line's award-winning fleet of intimate, all-suite ships throughout 2015 and 2016.

The Signature Savings Event offers a variety of significant benefits on select sailings:

• Special savings
• Complimentary veranda suite upgrades
• Additional savings of up to 15 percent on Combination Voyages
• $1,000 USD per suite shipboard credit for penthouse and premium suites

"Our Signature Savings Event offers exceptional savings for travelers considering a luxury cruise vacation," said John Delaney, Seabourn's senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Whether you're looking to cruise the French Riviera or explore the wonders of Antarctica, now is the perfect opportunity to book a Seabourn cruise for the best value and widest choice of suites and departures."

Seabourn's Signature Savings Event applies to select worldwide cruises of 7 days to 24 days in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Antarctica and Patagonia, Atlantic Crossings, Arabia & India, Southeast Asia, Canada & New England, the Caribbean, and Australia and New Zealand. Cruise departure dates range from April 2015 through March 2016. Complete listings of the cruises and savings can be viewed here.

Each of Seabourn's intimate ships offer key elements that set the cruise line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas; superb dining in a choice of venues; complimentary open bars throughout the ship; fine wines poured at lunch and dinner; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board. The ships travel the globe throughout the year, sailing to many of the world's most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and lesser-known ports and hideaways.

For more details, visit

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Crystal Unveils 2017 Itineraries

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5: Ever-innovative luxury leader Crystal Cruises announced today its 2017 complete roster of global itineraries, with fares available for booking earlier than ever, a full two years in advance. The 2017 cruises and fares were unveiled online at and in Crystal's first complete two-year Worldwide Cruise Atlas, the most comprehensive cruise planning brochure the line offers, at 236 artfully illustrated pages detailing the diverse and enriching experiences set for the coming two years.

Following a 2016 season that boasts a history-making transit of the fabled Northwest Passage, plus a 102-day World Cruise circling the Pacific Rim and more maiden calls than ever before, 2017 promises for an exhilarating year of firsts, anticipated returns, remote locales and other highlights on all seven continents, including:

-- 57 voyages to 268 ports in 84 countries, with more than 150 overnights, the most ever offered in a single year
-- 32 Maiden calls to intriguing places like Maroantsetra, Madagascar; Iquique, Chile; and Djupivogur, Iceland; along with lesser known gems such as Calvi, Corsica; Sete, France; and Santa Margherita, Italy.
-- Crystal's first-ever voyages to New Guinea, and maiden calls in Vanuatu and New Caledonia, all featured on a January segment of the 99-day Grand Pacific Explorer Grand Cruise
-- A return to the Middle East and Holy Land, with Crystal Symphony among the very first luxury ships to visit Doha, Qatar, on a November itinerary that includes a call in Abu Dhabi, allowing for visits to the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest in the UAE, as well as the new Louvre museum, set to open in 2015, and the Frank Gehry-designed
Guggenheim, scheduled for completion in 2017
-- A 94-day Southern Celebracion World Cruise aboard Crystal Serenity, circumnavigating South America and offering exotic adventure in the Galapagos, Antarctica, the Amazon, Machu Picchu, Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and more
-- A new 2-night inclusive overland program in Paris on two summer sailings in August
-- European options that offer more Mediterranean cruises and variety than ever before; new itineraries beginning or ending in Portsmouth, England and Valletta, Malta; and multiple overnights on virtually every voyage
-- Singular voyages include journeys to the North Cape, British Isles, Canary Islands and Holy Land
-- Caribbean journeys that begin or end in Charleston, South Carolina
-- Crystal's first-ever South Africa Holiday Cruise round-trip from Cape Town, highlighted by exceptional opportunities for safari adventures.
-- Itineraries designed around global events, like visiting Stockholm during Sweden's festive Midsummer celebration, Muscat on the Sultan's birthday (Oman's Independence Day) and Edinburgh for the Military Tattoo

"We continue to offer intrepid luxury travelers new ways to explore and experience the world, whether with a new destination or simply a new perspective on a favorite one," says Edie Rodriguez, Crystal's president and COO.

All the details showcasing the diverse itineraries in 2016 and 2017 can be found in Crystal's largest printed cruise Atlas to date. The beautifully designed and colorful brochure features cruise planning tools, information about Crystal's popular theme cruises along with the line's exclusive "Boutique Adventures" and other shore excursions highlights, and more.

"We are thrilled to be the first of the luxury cruise lines to unveil a comprehensive 2016/17 two-year planning Atlas along with the corresponding information on our website, and launching full reservations for 2017," said Nitsa Lewis, vice president of marketing. "And as a leader in developing and delivering innovative luxury travel experiences, we're providing the most extensive resource that meets the needs of our Crystal Society members as well as first-time Crystal guests."

Through March 2, 2015, compelling, all-inclusive "Book Now" cruise fares for 2016 and 2017 start at $2,200 per person. The 2016/2017 Worldwide Cruise Atlas can be viewed and ordered at

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Lacrosse Players & Fans Set Sail to Bermuda with Celebrity Cruises and the Boston Cannons

BOSTON, Jan. 5: Celebrity Cruises and the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) are proud to announce a partnership that spotlights both brands' commitment to providing unique, fun, and high quality experiences. The partnership names Celebrity Cruises the premiere cruise line of the Boston Cannons and includes a week-long lacrosse clinic at sea, as well as inclusion in game day activities, a season long VIP Kids Club, fan exclusive promotions, and giveaways.

"We are thrilled to partner with Celebrity Cruises and offer Cannons fans such a unique and VIP opportunity," said Sara Berry, Director of Corporate Partnerships with the Boston Cannons. "This is the first Celebrity cruise with the Cannons and we are excited to provide this great experience for all lacrosse fans throughout New England."

Setting sail on Aug 16, 2015, Celebrity Summit will host Boston Cannons' fans along with Cannons' All-Star Kevin Buchanan and Head Coach John Tucker for a lacrosse experience unlike any other. While onboard fans will be able to take part in a number of exclusive activities including lacrosse skills clinics, meet and greets, group entertainment, and more. With a new and exciting style, the recently "Solsticized" Celebrity Summit features a number of unique and impressive indulgences including Scratch DJ, the first DJ program at sea, performances by the popular Tenors of Rock, and unique dining experiences brought to you by Celebrity Cruises' James Beard award winning Master Chef, John Suley.

"We are extremely excited to be the Official Cruise Line of the Boston Cannons and the first to partner with the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse," said Marla Phaneuf, Regional Sales and Team Manager of New England at Celebrity Cruises. "This partnership further demonstrates our dedication to raising awareness about our exceptional product in New England. We look forward to having the Boston Cannons and lacrosse community join us on the striking Celebrity Summit this summer."

The 7-night Boston Cannons, Celebrity cruise will depart from Cape Liberty, New Jersey and regally make its way to Kings Wharf, Bermuda, where the ship will remain docked in Bermuda for three days. Fares include exclusive Boston Cannons' activities onboard and at port, and a Classic Beverage Package for two. Bus transportation to Bayonne, NJ will be available at an additional cost. Staterooms are now available and can be booked by calling 1-888-727-4907 or through your local travel agent.

About the Boston Cannons
The Boston Cannons are one of the founding franchises of Major League Lacrosse, the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league. They began play in June of 2001 and currently host home games at Harvard Stadium. They won their first MLL Championship on August 28, 2011. Season tickets for the 2015 season are now on sale. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 617.746.9933 or visit

Kevin Buchanan is a Midfield/Attackplayer on the Boston Cannons. A graduate of Ohio State University, Buchanan is a three-time MLL All Star. He was a Silver Medalist on the 2014 US National Team at the FIL World Games, and is the fourth in Cannons history with 123 goals scored. He is well known for scoring the game-winning goal in the 2011 MLL Championship Game.

John Tucker is the head coach of the Boston Cannons. He was the 2007 MLL Coach of the Year and NLL head coach from 1997-2000. Tucker coached eight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association championship-winning teams. His playing career includes the 1984 NCAA National Championship with Johns Hopkins, three Team USA World Lacrosse Championships, and two Major Indoor Lacrosse League Championships in 1989 and 1990.

Celebrity is one of six cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. For more information, visit

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Princess Cruises Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Year with First-Ever Float in The Rose Parade

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan. 1: The first day of the new year marked Princess Cruises' first-ever debut in the iconic 126th Rose Parade, kicking off the cruise line's 50th anniversary celebration. The float, themed "50 Years of Inspiring Travel" was awarded the prestigious Craftsman Trophy for Exceptional Achievement in Showmanship and Dramatic Impact.

As a special feature the six original cast members of The Love Boat television show rode on the ship's bow and "cruised" down the five-and-a-half mile parade route. In addition to paying tribute to the television show that made Princess Cruises one of the most famous names in cruising, the Rose Parade float depicted the line's newest cruise ship Regal Princess symbolically sailing through the world's fascinating destinations and iconic landmarks that guests have experienced with Princess for the past 50 years.

"Since the theme of this year's Rose Parade was 'Inspiring Stories,' we thought it was the perfect opportunity to launch our 50th anniversary year celebrations," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "For the last five decades our guests have been sailing with us to amazing places and they've returned with inspiring memories that have lasted a lifetime, and we want to celebrate this throughout our golden anniversary year."

The Love Boat cast, including Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Fred Grandy (Chief Purser Gopher), Ted Lange (Bartender Isaac), Bernie Kopell (Doc), Lauren Tewes (Cruise Director Julie) and Jill Whelan (Captain's daughter Vicki), recently named Regal Princess, having served as the ship's godparents before the cruise ship's maiden Caribbean season and their appearance in the New Year's Day parade.

Millions of viewers recognized the Sydney Opera House, the leaning tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, a traditional Japanese pagoda, the Golden Gate Bridge and the tropical flowers and water falls of the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico, as well as the majestic mountains and wildlife as featured on Alaska cruises--just some of the sights travelers will see when sailing with Princess, whose ships visit 350 destinations around the globe. The Princess Cruises float measured 60 feet long and 24 feet high with more than 24,000 flowers and natural materials. Flowers included roses, orchids and carnations, dendrobs, tulips, cymbidiums, delphiniums and gerbera daisies.

Paying tribute to the parade's theme, Princess conducted a contest asking its past guests to share an inspiring story that occurred aboard a Princess cruise for a chance to ride on the float. The grand-prize winner was 91-year-old World War II veteran Nathan Keith Abbott, who took a Princess cruise back to the South Pacific, as he had long wished to revisit the islands where he served during the war. Other riders who were selected told their inspiring stories about a variety of special celebrations including an engagement in front of a glacier in Alaska, a renewal of vows to mark 50 years of marriage, a celebration of life after surviving breast cancer, and a mother and daughter college graduation cruise to celebrate both of them receiving their degrees.

As a tribute to Princess' 25,000 crew members and employees around the world who the company credits for delivering incredible cruise vacations to their guests, the float incorporated flower vials that were personally signed by 16,0000 employees, signifying their important role in the company's successful past and exciting future. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available at

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Crystal Cruises Celebrates 25th Anniversary Of Luxury Cruising With Itinerary Highlights & Special Celebrations

LOS ANGELES: Celebrating two and a half decades as a leader in luxury travel, Crystal Cruises is embarking upon a year of commemorative celebrations, cruises hosted by the company's leadership - both past and present - plus much more. That is, more itineraries (63) sailing to more ports of call (224) in more countries (65), including more than double the number of maiden calls (24) in 2014.

Kicking off Crystal's 25(th) Anniversary is the line's first-ever circumnavigation of the globe. The 108-day, round-trip Miami "Silver Celebration World Cruise," begins January 14, 2015 on Crystal Serenity and is the line's 20(th) annual epic journey. Crystal Symphony begins 2015 immersed in a dazzling Asia series featuring Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Japan. In addition to the new and favorite highlights of the year's global itineraries, new onboard entertainment and amenities, plus enriching experiences ashore punctuate travelers' Crystal experiences in the coming year.

"A hallmark of Crystal's philosophy for more than two decades has been to pioneer new programs, amenities, experiences and destinations, offering luxury travelers a truly unique journey each time they step aboard a Crystal ship," says Crystal president and COO, Edie Rodriguez. "In 2015, we're continuing that philosophy, pushing the limits and visiting new locales while celebrating the unchanging values that have made us the best in the world."

Of the 224 ports scheduled in 65 countries, two dozen of them are brand new for Crystal ships. The line's unprecedented calls include lesser-known locales like Albany, Australia; Ambodifotatra and Taolanaro, Madagascar; Arrecife, Canary Islands; Richards Bay, South Africa; Sanary-sur-Mer, France; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Souda Bay/Chania, Greece; Aomori, Japan; Archangel, Korsakov and Solovetsky Islands, Russian Federation; Belawan, Indonesia; Rijeka, Croatia; Bodo, Narvik and Oye/Hjorundfjord, Norway; Helgoland, Germany; Londonderry/Greencastle and Galway, Ireland; Kochi, Japan; Sanya, China and Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago.

On board, guests can revel in the celebration of Crystal's 25(th) Anniversary with special parties and receptions and European voyages hosted by Rodriguez and the company's Chairman Nobuyoshi Kuzuya. Additionally, the festivities continue on four Trans-Atlantic, South America and Asia itineraries hosted by long beloved Crystal captains Glenn Edvardsen, Reidulf Maalen, Helge Brudvik and John Økland.

The lineup of festive occasions adds to the growing list of features guests can enjoy in 2015 both on board and ashore:

Crystal Symphony Makeover: Crystal Symphony emerged from a $20 million-plus dry dock redesign in the fall, featuring a new outdoor Fitness Garden; new equipment in the indoor Fitness Center; new designs in the main lobby area and bar; redesigned spa and casino spaces; additional PURE allergy-friendly staterooms and technological upgrades.

"My Life: The Music of Billy Joel.": The newest show aboard Crystal Serenity pays tribute to Grammy Legend Award recipient and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Billy Joel. Led by James Fox, who starred as the "The Piano Man" in the Broadway smash hit Movin Out, the 45 minute performance features more than a dozen timeless hits including "New York State of Mind," "Uptown Girl," "She's Always a Woman to Me" and, of course, "Piano Man." The Galaxy Orchestra and more of Crystal's own acclaimed musicians, vocalists and dancers are featured alongside Fox.

Late Risers' Adventures: Crystal recently introduced a collection of shore-side excursions scheduled especially for travelers who don't want to miss the adventures ashore - or their beauty sleep. The "Late Risers" excursion offer the same enriching experiences in the world's most stunning and significant destinations, beginning at 11:00 a.m. or noon, depending on the itinerary.

Sightseeing on the Run: In response to a growing active traveler quotient, guests can now see the sights - and maintain fitness -- with Crystal's new "Site Running" Adventures.

Free Wi-Fi: Crystal Society members (our "club" of repeat guests) receive 60 minutes of complimentary internet access for every day of the cruise. For example, a 10-day cruise will offer 600 free minutes per person (or 1,200 free minutes per couple), a 12-day cruise offers 720 free minutes per person (or 1,440 free minutes per couple), a 14-day cruise offer 840 free minutes (or 1,680 free minutes per couple), etc., which can be used any time throughout the voyage.

For more information and Crystal reservations, visit

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