The Online Cruise Travel Guide
Created by the Author of FODOR'S

tLinda Coffman's
Linda Coffman
Author & Cruise Authority

Cruise Lines & Ships Articles & Advice

Cruise Reviews

Before You Go 
On Board In Port Get a Fare Quote   Home Page

Cruise Essentials:

Site Search
Cruise News
Planning Tips
Packing & Lists
HOT Tips
Cruise Links
About Us

CLICK HERE for savings--CruiseCompete
Don't pay more than your tablemates...
CruiseCompete makes it easy to let independent agents compete to offer you the best deal.

Cruisers' favorites:

Cruise Travel Magazine
Cruise Travel

Porthole Cruise Magazine

Have a question or a review to submit?

Copyright © 1995-2016
Linda Coffman,

ll content is protected by United States Copyright Laws. Violators of our copyright, as well as bandwidth theft by "direct linking" of images, will be pursued by all means necessary. Find out more in
  Terms of Service

Cruise News
January 1-31, 2016

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

Return to's Cruise News Index & Cruise News Archive

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

Azamara Journey Emerges From Dry Dock

MIAMI, Jan. 29: Departing the Bahamas for Miami, Azamara Journey, the first of Azamara's two ships undergoing "major upgrades," has been outfitted with new venues, public spaces and technologies to bring fresh services and amenities to guests.

"There is no area on the ship that has been untouched," says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. "Known for our unparalleled programs on land to provide our guests with the most personalized Destination Immersion experiences in the industry, Azamara needed to take our onboard product to the next level. Cruise ships are like fine hotels, after wear and tear, upgrades need to be made. We can't wait to have our new and loyal guests onboard to see what we have done. It's gorgeous and provides all the modern services and amenities that today's traveler needs and demands. I think we have exceeded expectations."

Azamara contracted several of the world's leading design consultants for the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries, to help transform its ships into modern oases at sea. As Azamara Journey comes out of dry dock, all stateroom and suites have had an overall creating an ambiance that is comfortable as well as timeless and elegant. Authentic materials were used, with beautiful stone and porcelain throughout and custom design. Two new Spa Suites have been built adjacent to the Sanctum Spa featuring an elegant look with organic and muted colors providing exclusive access to unique spa amenities that will be included in the price of these staterooms. And, the Club World Ocean and Owner's Suites have also been fully redesigned. Additionally, Azamara Journey's new dining and entertainment enhancements throughout the entire ship are revealed including makeovers to The Patio, Windows Café, Discoveries Restaurant and Discoveries Bar, the Living Room and Cabaret Lounge:

The Patio
A guest favorite onboard, formerly known as the Pool Grill, The Patio will be completely transformed into a sit-down al fresco dining experience. The area will feature beautiful tablecloths and candles in the evening creating a fresh ambiance. New lighting, ceilings and fans will add modern elements to the renovated look. The décor won't be the only refresh as The Patio will also serve up a new evening menu to be enjoyed amidst some of the most stunning oceanside backdrops in locales around the world. In the evening, interested dinner guests can occasionally enjoy a movie on the projection screen or live music alongside their meal. After dinner and a movie, travelers looking to satisfy their sweet tooth can stop by the new Swirl & Top self-serve frozen yogurt station to indulge in a variety of flavors and choice of toppings.

Windows Café
Dining offerings indoors are not to be left out as Windows Café will be reinvigorated with contemporary furniture and place settings. Tables for two will be added, allowing more options for couples or the ability to combine tables to accommodate larger parties, or to join a group of friends for a meal. For those looking to dine while watching the sunset, Windows' outdoor dining area and Sunset Bar will be right out the back door, with a rejuvenated look and the same stunning views.

Discoveries Restaurant & Discoveries Bar
Discoveries Restaurant is continuing the reimagination trend. The refreshed restaurant will feature a warm and inviting atmosphere with new décor, lamps, seating, and sheers. A variety of different sized tables will be offered to accommodate groups of all sizes with ease.

Discoveries Bar will be receiving a modern makeover as well with new bar stools, sofas, chairs and tables, sheers, painting and wood trim. The bar will provide a tranquil and friendly atmosphere with a rich blend of tailored and refined elements for guests.

Living Room
Guests will feel right at home in the new and improved Living Room (formerly the Looking Glass Lounge). The relaxing area will offer guests the comfort of a well-furnished space, featuring cozy chairs and sofas and a handcrafted wooden wine table. Passengers can sample tastes and entertainment from morning until night with the following options:

• Daytime Fare: From 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. enjoy a selection of fine teas and coffees along with delicious breakfast pastries, finger sandwiches, and sweets.
Afternoon Delight: From 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. each day guests may choose from a variety of tasty hot and cold tapas with a mix of Spain's eclectic and sophisticated flavors. The onboard sommelier will be happy to suggest the perfect red, white, or rosé wine or champagne to pair accordingly.

A new card area, complete with modern-inspired furniture and décor will be open for entertainment. In the evenings the Living Room will liven up into a space for dancing, karaoke or live music from one of the ship's onboard musicians followed by a house DJ, playing music to keep the party going well into the night. On occasion, specialty performances will entertain guests while other nights the Chef may surprise Living Room dwellers with delectable featured desserts. Whether stopping by for a light bite or staying for the entire evening, The Living Room serves up entertainment and culinary offerings for guests day and night.

Cabaret Lounge, Casino & Spirits
This entertainment venue is being revitalized with new carpeting, updated lighting, and a refinished dance floor. The Casino will be outfitted with new slot machines, sleek carpets, and reupholstered seating with custom-designed fabrics. Oh course the Cabaret Lounge wouldn't be complete without a proper location in close proximity for a cocktail, the transformed Spirits bar will available for guests just a stone's throw away.

The Azamara Quest will enter dry dock in April 2016 in Singapore. For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Cruise Line, Operation Homefront & Grammy Award-Winner Carrie Underwood Launch
Honor. Family. Fun. Initiative To Support Military Families

JACKSONVILLE, FL, Jan 28 Carnival Cruise Line has announced a new initiative designed to support U.S. military families alongside seven-time GRAMMY-award winning superstar Carrie Underwood and representatives of Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit that builds strong, stable, and secure military families. The year-long Honor. Family. Fun. program will help raise funds for Operation Homefront and culminate in a special private pierside concert for service men and women and their families starring Underwood aboard Carnival’s newest and most family-friendly ship, the Carnival Vista, when the vessel makes its U.S. debut in New York City at the Port of New York on Nov 4, 2016.

“Military families represent a cornerstone of our country and we are honored by the opportunity to partner with Carrie and Operation Homefront to bring much needed awareness and aid to our troops and their loved ones,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “The partnership will bring to life many of the heartwarming stories our troops have to share while in turn bringing them some fun along the way.”

In 10 cities along the course of Carrie Underwood’s The Storyteller Tour, which kicks off in Jacksonville, Florida on Jan 30, select military families, chosen in partnership with Operation Homefront, will be treated to a personal meet-and-greet with Underwood before her concerts. A video series highlighting the meet and greets and the families’ individual stories will be featured at

“I’m honored to be able to join Carnival Cruise Line and Operation Homefront to lift up these soldiers and their families,” said Underwood. “I am really looking forward to meeting them on my tour and for the opportunity to personally thank them for all they do for our freedom.”

Driving the effort to raise funds for the cause, fans of Underwood, and of the program, will have the opportunity to donate by clicking on the “Donate Now” button on Commemorative dog tags will also be available for purchase at merchandise stands at all Storyteller Tour stops as well as on board the fleet of Carnival ships with all proceeds going to Operation Homefront.

“Carnival Cruise Line really knows what it means to support our men and women in uniform and their families,” said retired Brigadier General John I. Pray, Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the Carnival team and superstar Carrie Underwood to focus on the challenges our military families face as they work tirelessly to protect the freedoms we enjoy daily.”

The final stop in the cross-country Honor. Family. Fun. campaign will be New York City, where Carnival, Operation Homefront, and Underwood will treat hundreds of military families to a special concert aboard the new Carnival Vista at the Port of New York on Nov 4, 2016.

Carnival’s most family-friendly ship, Carnival Vista, will set sail in Europe in May 2016 and make her stateside debut as host of the special private pierside concert for military families. 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 expansive 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 first micro-brewery on a U.S.-based cruise ship, and other exciting dining, bar and entertainment options.

In the coming weeks, Carnival will launch a new shipboard military appreciation program. Each ship will host a special event on board to recognize active and retired military personnel and their families and will kick off with a welcome video featuring Carrie Underwood. Finally, it was also revealed that Carrie Underwood will join the Carnival LIVE! roster of artists in early 2017 with further details to be announced at a later date.

Back to the top of the news list

Silversea Expeditions Announces Wellness Theme Cruises

Miami, Jan 28: Travelers looking to recharge both mind and body will find Silversea is offering the perfect blend of enlightening exploration and a holistic approach to rejuvenation with its lineup of more than a dozen wellness-themed expedition cruises sailing in 2016 and 2017. The Wellness Expedition Voyages offered aboard Silver Discoverer are designed to provide guests with the opportunity to improve their well-being while journeying to destinations that are well off the beaten path in Southeast Asia, Australia, Oceania, Africa, and the Indian Ocean. On these voyages, guests will encounter exotic landscapes, fascinating cultures, and unique wildlife, returning each day to a ship that is a sanctuary for mind, body, and spirit.

Silversea has partnered with Technogym, a leading company in the field of wellness and fitness, to create a comprehensiveand complimentaryprogram that includes:

Stretching, yoga, and Pilates classes held on board and ashore (depending on location)
Fitness classes conducted in the ship's onboard swimming pool
Choice of one complimentary spa massage treatment
Daily lectures and cooking demonstrations on the benefits of healthy and balanced nutrition
Gym sessions led by personal trainers using state-of-the-art Technogym fitness equipment

Also featured on the Wellness Expedition Voyages is a dedicated team of wellness specialists to accompany guests on their wellness journey. The team includes fitness lifestyle expert Natasha Eksteen, yoga instructor Jenni Kauppila, and nutritionist Dalila Roglieri.

"We want to enable our guests to focus on their personal well-being as they journey to discover some of the world's most fascinating places and unique cultures," said Kristian Anderson, Silversea's senior vice president and general manager for the Americas. "Each wellness theme cruise offers a well-balanced program of fitness education, exercise, and nutritional guidance, plus an indulgent spa treatment. These voyages are great for travelers seeking a personal journey to wellness to complement their quest for adventure."

Following is a small sampling of upcoming Wellness Expedition Voyages aboard Silver Discoverer:


Australia & Indonesia Voyage 9622: Cairns to Balikpapan, 14 Days, Oct. 4-18
Indonesia Voyage 9623: Balikpapan to Singapore, 11 Days, Oct. 18-29


Bangladesh & Myanmar Voyage 9705: Kolkata to Phuket, 14 Days, Feb. 27-Mar. 13
Kimberley Coast Voyage 9707: Bali to Broome, 11 Days, Mar. 26-Apr. 6
Micronesia & Solomon Sea Voyage 9722: Koror to Honiara, 14 Days, Oct. 4-18

For details and a complete list of the Wellness Expedition Voyages, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Princess Cruises Debuts SHARE by Curtis Stone

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan. 28: Princess Cruises celebrated the grand opening of SHARE by Curtis Stone, the award-winning chef's first restaurant at sea aboard Ruby Princess. SHARE offers an exclusive specialty cruise dining experience for guests with a menu of signature dishes imagined for sharing, in an environment designed for conversing and creating memories. SHARE is now available exclusively to Princess Cruises guests aboard Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess, and soon will debut aboard Sun Princess in Stone's native Australia in April 2016.

Previously announced, this exclusive partnership with Chef Stone adds to the line's $450 million multi-year product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will continue to enhance the line's onboard guest experience. The partnership includes "Crafted by Curtis" menu items available in the main dining rooms fleetwide while Curtis Stone's Chef's Table experience will debut in SHARE venues in spring 2016.

The SHARE dining experience encourages connecting with family, friends and other cruisers by offering intriguing dishes served family style. Designed by Chef Stone, the menu features dishes such as a Charcuterie starter course; Butter Poached Lobster with Caramelized Endive; Twice Cooked Duck Leg with Fennel, Bacon jus and Parmesan Crumb; Tagliatelle with Roasted Alaskan Crab, Chili and Parsley; and Potato Gratin with Truffles and Cream.

"I'm incredibly proud of SHARE. We've had a lot of time to prepare and be creative, and Princess has been the ultimate partner to work in helping us bring this exciting new restaurant offering to fruition," said Chef Stone. "My Corporate Chef, Christian Dortch, who worked closely with me at my restaurant in Los Angeles, is now cooking and managing the SHARE kitchens onboard various ships, so I have an amazingly talented and passionate team that extends from land to sea."

A signature feature of SHARE is a communal table designed to encourage the sharing of a freshly prepared meal in the company of friends and family and illuminated by hand blown glass pendants etched with inspiring phrases casting an intimate glow and creating a warm and welcoming experience. Elements not often seen in cruise ship restaurant interiors add to the comfortable atmospherelow-backed banquettes, beautifully upholstered in luxe Chesterfield tufted leather and decorative curios from Chef Stone's own collection including photographs and travel souvenirs make guests feel even more at home. SHARE by Curtis Stone carries a cover charge of $39 per person. For more information about the partnership, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Princess Cruises Announces “The Come Back New Promise”

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan 27: Princess Cruises announced The Come Back New Promise, a $450 million multi-year product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will continue to enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. These enhancements will result in more transformative moments, lifetime memories and meaningful stories for guests to share from their cruise vacation.

“The Come Back New Promise differentiates our approach to cruising and offers our guests enriching vacation experiences by connecting them with each other, nature, and different cultures in a new way,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Our promise is to provide guests transformative moments designed to inspire them to discover the world and themselves, ultimately allowing us to declare that a cruise isn’t good enough unless you ‘come back new.’”

The campaign demonstrates a commitment by Princess Cruises to exceed guest expectations while continuously improving upon and delivering a high value cruise vacation experience that inspires guests to return and introduce cruising to their family and friends. Recently, Princess introduced new initiatives inspired to deliver The Come Back New Promise which further elevate the line’s wellness, culinary/dining experiences and expands the partnership with Discovery Communications. They include:

• Chef Curtis Stone – a partnership with award-winning chef, New York Times best-selling author and restaurateur Curtis Stone brings guests fresh, new culinary creations. All Princess ships will feature “Crafted by Curtis” menu items in the main dining room, while on select ships guests will enjoy “SHARE” a brand new specialty restaurant which will include a new Chef’s Table experience designed by Stone.
• The Princess Luxury Bed – featuring a new specially designed bed to deliver the ultimate night of sleep at sea the Princess Luxury Bed was developed in collaboration with experts in both the science and beauty of sleepDr. Michael Breus, “The Sleep Doctor,” and highly acclaimed designer, Candice Olson, star of the hit HGTV shows “Candice Tells All” and “Divine Design”Princess is installing more than 44,000 new beds, to every stateroom, across the fleet through 2018.
• The Salty Dog Gastropub – another new dining option which highlights a variety of small bites inspired by pub favorites, adapted for an upscale culinary experience. Developed in collaboration with Ernesto Uchimura, a founding chef of the original Umami Burger, guests will also enjoy a variety of beer, whiskey and cocktail selections. Currently available on select ships.
• Style at Sea with TLC – What to pack, what to wear and how to look stylish are just a few of the many questions guests ask when preparing for a cruise vacation. With the help of TLC’s fashion expert Stacy London, Style at Sea with TLC will provide tips and tricks to help guests feel and look their best while aboard a cruise.

Previously, Princess unveiled these initiatives which became the inspiration for The Come Back New Promise campaign, providing guests new culinary, enrichment and entertainment experiences, including:

• Chocolate Journeys - An immersive chocolate experience designed by Master Chocolatier Norman Love, exclusive to Princess, was launched offering delectable desserts, wine and chocolate pairings and specialty chocolate cocktails. New chocolate offerings allow guests to indulge in even more custom-crafted signature desserts in new venues throughout the ship, as well as chocolate pairings with tea and more.
• Discovery at Sea - A partnership with Discovery Communications, which brings new, innovative activities and shore excursions to the Princess-guest experience through hit shows like Deadliest Catch and Shark Week.
• New Original Musical Productions – Magic to Do, the first of four musical production shows created in collaboration with Stephen Schwartz, award-winning composer and songwriter of Wicked, Godspell and Pippin, combines exhilarating magic with some of Schwartz’s most famous songs. Plus, the show features a brand new song written exclusively for Princess. Magic to Do debuted to critical acclaim and is currently running aboard Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess.
• Festivals of the World - Around the world, in every season, festivals bring people together to celebrate the uniqueness of a culture and its heritage often in the most colorful ways. Princess hosts festivals onboard that originate from nearly every corner of the globe. From Mardi Gras to Rio Carnival, guests enjoy parties, enriching activities, lively musical performances, festival-related movies and specialty shopping.
• Craft Beer Series – Through partnerships with regional breweries that specialize in local flavor, Princess started the series with an award-winning West Coast IPA from Strike Brewing Company in San Jose, Calif., followed it with a special 50th Anniversary blend and have since added the Alaska Denali Red Ale, East Coast Blonde Lager and the Australian Gold Ale.
• Princess@Sea Messenger - Guests have the opportunity to be connected with their fellow cruisers using mobile messenger, an instant message feature offering an easy way to make plans, confirm a meeting location while onboard the ship. The Princess@Sea Messenger is integrated in the complimentary Princess@Sea mobile app, accessed via a smartphone or tablet browser.

More announcements about ship renovations, entertainment and accommodations, in association with The Come Back New Promise campaign, are on the horizon and sure to bring Princess Cruises offerings to new heights.

Princess Cruises has long been an innovator in the cruise industry, introducing many product firsts including:

• Chef’s Table - premium dining experience
• The Sanctuary - a spa-like retreat reserved just for adults
• Movies Under the Stars - poolside, big-screen amphitheater
• Anytime Dining - restaurant service where guests can dine when, where and with whom they wish
• Weddings at Sea – legal ceremonies performed by the Captain

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available at

Back to the top of the news list

Harmony of the Seas Amps Up Fun For The Entire Family

MIAMI, Jan 26: Royal Caribbean International is taking family fun to new heights onboard its newest ship, Harmony of the Seas. Guests setting sail aboard Harmony to Europe’s most popular destinations in the Western Mediterranean will be able to enjoy more family-friendly offerings than ever before, such as Royal Caribbean’s signature DreamWorks Experience, enhanced entertainment in the award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program, and a new collection of family amenitiestwo thoughtful collections of experiences that highlight what travelers tend to enjoy most on vacation: eat, play, drinkin the signature balcony staterooms boasting views of the distinct Central Park and Boardwalk neighborhoods. Combined with The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, The Perfect Storm trio of water slides and Splashaway Bay interactive aqua park for kids, Harmony of the Seas will bring a jolt of adventure for the entire family aboard the world’s largest cruise ship when she arrives in May 2016.

DreamWorks Animation Characters Set Sail
When Harmony of the Seas debuts in approximately 117 days, she will bring with her a familiar cast of DreamWorks Animation characters including Po of Kung Fu Panda; Shrek, Fiona and Puss in Boots of Shrek; and from Madagascar, Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien and the Penguins. Guests will enjoy events and activities based on DreamWorks Animation's popular feature-film characters, including a DreamWorks Character breakfast in the main dining room, ‘meet and greet’ experiences throughout the day, as well as photo opportunities that can be immediately shared with family and friends back home thanks to VOOM, the fastest internet at sea.

Royal Caribbean's younger guests can enjoy an exhilarating line-up of activities, from story time to dance parties, games and adventures rooted in the popular DreamWorks Animation films at the complimentary, award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program. Only on Royal Caribbean, parents and kids alike can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they have guaranteed seats on “opening weekend” of highly anticipated feature films such as "Kung Fu Panda 3,” which premieres onboard the same day it does in theaters on land. Year-round, guests can watch the latest and long-term favorite DreamWorks Animation films in the ship’s 3D movie theater and on a dedicated DreamWorks TV channel in their stateroom.

Enhanced Adventure Ocean Programming
Royal Caribbean’s complimentary, award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program will continue to offer young guests, ages three to eleven, an entertaining line-up of activities and games rooted in fun and excitement. New to be offered in Harmony’s Adventure Ocean Theater is Away We Go!, a black light puppet show created by Tony® award-nominated actors and imaginative producers John Tartaglia by and Michael Shawn Lewis of Gable Grove Productions. Additionally, programming by “Muffalo Potato”the popular YouTube show, which teaches kids to draw anything in minutes using only letters and numberswill round out Harmony’s lineup. Muffalo Potato originally debuted aboard Anthem of the Seas and will expand fleetwide just in time for summer vacations, starting with Harmony of the Seas.

New Family Amenities for Central Park & Boardwalk Staterooms
Families vacationing together on Harmony of the Seas, as well as Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, will be able to take advantage of the new collection of added benefits to balcony staterooms overlooking the Central Park and Boardwalk outdoor neighborhoods. Starting in November 2016, the signature views will be complemented and enhanced with amenities that feature the best of what each neighborhood has to offer. Guests with views of Central Parka revolutionary design in which the center of the ship opens to the sky, and features lush, tropical grounds spanning the length of a football fieldwill enjoy lunch for two at Jamie’s Italian, serving rustic Italian favorites from world-renowned chef Jamie Oliver, or Harmony of the Seas or Giovanni’s Table onboard Oasis and Allure of the Seas; a complimentary bottle of red wine upon arrival; and special perks in the Casino Royale. Guests with Boardwalk viewsa neighborhood inspired by the nostalgic boardwalks of yesteryearwill receive lunch or dinner for four at Johnny Rockets, a family favorite featuring old-fashioned burgers and fries; a soda beverage package for two; and private time on the cruise line’s iconic 38-foot tall rock wall.

Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, will span 16 guest decks, encompass 227,000 gross registered tons, carry 5,497 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,747 staterooms. The Oasis-class is an architectural marvel touting Royal Caribbean's exclusive seven neighborhood concept, including Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. For more information about Harmony of the Seas, please visit

Back to the top of the news list

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Ground-Breaking European Summer 2017 Itineraries

MIAMI, Jan 26: Norwegian Cruise Line has announced its ground-breaking summer 2017 deployment for Europe that, for the first time in company history, features five ships sailing in European waters in the summer season. Highlights of the new itineraries include cruises to the Baltic Capitals on Norwegian Getaway from Copenhagen and a first ever complete season from Hamburg on Norwegian Jade, with embarkation for those cruises also available in the UK and Amsterdam. In addition to the European sailings, Norwegian also revealed details on Norwegian Escape's 2017 summer cruises to the Caribbean from Miami.

Norwegian will bring Norwegian Getaway, currently the second newest ship in the fleet, back to Europe for the first time since its delivery in 2014, giving guests the opportunity to experience the ultimate in freedom and flexibility on 8- or 9-night Baltic Capitals cruises from Copenhagen. This spectacular itinerary will allow guests to explore UNESCO World Heritage sites, take in the picturesque Baltic countryside and experience the unique history, cultures and architecture of these famed European cities. The itinerary includes calls in Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; along with an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Marking the first time that Norwegian will homeport a ship in Hamburg, Germany, Norwegian Jadeone of the company's four Jewel-Class vesselswill feature brand new cruises from Hamburg in 2017. Following an extensive dry dock in spring 2017, she will arrive essentially a new ship featuring Norwegian's new standard of excellence the Norwegian Edge™ on May 14, 2017. Until Oct 9, 2017, guests can embark from Hamburg on a series of 7- and 9-day Western Europe cruises; 9- and 10-day Norwegian Fjords cruises; 12-day Norway & North Cape sailings; as well as a 14-day Norway, Iceland & UK cruise.

Norwegian will return to England for the first time since 2010 during summer 2017, as Norwegian Jade will call on Southampton during her cruises from Hamburg. From May 12-June 20 and Aug 7-Oct 16, 2017, guests can choose to embark from Southampton for either 7- and 9-day Western Europe cruises or 9- and 10-day Norwegian Fjords cruises. Guests can also choose to embark from Amsterdam, The Netherlands on select dates for 7-day Western Europe cruises, providing even more flexibility for guests looking to explore Europe pre- or post-cruise.

"With these exciting new summer European itineraries, we are offering our guests a wider variety of adventurous itineraries that span the continent, while also bringing one of our newest and most innovative ships to Europe", said Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Three further ships will sail European waters in 2017, including the recently refurbished Norwegian Epic with her popular 7-night Western Mediterranean itinerary, where guests can choose to depart from Barcelona, Civitavecchia (Rome) or Marseille; Norwegian Spirit sailing alternating 10- and 11-night Grand Mediterranean cruises between Barcelona and Venice; and Norwegian Star, which after her return from Australia, will spend the summer cruising from Venice to the Greek Isles as well as the Adriatic, Greece & Turkey.

Norwegian Escape, Norwegian's newest ship launched last October, will spend summer 2017 sailing alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises year-round from Miami, starting on May 6, 2017. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes stops in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas, whereas the Western Caribbean cruises visit Roatán, Honduras; Norwegian's private destination Harvest Caye, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico and Cozumel, Mexico.

The new itineraries open for sale for Latitudes guests and travel partners on Feb 9, 2016 and for all bookings on Feb 10, 2016. For full itinerary details and to book a cruise with Norwegian, visit Itineraries as detailed reflect the current status of itinerary planning and are subject to change.

Back to the top of the news list

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. & World Wildlife Fund Announce Global Partnership
to Support Ocean Conservation

Donsol, Sorsogon, Philippines, Jan 25: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced today a five-year global partnership to help ensure the long-term health of the oceans. The partners will set measurable and achievable sustainability targets that will reduce Royal Caribbean’s environmental footprint, raise awareness about ocean conservation among the company’s more than five million guests, and support WWF’s global oceans conservation work. The targets announced today focus on supply chain sustainability and emissions reductions through 2020. Royal Caribbean and WWF also are working together to develop targets aimed at strengthening the company’s sustainable sourcing strategy and its destination stewardship and sustainable tour operations platforms.

“Our mantra at Royal Caribbean is ‘Continuous Improvement,’ and this partnership with WWF represents a great opportunity to make a big step forward in meeting our special responsibility to protect the oceans,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “It is also gratifying to see that our determination to make a meaningful difference is shared by our employees and our guests. This new partnership aligns all of us at RCL with WWF’s mission to conserve the world’s oceans. Together we are setting aggressive goals and together we will start implementing them right away.”

“The threats that are facing the ocean are greater than everin the last 30 years, some ocean wildlife populations have declined by nearly 50 percent. If we are going to reverse the downward trends, we must take serious steps to repair, restore and protect the oceans,” said Carter Roberts, WWF-US President and CEO. “This initiative centers on two core concepts: first, committing to specific and measurable targets to reduce carbon emissions, increase sustainable sourcing and build destination stewardship; and second, comprehensively engaging their millions of travelers to learn about the ocean and then act to help save it."

Royal Caribbean Cruises and WWF jointly developed new 2020 environmental sustainability targets for the company that includes:

Carbon Emissions 2020 Target:
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2020.

Sustainable Seafood 2020 Target:
• Responsibly source 90% of its wild-caught seafood by volume from MSC certified sustainable fisheries, fisheries in full assessment for MSC certification, comprehensive Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), and/or sourced from International Seafood Sustainability Association (ISSA) member companies.
• In North America and Europe operations, responsibly source 75% of its farmed seafood by volume from ASC certified responsible farms, farms in full assessment for ASC certification, and/or comprehensive aquaculture improvement projects.
• In addition, by June 30, 2016, RCL will set specific traceability goals with targets for obtaining MSC and ASC chain of custody.

In addition, Royal Caribbean and WWF have agreed to develop and announce new targets by June 30 that will address destination stewardship. As part of this, WWF and RCL will collaborate to strengthen RCL’s destination sustainability assessment and selection process. Royal Caribbean also will financially support WWF’s global ocean conservation work through a $5 million philanthropic contribution during the partnership, and will collaborate with WWF to build global awareness about ocean conservation issues among its millions of passengers.

The organizations made their announcement at an event in Donsol, Sorsogon, Philippines that is home to a model community-based ecotourism program. At the event, RCL also made a separate, $200,000 donation to WWF Philippines in support of conservation programs in the Donsol area. For more information about the Royal Caribbean’s efforts and the WWF partnership, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Brands to Bypass Turkey

Company Statement: "At Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, our primary concern is to ensure the safety and security of our guests and crew. Due to recent events in Turkey, we are suspending all calls to the country through 2016 across all NCLH brands. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and make future itinerary adjustments as appropriate. We have begun the process of informing guests booked on the affected cruises of the itinerary changes and will update the respective brand websites with revised voyage information."

Back to the top of the news list

Newly Added South America 'Getaways' For 2017 Expand Crystal's
Offerings Of Abbreviated Luxury Vacations

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22: Crystal Cruises is expanding its lineup of popular "Crystal Getaways" to now include shortened segments of World Cruise voyages for 2016 and 2017. Five new options have been announced, comprising select South American departures that are part of Crystal Serenity's "Southern Celebracion" World Cruise (which sails in full, 94 days round-trip from Miami on January 10). The collection of cruises, which range from six to 13 days, allows travelers to experience snippets of Crystal's celebrated luxury sailings with less commitment of time while enjoying additional savings.

"Luxury travelers are often limited on precious vacation time but still seekand expectthe most exceptional experiences available," says Crystal president and CEO Edie Rodriguez. "'Crystal Getaways' are an ideal escape from even the busiest schedules without any sacrifice of luxury or memorable adventures."

Exploring destinations throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Vietnam and Japan in 2016; and Panama, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Barbados in 2017, the roster of available itineraries includes:

-- February 29, 2016 - Bali to Port Kelang, 6 days
-- March 6, 2016 - Port Kelang to Singapore, 6 days
-- March 12, 2016 - Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City, 8 days
-- March 20, 2016 - Ho Chi Minh City to Shanghai, 11 days
-- March 31, 2016 - Shanghai to Incheon, 7 days
-- April 7, 2016 - Incheon to Tokyo, 7 days
-- January 22, 2017 - Colon to Callao 8 days
-- January 30, 2017 - Callao to Valparaiso, 9 days
-- February 8, 2017 - Valparaiso to Ushuaia, 10 days
-- February 18, 2017 - Ushuaia to Buenos Aires, 13 days
-- March 27, 2017 - Manaus to Bridgetown/Barbados, 9 days

As segments of Crystal's existing, longer itineraries, the voyages can be booked independently or as a means to extend one's vacation in addition to previously scheduled sailings. For more information, visit

 Back to the top of the news list

American Queen Announces Maker’s Mark® President as Special Guest on Bourbon Themed Cruise

MEMPHIS, Jan 22: American Queen Steamboat Company, operator of America’s most opulent and luxurious paddlewheel vessels, has several exciting themed cruises planned for 2016. Themed-cruises are a favorite among guests, and the Bourbon Cruise was a smashing hit in 2015. As an exclusive feature to this themed-cruise, a special guest will be onboard the American Queen as it travels the Ohio River from St. Louis to Cincinnati July 10-18.

“We are thrilled to announce that Bill Samuels Jr., son of Maker’s Mark founder, Bill Samuels Sr., will be joining us onboard for an exclusive Maker’s Mark presentation and tasting,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “His presence complements that of Buffalo Trace’s own Don Flinn and Bourbon historian Michael Veach who are already scheduled to be onboard. We look forward to learning more about the American spirit whose roots are dug deep in the foothills of Kentucky and the Ohio River.”

Highlights of the Bourbon Cruise include:

• Onboard Bourbon tastings and seminars led by experts
• Specialty Bourbon-enhanced menu items daily
• Bourbon themed gifts each night
• Cooking with Bourbon demonstration
• A choice of included distillery visits (Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Willett Small Batch)
• From Madison, Ind., a “Special Land Event” includes a city tour of Frankfort, Ky., a guided tour of Buffalo Trace Distilleries and lunch at the famous ‘Claudia Sanders Dinner House’
• A special performance by the Juggernaut Jug Band

All journeys include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner and a host of other amenities. For additional information visit

Back to the top of the news list

Azamara Journey in Dry Dock

MIAMI, Jan 22: Knowing that staying connected while on vacation is a must for travelers, Azamara Club Cruises, the up-market line delivering an unmatched experience at sea and on land, announced a technology overhaul as part of its Reimagine Azamara plans. Innovative transformations from bow to stern of its two shipsAzamara Journey and Azamara Questwill yield a new contemporary décor, state-of-the-art spa and spa suites, expanded dining and entertainment offerings as well as a modern technology program to keep guests plugged in. While Azamara Journey is in dry dock in the Bahamas, the ship will be outfitted with the following:

Pervasive Wi-Fi
A new Pervasive Wi-Fi system will provide better onboard internet connection at faster speeds. Expanded signals of Wi-Fi beacons will allow guests to stay connected anywhere on the ship.

Interactive TV
The staterooms now become a connection hub with the improved interactive TVs featuring a menu of new options including movies on demand, live TV channels, security information and lecturer schedules, information about upcoming ports, weather updates and the ship’s navigation. If guests would like to book Land Discoveries shore excursions, this can all be accomplished from the comfort of their stateroom. Once guests start to think about where to dine, menus will be available in interactive TV to make the decision easy. Or if you simply want to “dine in”, room service can be ordered through interactive TV.

The Inspiration Center
Located on Deck 4, guests can visit the new Inspiration Center for assistance with planning their next voyage and learning about destinations featured on Azamara voyages around the globe. An interactive portal (98 inch touchscreen) features a world map prompting guests to touch tiles to view videos, beautiful photography, destination information and day-by-day itineraries for voyages. Guests can use this resource to dive deeper by viewing the Land Discoveries and Destination Immersion options to learn more about specific ports.

The Living Room & Drawing Room
Three interactive tabletops for social media surfing will be featured in these public spaces. Guests can send readymade digital postcards to friends and family, or can even design or draw their own “art”, or create fun doodles in the Scribble app.

“While it’s important to relax and recharge while on vacation and relish the time spent off-the-grid, the reality for too many people is that staying connected is essential for work and for personal matters. As someone who stays connected no matter where I am in the world, having technologies like Pervasive Wi-Fi and interactive TV are a must. Plus, I’m a news junkie and addicted to Twitter,” says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “As our ships undergo major upgrades from bow to stern, we looked at all of the physical luxuries as well as the services and amenities we provide. These technology upgrades were important to ensure we are delivering to our guests the most modern experience possible.”

The Azamara Journey will come out of dry dock in the Bahamas on January 27, and the Azamara Quest will enter dry dock in April 2016 in Singapore. For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils the Norwegian Edge™

MIAMI, Jan 21: Norwegian Cruise Line revealed today The Norwegian Edge™, an innovative program that promises to introduce a new standard of excellence that encompasses the entire guest experience, from ship hardware to culinary enhancements and exclusive private destination developments. The Norwegian Edge™ reflects a significant two-year $400 million investment by the company through 2017 and demonstrates the line’s commitment to exceptional quality and extraordinary experiences. The centerpiece of the program is an extensive ship refurbishment initiative that will elevate the experience on board the Norwegian fleet to this new standard.

“Norwegian has a long history of investing in its fleet to offer guests the latest and greatest innovations, but the investment to raise our ships to The Norwegian Edge™ standard of excellence takes it to new levels,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief operating officer. “The new standards of The Norwegian Edge program will entice our guests to return again and again to ships that will look and feel as if they were just delivered, with all new menus and new dining experiences, visiting incredible exclusive destinations that reflect the quality finishes, amenities and outstanding service found across the Norwegian fleet.”

The Norwegian Edge program seeks to create modern, relevant and delightful vacation experiences for guests at every turn—an approach that dovetails perfectly with the brand’s unique promise of freedom and flexibility, all which is showcased through Norwegian’s new marketing campaign, Feel Free.

Fleet Enhancements
The extensive ship revitalization program at the heart of The Norwegian Edge will completely transform many spaces on board nine of the fleet’s ships to reflect the premium look and feel of the line’s newest and most spectacular ships. As the cruise line with the youngest fleet in North America, this extensive enhancement program will offer much more than the traditional soft goods décor updates and serve to make the line’s ships into essentially new vessels.

The refurbishment program began in October 2015 with a full refresh of Norwegian Epic that included the debut of brand new venues like The Cavern Club; complete restaurant makeovers in La Cucina and a new look for Cagney’s, Le Bistro, Moderno Churrascaria, The Manhattan Room and the Garden Café, now with a sleek and crisp white palette; and refreshed décor, furniture and flooring in many public spaces, including The Haven Courtyard, Lounge and Restaurant, for a more modern and clean design.

Norwegian Gem followed in November, debuting significant enhancements including a complete makeover of Bliss Lounge; extensive interior refurbishments; refreshing of décor including new furniture and new flooring in all specialty restaurants and several complimentary outlets, as well as bars and lounges, to reflect a more contemporary look; new pool deck furniture; interactive digital signage and wayfinding technology; new teak flooring throughout outdoor spaces and corridors of upper decks; and upgrades to The Haven Courtyard and Sundeck with a new look including more shaded areas, cabanas and lounge chairs.

Throughout the course of the refurbishment program, a total of seven additional ships will go into dry dock for both guest-facing and technical enhancements: Pride of America and Norwegian Sun in spring 2016; Norwegian Dawn in summer 2016; Norwegian Spirit , Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Pearl in winter 2017; and Norwegian Jade in spring 2017.

Culinary Program
As the innovator of freedom and flexibility at sea with no set dining times and up to 28 dining options per vessel, Norwegian understands that dining is central to guests’ vacation experience. Therefore, the line is continuing to expand investment in the onboard culinary program, to create exceptional experiences, from gourmet meals to superb service.

New for 2016, all ships in Norwegian’s fleet now offer upgraded complimentary dining room menus and the addition of optional à la carte priced items in the main dining rooms, such as grilled lobster tails and surf and turf entrees, providing guests additional choices and tastes to create their ultimate dining experience. The new complimentary dining menus offer an increased varietyfeaturing appetizers, soups and salads, featured entrees, and dessertsand have been carefully developed by Norwegian’s culinary team with a focus on balancing popular traditional dishes like prime rib, chateaubriand, rack of lamb and escargot with current dining trends and heightened guest expectations. New offerings include more seafood selections such as fresh grouper, along with contemporary dishes like shrimp ceviche, seared Atlantic scallops with fennel puree, and braised beef short ribs.

Beginning on Jan 31st, Norwegian will also be expanding the new specialty dining menus that debuted on Norwegian Escape across the fleet. The introduction of these new enhanced menus at the line’s signature specialty restaurantsCagney’s Steakhouse, Le Bistro and La Cucinaalong with new offerings at Moderno Churrascaria and Teppanyaki, will further elevate guests dining experience with more options new flavors. The menus include traditional French favorites at Le Bistro such as Bouillabaisse, pan-seared jumbo bay scallops and veal medallions with sauce morrel, and a more robust menu at La Cucina featuring antipasti, risotto and traditional secondi courses like Osso Buco alla Milanese or pan-seared sea bass filet. These new menus will be offered on Norwegian Breakaway as of Jan 31; Norwegian Getaway on Febr 14; Norwegian Epic on March 6; Pride of America after her dry dock on March 15; Norwegian Gem on April 1; and Norwegian Dawn after her dry dock in June.

In addition to the new menus, Norwegian is also further expanding training and certification for the fleet’s culinary and dining teams. All Executive Chefs, Executive Sous Chefs and other culinary staff are certified by American Culinary Federation (ACF). Established in 1929, ACF is the premier professional chefs’ organization in North America with more than 17,500 members in nearly 200 chapters nationwide. In addition to excellence in the kitchen, the line is working toward a certified service training program to include all guest-facing positions and three new training and development centers have opened across the globe to help train crew members prior to boarding ships, so they are immediately able to provide excellent service as soon as they step onboard.

Guests should also expect to see the expansion of popular existing partnerships with culinary experts for food and beverage outlets on board. More details and specific information will be shared closer to each ship’s dry dock date.

Destination Experiences
Norwegian has further expanded plans for the line’s privately-owned destinations including the development of the Caribbean’s premier resort-style experience at Harvest Caye, Belize. This spectacular resort-style port of call will feature an expansive pool, exclusive beach, shallow lagoon for watersports, private luxury cabanas and many more exciting features, all in the richest ecosystems in the region with a diversity of flora and fauna that is core to the Harvest Caye experience.

Considerable new features are also in store for the line’s private Bahamian island, Great Stirrup Cay. The island was recently enhanced in 2014 and will debut several new offerings and high quality amenities for guests by spring 2017. Specific details will be announced later this year, and guests should expect to find experiences on the island that complement those found on board Norwegian’s ships, including private spaces, luxury relaxation areas, multiple food and beverage outlets and interactive activities.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet features 14 purpose-built ships, including the recently launched Norwegian Escape. For additional information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces $125 Million Fleet-Wide Renovation

MIAMI, Jan. 21: The title of “world’s most luxurious cruise ship” may need to be updated to “ships” as Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced today plans for an extensive, $125 million fleet-wide refurbishment program. Beginning with Seven Seas Navigator this spring, the public spaces and suites to be refurbished will feature the same elegant style and undisputable attention to detail famously featured on Seven Seas Explorer, providing guests with a consistent look-and-feel, no matter which Regent Seven Seas Cruises ship they choose to sail.

The two-year $125 million investment includes significant renovations of most public spaces along with a complete redesign of all categories of suites. Seven Seas Navigator, the line’s most intimate ship carrying just 490-guests, will be the first to receive this luxurious upgrade, followed by Seven Seas Voyager in late 2016 and Seven Seas Mariner in the spring of 2017.

Seven Seas Navigator will emerge essentially a brand new ship following the upcoming dry dock, with all suite categories, all lounges, the library, casino, boutiques, reception area, and signature restaurants Compass Rose and La Veranda having recently been completely renovated.

“Seven Seas Navigator is one of our most beloved ships, so it’s fitting that she is the first to undergo this extraordinary refurbishment,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “These renovations will bring a new level of elegance to the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet, strengthening our position as the undisputed leader in luxury cruising, operating the most luxurious ships at sea.”

The refurbishments on Seven Seas Navigator comprise the first phase of the $125 million renovation project. The ship’s renovations will commence when it enters dry dock in Marseille, France on March 31. The project will be completed by April 13, when the ship embarks on the 10-night Flawless French Riviera voyage from Barcelona to Rome, with calls across Spain, France, Monaco and Italy.

Some highlights of the upcoming Seven Seas Navigator refurbishment include:

• Navigator Suite: The spacious Navigator Suite will be updated with a fresh new design, featuring a crisp and elegant look. The bedroom features the new custom-made Elite Slumber Bed, dressed in luxurious 100% cotton sateen bedding. In both the bedroom and living room, an ebony-black wooden vanity with white marble top stretches the length of the room, harmonizing beautifully with the sultry green and yellow accent furniture, draperies and new carpeting.
• Penthouse, Concierge and Deluxe Suites: The largest collection of suites onboard the ship will receive a luxurious new look. The contemporary design accentuates the spaciousness of the suites. A stunning padded leather headboard supports the Elite Slumber Bed in the bedroom and the sitting area features a plush sofa with stylish accent table and new artwork.
• Reception Area: Guests’ first exposure to the renovations will take place in the completely-redesigned reception area, where contemporary and classical design elements seamlessly meet. Marble inlay flooring replete with a compass-like design and polished stone walls with metal inlays guides guests to the dark wooden reception desk. Illuminating the reception area is gypsum diamond cut lighting fixture embedded in the oval alabaster ceiling, evoking stylish elegance.
• Compass Rose: The ship’s flagship restaurant will be grander and more resplendent than ever before. Throughout the spacious, 384-seat dining room are subtle geometric patterns underscored by silver leaf, pewter and antique bronze elements. A beautifully ornate silver-leaf feature wall highlights one end of the dining room, while oversized windows run along both sides of the restaurant to provide incredible ocean vistas. Grand crystal chandeliers are enhanced by recessed ceiling lights, providing a dramatic dining experience for guests seated at intimate tables ringed by sleek leather chairs adorned with swirls of celestial blue fabric.
• La Veranda: Effortlessly chic, La Veranda will feature a fresh and airy design that is accentuated by a wealth of natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows that encircle the restaurant. Guests can enjoy casual indoor and al fresco dining with incredible ocean views, and dine from a delectable buffet for breakfast and lunch. Each evening, the restaurant transforms into an elegant fine dining restaurant, Sette Mari La Veranda, for dinner.
• Galileo Lounge: True to its name, the Galileo Lounge on Deck 11 conveys a celestial feel, beginning with its tempered glass double-door entrance trimmed with an abstract design reminiscent of the solar system and featuring a decorative sun-shaped handle. That theme extends inside the 132-seat cocktail lounge, where a night-black oval-shaped ceiling twinkling with fiber-optic “stars” overlooks the inlaid wooden dance floor. Guests can be immersed in the action, or retreat to high-backed wing chairs that line the room’s windows.
• Navigator Lounge / Coffee Connection: By day, these intimate Deck 6 venues – connected by a central walkway – are bathed in natural light from a bank of windows overlooking the sea. The new design and furnishings enhance that airy look, with cream-colored fabrics on chairs and draperies, and white marble topped tables with hammered copper accents. By night, the Navigator Lounge transforms into a small night club, with a Steinway piano as the centerpiece. Adding to the elegance are leather-wrapped columns with a copper-topped capital and dark wooden base.
• Library: The bright yet intimate library exudes comfort and charm. From its faux fireplace to cream-colored sofas resting atop a glistening marble floor, the room is reminiscent of a library found in a residential estate home. Ringing the room are dark wood book shelves encased in glass, while a glistening, copper-adorned chandelier serves as the room’s glistening centerpiece. It’s the ideal spot for reading and quiet reflection.

Following the dry dock, Seven Seas Navigator will spend the summer traversing the Mediterranean and late fall in South Africa. In 2017, Seven Seas Navigator will offer Navigate the World, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ first world cruise in six years. Beginning and ending in Miami, the cruise will circumnavigate the globe in 128 nights, calling on six continents, 31 countries, 62 distinct ports and exploring 29 UNESCO World Heritage sites. For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

MSC Cruises Suspends Calls in Turkey

Geneva, Switzerland, Jan 20: MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America, and South Africa announced that it had decided to suspend its calls in Turkish ports until further notice.

The decision will impact MSC Magnifica’s itinerary as she will be based out of Venice, Italy as of March 26. The weekly calls in the cities of Istanbul and Izmir from March 29, 2016 will, for the time being, be replaced by calls in the Greek capital—Athens—and on Mykonos, one of the most popular and glamorous Greek isles.

This decision was made by the company amid growing concerns by guests as a result of the recent tragic events in Istanbul.

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam Reaches Milestone with Successful Completion of Sea Trials

Seattle, Jan. 20: Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam returned to Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard Saturday, Jan. 16, after successfully completing two sets of sea trials off the Italian coast. Koningsdam left Marghera Jan. 2 and performed the first set of sea trials over three days before going into dry dock at Fincantieri’s Trieste shipyard, where standard hull maintenance was performed. The ship sailed its second sea trials Jan. 10 through 16, making its way back to Marghera, where the finishing touches will be completed.

“Koningsdam is a new class of ship for Holland America Line, so everyone was eager to get the ship out in the open water for the first time on sea trials,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. "Koningsdam delivered a strong performance and is now back at the ship yard for the final phase of work in anticipation of the early April delivery.”

During the sea trials, Koningsdam underwent a series of performance tests on the ship’s systems, machinery and engines. Captain Emiel de Vries, Koningsdam’s master-designate, has not yet taken command of the ship, but he participated in testing the ship’s maneuvering characteristics and safety systems together with the shipyard’s team of naval architects and builders.

In its inaugural year, Koningsdam will feature a variety of itineraries in the Mediterranean, northern Europe and the Caribbean. The ship’s naming ceremony is scheduled for May 20, 2016, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Un-Cruise Adventures Toasts to 20 Years of Adventure Cruising in 2016

Seattle, WA, Jan 19: 2016—Un-Cruise Adventures uncorks the champagne in 2016 to celebrate 20 years of small ship adventure cruising in Alaska; coastal Washington; Columbia & Snake Rivers; Hawaii; British Columbia, Canada; and Mexico. New in 2016, the line begins operating in Galápagos, Costa Rica and Panama.

The Seattle-based company began business as American Safari Cruises with one yacht in 1996 before changing its name to Un-Cruise Adventures in 2013 after significant growth. Over the course of five years beginning in 2009, the company expanded its fleet from three yachts carrying 12-36 guests to eight ships carrying 22-88 guests and doubled its destinations from four to eight.

“I attribute much of our success to the passion for adventure shared among staff and leaders here,” said Captain Dan Blanchard, CEO. “Recognizing the dramatic upswing in adventure travel’s popularity over the last two decades, we maximize the potential of small ships to get close to wildlife, wilderness and authentic cultures.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the company is rolling out a number of new perks and offers:

• New chairman’s theme cruises invite guests to sail with a company owner and leader
• A celebratory toast and anniversary dessert extravaganza aboard every trip in 2016
• Two cruise giveaways through an essay contest beginning February 26
• Limited edition 20th anniversary logo gear on board the ships
• A donation to Tourism Cares for each guest visit to Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska to honor the National Parks centennial
• 20th anniversary savings on select cruise dates updated throughout year

Un-Cruise Adventures offers weeklong adventure cruises in remote and scenic areas, with few if any port calls, and a focus on outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, skiff explorations, seeking out wildlife and whale watching. Expedition guides provide interpretation along the way. One ship in the fleet sails river cruises on the Columbia and Snake Rivers with a focus on history and wine.

Cruises include fresh, innovative meals; adventure activities; transfers day of cruise; hot tub; fitness equipment and DVD library. Other amenities vary by vessel and may include premium wine, beer and liquor; a massage and wine bar. For information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

SeaDream Yacht Club Opens Reservations for 2017 Season

MIAMI, Jan 19: SeaDream Yacht Club announces the opening of reservations for all 2017 sailings, a season highlighting the world’s most sought-after destinations. Featuring many secluded harbors and ports of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, the 112-guest luxury mega-yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II will offer 80 sailings in the waters surrounding these beautiful locations.

“The 2017 season exemplifies the true yachting experience as our mega-yachts call on small Caribbean destinations of Jost van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands and sophisticated secluded European locales including Paros in the Greek Isles,” shares SeaDream Yacht Club President Bob Lepisto. “Each itinerary visits multiple ports away from larger vessels where SeaDream guests can explore ashore with no lines and return to their yacht for award-winning personalized service.”

Sailing the Caribbean, SeaDream will not only visit islands traditionally frequented by cruise travelers, but will also offer luxury yachting experiences in secluded ports such as Saba as well as Culebrita and Vieques, Puerto Rico. Other Caribbean destinations include St. Barts, Barbados, the French West Indies, the Grenadines and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Easily accessible embarkation and debarkation ports such San Juan, Puerto Rico and Bridgetown, Barbados ensure plenty of flight options to rendezvous with SeaDream I and SeaDream II. Itineraries in the Caribbean emphasize relaxation and rejuvenation. Travelers can take advantage of the SeaDream Spa, with the highest therapist-to-guest ratio at sea. They can splash in the surf with a bevy of water toys, including stand-up paddleboards and wave runners, available in the yacht’s marina. Guests can partake in the revelry of special beachside culinary experiences like the signature Champagne and Caviar Splash™, served on china aboard a white linen-sheathed surfboard.

During the European season of 2017, SeaDream will visit some of the most colorful and contrasting ports of Southern Europe as both yachts sail the waters of the Amalfi Coast, the Aegean and Greek Islands, the Balearic Islands, the Adriatic Sea and Croatian Coasts, the French and Italian Rivieras, Monaco, and Turkey. On SeaDream, travelers can explore locales on immersive holidays as they would on their own personal yacht. Guests will enjoy the sights of exclusive harbors like Porto Cervo, where larger ships cannot go. They can also indulge in land adventures at their own pace using the yacht’s complimentary mountain bikes to trek the hillsides of villages like Bonifacio on the French island of Corsica.

For a truly epic SeaDream Yacht Club experience, the 2017 season offers four 13-day transatlantic crossings, allowing guests the opportunity to indulge in all the two yachts have to offer including the SeaDream Spa and outstanding cuisine.

Defined by the statement, “It’s yachting, not cruising,” SeaDream was named the Best Small Luxury Cruise Ship of 2015 by Forbes. Ideal for the active traveler, both SeaDream I and SeaDream II are equipped with wave runners, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and many other watersports activities, all of which can be launched directly from the yachts’ Marina. With the highest therapist-to-guest ratio at sea, the SeaDream Spa ensures complete rejuvenation for its guests. For information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

American Queen & American Empress 2016 Lay-Up

MEMPHIS, Jan 19: American Queen Steamboat Company, operator of America’s most opulent and luxurious paddlewheel vessels, announces lay-up details as part of the off-season before moving full steam ahead into the 2016 sailing schedule. Each year, both vessels are scheduled a “lay-up” period which consists of cleaning, repairs and updates to both boats. The American Queen will be docked for five weeks in Gretna, La., while the American Empress will be docked for four months in Troutdale, Ore.

“In 2015, we enjoyed a banner year for both vessels, bringing the pleasure of river cruising to a record number of guests and adding itineraries to the season in order to accommodate the large number of reservations,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “With necessary repairs and improvements, we are delighted to have 2016 underway in style.”

The off-season is actually quite bustling and a time of rapid change for the vessels. With a dedicated crew, the management teams have organized a schedule, budget and list of priority items to accomplish during the lay-up such as cosmetic changes including new paint, carpet and upholstery in public areas. Lay-up repairs and improvements include:

• New carpeting and upholstery in public areas and select staterooms
• Sanding and repainting of deck door frames and doors
• Replacement of wall coverings in select state rooms
• Painting of hotel interior including dining room
• Installation of mahogany deck rails

All journeys include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner, and a host of other amenities. For additional information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Cunard Kicks Blue Note Jazz-Themed Transatlantic Crossing into High Gear with
the Addition of a Second Vocal Legend: Dee Dee Bridgewater

Jan 19: Cunard is excited to announce that jazz icon Dee Dee Bridgewater will be co-headlining Queen Mary 2’s third Blue Note jazz-themed Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton on October 25, 2016. Bridgewater is a Triple Grammy® Award Winner, a TONY® Winner, a UN Goodwill Ambassador, producer, record label head, and much more. Widely celebrated for her depth of artistry across mediums, Bridgewater will perform three intimate, powerhouse shows in The Royal Court Theatre as well as a Q&A session on board Queen Mary 2’s 7-night crossing. Bridgewater joins booming baritone Gregory Porter on the Transatlantic Crossing. Fellow jazz musician Gregory Porter is also a Grammy® Winner and was awarded “International Jazz Artist of the Year” in 2015 by Jazz FM. (Porter’s upcoming participation was announced in November, 2015.)

“I am thrilled to join Cunard and Blue Note for such a unique musical experience on board Queen Mary 2,” said Bridgewater. “To me, jazz symbolizes liberty and freedom of expression, and I look forward to sharing this jazz experience with guests on board and with my dear friend, Mr. Gregory Porter.”

Bridgewater’s career spans more than four decades, and began with her phenomenal debut in New York City in 1970 as the lead vocalist for the band led by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, one of the premier jazz orchestras of the day. Bridgewater marked an early career in concerts and recordings with musical giants including Dizzy Gillespie, before beginning a career on Broadway, where she won a Tony Award for her role as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz. Her time on Broadway led to work in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Paris, and beyond. In London’s West End, she garnered the coveted “Laurence Olivier” Award nomination as Best Actress for her tour de force portrayal of jazz legend Billie Holiday in Stephen Stahl’s Lady Day.

“On behalf of Cunard, we are delighted to welcome Dee Dee Bridgewater on board Queen Mary 2,” said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard North America. “Dee Dee is a phenomenal entertainer who captivates audiences worldwide, and we are thrilled for our guests to have a front-row seat to this intimate jazz experience with both her and Gregory Porter on this very special Transatlantic Crossing.”

For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line’s ms Eurodam Receives Innovative New Bar, Entertainment Venues
& Suite Upgrades in Dry Dock

Seattle, Jan. 19: When ms Eurodam re-entered service Dec. 20, 2015, following a scheduled 14-day dry dock in the Bahamas, guests were introduced to several new concepts recently announced by Holland America Line. The most notable new additions are Lincoln Center Stage, in partnership with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, showcasing an ensemble performing chamber music; Billboard Onboard, in partnership with Billboard, featuring 50 years of chart-topping hits; and Gallery Bar, making its debut in the former Northern Lights venue. The traditional Lido became Lido Market and received an upgrade in service and menu, and New York Pizza replaced Slice. Eurodam also is the first Holland America Line ship to undergo extensive enhancements to its suites as part of a $300 million brand enhancement initiative announced in November.

“To keep the onboard experience fresh, we’re always working to create new and innovative concepts to delight our guests,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Gallery Bar is a completely new venue for us, and several other enhancements are just starting to make their way onto the fleet, so it’s exciting that our guests are finally able to experience them all together for the first time on Eurodam.”

Entertainment Expands with Lincoln Center Stage & Billboard Onboard
Guests have more entertainment options than ever before with the addition of Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard, which complement the already-existing and wildly popular B.B. King’s Blues Club. Under the exclusive partnership, Lincoln Center Stage showcases an ensemble of world-class musicians performing multiple chamber music programs nightly. On those occasions when guests are enjoying a leisurely day at sea aboard ship, the ensemble plays afternoon recitals.

Billboard Onboard features the talents of live musicians—including two pianists, a guitarist and a DJ—who take turns performing dynamic shows centered around the interesting facts and figures of the music industry as chronicled by Billboard. Between the nightly sets and songs, guests can sing and play along with trivia questions presented on screens throughout the room.

ms Oosterdam will also receive these venues during its April dry dock, and other Vista- and Signature-class ships will see the additions over the next few years.

Raising a Glass in Gallery Bar
During the dry dock, Eurodam received the line’s first Gallery Bar. The sophisticated venue, serving an exclusive cocktail menu by celebrity mixologist Dale DeGroff, replaces Northern Lights and is adorned with an eclectic and whimsical mix of artwork including portraits, landscapes, still-life and abstract pieces. The décor was designed to engage guests and facilitate conversations in a relaxing environment. It will be introduced on ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Westerdam, ms Oosterdam and ms Zuiderdam by May 2018 as the ships enter their respective dry docks.

Food & Service Reign at Lido Market
The traditional casual Lido buffet has been transformed into the new Lido Market concept—a marketplace with different themed stations offering a select array of delicious options guests can grab on the go or have quickly made to order, from classic comfort food to dishes from around the globe to freshly made personalized salads.

The range of choices includes specialty stations such as Breadboard, with fresh-baked breads and pastries; Wild Harvest, offering a bountiful selection of ingredients for made-to-order salads; Homestead, serving up comfort classics; Distant Lands, featuring exotic flavors from around the globe; Market Central, serving continental breakfast or light meals to go; Perk, where freshly brewed coffee, hot and iced tea and chilled juices are available; and Sweet Spot, dishing up delightful ice cream creations and desserts. Service at Lido Market is enhanced with coffee, juices, water and iced tea served tableside; and in the evening the tables have an upgraded setting with placemats, glassware and cutlery awaiting guests after they select their food from the new menu.

Pizza Made the New York Way
New York Pizza, which debuted on ms Nieuw Amsterdam, replaces Slice. New York Pizza offers five Big Apple-themed thin-crust personal pizzas made to order in less than 10 minutes, as well as the option to select your own preferred toppings from an extensive list. After ordering, diners are given a pager to alert them when their pie comes out of the oven. In the meantime, they can enjoy a salad, and afterwards the pizzeria offers a couple of sweet desserts to top off the meal.

Suite Accommodations Just Got Better
Eurodam is the first ship in the fleet to receive the suite upgrades planned for the line’s Signature-, Vista- and R-class ships. The main living area in each suite was refreshed with new furniture, carpet, wall coverings, and soft goods. Electronic upgrades included a new USB outlet added to the bed’s headboard, bedside LED reading lights, upgraded electrical outlets and a lighted closet rod. Neptune and Pinnacle suites also received a Bose Bluetooth speaker. Suite bathrooms also received a makeover, with designer glass tile serving as a backdrop to the refreshed vanity area. Other enhancements include contemporary mirrors with integrated LED lighting, stylish floor tiles and a nightlight.

A new interactive television system was installed throughout the ship, featuring large LED flat-screen TV’s with complimentary movies on demand as well as easy access to the daily program and shipboard information including restaurant overviews, spa services and guest billing. For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Royal Caribbean & The Forbidden Citys Imperial Palace Museum Partner to Showcase Rich Chinese Culture

Beijing, Jan 19: Royal Caribbean International and the Imperial Palace Museum (the Palace Museum) held a joint press conference today at a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement in the Forbidden City’s Jianfu Palace. Ovation of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest ship that debuts in April, will be the first to homeport in China immediately after its delivery. Her name is interpreted in Chinese as “praising the world and welcoming guests from everywhere” and she will offer a world-class international cruise vacation experience to guests from Tianjin beginning June 2016. The signing ceremony officially launches the “2016Let’s Ovation” campaign in China and marks the countdown to Ovation of the Seas’ maiden voyage in China.

As part of the agreement, experts from different research fields selected by the Palace Museum will be invited to give lectures of Chinese history and culture to guests on Ovation of the Seas. The Palace Museum also will provide professional consultation of the ship’s interior décor and art program. In addition, signature pieces from the collections of the Imperial Palace Museum will be on display to promote the traditional culture and arts of China. Paintings and art pieces created by artists from the Palace Museum will be available for guests to purchase at auctions held onboard.

Dr. Zinan Liu, President of North APAC and China, Royal Caribbean International said: “Cruising is becoming increasingly popular with Chinese travelers and Royal Caribbean’s award-winning and state-of-the-art ships with features found only on Royal Caribbean are very appealing to those consumers looking for a high quality vacation experience. Quantum of the Seas has been very well received by our Chinese guests and we are excited to now bring Ovation of the Seas to Tianjin. Sailing two of the world’s newest and most technologically advanced ships in China demonstrate our leadership and commitment to the market and this partnership with the Palace Museum showcasing China’s rich heritage will bring yet another unique element to our vacation offering.”

Ovation of the Seas and her sister ship Quantum of the Seas are both Quantum Class ships built with the most advanced technologies. The Quantum class features unprecedented first-at-sea features and amenities, including the North Star, an observation capsule that gently rises more than 300 feet in the air to treat guests to breath-taking panoramic views; thrilling skydiving and surfing experiences; TWO70 a daily social space which transforms into a multifunctional entertainment place at night; SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, that features basketball, roller skating, bumper cars and other entertainment. There are 18 restaurants onboard with a variety of cuisines to choose from. The unique loft suites offer the most luxurious accommodations at sea, and Virtual Balcony staterooms, are interior accommodations with large digital screens displaying real-time views which ensure that every room has a view.

Ovation of the Seas will be officially launched in April 2016, when she departs Southampton for Tianjin, China on a 53-day Global Odyssey. She will begin her first homeport sailing season in China from Tianjin in June 2016. Ovation of the Seas, together with Quantum of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas, will make up the largest fleet of any cruise line sailing in China. For additional information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Dutch Masterpieces Head to Sea with Holland America Line’s Rijksmuseum Partnership

Seattle, Jan: Holland America Line is celebrating its Dutch heritage in a new partnership with Rijksmuseum, the most-visited national museum in the Netherlands. Through the collaboration, the “Rijksmuseum at Sea” created by Rijksstudio will be installed on ms Oosterdam during its scheduled dry dock in April 2016 and then move fleetwide over the next several years. The line has also become a new sponsor of the Rijksmuseum.

Reproductions of some of the museum’s most famous masterpieces will be showcased throughout the ship and a dedicated space onboard will invite guests to explore their own creativity through guided art workshops. Guests will be able to view videos about the museum and its collections on the in-stateroom television, while enrichment programs and presentations by Rijksmuseum staff will be available on select cruises. Guests also will have the opportunity to purchase special branded Rijksmuseum merchandise in the onboard shops.

“Great works of art have always been the centerpiece of our onboard décor, and we’re excited that this partnership with Rijksmuseum will add some spectacular reproductions to our collection of more than 1,300 pieces fleetwide,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Through art, like travel, we see things differently; we open our eyes to the world around us and see things we may never have experienced before.”

Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague, the Netherlands, in 1800 and offers a representation of Dutch art and history, as well as European and Asian art from the Middle Ages to today. Rijksmuseum moved to Amsterdam in 1808 and was first located in the Royal Palace; it moved to its current location in 1885. In 2003, the main museum closed for a 10 year renovation and reopened in April 2013. Today the museum hosts nearly 2.5 million visitors.

"Both Rijksmuseum and Holland America Line are historic brands with proud Dutch heritage. We're grateful that through our new partnership, Holland America guests from around the world will be able to experience our impressive collection at the Rijksmuseum at Sea, created by Rijksstudio," said Wim Pijbes, General Director of the Rijksmuseum.

Rijksmuseum has a collection of a million objects dating back to 1200, with 8,000 works currently on display. Guests visiting the museum can see masterpieces by Dutch painters including Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, and Jan Steen. For more information about Holland America Line, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Inspiration To Undergo Multi-Million-Dollar Renovation
 That Will Add A Variety of Exciting New Features

The 2,052-passenger Carnival Inspiration will undergo a multi-million-dollar makeover that will add a wide range of new dining and bar innovations next month. The new features will be incorporated during a three-week dry dock taking place in Portland, Oregon, Jan. 18 to Feb. 5, 2016. Following the renovation, the ship will resume its year-round schedule of 3- and 4-day Baja cruises from Long Beach, California.

Here’s a look at the new options that will be added to Carnival Inspiration:

Guy’s Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a décor that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture
BlueIguana Cantina, a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic, freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar
RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside watering hole offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red
Alchemy Bar, a vintage-themed “cocktail pharmacy”-themed lounge with mixologists who “prescribe” concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients with creative monikers like Forty is the New Twenty and The Restorative Basil Drop
BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a fun and festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin’ by the pool
Cherry On Top, the “sweetest spot on board” which celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more

In addition to these new spaces, guests sailing aboard Carnival Inspiration can check out the ship’s massive WaterWorks aqua park featuring a 300-foot-long Twister slide and a kiddie splash zone, a 24-hour pizzeria, full casino gambling, a luxurious 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival health and wellness center, and the Serenity adults-only retreat.

On its year-round short cruise program from Long Beach, Carnival Inspiration departs every Friday on 3-day cruises to Ensenada and every Monday on 4-day cruises to Ensenada and Catalina Island. For additional information and reservations, visit

Back to the top of the news list

2015 Was Exhausting: Sleep Study Reveals Americans Will Do Almost Anything for More Shut-Eye in 2016

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan. 15: Americans are tired of feeling tired and willing to sacrifice almost anything for more sleep in the new year, according to a new sleep-inspired survey commissioned by Princess Cruises. The Princess Cruises Sleep Survey results suggest that 2016 may be the year Americans wake up and acknowledge the power of sleep by embracing a new sleep schedule. In fact, 57 percent say getting more sleep is a resolution that is more appealing than going back into the gym.

While getting enough sleep has long been an issue for many, it doesn't seem to be getting any better, as more than half (57 percent) of Americans think they get less sleep than they actually need and most are willing to sacrifice a lot for a few more zzzz's in the new year. The study, conducted by Wakefield Research, confirmed that the thing Americans were most willing to sacrifice was their waistline. Sixty-one percent said they would rather get a great night's sleep, every night for a month, than lose five pounds - particularly because medical research shows a direct correlation between sleep quality and weight loss (53 percent of respondents agree that lack of sleep contributes to weight gain).

Desperate for more sleep, the study also found more folks willing to sacrifice a night on the town (45 percent), a spa treatment (38 percent) and even sex (31 percent) for a little more pillow time.

The goal for the new year seems obvious, more sleep, but according to the study, Americans also think if they had more sleep they'd actually be more productive (51 percent), happier (50 percent), more successful (21 percent) and more creative (21 percent).

And while getting more sleep seems to be the goal for 2016, the survey suggests that Americans could benefit from better quality of sleep too, with nearly 70 percent citing their significant other as the main culprit in keeping them awake because they:

-- Snore (42 percent)
-- Roll over or move in bed (29 percent)
-- Nudge and kick (21 percent)

What are couples to do? According to the survey, the overwhelming majority of Americans (87 percent) say they actually sleep better after getting "intimate" with their partner. So, perhaps a little frisky business is the key to keeping a sleep-driven resolution this year.

Princess Cruises recently announced a new Princess Luxury Bed, specially designed to deliver the ultimate night of sleep at sea. Developed in collaboration with experts in both the science and beauty of sleepDr. Michael Breus, "The Sleep Doctor," and highly acclaimed designer, Candice Olson, star of the hit HGTV shows "Candice Tells All" and "Divine Design"Princess is rolling out more than 44,000 new beds, to every stateroom, across the fleet through 2018.

Methodological Notes: The Princess Cruises Sleep Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,011 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, between December 7 and December 11, 2015, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population ages 18+.

Back to the top of the news list

Disney Cruise Line Introduces Star Wars Day at Sea on Select Disney Fantasy Sailings

CELEBRATION, FL: In 2016, Disney Cruise Line guests can celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga during a brand-new, day-long celebration aboard eight special sailings on the Disney Fantasy: Star Wars Day at Sea. Marking the first official appearance of the heroes and villains of Star Wars aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship, Star Wars Day at Sea combines the power of the Force, the magic of Disney and the excitement of cruising for an out-of-this-galaxy experience unlike any other.

Occurring one day during each of eight Disney Fantasy sailings, Star Wars Day at Sea transports guests to a galaxy far, far away—in the Western Caribbean. The event features a full day of Star Wars celebrations, including a deck party, meet-and-greets with favorite characters, Star Wars-themed family and youth activities, unique food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise. Also featured are exclusive at-sea screenings of all seven Star Wars films and the new Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

Throughout the day, Star Wars Younglings, Padawans and Jedi Masters alike can enjoy the immersive entertainment. Intergalactic highlights include:

Force-filled Fun for Everyone

• Darth Vader, Captain Phasma, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Boba Fett, Darth Maul, Stormtroopers and other characters from across the Star Wars galaxy are onboard for meet-and-greets, photos and may be seen patrolling the decks.
“Star Wars Saga: Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away” is an interactive participation show featuring guests retelling their favorite Star Wars stories, with the help of props and special effects.
Kids and families enjoy friendly competition during Star Wars trivia games, putting their knowledge of the film and television sagas to the test.
Guests are encouraged to bring their costumes and cosplay and participate in the costume celebration held in the ship’s atrium.

At noon, guests on deck will be treated to a very special episodeto mark the midday, the Disney Fantasy ship’s horn will resound the opening notes of the “Imperial March.”  In the evening, The Tube nightclub transports adult guests to another galaxy with Star Wars-themed specialty cocktails, lively cantina music and a super fan trivia challenge.

Younglings Use Their Power

• In “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple,” Force-sensitive children to learn the ways of the Jedi and put their skills to the test in a final battle with the Sith Lord, Darth Vader.
In “Padawan Mind Challenge,” Younglings participate in a fun, brain-bending battle of wits and trivia to become mind challenge masters.
Star Wars-themed arts and crafts, games and activities are offered throughout the day in Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab youth clubs.

Star Wars Deck Party & Fireworks
The day concludes with more intergalactic fun when the “Summon the Force” deck party blasts off to an exciting evening filled with music, dancing and games. The party culminates as Star Wars characters converge for a celebration of the saga in an epic show featuring special effects and guest participation. The grand finale is a spectacular display of pyrotechnics, lighting, sound effects and a medley of Star Wars music.
Merchandise, Food and Beverage

Event merchandise exclusive to Star Wars Day at Sea is available on each sailing, including a range of collectible items, customizable nametags and eight special trading pinsone for each of the Star Wars Day at Sea cruises. An epic day is not complete without a feast for the palate so the dinner menu includes creative fare such as Sand People salad, Bantha steak empanadas, Opee Sea Killer shrimp cocktail and Qui-Gon’s crisp chicken. Sweet endings complete the meal with Calrissian velvet cake, Cloud City macarons and a frozen carbonite sundae. Specialty Star Wars-themed beverages include the colorful Galaxy in a Glass made with rum, coconut, mango and strawberry and a non-alcoholic Planetoid Punch.
For sipping, there are non-alcoholic beverages in collectible cups like a BB-8 sipper and Chewbacca stein and for snacking popcorn is served in containers themed to Darth Vader’s helmet or a tie fighter.

Film Screenings
Guests can watch all seven films in the Star Wars saga and follow Darth Vader, Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Rey and Finn along their epic journey. Also showing are episodes of the new Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

Star Wars Day at Sea will be on Disney Fantasy cruises sailing on Jan. 9, 23; Feb. 6, 20; March 5, 19; April 2 and 16, 2016. Departing from Port Canaveral, the 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Costa Cruises Takes Part in the International Day of Italian Cuisine

GENOA, Italy, Jan. 15: On January 17, to mark the ninth International Day of Italian Cuisine, Costa Cruises will be presenting the costoletta di vitello alla milanese, or Milanese-style veal chop, a tasty dish that is part of traditional Italian cuisine, onboard 12 of its ships sailing in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Oman, South America, India, Madagascar and on the Costa Luminosa Around-the-World cruise.

Costa ships involved in the initiative will offer cooking demonstrations in the pool area, showing guests how authentic costoletta di vitello alla milanese is prepared, with tastings and distribution of the original recipe. The dish, made according to tradition using 100 percent Italian meat, will be served at dinner in the main restaurants on the Costa ships, as it already happens during each cruise.

"Our ships are true ambassadors of Italy's finest throughout the world, which includes our excellent culinary tradition," said Stefano Fontanesi, Costa Cruises' corporate executive chef. "We want our guests who come from over 200 different countries to get to know traditional Italian dishes that are all prepared using traditional recipes. We are therefore very pleased to be taking part for the fourth year running in the International Day of Italian Cuisine."

The costoletta di vitello alla milanese is the official dish for the 9th International Day of Italian Cuisine. The event, which every year pays tribute to a traditional Italian dish, was conceived by the Virtual Group of Italian Chefs, a network of over 2,200 Italian chefs and restaurateurs who work in 70 different countries throughout the world, whose aim is to promote authentic quality Italian cuisine worldwide.

The ninth International Day of Italian Cuisine will also be an opportunity to learn interesting facts about authentic costoletta di vitello alla Milanese and its history, the origins of which date back to December, 17, 1134, when it first appeared at a nine-course banquet offered to the high clergy of the city of Milan by the abbot of the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, as recounted by Pietro Verri in his History of Milan. The recipe for the Milanese-style veal chop was published for the first time in 1855 in a book entitled "Gastronomia Moderna" (Mordern Gastronomy) written by Giuseppe Sorbiatti who suggested serving the dish with the same butter that the chops were cooked in accompanied by slices of lemon.

Costa Cruises' involvement in this important event confirms once again the Italian cruise company's commitment to offering its guests only the best of Italian traditional cuisine. Beginning this month, Costa ships will be offering an amazing new gala menu created by the Michelin-star chef Bruno Barbieri a journey offering genuine taste and flavor and a skillful combination of creativity and authenticity that presents Italy to the rest of the world.

Costa gourmet cuisine is also based on the great Italian regional culinary tradition, with over 400 dishes representing 16 regions in Italy and symbolizing the identity and pride of Italian cuisine. The new Pummid'Oro pizzerias serve pizzas with dough made from 100 percent natural yeast thanks to a special collaboration between the Italian company and the University of Gastronomic Science in Pollenzo. Costa Cruises also offers complete menus that cater to vegetarians and vegans with speciality dishes that embody Italian excellence.

Back to the top of the news list

Banana Coast Hosts First Call of 2016 Cruise Season

MIAMI, Jan. 15: After a successful first season, Banana Coast, the newest cruise port in the western Caribbean, hosted its first call of the 2016 winter cruise season at the deep-water Bay of Trujillo, Honduras. P&O Cruises' 30,200-ton Adonia arrived at Banana Coast Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. Counting P&O's Adonia, four lines have scheduled a total of 11 calls on four cruise ships in 2016 including Oceania Cruises' 1,250-passenger Riviera, Holland America Line's 1,350-passenger Veendam, and Thomson Cruises' 1,506-passenger Dream. This will be Thomson's inaugural season calling at Trujillo.

"Adonia arrived with 688 passengers aboard, and 395 more than 57 percent of them opted to take on organized shore tour," said Randy Jorgensen, general manager of Grande Trujillo Autoridad, which developed the port. "The town showed well, the weather cooperated and all tours ran on schedule. The majority of comments we received revolved around the destination delivering the authentic experience passengers were looking for."

In 2015, Banana Coast received a total of 54,440 cruise ship passengers, who gave the new destination high marks. Passenger satisfaction ratings for Banana Coast Tours was 89 percent, guides and staff received a 94 percent rating, tour sites were rated 94 percent, and 92 percent of passengers said they would recommend Banana Coast to friends and family.

In preparation for a successful second season, the port has been training tour guides, who are licensed by the municipality of Trujillo. All guides are trained in first responder and CPR skills, speak fluent English and have completed a certification course. Training consists of a 40-hour Tour Guide Program that focuses on customer service, storytelling, problem solving and emergency situations. In 2016 Banana Coast Tours and premier visitor attraction Campo del Mar will offer 22 shore excursions to cruise ship passengers that include snorkeling, kayaking, waterfall explorations, horseback riding, beach breaks, nature expeditions, mangrove boat rides, jungle ATV adventures, zip line tours and a variety of other cultural, historical and gastronomic excursions.

As guests disembark tenders at the cruise terminal, they are greeted by local Garifuna musicians, dancers and performers in colorful native attire. Establishments at the visitor center include a Jade Museum and Jewelry, CocoLocos organic frozen coconuts, a duty-free liquor and gift shop, and a variety of kiosks offering refreshments and souvenirs.

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line Partners with Herb Specialist Koppert Cress to Provide
Fresh Microgreens in ms Koningsdam's Growing Area

SEATTLE, Jan. 13: Holland America Line is partnering with award-winning microgreen specialist Koppert Cress to grow fresh ingredients onboard the line's newbuild, ms Koningsdam. The Koppert Cress partnership will enable guests to indulge in fresh microgreens grown onboard in the Culinary Arts Center while enjoying a farm-to-table-style menu for dinner. The ingredients will be on display in a glass-enclosed growing area in the reimagined Culinary Arts Center, which also will serve as a dinner venue on Koningsdam. Dinner in the Culinary Arts Center restaurant will provide an immersive farm-to-table experience where chefs prepare simple, artisanal dishes in the show kitchen. Each course will be enjoyed as it's freshly prepared, with some ingredients harvested by the ship's chefs from the Koppert Cress growing area just before being served.

"We're excited to partner with an innovative company like Koppert Cress to expand our culinary program with a special farm-to-table dining concept," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "This partnership brings a unique, hands-on and fresh experience to our newest dining venue aboard Koningsdam."

Once sown, the seedlings will grow for up to two weeks and then get snipped in their prime for use during dinner in the Culinary Arts Center. The microgreens have distinct flavors like garlic, mustard and licorice, which will enhance the taste of each dish served.

"Rather than being used as a garnish, the Koppert Cress microgreens will be used as integral ingredients in the recipes," said Michael Smith, senior vice president, guest experience and product development. "Our guests will be able to watch them grow during the cruise and then savor them freshly harvested and at their highest flavor potential during their Dinner at the Culinary Arts Center experience."

Based in the Netherlands with branches all over the world, Koppert Cress is the premier grower of living microgreens and other edible specialties. The company specializes in cressesthe seedlings of unique plantsthat are procured from around the globe, each with its own unique taste, aroma, texture and appearance.

"Putting our microgreens on a cruise ship is a new adventure for us, and we are thrilled to be working with an esteemed company like Holland America Line," said Rob Baan, founder, Koppert Cress. "Exposing our microgreens to a new audience who have an appreciation for fine cuisine is exciting for Koppert Cress, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership."

In the Netherlands the company has twice been presented the AGF Innovation Award, an honor bestowed by a jury of peers in the Dutch vegetable industry. In the United States, the Long Island, New York, branch has received much recognition, including being appointed as the James Beard House's official purveyor of hand-selected microgreens and specialties. For more information about Holland America Line and ms Koningsdam, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Fathom Announces Four Additional Social Impact Activities in the Dominican Republic

SEATTLE, Jan. 13: Fathom, the pioneer in social impact travel and Carnival Corporation’s 10th and newest brand, today announced four additional social impact activities available to travelers visiting the Dominican Republic. In addition to the range of compelling social impact activities previously announced—from building water filters for Dominican homes to helping a women’s cooperative produce artisan chocolates—travelers may now select from four phenomenal new social impact projects focused on education, economic development and the environment. New impact activities include: improving homes and common areas in impoverished communities; working with special needs rehabilitation therapy patients; assisting arts and crafts entrepreneurs at a women’s cooperative; and connecting one-on-one in the homes of Dominican host families.

According to Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation, with the flexibility to choose from a wide selection of impact activities and recreational options, Fathom travelers will be able to customize their itineraries to achieve their own ideal balance of purpose and play time.

“We are thrilled to expand our social impact opportunities by offering these new programs that were created together with our local impact partners to address important areas of need for the community,” said Russell. “Fathom was established to give people a way to combine their love of travel with their desire to make a difference. These latest additions to the social impact portfolio will fulfill that promise, giving travelers even more options for getting immersed in the Dominican culture by working alongside its people to create enduring social impact.”

Following are more details about Fathom’s new social impact activities:

Home Improvement – Even though the Dominican Republic is the most visited travel destination in the Caribbean, not all Dominican residents benefit from the island’s tourist boom. Forty percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and the average household income is less than $6,000. In the country, it is common for homes in impoverished communities to have dirt floors, which can be unsafe and unhealthy for homeowners and their families. As part of this home improvement initiative, travelers will help pour concrete for new floors to help improve living conditions in these homes. Fathom travelers also may take part in painting houses, fixing broken furniture, cleaning and improving community surroundings and common areas, or planting fruit trees as part of beautification efforts that will also provide long-term nutritional benefits. Travelers will work alongside homeowners and other members of the community, including children and teenagers, helping them create beautiful surroundings.

Special Needs Rehabilitation – A great number of disabled Dominicans are not able to access the physical and rehabilitation therapy they need due to the scarcity of resources available. Fathom travelers will have the opportunity to directly help address this issue by working with special needs patients at a nearby physical and rehabilitation therapy center. Activities range from participating in game therapy sessions for children with autism to supporting lab personnel to make and fit cost-subsidized orthopedic devices and prostheses. These contributions will help ease employee workloads and create opportunities for more people to be served.

Arts & Crafts Production with Local Women’s Cooperative – In addition to working with members of the women’s cooperative to cultivate cacao plants and produce organic artisan chocolates, Fathom travelers may now connect with another group of enterprising women who have formed an association to make eco-friendly arts and crafts made of locally recycled paper. Both programs enable Fathom travelers to have a direct and enduring impact on growing the potential income sources for cooperative members. For the new arts and crafts program, travelers will support all aspects of the business, allowing travelers to help with activities that appeal most to their personal interests and passions. For example, travelers curious about how things are made may choose to roll up their sleeves to help with the paper recycling process. Travelers with more artistic interests and skills can help create arts and crafts for the cooperative to sell. More business-minded travelers may help find ways to expand the association’s distribution network, help formalize the process for taking products to market, and more.

Host Family Experience – The saying, “mi casa es tu casa” holds true as Dominican families will welcome Fathom travelers with open arms and invite them into their homes. Travelers will experience life in the Dominican Republic firsthand while spending the day with host families. After a morning familiarization community gathering, Dominican families will host Fathom travelers in their homes, connecting one-on-one and sharing more about daily life in the country. During the visit, Fathom travelers will help the local families polish their English language skills, while discussing local community assets that could be leveraged for future tourist income and ideas for potential microbusinesses that might expand the earning potential of the families.

Fathom, a new brand in the Carnival Corporation family, is the pioneer of impact travel, a new category of travel that will offer consumers authentic, meaningful travel experiences to enrich the life of the traveler and work alongside locals as they tackle community needs. Fathom is unique in that it leverages Carnival Corporation’s expertise and scale for a one-of-a-kind business model to create long-term collaboration with its partner countries, allowing for sustained social impact and lasting development. Fathom will serve the sizable and growing market of potential social impact travel consumers—approximately one million North AmericansVin addition to global travelers already pursuing service-oriented travel experiences worldwide.

Back to the top of the news list

Sirena to Exclusively Feature Custom-Designed Mattresses from Italy

MIAMI, Jan. 13: Already recognized for unparalleled style, comfort and elegant home-away-from-home appeal, the staterooms and suites on Sirena—the newest addition to the Oceania Cruises fleet of intimate and luxurious ships—will exclusively feature custom-designed, expertly-crafted Italian mattresses when the ship launches in April 2016.

The new Ultra Tranquility Bed features superior air suspension capabilities and a new spring structure with 3,000 coil springs—four times as many coils as the average American mattress. These micro-springs are individually pocketed and joined by connecting thermally-fused points, guaranteeing not only maximum comfort but zero noise on movement. The ingenious design allows the springs to work independently, enabling the body to ease into any sleeping position, and provide a restful night’s sleep by alleviating all pressure points.

Featuring the latest advancements in mattress design, the new mattresses are quilted with a silver threaded fabric and a layer of specially-designed thermo fibers, making the mattresses anti-static and providing a fresh and cool sleeping environment at all times. The Ultra Tranquility Bed is available in all categories of stateroom and suite accommodations. The mattress is the first of its kind to be introduced to the cruise industry, and exemplifies the extraordinary level of comfort available in all the accommodations on the 684-guest Sirena.

“Our suites and staterooms are designed to provide guests with all the comforts they enjoy while at home,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Oceania Cruises. “The cornerstone of a luxurious room is the bed. Our current mattresses are already recognized as industry-leading and this new Ultra Tranquility Bed far surpasses that lofty standard in comfort to provide our guests with the ultimate sleeping experience.”

While initially available only on Sirena, the new mattresses will be added to the remainder of the Oceania Cruises fleet—Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, Marina and Riviera—during upcoming dry docks.

Sirena is scheduled to enter service April 27, 2016 with a 14-night cruise from Barcelona to Venice. Sirena will sail its inaugural season in the Mediterranean with itineraries that feature a mix of classic destinations and exotic new ports of call. Among its elegant offerings are two exquisite restaurants, all-new Tuscan Steak and beloved Red Ginger, along with Jacques Bistro, a new gourmet lunch experience at the Grand Dining Room featuring signature dishes from legendary chef Jacques Pépin. Sirena will also feature more recent additions to the Oceania Cruises fleet such as Baristas and the cook-to-order grill at Terrace Café.

Back to the top of the news list

MSC Cruises Introduces New Brand Campaign: 'Not Just Any Cruise'

Geneva, Switzerland, Jan 12: MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, has unveiled its new global brand positioning at a series of international media events across Europe. Building on MSC Cruises’ core brand heritage, the new positioning was developed to support the company’s upcoming global growth plan. MSC Cruises is in the midst of a $6 billion investment plan which will double capacity for the company’s fleet and bring seven next-generation ships into service between 2017 and 2022.

This new positioning follows a year-long global consumer research study into vacationers’ needs, perceptions of MSC Cruises’ current products and the brand’s core qualities. The powerful consumer insight gathered from nearly 3,000 hours of interviews by leading research agencies TNS and IPSOS shaped the evolution of MSC Cruises’ new brand positioning to build upon the brand’s existing core assets and heritage. It also projects a fresh identity of the brand experience that is confident and distinct.

Previously, the company focused on projecting the Mediterranean way of life, which told of the family-owned company’s warmth, humanity and accessibility, coupled with MSC Cruises’ unparalleled maritime expertise rooted in the family’s own 300 years of seafaring tradition. To this, the research added a new finding: the company’s guests and prospective customers already perceive the MSC Cruises experience as being distinctively more elegant, professional and more reliable than other cruise lines. For this reason, these existing core elements remained part of the new positioning.

All cruises offer various degrees of discovery, relaxation and fun, however, MSC Cruises’ refined and elegant character is focused on providing guests with unique, new experiences that trigger unforgettable memories. In line with the brand’s promise, the company offers quality and effortless cruise vacations with plenty of opportunity for relaxation on modern ships at affordable prices for both couples and families.

The new positioning offers a fresh vision of the MSC Cruises experience, showcasing where the elegant side of the Mediterranean meets the professionalism, dedication and meticulous attention to detail already typical of MSC Cruises. The fusion of these elements is captured by the new communications campaign, “Not Just Any Cruise”—a promise that underscores the key distinguishing elements of the MSC Cruises experience: modern ships, comfortable accommodations, always fresh and authentic food, award-winning entertainment, plenty of relaxation, impeccable service, expertise and elegant design.

“We are a highly ambitious company that will double in size over the next six years. It’s important that we evolve our positioning along with this growth to ensure the experience delivered meets and exceeds the needs and desires of cruisers from across the world,” commented MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer Gianni Onorato. “The new positioning, which is a further evolution of our core values, clearly and firmly communicates our passion for offering each of our guests unique on-board experiences by giving close personal attention to every detail. It speaks of our values and our commitment to giving them unforgettable cruises. Additionally, it exemplifies our stronger than ever global profile at a time when we are in the midst of the next phase of our growth with an unprecedented $6 billion, seven next-generation ship investment plan.”

The new communication campaign airs on January 10 in Italy, France, Germany and Spain with the US market to follow mid-year.

Back to the top of the news list

Harmony Of The Seas Sets The Stage For First At Sea Entertainment Lineup

MIAMI, Jan. 12: Royal Caribbean International's newest and hottest ship yet, Harmony of the Seas—sailing to Europe's most popular destinations in the Western Mediterranean, beginning May 2016—is setting the stage for an entertainment ensemble unlike anything ever seen before in one place. The innovative global cruise line is pulling back the curtain on the unexpected entertainment offerings that come together onboard Harmony of the Seas—from the hot summer nights of Broadway's hit musical Grease, to high-tech, high-definition ice shows in Studio B and jaw-dropping, high-flying, immersive performances at the oceanfront AquaTheater, and, for the first time, Puzzle Break, an interactive, problem-solving group activity, is in a dedicated, fully-produced space, fit for a Hollywood studio where guests are challenged to Escape the Rubicon, and so much more.

"We are taking entertainment to the next level on Harmony of the Seas with more captivating, immersive entertainment experiences than ever before," said Nick Weir, Vice President, Entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. "The level of innovation that has gone into our latest lineup is truly mind blowing, and Harmony guests can expect the unexpected with our biggest, most awe-inspiring stage yet."

The Biggest Curtain Call Yet
The main theater onboard Harmony of the Seas, the Royal Theater, is a spectacular, state-of-the-art space that enlists 21(st) century technology to create a performance environment that supersedes traditional theaters. Seating 1,380 guests, the Royal Theater is home to two headline shows presented by Royal Caribbean Productions:

-- Columbus, The Musical!: an original Royal Caribbean production created in the spirit of "Spamalot" and "Something Rotten," the story recounts the imagined history of Marvin Columbus, Christopher's fictional, down on his luck, distant cousin. Banished from his family's kingdom, Marvin sets sail on a madcap voyage of discovery in the hopes of claiming his own place in history. Unforeseen romance and a "happily ever after" story are on the map as Marvin Columbus crashes into his Caribbean destiny. A breathtaking and revolutionary set design, transporting the audience across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, will awe the entire family and adults will thoroughly enjoy the smart, nuanced humor.
-- Grease: the all-new, never-before-seen stage production, specially adapted by Royal Caribbean Productions, will boast original choreography, costumes and aerial elements set to amaze the most seasoned theater goers. Featuring a soundtrack of crowd favorites such as "Summer Nights," "Greased Lightnin'," "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee," "Born to Hand-Jive," "Beauty School Dropout" and more, guests will follow the romantic twists and turns of Sandy and Danny as they navigate the tricky social waters of Rydell High School while keeping their reputations—and relationship—together.

AquaTheater Reaches New Heights
The theatrical possibilities of the AquaTheater, the distinct high diving, acrobatic performance space introduced by Royal Caribbean with the Oasis class of ships, are pushed to breathtaking new limits onboard Harmony of the Seas. New aerial capabilities will elevate the thrilling entertainment repertoire, creating an all-encompassing theatrical experience where the audience will witness heart-stopping balancing tricks on the highline and aerial maneuvers by acro-artists allowing them to dip into the audience and catapult back to the stage. Two 10-meter high platforms and the hydraulic-floored pool, the largest and deepest freshwater pool at sea, below will serve as podiums for high-diving, hair-raising aerobatics that AquaTheater audiences have come to love. The signature venue will boast the caliber of shows only presented on a Royal Caribbean stage, where innovations intermingle with emotions to defy the imagination. New AquaTheater shows include:

-- The Fine Line: a journey from extreme to extraordinary, The Fine Line is the AquaTheater redefined with high-flying feats, mind blowing stunts and physically demanding acrobatics brought to life by the world's best extreme-sport athletes. Designed as a 360 degree immersive entertainment show, revelers will be wishing for eyes in the back of their head to take in all the action happening around them.
-- Hideaway Heist: a dive into hilarious escapades, guests will steal some laughs and experience amazing wows with Royal Caribbean's new comedy dive show, Hideaway Heist. This action packed comedy aqua show jumps into the world of a swanky 1950's holiday resort where guys 'n' dolls take the audience on a frolicking escapade in, on and around the pool as an undercover detective, playing the part of a high-rolling vacationer, pursues a crafty burglar. Guests can expect plenty of family-friendly fun and awe-inspiring performance tricks as the staff of the Hideaway Resort solve the crime of a century.

A Futuristic Spin on the Ice
Ice shows leap into the future on Harmony of the Seas, where world-class skaters perform extraordinary skills as stunning multimedia visuals, audio and state-of-the-art technology provide a sight and sound theatrical extravaganza. Guests will watch as the surface of the ice rink in Studio B transforms before their very eyes, creating a backdrop of ultra-high definition video, which blends fantasy with reality. The result is a dazzling new canvas on which incredible artists demonstrate their unbelievable skills. New Studio B performances include:

-- 1887: an original Royal Caribbean production about love and adventure that begins in Paris on February 14, 1887 at the height of the career of Jules Verne, renowned author of timeless adventure novels such as "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1864), "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" (1870), and "Around the World in Eighty Days" (1873). Beginning their journey on the frozen River Seine, Juliet and her mysterious time traveling companion, the Tempus, travel in multiple
dimensions to discover the wonders of the world, and of the heart. World-class skaters and striking technology combine in a unique way that is guaranteed to leave audiences both breathless and emotionally touched.
-- iSkate Showcase: a Studio B ice show unlike any other where Royal Caribbean's talented skaters put their best blade forward in a dazzling showcase of their very best moves set to their own favorite tunes. The cast goes rogue and anything can happen!

Fan Favorites Hit a High Note
On Harmony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean favorites are back and better than ever, including:

-- Puzzle Break: Escape the Rubicon - a puzzle that transports players to another world and another time where they must ESCAPE! Players will collaborate with friends, old and new, as they attempt to find the hidden clues needed to solve a collection of puzzles that will eventually unravel the mystery of the Rubicon. With only 60 minutes of life-support, the suspense builds with every tick of the clock. For the first time, this remarkably popular activity will take place in a dedicated space designed in partnership with ShowFX Inc., a staple for Hollywood studios' engineering, design and fabrication of custom entertainment equipment.
-- Red Party: the hottest high-energy party at sea. With DJs, surprise performances, special effects and technology, this all out nightlife extravaganza is an experience not to be missed.
-- Stowaway Piano: the pop-up piano player, which originally debuted on Anthem of the Seas, heads to Harmony. Behind the door. Around the corner. In the elevator. By the pool. Guests never know where the Stowaway Piano will turn up next.

The Royal Promenade Returns

On the Royal Promenade, Harmony of the Seas continues the tradition of Royal Caribbean's signature theme nights and parades with:

-- Totally Awesome 90s: Harmony of the Seas debuts the evolution of Royal Caribbean's much-loved Promenade 70s Party as the clock is pushed forward to the 90s. Guests can party it up in a new era when soundtracks are dominated by teen pop, dance-pop and the growing popularity of hip hop. A live DJ spinning favorite 90s hits, live pop-up performances and
crazy neon track suits set the stage to transport partygoers back to this totally awesome decade.
-- Let's Celebrate!: when on a cruise, vacationers really don't need an excuse to celebrate, but Royal Caribbean is giving guests one anyway with Let's Celebrate! - the ultimate celebration of celebrations. Halloween, Birthdays, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, Fourth of July and New Year's Eve will all be celebrated at once, in a wild and crazy parade that's truly unforgettable.

Guests on Harmony of the Seas also can belt out tunes at the On Air Club, revel in a symphony of brass brilliance with the High Cs Horns, Harmony's very own horn-led, nine piece orchestra, and take in live comedy and music at Harmony's brand new nighttime hotspot, The Attic.

Harmony of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, will span 16 guest decks, encompass 227,000 gross registered tons, carry 5,497 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,747 staterooms. The Oasis-class is an architectural marvel touting Royal Caribbean's exclusive seven neighborhood concept, including Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. For more information about Harmony of the Seas, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Samsung to Become Exclusive Partner for MSC Cruises’ Next-Generation Smart Cruise Ships

Geneva, Switzerland & Milan, Italy, Jan 12: MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa announced today that it has entered into a strategic partnership with global technology leader Samsung. In connection with this breakthrough agreement, Samsung will fully equip all of MSC Cruises next-generation ships—from cabin TVs and public screens to specialized equipment in the ships’ medical centers. Starting with MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside, which will come into service in June and December 2017, the strategic partnership with Samsung will supply all seven MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia and Seaside generation new builds with digital solutions and devices including:

Visual displays: in-cabin flat screen HDTV’s, public screens and displays, ad hoc digital signage solutions like augmented reality mirrors
Mobile solutions: smartphones, tablets and accessories for virtual reality and 360° digital experience
Medical equipment: expert technology for on-board medical centers
Printing solutions: in support of MSC Cruises’ business needs

MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato commented: “Samsung is the master of technology, and at MSC Cruises we have consistently shown our commitment to both cutting edge innovation and working with best-in-class partners that can support and further enhance the on-board experiences we offer our guests. As well as being revolutionary in concept, design and marine architecture, the Meraviglia and Seaside generation ships mark a leap forward in terms of cruise ship technology. Equipped throughout with Samsung’s latest-technology products and solutions, our guests will have access to the best of the next generation in smart ships at sea.”

The new agreement was signed today in Milan, Italy, at an international media event at Samsung’s local headquarters, the “Samsung District”.

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line Partners with Master Mixologist & James Beard Winner Dale DeGroff
to Create Menu of Unique Libations

SEATTLE, Jan. 11: Whether you like your drinks on the rocks, straight up, shaken or stirred, Holland America Line's new partnership with 2015 James Beard Who's Who Inductee and Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff brings an innovative menu of creative cocktails to the premium cruise line. DeGroff's creations will debut aboard ms Eurodam this month and will expand fleetwide by springtime.

Continuing Holland America Line's commitment to offer an exceptional food and beverage experience, DeGroff—known as "King Cocktail," author of two best-selling cocktail books and founding president of The Museum of the American Cocktail—has developed a drink menu to showcase artfully prepared signature classics as well as some unique originals.

"For many guests, there's nothing better than relaxing with a well-made, unique cocktail after a long day of sightseeing or before dinner, and adding a master mixologist to our team gives us the diversity we seek in creating the most robust food and beverage program at sea," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "We're excited to welcome the talents of Dale DeGroff to our family, and we know our guests are going to enjoy his innovative creations."

DeGroff's signature cocktails will be served in the Gallery Bar, introduced on ms Eurodam following a December 2015 drydock, and in other shipboard bars and lounges, including Ocean Bar, Explorer's Lounge, Crow's Nest and Tamarind Bar, as well as more casual outlets such as the Lido pool bar. His creations will be served fleetwide by spring 2016.

DeGroff's cocktail menu includes the Gallery Gimlet, Hemingway Daiquiri, Yuzu Margarita, The Ritz Cocktail, Whiskey and Joe, Another Shade of Greyhound, and a "Slightly Less Than Perfect" Perfect Manhattan. Many of these drinks have a storied past. The Hemingway Daiquiri is a unique spin off of Hemingway's favorite drink, the Papa Doble. The Ritz Cocktail is a dazzling champagne cocktail presented with a burst of flamed orange peel and was one of the most popular drinks at the legendary Rainbow Room where DeGroff created it as a tribute to the Ritz cocktails of Paris and Madrid. In addition to creating exclusive cocktails for all Holland America Line bars, DeGroff also will oversee staff training to ensure his signature cocktails will be crafted to perfection.

Back to the top of the news list

Celebrity Cruises Unveils Powerful New Global Campaign with “Modern Luxury Lives Here”

MIAMI, Jan. 11: From the cruise line that brought the world the stunningly designed Solstice Class ships, which introduced a boutique-hotel feel that has evolved into a fully integrated modern luxury experience, comes a new, global brand campaign that acts as a beacon to discerning travelers who love exceptional cuisine, fine wine, luxurious accommodations, and rich destination experiences. Debuting today, Celebrity Cruises’ bold new “Modern Luxury Lives Here” campaign leverages the iconic “X” in the Celebrity logo, and showcases what makes Celebrity truly unique. The fully integrated campaign will be visible across all channels, most noticeably on TV, digital and social media.

The cruise line's new 30- and 60-second TV spots, named “Marco Polo,” offer a modern interpretation of the well-known game of call and response from childhood days gone by. The spot transcends the simplicity of the game when Celebrity Cruises staff members beckon like-minded travelers to answer the call of modern luxury. The spot targets those who would appreciate the experience that Celebrity delivers, just as Marco Polo was an explorer of the world who loved to discover and travel the globe. This creative will be complemented by three additional 30-second TV spots, which will debut later this month, and show what makes Celebrity so special. Two of these additional spots will also have a special 15-second version. The campaign marks the first public manifestation of Celebrity's collaboration with its new global creative agency, Venables Bell & Partners (VB&P).

“We are excited about the way 'Modern Luxury Lives Here' shows just how unique Celebrity is, and I love how our crew members and staff appear in our 'Marco Polo' spot,” Lutoff-Perlo said. “The entire campaign brings to life, through storytelling and beautiful cinematography, some of our most important values, such as curiosity, discernment and experiences over possessions. No one delivers modern luxury more comprehensively than Celebrity, and this campaign clearly communicates that message."

"This is a recruitment drive," said Paul Venables, Chairman of VB&P. "We are calling out to not just those who cruise but to all modern luxury travelers. The fact is, Celebrity offers a superior modern luxury experience, and we have to break the usual category conventions to serve that up to discerning vacationers."

The campaign builds on a series of creatively presented hallmarks of a Celebrity vacation including award-winning dining, extraordinary accommodations and service, rich destination experiences, plus more, while traveling to all seven continents in modern luxury style.

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line Reveals 15 Guest Competitors for 'Dancing with the Stars: At Sea' Champions Cruise

SEATTLE, Jan. 7: Holland America Line has announced the 15 winning guest finalists who will compete on the "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" Champions Cruise Jan. 10, 2016, aboard ms Nieuw Amsterdam. Each winner represents one of the ships in Holland America Line's fleet (including the former ms Ryndam and ms Statendam) and was selected via the onboard "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" dance competitions held throughout the past year on every sailing.

The 15 guests and their professional shipboard dance partners will perform and compete in the main show lounge for guests. The winning couple will walk away with the coveted Holland America Line "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" Mirrorball Trophy and title of Holland America Line's "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" Champion.

"The onboard dance competitions have been fierce this year and we've seen incredible talent among our guests throughout this program," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "These 15 guests rose above the rest to earn their spot on the Champions Cruise, and we look forward to awarding the Mirrorball Trophy to the best of the best at the end of the cruise. Good luck to all of the competitors."

The finalists who will compete on the "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" Champions Cruise are:

-- Stephanie Wilson of Maitland, Florida, representing ms Amsterdam.
-- John Justin Lannin of Portola Valley, California, representing ms Eurodam.
-- Katrina Pedersen of Provo, Utah, representing ms Maasdam.
-- Remco Van De Weerdt of Amsterdam, Netherlands, representing ms Nieuw Amsterdam.
-- Stephen Reynolds of Atlanta, Georgia, representing ms Noordam.
-- Cara Henry of Hannon, Ontario, Canada, representing ms Oosterdam.
-- Rick Kerby of Sarasota, Florida, representing ms Prinsendam.
-- Eduardo Antonio Aguilar Castro of Mexico City, Mexico, representing ms Rotterdam.
-- Vivianne Bakker of Amsterdam, Netherlands, representing ms Ryndam.
-- Susan De Villez of Fullerton, California, representing ms Statendam.
-- Sunao Magara of Orlando, Florida, representing ms Veendam.
-- Elise Jensen of Mangerton, New South Wales, Australia, representing ms Volendam.
-- Dwight Cenat of Jacksonville, Florida, representing ms Westerdam.
-- Gisele Meloche of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, representing ms Zaandam.
-- Harold Aarons of Brooklyn, New York, representing ms Zuiderdam.

Joining the Champions Cruise to perform in a special production show are professional dancers and "Dancing with the Stars" champions Kym Johnson and Tony Dovolani. Celebrities set to perform are America's favorite TV mom Florence Henderson and television personality Carson Kressley.

The "Dancing with the Stars" talent will dazzle the audience in the main show lounge as they perform new dances and numbers from the hit television series, which is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Additional events on the cruise include a special fashion show featuring the glamorous show costumes and a chance to meet the dance pros and celebrities, ask questions and take photos with them.

The Jan. 10 Champions Cruise visits the eastern Caribbean, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with calls at Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Half Moon Cay, the line's award-winning private island in the Bahamas.

Holland America Line's partnership with "Dancing with the Stars" culminates with this Champions Cruise following a successful, three-year collaboration. For more information about Holland America Line, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Norwegian Invites Guests to Feel Free at Sea

Norwegian Cruise Line has introduced an all-new promotional offer in conjunction with the launch of their new brand campaign, “Feel Free.” With Norwegian’s Free at Sea, guests who book a new cruise vacation† now through April 10 can enjoy up to $1,600 in added benefits to enhance their cruising experience.

Free at Sea invites guests to Feel Free to select their favorite onboard amenities to enjoy complimentary during their cruise. Guests who book a new five-day or longer sailing in any category stateroom on sailings more than 30 days prior to departure can select their preference of four incredible offers, including a free Ultimate Beverage Package*, a free Specialty Dining Package*, free $50 per port shore excursion credits in up to four ports, or a free 250 minute WiFi package**. Guests who book a suite or The Haven by Norwegian™ will enjoy all four free offers.

Guests looking to explore the beauty and majesty of Hawai`i can do so aboard Pride of America, which has her own exclusive Free at Sea offer. Those who book a new seven-day inter-island Hawai`i cruise more than 30 days prior sailing through April 29, 2017 aboard Pride of America in any stateroom category will have the freedom to select one of four offers to enhance their cruising experience including a free one-night pre-cruise hotel stay***, a free Specialty Dining Package*, free pre-paid gratuities for the first and second guest in the stateroom, or a free $50 per port shore excursion credits in up to four ports. Guests who book a suite aboard Pride of America will receive all four offers, turning their cruise into a nearly all-inclusive experience.

This winter and spring Norwegian has 10 ships sailing the warm waters of the Caribbean and the Bahamas, including the brand’s newest ship Norwegian Escape, which features 28 dining options, two Tony-Award winning Broadway musicals, the brand’s first nursery with supervised care for young cruisers ages six months to two years, accommodations to fit any budget and much more. The recently enhanced Norwegian Epic is spending her winter season sailing the culturally-rich waters of the Mediterranean, as well as the Canary Islands and Morocco. Those looking to experience their bucket list of adventures and marvel at the breathtaking landmarks of South America can do so aboard Norwegian Sun, with alternating westbound and eastbound 14-day itineraries between Valparaiso, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Guests looking to take the world’s greatest shortcut and cruises through the 40-mile Panama Canal can do so aboard Norwegian Pearl departing from Miami or Norwegian Jewel from Los Angeles. West Coast guests can hop aboard Norwegian Jewel for a seven-day Mexican Riviera sailing from Los Angeles or make the hop over to Hawai`i to sail aboard Pride of America, the only ship sailing year round seven-day inter-island Hawai`i cruises.

Only Norwegian allows guests to visit the destinations of their dreams and invites guests to Feel Free to enjoy premium entertainment, action-packed adventure, a wide variety of dining options and the freedom to do it all or absolutely nothing on their own timetable. Visit for additional information.

Back to the top of the news list

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Unveils Gourmet Explorer Tours Exclusively for Seven Seas Explorer

MIAMI, Jan. 6: Regent Seven Seas Cruises unveiled a collection of exclusive culinary-inspired shore excursions today for Seven Seas Explorer’s inaugural Mediterranean season. Part of the Regent Choice Shore Excursion program, these new Gourmet Explorer Tours are designed for guests seeking unique, one-of-a-kind epicurean adventures ashore to complement the unrivaled culinary experiences found aboard the world’s most luxurious ship highlighted by an array of exquisite gourmet restaurants and the hands-on Culinary Arts Kitchen.

This new collection of Gourmet Explorer Tours will enhance and expand upon the curriculum offered at the Culinary Arts Kitchen aboard the ship by providing adventures that allow guests to explore the destination and local culture through its epicurean offerings. To mirror the superb guest service found aboard the ship, each Gourmet Explorer Tour will be accompanied by the chef instructor from the Culinary Arts Kitchen and a local guide, often a chef, with intimate knowledge of the region’s agriculture, wine and cuisine, to add an extra layer of authenticity to this immersive culinary experience.

“Our Gourmet Explorer Tours were specifically designed to match the unrivaled level of guest experience found on board Seven Seas Explorer,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We have created an unbelievable collection of culinary-inspired tours where our guests can partake in true once-in-a-lifetime epicurean experiences. Our tours were expertly crafted to provide our guests with unique opportunities to dine at a highly coveted and world-renowned Michelin-starred restaurant, visit iconic markets and palatial vineyard estate homes, and learn from some of Europe’s premier chefs with personalized, hands-on instruction.”

Each Gourmet Explorer Tour was handcrafted by the line’s Executive Director of Culinary Enrichment, Chef Kathryn Kelly. In preparing the tours, Kelly partnered with a vast network of Michelin-starred chefs and local culinary experts to bring Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ guests the finest array of culinary experiences available for each destination. The resulting tours are both luxurious in nature and distinctly authentic to the region’s culinary heritage.

In total, 22 Gourmet Explorer Tours have been developed for Seven Seas Explorer’s upcoming Mediterranean season, with several ultra-premium experiences that are simply unavailable to anyone except guests sailing on the most luxurious ship ever built, Seven Seas Explorer. A few these ultra-exclusive Gourmet Explorer Tours include:

· Sorrento, Italy – Become immersed in the unique cuisine of Campagnia by making cheese at the artisanal fromagerie, watching a culinary demonstration by a master chef, and wining and dining amid the luxury gardens of the stunning Don Alfonso.
· Monte Carlo, Monaco – Wine tasting at Cave Bianchi in Nice followed by dinner at the famed La Chèvre d’Or restaurant highlight a special night out with fellow foodies. Guests gain an appreciation for local and traditionally-inspired dishes hand-selected for the evening affair.
· Saint Tropez, France – Bask in an evening of ultimate gourmand indulgence on the luxurious French Riviera. Taste three Provence varietals at the famed La Croix winery, and then enjoy a gourmet dining experience at the renowned La Vague d’Or, a Michelin 3-star restaurant in the heart of Saint Tropez.
· Barcelona, Spain – Enjoy the gloriously rich Catalan culinary scene with guided strolls through the famed Boqueria and Santa Caterina markets, followed by an unforgettable lunch and kitchen tour from Chef Jordi Cruz at ABaC, a famed 2-star Michelin restaurant.

“We are creating something truly special and sure to be enjoyed by both die-hard foodies and peripheral fans of the culinary arts,” said Kelly. “With our Gourmet Explorer Tours we have an incredibly diverse array of options for our guests, ranging from the crème-de-la-crème of luxury with our day in Saint Tropez to a more casual farm-to-table experience in Greece. I cannot wait to begin!”

Whether shopping for preserved lemons in the Central Market of Casablanca or immersed in an artisanal olive oil tasting in Catalonia, Spain, each tour provides an intimate behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world’s most captivating cuisines. Many of the tours include personalized instruction back on board at one of the 18 individual cooking stations in the Culinary Arts Kitchen.

More Gourmet Explorer Tours options include these amazing choices:

· Corfu, Greece – Guests receive a shopping assignment and gather produce, cheeses and specialties at Old Town’s Corfiot Market. Sample gelato, local wine, fresh-baked bread and the traditional “bourdetto” stew before returning to the Culinary Arts Kitchen for a Greek cooking class.
· Palamos, Spain – For an intimate look at this beguiling region, guests enjoy a tasting at an artisanal olive oil producer before enjoying a cooking demonstration and 7-course tasting menu luncheon in the magical, stone-walled village of Madremanya.
· Taormina, Sicily – Guests visit the renowned fish and produce market in Catania, learn to make delicious cannolis from a pastry master, and enjoy lunch and a cooking demonstration at a famed Taormina restaurant specializing in slow food.
· Livorno, Italy - Enjoy a truly authentic food and wine experience in the Tuscan countryside, with a cooking demonstration and sumptuous lunch – with wines – at Villa Dianella. Guests have time to wander through the stalls at Il Mercato Centrale and marvel at artisanal cheeses and meats, fresh fish, seasonal produce and breads.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the only line to offer free unlimited shore excursions in every port-of-call in every destination. For intrepid guests who wish to delve deeper into a region’s culture and history, Gourmet Explorer Tours are offered at as part of Regent Choice Shore Excursion packages. Gourmet Explorer Tours are available starting at a nominal $79 per person and ranging up to $799 per person. For more specific itinerary details or for general information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Paul Gauguin Cruises Announces 2017 Voyages & Collaboration with Wildlife Conservation Society

BELLEVUE, WA, Jan 5: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, m/s Paul Gauguin, announces 2017 voyages that feature popular favorites along with new, exotic 16- and 17-night Fiji & Bali itineraries and a collaborative program with the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The 16-night Fiji to Bali voyage departs April 29, 2017, from Lautoka, Fiji, and visits Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu; Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Merauke, Indonesia; Dili, Timor-Leste; Komodo Island, Indonesia; Lembar, Lombok Island, Indonesia; and Benoa, Bali, Indonesia. The reverse itinerary, Bali to Fiji, is 17 nights and departs June 7, 2017.

In 2017, The Gauguin will also be showcasing its most sought-after itineraries: the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands; 7-night Tahiti, the Society Islands & Tuamotus; 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands. Also in 2017, the popular 12- and 13-night Society Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga & Fiji itineraries return. In addition to sailing to beautiful islands in the South Pacific, and showcasing Polynesian culture and hospitality, these voyages feature complimentary access to Paul Gauguin Cruises’ two exclusive retreats—Motu Mahana, an islet off the coast of Taha’a, and a private beach in Bora Bora. At Motu Mahana, guests enjoy a day of watersports, Polynesian activities, a barbecue feast, and cocktails from full-service and floating bars. In Bora Bora, guests can relax on a white-sand beach and enjoy refreshments, a game of volleyball, and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.

On The Gauguin’s July 26, 2017, voyage, Paul Gauguin Cruises will present its third Reunion Cruise, which features a special 10-night Cook Islands & Society Islands itinerary with two visits to the line’s private island paradise of Motu Mahana. Designed as a reunion for past guests of Paul Gauguin Cruises and as a gala welcome for newcomers, it presents a number of unique special events, including a festive dinner, cocktail and block parties, opportunities to mingle with senior staff and crew, and more.

Paul Gauguin Cruises is also pleased to announce a new global collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). WCS has been committed to saving wildlife and wild places worldwide since 1895. Beginning in 2017, WCS will offer educational programming for adults and families aboard The Gauguin. Our series will comprise lectures about marine science and wildlife conservation in the South Pacific and beyond. Additionally during the summer months and holiday season, WCS will inspire guests to value nature through our experiential family program. WCS aims to protect half of the world’s biodiversity, while ensuring a positive impact on millions of people. Paul Gauguin Cruises is proud to collaborate with WCS in support of a healthy and sustainable planet.

To launch its 2017 voyages, Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering savings of 50% off standard cruise fares on all 2017 voyages, plus included airfare from Los Angeles. For rates or more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Costa Luminosa Sets Sail on a 108-Day Around-The-World Cruise

GENOA, Italy, Jan. 5: Tomorrow, Jan. 6, 2016, Costa Luminosa will depart from Savona, Italy, on an exciting 108-day voyage during which Costa guests will discover all the marvels of the world, crossing three oceans and returning to Savona April 24, 2016. It is the ideal trip for cruise lovers who want to enjoy a unique experience and circumnavigate the world in a little over three months, encountering magnificent cultures and extraordinary places, following in the footsteps of the great navigators of the past.

More than 2,000 guests will be holidaying on this Around-the-World cruise. There is quite a wide range in terms of age and nationality of those who have chosen this special adventure to enjoy an unforgettable vacation: the oldest traveler is a youthful 91 (from Germany) while the youngest is just 2 years old (from Norway). There are more than 36 different nationalities onboard, mainly from France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Spain.

"We are extremely proud to welcome our guests on board this special voyage and their choice represent how much they are passionate about Costa brand," said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. "The Around-the-World represents a really exclusive offer by Costa. It's a sign of just how much our product is appreciated, offering the Italy's finest onboard and providing the opportunity to visit a variety of unique destinations in absolute comfort."

Costa Luminosa, the ship chosen for this Around-the-World cruise, is one of the most amazing of the Costa fleet. Even thousands of kilometers from home, guests will still be able to enjoy all the excellence of Italy's finest hospitality. To check on Costa Luminosa's incredible voyage even from home, just go to the Costa site and check out what's happening in real time through the two webcams installed onboard. Costa Luminosa will make longer calls in some particularly interesting destinations such as Valparaiso, Chile; Papeete, Tahiti; Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia; and Dubai, U.A.E. This will give travelers a chance to discover the unique characteristics of these special vacation spots, taking advantage of the exclusive excursions proposed by Costa Cruises.

The next Around-the-World cruise will depart from Savona, onboard Costa Luminosa, Sept. 2, 2016, with a 98-day itinerary around the globe.

Back to the top of the news list

Cruise News Archive - Past cruise news items listed by month

More from

Articles & Advice

Cruise Reviews

Cruise Line Profiles

CLICK HERE TO ORDER - Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises
Order My
Latest Book

Don't Miss!
Cruises Guide & Cruise Forum featured on ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA — In case you missed the story, you can still watch it online at
ABC News.

CDC Inspection Scores for all ships inspected

Cruise News Archive
Past cruise news items listed by month

Unless otherwise noted, all news items are sourced by individual cruise lines, cruise-related industries & their agents.


Back to the top of  this page

            Use keywords to search...

Search Search the Internet