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Cruise News
March 1-31, 2016

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

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

Cruise Diva

Seabourn Reports Successful First Season for Amazon Ventures

SEATTLE, March 31: Seabourn has completed a highly successful first season of the new Ventures by Seabourn program in the Amazon on two extraordinary voyages aboard Seabourn Quest. Guests enjoyed exclusive opportunities to experience the natural wonders found along one of the world's largest rivers, with informative and educational shore excursions guided by knowledgeable and experienced expedition teams. Senior Manager, Expedition Planning and Operations, Robin West reports broad enthusiasm for the series, as guests participated in various Zodiac and kayak tours that exposed them to incredible wildlife native to the region, including exotic birds, sloths, howler monkeys, pink river dolphins and most exciting, an anaconda.

With Seabourn's ongoing focus on enrichment, guests exploring the Amazon on Seabourn Quest enjoyed a strong onboard academic program, with more than a dozen Seabourn Conversations from the ship's impressive expedition team, including:

• Dr. Hans-Petef Reinthaler, the botanical authority aboard Seabourn Quest, as well as a veteran of extensive cruises all over the world. Dr. Reinthaler was awarded a doctorate in Natural Science from Karl-Franzen University in Graz, Austria. His lecture topics included the geological history of South America and the continent's complex and endangered rainforest in the Amazon Basin.
• Juan José "JJ" Apestegui, an ornithologist, naturalist, and small-town native of Costa Rica whose curiosity about nature has led him far and wide. His lecture topics focused on more than 1,500 bird specifies found in the Amazon, as well as an in-depth look of their migration patterns.
• Kara Weller, an Alaska native with a background in research for universities on both sides of the Atlantic, her lectures focused on a range of biological topics, including the Cetaceans of the Brazilian Coast, an in-depth look at whales, dolphins and porpoises that inhabit the coast of Brazil; and Elusive Mammals of the Amazon Rainforest, that revealed the most elusive species of the region.

"Seabourn's goal is always to provide the most enriching experience for our guests," said John Delaney, senior vice president, global marketing and sales for Seabourn. "The lecturers onboard these excursions are among the finest in their fields, and we have no doubt our guests will find these conversations both exciting and educational on Seabourn voyages."

Seabourn's intimate, award-winning ships offer key elements that set Seabourn apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas; superb dining in a choice of venues; open bars throughout the ship; fine wines poured at lunch and dinner; award-winning personalized service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home while on board. Seabourn's ships circle the globe throughout the year, sailing to the world's most desirable destinations at their peak seasons including marquee cities and lesser-known yachting harbors and hideaways that few travelers ever see. All-inclusive fares offer tremendous value for one of the world's finest travel experiences.

Ventures by Seabourn, which began in Northern Europe in 2015, is an informative and educational way for guests to enhance their cruise with optional shore excursions guided by knowledgeable and experienced expedition teams of scientists, scholars and naturalists. Available in select ports, the program leads guests through picturesque waterways and fjords, secluded inlets and to scenic islands via sturdy, stable Zodiac inflatable boats or paddling in double sea kayaks launched from the unique fold-out water sports marina onboard all Seabourn vessels. Ventures has also taken guests to remote destinations such as Antarctica and will expand to include Alaska for the 2017 sailing season.

Seabourn Quest returns to Brazil with the Amazon Ventures Program beginning Feb. 23, 2017. Visit for more information.

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Newbuild Order Announced for Regent Seven Seas Cruises

MIAMI, March 31: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. today announced that it has reached an agreement with Fincantieri of Italy to construct a sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer for its Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand for delivery in 2020. Seven Seas Explorer is currently under construction and is scheduled to make its debut in July 2016. The new Explorer-class vessel will build on the runaway success of Seven Seas Explorer, the first newbuild for Regent Seven Seas Cruises in 14 years. Scheduled for delivery in 2020, the new ship will retain many of the high-end features and amenities that have led to Seven Seas Explorer being hailed as the most luxurious ship ever built. Guests can anticipate exquisite gourmet dining, plush lounges and spacious accommodations, including a rendition of the Regent Suite, a new class of ultra-luxurious suite that will debut on Seven Seas Explorer. Expanded details for the new ship will be announced at a later date.

“When we began conceptualizing Seven Seas Explorer a little over four years ago, we knew from the onset that she would be something special and make an immediate and lasting impression in the marketplace,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “We expect that the positive impact on earnings and impressive return on investment from Seven Seas Explorer will be significant and that her sister vessel will make a similar contribution.”

“We knew immediately from the overwhelmingly positive response we received from travel partners and past guests that Seven Seas Explorer was going to resonate with guests searching for the ultimate in luxury travel," said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “The extraordinary demand generated by Seven Seas Explorer, including record-breaking booking volumes, reinforced our decision to expand our fleet with an additional ship that mirrors the same incredibly high standards of luxury."

The contract price for the vessel is euro 422 million and the Company has committed financing in place from a syndicate of banks for export credit financing in connection with this order.

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Full Charters & Small Groups Celebrate on SeaDream Yacht Club

MIAMI, March 30: Full charters with SeaDream Yacht Club, known among discerning travelers for its award-winning, luxury yachting experiences, offer the ultimate gift of lifetime memories to guests interested in celebrating important milestones with family and friends. Incentive charters, by both small businesses and large corporations are also growing in popularity, rewarding top performers with a true mega-yacht experience. Fifty-six well-appointed staterooms, including 10 suites, accommodate a maximum of 112 guests while still maintaining the intimate, elegantly casual setting that they expect out of an exclusive yacht charter.

“More guests are taking advantage of the ideal size, style and atmosphere SeaDream delivers with a full charter whether it is celebrating with close friends or extended family,” shares SeaDream Yacht Club President Bob Lepisto. “A private charter is the ultimate celebration and delivers memories that will last a lifetime.”

Birthdays, anniversaries, and family reunions are among the special occasions guests are choosing to celebrate with fully-inclusive, private charters aboard these mega-yachts. Smaller groups can also reserve multiple staterooms for an inclusive experience without taking over the entire yacht for charter. Surprise parties are a hit, when guests know they are taking a SeaDream voyage, but later discover it will be on a private charter or group sharing with their friends and family.

When planning a private celebration aboard one of the two twin mega-yachts, a SeaDream Yacht Charter Coordinator assists in every aspect, from the custom itinerary to onboard activities to special dining preferences to entertainment options. Custom shore excursions in locations seldom visited by larger ships may be arranged, such as hiking with a naturalist in Saba’s rain forest or strolling thru hidden villages of Sicily. With among the highest crew-to-guest ratio at sea, no detail is too small and no request goes unheeded on a SeaDream charter.

With an emphasis on outdoor living, friends and families can take advantage of a fleet of water toys available at their request, including wave runners, kayaks and paddleboards. The only Thai-certified spa at sea, the SeaDream Spa’s unmatched number of therapists can perform many treatments in the private, open-air massage area. Lounging on deck in the yacht’s signature Balinese Dream Beds is the perfect place for couples to take in ocean views during the day, or star-gaze at night.

Culinary excellence is just another facet that makes a SeaDream voyage so memorable. Guests can join the chef for an impromptu trip to the local market, sourcing only the freshest, indigenous ingredients for their dishes. Dining al fresco is also an option and highly encouraged, while anticipatory service and menus tailored specifically to each charter make epicurean experiences aboard SeaDream ones to remember.

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 charter inquiries, contact SeaDream Yacht Club at 1-800-707-4911 or visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Features of Norwegian Joy, Company’s Purpose-Built Ship For China

SHANGHAI, March 30: Norwegian Cruise Line 诺唯真 (NCL) today revealed features and amenities for Norwegian Joy 喜悦号 (Xǐ Yuè Hào), its most innovative and luxurious ship ever, built and styled exclusively for Chinese guests, arriving Summer 2017. Home porting in Shanghai & Tianjin (Beijing), Norwegian Joy was designed by the team at NCL to provide First Class at Sea experiences specifically for the Chinese traveler, with onboard amenities that cater to the unique vacation desires of Chinese guests. Built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, the ship features German precision engineering to the highest possible standard, all while offering superior customization for the culture and preferences of Chinese guests along with the exciting and innovative features found on NCL’s most recent vessels.

With a capacity of 3,900 guests, Norwegian Joy will deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy ‘First Class at Sea’ experiences, starting with her VIP accommodations. As the World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line, an honor bestowed upon the company by the World Travel Awards, Norwegian Cruise Line is known in the industry for offering innovative, stylish and first class accommodations. Norwegian Joy will feature The Haven by Norwegian®, the line’s exclusive, ship-within-a-ship suite luxury complex. Accessible only by personalized key card, The Haven offers a private respite for the most discerning travelers that features personal butler service, a dedicated concierge, priority access to entertainment and specialty dining, a private restaurant, enclosed courtyard and 74 spacious and meticulously decorated suites. The ultra-exclusive experience in The Haven on Norwegian Joy will also include an all-new Observation Deck that will feature 180 degree views, the same as the ship’s officers experience from the Bridge, with gourmet canapés and premium beverages.

Norwegian Joy will also debut an all new accommodations category: Concierge level 行政楼层. Guests who stay in the Concierge staterooms aboard Norwegian Joy will enjoy a VIP experience, featuring larger balcony staterooms with luxurious en suite amenities and the services of a dedicated concierge to make arrangements on board, from entertainment to dining. A perfect category for families and guests looking for extra personal service, the Concierge staterooms will also offer guests an exclusive Concierge lounge, with a private bar and refreshments available throughout the day. The ship also features a wide array of mini-suite, balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms, many with virtual balconies, to fit every traveler’s need. Accommodation offerings also include staterooms designed specifically for families and a multitude of connecting staterooms, for extended families traveling together.

Entertainment & Activities
Norwegian Joy will continue NCL’s long history of innovation in providing engaging, exciting features and amenities for guests to enjoy. Sure to delight guests of all ages, the ship’s top decks will offer a wide-range of never-before-seen at sea experiences. At the very top of the ship, guests will take the ride of a lifetime on a thrilling two-level competitive racetrack– the first ever at sea. Cruisers can race family and friends and even share a photo of their first place finish. Afterwards, they can challenge one another to a game of laser tag in the open-air course, sure to be a hit with both kids and kids-at-heart.

When guests step inside Norwegian Joy’s Galaxy Pavilion, they will find themselves in a world unlike anything they’ve ever seen at sea, complete with immersive virtual reality experiences, thrilling simulator rides and interactive video walls. Guests can go for a spin with friends or family on exciting hover craft bumper cars or start their engines in a professional single-seat racecar that’s been converted into a state-of-the-art racing simulator. Three interactive dark ride simulators provide guests with a captivating experience featuring real-time 3D graphics, 360-degree surround sound and multi-sensory special effects, while flight and car simulators will let guests take flight or take to the road for an adrenaline-filled experience. Movie buffs will be transported to a galaxy far, far away and into an intense battle as they pilot a fighter to take on the forces of the dark side in a Star Wars® battle pods video game, and gamers can partake in a contest of skill at six Xbox® console stations. Those guests who enjoy advanced technology will be exhilarated by state-of-the-art virtual optic experiences by Oculus that include designing and then riding a personal roller coaster; soaring to new heights over mountains and oceans; or living on the edge and walking along a cliff or on top of a ten-story building.

Continuing the adrenaline pumping recreation activities on the ship, Norwegian Joy will also feature two multi-story waterslides. Not for the faint of heart, the high-speed Double Aqua Loop free fall slide includes two exhilarating loops, one that extends out over the side of the ship and second see-through loop that stretches down to the deck below, sure to offer a wet and wild ride. The tandem Aqua Racer slide allows guests to race side-by-side on inner tubes for more than 360 feet as they twist and turn to the finish line.

The top deck of Norwegian Joy will also feature a tranquil open space park, where guests can enjoy a partially covered serene setting designed for relaxation. Offering greenery, a soothing pool and chaise lounges, it’s the perfect spot to meditate in the fresh air, gaze out to the open sea or practice tai chi and yoga.

No vacation experience is complete without shopping, and Norwegian Joy will not disappoint. The ship will feature an upscale shopping venue, the largest in Norwegian’s fleet, complete with everything from exceptional duty-free shops to high-end international brands. The shops will offer renowned global luxury brands, in fashion, jewelry and electronics.

Additionally, Norwegian Joy will also offer bow to stern Wi-Fi connectivity, the fastest in the Norwegian fleet, so that guests can share their exciting First Class at Sea cruise experiences and stay in touch with family and friends during their cruise. Norwegian Joy fuses a western cruise vacation with the comforts and preferences that Chinese guests expect, plus the freedom and flexibility that only Norwegian Cruise Line can offer, for a fabulous combination of culture and cuisine and a true east meets west experience.

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Nathan Foley Chosen as Princess Cruises’ “Entertainer of the Year”

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 29: Guests aboard Caribbean Princess have voted and selected singer, dancer and musician, Nathan Foley, as Princess Cruises’ “Entertainer of the Year.” Four finalists were selected from the hundreds of talented performers—comedians, magicians, vocalists, tribute bands and novelty performers—which entertain guests on Princess stages each year. These top artists performed to enthusiastic audiences during the cruise who then cast their ballot to select the winner. This year’s competition brought a record-breaking number of guests out to vote, a nod to the level of talent among the finalists.

Guests aboard the March 6 Caribbean Princess cruise to the Bahamas enjoyed live performances from each finalist. The finalists were determined by the Princess Cruises entertainment department based on guest surveys and onboard audience response. Along with Foley, the finalists included Comedian A.J. Jamal and Magician Alex Ramon. Foley was announced as the winner on the final night of the cruise at a celebratory event in Princess’ signature venue, The Piazza.

Sydney, Australia native Foley has 23 years of stage and television experience as a singer and presenter on the Australia hit show HI-5 and the 2015 series I Will Survive. He is the recipient of several awards, including three Logies (Emmy Award equivalent), five Arias (American Music Award equivalent) and a Helpmann Award (Tony Award equivalent). As a soloist, Nathan received the MO Award, ACE Award for “Best Young Entertainer” and the Variety Humanitarian Award for “Best Young Artist of the Year.”

“Congratulations to Nathan Foley for being chosen as Princess Cruises’ ‘Entertainer of the Year,’” said Adrian Fischer, Princess Cruises’ vice president of entertainment experience. “This year’s finalists displayed such incredible talent; our guests were overjoyed by the entertainment and excitement of the competition.”

This is the line’s fifth annual “Entertainer of the Year” program, which was established to recognize the high caliber and diversity of guest entertainers that perform on each Princess cruise. Previous Entertainer of the Year winners, Ben Seidman, Zach Winningham, Tony Tillman and Carlos Oscar continue to perform year round on Princess and remain among our top-rated entertainers throughout the fleet. As the new holder of the line’s “Entertainer of the Year” title, Foley also received a cash prize of $5,000.

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Seabourn Offers First Glimpse Of The Stunning View Lounge On Board Seabourn Encore:
The Observation Bar

SEATTLE, March 29: With less than 10 months until the launch of Seabourn's newest ultra-luxury vessel, Seabourn Encore, in December 2016, the award-winning small-ship cruise line is revealing design details of the ship's beautiful and sophisticated Observation Bar. Located on Deck 11 and surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls, the Observation Bar will be the highest indoor viewing point on the shipoffering stunning 270-degree forward-facing views for guests to enjoy at sea and in port. The centerpiece of the lounge will be a dramatic, semi-circular skylight to cast sunlight and moonlight over the bar area, while comfortable leather lounge chairs and handsome high-backed barstools surround the square bar.

The Observation Bar will feature a variety of culinary and beverage services every day from morning until night. In the morning, the Observation Bar will offer the Early Morning Riser continental breakfast, while afternoons will feature the line's popular daily white glove tea service. As the sun sets and well into the evening, the lounge will transform into a destination for cocktails, canapés, and piano entertainment before and after dinner.

"The Observation Bar is a stunning space that our guests will be able to enjoy throughout the day," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "It will be an ideal place to relax and share conversation with fellow guests while enjoying remarkable views."

Seabourn Encore will expand and build on the line's award-winning and highly acclaimed Odyssey-class ships, which revolutionized ultra-luxury cruising with enhanced accommodations and innovative amenities when they were introduced between 2009 and 2011. Seabourn Encore will maintain the line's high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service. A sister ship, Seabourn Ovation, will join the fleet in 2018. Designed by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, Seabourn Encore will feature modern design elements and innovations consistent with the line's reputation for understated elegance. The 40,350-GRT ship will be configured with one additional deck and new expanded public areas, and is expected to carry just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. In addition, every suite will feature a private veranda.

Seabourn will continue to reveal renderings and updates about Seabourn Encore via the dedicated microsite: Filled with imagery, details and news of the ship's continuing progress, including "sunsets until launch," the microsite offers an inside look at the most exciting Seabourn launch in years. Additional details, news and images will be revealed on the site on an ongoing basis. For more details, visit

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Pride of America Receives Bow to Stern Enhancements

HONOLULU, March 29: Norwegian Cruise Line’s US-flagged Pride of America returned to her homeport of Honolulu this Saturday, March 26, as a nearly new ship following a three and half week dry dock where she received ship-wide enhancements, including newly designed public spaces, brand new venues and refreshed décor in all staterooms. Pride of America’s extensive renovation is a part of The Norwegian Edge™ program, a $400 million investment that sets a new standard of excellence for the Norwegian brand encompassing the entire guest experience.

“When guests step aboard the all new Pride of America they will be amazed by the breadth of this renovation,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief operating officer. “This is much more than just a fresh coat of paint and new drapes. Pride of America is now essentially a new ship, and the only one to offer this incredibly unique way to experience the Hawaiian Islands with 100 hours of time in port.”

Many of Pride of America’s public spaces, along with several of the ships’ restaurants as well as bars and lounges, were refreshed from top to bottom to receive a modern updated look with new contemporary décor and furniture as well as new lighting and flooring. Every stateroom aboard Pride of America was touched by this renovation, receiving new bedding, new furniture, new flat screen televisions and updated flooring.

Pride of America guests will now be able to enjoy not only refreshed spaces but also new modern venues including the Soho Art Gallery, an expansive venue that features original works of art available for purchase; the new Perspectives Photo Studio, an area for couples, families and friends to have professional photo memories of their vacation; and Dolce Gelato, Norwegian’s signature gelateria. Those looking to tie-the-knot while in any of the ship’s enchanting ports-of-call can do so in the ship’s wedding chapel, now in a new location on deck six with new flooring, furniture and wall fixtures. The ship’s pool deck underwent a complete refurbishment to create an upscale feel onboard with a refinished pool, new loungers and Jacuzzis.

Guests looking to enjoy some quiet time can now do so in the completely transformed Conservatory; complete with new furniture, flooring and modern décor; and the library and card rooms, which were outfitted with new flooring, furniture and six computer stations for Internet access, for those who prefer to leave their personal devices at home. Relaxation will take center stage at The Mandara Spa, which is being expanded and revitalized to feature more treatment rooms so guests can enjoy massages, facials and more. The spa will feature New Mexican décor including soft, neutral colors and natural elements like stone and wood to provide a tranquil atmosphere.

Dining enhancements for Pride of America include extensive renovations to all of the existing complimentary dining venues, most notably the ship’s Skyline Main Dining Room, which received a refreshed look with new décor including a new entrance, new carpet design, new furniture upholstery, new window drapes and new columns throughout the restaurant. La Cucina, Norwegian’s signature Italian restaurant, aboard Pride of America has been transformed into an elegant and intimate venue where guests can enjoy fine Italian fare. The ship’s specialty restaurants East Meets West, Cagney’s Steakhouse and Jefferson’s Bistro also received enhancements to upgrade the venues to a modern look with new flooring, reupholstered furniture, new artwork, lighting fixtures, new window treatments and more.

Beyond hardware upgrades, guests sailing aboard Pride of America can now enjoy new menus in all dining outlets offering more freedom and flexibility to guests with additional choices and à la carte priced items in complimentary dining rooms and specialty restaurants. Building on the success of the enhanced menus aboard Norwegian’s newest ship Norwegian Escape, Pride of America’s new menus now feature increased variety and 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.

Pride of America is the only ship that sails year-round from Honolulu on 7-day intra-Hawaii cruises. This one-of-a-kind itinerary offers nearly 100 hours of port time and visits Hawaii’s main islands, including an overnight in Kahului, Maui; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kaua`i; stops in Hilo, Hawaii and Kona, Hawaii; as well as an afternoon cruise by the spectacular Nãpali Coast. For additional  information, visit

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Carnival Cruise Line Partners With Concrete Beach Brewery
to Create A Craft Brewery on the New Carnival Vista

MIAMI, March 28: When guests on Carnival Cruise Line’s newest, largest ship, Carnival Vista, raise a pint in the RedFrog Pub & Brewery, they will have a choice of three distinctly flavored hand-crafted beers brewed right on board in the first brewery at sea in North America. Carnival Vista’s RedFrog Pub & Brewery is the result of a unique collaboration between Carnival and Miami-based Concrete Beach Brewery.

Concrete Beach is an Alchemy & Science brand, an independently operating subsidiary of The Boston Beer Company. Alchemy & Science is home to other such popular breweries around the country, including Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles and Coney Island Brewing Co. in Brooklyn, N.Y. Each of these breweries produces beers specifically inspired by and brewed to be representative of their respective locales. The resulting examples include such beers as Tropic of Passion, a passion fruit wheat beer from Miami, Angel City IPA from L.A., and Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner from New York. Similarly, Concrete Beach is working closely with Carnival to create original recipes and source and select the finest ingredients to produce three distinctive craft beers that will be brewed and served on board Carnival Vista. Those beers will include ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin’ IPA, ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat and FriskyFrog Java Stout.

“We’ve been working for months with these talented partners who have helped us create three exciting and unique craft beers for Carnival Vista and we anticipate our guests are going to absolutely love them,” said Eddie Allen, Carnival’s vice president of beverage operations. Allen noted that the brews were specifically designed with Carnival Vista guests in mind. ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin’ IPA offers aromatic, floral and hoppy notes with passion fruit and citrus overtones while ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat is an unfiltered lager with aromas of bananas and spices. The third beer, FriskyFrog Java Stout, is a take on a traditional stout, rich and creamy with hints of coffee.

“It was an honor to be a part of this one-of-a-kind project, and we feel like we created a great variety that is sure to please guests,” said Jon Carpenter, Concrete Beach Brewery Brewmaster. “It’s common for vacationers to want to test out the local beer and Carnival Vista has taken the concept of local, and applied it to the decks of their ship."

The beers to be featured on Carnival Vista further build upon a greatly expanded selection of craft beers across the entire Carnival fleet. U.S.-based Carnival ships already serve Concrete Beach Brewery’s Rica Wheat IPA, Angel City Brewery’s Pilsner, Coney Island’s Hard Root Beer and 1609 Amber. On a regional basis, Carnival ships sailing from Miami feature Concrete Beach Stiltsville Miami-style Pilsner, while Long Beach, California–based ships offer Angel City Brewery IPA and cruises departing from New York City are stocked with Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner. The line also offers beers brewed either locally in homeports or within the homeport state on ships sailing from New Orleans, Galveston, Baltimore and Tampa, as well as ships that sail to Alaska and Hawaii.

For additional information, visit

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Viking Ocean Cruises Takes Delivery Of Second Ship

LOS ANGELES, March 25: Viking Ocean Cruises announced it has taken delivery of Viking Sea, the company's second ship. The delivery ceremony took place on March 24th when the ship was presented at Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, Italy. On April 3, Viking Sea will set sail from Istanbul and will make her way through the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic on her way to be officially christened on May 5 on London's Thames River in Greenwich. Following the christening, Viking Sea will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, as well as the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.

"What a remarkable 12 months this has been, launching our first ocean ship, taking delivery of our second ship and preparing for the final outfitting of our third ship. I am proud of everyone at Viking and Fincantieri for their contributions," said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises. "As we take delivery of Viking Sea we now double Viking's ocean capacity, which demonstrates how enthusiastic our guests are for destination-focused cruises. We look forward to further increasing our presence next year and the years after that."

The all-veranda Viking Sea is a sister ship to Viking Star, which launched in April 2015 to great customer and industry acclaim. Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boast 465 cabins and accommodate 930 passengers. Viking Sea is the second of six ocean cruise ships on order. The third ship, Viking Sky, will be delivered in early 2017; the three remaining yet-to-be-named ships will be delivered in late 2017, 2018 and 2020, respectively.

Designed for discerning travelers, Viking offers guests "the thinking person's cruise" as an alternative to mainstream cruises. The Viking Difference is providing guests with extraordinarily well-designed cruises that bring them closer to the cultures of the world. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port, more overnights and fewer days at sea. Onboard, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. All-veranda ships mean that guests experience every day with a new, expansive vista. With the most al fresco dining at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking's guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and onboard. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.

In addition, Viking Inclusive Cruising provides a small ship experience at a big ship valuewith every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room servicea value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise.

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Princess Unveils 2017 Alaska Cruise and Land & Sea Vacation Program

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 25: Next summer, six Princess Cruises’ ships will sail Alaska’s storied waters, offering multiple itinerary options, immersive onboard culinary and cultural experiences and a variety of Land & Sea Vacations for further exploring the 49th state’s vast wilderness. The line’s signature Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary, with its unrivaled glacier-viewing opportunities, will be offered on Coral Princess, Star Princess and Island Princess between Whittier (Anchorage) and Vancouver, B.C.; while cruises through the Inside Passage, with its ever-changing scenery from picturesque shores to quaint coastal towns, will be offered aboard Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess from Seattle and Grand Princess from San Francisco.

While on board, guests will encounter a variety of ways to engage in authentic experiences through the award-winning North to Alaska program, featuring the newest Cook My Catch, an exclusive culinary program allowing guests to return from select Princess fishing excursions to have the chef prepare their very own catch of the day. Also offered in 2017, the crowd-favorite Puppies in the Piazza, where real Alaskan sled dog puppies are brought on board for guests to interact with. On land, guests will hear first-hand tales from mountain climbers who have conquered Denali as they tell the exhilarating stories of their journey in the new Hudson Theater at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.

In addition, the cruise line’s Land & Sea Vacations will offer flexible ways to delve deeper into the fascinating Alaska frontier. Land tours are combined with a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise and include the company’s premier wilderness lodges, exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness domed rail service, plus visits to the top two attractions in AlaskaGlacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park.

“As the #1 cruise line in Alaska, Princess continues to offer guests the best of this beautiful state while on land and at sea,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “From wilderness and glaciers to fresh salmon and sled dog puppies, the newest North to Alaska experiences truly delivers on our commitment to ensuring our guests come back new.”

Princess’ 2017 Alaska program includes:

Alaska Cruises
With 113 departures from Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Whittier featuring unique ports and destinations, options abound for exploring Alaska in 2017 aboard Princess ships, including:

• Voyage of the Glaciers – Princess’ most popular Gulf of Alaska sailings between Vancouver and Whittier features two glacier-viewing experiences on every voyage, with visits to the UNESCO-listed Glacier Bay National Park plus either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord.
• Inside Passage –This awe-inspiring part of Alaska, known for its lush scenery and pristine fjords, will be featured on seven- and 10-day roundtrip voyages with the option to visit Glacier Bay on select sailings from Seattle, Vancouver and San Francisco.

Alaska Land & Sea Vacations
Princess offers guests more than 20 Land and Sea Vacations in 2017, most featuring multiple nights at Princess-owned Wilderness Lodges to experience the grandeur of Denali. Guests will once again be able to purchase a pre-paid meal package for the land portion of their vacation in 2017. Options include:

• Denali Explorer – As Princess’ most popular Land & Sea Vacation, these itineraries feature multiple nights at the line’s Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Most offer Princess’ exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between the ship in Whittier and the Denali area all in one day, plus the opportunity to explore Fairbanks and/or Anchorage.
• On Your Own – An affordable option for independent-minded travelers, these itineraries offer a flexible way to see the heart of Alaska. Tours follow similar routes as Denali Explorer options, but do not include any pre-planned excursions, giving travelers the opportunity to customize their own experience.
• Off the Beaten Path – These itineraries are designed to take travelers beyond Denali to sought-after, remote regions of the state such as the Kenai Peninsula and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
• Connoisseur – The line’s highest level of service, these tours provide a truly immersive experience. With a professional tour director, most meals included and enhanced sightseeing, guests experience the best of the Great Land.
• Heart of the Rockies Plus Rail – This 14-night cruisetour originates in Calgary and includes daylight Silverleaf rail service on the Rocky Mountaineer. The fully escorted land tour combines with a seven-day northbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise on Star Princess and includes most breakfasts and dinners. Spectacular overnight accommodations are offered at Fairmont Palliser Hotel, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

All 2017 Alaska cruises and Land and Sea Vacations are open for booking. Additional information is available at

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Officers & Crew Begin to Arrive at the Shipyard in Holland America Line’s
Seventh ‘Countdown to Koningsdam’ Video

Seattle, March 24: Holland America Line has released the seventh “Countdown to Koningsdam” video, which takes viewers to the shipyard for the arrival of several of the officers and crew. The short videos in the series were created to build anticipation and share updates as ms Koningsdam nears delivery. Hosted by Johnathan Rogers, Koningsdam’s cruise director, the video, “Countdown to Koningsdam: Episode 7,” features Hotel Director Stan Kuppens, who talks about the crew arriving at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard, loading supplies onboard and preparing the ship for delivery as deck, engine and hotel officers also make their way to Italy.

“The officers and crew are the heart of our ships, and we wouldn’t be able to fully prepare for Koningsdam’s delivery without their support and dedication,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “The ship is nearing delivery, and we know our fans will enjoy seeing the crew at the shipyard working on final preparations.”

When it sets sail, Koningsdam will have 1,036 officers and crew on board, and approximately 350 of those employees will be at the shipyard in Italy prior to delivery. In addition to loading supplies and helping the ship get ready for delivery, crew members also are assisting with cabin inspections, washing linens and getting fitted for uniforms. All officers and crew will move on board approximately three weeks before the March 31 delivery and bring the ship to life in anticipation of the April 8 Premiere Voyage.

‘Countdown to Koningsdam’ Videos Offer Insights
Each “Countdown to Koningsdam” video features one of the ship’s officers or a Holland America Line executive who shares ongoing developments on board the line’s newest vessel, currently being built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy.

“Countdown to Koningsdam: Episode 1” featured Hotel Director Stan Kuppens, who showed off the progress of the ship’s atrium, spoke about his move to the yard and what’s coming next for his team. “Episode 2” featured Vice President Deployment and Tour Marketing Linda Springmann detailing the ship’s inaugural sailing seasons in the Mediterranean, northern Europe and Caribbean.

“Episode 3” focused on the ship’s main theater, World Stage, and featured Holland America Line’s Director of Entertainment Bill Prince. The focus of “Episode 4,” featuring Deputy Director of Interior Operations My Nguyen, was on the ship’s staterooms and suites. “Episode 5” featured Holland America Line’s Senior Vice President of Guest Experience Product Development Michael Smith, who took guests inside The Dining Room, the ship’s primary dining venue. In “Episode 6” viewers came along on the ship’s sea trials with Captain Emile de Vries.

The final videos in the series include Prince showcasing the Music Walk entertainment area and Smith discussing more details about onboard dining.

About ms Koningsdam
Koningsdam represents a new Pinnacle Class of ship for Holland America Line. The vessel will debut several innovative concepts and new public spaces and venues while still featuring popular amenities guests associate with Holland America Line. Guests will enjoy fine dining in several alternative restaurants including Sel de Mer, a new French seafood brasserie; a new immersive farm-to-table concept dinner experience in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine; a redesigned Lido Market with themed serving stations; a stunning main dining room; and favorites such as Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto Italian restaurant and pan-Asian Tamarind. The ship also will feature Holland America Line’s first purpose-built staterooms for families and single staterooms among its 1,331 guest accommodations.

Onboard entertainment will be taken to a new level with the energetic Music Walk area featuring all genres of music showcased in venues including Lincoln Center Stage, offering chamber music nightly; Billboard Onboard, where live musicians rock the crowd with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club in the Queen’s Lounge, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage, new concepts for show time performances will immerse the audience in panoramic visual and sound effects.

For more information about Holland America Line and Koningsdam, visit

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Viking Ocean Cruises Celebrates Float Out Of Third Ship

LOS ANGELES, March 23: Viking Ocean Cruises has announced its third shipthe 930-passenger Viking Skywas "floated out," marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touches water. The traditional ceremony took place yesterday at Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard, just one day before the company takes delivery of its second ship, Viking Sea, which will officially debut to guests next month. Viking Sky is scheduled for delivery in early 2017.The company also today announced that it has placed an order with Fincantieri for three additional sister ships, which will bring Viking's total number of ocean ships to six by 2020.

"It is a special day when a new ship meets water for the first time. This is our third ship to be floated out in three years, so it is indeed a proud moment for our entire Viking family," said Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises. "Our first ship, Viking Star, has enjoyed great success in her maiden season. I look forward to her five sister ships experiencing the same respective success as they debut over the coming years."

A float out ceremony is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. Viking Sky's float out began at approximately 4:30 p.m. local time, and in keeping with maritime tradition, a madrinaa special woman of honorassisted with the ceremony. Marit Barstad, sister of Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen, served as Viking Sky's madrina and welded commemorative coins under the ship's mast that represented three family birth years: 1911 (mother Ragnhild "Mamsen" Hagen, after whom the onboard Norwegian deli Mamsen's is named; 1943 (Ms. Barstad's own birth year) and 1948 (brother and Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen's birth year). Ms. Barstad also cut a cord to allow water to begin flowing into the ship's building dock. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Sky afloat, she will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.

Viking Star, Viking Sea & Viking Sky
Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boast 465 cabins and accommodate 930 passengers. Viking Sky is the third of six ocean cruise ships on order and will be delivered in early 2017; the three remaining yet-to-be-named ships will be delivered in late 2017, 2018 and 2020, respectively. Viking's ocean fleet features understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design. Highlights include:

All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from a 270 sq. ft. Veranda Stateroom, all with private verandas and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, large showers, luxury toiletries, heated bathroom floors and large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand.
Explorer Suites: The ship features 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. that offer sweeping views from wraparound private verandas as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category onboard.
Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ship features a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.
LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Spa onboard is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind--from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.
Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow and designed in the Scandinavian spirit, for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.
The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.
Dining Choices: Viking Star offers multiple restaurant locations and food choicesfrom fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and the widest choice of culinary options, and the World Café, which serves international fare and regional specialtiesto intimate dining experiences at The Chef's Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu complete with wine parings, and Manfredi's, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. Additionally, The Kitchen Table focuses on regional dishes from market to table; the Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers; afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden; and Mamsen's serves Norwegian deli-style fare. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking Star offers the most al fresco dining at sea.
Enriching Entertainment: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking in creating "the thinking person's cruise." Instead of casinos and water slides, guests are offered Viking's Culture Curriculum® including: world-class lectures on history and art; tasting of vintage wines from their destinations; restaurant menus inspired by local cuisine; informative port talks; enriching Destination Performances featuring folkloric shows and musicians playing regional and classical music; an onboard cooking school allowing guests to learn how to prepare local specialties.
Sustainable Features: Designed with the environment in mind, Viking Star features energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations.

The Viking Difference
Designed for discerning travelers, Viking offers guests "the thinking person's cruise" as an alternative to mainstream cruises. The Viking Difference is providing guests with extraordinarily well-designed cruises that bring them closer to the cultures of the world. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port, more overnights and fewer days at sea. Onboard, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. All-veranda ships mean that guests experience every day with a new, expansive vista. With the most al freso dining at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking's guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and onboard. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.

In addition, Viking Inclusive Cruising provides a small ship experience at a big ship valuewith every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room servicea value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise.

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Holland America Line Expands Mexico Program in 2016-17 with More Cruises and a Larger, Vista-Class Ship

Seattle, March 23: Holland America Line is strengthening its presence in Mexico for the 2016-17 season by increasing the number of departures and returning a larger Vista-class ship to the region. From October 2016 through February 2017, the 1,916-guest ms Westerdam will sail a series of 13 seven-day cruises roundtrip from San Diego, California, including two special holiday departures in December. To kick off the season, the ship will depart from Vancouver, British Columbia, Oct. 18, 2016, on an 11-day itinerary. Boasting sun-kissed skies, golden beaches and azure seas, the Mexican Riviera is an ideal getaway for travelers looking to visit a destination that’s rich in culture, color and cuisine.

“We’re looking forward to the 2016-17 Mexico cruise season, and with increased sailings and a larger ship we’ll have the opportunity to show more of our guests what makes Mexico such a vibrant destination,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Mexico has it all, and with convenient roundtrip San Diego cruises, we know that these itineraries are going to attract a lot of cruisers looking for a unique warm-weather vacation.”

An 11-Day Mexican Riviera Cruise Opens the Season
Departing Oct. 18, ms Westerdam sails from Vancouver to San Diego on an 11-day Mexican Riviera itinerary. The ship visits Santa Barbara, California, before calling at San Diego the first time, then continues on to make calls at the Mexican ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta before returning to San Diego at the end of the voyage. Guests who want to take a seven-day portion can embark Oct. 22 in San Diego following the call at Santa Barbara.

Seven-Day Mexican Riviera Itinerary Sails Roundtrip from San Diego
For the remainder of the season, Westerdam sails a series of 13 seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises where guests will get a great feel for the country and all that it has to offer. Sailing roundtrip from San Diego through Feb. 7, 2017, the itinerary calls at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. Three days at sea allow plenty of time to relax and explore the abundance of amenities offered on board.

Popular Ports Highlight the Itinerary
During the sail into San Diego, guests are treated to scenic cruising past Coronado Island, Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma. Westerdam conveniently docks near downtown, so guests can walk on Coronado Island’s sandy beach, take in the Old Town or have a wild time at the famous San Diego Zoo, time permitting.

At the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is one of Mexico’s most recognizable ports of call thanks to its unique rock arch formation. Whether lounging on a powdery beach, exploring on a four-wheel-drive adventure or taking to the sea in search of a gray whale, guests will find Cabo (as it is affectionately called) offers something for every type of traveler.

Mazatlán, known as the “Pearl of the Pacific,” is where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet, creating an incredible sportfishing environment. It’s also a haven for watersports, historic sites and nature. Locals treat visitors like amigos, making it a coastal city with plenty of allure.

Puerto Vallarta has it all—from gorgeous beaches and activities galore to chic shops and stylish restaurants. The quaint Old Town greets visitors with an enticing mix of red-tiled buildings, cobbled streets and bustling open markets, while eco-adventures show off Mexico’s flora and fauna in this paradise on earth.

‘On Location’ Brings Mexican Culture on Board
Throughout the voyage, “On Location” programming brings Mexico’s local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. A mariachi band will perform throughout the voyage, while a barbecue on Lido Deck features authentic Mexican dishes. Guests who want to learn more about the country can attend a destination presentation or head to the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food and Wine magazine, for a cooking demonstration, cooking class or themed mixology class featuring local fare. The main dining room and Lido Market also will showcase the flavors of Mexico.

Sea Days Offer a Variety of Onboard Activities
With an abundance of activities, days at sea can move at a leisurely pace or pick up speed with a packed, fun-filled schedule. Guests can get pampered at Greenhouse Spa; learn how to share cruise photos at a Digital Workshop powered by Windows; enhance their cooking skills at the Culinary Arts Center; lounge by the pool and get lost in a good book; browse the latest news at the Explorations Café powered by The New York Times; indulge in tea time; enhance their knowledge at a lecture; attend a dance class; and much more. For more information, visit

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Princess Cruises Plays Travel Matchmaker with New "Places to Sea" Mobile Experience

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 23: Princess Cruises debuted a new interactive mobile experience, "Places to Sea," a swipe-to-like technology tool that takes users on a visual journey through exotic destinations, adventurous activities and culinary experiences to match them with a travel personality and cruise destination recommendations. It's the first of its kind in the cruise industry.

Developed by the cruise line's advertising agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, "Places to Sea" was designed for all Android and iOS smartphone mobile devices. Users can access via their device's browser by visiting It's easy for users to swipe (right to like or left to pass) through a series of stunning travel-related images that include everything from culinary delights to bucket-list destinations and adventurous excursions. After the user has swiped through the images, the interface identifies travel preferences and then assigns one of five different travel personalities. So whether the user is an "adventurer," "culturist," "naturalist," or a "foodie," Princess Cruises will match a cruise destination and various cruise itineraries.

"For many travelers who are researching cruises, it's easy to get overwhelmed with so many options and choicesand our new Places to Sea experience guides the process and matches the ideal trip with a person's personality," said Gordon Ho, Princess Cruises senior vice president of global marketing. "The swipe technology is a trend that plays well in the travel space. It's easy to use and turns the travel planning process into a game that introduces unexpected places and experiences that may not have been top of mind for the consumer," added Ho.

The "Places to Sea" experience is all about discovery and is a great resource for any travel lover or those who are curious about cruising. Family and friends can easily share their results to figure out which cruise destination best fits their group. The cruise personality profiler interface complements the "Come Back New" campaign at a time when consumers are thinking about planning those vacation moments where they can relax, reconnect and come back new. For additional information, visit

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Ovation of the Seas to Debut With Show-Stopping Entertainment

Miami, March 23: Set to introduce another state-of-the-art ship this April with Ovation of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International has pulled back the curtain on its newest entertainment lineup. A product of the largest entertainment production operation at sea, Ovation’s entertainment will continue the innovative brand’s standard of combining talent, technology and special effects with a spectacular selection of stage shows, productions and events that will exhilarate vacationers’ senses and leave them spellbound. Onboard Ovation of the Seas, unique technologically advanced venues and exceptionally talented performers will come together to deliver unparalleled entertainment experiences each day of a guest’s adventure.

Tech-focused Entertainment in Two70
The leading cruise line for adventure-seekers will deliver an endless landscape of one-of-a-kind entertainment in Two70, a multi-level great room that seamlessly fuses entertainment and technology. The venue affords audiences vast possibilities, with immersive experiences taking place all around the room. With the integration of Vistaramaexpansive floor-to-ceiling windows that can be set into any scene, real or imagined, by combining 18 projectors to create an ambient surface over 100 feet wide and over 20 feet tall. In addition, a troupe of six, agile Roboscreens combined with highly trained live performers, music and special effects, gives guests front-row seats to stunningly visual shows that can only be seen while sailing onboard Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships.

• Spectra’s Cabaret: This completely original production, created by Royal Caribbean and Moment Factory exclusively for Two70, will take the stage on Ovation. This wildly popular show, already a fan-favorite on Anthem of the Seas, features the Maestro and his Agents of Rhythm as they invite the audience to an electric, multi-dimensional cabaret that transports them to invisible realms. Each night, the portal opens for a limited period of time and immerses guests’ imaginations into a multimedia show brimming with kaleidoscopic sounds, effervescent colors and dazzling movement. “Spectra’s Cabaret” blends live performance and experiential cinema with music from contemporary pop culture. It creates a world seen through the lens of music and technology, all while exploring the deepest recesses of the heart.

Headlining the Main Theater
Seating 1,300 guests, the magnificent Royal Theater is home to Ovation of the Seas’ two new production shows:

• The Dream: This thrilling production chronicles the story of a man who is visited by his departed soulmate in a very special dream. His long-lost love has come to help him rediscover his passion for life and gives him the will to pursue his wildest dreams and to find love again. In his slumber, he will confront his deepest and most secret fears and journey on a rite of passage towards his eventual awakening. The unique combination of wonderful storytelling, soulful performances and spectacular production values will surprise and delight audiences time and time again. This is the biggest adventure of this man’s life, and Royal Caribbean audiences are invited to join him on a wild and audacious journey of discovery.
• Live. Love. Legs.: The same highly-acclaimed creative team behind the wildly popular “Sequins & Feathers” on Quantum of the Seas has brought its signature combination of talented artists, high-energy performances and remarkable beauty, to deliver another unforgettable theatrical experience. “Live. Love. Legs” brings a collection of incredible aerial acrobatics, next-gen choreography and superb vocal performances that come straight from the Broadway stage. Infusing all the hallmarks of the Sequins & Feathers experience, featuring lavish costumes, jaw-dropping video effects, special musical arrangements, and a dedicated group of international artists, this all-new production onboard Ovation of the Seas will reward audiences with a full sensory overload.

With Royal Caribbean, the entertainment doesn’t end on stage. Ovation offers guests a lineup of fully produced late-night events and parties. In the ever popular Music Hall, guests are treated to the most exciting live music venue at sea, where travelers can dance till the wee hours of the morning as well as enjoy theme parties such as Groovy Town. Two70 hosts late-night themed parties such as Twist & Shout and Fireworks Party along with the Roboshows that perfectly incorporate live performers and technology.

The cruise brand’s newest ship also will deliver entertainment experiences for its youngest guests, with events and activities featuring DreamWorks Animation's popular film characters. From DreamWorks character breakfasts in the main dining room, impromptu ‘meet-and-greet’ experiences to photo-ops throughout the day and exclusive DreamWorks merchandisefamilies will have a plethora of options to keep kids of all ages engaged. Additionally, guests can watch the latest DreamWorks Animation films in the ship’s movie theater or on the dedicated DreamWorks TV channel in their stateroom.

Ovation and her sister ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas belong to the Quantum class of ships and are built with the most advanced technology. They feature unprecedented first-at-sea experiences and amenities, including the North Star, an observation capsule that gently rises more than 300 feet in the air to treat guests to breathtaking panoramic views; thrilling skydiving and surfing experiences; Two70 a daily social space which transforms into a multifunctional entertainment place in the evening; and SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, which includes basketball, roller-skating, bumper cars, and more. Each ship offers 18 restaurants onboard with a variety of cuisines to choose from as well as the industry’s most relaxing and luxurious accommodations at sea with the unique Loft Suites and groundbreaking Virtual Balcony staterooms, interior accommodations that feature large digital screens displaying real-time views, ensuring that every room has a view.

The newest addition to Quantum class will officially launch in April 2016, when she departs Southampton, England for Tianjin, China on a 52-day “Global Odyssey” voyage. She will begin her first homeport sailing season in China from Tianjin in June 2016. Ovation, 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. Ovation spans 18 decks, encompasses 168,666 gross registered tons, carries 4,180 guests at double occupancy and features 2,091 staterooms.

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Carnival Corporation’s Fathom Granted Approval by Cuba to Cruise from U.S. to Cuba

MIAMI, March 22: Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company, announced that Cuba has granted approval for the company to begin travel to Cuba starting on May 1, 2016. Following U.S. authorization granted in July 2015, Carnival Corporation is now cleared to operate the 704-passenger MV Adonia to Cuba through its newest brand Fathom. This marks the first time in over 50 years a cruise ship is approved to sail from the United States to Cuba. Cuban authorities from Havanatur Celimar, various other agencies, and Carnival Corporation signed agreements enabling cruising by Carnival Corporation to Cuba.

"Our Carnival Corporation and Fathom brand teams have worked closely with Cuba throughout this process and we are thrilled to begin regular sailings to Cuba from Miami starting on May 1, 2016," said Tara Russell, president of Carnival Corporation's new Fathom brand. “We have been told that we will be the first cruise line to sail from the U.S. to Cuba with our historic inaugural sailing. We are humbled and honored to offer a one-of-a-kind Cuban experience to our travelers.”

"We are excited about Cuban approval and are ready to take travelers there through an extraordinary guest experience on the beautiful MV Adonia," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. "This is a historic opportunity, and we know there is pent-up demand amongst Americans who want to experience Cuba. We believe there is no better way to experience so much of Cuba in seven days. Everyone who sails with us with Fathom to Cuba will have a very special, rewarding and enriching experience with our Fathom brand."

Fathom Cuban itineraries feature three ports of call. During each sailing, Carnival Corporation through its Fathom brand initially will visit Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba, three ports of call for which Carnival Corporation has obtained berthing approval.

As part of this historic sailing in this inaugural year, travelers will enjoy an exciting Cuban experience and will sail aboard the 704-passenger MV Adonia, where they can choose to partake in onboard experiences, including Cuban- and Caribbean-inspired music and film options, as well as Cuban-inspired menu options. Special onboard programming will include a wide variety of activities covering an array of interests, ranging from an orientation to Cuba's history, customs and culture, to geographic-inspired entertainment, to casual and fun personal enrichment activities, to conversational Spanish lessons, to guided sessions with the Fathom team.

Seven-day itineraries on Carnival Corporation's Fathom brand depart from PortMiami on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The ship will arrive at its first destination, Havana, the following morning (Monday) at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The MV Adonia returns to its homeport, PortMiami, at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time Sunday. Prices for 7-day itineraries to Cuba start at $1,800 per person, excluding Cuban visas, taxes, fees, and port expenses and including all meals on the ship, onboard experiences and several on-the ground activities. Prices will vary by season. To secure a spot on future sailings, a $600 per person deposit is required for all cabin categories and occupancy levels. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Learn more at

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ms Eurodam Earns Holland America Line Record 10th Consecutive Perfect Score of 100
 on United States Public Health Inspection

Seattle, March 22: Holland America Line’s ms Eurodam earned its 10th consecutive perfect score of 100 on a recent routine United States Public Health inspection conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eurodam’s unannounced U.S.P.H. inspection was held March 20 during a turnaround call at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the start of a seven-day Caribbean cruise. Prior to that inspection, Eurodam had received its ninth perfect score in a row in October 2015 during a call at Fort Lauderdale, making it the first ship in company history to receive as many consecutive perfect scores of 100.

“When Eurodam achieved its ninth consecutive perfect U.S.P.H. score it was a first for our company,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Now, the ship’s hardworking officers and crew have set the bar for success even higher. We are proud of their dedication to strive for perfection every time.”

CDC inspections are part of the Vessel Sanitation Program, which was introduced in the early 1970s and is required for all passenger ships that call at a U.S. port. The inspections are unannounced and are carried out by officials from the United States Public Health Service twice a year for every cruise ship. Health Canada's Cruise Ship Inspection Program harmonizes with the United States’ CDC Vessel Sanitation Program, and inspections are conducted once a year when cruise ships visit Canadian ports. The score, on a scale from one to 100, is assigned on the basis of a checklist involving dozens of areas of assessment, encompassing hygiene and sanitation of food (from storage to preparation), overall galley cleanliness, water, shipboard personnel, and the ship as a whole.

For more information about Holland America Line, visit

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Viking Cruises Partners With Discovery Times Square To Sponsor New Vikings Exhibition

LOS ANGELES, March 21: Viking Cruises announced that it has signed on as presenting sponsor of The Vikings Exhibition, which recently debuted in New York City's Discovery Times Square. The new deal builds on Viking's commitment to supporting cultural programming around the world, with current and past partners including PBS' MASTERPIECE, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at The Hollywood Bowl, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the Museum of Russian Art, and the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibition. The company also sponsored this exhibition during its successful tenure at Chicago's Field Museum in 2015.

"Viking's commitment to cultural exploration extends far beyond the walls of our ships," said Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Viking Cruises. "In addition to the obvious connection The Vikings Exhibition shares with our company name, both our guests and Discovery Times Square visitors seek to enrich their lives through history, culture, and exploration, so this partnership is a natural fit."

With the largest display of Viking artifacts ever to visit North America, The Vikings Exhibition explores the rich Viking culture with more than 500 treasures, some never before seen outside of Scandinavia. Visitors can marvel at full-scale model Viking ships, experience daily life of the Viking people with hands-on interactive activities, and learn about Norse mythology dating as far back as 750-1100 AD with displays of exquisite jewelry, metalwork craftsmanship, and religious iconography including the earliest known Scandinavian crucifix and striking silver pendants representing the pagan gods.

"We are thrilled to partner with Viking Cruises," said James Sanna, President of Discovery Times Square. "Both The Vikings Exhibition and Viking Cruises present visitors with the rare opportunity to experience the rich history and culture of Scandinavia."

The exhibition, which is now open, will run through September 2016 and shows visitors whyeven 1,000 years laterViking culture still captivates our imagination. For more information about The Vikings Exhibit or to purchase tickets, visit For additional information about Viking Cruises, see

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Princess Cruises Unveils 2017 Japan Cruise Program

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 18: Princess Cruises, the top North American cruise line in Japan, announced its longest Japan cruise season yet with an array of voyages from Tokyo and Kobe in 2017 that circumnavigate the country, visiting the top-rated cultural ports. With 39 departures, carrying 75,000 guests, the upcoming season offers a 27% increase over 2016.

With maiden port calls to Tsuruga, Japan, gateway to Tojinbo Cliffs and Eiheiji Temple, along with visits to South Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Hong Kong and Vietnam, the voyages are designed to offer opportunities to explore the wonders of UNESCO World Heritage sites and to participate in some of Japan’s largest and most celebrated cultural festivals and special events. In addition, two Land and Sea Vacation packages will take travelers into the heart of Japanese culture in Kyoto, Tokyo and the UNESCO creative city of Kanazawa. A total of 39 voyages are open for sale on Japanese-built Diamond Princess, ranging from five to 17 nights, with 31 destinations in six countries. The 2017 season runs from April through November 2017. More details can be found at

“We’ve been recognized as the top cruise line in Asia offering the best itineraries and our 2017 Japan voyages more than live up to this accolade, offering our longest season yet,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We visit the top-rated ports, provide local cultural entertainment and culinary experiences onboard and offer bi-lingual service to make it easy and memorable for our guests to explore all that Japan offers.”

2017 Japan program highlights include:

New Extended Fall Season
The new extended season includes a special nine-night Circle Japan cruise departing on October 17, 2017, visiting Northern Japan during the beautiful fall foliage time, including port calls in Aomori and Toyama (Fushiki).

Festivals & Special Events
A new Spring Floral Festivals voyage departs April 20, 2017, visiting some of the best flower festivals during the very popular cherry blossom season. This cruise includes stops in Akita for the Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Festival, Aormori for the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival and Toyama (Fushiki) for the Tonami Tulip Festival.

Guests enjoy the best of festival time in Japan as Princess Cruises offers eight-17 night voyages visiting the Aomori Nebuta and Akita Kanto festivals, with late night stays in both cities to allow for even more exploration of these incredible events. The Aomori Nebuta Festival features Nebuta float figures, music and many vibrant dancers. The Akita Kanto features a procession of 200 bamboo poles with lanterns weighing over 100 pounds all carried on palms, foreheads, shoulders or backs of the celebrants.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The 2017 Japan season features 10 UNESCO World Cruise Heritage Sites. All of the cruise line’s Hokkaido Island voyages feature scenic cruising of the UNESCO World Site, Shiretoko Peninsula, one of the richest integrated ecosystems in the world and named one of the “Cruise Wonders of the World by Condé Nast Traveler magazine, including a late night stay in Hakodate, home to the Mt. Hakodate cable car with breathtaking views of the city at night.

Getaway Cruises
For a shorter journey, there are 5-night voyages on July 21, September 13 and September 26, 2017, sailing roundtrip from Tokyo (Yokohama), visiting Busan, South Korea and either Nagasaki, Kagoshima or Shimizu, known for spectacular views of the iconic Mt. Fiji. In addition, there is a five-night cruise sailing departing June 30, between Kobe and Tokyo (Yokohama) visiting Busan, Nagasaki and a special scenic cruise of Hasmina Island (Gunkanjima) known for its stark landscape from Hollywood motion pictures.

Land & Sea Vacations
To further enhance the cruise line’s Japanese vacations, Princess Cruises offers two multi-day land tour package options, available for add-on with most cruises, to explore Kyoto and Tokyo. The Highlights of Japan cruisetour includes the main sights in Kyoto and Tokyo. This tours includes sightseeing at Nijo Castle, the famed Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and popular Japanese gardens. Tokyo tours explore this fascinating city before heading out to UNESCO World Heritage sites Mt. Fuji, Togendai and Lake Ashi.

The new Temples & Traditions of Japan land and sea vacation package is an extended version of the Highlights of Japan with two additional nights in the UNESCO creative city of Kanazawa. This area is rich with Japanese culture and tradition where guests experience Higashi Chaya, the Geisha district of Japan, as well as Nomura Samurai House. Guests have the opportunity to receive a Japanese Washi paper making demonstration as well as a sushi making experience. Most meals and an experienced tour director are included on both Land and Sea Vacation packages.

While Diamond Princess features the cruise line’s signature innovations including its popular Movies Under the Stars poolside theater and The Sanctuary, an exclusive top-deck retreat, it also offers many unique features designed to enhance the Japanese cultural experience onboard including:

• Traditional Izumi Japanese Bath – the largest of its kind at sea and modeled after the popular Japanese onsen experience
• Kai Sushi restaurant – boasting made-to-order sushi and a full selection of Japanese sake
• Noodle stations – serving up a rotating selection of ramen, soba and udon noodles
• Tamagoyaki - a traditional Japanese omelet available daily for breakfast
• Unique Japanese entertainment offerings such as “rakugo” storytelling performances and origami classes
• Unparalleled luxury brand duty-free shopping

In addition, dining room menus offer a wide variety of international cuisine including Japanese options on all menus and onboard collateral items and stateroom information is available in both English and Japanese. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available at

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Silversea Announces Details for 'Exclusively YoursEnriched Voyages' Collection

MIAMI, March 18: From opera to ballet to the culinary arts, Silversea is offering the perfect blend of culture and travel with its new collection of specialty voyages. Titled "Exclusively YoursEnriched Voyages," these inspiring theme cruises, set to take place in late summer and fall this year, will feature a complimentary onboard program of exceptional entertainment and enrichment activities, as well as complimentary shore excursions included on select sailings.

The Exclusively YoursEnriched Voyages provide the opportunity for guests to feel at home, relishing the familiar comforts of their Silversea cruise, as they indulge their personal interests and passions with special programs designed to make the experience richer and more exclusive. These include breathtaking opera shows performed by the world-renowned Accademia Teatro alla Scala, classic ballet performances by acclaimed soloists from the esteemed State Academic Bolshoi Theater of Russia, and culinary voyages hosting renowned Relais & Châteaux Chefs, to name a few.

"We're extremely honored to present this unique collection of cruises designed to showcase extraordinary talent in the performing arts and gastronomy," said Mark Conroy, Silversea's managing director for the Americas. "We're attentive to our guests and believe they will find these voyages are perfectly attuned to their varied interests and pastimes."

Following is a snapshot of the "Exclusively YoursEnriched Voyages" collection:

Based in Milan, Italy, Accademia Teatro alla Scala (La Scala Theater Academy) is one of the world's foremost performing arts academies. Its internationally renowned performers and instructors offer the highest level of artistic education for aspiring and gifted singers, dancers, and musicians from every corner of the world. Soloists from its Academy of Lyric Opera and a piano accompanist will perform a selection of opera's most beautiful librettos for the enjoyment of Silversea guests aboard three Silver Spirit voyages in the Mediterranean:

-- VOYAGE 5624: Aug. 22 - 31, Venice to Athens, with calls in Koper, Hvar, Kotor, Corfu, Zakinthos, Nafplion, Crete, and Santorini.
-- VOYAGE 5626: Sep. 9 - 19, Monte Carlo to Venice, with calls in Livorno, Olbia, Trapani, Porto Empedocle, Valletta, Dubrovnik, Split, and Trieste.
-- VOYAGE 5630: Oct. 10 - 19, Athens to Venice, with calls in Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, Katakolon (Olympia), Argostoli (Cephalonia), Corfu, and Dubrovnik

Daria Khokhlova and Artemy Belyakov, ballet solo performers of the State Academic Bolshoi Theater of Russia, one of the world's most renowned ballet companies, are returning to Silversea for an exclusive engagement aboard Silver Spirit's August 31 Mediterranean cruise, sailing from Athens to Monte Carlo (Voyage 5625). The dance stars, whose wonderful performances last summer captivated the Silver Spirit audience, will again appear on stage in the ship's elegant Show Lounge for three performances during the nine-day voyage, which will visit destinations in Greece and Italy.

Daria Khokhlova joined the ballet company of the Bolshoi Theater in 2009. Her repertoire includes such roles as Marie in The Nutcracker, the Ballerina in Petrushka, Princess Florina in Sleeping Beauty, and Olga in Onegin, to name a few. She is also very famous as Ophelia in Hamlet. Artemy Belyakov, whose notable roles include, among others, Blue Bird in Sleeping Beauty, Lensky in Onegin, and the Evil Genius in Swan Lake, joined the ballet company of the Bolshoi Theater in 2010.


Silver Cloud - Sept 16 (Monte Carlo to Barcelona) TASTES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE: From sun-ripened tomatoes to pure virgin olive oil, to delicate cheeses, the Mediterranean diet is the cornerstone of gastronomy. Locally-inspired culinary demonstrations, apéritif tastings before dinner, and vineyard strolls (on complimentary excursions) showcase this remarkable culinary heritage.

Silver Spirit - Oct 1 (Istanbul to Athens) RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX® GOURMET CRUISE: David Chauvac, head chef of the Michelin-starred Le Candille restaurant located at Le Mas Candille hotel in Mougins, Provence, France, and Silvia Regi Baracchi, chef of the Michellin-starred Il Faconiere restaurant in Tuscany, Italy, will combine their extraordinary culinary talents to present a program of informative cooking demonstrations and grand gourmet dinners. Other highlights include an optional winery excursion in Santorini, Greece.

Silver Whisper - Oct 24 (New York to Barbados) RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX® GOURMET CRUISE: On hand to share their incredible culinary skills and insights during a program of informative cooking demonstrations and grand gourmet dinners will be: Jason Joseph, head chef of the award-winning Camelot Restaurant at Cobblers Cove hotel in Barbados; Jacob Jasinski, chef de cuisine of the award-winning Seasons restaurant at the Ocean House hotel in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, U.S.A.; Gunnar Thompson, executive chef at the acclaimed Glenmere Mansion hotel in Chester, New York, U.S.A.; and Louis Pacquelin, head chef of the renowned Panache restaurant at Québec, Canada's Auberge Saint-Antoine hotel.

Silver Spirit - Nov 5 (Barcelona to Barbados) WINE CRUISE: Presented in partnership with Comitato Grandi Cru d'Italia, an association of top Italian winemakers, and the Professional Association of Italian Sommeliers (ASPI), this wine enrichment program will spotlight a collection of some of Italy's finest vintages as top sommeliers Gennaro Buono and Giuseppe Vaccarini guide and educate guests in the art of winemaking. Other highlights include complimentary wine-themed shore excursions in Spain's Canary Islands.

Silver Spirit - Nov 21 (Roundtrip from Barbados to South America) CHOCOLATE & COFFEE CRUISE: The celebrated coffee brand illy and acclaimed chocolate company Domori are teaming up to escort guests on this ultimate sensory journey with exquisite coffee and chocolate tastings, lectures, and cooking demonstrations hosted by award-winning pastry chef Francesco Boccia.

Silver Shadow - Nov 26 (Hong Kong to Singapore) HIGH TEA CRUISE: Presented in partnership with the renowned Ronnefeldt tea company and hosted by etiquette expert and tea lover Tatyana Polyakova, this connoisseur's guide to tea will introduce guests to a selection of premium varieties as they discover how various cultures have shaped the tea experience.

And Silversea has created a special experience for bridge enthusiasts. On Silver Wind's Nov 15 transatlantic sailing from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale, guests can compete to win prizes in the first-ever Silversea bridge tournament. On this special transatlantic Bridge Cruise, featuring American Contract Bridge League life masters, guests can earn ACBL master points, attend seminars, and meet other bridge players from around the world.

For further details on Silversea's "Exclusively YoursEnriched Voyages" collection, visit

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Seabourn Unveils "The Retreat," the Ultimate Spa Sanctuary Onboard Seabourn Encore

Seattle, March 17: Seabourn has unveiled design details and imagery of The Retreat, the new sanctuary that will make its debut on the ultra-luxury cruise line's newest vessel, Seabourn Encore, this December. Located on Deck 12, The Retreat will be outfitted with custom details and modern elements to create the ultimate serene space. A tranquil setting housed in a distinctive flower-shaped canopy that shields guests from sun and wind, The Retreat is ringed with 15 private cabanas designed as individual luxury living rooms that each feature a large HD flat screen television and a refrigerator stocked with a personalized selection of beverages. An additional Spa Treatment Cabana is also available for guests to enjoy personalized spa services.

"The Retreat is the perfect environment for guests to experience pure relaxation and rejuvenation, from your own private cabana or shared spaces," said Chris Prelog, Seabourn's vice president of marine hotel operations. "As a perfect rooftop getaway, The Retreat is sure to be among the most popular destinations onboard our vessels."

The Retreat is located around a central whirlpool with step-up access to water maintained at an inviting temperature. Up to 28 guests can stretch out on comfortable sun loungers; pull up a bar stool or take a table seat for champagne and cocktails custom created by Seabourn mixologists; or enjoy a selection of bites from a healthy spa menu. A selection of amenities include fresh fruit baskets, premium sun lotions, Evian mist spray, plush towels and personalized bathrobes, while a dedicated Retreat Concierge will be available to satisfy guest requests. Cabanas at The Retreat will be available daily and may be reserved for a full day via the Guest Service Specialists at Seabourn Square. Rates for cabanas will begin at $350 per couple per day.

Seabourn Encore will expand and build on the line's award-winning and highly acclaimed Odyssey-class ships, which revolutionized ultra-luxury cruising with enhanced accommodations and innovative amenities when they were introduced between 2009 and 2011. Seabourn Encore will maintain the line's high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service. A sister ship, Seabourn Ovation, will join the fleet in 2018.

Designed by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, Seabourn Encore will feature modern design elements and innovations consistent with the line's reputation for understated elegance. The 40,350-GRT ship will be configured with one additional deck and new expanded public areas, and is expected to carry just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. In addition, every suite will feature a private veranda.

Seabourn will continue to reveal renderings and updates about Seabourn Encore via the dedicated microsite: Filled with imagery, details and news of the ship's continuing progress, including "sunsets until launch," the microsite offers an inside look at the most exciting Seabourn launch in years. Additional details, news and images will be revealed on the site on an ongoing basis.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Brings Honeymoon Wishes to Sea

MIAMI, March 17: Couples looking to tie-the-knot or honeymoon aboard one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s spectacular ships can now have their friends and family contribute to making their onboard dreams come true, as Norwegian announced today a partnership with Honeymoon Wishes, a gift registry website. is a full service honeymoon registry for couples and the only gift registry website that allows friends and family to contribute to gifts to be delivered onboard the couple’s honeymoon sailing.

Instead of a traditional wedding registry for household items, couples can register with Honeymoon Wishes for memorable experiences to enhance their cruise such as a couples’ massage at the Mandara Spa, a romantic dinner at one of Norwegian’s signature specialty restaurants, or an adventurous shore excursion. Engaged couples can even have friends and family contribute to their cruise fare, to help send them on the honeymoon of a lifetime.

Newlyweds can customize requested gift amounts to ensure that everyone can find a gift that fits their budget. When a wedding present is purchased using Honeymoon Wishes, the couple will receive an online gift announcement with a personalized message from the sender. Customized deluxe gift cards can also be mailed, either directly to the happy couple or to the guest, so that they can be presented at the wedding or shower.

Couples have the option to withdraw cruise fare contributions** anytime and as often as they desire with no additional fees, so they can plan their honeymoon on their schedule. All funds received through a Norwegian Cruise Line honeymoon registry for onboard items and activities are applied to the couples’ stateroom account* as a credit five days prior to their embarkation.

Norwegian Cruise Line offers the most freedom and flexibility at sea for couples looking to experience their dream wedding at sea or in port. Norwegian offers legally recognized weddings at sea performed by the ship’s captain aboard Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Epic, with the couple’s marriage license issued by the Bahamas. In addition to weddings at sea, Norwegian also offers customizable destination wedding experiences in one of the line’s spectacular ports of call. Whether they choose to tie the knot overlooking the sparkling ocean, atop a majestic glacier in Alaska, or under a canopy of palm trees on an exotic Caribbean beach, couples planning their dream destination wedding with Norwegian can select a Harborside Ceremony, performed on board while the ship is docked in select ports of call, or Destination Ceremony, performed on shore in select ports of call.

With a wide range of packages available, Norwegian offers everything that couples need for their perfect celebration. All packages include an officiant or ship officer to perform the ceremony, on-site wedding coordinator, private ceremony location, ceremony vows, bouquet and matching boutonniere, prerecorded ceremony music, a bottle of sparkling wine, keepsake wedding certificate and wedding cake.

Norwegian is also pleased to offer legal same-sex ceremonies, available in all US ports.

In addition to online services guests and their loved ones can call the Honeymoon Wishes dedicated toll-free number, 877-699-5884, for assistance with purchasing registry items. To book a cruise with Norwegian, visit

* Cruise credit is valid for a single voyage and cannot be transferred to future bookings. Cruise credit is non-refundable. Couples must have a booking number to apply credits to their stateroom account.
** All gifts purchased within five days of embarkation will be sent to guest directly according to guest’s payment preference.

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Royal Genie to Craft One-of-a-Kind Experiences for Guests in New Royal Suite Class

MIAMI, March 17:  Introducing the Royal Genie, every vacationer’s dream come true! When Royal Caribbean International debuts the Royal Suite Class this May, guests in the Star ClassLoft Suites or higher categorieswill have the opportunity to have their own personal Royal Genie to cater to their every whim.

The Royal Genie will serve as the ultimate insider helping craft one-of-a kind experiences based on a guest’s personal style and preferences. From planning the perfect date night or a unique family celebration to creating the memorable adventure of a lifetime in one of the ship’s destinations, the Royal Genie will curate personalized experiences catered to each guest. After a day in port enjoying customized shore excursions, guests can return to their suite to savor handcrafted cocktails made in-suite. The Royal Genies also will assist with making restaurant and show reservations, in-room dining requests, and any other needsfrom laundry, pressing and shoe-shining, to luggage handling and unpacking.

The Royal Genie will embody contemporary fashion and lifestyle with her/his own distinct look and feel. From day time casual looks that feature pants and linen shirts for balmy Caribbean days to a more formal evening look with bold pops of purple and cranberry, the Royal Genie will impress in more ways than one.

An exclusive experience for guests seeking a luxury adventure, the Royal Suite Class features well-appointed accommodations including amenities such as complimentary VOOMthe fastest internet at sea; complimentary specialty dining in all of the cruise lines signature venues; an ultimate beverage package; inclusive gratuities; preferred seating at select onboard venues and upgraded room amenities.

The Royal Suite Class will be available for sailings beginning May 2016 aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas as well as Harmony of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas (Sydney departures only) when they debut in spring 2016. For details on the Royal Suite Class and amenities available for each class visit

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World-Renowned Mixologist, Brian Van Flandern Partners With Seabourn

SEATTLE, March 17: Seabourn has entered into an agreement with world-renowned mixologist Brian Van Flandern to transform the onboard spirits across its entire fleet with upgraded bar offerings, new cocktail menus and more. This new agreement comes as the latest food and beverage development that is transforming the way guests wine and dine on the world's finest ultra-luxury cruise line. Van Flandern has been elevating the bar ingredients available onboard, handcrafting classic cocktails, educating and training the bar staff across the Seabourn fleet on both new and classic mixology techniques. He will also create a menu of cocktails exclusive to the line.

"We are honored to bring Brian's creative talents onboard our ships," said John Delaney, senior vice president, global marketing and sales for Seabourn. "Upgrading our complimentary bar and cocktail offerings is another enhancement to our product, and we are confident that these unique touches will continue to elevate our award-winning culinary experience. Guests will enjoy an expanded spirits list, which will include more premium and ultra-premium whiskeys, tequilas, and other spirits," Delaney added.

Van Flandern will use fresh produce, botanicals and flavor profiling to create a unique list of hand crafted cocktails that takes advantage of the local markets that Seabourn ships visit. Guests will enjoy a number of fresh balanced, remarkably tasty food-friendly cocktails with flavors from around the world. Additionally, he will work with Seabourn's bar team to standardize the classics to provide guests with the same perfectly balanced and served cocktail throughout their cruise.

"There is a global revolution taking place right now in the beverage industry as an entire generation is witness to the new golden age of the cocktail," said Van Flandern. "I am delighted to join the Seabourn family, who share my philosophy that the guest experience is paramount and that fresh, quality ingredients are the key to a successful program."

Mr. Van Flandern, whom the Food Network hailed as "America's Top Mixologist," has an unequaled passion for the craft of cocktail making. In 2004, he was part of the opening team for Thomas Keller's restaurant Per Se in New York City as head barman, applying the chef's philosophy of flavor-profiling behind the bar and discovering techniques to create well-balanced, food-friendly cocktails. Not long after being ranked number two mixologist in the world at the Bois Mix Masters Championship and winning the United States Bartenders Guild Iron Bar Chef Competition, Van Flandern founded a New York-based cocktail consultancy to design cocktail lists and train bartenders in the art of mixology at some of the finest restaurants and resorts around the globe. He has made appearances on The Barefoot Contessa, Bar Rescue, Diary of a Foodie, and other culinary focused television programs.

Seabourn's intimate, award-winning ships offer key elements that set Seabourn apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas; superb dining in a choice of venues; open bars throughout the ship; fine wines poured at lunch and dinner; award-winning personalized service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home while on board. Seabourn's ships circle the globe throughout the year, sailing to the world's most desirable destinations at their peak seasons including marquee cities and lesser-known yachting harbors and hideaways that few travelers ever see. All-inclusive fares offer tremendous value for one of the world's finest travel experiences. For more details, visit

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Seabourn Reveals New Signature Restaurant Ahead Of May 2016 Debut

SEATTLE, March 17: Luxury cruise line Seabourn has revealed renderings for its new signature fine-dining restaurant, The Grill by Thomas Keller, which will debut in May 2016 onboard Seabourn Quest. With a menu and ambiance inspired by the classic American chophouse, The Grill is a collaboration between three-star Michelin chef Thomas Keller and designer Adam D. Tihany, exclusively for Seabourn.

"We are delighted Chef Keller has partnered with us to produce such a standout dining experience for guests to enjoy as they travel the world with Seabourn," said Seabourn President Richard Meadows. "Wrapped in a fresh design from Adam D. Tihany, The Grill by Thomas Keller will take our already award-winning cuisine to new heights."

The new signature restaurant will be on each Seabourn vessel, including the newest, Seabourn Encore, scheduled to launch this December. The Grill by Thomas Keller will move into newly renovated spaces formerly occupied by Restaurant 2 onboard the current fleet, beginning with Seabourn Quest in April and followed by Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Odyssey during regularly scheduled dry dock periods. Seabourn Ovation will offer The Grill by Thomas Keller right from its launch in spring 2018.

The interior designs by Adam D. Tihany enhance the dining experience with spaces that will be distinctive to the ships, yet defined by intimate settings with an elegant and warm masculine quality. On Odyssey-class ships, the space will feature curvilinear lines throughout, including lush leather banquettes and tan leather swivel chairs that line the dining room; ceilings of curved wood coffers that reference design details of a luxury yacht; and metal mesh panels topped with elegant emerald marble at the face of the bar.

A culinary visionary and the innovator behind The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Per Se in New York City, Chef Thomas Keller's partnership with Seabourn began in 2015 and highlights the luxury cruise line's commitment to offering outstanding guest experiences. Guests of The Grill by Thomas Keller will be treated to a timeless menu featuring the freshest produce from artisan purveyors, such as table-side preparations of Caesar salad and ice cream sundaes as well as a range of other steakhouse favorites like Lobster Thermidor and creamed spinach, presented a la carte.

The Grill by Thomas Keller will be open for dinner daily on all Seabourn vessels, and guests will have the opportunity to secure reservations online in advance of their cruise beginning in April, 2016 for May sailings on Seabourn Quest. In keeping with Seabourn's all-inclusive rates, there is no additional charge to dine at The Grill. For more details, visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals Harvest Caye Experiences

MIAMI, March 17: Norwegian Cruise Line revealed details on its new highly-anticipated premier Western Caribbean destination experience, Harvest Caye, Belize. Norwegian Cruise Line is developing Harvest Caye to feature an authentic Belizean environment that provides easy access to beautiful Southern Belize, coupled with luxurious amenities; a variety of eco-activities; the country's only cruise ship pier for guest convenience and comfort; the opportunity for guests to easily depart to mainland Belize for the adventure excursion or cultural immersion of their choice; and much more.

This spectacular resort-style port of call, set to welcome guests in November 2016, will be the only port in Belize that features a cruise ship pier. Rather than having to spend time tendering to shore, guests will be able to walk off the ship and immediately step into paradise. Harvest Caye will offer guests the beauty and nature of Belize along with all that guests could desire from a tropical destination experience, and also serve as a gateway to the many eco and cultural adventures that lie in mainland Belize. Harvest Caye offers a large marina, where guests can depart for a wide variety of shore excursions to explore this rich destination, including spectacular Mayan ruins, river rafting, nature tours and more.

"Belize is one of the most ecologically and culturally rich gems in the Caribbean, and Harvest Caye will be the perfect destination for guests to experience all that the country has to offer in authentic, unique ways," said Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. "There is so much to do on the island from the spectacular seven acre beach and watersports to interactive wildlife programs. Beyond Harvest Caye, we will strongly encourage our guests to explore Belize through the spectacular eco-adventure and cultural tours this incredible destination has to offer visitors."

Harvest Caye's seven acre pristine beach will be the heart of the destination, with white sand and crystal clear waters as the star. Guests who wish to enjoy the day in privacy can opt to rent one of the island's 11 luxurious beach villas. These indulgent enclosed villas can accommodate up to 10 guests and are the ultimate beach escape, equipped with every comfort including air conditioning, dedicated lounge and dining areas, a private restroom, indoor and outdoor showers, hammocks, and exclusive dining and beverage options with dedicated concierge service so guests never have to leave the beach.

For those that prefer a resort-style experience, Harvest Caye will offer a tranquil, lushly landscaped pool area as the perfect retreat. The sprawling 15,000 square foot pool features a swim-up bar with stools and lounge tables right in the water, surrounded by elegant lounge chairs and umbrellas, along with 15 canopy pool cabanas. The plush pool cabanas, available for rent, feature upscale lounge furniture, privacy drapes and beverage service. A footbridge spans the center of the pool, with a soothing waterfall feature below.

Adventure will be in no short supply for guests who opt to spend their day on Harvest Caye, with the island featuring a 130 foot tall Flighthouse as the central area for a variety of aerial activities including zip lining, suspension bridges, free fall jumps, a tandem "superman" style zip line and stunning views of the verdant hills of the mainland. Harvest Caye's zip line course will have more than 3,000 feet of zip line, allowing guests to soar through the air with a bird's eye view of the island and the sea, with stops at three different platforms. To top off the adventure, the Flighthouse will include a challenging but fun ropes course located on a platform in the saltwater lagoon. For a lower adrenaline adventure, guests can also enjoy watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing in Harvest Caye's shallow lagoon area.

In true Norwegian fashion, Harvest Caye will feature a myriad of dining and bar options, available à la carte. Guests will enjoy five dining and bar outlets that feature a variety of cuisines, including a two-story indoor/outdoor Landshark Bar & Grill. An expansion of Norwegian's partnership with Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, the Landshark Bar & Grill is sure to be an island favorite, with a scenic upper deck and a swim-up pool bar for the ultimate way to enjoy a "boat drink". Those who want to indulge in authentic Belizean cuisine will be able to enjoy casual street style dining in the shopping village. Additional dining options will include the Laughing Bird Bar & Grill serving the beach, the Manatee Marina Bar & Grill in the marina, the Horse-Eye Jack Bar & Grill servicing the island's cabanas as well as food and drink delivery throughout the pool area.

No port-of-call would be complete without superior shopping options, and Harvest Caye will offer a shopping village, which will feature popular name-brand retailers as well as items from local Belizean craftsmen.

Guests with an affinity for wildlife will marvel at Harvest Caye's many opportunities for an up close encounter with this rich eco-destination's local plants and animals. To learn about the native flora and fauna in this stunning destination, guests can participate in manatee observation tours at the lagoon to learn about the gentle giants; get up close and personal with endangered Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, Belize's national bird, in the island's Aviary; wonder at the striking beauty of insects at the Butterfly Garden; and learn more about and view Belize's indigenous reptiles such as boa constrictors at the educational center. Harvest Caye's conservation programs and education efforts were developed by award winning author and wildlife expert Tony Garel, the destination's Chief Naturalist. He will lead many of the island's educational tours and be available to chat with guests about the incredible array of wildlife in Belize. The island's aviary will also house a breed and release program for Scarlet Macaws, in an effort to increase the population of the native birds. Harvest Caye features a cornucopia of native plants and trees that all play a part in the destination's eco-system. To help further the island's conservation efforts, more than 10,000 new mangroves have been planted throughout the island, serving to increase the natural estuary system that serves as a critical habitat for birds, young fish and other marine species.

Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy Harvest Caye beginning November 2016 on Norwegian's Western Caribbean itineraries, and on Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' sister brands Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, which will also offer calls at Harvest Caye on select Caribbean sailings. For full itinerary details, visit

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Carnival Magic to Feature New Guy Fieri-Designed Open-Air Barbecue Eatery

MIAMI, March 16: Chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri, whose Guy’s Burger Joints on Carnival Cruise Line ships have earned a reputation as the best burgers at sea, has expanded his seagoing culinary offerings with a new authentic smokehouse and barbecue venue aboard Carnival Magic. Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse is a casual open-air eatery located on Carnival Magic’s Lanai on Promenade Deck featuring a wide variety of BBQ favorites smoked right on board over hickory and cherry wood using Guy’s signature recipes, rubs and spices. A member of the American Royal National Barbecue Hall of Fame, Fieri is cooking up real-deal smokehouse favorites like bone-in, dry-rubbed, slow-smoked and pulled Championship Pork Butt, dry-rubbed and grilled Blue Ribbon Chicken, smoked Andouille sausage and Sliced Smoked Round of Beef cooked “low and slow” and thinly sliced. A rarity on cruise ships, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse features a traditional wood smoker which was installed on board as part of a recent dry dock.

Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse also features Fieri’s own unique take on traditional side dishes with deliciously creative offerings like Mac Daddy Mac n Cheese, Old Skool Potato Salad, Scratch-Made Slaw, Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey, and Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon and Burnt Ends. All items at Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse will be available free of charge. Diners can spice up their dishes with Fieri’s signature BBQ sauces, including Award-Winning Brown Sugar (sweet and sticky), Kansas City (smoky and sweet), and Sriracha BBQ (spicy and tangy) and Carolina #6 (tangy with sweet heat). A hot sauce bar, as well as a wide range of ice-cold beers and sodas, will be available, as well.

Commented Fieri, “Everyone knows that it takes the finest meats cooked ‘low and slow’ to create truly righteous mouth-watering barbecue. My new ‘Pig & Anchor’ eatery on Carnival Magic is gonna be off the hook! Be sure to grab lots of napkinsit’s gonna get messy!”

“Guy has been a wonderful partner and we can’t wait for our guests to enjoy all the incredible offerings at his Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse which we’re sure will be a huge hit with Carnival Magic guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Open sea days from noon to 2:30 p.m., Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse is part of Carnival Magic’s extensive multi-million-dollar renovation that spanned three weeks and added a variety of exciting new dining and bar concepts, including, of course, a Guy’s Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue serving hand-crafted burgers and fries with recipes created by the Food Network star. Including Carnival Magic, Guy’s Burger Joints are available on 11 Carnival ships and serve more than 1,000 burgers per ship per day. Guy’s Burger Joint will also be featured aboard the new Carnival Vista when it debuts in May.

Other newly added spaces on Carnival Magic include two poolside barsthe RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Baralong with the BlueIguana Cantina serving authentic Mexican tacos and burritos, Pizzeria del Capitano offering hand-tossed artisanal pies, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, and a “candy and more store” called Cherry on Top.

Carnival Magic will continue its 7-day schedule from Galveston through April 10, 2016 then reposition to Port Canaveral to launch year-round 7-day Caribbean cruises April 23, 2016. Carnival Magic will offer two distinctly different week-long itineraries from the Space Coasta western Caribbean route featuring Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan) and Costa Maya; and an eastern Caribbean option calling at St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk, and Nassau or Amber Cove. Prior to launching its new 7-day schedule from Port Canaveral, Carnival Magic will operate a special 3-day cruise to Nassau April 20-23, 2016.

Additional information on Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse is available at

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MSC Cruises Partners With Award-Winning, Celebrity Chef Roy Yamaguchi

Fort Lauderdale, March 16: MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, today announced a new partnership with celebrated pan-Asian chef and international culinary pioneer, Roy Yamaguchi. The innovative Japanese-American celebrity chef will initially introduce a specialty pan-Asian restaurant on board the cruise line’s new next-generation ship, MSC Seasideknown as “the ship that follows the sun”bringing his unique fusion of cooking traditions to MSC Cruises. This latest announcement further demonstrates MSC Cruises’ ongoing commitment to international fine dining and adds to the cruise line’s existing partnerships with renowned, award-winning chefs Carlo Cracco, Jean-Philippe Maury, and Jereme Leung.

“Our heritage lies in the Mediterranean, where a passion for food is a way of life and we seek to bring this to life every day for our guests with always fresh, authentic food of the highest quality,” said Gianni Onorato, chief executive officer of MSC Cruises. “The enjoyment of good food plays an integral role in creating unforgettable emotions as well as enabling our guests to discover new cultures and tastes, whilst cruising on one of our beautiful ships. The dining experience on an MSC Cruises ship is distinguished by the extensive variety of Mediterranean and international cuisines and wide range of dining formats available. The four top chefs whom we currently work with are known as leading global experts in their respective cuisines and each one brings world-class fine dining expertise, elevating the dining experience for our guests to a new level.”

“We provide a wide range of specialty restaurants to give our guests a wide and varied choice during their cruise,” continued Onorato. “We are developing exciting new dining options onboard MSC Seaside, with nine eateries featuring cuisines from all around the world including a pan-Asian restaurant in partnership with Roy Yamaguchi, a luxury fish restaurant with a chef’s table and a world class international steak house where the beef will dry age on board.”

Chef Yamaguchi will have a dedicated presence and specialty restaurant onboard MSC Cruises next-generation new build, MSC Seasideone of the company’s most innovative and revolutionary shipswhich will come into service in December 2017 and sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean. As part of the partnership, Chef Yamaguchi will be personally involved in conceptualizing and designing every element of the new pan-Asian restaurant, bringing his creative flair and vision to every single detail of the guest’s experience. This includes creating the recipes and menus; selecting the chinaware to enhance the dishes; choosing music to create the right ambience; deciding the perfect wines to complement the food; and even picking out the paper stock for the menus.

In addition to featuring a variety of Chef Yamaguchi’s gourmet pan-Asian style dishes, the restaurant will include a sushi, sashimi, and raw bar, as well as a space with teppanyaki grills in which guests will be able to enjoy a variety of cooking stylesranging from traditional Japanese to Malaysian to Thai Koreanand be entertained by skilled teppanyaki chefs as their meal is cooked in front of them. An international culinary visionary and the creator of Hawaiian fusion cuisine, Yamaguchi intertwines his Japanese heritage with love for the freshest ingredients. He is the founder of 30 Roy’s Restaurants, including 28 in the United States, one in Guam and one in Okinawa, Japan. His numerous accolades include the prestigious James Beard Award. Yamaguchi has also hosted six seasons of the television show "Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi," seen in more than 60 countries. He has also published four culinary cookbooks.

Other Current Fine Dining Partnerships With Internationally Acclaimed Chefs
Two-star Michelin chef Carlo Cracco is a leader in the new generation of progressive Italian cuisine. He began his professional career in 1986 at “Gualtiero Marchesi,” in Milan, the first Italian restaurant awarded Michelin stars. His eponymous Ristorante Cracco has been listed in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. MSC Cruises first began collaborating with Chef Cracco in 2013. The relationship has grown since then and every year he now designs special Christmas and New Year menus for MSC Cruises’ guests. In addition, beginning in summer 2016, Chef Cracco has created an exclusive recipe for the menu featured onboard MSC’s ships on Gala night. MSC Cruises is also collaborating with Chef Cracco to design a new cooking experience for the MSC Cruises DOREMI kids clubs, available from summer 2016.

French chocolatier and pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury was crowned the Best Pastry Chef in France (Meilleur Ouvrier de France 1997) and was a gold medal winner at the World Pastry Team Championship (2002 and 2004).
Maury held the position of Executive Pastry Chef at The Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas in 1998 and then Aria Hotel in 2009. Today, he is managing in partnership with MGM Resorts International his two shops Jean-Philippe Patisserie, one of which houses the world’s tallest and largest chocolate fountain. Last summer, he opened an innovative dessert concept in San Diego, called iDessert.

Chef Maury will be tempting guests with his sweet creations, initially on MSC Divinacurrently based in Miami and sailing year-round in the Caribbean. This will then extend to the rest of the fleet, with new dessert offerings for the ship’s buffet, specialty restaurants and the MSC Yacht Club. Chef Maury will have a high-profile presence on the next-generation Meraviglia ships, where guests will be able to enjoy a chocolate atelier with an open kitchen as well as sample Maury’s specialty pastry and bakery menus. Maury will also work with MSC Cruises to create a gourmet ice cream parlor and crèperie in the impressive indoor promenade on Meraviglia ships.

Acclaimed Chinese chef Jereme Leung is globally recognized for his contemporary interpretation of Chinese cuisine. With a modern approach to presentation, he has long caught the attention of top international restaurant critics. Taking inspiration from traditional recipes by working together with Masters of Shanghai and Beijing's classic regional cuisine, Leung’s dishes remain true to time-honored Chinese cooking techniques whilst pushing boundaries in terms of style and presentation. Starting his cooking career at the age of 13 in Hong Kong, Chef Leung is an expert in all four schools of Chinese cooking—dim sum, barbecue, wok cooking and knife work—he later on honed his craft at some of southeast Asia’s best hotels. Chef Leung will bring his contemporary Chinese cuisine to MSC Lirica, the first MSC Cruises ship deployed out of China in May 2016. Chef Leung is collaborating with MSC Cruises to design new and innovative dining concepts tailored to the tastes of Chinese guests, an exclusive range of signature dishes as well as enhancing existing menus with his creative and distinctive flair.

In addition to the chef partnerships MSC Cruises offers a wide range of specialty restaurants and varied dining options so that guests can discover gourmet highlights of international cuisines. One of these is Eataly, the world’s largest Italian marketplace, which currently has a presence onboard MSC Divina and MSC Preziosa and will also be on all MSC’s Meraviglia-generation ships. Through the Eataly restaurants and marketplace guests can explore, taste, buy and learn about the finest Italian-inspired Mediterranean cuisine.

The chef and other culinary partnerships are part of a broader strategy from MSC Cruises to collaborate with world-class experts who reflect the company’s focus on excellence. The company seeks to work with global leaders in their field, bringing together MSC Cruises’ 300 years of seafaring expertise, dedication to creating unique onboard experiences, commitment to excellence and meticulous attention to detail with the partner’s expertise.

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Oceania Cruises Announces Around the World in 180 Days Voyage for 2018

MIAMI, March 16: Savvy travelers who aspire to someday visit all four corners of the globe can make their dream come true in one single cruise with Oceania Cruises’ announcement today of another epic 180-day world cruise for 2018. Aboard the intimate 684-passenger Insignia, the Around the World in 180 Days voyage offers the trip of a lifetime, journeying more than 39,000 nautical miles across three oceans while visiting 87 ports of call in 40 countries. Departing Miami on Jan 3, 2018 and returning July 1, 2018, this remarkable five-continent voyage offers an unparalleled opportunity to travel the world in style and comfort while enjoying the finest cuisine at sea.

“This is the fifth time we’ve offered this epic 180-day voyage around the world and the feedback from our guests has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Oceania Cruises. “This truly is a landmark itinerary for Oceania Cruises. Guests opt to sail the world with us because we offer the most extensive and all-encompassing itinerary available, allowing guests to see the world the way it was meant to be seenin a comfortable and leisurely manner.”

From iconic cities and faraway villages to soaring mountains and island paradises, guests can explore all of the world’s greatest treasures during this classic eastbound circumnavigation. Not to mention, Insignia offers pleasures to suit every palatefrom the heavenly massages and signature treatments at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub to the creative workshops at the Artist Loft enrichment center.

A Dream Itinerary
Commencing a timeless route, Insignia sets sail among the blissful islands of the Caribbean and calls on colorful South American ports before crossing the Atlantic to discover Africa’s diverse coastline and the gorgeous Indian Ocean. Further east, Insignia visits an astounding array of iconic ports of call and off-the-beaten path locales throughout Asia before heading Down Under to discover Australia and New Zealand’s dramatic landscapes and world-class cities. After a relaxing tour of the dreamlike South Pacific paradise and the golden shores of Hawaii, Insignia crowns this magnificent odyssey by transiting the Panama Canal before returning to Miami.

Insignia will visit 20 national capitals, 56 UNESCO World Heritage sites and dozens of other renowned destinations. To help guests enjoy all the incredible sights, the itinerary features a total of 16 overnight stays in 13 unique destinations such as:

• Cape Town, South Africa: Guests can ride the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, explore the African wildlife and visit the famous Stellenbosch wine country.
• Yangon, Myanmar: A land of temples, treasures and tumultuous history, this is a city where one could spend days visiting the magnificent pagodas, shrines and relics.
• Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Formerly Saigon, this bustling city’s rich heritage is revealed in its lovely pagodas, colonial architecture, lively markets and broad boulevards.
• Bora Bora, French Polynesia: The pinnacle of South Pacific paradise, Bora Bora offers swims with manta rays and outrigger canoe rides through lovely coral islands.

Around the World in 180 Days also offers numerous exclusive shore side events for guests booked on the entire journey. Highlights include:

• China: Guests will spend a night in a luxury hotel in Beijing, enjoying a day discovering one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Wall of China, followed by a day exploring Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and other historic attractions.
• Sydney, Australia: An exclusive three-hour luncheon and cocktail cruise traversing beautiful Sydney Harbour, featuring panoramic views of the iconic Harbour Bridge and magnificent Opera House.
• Auckland, New Zealand: Guests will experience an unforgettable lunch in Auckland’s most iconic landmark, the 1,076-foot high Sky Tower. The stunning views will be accompanied by local entertainment, creating an unforgettable experience.

In addition to destination-rich itineraries, Oceania Cruises is widely recognized for serving the finest cuisine at sea with legendary chef, Jacques Pépin, serving as the line’s executive culinary director. Oceania Cruises has become the cruise line of choice for epicureans by offering exquisite meals prepared by talented chefs utilizing the highest-quality ingredients in the line’s expertly designed, state-of-the-art kitchens.

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Cunard Announces New Details on Remastering of Queen Mary 2 & Queen Victoria

SOUTHAMPTON, England, March 16: Cunard has announced new enhancements planned for Queen Mary 2's remastering, the most significant refit ever undertaken by Carnival UK, as well as surprise news on Queen Victoria.

Queen Mary 2 Remastered
Queen Mary 2, which will be in dry dock from May 27 to June 21, will see several enhancements including 30 additional Britannia Club Staterooms, 15 new single staterooms, and an expansion of the ship's dedicated kennel for cats and dogs. All staterooms will be remastered by the start of the ship's 2017 World Cruise.

"Cunard was the innovator of the luxury suite category, and this remastering will further showcase the richness of ship's stateroom design, intimate dining experiences and White Star Service," commented Richard Meadows, President, Cunard North America.

In newly debuted videos, Queen Mary 2's interior decorators delve into what it took to stay true to Cunard's heritage in "Inspired by the Originals," and Cunard's twin Executive Chefs, Nicholas and Mark Oldroyd, share the process of working together on developing new menus and further enhancing the ship's fine dining in "The Oldroyd Twins."

"We are all very excited about what Nicholas Oldroyd and his twin Mark, the Executive Chef onboard Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, are doing to reinvigorate the menus across the fleet," continued Richard Meadows. "They have gone to great lengths to source interesting and different ingredients, and we believe our guests will be extremely pleased."

Cunard, which found inspiration not only in Queen Mary, but also in its guests, announced that in conjuncture with the remastering of all of its staterooms and suites, it will also introduce tea and coffee makers in each cabin.

"Guest feedback was especially important as we explored the redesign of the staterooms," said Angus Struthers, Vice President of Marketing. "We believe the new designs on board provide a more distinctive Cunard character and will elevate the guest experience."

"During our 175-year history, Cunard earned a reputation for being the arbiter of style and taste. The remastering of Queen Mary 2 continues this tradition by the thoughtful contemporizing of the product, while maintaining the refined design aesthetics and service standards that are deeply based in British style and refinement," continued David Noyes, Cunard CEO. "The combination of our keen attention to detail, and incorporating inspirations from our past will continue to propel the powerful Cunard story, which we think will strongly resonate with today's discerning travelers."

Queen Victoria Britannia Club
In addition to the reveals made on Queen Mary 2's refit, Cunard announced it will be adding Britannia Club staterooms to Queen Victoria in her next dry-dock scheduled for June 2017, due in part to the stateroom categories exceedingly popular appeal on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth.

"The changes being made are a direct response to our discerning passengers increasing desire for space and style, and to meet their rising expectations of luxury," stated David Noyes, Cunard CEO.

For more information on Queen Mary 2 Remastered, please visit

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Dazzling New Entertainment Lineup Planned for Seven Seas Explorer

MIAMI, March 15: Tapping into the industry-leading entertainment team at Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is developing a collection of custom-designed stage spectaculars for its newest ship, Seven Seas Explorer. Hailed as the most luxurious ship ever built, Seven Seas Explorer will debut with four astonishing new shows. The extraordinary level of production poured into each show is designed to perfectly complement the grandeur and elegance of the Constellation Theater, where the performances will be staged on select evenings.

“From the opulent suites and world-class spa, to the gourmet restaurants and elegant lounges, we are fully committed to making Seven Seas Explorer the most luxurious ship ever built,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “It is important that we provide our guests sailing on Seven Seas Explorer with the highest quality entertainment available, so that feeling of excellence transcends the entire shipboard experience.”

A theatrical dream team comprised of writers, directors and choreographers with extensive Broadway experience are developing the various productions specifically for Seven Seas Explorer, led by Julliard-trained musical director Jeremy Fenn-Smith. Performed by a talented cast of 12 singers and dancers accompanied by a live seven piece orchestra, the breathtaking productions debuting on Seven Seas Explorer include:

• Peggy Lee: An homage to the American jazz and popular music crooner, Peggy Lee explores her legendary career through memorable hits such as “Fever,” “The Freedom Train” and “You Gotta Have Heart.” This original show is flawlessly directed by William Whitener, who has performed, choreographed and directed for stages worldwide, including Broadway.
• Burn the Floor: This enthralling musical takes the audience back to February 9, 1964 when Beatlemania and the British Invasion hit North America during the Sunday night Ed Sullivan Show. The cast dances and sings through this musical era with dances including The Jive, Swing, Fosse, Contemporary, The Madison and The Twist.
• Paradis: Featuring the finest in Parisian-style entertainment, Paradis is a bawdy burlesque blend of percolating dance, steamy song stylings and audacious costumes set to a heart-throbbing beat. It is directed by veteran Broadway and Off-Broadway choreographer Patricia Wilcox.
• A Day in Hollywood: This Tony Award-winning show spurs singing and dancing in the aisles, and leaves guests yearning to go to the movies. The show features some of the greatest music ever written for the movies, such as “Over the Rainbow,” “Thanks for the Memory” and “Hooray for Hollywood.”

While Seven Seas Explorer will be the first ship to debut these fantastic new shows, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is investing to upgrade the level of entertainment across its entire fleet. In the coming months, each ship will add a wide-range of staged entertainment, from Broadway-style theatrical shows and artfully-staged musical medleys to variety-style comedic productions. All shows will feature state-of-the-art production elements and are designed to appeal to diverse and sophisticated audiences.

“We have an all-star team developing these new shows for Regent Seven Seas Cruises and our guests will notice a significant upgrade to our onboard entertainment across the fleet,” added Montague. “These spectacular new shows will further enhance the award-winning, most inclusive luxury experience found on Regent Seven Seas Cruises.”

For more information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises, visit

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Hong Kong Cruises To New Heights With Strong Passenger Throughput & Ship Call Growth

LOS ANGELES, March 15: Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) released the strong cruise figures in 2015 at the Seatrade Cruise Global 2016 event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. To strengthen Hong Kong's position as Asia's Cruise Hub, HKTB announced a new funding for cruise lines to develop a fly-cruise program to Hong Kong.

"Asia will play a pivotal role in the future of the global cruise market. Hong Kong, as Asia's Cruise Hub, has seen remarkable performance in the cruise travel sector in the past few years. With Hong Kong's state-of-the-art cruise infrastructure, together with the diverse visitor experiences that the city offers, we have built up a good reputation as a cruise destination. The new cruise funding support, together with the strategic alliance 'Asia Cruise Cooperation,' will take cruise tourism in Hong Kong to new heights," said Mr. Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the HKTB.

In 2015, Hong Kong received over 140 ship calls, a 60% increase over 2013 when the new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal opened. With this world-class infrastructure and the unwavering support of cruise trade partners, passenger travel on destination cruises was particularly strong. Total passenger throughput reached 452,768 in 2015, up almost 140% compared to 2013. Among these, passenger throughput from the Hong Kong domestic market and Mainland market increased five-fold (409%) and four-fold (346%) respectively. Hong Kong has seen major deployments by key cruise lines, including Costa Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Star Cruises, and in 2016, it will see new deployments or maiden calls from Dream Cruises, MSC and Norwegian Cruise Lines, among others.

Riding on the growing momentum, HKTB announced a new funding to promote fly-cruise with cruise lines in 2016. The purpose of the funding is to foster the development of fly-cruise tourism to Hong Kong with the co-operation of cruise lines to promote fly-cruise products in potential markets. Targeting cruises that are homeporting or with turnaround calls in Hong Kong, the new initiative was designed to assist the promotion of fly-cruise products, including marketing promotions and product development. The HKTB will engage with cruise lines to develop customized programs to tap into potential source markets and take advantage of the world-class experiences and infrastructures Hong Kong has to offer.

To grow Asia's cruise tourism, Hong Kong is also dedicated in driving the synergy of regional cooperation. Hong Kong, together with neighboring Asian destinations including Hainan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Xiamen, formed a committed and resourceful alliance called the "Asia Cruise Cooperation," which aims at maximising the growth of cruise tourism in Asia. The Cooperation provides a one-stop platform to support cruise lines' development in Asia by facilitating itinerary development, sharing industry and market insights, enhancing cruise lines' marketing efforts with funding support and creating consumer demand for cruising. For further information about Hong Kong as Asia's Cruise Hub, visit:

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Crystal Unveils Bombardier Global Express XRS As Part Of Crystal Luxury Air

LOS ANGELES, March 15: As Crystal Cruises continues forward with the largest brand expansion in luxury travel and hospitality history, the world's most awarded luxury cruise line today officially revealed the newest addition to its fleet in a lavishly outfitted Bombardier Global Express XRS jet. The aircraft will enter service for the award-winning company on April 3, 2016, designed to accommodate just 12 guests in ultimate comfort. The new Crystal Luxury Air fleet will compliment itineraries for guests traveling on all things Crystal, offering the option to fly privately on their Crystal vacation.

"Crystal Luxury Air will open tremendous possibilities for luxury travelers seeking the next level of ease and exclusivity during their journeys," says Crystal president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez. "And in the spirit of all things Crystal, and ensuring we offer customization to our guests, Crystal Luxury Air allows our travel agent partners and guests the ability to truly customize their vacation experiences to privately fly to combine our cruise, yacht, river, residence, and air experiences."

The Global Express jet has been extensively refitted with three spacious cabins, which will accommodate business activities, relaxation and sleeping quarters. The forward cabin boasts four executive wide club seats with foldout tables for dining or meeting; mid cabin is configured for conferences, with seating for five and workstation and cabinet; the aft cabin offers a three-person divan that can be transformed to a large bed. A nicely appointed galley is located forward, featuring a cold air chiller, high temp oven, microwave and Aerolux Nespresso machine. Technical amenities include a wide range of electronic video supplies, and laptop imagery on all cabin monitors, XM Radio, surround sound, a 31.5" LCD TV, high speed internet and in-flight phone service.

Chartered flights aboard Crystal's Global Express jet are now available for booking and will fly guests virtually anywhere in the world, with a max flight range at just under 12 hours per leg. The line will also add a Boeing 777 to its growing fleet in 2017 and 787 Dreamliner in 2018. Crystal charter aircrafts will be operated by Corporate Flight Management DBA Crystal Luxury Air.

For more information, visit

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Princess Cruises Introduces Industry-First Destination Partnerships
to Create Exclusive & Authentic Shore Experiences

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 15: Princess Cruises has announced an unprecedented destination initiative that combines the cruise line’s deep destination expertise with a groundbreaking collaboration with local experts in key regional cruise destinations, designed to provide guests with the most meaningful, authentic and exclusive experiences ashore. Debuting in regions throughout the world, Global Partners + Local Experts will launch this summer and feature partnerships with Cruise Europe, Cruise Baltic and MedCruise. The Global Partners + Local Experts program is the first of its kind in the industry, and is yet another element of the company’s recently announced “Come Back New Promise” featuring a multi-million-dollar array of new product innovations offering guests enriching vacation experiences by connecting them with different cultures and each other in unique ways.

The innovative partnership aims to inspire the line’s guests by sharing the passion and pride the company’s port partners have for their destination, while taking full advantage of the suggestions and creativity of those partners who know the destination best. Global Partners + Local Experts will feature exclusive destination content and shore experiences designed in partnership with a network of local experts to highlight the most authentic and inspiring experiences in each port. The experts include partners from ports, tourism boards, tour operators and port agents. A special feature of the program is the filming of the individual partners sharing their thoughts, experiences and recommendations about the places they call home. The footage will be used in a number of interesting ways including before the cruise on direct e-mails as well as onboard for port enhancement presentations.

Here are some examples of footage used in pre-cruise direct e-mails:

Experience Glasgow: Meet Andrew Hemphill, the Port Director for Greenock, the port for Glasgow. Andrew is part of the Cruise Europe team and one of the line’s Glasgow local experts. A lifelong Glaswegian, Andrew describes his favorite place, Glasgow Cathedral.
Experience Helsinki: Meet Kim and Jan Long, tour operators in Helsinki. They are part of our Cruise Baltic team and are Helsinki local experts. Kim and Jan are brothers, and are the head of a multi-generational family-owned tour company with over 20 years of local experience.
Experience Florence/Livorno: Meet Giovanni Spadoni the Commercial Director of the port for Liovorno. Giovanni is part of our Med Cruise team and one of our Tuscan regional experts. Giovanni describes how Livorno is the gateway to many places and experiences.

Those videos and a full video playlist are available on You Tube.

In addition to the film project the program will include a number of other destination-based elements including local speakers; exclusive guest experiences in port; new tour programs and tours; partner port guides and walking maps; new port welcome and departure experiences; and an insider’s guide including “cool things” made in each port.

“Our research has revealed that our guests want to authentically connect with the destination, people and culture,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “And while Princess has always been a destination leader, this is a powerful new way to showcase our expertise by enhancing the guest experience in each port both before and during the cruise. Through engaging stories from people who live there, exclusive guest experiences and expert recommendations, we want to inspire our guests and help them create lifelong memories.”

The cruise line’s first new destination partnerships are with the three leading port and cruise associations in Europe. Cruise Baltic is the partner for Regal Princess Scandinavia & Russia cruises, Cruise Europe is the partner for Caribbean Princess British Isles cruises, and MedCruise is the partner for Royal Princess Mediterranean sailings. All three programs will debut during the upcoming 2016 summer season.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by visiting

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Crystal Cruises Announces The World's Largest Megayacht "Crystal Endeavor"

LOS ANGELES, March 15: Months after the successful launch of Crystal Yacht Cruises 62-guest Crystal Esprit, and in response to traveler's feedback and enthusiasm, Crystal Cruises is again upping the ante with the world's first purpose-built polar class megayacht. Measuring 600 feet (183 meters) long, the 25,000 gross ton new build with 100 guest suites will be the largest and most spacious megayacht afloat.

Crystal's President and CEO Edie Rodriguez announced the introduction of the line's first-ever expedition megayacht, Crystal Endeavor, which will debut in August of 2018. Named after Captain James Cooks' research ship "HMS Endeavour," which discovered Australia and New Zealand nearly 250 years agothe newly built vessel will be designed for global expedition in Arctic, Antarctic and tropical conditions.

"With Crystal Esprit, we discovered there are many guests, young and young at heart, who enjoy sports at sea and discovering remote islands, and as the interests and age of luxury travelers increasingly vary, we will continue to expand our collection of luxury travel options," says Crystal president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez. "Luxury means something different to virtually everyone, and we strive to meet and exceed the wishes of the discerning modern luxury traveler. Crystal Endeavor will cater to a particularly daring audience, one who values luxurious comfort and amenities as much as life-changing adventures."

The megayacht will be the first purpose-built Polar Code compliant yacht in the world with a PC6 Polar Class designation. As such, Crystal Endeavor will be able to cruise in Polar Regions during the summer and autumn in medium "first year" ice which may include old ice inclusions. She will also be fitted with the state-of-the-art offshore dynamic positioning technology, with computer-controlled systems to automatically maintain the ship's position with its own propellers and thrusters. This will enable the megayacht to float atop coral reefs and other underwater wonders without utilizing anchors, which can damage the terrain or other underwater wonders in waters too deep for anchors.

With the state-of-the-art offshore dynamic positioning technology, Crystal Endeavor will cruise in the Arctic; then follow the route of migrating whales along the coast of the Americas and Europe to Antarctica during the winter. Along the way, she will visit remote islands in the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, which cruise ships seldom call or cannot access. With a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV, used extensively in the offshore industry), expedition cruises will also be organized to see sunken galleons, warships and passenger ships, such as the Titanic at 12,500 feet, and with dynamic positioning, she will just hover over deep sunken attractions without using anchors.

The 200-guest capacity Crystal Endeavor will offer extreme adventures by air, sea and land with a complete range of "toys" which are not commonly found on today's megayachts, including two helicopters and two landing pads for flightseeing expeditions, as well as two, 7-person submarines, eight electric amphibious zodiacs, jet skis, wave runners, kayaks, fishing facilities, paddle boards, snorkeling and scuba equipment, recompression chamber, dive support tender and a multi-person ATV. To further deliver guest experiences distinct from any other expedition vessels, Crystal Endeavor will be equipped with SEABOBsthe world's most technically advanced and powerful underwater scooterthat allows you to move gracefully underwater.

The standard guest suites will measure a minimum 400 square feet (including balcony), larger than all current expedition and luxury cruise ships, while the yacht's two Owner Suites' will each boast a whopping 3,122 square feet (1,615 sq ft interior and 1,507 sq ft balcony), making them the largest guest suites of any megayacht afloat. Owner Suites' guests will enjoy a master bedroom and two guest bedrooms, indoor and outdoor living areas, private conservatory, garden and outdoor Jacuzzi, private spa and gym outfitted with sauna, steam room and treatment room. The Owners Suite can be connected to a penthouse suite (806 sq ft) for a combined square footage of 3,928 feet (2,227 sq ft interior and 1,654 sq ft balcony)surpassing any current and future build accommodations at sea.

"Crystal Endeavor will absolutely set a new bar for expedition luxury travel," says Rodriguez. "We have proven time and again that Crystal is the pioneer in luxury, and this megayacht will change the game entirelythe possibilities for expedition travelers will be virtually limitless."

Crowning the megayacht will be Crystal's signature Palm Court, which will offer 270-degree panoramic views for whale-watching and viewing other wildlife. Crystal Endeavor will boast a combined Spa and Conservatory space of a 10,000 square feet, featuring a full-service Spa, Yoga, Pilates, Salon and Wellness Center; Jacuzzis; and an infinity pool whose base can be lifted to be a dance floor or an alfresco dining area. The megayacht will also feature six dining options, as well several guest amenities including a 200-seat theatre; numerous lecture rooms; cinema; card room; and a computer center.

True to the Crystal trend of spacious public areas, the vessel will offer numerous indoor and outdoor areas for guests' independent leisure and relaxation. Further, Crystal Endeavor will be all-inclusive and will offer the award-winning service for which Crystal has been celebrated for more than 25 years. The line's acclaimed butler service will be available for all guests, as the megayacht will boast a one-to-one crew-to-guest ratio, with 200 crew members serving the 200 guests on board.

Crystal Endeavor will be built by the Lloyd Werft Group, a collection of four shipyards in Bremerhaven, Germany, which has built over a thousand vessels, including cruise ships, ice-breakers, and megayachts. Crystal Endeavor voyages will open for booking in late 2016. Steel cutting for the ship will begin May 2016 and Crystal will take delivery in August 2018. For more information, visit

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More Room for Blue-footed Boobies on Your Bucket List

MIAMI, March 14: Celebrity Cruises announced the planned acquisition of award-winning Galápagos Islands tour operator Ocean Adventures and its two ships, the 48-guest ship M/V Eclipse and the 16-guest catamaran M/C Athala II. The move expands Celebrity's guest capacity in the Galápagos by 65 percent. Ocean Adventures' 64 permits will grow the Galápagos fleet capacity for Celebrity, which has operated the 100-guest Celebrity Xpedition for more than a decade. The expanded lineup means modern luxury travelers looking to experience the Galápagos Islands will be able to choose a ship whose size and intimacy suits their personal preference.

"Our guests use the most amazing words to describe their journeys to the Galapágos Islands, said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "They tell us the experience is 'once in a lifetime,' 'awe-inspiring,' even 'life-changing.' That's why we've made Celebrity Xpedition such a special experience, and why we are thrilled to expand our Galápagos program with these two intimate ships. We want to make more lifetime memories."

New choices, greater intimacyand more destinations
The unique range of ship sizes creates more opportunities for regular cruises, group bookings and custom charters. The ships' smaller sizes100, 48 or 16 guestswill also present an exceptionally intimate experience.

"Our unique Galapagos fleet will offer an up-close look at the region's breathtaking natural beauty, paired with Celebrity's highly intuitive service and award-winning cuisine," Lutoff-Perlo said.

The new ships also make possible distinctive itineraries that feature an expanded list of destinations for Celebritylike Puerto Villamil, Darwin Bay, Black Turtle Cove, Chinese Hat Islet, and Wall of Tears.

Guests can choose from a number of immersive explorations of the local culture, including local hotel stays, encounters with local residents, and unique tours. The fleet expansion also allows Celebrity's guests to take advantage of new packages that celebrate the most breathtaking spots in Ecuadorsuch as the Andes Mountainsand Peru, where Machu Picchu and Amazon packages are enduringly popular.

The two vessels will join the Celebrity Cruises fleet in the spring of 2016, pending the closing of the acquisition deal. Until a January 2017 drydock, the ships will continue to offer the Ocean Adventures experience; after the refresh, the ships will sail as part of Celebrity Cruises' fleet, and guests will enjoy Celebrity's signature elements. All existing Ocean Adventures' bookings and reservation commitments will remain unchanged, both before and after the drydock.

Ben Dod, President of Ocean Adventures, said, "After 16 years of building Ocean Adventures into the one of the leading operators in the Galapagos Islands, we are proud to have caught the attention of a world-class cruise company like Celebrity and proud to be part of their ambitious plans to expand in the region. The MV Eclipse and MC Athala II are the best vessels in their class and we are delighted that both ships will continue to deliver an unequalled level of service and experience to guests."

Protection  & preservation
As part of its commitment to the Galápagos Islands, Celebrity rigorously follows guidelines set by local authorities to protect the assets of the Ecuadorian archipelago, including the robust kaleidoscope of flora and fauna found there, like giant tortoises, prehistoric iguanas and blue-footed boobies.

"The most extraordinary part of a Galápagos journey is truly the destination, which is one of the most important environmental places in the world," Lutoff-Perlo said. "It is our obligation to protect this sensitive and beautiful place, and to educate our guests about its amazing qualities. Permits to sail these waters are carefully rationed, and we are committed to doing our part to protect these islands for future generations."

As part of RCL's global commitment to help ensure the long-term health of the oceans and the destinations its ships visit, Celebrity has had a longtime commitment to conservation work to help preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources in the Galápagos Islands. Past and current projects include a reforestation effort in Galápagos National Park, programs to give residents access to medical care, agricultural development, and support for local fishing families.
The acquisition of Ocean Adventures is subject to customary closing conditions.

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Cunard Debuts Largest Program Launch Ever

March 14: Cunard is pleased to announce its largest launch everthe 2017 Voyages and 2018 World & Exotic Voyages Programfeaturing a greater number of voyages and more destinations than ever before. From classic Transatlantic Crossings, epic World Cruises and exotic voyages, to Mediterranean explorations and convenient New York roundtrip itineraries, Cunard has a wide selection of voyages to choose from to make sailing a truly memorable experience.

2017 Voyage Program
Cunard's distinction lies not only with its fleetQueen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoriabut also with its deployment. In 2017, the Cunard fleet will travel over 207,000 nautical miles, visit 93 destinations in 32 different countries, and will include four maiden calls for the current fleet. These maiden calls will include: Souda Bay, Greece; Sibenik, Croatia; Brindisi, Italy; and Praia da Vitoria, Portugal.

Highlights include:
• Overnight calls in 8 cities including St. Petersburg, Venice and Barcelona
• 18 evenings in port including Dublin, Monte Carlo and Boston
• 14 roundtrip New York sailings
• 2 World Voyages - one on Queen Mary 2 and one on Queen Elizabeth
• South America exploration with 22 ports around the continent on Queen Victoria

As the only cruise company to offer regularly scheduled Transatlantic Crossings, Cunard expertly bridges the gap between the old and new worlds in the most luxurious of ways. Queen Mary 2 will enter 2017 with every stateroom on board refurbished as part of the ship's dramatic remastering taking place this year, and she will cross the Atlantic 24 times, from May to December, in seven-to-eight night voyages between New York and either Southampton or Le Havre.

Queen Mary 2 will also offer roundtrip New York and Southampton cruises to New England & Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Cunard's truly flexible Mediterranean cruise season on the refurbished Queen Victoria will allow guests the opportunity to embark from one of four ports on voyages lasting from seven to 21 nights:

• Embarking in Rome, Venice, Athens and Barcelona, Queen Victoria will visit 29 different ports in the Mediterranean from July to November. Overnight stays will include Venice, Istanbul and Barcelona, with late evening departures in Cephalonia, Barcelona, Dubrovnik and Monte Carlo. Queen Victoria will also offer select voyages from Southampton both to European destinations and to the Caribbean.
• Queen Victoria will be fresh from her refit for the 2017 Mediterranean season and will offer Britannia Club dining and accommodations for the first time.
Queen Elizabeth will operate regular roundtrip Southampton voyages that visit locations such as The Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, British Isles, Canary Islands and Iberia. New this year for Queen Elizabeth are 4 roundtrip voyages sailing from Rotterdam, to the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and the British Isles.

2017 Special Event Cruises
Cunard is pleased to announce new theme cruises that will feature landmark celebrations and cultural experiences around the world, from the oldest open-air opera festival in the world at the Arena di Verona, to a celebration marking the city of Le Havre's 500th Anniversary in France, to Kiel Week, the largest annual sailing event in the world. Cunard's award-winning Insights program will bring together renowned thought leaders from a wide variety of industries to curate in-depth discussions on topics ranging from fashion to astronomy.

Highlights to look forward to in 2017 are:
• Queen Mary 2's World Space Week (M737), a Transatlantic Crossing to celebrate the United Nations International World Space Week, featuring top space experts: Astronaut, Scientist and former Shuttle Pilot, Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman; Charles Barclay, of the Royal Astronomical Society; Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director of Virgin Galactic; and Ken Taggart, NASA historian.
• Queen Elizabeth's Arts and Literary Tour of the British Isles (Q723), an exploration of the artistic side to the British Isles in the company of actor Robert Powell, and Louise West, Trustee of the Charles Dickens Museum and Former Senior Curator of the Jane Austen House.
• Queen Elizabeth celebrating QE2's 50th Anniversary (Q729), a special cruise honouring the 50th anniversary of Cunard's best-loved ship, the iconic QE, which will feature a commemorative dinner and Insight speakers QE2 expert and historian, Chris Frame, former Captain of QE2.
• Queen Victoria's Festival of Flowers (V714), an itinerary that includes an overnight stay in the floral paradise of Madeira, excursions to many beautiful gardens and flower markets of the Canary Islands, and an evening dinner at Madeira's botanical garden hotel, Quinta Jardins do Lago.
Cunard will also be hosting the spectacular "Big Band Ball" on board Queen Elizabeth (Q727) and Queen Victoria (V726), a magnificent 13 piece Big Band Orchestra, for guests who like to dance and sing to the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Michael Bublé and Frank Sinatra.

2018 World & Exotic Voyages Highlights
Ever since inaugurating the first world cruise in 1922, Cunard has undertaken more world voyages and taken more passengers around the globe than any other cruise line and is the undisputable world voyage expert. In 2018, Cunard will continue this grand tradition and will visit 93 unique ports in 46 countries, have 17 ship maiden calls and visit nine new ports for the current fleet.

Queen Elizabeth will operate a full 122 night world circumnavigation calling on 39 ports in 25 countries and featuring overnight stays in New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong and Cape Town. Her voyage will offer guests the chance to experience the classic world voyage, a westbound circumnavigation of the globe featuring a transit of the iconic Panama Canal. Queen Elizabeth will have six maiden calls: Hamilton, Bermuda; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Mo'orea, French Polynesia; Kochi, Japan; and Malacca, Malaysia.

Queen Mary 2's 120-night East-West voyage will call on 46 ports in 24 countries and will feature two maiden calls in New Zealand, as well as overnight stays in Cape Town, Hong Kong and Dubai. Her 2018 World Voyage will allow for full immersion in destinations in Australia and New Zealand, with experiences featuring the Margaret River, Kangaroo Island and New Zealand's South Island. On departure from Australia Queen Mary 2 will visit Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand, providing access to a wide array of exotic Asian cultures. On her return leg, Queen Mary 2 will call on Aqaba for the ancient site of Petra before transiting the Suez Canal and calling at the classic Mediterranean destinations of Rome and Barcelona.

For the first time ever, Cunard will offer a 2-3 month exotic mid-duration voyage on Queen Victoria for guests seeking a winter escape round trip experience that offers an in depth exploration of South America. This voyage will offer more immersive destinations and scenic cruising in the Magellan Straits, Chilean Fjords and Cape Horn. Her voyage will also feature nine maiden calls, ports in the Caribbean, a transit of the Panama Canal, and overnight stays in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

"We are proud to announce a robust 2017 Voyages and 2018 World & Exotic Cruise Program," comments Richard Meadows, president, Cunard North America. "With the remastering of our flagship Queen Mary 2 this year, and Queen Victoria's planned refit in 2017which includes the significant addition of Britannia Club accommodationsCunard's iconic vessels will be more luxurious than ever offering new and richer experiences for our guests."

For more information, visit

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Port Everglades Breaks World RecordOver 54,700 Guests in Single Day

BROWARD COUNTY, FL: Officials for Broward County's Port Everglades believe that Sunday, March 13, 2016, marks the second time this cruise season that the port broke its own world record with a preliminary count of more than 54,700 cruise guests sailing in and out in a single day. The last world record was set just three months earlier on December 20, 2015, when 53,485 passengers sailed in and out of the South Florida cruise port in a single day. In addition, these record days did not include passengers aboard Balearia's Bahamas Express ferry, which departed for a day trip to the Bahamas with almost 400 passengers.

The Port hosted eight cruise ships today including Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Conquest, Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Silhouette, Holland America Line's Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam, Princess Cruises' Regal Princess and Royal Princess, and Royal Caribbean International's Allure of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas. These are the same cruise ships that called at Port Everglades for the December 20, 2015 record, but because of varying spring break vacations in March the ships came in and left full of families.

"Breaking another world record is the perfect way to kick-off the first Seatrade Cruise Global convention to be held in Broward County," said Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak. After 27 years in Miami, UBM's Seatrade Cruise Global is moving to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center this week and for the next two years while the Miami Beach Convention Center is renovated. This tradeshow and conference, which begins Monday, March 14, is expected to host more than 800 exhibitors and 11,000 attendees, and is anticipated to generate more than $10 million in economic impact for the area.

If lined up bow to stern, the eight cruise ships docked at Port Everglades on March 13 would stretch 8,245 feet or the equivalent of nearly 27 football fields and extend the length of the new runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). That is enough cruise passengers to fill between 108 and 130 747-jumbo jets or all the seats at the BB&T Center about three times for a concert or a Florida Panthers hockey game.

Located in the second largest county in Florida, Broward County's Port Everglades is consistently ranked as one of the three busiest cruise ports in the world. The Port's wide-ranging fleet of cruise ships provides guests with an array of cruise vacation choices from the sunny cities of Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach. View details on the latest cruise offerings in our online Cruise Guide at

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Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas Reaches Next Milestone in Construction

Ovation of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International’s newest cruise ship which is being constructed at Meyer Werft, a family owned Papenburg-based shipyard has begun its conveyance. The conveyance is a unique process for ships built at Meyer Werft as the shipyard is situated inland along the banks of the River Ems and the ship must make the trip from Papenburg down the river backwards to get to the North Sea. The journey will be completed in 12 hours.

At 346 meters long (1,138 feet long) and 41 meters wide (136 feet wide), this 167,800 gross ton ship is one of the largest ever to go through conveyance. Thousands of revelers from the surrounding local villages typically line the 26 mile route along the river bank to watch and celebrate the ship’s journey.

Ovation of the Seas will be officially launched in April 2016, when she departs Southampton, England for Tianjin, China on a 52-day Global Odyssey. She will begin her first homeport sailing season in China from Tianjin on June 24, 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.

Ovation of the Seas features a new set of first-at-sea onboard experiences, such as Ripcord by iFLY, a heart-pounding skydiving experience; North Star, a thrilling adventure that transports guests more than 300 feet in the air on a breathtaking journey; cutting-edge transformative venues including SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever. Guests also will enjoy a landscape of 18 restaurant concepts as vast and varied as dining in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Ovation spans 18 decks, encompasses 167,800 gross registered tons, carries 4,180 guests at double occupancy and features 2,090 staterooms.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces Industry First: Exclusive Amenities from Guerlain

MIAMI, March 10: The world’s most luxurious ship, Seven Seas Explorer, will feature an exclusive collection of bath amenities from Guerlain when it launches in July, becoming the first cruise ship to offer complimentary amenities from the legendary French perfume house. Available in all Penthouse Suites and above, the Guerlain collection of productstypically reserved for the most prestigious of hotelsis imbued with the renowned French perfumer’s elegant fragrances that have been adored around the world since 1828. Included in the exclusive Seven Seas Explorer collection are Guerlain shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, body lotions and vegetable white soaps. In addition, guests staying in the Regent Suite, Master Suite, Grand Suite and Explorer Suite will receive a complimentary 100-ml bottle of Eau de Cologne Impériale. The fresh and citrusy fragrance was first created in 1853 to pay homage to Empress Eugénie, the wife of Napoleon III and last empress of France.

“Seven Seas Explorer will be the most luxurious ship the world has ever witnessed, and it is vital that every detail, every aspect of the ship conveys luxury,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We are excited to partner with Guerlain to be the first cruise line to offer their signature amenities to our guests, adding an extra dash of luxury to the magnificent suites found on Seven Seas Explorer.”

The complimentary collection of exclusive amenities from Guerlain will initially be available only on Seven Seas Explorer, but will soon roll out on the remainder of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet of all-suite luxury vesselsSeven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner, and Seven Seas Voyager.

Seven Seas Explorer
The newest member of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet, Seven Seas Explorer has been hailed as the most luxurious ship ever built. At 56,000 gross-registered tons and carrying only 750 guests, it boasts one of the highest space ratios in the cruise industry. The elegantly designed ship features spacious suites, including the one-of-a-kind, 3,875-square foot Regent Suite, extravagantly designed lounges and showplaces, and lavish gourmet restaurantsincluding two new specialty restaurants, Chartreuse and Pacific Rim.

In addition to the line’s signature free unlimited shore excursion program, Seven Seas Explorer is exclusively offering new Gourmet Explorer Tours designed for guests seeking unique, one-of-a-kind epicurean adventures ashore. Part of the Regent Choice shore excursion program, these Gourmet Explorer Tours are designed to complement the ship’s Culinary Arts Kitchen, the brand’s first culinary instruction center.

The luxury liner’s maiden voyage is scheduled for July 20, 2016, and it will spend an inaugural season in Europe before heading to Miami for a series of Caribbean voyages. For more information, visit

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The Ultimate Day at Sea for Star Wars Fans Returns to Disney Cruise Line in Early 2017

CELEBRATION, FL, March 10: Returning in early 2017, Disney Cruise Line guests can celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga during Star Wars Day at Sea. New in 2017, the Disney Fantasy special sailings expand to both eastern and western Caribbean itineraries and nearly double in number to 15 cruises—up from eight in 2016. During this day-long celebration, Star Wars Day at Sea combines the power of the Force and the magic of Disney for an out-of-this-galaxy cruise experience unlike any other.

“Our guests keep telling us that Star Wars Day at Sea is an experience they’ll never forget, that it’s a thrill of intergalactic proportions,” said Karl L. Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “In response to guest demand, we’re pleased to create even more Star Wars memories aboard the Disney Fantasy in 2017 with an expanded schedule of these special sailings. Clearly, the Force is alive and well on the high seas!”

Each sailing features a full day of dark side and light side fun, including official appearances of Star Wars characters, a deck party and fireworks, Star Wars-themed family and youth activities, at-sea screenings of Star Wars films, unique food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise. Throughout the day, Star Wars Younglings, Padawans and Jedi Masters alike can enjoy the immersive, intergalactic entertainment, including:

Force-filled Fun for Everyone
Characters from across the Star Wars galaxy are onboard for interactions, photos and also may be seen patrolling the decks. 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 participate in the costume celebration held in the ship’s atrium.

Younglings Use Their Power
In “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple,” Force-sensitive children learn the ways of the Jedi and use their new-found skills in a final face off with Darth Vader. 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 and Fireworks
An exciting evening blasts off with a deck party filled with music, a galactic dance party and the arrival of Star Wars characters on the deck stage. The grand finale is a spectacular display of pyrotechnics, lighting and sound effects set to a medley of Star Wars music.

Merchandise, Food & Beverage
Event merchandise exclusive to Star Wars Day at Sea is available on each sailing, including a range of collectible items, apparel and trading pins. Specialty Star Wars-themed beverages, including non-alcoholic offerings, as well as snacks, dinner menu items and desserts, please the palates of everyone from Padawans to rebel pilots to Tusken Raiders.

Film Screenings
Guests can watch “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the first in a new series of standalone Star Wars films, to be released on Dec. 16, 2016, as well as all seven films in the Star Wars series.

Star Wars Day at Sea will be on Disney Fantasy 7-night cruises sailing from Port Canaveral on Jan. 7, 14, 21, 28; Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1, 8 and 15, 2017. Departing Jan. 7, 21; Feb. 4, 18; March 4, 18; April 1 and 15, 2017, the western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. Departing Jan. 14, 28; Feb. 11, 25; March 11, 25; and April 8, 2017, the eastern Caribbean itinerary includes Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay. To learn more, visit

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Holland America Line Doubles Onboard Spending Credits for Guests Booking
With a Future Cruise Consultant During a Cruise

Seattle, March 9: Guests who make a new booking with a future cruise consultant while on board a Holland America Line ship will now earn double the onboard spending credit up to $400 per person. Travel professionals continue to earn full commission and receive full revenue credit for all bookings made during a cruise.

“New bookings made on our ships with a future cruise consultant are very important to Holland America Line and should be a goal for all our travel professionals,” said Eva Jenner, Holland America Line’s vice president of North America sales. “When a guest books on board it’s like an annuity for their travel professional. A booking automatically applies to the travel professional of record. This cruise deposit also generates a booking confirmation notice to them so they are aware of the new booking even before the guests return home.”

Onboard spending credits also can be earned by purchasing a Future Cruise Deposit from the sales consultant during a cruise that allows guests to decide on an itinerary at a later date. However, Future Cruise Deposits are not eligible for the double spending credit. Travel professionals are also sent a Future Cruise Deposit (FCD) confirmation when a Future Cruise Deposit is purchased. For more information, visit

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Exclusive, Spectacular, ExhilaratingThat’s Europe...
and that’s Celebrity Cruises’ Brand-new Destination Experiences

MIAMI, March 9: Travel in Europeone of the world’s most culturally and deliciously rich destinationsjust got even richer. Celebrity Cruises has unveiled a stunning lineup of new, unique destination experiences to transform the way discerning travelers experience Europe, in ways that only Celebrity can deliver. These include tours of Greece curated by Celebrity’s own Greek officers; exclusive opportunities to discover tantalizing flavors at local markets with an expert chef; adventure-fueled, destination experiences curated by a world adventurer, and bucket-list tours like racing along the French Riviera in a Lamborghini. All of these and more are only available when traveling with Celebrity.

“Building on the launch of our new dynamic EuroXPass package, which takes care of every travel detail for guests exploring Europe, we are adding another layer of what makes vacationing with us so special and unique, by introducing exclusive new European destination experiences,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “We are the only modern luxury brand and the only cruise line that delivers all of Europe the way affluent travelers want it – in an authentic, inspiring and truly original way.”

The Real Greece
New and unique for 2016, guests can experience Greece through the lens of Celebrity’s Greek officers. A curated menu of shore excursions have been specially designed and selected by the ship’s officers who call Greece homethese adventures are only available when sailing with Celebrity in Europe. Guests will soon be able to discover some of the officer’s favorite local spots while exploring one of the seven Greek ports that Celebrity visits. More details will be revealed over the coming weeks.

Chef’s Market Discoveries
Guests can dive deep into the local flavors of Europe with Celebrity’s exclusive new “Chef’s Market Discoveries” shore excursions. Vacationers are taken on a journey through local markets and shops guided by the onboard chef, who will pick fresh local ingredients for a specially crafted, private dinner that night onboard. Highlights from the European collection include:

• Meeting local artisans at a food market in Rhodes, Greece and enjoying delicious homemade Greek specialties at a family tavern
• Escaping to the Botanical Park of Askordalos in Chania, Crete, a paradise for hundreds of plants, and cooking a traditional Cretan dish
• Experiencing how Limoncello, olive oil and mozzarella cheese are made, while traveling from Naples to the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento, Italy

Uniquely Celebrity
Celebrity has expanded its Uniquely Celebrity excursions for the 2016 Europe season to include:

• Touring Cape Sounian during an overnight stay in Athens, Greece and savoring breathtaking sunset views over the Greek Temple of Poseidon and Aegean coastline
• Visiting the Organic Winery of Assimomitis to learn about wine production in Mykonos, Greece followed by a food tasting, accompanied by the ship’s sommelier
Guests looking for an even more personalized experience in Europe can select a Celebrity Exclusive.
Highlights include:
• Reveling in the power of 500 horses with a ride along the thrilling switchbacks of the French Riviera in a classic Lamborghini or Ferrari
• Going where the crowds cannot in Mykonos on a private luxury yacht, visiting some of the lesser known beautiful beaches of Mykonos
Adventurer, broadcaster and author Ben Fogle is famed for his immersive travel style. His new curated list of “Great Adventures” for 2016 - only available on Celebrity - include:
• Soft-rafting to re-discover the Tiber River and see Rome, Italy with the eyes of a visitor from over a hundred years ago
• Swimming, cycling, kayaking in Croatia, on an active journey from Dubrovnik, Croatia along the Adriatic coastline

For more information on Celebrity's incredible experiences across Europe, visit

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Names First Female Captain—Serena Melani

MIAMI, March 9: Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the world’s most inclusive luxury cruise line, announced the promotion of Serena Melani to Captain of Seven Seas Mariner, the world's first all-suite, all-balcony ship. The first female Captain in the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet, Captain Melani—age 42—is one of just a handful of women to ascend to the rank of captain in the history of the cruise industry. Overseeing 700 passengers and a crew of 450, she embarked February 21 on her maiden voyage as captain—a 12-night South American sojourn, from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro.

“Our guests expect the highest standard of cruising excellence, both in our ships and those who serve aboard it. Captain Melani exemplifies those qualities through her vast experience and leadership abilities,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Her promotion to captain is well-earned, and I know she will perform admirably in guiding Seven Seas Mariner as she sails from the Caribbean to Alaska.”

A native of the Tuscany region of Italy, Captain Melani became enamored with the sea at a young age and prepared for her career by attending nautical school. She attained her first shipboard position in 1998, serving on a roll-on/roll-off ship carrying cars and general cargo. Later, after four years working on oil tankers and gas carriers, she made a career switch to the cruise ship industry.

“On cruise ships, you travel to more exotic places and get to meet so many interesting people,” said Captain Melani, whose favorite cruise destination is West Africa. “The ship is like a small village, and I take pride in ensuring that all of our guests experience a unique and enjoyable journey.” While excited to be commanding a ship for the first time, Captain Melani downplayed the significance of her gender. “Yes, I am a female in a traditional male environment. But when you are on board, you are part of a team. Regardless of your gender, you have a job to do. And you must do it well.”

After seven years with another cruise line, Captain Melani joined Regent Seven Seas in 2010. She has served in several increasingly-responsible officer-level roles, including 2nd officer and safety officer. She most recently served a two-year stint as Staff Captain aboard Seven Seas Mariner, which she now captains. When not at sea, Captain Melani lives with her husband in Croatia and her native Italy.

About Seven Seas Mariner
The world's first all-suite, all-balcony ship, Seven Seas Mariner caters to only 700 guests, offering its guests absolutely the highest level of personal service. A multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2014 added breathtaking new décor to the lounges and suites, and refreshed the palatial pool decks. In spring of 2017, Seven Seas Mariner will undergo additional renovations as part of Regent Seven Seas Cruises $125 million fleet-wide refurbishment effort. This refurbishment will touch the gourmet restaurants, lounges, library and remaining suites.

For more information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises, visit

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Announcing KISS Kruise VICreatures Of The Deep

ATLANTA, GA: KISS and Sixthman, an industry leader in festivals at sea, announce The KISS Kruise VI: Creatures of the Deep. Fans from all corners of the globe will embark on KISS’s sixth voyage, based on 1982’s quintessential “Creatures of the Night” tour. The cruise sets sail from Miami Nov 4-9 2016, with port stops in Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Cayman.

Fans can expect to see the Starchild, Demon, Catman & Spaceman play an explosive show featuring tracks from KISS’s 1982 Creatures Tour, wearing vintage inspired costumes from this historic era. Guests can also look forward to participating in activities and a photo with the band, theme nights, and shows from various artists.

Guests can get their kicks at sea between fun in the sun at the two tropical ports on Norwegian Pearl. The Pearl offers 6 stages of live music, 13 bars and lounges, 19 dining experiences, an onboard bowling alley, and much more! Limited staterooms are still available. Stay tuned to for the latest event news.

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Explore More On Shore: Royal Caribbean Unveils Private Journeys

MIAMI, March 8: Adding to Royal Caribbean International's close to 3,000 shore excursions worldwide, guests will be able to craft personalized shore excursions to immerse themselves in local culture, cuisine and adventure across 288 ports of call in 77 countries. No matter the ship or the sailing, guests can book special Private Journeys, tailored to their budget, interests, experience and travel style.

This concierge-style planning service will connect guests with one of nine Destination Insiders to plan every detail of their shore experience before they set sail. Using their intimate local knowledge, nearly 100 years of combined experience and connections around the world, Destination Insiders will design personalized activities, programs and adventures for individual guests, couples, families and small groups. From cooking alongside Michelin-starred chefs, to wandering through the Italian and French Riviera on a private yacht, Destination Insiders will work hand-in-hand guests to design unique, memory-generating destination experiences that will serve as distinct bragging rights upon returning home.

"Private Journeys is a natural evolution of Royal Caribbean's renowned shore excursion program that allows us to offer guests the bespoke travel destination experience of their dreams, even if they don't know exactly what that is yet," said Roberta Jacoby, Managing Director, Global Tour Operations, Royal Caribbean International. "As travelers continue to seek out more personalized and immersive destination experiences that can be intimately shared with only their family and friends, Private Journeys empowers guests to make that a reality and a seamless element of their Royal Caribbean vacation."

Private Journeys bookings will require a $100 deposit applicable to the final cost of the destination experience. In celebration of the new launch, Royal Caribbean is waiving the required deposit for all Private Journeys booked before March 31, 2016. Guests with confirmed cruise reservations can begin planning their Private Journey with a dedicated Designation Insider by calling (844) 571-7851 or (801) 666-3031. Some Private Journeys Examples Include:

Misty Fjords & Crab Feast, Ketchikan, Alaska
Explore Misty Fjords National Monument from a de Havilland Beaver float plane, followed by a sumptuous Alaskan fireside meal. After a narrated journey soaring above the Alaskan wilderness, guests will land either on an alpine lake or remote fjord. Then, sit by the fireplace, sip Alaskan Amber beer, wine, or champagne paired with smoked salmon, followed by steaming Dungeness crab.

Lunch at Belgium's Michelin-Starred Restaurant Jardin, Bruges, Belgium
Go behind the scenes at one of the world's acclaimed restaurants. The owner will show guests the kitchen, where Belgian recipes and the bounty of the North Sea come together. After the tour, savor a gourmet lunch served in Jardin's exquisite dining room.

Yachting in the Dubrovnik Riviera, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Journey by private yacht into the untamed and unspoiled reaches of Croatia's Dubrovnik Riviera. Cruise down the rugged coastline and go ashore to explore the Old Town of Dubrovnik itself. Then, climb back aboard and set off exploring this archipelago of 14 pristine islands and islets. Go ashore to explore the 15th century ruins on the island of Kolocep. Swim in secluded lagoons and soak up the sunshine in five-star style.

Rostock by Vintage Auto, Berlin, Germany
Guests can settle into the seat of a vintage beauty and have a personal driver show them the German countryside. Rumble to the resort town of Heiligendamm for a snack of Canapés and champagne overlooking the Baltic Sea. Guests can even take the wheel on the scenic stretch to Rostock, and enjoy a guided walk through narrow streets lined with 15th-century gabled homes. Finally, board a sightseeing vessel and unwind on a lovely cruise back to port.

Whether it's exploring ruins in Europe, wine tasting in New Zealand or ziplining in the Caribbean, Royal Caribbean guests can experience a world of opportunities during a port call. To make a custom experience as part of an upcoming cruise, guests must complete and submit a Private Journeys request form online, at least 30 days before their sailing date. For full details about all of Royal Caribbean's shore excursions programs, visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Select Fall & Winter 2017/18 Itineraries

MIAMI, March 8: Norwegian Cruise Line today announced select 2017-2018 Fall/Winter itineraries that feature sought-after destinations while offering the freedom and flexibility on board that only Norwegian Cruise Line provides. Highlights include a variety of Caribbean & Bahamas cruises from New York, Port Canaveral and Miami; immersive 10-day Canary Islands cruises from Barcelona; as well as the company’s exclusive seven-day, intra-island Hawaii sailings from Honolulu. Norwegian’s new itineraries will be available for Latitudes guests and travel partners on March 22 and open for all bookings on March 23.

Caribbean, Bahamas & Florida
Norwegian’s newest and largest ship, Norwegian Escape, will continue to sail seven-day Eastern Caribbean sailings every Saturday from Miami year-round, bringing guests the best that this region has to offer with calls in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. Featuring 28 dining options, Tony Award-winning Broadway entertainment, the brand’s first nursery with supervised care for young cruisers ages six months to two years, and much more, Norwegian Escape is a brand-new way to explore the Caribbean in style.

Guests who wish to explore the Western Caribbean from Miami on one of Norwegian’s newest and most exciting ships can enjoy Norwegian Getaway, which will return to the U.S. from the Baltic in Fall 2017 and sail 7-day cruises every Sunday from October 29, 2017 to April 22, 2018. Ports of call include Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; Norwegian’s newest and most spectacular destination Harvest Caye, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Cozumel, Mexico.

Norwegian Epic will also return to the U.S. in the fall of 2017 to once again homeport seasonally in Port Canaveral through the winter, offering 3-, 4- and 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries to fit any schedule or itinerary preference. The recently refurbished Norwegian Epic will feature Norwegian’s private island destination, Great Stirrup Cay, on all of her itineraries from Port Canaveral. As a part of The Norwegian Edge™ investment program, Great Stirrup Cay will receive new features, amenities and island-wide enhancements over the next 16 months, and will welcome guests in 2017 to what will be practically an all-new destination.

Norwegian Epic will sail alternating 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral from November 5, 2017 through March 21, 2018. Norwegian Epic’s 7-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary will be a beach-lover’s paradise with stops in Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Guests can choose to soak-up the sun or opt for adventurous excursions on Norwegian Epic’s Western Caribbean itinerary, featuring stops in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Norwegian Epic will also offer guests who may not have the time to get away for a week-long vacation the perfect opportunity for a quick escape in March 2018 with a series of 3- and 4-day Bahamas itineraries with stops in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay.

Guests looking for a longer escape can sail away on the recently enhanced Norwegian Gem, part of Norwegian’s Jewel-class, from October 21, 2017 through April 17, 2018 on alternating 10- and 11-day Eastern Caribbean cruises from New York. Ports of call include San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Tortola, British Virgin Islands. The 11-day cruises also feature a call in Basseterre, St. Kitts.

For those guests looking for a short cruise option that provides a tremendous value, Norwegian’s 3- and 4-day cruises on Norwegian Sky will continue to sail from Miami year-round, offering an all-inclusive experience featuring free open bar on all sailings.

Norwegian Spirit will go into dry dock in early 2017 for significant enhancements and will remain in Europe for Fall and Winter 2017, sailing the Canary Islands with departures from Barcelona. From November 23, 2017 to April 24, 2018, Norwegian Spirit will sail an immersive 10-Day Canary Islands, Spain and Morocco itinerary. Ports of call on this exotic itinerary include Casablanca, Morocco; Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands; Funchal, Madeira; and Malaga and Alicante, Spain.

Canada & New England
In addition to the previously announced seven-day Canada & New England roundtrip cruises from New York City during prime fall foliage season, Norwegian Gem will also offer an exclusive 10-day Eastern Canada and Quebec cruise from New York, with calls in Halifax, Nova Scotia; an overnight in Quebec City; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

The recently-refurbished Pride of America will continue to sail her very popular seven-day Hawaii itinerary departing from Honolulu every Saturday through April 2018. Offering more than 100 hours of in-port sight-seeing time, the only ship to sail the islands features an itinerary with calls that include an overnight in Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawai`i; Kona, Hawai`i; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kaua`i; and an afternoon cruise past the breathtaking Nãpali Coast.

For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line visit

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Country Music Star Sam Hunt, Comedians Chris Tucker & Jim Gaffigan Featured
in Carnival LIVE's 2016 Lineup

MIAMI, March 7: Carnival Cruise Line has announced its fall 2016 Carnival LIVE lineup featuring country music star Sam Hunt and comedians Chris Tucker and Jim Gaffigan. Bringing the best in live music and comedy to the seas, Carnival LIVE is a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience that provides guests an opportunity to enjoy captivating performances by major artists at a tremendous value. Performances are held in the ships’ main theaters—ranging in guest capacity from 900 to 1,300—meaning there’s never a bad seat in the house. Carnival LIVE performances are held while vessels are docked in Cozumel, Nassau and, for the first time, Grand Cayman and Montego Bay.

Known for his innovative and boundary-breaking artistry, Sam Hunt will have audiences singing along and dancing in the aisles as he performs two shows while Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Splendor are docked in Cozumel on Oct. 19 and Oct. 20, respectively. Hunt—who was recently nominated for a Grammy Award and has been honored with an American Music Award, a CMT Award and an Academy of Country Music Award—is the first country artist to chart all singles from his debut album in the Billboard Hot 100.

Grammy award-winner Jim Gaffigan brings his unique brand of humor with performances in Nassau aboard Carnival Valor Sept. 6 and Carnival Fantasy Sept. 7. Gaffigan is a New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. He recently wrapped the first season of his critically acclaimed television show, The Jim Gaffigan Show, which, like his brand of humor, revolves around one man’s struggle to balance fatherhood, stand-up comedy and an insatiable appetite.

Famous for his starring role in the Rush Hour movie series, Tucker will keep guests laughing with his hilarious outlook on life with two shows—one aboard Carnival Freedom in Grand Cayman Oct. 25 and another on Carnival Dream in Montego Bay Oct. 26. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue his dream, Tucker was a staple on the Def Comedy Jam series before breaking into movies and continuing his popular stand-up comedy career. Most recently, he starred in a self-titled comedy show, Chris Tucker–Live, on Netflix.

These performances complement an array of shows by a variety of musical artists taking place aboard eight Carnival ships over the coming months. Carnival LIVE tickets for Sam Hunt, Chris Tucker and Jim Gaffigan range from $30 to $75 for general admission, significantly less than land-based venues. VIP tickets are available for $100 to $250 and offer seating in the first five rows, a photo opportunity with the artist and a commemorative concert pass. A full listing of the 2016 Carnival LIVE concert series is available by visiting

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Seabourn Celebrates Float Out Of New Seabourn Encore

SEATTLE, March 4: Luxury cruise line Seabourn celebrated another milestone in the construction of its new Seabourn Encore, with the ship touching water for the first time today. Following a traditional ceremony to commemorate this significant occasion, the ship will be "floated out" from its dry dock to its outfitting dock at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy, where it will undergo final construction until the ship is delivered at the end of 2016.

During the ceremony, the ship's "madrina" cut the cord to begin the water flow to the ship's building dock. Marnie Tihany, the director of business development for Tihany Design and wife of hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, served as the madrina of Seabourn Encore. Adam Tihany is the visionary who will bring Seabourn's bespoke aesthetic to life aboard Encore.

"Seeing Seabourn Encore in the water is a very special moment and represents another important step toward the completion of our highly-anticipated ship," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn President. "We continue to hear from our guests and travel industry partners about their excitement for this incredible ship, and they are just as eager as we are to welcome her to the Seabourn family later this year."

Seabourn Encore is being fashioned by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, with contemporary interiors and modern design elements and innovations consistent with the line's reputation for understated elegance. The ship will expand and build on the line's award-winning and highly acclaimed Odyssey-class ships, which revolutionized ultra-luxury cruising with enhanced accommodations and innovative amenities when they were introduced between 2009 and 2011. Seabourn Encore will maintain the line's high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service by close to one staff member for each guest on board. The 40,350-GRT ship will be configured with one additional deck and new expanded public areas, and is expected to carry just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. In addition, every suite will feature a private veranda.

Seabourn will continue to reveal renderings and updates about Seabourn Encore via the dedicated microsite: Filled with imagery, details and news of the ship's continuing progress, including "sunsets until launch," the microsite offers an inside look at the most exciting Seabourn launch in years. For more details about the award-winning Seabourn fleet, visit

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Disney Cruise Line Announces Two New Ships

CHICAGO, March 3: The Walt Disney Company announced plans today to build two additional cruise ships, each of them showcasing the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and unparalleled service that only Disney can deliver. The company has entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. The schedule calls for the new ships to be completed in 2021 and 2023.

"We pride ourselves on the unforgettable vacation experiences we deliver to our guests each and every day, and the expansion of our Disney fleet will allow us to create even more magical memories for families at sea and in incredible cruise destinations around the world," said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

Each new ship will be approximately 135,000 gross tonsslightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasyand each is currently planned to include about 1,250 guest staterooms. While design plans, ship names and itineraries are still in development, the Walt Disney Imagineering team is already dreaming up exciting new ways to create the world's most magical oceangoing adventures.

Since first setting sail in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has provided a quintessential family cruise vacation experience that combines the magic of Disney with the thrill of exploring different parts of the world. Guests step aboard majestic and beautiful ocean liners to enjoy legendary Disney entertainment, exquisite dining, spacious and well-appointed staterooms and magnificent public spaces. The company also has been an industry leader in innovation and game-changing creativity. With the launch of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy in 2011 and 2012, the company introduced several firsts for the industry, including a water coaster at sea (AquaDuck) and virtual portholes in interior staterooms (Magical Portholes) that provide real-time views of the sea as well as sightings of animated Disney characters.

Plans for the expansion of Disney Cruise Line come during a period of momentous growth and innovation for Disney properties around the globe.

"The expansion of Disney Cruise Line only adds to our excitement for the unprecedented growth taking place across our vacation destinations, from new Star Wars experiences coming to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts to the 25(th) anniversary of Disneyland Paris and the grand opening of our newest park, Shanghai Disney Resort," said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

More details about the Disney Cruise Line fleet expansion and onboard offerings will be announced at a later date.

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MSC Cruises Introduces Wellness Experience powered by Technogym

Fort Lauderdale, March 3: MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise company, is meeting strong, growing demand for wellness travel by introducing an exclusive Wellness Experience, developed in partnership with Technogym, the world’s leading wellness company. In an industry-first, MSC Cruises new wellness offeringwhich utilizes Technogym’s end-to-end wellness expertise and is exclusively available onboard MSC Cruises’ shipsis a one of a kind, completely personalized experience, which allows guests to meet their own personal health and wellness goals while enjoying a unique Mediterranean style cruise experience. Using a pre-cruise questionnaire, followed by an onboard one-on-one consultation with a Master Trainer, trained by Technogym, each guest’s cruise is customized with shore excursions, gym classes and healthy food options that are specific to the individuals goals and needs.

“The global wellness travel segment is projected to grow by nearly 10 percent annually over the next five years[1], as consumers are increasingly seeking out ways to combine being active and healthy with their vacation,” said Gianni Onorato, chief executive officer of MSC Cruises. “Through the launch of the MSC Cruises’ Wellness Experience powered by Technogym – the globally-recognized wellness experts – we are further expanding our offering and making available to our guests the first completely personalized, 360° wellness experience at sea.”

“At MSC Cruises, we are passionate about providing our guests unique onboard experiences through close, personal attention to detail,” said Onorato. “This new experience, which is designed in a way that is exclusive to our guests, further demonstrates our commitment to innovationalso by partnering with best-in-class experts in their own fieldand to creating unforgettable memories onboard our ships.”

“For more than 20 years we have been promoting the concept of wellness as a lifestyle made of regular physical exercise, a healthy diet and a positive mental attitude,” said Nerio Alessandri, president and founder of Technogym. “Today, wellness represents a global consumer trend that can impact on people’s life and health. This is why we are proud to partner with MSC Cruises to develop and deliver a unique and completely new wellness experience."

How MSC Cruises New Wellness Experience Works
MSC Cruises is expanding its ‘inclusive experiences’ offerings and adding the new Wellness Experience, further allowing guests to customize their vacation based on their own personal desires and interests. The Wellness Experience will be one of five experience categories that MSC Cruises’ guests can choose when booking their cruise. The other experience categories include Bella, Fantastica, Aurea, and MSC Yacht Club and range from a la carte to all-inclusive amenities. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ ‘inclusive experiences’ visit: 

To design the new experience, the MSC Cruises team worked for more than a year with the wellness, fitness, nutrition and technology experts at Technogym. The end result is a personalized experience which features cutting-edge technology and state of the art fitness facilities, specialized food and beverage offerings, exclusive shore excursions, and access to MSC Cruises’ Master Trainers certified by Technogym.

Pre-Sailing Aspiration Finder™ Questionnaire
As soon as a guest books the wellness experience for their cruise, they are invited to complete the Aspiration Finder™—the first-ever scientific online questionnaire developed by Technogym’s Research Department—which helps MSC understand its guests’ wellness motivations, such as the desire to look and feel better, improve sporting performance or overall health and happiness. The result of the questionnaire is a personalized Aspiration Map, which forms the basis for the individualized program.

Onboard Consultations & Health Assessments
Once onboard, guests will receive a one-on-one appointment with a MSC Master Trainer, trained by Technogym, who will conduct an assessment consisting of a body scale analyzer test combined with an in-depth consultation. This will result in establishing the wellness objectives each guest wants to work toward and developing a program customized to each guest for the duration of the cruise. In addition, guests will receive a medical check-up with the MSC Doctor onboard, which will include a blood pressure test, electrocardiogram, and lipid panel.

Access to mywellness App
Participants in the Wellness Experience will receive complimentary internet access to the MSC Cruises-only version of Technogym’s award-winning mywellness app. The mywellness app, which tracks the movement of the users and assigns them a daily movement target, includes information on MSC Cruises’ personalized training programs as well as allows guests to see fitness class schedules and track their appointments while onboard. Using GPS and smartphone accelerometer functions, the app integrates indoor training performed using gym equipment with daily life activities and outdoor training.

Fitness Classes*
Guests participating in MSC Cruises’ Wellness Experience will also benefit from exciting new group fitness classes that are being developed with the fitness experts at Technogym, designed around Technogym’s ARKE equipment for core and bodyweight training as well as a Technogym spinning class. In addition, a range of new on-trend fitness classes such as Bella Barre and Hula Fit will be introduced along with popular favorites including Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga. Schedules for the group classes will be coded to help guests select the right classes for their Aspiration Profile.

Shore Excursions*
Shore activities exclusively for the Wellness Experience participants have been specially designed to complement the onboard fitness program so that guests can discover the sights at the ship’s ports of call while keeping active. The activities also provide the opportunity to socialize and meet like-minded people with similar wellness goals. Highlights include jogging around Ancient Olympia, a bike tour of Copenhagen, hiking up Mount Fløyen in Norway, a fun triathlon in Cozumel comprising of kayaking, running and snorkeling or beach training in Rio de Janeiro.

Food & Beverage
The Wellness Experience also places a strong emphasis on nutrition. A wide range of delicious and balanced wellness menu options have been developed in partnership with the Technogym’s team of nutrition experts. The buffet will feature a dedicated wellness corner with a choice of dishes designed to match the needs of the different Aspiration Profiles. The main restaurant will also feature healthy options that will be clearly distinguished on the menu to make it simple to select the right choice and there will be a wellness room service breakfast menu. The MSC Aurea Spa bar will also serve a new range of protein and energy drinks as well as an array of other wellness beverages.

Stateroom Amenities
Guests booking the Wellness Experience will get a choice of staterooms on the upper decks and in the most desirable areas of the ship. Guests will be provided with a wellness mat and Technogym Wellness Bag™ as well as sports clothing and towel. The stateroom will also feature a wellness themed mini-bar stocked with sports drinks and a Fitness TV channel with videos created by the experts at Technogym. In addition, the laundry for the guest’s workout gear provided by MSC Cruises is included to help make the experience convenient and stress-free.

Booking the Wellness Experience
The Wellness Experience will be available onboard MSC Cruises’ ships starting in April 2017. Currently, booking for the Wellness Experience is open on MSC Seaside with prices starting at $929 per person (price includes the cost of the cruise + experience). Prices for the rest of the fleet will be available when booking opens for MSC Cruises’ Summer 2017 sailings in the coming weeks.

To learn more about the Wellness Experience visit:

*number of shore excursions and gym classes included in the wellness experience vary based on the cruise length.

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Celebrity Cruises Introduces New EuroXPass for Cruises to Europe

MIAMI, March 3: Celebrity Cruises has introduced yet another innovation aimed at today’s traveler. The cruise line’s groundbreaking new “EuroXPass” is a direct reflection of what affluent vacationers want: beautifully simple, all-encompassing and highly service-oriented experiences. EuroXPass provides everything a guest needs for an unforgettable vacation to Europe. The exciting new offering makes booking and enjoying a rich European cruise easier than ever before, with complete peace of mind. EuroXPass simplifies travel to Europe by including everything a guest needsair, transfers, a premium cruise, and a choice of two free perks, all while offering extraordinary and exclusive destination experiences throughout the region. Guests just need to call, pack and go.

"This is the latest evolution of our modern luxury platform, and it takes into account everything we know affluent travelers want,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “We have taken care of every detail, from the time a guest picks up the phone to book their EuroXPass to the enjoyment of our extraordinary service onboard, and rich and unique destination experiences.”

EuroXPass is exclusively available on all of Celebrity’s ships sailing to some of the most amazing European destinations, including France, Spain, Greece and Italy. The EuroXpass vacation includes:

• Roundtrip airfare
• Transfers
• Veranda stateroom
• Choice of two free perks: drinks, $150 to spend on board, internet package, or free tips
• Must be booked by March 31, 2016.

"We created EuroXPass to be the ultimate convenience, combining all the key elements of planning a cruise to Europe, one of the most sought-after regions in the world,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “Only Celebrity offers such a simple way of booking and vacationing. And, when paired with our award-winning onboard experiences that are unique to Celebrity, you have the most perfect way to enjoy the beauty of Europe."

For more information on Celebrity’s experiences across Europe, visit

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Captain Emiel de Vries Discusses Sea Trials in Holland America Line’s
Sixth ‘Countdown to Koningsdam’ Video

Seattle, March 2: Holland America Line has debuted the sixth “Countdown to Koningsdam” video, which takes viewers to the shipyard and shows aerials of the ship’s recent sea trials. The short videos in the series were created to provide updates and share the excitement as ms Koningsdam nears delivery in April 2016.

Hosted by Johnathan Rogers, Koningsdam’s cruise director, the video, “Countdown to Koningsdam: Episode 6,” features Captain Emiel de Vries, inaugural master of the ship, talking about sea trials and his future “office”—the bridge.

“The ship’s sea trials were a huge milestone in construction, and we’re excited to share video footage of the beautiful Koningsdam sailing,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Watching the ship move so gracefully across the water really brings Koningsdam to life. The delivery is not far away now, and we’re looking forward to officially welcoming Koningsdam to the fleet.”

In the video, viewers set sail with Koningsdam as it takes to the open ocean for the first time. The two sets of sea trials occurred in January off the coast of Italy with Captain de Vries participating and observing as the ship made its way from Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard to dry dock at Trieste. The ship then returned to Marghera where finishing touches will be completed before its April delivery.

Captain de Vries also provides a glimpse of the bridge, which is still under construction, sharing that it has “the latest and the greatest” technology. “It was a thrill to take the ship to sea and give her a test run,” added de Vries. “The maneuvering trials were particularly exciting for me, and the ship behaved very well.”

‘Countdown to Koningsdam’ Videos Offer Insights
Each “Countdown to Koningsdam” video features one of the ship’s officers or a Holland America Line executive who shares ongoing developments on board the line’s newest vessel, currently being built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy.

“Countdown to Koningsdam: Episode 1” featured Hotel Director Stan Kuppens, who showed off the progress of the ship’s atrium and spoke about his move to the yard and what’s coming next for his team. “Episode 2” featured Vice President Deployment and Tour Marketing Linda Springmann detailing the ship’s inaugural sailing seasons in the Mediterranean, northern Europe and Caribbean.

“Episode 3” focused on the ship’s main theater and World Stage and featured Holland America Line’s Director of Entertainment Bill Prince. The focus of “Episode 4,” featuring Deputy Director of Interior Operations My Nguyen, was on the ship’s staterooms and suites. “Episode 5” featured Holland America Line’s Senior Vice President of Guest Experience Product Development Michael Smith, who took guests inside The Dining Room, the ship’s primary dining venue.

Future videos include Kuppens discussing crew arrivals and Prince showcasing the new Music Walk entertainment area.

About ms Koningsdam
Koningsdam represents a new Pinnacle Class of ship for Holland America Line. The vessel will debut several innovative concepts and new public spaces and venues while still featuring popular amenities guests associate with Holland America Line.

Guests will enjoy fine dining in several alternative restaurants including Sel de Mer, a new French seafood brasserie; a new immersive farm-to-table concept dinner experience in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine; a redesigned Lido Market with themed serving stations; a stunning main dining room; and favorites such as Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto Italian restaurant and pan-Asian Tamarind. The ship also will feature Holland America Line’s first purpose-built staterooms for families and single staterooms among its 1,331 guest accommodations.

Onboard entertainment will be taken to a new level, with the energetic Music Walk area featuring all genres of music showcased in venues including Lincoln Center Stage, offering chamber music nightly; Billboard Onboard, where live musicians rock the crowd with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club in the Queen’s Lounge, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage, new concepts for show-time performances will immerse the audience in panoramic visual and sound effects. For more information about Holland America Line and Koningsdam, visit

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Crystal Cruises To Return To Legendary Northwest Passage In 2017

LOS ANGELES, March 2: Continuing its trend of groundbreaking news, the world's most awarded luxury cruise line will return to the famed Northwest Passage in August 2017. Beginning August 15, 2017, Crystal Cruises' award-winning ocean ship, Crystal Serenity, will sail a 32-day expedition-style voyage traversing the Arctic Ocean from Anchorage/Seward, Alaska to New York City via the legendary route (500 miles north of the Arctic Circle), first completed successfully by Roald Amundsen more than 100 years ago. The announcement comes shortly after the world's most awarded luxury cruise line's plans to reposition Crystal Serenity's 2017 voyages during the spring and summer to Alaska and coastal itineraries. The booking window opens on March 7.

"We are thrilled to offer intrepid luxury travelers a second opportunity to explore this historical sea passage," said Crystal's CEO and President Edie Rodriguez. "Given the tremendous response to our inaugural Northwest Passage sailing in 2016, it's clear that discerning travelers continue to value rare and memorable experiences as much as they prize unmatched luxury."

Beginning August 16, 2016 Crystal will be the largest luxury cruise line to ever navigate the route, maneuvering through 900 miles of majestic waterways lined with spectacular glaciers, towering fjords, and vast unspoiled landscapes away from mainstream civilization and tourism, north of mainland Canada.

In 2017, Crystal will again partner with Expedition Voyage Consulting by EYOS Expeditions, providers of bespoke expeditions to the most remote regions on Earth in safety and luxury, for the planning of the itinerary's shore-side adventures. Additionally, the line has diligently gathered information and resources from field experts, going so far as meeting with the Inuit elders of the Arctic, to create an expedition voyage that is rewarding and thrilling for guests while also remaining respectful to the local lands and cultures.

Following in the footsteps of intrepid explorers, the journey through once-unpassable waterways employs new or enhanced approaches to itinerary scheduling, destination visits, onboard offerings, and safety standards. The first call in the Canadian Arctic is planned for the Hamlet of Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, a settlement of just a few hundred people on the shores of the Amundsen Gulf, just 1,400 miles from the North Pole.

Ports-of-Call: Anchorage/Seward, Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, and Nome, Alaska; Ulukhaktok, NW Territories; Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet, Nunavut; Ilulissat, Sisimiut, and Nuuk, Greenland; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island, and New York, New York.

Waterways: North Pacific Ocean; Bering Sea & Bering Strait; Chukchi & Beaufort Seas; Amundsen Gulf; Dolphin & Union Strait; Coronation Gulf; Dease Strait; Queen Maud Gulf; Victoria Strait; Larsen Sound; Franklin & Bellot Straits; Peel Sound; Parry Channel; Barrow Strait; Prince Regent Inlet; Lancaster Sound; Croker Bay; Navy Board Inlet; Eclipse Sound; Baffin Bay; Davis Strait; Labrador Sea; North Atlantic Ocean.

For more information, visit

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Carnival Cruise Line Partners With Tom Joyner Foundation For
2016 Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage

MIAMI, March 1: For the fourth consecutive year, Carnival Cruise Line is partnering with the Tom Joyner Foundation to present the 2016 Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage. The Ultimate Party with a Purpose®, the voyage will take place aboard Carnival Breeze with a customized eight-day Caribbean voyage departing April 23, 2016, and visiting the beautiful tropical destinations of St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Grand Turk.The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage presented by Ford is hosted by renowned radio personality and philanthropist Tom Joyner and serves as a fundraiser with proceeds benefiting the Historical Black Colleges and Universities of which Carnival is a proud sponsor.

"This is one of those special experiences that will stay with you forever," said Tom Joyner. "We sell out every year and our partner, Carnival, takes the event to the next level with a premiere ship and outstanding service."

The star-studded line-up of artists performing during the cruise includes Diana Ross, Patti LaBelle, New Edition, Johnny Gill, and more than 60 entertainers. The ship is programmed from sunup to sundown with exclusive concerts, fitness classes, and inspiration and empowerment seminars. Each night is a colorful party with theme nights including All Black Everything, Denim & Diamonds, #FlashbackFriday, Mardi Gras, Pajama Night, Represent Night, White Night, and a formal Sneaker Ball. There will also be "Day Parties," including a special event to honor military veterans.

"We're pleased and honored for Carnival Cruise Line to serve as the Official Cruise Line of the Fantastic Voyage, supporting the efforts of the Tom Joyner Foundation," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, the world's largest leisure travel company with a portfolio of 10 of the world's leading cruise lines, including Carnival Cruise Line. "This year's cruise promises to deliver an unforgettable experience featuring top entertainers, great destinations and exciting on-board activities while supporting students at our historically black colleges and universities," he added.

Commented Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, "We're delighted once again to serve as a proud partner of the Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage which provides participants with a lifetime of wonderful memories both on board and ashore, all while raising money for a very worthwhile cause."

For additional information on the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage, please visit

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