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Cruise News
May 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

The Tallest Slide at Sea on Harmony of the Seas Delivers Top Thrill Factor

MIAMI, May 26: Royal Caribbean International's Harmony of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, claims another record as home to the tallest slide and most exhilarating adventure at sea: Ultimate Abyss. The hair-raising, 10-story slide is "possibly the most thrilling manmade adventure at sea," according to thrill engineer Professor Brendan Walker, Thrill Laboratory, U.K., director. Enlisted to identify the level of "thrill," a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure, triggered by the Ultimate Abyss, Walker measured physical reactions of testers brave enough to accept the challenge. Walker also compared the latest innovation by the global cruise line known for many firsts-at-sea to other Royal Caribbean signatures, the FlowRider surf simulator and RockWall, to compare the varying levels of thrill available onboard Harmony of the Seas. Ultimate Abyss scored a WalkerThrill Factor of 45.35 percent as compared to the FlowRider (36.15 percent) and RockWall (34.59 percent). Considering it is highly unlikely that a single experience could be designed to score a Walker Thrill Factor of 100 percent, these scores are understood to be at the highend of thrill attractions; therefore, making Harmony the ultimate cruise ship for adrenaline junkies.

"Royal Caribbean's legacy of imagination and innovation is reflected in all of the ships we build and Harmony of the Seas is no exception. It's not about building the largest cruise ships in the world, it's about creating the most amazing collection of unexpected experiences and activities at sea," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Having experienced it myself, I have no doubt that the Ultimate Abyss will be absoluately thrilling for our guests but it is really gratifying to get confirmation from such a thrill expert as Professor Brendan Walker. The exciting multisensory experience that this tallest slide at sea offers, combined with other Royal Caribbean firsts such as the Flowrider and the RockWall, confirms that Harmony isn't just the largest cruise ship in the world but also the ultimate adventure at sea."

The two-day test conducted during the final days of construction at the shipyard observed 10 individuals who had never experienced Ultimate Abyss and only limited exposure to the two other activities. Demonstrating the effect that Ultimate Abyss has on the body, Walker's data revealed that the slide experience caused heartbeats to increase by an average of 44 beats per minute compared to the resting rate for a 30-year-old adult of average fitness. Overall, Ultimate Abyss caused facial expressions of extreme pleasure to be activated more than 40 percent of the time, with the sympathetic nervous system - the body's primary process in stimulating the fight-or-flight response - becoming 15.74 percent more active than when at rest. Riders on the Ultimate Abyss experienced a complex and unique set of sensations at each of the five stages of thrill, all culminating in a euphoric crescendo to guarantee the ultimate rider satisfaction.

Having tested the riders' capabilities on the gutsiest of rides, Walker offered his stamp of approval that Ultimate Abyss not only unleashed the five stages of thrill but was also determined to be the most thrilling attraction onboard Harmony of the Seas. Walker believes that even though not all rides are the same, they need to deliver thrill across the following five separate stages in order to be classified as thrilling:

• Imagining: When the rider consciously entertains the idea of riding. The stronger the rider can imagine riding the ride, the stronger the moments of thrill
• Approaching: As the thought of riding becomes a reality, the moments of thrill created through imagination become intensified in a "countdown to thrill"
• Committing: The rider passes through a stage of no return such as being strapped into a ride or being urged on by friends. At this stage, the only way to proceed is forward
• Doing: The ride begins. If it's thrilling, the ride will provide intense novel sensations that will immerse the rider and transport them into a state of flow
• Celebrating: The ride ends. The rider experiences an afterglow as adrenaline and dopaminethe results of arousal and pleasurecontinue to course through their brains

Walker commented: "Across the three rides we tested, the combination of thrill levels achieved at each stage caused riders to experience an overwhelming sense of elationand Harmony of the Seas' Ultimate Abyss recorded the highest combined thrill score across all stages. The initial arrival experienceriders climb the stairs leading up to the slide platform, walk over the clear platform suspended above a more than 90-foot dropsets the tone for the experience, and when combined with the multisensory experience during the slide, Ultimate Abyss has a hugely thrilling effect. This combination of a natural phenomenonthe feeling of being small in comparison to the endless ocean viewcoupled with a manmade experience (i.e. a stainless steel slide) is defining a new genre of thrill that is setting the standard for future attractions as people demand more extreme and expertly crafted thrill-seeking adventures."

Harmony of the Seas is the world's largest cruise ship with a bold and unexpected lineup of experiences found nowhere else on land or sea. An architectural marvel, Harmony of the Seas combines the distinct seven-neighborhood concept that Royal Caribbean's Oasis class of ships are known for with some of the most modern and groundbreaking amenities. Innovative features include The Ultimate Abyss, a thrilling slide 10 stories highthe tallest at sea, robot bartenders, virtual balconies with real-time views of the destination for interior rooms, and VOOM - the fastest internet at seaso that guests can stay connected, stream their favorite entertainment and share their adventures.

Unparalleled entertainment in the air, in water and on ice will keep guests dazzled with exciting high-diving, acrobatic and aquatic performances in the deepest pool at sea at the iconic AquaTheater; an ice show extravaganza and Broadway's hit musical Grease.

Imaginative dining in the ship's 20 venues include the widest variety of cuisine from Wonderland, a whimsical culinary adventure for the senses, to the popular Jamie's Italian by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Harmony of the Seas will span 16 guest decks, encompass 226,963 gross registered tons, carry 5,479 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,747 staterooms.

Harmony of the Seas will homeport in Barcelona, Spain and embark on the first of 34 seven-night sailings in the western Mediterranean on June 7, exploring some of Europe's most beautiful locations. In November 2016, Harmony will arrive at her homeport of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, FL., from where she will offer 7-night eastern and western Caribbean sailings. The newest member of the fleet will join sister-ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, sailing from Port Canaveral and Port Everglades respectively, on the east coast of Florida.

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Carnival Vista's Two-Deck Cloud 9 Spa: A Seagoing Oasis of Tranquility and Relaxation

MIAMI, May 26: For those looking to unwind and relax, the new Carnival Vista has a lot to ahhh about. The luxurious two-level Cloud 9 Spa features an array of chill-worthy amenities, including Carnival’s first infrared sauna and Hammam Chamber, as well as special “experience showers” that provide a soothing fragrance element, a large heated whirlpool, four steam chambers and a high-tech indoor cycling studio. Carnival Vistathe line’s newest, largest and most innovative shipdebuted earlier this month in Europe.

Exclusive to Carnival Vista is the Infrared Heat Chamber. The chamber’s heating system is built into the walls with 80 percent of the heat gently warming the body and the remaining 20 percent of infrared heat released into the air, providing cooler, more consistent temperatures than traditional saunas. The beneficial effects of a sauna remain the same: body detoxification to increase energy, burn calories, decrease inflammation, relieve pain and improve blood circulation in the skin to enhance delivery of oxygen and nutrients.

Another Carnival Vista exclusive is the Hammam Chamber, developed during the Ottoman Empire as a place of regeneration, contemplation and inner peace. The aim is both physical and spiritual cleansing, along with loosening of joints and muscles by ladling warm water over the body to slowly increase temperature to approximately 113 degrees F.

Carnival Vista’s Cloud 9 Spa also features an elaborate Thermal Suite, which offers intensive relaxation and a new sensory experience provided through individually designed heat therapy rooms that cleanse, tone and purify the body using alternating dry and wet heat chambers. The thermal suite is an exclusive facility within the spa offering different areas for specific therapeutic needs. The Steam Chamber with Aroma Steam and Aromatic Grotto is a small, intimate chamber where high humidity and radiant heat create a moist, warm climate that gently but thoroughly cleanses the skin and respiratory tract with herbal steam featuring sweet aromas such as cinnamon, orange or apple. The Dry Heat Chamber, or Laconium, is a large dry heat bath/sauna-like chamber where circulation is stimulated, accelerating and mobilizing the body's own defenses, while reducing stress.

Carnival Vista’s Cloud 9 Spa also has a fitness center with the latest cardio and weight-training equipment catering to all conditioning levels. The fitness center serves as the location for a wide range of instructor-led exercise classes, including a new indoor cycling studio. Powered by Myzone, RYDE is a 45-minute indoor cycling class that takes riders through a series of climbs and sprints to target all energy systems, while integrating technology to track riders’ intensity and enhance their future workout results. The combination of modern and old school music fuels the atmosphere for an upbeat high energy work out that leaves riders with a feeling of achievement.

Additional Cloud 9 Spa amenities include treatment rooms for European-style massages and facials, two saunas (men/women), two locker rooms (men/women), a post-treatment relaxation room where guests can lounge, enjoy herbal tea and relish the sensation of pure relaxation and a VIP treatment room with whirlpool.

As part of the Cloud 9 Spa located forward on decks 12 and 14, Carnival Vista features 98 spa staterooms and six spa suites. Guests in these accommodations have convenient access to the spa and are eligible for exclusive spa packages, discounts and priority spa appointments. These staterooms and suites have additional in-room, spa-related amenities and décor different than other accommodations, in harmony with the soothing and relaxing theme of the Cloud 9 Spa.

A salon with full hair and nail services, men’s barber/grooming area and special stations for manicures and pedicures round out Carnival Vista’s Cloud 9 Spa services and facilities.

Carnival Vista debuted May 1 and will operate a summer schedule of Mediterranean cruises through October. The ship will then reposition to New York for a pair of 11-day voyages in November 2016 before launching year-round 6- and 8-day Caribbean cruises service from Miami later that month. For additional information, visit

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New Silversea Brochure Now Available for 2017

Miami, May 26: Ultra-luxury Silversea has unveiled its new 2017 Voyages and Expeditions digital brochure, now available at The attractive picture book showcases a program of over 260 itineraries exploring seven continents and more than 800 destinations aboard its fleet of nine ocean and expedition ships.

"Whether you're looking for a relaxing voyage to picturesque shores or an exhilarating adventure in exotic lands, our new brochure presents a remarkable range of inspired itineraries and enriching programs that will help you create the perfect luxury vacation experience," said Mark Conroy, Silversea's managing director for the Americas.

Following are a few highlights of 2017:


Silver Muse
Launching in April 2017, Silver Muse is the epitome of Silversea's award-winning ultra-luxury lifestyle. With room for only 596 guests, her diminutive size continues the line's tradition of intimacy and personalized service, luxury and all-inclusive lifestyle, and the delight of venturing into secluded harbors where big ships cannot go. During her inaugural year, she will visit 34 countries and over 130 ports, offering the chance to visit a remarkable 52 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from ancient Greek temples through to historic Caribbean fortresses.

World Cruise 2017
Departing January 6, Silver Whisper's 116-day World Cruise will sail from San Francisco Bay for the idyllic isles of Hawaii and cross the International Date Line to the South Pacific, New Zealand, and Australia. Then, weaving her way through such tropical wonderlands as Bali and Sandakan, she will arrive at the shores of vibrant Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore, before setting a course for the ancient temples of India, Arabia's enchanting desert dunes, and the storied capitals of the Mediterranean.

Grand Voyages 2017
Guests of Silversea may discover the dramatic diversity of South America while sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale aboard one of two bespoke voyages: a 63-day Silver Spirit cruise departing on January 16, and a 66-day cruise aboard the line's newest ship, Silver Muse, departing on October 13.

Monte Carlo Grand Prix
Silver Spirit will overnight in Monte Carlo on May 27, during the city's famous Grand Prix Formula One racing event.

Festa del Redentore
Silver Spirit will overnight in Venice July 15 and 16, during the celebrations of the Festa del Redentore, offering guests the opportunity to experience the city's amazing display of fireworks and other festivities.

Cruise DaysHamburg
Two Silver Wind voyages in September will overnight in Hamburg during the historic port's annual Cruise Days event, when the city welcomes the world of cruises with special attractions and entertainment.

Thames River & Corinth Canal
Unique small ship privileges are highlighted on nine cruises when Silver Cloud and Silver Wind sail the Thames River to dock near (or depart from) Tower Bridge in the heart of historic London, and on three voyages when Silver Cloud and Silver Wind transit the Mediterranean's narrow Corinth Canaljourneys most cruise ships are too large to navigate.

Silver Shadow returns to explore the majestic natural wonders of Alaska on 16 seven-day voyages between Seward and Vancouver.


Silver Cloud
Silversea's luxury expedition fleet will expand to four ships in November 2017 when Silver Cloud joins Silver Explorer, Silver Discoverer, and Silver Galapagos. Fresh from an extensive refurbishment and conversion to an ice-class expedition ship, Silver Cloud launches a series of Antarctica voyages in November and December, featuring itineraries from 10 to 19 days, and sailing mostly roundtrip from Ushuaia.

Silver Discoverer's new 16-day, Colombo-to-Kolkata cruise departs February 11 to explore the Andaman Islands and make the first-ever cruise ship visit to Bangladesh, with explorations of Chittagong, Maheshkhali Island, and the Sundarbans, one of the world's largest mangrove forests and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Torngat Mountains National Park
A rare visit to Canada's remote Torngat Mountains National Park, renowned for its spectacular natural scenery, highlights an August 31 Silver Explorer expedition focused on Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, sailing 15 days from Kangerlussuaq to St. John's.

Galápagos Islands
The expert guides of Silver Galapagos will continue to share their passion for these pristine and biologically diverse islands on two alternating seven-day itineraries exploring the north central and western isles.

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Royal Caribbean Cruises Expands Oasis & Edge-Class

MIAMI, May 25: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with French Shipbuilder STX France to build a fifth Oasis-class ship for delivery in the Spring of 2021, and two additional Edge-class ships scheduled for delivery in the Fall of each of 2021 and 2022.

"The response to the arrival of Harmony of the Seas is staggering, eliciting excitement from eager cruisers from markets on both sides of the Atlantic," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "And Edge-class is one of the most highly anticipated new projects, following the high bar of Modern Luxury design set by its predecessor, the Solstice-class."

"The Oasis-class ships have delivered beyond expectations each time," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Harmony of the Seas' warm reception is evidence that growing this class of ship will continue to drive exceptional performance for the brand."

"Although our first Edge-class vessel is still over two years away from delivery, there has been a tremendous amount of interest around the new standard of style Edge-class will introduce," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "Solstice-class ushered in a new era of design for modern cruise ships, and Edge-class will not disappoint as the new generation of high style and design."

This order is contingent upon the completion of customary conditions, including documentation and financing. Final contracts, which include the definitive payment schedules, are expected to be completed within the quarter. Capacity increases for 2016 through 2020 remain unchanged.

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Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas Arrives Home in Miami

MIAMI, May 25: Miami’s newest hometown ship, Empress of the Seas, arrived to her new homeport today after a $50 million revitalization. The ship will set sail on her first sailing on Friday, May 27 visiting Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay, Bahamas and Nassau, Bahamas. The ship will then offer short 4- and 5-night getaways from Miami to Nassau, The Bahamas; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Grand Cayman and Key West, Florida. With longer stays in every port, guests will be able to experience spectacular golden sunsets in the Caribbean. Plus, on select 5-night itineraries, guest can experience the authentic Mexican culture and cuisine during overnight stays in Cozumel, Mexico.

Empress of the Seas will offer signature amenities including a thrilling rock-climbing wall for adrenaline seekers; new pools and whirlpools; a spa with an extensive treatment menu; and a complimentary Adventure Ocean youth program. Empress also will offer a variety of dining options, including the casual atmosphere of the Windjammer Café and fine dining at the brand’s signature steakhouse Chops Grille. In addition, the ship will offer Voom, the fastest internet at sea.

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Cunard Announces World's Finest Wine Cellar at Sea on National Wine Day

SOUTHAMPTON, England, May 25: On board Cunard's newly rejuvenated flagship Queen Mary 2, passengers will now be able to indulge in a unique collection of 450 fine wines, including the highly sought after California Screaming Eagle at $4,500 per bottle, which is to be served by the glass for the very first time. Additionally a unique collection of vintage port wines, the only assortment of its kind in the world, has been specially assembled to join the enhanced wine cellar. The 46 different vintage ports, each produced in a key year of Cunard's 176-year history, will form part of a specially commissioned permanent display in the new Carinthia Lounge. This is being created as part of the ship's major 25 day refit this June that befits the status of the world's only ocean liner.

Guests on board the luxurious Queen Mary 2 can now experience The Cunard Wine Academy, an all sensory experience of food and wine pairings, tastings and producer master classes for the appreciation of even the most advanced wine graduate. To enhance guests' enjoyment of the elegant wines without compromising the quality, the introduction of the new Coravin™ wine pouring system used on board, uses a needle to extract the desired quantity of wine required from a bottle.

"With thoughtful planning and a keen attention to detail, our new fine wines as well as our unique port collection, inspired by Cunard's history, are evocative of our craftsmanship," said Richard Meadows, President, Cunard North America. "With the addition of The Cunard Wine Academy, we proudly offer guests yet another exclusive and enriching experience in an unforgettable journey."

"Our sommeliers together with our suppliers have searched the world for exciting new additions to Cunard's famous wine list," said Anthony Habert, Cunard's Head of Fine Wines. "We're proud that we can offer a wine to compliment every palate and occasion."

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Princess Cruises Debuts "Magic to Do: The Story Behind the Magic" Documentary Film

SANTA CLARITA, CA, May 25: Last fall, Princess Cruises raised the curtain on a new musical revue titled Magic to Do, from the Oscar, Grammy and Tony award-winning composer of Wicked, Pippin and Godspell Stephen Schwartz. The show, a cruise industry first, premiered to rave reviews and today the cruise line debuted a special documentary, Magic to Do: The Story Behind the Magic, chronicling the journey of the show production from the partnership announcement, to auditions, to raising the curtain on the opening performance for Princess Cruises guests.

The new 25-minute documentary gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how the show came together through the direction and creative talent of Schwartz, as well as a cadre of Broadway and Hollywood talent, cast members and the Princess Cruises entertainment department. The documentary is available on the cruise line's YouTube Channel and will also air regularly on Movies Under the Stars outdoor theaters and stateroom televisions across the line's 17-ship fleet, as well as on

Magic to Do, Schwartz's first production for a cruise line, celebrates his lifelong fascination with magic and combines thrilling illusions with some of his most famous songs, such as Magic to Do from Pippin and Defying Gravityfrom Wicked. The show also includes a brand new song written exclusively for Princess called A Little Magic. Brought to life by a vibrant cast, imaginative costumes and make-up, stunning scenic designs and baffling illusions Magic to Do originally debuted in the Princess Theater aboard Crown Princess in October 2015, and is now also available aboard Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess.

The Story Behind the Magic features interviews with Stephen Schwartz, the creative team and cast, including:

• Gabriel Barre, internationally acclaimed director whose credits include the national tour of Pippin and the current Broadway musical, Amazing Grace, which will be touring the United States.
• Don Frantz, associate producer of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, among many other Broadway and international accomplishments.
• Jeremy Railton, four-time Emmy winner whose extensive background in theatre, film, television and multi-media design includes the 2002 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies and the Academy Awards.
• Mark Hartman, award-winning music director with numerous Broadway credits including Sondheim on Sondheim, Avenue Q and the national tour of Pippin.
• Jennifer Paulson-Lee, choreographer with credits including Enter Laughing, the Musical, A Rockin’ Midsummer Night’s Dream, 101 Dalmatians and Seussical.
• Alex M. Calle, art director on Warner Brothers Theme UAE, Galaxy Entertainment Macau and award-winning Crane Dance project in Singapore.
• Dominique Lemieux, costume designer to Cirque du Soleil including Mystère, Alegría and A New Day with Celine Dion. She also designed the costumes for Pippin on Broadway.
• Danny Fiandaca, sound design, having worked on various tours and productions, including Come Fly Away (Broadway), Catch Me If You Can (First National Tour) and Lonesome Traveler (Los Angeles). He’s also been associated with Princess Cruises for more than 10 years.
• Jim Steinmeyer, the mastermind behind many of the great magic illusions over the last 25 years, created the magic experience in Magic to Do. Steinmeyer has worked with some of the greatest magicians of all time including Doug Henning, Siegfried & Roy and David Copperfield.

In addition, the film showcases the show's original cast, including Stephanie Hodgdon (Eve), Danny McHugh (Pip), Michael Misko (Magic Maker), Kurt Robbins (Adam) and Courtney Stokes (Cat).

"Our partnership with Stephen Schwartz has been an incredible, collaborative opportunity for everyone involved and we wanted to chronicle the entire journey of the making of his first musical at sea with The Story Behind the Magic." said Adrian Fischer, vice president, entertainment experience for Princess Cruises. "We hope viewers can see the passion and commitment that went into the unique production through this engaging documentary."

Princess Cruises engaged producer, Shayne Fraeke of PREMIERE TV to make the film, which was directed by Igor Kovalik.

During his 40-year entertainment career, Schwartz has won four Grammys, three Academy Awards for "Best Song" and "Best Score" for Pocahontas and "Best Song" for The Prince of Egypt and received the Isabelle Stevenson special Tony Award. He is the only songwriter in Broadway history ever to have three shows run more than 1,900 performances.

This partnership with such a major creative talent from Broadway and Hollywood includes a multi-year collaboration to oversee the creative development of a total of four new musicals to debut across the fleet over the next several years. This adds to the cruise line's "come back new promise," designed to elevate the onboard guest experience resulting in more transformative moments, lifetime memories and meaningful stories to share from a cruise vacation.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco
Will Serve as Godmother for Seven Seas Explorer

MIAMI, May 25: The most luxurious ship ever built, Seven Seas Explorer, will enter service in royal fashion with Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco having kindly accepted to serve as the ship’s godmother at a gala christening event in Monte Carlo on the evening of July 13, 2016.

“It’s fitting to have the world’s most luxurious ship, Seven Seas Explorer, christened in one of the most glamorous cities in the world by H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco, who is the definition of elegance, grace and passion,” said Jason Montague, president and COO, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Her Highness’ stature, Her career as a world class athlete and the charitable endeavors She pursues through the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation are inspiring. We are extremely proud and humbled that She agreed to serve as godmother for Seven Seas Explorer.”

Joining H.S.H. Princess Charlene at the christening ceremony for Seven Seas Explorer is world renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who will take the stage for a spectacular 40-minute performance during the event. Bocelli’s beautiful serenade will be a fitting send-off for a ship that sets a new benchmark for luxury.

“It’s such an honor to have Andrea Bocellia musical maestro with such an iconic and endearing voiceperform at the christening ceremony,” shared Montague. “We are making the christening ceremony for Seven Seas Explorer one for the ages, one that is truly befitting of the most luxurious ship ever built."

H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco
Born in Zimbabwe, H.S.H Princess Charlene grew up in South Africa. A competitive swimmer, She represented South Africa during various world class competitions including the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. She married Albert II, the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, in July 2011. They are the parents of twins born in 2014, Crown Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella. In 2012, She launched The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation whose mission is to teach children and adults basic water safety techniques and save lives. Drowning claims a reported 370,000 lives each year worldwide, however many cases go unreported, so the actual figure of drowning victims is sure to be higher.

As a world-renowned competitive swimmer, H.S.H. Princess Charlene spent years teaching underprivileged children basic water safety techniques for aquatic environments, using the approach that simple ideas often prove to be most effective. The Foundation sponsors a number of “Learn to Swim” and “Water Safety” programs in 27 countries throughout the world, including in the United States. H.S.H. Princess Charlene recently inaugurated the first U.S. chapter of the Foundation in Los Angeles on May 10, 2016. She is also Global Ambassador of Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Andrea Bocelli
Thrilling worldwide audiences for more than 20 years, Andrea Bocelli is a renowned Italian tenor and the most successful classical solo artist of all time. He has sold more than 80 million albums of both classical and pop music, and has performed for four U.S. presidents, three Popes, the British Royal Family, the Princely family of Monaco during the Princely wedding of HSH Prince Albert to HSH Princess Charlene, several Prime Ministers and at ceremonies for the Olympic Games, Shanghai World Expo and Expo Milan 2015. “Cinema,” his most recent album and 15th studio recording, was released in 75 countries and is dedicated to movie soundtracks. His Andrea Bocelli Foundation funds programs to overcome the barriers generated by poverty, disability and social exclusion.

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. Carrying only 750 guests, it boasts one of the highest space ratios in the cruise industry and features extravagantly designed lounges and showplaces, and lavish gourmet restaurants. The all-suite ship is also home for the extravagant Regent Suite, a 3,875-square foot luxury suite with a cruise industry first in-suite spa retreat complete with unlimited complimentary spa treatments. The luxury liner’s maiden voyage is scheduled for July 20, 2016, and will spend its inaugural season in Europe before heading to Miami for a series of Caribbean voyages. For more specific itinerary details or for general information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises, guests visit

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Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman Joins Joe Bonamassa's Music Festival at Sea

ATLANTA, May 25: Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, Joe Bonamassa, and Sixthman are proud to present Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea III, year three of the incredible four-day floating music festival featuring Bonamassa and some of the most celebrated names in blues. This year's festival will journey across the Caribbean aboard Norwegian Jade on February 6-10, 2017, sailing from Tampa, Florida to Costa Maya, Mexico. Guests will enjoy performances from some of the biggest names in music, while discovering new favorites among emerging blues artists on multiple stages throughout the ship. From rare artist collaborations to intimate gatherings with musically inclined cruisers, the festival will have something for everyone to enjoy.

Joining the 2017 festival are Grammy®-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman, Grammy®-nominated vocal powerhouse Beth Hart, California folk-rockers Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers, modern blues phenom Joanne Shaw Taylor, guitar virtuosos Anders Osborne and Eric Gales, American roots sister act Larkin Poe, Blues Music Award's Best New Artist Album winner Mr. Sipp, and more.

The Lineup:
Joe Bonamassa, Gregg Allman Band, Beth Hart, Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Anders Osborne, Jaimoe's Jasssz Band, Eric Gales, Larkin Poe, London Souls, Mr. Sipp, Mingo Fishtrap, Honey Island Swamp Band, Homemade Jamz Blues Band, Muddy Magnolias*, Blind Boy Paxton*, King Solomon Hicks* *indicates Ignite Artists

Music enthusiasts can pre-register for the sailing HERE before cabins are available on June 23, 2016. Once onboard, fans can expect to enjoy three performances by Joe Bonamassa, multiple artist collaboration shows, activities with many Blues Alive at Sea artists, commemorative lithographs signed by Bonamassa, dozens of live performances by living legends and emerging blues talent, and opportunities to jam with fellow cruisers. Between fun in the sun in Tampa and Costa Maya, guests can get their kicks at sea aboard Norwegian Jade. Norwegian Jade offers Norwegian's signature Freestyle Cruising experience, along with six stages of live music, 13 bars and lounges, 19 dining experiences, one outdoor pool, hot tubs, an expansive menu of spa treatments and much more.

"We have some amazing return acts and some legendary new artists this year, including one of my favorites of all time, Gregg Allman; Jaimoe from the The Allman Brothers Band is bringing his jazz band, a great player named Anders Osborne is joining us, and many more new additions. It's going to be a lot of fun. And that's why we do it. It's all about the music and the comradery between the bands!" said Bonamassa.

As in prior years' sailings, 2017's festival will feature a special stage for Ignite Artists. The artists chosen for this stage are innovative trailblazers with roots in blues, taking the century-old tradition of blues music and interpreting it in exciting new ways. One of the missions of Keeping the Blues Alive is to foster the newest wave of talent who need to be heard by all music lovers and will carry the torch for the next generation of music enthusiasts. This stage gives these young, new artists a platform to introduce their music to a wider audience.

Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea's sold-out 2015 maiden voyage and 2016's Keeping The Blues Alive at Sea II saw the floating music festival sail to beautiful locations like Key West, the Bahamas, and Cozumel, while entertaining over 4,000 blues aficionados with performances by many of today's best blues artists, including John Hiatt, Robben Ford, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Blues Traveler, Beth Hart, Ana Popovic, Vintage Trouble, Marc Broussard, Shemekia Copeland, Joanne Shaw Taylor, and many more.

The sold-out festivals raised a combined $75,000 in donations for Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, which helps to fund scholarships and music programs for students and teachers across the country. Both festivals were such overwhelming successes that Bonamassa and Sixthman couldn't wait to sign up for a third in 2017. For the Best available Cabins, sign up for Pre-sale at

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Seabourn Opens New Signature Restaurant

SEATTLE, May 24: Seabourn, the ultra-luxury cruise line, has announced the opening of its new signature restaurant, The Grill by Thomas Keller, on Seabourn Quest. With a menu, wine list and ambience inspired by a classic American chophouse, The Grill is a collaboration between three-star Michelin chef Thomas Keller and designer Adam D. Tihany, exclusively for Seabourn. The Grill by Thomas Keller officially opened for dinner on Seabourn Quest on May 21, 2016.

"The opening of The Grill by Thomas Keller marks the start of a new chapter in Seabourn's long history of award-winning cuisine," said Seabourn President Richard Meadows. "We are excited for guests to enjoy the restaurant's top-quality ingredients matched by a tremendous wine list, while traveling the world with Seabourn."

Located on Deck 8, The Grill focuses on updated versions of iconic dishes where guests are treated to American chophouse classics as well as a range of other steakhouse favorites. The timeless menu will draw on many artisan purveyors, while a wine list of domestic and old world labels personally curated by Chef Keller will complement each dish. Oenophiles and casual wine drinkers alike will find many rare offerings on the menu, which features more than 90 selections from around the world.

The interior designs by Adam D. Tihany enhance the dining experience with spaces that will be distinctive to the ship, yet defined by intimate settings with an elegant and warm masculine quality. The Grill by Thomas Keller is located in newly renovated spaces formerly occupied by Restaurant 2, which was extensively refit during a recent dry dock period.

Chef Thomas Keller began his partnership with Seabourn in 2015 and underlines the luxury cruise line's commitment to offering outstanding guest experiences. The Grill will be open for dinner daily, and guests will have the opportunity to secure reservations online in advance of their cruise. In keeping with Seabourn's all-inclusive rates, there is no additional charge to dine at the specialty restaurant.

For more information, visit

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Silversea Announces Culinary Expedition Voyages

Miami, May 24: Silversea has set three new Culinary Expedition Voyages for 2016 and 2017. Designed for the adventurous traveler who is also a culinary explorer at heart, these theme-focused expedition cruises aboard the all-suite, 132-guest Silver Explorer offer an array of complimentary culinary and wine events on board and ashorein addition to enriching explorations of the natural, cultural, and historic landmarks visited along the way. Following is a snapshot of these special voyages:

An Epicurean Adventure Along the Humboldt Current
This fascinating 14-day expedition (#7625) along the west coast of South America, showcasing the natural and cultural wonders of Peru and Chile, sets sail October 31, 2016 from Guayaquil and concludes in Valparaiso. The voyage includes a complimentary flight over the famous Nazca lines, providing an incredible aerial view of the giant geoglyphs etched onto the arid Peruvian coastal plain.

It is further enhanced by a culinary enrichment program where the region's outstanding food and wine heritage takes center stage. Ashore, guests will have the chance to savor a pisco sour cocktail and dinner at one of Lima's best restaurants, set amid the ancient ruins of an adobe pyramid; enjoy a three-course meal in the dining hall of a 16th-century monastery in Peru; sip cocktails while observing an indigenous ritual in Chile's Atacama Desert; and sample great vintages at a winery in Chile's Limarí Valley.

Highlighting the onboard experience are culinary workshops and discussions about the gastronomical specialties of the region hosted by Rudi Scholdis, Silversea's culinary director, and invited guest chefs from the region, such as Antonio Perez, executive chef of Guayaquil's Oro Verde hotel. Plus, a Chilean wine expert will be available to share insights and lead wine tastings.

Silver Explorer's South America voyage departing October 25, 2017 (#7724) will offer a similar culinary enrichment program as the ship again explores along the continent's west coast.

Atlantic Europe's Epicurean Journey
Departing Lisbon May 20, 2017, Silver Explorer will journey north along the European Atlantic coast to Honfleur, calling in Portugal, Spain, France, and Guernsey to explore picturesque harbors, medieval villages, and key historic sites. This 11-day expedition voyage (#7709) will also spotlight some of Europe's finest cuisinefrom bite-sized pintxos in Bilbao, and fresh oysters in Saint-Malo, to croissants and fine wines in Bordeaux.

There will also be a culinary demonstration program with market tours, special menus, and cooking classes hosted by Rudi Scholdis and David Bilsland, who oversees Silversea's L'Ecole des Chefs program. Silversea's wine ambassador, Lawrence D'Almeida, food and wine expert James Robinson, and cheese specialist Tom Badcock will also be on hand for onboard enrichment activities.

"It's one thing to visit a place, but it's another to immerse yourself," said Mark Conroy, Silversea's managing director for the Americas. "These Culinary Expedition Voyages are a great way for travelers to discover a culture through its cuisine."

For complete voyage details, visit

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Disney Cruise Line Returning to New York, California & Texas in Fall 2017

CELEBRATION, FL, May 24: In the fall of 2017, Disney Cruise Line will return to New York with sailings to the Bahamas and the Canadian coast, including a new 7-night Canada cruise. San Diego will serve as a home port with cruises to Mexico, and Galveston will again be a homeport with sailings to the Caribbean and Bahamas. Bookings open to the public May 26, 2016. More details on the itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2017 page of

New Canada coast itinerary & new ports from New York
Disney Cruise Line returns to New York City in the fall of 2017, for a mix of voyages that include Canada coast and Bahamas itineraries.

On Oct. 21, the Disney Magic will sail from New York on a 7-night Canada sailingthe line’s longest-ever voyage to the Atlantic Canada coast. This sailing includes a new port of call for Disney Cruise LineCharlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Bar Harbor, Maine, is another new port of call for Disney Cruise Line and part of a 5-night sailing that departs New York on Sept. 27. This cruise also will stop at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

A total of six 7- and 8-night sailings to the Bahamas, all including a visit to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, will be a part of the 2017 New York season.

Adding to the magic on each of the Bahamian cruises will be the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World Resort when the ship stops at Port Canaveral, Florida. Each guest on these sailings will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation for the short drive between the ship and the resort.

Return to San Diego, California
In September and October of 2017, Disney Cruise Line will return to San Diego with a variety of Disney Wonder cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. On most Baja sailings, guests can visit Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico, to enjoy world-famous beaches and snorkeling. Two-night cruises depart San Diego on Sept. 15, Sept. 22 and Oct. 13, and a 3-night cruise departs Oct. 5 and includes a day at sea.

Mexican Riviera itineraries feature snorkeling and scuba diving hot spots, while Puerto Vallerta and Mazatlan are where cliff divers, culture and ziplining through the jungle canopy take center stage. Seven-night itineraries departing on Sept. 24 and Oct. 15, call on Puerto Vallerta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Four additional 4- and 5-night Mexican Riviera cruises set sail during the season in San Diego.

Return to Galveston, Texas
Disney Cruise Line returns to Galveston in 2017, with a line up of eight 7-night cruises to the Caribbean and the Bahamas. All Bahamian itineraries include a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas.

On Nov. 10 and Dec. 1, the Disney Wonder will sail a western Caribbean itinerary from Galveston to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica.

On Nov. 17, Nov. 24, Dec, 8, Dec. 15, Dec. 22 and Dec. 29, the Disney Wonder will sail from Galveston to Key West, Nassau and Castaway Cay.

To learn more, visit

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Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands Named Holland America Line’s
New ms Koningsdam in Rotterdam

Seattle, May 23: In a ceremony rich with history and meaning, Holland America Line held a Dedication Ceremony for ms Koningsdam May 20 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands officially blessed the bell and named Koningsdam on board the ship in front of invited dignitaries, cruise guests, travel partners and media.

The celebration began with Her Majesty Queen Máxima performing the ceremonial honors of blessing the ship’s bell in the Lido pool area by pouring a glass of champagne over the bell. The blessing of the bell is a hallowed Holland America Line tradition when welcoming a new ship to the fleet. Her Majesty also was the first to sign Koningsdam’s commemorative wall that will become a permanent installation on the ship. Next, the ship was officially christened during a ceremony in the World Stage theater when Her Majesty Queen Máxima pulled a rope to trigger the traditional champagne bottle break on Koningsdam’s hull.

“It’s an honor to have Her Majesty Queen Máxima as the godmother to Koningsdam, and May 20 was a truly special day with Her Majesty delivering the ceremonial traditions of welcoming our newest ship to the fleet,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “As our company was founded in Rotterdam more than 143 years ago, it was fitting to return to our roots for Koningsdam’s royal dedication.”

Also a traditional part of dedicating a new ship for the line is the appointment of Mariner Ambassadors to represent the important role of loyal repeat guests in the company’s ongoing success. Serving as Koningsdam’s Mariner Ambassadors were Enrique "Rick" Encarnacion and Ernest Schenk. Both dedicated Mariners, the pair have sailed more than 1,650 days each on Holland America Line cruises. Schenk first sailed with the line on a trans-Atlantic cruise aboard ss Ryndam. Encarnacion first sailed with Holland America Line in 1997 aboard an ms Statendam Panama Canal cruise. Following the ceremony, a gala luncheon was held onboard in addition to shipwide celebrations throughout the day. In the evening the ship set sail for Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and fireworks lit up the sky as Koningsdam passed Hoek van Holland. Thousands of Dutch residents came out throughout the day in Amsterdam to join in Holland America Line’s special events.

During its inaugural season in Europe, Koningsdam sails in the Mediterranean and then repositions from Civitavecchia, Italy (the port for Rome), to its summer homeport of Amsterdam. The ship will go on to sail roundtrip Amsterdam itineraries to Norway, the Baltic and Iceland. Following its Europe season, Koningsdam will homeport at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The ship will sail one cruise to the Bahamas and then a series of Caribbean voyages from November 2016 through March 2017.

For more information about Holland America Line and Koningsdam, visit

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American Cruise Lines’ New Ship Named “American Constellation”

GUILFORD, CT, May 23: American Cruise Lines announced today their newest ship, now under construction at Chesapeake Shipbuilding of Salisbury, MD, has been named American Constellation. This ship will set a new standard of excellence for coastal cruise ships. Currently 9 weeks ahead of schedule, American Constellation will be delivered in April 2017.

The name, American Constellation, was inspired by the long line of American ships named Constellation who have represented and honored the United States. The link between the USS Constellation and American Constellation is stronger than simply the name. The original U.S. Naval sailing frigate of 1797 and American Cruise Lines’ newest ship were both built in Maryland shipyards, and American Constellation will leave for its first cruise from Constellation Pier right next to where the retired USS Constellation is docked.

“We’re proud to continue our legacy of American built ships, and are positive that American Constellation will raise the bar for all small ship cruising in the United States” said Tim Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines.

The ocean capable vessel with full active wing stabilization, will have capacity for approximately 170 guests and cater to the discriminating eye of passengers looking for a high-end and intimate experience of a smaller ship. Well-appointed staterooms will be the largest ever seen in this service, and have tastefully furnished private balconies and room service. Additional features including Zodiacs and kayaks will offer guests alternative ways to explore the exciting and historic American destinations. Reservations for the inaugural season aboard American Constellation are being accepted.

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Holland America Line Looks to the Future & Honors the Past by
Naming Next Pinnacle Class Ship ms Nieuw Statendam

Seattle, May 20: Holland America Line announced today that the name of the next Pinnacle Class ship set for delivery in fall 2018 will be ms Nieuw Statendam. Honoring the company’s past while keeping its eyes on the future, Nieuw Statendam will be the sixth ship in Holland America Line’s history to bear the name Statendam. It will be built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy, and construction will begin this summer.

Like sister-ship ms Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam represents a new class of ship for the cruise line. Carrying 2,650 guests, the 99,500-gross-ton ship will feature several of the innovative venues that were introduced on Koningsdam as well as new concepts that will debut on the newbuild.

“Holland America Line is writing the next chapter in our evolving story, yet we are a company with a deep history, and the name ms Nieuw Statendam perfectly blends our past, present and future,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “The previous Statendam ships have been among the most beloved in our history, and we eagerly anticipate sharing this beautiful new ship with our guests in 2018.”

Renowned hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany’s designs will be featured on Nieuw Statendam, bringing his unique vision to this latest vessel as he did with Koningsdam. Also, several public areas will be designed by Bjorn Storbraaten, who successfully worked with Holland America Line on Koningsdam, ms Eurodam, and ms Nieuw Amsterdam in designing the ship’s public rooms.

The History of the Statendam Ships
The first Statendam launched in 1898 and was just 10,491 gross tons. It served the fleet until 1911. The second Statendam was built in the 1910s for Holland America Line but was sold to White Star Line as Justicia before it entered service. The next Statendam served the line from 1929 until 1940, when it was scrapped after a fire.

The fourth Statendam launched in 1957 and was christened by an 18-year-old Dutch Crown Princess Beatrix, who would later become Queen and name Eurodam as well. On Jan. 7, 1958, the ship departed on a 110-day World Cruise, the first for Holland America Line. Statendam remained in the fleet until 1982, when it was sold to Paquet Cruises. The fifth ship to carry the Statendam name launched in 1993 and served the line until 2015, when it was transferred to sister cruise line P&O Cruises Australia, where it sails today as Pacific Eden.

For more information about Holland America Line, visit

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Anthem of the Seas Calls Cruiseport Boston for 1st Time this Season

BOSTON, Cruiseport Boston welcomed Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas for the first time on Thursday, May 19, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced. The ship docked in Boston for a port of call as part of a 7-night Bermuda & Boston cruise. She will depart from Cape Liberty, New Jersey before docking in King’s Wharf, Bermuda. From there the Anthem of the Seas will sail on to Boston before ending her weeklong voyage in New Jersey once again. Sailing at over 1,100 feet in length and with the ability to carry 4,180 passengers, she is the largest cruise ship to ever call Boston. This will be the first of five calls for Anthem in Boston in 2016.

“We are very proud to have the Anthem of the Seas call the Cruiseport this year,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “As we bring in new ships and lines, we build and maintain business relationships that can lead to more maiden calls like the Anthem of the Seas. Here at Massport we are committed to providing good-paying blue-collar jobs in the cruise industry, as well as contributing to the greater regional economy.”

The Anthem of the Seas is one of the newest ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet, added to the fleet’s Quantum Class in 2015. As part of Royal Caribbean’s most modern class of ships, Anthem of the Seas has features including:

• a 23-foot tall indoor skydiving column;
• “North Star,” a viewing capsule that lifts 300 feet above sea level;
• Bumper cars, roller rink and a circus school;
• “FlowRider,” a 40-foot-long surf simulator;
• 18 restaurants;

Cruiseport Boston is responsible for nearly 2,000 direct jobs and over $187 million in annual economic impact. Once they visit Boston for the first time, many passengers often come back to the city for a longer stay and enjoy the many museums, award-winning restaurants, shopping centers, and professional sporting events the city offers.

“Cruiseport Boston benefits every time a new cruise ship sails into the city. This latest maiden call is just another example of what a great homeport and port of call Boston can be,” said Massport Port Director Lisa Wieland. “We welcome Anthem of the Seas to Cruiseport Boston and are excited to work together with Royal Caribbean, as they introduce contemporary and state of the art ships to the seas, in bringing more new itineraries and ships into Boston.”

Cruiseport Boston is a favorite port-of-call with cruise passengers. Last year, nearly 330,000 port-of-call and homeport passengers used the facility.

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Disney Magic Calls the Port of Boston for 1st Time

BOSTON, The Port of Boston welcomed Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic for the first time on Wednesday, May 18, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced. Disney Magic arrived from Port Canaveral, Florida for a port of call in Boston and will continue on next to Sydney, Nova Scotia as part of her 15-day journey from Florida to Dover, England. The ship will also make stops in Dublin, Ireland and Liverpool, England before the end of her voyage. Disney Magic is 984 feet long, sports 11 decks, and carries 2,400 passengers.

“We are excited to welcome Disney Magic as the first of nine maiden calls this season at Cruiseport Boston,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “Disney Cruise Line offers a unique experience for families and as more new ships like this one call Boston, we are hoping to appeal to a broader customer base. This addition to the schedule shows our commitment to building and maintaining strong business relationships, providing good-paying blue-collar jobs in the cruise industry, and contributing to the continually growing regional economy.”

The Disney Magic has been sailing the seas since 1997 when she was christened by Patricia Disney, the former wife of Walt Disney’s nephew, Roy. The ship is easily recognized by the two Mickey Mouse silhouettes as well as by the excerpt from “When you Wish Upon a Star” that can be heard from the ship’s horns. Disney Magic is one of four Disney Cruise Line ships, with two more set to join the fleet in 2021 and 2023.

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Back by Popular Demand: 2018 World Cruise on Seven Seas Navigator

MIAMI, May 18: Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced plans for another epic voyage to circumnavigate the globe in 2018 with an innovative itinerary that explores sensational destinations across the Southern Hemisphere. The 137-night Navigate the World voyage will set sail aboard the luxury line’s most intimate ship, Seven Seas Navigator, which recently underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment and features a stunning and sophisticated new look.

Setting sail January 8, 2018, the 38,528-nautical-mile sojourn will begin and end in Los Angeles, taking a southerly route to explore the world’s most exquisite destinations, visiting five continents, 28 countries and 64 ports of callincluding 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The 490-guests onboard will be able to indulge in Regent Seven Seas Cruises most inclusive luxury experience, which includes a vast array of complimentary and unlimited shore excursionsallowing guests to become immersed in each destination visited.

Guests sailing on the world cruise will also enjoy several complimentary shoreside experiences as they traverse the globe, including exclusive engagements such as a pre-cruise gala at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Los Angeles, dinner in the bush at the Zulu Nyala Private Game Reserve in Richards Bay, South Africa and a tranquil visit to the Australian countryside with a visit and tasting at a local winery in Adelaide, Australia. In addition, guests sailing on the world cruise will receive additional included amenities, such as first-class air, door-to-door luggage service, a comprehensive visa package, unlimited laundry service, satellite phone time and onboard medical services.

“The overwhelming response to our 2017 world cruise prompted us to offer another unprecedented global adventure,” said Jason Montague, president and COO, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “The newly refurbished Seven Seas Navigator is absolutely stunning, and for our 2018 Navigate the World voyage we added more included amenities, making this world cruise the most luxurious and inclusive world cruise available.”

Seven Seas Navigator was the first Regent Seven Seas Cruises ship to be refurbished as part of a $125 million fleet-wide renovation project. The public spaces and suites were updated to feature the same elegant style and indisputable attention to detail famously featured on Regent Seven Seas Cruises newest ship, Seven Seas Explorer.

Unprecedented Itinerary
The 137-night journey departs from Los Angeles and sails across the Pacific Ocean to the lush Hawaiian Islands and tropical oases of French Polynesia, American Samoa and Fiji. Multiple stops in picturesque ports of New Zealand and Australia precede a cruise through such exotic Southeast Asian destinations as Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Seven Seas Navigator will then cross the Bay of Bengal, making many stops to explore the cultural wonders of Richards Bay, Durban, East London and Cape Town of South Africa.

Crossing the Atlantic, the ship will arrive in South America with stops in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. From there, Seven Seas Navigator will cruise the Caribbean Sea to Curacao and Aruba and then traverse the iconic Panama Canal. The ship will explore delightful Central American ports in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala before returning home to Los Angeles on May 25, 2018.

Navigate the World: Ports of Call Highlights

Highlighted destinations are 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including:
• Australia: Sydney Opera House, a 20th century architectural masterpiece
• Singapore: Singapore Botanic Gardens, the 156-year-old tropical garden is the only tropical garden recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
• Nicaragua: Ruins of León Viejo, a site that preserves the original layout of the first cities founded by the Spaniards in the New World
• Malaysia: Kinabalu Park, Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site that boasts more than 5,000 vascular plant species and more than 90 lowland mammal species

Additionally, Navigate the World includes a number of free unlimited shore excursions, valued at nearly $10,000 per person for all 64 ports of call. Among them are:

• Hawaii: A memorable visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where guests will have the opportunity to encounter an active volcano closer than ever imagined
• Cape Town, South Africa: A tour with wine tastings in the Stellenbosch wine district
• Bali, Indonesia: A sightseeing tour that explores the temples, dance, cuisine, arts and crafts of historic Bali

For more specific itinerary details or for general information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises, visit

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The World’s Largest Cruise Ship Sails Into Southampton

MIAMI, May 17: The port of Southampton, U.K. was bustling today as onlookers gathered to be among the first to see the world’s largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, upon her first arrival into port. After 32 months of construction, the ship’s arrival marks a major milestone for Royal Caribbean International as Harmony becomes the 25th ship in the fleet.

“Harmony of the Seas is redefining vacations and intriguing a new generation of travelers with a bold and unexpected line-up of first at sea innovations, while enticing them to explore the world from a new perspective,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “From thrilling onboard activities and experiences to visiting awe-inspiring destinations across the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, Harmony places guests at the forefront and encourages them to create their own adventures onboard and at every destination.”

Intricately built with more than 500,000 individual parts, Harmony measures 362 meters (1,188 feet), nearly four football (soccer) fields long, and weighs 226,963 gross registered tons. The newest addition to the family combines the distinct seven-neighborhood concept that Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class of ships are known for with a lineup of the most modern and groundbreaking vacation amenities. Innovative features include The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea with a 10-story plunge; robot bartenders at The Bionic Bar, powered by Makr Shakr; virtual balconies with real-time views of the destination and VOOMthe fastest internet at seaso that guests can stay connected, stream their favorite entertainment and share their adventures with family and friends back at home.

Harmony of the Seas will sail from Southampton, U.K. on a series of short getaways to Northern Europe before embarking on her maiden cruise on May 29, arriving in Barcelona, Spain on June 5. The cruise ship and her 2,100 crew members then will officially launch her inaugural summer season with the first of 34 seven-night western Mediterranean sailings on June 7.

In November 2016, Harmony will arrive at her homeport of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from where she will offer 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings. The newest member of the fleet will join sister ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, homeported in Port Canaveral and Port Everglades respectively, on the east coast of Florida.

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Costa Cruises Launches New tinerary to the Maldives, Sri Lanka & India

Costa Cruises is to launch a new two-week itinerary aboard the Costa neoClassica that will allow travelers to discover the colors of India and the beaches of the Maldives during the European winter of 2016/17. The “Colors of India, between Yin and Yang” itinerary provides a unique cultural trip with the possibility of dividing the cruise into two distinct seven day segments, with flights to Male and Mumbai.

From Dec 15, 2016 to March 10, 2017, the exclusive journey around the Indian Ocean will start in the Maldives, where the ship will remain for two days. Costa Cruises have partnered with Paradise Island Resort, where guests can enjoy the white sandy atoll, blue waters and coral reef. Leaving Male, the ship continues to Sri Lanka where guests will embark at Colombo. Guests will visit the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, one of the best-known attractions of the island, home to more than 60 elephants.

From Colombo, the cruise journeys to India where the first stop will be Goa, famous for its spectacular beaches and for its Portuguese colonial architecture, as well as being one of the 21 hotspots of biodiversity in the world. Guests will be able to choose from a number of excursions, including a tour of the old city and of the capital, Panjim, and a visit to the Basilica de Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

From Goa, guests will continue on to Mumbai, where the ship will stop for two days to allow guests to fully savor the distinctive contrasts of the city. Guests can visit the main attractions, including the Banganga Tank. Heading back down the Indian coast, the journey will continue to New Mangalore before arriving at Cochin in the federal state of Kerala. The ship will stop for another two days, giving guests time to explore the village of Kumbalangi and enjoy a houseboat ride in the Kerala Backwaters. Costa neoClassica will then return to Male or guests can embark at Mumbai.

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Fathom Adds Sailing Dates Through December 2017

MIAMI, May 13: Fathom, the pioneer in social impact travel and Carnival Corporation's 10th brand, today announced additional sailing dates, extending Fathom MV Adonia's stay in the Caribbean region through December 2017. The move comes as demand continues to grow for Fathoma different kind of cruise that combines one's love of travel with the desire to make a difference in the world.

"We have been humbled by the tremendous response Fathom has received from travelers eager to experience Fathom while helping the Dominican Republic to flourish and making history through human connections and immersive experiences in Cuba," said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation. "Fathom resonates with travelers as the best way to travel with intention, to culturally immerse, to experience and to see more. For example, Fathom visits three incredible, diverse locations in Cuba during its itinerary while having the convenience of unpacking once and savoring the comforts of premium accommodations aboard the intimate, small-ship, MV Adonianot to mention its excellent and diverse dining, service and onboard amenities."

According to Russell, Fathom also appeals to travelers as a meaningful way to experience personal growth while making purposeful and engaging contributions to the world, starting in the Dominican Republic. "There is genuine excitement about Fathom's ability to empower travelers to serve and immerse alongside locals in the Dominican Republic to create scalable and sustainable, transformative impact that will play an important role in helping the Caribbean region flourish," she said.

Fathom will depart on weekly 7-day voyages from PortMiami aboard the MV Adonia, a 704-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation's P&O Cruises (UK) brand and ideal for delivering an intimate onboard experience. Dates for 7-day voyages departing on Sundays roundtrip from Miami during 2017 include the dates below. Fathom's reservations systems will be ready to take 2017 bookings by June 1, 2016.

-- Dominican Republic: Dec. 4, Dec. 18, Jan. 1, Jan. 15, Jan. 29, Feb. 12, Feb. 26, March 12, March 26, April 9, April 23, May 7, May 21, June 4, June 18, July 2, July 16, July 30, Aug. 13, Aug. 27, Sept. 10, Sept. 24, Oct. 8, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Nov. 19, Dec. 3, Dec. 17, Dec. 31

-- Cuba: Nov. 27, Dec. 11, Dec. 25, Jan. 8, Jan. 22, Feb. 5, Feb. 19, March 5, March 19, April 2, April 16, April 30, May 14, May 28, June 11, June 25, July 9, July 23, Aug. 6, Aug. 20, Sept. 3, Sept. 17, Oct. 1, Oct.
15, Oct. 29, Nov. 12, Nov. 26, Dec. 10, Dec. 24

"The decision to add 2017 Fathom sailing dates underscores our enthusiasm for Fathom and our experience to date with the impact it is having," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. "The feedback from travelers, travel professionals, community leaders, and our own employees has been extremely positive. Our travelers and trade partners are asking for additional sailing datesand we are happy to oblige."

Additional information about sailing dates and the Fathom experience in the Dominican Republic and Cuba may be found at Prices vary by season.

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Seabourn Expands Partnership with Swarovski Optik

SEATTLE, May 12: Seabourn, the ultra-luxury cruise line, is expanding its partnership with Swarovski Optik to offer high-quality optical instruments aboard every vessel in its fleet. The partnershipwhich will provide Swarovski Optiks for guests and expedition staff to use on Seabourn Quest, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Odyssey, as well as the line's newest vessel, Seabourn Encore, when it launches in Decemberis broadening as Seabourn continues to roll out its popular Ventures by Seabourn program of kayak and Zodiac shore excursions all over the world.

Launched in December 2014, the partnership originally positioned Swarovski Optik as the official optical equipment for Seabourn's Antarctica and Patagonia cruises. The Austria-based company, part of the Swarovski group, provided 25 pieces of Swarovski optics, including 22 pairs of binoculars and three spotting scopes, for the Ventures program on Seabourn Quest. Under the partnership, the ship's expedition team and bridge staff utilized the high-precision, long-range binoculars for spotting diverse wildlife and viewing the remarkable landscapes from on board the ship and ashore. In addition, the Swarovski binoculars were available for sale on board.

With the growth of Ventures by Seabourn and the Seabourn-Swarovski partnership expanding simultaneously, there will soon be more opportunities for guests and staff to experience the optics. Swarovski Optik will be working with Seabourn in their upcoming seasons to Antarctica, Patagonia, Chile, Argentina, South Georgia, the Amazon, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, British Isles, and the Caribbean.

"Viewing magnificent scenery and wildlife is a highlight of every Seabourn cruise, and Swarovski's exceptionally fine binoculars and scopes ensure that our guests will not miss a thing," said John Delaney, Seabourn's senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Like all other aspects of our award-winning cruises, we want to offer the best possible experience for guests to experience the majestic and unspoiled natural wonders of the world."

For more information, visit

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Carnival Vista Offers Nearly 30 Dining & Bar Venues Showcasing Diverse Flavors from Around the World

MIAMI, (May 12: From authentic Asian delicacies and a New England–inspired seafood eatery to light bites with a Cuban flair, the new Carnival Vista offers an exciting and flavorful array of international dining choices. Complementing the delicious fare is a wide variety of bars, lounges and watering holes including the line’s first on-board brewery. With a comprehensive selection of eateries, Carnival Vista features several exclusive outlets that are only on board the line’s newest, largest, and most innovative ship, including Seafood Shack, modeled after roadside seafood stands that dot the New England coast, and expanded versions of Bonsai Sushi and Cherry on Top offering both indoor and outdoor seating.

International flavors take center stage on Carnival Vista, taking guests on a culinary journey around the world. Ji Ji Asian Kitchen offers a taste of the Orient; BlueIguana Cantina features fresh Mexican cuisine and a tortilla-making machine; Cucina del Capitano brings the flavors of Italy on board; and Fahrenheit 555 is a classic American steakhouse. Several bars also serve a light menu that perfectly pairs with a cocktail or brew. Havana Bar offers authentic Cuban pastries, sandwiches and other bites while guests at RedFrog Pub & Brewery can enjoy Caribbean-inspired pub fare like grouper fingers, Jamaican-style chicken wings and more, in addition to the three different craft beers brewed on board.

Dining venues and bars featured on Carnival Vista include:

 • BlueIguana Cantina: Open for breakfast and lunch, BlueIguana Cantina serves authentic tacos on fresh-made tortillas and made-to-order burritos that can be personalized by diners at an extensive salsa and toppings bar.
• Bonsai Sushi: Bonsai Sushi has been expanded on Carnival Vista to offer cooked-to-order items like Shrimp Tempura, Chicken Katsu, Omakase (Chef’s Choice) and various noodle bowls, complementing a variety of sushi, sashimi and bento boxes.
• Cherry on Top: For those with a sweet tooth, Cherry on Top serves up ingredients mixed by hand and made to order. Cool concoctions include a base of ice cream and at least four toppings, from whipped cream and hot fudge to Oreo cookie pieces and pineapple chunks. Additionally, when guests order Brownie Buoy – hand-selected by kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospitala donation is made to the hospital.
• Cucina del Capitano: A celebration of Carnival Cruise Line’s deep roots in Italy—all of the fleet’s captains are Italian — Cucina del Capitano serves up a variety of Italian favorites family-style.
• Fahrenheit 555: This classic American steakhouse offers mouth-watering steaks and other gourmet fare with impeccable service.
• Guy’s Burger Joint: A guest favorite, Guy’s features fresh-made burgers, hand-cut fries and innovative toppings created in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri.
• Havana Bar: This popular bar specializing in mojitos and Cuba Libres has added a bar menu. From Sabor de Habana, a sampler plate, to ceviche de mariscos, ropa vieja and pan con bistec, guests can taste authentic dishes of Cuba.
• JavaBlue Café: Featuring coffee straight-up, or perhaps with an upgrade, JavaBlue Café serves hot and cold drinks with a fun twist. Guests also can enjoy sweet treats and comfort snacks.
• Ji Ji Asian Kitchen: Serving up enticing dishes in an eclectic space, Ji Ji brings not only great food, but good fortune to the table. Offering a full-service menu featuring a mix of exotic and familiar dishes designed to challenge and delight the senses, the venue offers a truly unique culinary experience.
• Pizzeria del Capitano: Pizzeria del Capitano offers five varieties of hand-tossed artisanal-style pizza, all available free of charge 24 hours a day.
• Lido Marketplace: A casual poolside eatery offering an array of international favorites, from paninis to comfort food to a New York-style deli and just about everything in between.
• Ocean Plaza: An indoor/outdoor café serving cappuccinos, lattes, and espressos as well as pastries and other confections.
• RedFrog Pub & Brewery: Delicious Caribbean bites are served here, but the star is the hand-crafted beer brewed on board in the line’s first onboard brewery developed in collaboration with Miami-based Concrete Beach Brewery. The Caribbean-inspired brews include the aromatic and citrusy Port Hoppin’ IPA, spicy ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat unfiltered lager and rich and creamy FriskyFrog Java Stout.
• Seafood Shack: A Carnival Vista exclusive, Seafood Shack features traditional fare like New England clam chowder, lobster rolls, crab cake sliders and fried clam strips served by the bucket, with steamed lobster, snow crab, peel-and-eat shrimp and raw oysters sold by the pound.
• Serenity: Salads, sandwiches, wraps and other light fare is available at the ship’s exclusive adults-only retreat.
• Shake Spot: Shake Spot offers more than just your average shakes and floats. Guests can sip on hand-crafted classics, fruity-flavored treats and even spiked indulgences.
• The Chef’s Table: This VIP experience starts with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for an exclusive group of 14 guests, followed by a tour to see the galley in operation. The evening concludes with an impressive full-service dinner of appetizers, entrees and desserts not found on the regular menus, all hosted by one of the ship's master chefs.
• The Taste Bar: Offering complimentary bite-size preview offerings inspired by popular Carnival dining venues, along with a signature cocktail tied to the day’s particular theme available for purchase.
• American Table/American Feast: Featuring extensive menus and wine lists in the Horizons and Reflections main dining rooms with a wide range of appetizers, side dishes, entrees and desserts, as well as shareable items for the table.

Carnival Vista debuted May 1 with a 13-day cruise departing from Trieste, Italythe first European voyage for Carnival in three years. A variety of spectacular Mediterranean itineraries will be offered with port calls throughout Italy, France, Spain and Croatia as well as several new destinations for Carnival such as Crete (Heraklion), and Corfu, Greece; Valletta, Malta; Palermo, Sicily; Cagliari, Sardinia; and Gibraltar.

On Oct. 21, 2016, Carnival Vista embarks on a special 13-day transatlantic crossing and arrives in New York Nov. 3, then operates a pair of 11-day voyages from the Big Apple before repositioning to Miami for year-round Caribbean departures later that month. For additional information, visit

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Royal Caribbean Conducts Delivery Ceremony & Honors Crew Of Harmony Of The Seas

MIAMI, May 12: Royal Caribbean International today honored the crew and project team of the new Harmony of the Seas at a traditional delivery and flag changing ceremony in Saint Nazaire, France. Following 32 months of construction at the STX France shipyard involving thousands of shipyard employees, sub-contractors and suppliers, the world's largest and most innovative cruise ship is now home to 2,100 crew members from 77 different nationalities. Joining the festivities in the ship's signature AquaTheater were Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International together with Laurent Castaing, General Manager, STX France.

"Harmony of the Seas is the product of our zealous spirit of continuous improvement, where we have combined revolutionary ship design with the technological strides that have defined the Royal Caribbean brand," said Richard D. Fain. "Thank you to STX France for their ongoing partnership in building our ships, which continue to introduce unexpected industry innovations."

"Harmony is truly magnificent in every sense of the word, from her architecture and design to the level of care and attention to detail with which our incredible crew are taking to prepare for our first guests," said Michael Bayley. "The ship is the 'best of the best' of what our guests love most about Royal Caribbean, combined with new and thrilling experiences never before found in one place but it is the passion and dedication of our crew that will make everlasting memories for our guests."

Costing more than a $1billion, Harmony of the Seas will be the 25th ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet and boasts highly anticipated first-at-sea experiences, including:

• A 100-foot drop with The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, plunging courageous adrenaline seekers 10 stories down from deck 16 to the Boardwalk on deck 6
• 4,700,000 lbs. (2,150 tons) of water in 23 swimming pools, whirlpools, two FlowRider surf simulators and waterslides, including the Perfect Storm, a thrilling trio of waterslides, and the Splashaway Bay waterpark for young guests
• The first double-story Wonderland, the specialty restaurant concept first introduced onboard the global cruise line’s Quantum class of ships delivering an imaginative and whimsical feast for all the senses
• The debut of Broadway’s hit musical Grease in the Royal Theater and spectacular diving shows in the AquaTheater
• 11,252 works of art showcased throughout the ship and Central Park, a living park in the center of the ship which features a total of 10,587 plants, 48 vine plants and 52 trees, some over 20 feet (6.1 meters) high
• VOOM, the fastest internet at sea, available exclusively to Royal Caribbean guests, which allows travelers to seamlessly stay connected, stream their favorite entertainment, video chat and share their adventures with friends and family at home

Harmony of the Seas will homeport in Barcelona, Spain and embark on the first of 34 seven-night sailings in the western Mediterranean on June 7, exploring some of Europe's most beautiful locations. In November 2016, Harmony will arrive at her homeport of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, FL., from where she will offer 7-night eastern and western Caribbean sailings. The newest member of the fleet will join sister-ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, sailing from Port Canaveral and Port Everglades respectively, on the east coast of Florida.

Harmony of the Seas is the world's largest cruise ship with a bold and unexpected lineup of experiences found nowhere else on land or sea. An architectural marvel, Harmony of the Seas combines the distinct seven neighborhood concept that Royal Caribbean's Oasis class of ships are known for with some of the most modern and groundbreaking amenities. Innovative features include The Ultimate Abyss, a thrilling slide 10 stories high - the tallest at sea, robot bartenders, virtual balconies with real-time views of the destination for interior rooms, and VOOM - the fastest internet at sea - so that guests can stay connected, stream their favorite entertainment and share their adventures.

Entertainment in the air, in water and on ice will keep guests dazzled with exciting high-diving, acrobatic and aquatic performances in the deepest pool at sea at the iconic AquaTheater; an ice show extravaganza and Broadway's hit musical Grease. Imaginative dining in the ship's 20 venues include the widest variety of cuisine from Wonderland, a whimsical culinary adventure for the senses, to the popular Jamie's Italian by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Harmony of the Seas spans 16 guest decks, encompasses 227,000 gross registered tons, carries 5,479 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,747 staterooms.

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Celebrity Cruises Completes Newest Makeover

MIAMI, May 12: Movies viewed under the stars and paired with a specially curated menu of delectable food; freshly redecorated suites; a modernized, fully realized Italian steakhousevacationers need look no further than Celebrity Millennium to understand what all of these experiences have in common. This month, the 2,138-guest vessel will emerge from a drydock refresh reenergized and more luxurious than ever, with the same lineup of stunning enhancements that Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Infinity have received in recent months. Guests sailing on Celebrity Millennium in Alaska this summer will be among the first to enjoy her new spaces and experiences.

“We are beyond thrilled that Celebrity Millennium will soon be even more stunning than ever before as a result of the $8 million that we’re investing in this drydock,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “We have added new elements and experiences that will help open up the world for modern luxury travelers, from our gorgeously updated Suite Class staterooms onboard to the amazingly delicious Tuscan Grille menu, and, of course, the new Rooftop Terrace.”

The new Rooftop Terrace, complete with its large screen, chaise lounges, cabanas, soundscape and decorative lighting, is a modern relaxing backdrop for Celebrity’s sumptuous new multisensory experience, “A Taste of Film,” which presents films that evoke a specific cultural, culinary or destination experience, paired with cuisine that brings the scenes on the screen to life through guests’ taste buds. The cruise brand’s culinary team, led by Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Gallagher, has specially crafted a multi-course tasting menu for each “A Taste of Film” selection. The Rooftop Terrace is on the ship’s 12th deck.

Additional drydock enhancements will include significant renovations of the ship’s Penthouse and Royal Suites. As part of the $8 million refresh plan, Celebrity is investing heavily in its Suite Class experience on Celebrity Millennium, as every Penthouse and Royal Suite will receive new glimmering fixtures, marble surfaces, and comfortable seats in the bathrooms. The rest of the suite will get refreshing touches like new carpeting, drapes, and bed linens.

Conversion of Celebrity Millennium’s Olympic restaurant to Tuscan Grille, Celebrity’s popular, Italian-inspired steakhouse that debuted on its Solstice Class ships, will include complete refinishing of the space and the introduction of a refreshed menu designed to tantalize, including fresh pasta made in-house; an Italian cocktail menu, a first for Tuscan Grille; a wine list focused on the wine-growing regions of Italy; and new foods like artisanal salami and cheeses; crispy crab arancini with lemon pepper aioli; grilled branzino with spinach and olive oil; swordfish with Castelvetrano olives, fennel and white wine; and oven-roasted USDA Prime dry-aged steak.

On Celebrity Millennium, the maritime artifacts in the Olympic will be featured in a special display area in the casino’s entry vestibule. Items include charts, maps, an original place setting, a ship model, and more.

Additional work taking place onboard will include:

• The addition of an enclosed portrait studio similar to that found on Celebrity’s Solstice Class ships, Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Equinox
• The creation of a new future cruise sales office, where guests can take advantage of special offers
• A refresh of the Solarium, with new furniture, new floors, and refinished pool tops, and a refresh of finishes in the spa café
• The removal of the themed décor in the ship’s casino

Celebrity Millennium entered drydock on April 26, 2016 and emerged on May 12, 2016. This summer, Celebrity Millennium will sail a series of open-jaw itineraries between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seward, Alaska, before heading to Asia in September for her winter season there.

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Princess Cruises 2017 Europe Offers Best of Mediterranean, Northern Europe & British Isles

SSANTA CLARITA, CA, May 11: The 2017 Europe cruise season offered by Princess Cruises showcases top-rated itineraries to iconic destinations and includes the cruise line’s new “Global Partners + Local Experts” program, featuring enriching vacation experiences enhanced by combining deep destination knowledge with local experts. The 2017 cruise vacations to Europe include the inaugural sailings of the line’s newest ship Majestic Princess. The season features six ships sailing to 119 destinations from the corners of the Mediterranean to the northernmost tip of Europe. Guests can choose from 64 unique itineraries on 153 cruise departures, visiting 27 countries. Debuting in April 2017, Majestic Princess first sets sail on maiden European sailings with five- to 28-day Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona, Athens and Rome.

“Princess is known for offering the best cruise itineraries around the globe and our 2017 Europe season is sure to inspire our guests, offering them authentic, meaningful and exclusive experiences to immerse themselves in these culturally rich destinations,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.

The new industry-first “Global Partners + Local Experts” program 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. Elements include a video series of local port partners sharing their thoughts, experiences and recommendations of the places they call home. Also featured are local expert onboard speakers, new 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. All 2017 Europe itineraries are open for sale. Highlights of the Princess Cruises 2017 Europe program include:

Majestic Princess
The newest cruise ship to join the Princess fleet debuts in Rome (Civitavecchia) on April 4, 2017 for a 5-day Maiden Adriatic Sea roundtrip voyage visiting Kotor and Corfu. The 3,560-guest Majestic Princess then sails on a series of 7-, 14-, 21- and 28-day Mediterranean voyages departing Barcelona, Athens and Rome from April 9-May 14, 2017.

Cruises to the Mediterranean
In addition to Majestic Princess, Royal Princess features new 11-day Grand Mediterranean and 10-day Western Mediterranean combinable for a 21-day Grand Mediterranean Collection, as well as 7-, 14-, 21- and 28-day sailings throughout the Mediterranean.

Scandinavia & Russia Cruises
Regal Princess returns to Northern Europe, along with Crown Princess and Pacific Princess for popular cruise vacations to Scandinavia & Russia, offering an overnight in St. Petersburg with departures from London (Southampton or Dover) or Copenhagen. A new Pacific Princess Baltic Heritage itinerary includes overnights in Stockholm and St. Petersburg, sailing from London (Dover).

British Isles Cruises
The 2017 Europe season marks the line’s largest British Isles season ever with 12 departures on Caribbean Princess and two on Pacific Princess, including late night stays in Edinburgh, offering the opportunity to visit the world famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo on select sailings. All 12-day British Isles cruises include a new late evening stay in Belfast and an option of an overnight in Dublin on select departures from London (Southampton).

New Ports of Call
Summer 2017 features maiden port calls to Haugesund (Norway), Oban (Scotland), Siracusa (Sicily, Italy), Ulvik (Norway), and St. Tropez (France).

Iceland & Norway Cruises
Both Crown Princess and Pacific Princess will offer North Cape voyages to the Arctic Circle during the peak midnight sun period around the summer solstice. Crown Princess will also visit the spectacular Norwegian fjords, while Pacific Princess will feature a maiden call in Haugesund, Norway. Pacific Princess will also offer 14-day Iceland & Norway itineraries visiting off-the-beaten path ports in Iceland and the Shetland Islands. She will also cross to the land of fire and ice on a Transatlantic passage featuring Iceland.

European Land & Sea Vacations
Guests can enhance their European travel with five unique Land & Sea Vacation options, which combine certain sailings with a fully-escorted land tour. Choices include Paris and the French Countryside; Ireland’s Ring of Kerry; Classic Italy, visiting popular sites in Venice, Florence and Rome; Imperial Treasures of Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin; and Swiss Splendors featuring the mountain beauty of Interlaken and Lucerne, as well as a scenic boat trip on Lake Como.

More information about Princess Cruises and the Europe 2017 cruise season is available by visiting the company's website at

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Un-Cruise Adventures Releases 2017 Schedule of Small Ship Adventure Cruises

Seattle, May 11: Un-Cruise Adventures has released its full deployment schedule for 2017, highlighted by a new Pure Panamá cruise as well as updated Galápagos Islands and Columbia River wine itineraries. Un-Cruise Adventures’ fleet of boutique yachts and small ships carry 22-88 guests on adventure and river cruises from one week to 21 nights in Alaska, British Columbia, coastal Washington, Columbia and Snake Rivers, Mexico, Hawaii, the Galápagos Islands, Costa Rica and Panama. Adventure activities, tours, and presentations are included.

“We’re feeling strong demand from our guests for new adventures,” said Captain Dan Blanchard, CEO. “It’s an exciting time as we expand our explorations into new countries and develop new itineraries.”

Panamá – New destination in 2017
Beginning in April 2017, the 62-guest Safari Voyager will sail 22 departures on the new Pure Panamá: Cultures, Coasts & Canal itinerary sailing roundtrip Panamá City, Panamá. Areas visited on the eight-night adventure cruise include Panamá City, Guna Yala, Chagres River, Panamá Canal, Pearl Islands Archipelago and the Darién Jungle. A new 15-night Ultimate Costa Rica and Panamá itinerary combines the Panama and Costa Rica cruises together on two departures departing April 22 and Nov 17, 2017. Rates include a pre-cruise hotel night.

Galápagos Islands – Updated itinerary in 2017
From April to October 2017, the 48-guest La Pinta sails 10 departures on the Darwin’s Islands and Colonial Quito itinerary roundtrip from Quito, Ecuador. This eight-night adventure begins with two nights in Quito and includes visits to seven islands with stops at the Charles Darwin Research Center and the geological marine site of Punta Vicente Roca on Isla Isabela.

Columbia & Snake Rivers – Updated wine itinerary in 2017
The 88-guest S.S. Legacy, a replica coastal steamer, offers 34 weeklong river cruise departures on two itineraries on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, roundtrip Portland, Oregon from April through November. In 2017, eight departures are offered on the updated Rivers of Wine itinerary that visits several wineries in Washington and Oregon. Wine experts join the ship for wine tastings and presentations on board and guests explore American viticultural areas such as Red Mountain and the Willamette and Columbia Valleys. The Legacy of Discovery itinerary cruises through the scenic Columbia River Gorge to the rolling hills of the Palouse, east to Hells Canyon and back to the coastal town of Astoria, Oregon while transiting eight sets of locks and dams. Expert guides share extensive knowledge of the Lewis and Clark journey with onboard historians, presentations and visits to several historical sites.

Costa Rica & Panamá
From January through April 2017, the 62-guest Safari Voyager sails 16 weeklong adventure cruises on the Uncharted Isthmus! Sloths, Monkeys & Mangroves itinerary between San José, Costa Rica and Panamá City (or reverse). Jungle hikes, snorkel, kayak, paddle board and explore by skiff. Visit Curú National Wildlife Refuge, Manuel Antonio National Park, Osa Conservation Area and Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica; Coiba National Park and Gulf of Panama Islands, Panama. A full Panama Canal transit is included in each voyage. In November 2017, an updated 8-night Unveiled Wonders itinerary adds one night pre-cruise to the adventure offered on six departures through December 2017 and continues through April 2018.

Southeast Alaska
From April to September, travelers may choose from eleven adventure cruise itineraries on 157 departures lasting one week or 12 days, several with visits to Glacier Bay National Park, from homeports of Seattle, WA; Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka, Alaska. New in 2017, the Inner Reaches Western Coves itinerary from Ketchikan to Juneau visits the Tlingit village of Kake for a half day to experience the Native Tlingit culture through dance, storytelling and totem carving presentations.

Itineraries may be combined to create adventures from two to three weeks long while remaining on the same vessel. Six vessels—22-guest Safari Quest, 36-guest Safari Explorer, 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer, 74-guest Wilderness Explorer, 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer and 84-guest Safari Endeavour—sail adventure cruises in remote Alaskan wilderness with a focus on exploring wilderness and wildlife. With few or no port calls during the week, the emphasis is on exploring outside: hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff excursions and whale watching are included.

Pacific Northwest
From April to May and September to November, weeklong adventure cruises sailing roundtrip from Seattle explore the islands, temperate rainforests and hidden coves found in the secluded waterways of the Pacific Northwest. The 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer offers 14 departures on an Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands itinerary sailing in Washington’s Puget Sound from south Hood Canal north through the Salish Sea and San Juan Islands with visits to Olympic National Park, Mt. Constitution and Sucia and Orcas Islands. The 22-guest Safari Quest sails 19 departures on a British Columbia’s Yachters’ Paradise itinerary exploring Victoria, Harmony Islands, Princess Louisa Inlet, Jervis Inlet, Gulf Islands, B.C.; and San Juan Island, WA.

Mexico’s Sea of Cortés
From January through March and November through December, the 84-guest Safari Endeavour operates 20 Baja’s Bounty adventure cruises exploring the remote Sea of Cortés, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Seven-night adventures include either an opportunity to snorkel alongside whale sharks in Bahía de la Paz or a scenic trip across the peninsula to Bahía Magdalena to see gray whales and calves up close, depending on the time of year. A flexible sailing schedule explores Isla San Francisco, Bahía Agua Verde, Isla Partida, Isla Espíritu Santo and La Paz. Highlights include snorkeling with sea lions, a mule ride with local rancheros into the arroyo, kayaking, hiking and snorkeling excursions.

Hawaiian Islands
In 2017, 22 departures explore four islands—Hawaiʻi, Maui, Lanaʻi and Molokaʻi—on a Hawaiian Seascapes adventure cruise. From January through April and November through December, the 36-guest Safari Explorer sails one-way itineraries between Hawai’i and Molokaʻi (or reverse). Highlights include a full day of exclusive cultural activities on Molokaʻi, snorkeling with Giant Pacific Manta rays, whale watching and searching for marine life in the Humpback National Marine Sanctuary, exploring the shoreline by kayak and snorkeling with sea turtles.

Inclusive cruises are available in nine destinations and fares include spirits, wines and microbrews; cuisine; and wellness amenities. Theme cruise topics include alumni, photography, musical entertainment, marine biology, ornithology, wellness, wine, chairman’s and craft beer. A Family Discoveries program encourages families to bring children eight years and older along with a savings of $500 for kids ages eight to 13.

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Cunard & Julien's Auctions Announce Additional Marilyn Monroe Items

May 11: Cunard today announced that select pieces from the personal collections of Marilyn Monroe from the estate of Lee Strasberg will also travel on board Queen Mary 2 from August 9-16, 2016. As previously announced, Cunard and Julien’s Auctions, the world record-breaking auction house, will showcase highlights from David Gainsborough Roberts’ renowned Marilyn Monroe film worn collection. The personal items from the estate of Lee Strasberg include a wide variety of documents and personal items once owned by Marilyn Monroe, and it represents the largest collection of personal Marilyn Monroe artifacts ever offered at auction.

Besides being an actor and director in his own right, Strasberg is considered the father of method acting in America. Marilyn developed a close personal relationship with Lee and his wife Paula, and she ultimately bequeathed all of her personal effects and clothing to Lee in her will.

“No one person ever really knew every facet of Marilyn Monroe, though countless books have attempted to piece together every first, second and third hand account of each encounter, often embellished through passage of time,” said Anna Strasberg. “Marilyn was a complex and beguiling figure in her lifetime, leaving generations of adoring fans to speculate, infer and debate about her life. What has resulted is a prismatic kaleidoscope image built upon both fact and fantasy.”

“This is one of the most important and historic auctions of Marilyn Monroe ever,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions. “This diverse collection gives us a most intimate glimpse of the screen legend. Never before has there been so many important artifacts from the life and career of the much loved global icon Marilyn Monroe as in our November 19th and 20th auction.”

The Marilyn Monroe Collection, which is touring the world before the auction in November, offers film worn costumes which cover an extensive portion of Marilyn’s acting career and personal pieces of fine jewelry, handbags and personal letters and poems.

On the 7-night, eastbound Transatlantic Crossing, departing out of New York, guests will enjoy:

• A daily, rotating exhibition of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia
• Exclusive opportunity to bid on choice items in advance of the general auction in November
• Q&A with Julien’s Auctions executives Darren Julien, Founder and CEO, and Martin Nolan, Executive Director
• Q&A with David Gainsborough-Roberts
• Personal appearance and photo opportunity with famed Monroe impersonator Suzie Kennedy as Marilyn Monroe

Queen Mary 2 will have just come out of her 25-day dry dock Remastering, introducing new designs and guest experiences including the redesign of the Princess and Queens Grills staterooms and restaurants, new dining venues and lounges, and expansion of the only kennels at sea. For more information, visit

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AIDA Cruises Welcomes AIDAprima to Fleet

MIAMI, May 10: Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company, officially welcomed its fleet’s newest ship into the family over the weekend with the christening of AIDAprima, now the flagship vessel for its German-based AIDA Cruises brand. AIDAprima made its debut with a spectacular light show and memorable naming ceremony witnessed in person by 1.6 million visitors at the 827th Hamburg Port Anniversary. AIDAprima launched as the corporation’s most environmentally friendly ship and the first cruise ship in the world with a dual-fuel engine that can be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) while in port and at sea.

“The christening was an emotional moment for meI’m very proud of our new ship,” said Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises. “With AIDAprima and the next three new ships to be built for our line, we are once again charting new territory in the tourism industry, and we will continue to drive growth in the German cruise market."

Several million people watched the festivities at the harbor, on television, online and on Facebook when the young actress Emma Schweiger christened the ship. A dazzling music and light show followed by brilliant fireworks turned the night sky over the Port of Hamburg’s festival promenade into a glittering sea of color. AIDAprima was accompanied for the occasion by another member of the fleet, AIDAaura, which was also part of the christening ceremony.

“We are thrilled to officially welcome such a beautiful and technologically advanced ship to our fleet, and it was only fitting that AIDAprima’s naming was celebrated with a show and ceremony as impressive as the ship itself,” said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. “This weekend marked another important milestone as we welcome four new ships to our fleet in 2016. Whether we are sailing our new or existing ships, our number one goal always remains the sameto do everything we can to make sure our guests have a great experience.”

For German speakers, more information on AIDAprima can be found at

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Carnival Valor Undergoes Extensive Makeover

MIAMI, May 9: In preparation for its new year-round program of three- and four-day voyages from Port Canaveral kicking off later this year, Carnival Valor has undergone an extensive renovation that added a variety of popular dining and bar concepts, including Guy’s Burger Joint, RedFrog Pub, SkyBox Sports Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar and Alchemy Bar. The new spaces were added during a dry dock that began April 23 and ran through May 8, 2016.

“Carnival Valor offers a convenient and affordable choice from Port Canaveral, with a host of exciting new innovations as well as popular features like a reservations-only steakhouse and nearly 600 balcony stateroomsrare for a short cruise itinerary,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We’re sure our guests are going to love all the new features and our travel agent partners will appreciate this exciting new cruise vacation option departing from the Space Coast,” she added.

Carnival Valor is one of four ships that sail from Port Canaveral which is also home to Carnival Magic and Carnival Victory offering year-round departures, as well as Carnival Sunshine operating seasonal sailings. Together, these four ships will carry more than 650,000 guests a yearmore than any other cruise operator.

New features being added to Carnival Valor include:

Guy’s Burger Joint: a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries in an atmosphere that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture
• RedFrog Rum Bar: a poolside bar offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red
• BlueIguana Tequila Bar: a fun and festive outdoor watering hole offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin’ by the pool
• BlueIguana Cantina: a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic, freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar
• RedFrog Pub: at this tropics-inspired watering hole, guests can enjoy the Caribbean’s best rums and beers—including, of course, Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Redwhile soaking up the distinct British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West ambiance
• Alchemy Bar: a vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy” that’s the go-to spot for guests seeking a unique experience with mixologists who “prescribe” concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients or guests’ own custom-created cocktails
• SkyBox Sports Bar: a sports lovers’ paradise where guests can catch live sporting events and check out scores on the real-time 24/7 sports ticker
• Cherry On Top: the “sweetest spot on board” which celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more

Carnival Valor kicks off its year-round 3- and 4-day Bahamas cruise schedule from Port Canaveral Oct. 30, 2016. On this route, 3-day cruises depart Thursdays and call at Nassau while 4-day voyages depart Sundays and feature Nassau and Freeport.

Carnival Valor will also offer a series of 3- to 5-day cruises in May 2016, as well as a program of 5- and 8-day departures through October 2016. The 3- to 5-day sailings will take place throughout May, visiting popular ports like Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Half Moon Cay, Nassau and Freeport. The ship will also offer a one-time 6-day cruise departing May 15 featuring Nassau, Amber Cove and Grand Turk.

The 5- to 8-day voyages will run June 4 to Sept. 30, 2016. Five-day cruises visit Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Freeport. Eight-day eastern Caribbean cruises call at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts and St. Maarten and 8-day southern Caribbean sailings include Aruba, Grand Turk and Curaçao or Bonaire.

Reservations are currently being accepted for Carnival Valor. For additional information, visit

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New Carnival Vista Offers Array of Entertainment, Thrill Features & New Activities

MIAMI, May 6: The stunning new Carnival Vista, currently on its maiden voyage, features an unparalleled array of entertainment and adrenaline-inducing thrill experiences, including the cruise industry’s first IMAX Theatre at sea, SkyRide, an open-air cycling experience suspended high above the ship’s top deck, as well as a multi-sensory, 455-foot-long water tube slide called Kaleid-O-Slide. Additionally, spectacular new Playlist Productions shows and a number exciting new activities are being introduced to provide an unprecedented variety of entertainment choices. Carnival Vista also features a suspended 270-foot-long ropes course, an exhilarating, high speed Twister slide, an aqua spray park with a 300-gallon tipping bucket and a huge array of other outdoor and indoor entertainment options.

Carnival is also introducing several new activities including the South Beach-inspired Serenity Nights, a Rock-N-Glow 80s Deck Party and an Island Deck Party as well as a murder mystery experience. Entertainment offerings also include popular comedians at the Punchliner Comedy Club, family-favorite Hasbro, The Game Show, which is a live action game show incorporating popular Hasbro games, and Thrill Theater, among others.

“Carnival Vista is an absolute ‘wow’ in every respect and we have put together a line-up of entertainment, activities and experiences like nothing else at sea,” said Sarah Beth Reno, vice president of entertainment for Carnival Cruise Line. “Our guests are going to love this ship and their biggest challenge will be trying to choose from among so many different things to do on board.”

First IMAX Theatre at Sea, Thrill Theater Part of Carnival Multiplex
Carnival Vista houses the first IMAX Theatre at sea including a three-deck-high screen that offers an immersive cinema experience featuring the latest Hollywood blockbusters, family favorites and IMAX documentary content. The 187-seat IMAX Theatre is part of the Carnival Multiplex, which also includes the Thrill Theater, a multi-dimensional experience where seats move back and forth and side to side and viewers are sprayed with water and bubbles to make them feel like they’re part of the feature. Only available on Carnival Vista is Thrillogy, a scary-yet-fun multi-sensory horror movie experience within the Thrill Theater that is designed for guests 17 and older. The cost for first-run movies in the IMAX Theatre is $12.95 for adults and $9.95 for children 12 and under and guests aged 55 and over. The cost for IMAX documentaries and Thrill Theater is $5.50 per person.

New Playlist Productions Shows
Carnival Vista will debut three new high-tech Playlist Productions shows that combine captivating live performances with spectacular LED staging and special effects to create evenings of unforgettable entertainment. All three shows feature high-energy after parties in Carnival Vista’s atrium, Havana Bar, and other spaces where guests can dance and interact with the entertainers following the show. The three shows include:

• Amor Cubano: A Caribbean Dance Romance, an exhilarating get-on-your-feet show that blends classic Latin songs with today’s hits and features an authentic reproduction of Carnival Vista’s Havana Bar. A seven-piece Cuban-inspired band performs songs by Gloria Estefan, Celia Cruz and others amid a tropics-inspired backdrop of Cuba and Miami, the latter of which will be the ship’s eventual year-round homeport.
• America Rocks!, a high-energy show featuring rock anthems by American artists like Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Styx and Kiss. The glow stick-waving audience cheers on a rockin’ house band with sizzling guitars, pulsating drums and a horn section, evoking the feeling of classic rock concerts from bygone days.
• Flick: The Power of Motion Pictures, a celebration of filmmaking with some of the greatest anthems of all time showcasing songs from popular movies like Footloose, Dirty Dancing and others. The main character of the show, Flick, takes viewers on a magical journey through different genres of film with stunning theatrical illusions and show-stopping cinematic effects.

Additional Live Entertainment Options
A roster of popular comedians perform at the 385-seat Punchliner Comedy Club which offers family-friendly and adults-only shows and guests are the stars of Hasbro, The Game Show, which features larger-than-life adaptations of iconic Hasbro games.

New Serenity Nights, Deck Parties & More
At night, the ship’s outdoor adults-only retreat is transformed into a South Beach-style club under the stars complete with spectacular lighting effects and a crowd-pleasing mix of popular music spun by one of Carnival’s professionally-trained DJ’s.

Already known for hosting the best deck parties at sea, the cruise line takes it to another level on Carnival Vista with the Rock-N-Glow 80s Deck Party where participants don day-glo and other attire from the 80s and dance the night away. A new Island Deck Party celebrates the fun and spirit of RedFrog and BlueIguanathe colorful namesake characters of Carnival Vista’s poolside watering holes. In early summer, the Clue murder mystery experience will debut, as well.

Spectacular Outdoor Fun
Carnival Vista takes cruising to new heightsliterallywith SkyRide, a first-of-its-kind aerial attraction where adventure seekers pedal hanging recumbent-like cycles at speeds of up to 18 miles an hour across an elevated 800-foot-long track. The ship also features Kaleid-O-Slide, a new inner-tube slide where riders zip down 455 feet of exhilarating corkscrew turns enhanced by music and stunning kaleidoscopic effects.

European & Caribbean Departures
Carnival Vista debuted in Europe May 1, 2016, and will operate a summer schedule of Mediterranean cruises through October. Following a trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Vista will offer a pair of 11-day voyages from New York in November 2016 before repositioning to Miami for year-round Caribbean sailings later that month. Reservations are currently being accepted for all of Carnival Vista’s European and Caribbean itineraries. For additional information, visit .

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Viking Ocean Cruises Christens Second Ship In London

LOS ANGELES, May 6: Less than one year ago, Viking Ocean Cruises launched its first ship, Viking Star, and marked the arrival of the travel industry's first entirely new cruise line in a decade. Yesterday in London the company officially welcomed its second ship, Viking Sea, to its fleet during a celebration on the Thames River in Greenwich. Though Viking's ocean ships are classified as "small ships,"  the 930-guest, 47,800-ton Viking Sea is the largest ship ever launched in London. After passing through the Thames Barrier this morning, the ship received a warm welcome by 28 able sea men, who manned the yardarms of the Cutty Sarkthe iconic 19th Century British clipper shipand saluted Viking Sea as she arrived in Greenwich.

"Today is a proud day for our Viking family. London is one of my favorite cities, and Greenwich is a significant port for Viking. We look forward to bringing more guests here this spring and in future years," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. "Our ships are built for exploration; they are vessels that help our guests spend more time immersed in and surrounded by their destination. With the arrival of our second shipand with four more sister ships on the waywe are focused on introducing travelers to the Viking way of destination-centered cruising, a unique style that was inspired by our success on the rivers."

After arriving in Greenwich, Viking Sea was positioned in the Thames River with decorated pontoons nearby to welcome guests for various shore excursions around the city. This evening onboard, as part of the ship's christeningor namingceremony, guests were treated to a concert from Norwegian soprano Sissel and The Olav's Choir. Guests also enjoyed a talk by Stein Olav Henrichsen, the director of Oslo's Munch Museumas part of the official launch of Viking's exclusive new partnership with the museum that is designed to celebrate the life and artwork of Norway's most famous artist, Edvard Munch, with daily "Munch Moments," staged for guests each day in the ship's Atrium.

During Viking Sea's christening ceremony, Karine Hagen, Viking's senior vice president and daughter of Torstein Hagen, served as ceremonial godmother and offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for Viking Seaa naval tradition that dates back thousands of years. Widely recognized as the face of the brand in Viking's television ads and online cultural enrichment videos, Karine is responsible for infusing the company's itineraries with extraordinary experiences. She is also the author of the children's books.

Several elements of the christening ceremony paid homage to the company's Norwegian heritage. Instead of champagne for the traditional bottle-breaking, Viking Sea was christened with a bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit, which hails from the same town in Norway where Torstein's mother and Karine's grandmother, Ragnhildalso lovingly known as "Mamsen"was born. "Mamsen's," the Norwegian deli onboard Viking Sea, was also named after Ragnhild, and Gammel Opland was her favorite brand of aquavit. Additionally, in honor of the original Vikings who once explored the British Isles, a Viking battle axe was used to cut the cord for the aquavit christening. The particular broad axe used is a replica of an 11th-century Viking axe discovered in the 1920s when it was dredged from the bottom of the Thames River near the London Bridge. Following the christening and a fireworks show held in the middle of the Thames River, Viking Sea will set sail tomorrow for Bergen, and from there she will continue on to Oslo, Copenhagen, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Helsinki, and Stockholm on the popular 15-day Viking Homelands itinerary.

Viking Sea's christening was the culmination of a maiden voyage that began April 3 when the ship set sail in the Mediterranean. Over the last month, she made stops in what will be regular ports, including Athens, Santorini, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Venice, Rome and Barcelona. Viking Sea will spend the summer sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; she will call on Greenwich again in June as part of Viking's new Into the Midnight Sun itinerary that sails between London and Bergen and explores the northernmost reaches of Scandinavia and sails across the Arctic Circle.

Viking Sea
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 currently planned for the fleet. The third and fourth ships, Viking Sky and Viking Sun are under construction and will be delivered in early 2017 and late 2017, respectively. The two remaining yet-to-be-named ships will be delivered in 2018 and 2020. Viking's ocean fleet features understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design.

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 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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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to Deliver High Speed WiFi Across the Company’s Three Brands

MIAMI, May 6: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (or “the Company”) announced it will quadruple the current bandwidth across its Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleets in the coming months to meet the rising internet expectations of cruise guests. The quadrupling of bandwidth is part of a long term strategic agreement with EMC to significantly enhance the internet experience onboard all 23 ships in the Company’s fleet. To support the new WiFi network, multi-million dollar bandwidth and performance-boosting technology upgrades will be installed fleet-wide before the end of June, including new state of the art satellite dishes, and EMC’s patented SpeedNet program. The SpeedNet program delivers popular websites at speeds that mimic high-speed fiber optic networks, similar to those available in homes and offices. The WiFi experience is further enhanced by the recent deployment of high speed shoreside connectivity in key ports of call.

“With the addition of new hardware, combined with the significant increase in satellite bandwidth, shoreside connectivity and EMC’s SpeedNet, we have moved beyond the decade old problem of slow data speeds from satellite to deliver a much more efficient and faster internet experience for our guests,” said Ross Henderson, vice president, onboard revenue, at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “Our guests can consume content, post to social media, and stay in touch with family and friends on the ships’ network just as they are used to on land,” Henderson continued.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings selected EMC based on its priority software, maritime experience, and unparalleled network coverage to provide the highest quality of experience and satisfaction to cruise guests.

“This is testament to our giant leaps forward in the cruise sector, thanks to our patented, purpose-built and differentiated products, and our unmatched worldwide support,” said Brent Horwitz, president of cruise and ferry services, EMC.

Guests on all Norwegian, Oceania, and Regent ships can expect to experience the new, lightning-fast WiFi powered by SpeedNet by July 2016. Regent Seven Seas Cruises guests enjoy complimentary WiFi, as part of the line’s most inclusive luxury cruise experience. Oceania Cruise guests sailing under the current OLife Choice promotion and Norwegian Cruise Line guests who selected free WiFi as part of the company’s Free at Sea promotion will also enjoy the new internet experience on their cruise. For those purchasing a plan, per minute packages as well as unlimited access packages are available for pre-book or onboard.

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American Queen Steamboat Company 2017 Brochure Showcases Sixth Season

MEMPHIS, May 5: American Queen Steamboat Company, operator of America’s most luxurious riverboat fleet, is pleased to announce the release of its 2017 deluxe brochure. This full-color, 76-page brochure presents a full overview of itineraries and river cruise offerings for the sixth season of the U.S.-flagged cruise line and its iconic American Queen and American Empress riverboats. Inspired by the great steamboats of the 19th century, traveling aboard the American Queen and American Empress allows guests to relive the experience of a previous generation, but with all of the modern amenities that today’s travelers expect. Combining the best of the old with the new, personal touches and attention to detail abound, from the itineraries to the boats themselves.

“Our goal is to make river cruise vacations more enticing than ever,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “We celebrate an authentically American experience that has no equal in terms of cuisine, hospitality, extraordinary entertainment, and unique experiences ashore.”

The brochure captures this authentically American experience by highlighting American Queen’s trademark level of quality dining, friendly all-American crew and interesting, content-filled itineraries. Guests can begin planning their 2017 holiday on the American Queen and American Empress exploring the waters and towns throughout the Heartland of America and Pacific Northwest.

Highlights in the 2017 season include:

• The American Empress season will open and close with a new themed voyage “Vintages, Vineyards, and Varietals.” Traveling roundtrip to and from Portland, Ore., guests are invited to inspire their palates with wines, coffees, and craft beers of the Northwest while cruising amidst the natural beauty of the Columbia River.
• Ports of call added to several American Queen itineraries include vibrant Nashville, Tenn., and historic Chattanooga, Tenn.
• Commodore Services have been extended to both vessels this year, offering an exclusive level of hospitality and amenities to guests staying in suite-level accommodations onboard the American Queen and the American Empress. Commodore Services featurespecial access to the pre-voyage hotel’s club lounge, access to private voyage check-in and pre-boarding privileges, a bottle of wine from the region or fruit basket upon arrival, preferred dining arrangements, reserved balcony seating in the Grand Saloon theater or the Show Lounge theater, a private reception with Senior Officers of the ship and River Butler services for those staying in Luxury Suites.
• The popular “Mighty Mississippi Voyage” will sail once in the 2017 season—traveling the entire length of the river with a southbound itinerary spanning three fabulous weeks cruising amidst the antebellum charms and gracious style of the American Queen.
• “HolidayChristmas Markets” cruises are back with an exclusive lineup of markets offering a little something for everyone including music, seasonal goods and locally produced crafts. Booking for these magical itineraries starts in early May.
• The inaugural season of the “Chairman’s Cruise” where guests can join American Queen Steamboat Company Chairman and CEO John Waggoner and his wife Claudette onboard the American Queen for a round-trip cruise from their hometown of Louisville, Ky.

American Empress Itinerary Overview
The largest and most elegant riverboat west of the Mississippi, the 223-guest American Empress, embarks on her third season sailing the Pacific Northwest beginning March 5, 2017. Embarking on compelling stops along the Columbia and Snake Rivers, such as Multnomah Falls, Mt. St. Helens and the Walla Walla Wine Trail, the riverboat features 38 departure dates sailing between Portland/Vancouver, Wash. and Clarkston, Wash. The season begins and ends with two roundtrip Portland itineraries highlighting the extraordinary wines of the Washington and Oregon regions.

American Queen Itinerary Overview
From carefree New Orleans to vibrant Memphis, the historic American Queen steamboat explores the diverse and unique destinations along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland rivers. Embarking on her sixth season on Feb. 19, 2017, the American Queen transports guests back in time to relive the full grandeur of bygone eras such as the Antebellum South, Music of the 50s and 60s, and the Civil War. With 44 total itineraries in 2017, each voyage is steeped in history and culture from pre-cruise hotel stays in New Orleans to tracing the steps of Mark Twain in Hannibal, Mo.

Offering the most inclusive river cruise experience in North America, all journeys include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner and a host of other amenities.

American Queen Steamboat Company
The American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) is the owner and operator of the U.S. flagged American Queen, the largest, most opulent riverboat in the world. Longer than a football field, towering six decks in height and laced with fanciful gingerbread trim, she is a marvel of modern engineering. Her journeys through the heartland offer a unique perspective on America’s history, culture and landscape with convenient departures from some of America’s most iconic river port cities including Memphis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis and St. Paul. In April 2014, AQSC began serving the Pacific Northwest with opulence and grandeur on the American Empress. For additional information, visit

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SeaDream Yacht Club Announces New 2017 Wine Voyages

MIAMI, May 5: Continuing its commitment to and enhancing the superbly established level of award-winning culinary experiences, SeaDream Yacht Club announces seven new Wine Voyages for the 2017 season. Showcasing the most picturesque yachting ports of the Mediterranean on seven to eleven-day sailings, each itinerary pairs the ultimate wine experience with the most scenic backdrops in the world. Whether a seasoned wine connoisseur or new to learning about and liking wine, these voyages are a perfect occasion for developing skills and passions regarding wine and cooking.

Guests onboard these vino-centric sailings will enjoy select premium tastings from celebrated wineries such as Château Gassier, Tenuta San Guido, and Taittinger Champagne. As an exclusive to the Taittinger Voyage, Clovis Taittinger will be onboard followed by Maison Louis Jadot showcasing two of France’s best qualities, champagne and the famous Burgundy region. At the popular Winemaker’s Dinner, SeaDream’s Executive Chef will prepare a distinctive menu to complement and enhance the expressive wines of guest winemakers such as Philipp Wittman, Marilisa Allegrini, and Francesco Mazzei. The Winemaker’s Dinner offers a wine-by-the-glass package, for an additional cost.

Exclusive shore excursions take guests off the beaten path to explore the different foods, wines and cultures of the Mediterranean. At each port of call, guests can choose from a variety of activities to enhance their onboard wine experience. Guests can explore the stunning Sorrentino Winery at the base of the volcanic Mount Vesuvius, attend a wine tasting and truffle hunt at Castello delle Regine, or learn the art of making classic paella and how to pair it with local wines in Cartagena.

“The best way to truly know a place is to experience it through its people, food and wine,” explains SeaDream Yacht Club President Bob Lepisto. “Through our innovative itineraries, high attention to detail, and impeccable service, we are constantly striving to provide the ultimate guest experience both at sea and ashore.”

Additional highlights of the SeaDream 2017 Wine Voyages include a high crew to guest ratio, personalized onboard entertainment, a state of the art fitness center, and cuisine that competes with the ever-changing views. Smaller ports make for memorable shoreside experiences away from the crowd and allow even the most seasoned travelers the opportunity to discover new favorite destinations.

Below is a full listing of SeaDream’s 2017 Wine Voyage itineraries:

• Lisbon to Barcelona, departing April 27–May 6, 2017. Nine days including boutique ports of Portimao, Gibraltar, Puerto Banus, Malaga, Cartagena, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, and Menorca.
• Civitavecchia (Rome) round trip,departing June 10-17, 2017. Seven days including ports of Bonifacio (Corsica) overnight, Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento, and Capri.
• Civitavecchia (Rome) round trip, departing June 17–24, 2017. Seven days including ports of Portoferraio, Portovenere, Marina di Carrara (Florence, Lucca), Portofino, Saint Florent, and Porto Vecchio.
• Civitavecchia (Rome) to Venice, departing Aug 19–30, 2017. Eleven days calling on ports of Capri, Amalfi overnight, Positano, Taormina (Sicily), Kotor (Montenegro), Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar, and Rovinj.
• Piraeus (Athens) to Civitavecchia (Rome), departing Sept 23–30, 2017. Seven days calling on Hydra, Corinth Canal (Transit), Itea (Delphi), Taormina (Sicily), Amalfi overnight, and Capri.
• Civitavecchia (Rome) to Nice, departing Sept 30–Oct 7, 2017. Seven days calling on Porto Ercole, Portoferraio (Elba), Livorno (for Florence), Portovenere, Portofino, and Monte Carlo.
• Nice to Malaga, departing Oct 7–16, 2017. Nine days calling on St. Tropez, Sanary-sur-Mer, Cassis, Sète, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, and Cartagena.

SeaDream's inclusive fare  includes ocean view accommodations, gourmet meals, gratuities, wine with lunch and dinner and so much more. For inquiries, visit

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Carnival Cruise Line Offers Special Savings For Active & Retired Service Members
 in Honor of National Military Appreciation Month

MIAMI, May 5: In honor of the men and women who serve in the U.S. and Canadian military, Carnival Cruise Line is offering active and retired service members special savings and bonuses during May to mark National Military Appreciation Month. The promotion, which provides a $50 onboard credit per cabin and a two-category upgrade, can be combined with Carnival’s highly attractive military rates. In addition, guests who qualify for the month-long promotion can book up to two additional staterooms with the same bonuses and pricing. The promotion can be booked throughout the month of May and is applicable for cruises departing between August 2016 and April 2018.

“Carnival has a long-established history of providing special consideration to our military men and women and we are pleased to offer these exclusive benefits during Military Appreciation Month,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “During every Carnival cruise, service members are also honored at a special military appreciation event we kicked off earlier this year in conjunction with our Honor.Family.Fun. program which is raising funds for Operation Homefront.”

In January Carnival launched Honor.Family.Fun.—a year-long initiative in partnership with seven-time GRAMMY Award–winning superstar Carrie Underwood and Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit that builds strong, stable and secure military families. The program helps raise funds for Operation Homefront and will culminate in a special private concert for service men and women and their families starring Underwood aboard Carnival’s newest and most family-friendly ship, Carnival Vista, when the vessel makes its U.S. debut in New York City on Nov. 4, 2016. During Underwood’s Storyteller Tour, which kicked off in Jacksonville in January, select military families, chosen in partnership with Operation Homefront, are being treated to a personal meet-and-greet with Underwood before a number of her concerts. A series of videos showing these heart-warming encounters can be viewed here.

Throughout the yearlong Honor.Family.Fun. initiative, those wishing to support the cause can contribute by clicking on the “Donate Today” button at Commemorative dog tags are available for purchase at merchandise stands at all “Storyteller Tour” concerts and on board Carnival ships, with all proceeds supporting Operation Homefront. For additional information, visit

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Monsters of Rock Cruise 2017

The 2017 MONSTERS OF ROCK CRUISE, the 7th edition of the ultimate hard rock/heavy metal experience at sea, will set sail February 2-7, 2017 aboard a new ship and has expanded to six days, visiting two additional ports in the Caribbean for the first time. Appropriately titled Gathering of Titans, this year’s 5-night exclusive full ship charter cruise will set sail out of Tampa, FL aboard Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance Of The Seas, visiting Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico and feature 15+ artist performances, including headliners Vince Neil “The Voice Of Mötley Crüe,” Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Queensrÿche, Night Ranger, Saxon and Stryper. As in past years, the cruise will also feature an optional Pre-Cruise Party in Tampa on the evening of Wednesday, February 1st (details TBA). The cruise is open for booking.

Confirmed line-up for the 2017 MONSTERS OF ROCK CRUISE includes: Vince Neil “The Voice of Mötley Crüe,” Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Queensrÿche, Night Ranger, Saxon, Stryper, Slaughter, Danger Danger, D*A*D, Soto, Tora Tora, The Answer, John Corabi, Beasto Blanco, Joel Hoekstra, Inglorious, Heavens Edge, Paradise Kitty, with more artists to be announced. Plus, Eddie Trunk and comedian Don Jamieson (VH1’s “That Metal Show”), San Francisco bay area radio host Nikki Blakk and Luc Carl (SiriusXM’s “Hair Nation”) are the official cruise hosts and will moderate Q&A’s. Metal DJ Will (Studio DJ for VH1’s “That Metal Show”) is the official cruise DJ. Click here to watch Vince Neil’s cruise announcement.

In addition to the band performances, the cruise will feature over-the-top special events only experienced on this voyage, including: MOR Artist Photo Experiences, the first MOR Big Game Party hosting the live broadcast of the Monster Football Game on the pool deck big screen accompanied by a few musical surprises and activities, Monsters Rock & Roll Formal, exclusive MOR Craft Beer Tasting, Monster Gong Show Karaoke and Cooking with Rock Stars hosted by Lisa Tirone of Chef it up!, with more events to be announced.

Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance Of The Seas, combines acres of glass enclosing a nine-story central atrium, elevators facing the sea, and floor-to-ceiling windows throughout. Passengers can enjoy the tranquil Solarium pool, recharge at VitalitySM Spa, or reach new heights climbing Royal Caribbean’s signature rock-climbing wall. When the sun goes down, the night heats up with epic Monster Performances on stages throughout the vessel. Combined with some of the best food and service afloat, this will be one of the greatest hard rock/heavy metal music extravaganzas ever produced. Reservations are open for booking at

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Princess Cruises Unveils New Club Class Mini-Suite Stateroom Category

SANTA CLARITA, CA, May 4: Princess Cruises’ guests can choose a new premium stateroom category featuring VIP amenities and exclusive dining with the new Club Class Mini-Suite. This elevated mini-suite category features select perks including new Club Class Dining, a reserved dining area with expedited seating and expanded menu options; priority embarkation and disembarkation; and Club Class guests will be among the first to sleep on the new Princess Luxury Bed.

Debuting on select ships beginning in December 2016, Club Class Mini-Suites will roll out through the fall of 2017 in association with the cruise line’s “Come Back New Promise,” which is delivering guests a premium cruise vacation enhanced by innovative and desirable product enhancements. Available for booking now, more information, including the ship rollout schedule, is available at

“Club Class Mini-Suites provide Princess guests yet another elevated product enhancement to enjoy during their cruise vacation,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “The VIP perks, including the new Club Class Dining, offers a premium and memorable onboard experience so our guests can completely relax, unwind and immerse themselves in worldwide destinations and ultimately ‘come back new.’”

Club Class Dining
Offering guests more convenience and tempting fares, Club Class Dining includes:

• Dedicated area of the Main Dining Room with expedited seating
• Dedicated wait staff and uniquely-styled table décor
• Exclusive menu options with daily chef’s special and table-side preparations
• Open every evening for dinner and for breakfast and lunch on sea days

Upgraded Amenities & Services
Club Class Mini-Suite guests will also enjoy the following additional VIP perks:

• The Princess Luxury Bed: Club Class guests will be among the first to experience the “Ultimate Sleep at Sea,” in the new bed designed in collaboration with board certified sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus and HGTV Designer Candice Olson
• Priority check-in and boarding at the beginning of the cruise and priority disembarkation at the end of the cruise
• One-time complimentary wine set-up on embarkation day (1/2 bottle of red and white)
• Evening canapés (upon request)
• Luxurious terry shawl bathrobes

Full Suite guests will also enjoy all the benefits of Club Class Mini-Suites including Club Class Dining, and be among the first to experience the new Princess Luxury Bed, in addition to the many other amenities offered with a Full Suite.

In addition to Club Class Dining and upgraded amenities and services, Club Class Mini-Suites include all of the standard mini-suite benefits featuring spacious staterooms, up to 323 square feet with balcony, separate seating area with sofa bed and coffee table, bathroom with combination tub and shower and a welcome glass of champagne, among others.

The new Club Class Mini-Suites add to the cruise line’s previously announced “Come Back New Promise,” a multi-year, multi-million-dollar program introducing new product innovations that offer guests enriching vacation experiences. The “Come Back New Promise” includes a partnership with award-winning chef and restaurateur Curtis Stone, bringing guests fresh culinary creations; The Salty Dog Gastropub, featuring the “Ernesto Burger” created by Chef Ernesto Uchimura, founding chef of Umami Burger; Discovery at Sea, bringing the best of Discovery on board with a variety of activities including Stargazing, exclusive Discovery & Animal Planet shore excursions, Shark Week and more; and new entertainment offerings including The Voice of the Ocean singing competition and “Magic to Do,” an original production from the award-winning composer and songwriter of Wicked, Stephen Schwartz.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by visiting the company's website at

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SeaDream Yacht Club Unveils New Website

MIAMI: SeaDream Yacht Club announces the launch of its newly redesigned website Providing an enhanced user experience designed to inspire travelers, the site is refreshed with updated imagery and content as well as improved navigation and optimization for mobile devices.

“We are excited to have created a website that reflects our signature style and the casual elegance of yachting onboard SeaDream I and SeaDream II,” shares SeaDream Yacht Club President Bob Lepisto. “With a spotlight on our award-winning service, intimate onboard lifestyle and innovative itineraries, it’s now easier than ever to discover what sets SeaDream Yacht Club apart in the luxury travel industry.”

Key features of the new SeaDream Yacht Club website include:

• Updated modern look with an increasing amount of content and colorful, robust images.
• Improved optimization for viewing on mobile phones, tablet and desktop computers.
• More regional information about destinations visited, with new imagery and video framing the overall mood of a SeaDream voyage.
• Addition of a Unique Programs section that highlights SeaDream’s Wine Voyages and special voyages including the epic Sea.Sky.Safari itinerary across Africa and the Mediterranean.
• Updated voyage search interface allowing for tailored itinerary searches.
• More information and images about the yachts themselves, including public spaces, so guests can get to know them before they arrive onboard.
• Frequently Asked Questions section providing information for already booked guests and those looking for more information about life aboard.
• Guests can also check out updated Social Media channels and connect with fellow SeaDream aficionados.

With stunning video and imagery throughout, the new SeaDream Yacht Club website goes beyond just trip planning and provides an immersive customer experience. In the near future, ongoing improvements will be introduced.

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Carnival Corporation Arrives in Havana to Complete Historic Voyage from U.S. to Cuba

MIAMI, May 2: Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company, sailed into Havana this morning completing the first leg of its historic inaugural voyage to Cuba that began on May 1, 2016, from Miami. The company’s 10th and newest brand, Fathom, made history today with its arrival into Havana, marking the first time in over 50 years that a U.S. cruise line has sailed from the U.S. to Cuba. It is also the first time in decades that Cuban-born individuals have been able to travel by sea to or from Cuba.

Fathom travelers were greeted by fanfare and a festive celebration as they arrived in the Port of Havana, the first of three destinations that guests will visit as part of the brand’s exclusive seven-night voyages to Cuba. Following this week’s inaugural trip to Cuba, Fathom’s 704-passenger Adonia luxury cruise ship will begin operating its weeklong itineraries to Cuba every other week.

“Our arrival today in Havana is a special moment in history that contributes to a more positive future, and we congratulate our colleague Arnie Perez on being the first person born in Cuba to step ashore under Cuba's new policy,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We are so honored that Carnival Corporation and our Fathom brand can be part of such a meaningful milestone. As we worked to become the first U.S. cruise company to sail from the U.S. to Cuba in more than five decades, it was clear just how much interest there is from travelers who want to experience Cuba. We believe there is no better way to experience Cuba and see this beautiful island than to cruise with us on Fathom, and we look forward to providing a very special and rewarding experience to everyone who sails with us.”

"We are extremely excited and very humbled by this historic opportunity to give Fathom travelers an exclusive chance to experience Cuba, which is a unique destination unlike anywhere else in the world," said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation. Russell added: “Our guests are now able to visit three beautiful destinations on the island all in one week, with the convenience of only having to unpack once while we sail on the Fathom Adonia, our premium small ship with its excellent and diverse dining, service and accommodations. Cuba is a beautiful island with great people and a rich history and culture, and we are so excited we are the first U.S. cruise line that will be giving travelers the opportunity to enjoy Cuba with all the comforts and convenience of being on board our ship. We look forward to making sure our guests have an extraordinary experience.”

During each sailing, Fathom 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 Adonia, a premium small ship where they can choose to partake in onboard experiences, including Cuban- and Caribbean-inspired food and films, music and dancing, and much more.

Special onboard programming will include a wide variety of activities covering an array of interests, ranging from an orientation of Cuba's history, customs and culture, to geographic-inspired entertainment, to casual and fun personal enrichment activities, along with conversational Spanish lessons.

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Costa Cruises Debuts New Areas Dedicated to Peppa Pig Onboard Costa Diadema

GENOA, May 2: Costa Cruises is ready to welcome and amaze all children enjoying a vacation onboard Costa Diadema. In fact, Costa's flagship is the first cruise ship in the world to treat its small guests to internal and external areas completely dedicated to Peppa Pig. Created in collaboration with Leolandia amusement park, which since 2015 has been hosting permanent themed attraction "Il Mondo di Peppa Pig" ("The World of Peppa Pig"), and Entertainment One (eOne), the new Peppa Pig themed layout will be completed across nine other ships* in the Costa fleet this summer.

"The new areas dedicated to Peppa Pig will delight our little guests, making their vacation truly unique and special. This cruise innovation can only be found on board Costa ships and, thanks to collaborative efforts with Leolandia and eOne, we have accurately recreated the cartoon series environments," said Giuseppe Carino, vice president guest experience and onboard revenues for Costa Cruises.

"Creating dreams is in Leolandia's DNA," said Massimiliano Freddi, the park's vice president of strategic development. "It's an honor to have been chosen by eOne and Costa Cruises to develop the new Peppa areas on the ships. This will allow kids and their families to experience in advance all the magic of the world of Peppa Pig in Leolandia, to make their vacation onboard even more unforgettable."

The legendary Peppa Pig, star of a cartoon series broadcast in 180 countries and translated into 40 languages, will be the special playmate of all children taking a cruise in her fun-filled settings re-created onboard the Costa fleet, with a layout that varies from ship to ship. On Costa Diadema, in particular, Peppa is already ready to welcome kids to her personalized area of the Squok Club (the Costa fleet's club for children), completely decorated to re-create the instantly recognizable environment of Peppa's stories, with hills of green grass, houses, puddles, trees, balloons, Peppa, her little brother George and all their friends. In this area the children can have fun with lots of theme-oriented games, like cards, cars, puzzles and play kitchens.

The outdoor swimming pool area reserved for children has been completely redesigned based on the pirates theme. Children can play with Peppa and her little brother George in Grandpa Pig's beautiful boat, on a treasure island, with a lighthouse and palm trees, inventing fabulous adventures to enjoy together. To make this cruise experience even more unique and exciting, special events will be offered onboard where children can meet Peppa costume characters and go on fantastic adventures, under the supervision of Costa's entertainment organizers.

In fact, children can take part in creative games, like a treasure hunt, inspired by a cartoon episode, drawing and painting activity with the Peppa Pig theme, or even meet their favorite character in the company of their parents during the special lunch with Peppa organized onboard for all families that want to spend a fun day together. On this occasion a special menu will be served in the ship's main restaurant, with theme-based decorations, while the undisputed star of the event, Peppa, walks from table to table to greet the children: a truly special moment to enjoy in the company of mom and dad.

To end the day with another touch of fun and entertainment, all children are invited to Peppa's pirate party organized in the discotheque, decorated with the pirate theme, for an unforgettable evening event. Children can dance and have fun in the company of Peppa while dressed in the pirate costumes and accessories that they made during the painting and drawing activities.

Finally, everyone who wants to take home a little souvenir of their adventures with the adorable Peppa can take a picture with her as a memento of the unique time spent on board.

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The Fastest Internet At Sea Now Available Fleetwide Only On Royal Caribbean

MIAMI, May 2: Beginning today, Royal Caribbean International is making VOOM, its exclusive, high-speed internet servicethe fastest at seaavailable fleetwide on its 24 innovative ships sailing to the most popular destinations around the world. VOOM allows guests vacationing with Royal Caribbean to always stay connected and to stream their favorite music, movies and TV shows to stay up to date on the latest happenings. Whether they are posting envy-inducing vacation photos on Instagram or Snapchat, or video-chatting with loved ones back home using FaceTime or Skype, travelers can share their adventures in real-time with family and friends. Guests can even relax or chill poolside while catching up on their favorite TV show or the newest movie.

“VOOM is revolutionizing the onboard experience for our guests as well as for our crew and it is truly a game-changer for the industry,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Everything our guests and crew can do online at home, they will now be able to do from onboard all of our ships around the world.”

Known for the most innovative ships at sea, the cruise line has made a significant investment to enhance guests’ internet connectivity experience outfitting its newest smart ships with the latest and most advanced in technology and continually upgrading its existing fleet. Through a combination of Wi-Fi service providers, Royal Caribbean is able to deliver more overall bandwidth fleetwide than any other cruise line. The enhancements will provide speeds at least twice as fast as before and also have enabled the cruise line to provide service at prices that are less expensive than ever before – comparable to most land-based resorts.

Travelers sailing on all Royal Caribbean ships can enjoy the fastest internet at sea at a flat price with guests choosing from two packages:

• Surf, which provides guests the opportunity to surf the web, stay in touch via email, and share their vacation photos on social media. Surf packages start at $12.99 per device per day with additional devices added at a discounted cost. Family packages5 devices or morestart as low as $8.99 per device per day.
• Surf and Stream, which is ideal for guests looking to do more than connect via email or social channels, but also want the capability to stream movies and music from Netflix or Spotify, and to connect using video chat apps such as Skype. This package is available for $17.99 per device per day. Additional devices can be connected at a discount and family packages5 devices or morestart as low as $11.99 per device per day.

This pricing is a significant improvement from the standard programs currently offered throughout the industry, many of which charge on a per-minute basis.

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Viking Announces World Cruise For Fourth Ship

LOS ANGELES, May 2: With just days before its second ship, Viking Sea, is christened in Greenwich on the Thames River in London on May 5, Viking Ocean Cruises announced that its fourth ship, Viking Sun, will spend her maiden season sailing the company's first-ever World Cruise, spanning 141 days and visiting five continents, 35 countries and 66 ports, with 12 port overnights.

Departing on December 15, 2017, this epic journey from Miami to London will allow guests to explore Cuba and the Caribbean; sail the Panama Canal and the South Pacific; call upon ports in Asia, from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City; and see the Arabian, Red and Mediterranean Seas, before concluding in the North Atlantic. Like on all Viking itineraries, World Cruise guests will enjoy a complimentary shore excursion in each of the 66 ports and free unlimited Wi-Fi; they will also receive Business Class airfare and all gratuities and service fees, along with an extensive list of added-value inclusions in their cruise fare.

"Ever since our first ship set sail last year, we have been focused on bringing the destination back to ocean cruising. Our unique, award-winning approach allows our guests to explore comfortably, with experiences that enrich their lives along the way," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. "This World Cruise is the most extensive and culturally immersive itinerary we have ever offered, and we are pleased by the early interest in pre-sales we have seen from our guests and industry partners."

Viking's first-ever World Cruise visits dozens of legendary cities, charming ports and idyllic islands in one seamless itinerary. Guests will immerse themselves in the world's rich cultures during included excursions that provide unmatched insight into daily life, as well as Privileged Access visits to cultural institutions. Overnight stays in 12 cities allow World Cruise guests to delve deeper into the destination; and Viking's Culture Curriculum(®) offers additional enrichment through onboard lectures and entertainment. Guests may choose the 141-day cruise from Miami to London, which includes 21 days of sailing from Miami to Los Angeles; or they may also choose to cruise from Los Angeles to London, a 120-day itinerary. Full details on the World Cruise can be found on Viking's website here; highlights include:

• Havana's Authentic Old Town: Guests will spend two days in Havana, engaging in authentic experiences with the Cuban people - from hearing a local jazz ensemble to visiting an artist's studio and exploring the city's neoclassical, baroque and colonial architecture.
The Path Between the Seas: Forty-eight miles long, the Panama Canal links the Atlantic and Pacific at the narrowest stretch of the Isthmus of Panama, cutting thousands of miles off shipping routes. Crossing this manmade wonder, Viking Sea will be raised and lowered through enormous locks at each end.
Papeete, Tahiti: Gaugin's Paradise: One of the world's most visually stunning and romantic destinations, Tahiti is the cultural hub of French Polynesia. Guests will enjoy an overnight stay in Papeete, letting them immerse themselves in its continental flavor.
Auckland, City of Two Harbors: During an overnight stay in New Zealand's "City of Sails," guests will have ample time to take in Auckland's stunning setting between two harbors.
Shanghai, Astonishing Blend of Old and New: One of the world's most important ports, Shanghai is a modern metropolis and center of finance. An overnight stay allows time for guests to explore its famous and historic Bund, the elegant riverfront promenade, or stroll the inviting grounds of the dynastic Yuyuan Garden.
Sydney: Cultural Capital of "Oz": Guests will have the opportunity to sail into Sydney's magnificent harbor, the world's largest, and an overnight stay gives the opportunity to admire the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens and The Rocks district of shops and markets.
Bangkok, Siam of Old: From Viking's overnight port in Laem Chabang, guests will have ample time to discover Bangkok's revered temples (or wats) and traditional floating markets, as well as to tour the elegant buildings of the renowned Grand Palace, long home to the kings of Siam.
Singapore, Bustling Island Nation: Spread across 63 islands at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore is the world's only island city-state. An overnight stay here allows guests to take in its sophisticated wonders, including the stunning National Orchid Garden.
Medieval Malta: Long a crossroads for trade between Africa and Europe, the island of Malta has been shaped by generations of rich history and influence. Guests can take in the medieval ambience of Valletta and Mdina and enjoy the stunning coast that is dotted with iuzzu fishing boats, blue grottoes and sweeping bays.
Greenwich, London at your Door:The celebrated historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, on the Thames River, is Viking's docking location in London, providing guests with easy access to the regal capital's iconic sights, including Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boast 465 cabins and accommodate 930 passengers. Viking Sun will be the company's fourth ship in the fleet and will be delivered in late 2017; the two remaining yet-to-be-named ships will be delivered in 2018 and 2020, respectively. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking's ocean fleet features understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design.

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