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Cruise News
June 1-30 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

Holland America Line Partners with Seattle Mariners to Honor US Military Service through ‘Salute to Those Who Serve’
 & to help Strike Out Cancer with ‘K’s for Kids’

Seattle, June 30: Through an expanded partnership with the Seattle Mariners, Seattle’s hometown cruise line is now the presenting sponsor of the “Salute to Those Who Serve” on-field recognition program honoring some of the men and women of the United States Military. And for the third season in a row, each strikeout thrown by a Seattle Mariners pitcher during a home game earns a donation from the cruise line to Seattle Children’s Hospital under the “Holland America Line K’s for Kids” program.

“Holland America Line is proud of our ongoing partnership with the Seattle Mariners, and this season we’ve increased our support of their community outreach programs,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Our two organizations share a like-minded commitment to giving back in the region, and together we can continue to make a difference in our community.”

For the past six years, Holland America Line and the Mariners have maintained a partnership that, in addition to a corporate sponsorship, has included community-based programs. The cruise line will continue to sponsor Get Well Tours with visits to area hospitals by Mariners players, “K’s for Kids” benefitting Seattle Children’s Hospital and add a new component with the “Salute to Those Who Serve” recognition event.

‘Holland America Line K’s for Kids’ Donation Program
Under the “Holland America Line K’s for Kids” program, for each strikeout recorded by a Mariners pitcher at a home game throughout the season, the cruise line will make a cash donation to Seattle Children’s Hospital. In 2015, Ashford recognized the Mariners strikeouts at home by presenting a check to the hospital for $25,000 on Fan Appreciation Night.
“Salute to Those Who Serve” Military Program
At 26 Mariners home games this season, the “Salute to Those Who Serve” program will honor some of the men and women from various branches of the United States Military. During Friday and Sunday games, a member of the military (active, reserve, veteran or retired) is recognized on-field for his or her service to our country. Each honoree will receive four tickets and one parking pass to the game. Holland America Line is the presenting sponsor of this program.
Holland America Line Get Well Tours
Holland America Line is the presenting sponsor of the Seattle Mariners Get Well Tours, which includes visits to area hospitals by Mariners players and the Mariner Moose. During these visits children and veterans receive photos and autographs and a Holland America Line branded sports bag filled with Mariners- and baseball-related items such as replica baseballs and a stuffed Moose.
Holland America Line Fan Appreciation Night
Holland America Line is also the presenting sponsor of the annual Fan Appreciation Night celebration at Safeco Field. Traditionally the final Friday home game of each season, Fan Appreciation Night celebrates the community support by loyal Mariners fans with prize drawings throughout the game. As part of its sponsorship, Holland America Line provides cruise giveaways at the F.A.N.

“Holland America Line has been a tremendous supporter over the past six years,” said Bob Aylward, executive vice president of corporate business for the Seattle Mariners. “We are proud to continue our relationship and expand our community outreach partnership to serve the community we all call home.”

In addition to several community outreach programs, Holland America Line is also the presenting sponsor of the seventh-inning stretch, as well as the named sponsor for the Seattle Mariners team poster giveaway and of each of 13 three- to 10-game home stands on radio broadcasts and stadium billboards. Attendees also can look for Holland America Line signage in Power Alley and on the video board during Fan Grams. For more information about Holland America Line, visit

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Fathom Unveils Details on New Cuba Onboard Programming

MIAMI, June 29: Fathom, the pioneer in social impact travel and Carnival Corporation’s 10th and newest brand, announced additional onboard activities designed to enrich travelers’ cultural experience to Cuba aboard the MV Adonia. In addition to discovering an array of new onboard programming, travelers now have exclusive access to Cuban-made merchandise from a local design store, Clandestina, aboard the ship.

“We have been listening to our travelers and creating new experiences onboard based on their feedback to facilitate rich immersion and to provide more robust insight into the culture and people of Cuba,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation. “We want them to dive deeply into Cuba’s culture and fall in love with both the country’s beauty and its people alongside fellow travel companions.”

Fathom’s onboard team of Experience Guides will provide a glimpse into the Cuban culture. From local customs and currency to informative seminars and Cuban dance classes—travelers will have a base of knowledge before ever setting foot in their three Cuban destinations. Fathom’s new onboard programming for Cuba voyages includes:

Getting to Know Cuba/Introduction to Havana: This program provides vital information for the week ahead to ensure travelers get the most from their time in Cuba, and a comprehensive Havana overview.
Getting to Know Cienfuegos: The Pearl of the South, Cienfuegos, is known for its remarkable beauty, which is deeply intertwined with the city’s French roots. Travelers learn the history of Cuba's third largest port that includes sites such as Parque Marti and the Cantores de Cienfuegos.
Getting to Know Santiago de Cuba: Once the Spanish capital of Cuba and the birthplace of Castro's 26th of July Movement, Santiago de Cuba is rich in history. Travelers learn about the culture and people of Santiago, and discover why the land of "Ron, Son, and Revolución" has birthed many unique genres of music and ideologies.
Pre-1950’s Cuban History: Cuba's pre-revolutionary history tells the tale of Spanish colonialism, Caribbean resources, pirates, and the pride of the people. During this program, travelers get a closer look into the historical development of Cuba's culture and see why many fall in love with the spirit of the Cuban people.
Havana Architecture Bingo: Havana is an architectural playground with a multitude of styles ranging from Baroque mansions to contemporary offices. Travelers learn about Havana’s unique buildings and styles during a fun and interactive game of bingo.
Cuban Coffee Games: The role of coffee is deeply engrained in Cuban culture as the most important export in the country. Travelers discover how coffee made its way to the island and why coffee from the Sierra Maestra is considered to be the finest in the world.
Havana/Cienfuegos/Santiago de Cuba Bands: The influence of music and art on Cuban culture can be seen and heard on nearly every block. Cuban bands join the sailings from Havana to Cienfuegos and Cienfuegos to Santiago de Cuba, adding their sound to the ship’s onboard entertainment options. Travelers experience live, authentic Cuban music, playing classic and contemporary hits as well as original compositions for their listening pleasure.

Shop Handcrafted Products from Cuban Entrepreneurs: In addition to the wide range of interactive activities, Fathom has partnered with Clandestina, a Cuban design store in Old Havana, to feature their local merchandise, including clothing, toys, handbags, posters and other design products onboard. The gift shop is the first store outside of Cuba to sell Clandestina products.

Founded by Cuban creatives, the designer brand is well-known for its signature Vintrashe Collection, which features toys made from recycled plastic and decorated by hand, as well as t-shirts and handbags designed by local artists and made with second-hand fabrics and up-cycle techniques by a team of seamstresses in a rural town of south Havana. Clandestina is a platform for Cuban talent to showcase their ingenuity. “Each time Fathom travelers purchase our products, they support independent entrepreneurship,” said Idania del Rio, Co-Founder and Owner of Clandestina. “They are taking home a unique design product that is ‘authentically Cuban’.”

Learn more at

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Royal Caribbean Signs Agreement With Miami-Dade County To Build World-Class Cruise Terminal

MIAMI, June 29: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has announced an agreement with Miami-Dade County to construct and operate a dramatic new cruise terminal at PortMiami, on land leased from the County. The new terminal will be a striking addition to PortMiami and will serve as homeport to Royal Caribbean International ships, including a 5,400-passenger Oasis-class ship, the world's largest and most innovative cruise ships. The agreement will come before the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners on July 6, 2016.

"We are truly excited to be working with Miami-Dade County and PortMiami to create not just another cruise terminal, but a truly iconic building," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "This new terminal is a symbol of our commitment to Miami, the city where our company first started almost 50 years ago. We can't wait to bring an Oasis-class ship to PortMiami."

"Miami-Dade County is happy to welcome Royal Caribbean's expansion at PortMiami, and all the economic benefits that come along with it," said Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade County Mayor. "This public-private partnership will have an estimated economic impact of $500 million and generate approximately 4,000 jobs. Royal Caribbean has been an important part of our world-class community for almost 50 years, and this expansion will once again make PortMiami Royal Caribbean's largest cruise port in the world. I thank them for their continued investment in and commitment to Miami-Dade."

Broadway Malyan has been selected as the firm to design the new terminal, after a global competition was held between five of the world's leading architectural firms. The firm was selected because of their creative thinking and cutting-edge design. The 170,000-square-foot terminal is nicknamed the 'Crown of Miami' because of its distinct shape. The design evokes the points of the symbolic headgear when viewed from the water; the 'M' of Miami when viewed from the east or western approaches; and a sense of waves rising or ships passing when viewed from the terminal side. At night, the terminal's facade will be lit ensuring that the building makes a striking impression and providing a dynamic addition to the PortMiami landscape.

The new terminal will not be the only addition for Royal Caribbean in the coming year. The company has committed to add a 20,000 square foot Innovation Lab to its corporate headquarters located at PortMiami. The Innovation Lab will continue to generate Royal Caribbean's industry-leading, innovative vessels. Currently, PortMiami welcomes approximately 750,000 Royal Caribbean passengers annually, representing about 15 percent of its overall passenger traffic. Once the new cruise terminal is completed, it is anticipated that Royal Caribbean will generate at least 1.8 million passengers at PortMiamirepresenting no less than 30 percent of the port's projected passenger traffic.

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Costa Cruises' New Suite Perks Include Exclusive Restaurant, Unlimited Drinks & More

HOLLYWOOD, FL, June 28: In Italian, la dolce vita translates to "the sweet life," and that's what Costa Cruises guests will be living when they book suite or grand suite accommodations. Beginning this month, Costa is expanding its perks and amenities program so guests traveling in a suite can enjoy more of "Italy's finest" cruise line, including complimentary meals at the alternative Club Restaurant, unlimited drinks and special access to private events and activities.

"Suites aboard Costa's upscale contemporary ships are spacious and allow guests to travel in absolute luxury," said Scott Knutson, vice president sales and marketing, Costa Cruises North America. "With these added amenities, suite guests can enjoy a nearly all-inclusive experience with unlimited access to one of our most popular specialty restaurants with wine included, a free beverage package and a host of other perks throughout their cruiselike reserved front-row seats in the theater and a day pass for the spa."

Costa's Club Restaurants are now reserved for suite guests for complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner, providing an intimate and exclusive dining experience. (Nonsuite guests are able to dine in the Club Restaurants for a fee, pending availability.) The Club Restaurant serves dishes from different regions in Italy and also features vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Suite guests also can choose to dine in the main restaurant, and those who want to dine in another specialty venue receive priority when making reservations.

Suite guests also receive a complimentary Intenditore beverage package, the highest-level beverage package offered by Costa. Intenditore includes unlimited drinks, priced up to 9 euros on bar menus, drinks from the mini bar or served in the cabin, and refined pairings of wines selected for Costa by the Italian Sommelier Association with meals in restaurants or at the buffet.

Throughout their cruise, suite guests can enjoy exclusive activities including wine tastings, a day pass to the thermal area of the spa, where available, private cocktail events and reserved front-row seats to every show in the ship's theater. A dedicated specialist will be available to assist with shopping and selecting shore excursions. In their suite guests can indulge in complimentary room service and full in-cabin meals. Suite accommodations include a welcome bottle of Ferrari sparkling wine with canapés, an Illy Caffé coffee maker, fresh fruits replenished daily, bathrobes and slippers, a pillow menu and organic cotton sheets. A private butler will offer shoe-shine service and is available to book onboard services and tours as well as unpack luggage.

For guests sailing from Barcelona, Spain, or Savona, Italy, the special treatment begins as soon as they arrive at the cruise terminal. Suite guests will have access to a private VIP area where they can relax and enjoy Ferrari sparkling wine, Illy Caffé and a selection of snacks. For reservations, visit

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces Exclusive Amenities from L’Occitane

MIAMI, June 28: The world’s most luxurious ship, Seven Seas Explorer, will feature an exclusive collection of bath amenities from the L’Occitane’s Mer & Mistral line, becoming the first cruise ship to offer complimentary amenities from this exclusive line of products. The new L’Occitane products will serve as the standard amenity for all suites onboard Seven Seas Explorer. The Mer & Mistral line is part of L’Occitane’s La Collection de Grasse assortment, inspired and named after the world perfume capital in the south of France. This collection of products celebrates L’Occitane’s French Provencal roots by bringing together fresh aquatic notes blended with an aromatic chord of pine, cypress and rosemary.

The complimentary Mer & Mistral collection of exclusive amenities from L’Occitane will initially be available only on Seven Seas Explorer, but will roll out on the remainder of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet of all-suite luxury vessels this summer. Included in the exclusive Seven Seas Explorer collection are 75 ml bottles of L’Occitane shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, body lotions, and fresh soaps. In addition, guests will receive a complimentary 100-ml bottle of Lavender Liquid Foaming Bath, in which the fresh and delightful fragrance contains lavender oil from Provence. Guests will realize all relaxing benefits of lavender captured in this rich formula that generously foams in the bath and leaves skin clean, supple and delicately scented.

“It’s imperative, that down to our amenities, Seven Seas Explorer conveys the highest level of luxury,” said Jason Montague, president and COO for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “This partnership demonstrates our dedication to providing guests with the most upmost, luxurious level of excellence, and we’re thrilled to have L’Occitane as part of our exclusive collection of amenities.”

About 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 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 information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises, visit

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Holland America Line Hosts American Cancer Society’s ‘A Toast to Life’ Fundraiser Luncheon
on board ms Amsterdam in Seattle

Seattle, June 27: At a recent fundraising luncheon for Seattle’s American Cancer Society chapter aboard ms Amsterdam, Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford spoke about his company’s commitment to raising money that will save lives and help end cancer. The cruise line hosted the fundraiser Sunday, June 12, at the Port of Seattle as a launch event for Hope Gala, an ASC black-tie celebration, live auction and exclusive dining experience to be held in September featuring Seattle chefs and local vintners. Ashford shared with attendees that all guests aboard every Holland America Line cruise can participate in a walk around the deck, helping to support cancer research while taking in the view and enjoying the ocean breeze. Through the line’s longstanding “On Deck for a Cause” fundraising initiative guests can join in the shipboard program benefitting six international cancer organizations, including American Cancer Society. Following the onboard luncheon, attendees were invited to a presentation in the ship’s main show lounge and were able to tour the ship.

“Cancer is a disease that affects practically everyone in some way, which makes our partnership with an organization like the American Cancer Society all the more significant,” said Ashford. “Through our support with On Deck for a Cause and by hosting these luncheons, we’re able to make a greater impact that will hopefully help eradicate the disease one day soon.”

On Deck for a Cause invites guests to participate in a noncompetitive 5k fundraising walk on all 500 sailings across the fleet of Holland America Line’s 14 ships, with proceeds distributed among the American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Council Australia, Cancer Research UK, Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid) and KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society).

American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. In Washington state, ACS has offices in Seattle, Tacoma and Everett. Last year, the ACS of Washington funded 24 of the best and brightest Washington researchers (including the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) conducting groundbreaking cancer research. More than 12,800 Washington residents received assistance in 2015 and 3,793 received breast and colon cancer screenings through ACS’s CHANGE Grant program. For more information, visit

“Thank you to Holland America Line for hosting the luncheon in such a beautiful setting, and more importantly for being a wonderful partner in finding a cure for cancer,” said Sergey Smirnov, ACS senior manager, distinguished events. “With the support of organizations like Holland America Line, we’re able to provide comfort to those affected by cancer and heighten awareness about the disease as we work to find a cure.”

In addition, Holland American Line also sponsors the ACS Washington Invitational Golf Tournament on July 18 at Broadmoor Golf Club, and the Seattle Hope Gala that will be held Sept. 24 at Bell Harbor. Each year, Holland America Line hosts more than 25 shipboard charity luncheons for nearly 5,000 guests in its homeport cities. In addition, Holland America Line and its corporate foundation’s charitable-giving programs provide cash sponsorships, in-kind donations, free- and reduced-fare cruise donations for nonprofit fundraising events, donations of usable shipboard items around the world, employee volunteerism and other philanthropic activities.

For more information about Holland America Line, visit

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Costa Cruises Adds Sir Bani Yas Island to Costa neoRiviera's United Arab Emirates Itineraries

GENOA, Italy, June 27: Costa Cruises is enhancing Costa neoRiviera's 7-night winter cruises from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, by adding a call at Sir Bani Yas Island, a stunningly beautiful natural paradise with private beach located off the southwest coast of the western region in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. In addition to the summery feel of Sir Bani Yas Island, Costa neoRiviera will spend two nights at Dubai; one night at Muscat, Oman; and call at Abu Dhabi.

Guests will have a day to discover the wonders of one of the finest islands in the Arabian Gulf, featuring crystal-clear waters, white sands and private beaches. Special V.I.P. areas on the beach will feature cabanas, affording total comfort and privacy. Costa's excellent service and facilities extend to the guest experience ashore, with great hospitality, bars and buffets managed by Costa's own staff and serving a vast range of fresh food. Guests can opt for sun and sand, try the thrill of a jeep safari in the island's wildlife park, go kayaking or snorkeling. For kids, Sir Bani Yas Island offers inflatable slides and shallow water to play in.

Costa neoRiviera is part of Costa's "neoCollection," featuring slow-cruising and extended time in port. These holidays are perfect for more experienced cruisers who are looking for places off-the-beaten-path and "premium" experiences, including visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and more authentic tours in the heart of each destination.

To make the experience even more unique and memorable, Costa offers a large variety of shore excursions to suit everyone's tastes and preferences. At Muscat, for example, guests can choose a four-wheel drive adventure to explore the rugged natural beauty of Wadi Al Arbeieen, with its crystal-clear ponds, followed by a visit to a local village. In Abu Dhabi, the attractions include Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in the world and the largest in the U.A.E., a desert safari by jeep and camel, and a visit to Ferrari World theme park. Alternatively, guests can opt for an unforgettable overnight tour to the famous Arabian Nights Village, a desert retreat where they can gaze into the night sky and observe the crystal-clear view of the constellations, before returning the next day to Dubai. In Dubai Costa offers unique experiences like a seaplane tour, a helicopter tour of the city, a chance to swim with dolphins or a tour around Dubai's incredible skyscrapers, with iconic landmarks like the sail design of the Hotel Burj Al Arab.

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Crystal Cruises Moving to Port Everglades in 2017

BROWARD COUNTY, FL: Broward County's Port Everglades welcomes the return of Crystal Cruises' luxury ships beginning in October 2017.

"Fort Lauderdale is an ideal fit for our ships, itineraries and discerning guests, with its close proximity to an international airport and reputation for outstanding service that mirrors Crystal's own," said Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. "With these things in mind, we are relocating select fall sailings and look forward to working with Port Everglades to expand our itineraries in this market."

Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony will sail a total of eight sailings to and from Port Everglades beginning October 27, 2017.

"We are already working with Crystal Cruises' outstanding team to ensure every sailing from Port Everglades is exceptional," said Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak. Crystal Cruises last sailed from Port Everglades in 2006.

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Princess Cruises Showcases Local Expert Speakers to Regal Princess Guests in the Baltic

SANTA CLARITA, CA, June 23: Princess Cruises guests aboard Regal Princess sailing to Scandinavia and Russia this summer now have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the destinations with an impressive line-up of speakers who will come aboard overnight to share their personal stories, local expertise and passion for the places they call home.

This unique speaker series, developed in partnership with Cruise Baltic, is part of the new industry-first "Local Connections" program, aimed to inspire the cruise line's guests by sharing the 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.

"As part of our new 'Local Connections' program, we developed an impressive speaker series we are certain our guests will enjoy in partnership with Cruise Baltic," said Bruce Krumrine, vice president, global shore excursions, Princess Cruises. "From a local journalist, ballerina, chef, musician and historian, these are just some of the vibrant personalities who will bring the memorable destinations of the Baltic to life for our guests."

More than 70 speakers will join Regal Princess during the summer 2016 Baltic cruise season. Highlights include:

Pia Allerslev, Mayor, Copenhagen, Denmark: Allerslev is the Mayor of the Children and Youth Administration in the City of Copenhagen and a member of the Copenhagen City Council for the Danish Liberal Party. She began her political career in 1991, where she was elected Chair of the Liberal Youth Party in her former hometown. Prior to becoming Mayor of Children and Youth, Allerslev was Mayor of Culture and Leisure for six years. Earlier she worked as a teacher gaining valuable insights into the public sector by working in the public school system. Now she is shaping the conditions herself as a politician and a Mayor.
Maris Hellrand, Estonia Stories,Tallinn, Estonia: Hellrand is a multilingual freelance journalist and consultant who tells engaging and enriching stories about Estonia to international audiences. She is passionate about travel, music, design, architecture, cinema, international affairs, innovation, start-ups, and education. After nearly two decades as a global nomad, Estonia has become the professional focus (and a private paradise) for her. Her countless stories about Estonia have reached TV, radio and magazine audiences in Germany, France, United Kingdom, and Scandinavia.
Evgenia Brileva, Ballerina, St. Petersburg, Russia: Brileva was born into an artistic family as the daughter of a ballet dancer and a musician. As a backstage child, she was naturally devoted to acting, dancing and piano playing. At the age of 10 she toured to Germany with her father performing pieces by Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. She learned photography from her grandfather, a press photographer of famous Pravda Newspaper. Brileva's background is a blend of Russian culture that includes ballet, music, fine art & photography, which has been all the more enriched and inspired by the beauty of her mother city.
Ingreid Rudefors, Director, Stockholm, Sweden: Rudefors is a Swedish director, writer and film producer. She spent the first part of her professional life in New York, where she traveled after high school to study theater. In the late 1980's, she was active in the New York independent film industry. She currently works as film commissioner in Film Region Stockholm Malardalen.
Sonya Antoni, Historian, Waremunde, Germany: Sonya hails from an international surrounding and upbringing: born with a British mother and a German father, she grew up in Iran and South Africa, returning to her father's country to study English and French Literature and Linguistics as well as Psychology in Germany, England and France. Her choice of the University of Potsdam set her path for tourism as the World Heritage Sites of Sanssouci Parks and Palaces were a haven for the art lover. Participating in the new tourism program of the Potsdam City Council and of the Foundation Prussian Parks & Palaces she soon became inseparable from the city's history combining it with contemporary politics from the German capital a stone's throw away.

"We're proud to showcase some of the beautiful destinations of Northern Europe that we call home to Princess Cruises guests," said Claus Bødker, director, Cruise Baltic. "The dynamic line up of speakers we've secured together, will offer guests authentic and passionate personal stories, as well as an unforgettable glimpse into our local culture, history and way of life."

Additional elements of the "Local Connections" program include a video series of local port partners sharing their insights, experiences and recommendations of the places they call home, new and exclusive shore excursions, new port welcome and departure experiences, and an insider's guide including "cool things" made in each port. More information can be found at

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Cunard Reveals Queen Mary 2 Remastered

VALENCIA, CA, June 23: Cunard's flagship liner Queen Mary 2 will set sail this month on her first voyage following an investment in the region of $132 million, one of the most significant refurbishments undertaken by the world's most venerable passenger shipping line, now marking 176 years in operation.

On 23rd June the remastered liner will sail into Southampton Water flanked by fleet royalty Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, to be greeted by a host of high-profile guests. The vessel will then set sail for New York, continuing her schedule of iconic transatlantic crossings, a unique journey that has been enjoyed across the decades by famous personalities from the Golden Age of Ocean travel including Audrey Hepburn, Clarke Gable and Winston Churchill, to political figures and luminaries of today such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President George H.W. Bush, film maker Wes Anderson, actress Tilda Swinton, James Taylor, and many others.

The luxury liner has been lovingly remastered with new contemporary interior designs and guest experiences, some of which take inspiration from the original Queen Mary that launched at the height of the art-deco movement in the 1930s. Cunard's investment, marking 80 years since the original liner launched, has ensured every detail from the carpets to the curtains recalls that iconic vessel which became a symbol of British elegance.

The remastering features:

-- Redesign and refurbishment of the Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites and restaurants, as well as Britannia staterooms, the latter to be fully complete by the end of the year
-- The addition of 30 further Britannia Club staterooms, 15 Britannia single staterooms and five Britannia inside staterooms
-- Redesign of key public spaces and restaurants, including the transformation of the former Winter Garden into the Carinthia Lounge, the introduction of The Verandah as the ship's new specialty restaurant, and the complete refresh and restructuring of the Kings Court, the ship's popular buffet area
-- 10 additional kennels, complete with Liverpool lamp post and New York fire hydrant to make dogs feel at home in the world's only transatlantic kennel service
-- And as befitting the flagship of the Cunard fleet, a complete repaint of the ship exterior and significant technical enhancements and structural changes

Over one million man hours has gone in to the refurbishment, over a 25 day period, 594,000 square feet of luxurious new carpets (the equivalent of 10 British football pitches) has been laid, 4,000 new framed pictures have been brought on board and over 3,900 gallons of paint have been applied to the ship's hullare just a few examples of the sheer size and scale of these refurbishments.

The essence of Queen Mary 2 lies in allowing guests to lose themselves in a world of glamour, timeless sophistication and luxury. Alongside brand new dining experiences, guests can sample the delights of the world's finest wine cellar at sea, with a unique collection of 486 fine wines and a stunning collection of Ports, dating back to 1840. This modern icon also plays host to some of the finest quintessential British and international brands, with an exclusive co-branded travel collection from Aspinal of London, and sought after Cartier products available for guests to purchase while on board.

The Queen Mary 2 experience is revered for its exceptional crewin its 176 year history Cunard has seen seven of its Commodores knighted, an honor no other shipping company can claim. On board Queen Mary 2 today the level of expertise and tradition is not forgotten, with highly trained and attentive staff, all graduates from the ship's White Star Service Academy. From skilled personal butlers and concierge teams of the Cunard Grills to the teams of sommeliers and waiting staff across the breadth of dining venues - all are ready to cater for the needs of every guest.

"The significant investment into our flagship, Queen Mary 2, is indicative of our commitment to our guests, and to the special place that the ship holds, not only for those who are passionate about our famed ship, but also for the unique position she holds in the cruise landscape," said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard, North America. "From her spectacular debut in 2004, to her current remastering, Queen Mary 2 continues to capture the imagination of those who experience her classic ocean liner voyages."

About Queen Mary 2
Christened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2004, Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 defines luxury travel for the 21st Century and continues a 176-year legacy of transatlantic travel. Queen Mary 2 achieved her 200th transatlantic crossing in July 2013. Iconic luminaries, political figures and celebrities from the Golden Age of Ocean Travel to the present day have sailed with Cunard and aboard Queen Mary 2.

About Cunard
Defining true excellence at sea with 176 years of legendary voyages, Cunard is the operator of luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeththat are renowned for impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment. Cunard has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840.Today Cunard offers the only regularly scheduled transatlantic liner service and continues the legacy of world cruising which it began in 1922.

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Offers Free Ambassadors Of The Environment Family Program

BELLEVUE, WA, June 23: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, will offer the Ambassadors of the Environment Family Program free, a value of $329 per child, on the Dec 21, 2016, 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands holiday voyage.

Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society created the Ambassadors Program, which is a unique, groundbreaking program that introduces young travelers (ages 9-17) to the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia through direct, hands-on, interactive learning. Under the guidance of expert Ocean Futures Society naturalists, this flexible program lets parents and children alike pick and choose from a suite of onboard activities and daily excursions that reveal the natural wonders and rich culture of Polynesia by land and sea. Adults are encouraged to join in for the additional cost of the excursions.

The 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands holiday cruise departs Papeete, Tahiti, and sails to Huahine, Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Bora Bora (overnight), and Moorea (overnight) in the Society Islands. In addition to cruising to beautiful islands in French Polynesia and highlighting Polynesian culture, this voyage features complimentary access to Paul Gauguin Cruises' two exclusive retreats--Motu Mahana, an islet off the coast of Taha'a, and a private beach in Bora Bora. At Motu Mahana, guests enjoy a day of watersports, Polynesian activities, a barbecue feast, and cocktails from full-service and floating bars. In Bora Bora, guests can relax on a white-sand beach and enjoy refreshments, a game of volleyball, and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.

Cruise fares include roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles. The third guest in a stateroom sails free (cruise only). For more information on Paul Gauguin Cruises, visit

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Explore the Galapagos Islands Like Never Before with Celebrity Cruises’ Expanded Fleet

MIAMI, June 23: Where the fittest survive, modern luxury thrives. Celebrity Cruises has today revealed its exciting new cruises onboard its newest ships in one of the most dynamic corners of the worldthe Galapagos Islands. Discerning travelers now have even more options with the addition of two distinct new ships, Celebrity Xploration and Celebrity Xperience, which begin sailing in March 2017, following a multi-million dollar refresh per vessel for signature modern luxury enhancements. Both ships offer a wide all-inclusive range of indulgences and land excursions while sailing new itineraries. Guests can continue to sail onboard Celebrity's state-of-the-art 100-passenger Celebrity Xpedition. Together, the three stunning ships will offer six unique itineraries, 15 islands, more than 30 ports of call, and multiple packages to choose from.

Celebrity Xploration and Celebrity Xperience are both uniquely intimate. Ideal for travelers seeking a tight-knit community of like-minded vacationers, Celebrity’s Xploration is a stunning catamaran featuring eight luxurious staterooms, each with a window or veranda offering unforgettable views. The larger Celebrity Xperience offers a similar modern luxury experience to guests staying in its 24 stylish staterooms. Regardless of the ship, each stateroom features deluxe accommodations with upgraded premium mattresses and pillows, plus luxurious beddingall to create the most comfortable bed in the Galapagos. In addition, each room will have LCD TVs and high-speed internet service will be available throughout the ship. All vacations feature award-winning shore excursions led by expert naturalists, specially crafted meals, featuring fresh regional seafood and fish, by Celebrity’s Michelin-starred chef. Guests can also enjoy regional coffee, chocolate and other delights, premium spirits, a curated wine list, and service from the best staff at sea.

"With more than 12 years in the Galapagos Islands, guests have told us that we are best-in-class at providing award-winning vacations in this unique corner of the world,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Now we are offering the trip-of-a-lifetime onboard our newest ships with itineraries featuring ports of call we’ve never visited before and experiences that are exclusive to Celebrity. If a modern luxury vacation in the Galapagos Islands wasn’t on your bucket list before, it definitely should be on it now!"

Onboard Celebrity’s new ships, guests experience some of the most distinctive islands in the world through the ultimate modern luxury lens. Packages range from seven to 15 nights, and feature northern and southern loop itineraries:

Celebrity Xperience
• Guests can choose from 7-night, 10-night or 13-night, all-inclusive vacations
• New ports-of-call include Mosquera Islet, Black Turtle Cove, Cerro Brujo, Santa Fe, Darwin Bay and El Barranco - famous for its Prince Philip steps leading to vast seabird colonies of Nazca and Red-Footed Boobies
• Launching today and exclusive to Celebrity is a new Xperiential Travel 13-night itinerary. Guests can get up close and personal not only with the Galapagos wildlife but with the people who reside in the islands’ communities.

After spending two nights exploring Quito, Ecuador, sailing for seven nights, guests will disembark the ship and begin a 3-night experience, which includes:

o Accommodations in a seaside hotel in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island
o A visit to a local farm or green house to gather provisions that will later be used to prepare an exclusive dinner with a professional chef at a local restaurant
o Time with a local fisherman in search of a special catch of the day for a special dinner with the chef that evening. Vacationers will learn about responsible tourism that fuels and helps preserve the islands while encountering wild species of fish. After, guests can visit a private beach to snorkel and swim

Celebrity Xploration
• For the ultimate experience in the Galapagos, guests can charter their own ship for a seven-night, all-inclusive vacation with a variety of choices of pre- and post-cruise experiences
• New ports-of-call include El Barranco, Darwin Bay, Espumilla Beach, Mosquera Islet, Chinese Hat, Kicker Rock, Cerro Brujo, Walls of Tears and Puerto Villamil - the small town home to the Galapagos Giant Tortoise Center

In addition to the two new ships, travelers can continue to sail on the award-winning Celebrity Xpedition with 7-, 10-, 11- or 15-night, all-inclusive vacations. Launched in 2014 to mark the 10th anniversary of sailing in this region of wonder, immersive and inspiring land excursions exclusive to Celebrity are available to guests sailing on the ship. These experiences range from dining on authentic cuisine prepared by local residents to contributing to the protected islands through the Scalesia Reforestation Projecta unique partnership with the Galapagos National Park.

All sailings can be combined with pre- and post-cruise land experiences, and each offers something different, so modern travelers can make their vacations exactly what they want them to be. For more information on Celebrity's experiences in the Galapagos Islands or to book travel, visit

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MSC Cruises Forms New Salon Partnership with Jean Louis David

Geneva, Switzerland & Paris, France, June 23: MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa has today announced an exclusive partnership with global hairstyling brand Jean Louis David. The Company will introduce Jean Louis David salons across its fleet by the end of the yearanother industry-first. The new service will further enhance the already wide and continuously enhanced range of beauty and wellness services available exclusively to its guests across the whole fleet. MSC Cruises’ guests will be now able to also benefit from a whole host of high-end hair styling services from Jean Louis David trained stylists while at sea.

It can be a challenge to find the time to have a haircut before a vacation, similarly managing hair styling in different climates and while at sea can be tricky. MSC Cruises guests can now benefit from a comprehensive range of high-end, exclusive hair styling salon services while at sea, so that they can enjoy and indulge this additional element of pampering and look fantastic, whatever the occasion. The complete offering includes everything from a shampoo and style through to a hydrating oil therapy to revitalize hair.

“This latest announcement reflects our long term commitment and strategy to bring our guests an ever broader set of unique and often exclusive experiences across our fleet through true, end-to-end partnerships with world-class experts in their field,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “MSC Cruises and Jean Louis David identified in each other the ideal partner to bring to the world of cruising world-class service also in this area. Additionally, this brings to lifealso at this end of our on-board product offeringthe elegant side of the Mediterranean that lies at the heart of the MSC Cruises brand. Having an internationally recognized, best-in-class brand on-board means that our guests can trust that they will receive the highest standards of service from exclusively-trained stylists who will deliver outstanding care as well as feature the latest trends in hairstyling. This further adds to an offering that already includes, amongst others, the luxurious MSC Aurea Spa where guests are pampered from head to toe.”

Jean Louis David is an innovator in the world of hairstyling and is dedicated to excellence in service, thus mirroring key values of MSC Cruises and its guest offering. The brand is internationally recognized, with over 1,000 salons worldwide and the new partnership sees the initial opening of 11 salons at sea with plans to provide this service on the new ships that will be coming into service beginning with MSC Meraviglia in June 2017.

“Just like MSC Cruises, Jean Louis David has always sought for excellence in customer service,” said Franck Provost, owner of Jean Louis David. “Both brands offer fashion and lifestyle experience, bringing them together made immediate sense when it comes to enhancing beauty and providing pleasure and well-being. A cruise being a wonderful and special experience for each person, we are proud to rise to the challenge of adding to the never-be-forgotten holidays.”

The salon stylists on-board the ships will be expertly trained by Jean Louis David specialists, who are always at the forefront of the latest styling and hair care trends. Not only that, but treatments will also represent great value for money with land-based pricing extended also on board. A range of well-known Jean Louis David products will also be available in the salons for purchase for either on board use or for guests to take home. The first Jean Louis David salons are already open on MSC Preziosa, MSC Fantasia and MSC Poesia. Guests can expect to see the new salon opening across the entire fleet by the end of the year.

A distinguishing feature of an MSC Cruises experience is the full range of services that guests can enjoy while at sea, from beauty treatments and therapies through to complete relaxation and rejuvenation in the MSC Aurea Spa.

In the MSC Aurea Spa, MSC Cruises offers its guests, among other features:

• An authentic Balinese Spa experience on board each of its 12 ships with a distinctive menu of spa and beauty treatments.
• A cedar wood sauna and Turkish bath, over 20 types of massage, 20 body treatments, 26 different facials as well as a selection of manicures and pedicures are standard across many ships in the MSC Cruises fleet.
• A range of Medi-spa treatments developed by internationally renowned specialist Professor Piero Berrino.
• Mya Advance, Q-Frequency and electroporation rejuvenation and anti-aging procedures are delivered by specially trained spa doctors on board.

For those guests wishing to put relaxation at the center of their MSC Cruises vacation, the Company offer an ‘Aurea Experience’ pampering package which includes:

• A private consultation appointment with a certified doctor and wellbeing expert
• A 60 minute massage of choice from the spa menu
• A tanning shower session
• Unlimited access to the Thermal Area
• A welcome spa cocktail
• A MED by MSC room diffuser gift

A Stylish & Elegant Fragrance, MED by MSC
Adding another touch to its on-board experience, MSC Cruises was the first cruise line to develop its own fragranceMED by MSC. This special scent has been created in partnership with sensory experts from around the world and takes influences from the elegant side of the Mediterranean the brand stands for, with hints of luxurious fig, sweet bergamot and earthy vetiver. The fragrance is designed to leave guestswhile on board one of MSC Cruises shipsfeeling invigorated across all their sensesdelighted with what they’ve seen, touched, heard and tasted. MSC thus extends its sensual reach to the very fragrance of a journey, subtly surrounding guests a truly unique aroma that will enhance their memories of an MSC cruise vacation for years to come. The scent is in fact available as a take home gift as a room diffuser, room spray or Eau de Toilette, all available exclusively from the onboard shop.

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Port Everglades Pilots Two Passport Control Programs

Broward County's Port Everglades and its cruise line partners, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International, are working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to launch two pilot programs this summer—Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks and Mobile Passport Control (MPC)—that are designed to expedite secure entry into the United States following a cruise vacation. Port Everglades is the first U.S. cruise port to test these programs, although they are currently available in many U.S. airports and for cruise passenger preclearance in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Both programs are designed to streamline the traveler inspection process and enable CBP officers to focus more on the inspection and less on administrative functions.

"We are working closely with CBP to improve guest service and make the debark process more efficient without compromising safety and security," said Port Everglades Deputy Port Director Glenn Wiltshire. "We have high hopes for both programs, and are evaluating the efficiency, staff time and costs involved during this three-month pilot program."

APC kiosks allow passengers to provide their travel documents and customs declaration forms prior to speaking to a CBP officer.

The MPC program is the first Smartphone app authorized to expedite a traveler's entry process into the United States. This first-of-its-kind app was developed by Airside Mobile and Airports Council International-North America in partnerships with CBP. The app allows U.S. citizens debarking a cruise ship to complete their Customs declaration using their phones, expediting their clearance process in the terminal.

"We are very fortunate to be able to partner with Port Everglades in innovative projects that will enhance the arriving passengers' experience. These important business transformation initiatives are part of CBP's greater resource optimization strategy and will help to support the increased passenger traffic growth that we continue to see in South Florida," said CBP Port Director Jorge Roig.

In addition, CBP's Global Entry program, which gives preferential processing to those guests who are Global Entry card holders, has been available at Port Everglades since summer 2015.

Located in the second largest county in Florida, Broward County's Port Everglades is consistently ranked as one of the three busiest cruise ports in the world with more than 3.7 million passengers in 2015. Nine cruise lines, one ferry and more than 40 cruise ships sail from the South Florida seaport including: Balearia's Bahamas Express (ferry), Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn and Silversea Cruises. The Port's wide-ranging fleet of cruise ships provides guests with an array of cruise vacation choices from the sunny Greater Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach area. View details on the latest cruise offerings at

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SeaDream Yacht Club Touts 2016 Fall Mediterranean Sailings

MIAMI, June 21: SeaDream Yacht Club is showcasing spectacular voyages in the Mediterranean Sea for this fall of 2016. Showcasing the most picturesque yachting ports of the French & Italian Riviera on 7-day sailings, each itinerary pairs the ultimate yachting experience with the most scenic backdrops in the world. Whether exploring the wine regions exclusive to the Mediterranean or simply taking in the world-class service and cuisine of the yacht, guests can extend the summer vacation season with these early fall voyages on SeaDream I beginning October 1.

“These Mediterranean voyages intimately transport our guests to some of the world’s most beautiful and exclusive ports and harbors,” says SeaDream Yacht Club President Bob Lepisto. “Through our creative excursions onshore and highly personalized service onboard, we pride ourselves in offering our guests with the ultimate yachting experience.”

October is the ideal time to travel as summer temperatures have cooled and crowds have thinned, creating perfect conditions for outdoor walks and tours. With the highest therapist-to-guest ratio at sea, the SeaDream Spa ensures complete rejuvenation for its guests. Defined by the statement, “It’s yachting, not cruising,” SeaDream was named the Best Small Luxury Cruise Ship of 2015 by Forbes.

At each port of call, guests can choose from a variety of activities including hiking through the Mediterranean flora to Santa Margherita while in Portofino, shopping with the Chef in Sorrento or St. Tropez and even driving a Ferrari in Monte Carlo. An additional highlight for the 2016 fall season will be the popular crew-led shore excursions available in numerous ports which many of the yacht’s staff call home. These walks and bike rides take guests off the beaten path to explore the sights and sounds of historic European seaside villages.

Below is a listing of SeaDream’s 2016 fall itineraries onboard SeaDream I:

• Civitavecchia (Rome) to Cannes, departing Oct 1-8, 2016. Seven days including boutique ports of Porto Ercole, Livorno (Florence), Portovenere, Portofino, Monte Carlo, and St. Tropez.
• Cannes to Civitavecchia (Rome),departing Oct– 22, 2016. Seven days including ports of Monte Carlo overnight, Portofino, Portovenere, Livorno (for Florence), Portoferraio, and Porto Ercole.
• Civitavecchia (Rome) to Cannes, departing Oct 22–29, 2016. Seven days including ports of Sorrento, Capri, Bonifacio & Calvi on the island of Corsica, and St. Tropez.
• Cannes to Malaga, departing Oct 29–Nov 5, 2016. Seven days calling on ports of St. Tropez overnight, Cassis, Port Vendres, Barcelona, Valencia, and Cartagena.

The inclusive fares includes ocean view accommodations, gourmet meals, gratuities, wine with lunch and dinner, open-bar, and so much more. For information, visit

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Norwegian Dawn Sets Sail For Bermuda As A New Ship

BOSTON, June 17: Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn sailed into her seasonal homeport of Boston this morning as an essentially new vessel, following a month-long dry dock where she received enhancements to every part of the onboard experience, from two brand new restaurants and three new bars and lounges, updated design and décor in all public spaces, to a refurbishment of all staterooms including a complete makeover of the ship’s signature Garden Villas, some of the largest suites at sea. Norwegian Dawn’s extensive renovation is a part of The Norwegian Edge™ program, a $400 million investment that sets a new standard of excellence for the Norwegian brand, encompassing the entire guest experience.

“As with each of the ship refurbishments in the Norwegian Edge program, this was not your average dry dock,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief operating officer. “Norwegian Dawn was brought down to the steel in many spaces and rebuilt to evoke the look and feel of the newest Norwegian ships, allowing guests sailing on her to enjoy all of the freedom and flexibility that only Norwegian offers, along with a more premium experience from bow to stern.”

Norwegian Dawn’s guests will have several new restaurants, bars and lounges to enjoy after the ship’s refurbishment. A new concept for the Norwegian fleet, Los Lobos Cantina is an upscale Mexican restaurant that offers a modern take on traditional favorites like guacamole prepared tableside, al pastor tacos, enchiladas de mole and hand crafted margaritas, all available à la carte. Los Lobos Cantina will open on July 1. A guest favorite, O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill is making its debut on Norwegian Dawn today, and features signature sports bar décor while offering favorite pub fare and beers on tap. Wine lovers now have a chance to sip and savor their favorite vintages at The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar as the former Pearly King Pub has been completely transformed into a modern, upscale wine bar offering tastings and engaging educational events. Sugarcane Mojito Bar will serve up more than 15 varieties of mojitos in a modern lounge area on Deck 13 adjacent to the new location for Moderno Churrascaria. Finally, Spinnaker Lounge was transformed into the Bliss Lounge, offering a larger space for guests to relax and enjoy a cocktail, with refinished bar fronts, new contemporary accents, furniture and carpeting.

The dining experience onboard Norwegian Dawn will be further enhanced with extensive renovations to all of the existing complimentary dining venues. The Venetian and Aqua both feature a completely new look, with enhancements including new wall coverings, carpet and hardwood flooring, entry signage, artwork, ceiling finishes, reupholstered furniture, lighting, and window treatments. Bamboo Asian Restaurant also has undergone a complete refurbishment with fresh carpet and hardwood flooring, new furniture including tables, barstools and chairs, updated artwork throughout the space, new decorative and architectural lighting, along with window treatments and wall finishes. The Garden Café has undergone a redesign with new layout for smoother service that features upgraded flooring, artwork, decorative lighting, wall finishes, signage and furniture.

Specialty restaurants will also have a new upscale look and feel throughout the ship. Le Bistro and La Cucina have exchanged locations, with each space presenting a premium dining experience that is brought to life with new décor including updated carpet, furniture, decorative lighting and signage. Moderno Churrascaria resides in a new location on Deck 13 adjacent to Sugarcane Mojito Bar and features all new décor, furniture, window treatments, wall coverings and artwork that evokes the restaurant’s Brazilian theme. Teppanyaki restaurant was completely renovated and doubled in size with two additional tables, new flooring and décor and the addition of a divider between Bamboo and Teppanyaki for a more private experience. Cagney’s Steakhouse showcases a modern look with new décor, furniture, updated artwork, new carpet, wall finishes, decorative lighting and modified, more open layout where guests can enjoy Certified Angus Beef® steaks and those delectable truffle fries.

The ship’s existing bars and lounges will also offer a fresh experience, with Gatsby’s Champagne Bar debuting with brand new furniture, flooring, decorative lighting, artwork, window treatments and an art deco-inspired chandelier. The Cigar Bar will feature new tile flooring, draperies, furniture, plus an enhanced new humidor.

Every stateroom on the ship was enhanced during this renovation, receiving new carpets, bedding, drapery, artwork, flat screen TVs and furniture. The dry dock also allowed for a complete makeover of the ship’s two Garden Villas, now featuring a more clean and modern look with brand new flooring and furniture inside and out, new ceilings, lighting, bedding, décor and 42” flat screen TVs.

As with the recent enhancements to several other Norwegian ships, Norwegian Dawn’s public spaces, elevators and restrooms were refreshed from top to bottom to receive an updated look with new contemporary design, as well as new lighting, flooring, wall coverings and wall sconces to give the full ship that “new ship” look and feel.

The ship’s Atrium features a new modern and clean look with plush carpet and new lighting, chic furniture and a new lounge seating area, as well as enhancements to the Guest Services reception desks. Tides, a brand new shopping venue offering a wide selection of fine jewelry, was added to the Atrium. The ship’s existing shopping venue Ports O’Call has been renamed Tradewinds and also received a complete makeover with new finishes, lighting and flooring, as did the ship’s Library. Norwegian Dawn also offers guests easier ways to view and purchase mementos of their cruise vacation with an upgraded Photo Gallery featuring new individual digital monitors and larger photo display panels, along with sleek furniture and tile flooring.

The ship’s pool deck was completely refurbished to create a brighter and livelier atmosphere for sun-seekers with new decking and new white awnings to give the open deck a sleek, yacht-like feel. Additionally, the main pool deck received new exterior showers, upgraded pool loungers, and a fresh look to all exterior corridors. The Bimini Bar overlooking the main pool deck was completely refurbished and now features a completely new design and look. Kids and kids at heart sailing aboard Norwegian Dawn can now enjoy an upgraded Entourage teen space and video arcade with built-in entertainment areas, new carpeting and wall finishes and new modern furniture.

Entertainment venues such as the Dawn Casino and Stardust Theater were also touched by this extensive renovation. The Dawn Club Casino now incites an air of excitement with more colorful signage, new artwork, wall finishes, carpets, bar tops and a more luxurious and exclusive VIP area. Guests sailing aboard Norwegian Dawn will now be able to enjoy headlining shows Band on the Run, Showdown and Elements in a refreshed Stardust Theater with reupholstered and re-cushioned seating, as well as new carpets and drapery throughout the expansive theater.

Guests looking to unwind after enjoying all that the new Norwegian Dawn has to offer can do so in the completely redesigned Mandara Spa and Pulse Fitness Center, offering state-of-the-art Techno Gym equipment. The Mandara Spa received a new look and layoutelevating the spa experience with refreshed sleek décor, updated treatment rooms and newly added spaces including a barber shop, nail salon, spa pool and eight heated loungers in the luxurious thermal suite.

Norwegian Dawn will sail from Boston to Bermuda each week through October, spending three nights in port, and from New Orleans to the Western Caribbeanincluding a call at Harvest Caye, Belize, the Caribbean’s premier resort-style port of callduring the winter season, beginning in November. For more information, visit

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Second Annual Outlaw Country Cruise to Set Sail February 2017

Atlanta, GA: The Outlaw Country Cruise returns to the high seas in 2017, celebrating its second annual Caribbean voyage, presented by Sixthman and Steven Van Zandt’s Renegade Circus. Setting sail on Feb 26 and returning March 2, 2017, the cruise will host over 2,500 fans of Outlaw Country, Southern rock, honky-tonk and Americana as they celebrate raw, rootsy music in state-of-the-art luxury between Tampa, Florida, and Cozumel, Mexico. Over four nights of like-minded community, laid-back memory making and authentic artistry, the beautiful Norwegian Jade will be transformed into a floating music festival complete with five stages and over a dozen acts on the bill so far.

Returning as performers this year are heirs to the Southern rock throne Blackberry Smoke, Cuban-inflected country outsiders The Mavericks, celebrated country-rock poet Lucinda Williams, sharp-tongued individualist Steve Earle & The Dukes, second-generation scion Shooter Jennings & Waymore’s Outlaws, featuring a special appearance by his mother Jessi Colter, the legendary Queen of Outlaw Country. They’ll be joined by first-time cruisers like West Texas roots rock superhero Joe Ely, hard-scrabble Kentucky troubadour Chris Knight, alt-country ground breakers Old 97’s, Georgia-based drawl rockers Drivin’ N Cryin’ and the pre-war harmonies of mesmerizing duo The Secret Sisters, plus Dale Watson and His Lone Stars, Supersuckers, Bottle Rockets, The Mastersons, Jesse Dayton, Heybale! and more to be announced at a later date.

Music enthusiasts may join the pre-sale at and book staterooms before they are available to the general public on June 21. Along with a non-stop schedule of performances, guests will also be treated to once-in-a-lifetime, spur-of-the-moment collaborations, late-night jams, opportunities to meet and spend time with their favorite outlaw stars, attend autograph signings with artists and live recording sessions with Steve Earle, Shooter Jennings, Elizabeth Cook, Dallas Wayne, Roger Alan Wade and Mojo Nixon, who are all hosts on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country channel.

Created and executive produced by E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt, SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country channel features shows hosted by Steve Earle, Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale, Elizabeth Cook, Mojo Nixon, Shooter Jennings, Johnny Knoxville and Roger Alan Wade, Hillbilly Jim and Dallas Wayne.

“I created the Outlaw Country format to include four essential sub-genres that no longer had a place in the modern world—which was totally unacceptable to me—raditional Country, Outlaw Country, Alternative Country, and Country Rock. I wanted all the in-betweeners to have a home,” said Van Zandt. “SiriusXM came along just in time. Now the greatest country and country-related music ever made, and still being made, is accessible to inspire future generations. And we're taking it all out on The Outlaw Country Cruise past the three mile legal limit where it belongs!”

A destination of her own, Norwegian Jade offers guests Norwegian Cruise Line’s signature freedom and flexibility to enjoy 11 onboard bars and lounges, 15 dining experiences, one outdoor pool, hot tubs, and a full menu of spa treatments. Guests can enjoy access to other entertainment on the ship as well, whether it’s a game of soccer or basketball on the sports court, a workout in the fitness center or tempting lady luck with a few hands in the casino, Norwegian Jade has you covered. Plus, Outlaws will enjoy a day-long excursion to the picturesque Caribbean island of Cozumel, where golden sandy beaches and world-class scuba diving adventures await.

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Fathom Shares Onboard Entertainment Options & Regionally Inspired Foods that
Add to the Authentic Dominican Republic Travel Experience

MIAMI, June 16: Fathom, the pioneer in social impact travel and Carnival Corporation’s 10th and newest brand, today shared details of regional cuisine crafted by Fathom’s globally recognized Dominican chef Emil Vega, who leads the development of Fathom’s specialty restaurant concept Ocean Grill. Fathom also unveiled more details about its variety of onboard recreational activities.

Award-winning veteran chef and renowned Dominican Republic culinary expert Chef Emil brings to Fathom a lifelong passion for food and vast hospitality industry dining experience. Emil has earned a global reputation as a celebrated food innovator who brings a modern aesthetic to traditional Dominican Republic cuisine, inspiring culinary creations that add a perfect touch to Fathom’s onboard food offerings. From a delicious Grilled Seafood Salpicón to Crema de Frijoles Negros, guests can indulge in a wide range of Dominican and Cuban inspired food and culture, helping them further immerse and understand the cultures they will experience.

"I set out to create for travelers an extraordinary, authentic Caribbean culinary experience that allows them to savor a range of gastronomical possibilities featuring regionally inspired ingredients,” said Chef Emil. “Fathom understands that an important aspect of immersing in any unique culture is to explore its cuisine, which we are happy to make available to travelers from the moment they step aboard Fathom’s Adonia."

Sample Ocean Grill Dishes include:

• Grilled Seafood Salpicón – Grilled octopus, calamari and shrimp served cold with Caribbean mojito vinaigrette and crispy yaniqueque
• Cuban Ropa Vieja – Deep-fried plantain basket filled with Cuban-style shredded beef served with a spicy red pepper jam
• Mofongo and Aguají – Traditional mash of roasted pork belly, green plantain and garlic served with spicy mayonnaise
• Pescado con Coco (Fish Criollo and Coconut) – Fillet of fresh red snapper in an authentic island coconut sauce, served with clams, shrimp and yucca fritters
• Vegetarian Pastelón – Layers of ripe plantain, queso fresco and sautéed spinach served with roasted vegetables and spinach sauce
• Bistec Encebollado – Seasoned beef filet with caramelized onions, yucca fritters, sweet plantain and chimichurri salsa
Desserts :
• Dulce de Leche Cortada – Dominican sweet caramel milk curds with vanilla and salted caramel ice cream and yucca dumplings
• Guava n’ Cheese – Guava paste with queso fresco and roasted gustoso pepper syrup
• Majarete Crème Brûlée – Classic Cuban sweetcorn custard served with corn caramel and cinnamon, caramelized popcorn and sweet potato biscuit

“We are eager for Fathom travelers to delight in the delicious regionally inspired menu Chef Emil has created and to immerse themselves in the flavors and ingredients indigenous to the Dominican Republic and Cuba,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation. “Chef Emil is a talented and passionate culinary expert who truly is an artist when it comes to Caribbean cuisine. He is one of the top talents in the Caribbean, and we are grateful to have him as part of the Fathom family.”

Robust Onboard Programming Engages & Inspires Travelers
In addition to the many culinary delights found onboard, guests can participate in many engaging onboard impact workshops, dance and cocktail classes, and various leisure activities and entertainment options while preparing for their unforgettable on-ground experience. They also may treat themselves to one-of-a-kind productsfrom artisan crafts to hand-crafted jewelry to sustainably produced attire to environmentally friendly beauty productsat Fathom’s exclusive retail outlets featuring products with a purpose.

Fathom’s core onboard programming includes fun, interactive and educational sessions with Impact Guides, the first people Fathom travelers meet when they board the MV Adonia. Impact Guides introduce travelers to the Fathom experience and share additional information and guidance to equip them for the week. Travelers can celebrate at a Superpower Party that helps them discover their own individual superpower and unleash their inner greatness. During an onboard Spanish class, they can learn popular Spanish expressions, practice Spanish language pronunciation and learn basic conversational phrases, which will be invaluable for approaching their time onshore.

Curiosity Advantage and Design Your Lifetwo workshops created by Curiosity Atlas, a design firm focused on driving curiosity and innovationprepare guests for their on-ground experiences through an exploration of curiosity. Curiosity Advantage increases cognitive flexibility to help travelers take on challenges with a newfound sense of wonder. The workshop provides travelers with a ‘Curiosity Quest’ to utilize during their on-ground experiences. Design Your Life session applies the principles of design thinking to a travelers lives and to help them discover the areas where they are truly committed to making an impact.

Fathom and Ashokaa network of social entrepreneurs dedicated to accelerating lasting social changecollaborated to develop three different workshops enabling travelers to practice changemaking and discover their own potential to create positive change in their communities. Based on these three workshops, guests walk away having committed to at least one changemaking act and having reflected deeply on their surroundings while developing their own personal changemaker story through Ashoka’s proven storytelling methodology.

Other onboard programs include morning mediations to start each day with a clear mind, a Fathom kick-off event with live music and an introduction to the Fathom ethos, and the popular Lifehack Bootcamp that provides the tools for getting more done in less time and using that extra time to make the impact on the world. Additional core onboard programming includes:

• Dominican Republic Orientation: Fathom helps travelers become acculturated to life in the Dominican Republic so they may experience their time on-ground with a sense of “comfortable discomfort” within this new environment.
• Story of You: In this workshop, travelers identify a moment of transformation in their lives and work through the components that make a great story. They learn how powerful their life story is and practice the tools to help them tell their story in a clear and meaningful way.
• Story of Impact: This activity helps travelers create and express their story as a specific “before and after” transformation based on their week on-ground in their destination. Interactive exercises practice story creation methodologies so travelers disembark their journeys with a sense of confidence in sharing their stories.
• Story Circle/Story of You 2.0: Travelers are introduced to ways to make their stories more powerful. They share stories in front of small groups who give facilitated feedback, and they also receive tips on how to speak powerfully in front of others.
• Guided Relaxation
Guided Relaxation, also referred to as Yoga Nidra, provides travelers time to rest, relax and clear their minds following the day’s stimulation.
• Fathom You and Beyond: This final session with each Fathom cohort provides moments of reflection, ways to engage in next steps and resources for further impact.

In addition to the core onboard programming, travelers also may participate in leisure activities, such as a photography class, book club, karaoke, giant outdoor game night, classic board game night, mojito and flan movie night, domino throw down, and a wine and paint class to name a few.

Once Fathom travelers arrive in the Dominican Republic, they have a wide variety of options for how to spend their three days on the island. They can choose from a variety of activities, including participating in social impact projects, enjoying the many beautiful Dominican beaches or participating in select recreational activities and tours available to the entire family of Carnival Corporation brands operating in the Caribbean region. Social impact activities include projects focused on economic, educational and environmental development, appealing to a wide range of individual passions and skills. During these activities, travelers work directly alongside community members and Fathom’s partner organizations carrying out tasks that will have an immediate and lasting impact, tailored specifically to what the community needs most.

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Windstar Cruises’ Star Pride Re-enters Fleet with $4.5 Million Renovation

Seattle, June 16: Luxury cruise line Windstar Cruises announces the debut of Star Pride as it re-enters the six-yacht fleet. The 212-guest Star Pride is back in action after receiving a scheduled $4.5 million transformation, including a complete renovation of two exclusive Owner’s Suites featuring enhancements to an expansive private deck that commands a sweeping ocean view over the yacht’s bow. Also included were nautically-inspired remodeling of public spaces, dining venues and more throughout the yacht.

“We are extremely pleased with the extensive yacht refurbishment of Star Pride and are excited to be welcoming guests aboard in Windstar’s private yacht style as the Mediterranean cruise season gets under way,” remarked Andrew N. Todd, president and chief executive officer of Xanterra Parks & Resorts, parent company of Windstar Cruises.

The 2016 Star Pride $4.5 million transformation builds on earlier renovations now matching all guest accommodations and features of sister yachts, Star Breeze and Star Legend. Total investment in refurbishing the three yachts is over $21.5 million dollars in the last two years.

Star Pride 2016 Transformation Highlights:

Suite Upgrades: Two Owner’s Suites were completely rebuilt with a new indoor-outdoor floor plan and interior design featuring new linens, towels, furnishings, windows and drapery. Guests staying in one of the two exclusive suites will enjoy a new, extended private deck area with spectacular views over the bow of the ship.
In addition, all luxurious guest suites on the yacht received stylish new coffee tables, and new flat screen televisions. Comfortable sofa beds were added in the living rooms of 12 select suites now offering triple accommodations.

Public Spaces: All guest stairways and hallways were redone in Windstar blues and earth tones, conveying a unified nautical theme throughout the elegant yacht. New carpets and tile flooring were also added to stairwells and all indoor public spaces.

• The Lounge: the former entertainment lounge now includes new flooring, lighting, sound system, and furniture. The newly created elegant ambiance makes the show lounge an amenable space for entertainment, meetings and small gatherings.
• Veranda: the restaurant in the aft of the yacht expands its outdoor seating to a new courtyard area, complete with a succulent garden wall.
• Star Deck: the top outdoor deck expanded by four feet on each side, giving additional space for guests to relax on deck chairs. The Star Deck also offers a new counter-current pool and whirlpool.
• Library: the Library has been updated with softer colors, new furnishings and new artwork.
• Star Screening Room: the space transformed from a card room to an intimate screening room where guests can watch the latest movies and play video games.
• Fitness Center: the new gym layout includes new flooring, wall coverings and window treatments for a cooler and more refreshing wellness atmosphere.

Dining Venues: AmphorA Restaurant, the main dining room on board, completes its redesign with new flooring, wall coverings, lighting and seating layout. A new public bathroom was added adjacent to the entrance. Veranda restaurant has opened up a 180 degree view of the ocean by adding sliding glass doors and an aft glass wind screen. Veranda also offers expanded outdoor seating in the new courtyard which is complete with a virtual garden wall.

2016 and 2017 Deployment Features New Itineraries & Destinations for Star Pride:
Star Pride sailed from the port of Athens on June 9 embarking on a newly-developed 7-day itinerary, Treasures of the Greek Isles. The classic yachters’ journey across the Aegean Sea calls at Nafplio and Mykonos, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; Patmos, Santorini, and Monemvasia, Greece, returning to Athens. The new itinerary has another scheduled departure on Sept. 4, 2016. The sailing introduces cruisers to the hidden harbors, island culture and ancient treasures of the region. Cruise highlights include the opportunity to visit up to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as a complimentary Windstar Private Event featuring a once-in-a-lifetime candlelit dinner at the renowned Celsus Library in the ancient city of Ephesus, Turkey.

Star Pride will sail throughout the Mediterranean during the 2016 summer cruise season featuring popular cruise itineraries such as Classic Italy & the Dalmatian Coast and Glitter & Glam of the Rivieras. In October 2016 the yacht offers a relaxing Atlantic Ocean Crossing cruise and then sails a few Caribbean cruises including the Best of the ABC Islands and ever-popular Jewels of the Windward Islands with ports less-visited. In December, the yacht transits the Panama Canal and will offer a series of Costa Rica & Panama Canal cruises into early March of 2017, when it returns to the Caribbean for three cruises prior to her Ocean Crossing in April.

The 2017 Europe season sees Star Pride yachting across Europe with cruises to the Mediterranean, and new for Star Pride in 2017, Northern Europe cruises including: Around Iceland, Lands of the Midnight Sun, Best of Europe’s West Coast, and Gaelic Explorers, all explored in private yacht style.

Star Pride was the first of three elegant all-suite yachts to join Windstar’s fleet in the last two years, now at a total of six yachts, including sister yachts Star Breeze, and Star Legend, as well as the classic Windstar sailing yachts Wind Surf, Wind Star, and Wind Spirit. Windstar yachts offer guests the chance to travel to 150 international destinations, small secluded ports, hidden harbors and iconic cities, all in Windstar’s signature private yacht style, immersing guests in local cultures around the world offering a vacation experience truly 180 degrees from ordinary. For additional information, including daily itinerary highlights, special offers and product information, visit

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Silversea Unveils New Galapagos Itineraries

Miami, June 14: Starting March 25, 2017, luxury expedition cruise specialist Silversea will alternate two new seven-night Galápagos itineraries approved by the Galápagos National Park Service. The 100-guest, all-suite Silver Galapagos will operate both itineraries sailing Saturday to Saturday, with San Cristóbal as a new arrival or departure port for guests.

The new north central itinerary departs Baltra for San Cristóbal with a newly added circumnavigation of Isla Daphne Grande (a.k.a. Daphne Major). The voyage also explores Bahía Darwin and El Barranco in Genovesa; Galapaguera Cerro Colorado and Punta Pitt in San Cristóbal; Bahía Gardner (a.k.a. Gardner Bay) and Punta Suarez in Española; El Edén, Fausto Llerena Breeding Center and Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz; as well as Bahía Sullivan, Seymour Norte, Rábida, and Plazas Sur.

Departing from San Cristóbal for Baltra, the new western itinerary is enhanced by such new points of interest as Cerro Dragón and Playa Las Bachas in Santa Cruz and a circumnavigation of Roca León Dormido (a.k.a. Kicker Rock). The balance of the itinerary includes Punta Vicente Roca, Caleta Tagus and Bahía Elizabeth in Isabela; Post Office Bay, Islote Champion and Punta Cormorant in Floreana; Los Gemelos, Fausto Llerena Breeding Center and Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz; Bartolomé, Playa Espumilla, and Punta Espinoza.

"These new itineraries will continue to highlight the amazing scenery and wildlife of the Galápagos," said Mark Conroy, Silversea's managing director for the Americas. "For the first time, Silver Galapagos will circumnavigate iconic Kicker Rock and Daphne Major, both spectacular settings for spotting an array of exotic birds. And nature lovers will appreciate the chance to witness beautiful flamingos and sea turtles at Las Bachas Beach, also a new destination."

Silver Galapagos expedition cruises offer adventurous travelers the life-enriching chance to discover a wild, pristine paradise that has long been regarded as a natural laboratory of evolution. On complimentary expeditions ashore guided by an experienced expedition team (certified by the Galápagos National Park Service), Silversea's guests may experience up-close encounters with an abundance of wildlife that includes sun-basking land iguanas, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, colorful marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and Darwin's famous finches. Aboard ship, guests enjoy such Silversea hallmarks as the pampering attention of a butler, sumptuous gourmet cuisine, complimentary wines and spirits served throughout the ship, and free Wi-Fi.

For a complete list of Silver Galapagos itineraries, details, and fares, visit

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Holland America Line Collaborates with Top Sushi Chef, Andy Matsuda

Seattle, June 13: Whether it's a popular California roll or a more exotic sushi creation, Holland America Line’s shipboard chefs are learning from the best in a collaboration with renowned Sushi Chef Andy Matsuda, of the Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles. Not only will Matsuda share his knowledge and train the shipboard chefs to ensure that the cruise line’s staff is at the forefront of sushi trends and techniques, but four of his signature rolls will be featured on the dinner menu at Tamarind, the award winning Asian-fusion restaurant on board several Holland America Line ships. The Japanese-born chef brings more than 35 years of sushi-making experience and 15 years of teaching to the premium cruise line, and he began his collaboration and training aboard the line’s newest ship, ms Koningsdam. At Matsuda’s Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles, California, he teaches aspiring chefs and professionals from all over the world about sushi and Japanese cuisine. More than 1,300 graduates of the institute have gone on to careers in sushi restaurants or have become restaurateurs themselves.

“Sushi is extremely popular with our guests, and creating it is an art form that requires specific skills, techniques and in-depth training,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We are excited to collaborate with an expert of Chef Matsuda’s caliber to ensure that our chefs are creating the most exceptional sushi at sea. Anyone who enjoys sushi is going to be very impressed by the presentation and flavors in his creations.”

Guests can enjoy Matsuda’s four signature rolls on Tamarind’s dinner menu. They are a Tempura Lobster Roll with lobster tail, unagi sauce, avocado and asparagus; Nigiri Seared Salmon with green olives and capers; Dragon Roll with tempura shrimp, unagi sauce, avocado and asparagus; and Nigiri Tuna Zuke with yuzu-flavored tuna and guacamole sauce. Tamarind is on board ms Koningsdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, and ms Eurodam. The Asian-fusion Tamarind restaurant also serves sushi selections on the full dinner menu. Selections feature Spider Roll with soft shell crab tempura, California Roll, Tsutsumi Roll with snapper and avocado, Spicy Tuna Roll, Veggie Rainbow Roll, Volcano Roll with sesame-marinated salmon and Thai chilis, and Nigiri sushi with tuna, salmon and ebi shrimp. Tamarind on ms Koningsdam also features a sushi counter with eight seats where guests can enjoy watching the chefs prepare the fresh sushi.

Matsuda learned the joy of cooking at his family’s Japanese restaurant when he was a child, and he went on to have an apprenticeship at Genpachi, one of the most famous restaurants in Osaka, Japan, before bringing his sushi skills to Los Angeles. Following a battle with cancer he sought a deeper understanding of the relationship between food, health, people and the environment, which he then parlayed into becoming one of the world’s foremost sushi experts.

Mastuda joins Holland America Line’s elite list of food and beverage collaborators who are the leading authorities in their fields. The line recently announced a partnership with Master Mixologist Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff, and their esteemed Culinary Council is led by Holland America Line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, who is joined by renowned international chefs Mark Best, Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Elizabeth Falkner, and Jacques Torres. For more information about Holland America Line, visit

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Princess Cruises adds Trinidad & Tobago to 2017-2018 Cruise Calendar

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, June 13: Trinidad & Tobago’s popularity as a port of call continues to grow as Princess Cruises announces its 2017-2018 Americas cruise calendar that includes sailings to the dual-island nation.

Princess Cruises will offer several Caribbean vacation packages in 2017-2018 and will launch a new 14-day Circle Caribbean itinerary out of Fort Lauderdale that includes stops in Trinidad and other Caribbean islands in addition to a stop at the cruise line’s private beach resort, Princess Cays. Princess Cruises will also be returning its 7-day Caribbean routes with visits to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean regions on Regal Princess, while Crown Princess will alternate 8-day Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries and 5-day getaways to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Pacific Princess will also launch a 14-day “Caribbean Connoisseur” voyage with stopovers in Tobago, St Croix, Nevis, Guadeloupe, and Virgin Gorda.

“As the amount of visiting ships grow in number, so too are the variety of on-shore activities and tours available for cruise passengers on both islands.” explains Keith Chin, Chief Executive Officer at the Tourism Development Company of Trinidad & Tobago. “Cruise ship passengers disembarking on our unique islands can enjoy live local entertainment, a variety of island and community tour options and free Wi-Fi, all in a safe and secure environment.”

Some of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships added Trinidad and Tobago to their itineraries for the 2015-2016 cruise season, including the MSC Orchestra with a capacity of over 2,000 passengers and the World Odyssey which functions as both a travelling university and residential home to over 700 undergraduate students. The Saga Sapphire and Seven Ocean Princess also made a return to Trinidad & Tobago’s waters during the 2015-2016 season.

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American Queen Steamboat Company Features Christmas Markets on Holiday Sailings

MEMPHIS, June 13: The American Queen Steamboat Company, operator of the most opulent riverboat in the world, invites guests to enjoy the holiday season aboard the elegant American Queen as it travels along the Lower Mississippi River beginning this Thanksgiving lasting through the New Year. Surrounded by southern history and culture, these 9-day voyages offer music as well as seasonal and locally produced crafts and goods. Exclusive to the American Queen holiday sailings this season are Christmas markets along the river as well as special onboard entertainment, strolling carolers in St. Francisville, La. and departure serenades from the levees of Vicksburg and Natchez, Miss.

“We are thrilled to offer these lively holiday cruises that incorporate the best of the Antebellum South during this magical time of year,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “With an exclusive lineup of festive cheer and entertainment, we couldn’t think of a better way to ring in the holiday season and New Year than while aboard the American Queen on the Mississippi River.”

Holiday Sailings on the American Queen include:

• New Orleans, La. to Memphis, Tenn. Nov. 20–28, 2016
Surrounded by new friends onboard with the river rolling by, guests can indulge in a delectable Thanksgiving dinner, partake in festive enrichment activities, delight in fabulous nightly entertainment and so much more.
• New Orleans, La. to Memphis, Tenn. Dec. 4–12 & Dec. 18–26, 2016
Explore the holiday jewels of the Lower Mississippi amid the glittering elegance of the American Queen, and sip on eggnog while listening to the sweet sound of local choirs as they serenade the boat and her guests from the enchanting ports of Vicksburg and Natchez, Miss.
• Memphis, Tenn. to New Orleans, La. Dec. 11–19, 2016
Take in the beautiful sights and sounds of the gracious towns along the Lower Mississippi and as an exclusive event of this voyage, enjoy a Christmas Ball at the historic Nottoway Plantation in Nottoway, La. The “White Castle of Louisiana” will be adorned with complete Christmas décor and lighting throughout the grounds, public spaces and mansion for this festive evening. Guests may enjoy costumed carolers and dancers as they stroll the gardens and front lawn before entering the mansion for a private dinner featuring a combination of Cajun cuisine.
• Memphis, Tenn. to New Orleans, La. Dec. 25, 2016–Jan 2, 2017
Ring in the New Year with the diversity and drama of the Lower Mississippi while discovering the romance and antebellum charms of quaint towns including Natchez and Greenville, Miss.

Offering the most inclusive river cruise experience in North America, fares on the American Queen  include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner, and a host of other amenities. For additional information, visit online at

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Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas To Undergo $61M Revitalization

MIAMI, June 10: Royal Caribbean International will debut a robust array of all-new thrills and enhancements onboard Adventure of the Seas this November, including new dual racer waterslides, Cyclone and Typhoon, the popular FlowRider surf simulator, and a children’s aquapark, Splashaway Bay. In addition, guests will enjoy a new lineup of culinary and entertainment venues with Izumi Japanese Cuisine, the brand’s signature steakhouse, Chops Grille and Boleros Latin Lounge. The ship also will receive more than 100 new staterooms, a refresh of all existing staterooms and a brand new Suites Lounge for the luxury traveler.

The reinvented Adventure is Royal Caribbean’s fifth ship to undergo revitalization, and at $61 million this will be the brand’s largest investment yet. The massive project will introduce some of the trademark innovations the cruise line is known for, bringing the best of Royal Caribbean onboard.

“We are thrilled to debut an array of new enhancements to one of our guest’s most beloved ships,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “The name Adventure says it all; this ship is packed with action, featuring a mix of signature features and innovations, including thrilling new waterslides and VOOM, the fastest internet at sea.”

Other features offered on the Voyager-class ship include the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, three pools including the adults-only Solarium, a rock climbing wall, basketball court, Windjammer Café, Johnny Rockets and the three-story Main Dining Room. Adventure also delivers exhilarating entertainment options, with complimentary Broadway-style entertainment in the main theater, ice-skating shows in Studio B, and the lively Royal Promenade with its parties, parades, dance and shopping outlets. Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 46-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike. Onboard, guests are catered to with the cruise line’s world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service by every staff and crew member.

Adventure of the Seas offers vacationers a chance to explore the Caribbean even deeper with itineraries, sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico to the most sought-after spots in the Southern Caribbean, including Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; St. Johns, Antigua; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

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Princess Cruises Reveals Next Stephen Schwartz Musical Production "Born to Dance"

SANTA CLARITA, CA, June 10: Princess Cruises revealed the second musical production show created in collaboration with Oscar-, Tony- and Grammy-winning composer Stephen Schwartz and his team of professional creators, entitled "Born to Dance"a tribute to Broadway choreography featuring inspired performances that celebrate some of Broadway's most-famous hits. The new show, created and directed by Daniel C. Levine, is scheduled to debut exclusively on Princess Cruises aboard Star Princess in fall 2016, followed by Grand Princess and Golden Princess in early 2017.

"Born to Dance" is a is a high energy nod to dance, highlighting some of Broadway's most acclaimed choreographers and brought to life through the most memorable songs from iconic shows including "West Side Story', "A Chorus Line", "Chicago" and more. "Born to Dance" celebrates many of Broadway's most acclaimed choreographers and dancers, giving viewers a glimpse into what it takes to be a professional dancer. The show pays tribute to many of Broadway's trail-blazing choreographers, including Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins and Gower Champion. In addition, some of today's hottest choreographers and dancers make virtual appearances in the show through video and multi-media projection, including Tony winners Andy Blankenbuehler ("Hamilton"), Rob Ashford ("Evita") and Karen Ziemba ("Chicago").

"Celebrating the role dance plays on Broadway through famous musical hits from some of the most famous Broadway shows in history was Stephen's vision for the highly-anticipated second musical production in our partnership," said Adrian Fischer, vice president, entertainment experience for Princess Cruises. "'Born to Dance' will no doubt deliver an uplifting, feel-good show with our guests leaving the theater feeling energized, happy and nostalgic after enjoying dance performed to so many beloved Broadway songs."

"Dan Levine, creator and director of 'Born to Dance,' inspired me with his vision of a show that pays tribute to the larger-than-life choreographers who have shaped Broadway and the dancers whose passion brings their work to life," said Stephen Schwartz. "I was honored to propose this show to Princess and for Dan and I to work closely with them refining its structure and song list, assembling a world-class creative team and securing the participation of some of Broadway's most accomplished choreographers and dancers."

This partnership between a cruise line and 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" brand promise, by elevating the onboard guest experience resulting in more transformative moments, lifetime memories and meaningful stories to share from a cruise vacation.

The first musical production of the Stephen Schwartz partnership, "Magic to Do" debuted to rave reviews in fall 2015, and is currently entertaining guests aboard Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess. The show 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 Gravity" from "Wicked." A "Making of Magic of Do" behind the scenes video can be found here.

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 last year 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.

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Viking Announces 10 New Ocean Cruise Itineraries Starting In 2017

LOS ANGELES, June 9: With the newly christened Viking Sea now part of its growing ocean fleet, Viking Ocean Cruises announced the addition of 10 new itineraries to its offerings for 2017 and 2018 sailings. Adding more than 30 ports of call to Viking's portfolio, the new itineraries will explore destinations throughout Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean, including Cuba.

"As we continue to grow our fleet, we have more opportunities to offer guests new and different options for experiencing the Viking way of destination-focused cruising, an approach that is completely unique in the industry," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. "Our guests are experienced travelers who are curious about the great art, history and cultures of the world, which is why we design our ships and itineraries to help immerse them in the destinations they visit."

New 2017-2018 Itineraries
Viking's new ocean itineraries will bring guests to more iconic destinations around the world, providing rich cultural experiences with each port of call. With sailings from Bergen, London, New York, Puerto Rico, Venice and more, guests can choose itineraries ranging from eight-day to 22-day multi-country sailings. Full details on the new 2017-2018 offerings can be found on Viking's website; new ocean itineraries include:

-- Trade Routes of the Middle Ages (From Bergen to Barcelona; Sailing on Viking Star, Sept 2017; May 2018) During this 15-day itinerary, guests will follow the trade routes of the Middle Ages. Setting sail from Bergen, Norway, guests will explore a total of seven different countries and 10 ports with storied naval histories including Amsterdam, Paris, and two ports each in England, Portugal and Spain.
-- Venice, the Adriatic and Greece (From Venice to Athens; Sailing on Viking Sun and Viking Spirit, Oct 2017; July-Aug 2018) Guests will walk the cobbled streets of four countries and seven cities along the Adriatic Sea coast, as they cruise from Venice, Italy to Athens, Greece. The 8-day itinerary, starts with two days in Venice, where guests can stroll the alleyways and learn about the city's glassmaking tradition before calling on Croatia, Montenegro and the many ancient sites of Greece to follow.
-- South America and the Caribbean (From San Juan to San Juan; Sailing on Viking Sea and Viking Sky, Oct-Dec 2017; Jan-March 2018) Experience the Caribbean's most southerly ports during this 11-day itinerary, taking in the rich cultures and bright colors of six countries and seven ports. As guests cruise the Caribbean, they'll take in the lively ports of San Juan, Puerto Rico and historic Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, while also visiting the turquoise blue waters of Aruba and Curacao. This itinerary will also call on ports in South America including Cartagena and Santa Maria, Columbia and Venezuela's capital, Caracas.
-- New York, Bermuda and the Western Indies (From New York to San Juan; Sailing on Viking Sea & Viking Sky, Oct 2017; Sept 2018) Guests will set sail from New York and continue down to the Caribbean during this 15-day cruise, which visits a total of nine countries and ports. Starting in "The City That Never Sleeps," guests will soon be exploring the vibrant tropical destinations of Bermuda, Guadeloupe, St. Kitt's, St. Martin, St. Thomas and more. Adding to the scenic views, guests can explore these port of call's many UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way.
-- Iconic Cities of the Western Mediterranean (From Barcelona to Rome; Sailing on Viking Sun & Viking Spirit, Nov-Dec 2017; Jan-Feb, April, July & Sept 2018) The French Riviera and Italy's renaissance treasures take center stage as guests embark on this 8-day Mediterranean itinerary. Guests will explore iconic ports including Barcelona, the resort town of St. Tropez, the glamour of Monte Carlo and cities throughout the rolling hills of Tuscany, before saying farewell in Rome.
-- Central American Shores and Cuba (From Miami to Miami; Sailing on Viking Sun, Dec 2017) Guests will experience the diversity of the Western Caribbean during this 8-day itinerary through four countries and five ports. Spending two days in Havana, guests will stroll the colonial streets and engage in authentic Cuban experiences. Followed by ports of call in Cozumel, Mexico and Belize City, Belize for crystal-clear snorkeling opportunities or mysterious Mayan ruins. Finally, take in all the offerings of carefree Key West with its historical US landmarks before returning to Miami.
-- From the Caribbean to the Amazon (From San Juan to San Juan; Sailing on Viking Sea, Dec 2017) A truly unique itinerary, guests on this 22-day cruise experience a rich variety of ports throughout the Caribbean and South America, including sailing into the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil. From the jungle along the Amazon River, guests will call on ports where they will enjoy the blue waters and Caribbean island culture including Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and more.
-- Southern Mediterranean Discovery (From Rome to Barcelona; Sailing on Viking Star, Dec 2017; Jan-March 2018) An 8-day cultural sojourn throughout the southern Mediterranean, guests will enjoy an enriching experience as they visit timeless Rome, sample local produce in Sicily or marvel at the medieval structures in Sardinia. Guests will also get a taste of modern-day Tunis and the Casbah of Algiers, before ending their cruise in the vibrant cities of Valencia and Barcelona, Spain.
-- British Isles Explorer (From Bergen to London; Sailing on Viking Sun, May and Aug 2018) Exploring the British Isles from north to south, guests will be immersed in the rich cultures and cosmopolitan treasures during this 15-day cruise as they visit ports including: remote Viking outposts of Shetland and Orkney Islands, the legendary Scottish Highlands, uniquely beautiful Wales, and the vibrant cities of Dublin, London, Bergen and more.
-- Italian Sojourn  (From Rome to Venice; Sailing on Viking Sun & Viking Spirit, April and July-Aug 2018) Stopping at a total of seven ports between Italy and Croatia, guests will take an Italian journey to some of the most culturally significant cities. Starting in the Eternal City of Rome and continuing onto Naples, where guests will enjoy its world famous culinary delights, Sicily to take in views of Mt. Etna and the Mediterranean, and discover UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bari, Italy and Sibenik, Croatia. This 8-day itinerary culminates in the picturesque Venice port.

Also recently announced, Viking's fourth ship, Viking Sun, will set sail on its maiden voyage in Dec 2017 for the company's first-ever world cruise, spanning 141-days and visiting five continents, 35 countries and 66 ports. Sailing from Miami to London, this epic Viking journey will explore the world's legendary cities, ports and will allow guests to immerse themselves in the rich cultures around the world.

Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boast 465 cabins and accommodate 930 passengers. Viking will welcome Viking Sky and Viking Sun, the company's third and fourth ship, in early and late 2017, respectively. Viking Spirit will be delivered in 2018; the yet-to-be-named sixth ship will be delivered in 2020. Viking's ocean fleet features understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design.

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Captain Mark Dexter Named Captain of Seabourn Encore

Seattle, June 9: Seabourn, the ultra-luxury cruise line, has named Mark Dexter as captain of its newest vessel, Seabourn Encore. Captain Dexter will oversee all operations of the line's newest vessel, which is scheduled to launch in December 2016.

"We are thrilled to have Captain Dexter at the helm of our newest vessel, Seabourn Encore," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "We are confident his vast experience, along with his engaging service style that our guests have enjoyed so much, will steer Seabourn Encore and her guests through an exceptional maiden season."

"It is a great honor to be named master of Seabourn Encore," said Dexter. "She is going to be the most beautiful ship at sea, epitomizing ultra-luxury cruising, and I look forward to welcoming her to the Seabourn family this year."

Captain Dexter most recently served as fleet captain, overseeing the implementation of Bridge Resource Management for Seabourn. He joined Seabourn in 2007 and had the pleasure of taking Seabourn Odyssey into his hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand, during its maiden World Cruise in 2010. Captain Dexter's career at sea spans more than 35 years, starting as a Deck cadet with the Cunard Steamship Company. His vessels have included tankers, container ships, passenger vessels and refrigerated cargo ships before a move to ferries brought his first command. After a period ashore in ship management, the call of the sea was too strong and Captain Dexter returned as Master with Hebridean Island cruises and Swan Hellenic before joining Seabourn. He currently resides in Christchurch with his wife and two sons. When he is not piloting ships around the world's oceans, he indulges in his other passions of flying light aircraft and gliders, riding his Harley Davidson motorbike, beekeeping, and flyfishing for the wily brown trout of New Zealand. He is a New Zealand Cricket Umpire and member of the Lord's Taverners charity.

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

Designed by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, Seabourn Encore will feature modern design elements and innovations consistent with the line's reputation for understated elegance. The 40,350-GRT ship will be configured with one additional deck and new expanded public areas, and is expected to carry just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. In addition, every suite will feature a private veranda. Seabourn will continue to reveal renderings and updates about Seabourn Encore via the dedicated microsite: Filled with imagery, details and news of the ship's continuing progress, including "sunsets until launch," the microsite offers an inside look at the most exciting Seabourn launch in years.

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Harmony of the Seas Brings Big Adventures To Barcelona

MIAMI, June 8: Royal Caribbean International's President and CEO, Michael Bayley, sends off the cruise line's newest ship, Harmony of the Seas, as she departs on her inaugural cruise from her summer homeport of Barcelona, Spain this week. Coming off of receiving stellar guest satisfaction scores and feedback on its first repositioning cruise, from Southampton, U.K. to Barcelona, the world's largest cruise ship is sailing an exclusive five-night Western Mediterranean itinerary with visits to Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples, Italy at full capacity, with guests representing more than 34 countries.

A perfect vacation choice for families this summer, guests will enjoy a bold and unexpected lineup of thrilling features as they sail to the most popular Mediterranean destinations. The ship 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 vacation amenities, including the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea with a 10-story plunge; robot bartenders at The Bionic Bar, powered by Makr Shakr; interior staterooms with virtual balconies that provide real-time views of the destinations, and VOOM – the fastest internet at sea – so that guests can stay connected, stream their favorite entertainment and share their adventures with family and friends back at home.

Harmony of the Seas' inaugural summer season will offer 7-night Western Mediterranean itineraries, showcasing Europe's most popular destinations: Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseilles), France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy. The adventure-packed ship will reposition to the U.S. in November, where she will make Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL her permanent homeport.

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Seabourn Ovation Construction Begins

Seattle, June 7: Seabourn, the ultra-luxury cruise line, has taken a giant step forward toward the launch of its next new vessel, Seabourn Ovation, with the commemorative cutting of the first steel. The ceremony, held today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy, was presided over by Seabourn President Richard Meadows and Genoa shipyard Director Raffaele Davassi.

"The cutting of steel is a significant milestone in the creation of Seabourn Ovation, as well as the continuing evolution of the Seabourn fleet and the ultra-luxury cruise segment," noted Meadows. "We are excited to witness this important step and look forward to seeing the ship come together. With Adam D. Tihany's extraordinary design vision and the excellent craftsmanship of Fincantieri, Seabourn Ovation will be matched only by its sister ship, Seabourn Encore, as the most beautiful ultra-luxury vessel ever built."

Scheduled to join the Seabourn fleet in spring 2018, Seabourn Ovation will expand and build upon the line's award-winning and highly acclaimed Odyssey-class ships, which revolutionized ultra-luxury cruising with enhanced accommodations and innovative amenities when they were first introduced between 2009 and 2011. Seabourn Ovation will maintain the line's high ratio of space per guest, enabling a highly personalized level of service. Sister ship Seabourn Encore will debut in late 2016, and with the addition of Seabourn Ovation, Seabourn will have the youngest and most modern ultra-luxury fleet in the industry.

Seabourn Ovation will feature modern design elements and innovations consistent with the line's reputation for understated elegance. The approx. 40,350-GRT ship will be configured with one additional deck and new expanded public areas, and is expected to carry just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. In addition, every suite will feature a private veranda. For more details , visit

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NCL Unveils Select Fall & Winter 2017/18 Itineraries

MIAMI, June 7: Norwegian Cruise Line announced several itineraries for the company's Fall/Winter 2017/2018 deployment, featuring a wide array of itineraries from convenient U.S. ports of departure, as well as exciting new Australia & New Zealand itineraries from Sydney and Auckland, all offering Norwegian's signature freedom and flexibility onboard. New for 2017/18, Norwegian Jewel will be based in the Asia Pacific region with departures to and from Australia beginning Nov 2017; San Juan, Puerto Rico returns as a seasonal homeport, with Norwegian Dawn sailing from the Caribbean port, as well as Tampa, Florida; along with a new 14-day Western Caribbean sailing from New York on Norwegian Breakaway. The new itineraries go on sale on June 28, 2016 for Latitudes Rewards guests and travel partners and on June 29, 2016 for all reservations.

"As the Norwegian Cruise Line brand continues to grow internationally, we are incredibly excited to offer new and more exotic itineraries for our guests, including a full season of cruises from Australia and New Zealand in Fall/Winter 2017/2018," said Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. "We also continue to offer a wide variety of engaging and interesting itineraries for our guests sailing from the U.S., including favorite destinations like the Caribbean and the Bahamas."

Norwegian Jewel's inaugural Australasian itineraries will bring guests to some of the region's most incredible ports, beginning on October 3, 2017 with a variety of Hawaii, French Polynesia and South Pacific cruises, as the ship sails from Vancouver to Sydney. Highlights of Norwegian Jewel's inaugural season in Australia include seven Sydney round-trip cruises featuring a 5-day Sydney-Tasmania-Sydney cruise departing on Nov 12, 2017, as well as a 9-day voyage visiting many burgeoning regional destinations including Eden, Kangaroo Island and Tasmania's Burnie, departing Dec 14, 2017. Norwegian Jewel's 10- to 16-day Australia and New Zealand itineraries depart between Nov 2017 and Feb 2018, with highlights including cruising through New Zealand's striking Milford Sound and the spectacular Bay of Islands. Norwegian Jewel will make her way from Sydney to Singapore on an 18-day adventure departing Feb 20, 2018 where guests can enjoy the best of Far North Queensland, Darwin, and enjoy a visit to the enchanting Komodo Island. In a nod to Norwegian Jewel's new homeport, guests will be treated to the finest local Australian cuisine including regional beef, lamb, seafood, fine wines and ales, along with award-winning entertainment featuring the epic home-grown ballroom spectacular Burn the Floor as part of Norwegian Jewel's onboard entertainment while she's in Australia.

Following her Australian season, Norwegian Jewel will undertake a range of exotic Asian itineraries visiting Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Korea, and more, offering travelers the opportunity to explore some of the best Asia has to offer.

Those guests sailing from Tampa and New Orleans in the southern U.S. will have a different ship in each market to choose from next fall. Norwegian Dawn, currently undergoing a multi-million dollar refurbishment as a part of The Norwegian Edge™ investment program, will sail seasonally from Tampa and San Juan, and Norwegian Pearl from New Orleans. Norwegian Dawn will move south next fall and homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico from Nov 12, 2017-Jan 7, 2018, sailing 7-, 10- and 11-day Southern Caribbean itineraries during the holiday season. Ports of call will include Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, with varying calls on longer itineraries. From Jan 17-Feb 7, 2018, Norwegian Dawn will sail from Tampa for a series of two 11-day Eastern Caribbean and one 10-day Western Caribbean cruises, and then sail a series of 7-day Western Caribbean cruises departing on Sundays from Tampa, from Feb 18-April 1, 2018 that will include a port of call at the Caribbean's premier resort-style destination, Harvest Caye, Belize, being developed by Norwegian.

New for 2017/2018, Norwegian Pearl will sail 7-, 8- and 9-day Western Caribbean cruises from New Orleans, from Oct 22, 2017 to April 1, 2018. Her ports of call from the Crescent City will include Cozumel, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya, Mexico, with varying ports for longer itineraries that can include George Town, Grand Cayman and Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala.

Guests who wish to cruise to the Caribbean from the Big Apple can set sail on board Norwegian Breakaway, the ship that brings the best of NYC to sea, to either the Bahamas and Florida or the Southern, Eastern andnew for 2018Western Caribbean in Fall and Winter 2017/2018. Norwegian Breakaway will sail 7-day Bahamas & Florida cruises from New York from Oct 1, 2017 to April 29, 2018 with calls in Port Canaveral, Norwegian's private Bahamian island destination Great Stirrup Cay that's currently undergoing a multi-million dollar enhancement, and Nassau. For those guests looking for a more relaxing, longer getaway from New York's chilly winters, they can cruise to the Southern Caribbean on one of Norwegian Breakaway's two 14-day Southern Caribbean itineraries on Jan 5 and Feb 2, 2018 that explore the heart of the Caribbean in the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, Dominica and more, or sail away on a sun-drenched 12-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Dec 3, 2017, with calls in St. Kitts, Antigua, Tortola and more. New for 2018, is a 14-day Western Caribbean cruise from NYC, that will provide guests the opportunity to explore the wonders of the Caribbean's deep blue waters, lush tropical mountains and spectacular beaches, featuring calls at two of Norwegian's destination experiencesthe company's private island Great Stirrup Cay, and the Caribbean's newest resort-style port of call, Harvest Caye, Belize, along with Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Roatan, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico.

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Silversea Announces World Cruise 2018 Featuring Awe-Inspiring Lands
from Aqaba to Tasmania and Beyond

Miami, June 7: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises jas opened the books on its World Cruise 2018, an incomparable 121-day sailing from Los Angeles to Rome, departing Jan 6, 2018. This magnificent odyssey will be hosted aboard the elegant, all-suite Silver Whisper, allowing travelers to voyage in unsurpassed luxury to 60 destinations in 21 countries across the globe, and including virtually every highlight recommended by the line's veteran world cruise guests. Plus, with 17 overnight calls and 13 late-night stays, guests will have ample time to fully immerse themselves in local culture.

The unique voyage, titled "La Grande Bellezza," will sail west across the Pacific to the beautiful lands of Hawaii, French Polynesia, and New Zealand, then weave a path through the Java Sea to fascinating Bali, Probolinggo, Semarang, and Borneo, and to a host of exotic isles in the Philippines. After two nights in Hong Kong and overnight stays in Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok and Singapore, Silver Whisper will follow the route of ancient spice traders to Sri Lanka, India, and Oman. Then she will continue through the Red Sea to fabled Luxor and Petra, storied islands in Greece, and along the coast of Italy to Rome.

"World Cruise 2018 is an enriching epic adventure designed for experienced travelers," said Mark Conroy, Silversea's managing director for the Americas. "Guests will be able to visit some of the most amazing places on the planet, witnessing such incredible wonders as the Great Barrier Reef, the blue lagoons of Polynesia, and mystic Ha Long Bay, returning every evening to the comfort and all-inclusive luxury of Silver Whisper."

Guests will enjoy an exceptional onboard enrichment program featuring distinguished destination experts, academics, journalists, diplomats and other specialists. Local entertainment, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and regional specialties will provide further immersion in each global destination.

A Host of Added-Value Benefits
Guests sailing the complete World Cruise will enjoy a variety of special amenities and events, including a Bon Voyage reception and overnight hotel stay in Los Angeles on Jan 5, Business Class air and transfers (between airport, hotel and Silver Whisper), complimentary baggage valet service, a $4,000 onboard spending credit (per suite), complimentary laundry and dry cleaning service, complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi, and special commemorative gifts. Plus, details on other exciting exclusive events and Silversea Experiences will be announced later. To view the complete itinerary, visit

Gas Monkey Garage's Richard Rawlings Announces "Cruisin' with the Monkey"

DALLAS, June 7: Gas Monkey Garage founder and classic car enthusiast Richard Rawlings will trade in his wheels for a rudder to party on the high seas for a full week in March 2017, and two thousand fellow hot rodders can join him for the adventure. Cruisin' with the Monkey presents classic car devotees with an exclusive opportunity to mix and mingle with the ultimate motor mastermind, Gas Monkey Garage founder and "Fast N' Loud" star, Richard Rawlings, for a week-long party at sea. The cruise will take place March 19–26, 2017 on Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam ship.

Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Caribbean Sea, the seven-night cruise combines luxurious accommodations and endless onboard recreation and entertainment options with adventures and R&R at four amazing ports of call: Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Key West. Rawlings will join for an impressive lineup of parties, autograph sessions, VIP dinners, pool lounging, and of course, a few cold Miller Lites.

About Gas Monkey Garage
Gas Monkey Garage is an automotive restoration shop in Dallas, TX, that is featured on hit reality TV show Fast N' Loud . Owner, Richard Rawlings, and master mechanic Aaron Kaufman, find abandoned classic cars dating back to the 1920s and bring them back to life and back on the road.

Reservations for 2017's Cruisin' with the Monkey are currently open. For additional information and reservations, visit

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$48.38 Million Makeover Makes Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal 5 Brand New Again

PORT CANAVERAL, FL, June 6: After undergoing a $48.38 million transformation in order to handle larger and modern ships, Cruise Terminal 5 opened this past weekend hosting the Carnival Valor. The improvements include an expanded terminal, a longer 120-foot longer pier, a new 1,044-space parking garage, and new mobile passenger boarding bridges. Carnival Sunshine also will berth at Terminal 5.

Renovation of the 1991-built terminal began in August to allow Cruise Terminal 5 to handle ships carrying up to 3500 passengers, up from its previous capacity of 2500. The projects involved a majority of local workers consisting of 37 companies with a construction crew of 500 on the terminal and 50 companies with a crew of 450 on the parking garage for a total of 265,000 hours with zero injuries.

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Holland America Line Celebrates Grand Opening of Denali Square Complex in Alaska

Seattle, June 3: Guests on Holland America Line’s award-winning Alaska Land+Sea Journeys can now experience new dining, entertainment, and amenities at the Denali Square complex located in the heart of the company’s McKinley Chalet Resort at the gates of Denali National Park. To celebrate today’s grand opening, Holland America Line presented the Denali Borough School District with a $20,000 check that will be spent on modernizing interactive classroom technology.

Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford welcomed attendees to Denali Square and unveiled the geomarker that was installed to commemorate the opening of the facility. Special guests included U.S. Senator for Alaska Lisa Murkowski; Superintendent of Denali National Park and Preserve Don Striker; Denali Borough School District Superintendent Dan Polta; and Ken Karstens, grandson of Harry Karstens, first superintendent of Denali National Park and namesake of the new Denali Square restaurant, Karstens Public House. Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald and Holland America Group Chief Executive Officer Stein Kruse also attended.

“For nearly 70 years Holland America Line has been at the forefront of Alaska exploration, and the opening of Denali Square is another exciting moment in our company’s history because it elevates the way our guests will experience Denali and Alaska,” said Ashford. “A complex like Denali Square is unrivaled in our industry, and it brings more facets of the region to our guests by showcasing local cuisine, art, entertainment and so much more. Denali National Park has been and will continue to be the centerpiece of our incredible Land+Sea Journeys.”

A highlight of the ceremony was a performance by the local Tri-Valley High School choir from Healy, Alaska. Husky dogs from the National Parks Service at Denali National Park were also at the event with handlers for guests to learn more about and enjoy.

Over the past three years Holland America Line has been refining the guest experience at the 60-acre McKinley Chalet Resort, and last year an enhanced property layout and freshly remodeled guest rooms were unveiled. Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys feature up to three nights at Denali, with an included Tundra Wilderness Tour deep into the Park for all multiple night guests. Alaska-based companies heading up the McKinley Chalet Resort’s enhancement project include general contractor Dawson Construction and Stantec, which is providing engineering services. Additional firms involved are lead and landscape architect The Portico Group, restaurant architect Heliotrope Architects, structural engineering company Michael Leonard Associates and project manager Costigan Integrated, all of Seattle, Wash.

About Denali Square
Denali Square is at the heart of the 60-acre McKinley Chalet Resort, which provides accommodations for guests on Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys, which combine an Alaska cruise with an overland tour to Denali National Park and beyond. Denali Square is centrally located between the main part of the property, containing the reception hall, dining facilities and guest rooms, and the riverfront guest rooms that provide stunning views of the Nenana River.

Denali Square serves as a new gathering area to relax, shop, dine and enjoy music and entertainment. The largest building in the complex is Karstens, the grand 7,000-square-foot two-story restaurant showcasing views of the neighboring mountains for dining guests. An inviting deck with fire pits and outdoor seating also allow guests to immerse themselves in this special venue as they drink and dine. Denali Square is best described as both a hub and a retreat for Holland America Line guests at the doorstep of Denali National Park.

At the center of Denali Square is an amphitheater with a covered performance stage and bench seating for guests to enjoy a variety of local shows, ranger talks and demonstrations. Those wanting to quench their thirst or listen to live music can visit Gold Nugget Saloon, home to the Music of Denali Dinner Theater. Denali Square also features cozy fire pits to gather around on cool Alaska evenings and make s’mores; outdoor seating for guests who wish to enjoy the scenery; retail shops offering local goods; and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaska native and local artists display and discuss their works. Walking paths in and around Denali Square show off the property’s mountainous landscapes and beautiful setting nestled just across the Nenana River from Denali National Park.

For more information about Holland America Line, visit

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Disney Cruise Line Brings New Experiences and Enhancements to the Disney Wonder This Fall

CELEBRATION, FL, June 3: Exciting new entertainment and experiences are in store for Disney Wonder guests after the Disney Cruise Line vessel is transformed this fall. Headlining the enhancements are imaginative spaces for children, a jazzy restaurant and an English pub. Following are highlights of the fun for guests of all ages, debuting on the Disney Wonder this fall.

Marvel Super Hero Academy
The Marvel universe comes to life in Marvel Super Hero Academy. Here, young guests can train to develop the brave and adventurous heroes inside themselves. It's an exciting addition to Disney's Oceaneer Club, the engaging and interactive space just for children. Exclusively on the Disney Wonder, Marvel Super Hero Academy will offer extraordinary adventures in which each young guest plays an integral role. With the mentorship of some of Marvel's greatest Super Heroes, young trainees will learn the value of teamwork, bravery and problem solving through hands-on play and programs.

In one mission, Spider-Man will appear in person to help children hone their spider senses by perfecting their skills of reflex, speed and sharp minds. Children will work on their web-slinging and then get to see themselves in the headlines of the Daily Bugle.

The high-tech command post is also where other Marvel Super Heroes will interact with children via a large digital display, helping them unleash their inner heroes. In one program, kids can control the movement of a character on screen to practice super skills like repulsor blasting. Throughout the academy, displays will feature equipment that helps make Marvel Super Heroes the mightiest in the universe. Captain America's World War II shield, Iron Man's helmet, Spider-Man's web shooters and Black Widow's gauntlets will inspire young Super Hero recruits.

More Fun for Young Guests
Elsewhere in Disney's Oceaneer Club, open to children ages three to 12 years old, kid-sized fun continues with new play spaces and more character interactions than ever before.

Frozen Adventures is where fun takes the form of imaginative play and hands-on activities. On the digital screen, Olaf leads summery games with a wintery twist and a sing-a-long of "In Summer." In another festive activity, young guests prepare for a coronation and receive a truly royal and in-person visit by Anna and Elsa.
Club Disney Junior features favorite Disney Junior characters, storytelling and games. During one activity, Doc McStuffins pays a visit to the club to help children diagnose and treat the stuffed animals.
Andy's Room is where kids feel toy-sized in the multi-level play space themed to the Disney-Pixar "Toy Story" trilogy. As a special treat, Woody appears in person to join youngsters in a hoedown and Jesse stops by to join in a scavenger hunt.

These and other spaces provide the perfect settings for children to meet their favorite characters, dance, play and just have fun with them. A new It's a Small World Nursery will delight the youngest cruisers with a whimsical world inspired by the style of the legendary theme park attraction.

Tiana's Place Restaurant
Exclusive to the Disney Wonder, Tiana's Place restaurant will transport guests to an era of southern charm, spirited jazz and street party celebrations. With a menu influenced by southern-style cuisine, Tiana's Place will provide food for the body and soul, showing that dreams and dishes come true. Guests of Tiana's Place, the restaurant inspired by Princess Tiana in the Disney animated feature, "The Princess and the Frog," will be treated to a celebration of New Orleans dining and entertainment. Live music will be performed on the main stage, with rhythmic, toe-tapping notes of jazz, swing and blues setting the tone for the French Quarter supper club atmosphere.

Chefs will cook up Tiana's recipes, drawing inspiration from the flavors and ingredients of the Louisiana bayou. Tiana's personal touch will be evident in the menu, the entertainment and throughout every detail in the restaurant. From Tiana's family photos to water lily-shaped candleholders to her framed culinary awards - all will help tell the timeless tale of Tiana's journey from waitress to frog to princess to proud restaurant owner.

Cheers, to an English Pub
The adult district includes a brand-new pub that invites guests to take a jaunt to an authentic English tavern. Dark woods, plush leather furniture and brass accents are reminiscent of a friendly neighborhood pub. Of course, a selection of British and specialty beers create the perfect pub atmosphere, where adult guests can sip a pint or cocktail, or sample a brew made especially for the pub. Observant guests may discover this is no ordinary pub. Subtle nods to classic Disney films set in London can be found in artwork, props and other bits 'n bobs throughout the space. Brilliant stories of all sorts will be celebrated at the pub, whether those tales be true, tall or flat-out mad.

Enhancements from Stem to Stern
Throughout the Disney Wonder, other new and enhanced areas include:

After Hoursa new adult district featuring an English pub, an all-new night club and a shiny new model of the popular Cadillac Lounge
A reimagined and relaxing Senses Spa & Salon and a new Chill Teen Spa
Animator's Palate main dining restaurant updated to introduce the popular "Drawn to Magic" and "Animation Magic" dinner shows
D Lounge for family games and entertainment
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique providing magical makeovers for children
Edge club for tweens
Cabanas casual dining location
Palo specialty restaurant makeover with Venetian-inspired décor

The ship's upper decks also will be redesigned for waterful enjoyment:

Twist 'n' Spout water slide provides splashtacular fun
Dory's Reef is a splash zone that offers fanciful water play for toddlers
AquaLab is a pool and interactive water play area for kids and families

After the Disney Wonder undergoes dry dock Sept. 9 to Oct. 23, 2016, in Cadiz, Spain, the wave of new enhancements debut on sailings starting Nov. 10, from Galveston, Texas. The Disney Wonder will continue to sail from Galveston to the Bahamas and Caribbean, until the ship sails to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Jan. 20, 2017. On Jan. 26, 2017, a 3-night cruise aboard the Disney Wonder takes guests from San Juan to Port Canaveral, FL, where the ship will homeport for the spring.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line, visit

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Windstar Cruises Announces 2017 Voyage Collection

SEATTLE, JUNE 2: Luxury cruise line Windstar Cruises announces its 2017 Voyage Collection. Known for in-depth cultural exploration, the line’s broad spectrum of worldwide cruise vacations includes two new cruises added to dozens of itineraries visiting more than 150 ports of call—including 13 new ports for 2017—in 50 countries.

Cruise offerings span the globe from exotic Dreams of Tahiti cruises offered year-round to popular summer sailings in Europe such as Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast and Lands of the Midnight Sun voyages. Two new 2017 itineraries in the Mediterranean feature the picturesque ports of Croatia, and due to popular demand, the award-winning line is deploying a second all-suite yacht to sail Around Iceland next summer.

The luxury cruise operator doubled its fleet in the last two years adding three all-suite yachts to complement three sailing ships, each serving an exclusive 148 to 310 guests in private yacht style. Windstar’s six-yacht fleet indulges guests on appealing itineraries to Tahiti, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Baltic, Trans-Atlantic, as well as Western and Northern Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Iceland.

“Windstar is devoted to offering the best travel destinations and experiences in the world. We promise our guests unparalleled access to amazing places, meaningful cultural experiences with locals, and personalized, world-class service unique to our special brand of yacht travel,” remarked Joe Duckett, vice president of sales and marketing. “Our 2017 Voyage Collection exemplifies this, providing guests with more opportunity than ever to sail into classic harbors and quaint ports off the beaten path, all in private yacht style. We are excited to continue expanding our curated Private Events program in 2017 with over-the-top cultural and culinary events offered complimentary on every cruise. We also have more overnights and late night stays giving guests more time in Bora Bora, Bordeaux, Monte Carlo, Portofino, and St. Petersburg to name a few.

Private Yacht-Style Cruising 180 Degrees from Ordinary—Free from the crowds and hassles of larger cruise lines and land journeys, Windstar yachts bring guests closer to the worlds and cultures they want to discover in luxurious comfort. Each itinerary features visits to hidden harbors and little-known ports off the tourist radar. Caribbean cruises such as the Jewels of the Windward Islands, popular with first-time cruisers, take the less-traveled course visiting islands such as Mayreau, a tropical island with pristine beaches and a population of just 300; and picture-perfect Bequia, a yachter’s paradise with natural, protected harbors and clear blue water surrounded by steep, verdant hills.

New 2017 Itineraries & Yacht Voyage Highlights
Quintessential Croatia: A new eight-day sailing aboard the 148-guest sailing ship Wind Star provides four summer departure dates and several new port calls for Windstar, cruising roundtrip from Venice. Guests will see fairy tale castles and enchanting medieval villages in style while sailing on azure waters. The timeless magic of Venice, surreal rainbow colors of Plitvice Lakes National Park, and Dubrovnik’s incomparable city walls and Old Town are just a few of the highlights on the new voyage. Visits to the remarkable ports of Opatija, Korcula, and Zadar in Croatia, as well as Piran in Slovenia, make this a stand-out Mediterranean cruise only available by Windstar yacht.

Marvels of the Croatian Coast & Greece: Two new 12-day cruise departures sail on a Venice to Athens adventure aboard Wind Star. The voyage is a tour-de-force of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with access to 11 on a single cruise – a Windstar record. In addition to history and stunning views, like Kotor’s incredible fjord-like bay, the itinerary is a feast for the senses with Italian pasta, Croatian seafood, and mezze delights from Greece.

New Panama Canal Private Event & Costa Rica Maiden Port: Windstar staff make it their job to create magical moments, always striving to achieve the perfect guest experience, unique and engaging. New for the 2016-17 winter-spring season, daylight transits of the Panama Canal allow guests to learn about the inner-workings of this modern engineering marvel. In addition, each sailing will celebrate the historic continental divide with a Captain’s Toast, live narration by a Naturalist, and local music and cuisine—all part of Windstar’s newest complimentary Private Event. Two 8-day Costa Rica and Panama Canal cruises aboard all-suite Star Pride and Star Breeze span the 2016-17 New Year’s holiday and feature an unusual call to Bahia Herradura, known as the fishing capital of Costa Rica, close to famous surf mecca Jaco Beach.

Two All-Suite Yachts Sail Around Iceland: A guest favorite and popular new addition in 2016, the 2017 Around Iceland sailings are offered on the luxe, all-suite Star Legend and Star Pride, allowing guests more date options when choosing their “private yacht.” The cruises sail roundtrip from Reykjavik on 7-day cruises while vacationers enjoy scenic cruising of remote fjords, raging waterfalls, and visits to small fishing villages as they circumnavigate this country.

New Scotland Departure: Also in Northern Europe, the Lands of the Midnight Sun sailings in 2017 will offer a new homeport departure from Edinburgh sailing to Reykjavik (and reverse) on two separate dates, in addition to a set of Dublin to Reykjavik (and reverse) options.

Enhancements to Year-Round Tahiti Cruises: Vacationers planning an island paradise getaway will delight with more date choices in the South Pacific for Tahiti & the Tuamotu Islands sailings aboard the 148-guest sleek sailing yacht Wind Spirit. Starting in June 2017, the ship will switch to Thursday departure dates for year-round Dreams of Tahiti cruises. New Thursday departures will allow more flight options for departure and arrival for those planning tropical honeymoons and beach-oriented vacations.

To order the 2017 Voyage Collection Atlas and for additional information on the yachts, pricing, cruise dates, itineraries, daily port highlights, onboard activities, shore excursions, special offers, videos, and more, contact a travel professional. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils New Luxury Features & Amenities at Private Island

Miami, June 2: Norwegian Cruise Line has revealed details of the new experience that awaits guests at the company’s 250-acre private island oasis, Great Stirrup Cay. As the first cruise line to acquire a private island in 1977, Norwegian Cruise Line has invested in several significant updates throughout the years in order to continually enhance the amenities at Great Stirrup Cay, located in the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas. Now, as a part of Norwegian’s $400 million investment program The Norwegian Edge™, the cruise line is revolutionizing the destination now through summer 2017 to provide new luxurious amenities, new adventure activities, enhanced and expanded dining options that, together, will present an upgraded atmosphere for guests visiting the island.

Island Experiences
As with previous investments, Norwegian is again focusing on the top to bottom details of the private island experience at Great Stirrup Cay, providing larger scale new restaurants and amenities, as well as numerous smaller details to raise the bar on the island experience even higher. Great Stirrup Cay’s 10 acre beach will soon feature a new half mile oceanside boardwalk that will span the length of the shore with more than 100,000 square feet of pathway, offering easy access to the white sand beaches, as well as access to new shaded areas with benches for relaxation. Just adjacent to the beach, guests looking for a more active island experience can visit the new half-acre entertainment and activity complex, featuring a stage for live music, games and entertainers; basketball and volleyball courts, complete with bleachers; ping-pong tables; and a shaded picnic area where families can play board games or relax together. A new air-conditioned reception area will serve as the central hub for family-fun where guests can plan their day, reserve activities, rent board games and have access to expansive changing rooms.

Guests seeking heart-pumping adventure will soon be able to enjoy a new zip line course featuring more than 1,000 feet of zip line, allowing guests a bird’s eye view of the island and the sea as they soar through the air. The island’s two parallel zip lines offer the chance for some friendly competition and high-flying races. Those who prefer to take to the sea for exploration can snorkel through the island’s new mystical underwater sculpture garden. Using a waterproof map as a guide, adventure seekers can discover nautical creatures that tell tales of the deep from beneath the sea.

From the many new shaded lounge and picnic spaces, to more than $1 million in new landscaping throughout the island, to new restrooms and lockers at the tender marina, guests will find a whole new experience by January 2017.

All dining and bar venues will be updated island-wide, adding new resort-style decking, shaded areas, high-top seating at all bars and family-style seating that will add 50 percent more seating capacity at all dining outlets.

A new complimentary taco bar, Abaco Taco, will be added near the island’s entertainment hub, where guests can create their own favorite tacos. The island’s 8,500-square foot buffet will be redesigned to provide faster and more efficient service for guests, and the deck surrounding the buffet will be expanded so guests can enjoy their lunch at new seating areas. The center of the island will feature a shaded lounge area with modern chic furniture and bar service, for guests who want to enjoy paradise in style.

Building on the brand’s exclusive partnership with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Great Stirrup Cay will also feature a LandShark Bar & Grill. Inspired by the traditional beach bars of the Atlantic Coast, LandShark Bar & Grill offers the perfect mix of casual dining, free-flowing drinks and fun with panoramic ocean views and indoor and outdoor seating. Menu items will be available à la carte.

Exclusive Lagoon Retreat
Guests seeking the ultimate island luxury will experience a retreat like no other at Great Stirrup Cay’s exclusive lagoon enclave, beginning in Summer 2017. This private area of Great Stirrup Cay features a secluded, pristine beach; oceanview restaurant; a posh Mandara Spa; sheltered family area; and 22 air-conditioned private villas available for reservations, ranging in size from studios to two-bedrooms. The lagoon will be available on a complimentary basis to The Haven and Suite guests, along with guests who purchase an on-island Mandara Spa service. In addition, a limited amount of passes to the Lagoon will available for purchase on each sailing.

The Lagoon experience begins as guests are welcomed by staff at a modern, air-conditioned reception area complete with beach chic décor that features floor to ceiling windows overlooking the area’s expansive private beaches. From the reception building, guests can reserve activities, rent equipment, or relax in the shade on the outdoor terrace or an additional shaded seating area nearby that can be accessed by the lagoon bridge. The center of the lagoon will feature a floating swim up bar for guests to enjoy their favorite cocktails without ever having to leave the water. Both children and parents will enjoy a shallow, partitioned family beach area along with grassy areas for active play, swing sets, and picnic tables. Those guests celebrating a special occasion or traveling in a large group can reserve an expansive, well-appointed private room for private functions of up to 75 guests, with food and beverage service available. Guests looking to refresh and recharge during their private island getaway can indulge in the full range of treatments offered at the lagoon’s luxurious Mandara Spa, with four treatment rooms offering signature spa services.

Guests who purchase a reservation for one of Great Stirrup Cay’s luxury beach villas will enjoy a completely pampered experience from ship to shore, as they will be whisked away by one of several air-conditioned shuttles running from the tender marina to the lagoon reception area. Studio villas feature an outdoor terrace, private bathroom and living/dining area, and can accommodate two to four guests. One bedroom villas accommodate four to six guests and feature a bedroom, private bathroom, living and dining areas and outdoor terrace with a hot tub. The ultimate island escape, Great Stirrup Cay’s two bedroom villas can accommodate up to 10 guests and feature two bedrooms, two private bathrooms, living and dining areas, and an expansive outdoor terrace with a dining area and hot tub.

Exclusively for guests of the lagoon retreat, the two-story Silver Palm restaurant will offer complimentary dining in a stunning setting, with both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a rooftop terrace overlooking the area’s expansive ocean views. All luxury beach villas will also include food and beverage service for guests who wish to enjoy refreshments in the privacy of their villa.

Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy all areas of the newly-renovated Great Stirrup Cay on a number of Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries available in 2017. For full itinerary details, visit

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Royal Caribbean to Sell Legend of the Seas

MIAMI, June 2: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell Royal Caribbean International’s Legend of the Seas to Thomson Cruises. Legend will depart the 25-ship fleet in March of 2017, and immediately transition to its new owner. In order to continue offering our guests the best possible vacation experience, the current deployment of Rhapsody of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will be adjusted. This will require the cancellation of some sailings and the re-accommodation of others.

Legend of the Seas exits the fleet on March 26, 2017

• The current round trip Brisbane, Australia sailings departing on Jan 6, 15, 29 and Feb 8 will operate as scheduled.
• All scheduled sailings from Feb 20, 2017 onward will be canceled. This includes the summer season cruises from Venice, Italy as well as the balance of the Brisbane itineraries.
• A series of three repositioning cruises will be offered beginning on Feb 20 from Brisbane. This will include an 11-night sailing from Brisbane to Singapore, as well as a 10-night cruise from Singapore to Dubai and a 13-night sailing from Dubai to Barcelona.

Rhapsody of the Seas will transition to Venice, Italy for the summer season. Sailings from Cape Liberty, New Jersey will be cancelled.

• Rhapsody will offer the full schedule of round trip sailings in fall of 2016 and winter of 2017 from Tampa, Florida as planned.
• On April 29, Rhapsody will offer a 14-night Transatlantic sailing from Tampa, Florida ending in Barcelona, Spain.
• On May 13, Rhapsody will offer a 7-night open jaw sailing from Barcelona, Spain to Venice, Italy.
• From May 20 through the end of October, Rhapsody will offer a variety of exciting 7-night round trip sailings from Venice, Italy.
• With these newly introduced itineraries, all previously planned sailings from Cape Liberty, New Jersey will be canceled.
• At the conclusion of the Mediterranean season, Rhapsody will return to Tampa, Florida as planned and begin sailings on November 19, 2017.

Vision of the Seas will offer four fall foliage sailings from Cape Liberty, New Jersey after completing northerly crossing from Copenhagen, Denmark

• On Aug 22, Vision will offer a 16-night Transatlantic sailing from Copenhagen, Denmark to Cape Liberty, New Jersey with several calls in Denmark, Norway, Scotland and Iceland.
• On Sept 7, Vision will offer a 13-night open jaw sailing from Cape Liberty, New Jersey to Quebec City, Canada. The sailings departing from Cape Liberty on Sept 20, Oct 1, and Oct 11 will replace the previously planned sailings offered on Rhapsody and include calls in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as multiple ports in Maine and Nova Scotia.
• Vision’s current fall Europe itineraries, including those departing from Venice, Italy from Aug 22, 2017 through Nov 17, 2017 will be canceled.

To accommodate guests booked on the affected sailings, Royal Caribbean will provide vacationers with a full refund of their cruise fare, the opportunity to re-book on another Royal Caribbean ship as well as an onboard credit to use during the newly booked sailing. In addition, vacationers who purchased airfare through Royal Caribbean will receive a full refund. Guests purchasing their own airfare will be given a refund for their airline change fee. All refund transactions will be automatically processed back to the original form of payment within four to six weeks. Commissions for travel agents will be protected for all cruises that are fully paid. Guests requesting more information are asked to contact Royal Caribbean International’s customer service team at 1-800-256-6649 or their travel agent. For more information on Royal Caribbean International visit

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MSC Cruises Launches Sir Bani Yas Island 'Beach Oasis' Destination

Geneva, Switzerland, June 1: MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, has announced the first details of yet another exclusive island destination, the Sir Bani Yas Island beach oasis, which will further enrich the cruise line’s winter 2016/2017 cruise itineraries in the Emirates. The 1.5 mile-long stretch of land on the natural island of Sir Bani Yas – just off the southwest coast of Abu Dhabi—has been transformed into a beach oasis destination, exclusively for MSC Cruises guests. Activities on the island will mirror the world of choices unique to an MSC Cruises’ experience. Starting in December 2016, MSC Fantasia will add this exclusive, brand new destination to its already rich winter cruise itineraries in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi region—allowing guests to spend a full day on this stunning tropical island paradise.

“Last year we announced the new Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas, said Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises CEO. “Today’s announcement is further proof of our commitment to enriching our itineraries and to making available to our guests unique experiences that enable them to discover new cultures and beauties. Additionally, this new, exclusive beach oasis experience stays true to our core values to provide our guests excellence in service, the best in entertainment as well as food options that are of the highest quality and always fresh.”

MSC Cruises has been working on perfecting this destination together with the Abu Dhabi Ports Authority for more than two years. The tropical beach oasis is on a smaller island connected to the main island by an attractive wooden boardwalk that allows MSC Cruises’ guests exclusive access to an authentic beach vacation experience—with hundreds of palm trees, shaded cabanas and more than 2,000 sunbeds across 387,500 sq.ft. of fine golden beaches. Other key facilities include, amongst others:

• An exclusive, private space for MSC Yacht Club guests with an area serving elegant finger food and refreshments;
• An MSC Aurea Spa area offering a menu of relaxing massages from beachside cabana huts with stunning sea views. Spa treatments available include the Aurea Del Mare massage with seashells, bamboo massage therapy and a range of Bali massages;
• Sports facilities, including beach volleyball and tennis;
• A family and kids-dedicated area, with a parents’ pergola;
• A Bedouin tent offering arts and crafts created by local communities; and
• A lounge space with a bar and live music, for relaxing.

In true MSC Cruises style, on the island guests will be able to enjoy a selection of fresh and authentic food options, with a range of cooking stations serving small delights from the region as well as international favorites. Guests can also expect to see beachside charcoal BBQs serving light dishes and snacks, and exotic cocktails served from one of six beach bars. Ship food and drink services, such as drink packages, extend onto the island to ensure that the guest experience between the ship and the island is completely seamless.

The Sir Bani Yas Island MSC Cruises beach oasis offers something for everyone—from relaxation to action, to nature appreciation and culture. For those wishing to relax and unwind, the beautiful beach has a number of natural sunbathing spots and sun-drenched walking trails, which are open all day long. In addition, the MSC Aurea Spa will make available relaxing massages with stunning sea views.

For guests looking for something a little more action-oriented, a 4x4 expedition experience or a high-octane mountain biking session over naturally-created tracks can be booked to enjoy on the main island. There will also be a variety of sporting activities on offer exclusively for MSC Cruises guests, including beach volleyball, football, or water sports such as snorkelling, paddle boarding, sea kayaking and more.

The island is one of region’s largest wildlife reserves thanks to decades of intensive conservation work and ecological investment to restore and maintain its biodiversity. The Arabian Wildlife Park on the main island of Sir Bani Yas is today, as a result of this work, home to more than 13,000 indigenous and endangered animals, as well as millions of trees and plants. MSC Cruises has been working closely with the Abu Dhabi Port Authorities and ecologists to develop the island beach oasis for its guests fully in line with the broader Sir Bani Yas island project and to support the ongoing preservation work. The MSC Cruises beach oasis will also offer direct access to the natural reserve, with a range of specially designed excursions that will allow guests to experience the unique beauty of the natural surroundings. These include a horse riding tour, a safari-style nature drive through the reserve as well as a Dhow tour around the island in a traditional powered boat—giving guests the opportunity to see giraffes, hyenas and cheetahs in their natural habitat.

Finally, there are ongoing archaeological excavations taking place on Sir Bani Yas island. So for guests who want to discover more about the history and the culture of the island, a dedicated tour to the ruins of an early Christian monastery site from 6th century AD is available for them.

MSC Fantasia, one of the company’s largest and newest cruise ships, will visit Sir Bani Yas island starting in December 2016. The ship was constructed in 2008 and is currently the youngest and largest cruise ship in the region offering 1,250 staterooms and some of the most modern facilities available to guests. These including outstanding entertainment, five restaurants serving refined international cuisine and an authentic Balinese spa. 75 percent of staterooms have balconies offering panoramic sea views. For those looking for a touch of luxury, MSC Fantasia offers the award-winning MSC Yacht Club experience – a ship within a ship concept offering 71 butler-serviced suites with a focus on privacy and exclusivity, the only such service available on a cruise ship in the region.

MSC Cruises offers an exciting range of itineraries to discover and enjoy the Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas region, with cruises from 7 to 14 nights. Guests can embark from Abu Dhabi or Dubai, with itineraries calling at Sir Bani Yas Island, Bahrain, Doha, Khasab, Khor Fakkan and Muscat. Guests are able to book their cruise with an itinerary calling at Sir Bani Yas Island now, with the first cruise of the winter season departing December 3, 2016 and making the first call at the island on December 5, 2016. Sir Bani Yas Island beach oasis is available exclusively to MSC Cruises guests when the ship calls at the island. Guests can get more information by visiting

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Princess Cruises Announces 2017-2018 Americas Season

SANTA CLARITA, CA: Princess Cruises has announced its 2017-2018 Americas cruise itineraries from Fall 2017 to Spring 2018 including sailings to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii, and the California Coast. The array of cruise vacations range from three to 28 days and are available to book. In total, 11 ships with 230 departures on more than 30 unique itineraries visiting 70 destinations will sail between September 2017 and April 2018. Cruises will offer guests a variety of choices ranging from a short-cruise getaway to week-long vacations, as well as voyages of 10 days and longer.

Highlights include the maiden season of Caribbean Princess on 10-day cruises sailing through the new Panama Canal locks. Roundtrip California Coast voyages from Los Angeles will now include the port of Monterey. A Princess first, Emerald Princess offers a 12-day roundtrip Alaska voyage from Los Angeles in Spring 2018. Princess guests can choose from more short-cruise getaways on both coasts with Crown Princess introducing new five-day departures to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale while Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess sail 4- or 5-day options from Los Angeles—with overnight stay in Cabo San Lucas on our 5-day!.

“Our 2017-2018 Americas season offers exciting itineraries for our guests to choose the perfect cruise vacation from homeports in the United States and Canada,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Recognized for our award-winning itineraries, we’re always evolving our cruise options so our guests can immerse themselves in the local cultures and enjoy new experiences while in port.”

Full details of Princess Cruises’ 2017-2018 Americas cruise season include:

Offering the youngest fleet in the region, taking guests to some of the Caribbean’s top-rated beaches and most romantic ports, five Princess Cruises ships will sail 5-day Getaways, 7- and 8-day vacations and voyages from 10-to 21-days long in 2017 and 2018.

Caribbean Princess debuts a new 14-day Circle Caribbean itinerary, sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, including visits to Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Aruba, Curacao, Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Kitts and a stop at the line’s private beach resort, Princess Cays. The ship offers a special holiday sailing including both Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The line’s popular 7-day Caribbean cruises return in 2017 and 2018 with visits to the Eastern and Western Caribbean regions on Regal Princess, while Crown Princess alternates 8-day Eastern and Southern Caribbean and 5-day Getaways to the Eastern and Western Caribbean throughout the season.

Pacific Princess sails a holiday 14-day Caribbean Connoisseur voyage, visiting islands not typically included on other Caribbean itineraries for an off-the-beaten path exploration, including St. Croix, Nevis, Guadeloupe, Tobago and Virgin Gorda.

Royal Princess returns to the Caribbean including 10-day Southern Medley and 10-day Eastern Voyager itineraries which can be combined for a 20-day vacation. These sailings offer the best of the Caribbean including St. Kitts, Barbados and St. Lucia as well as ports that are off-the-beaten path such as Dominica, Grenada and Bonaire.

Panama Canal
Princess Cruises is the #1 cruise line sailing the Panama Canal, taking more guests through the Panama Canal than any other cruise line, while providing the most itinerary options and sailing dates from fall through spring on four ships.

2017-2018 will be the maiden season for transiting the new Panama Canal locks, with Caribbean Princess offering partial transits on 10-day voyages roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale.

Coral Princess, Island Princess and Pacific Princess all sail ocean to ocean with full transit offerings through all three sets of traditional Canal locks—Gatun, Pedro Miguel and Miraflores Locks, with Coral Princess offering an extra day in Fuerte Amador for guests to fully experience historic Panama City.

Guests may take advantage of the line’s Connoisseur voyages on board Pacific Princess, sailing a 17-day voyage with a call to the unique port of Santa Marta, Colombia.

Finally, Island Princess sails a convenient roundtrip Los Angeles departure for transits through the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks, offering guests a nostalgic cruise experience to the Panama Canal.

Hawaii, Mexico, California Coast & Alaska
On the West Coast, five ships will be deployed from three homeports—Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver—to the tropical waters of Hawaii and Mexico, as well as the beautiful California Coast, and a Princess-first voyage to Alaska roundtrip from Los Angeles. Voyages range from four to 28 days.

Star Princess homeports in Los Angeles sailing 10 voyages to the Hawaiian Islands with port calls in Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Grand Princess homeports in San Francisco sailing seven voyages visiting the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.

Roundtrip departures from Vancouver, British Columbia to the Hawaiian Islands are also available on Star Princess in the fall and spring. Emerald Princess also features two 28-day cruises to Hawaii, Tahiti and Samoa in the fall and spring.

The line’s popular Mexico cruises are available as 7-day voyages from Los Angeles, visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, or as 10-day cruises from San Francisco with the added port of Manzanillo. In addition, 10-day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez voyages return, sailing from Los Angeles to the ports of San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto, Puerto Vallarta and the California Coast.

Offering the ultimate California food and wine experience, the line’s 7-day sailings from Los Angeles and 10-day cruises from Vancouver include the new port of Monterey on the California coast, offering opportunities to visit the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Course, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the breathtaking coastal views of the region’s iconic 17-Mile-Drive. Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess also sail on select 4-day West Coast Getaway voyages from Los Angeles including Santa Barbara or Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico, while 5-day Cabo San Lucas Getaways include an overnight in the popular destination.

A Princess first, Emerald Princess departs on a 12-day roundtrip voyage from Los Angeles with port calls in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Vancouver, featuring scenic cruising of Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

More Ashore
Offering guests more time to explore local cultures and culinary offerings, select itineraries in the Caribbean, California and Hawaii offer extended stays in Aruba, Curacao, St. Thomas, Cozumel, San Francisco, San Diego, Long Beach and Honolulu, as well an overnight stay in Cabo San Lucas on the line’s 5-day voyages from Los Angeles.

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

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