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Cruise News
August 1-31, 2015

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

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

Cruise Diva

Carnival To Offer Wide Variety Of Bermuda Cruises In 2016

MIAMI, Aug. 31: With its famous pink-sand beaches, turquoise waters and picture-perfect weather, Bermuda is one of the most popular destinations in cruising. And Carnival Cruise Line will provide its guests with a variety of opportunities to visit the island paradise in 2016 with nine departures that feature at least one overnight docked alongside at historic King’s Wharf.

From April through November 2016, guests can embark on four different Carnival ships departing from five convenient U.S. homeports offering itineraries ranging from five to eight days—making 2016 one of the cruise line’s most robust Bermuda programs ever.

Carnival’s 2016 Bermuda schedule includes:

• Carnival Pride: 5-day cruises from Baltimore departing April 10 & Oct 26, as well as 7-day voyages that depart on Sept 4 & 18.
• Carnival Victory: an 8-day sailing from Port Canaveral departing May 19.
• Carnival Ecstasy: 7-day cruises from Charleston departing May 12 & Nov 5.
• Carnival Sunshine: a 7-day cruise from New York departing Oct 1 & a 5-day sailing from Norfolk departing Oct 23.

Five-day itineraries feature an overnight call at Bermuda; 7-day cruises spend two nights docked at King’s Wharf; and the 8-day voyage features three nights on the island.

“By offering Bermuda cruises from a variety of convenient drive-to homeports, we’re providing guests even more opportunities to experience and explore this incredible island paradise,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “The island has tremendous tourist appeal and the wide range of cruises offer consumers maximum choice when planning their Bermuda vacation while providing travel agents with a sought-after destination to market to their clients,” she added.

While Bermuda might be best known for its unique pink sand beaches, pastel architecture and famous shorts, it’s also an island with an abundance of activities that enable guests to become immersed in its tropical ambiance and laid-back lifestyle. From world-class golf courses and beautiful beaches to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and underwater explorations by glass-bottom boat, snorkel or scuba, the longer calls make it possible to participate in a variety of activities throughout the day and into the evening. With overnight visits, guests are also able to experience the island’s local nightlife and dine ashore if they choose.

For additional information, visit

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Crystal Yacht Cruises Opens Bookings To All Luxury Travelers

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 26: Starting next month, travelers can book their luxury yachting vacation with Crystal Yacht Cruises, the most recent innovation from the world's most awarded cruise line. As Crystal Esprit charts new waters with its maiden voyage this winter, Crystal Cruises is unveiling the complete itineraries and fares for 2016 through the beginning of 2018. The routes were first made available for booking exclusively for Crystal Society members, Crystal's repeat guest program, and will be open to all travelers September 1.

The new routes mark Crystal's first-ever offering of immersive itineraries focused in warm waters and reaching remote and coveted locales not easily reached by larger cruise ships. The extravagantly appointed yacht - outfitted for adventure, both, on board and ashore - is set to call in ports never before visited by Crystal's acclaimed ocean vessels, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.

On seven-day itineraries that reposition seasonally, Crystal Esprit will take guests to stunning locales including the Seychelles, Adriatic Coast, Oman, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, immersing guests in the destinations. The yacht's first guests will sail December 23, 2015 on a route round-trip from Mahe/Victoria, Seychelles, with visits to neighboring islands. The yacht's maiden voyage offers an inclusive post- and pre- cruise New Year's Eve Extravaganza in Dubai, complete with three- or four-night accommodations at the extraordinary Dubai Taj Hotel and spectacular fireworks display

In 2016 through the beginning of 2018, travelers can visit:

-- Indian Ocean (January-March): Sailing round-trip from Mahe/Victoria, Seychelles, with optional 2- and 4-night inclusive Dubai Land Package;
-- Cosmopolitan Emirates (December): Sailing round-trip from Dubai, calling on such ports as Muscat and Khasab, Oman; Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE; and Doha, Qatar;
-- Holy Land (March/April/November): Sailing from Limassol, Cyprus and Aqaba, Jordan, calling in Haifa, Eilat and Ashdod, Israel;
-- Mediterranean (April-November): Sailing various routes from Venice, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Athens, Greece, calling in charming Croatian spots along the Dalmatian Coast and picturesque Greek Isles.

"One of the most compelling and thrilling new elements that Crystal Esprit offers our guests is itineraries filled with destinations they've not been able to visit on a large cruise ship before," says Crystal President & CEO Edie Rodriguez. "The Crystal yachting experience will take our travelers to locales with the same spectacular beauty and culture, but a more intimate atmosphere."

The vessel is an extravagantly appointed yacht, delivered to Crystal Cruises by Genting Hong Kong (GHK), and extensively redesigned to reflect the stylish elegance for which Crystal is renowned. The 62-guest, 3,300-tonnage yacht will offer intimate, exclusive, and immersive experiences with a boutique ambiance. The all-suite yacht will feature posh, high-end finishes and modern technology, and is outfitted with some decidedly extreme features, like a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger zodiacs for special excursions and a 12-passenger Wider 32-foot super yacht tender for special boating adventures. Additionally, at their guests' fingertips are water skis, wake boards, kayaks, jet skis, fishing, and snorkel equipment.

Most of Crystal Esprit's 7-day itineraries have been specifically developed and deployed to allow travelers to combine two voyages into longer 14-day vacations. Boasting Crystal's acclaimed all-inclusive amenities, entertainment, fine dining and premium beverages, for more information visit

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Costa Cruises' 'Captain for a Day' Program Enables Junior Cruisers to Experience Life at the Helm

HOLLYWOOD, FL, Aug. 26: What kid wouldn't want a chance to captain a cruise ship? Costa Cruises is making junior cruisers' dreams come true with a new "Captain for a Day" experience on Costa Diadema and Costa Fascinosa. Kids can see what life is like at the helm on a daylong adventure that begins with donning their captain's stripes and ends with dinner with the true master of the ship at his personal table in the main dining room.

Youths participating in the program will receive a captain's uniform for the day to wear to their captain's training. They'll learn the ins and outs of the ship, nautical terms and how to navigate with their own map and compass. Instruction also includes getting familiar with signal flags, learning each flag's particular meaning and how to spell their name and leave secret messages with the flags. They'll also see how weather affects the behavior of the sea and have a chance to broadcast the day's weather forecast on the ship's in-cabin television network.

"Kids get excited when they see the captain and officers walking around our ships and many say they may want to be a cruise ship captain when they grow up," said Scott Knutson, vice president, sales and marketing, for Costa Cruises North America. "With the Captain for a Day program they'll get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the role the master fulfills onboard, learn a few tricks of the trade and enjoy an experience unlike anything else they've ever done while at sea."

The Captain for a Day program, which can be booked onboard, offers three levels:

The Aspirante Comandante (Captain Trainee) package includes a uniform to wear for the day, the full captain's training and dinner at the captain's table in the main dining room with other participants. After dinner, the junior captains graduate and receive a diploma with two 8-by-11 photos to remember their experience. The Captain Trainee package costs 49.99 euros and 29.99 euros for each additional child from the same family.
The Comandante (Captain) package includes all of the perks of Aspirante Comandante, as well as a captain's hat autographed by the ship's master for the trainee to keep. Comandantes additionally receive two 11-by-17 photos. The Comandante package is 79.99 euros for the first participant and 49.99 euros for each additional child from the same family.
With the Comandante Superiore (Senior Captain) package, trainees get to keep their uniform, including an autographed captain's hat, in addition to all of the Aspirante Comandante and Comandante perks. The Senior Captain package costs 124.99 euros and 59.99 euros for each additional child from the same family.

The Captain for a Day program complements Costa's Princess for a Day program that launched in November 2014. With Princess for a Day, junior cruisers have their hair, nails and make-up done; get to wear a princess costume with a dress, crown and wand; attend a Princess Tea Party and participate in a Princess Parade around the ship.

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Cunard Announces its 2017 Exotic Cruises & Full World Voyages Program

August 26: Today Cunard released its 2017 Exotic Cruises & Full World Voyages Program, inviting travelers to embrace exciting new frontiers in magnificent Cunard style. On sale beginning Sept 10, 2015 (Sept 9 for Cunard World Club guests), the program will offer three World and Exotic Cruises (with options ranging from three to 132 nights) and will feature 80 unique ports in 42 countries and 15 ship maiden calls, five of which are new to the fleet.

“Since Cunard inaugurated the first world cruise in 1922, our company has carried more guests and made more trips around the world than any other cruise line,” said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard, North America. “This year, Cunard’s Full World Voyage Program brings unique experiences to our guests, whether it be an in-depth exploration of Asia or a trip up the Amazon river, there is an itinerary for both returning world cruisers and for those new to Cunard who wish to revel in Cunard’s legendary grand luxury.”

The 2017 program will also be the first Full World Voyage Queen Mary 2 undertakes following an extensive 25-day dry dock refurbishment at the Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. Cunard guests will enjoy new designs and experiences that reflect the changing needs of today’s passengers, including 15 Single Staterooms, 30 additional Britannia Club Balcony Staterooms, an expansion to the ship’s dedicated kennels, and a host of additional innovations to be announced in the coming months.

Queen Mary 2: To sail a unique set of roundtrip voyages including full world-round trip New York as well as Hong Kong and Shanghai sailings

In addition to a new look, Cunard’s flagship, Queen Mary 2, will also offer for the first time ever a 132-night round trip New York voyage as part of its 2017 Full World Voyage Program. In its entirety, Queen Mary 2 will travel over 37,000 nautical miles and feature 40 ports in 23 countries, 33 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, nine maiden calls, three overnight stays, and 11 late evening departures.

This East-West voyage, departing New York on January 3, 2017, will travel to Southampton, then on to South Africa, before revealing Australia’s dramatic scenery during an extensive route that will feature 14 calls, including two stops in Sydney and two in Melbourne. Queen Mary 2 will then operate round trip Hong Kong and Shanghai sailings before embarking towards the ancient lands across Arabia and Europe, sailing via the Suez Canal, and heading back to Southampton and New York. Overnight stays will include Cape Town, Singapore and Dubai.

Maiden calls will include: Le Port, Réunion; Kangaroo Island, Australia; Hobart, Australia; Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei; Keelung, Taiwan; Jeju Island, South Korea; Busan, South Korea; and two firsts for the fleet--Busselton and Port Arthur, Australia. This voyage will also offer travelers the opportunity to enjoy late evening departures in: Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Melbourne, Australia; Sydney, Australia; Hong Kong, China; Keelung, Taiwan; Jeju Island, South Korea; Shanghai, China; Safaga, Egypt; and Aqaba, Jordan.

Queen Mary 2’s Full World Voyages in 2017 include:

• 132-night round trip New York City, fares from $22,399
• 118-night round trip Southampton, fares from $19,999
• 108-night Cape Town to New York, fares from $18,299

Queen Victoria: To Further Explore South America and visit the Amazon for the first time

Queen Victoria’s South America and Australia bound 120-night Full World Voyage will travel more than 41,000 nautical miles and will feature 32 different ports in 17 countries, 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, two maiden calls, three overnight stays and four late evening departures. Queen Victoria will visit South America, venturing through the Strait of Magellan and deep into Chilean fjords, and continuing on the Amazon River. This five-night exploration will not only be a first for the current Cunard fleet, but will also break the record for the largest cruise ship ever to transit the Amazon. Other firsts for the brand will be Queen Victoria’s maiden calls to Manaus and Santarem in Brazil.

Following South America, Queen Victoria will cross the South Pacific Ocean, sailing past Easter Island and Pitcairn Island before visiting Polynesia en route to New Zealand and Australia. Guests cruising on Queen Victoria’s return journey will transit through the Panama Canal up to Aruba, Florida, Bermuda and then back to the UK. Other highlights of this voyage include overnight stays in Fort Lauderdale, USA; Sydney, Australia; and San Francisco, USA; as well as late evening departures in Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, Auckland and Charleston.

Queen Victoria’s Full World Voyages in 2017 include:

• 120-night round trip Southampton, fares from $19,999
• 95-night round trip Fort Lauderdale, fares from $15,849

Queen Elizabeth: The Cunard Classic World Voyage

Queen Elizabeth will offer guests the chance to experience the classic world voyage: a 120-night westbound circumnavigation of the globe featuring a transit of the Panama Canal. This voyage will deliver some of the world’s most iconic cityscapes, including breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Sydney Opera House as seen from the water. Queen Elizabeth will sail over 39,000 nautical miles, visiting 39 different ports in 25 different countries, 29 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, four overnight stays, 9 late evening departures, and four maiden calls.

Guests travelling on Queen Elizabeth will have the opportunity to choose among New York, Fort Lauderdale and San Francisco as a US departure, and will also have the choice of adding on a Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing for a return to New York.

Queen Elizabeth’s maiden calls will feature: Huatulco, Mexico; Port Victoria, Seychelles; St. Vincent, Cape Verde Islands; and Alotau, Papua New Guinea--a first for the fleet. Additional highlights of this Full World Voyage include scenic cruising through the Kanmon Straits and Inland Sea of Japan, and overnight stays in New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Cape Town. Late night departures are scheduled for Honolulu, USA; Auckland, New Zealand; Busan, South Korea; Hiroshima, Japan; Kobe, Japan; Shanghai, China; Port Victoria, Seychelles; Port Louis, Mauritius; and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Queen Elizabeth’s Full World Voyages in 2017 include:

• 120-night round trip Southampton, fares from $19,999
• 111-night New York City to Southampton, fares from $18,499
• 93-night New York to Cape Town, fares from $15,499

Newly expanded Early Booking Benefits & Cunard World Club Members extra benefits
For the first time, Cunard is offering enhanced early booking benefits. Detailed information about these benefits and more can be found at

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Carnival Pride to Return to Tampa To Operate Series of Voyages in January & February 2017

MIAMI, August 26: Carnival Cruise Line’s 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride will return to the Port of Tampa to operate a series of five- to 14-day voyages in January and February 2017, providing consumers with an exciting variety of “Fun Ship” vacation choices from this popular Florida port.

Carnival Pride has undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation that added consumer favorites like Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network Star Guy Fieri, the full-service Bonsai Sushi, and BlueIguana Cantina serving authentic Mexican fare, along with innovative beverage concepts like the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, and the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar. A massive WaterWorks aqua park highlighted by Green Thunder, the fastest and steepest water slide at sea, was added, as well

“Tampa is a popular port for ‘Fun Ship’ cruising and we’re thrilled that the Carnival Pride is returning to the port to operate this series of five- to 14-day cruises which feature visits to top destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “These cruises also provide our valued travel agent partners with exciting new vacation choices to market to their clients,” she added.

Five- to Seven-Day Cruises From Tampa
Carnival Pride will operate a series of seven-day cruises from Tampa departing Jan. 15, 22 and 29, and Feb. 19, 2017, visiting some of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, including Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan; and George Town, Grand Cayman. Carnival Pride will also offer a five-day cruise round-trip from Tampa February 14-19, 2017, calling at Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Each of these destinations are world-renowned for their beautiful beaches, wide range of sightseeing choices and excellent water sports opportunities.

Special 13- & 14-Day Carnival Journeys Cruises From Baltimore & Tampa
Prior to its deployment to Tampa, Carnival Pride will operate a 13-day Carnival Journeys cruise departing Baltimore Jan. 2 and arriving in Tampa Jan. 15, 2017. Ports of call include Grand Turk, B.W.I.; Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama (including optional excursions to the Panama Canal); Limon, Costa Rica; Mahogany Bay; Cozumel and the Caribbean’s newest destination, Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, which serves as the gateway to one of the world’s most breathtaking cruising regions.

A 14-day Carnival Journeys voyage will depart Tampa Feb. 26, visiting Cozumel, Limon, Colon, Aruba, Bonaire, and St. Maarten before arriving in Baltimore March 12, 2017. Following this voyage, Carnival Pride will resume its year-round schedule of seven-day cruises from Baltimore beginning March 12, 2017.

Carnival Journeys is a unique collection of longer length voyages featuring spectacular ports of call and unique on-board activities created especially for this one-of-a-kind cruise program. In addition to experiencing and exploring ports of call throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America, Carnival Journeys guests can enjoy local culinary experiences, participate in exclusive team member Q&As and special activities, including a fun-filled “throw back sea day” with retro activities and old school dining options from the 1980s. For additional information on these voyages, visit

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Silversea Unveils Overland Adventures For World Cruise 2016

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Aug 25: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has created a diverse array of enriching overland adventures to complement its World Cruise 2016. Twenty carefully orchestrated optional land programs will escort guests inland to witness spectacular natural wonders, from Australia's Great Barrier Reef to the magical scenery of Vietnam's Ha Long Bay; spot exotic wildlife, such as tigers and orangutans, in their natural habitats; discover the ancient cultures and inspirational landmarks of India, Arabia, and Israel; and fly to isolated regions to explore such legendary kingdoms as Bhutan and Kandy.

Departing in January, and sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Venice, Silversea's World Cruise 2016 will be hosted aboard the elegant, all-suite Silver Whisper, enabling guests to voyage 115 days in unsurpassed luxury across six continents as they visit 51 ports in 31 countries.

"Our destination experts have specially crafted an inventive selection of overland explorations to enhance our guests' world cruise experience," said Darius Mehta, Silversea's vice president of air and land programs. "These unique programs blend together the luxury and comfort of fine lodgings with the authenticity of hands-on exciting adventures to reveal the amazing cultures, wildlife, and natural attractions that lie just beyond the ports of call."

The following is a small sampling of the overland adventures:

Cloud Forest at Mashpi Lodge (4 Days / 3 NightsDepart: Manta/Rejoin Ship: Callao)
Mashpi is a nature sanctuary perched at 3,116 feet (900 meters) above sea level on the western slope of the Andes Mountains, in one of the world's most celebrated bioregions. It will delight the most avid nature lover with picturesque waterfalls, verdant hills, and a staggering 500 species of birds. Guests might spot monkeys and even pumas, which make their home in the reserve.
Great Barrier Reef Retreat (1 1/2 Days / 1 NightDepart/Rejoin Ship: Cairns)
One of the most idyllic places in the southern hemisphere, the luxurious Green Island Resort is located on an ancient coral cay in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Its rainforest is home to over 120 species of native plants, colorful bird and marine life, and coral gardens. Guests may snorkel, take a stroll in the rainforest, gaze under the sea by glass-bottom boat, or simply relax.
Angkor Wat! (2 1/2 Days / 2 NightsDepart: Ho Chi Minh City/Rejoin Ship: Bangkok)
Between the 9th and 13th centuries, Angkor was the capital of the Khmer empire, a colossal city renowned for its superb architecture and sculptures, vast lakes and temples. Hidden in the jungles of Cambodia until the late 19th century, it's one of the world's greatest wonders, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Legendary Mandalay (1 1/2 Days / 1 NightDepart/Rejoin Ship: Yangon )
Situated on the Irrawaddy River is Myanmar's former capital, the legendary city of Mandalay. Now the country's second largest city, Mandalay is a rich cultural center famous for its monasteries, pagodas, temples, and the remains of its royal palace. The panoramic view from Mandalay Hill at sunset is an unforgettable experience.
Kandy by Chartered Seaplane (8 HoursDepart/Rejoin Ship: Colombo )
Nestled in a valley surrounded by hills and dense jungle, Kandy is the cultural heartland of Sri Lanka. Guests journey by private air taxi into the center of the Kandy plateau to explore one of the world's most important Buddhist sites, the Dalada Maligawa, or Temple of the Tooth, where the Buddha's sacred tooth relic is enshrined.
In Search of Tigers (5 Days / 4 NightsDepart: Mumbai/Rejoin Ship: Dubai)
Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India, is a wildlife sanctuary renowned for its royal Bengal tigers. Morning and afternoon game drives offer guests the chance to witness these remarkable animals in their natural habitat, along with jackals, leopards, gazelles, and numerous species of birds.

Starting at $999 per person, the optional overland programs feature deluxe accommodations (if overnight stays are required), all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals. For more information on World Cruise 2016 and its land adventures, please visit

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Broadway Theatre Cruises Launches “Sailing with the Stars” Program

Palm Beach Gardens, FL, August 25: Broadway Theatre Cruises, the new and exciting theme cruise organizerspecializing in creating entertainment experiences that feature Broadway starshas announced its inaugural cruise, Sailing with the Stars, is open for bookings. The 7-night Caribbean cruise departs Nov 5, 2016 onboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection.

Sailing with the Stars will provide guests, who enjoy live theatre, cabaret, music and cruising, and have booked the new package, with exclusive access to seasoned Broadway stars at intimate shows and events. The inaugural cruise is slated to feature well-known Broadway performers Lee Roy Reams, Robert Cuccioli, and Eden Espinosa, who have starred in 42nd Street, The Producers, Jekyll & Hyde, Les Misérables, Spiderman, Wicked, and Rent, among others.

Broadway Theatre Cruises will also give back to charities and non-profit organizations that book the Sailing with the Stars package. As community involvement and support are rooted in the group’s company mission, a $200-per-person donation will be made for each booking that comes through individual non-profits. For example, if an organization makes 50 reservations, it will receive a $10,000 donation from Broadway Theatre Cruises. Organizations already collaborating with the Broadway-themed cruise group include Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Slow Burn Theatre Company, GableStage, and more.

The Broadway-inspired cruise’s exclusive events include private cabaret shows/concerts, opening- and closing-night cocktail parties, invitations to attend dinners, live interviews, and a Q & A session with the featured starscalled Celebrity Studio; a singing competition named Celebrity Idol; and a nightly piano bar performance.

Celebrity Cruises is a premium cruise brand. Onboard the line’s newest ship, Celebrity Reflection, guests can enjoy stunning décor, globally inspired dining in 12 distinct restaurants, led by a Michelin-starred chef; a half-acre of real, growing grass on the top deck; and thrilling entertainmentall complemented by über-personal service, unique experiences with Canyon Ranch Spa Club, activities created in partnership with Bravo’s Emmy Award-winning show, Top Chef; cultural deep-dives at each destination; and more.

For more information, and how to book, visit The Broadway Theatre Cruises website is

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Crystal Cruises Expands Free WiFi For All Guests

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 21: Crystal Cruises is expanding complimentary Internet access to all of its guests. Beginning August 30 on both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, Crystal will provide one free hour per guest, per day for Deluxe Stateroom and Penthouse guests and 90 minutes for Penthouse Suite guests. With additional free access to Crystal's 24-hour satellite-enabled wireless Internet, which will also be available aboard Crystal Yacht Cruises' Crystal Esprit when the maiden voyage embarks on Dec 23, 2015, travelers can remain connected while on vacation, whether on their own devices or utilizing one of the ships' cutting edge work stations or portable laptop rentals, which are available for a nominal fee.

"While some travelers like to 'unplug' on vacation, many of our guests wish to stay connected while traveling, whether for business purposes, to stay in touch with loved ones, or to share their Crystal experiences along their journeys," says President & CEO Edie Rodriguez, "It is always our goal to make life aboard our ships as effortless and comfortable as possible for our guests, and amenities like free Internet go a long way to help those efforts."

For guests seeking more time online, Crystal offers four convenient packages to suit their needs:

-- Plan A: "Pay As You Go" for $0.74 per minute
-- Plan B: 2 hours (120 minutes) for $55 ($0.46 per minute)
-- Plan C: 5 hours (300 minutes) for $127 ($0.43 per minute)
-- Plan D: 10 hours (600 minutes) for $220 ($0.37 per minute)

Last year, Crystal installed improvements to the onboard experience, including:

-- Maximizing satellite bandwidth with the latest technology, allowing for more users and more content to stream simultaneously.
-- Expansion of Wi-Fi signal range throughout the ships, making wireless connection available everywhere on board, including all staterooms, public spaces, and outdoor decks.
-- The ability to access internet in areas that were previously unavailable, such as Japan.

The free Wi-Fi perk was previously available only to Crystal Society Members, the line's repeat guest loyalty program.

Crystal has long been celebrated for its onboard technological offerings, including the Computer University@Sea facilities, equipped with state-of-the-art Mac/Windows dual-compatible computers and expert staff on hand for instruction and assistance. Specially designed classes offer curriculum tailored toward novice and expert users, with topics ranging from basic operating systems and use of smart phones and other devices, to digital photo and video editing and website design.

For more information, visit

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Holland America Line Enhances ‘Flight Ease’ Air Booking Program

Seattle, Aug. 21: Holland America Line added a new look and enhanced features to its air booking program, Flight Ease, making it more user-friendly for travel professionals to navigate, search and book flights. In addition to the new design, the functionality of the site is now more intuitive, allowing travel professionals to select departure and return flights separately, add a stopover flight segment, easily compare real-time flexible and restricted fares, and review more detailed schedule displays.

“We’re constantly communicating with our travel partners, and these Flight Ease enhancements are a result of conversations on how to improve the air reservation platform,” said Eva Jenner, vice president of North America sales for Holland America Line. “Planning a cruise vacation from start to finish should be a seamless process, and Flight Ease ensures that our travel partners have the most advanced tools to coordinate their clients’ air and cruise itineraries.”

In addition to the new look, the new and improved functionality includes:

• The ability to select departing and return flights independently.
• Improved search filters to easily identify the best flight for clients based on preferred airlines, fare type, number of stops, departure time, price, and duration
• Easy comparison of flexible and restricted airfare options for the same flights
• A logic-driven calendar to guide flight planning based on ship departure and arrival dates.
• Newly designed schedule displays detailing important information about type of aircraft, connections and layover times.
• Improved navigation allowing the travel professionals to move easily across the booking flow from each step of the process including search, select departure, select return, summary and pay.

Available through Holland America Line’s robust Polar Online booking process, Flight Ease features up-to-the-minute flight schedules that only include those flights that arrive and depart in time for the specific cruise booked; as well as competitive pricing and flight inventory from multiple carriers. All flights booked through Flight Ease feature 24-hour assistance for questions and “Next Port Protection,” which means that in case of airline delay or cancellation en route to a cruise, Holland America Line will take care of any flight changes necessary to join the cruise at the next available port of call.

With Flight Ease, travel professionals can easily and affordably select from two competitive pricing options depending on their clients’ travel needs: Flexible Fares provide the greatest leeway for changes with no fees to adjust a flight schedule and airfare payment is due with the final cruise payment. Similar to other low-fare tickets, Restricted Fares are generally a lower price, have cancellation fees and require full payment for the air reservation at the time of booking.

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SeaDream Yacht Club’s 2015 Holiday Sailings

MIAMI, Aug 20: Rather than spending this holiday season hosting family and friends at home, SeaDream Yacht Club is encouraging guests to let their highly-trained chefs prepare seasonal fare while sailing the Caribbean’s most secluded destinations. While SeaDream’s 112-guest twin mega-yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II are visiting exclusive ports larger ships cannot access, SeaDream’s chefs will source ingredients from each destinations local purveyors whenever possible to create menus that change daily. SeaDream Yacht Club was recently named “Best Niche Cruise Line” at the prestigious Virtuoso Awards and a holiday sailing is the ideal time to experience the award-winning service offered onboard.

“Our commitment to culinary excellence is well-known among the most discerning travelers for artfully prepared gourmet cuisine and outstanding beverage service,” shares President Bob Lepisto. “This holiday season is no exception and Executive Chef Ondrej Havlicek has crafted a menu sure to satisfy our epicurean-minded guests.”

Highlights from Thanksgiving dinner include slowly roasted tom turkey on bread stuffing served with green peas and silver onions in a cream sauce, asparagus, sweet mashed potatoes and gravy. For Christmas dinner, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy whole roast prime ribeye of beefwith Yorkshire pudding and seasonal vegetables served with Burgundy gravy. Guests also have the option to choose from the always-available specialty menus including the Raw Food and Japanese Menus.

SeaDream Yacht Club’s 2015 holiday sailing highlights:

• Philipsburg, St. Martin to Bridgetown, Barbados sails Nov 20–28, 2015. Ports include Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Gustavia, St. Barts; Falmouth Bay, Antigua; Grande De Anse, Martinique; Rodney Bay and Soufriere Bay, Saint Lucia; Port Elizabeth, Bequia, Tobago Cays, Union Island and Mayreau, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and Bridgetown, Barbados.
• Bridgetown, Barbados Roundtrip sails Dec 19–27, 2015. Ports include Bridgetown, Barbados; Grande De Anse, Martinique; Rodney Bay and Pigeon Island, Saint Lucia; St. George’s, Grenada; and Port Elizabeth, Bequia, Canouan Island, Tobago Cays, Chatham Bay, Union Island and Mayreau, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
• St. Thomas Roundtrip sails Dec 19–26, 2015. Ports include Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; South Friars Bay, St. Kitts; Gustavia, St. Barts; Sandy Ground, Anguilla; Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, Soper’s Hole, Tortola, Great Harbour, Peter Island; and White Bay, Jost van Dyke, B.V.I.

SeaDream Yacht Club is the epitome of casual elegance, earning the highest accolades within the industry. With the highest staff-to-guest ratio of any line, those who travel with SeaDream receive a sophisticated level of anticipatory service within an intimate setting. The SeaDream Spa currently commands the highest therapist-to-guest ratio at sea and offers over forty different therapies and treatments. During the signature Champagne and Caviar Splash™ offered on Caribbean voyages, guests wade into the surf to indulge in premium caviar and bubbles served on a surfboard covered in white linens. Named the Best Small Luxury Cruise Ship of 2015 by Forbes, SeaDream Yacht Club emphasizes relaxed luxury and rejuvenation, an ideal alternative for the typically stressful holiday season. For additional information, visit

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MSC Cruises Expands Its Itineraries & Destinations Visited With New 2016 Grand Voyage

Geneva, Switzerland, Aug 20: MSC Cruises today revealed plans to make its first sailing to China, with the newly-renovated MSC Lirica calling in Shanghai on May 1, 2016 after having traveled across continents. The 65,000-GRT ship will make the company’s maiden call in China’s biggest megalopolis after a 60-day round-the-world Grand Voyage which departs on March 3, 2016 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“We are delighted to once more be able to offer our guests a brand new itinerary – from Brazil to China via Europe—which offers the chance to visit some of the most appealing places on earth, certainly across a huge array of people and cultures,” said MSC Cruises CEO, Gianni Onorato. “This new Grand Voyage offering is proof of our steadfast commitment to offer our guests innovative and sought-after destinations. As MSC Cruises continues to expand the destinations it calls—such as Cuba which we recently announced—we are further enhancing our global offering while providing travelers best-in-class experiences and service.”

MSC Cruises is offering travelers the opportunity to choose from three different versions of the Grand Voyage, with the ability to embark in either Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (60 nights), Genoa in Italy (41 nights) or Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (26 nights), before arriving in Shanghai. Before setting sail, MSC Lirica will be fully renovated and enlarged under MSC Cruises’ Renaissance Program, which entails a comprehensive overhaul of the ship due to be completed in November 2015.

Brazil to Shanghai Grand Voyage Itinerary Details
During the first leg of MSC Lirica’s 60-day journey, the ship will depart on March 3, 2016 from Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro and sail north along the coast of Brazil—with calls in Buzios, Salvador, Maceio and Fortaleza. The ship will then cross the Atlantic on a northeast course towards the Canary Islands—with a stop in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife—before reaching mainland Europe and visiting Cadiz, Spain.

From there, MSC Lirica will call the three largest ports in the Mediterranean—Barcelona, Spain; Marseille, France; and Genoa, Italy—providing travelers an opportunity to embark in any of these ports in Europe and providing maximum flexibility as guests journey towards Asia. After leaving Genoa, MSC Lirica will call Naples, Italy and the island of Crete with Heraklion in Greece. The ship then heads south to Aqaba in Jordan; Muscat, Oman; and Khor Al Fakhan and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The ship is scheduled to stay in Dubai overnight and travelers interested in sailing from Dubai to Shanghai will have the ability to embark.

During the last leg of the journey, MSC Lirica sets sail towards the East and the Indian cities of Goa and Cochin, prior to calling Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. She then heads to Phuket, Thailand, and Penang and Port Kelang/Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, before reaching Singapore. After an overnight stay in Singapore, the ship will bring its guests to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and then to visit Hong Kong. Shanghai is the next call and includes an overnight stay before sailing across the China sea to Fukuoka in Japan. From the Land of the Rising Sun, MSC Lirica heads back to the high seas one more time, returning to Shanghai on May 1, 2016.

MSC Cruises’ Broad Range of Itinerary Offerings
MSC Cruises offers a broad range of itineraries to sought-after destinations around the world. Cruises range from short three night-breaks to standard 7-night journeys to longer cruises of 11 to 14 nights, to more extensive Grand Voyage offerings. MSC Cruises’ fleet sails year-round in the Mediterranean and will sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean starting in November 2015. The line also offers seasonal cruises in Northern Europe, the French Antilles, South America, South Africa, and Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman.

Last month, MSC Cruises made the headlines when it announced that, as of December 2015, it will be the first global cruise line to offer travelers the opportunity to visit Cuba and set sail on one of the 16 cruises that MSC Opera will operate from Havana.

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Holland America Line Hosts Seattle Men’s & Women’s Choruses Director’s Circle Summer Luncheon

Seattle, Aug. 20: Holland America Line hosted the annual Director’s Circle Summer Luncheon for the Seattle Men’s and Women’s choruses aboard ms Amsterdam Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015, at the Port of Seattle. The event started with a message from Executive Director of Seattle Men’s Chorus Steven Smith, Artistic Director Dennis Coleman and Board President Bob Davidson, followed by a performance in the ship’s main show lounge by artists from both choruses. After a gourmet lunch guests were invited to tour the ship.

“Holland America Line is proud to be a longstanding supporter of Seattle Men’s and Women’s choruses, organizations that not only represent exceptionally talented artists but who also act as a voice for acceptance,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Entertainment and cruising go hand in hand, and it’s rewarding when we can partner with local arts organizations that have a worldwide impact.”

“Our annual luncheon aboard one of Holland America Line’s beautiful ships is a highlight of our year,” said Smith. "Without the support of our community partners we would not be able to provide such quality programming, so we are deeply grateful to Holland America Line for everything that they do for the choruses and our organization."

About Seattle Men’s & Women’s Choruses
The Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus are two of the largest community choruses in America. Formed in 1979, the Seattle Men’s Chorus is the largest gay men’s chorus in the world, with more than 350 singing members. The Seattle Women’s Chorus, which debuted in 2002, has quickly grown to over 300 singers. Full-scale choral productions combine the region’s leading professional talents with nationally known guest artists to create events that attract more than 25,000 people to a five-concert series each season. Thousands more see each chorus in other local performances every year. To learn more visit

Holland America Line Community Support
Each year Holland America Line hosts more than 25 shipboard charity luncheons for nearly 5,000 guests in its home port 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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Exotic Ports & Majestic Cities to Headline Seabourn's 2015-2016 Asia Cruise Season

SEATTLE, Aug 18: Award winning, ultra-luxury small-ship cruise line Seabourn is offering an exciting line-up of Asia itineraries aboard Seabourn Sojourn for the late 2015 and early 2016 cruise season. From the glowing colors of Vietnam and Thailand to the shining glass towers of Singapore, Seabourn is offering a variety of special voyages with optional excursions to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

"With exotic beauty, culture and history, our ultra-luxury cruises to Asia have become one of our most popular destinations," said John Delaney, Seabourn's senior vice president, marketing and sales. "To satisfy guest demand, this year we are adding our extended cruise vacations to Myanmar, multiple ports on Java and Borneo, and islands in the Philippines to offer even more exceptional experiences."

Aboard Seabourn Sojourn in Asia in the months ahead guests can choose from a variety of exotic voyages including:

• A pair of 14-day Myanmar & Malaysia voyages roundtrip from Singapore featuring three days to explore Thilawa (Rangoon), the fabled city of Mandalay, and the 2,000-plus temples at Bagan. Cruises depart Dec 6, 2015 and Feb 14, 2016.
• Between December 2015 and February 2016, the line is offering its perennially popular Vietnam & Thailand 14-day cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong. The cruise visits Halong Bay, as well as offers an optional two-day shore excursion to Angkor Wat in Cambodia - both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A stop on Ko Kood Island in Thailand includes Seabourn's signature Caviar in the Surf and beach barbecue party.
• The 14-day Taste of Asia Food & Wine cruise departs Hong Kong bound for Singapore on Jan 3, 2016, with a team of leading culinary experts onboard offering cooking demonstrations, extended onshore shopping excursions, daily tastings of local food with wine pairings, regional tea time rituals, and more.
• The 21-day China, Japan & Korea cruise departs Hong Kong on March 13, 2016, with ports of call at Hualien and Keelung (Taipei) Taiwan; Naha, Kobe, Hiroshima, Fukuoka (Hakata) and Nagasaki, Japan; three days to explore Shanghai, and Zhujiajian (Putuoshan) and Xiamen in China.
• Departing Hong Kong on April 3, 2016, is a 14-day Pearls of the Philippines & Borneo voyage, visiting a bevy of islands in the Philippine Archipelago.

Among the most popular opportunities for guests to experience the local culture and history are Seabourn's optional UNESCO World Heritage Tours and special World Heritage Discovery Tours, featuring enhanced content developed in cooperation with UNESCO World Heritage site managers and tour experts. Sample ports featuring tours to World Heritage Sites include Ha Long Bay, Vietnam; Angkor Wat, Cambodia; and Mt. Kinabalu National Park in Borneo.

For more information on Seabourn's 2015-2016 cruises to Asia, please visit

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Fall Colors Voyages Onboard American Queen Begin in September

MEMPHIS, TN, Aug 18: The American Queen Steamboat Company, operator of the world’s largest and most opulent paddlewheel vessels, announces details for its Fall Colors voyages beginning in September. These timeless voyages amidst the fall foliage of the Upper Mississippi River Valley showcase the extraordinary beauty of America’s Heartland through in-depth excursions enriched in history, culture, and heritage.

“We are thrilled to begin the fall season with these spectacular itineraries along the Upper Mississippi,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “It is an especially beautiful time to cruise this area while the autumn colors are at their most vibrant.”

Fall Colors Sailings on the American Queen include:

St. Paul, Minn. to St. Louis (Alton, Ill.) Sept. 19–27, 2015: This cruise down the Mississippi includes stops in Red Wing, Minn., La Crosse, Wisc., Dubuque, Quad Cities, and Burlington, Iowa, and Hannibal, Mo. before reaching its final destination of St. Louis. The voyage offers exclusive hop-on hop-off tours of some of America’s oldest museums, theaters, churches, and gardens.
St. Louis (Alton, Ill.) to St. Paul, Minn. Sept. 26–Oct. 4, 2015: This voyage takes its guests back in time as it explores small towns that are rich in American history such as Hannibal, Mo., the hometown of literary icon Mark Twain. Guests can experience the heartland as he did by touring the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum as well as the Mark Twain Cave Complex, a registered national natural landmark since 1972.
St. Paul, Minn. to St. Louis (Alton, Ill.) Oct. 3–11, 2015: As an exclusive offering of this voyage, Kelly Lao, the Assistant Director of the German American Heritage Center, will be onboard to educate and entertain guests on all things “Oktoberfest” including fun facts, historical figures, and critical information on the choice beverage of Germans and Americans alike. Guests onboard this voyage will also have the opportunity to take a lesson in polka dancing and enjoy performances by acclaimed polka band Brian Brueggen’s Mississippi Valley Dutchmen.
St. Louis (Alton, Ill.) to Nashville (Clarksville, Tenn.) Oct. 10–18, 2015: As the American Queen heads for the hills of Tennessee, it stops to admire nature’s handiwork in several ports along the way such as Grafton and Chester, Ill., Cape Girardeau, Mo., Paducah, Ky., and Dover and Clarksville, Tenn.

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

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Costa Cruises' Costa Diadema to Begin Roundtrip Departures from Rome this Winter

HOLLYWOOD, FL, Aug. 18: Beginning in December, travelers can get a double dose of the "Eternal City" with roundtrip itineraries departing from Civitavecchia, Italy, the port for Rome, aboard Costa Cruises' newest ship, Costa Diadema. The Italian-flagged cruise line crafted the seven-night cruises to give guests the opportunity to explore the western Mediterranean while cruising roundtrip from one of the world's most popular destinations. Having Rome as the embarkation and disembarkation port gives travelers more time to visit the city's many famous attractions such as the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, Pantheon and more.

"This roundtrip-Rome itinerary is an exciting addition to our options because many North American gateways offer direct flights to the city, making it easier for guests to access Costa's award-winning Mediterranean cruises," said Scott Knutson, vice president, sales and marketing, for Costa Cruises North America. "The strong American and Canadian dollars and the low price of international airfare make this dream vacation not only convenient, but also affordable."

Beginning on Dec. 3, 2015, Costa Diadema's weekly roundtrip Rome voyages will call at La Spezia and Savona, Italy; Marseille, France; and Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Launched less than a year ago, the 132,500-ton, 3,693-passenger "Queen of the Mediterranean," Costa Diadema offers guests a true Italian getaway. The shipthe world's largest Italian-flagged vesselfeatures a 1,640-foot promenade on Deck 5 that provides guests with a new way to experience the Med: split-level public rooms overlooking the sea are interconnected to create the atmosphere of a lively seaside resort.

Guests will savor some of Italy's best flavors with new regional menus created by Costa's Michelin-star chef Fabio Cuccheli. In addition, they will find some of the country's best wines at the Vinoteca Gran Duca di Toscanaa bar that boasts a menu of 80 labels from more than 50 Italian wineries selected in collaboration with the Italian Sommeliers Association. More new shipboard dining venues include Tavola Teppanyaki, a Japanese, hibachi-style restaurant; Birreria Dresden Green, a München-style beer garden; and Gelateria Amarillo featuring a variety of homemade gelato flavors and crepes.

Guests also will enjoy Costa's entertainment offerings that feature Italy's best traditions. Themed parties on the lido deck such as La Notte in Maschera and La Notte Bianca celebrate two Italian traditions: the masked Venetian carnival and a white night festival. In Costa Diadema's onboard theater, guests will find Italian-style shows like "Sapori d'Italia"or "Flavors of Italy"that highlight Italian music, art, opera, cinema and style. For more information on Costa's cruises, visit

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Princess Cruises Introduces Specialty Restaurant SHARE by Curtis Stone

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Aug 17: Princess Cruises unveiled today SHARE by Curtis Stone, his first restaurant at sea. SHARE offers an exclusive specialty dining experience for guests with a menu of signature dishes imagined for sharing, in an environment designed for conversing and creating memories. SHARE is scheduled to debut aboard Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess this December. Previously announced, this exclusive partnership with Chef Stone adds to the line’s “come back new” brand promise, designed to elevate the onboard guest experience by introducing new culinary offerings dedicated to fresh, flavorful cuisine aboard all ships. As part of the partnership, “Crafted by Curtis” menu items offered in the main dining rooms will debut aboard Golden Princess in the fall and roll out fleet-wide through the end of 2015. Curtis Stone’s Chef’s Table experience will debut in early 2016.

The SHARE dining experience encourages connecting with family, friends and other cruisers by offering intriguing dishes served family style. Designed by Chef Stone, the menu features dishes such as a Charcuterie starter course; Butter Roasted Lobster with Caramelized Endive and Endive Foam; Twice Cooked Duck Leg with Fennel, Bacon jus and Parmesan Crumb; Tagliatelle with Roasted Alaskan Crab, Chili and Parsley; and Dark Chocolate Cremeux with Toasted Hazelnut Feuilletine and Burnt Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Working closely with Chef Stone and Princess Cruises, world-renowned hospitality designer Jeffrey Beers International has developed a dining ambiance that is a reflection of Chef Stone’s creative vision and stems from his own childhood mealtime experiences, which were as much about family, community and connection as they were about the food itself. By creating a restaurant with a comfortable, homey atmosphere, the design allows for the important things in life to take center stagepeople, and the activity of creating shared moments with one another over a delicious meal.

A signature feature of SHARE is a communal table designed to encourage the sharing of a freshly prepared meal in the company of friends and family. Hand blown glass pendants etched with some of Chef Stone’s favorite recipes cast an intimate glow and create a warm and celebratory experience. Elements not often seen in cruise ship restaurant interiors add to the friendly atmospherelow-backed banquettes, beautifully upholstered in luxe Chesterfield tufted leather and decorative curios from Chef Stone’s own collection including photographs and travel souvenirs make guests feel even more at home.

“We’re honored that Princess Cruises is the home of Curtis Stone’s first restaurant at sea,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises President. “We know our guests will enjoy the menu Chef Stone has created for SHARE and we’re sure they will also feel right at home dining in his new restaurant, just like we hope they always feel on a Princess cruise vacation. SHARE is an exciting new enhancement adding to our guest experience intended to fulfill our ‘come back new’ brand promise.”

“It’s only natural that my first restaurant at sea is named SHARE, as sharing food family-style with family and good friends is the most enjoyable way to eat,” said Chef Stone. “I love the process of passing plates amongst each other and creating meaningful connections through the food and conversation. I’ve worked feverishly to create elegant, tasty dishes that I’m really proud to serve in a beautiful and relaxed environment, and I’m excited that SHARE is set to become a special part of people’s holiday memories and experience at sea.”

Following the debut of SHARE aboard Ruby Princess sailing from Los Angeles on cruises to Hawaii and Mexico and Emerald Princess sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to the Caribbean this December, the rollout will continue aboard Coral Princess cruising the Panama Canal in January 2016 and then Sun Princess in April 2016, which will bring Chef Stone’s restaurant to his home country, Australia. For more information about the partnership, visit

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Options Abound Ashore For Crystal Esprit Guests

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 17: Crystal Yacht Cruises, the most recent intimate travel experience from the world's most awarded cruise line, is charting new waters beginning with the maiden voyage of Crystal Esprit this winter. As Crystal's latest venture embarks on December 23, 2015, discerning luxury travelers can dive into the destinationsand the waters between themwith dozens of thrilling Crystal Adventures ashore, some of which are offered complimentary. The yacht's maiden voyage offers an inclusive post- and pre-cruise New Year's Eve Extravaganza in Dubai, complete with three- or four-night accommodations at the extraordinary Dubai Taj Hotel and spectacular fireworks display.

The extravagantly appointed yacht will be outfitted for adventure, and is set to call in ports never before visited by Crystal's acclaimed ocean vessels, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, which affords great opportunity for the line's savvy globetrotting guests to gain new travel perspectives while enjoying the same standard of luxury service for which Crystal is lauded. This includes adventures on the beaches, mountains, waters and skies of each locale, expertly designed with yacht travelers in mind.

"Yacht travelers expect all of the fine nuances that make a Crystal vacation extraordinary, but with a more intimate, personalized feel. The Crystal Adventures offered with Crystal Esprit's voyages will satisfyand surpassthis expectation, with most options available only with Crystal Yacht Cruises," says Crystal President & CEO, Edie Rodriguez.

On itineraries throughout the Indian Ocean/Seychelles, Mediterranean/Adriatic Coast, Holy Land and Middle East/Persian Gulf, Crystal Esprit will feature shore-side options to suit virtually any interest, with an emphasis on doing more. Among the options are:

Deep-sea fishing off the coast of Desroches, Seychelles, for the chance to make an exotic catch of Barracuda, Wahoo, Dogtooth and Yellowfin tuna and Giant and Bluefin Trevally;
One-tank scuba dive in St. Anne Island, Seychelles, geared toward certified divers, who can immerse themselves in the underwater world of shipwrecks, giant rock formations and spectacular sea life;
Rafting down the Krupa and Zrmanja Rivers in Zadar, Croatia, two of the most beautiful waterways in Europe, then picnicking in Muskovac;
Quad adventures on the rugged trails of Cyprus, taking adventurers to secluded spots most visitors don't even know exist, with views of waterfalls and swimming at the Baths of Adonis; and
Trek to Delphi at Mount Parnassus in Itea, Greece, the imposing and sacred site once thought to be the center of the earth.

Every Crystal Esprit itinerary will also offer at least one complimentary excursion in every port, including hiking and rafting the Acheron River in Parga, Greece; ziplining through the dense forest in Ephelia (from Mahe, Seychelles); and exploring the medieval city of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia (from Piran). "In-transit" excursions allow guests combining itineraries to fully maximize their time in embarkation/disembarkation ports between voyages.

To celebrate the inauguration of Crystal Esprit, Crystal will be offering two inclusive land programs for guest who would like to extend their vacation and even ring in the New Year with Crystal. These programs include:

Seychelles' Inclusive Dubai Program, a 2-night, pre-cruise experience inclusive with every Seychelles voyage, giving guests the opportunity to explore the wonders of Dubai, from haute couture shopping malls and traditional gold souks to desert safaris, world-class golf and complimentary entrance to the Wild Wadi Water Park.
New Year's Eve Dubai Extravaganza, 3 or 4- night program offered to guests who sail on one of the first two Crystal Esprit sailings, includes an uninterrupted view of the spectacular Burj Khalifa New Year's Eve Extravaganza, where the world's tallest building lights up in a dazzling presentation of light and pyrotechnics. Offered 3-nights post-cruise on the yacht's December 23, 2015 maiden voyage, and 4-nights pre-cruise on the inaugural 2016 voyage.

Complete itineraries and fares for December 2015 through the beginning of 2018 are now available on Crystal's website. The routes are available for booking exclusively for Crystal Society membersCrystal's repeat guest programnow through Sept 1, when books open to all travelers. The Inclusive Dubai Land Programs feature luxury hotel accommodations, all transfers from/to hotel and yacht at airports in both Dubai and Victoria, all taxes and porterage, and breakfast daily.

For more information, visit

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Norwegian Escape Floats Out from Building Dock

PAPENBURG, GERMANY, Aug 17: Norwegian Escape, soon to be the largest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, was floated out of MEYER WERFT’s covered building dock II on Saturday, August 15 in Papenburg, Germany, where the 164,600-ton ship has been under construction since September 2014. Beginning at approximately 9:15 AM local time, the 4,200 passenger vessel, with her signature hull artwork designed by famed marine wildlife artist and conservationist Guy Harvey, departed building dock II. Norwegian Escape is the first ship in the line’s Breakaway Plus Class, measuring 1,098 feet in length and 136 feet wide. Norwegian Escape’s float out represents a major milestone in the vessel’s construction, with the ship being well on her way to completion she will now move into the final phase of construction with delivery taking place on Oct 22, 2015.

“MEYER WERFT has done an excellent job with the construction of Norwegian Escape,” Norwegian Cruise Line’s President and Chief Operating Officer Andy Stuart said. “The ship’s float out brings us one step closer to bringing the next evolution of Freestyle Cruising to the world and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Following the ship’s float out, the next milestones will be mounting the ship’s signature Norwegian Cruise Line funnel and taking thrills to new heights by adding a third story to Norwegian Escape’s ropes course—due to be the largest at sea. Norwegian Escape's conveyance down the river Ems towards the North Sea is scheduled for September 16 (weather permitting).

From the ship’s eye-catching hull artwork to thrilling waterslides and ropes course, Norwegian Escape, as the first ship in the Breakaway Plus Class, represents a true evolution for the Norwegian brand, incorporating guest favorites and providing further freedom and flexibility for guests.

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

Norwegian Escape’s dining and entertainment will include outposts of several popular land-based outlets, including the first-ever floating Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, a music venue and outdoor bar on The Waterfront that will feature live nightly performances. James Beard Award-Winning Iron Chef Jose Garces will have two concepts onboard, a Latin seafood specialty restaurant and Pincho Tapas Bar, while Miami-based The Pubbelly Restaurant Group will develop the menu for the Food Republic, an upscale food emporium. The District Brew House, a hip, urban craft beer hall featuring an exclusive partnership with Miami’s own Wynwood Brewing Company, will serve up more than 24 draft beers while The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar, features an array of immersive wine experiences, focusing on tasting, education, and the enjoyment of wine. Norwegian Escape will also feature Miami’s oldest and most legendary bar, Tobacco Road.

Continuing with Norwegian’s commitment to excellence in entertainment, Norwegian Escape will feature two Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals headlining in the Escape Theater: After Midnight, the smash-hit musical that combines the big-band songs of Duke Ellington and the best dancing from Broadway; and Million Dollar Quartet, the smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock 'n' roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. In a new concept exclusive to Norwegian Escape, the Supper Club has been re-imagined for an unforgettable dinner and show. For The Record: The Brat Pack™ is a critically acclaimed Hollywood night that celebrates classic soundtracks of motion picture masters in a one-of-a kind 360° post-modern cabaret.

The ship will feature the largest ropes course at sea, a three-story multiplex of heart-pounding challenges complete with two planks and five Sky Rails, zip tracks that allow guests to soar through the air. Norwegian Escape’s Aqua Park will be the largest at sea and includes a new Aqua Racer slide. Adding to the family fun, Norwegian Escape will also feature an expanded Kids’ Aqua Park, along with the line’s first dedicated nursery for young cruisers two and under.

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

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Harmony Of The Seas To Debut New Aquatic Adventure Park For Kids

MIAMI, Aug. 17: Royal Caribbean International will amp up the adventure when the cruise line debuts Harmony of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship and the first to feature Splashaway Bay an interactive aqua park for kids. The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea touting a 100 foot dramatic plunge, The Perfect Storm trio of water slides and Splashaway Bay are the latest in a thrilling collection of activities that will make Harmony of the Seas the ultimate family vacation experience starting next summer.

Harmony of the Seas will be the first in a new generation of Oasis class ships where groundbreaking architectural innovations are combined with breakthrough technologies of the Quantum class. The ship will debut in May 2016 for her inaugural summer season showcasing Europe's most popular cruise destinations on seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries calling on Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy. In November 2016, Harmony will arrive to her homeport of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. offering 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings.

Splashaway Bay will be a vibrant waterscape for kids and toddlers with sea creature water cannons, winding slides, a gigantic drench bucket and a multi-platform jungle-gym to keep everyone entertained for hours. Guests of all ages will get the ultimate heart-pounding thrill ride on the Ultimate Abyss, a 10 story slide that begins in the Pool and Sports Zone at the aft of the ship down to the Boardwalk neighborhood below. Spiraling five decks above the lushly landscaped, open-air Central Park in the center of the ship, water slides Supercell, Typhoon and Cyclone come together as The Perfect Storm, inviting travelers to slide into an incredible adventure. Thrill seekers can test their mettle in Supercell, featuring a champagne bowl swirling guests around as they descend into their approach towards a big splash finale.

Harmony of the Seas will be home to the seven distinct neighborhoods for which Oasis class of ships is known and feature technological advancements now synonymous with the award-winning cruise line. Revolutionary features include the Bionic Bar dancing robot bartenders on the Royal Promenade; Virtual Balconies in many interior staterooms offering sea and port views; the Royal WOWBands with RFID technology to simplify the guest experience; and VOOM, the fastest internet at sea found exclusively on Royal Caribbean ships. Catering to every craving, Harmony will offer the most dining options at sea, including new specialty restaurants Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, SaborTaqueria and Tequila Bar, and Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, a whimsical setting where Royal Caribbean chefs twist their culinary kaleidoscopes.

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

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Azamara Club Cruises Unveils Its New App

Azamara Club Cruises launched its App boasting a cruise industry first by featuring a series of 360-degree virtual reality experiences. The video series, known as Azamara 3di and featured on the dedicated website, uses virtual reality technology to help immerse future guests in what it’s like to be onboard the Azamara Journey via ship tours and to experience destination excursions in South and Central American ports of call.

From touring the onboard amenities of the Azamara Journey or escaping to destinations like Costa Rica for zip lining or Cartagena, Colombia for a midnight carriage ride, the new Azamara App helps guests get a flavor of what the line offers. Known for its destination immersive experiences, ensuring guests have longer stays in port, more overnights and night touring on all voyages, Azamara developed its Azamara 3di programming to help guests be as close to “being there” as possible.

“We didn’t want to launch an App just to have an App. When perfecting our first App, providing this sensory journey was not negotiable,” says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “As we continue to redefine the luxury cruise experience for the next generation, we need to reach them in meaningful ways and provide information to them where they are looking for it. Having an App is important, but more important is the content it provides.”

For now, the App is available on iPhones, iPads and iPods that run iOS 6.0 or above. Android users can get the same experience by going to on their smartphones.

How does it work? Once downloaded from the Apple Store, guests are presented with four choices and can choose the video they wish to view. By selecting the hand icon in the menu at the bottom of the screen, users can manipulate the video up, down and 360-degrees around by dragging their finger around the screen. By selecting the VR option at the bottom of the screen, guests can use their device with a Google Cardboard headset and enjoy the virtual reality experience. More videos are in production, but for now guests can choose from the Onboard Experience or tours of Panama, Costa Rica and Cartagena, Colombia.

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Boldly Going ... ECP Announces Star Trek: The Cruise

For more than 15 years, Entertainment Cruise Productions has produced the most amazing music full-ship charters in the world. The Jazz Cruise (15 years) and The Smooth Jazz Cruise (13 years) are among the most heralded cruise programs ever presented and continue today to sell out year after year. During that time, they have also produced cruises featuring rock ’n’ roll, Elvis Presley, R&B, country music, and soul. In the past year, they have launched The 80s Cruise and The Gospel Music Cruise, so their musical reach has been boundless.

Recently, CBS asked them to consider producing an iconic experience cruise celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Star Trek.” As they do for all their programs, they dove into the deep end of the pool and assembled an amazing list of past and current “Star Trek” personalities, including William Shatner, Jonathan Frakes, John de Lancie, Marina Sirtis, Robert Picardo, James Darren and more. We are now producing the first-ever licensed “Star Trek” cruise! If you want to be beamed aboard, check the cruise out at

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Royal Caribbean Delivers New Adventure in Exclusive Shore Excursion Program

MIAMI, Aug 13: Designed to meet every travel passion, Royal Caribbean International taps into what guests really want to do on their next vacation with an enhanced shore excursion program featuring exclusive new options. From playing five-on-five soccer in Spain to exploring Buddhist temples in Bangkok, these new excursions allow guests to discover a destination through activities that appeal to their sense of adventure. The cruise line’s more than 2,800 shore excursions worldwide, including experiences in private destinations Labadee and CocoCay, have been grouped into seven special interest categories designed based on guest’s interest and vacation needs: Active Adventures, Family Connections, Royal Tour Challenge, Culture and Sights, Culinary Delights, Caring Discoveries, and the Royal Premium Tour Collection.
In celebration of the new tour offerings, Royal Caribbean is inviting adventure-seekers to pursue their individual interests with free shore excursions on all new reservations completed this weekend, August 14-16, 2015. Bookings for sailings departing on or after Sept 14 will receive a credit of up to $150 to use towards the shore excursion of choice. Additional information, terms and conditions are available at

Active Adventures
Guests can get their hearts pumping with activities at every level, from riding a dune buggy and boat rides to high-energy excursions that will take their vacation’s adrenaline factor to the next level. From tackling six exhilarating zip lines and two skybridges in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, to rappelling through small waterfalls, sliding toboggan-style down boulders and jumping off cliffs into natural pools at a thrilling watercourse in Madeira, Portugal, adventure seekers can test their metal on any one of these excursions.

Family Connections
Creating lifelong memories are what family vacations are all about. What better way to ensure those come to life with shore excursions that kids, parents and even grandparents can enjoy together. Families can share exciting experiences while attending gladiator school in Rome, Italy, where they can learn Roman gladiator combat skills with a hands-on fighting lesson and earn a certificate of Roman citizenship. Or embark into the great outdoors with a wilderness kayak experience at Chilkoot Lake in Skagway, Alaska, where adventure seekers might spot bald eagles, brown bears, seals, sea lions or even whales. To learn more about family shore excursions visit 

Royal Tour Challenge
In the spirit of good fun and some friendly competition, guests can spend their days in port with challenge-based activities designed especially for families and groups. Families and friends can spend some quality time together with a half-day laser tag adventure in Cozumel, Mexico, where participants will hit targets to gather points by following a jungle path filled with Mayan ruin replicas. Or better yet, guests can enjoy a five-on-five soccer game in Gijon, Spain, followed by a game of paddle tennis, a raquet sport played extensively in Spain.

Culture & Sights
For travelers looking to explore history and culture with local experts and enrich their understanding of the world, they can select classic sightseeing tours, guided visits to archaeological sites and museums, live performances, and more. Guests can visit a sprawling Buddhist temple complex in Bangkok, Thailand, which was built in honor of two famous kings, or explore Rome, Italy, in an Ape Calessino, the little vehicle eponymous to Italian style which launched in 1948 to help with post-WWII reconstruction.

Culinary Delights
Want to know what’s on the menu, in the fields or on tap? Discover a destination’s authentic, essential flavors through excursions that introduce guests to local chefs, specialties and purveyors. Visit Graycliff Chocolatier in Nassau, Bahamas, and delight in making truffles, bonbons and bars with a tropical flair, or learn pizza-making from the experts in Naples, Italy, where the Italian favorite was invented in 1830.

Caring Discoveries
Guests wanting to make a difference in the places they visit can select tours committed to wildlife, the environment and local communities. Whether it is saving a sea turtle in Cozumel, Mexico, where approximately 20 percent of turtles aren’t quite ready to head for the seas, or meeting an Iditarod musher and their racing dogs at a dog sled camp in Skagway, Alaska, visitors will leave a lasting impression.

Private Destinations: Labadee, Haiti & CocoCay, Bahamas
These secluded escapes boast experiences that range from soaring 500 feet above the beaches of Labadee on the Dragon’s Breath Flight Line, to tranquil beachside escapes appreciated through guided nature walks or lounging on the white sandy beach of CocoCay. Exclusive to Royal Caribbean guests, the dynamic offerings in Labadee and CocoCay tantalize guest’s individual craving for adventure or relaxation.

For full details about Royal Caribbean’s shore excursions program visit

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Windstar Cruises Expands Yacht Club Membership Benefits with Exclusive Partner Discounts

Seattle, Aug 13: Windstar Cruises is expanding benefits for returning guests, offering exclusive discounts at partner travel operators and resorts under parent company Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Windstar cruisers are automatically registered as members of the Windstar Yacht Club following their first sailing, later enjoying special benefits when they book future cruises, amenities while on board, and when they share the Windstar experience with friends and family.

With the new partner program, Yacht Club Membership rewards now include the following discounts:

• 5% off an Austin Adventures adventure vacation
• 5% off any guided, self-guided, or private adventure with Country Walkers
• 5% off any scheduled or private CW Safari
• 15% off a 1, 2, or 3 bedroom River Suite at Kingsmill Resort, plus a $50.00 resort credit
• $200 resort credit per stay at The Cloister or The Lodge at Sea Island
• 10% off standard rack rates and a complimentary room upgrade at The Broadmoor
• 5% off any VBT Bicycling or Walking Vacation.

More details on exact offers and restrictions are found at

In addition to the above partner offers, Yacht Club Membership includes:

• 5% savings on most cruise fares
• Complimentary one-category standard stateroom or suite upgrade at onboard check-in
• Private onboard member cocktail reception
• Invitation to dine with the Captain or Ship’s Officers
• Onboard gifts, discounts, and amenities
• $100 referral gift for guest and each referred friend.

For more on the Yacht Club Membership, visit

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Princess Releases Sixth Annual Relaxation Report

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Aug 12: Americans are hard workers, but when it comes to taking a break, they may need some advice. According to results released today from Princess Cruises’ sixth annual Relaxation Report, over half (54%) of Americans spend their vacation days dealing with personal obligations such as family emergencies, doctor’s or dentist’s appointments and sick days for their children or loved ones rather than actually vacationing. And the mere thought of asking their boss for a few extra days off causes more stress than asking for a pay raise for nearly a quarter (22%) of American workers, according to the recent survey by Wakefield Research for Princess Cruises.

On this National Relaxation Day (Saturday, August 15, the idea of stress and relaxation is an important discussion to be had with our 24/7 always-on American culture. Stress triggers are on the rise with nearly a one-third of people who get stressed at just the thought of relaxing, up from 28-percent in 2014. And 42-percent frequently feel guilty about relaxing, also up from 38-percent last year. For more than a third of Americans (36%), it’s even more difficult to find time to relax than to live within their budget!

"In the six years that Princess Cruises has commissioned this survey, we’ve continued to see stress levels rise year after year …” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "We aren’t giving ourselves permission to truly let go and relax, and whether that’s because of the demands on our intense lives or our own guilt, this is an unsustainable trend that can have a genuinely adverse impact on our society as a whole.”

Even summertime brings no reprieve. Despite the sunshine, warm weather and break from school schedules, more than three quarters (77%) of parents are busier during the summer months compared to the rest of the year. That’s due in part to the stress that comes with planning – and taking – an actual vacation for half (50%) of Americans who find things like research and handling travel logistics stressful, and over half (55%) who return feeling the need for a vacation from their vacation.

On the optimistic side however, Americans still believe they can achieve the dream of finding relaxation, with two-thirds (66%) who agree that taking a cruise would be the best way to experience life and relaxation all in one vacation. Proudly, Princess Cruises offers an array of options for any traveler looking to “come back new” aboard its worldwide fleet of ships in exotic destinations. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available at

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Cunard Announces New 2016 Voyages to Europe & the Mediterranean on Queen Victoria

Aug 12: Adding to an already extensive European offering, Cunard today announced new 7-night Europe and 9- to 12-night Mediterranean voyages on Queen Victoria’s 2016 itinerary, which deliver picturesque towns in Northern Europe; Spain and Portugal’s coastal cities; and the Mediterranean’s historic capitals.

In May 2016, Queen Victoria will set sail on a 7-night roundtrip voyage from Southampton to Norway’s stunning coast and the Fjords. Later that month, she will sail again from Southampton on a roundtrip voyage to explore Spain and Portugal on a 7-night summer cruise. She will first reach Vigo, close to the famous pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela, and then continue to Lisbon, Oporto and Guernsey before returning home.

During summer and fall 2016, Queen Victoria will venture to the Mediterranean to explore coastlines replete with drama, history and vibrant local cultures during several 9- to 12-night voyages. Whether it’s a 9-night tour of Spain, Italy, and France, or a 12-night voyage through the Adriatic, Italy and Barcelona, the Mediterranean offers countless places of great historic significance and legendary beauty. In addition, many of Queen Victoria’s 2016 Mediterranean Voyages highlight overnight stays in Venice and Istanbul and feature a diverse selection of excursions ashore, including the opportunity to experience the open air opera in Verona.

"Queen Victoria’s 2016 voyages offer guests many opportunities to explore captivating ports in Europe and the Mediterranean in true Cunard style," said Richard Meadows, president of Cunard North America. "These new voyages also distinguish Cunard as offering some of the broadest ranges of Mediterranean itineraries with durations ranging from seven to 21 nights. For 175 years, Cunard has seamlessly merged elegance with adventure, and we are proud to carry on that custom today.”

Announced Itineraries include:

• The Fjords (Roundtrip Southampton) – 7 nights, 22 May
• Spain and Portugal (Roundtrip Southampton) – 7 nights, 29 May
• Spain and Italy (Southampton to Rome) - 9 nights, 23 June
• Venice, Croatia and Barcelona (Venice to Barcelona) - 9 nights, 30 July
• Barcelona, Venice and the Adriatic (Barcelona to Venice) - 9 nights, 22 September
• Spain, Italy and France (Barcelona to Rome) - 9 nights, 13 October
• Venice, Istanbul and Greek Isles (Venice to Istanbul) - 10 nights, 9 July
• Venice, Istanbul and Greek Isles (Venice to Istanbul) - 10 nights, 20 August
• Italy and Spain (Rome to Southampton) - 10 nights, 5 November
• Greek Isles, Istanbul and Venice (Istanbul to Venice) - 11 nights, 19 July
• Greek Isles, Istanbul and Venice (Istanbul to Venice) - 11 nights, 30 August
• Barcelona and the Adriatic (Barcelona to Venice) -12 nights, 8 August
• Barcelona, Italy and Croatia (Venice to Barcelona) - 12 nights, 10 September
• The Adriatic, Italy and Barcelona (Venice to Barcelona) - 12 nights, 1 October

Designed in grand Cunard tradition, Queen Victoria is the second largest Cunarder ever built. Every inch of the 2,000-passenger modern ocean liner offers Victorian era ambience. From the Royal Court Theatre, to the two-storey library featuring a spiral staircase and nearly 6,000 volumes, to double- and triple-height public rooms, Queen Victoria exudes elegance and graceful splendor.

In 2007, Queen Victoria ushered in a new era of Cunard innovation while showcasing the distinctive features that make a Cunard vessel the world standard-bearer. Nowhere is this more evident than in the renowned Queens Grill and Princess Grill Suites, where guests can indulge in the very best of Cunard with up to 2,131 sq. feet of luxurious accommodations, exclusive amenities, the utmost attention from a personal concierge and attentive butler services in the Queens Grill Suites. Grills Suites guests also take pleasure in single-seat dining in the celebrated Princess or Queens Grills restaurants, and they share the exquisite Grills Courtyard and the private Grills Upper Terrace, where White Star staff provide cool towels, fresh fruit and tea sandwiches to sun-seeking guests.

Onboard, guests enjoy unhurried luxuries including Cunard’s signature Afternoon Tea service complete with courteous white-gloved waiters. Guests may also partake in a wide variety of stimulating pursuits, including fencing lessons, Cunard Insights speakers, Royal Night Theme Balls and much more. To round out the experience, Queen Victoria’s extraordinary dining opportunities rival the finest restaurants in the world. For more information, visit

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Royal Caribbean Introduces Royal Suite Class Experience

MIAMI, Aug 11: The cruise line known for its groundbreaking ship designs, GOLD Anchor service, top-caliber entertainment, and exclusive onboard attractions, today announced the Royal Suite Class, designed for the most discerning adventurers. When vacationing in one of a range of innovative accommodations, guests will enjoy an experience like no other featuring a wide-range of benefits and amenities that they expect from a world-class luxury vacation.

“The new Royal Suite Class redefines luxury at sea with exceptional experiences that discriminating travelers will appreciate,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We offer some of the most amazing and unique suites aboard the most revolutionary ships, and with Royal Suite Class we are creating an experience that is both inviting and invigorating for guests seeking a luxurious adventure that is anything but boring.”

Along with well-appointed accommodations, Royal Suite Class will offer a range of exclusive amenities based on three tiered service levels. Premium features include a Royal Genie, certified by the British Butler Institute to meet guests every need; free VOOM, the fastest internet at sea; complimentary specialty dining; an ultimate beverage package; inclusive gratuities; preferred seating at select onboard venues, and upgraded room amenities.

The Royal Suite Class will be available for sailings beginning May 2016 aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis- and Quantum-class ships, Anthem of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas, as well as Harmony of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas when they debut in spring 2016.

The Royal Suite Class comprises three service levels based on suite category: Star Class, Sky Class and Sea Class.

• The Star Class includes the most comprehensive collection of amenities and services and the most expansive and richly appointed accommodations, such as Quantum-class’ two-deck high Royal Loft Suite, along with the Owner’s Loft Suite, Four Bedroom Family Suite, Grand Loft Suite, Sky Loft Suite and Two Bedroom AquaTheater Suite.
• The Sky Class features a selection of inclusive amenities in beautifully furnished staterooms such as the AquaTheater Suite, Crown Loft Suite, Owner’s Suite, Royal Family Suite, Superior Grand Suite and Grand Suite.
• The Sea Class includes premium touches in spacious suites such as the Family Connected Junior Suite, Family Junior Suite, Spa Junior Suite and Junior Suite.

Guests booked in the Royal Suite Class will experience a range of exclusive offerings based on their suite category that include:

• Superior Service: a ‘first’ for Royal Caribbean, Star Class guests will receive the new and complimentary Royal Genie service. The Royal Genie trained and certified by the British Butler Institute, will serve as a personal assistant to help guests with nearly everything and anything, 24 hours a day. Royal Genies take care of restaurant and show reservations, in-room dining requests, and any other needs – from laundry, pressing and shoe shining, to luggage handling and unpacking. In addition, the Royal Genie will pamper guests with handcrafted cocktails made in-suite as well as assist in creating and reserving customized shore excursions.
• Upgraded Amenities: guests in the Royal Suite Class will enjoy the ultimate ‘home away from home’ with upgraded amenities, such as Hermès, Ferragamo and L’OCCITANE bath products and luxury pillow top mattresses. Star Class guests will luxuriate in their suites with exclusive Duxiana DUX mattresses and Frette linens.
• Personalized Experiences: luxury is defined by personal experiences and onboard a Royal Caribbean ship it is embodied by the crew and unmatched tailored service – from a personalized welcome gift to a guest’s favorite cocktail before dinner, guests will feel as if all their personal preferences have been met.
• Exclusive and Priority Access: Royal Suite Class guests also will have exclusive access to the California-chic Coastal Kitchen restaurant reserved for Suite guests only. On Royal Caribbean’s private beach paradise Labadee, Haiti suite guests enjoy access to the exclusive Barefoot Beach and have the ability to reserve private cabanas on the island. Additionally, Star and Sky Class guests enjoy a private Suite Sun Deck and reserved VIP seating in entertainment productions, like fully licensed Broadway musicals and Oasis-class’ AquaTheater high-diving spectaculars.

For details on the Royal Suite Class and amenities available for each class visit

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Silversea Introduces Grand Expeditions

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Aug 11: Luxury expedition cruise line Silversea is thrilled to announce the launch of Grand Expeditions. Sailing from October 2015, Silversea has created five epic, once-in-a-lifetime combined voyages, each offering guests a unique experience from sea, to land, to sea again. Ranging from 18 to 34 days, the Grand Expeditions will begin with an expedition cruise in the Galapágos Islands, before connecting to a land adventure, and finally ending with a further expedition cruise exploring the coast of Central America, South America, or Antarctica.

The all-inclusive Grand Expeditions package is orchestrated by Silversea and incorporates cruise fares for Silver Galapagos and Silver Explorer at 20% off the individual published rate. Also featured in the package are hotel accommodations, land tours, return air travel between Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, intra-tour air travel and ground transportation, as well as charter flights to Ushuaia, if applicable.

"Our Grand Expeditions offer a unique blend of overland adventure combined with two amazing expedition cruise experiences, all expertly curated by our destination experts," said Kristian Anderson, Silversea's senior vice president and general manager for the Americas.

The Grand Expeditions are briefly recapped as follows:

Latin American Delights / 18 Days / October 1- 19
Silver Galapagos will explore the western Galápagos Islands, known for spectacular volcanic landscapes, penguin spotting, and snorkeling. Guests enjoy a post-cruise overnight stay in Guayaquil and then fly to Panama to embark Silver Explorer. Sailing from Colón to Guayaquil, guests will witness amazing wildlife, float up river in the Darien Jungle, and discover the beauty of Colombia's Pacific coast. (Combines expedition voyages 8537 and 7522.)

South American Sojourn / 25 Days / Oct 8-Nov 2
Genovesa Island's Great Darwin Bay, formed by a collapsed caldera, and Española Island's abundant wildlife highlight this north central itinerary of Silver Galapagos. A two-night, post-cruise stay in Guayaquil features an afternoon tour of the city before guests embark Silver Explorer. Voyaging from Guayaquil to Valparaiso, guests will be immersed in the unique cultures and landscapes of Peru and Chile. (Combines expedition voyages 8538 and 7523.)

Frigatebirds, Ice Fields & Fjords / 23 Days / Oct 22-Nov 14
Genovesa Island's Great Darwin Bay, formed by a collapsed caldera, and Española Island's abundant wildlife highlight this north central itinerary of Silver Galapagos. An overnight stay in Guayaquil, flight to Santiago, overnight hotel accommodations in the city, and an enriching wine tour combine to create the perfect interlude for guests prior to embarking Silver Explorer. Chile's breathtaking snow-capped mountains, lakes, and fjords are the focus of the concluding expedition, sailing from Valparaiso to Ushuaia. (Combines expedition voyages 8540 and 7524.)

Conquer S. America & Antarctica / 34 Days / Oct 29-Dec 2 &
Southernmost South America / 26 Days / Nov 26- Dec 22
Silver Galapagos will explore the western Galápagos Islands, known for spectacular volcanic landscapes, penguin spotting, and snorkeling. Guests then enjoy a seven-night land adventure, featuring excursions to Machu Picchu and Iguazu Falls, two of South America's most sought-after destinations, before embarking Silver Explorer in Ushuaia for an incredible journey to discover the marvels of Antarctica. (Expedition voyage combinations are 8541/7525 and 8545/7527.)

For complete details, visit

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Seabourn Unveils Ultra-Luxurious, Sophisticated Suites On New Seabourn Encore

Seattle, Aug 11: As strikingly beautiful as it is innovative, Seabourn has revealed design renderings of the luxurious all-suite, all-veranda accommodations on Seabourn Encore, the line's newest, ultra-luxury ship set to launch late 2016. Like everything on board Seabourn Encore, the suites are envisioned by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, who blended modern design elements and innovations consistent with Seabourn's reputation for understated elegance. Seabourn Encore will feature 300 spacious, well-appointed suites, all of which include a private veranda. The majority of the ship's elegant suites range from nearly 300 square feet for the standard veranda suite, plus a private veranda that is up to 74 square feet, to upwards of 1,300 square feet for the luxurious Wintergarden suites, which also feature verandas of nearly 200 square feet.

"As on every one of our ships, guests will feel right at home when they enter their suite aboard Seabourn Encore," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn's President. "The suites will offer many thoughtful amenities and personal touches that we are known for, and will be designed with the style and elegance our guests have come to love and expect from Seabourn."

Guests will enjoy spacious accommodations featuring striking design, tasteful and sophisticated décor, and abundant light. Drawing inspiration from the line's rich history and yachting heritage, the suites will evoke a residential atmosphere with high-level finishes and furniture and rich mahogany wood. Subtle nautical references in blue and white detailed carpet and tailored white stitched upholstered headboards adorn each suite. Luxuriously modern bathrooms will be all marble, and in the Penthouse Suite in particular, guests will have the option of closing off a patterned glass wall to the living room to create a distinctive and private bedroom space.

The Personal Suite Stewardess' thoughtful, unobtrusive service will include: welcome champagne and canapés; selection of designer soaps; drawing a Pure Pampering bath; replenishing ice and bar set-up; managing laundry service needs; assisting with special requests; and personalized nightly turndown service.

In-suite features and amenities will include a comfortable living area; queen-size bed or two twin beds; a pleasant, separate living room area for enjoying expansive ocean views or in-suite dining; ample storage and walk-in closet with personal safe; a choice of pillows, and a complimentary mini-bar stocked and refilled daily with guests' preferences and choice of wine and spirits. Entertainment options include an interactive flat-screen TV system featuring hundreds of movies, music, shipboard programming featuring lectures and live views from the bridge, as well as a selection of broadcast network television and radio channels. In each bathroom, polished stone, gleaming hardware and sparkling mirrors will highlight a full tub, shower, double sinks, and bespoke bath products from Molton Brown.

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 expanded public areas, and will accommodate just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. Seabourn will continue to reveal renderings and updates about Seabourn Encore via the dedicated microsite, Filled with imagery, details and news of the ship's continuing progress, including "sunsets until launch," the microsite offers an inside look at the most exciting Seabourn launch in years. Additional details, news and images will be revealed on the site on an ongoing basis.

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Crystal River Cruises To Launch In March 2017 With 'River Yacht Class' Of Vessels

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 11: On the heels of last month's stunning announcement, including Crystal River Cruises, the world's most awarded luxury cruise line unveiled today more detailed plans for its collection of two Crystal river yacht vessels, which will be launched in Europe starting in late March 2017. The new series of vessels will boast a yacht-like design featuring larger accommodations and space-to-guest ratio than any other river cruise ship, and include Crystal's signature all-inclusive six-star service, plus a fresh approach to the traditional river itineraries and experiences.

"We continue to listen to what our guests and the luxury traveler want, and river cruises are what they've been telling us they want for some time - it's a natural extension of the exceptional ocean cruise Crystal has offered for the past 25 years," says Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. "But more importantly, they want to experience river cruises on a luxury Crystal vessel, and their desires will be fulfilled on our luxury Crystal river yachts."

The 70-suite luxury river yachts, which will be built by German shipyard Lloyd Werft, will surpass current and planned river boats or ships, and be the first in the industry to feature exceptional amenities and itinerary highlights including:

-- 250 square-foot guest suites with walk-in wardrobes, American king size beds and bathrooms with double vanities
-- Two 500 square-foot Penthouse Suites with added comforts and conveniences
-- Spacious public areas, including Palm Court with dance floor and glass domed roof and a well-appointed fitness center and spa

Taking advantage of its large suites to avoid multiple packing and unpacking with pre and post hotel stays as it is common with other river operators, Crystal's new river vessels will deploy itineraries that maximize time in port for meaningful shore-side excursions and experiences. This will afford Crystal guests virtually front-row access to some of Europe's most charming cities and always guarantee the award-winning Crystal service and dining experiences without the hassle and uncertainties of local hotel services and standards. Crystal's itineraries will also intentionally deviate from traditional river cruise routes to avoid congestion of other vessels in port.

Crystal will dedicate a portion of each cruise to sailing along some of the most picturesque rivers in central Europe—including destinations such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria—during daytime hours, allowing travelers to relish the extraordinary scenery. This timing also affords guests the opportunity to enjoy the nightlife in select destinations with port overnights, which will often present inclusive culinary experiences ashore at Michelin-starred restaurants and local eateries, and exclusive evening events and entertainment.

"The beauty of river cruising is not only that travelers enjoy close-up access to more fascinating inland locales, but also that the rivers themselves are coveted destinations that shouldn't be overlooked," says Rodriguez. "Our guests will have the opportunity to revel in the unique environment that sets river cruising apart from other travel experiences."

During days spent in port, Crystal River Cruises will offer guests a bevy of the immersive Crystal Adventures as well as launch its newest shore-side program called Active Exploration Adventures. Tailored for guests wanting a high-intensity shore-side activity, Crystal is offering a complimentary active excursion for guests to explore the splendid European landscapes while staying fit on their vacation. Travelers may also choose to create their own active adventures using the many bicycles (electric or manual), Segways and other active gear available on the ship for independent exploration. A luxury yacht tender will also be available for private yachting experiences that take guests to even more secluded areas within the destinations.

Itineraries, fares, and bookings for Crystal River Cruises will be available on Dec 1, 2015 at

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Silversea Announces Exclusive Enrichment Program For Silver Spirit

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Aug 10: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises will have the pleasure of welcoming renowned artist Alexandre Renoir and two Relais & Châteaux chefs, Erik Arnecke and Fabio Pisani, to host a special enrichment program aboard Silver Spirit's Nov 2, 2015 Mediterranean cruise, a 7-day sailing from Rome to Barcelona. This special "Farewell Mediterranean" voyage celebrates the culmination of a fantastic season sailing the waters of the Mediterranean.

Contemporary impressionist painter Alexandre Renoir, great-grandson of French impressionist painter Pierre-August Renoir, will be on board to present lectures about his famous ancestor's life and demonstrate his own artistic talents. This unique voyage features an overnight stay in Livorno, gateway to the artistic treasures of Florence, as well as calls in Monte Carlo, Marseille, Porto Mahon, and Palma de Mallorca. During the visit to Monte Carlo, Renoir will host an exclusive optional shore excursion to his estate at Cagnes-sur-Mer, where Pierre-August Renoir spent the last years of his life.

Also on board will be Erik Arnecke, chef of the Michelin-starred Philipp Soldan restaurant, located at Germany's Die Sonne Frankenberg Hotel, a Relais & Châteaux member property, and Fabio Pisani, chef of the two Michelin-starred Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia, a Relais & Châteaux restaurant in Milan, Italy. They will combine their extraordinary culinary talents to present an unparalleled program of informative cooking demonstrations and grand gourmet dinners.

"We're delighted to showcase the talents of these masters of art and cuisine," said Kristian Anderson, Silversea's senior vice president and general manager for the Americas. "We know our guests will enjoy enriching their minds with front-row seats to this extraordinary cultural and culinary experience."

Other highlights include a culinary demonstration program with specialized workshops and lively cooking competitions hosted by acclaimed culinary trainer David Bilsland, who oversees Silversea's L'École des Chefs program, the only Relais & Châteaux cooking school at sea. Plus, a wine enrichment program will spotlight a collection of some of Italy's finest vintages selected exclusively for Silversea guests by Comitato Grandi Cru d'Italia, an association of top Italian winemakers. Gennaro Buono, award-winning sommelier of the two Michelin-starred Il Pagliaccio, a Relais & Châteaux restaurant in Rome, Italy, will lead the guests in the discovery of Italian wine secrets.

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Carnival's Enhanced Internet Access, Including Social Media Packages,
To Be Rolled Out Fleetwide by Early 2016

MIAMI, Aug 10: Carnival Cruise Line’s new social media Internet packages, which offer access to a variety of popular Web sites for just $5 a day, are now available on more than half of the line’s ships with fleetwide implementation scheduled by the first quarter of 2016. Additionally, the line’s new mobile app, currently available on Carnival Breeze and offering an innovative “chat” feature, has been very well received with a third of the ship’s guests actively using the app during their cruise. The app is expected to be available on five additional ships by the end of the year and be fleetwide by summer 2016.

“Fast, affordable and reliable social media channels and the Internet have become essential on today’s cruise ships,” said Gabriela Gonzalez, Carnival’s vice president of guest technology. “We have thoughtfully approached this area to ensure we are providing options that guests sailing throughout our fleet find truly valuable and reliable,” she added.

Currently available on 13 ships, Carnival’s enhanced Internet access offers dramatically increased bandwidth and speed while the cruise industry’s first social media package provides unlimited access to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other popular sites for just $5 per day with discounted plans available for the entire cruise. Unlike other shipboard Internet packages, Carnival’s social media package is unique in that it allows guests a convenient, flexible and highly affordable option for updating their favorite social media channels during their cruise at one low price.

There’s also a “value” plan that includes unlimited access to the Web for checking email, sports scores, weather updates and a wide range of other applications, and a “premium” package that provides the fastest available connection speed and allows access to video calling sites like Skype.

The new Carnival HUB mobile app currently on Carnival Breeze provides guests with a convenient, at-a-glance view of the ship’s many facilities and features along with updates on events and happenings taking place on board, all available free of charge. Available for download at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, the app also includes an innovative “chat” feature that allows guests to exchange messages with their traveling companions using their mobile devices for a flat fee of $5 for the entire cruise. The app also includes day-by-day schedules of hundreds of on-board events, information on food and beverage venues, searchable deck plans, itinerary details, Sail & Sign account balance and more. Recently added options include the ability to pre-purchase the line’s Cheers! and Bottomless Bubbles beverage programs and upload photos to be displayed on Carnival Breeze’s 270-square-foot Seaside Theatre during the voyage. Additional features are scheduled to be added in the future.

For additional information, visit

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American Cruise Lines Launches Newest Mississippi Riverboat "America"

GUILFORD, CT, August 7: American Cruise Lines has announced the successful launching of its newest paddlewheeler "America" three weeks ahead of schedule. "America" is being built for the Mississippi River at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland. The launching, which took place this morning, was picture perfect. Immediately after being launched seamlessly, tugboats skillfully nudged the new riverboat into Chesapeake Shipbuilding’s East Outfitting Basin where the upper decks and outfitting will be completed.

The launching comes just a few weeks after the joining of the two hull sections. With the installation of the upper decks, the new riverboat will come together quickly, and upon completion will be the third new riverboat built for the Mississippi River by American Cruise Lines. Construction of the new "Queen of the Mississippi" is also underway and is slated for delivery in 2017.

The newest paddlewheeler "America", will have a capacity of 185 passengers and will introduce features never before seen on a riverboat. American built, American flagged and American crewed, this new vessel symbolizes the true all-American experience provided by American Cruise Lines. It is scheduled to begin navigating the Mississippi River and its tributaries next spring.

American Cruise Lines is the largest U.S. cruise company and operates the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships on more than 35 itineraries around the country including the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New England, the Southeast and the entire Mississippi River system. The line is known for working closely with guests and travel agents before, during, and after a cruise to create a highly personalized experience. Long established and deeply experienced in cruise travel,to learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit

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Crystal Overland Adventures Explore Asia's Spiritual & Cultural Heritage On 2016 World Cruise

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 7: From the mysterious Kingdom of Bhutan and the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, to China's Great Wall and Vietnam's notorious caves, Crystal Cruises is taking its globetrotting guests to some of the world's most wondrous locales during Crystal Serenity's 2016 World Cruise. The line has unveiled more than a dozen Crystal Overland Adventures for its 102-day "Grand Pacific Panorama" voyage, highlighting some of the destinations'—and the world's—most stunning and fascinating sites. The one-to-four-night excursions take guests hundreds of miles from ports including Shanghai, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Chan May, Xiamen and Sihanoukville to far-off places for in-depth, intimate exploration of treasured sites not accessible from the sea. Among the captivating options are:

• The Kingdom of Bhutan (2 nights from Laem Chebang/Bangkok): Travelers can observe the customs of the last remaining Buddhist Kingdom, set within the Himalayas at 8,000 feet and completely isolated from outside visitors until a few decades ago.
The Temples of Angkor Wat (2 nights from Sihanoukville): This magnificent complex of temples has earned UNESCO World Heritage status, offering travelers a glimpse into the Cambodian way of life and millennia of spiritual history that still shape it.
Beijing and the Great Wall (2 nights from Xiamen): One of the Seven Wonders of the World, China's Great Wall, is a highlight of this intrepid excursion, with additional visits to other exceptional landmarks including Tiananmen Square and Beijing's spectacular Summer Palace and the adjacent Forbidden City.
Xi'an & Terra Cotta Warriors Adventure (2 nights from Xiamen): Guests can travel to Xi'an for a chance to encounter one of the greatest archaeological finds of the last century, the Terra Cotta Warriors and discover some of the other sights of the city, including the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
Giant Pandas and Treasures of Chengdu (1 night from Shanghai): Guests will have the chance to explore the charming culture of Chengdu, which includes ancient temples, cuisine worthy of its status as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, the acclaimed Sichuan Opera and the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding—where participants will witness the study and preservation efforts overseen there, and perhaps hold a baby panda.

"Crystal travel adventures need not be limited to wherever the ship is located," says President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. "It is always our goal to offer experiences that surpass guests' expectations and offer experiences beyond what they've seen and done before; the Crystal Overland Adventures are a wonderful way to dive deeper into destinations."

Crystal Overland Adventures explore Australia's majestic Ayers Rock and other rock formations within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, as well as to the country's bustling capital city of Canberra where guest visit the NASA Deep Space Communication Complex for some interplanetary enrichment. This adventure concludes with a hot-air balloon ride over the city, so travelers can revel in the beauty of the destination from above.

Sailing round-trip from San Francisco on January 24, the 102-day "Grand Pacific Panorama" voyage sails through the South Pacific and Australia before cruising a comprehensive route through China, Japan and Southeast Asia en route back to North America via Alaska. The epic sailing is offered in six segments of 12 to 23 days, with all-inclusive segment fares starting at $4,545 per person; full World Cruise fares begin at $36,325 per person. Fares for the 2016 World Cruise Crystal Overland Adventures start at $1,369 per person and include all transportation and accommodations. Due to the nature of these programs, which are designed to be exclusive and intimate, availability may be limited.

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Holland America Line's 'Dancing with the Stars: At Sea' Final Champions Cruise to Feature
Fan Favorites from the Hit ABC Show

SEATTLE, Aug. 6: Holland America Line has added the talents of professional dancers and Mirrorball Trophy winners Tony Dovolani and Kym Johnson, along with celebrity personality Carson Kressley and America's favorite TV mom Florence Henderson to the "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" Champions Cruise departing Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Jan. 10, 2016, and to the Jan. 3, 2016, theme cruise the week prior. These voyages mark the final chances to experience "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" programming before the partnership concludes. When ms Nieuw Amsterdam sets sail for the Caribbean on two 7-day voyages, guests will be able to watch these four fan favorites take the stage to perform routines from the ABC's hit television show as well as exciting new choreographed dances. Additional events on these cruises include dance lessons with the ship's professional dancers; a special fashion show featuring glamorous show costumes from the TV show; and a chance to meet the stars, ask questions and take photos with them.

"We are thrilled to have the talents of Tony, Kym, Carson, and Florence, entertaining and mingling with our guests on these last two special theme cruises," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "And the Champions Cruise on the Jan. 10 sailing features the exciting grand finale dance-off following a year of guest competitions, and we look forward to crowning a new Mirrorball Trophy winner with the help of these fabulous stars. "It's been a wonderful partnership between Holland America Line and Dancing with the Stars over the last few years," added Ashford. "The program added an engaging element to our cruises that many guests embraced with passion and dedication. We are thankful to Dancing with the Stars and BBC Worldwide for an amazing run."

About the 'Dancing with the Star: At Sea'
Celebrities Professional dancer Tony Dovolani is a 19-season veteran of the show (the longest running dance pro) who took home the top prize during the all-star season, and Kym Johnson has been on the show for 17 seasons and is a two-time Mirrorball Trophy winner. Guests will recognize Carson Kressley, a "Dancing with the Stars" season 13 participant, as an Emmy-winning television star, celebrity stylist, author and fashion designer. Florence Henderson is best known as matriarch Carol Brady on the classic hit TV series "The Brady Bunch" and was a season 11 contestant.

About the 'Dancing with the Stars: At Sea' Champions Cruise
Beginning with cruises that departed on or after Sept. 21, 2014, and continuing with voyages that end by Nov. 24, 2015, every sailing on all 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet features exclusive "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" programming. Included are complimentary dance lessons with the ship's dance pros and a dance competition that gives guests an opportunity to compete for a chance to represent their ship on the Champions Cruise.

Winners of the guest competitions with the highest scores from each of Holland America Line's ships will receive a free ocean-view stateroom for two on the Champions Cruise to compete for the coveted Mirrorball Trophy and title of Holland America Line's "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" Champion. There will be one winner from each ship on the Jan. 10 Champions Cruise.

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MasterChef Cruise Returns to the Caribbean with Fan-Favorite Line-Up of Culinary Talent

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5: An all-new culinary adventure awaits as the MasterChef Cruise returns to the Caribbean Nov. 6-13, 2016. Following last year's debut of the MasterChef Cruise, foodies and fans of America's most watched cooking competition series MASTERCHEF (Wednesdays, 8:00pm ET/PT on FOX) will get a chance to experience a new and elevated line-up of entertainment and activities including Mystery Box Challenges, cooking demonstrations, meet-and-greets and more.

Presented by Endemol Shine North America, producers of the television series, and events company Life Journeys, the MasterChef Cruise will satisfy guests' appetites with culinary events and demonstrations featuring the MASTERCHEF All-Stars who are set to appear including Luca Manfe (MASTERCHEF Season 4 winner), Elizabeth Cauvel (MASTERCHEF Season 5 runner-up) and MASTERCHEF Season 6 winner (to be revealed on the Sept. 16 Finale), Sean Le (MasterChef Junior Season 2 contestant) and more to be announced.

Guests onboard the MasterChef Cruise will be offered an array of entertaining and instructional events and demonstrations, including:

-- MASTERCHEF JUNIOR All-Stars Grilled Cheese Showdown: Watch as some ofAmerica's best young home cooks tackle this after-school classic, adding their own flair to a dish that can be so much more than just cheese and bread
-- MASTERCHEF All-Stars Meet-and-Greet: A unique opportunity to meet and greet the MASTERCHEF and MASTERCHEF JUNIOR All-Stars. Guests will also have a chance to get their MASTERCHEF winners' cookbook signed
-- Live Mystery Box Challenge: Get a first-hand look at a live Mystery Box Challenge as the MASTERCHEF All-Stars compete to create an elevated dish of their choice
-- All-Stars Finale Cook-Off: Root for your favorite MASTERCHEF and MASTERCHEF JUNIOR All-Star as they battle it out to be the next MasterChef Cruise Champion

The 7-day cruise sets sail Nov 6 on board Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam. Embarking from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it will visit Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private island in the Bahamas.

The first 100 eligible people to make a qualified booking on the MasterChef Cruise receive special access to the "First 100 All-Star Soiree." Fares for the MasterChef Cruise include activities associated with the MasterChef Cruise shipboard programming. For additional details and the full MasterChef Cruise itinerary visit

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A Frightfully Good Time Awaits Disney Cruise Line Guests this Halloween

CELEBRATION, FL: Disney Cruise Line will treat guests sailing this fall to a wickedly good time as the Disney ships transform into a ghoulish wonderland filled with frightfully fun events and activities, special decorations, unique menu items in the restaurants and themed parties on deck. In 2015, Halloween on the High Seas takes place on most voyages aboard all Disney Cruise Line ships from September through October. This extra-spooky celebration features Halloween-themed parties, lively entertainment and elaborate décor, including The Pumpkin Tree, which magically transforms throughout the cruise. Other special experiences include:

-- Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, a celebration in addition to Pirate Night with games, dancing and lots of candy! Beloved Disney characters, wearing special Halloween costumes just for the occasion, will join guests for this fun-filled costume party.
-- A Nightmare Before Christmas—Sing and Scream, an interactive movie experience where guests are part of the action, followed by a meet-and-greet with Jack Skellington and Sally.
-- Haunted Stories of the Sea, where the bravest cruisers gather under the stars to hear some true—or not so true—tales of the sea told by a mysterious sea captain storyteller.
-- Creepy Cabaret, a party in the atrium featuring favorite Halloween-themed music performed live by a band of ghostly musicians.

Halloween Isn’t Just For Kids: For adults, the nighttime entertainment district on each Disney ship becomes the ghoulish setting for a costume contest and a Villainous Takeover on the dance floor.

Spooky Movies: To get guests into the spirit of the season, Halloween-themed movies will be shown in Buena Vista Theatre, on Funnel Vision by the family pool and in guest staterooms.

Ghoulish Delights: Disney Cruise Line chefs have conjured some very special treats for Halloween, including chocolate cake with pumpkin filling, spider cakes and “Spooky Juice.”

More spooky fun includes mask-making and a ghostly takeover of ship announcements! To celebrate Halloween, the Disney Magic sails 4- and 5-night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises departing Oct. 4 to Oct. 28; the Disney Wonder sails a variety of cruises departing Oct. 1 to Oct. 23; the Disney Dream sails three- and four-night Bahamian cruises departing Sept. 7 to Oct. 30; and the Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises departing Sept. 5 to Oct. 31. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line, visit

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Princess Cruises Debuts The Voice of the Ocean

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Aug 5: Princess Cruises brings the excitement and spectacle of TV’s wildly popular international singing competition to the high seas, live and on-stage, with The Voice of the Ocean. The show comes to life throughout the cruise with auditions, mentor rehearsal sessions, the iconic “I Want You” chairs, three charismatic team coaches and ultimately a live finale performance where guests choose the winner.

The Voice of the Ocean singing competition experience aboard Princess Cruises includes:

• Karaoke try out sessions at the beginning of each cruise, for vocalists who are 16 years or older. There will be two opportunities to audition during open karaoke in one of the ships lounges or showrooms. Fellow guests and cruise staff will decide who moves on to compete.
• Selected singers are assigned a mentor who will meet with them during the cruise to rehearse with the Princess Band and back-up singers to prepare for the best possible performance. The mentors will be a Princess musical entertainer or vocalist.
• The Voice of the Ocean Live Show, hosted by the Cruise Director on the last night of the cruise will feature up to nine contestants performing in the Princess Theater for an audience that includes three high-profile team coaches that may include one of our guest entertainers, the Hotel General Manager, or even the Captain. Just like the hit TV show, the trio of coaches will listen, but not see the performer as they decide to turn their “I Want You” chair to choose the singer to be on their team. Once teams are chosen coaches will then each pick one finalist. From the three finalists, the audience votes for the winner who will be awarded a trophy and most importantly, the title The Voice of the Ocean.

“Whether guests are up on stage or in the audience deciding who gets their vote, we know The Voice of the Ocean will be a huge hit with Princess guests,” said Adrian Fischer, vice president, entertainment for Princess Cruises. “Guests will feel like they are part of the globally popular TV show performing on a high tech set almost identical to the hit show, including rotating red chairs and a live Princess band with back-up singers. We’re excited to discover and foster undiscovered talent and offer guests a whole new way to express their love of music and performing.”

The vocal competition will debut aboard Regal Princess in October, followed by Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in November. Eight additional ships will offer The Voice of the Ocean rolling out between January and May of 2016. This new partnership adds to the cruise line’s "come back new" brand promise, designed to elevate the guest experience by creating enriching moments and lifelong memories. For more information about The Voice of the Ocean, or to watch a pilot video shot aboard Star Princess, visit

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Most Overnights, More Excursions, More Caribbean—Only with Celebrity Cruises

MIAMI, Aug. 5: Celebrity Cruises is bringing more of the Caribbean to vacationers with “Evenings Around the World” shore excursions, featuring 14 new, unique experiences that begin after the sun goes down. These special excursions perfectly complement the recently announced overnight stays on over 40 Caribbean sailings departing January 2016 and beyond—more than any other cruise line.

Celebrity’s Caribbean Evenings Around the World program offers guests a curated menu of evening experiences that go beyond the port, expose travelers to the true soul of the Caribbean, and provide experiences that can’t be captured on a postcard. Genuinely Caribbean excursions include evening jazz, bonfires and exclusive boat parties in Cozumel, Mexico; an exclusive wine tasting at the Caribbean’s first winery in Willemstad, Curacao; drifting along Aruba’s picturesque coastline, to live Caribbean music, on a special sunset cruise; and nighttime, horse-drawn carriage tours along winding cobblestone streets, past historical colonial mansions in Cartagena, Colombia.

“We have created ‘must-do’ experiences to give our guests a unique way to enjoy the vibrancy of the Caribbean at night," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "More time at the port means more time to explore, and we now offer more overnights, more excursions and more of the Caribbean than any other cruise line. We are taking vacationers beyond the ordinary to capture firsthand what makes each island truly special.”

Celebrity’s Evenings Around the World shore excursions are available in Caribbean destinations such as Cartagena, Colombia; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Cozumel, Mexico; Aruba; Curacao and Barbados. They can range from $45-$239 per person, and are now open for booking. For more information about the newly enhanced Caribbean season, visit

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American Cruise Lines Doubles Capacity on the Columbia & Snake Rivers

GUILFORD, CT, August 4: American Cruise Lines announced that the "Queen of the Mississippi" (to be renamed) will join the "Queen of the West" in the Pacific Northwest on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. This three-year-old vessel, with all oversized staterooms and private balconies, will more than double the capacity on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The line’s brand new riverboat America will replace the "Queen of the Mississippi" on the Mississippi River in early 2016.

The repositioning of this riverboat to the Pacific Northwest and the introduction of the new 185-passenger paddlewheeler "America" to the Mississippi River will enable American Cruise Lines to meet the high demands for cruising on the Columbia and Snake Rivers and provide more capacity on the Mississippi River system. This new Columbia River paddlewheeler features the largest, most well-appointed staterooms on the river with large sliding glass doors opening to private balconies. The glass-enclosed dining room comfortably accommodates all guests in one seating and seven spacious lounges throughout the ship offer areas for entertainment, relaxation and conversation. While on board the guests learn about the Pacific Northwest history and culture, while enjoying the finest in personalized service.

The new paddlewheeler "America" is scheduled to be launched this week in Salisbury, MD, and will be moved to its East Outfitting Basin for completion of the upper decks and final outfitting. A new "Queen of the Mississippi" is also under construction at Chesapeake Shipbuilding. These new riverboats for American Cruise Lines will be the finest Mississippi paddlewheelers ever built, introducing features never before seen on a riverboat.

American Cruise Lines is the largest U.S. cruise company and operates the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships on more than 35 itineraries around the country including the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New England, the Southeast and the entire Mississippi River system. The line is known for working closely with guests and travel agents before, during, and after a cruise to create a highly personalized experience. For additional information, visit

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Seabourn Pulls Back The Curtain To Unveil Show Lounge On Board Seabourn Encore: The Grand Salon

SEATTLE, Aug. 3: Seabourn has revealed the rendering of one of the most distinct onboard venues aboard its newest ultra-luxury vessel, Seabourn Encore, debuting in December 2016: the Grand Salon. Custom tailored with striking elements by design icon Adam D. Tihany, who is designing all of the indoor and outdoor areas aboard Seabourn Encore, the main show lounge will present a sophisticated setting for onboard performances, from new shows by seasoned entertainers to local, cultural productions from ashore and engaging guest speakers from the line's popular enrichment series, Seabourn Conversations, such as legendary American journalist Dan Rather and Forbes Media Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes.

Located on Deck Six and accessible via the main staircase, the Grand Salon will feature a layout and design that is both elegant and inviting. The lounge will showcase a dramatic, expansive theater with plush, pivoting chairs that are arrayed in cabaret style seating to ensure the audience is close to the performers. Sculpture panels and lineal lights compose the sweeping ceiling, while an enlarged bar pantry sits in the back to serve guests.

"Providing enriching and engaging entertainment is a hallmark Seabourn offering, and the Grand Salon is the best venue to feature our diverse selection of entertainment options aboard the world's most beautiful ultra-luxury ship," said John Delaney, Seabourn's senior vice president, marketing and sales.

Like Seabourn Encore itself, the Grand Salon's program schedule will be in constant motion, inviting guests to migrate throughout the day for events that suit their mood. During the days and occasionally after dinner, the lounge will be the setting for lectures from guest speakers, cooking demonstrations, comedy, classical recitals and more. Most evenings will feature dancing before dinner on the Grand Salon's main dance floor, and following dinner will include vocal production shows and cabaret performances and more.

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 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 has revealed renderings and updates about Seabourn Encore via a dedicated microsite  Filled with imagery, details and updates on the ship's progress, including "sunsets until launch," the microsite offers an inside look at the most exciting Seabourn launch in years. Additional details, news and images will be revealed on the site on an ongoing basis. For more details about the award-winning Seabourn fleet, visit

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Un-Cruise Adventures Releases New Brochure of Small Ship Cruises & Introduces New Itinerary in Panamá

Seattle, August 3: Un-Cruise Adventures’ new comprehensive brochure of small ship adventure and river cruises begins arriving in mailboxes the first week of August. The brochure details voyages from November 2015 through April 2017 in Alaska, Pacific Northwest, Columbia & Snake Rivers, Hawaii, Mexico, the Galápagos Islands, Costa Rica and new in 2017, Panamá. The printed brochure has increased to 100 pages and includes details on twenty cruise itineraries plus land tour extensions. Colorful photos and maps illustrate each trip, and ship deck plans provide an overview of the line’s fleet of boutique yachts and small ships carrying 22-88 guests.

“The brochure releases details on our newest destination—an in-depth exploration of Panamá’s jungles, islands and native cultures,” said Dan Blanchard, CEO. “This is a Panamá rarely seen by travelers; beyond the Panama Canal is a culturally rich and scenic country.”

A Pure Panamá: Cultures, Coasts & Canals itinerary sails roundtrip Panamá city, Panamá aboard the 64-guest Safari Voyager. Highlights include exclusive visits at Guna Yala Islands and Darién villages, explorations of historic Casco Antiguo and San Lorenzo Fort, wildlife viewing in the Darién Jungle by motorized dugout canoe, bird watching along the Chagres River and a full transit of the 48-mile long Panama Canal.

Lush jungle and white sand beaches meld into a week of adventure and cultural activities on the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the country. On the Pacific side, travelers hike into the Punta Patiño Nature Reserve in the Darién Jungle, spot wildlife on the Mogue River by motorized dugout canoe and meet locals at an Emberá village. The Pearl Islands Archipelago dotted with 90 islands and 130 islets is a beach paradise to explore by kayak, paddle board, skiffs and snorkeling while keeping eyes peeled for whales and dolphins.

In addition to the Panama Canal transit, guests tour Miraflores Locks and museum, travel to Casco Antiguo, the historic quarter of Panamá City, and visit the Presidential Palace, National Theatre and Metropolitan Cathedral. On the Atlantic side, two days are spent exploring Guna Yala (formerly the San Blas Islands) with time for water sports activities, swimming, relaxing on a picturesque beach and touring a local Kuna village. An exploration of the Chagres River is followed by a visit to San Lorenzo Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first sailing departs April 29, 2017 and weeklong cruises continue through September. All adventures and activities are included along with innovative meals, a massage, transfers and premium wine, beer and spirits.

In fall 2016, a weeklong adventure cruise begins exploring Costa Rica and also includes a full transit of the Panama Canal. The Safari Voyager will remain in Central America full-time to sail itineraries in Costa Rica and Panamá.

The new brochure can be ordered or viewed online here.

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Carnival Teams Up With Dr. Seuss Enterprises to Host Celebrity Book-Reading Events

MIAMI, August 3: Carnival Cruise Line and its partner Dr. Seuss Enterprises teamed up to celebrate the release of the new Dr. Seuss book, “What Pet Should I Get?” with recent celebrity book readings by Tampa Bay Rays all-star Evan Longoria aboard Carnival Paradise in Tampa and local broadcasting legend Angela Hill aboard Carnival Dream in New Orleans.

In conjunction with the event, Carnival is matching Longoria’s donation of $100 to Pet Pal Animal Shelter for every home run he hits during the 2015 season. The cruise line is also donating monies to the Tampa Bay and Louisiana chapters of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

“Carnival is the number one cruise line for families and we’re delighted to team up with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring the joy of reading to kids with these special presentations in Tampa and New Orleans while supporting local animal rescue organizations,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “The kids were absolutely thrilled to have been treated to a reading of the first new Dr. Seuss book in 25 years and our most sincere thanks to Evan and Angela, as well as the SPCA, for the valuable work they do each and every day,” she added.

Donning Dr. Seuss’ signature striped hat and surrounded by rescue dogs from the SPCA, Longoria and Hill delighted children with spirited readings of “What Pet Should I Get?” which is based on an original manuscript and accompanying sketches by Dr. Seuss, aka Ted Geisel, that was discovered in the La Jolla, Calif., home of the late beloved children’s author. Following the reading, children and their chaperones joined The Cat in the Hat, Sam I am, and Thing 1 and Thing 2 for Carnival’s popular Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends, part of the line’s exclusive Seuss at Sea program.

Launched in 2014, Seuss at Sea is a fleetwide program featuring exciting youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences inspired by the amazing world and words of Dr. Seuss. The program includes such fun activities as the Seuss-a-palooza Parade and Story Time, as well as character interactions, Dr. Seuss toys and games and popular movies.

For additional information, visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Global Deployment Expansion

MIAMI, August 3: Norwegian Cruise Line today announced exciting and exotic new itineraries for the brand’s Fall/Winter 2016/2017 deployment, bringing the world to guests who want to explore new sights while experiencing the freedom and flexibility that only Norwegian Cruise Line can offer. Norwegian offers guests new destinations and new ports to choose from in 2016 and 2017, including cruises to Asia onboard Norwegian Star, with itineraries departing from Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland—marking the line’s return to the Asia and Australia regions for the first time since Norwegian Wind Fall/Winter 2001-2002 and first-ever visits to The Gulf and India. Norwegian Epic will continue to spend her summers in Europe and return to the US in the fall as Norwegian’s newest and largest ship to homeport in Port Canaveral, offering 3-, 4- and 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries. Exploring South America by sea will now be more accessible than ever with Norwegian, with a number of itineraries ranging in length from 7- to 20-nights, with embarkations in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Norwegian Spirit will return to homeport in Europe year-round, sailing through the Eastern and Western Mediterranean with departures from Barcelona, Istanbul, and Venice. In addition, Norwegian Jade will now sail seasonally in the winter months from Tampa to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, while Norwegian Jewel will sail two new 14-day Panama Canal sailings from Los Angeles and Miami in February 2016 and two in February 2017. Norwegian’s new itineraries will be available for booking later this month. Caribbean sailings will open on August 19 and all other destinations on August 24.

“We are truly excited to offer these incredible new itineraries to our guests, who now have the opportunity to explore areas of the globe that we haven’t called on in many years and some that we’ve never before visited,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian’s president and chief operating officer. “Norwegian is taking guests to their dream destinations, where they can indulge in new tastes, new cultures and new experiences, along with the flexibility to unpack once and the freedom to explore many distinct destinations during one vacation-of-a-lifetime.”

Asia & Australia
In the fall of 2016, Norwegian Cruise Line will cruise to the Far East for the first time since fall/winter 2001-2002, with the recently renovated Norwegian Star sailing to the region for several unique itineraries that also feature first-ever visits to The Gulf and India. Norwegian Star will continue to spend her summer 2016 months cruising the Baltic Capitals from Copenhagen, Denmark. After her journey through the Western Mediterranean, Norwegian Star will depart on October 31, 2016 from Istanbul on the brand’s first voyage to the Gulf region through the Suez Canal for a 20-day Eastern Mediterranean and The Gulf itinerary with stops in Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Rhodes, Greece; overnight in Haifa, Israel; Port Said, Sharm El Sheikh and Safaga, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan; Salalah and Muscat, Oman; and an overnight in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

On November 20, 2016, Norwegian Star will sail a 21-day Journey to the East from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Singapore, featuring the brand’s first visit to India with an overnight in Mumbai and stops in Goa (Mormugao), Mangalore and Kochi (Cochin). Additional ports of call include Fujairah and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Muscat and Khasab, Oman; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Phuket, Thailand; Penang, Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia; and Singapore.

Throughout December 2016 and January 2017, Norwegian Star will do a series of 11- and 14-day sailings in Southeast Asia, departing from Singapore and Hong Kong respectively. Norwegian Star’s 11-day Southeast Asia itineraries departing from Singapore on December 11, 2016 and January 5, 2017 feature ports of call in Ko Samui and an overnight in Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand; Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) and Nha Trang, Vietnam; Sanya and Hong Kong, China. Guests who sail on the ship’s 14-day Southeast Asia itinerary from Hong Kong on December 22, 2016 will celebrate the holidays with calls in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Hanoi (Ha Long Bay), Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; an overnight stay in Bangkok (Laem Chabang) and a day visit to Ko Samui, Thailand; and Singapore.

On January 16, 2017, Norwegian Star will sail a 21-day Southeast Asia and Australia itinerary from Hong Kong, China to Sydney, Australia. Ports of call include Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam; Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand; Singapore; Bali (Benoa) and Komodo, Indonesia; Darwin, Cairns, Airlie Beach, and Brisbane, Australia.

Norwegian Star will sail a 12-day Australia and New Zealand sailing on February 6, 2017 from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand. Ports of call for this adventure down under include Melbourne and Burnie, Australia; and Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Napier and Tauranga, New Zealand. Norwegian Star will also sail a 19-day Australia and New Zealand thrill-filled itinerary from Auckland, New Zealand to Singapore departing February 18, 2017. Ports of call include: Bay of Islands, New Zealand; Sydney, Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Darwin, Australia; and Komodo and Bali (Benoa), Indonesia; and Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang), Malaysia.

Norwegian Star will begin her journey back to the West with an 18-day Southeast Asia and India sailing from Singapore to Dubai, departing March 9, 2017. Ports of Call include Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), and Penang, Malaysia; Phuket, Thailand; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Kochi (Cochin), Mangalore, Mumbai and Goa (Mormugao), India; Muscat and Khasab, Oman; Fujairah and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Rounding out her season in the Far East will be a 20-day Eastern Mediterranean and The Gulf sailing from Dubai, United Arab Emirates through the Suez Canal to Venice, Italy departing March 27, 2017. Ports of call on this Western-bound journey include Fujairah, United Arab Emirates; Muscat and Salalah, Oman; Aqaba, Jordan; Safaga and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; an overnight in Haifa, Israel; a stop in Iraklion, Crete, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and finally, an overnight stay in Venice, Italy.

Caribbean & Bahamas
After more than a year in Europe, Norwegian Epic will return to Florida in November 2016 and will become the line’s largest ship to homeport from Port Canaveral. Norwegian will offer Freestyle Cruising at its finest aboard Norwegian Epic with a series of Eastern and Western Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries ranging in length from three, four, six and seven days—a sure opportunity to fit any schedule or itinerary preference.

Norwegian Epic’s 7-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary will be a beach-lover’s paradise with stops in Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Guests can choose to soak-up the sun or opt for an adventurous land-based activity on Norwegian Epic’s Western Caribbean itinerary, featuring stops in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Norwegian Epic will offer guests who may not have the time to get away for a week-long vacation the perfect opportunity for a quick escape in January and March 2017 with three- and four-day Bahamas itineraries with stops in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay.

Norwegian Jade will replace Norwegian Star and homeport from Tampa from November 2016 through April 2017 and sail a 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary departing on Sundays to Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan (Bay Islands), Honduras; and Norwegian’s new Caribbean destination experience, Harvest Caye, Belize. In addition, Norwegian Jade will also sail two eight-day Western Caribbean holiday sailings in December 2016. Guests aboard these two cruises will enjoy the holidays under the sun with ports of call in Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan (Bay Islands) Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala.

Norwegian Jade guests can explore further into the Caribbean with two 10-day and two 11-day Eastern Caribbean cruises from Tampa. Marking the first time Norwegian has offered sailings longer than one week to the Caribbean from Tampa, Norwegian Jade’s 10-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary departing January 15 and March 19 will visit Key West, Florida; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. John’s, Antigua; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Norwegian will call in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the first time aboard Norwegian Jade’s 11-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary departing January 25 and March 29; additional ports of call include Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands or Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Norwegian will continue to offer a four-ship deployment in Europe during the summer of 2016. Norwegian Spirit will replace Norwegian Epic as the brand’s year-round European ship, while Norwegian Star will sail the Mediterranean and Western Europe in the fall of 2016 en-route to the Far East.

Norwegian Star will begin her journey south with a 14-day Western Europe sailing from Copenhagen, Denmark to Barcelona, Spain departing on September 28, 2016. Guests will have the freedom and flexibility to taste, touch, shop and feel the flavors of Europe with ports including Oslo, Norway; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium; Paris (Le Havre) and Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France; Seville (Cadiz), Valencia, and the line’s first call in Gijón, Spain; as well as a call in Lisbon, Portugal.

Norwegian Star will sail an 11-day Classic Mediterranean itinerary from Barcelona to Istanbul in October 12, 2016. Highlighting some of Europe’s most sought-after destinations including Palma, Majorca, Spain; Marseille, France; Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples and Taormina (Sicily), Italy; Athens (Piraeus) and Mykonos, Greece; and overnight in Istanbul, Turkey.

Norwegian will return to the Holy Lands for the first time since 2013 with one 8-day Eastern Mediterranean and Holy Lands sailing round-trip from Istanbul aboard Norwegian Star departing October 23, 2016. Guests will marvel at the spiritual and natural wonders of the region with stops in Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; overnight in Haifa, Israel; Alanya, Turkey; and Rhodes, Greece.

Norwegian will offer two additional opportunities for guests to visit this incredible region, with two 11-day Eastern Mediterranean and Holy Lands sailings aboard Norwegian Spirit. The voyages will depart November 28, 2016 and April 12, 2017 on a port-packed itinerary from Venice to Istanbul with three overnight stops in Venice, Italy; Haifa, Israel; and Istanbul, Turkey. In addition, the itinerary will feature ports of call in Zadar, Croatia; Iraklion (Crete), Mykonos and Rhodes, Greece; and Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey.

Norwegian Spirit will offer a series of 7-, 10- and 11-day Eastern and Western Mediterranean sailings from November 2016 to May 2017 departing from Barcelona, Venice, and Istanbul—marking the first time in many years that Norwegian has offered the opportunity for guests to embark a ship in the Turkish city. Ports of call vary by sailing depending on length but include Zadar, Croatia; Iraklion, Crete, Athens (Piraeus) and Rhodes, Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Naples, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Palermo, Sicily and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Palma, Majorca, and Valencia Spain; Marseilles, France; and Valletta, Malta.

On December 27, 2016 and March 12, 2017 Norwegian Spirit will sail a 10-Day Canary Islands and Morocco itinerary. Her stops will include Tangier, Morocco; Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands; Funchal, Madeira; and Granada (Malaga) and Alicante, Spain.

Panama Canal
In addition to Norwegian’s previously scheduled Panama Canal deployment featuring two 14-day cruises in February 2016, the line has added two new 14-day Panama Canal sailings from Los Angeles and Miami on Norwegian Jewel, on February 5 and February 19, 2017 respectively. The mirrored itineraries feature ports of call including Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; and will feature a bucket-list item: a daytime transit through the wondrous Panama Canal.

South America
As previously announced, Norwegian Sun will return to South America for the winter season in 2016 and 2017. During this season, Norwegian will offer a variety of sailings through South America with departures from new homeport Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as from Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Guests will experience adventures great and small with a South America sailing aboard Norwegian Sun. Norwegian will offer 10-day South America itineraries departing from Buenos Aires, Argentina and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in December 2016, February and March 2017, where guests can soak up the vibrant South American culture with ports of call including an overnight stay on select sailings in Buenos Aires, Argentina; stops in Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay; and Sao Paolo (Santos), Ilha Grande and Buzios, Brazil, with an overnight stay in Rio De Janeiro.

Those looking to experience the majesty of the holidays at sea can do so aboard Norwegian Sun’s South America 14-day Buenos Aires Round-Trip sailing departing December 23, 2016. The holiday sailing is sure to bring “boas festas,” happy holidays, to all aboard with an overnight stop in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and the best of Brazil with stops in Sao Paolo (Santos), Ilha Grande, Buzios, Angre dos Reis and an overnight stay in Rio de Janeiro; along with Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Norwegian will offer four South America 15-day itineraries between Santiago (Valparaiso) and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The East-bound itineraries depart from Santiago (Valparaiso) on January 21 and March 9, 2017 while the West-bound depart from Buenos Aires, Argentina on February 22 and April 10. These spectacular journeys feature calls in Punta Arenas, Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Montt, Chile; Stanley, Falkland Islands; Montevideo, Uruguay; Puerto Madryn and Ushuaia, Argentina; with an overnight in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During these eastbound cruises, guests will also cruise the Patagonic Channels, majestic Chilean Fjords, sail the famous Strait of Magellan; Beagle Channel and the spectacular Cape Horn.

Those who may only have one week for a quick South American getaway can opt for Norwegian Sun’s South America 7-day Buenos Aires, Argentina to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil sailings on February 5 and March 24, 2017. This weeklong itinerary offers a snap shot of Eastern South America with ports of call in Sao Paolo (Santos) and Ilha Grande, Brazil; and Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Norwegian Sun will make her journey back to the Northern Hemisphere with a South America 20-day Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile to San Francisco sailing departing April 25, 2017. Guests on this voyage can experience a myriad of cultures with ports of call in Central America’s quaintest cities and opt for a shore excursion to the mystical Machu Picchu from Arica, Chile. Ports of call for on this northern-bound adventure include Coquimbo and Arica, Chile; Lima (Callao) and Trujillo (Salaverry), Peru; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Puerto Chiapas, Huatulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Guests can also choose to extend their South American exploration with a Cruisetour, providing an unparalleled opportunity to explore this region’s culture and spectacular destinations such as Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls and Easter Island.

For guests who wish to book one of the new adventure-filled itineraries, Norwegian Cruise Line is offering up to five incredible offers to enhance the onboard experience during Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice promotion from now through August 31, 2015. Guests who book any stateroom have the freedom to select their favorite onboard offer† including a free Ultimate Beverage Package, a free Specialty Dining Package, a free WiFi package, free pre-paid gratuities or Friends & Family Sail Free, where the third through eighth guest in each stateroom can even sail for free. Guests who book a suite or The Haven by Norwegian will receive all five offers for free. For full details as well as terms and conditions please visit:

Seasonally, Norwegian also continues to offer three ships in Alaska, four in Europe, two in Bermuda, as well as a variety of exciting South America; Bahamas and Florida; and repositioning cruises. Norwegian will also continue to offer its unique inter-island Hawaii cruises year-round on Pride of America from Honolulu. Norwegian’s short Bahamas itineraries on Norwegian Sky will continue to sail from Miami year-round, and will offer an all-inclusive experience featuring free premium beverages on all sailings in 2016 and beyond. For more information, visit

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American Queen Steamboat Company’s 2015 Holiday Cruises Feature
Newly Added Christmas Markets & Entertainment

MEMPHIS, TN: The American Queen Steamboat Company is encouraging families and friends to spend the holidays onboard the grand American Queen this season. The most opulent riverboat in the world will travel the waters of the Mississippi River to and from Memphis, Tenn. and New Orleans, La. Guests of the American Queen will be surrounded by southern history and culture on these 9-day cruises that embark beginning this Thanksgiving.

New and exclusive to the American Queen holiday sailings this season are Christmas markets along the river in ports, offering music as well as seasonal and locally produced crafts and goods. All old-fashioned holiday themed sailings include special entertainment such as strolling carolers in St. Francisville, La., departure serenades from the levees of Vicksburg and Natchez, Miss. and the favorite Steamboat Syncopators singing holiday favorites throughout the journey as well as Christmas markets in Greenville, Miss. and Nottoway Plantation.

“We are excited to offer these new holiday cruises that incorporate the local traditions and festivities of our beloved river communities as a way to celebrate the 2015 season,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “The holidays are a special time of the year for everyone and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the season than cruising the Mississippi aboard the American Queen.”

Old-Fashioned Holiday Sailings on the American Queen include:

• Memphis, Tenn. To New Orleans, La. Nov. 21–29, Dec. 5–13 and Dec. 19–27, 2015
Explore fertile cotton fields, vast sugar cane plantations and imposing pillared mansions as the American Queen cruises from Memphis to New Orleans. A highlight of the late-November voyage includes a Thanksgiving feast and celebration onboard the elaborately decorated boat.

• New Orleans, La. To Memphis, Tenn. Nov. 28–Dec. 6 and Dec. 12–20, 2015
The bayous and woodlands along the shore create dramatic landscapes that are virtually unchanged since the days of the French fur trades. Guests can take in the beautiful sights and sounds of these gracious towns and as an exclusive event of the December 12th 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.

• Roundtrip New Orleans, La. Dec. 26, 2015–Jan. 3, 2016
Ring in the New Year with the diversity and drama of the Lower Mississippi while discovering the romance and antebellum charms of famous plantations like Oak Alley, located in the Saint James Parish.

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

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