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Cruise News
September 1-30, 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

Take a Bite Out of Surprising Cuisine Finds at Sea

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30: October is National Plan a Cruise Month and the cruise industry is celebrating every aspect of cruising, especially cruise cuisine. Today's cruise traveler knows one thing about cruise cuisine - expect the unexpected. Much to a cruise traveler's benefit, most cruise lines now offer a wealth of options to satisfy any appetite and please any palate. From specialty menus to made-to-order dishes, there is a wide range of dining options aboard a ship that may surprise even the most seasoned traveler.

"Most people think of a deluxe buffet when they think of cruise dining and, while that is one option, there are plenty of additional dining delights available on a cruise ship," said Cindy D'Aoust, Acting CEO of CLIA. "Today's cruises offer specialty dining options that invite guests for once-in-a-lifetime palate experiences."

Here is a sampling of seven cruise cuisine surprises:

1. Eat Local: More and more cruise ships are indulging in local cultures and sourcing their onboard ingredients from their cruise destinations. Cruise chefs are finding everything from strawberries to red snapper from local food markets in destinations around the world. Guests onboard American Cruise Lines' American Eagle can enjoy seafood with a Cajun and Creole flair, all fresh and locally sourced.
2. Specialty Diets at Sea: Cruise ship culinary staff is trained to accommodate any dietary restrictions and preferences from vegetarian and gluten-free to allergies. Windstar Cruises' guests who mention a special diet to the culinary team while onboard are provided with amazing service to find the best options. One guest tells a story of asking the culinary team to "just bring her fruit" every night after dinner for dessert. Each night, she was treated to an imaginative presentation of seasonal (and local where possible) fruit with a variety of healthy toppings.
3. Dining Delicacies & Rare Finds: Cruisers can please their palate with local destination delicacies and rare dishes for once-in-a-lifetime epicurean experiences. Carnival Cruise Line offers adventurous eaters a "Rare Finds" menu with dining offerings, including spicy alligator fritters, ox tongue and more.
4. Wining & Dining: There is more than culinary options at sea, a thirst for fine wines and spirits is also quenched on today's cruise ships. The MSC Divina offers a wine blending class that lets passengers create, bottle and label their own wine, while the Seabourn Odyssey features an extensive wine menu with more than 200 wines from the world's top wine-growing regions.
5. Top Chefs & Artisans: There are celebrity chefs and top culinary artisans abound on cruise ships, each whipping up menus full of culinary specialties. Holland America Line's Culinary Council is made up of five world-renowned chefs, including Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Elizabeth Faulkner, Jacques Torres and Mark Best whose unique dishes are offered in the Main Dining Room.
6. Become a Cheftestant: Cruising foodies can learn a thing or two about cooking up something special with onboard and on-shore cooking classes. Beyond cooking classes, many lines offer the chance for guests to become "cheftestants" in culinary show downs, like Celebrity Cruises' Quickfire Challenges, in partnership with Bravo's Top Chef.
7. Specialty Ships Fit for Foodies: Many cruise lines offer specialty cruises focused on cooking, dining and all things culinary, perfect for epicurean travelers. Oceania Cruises offer hour-long Culinary Discovery Tours led by a chef instructor where guests can interact with regional culinary experts and explore local food markets, restaurants, vineyards, farms and cooking schools.

For more information about cruise cuisine or how you could enter to win one of 31 cruises from October 1-31, 2015, please visit

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Azamara Reimagines Guest Suites & Staterooms

MIAMI, Sept. 30: Azamara Club Cruises, the up-market line delivering an unmatched experience at sea and on land, unveiled today new design plans for its suites and staterooms as part of the line’s program to Reimagine Azamara while in dry dock early next year.

“Azamara is all about Destination Immersion and we spend more time in ports at night and stay overnight to ensure our guests can spend enough time in the destination to come away with an authentic experience. Our Azamazing Evenings, Nights and Cool Places, Insider Access and Cruise Global, Eat Local are just a few of the programs we provide guests to make the most of their time in port,” says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “When our guests return to the ship, we recognize the importance of offering accommodations that provide a respite from their adventures and functions like a moving upscale hotel. Keeping all areas of our ships contemporary in design as well as offering services and amenities that match is paramount. This is why we are so excited to dig into every aspect of our onboard offerings during this upcoming dry dock period.”

Azamara has contracted several of the world's leading design consultants for the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries, to help transform the suites and staterooms into modern oases at sea. As design teams undertake the ship project, they look to bring the style and comforts travelers look for in travel to the high seas. Partnering with the design teams, Azamara participated in the very detailed process to choose colors and mood palates along with overall furnishings and fabrics. The result will be an overall ambiance that is comfortable as well as timeless and elegant. Authentic materials will be used, with beautiful stone and porcelain throughout and custom designed built-ins. The colors that were selected will be dusted and faded adding to the overall theme. Additionally, the bathrooms will get an overhaul making them a much more efficient use of space. Guests will enjoy all of the new amenities while relaxing before dinner or preparing for another day of touring in the next amazing destination.

The Spa Suites will be two brand new additions to both ships. These suites will be built adjacent to the Sanctum Spa and will feature an elegant look with organic and muted colors. The bathroom shower and tub will have a view of the water, giving guests the opportunity to experience a breathtaking view when relaxing in their shower or tub. Guests who are staying in these suites will also have exclusive access to unique spa amenities that will be included in the price of these staterooms.

The Club World Ocean and Owner’s Suites will undergo major revitalizations. Coffee tables, consoles and dining tables will be replaced with modern furnishings featuring an updated style and overall feel. The sound and lighting systems will also be updated in order to make the overall mood much more inviting and relaxing. Additionally, the bathrooms will get an overhaul making them larger and a much more efficient use of space. Guests will enjoy all of the new amenities while relaxing before dinner or preparing for another day of touring in the next amazing destination.

The Club Continent Suites will have a top to bottom refresh that includes new drapes, fabrics and furnishings. Guests will feel truly relaxed and refreshed waking up each day onboard in these deluxe staterooms.

In all other staterooms, guests will see new blackout curtains, bed linens, furniture, carpeting, lighting, and a complete bathroom modernization. These updates will give guests a better experience onboard Azamara and will only add to an exciting and enriching travel experience.

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

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Trinidad & Tobago Ready to Welcome 30,000 Cruise Visitors

Port of Spain, Trinidad, Sept 29: Sixteen ships and over 30,000 cruise visitors are expected to experience the scenic wonderland of Trinidad & Tobago during the 2015/2016 cruise ship season, which kicks off in November. As Trinidad & Tobago continues to aggressively pursue the cruise market, the upcoming season, which ends in May 2016, represents a 56 percent increase in cruise passenger arrivals to the destination compared to the same period last year.

Some of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships have added Trinidad & Tobago to their itineraries for the upcoming season, including the MSC Orchestra, with a capacity of over 2,000 passengers, and the intimate yet sumptuous World Odyssey and Voyager ships. Also making a return to Trinidad & Tobago’s waters are the Saga Sapphire and Seven Ocean Princess.

The increasing popularity of Trinidad & Tobago as a port-of-call comes as the Caribbean Tourism Organization reported 104 percent growth in cruise tourism arrivals for the twin-island nation between 2014 and 2015, the largest rate of growth reported for any destination.

As the amount of visiting ships grow in number, so too are the variety of on-shore activities and tours available for cruise passengers, both in and beyond the city of Port-of-Spain. Shore side activities are as much a part of the cruise experience as enjoying the onboard services of the cruise ship, and visitors to the islands can explore through the eyes of a local. Cruise passengers will have the opportunity to bask in the beauty of the lush northern mountain range en route to Maracas Beach or witness the spectacular sight of Scarlet Ibis at the Caroni Bird Sanctuary.

The Tourism Development Company (TDC) of Trinidad & Tobago is committed to ensuring that every cruise visitor experiences the warmth and vivacity of the destination and will be deploying Visitor Guides in and around the Port of Port-of-Spain to assist passengers. Local tourism ambassadors will also be strategically positioned at the cruise ship terminal and in the streets of the capital city to assist passengers with maps and information on local points of interest. For more information on Trinidad & Tobago, visit

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Take Care of YourSelfie Around the World with Celebrity Cruises

MIAMI, Sept. 29: Vacationers can power up while powering down with Celebrity Cruises’ new, exclusive Take Care of YourSelfie shore excursions. In partnership with New York Times best-selling author and digital trailblazer Randi Zuckerberg, the exclusive Take Care of YourSelfie wellness programfirst introduced in early 2015has been expanded to offer specially designed holistic experiences on land.

“With this new collection of shore excursions, finding a tech-life balance now can happen on land and at sea,” explained Randi Zuckerberg, Dot Complicated’s founder. “On vacation, many of us have grown accustomed to literally experiencing a destination through a digital lens. These active experiences ensure that there is an opportunity to be fully engaged and present.”

Celebrity Cruises guests can rejuvenate and explore destinations like a local with unique experiencessuch as Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Yoga, hydrobiking, cycling and canoeingin regions around the world, including the Caribbean, Europe, and Australia. The seven new Take Care of YourSelfie shore excursions include:

• Power Core’d: On the Mediterranean waters in Ibiza, Spain, this guided Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Yoga experience allows guests to engage in a complete mind and body workout and connect with the sea – and not the internet.
• Ultimate ESCape: Vacationers will discover firsthand the thousand faces of the city of Naples, Italy by land and sea as they canoe through the exquisite Neapolitan blue waters and take a panoramic drive.
• Morning SHIFT: Foregoing electronic devices, guests shift from the traditional fast pace of their routine with a light, guided morning jog through scenic Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
• Hot Spot: In Melbourne, Australia, guests can bathe and unwind as they soothe their tired hands and muscles in the natural thermal mineral waters at a local, award-winning coastal escape.
• Power Cycle: Guests “sign off” from technology and explore the Roi’s Eco Park Lagoon on a hydrobike while burning calories and enjoying a tranquil, environmentally friendly ride through the crystal blue waters in Falmouth, Jamaica.
• Reiki Recharge: Vacationers rejuvenate by finding their Zen during a trainer-led meditation and yoga experience that takes place on the beautiful white-sand beaches of Roatan, Honduras.
• Flash, Drive, and Ride: Guests unplug and embark on a panoramic bicycle tour of Valletta, Malta for an up-close look at the history and culture of Malta.

“In our very connected culture, it can be challenging to take time and disconnect while on vacation, even for a moment” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “We have loved working with Randi to combine our expertise with hers and provide more ways for guests to enjoy their vacation and enrich their mind, body and soul with the Take Care of YourSelfie program. Personally, I can’t wait to experience the new shore excursions, plus the incredible options from the curated spa and fitness menu that started it all.”

Celebrity Cruises first launched Take Care of YourSelfie in January 2015, unveiling spa and fitness experiences curated by Zuckerberg and available exclusively at Canyon Ranch SpaClub onboard Celebrity ships. The wellness treatments and services designed to invigorate vacationers include: “fACEial Time,” which effectively treats skin care needs related to overexposure to computer and digital screens; “Texticure,” created with text-weary hands in mind; “Get wrAPPed,” which helps remove toxins associated with tech-related stress; “Control ALT Delight,” developed for guests to stretch and flex out of a texting crouch with yoga and T-Spheres; and “InstaGlow,” a detoxifying, cleansing body scrub that draws out impurities and encourages vacationers to disconnect and be in the moment. Learn about Take Care of YourSelfie experiences by visiting

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Guests Create Their Own Wine at BLEND on Holland America Line's ms Koningsdam

SEATTLE, Sept. 29: Wine connoisseurs and novices alike can experience the art of winemaking at BLEND aboard Holland America Line's new ms Koningsdam when the ship debuts in April 2016. In collaboration with Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington State's oldest and most acclaimed winery, the intimate venue will enable guests to blend their own wine and enjoy it at dinner or in the privacy of their stateroom.

BLENDthe first of its kind for Holland America Line and the only purpose-built wine-blending venue at seawill have a tasting table that accommodates 10 guests who can create their own blend from a selection of five barrels of single-vineyard red wine. In addition to participating in the blending process, guests also will learn about wine from the ship's wine expert, who leads the blending session.

"At the core of every Holland America Line cruise is our desire to offer unique, immersive and innovative experiences, and BLEND by Chateau Ste. Michelle is all of those things and more," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "The BLEND experience on Koningsdam is designed to appeal to everyone, and it will be exciting for our guests to create an exclusive wine tailored to their personal taste that they can enjoy onboard with our exceptional cuisine."

After viewing a welcome video by Bob Bertheau, Chateau Ste. Michelle's winemaker, guests will learn interesting information about the history of Washington wines and winemaking, examine soil samples, and see how different vineyard sites impact the flavors and style of the wine. The Cellar Master also will instruct guests on what characteristics, flavors and nuances to look for in the wine from each barrel.

Guests then sample the five unique wines, featuring such varietals as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot from the winery's Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge Estate vineyards, and make tasting notes on what they like about each. The blending begins in a graduated cylinder, with guests determining how much of each wine to include in their personal bottle.

After the personalized wine blend is put into the bottle with a stopper, guests will be able to create their own label to add a personalized touch. The wine will then be sent to The Dining Room or another restaurant, where it will be waiting for the guests to enjoy with their evening meal. Alternatively guests can take the wine blend to their stateroom to enjoy at their leisure. The wine blending sessions will be held daily for a fee, and reservations are required.

About Chateau Ste. Michelle
Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered vinifera growing in Washington State and has been producing classic European varietal wines under the Ste. Michelle label since 1967. The winery combines an ongoing dedication to research with a commitment to classic winemaking traditions. The winery owns 3,500 acres of vineyards in the Columbia Valley of eastern Washington, including Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek, which are LIVE and Salmon Safe certified as environmentally sustainable. Chateau Ste. Michelle enjoys winemaking partnerships with two of the world's most distinguished vintnersCol Solare is an alliance with Tuscany's Piero Antinori and Eroica Riesling is a partnership with the Mosel's Ernst Loosen.

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Carnival Corporation Expands Cruise Industry's Largest Wi-Fi Network

MIAMI, Sept. 29: Carnival Corporation has announced that it has expanded its innovative hybrid connectivity system to create the cruise industry's largest Wi-Fi networkand one of the world's largest satellite mobility networks. With over 31 advanced satellite systems, the company's expanded WiFi@Sea connectivity network features the broadest high-bandwidth internet coverage in the industry currently deployed on 30 of its 100 shipsfar more than any other cruise line companywith further deployment planned over the next several months. In addition, several of its cruise line brands have introduced new plans and pricing packages that make staying connected on a cruise more convenient and affordable and are improving the guest experience and increasing the number of guests using Wi-Fi while cruising.

Expected to be extended to nearly 40 percent of the company's industry-leading fleet across several of its global brands by the end of 2015, the expanded WiFi@Sea service has led to increased guest satisfaction, higher usage rates and greater number of devices connected during voyages. Carnival Corporation's brands currently using the new features include AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line. Building on existing broadband Wi-Fi capabilities already available throughout its fleet of 100 ships, Carnival Corporation is continuing the deployment of its technology solution with plans to expand the new system on the majority of its fleet across its 10 global brands through 2016.

The company's system represents a first in the cruise industry on this scaleproviding the broadest high-speed global coverage across dozens of ships coupled with onboard intelligence to enhance the guest experiencea breakthrough technology innovation for overcoming the challenging circumstances of sailing in the middle of the ocean and still providing fast, reliable and affordable wireless internet access for guests.

Expanding the System
The system is a first-of-its kind solution that integrates a combination of advanced satellite systems, onboard software, networking equipment, land-based antennas and Wi-Fi from port connections. The technology is expected to change how millions of travelers stay in touch during their cruise and generate even greater interest in cruise vacations, especially among tech-savvy millennials and people of all ages who want to stay in touch, research destinations or share their vacation experiences via social media.

With the continued rollout of the enhanced connectivity system across the fleet, guests will be able to access the websites, social networks and apps most important to them at speeds up to 10 times faster than those previously available on the company's ships.

"As we continue to enhance our WiFi@Sea system, we implement technologies, packages and overall approaches that will create the best experience and value for our guests wherever their cruise vacation takes them," said Reza Rasoulian, vice president of global connectivity and shipboard technology operations at Carnival Corporation. "We optimize all of our service layers continuously to ensure a great connectivity experience. With this approach, we are giving our guests faster internet speeds without constraining the time they can be online through our packages, which has led to more people than ever using their devices to connect while on our ships and a steady improvement in guest satisfaction ratings as the new plans and pricing are rolled out."

New Packages & Pricing Structure
With the new pricing models, Wi-Fi packages are based on the types of services guests will be using throughout their trip versus the previous system of charging for the amount of time they will be online. For example, guests who are only interested in using Wi-Fi to post to their social networks can purchase a basic package for a lower fee. This change gives guests the freedom they prefer for unlimited use of the specific internet services and applications they are interested in without the worry of time constraintsan important offering for a good number of guests who are looking to stay connected, especially as the industry works to increase interest in and demand for cruising across all demographics, especially among younger guests. Specific package offerings and pricing structures vary by brand, but in all cases the company is working to create more value and a better overall connectivity experience.

System Enhancements Focus on the Guest Experience Carnival Cruise Line, the company's largest brand with 24 ships and its 25(th) ship, Carnival Vista, coming in spring of 2016, announced in August it has enhanced internet access including new social media packages. The packages are now available on 19 of its 24 ships with plans for fleet-wide implementation by the first quarter of 2016. In June, the company's AIDA Cruises brand announced new flat-rate social media and internet packages, along with bandwidth upgrades that have been installed on seven ships, and will be fully deployed on each of the brand's 10 ships by November 2015.

Added Rasoulian: "We know that each of our guests is looking for something different when they cruise, whether that is being completely or partially unplugged from the internet or staying plugged in. For those who want to stay connected with their life back home or research the next destination on their trip, we are offering faster, more reliable and more affordable options to give our guests what they are looking for."

The improved onboard connectivity experience will also help crew members across Carnival Corporation's 10 brands keep in touch with their family and friends at home during the extended amounts of time they spend at sea. This is an important component of each crew member's quality of life and has a positive impact on helping them maintain their passion for consistently providing exceptional service for guests during the voyage.

Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise company in the world, with a portfolio of 10 cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia), P&O Cruises (UK) and Fathom. Together, these brands will operate 100 ships in 2015 totaling 219,000 lower berths with 17 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2022. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.

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Queen Mary 2 Remastered: Grills Suites & Restaurants Ascend to New Level of Luxury

SOUTHAMPTON, England, Sept. 29: Queen Mary 2's renowned Queens and Princess Grill suites and restaurants will undergo lavish enhancements in May and June, 2016, ascending to a new level of luxury, sharing company with the world's finest five star hotels. Cunard's iconic flagship will stay true to her classic art deco heritage, while offering updated, crisp, contemporary interiors painstakingly re-designed for today's most discerning travelers, and further solidifying the unique position of these distinctively luxurious at-sea accommodations.

The Cunard Grills experience affords the line's most selective guests the highest standards of comfort at sea with large, well-appointed suites, all with prime locations and private balconies. Cunard's Grill guests always enjoy deluxe accommodations and the opportunity to unwind in the sublime comfort of intimate, sophisticated spaces reserved exclusively for them. Queens Grill guests are treated to the apex of luxury and personalized service, with a butler to tend to every need, including unpacking. Grill accommodation also includes thoughtful extras such as dedicated Grills concierge service for both Princess and Queens Grill guests, an amenity selection from bespoke heritage perfumer Penhaligon's, and nine choices of pillow types.

The exclusive benefits of the historic Grills experience will remain unchanged, but all 172 Grills suites on Queen Mary 2 will receive a comprehensive restyling, reconfigured to maximize space, with subtle references to Cunard's unrivaled history, including soothing muted tones and elegant textures with new bespoke luxury carpet throughout featuring design work inspired by rugs from the original Queen Mary.

The Grills dining experience will also be redesigned to elevate what is already the utmost in sophisticated dining at sea. Guests staying in Queen Mary 2's Grill Suites enjoy open seating in the world-renowned Queens Grill or Princess Grill restaurants, both offering extensive a la carte offerings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The new Grill restaurants will each display a distinctive character through design, colour scheme and furnishings, and offer more intimate tables for two, increased space between tables for privacy, and additional loose tables for the ultimate in flexibility and ambiance. Spacious, beautifully redesigned dining rooms with rich, updated decor will be complemented by new culinary options and anchored by Cunard's signature White Star Service.

"Under the moniker, 'Queen Mary 2 Remastered,' there will be a host of innovations and enhancements, further confirming our commitment to invest in luxury on a grand scale," said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard, North America. "Guests will certainly feel the sense of pride and confidence that the refurbishment will exude, befitting of Queen Mary 2's luxury ocean travel experience."

Christened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2004, Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 defines luxury travel for the 21st Century and continues an almost 175-year legacy of transatlantic travel. Queen Mary 2 achieved her 200th Transatlantic Crossing in July 2013. Famous names who have experienced this iconic voyage since 2004 include President George H.W. Bush, Desmond Tutu, James Taylor, Wes Anderson, Tilda Swinton, George Takei, Kim Novak, Uma Thurman, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cleese and Angela Bassett.

Grill guests indulge in deluxe accommodations, enhanced amenities and:

• Expect the utmost attention from the personal concierge or butler service
• Enjoy exclusive access to the dedicated Grill Lounge, Grills Terrace & elegant Grills Courtyard on Queen Victoria & Queen Elizabeth
• Always feel cared for with priority embarkation
• Take pleasure in single-seat dining during the evening in the Queens Grill or Princess Grill restaurant
• Choose from a variety of plush pillows from the Pillow Concierge Menu
• Begin each day with fresh fruit, served daily
• Revitalize in a full bathtub with shower
• Enjoy personalized stationary and atlas
• Take pleasure in fine bath amenities from Penhaligon’s
• Unwind in soft terry robes and slippers

Cunard, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and the epitome of British refinement since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840. Cunard voyages bring together like-minded travellers who seek a civilised adventure and relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment. Today, Cunard offers the only regularly scheduled Transatlantic liner service and continues the legacy of world cruising which it began in 1922. For more information, visit

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Grammy® Award-winning Gregory Porter to Join Star-Studded Roster for
First Ever Blue Note "Jazz at Sea" On Board Queen Mary 2

SOUTHAMPTON, England, Sept. 28: Cunard is thrilled to announce that Grammy(®) Award-winning singer and songwriter, Gregory Porter, will be performing on board Queen Mary 2 during the first-ever Blue Note jazz themed cruise, which will debut Oct 29, 2015. Porter, described by The New York Times as "a jazz singer of thrilling presence, a booming baritone with a gift for earthy refinement and soaring uplift," will be joining the star-studded roster of fellow Blue Note musicians, featuring: Grammy(®) Award-winning jazz pianist and record producer Robert Glasper, acclaimed trumpet player Keyon Harrold, tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott.

"We are so very pleased to include Gregory Porter in what is an all-star list of venerable jazz musicians and world-class entertainers," states Richard Meadows, President, Cunard, North America. "This collaboration with Blue Note will be truly memorable for our guests and will give them a preview of more to come with Blue Note in 2016."

Porter, who signed with Blue Note Records in 2013, recently took home his second Jazz FM award for "International Jazz Artist of the Year", and is most known for his third album, Liquid Spirit, which won the 2014 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album and reached top 10 on the UK album chart.

This special Transatlantic Crossing will also feature several other accomplished jazz musicians including: Alan Hampton, Fredrico Pena, EJ Strickland, Mark Colenburg, Michael Aaberg, and Michal Moreno. In addition to these celebrated musicians, Don Was, president of Blue Note Records, who himself is a celebrated musician and Grammy(®) Award winning producer, will conduct special "Behind the Music" interviews and Q&As for guests traveling on this special Transatlantic Crossing. Natalie Cole, who was previously scheduled to perform, has had to cancel due to personal reasons.

For additional information, visit

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Get on Board for Children: MSC & UNICEF Partnership

Geneva, Switzerland, Sept 28: MSC Cruises S.A., the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe as well as in South America and South Africa, announced yesterday that, in the framework of its partnership with UNICEF, €4million (about $4.4 million) have been raised to-date on board its ships around the globe. In conjunction with this, at a ceremony held at Expo Milano 2015 yesterdayin the presence of UNICEF and MSC Cruises executives, hundreds of children and other stakeholders as well as Expo visitors from all over the worldthe symbolic check for €4million was handed over to Philippe Baud, Deputy Director of UNICEF Switzerland by MSC Cruises’ Daniela Picco, Head of Strategic Partnerships.

MSC Cruises and UNICEF joined forces in 2009 under the ‘Get on Board for Children’ initiative, which encourages guests on board MSC Cruises ships to make a contribution to UNICEF. UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN agency that fights for the rights of children around the world and is active in more than 190 countries and territories.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, commented: “MSC Cruises and UNICEF have long-established a strong relationship, having worked hand in hand since 2009 on a program that positively impacts the life of thousands of children around the world. We are thus extremely proud to have reached the €4 million milestone and wish to thank our guests for their continued generosity in support of UNICEF and our joint program. MSC Group, which includes cargo and the other businesses under the MSC umbrella worldwide, and its staff are honored to now also organize the logistics and shipping capacities to deliver these life-saving goods. Thanks to the global reach of our operations, when the situation calls for it, MSC has the capability to deliver literally to the four corners of the world.”

Amid the most recent developments related to the “Get on Board for Children” program, early in 2014 the partnership between MSC Cruises and UNICEF was expanded with a new life-saving initiative to provide assistance to malnourished children by delivering Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF)such as Plumpy’Nut®to treat severe malnutrition in developing countries and in those affected by crisis situations. In this endeavor, to this day, more than €1.3 million (about $1.4 million) has been put to use to help children and their families in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Nepal.

Amongst other activities, on board its ships MSC Cruises organizes edutainment activities for children and their parents, to raise awareness of UNICEF’s work and the needs of children around the world. Each week, families on board MSC Cruises’ fleet have the opportunity to participate in a dedicated UNICEF Day that includes fun games, a children’s parade and the distribution of a leaflet to participating children teaching them about malnutrition in the world. Children also receive a UNICEF World Citizen passport that is stamped after each educational activity is completed, making them an ambassador for the rights of children worldwide.

Over the years, MSC Cruises’ partnership with UNICEF has provided funds to combat poverty and inequality as well as, from 2009 to 2013, malaria in some parts of the world. Close to €2.6 million (about $2.9 million) was used in various projects in Brazil to help children in 126 vulnerable communities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo gain access to a quality education. In addition, part of that amount was used to fight malaria in high-burden countries such as Mauritania, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoros.

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Antarctica, South America & Caribbean Treasures Highlighted On Crystal's 2017 World Cruise Segments

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 25: For luxury travelers seeking truly captivating and immersive global experiences, Crystal Cruises' 2017 World Cruise offers one of the line's most comprehensive itineraries to date featuring six abbreviated segments available to sail. The segments, ranging from 10-23 days and each featuring at least one overnight stay, will offer concentrated routes that highlight the distinct culture and natural and historical wonders that enrich each of the countries visited. Focused on the metropolitan cities, quaint villages, less-visited islands and up-and-coming destinations of South America and the Caribbeanplus the first World Cruise visit to Antarctica in 10 yearsthe 94-day journey sails round-trip from Miami aboard Crystal Serenity, embarking on Jan 10, 2017.

"The 2017 World Cruise and its segments are the ultimate opportunity for travelers to experience varied nuances of the destinations with a prolonged amount of time exploring several ports in nearly every country visited," says Crystal's president & CEO, Edie Rodriguez. "Guests who enjoy delving deeper into locales will find that a Crystal World Cruise is the ideal way to do it, with enriching experiences designed by destination experts, plus the luxury and attention to detail that makes Crystal the number one choice of discerning travelers."

January 11 (11 days) From Miami to Colon, Panama, the cruise explores the many ancient Mayan ruins sites in ports along Mexico's coast, plus the extraordinary coral reefs of Honduras and jungles of Costa Rica.

January 23 (20 days) After an overnight in Colon, Panama to explore the bustling town surrounding the famed canal, the ship transits through the locks en route to Ecuadorrich in lush forest and world-class seafoodthen on to several Peruvian ports (including two maiden calls) and concluding with four days in Chile highlighted by a three-night inclusive exploration of Machu Picchu.

February 8 (23 days) The epic adventure begins even before boarding the ship, with an inclusive pre-cruise 3-night Extended Land Program to Machu Picchu; then continues as the voyage embarks on 11 days exploring Chile and Argentina, before cruising Cape Horn, Antarctica and the Falkland Islands before returning to Uruguay and Argentina.

March 3 (11 days) Rich history and tradition blend beautifully with modern nightlife and world-famous beach culture as the sailing visits Argentina and Uruguay, plus 7 nights in Brazil, with overnight stays in Buenos Aires, Buzios and Rio de Janeiro to maximize the renowned social and culinary scenes after dark. The journey begins with an inclusive 2-night, pre-cruise Extended Land Program that affords close-up encounters with Iguazu Falls.

March 14 (22 days) The intensive Brazilian itinerary also begins with an inclusive 2-night, pre-cruise Extended Land Program that affords close-up encounters with Iguazu Falls, and features a whopping 16 days amidst Brazil's magnificent architecture, winding waterways and bridges, cosmopolitan hubs and breathtaking monuments. Calls to Devil's Island, Granada and Barbados lend some Caribbean flare to the sailing.

April 5 (10 days) The final segment of the full World Cruise departs Barbados after an overnight stay, then sails through the brilliant waters between Caribbean gems like St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Barts, Samana, Grand Turk and Key West, before concluding on the glamorous shores of Miami.

Crystal's 2017 "Southern Celebracion" World Cruise segments are available for booking now. Complimentary extended land program is available to guests sailing in Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah and Penthouse category accommodations only. For complete details on all itineraries, fares, and information, visit

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Silversea Announces 2017 Itineraries Now Open for Reservations

FT. LAUDERDALE, Sept. 24: Silversea Cruises, known for its luxurious ships and exotic destinations, unveiled an exciting collection of 246 voyages for 2017 that are available for travelers to reserve as of today. These include itineraries for Silversea's current fleet of eight ships, which will collectively visit over 800 destinations across seven continents.

"Every year Silversea strives to offer inspirational journeys that combine the luxury of intimate cruising with the thrill of making new cultural discoveries," said Kristian Anderson, Silversea's senior vice president and general manager for the Americas. "We believe our voyage collection for 2017, with its wealth of longer, port-intensive cruises, will accomplish just that. From the rainforests of South America to the castles of Europe and the temples of Asia, guests will enjoy experiences that will enrich their lives for years to come."

Following are highlights from Silversea's 2017 schedule:

New Ports of Call: Among several new ports are Sassnitz, Germany; Galway, Ireland; Bodø, Norway; Geraldton, Australia; Ilhabela, Brazil; Fredericia, Denmark; Gisborne, New Zealand; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Sir Bani Yas Island, U.A.E.

World Cruise 2017: Departing San Francisco on January 6, this 116-day ocean voyage to Monte Carlo will visit 62 destinations in 25 countries. Following a westward path, Silver Whisper will sail through the idyllic isles of Hawaii and cross the International Date Line to the South Pacific, New Zealand, and Australia. Then, weaving her way through such tropical wonderlands as Bali and Sandakan, she will arrive at the shores of vibrant Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore, before setting a course for the ancient temples of India, Arabia's enchanting desert dunes, and the storied capitals of the Mediterranean.

Circle South America: Silver Spirit departs January 16 on a 63-day roundtrip Grand Voyage from Fort Lauderdale. Highlights include a crossing of the Panama Canal, two days cruising Chile's majestic fjords, a two-day stopover in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, plus overnight calls in Buenos Aires and Callao (gateway to Lima and Machu Picchu).

South Africa: Silver Cloud offers a series of four 10-day voyages showcasing South Africa's east coast with convenient roundtrip departures from Cape Town. The sailings feature calls in Port Elizabeth, Durban, East London, Maputo, and an overnight stay in Richards Bay. Plus a 14-day voyage includes an overnight stay in Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Mediterranean, Northern Europe & Baltic: From the Greek Isles to the British Isles and Scandinavia, dozens of intriguing voyages, ranging from 7 to 17 days, offer a variety of options for travelers seeking to discover the regions' cultural treasures, picturesque harbors, and storied cities.

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

Myanmar: Two Silver Shadow voyages (3702 and 3705) feature multi-day stopovers in Myanmar, where guests can explore its famous golden pagodas and ancient temples in depth.

Silversea's luxury expedition fleet will expand to four ships in November 2017 when Silver Cloud joins Silver Explorer, Silver Discoverer, and Silver Galapagos. Over 100 expedition cruises will explore the world's most fascinating and remote regions. Featured among dozens of inaugural calls are such places as Ampangorinana, Nosy Komba (Madagascar); Aride Island, Seychelles; Maheshkhali Island, Bangladesh; Makura Island, Vanuatu; Isle of May, Scotland; and Grimsey Island, Iceland.

Fresh from an extensive refurbishment and conversion to an ice-class expedition ship, Silver Cloud launches a series of Antarctica voyages in November and December, featuring itineraries from 10 to 19 days, and sailing mostly roundtrip from Ushuaia.

Silver Explorer's schedule retains its ever-popular expedition cruises to Antarctica, South and Central America, the British Isles, Northern Canada, Greenland, and Arctic Norway. Of special note is a 15-day expedition (7719) focused on Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. Sailing August 31 from Kangerlussuaq to St. John's, the voyage features a rare visit to Canada's remote Torngat Mountains National Park, renowned for its spectacular natural scenery.

Silver Discoverer's six expedition cruises along Australia's Kimberley Coast from March to May highlight an exotic program that encompasses Madagascar, Seychelles, Indonesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Russian Far East, and remote Alaska. On the schedule is a new 16-day, Colombo-to-Kolkata sailing (9704) departing February 11 to explore the Andaman Islands and make the first-ever cruise ship visit to Bangladesh, with explorations of Chittagong, Maheshkhali Island, and the Sundarbans, one of the world's largest mangrove forests and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And Silver Galapagos will again operate year-round voyages exploring the pristine and biologically diverse islands of the Galápagos.

For all-inclusive at its most inclusive, Silversea is leading the way. Guests enjoy ocean-view suites, gourmet cuisine, the personalized service of a butler, and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits, a stocked in-suite beverage cabinet, onboard gratuities, and complimentary Wi-Fi for each guest. Please visit for additional details on the 2017 voyage collection. Voyages for Silver Muse, scheduled to debut in early 2017, will open for reservations in the coming weeks.

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Five Reasons to Book Your Next Cruise Vacation with a Travel Agent

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24: It's National Plan a Cruise Month and the cruise industry has come together to help everyone fall in love with cruising by highlighting the growing variety of cruise vacation experiences and destinations as well as offering the best cruise deals and promotions. To navigate the waters of cruise vacation options, even experienced cruise travelers turn to the expertstravel agents. In fact, according Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) 2015 State of the Cruise Industry Report, seven out of ten cruise travelers (70 percent) use a travel agent to plan and book cruise vacations.

"Travel agents that specialize in cruise vacations can help both first-time and veteran cruise travelers find the best cruise options for their travel style as well as help them take advantage of the best deals and promotions available," said Cindy D'Aoust, Acting CEO of CLIA. "In addition to providing travelers with a nearly hands-free, stress-free vacation planning experience, there is no cost to a traveler who uses a travel agent."

The Top Five Reasons to Book Your Next Cruise Vacation with a Travel Agent:

1. A Trip Tailored to YOU: Travel agents not only handle booking travel, but can help find the best cruise for every traveler. A travel agent can create a perfect travel experience based on preferences, tastes and travel hopes. A great agent can also help find unexpected activities and destinations that fit travel styles to create a once-in-a-lifetime cruise
experience. For example, are you a Francophile with a penchant for finding the best local cuisines wherever you go? Your agent can help book a perfect Parisian cruise and maybe even provide tips for finding the best crepes and macaroons during shore excursions.

2. An Expert at the Ready: Travel agents are a wealth of travel information with plenty of real-world travel experience. Cruise-focused agents go through extensive training as well as visit ships regularly to provide incredible travel advice. Agents work with a variety a cruise lines so they make a great resource for any questions regarding differences in cruise ships or destinations. Agents can also provide counsel to travelers thinking about everything from travel insurance to  dining times to cabin location.

3. Discounts & Deals: In most cases, travel agents have access to deals and discounts that aren't available to consumers booking directly. Agents sometimes have the ability to book-in-bulk so clients are privy to lower pricing for booking through an agent. As a bonus, the majority of agents are paid through commission so there isn't an out-of-pocket expense for their services.

4. Perks & Personalized Travel: Travel agents want travelers to be happy and what is one way to make that happen? Perks! Most agents can offer clients incredible perks, like complimentary bottles of wine, prepaid gratuities and onboard spending money. In addition to fun extras, agents can also arrange personalized travel details for your cruise like gluten-free dining or post-cruise transportation home.

5. A Stress-Free Travel Experience: For a stress-free travel experience, identify a credentialed cruise specialist. Many agents become accredited cruise counselors through CLIA's Seascape Academy or take courses through the different cruise lines to elevate their expertise in cruise vacation experiences. These travel agents are committed to providing the best travel experience for every client every time. This leaves the logistics to a professional, giving travelers someone in their corner if things go wrong. If a flight is missed or excursion is cancelled, an agent can handle refunds and logistics to take the stress out of traveling.

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Carnival Announces Year-Long Season of Cruises From Port of Mobile

MIAMI, Sept 23: Carnival Cruise Line and the City of Mobile announced today that the Carnival Fantasy will operate a year-long schedule of 4- and 5-day cruises to Mexico from the Mobile Cruise Terminal beginning in fall 2016. Prior to its deployment to Mobile, the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy will undergo a multi-million-dollar refurbishment that will add several elements of the cruise line’s popular Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement program, including Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, two poolside watering holes, the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, and the BlueIguana Cantina Mexican-themed eatery.

“Carnival Fantasy’s 4- and 5-day cruises from Mobile provide consumers with an affordable way to visit stunning Mexican ports from a convenient homeport while offering our valued travel agent partners an exciting new short vacation option to market to their clients,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “We’ve been working very closely with the port and city officials to make these cruises a reality and wish to thank Mayor Stimpson and his team for not only all their hard work but also for creating a welcoming and positive environment that makes these cruises an attractive option for today’s consumers,” she said.

Year-Long Schedule of 4- & 5-Day Cruises from Mobile
Carnival Fantasy’s Mobile-based program kicks off Nov. 9, 2016 and will run through Nov. 27, 2017. On this route, Carnival Fantasy departs the Mobile Cruise Terminal Thursdays on four-day “long weekend” cruises to Cozumel and on Mondays and Saturdays on five-day voyages to Costa Maya or Progreso. Each of these destinations are popular for their beautiful white sand beaches, interesting historical sites and attractions, and excellent snorkeling, scuba diving and water sports. During the day-long call in Progreso, guests have the opportunity to visit Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and while in Cozumel guests can visit ancient Mayan ruins or enjoy the destination’s wide range of shopping and dining experiences. At Costa Maya guests can explore the centuries-old Chacchoben ruins or visit the Lost Mayan Kingdom, a multi-million-dollar water-themed attraction currently under construction that will feature spectacular slides, an elaborate lazy river, a suspended ropes course that spans the property and more.

Wide Variety of On-Board Choices
Carnival Fantasy will undergo a multi-million-dollar refurbishment in early 2016 that will add a number of terrific onboard options. These include Guy’s Burger Joint, a complimentary poolside dining venue serving handcrafted burgers and fries created by the poplar chef and restaurateur, all enjoyed amidst lively interiors that celebrate Fieri’s California roots and love of car culture.

Located adjacent to Guy’s Burger Joint is the BlueIguana Cantina offering authentic handmade burritos and tacos along with an elaborate toppings and salsa bar. Also located poolside is the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Rum Bar offering the region’s top rums and beers as well as the BlueIguana Tequila Bar with margaritas, Mexican beers and other frosty libations.

Carnival Fantasy also features a 12,000-square-foot spa, a WaterWorks aqua park featuring a 300-foot-long slide and a kiddie splash area, and a Serenity adults-only retreat, as well as fun, supervised programs for kids ages 2-17, full casino gambling and a wide array of dining options, including a 24-hour pizzeria.

Reservations are currently being accepted for Carnival Fantasy’s departures from Mobile. For additional information, visit

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Norwegian Escape Begins Her Conveyance Along the Ems River

Papenburg, Germany, Sept 18: Norwegian Escape, soon to be the largest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, departed MEYER WERFT in Papenburg, Germany on Friday, Sept 18 for her approximately 24-hour long conveyance along the Ems River. Norwegian Escape's river conveyance marks another key milestone in the ship's highly anticipated delivery. Measuring 1069 feet long and 136 feet wide, the ship is the first in the line’s Breakaway Plus class. Three additional ships in the class are on order at Meyer Werft.

“After seeing firsthand this week how spectacular Norwegian Escape already looks, I am thrilled that she is officially on her journey to welcome guests next month,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “As the first Breakaway Plus class ship, she will offer the very best in freedom and flexibility for our guests and we cannot wait to officially welcome her to the fleet.”

Sailing backwards, Norwegian Escape left MEYER WERFT at approximately 2:00 pm (local time in Germany), and made a narrow passage through the ship yard's locks, with only 1.2 meters clearance separating the ship from the "bumpers" that were specially installed along the starboard side of the locks. This very careful maneuver took approximately 2 hours at a maximum speed of only 0.2 knots. The precise navigation included a team of two located on the bridge, with one navigation officer in charge of overseeing the bow maneuvers and the other overseeing the movement of the stern, led by experience River Ems pilots.

After passing through the locks, Norwegian Escape continued along the river, stern first. Due to the strong propulsion in the aft section of the vessel, traveling stern first helps with maneuverability, which is a key component when navigating the vessel through such narrow passages.

Before reaching her final destination in Eemshaven, Netherlands at approximately 12:30 pm (local time in Germany) on Saturday, September 19, Norwegian Escape will pass through additional narrow passages including the Weener Bridge in Weener; Jann-Berghaus Bridge in Leer; and Ems-Barrier in Gandersum. Once the ship reaches Eemshaven, she will take on additional provisions and materials to welcome guests in late October, before heading toward the North Sea for sea trials later this month.

Norwegian Escape, soon to be the largest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, will sail weekly seven-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean 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. Learn more about Norwegian Escape's luxurious accommodations, as well as its distinctive dining, entertainment, shopping and leisure options, by visiting

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Silver Cloud to Join Silversea's Expedition Fleet

Monaco, Sept 18: Silversea Cruises today announced it will move Silver Cloud to its luxury expedition fleet in November 2017. Destined mostly for polar waters, the elite 296-guest ship that launched the ultra-luxury cruise line will be converted into an ice-class ship during an extensive refurbishment scheduled to start in August 2017. As an expedition ship, the all-suite Silver Cloud will accommodate 260 guests and also sail on itineraries to non-polar regions. When sailing Arctic and Antarctic itineraries, the guest complement will be restricted to 200. Silversea is a member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), and adheres to each organization's guidelines to ensure sustainable tourism. These include such measures as limiting the number of guests going ashore in certain areas of the Arctic and allowing for a broader range of Antarctic landing sites for expedition ships with no more than 200 guests.

"Silver Explorer's polar expedition cruises have proven hugely popular with our guests," said Enzo Visone, Silversea's CEO. "By converting Silver Cloud into an ice-class ship for our expedition fleet, we will be better positioned to meet the increasing demand for comfortable adventure travel, particularly to the Arctic and Antarctica, places that are best explored by small ships specially equipped with ice-strengthened hulls."

Silver Cloud will be the only luxury ice-class expedition ship offering five dining options: The Dining Room, the Relais & Châteaux® restaurant, La Terrazza, The Grill, and in-suite dining. The ship will have the highest space ratio and highest staff-to-guest ratio (nearly one to one) among luxury ice-class expedition ships. For the expedition team alone, there will be on average one team member guiding no more than twelve guests each. Plus the ship will be augmented by a fleet of 18 Zodiac crafts for up-close explorations.

The luxury expedition line currently has three all-suite expedition ships, Silver Explorer, Silver Discoverer, and Silver Galapagos. Collectively, they explore over 500 far-flung destinations, from Africa, Australia's Kimberley Coast, and the Russian Far East, to the Galápagos Islands, the British Isles, and the polar realms.

Guests are enriched by an onboard program of destination lectures, photo presentations, and daily recaps. Exploratory excursions are complimentary, and led by a team of experts, including marine biologists, ornithologists, geologists, botanists, historians, and anthropologists. These expedition cruises offer a comfortable, intimate and convivial onboard lifestyle where guests can feel at home as they explore secluded lands. Guests enjoy ocean-view suites, gourmet cuisine, the personalized service of a butler, and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits, a stocked in-suite beverage cabinet, and complimentary Wi-Fi for each guest. Silversea's 2017 schedule will be announced in the coming days.

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Carnival Reaches $5 Million Fundraising Goal for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

MIAMI, Sept 17: After achieving a $5 million fundraising goal for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, Carnival Cruise Line has announced an additional $10 million goal by 2020, while continuing its role as the hospital’s Official Celebration Partner. The announcement was made by Carnival President Christine Duffy at the hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, during the cruise line’s third annual Day of Play which this year featured a variety of Dr. Seuss-themed activities for patients and their families. At the event, Carnival officials presented the hospital with an oversized check for $5 million, representing the funds raised for St. Jude over the past two yearsa full two years ahead of schedule. Carnival has raised $8 million in total for the hospital since the start of their partnership in 2010.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Unlike any other hospital, the majority of funding for St. Jude comes from individual contributions. Thanks to generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or foodbecause all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

Modeled after the line’s popular fleetwide Seuss at Sea program, the “Dr. Seuss On The Loose” Day of Play transformed a pavilion at the hospital into a Dr. Seuss-themed play area. The day’s highlights included the Seuss-a-Palooza Parade and Story Time featuring a spirited reading of The Cat in the Hat, along with fun activities like face painting, bean bag toss, a photo booth, arts and crafts, dancing and more. There was also a replica of a Dr. Seuss Bookville family reading venue modeled after a similar facility on the cruise ships Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista, the latter of which is under construction and set to debut in Europe May 1, 2016. Fun and tasty Dr. Seuss-inspired snacks and treats, along with a variety of giveaways, were included, as well.

In addition to serving as the Official Celebration Partner of St. Jude, the cruise line conducts a variety of Care to Play: Carnival for St. Jude Kids shipboard fundraising activities throughout the year. These include a fun dance activity called Groove for St. Jude and the Beary Cuddly program where kids can make their own stuffed animal with proceeds benefiting the hospital. Additionally, when guests purchase a designated bakery item from the line’s on-board shops or prior to their cruise on, Carnival donates a portion of each item sold to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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Princess Cruises Presents Kindle Love Stories

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Sept.17: The romance of the high seas has been the backdrop for some of the most famous love stories. Now, Princess Cruises has teamed up with Amazon's online romance community Kindle Love Stories to offer guests three free, original stories to enjoy during their cruise vacations and special sailings with bestselling romance authors. The short love stories, written by well-known authors Carolyn Brown, Heather Burch, and Barbara Longley, were inspired by their own Princess cruise experiences sailing to the beautiful Caribbean.

Brown, Burch, and Longley, along with New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Linda Lael Miller, will be sailing aboard a 5-day Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard Regal Princess, departing Ft. Lauderdale Nov 3, 2015. Onboard the authors will participate in meet-and-greets, book club discussions and also offer book signings. Princess guests and Kindle users, including those using a Kindle app on any device, can easily download the free stories at, beginning in October.

"We strive to provide engaging experiences for our guests and we know they love to read, especially while on vacation, so teaming up with Kindle Love Stories is a perfect match," said Adrian Fischer, Princess Cruises vice president, entertainment experience. "As part of our newly relaunched Princess Book Club, avid readers will be able to participate in exciting onboard events and enjoy great stories inspired by a Princess cruise."

The three romance stories inspired by Princess Cruises include:

-- Kiss Me Maybe by Heather Burch
-- To Catch a Bouquet by Carolyn Brown
-- Once Upon a Night at Sea by Barbara Longley

About the Participating Authors
Heather Burch writes full-time and lives in Florida. Her books have garnered praise from USA Today, Booklist magazine, Romantic Times Book Reviews, and Publishers Weekly. Her epic love story, One Lavender Ribbon, was an international bestseller and was one of the top 100 books on Amazon Kindle in 2014. Down the Hidden Path is the follow-up novel to Along the Broken Road, the first book in The Roads to River Rock series. Heather's heartbeat is to tell unforgettable stories that make your heart sigh.

Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and a RITA finalist. Her books include contemporary romance and cowboy romance, with a penchant for country music, and historical romance. She and her husband have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. When she's not writing, she likes to sit in her gorgeous backyard with her cats and watch them protect the yard from crickets, locusts, and spiders. She resides in Davis, Oklahoma.

Barbara Longley is an award winning, Amazon bestselling author. Each of her four siblings were born in different states, and because her family moved so frequently, she learned early on how to entertain herself with stories. By day, Barbara is a teacher. She holds a Master's in Education, and has taught for many years. By night, she likes to explore things mythical, metaphysical, paranormal, and/or newsworthy. Much of what she learns makes its way into her stories, where all things are possible.

The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. Raised in Northport, Washington, the "First Lady of the West" and self-confessed barn goddess lives on a horse property outside Spokane, where her rescued horses roam free. For her long-standing success and devotion to her craft, the Romance Writers of America awarded Linda their prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Hallmark Movie Channel is developing a series based on Linda's Big Sky Country novels published by HQN Books. Her latest release is Christmas in Mustang Creek, an October 2015 HQN holiday hardcover and the fourth in her Brides of Bliss County series set in a fictional Wyoming town.

"We created Kindle Love Stories as a place for romance readers to engage with their favorite books and authors and we're so excited to be collaborating with Princess Cruises to bring that experience in-person with these events," said Laura Hoffman, Marketing Manager, Kindle Love Stories.

For more information about the Kindle Love Stories events, visit Additional information about future cruises with featured romance authors will be announced soon.Additional information about Princess Cruises is available at

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Steel Cutting Marks Start of Construction of Norwegian's Second Breakaway Plus Vessel

Papenburg, Germany, Sept 16: In a historic week in New Build history for Norwegian Cruise Line, the first piece of steel was cut at MEYER WERFT in Papenburg, Germany on Tuesday, September 15 to mark the construction of the second ship in the line’s Breakaway Plus class, set for delivery in spring 2017. Andy Stuart, President of Norwegian Cruise Line, pushed the button to start the plasma torch during the steel cutting ceremony in the laser center.

‎"On behalf of the more than 20,000 Norwegian team members worldwide, we are thrilled to mark the start of construction of the second ship in our company’s Breakaway Plus class and the continued evolution of the Norwegian brand," said Stuart. "Not only will this ship fully embody the Norwegian brand and the freedom and flexibility that a Norwegian Cruise Line vacation means, but the combined expertise of the company’s new leadership team will create what is sure to be the epitome of contemporary cruising‎."

Norwegian Cruise Line executives, along with Meyer Werft's managing directors Bernard Meyer and Lambert Kruse and the yard's project manager Stephan Schmees, watched as the first plate of steel was cut by a plasma torch in the yard's state of the art facility. This plate will become part of Block 46, the first to be assembled for the new vessel.‎ It took the plasma torch in the yard's state-of-the-art laser center merely a couple of minutes to cut a silhouette of the new ship from the steel plate.

“We are very happy to build these new class of ships for Norwegian Cruise Line and to continue our long-standing relationship," said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft.

Having a tonnage of 165,600 gross tons and reaching more than 1,000 feet in length, the ship will carry 4,200 guests, reaching speeds of up to 23 knots. To learn more about Norwegian Cruise Line, visit

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Costa Cruises & AIDA Cruises Donate to Refugee Relief in Italy & Germany

GENOA, Italy, Sept. 16: Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises are donating a total of 200,000 euros in in Italy and Germany to support refugee relief in Europe. Costa is donating 100,000 euros to Médecins Sans Frontières, while AIDA is giving 100,000 euros to the Aktion Deutschland hilft alliance.

"The current situation is an exceptional challenge for the whole of Europe," said Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group. "The fate of the refugees concerns all of us. Hundreds of thousands of people who have left everything behind them need all the support we can give them. For us it is a question of humanity to provide help now, fast, and without red tape."

"Europe is facing a big emergency and we at Costa felt the responsibility to provide our support," said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. "Each day we understand more about this extremely sad situation and the needs all refugees have. We think that we must concretely support the ongoing relief efforts and that's why we want to sustain them."

Since 2002 the Médecins Sans Frontières organization ("Doctors Without Borders") has provided medical assistance to refugees and migrants both on arrival and in the First Aid and Reception Center in Pozzallo, Sicily, in close collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Health. MSF also provides psychological and medical assistance in the ports reception centers of the Ragusa province of Sicily. In May 2015 MSF activated rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea with three dedicated ships.

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Oceania Cruises Announces Expansion of Early Bookings Incentive Program

MIAMI, Sept 16: The overwhelming response to OLife Advantage has prompted Oceania Cruises to offer the popular early booking incentive program to all guests who book a 2016 Europe, Alaska and New England/Canada cruise before Dec. 31, 2015. The OLife Advantage program streamlines and unifies all of the advanced booking incentives available on Oceania Cruises, plus adds extraordinary new incentives. Effective today, OLife Advantage will reward all guests, no matter what suite or stateroom category booked, with numerous complimentary amenities, including free shore excursions, unlimited internet and pre-paid gratuities. Additionally, any guest who booked after OLife Advantage launched in July, but purchased a lower category, non-qualifying stateroom, will all retroactively receive the complimentary benefits.

“The response to this program from our guests and travel agent partners has exceeded our expectations,” said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer for Oceania Cruises. “Guests quickly understand the incredible value OLife Advantage offers and, as a result, we’ve decided to extend to all stateroom and suite categories for our 2016 Europe, Alaska and coastal New England and Canada sailings.”

As a leader in the upper-premium cruise segment, Oceania Cruises offers the finest cuisine at sea, impeccable service, and destination-driven itineraries to nearly 330 ports of call aboard a fleet of intimate ships. To enhance exploration in the incredible destinations the ships visit, OLife Advantage provides three free excursions per person on sailings up to nine days, four free excursions on journeys between 10 and 13 days, and five free excursions on itineraries 14 days or more. With the OLife Advantage program, guests may choose from a wide variety of shore excursions to some of the most picturesque and iconic destinations around the globe. Among the included excursions are a scenic visit to Ravello in Amalfi/Positano, a walking tour of Tallinn, Estonia and sea kayaking to Eagle Island in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Guests will be able to take advantage of the free internet either through the recently upgraded ship-wide Wi-Fi system or at the Oceania@Sea internet center. The Wi-Fi system provides connectivity throughout the entire ship, including all public spaces, outdoor decks and all suites and staterooms.

The OLife Advantage program extends to all spring, summer and fall 2016 voyages in Europe, Alaska and Canada/New England. To qualify for OLife Advantage and receive complimentary shore excursions, free unlimited internet and pre-paid gratuities, guests must book any suite or stateroom category before Dec. 31, 2015.

The summer 2016 collection also includes the highly anticipated maiden season for Sirena, the newest addition to the Oceania Cruises fleet. The expanded six-ship fleet provides Oceania Cruises even greater flexibility to create an unprecedented number of new itineraries for the upcoming season, offering a perfect fusion of classic and off-the-beaten-path ports. For more information about Oceania Cruises’ OLife Advantage program, visit

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Royal Caribbean Expands Entertainment on Anthem of the Seas

MIAMI, Sept 16: When Anthem of the Seas arrives into the New York harbor in just 50 days it will bring with it a familiar cast of DreamWorks Animation characters. Po of "Kung Fu Panda;" Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of "Shrek;" and Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien and the Penguins from "Madagascar " will be joining Anthem of the Seas when she begins sailing from her homeport of Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, NJ.

Guests on Anthem can enjoy events and activities based on DreamWorks Animation's popular feature-film characters, including a DreamWorks Character breakfast in the main dining room, ‘meet and greet’ experiences throughout the day as well as photo ops that can be shared with family and friends back home thanks to VOOM, the fastest internet at sea. Royal Caribbean's younger guests can enjoy an exhilarating line-up of activities, games and adventures rooted in the popular DreamWorks Animation films at the complimentary, award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program. Additionally, guests can watch the latest DreamWorks Animation films at the ship’s movie theater or on a dedicated DreamWorks TV channel in their stateroom.

"Anthem of the Seas already offers an unprecedented line-up of entertainment activities on board for our guests," said Mark Tamis, senior vice president, hotel operations, Royal Caribbean International. “With the addition of the DreamWorks Experience guests of all ages will be even more wowed with everything Anthem has to offer.”

In addition to The DreamWorks Experience, guests onboard Anthem of the Seas can enjoy an endless landscape of entertainment. In Two70, a multi-level great room that seamlessly fuses entertainment and technology, guests will be surprised and awestruck by the immersive experiences created by the talented singers and dancers of Royal Caribbean Productions who meld music and special effects with Vistarama, the most complex seamless video projections on floor to ceiling windows spanning across 270 degrees at the aft of the ship.

Two70 also hosts a troupe of six, choreographed Roboscreens which soar, twist and spin solo or together as one to treat guests to stunningly visual, first-of-its-kind multi-media shows that can only be seen on Anthem of the Seas. In addition, the Royal Theater is home to Royal Caribbean’s two headlining shows, the smash hit musical “We Will Rock You” and an original production created exclusively for Anthem, “The Gift.”

The world’s most revolutionary cruise ship, Anthem of the Seas is setting sail on the next great adventure. Unprecedented innovations in ship design, thrilling activities, game-changing technology, multidimensional entertainment, and robust, flexible dining opportunities come together onboard Anthem to create the ultimate, contemporary cruising experience found only on Royal Caribbean. She spans 18 decks, encompasses 168,666 gross registered tons, carries 4,180 guests at double occupancy and features 2,090 staterooms. Anthem of the Seas will sail out of New York Harbor from her new homeport of Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. from Nov 10, 2015. More information on Quantum class is available at

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Keel Laid For Seabourn Cruise Line's New Ultra-Luxury Vessel Seabourn Encore

SEATTLE, Sept. 15: Today, the award-winning, small ship cruise line Seabourn celebrated the keel laying ceremony of its new ultra-luxury ship, Seabourn Encore, at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy. Set to launch in late 2016, today's ceremony is the latest in a series of recent milestones and announcements made by Seabourn as the project continues to move forward.

The ceremony was attended, among others, by Holland America Group Executive Vice President Fleet Operations Keith Taylor and Antonio Quintano, director of Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard. Seabourn Encore is the first of two ultra-luxury cruise ships that Fincantieri will build for Seabourn over the next three years.

"Set to debut as the most modern and acclaimed ship in the ultra-luxury segment, the keel laying of Seabourn Encore represents another pivotal stage in the evolution of small-ship cruising," said Seabourn President Richard Meadows. "This is an important milestone and we look forward to revealing further progress and highlights of Seabourn Encore in the months ahead."

Modeled after the award-winning trio of Seabourn's Odyssey-class ships and designed by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, the all-suite 41,700-GRT ship will be configured with one additional deck, new expanded public areas and is expected to carry just 600 guests, maintaining Seabourn' s high ratio of space per guest. In addition, every suite will feature a private veranda.

To follow the progress of Seabourn Encore, please visit the ship's dedicated microsite:

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Carnival Corporation Announces 2020 Sustainability Goals

MIAMI, Sept. 15: Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest travel and leisure company, today announced its 2020 sustainability goals, reinforcing its commitment to the environment, guests, employees and communities. With 10 global brands, 100 ships and 11 million annual guests, the company has established 10 major goals for reducing its environmental footprint over the next five years, while enhancing the health, safety and security of its guests and crewmembers, and ensuring sustainable business practices across its brands, business partners and suppliers. View Carnival Corporation's full 2020 sustainability goals infographic here.

"Across our 10 brands, we host millions of guests a year and visit 725 ports of call around the world, and the health and vitality of the oceans, seas and communities through which we travel is absolutely essential to our business," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. "That makes protecting the environment one of our most critical areas of focus as a corporation, and it is why it is important for us to publicly communicate our sustainability goals."

Added Donald: "All of our 120,000 employees not only take great pride in making sure our guests have the vacation of a lifetime, but we are all deeply committed to protecting the oceans and seas, which is where many of our employees live and work for a good part of the year. We have a strong track record of environmental stewardship, and we remain more committed than ever to improving our performance, while ensuring we operate our entire business in the most sustainable way possible."

Carnival Corporation announced in November 2014 that it had met its corporate goal to reduce its rate of equivalent carbon dioxide (CO(2)e) emissions from shipboard operations by 20 percent, a year ahead of its initial plan.

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Cunard Appoints Interior Design Firm for Queen Mary 2 Refit

SOUTHAMPTON, England, Sept. 15: Cunard has appointed SMC Design to lead the development of Queen Mary 2's interior spaces in preparation for her forthcoming major refit in 2016. The Cunard flagship will undergo a multi-million 25-day (27 May-21 June) extensive refurbishment that will see new interior designs and new guest experiences introduced on the most iconic ship in the world as she begins the next chapter in what has already been an illustrious career.

This announcement follows on from the recent well-received news that Queen Mary 2 will gain 15 new single cabins and an additional 30 Britannia Club cabins during the refit and that the very popular kennels will be expanded to cater for the high demand this unique facility already attracts. Today's announcement about the appointment of SMC Design will be the first of several unveilings the company has planned underlining the importance of the work to be undertaken on Queen Mary 2. SMC Design was founded in 1994 and is a London-based design consultancy that specializes in the maritime sector.

The design team has worked on many ships from small luxury yachts to some of the largest ships ever built. The company also has a history of working with Cunard ships past and present, leading previous refit projects of QE2, Cunard Countess and Cunard Princess while also being involved in the designs for its current fleet: Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. SMC's Managing Director Andy Collier was in fact part of Queen Mary 2's launch design team at the beginning of the Century when she was the first Atlantic liner to be built for over 35 years.

The new Queen Mary 2 designs will focus on updating iconic art deco lines and subtly introducing classic Deco touches inspired by Cunard's rich heritage. The original Art Deco masterpiece Queen Mary has been one of the sources of this inspiration with the new interior designs bringing Cunard's decorative and glamorous past into the 21st Century.

The new designs aim to give the interior spaces clear identity and character with some strong traditional Cunard colors introduced as features and off-set against more neutral Queen Mary 2 tones. With new signature color schemes, new carpets, new furniture as well as more decorative fixtures and fittings installed throughout the largest ocean liner in the world, the design approach is set to ensure the flagship retains her leading position.

"Cunard has a unique rich heritage in both the nautical and design fields and we have researched into these and looked to incorporate aspects of pattern and design into our plans," said Andrew Collier, SMC Managing Director. "Particular attention has been paid to taking inspiration from the original Queen Mary and our aim is to enhance existing designs as well as implement a decorative overhaul, looking to emphasize the feeling of understated elegance. Clean lines and simple designs will instill a sense of glamour and relaxation. We are very excited to be part of the project to bring a new look and style for the world's most famous ship," Collier added.

And it's not just design experts who are helping to shape the future of Queen Mary 2. Over the last eighteen months Cunard has been consulting and testing different ideas with thousands of past and future guests across the world. These ongoing consultations are an important element of the work being undertaken in preparation for refit and the valuable opinions from the people who know Cunard and Queen Mary 2 better than anyone is actively being incorporated into the exciting and extensive development plans that will be revealed over the coming months.

"Queen Mary 2 is the pride of the Cunard fleet. With SMC's proven maritime design expertise, invaluable input from thousands of Cunard's discerning, international guests, and 175 years of history as our foundation, we look forward to even more exciting design innovations on the already legendary Queen Mary 2," said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard North America.

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SeaDream Yacht Club’s 2016 Mediterranean Season

MIAMI, Sept 15: SeaDream Yacht Club’s 2016 season will sail to the Mediterranean’s most secluded destinations, visiting ports so small that only the 112-guest twin luxury mega-yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II can enter. Ideal for travelers who wish to explore beyond popular ports of call such as St. Tropez, France, these itineraries transport guests to the beautiful and intimate ports of Patmos, Kotor, and Cassis among many others. SeaDream’s award-winning luxury mega-yachts will arrive in the Mediterranean in May and the season features 40+ itineraries.

“Yachting with SeaDream Yacht Club in the Mediterranean is an experience unlike any other and we pride ourselves on the ability to intimately transport our guests to some of the world’s most exclusive destinations,” shares Bob Lepisto, president of SeaDream Yacht Club.

SeaDream Yacht Club’s 2016 Mediterranean sailing highlights:

• Barcelona to Nice departs May 14-22, 2016. Ports include Barcelona and Roses, Spain; Sete, Cassis, St. Tropez, Cannes, Antibes and Nice, France; and Monte Carlo, Monaco.
• Istanbul to Athens (Piraeus) departs June 25–July 2, 2016. Ports include Istanbul, Kepez (Troy & Gallipoli) and Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Patmos, Parikia, Sifnos Island, Hydra and Athens (Piraeus), Greece.
• Venice to Dubrovnik departs August 20–27, 2016. Ports include Venice, Italy; Mali Losinj, Rab, Split, Hvar, Korcula and Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Kotor, Montenegro.
• Cannes Roundtrip departs October 8–15, 2016. Ports include Cannes, Saint Florent, Calvi and St. Tropez, France; Portofino and Portovenere (Cinque Terre), Italy; and Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Another highlight for the 2016 season will be SeaDream Yacht Club’s popular crew-led shore excursions available in numerous ports which many of the yacht’s staff call home. SeaDream continues to offer innovative dining, including an optional Raw Food menu and traditional Japanese menu. Additionally, the chef welcomes guests to the local market in select ports to assist him in collecting fresh local seafood and produce for the evening meal.

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

For additional information, visit

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Costa Luminosa Departs on Around-the-World Cruise from Savona, Italy

GENOA, Italy, Sept. 14: Costa Cruises' Costa Luminosa departed from Savona, Italy, today on an exciting 98-day Around-the-World voyage during which guests will cross three oceans and visit 39 destinations on five continents, returning to Savona, Dec. 21. It is an ideal trip for cruise lovers desiring to circumnavigate the world in a little over three months, encountering exotic cultures and extraordinary places.

More than 1,000 guests will departed from Savona, with another 260 boarding tomorrow at Marseille, France, and 240 more embarking at Barcelona, Spain, for a total of nearly 1,500 cruise passengers. A wide range of ages and nationalities is represented: the oldest traveler is 95, while the youngest is just 1 year old. There are more than 30 different nationalities on board, mainly Swiss, German and French, followed by Italian and Spanish.

Costa Luminosa is one of the most amazing ships in Costa's fleet. Even thousands of miles from home, guests will still be able to enjoy real Italian hospitality. And those seeking to follow Costa Luminosa's incredible voyage can simply go to the Costa website and see what's happening in real time through the two webcams installed on board.

Exclusive festivities were planned to celebrate the ship's departure from Savona: a quintet played live music as guests boarded the ship from the Palacrociere, while a special poolside party accompanied the departure "countdown" after greetings from the captain.

"The itinerary of this Around-the-World voyage will include stops in marvelous countries like France, Spain, the Antilles, Colombia, Mexico, the United States, Hawaii, Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan," said Pietro Sinisi, captain of Costa Luminosa. "It's a real dream come true for all great travelers who, thanks to Costa Cruises, will be able to visit five continents during a single trip."

Special shore excursions will give the world cruise an exciting and unique touch. Excursions that are the most popular among guests include a fascinating tour of the island of Antigua and a visit to Nelson's Dockyard National Park, teeming with history; a tour to the attractions of San Diego, California, like the Gaslamp Quarter and the Old Town; and a four-hour visit to see the natural wonders of the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Costa Luminosa will make longer calls at some particularly interesting destinations such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; Cochin and Mumbai, India; and Dubai, U.A.E. (two days); Sydney, Australia; and Singapore (three days). This will give travelers a chance to discover the unique characteristics of these special vacation spots, taking advantage of the exclusive excursions offered by Costa Cruises, some of which include an overnight stay at a hotel on shore: after an afternoon of shopping in Los Angeles and an overnight stay in a magnificent room facing the Sunset Strip, guests will have the opportunity to take a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon; from Sydney guests can experience the magic of Ayers Rock, savoring dinner in the middle of the desert. After discovering the magnificence of "The Twelve Apostles," the iconic limestone stacks of Melbourne, Australia, guests can leave the ship at Perth, Australia, to travel to Bali, there to be immersed in the enchanting atmosphere of white-sand beaches and pristine nature for a couple of days before returning to the ship at Singapore. Finally, from Cochin guests can visit Delhi and Agra, India, to fully experience the spirit of the Indian tradition and admire the Taj Mahal.

"We are extremely proud to welcome our guests onboard this special voyage, and their choice represents how much they are passionate about the Costa brand," said Norbert Stiekema, executive vice president sales and marketing for Costa Cruises. "The Around-the-World cruise follows on the heels of a soldout, record-breaking month of August and represents a really exclusive offer by Costa. Starting in fact from the Round-the-World cruise, the fall season is also on an upswing, and bookings continue to increase. It's a sign of just how much our product is appreciated, offering Italy's finest on board and providing the opportunity to visit a variety of unique destinations in absolute comfort. From this point of view the Around-the-World cruise is obviously at the top, but we have lots of other proposals these months that are suitable for everyone: the short mini-vacations, seven-day cruises to the most beautiful destinations in the Mediterranean, or vacations on board our neoCollection ships that visit brand new locations with longer calls."

The next world cruise departs from Savona on Costa Luminosa on Jan. 6, 2016, with a 108-day itinerary that will cross the two Tropics and end April 23, 2016.

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American Queen Steamboat Company Showcases 2016 Schedule with
New Brochure Celebrating Fifth Season

MEMPHIS, Sept 14: American Queen Steamboat Company, operator of America’s most opulent and luxurious paddlewheel vessels, is preparing for the 2016 season with a new brochure currently arriving in loyal guest and valued travel agent mailboxes. The new 76-page brochure highlights the upcoming fifth season of the U.S.-flagged river cruise line and its iconic American Queen and American Empress riverboats, the only member vessels of Historic Hotels of America.

With stunning new photography, the brochure highlights award-winning shore excursions, detailed sample dining menus, themed voyages, two Mighty Mississippi Voyages stretching between St. Paul and New Orleans and new Commodore River Butler Service. Guests can begin planning their 2016 holiday on the American Queen and American Empress exploring the waters and towns throughout the Heartland of America and Pacific Northwest.

“We are eager to begin the upcoming 2016 season, offering our guests new and exciting services, amenities and voyages,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “With newly unveiled additions to our fifth season operating the American Queen, we hope to welcome new travelers as well as familiar faces onboard both elegant boats exploring America’s most beautiful rivers.”

Highlights in the new 2016 season brochure include:

• Commodore Services which offer an exclusive level of hospitality and amenities to guests staying in suite-level accommodations onboard the American Queen and the American Empress. Commodore Services featurespecial access to the pre-voyage hotel’s club lounge, access to private voyage check-in and pre-boarding privileges, a bottle of wine from the region or fruit basket upon arrival, preferred dining arrangements, reserved balcony seating in the Grand Saloon theater or The Show Lounge theater, a private reception with Senior Officers of the ship and River Butler services for those staying in Luxury Suite.
• Mighty Mississippi Voyages traveling the entire length of the river with a southbound and northbound itinerary spanning three weeks.
• New Themed Voyages onboard the American Queen such as “Presidents & Politics” which immerses guests in the history of the American presidency, “Holiday-Christmas Markets” which features an exclusive lineup of Christmas markets offering music, seasonal goods and locally produced crafts, and finally, “Five Rivers of the Heartland” which allows guests a rare opportunity to touch the Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers in one incredible voyage.
• An exquisite array of menu options for breakfast, lunch and dinner inspired by the American Heartland and prepared by an award-winning culinary team. Menu choices include made-to-order omelets for breakfast, creative soups, salads and hearty entrees for lunch, and nightly five-course meals for dinner in the J.M. White Dining Room onboard the American Queen or the Astoria Dining Room onboard the American Empress.

American Empress Itinerary Overview: The largest and most elegant riverboat west of the Mississippi, the 223-guest American Empress, embarks on her third season sailing the Pacific Northwest beginning March 19, 2016. Embarking on compelling stops along the Columbia and Snake Rivers, such as Multnomah Falls, Mt. St. Helens and the Walla Walla Wine Trail, the riverboat features 32 departure dates sailing between Portland/Vancouver, Wash. and Clarkston, Wash. The season begins and ends with two roundtrip Portland itineraries featuring the highlights of Astoria, The Dalles, Stevenson and Portland.

American Queen Itinerary Overview: Embarking on her fifth season on Feb. 18, 2016, the American Queen transports guests back in time with antebellum décor and stops along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. With 46 total itineraries in 2016, each voyage is steeped in history and culture from pre-cruise hotel stays in New Orleans to tracing the steps of Mark Twain in Hannibal, Mo.

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

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Norwegian Escape to Offer Lacoste and Carolina Herrera Boutiques

Miami, Sept 11: When Norwegian Escape makes her maiden voyage in November, the ship will feature unprecedented dining, beverage and entertainment optionsand now, luxurious shopping with two dazzling name-brand boutiques. The two boutiquesLACOSTE and Carolina Herrerawill be the first at sea for each acclaimed brand, as well as the first boutiques to be designed specifically for a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. These new offerings are the latest of several that are shaping Norwegian Escape into one of the most sensational cruise ships at sea, with other alliances including Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville; James Beard Award-winning Iron Chef Jose Garces; Michael Mondavi Family Wines; Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals After Midnight and Million Dollar Quartet; and more.

“These exclusive boutiques from two legendary fashion industry icons add further glamour to one of the most exciting cruise ships ever built,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief operating officer. “LACOSTE and Carolina Herrera will offer Norwegian Escape guests a shopping experience unlike any at sea.”

More than 80 years after its founding, LACOSTE continues to be a sport inspired lifestyle brand renowned for elegance and comfort. Famous for its iconic polo shirt, LACOSTE offers sportswear apparel for men and women, as well as footwear, eyewear, watches, fragrances, leather goods, and other items. The LACOSTE boutique aboard Norwegian Escape will include a wide assortment of clothing items, including signature polos, t-shirts, dresses, skirts, footwear, and accessories.

Carolina Herrera is an international fashion house recognized for timeless elegance and refinement. From fashion and accessories to fragrances, the brand embodies the creative vision established by founder, Carolina Herrera, over three decades ago. The Carolina Herrera boutique aboard Norwegian Escape will include beautiful, hand-selected luxury products, including handbags, leather goods, pashminas, scarves, jewelry, footwear and accessories.

In addition to dedicated boutiques, Norwegian Escape will feature further retail from widely-recognized brands including, but not limited to, Hublot, Bvlgari, Tissot and Uno de 50. The ship will be the first to introduce Ulysse Nardin watches, as well as a hand-picked collection of Columbian Emeralds, also exclusive to Norwegian Escape.

Norwegian Escape, soon to be the largest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, will sail weekly 7-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean 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. Learn more about Norwegian Escape’s luxurious accommodations, as well as its distinctive dining, entertainment, shopping and leisure options, by visiting

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Oceania Cruises Announces Two Special Voyages For November 2016

MIAMI, Sept. 9: Oceania Cruises announces two special Mediterranean voyages aboard the 1,250-passenger Marina guaranteed to appeal to culinary aficionados and long-standing fans of the upper-premium brand. Jacques Pépin, the legendary master chef and longtime Executive Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises, will host the Jacques Pépin Cruise on Nov. 1, 2016. The Venice to Rome voyage will include book signings, meet-and-greets and a special culinary demonstration hosted by Pépin. During the 10-day cruise, guests will be treated to specially designed menus in the restaurants, epicurean-infused shore excursions and hands-on culinary instruction taking place in the state-of-the-art Culinary Center onboard; all focused on highlighting Pépin’s signature style.

“It’s such a joy sailing aboard Marina with guests who share the same passion for food, wine and overall enjoyment of life,” said Pépin. “This Mediterranean itinerary is a beautiful mix of long-established culinary destinations and some burgeoning epicurean hotspots.”

The next sailing will host the 13th annual Oceania Cruises Reunion Cruise. Departing on Nov. 11 and highlighting the Magical Mediterranean, this Rome to Lisbon sailing will visit eight ports of call in Italy, Monaco, Spain, Gibraltar and the French Riviera. The voyage is open to all guests, but offers premium amenities for Oceania Club members, or past guests of Oceania Cruises. Extras for Oceania Club members include special cocktail parties, celebratory dinners, wine pairing events in La Reserve by Wine Spectator, exclusive shore excursions, a reunion cruise gift and other surprises.

Oceania Cruises also developed an Extended Journey option for guests looking to experience both the Jacques Pépin Cruise and Reunion Cruise. For more information about Oceania Cruises, the Jacques Pépin Cruise or the 13th Reunion Cruise, visit

Oceania Cruises' Marina: Built with the ultimate epicurean in mind, Oceania Cruises' Marina debuted in January 2011. Along with its sister ship, Riviera, Marina introduced the Culinary Center, the first hand-on cooking school at sea, along with four exquisite specialty dining venues, including the Asian-inspired Red Ginger and Jacques, legendary master chef Jacques Pépin’s only restaurant at sea. Interior design highlights include a Lalique-designed grand staircase, elegant public rooms, spacious accommodations and Owner’s Suites furnished exclusively by Ralph Lauren Home.

About Oceania Cruises: Featuring the finest cuisine at sea, the intimate and luxurious Oceania Cruises’ fleet provides guests with an unrivaled vacation experience. Seasoned travelers are drawn to Oceania Cruises’ unique, destination-rich itineraries that crisscross the globe, and visit more than 330 exciting locales across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Spacious and elegant accommodations, along with highly personalized service, allow guests to explore the world in style and comfort on Oceania Cruises’ five award-winning ships: the 684-guest Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, and the 1,250-guest Marina and Riviera. Oceania Cruises will add a fourth 684-guest ship when Sirena officially joins its fleet in April 2016.

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Cunard Announces Sponsorship of Monterey Jazz Festival’s 2015 Jazz Legends Gala

Sept 9: Cunard is proud to announce its sponsorship of the 58th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival’ Jazz Legends Gala honoring Chick Corea on Sept 17, 2015. The longest continuously-running jazz festival in the world, the 58th Monterey Jazz Festival takes place at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey, Calif., Sept 18-20, 2015. This year marks Cunard’s first partnership with the festival, illuminating Cunard’s remarkable history of hosting musicians such as jazz icons Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, and highlighting the company’s renowned on board entertainment and music offerings including current partnerships with the prestigious Juilliard School of Jazz, and venerable Blue Note Records.

Being showcased at this year’s festival is Cunard’s “Jazz at Sea” partnership with Blue Note Records. The first Blue Note Crossing on Queen Mary 2 will sail from New York to Southampton on Oct 29, 2015, featuring intimate jazz performances by musicians such as Grammy® Award winners Natalie Cole, Robert Glasper and Derek Hodge. President of Blue Note Records, Don Was, will also sail and participate in Q&A sessions. Blue Note musicians will similarly be featured on Queen Mary 2 during Transatlantic Crossings on Aug 1 and Oct 26, 2016.

“We are excited to participate in this year’s Monterey Jazz Festival Gala, the festival’s flagship fundraising event for its educational programs, which impact 3,000 local, regional and national students each year,” says Richard Meadows, president, Cunard, North America. “This is the type of partnership which exemplifies the spirit of Cunard.”

From its inception in 1958, the nonprofit Monterey Jazz Festival has presented iconic artists such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, and Miles Davis. Today, the Monterey Jazz Festival includes eight stages and over 110 events with some of the top names of contemporary jazz. The 2015 lineup features the festival’s Artist-In-Residence, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, renowned pianist and composer and festival Showcase Artist Chick Corea, and Blue Note Records trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire, the festival’s Commission Artist. Held annually on the 20-acre, oak-studded Monterey Fairgrounds, this festival is an international icon, inspiration and model for music festivals around the world. Committed to changing lives through music, Monterey Jazz Festival annually invests over half a mission dollars to provide comprehensive year-round education with the best jazz musicians and music educators available. Through instruction and performance. Monterey Jazz Festival Jazz Education programs help to fill the gap of our schools’ declining music programs, provide extensive performance opportunities, and inspire the next generation of jazz musicians.

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All Wrapped Up… Silversea Expeditions Seals Partnership With Haglöfs Outdoor Clothing

Monaco, Sept 8: The ultra-luxury cruise line Silversea Cruises has partnered with the renowned outdoor clothing brand Haglöfs to create two new co-branded jackets that Silversea will have the pleasure to present to its guests on expedition cruises to Antarctica, the Arctic, Chilean Fjords, Russian Far East, and Sub-Antarctic New Zealand from June 2016 onwards.

Over a hundred years of research and development have contributed to the success of Haglöfs and its positioning among the most respected and prestigious brands of top quality adventure gear. Innovations stretching from back systems to choices in materials and original constructions made Haglöfs a leading player in the field of technical outdoor clothing and several successful product releases resulted in international awards and distinctions.

"Like a step in freshly fallen snow, everything we do leaves a mark on the world. Our choice, and our responsibility, is to step lightly. On our journey into the future, we wish to leave behind nothing but footprints." This statement is the quintessence of Haglöfs' steps towards a more sustainable world.

The partnership reinforces Silversea's commitment to offering guests a green expedition experience that both meets and surpasses their expectations by providing an unforgettable voyage of discovery and wonder.

An inner layer that features Haglöfs' trademark Quad+ Fusion TM technology and a soft-shell outer layer made of Pertex® Microlight technology bring warmth and insulation thanks to a perfect balance of lightweight softness, durability and water resistance.

Conrad Combrink, director of expedition planning and strategic development, said: "We pride ourselves on being able to honor our guests with industry leading expertise while on board our expedition voyages. The new complimentary Haglöfs jackets represent the finest outdoor wear available, allowing our guests to fully experience all weather environments in comfort and style. Our butlers will be pleased to help our guests to easily pack the jackets thanks to the self-folding mechanism, while the extra-light weight will not represent any obstacle in bringing them back home. The use of the jackets for outdoor activities will hold fond memories of discovery and adventure for our guests long after their voyage has ended."

Silversea Expeditions is a leader in the expedition cruise industry, offering luxury all-inclusive voyages while visiting some of the most remote regions on the planet. The knowledge of the onboard expedition leaders, combined with the endorsement and enrichment of the onboard lectures by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), allows guests to experience the finest in adventure and expedition cruising.

About Silversea Cruises
Silversea Cruises, which is chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, is recognized as an innovator in the ultra-luxury cruise line industry, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit—and launching in 2017, Silver Muse—all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the inclusion of the expedition ships Silver Explorer, Silver Galapagos, and Silver Discoverer, Silversea Cruises' itineraries encompass all seven continents and feature worldwide luxury cruises to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, both polar regions and over 800 fascinating destinations in between.

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Crystal Cruises Unveils Culinary Concept For 'Crystal Esprit'

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 3: Crystal Yacht Cruises, the upcoming luxury yachting experience from the world's most awarded luxury cruise line, is sparing no measure of luxury, including the culinary offerings on the new vessel. Crystal has unveiled the culinary concept for the 62-guest Crystal Esprit, which focuses heavily on quality local ingredients of the Seychelles Islands and Mediterranean coast, and showcases many of the favorite dishes served on the line's acclaimed ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. The yacht will set sail in December 2015 with an elegant and eclectic menu of globally inspired Michelin starred cuisine for its discerning guests, from extraordinary seafood cuisine on the al fresco terrace, to decadent pastries, snacks, espresso and wine in the quaint corner bar.

"The outstanding food and wine experience has always been a highlight of the Crystal Experience and will continue to be an integral part of the onboard experience aboard Crystal Yacht Cruises," says Crystal President & CEO Edie Rodriguez. "With public spaces and dining areas that are more intimate, our superior culinary team will maintain - and even exceed - the standard of world-class, creative cuisine that travelers expect from Crystal."

Crystal Esprit will offer guests an array of culinary choices at any time of day or night, from small bites and midnight snacks, to casual lunches al fresco and chic, multi-course dinners. "Local" versions of favorite Crystal dishes will also be served, using the freshest ingredients available in each destination and reflecting the local flavors. The onboard eateries include:

-- The Yacht Club and its outdoor extension, the Patio Cafe restaurants will serve a selection of Crystal's modern and classic specialties, with made-to-order omelets, waffles and pancakes and a health bar with fresh fruit and vegetable juices for breakfast; lunch options including made-to-order pastas and risottos, seafood and meat antipasti, and a raw and salad bar, plus an a la carte menu offering local dishes; dinner menus include a Modern Tasting menu and a Classic menu including local inspired dishes using the freshest ingredients found at the local markets, all served in a bright and immaculate setting with expansive windows and sea breezes;
-- The Sunset Bar & Grill menu will feature burgers, wraps and locally inspired "global street food," served tapas style and reflecting the destinations visited;
-- The Pantry will serve as the 24-hour "go-to" spot for freshly baked light snacks and pastries, coffee and a self-service wine bar;
-- Crystal Esprit Guest Suites also allow travelers to indulge in the plush privacy of their own staterooms, with available 24-hour stateroom dining.

For complete details on all itineraries, fares, and information, visit

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Holland America Line’s ‘On Stage Alaska’ Presentation Brings The Great Land to Life
 in Cities Across the United States & Canada

Seattle, Sept. 3: Now travel partners can help their clients learn more about Holland America Line’s award-winning Alaska Land+Sea Journeys through the line’s complimentary “On Stage Alaska” presentations that will be visiting cities across the United States and Canada this fall. Travel partners who are interested in selling more Land + Sea Journeys to Alaska and the Yukon can offer their clients a glimpse into the region’s history, spectacular scenery, wildlife and local hospitality.

“Our Land+Sea Journeys offer many wonderful options, and the On Stage Alaska presentation is the easiest and most informative way to be sure our travel partners have all of the information and tools they need to sell a Holland America Line Alaska vacation to their clients,” said Eva Jenner, vice president, North America Sales, Holland America Line. “The positive feedback we continue to receive from travel partners who arrange the On Stage Alaska presentations tells us that they are a valuable tool in helping our travel partners succeed.”

The program, which is produced by Holland America Line and is in its 33rd year, features the line’s 2016 Alaska Land+Sea Journeys destination film and includes an entertaining and informative performance by people who have lived and worked in the Great Land. On Stage Alaska also provides information about the Yukon Territory that is included on some Land+Sea Journeys, as well as details about Holland America Line’s Alaska cruise itineraries. A three-week incentive booking promotion provides travel professionals with another tool to complete bookings.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen increased attendance and a growth in Land+Sea Journeys bookings associated with On Stage Alaska events,” said Jenner. “With some 300 showings and nearly 20,000 people attending each year, it’s easy to see the potential for travel partners.”

The live event is scheduled to visit cities throughout the United States. Travel professionals who want to book a show for their clients should contact their Business Development Manager or call 800-544-0443, and choose option 4.

Holland America Line has been Alaska’s leading tour operator for nearly 70 years. The line has seven premium ships in the region offering 130 Alaska cruises and more than 30 different Land+Sea Journeys programs in 2016. The Land+Sea Journeys combine an Alaska cruise with an overland exploration, and options for 2016 range from 10 to 20 days and are in two distinct series with cruise-first or land-first choices: Yukon and Denali Land+Sea Journeys and Denali Land+Sea Journeys.

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Alaskan Dream Cruises Launches A New Vessel & ‘True Alaska Exploration’ in 2016

A new ship joins the Alaskan Dream Cruises fleet for the Native-owned company's 2016 season. Sailings on the Chichagof Dream will offer passengers personalized Alaska adventure beginning with its inaugural voyage in June. The 207-foot Chichagof Dream will carry up to 74 passengers in no more than 37 staterooms in five room categories. The four-deck ship features expansive viewing areas on the bow and aft promenade decks and new carpets and furnishings in public spaces and staterooms. The hull is designed for optimal sailing and comfort in Alaska waters. The vessel was renovated in Alaskan Dream Cruises’ shipyard in Sitka, Alaska.

“We’re entering our sixth year and our sights are trained on growth,” Alaskan Dream Cruises CEO Russell Dick said. “The Chichagof Dream expands our capacity and at the same time we’re consolidating our itineraries to concentrate on what our guests have really responded to.”

The 2016 season will feature three cruise itineraries—8-, 9- and 11-day sailings—designed to allow active exploration of the local landscapes and culture. “True Alaska Exploration” is a new feature. These are unscripted days for adventures, often a hike, wildlife encounters or wilderness discovery that the Allen family, the company’s founders, experienced during their personal explorations and asked staff to share with guests.

“These itineraries are truly personal to the Allens,” Dick said. “When we say ‘True Alaska with True Alaskans’ we mean it. All of our itineraries highlight Alaskan Dream Cruises’ hometown, Sitka, and call on our exclusive Orca Point Lodge because it’s a home to us.”

The 2016 itineraries can be found online at and include:

• Alaska’s Glacier Bay & Island Adventure is an 8-day cruise traveling between Sitka and Juneau, featuring wilderness days in remote bays for kayaking, wilderness hiking and exploration in shallow water expedition craft (DIBs). Cultural immersion in the small towns of Kake and Petersburg is balanced with scenic cruising through Glacier Bay National Park. The Admiralty Dream, Baranof Dream and Chichagof Dream will make a total of 22 sailings on this itinerary between May 12 and Sept. 11.
• The 9-day Alaska’s Inside Passage Sojourn travels between Sitka and Ketchikan taking guests to several unique towns: the Tsimshian community of Metlakatla; Thorne Bay, once the largest logging camp in the world; Wrangell, the only city in Alaska to have been under the jurisdiction of three flags and ruled by four nations; and Kasaan, home of the only remaining traditional Haida longhouse in the U.S. Guests spend time in Frederick Sound, a world-renowned site for whale watching, and sail through Tracy Arm Fjord, Misty Fjords National Monument and Glacier Bay National Park, offering some of the most spectacular scenery in Southeast Alaska. The Alaskan Dream will make 11 sailings on this itinerary between May 10 and Sept. 7.
• Alaska’s Southeast Explorer expands the Sojourn itinerary into an 11-day journey, adding time in Skagway, a town steeped in Klondike Gold Rush history; the small fishing community of Haines; and Petersburg, Alaska’s “Little Norway.” The Baranof Dream and Alaskan Dream will make six sailings on this itinerary between May 18 and Aug. 28.

Naturalists and cultural heritage guides lend their expertise on each itinerary, sharing history and context with guests through presentations and informal conversations. In Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, guests learn from a park ranger and a Huna Tlingit cultural heritage guide as they share unique perspectives on the park’s natural wonders and history as an Alaska Native ancestral home.

On board the ships, guests find other ways to dive into Alaska culture. Books on Alaska history, flora and fauna can be found in the lounges. Onboard chefs give guests a taste of Alaska, highlighting local ingredients and wild Alaska seafood at meals. The ships’ bars are stocked with Alaska spirits, and even the soaps and shampoos in guest cabins are Alaska-made products.

Cruise fares include accommodations on the ship, all meals during the cruise, scheduled shore excursions, airport transfers, use of recreational equipment and standard onboard services. The Chichagof Dream joins four vessels in the Alaskan Dream Cruises fleet. The Alaskan Dream, Admiralty Dream and Baranof Dream carry anywhere from 40–58 guests and the Misty Fjord sails with no more than 10 guests.

Alaskan Dream Cruises was launched in 2011 by the Allen family, members of the Tlingit Kaagwaantaan clan. The Allen family also founded Allen Marine, Inc., a boat building company, in 1967, and Allen Marine Tours, which offers day cruise tours to travelers in Alaska’s Inside Passage. For more information, visit

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