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Cruise News
September 1-30, 2016

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Adventures by Disney Expands Popular River Cruise Offerings, Adds New Food & Wine Themed Sailing

BURBANK, CA, Sept. 30: Adventures by Disney, a leader in guided group travel worldwide, recently announced an expansion of their popular river cruising vacations with AmaWaterways for 2017, offering an extended second season of cruises along Europe's Danube River, as well as launching new sailings along the Rhine River. Today Adventures by Disney announced the addition of a food and wine themed sailing along the Rhine River to next year's itinerary line-up.

Disney Culinary Director John State and Master Sommelier Brian Koziol worked hand-in-hand with Adventures by Disney to masterfully craft a new eight-day, seven-night epicurean sailing through Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. State and Koziol have a proven track record of curating food and beverage experiences for popular Disney theme park events, such as the renowned Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which draw foodies from around the globe to visit Disney parks. Now they're bringing these same talents to Adventures by Disney, sailing aboard a river cruise ship through the heart of Europe with AmaWaterways, a premier luxury river cruise line.

Offering extraordinary food and beverage experiences both on and off the ship, this adult-exclusive vacation, which sets sail from Basel, Switzerland on Oct. 21, 2017, offers the following highlights:

• Learn about wine tasting and blending during vineyard tours and onboard seminars hosted by Brian Koziol, one of only 230 Master Sommeliers in the world.
• Share in the history and culinary mastery of the authentic dishes of Europe during intimate gourmet demonstrations and workshops with John State, culinary director for the Disneyland Resort.
• Stroll through charming Riquewihr, France on a guided walking tour that incorporates local gastronomic delights, including sausages and French macarons.
• Discover the art of the Strasbourg specialty, tart flambé, during an interactive class, complete with local beer and Alsatian wine pairings.
• Get hands-on during a French patisserie class in Strasbourg.
• Explore German vineyards and visit festive pubs while sampling the hearty cuisine of the Alsace region.
• Tour the Heineken Factory, savor a special caramel waffle demonstration and learn how to blend craft cocktails during a private workshop in Amsterdam.

This new Rhine adventure is just the latest expansion of the successful Adventures by Disney vacation portfolio, which now includes 15 sailings along Europe's Danube and Rhine Rivers in 2017. Combining the award-winning service and luxury of AmaWaterways with the proven travel expertise of Adventures by Disney, these river cruise sailings offer a vacation experience that is all-inclusive and hassle-free. Travelers can customize their trip to fit their needs by choosing from a variety of activity options offered at ports and onboard each day.

"At Adventures by Disney we've had an incredibly successful first season of European river cruise vacations," said Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Adventures by Disney. "For 2017 we dreamt even bigger, expanding our offerings to include not only our already popular Danube sailings, but also exciting new experiences along the Rhine River. By adding this new food and wine themed sailing we're able to give our adult guests an even more customized way to travel with us, and the line-up of experiences we've planned for this epicurean adventure allow us to showcase the rich culinary stories of this region in a luxuriously delicious way."

Guests will sail on the Rhine River aboard the all-new AmaKristina, a river cruise ship being custom built by AmaWaterways. While the food and wine sailing is exclusively for adults, the Adventures by Disney river cruise portfolio offers vacation options for families as well. Designed with guests of all ages in mind, these sailings along the Danube and Rhine rivers allow families to explore Europe as a family in a way that is active, immersive and easy.

"AmaWaterways is thrilled to expand our relationship with Adventures by Disney and present additional options for family and adult travelers that are looking for a unique way to explore Europe," said Kristin Karst, co-owner and executive vice president of AmaWaterways. "Sailing aboard the exquisite AmaKristina, guests will enjoy flavorful dishes, perfectly paired wines and beautiful ports of call, while completely immersing themselves in the culture of a destination. October is also a fascinating time to cruise, as fall colors appear and the vineyards turn brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. The food and wine sailing will truly be a magical experience for all!"

Visit to learn more.

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Costa Cruises Names Interior Design Team for its 180,000-Ton LNG-Powered Newbuilds

MIAMI, Sept. 30: Costa Cruises has selected four leading design firms to create the interiors of the two new 180,000-ton ships scheduled for delivery in 2019 and 2021. While Adam D. Tihany of Tihany Design will serve as overall creative director, Jeffrey Beers International, Dordoni Architetti, Partner Ship Design and Rockwell Group were chosen to create a state-of-the-art interior design for the ground-breaking "green" ships. Reflecting comments and suggestions from Costa guests the ships' layout will provide a more efficient use of interior spaces and create an enhanced onboard experience.

"We are fortunate to bring together such distinguished professionals for our next-generation ship," said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. "The 'Italy's Finest' concept represents the roots and the identity of Costa Cruises. It deals with the best things that our country has to offer: passion, quality, hospitality and, of course, style. We have created an unparalleled mix of different experiences mostly coming from an unconventional approach for the ship design. I am confident that our designers will be able to create a unique style for our new ships that will help us to offer our guests unforgettable and pleasant holiday experiences."

Each of the firms has experience in the international hospitality design sector for projects like hotels, restaurants and public spaces. The team has been charged with crafting an innovative design concept that will build on the history and tradition of the brand and integrate the "Italy's Finest" philosophy. Both ships will represent the best that Italy has to offer, a claim reinforced by the presence of an Italian footprint in the design team. As creative director, renowned designer Adam D. Tihany will oversee the development of the design and branding of both ships.

"The theme 'Italy's Finest' is an authentic celebration of Italian design, culture and spirit," said Tihany. "The team of outstanding architects and designers we invited to be a part of this project bring a level of innovation and passion that will no doubt capture the essence of the new Costa brand."

AWK, a sister company of Partner Ship Design, will serve as coordinating architect, working closely with the Meyer Turku Shipyard and the design teams. Partner Ship Design will head the design of two restaurants and several bars including the new "Bacari" bar as well as passenger sun decks and pool areas. Jeffrey Beers will design the casino along with a selection of restaurants and bars.

The new layout and interiors of all staterooms, as well as the corridors and staircases, will be developed by DordoniArchitetti, which will give each of these spaces a touch of innovative and sophisticated Italian design. The firm will also lead the design of the gym and the Japanese restaurant.

With its vast experience in the field of hospitality design, Rockwell Group will create distinctive designs for several areas on the ship. The firm's unique contribution to the project includes a three-story atrium that will feature a café, bars and a performance space; several restaurants and bars; a theater and nightclub; beach club and pool; a shore excursion office and gallery; and kids and teens facilities.

The new Costa ships will be the first in the cruise industry—along with the two newbuilds for AIDA Cruises, the German brand of Costa Group, and two ships recently commissioned by Carnival Cruise Line and one ship for P&O Cruises to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). All will be built at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland. The Costa and Carnival ships will exceed 180,000 gross tons with 5,200 lower berths. The AIDA and P&O ships will be 135,500 tons with a lower-berth capacity of 4,200.

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Cunard’s Iconic Queen Mary 2 Makes Boston Debut After Extensive Remastering

BOSTON, Sept. 30; Queen Mary 2 gave a royal welcome to Boston’s top Instagram dogs, Nacho (@NachoDogg) and Bear (@KnoxandBear), who enjoyed the new kennels on the Remastered ship at Boston’s Black Falcon Cruse Terminal. Cunard’s flagship ocean liner sailed into Boston today to debut its significant refit costing in the region of $132 million. The luxury liner has been lovingly remastered with new contemporary interior designs and guest experiences, many of which take their design inspiration from the original Queen Mary, which debuted into service 80 years ago. As the only passenger vessel to carry dogs and cats, Queen Mary 2 has expanded its kennel service during this multi-million dollar renovation, adding 12 new kennels for a total of 24. In addition, the ship extended the kennel area, adding an owner’s lounge, new pet playground, and expanded the outdoor area to accommodate an historic British lamppost and American fire hydrant so canines from both sides of the pond feel at home. A full-time Kennel Master takes care of daily pet responsibilities including feeding, walking and cuddling the pets onboard.

Cunard’s pet-friendly policy dates back 176 years to the maiden voyage of the Britannia in 1840 when the ship sailed with a cow to provide fresh milk for passengers. Famous canines such as Rin-Tin-Tin, Elizabeth Taylor’s pampered pups and the Duke of Windsor’s dogs traveled on Cunard, and to continue that tradition, Boston’s top Instagram dogs joined Cunard on board the ship to test out the new, expanded kennels.

The refit was conducted in the Blohm + Voss Shipyard, in Hamburg, one of the only shipyards in the world large enough to hold Queen Mary 2. It was a 24-hour a day operation, with over one million man hours put into the refurbishment, during a 25-day period.

The Remastering Features:

• Redesign and refurbishment of the Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites and restaurants, as well as Britannia staterooms, the latter to be fully completed by the end of the year
• The addition of 30 further Britannia Club staterooms, 15 Britannia single staterooms and five Britannia inside staterooms
• Redesign of key public spaces and restaurants, including the transformation of the former Winter Garden into the Carinthia Lounge, the introduction of The Verandah as the ship’s new specialty restaurant, and the complete refresh and restructuring of the Kings Court, the ship’s popular buffet area
• 12 additional kennels and other enhancements
• And as befitting the flagship of the Cunard fleet, a complete repaint of the ship exterior and significant technical enhancements and structural changes

For more information, visit

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Puerto Rico Anticipates Record-Breaking Cruise Season

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Sept 29: Puerto Rico is on its way to break cruise passenger records for the second time in three years. The Island is the number one home port for cruise ships in the Caribbean and continues to be one of the most popular cruise destinations, attracting the world's largest vessels. Additionally, based on demand, new Puerto Rico shore excursions and day tours for cruisers have been developed to respond to passenger's eagerness to explore the Island.

Puerto Rico's leading port, the port of San Juan, posted record passenger numbers in 2015 with the arrival of 1.5 million passengers. The port is now poised to break that record in the 2017-18 season with an expected 1.6 million visitors, with increased calls from Oasis-class ships plus the maiden season of MSC's Seaside. Homeport passengers are also expected to grow, as Norwegian Cruise Line returns to homeport in San Juan, joined by other industry leaders such as Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity Cruises, plus several luxury cruise lines.

The high level of cruise passenger volume is a testament to Puerto Rico's appeal to some of the largest cruise lines in the world. Docking in Puerto Rico this year, include Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival and MSC Cruises. Puerto Rico is welcoming the arrival of Quantum-class vessels and will be a port of call for the 2016 winter season for several new ships such as the Carnival Vista and the world's largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas (6780 passengers) which is scheduled to arrive in San Juan on December 28. San Juan will also be the first Caribbean home port for the Viking Cruises, with Viking Star sailing from October to April.

Ingrid Rivera Rocafort, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company says the cruise industry has steadily continued its growth: "The cruise business, a vibrant industry sector for us, has posted 22% growth over the previous four fiscal years." She also says that the expansion of Pier 3 in Old San Juan was a key factor in luring "mega cruise ships" to Puerto Rico including the Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, the Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and soon to arrive the Harmony of the Seas.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Celebrates Its First Fifty Years of Unforgettable Cruise Vacations

MIAMI. Sept 29: 2016 marks fifty years since the M/S Sunward made her first voyage from Miami to the Caribbean on December 19, 1966, signifying the birth of Norwegian Caribbean Lines. Today, the company now known as Norwegian Cruise Line is a leading global cruise brand with 14 purpose-built ships sailing to more than 300 destinations worldwide. To celebrate this golden milestone, Norwegian is inviting their guests, travel professionals, partners and team members to share fifty years of memories made through the company’s #NorwegiansFirst50 Anniversary Campaign.

“We are celebrating fifty years of incredible moments aboard our ships and it’s the peopleour guests, travel partners, team and crew memberswho make our history so special. We wouldn’t be here today without their loyalty and dedication,” said Andy Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “We invite everyone who has sailed with us, commemorated a special occasion with us or made memories onboard to share their favorite moments and celebrate our first fifty years along with us.”

Through the global initiative, Norwegian Cruise Line guests, travel partners, and current and former employees are invited to upload their photos and stories to, which showcases a dynamic timeline of photos and stories spanning the brand’s first 50 years. Fans who upload memorable moments to the site, which will serve as a living, growing tribute to 50 years of feeling free out on the water, are encouraged to share their memories with friends on their social networks, with the chance of winning a free cruise as a reward for joining in the celebration (in participating markets).

Those who wish to sail during Norwegian’s official 50th anniversary this December can reserve their stateroom now to join in the fun, with eight-day cruises departing on December 18 from New York to Florida & The Bahamas on Norwegian Breakaway; from Miami to the Western Caribbean on Norwegian Getaway; and from Tampa to the Western Caribbean on Norwegian Jade. On December 19, cruisers can set sail from the Big Apple on Norwegian Gem to the Eastern Caribbean on a 10-day holiday cruise and from Miami on Norwegian Pearl, for a 10-day bucket list Panama Canal adventure. These anniversary cruises also offer a special holiday bonus of $100 in onboard credit, perfect for purchasing last-minute holiday gifts in one of the onboard boutiques or to toast to the New Year with a relaxing and indulgent spa treatment, and more. Best of all, it’s combinable with Norwegian’s Free At Sea offer, to make for a merry holiday vacation experience for all. For more information, visit

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Carnival Corporation to Donate $2 Million to the Smithsonian's
National Museum of African American History & Culture

MIAMI, Sept. 28: Carnival Corporation, through its philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, is donating $2 million to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History & Culture. Eleven years in the making and built at a cost of $540 million, the museum opened Sept. 24 on the National Mall with a dedication ceremony and featuring a three-day music and spoken-word festival called "Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration." In recognition of the gift, NMAAHC has designated Carnival Corporation a Founding Donor of the museum.

"The National Museum of African American History & Culture is a celebration of the many contributions African Americans have made to the history, culture and community of the United States," said Linda Coll, executive director of Carnival Foundation. "The organizations that Carnival Corporation supports through Carnival Foundation reflect the great value the company places on diversity and inclusion in the communities that we touch, and we are honored to be a part of this new museum."

The 390,000-square-foot National Museum of African American History & Culture is located on a 5-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument. Its 12 inaugural exhibitions feature more than 3,000 objects and cover topics ranging from military and sports history to performing arts and the western and northern migration.

Each day of the three-day "Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration" had a theme: Friday was "Homecoming," Saturday was "Celebration" and Sunday was "Call and Response." The events and concerts highlighted music traditions such as jazz, R&B, gospel, folk, classical, New Orleans brass band, Afro-Latin jazz and hip-hop.

About the National Museum African America of History & Culture The NMAAHC is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the museum has collected nearly 40,000 artifacts. Nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members of the museum. When the NMAAHC opened on Sept. 24, 2016, it became the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

About Carnival Foundation
Carnival Foundation oversees the many philanthropic endeavors of Carnival Corporation and its 10 affiliated cruise line brands as well as its employee-driven service group, the "Friends Uniting Neighbors" (F.U.N.) Team. Although Carnival Foundation's contributions are spread to communities where the brands operate, the company primarily focuses on organizations based in South Florida, where Carnival Corporation is headquartered. Through monetary and in-kind donations, innovative philanthropic programs, employee fundraisers and hands-on volunteer initiatives, Carnival Foundation and the brands of Carnival Corporation support a variety of organizations.

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Silversea Announces 2018 Itineraries

Monaco, Sept 28: Silversea Cruises, the world’s leading luxury cruise line, today announced the details of its 2018 itineraries. In all, the 9 ships from across Silversea’s Classic and Expedition fleet will visit 130 countries and will open up unique worldly experiences for its guests to enjoy from the elegant comfort of its newly refurbished ships. To add to the satisfaction of knowing they would be sailing within a fleet that has recently benefitted from the largest refurbishment investment in Silversea’s history, guests will have the choice of almost 1000 destinations across the world, almost 600 via the Expedition fleet and over 400 with the Classic fleet.

“At Silversea, we don’t believe that ‘bigger is better’, in fact we believe and deliver the complete opposite. A belief perfectly illustrated by our commitment to smaller, more intimate ships that clearly respond to the desires of our guests that tend to favour a refined and understated elegance,” said Roberto Martinoli, CEO at Silversea Cruises. “However, in this instance, as we announce our new itineraries, enlarging the range of destinations, further enriching our guests with new cultural references, giving more opportunity to make discoveries, guaranteeing a bigger circle of friends and overloading on unforgettable memories can only be a positive thing.”

Key highlights of the Ocean Cruise destinations for 2018 are the tens of UNESCO heritage sites to which Silversea guests will have access. Sites that range from the magnificent Italian Amalfi Coast to ‘where the dragon descends into the sea’ at Halong Bay, Vietnam. Each as different, unique and breath-taking as the next, and all packaged up with the trademark Silversea standards of unbridled luxury.

“As the company that introduced Expedition cruising to the luxury market, Silversea continues to innovate and over-deliver on destinations and experiences, and remains the pioneer in this regard,” adds Martinoli, “2018 will see our expedition ships call at over 250 new destinations and will be the inaugural calendar year for Silver Cloud in the expedition fleet following her conversion, making her the most luxurious cruise ship for expeditions.”

Silver Cloud starts 2018 as an ice-class expedition ship following an extensive refurbishment and conversion, hinting at its polar intentions. Silver Discoverer sails deeper into Asia, with many new destinations in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines and Japan. Climates that range from positively polar to the totally tropical guarantee that Silversea Expeditions are able to cater to a broad range of traveller, wherever they wish to venture.

Below are just a few specific examples of the itinerary highlights with Silversea in 2018:

The Ultimate Mediterranean experience: 44 days in the heart of the Mediterranean season aboard Silversea’s flagship, Silver Muse. This Grand Voyage will call at 39 different ports in nine different countries, from the Greek Isles to the Balearics, from the French Riviera to Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. The ultimate Med experience.

New Asian experience: five voyages to the Philippines with three different ships (Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Muse). A key highlight destination is the island of Palawan, voted the “Best Island in the World” for the second time in a row (by readers of Travel and Leisure magazine; Conde Nast Traveler).

Africa & Indian Ocean: several voyages in the heart of the Indian Ocean, exploring the beautiful Vanilla Islands, with multiple visits to Maldives, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mayotte and Reunion.

Explorer by Name and by Nature: Silver Explorer sails across the Pacific Ocean to Kiribati, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia, adding new ports of call along the way. She will also carry her guests to the North West Coast of America, to Costa Rica, the Southern-most tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula (home of El Arco), visiting Monterey, Anacortes and Cypress Island.

For a full list of the 2018 itineraries, visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Reinforces Commitment to Growing China Cruise Market

SHANGHAI, Sept. 26: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. has reinforced the company's long-term commitment to the China cruise market. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings President and Chief Executive Officer Frank J. Del Rio appeared this week along with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings International executives Harry J. Sommer, Executive Vice President of International Business Development, and David J. Herrera, President of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings China, at the CruiseWorld China Summit in Beijing and the China Cruise Shipping Conference and International Cruise Expo in Tianjin to address China's cruise industry leaders.

"2017 will be a landmark year for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in China, as we are execute on our exciting plans to bring the first purpose built ship for the outbound China market next year with Norwegian Joy, and also expand our port of calls in China across our three brands ," said Del Rio. "To further our commitment, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises will all call on ports in China over the next 12 months. Four of our ships will bring nearly 7,000 international tourists to port cities in China in the next six months alone, including Hong Kong, Xiamen, Shanghai, Dalian and Tianjinwith even more calls to China's ports scheduled for 2018"

The Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) brand will deploy the newly refurbished Norwegian Star to sail Asia-based itineraries in December 2016, bringing more than 2,300 international tourists to Hong Kong and Sanya during each of her 11- and 14-day cruises. In February 2017, upper premium brand Oceania Cruises will seasonally deploy the 684-passenger ship Nautica in Asia, along with sister ship Insignia in March 2017. Luxury brand Regent Seven Seas Cruises will round out the company's deployment in March 2017 with the 700-guest ship Seven Seas Voyager spending the spring season in Asia.

Norwegian Cruise Line is widely recognized as the leading innovator in the cruise industry and has made a clear, long-term commitment growth in the China market, having opened offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong and relocating key senior leadership to China over the past year, including NCLH China President David J. Herrera who also spoke at the week's events, highlighting key features of Norwegian Joy to industry audiences.

"Norwegian Joy is our most innovative ship to date, one that will deliver a premium and incomparable cruising experience for our guests," said David J. Herrera. "NCL strongly believes that the China market deserves the best and newest ship in our fleet. We have designed Norwegian Joy for our Chinese guests, taking the most popular features on our new ships and expanding and customizing them specifically for this market."

NCL recently unveiled that the upscale shopping venue on board Norwegian Joy will be the largest in Norwegian's fleet, complete with everything from exceptional duty-free shops to high-end international brands. Prestigious retail brands already confirmed to be on board include Cartier, Omega, Bvlgari, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Versace, among many.

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Carnival Corporation Cruise Joint Venture in China Signs Memorandum of Agreement to Order
First New Cruise Ships Built in China for the Chinese Market

MIAMI, Sept. 23: Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company, today announced that its cruise joint venture in China has signed a non-binding memorandum of agreement (MOA) to order the industry’s first new cruise ships built in China for the Chinese market. The MOA is subject to several conditions including closing of the joint venture, financing and other key terms. As part of the new MOA, Carnival Corporation’s cruise joint venture in China agreed to order two new cruise ships to be built by a newly formed China-based shipbuilding joint venture between China’s largest shipbuilder, China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), and Italy-based Fincantieri S.p.A., the world’s largest cruise shipbuilding company. The MOA also grants Carnival Corporation’s cruise joint venture the option to order two additional China-built cruise ships.

Carnival Corporation’s cruise joint venture in China will operate the new ships as part of its plans to launch the first multi-ship domestic cruise brand in China. Based on Carnival Corporation’s Vista-class platform, the design for the new ships will be tailored for the new Chinese cruise brand and the specific tastes of Chinese travelers. The first of these ships is expected for delivery in 2022. The partners signed the memorandum of agreement at a signing ceremony held today at the 11th annual China Cruise Shipping and International Cruise Expo (CCS11) in Tianjin, China.

Carnival Corporation’s cruise joint venturea partnership announced last fall with CSSC and China Investment Capital Corporation (CIC Capital) in which Carnival Corporation holds a minority interestis expected to initially launch its new domestic Chinese cruise brand using ships that are purchased from Carnival Corporation’s existing fleet and homeported in China. Based on the MOA announced today, the joint venture would then add new China-built cruise ships starting in 2022 to further accelerate growth in the Chinese cruise market, which is expected to eventually become the largest cruise market in the world.

Separately, Carnival Corporation and its Chinese partners also announced today that the Chinese central government has now granted approval for the cruise joint venture to officially incorporate in Hong Kong. This news follows a standard regulatory approval process with Chinese officials that has taken place since the joint venture agreement was originally announced in London in October 2015.

“We are excited about the potential for the first new cruise ships to be built and deployed in China for the enjoyment of Chinese travelers, which will be an important milestone in the development of the Chinese cruise market,” said Alan Buckelew, global chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation. “As we work with our Chinese partners to launch the first domestic Chinese cruise brand in the next few years, being able to offer cruises on China-built cruise ships represents a new opportunity for us to generate excitement and demand for cruising amongst a broader segment of the Chinese vacation market, which is already the largest in the world and continues to see strong growth every year. We see this collaboration with CSSC and Fincantieri as a potential cornerstone of a domestic cruise presence in China, serving Chinese guests with world-class cruise ships that are built in China for the first time. We are grateful to have this opportunity, and we look forward to strengthening our partnership as we continue supporting China’s goal to be one of the world’s leading cruise markets.”

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Alaska Welcomes Its 1,000,000 Cruise Ship Visitor in 2016

JUNEAU, ALASKA, Sept 22: For the first time in seven years, Alaska welcomed its one millionth cruise ship visitor. Wendy Yoisten from St Albert, Alberta, Canada with her husband John, arrived on the Holland America Line ms Zaandam, which docked this morning in Juneau, Alaska. Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott, Juneau Mayor Ken Koelsch, CLIA Alaska President John Binkley and a number of local officials and residents of Juneau surprised Mrs. Yoisten as she disembarked for the day. Native dancers greeted the couple and Mrs. Yoisten received a medallion, plaque and basket of gifts from Alaska businesses.

“We are so excited to welcome you to Alaska and our capital city of Juneau,” said Binkley. “Your arrival is a significant milestone. Reaching one million cruise visitors this year demonstrates the health and bright future in our industry.”

Governor Walker issued a proclamation for the occasion, declaring Sept 22, 2016, Alaska Cruise Ship Visitor Day. In his remarks, Lt. Gov. Mallott recognized the proclamation, which states that visitor spending generates more than $4 billion in economic activity, helping all regions of our state. He added that cruise ships bring approximately half of all visitors to Alaska. Mayor Koelsch read a proclamation highlighting Juneau’s position as Alaska’s most popular cruise ship port. Koelsch noted that visitor spending supports Juneau businesses, creates local jobs and accounts for 20 percent of sales taxes collected year-round.

The industry is expected to bring even more visitors next year as Alaska continues to increase capacity. Holland America Line recently announced that it would be adding a seventh ship to the Alaska market next year. Seabourn has also announced that it will be returning to Alaska in 2017 for the first time in 15 years. The last time Alaska saw more than 1,000,000 cruise visitors was 2009. “Following years of amazing growth, Alaska took a big hit,” Binkley said. “We lost about 15 percent of our market. Many businesses suffered and statewide, Alaska lost more than 5,000 jobs.

“Alaska is now seeing the benefits of the improved tax and regulatory environment enacted in 2010,” Binkley said. “Demand has also improved, following several years of significantly increased destination marketing. We have been able to build back our industry and all indications are that we will continue to grow. With our economic situation, the challenge now is to keep Alaska competitive with the rest of the world and to keep marketing programs robust”

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Patti LaBelle Gives Exclusive VIP Performance on Royal Caribbean’s First-Ever President’s Cruise

MIAMI, Sept. 22: Grammy award-winning legendary artist Patti LaBelle hit a high note onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas in honor of the cruise line’s first-ever President’s Cruise with President and CEO Michael Bayley. LaBelle was onboard to treat members of the cruise line’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program to an exclusive performance of her best hits including “Lady Marmalade,” “New Attitude,” “On My Own” and “You Are My Friend.” During the special 7-night Caribbean cruise, sailing round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, FL, guests onboard Allure are visiting popular ports of call including Nassau, The Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 46-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. For additional information, visit

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'An Evening With Tim Rice' to Debut on Seabourn Fleet

LONDON, Sept 22: Seabourn, the ultra-luxury cruise line, has announced an exclusive partnership with Tim Rice, the acclaimed English musical theater lyricist of Broadway, West End and film, winner of three Oscars, three Tonys, three Golden Globes and several Grammys. The new production, 'An Evening with Tim Rice,' created exclusively for Seabourn will have its debut onboard Seabourn's newest ship, Seabourn Encore in January 2017, when she sails from Singapore on her inaugural voyage. The curtain will then go up across the rest of the fleet next year, culminating onboard the appropriately named Seabourn Ovation, which will launch in spring 2018.

Tim's much loved work has given pleasure to millions around the world: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat; Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita (with Andrew Lloyd Webber); Chess (with Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA); Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast (with Alan Menken) and The Lion King (with Elton John)to name a few. In 1994, Tim was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to music, and in 2008, his star joined the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

'An Evening with Tim Rice' will be a concert-style presentation narrated throughout by Tim himself taking guests on a musical journey through some of his best-known work. The production features the four Seabourn Encore Singers and includes anecdotes and visuals from his personal archive. Audiences in the Grand Salon onboard every ship will learn how each song came to life as they are drawn into the mind of one of the world's most respected and iconic songwriters.

"This is a first for me, it's been an amazing experience, looking back over my career and the friendships that shaped it," said Tim Rice. "The result is a show that you won't find anywhere else. I've been lucky that my work has been shown around the world, so I love the idea of this production circumnavigating the globe on the high seas onboard Seabourn's beautiful ships."

Produced by Belinda King Creative Productions 'An Evening with Tim Rice' will be enhanced with exclusive photos from Tim's private collection and fascinating dialogue. His presence will be brilliantly brought to life through state-of-the-art technology on screens around the stage. During the show's run, he will make a select number of personal appearances on every Seabourn ship. A cast of singers and live musicians will draw the audience into his very special world, bringing the glamour and buzz of the West End and Broadway to every Seabourn sailing.

"We all love to be carried away by beautiful songs. We're thrilled to be working with Tim Rice since he is one of the most versatile and prolific lyricists writing today," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "From Evita's 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' to the Lion King's 'Hakuna Matata'I know our guests are going to be absolutely enchanted. This is such an exciting addition to the whole Seabourn experience, where our two worlds, onboard and on shore, are brought together to create a luxury trip like no other."

For more details, visit

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Fathom Adds Exciting New Shore Excursions to Cuba Sailings

MIAMI, Sept. 21: Fathom, Carnival Corporation’s 10th and newest cruise brand, has added three new shore excursions to its already-popular selection of in-country experiences for its week-long cruise vacations in Cuba. The new excursions follow Fathom’s recent announcement that it is adding two new sailing dates to Cuba on Oct. 9 and Nov. 6, the result of high pent-up demand by travelers choosing to explore Cuba with Fathom, the only U.S. cruise line sailing from the U.S. to the largest and most enticing destination in the Caribbean.

Beginning with the Sept. 18 sailing on the MV Adonia, Fathom travelers may now choose from three additional on-shore adventures that have been added to the already-popular list of activities and experiences available during the cruise. These new excursions include:

• In Hemingway’s Footsteps (Five hours): Ernest Hemingway fans and curious travelers will see Havana through the eyes of the famed author. From the cobblestone streets of Old Havana to the shores of fishing village Cojimar, the spirit of Hemingway is immortalized in bars, museums and recipes. Travelers may follow in Hemingway’s footsteps as they explore the streets he once called home. Travelers visit Hemingway’s home “Finca Vigia,” stop by his favorite fishing spot and inspiration for "The Old Man and The Sea"—the village of Cojimarstep into the room in which Hemingway wrote "For Whom the Bell Tolls," and grab a bite and drink at one of his favorite restaurants or watering holes. The excursion includes lunch and refreshments. The per-person price is $59.
• Beyond Havana: Exploring the Cuban Countryside (Nine hours): Travelers will have a rare opportunity to experience rural life in Cuba as they crisscross thecountryside known for its coffee and sugar production. One highlight is Las Terrazas, developed in the 1960s as part of Cuba's Green Revolution andrecognized today as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Las Terrazas has become an ecotourism hotspot and a sustainable community model for artists, farmers and families utilizing organic farming and medicine. Travelers can interact with doctors who transform flora and fauna into alternative medicines, visit the vibrant art community and organic farms, and wander the ruins of a former French coffee plantation. Cuban coffee sipped inside a biosphere may be the best in the world. The tour includes lunch at one of Las Terrazas’ locally sourced restaurants and refreshments throughout the day. The per-person price is $69.
• Magic of Santiago Featuring El Cobre (Six hours): Travelers looking to experience the coming together of revolution, rum, religion and salsa will not want to miss this tour of Santiago de Cuba—Cuba’s former capital and the third of three destinations during the week-long cruise to Cuba. Starting downtown in picturesque Antonio Maceo Revolution Square, travelers proceed to the final resting place of famed Cuban hero Jose Marti before touring San Juan Hill, home to the Rough Riders assault during the Spanish-American War. The tour ventures beyond the limits of the Santiago city center into the Sierra Maestra mountain range for the city of El Cobre, a historic copper mining town with African influence. Here travelers will visit the famous Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, where they will hear about the role religion plays in the daily lives of local communities while learning about the history of the shrine and the impact made during the Pope's visit in September 2015. Travelers also will have the option to attend a mass (when available), as well as listen to the sounds of the city's famed steel drum band, El Cobre. The per-person price is $69.

These three new offerings augment an already full set of fun, one-of-a-kind experiences developed specifically for Fathom travelers. The variety of excursions provides plenty of options to enjoy the island and its people, food, music, architecture, culture and history, which have already generated high satisfaction ratings from Fathom travelers. All Fathom-sponsored activities are designed with comfort and entertainment in mind and every detail is handled so travelers can make the most of their time in the country. Travelers need to unpack their suitcases just once, and never have to worry about how they will get from one location to the next. Fathom takes care of all those details and even provides traveler visas and medical insurance in Cuba.

“One of the beautiful things about traveling to Cuba with Fathom is that travelers spend less time planning and more time playing,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom. “Our guests quickly learn they want to cherish every single minute they spend in Cuba and discover what makes the island such a special place. We have experienced very high demand from travelers wanting to go on an adventure to Cuba with the comfort, convenience and peace of mind that comes with traveling with Fathom. The word is spreading: Going on a cruise with Fathom to Cuba is the best way to visit Cuba.”

Because Fathom is focused on ensuring travelers maximize their time on-shore to enjoy more of each destination, Fathom remains in each country for an extended time. Cuba travelers have a total of almost four full days on-shore in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.

“We want the Fathom Cuban experience to be unlike anything travelers have ever before encountered, so we created unique and exciting adventures to take travelers up close and personal into the heart of three very distinct Cuban citiesHavana, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos,” said Russell. “And, with the introduction of three new fantastic, engaging experiences on the ground, Fathom travelers have even more opportunity to get off the beaten path to absorb the rich fabric of Cuban society.”

On-shore tours also provide ample time for travelers to explore sites on their own, as well as stops along the way to dine on authentic Cuban cuisine or sip rum and coffee with the locals. Travelers interested in heading off on their own also have the option of self-certifying with approved People to People activities. For example, travelers may choose to take a spin around Havana in a mint-condition classic American car, sample a variety of richly-flavored Cuban rum, groove along to lively Cuban rhythms at a tropical Cabaret, or enjoy an authentic Cuban meal in one of Cuba’s many distinctive restaurants. The choices for fun, entertainment and exploration are virtually limitless.

A highly popular element of Fathom’s Cuban cruise vacation is enjoying the island while taking advantage of all the amenities of a modern hotel available aboard the intimate and well-appointed Adonia, which serves as home base throughout the seven-day voyage. Guests also appreciate the dining, entertainment and specially designed onboard programs about Cuba that are included as part of the cruise. In addition to the shore excursions, Fathom’s guests may participate in several onboard programming activities that provide insight into Cuba’s storied history and rich cultural heritage, giving guests a base of knowledge before ever stepping foot in the country.

Entertainment options also abound aboard the Adonia. Travelers may dance to the rocking rhythms of live music or they can get into the groove during lively Cuban dance classes. If they prefer, they may try their luck at Domino Throwdown or Havana Architecture Bingo, or take time to learn a little bit of Spanish while sipping sangria. Learn more at

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MSC Cruises announces deployment of MSC Splendida to China as of May 2018

Geneva, Switzerland & Beijing, PRC Sept 21: MSC Cruises—the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa—revealed today that it will deploy MSC Splendida to China as of May 2018. In connection with this, following in the footsteps of the announcement of the opening of the new MSC Cruises office in Shanghai and a new management and operations team based in the region, the Company is taking another key step to further improve its ability to serve the Chinese home market.

Built in 2009, 137,936 GRT MSC Splendida will become one of the largest, most modern cruise ships operating in the region. She features 1,637 staterooms—76 percent of which feature a balcony—and can accommodate a total of 4,363 guests. In her new positioning, MSC Splendida will join MSC Lirica, which has been serving to great success the Chinese market since May 2016 and has recently moved her homeport to Tianjin, to serve the thriving North China market during the winter season.

Speaking earlier today at a press conference in Beijing, Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Deploying MSC Splendida to the shores of China is a further testimony of our commitment to this key growth market. In fact, since it came into service, MSC Splendida has been the most popular ship for Chinese and other Asian guests cruising the Mediterranean with us. MSC Splendida represents a second, strong step towards meeting the growing demand for our unique product and ultra-modern ships by Chinese guests. She will also undergo significant dry-dock enhancement in late 2017, ahead of her deployment, to further improve and customize her already amazing range of services.”

MSC Splendida will also introduce the MSC Yacht Club to the Chinese market. This is an exclusive, “ship-within-a-ship” high-end concept that is unique to MSC Cruises and is designed for the most discerning guests who desire exclusivity and privacy. Offering a broad range of private facilities, MSC Yacht Club’s guests benefit from exclusive services including a 24-hour personal butler, dedicated concierge reception as well as priority boarding and disembarkation. MSC Splendida will be the only ship to make this high-end offering available to Chinese guests in their home market. MSC Splendida will visit many popular cruise destinations in China, Japan and Korea. Her itinerary details will be communicated shortly.

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Holland America Line Launches Partnership with America’s Test Kitchen
to Bring New Dynamic Cooking Shows on Board

Seattle, Sept. 20: Holland America Line turns its culinary programming up a notch with the introduction of dynamic shipboard cooking shows produced in partnership with the long-running public television show America’s Test Kitchen, the most popular how-to-cook show on TV. Holland America Line is a sponsor of America’s Test Kitchen on public television, and is proud to make this experience possible at sea. The initiative was announced today in New York City at a press conference at the prestigious Institute of Culinary Education.

Holland America Line’s shipboard Culinary Arts Center will be transformed to replicate the television set where the prominent America’s Test Kitchen TV shows are recorded for broadcast by more than 350 public television stations nationwide. Designed specifically for Holland America Line, the shipboard shows will be hosted by Holland America Line chefs trained by America’s Test Kitchen culinary experts. Shipboard cooking demonstrations and hands-on workshops—with topics ranging from shaping Asian dumplings to making the perfect pie crust—will combine foolproof, accessible recipes and cooking techniques that are rooted in the rigorous testing and science-based approach of America’s Test Kitchen. In addition, Holland America Line guests will experience 24-hour access to episodes of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country television programs in their staterooms.

“America's Test Kitchen will bring a new take on cooking classes at sea that spans not only recipes but also the science of the cooking process. Its mission is to determine the best methods, ingredients and cooking tools—and now these discoveries will be shared with our guests,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We provide our guests with tremendously immersive and authentic experiences to enrich their travel, and America’s Test Kitchen’s commitment to delivering a quality culinary experience with a focus on learning is a perfect match.”

The planned 45-minute demo courses will feature a mix of video content, live instruction, taste tests and recipe samples. Some of the courses in development include Asian Dumplings, Salad for Two, We Love Chocolate, Everything Salmon, Getting to Know Chiles, Flavors of the Mediterranean, Meatless Monday Meals and New Italian Favorites. Also planned are 90-minute workshops that focus on teaching a specific skill set. Proposed workshops include Perfect Pies and Handmade Pasta.

America’s Test Kitchen demo courses and workshops will begin aboard ms Westerdam October 18 for the ship’s Mexico season and on ms Nieuw Amsterdam November 13 for the Caribbean season. The program is expected to roll out fleetwide by June 2017.

“This is an incredible opportunity for fans of America’s Test Kitchen, and food lovers in general, to immerse themselves in the Test Kitchen experience,” said David Nussbaum, CEO of America’s Test Kitchen. “The classes on board Holland America Line ships will feature our famous foolproof recipes designed to be repeated and enjoyed long after the voyage has ended. We are excited that Holland America Line is helping America's Test Kitchen reach more enthusiastic home cooks through this onboard experience.”

America’s Test Kitchen is a real place: a no-nonsense, fully equipped, 2,500-square-foot test kitchen located in Brookline, Massachusetts. A team of more than 50 highly qualified test cooks perform thousands of tests every year. The goal? To develop the best recipes and cooking techniques, to review and rate the best cookware and equipment, and to taste-test and recommend brand-name supermarket ingredients for the home cook. Recipes are tested 30, 40 and sometimes as many as 70 times to arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time and equipment that yields the best, most foolproof recipe.

Recipes and reviews are published in two magazines, Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country, in a growing line of cookbooks and special interest magazines, and on the America’s Test Kitchen websites and through an instructional online Cooking School. They also are featured on two public television series: America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country. America’s Test Kitchen has earned the respect of the publishing world, the culinary world and millions of home cooks who trust its experts for tried and true advice on recipes, supermarket ingredients and cookware. Similarly, the new Holland America Line shipboard shows will present a combination of well-tested recipes using consumer-available ingredients with kitchen tips and advice on the brands of cookware, utensils and appliances America’s Test Kitchen’s experts have tried and recommend.

Culinary Excellence Shines in Partnerships: America's Test Kitchen joins Holland America Line’s elite list of food and beverage collaborators who are the leading authorities in their fields. The esteemed Culinary Council is led by Holland America Line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, who is joined by renowned international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Elizabeth Falkner and Jacques Torres. The line also has exclusive partnerships with Sushi Chef Andy Matsuda and Master Mixologist Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff. For more information, visit

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Celebrity Solstice to Emerge from Stunning 8.5 Million-Dollar Makeover

MIAMI,Sept 19: Guests onboard Celebrity Solstice will soon enjoy even more exciting new offerings as the ship undergoes a bold refresh. New features include Celebrity Cruises’ unrivaled “A Taste of Film” experience under the stars, authentic Japanese cuisine at Sushi on Five, a reimagined Photo Gallery, among other exciting new additions. The enhancements will further enhance Celebrity Solstice and exemplify the Celebrity Distinction.

“Celebrity Solstice already turns heads with her beautiful design, so these lavish enhancements will ensure our guests never want to leave,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “When discussions began about what we could do to further enhance the already stunning Solsticized ship, we couldn’t think of a better way to further delight guests than to offer the multi-sensory A Taste of Film experience, Sushi on Five, the savvy new Art Gallery, and all of the other glimmering finishes. We are offering a truly distinct experience.”

The revitalization, which is scheduled for late October 2016, will see various enhancements and additions implemented across the ship, including:

A Taste of Film: Celebrity Solstice will be the first of the Solstice Class ships to offer the iconic gastronomic adventure, which pairs films that evoke a specific cultural, culinary or destination experience, with cuisine that brings the scenes on the screen to life through guests’ taste buds
o A large movie screen will be added to The Lawn Club where the unique culinary experience will be hosted
o Transformative alcove-style cabanas will line the real grass lawn for additional seating and relaxation space. Guests will be able to adjust the cabanas to their preferred view as the spaces evolve throughout the day
Sushi on Five: Celebrity’s hotly anticipated newest dining endeavor will be reimaged from what was once Bistro on Five and feature an expertly crafted à la carte menu. The new menu, curated by sushi chef Yoshikazu "Yoshi" Okada, offers hand-rolled sushi, fresh tableside grated wasabi, house-made soy sauce, Asian-inspired cocktails, Japanese beers and premium sakes, plus an array of mouth-watering starters and entrees

The revitalization of Celebrity Solstice will also see the following new distinct additions:
• Suites onboard will have various modern luxury enhancements, including lavish new patio furniture being added to suite balconies
• Celebrity Solstice’s Photo Gallery will receive a full makeover, removing the traditional panel display of printed photos:
o The new Photo Gallery will include 25 state-of-the-art touch screen kiosks where guests will be able to view their professional photos taken throughout their cruise vacation and purchase a variety of photo formats. This new service allows guests to download their purchased photos direct to their mobile device at any time during their cruise, and instantly share their cruise memories with friends and family back home via social networking, email or messaging.
o In addition, an expansive Art Gallery will emerge from the current Photo Gallery, featuring a dedicated auction location with contemporary art lining the freshly renovated space

Celebrity Solstice is scheduled to enter dry dock in Singapore on Oct 22 and will emerge on Oct 31, 2016. The revitalized ship will arrive just in time for the hotly anticipated transition into Australia’s summer season, featuring a series of jaw-dropping itineraries, including stops to the gorgeous green expanses of New Zealand, the exotic escape of Indonesia, and to sought-after ports of call across the continent of Australia. For more information, visit

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Carnival Corp Creates Three Original TV SeriesA Cruise Industry First to Expand Market

MIAMI, Sept. 19: Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company, today announced it has created three original TV programs that will air on major networks on Saturday mornings beginning October 1. Representing a first in the cruise industry, this innovative communications approach builds on the company’s strategy to highlight why traveling by ocean to experience global destinations has become one of the best ways to see and learn about the world and other cultures.

Carnival Corporation’s three initial TV series will air on ABC, NBC, and The CW on Saturday mornings, reaching viewers during the large family-oriented programming blocks, established to educate and entertain families and people of all ages. With almost 80 original episodes that will rotate over a span of the next 12 months, the new experiential series will use compelling and authentic storytelling to share the powerful way travel by sea connects people, places and cultures around the world. The company also has produced a fourth series that is expected to air on a mid-week evening on cable in early 2017.

The company’s new experiential content is designed to engage viewers by showcasing exciting adventures, exotic cultures and popular global destinations. Ships from all 10 of the company’s cruise line brandsCarnival Cruise Line, Fathom, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK)serve as the platform for engaging and emotional experiences, and each of the company’s brands will be featured in at least one of the episodes during the inaugural season.

“We are excited to launch our first original TV programs and to share compelling content and stories with millions of people,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We have taken great care to develop TV shows that we believe families and people of all ages will truly enjoy watching, with interesting stories, charismatic hosts and spectacular video, showing how much fun people have traveling the world by ocean on our fleet of more than 100 cruise ships. The shows will also help dispel outdated myths about cruising and expose a much broader consumer audience to why cruising is the fastest growing segment of the vacation industry.” Added Donald: “This strategy to create original content across multiple media platforms is just one of the innovative approaches we are taking to expand the market for cruise vacations. These programs will show people in a highly engaging way why cruising is such a great vacation at an exceptional value.”

New TV Shows Demonstrate Cruising’s Popularity in Unique Ways
Carnival Corporation’s three original new TV series launching on Oct. 1 include:

“Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin” ABCAiring Saturday mornings*
“Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin” will broadcast nationally as part of the sixth season of the Daytime Emmy-winning block Weekend Adventure, a three-hour programming block airing Saturday mornings on 98 percent of the country’s ABC affiliate channels. The show follows Emmy-winning host Jeff Corwin as he embarks on adventures in some of the world’s most exciting destinations, such as repelling down cliffs, flight-seeing to glacier landings, mountain climbing in a national park and zip lining through a rainforest.

“The Voyager with Josh Garcia” NBCAiring Saturday mornings*
“The Voyager with Josh Garcia” follows video journalist and world-traveler Josh Garcia as he goes off the beaten path in fascinating seaside ports to meet locals who share their rich history, life stories and exotic foods, and introduces viewers to the hidden beauty, cultural diversity and amazing flavors native to each destination. The program will air as part of NBC’s all-new, three-hour programming block that extends the network’s “The More You Know” brand with inspiring stories on NBC stations throughout the country.

“Vacation Creation” The CWAiring Saturday mornings*
“Vacation Creation,” featuring “In Living Color” star and comedian Tommy Davidson and YouTube celebrity Andrea Feczko as hosts, goes beyond the typical travel show by personalizing vacations of a lifetime for couples, individuals and families facing hardship, in need of hope or seeking much-needed time together. From bringing three generations of women together to visit Russia for the first time since their grandmother escaped a war to giving a father whose life was threatened by illness a trip to remember, the show follows Davidson and Feczko as they tell inspiring stories and surprise guests with a dream vacation. The series will air as part of The CW’s “One Magnificent Morning” Saturday morning block.

All three programs run for 30 minutes. “Ocean Treks” and “The Voyager” are scheduled to air at 9 a.m. local time and “Vacation Creation” at 10:30 a.m. local time. Exact air times are subject to change. Carnival Corporation’s original TV programming will be initially distributed across major broadcast and cable networks and extended to major digital Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms to maximize audience exposure. The three initial series are being distributed by Litton Entertainment.

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MSC Cruises Announces Grand Opening of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve Set For October 2018

Geneva, Switzerland, Sept 14: MSC Cruises—the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa—announced today that Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will now open in October 2018.

“As we sat out to finalize construction plans for this one-of-a-kind destination, we realized that to ensure the level of quality and attention to details in both infrastructure and services that our guests have rightfully come to expect from MSC Cruises, it was only appropriate to allot a longer time frame,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “In fact, while working on the final project, it was hard not to further enrich this unique beach destination with new and additional unique services for our guests. This naturally called for more time than originally planned. At the same time, today I am also pleased to announce that works on the island have already started in earnest, as originally planned.”

The official ground breaking ceremony for Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will take place on October 6, 2016 in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, The Right Honorable Perry G. Christie, and other high dignitaries from the country’s government.

Working in collaboration with the Bahamian Government and ecologists, MSC Cruises is developing the cay from an industrial site, into a flourishing marine reserve that will harmoniously co-exist with the local ecosystem. This is a complex project that will transform the local economy base from resource exploitation to resource conservation and provide a unique, authentic Bahamian experience exclusively for MSC Cruises guests. In connection with the expanded set of services that the island will now make available to its guests upon opening, additional works will include, amongst others, much-expanded quarters for the greater number of personnel that will work on the island to receive and serve MSC Cruises guests six days a week.

MSC Seaside and MSC Divina calls to Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve—formerly scheduled between December 2017 and the new date of its grand opening to guests—will be substituted by calls to Nassau. Further details on these and other related itineraries will be communicated separately and in due course.

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Norwegian Jewel Retrofitted with Gas Scrubber Technology

MIAMI, Sept 13: In conjunction with its Eco-Smart Cruising program, Norwegian announced today the successful completion of the retrofitting of a new Exhaust Gas Scrubber system on Norwegian Jewel, aimed at significantly reducing air emissions and the ship’s environmental footprint. Norwegian Cruise Line is the first cruise line to retrofit a vessel while it is in service with an Exhaust Gas Scrubber Hybrid system. Norwegian Jewel’s new lightweight in-line scrubbers are a hybrid technology developed by Yara Marine Technologies that are able to operate in Dry mode, Open loop and Closed loop. Five scrubbers were installed, one per engine, covering the whole propulsion system. Collectively, they are capable of reducing the emission of sulfur to air up to 99 percent and also reduce 85 percent particulate emission to the air.

Norwegian Jewel’s new technology will reduce the equivalent of approximately 1,500 tons of Sulfur Oxide, SOx, gas in the years to come as a result of this new technology. A two year project, Norwegian Jewel’s retrofitting began in spring 2014 and featured more than 100,000 man hours between numerous partner organizations to be completed.

“Norwegian is firmly dedicated to upholding the highest standards of excellence in environmental protection practices, as well as leading the industry in seeking out technology that makes our ships not only an enjoyable vacation experience, but also ensures that we continuously protect the environment that our guests love to explore,” said Robin Lindsay, Executive Vice President of Vessel Operations for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

Norwegian is the first cruise line to install scrubbers with a state-of-the-art water membranes filtration unit. This sophisticated water cleaning system uses Ultrafiltration technology to clean the recirculated water during the closed loop operation down to clear water. The by-product is collected and removed in drums.

As part of Eco-Smart Cruising, Norwegian’s Safety and Environmental Protection Policy establishes several objectives relating to the environment, which include reducing the impact of its operations on the environment, disposing garbage and waste materials in accordance with national and international rules and regulations, recycling and re-using materials and establishing specific objectives and targets for continual improvement of environmental management programs.

Norwegian currently has three of ships outfitted with Gas Scrubbers technology, with Norwegian Jewel joining Norwegian Escape and Pride of America. Norwegian Cruise Line is on track to meet its MARPOL Annex VI compliance goal of reducing its global sulfur cap from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent by 2020. Furthering Norwegian’s commitment to Eco-Smart Cruising, Norwegian Jewel’s sister ships, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Gem, will complete their scrubber commissioning within the coming weeks with Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Sun scheduled for retrofitting in the first and second quarter of 2017, respectively. For more information, visit

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American Queen Steamboat Company Announces Fleet Expansion

MEMPHIS, Sept. 13: The American Queen Steamboat Company, owner and operator of the American Queen and American Empress, announces the new American Duchess will join the U.S.-flagged fleet in June 2017. Construction begins soon on a recently purchased American-made hull that will become the third vessel of the Memphis-based company. The all-suite American Duchess will be the first purpose-built boutique paddlewheeler offering the river cruiser an intimate experience through America’s heartland. She will feature the largest suites on the river in every category, which will be fitted to the American Queen Steamboat Company’s highest standards.

The 166-guest American Duchess follows in the pedigree of the line’s namesake American Queen, sailing the mighty Mississippi and her tributaries. New for the line, the American Duchess will offer overnight stays in port including the heart of Nashville as well as shorter roundtrip itineraries from the “Music City” and New Orleans. For added convenience, guests can also enjoy departures from Chicago (Ottawa, Il.) for the first time.

“The American Queen Steamboat Company has led the way in a rebirth of U.S. river cruising as thousands discover our heartland and the Pacific Northwest, served by an award-winning, All-American crew,” shares Ted Sykes, company president and COO. “Demand for more capacity on the Mississippi River has been overwhelming the past two seasons and we look forward to delivering a new boutique, all-suite experience and the flexibility of two riverboats sailing between New Orleans and St. Paul.”

The American Duchess will feature a generous space ratio showcased by three 550 sq. ft. Owner’s Suites, four 550 sq. ft. Loft Suites, a U.S. riverboat first; and spacious Veranda Suites and Interior Suites. The new vessel will be incorporating the highest standards of service, entertainment and shore excursions customers have come to expect from the American Queen Steamboat Company. Featuring open seating with two dining venues, The Grand Dining Room and The Grill Room will offer regionally inspired cuisine similar to that of the American Queen.

“In five short years, the American Queen Steamboat Company has grown to over 500 employees and we look forward to hiring about 100 more, right here in the U.S., in anticipation of the American Duchess inaugural season,” shares John Waggoner, the line’s chairman as well as president and CEO of HMS Global Maritime, operator of over 85 U.S.-flagged vessels. “I am proud of the economic impact we continue to have in leading U.S. river cruising, which can be seen in our homeport of Memphis and the many cities we visit including New Orleans and St. Louis.”

For additional information, visit

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Fathom Adds Two Cuba Cruise Dates in Fall 2016

MIAMI, Sept. 9: Fathom, Carnival Corporation’s 10th and newest cruise brand, has added two Cuba sailing dates for fall 2016the result of strong pent-up demand by travelers choosing to take a cruise vacation to explore Cuba with Fathom, the only U.S. cruise line sailing from the U.S. to one of the most desired destinations in the Caribbean. The additional cruises will take place the weeks of Sunday, Oct. 9, and Sunday, Nov. 6. For both week-long cruises, Fathom’s Adonia will depart Port Miami on Oct. 9 and Nov. 6 for three destinations in Cuba, including two days in Havana. The Adonia will return to Miami on the following Sunday for each of the cruises. Bookings are now being accepted for both voyages.

“Carnival Corporation made history when Fathom arrived in Havana on May 2 of this year, and we continue to strengthen our relationships as the only U.S. cruise company sailing to Cuba from the U.S.and we are very grateful to Cuban officials for granting us two new dates to accommodate more travelers wanting to sail with Fathom to visit their remarkable country,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom, referring to the first time in more than 40 years a U.S. cruise line has sailed from the U.S. to Cuba.

“Since our inaugural voyage in early May, we have experienced strong, continued demand from travelers wanting to travel to Cuba with the comfort, convenience and peace of mind that comes with cruising with Fathom. Our bookings for the fall are strong, and the word is spreading: Going on a cruise with Fathom to Cuba is the best, easiest and most enjoyable way to visit this unique country.” Added Russell, “Because demand is so strong, we encourage travelers to book as soon as possible for the October 9 and November 6 cruises, as we expect brisk sales for the new sailings on our small premium ship, the Adonia. For people interested in other dates for our Cuba sailings, we are almost sold out for the year with only a small number of staterooms available for a few remaining fall cruises to Cuba, and we have extremely strong demand for 2017.”

Fathom’s 7-day cruises from Miami to Cuba visit the historic ports of Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. In post-cruise surveys, Fathom guests are giving high marks for a great experience at all three destinations, which would otherwise be challenging to visit, and on the Adonia, which houses 700 travelers, providing a sense of intimacy that guests are enjoying. The experience includes Fathom’s unique shore excursions—featuring several included in the overall price of the cruisethat provide travelers with fun and engaging options for enjoying the country. Some highlights include the island’s famously friendly people, Spanish and French colonial architecture, traditional Cuban music and dance, restaurants with genuine Cuban cuisine, museums, cathedrals, coastal fortresses, the cannons on San Juan Hill, the shores of Cojimar that were Ernest Hemingway’s favorite fishing village, and lively nightlife including the famous Tropicana Club, and much more. Fathom’s travelers self-certify and can enjoy the island with approved activities. 

Highlights of each destination include:

• Havana: Cuba’s colorful capital is best known for the Spanish-influenced architecture of Old Havana, the classic American cars that cruise the island and its thriving nightlife. But its historic castles, fortresses, cathedrals, mansions and public buildings vie for attention with the city’s lively music and entertainment scene, an eclectic and sophisticated mix of museums, art galleries, music, dance and open-air festivals that take full advantage of the island’s sunny Caribbean climate.
• Cienfuegos: This coastal city is the center of Cuba’s sugar, tobacco and coffee trades, and is known to Cubans as the Pearl of the South for its collection of French-influenced Neoclassical buildings and wide seaside boulevards, with a downtown that has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Near the entrance to the city’s spectacular natural bay stands the great stone fortress of Castillo de Jagua, built in 1745 to protect the city against pirate attacks. The city offers a chance to enjoy musical performances, delicious food and charming settings.
• Santiago de Cuba: Capital of the Spanish colony of Cuba from 1522 to 1589, Santiago de Cuba is considered the birthplace of salsa dancing and the Cuban revolution. With its watchtowers and cannons used in the Spanish-American War still well-preserved, Cuba’s second largest city is home to the popular festivals of Carnaval and the Fiesta del Fuego, as well as to many of the country’s most famed musicians and artists and some of its most-visited historic sites.

A highly popular element of Fathom’s Cuban cruise vacation is enjoying the island while staying and sailing on the intimate and well-appointed Adonia, with guests appreciating the amenities of a modern hotel and convenience of unpacking their suitcases just once, with dining, entertainment and specially designed programs about Cuba part of the cruise. Another popular benefit: Fathom takes care of providing traveler visas and medical insurance in Cuba for its guests.

“Our travelers love that Fathom does all of the intricate planning so they can spend more time having a fun and memorable travel experience,” Russell said. “Our guests also love knowing that when they are done exploring, they can return to the Adonia and relax and rejuvenate with excellent food, entertainment, and a beautiful spa. Many of our guests enjoy trading stories about their adventures with their fellow travelers. It is a fantastic way to experience such an enchanting country, and it makes for an unforgettable trip to always remember.”

“Cruising aboard Fathom was the perfect way to travel to Cubathe experience blew me away,” said Kimberli McCallum, a recent Fathom traveler from St. Louis. “It was my first cruise and I can't believe how much I loved it! My husband and I were sitting on our cabin’s balcony one evening wondering why we had waited so long to cruise. Plus, visiting Cuba was better than I ever imagined. Havana is so beautiful and the art, the music and the people were all amazing!"

Seven-day itineraries on Carnival Corporation's Fathom brand generally depart from PortMiami on Sundays at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The ship arrives at its first destination, Havana, the following morning (Monday) at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The Adonia returns to its homeport, PortMiami, at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time the following Sunday. Fares for 7-day itineraries to Cuba, excluding Cuban visas, taxes, fees, and port expenses, include all meals on the ship and lunch while in the three ports, onboard experiences, and on-the-ground activities. Prices will vary by season. Learn more at

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Carnival Cruise Line, New Orleans Saints & Scholastic Book Fairs Team Up To Honor Students
 With 'Read & Rise' Literacy Event

MIAMI, Sept. 9: Yesterday, 100 students from Kipp Central City Primary, an elementary school in New Orleans, enjoyed a day of fun aboard the Carnival Triumph for the first-ever "Read & Rise" literacy day to celebrate their reading achievements as winners of the school's summer reading challenge. The event was created in collaboration with Carnival Cruise Line, New Orleans Saints and Scholastic Book Fairs and was hosted by former Saints player Deuce McAllister who taught the students gridiron fundamentals with fun football-themed activities while encouraging them to read and stay active. Prior to the event, all students from Kipp Central City Primary grades 2-4 each received $10 vouchers funded by Carnival to purchase books of their choice at the Scholastic Book Fair and participated in games and other activities held at their school reading rally.

Aboard Carnival Triumph, 100 students who won Kipp Central Primary's reading challenge, participated in gridiron drills that included the quarterback challenge, vertical jump and three-cone combine drill that are part of the Saints Junior Training Camp activities. In addition, students enjoyed lunch on board the ship and received backpacks filled with logo items from Carnival and the Saints as well as an ocean-themed book provided by Scholastic Book Fairs. While on board, the children had the opportunity to tour the massive 102,000-ton cruise ship, which is nearly three football fields in length.

"Carnival has been a part of the New Orleans community for more than two decades and we're delighted to team up with the Saints and Scholastic Book Fairs on this fun football-themed event that provided these kids an unforgettable experience while promoting the importance of reading and literacy," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

"I'm honored to work with Carnival and Scholastic on behalf of the Saints to encourage local students to keep reading and stay active," said Saints legend Deuce McAllister. "These kids are so inspiring. We've all had a great day filled with fun and football and I think this was a great event to kick off the season."

"At Scholastic, we know how critically important it is for all children to have access to books," said Larry Wissinger, director of business development, Scholastic Book Fairs. "By working with organizations like Carnival and teams like the Saints, Scholastic is able to ensure more children are given the chance to become book owners, build their own home libraries and discover the power and joy of reading."

Carnival is the Official Cruise Line of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans' largest cruise operator, with two year-round ships, Carnival Triumph and Carnival Dream, carrying 450,000 passengers annuallymore than any other cruise line. For additional information, visit

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Celebrity Cruises Announces One-of-a-Kind ‘Top Chef at Sea’ New Year’s Eve Signature Sailing

MIAMI & NEW YORK CITY,  Sept 8: Celebrity Cruises and Bravo Media have extended the popular “Top Chef at Sea” program through 2017, and will offer “Top Chef” fans and foodies the ultimate opportunity to vacation with an incredible lineup of cheftestants on the exclusive “Top Chef Signature Sailing” in 2016. Setting sail December 30th onboard Celebrity Silhouette, there’s no better way to ring in the New Year than sailing this one-of-a-kind, delectable 9-night Eastern Caribbean holiday getaway. Guests onboard will enjoy various up-close-and-personal culinary experiences with four former “Top Chef” competitors, including:

• Jeremy Ford: Top Chef California winner; Chef de Cuisine at the Matador Room in Miami, FL
• Doug Adams: Top Chef Boston finalist; Chef de Cuisine at Portland Penny Diner in Oregon
• Tiffany Derry: Top Chef D.C. and Top Chef All-Stars finalist; Owner of TD Concepts, Inc.
• Ash Fulk: Top Chef Las Vegas contestant; a chef in NYC

Along with meeting the four cheftestants onboard, this year’s “Top Chef Signature Sailing” will also feature a new unrivaled culinary experience. This exclusive event will bring all of the talented chefs together to host a one-of-a-kind pop-up restaurant. Guests will be given this one-night opportunity to explore the cheftestant’s best dishes, prepared by them, and a chance to mingle with culinary artists once they’re done in the kitchen.

Throughout the signature sailing, passionate foodies and fans alike can enjoy exclusive one-on-one experiences with the chefs by booking private cooking classes and chef-hosted shore excursions to polish their culinary techniques and get advice and tips from some of the best chefs at sea. The itinerary will also feature interactive cooking demonstrations. As the chefs turn up the heat and prepare their dishes, they will engage with audience members, answering questions and walking them through the preparation of their meal.

In addition to the “Top Chef Signature Sailing” with esteemed alums, Celebrity will continue to offer interactive Quickfire Challenges and “Top Chef”-inspired menu evenings on its modern luxury vacations available fleetwide (excluding Celebrity Xpedition), for all sailings departing through June 2017. Exhilarating Quickfire Challenges will put guests in the spotlight to get a taste of the pressure the cheftestants experience on the popular series. Plus, guests can indulge in a selection of the dishes the judges raved about on the series at “Top Chef Night” in the main restaurant. Select exclusive events are subject to an additional fee.

Celebrity originally partnered with “Top Chef” in November 2014 to launch the exclusive “Top Chef at Sea” experience. The extension of “Top Chef at Sea” allows for guests to continually sail with Celebrity on a modern luxury vacation with endless, unique culinary possibilities. For more details about “Top Chef at Sea,” visit

Bravo’s Emmy® and James Beard Award-winning “Top Chef” will return later this year for season 14. “Top Chef” is produced by Magical Elves with Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serving as executive producers.

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Royal Caribbean Looks To South Florida's Community For A Hometown Hero In Education
To Serve As Godmother Of Harmony Of The Seas

MIAMI, Sept. 7: The world's largest and most innovative cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, may boast seven distinct neighborhoods, unparalleled dining and entertainment, and thrilling features like the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, but there is one thing she is missing… her godmother. Harmony of the Seas will make her U.S. debut this November when she arrives into her new homeport of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., introducing a new era of vacationing that will thrill guests of all ages. To celebrate, the South Florida-based cruise line is partnering with South Florida ABC affiliate Local 10 to look in their own backyard for a woman who is inspiring the next generation to dream big, think differently and challenge the status quo, and has launched a contest to honor this hometown hero by naming her godmother of Harmony of the Seas.

South Florida residents are encouraged to visit and nominate a mentor, educator or teacher whose passion for education and a better tomorrow inspires students to make a positive impact on the world. The winner will not only be honored as godmother of Harmony of the Seas during the ship's official naming ceremony on Nov 10, 2016, but a $25,000 grant will also be awarded to her school or non-profit organization to fund education initiatives that will further her mission to inspire South Florida's youth. In addition, the godmother will have the opportunity to host a "field trip" for those whose lives she has influenced to be her guests at the Harmony of the Seas naming ceremony, and will set sail later that evening with three guests on a 2-night pre-inaugural cruise. She will also receive a future 7-night cruise for two onboard the ship. The contest is open to volunteers, full- and part-time employees at of a school or educational organization in Miami-Dade County, Broward
County or Palm Beach County. Self-nominations are also accepted. Nominees must be legal residents of Florida and 21 years of age or older at time of nomination and nominators must be 13 years of age or older as of date of entry. Official Rules can be read by visiting The Entry Period for nominations ends on Sept 23, 2016.

"Royal Caribbean's legacy is built on a dream that began in a small trailer on Biscayne Boulevard," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "That's why when we thought about the godmother for Harmony of the Seas, a ship that is not just the world's largest, but the ultimate expression of our history and future, we knew that we wanted to pay tribute to our roots and community with this designation. Who better to welcome Harmony home than an outstanding woman who is inspiring the dreamers and innovators of South Florida's next generation."

A maritime tradition and honor historically reserved for heads of state, politicians and celebrities, godmothers not only break a bottle to christen a ship, but also serve as guiding spirits to its guests and crew. Royal Caribbean looks to capture the essence of the role by choosing women whose life lessons and achievements illustrate the kind of courage, dedication and determination that are an inspiration to all. For more information on the maritime tradition of ship godmothers, visit

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

Harmony of the Seas is the world's largest cruise ship with the world's best features. Nowhere else on land or sea can travelers find such a bold and unexpected lineup of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology, including VOOM, the fastest internet at sea. Harmony combines the iconic seven neighborhood concept that sister ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas are known for, with some of the most modern and groundbreaking amenities and offerings that will appeal to guests of all ages. From The Ultimate Abyss, a dramatic 10-story tall slide, to unparalleled entertainment including Broadway's hit musical Grease and distinct high diving, acrobatic performances in the ship's trademark Aqua Theater, sophisticated dining in venue's ranging from Jamie's Italian Cuisine by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to Royal Caribbean's whimsical restaurant Wonderland, which is a unique culinary adventure for the senses, and robot bartenders, there is an adventure for everyone onboard Harmony of the Seas. Harmony of the Seas spans 16 guest decks, encompasses 227,000 gross registered tons, carries 5,497 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,747 staterooms. For more information about Harmony of the Seas, visit

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Holland America Line to Add Seventh Ship to 2017 Alaska Season

Seattle, Sept. 7: To support the increasing demand for Alaska summer cruises, Holland America Line is redeploying ms Oosterdam from Europe to The Last Frontier for the 2017 summer season. The addition brings the number of Holland America Line ships to seven in the region, with Oosterdam joining ms Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Volendam and ms Zaandam for a total of 135 Alaska departures, more than any other cruise line. Seven is the lucky number in 2017, as the company will celebrate its 70th year exploring Alaska. New in 2017, Eurodam will replace ms Westerdam sailing from Seattle. The addition of another Signature Class ship means more new restaurants and venues will be available for guests to enjoy on Alaska sailings.

“Our award-winning Alaska cruises are at the heart of our global itineraries, and adding Oosterdam to the region in 2017 will allow even more guests to join in celebrating the exciting milestone of our 70th year in Alaska,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “As Seattle’s hometown cruise line, we’re thrilled to be sailing three ships from our local home port for the next Alaska season.”

Holland America Line will now offer 126 seven-day cruises and nine 14-day “Great Alaskan Explorer” sailings that begin in late April and run through late September. Highlights include 46 seven-day cruises roundtrip from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Nieuw Amsterdam, Volendam, Noordam and Zaandam. In addition, Noordam and Zaandam each will sail 18 one-way alternating north-south 7-day cruises between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska.

Oosterdam is slated to sail 21 seven-day cruises roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, from April through September. Eurodam will depart Seattle on 22 roundtrip 7-day cruises, while Amsterdam is scheduled to sail one 7-day itinerary from Seattle followed by nine 14-day Great Alaskan Explorer voyages. Oosterdam’s 7-day roundtrip Seattle itineraries will call at Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Guests on board will enjoy scenic cruising in Puget Sound upon departing Seattle, as well as in Stephens Passage and Hubbard Glacier in Alaska.

Every itinerary is highlighted by scenic cruising of Alaska’s Inside Passage and one or more of Alaska’s famous glaciers and fjords. Whether it’s from a private verandah or out on deck, guests are in for a memorable view of Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, Tracy Arm and/or the twin Sawyer Glaciers.

Great Alaskan Explorer Cruises Offer Unique Alaska Ports of Call
Departing on nine Great Alaskan Explorer-branded sailings, Amsterdam replaces ms Maasdam in 2017 on this exciting route that includes unique highlights such as calls at Anchorage, Icy Strait Point, Homer, Kodiak and Hubbard Glacier.

Guests Departing from Seattle Have a Choice of Glaciers
All Seattle departures include calls at Sitka; Ketchikan; Juneau; and Victoria, B.C., and guests choose between either Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier for their epic glacier experience. All Glacier Bay itineraries include park ranger and Huna native speaker presentations. This classic cruise maximizes the best of what Alaska has to offer and enables guests to enjoy some of the finest scenic cruising in the world.

Holland America Line Celebrates 70 Years as First in Alaska in 2017
In 2017 Holland America Line will celebrate 70 years of exploring Alaska. It all began in 1947 with a simple, spontaneous tour in Fairbanks and has grown into Holland America Line’s Alaska Land+Sea Journeys that the company features today. The anniversary will be marked with special celebrations throughout the year that will be announced at a later date.

Land+Sea Journeys Combine an Alaska Cruise with Overland Exploration
Holland America Line’s award-winning Land+Sea Journeys combine a 3-, 4- or 7-day Inside Passage or Glacier Discovery cruise with in-depth overland tours to the Yukon and Alaska’s interior. Holland America Line is the only cruise company to weave must-see sites such as Denali National Park—the centerpiece of every Land+Sea Journey—with seldom-seen ones such as Dawson City, in the heart of Klondike Gold Rush Country. Offering up to three days at Denali National Park for wildlife viewing and spectacular scenery, Land+Sea Journeys are designed to highlight the best of Alaska’s wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history.

Eurodam & Oosterdam Enhancements
Both Eurodam and Oosterdam recently have added Gallery Bar, a chic new venue that replaces Northern Lights; Lincoln Center Stage, in partnership with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Billboard Onboard, in partnership with Billboard; and extensive new suite enhancements featuring new furniture, soft goods and entertainment systems as well as a full makeover in the bathrooms.

For more information about Holland America Line, visit

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Cunard Unveils 2018 Voyage Program Featuring New Special Event Sailings & Maiden Calls

VALENCIA, CA, Sept. 6: From March through December 2018, Cunard's three iconic Queens will set sail on a brand new programme of destinations and special event sailings. Guests will be able to visit extraordinary places around the globe and experience exclusive events never seen before at sea, all from the luxury and glamour of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and newly-remastered Queen Mary 2. On board every Cunard Queen, guests are welcomed to discover a wide array of entertainment and activities expertly curated to suit every taste. In addition to new itineraries, the 2018 Program features a brand new lineup of special event cruises including high profile speakers and excursions themed around passion points to add an extra dimension to each voyage.

"On behalf of Cunard, we are proud to announce the robust 2018 Voyage Program, comprised of exciting special event cruises and both iconic and intriguing destinations" said Richard Meadows, President, Cunard North America. "We continue to connect our guests to new destinations while delivering Cunard's quintessential experience of luxury on a grand scale."

Complimentary amenities in Princess and Queens Grill Suites As a benefit of booking early, Cunard is offering a complimentary drink package and pre-paid gratuities in Princess & Queens Grill Suites, as well as up to $250 Onboard Credit per stateroom for guests who book by June 30, 2017. Note that certain conditions apply.

Guests of Cunard's acclaimed Princess Grill or Queens Grill Suites enjoy one of the most treasured travel experiences at sea, the standard-bearer of refined elegance. Warmly greeted in their suite by an attentive steward or butler (Queens Grill) guests enjoy an array of special Grills offerings, including choosing their preferred pillow from nine choices; having their butler unpack upon arrival; working with the Concierge to arrange activities throughout the voyage, and enjoying personalized stationery. In addition, Grill guests enjoy the storied enclave of the award-wining Princess Grill and Queens Grill restaurants, a club-like, single-seating dining experience known for serving world-class cuisine, showcasing flavors from around the globe, and featuring an extensive a la carte menu and "order off the menu" options. Guests booked in a Balcony stateroom will also receive an on board credit of up to $250 per stateroom, dependent on length of voyage.

2018 Special Event Sailings:

Voyage du Vin (June 1-8, 2018/Spain & Portugal): Wine tasting on board Queen Victoria introduces guests to some of Europe's finest wine and port destinations, along with on board lectures from experts such as Will Lyons and excursions around the Atlantic Coast with port calls in Spain, Portugal and Guernsey.
A Photographic Journey to the Land of the Midnight Sun (July 1-13, 2018/The Fjords): Guests on Queen Elizabeth's Norwegian Voyage will learn professional tips from esteemed photography experts such as Ross Hoddinott, one of Englands' leading wildlife and landscape photographers, and take a trip to the Arctic Circle to photograph the stunning phenomenon of the "midnight sun."
Big Band Ball (Aug 24-28, 2018/Netherlands Escape): Once again Queen Elizabeth plays host to a spectacular celebration of music and dance with a 13-piece Big Band Orchestra delighting guests with music from Glen Miller and Duke Ellington.
Transatlantic Fashion Week (Sept 2-9, 2018/Westbound Crossing): This unique experience allows guests to indulge in the glamour of fashion shows on board Queen Mary 2 while being treated to inspirational talks with some of fashion's most reputable names including the respected British fashion writer and journalist Colin McDowell.
A Journey of Genealogy (Nov 4-11, 2018/Westbound Crossing): For the first time ever Cunard has collaborated with, the largest online family history resource in the world, to offer guests the opportunity to trace their family trees on the remastered Queen Mary 2.

2018 Program Highlights:

Signature Cunard Transatlantic Voyages: Cunard continues to be the only company offering regular service across the Atlantic and the world's only remaining true ocean liner experiencesomething it's been doing since 1840. In 2018 there will be 22 seven-night Transatlantic Crossings
20 Exciting Maiden Calls for the Fleet: Rockland (United States), Sept IIes (Canada), Visby (Sweden), Riga (Latvia), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Bodo (Norway), Narvik (Norway), Hvar (Croatia), Puerto del Rosario (Spain), La Rochelle (France), Gijon (Spain), Taormina (Italy), Portree (United Kingdom), Donegal (Ireland), Haugesund (Norway), Propriano (Corsica), Portoroz (Slovenia) and Rijeka (Croatia).
Top Ten Ports Brought Back in 2018: Fort de France (Martinique), Kingstown (St Vincent), Gdynia (Poland), Bilbao (Spain), Corner Brook (Canada), Travemunde (Germany), Helsingor (Denmark), Alghero (Sardinia), Helsinki (Finland) and Kristiansand (Norway).
Overnight Calls in Spectacular Destinations: Funchal (Portugal), Quebec (Canada), Reykjavik (Iceland), St Petersburg (Russian Federation), Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Venice (Italy).
Evenings in Port (departures at 9:00 pm or later): Barcelona (Spain), Bilbao (Spain), Bodo (Norway), Boston (United States), Bridgetown (Barbados), Dublin (Ireland), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Gran Canaria (Spain), Mallorca (Spain), Narvik (Norway), Oslo (Norway), Philipsburg (Saint Maarten), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Tenerife (Spain) and Venice (Italy).
• M
editerranean Cruises: An exciting and flexible Mediterranean cruise program is available on Queen Victoria from September to November. Offering the "best of the Med" destinations covering the Western, Central and Eastern Mediterranean regions, there is a choice of three different embarkation ports (Civitavecchia, Venice, and Barcelona) and a range of 7, 9, 10, 12, 14 or 21-night options.
Roundtrip New York: In 2018, there will be 12 opportunities to sail roundtrip from New York on Queen Mary 2, offering guests the chance to visit the Caribbean, New England and Canada or Europe when combined with a pair of Transatlantic Crossings. Visit historic cities, beautiful landscapes, national parks of Canada, and crystal clear waters.

For more information about Cunard, visit

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Celebrity Cruises’ “Celebrity Distinction” Makes Sailing the Mediterranean a One-of-a-Kind Experience

MIAMI, Sept 6: Gaze at the sapphire-blue waters of the Mediterranean; explore Europe’s most iconic cities; sample local, seasonal ingredients; and soak in the warm sun and breathtaking sunsets onboard a Celebrity Cruises ship. The modern luxury cruise line, which has been named best cruise line in Europe for six consecutive years, has added more Mediterranean sailings for 2017, and is bringing distinct experiences to guests through a variety of new onboard activities and culinary indulgences. In 2017, Celebrity will offer 40 unique itineraries in Europe, 109 Uniquely Celebrity Shore Excursions in the region, and 61 overnight stays in 19 different European cities. This is the Celebrity Distinction.

“Affluent travelers are looking for one-of-a-kind, enriching offerings in Europe, so we are continuing to raise the bar by providing guests with even more modern luxury European getaways to the most sought-after locations,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Because Celebrity was born in Europe, our guests entrust us to unveil the most charming locations and sumptuous cuisine. We will continue to create distinct, culturally-rich experiences for travelers who want to discover Europe in beautiful, modern luxury style. We're Europe's premium cruise line, and we have the awards to prove it." Lutoff-Perlo added: “We’ve even gone one step further to envelope our guests in the local culture and cuisine of Europe, by adding new exceptional onboard experiences. Vacationers can now participate in enriching culinary and educational activities that will excite any age.”

Celebrity continues to be prominent in Europe, offering 69 sailings from the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, onboard four award-winning shipsCelebrity Reflection, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Silhouette. The brand has the most verandas of any premium cruise line in Europe, and the youngest fleetjust two of many examples of what makes Celebrity so distinct.

Celebrity’s newest ship, Celebrity Reflection, has doubled the amount of sailings offered to the ship’s iconic best of Europe’s three Riviera'sthe French, Italian and Spanish coastlinesand now offers eight 11-night “Best of the Western Mediterranean” sailings, giving guests more opportunities to experience this one-of-a-kind fruitful itinerary. The luxurious sailing features stops in a multitude of beloved European destinations, including the charming Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Italy, Nice (Villefranche), France and Gibraltar, the United Kingdom, and four different stops in Spain, including an overnight stay to enjoy Barcelona’s dynamic nightlife.

For 2017, Celebrity Constellation will set out on an assortment of glamorous 9- and 10-night sailings that take guests to prime Mediterranean destinations, including new ports of call for Celebritythe extravagant, culture-rich city of Monte Carlo, Monaco and Sèteoffering unparalleled insights into some of the region’s hidden delights.

One-of-a-Kind Destination Experiences
Once in port, guests can experience the heart of a destination famous for its rich history, breathtaking views and culinary delights. Vacationers can join one of Celebrity’s shore or overnight excursion offerings, or a multi-day adventure, offering guests the opportunity to embrace the character and richness of bucket-list cities and exotic locales over multiple days ashore. Celebrity’s vast excursion lineup offers more than 150 Uniquely Celebrity Shore Excursions, including:

• Theatrical Play “Antigone” by Sophocles – History seekers will adore this theatrical performance of Sophocles’ “Antigone,” in Mykonos. The thrilling play, written in 441 B.C., is one of the most famous of the Greek tragedies. After the play, attendees will explore Mykonos and enjoy the culinary indulgences of this electric city
• Portofino and Italian Riviera Land and Sea Tour – Discover the beauty of the Italian Riviera, exploring Portofino and two other pearls of Italy’s storied and romantic Gulf of Paradise. Begin with a winding, cliff-side drive to Santa Margherita, sail the yacht-filled, turquoise waters of Paraggi Bay of Portofino and explore Rapallo to see its famous 16th-century castle
• Belgium Chocolate Workshop – Foodies can explore the chocolate capital of Belgium on a guided walking tour through Market Square and on to a chocolatier’s workshop to see first-hand how fine Belgian chocolates are made
• Catherine Palace and Amber Restoration Workshop – During a visit to St. Petersburg, Russia, culture seekers will visit Catherine Palace, the splendid summer residence of the Russian tsars, with a tour of the world-famous Amber Room and experience an Amber restoration workshop

Signature Event Sailings
Celebrity also offers sailings to coincide with three of Europe's most iconic events. The Signature Event Sailings include a visit to The French Open in June 2017 onboard Celebrity Eclipse, and two special sailings to The British Open onboard Celebrity Silhouette departing in July 2017. Celebrity Silhouette will also offer two additional Signature Event Sailings to the spectacular Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August 2017. These unique experiences are exclusively offered through Celebrity.

Summer Camp at Sea, for Children and Adults
Celebrity is now introducing the exclusive “Summer Camp at Sea,” on all European sailings, allowing children to enjoy a vacation that moves beyond purely entertainment, to also deliver enriching and inspiring activities. From offering the “Creation Station” program that allows children to express themselves creatively, to putting their chef skills to the test with a cooking at sea program, children ages 3-17 have a range of one-of-a-kind educational activities at their fingertips.

Taste of Europe
Food lovers can partake in the excitement too, with Celebrity Cruises’ newest culinary program - only available on Celebrity. The modern luxury brand is bringing a taste of Europe to travelers with its new Taste of Europe program, which offers complimentary events for adults at sea. Events include a culinary demo with Celebrity featured chefs, mixology demos and one of the biggest wine tastings at sea. Exclusive events are also available for a fee, including a fresh pasta and mozzarella making class (followed by lunch in Tuscan Grille), and an exclusive five-course tasting dinner with Celebrity chefs.

Adults looking to be fully engrossed in culinary indulgences can partake in the Taste of Europe Premium Package. This luxurious package gives guests a taste of all of the culinary, wine and cocktail indulgences available onboard Celebrity Cruises. From the Chef Market Discovery excursion to a “Blentique” wine blending class to a Riedel Wine comparison workshop, guests’ taste buds will be pampered throughout their sailing. For more information, visit

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Stellar Line-Up of Culinary Offerings Planned for Norwegian Joy

Shanghai, China, Sept 6: One word best sums up the culinary offerings that will be available to guests on board the luxurious brand new cruise ship Norwegian Joy when she starts sailing in June 2017: everything! From Chinese hot pot, to sophisticated French haute cuisine, the freshest Japanese sushi to the highest quality American steaks and burgers, Norwegian Joy promises no less than 28 different food and beverage outlets on board—the widest array of dining experiences yet on any new ship that has been purpose built for China.

Every aspect of Norwegian’s new Breakaway-Plus Class vessel, which will start sailing from Shanghai on June 28, 2017, promises to be a 'First Class at Sea' experience, and central to this—of course—is the culinary program. Unlike other cruise lines, Norwegian offers guests the flexibility to dine when they want, where they want, from a wide range of restaurants. Only Norwegian offers the flexibility of Freestyle dining, which means no fixed dining times or pre-assigned seating. And with so many purpose built restaurants from bow to stern, guests can enjoy more dining options than days of their cruise, whenever they like.

Norwegian Joy guests will be able to enjoy a wide range of complimentary dining options, while a host of additional premium dining experiences are also available at nominal extra cost. Among the inclusive options is the Garden Café, which will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here, guests can enjoy unlimited visits to a sumptuous buffet of international favorites. The diverse spread will feature classics of Chinese and Western cuisine as well as lively stations preparing dishes à-la-minute. For a traditional dining experience Norwegian Joy's elegant Manhattan Room will offer a vast selection of Chinese cuisine complemented by Western-style classics such as steaks and seafood.

The aptly named Savor and Taste restaurants will also serve a wide array of Chinese cuisine, from traditional to forward-thinking Chinese fusion cuisine with pronounced Korean and Japanese accents. Among the premium offerings, Food Republic allows diners to take a culinary tour of the world without even entering a single port of call. An eclectic menu will draw inspiration from the flavors of Japan, and even such far-flung destinations as Peru. Here, guests can indulge in an extensive sushi selection and enjoy creative fusion dishes, like Food Republic's signature hamachi taquitos.

Teppanyaki offers an authentic taste of East Asia. Here, guests can marvel at a Japanese hibachi cooking performance at their table. Diners also have the option of preparing their own meal with a selection of meats and fresh vegetables at Hot Pot restaurant Sakura & Hibiscus or Korean barbecue table. For fresh hand-pulled Chinese noodles and exquisitely crafted dim sum, there is the Noodle Bar.

The American dining options range from a sophisticated steakhouse to a classic and casual diner. Guests on Norwegian Joy will be able to experience both offerings onboard. Cagney's Steakhouse will feature premium cuts, like tender filet mignon and succulent bone-in rib eyes, as well as other classic chops, like rack of lamb. All of which can be enjoyed with classic steakhouse sides, like asparagus with hollandaise sauce or truffled French fries. Meanwhile, American Diner promises the best in American comfort, from meatloaf and potpies, to burgers and fried chicken.

The azure Pacific waves that carry Norwegian Joy from port to port will no doubt induce in passengers’ craving for fresh fish, which can be satisfied at Neptune's. This seafood specialty restaurant will feature a stunning buffet of fresh seafood, both chilled and raw, on ice. Guests can enjoy an expertly prepared catch from Neptune's à la carte menu, too.

Italian and French are among the best cuisines that Europe has to offer, and Norwegian Joy will allow guests to indulge. La Cucina will specialize in a mix of contemporary Italian pastas and handmade gnocchi, along with meat and seafood dishes, while Le Bistro will serve the most refined French cuisine on the high seas.

For those with a sweet tooth, The Bake Shop is certain to quell those cravings. This boutique bakery will offer a tantalizing variety of handmade baked goods, like cupcakes, macarons, chocolate pralines, and Japanese mocha sweets, to name a few. Finally, for liquid refreshments, Norwegian Joy will be flush with options. Venues like The Grand Tea Room will serve high-end loose leaf teas from China along with elegant snacks and high tea-style finger foods to savor on a leisurely afternoon.

Oenophiles on board can quench their thirst at La Cave. French for "The Cellar", La Cave is Norwegian Joy's source for fine wines and spirits. Guests can enjoy a glass of world-class wine or whiskey at the bar and, if they taste anything they like, they can make a retail purchase to take home with them after the cruise. After a leisurely drink or two, they may wish to retire to Humidor, Norwegian Joy's exclusive cigar lounge to relax in style. And for guests who wish to enjoy a handcrafted cocktail, options abound, from martinis and manhattans at Mixx Bar, pre-dinner drinks at Prime Meridian, refreshing frozen poolside cocktails at Spice H20, and specialty coffees and teas at Atrium Bar.

For more information on Norwegian Joy, please contact an authorized Norwegian travel partner or visit (in China) or

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Two New 180,000-ton Ships for Carnival Cruise Line Will Be Largest Ever Built for the Company

MIAMI, Sept. 6: As part of a new multi-ship order announced today by Carnival Corporation, Carnival Cruise Line is scheduled to take delivery of two new 180,000 gross-registered-ton cruise ships in 2020 and 2022 which will be the largest in the fleet of the world's most popular cruise line. Both ships will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas under Carnival Corp.'s exclusive "green cruising" design and will mark the first time an LNG-powered cruise ship is based in North America.

The two ships, with an approximate passenger capacity of 5,200 based on double occupancy, are being constructed by Finnish shipbuilder Meyer Turku at the company's Turku, Finland shipyard. The agreement represents a return to shipbuilding in Finland for Carnival Cruise Line for the first time in 12 years. The company has 12 ships in its current fleet that were constructed in Finland, including its eight Fantasy-class ships and four Spirit-class ships.

"This new ship order signifies an extraordinarily exciting future for Carnival Cruise Line and the opportunities that lie ahead to introduce a variety of magnificent new features and innovations to further enhance our outstanding guest experience," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We are also thrilled to be introducing Carnival Corporation's 'green cruising' design platform to North America. Both of these ships will be fully powered at sea and in port by Liquefied Natural Gas, which is the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. These ships are being designed for maximum energy efficiency and environmental friendliness," Duffy added.

The Memorandum of Agreement announced today with Meyer Turku is subject to several conditions, including satisfactory financing. Carnival Cruise Line, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc, presently operates a fleet of 25 ships. In addition to the two new ships announced today, the 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon is under construction in Italy and set to debut in 2018. Specific design details and itinerary information for the new ships will be announced at a later time.

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Cunard Debuts First-Ever Transatlantic Fashion Week on Queen Mary 2

VALENCIA, CA, Sept 2: Yesterday Royal College of Art graduate, Sophie Schmidt, unveiled her latest creation worn by a Storm model on board the iconic Queen Mary 2 to kick off Cunard’s first ever ‘Transatlantic Fashion Week’ with Dame Zandra Rhodes. Fashion royalty, including Colin McDowell MBE, Fern Mallis and Gail Sackloff OBE set off from the Port of Southampton on Queen Mary 2 for seven days of runway shows, glamorous dinners and exclusive unveilings before joining New York Fashion Week on September 8.

British Designer Dame Zandra Rhodes CBE, known for dressing some of the world’s best-known style icons including Freddie Mercury, Jackie Onassis and former Cunard passenger Elizabeth Taylor, will showcase her latest collection this week on board Queen Mary 2. The celebrated fashion designer is also joined by highly respected fashion historian and style commentator Colin McDowell MBE and New York Fashion Week Founder Fern Mallis for a series of inspirational talks during the voyage.

Passengers will attend exclusive first look runway shows featuring collections from the world’s most famous fashion college, the Royal College of Art’s 2016 graduates including:

• Niels Gundtoft Hansen: innovative Danish designer whose final collection aims to create the perfect balance between the raw edge and romantic beauty of his home country
• Stefanie Tschirky: born in a small village in Switzerland, Stefanie hopes one day to own her own design studio, with a focus on interdisciplinary design and art work
• Sophie Schmidt: Sophie’s interest in design stemmed from her upbringing in a family of architects, and her collection is based on Anthroposophy, taking inspiration from life, the human body and soul to create a deeper meaning
• Oksana Ani: Oksana has taken inspiration from science and technology to create her Fluid’Sense collection, creating the feeling of wearing liquid clothes
• Laetitia Berthier: influenced by social codes, values and symbols of power within menswear across decades, Laetitia’s collection is inspired by her French heritage and the varied and diverse influences discovered during her studies

In addition to embracing new design talent, the first-ever fashion show at sea will introduce emerging new faces from of one London’s revolutionary modeling agencies, Storm.

Following a recent remastering in the region of $132 million, Queen Mary 2 marks 176 years of heritage, echoing the height of British elegance and luxury associated with Cunard’s iconic fleet. Cunard’s ‘Transatlantic Fashion Week’ will provide a rare and exclusive experience for guests set within an art deco inspired interior. For more information about Cunard, visit

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MSC Cruises: Meravgilia Float out & Naming New Ship

Geneva, Switzerland, Sept 2: MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, revealed today the name of its second STX France-built Meraviglia-generation ultramodern mega cruise ship. She will be called MSC Bellissima and will come into service in the Spring 2019.

“MSC Bellissima is a name that embodies the beauty and the magnificence of this entire next generation of MSC Cruises ultramodern mega-ships, so rich with new features and amenities for guests of all ages and interests,” said Gianni Onorato, chief executive officer of MSC Cruises. “We are so pleased to be able to make this announcement on the very day that her sister ship MSC Meraviglia is touched for the first time by water, a moment that symbolizes the real ‘birth’ of a ship.”

The announcement was made earlier today at STX France’s shipyard in Saint Nazaire, as the Company celebrated the float out of MSC Cruises’ first next-generation ultramodern mega-ship, MSC Meraviglia, due to come into service in June 2017. The ceremony was attended by, amongst others, esteemed MSC Cruises and STX France guests, Senator of Pays de la Loire Region, Bruno Retailleau, General Council President of Loire Atlantique, Philippe Grosvalet and the Mayor of Saint-Nazaire, David Samzun.

“Since we opened sales last year for MSC Meraviglia’s inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean, from the very beginning demand has been extremely encouraging,” said Onorato. “This make us believe that this is a generation of ships with a bright future ahead, that has already caught the attention of vacationers from all markets.”

"We are extremely proud to design and build MSC Cruises’ next generations of cruise ships,” said Laurent Castaing, president of STX France. “We are aware and thankful for the trust this amazing company has in our innovation ability. It’s been more than 12 years that our industrial partnership has started, and we are always excited by the challenges of fulfilling MSC ambitions.”

The float out is a key milestone in the construction of a ship: the dry dock is flooded, the ship is moved to a wet dock, where she then enters the final phase of her construction. Today’s event presented a unique opportunity to showcase guests and global media alike the cutting edge design that makes the Meraviglia generation of MSC Cruises ultramodern mega-ships uniquely innovative, and a true destination in itself. This includes, amongst her many on-board features, the specially designed Carousel Lounge where Cirque du Soleil artists will perform shows created exclusively for MSC Cruises guests; a 315 foot long Mediterranean-style promenade with a 262 foot LED sky that runs through the center of the ship; and an enhanced MSC Yacht Club, MSC Cruises’ exclusive ship within a ship luxury concept, with its own private facilities spanning three decks.

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Carnival Imagination to Undergo Multi-Million-Dollar Renovation

MIAMI, Sept 1: Carnival Imagination will undergo an extensive multi-million-dollar renovation that will add a variety of exciting new food and beverage concepts. The new spaces will be added during a three-week dry dock taking place Sept. 4-25, 2016. Following the makeover, Carnival Imagination will resume its year-round schedule of 3- and 4-day Baja cruises from Long Beach, Calif. The new additions will include:

• Guy’s Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a décor that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture
• BlueIguana Cantina, a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic, freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar
• RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside watering hole offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red
• Alchemy Bar, a “cocktail pharmacy”-themed lounge where mixologists “prescribe” concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients with creative monikers like Forty is the New Twenty and The Restorative Basil Drop
• BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a fun and festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin’ by the pool
• Cherry On Top, the “sweetest spot on board” which celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more.

These terrific new venues complement the ship’s hugely popular array of on-board features that live up to the line’s motto of “Fun for All, All for Fun,” including a WaterWorks aqua park with a 300-foot-long Twister slide, the Serenity adults-only retreat with oversized umbrellas and comfortable chaise lounges and the exclusive Seuss at Sea program in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

“Carnival Imagination provides a convenient, value-packed West Coast cruise option and with these new enhancements we’re making this fantastic ship even better,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “With three year-round cruise ships sailing from Long Beach, Carnival is the number one cruise line in Southern California and the investment we’re making to enhance the Carnival Imagination further bolsters our leadership position in this important market,” she added.

Carnival Imagination operates year-round 3- and 4-day Baja cruises from Long Beach. On this route, 3-day cruises depart Thursdays and visit Ensenada while 4-day voyages depart Sundays and call at Ensenada and Catalina Island.

Carnival is the only cruise line to operate three ships year-round from the West Coast. In addition to Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration operates 3- and 4-day Baja cruises and Carnival Miracle offers week-long Mexican Riviera voyages. Together these three ships carry more than 550,000 guests from Long Beach, the most of any cruise operator. For additional information, visit

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