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Cruise News
1-30, 2013

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Get all the latest Carnival Triumph Updates on Cruise Diva's Blog

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

Cruise Diva

Paul Gauguin Cruises Offers A Unique Voyage In French Polynesia's
Australs & Society Islands

BELLEVUE, WA, June 28: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, and the 90-guest m/v Tere Moana which cruises Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America, offers an 11-night Australs & Society Islands voyage on The Gauguin this fall that visits prime locations for humpback whale viewing.

On this unique cruise, two opportunities will be available for whale watching: Moorea in the Society Islands and Rurutu, an island in the rarely visited Australs chain. Distinguished marine biologist Dr. Scott Baker; Cecile Gaspar, President of Te Mana O Te Moana, a nonprofit conservation organization; and renowned oceanographer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau enhance the experience with their expertise through a series of lectures during the voyage.

The 11-night Australs & SocietyIslandssailing departs Sept 21, 2013, from Papeete, Tahiti, and visits Huahine, Bora Bora, Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Raiatea, and Moorea in the Society Islands along with Rurutu in the Australs Islands. For more information, visit

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Carnival To Enhance Position in New Orleans & Port Canaveral With Ship Deployments

MIAMI, June 27: Carnival Cruise Lines announced new ship deployments taking effect in 2014 in several key markets resulting in exciting new product offerings from Port Canaveral, FL, and New Orleans. Carnival will now feature the widest selection of seagoing vacation choices in these markets aboard some of the most innovative ships in cruising.

Carnival Sunshine, which recently completed a massive $155 million transformation, will be repositioned from New Orleans to Port Canaveral beginning in April 2014. This move will allow Carnival to continue to offer attractive new options from Port Canaveral and marks the first time the line will have a ship in Central Florida featuring all of the Fun Ship 2.0 bar, dining and entertainment innovations.

In turn, Carnival Dream will reposition from Port Canaveral to New Orleans to operate year-round 7-day Caribbean cruises beginning in April 2014, representing a 22 percent capacity increase on week-long sailings from the Big Easy. The 130,000-ton Carnival Dream is from the line’s newest and largest class of ships and offers an array of on-board facilities and features. Carnival is the only cruise line to operate two year-round ships from New Orleans and will carry more than 400,000 guests annually from this important Gulf Coast homeport.

Carnival will also increase capacity in Port Canaveral by 30 percent when Carnival Liberty launches year-round 5- to 8-day Caribbean cruises in May 2014, adding a second Fun Ship 2.0-equipped vessel to the Space Coast. The ship’s many popular features include Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, along with BlueIguana Cantina, RedFrog Rum Bar, EA Sports Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar and the award-winning Alchemy Bar.

Guests will now have the widest variety of cruise vacations available from Port Canaveral including five cruise durations--from three to eight days--offering seven different itinerary options and the chance to visit 14 destinations throughout The Bahamas and Caribbean. Carnival will be the only cruise line to offer three year-round ships from Port Canaveral, providing memorable cruise vacations to over 600,000 guests annually.

“These deployment changes will enable us to offer our guests even more exciting Carnival cruise vacation choices from Central Florida and the Gulf region and significantly enhance our leadership positions in the Port Canaveral and New Orleans markets,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.

Carnival Sunshine to Port Canaveral
Carnival Sunshine, which debuted this May in Europe following an unprecedented transformation that added a host of exciting on-board features, will launch year-round 7-day Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral beginning April 19, 2014. A new special 11-day cruise from New Orleans to Port Canaveral, visiting Montego Bay, Aruba, Curacao and St. Thomas will depart April 6, 2014. On April, 17, 2014, a one-time 2-day Bahamas cruise will also be offered.

Carnival Sunshine will operate a year-round schedule from Port Canaveral that includes port-intensive 7-day cruises to the eastern and western Caribbean, along with a number of 8-day Caribbean cruises and 5-day departures featuring Florida, Caribbean, and Bahamian ports. After completion of its 2013 Europe season, Carnival Sunshine will make its North American debut with a series of 7-day Caribbean cruises from New Orleans starting in November 2013 and running through April 2014.

Carnival Dream to New Orleans
Beginning April 20, 2014, Carnival Dream will launch year-round 7-day Caribbean cruises from New Orleans. The 3,646-passenger vessel will mark a significant increase in 7-day capacity for this popular cruise program from the Big Easy. There will also be a unique 9-day cruise departing April 5, 2014, from Port Canaveral to New Orleans with calls in Aruba, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, along with a special six-day cruise round-trip from New Orleans departing April 14, 2014, visiting Costa Maya, Roatan and Cozumel. On its regular schedule from New Orleans, Carnival Dream will offer three distinctly different three-port, 7 -day eastern and western Caribbean options.

Carnival Liberty to Port Canaveral
Carnival Liberty, which is currently based in Miami, will reposition to Port Canaveral and operate a year-round schedule of 5- and 8-day Caribbean cruises starting May 4, 2014. Five-day cruises call at Key West, Nassau and Freeport, while two different 8-day options will be offered: a unique eastern Caribbean itinerary featuring Grand Turk, St. Thomas, Tortola, and St. Maarten; and a southern Caribbean program visiting Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk. A number of 7-day eastern and western Caribbean cruises will also be offered on an occasional basis throughout the year.

Other Florida-Based Ship Deployments
Carnival Pride will reposition from Baltimore to Tampa to launch 7-day cruises from that port from December 2014 through April 2015, joining Carnival Paradise which offers value-packed 4- and 5-day cruises from Florida’s West Coast. On its new Tampa-based program, Carnival Pride will visit four magnificent western Caribbean destinations: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Mahogany Bay (Roatan) and Belize. A special 5-day cruise will be available on Carnival Pride departing Dec. 16, 2014, visiting Grand Cayman and Cozumel. There will also be unique 8-day one-way cruises available from Baltimore to San Juan on Nov. 30, 2014, and from San Juan to Tampa on Dec. 8, 2014. These voyages include visits to Grand Turk, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

Carnival Pride replaces Carnival Legend which will remain in Tampa through Aug. 17, 2014, and then reposition to Australia to operate a previously announced seasonal schedule of voyages from Sydney, joining Carnival Spirit which launched year-round departures from Down Under in October 2012.

Carnival also announced that Carnival Glory will remain in Miami year-round beginning in November 2013, operating 7-day voyages that alternate weekly to the eastern and western Caribbean with a convenient new Saturday departure. Eastern Caribbean cruises visit St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk and Nassau or Half Moon Cay, while western Caribbean departures feature Cozumel, Mahogany Bay (Roatan), Belize and Grand Cayman.

Reservations are currently being accepted for all of these new Carnival vacation choices. For additional information, visit

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Windstar Cruises Partners with SAVEUR to Offer Premier Culinary & Wine Cruise

Seattle, June 26: Windstar Cruises, a leader in yacht-style cruising, partners with SAVEUR, a leading epicurean brand for culinary travel content, to offer food and wine enthusiasts its first culinary focused voyage exploring the local wine, culture, and regional cuisine of Spain. This eight-day Culinary & Wine Delights of Spain sailing will take place onboard Wind Surf departing from Lisbon, Spain on April 19, 2014, visiting Cádiz, Málaga, Almería, Cartagena, Valencia, Sóller and culminating in Barcelona. Guests who book by August 31, 2013 can take advantage of an introductory offer of $2,999 per stateroom (based on double occupancy), plus receive a complimentary one-year subscription to SAVEUR magazine.

“We are excited to partner with SAVEUR in order to bring our guests closer to exploring the world of food in the destinations we sail to throughout the world,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Our new Culinary & Wine Delights of Spain voyage allows food and wine connoisseurs to revel in the highly acclaimed Spanish cuisine and wine all while exploring its culture and beautiful landscapes.”

The Culinary & Wine Delights of Spain will be hosted by a SAVEUR chef, a master sommelier, as well as winemaker Jorge Ordonez, who serves as the largest U.S. importer of Spanish wines. These hosts will provide guests the ability to engage in local wine, culture, and regional cuisine while discovering the best of Spain's coast with a unique blend of east and west ports of call.

Voyage highlights include:

• Two hosted wine dinners on board, featuring the best of Spanish food and wine pairings;
A selection of complimentary Spanish wines featured daily throughout the cruise (six wines per day served throughout the yacht’s restaurants and bars);
The choice of two complimentary shoreside local vineyard and culinary excursions (eight from which to choose);
Two onboard wine lectures given by guest winemaker Jorge Ordonez and a master sommelier;
Cooking demonstrations of local dishes with a SAVEUR guest chef; and
Complimentary exclusive turn-down gifts to commemorate the unique itinerary.

In addition, guests will indulge in local fare featured daily throughout the cruise; wine tastings before dinner; and nightly entertainment including an evening of Spanish flare as local Flamenco dancers join guests on board for a live dance performance. For more information about the new Culinary & Wine Delights of Spain voyage and to book, contact a travel professional, call Windstar at 800-258-7245 or visit

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces Seven Seas Voyager Refurbishment Plans

MIAMI, June 26: Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced today that Seven Seas Voyager will receive a multi-million dollar refurbishment at the ship’s scheduled dry dock in October. The all-balcony, all-suite 700-guest capacity vessel will enter dry dock on October 14 in Marseille, France and will unveil her new look on Oct 23 when she sets sail on the 10-night Lands of Myths, Seas of Fables cruise from Rome to Venice.

“In keeping with our on-going commitment to deliver the most all-inclusive luxury travel experience, we are making improvements to Seven Seas Voyager that will enhance our guests’ overall experience,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Within the past five years, we have made significant investments in a comprehensive refurbishment program that has updated our fleet of elegant, stylish and sophisticated ships that are designed with the comfort of our discerning guests in mind.”

As part of the ship’s refurbishment plans, the company will re-decorate all Penthouse Suites in a stunning new décor with custom-crafted elegant furnishings, plush carpeting, curtains, wall coverings, furniture, lighting, original artwork and outdoor furniture.

A complete refurbishment is also planned for the Horizon and Observation lounges. The venues will receive distinctive new bars, furniture, carpeting, wall coverings, lighting and original art. Additionally, the Constellation Theater will be refurbished with new carpeting, wall coverings, tables, wall sconces, banquettes and chairs. New plush carpeting will be installed throughout the interior of the ship and all public spaces will receive an eclectic selection of original artwork. The atrium will be outfitted with fine marble and receive new furniture. Outside, new teak will be installed on all balconies. The outdoor relaxation area on Deck 11 and outside the Observation Lounge on Deck 12 will receive new resort-style furniture and decor.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ fleet is comprised of three all-suite ships that carry from 490 to 700 guests in luxury to ports in Australia, Europe, Asia, South America, South Pacific, Alaska, New England, Canada, Africa, India, and the Caribbean. Depending on the ship, guests can choose from up to four, open-seating gourmet restaurants, including Prime 7, a contemporary American steakhouse and Sette Mari at La Veranda, the line’s Italian dining experience. With some of the highest space-per-guest ratios in the cruise industry, accommodations include such requisite amenities as down comforters, Egyptian cotton linens, flat-screen television, DVD players and Wi-Fi access. Penthouse and higher-category suites aboard all three ships are equipped with iPads. To receive a brochure or for more information on Regent Seven Seas Cruises, visit

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Rare, Artisanal Brews Form Crystal's New Connoisseur Beer Menu

LOS ANGELES, June 25: Extremely limited, uniquely produced, and perfectly aged stouts, ales, blondes, and other artisanal beers are debuting aboard Crystal Cruises' 2013 European cruises, with a new Connoisseur beer menu. Launching with up to a dozen of the finest craft brews from renowned beer production countries like Belgium, Austria, Germany, Holland, and the U.K., the menu will change as Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity traverse to other regions of the globe, with the ultimate collector's brew, Samuel Adams Utopias, expected by the end of the year. Each beer will be presented in a special glass that enhances the beverage's unique flavors, as is done with wines and spirits.

Initial and planned beeroisseur offerings include:

-- Samuel Adams Utopias (USA): With only 3,000 bottles produced annually, each crafted to mimic copper brew kettles, this is the ultimate cult beer, and one of the strongest in history. Mixing caramel and Vienna malts with several types of yeast, including a variety found in champagne, the final result is like a sophisticated, sipping port, with a price tag of $300+ per bottle.
-- Thornbridge Bracia (England): Made with seven malts, five hops, and chestnut honey from the Alpine foothills of Northeast Italy, this dark ale pours jet black and tastes of chocolate, coffee, liquorice, and hazelnuts all in one.
-- Ola Dubh 12 (Scotland): Gaelic for "black oil," this rather exotic brew is aged in oak casks formerly used to mature Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky. As a stylistic nod to classic Imperial Ports and Stouts of the nineteenth century, the aroma hints of smoky Worcestershire sauce, leather, and grilled steak.
-- Samichlaus (Austria): One of the rarest and strongest beers in the world (14% alcohol), Samichlaus (Swiss-German for "Santa Claus") lager is brewed only once a year, right before Christmas. It spends 10 months aging before bottling and can be aged for several years, resulting in a sweet chocolatey, port-like flavor ideal for dessert pairing.
-- Rochefort Trappistes 10 (Belgium): Considered the gold standard of taste among connoisseurs, Trappist beers are produced by only eight European monasteries. Rochefort's Abbaye St-Remy has been using water from a monastery well to produce this strong brew since 1595.

Travelers who enjoy tastings and learning about the craft can look to beer pairing menus at intimate Vintage Room Dinners and a new microbrew-themed cruise sailing from New York to Miami for 14 days, starting Nov 5, 2014.

"We have spent months trying to source some of these bottles," says Toni Neumeister, Crystal's vice president of food and beverage. "Knowing our guests' refined palette, we went beyond basic microbrews to award-winning beers coveted by true connoisseurs."

Crystal has offered an incredible selection of complimentary fine wines, champagnes, beers, and premium spirits in all lounges and restaurants since segueing to an all-inclusive food and beverage program in 2012. When that switch was made, the ultra-luxe line introduced Connoisseur menus, for true aficionados looking for extra-special tastes. Connoisseur Beer menu prices start from $8 per bottle. For more information, visit

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Silversea Introduces Complimentary Streamed Movies For Guest Mobile Devices

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, June 25: In a cruise industry first, ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has launched a complimentary service that provides streaming movies and live television news broadcasts to guests' mobile devices aboard Silver Cloud. The service can be accessed on any Wi-Fi-enabled laptop, smartphone, tablet, or even e-book reader—any device with a browser. It includes access to an extensive library of classic and recent Academy Award-winning feature films, with more than 80 per cent of the movies offered in five languages: English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.

"We're delighted to be able to offer this innovative service to enhance our guests' onboard experience," said Fabio Agostini, Silversea's chief information officer. "Smartphones and tablets are a necessity for today's travelers, who rely on instant access to information. Jason Cohn, our director of infrastructure, and his valuable team worked closely with RedCell Technologies, HMS, and On-Board Movies to develop a streaming media service that would fit seamlessly with our guests' increasingly technology-driven lifestyle."

A limited supply of iPad minis is also available (on a first-come, first-served basis) to Silver Cloud guests wishing to borrow a tablet to view the streamed movies and television during the voyage.

By the end of 2013, the service will be rolled out to four additional ships: Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Wind and Silver Galapagos. In the coming months, the company is also planning to add an expansive selection of international newspapers to its menu of streamed media offerings, an option currently in the testing phase. For additional information, visit

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Oceania Cruises to Call at Banana Coast in 2015

MIAMI, June 24: Oceania Cruises' 1,250-passenger Riviera is scheduled to call at Banana Coast in March 2015. Oceania is the third cruise line to commit to calling at the first mainland cruise destination in Honduras. The 66,000-ton Riviera, which debuted in May 2012, is the largest and newest member of Oceania's fleet. The mid-size luxury vessel features a country club-casual ambiance with an emphasis on gourmet dining, well-appointed accommodations and shipboard enrichment experiences.

"Oceania Cruises guests are experienced and discerning travelers, and we are confident they will find Banana Coast offers sights and experiences available nowhere else in the western Caribbean," said Michael Greve, president of Global Destinations Development. "Our 17th-century Spanish fort and colonial city, rivers and waterfalls, and mountains and mangrove ecosystem provide a diverse cultural and nature experience on the mainland of Central America, a first for most cruisers."

Themed "Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea," the $30 million Banana Coast project is the newest cruise destination in the western Caribbean. Construction on the passenger-reception and shopping center was completed in February and a full slate of shore excursions has been designed. Future plans call for construction of a two-berth, post-Panamax pier.

In March 2012 Banana Coast developers unveiled a diverse shore excursion program that includes cultural, historical, soft-adventure and eco-tour offerings.

Last November, luxury operator Silversea Cruises was the first line to commit to calling at Banana Coast, in December 2014. In May, Banana Coast announced the signing of Holland America Line, the first cruise line to schedule a series calls at the port, beginning in November 2014.

Oceania Cruises offers unrivaled cuisine, luxurious accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 330 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas.

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New Royal Caribbean ChoiceAir Offers Guests Lowest Airfare Guarantee

MIAMI, June 21: Royal Caribbean International has announced its new Lowest Airfare Guarantee with Royal Caribbean ChoiceAir, the cruise line’s flight booking system for guests looking for the best airfare and flight options for their cruise. If guests find a cheaper airfare within 24 hours of booking their flights on ChoiceAir, Royal Caribbean will refund them 110 percent of the difference in onboard credit to spend on their cruise vacation. Separately, enhancements to the NextCruise Open Booking option now offers guests the greatest flexibility, as well as an onboard booking bonus, when making a future reservation while on their Royal Caribbean vacation.

“Royal Caribbean International’s Loyal To You Always commitment to travel agents drives us to create these programs that continue to support the travel agent community,” said Vicki Freed, senior vice president of Sales, Trade Support and Services, Royal Caribbean International, at a press briefing held at the Cruise Lines International Association’s Cruise3Sixty Tradeshow and Conference in Vancouver, B.C. “Royal Caribbean ChoiceAir and NextCruise Open Booking are new tools that our valued travel agent partners can use to add more value to their clients’ vacations; help deliver a seamless experience; and generate repeat business.”

Peace of Mind with Royal Caribbean ChoiceAir
Along with its Lowest Airfare Guarantee, Royal Caribbean ChoiceAir provides booked guest with flexibility to a choose among a wide range of airlines and flights, round-the-clock guest support throughout the vacation planning process, and peace of mind in knowing that they will make it to their ship for their cruise. If the ChoiceAir flight is delayed or cancelled, Royal Caribbean will work to re-accommodate guests to help them make it to their ship in time for departure or to the next port. With an existing cruise booking, guests can instantly start shopping for their ChoiceAir flights at More information about Royal Caribbean ChoiceAir can be found at that link.

To kick off the new Royal Caribbean ChoiceAir, the cruise line is offering a $50 onboard credit bonus for U.S. and Canadian guests who make a new booking from June 21 through July 14, 2013, on a Royal Caribbean cruise of six nights or longer and then book their flights on Royal Caribbean ChoiceAir within the same period. Vacationers must mention offer code “SOX9” at the time of their cruise booking in order to receive the offer. Additional restrictions may apply for the Royal Caribbean ChoiceAir limited-time offer.

Flexibility & Onboard Booking Bonus with Enhanced NextCruise Open Booking Option
Enhancements to Royal Caribbean’s NextCruise future booking program now provides more benefits for guests and travel agents alike. This exclusive benefit for the cruise line’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members offers guests a reduced deposit of $100 per person ($200 per person for suite-category staterooms) and an onboard booking bonus of up to $200 per stateroom to spend on their next sailing with Royal Caribbean. Guests can choose to make a reservation on board for a specific Royal Caribbean sailing and enjoy their onboard booking bonus during their future cruise.

For guests who want the flexibility to select their next Royal Caribbean adventure at a future date, the “Decide Later Open Booking” option is the perfect choice. Now, each guest can purchase up to three Open Bookings, which are fully transferrable, and can be used as gifts for friends and family to introduce them to the great value and incomparable experience of a Royal Caribbean vacation. Furthermore, Crown & Anchor Society members can combine the onboard booking bonus that they earned through Open Booking with their Crown & Anchor Society Savings Certificate or the Platinum-tier and above Balcony and Suite discount.

Travel Agents also will benefit from the new future cruise booking enhancement because they will automatically be notified of their clients’ Open Bookings purchase. Open Bookings are transferred back to the travel agent on file and represents an instant repeat-business generator, as well as an opportunity to gain clients’ referrals of friends and family. For more information about Royal Caribbean’s onboard booking bonus, please visit

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MSC Cruises Kicks Off Countdown To MSC Divina Announcing New Partnerships

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, June 21: With less than six months to the arrival of the dazzling MSC Divina to PortMiami, MSC Cruises today announced a series of exciting new features and special offer for the first MSC vessel to sail year-round from North America.

Eataly Partnership
In line with its unique Mediterranean flare, MSC Cruises has joined forces with Eataly, the popular Turin-based chain and epicurean emporium, which is partnered with popular celebrity chefs such as Mario Batali and Lidia Matticchio, to launch two incredible restaurants and a marketplace onboard MSC Divina. The decision to partner with Eataly was made after rave reviews and a successful launch onboard the recently christened sister-ship MSC Preziosa. In the area that previously hosted the Tex Mex specialty restaurant, MSC Divina will now feature two entirely unique dining venues; the upscale Ristorante Italia and spectacular regional steakhouse, Manzo, fashioned after the famed restaurant in Eataly's Manhattan location. A boutique Eataly marketplace will also be available for guests to purchase authentic Italian and artisan products.

"We are thrilled to be expanding our partnership with such a world-renowned eatery recognized for offering some of the best quality and authentic food experiences available," said Ken Muskat, Senior VP of Sales & Marketing, MSC Cruises USA. "Eataly is the perfect complement to MSC and the Mediterranean flare we bring as a key differentiator to the North American market. Much like MSC," Muskat adds, "Eataly is taking its Italian roots and expanding in North America. It is now one of the most talked about food emporium concepts with 16 locations around the world, including one in Manhattan and another opening this fall in Chicago."

Aqua Cycling by Hydrorider
Spinning enthusiasts can now rejoice as MSC Divina becomes the industry's first ship to offer Aqua Cycling by Hydrorider. What has been reported as this summer's latest fitness craze by Extra TV and highlighted on Good Morning America, Time Magazine, and numerous other media, Aqua Cycling will allow MSC Divina guests to take spinning to new heights while cruising the Caribbean. Hydrorider, whose products are made in Italy, provides aquatic cycles made of marine industry stainless steel that can be placed in pools for classes and training. For a minimal fee, guests can participate in classes led by fitness professionals who have been trained in the benefits of cycling under water, while enjoying energetic music and healthy fitness challenges.

Healthy Eats at Sea
Onboard MSC Divina, guests will enjoy a variety of healthy choices tailored for every meal. Throughout the day, dining experiences will offer a range of light options (such as soups, salads, grilled chicken and fish, steamed vegetables and egg white omelets), vegetarian selections (curries, pastas and special vegetarian dishes) and whole grain breads. In addition, MSC has introduced "Deliciously Healthy Menus" for dinner, featuring a selection of nutritionally balanced dishes all listed with caloric values. Gluten-free dishes (approved by the Italian Celiac Association or AIC) are also offered in main dining rooms.

Taking health & wellness to a new level, MSC has also introduced "Five Colors of Well-Being", creating synergies between the nutritious drinks and spa treatments offered at the MSC Aurea Spa & Bar with nutritional selections found in the Wellness Corner of the buffet. Colors can influence our lives and our moods while our health and well-being can be affected by the rainbow of nutrients in our food. With this in mind, the "Five Colors of Well-Being" are Blue/Violet (cleansing), Green (relaxing), Red (anti-aging), White (purity) and Yellow/Orange (beautiful skin). Guests can now choose spa treatments, nutritious drinks and healthy foods based on their area of focus as outlined by the Five Colors of Well-Being menu.

New Entertainment Experiences
Onboard MSC Divina, guests will enjoy an incredible slew of new entertainment options created to provide cruisers with a wider variety of daytime and nighttime activities and entertainment. Each sailing, theater goers will delight in production shows featuring a cast of 30 dancers, singers, musicians and visual acts as well as headline entertainment specially tailored to the itinerary and/or guest nationality. As guests cruise the Eastern and Western Caribbean, island bands will be featured onboard with local cultural shows offered pier-side on certain days. Dance lovers onboard MSC Divina will be able to take the stage in a big way and "Dance with the Stars" as they are paired up with one of MSC's professional dancers and enter competitions.

For guests looking to truly relish in MSC's Mediterranean heritage, "Italian Days" dedicated to the music, dance, cuisine and folklore of the region, featuring Italian themed dinners, theater shows, music, language lessons, dance lessons and the art of pizza making will be presented regularly. Finally, for our younger guests, MSC Divina will offer new activities for teens including Teen's White Party, MSC Flashmob and Hey Mr. DJ Hip-Hop while our mini and junior club guests will enjoy activities such as Kids Bingo, Fairytales Time and live talent shows.

Top 18 & MSC Yacht Club: MSC Exclusives Arriving to North America for the First-Time

Top 18
For the first-time in the Caribbean, MSC guests can now enjoy a new adults-only oasis boasting premium deck space and stunning sea views onboard MSC Divina. Available for a nominal daily fee on Fantasia-class ships beginning summer 2013, Top 18 features dedicated spa services, bar menu and a comfortable lounge setting, the perfect exclusive venue to relax and unwind surrounded by incredible ocean vistas. Guests of Top 18 are greeted by an attendant with a refreshing chilled towel and escorted to their own personal lounge bed or relaxation pod. Misters and complimentary fruit skewers will be provided while guests can take advantage of specially tailored on-deck spa treatments without leaving the comfort of Top 18's personal lounge beds. These include exclusive reflexology and facial treatments, as well as various head, neck and shoulder massages.

MSC Yacht Club
Also available for the first-time in North America, is the luxurious MSC Yacht Club. Already a favorite among experienced cruisers, the "ship-within-a-ship" will now be available for guests sailing the Caribbean looking for unparalleled indulgence, comfort and convenience. From your personal butler, 24-hour concierge service and complimentary wines and spirits available any time of the day, guests booked in the MSC Yacht Club Suites are pampered throughout the MSC Yacht Club's exclusive lounges and pool area. This oasis of premium tranquility provides several private venues, including Le Muse panoramic restaurant, Top Sail Lounge, pool and relaxation area as well as private access to the MSC Aurea Spa.

"This is just a sneak peek into several exciting announcements in store for North American travelers" said Ken Muskat. "Soon, you will be able to experience the best kept secret in cruising as we bring MSC Divina, one of our newest and most beautiful vessels to this market. While we will always proudly maintain our authentic Mediterranean flare which appeals to so many travelers, the announcements made today express our continued commitment to tailoring MSC Divina's excellent product to the tastes of this market."

To celebrate the countdown of MSC Divina's arrival to PortMiami, guests who book between June 24 and July 8, 2013 for sailings from April 12 to Oct 11, 2014 will receive an onboard credit to be used to enjoy our newly announced Eataly restaurants, first at sea Aqua Cycling classes, or toward any other onboard purchases. Bookings made in Suites or MSC Yacht Club will include a $200 per stateroom onboard credit and those in Balcony a $100 onboard credit based on double occupancy. Visit for additional information.

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Un-Cruise Adventures Debuts Four New Adventure Cruise Itineraries

Seattle, WA, June 19: Beginning in December 2013, Un-Cruise Adventures’ 64-guest Safari Voyager will offer four new Mexico cruise itineraries in the marine-life rich waters of the Sea of Cortés. Two different weeklong itineraries sail roundtrip from San José del Cabo, another sails roundtrip from Guaymas and a two-week cruise sails between San José del Cabo and Guaymas. The vessel will sail Luxury Adventures year-round in Mexico’s Sea of Cortés. This is also the inaugural season of the newly acquired Safari Voyager which is undergoing renovations before joining the Un-Cruise Adventures fleet. To celebrate, travelers making a new reservation by Aug 2, 2013 for a Mexico cruise departing December 2013 though June 2014 earn a $400 travel credit per couple.

“Travelers seeking adventure in remote destinations should look toward the Sea of Cortés,” said Dan Blanchard, CEO and principal for Un-Cruise Adventures. “We’re 100% invested in this destination. It’s secluded with stunning scenery, astounding marine life and tons of opportunities for adventure activities.”

Cousteau’s Aquarium of the World
Sailing roundtrip from San José del Cabo in Baja, Mexico, the weeklong cruise visits two ports—Loreto and La Paz. On this route, guests have a good chance at seeing—and even snorkeling alongside—whale sharks and will visit Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park. Remote island hiking, a bonfire ashore, a mule ride into the arroyo with a ranchero and snorkeling with sea lions are all included. Holiday cruises depart on Dec 21 and 28, 2013; it operates again from April through June 2014.

Baja’s Whale Bounty
Sailing roundtrip from San José del Cabo, a highlight of this weeklong cruise is an included trip to BahÍa Magdalena for a panga ride to see gray whales—and likely calves—up close. Expedition cruising in the Sea of Cortés on this route includes time at Gordo Banks, a sea mount teeming with marine life including humpback whales. Desert hiking, a bonfire ashore, a mule ride into the arroyo and snorkeling with sea lions are all included. Cruises depart Jan 4 through March 29, 2014.

Milagros Maritimos de Baja California
A weeklong cruise sailing roundtrip Guaymas, Mexico visits remote, scenic areas in the Midriff Islands in the northern part of the Sea of Cortés. A full week of expedition cruising, minus any port calls, allows time for water sports activities and searching out birds and marine life such as whales, whale sharks and sea turtles. Cruises depart July 5 through Aug 23, 2014 and Oct 4 through Oct 25.

Isla Esencial: Baja California Sur y Norte
A two-week expedition sails between San José del Cabo and Guaymas (and reverse) twice a year—north on June 21, 2014 and south on Oct 25, 2014 combining Cousteau’s Aquarium of the World with Milagros Maritimos. An added port call in Santa Rosalia includes a guided walking tour of the historical mining town.

On all cruises, guests can be as active as they like and activities include hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and skiff excursions. Expert naturalists provide interpretation on guided excursions ashore and at sea. The inclusive cruise includes all from-the-vessel activities and equipment; a massage; exquisite meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; transfers; and all port charges, taxes and fees. An attentive crew has a guest-crew ratio of 2.5 to 1. Charters and group bookings are available. For additional information, visit

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From Segways To Sea Kayaks To Dog Sleds!

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, June 18: While every journey with MSC Cruises is an exciting exploration of land by sea, many travelers are surprised to learn that sailing on a state-of-the-art cruise ship is not the only way to enjoy during their voyage. Whether hiking, biking or dog-sledding through majestic northern landscapes or driving Segways through the Mediterranean, MSC Cruises' shore excursion program offers unique ways of exploring each port of call.

Dramatic train & dog-sled rides through awe-inspiring northern landscapes
Calls in the remote northern European wilderness offer an array of exciting ways to enjoy unforgettable encounters with nature. From Longyearbyen in Norway, the world's most northerly town, travelers can appreciate a dog-sled tour, where packs of eager canines pull delighted explorers through incredible landscapes.

The magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Geirangerfjord, a fjord in the Sunnmore region of Norway, can be discovered on a unique tour by inflatable boats, introducing travelers to the picture-postcard Nordic landscape and a fascinating historical fjord farm.

Adventurous spirits will love the Icelandic jeep adventure from Reykjavik, where a "super truck" built to weather all conditions passes beautiful lakes and lush farmlands through birch forests and rocky landscapes carved by forces of nature and time. On certain northern European itineraries, travelers can also choose to pedal through enchanting landscapes and cosmopolitan cities with the MSC Bike Experience, organized bike tours available in many ports of call.

Explore sun-kissed Mediterranean cities
In Dubrovnik, an all-new Segway tour offers a fun way to admire the walled Croatian city. With their Segway (a battery powered electric vehicle), travelers climb even the steepest of hills with ease, and are rewarded with wonderful views of landscapes, parks and beaches.

On the beautiful island of Corfu in Greece, wonderful scenery and delightful villages are even more enticing in a self-drive jeep, while Sicilian cities, beautiful landscapes, folk traditions and historical roads can be explored from Messina in the comfort of a modern off-road vehicle.

The highlights of Montenegro can be seen from a completely new perspective with a relaxing kayak tour along Kotor Bay, while a catamaran tour offers a closer look at Palma's beautiful coastline, passing Palma's main sights with plenty of gorgeous vistas along the way.

For more information, visit

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Crystal Expands Theme Cruise Topics In 2014

LOS ANGELES, June 18: Luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is expanding its 2014 Experiences of Discovery theme cruise program with six new themes. Spread throughout the year, the new themes focus on thrill-seeking, elegance, the Roman Empire, maritime history, magic, and microbrews. In all, 23 Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity voyages will feature theme-focused enrichment, with hands-on activities, rousing performances, educational presentations, and expert instruction on board, as well as optional Crystal Adventures ashore (where available)--all centered on one area of interest.

New 2014 themes, all of which were created based on overwhelmingly positive responses to various past presenters, as well as growing areas of guest interest, include:

-- Extreme Thrill Seekers: Crystal's version of the Discovery Channel, with expert shark divers, underwater photographers, deep-sea treasure hunters, and more. (March 10, Singapore to Cape Town)
-- Explorations in Elegance: Esteemed auction house experts share their insights on rare jewels, renowned wines, and over-the-top international real estate. (April 18, London to Rome)
-- Gladiators & Empires: A celebration of the Roman Empire and its influences on art, religion, law, war, social structure, science, and architecture... easily explored via Italy's iconic ruins and renowned museums ashore. (May 18, Venice to Barcelona)
-- Up Close & Magical: An expansion of Crystal's exclusive entertainment program, Magic Castle at Sea, with multiple masters from Hollywood's exclusive members-only club, The Magic Castle, dazzling, mystifying and sharing their illusionary talents with more classes and shows. (Dec 11, round-trip Miami)
-- Maritime: Past, Present & Future: A Trans-Pacific sailing presents an ideal opportunity to delve into the fascinating stories of maritime history; from the lavishness of luxury liners to the boldness of battleships, experts and historians offer unique perspectives. (Oct 28, San Diego to Auckland)
--Wine & Food: Microbrews: Crystal's acclaimed culinary theme embraces the growing popularity of microbreweries, with experts, tasting, and cuisine pairing. (Nov 5, NY to Miami)

Says Bret Bullock, Crystal's vice president of entertainment: "The topics may be varied, but all themes satisfy the same intellectual curiosity that distinguish our typical Crystal cruiser."

Returning themes include Mind, Body, & Spirit; Film & Theatre; Jazz; Ballroom at Sea (formerly named "Big Band & Ballroom Dance"); Wine & Food; Golf (Wine & Food and Golf also join together during Sept 5's Britain to New England sailing); Ocean Views (world affairs expert panel discussion); Emerging Artists (young performers from the Music Center of Los Angeles' Spotlight Awards); President's Cruise (hosted by Crystal President Gregg Michel); Comprehensive Creative Learning Institute (enhanced enrichment curriculum on World Cruise segments);and Crystal Society (gathering past Crystal cruisers).

Crystal's award-winning, luxurious offerings always include a diverse selection of thought-provoking, scholarly, and sophisticated enrichment activities that provide extensive on-board choices for cultured world travelers. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Viking Cruises Cuts Steel For Viking Star

LOS ANGELES, June 18: Viking Cruises has cut steel in the construction of its first ocean cruise vessel, Viking Star, marking a major development toward the company's ocean product. The steel cutting took place at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard outside Venice, Italy. Viking Star is scheduled to be delivered in early 2015, with maiden voyages beginning in April 2015.

"This is a big step towards realizing our ocean cruising plans," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. "With our new ocean cruises, we are applying the same principles behind our award-winning river cruises--small, intimate ships with destination-focused itineraries that allow guests to experience privileged access excursions and onboard cultural experiences."

The ship was designed by experienced nautical architects and engineers, including London-based SMC Design and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios. The 47,800gt ship will have 464 cabins and accommodate 928 guests. Viking Star is one of two ocean ships on order; both will be built by Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard.

Viking's foray into ocean cruising marks the introduction of the travel industry's first entirely new cruise line in nearly a decade. Itineraries for maiden voyages starting in April 2015 include cruising in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. Guests on the 928-passenger all-veranda Viking Star will experience cruising with destination as the focus, maximum time in port and an onboard cultural enrichment program ideal for an experienced traveler with an interest in history, art and culture.

Viking Cruises has aggressive expansion plans in both the ocean and river cruise categories, with a second ocean ship on order for delivery in 2016 and with conditional orders and options for four more additional ocean vessels. The ocean ship order follows the company's continued rapid fleet expansion in the river cruise sector, with 10 new Viking Longships christened in 2013 and 12 new Viking Longships planned to launch in 2014. For mpre information, visit

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Holland America Line Features Diverse Caribbean Cruises For Tropical Getaways In 2013-14

Seattle, Wash., June 17: Itineraries up to 25 days, diverse ports of call and a rare mid-size ship experience highlight Holland America Line’s 2013-14 Caribbean season that features eight of the line’s premium vessels sailing round-trip from either Fort Lauderdale or Tampa, Fla. All Fort Lauderdale itineraries feature a call at Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private Bahamian island known for its pristine beaches, exciting shore excursions, exclusive beach cabanas and kid-friendly activities.

From October 2013 through April 2014, ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Ryndam, ms Veendam, ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam sail a total of 109 seven-, 10-, 11- and 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 14 to 25 days. The itineraries span the Caribbean on eastern, western and southern routes, as well as a partial transit of the Panama Canal.

“With eight ships and a diverse range of itineraries, our Caribbean cruises are the ideal tropical vacation for guests looking to take a weeklong holiday or a longer, more comprehensive voyage,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “The Caribbean islands are warm, inviting and pristine, and our mid-sized ships offer an upscale, easy way to experience this beautiful region.”

New to the region, Veendam sails one roundtrip Fort Lauderdale 7-day eastern Caribbean cruise departing April 24, 2014, that calls at Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Half Moon Cay.

Eurodam returns to the Caribbean on alternating roundtrip Fort Lauderdale 7-day eastern and western itineraries, as well as one 4-day cruise just before the holidays departing Dec. 18, 2013, that calls at Key West, Fla.; Nassau, Bahamas, and Half Moon Cay. The eastern Caribbean itinerary features Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay, while the western route calls at Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Key West and Falmouth or Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Offering 7-, 10-, 11- and 14-day roundtrip Fort Lauderdale itineraries, Maasdam features the most varied itineraries of the season. The seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise calls at Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk, and the 10-day eastern route visits San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, St. John's, Tortola and Half Moon Cay. Guests looking to explore the southern Caribbean can take an 11-day cruise to St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Barbados, Martinique, St. Croix and Half Moon Cay or a 14-day sailing that calls at St. Thomas, St. Bart’s, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Curaçao, Bonaire and Half Moon Cay.

Also departing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Nieuw Amsterdam sails alternating eastern and western routes. The eastern route calls at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay. The western itinerary calls at Cozumel, Mexico, as well as Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman and Key West.

Featuring 7-, 10- and 11-day roundtrip Fort Lauderdale cruises, Noordam highlights several of the region’s ports. The seven-day eastern route calls at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay; the 10-day southern cruise highlights the Dutch “ABC” islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, and also visits Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Santa Barbara de Samana, Dominican Republic, while the 11-day southern sailing calls at St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, Dominica, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.

The only ship sailing roundtrip Tampa, Ryndam offers 7-day western Caribbean cruises and two different 14-day southern Caribbean itineraries. The 7-day sailing calls at Key West; Mahogany Bay, Honduras; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala, and Costa Maya, Mexico, while the 14-day itineraries call at Key West, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. John's, St. Lucia, Aruba, Grand Cayman and Curaçao or Bonaire.

Maintaining a weekly schedule, Westerdam sails a repeating roundtrip Fort Lauderdale 7-day eastern Caribbean itinerary that calls at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Maarten and Half Moon Cay.

Rounding out the Caribbean offerings, Zuiderdam features 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries that sail roundtrip Fort Lauderdale and explore the southern Caribbean with a partial transit of the canal. The 10-day route highlights the partial transit and calls at Half Moon Cay; Aruba; Curaçao; Colon, Panama, and Puerto Limón, Costa Rica, while the 11-day cruise features Half Moon Cay; Aruba; Curaçao; Cartagena, Colombia; a partial Panama Canal transit, Colon and Puerto Limón.

Guests seeking a longer Caribbean exploration can take one of Holland America Line’s extended Collectors’ Voyages that combines back-to-back cruises to form an in-depth Caribbean itinerary. Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam combine seven-day voyages to feature 14-day Collectors’ Voyages, and Ryndam, Maasdam and Noordam offer 21-day adventures. At 25 days, Maasdam also sails the longest Collectors’ Voyage of the season.

On each cruise, experiences such as the Island Magic Steel Drum Band, learning to weave and craft with palm leaves and the Reggae Movement Film Festival are part of Holland America Line’s new On Location program. The itinerary sets the scene for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time on board as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances. The 2013-14 Caribbean cruises and Collectors’ Voyages are available for booking. For more information, visit

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Princess Cruises Announces Benefit Cruise to Support American Heart Association

SANTA CLARITA, CA, June 17: Princess Cruises is celebrating CPR awareness during the month of June by announcing a special cruise to benefit the American Heart Association (AHA). Expected to raise $1 million for the Association’s heart health programs and educational outreach, the cruise is the second in Princess’ new “Cruising for a Cause” series that devotes an entire sailing to support a charitable cause.

Sailing from Feb 10-15, 2014, aboard Ruby Princess on a Caribbean cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, the 5-day voyage will offer passengers a heart-themed experience, focused not only on “affairs of the heart,” but also a variety of onboard features themed around heart health awareness—including special guest speakers, educational activities and other programs to foster healthy living. A portion of each passenger’s cruise fare, totaling approximately $500,000, will be matched by Princess Cruises with an additional $500,000, for a total of $1 million. The proceeds will be used to support the American Heart Association’s mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States, with one in every three deaths attributable to heart disease and stroke,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Because we care about the health and well-being of our employees, passengers, and all members of the Princess family, we felt the American Heart Association would be the perfect fit for our second charity cruise.”

The American Heart Association cruise will sail on a Western Caribbean itinerary roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, with calls at Grand Cayman and Cozumel. A tax-deductible portion of each fare ranging from $100 to $300 per person, depending upon cabin category, will be donated to the American Heart Association.

 The cruise is the second of the company’s new “Cruising for a Cause” initiative where Princess will dedicate entire sailings to support select charitable causes. This new, industry-leading program will provide the line’s passengers, many of whom are looking for opportunities to make positive contributions to their communities and the world, a way to make a difference even as they vacation. The first cruise, to support U.S. veterans, will sail Nov 5-9, 2013, aboard Caribbean Princess. Additional information is available by visiting the company's website at

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Queen Victoria’s New Verandah Restaurant

June 17: A new alternative dining venue, The Verandah, opened aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria for her St. Petersburg & Baltic Explorer cruise, which departed Southampton on June 1, 2013. The 100-seat alternative dining venue replaces the Todd English Restaurant and is based on the same concept as the popular and award-wining Verandah Restaurant on Queen Elizabeth, with a slightly different menu with a sophisticated, contemporary and relaxed theme.

"Queen Victoria's new Verandah Restaurant is an exciting addition to the Cunard culinary offering, which now includes some of the most highly-rated dining at sea and no fewer than twelve different dining venues,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “The passenger feedback we have received for both lunch and dinner in these first days of the Verandah’s operation has been very positive indeed and booking has proved essential for evening dining in particular.”

The Verandah menu has been created by Chef Patron Jean-Marie Zimmermann, global culinary ambassador for Cunard Line, who is also a Michelin-starred chef. A particular highlight of the menu is Carpaccio of Smoked Beef with Marinated Aubergine, Quail’s Egg and Truffle Mayonnaise, which combines magical pairings of flavours with theatrical touches: the dish is served under a glass cloche filled with scented smoke.

The new Verandah menu includes a choice of seven entrees, eleven plats principaux and six dessert choices. Plats principaux include Beef and Lobster Flambéed with Cognac and Truffle with Parmesan Fries – the most popular dish to date – and Baked Rack of Lamb in Pastry with Morel Mushrooms and Madeira Reduction.

The Todd English Restaurant, offering a vibrant taste of the Mediterranean, will remain the alternative dining venue aboard Queen Mary 2, as befits her iconic Transatlantic Crossings and more even mix of British and American passengers. This first-ever Todd English venue at sea has proved highly successful aboard Cunard’s flagship since her introduction in 2004.

Other evening dining alternatives aboard Cunard’s fleet include the Kings Court (Queen Mary 2) and The Lido (Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria). By night, these areas transform into intimate and casual spaces that offer cuisine from around the world:

Queen Elizabeth choices including the South American grill “Asado” and “Jasmine” with its menus drawn from across Asia, while “Aztec” adds its own twist to Mexican culinary classics.

Queen Victoria’s Lido transforms into “Bamboo” for Asian flavors, “Coriander” with Indian cuisine, and “Prime” which features steaks and seafood.

The Kings Court aboard Queen Mary 2 offers delicious Italian dishes in “La Piazza,” traditional British dishes in “The Carvery,” and flavours from across Asia in “Lotus.” Also featured on board is the Boardwalk Café, offering burgers on deck.

For more information about Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth, visit

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Silversea Cruises Announces World Cruise 2015

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, June 17: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has opened the books on its World Cruise 2015.
This grandest of travel adventures will commence on Jan 5, 2015, when the elegant, all-suite Silver Whisper is set to embark on a 115-day epic voyage, encircling the world and embracing the cultures of five continents, 30 countries and 50 unique destinations.

Departing Los Angeles with no more than 382 guests on board, Silver Whisper will sail the warm waters of the South Pacific to explore the idyllic isles of French Polynesia, then head west to the scenic wonders of Australia, and north to the marvels of the South China Sea. From there, the journey continues to Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and across the Indian Ocean to the glistening sands of the Seychelles. Silver Whisper then traces a course to some of Africa's most intriguing destinations, including Mombasa, Zanzibar, Cape Town, Walvis Bay and Dakar. The voyage concludes with a leisurely Atlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale, highlighted by stopovers in the sunny Caribbean islands of St. Lucia, St. Bart's and Puerto Rico.

World Cruise 2015 offers travelers the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in local culture with late-night departures in eight ports, plus overnight calls in Papeete, Sydney, Fremantle, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Singapore, Mombasa, and Cape Town.

"This exceptional voyage has been crafted to appeal to luxury travel's most discerning clientele," said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea's president of the Americas. "Our World Cruise guests will visit the most exotic places and fascinating cultures on Earth -- all while enjoying the pampering luxury of Silver Whisper."

Silversea is offering guests the option to extend their World Cruise by adding a pre-cruise Panama Canal voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles (17 days), or continue on board from Fort Lauderdale to New York (3 days) or Southampton (15 days).

A Host of Added-Value Amenities
Full World Cruise guests will enjoy a variety of special amenities, including a gala Bon Voyage reception, dinner and overnight stay at a luxury hotel, baggage valet service, complimentary Business Class air (or air credit) and transfers (between home, airport, and Silver Whisper), a $4,000 onboard spending credit (per suite), complimentary laundry service, Internet package, and commemorative gifts.

For guests sailing the full 115 days, there will also be two complimentary Silversea Experiences, including one in Walvis Bay, offering the rare opportunity to dine under the stars in the Namib Desert, plus three exclusive complimentary World Cruise shoreside events. These include an elegant cocktail reception and evening performance at Sydney's famous Opera House, and a scenic journey by vintage train in Sri Lanka to explore the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, renowned for its conservancy work. Plus, guests will be treated to a tour of Cape Town's magnificent Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, followed by a visit to the historic Résidence de France for a sumptuous lunch set in its beautiful garden, with Table Mountain providing a stunning backdrop.

Guests will also have the chance to meet and mingle with distinguished destination experts, academics, journalists, diplomats and other specialists. Local entertainment, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and regional specialties will provide further immersion in each global destination.Visit for the complete itinerary and additional details.

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Honduras President Lobo Dedicates Banana Coast Port

TRUJILLO, Honduras, June 14: President Porfirio Lobo Sosa presided at a dedication ceremony yesterday for Banana Coast, the first mainland cruise destination to be developed in Honduras. The dedication ceremony also recognized the founding of the city of Trujillo 488 years ago on May 18, 1525, during the Spanish colonial era. The highlight of the event was the unveiling of a plaque honoring the previous landowners who made the port project possible.

"To have the first Caribbean mainland cruise port open in the place of my birth is very gratifying to me personally," said Lobo. "I am honored to have played a role in the birth of an industry that will provide a future for the people of the region for years to come."

"It is appropriate that the dedication of the new cruise port also celebrates the founding of Trujillo," said Mayor Jose Antonio Lainez. "It symbolizes both the resilience of the citizens of Trujillo and the future potential of this historic city."

"Without the cooperation of the many land owners and their families, this project would not have been possible," said Randy Jorgensen, general manager of Grande Trujillo Authoridad. "This spirit has been taken up by the citizens of Trujillo, making Banana Coast a very welcoming destination for cruise ships."

Themed "Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea," the $30 million Banana Coast project is the newest cruise destination in the western Caribbean. Construction on the passenger-reception and shopping center was completed in February and a full slate of shore excursions for cruise passengers has been designed. The groundbreaking ceremony for the port development was held in March 2011, with construction of the facility beginning in August 2011.

Banana Coast has signed Holland America Line as the first cruise line to schedule regular calls at the new port. Holland America Line's 1,260-passenger Ryndam is slated to call at Banana Coast 11 times beginning Nov. 19, 2014--Banana Coast's first scheduled visit by a cruise ship--followed by the Dec. 17, 2014, call from Silversea Cruises' Silver Cloud and Oceania Cruises' Riveria, which is slated to call in 2015.

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Holland America Line Launches New 'Flight Ease' Program Offering More Choices For Air Travel

SEATTLE, June 13: Holland America Line recently launched the "Flight Ease" air program that allows cruise guests to easily and affordably select from two competitive airfare pricing options depending on their travel needs: Flexible Fares to fit any schedule or Restricted Fares that are generally more cost-effective for those sure of their travel plans. Guests who book air with the new Flight Ease program enjoy more options, more flexibility and competitive fares along with Holland America Line's assurances on air travel versus booking through another travel website. Flight Ease is available for departures from fall 2013 and beyond.

"With one-stop shopping, Flight Ease provides convenience, competitive pricing and peace of mind to our guests," said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line's executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest relations. "Our goal is to make reserving all aspects of a cruise vacation an easy experience for guests, and Flight Ease makes booking the air travel component a simple process."

Flight Ease features up-to-the-minute fight schedules that only include those flights that arrive and depart in time for the specific cruise booked; competitive pricing and availability from multiple carriers is presented. All flights booked through Flight Ease feature 24-hour assistance for questions and "Next Port Protection," which means that in case of an airline delay or cancellation en route to a cruise, Holland America Line will take care of any flight changes necessary to join the ship at the next available port of call.

Flexible Fares provide the greatest leeway for changes with no fees to adjust a flight schedule and airfare payment is due with the final cruise payment. Similar to other low-fare tickets, Restricted Fares are generally a lower price, have cancellation fees and require full payment for the air reservation at the time of booking. For more information on Holland America Line's cruises and CruiseTours,

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The Great Outdoors Make For Great New Excursions During Crystal's
New England-Canada Season

LOS ANGELES, June 13: Crystal Cruises has unveiled more than 65 new Crystal Adventures for outdoor enthusiasts sailing on five Canada & New England cruises this fall. Travelers who love outdoor activities, wildlife, vistas, and ecology can explore nature in a variety of ways during one seven-day and four 10-day Crystal Symphony sailings beginning September 16. The season begins with a new, 10-day, Boston to Montreal itinerary that features two maiden calls, and wraps with a 10-day Montreal-New York voyage that visits off-the-beaten-path Quebecois ports alongside East Coast "old money" hideaways like Bar Harbor, Maine and Newport, Rhode Island. Crystal Serenity will explore the region in 2014 with five itineraries.

New excursions include:


-- Kayak, bike, or boat past Cap-aux-Meules's sandstone caves, craggy cliffs, endangered birds, and/or the charming fishing harbor. (Magdalen Islands)
-- Raise the sails, take the helm, and sail along the rugged Nova Scotian coastline. (Lunenburg)
-- Part Zodiac adventure, part physical challenge at Quarry Island, showcasing natural botanical gardens and habitats and impressive monoliths. (Havre-Saint-Pierre)
-- Bike past crashing surf through UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lunenburg and Blue Rocks, a fishing village-turned-artist colony. (Lunenburg)
-- Kayak or hike through Saguenay National Park's unique forest-marine ecosystem. (Saguenay)


-- Ride a helicopter, VIP-style, over Manhattan, from Harlem to the Statue of Liberty. (New York)
-- Learn about the ice age while flying over and under a glacier--virtually--at the Garden of the Glaciers within an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. (Baie-Comeau)
-- Explore the hunting paradise of Anticosti Island by seaplane and 4x4, led by a naturalist guide. (Havre-Saint-Pierre)
-- Get a bird's eye view of fjords and Cap Trinite via seaplane or helicopter. (Saguenay)


-- Volunteer with the SHAID Animal Shelter, raising money for this no-kill facility as part of Crystal's You Care, We Care voluntourism program. (Lunenburg)
-- Marvel at the murres, elders, razorbills, and puffins that occupy the Ile du Corossol bird sanctuary, followed by a visit to a local mussel and scallop farm. (Sept-Iles)
-- Commune with whale biologists-at-work at the Mingan Island Cetacean Research Center. (Havre-Saint-Pierre)


-- Visit Innus communities to intimately learn about the First Nations' respect for, and use of, the land. (Baie-Comeau and Havre-Saint-Pierre)
-- Trek with a naturalist through Irving Nature Park's wildlife-filled Acadian forest and uniquely complex marine ecosystem. (St. John)
-- Visit an inland boreal forest seashell bed left from the Ice Age, and learn about Quebec's deforestation at the Village Forestier d'antan. (Baie-Comeau)
-- Taste the native plants and berries from the unique forest-dune ecosystem in East Point National Wildlife Reserve. (Magdalen Islands)
-- Hike through conservancy-protected Gaff Point Trail, featuring white sand beaches, forest, and an estuary. (Lunenburg)
-- Tour the construction site of La Romaine Hydro Dam, a hydropower complex set to supply electricity to more than a million homes by 2020. (Havre-Saint-Pierre)

Additional opportunities to explore by foot or bicycle include sites such as Newport's Cliff Walk, Bar Harbor's Acadia National Park, and Central Park and Chelsea in NY.

"We've worked to create memorable and scenic shoreside experiences that meet virtually every interest and activity level," says John Stoll, vice president of land and port operations.

Sailing between Boston, New York and Montreal until November, the itineraries visit Bar Harbor, Maine; Newport, Rhode Island; Halifax and Lunenburg (maiden call), Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Baie-Comeau (maiden call), Saguenay, Havre-Saint-Pierre (maiden call), Quebec City, and Sept-Iles, Magdalen Islands, Quebec; and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon, France. For more information, visit

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Carnival Triumph Returns To Service Today

June 13: Carnival Triumph returned to regular service from its year-round homeport of Galveston, Texas, today, with a sold-out four-day cruise to Mexico. The 102,000-ton, 2,758-passenger ship resumes its year-round schedule of four-day cruises to Cozumel, Mexico and five-day cruises to Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico.

To celebrate Carnival Triumph’s return, a number of giveaways and special events for guests are being held onboard prior to today’s departure. Celebrity comedian and Carnival’s “curator of comedy” George Lopez will perform two matinee shows in the main show lounge for embarking guests. In addition, guests can participate in a shipboard scavenger hunt or compete in a hamburger-making contest at the newly installed Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint located poolside.

Guests also can participate in photo opportunities with a giant sombrero at BlueIguana Cantina, Kiss the Frog at the RedFrog Rum Bar and High-Five the Iguana at BlueIguana Tequila Bar. There’s a photo op with cheerleaders and trivia at the EA SPORTS Bar and at the Casino Bar Stage there’s a Spin to Win Wheel with Giveaways. A mariachi band will be roaming and playing around the ship. Carnival’s official mix master, DJ Irie, will be spinning tunes and entertaining the crowd on Lido Deck throughout the day. There will be drink samples offered in the Atrium and the new pharmacy-themed Alchemy bar will be showcasing samples of its specialty drinks concocted by trained mixologists, as well.

Carnival Triumph was taken out of service following an engine room fire in February. A total of $115 million was spent to repair and upgrade Carnival Triumph, and a number of Fun Ship 2.0 dining and bar innovations also were added. Following a comprehensive fleetwide operational review, Carnival Cruise Lines announced in April a $300 million program for its 24-ship fleet that includes installation of the most technologically advanced fire-suppression systems available, installation of a second emergency backup generator on every ship to power toilets, elevators and food service in the unlikely event of loss of main power, and reconfiguration of key systems to ensure redundancy in propulsion and main power supplies.

In addition to those operational enhancements, Carnival Triumph received many of the latest amenities that are part of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 enhancement initiative, including:

-- Guy’s Burger Joint, a free poolside venue created by Food Network personality Guy Fieri
-- BlueIguana Cantina, a free-of-charge taco and burrito buffet
-- RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside Caribbean-themed watering hole
-- BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a lively Mexican-themed poolside bar
-- Alchemy Bar, a cocktail “pharmacy” serving specialty drinks
-- EA SPORTS Bar, featuring live televised sporting events and video games

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The Duchess of Cambridge Names Royal Princess

SOUTHAMPTON, UK, June 13: In a spectacular ceremony today in Southampton, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge named the new ship Royal Princess when she released a bottle of champagne that smashed against its hull. Standing on the naming platform with the ship’s Captain Tony Draper, The Duchess pronounced, “I name this ship Royal Princess. May God bless her and all who sail in her.” She then cut the rope that sent a giant Nebuchadnezzar-size bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne toward the ship, officially welcoming Royal Princess into the fleet of Princess Cruises, one of the world’s largest international cruise lines.

“We can think of no more fitting godmother for our magnificent new Royal Princess,” said Alan Buckelew, Princess Cruises’ president and CEO. “Her Royal Highness is an inspiring ambassador for Britain - with whom Princess Cruises shares strong ties – and she is admired around the world for her style and grace. We’re so honored she accepted our invitation to become godmother to our new ship.”

The ceremony included star-studded entertainment that blended maritime tradition with contemporary elements, reflecting the innovative spirit of Princess’s newest class of ship. In addition to the exciting bottle break moment, the quayside festivities included a host of musical performances, including British pop singer Natasha Bedingfield singing her hit “Unwritten,” as well as an original song by British actress and “the first lady of London’s West End,” Kerry Ellis. Internationally renowned percussive orchestra Mass Ensemble performed with its signature “Earth Harp,” an architectural instrument with strings that extended 1,000 feet and was played as it hovered over the nearly 2,000 ceremony guests. The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth and The Pipe Band of 1st Battalion Irish Guards opened the event with the pomp and ceremony of British ship-naming traditions. The Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, conducted the traditional ship’s blessing.

The event capped off a week of festivities to launch the ship, including a special gala last night. Among the guests invited to the Royal Princess naming celebrations were representatives from the charities East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, SkillForce and WellChild, whose Patrons are The Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry respectively.

The naming of a ship is a tradition thousands of years old. Different peoples and cultures have shaped the ceremonies surrounding a ship launching but the theme has always been similar–the ritual marks the birth of a vessel, and asks for a blessing of good fortune and safety for the ship and its passengers and crew.

Perhaps the most important element of the naming tradition is the godmother selected to christen a ship. In the mid-19th century it became customary for a woman of distinction to be selected for this honor. A godmother is the symbolic patron, or sponsor, of the ship through its entire life and symbolizes the spirit of the vessel. Princess Cruises has a history of illustrious godmothers for past ships, including Diana Princess of Wales (who named the first Royal Princess in 1984), Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Dame Margaret Thatcher, and Olivia de Havilland. The Duchess of Cambridge now takes her place among this inspiring group of women.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship. Among the special features found on board is a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship offering a host of dining and entertainment options; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the new Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

Following the ship’s maiden voyage to Barcelona on June 16, Royal Princess will sail on Grand Mediterranean cruises throughout the summer, followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the autumn. A replay of the Royal Princess naming ceremony is available at

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Norwegian Cruise Line Serves Certified Angus Beef® Brand Steaks At Sea

MIAMI – June 11: Norwegian Cruise Line announced today it is now the only cruise line to serve Certified Angus Beef® brand steaks, the world’s leading Angus brand and consumers’ top choice for premium beef. Certified Angus Beef ® brand steaks are rated above USDA Prime, Choice and Select, and are known for their superior flavor, juiciness and tenderness. These steaks are currently available in Cagney’s Steakhouse and Le Bistro French restaurant on ten Norwegian ships, including the new Norwegian Breakaway. Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Spirit will begin serving these steaks by August.

“With the addition of Certified Angus Beef ® in our steakhouse and French restaurant, we’ve taken an already great meal and made it outstanding,” said Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “There is no better steak available and, as a New Yorker who knows a good steak, it was an obvious choice to bring these high quality selections to Cagney’s Steakhouse and Le Bistro.”

Previously available only at shore-side steakhouses and leading retailers, these exceptional cuts feature 10 quality specifications, including marbling, maturity and consistency, and are aged 28 days for the finest flavor and tenderness. Guests can choose from a wide variety of premium cuts, ranging from a 14-ounce dry-aged center-cut strip loin to an 18-ounce bone-in ribeye. Additional offerings include an eight-ounce center-cut filet and a 16-ounce boneless ribeye. Guests can also customize their Certified Angus Beef ® steak with an array of seasonings and signature sauces including garlic butter, gorgonzola-crusted, chimichurri, green peppercorn, and more. Cagney’s Steakhouse serves all of the selected cuts, while Le Bistro offers the eight-ounce center-cut filet.

“Norwegian Cruise Line is at the forefront of cuisine at sea, and the ranchers and farmers behind the Certified Angus Beef® brand are pleased to be a part of this culinary evolution,” says John Stika, the beef brand’s president. “Guests will appreciate knowing their steak experience matches some of the finest steakhouses in New York and beyond.”

The steaks were first introduced on Norwegian Breakaway, the company’s newest and most innovative ship to date. Home porting year-round in New York City, Norwegian Breakaway offers guests 29 dining options, 22 bars and lounges, a quarter-mile long outdoor boardwalk called The Waterfront, three Broadway shows, the largest Aqua Park at sea and much more. Norwegian Breakaway sails weekly cruises to Bermuda throughout the summer and seven-day cruises to the Bahamas & Florida in the winter. For additional information, visit

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Crystal Serenity's Chic "Extreme Makeover" Planned For November

LOS ANGELES, June 11: Crystal Cruises is preparing for a $17-million redesign of the award-winning Crystal Serenity this November. The line is planning sweeping makeovers of the ship's Crystal Penthouses (the line's coveted top accommodations) and Lido Deck, including the popular indoor/outdoor Trident Grill, Tastes restaurant, and Crystal Serenity's Lido cafe. Building upon the success of Crystal Symphony's "living wall," Crystal is expanding its green concept to the Lido area. Maintenance, cleaning, mechanical updates, and environmental upgrades will also be implemented throughout the ship's interior and exterior spaces during the two week dry dock at the Navantia Shipyard in Cadiz, Spain.  Come November, Crystal will have spent $52 million on Crystal Serenity's Extreme Makeover in the past two years and almost $120 million on the Extreme Makeover of its fleet in recent years.

"Our redesigns aren't merely new fabrics and soft goods. It is indeed extreme when you take out pools, tear down walls and completely re-invent spaces to create new chic, contemporary, and exceptionally welcoming and comfortable public areas and accommodations," says Crystal President Gregg Michel. "While we are honored we have won respected design awards for our remodels, we are even more gratified by the response from our guests—international travelers who have an eye for style and appreciate fine design in their lifestyle and when they vacation."

Lido Deck
London's Adfecto design firm was inspired by Santa Barbara's casual, yet cultured, "American Riviera" vibe for the transformation of the ship's spacious Lido deck. Natural stones, wrought iron, and an array of blues set the resort-like tone for space's major reconfiguration that will remove its indoor pool and Tastes kitchen, move the ice cream bar to the Trident Grill, and add more sofa seating, an open kitchen, and a cocktail bar. In addition, four "living walls" and additional greenery surrounding the Trident lounge area will bring the outdoors in. As with Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity's Lido cafe will be redesigned with modern food islands replacing long buffet counters, more tables for two, and a fresh baked goods kitchen. A new, cherry wood dance floor will also be installed in the Palm Court, the ship's largest gathering place for drinks and dancing.

Crystal Penthouses
Toronto's II BY IV, the firm that won major design awards for its previous remodel of Crystal Serenity's staterooms, is redefining the ship's four top suites with clean lines, classic simplicity, and refined elegance in a dramatic ultra-contemporary remodel. Interiors of the butler-serviced, 1,345 square-feet residences will be gutted and spaces completely reconfigured. The dining area will move closer to the floor-to-ceiling windows and the private outdoor deck, while the former dining room will now hold a den/library/media room with a queen-sized sleeper sofa and closet. With a new shower added to the guest powder room, the space can function as a second bedroom, ideal for families and couples traveling together. The Penthouse also features a spacious living room and butler's pantry with private entrance.

The master bedroom will be made over with luxurious bedding, curtains, two entrances, and a new seating area. The master bath will feature marble, mosaics, a walk-in glass shower, and two waterproof Aquavision TV's, one embedded in the mirror, and one by the large window-side Jacuzzi tub. In keeping with modern tech living, the CP's will feature three flat screen TV's, including a 3-D TV, plus a surround sound audio system, iPod docking stations, and increased wall outlets.

The Best of the Rest
With more than 700 different jobs scheduled to be completed during the 13 days, the 500+ contractor crew and several hundred Crystal crew will also be working round-the-clock to thoroughly deep clean the ship, repaint exteriors, refurbish the "port pod," add energy-saving LED lighting in public areas and crew offices, and more.

Crystal Serenity's first voyage after completing dry dock will be a 12-day Nov 27 Lisbon-Barcelona cruise through the Canary Islands, followed by Transatlantic crossing to the Americas, a Christmas/New Year's voyage in the Caribbean, and the annual World Cruise, an 89-day ultimate luxury adventure from LA to London, starting Jan 18, 2014. For more information, visit

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National WWII Museum Announces 70th Anniversary of D-Day Cruise in 2014

NEW ORLEANS, June 11: Marking the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, France, next year, The National WWII Museum will host an exclusive, educational travel program aboard Silversea Cruises’ luxurious Silver Cloud cruise ship. The 10-day trip will feature an elite group of renowned historians: Award-winning journalist and best-selling author Tom Brokaw; Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author, Rick Atkinson; best-selling WWII author, Dr. Donald L. Miller; historian and author, Dr. Robert M. Citino; Phil Reed, founder of the Churchill Museum, London; Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, president and CEO of The National WWII Museum and Dr. Keith Huxen, the Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Director of Research and History at The National WWII Museum.

The “70th Anniversary of D-Day Cruise” will kick-off on May 30, 2014 in Lisbon, a center of intrigue and espionage during WWII. Cruise-goers will have the chance to visit many of the historic sites in the old city before sailing north to St. Nazaire on the Brittany Coast. During WWII, this historic port featured a dry dock important to German naval forces and served as a base for the German U-boats. It was the target of a famous British commando raid in 1942.

Following the trip to St. Nazaire, the ship will cruise onto the English Channel, stopping at the town of St. Peter Port where many German military installations still remain. There the group will visit with locals who survived the war under German occupation. The Silver Cloud will then visit the English port of Portsmouth before docking for five nights in the Caen Canal in the heart of Normandy.

During the Normandy stopover, daily touring opportunities will be offered to sites including the D-Day invasion landing beaches, the Abbey de Caen, the Memorial de Caen, the Airborne Museum and Hill 314 at Mortain. Many of these visits will include unique accounts from veterans and French civilians who experienced the war firsthand. The group will also take part in the 70th Anniversary ceremonies at the Normandy American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach and will visit the Utah Beach Museum and the Memorial de Caen for special after-hours receptions. The Mayor of Caen has invited the group to tour the famous 11th Century Norman Abbey for a final farewell reception on behalf of the city. Further stops will include Pointe du Hoc, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Pegasus Bridge as well as British and Canadian beaches. Additional cultural tours will include Bayeux, Mont Saint-Michel, Paris and more.

“Our ‘70th Anniversary of D-Day Cruise’ is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for scholars of WWII, history buffs and those who experienced World War II firsthand to visit these famous sites during this momentous anniversary,” said Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, president and CEO of The National WWII Museum. “It is also an ideal trip for luxury travel enthusiasts, as the ship’s amenities are truly top-of-the line.”

Costs for the cruise vary depending on accommodations, but include food and beverages, luxurious suite accommodations, lectures and tours. Airfare is not included as part of the cruise package. For more information, please visit or call 877-813-3329 x 257.

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, visit

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Seabourn Adds New Experts to Antarctic Expedition Team

SEATTLE, June 10: Seabourn has added more lecturers and naturalists to the expedition staff on the line's "Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia" cruises, rounding out an experienced team that will offer guests insights and knowledge of the White Continent during its series of four 21- to 24-day voyages aboard Seabourn Quest beginning in November of 2013. Collectively, the 15-member expedition team represents more than 100 years of work, research and involvement in Antarctic matters.

The combined experience of the senior team alone, which includes Captain Bjarne Larsen, Program Manager Victoria Wheatley, Expedition Leader Robin West, and Assistant Expedition Leaders Jarda Versloot-West and Chris Srigley, amounts to more than 225 Antarctic expeditions. In addition, Wheatley currently serves on the U.S. delegation to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM), and four of the lecturers have also been involved with ATCM.

New additions to the team include Dr. Roger Hewitt, who has lead expeditions and surveys in Antarctica for more than 15 years; Dr. Jason Hicks, a geologist who will discuss the geology and glaciology of South America and Antarctica; Meriwether Gill, who will share her passion of marine wildlife; Pat and Rosemarie Keough, award-winning photographers who will provide expert photography tips and advice to guests; and many more.

"We are pleased to have an expedition team with as much experience, knowledge and passion of Antarctica as this team," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn president. "Experience really counts on an Antarctic voyage because daily activities are planned around changing conditions, and changeable wildlife patterns. A team such as ours, with such broad-based expertise, will help ensure that Seabourn's guests get the most out of every day in Antarctica."

Seabourn Quest, one of the most luxurious ships ever to take guests to Antarctica, will carry an expedition team including six lecturers, four naturalists, three expedition specialists and two award-winning photographers, who will share their knowledge, guidance and passion for Antarctica during each cruise. The team will accompany guests during landings to add valuable insights to the adventure, and the photographers will offer digital photography coaching to help guests capture exciting wildlife images and the visual splendor of the White Continent.

Beginning Nov. 20, 2013, Seabourn Quest will sail on a series of four 21- to 24-day voyages between Valparaíso, (Santiago) Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina. They include days exploring the Chilean coast and fjords, Beagle Channel, Glacier Alley, the breathtaking Torres del Paine National Park, Cape Horn, the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, Montevideo and five days of cruising and landings on the Antarctic Continent in uncompromised Seabourn luxury. A 24-day Holiday version, departing Dec. 11, 2013, will include two days exploring the sub-Antarctic wildlife Eden of South Georgia Island, renowned for its beauty and its vast, teeming rookeries of king penguins and other seabirds, as well as breeding elephant and fur seals. To read more about Seabourn Quest's entire Antarctic expedition team and their background and qualifications, visit

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Royal Caribbean Announces Transatlantic Sailing From Southampton on Quantum of the Seas

MIAMI, June 7: Hot on the heels of the recent Oasis of the Seas announcement, Royal Caribbean International has announced that Quantum of the Seas will be making its inaugural 8-night westbound transatlantic voyage from Southampton on Nov 2, 2014, arriving in the New York area at Cape Liberty Port, New Jersey, on Nov 10. Bookings for Quantum of the Seas opened to loyalty program members on May 28, 2013 and to the general public on June 4. This is another exciting first for the port of Southampton, which will also play host in 2014 to the world’s largest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, on its first ever European season and transatlantic sailing out of a UK port of call, which generated the highest ever volume of pre-booking registrations ever seen by Royal Caribbean International.

Quantum of the Seas will offer even more game-changing “firsts at sea” and guests will be thrilled by the unprecedented “WOWs” on-board, including a skydiving experience, a thrilling adventure that transports guests more than 300 feet in the air; cutting-edge venues such as the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars and roller skating and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever.

Building on a legacy of more than 40 years of innovation and creative design, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class of ships will introduce more innovative on-board features, such as RipCord by iFLY, the first skydiving experience at sea, which allows everyone from first-time flyers to seasoned skydivers to enjoy the sheer thrill and exhilaration of skydiving in a safe, controlled and simulated environment. North Star, an engineering marvel, will take guests to new heights–-literally-–with a jewel-shaped, glass capsule, transporting them on a spectacular journey more than 300 feet above the ocean and over the sides of the ship to deliver awe-inspiring 360-degree views.

The new Quantum class ships will also introduce new venues, including Two70°, a multi-level great room named for its incredible 270-degree sea views through three-deck high, floor-to-ceiling glass walls at the stern of the ship; SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and a circus school with trapeze; and Music Hall, a two-story live music venue.

Quantum class ships also will offer Royal Caribbean International’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever, including the industry’s first interior staterooms with Virtual Balconies, ensuring every stateroom on Quantum of the Seas will have a view. For multi-generational families, Family-Connected staterooms deliver more flexibility, using three different stateroom categories that connect to form a layout that provides separate bedrooms and bathrooms for all. Royal Caribbean International will introduce new Studio staterooms – some featuring balconies – for single travelers, three new Junior Suite categories, and larger Loft Suites.

Quantum class will debut in autumn 2014 with Quantum of the Seas, followed by her sister-ship Anthem of the Seas in spring 2015. Quantum ships span 16 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms. More information on Quantum of the Seas is available at

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Musical Salute Welcomes Royal Princess to Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom, June 7: A musical salute provided a spectacular welcome for Royal Princess to Southampton today as the new cruise ship arrived to begin a week-long series of special inaugural events. British actor, director and writer Simon Callow orchestrated the Southampton University Brass Band to serenade the new Princess Cruises ship with a rendition of "God Save The Queen" as the vessel sailed into the harbor. Royal Princess will be officially named in Southampton on Thursday, June 13 by The Duchess of Cambridge. The unprecedented musical welcome, conducted by Callow, was answered back by Royal Princess with its own special horn that plays the first notes of the theme song from the TV show "The Love Boat."

"What an extraordinary welcome Royal Princess received for her arrival in Southampton," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "Starting the week off with this amazing musical orchestra offered the perfect way to tune up for a naming ceremony that will celebrate with many special musical performances."

The June 13 naming event will feature not only the christening by The Duchess, but also star-studded musical entertainment including British pop singer Natasha Bedingfield singing her hit "Unwritten," as well as a performance by British actress and "the first lady of London's West End," Kerry Ellis. The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth and The Pipe Band of 1st Battalion Irish Guards will open the event with the pomp and ceremony of British ship-naming traditions.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship. Among the special features found on board is a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship offering a host of dining and entertainment options; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the new Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef's Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

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Disney Cruise Line Guests and Crew Take Part in First AquaDucky Derby Fundraiser At Sea

CELEBRATION, FL, June 7: Thousands of Disney Cruise Line guests and crew members recently volunteered their time on all four ships to take part in the first “AquaDucky Derby” rubber duck races in the ships’ pools and famous water coasters to raise nearly $14,000 for Make-A-Wish International. The events saluted the 30th anniversary of the Disney VoluntEARS program, which provides opportunities for Disney cast and crew members to donate their time to worthy causes around the world.

The one-of-a-kind fundraiser brought together crew members and guests, who purchased yellow rubber ducks to decorate and then enter in a water-filled race aboard the ships. Races took place in Goofy’s Pool on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, while those onboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy utilized the AquaDuck, the first water coaster at sea exclusive to Disney Cruise Line. All funds raised from the duck sales are being donated to Make-A-Wish International, an organization that grants wishes for children facing life-threatening medical conditions in 48 countries outside of the U.S. Since the first-ever official wish experience 32 years ago, Disney has helped grant more than 81,000 wishes globally and is involved in nearly 50 percent of the wishes granted each year.

“The cast and crew of Disney Cruise Line are proud to support Make-A-Wish International and its mission of making wishes come true for children worldwide,” said Rena Langley, vice president of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line. “The AquaDucky Derby allows us to engage and inspire our guests to get involved, joining our efforts to give back to this great organization in a fun and interactive way.”

According to Christiaan Abbott, Cruise Director aboard the Disney Dream, “Having our guests take part in this first-ever AquaDucky Derby has definitely made it especially unique. You can feel the excitement in the air. The entire shipboard community of guests and crew came together to have fun for a great cause, and the reaction from the crowd has been incredible.”

Events like this are just a small part of Disney’s commitment to give back to local communities through in-kind donations and the efforts of Disney VoluntEARS. In 2012, Disney Cruise Line cast and crew members completed 75 community outreach projects and donated more than 4,500 hours of personal service to nonprofit organizations, working both onboard the ships and in communities across Central Florida, The Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe. Additionally, the line provided more than $640,000 in charitable and in-kind donations to organizations supporting children, families and the environment.

Disney VoluntEARS: 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the Disney VoluntEARS program, organized to provide opportunities for Disney cast members, crew members, Imagineers and employees to contribute their time and talents to help strengthen communities around the world. Since 1983, Disney VoluntEARS across Disney’s many business units, including Disney Cruise Line, have given more than 7.5 million hours of volunteer service in more than 40 countries worldwide. That’s the equivalent of one person volunteering for 855 straight years! Projects include everything from bringing Disney characters to share smiles and laughter with children in hospitals and care facilities to participating in beach cleanups, leading reading programs and building community programs.

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Royal Caribbean International Takes The Stage As An Official Sponsor of
67th Annual Tony Awards

MIAMI, June 7: Royal Caribbean International, the only cruise line to feature fully-licensed Tony award-winning Broadway productions, today announced its starring role as an official sponsor of the 67th annual Tony Awards. As an official sponsor the cruise line will offer a “behind the scenes” look at all the action taking place at this year’s award show. The 2013 Tony Awards will broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on CBS, on Sunday, June 9th at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT time delay) and are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

“We are very excited to once again partner with the Tony Awards and demonstrate our commitment to providing our guests with world-class entertainment including the Tony award-winning musicals Hairspray and Chicago: The Musical and other Broadway productions, such as Saturday Night Fever, ” stated Lisa Bauer, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “These amazing performances, along with a host of other entertainment options including our DreamWorks Experience, ice skating and Aquashow performances and spectacular parades afford our guests an unparalleled vacation experience”

Viewers of this year’s Tony Awards will be given a rare sneak-peek backstage courtesy of Royal Caribbean, as well as get the inside scoop from presenters, nominees and performers throughout the course of the telecast. Viewers and Broadway fans also can follow the excitement of the Tony Awards and the behind the scenes action by following the cruise line’s Twitter handle @RoyalCaribbean with the hash tag #BroadwayAtSea or on their Facebook page

As part of its sponsorship of the Tony Awards, Royal Caribbean is offering vacationers more reason to sail with the cruise line with a special three-day WOW Sale. Vacationers will receive up to $200 onboard credit per stateroom and enjoy reduced deposits as low as $50 per stateroom for all sailings departing from Sept 1, 2013 through Aug 31, 2014. For all new individual bookings made from June 10 through 12, 2013, vacationers will receive $50 onboard credit per stateroom and $50 reduced deposit for five-night or shorter itineraries; $100 onboard credit per stateroom and $125 reduced deposit for six- to nine-night itineraries; and $200 onboard credit per stateroom and $225 reduced deposit for 10-night or longer itineraries. More information about the special three-day WOW sale can be found at

Royal Caribbean began its partnership with the Tony Awards in 2012 with a first-of-its-kind live broadcast from the middle of the Caribbean Sea, where the cruise line’s Oasis of the Seas’ cast of Hairspray performed a show-stopping number as part of the Tony Awards live telecast. This second year of participation continues to highlight the line’s array of Broadway productions onboard its ships including Saturday Night Fever, Hairspray and Chicago: The Musical.

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Alaska 2014: Un-Cruise Adventures Increases Deployment

Seattle, WA, June 6: Un-Cruise Adventures announced its deployment plans for the 2014 Alaska cruise season with seven vessels carrying 22-88 guests sailing 12 different itineraries ranging from one to three weeks duration. New in 2014, the 88-guest S.S. Legacy sails 10 weeklong Heritage Adventures between Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska.

“2014 marks our largest, most diverse season in Alaska yet with more departures than any previous year,” said Dan Blanchard, CEO and principal for Un-Cruise Adventures. “Our three adventure styles—Active, Luxury and Heritage—offer more choices, but they all give you the awe-inspiring nature and wildlife of Alaska up close, personal, and unforgettable.”

Heritage Adventures
The 88-guest S.S. Legacy joins the fleet in Alaska for its first season of weeklong Heritage Adventures between Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska with 10 departures scheduled from June 15 through August 17. An Alaska’s Golden History itinerary visits Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Glacier Bay National Park, Haines and Skagway; Frederick Sound and Icy Strait are prime whale watching territory. A 11-night Gold Rush Legacy cruise between Seattle and Juneau (and reverse) will be offered in June and August.

The replica coastal steamer harkens back to the gold rush days of ’98 with period décor, old world charm and a rollicking saloon. History of the Klondike Gold Rush comes alive through on board presentations, crew in period costumes and character reenactments led by the vessel’s Legacy Leader. In port, guests enjoy included guided tours to historical points of interest.

Active Adventures
Three expedition vessels sail weeklong Active Adventures out of Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka, Alaska from April through September. The 76-guest Wilderness Explorer embarks on its third season of Northern Passages & Glacier Bay cruises sailing one way between Juneau and Sitka, Alaska (and reverse) with three days spent exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park. With no scheduled port calls, guests enjoy exploring remote Alaska around Icy Strait, Chichagof Island and Baranof Island and maximize time for adventure activities and up close encounters with wildlife.

The 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer and 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer sail a Western Coves itinerary between Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska and an Eastern Coves itinerary between Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska. The Western Coves explores rarely visited areas in the Inside Passage including El Capitan, Chatham Strait, Dawes Glacier in Endicott Arm, Ford’s Terror, Frederick Sound and a half-day port call in the Native village of Klawock. The Eastern Coves explores around the mainland visiting Tracy Arm Wilderness, Frederick Sound, Thomas Bay, Misty Fjords National Monument and a half-day port call in Wrangell. In spring and fall, 12-night cruises between Seattle and Juneau (and reverse) are offered.

Luxury Adventures
Three upscale yachts—22-guest Safari Quest, 36-guest Safari Explorer, 86-guest Safari Endeavour—sail Luxury Adventures roundtrip Juneau, Alaska with two days spent exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park. A Discoverers’ Glacier Country itinerary makes no port calls, and in addition to Glacier Bay, spends the week exploring nature and wildlife in remote Alaskan wilderness around Icy Strait, Chichagof Island, Baranof Island, Frederick Sound, Endicott Arm and Ford’s Terror. In spring and fall, 12-night cruises between Seattle and Juneau (and reverse) are offered. Ultimate and Ultra Adventures-Active Adventure itineraries may be combined to create four longer itineraries of 14 and 21 nights.

Kids in Nature
On select Kids In Nature departures, families with young children are encouraged to sail together and enjoy an expanded program of activities geared to kids of varying ages and activity levels. On these sailings, kids 12 and under receive 25% off regular cruise fare. In 2014, Kids In Nature cruises are offered on the Wilderness Adventurer- July 19, July 26 and Aug 9; Safari Endeavour-July 20; Safari Quest-June 20 and July 18.

Active and Luxury Adventures include adventure activities: kayaking, hiking, skiff excursions, whale watching and paddle boarding. Snorkeling, overnight camping ashore and massage are offered for a fee on Active Adventures. Luxury Adventures include a massage and premium wine, micro-brews, spirits. Heritage Adventures include shoreside tours in each port; whale watching; a massage; premium wine, micro-brews and spirits. Wellness amenities on all adventures include fitness equipment, hot tub and yoga on deck (no yoga or massage on Safari Quest). Transfers are included. Charter and group incentives are available. To book or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or Un-Cruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or .

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Crystal Quenches Travelers' Thirsts Ashore During 2013 European Season

LOS ANGELES, June 5: Medoc wine in Bordeaux. Tea in the UK. Poncha in Madeira. Combining its recent focus on unique, local gastronomy, ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises is offering more than two dozen Crystal Adventures ashore that explore Europe through libations. From alcoholic drinks like brandy to non-alcoholic liquids like olive oil, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony travelers can sip and swig their way through the Mediterranean, Baltic, and Western Europe until December, learning about the history and culture behind iconic lubricants along the way.

Examples of tasting and crafting excursions include:

-- Arctic beer at the oldest pub in Tromso.
-- 16th-century Benedictine herbal liqueur, at a palace near Honfleur.
-- Fresh cider and apple brandy from the centuries-old "Orchard of Norway" area near Eidfjord.
-- Vodka in Honningsvag, Lofoten, and Stockholm ice bars.
-- Cafes offering rum and honey poncha near Madeira, limoncello in Sorrento, and soumada in Mykonos.
-- Famous alcohol distilleries like Bushmills near Belfast, Hennessy in Cognac (near Bordeaux), and Heineken in Amsterdam.
-- Olive oil at a Malaga mill.
-- Traditional tea at an 18th-century Belfast area estate and a Russan tea plantation near Sochi.
-- Highland, Lowland, Speyside, and Island whiskies, at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society near Edinburgh.

Wine-related outings are especially numerous, with insight into:

-- Unconventional winemaking, seen through a Mykonos winemaker who plays classical music to his wines, and a modern reserve winemaker near Bilbao whose cellar integrates into the landscape.
-- Medoc Classified Great Growth Chateau estates, from the man who literally wrote the book on Bordeaux wines.
-- Wine history, including a 400-year-old Malta wine cellar, Mallorca's oldest winery, and French wines' birthplace, Nice.
-- One of the most celebrated limited private label white wines, at a Corfu Count's private estate.
-- International wine distribution, via a leading Bordeaux wine trader.
-- Viticultural geography, at wineries in St-Tropez, where south-facing slopes and microclimate make it ideal for certain vintages; in Constanta, where Champagne-like land and weather have helped win 130+ international wine gold medals; and Arrecife, where the volcanic soil is inhospitable for crops, yet extraordinary for grapevines.

"Local wine, spirits, beer, teas--such drinks embody the aromas and tastes of destinations," says John Stoll, vice president of land programs. "These excursions are another way to gain understanding of unique European cultures and traditions."

Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony sail throughout Europe from now to December, on voyages ranging from five days to month-long, extended vacation combo cruises. Extraordinary culinary experiences are a hallmark of every Crystal vacation. Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity's extensive, innovative choices for gourmandizing include the ultra-luxury line's coveted cheese and wine cellars, overseen by on-board, certified sommeliers (Court of Master Sommeliers-certified for wine); all-inclusive, chef-like cocktails served by certified mixologists; and gourmet dining options at every meal, whether in the Crystal Dining Room, at afternoon tea, or in Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio's specialty restaurants. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Paul Gauguin Cruises European Voyages Offer A Feast Of Culinary & Wine Excursions Through Fall

BELLEVUE, WA, June 4: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, and the 90-guest m/v Tere Moana, offers a variety of shore excursions on 7-night European voyages for food and wine connoisseurs.

From spring through fall, The Moana sails nine European itineraries: Barcelona to Rome;Rome to Venice; Athens to Istanbul; Roundtrip Istanbul; Istanbul to Athens; Athens to Rome; Roundtrip Venice; Venice to Athens; and Lisbon to Barcelona. Cooking classes, culinary demonstrations, market tours, winery tours, wine tastings, and multi-course dining are some of the optional excursions offered on The Moana's European sailings:

Dubrovnik, Croatia--Wine Tour of Peljesac Peninsula: Savor some of the most intriguing reds in Europe during a private wine tour of Croatia's most respected cellars including the Milos Winery and Grigch Cellars, followed by a wine tasting and a Dalmatian lunch at the Bartulovic
Elba, Italy--Porto Azzurro & Wine Tasting: Sample wine and olive oils at La Chiusa Winery, a historic wine estate visited by Napoleon Bonaparte, before exploring the charming seaside town of Porto Azzurro.
Hvar, Croatia--Wine Tasting Tour of Hvar: Enjoy wines from two of Croatia's most distinguished winemakers, olive oil tastings, and a gourmet picnic lunch.
Lipari, Italy--Island Tour & Pizza Cooking: Tour Lipari before venturing to a local pizzeria to see a pizza-making demonstration. Then, create your own pizza and savor the results accompanied by wine, Aeolian delicacies, and local folk music.
Portimao, Portgual--Wine Tasting & Charming Silves: Visit Quinta dos Vales and enjoy a tour of the winery and wine tasting before continuing on to Silves, once the Moorish capital of the Algarve.
Portofino, Italy--Olive Oil Tasting & Lunch at the Splendido Hotel: Pay an exclusive visit to this world-famous luxury hotel to learn about the many uses and varieties of olive oil, followed by a lunch of Italian specialties.
Rhodes, Greece--Afternoon Cooking Class in Rhodes: Learn the secrets of Greek dishes from a local chef during a cooking class and savor the region's cuisine while sipping local wines.
Rovinj, Croatia--Truffle Hunt Tour: Journey to the village of Vrh, overlooking Lake Butongia, and meet the family that originated the tradition of truffle hunting in Istria. Explore the famous Motovun forest led by specially trained dogs and hunt for black and white truffles to enjoy with local wines, cheeses, and delicacies.
Santorini, Greece--Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch & a Visit to Oia: Tour three wineries and learn the secrets of local winemaking as you taste Greek wines and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the village of Oia.
Sete, France--Montpellier & Aigues-Mortes with Lunch & Wine Tasting: Experience the scenic beauty and flavors of Montpellier, the walled city of Aigues-Mortes, and France's Languedoc winemaking region. Dine at La Compagnie des Comptoirs restaurant for lunch before your wine tasting at a boutique winery near Sete.
Sete, France--Montpellier & Wine Tasting at Flaugergues: Explore Montpellier's Old Town on a walking tour followed by a wine tasting at the Château Flaugergues private wine estate in France's Languedoc region.
Split, Croatia--Wines of Dalmatia: Meet a local expert and sample some of Croatia's celebrated wines along with olives and cheeses at Split's premier wine establishment, the Kunl Gurmana Wine Club.
St. Tropez, France--Strolling in St. Tropez with Wine Tasting: Enjoy a scenic walking tour of St. Tropez followed by a wine class and wine tasting highlighting traditions of the region.
Sorrento, Italy--Cooking Class in a Private Villa in Sorrento: Learn to prepare genuine southern Italian cuisine at the Sorrento Cooking School and tour their wine cellar to sample exclusive vintages.
Sorrento, Italy--Flavors of Sorrento: In the Italian Riviera's countryside, visit a farm that produces oranges, lemons, and wine using equipment and techniques dating to the 18(th) century and take in a demonstration of the preparation of mozzarella cheese.
Taormina, Italy--Market & Sicilian Cooking Tour: Journey to 3,000-year-old Cantania, on Sicily's east coast, and see one of the most ancient markets in the area. Then ride to Viagrande, a village on the slopes of Mt. Etna known for its vineyards and culinary traditions. Mrs. Consoli, a famous cook and food writer, welcomes you into her private home to share preparations of typical Sicilian dishes.
Taormina, Italy--Taormina Tour & Wine Tasting: Discover 15(th)-century Palazzo Corvia, a historic Greek amphitheater, and the Corso Umberto before touring a wine estate to sample famous wines of Sicily and dine on authentic local cuisine.
Trogir, Croatia--Cooking Class in Trogir: Tour the city's Green and Fish market with a local chef, then go to her 13(th)-century palace to create a menu from market purchases. At the end of the cooking class, savor a delicious lunch with wine.
Zadar, Croatia--Wine Pairing at BIBICh Wine Cellar: Tour the vineyards and cellars of BIBICh winery, which produce some of the most celebrated wines in the country, before enjoying a six- to eight-course gourmet lunch paired with wines.

Rates for culinary and wine excursions range from $129 to $489 per person. For a complete list of European shore excursions, descriptions, and fares, visit Shore excursions are available for pre-booking 90 days prior to sailing by calling Paul Gauguin Cruises at 800-848-6172. Guests of The Moana can also arrange private tours and services, customized to their needs and travel budgets with Paul Gauguin Personalized Services (PGPS) by calling 800-305-5416 or by emailing . With hundreds of options to choose from, PGPS can coordinate air travel, accommodations, customized and private tours, and transfer packages for Moana guests. For additional information, visit

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Celebrity Cruises Pulls Into Grand Central Terminal

NEW YORK, June 3: Celebrity Cruises is rolling out “The Lawn Club Experience” in New York City’s famed Grand Central Terminal. On June 10 and 11, Celebrity Cruises will take over Vanderbilt Hall to recreate its iconic Lawn Club, offering a taste of the interactive and premium experiences that guests enjoy onboard the modern luxury cruise line. The Lawn Club is featured exclusively on Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice Class ships, centered around a half-acre of real grass growing on the top deck. Local commuters and passersby can participate in the following Lawn Club Experience activities, including:

Jazz Music at the Lawn Club: Lincoln Center presents the Jon-Erik Kellso Trio (June 10) and Mona’s Hot Three (June 11) to play jazz throughout the afternoon as crowds escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Celebrity Cruises Lawn Club Croquet Challenge: No need to wear all white, as anyone can have the chance to pick up a mallet and knock croquet balls through wickets to win prizes.
Sit, Smile, Snap: Guests can relax in the oversized Celebrity Cruises Adirondack Chair and have their picture taken to instantly share with friends across the web.
Fresh 102.7 WWFS-FM: Fresh 102.7-FM DJ, Christine Richie will spin great tunes and emcee all the exciting Celebrity Cruises activities throughout the event.
Custom Spice Rub Station: Guests can channel their inner chefs and create their own spice rubs, just like at The Lawn Club Grill, the popular outdoor grilling specialty restaurant found on the Lawn Club of the two newest ships: Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection.
Sweepstakes: By participating in any of the Lawn Club activities at Grand Central Terminal, guests can enter to win a free Celebrity Cruises trip for two (2) to Bermuda.

This on-land invasion runs in conjunction with Celebrity’s Grand Sale Event that promotes sailings from January to December 2014. For two days only, guests can save $1,000 on a Europe sailing, or $500 when booking a cruise to Alaska, Bermuda or the Caribbean. New Yorkers and those in the surrounding area have an easy commute to Cape Liberty (Bayonne), NJ, where they can board Celebrity Summit and cruise to Bermuda every Sunday through Sept 1, 2013. To learn more about the Celebrity Cruises Grand Sale event, visit

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Azamara Club Cruises Guarantees ChoiceAir With Airfare Rates

MIAMI, June 3: Azamara Club Cruises knows that a vacation begins, not when guests embark a ship, but from the moment they start to plan their destination immersive voyage with the up-market cruise line. With that in mind, Azamara is offering guests a cruise credit equal to their airfare if they book air through its customized online air booking tool, ChoiceAir, during June and July. Through this “Get Money Back” offer with ChoiceAir, the cruise line is ensuring guests receive the best value with the best service possible. Moreover, Azamara Club Cruises is so sure that their airfares are the lowest, that if guests find a lower airfare within 24 hours of booking their flights the cruise line will refund 110 percent of the difference as an onboard credit to use during their voyage. Additionally, guests will enjoy up to 50 percent savings on the voyage fare, and 25 percent off Land Discoveries shore excursions when booked online prior to their sailing.

“Our team at Azamara Club Cruises strives to anticipate our guests needs before, during and after an Azamara voyage which is why we have worked closely with ChoiceAir to offer guests the most comprehensive choices at the best value while planning their destination immersive voyages on our ships,” said Edie Bornstein, senior vice president of Marketing and Sales, Azamara Club Cruises. “This guarantee paired with our ChoiceAir “Get Money Back” promotion, upgraded inclusive amenities and culturally-rich and exclusive, complimentary AzAmazing evenings, are creating experiences for our guests where every need is anticipated.”

ChoiceAir is Azamara’s proprietary air-booking system, offering guests access to highly competitive airfares, more flight options and full control and visibility of their air arrangements. Guests enjoy exceptional, dedicated service that includes day-of-travel support to help them get to their voyage, even if they encounter flight delays or cancellations requiring a last-minute change or diversion to the next port of call. ChoiceAir is available through a travel agent, directly from Azamara Club Cruises, and online at More information on Azamara’s ChoiceAir “Get Money Back” promotion is available for new individual bookings at

Azamara Club Cruises offers distinct destination-immersive experiences for up-market travelers. The cruise line uniquely features voyages with longer stays and more overnights at ports to provide guests the opportunity to experience night touring at some of the most compelling destinations of Europe, Asia, South America, West Indies, as well as Central and North America.

On board the intimate Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, guests receive exceptional and personal service and the cruise line’s authentic, exclusive and bespoke AzAmazing Evenings events that showcase the unexpected colors and flavors of a destination. Guests also enjoy fine cuisine and boutique wines from around the world, as well as more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffee, and teas, as well as complimentary boutique wines, international beers and select standard spirits in the ships’ bars, lounges and restaurants when open; complimentary self-service laundry; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle transportation to city centers in ports, where available. For more information, travelers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit

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