The Online Cruise Travel Guide
Created by the Author of FODOR'S

tLinda Coffman's
Linda Coffman
Author & Cruise Authority

Cruise Lines & Ships Articles & Advice

Cruise Reviews

Before You Go 
On Board In Port Get a Fare Quote   Home Page

Cruise Essentials:

Site Search
Cruise News
Planning Tips
Packing & Lists
HOT Tips
Cruise Links
About Us

CLICK HERE for savings--CruiseCompete
Don't pay more than your tablemates...
CruiseCompete makes it easy to let independent agents compete to offer you the best deal.

Cruisers' favorites:

Cruise Travel Magazine
Cruise Travel

Porthole Cruise Magazine


Have a question or a review to submit?

Copyright © 1995-2013
Linda Coffman,

ll content is protected by United States Copyright Laws. Violators of our copyright, as well as bandwidth theft by "direct linking" of images, will be pursued by all means necessary. Find out more in
  Terms of Service

Cruise News
1-31, 2013

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

Return to's Cruise News Index & Cruise News Archive

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

Royal Caribbean Commits Second Ship to Tampa

TAMPA, FL: The Tampa Port Authority and Royal Caribbean International are pleased to announce that the cruise line will be deploying a second ship at the Port of Tampa beginning in the fall of 2014. Royal Caribbean International has been operating one ship at the Port of Tampa, during winter cruise seasons, since January 2002. Brilliance of the Seas, which will sail seasonally four- and five-night Western Caribbean cruises, will now be joined by a second Royal Caribbean ship, Vision of the Seas, which will offer seven-night Western Caribbean cruises, sailing from Tampa throughout winter 2014-15. Vision of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas’ winter 2014-15 cruises from Tampa are now open for sale.
“It is extremely exciting to see Royal Caribbean International’s continued support of the Tampa cruise market by adding an additional vessel to our thriving home port. Royal Caribbean is a very important partner, offering a quality cruise experience to their guests and significant economic value to the port and our region,” Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, said.

Vision of the Seas will sail a 9-night Southern Caribbean itinerary from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL, on Nov 6, 2014, to Tampa, with calls at Aruba, Curacao, Grand Cayman and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach paradise on the north coast of Haiti. Beginning November 15, Vision of the Seas will sail every Saturday from Tampa to destinations in the Western Caribbean, including Grand Cayman, Cozumel (MX), Costa Maya (MX), Roatan (Honduras) or Belize. The 915-foot ship has a capacity of 2,000 guest, double occupancy, and a crew of 742. Previously announced, Brilliance of the Seas also will sail from Tampa in winter 2013-14 and 2014-15 on four-night cruises to Cozumel, and five-night Cozumel itineraries, which additionally call at Grand Cayman or Key West.

“We look forward to having two of our most recently revitalized ships, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas sail from Tampa in 2014,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “The Port of Tampa has been a great partner for more than a decade and we look forward to continued growth with the Tampa Port Authority in the future.”

There will now be six cruise ships that homeport in Tampa. The projected passenger throughput with the sixth ship will be just over 1 million passengers, the largest throughput in the port’s 31-year history as a cruise port. Port officials are excited to welcome an additional ship to Tampa, which has been home port to Royal Caribbean ships since the first ship, Rhapsody of the Seas, called in January 2002.

With Brilliance of the Seas having just undergone an extensive revitalization in May 2013 and Vision of the Seas to also be revitalized in September 2013, guests will enjoy more dining options, exciting entertainment and innovative amenities for which Royal Caribbean is known. In addition to Broadway-style musical revues in the main theater, guests also will be WOW’ed by the new aerial-acrobatic entertainment production, which spans throughout both ships’ multi-story Centrum. All staterooms and bathrooms will be completely refreshed and new Royal Family Suites will offer another stateroom choice to cater to every member of the adventurous family. Vision of the Seas’ guests will enjoy eight restaurants, including new Park Café gourmet deli, which is complimentary, and Chops Grille, Izumi Asian Cuisine, and the exclusive Chef’s Table experience for 16 guests, which include an additional charge. Brilliance of the Seas’ guests also have choices of Rita’s Cantina and Vintages Wine and Tapas Bar, as well as the King and Country Pub, for an additional charge.

Through the cruise line’s ongoing fleetwide revitalization program, Vision of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas offer guests some of the more popular concepts that were introduced aboard Royal Caribbean’s ground-breaking Oasis-class ships, such as new digital signage, bow-to-stern Wi-Fi service, new flat-panel televisions in every stateroom, an oversized LCD movie screen overlooking the main pool, Concierge and Diamond Lounges for suite and Crown & Anchor Society loyalty member guests, and the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery for the youngest guests ages six to 36 months.

In addition to being a U.S. top ten cruise homeport, the Port of Tampa is one of the nation’s largest and most cargo-diverse seaports. The port handles a full array of cargoes, from building materials to petroleum products, for the entire west/central Florida region. The port is the largest economic engine in the region, supporting about 80,000 jobs and generating $15.1 billion in annual economic impact. For more information about the Port of Tampa, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Windstar Cruises to Renovate Staterooms

Seattle, Aug 29: Windstar Cruises, the leader in small ship cruising, continues to evolve its fleet with three million dollars of stateroom upgrades scheduled for Wind Star and Wind Spirit, the two smallest sister yachts of the fleet. Wind Star’s 72 guest staterooms will be renovated in a dry dock this November (one stateroom was already completed as a model showcase room). Wind Spirit is scheduled to have its 73 staterooms completed in April of 2015.

“We have a company-wide commitment to ensuring our yachts are constantly evolving to give our guests the best luxury experience possible,” said Hans Birkholz, chief executive officer and president of Windstar Cruises. “These latest enhancements, along with the renovations done in early 2012, will make our staterooms some of the best in the luxury market.” Birkholz added, “Guests are staying in our model showcase stateroom on Wind Star, and the reviews so far have been outstanding. The new layout really exemplifies yacht-style cruising.”

The current layout will be transformed with a sofa where guests can relax, watch TV or catch a cat-nap to replace the previous desk and vanity set-up. When room service is ordered, or if guests want a place to write, the middle section of the sofa converts into a table, with seats at each end. Additionally, the center dresser located next to the bed will be exchanged for a compact dresser that will give guests more open room.

Staterooms on both yachts were previously enhanced as part of Windstar’s $18 million fleet-wide renovation project in 2012. Across the fleet, staterooms were updated with leather headboards, stately arm chairs, linen wall coverings, new lighting features, elegant window coverings, plush wool carpeting, art work, and stylish bed cushions. Corridors were completely renovated from floor to ceiling with new wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, lighting, and art work.

While Windstar’s sailing yachts continue to evolve with the latest trends in the luxury market, Windstar Cruises is also preparing for Star Pride, the first of the company’s three new power yachts, to enter it’s month-long dry-dock in April 2014, before sailing the Mediterranean in May of 2014. To learn more about Windstar Cruises, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Silversea Launches New 2014 Brochures

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Aug 29: Silversea has just released two new brochures detailing the luxury line's expansive array of voyages in 2014, when its seven-ship fleet will visit over 500 destinations on seven continents. The brochures are available in digital and print formats, and can be viewed online at by clicking the E-BROCHURE link.

The new Voyage brochure, devoted to the elegant ocean-going journeys of Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, and Silver Spirit, is complemented by a separate Adventure guide highlighting the extraordinary expedition cruises of Silver Explorer and Silver Galapagos, ships known for exploring some of the world's most remote regions.

"Next year marks Silversea's 20th anniversary and our new brochures have captured the sense of excitement and celebration that we'll be sharing with guests throughout the year," said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea's president of the Americas. "Whether you're looking for an exhilarating adventure to lands far off the beaten path, or just a chance to relax and rejuvenate, in 2014 you'll find an amazing range of imaginative itineraries and enriching programs that will help you design the perfect vacation."

The 2014 Voyage brochure opens with a personal letter of welcome from the company's chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio. Subsequent pages of captivating imagery and engaging content offer a snapshot of Silversea's unique luxury lifestyle. The balance of the brochure features a "What's New" section, followed by detailed worldwide cruise itineraries by region, including shore excursion recommendations, descriptions of land programs, deck plans and general information. Plus, a convenient foldout voyage calendar is provided in the back of the brochure.

2014 Highlights:

WORLD CRUISE 2014: This incomparable 113-day odyssey aboard Silver Whisper departs January 6 from Los Angeles, visiting 54 destinations in 29 countries, and featuring 12 overnight stays. Following a westward path across the Pacific, Silver Whisper will call on lush Polynesia and lands Down Under, including Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga Island, Australia, and New Zealand. From there, she will sail up to the remote island of Koror and then head west to spend a month exploring fascinating Asian cultures -- from China, Japan, and Vietnam to Thailand, Singapore, and India, including three days in Myanmar. Silver Whisper will conclude her global tour in Barcelona.

GRAND VOYAGES: Created for those who can spare the time and prefer a more immersive travel experience, this special collection offers extended voyages from 21 to 66 days. These unique long cruises combine the luxury of sailing aboard elite, all-suite ships with expanded journeys to diverse regions of the world, featuring visits to must-see traditional ports, as well as far-flung exotic destinations, all on one cruise.

Circle South America: On January 6, Silver Spirit departs on the longest Grand Voyage of the year, a 66-day "Circle South America" roundtrip voyage from Fort Lauderdale visiting 37 intriguing destinations in South America and the Caribbean. Highlights include a crossing of the Panama Canal, cruising Chile's majestic fjords, a three-day/two-night stopover in Rio de Janeiro, and overnight stays in St. Bart's, Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas, and Callao.

CANNES & MONTE CARLO GRAND PRIX: In May, Silver Spirit's Voyage 5414 will take guests on a Mediterranean cruise visiting Cannes during the star-studded 67th Film Festival followed by a visit to the exciting Grand Prix in Monte Carlo.

MYANMAR: The legendary Golden Land, formerly known as Burma, is truly one of the most enchanting destinations in Asia. Three Asia cruises will feature multiple-night stopovers in Myanmar: Silver Wind's Voyage 2438, a 14-day roundtrip voyage from Singapore departing on December 21; Silver Shadow's Voyage 3404, a 14-day roundtrip voyage from Singapore departing on February 13; and Silver Whisper's Voyage 4405, a 17-day sailing from Singapore to Muscat, departing on March 19.

EXPEDITION CRUISES: In a first for Silversea, Silver Explorer will sail the Northwest Passage, the famed shipping route that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the Canadian Arctic. And complementing the ship's ever-popular cruises to Antarctica, Central and South America, the British Isles, and Arctic Norway are first-ever expedition voyages to the Russian Far East, Japan, South Pacific and French Polynesia.

And Silver Galapagos will again operate 7-day, roundtrip voyages from Baltra exploring the amazing Galápagos on the following year-round itineraries:

Western Itinerary: Traces a path across the western, southern and eastern islands of Santiago, Bartolomé, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, San Cristóbal, and Santa Cruz.

North Central Itinerary: Encompasses the northeast, central and southeast islands of Santa Cruz, Genovesa, Seymour Norte, San Cristóbal, Española, and Plazas Sur.

For a complimentary print copy of either brochure, visit and click on the "Order a Brochure" link or call toll-free (877) 215-9986.

Back to the top of the news list

Royal Caribbean Announces Winter 2014-15 Brazil Cruises

MIAMI, August 28: Royal Caribbean International announced the winter 2014-15 Brazil and South America season of Splendour of the Seas. Sailing roundtrip from Sao Paulo (Santos), Brazil, Splendour of the Seas will sail 3- to 8-night Brazil cruises, calling at Buzios, Ilha Grande, and Ilhabela, and 7-night Argentina and Uruguay cruises, calling at Punta Del Este and Montevideo, Uruguay; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. A special 8-night sailing, departing Dec 27, 2014, will take guests to Porto Belo, Buzios, Ilha Grande and Ilhabela, and herald in the New Year at Rio de Janeiro to catch the world-famous fireworks show at Copacabana Beach. Splendour of the Seas’s winter 2014-15 Brazil and South America cruises are now open for sale.

“We are glad to bring Splendour of the Seas back to Brazil for an eighth winter season,” said Lisa Bauer, executive vice president of Global Sales and Marketing for Royal Caribbean International. “Splendour of the Seas combines a vast array of new and modern features and conveniences, exciting itineraries, and our world-renowned friendly and engaging GOLD Anchor Service to deliver a unique South America vacation experience that can only be found on Royal Caribbean. And our award-winning family programming will help make a vacation to the region an unforgettable experience for all ages.”

Vacationers also can choose among two trans-Atlantic sailings between Brazil and Spain that bookend Splendour of the Seas’ winter 2014 season. A 15-night westbound itinerary from Barcelona, Spain to Sao Paulo (Santos) will depart on Nov. 22, 2014 and call at Seville (Cadiz), Spain; Lisbon and Madeira (Funchal), Portugal; Tenerife, Canary Islands; and Rio De Janeiro. Splendour of the Seas returns from Sao Paulo (Santos) to Barcelona on Apr. 20, 2015, and calls at Rio De Janeiro and Salvador De Bahia, Brazil; Tenerife; and Malaga, Spain.

Splendour of the Seas was recently revitalized to offer guests more delicious dining choices, breathtaking entertainment, and modern amenities. In particular, guests will delight in the Centrum’s aerial, acrobatic musical extravaganza that spans the ship’s six-deck-high atrium. Splendour of the Seas’ youngest guests, age six- through 36-months old, will love the attentive care in the new Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, and Royal Caribbean’s most loyal and suite guests can enjoy the exclusive new Diamond Lounge and Concierge Club, respectively.

All guests can enjoy Splendour of the Seas’ 10 onboard dining options, including specialty restaurants Park Café Gourmet Deli and the Boardwalk Doghouse, which are complimentary, and Chops Grille Steakhouse, Izumi Asian Cuisine, an a la carte menu in the Viking Crown Lounge Nightclub, and the exclusive 16-guest Chef’s Table, which are for an additional charge.

Guests also can stay connected with optional bow-to-stern Wi-Fi service; enjoy the new oversized movie screen poolside; and find out what’s happening and how to get there with new Digital Signage strategically placed throughout the ship. Throughout, all furnishings and upholstery in public spaces and every stateroom were renewed..

As the one true global cruise brand, Royal Caribbean International caters to an international clientele and deploys its cruise ships throughout the world. On Splendour of the Seas’ Brazil cruises, Royal Caribbean offers a culturally enriching cruise experience, in which vacationers will find that the majority of fellow guests are Brazilian and speak Portuguese. While guests will enjoy a more authentic regional experience, including additional onboard choices that reflect the region’s tastes and flavors, English is always spoken by the ship’s staff and crew. For additional information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

American Cruise Lines Launches Give-Back Program with Holiday Donation Campaign

GUILFORD, CT, Aug 28: American Cruise Lines announced today the launch of its “Give-Back” program, a brand new initiative dedicated to helping those in need. To kick off the program, American Cruise Lines has partnered with Connecticut Food Bank to help alleviate hunger in the state of Connecticut, which is home to its headquarters. For each ticket sold on its Thanksgiving cruises, the line will donate $50 to the Food Bank. The money raised will help put food on the tables of needy Connecticut residents and spread joy this holiday season. The Give-Back program will raise money on tickets sold for the following Thanksgiving cruises:

Mississippi River 7-night cruise (Memphis to New Orleans ), Nov. 23: Aboard the 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi
Historic South & Golden Isles 7-night cruise, Nov. 23: Aboard the 104-passenger Independence
Great Rivers of Florida 7-night cruise, Nov. 23: Aboard the 49-passenger American Glory

In addition to the rewarding feeling of knowing their bookings will help those in need this holiday season, guests will enjoy Thanksgiving in one of the most spectacular areas of the country. Onboard, a team of world class chefs will prepare a special feast with everything that could be expected at a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Guests will enjoy turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, apple pie and more. The day before, guests may even join the head chef to learn how he makes the cornucopia.

“The objective of the new program is to give back to the local and national community,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “Partnering with Connecticut Food Bank is one of many ways we plan to contribute to the society that makes our business possible. From sponsorships and monetary donations, to employee volunteering, American Cruise Lines is committed to making the world a better place.”

American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, operates the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships on more than 35 itineraries around the country. Long established and deeply experienced in cruise travel, American Cruise Lines has most recently received world-wide recognition as the first to revive paddlewheel river cruising in America. The line is known for working closely with guests before, during, and after a cruise to create a highly personalized cruise experience. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Paul Gauguin Cruises Offers Holiday Voyages In Paradise

BELLEVUE, Wash., Aug. 27: 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 two 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyages on The Gauguin and a 7-night Caribbean voyage on the m/v Tere Moana, offering the perfect way to celebrate December holidays in paradise.

On The Gauguin's Dec 21, 2013, voyage, guests can enjoy a "White Christmas" on French Polynesia's white-sand beaches, or they can ring in the New Year on the South Seas in style during the December 28, 2013, cruise. On The Moana's Dec 21, 2013,voyage guests can enjoy sailing among the diverse, tropical islands of the Caribbean during the festive holiday season.

Both Tahiti & the Society Islandsholiday voyages aboard The Gauguin cruise roundtrip from Papeete, Tahiti, visiting Raiatea and Taha'a, and overnighting in Bora Bora and Moorea. A highlight of each sailing is a visit to Paul Gauguin Cruises' private islet, Motu Mahana, off the coast of Taha'a, to enjoy an expansive barbecue with full-service bar and watersports. There is also the opportunity to relax at the cruise line's exclusive, private white-sand beach in Bora Bora, with bar service, volleyball, swimming, and sunbathing. On the December 28(th) sailing, Judy Jordan, Founder and President of J Vineyards & Winery, will provide a lecture and winetasting demonstration, and musician Robert Thomas will perform. Cruise fares for both holiday voyages start at $4,895 per person and include airfare from Los Angeles.

Paul Gauguin Cruises will offer its Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program FREE (ordinarily $299 per child) on both holiday sailings aboard The Gauguin. This unique, groundbreaking program, created by oceanographer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society,introduces young travelers (ages 9 to 17) to the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia by providing hands-on, interactive experiences with marine and island ecosystems. Participants explore coral reefs, hike rainforest trails, and visit marae (ancient Polynesian temples) and also learn how black pearls and vanilla are cultivated and how volcanic islands become coral atolls.

In the Caribbean, The Moana cruises roundtrip from Philipsburg, St. Maarten, visiting Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, Les Saintes and St. Barts in the French West Indies, and Basseterre in St. Kitts & Nevis. Guests can bask on the sugar-sand beaches under the warm tropical sun and enjoy a festive barbecue at Prickly Pear Beach on Virgin Gorda.

For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Seabourn Announces New Landing Sites for Antarctica Voyages

SEATTLE, August 27: Seabourn has announced their detailed landing sites at some of Antarctica's most renowned places of historical, scientific, scenic and wildlife interest to visitors. Guests sailing on the line's four "Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia" voyages aboard Seabourn Quest will have opportunities to step ashore and explore many of the most beautiful and interesting sites on the Antarctic continent and islands.

"Seabourn Quest Captain Bjarne Larsen and Expedition Leader Robin West developed a wish-list of top landing sites that we knew our guests would enjoy visiting," said Richard D. Meadows, Seabourn's president. "I'm excited to say that our team's cumulative years of experience and invaluable know-how have resulted in an outstanding menu of options to create an unforgettable Antarctic adventure.

The aim of Seabourn's selections is to offer their guests as full and comprehensive a range as possible of experiences available to Antarctic visitors, including opportunities to view different species of penguins, seals and whales; visit sites of historical and geological interest; gain first-hand insights into regional scientific research; see a variety of types of ice features and enjoy scenic cruising of spectacular waterways and passages. Seabourn is planning that guests will have an opportunity for a landing in a different location each day over the five days in Antarctica. The schedule on each cruise varies and is dependent on weather and ice conditions.

Beginning Nov. 20, 2013, Seabourn Quest will sail on a series of three 21-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, replaces the Falkland/Malvinas with a rare visit to 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.

For The Four "Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia" Sailings include:

Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands offers views of breeding chinstrap penguins, blue-eyed cormorants, kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills, terns and skuas, and the mesmerizing calls of Wilson's storm petrels returning to their crevice nests to relieve their mates. Southern elephant, Weddell and Antarctic fur seals regularly haul out on the beaches.

Neko Harbor, Errera Channel affords expansive views of the Gerlache Strait. First seen and charted by the Belgian explorer, Adrienne de Gerlache during the Belgian expedition of 1897, the bay was named after a whale factory ship, which operated in the area. View nesting gentoo penguins, kelp gulls and skuas, and likely Weddell and crabeater seals.

Cuverville Island, Errera Channel is a small, rocky island with fascinating geological formations. View the region's largest colony of breeding gentoo penguins, as well as southern giant petrels, kelp gulls, Antarctic terns, snowy sheathbills, Antarctic brown skuas and south polar skuas. Weddell and Antarctic fur seals are often seen on the island's shoreline.

Yankee Harbor, Greenwich Island, South Shetland Islands is known for its gentoo penguin rookery on the raised terrace beaches and artifacts of sealing era, including try-pots. See a plaque in memory of Capt. Robert McFarlane, who explored the Antarctic Peninsula in 1820.

Almirante Brown is a small seasonal Argentine station in Paradise Bay -- without doubt, one of the more spectacular sites in Antarctica and aptly named. An excellent site for a continental landing, or a hike up the slope for panoramic views. Zodiac tours thread the icebergs and "bergy bits" to view seals on ice floes and look for whales which frequent the bay.

Waterboat Point/González Videla Station, is another opportunity for continental landing and also to meet a Chilean research team. The station is named for Chilean president Gabriel González Videla, the first head of state ever to visit Antarctica, in 1950. Gentoo and chinstrap penguins breed here. Kelp gulls, skuas, blue-eyed cormorants and seals may also be seen.

Brown Bluff, Tabarin Peninsula, located just off the Antarctic Sound where huge tabular icebergs float northwards from the Weddell Sea, 2,250-foot, ice-capped Brown Bluff is reminiscent of the North American "Badlands"-except with 20,000 nesting Adélie penguins. Occasionally emperor penguins are seen among the ice.

Esperanza Station, Hope Bay is an alternative landing site on the eastern side of the peninsula, where guests see first-hand how researchers live and work in this environment. Base personnel bring families here, including some children who live here year-round. The site also holds the remains of a hut built by Otto Nordenskjöld's 1901 Swedish Expedition.

Arctowski Station, Admiralty Bay, King George Island. A number of research bases are sited on the island, including U.S. scientists at the nearby Pietr Lenie Field Station. The rare assemblage of breeding chinstrap, gentoo and Adélie penguins, allows comparative breeding and feeding ecology studies. Fur seals and Southern elephant seals are often seen, too.

For more information visit Select Highlights of Seabourn's Antarctica Landing Reservations

Back to the top of the news list

Crystal Polynesian Mind, Body & Spirit Cruise Kicks Off New Year's Resolutions

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 26: Ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises is inspiring its guests to relax, refresh and recharge with a new Mind, Body & Spirit-themed exotic cruise through some of the most exquisite waters in the world. Crystal Symphony's first voyage of the year, a 12-day "Southern Seas Soliloquy" itinerary, begins January 8, 2014 in Valparaiso, Chile, and sails across the southern Pacific to the Society/Tahitian, Easter, and Pitcairn Islands (the latter of Mutiny on the Bounty fame). On the roster are a guest yoga instructor, extreme athlete, health and wellness expert, and ZUMBA(®) teacher, as well as a repertoire of active excursions and a host of complimentary fitness classes.

"This offers a wonderful vacation opportunity to connect with some of the most remote and ancient island cultures in the world, and be as active or relaxed as one chooses over several luxurious sea days of inspiring enrichment - a perfect renewal for the year ahead," says Scott Douglas, Crystal's manager of entertainment.

Among those scheduled to motivate travelers are:

-- Dane Rauschenberg: Extreme athlete who ran 52 marathons in 52 consecutive weekends.
-- Dr. Barbara Udell: Health and wellness expert who's helped guide the Pritikin Longevity Center, Weight Watchers, and the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation.
-- Lisa Goodwin: Transformational yoga instructor skilled at teaching both beginners and seasoned practitioners.
-- Annie Hoefel: High-energy motivator leading ZUMBA classes on board for guests of all ages.

In addition to the above, complimentary fitness classes and programs onboard include Spinning, Pilates, dancing, stretching, circuit training, Nordic Walking, and Walk-on-Water weight vest power walking on the ship's 360-degree promenade deck. Additional experts will also stretch travelers' minds with talks about space exploration, world affairs, and Leonardo da Vinci.

In port, active Crystal Adventures offer snorkeling, scuba diving, ATV-ing, four-wheeling, volcano trekking, helicoptering, and jet skiing with stingrays. Numerous excursions also take guests to ancient Polynesian temples and ceremonial grounds, including Easter Island's famous Moai statues. When anchored outside Pitcairn Island - considered the most remote and smallest inhabited place in the world - local residents will come aboard, allowing guests to liaise with the mutineer descendants and see their traditional crafts. In between stimulating shore-side and shipboard activities, the Crystal Spa boasts a varied menu of soothing and invigorating massages, treatments and scrubs.

The 12-day cruise sails from Valparaiso to Easter Island, Chile; Pitcairn Island/Adamstown, UK; and Moorea, Society Islands before ending with an overnight in Papeete, Tahiti. Crystal Serenity's first cruise of 2014, sailing through the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles starting January 5, also offers a "Mind, Body, Spirit" focus, with all-inclusive fares. Twenty-one other "Experiences of Discovery" theme cruises are scheduled for 2014.

Crystal Cruises' passion for creating unique luxury experiences both on land and at sea have helped earn the company top ratings from international travelers for two decades. For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Cunard Line Celebrates 175th Anniversary Year with 2015 World Voyages
 & Exotic Cruises Program

August 23: Fulfill the ultimate adventure aspiration and set sail with Cunard Line, the leader in sailing world voyages with more experience in offering these legendary itineraries than any other cruise line. In 1922, Cunard invented the world voyage when Laconia set off on the first-ever circumnavigation of the globe by a passenger ship, and since then Cunard ships have undertaken more world voyages, carried more passengers on world voyages and visited more destinations during world voyages than any other line.

In 2015, Cunard will commemorate the 175th year of the company’s founding, and the global voyages planned will celebrate this significant milestone in style. This festive time will herald several Cunard Royal Rendezvous events during the World Voyage itineraries: Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth will depart Southampton together on 10 January; on 12 March, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will meet in Sydney; and on May 3rd, all three Queens will return from their World Voyages to Southampton.

Cunard’s 2015 World Voyages and Exotic Cruises Program will feature voyages ranging from eight to 127 days aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Plus, passengers will have the option to combine itineraries into and out of Sydney, Australia across two ocean liners to create customized World Voyage options with a land portion in between. Passengers have the opportunity to visit South Africa or the South Pacific, to circumnavigate Australia, and to discover the excitement of Japan and Southeast Asia. Together, the ships will visit 82 unique destinations in 46 countries, from major cities to less frequented locales. The program opens for pre-registration today and opens for sale on Sept 5th at 5:00am PT.

“Cunard continues its tradition of being the world voyage leader,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We have completed more circumnavigations and taken more passengers on this incredible journey than any other cruise line. And no other ships are welcomed around the world as warmly as the Cunard fleet. Our ships’ arrivals into port attract well-wishers in the thousands – on the water and ashore – it is part of the magic of the Cunard world voyage experience.”

Queen Mary 2
With four maiden calls and an enhanced East-West loop including New Zealand, flagship Queen Mary 2 kicks off her exciting 113-night World Voyage from Southampton and will visit 38 ports of call in 21 countries.

Destination highlights will include celebrating Chinese New Year in Sanya, China; travelling through the Suez Canal; extensive cruising of New Zealand’s Fjordland and iconic city waterfronts; Sydney Harbour; and an East-West loop that includes Auckland, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Maiden calls will include Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), Bitung (Indonesia), Sanya (China) and Sihanoukville (Cambodia). Overnight calls will include Sokhna, Dubai, Hong Kong, Auckland and Cape Town.

Regional Voyages provide passengers the opportunity to enjoy Cunard’s distinctive World Voyage experience in a shorter time frame, ranging from eight to 24 days and will include:

20-day Southampton to Dubai, includes an overnight in Sokhna and Dubai
14-day Dubai to Singapore
8-day Singapore to Hong Kong
19-day Hong Kong to Sydney, includes an overnight stay in Hong Kong
13-day Sydney to Sydney, includes an overnight stay in Auckland
24-day Sydney to Cape Town, includes an overnight stay in Cape Town
15-day Cape Town to Southampton

Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria’s 103-night Pacific Exploration itinerary will visit 33 ports in 21 countries, including two Panama Canal transits and two Transatlantic Crossings. Additional options include a South Pacific cruise starting in Los Angeles or San Francisco, visiting Sydney, and then returning to Los Angeles. Guests will also have the chance to view other iconic city waterfronts such as New York, Sydney Harbour and Auckland with one overnight call in Sydney.

Queen Victoria will make five maiden calls during her World Voyage: Akaroa (New Zealand), Bora Bora, Puerto Limón (Costa Rica), Rarotonga (Cook Islands) and San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua).

Exotic Cruises range from eight to 27 days and will include:

13-day Southampton to Fort Lauderdale
17-day Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco
15-day Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles
21-day Los Angeles to Sydney
19-day San Francisco to Sydney
27-day Sydney to Los Angeles, includes an overnight stay in Sydney
19-day Los Angeles to New York
15-day Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale
12-day Fort Lauderdale to Southampton
8-day New York to Southampton

Queen Elizabeth
In 2015, Queen Elizabeth will sail a captivating 112-night Western Circumnavigation itinerary that will visit 38 ports in 26 countries, including her sail past Gallipoli on 24 April 2015 to commemorate ANZAC Day and the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign of World War One.

In addition, passengers will travel through the Panama Canal and Suez Canal and under the Golden Gate Bridge, and visit the iconic city waterfronts of New York, San Francisco, Sydney Harbour, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Overnight calls include San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong and Instanbul. Queen Elizabeth will make one maiden call to Yorkeys Knob (Queensland).

Regional Voyages range from 8 to 22 days and will include:

11-day Southampton to Fort Lauderdale
8-day Southampton to New York
21-day New York to San Francisco, includes an overnight stay in San Francisco
18-day New York to Los Angeles
18-day Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco, includes an overnight stay in San Francisco
15-day Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles
22-day San Francisco to Sydney
15-day Sydney to Yokohama, includes an overnight stay in Sydney
16-day Yokohama to Singapore
10-day Singapore to Dubai
20-day Dubai to Southampton, includes an overnight stay in Instanbul

World Voyage Land Tours include:

• The Wonders of Middle Earth: Three nights in New Zealand visiting the glow-worm caves of Waitomo and The Hobbit movie set
Cape Town & Safari: Two nights including game drives in the Aquila Game reserve
Hong Kong and a Taste of China: Three nights including a tour of The Peak and a glimpse of the Terracotta Warriors at Shennzhen
San Francisco: Two nights including a Redwood tour, a visit to the artist district in Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge
Traditional Singapore: Three nights including a city tour and afternoon tea at the Raffles Hotel
Sydney - Tall ships and Beaches: Three nights including an 1850s tall ship harbor cruise and a wildlife park visit

Enhanced Benefits Program
Passengers who book their 2015 World Voyages and Exotic Cruises adventure before Feb 28, 2014 will receive an On Board Credit of up to $3,000 per stateroom on Full World and Liner Voyages, and will also receive a reduced deposit. In addition to On Board Credit, World Club members will receive additional savings of up to $2,000 per person for bookings made before 28 February 2014.

White Star Premier Package
Cunard introduces the White Star Premier Package for Full World Voyage guests and offers roundtrip Economy airfare credit, pre-cruise hotel, transfers, White Star Luggage service, additional On Board Credit, Internet and pre-cruise World Concierge Services. Princess Grill and Queens Grill Suite guests who purchase the White Star Premiere Package will be upgraded to Business Class airfare credit and executive car transfers.

To view the complete 2015 World Voyages and Exotic Cruises schedule, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Enjoy "The Smurfs 2" Adventures On Board MSC Divina

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Aug. 23: To celebrate the release of The Smurfs 2 this summer, MSC Cruises is treating MSC Divina's youngest guests to a truly Smurf-tastic adventure on the high seas. (Children 11 and under sail free year-round on MSC, making this an additional special treat for parents alike!) As the only cruise ship to boast a Smurf-themed Mini and Junior Club, the release of the Smurfs' latest 3D adventures is the perfect opportunity for MSC Divina to take blue and white fun to exclusive new levels.

Starting end of August 2013, kids will enjoy a series of uniquely tailored programs, featuring fun-filled family activities with the ship's giant Smurf mascot as guest of honor. In November 2013, when MSC Divina starts her Caribbean season from Miami, Smurf activities will be extended all season long.

From DJ to sous-chef, the onboard mascot will take on a number of key roles during family events, from Smurfs Family Disco, Smurfs Live Talent Show, and Smurfs Master Chef, a special cooking demonstration with the head pastry chef, teaching children to make biscuits and cakes with a special hands-on experience. Arts and crafts sessions, utilizing official Smurf 2 materials will be another entertaining way to get creative. Guests will be able to sing along to their favorite tunes from The Smurfs 2 official soundtrack, including Britney Spears' "Ooh la la," during the Family Disco and Smurfs Parade.

About MSC Divina
Christened by legendary actress and "diva" Sophia Loren, MSC Divina features 1,751 staterooms, a casino, seven restaurants, 18 bars and lounges, five swimming pools (including infinity pool), a bowling alley, theater, gym, spa, internet cafe, kids and teen areas, and the line's ship within a ship, MSC Yacht Club. For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Princess Cruises Brand Enters China Market

SANTA CLARITA, CA, August 22: Carnival Corporation & plc announced it is introducing its Princess Cruises brand to China in 2014, naming Shanghai as home port for Sapphire Princess during a four-month season expected to carry 70,000 passengers. The new roundtrip cruises, which begin next May, will bring a brand-new premium cruise experience to the rapidly growing China vacation market. Princess will offer the quality and comfort sought by discerning Chinese travelers, delivered by the largest premium cruise line in the world.

Quickly expanding throughout the Asia region, Princess has placed China foremost in the company’s deployment plans due to the market’s burgeoning economy and increasingly discerning travelers seeking a premium cruise vacation. Demonstrating the importance of the market, Carnival Corporation & plc, parent group of Princess Cruises, has opened offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu.

“We’re excited to bring a new premium cruise travel experience to China’s shores,” said Alan Buckelew, Princess Cruises president and CEO. “Though we have carried thousands of Chinese travelers on our ships over many years, we think the time is right for a premium cruise experience that offers a new type of vacation experience for the Chinese consumer, sailing from China.”

The 2014 China season will feature four different itineraries ranging from three to seven days which, according to Princess research, is the ideal number of vacation days for the Chinese market.

The 7-day Sapphire Princess itinerary will take passengers to the vibrant Korean capital of Seoul, on to the culturally rich beach resort of Busan and finishing at the magical Island of Jeju, before returning to Shanghai. The 5-day cruise will call at Jeju and Inchon; the 4-day itinerary will call at Busan and Jeju, while the 3-day cruise calls at Jeju.

In addition to the international cruise experience offered by Princess around the world, passengers on the new China-based cruises will be treated to unique cultural, culinary, entertaining, and inspiring programs including world leader dinners, sommelier wine excursions, daily English high tea, the only 24-hour buffet at sea, Tai Chi and Zumba at sea, a “Princess Night” bedtime experience, and an unparalleled shopping experience. Designed to appeal to multigenerational groups, “Touch of Class” personal enrichment courses will also be offered for adults and children.

The 116,000-ton Sapphire Princess carries 2,670 passengers and, at 952 feet long, has 18 decks and 28 premium suites with private balconies. The ship also includes a casino, duty-free shops, fitness center and spa, sports deck, children’s and teen’s centers, library, internet café, wedding chapel, art gallery and a golf putting course, among other features.

Princess’ new 2014 season of cruises will go on sale to the public on November 1. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available at

Back to the top of the news list

Chef Michael Sabourin Joins Windstar Cruises as Corporate Executive Chef

Seattle, August 21: Windstar Cruises announced today that Michael Sabourin has joined the company as Corporate Executive Chef. In this role he is responsible for the creation of new dishes, galley training, menu design, and enhancing the local culinary experience so Windstar guests can 'taste' the ports of call the leading small ship line visits. Chef Sabourin will report directly to Alan McGrory, Vice President of Hotel and Marine Operations.

With more than 18 years in the culinary industry, Chef Sabourin brings a strong cruise background. Most recently, he served as Executive Chef at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, including both Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. There he was responsible for directing all culinary and associated activities throughout the vessel, including the implementation of new dining room menus, chef table menus, and 5 star dining menus. Chef Sabourin has global expertise, with a wide exposure to markets in Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean, and North America. He trained at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, the world’s premiere culinary college. Prior to Royal, he worked for Sandals Resort, as well as Holland American Line.

“Chef Michael brings a wealth of culinary knowledge and an extensive amount of global experience,” said McGrory. “We look forward to Chef Michael’s contributions as we strive to provide the world’s best culinary experience on Windstar Cruises.”

For additional information, visit Windstar Cruises online at

Back to the top of the news list

SeaDream Yacht Club's Summer 2014 Voyages to Showcase Northern Europe

MIAMI, August 21: Known for its breathtaking beauty and rich history, travel to Northern Europe continues growing exponentially with cruising as a popular mode of exploration. Now SeaDream Yacht Club, best described as “yachting, not cruising,” will expand its destination offerings with mega-yacht experiences in the Baltic and Norwegian Fjords for the Summer 2014 season.

The award-winning SeaDream I will explore the summer yachting ports of Northern Europe including overnight stays in popular cities with exclusive berthing privileges afforded only a mega-yacht. Guests will enjoy docking up the Neva River by the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Stockholm’s historic Gamla Stan and anchoring steps from Tallin, Estonia’s “Old Town” in the inner pond. SeaDream Yacht Club offers guests a perfect chance to experience the region in ultimate comfort and style from June through August 2014 on 7- to 14-day voyages.

“In response to the popular demand from our past guests, SeaDream Yacht Club will bring its yachting lifestyle to Northern Europe in 2014,” says SeaDream Yacht Club CEO Pamela Conover. “Our size allows us to visit some of the region’s less traveled ports and become immersed in its rich culture in the care of the SeaDream I crew’s highly personalized and anticipatory service.”

Starting the season with a sailing from Hamburg, Germany on May 31, 2014, SeaDream I will embark on a journey through the Kiel Canal, calling on the metropolitan destinations of Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Stockholm. In contrast, the voyage also includes the picturesque island of Saaremaa in Estonia and Finland’s Aland Islands, an archipelago of some 6,000 remote islands.

Highlights of Northern European voyages include:

· Multiple night stays in St. Petersburg, Russia, known as “the Venice of the North.” Guests may enjoy a private opening of the world’s largest museum of art, The Hermitage, or a behind-the-scenes look at Russia’s famous Jacobson Ballet School. Enthralling tours of the Neva River and its canals allow an incredible vantage point from which to view St. Petersburg’s renowned architecture.

· Discovering the small city of Mariehamn in the Aland Islands of Finland. A special private evening aboard the Pommern, a tall ship museum, has been arranged for guests to enjoy a Champagne tasting while engaging one-on-one with the diving team that discovered the world’s oldest Champagne bottles at a wreck site near the coast.

· Exploring the majestic Norwegian Fjords up close, visiting hidden coves accessible only by small craft or mega-yacht. Overnights in Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord, Norway.

· Exclusive complimentary land excursion in Oslo to Hadeland Glassworks factory, owned by SeaDream Founder Mr. Atle Brynestad.

· Experience the Midnight Sun, when nightfall is twilight instead of darkness and daytime activities are possible round the clock.

· Outdoor activities including paddling through fjords in kayaks directly launched from the SeaDream I marina. Guests can also use the yacht’s fleet of mountain bikes or hike trails on secluded and sparsely populated islands in the region.

Fully inclusive yachting voyages aboard SeaDream I will be sailing a series of voyages in Northern Europe starting May 31 through August 2014. Itineraries include Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden. For information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Crystal Cruises Pays Tribute To WWII's Pacific Theater With January Voyage

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20; This January, Crystal Cruises is offering history buffs the fascinating opportunity to visit some of the most pivotal battlegrounds and historical sites of World War II's Pacific Campaign, along with key experts to share insider perspectives. On January 19, Crystal Serenity kicks off the first leg of its World Cruise with a carefully crafted Pacific Ocean Odyssey from Los Angeles to Hilo, Honolulu, Guam, Okinawa, Saipan and Tokyo's port of Yokohama. Headlining is best-selling author James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers, the book-turned-Eastwood/Spielberg film about James' father and five other soldiers who were immortalized raising the American flag on Iwo Jima in the iconic Pulitzer-winning photograph.

Providing additional insights, context and history, will be Don Farrell, veteran, Mariana Islands historian and local official in Guam and Tinian and General Anthony Zinni, former Four-Star General and Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command. Ashore, guests can experience new WWII-focused Crystal Adventures on almost every island of the itinerary, including:

-- On Oahu, up to 14 guests can lunch in the Captain's cabin of the U.S.S. Missouri, the last battleship built by the U.S. and the site of the Japanese surrender which ended the war.
-- Excursions to various sites from 1944's Battle of Saipan, including the American Soldiers Landing Point, Banzai Cliff, and the American Memorial Park, which commemorates the Mariana Islands campaign.
-- Fly to the island of Tinian (from Saipan), to see the once-massive airbase from whence B-29 bombers carried the atomic bombs "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" for their fateful missions on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
-- In Okinawa, tour the Japanese Navy's underground headquarters, plus numerous memorials, such as Peace Memorial Park and the Himeyuri Monument and Peace Museum, related to the Battle of Okinawa, the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific War.
-- Okinawa's Shuri Castle, home of the Japanese military's WWII HQ and now an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
-- Guam's WWII-related memorials or battlegrounds, including Ga'an Point, Asan Beach Park, and other areas of interest within the War in the Pacific National Historical Park.
-- Multiple tours explore Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial, as well as Oahu's less-famous battlefields, military bases & memorials, such as Wheeler Army Airfield, Schofield Barracks, Ft. Shafter, Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery, and the Home of the Brave Museum.

The voyage will also feature a veterans' get-together of guests and crew of all nations to share personal observances and stories, as well as Ocean Views-themed expert panel discussions of world affairs, with audience input.

"This cruise offers some of the most strategic islands that proved to be key battlefields for both sides during the Pacific Theater," says John Stoll, vice president of land programs. "From the attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the US into WWII to the surrender of Emperor Hirohito and V-J Day in Tokyo Bay aboard the battleship Missouri, excursions span the entire Pacific Campaign. This fascinating collection of destinations and distinguished group of speakers is sure to invite hours of stimulating discussions."

Crystal's passion for creating exclusive, eye-opening luxury shore-side experiences and enriching onboard programming have earned the line top ratings for two decades. For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

American Cruise Lines Introduces Grand Ole Opry Cruise Experience

GUILFORD, CT,  August 20: American Cruise Lines announced today the introduction of its newest cruise offering on the Mississippi River: The Grand Ole Opry Experience. The 7-night cruise on the Mississippi features various onboard musical performances and complimentary tickets to the Grand Ole Opry of Nashville for Leroy Van Dyke’s Sept 27th show. Guests will begin or end their trip in Nashville, TN, at the Opry, where the heart of the country music industry comes to life. Best known for making country music famous and launching the careers of some of music’s finest, including Johnny Cash and The Everly Brothers, guests will be in for the show of a lifetime at the Opry. The limited offer cruise package is available on two sailings:

Memphis to Nashville – September 21, 2013
Nashville to St. Louis – September 28, 2013

Within his four decades as an entertainer, Leroy Van Dyke has recorded over 500 songs, including the well-known songs of “The Auctioneer” (1956) and “Walk on By” (1961), in addition to traveling a hundred thousand performing miles annually worldwide. The country music legend has not missed a performance in his over 30 years as an entertainer.

During the 8-day journey, guests enjoy magnificent views as they make their way up the Mississippi River through the American Heartland. Onboard, they’ll enjoy Queen of the Mississippi’s numerous and distinct amenities, such as oversized staterooms and private balconies with sliding glass doors; as well as personalized service, fine dining, daily educational events and evening entertainment. Featured musical performers aboard the Grand Ole Opry Experience cruises include:

Dan Knowles and his Band
Juggernaut Jug Band
John Tomlin Band
Beale Street Strutters

American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, operates the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships on more than 35 itineraries around the country. Long established and deeply experienced in cruise travel, American Cruise Lines has most recently received world-wide recognition as the first to revive paddlewheel river cruising in America. The line is known for working closely with guests before, during, and after a cruise to create a highly personalized cruise experience. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces Senior Officers for Norwegian Getaway's Inaugural Season

Miami - Aug 20: Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that two seasoned captains, Rune Myre and Tommy Stensrud, will take the helm of Norwegian Getaway, the largest ship to homeport in Miami year-round launching in February. In addition, Norwegian announced the additional senior officers that will deliver the line's newest ship: Staff Captain Niklas Persson, Chief Engineer Carsten Forsbo, Chief Engineer Oeystein Undrum and Hotel Director Sean Wumhoeringer.

"Norwegian Getaway's arrival in Miami has a lot of significance for us a company since this is the first time in many years that we will have our newest ship based year-round in Miami," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "We are confident that these seasoned officers have what it takes to ensure that Norwegian Getaway's inaugural season is extremely successful."

Captain Rune Myre is an experienced seafarer with more than 28 years at sea. Myre joined Norwegian Cruise Line in 1998 and served as First Officer on board Norwegian Wind and Norwegian Dream. He was then promoted to Staff Captain and worked on Norwegian Sea and Norwegian Dawn. In 2008, he was promoted to Captain on Norwegian Sun and has most recently served as Captain on Norwegian Pearl. Myre is responsible for all aspects of the ship, its guests and crew. He graduated from the Tromso Maritime Academy in 1993. Born in to a fishing family in northern Norway, Myre is an avid fisherman and during his time off, he enjoys sharing his favorite pastime with his two children.

While Myre is enjoying his vacation, Captain Tommy Stensrud will take command of Norwegian Getaway. Stensrud began his nautical career 35 years ago serving in the Norwegian Navy. In 1993, he joined Norwegian Cruise Line as a Deck Cadet on board the Norway and shortly after was promoted to First Officer. In 1996, he was promoted to Chief Officer and then in 1998 he became Staff Captain. In September 2002, Stensrud was appointed Captain of Norwegian Star and he is currently serving as Captain of Norwegian Pearl. He has also played a role in the launch of several Norwegian ships including Norwegian Star, Pride of America and Norwegian Jewel. When he is on vacation, he enjoys spending time at home in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and three children. Both captains are looking forward to this exciting and challenging new role.

Staff Captain Niklas Persson is responsible for the Deck Department and is versed in all of the responsibilities and duties of the Captain, so that he is prepared to assume command if necessary. Persson will also assist Norwegian Getaway's Captain with all operational issues, and all matters involving the safety of guests, crew, the ship and the environment. Persson joined Norwegian in 1999 and since has served as Staff Captain on board Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Jewel and, most recently, on Norwegian Breakaway. When he is not on board, he enjoys spending time with his family in Sweden.

Carsten Fosbo will deliver Norwegian Getaway in the position of Chief Engineer and when on vacation he will be relieved by Oeystein Undrum. As Chief Engineer, Fosbo and Undrum have full responsibility of the entire technical operation of the Ship, play a key role on the ship's Senior Management Team and work closely with the Staff Captain and Hotel Director. Fosbo joined Norwegian in 1998 and has served on board the Norway, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Jewel and as Chief Engineer on Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Breakaway. Originally from Denmark, Fosbo resides in Costa Rica with his wife and children. Undrum joined Norwegian in 1987 and has worked on board many Norwegian ships including the Norway, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Crown, Norwegian Sun and, most recently, on Norwegian Pearl, where he has served as Chief Engineer for the past four years. When he is not onboard, he spends his vacations at home in Norway with his family.

Hotel Director Sean Wurmhoeringer began his career at Norwegian in 2002 on Norwegian Sun and has since held a variety of positions on numerous ships in the fleet. His previous positions have included Food and Beverage Director and Assistant Hotel Director. He was promoted to Hotel Director in 2007. As Hotel Director, he has led teams on Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Star, Norwegian Epic and, most recently, Norwegian Breakaway. When he is not on board, Wurmhoeringer spends his vacation with his family in Salzburg, Austria.

Norwegian Getaway: Being developed as "Miami's ship," Norwegian Getaway will embody the essence of her tropical hometown with hull artwork by Miami's own David "LEBO" LeBatard, which features a whimsical mermaid holding the sun above the waves.

Featuring groundbreaking entertainment, the ship is the first to feature the GRAMMY® Experience at sea, which will include artifacts chosen and curated by the GRAMMY Museum® along with live performances by past GRAMMY winners and nominees, among others. Another first of its kind at sea, The Illusionarium is an all-new dining and entertainment experience that will envelop guests in the fascinating world of magic, inviting them to experience the astonishing illusions of world-class magicians and supernatural special effects. In addition, Norwegian Getaway boasts sizzling Latin-inspired dance productions by Broadway sensation, Burn the Floor; performances of the seven-time Tony Award nominated musical LEGALLY BLONDE; hilarious comedy headliners produced by Levity Entertainment Group; and the sing along fun of the dueling pianos of Howl at the Moon. To cap off a spectacular cruise experience, every sailing will feature a dazzling fireworks show at sea, set to music, as part of a dance party in the ship's outdoor club, Spice H20. Additional information on Norwegian Getaway can be found at

Back to the top of the news list

Silversea Welcomes Acclaimed Recording Artists Paul Brown & Marc Antoine
 to Headline Music Series

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, August 19: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has tapped legendary contemporary jazz guitarists Paul Brown and Marc Antoine to perform on two special "Music under the Stars" voyages aboard its intimate, 540-guest Silver Spirit this year. These unique music-themed sailings will each feature two concerts on stage in the elegant Show Lounge, as well as an outdoor performance during a sail-away cocktail party on the ship's pool deck (when departing Monte Carlo and St. Bart's), where the artist will have a chance to meet and mingle with guests. Plus autographed copies of the musician's latest CD will be delivered to each guest's suite.

Marc Antoine will perform aboard Silver Spirit's 7-day Mediterranean cruise (#5334), sailing Nov 2 from Rome to Barcelona with calls in Livorno, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Porto Mahon, and Palma de Mallorca.

Paul Brown will entertain guests on Silver Spirit's 10-day Caribbean cruise (#5338), sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on Dec 13. Destinations include Tortola, St. Maarten, St. Bart's, San Juan, Samana, and Grand Turk.

"We're excited and honored to have these two renowned artists performing aboard our beautiful Silver Spirit," said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea's president of the Americas. "I know our guests will enjoy an extraordinary music experience."

Antoine, whose career is highlighted by numerous number-one hits on the contemporary jazz charts, has performed with such music royalty as Sting, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Cher, Queen Latifah and others, and has composed and performed for six major movie soundtracks. He tours regularly with contemporary jazz artists Dave Koz, Chris Botti, and Jeff Lorber. In expressing his excitement about the upcoming voyage, Antoine said, "It will be great to perform in the Mediterranean and visit my beloved Spain and France with music lovers from around the world."

Double Grammy-winning Paul Brown has produced more than 50 number-one hits on the contemporary jazz charts. The guitarist, producer, and composer has worked on projects with such music legends as Al Jarreau, George Benson, Patti Austin, Luther Vandross, Kirk Whalum, Boney James, Larry Carlton, Rick Braun, and many others. "I'm looking forward to spending a week with my fans, playing the music I love in a great intimate setting, and making new friends," remarked Brown about his upcoming cruise.

To book these special "Music under the Stars" voyages, guests or their travel agents should call Silversea at toll-free (877) 569-8106 and reference the booking code MUSIC-MED for the Mediterranean cruise and MUSIC-CAR for the Caribbean cruise. For more information on Silversea Cruises, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line's 2014 Europe Season Features 57 Unique Itineraries On 105 Departures

SEATTLE, Aug. 16: For travelers longing to see the sights of Europe in 2014, Holland America Line's cruise program will feature eight of the line's 15 ships, sailing 57 unique itineraries on 105 departures. From the tip of Norway to the beaches in Turkey, cruises range from seven to 42 days, including six new itineraries, seven maiden calls and 17 overnight ports. The diverse fleet that will explore the region includes ms Eurodam and ms Nieuw Amsterdam—Holland America Line's two Signature-Class ships—as well as ms Maasdam, ms Noordam, ms Rotterdam, ms Ryndam and ms Veendam. Known as Holland America Line's intimate explorer, msPrinsendam will sail 13 unique European itineraries in 2014 that feature six of the maiden calls.

"The allure of Europe is that it offers everything for an ideal vacation: culture, history, culinary excellence, shopping, sun and excitement," said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line's executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Europe is the most diverse region in the world, from the snow-capped fjords of Norway to the olive groves of Greece, and our cruises explore every corner of the continent."

The 2014 Europe cruise season showcases Holland America Line's focus on destination diversity, timeless appeal and high-quality experiences, with maiden calls at Antalya, Turkey; Burgas, Bulgaria; Ijmuiden (Amsterdam), the Netherlands; Itea and Kavala, Greece; La Palais on Belle-Ile-en-Mer, France, and Montoir-de-Bretagne (Nantes), France. Several convenient roundtrip options will be available from nine ports: Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Boston, Mass.; Civitavecchia (Rome) and Venice, Italy; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dover (London), England; Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Piraeus (Athens) and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Many of the itineraries also can be extended into Collectors' Voyages ranging from 14 to 37 days, which offer the ultimate European cruise experience. These artfully crafted longer cruises combine back-to-back itineraries, enabling guests to visit more ports and spend extra time exploring centuries of art, history and culture.

Notable New Itineraries:

D-Day 70th Anniversary
Travelers looking for a memorable and moving vacation can embark Eurodam April 29, 2014, for a 12-day "D-Day 70th Anniversary" sailing from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Copenhagen. The ship will call at ports in Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar before arriving at Portland, England, where guests can visit the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Eurodam continues north to Cherbourg (Normandy), France, where the famous World War II battle took place June 6, 1944. The cruise calls at Zeebrugge (Brussels), Belgium, before concluding at Copenhagen.

12-Day Baltic Adventure
From May through August, Eurodam will sail a new 12-day Baltic itinerary roundtrip from Copenhagen that features three overnight calls in some of the most exciting cities in the world: St. Petersburg, Russia; Stockholm, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark. The overnight visits allow for an evening Russian ballet performance, an enchanting nighttime cruise along Stockholm's waterways or a performance at the famed Copenhagen Opera House. The ship also calls at ports in Estonia, Finland and Germany.

14-Day Iberian & Gallic Explorer
Departing May 10 from Civitavecchia (Rome), Prinsendam sails a 14-day voyage to Ijmuiden (Amsterdam) that explores the French wine country with an overnight call at Bordeaux, France. The extended visit allows for an exclusive dinner at a vineyard or extra time to sample local French cuisine. The cruise also visits ports in Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, Belgium and additional calls in France.

14-Day Bourgundian Explorer
Cruising from Ijmuiden (Amsterdam) Sept. 7 to Barcelona, Spain, Prinsendam visits 11 ports in six countries during the two-week journey. After a call at Vlissingen, the Netherlands, guests will enjoy a day of scenic cruising along the Scheidt River. An overnight at Brussels (Antwerp), Belgium, allows extra shopping time for luxury items such as leather, diamonds and chocolate. The cruise continues on to ports in France, including the maiden call at La Palais, Belle-Ile-en-Mer, as well as Spain and Gibraltar before reaching Barcelona.

16-Day Black Sea Explorer
Prinsendam's roundtrip Piraeus (Athens) itinerary that departs Oct. 5 extends from 14 to 16 days in 2014, allowing for two full nights at Istanbul, Turkey, and an overnight at Sevastopol, Ukraine. With extra time at Istanbul, guests can take in sights like the Grand Bazaar and Blue Mosque at their leisure. The cruise also includes the maiden calls at Kavala and Burgàs. In addition to ports in Turkey, Ukraine, Greece and Bulgaria, the ship also calls at Constanta, Romania, and guests will enjoy scenic cruising by Mount Athos, through the Bosporus Strait and Dardanelles.

14-Day Mediterranean Enchantment
Near the end of the European season when there are fewer crowds and more comfortable temperatures, Ryndam sails from Istanbul to Barcelona on a 14-day itinerary that features nine calls throughout Turkey, Egypt, Greece and Italy. Departing Oct. 18, guests can visit some of the most historical sites in the region, including Ephesus at Kusadasi, Turkey; the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx at Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt, and Mount Etna at Messina, Italy. This itinerary also features the line's maiden call at Antalya.

Additional exciting Holland America Line Europe itineraries enable guests to be among the few to cross the Arctic Circle, transit Germany's Kiel Canal or cruise the Gironde Estuary into Bordeaux. Other unique experiences include visiting the stunning Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao, Spain, and searching for "Nessie" the sea monster in Loch Ness at Inverness, Scotland. Those interested in taking a dip in the famous "Blue Lagoon," Iceland's unique geothermal seawater, can choose the 18-day trans-Atlantic cruise aboard Eurodam, which includes an overnight stay at Reykjavik.

On each Europe cruise, Holland America Line's "On Location" enrichment program brings local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life both onboard and ashore to deepen guests' appreciation of the region. Guests might enjoy a Turkish Taraf with live belly dancers, Garden of the Gods deck party, Nordic Jazz and Food Festival, German Bierfest with a live "oompah" band, regional beer and wine tastings, cultural cooking demonstrations, special tapas sail-away parties and more.

Explore4 Early Booking Promotion Gives Added Perks for Planning Now Presently, Holland America Line is offering the Explore4 early booking promotion that features a free Signature Beverage Package or beverage card, a free specialty restaurant dinner, free or reduced fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom and 50 percent reduced deposits for bookings on select 2014 cruises made before Oct 15, 2013. Guests may receive all four offers when booking a qualified itinerary. For more information about the 2014 Europe itineraries, visit

Back to the top of the news list

A Perfect Voyage for the 2014 World Cup

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, August 16: What better way to uncover the beauty and excitement of Brazil but with an iconic voyage that offers not only an unforgettable sojourn, but a unique sense of adventure and captivating excursions, ending in Rio de Janeiro just in time for the 2014 World Cup. MSC Divina's Grande Voyage 18-night sailing departs Miami on May 24th and includes stops in Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas), Bridgetown (Barbados), St. George (Grenada), Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) along with Fortaleza, Salvador de Bahia, Ilheus and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

While on board, unique enrichment and entertainment programs offer arts and crafts sessions, bridge, burraco and chess lessons, professional dance courses, including salsa, merengue and rock’ n roll, with fascinating lecture programs tailored to each itinerary. Travelers relish in classical concerts, fly-on artists and live music from talented bands, while combined dining and entertainment programs take guests on delightful culinary journeys. Cocktails, cooking and flair bartending demonstrations, wine tasting and special menus inspired by local traditions are offered during special themed evenings.

Along the journey, exciting shore excursions at stops throughout the Caribbean and Brazil offer guests a host of memorable experiences. Highlights include:

A classic pirate schooner adventure in St. Thomas is perfect for adults and children alike. Spend the day uncovering dungeons, treasure chests and pirate stockades led by a friendly “motley crew”. Walk the plank and enjoy snorkeling surrounded by tropical fish, colorful living coral reefs and curious turtles. In the crystal blue waters of Barbados, swim alongside friendly sea turtles feeding on coral rocks along the shore. Hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles are readily found swimming, feeding and nesting throughout the island. Next stop is Grenada, where passengers can embark on a rainforest adventure, exploring the various waterfalls of the “Seven Sisters”, hiking through lush tropics, soaking in hot springs and cooling off in crystal clear waters.

Once in Brazil, historical tours of the colonial city of Salvador, one of the oldest capitals in the Americas, feature local cuisine, music, architecture and Afro-Brazilian culture. Excursions highlight Salvador’s key attractions, including the area’s oldest colonial forte, Farol de Barra, the main plaza of Praça da Se, one of the finest examples of Brazilian baroque architecture and Igreja de Ordem Terceira and the infamous “healing room of miracles” of the Bonfim Church.

South of Salvador, discover the bright, early-20th-century architecture of the once prosperous cocoa port of Ilhéus. Its colorful history was made famous by famed Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado in his best-selling novel Gabriela, Cravo e Canela. (‘Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon’). Scenic geography, eclectic architecture and nearby Atlantic rainforest reserves, make this a worthwhile stop.

In Rio de Janeiro, cable cars take you to the top of Sugar Loaf, one of several monolithic morros (hills) of granite and quartz that rise straight from the water's edge for incredible city vistas. Jeep tours include visits to the Christ statue, the Candelaria Church, Lapa Arch’s, a charming cultural town full of galleries in Santa Teresa, and the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon. Architecture enthusiasts can take a scenic drive to view several of Oscar Niemeyer’s pieces of art with a visit to the saucer-shaped Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum.

For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Red Sox Fan Cruise

Celebrity Cruises’ 2014 Red Sox Fan Cruise is now open for booking and space is filling up fast! On January 12th, 2014, the Fan Cruise will embark with Red Sox legends Keith Foulke, Brian Daubach, Bill “Soup” Campbell, John Tudor and David Stapleton, and WEEI broadcaster Joe Castiglione on a 7 night modern luxury vacation to the Western Caribbean. Once onboard, cruisers will enjoy two exclusive Red Sox cocktail parties, a martini tasting at the ice-topped martini bar, and what’s sure to be an unforgettable private beach party with Red Sox legends and fellow fans.

See below for a short bio on each of the legends that will be aboard the Celebrity Silhouette®:

• Keith Foulke: A member of the 2004 World Series Championship team, he was on the mound for the final out when a one bounce ground ball was hit back to him and he flipped to first clinching the team’s first World Series Championship since 1918.
Brian Daubach: Due to his hardnosed style of play and penchant for clutch hitting, he was both a player and fan favorite and only the third left-handed rookie in Red Sox history to hit at least 20 home runs, joining Ted Williams and Fred Lynn.
Bill “Soup” Campbell: One of the top relief pitchers in all of baseball, he signed with Boston after the 1976 season as one of the first high profile big money free agents in baseball and is tied for the American League record for wins by a reliever in a single season.
John Tudor: Massachusetts native that was drafted by the Red Sox in the third round of the 1976 draft and is the last Major League player to record 10 or more shutouts in a season to date.
David Stapleton: Worked his way up the Red Sox minor league system playing for Winter Haven, Bristol and Pawtucket before making his first appearance for the Red Sox in 1080.

For more information or to book a spot on Celebrity’s Red Sox Fan Cruise consumers and travel agents can call 1-888-276-2874 and provide price code REDSOX01.

Back to the top of the news list

Norwegian Cruise Line Plans Eco-Friendly Destination in Belize

BELIZE CITY, August 15: Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it has purchased approximately 75 acres in Southern Belize for the planned development of an eco-friendly cruise destination. The land, called Harvest Caye, is made up of two adjoining islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts that had previously been approved for a resort development with an air strip. Norwegian plans to invest $50 million in the project.

“As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and CEO. “In our quest to continuously look for new and exciting destinations for our guests, we plan to develop a cruise destination focused on sustainable design and eco-friendly principles that will retain the natural beauty and local culture of this tropical paradise.”

Norwegian has retained IDEA Inc. of Orlando, Florida to design the destination and bring the project to fruition. IDEA is an industry leading designer of branded ports of call and branded destinations for the hospitality, entertainment and tourism industries. IDEA has worked with private developers, government ministries, and independent agencies to create branded destinations in Alaska; Florida; St. Lucia; St. Maarten; Mexico; St. Kitts; Honduras; Bahamas; and Jamaica.

“This project will set a new standard in the development of an eco-friendly destination. Rather than an imposed plan, we are focused on a design approach that is determined by the local environment to ensure that the unique surroundings and features of the area will be protected and showcased for all to enjoy,” said Hugh Darley, president of IDEA, Inc.

“At Norwegian, we have a strong commitment to the environment through our Eco-Smart Cruising philosophy. We will continue that commitment as we develop the Belize project and ensure that we are socially responsible in everything we do,” said Colin Murphy, vice president, destination and strategic development for Norwegian Cruise Line.

While the master plan for the 75 acres is still under development, the vision is to create a world-class cruise destination, consisting of two locations: an island destination with docking/tendering facilities and a mainland connection point for inland tours. Major components of the project are anticipated to include a floating pier, island village with open-air structures on raised platforms, marina, transportation hub for tours to the mainland, a lagoon for a variety of water sports and a relaxing beach area. The goal is to design an authentic experience grounded in the storyline of nature, ancient culture, art, adventure and music that celebrates Belizean, Mayan and Garifuna history and culture.

The Government of Belize and Norwegian have signed a memorandum of understanding on the development that calls for adherence to Belize’s environmental standards, creation of jobs for Belizeans, as well as significant economic impact, among other items. Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said that Belize needs to decentralize cruise tourism in an effort to reduce overcrowding and improve the visitor experience. Prime Minister Barrow also expressed confidence in Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to responsible development that will have a positive economic impact while maintaining the integrity of natural resources.

The new destination is expected to benefit Belize directly with significantly increased head tax revenues, and at a local level with up to 1,000 new jobs. The creation of the new destination will also help relieve cruise tourism pressures in Belize City which has been called for in Belize’s National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan. Norwegian plans to employ a majority of Belizeans in the construction and operation of the destination in Belize. The company has also created a hiring program specifically for Belizeans who want to work in the immediate future on its vessels while the project is under development. Once the destination is ready to open, those Belizeans will have priority preference for the numerous staff positions needed to run the day-to-day operations.

Back to the top of the news list

Princess Cruises' Fourth Annual Report Reveals Americans’ Relaxation Styles

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Aug. 15: Princess Cruises today released results from its fourth annual Relaxation Report, conducted in celebration of National Relaxation Day on Aug. 15. The national survey revealed that men and women have different notions of what makes a vacation truly relaxing. In fact, maybe there is validity to the idea that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, because almost one in four women would rather read more, whereas 34 percent of men would rather have more sex on vacation than at home.

The survey also revealed that men might know how to better relax than women. In fact, 45 percent of men feel relaxed when they return home from vacation as opposed to 43 percent of women who feel tired and need a vacation from their vacation.

"It's definitely interesting, although not all too surprising, to see a distinction between how men and women like to relax while on vacation," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "The good news is, male or female, whatever the preferred method of relaxation, Princess Cruises offers a wide variety of restful and relaxing options for any traveler looking to unplug and escape."

Princess Cruises, which annually helps more than 1.7 million passengers “escape completely” aboard its worldwide fleet of ships and exotic destinations, commissioned the annual report in an effort to uncover consumer attitudes towards vacation and relaxation habits and behaviors to better ensure their customers have a fully relaxing trip.

Go Big or Go Home!
The majority of Americans aged 35 and older report that it typically takes them two or more days to settle into their vacation, perhaps needing extra time to unplug from the office. In fact, nearly two out of three Americans surveyed prefer at least a full week away on vacation, as opposed to a day off here and there, to completely check out and feel relaxed.

Celebrity Vacation Date
Men and women also seem to be at odds when asked which female celebrity they’d like to relax with; 40 percent of women would rather laugh with comedian Ellen DeGeneres, whereas 42 percent of men lean toward girl-next-door Taylor Swift and on-screen siren Scarlett Johansson. When asked which male celebrity Americans would want to vacation alongside, men and women came together and agreed collectively (22 percent) that leading hunk Hugh Jackman is their man of choice.

When it comes to a musical companion, Justin Timberlake wins hands down in a showdown with Rihanna, with 18 percent of men and women preferring to get their sexy back versus 13 percent who would rather shine bright like a diamond.

In analyzing generational preferences, Millenials (approximately 18-31 years of age) tend to prefer younger celebrity companions with almost one quarter choosing Scarlett Johansson (22 percent) and nearly one third choosing Ashton Kutcher (31 percent), while Boomers would rather spend a vacation relaxing with folks closer to their own age, Ellen DeGeneres (25 percent) and Anderson Cooper (22 percent).

No Wake Up Calls, Please!
Nothing says relaxation like burying yourself in white, crisp clean sheets with no alarm clock set. Millennials agree, with one in four choosing sleep as the activity they most enjoy doing more of on a relaxing vacation than when they are at home. On the other hand, only 14 percent of Americans 65 and older are eager to sleep on vacation.

Not surprising, while it may be challenging to achieve with children along for the ride, nearly one in four parents prefer sleeping more on vacation than non-parents. In fact, for parents, getting more sleep on vacation is more of a priority than having sex (23 percent and 20 percent respectively).

About the 2013 Survey: The Princess Cruises Vacation Relaxation survey was conducted by ORC International among 1,008 American adults, ages 18 and older, between Aug. 1 and Aug. 4, 2013, using the CARAVAN landline-cell phone combined sample methodology. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available on the company's website at

Back to the top of the news list

Hypoallergenic Luxury Accommodations To Debut On Crystal Cruises

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14: Allergy sufferers can check their discomfort at the door—of 70 Crystal Serenity doors, that is—when ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises launches the cruise industry's first hypoallergenic staterooms. Already renowned for the highest standards of sanitation and comfort, Crystal is introducing a whole new category of luxury accommodations for the most refreshing night's sleep possible on the world's #1 cruise line: Deluxe PURE Staterooms.

Crystal is partnering with PURE Marine Solutions, sister company of leading allergy-friendly hospitality innovator PURE Global, for a comprehensive transformation utilizing the only hypoallergenic process patented and proven to deliver a safe and healthy environment. During Crystal Serenity's "Extreme Makeover" dry-dock in November, each of the current 70 "AA" verandah rooms will undergo PURE's seven-step air and surface purification process to remove allergens and reduce the risk of common irritants. Among the many steps to maintain this superior allergy-friendly indoor environment, a state-of-the art medical grade air purifier will continue to filter out 99.9% of all impurities and dust. While PURE rooms are usually sold at a premium at shoreside luxury properties, Crystal's Deluxe PURE Staterooms will be available to guests at no additional cost. The rooms debut on Nov 27 and will be designated as "P1" and "P2" in April.

"Imagine returning to your room after a full day ashore in a bustling city like Rome or Bangkok, and then slipping into your purified sanctuary of ultra-clean air and hypoallergenic bedding," says Jack Anderson, Crystal's senior vice president, marketing & sales. "For guests who suffer from allergies, have mild respiratory issues such as asthma, or who simply desire a respite from the air quality in many cities, these staterooms will become a haven of fresh air - for no additional cost."

How does a room become PURE?

Phase 1: Disinfection
1. Deep Clean Air-Handling Unit: Each room's air handling systems (heat and air-conditioning), including fan blades, condensation lines, and drop pans, are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected using PURE's advanced treatment, leading to a dramatically improved overall air quality in each room.
2. PURE Clean: Every surface of the room, including furniture, curtains, and carpeting, is deep-cleaned and sanitized using special vacuums and a patented PURE cleaning solution that disintegrates bio films and maximizes removal of dirt and bacteria that traditional cleaners may leave behind.
3. High Ozone Shock Treatment: An advanced shock treatment completely eliminates particles, viruses, germs, and odors from every inch of the room, resulting in a fresh, crisp environment.

Phase 2: Prevention & Maintenance
4. PURE Shield. A patented bacteriostatic barrier is applied everywhere, from light switches and TV screens to countertops and artwork, repelling new microorganism growth for up to two years and making it  nearly impossible for bacteria and viruses to survive in a PURE environment.
5. PURE Tea Tree Oil Cartridge. A natural antimicrobial disinfectant, safe even for scent allergy sufferers, is strategically placed to maintain the room's sanitized conditions.
6. Air Purification System. A patented PURE air purifier is discretely installed inside the room, providing 24-hour defense against airborne irritants. Listed by the FDA as a Class II  Medical Device, PURE's state- of-the-art system is 150 times more efficient than HEPA and proven to eliminate 100% of organisms from the air as they pass through the purifier.
7. Allergy-Friendly Bedding. Micro-fiber, mono-filament mattress and pillow encasements add an extra layer of allergen protection while sleeping.

Crystal's housekeeping staff will be trained in any daily maintenance routines required. Every six months, PURE specialists will also re-service the rooms, ensuring spaces are kept to the highest of hygiene levels indefinitely.

What are the tangible results guests may see, feel, and experience from staying in a Deluxe PURE Stateroom?

-- Relief from allergies and mild respiratory issues, including coughing, sneezing, sniffling, and watery eyes. (Crystal's PURE particle-free reduction process exceeds asthma and allergy community recommendations.)
-- More sound sleep, waking refreshed.
-- Breathing of clean, crisp, ultra-fresh air, thereby enhancing the relaxation and recuperation that people expect from vacation.
-- No chemicals, no lingering odorsPURE's cleaning solutions are completely invisible to the eye, smell, and touch.

Crystal's Deluxe PURE rooms are immediately available for booking. For Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Seabourn Launches Online Videos Series: "Seabourn InSights"

SEATTLE, August 13: Seabourn is introducing "Seabourn InSights," a new series of online videos that offer an inside look at the award-winning, intimate ships, the appealing destinations where they cruise and the skilled, dedicated men and women who work on board. From captains and executive chefs to waiters and suite stewardesses, the short video vignettes feature interviews with staff members, showcasing their engaging personalities and favorite onboard moments. The videos also offer behind-the-scenes looks at various guest experiences, both on ship and ashore, demonstrating the staff's commitment and dedication to delivering sincere, personalized service to their guests.

"We have such a wonderful group of hard-working men and women who bring our ships to life every day, and our new Seabourn InSights videos show why our staff is among the best in the industry," said John Delaney, Seabourn's senior vice president of marketing and sales. "The videos reveal some of the magic that occurs behind the scenes that guests don't normally see."

One Seabourn InSights video features Seabourn's signature "Evening at Ephesus" complimentary shore side event in the Greco-Roman ruins near Kusadasi, Turkey, beginning with how the crew prepares for it, and also highlighting the actual event and guests enjoying a candle-lit concert. Another video showcases a time-lapse sequence of Seabourn Sojourn sailing into the scenic Trollfjord in Norway, surrounded by snow-capped peaks. A third video features charismatic Norwegian Captain Dag Dvergastein introducing himself and talking about his family history and his job, as well as exploring the Iles des Saintes in the Caribbean by Zodiac, for possible landing sites for Seabourn guests.

Seabourn InSights are available for viewing online at as well as on the line's YouTube page. Additional InSights videos will be released in the upcoming weeks.

Back to the top of the news list

Un-Cruise Adventures Christens S.S. Legacy & Launches Heritage Adventures

Seattle, WA, August 13: On Thursday, August 8, 2013 Un-Cruise Adventures officially christened its newest vessel, the 88-guest S.S. Legacy, in a dockside celebration near company headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The replica coastal steamer is the eighth vessel in the adventure cruise line’s fleet.

The S.S. Legacy sails Heritage Adventures taking guests back in time to the 1890s and early 1900s to explore history of the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska and early explorers along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The all-American crew–in 1890’s attire–brings history to life through short vignettes during the course of the day and staged dramas at night. With a nod to the vessel’s historical style of cruising, the adventure cruise line’s CEO and Principal Dan Blanchard channeled his great grandfather Michael J. Willet, a turn of the century shingle mill tycoon to tie in history of the 1890s in Seattle. H.G. Wells and Jules Verne joined in the inaugural celebration along with blessings from Ray Gardner of the Chinook Nation and Joe Williams, a Tlingit from Saxman, Alaska.

Blanchard and Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing, together handed over command of the vessel to Captain Dano Quinn. JeeSook Kutz, company controller and godmother of the S.S. Legacy, smashed the bottle of champagne against the bow followed by blowing of the vessel’s whistles and horns.

“This fine vessel has been refurbished into a coastal steamer from the 1900s, and crew in period costume brings characters from the past alive along the way,” said Dan Blanchard, CEO and principal for Un-Cruise Adventures. “It’s not a ship; it’s a time machine.” Blanchard dedicated the christening to Captain Kris Strinsky, a recently departed captain and longtime friend.

In September 2013, the S.S. Legacy will begin cruising weeklong Legacy of Discovery cruises on the Columbia and Snake Rivers roundtrip Portland with 12 departures scheduled through November. It returns to the Rivers in April 2013 for nine more departures through May. From June through August 2014, the vessel sails 10 weeklong Alaska’s Golden History cruises between Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska (and reverse). On Heritage Adventures, guests enjoy port calls and included shoreside excursions to points of historical interest. A gold rush highlight is the included trip aboard Skagway’s White Pass & Yukon narrow-gauge railway.

Heritage Adventures include all meals; fine wine, microbrews and spirits; shore excursions; a massage; yoga on deck; all meals; transfers; taxes, port charges and fees. Charters and group bookings are available. For additional information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

100-Day Countdown to MSC Divina

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Aug. 13: With just over 100 days to the anticipated arrival of the MSC Divina to PortMiami, MSC Cruises kicks-off the celebration with a special 3-in-1 promotion. In honor of the 100-day countdown, guests will receive a $100 per stateroom shipboard credit, a $100 per person future cruise credit and a reduced deposit of $100 per person. The limited-time, 3-in-1 offer is available exclusively from August 13-15, 2013, for new retail bookings on MSC Divina 6-night sailings and longer. Offer is valid for travel from Nov. 23, 2013 through Oct. 11, 2014 (excluding Dec. 28, 2013).

MSC Divina will make her special North American debut on Nov 20, 2013, when she departs on her maiden voyage from PortMiami and begins sailing the Caribbean year round with alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Stunning new features include two unique Eataly restaurants, the upscale Ristoranti Italia and Eataly Steakhouse, fashioned after the famed Manzo steakhouse in Eataly’s Manhattan location; The Garden infinity pool; and the industry’s first aqua-cycling at sea. Also for the first time in the Caribbean, MSC Divina delivers the exclusive luxury suites of MSC Yacht Club complete with butler service and select wines and spirits, as well as the one-of-a-kind Sophia Loren Royal Suite designed by the screen legend herself.

Offer is applicable to U.S. and Canadian resident guests only. Future cruise credit applies to first and second guests in stateroom and will be issued to all qualifying bookings at end of promotion. Offer expires August 15, 2013. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Celebrity Cruises Introduces Suite Of Rich, New Vacation Apps
For Easy, Immersive Vacation Planning

MIAMI, Aug. 12: To bring vacation planning out of the realm of daydreaming and into the palms of consumers' hands, Celebrity Cruises is introducing a suite of easy-to-use mobile apps allowing travelers to digitally immerse themselves in the line's modern luxury vacation experiences in all seven continents. After downloading Celebrity's free mobile vacation apps onto iPads or Android tablets, consumers will find—literally at their fingertips—the next-best thing to actually being on the cruise, with content including:

-- Breathtaking videos and rich imagery of Celebrity's worldwide destinations
-- Authentic depictions of the modern, upscale experiences found on every Celebrity ship
-- Profiles of Celebrity's Shore Excursions, designed to make the most of every guest's time on land in every destination
-- Detailed itineraries and maps of the array of Celebrity Cruisetour vacations, which offer the best of both land and sea
-- Interactive ship deck plans with the capability to zoom in on specific suites, staterooms or venues to reveal the highlights of each
-- Must-sees, hidden gems and other tips curated exclusively for Celebrity
-- Up-to-date pricing on Celebrity vacations Celebrity's new vacation apps can be downloaded from

The new vacation apps are launching just one week after Celebrity introduced its innovative app, "Cruise Lingo," which makes it easy for vacationers to speak local languages by accessing authentic local phrases and relevant information from their smartphones or tablets.

Celebrity Cruises' iconic "X" is the mark of cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers' precious time. Celebrity Cruises' 11 ships offer modern luxury vacations visiting all seven continents. Celebrity also presents immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe, and South America.For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Huna Totem Corporation celebrates 40 years;
Tlingit culture & community flourish at Icy Strait Point

Icy Strait Point, a Huna Tlingit-owned cruise ship destination in Southeast Alaska, celebrated its heritage and the 40th anniversary of Huna Totem Corporation on Saturday, July 27.

“Icy Strait Point wouldn’t exist without Huna Totem Corporation and Hoonah, my home, certainly wouldn’t be what it is today without either one,” said Johan Dybdahl, the former Huna Totem Corporation board chairman and current Icy Strait Point director of special projects and community relations. Dybdahl grew up in Hoonah, Alaska’s largest Tlingit village, on the site where Icy Strait Point now stands and has been involved in its development and operation from the beginning. “The tourism business has given our community an opportunity to thrive and share our culture with people from all over the world. We’re not just celebrating 40 years, we’re celebrating 40 years of success,” he said.

The anniversary theme, “In our grandfather’s canoe, we are traveling into the future,” recognizes the sacrifice and leadership of past leaders on whose shoulders the company’s current and future success rests. The early 40th anniversary celebration included the dedication of a plaque at the site of the company’s first board meeting in Hoonah in the presence of initial, past and current board members; the unveiling of a commissioned Tlingit button blanket designed by Alaska Native artist Clarissa Rizal; and carefree rides down Icy Strait Point’s ZipRider, the largest zip line in the world.

Icy Strait Point is wholly owned and operated by Huna Totem Corporation, the Native village corporation birthed on Nov. 9, 1973, out of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, signed in December 1971. The law provided for the establishment of over 200 Alaska Native regional and village corporations as compensation to Alaska Natives for the loss of their homeland. Owned by approximately 1,350 Alaska Natives with aboriginal ties to Hoonah and the Glacier Bay area, Huna Totem Corporation has provided for its people through business ventures, leadership and education. Opening in 2004, Icy Strait Point has been the company’s most recent and consistent success.

As evidence to Huna Totem Corporation’s investment in its people, Icy Strait Point is the largest employer in Hoonah, maintaining 90 percent local hire since construction began in 2001. Shareholders hold about 125 of 137 jobs at Icy Strait Point.

“Jobs are really just the tip of the iceberg,” said Icy Strait Point Facilities Manager Paul Johanson, who grew up in Hoonah and started working at Icy Strait Point as a port engineer’s helper in 1994. He now supervises a staff of 28, responsible for the popular ZipRider attraction and facility operations. “We have staff who have traveled to Switzerland for training. We have local artists selling their work to an international audience each summer. And we’re donating the proceeds of a gift shop operated by local high school kids back to their school’s activities program. These are examples of the doors that Icy Strait Point opens for our community.”

Travelers have reveled in seeing the money they spend on excursions, food, and souvenirs going back to support the same people who hosted them at Icy Strait Point. Located 50 miles west of Juneau and 22 miles south of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Icy Strait Point is the only privately owned cruise ship destination in Southeast Alaska. The former Hoonah Packing Co. Cannery building complex was restored to house the destination’s museum, gift shops, restaurants and theater. Guests can take part in 23 guided shore excursions on site. For more information on visitor activities, please visit

Back to the top of the news list

Royal Caribbean International Celebrates 50 Million Passengers

MIAMI, August 12: Royal Caribbean International recognizes an important milestone today in its 45-year company history as it welcomes its 50 millionth guest onboard its fleet of 21 ships. The momentous occasion kicks off a year-long celebration honoring the cruise line’s guests, business partners, employees and crew.

“For more than 45 years, Royal Caribbean’s guiding principle has been to deliver the WOW to our guests, providing them with experiences, services and amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean,” said Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “The men and women on our ships who deliver these WOW moments are what inspire our loyal guests to return to sail with us again and again.”

Spreading across the globe like a New Year’s Eve-style party, each of Royal Caribbean’s ships will recognize the milestone with shipboard festivities. The onboard events will mark the start of a year-long campaign where consumers are encouraged to share their favorite WOW moments with Royal Caribbean over the years by posting photos, videos, and memorable stories on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #RoyalWOW.

“Every day on our ships, guests from around the world are creating and experiencing unforgettable WOW moments,” said Lisa Bauer, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “As we mark this incredible milestone, we are inviting guests to relive those special moments and celebrate with us by sharing their personal Royal WOWS.”

Royal Caribbean’s Gold Anchor Service is one of the factors that has helped the cruise line achieve this significant milestone and why the line was recently ranked among the top cruise lines in a recently released cruise line satisfaction report.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 40-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry firsts never-before-seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities found only on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike. Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the cruise line sails 21 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, South America, the Far East, and Australia and New Zealand.

Back to the top of the news list

Sun Princess Begins Dramatic Drydock Transformation

SANTA CLARITA, CA, August 9: Sun Princess has begun an extensive $30 million transformation that will refurbish and enhance the Princess Cruises ship. During the two-week makeover, the vessel will receive a sparkling new atrium with Princess’ signature International Café, a new sushi and seafood venue, an updated Horizon Court buffet, and a refreshed Lotus Spa.

Interested viewers can follow the drydock progress while the ship is at the Sembawang shipyard in Singapore with regular photo updates offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse each day through Aug. 20. The online drydock journal will offer a rare “insider’s” look at the work required to transform the ship with new interior furnishings and finishes, fresh hull paint and exterior refurbishment, and its new contemporary and Asian-style touches.

“Sun Princess debuted our first Japan-based cruise program earlier this year, and now the vessel will benefit from its time there with some new Asia-inspired elements as well as signature Princess features,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “We know from past projects that there is a great deal of interest in a drydock such as this, so we’re again inviting the public to follow along as the ship is transformed.”

When Sun Princess emerges from drydock, the ship’s new atrium will feature Princess’ signature International Café with expanded seating and new décor. A new dining venue, Kai Sushi, will serve up sushi and seafood. The Horizon Court will feature contemporary food service areas and action stations for live a la carte cooking as well as a special pastry shop and coffee bar, refreshed décor and expanded seating. A sophisticated space designed especially for the ship’s Sterling Steakhouse experience will also debut. The ship’s top deck hamburger grill will be transformed into an al fresco barbeque venue, and the ice cream bar will add specialty coffee options. The Lotus Spa will also get a thorough makeover, with new décor.

The new features aboard Sun Princess add to the ship’s current impressive array of dining and entertainment options plus signature innovations such as the popular Movies Under the Stars poolside theater and The Sanctuary, an exclusive top-deck retreat. The 77,000-ton Sun Princess carries 2,022 passengers and features a high number of staterooms with private balconies, a steakhouse, pizzeria, boutiques, and internet café among other amenities.

Once out of drydock, Sun Princess will set sail on a season of Asia and Australia cruises, before beginning a second season of Japan-based cruising in April 2014. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by visiting the company's website at

Back to the top of the news list

Paul Gauguin Cruises Debuts 2014 Voyages by Gauguin Brochure

BELLEVUE, WA, August 9: 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, debuts its colorful and comprehensive 2014 Voyages by Gauguin brochure. The 104-page brochure showcases a variety of dream cruises aboard both deluxe ships to enchanting destinations and can be viewed online at In the brochure, detailed itineraries are grouped by region and feature cruise schedules, maps, highlights, and fares. Fleet distinctions, dining venues, entertainment options, activities, shore excursions, pre- and post-cruise hotel programs, the air/sea program, deck plans, and general information are also highlighted.

For 2014, seven- to 14-night voyages are offered on both ships, with The Gauguin sailing in French Polynesia, the South Pacific, and Southeast Asia, and The Moana offering voyages in Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America, along with Transatlantic Crossings.

The Gauguin’s sailings in exotic French Polynesia feature a host of exquisite islands with white-sand beaches, aqua lagoons, mist-laden mountains, and warm Polynesian culture. Itineraries include: 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands; 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands.

New itineraries on The Gauguin include an 11-night Fiji to Australia voyage, a 12-night Australia to Fiji voyage, and two 14-night voyages between Australia and Southeast Asia. Maiden ports include: Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; Kieta, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea; Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea; Thursday Island, Australia; Darwin, Australia; Komodo Island, Indonesia; Benoa, Bali, Indonesia; Semarang, Indonesia; Singapore; and Maupiti, Society Islands.

In March, The Moana offers a new 7-night Colón to St. Maarten voyage with calls in Cartagena, Colombia; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Les Saintes, F.W.I., along with a 7-night Roundtrip St. Maarten cruise visiting a mix of sophisticated islands and unspoiled gems in the French West Indies, British Virgin Islands, and St. Kitts & Nevis. In November, a 14-night St. Maarten to Puerto Caldera voyage sails to five Caribbean islands; overnights in Cartagena, Colombia; transits the Panama Canal; and visits Costa Rica. In December, The Moana sails a new 7-night Colón to Puerto Caldera itinerary featuring a transit through the Panama Canal and ports in Panama and Costa Rica. The 7-night Roundtrip Puerto Caldera cruise explores Costa Rica’s natural wonders.

From April through October, The Moana operates a variety of European voyages. Highlights include 7-night cruises in the Greek Isles and scenic sailings along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and French and Italian Rivieras. Three special voyages transit Greece’s Corinth Canal—an experience available only to small ships like The Moana. New 7-night European itineraries include Roundtrip Rome and Rome to Nice. During spring and fall, 14-night transatlantic crossings are offered between the Caribbean and Europe.

Maiden ports for The Moana in 2014 include: Mahón, Menorca, Spain; Palamós, Spain; Villefranche, France; Isla Gamez, Panama; Golfito, Costa Rica; Drake Bay, Costa Rica; Quepos, Costa Rica; and Isla Tortuga/Curú Wildlife Reserve, Costa Rica.

Both ships offer an elegant yet casual ambiance, luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining, trademark Polynesian hospitality, and extraordinary all-inclusive value. Paul Gauguin Cruises is currently offering savings of 50% off standard all-inclusive cruise fares on all 2014 voyages, plus included airfare from Los Angeles on itineraries on The Gauguin. Past guests of Paul Gauguin Cruises, enjoy additional savings of 5% off final cruise fares aboard either vessel, as a member of the Paul Gauguin Society. For a complimentary copy of the 2014 Voyages by Gauguin brochure, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line Offers Diversity On Roundtrip San Diego Cruises To Mexico,
Hawaii & South Pacific In 2013-14

SEATTLE, Aug. 8: When Holland America Line's ms Statendam and ms Veendam sail to Mexico, Hawaii and French Polynesia for the 2013-14 season, newly expanded itineraries will feature extended port stays, overnight calls and visits to some of the most picturesque locations in the world. With convenient roundtrip San Diego, Calif., departures, guests will be able to embark and disembark in the United States while traveling to exotic destinations that usually require an international flight. The 7- and 12-day cruises to Mexico depart in November and December 2013 and March 2014, while the 17- to 35-day Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas itineraries set sail in October 2013 and February and April 2014.

"These cruises make it easy for travelers to visit extraordinary locales without the need of international air travel," said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line's executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Each sailing features varied port calls including some overnights and enriching onboard activities that give our guests a very exciting and comprehensive Holland America Line vacation experience."

During the sailings with several sea days, guests can enjoy all of the onboard experiences that are exclusive to the premium cruise line. For example, with the new and engaging On Location program, guests on cruises to Hawaii might learn how to hula, make a fresh flower lei or get a ukulele lesson from a local, while cruisers on voyages to Mexico are entertained with an authentic mariachi band during a Mexican fiesta on deck. The itinerary sets the theme for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time onboard as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.

Guests also can fill their time onboard with other exciting activities or simply relax and catch up on personal time with amenities such as the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, Explorations Café powered by the New York Times or Digital Workshop powered by Windows.

Mexican Riviera in a Week
In November and December 2013 and March 2014, ms Veendam will sail a total of six 7day itineraries to the Mexican Riviera. The roundtrip San Diego cruises call at Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, as well as scenic cruising along Bahia Magdalena -- a bay that is noted for the seasonal migration of California gray whales. Departure dates are Nov. 9 and Dec. 21 and 28, 2013 (two holiday sailings), and March 9, 16 and 23, 2014.

Mexican Riviera Port Intensive Cruise in 12 Days Sailing a longer roundtrip San Diego itinerary to the Mexican Riviera, ms Statendam departs Dec. 4, 2013, on a 12-day voyage that calls at Cabo San Lucas, Pichilingue (La Paz), Loreto, Guaymas, Topolobampo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Guests will get extra time ashore in Puerto Vallarta during an overnight call where they can indulge in local cuisine, learn more about the country's history or check out the nightlife ashore. This departure also includes scenic cruising in Bahia Magdalena.

Circle Hawaii Voyages of 17 & 18 Days
Between Mexican Riviera cruises, ms Veendam sets sail for the beautiful islands of Hawaii on four roundtrip San Diego itineraries that explore the natural beauty of the Aloha State and add another port call for next season: Kona. These longer sailings offer a leisurely pace that combines exciting ports with plenty of sea days to enjoy the amenities found onboard. The 17-day itinerary departs Nov. 16, 2013, and Jan. 4, 2014, and calls at Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili, Lahaina and Kona, Hawaii. The 18-day cruises depart Dec. 3, 2013, and Jan. 21, 2014, and add an overnight at Honolulu.

On these cruises, guests can explore Hilo's world-class botanical gardens, the molten lava flows of Kilauea and awe-inspiring Akaka Falls. Lahaina boasts the Haleakala Crater and Hana's seven sacred pools, while Nawiliwili features Waimea Canyon, the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." Honolulu offers a classic Hawaiian allure: pineapple plantations, surfing beaches, hula shows and luaus, while quieter moments await at the USS Arizona Memorial. Once the playground of Hawaii's royalty, Kona is synonymous with the famous coffee that grows on the slopes of the dormant Hualalai volcano.

Circle Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas from 29 to 35 Days
Guests looking for an exotic adventure can set sail on ms Statendam's 2013 and 2014 Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas itineraries. Ranging in length from 29 to 35 days, these three longer voyages sail roundtrip San Diego to the Hawaiian Islands and the stunning island jewels of French Polynesia. The 2013 sailing departs San Diego Oct. 4 and Dec. 16 for a special holiday journey for a 30-day cruise. Guests looking to embark earlier can join the cruise at San Francisco, Calif., Oct. 2 or Sept. 29 at Vancouver, British Columbia, for 32-day and 35-day sailings, respectively. In 2014, the ship departs San Diego Feb. 14 on a 29-day Valentine's Day-departing roundtrip itinerary, as well as April 15 on a 29-day roundtrip San Diego cruise or a 33-day itinerary that ends at Vancouver.

After departing San Diego, ms Statendam sails west and makes four calls at the Hawaiian Islands of Hawaii, Maui and Oahu, including an overnight call at Honolulu and late departure from Lahaina. The ship crosses the equator on the way to French Polynesia where it calls at Bora Bora, Raiatea, Tahiti, Moorea, Rangiroa and Nuku Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas Islands. To ensure that guests have the most in-depth experiences ashore, Holland America Line has allotted extra time with overnight calls at Bora Bora and Tahiti. Statendam crosses the equator once again before arriving back at San Diego.

Explore4 Early Booking Promotion Gives Added Perks for Planning
Now Holland America Line is offering the Explore4 early booking promotion that features a free Signature Beverage Package or beverage card, a free specialty restaurant dinner, free or reduced fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom and 50 percent reduced deposits for bookings on select 2014 cruises made before October 15, 2013. Guests may receive all four offers when booking a qualified itinerary. For more information on the Mexico and Circle Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas itineraries, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Silversea Cruises Appoints Its First Female Captain

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, August 8: For the first time in its nearly 20-year history, a female captain is at the helm of a Silversea ship. Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises, which operates a fleet of six ships, has promoted Margrith Ettlin to the position of captain. A Swiss national with extensive maritime experience in remote regions, including the Arctic and Antarctica, Captain Ettlin assumed control of the 132-guest expedition ship Silver Explorer on August 7 in Reykjavik. Her first tour of duty as captain will extend into October.

"We're very pleased and proud to extend this promotion to Captain Ettlin," said Christian Sauleau, Silversea's executive vice president of fleet operations. "Although we're not the first cruise company to have a female captain, we hope Captain Ettlin's achievement will inspire other women to pursue careers at sea."

Prior to joining Silversea as a staff captain in March 2010, Captain Ettlin worked for Germany's F. Laeisz shipping group. Her maritime career also includes nearly nine years as a staff captain with the German shipping company Hapag Lloyd.

Back to the top of the news list

Crystal's Brazil Wine & Food Cruise To Showcase Local Flavors

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 6: More educational programming, more unique local ingredients, and more guest chef dinners, including, for the first time ever, two Vintage Room Dinners, distinguish Crystal Cruises' fall Wine & Food-themed voyage from Miami to Rio on Nov 23. The expert line-up features Hans Neuner, Portugal's two Michelin-starred, 2012 Chef of the Year, and former Crystal chef more than a decade ago; Rob Wilson, Culinary Institute of America NY graduate and Master/Executive Chef at the Montage Laguna Beach; renowned master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim; and wine historian Nina Wemyss. The exotic cruise aboard Crystal Symphony features six Brazilian ports (including one maiden call), two Caribbean islands, and a local overnight in Rio.

Sourcing local ingredients and products during port visits, the experts will incorporate them in:

-- NEW: Seven-course Vintage Room Dinners, prepared by each of the guest chefs, with extra-extraordinary wine pairings and edification from the guest wine expert.
-- Two Guest Chef Dinners for all guests in the Crystal Dining Room, with all-inclusive wine pairings recommended by the guest wine expert.
-- Cooking demonstrations, newly held outdoors on Crystal's pool deck (weather permitting). Neuner will showcase his modern, art-meets-technology approach to the Portuguese flavors that have influenced traditional Brazilian cuisine, like bacalhau.
-- Intimate hands-on cooking classes in Crystal's galley.
-- Hands-on cocktail-crafting sessions, teaching guests how to make the local libations for friends and family back home. Abou-Ganim will give his "Modern Mixologist" twist to traditional local cocktails like the batida and caipirinha, using cachaca and local spices, with guests receiving a souvenir muddler to take with them.
-- Tastings of South American wines.

"Without even leaving the ship, guests can see, taste, smell, feel, and learn about the ingredients, dishes, and beverages that only local foodies would know best ,from an obscure ingredient to the gourmet side of regional culture," says Toni Neumeister, vice president of food and beverage operations.

Crystal's own culinary team will also be pulling out all the stops for American Thanksgiving, preparing gourmet takes on traditional fare, like butternut squash soup drizzled with pumpkin seed oil; maple-brined, roasted turkey with chestnut, wild mushroom & raisin dressing; praline sweet potatoes; cider-thyme gravy; and caramel-apple bread pudding with homemade pumpkin ice cream and bourbon-vanilla sauce.

From Miami, the sailing visits Barbados/Bridgetown, British West Indies; Devil's Island, Iles du Salut, French Guiana; and Belem, Fortaleza, Natal (maiden call), Maceio and Salvador, Brazil, ending with an overnight stay in Rio.

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 cheese and wine sommeliers (Court of Master Sommeliers-certified); 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 visit

Back to the top of the news list

The American Queen Steamboat Company Unveils “Steamboat Society of America”

MEMPHIS, Tenn., August 6: Much of the American Queen Steamboat Company’s early success can be attributed to guests sharing stories of their memorable trips with friends, family and booking another voyage shortly after arriving home. Valued return guests share a passion for U.S. river cruising and can now join the Steamboat Society of America, the company’s loyalty program, for special benefits and rewards on the American Queen and soon-to-be sailing American Empress (April 2014). Among the many benefits, guests receive their 10th cruise free (Up to $3,899 per person).

“As I visit with American Queen guests onboard I am always amazed how many have already sailed on multiple voyages with us and are now setting their sights to explore the Pacific Northwest on the American Empress,” shares the company’s President and COO Ted Sykes. “The Steamboat Society of America rewards our most loyal guests and encourages them to share their stories of why they are hooked on river cruising with the American Queen Steamboat Company.”

Among the benefits to the free Steamboat Society of America loyalty program are the following:

· A $100 per guest credit on each cruise and $200 per guest credit towards a future cruise fare when booked with deposit while onboard
· Priority check-in and early vessel pre-boarding
· Member access for breakfast or lunch when American Queen or American Empress are in port near home town and family or friend tours of the boat when sailing (Subject to availability and reservations in advance)
· Credits toward future cruise fares for members referring friends who book ($100 per referred guest booking and $100 per guest booking when providing member’s name at time of booking)
· Dedicated reservations line providing special service for members
· Private cocktail party for members-only hosted by the captain and executive officers onboard

To learn more about the Steamboat Society of America and the American Queen Steamboat Company, visit online at

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line Features Its Most Extensive Canada & New England Program In 2014

SEATTLE, Aug. 6: In 2014, Holland America Line is offering an extensive Canada and New England program with 48 sailings spanning spring, summer and fall. With three ships departing from five convenient homeports, more travelers can experience the region's breathtaking scenery, historic seaports, culinary treats and cultural charm. Scheduled May through October, the nine different itineraries on ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam and ms Veendam depart fromBoston, Mass.; Montreal and Quebec City, Canada; Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and New York City. The cruises range from seven to 15 days and include family-friendly summer cruises and visits during the height of the fall foliage season as summer turns to autumn and the jewel-toned leaves offer one of nature's most impressive showings.

"Canada and New England is one of the most picturesque, historic and culturally rich regions in the world, making it an ideal vacation for families, nature lovers and history buffs," said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line's executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "With our comprehensive program featuring three ships sailing throughout the year, our guests can enjoy a variety of experiences in spring, summer and the beautiful fall season."

Departures Across the Summer Perfect for Getaway or Family Vacation Veendam kicks off the line's Canada and New England season with a nine-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Quebec City departing May 1, 2014. The ship will make its way up the coast with calls at Gloucester (Boston), Mass.; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

From May 10 through the Oct 11 departure, Veendam will sail 17 seven-day itineraries between Quebec City and Boston. Ports of call include Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax and Bar Harbor, with scenic cruising on the St. Lawrence River. These sailings also include an overnight at Quebec City, Holland America Line's number-one rated port of call.

Departing Aug. 16, Veendam adds a single cruise roundtrip from Boston that highlights the historic coastline. During the seven-day itinerary the ship calls at Bar Harbor; Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Sydney, and Portland, Maine. While ashore, guests will be able to sample the famous Maine lobster, admire the photogenic lighthouses and learn about the area's interesting maritime history.

Maasdam begins its season with a 15-day northbound cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal departing May 2. During the voyage, guests will visit Charleston, S.C.; Newport, R.I.; Bar Harbor; Halifax, Sydney and Charlottetown; Gaspe, Sept-Iles, Saguenay and Quebec City, Quebec, and Trios-Rivieres, Canada, before arriving at Montreal. Highlights include an overnight at Quebec City, scenic cruising in the Saguenay Fjord and the only Canada and New England sailing to call at Trios-Rivieres.

From May 24 through the Oct. 11 departure, Maasdam offers seven-day sailings between Montreal and Boston, with calls at Quebec City, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax and Bar Harbor. The itineraries feature scenic cruising on the St. Lawrence River and make an ideal option for families looking to take a summer cruise without traveling abroad.

Maasdam concludes the season with a 13-day sailing departing Oct. 18 from Montreal to Fort Lauderdale. Ports of call include Quebec City, Saguenay, Sept-Iles, Gaspe, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor and New York City. Guests can take in the beautiful landscape at peak fall foliage time on scenic cruising along the Saint Lawrence River, Saguenay Fjord and Gaspe Bay. Guests may also choose a 10-day option to sail from Montreal and disembark in New York.

Fall Foliage Cruises Bring Region to Life with Nature's Colors In September and October, during the height of the 2014 fall foliage season, Eurodam will sail three 10-day cruises between New York and Quebec City, and one 12-day cruise from Quebec City to Fort Lauderdale. On the 10-day itinerary departing Sept. 14 the ship calls at Boston, Portland, Maine; Saint John, Halifax, Sydney and Charlottetown, with an overnight at Quebec City. The Sept. 24 departure spends 10 days exploring Quebec City (overnight), Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Portland, Boston and Newport, with scenic cruising along the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Saguenay Fjord. On the 10-day return trip from New York to Quebec departing Oct. 4, the ship calls at Boston; Rockland, Mass.; Halifax, Sydney and Charlottetown, concluding with an overnight at Quebec. Guests will enjoy scenic cruising in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Saguenay Fjord, as well as the line's only call at Rockland this season.

Eurodam concludes its New England season on a new 12-day cruise from Quebec City to Fort Lauderdale departing Oct. 14. The itinerary begins with an overnight at Quebec City and then sails for Saguenay, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Portland, Boston and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

For 7-day Maasdam and Veendam itineraries, two back-to-back sailings can be combined for an extended 14-day roundtrip journey, allowing extra time ashore to get to know each port better with repeating calls. Guests can hunt for antiques, explore the charming fishing towns, learn about local history and sample more of the region's fresh seafood.

On Location Provides Engagement with the Cruise Destination as Guests Sail On each Canada and New England cruise, Holland America Line's "On Location" enrichment program brings local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life both onboard and ashore to deepen guests' appreciation of the region. Guests might enjoy a New England clam bake or a Fiddlin' Flapjack breakfast, complete with authentic Canadian maple syrup and featuring local Cape Breton Celtic fiddlers. Other activities to enjoy include regional beer and wine tastings, a Canadian Bar mixology class, cultural cooking demonstrations, and a special Quebecois L'auberge de Lido or New England sailaway party.

Explore4 Early Booking Promotion Gives Added Perks for Planning Now Presently, Holland America Line is offering the Explore4 early booking promotion that features a free Signature Beverage Package or beverage card, a free specialty restaurant dinner, free or reduced fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom and 50 percent reduced deposits for bookings on select 2014 cruises made before Oct 15, 2013. Guests may receive all four offers when booking a qualified itinerary. For more information on the Canada and New England itineraries, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Celebrity Cruises Helps Travelers "Talk The Talk" While Traveling Globally

MIAMI, Aug. 5: English may be the universal language, but to feel truly immersed in the culture and vibe of a local destination, there's nothing quite as authentic as speaking like the locals do. So, Celebrity Cruises—with vacations visiting all seven continents, and a focus on enhancing the destination experience for its guests—has made it easy for vacationers to speak local languages with its new, industry-first app, "Cruise Lingo." An interactive language and culture guide, and a customized version of the award-winning mobile app from TripLingo, Cruise Lingo allows travelers easy access to authentic local phrases and relevant information to enhance their destination experience.

By simply speaking or typing a phrase—such as, "Where is the nearest ATM?" - into a mobile device, the translated language of the local destination appears on-screen. An interactive book offers multiple versions of each phrase, including formal and slang options. Other features of Cruise Lingo include voice-to-voice translation; an intelligent "flashcard" learning system, and an on-demand "crash course" in local cultures. The crash course contains information including general etiquette, safety information, doing business, country information, travel tips, dining guide, music and local pop culture.

The free, new Cruise Lingo app can be downloaded onto Android and iOS smartphones and tablets from Included in the free version of the app are 80 standard phrases in 11 languages; 56 cruise-specific phrases; 20 free uses of the voice translator; access to 2,000 dictionary words translated into all 11 languages, and the culture crash course. Vacationers also can access a full-featured library of the 11 languages through an in-app purchase which unlocks more content.

Back to the top of the news list

Regatta, Insignia & Nautica to undergo Transformation in 2014

MIAMI, August 5: Oceania Cruises today announced that Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, its trio of award-winning R-Class ships, will undergo a significant transformation starting early next year in the largest refurbishment program in the company's history. The ships will receive a $50 million upgrade in a six-week timeframe that includes the refurbishment of suites, staterooms and select public rooms, some in the colors and décor-style found on the line's newest ships - Marina and Riviera. The ships' top accommodations, the Owner's and Vista suites, will receive new bathrooms including the addition of oversized showers and new vanities. Original artwork, in-line with the celebrated collection on Marina and Riviera, will be commissioned for all suites and staterooms.

The Terrace Café, which offers casual gourmet dining, will also be completely refurbished including the addition of a state-of-the-art grill allowing for grilled dinner specialties such as lobster tails, steaks and lamb chops made famous onboard Marina and Riviera. The company is also adding to Regatta, Insignia and Nautica the popular Baristas coffee bar found on its newest ships. Guests will enjoy complimentary gourmet and specialty illy™ coffees including espressos, cappuccinos and lattes as well as homemade croissants, biscotti and finger sandwiches throughout the day.

"This refurbishment program is an incredible undertaking but we are excited by the opportunity to bring some of the best features of our O-Class ships to Regatta, Insignia and Nautica," said Kunal S. Kamlani, president of Oceania Cruises. "We will preserve the personality, elegance and comfort of these vessels while furnishing certain areas with the updated décor and amenities that are found on Marina and Riviera. This will ensure a consistent experience across the fleet that we know our guests will love and appreciate."

Horizons, the line's observation lounge, will also be refurbished with a new color scheme and décor. In addition, the company will completely enclose the ships' only indoor smoking area, located in Horizons, with glass and install a state-of-the-art air filtration system.

Oceania Cruises' flagship restaurant, the Grand Dining Room as well as Toscana, the line's Italian restaurant will be expanded with more tables for two. Lastly, the ships’ show lounges will be refurbished, Martinis will be outfitted with new furniture and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub® will receive new steam and changing rooms.

The dry docks are scheduled from April 24 to June 6, 2014 with Insignia and Nautica being refurbished in Marseilles, France and Regatta in Vancouver, BC. The renovated Insignia will debut on May 8, 2014 in Barcelona for her 7-day Jewels of Europe cruise. This will be Insignia's first cruise after her two-year charter. Nautica will debut on May 16, 2014 in Civitavecchia for her 10-day Cliffs & Coves cruise and Regatta on June 7, 2014 in Vancouver for her 10-day Majesty of Alaska cruise.

Regatta, Insignia and Nautica are acclaimed for their open-seating gourmet dining, luxurious public rooms, spacious accommodations, and warm and attentive service. The 684-guest ships sail to exotic destinations around the world offering experientially rich excursions and extended time in port so guests can truly immerse themselves. For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Legend To Operate Panama Canal Cruise, Trans-Pacific Cruise Prior To
Start-Up Of Australian Service

MIAMI, August 5: Prior to its deployment to Australia in fall 2014, Carnival Legend will operate two unique and exciting cruises–a 13-day Panama Canal cruise and a 23-day trans-Pacific voyage–that will serve to position the vessel for its new seasonal schedule from Down Under.

The 13-day Panama Canal cruise will depart Tampa, Fla., Aug. 17 and arrive in Long Beach, Calif., Aug. 30, 2014. Carnival Legend will visit George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cartagena, Colombia; prior to the Panama Canal transit followed by day-long calls to Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Carnival Legend will then operate a 23-day trans-Pacific voyage that departs from Long Beach Aug. 30, arrives in Sydney, Australia, Sept. 22, 2014. In addition to the unforgettable crossing of the equator that includes all the traditional maritime celebrations, the voyage will feature extended visits to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Papeete (Tahiti), Bora Bora and Moorea, French Polynesia; Suva, Fiji Islands; and Noumea, New Caledonia.

Prior to these voyages, Carnival Legend will undergo a multi-million dollar renovation that will add an array of innovations that are part of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement program. These include a massive WaterWorks aqua park highlighted by Green Thunder, the steepest and fastest waterslide at sea, the tropics-inspired RedFrog Pub, a full-service sushi restaurant called Bonsai Sushi, and Cherry On Top, a “candy and more store” with various confections, apparel and novelty items. These new offerings complement such popular options as the Serenity adults-only retreat, an expansive health and wellness center, and fun activities and spacious, modern play areas for kids in three age groups.

“This is an incredible opportunity for guests to visit some of the world’s most majestic and awe-inspiring destinations, from breathtaking beaches in Mexico and the Caribbean to tropical Polynesian paradises, as well as the unforgettable experiences of transiting the Panama Canal and crossing the equator,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. “These two voyages also provide guests a chance to be among the first to check out all the fantastic additions that are being added to Carnival Legend as part of our fleetwide Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative,” he added.

The trans-Pacific crossing will position Carnival Legend for a seasonal program from Australia that kicks off Sept. 24, 2014, and encompasses eight- to 12-day cruises from Sydney calling at a variety of destinations within the Pacific, including New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. The two voyages can be combined to create a one-of-a-kind 36-day cruise that features 10 scenic destinations across three continents. Reservations are currently being accepted for all of these Carnival Legend’s departures.  For additional information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line's ms Statendam Assists 103 Sightseers & Ranger In Glacier Bay, Alaska

SEATTLE, Aug. 3: While leaving from Margerie Glacier to depart Glacier Bay, Alaska, Holland America Line's ms Statendam assisted 103 persons on a disabled sightseeing boat Friday, Aug. 2. Statendam responded to a call for aid at approximately 1:45 p.m. local time to stand by to possibly assist the 79-foot sightseeing vessel Baranof Wind, which was experiencing mechanical troubles and had lost power in the ice near John Hopkins Glacier.

The ship lowered two tenders, which collected 102 tourists and one Glacier Bay National Park ranger and returned to Statendam. A Glacier Bay National Park ranger aboard Statendam assisted in coordinating the assistance from the ship's bridge.

The sightseers were brought to Bartlett Cove, where the Baranof Wind's excursion originated, at approximately 7:30 p.m. local time. The ship then sailed for Seward, Alaska, where it is expected to arrive on schedule Sunday, Aug. 4.

"Statendam's Captain Jochem Bakker and his crew responded quickly and professionally to assist the passengers of Baranof Wind," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. "We are proud of our officers and crew."

Back to the top of the news list

Royal Caribbean Celebrates Dual Milestones for Quantum of the Seas
& Anthem of the Seas

MIAMI, August 2: Excitement was in the air at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, today, as Royal Caribbean International marked two important milestones in the development of its Quantum class of ships. Quantum of the Seas, scheduled to be delivered in the autumn of 2014, received its first block as the keel was officially lowered and put into place. In conjunction, Anthem of the Seas, Quantum’s sister-ship, had its first piece of steel cut, signaling the first step in the ship’s construction.

“Today is a very special day in the development of our new Quantum class, as we are now two steps closer to delighting guests around the world with Quantum cruising,” said Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas coming together so well, and today we not only honor these two very important milestones, but also recognize the years of hard work and dedication from the team developing these ships.”

The keel laying marks an important milestone in the development of Quantum of the Seas as it signifies the beginning of the ship’s physical construction. During the ceremony, a 430-ton block measuring 59-ft by 75-ft (18 x 23 meters) was lifted into the building dock with an 800-ton crane. Newly minted coins were placed under the keel which then stays in place until the end of construction. Once the ship is nearing completion the coins are retrieved and presented to the ship’s Captain and crew to be placed onboard the ship. According to maritime tradition, the coins are said to bring luck to the ship during its construction and then to its Captain and crew when she is at sea.

The groundbreaking Quantum class ships will debut new unprecedented features, such as RipCord by iFLY, the first skydiving experience at sea; the North Star, an engineering marvel that transports guests more than 300 feet above the ocean; transformative venues, such as The Sea-Plex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever, including the industry’s first-ever Virtual Balcony staterooms, which offers expansive, real-time views of the ocean and exciting destinations for interior staterooms.

The 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

Back to the top of the news list

Golf Month Getaways on Ship & Shore

August is National Golf Month! There’s no better way to celebrate than by booking a golf-themed sailing aboard Crystal Cruises. In 2013 alone, Crystal Cruises increased its golfing vacation opportunities by 25 percent with new themed cruises devoted to golf. One-on-one lessons with golf celebrities, access to challenging world-famous courses, and more are available on these upcoming golf-themed sailings from the ultra-luxe cruise line:

· Crystal Serenity’s “Autumn Grandeur” sailing, a New England/Canada journey (Sept 16-26, 2013), features on-board workshops with 51-time PGA winner Billy Casper and PGA pro John Clark. Once ashore, golfers can hit some of the world’s most renowned courses, such as Granite Links in Boston, ranked one of Golf Digest’s “50 Best,” with rolling fairways and greens elevated to nearly 300 feet above sea level.

· Crystal Serenity’s “Trans-Atlantic Traditions” sailing from London to Boston (Sept 5-19, 2014) brings theme-cruises to new levels by combining golf with its Food & Wine Festival-theme for the first time ever.

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line's 2013 Grand Pacific & Far East Voyage Features
Guest Speakers, Guest Chefs And Local Entertainment

SEATTLE: When ms Amsterdam departs on its 75-day Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage Sept. 20, 2013, it's going to feature a whole lot more than beautiful ports, tantalizing cuisine and award-winning service. Holland America Line has added four guest chefs, eight guest speakers and local entertainment in several ports as part of the line's new On Location activity program. Shorter voyage segments of 21 - 43 days are still available.

The Culinary Arts Center--presented by Food & Wine magazine--will host four chefs on different segments of the voyage who will whip up their favorite dishes with a local flair reflecting the region where they are sailing. Guests will enjoy cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, question-and-answer sessions and hands-on cooking classes with the chefs in the ship's full show kitchen. Scheduled to join the voyage are:

-- Joseph Caputo (Sept. 20-29), culinary educator, author and chef/owner at Zuppa del Giorno and Catering by Joseph in Scranton, Pa.
-- George Geary (Oct. 10-23), former pastry chef at Disney Corp., culinary journalist, author and educator
-- Paulette Mitchell (Nov. 3-23), ethnic cuisine instructor and food markets of the world specialist
-- Naomi Kakiuchi (Oct. 24-Nov. 2), sushi expert, Asian cuisine specialist and president of NuCulinary

Guests wanting to enrich their minds and expand their knowledge can attend lectures by eight guest speakers who will give presentations throughout the voyage:

-- Dr. John Palmisano (Sept. 20-29) holds a Ph.D. in marine biology and has studied sea otter ecology in Alaska and the decline of wild Pacific salmon.
-- David Smith (Sept. 20-29) is a professional photographer and travel writer who has published the "Digital and Travel Photography Tutorial" CD and "Travel Photography--Tips and Techniques" DVD.
-- Joseph Kess (Sept. 29-Oct. 14) is the retired emeritus chair in Japan and Asia-Pacific Relations of the Center for Asia-Pacific Initiatives at Canada's University of Victoria. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was inducted into the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government.
-- Architectural historian Sandra Millikin (Sept. 29-Oct. 23) was assistant curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects Drawings Collection, which is now housed in London's Victoria and Albert Museum. She also was a lecturer at Open University.
-- Professor Roberta Sloan (Oct. 14-Nov. 17) has produced, directed and acted in more than 200 productions. She has taught at Marymount College, Huntingdon College, University of Oklahoma and University of Central Oklahoma, and received a Kennedy Center Medal.
-- Stephen Sloan (Oct. 14-Nov. 17) is professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma. He is a pioneer in research and teaching on terrorism, and his book "Simulating Terrorism" has been used to conduct exercises internationally. Sloan is the author of 13 books and consults for the U.S. government and internationally.
-- Melvyn Foster (Oct. 23-Nov. 17) has lectured extensively as a destination, wildlife and maritime speaker. He has an interest in maritime history and commerce, particularly the Atlantic and Pacific liners, and has personally logged more than 75 Atlantic and Pacific crossings.
-- Elizabeth Foggin (Nov. 17-Dec. 4) holds a Ph.D. in Applied Social Sciences from Universite de Montreal. Her research and thesis explored the experience of leisure and tourism of people with reduced physical abilities. She is co-author of a study and report commissioned by United Nations' Asia Pacific office concerning "Barrier-Free Tourism in the Asia Pacific Region."

As part of the On Location program, Amsterdam guests can participate in activities such as lei making, ukulele lessons, hula classes and Hawaiian language classes. In Honolulu, Hawaii; Kobe (Osaka), Japan; Shanghai and Hong Kong, China, and Papeete, Tahiti, local performers will entertain guests during special evening performances in the ship's main show lounge. The itinerary sets the theme for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time onboard as enriching as visiting the ports of call. Guests also can fill their time onboard with other activities or simply relax and catch up on personal time with amenities such as the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, Explorations Cafe powered by the New York Times or Digital Workshop powered by Windows®.

Amsterdam embarks on its 75-day Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage from Vancouver, B.C., or Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 20 or 23, 2013, respectively, and returns to Los Angeles. The itinerary features an in-depth exploration of Hawaii, Micronesia, China, Japan, the Philippines and French Polynesia, as well as maiden calls at the exotic ports of Majuro, Marshall Islands, and Pohnpei, Micronesia. With overnights at Hong Kong and Shanghai; Kobe (Osaka), Japan, and Singapore, guests have more time to experience the culture and atmosphere of the region. For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Unless otherwise noted, all news items are sourced by individual cruise lines,
 cruise-related industries, and their agents.

Cruise News Archive - Past cruise news items listed by month

More from

Articles & Advice

Cruise Reviews

Cruise Line Profiles

CLICK HERE TO ORDER - Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises
Order My
Latest Book

Don't Miss!
Cruises Guide & Cruise Forum featured on ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA — In case you missed the story, you can still watch it online at
ABC News.

CDC Inspection Scores for all ships inspected

Cruise News Archive
Past cruise news items listed by month

Unless otherwise noted, all news items are sourced by individual cruise lines,
 cruise-related industries, and their agents.


Back to the top of  this page

            Use keywords to search...

Search Search the Internet