The 4,300-passenger Independence of the Seas, launched in 2007 and has sailed seasonally from the UK.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
The 4,300-passenger Independence of the Seas, launched in 2007 and has sailed seasonally from the UK.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Not only are Miami and San Diego easily accessible drive-market ports for travelers living within easy reach, they are also attractive tourist destinations for out-of-town visitors.
Azamara Journey’s 2010-11 Caribbean season will begin earlier than it will at the end of 2009, making the crossing from Europe on November 15, 2010. Upon arriving in Miami, Azamara Journey will sail several 12-night Caribbean itineraries roundtrip out of Miami, visiting ports such as St. John and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; Marigot, Saint Martin; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Pointe A Pitre, Guadeloupe; Gustavia, St. Barts; and Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands; Castries, St. Lucia; and Roseau, Dominica. The ship will also offer 12-night Caribbean voyages between February and April of 2011.
Numerous available shore excursions make the Azamara Caribbean experience especially memorable. During “Historical Plantation Ruins of St. John,” guests have the opportunity to experience the unspoiled natural beauty of the Virgin Islands National Park through an exclusive historical and cultural island tour conducted by a leading local expert in Virgin Islands history. “Caribbean Scenic Rail and Brimstone Hill” in St. Kitts give guests the chance to experience a unique rail/highway excursion that circles the entire island and visits the “Gibraltar of the West Indies” at Brimstone Hill Fortress.
Azamara will offer two 16-night Panama Canal voyages, sailing from Miami to San Diego on December 23, 2010 and from San Diego to Miami on January 30, 2011, include stops at numerous culture-rich central American destinations rife with tropical foliage and other breathtaking scenery. These include Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua; and Huatulco, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Throughout these cruises, optional shore excursions such as “Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary and Mangrove Boat Tour” in Puntarenas can enhance the in-port experience. During this excursion, guests visit the bird sanctuary and learn about scarlet macaws, one of the most endangered species in the American tropics.
The Panama Canal sailings will bookend two “Sea of Cortez” cruises roundtrip out of San Diego, marking the first time that Azamara Cruises or its sister lines Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International have sailed such itineraries. Taking place on January 8 and 19, the two 11-night voyages will visit five ports new to Azamara: Mazatlán, Topolobampo, Loreto, Guaymas and La Paz, Mexico, in addition to the previously visited Cabo San Lucas.
The new ports offer travelers the opportunity to experience lesser-known areas in Mexico. Topolobampo, a beachfront town overlooking one of the largest bays in the Americas, is close to the Copper Canyon, Farrallon Island and Mayo tribe villages. Loreto, located on the northern tip of the Baja California Sur state, was the first Spanish settlement in the California peninsula, and is located near the Sierra la Gigante Bahia de Loreto Marine Park, the Our Lady of Loreto Mission and several beaches. La Paz, Baja California Sur’s capital, features several natural and historical attractions such as beaches, churches, museums, whale watching, fishing and water sports. La Paz is close to Los Islotes in the Pichilinque Bay, where guests can see the area’s large sea lion population. Mazatlán, located among Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountain range along the Golden Coast, has been a major seaport since the 800s, and today, is a popular tourist destination for locals and international visitors alike. Guaymas, one of the oldest and largest seaports on Mexico’s Pacific coast, was founded in 1701 by Jesuit missionaries. Cruise tourism is new to Guaymas, as its first cruise ship visit occurred in 2008; this untouched gem is an ideal complement to Azamara’s exotic-destination-focused itineraries.
Shore excursions available in the new ports include “Copper Canyon by Train” in Topolobampo, during which guests will enjoy a rugged, full-day adventure that includes an early-morning motorcoach ride and a privately chartered train ride through the Sierra Madres on the Chihuahua Pacifico railway before arrival at the Copper Canyon, which is accessible only by train. Winding through tunnels and bridges, guests will be transported from sea level to 7,200 feet before enjoying lunch, stunning vistas and a leisurely journey back to the ship. In La Paz, “Snorkeling with the Sea Lions” offers a taste of the region’s popular eco-tourism offerings. The Sea of Cortez is home to marine creatures including sea lions, whales, dolphins, Cortez angel fish and parrot fish, and this excursion offers multiple photo opportunities. The highlight of the excursion is a boat ride to the Los Islotes sea lion colony, and the snorkeling and swimming with sea lions that follow.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Six men in a small, white Zodiac-type boat approached the Msc Melody at about 1730 GMT Saturday and opened fire with automatic weapons, Msc Cruises director Domenico Pellegrino said. They retreated after the security officers returned fire and sprayed them with water hoses. The ship continued its journey with its windows darkened.
"It felt like we were in war," the ships commander, Ciro Pinto, told Italian state radio.
None of the roughly 1,000 passengers and 500 crew members was hurt, Pellegrino said. The passengers were asked to return to their cabins and the external lights on board turned off.
Pellegrino said all Msc cruise ships around the world are staffed with Israeli security agents because they are the best trained.
The attack occurred about 200 miles (325 kilometers) north of the Seychelles, and about 500 miles (800 kilometers) east of Somalia, according to the anti-piracy flotilla headquarters of the Maritime Security Center Horn of Africa.
Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet, said that last fall after the attack on a Saudi tanker more than 400 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia there had been "a definite shift in (the pirates) tactical capabilities."
"It's not unheard of to have attacks off the coast of the Seychelles, we've even had some in the past month," he said. "But at the same time, it is a sign that they are moving further and further off the Somali coast."
Separately Sunday, four Yemeni tankers escorted by a Yemeni coast guard boat on their way to Aden were attacked by pirates. Three of the ships escaped and coast guards captured five pirates and wounded two others, said Mohammed Abdul-Rahman, a senior official at the Overseas Shipping and Stevedoring Company. Pirates could only seize one of the tankers, the Qana. The Yemeni Interior Ministry said coast guards were trying to free it.
And the Turkish cruiser Ariva 3, with two British and four Japanese crew aboard, survived a pirate attack near the Yemeni island of Jabal Zuqar, said Ali el-Awlaqi, head of the Yemeni El-Awlaqi Marine company said.
"Pirates opened fire at the cruise ship for 15 minutes then stopped for no reason," he said, adding that the cruiser was heading to Aden, Yemen, to fix a broken engine.It was not the first attack on a cruise liner. In November, pirates opened fire on a U.S.-operated ship, the M/S Nautica, which was taking 650 passengers and 400 crew members on a monthlong luxury cruise from Rome to Singapore. The cruise liner was able to outrun the pirates. In early April a tourist yacht was hijacked by Somali pirates near the Seychelles just after having dropped off its cargo of tourists.
The Melody was on a 22-day cruise from Durban, South Africa, to Genoa, Italy, when the pirates attacked late Saturday, slightly damaging the liner, Pinto said.
"After about four or five minutes, they tried to put a ladder up," Pinto told Sky TG24. "They were starting to climb up but we reacted, we started to fire ourselves. When they saw our fire, and also the water from the water hoses that we started to spray toward the Zodiac, they left and went away."
"They followed us for a bit, about 20 minutes, and continued to fire," he said.
Cruise line security work is a popular job for young Israelis who have recently been discharged from mandatory army service, as it is a good chance to save money and travel.
"We have always had great faith in their capacity, they have always been very qualified," Pellegrino said of the Israelis, though he declined to give the name of the firm.
The Spanish warship SPS Marques de Ensenada met up with the Melody to escort her through the pirate-infested northern Gulf of Aden, the Maritime Security Center said. The cruise ship was headed as scheduled to the Jordanian port of Aqaba, returning to the Mediterranean for spring and summer season cruises. - Source - Associated Press
Monday, April 27, 2009
Guests on the cruise line’s short Caribbean cruises also can purchase a wide array of exciting shore excursions for an action-packed day in port. In Mexico, Dolphin Push, Pull & Swim offers guests the once-in-a-lifetime, up-close experience to swim with the graceful and intelligent mammals in Cozumel; or Bike & Clear Kayak Adventure can delight guests in Costa Maya with its beautiful beaches and local flavors from different vantage points. On itineraries that include a call at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island paradise in the Bahamas, guests can select a guided high-energy adventure, touring the neighboring Berry Islands atop their own personal watercrafts.
With more berths and an expanded season, Radiance of the Seas will increase Royal Caribbean’s capacity in Tampa compared to Grandeur of the Seas’ previous seasonal deployments. Radiance of the Seas’ itineraries will include a four-night sailing, calling at Cozumel, Mexico, and a five-night sailing that adds Costa Maya. The ship’s 2010 season will kick-off with a seven-night Western Caribbean sailing on October 9, calling at George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; and Belize City, Belize.
Grandeur of the Seas will reposition from Tampa and continue sailing four- and five-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Everglades in April 2010. Ports of call will include Key West, Cozumel, Costa Maya, George Town and CocoCay.
In November 2010, Navigator of the Seas will replace Grandeur of the Seas at Port Everglades, also offering four- and five-night itineraries. On one of its five-night itineraries that depart Mondays, Navigator of the Seas will call at the new port of Falmouth, Jamaica, and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach paradise on the north Haitian coast. Other ports of call will include George Town, Cozumel, Belize City, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Among the ten largest cruise ships in the world, Voyager-class Navigator of the Seas offers guests many onboard diversions exclusive to Royal Caribbean, including innovative onboard amenities as an ice-skating rink, in-line skate track, the cruise line’s iconic rock-climbing wall, a nine-hole mini-golf course, and the Royal Promenade – lined with shops, restaurants, bars and lounges that run nearly the length of the ship.
Majesty of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas will continue year-round three- and four-night Bahamas itineraries, departing Mondays and Fridays from Miami and Port Canaveral. Ports of call will include Nassau, CocoCay, and Costa Maya.
Onboard every Royal Caribbean ship, guests enjoy the cruise line’s award-winning Broadway-style musical revues from Royal Caribbean Productions, acclaimed Adventure Ocean kids and teen programming, world-class gaming in the Casino Royale, and Royal Caribbean’s renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service from every staff and crew member.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Quail Cruises is offering discounts on ‘Treasures of the Mediterranean’ cruises sailing round-trip from Valencia starting at €499 (April 20), at €359 (April 27) and at €399 (May 4, 11 and 18).
The Gemini previously operated as Star Cruise SuperStar Gemini and was originally build as the Crown Jewel for Crown Cruise Line in 1995.
Friday, April 24, 2009
All Leisure group plc, which operates Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery is pleased to announce that continue to operate the Hebridean Princess on distinctive cruises around the Scottish Highlands and islands and through the Norwegian fjords. The company will continue to operate from its head office in Skipton.
The Hebridean Princess carries 49 passengers and 37 crew offers luxury cruises from March through to November and operates principally from Oban in Scotland around the Scottish Highlands and Islands and Norwegian Fjords.
In the year to 30 November 2008 the Hebridean Princess generated revenue of c.£7.0m and profit before taxation of c£1.2m. The provisional fair value of net assets being acquired is £4.1m and on this basis management expect the overall contribution to profits in the current financial year to be broadly neutral.
Roger Allard, Group Executive Chairman said "This Acquisition is our first investment of the funds raised on flotation and represents, as promised, a continuation of All Leisure's strategy to acquire established niche destination-led brands. Hebridean Princess justifiably enjoys the exceptionally high levels of both passenger loyalty (historically enjoying over 50% repeat passenger business) and customer support that a product of this quality and profile should demand."
Thursday, April 23, 2009
They informed me that they had just signed a share agreement with EasyCruise to share space on the EasyLife.
They stated that this will be the only ship they will be selling space on in 2009.
She will sail 3 and 4 day cruises.
This is quite a scaled back plan from their 2009 plans to operate the Athena,Gemini and their website even showed the Arion as sailing for them in 2009.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
- “All Inclusive – As You Wish” shipboard credits on every individual voyage in 2010. Most cruises offer $2,000 per couple, all the way up to $10,000 per couple for the full World Cruise;
- 20th Anniversary Fares with up to $3,000 per couple savings on all Mediterranean and Northern Europe voyages booked by December 31, 2009 ;
- Birthday Bonus! Book your 2010 birthday cruise by December 31, 2009 and save 50% on a future Crystal cruise taken before your next birthday;
- 20th Anniversary events and activities on every 2010 cruise;
- Exclusive events added to four special sailings: the 20th Anniversary President’s cruise,the Crystal Society (repeat guest) Reunion cruise, and the cruises aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity that occur during July 20, 2010, which commemorates the anniversary of Crystal’s first ship christening.
- Crystal Family Memories program offers a free cruise incentive to celebrate one’s own anniversary, birthday or reunion with friends and family.
- Value Collection Fares, Crystal Society Savings and Early Full Payment Savings!
“The sheer amount of fares savings, plus the scope of applicable voyages – even during prime seasons – plus a spending credit on every sailing, makes this the most significant collection of savings we’ve ever offered,” says Gregg Michel, Crystal’s president.
“Our All Inclusive – As You Wish spending credit on every cruise is the ultimate luxury anniversary gift– to have what you want, when you want. Our guests have the freedom to choose whatever is meaningful to them, from soothing spa treatments to boutique shore excursions to rare wine vintages.”Sailing to 174 ports in 70 countries on 62 voyages, Crystal Cruises’ 2010 program will feature a continued emphasis on distinctive destinations and port intensive itineraries including many overnight calls.
New offerings include maiden calls in Iran, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia on the World Cruise to new North American cruises to the Sea of Cortez and Hawaii.
While most voyages are 11-13 days in length, Crystal has set 15 cruises at 10 days or fewer. Several combination cruises sail from 15 to 115 days without ever repeating a port.
Crystal’s 2010 cruise fares begin at $2,165 per person, double occupancy.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
- MSC Poesia: Eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Turkey and Croatia) roundtrip from Venice or Bari· MSC Orchestra: Baltic (Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Russia) or Norwegian Fjords (Denmark, Germany, Norway) roundtrip from Copenhagen; Western Mediterranean (Italy, Spain, Portugal) roundtrip from Barcelona or Genoa·
- MSC Splendida (which debuts in July 2009): Western Mediterranean (Spain, Tunisia, Malta, Italy, France) roundtrip from Barcelona, Genoa, Civitavecchia, or Marseille·
- MSC Fantasia (which debuted in December 2008): Western Mediterranean (Italy, Tunisia, Spain, France) roundtrip from Genoa, Barcelona, Naples or Marseille·
- MSC Musica: Eastern Mediterranean (Greece and Croatia) roundtrip from Venice or Bari MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida are the largest ships ever ordered by a European ship owner.
In addition to elegant décor, international cuisine as well as regional Italian specialties and an alternative restaurant, European-style entertainment, and a spacious spa, they introduce a new concept in VIP cruising – MSC Yacht Club, complete with butler service. Cruise-only rates begin at $999 per person for a balcony, based on double occupancy (government fees and taxes for all guests are additional) and cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.
Children ages 17 and younger sail free when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sailing aboard the 318-berth MS Fram, the world’s newest expedition ship, guests are privy to rare views of the vast and mysterious wilderness of the White Continent, replete with gleaming icebergs, blue whales and orcas feeding mere feet from the ships, and penguin populations whose individual rookeries number in the tens of thousands. The 22-day itinerary departs Argentina’s lively capital of Buenos Aires to explore the Falklands – an archipelago consisting of more than 740 islands and a breeding ground for millions of seabirds, as well as home to King and other penguin species. Moving on to the isolated island of South Georgia, passengers disembark at the abandoned whaling station of Grytviken, and visit the South Georgia Museum, a stronghold for all aspects of the island’s culture; Cooper Bay, known for its Macaroni and Chinstrap penguins; and the cemetery, where young Elephant seal pups, King and Gentoo penguins and timid Pintail ducks are likely to be spotted.
Both the 22- and 13-day sailings share a similar Antarctica experience -- with the MS Fram makings its way across the Drake Passage and offering extensive landfall opportunities on the White Continent -- Whaler's Bay with its warm springs and black volcanic sand; Half Moon Island, a rookery for Chinstrap penguins; Yankee Harbor, home to seals and 4,000 Gentoo penguin pairs; Almirante Brown, with its stunning views of snowy peaks, ice cliffs and sculpted bergs; Port Lockroy, where postcards postmarked "Antarctica" can be purchased; Wilhelmina Bay, a feeding ground for whales and seals; and numerous others. The ship disembarks at Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, before passengers proceed to Buenos Aires, where they are free to explore or take optional excursions such as the Dinner & Tango in the classical surroundings of Esquine Carlos Gardel.
Fares include all meals onboard, the services of expert naturalist guides, noted guest lecturers, PolarCirkel boat landings, and pre- and post-cruise nights in Buenos Aires. Airline fuel surcharges and taxes, ticketing fees of $229 and gratuities are additional. For those interested in a similar cruise at a later date, Hurtigruten also offers the 22-Day Antarctica/ South Georgia Falklands & Malvinas cruise departing in February.
Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Known for visiting off-the-beaten-path destinations, Azamara will visit 21 ports in 10 different countries during its 2010-11 Asia sailing. These countries are Egypt, United Arab Emirates, India, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Japan, and South Korea. Fully escorted pre- and post-cruise land-based tours that can extend a cruise into a “cruisetour” are offered from Beijing and Hong Kong, China.
Azamara Quest’s first Asia offering in the winter of 2010-11 is a 24-night repositioning cruise from Athens to Singapore, departing on November 27. Featuring visits to Alexandria, Egypt; Cochin, India; and Phuket, Thailand; the sailing also features in-port overnight stays in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Bombay (Mumbai), India, as well as passage through the Suez Canal.
Just before the Christmas holiday, Azamara Quest will set sail on the first of the season’s six Southeast Asia voyages between Singapore and Hong Kong, beginning with an 18-night Southeast Asia cruise from Singapore on December 21, 2010, followed by four consecutive 14-night voyages between the two cities. Azamara Quest will sail her last Southeast Asia voyage of the 2010-11 winter season with a 14-night offering from Hong Kong to Singapore on March 29, 2011, before embarking on a 24-night repositioning cruise from Singapore back to Athens on April 12.
The Southeast Asia voyages each include at least four in-port overnight stays, allowing guests the opportunity to further explore the region’s culture and history. Overnights are offered in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi (Halong Bay) and Ho Chi Minh City. A voyage taking place during Chinese New Year, departing Singapore for Hong Kong on January 22, 2011, offers overnights in all but one of the ports it visits during the cruise.
Available shore excursions expand the in-port experience. Azamara offers a variety of excursions of different lengths and activity levels. Examples include the two-day, one-night “Essence of Cambodia Overland” excursion out of Bangkok. The highlight of this excursion is a visit to Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world with a volume of stone equaling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. In Ho Chi Minh City, the “Cu Chi Tunnels” excursion takes guests into the tunnels where Vietnamese fighters lived and fought from. Only a few feet wide and five feet high but capable of withstanding the weight of tanks and bombs, the tunnel complex includes underground meeting rooms, kitchens, hospital and sleeping areas.
Two 12-night Northeast Asia cruises, sailing from Hong Kong to Shanghai on March 5, 2011 and from Shanghai to Hong Kong on March 17, will offer completely different itineraries from one another, creating a 24-night back-to-back sailing option for guests who wish to experience mainland China, Japan and South Korea in one trip. The northbound itinerary on March 5 visits Kagoshima, Nagasaki and the stunningly romantic city of Kyoto (Osaka), Japan, as well as Xiamen, China, and Busan, South Korea. Available shore excursions include “Best of Shanghai,” which takes guests into China’s most cosmopolitan city, also known as “Paris of the East.” The excursion includes visits to Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Museum and the Jade Buddha Temple, with a stop at a silk factory, where guests learn how silk is collected and woven into a carpet.
The southbound itinerary on March 17 features an overnight call in Beijing (Tianjin) as well as calls to Seoul (Incheon), South Korea, and two ports new to Azamara: Qingdao, China and Jeju Island, South Korea. Qingdao is located in eastern Shandong province on the Yellow Sea. Host to the sailing regatta during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Qingdao is most famous internationally for its Tsingdao Brewery and its mix of German and Chinese architecture. Jeju Island is a volcanic island to the south of the Korean Peninsula. A popular vacation spot for Korean and Japanese travelers, the island offers a variety of outdoor activities set against a beautiful natural landscape and must-see attractions such as Mt. Hallasan and the Cheonjeyeon and Cheonjiyeon waterfalls.
Azamara’s cruisetours, a combination of a cruise and a fully escorted land-based tour, offer guests the opportunity to deepen their Asia experience. Six different eight-day, seven-night land-based tour packages are available. The pre-cruise package begins in Beijing and ends in Hong Kong; guests board Azamara Quest on the last day of the land package. The post-cruise package begins in Hong Kong and ends in Beijing; after disembarking the ship, guests will be met by their tour director at the pier. Both packages feature multiple opportunities for travelers to engage firsthand with some of China’s most breathtaking sights, scenes and tastes. Some of the most widely known spots that guests on Azamara Cruises’ pre- and post-cruise tours will visit include the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall at Mutianyue, and Victoria Peak. All of these visits – as well as all planned activities in the tours – are fully escorted and guided by knowledgeable escorts who will share a great deal of information about each place. Throughout the eight-day tours, guests will overnight in multiple cities, including Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Hong Kong. Some meals are included, most notably a traditional Peking duck dinner in Beijing, a Chinese dumpling dinner followed by dumpling-making and noodle-throwing demonstrations in Xian, and lunch during a scenic cruise along the River Li in Guilin.
The tours also include visits to museums such as the famed Terracotta Warriors Museum, the Bronze Chariots Museum, Yangling Museum, and Shaanxi Provincial Museum. There, guests will have the opportunity to learn about important historical and cultural milestones in China, while browsing unforgettable collections of artifacts. Guests will also experience several temples, including the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, the Great Mosque of Xian, and Hong Kong’s Man Mo Temple.
Each package includes ground transportation, deluxe hotel accommodations, some meals, and ample time for independent dining, shopping and sightseeing.
All shore excursions, tours and packages are available for an additional charge.
Azamara Cruises unlocks the hidden corners of the world for those who desire to immerse themselves in the rich details of every voyage. The deluxe ships – Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest – offer an intimate experience, while allowing access to exotic destinations experienced travelers long to reach. For the 694 guests on each Azamara Cruises ship, every moment at sea embodies the pinnacle of luxury, and each footstep on shore accentuates the difference between visiting a place and getting a true sense of place. This year, Azamara Cruises presents the best of enchanting Europe, elite Asia, and the most captivating Caribbean and the Panama Canal.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
“Embarking the bow is a symbolic and strong step in the building of Norwegian Epic. She is taking shape beautifully,” said Roberto Martinoli , Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief operating officer. “STX Europe is doing an incredible job of constructing our largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date.”
Norwegian Epic’s next and final chapter reveal is scheduled for May 20, 2009, in New York City . Also that day, the ship’s 2010-2011 sailings open for sale to the general public. These include seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami . To date, the company has revealed the ship’s accommodations, night life, restaurants, aqua park, sports deck and family activities.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Swan Hellenic, reborn in May 2008, features culturally enriching cruise programs aboard the 394-guest Minerva and the 199-guest A-Rosa Riva. Fares include shipboard gratuities and shore excursions in each port of call.
Savings up to 70% are available on selected departures and categories. Rates start at $1,995 per person, double occupancy, on the 14-night Eastern Mediterranean & Black Sea, May 12-26 itinerary. Air departure from North America on May 11, 2009.
Sailing from Piraeus (Athens) to Istanbul, the Minerva calls at Reythymno, Crete; Delos and Tinos, Greece; Dikili and Canakkale, Turkey; Nessebur, Bulgaria; Odessa (overnight), Sevastopol and Yalta, Ukraine, and includes an overnight on board in Piraeus and Istanbul. Oceanview cabins are priced at $3,195 per person.
The May 26-June 10 Grecian Odyssey cruise features an overnight in Istanbul and includes Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Santorini, Nauplia, Katakolon and Gythion, Greece; and Catania, Lipari, Sorrento, and Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy. Guests disembark after an overnight in Livorno on June 10. Fares for the 15-night cruise start at $1,995 per person; oceanview, $3,195. North American air departure is May 25.
The 16-night June 9, 2009, Journey from the Mediterranean begins in Livorno after an overnight on board and departs for Elba, Italy; Ajaccio, France; Mahón, and Mortil, Spain; Gibraltar; Seville (overnight); Leixóes, Portugal; La Coruna, Spain; Alderney, Channel Islands; and ends in Dover, England. Fares for minimum inside accommodations are $1,795 per person; oceanview, $2,795.
Air add-ons and transfers are available from 21 US and Canadian gateway cities from $1,107 to $1,627 per person.
Substantial savings also are available on selected voyages of Swan Hellenic’s Danube river cruises. Fares for the 10-night cruises aboard the A-Rosa Riva are priced at $2,195 per-person (river view) and $2,595 (balcony).
The cruises sail round-trip from Vienna May 10 and 30, 2009, with calls at Esztergom, Budapest, Bratislava, Duernstein, Melk, Linz (Salzburg) and Passau (Munich). Air add-ons are available from $205 to $655 depending on cruise and gateway. North American air departure – May 9 and May 29. Cruise-only guests may deduct $400 from the cruise fare.
Swan Hellenic successfully relaunched in May 2008. Each cruise itinerary is a unique cultural travel experience, blending world-class sites with smaller, off the beaten track destinations. A program of tailor-made shore excursions is included in the cruise fare, with excursions accompanied by experienced Swan Hellenic staff. Both vessels feature open-seating dining.
To book or to request a brochure, contact your travel professional or Swan Hellenic at (866) 923 9182 or visit http://www.swanhellenic.us/
Swan Hellenic is a trading division of UK-based All Leisure Group, which also operates Voyages of Discovery cruise line and tour operator Discover Egypt.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
5-night “Caribbean Escape”: calling at Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Grand Cayman, with two days at sea; departing Nov. 10 and Nov. 15, 2009; rates begin at $399;
- 5-night “Mayan Discovery”: calling at Belize City, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico, with two sea days; departing Jan. 3, 2010; rates begin at $399;
- and 3-night “Tropical Getaway”: calling at Nassau, Bahamas and Key West, Florida; departing April 24, 2010; rates begin at $239
All rates are cruise-only, per person, double occupancy; government fees and taxes are additional.
As on all MSC Cruises’ sailings, children ages 17 and younger sail free when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults.
“Even on a 3- or 5-night itinerary, guests can enjoy the ambiance of an MSC Cruises sailing, from the elegant décor and unparalleled service to the highly acclaimed international entertainment and cuisine, which includes many authentic Italian dishes,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc.
MSC Poesia’s season will also include a variety of 7- and 10-night itineraries, as well as special Christmas and New Year’s sailings. MSC Poesia features 1,275 staterooms, of which 80 percent are outside staterooms and 65 percent have a balcony.
The ship has a generous 236,000 square feet of public spaces, 2 pools and 4 hot tubs, plus a 13,000-square-foot spa. Guests can select from four restaurants, including a Sushi Bar alternative dining restaurant.
Like her sister ships (MSC Musica and MSC Orchestra), MSC Poesia features sophisticated and elegant decor, attention to detail, the finest in international entertainment and Italian hospitality.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
If approved, the new Disney Wonder sailings could generate more than 250,000 guests passing through the Port of Los Angeles over a five-year period.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he is pleased to welcome the renowned family cruise line back to the Port of Los Angeles at San Pedro.
“Having Disney Cruise Line operating out of the Port of Los Angeles will provide a great boost to the local economy by generating business and tourism revenue in San Pedro and throughout the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “The return of Disney Cruise Line to our port speaks volumes about our ability to attract world-class cruise lines to the area.”
The addition of a new homeport for Disney Cruise Line is part of the overall expansion plan for The Walt Disney Company. Two new ships, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, will arrive in Florida’s Port Canaveral in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
“We are looking forward to returning to the Port of Los Angeles and offering our special brand of family cruises on the West Coast,” said Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo. “Having a Disney Cruise Line ship based in this region is something families on the West Coast have wanted for a long time, and we’re pleased to bring the Disney Wonder to Southern California in 2011.”
Disney Cruise Line has successfully tested the West Coast market with two summer seasons of Mexican Riviera itineraries from the Port of Los Angeles. The Disney Magic cruise ship first called on the West Coast during the summer of 2005 as part of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary and returned again during the summer of 2008. Disney Cruise Line has not yet announced the details of its itineraries for 2011.
Known for establishing family travel in the cruise market Disney Cruise Line continues to be a leader in the industry. The Disney Wonder was recently named the top large cruise ship experience by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine in the 9th annual “Reader’s Cruise Poll.” The Disney Magic, which was also ranked in the top five cruise experiences in the poll, will embark on a season of limited itineraries exploring Northern Europe and the Mediterranean in 2010. Additionally, the line continues to move forward on the construction of its two new ocean liners at the Meyer Werft yard in Germany
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Unveiled to an audience of more than 400 travel professionals at a special Royal Caribbean agent appreciation event at the Port of Baltimore, Enchantment of the Seas’ debut in the Northeast will mark the cruise line’s first year-round deployment in the Maryland port. The 2,252-guest Enchantment of Seas will replace the 1,950-guest Grandeur of the Seas and increase Royal Caribbean’s capacity in the region by 302 berths, comprising an additional 36 balcony and 87 oceanview staterooms. The ship also will offer more family-friendly onboard amenities, including expanded youth programming spaces, and Royal Caribbean’s signature steakhouse, Chops Grille.
Enchantment of the Seas’ initial Baltimore deployment will include a five-night Bermuda and nine-night Eastern Caribbean roundtrip itinerary in the summer and autumn seasons. The ship will first sail the same itineraries in May and June from the Port of Norfolk, exclusively offering Bermuda cruises from the Virginian port. The winter and spring season itineraries will be announced at a later date.
Explorer of the Seas will continue its year-round service from Cape Liberty in April 2010. The ship’s fourth consecutive year of service in the New York metropolitan area will feature a five-night Bermuda cruise and two alternating nine-night “Bermuda and Caribbean” and “Bermuda and Bahamas” itineraries. In addition, Explorer of the Seas’ season will kick off with a special 13-night Southern Caribbean sailing departing March 28.
Both Explorer of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas’ short Bermuda cruises will feature a two-day call at Kings Wharf, from where guests can explore the island’s pink beaches, quaint shops and night life at their leisure. Guests on Explorer of the Seas’ Bermuda and Bahamas itineraries will enjoy a day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island paradise in the Bahamas, while guests on Enchantment of the Seas’ Eastern Caribbean itinerary will call at Labadee, the cruise line’s private beach destination on the northern coast of Haiti.
Royal Caribbean also will return to Canada and New England in autumn 2010 with convenient sailings from Baltimore, Boston, and Cape Liberty, offering 14 itineraries ranging from seven to nine nights, including ports of call at Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; and Canada’s Saint John, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Jewel of the Seas will sail seven-night roundtrip voyages from Boston, while Explorer of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas will each offer four nine-night cruises from Cape Liberty and Baltimore, respectively. Enchantment of the Seas also will offer a special eight-night roundtrip itinerary on June 18, which will add extended port time in Halifax and Bar Harbor.
Guests will have a multitude of shore excursion options designed to provide guests one-of-kind experiences. They can test the trade winds on Labadee’s Dragon’s Breath Flight Line, the longest flight line in the world over water, zipping over the bay at speeds of up to 50 miles an hour. In Bermuda, travelers can snorkel at night, viewing sea creatures rarely seen during the day. During a call in Bar Harbor, guests can embark on a bike tour that crisscrosses some of the most scenic areas of Acadia National Park.
Voyager-class Explorer of the Seas boasts innovative onboard amenities, such as a full-size basketball court, in-line skating track, ice-skating rink, and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that spans nearly the length of the ship, lined with shops, restaurants, bars and lounges. Jewel of the Seas features a 10-story glass Centrum, glass elevators facing the sea and the highest percentage of outside staterooms of any Royal Caribbean ship. Onboard every Royal Caribbean ship, guests enjoy award-winning Broadway-style musical revues from Royal Caribbean Productions, top-rated Adventure Ocean and teen programming, and Royal Caribbean’s renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service from every staff and crew member.
Friday, April 10, 2009
“Through the last four decades, Royal Caribbean has earned a history of innovation and redefined cruising with each new class of ships we launched,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Allure of the Seas and sister-ship Oasis of the Seas represent the ultimate expression of our vision and determination to provide an experience unlike anything found on land and sea. With Allure of the Seas, we will offer family and adventurous vacationers two spectacular ships from which to choose for an unforgettable cruise.”
Allure of the Seas will depart from her homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale and alternate a seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itinerary. Both itineraries will feature three days at sea for guests to enjoy all the revolutionary onboard amenities found in the seven “neighborhoods” that comprise an Oasis-class ship. On the Eastern Caribbean itinerary, Allure of the Seas will call at St. Thomas (Charlotte Amalie), St. Maarten (Philipsburg), and Nassau, Bahamas. The ship will call at Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach paradise on the northern coast of Haiti, for the Western Caribbean itinerary.
Architectural marvels at sea, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will span 16 decks, encompass 220,000 gross registered tons (GRT), and host 5,400 guests at double occupancy with 2,700 staterooms.
Each ship will feature the cruise line’s new neighborhood concept, seven themed areas throughout the ship that offer different experiences for guests to choose, based on their personal styles, preferences or moods. Inspired by seaside entertainment esplanades, Boardwalk will engage the entire family – whether young or young at heart – with eateries, retail outlets, carnival games, and an original, handcrafted carousel – a first at sea. Nine decks above, the first zip-line at sea will whisk guests from end to end on a thrilling aerial adventure. Boardwalk will lead to the AquaTheater at the stern of the ship, where the amphitheater – another first at sea – will offer a guest pool area by day and a performance venue at night, featuring dramatic acrobatics, synchronized swimming, water ballet, professional high-diving, and elaborate fountain shows synchronized to music and lights.
Enhancements to the cruise line’s signature Royal Promenade, the heart of the ship, will include a mezzanine level that overlooks the main promenade below. Natural light will cascade into the Royal Promenade through the overhead Crystal Canopy sculptured-glass domes, and illuminate the boulevard of boutiques, restaurants, bars and entertainment lounges. The Rising Tide bar, the first moving bar at sea, will offer guests the opportunity to enjoy a cocktail as it slowly ascends into Central Park, the neighborhood above.
Central Park, a revolutionary design in which the center of the ship opens to the sky, will feature lush, tropical grounds spanning the length of a football field. With its serene pathways, seasonal flower gardens and canopy trees, Central Park will evolve from a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere during the day to a gathering space for alfresco dining and entertainment in the evenings.
The Pool and Sports Zone will feature a sloped-entry beach pool (exclusive to the Oasis-class) and two larger FlowRider surf simulators. Building on the Royal Caribbean’s popular Vitality wellness program, guests will be able to soothe mind, body and soul in the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, which also includes a dedicated spa area just for teens. Entertainment Place will include the cruise line’s signature after-dark spaces in more intimate venues that offer a variety of entertainment options. And the Youth Zone will offer a wealth of kid- and teen-friendly adventures, featuring the cruise line’s first nursery for infants and toddlers (six months or older).
The Oasis class of ships also will debut a new portfolio of 37 categories of accommodations, many with views unique to the ship. Park View and Boardwalk View balcony staterooms offer inward facing accommodations overlooking the two open-air neighborhoods. Another industry-first, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas will introduce 28 contemporary bi-level loft suites with double-height, floor-to-ceiling windows for incomparable vistas of the sea. The lofts will feature LCD televisions, separate vanity areas, a guest bathroom downstairs and an upstairs master bathroom featuring his and hers shower heads, fog-free mirrors, and limestone mosaic tile accents.
Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 20 ships currently in service and two under construction. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, South America and New Zealand.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The 12-night itinerary will take in the Southern hospitality of three southeast coastal cities: historic Savannah, brimming with Victorian homes, antebellum mansions and oak trees dripping in Spanish moss; Charleston, where travelers can tour the old city by horse-drawn carriage; and Norfolk, a primary 18th-century trading port, where guests can opt to visit Nauticus, The National Maritime Center that boasts superb oceanography exhibits, and, for history buffs, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and the Douglas MacArthur Memorial. Four Florida ports collectively provide a rich view of the state’s offerings and include: the former homes of writer Ernest Hemmingway and President Harry Truman in laid-back Key West; an array of bars and restaurants at the Jacksonville Landing and Southbank Riverwalk in Jacksonsville; the very popular NASA Space Center in Port Canaveral; and the sizzling South Beach nightlife, magnificent beaches and museum offerings of multi-cultural Miami. Freeport offers sunbathers a near endless supply of deserted stretches of sun-drenched beaches – as well as terrific shopping opportunities at Port Lucaya Marketplace, with its picturesque waterfront, and at Count Basie Square with live entertainment.
The 16-night sailing showcases some of the very best in cosmopolitan ports of call -- New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Miami. In New York, guests can visit the Statute of Liberty, take a carriage ride in Central Park, or catch a Broadway show followed by dinner on Restaurant Row. Philadelphia, the nation's one-time capital, is brimming with early American landmarks, including Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, and such cultural landmarks as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Franklin Institute Science Museum, while New Orleans offers the birthplace of Jazz, the sultry ambiance of the city’s French Quarter and its Bourbon Street. Two Mexican destinations add a Latin element with the Mayan town of Progreso, 30 minutes from the colonial city of Merida and the Mayan archaeological site of Dzibilchaltun, and Cozumel, where guests can enjoy Chankanaab National Park, a refuge for flora and marine fauna, or snorkel or dive the island's world-famous reefs.
The MS Deutschland, with 286 staterooms, provides travelers with a more intimate cruising experience. Features of the nine-deck ship include: three deluxe restaurants, an outdoor dining terrace plus seven diverse bars and cafes, a spacious library lounge, outdoor and indoor pools, three sun decks and an open-air promenade deck, grand ballroom for nightly entertainment and dancing, and a wellness center equipped with fitness and spa facilities. Smoking is not permitted onboard except in open deck areas, the Old Fritz Pub and one section of the Lili Marleen Bar.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
- The Hibridean Spirit pulled from service.
- The reduction of Ocean Village Cruise Line - to a one ship operation
- The departure of Island Cruises, their incorporation into Thompson Cruises and the transfer of the Island Star to Spanish operator Pullantur.
- Carnival's decision to not sail the Carnival Splendor from the UK.
- Fred Olsen Cruises retirement of the Black Prince later this year.
- Page and Moy's announcement that this will be the last year for them operating the Ocean Majesty. Page and Moy may have another ship in 2010 - but it has not been announced yet.
Further reductions are expected should the economic situation not improve.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
“From the Aqua Park to the expanded sports deck and largest Kid’s Crew facility to the most dining outlets at sea, Norwegian Epic is truly taking Freestyle Cruising to the next level by offering our guests so many choices in dining and on-board activities,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Our largest Freestyle Cruising vessel to date represents the culmination of our 43 years of innovation in the cruise industry. Norwegian Epic will delight and amaze our guests.”
Norwegian’s First Aqua Park
Norwegian Epic, set for delivery in late May 2010, takes Freestyle Family Fun to the extreme with an expansive Aqua Park that includes three water slides of varying thrill factors, including one specifically designed for children that zips straight through the rock climbing wall; a more adventurous slide twisting and turning down three stories; and The Epic Plunge, the only tube slide at sea that puts the blast of inner-tubing into the core of a bowl slide with a thrilling drop through a 200-foot long tube. Riders are then launched into the vortex of The Epic Plunge where centrifugal forces keep them high on the wall for several turns, ending in an exciting transition into a splashdown lane.
The Aqua Park also includes two main pools with arching water effects which illuminate at night; five whirlpools; a wading pool and a kid’s pool in the children’s Splash and Play Zone which features whimsical sculptures, water sprays and effects, along with a kiddy slide.
Scaling New Heights in Freestyle Fun
In an industry first, Norwegian Epic will scale new heights with the first ever repelling wall at sea and a 33-foot high extreme rock climbing wall, accessible on two levels with varying degrees of difficulty, rated according to official U.S. climbing grades.
Expanding its innovative concept of bowling at sea, Norwegian Epic will offer the most bowling lanes with a total of six located in two venues: Bliss Ultra Lounge and O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill. The multi-use sports deck will include a full size basketball court, volleyball, soccer, dodge ball, batting cage, bungee trampoline, rope adventure course and a 24-foot tall enclosed climbing cage called the spider web. Norwegian Epic will also feature the first squash court at sea, located in the fitness center.
Our Largest Kid’s Crew Facility and Exclusive Teen Lounge
Recess is Norwegian Epic’s Kid’s Crew facility that is centrally located on Deck 14 adjacent and easily accessible to the family-friendly staterooms. Two separate areas are specifically designed for kids ages two through nine and tweens, ages 10 through 12. The Kid’s area includes a space-themed play area, air hockey table, an interactive light up dance floor; WiiTM gaming areas; an arts and crafts area; along with a state-of-the-art surround sound cinema. The Tween Zone has a futuristic feel that includes multiple WiiTM and PlayStation® areas; along with a private karaoke performance stage which doubles as a cinema.
Entourage is Norwegian Epic’s high energy, exclusive teen zone for ages 13 through 17, located at the top of the ship on Deck 16. This funky space includes air hockey; pinball; foosball; a video jukebox; and nine large flat screen televisions, five of which are located around a central video game console featuring PlayStation® 3. In the evening, Entourage transitions into a hip nightclub with a space for dancing or just hanging out on comfy couches. Directly below is the video arcade which features number of the most challenging and interactive video games.
The Most Dining Choices at Sea
Norwegian Epic’s wide range of dining choices will wow even the most discerning cruiser with 14 Freestyle Dining restaurants and 18 bars and lounges. Each restaurant features unique and sensational culinary delights from around the world.
Norwegian Epic’s dining establishments will include:
Taste: Located in the ship’s atrium on Deck 5, Taste’s décor blends off-white, free-form plastered walls with European retro-chic mixed with brick details and floor to ceiling velvet curtains. Taste will serve a selection of traditional and contemporary cuisine.
The Manhattan Room: Reminiscent of an elegant art deco supper club, The Manhattan Room features a dance floor as its focal point and will offer live music and dancing in the evening. The two-story high restaurant on Deck 6 features floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows looking aft. The cuisine reflects the elegant and romantic nature of the room.
· Café Jardin & The Great Outdoors: Café Jardin’s décor is modeled after a traditional English country garden conservatory. This is Norwegian’s signature action station casual restaurant where chefs cook fresh, prepared-to-order food as guests watch, featuring seafood, pizza, fruit, soups, pasta, ethnic specialties, burgers and desserts; offering extensive and varied selections. The Café includes a Kid’s Café with child-friendly seats and tables. At the Great Outdoors, guests can enjoy fresh air and a view of the Aqua Park with their meal.
Cagney’s Steakhouse & Churrascaria: Norwegian’s traditional American steakhouse takes on a new twist with the addition of Argentinean churrasco. In addition to mouth-watering steaks, guests will be able to sample a variety of skewered meats presented by tableside passadors. Another new addition is a large, centrally located salad bar.
La Cucina: This Tuscan-style eatery will serve regional Italian specialties including pizza, pasta and steak, chicken and fish dishes. The traditional Italian décor reflects two distinct areas: a Tuscan farm home and an Italian courtyard, where a large olive tree with hanging lanterns is the centerpiece, open to Café Jardin above.
Le Bistro: Norwegian’s upscale bistro will serve classic French cuisine with an American flair. This elegant dining establishment surrounds guests with contemporary and traditional paintings and sculptures, making guests feel as if they were dining in an art museum.
Shanghai’s: This new addition to Norwegian’s specialty dining options will serve a delicious mix of Chinese dishes and noodle bar specialties. The décor reflects Old Shanghai in the 1930s and is reminiscent of the China Club in Hong Kong . There will be an open kitchen preparing traditional Chinese cuisine, noodles, wok fried dishes and dim sum.
Wasabi: This expansive sushi and sake bar will serve the freshest sushi, sashimi and Japanese Yakitori dishes. Featuring modern décor and clean lines, Wasabi is located outside the Teppanyaki restaurant.
Teppanyaki: As the largest Teppanyaki restaurant at sea with 115 seats, this expanded restaurant will feature up to 24 knife-wielding chefs cooking exhibition-style Japanese cuisine on flat top grills. Guests will be amazed by the masterful chefs who demonstrate their skills slicing and dicing while creating an appetizing meal.
O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill: This classic neighborhood sports bar and restaurant will serve American favorites and comfort food and is open 24 hours. The atrium’s two-story high screen will be visible from inside the restaurant and additional flat screen televisions will show sporting events, while guests enjoy their own activities, including three lanes of bowling, dart boards, pool tables, foosball and arcade games.
The Epic Club and Courtyard Grill: Located high atop the ship in The Villas complex, this modern and elegant restaurant is reserved exclusively for Norwegian Epic’s suite and villa guests. The décor reflects a private club ambiance with contemporary and modern furnishings, and a large wine display, dotted with glass sculptures and pearl drapes. The Courtyard Grill is the more casual, outdoor area of the restaurant serving Villas guests for breakfast and lunch.
To Be Announced: In addition to the above, there is also one more Norwegian Epic restaurant which will be announced at the next reveal in May.
Also, 24-hour room service will be available for all guests on board Norwegian Epic.
Throughout the ship, there will also be a total of 18 bars and lounges, which include: Atrium Bar; O’Sheehan’s; Cascades, the casino bar; Bliss Ultra Lounge; Cagney’s Bar; the Ice Bar; Sake Bar; Malting’s Whiskey Bar; Shaker’s Martini Bar; Humidor Cigar Lounge; The Living Room, exclusively for The Studios’ guests; Waves Bar; Spice H20; the Epic Club; and Posh Beach Club. The final three bars will be announced in May.
In order to showcase all of Norwegian Epic’s features, the company launched a new version of Norwegian Epic’s microsite last night. The online site is an interactive representation of Norwegian’s newest and largest Freestyle Cruising ship to date featuring renderings, downloads and screen savers. The enhanced site can be accessed at http://epic.ncl.com/.
The final chapter reveal of Norwegian Epic will take place in New York City on May 20 and will focus on the ship’s innovative entertainment. The ship will also go on sale to the general public on that date. The first Eastern Caribbean sailing is scheduled for July 17, 2010 and its alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries will be available for booking through April 2011.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
More than half of Queen Elizabeth’s remaining Maiden Season, comprising six voyages from October to December 2010, was sold within the first two hours.
"This is an impressive record set by what will be an impressive ship and speaks volumes about the Cunard brand as well as for the resilience of the cruise sector as a whole in these challenging times," said Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard Line. "It is also very encouraging to see the level of interest in Queen Elizabeth coming from all our international markets, with bookings in the UK, US and Germany particularly strong. I urge our travel partners and those guests who have not yet booked to move fast in order to secure their place in history on Queen Elizabeth during her maiden season," added Marlow.
One of the youngest fleets in the industry, Cunard’s famous state-of-the-art award-winning vessels Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will be joined by Queen Elizabeth, and all three will take Cunard’s 170 years of history, heritage, impeccable service and tradition far into the 21st Century. This is a legacy recognized by Cunard guests, with up to 97% saying they will recommend Cunard to a friend and 98% saying they will return.
Queen Elizabeth will feature the unique Cunard traditions linking her with her sisters Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria and their predecessors, along with some exciting features that will give the vessel her own style and personality, plus all the modern day luxuries Cunard’s guests have come to expect.
Named after the first Queen Elizabeth, one of Cunard’s greatest ships, the new Queen Elizabeth will reflect her predecessor in interior grandeur, décor and style, but with a modern twist. From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery will hint at an experience that differentiates a Cunard liner from a modern-day cruise ship. This will be most evident in the ship’s adherence to liner traditions, with elegant double and triple height public rooms on a grand scale, luxuriously endowed with rich wood paneling, intricate mosaics, gleaming chandeliers and cool marbles. Art Deco features will pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth and will allow the new ship to reflect a more civilized era of travel.
Queen Elizabeth’s maiden 2010 season will consist of six voyages, calling on 32 distinct ports in 18 countries. Her Maiden Voyage, now sold out, will depart from Cunard’s homeport of Southampton on October 12, 2010, en route to the Atlantic Isles.
The ship will then embark on five celebratory inaugural voyages, for which space is still available but selling fast:
Mediterranean Premiere – A 14-day voyage departing Southampton on 25 October 2010 with maiden calls to Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples (for Capri and Pompeii), Cartagena and Gibraltar. Fares start from $2,795 per person.
Aegean Introduction – An 18-day voyage departing Southampton on 8 November 2010 calling on Malaga (for Granada), Malta (Valletta), Venice, Dubrovnik, Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Athens (Piraeus) and Alicante. Fares from $3,295 per person.
Gallic Debut – A five-day voyage departing Southampton on 26 November 2010 with maiden calls to Rotterdam (for Amsterdam), Brussels/Bruges (for Zeebrugge) and Cherbourg. Fares start from $1,195 per person.
Iberian Discovery – A 13-day voyage departing Southampton on 1 December 2010 with calls to Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela), Lisbon, Seville (Cadiz), Gran Canaria (Las Palmas), Tenerife (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), La Palma (Santa Cruz de La Palma) and Madeira. Fares start from $2,395 per person.
Festive Debut – A 22-day holiday voyage departing Southampton on 14 December 2010 with calls in the Caribbean, including Madeira (Funchal), Tortola, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada). Fares start from $4,795 per person.