Monday, May 30, 2011

Small Ship Operators Expand Operations Into New Areas

In the wake of the demise of CruiseWest and the American Majestic Line we are seeing a number of new small-ship entrants into the Alaskan, Mississippi River and Snake River Markets.

The newest entrant into the Alaska Small ship market is InnerSea Discoveries which is backed by the owners of American Safari Cruises. Inner Sea Discoveries has totally renovated 2 small inter-coastal cruise vessels - the Wilderness Discoverer and Wilderness Adventurer. Both have been extensively refurbished. These vessels are capable of carrying 68 and 60 passengers respectively.

The ships will offer 7 and 14-day Alaska Inside Passage cruises with an emphasis on exploration, nature and outdoor recreational activities.

Starting in 2012, small ship operator, American Cruise Line will begin offering 7 and 11-night Alaskan cruises as well. Cruises depart from Seattle Wa. to Juneau and then a series of 7 day round trip sailings from Juneau through Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm and more. After completing the season, the ship will sail from Juneau back to Seattle. The ship carries 100 passengers in 53 staterooms.

American Cruise Line has also expanded operations into the Snake and Columbia Rivers with the acquisition of the Queen of the West. The stern-wheeler has totally been remodeled.

American Cruise Line is also constructing a new paddle-wheeler which will begin sailing almost the full length of the Mississippi River.

These cruises are in addition to the extensive US East Coast Cruise program normally operated by American Cruise Line.

No small ship cruise line discussion would be complete with the mention of Blount Small Ship Adventures (Previously American Caribbean Canadian Cruise Line). Blount offers cruises up the Hudson River, through the Erie Canal and to the Great Lakes. Blount offers cruises throughout the Great Lakes, US East Coast and Canada.

This year Blount Small Ship Adventures is expanding operations to include the Mississippi River utilizing their 68 passenger Niagara Prince.

Small Ship cruising does not offer all of the amenities that the larger ships do and they can be quite pricey but they do offer an intimate experience, a sense of adventure and discovery and a quality cruise experience.

It also should be noted that these small cruise ships are registered in the US.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saga Cruises' Saga Sapphire Cruises Available for Purchase

Saga Cruises will be introducing their new Saga Sapphire in March, 2012. The Saga Sapphire which will undergoing a multimillion dollar refit, started its life as the Europa (of 1982) for Hapag-Lloyd; later sailed as the SuperStar Europe and SuperStar Aires for Asia's Star Cruises; Holiday Dream for Pullmantur; and most recently as the Bleu de France for CDF Croisières de France.

The Saga Sapphire was built for the exclusive, luxury market and is a favorite among cruise enthusiasts. The Saga Cruises refit
of the Saga Sapphire will definitely enhance the ship.
Work expected to be complet
ed includes:
  • Extensive renovations to the public spaces and cabins.
  • 16 Cabins on deck 10 will be retrofitted with private balconies.
  • The Observation Lounge will be transformed into the Drawing room which will feature laptops and PCs for use.
  • An outdoor cinema screen is expected to be added.
  • An alternative Asian Fusion Restaurant will be added.
  • Passenger Capacity will be reduced from 1,500 to approximately 710 passengers.
On March 26, 2012, the Saga Sapphire, will undertake a 23 Night cruise departing Southampton to Atlantic European Ports and the Mediterranean. Below is the itinerary map.


Saga Cruises cat
ers to cruise passengers over 50 years of age and offers traditional ships and world wide itineraries.



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Saturday, May 28, 2011

United Caribbean Lines Sets Eyes on Tampa - Havana Sailing


A new Havana, Cuba to Tampa Ferry service is under consideration. Spear headed by the cruise executive veteran Bruce Nierenberg, the new service is expected to cater to Cuban Americans wanting to travel home and bring goods to friends and family.

With new US government ruling, in addition to the 400,000 passengers that traveled to Cuba on flights last year, new rulings allow licenses for religious, academic and journalists.

The initial service will be from Tampa to Havana Cuba utilizing a European Ferry capable of carrying 2,000 passengers. Amenities will include restaurants, theater, cabins, lounges and entertainment. In addition to the cabin accomodations, there are also airline style seats that can be reserved at a reduced rate.

Included in the cruise fare is the meals, entertainment, movies and passage, Extras are beverages and purchases in the gift shop.

The overnight sailing is expected to take 18 hours.

Expected to operate under the banner of United Caribbean Lines, the approval is still being evaluated by the US Treasury Department.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Princess Cruises Announces New Royal Princess Details

Princess Cruise has announced details on their new Royal Princess - expected to sail in the spring of 2013.

Under construction at Italy's Fincantieri Shipyard, the Royal Princess will be the largest Princess yet. At 140,000 tons and carrying 3,600 passengers double occupancy, the Royal Princess will incorporate some new features.

Revealed so far is the Sky Walk. The Sky Walk is located 128 feet above the ship and juts out 28 feet over the side of the ship. To make it more impressive, the Sky Walk has a glass floor where passengers can see the sea below.

The Royal Princess will feature many traditional amenities found on other Princess Ship - but on a grander scale. She will feature 3 pools including an adults only pool; Movies under the stars, the Piazza Atrium; The Sanctuary; and 80% of the staterooms will have balconies.

The Royal Princess boasts 260,000 square feet of public spaces including multiple dining establishments and entertainment venues.

Other features are to announced as construction continues.

A sister-ship to the new Royal Princess is expected in 2014.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

American Cruise Line New Paddle Wheeler for the Mississippi


American Cruise Line is constructing a new paddle wheeler for operation on the Mississippi River. The new ship is to be named Queen of the Mississippi. The Queen of Mississippi is to set sail on August 12, 2012 from New Orleans on a 7 day cruise to Memphis.

Under construction at the Chesapeake Shipbuilding Yard in Salibury Md, the Queen of the Mississippi is capable of carrying 140 passengers. Measuring 260 feet long, 52 feet wide and 7 foot draft, the Queen of Mississippi will have 75 staterooms including 60 twins staterooms, 6 Suites and 9 single staterooms.

Staterooms will feature a Veranda, Twin or King size bed, flat screen TVs, private bathrooms, high speed internet and adequate storage.

Featured public spaces include paddlewheel bar, sky lounge, main showroom, dining room, chart room, card room, library and internet area.

Elevators make it easy to access any deck.

Deck space includes sunbathing area, calliope, putting green and exercise area.

The Queen of Mississippi is expected to Navigate the Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Small Ship Operator - Inner Sea Discoveries Starts Operations

In the wake of the demise of CruiseWest we are seeing a number of new small-ship entrants into the Alaska Market.

The newest entrant into the Alaska Small ship market is InnerSea Discoveries which is backed by the owners of American Safari Cruises. Inner Sea Discoveries has totally renovated 2 small inter-coastal cruise vessel. Both the Wilderness Discoverer and Wilderness Adventurer have been extensively refurbished. These vessel are capable of carrying 68 and 60 passengers respectively.

The ships will offer 7 and 14-day Alaska Inside Passage cruises with an emphasis on exploration, nature and outdoor recreational activities.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Carnival Magic Offers a Number of Firsts to the Carnival Fleet

Carnival Cruise Line has just introduced the new Carnival Magic. The ship features a number of firsts for the cruise line including the new SportSquare. The SportSquare is an outdoor recreation areas which consists of the SkyCourse - a 230 foot rope course suspended above the deck. The SkyCourse proved very popular during the ship's introduction and can handle over 1,400 people per day.

The second area on the Carnival Magic is the SkyCourt which provides a large screened in area where passengers can play basketball, volleyball or football. On-board the Carnival Magic, passengers can play during free time play or take part in orchestrated completions.

There also is the SkyFit which is an outdoor weight training area and miniature golf course.

The WaterWorks Area on the Carnival Magic is also a family favorite with it's PowerDrencher. This mini outdoor water-park has an over sized bucket that can hold 300 gallons of water and tips over on bathers below every few minutes. The kids were having a blast.

For those looking for an inside activity, there is Carnival's first Pub at sea - the Red Frog Pub. The Pub is exclusive to the Carnival Magic. The Red Frog has a Caribbean theme and has it own signature beer - the Thirsty Frog Red Beer. In the spirit of the finest pubs found around the world, passengers are able to play darts, checkers and chess. The food in the Red Frog Pub is available at an extra fee.

The Carnival Magic has a new specialty restaurant on-board - the Cucina del Capitano- which offers Italian Specialties served family style.

The Carnival Magic brings many new experiences to cruise passengers and if successful, we may see these features retrofitted on other ships in the fleet.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Dick West to Start Explore Tours

Dick West, the ex President of the now defunct Cruise West is expected to start a new Cruise Line and Tour operation called Explor Tours.

The new company is expected to charter a existing vessels and/or resell space on other cruise operator. The first offerings are expected to be cruises to the Galapagos and Ecuador. With sights next on Southern Patagonia.

At this time Explor Tour is still in negotiations with the various operator and is expected soon to make an announcement.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Construction Begins on Celebrity's New Celebrity Reflection

Reflecting on the success of Celebrity Cruises’ stylish Solstice Class fleet, the line’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan has activated the first cut of steel for the fifth in the five-ship class, Celebrity Reflection on March 31st 2011, at shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. The sleek, 3,030-guest ship will debut in the Fall of 2012.

Proudly watching over her sister ship’s start, Celebrity Silhouette is in the midst of the final phases of her own construction. Celebrity Silhouette sets sail in July of this year, enhancing guests’ precious vacation time with a host of industry-first venues and experiences within The Lawn Club, including the interactive “Lawn Club Grill,” where guests can select and grill their own meats side-by-side with Celebrity’s expert chefs, or have them cooked to order; the relaxing, private, wi-fi-equipped cabanas called “The Alcoves”; “The Porch,” a breezy, casual dining spot offering sandwiches, coffees and captivating views of the sea and the ship’s lush lawn, and “The Art Studio,” where vacationers can bring out their inner artist. The ship also will present another entirely new venue, “The Hideaway,” an intimate, quiet space reminiscent of a childhood tree house.

Celebrity Reflectionwill present all the new venues, in addition to the line’s first AquaClass suites, expanding on Celebrity’s in-demand, spa-inspired AquaClass stateroom accommodations. The distinctive new experiences will join the diverse array of other modern venues and attributes already associated with Celebrity’s Solstice Class ships.


Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of the world’s top-rated premium cruise line, with spacious, stylish interiors; dining experiences elevated to an art form; personalized service, with a guest-to-staff ratio of nearly 2:1; unexpected, trendsetting onboard activities, all designed to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity sails to Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. One of the fastest-growing major cruise lines, Celebrity’s fleet currently consists of nine ships, with two additional Solstice Class ships scheduled to join the fleet: Celebrity Silhouette in July 2011, and Celebrity Reflection in Fall 2
012.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Silvesea Silver Shadow Gets Major Refit


Silversea Cruises' Silver Shadow has a fresh new look thanks to a major renovation completed during the two weeks that the ultra-luxury ship spent in dry dock in Singapore, before returning to service on March 19.

As with the refurbishment of sister ship Silver Whisper last year, the enhancements made aboard Silver Shadow echo the sophisticated contemporary design themes and warm color palettes of Silversea's newest ship, Silver Spirit.

Some of the highlights of Silver Shadow's makeover include:

New Look for Suites: All carpets, headboards, curtains and veranda furniture were completely replaced. The sofas and chairs feature new upholstery. Each suite has a new mattress custom-made exclusively for Silversea. The mattress features an individual spring system with a soft and firm side that can be reversed to suit each guest's preference. There is also a new memory pillow top that covers the mattress when configured as a queen-sized bed.

The larger suites (Owner's, Grand, Royal and Silver) have also been outfitted and a new state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen home audio system.

Refreshed Public Areas: La Terrazza, the Bar, Panorama Lounge, Reception area, Card Room and Conference Room received new upholstery, carpeting, curtains and wall treatments. New carpet was laid in the Observation Lounge. The Spa features new wood flooring with new tiling and wall décor in the treatment rooms. The Restaurant's hardwood floor was completely reconditioned and polished and the chairs dressed in new upholstery. An upgraded sound system was added to the Show Lounge, Panorama Lounge and La Terrazza. New carpet was installed in all corridors, landings and staircases.

Upgraded Outdoor Spaces: The jogging track features all-new synthetic turf, and the pool area has been outfitted with new deck furniture, plus a new sound and light system for evening entertainment and outdoor shows. The pool itself has been upgraded inside and out with new tiles. A large awning was installed over the outdoor dining section of La Terrazza, along with new outdoor furniture. And the Pool Grill, sporting a new awning as well, will become The Grill for evening dining featuring the popular new Black Rock cooking concept that debuted aboard Silver Spirit. At the new outdoor restaurant, guests will enjoy an interactive dining experience that lets them cook prime meats and fresh seafood on heated volcanic rocks at their table.

In addition to enjoying a fresh reconditioning and polishing of teak decks and woodwork, the ship underwent thorough maintenance on mechanical and propulsion systems.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Celebrity Cruise Places Solstice Class Ship in the Caribbean in 2012/13

Celebrity Cruises plans to send its four newest Solstice Class ships and two “Solsticized” ships to the Caribbean in the winter of 2012-13, giving vacationers multiple options for luxurious getaways in stylish spaces with gourmet cuisine, extraordinary service, and fun activities. In total, Celebrity will present 103 Caribbean sailings with 21 distinct itineraries visiting ports from three homeports, from November 2012 through April 2013.

Recognizing that people’s vacation time is precious, Celebrity has shaped a 2012-13 winter destination lineup that exemplifies the premium cruise brand’s focus on offering a multitude of ways for people to have the best vacation experience possible.Earlier this week, Celebrity announced to its Captain’s Clubloyalty program members that the first full season for its fifth Solstice Class ship, the 3,030-guest Celebrity Reflection, currently under construction, will be in the Caribbean. Three other Solstice Class ships will also offer Caribbean itineraries. Celebrity Constellation, which was “Solsticized” in 2010 to include many of the features of Celebrity’s award-winning Solstice Class, and Celebrity Summit, which will be “Solsticized” in early 2012, also will present vacationers with the opportunity to enjoy luxurious getaways in the region.

Members of Celebrity’s Captain’s Club will have the opportunity to be the first to secure space on Celebrity Reflection during her inaugural Caribbean season, as well as on a “9-Night Northern Europe inaugural debut” cruise in Europe, two Mediterranean sailings and one transatlantic sailing that will precede the ship’s official naming and an additional three-night Caribbean inaugural debut cruise. A special booking window for Captain’s Club members opened yesterday and will be available through April 19; more information is available on a special landing pageon Celebrity’s website.

Bookings will open to the general public on April 20, along with the full line-up of Caribbean bookings. That same winter, Celebrity also will offer a full season of cruises in Hawaii and the Panama Canal, along with a 13th season of its popular South America cruises. These will open for booking on April 21.

Recently, Celebrity announced that its Solstice Class flagship, Celebrity Solstice, will be the first Solstice Class ship to offer sailings in Australia/New Zealand, and that Celebrity Millennium will sail Celebrity’s first Asia season.


Award-winning Solstice Class experience provides premium Caribbean escape

By positioning its four newest ships and two of its Solsticized ships in the Caribbean in a single season, vacationers seeking luxurious accommodations, extraordinary service, gourmet cuisineand fun, enriching activities will have many choices.

* Celebrity Reflection will sail roundtrip from Miami, Florida on alternating seven-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries, departing on Saturdays.
* Celebrity Silhouette, which will debut in Europe later this year, will offer alternating seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, departing from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida on Sundays. New to this itinerary in 2012-13 will be a different Western Caribbean lineup, as Celebrity is replacing calls to Roatan, Honduras and Costa Maya, Mexico with calls to Labadee, Haiti and Falmouth, Jamaica.
* Celebrity Eclipse will sail 14-night roundtrip Southern Caribbean voyages from Fort Lauderdale, plus one eight-night Eastern Caribbean sailing at the start of the season.
* Celebrity Equinox will present 10- and 11-night “Ultimate Caribbean” itineraries from Fort Lauderdale.
* Celebrity Summit will offer seven-night Southern Caribbean cruises with two alternating itineraries, departing on Saturdays from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Celebrity will add new venues and new AquaClass staterooms – a category Celebrity introduced in 2008 with the debut of Celebrity Solstice – when it Solsticizes Celebrity Summit in early 2012.
* Celebrity Constellation will present a series of four- and five-night cruises roundtrip from Miami.

Onboard luxury in Hawaii, Panama Canal, South America

Four Celebrity ships will offer vacationers the opportunity to explore Hawaii, the Panama Canal and South America in 2012-13, with a total of 29 sailings ranging from 11 to 17 nights in length and visiting 42 ports of call.

Celebrity will present a full season comprised of cruises in Hawaii and the Panama Canal. The 1,814-guest Celebrity Century will offer eight 15-night Hawaii sailings roundtrip from San Diego, California, as well as four 15-night Panama Canal cruises between San Diego and Fort Lauderdale.

Celebrity Millennium will offer two 15-night Panama Canal sailings between San Diego and Miami, as well as an 11-night Hawaii sailing from Ensenada, Mexico, to Honolulu, Hawaii.

After her first Australia/New Zealand season, Celebrity Solstice will offer an 11-night Hawaii sailing from Honolulu to Ensenada. Both 11-night voyages will include overnights in Lahaina and Honolulu.

Celebrity Infinity, which will be Solsticized later this year, will present five Panama Canal voyages: one will be 17 nights in length, from Seattle, Washington to Fort Lauderdale, and four will be 15 nights long, between Fort Lauderdale and San Diego.Celebrity will add new venues and new AquaClass staterooms – a category Celebrity introduced in 2008 with the debut of Celebrity Solstice – when it Solsticizes Celebrity Infinity later this year.

Celebrity Infinity’s South America season will feature a core offering of 14-night “Around the Horn” cruises between Valparaiso, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Two of these will be Antarctica cruises. The season also includes a 15-night “double holiday” cruise on December 22, from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires, and an early-season 15-night Panama Canal and South America cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso.

Immersive cruisetours to add depth to South America experience

Vacationers who wish to deepen their experience in South America can take advantage of Celebrity’s cruise tour offerings, which combine select cruises with a three- or five-night pre- or post-cruise escorted land package.

A three-night Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls package will highlight both the city dubbed “the Paris of South America” and the second largest waterfall in the world. A five-night “Machu Picchu Explorer” package will include visits to Lima, Urubamba, and Santiago, Peru. In the Sacred Valley, guests will visit the ruins of Machu Picchu via a full-day trip on the Vistadome railcar.

Travelers seeking a more immersive South America experience can combine a cruise with both a pre-cruise and a post-cruise land package. All of these packages are escorted by a local tour director and include hotel accommodations, transportation, select activities, breakfasts and some additional meals.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Royal Princess Name Chosen for New Princess Ship


As the first steel plate was cut today marking the official start of construction of Princess Cruises’ next ship, the line unveiled the vessel’s profile, released preliminary details about some of its features, and revealed its name – Royal Princess.

This will be the third time the name Royal Princess has been given to a Princess ship.

Debuting in spring of 2013, the new 141,000-ton, 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is the first of two new-generation ships for Princess which are being built by Fincantieri at their Monfalcone, Italy shipyard. The prototype design is an evolution of the line’s classic style of ships, while including some new features and expanded signature spaces.

A new design element revealed today is an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway on the ship’s starboard side extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel. From here passengers can enjoy dramatic views, including to the sea 128 feet below. On the ship’s port side, passengers will find a similarly-unique cantilevered SeaView bar, featuring cocktails with unbeatable vistas.

Also on her top decks, Royal Princess will feature a new adults-only pool surrounded by seven plush private cabanas that appear to be floating on the water. Two additional pools will flank a tropical island that will offer pool seating by day, and by night will become an outdoor dance club, complete with a dazzling water and light show. Princess’ signature adults-only haven, The Sanctuary, will be expanded both in size and amenities. The popular poolside theater, Movies Under the Stars, will play a starring role mid-ship with an expanded size and high-definition viewing.

“Princess passengers will easily recognize our next ship as a natural progression in our fleet,” said Princess President and CEO Alan Buckelew. “We’re taking the best features of our newest vessels that have been such customer pleasers, and taking them to the next level. Just as the original Royal Princess ushered in a new era for our company with its innovative design, we expect our new Royal Princess to do the same.”

Inside the ship, one of the line’s hallmark venues, the Piazza atrium, will be significantly expanded. This area will be the multi-faceted social hub of the vessel, combining always-changing quick bites and light meals, beverages, entertainment, shopping and guest services.

All outside staterooms on Royal Princess will have balconies, which means that 80 percent of the ship’s staterooms will include this desirable feature.

Royal Princess will include 260,000 square feet of inside public space with multiple dining and entertainment venues, as well as other special features and amenities which will be revealed over the coming months. A video preview of Royal Princess is available at http://www.princess.com/royalprincess.

A sister ship to Royal Princess will be launched in spring 2014.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Regent Seven Seas Announces 2012 Summer Collection of Cruises


Regent Seven Seas Cruises is now accepting reservations for its summer collection of cruises, taking place April through November 2012 to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Alaska, Canada and New England. All voyages feature 2-for-1 cruise fares plus additional savings of up to $8,000 per suite if booking by June 30, 2011.

Recognized as the “most inclusive ultra-luxury cruise line,” Regent Seven Seas Cruises further enhances its collection of offerings with the introduction of the Regent Concierge Program, featuring a range of extraordinary benefits from priority spa and restaurant reservations to upgrades and complimentary amenities.

Additionally, every voyage continues to include the line’s new complimentary pre-cruise luxury hotel package – complete with overnight accommodations at a deluxe hotel with breakfast, sightseeing tour, airport-hotel and hotel-ship ground transfers – as well as airfare, all-suite accommodations, gourmet cuisine served in a variety of open-seating restaurants, open bars, free and unlimited sightseeing excursions, gratuities and taxes.

“We are delighted to introduce our concierge program in conjunction with the launch of our 2012 program,” states Mark Conroy, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ president. “These very popular summer and fall collections will give our guests plenty of opportunities to experience even more of our distinctive brand’s personal services, the hallmark of our line.”

2012 Program Highlights:

New and noteworthy 2012 Summer Program elements include three Grand Voyage itineraries, three complimentary pre-or post-cruise land programs and 12 new ports of call.

* Seven Seas Voyager will offer 11 sailings across the Mediterranean and 12 voyages to Northern Europe, including extended visits to historic St. Petersburg, sailings around the British Isles and a journey along the fjords of Norway. Two Grand Voyages are available beginning on June 3, 2012, which include a 22-night sailing from London to Copenhagen and a 29-night sailing from London to Stockholm. Additionally, a complimentary three-night post-cruise land program in Luxor, Egypt, is offered on the Oct. 31 voyage

* Seven Seas Mariner calls on the Mediterranean’s most popular ports-of-call with overnights in Barcelona, Venice, Tel Aviv, Monte Carlo and Istanbul. A 27-night Grand Voyage is available from Monte Carlo to Buenos Aires beginning November 9, 2012, and a complimentary three night pre- or post-cruise land program in Luxor, Egypt, is included on select voyages.

* Seven Seas Navigator explores the majestic, untamed beauty of Alaska before sailing from San Francisco to New York City to begin its popular Canada/New England series of cruises at the height of the fall foliage.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new ports of call for the summer 2012 include Akureyri (Iceland), Cannes (France), Douglas (Isle of Man), Eilat (Israel), Isafjordur (Iceland), Kavala (Greece), Lerwick (Scotland), Lorient (France), Patmos (Greece), Ronne (Denmark), Saint-Malo (France) and Sinop (Turkey).

New Regent Seven Seas Cruises Concierge Program

Guests booking suite categories E and above on Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner and category D and above on Seven Seas Navigator will receive the following services:

*priority specialty restaurant reservations

*25% off premium purchased wines & liquors

*priority spa reservations

*10% off pre-or-post hotel or land packages

*priority embarkation

*space available upgrades at time of sailing

*priority luggage delivery

*complimentary binoculars

*15 min. worth of free phone calls per suite

*complementary Regent Seven Seas tote bag

*one free hour of internet per suite

*printed air boarding passes

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Celebrity Cruises Announces Australia Cruises

Get ready for some company, Sydney Opera House. Another thing of beauty will share Sydney Harbor when premium cruise brand Celebrity Cruises sends its award-winning Celebrity Solstice to Australia and New Zealand for the winter of 2012-13.

“Celebrity Solstice has satisfied guests around the world since we introduced her in 2008, and the obvious next step is to send her to Australia,” said Dan Hanrahan, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “With this move, we are delivering another way for people to have the best vacation experience possible, in one of the most stunning geographic regions of the world.”

Australians will enjoy the return of the Celebrity Cruises brand to the region this coming winter with the deployment of the 1,814-guest Celebrity Century. Her subsequent replacement by the 2,850-guest Celebrity Solstice is a symbol of the premium cruise brand’s ever-expanding global presence and the popularity of the service, activities, cuisine, and stylish design exemplified on its Solstice Class ships, which are frequently rated as the best by consumer- and travel agent-focused publications around the globe. Recent accolades include the Solstice Class being named among “Best Cruise Ships” by Frommers.com and Celebrity being named “Best Premium Cruise Line” and “Best Cruise Line in Europe” by the readers of Travel Weekly.

“Travelers around the world value their vacation time, and we want to give them more opportunitiesto enjoy Celebrity’s signature attributes, including the first Lawn Club and Hot Glass show at sea, more spacious staterooms, our AquaClass staterooms geared toward the spa enthusiast lifestyle, multiple specialty restaurants, the Celebrity iLounge and state-of-the-art entertainment, in more places. The culture and way of life in Australia and New Zealand are an idealbackdrop for our Solstice Class style and the overall onboard experience.”

Celebrity Solstice will transition from a 2012 summer in the Mediterranean to Australia/New Zealand via the Suez Canal and through Southeast Asia before arriving in Sydney, Australia in early December. The repositioning sailings will include multiple overnights in ports including Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Cochin, India.

Upon arriving in Australia, Celebrity Solstice will present a series of 12- and 13-night open-jaw sailings between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand. The season also will include a circumnavigation of Australia, consisting of two open-jaw sailings between Sydney and Perth (Fremantle). Many of the itineraries include overnight stays in Sydney.

Celebrity Solstice will continue a series of destination-immersive onboard activities that will debut during Celebrity Century’s upcoming Australia/New Zealand season; activities include local vineyard and wine shore excursions, onboard talks by local cultural entertainers and speakers, and destination-focused food and drink menus. Some activities will be complimentary.

Celebrity will continue to offer its popular Australia/New Zealand cruise tour program geared toward guests who wish to combine a land-based vacation with a cruise. Premium concierge-style service is the hallmark of Celebrity’s four- and five-night pre- and post-cruise escorted land tour packages in Australia, which will visit destinations including Port Douglas (Great Barrier Reef), Ayers Rock (Uluru) and Sydney. A six-night pre-cruise New Zealand package will visit Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown and Sydney. Highlights include a full-day tour over the Great Barrier Reef and a gourmet barbecue dinner under the outback sky in Ayers Rock. All of Celebrity’s cruisetours are escorted by local tour directors, and include hotel accommodations, transportation, select activities, breakfast and some additional meals.

Full details will be available on March 23, when bookings for Celebrity’s new 2012-13 Australia/New Zealand itineraries will open for sale. Bookings for the 1,814-guest Celebrity Century’s 2011-12 Australia/New Zealand cruises are open now.

Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of the world’s top-rated premium cruise line, with spacious, stylish interiors; dining experiences elevated to an art form; personalized service, with a guest-to-staff ratio of nearly 2:1; unexpected, trendsetting onboard activities, all designed to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity sails to Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. One of the fastest-growing major cruise lines, Celebrity’s fleet currently consists of nine ships, with two additional Solstice Class ships scheduled to join the fleet: Celebrity Silhouette in July 2011, and Celebrity Reflection in Fall 2012

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Oceania New Marina

Oceania Cruises redefined the upper-premium cruise ship market with the christening of Marina in February. The ship’s godmother, “Entertainment Tonight” Host Mary Hart, named the ship at a lavish, invitation-only gala ceremony, which culminated with a 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar of champagne, custom-made by Armand de Brignac, crashing against the hull. Among the ceremony highlights were inspirational performances by the Marina Choir, assembled just for this event, and the appointment of Master Chef Jacques Pépin as honorary commodore of the Oceania Cruises’ fleet.

Entered into service in January 2011, Marina brings the vision of Frank Del Rio, the founder of Oceania Cruises and chairman & CEO of parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings, to reality with the line’s first newly built ship measuring 66,000 tons and accommodating 1,250 guests.

“The saying goes, ‘good things come to those who wait.’ Although Marina ’s arrival has been long awaited, she’s more than just GOOD,” stated Del Rio “She’s the most beautiful, sophisticated and stylish ship launched in the modern era of cruising – a span of some 50 years.”

Marina is a ship of firsts, featuring the first Bon Appétit Culinary Center , Master Chef Jacques Pépin’s first namesake restaurant at sea, Ralph Lauren Home-furnished Owner’s Suites, luxurious accommodations by Dakota Jackson, a Wine Spectator wine program and a Lalique grand stairway.

“ Marina is not just ‘another’ ship, she is special in so many ways,” stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises’ president. “When we set out to design and build our first new ship, we wanted it to set new standards for comfort, service and culinary excellence.”

Oceania Cruises’ new Marina arrived in Miami on February 4, after her maiden voyage from Barcelona . Following a short preview cruise, on February 8 she will depart on the first of two 18-day Panama Canal transits that visit San Francisco and San Diego , both new ports for Oceania Cruises. Marina then operates a 12-day Caribbean cruise, round-trip from Miami , departing March 16, before sailing along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and on to Europe to begin her inaugural Mediterranean season.

Marina has been purposefully designed to carry guests to the world’s most alluring ports in elegance and style. Marina is full of rich woods, marble and granite, fine wool carpets and lustrous leathers which adorn public rooms. Facilities include 10 dining venues – six of which are open-seating gourmet restaurants, an array of bars and lounges, a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, swimming pool and hot tubs.

The new Marina joins the Oceania Cruises’ fleet consisting of the 684-passenger Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, which have taken guests around the world since 2002. Her sister ship Riviera will be christened in April 2012. A leader in destination cruising and defining the upper-premium market, Oceania Cruises offers gourmet cuisine, gracious service and award-winning itineraries at an exceptional value.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dame Shirley Bassey Named Godmother of P&O Adonia


Britain’s greatest and best loved female performer, Dame Shirley Bassey DBE, is to be Godmother to Adonia, the latest addition to the P&O Cruises fleet.

Dame Shirley will name the stylish ship in a glittering ceremony in Southampton on Saturday May 21, 2011.


Adonia is considerably smaller than the larger ships of today. Carrying just 710 passengers, the ship will be able to reach off the beaten track ports of call, yet is big enough to provide an extensive range of on board facilities. Exclusively for adults, Adonia will offer an atmosphere that is intimate and refined – and the on board excellence for which the company is renowned.

“I have had the most exciting career imaginable, but to be invited to be Godmother to a cruise ship is something very special and very personal,” said Dame Shirley.

“Dame Shirley is Britain’s most successful female artiste ever, a national treasure who defines the word ‘superstar’. We are Britain's favorite and most successful cruise line and can trace our British history back longer than any other line. It’s a perfect match and I am sure on our naming day she will need no excuse to “get the party started!“ said P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow.

During a career that has included 135 million record sales, Dame Shirley Bassey has had many incredible highlights, including being the only singer to record three James Bond movie theme songs & most recently releasing The Performance – an album which she describes simply as “The performance of my life” . Dame Shirley has received numerous awards and accolades including being named a DBE [Dame of the British Empire] in 1999.

“Adonia will be the jewel in the P&O Cruises crown and will celebrate all those things our regular passengers love about cruising with us – a classic dance floor, Crow’s Nest observation lounge, formal nights, classical music recitals, guest speakers, silver service dining and a dedicated card room. Loyal cruisers and those new to cruising alike will be charmed by the refined P&O Cruises experience Adonia will offer, and entertainment will form a vital part of that, so it is entirely fitting for Dame Shirley to give Adonia the best possible start to her life with P&O Cruises,” continued Carol Marlow.

Over 500 invited guests will witness the naming ceremony on Adonia’s top deck in Southampton Docks on Saturday, May 21, prior to the vessel’s maiden voyage the following day, a 16 night cruise to the Western Mediterranean, which includes calls to Alghero in Sardinia; Portofino in Italy; Sete in France; Port Mahon and Barcelona in Spain.

ENDS

Adonia facts

Built in 2001, Adonia has all the facilities you would expect of a modern ship, with a classic and refined interior style.

Adonia’s main restaurant will be the Pacific Restaurant and there will be two further Select dining venues, Italian ‘Sorrento’ and a steakhouse and grill. There will also be a buffet restaurant, with some al fresco dining and a barbecue area out on the Lido deck.

For entertainment, Adonia will have eight bars, including P&O Cruises signature ‘Crow’s Nest’ observation lounge; Andersons, the familiar club-style lounge bar; and Raffles, which will also offer a coffee shop menu throughout the day with pastries, chocolates, hot drinks and afternoon tea. There is also a traditional library with fireplace and views on three sides.

Adonia will also feature The Curzon Lounge, where passengers can enjoy a drink with a sea view during the day, and by night enjoy a performance by the Headliners theatre company, concerts, dancing, or after dinner speakers.

There will be the signature Oasis Spa, offering a range of treatments and therapies such as hot stone massages and body scrubs, Aromatherapy, and reflexology. There is also a well equipped gym with panoramic sea views.

Adonia’s well appointed cabins will feature Egyptian cotton linen, tea and coffee making facilities so popular with British passengers, and over 75% of the cabins will have a private balcony.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Royal Caribbean Orders New Ships From Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. has signed a letter of intent with shipyard Meyer Werft to build the first of a new generation of Royal Caribbean International cruise ships. Developed under the code-name “Project Sunshine,” the new vessel design incorporates new and exciting features that take advantage of the best of Royal Caribbean’s experience and imagination. The project is a result of over a year of dedicated research and development.

The order calls for one ship to be delivered in the Fall of 2014 with an option for a second ship for Spring 2015. The 158,000 Gross Registered Tons (GRT) new build will carry just over 4,100 guests based on double occupancy. The estimated all-in cost per berth is about €170,000. This all-in cost includes the yard’s base contract price plus everything needed to design, operate and build the vessel, from architect fees to supervision costs and all loose inventories from computers to art and bed linens.

“Royal Caribbean has worked hard to earn a reputation of offering the most innovative ships in the cruise industry and this next generation will not disappoint,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. “While we continue our policy of keeping our newest ideas and features under wraps during the early stages of construction, I can say that I am very excited about the passion and imagination that our teams have devoted to the project. Project Sunshine builds on the best ideas of our existing ships and adds exciting new activities and entertainment concepts. It will offer features for everyone: from grand, spectacular spaces to small intimate settings; from active, invigorating activities to the serenity of more personal space; and from a plethora of dining alternatives to a cornucopia of opportunities for families. I am also excited about the energy efficiency and environmental technologies which have been incorporated. Our existing ships are some of the most energy efficient in the world and Project Sunshine takes this one further step. Based on our over 20 years of experience with Meyer Werft, along with their compelling proposal, we know they will deliver on all of the innovations Royal Caribbean’s guests have come to expect.”

"Meyer Werft is pleased to be working with Royal Caribbean especially in light of their reputation for building such innovative ships. I am very happy we are continuing our long time partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and its brand Royal Caribbean International. Their projects always present incredible opportunities for Meyer Werft to create the latest cutting edge hardware in the cruise industry,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft shipyard.

The letter of intent is subject to customary conditions being satisfactorily met.

About MEYER WERFT GmbH:

Founded in 1795, Papenburg-based MEYER WERFT GmbH is currently owned by the sixth generation of the Meyer family. This well-established company has some 2,500 employees. MEYER WERFT’s extensive production program covers a wide range of ship types, from cruise ships and gas tankers, to car and passenger ferries. In order to stay successful in worldwide competition, production technology has been continuously extended. Today, MEYER WERFT has the most modern production premises in the shipbuilding industry. For more information go to www.meyerwerft.de.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Princess Cruises Grand Princess Transformation

The most significant transformation ever of a Princess Cruises ship will occur this spring aboard Grand Princess. During a 24-day makeover the ship, which was the prototype for the line’s “Grand Class” vessels, will undergo a remarkable renovation to receive many of Princess’ trademark features introduced since the ship’s 1998 debut including the signature Piazza atrium. Several new features will be also be added including a unique tea lounge and library called “Leaves”; and “Alfredo’s,” a full-service pizzeria showcasing this renowned Princess dish.

A brand new nightclub called One5, inspired by its deck location, will be created on the top deck of the ship, replacing its iconic Skywalker Nightclub, which has given the ship its distinctive profile. Skywalkers will be removed from its 18th deck perch, with its replacement located on deck 15. This change will significantly improve the operational performance of the ship, including greater fuel efficiency.

“This is the largest makeover we’ve ever undertaken for any of our ships,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “When Grand Princess was launched she was the most innovative ship at sea, and now we’re adding some of the later innovations we introduced on subsequent ships.”

The changes will be made during a drydock from April 11 to May 4 at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas. Highlights of the dramatic makeover include:

  • New Piazza atrium– The atrium space of Grand Princess will be completely rebuilt to include this signature Princess feature -- a multi-faceted social hub of the ship combining always-changing quick bites and light meals, beverages, entertainment, shopping and guest services. The Piazza will feature the International Café for pastries, grilled panini sandwiches, salads, fresh-baked cookies and a variety of coffee drinks. Passenger will also enjoy a new Vines wine bar offering a selection of more than 30 wines by the glass, plus a selection of tapas and sushi, and a wine shop where passengers can purchase their favorite bottle.
  • Leaves Tea Lounge and Library– A fusion of tea lounge and library, the new Leaves offers a distinctive opportunity for passengers to custom-blend a variety of base teas with herbs, fruits and spices to create a personalized tea blend. Created in partnership with Mighty Leaf Tea Company, one of the world’s premier maker of artisan teas, Leaves will give passengers an impressive choice of up to 500 different tea blends to suit their palates. A trained tea sommelier will assist passengers in blending a personalized tea creation, which which they can enjoy in the midst of the library and a good book.
  • Alfredo’s Pizzeria– Known for serving the best pizza at sea, Princess will introduce Alfredo’s, a new sit-down pizzeria with an enticing menu of freshly prepared individual-size pizzas. Named for the line’s master executive chef, Alfredo Marzi, the pizzeria will feature an open kitchen where passengers can watch chefs create the pizzas they’ll enjoy with a glass of wine or other beverage.
  • One5 Lounge– The new One5 lounge will replace Skywalkers as the place to be for nighttime dancing and relaxing. The new lounge on deck 15 (hence its name) takes its inspiration from the chicest urban nightclubs, and will offer a cool vibe, contemporary seating and lighting, and a dramatic back-lit bar.
  • Crown Grill– A classic steakhouse with rich wood surroundings, this specialty restaurant features an open, theater-style kitchen where chefs custom-prepare premium aged beef and fresh seafood items, including live lobsters.

Also part of the renovation will be 10 new suites; remodeled casino, boutiques and art gallery; enhancements to the Horizon Court, Lotus Spa, and wedding chapel; and the addition of Crooner’s Martini Lounge.

The newly renovated Grand Princess will debut on May 5 in Ft. Lauderdale where the ship will depart on a transatlantic crossing for her summer and fall homeport of Southampton, from which she will cruise a variety of European itineraries.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Crystal Serenity to Undergo Refit This Month


While Crystal Cruises’ ocean resorts have racked up countless awards since entering service, the ultra-luxury line has never been one to rest on its laurels. This spring, Crystal will be spending $25+ million dollars to keep its largest ship, Crystal Serenity, on the cutting edge of luxury style.

More than 400 expert technicians flown from around the world, working round the clock for just 14 days, are scheduled for the massive redesign of her 531 Deluxe Staterooms, Penthouses and Penthouses Suites; retail centers; expansive outdoor pool deck and other design projects during a May 8-22 dry dock at Hamburg’s Blohm + Voss shipyard.

“In the past two years, we have invested well over $50 million in our ships,” says Gregg Michel, president, Crystal Cruises. “Our guests can look forward to dazzling new spaces, which will serve as a stunning backdrop to the incomparable service and choices that always characterizes a Crystal vacation.”

Interior designer, Keith Rushbrook, principal at the Toronto-based II BY IV Design Associates, summarizes the vision: “We wanted modern classic elegance. We wanted Fifth Avenue – crème de la crème New York-inspired living and retail spaces that people love and look forward to spending time in.”

New Deluxe Stateroom and Penthouse Accommodation Décor

All of Crystal Serenity’s Deluxe Outside Staterooms, Penthouses, and Penthouse Suites will sport new, floor-to-ceiling tufted headboards, bedside cabinets, wallpaper, sofas, curtains, pillows, and custom carpets in contemporary lines and classic stone, silk, velvet, leather, and crisp linen textures. New modern lighting features and electronic “do not disturb” and doorbell system will allow guests greater personalization of their home-away-from-home.

New Shops

Serenity’s retail shops will receive a similar, sophisticated metamorphosis. The Facets fine jewelry store will mirror a jewelry box, with mother-of-pearl feature wall, beveled chrome vitrines, and new, private sales area. The Apropos boutique will become three-shops-in-one, with a flagship Christian Dior cosmetic/skincare area showcased amongst rich Zebrano wood and herringbone rosewood, arresting black-plum-magenta carpeting, and tufted leather seating.

New Chic Pool Deck

Inspired by Crystal Symphony’s recent transformation, the Seahorse Pool teak deck will be refashioned with circular pod beds, plush sofa groups, and lounge chairs in a kaleidoscope of lime green, azure, and mango.

New Lighting and Furniture

The corridors throughout the ship will be transformed with new, custom carpeting, inspiring artwork, and mood lighting. Dramatic new lighting will also be installed in the Crystal Dining Room, as will new furniture on all stateroom verandas.

Following the dry dock, Crystal Serenity will embark on a series of Baltic, North Cape and British Isles cruises before heading to the Mediterranean for late summer and fall cruise series, where guests cannot only enjoy the resort’s new look but exceptional value with verandah savings and a new fall fare sale.

Crystal Cruises’ ethos of warm and friendly attentiveness, proffered by top-trained service staff from around the world, has earned the line a reputation for elevating hospitality to an art form. With no guest request left untended, Crystal Cruises has been the perfect choice for luxury travelers for over two decades.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Azamara Cruise Announces 2012 Cruise Schedule

Azamara Club Cruises has unveiled 54 itineraries ranging from five to 16 nights, between March 2012 and February 2013, aboard Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. The new voyages complete the cruise line’s 2012 deployments, which total 64 sailings that visit unique destinations around the world, calling at 181 ports in 57 countries throughout the Mediterranean Sea, Northern Europe, South America, India and the West Indies. Additionally, 51 percent of all port calls in 2012 feature late night and overnight stays in port, providing time for guests to enjoy a more immersive experience and take advantage of night tourism in destinations where the nightlife is even more vibrant than the day’s.

“Azamara is delighted to present up-market travelers our 2012 line-up of voyages to unique destinations around the world,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “On board, guests will enjoy Azamara’s trademark extraordinary service, fine dining and boutique wine collection, and more inclusive amenities. We designed our itineraries to coincide with some of the world’s most exciting events, such as Rio’s Carnaval, the Floriade in the Netherlands, the 52ndAnnual Moldejazz Festival in Norway, and others, to offer guests the opportunity to attend these cultural celebrations on some of the Azamara voyages. Guests on these voyages will have the exclusive opportunity to purchase prime-seating ticket and transportation packages from Azamara, eliminating the hassle and guesswork for a truly remarkable travel experience.”

South America Celebration

Azamara Quest sails to electrifying South American destinations during the height of austral summer, beginning with a 13-night Brazil voyage that departs Barbados on December 5, 2012 and concludes with an overnight at Rio De Janeiro. The Christmas in South America voyage, departing December 18, offers guests daily port calls as well as an overnight in Punta Del Esta, Uruguay, with its miles of beautiful beaches, luxury hotels and restaurants, and glittery nightlife; and the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Guests on the December 27 New Years in Rio, nine-night voyage are in for a real treat, when after a call at Rio De Janeiro on New Year’s eve, Azamara Quest positions itself off of Copacabana Beach to offer guests an unforgettable view of the midnight fireworks over the seas.

The January 5, 2013, Argentina & Uruguay voyage combines charming Brazilian destinations with an overnight at Punta Del Este and two nights in Buenos Aires. On the January 31, 2013, 12-night Carnaval voyage, guests can enjoy overnights in both Buenos Aires and Punta Del Esta before arriving in time for two nights in Rio De Janeiro for the city’s annual Carnaval festival. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase Land Discoveries packages that offer up-close seating to catch all the pageantry. Azamara Quest then sails an 18-night Colonial Brazil and West Indies voyage, beginning with an overnight in Rio De Janeiro on February 12, 2013 to Miami.

East Asia Discoveries

Azamara Journey follows ancient spice trade routes and colonial heritages around the Indian subcontinent to East Asia, starting with a 13-night Spice Coast & Ceylon voyage from Bombay (Mumbai) to Madras (Chennai), India, departing November 29, 2012. Guests can take in the diverse cultures of Western, Southern and Eastern India with overnights in Goa (Mormugao), Cochin and Madras, and during maiden calls to the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, and Colombo and Galle, Sri Lanka. The ship then continues on December 12 for an 11-night Burma & Andaman Sea Isles voyage, featuring a two-night stay and maiden call at Yangon (Rangoon), Burma – the former British colonial capital that features one of the region’s highest number of period buildings – and concluding with an overnight in the city-state of Singapore. On December 23, Azamara Journey embarks on exciting 14-night Southeast Asia voyage to Hong Kong, offering two-night calls at Bangkok (Klong Toey), Thailand and Ho-Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and an overnight at Hanoi in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay.

Mediterranean Odysseys

Azamara Club Cruises also offers up-market travelers 27 voyages for immersive adventures throughout the Mediterranean, Black and Red seas. Departing May 8, Azamara Quest returns to the Mediterranean from Suez (Sokhna), Egypt, via the Holy Lands and Egypt to Athens (Piraeus), Greece. The only short cruise offered by Azamara, a five-night, roundtrip voyage from Nice, France, departs on May 24 and offers an overnight at and midnight departure from St. Tropez, France, and two late-night departures from Monte Carlo, Monaco, and Portofino, Italy. Guests sailing for this voyage will have the option to purchase tickets to the Monaco Grand Prix.

Azamara Quest then proceeds to the Eastern Mediterranean, offering eight voyages to the Greek Isles, Adriatic Coast, and Italy. These seven- to 12-night voyages feature overnights and late night departures in a variety of exciting ports, such as Kotor, Montenegro; Venice, Amalfi, and Capri, Italy; Athens and Mykonos, Greece; and Istanbul, Turkey. On the Black Sea & Transylvania voyage, departing July 22, Azamara Quest offers guests an opportunity to visit Dracula’s castle on a Land Discovery option during the call at Constanta, Romania. Azamara Journey also offers an 11-night Best of Italy & Greece voyage, departing October 4.

From August through October, both Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest will sail 10 voyages, ranging from seven- to 11-nights, through the Spanish, French and Italian Rivieras, with departures from Athens, Barcelona, Lisbon, Monaco, and Rome. On the October 16 sailing, Azamara Quest features Northern African destinations, and will make maiden calls at Al Khums and Tripoli in Libya.

Northern Europe Explorations

Azamara Journey makes the most maiden calls for the cruise line in the North and Baltic seas in 2012, visiting new destinations with nearly daily port calls on nine voyages that celebrate the vibrant cultures of Northern Europe. On the seven-night round-trip Belgium and South England voyage from Paris (Rouen), departing April 29, the ship will make maiden calls at and midnight departures from Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Dover, England and Portland, Dorset in the U.K.; and conclude with an overnight in port. The 11-night Mother’s Day sailing, departing May 6, includes a maiden call at the Isles of Scilly in the U.K., a midnight departure from the medieval walled city of St. Malo, France, and overnights in culture-rich Antwerp, Belgium and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Guests can fully immerse themselves in multiple North Sea cultural capitals on the 12-night Chelsea Flower Show voyage, departing May 17, which begins with an overnight in Amsterdam; features first-time calls at Flushing (Vlissingen), the Netherlands, and Southampton, England; and stays for two nights in Antwerp, Paris, and London (Greenwich), offering guests the opportunity to attend the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The May 29, 12-night British Isles in Bloom voyage overnights in Dublin, Ireland, and Edinburgh (Leith), Scotland, and includes maiden calls at Isle of Skye (Portree) and Invergordon, Scotland. On a later July 28 Castles, Distilleries & Pubs voyage from Edinburgh (Leith), guests enjoy two-night stays at and post-midnight departures from Dublin, Ireland, and Paris (Rouen).

Azamara Journey continues eastward for three voyages that explore the vibrant Nordic cultures and Baltic jewel cities. A 10-night voyage from Amsterdam on June 10 offers guests overnights in Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden; a maiden call at and late departure from the charming Danish-island Ronne, Bornholm; and an overnight at and late departure from St. Petersburg, Russia, for guests to join in the city’s annual White Nights Festival. The nine-night Scandinavia Russia, departing June 27, features a maiden call at Visby, Sweden, one of the best preserved medieval cities in Scandinavia and another UNESCO World Heritage Site, and concludes with two nights in Copenhagen.

Jazz aficionados who also love to travelcan choose two very special consecutive voyages aboard Azamara Journey in summer 2012. The July 6 Skagen & Hague Jazz voyage begins with an overnight in Copenhagen and concludes with an overnight in Amsterdam, and features a maiden call at Skagen, Denmark, and two-night stays in London (Greenwich) and Rotterdam, the Netherlands (also a maiden port), where guests can attend the North Seas Jazz Festival. On the last day of the festival, Azamara Journey sails at 2 a.m. to offer guests ample time to enjoy post-festival celebrations. The subsequent July 17 Jazz in the Fjords voyage then takes guests to breathtaking Norwegian fjordlands, with a maiden call at Andalsnes, Norway, and overnights in Stavanger, Norway, and Edinburgh. The itinerary offers guests two days in Molde, Norway, where they have the option for a scenic day excursion through the Fjords on where they can experience a ride on the famous Trollstigen road.

Island Colors of the West Indies

From Barbados, Azamara Journey offers an eight-night West Indies voyage to Miami, departing on March 10, 2012, and makes a maiden call at Soufriere, St. Lucia. The ship then sails a 10-night Virgins and Bermuda voyage on March 30, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to port for the first time in Boston, featuring overnight stays at both Hamilton and St. George Island in Bermuda, and St. John, U.S.V.I., and Virgin Gorda, B.V.I., where larger ships rarely go. From Boston, Azamara Journey is Europe bound on April 18, via an overnight and maiden call in New York City for an eleven-night Trans-Atlantic voyage to Paris (Rouen).

On November 7, Azamara Quest returns to the Western Hemisphere from Seville, Spain, to Miami, with overnights in Maderia (Funchal), Portugal, and Hamilton. The ship then sails a seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyage from Miami to Barbados, departing November 28, with calls at Virgin Gorda; St. Barts; Castries, St. Lucia; and Mayreau in the Granadines.

Azamara Club Cruises is a destination-immersive cruise line for up-market travelers who want to not only see the places and cultures they visit, but to live them. Azamara’s two intimate, 694-guest ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, with a combination of 347 suites and staterooms, offer a European-boutique hotel ambience with extraordinary service, fine cuisine and wines from around the world, and wellness and vitality programs, all while sailing to a host of destinations larger ships cannot reach. Azamara Club Cruises sails European destinations, including the Baltic and Scandinavia, British Isles, Western Europe, French and Italian Rivieras, Greek Isles, Croatia, Holy Land and Black Sea, as well as Asia, South America and lesser-traveled islands of the West Indies, with more overnight and late-night stays in every region. Travelers also can choose even more immersive experiences with Azamara cruisetours in eight of the world’s most exciting destinations, including Rome, Athens, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Istanbul, Jordan and Israel, India, and China

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