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Archive for November, 2007

Varied nightlife and glass blowing on tap for new Celebrity Solstice

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 30 - 2007

Artist rendering of the Celebrity Solstice (Image courtesy of Celebrity Cruises) Celebrity Cruises has revealed that passengers aboard its newest ship Celebrity Solstice will have eight new venues in which to spend their evenings and a little extra artisitic fun during the day.

The new luxury night spots include the Cellar Masters wine bar, the Ensemble Lounge, Passport Bar, Quasar and the Sky Observation Lounge where cruise holiday passengers can dance the night away in a room that changes colour to reflect the event of the evening – red for tango and blue for ballroom.

Classic Celebrity Cruises bars have also been adapted for the new ship, such as the Martini Bar & Crush which is inspired by Celebrity Century’s Martini Bar.

Celebrity Solstice will also feature a Fortunes Casino and Michel’s Club which plays jazz music and serves single malt, scotch and cognac for those with a taste for luxury cruises.

“Our Solstice-class fleet will present several entirely new venues, along with creative twists on some of our guests’ long-time favourites. We think our guests will find the design and style in every space not only inviting, but also absolutely stunning,” commented Celebrity Cruises president Dan Hanrahan.

Additionally, Celebrity is collaborating with the Corning Museum of Glass to bring glass-blowing to sea when the museum’s ‘Hot Glass Show’ debuts on Celebrity Solstice in December next year. The show will provide demonstrations and a narrated performance of glass-blowing, housed in an outdoor studio on the top deck of Celebrity Solstice. Three resident ‘gaffers’(glass-blowing artists) will educate and entertain with glass-making shows, lectures and workshops.

The Corning Museum of Glass, based in Corning, N.Y., is considered a leader in education, research and scholarship for glass. Its collection holds more than 45,000 objects spanning 3,500 years of creation.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises continues on with Cousteau partnership

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 29 - 2007

Naturalist Jean-Michel Cousteau (Photo courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises)Regent Seven Seas Cruises has signed a three-year extension of its exclusive partnership with naturalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, which began in 1999.

Under the new agreement, Cousteau will continue to make lecture appearances on Regent ships several times a year. Additionally, his Ocean Futures Society counselors will lead Regent’s Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Circles of Interest program aboard Alaska and Tahiti voyages during the summer, and in Tahiti over the holidays.

In 2008, Cousteau is booked to join Seven Seas Mariner’s South America cruise in February and March, Seven Seas Navigator’s Discovery Collection cruises to India and Africa in October and November, and Paul Gauguin’s Tahiti and the Cook Islands program in September.

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New Mexican port attracts big cruise ships

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 28 - 2007

Guaymas, MexicoMexico’s Port of Guaymas, which is investing $8.5 million to build a new cruise terminal, has already attracted business. Holland American Line has confirmed that two of its ships (Ryndam and Oosterdam) will call on Guaymas in late 2008. Additionally, The World of ResidenSea has confirmed it will call on the port in 2009.

Construction of the new terminal begins this month and is set for completion by the end of July. The two-story facility will house a restaurant and 30 shops with offerings such as handicrafts and jewelry. The port is also working on shore excursions that will appeal to cruise passengers.

Located on the Sea of Cortés, Guaymas lies 220 miles south of Nogales, Arizona and is a terrific place for those who love both the desert and the sea. The port is within easy reach of the Sonoran desert, and is just a ferry ride away from the deserts and beaches of Baja California Norte. The city is home to more than 200,000 people. Guaymas, in addition to its active seaport, is known for its water recreation opportunities. A resort area, San Carlos, has been developed northwest of Guaymas, and attracts visitors to its beaches, marinas, and hotels.

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First video of Cunard’s Queen Victoria

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 27 - 2007

First video of the Queen Victoria which was produced by Fincantieri shipbuilders for the handover of the vessel to Cunard on November 24, 2007

Filled Under Cruise Videos

“We´re Alive!!” — Trev & Torrey’s sinking honeymoon adventure

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 27 - 2007

MV Explorer’s final hours (Photo by Chilean Air Force via AP)San Diego residents Trev and Torrey Takayama started off married life in grand style – to travel around the world. Five months into their adventure they found themselves abandoning ship in the middle of the Antarctic Ocean. Read their amazing account of the evacuation of the MV Explorer, floating in lifeboats for hours in sub-zero weather, being rescued, and flying from King George Island to the mainland on a Chilean Air Force C130. Click link to read more…

Click here to read their amazing travel blog.

GAP Explorer sinking off Antarctica (Photo courtesy of Chilean Navy via AP) There has been an increase in cruise ships visiting the Antarctic every year for the last 15 years. Last year about 35,000 people visited the region, almost all of them by cruise ship.

Is cruising the Antarctic a good idea or should it be limited? Post your comments here or on our forum.

Also, take our Antarctic Cruise Poll in our forum.

Read ExpertCruiser’s earlier coverage of the sinking of the MV Explorer.

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Cunard accepts delivery of Queen Victoria

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 26 - 2007

Queen Victoria is Captain Paul Wright (Photo courtesy of Cunard) The hand-over ceremony of Queen Victoria included remarks by Cunard president Carol Marlow to an invited audience that included Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, Under Secretary of State, Department for Transport, Jim Fitzpatrick MP and Carnival Chairman Micky Arison among others.

Scots Guards playing at ceremony (Photo courtesy of Cunard)The ceremony, took place on board the new 90,000-ton vessel at the Fincantieri Venice-Marghera shipyard to mark the completion of the ship during a celebration that included performances throughout the day by the Band of the Scots Guards.

On the bridge and now in command of Queen Victoria is Captain Paul Wright.

Queen Victoria is due to leave the shipyard on November 30, and sail to Southampton – where she will berth at the City Cruise Terminal at 9:30 am on Friday December 7.

Cunard president, Carol Marlow speaking at ceremony (Photo courtesy of Cunard)Following her Naming Ceremony on December 10, she will depart on her Maiden Voyage, to a splendid firework display, at 5:00 pm on Tuesday December 11.

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