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Archive for January, 2013

Cunard offers weeklong sale on European voyages & Transatlantic crossings

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 30 - 2013

Travelers seeking a sense of history and place when booking a luxury cruise vacation will appreciate Cunard’s weeklong Balcony & Suites Sale*, offering significant savings on European voyages and Transatlantic Crossings.

Starting 1 February 2013, guests can save up to $1,200 per stateroom, and enjoy up to $300 in On Board Credit, a reduced deposit and up to $1,000 per stateroom in airfare on European Voyages.

Additionally, guests booking a Transatlantic Crossing will save up to $1,200 per stateroom, enjoy a reduced deposit and up to $100 in On Board Credit per stateroom during the sale.

Guests sailing aboard Cunard Line delight in the experience of the voyage itself, not just the destination. By day, guests enjoy voluminous libraries, world class spas, white-gloved afternoon tea service and engaging award-winning Cunard Insights guest enrichment programmes; by night they are entertained by Royal Nights themed balls, West End-style productions and Veuve Clicquot champagne cocktails.

All fares and promotions are for new bookings only, per person, based on double occupancy. Cunard’s Balcony & Suites Sale runs through 8 February 2013.

For more information about Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, or to book a voyage, consult your Travel Agent, call Cunard toll-free 1-800-728-6273 or go to www.cunard.com.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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Princess Cruises launches five-day super sale

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 30 - 2013

Cruise vacations to Alaska, the California coast, Hawaii, Mexico and the Panama Canal are on sale during the Princess Cruises “5-Day Super Sale,” running from January 31 through February 4.

With more than 150 West Coast cruises on sale, the event offers savings of up to $1,100 per person, plus the opportunity to get up to $100 in free spending money per stateroom.

Passengers can choose from a variety of cruise itineraries where they can enjoy the magnificent scenery and wildlife of Alaska, the tropical warmth of the Hawaiian Islands, the wonder of engineering that is the Panama Canal, the best of the Golden State on a California Coastal or the colorful culture of Mexico.

In addition to special fares, passengers booking balcony staterooms or above will receive an onboard credit of $50 (cruises up to nine days) or $100 (for sailings 10 days or longer), and those booking interior or oceanview staterooms can get credits of $25 (cruises up to nine days) to $50 (cruises 10 days or longer).

More information about the cruise sale and pricing can be found at princess.com/sale.

Examples of special Super Sale fares include:

• California Coastal cruise – 7 days: $684 interior (was $834); $1,084 balcony (was $1,184)

• Inside Passage Alaska cruise – 7 days: $749 interior (was $899); $1,149 balcony (was $1,399)

• Gulf of Alaska cruise – 7 days: $854 interior (was $1,004); $1,304 balcony (was $1,454)

• Hawaiian Islands cruise – 14 days: $1,090 interior (was $1,790); $1,690 balcony (was $2,690)

• Panama Canal – 14 days: $1,499 interior (was $2,399); $2,049 balcony (was $3,149)
All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy and include government fees and taxes. The Super Sale runs from 12:01 a.m. PST on January 31 through 11:59 p.m. PST on February 4, 2013 and is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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Windstar Cruises is returning to Tahiti

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 29 - 2013

Windstar Cruises announced today that they will return to the South Pacific in the summer of 2014. Beginning May 2, 2014, Wind Spirit, the line’s recently renovated 148-passenger sailing yacht, will sail seven-day voyages from Papeete, Tahiti. Wind Spirit will sail 28 voyages in Tahiti, with the last voyage on November 7, 2014, before returning to Panama and Costa Rica for the winter season. The line’s return to the French Polynesia Islands marks the first time Windstar has had a ship sailing in Tahiti since 2002.

“Windstar’s return to Tahiti has always been the number one request from our guests and travel partners, even more than a decade later,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “We’ve listened and made the decision that now is the perfect time to come back to the beautiful islands of French Polynesia.”

The week-long voyage will begin in Papeete, Tahiti – the world’s definition of paradise. Wind Spirit will sail to the following islands:

• Moorea – the beauty of this unforgettable island of love lies in drama and adventure.
• Taha’a – this fragrant island is known for its abundance of vanilla and offers a glimpse of the traditional tranquil life of the Tahitians.
• Raiatea – recognized throughout Tahiti as the ‘Sacred Island,’ it also serves as the cultural heart of French Polynesia.
• Huahine – known as the Garden of Eden, with lush forests, untamed landscape and quaint villages.
• Bora Bora – an island paradise in the South Pacific and known worldwide for its natural beauty.

This will be the first time the recently renovated Wind Spirit will sail the South Pacific. With six sails that cover 21,500 square feet, the French-built sailing yacht is ideal for cruising in the French Polynesia Islands under the power of warm breezes and tall billowing sails. Guests can enjoy the aqua blue water of the South Pacific Ocean at the back of the yacht with Wind Spirit’s watersports platform, which offers paddle boards, kayaks, water skiing, wind surfing, snorkeling equipment and more.

Guests will delight in the immersion of the South Pacific culture, brought to life in Windstar style. Local entertainment, such as traditional Tahitian dancers, will come on board for a magical evening to remember. Regional dishes will be incorporated into Windstar’s signature deck barbecue, held under the sails and stars one night per cruise. Shore excursions will be tailored to give guests experiential and romantic options delivered in true French Polynesian style.
“We’ve looked at what was popular with our guests in the past and we blended it with our luxury small-ship experience today to deliver the best product possible,” said Birkholz. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to return to Tahiti.”

Windstar’s voyages from Tahiti go on sale to the public in mid-March 2013. To book a cruise, contact a travel professional, call Windstar at 800-258-7245 or visit WindstarCruises.com.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Silversea unveils Relais & Châteaux cooking school series for 2013

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 15 - 2013

Acclaimed culinary trainer David Bilsland, a former instructor at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London, is again set to host Silversea’s exclusive “Relais & Châteaux L’École des Chefs” interactive cooking school in 2013.

On 14 ultra-luxury voyages across the globe, Chef Bilsland will present a program developed in collaboration with Jacques Thorel, a consulting Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux. Silversea enjoys the privilege of featuring the only “Relais & Châteaux L’École des Chefs” cooking school at sea. The innovative program — which is offered completely free of charge — provides guests with a special culinary curriculum, including hands-on instruction, and entertaining events.

With the curriculum for each of these cruises carefully designed to celebrate the cultural flavor of the ship’s itinerary, participating guests may prepare Cajun-spiced shrimp, vegetable fritto misto, or spanakopita, as well as other international delicacies. Highlights include specialized workshops covering an array of topics from basic knife skills and kitchen terminology to sauces and baking; cooking demonstrations with wine pairings and interactive Q&A sessions; lively cooking competitions between Chef Bilsland and the ship’s own culinary team; a “Lunch and Learn” event offering small groups of guests a chance to sample a delicious meal of specially prepared dishes; and inspired “Take It Home” recipes that will give guests an edge when entertaining at home.

Also offered on certain voyages, when the itinerary permits, is a “Market to Plate” experience that provides an escorted tour of a local market followed by a cooking class, and a “Culinary Outing,” an instructor-escorted excursion to a local restaurant, hotel or other venue where guests can enjoy a unique culinary exploration.

“What’s really great about our L’École des Chefs cooking school is that it’s free, fun and entertaining,” said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea’s president of the Americas. “And it lets our guests get hands-on training, working side by side with an accomplished chef to learn new cooking techniques and sample delectable dishes.”

Following below is a small selection of the L’École des Chefs voyages for 2013:


Voyage 2336: Silver Wind departs Las Palmas December 3 on an 18-day sailing to Cape Town with calls in Porto Novo, Praia, Dakar, Takoradi, Walvis Bay, and Lüderitz. Silver Privilege fares start at $5,450.


Voyage 3329: Silver Shadow departs Tokyo September 29 on a 10-day sailing to Shanghai with calls in Hiroshima, Busan, Jeju, and Tianjin (Beijing). Silver Privilege fares start at $4,350.

Voyage 3331: Silver Shadow departs Tokyo October 19 on a 12-day sailing to Hong Kong with calls in Osaka, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Shanghai, and Xiamen. Silver Privilege fares start at $5,650.


Voyage 2334: Silver Wind departs Rome November 19 on a 7-day sailing to Málaga with calls in Sorrento, Trapani, Valletta, La Goulette, and Cartagena. Silver Privilege fares start at $2,050.

Voyage 2335: Silver Wind departs Málaga November 26 on a 7-day sailing to Las Palmas with calls in Cádiz, Casablanca, Agadir, Arrecife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Santa Cruz de la Palma. Silver Privilege fares start at $2,750 for a Veranda Suite (Vista Suites are sold out).


Voyage 7309: Silver Explorer departs Lisbon April 29 on a 14-day “Flavors of Europe” voyage to Portsmouth with calls in Oporto (Leixoes), Vigo, Santander, St. Jean de Luz, Bordeaux, Quiberon, Saint-Malo, Guernsey, and Honfleur. Silver Privilege fares start at $6,850 (for Adventurer Class accommodations).

Voyage 1318: Silver Cloud departs Southampton June 9 on a 10-day sailing to Copenhagen with calls in Honfleur, Oostende, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Warnemünde (Rostock), and Helsingborg. Silver Privilege fares start at $4,150.


Voyage 5304: Silver Spirit departs Los Angeles February 1 on a 31-day roundtrip odyssey exploring the enchanting isles of the South Pacific with calls in the Marquesas Islands, Rangiroa, Society Islands, Kiribati, and Hawaii. Silver Privilege fares start at $14,550.


Voyage 3328: Silver Shadow departs Vancouver September 12 on a 16-day transpacific voyage to Tokyo with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Kodiak, Petropavlovsk (Kamchatka), and Hakodate. Silver Privilege fares start at $6,250 for a Veranda 1 Suite (Vista Suites are sold out).

For a complete list of L’École des Chefs voyages, visit Silversea.com and click on Life Onboard/Enrichment/Culinary & Wine Voyages/Cooking School Voyages.

Silver Privilege fares listed above are cruise-only rates per guest, based on double occupancy for a Vista Suite, unless indicated otherwise. Silver Privilege is a capacity-controlled program and subject to change.

Visit Silversea’s website for more details.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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Norwegian Breakaway gets a new boss

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 13 - 2013

Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that Master Baker Buddy Valastro, star of the popular TLC television series “Cake Boss” and “Next Great Baker,” will open an extension of his family business, Carlo’s Bake Shop, on the new Norwegian Breakaway, coming to New York City in May 2013.

Featuring all of the delicious treats and confections that the original bakery is known for, Carlo’s Bake Shop on Norwegian Breakaway will also give guests the opportunity to pre-order custom specialty cakes for celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries. For a challenging and fun experience, Carlo’s will offer cupcake decorating classes, where guests can learn some of Valastro’s tricks of the trade.

“The New York area is known for its outstanding bakeries,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “As with all features of this new incredible ship, we wanted to bring not just a taste of the region to our guests, but the very best out there. Buddy is known as the ultimate baker, so we knew he was the best choice for our new bakery on Norwegian Breakaway. We are thrilled to welcome Buddy to the Norwegian family.”

“Spending time with family is one of the most important things. A cruise is a wonderful opportunity for a family to relax and have fun together and that is one of the reasons why I wanted to bring Carlo’s aboard this fantastic cruise ship,” said Buddy Valastro. “I am thrilled to begin this partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line and open Carlo’s Bake Shop on Norwegian Breakaway, the ultimate ship for families.”

Carlo’s Bake Shop will be located on Deck 8 in the former Cakestand location.

Featured menu items will include freshly baked cookies, cakes and pies, such as Buddy’s famous Oreo, Dark Chocolate Mousse and Purple Groovy Fondant cakes; Italian butter cookies; biscottis; and an assortment of cupcakes. Luscious chocolate and vanilla cannolis, cream-filled lobster tails, and individual treats such as strawberry cheesecake, chocolate truffle and tiramisu round out the menu. The delectable goodies will be available for purchase à la carte.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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‘Dancing with the Stars’ shimmies out to sea with Holland America

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 4 - 2013

Whether you like to Tango, Quickstep, Paso Doble, or sit back and enjoy watching the sizzling performances, this program offers guests an entirely unique experience on the seas.

Six theme cruises in 2013 and early 2014 will feature “Dancing with the Stars” events including dance lessons; a chance to meet the dancers, ask questions and take photos; and a dazzling production starring celebrities and the famed dance pros, complete with glamorous costumes and routines from the TV show. Currently scheduled to appear on select sailings are two-time champion pro dancers Mark Ballas and Kym Johnson; pros Tristan MacManus and Lacey Schwimmer; and some of your favorite celebrity competitors.* More dance pros and celebrities to be announced.

In addition to the theme cruises, every sailing on all 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet will feature an exclusive “Dancing with the Stars” program including dance lessons and an opportunity for some lucky guests to dance center stage in an exciting dance-off performance. These activities will feature the ships’ professional dancers and will be developed in collaboration with the show’s dancers and choreographers.

Currently scheduled to appear on our 2013 Theme Cruises*:

February 16, 2013, ms Eurodam, 7-Day Eastern Caribbean
Professional Dancers: Lacey Schwimmer and Mark Ballas.
Stars: Joey Fatone and Sabrina Bryan.

June 22, 2013, ms Veendam, 7-Day Canada & New England
Professional Dancers: Chelsie Hightower and Mark Ballas.
Stars to be announced.

June 30, 2013, ms Oosterdam, 7-Day Alaska
Professional Dancers: Kym Johnson and Tristan MacManus.
Star: Carson Kressley. Additional star to be announced.

July 7, 2013, ms Oosterdam, 7-Day Alaska
Professional Dancers: Kym Johnson and Tristan MacManus.
Star: Carson Kressley. Additional star to be announced.

2014 Theme Cruises: (Pros/celebrities to be announced)

January 5, 2014, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, 7-Day Eastern Caribbean

January 12, 2014, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, 7-Day Western Caribbean

*Professionals and celebrities are subject to change.

Visit Holland America Line’s website for more details.

Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

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