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MSC Cruises celebrates new ship MSC Seaside float out

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 26 - 2016

MSC Cruises celebrated the float out of MSC Seaside, one of two new groundbreaking mega-ships that MSC Cruises is bringing into service between June and December 2017. The ceremony took place this weekend at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, where the ship is being built.

MSC Seaside will homeport in PortMiami as of December 2017 and will sail year round in the Caribbean — further enriching the company’s offering in the region with MSC Cruises having a total of five of the most modern cruise ships serving the Caribbean once MSC Seaside debuts.

“This is another exciting milestone in our ambitious expansion plans as we see the second of our 11 next-generation cruise ships entering the final stages of her construction,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman. “MSC Seaside has been specifically designed to provide our guests with a unique onboard experience in warmer regions and boasts one the highest ratios of outdoor space in the industry so that guests can enjoy a range of open-air activities such as dining and drinking al fresco, strolling along the promenade or simply taking in the beautiful sea views from the privacy of one of the many balcony staterooms.”

“We are delighted with the strength of sales for MSC Seaside so far, from both American and European guests alike,” said Vago. “The Caribbean continues to be an ever popular destination for travelers. With the addition of MSC Seaside, we are further strengthening our ability to serve this demand in this key region with five cruise ships for the winter 2017/18 season, each bringing our own, distinctive Mediterranean flair and elegance to the Caribbean vacation experience.”

 “Seeing this ship taking shape has a value which is not only symbolic for the group that I lead, but also for me personally,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “We acquired the order for the construction of it, along with a sister ship, in 2014, at the turn of an unprecedented crisis and an equally extraordinary explosion of the market. We placed such great ambitions for this order, undertaking to give the owner a state-of-the-art product, able to meet its vision of modern cruising. Being successful with a prototype and such a recognizable design, which confirms our commercial and technology leadership in this sector, makes us doubly proud of the result.”

 MSC Seaside is the first of a completely new and innovative generation of cruise ships being built by MSC Cruises leading Italian shipyard FINCANTIERI. With this new prototype inspired by an elegant beach condo, MSC Cruises is pushing the boundaries with its bold design concept and demonstrates the Company’s continued commitment to put the guest experience at the center of all innovation and product development. Every element of the ship is designed to bring guests closer to the sea with special design features such as a unique 360° ocean level promenade, panoramic glass elevators, and a breathtaking 98 foot bridge on the top deck. In addition, with 73 percent of the staterooms featuring balconies, guests will never be far from a view of the ocean.

MSC Seaside brings to life the key distinguishing elements of an MSC Cruises’ experience. An extensive range of comfortable accommodations will meet the various needs of a wide range of cruise guests, including chic aft corner suites as part of the unique beach condo design, clever modular connected staterooms designed for families and groups of up to ten people, and a collection of balcony staterooms with a private terrace overlooking the promenade.

In addition, MSC Cruises has taken its MSC Yacht Club — a unique ship-within-a-ship concept first introduced by MSC Cruises — to the next level. Located on the prestigious foredecks of the ship and offering a private sun deck, a private lounge and private restaurant, the MSC Yacht Club has been expanded on MSC Seaside to now be over five decks. The MSC Yacht Club will also feature two coveted apartment suites that include a living room and a large balcony with a dining area and private whirlpool.

On board MSC Seaside, the dining experience has been designed to inspire and delight with a huge choice of Mediterranean and international cuisines served in 11 different dining venues, including five specialty restaurants. Of these, one is a Pan-Asian specialty restaurant created in partnership with world renowned chef Roy Yamaguchi and two are buffets serving food 20 hours a day, with one designed specifically for families.

The onboard entertainment, another award-winning feature of the MSC Cruises offering, will cater to all age groups and includes a stunning 934 seat theater offering four performances every night. Meanwhile, the interactive aqua park with its four exhilarating slides will provide hours of fun for the entire family, the 394 foot long zip line will appeal to thrill-seekers, and the aft pool will be the perfect spot for those looking for complete relaxation.

In addition to all of the fun that will be had while on board, MSC Seaside will enable guests to experience the Caribbean Sea like never before, while calling at exotic and stunning ports such as George Town in the Cayman Islands, Cozumel in Mexico and Nassau in the Bahamas. From October 2018, MSC Seaside will also call at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, the stunning marine reserve private island in the Bahamas, exclusively available for MSC Cruises guests.

The float out is an important milestone in the construction of a cruise ship as it is the moment where the ship first floats on water when the dry dock is flooded and the ship is moved to a wet dock for the final phase of her construction. The exterior of the ship is complete and work moves to complete interiors, fixtures and fittings.

At 1059 feet long with a GRT of 160,000 tons, the ship will feature a maximum capacity of 5,179 guests (4,140 guests at double occupancy). MSC Seaside is the first of two identical ships in the Seaside generation. Her sister ship — MSC Seaview — is set to enter service in the Spring 2018 and will be based in the Western Mediterranean, while a third one — reflecting an existing option for one additional Seaside generation ship — would be delivered by 2021.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, gallery, new ships, News

Princess Cruises announces largest Alaska deployment ever in 2018

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 22 - 2016

Recognized as the “Best Cruise Line in Alaska,” taking more guests to the Great Land than any other cruise company, Princess Cruises is bringing its largest deployment ever in 2018, on sale Dec. 1. With a 15 percent capacity increase, offering unique itineraries, cruisetours and authentic onboard experiences, more guests can enjoy the cruise vacation of a lifetime.

In summer 2018, seven Princess Cruises ships will sail Alaska’s pristine waters on 130 cruise departures, with more than 75 percent of all voyages sailing to Glacier Bay National Park, departing from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, B.C. and Anchorage (Whittier). In addition, the cruise line has over 22 cruisetour options providing guests the opportunity to journey into the interior of Alaska, visiting five custom-built Princess Wilderness Lodges.

New for 2018, Island Princess will feature a full season of calls to Icy Strait Point, a unique and remote wilderness experience, on every seven-day northbound Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary. Also new for 2018, guests looking to cruise roundtrip from Los Angeles can choose from two 12-day cruises.

While on board, guests will encounter a variety of ways to engage in unique Alaska experiences through the award-winning North to Alaska program, featuring Cook My Catch, an exclusive culinary program allowing guests to return from select Princess fishing excursions to have the chef prepare their very own catch of the day. Also offered, the crowd-favorite Puppies in the Piazza, where real Alaska sled dog puppies are brought on board for guests to interact with. On land, guests will hear first-hand tales from mountain climbers who have conquered Denali as they tell the exhilarating stories of their journey at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.

“Princess continues to build on our long-standing recognition as the best cruise line in Alaska,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “There’s no better way to see Alaska’s glaciers, wildlife and national parks than from the perspective of our spectacular ships, exclusive rail service and Princess-owned wilderness lodges, and we are proud to provide our guests even more opportunities to visit the Great Land in 2018.”

The 2018 May – September Alaska program includes:

Alaska Cruises
With 130 departures from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, B.C. and Whittier featuring unique ports, there are options abound for exploring Alaska in 2018 aboard Princess ships, including:

  • Voyage of the Glaciers– Princess’ most popular Gulf of Alaska sailings between Vancouver, B.C. and Whittier features two glacier-viewing experiences on every voyage, with visits to the UNESCO-listed Glacier Bay National Park plus either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. These cruises are offered aboard Island Princess, Coral Princess, Star Princess and Golden Princess.
  • Inside Passage–This awe-inspiring part of Alaska, known for its lush scenery and pristine fjords, will be featured on seven-, 10- and 12-day roundtrip voyages from Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Ruby and Emerald Princess sail on seven-day cruises roundtrip from Seattle with all Ruby Princess cruises featuring a visit to Glacier Bay National Park. Grand Princess sails out of San Francisco, featuring five departures visiting Glacier Bay. Two 12-day cruises roundtrip from Los Angeles aboard Emerald Princess and Golden Princess will also include Glacier Bay.

 Alaska Cruisetours

In addition, cruisetours offer flexible ways to delve deeper into the fascinating Alaska frontier. Land tours are combined with a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise and include the company’s premier wilderness lodges, exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service, plus visits to the top two attractions in Alaska – Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park.
Princess offers guests more than 22 cruisetour options in 2018, most featuring multiple nights at Princess-owned Wilderness Lodges to experience the grandeur of Denali. Guests will once again be able to purchase a pre-paid meal package for the land portion of their vacation in 2018. Options include:

Denali Explorer– The line’s most popular cruisetour option, these itineraries feature multiple nights at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Most offer Princess exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between the ship in Whittier and the Denali area all in one day, plus the opportunity to explore Fairbanks and/or Anchorage.

On Your Own– An affordable option for independent-minded travelers, these itineraries offer a flexible way to see the heart of Alaska. Tours follow similar routes as Denali Explorer options, but do not include any pre-planned excursions, giving travelers the opportunity to customize their own experience.

 Off the Beaten Path– These itineraries are designed to take travelers beyond Denali to sought-after, remote regions of the state such as the Kenai Peninsula and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

 Connoisseur– The line’s highest level of service, these cruisetours provide a truly immersive experience. With a professional tour director, most meals included on land and enhanced sightseeing, guests experience the best of the Great Land.

 Heart of the Rockies Plus Rail– This 14-night cruisetour originates in Calgary and includes daylight Silverleaf rail service on the Rocky Mountaineer. The fully escorted land tour combines with a seven-day northbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise on Star Princess and Golden Princess and includes most breakfasts and dinners. Spectacular overnight accommodations are offered at Fairmont Calgary Palliser Hotel, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and Four Season Vancouver.

Captain’s Circle Savings

Princess Cruises past guests are eligible for a special promotion when they book before August 31, 2017. Captain’s Circle members booking a seven-day cruise will receive a savings of $50 per person. For those booking 10- to 12-day cruises, a discount of $75 per guest will be applied and those booking an Alaska cruisetour will receive a $100 discount (does not apply to third and fourth berth guests).

 Club Class Mini-Suites

Summer 2018 Alaska guests can choose a new premium stateroom category featuring VIP amenities and exclusive dining with the new Club Class Mini-Suite. This elevated mini-suite category features select perks including new Club Class Dining, a reserved dining area with expedited seating and expanded menu options; priority embarkation and disembarkation; complimentary wine and luxurious bathrobes.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237) or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

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

Filled Under Blog

Norwegian Joy gets Chinese pop icon Wang Leehom as Godfather

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 21 - 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line announced today the naming of iconic Mandopop artist, Wang Leehom, as Godfather of its soon to-be-unveiled 3,850 passenger vessel, Norwegian Joy.

Arriving in Summer 2017 with home ports in Shanghai and Beijing (Tianjin), Norwegian Joy will be Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship for the Chinese market and designed to deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy ‘First Class at Sea’ experiences.

Along with serving as Godfather of Norwegian Joy, Leehom will also represent NCL China as its brand ambassador, introducing Norwegian Cruise Line’s unparalleled cruise experience to Chinese consumers through a variety of platforms, including television and radio commercial campaigns, as well as on social media. Wang Leehom will become the first Chinese Godfather of any cruise ship brand, joining the likes of renowned hip hop artist, Pitbull, Godfather of Norwegian’s most recent ship, the Miami-based Norwegian Escape. Leehom’s role will include a number of special appearances including the traditional role of christening Norwegian Joy at the ship’s inauguration ceremony in Summer 2017, as well as other exciting roles at the launch event and beyond.

A Chinese-American singer songwriter, music producer, actor, and film director, Wang Leehom is known as the “King of Chinese Pop” for his wide range of musical styles blending pop, rock, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, classical and traditional Chinese music. His musical collaborations have included work with international stars including Tony Bennett, Avicii, Usher, Lang Lang, and JJ Lin. He has performed in over 100 cities worldwide in his career. Leehom’s film career includes a starring role in Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution.

As a bridge between Eastern and Western worlds, Wang Leehom is a worldwide cultural ambassador, with a platform of more than 60 million social media followers.

Leehom’s appointment as Godfather displays Norwegian Joy’s vision of delivering the best of the Norwegian Cruise Line brand to China, while also being customized to the Chinese traveler.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to share the cruising lifestyle with Chinese guests as Godfather of Norwegian Joy. Cruising is an exciting way of experiencing travel and leisure that I’m thrilled to be sharing with China.” said Wang Leehom.

“As a Chinese star with a high international profile, connecting East and West through his music and movies, Leehom is the perfect Godfather for Norwegian Joy, a ship custom designed for our Chinese guests that also brings the best of the East and West together. We are thrilled to be working with him as a partner to introduce the NCL ‘First Class at Sea’ cruising experience to China next summer,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings President and Chief Executive Officer Frank J. Del Rio.

“We are honored and excited to have Wang Leehom as the Godfather of our spectacular new premium vessel Norwegian Joy, and as a brand ambassador for NCL in China. Leehom is a highly accomplished artist and family man that we are proud to partner with in China and beyond.” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings China President, David J. Herrera.

About Norwegian Joy

Currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Joy is Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship customized for China. The name Norwegian Joy emphasizes the experience that the ship will offer, a promise that guests will ‘Experience Paradise on the Sea.’ Accommodating 3,850 guests with luxurious suites in the exclusive ship-within-a-ship complex, the new Breakaway-Plus Class Ship will debut in China in summer 2017.

Designed to provide First Class at Sea experiences with onboard amenities that cater to the unique vacation desires of Chinese guests, Norwegian Joy will provide a multitude of VIP accommodations including The Haven by Norwegian®, the line’s exclusive, ship-within-a-ship suite luxury complex, which will also include an all-new Observation Deck that features 180 degree views, and a Concierge level, an all-new accommodations category which will provide a VIP experience and feature larger balcony staterooms. Accommodation offerings will also include staterooms designed specifically for families and a multitude of connecting staterooms, for extended families traveling together, as well as a wide array of mini-suite, balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms, many with virtual balconies.

Norwegian Joy will offer engaging and innovative activities including a first at sea two-level competitive racetrack, an open-air laser tag course, thrilling simulator rides and interactive video walls at the Galaxy Pavilion as well as hover craft bumper cars, a state-of-the-art racing simulator and two multi-story waterslides. In addition, Norwegian Joy will house a tranquil open space park as well as the line’s largest upscale shopping district, complete with everything from exceptional duty-free shops to world-renowned global luxury brands.

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


Seabourn announces lineup for 2017 Seabourn Conversations

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 21 - 2016

Continuing its mission to intrigue, edify, and inform its guests, Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, has announced a new series of Seabourn Conversations for the 2017 cruise season. The popular onboard enrichment and special guest program will host distinguished speakers and personalities from the fields of journalism, government, preservation, and the culinary arts.

With a lineup populated with first-time and returning speakers, Seabourn Conversations will be featured on board all of Seabourn’s intimate ships over the year ahead including Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn, Seabourn Quest, and the line’s newest, Seabourn Encore, whose maiden voyage will depart Singapore bound for Indonesia on January 7, 2017.

“We are delighted to be able to continue to attract the most-engaging personalities to amuse and inform our guests through Seabourn Conversations,” said Seabourn President Richard Meadows. “The series continues to be highly successful as prominent speakers captivate onboard audiences with their personal experiences and hard-earned global perspectives on issues of the day.”
Featured speakers of the 2017 Seabourn Conversations program include:

  • Tim Rice (Seabourn Encore, January 7) – Award winning lyricist Tim Rice headlines Seabourn Encore‘s Maiden Voyage through southeast Asia. The creator of hit musicals such as Joseph and Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and the Lion King will personally narrate Seabourn Encore‘s newest musical production, “An Evening with Tim Rice,” which will feature his best known works, performed by the Seabourn Singers. Guests will also have an opportunity to learn all about his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andresson of ABBA and others in an intriguing up close and personal conversation.
  • Lord Digby Jones (Seabourn Encore, January 17) – Lord Digby, who was knighted in 2005, serves as Business Ambassador at UK Trade & Investment, Chairman of Triumph Motorcycles and Corporate Ambassador for Jaguar Cars.
  • Dr. Clive & Dr. Geraldine Finlayson (Seabourn Quest, April 15) – Dr. Clive is Director of the Gibraltar Museum and veteran of numerous missions for the UNESCO World Heritage Center in Paris, while Dr. Geraldine is Deputy Head of Heritage and Director of the Institute of Gibraltarian Studies, and Chief Laboratory Scientist of the Museum. The Finlayson’s recently played an instrumental role in Gorham’s Cave Complex’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first in Gibraltar.
  • Chef Daniel Sherlock & World Wine Guys (Seabourn Quest, April 15) – Prepare for tasteful conversation on the Epicurean Quest Food and Wine Cruise as the Chef of the award-winning charcuterie bar Salt Yard in London splits the spotlight with World Wine Guys Mike Desimone & Jeff Jenssen, who have made multiple TV appearances and regular contributions to Wine Enthusiast, Saveur, and the Huffington Post.
  • Chef Darren McGrady (Seabourn Sojourn, April 23) – Chef McGrady has been personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana Princess of Wales, and the Princes William and Harry. He has also cooked for Presidents Ford, Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes, and authored Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen.
  • Hon. Frank Murkowski (Seabourn Sojourn, June 1) – As Seabourn sails back to Alaska, the former Governor and U.S. Senator from Alaska will discuss the remarkable history of America’s “Last Frontier,” including native people of the state and his own experiences holding public office.
  • Michael Moss (Seabourn Sojourn, July 21) – Satisfy your conversational cravings with the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller SALT, SUGAR, FAT: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. Moss is currently working on HOOKED: Food and Free Will.
  • Chef Hartmut Handke (Seabourn Odyssey, October 4) – With 38 gold medals from over 50 culinary competitions, Chef Handke is a highly accomplished culinarian with over 40 years of experience, and he has received all three of the American Culinary Federation’s most prestigious awards.
  • Alexander Heffner (Seabourn Odyssey, October 4) – The host of The Open Mind on PBS, Heffner has appeared on a number of news networks, and his coverage of American politics has been published in Variety, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and more.
  • Walter Robinson (Seabourn Odyssey, October 30) – Editor at large and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for The Boston Globe, Robinson’s reporting as part of the Spotlight Team formed the basis for the Academy Award winning film Spotlight. Robinson has also served as Distinguished Professor of Journalism at Northeastern University.
  • Julia Gillard (Seabourn Encore, November 10) – Gillard is Australia’s first, and to-date, only woman to hold the positions of deputy prime minister, prime minister and leader of a major political party. She served as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia from 2010 to 2013. Today, Gillard is an honorary visiting professor at the University of Adelaide, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s center for Universal Education, and the chairwoman of the Global Partnership for Education. 

For more details about the award-winning Seabourn fleet, or to explore the worldwide selection of Seabourn cruising options, contact a professional travel advisor, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit www.seabourn.com.
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Reported by © www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, News

Princess Cruises announces 2018 Europe program

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 17 - 2016

Recognized for offering the best itineraries in Europe, Princess Cruises continues to offer top-rated journeys in the Mediterranean and North Europe for the upcoming 2018 season. Open for sale Dec. 1, these itineraries also include the cruise line’s new “Local Connections” program, featuring enriching vacation experiences ashore and onboard that connect guests with authentic resident experts.

Highlights from Princess Cruises 2018 cruise vacations to Europe, include the maiden call of Sapphire Princess to this region, as well as roundtrip British Isles voyages aboard Royal Princess departing from Paris (Le Havre). The 2018 season features five ships sailing to 115 destinations from the corners of the Mediterranean to the northernmost tip of Europe. Guests can choose from 57 unique itineraries on 168 cruise departures, visiting 35 countries.

“We’re proud to continually earn awards for the best cruise itineraries around the globe and we’re sure to live up to our reputation with the 2018 Europe season,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We’ve worked hard to not only showcase the famous sites of Europe to our guests but also provide them authentic local experiences to immerse themselves in the culture, food, landscape and charm of these iconic destinations.”

The industry-first “Local Connections” program aims to inspire the line’s guests by sharing the passion and pride the company’s port partners have for their destination, while taking full advantage of the suggestions and creativity of those partners who know the destination best. Elements include a video series of local port partners sharing their thoughts, experiences and recommendations of the places they call home, local expert onboard speakers, new tours, partner port guides and walking maps, new port welcome and departure experiences, and an insider’s guide including “cool things” made in each port.

Highlights of the April – December 2018 Europe season include:

New for 2018

  • Sapphire Princess makes her maiden call to the British Isles, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean out of London, in addition to a 38-day maiden voyage between Singapore and London. The cruise ship will also make the cruise line’s first port call to Skagen (Denmark).
  • New 12-day British Isles cruises, round-trip from Paris/Normandy (Le Havre) will be offered aboard Royal Princess, christened by The Duchess of Cambridge in 2013.
  • As part of the cruise line’s More Ashore program, offering more time in port, a 12-day European Capitals voyage aboard Pacific Princess features an overnight stay in Amsterdam and a late departure from Antwerp.

Cruises to the Mediterranean

Crown Princess will depart on 55 cruises, featuring 13 unique itineraries, including 27 destinations in the Mediterranean and Aegean. All seven-day departures from Rome to Athens include visits to Salerno, Kotor, Corfu, Crete and Mykonos. The ship’s 11-day cruises from Barcelona to Rome visit Marseille (for Provence), Florence/Pisa, Katakolon (for Olympia), Mykonos, Santorini, Kotor and Naples (for Capri and Pompeii).

Sapphire Princess will also offer 14-day cruises from London (Southampton) to the Western Mediterranean, with later departures from Barcelona.

With 12- to 28-day voyages on Pacific Princess, guests will visit a variety of destinations throughout the Mediterranean such as Croatia, Greece, Malta and Monte Carlo, with overnight stays in Venice on all 12-day voyages between Rome and Venice.

 Northern Europe Cruises

New for 2018, Royal Princess will offer 12-day roundtrip British Isles Voyages from Paris/Normandy (La Havre), in addition to roundtrip cruises from London (Southampton). Select sailings on this itinerary will feature overnight stays in Dublin and all cruises will include late a departure from Belfast.

Guests will have an opportunity to attend the notable Edinburgh Military Tattoo on select eight-day Pacific Princess sailings and 12-day Royal Princess cruises, with overnight stays in Edinburgh on Pacific Princess.

Sapphire Princess makes her maiden call to Northern Europe, along with returning ships Regal Princess and Pacific Princess for 11- to 14-day Scandinavia & Russia sailings from either Copenhagen or London. All cruises feature overnight stays in St. Petersburg.

Pacific Princess also offers roundtrip cruises from London (Dover), visiting a variety of remote Northern Europe destinations in Iceland, Norway and the Shetland Islands, in addition to a special Summer Solstice sailing visiting Spitsbergen.

More Ashore

Offering guests more time to explore local cultures and culinary offerings, select itineraries in Europe provide overnight stays in 32 ports including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Venice and late evening departures from Belfast, Berlin and Oslo.

European Land & Sea Vacations

Guests can enhance their European travel with four unique Land & Sea Vacation options, which combine certain sailings with a fully-escorted land tour. Choices include Paris and the French Countryside; Ireland’s Ring of Kerry; Classic Italy, visiting popular sites in Venice, Florence and Rome; and Imperial Treasures of Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin.

 Captain’s Circle Savings

Princess Cruises past guests are eligible for a special promotion when they book before August 31, 2017. Captain’s Circle members booking a cruise less than seven days will receive a savings of $50 per person. For those booking a seven- to 20-day Europe cruise, a discount of $100 per guest will be applied and those booking a cruise more than 20 days will receive a $200 discount (does not apply to third and fourth berth guests).

 Club Class

Summer 2018 Europe guests can choose a new premium stateroom category featuring VIP amenities and exclusive dining with the new Club Class Mini-Suite. This elevated mini-suite category features select perks including new Club Class Dining, a reserved dining area with expedited seating and expanded menu options; priority embarkation and disembarkation; complimentary wine and luxurious bathrobes.

 Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

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

Filled Under Blog, Destinations, News

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Harvest Cay welcomes firsts guests

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 17 - 2016

Harvest Caye, the highly-anticipated Caribbean destination experience in beautiful Southern Belize, today welcomed its first guests. Located just one mile offshore, Harvest Caye offers Caribbean travelers an authentic Belizean experience that highlights the country’s beauty and nature, along with resort-style amenities including a sprawling pool and private luxury beach villas; a variety of eco-activities and interactive wildlife programs; and an exhilarating cross-island zip line. With its close proximity to the mainland, Harvest Caye also offers guests easy access to a wide variety of adventure excursions. This spectacular resort-style port of call, developed by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., is the ultimate tropical destination experience and the only port in Belize that features a cruise ship pier for guest convenience and comfort.

The Harvest Caye experience was designed to showcase all that Belize is known for, from native plants and trees that all play a part in the destination’s eco-system, to the indigenous hardwoods used in the destination’s buildings, and the warm and welcoming Belizean team members who greet guests upon arrival. “Harvest Caye is truly the ultimate Belizean experience and we are delighted to welcome our first guests today,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We have worked closely with the government of Belize to ensure that that this spectacular destination was authentic for our guests, provided economic opportunities for the local community and preserved and protected Belize’s incredible natural beauty. We’re overjoyed with the results of this four year development project, and we look forward to seeing Harvest Caye and Southern Belize grow as we delight the many guests that will call on the destination.”
Guests onboard Norwegian Dawn, sailing from New Orleans, today were the very first to experience all that Harvest Caye has to offer, stepping off the ship and right into paradise. Colin Murphy, senior vice-president of destination and strategic development for NCLH led a ribbon cutting ceremony and official grand opening, where he was joined by the Honorable Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation for Belize, Honorable Edmond Castro, Minister of State for National Emergency Management for Belize, and Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Wife of Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

“Today is the product of the government’s continued pledge to entrench tourism as a top national priority and to promote tourism as a main engine for overall economic growth of the country. This investment alone is projected to generate 500 direct jobs and over 1,500 indirect jobs by the year 2020,” said Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation for Belize. “We have embarked on an unprecedented and incomparable journey. The growth in cruise tourism over the past 20 years proves that Belize is a destination of choice for those seeking adventure, a host of natural wonders, and most importantly friendly and hospitable people. Today, we say to cruise guests, “Welcome to Southern Belize.’”
(Photo L to R: Colin Murphy, senior vice-president of destination and strategic development for NCLH; Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Wife of Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow; Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation for Belize; Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of State for National Emergency Management for Belize)

About Harvest Caye

Harvest Caye’s seven acre pristine beach is the highlight of this unique destination, showcasing Belize’s stunning white powder sand and crystal clear waters. Guests can enjoy the day on chaise loungers, relax in clamshell tents or indulge in privacy at one of the island’s 11 luxury beach villas, available for daily rental. These indulgent enclosed villas are the ultimate beach escape and feature an expansive porch overlooking the sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea. Each villa can accommodate up to 10 guests and come complete with every comfort including air conditioning, dedicated lounge areas, a private restroom, indoor and outdoor showers, hammocks, and exclusive dining and beverage options with dedicated concierge service so guests never have to leave the beach.
Guests visiting Harvest Caye can also opt for a resort-style retreat at the destination’s tranquil, lushly landscaped pool. The sprawling 15,000 square foot pool includes a footbridge spanning the pool’s center that features a soothing waterfall, and is surrounded by elegant lounge chairs and umbrellas, along with 15 canopy pool cabanas. The plush pool cabanas, available for rent, feature upscale lounge furniture, privacy drapes and beverage service. A swim-up bar with stools and lounge tables right in the water completes the resort experience.
Adventure will be in no short supply for guests who opt to spend their day on Harvest Caye, with the island featuring a 130 foot tall Flighthouse as the central area for a variety of aerial activities including zip lining, suspension bridges, free fall jumps, a tandem “superman” style zip line and stunning views of the verdant hills of the mainland. Harvest Caye’s zip line course will have more than 3,000 feet of zip line, allowing guests to soar through the air with a bird’s eye view of the island and the sea, with stops at three different platforms. To top off the adventure, the Flighthouse will include a challenging but fun ropes course located on a platform in the saltwater lagoon. For a lower adrenaline adventure, guests can also enjoy eco-activities and watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing in Harvest Caye’s shallow lagoon area, where wildlife is abundant.

Harvest Caye also features a variety of dining and bar options, available à la carte. Guests will enjoy five dining and bar outlets that feature a variety of cuisines, including a two-story indoor/outdoor LandShark Bar & Grill. An expansion of Norwegian’s partnership with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville®, the LandShark Bar & Grill is sure to be an island favorite, with a scenic upper deck and a swim-up pool bar for the ultimate way to enjoy a “boat drink”. Those who want to indulge in authentic Belizean cuisine can enjoy casual street style dining in the shopping village. Additional dining options include the Laughing Bird Bar & Grill serving the beach, the Manatee Marina Bar & Grill in the marina, the Horse-Eye Jack Bar & Grill servicing the island’s cabanas as well as food and drink delivery throughout the pool area.

No port-of-call would be complete without superior shopping options, and Harvest Caye will offer a shopping village; inspired by an outdoor art festival the village features high-quality local retailers offering items like locally made chocolates, spirits, beautiful artwork including the area’s signature wood carvings and more, along with street carts featuring local Belizean favorites including ice cream, grilled skewers and artisan crafts. As guests stroll through the shopping village they’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy performances from local musicians and folk dancers.
Guests with an affinity for wildlife will marvel at Harvest Caye’s many opportunities for an up close encounter with this rich eco-destination’s local plants and animals. To learn about the native flora and fauna in this stunning destination, guests can participate in manatee observation tours at the lagoon to learn about the gentle giants; get up close and personal with endangered Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, Belize’s national bird, in the island’s Aviary; wonder at the striking beauty of insects at the Butterfly Garden; and learn more about and view Belize’s indigenous reptiles like the boa constrictor.

Harvest Caye’s conservation programs and education efforts were developed by award winning author and wildlife expert Tony Garel, the destination’s Chief Naturalist. He will lead many of the island’s educational tours and will be available to chat with guests about the incredible array of wildlife in Belize. The island’s aviary will also house a breed and release program for Scarlet Macaws, in an effort to increase the population of the native birds. To help further the island’s conservation efforts, more than 15,000 new mangroves have been planted throughout the island, serving to increase the natural estuary system that serves as a critical habitat for birds, young fish and other marine species.
Harvest Caye also serves as a gateway to spectacular eco and cultural adventures that await in mainland Belize. The destination’s marina, located near the pier, serves as a convenient departure point for a wide variety of shore excursions that allow guests to explore this rich destination, including spectacular Mayan ruins, river rafting, nature tours and more. When guests arrive on the mainland at the Malacate transportation hub, they are immediately immersed in Belizean culture with local vegetation and flora mimicking that of a traditional Belize plantation.
Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy Harvest Caye on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Western Caribbean itineraries, as well as on select Caribbean sailings on Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises in Winter 2017 and Fall/Winter 2018. Click here for more information and to see firsthand the incredible experience that awaits guests at Harvest Caye, Belize.

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