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As travelers get ready to cruise this year, Holland America Line is launching its popular Ready Set Sail promotion featuring pre-paid gratuities and up to $500 onboard spending money per stateroom. Guests who book a Holland America Line cruise by June 1, 2017, will be eligible to receive the offer, and guests who book a suite also will receive an additional $100 internet credit.

All cruises between June 1, 2017, and March 30, 2018, excluding Grand Voyages and Grand Voyage segments, are eligible for the Ready Set Sail promotion. Depending on stateroom category, guests will receive onboard spending money ranging from $100 up to $500 per stateroom.

“As we head into spring the weather is getting nicer and travelers are starting to think about their next vacation, so our Ready Set Sail promotion comes at the right time and features some exceptional values,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Covering gratuities represents nice savings for our guests, and the onboard spending money makes it possible for them to take advantage of many of our shipboard venues and experiences that will enhance their overall cruise vacation.”

Indulge with Onboard Spending Money  
In addition to pre-paid gratuities for the entire cruise valued at up to $27 per stateroom per day, guests receive onboard spending money that can be used to enjoy a variety of shipboard experiences and amenities. Extras that the credit can be applied to include treatments at the Greenhouse Spa and Salon, gift shop purchases, Journeys Ashore tours, beverages or dinner at one of the specialty restaurants such as Pinnacle Grill, Sel de Mer, Canaletto or Tamarind, depending on the ship.

By booking with Ready Set Sail, guests can cruise all over the world while taking advantage of the promotion. Eligible Holland America Line destinations include Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Bermuda, Mexico, South America, the Panama Canal, the Far East, the South Pacific, Europe and Australia/New Zealand.

For more information about Holland America Line, consult a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit hollandamerica.com.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales, cruisenews

Windstar has record breaking week for Tahiti cruises

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 21 - 2017

It’s clear that the popularity of small ship cruising is a fast growing trend in travel and cruising, as upscale small ship operator Windstar Cruises announces a record booking week for cruises to Tahiti and the Tuamotu Islands. Windstar’s romantic and unique style of cruising is unmatched when it comes to enjoying Tahiti’s sun-soaked beaches, crystal-clear waters, incredible sea and wildlife, and exotic tropical island ports in casually elegant style.

“Our Tahiti cruises are more popular than ever,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “Just last week we had a record week for Tahiti cruise bookings, our best yet. The South Pacific region continues to grow as a trending travel destination and there’s no better way to experience this gorgeous part of the world than on the deck of a Windstar ship under sail.”

Cruisers, travelers and travel agents alike are discovering Windstar’s intimate and romantic Tahiti-based sailing ship Wind Spirit with thousands of feet of sail and just 148 guests on board. The exclusivity of the Tahitian Islands paired with the value of top-rated cruises, and the warm hospitality of the expert crew creates an idyllic, bucket list experience that has been named one of the most romantic vacations in the world as recognized by numerous industry awards and endorsements including:

  • Best Overall Small Ships — 2017 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards (2 of top 5; 17 individual awards)
  • 2017 GOLD LISTCondé Nast Traveler (Named by editors 5th consecutive year)
  • #1 Best Boutique Cruise Line USA Today “10Best” Readers’ Choice Travel Award
  • Top Cruise Line for Couples” in the BRIDES Best Honeymoons Awards
  • Most Romantic Cruise Line — Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 18th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards
  • “Best for Romance” Luxury Category, 2016 Editors’ Picks Awards — Cruise Critic U.S. & U. K.
  • 2016 Healthy Travel Awards — SHAPE Magazine
  • Top Small Cruise Lines under 500 passengers — Condé Nast Traveler’s 29th Readers’ Choice Awards

“Windstar’s masted sailing yachts have long been favorites with honeymooners and couples of all ages. Breathtaking sail aways, alfresco dining and late-night stargazing all create an air of romance. Now that Windstar has added three yacht-style ships, the romance comes indoors, too, with spacious suites and several lounges for evening entertainment or a tête-à-tête over drinks,” editors of Cruise Critic raved.

Ranking Windstar as “Best in Cruise” and “Tops in Activities” SHAPE editors were most impressed by “ … the cruise line’s unique water sports platforms, which are unmatched in the tropics with unlimited and complimentary access to snorkel gear, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, and more.”

The Watersports Platform is a brand differentiator and guest favorite on board Windstar’s small ships.

Windstar makes a Tahiti dream trip attainable for those seeking the perfect celebration destination. Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea Islands are top of search when it comes to luxury and romance, but costly airfare, expensive lodging and food costs can deter travelers. Windstar has curated a value-laden Tahiti “Cruise+Air+Hotel” cruise package starting at $3,999 per guest that adds extraordinary appeal to the romance of the South Pacific.

Recently featured on NBC’s popular national morning TV show, TODAY With Kathie Lee & Hoda, Windstar Tahiti cruise packages were the top prize in a “Honeymoon Do-Over” contest that ran in February. Three lucky couples (whose original honeymoons had gone badly) won an amazing 7-day Dreams of Tahiti cruise vacation.

“We have an incredible, year-round product in French Polynesia,” said Delaney. “Sailing aboard our beautiful sailing yacht Wind Spirit in one of the most picturesque regions of the world surpasses all expectations for any vacation. NBC was wonderful to work with and we were thrilled to have TODAY viewers learn more about the benefits of small ship cruising on Windstar. Congratulations to the winners, they are in for a treat like no other!”

The small ship line offers 7-, 10- and 11-day year-round sailings from Papeete, Tahiti with convenient direct flights via Los Angeles. For additional information on small ship cruising and South Pacific sailings, contact a travel professional or Windstar Cruises by phone at 877-958-7718 or email info@windstarcruises.com, or visit www.windstarcruises.com.

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


Windstar to sail first-ever itineraries in New England & Canada

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 13 - 2017

Start spreading the news, Windstar Cruises will be sailing into (and out of) Manhattan on its first-ever itineraries in New England and Canada beginning summer/fall 2018. Windstar’s 212-guest all-suite yacht Star Pride will embark on four new sailings (with five sail dates) that span nine to 16 days, offering leisurely opportunities to enjoy fall foliage and discover charming New England coastal towns, historic gems like Boston and Newport, and the seductively old world appeal of the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec. Star Pride will arrive in New York for the first time via Iceland.

This announcement comes on the heels of news that the small ship cruise line, headquartered in Seattle, will be sailing to Alaska and along Canada’s west coast aboard Star Legend, a sister ship to Star Pride, in spring/summer 2018. The company has not sailed in North America in recent years, so the addition of both regions is a major development for the company, which operates primarily in Europe, the Caribbean/Central America, and French Polynesia.

“New York is a city of legendary over-achievers, and we have every intention of over delivering on our brand’s New England and Canada experiences, including our maiden call to Manhattan with Star Pride,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “New York is one of our major markets, a key gateway, and one of the world’s great destination cities in its own right. We are thrilled to make Windstar so easily accessible to such a large national and international audience by being in New York.”

2018 Voyage Collection – Canada & New England

 North Atlantic Odyssey: Reykjavik to New York City – 16 Days

The journey from Iceland to Manhattan is best experienced by small ship, with scenic cruising through fjords in southern Greenland’s Prince Christian Sound – only 1,500 feet wide at some points and aweing visitors with steep granite mountains that stretch from sea to sky. A chance to see polar bears in Nanortalik is followed by time in the quaint towns of Newfoundland, along with the UNESCO sites of Red Bay and L’Anse Aux Meadows and their whaling and Viking pasts. The itinerary will also allow tours to Gros Morne National Park (an UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Acadia National Park, accessed via charming Bar Harbor, Maine. A final day sailing through Cape Cod Canal, inaccessible to larger ships, brings guests into the heart of Manhattan for disembarkation.

The Maritimes & Manhattan: New York City to Montreal (or reverse) – 12 Days

From the spectacular scenery of Gaspe and Saguenay Fjord to vintage towns like Newport and Bar Harbor, the cruise captures the best of New England and Southeast Canada. Guests can explore the Gilded Age mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, and a unique stop in Provincetown, Massachusetts – the site of the landing of the Mayflower. Other highlights include the autumn spectacle of Acadia National Park and an overnight in Quebec City, perfect for taking advantage of the vibrant city’s nightlife.

Southeast Canadian Explorations: Montreal to Boston – 9 Days

Cruising from one postcard-perfect scene to another in waters alive with whales and fishing boats paired with French-Canadian ports oozing Old World charm, this itinerary brings an excellent blend of bucolic and urbane. Guests will enjoy watching for rare beluga whales in spectacular Saguenay Fjord or falling under the spell of historic Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, best seen via horse-drawn carriage to truly understand how it inspired Anne of Green Gables. Time on Portland, Maine’s waterfront and sampling its hot restaurant scene is followed by historic Boston.

Postcard Ports of Cape Cod & Canada: Boston to Montreal – 12 Days

This voyage from Boston to Montreal gives a taste of historic beach towns, quaint lobster fishing villages, and cosmopolitan cities that reflect their French heritage. Stopping in Provincetown means guests can explore the site of the pilgrims’ Mayflower landing and interesting art galleries in town. Other highlights include time in Rockland, Maine, known as the lobster capital of the world; ample opportunity for a visit to a local pub (thanks to Windstar’s late night departure) in vibrant Halifax, which boasts the highest pub to person ratio in Canada; a fascinating transit through the 79-foot-wide Canso Canal; and an overnight in Quebec City.

Exploring Canada & New England Aboard the All-Suite 212-guest Star Pride

All Windstar sailings in Canada & New England in 2018 will take place aboard the 212-guest Star Pride, boasting all-suite accommodations. In 2016, Star Pride underwent a major interior renovation, including the refurbishment of public spaces and revitalization of two stunning Owner’s Suites. The suites underwent million-dollar structural makeovers to offer sweeping views, along with new modern décor. In addition to the Owner’s Suites, guests may choose among four spacious Classic Suites; 36 popular Balcony Suites with French balconies; and 64 Ocean View Suites with large picture windows. The yacht’s WindSpa, Fitness Center, two whirlpools, pool, Lounge, Star Bar, multiple dining options, and casino pamper and entertain guests, while its small size means it can tuck into small ports and hidden harbors that other cruise ships can’t reach.

For additional information on small ship cruising with Windstar, contact a travel professional or Windstar Cruises by phone at 877-958-7718, or visit www.windstarcruises.com.

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


Cunard Announces Three for All Promotion

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 1 - 2017

This spring, luxury cruise line company Cunard is offering the Three for All promotion, available on select cruise itineraries on its three world-famous Queens – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.

Cunard’s Three for All promotion highlights iconic Transatlantic Crossings, Caribbean and New England & Canada voyages on remastered Queen Mary 2, Mediterranean voyages on the newly-refit Queen Victoria and a variety of European voyages on Queen Elizabeth. Three for All is available until April 26, 2017 on select sailings between May 2017 and January 2018.

The offer features:

  • Up to 30% savings off Launch Fares
  • Up to $1,000 Onboard Credit per stateroom
  • Free Alternative Dining Credit
  • Plus Guests on Mediterranean sailings receive Free Gratuities

For more information about the Three for All offer or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Agent, call Cunard toll-free at 1-800-728-6273, or visit www.cunard.com.

For more details visit Cunard’s website here.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales

Norwegian Cruise Line ‘Free at Sea’ promotion

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 1 - 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line is encouraging its guests to go out and explore the world and their dream destinations with a new Free at Sea promotion that now includes an option to select free shore excursion credits in unlimited ports of call. From now through January 16, guests can choose from up to five free offers† when they book a new cruise vacation, to experience the trip of a lifetime with the most freedom and flexibility available at sea.

With Norwegian’s Free at Sea, guests who book a new three-day or longer sailing in an oceanview, balcony or minisuite category stateroom† can select their preference of two free choices from five incredible onboard amenity offers*, including free unlimited open bar, free Specialty Dining package, $50 towards shore excursions in each port per stateroom, a free 250 minute WiFi package, or Norwegian’s Kids Sail Free offer that allows third and fourth guests, whether they are kids or kids at heart, to sail for free on almost 400 cruise departures dates. Inside staterooms, as well as Norwegian’s Studio staterooms for solo travelers, can choose one free offer. Guests who book a sailing in a suite or The Haven by Norwegian® will enjoy all five free amenities, providing up to $2,800 in added value to their cruise.

Those looking to soak up the warm sun of the South Pacific while gazing upon the lush island seascapes of the Hawaiian Islands can do so on a on a one-of-a-kind cruise vacation aboard the recently renovated Pride of America, the only ship to sail roundtrip from Honolulu year-round and who also has her own exclusive Free at Sea offer^. Guests who book a new seven-day inter-island Hawaii cruise now through January 16 aboard Pride of America in any stateroom^ category will have the freedom to select one of five offers to enhance their cruising experience including a free one-night pre-cruise hotel stay*** with an option to select reduced airfare starting at $399 from select gateways, a free Specialty Dining Package**, free pre-paid service charges for the first and second guest in the stateroom, free $50 per port shore excursion credit per stateroom, or Norwegian’s Kids Sail Free, where the third and fourth guests in each stateroom sail for free on select dates. Guests who book a suite aboard Pride of America will receive all five offers†.

Norwegian will transport guests on an immersive cultural quest during the summer of 2017 with five ships sailing in Europe. Norwegian Getaway will cruise the Baltic Capitals from Copenhagen and Berlin (Warnemunde). Norwegian Jade will sail the Norwegian Fjords from Hamburg, Germany and London (Southampton). Norwegian Epic will return to her seasonal homeports of Barcelona and Rome (Civitavecchia) to sail the spectacular Western Mediterranean on seven-day cruises that offer calls in Pisa, Cannes and Palma, Majorca. Norwegian Star will cruise the crystal blue waters of the Greek Islands and Norwegian Spirit will sail 10-day and 11-day Mediterranean sailings from Rome (Civitavecchia).

Only Norwegian allows guests to visit the destinations of their dreams and invites guests to Feel Free to enjoy premium entertainment, action-packed adventure, a wide variety of dining options and the freedom to do it all or absolutely nothing, all on their own timetable. To book a cruise aboard a Norwegian ship, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

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


Celebrate the Holidays Aboard MSC Cruises!

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

From Thanksgiving through the New Year, MSC Cruises — the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa — is creating extraordinary onboard experiences, with a host of seasonal touches ensuring guests have an unforgettable holiday season.

In particular, on the ultra-modern MSC Divina, sailing from Miami to the Caribbean, MSC Cruises has designed the perfect holiday escape for guests looking to enjoy a relaxing, stress-free vacation. Highlights of MSC Divina holiday celebrations include:

Thanksgiving – Nov. 19th departure to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and the Bahamas
Guests will spend Thanksgiving Day at sea enjoying festive entertainment, a traditional Turkey dinner and all-day Thanksgiving football displayed on multiple large screens in the sports bar. Kids ages 3-11 can participate in a special Turkey Day cooking class and a Thanksgiving Day costume parade and show. A Thanksgiving scavenger hunt, flash mob and party will take place for children ages 12-17. Prices start at $699.50 per person*.  

Christmas & Hanukkah – Dec. 23rd departure to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and the Bahamas

During Christmas, MSC Divina will be decked out in the best traditional trimmings, with sparkling lights, shimmering decorations, festive Christmas trees, and a spectacular gingerbread village created by MSC’s pastry chefs. Adding to the festivities, guests will enjoy traditional Christmas carols; a Broadway-style festive show; a special Christmas market place, selling a range of Christmas gifts and traditional decorations; Christmas-themed cooking classes, arts & crafts, and parades; a visit by Santa Claus who will present a gift to every child on board; and seasonal Christmas movies played on an outdoor jumbo screen throughout the week. A Christmas mass will also be available onboard.

MSC Cruises knows that the holidays are also about enjoying seasonal delights. Thus, guests will enjoy a Christmas Eve Gala dinner and a special Christmas lunch consisting of traditional holiday specialties as well as festive cocktails served throughout the cruise such as the Christmas Star, made using a mixture of limoncello and Prosecco, and the Snowflake, made with dark rum and fresh banana.

For those celebrating Hanukkah, MSC Divina will host a nightly Menorah lighting as well as serve traditional Hanukkah foods in the buffet and main dining rooms. A large menorah will also be on display in the main atrium. Special kosher meals can be ordered in advance.

Prices for the Christmas and Hanukkah cruise start at $999.50 per person*. 

New Year’s Dec. 30th departure to Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas 

Guests sailing on this 7-night cruise will celebrate the New Year in style. The festivities will start with a special New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner before guests head up to the pool deck for the ship’s annual New Year’s Eve dance party, complete with themed decorations, a countdown to midnight, and champagne. Guests will also enjoy a special New Year’s lunch as well as special seasonal cocktails. For those traveling with kids, MSC Cruises is extending the kids club hours and offering babysitting in the kids club for free so that parents can enjoy New Year’s celebrations. Prices start at $799.50 per person*.

2017 Holiday Cruises

For those that like to plan in advance, it’s not too early to start booking your 2017 holiday vacations. In fact, for those looking to be one of the first to experience the revolutionary new cruise ship MSC Seaside, now is an ideal time to book the Christmas and New Year’s cruises.

The first 7-night sailing on MSC Seaside out of Miami will take place during Christmas 2017, embarking on Dec. 23rd with stops in St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. The following week, MSC Seaside will embark on its New Year’s cruise, leaving from Miami on Dec. 30th with stops in Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and the Bahamas.

*Government, fees and taxes are additional. All information believed to be accurate as of the date of issuance.  It is the reader’s responsibility to verify its continued accuracy, as all information is subject to change. 

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