Facebook twitter followgram pinterest

Archive for the ‘Destinations’ Category


Carnival Vista launches year round service from Miami

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 29 - 2016

 

PortMiami welcomed Carnival Cruise Line’s newest, largest and most innovative ship, Carnival Vista, when it arrived yesterday to kick off a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day cruises to the Caribbean.

To officially welcome Carnival Vista to its Miami homeport, Carnival Vista Captain
Stefano Battinelli and PortMiami Assistant Director Fred Wong participated in a traditional maritime plaque exchange prior to the ship’s inaugural departure from Miami.

As the line’s newest ship, Carnival Vista takes cruising to new heights, introducing groundbreaking features such as SkyRide, a suspended open-air cycling experience; the world’s first IMAX® Theatre on a ship; Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first water tube slide, part of the ship’s massive WaterWorks aqua park; and the RedFrog Pub & Brewery featuring the first brewery on a North American-based cruise ship.

“Miami has been our home since our company’s inception in 1972 and homeporting the new Carnival Vista here not only provides consumers with a convenient homeport with renovated facilities and numerous operational enhancements but speaks volumes about our confidence in growing this important market,” and said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president.

“We are thankful for Carnival Cruise Line’s continued growth at PortMiami,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “The arrival of new and innovative cruise ships such as Carnival Vista helps solidify our place as a global hub for travel and tourism, vital to the continual growth and development of our community.”

“It’s an exciting day at PortMiami,” said PortMiami Director/CEO Juan M. Kuryla.  “There’s no doubt that the arrival of the Carnival Vista, Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and largest cruise ship, represents a new vacation option for passengers sailing out of the Cruise Capital of the World.  We’re grateful to have this opportunity, and we look forward to continue strengthening our partnership with Carnival,” he added.

 Island-Intensive Caribbean Cruises from Miami

Carnival Vista kicked off its new schedule from PortMiami with a special six-day cruise to Grand Turk, Ocho Rios and Nassau that departed yesterday.  The ship will then launch a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day cruises beginning with an eight-day voyage departing Dec. 3, 2016.  Six-day cruises feature Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, while a mix of different eight-day itineraries visit some of the Caribbean’s most sought-after destinations, including Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and La Romana (Dominican Republic).

The ship will also offer a combination of one-time voyages, including a five-day cruise departing Dec. 11 and seven-day voyages departing Dec. 17 and 24, 2016, that offer an exciting selection of ports including the Caribbean’s newest destination, Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, as well as Mahogany Bay, Grand Turk, Belize, San Juan, St. Thomas and Cozumel, depending on the itinerary.

In addition to visiting breathtaking Caribbean destinations, guests can experience all the Carnival Vista has to offer – from the colorful Havana area with tropics-inspired staterooms and suites and Family Harbor with special accommodations and a new family concierge to delicious choices like Seafood Shack and new al fresco options at the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi and Cherry On Top, featuring a mixed-to-order premium ice cream bar.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, Destinations, News

Leave the crowds behind on 12 new cruises through Asia and Arabia on Windstar

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 28 - 2016

Boutique cruise line Windstar Cruises is sailing to Arabia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia in winter/spring 2017-18. The elegant, all-suite yacht Star Legend embarks just 212 guests on new itineraries with 12 sailing dates from 10 to 18 days in length departing Oct. to April and including dozens of maiden port calls, many off the tourist path. These small ship cruises are designed to immerse travelers into the heart of local cultures, indulging guests with the exclusive comforts and culinary delights of a private yacht.

Windstar’s Asia and Arabia cruises offer larger-than-life adventures and exceptional experiences only possible on a small ship. Star Legend will proudly sail into the hub of must-see Asian cities where larger ships typically dock on the outskirts. The agile yacht sails on routes less traveled, visiting out-of-the-way islands, and charming harbors that big ships skip. Itineraries are carefully crafted with scenic cruising and active exploration in mind.

The new itineraries span cosmopolitan marvels like Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo but also explore the smaller ports and villages, unspoiled islands, and exotic shores of Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Borneo and the Philippines.

“Planning the perfect voyage for our guests is a passion. Our team is thrilled to introduce a remarkably diverse collection of cruises to Asia and Arabia. Our guests will experience firsthand the wonderful people and compelling cultures of this incredible region, all in Windstar’s true small ship style, that is intimate and inviting. We create bespoke travel experiences that I call — destination authenticity,” remarked Windstar President John Delaney.

By day, the yacht may anchor at hidden harbors and tropical islands of the South China Sea where cruisers swim, snorkel, water ski, and stand-up paddle board right from the ship’s Watersports Platform. By night, guests gaze at star-filled skies from the unique Open Bridge, learning from the Captain where their yacht will navigate next. Adventures include sailing the majestic Yangtze River, “selfies” set off by glimmering skylines, tasting authentic Asian cuisine, chasing Japanese cherry blossoms, and kayaking amidst towering limestone pillars in Halong Bay.

New journeys of discovery center on the romantic, the exotic, and the cultural wonders of Arabia. Two one-time-only repositioning sailings visit Egypt, Arabia and the Indian Ocean in fall of 2017. Choose Athens to Dubai via the Suez Canal with a chance to see Petra and Luxor; or Dubai to Singapore via India and Malaysia with a visit to the beautiful beaches of Phuket. Combine the two for an incredible 34-day cruise without repeating ports.

Windstar’s 6 destination-centric Asian itineraries offer a choice of 10 departure dates and include a round trip Singapore cruise to Malaysia and Thailand; three cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong via Malaysian Borneo, Brunei and the Philippines; two Hong Kong to Bangkok (or reverse) cruises via Vietnam; one Hong Kong to Beijing cruise via Taiwan, islands of Japan and mainland China; a Beijing to Tokyo sailing via South Korea; and two Tokyo to Osaka (or reverse) cruises. Guests can combine cruises for an extended voyage of up to 43 days.

In conjunction with the new Asia and Arabia cruises, the line launched the Star Perks Event with reduced fares and a choice of one FREE perk when booked by December 9, 2016. Free perks include a choice of up to 2 free pre/post hotel nights; premium beverage package; unlimited Wi-Fi package; or up to US$1,000 shipboard credit.

Star Perks Event reduced fares start at US$3,999 per guest for a 10-day Grand Japan cruise sailing either April 14 or 24, 2018. The Grand Japan itinerary sails between Yokohama (Tokyo) and Osaka, with scenic cruising and visits to Shimizu, Shingu, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Hakata and Hiroshima, Japan; as well as Busan, South Korea. Twelve departure dates on Asia and Arabia cruises are offered from October 2017 through April 2018; book by December 9, 2016 to select a FREE perk.

Exploring Asia aboard the all-suite 212-guest Star Legend

All Windstar sailings in Arabia and Asia in 2017 and 2018 will take place aboard the 212-guest Star Legend, boasting all-suite accommodations and beautifully-appointed public spaces such as the elegant AmphorA restaurant. The delightful Veranda restaurant doubles in the evening as romantic Candles with an eclectic menu and open air dining. The marquis Yacht Club lounge located on the top guest deck is a favorite spot for cruisers to relax, mix and mingle while enjoying 270-degree indoor/outdoor viewing opportunities from a comfortable living-room-style venue. Wi-Fi hotspots, specialty coffee/tea bar and á la carte light bites refreshed throughout the day, draw in cruisers, and the full-service open-air Star Bar is close-by.

Guests may choose from 106 suites, including 36 popular Balcony Suites with French balconies that invite cruisers to step out and enjoy ocean scenery up close; or choose one of 64 Ocean View Suites with large picture windows. Windstar suites offer more room than many hotels, with stylish décor, walk-in closets, marble bathrooms with tub or shower, top-of-the-line L’Occitane® toiletries, and a tranquil seating area with a view. Splurge on one of two luxurious Owner’s Suites just below the yacht’s Open Bridge, with a stunning view from the private veranda, living/dining room, separate bedroom, walk-in closet and marble bath. Or, engage one of four spacious Classic Suites, two forward with sweeping views, and two located near the Atrium, both with private verandas.

Tailored (optional) shore excursions offer numerous chances to experience awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and learn about the local history, cuisine, and art of both ancient and modern ports. Specialized programming on board by expert guest lecturers expounds on the individuality of the cultures and intricacies of the history of the region. On board Star Legend, yacht guests will enjoy regionally-themed cuisine, exotic libations, entertainment and activities with a local flair, and always gracious and attentive service.

For additional information on Star Legend, Star Perks and new Asia and Arabia cruises 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.

Filled Under Blog, Destinations, 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.

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.


Holland America will have seven ships in Alaska in 2017

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 7 - 2016

To support the increasing demand for Alaska summer cruises, Holland America Line is redeploying ms Oosterdam from Europe to The Last Frontier for the 2017 summer season. The addition brings the number of Holland America Line ships to seven in the region, with Oosterdam joining ms Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Volendam and ms Zaandam for a total of 135 Alaska departures, more than any other cruise line.

Seven is the lucky number in 2017, as the company will celebrate its 70th year exploring Alaska. New in 2017, Eurodam will replace ms Westerdam sailing from Seattle. The addition of another Signature Class ship means more new restaurants and venues will be available for guests to enjoy on Alaska sailings.

“Our award-winning Alaska cruises are at the heart of our global itineraries, and adding Oosterdam to the region in 2017 will allow even more guests to join in celebrating the exciting milestone of our 70th year in Alaska,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “As Seattle’s hometown cruise line, we’re thrilled to be sailing three ships from our local home port for the next Alaska season.”

Holland America Line will now offer 126 seven-day cruises and nine 14-day “Great Alaskan Explorer” sailings that begin in late April and run through late September. Highlights include 46 seven-day cruises roundtrip from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Nieuw Amsterdam, Volendam, Noordam and Zaandam. In addition, Noordam and Zaandam each will sail 18 one-way alternating north-south seven-day cruises between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska.

Oosterdam is slated to sail 21 seven-day cruises roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, from April through September. Eurodam will depart Seattle on 22 roundtrip seven-day cruises, while Amsterdam is scheduled to sail one seven-day itinerary from Seattle followed by nine 14-day Great Alaskan Explorer voyages.

Oosterdams seven-day roundtrip Seattle itineraries will call at Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Guests on board will enjoy scenic cruising in Puget Sound upon departing Seattle, as well as in Stephens Passage and Hubbard Glacier in Alaska.

Every itinerary is highlighted by scenic cruising of Alaska’s Inside Passage and one or more of Alaska’s famous glaciers and fjords. Whether it’s from a private verandah or out on deck, guests are in for a memorable view of Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, Tracy Arm and/or the twin Sawyer Glaciers.

Great Alaskan Explorer Cruises Offer Unique Alaska Ports of Call
Departing on nine Great Alaskan Explorer-branded sailings, Amsterdam replaces ms Maasdam in 2017 on this exciting route that includes unique highlights such as calls at Anchorage, Icy Strait Point, Homer, Kodiak and Hubbard Glacier.

Guests Departing from Seattle Have a Choice of Glaciers
All Seattle departures include calls at Sitka; Ketchikan; Juneau; and Victoria, B.C., and guests choose between either Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier for their epic glacier experience. All Glacier Bay itineraries include park ranger and Huna native speaker presentations. This classic cruise maximizes the best of what Alaska has to offer and enables guests to enjoy some of the finest scenic cruising in the world.

Holland America Line Celebrates 70 Years as First in Alaska in 2017
In 2017 Holland America Line will celebrate 70 years of exploring Alaska. It all began in 1947 with a simple, spontaneous tour in Fairbanks and has grown into Holland America Line’s Alaska Land+Sea Journeys that the company features today. The anniversary will be marked with special celebrations throughout the year that will be announced at a later date.

Land+Sea Journeys Combine an Alaska Cruise with Overland Exploration
Holland America Line’s award-winning Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Inside Passage or Glacier Discovery cruise with in-depth overland tours to the Yukon and Alaska’s interior. Holland America Line is the only cruise company to weave must-see sites such as Denali National Park — the centerpiece of every Land+Sea Journey — with seldom-seen ones such as Dawson City, in the heart of Klondike Gold Rush Country. Offering up to three days at Denali National Park for wildlife viewing and spectacular scenery, Land+Sea Journeys are designed to highlight the best of Alaska’s wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history.

Eurodam and Oosterdam Enhancements
Both Eurodam and Oosterdam recently have added Gallery Bar, a chic new venue that replaces Northern Lights; Lincoln Center Stage, in partnership with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Billboard Onboard, in partnership with Billboard; and extensive new suite enhancements featuring new furniture, soft goods and entertainment systems as well as a full makeover in the bathrooms.

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.