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Holland America Line is tapping into the expertise of one of the world’s most acclaimed wine critics, James Suckling, to curate an extensive new wine list that will be featured on all ships in the premium fleet. As Holland America Line’s official Wine Curator, Suckling will lead the design and development of the premium line’s wine offerings and provide wine selection tips on the menus and wine lists of all shipboard dining venues and bars.

Holland America Line currently features more than 300 labels from more than 30 countries, and Suckling is working with the cruise line to review and craft a new vision for the wine program. When the list is complete, a large majority of the selection will have an impressive rating of 90 points or higher — based on Suckling’s own 100-point scale. Holland America Line expects to have the new list in place fleetwide by the end of 2018, in time for the launch of Nieuw Statendam.

“Wine is a big part of the cruise experience for many of our guests, and having the best wine list at sea, or anywhere, allows us to guide novices to find their new favorite label or indulge an aficionado who appreciates our deep selection from global wineries that can be hard to find,” said Orlando Ashford, president, Holland America Line. “It is an honor to welcome James Suckling as our wine curator, and we know he’s going to create an unrivaled list and further develop our wine-pairing program so our guests can have the perfect wine with every meal.”

“What better way to enjoy and learn about wine than on a cruise with Holland America Line,” said Suckling, who last year rated more than 17,000 wines with his team around the world. “Wine is an experiential product that brings family and friends together and enhances life, just as the special travel experiences delivered by Holland America Line.”

About James Suckling
Suckling began his wine critic career in 1981 as an assistant editor for Wine Spectator magazine. Four years later he moved to Paris, France, to establish Wine Spectator’s European bureau. This put him at the center of European wine production and cemented his relationships with thousands of vintners, as well as contributed to his expanding knowledge of wines throughout the continent. In total, Suckling spent nearly 30 years as senior editor and European bureau chief of Wine Spectator and as European editor of Cigar Aficionado.

In 2010 Suckling launched JamesSuckling.com, a site that evolved from seeing a need for wine information to be communicated in a more modern way. Suckling and his team of critics rate about 17,000 wines a year, and Suckling estimates that he’s tasted close to 200,000 wines in his career.

Suckling also promotes and creates pieces for Lalique, the famous French crystal manufacturer. He also makes documentary movies. In 2017 Suckling received a knighthood from the Italian government — Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia — for his decades-long coverage of Italian wines. He also recently received an honorary citizenship from the town of Montalcino for his almost 40 years of writing about and rating Brunello di Montalcino.

Suckling is the father of Jack and Isabel. Jack is the tasting editor for and has tasted 5,000 wines for JamesSuckling.com. Suckling’s wife, Marie Kim-Suckling, a former wine merchant originally from Seoul, South Korea, is vice president of the international media wine company. He still lives near Florence, Italy, part of the year, as well as in Hong Kong, China, and in Napa Valley in California.  For more information, visit JamesSuckling.com. Visit James Suckling on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and WeChat as well as JamesSuckling.com.

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

Luxury expedition cruise specialist Silversea has announced that renowned primatologist Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas will join two Silver Discoverer voyages in 2019 as a guest lecturer. Internationally recognized for her studies and work with the orangutans of Indonesian Borneo in their natural habitat, she is considered the world’s foremost authority on the orangutan.

“It was a great honor to have Dr. Galdikas join our guests in 2016 and 2017 to talk about her work in Borneo and personally guide them on their visit to her world-famous Camp Leakey and Orangutan Care Center,” said Conrad Combrink, Silversea’s senior vice president of strategic development for expeditions and experiences. “We’re excited that she will be returning next year to provide additional opportunities for conservation-minded travelers to explore Indonesia and help contribute to the efforts to protect the region’s endangered wildlife.”

A duo of expedition cruises with departures on June 24 (Darwin to Bali) and July 9 (Bali to Singapore) will explore the exotic islands of Indonesia, with an overnight stay in the port of Kumai, gateway to Tanjung Puting National Park and its legendary Camp Leakey. Operated by Dr. Galdikas’ non-profit Orangutan Foundation International (OFI), Camp Leakey is the site of the anthropologist’s pioneering research in the wild. Silversea is the only cruise company partnering with Camp Leakey to offer its guests such exceptional wildlife-focused experiences.

For each guest on these special voyages of Silver Discoverer, Silversea Expeditions will donate $100 to the non-profit Orangutan Foundation International, a 501(c) (3) charity (Orangutan.org).

“Working to ensure the survival of these great apes, as well as their precious forest habitat, is my lifelong mission,” said Galdikas. “I welcome a partner like Silversea whose guests seek to discover our planet’s authentic beauty in places like Camp Leakey, where they can make a difference to help protect its future.”

During an enriching onboard presentation, Dr. Galdikas will share insights from her many years devoted to the study, care and preservation of endangered orangutans. Additionally, she will lead a private tour to Camp Leakey, where guests can experience close-up encounters with these amazing animals. Immersed in magnificent tropical scenery, guests may also spot proboscis monkeys, gibbons and macaques, as well as birds from more than 200 species.

In the company of Dr. Galdikas, Silversea guests will also be granted rare access to the OFI’s Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine facility located in the village of Pasir Panjang. The rehabilitation center is home to numerous orphaned, sick or injured orangutans, and is normally closed to the public.

Throughout her life, Dr. Galdikas has fought tirelessly for orangutan conservation. After meeting with Kenyan anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey in 1969, she expressed her desire to study the orangutan in the wild. It took three years for Dr. Leakey to secure the funding and support for Dr. Galdikas to begin her research. To honor her mentor, she named her first camp after him. Among her many awards, Dr. Galdikas was the first non-Indonesian born person to receive the prestigious Kalpataru award, the highest honor given by Indonesia for outstanding environmental leadership.

For complete itineraries and other details about these Silver Discoverer expedition cruises, please visit:

June 24 (Darwin to Bali): https://www.silversea.com/destinations/australia-new-zealand-cruise/darwin-to-bali-9915.html

July 9 (Bali to Singapore): https://www.silversea.com/destinations/australia-new-zealand-cruise/bali-to-singapore-9916.html

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


Princess Cruises celebrates the premiere of “The Secret Silk”

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 2 - 2018

Princess Cruises celebrated the premiere of “The Secret Silk,” the newest offering from it’s first-of-its-kind partnership with Stephen Schwartz, the Oscar-, Grammy- and Tony Award-winning composer of “Wicked,” “Godspell,” and “Pippin.” Joining Schwartz aboard Royal Princess for the premiere was the Tony Award nominated director/creator John Tartaglia (“Avenue Q,” “Shrek”).

“The Secret Silk” cast members perform the world premiere onboard Royal Princess on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Jesus Aranguren/AP Images for Princess Cruises)

The Secret Silk is a story of an Asian folkloric tale with a contemporary spin, featuring inspired performances through the use of music, dance, puppetry and special effects. Adapted from the ancient fable “The Grateful Crane,” the story features Lan, a beautiful, selfless young woman who possesses a magical gift, secretly creating brilliant silk fabrics. Audiences will be introduced to original life-size puppetry from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, and an original song, “Sing to the Sky,” both created exclusively for the production.

Overseeing the creative development of four entertainment shows for Princess Cruises, Schwartz brings together an illustrious team of Broadway talent to support the productions through direction and design. “The Secret Silk” is created and directed by Tartaglia and in addition to Royal Princess, will be rolled out on Island Princess for the 2018 summer Alaska season, and Diamond Princess in winter 2018, sailing year-round Japan. Additional creative team talent includes choreography by Shannon Lewis (“Fosse”), scenic design by Tony Award nominee Anna Louizos (“School of Rock”), costumes by Tony Award winner Clint Ramos (“Eclipsed”), and music direction from Brad Ellis (“Glee”).

Find more information, including the show trailer here.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, gallery

Queen Latifah named as Carnival Horizon’s Godmother

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 1 - 2018

Queen Latifah – Grammy award-winning musical artist, acclaimed television and film actress, label president, author and entrepreneur – has been named the godmother to Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Horizon.

Latifah will participate in the ship’s official naming ceremony as well as a special “Lip Sync Battle: Horizon” showcase that is part of the line’s authentic shipboard reproduction of the hit Paramount Network series.  The event will be held during an invitation-only overnight gala onboard Carnival Horizon in New York City on May 23, 2018.

Currently starring in the FOX series “STAR,” Latifah is an incredible talent earning an Oscar nomination, a Golden Globe nomination and a SAG Award nomination for her portrayal as Mama Morton in Chicago. She also received an Emmy nomination, a Golden Globe win and a SAG Award win for performances in both “Life Support” and “Bessie,” an HBO biopic on the legendary jazz artist Bessie Smith as well as accolades for her performance as the title character in NBC’s The Wiz Live!

The first hip-hop artist to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Latifah has earned six Grammy nominations and a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rap Performance.  Her production company, Flavor Unit Entertainment, has quickly grown to prominence, producing award-winning television shows, blockbuster hits and independent films for a variety of Hollywood studios.

”With her fun-loving spirit and positive, can-do attitude, Queen Latifah embodies our brand and knows how to ‘Choose Fun’ in everything she does,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Knowing that she is a long-time supporter of St. Jude and has performed and won ‘Lip Sync Battle’ made her the ideal candidate to serve as godmother to our newest ship,” she added.

”Carnival is an iconic American brand and it’s an honor to be named godmother of Carnival Horizon and take part in the event on May 23, honoring the special children of St. Jude – a cause that is very near and dear to my heart,” said Latifah.

The May 23 gala will recognize long-time Carnival partner St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with a check presentation from funds raised via various activities and events, both on board and ashore, leading up to the event. Additionally, Carnival will unveil special custom-designed artwork created by more than 30 St. Jude patients that will appear on the Carnival Horizon’s “Dreamscape,” a stunning three-deck-high LED sculpture that takes center stage in the ship’s atrium.

Following the event, Carnival Horizon begins her summer schedule from New York that runs through September followed by the launch year-round Caribbean cruises from Miami later that month.

As the line’s newest ship, Carnival Horizon will introduce a number of one-of-a-kind innovations, including Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse with BBQ favorites created by Food Network star Guy Fieri in addition to the first Dr. Seuss-themed water park, part of the line’s exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, and more.

A wide range of accommodations will also be offered, including spa cabins with exclusive privileges at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, extra-roomy staterooms in Family Harbor, and tropics-inspired Havana staterooms and suites with exclusive daytime access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool.

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com. Carnival also can be found on: FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

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

Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is readying an exceptional menu of dining options to delight guests of its newest ship, Seabourn Ovation. Scheduled to launch in May 2018, the fifth ultra-luxury vessel in the Seabourn fleet will set the table for world-class, award-winning dining with five restaurants, each in keeping with the high quality and inventiveness that has earned the line wide praise from culinary observers.

Seabourn’s world-class dining rivals the finest restaurants anywhere, and Seabourn Ovation will be no exception. The line’s skilled chefs prepare gourmet dishes using fresh, seasonal ingredients and take inspiration from regional flavors, including new artisan gelato. The highly talented culinary team are experts in offering dishes that are designed to satisfy a range of appetites. Whether indulging poolside, in the comfort of a private veranda or in a more formal setting, all dishes are carefully curated and plated with an artistic eye.

“Seabourn has continuously been recognized for the superb quality of our cuisine, and we will continue our leadership with the launch of Seabourn Ovation,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “As the ship spends its maiden season cruising the coasts and exploring the hidden gems of Northern Europe this summer, guests can look forward to a wonderful culinary experience.”

With a selection of dishes inspired by Seabourn’s partnership with world-renowned, Michelin-starred Chef Thomas Keller served in venues across the ship, including The Grill by Thomas Keller, and the remarkable design of onboard restaurants by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, guests of Seabourn Ovation can look forward to the finest culinary experience on the high seas.
Here’s what’s on the menu for Seabourn Ovation:

• New Artisan Gelato – The ship will feature the line’s new milk- and fruit-based gelato, which will be made fresh daily and served across the vessel. Delivering a truly authentic product in both taste and texture, Seabourn’s talented chefs visited and trained at Carpigiani University in Bologna, Italy — widely recognized as the home of the leading gelato machine manufacturer in the industry – to perfect their knowledge of the history and techniques used for gelato making.

Guests can choose from a wide range of milk-based flavors, including Amarena Cherry, Amaretto, Dulce De Leche, Stracciatella, Sicilian Pistachio, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Bourbon Vanilla, and Cappuccino. The selection will also include fruit-based gelato flavors such as Blood Orange, Coconut, Kumquat, Mulberry, Wild Berry, Rhubarb, Yuzu, Black Currant, and Black Cherry. The gelato menu will also feature a local ingredient gelato as a “daily special” on voyages where the culinary team can procure the ingredients in select ports such as lemon when visiting the Amalfi Coast. Flavors will also include “no sugar added” gelato.

The new gelato program will launch in April on Seabourn Encore and be available fleetwide by early 2019.

• The Grill by Thomas Keller – Created via partnership with world-renowned American chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller, The Grill serves a timeless menu with updated versions of iconic dishes in an ambiance inspired by the classic ’50s and ’60s American restaurant. Seabourn chefs trained by Chef Keller’s team create a dining experience like no other at sea, with memorable delights such as tableside prepared Classic Caesar Salad; Lobster Thermidor; Medallions of Elysian Fields Farm Lamb; and Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart. The wine list, personally curated by Chef Keller to complement each dish, runs more than 90 domestic and old-world labels, including many rare offerings. Advanced reservations are required for The Grill.

• Sushi – Sleek and unique with an identity all its own, Sushi is a standout destination for fresh, high-grade sushi created from the finest ingredients. Hot and cold offerings such as Salmon Tataki; Black King Fish Sashimi; and BBQ Eel Maki are available, and the sake menu features exceptional selections, many displayed against a lighted wall creating a work of art. Service is available through the day, including Bento boxes and select sushi features at lunch, with sushi chefs in action for all to see. This restaurant is only featured on Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation.

• The Restaurant – A fine-dining and open-seating gourmet experience, its extensive menus offer a wide variety of delectable choices and dishes prepared to order by the line’s expert culinary team. Choose an appetizer, an entrée (or vegetarian option), and a dessert with selections such as Black Truffle Risotto & Poached Egg; Char Broiled Iberico Pork Chop; Crisp Polenta and Mushroom Cake; and Hot Coconut Soufflé. On select nights, The Restaurant features a selection of dishes by Thomas Keller as well as favorites from Seabourn’s menu. The Restaurant also features an expansive premium wine selection showcased in an elegant glass wall.

• The Colonnade – This casual restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating is the spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared in open-kitchen style and offered via table service or lavish buffet. Look on as Seabourn chefs fashion an ever-changing array of regionally themed, bistro-style experiences such as Dungeness Crab Cakes; Roast Prime Rib of Beef; Potato & Beaufort Cheese Torte; and Baked New York Cheese Cake. Special theme nights feature Chef Keller-influenced family-style dinners that pay homage to his American childhood.

• The Patio – Relaxed, casual, and located right by the pool, The Patio offers luncheon buffets and a full dinner menu with salads, pastas, soups, and grilled specialties, plus freshly baked gourmet pizza. Don’t miss Chef Keller’s signature Napa Burger developed exclusively for Seabourn, or his artisanal Yountwurst hot-dog named for the hometown of The French Laundry, Ad Hoc, and the original Bouchon.

• In-Suite Dining – Seabourn Ovation offers an extensive menu of gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner items around the clock, including course by course dinner from The Restaurant, to be enjoyed in suite or on your private veranda.

• Cocktail Hour – Seabourn Ovation will feature seven lounges and bars with an accessible open-bar policy to ensure there is never a check to sign. Select venues also offer craft cocktails created exclusively for Seabourn by world-renowned mixologist Brian van Flandern. Every evening guests will find tapas served in the Observation Bar and a selection of canapes in The Club.

• Seabourn Square – The veritable heart of the ship, Seabourn Square offers freshly baked breakfast treats and afternoon snacks. The baristas onboard also roast coffee fresh each day and prepare a variety of coffee and tea selections.

• Afternoon Tea – Served daily in The Observation Bar, Afternoon Tea is welcome ritual for many guests and includes light bites such as scones and fresh baked cookies.
When dining with Seabourn, guests can come when they like, dine with whom they please, and be seated as they wish in most venues across the ship.

Seabourn will continue to reveal updates about Seabourn Ovation via the dedicated microsite: http://ovation.seabourn.com. Alive with imagery, details and news of the ship’s continuing progress, including “sunsets until launch,” the microsite offers an inside look at the excitement of the upcoming launch, with additional details, news and images revealed on an ongoing basis.

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.

Find Seabourn on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

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

For the next sixteen days follow my Twitter and Instagram feed from Holland America Line’s Noordam as she sails from Sydney to Auckland. Have a question?

Tweet me or post a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer as quickly as possible.

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