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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.

Cunard unveils 2020 voyage program: Oceans of Discovery, by Cunard

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 5 - 2018

Luxury cruise brand Cunard today unveiled its ‘Oceans of Discovery’ voyage program featuring sailings from November 2019 through April 2020. Flagship liner Queen Mary 2 along with Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will call at 123 destinations in 48 different countries, including 10 exciting maiden calls in Japan, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Whether it is a two-night short break or a full 113-night world voyage, the Cunard fleet will offer a blend of iconic, world-class cities along with smaller, lesser-known but equally charming destinations. Oceans of Discovery, by Cunard includes:

  • The World Voyage, by Cunard: Pioneering the concept of world cruising in 1922, Cunard has undertaken more world voyages and sent more ships around the globe than any other passenger line. In 2020, Queen Mary 2 will offer the only true World Voyage lasting between 99 and 113 nights.
  • Grand Voyages, by Cunard: These itineraries offer more days at sea with the luxury of time, and call on the world’s most iconic ports, creating unforgettable journeys.
  • Regions of the World, by Cunard: These carefully curated voyages showcase the most fascinating regions on earth, balancing the exploration of shore days with the serenity of time at sea.

“Cunard’s iconic three Queens will traverse the globe during our 2020 program,” said Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president, Cunard North America. “These carefully curated itineraries offer extended time in port so guests have more time to explore each destination, including many overnight stays featuring two full days of exploration in cities such as Cape Town, Auckland and Buenos Aires.”

Cunard World Club members will be able to book exclusively beginning on March 19, 2018, and booking will open for the public on March 20, 2018.

Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 will operate Cunard’s only World Voyage in 2020 and will undertake her classic East-West Voyage to Australia and Asia, including the Mediterranean, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Southern Africa. The World Cruise can be taken as a round-trip from either New York (113 nights) or London (99 nights). Shorter voyage options range in length from one-to-three weeks and can be combined in many ways allowing guests to create the ideal travel experience to the iconic cities of their choice.

The beginning of the voyage is routed via the Mediterranean Sea and Suez Canal to the Arabian Gulf and across the Indian Ocean, entering Asia via the Malacca Straits. From there Queen Mary 2 will head north via Vietnam to Hong Kong before heading south to Australia. The final leg of the voyage is the return to London from Australia, which is routed via South Africa. The voyage includes more overnight stays than in any of Queen Mary 2’s world voyages in the past 10 years.

Queen Mary 2’s 2020 deployment features:

  • The World Voyage, by Cunard
  • Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions of the World, by Cunard
  • 35 voyage combinations ranging from 7 to 113 nights
  • 38 ports in 26 countries
  • Overnight stays in Haifa, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, and a double overnight in Cape Town
  • Transits the Suez Canal
  • 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Queen Elizabeth

In December 2019 and the first half of 2020, Queen Elizabeth will offer a series of round-trip voyages from international ports with deeper, richer and more regionally-focused itineraries. In between these deployments will be exotic grand voyages that capture the imagination and spirit of adventure in travel lovers across the world.

Queen Elizabeth will operate six round-trip voyages from Melbourne and two from Sydney, covering the popular regions of South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand as well as a new itinerary that features the exotic paradise of Papua New Guinea with maiden calls in Conflict Island and Kiriwina. The ship will offer multiple sailings in Japan, making five maiden calls to Japanese ports in 2020.

 Queen Elizabeth’s 2020 deployment features:

  • Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions of the World, by Cunard.
  • 75 voyage combinations ranging from 2 to 49 nights
  • 67 ports in 21 countries
  • Overnight stays in Cape Town, Auckland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai
  • Scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, as well as Hubbard Glacier and the Inside Passage
  • 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites 

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria’s winter deployment consists of a series of European departures in November and December 2019, followed by an exotic winter escape round-trip experience to South America that offers a mix of relaxation and exploration. The ship will offer longer stays in ports such as Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, as well as overnights in Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Callao for guests to immerse themselves in the beauty and vibrancy that South America has to offer. Stunning scenic cruising will include the Amazon River, the Magellan Straits, Cape Horn, the Chilean Fjords and the Panama Canal.

Queen Victoria’s 2020 deployment features:

  • Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions of the World, by Cunard
  • 23 voyage combinations ranging from 2 to 82 nights
  • 41 ports in 20 countries
  • Overnight stays in Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Callao
  • Scenic cruising in the Amazon River, Panama Canal, Magellan Straits, around Cape Horn and the Chilean Fjords
  • 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

World Voyage Benefits

Those booking the Queen Mary 2 World Voyage from New York or Southampton (departing Jan 3 and 10 respectively), or the Queen Victoria South America Voyage from Hamburg, Southampton or Fort Lauderdale (departing Jan 2, 10, and 21 respectively), will receive the following benefits:

  • Welcome on board reception
  • Services of a World Voyage Concierge and use of private lounge
  • Unique commemorative gift
  • World Voyage cocktail parties
  • Shoreside Gala Dinner / Cocktail Party
  • Daily gratuities

Early Booking World Voyage Benefits

Guests traveling on a Full World Voyage receive a variety of exclusive benefits in addition to Cunard’s standard of quality and aim for perfection on every voyage. Full World bookings made by November 30, 2018 will receive the following:

  • Reduced Deposit
  • Onboard Credit of up to $3,000 per stateroom
  • Complimentary Captain’s Wine Reception (in Oceanview, Balcony and Grills Suites)
  • Alternative Dining Credit (in Oceanview, Balcony and Grill Suites)
  • Ground Transfers (in Oceanview and Balcony) and Upgraded Private Transfers (in Grill Suites)
  • Laundry Service (in Oceanview, Balcony and Grill Suites)

 New Grill Benefits

Guests booked in the Grills suite on voyages 7‐nights or longer will receive Free Gratuities and Free Drinks. Promotion may not combine with other offers. Promo Code: ZED

For full details and terms about Cunard’s 2020 Voyage Program, please visit http://www.cunard.com/cruise-types/winter-highlights/.

For more information about Cunard, or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Consultant, call Cunard Line at 1-800-728-6273 or visit www.cunard.com.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, News

Best buck you’ll spend in March – Norwegian offers $1 cruise deposits

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

Norwegian Cruise Line is offering guests another reason to explore new destinations around the world and book their next cruise vacation with $1 deposits. Now through March 5, guests will have five days to take advantage of $1 deposits when they book a new cruise with Norwegian in a studio inside, oceanview, balcony or mini-suite category stateroom. This limited time offer is available fleet wide, providing guests the freedom and flexibility to design their perfect cruise getaway. This is offer may also be combined with other incredible promotions available throughout the month of March.

• Norwegian’s popular Free at Sea promotion will be extended through March 19. This signature value-added offer provides guests who book a new three-day or longer sailing in an oceanview, balcony or mini-suite category stateroom with the opportunity to select their preference of two free choices from five spectacular onboard amenity offers†, including free unlimited open bar, $50 towards shore excursions in each port per stateroom, a free specialty dining package, 250 minutes of free WiFi, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer that allows the third and fourth guests to sail for free on many 2018 sail dates. Inside staterooms, as well as Norwegian’s Studio staterooms for solo travelers, can choose one free offer. Those who want to enjoy more luxurious amenities, can book a cruise in a suite or The Haven by Norwegian® and enjoy all five free amenities†, providing up to $2,700 in overall value to their cruise.

• Now through March 19, guests can book a new three, four or five-day Bahamas or Cuba cruise aboard Norwegian Sun or Norwegian Sky with free unlimited open bar and Norwegian’s Free at Sea All-Inclusive*. With this amazing offer, guests will choose from five onboard amenities including a $50 specialty dining credit, $50 towards shore excursions in each port, 100 minutes of complimentary Wi-Fi, a photo package with 10 free images, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer that allows the third and fourth guests to sail for free on select sailings.

• The beautiful state of Hawaii is a cruisers paradise and Pride of America is the only ship in the world that can sail an incredible seven-day inter-island itinerary roundtrip from Honolulu year-round. Guests looking to experience over 100 hours in port time and explore the wonders of four different islands can take advantage of Norwegian’s Free at Sea Hawaii offer, which has also been extended through March 19. Guests who book a new cruise vacation aboard Pride of America, have the freedom to choose from five offers†* to enrich 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 Friends & Family Sail Free, allowing the third and fourth guests in each stateroom to sail for free on many 2018 sail dates. Guests who book a suite aboard Pride of America can enjoy all five offers.

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.

Filled Under Blog, cruise sales, News

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.

In summer 2019, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries and to seven new ports in Europe, including a first-ever round-trip cruise from Rome and first-time visits to destinations in Sweden, France, Spain, Denmark and Northern Ireland. Disney Cruise Line takes guests on a grand tour of Europe with visits to the Mediterranean in early summer and northern Europe in late summer. Plus, adventures continue with sailings to Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas, including new cruise lengths aboard the Disney Fantasy.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, Destinations, News