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Holland America Line recently collected a trio of awards from Seatrade Europe, AFAR Media and Kreuzfahrt Traume that recognized the brand’s marketing initiatives, Alaska cruises and culinary excellence, respectively.

Holland America Line’s partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine won the 2017 Seatrade Cruise Award for Marketing Initiative of the Year; the AFAR Travelers’ Choice Cruise Awards recognized the line’s Alaska Cruises; and Rudi’s Sel De Mer was given the International German Cruise Award for Best New Restaurant Concept by German publication Kreuzfahrt Traume.

“We are always deeply honored when our brand is recognized for an initiative we worked tirelessly to develop or an experience that elevates who we are and what we deliver,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Thank you to the readers and decision-makers from Seatrade, AFAR and Kreuzfahrt Traume who awarded us with these three prestigious honors.”

Seatrade Europe Recognizes O, The Oprah Magazine Partnership
Holland America Line’s partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine earned the 2017 Seatrade Cruise Award for Marketing Initiative of the Year. The new award recognized the cruise line’s onboard programming that was designed to unite the soul-stirring power of travel with the magazine’s deep commitment to connection and personal growth.

Five special theme cruises feature exclusive programming developed with the magazine’s editors, along with guest motivational speakers and one very special cruise that Oprah Winfrey sailed on in July 2017. Additionally, more than 300 cruises sailing from North America through the remainder of 2017 and 2018 have a variety of inspiring and engaging activities that bring the magazine to life on board.

AFAR Audience Names Holland America Line’s Alaska Cruises Number-One
In the AFAR Travelers’ Choice Cruise Awards, Holland America Line earned top accolades for its Alaska cruises. This is the first year AFAR Media broke their esteemed awards into three categories: hotel, cruise and destinations. More than 130,000 votes were received in the cruise category alone, and Holland America came out as number-one in the Alaska Cruise Line category.

In 2017 Holland America Line celebrated its 70th year as a leader in Alaska exploration. The line’s award-winning Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys are the heart of the company’s global itineraries, and every itinerary is highlighted by scenic cruising of Alaska’s Inside Passage and one or more of Alaska’s famous glaciers and fjords.

Holland America Line’s 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.

Rudi’s Sel De Mer Wins Best New Restaurant Concept
German publication Kreuzfahrt Traume named Rudi’s Sel de Mer Best New Restaurant Concept at the International German Cruise Awards. First launched on ms Koningsdam as a stand-alone venue, Rudi’s Sel de Mer recently debuted as a pop-up in the Pinnacle Grill on several ships in the Holland America Line fleet, and will expand to the entire fleet next year. The specialty restaurant was created and named for the cruise line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, who conceived and developed the concept.

For Rudi’s Sel De Mer, Sodamin created Food Faces art for the exclusive show plates made by Bernardaud. Each plate portrays an image of a work of art crafted from food.

Rudi’s Sel de Mer is built around a menu of classic French Mediterranean dishes with a contemporary twist, featuring locally sourced seafood. The setting is an intimate brasserie with custom décor, plates, menus and uniforms reflecting the ambiance. Guests can indulge in a diverse selection of dishes over several courses that includes Rudi’s Seafood Tower, Bouillabaisse Marseillaise, Fruits de Mer, Duck Cassoulet, Soufflé au Fromage, Salt Crust Baked Branzino and desserts like Crêpes Suzette, Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Sauce and Rudi’s famed Souffle – a version of the Salzburger Nockerl.

For more information, contact a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit hollandamerica.com.

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

Filled Under Blog, cruisenews, News, What's New?

Silversea Cruises introduces Couture Collection for 2018

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On October - 10 - 2017

Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is introducing a new 2018 Couture Collection, an exclusive series of ocean and land adventures custom-designed for the world’s most discerning travelers. The inaugural 2018 Couture Collection is an inspired portfolio of nine pre- and post-cruise luxury land programs of five to 11 days, offering authentic and immersive travel experiences in the most remote and untouched regions of the Earth.

“Our guests are seasoned luxury travelers looking to discover the least accessible corners of our planet, where nature can still astound with its untouched beauty,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea’s Executive Chairman. “The Couture Collection reveals the most exotic places, cultures and people on carefully curated journeys that feature all the extraordinary touches of comfort and luxury for which Silversea is renowned.”

Silversea’s own experience architects, drawing on the best itinerary expertise and global knowledge, have custom-crafted each element of the 2018 Couture Collection down to the smallest details. Silversea’s experts designed the inaugural collection with inspiration from Silversea guests; a survey of North American travelers, 87 percent of whom are from the United States, explored guests’ “dream destinations” and most sought-after cultural experiences.

The pre- and post-cruise Couture Collection includes exclusive amenities ranging from private helicopter service in Mongolia to vintage rail in India and Gulfstream jets in and out of Antarctica. Prices average $34,000 per guest for each five- to eleven-day adventure, with the 11-day South Pole itinerary leading the collection starting at $78,000 per guest.

The Couture Collection programs are limited to small groups and include most meals, beverages and exclusive culinary events. Guests enjoy inclusive luxury accommodations at renowned boutique hotels, lodges and private tents specifically built for these experiences. Each bespoke adventure is fully escorted. Each program provides a perfect extension to select Silversea cruises, creating an unrivaled luxury travel experience, deeper on land.

Conrad Combrink, Vice President Strategic Development Expeditions and Experiences hand crafted each of these expeditions under the watchful eye of Silversea’s Executive Chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio.

Following is a snapshot of the all-new Couture Collection programs:

Rwanda & Serengeti: Walking in the Footsteps of Giants — Come face-to-face with the power and beauty that is Africa. Explore the lush rain forests of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park while looking for the majestic mountain gorilla in an exclusive 2 day trekking experience. Go on a game drive seeking the Big Five from a custom 4×4 in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site best known for its amazing annual migration of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras. Eight days from $19,959; departures on Nov. 20 or 27; combinable with Silver Discoverer expeditions departing on Nov. 16 or 27.

 White Desert & South Pole: Standing on the Bottom of the Earth — No place on Earth can compare to the vast white desert of Antarctica. Explore spectacular ice caves and tunnels. Climb a glacial island. Photograph a remarkable colony of emperor penguins at Atka Bay. Follow in the footsteps of Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott and be among the privileged few who have reached the South Pole. Enjoy the comforts and luxury of a stay at Whichaway Camp. Fly in and out of Antarctica on a Gulfstream business jet. Eleven Days from $78,000; departure on Jan. 2; combinable with Silver Spirit’s Dec. 18, 2017 voyage.

 Namibia & Rovos Rail — Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Namibia Desert at the award-winning Little Kulala Camp in the Kulala Wilderness Reserve. Go flightseeing over the Skeleton Coast. Marvel at Sesriem Canyon. Float above enchanting desert landscapes in a hot-air balloon. From Pretoria to Cape Town, journey in luxury aboard the iconic Rovos Rail, known as The Most Luxurious Train in the World. Savor the South African scenery from a carefully restored carriage that evokes the charms of a bygone era. Six days from $11,299; departures on Jan. 8 or Mar. 14; combinable with cruises on Silver Spirit (Jan. 15) or Silver Cloud (Mar. 21).

 India: In the Path of Powerful Titans — Enjoy the luxury of private flights throughout India. Track tigers in Ranthambore wildlife reserve. Journey by vintage rail to the magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, where an elegant dinner includes stunning views of Mehrangarh, an impressive centuries-old fort. Witness the charms of the ancient city of Jaisalmer from the comfort of The Serai luxury camp. Explore majestic desert dunes on a jeep or camel safari, then sample delicacies at an elegant bush dinner. Six days from $32,799; departure on Oct. 23; combinable with Silver Muse’s Oct. 8 cruise.

 Australia: Exploring the Unforgiving and Unforgettable Outback — Enjoy private air travel to and from Darwin to experience an authentic outback adventure at the Bullo River Station, a cattle ranch tucked in the northwest corner of Australia’s Northern Territory. Explore Aboriginal rock art galleries. Cruise up the spectacular Bullo River Gorge. Discover the amazing landscape of the Bungle Bungle Range. Swim in the jade-green natural rock pools of the Cascades. Five days from $19,919; departures on Jul. 23 or 29; combinable with Silver Discoverer expeditions departing on Jul. 19 or 29.

 Iceland: Revealing the Legends of Fire and Ice — From thermal springs to glaciers, Iceland is a land of remarkable contrasts. Enjoy private helicopter travel to explore its most amazing wonders. Sip a champagne toast at the famous Godafoss Waterfall. During at stay at Deplar, a sheep farm turned luxury lodge, go kayaking, mountain biking, whale watching and more. Visit the bird-watching wonderland of Drangey Island. Lunch atop a glacier-capped volcano. Enter a man-made ice tunnel at Langjokull Glacier. Five days from $45,199; departures on Aug. 2 or 8; combinable with Silver Cloud expeditions departing on Jul. 27 or Aug. 8.

 Tibet: Standing on the Rooftop of the World — Discover some of the most amazing and isolated places on Earth. Observe morning prayers at a Buddhist nunnery. Visit Jokhang Temple, considered the holiest temple in Tibetan Buddhism. Witness a lively debate among monks at Sera Monastery. Unwind with a meditation class led by a monk. Picnic amid the stunning beauty of Yamdrok Yumtso Lake. Stroll through Norbulingka, the splendid former summer palace of the Dalai Lama. See the gigantic gilded statue of Maitreya Buddha at Tashilhunpo Monastery. Five days from $12,499; departures on Oct. 7 or 14; combinable with a Silver Shadow cruise departing Sep. 28 or Oct. 14.

 Mongolia: Echoes of Genghis Khan — Visit with one of the last remaining groups of reindeer herders, the Tsaatan community of Northern Mongolia. Marvel at the beauty of Lake Khuvsgul. Learn about the culture of the Kazakh people and witness their ancient tradition of hunting with golden eagles. At the Naadam Festival (Three Games of Men), observe an ancient spectacle of horse racing, archery and wrestling, valued as sports of strength, wisdom and courage. Six or seven days from $29,199; departures on May 2 or 10; combinable with a Silver Shadow cruise departing Apr. 25 or May 10.

 Bolivia: A Short Walk onto Another Universe — Stay at the bottom of ice-capped Sajama, Bolivia’s highest peak. Explore volcanoes, hot springs and 3,000-year-old plants. Visit Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, and stay in a unique luxury camp of geodesic dome tents. Discover the small village of Tahua, at the foot of the Tunupa Volcano, then hike to the cave of the Coquesa mummies and learn about their history. Relish stunning vistas on a drive through Los Flamencos nature reserve before indulging in the luxuries of the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and Spa. Eight or ten days from $24,499; departures on Oct. 17 or 26; combinable with Silver Cloud expeditions departing on Oct. 15 or 26.

Please visit www.silverseacouture.com for additional details on the 2018 Couture Collection.

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


Windstar Cruises tells you how to swill at sea

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On June - 30 - 2017

Let’s face it: Many guests who vacation on cruise lines like to lift a pint or have a drink or cocktail while escaping the rushing, worried world. But the days of bringing your own on board or stocking up in a foreign port have changed over the years, mostly for the safety of the guests themselves. Yes, people are still trying to get that vodka on by putting it in a mouthwash container and coloring it with blue food dye, but the cruise lines are onto that trick.

And while there are many myths and misperceptions about cruising in general, there are any number about drinking on a ship.

So while others may not want to talk about this, Windstar Cruises, which says that it’s “180 degrees from ordinary” will. And why not? It’s great customer / guest service. So we asked the person in the know, Peter Tobler, the new director of marine hotel operations for Windstar Cruises. With more than 30 years of experience managing beverage operations for brands like Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, as well as luxury lines Seabourn and Cunard, Peter shared his words of wisdom. Here are Windstar’s/Peter’s tips for finding your sea legs:

  1. Order a Bottle/Save it For Later. On many cruise lines, you can order a bottle of wine at dinner, and if you don’t finish it, have the wine steward save it for another evening. Check with your cruise line for specific rules and fees, but this is a great way to save money for light drinkers, rather than purchasing everything by the glass.
  1. Plan on Throwing Back a Few? Invest in a Beverage Package. Beverage packages vary, so make sure you purchase one that fits your needs. At Windstar, for example, our packages are now available on a per-guest basis rather than a per-cabin basis (so if one person drinks and the other does not, you only pay for the one package). We also are adjusting our packages to accommodate those who just drink wine and those who would like a more comprehensive beverage option with liquor, beer, and wine. It’s all about options, so make sure your cruise’s beverage package matches your preferences and you’re not paying for what you don’t want to sip and savor.
  1. Buy the Beverage Package Before You Get on Board. As a rule, there is no savings gained by purchasing your beverage package once onboard. In fact, sometimes it can be cheaper or even included in a special cruise rate in advance. This is really about psychology. Throwing down $10,000 to book your vacation? It’s not that big a deal to add an extra $300 to your bill for the beverage package and just be done with it. If you wait and purchase the beverage package months (or even years) later when you’re actually on your cruise, that $300 on its own suddenly seems like an unnecessary luxury. Do yourself a vacation favor and just buy it early and enjoy.
  1. Bring Your Own. A lot of cruisers don’t know you can bring a certain amount of alcohol onboard (during the first day of your cruise only) and consume it in the dining room with a corkage fee – or in your room for free. At Windstar, you can bring aboard two bottles of wine or champagne (750ml) per cabin for a seven-day voyage or three bottles for an eight-or-more-day voyage. Check with your cruise line to figure out what is allowed, but don’t try to sneak extra booze onboard. (X-rays will catch you, and it’s embarrassing.)
  1. Consider a Themed Cruise. Really into wine? Consider a designated wine cruise. (There are beer- and tequila-themed cruises, too – options abound.) At Windstar, we have an incredible food- and wine-themed voyage through France, Spain, and Portugal, which includes a variety of expert-led wine tastings and an evening in a private chateau in Bordeaux included in the cruise price.
  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Buy Alcohol in Port, but Don’t Expect to Consume It on Board. I love visiting local wine shops and bringing home special souvenirs for friends and family. But all alcohol purchased at ports of call along your cruise route will be kept by the ship’s crew and delivered to your room the last evening of the voyage. You’ll just have to wait to pop the cork when you get home, and remember your journey with each glass.

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


Follow ExpertCruiser onboard Windstar Cruises Star Pride

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

For the next eight days follow my Twitter and Instagram feed from Windstar Cruises Star Pride as she sails from Lisbon to Barcelona. 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.


Norwegian Joy to feature Ferrari branded race track

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On April - 17 - 2017

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) today announced a partnership with Scuderia Ferrari Watches as a part of the entertainment and activities on board Norwegian Joy, its soon to-be-unveiled 3,850 passenger vessel. Norwegian Joy will be Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship for the Chinese market, designed to deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy ‘First Class at Sea’ experiences. Norwegian Joy will home port in Shanghai and Tianjin, following a grand inaugural port tour leading up to a christening ceremony on June 27, led by her Godfather, ‘King of Chinese Pop’ Wang Leehom.

The two-level Ferrari branded competitive racetrack will be located on the top deck of the ship, where guests may take a thrilling ride in electric go-carts. Up to ten drivers at a time will be able to race each other on the course and have photos taken at the finish line to share with friends and family back home. Guests of Norwegian Joy’s The Haven and Concierge class will enjoy a number of complimentary rides as part of the amenities and benefits of their suites and staterooms.

Ferrari represents fun, passion, and competitive spirit, and this partnership will bring the spirit of the brand to Norwegian Joy’s guests.  This is the first time Ferrari Watches has partnered on a branded go-kart track and Scuderia Ferrari Watches will be featured in a retail store adjacent to the racetrack.

Norwegian Joy will officially be delivered on April 27 in Bremerhaven, Germany. The ship will then set sail for China, where she will be showcased through a grand inaugural port tour featuring one-day events at the ports of Qingdao, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong, as well as VIP partner cruises from Norwegian Joy’s home-ports of Shanghai and Tianjin. This unique showcase tour will give travel agents and valued partners across the region the special opportunity to experience all that Norwegian Joy has to offer leading up to the ship’s christening ceremony on June 27, led by her Godfather, ‘King of Chinese Pop’, Wang Leehom.

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


Carnival and Long Beach start cruise terminal renovations

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

Carnival Cruise Line marked the beginning of a multimillion-dollar renovation of its Long Beach Cruise Terminal facility to accommodate larger ships and enhance terminal operations. A “FUNstruction” groundbreaking ceremony today included remarks by City of Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, President and CEO of Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau Steve Goodling and Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Strategic and Commercial Port Development Carlos Torres de Navarra among others.

Carnival unveiled its design plans for the terminal during the celebration. The renovation will increase the space Carnival currently occupies in the terminal facility from approximately 66,000 square feet to 142,000 square feet. The expansion and new design will allow for a dramatically enhanced passenger experience and operational flow within the terminal. In addition, the project includes the expansion of portside “cold-ironing” to enable larger ships to plug into the local electric grid to reduce exhaust emissions while docked. Further enhancements to the area surrounding the geodesic dome which houses the cruise terminal and the adjacent Queen Mary attraction are also planned.

“The start of construction on this project further cements our commitment to the City of Long Beach and the outstanding relationships we have built with the leaders and people of this community,” said Carnival’s Torres de Navarra. “Our operations bring tremendous economic benefit to this area and expose hundreds of thousands of people a year to this great city. These new terminal enhancements will further grow that positive impact,” he added.

Carnival has run the Long Beach Cruise Terminal — the United States’ only privately operated cruise terminal — since 2003. It is one of the busiest terminals in North America, with ships docking at the facility five days per week resulting in a more than 70% utilization rate. Carnival has used just a portion of the geodesic dome that housed Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” museum attraction for customs and guest check-in activities. The renovation will make 100 percent of the dome available for Carnival’s cruise operations.

“The expansion of the Carnival Cruise terminal is great news for Long Beach and great news for visitors to our city,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “The added capacity will bring more tourism and economic activity to Long Beach, and we’re pleased to continue working with Carnival for many years to come.”

Currently, Carnival operates three ships from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal — Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination, which offer three- and four-day Baja cruises, and Carnival Miracle which operates week-long Mexican Riviera voyages along with 14- and 15-day cruises to Hawaii and Alaska.  In 2018 when the larger Carnival Splendor replaces Carnival Miracle, the line will carry more than 700,000 guests annually from Southern California, operating nearly 250 three- to 14-day cruises a year.

In addition to marking the start of the renovation of the cruise terminal, Torres de Navarra announced a donation of $25,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for Education. The donation, made jointly by Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Foundation, is part of Carnival Corporation’s ongoing support for nonprofit educational and charitable organizations in the homeport communities where its brands operate.

To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, visit www.carnival.com. For reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL.

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

Filled Under Blog, News, What's New?