Windstar launches 12 days of savings – save up to 78 percent!

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 12 - 2014

Windstar Cruises is counting down the holidays with the year’s most spectacular deals. From now until December 23rd, guests can save up to 78% on select voyages in Europe, Tahiti, Caribbean, and Asia, in addition to a bonus gift on the featured voyage of the day. Guests can sail for as low as $1,499 per person.

Today’s deal spotlights Classic Italy & the Dalmatian Coast, an eight-day voyage from Venice to Rome that stops at some of the most beautiful places on the Dalmatian coast, including Dubrovnik, Croatia; Capri, Italy; and Kotor, Montenegro.

No matter which voyage they choose, in 2015 all guests will experience Windstar’s new Private Events, a spectacular onshore event created exclusively for them. These complimentary events are crafted to give guests an in depth local experience on each cruise. Some examples include Messina: Tastes of Sicily, an interactive experience that samples wines and olives oils from the locally produced Vinicola Benanti; and Bora Bora, Dinner on Your Private Motu, a traditional Tahitian feast complete with fire dancers.

To learn more about the featured voyages and celebrate the 12 Days of Windstar, contact a travel professional, visit the website or call Windstar Cruises at 800.258.7245.

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Filled Under Blog, cruise sales, gallery

Oceania Cruises purchases Princess Cruises’ Ocean Princess

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 25 - 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announced a definitive agreement with Princess Cruises, Ltd. to purchase Ocean Princess for its newly acquired Oceania Cruises brand.  The 684-passenger ship joins Oceania Cruises’ trio of award-winning sister ships Insignia, Regatta and NauticaThe new addition will be named Sirena.

Upon delivery in March 2016, Sirena will immediately undergo a 35-day, $40 million refurbishment in Marseille, France to elevate the ship to the Oceania Cruises’ standard of elegance. Drawing on the recent transformation of Insignia as inspiration, the ship will feature Oceania Cruises’ renowned specialty dining restaurants, Toscana and Polo Grill, along with more recent additions to the fleet such as Baristas and the cook-to-order grill at Terrace Café.  The ship will welcome her first guests in late April 2016.

The addition of Sirena, along with the recently completed refurbishment of Insignia, Nautica and Regatta, demonstrates Oceania Cruises’ unwavering commitment to mid-size ships and destination orientated cruising.  With Sirena, Oceania Cruises will expand the number and diversity of destination-rich itineraries offered, appealing to both seasoned world travelers and passionate cruisers.

“The acquisition of Sirena provides measured capacity growth based on the proven platform of Oceania Cruises’ highly regarded mid-size ships,” said Kevin Sheehan, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, parent company of Oceania Cruises. “Our belief in the Oceania Cruises brand and our commitment to its growing base of loyal guests were the rationale behind our decision to bring Sirena into the fleet.”

“The addition of Sirena opens up an entire array of new itinerary options for Oceania Cruises as we think about our deployment strategy,” added Kunal S. Kamlani, president and chief operating officer of Oceania Cruises. “The award-winning guest experience delivered on our ships, coupled with a collection of innovative itineraries that cater to new markets, will combine for an alluring siren song for both our current and future guests.”

The inaugural season for Sirena will be released in late February 2015 with reservations opening on March 4, 2015.  For more information on Oceania Cruises, visit www.OceaniaCruises.com, call 855-OCEANIA or contact your travel professional.

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Filled Under Blog, cruisenews

Windstar offers ‘Best of the Tropics’ sale

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 24 - 2014

Starting today, Windstar Cruises is giving thanks with a Best of the Tropics Sale that features up to 73% savings on voyages to Caribbean, Tahiti, and Asia. Guests who book a cruise by December 12, 2014, will enjoy this year’s lowest fares on Windstar’s exotic itineraries departing December 2014 through September 2015. Voyages start at $1,449 per person.

All voyages in the Best of the Tropics Sale will feature Windstar’s new Private Events, a spectacular onshore experience created exclusively for Windstar guests. These complimentary events are crafted to give guests an in depth local experience on each cruise. Some examples include Hoi An: Dreams of Floating Lanterns, an interactive experience that showcases lion dances, lantern-making, and traditional Vietnamese music; and Bora Bora, Dinner on Your Private Motu, a traditional Tahitian feast complete with fire dancers.

For those looking to enjoy the pristine beaches, secluded coves, and trade winds of the Caribbean, Jewels of the Windward Islands is the perfect fit. Guests who dream of sailing Asia’s coastlines and exploring the exotic beauty, history, and cultures of these regions will love Southeast Asia Unveiled. No matter which voyage they choose, guests sailing with Windstar Cruises will always enjoy pampering without pretense, extraordinary destinations, and casual elegance on board what feels like their own private yacht.

To learn more about the featured voyages and take advantage of Windstar’s Best of the Tropics Sale, contact a travel professional, visit the website or call Windstar Cruises at 800-216-3453.

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

Filled Under Blog

Cunard Line is pleased to announce its “Mediterranean 3 For You” Sale offering Free Upgrades^ plus up to $300 On Board Credit# per stateroom and $150 Reduced Deposit.^^

WHEN: This offer is going on now through Tuesday, 16 December 2014.

WHAT: Passengers making new bookings on a selection of 57 voyages can soak up the timeless elegance and grandeur of Cunard by sailing along the Mediterranean on board the majestic Queen Victoria.

Selected voyages include a series of seven-day cruises departing from Rome, Venice, Athens, Trieste or Istanbul, and taking in the pearls of the Adriatic Sea, the romance and mystique of Italy, the Greek Isles and more.

Passengers can also embark on luxurious and relaxing 14-day cruises, each with at least one overnight call in Athens, Barcelona, Istanbul or Venice.

For the full Mediterranean immersion, adventurers can sign up for a 21-day cruise that begins in Rome, Venice, Athens, Trieste or Istanbul and sets sail to the Greek Isles, the Turkish Coast, the Adriatic Sea or the Black Sea, along with several other remarkable locales.

Enjoy your upgrade from Oceanview to Balcony, Balcony to Princess Grill or Princess Grill to Queens Grill on any of the select Mediterranean voyages – and upgrade your entire holiday!

Sample voyage options include the following:

 

NOTES:
^New Bookings only. Free Balcony Upgrade offer is based on reserving a Balcony stateroom category BF for the same fare as an Oceanview stateroom category FC. Princess Grill upgrade offer is based on reserving a Princess Grill stateroom category P2 for the same fare as a Balcony stateroom category BA. Queens Grill upgrade offer is based on reserving a Queens Grill stateroom category Q6 for the same fare as a Princess Grill stateroom category P1.  All upgrades are subject to availability.

#On Board Credit offer: Seven-day voyages receive $50 per stateroom ($25 per person) for Oceanview (FC) through Balcony (BF) staterooms, and $100 per stateroom ($50 per person) for Balcony (BA) staterooms through Grills Suites (P2-Q6). Fourteen-day voyages receive $100 per stateroom ($50 per person) for Oceanview (FC) through Balcony (BF) staterooms, and $200 per stateroom ($100 per person) for Balcony (BA) staterooms through Grills Suites (P2-Q6). Twenty-one-day voyages receive $150 per stateroom ($75 per person) for Oceanview (FC) through Balcony (BF) staterooms, and $300 per stateroom ($150 per person) for Balcony (BA) staterooms through Grills Suites (P2-Q6).  Offer only applies to voyages included in this promotion. A credit in the respective dollar amount will be posted to your stateroom account upon embarkation. All values quoted are per stateroom, based on double occupancy. Singles paying the single supplement will earn the equivalent of the per-stateroom On Board Credit. On Board Credit may be used on a single cruise only and expires at the end of that cruise.

^^Reduced Deposit refers to $150 per person deposit instead of the standard 25%  deposit and is required within three (3) days of reservation or sooner.  Bookings are subject to cancellation if deposit amount is not received within the specified option period.  Reduced Deposit is not combinable with other reduced deposit offers and does not apply to bookings made within final payment. Please reference promo code: RD1. This offer expires 16 December 2014.

*Fares apply to minimum lead-in categories on a space available basis at time of reservations. Fares for other categories not shown may vary. Fares are per person, do not include air travel, are cruise only, based on double occupancy and apply to the first two passengers in a stateroom. These fares do not apply to singles or third/fourth berth passengers. Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses ranging from $75 to $265 per person are additional and subject to change. This offer is capacity controlled, subject to change, and may not be combinable with any other public, group or past passenger discount. Offer is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older. Fares quoted in U.S. dollars. Please refer to the applicable Cunard brochure or Cunard.com for terms, conditions and definitions that apply to all reservations. Ask about our applicable air add-on-programme.

To view this offer and any restrictions applying to Free Upgrades, On Board Credit and Reduced Deposit, please click here.

For more information about Queen Mary 2 or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Agent, call Cunard Line at 1-800-728-6273 or visit www.cunard.com.

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Cunard launches ‘Flagship Collection’ for World Cruise passengers

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On October - 1 - 2014

Hot on the heels of announcing its full 120- or 121-day World Cruises in 2016, Cunard Line announced details of some of the shorter worldwide cruises available and announces its new “Flagship Collection” of premium hotel stays which can be combined with these departures to make compelling cruise and stay holidays.

Shorter Worldwide Cruise Options
Segment voyages of the full World Cruises enable passengers to create shorter holiday options that take in key destinations of interest.

“While a full World Voyage remains one of life’s greatest journeys, a shorter segment of one of those voyages can offer a fascinating, concentrated insight into different cultures and destinations in just a few weeks away from home,” said David Dingle, chairman of Cunard Line.

Sydney to Singapore – Queen Mary 2
The segment aboard Queen Mary 2 from Sydney to Singapore takes the form of a 27-day voyage on the biggest ocean liner to sail the world. Queen Mary 2 departs Sydney on 11 March 2016 and calls at Brisbane, Yorkeys Knob (Cairns), Kota Kinabalu, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Halong Bay (for Hanoi), Laem Chabang (for Bangkok) and Sihanoukville (Cambodia) before arriving in Singapore on 7 April. Fares start from $4,599 per person.

Dubai to Southampton – Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth’s 23-day Dubai to Southampton voyage (17 April – 10 May 2016) calls at Salalah (Oman), Aqaba (for Petra, Jordan), Sharm El Sheikh, Suez Canal transit, Istanbul, Athens, Valletta (Malta) and Valencia before arriving back in the UK. Fares start at $4,048 per person, while balcony cabins have fares from $6,598 per person.

Cape Town to Southampton – Queen Victoria
Experience the traditional liner run from Cape Town to Southampton on Queen Victoria with her 18-day (22 April – 10 May 2016) voyage, which takes in Walvis Bay (Namibia), St Helena, Ascension Island, St Vincent (Cape Verde islands), Tenerife and Madeira before arriving back in the UK. Fares start at $3,149 per person, while balcony cabins have fares from $5,199 per person.

“Flagship Collection” Premium Hotel Stay Options
The new “Flagship Collection” offers a premium selection of pre- and post- hotel stays enhanced with special benefits, and features properties in Cape Town, Dubai, Fort Lauderdale, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Sydney.

Dingle stated, “Our new Flagship Collection enables our valued World Cruise passengers to enrich their Cunard experience still further by booking one of these packages. All the hotels in the collection have been carefully selected for their exceptional standards and premium service levels and include added extras such as spa treatment savings, restaurant enhancements and upgraded rooms.”

As an example, Queen Elizabeth’s 18-day Hong Kong to Dubai (30 March – 17 April 2016) segment could be extended after disembarking with a one-night stay in Dubai at the Peninsula (for $580 per person including Harbour View room, 10% off spa treatments and 10% off at all food and drink outlets) or Sofitel The Palm (the first night for $590 per person including luxury Sea View room, complimentary dinner for two in any of their seven restaurants and complimentary access to the spa). The voyage on Queen Elizabeth from Hong Kong calls at Nha Trang, Singapore (overnight), Penang, Phuket, Chennai (India), and Cochin before Dubai. Fares start at $3,148 per person, while balcony cabins have fares from $5,198 per person.

The various “Flagship Collection” options available are detailed as follows:

For more information about Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth and to book a voyage, contact your Travel Agent, call Cunard toll free 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

Freestyle merging – Norwegian acquires Oceania and Regent Seven Seas

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On September - 2 - 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announced this morning that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Prestige Cruises International, Inc., the market leader in the upscale cruise segment and parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, in cash and stock for a total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion, including the assumption of debt.

“The acquisition of Prestige represents an extraordinary opportunity for Norwegian Cruise Line to expand our market presence by adding two established, award-winning brands in the upscale cruise segment with loyal followings,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Not only does this acquisition immediately enhance our financial performance, but it also deepens the bench of talent that we have been developing over the years.  Our complementary strengths and skillsets will pave the way for new cross-selling opportunities, cross-brand collaboration, cross-business support, as well as joint partnerships which, coupled with meaningful synergies that can be quickly implemented, will provide solid accretion to earnings per share and drive long-term shareholder value,” added Sheehan.

“We are excited to become part of the Norwegian family and start a new chapter for our company,” said Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige. “With Oceania and Regent, we have built iconic brands with distinctive product offerings and strong customer loyalty. The combination is very compelling and will allow us to further enhance our renowned guest experience.  We are looking forward to joining the Norwegian team and building upon the success that our three brands have already achieved.”

Prestige operates eight ships and approximately 6,500 berths under two segment-leading brands.  Oceania Cruises is the market leader in the upper-premium cruise segment with five ships offering destination-oriented cruise vacations to more than 330 ports around the globe, gourmet culinary experiences, elegant accommodations and personalized service.  Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the market leader in the luxury cruise segment and operates three award-winning, all-suite ships, with an additional ship on order for delivery in summer 2016. Regent offers the industry’s most inclusive luxury vacation experience visiting over 250 destinations worldwide.  Frank Del Rio will remain chief executive officer of Prestige.

“The combination of three distinct brands, each serving a different market segment, under one umbrella immediately creates an industry-leading cruise operator with an unmatched growth trajectory and a portfolio of products that allows us to appeal to guests at every stage of their life cycle,” added Sheehan.  “We are fully committed to retaining the brand propositions, guest experiences and cultures of the Norwegian, Oceania and Regent brands that have allowed each to realize such success.”

Transaction Rationale

The compelling rationale to acquire Prestige includes:

  •  The diversification of cruise market segments by adding upper premium and luxury brands;
  • The further enhancement of industry-leading financial metrics;
  • Opportunities for synergies and the sharing of best practices among brands;
  • An increase in economies of scale providing greater operational leverage;
  • The expansion of growth trajectory and global footprint; and
  • The opportunity to complement Norwegian’s new build program with the existing Regent order that provides measured, orderly capacity growth through 2019.

Transaction Details

The total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion includes the assumption of debt.  Additionally, a contingent cash consideration of up to $50 million to Prestige shareholders would be payable upon achievement of certain 2015 performance metrics.

In early July, Norwegian’s Board of Directors formed a Transaction Committee and delegated it full authority to negotiate and approve a transaction.  The Committee consisted entirely of disinterested directors.  Genting Hong Kong Limited and certain funds affiliated with TPG Capital, each of whose consent was required pursuant to Norwegian’s existing shareholders’ agreement have consented to the transaction.  The Transaction Committee, who retained its own financial and legal advisors, has unanimously approved the transaction.  The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Norwegian will finance the acquisition with existing cash, new and existing debt facilities and the issuance of approximately 20.3 million shares of its common stock.  Pursuant to the requirements of NASDAQ Rule 5635, holders of a majority of Norwegian’s common stock have consented to the issuance of such shares.

Barclays is acting as lead financial advisor to Norwegian, Deloitte Consulting, LLP is acting as diligence advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is providing legal counsel.  UBS Investment Bank is acting as financial advisor to Prestige and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is providing legal counsel.  Perella Weinberg Partners is acting as financial advisor to the Transaction Committee of the Norwegian Board of Directors and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is providing legal counsel.  J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Deutsche Bank are also serving as financial advisors to Norwegian.  Barclays, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Deutsche Bank have provided committed financing to Norwegian to support the acquisition.

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Filled Under Blog, News