Jun 15

Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces Flexible Specialty Dining Packages

Norwegian is bringing even more freedom to specialty dining, as guests can now select from customizable dining packages

Miami   –    Jun 11, 2015   —   

Norwegian Cruise Line announced today the introduction of new Specialty Dining Packages that allow guests the freedom to savor an array of tastes and unique experiences at the line’s signature specialty restaurants and the flexibility to choose the number of nights they’d like to dine for one set price. Norwegian guests sailing fleetwide from August 7* and beyond can enjoy a Specialty Dining Package ranging from three days to the length of their entire cruise, with pricing starting at $59 per person** for a three-day package when purchased online prior to sailing, providing cruisers with an excellent value.

Guests who purchase a Norwegian Specialty Dining Package can opt to go medium-rare at Cagney’s, Norwegian’s signature steakhouse; make it al dente at a Norwegian’s La Cucina Italian restaurant; enjoy an evening of fine Parisian dining at Le Bistro; and experience fun and fare at Teppanyaki, Norwegian’s signature Japanese Hibachi restaurant.

With Freestyle Cruising and Norwegian’s new Specialty Dining Packages, guests have the freedom to choose how, where and when they’d like to dine. Guests can tailor their taste buds to their cruising schedule and discover a different specialty restaurant each night or find a favorite and dine there a few nights during their vacation. Guests on a seven-day cruise can choose from packages ranging from three to seven nights, to make the most of their vacation experience and at a savings from the restaurant’s individual cover charges.

Specialty Dining Packages are honored in all specialty steakhouses, Brazilian churrascarias, French, Japanese Hibachi and Italian restaurants. Norwegian guests who have purchased a Specialty Dining Package additionally have the flexibility to indulge in their heart’s desire in select à la carte priced restaurants and entertainment-based restaurants for a small upcharge*** including:

  • – Ocean Blue (Norwegian Getaway/ Norwegian Breakaway) – $15
  • – Cirque Dreams (Norwegian Breakaway/Norwegian Epic)- $10 general seats/$15 premium seats/$35 VIP seating on Norwegian Breakaway
  • – The Illusionarium – $10 general seats/$15 premium seats
  • – For the Record: Dear John Hughes (Norwegian Escape)- $15
  • – Bayamo (Norwegian Escape)- $10
  • – Pincho Tapas Bar (Norwegian Escape)- $7
  • – The Raw Bar (Norwegian Getaway/ Norwegian Breakaway) – $7
  • – Sushi Bar (fleetwide)-$7

Specialty Dining Packages can be pre-purchased prior to sailing for additional savings or onboard during the first two days of the voyage; the dining packages are exclusively sold on the first day of the voyage on three-day itineraries only. Norwegian guests who pre-purchase a Specialty Dining Package prior to sailing can reserve their dining reservations online within 90 days of their sail date or go Freestyle and decide when and where to dine once onboard. Specialty Dining Packages are purchased individually and guests traveling in the same stateroom do not need to purchase packages as a group.

 

Jun 15

Carnival Corporation Finalizes Contract with Meyer Werft to Build Four Next-Generation Cruise Ships

The four new cruise ships – part of a previously announced nine-ship strategic partnership for the world’s largest cruise company – will be the largest ever built based on guest capacity

The vessels will feature a revolutionary “green cruising” design as the first-ever cruise ships powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel

MIAMI, June 15, 2015 — Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest travel and leisure company, today announced it has signed a multi-billion dollar contract to build four next-generation cruise ships with the largest guest capacity in the world. The contract with Meyer Werft is part of larger previously announced strategic memo of understanding with leading shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Fincantieri S.p.A for nine new ship orders between 2019 and 2022.

The four new ships will also feature a revolutionary “green cruising” design. The ships will be the first in the cruise industry to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) — the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, representing a major environmental breakthrough.

The company said two of the ships will be manufactured for AIDA Cruises at Meyer Werft’s shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Additional information about the ships, including which new ships will be added to each brand, will be made available at a later date.

Based on Carnival Corporation’s innovative new ship design, each of the four next-generation ships will have a total capacity of 6,600 guests, feature more than 5,000 lower berths, exceed 180,000 gross tons and incorporate an extensive number of guest-friendly features. A major part of the innovative design involves making much more efficient use of the ship’s spaces, creating an enhanced onboard experience for guests.

Pioneering a new era in the use of sustainable fuels, the four new ships will be the first in the cruise industry to use LNG in dual-powered hybrid engines to power the ship both in port and on the open sea. LNG will be stored onboard and used to generate 100 percent power at sea – producing another industry-first innovation for Carnival Corporation and its brands. Using LNG to power the ships in port and at sea will eliminate emissions of soot particles and sulfur oxides.

In addition to the two ships being built in Germany, Meyer Werft – which had the capacity to accommodate these four ship-building orders in its production schedule — will also build the two additional ships detailed in today’s announcement at its shipyard in Turku, Finland. Each new ship will be specifically designed and developed for the brand and the guests it will serve, underscoring the company’s goal to consistently exceed guest expectations and provide first-time and repeat guests with the vacation experience of a lifetime on each and every cruise.

Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald said the contract is consistent with the company’s measured capacity growth strategy to replace ships with less efficient capacity with newer, larger and more fuel efficient vessels over time.

“We are looking forward to executing on the next step in our fleet enhancement plan,” said Donald. “At a cost per berth in line with our existing order book, these new ships will enhance the return profile of our fleet. These are exceptionally efficient ships with incredible cabins and public spaces featuring a design inspired by Micky Arison and Michael Thamm and developed by our new build teams.” Arison is chairman of the board of directors for Carnival Corporation & plc and Thamm is CEO of the Costa Group, which includes AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises.

Added Donald: “It will be exciting to see our shipbuilding team bring these new ships to life. Every step of the way, our focus is on designing state-of-the-art ships that provide a vacation experience our guests will love, and we are putting all of our creative energy and resources into making sure we achieve that goal.”

“These ships will expand our leadership position for the Costa Group, the market leader in all the major European markets,” said Thamm. “These will be spectacular ships designed specifically for our guests who sail on our Costa Group brands.”

Bernard Meyer, CEO of Meyer Werft, said: “In past years, we have built seven highly successful ships for AIDA Cruises. We are honored that Carnival Corporation has entrusted us with the implementation of this ambitious shipbuilding program, and we look forward to building these four magnificent ships.”

The new ship order will allow the Costa Group to continue to build on its leadership position in the European cruise market – a market in which five out of 10 cruise guests in 2014 sailed onboard a Costa Group ship. The Costa Group – along with Princess Cruise Lines, also part of the Carnival Corporation family — also occupies the leading position in the rapidly growing cruise market in China.

As part of each shipbuilding company’s long-term strategic partnership with Carnival Corporation, additional new ship orders are being explored over the coming decade.

Jun 10

Disney Cruise Line Returning to New York, Miami and Galveston in 2016

DCL_NYNEW YORK (May 18, 2015) – In the fall of 2016, Disney Cruise Line will return to New York for a limited time with sailings to the Bahamas that include a visit to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. New seven-night Caribbean cruises from Miami and a return to Galveston, Texas round out the season.

Bookings for the new itineraries open to the public on May 20, 2015. More details can be found on the Itineraries and Ports for 2016 page of disneycruise.com.

Return to New York

On Oct. 7, 2016, the Disney Magic will sail from New York on an eight-night Bahamian cruise that includes stops at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay; Nassau, Bahamas; and Port Canaveral, Florida, which is located just one hour from the Walt Disney World Resort.

On Oct. 15, 22 and 29, 2016, the Disney Magic will sail from New York on seven-night cruises that stop at Castaway Cay and Port Canaveral.

Adding to the magic on each of these Bahamian cruises will be the opportunity to visit the Walt Disney World Resort when the ship stops at nearby Port Canaveral. Each guest on these sailings will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation for the short trip between the ship and the resort.

On Oct. 2, 2016, the Disney Magic will sail from New York on a five-night cruise to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. In these charming Canadian ports, guests can soak in splendid natural vistas, explore historic sites, visit quaint cafes and shops, and browse Canada’s oldest farmer’s market.

New Seven-night Cruises from Miami

For the first time, Disney Cruise Line guests will be able to enjoy a season of seven-night voyages from Miami to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. On Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, 2016, the Disney Magic will sail from Miami to the Western Caribbean including Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Castaway Cay.

On Nov. 27 and Dec. 11, the Disney Magic will sail to the Eastern Caribbean including Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay. On Dec. 23, the Disney Magic will sail to Tortola, San Juan and Castaway Cay.

Additional Miami sailings include a four-night Bahamas cruise departing on Nov. 16, a five-night Bahamas cruise departing on Dec. 18, and a six-night Western Caribbean cruise departing on Dec. 30, 2016. Each sailing will include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Return to Galveston

In late 2016, Disney Cruise Line returns to Texas with a line up of seven-night itineraries, including Bahamian sailings that stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. On Nov. 18, Nov. 25, Dec. 9, Dec. 23 and Dec. 30, 2016, the Disney Wonder will sail on a seven-night Bahamian itinerary from Galveston to Key West, Castaway Cay and Nassau.

On Dec. 2, the Disney Wonder will sail on a seven-night Caribbean itinerary from Galveston to Falmouth, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. On Dec. 16, the Disney Wonder will sail from Galveston on a seven-night cruise to Cozumel, Costa Maya and Grand Cayman. Two four-night sailings to Cozumel on Nov. 10 and Nov. 14, round up the sailings from Galveston.

Most of the late 2016 cruises include either Halloween or winter-holiday events that bring special entertainment, activities and décor to the Disney Cruise Line ships.

– See more at: http://dclnews.com/2015/05/18/disney-cruise-line-returning-to-new-york-miami-and-galveston-in-2016/#sthash.tOpofnul.dpuf

Jun 10

Star Wars play area and Disney Infinity interactive adventures coming to youth spaces as part of October 2015 dry dock

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CELEBRATION, Fla. (April 21, 2015) – Exciting new experiences await Disney Dream guests after spaces throughout the Disney Cruise Line vessel are transformed this fall. Headlining the enhancements are two new interactive youth areas, one themed to Star Wars and another to Disney Infinity. Also a whimsical sweet shop serving handmade gelato and the ever-popular Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will debut after the Disney Dream undergoes dry dock Oct. 4-24, 2015, in Freeport, Bahamas.

Here is a glimpse at what is in store for guests of all ages:

Star Wars Area Brings Force-filled Fun for Children

A newly themed area in Disney’s Oceaneer Club, open to ages three to 12, will delight children with an out-of-this-galaxy experience inspired by the Star Wars saga.

Kids will be transported to a far away galaxy at Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, a Force-filled play area inspired by the spacecraft from the legendary saga. Upon entering the spaceship, younglings will join the Rebel Alliance in the epic battle of good versus evil by assisting with the navigation of this powerful space vehicle. Sitting in the cockpit, children can pilot this super-cool spaceship through hyperspace and trigger lightspeed jumps to different locations around the galaxy.

In Millennium Falcon, children can express their creativity through Star Wars-themed crafts, games and activities. They can also watch episodes from the new Disney XD animated series, “Star Wars Rebels,” on a large screen or virtually join the rebellion at gaming stations featuring the series’ action-packed adventures.

The excitement continues during a shipboard version of the popular Jedi Training Academy experience that invites young Jedi hopefuls – known as “Padawans” – to learn lightsaber moves from a Jedi Master. They can then use the Force and face off in a final test against the evil Darth Vader.

High-Tech Disney Infinity Space Adds Adventure for Kids

Also in the Oceaneer Club, a high-tech interactive space based on the Disney Infinity video game offers more fun for kids.

In the Disney Infinity Toy Box area, children can experience a whole new way of playing together with exciting virtual experiences and immersive activities. Customized, on-screen adventures will bring to life characters and stories from across The Walt Disney Company.

The complete set of Disney Infinity character figures will be on display for creative inspiration and available for gameplay. Kids visiting this special room – found only on the Disney Dream – will be able to unlock exclusive Disney Cruise Line content that they can continue to enjoy when playing Disney Infinity at home.

Special activities will bring the virtual gameplay experience to life in the real world. For example, a life-sized Disney Infinity Base sets the stage where children take the place of character figures for a group gaming experience unlike any other. Lighting up in response to gameplay on a large screen, this interactive floor will allow kids to be immersed in the Toy Box.

Vanellopes-Sweets-Treats-640x420

Specialty Sweet Shop for Families

Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats will satisfy the sweet tooth of cruisers of all ages, with handmade gelato and ice cream, an assortment of candy, and delectable novelty treats for purchase. New to Deck 11, the smell of freshly baked waffle cones and candy will linger from the specialty store’s two entrances, inside Cabana’s restaurant and outside by the pool deck.

Resembling the whimsical candy land of the Sugar Rush race car game in “Wreck-It Ralph,” the sweet shop’s décor features nods to the film, including a race track and checkerboard patterned floor, gas pump-style gumball dispensers, Vanellope’s race car and King Candy’s throne.

Magical Makeover Salon for Princesses and Pirates

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, coming to Deck 5 midship, will bring to life the storybook fantasies of young guests with pixie-dusted and piratical makeovers. This very special salon will offer aspiring princesses and knights ages three to 12 the chance to transform into royalty with the help of a fairy godmother-in-training. On pirate party night this boutique becomes The Pirates League where swashbuckling pirates of all ages will have the opportunity to unleash their inner buccaneer.

Cool and Comfortable Retreat for Adults

Exclusively for adults, Deck 13 forward will include a new water feature, Satellite Falls, a circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain that provides cool comfort. Around this upper deck, adult guests can soak up the sun in loungers or relax in the shade under a canopy.

This wave of enhancements to the Disney Dream debuts on the Oct. 26 four-night voyage from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. The Disney Dream will continue to sail three- and four-night cruises from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas throughout 2015 and into 2016

– See more at: http://dclnews.com/2015/04/21/disney-cruise-line-dreams-a-little-bigger-with-enhancements-to-the-disney-dream-this-fall/#sthash.EjmRqSEr.dpuf

Video

NEW ADVENTURES ON ANTHEM OF THE SEAS: CHEF DEVIN ALEXANDER GETS ACTIVE WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN

Jun 10

ALLURE OF THE SEAS DEBUTS IN EUROPE WITH NEW VACATION EXPERIENCES AND RETAIL AFTER EXTENSIVE DRYDOCK REVITALIZATION

MIAMI, May 21, 2015 – Gliding on an 82-foot zip line; scaling a 43-foot rock-climbing wall; or sprawling out 136 feet above the sea in a cantilevered whirlpool, Allure of the Seas’ guests will enjoy unique, bird’s-eye views as they sail into some of Europe’s most captivating cities. And having just emerged from an 18-day drydock revitalization, Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seasis even better than ever. The ship that helped redefine cruise vacationing in the Caribbean, is delivering Europe’s must-see cities – such as Barcelona, Marseilles, Pisa and Rome – with a host of new restaurants, suites and staterooms, and name-brand boutiques that combine into an unmatched Europe adventure for the whole family.

New Dining Adventures

With 18 distinct restaurants, Allure of the Seas amps up the flavor with a host of new onboard culinary experiences:

  • Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, a reimagined Izumi Japanese Cuisine, offering a full teppanyaki menu, as well as fresh and flavorful sushi rolls and sashimi;
  • Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar, featuring a mouthwatering menu of authentic, modern and unexpected Mexican dishes, including hand-made tableside guacamole. These dishes can be complemented by a curated beverage menu of tequilas, mezcal, and Mexican beers, as well as delicious sangrias and tableside-mixed margaritas;
  • Coastal Kitchen, an exclusive restaurant for suite guests and Pinnacle members, fuses Mediterranean influences with the unmatched riches of California’s bountiful farmlands. The experience is complemented by a robust wine list, curated specifically for the venue

And, guests onboard Allure of the Seas will continue to enjoy Giovanni’s Table, 150 Central Park and Vintage Wine Bar, among all the popular specialty restaurants introduced on the Oasis class.

New Exclusive Suite Experiences

Royal Caribbean is introducing 10 new suites onboard Allure of the Seas. These suites offer breathtaking views of the ocean or the ship’s signature AquaTheater and Boardwalk neighborhood and include two Royal Suites, six Grand Suites and two Royal Family Suites. These suites offer a new level of sophistication when paired with the variety of new exclusive suite amenities that include aSuite Lounge, an exclusive lounge area for suite guests to relax offering unmatched expansive views of the ship and sea; the Sun Deck, a new sun deck area that gives suites guests the chance to soak-up and relax in the Caribbean sun with lounge furniture, shaded and seating areas and private service; as well as Coastal Kitchen the suites only full-service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Superior Onboard Shopping

In addition, Allure of the Seas’ guests can shop till they drop with new and exciting onboard boutiques kate spade new york andMichael Kors, in addition to the guest-favorite Coach fine leathers boutique. Guests also have a wide selection of fine jewelry and luxury timepieces in the new Regalia in the Park, Royal Caribbean’s signature duty-free boutique set in the ship’s Central Park neighborhood.

Through October 2015, Allure of the Seas will be homeported at Barcelona, Spain, for the first full Oasis-class Europe season. In November 2015, Allure of the Seas will return to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., alternating seven-night Western and Eastern Caribbean itineraries every Sunday, visiting exciting warm-weather getaways in the Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 45-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea.  The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike.

Jun 10

The Grass is Greener with Celebrity Cruises

As vacationers crave outdoor luxury for their summer getaways, Celebrity Cruises has unveiled the “Grass is Greener,” a campaign rooted in highlighting ways in which Celebrity’s upscale cruises are unmatched. The campaign highlights the modern luxury brand’s most iconic, compelling attributes. The most unique of these — the Lawn Club, a half-acre of real grass — is the backdrop for the message that everything is better with Celebrity. This month, guests can order picnic experiences to enjoy on their private verandas and indulge in special onboard events, including jazz concerts at the onboard Lawn Clubs and evening parties, with more to come. Celebrity also has brought back its most popular offer, “123go!,” and president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo is spreading the word on a cross-country tour, surprising travel agents.

“When we say ‘the grass is greener with Celebrity Cruises,’ we mean that everything someone could want on their vacation is more authentic, more stylish, and more compelling with Celebrity,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Real grass growing on our top decks, private and spacious veranda staterooms, our Suite Class, and globally inspired cuisine – these are some of the reasons why the grass is greener with Celebrity. Through this campaign, we want to celebrate everything that makes Celebrity the ultimate modern luxury vacation, and tell that story to affluent travelers, their friends and families who are considering a cruise to any of the world’s seven continents.”

Guests can choose from two private veranda picnic experiences – for brunch or sunset. Curated by Celebrity’s new James Beard-featured chef, the picnic experience is the first of its kind for vacationers sailing with the premium cruise line, and will roll out across the fleet beginning in June, to be available on all ships* in July. Today, Celebrity has surprise Grass is Greener events in store for sailing guests, including evening celebrations, complete with entertainment, food and the new Grass is Greener cocktail – a summer-themed blend of cucumber juice, vodka, agave nectar, jalapeño, lemon juice and basil.

With one more reason to sail with Celebrity, guests may benefit from the return of 123go! if they book by July 5, 2015, for select cruises departing in August 2015 through April 2016, and choose one of three benefits: onboard credit of up to $300 per stateroom, free “Classic Beverage Packages” for two, or free gratuities for two. For full details about 123go!, visit celebritycruises.com/123go.

Visit celebritycruises.com/grassisgreener for more information, live coverage and Celebrity’s top 10 reasons why the grass is greener with Celebrity Cruises.

Guests are encouraged to share why the grass is greener with Celebrity on social media by using #GrassIsGreener and following the cruise line on Facebook,Twitter or Instagram.

Jun 10

Carnival Corporation Launches New Brand, Creates New Travel Category

fathom pioneers social impact travel on a scale the world has never seen, with a focus on transformative, holistic impact and long-term sustainable development
fathom travel experiences, including the maiden voyage from Miami to the Dominican Republic in April 2016, can be booked via travel agent or by phone at 1-855-9fathom or online at www.fathom.org

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, N.Y., June 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest travel and leisure company, today launched a new brand called fathom™, defining a new travel category it is calling “social impact travel,” that will offer consumers authentic, meaningful impact travel experiences to work alongside locals as they tackle community needs. What sets fathom apart is the long-term, systematic partnership approach with its partner countries paired with the unique business model that allows for sustained impact and lasting development. fathom’s scale and global vision reach beyond what the world has ever seen.

The company’s first destination will be the Dominican Republic, a country known for its spectacular beauty but also a country where the average household income is approximately $6,000 USD a year and more than two million Dominicans do not have access to piped water.

fathom will operate as a standalone brand, the 10th global brand in the Carnival Corporation family.

Beginning in April 2016, fathom will embark on seven-day voyages from PortMiami aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger vessel redeployed fromCarnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises (UK) for the start-up of the new operation. Depending on their passions, interests and skills, travelers will have the opportunity to choose from a range of social impact activities and experiences both onboard and onshore.

Travel That Creates Enduring, Transformative Social Impact 

“fathom will cater to a growing market of consumers who want to have a positive impact on people’s lives, and aren’t always sure where to begin,” saidArnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We believe travel is a meaningful way to allow for personal growth while making purposeful and engaging contributions to the world. We are so pleased that fathom will give travelers a unique opportunity to work alongside local people as part of a larger scale effort that will demonstrably improve lives. Both our travelers and the local citizens will learn and benefit from the opportunity to serve together.”

Donald brought in a non-traditional, social entrepreneur, Tara Russell, Founder and Chairman of Create Common Good (www.createcommongood.org), a food production social enterprise, to lead this effort. Russell will serve as President of fathom and as Global Impact Lead for Carnival Corporation. Russell established and led the team that has been working on the design and business model for fathom since late 2013.

“We created fathom to meet the real hunger in the world for purpose, while at the same time tackling profound social issues through a sustainable business model,” said Russell. “We harness the assets and resources of the world’s largest travel and leisure company and combine them with the talents and hearts of those working in social enterprises around the world.

“Travelers will work in partnership with proven, trusted local organizations on the ground to amplify their missions for far greater, sustained impact,” Russell said. “Because fathom will bring hundreds of travelers to a destination on a regular basis, fathom can achieve focused and holistic, collaborative contributions in a broad region of the country – allowing fathom travelers to make a collective, transformative impact that they know will extend far beyond their involvement. They also will know they played an important role in ensuring the region flourishes. We are excited about making the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic our first partner destination, and we are optimistic about taking all that is being built in and throughfathom to other global destinations and to the broader Carnival corporate family.”

According to Russell, the fathom team took an innovative design-thinking approach to deeply understanding both its travelers, as well as the needs identified by stakeholders across all parts of society in the Dominican Republic, and will continue to leverage the unique approach.

fathom will mobilize, educate and equip up to 700 travelers on every trip allowing for thousands of impact activity days per week – and tens of thousands of travelers a year to communities of promise, providing unprecedented scale for impact,” said Russell. “fathom has been built differently, having worked carefully to ensure any and all efforts fathom travelers engage with are authentically impactful, scalable and sustainable. fathom’s scale allows the opportunity to continuously innovate in the social impact space, while achieving holistic, transformational societal contributions that will help a broad region flourish.”

Based on extensive market research, fathom has identified a sizable and growing market of potential social impact travel consumers – approximately one million North Americans who are strongly predisposed, in addition to global travelers already pursuing service-oriented travel experiences worldwide – who will be interested in this type of travel offering.

In addition, the company believes fathom will attract a significant number of travelers who have never before cruised. According to research, nearly 40 percent of the individuals who will book a social impact trip on fathom might otherwise never have chosen to cruise.

According to Russell, fathom will attract people of all ages and from all walks of life, but especially North American, U.K. and Australian citizens ages 20 to 60 years old who are eager to discover their individual gifts, and unleash their personal passions and talents to improve the world. The company expects to be particularly popular among:

  • Millennials – people in their 20s and 30s looking to make a difference in the world;
  • Parents seeking a way to open their children’s eyes to other parts of the world in a meaningful way (approximately half of travelers are expected to be families); and
  • Adults 50+ years of age eager to find rewarding ways to help other people apart from writing a check.

“During the past 10 years, in countless conversations I have had with people eager to serve others and make meaningful societal contributions, there has been a common theme – people struggle to know where they fit in and often people have challenges finding trusted, easy ways to make a difference,” said Russell. “fathom exists to address this desire and to create enduring, life-changing impact, both in the communities where fathomoperates, and in the lives of the travelers who embark on one of our journeys, allowing for unique impact experiences before, during and after the trip.”

Dominican Republic identified as fathom’s first social impact partner destination

The new brand selected the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic as its first impact destination based on a number of factors: genuine needs, infrastructure to support social initiatives, enthusiasm for the fathom concept by locals at all layers of society including country officials, its location (proximity to Miami and Amber Cove, the new Dominican destination being launched by Carnival Corporation in October 2015), its innate beauty. Thefathom team worked closely with local Dominicans, resident Dominican business and educational leaders, Dominican government officials and leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the country to fully understand the societal needs and determine the best way for fathom to participate in addressing those needs.

fathom has initially identified two lead impact partners in the Dominican Republic – Entrena and the Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral, Inc.(IDDI). Both organizations have deep roots in the country, including long-established programs and strong social connections in the northern Dominican region. fathom travelers will work alongside these organizations across the northern region to help Entrena and IDDI programs achieve much greater impact. Because fathom will regularly transport hundreds of travelers to the country, the support will be significant and sustainable – fathom travelers will make long-lasting contributions to the community.

A portion of every ticket purchase price will go directly to fathom partner organizations to cover on-the-ground activities in the Dominican Republic, including supplies, travel, personnel to assist with the activities and funding to support the partner organizations’ overall missions. This sustained partnership between fathom and its impact partners allows these organizations to have predictable revenue streams to even further amplify their missions.

“Having led the Dominican based non-profit IDDI, for more than 31 years, I have worked with a very large number of corporations ranging from energy, sugar, chocolate and cigar producers, as well as tourism and free-trade zone companies,” said David Luther, founder and executive director of IDDI, a non-profit organization with the mission to help alleviate poverty in rural and urban areas of the Dominican Republic. “I have always insisted on a horizontal relationship based on a win-win partnership, but on many occasions it has taken a great deal of convincing on our part for these to understand the benefits to the private sector of improving the overall well-being of Dominican society.

fathom and Carnival Corporation are without a doubt the exception. They are making a strategic bet on contributing to the development of theDominican Republic incorporating this initiative into their business plan, which is to me a remarkable step for a corporation of their size. This is not just Corporate Social Responsibility, but a vision of bringing people together as a catalyst for change, be they passengers on a ship or members of low-income communities – very, very innovative. In this, fathom and Carnival Corporation are demonstrating they are willing and capable of creating experiences that transform lives.”

“Entrena is excited about and committed to the fathom concept of impact travel for the north coast of the Dominican Republic,” said John Seibel, founder and president, Entrena, an organization specializing in training, education, and social enterprise. “We believe this concept will enhance sustainable development efforts to foster widespread prosperity among these Dominican communities by improving lives, creating hope for the future, and providing profound and meaningful experiences for fathom and for all Carnival Corporation passengers.”

fathom experience focuses on education, environment and economic development

The fathom journey is a carefully designed, holistic impact journey and will begin with one to two days at sea preparing hearts and minds for the on-the-ground experience, including a wide variety of fun and engaging impact-readiness experiences, ranging from an orientation to the Dominican Republic, conversational Spanish lessons, impact activity training, creative workshops, personal enrichment and much more.

fathom travelers may build their own schedules and will have the flexibility each day to choose from a variety of social impact and recreational activities. At launch, the company will offer a selection of fun, immersive, and meaningful activities focused on education, the environment, and economic development along with all the incredible experiences the Puerto Plata region innately has to offer.

Impact activities will vary in length from a few hours to multiple days. Depending on their passions and skills, travelers may spend up to three days on causes they care about, working alongside locals and fathom partner organizations on one or more projects suitable for a wide range of ages, levels of skill and amounts of physical activity. Sample activities may include:

  • Economic Development:  Help cultivate cacao plants and organic fertilizer at a nursery and assist a local women’s cooperative in producing artisan chocolates. This activity is designed to produce high-quality plants to increase farmers’ yields through sustainable practices and – importantly – create income opportunities for rural women.  Over time, this activity will allow the cooperative to increase their workforce so the cooperative can achieve economic independence.
  • Educational:  Work side by side with Dominican school teachers in classrooms to teach English skills and help boost students’ academic performance; and participate in adult-learning programs to teach small groups of local community members conversational English to help improve their ability to qualify for jobs that provide a higher level of income.
  • Environmental:  Provide hands-on support to craft and build water filters – using clay, a natural resource found locally – and deliver those filters to families throughout the community to provide healthy drinking water. With limited piped water supply, this will make a meaningful difference in the quality of people’s lives throughout the region.

“Together we aim to help communities and travelers flourish by providing immersive, life-changing experiences for travelers and allowing our partner communities to prosper,” said Russell.

When not participating in social impact activities, travelers will enjoy exploring the beauty of the region, experiencing the many Dominican beaches and sites of interest, or participating in any one of an array of different recreational activities available to the entire family of Carnival Corporation brands visiting Amber Cove and the Puerto Plata region.

The onboard experience will be customized to this unique travel market, including specialized, purposeful retail options and amenities, as well as geographically inspired menus, music, and additional onboard cultural immersion. While docked in the Dominican Republic, the fathom ship will serve as a comfortable, convenient home-base for travelers.

Travelers may reserve travel on future fathom voyages

Travelers may reserve a spot on future fathom sailings by calling any travel agent or visiting www.fathom.org or by calling 1-855-9fathom. Prices for the seven-day trip to the Dominican Republic start at $1,540 per person, which includes an exterior cabin with a window, all meals on the ship, onboard social impact immersion experiences, three on-shore social impact activities and related supplies, taxes, fees, and port expenses. Prices will vary by season.

There will be four pricing levels, based on cabin configuration and location – interior cabins, exterior cabins with a window, exterior balcony cabins and suites. Additional recreational activities, cabin upgrades, and dining and beverage packages will be priced separately. Travelers may begin tailoring their trip in fall 2015 (e.g., impact activities selection, cabin selections, etc.).

The future of social impact in Carnival Corporation

In addition to leading the new fathom brand, Russell will work with Carnival Corporation’s nine other brands in her role as Global Impact Lead on social impact strategies and opportunities.

“With fathom, we are building one-of-a-kind, collaborative community social impact models and experiences and a solid network of reputable local and global NGO partnerships that, once established, can be considered for replication across global regions and company brands,” said Russell. “As fathomgrows and evolves, we will continue exploring additional fathom destinations and experiences and identify powerful brand partnerships we can establish, both within the Carnival Corporate family, and also more broadly outside the corporation with other like-minded impact brands.

“In addition, we will evaluate these unique fathom assets to determine which models can be scaled across other Carnival brands as a way to bring new experiences to existing cruise line guests.”

Jun 09

Seven Holland America Line Ships Offer More Ways to Experience the Panama Canal in 2015–16

Ships to carry more than 40,000 guests through the man-made marvel
Seattle, Wash., June 1, 2015 — Six Holland America Line ships will sail 11 full transits of the Panama Canal and one ship will offer 14 itineraries that feature both the southern Caribbean and partial transits during fall 2015 through spring 2016.

With cruises ranging from 10 to 22 days, Holland America Line provides guests more in-depth ways to experience the Panama Canal than any other cruise line. In the 2015-16 season, the combined full and partial transits will carry more than 44,500 guests through the lakes and locks of the man-made marvel.

“To witness the fascinating operation of the Panama Canal from the deck of a Holland America Line ship is the ultimate way to experience one of the great engineering wonders of the world,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Our diverse itineraries bring travelers to all seven continents and to many of the world’s most compelling marvels; and with 25 departures we offer more ways to experience the Panama Canal than any other line.”

Go Between Oceans on a Full Panama Canal Transit
From September 2015 through May 2016, ms Amsterdam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Oosterdam, ms Veendam and ms Westerdam will make 11 transits between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from six departure cities. Guests can set sail from Boston, Mass.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

In addition to the Panama Canal transit, the 14- to 22-day cruises include a variety of port calls along the way, making each voyage all the more enriching. On the full transits the ships visit destinations in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the Caribbean, along with Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private Bahamian island.

Partial transits include the ‘ABC’ Islands
Besides the full transits, ms Zuiderdam will make 14 partial transits between November 2015 and April 2016. The 10- and 11-day “Panama Canal Sunfarer” itineraries include an exploration of the canal’s Gatún Lake and a combination of southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Bonaire, Columbia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Grand Cayman, Panama and Half Moon Cay.

Go ‘On Location’ in the Panama Canal
On each Panama Canal cruise, guests can enjoy the On Location enrichment program that brings local experiences onto the ships through lectures, presentations, cuisine and entertainment. Guests can learn to weave with palm fronds during Caribbean sea days; and while the ship is in the Panama Canal an expert historian recounts the history and drama of constructing the famous waterway. A Panamanian market and buffet on the Lido Deck is a highlight of the voyage, where guests can indulge in regional delicacies such as empanadas, arroz con pollo, ropa vieja and pastel de tres leches.

May 07

Princess Cruises’ Next Ship to be Based in China Year Round

Carnival Corporation & plc, the largest cruise company in the world, has announced that the new ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises will be based in China year-round when introduced in  mid-2017. Based in Shanghai, the ship will be the first year-round international luxury vessel designed and built specifically for Chinese guests.

The as-yet-unnamed ship is being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, and will carry approximately 3600 guests on a variety of itineraries, to be announced at a later date. Based on the design of its highly-acclaimed ships Royal Princess and Regal Princess, the new vessel will feature a number of new innovations customized for the growing number of Chinese cruise travelers.

“Deploying our next new ship in China underscores our strong commitment to growing the China cruise market and providing discerning travelers with amazing holiday experiences at sea,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises.

Princess ships began homeport cruising in China just last year, with a successful inaugural season of Shanghai-based cruises aboard Sapphire Princess. Sapphire Princess is returning for a second China season which begins on June 4 and runs through October 2015.

Princess’ new ship will be based on the design of the company’s new Royal Princess and Regal Princess, which have been enthusiastically received by guests from all over the world for their luxurious and beautifully-designed spaces, array of entertainment and activity options, and multiple culinary venues.

The new ship will share many of these special features which include a dramatic multi-storey atrium serving as the social hub of the ship, an over-the-ocean SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending  8.5 metres beyond the edge of the ship; the Princess Live! interactive studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; Princess Watercolour Fantasy, a fountain and music show; Movies Under the Stars featuring the largest outdoor screen at sea; and balconies on all outside staterooms. Accommodations will be configured to appeal to families and multi-generational travelers.

In addition, the new ship will showcase the exclusive Princess Class experience designed specifically for the Chinese market that the company introduced during its first season. Delivered by the ship’s dedicated and caring crew, Princess Class enriches the travel experience of each cruise guest, enabling them to participate in unique cultural, culinary, entertaining and inspiring programs including the World Leaders Dinner, traditional English afternoon tea, a Lobster Grill, Ultimate Balcony Dining, an ocean-view hot pot dinner option, ballroom dancing, and an unparalleled duty-free shopping experience.

Additionally guests will enjoy the international flavour of cruising with Princess, including experiencing cuisines from China, Japan, Italy, France, and North and South America among other regions; as well as an array of international festivals re-created to celebrate cultures around the world.

“And as this ship is still in the design phase we are looking forward to creating other new and exciting venues and experiences catering to the Chinese traveler, which we will reveal in the coming months,” Ms Swartz said.

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