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.

May 07

ROYAL CARIBBEAN ORDERS FOURTH QUANTUM-CLASS VESSEL

MIAMI, May 7, 2015 – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE, OSE: RCL) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Meyer Werft in Germany to order a fourth Quantum-class ship for delivery in 2019.

“Today’s announcement is a reflection of the success of the first two Quantum-class ships,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We have received a       remarkable response from travel agent partners and travelers, and are thrilled that we’ll be able to deliver another revolutionary ship with our partners at Meyer Werft.”

“The fourth Quantum class vessel will be a trailblazer in smart-ship design and vacation innovation,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Royal Caribbean International is synonymous with adventure, and the icons and amenities on this ship will continue to challenge and expand guests’ expectations of the cruise experience.”

Based upon current ship orders, projected capital expenditures for full year 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 are $1.6 billion, $2.3 billion, $0.4 billion, $2.4 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.

Capacity increases for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 are expected to be 5.5%, 6.3%, 3.1%, 3.9% and 6.5%, respectively.  These figures do not include potential ship sales or additions that the company may elect to make in the future.

The order is contingent upon the completion of customary conditions, including financing.

May 04

Carnival Corporation & plc Meets Growing Demand for Alaska Cruises with 103 Roundtrip Offerings on Six Ships from Port of Seattle

More than 208,200 cruisers travelling to Alaska from Seattle with Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises brands

MIAMI, May 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises – three of the nine global brands from Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest travel and leisure company – will begin the highly anticipated Seattle-to-Alaskasummertime cruising season with the first ship departing Saturday, May 2. Cruise passengers in Seattle are expected to increase by 11 percent this year to 895,055 passengers, and the Carnival Corporation brands are positioned to meet the surge in demand.

Together, the three brands will offer a total of 103 roundtrip cruises on six ships sailing between Seattle and Alaska, providing plenty of options for enjoying a vacation in one of the world’s most breath-taking regions. More than 208,200 guests are expected to sail with Carnival Corporation brands from Seattle to Alaska in 2015. According to the Port of Seattle, the cruise industry overall will bring more than $400 million in economic activity toSeattle this cruise season based on a combination of supplying the vessels, money that travelers spend in the city and nearby region, and the fact that 80 percent of guests arrive through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

In response to increasing demand, Holland America Line added a third ship for the 2015 summer season, ms Statendam, which arrives on Monday, May 18. The line’s ms Westerdam will officially begin the season on Saturday, May 2, as the first cruise ship to arrive in Seattle. ms Amsterdam arrives onSunday, May 31. Holland America Line offers 47 roundtrip cruises from Seattle this season.

Additionally, Princess Cruises is increasing its capacity by introducing two larger ships – Crown Princess arrives on Saturday, May 16, and Ruby Princess arrives on Sunday, May 3. They replace the Grand Princess and Golden Princess. Each of the new ships provides room for 500 additional guests. Princess Cruises offers 40 roundtrip cruises from Seattle this season.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Legend will arrive at the Seattle port on Tuesday, June 2. This season Carnival Cruises Line offers 16 roundtrip cruises.

“We are excited to begin another great cruise season in Alaska, taking our guests on an unforgettable vacation to the Great Land where they can experience lush forests, ice-blue glaciers, whales, puffins, orcas, and frontier towns filled with Gold Rush history, native culture, wildlife and thrilling adventures – all while only having to unpack once,” said Arnold Donald, CEO and president of Carnival Corporation. “The goal for all 120,000 of our employees is to consistently exceed our guests’ expectations, and these cruises to such an awe-inspiring part of the world are sure to do just that.”

Carnival Corporation’s roundtrip vacation options for the Seattle cruise season to Alaska are:

  • Holland America Line offers 7-day cruises from Seattle to Alaska on ms Westerdam. Ports include Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and scenic cruising inGlacier Bay National Park, all in Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia in Canada. Sailings depart Saturdays from Pier 91. Cruises start at $499per person.
  • Holland America Line offers 7-day cruises on ms Amsterdam. Ports include Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and scenic cruising Tracy Arm, all in Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia. Sailings depart Sundays from Pier 91. Cruises start at $549 per person.
  • Holland America Line also offers 14-day Alaska itineraries on the ms Statendam departing every other Monday from Pier 91. Ports includeKetchikan, scenic cruising Tracy Arm, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak, scenic cruising Hubbard Glacier, and Sitka, all in Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia. Cruises start at $1199 per person.
  • Princess Cruises offers 7-day cruises from Seattle to Alaska on the Crown Princess. Ports include Juneau, Skagway, scenic cruising in Glacier Bay National Park, and Ketchikan, all in Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia. Sailings depart Saturdays and Sundays from Pier 91. Cruises start at$699 per person.
  • Princess Cruises offers 7-day cruises from Seattle to Alaska on the Ruby Princess. Ports include Juneau, scenic cruising Tracy Arm Fjord, Skagway, and Ketchikan, all in Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia. Sailings depart Saturdays and Sundays from Pier 91. Cruises start at $549 per person.
  • Carnival Cruise Line offers 7-day Alaska cruises on the Carnival Legend departing Tuesdays from Pier 91. Ports include Juneau, Skagway, scenic cruising Glacier Bay, and Ketchikan, all in Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia. Cruises start at $729 per person.

May 04

Princess Cruises Unveils 2016-2017 Americas Season

Offerings Include Brand-New Itineraries and Longer Visits in Select Ports

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 1, 2015) –  Princess Cruises has announced its 2016-2017 Americas cruise itineraries including sailings to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii, the West Coast and Canada & New England, as well as land and sea vacations. The array of cruise vacations departing from U.S. ports range from three to 28 days and go on sale May 21.

In total, 10 ships with 255 departures on 62 itineraries visiting more than 80 destinations will be sailing between September 2016 and April 2017. Cruises will offer guests the opportunity for a quick getaway or a longer cruise vacation on the line given the “Best Itineraries” award by readers of Recommend magazine for a record-setting nine consecutive years and “Best Itineraries” in the Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards for 2013 and 2014.

Highlights include brand-new six- and eight-day Caribbean itineraries, evening and overnight stays in certain destinations to allow guests to see even more of these special locations, the first roundtrip Panama Canal voyage for Princess Cruises departing from Los Angeles since 2009, shorter five-day fall Canada & New England getaways, a more expansive 14-day Canada & New England itinerary and new land and sea vacations to explore the East Coast.

“This season we’re thrilled to sail to so many inspiring destinations with close-to-home departures and offer new longer and overnight stays in some spectacular ports, giving our guests more time to explore and discover new places,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.

Full details of Princess Cruises’ 2016-2017 Americas cruise season include:

Caribbean

With more than 21 distinct Caribbean itineraries ranging from six to 21 days on four ships, including the lines newest ships Royal Princess and Regal Princess and joined by Caribbean Princess with new itineraries, there will be a variety of offerings sure to suit every Caribbean explorer. A new port of call in the Dominican Republic – Amber Cove – will be included on every seven-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary aboard Regal Princess.

Caribbean Princess will have a brand-new deployment this season with six- and eight-day voyages departing from Ft. Lauderdale, which can be combined for a longer 14-day Caribbean Adventurer voyage spanning both the Western and Southern Caribbean. Caribbean Princess’ eight-day Southern Caribbean sailings will visit Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba and as a new offering for the 2016-2017 season will include an evening stay in Aruba – home to Eagle Beach, which has been named one of the Travel Channel’s Top 10 Caribbean Beaches. Caribbean Princess’ six-day itinerary will feature visits to the Western Caribbean destinations of Cozumel, Belize and either Roatan, Honduras or Costa Maya, Mexico.

Regal Princess will return to alternating the line’s popular seven-day Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean voyages departing from Ft. Lauderdale, which can also be combined for 14 days onboard Princess’ newest vessel in the Caribbean. The seven-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary offers a new port of call – Amber Cove – in the Dominican Republic and choices between stops in St. Kitts, Antigua or St. Maarten with every sailing featuring St. Thomas, including a new evening stay at this port – which is home to Magens Bay, one of the most highly rated beaches in the Caribbean. Seven-day Western Caribbean voyages will visit Princess Cays, Jamaica and Grand Cayman and include a full day and evening stay in Cozumel – rated by US News & World Report as having one of the best beaches in Mexico.

Royal Princess returns on the line’s most popular Caribbean itineraries – a 10-day Southern Medley and 10-day Eastern Voyager which can be combined for a 20-day cruise vacation. These sailings offer the best of the Caribbean, including St. Kitts, Barbados and St. Lucia as well as off-the-beaten-path ports such as Dominica, Grenada and Bonaire.

For a shorter weekend getaway, Princess will offer two voyages. Royal Princess will sail a four-day Eastern Caribbean Getaway, visiting Grand Turk and Princess Cays, while Crown Princess will depart on a five-day cruise with stops in Princess Cays and new port Amber Cove.

Guests will also be able to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and ring in the New Year with Princess as all three ships will offer a variety of holiday sailings ranging from seven to 21 days. All holiday voyages of seven days and 10 days offer a choice of Eastern, Western or Southern regions, while the longer voyages from 14 to 21 days include two of these regions spanning the Caribbean.

Pacific Princess will sail on a special two-week Caribbean Connoisseur voyage over the holidays that visits remote islands that are perfect for Pacific Princess’ intimate size including the Grenadines, Tobago, the British Virgin Islands, as well as a maiden call to Cruz Bay, on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John.

Hawaiian Islands, Mexican Riviera and the West Coast

On the West Coast, four ships will be deployed from three homeports – Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver – to the tropical waters of Hawaii and Mexico, as well as the beautiful Pacific Coast with voyages ranging from three to 28 days.

Guests can escape the everyday on a quick West Coast cruise getaway on three-, four- and five-day departures from Los Angeles offered throughout the season on Crown Princess, Ruby Princess and Star Princess, with visits to Santa Barbara, Catalina, San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico. Ruby Princess will depart on a five-day Baja Getaway featuring an overnight in Cabo San Lucas – one of the premier resort destinations in the Western Hemisphere.

Crown Princess will offer a fall departure of the increasingly popular 28-day Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa itinerary which allows guests departing from Los Angeles to visit the idyllic South Pacific islands of French Polynesia and Samoa without the need to take a flight.

Grand Princess continues year-round cruising from San Francisco to Hawaii, Mexico and the California Coast after the Alaska season.

Panama Canal

Coral Princess and Island Princess return to the Panama Canal to offer either 10-day partial transit or 15-day full transit Panama Canal voyages through the famed locks.

Island Princess will also offer 15-day voyages with two-day Canal experiences that combine the thrill of a Canal transit with a day at Fuerte Amador, where guests can either tour Old Panama City and visit the surrounding rainforests, or tour the Gatun Locks to learn the history of the world’s 8th wonder and visit the Expansion Observatory Platform overlooking the waterway.

On November 20, 2016, Island Princess will embark on the line’s first roundtrip Canal voyage from Los Angeles since 2009. This 19-day cruise offers guests various adventures including Mayan ruins, Mexico’s largest ecological preserve, the rainforests of Costa Rica, the volcanoes of San Juan Del Sur, the cobblestone streets and colonial architecture of Antigua, Guatemala –  a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and an overnight stay in Panama.

Pacific Princess will also join the Panama Canal line-up on several 17-day itineraries offering guests a choice of ship size to see the impressive man-mad marvel.

Canada & New England

Guests will be able to enjoy the fall foliage on sailings from the East Coast with both Regal Princess and Caribbean Princess returning to the destination, but with even more itinerary options to choose from.

Regal Princess will continue on her popular seven-day Canada & New England itinerary departing on Saturdays from New York, visiting cities rich in colonial history including Newport, Boston and Bar Harbor as well as the North Atlantic Canadian port cities of Saint John and Halifax. Regal Princess will also sail on a brand-new shorter five-day fall getaway itinerary sailing from New York to Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Caribbean Princess will sail between Quebec City and New York on the line’s popular 10-day Classic Canada & New England itinerary, featuring an overnight stay in Quebec and calls to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as well as Boston, Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island. Caribbean Princess will also offer a more expansive 14-day Canada & Colonial America itinerary from Quebec City to Ft. Lauderdale including visits to Bar Harbor, Maine; Norfolk, Virginia as well as more off-the-beaten-path destinations including Port Saguenay and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Land and Sea Vacations

Princess offers a choice of two options to combine a land tour with an East Coast cruise to allow guests to enhance their vacations, and see the sites of colonial America or Niagara Falls and the best of Eastern Canada.

The Historic America Land and Sea Vacation brings guests to iconic sites such as Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate, Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and Gettysburg Battlefield.   The Maple Explorer Land and Sea Vacation take guests to exciting destinations like the capital of Ottawa and Montreal and includes guided tours of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, dazzling cathedrals and the historic 19th century Rideau Canal – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour guests are also treated to a cruise through the picturesque Thousand Island during the land portion of their vacation.

Video

ANTHEM OF THE SEAS BY THE NUMBERS

Apr 30

Steel Cutting for MSC Next Generation Ship – MSC Meraviglia

by MSC Cruises | Apr 20, 2015
OPEN FOR BOOKINGS FROM JUNE 2015, MSC MERAVIGLIA WILL BE THE FIRST SHIP WITH THREE HOMEPORTS

MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company, marked a key milestone in its $5.4 billion growth plan today as the first steel for its new Vista generation of megaships was cut at STX France, during a ceremony in Saint-Nazaire.

At the steel-cutting ceremony, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago told assembled press and dignitaries that the cutting-edge 4,500 guest (double occupancy), 167,600-GRT ship — due to be delivered in May 2017 and open for bookings from June 2015 — will be named MSC Meraviglia. She will spend her first summer sailing the western Mediterranean, and will be the first to have three homeports: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.

“MSC Meraviglia will be the biggest and most innovative cruise ship ever built by a global European-based cruise line,” saidPierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman. “We chose a name that denotes the sense of awe and wonderment felt when you experience the ship’s stunning features, which only an MSC cruise, with its unique Mediterranean-style, can deliver. MSC Meraviglia brings together the industry knowhow of MSC Cruises, a young, bold company built upon 300 years of seafaring tradition and the expertise of one of the most advanced shipyards in the world. Today, building started on a true maritime marvel.”

STX France General Manager Laurent Castaing added: “Since March 2014, more than 400 people from our various teams have been working tirelessly to define the special features of a ship that, I am certain will set the standard for its generation. This extraordinary project is testament to MSC Cruises’ visionary approach, and we are proud to collaborate with them through our capacity for innovation and know-how.”

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer said: “This steel-cutting event marks a decisive milestone in the company’s development plan, one that will see MSC Cruises double its capacity by 2022 through up to seven new ships and a $5.4 billion investment plan.”

He added: “MSC Meraviglia will be one of the greenest and safest ships in the industry, as well as one of the most technologically advanced. We are thrilled that in just a few weeks guests can start booking this truly remarkable ship, which will bring cruise travellers to the most exciting destinations around the world in outstanding comfort and style.”

Designed for unrivalled agility, MSC Meraviglia and the other upcoming Vista project ships will be perfectly able to call at any cruise port in the world, meaning guests from around the world will now be able to explore more of the best destinations on one of MSC Cruises’ next generation ships.

Among the ships’ manifold features will also be specially crafted ‘cluster cabins’ for families, and an extended MSC Yacht Club, the wholly self-contained luxury area on the prestigious foredecks, which will be enhanced with duplex suites, a vast solarium and a private lounge and restaurant. They will be packed with extraordinary features that make them ideal for cruising in summer and winter, including wide dining options and entertainment choices, stunning panoramic spaces, a large theatre and a spectacular amusement park linked to an outdoor aqua park, as well as a three-deck interior promenade.

MSC Meraviglia will also feature a range of technological advancements, such as ‘Near Field Communication’ technology, enabling guests to do things like make onboard payments, access their staterooms or geo-locate children, simply by using their cruise card, bracelet or smartphone. Another jaw-dropping feature will be a 5,167 square foot LED screen, which forms the entire ceiling of the ship’s interior promenade. Like a digital sky, this LED image vault will beam out compelling images and vistas day and night – including scheduled visual events – creating a variety of powerful atmospheres at all times.

MSC Meraviglia is the first of two identical ships on order from STX France, the second of which will be entered in to service in 2019. In addition, MSC Cruises has options for two further Vista project ships to be delivered by 2022.

The Vista project is the result of a lengthy development process under STX’s ECORIZON® program to create cleaner, smarter, more efficient ships. They will be water emission free, and their hulls and propulsion systems will be optimized for extreme energy efficiency. Scrubber technology will neutralize fumes and CO2 emissions in accordance with the latest international maritime regulations. In addition, the ship is fully compliant with the Safe return to Port requirement.

Video

Virtual Tour of the New Carnival Vista

Apr 18

New Alaska Port Adventures Bring Even More Thrills and Local Experiences to Disney Cruise Line Guests in 2015

CELEBRATION, Fla. (April 14, 2015) – During 2015 Alaska sailings, Disney Cruise Line invites guests to experience the destination like never before with a brand-new selection of Port Adventures.

These new excursions offer something for everyone in the family to enjoy, from exhilarating alpine forest adventures to hands-on experiences showcasing Alaska’s rich heritage.

Disney Cruise Line Exclusive Experiences

On the Family Gold Exploration and the Mendenhall Glacier and Mine Ruin Exploration in Juneau, Disney Cruise Line guests experience an exclusive and memorable encounter with an eccentric prospector mining the hills. Families trek to the miner’s camp for stories around the campfire, leaving with tips of the trade and a keepsake from the prospector himself.

Families can also explore the Treadwell Mining District on the Family Gold Exploration and pan for gold and garnets at the Alaska Gastineau Gold Mine. They’ll also journey into the abandoned mine at the Maggie Kathleen Tunnel – a first for Disney Cruise Line – with a hard-rock miner, to see the equipment used for extracting ore.

In the Mendenhall Glacier and Mine Ruin Exploration Port Adventure, families take in the astonishing sights of the Mendenhall Valley complete with snow-capped mountains and lush green forests. Then they’re off to explore the mine ruins and trails at Douglas Island’s Treadwell Mining District.

Delicious Alaskan fare takes center stage at the Klondike Campfire Breakfast, in a Port Adventure exclusively for Disney Cruise Line. Guests begin their day at the Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp with a hearty breakfast of steak, eggs and sourdough blueberry pancakes. After being treated to the music and poetry of renowned Yukon poet Robert Service, they pan for gold, with everyone guaranteed to find the precious metal in every pan.

The Best of Skagway

For the first time, families get a taste of some friendly competition during Skagway’s Klondike Family Challenge, where each immersive activity is paired with a fun challenge. At the Klondike Gold Fields, families pan for gold, interact with dogs and puppies training for sled dog races and feel the thrill of 40 degrees below zero. Disney Cruise Line guests tour the Klondike Gold Fields brewery, sample fresh brews and design their own root beer labels. At the end of the day, families leave their mark by etching their names onto a wooden plank to be hung on the wall at the site’s gold panning shed.

An exhilarating new adventure in Skagway takes families to the legendary White Pass Summit, tracing the steps of miners during the Klondike Gold Rush. At the summit, guests get a stunning view of cascading waterfalls and towering mountains before stopping at the Skagway Overlook for an unforgettable view of the glacier-lined Skagway Valley and their Disney cruise ship. After working up an appetite, guests savor a barbecue lunch of fresh Alaskan salmon at the Klondike Gold Fields and learn the skill of gold panning.

Another first for Disney Cruise Line guests has them joining the lavishly costumed madam of the Red Onion Saloon for a tour of downtown Skagway. From the century-old McCabe building, a former school now home to the Skagway Museum, guests tour back alleys and former red light districts, hearing rousing stories of women who ventured north during the gold rush era, along with ghost stories about those who never left. The tour culminates with a champagne toast at the famous Red Onion Saloon and historic brothel museum.

Adventures in the Great Outdoors

From Juneau, teens are accompanied by Disney Cruise Line youth counselors as they gear up for an exclusive Teen Only Canopy and Zip Line Expedition. This off-road adventure includes zip lines and two towering sky bridges over lofty tree platforms. An exhilarating rappel from the treetops concludes this thrilling adventure.

Guests can also find their adventurous side in Skagway, with breathtaking views at every turn on the Skagway Adventure Hike. On this new trek, Disney Cruise Line guests journey through the alpine forest and snow-capped mountains of White Pass, led by a guide who shares stories of the area’s gold rush history and wildlife.

Another new Skagway experience sends guests gliding over the waters of Summit Lake in the Alpine Lake Canoe Adventure. From their canoes, guests will have panoramic views of Alaska’s most enchanting scenery, including towering mountains, lush green forests and crystal-clear water. They’ll also explore the many coves, inlets and channels surrounding the lake.

Details on all Disney Cruise Line shore excursions can be found on the Port Adventures section of disneycruise.com.

Beginning June 1, the Disney Wonder will sail a total of 14 seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska.

– See more at: http://dclnews.com/2015/04/16/new-alaska-port-adventures-bring-even-more-thrills-and-local-experiences-to-disney-cruise-line-guests-in-2015-2/#sthash.QvV33O1F.dpuf

Apr 15

Princess Cruises Announces Largest-Ever Australia Deployment for 2016-2017

Five Ships to Sail Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific

Offerings Include First-Ever Circle South America Itinerary

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 15, 2015) – Princess Cruises has announced it will home port five ships in Australia to sail the cruise line’s largest-ever program offering in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific for the 2016-2017 season. Princess Cruises will introduce the 3,082-guest Emerald Princess to the market, with Golden Princess returning to sail from Melbourne and Sun Princess, Sea Princess and Dawn Princess rounding out the fleet and expanding the cruise line’s in-market capacity by 20 percent.
Highlights of the new program include an 84-day Circle South America voyage, more ways to see New Zealand, longer South Pacific cruises and Circle Australia voyage options.  In addition, Land and Sea Vacation packages will immerse adventure-seekers in the diverse destinations.

On sale beginning April 22, 2015, the new Princess Cruises’ Australia season runs from October 2016 to April 2017. More details can be found at princess.com.

“Australia and the entire South Pacific region has always had an allure as a magical place for travellers, and cruising is one of the best ways to explore this part of the world,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “As demand for the region grows, we’re responding with more voyages, more destinations and more creative itinerary options.”

Cruise-goers can choose from 120 cruise options, in total visiting 113 destinations in 39 countries. Some of the choices include:

  • An 84-day Circle South America cruise on Sea Princess departing Sydney, Australia on January 11, 2017 and visiting 28 destinations in 18 countries including Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and Uruguay.  Overnight calls in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Lima and a full-transit of the Panama Canal add to this special voyage.
  • More ways to explore the natural wonders of New Zealand with all five Princess ships sailing to the country’s beautiful coastal landscapes on cruises ranging from 11- to 14-days.
  • Circle Australia voyages on Sun Princess with departures from Sydney in October 2016 and March 2017 as well as the first-ever roundtrip voyages from Brisbane and Fremantle.
  • 10- to 14-day voyages through the idyllic and remote islands of the South Pacific from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne, on Sun Princess and Sea Princess.
  • A 42-day four continent voyage from England to Australia on September 28, 2016 aboard Emerald Princess as she sails south for her first-ever season Down Under.
  • Two 42-day journeys to the Orient aboard Dawn Princess sailing from Sydney and Brisbane with visits to multiple destinations in China and Japan. The Sydney sailing departing March 16, 2017 is timed to visit Japan during its famous Cherry Blossom season.

To further enhance the cruise vacation experience, Princess Cruises will offer two Land and Sea Vacation packages.  The Australian Outback package immerses guests in Aboriginal culture and includes visits to the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock in Uluru National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The more extensive Ultimate Australia package highlights include a Sydney city tour, the Great Barrier Reef, the northern tropical city of Darwin, the Outback and more.

Apr 15

FIRST STEEL CUT FOR SEABOURN’S NEWEST ULTRA-LUXURY VESSEL, SEABOURN ENCORE, DUE FOR DELIVERY IN LATE 2016

Seattle, April 13, 2015 – Today, the award-winning ultra-luxury, small ship cruise line Seabourn is now one step closer to the launch of its newest vessel, Seabourn Encore, with the commemorative cutting of the first steel. Taking place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, the ceremony was presided over by Seabourn President Richard Meadows and Antonio Quintano, director of Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard.

“The cutting of steel for Seabourn Encore is an important milestone in the evolution of both our beautiful fleet and the ultra-luxury cruise segment overall,” said Meadows. “We’re looking forward to seeing the ship come together and are excited to continue to add to our fleet. With Adam D. Tihany’s innovative design vision and Fincantieri’s excellent craftsmanship, Seabourn Encore will be the most beautiful ultra-luxury ship ever built.”

“For us shipbuilders, this ceremony is always a special time, and today it is even more. Not only because it represents the tangible beginning of the cooperation with Seabourn, with whom we have a recent, but already solid relationship, but also because it is the latest event in a long line shared with the Carnival group,” said Gabriele Cocco, Fincantieri’s senior executive vice president of merchant ships.

In a special nod to the line’s departing original fleet, joining the ceremony were two crew members from Seabourn Legend, the last of the three original Seabourn ships currently on its final sailing under the Seabourn banner. Their presence signified the closing of a chapter in the line’s history, while marking the start of a new era with the beginning of the construction of Seabourn Encore.

Seabourn Encore will expand and build on the line’s award-winning and highly acclaimed Odyssey-class ships, which revolutionized ultra-luxury cruising with enhanced accommodations and innovative amenities when they were introduced between 2009 and 2011. Seabourn Encore will maintain the line’s high ratio of space per guest, enabling a highly personalized level of Seabourn service. A sister ship, Seabourn Ovation, will join the fleet in 2018, and, with the addition of the two new ships, Seabourn will have the youngest and most modern ultra-luxury fleet in the industry.

Designed by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, Seabourn Encore will feature modern design elements and innovations consistent with the line’s reputation for understated elegance. The 40,350-GRT ship will be configured with one additional deck and new expanded public areas, and is expected to carry just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. In addition, every suite will feature a private veranda.

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