Category: Big Ship Cruising

Disney Wonder at sea

Great News For New Orleans and the Disney Wonder

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New Orleans and Princess Tiana Take Center Stage in Enhancements Coming to the Disney Wonder

The world of “The Princess and the Frog” will come to life in new ways on the Disney Wonder with the addition of an exciting New Orleans-themed lounge that will transport you deeper into the heart of the city’s iconic French Quarter. A perfect complement to Tiana’s Place Restaurant on the Disney Wonder, the French Quarter Lounge will feature live music and themed activities for everyone in the family. Also debuting on the Disney Wonder this fall will be a sleek new space for teens and a redesigned café just for adults.

Here’s a look at enhancements sure to enchant:

“The Princess and the Frog” Comes to Life in a New Family Lounge
The French Quarter Lounge will be a perfect companion to Tiana’s Place Restaurant on the Disney Wonder, both inspired by the Disney animated feature “The Princess and the Frog.” The jazzy atmosphere of the French Quarter Lounge will evoke an airy outdoor space in New Orleans, surrounded by touches of iconic architecture such as wrought-iron balconies, classic brick walls and shutter-framed windows. Decorative details including a life-size trolley car and nods to the film, with signs and icons on the walls, add to the ambiance of the space.

Days and nights get a touch of bayou hospitality at the French Quarter Lounge, where you can enjoy live music on the gazebo stage and sip specialty drinks at an updated whimsical bar. The French Quarter Lounge will be a natural precursor to dinner at Tiana’s Place Restaurant or the perfect destination for entertainment and libations. The story will continue in the lounge all day long with New Orleans-themed family activities, trivia and character encounters. There may even be a glimpse of Princess Tiana herself as she stops by to welcome you.

Redesigned Retreats for Teens and Adults
Vibe, a club reserved for teens ages 14-17, will transform into a contemporary place to hang out with friends while at sea. The space will be given a timeless feel with an open, bright redesign, a light color palette and industrial metal work. A new coffee bar and updated virtual reality technology add to the list of activities for teens to enjoy in this exclusive club.

Adults will have an updated space all their own in the Cove Café, after a redesign that will transform the look and feel of the café into a local coffee shop, complete with warm, comfortable and trendy décor. Ample seating and a relaxed atmosphere will beckon you to indulge in this peaceful retreat. The newly redesigned Cove Café will be the perfect place to sip specialty coffee or tea throughout the day or partake in wine, cocktails and light bites during the evening.

Adult beverage tastings will be available at select times for an additional fee. Just steps away, Signals Bar is also undergoing a transformation with a similar look.

The new enhancements debut on the Disney Wonder’s four-night sailing from Vancouver to San Diego on Sept. 30, 2019. These additions are part of an overall commitment by Disney Cruise Line to invest in its ships, helping to deliver incredible family vacation experiences for years to come. While making these enhancements, crews perform regularly scheduled and wide-ranging maintenance to keep the fleet in tip-top shape, further demonstrating the unwavering commitment by Disney Cruise Line to continually elevate the experience.

The Disney Wonder offers a variety of itineraries and ports of call throughout the year, including summer sailings to Alaska, cruises to the Mexican Riviera and voyages to the Caribbean and Bahamas. For the first time, the Disney Wonder will also call New Orleans home in 2020 with Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries departing from this new home port beginning Feb. 7.

Disney Canadian Resident Offer

Canadian Residents Enjoy this Disney Cruise Line Special Offer!

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Calling all Canadian residents! Embark on an unforgettable Disney cruise on select dates—and take advantage of a special 25% savings!

 

7 Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver | July 29 2019; September 02 2019 onboard the Disney Wonder
Sail from cosmopolitan Vancouver—yours to explore before or after your cruise—along the scenic Inside Passage and through the magnificent fjord of Tracy Arm. You’ll also call upon the historic mining and fishing towns of Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan and enjoy 2 days at sea to take advantage of the many onboard amenities on your Disney cruise ship.

 

3 Night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral | August 7 2019 onboard the Disney Fantasy
Your cruise ship brims with relaxation and fun for all—including multiple pools, whimsical waterslides, an adults-only whirlpool spa, live shows and inventive dining experiences. Cap off this whirlwind tropical tour with a day-long sojourn to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island retreat.

 

4 Night Halloween on the High Seas Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral | September 30 2019 onboard the Disney Dream
Celebrate All Hallows’ Eve with treats, tricks and spooky surprises, from elaborate décor to themed entertainment, and call upon historic Nassau for a day of shopping, sightseeing or marine life encounters at the Atlantis resort. Also head to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, where a barbecue lunch, beach games and Character experiences await.

 

5 Night Halloween on the High Seas Bermuda Cruise from New York | October 12 2019 onboard the Disney Magic
Celebrate Halloween on the High Seas—it’s a spook-tacular experience you’ll never forget! Cruise to Bermuda and explore the coastline, tour the island’s historic sites or play a round of golf after landing in this sublime tropical hotspot. During 2 days at sea, Guests will have time to unwind with ghoulishly grand onboard activities, décor and entertainment!

 

7 Night Halloween on the High Seas Mexican Riviera from San Diego | October 20 and 27 2019
Visit an eclectic variety of Mexico’s hottest ports of call on a week-long cruise packed with first-rate live shows, themed pools, kids clubs, signature dining and much more.

 

4-Night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral | November 4 2019 onboard the Disney Wonder
Call upon historic Nassau for a day of shopping, sightseeing or water park fun at Atlantis Aquaventure. Head to Castaway Cay—our own piece of paradise in the Bahamas—where games, watersports and private beaches await. Back onboard, soak up Broadway-style shows, enchanting themed dining, delightful deck parties and activities for the whole family.

 

4-Night Very Merrytime Bahamian Cruise from Miami | December 12 2019 onboard the Disney Magic
Celebrate the season on the high seas with winter wonderland décor, holiday parties and festive activities for the whole family on sailings from November through Christmas. You’ll also call upon Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise—decked out just for the holidays—and sun yourself on white-sand beaches in tropical ports of call.

 

5-Night Very Merrytime Bahamian Cruise from Miami | December 16 2019 onboard the Disney Magic
Jingle all the way to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, decked out just for the holidays. Enjoy a barbecue lunch, games, Character experiences and an adults-only beach. Back onboard, celebrate the season with winter wonderland décor, holiday parties, festive activities and more on select itineraries departing November and December.

 

7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise from New Orleans | February 14 2020 onboard the Disney Wonder
For the first time ever with Disney Cruise Line, begin and conclude your getaway in world-renowned New Orleans, famous for its distinct music, historic architecture and internationally influenced cuisine. You’ll enjoy 3 fun-filled days at sea and visit stunning beaches in Cozumel, Mexico, George Town, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica.

 

Connect with a Cruise Specialist today and experience the Magic of Disney for yourself! 

Royal Caribbean July Offers

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This isn’t just another day out of office — it’s a deck defying, status quo denying thrill-a-thon. Plunge down three stories of twisting, turning thrills on the Perfect StormSM. Zipline nine decks above the Boardwalk®

Or satisfy your curiosity with experimental delicacies at Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine. Book your next getaway now and save 50% off your second guest, plus 25% off your third and fourth guests — and that’s not all. You’ll also save up to $100 instantly on holiday sailings. Come Seek the Royal Caribbean®

ALL THE WAYS TO SAVE:

BOGO50 — 50% off second guest.
KIDS SAIL FOR LESS — 25% off third and fourth guests.
OASIS OF THE SEAS® BALCONY BONUS — Purchase a balcony on any 2020 Oasis of the Seas sailing for less than an ocean view.
DECK THE HOLIDAY DEALS — Save up to $100 extra on holiday sailings.

You can score these big savings when you book between July 1 and 31, 2019.

 

Here are just a few of our recommended sailings, so many to choose from and don’t forget to ask about reduced fares for kids!
Connect now with one of our cruise specialists to plan your Royal Caribbean adventure! 

 

7 night Northbound Alaska | Radiance of the Seas
August 9 2019 from Vancouver to Seward

Ocean-view stateroom fares starting at CA $2,092 for guest one and CA $1,172 for guest two

 

7 night Western Caribbean | Symphony of the Seas
August 17 2019 from Miami to Miami

Ocean-view stateroom fares starting at CA $2,322 for guest one and CA $1,252 for guest two

 

9 night Canada & New England | Anthem of the Seas
September 26 2019 from Cape Liberty to Cape Liberty

Ocean-view stateroom fares starting at CA $2,264 for guest one and CA $1,264 for guest two
Balcony stateroom fares starting at CA $ $2,494 for guest one and CA $1,379 for guest two

 

PLUS WHEN YOU BOOK BALCONY STATEROOM OF ABOVE WITH US DURING THE MONTH OF JULY YOU CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE EXCLUSIVE BONUSES! 

Dining Experience Offer
Enjoy a complimentary Specialty Dining Experience for two when you book a Balcony stateroom on any 7 night or longer sailing

Dining & Spa Experience Offer
Enjoy a complimentary Specialty Dining Experience for two Plus one complimentary Spa Treatment when you book a Junior Suite or above on any 7 night or longer sailing

 

 

 

 

 

ENJOY A PERFECT DAY AT COCO CAY 

This is unlike any island you’ve ever seen before. Home to white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and a host of exhilarating experiences to quench your thirst for adventure or endless ways to unwind and relax, all in the same day.

 

NCL Cruise Line, Pride of America, Nawiliwili, Kauai, Hawaii

Free at Sea to Hawaii with Norwegian

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Experience Hawaii and take advantage of Norwegian Cruise Lines Free at Sea Hawaii promotion. Only Norwegian Cruise Line allows you to see four islands with two overnight stays in seven days. Their award winning itinerary gives you the most time in port – nearly 100 hours – so you can capture the spirit and soul of Hawaii as you visit Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island. And since Norwegian sails round trip from Honolulu year-round, they offer Hawaii vacations on your schedule. So whether you’re pounding the surf, exploring the Kualoa Mountain Ridge, or learning an authentic hula dance, this will be the vacation where you discover what paradise means to you.

 

Norwegian’s Free At Sea Hawaii for 7 Day Hawaii Cruises offers up to $4,000 in Overall Value

Choose from 5 Free Offers*

  1. FREE Unlimited Beverage Package
  2. FREE Shore Excursions
  3. FREE Specialty Dining
  4. FREE WiFi
  5. Friends & Family Sail Free FREE Airfare

PLUS Ask about FREE or Reduced Airfare on select sailings 

 

Book a Studio or Inside stateroom and you can choose 1 free offer
Book an Oceanview, Balcony or Mini-Suite and choose 3 free offers
Book a Suite and enjoy ALL 5 Free Offers 

 

7-Day Hawaii, Round-trip Honolulu
With unique 7-day Hawaii cruise itineraries, you get overnights in both Maui and Kauai as well as visits to Oahu and the Big Island of Hawaii. You’ll be on island time as you discover cascading waterfalls, active volcanos, black, green and white sand beaches, historic sites and unspoiled nature.

SHIP: Pride of America
Ports of call: Embark: Honolulu (Oahu);Kahului (Maui); Hilo (Hawaii); Kona (Hawaii); Nawiliwili (Kauai);
Disembark: Honolulu (Oahu);

 


ilovecruising recommended Shore Excursions

CIRCLE OF FIRE HELICOPTER
Activity level: 1
Approx. Duration: 2 ½ hours
Shore Excursion Cost: starting at CA $400 per person

Port: Hilo, Hawaii
Join this thrilling helicopter ride for a bird’s eye view of Earth’s most geologically active environment – the Kilauea volcano. This 45-minute flight-seeing adventure allows you to view current volcanic activity that can’t be seen from the ground.

Hover over Kilauea’s most recent eruption sites, where streams of hot lava may glow red against an otherwise blackened landscape. Follow the surface activity down to the devastated village of Kalapana and the black sand beaches formed as lava was cooled by the sea. You’ll receive an informative commentary from your tour guide/pilot over an individual headset.

 

CAPTAIN ZODIAC RAFT, SNORKEL & DOLPHIN ADVENTURE
Activity level: 2
Approx. Duration: 3 ½ hours
Shore Excursion Cost: Adult starting at CA $199 per person, Child starting at CA$145

Port: Kona, Hawaii
Head out on a fast-paced adventure tour aboard a 24-foot Zodiac raft for an exciting shore-hugging ride along the Kona coast. Keep your eyes open for the spinner dolphins, pilot whales, sea turtles, and manta rays that frequent these waters year-round and the humpback whales that visit from December to April.

Your destination is scenic Kealakekua Bay, the only marine sanctuary on the island of Hawaii. Here you can swim and snorkel in protected waters. On the return ride, you’ll explore sea caves, lava tubes and learn more about the geology of the island.

Note: Participants must be at least 4 years of age and weigh no more than 320 lbs. wear a swimsuit and bring a towel. This tour is not for guests who are pregnant, who have chronic back or neck problems, or who have had previous back or neck surgery.

 

HISTORIC KONA
Activity level: 1
Approx. Duration: 3 ½ hours
Shore Excursion Cost: Adult starting at CA $119 per person, Child starting at CA$84

Port: Kona, Hawaii
Embark on a journey of discovery as you explore the historic city of Kona and the sun-drenched Gold Coast. Travel past ancient temples, fields of coffee and macadamia nuts, and breathtaking coastal scenery. The big island is world-famous for its rich blends of Kona coffee, and a stop at a Kona coffee house gives you a chance to sip the flavorful brew while browsing through the shop and exhibits.

Enjoy views of beautiful Kealakekua Bay, and make a stop at St. Benedict’s historic painted church, noted for its colorful murals depicting biblical scenes. You’ll discover old Hawaii at Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. This place of refuge has served as a political and religious sanctuary for the breakers of sacred law, or kapu, since ancient times. Here you will find a temple that once housed the bones of deceased chiefs, and wooden images of the fierce gods that protect it.

 

ROAD TO HANA
Activity level: 1
Approx. Duration: 9 ½ hours
Shore Excursion Cost: starting at CA $239 per person

Port: Kahului, Maui
Sit back and enjoy the sights along the famed Hana Highway without having to navigate the twisting, curving road yourself. With an expert driver at the wheel, you won’t miss any of the incredible scenery of lava cliffs, tumbling waterfalls, the rugged northern coastline, lush hillsides of feathery ferns and trees laden with tropical fruits. You’ll stop to explore various sites along the way to “Heavenly Hana,” in this wonderfully natural and pristine landscape.

A box lunch is included before you continue beyond Hana to the Kipahulu District, inhabited by native Hawaiians for hundreds of years. Here you’ll have the chance to see and photograph the glistening pools formed by several waterfalls cascading down the side of the Haleakala volcano.

Note: Participants must be at least 6 years of age. This tour is not recommended for those guests who are prone to motion sickness or suffer from back problems, as part of the road traveled is unpaved

 

Connect with an ilovecruising.com Cruise Specialist today and start planning your Norwegian Cruises voyage!

Caribbean Escapes from San Juan

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This is not a cruise. This is taking you deeper into discovery on a tropical coasting, memory boasting seek-athon to the Southern Caribbean. And journey miles away from mainstream where you can make friends with stingrays in St. Kitts. Giddy up for a horseback ride along Antigua’s picturesque shoreline. Explore the hidden world of Harrison’s Cave in Barbados. Or soak in the mineral-rich hot springs of St. Lucia. It all starts from breathtaking San Juan onboard Freedom of the Seas® or Vision of the Seas® — ships full of adventures of their own. From Broadway-style hits to culinary globetrotting, and even a fun-soaked waterpark just for kids. Come Seek the Royal Caribbean®.

7-NIGHT SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN | Freedom of the Seas®
Sailing year-round from San Juan, Puerto Rico

Recommended Sailings

August 4 2019 ~ featuring Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Basseterre, St. Kitts; St. John’s, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia and Bridgetown, Barbados

Guaranteed Ocean-view stateroom fares starting at CA $1,735.00 guest 1 and $912.00 guest 2


7-NIGHT SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN | Vision of the Seas®

Sailing December 2019-April 2020 from San Juan, Puerto Rico

Recommended Sailings
January 11, 2020 ~ featuring Bridgetown, Barbados; St. George’s, Grenada; Roseau, Dominica; Philipsburg, St. Maarten and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

Guaranteed Ocean-view stateroom fares starting at CA $1,200.00 guest 1 and $652.00 guest 2

 

February 1, 2020 ~ featuring Punta Cana, Dominican Rep.; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Fort De France, Martinique; Castries, St. Lucia and Bridgetown, Barbados

Guaranteed Ocean-view stateroom fares starting at CA $1,213.00 guest 1 and $665.00 guest 2

 

Many other Southern Caribbean voyages to choose from, connect with a Cruise Specialist to plan your Island Getaway 

NCL Holiday Bonus Bundle

Feel Free To Explore With NCL

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When you cruise with Norwegian, you’re free. Free to dine, dance, laugh, explore and relax – free to follow the sun instead of a schedule. Norwegian’s award-winning ships are designed for you to enjoy as you choose while cruising to beautiful destinations around the world. Along your journey, you’ll discover incredible culinary experiences with the freedom to dine when and where you want. Light up your nights with the best entertainment at sea. Savor handcrafted cocktails at your favorite bar or lounge. Take to the sea and find out what it means to Feel Free

 

CHOOSE UP TO 5 FREE OFFERS

Studio & Inside Staterooms – PICK 1

Oceanview, Balcony & Mini-Suite – PICK 2

Concierge, Suite & The Haven – ALL 5

 

YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM THE AMENITIES

FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAIL FREE ~ Kids Sail Free on select sailings

FREE UNLIMITED OPEN BAR ~ Cheers to Unlimited Beverages for Guests 1 & 2

FREE SHORE EXCURSIONS ~ Venture out to explore with $50 Shore Excursion Credits

FREE SPECIALTY DINING ~ Take your tastebuds on a tour with a 3-Meal Specialty Dining Package for Guests 1 & 2

FREE WIFI ~ Stay connected while at sea with up to 250 minutes of Free WiFi to use throughout the ship

 

PLUS take advantage of our Onboard Credit offer where you can receive up to $300 Onboard Credit per stateroom compliments of us! 

Category 3 – 7 day Sailings 8+ day Sailings  Europe Sailings
Oceanview $25 per stateroom $50 per stateroom $75 per stateroom
Balcony $50 per stateroom $100 per stateroom $150 per stateroom
Mini-Suite $75 per stateroom $150 per stateroom $200 per stateroom
Suites & Haven $100 per stateroom $200 per stateroom $300 per stateroom

 

Enjoy your Free At Sea Amenities and Onboard Credit on these and many other Norwegian Cruise Line voyages

Greek Isles & Turkey | Norwegian Jade
10 days from Rome to Rome departing October 3, 2019

Balcony stateroom fares starting at CA $3,743.88 per person inc. taxes & fees

BONUS: US $150 Onboard Credit Plus Free at Sea Amenities. Looking for luxury? Upgrade for up to US $300 Onboard Credit

 

Australia & New Zealand | Norwegian Jewel
10 days from Sydney to Auckland departing January 3, 2020

Balcony stateroom fares starting at CA $2,631.91 per person inc. taxes & fees

BONUS: US $100 Onboard Credit Plus Free at Sea Amenities. Looking for luxury? Upgrade for up to US $200 Onboard Credit

 

Hawaii | Pride of America 
7 days from Honolulu to Honolulu departing January 4, 2020

Balcony stateroom fares starting at CA $3,930.41 per person inc. taxes & fees

BONUS: US $50 Onboard Credit Plus Free at Sea Amenities. Looking for luxury? Upgrade for up to US $100 Onboard Credit

 

Western Caribbean | Norwegian Breakaway
7 days from Port Canaveral to Port Canaveral departing February 1, 2020

Balcony stateroom fares starting at CA $1,970.66 per person inc. taxes & fees

BONUS: US $50 Onboard Credit Plus Free at Sea Amenities. Looking for luxury? Upgrade for up to US $100 Onboard Credit

2 for 1 Savings to Alaska

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Don’t let the summer pass you by without a cruise experience in Alaska. Sail with the #1 cruise line in Alaska on their top-rated Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary and you’ll receive 2 for 1 savings on select voyages.

7 Day Voyage of the Glaciers Cruises Offer
– 2 glacier viewings, including Glacier Bay National Park
– 3 ports of call
– Scenic cruising along the Inside Passage and Gulf of Alaska

Your cruise will sail Southbound from Anchorage to Vancouver or Northbound from Vancouver to Anchorage. In 2019 you can choose from one of these ships, Coral Princess, Golden Princess, Island Princess and Royal Princess

 

HERE ARE SOME LAST-MINUTE ALASKA VOYAGES WE RECOMMEND

7 Day Southbound Voyage of the Glaciers from Whittier to Vancouver 
August 7 2019 on board the Island Princess  

Ocean-view stateroom fares starting at CA $1,288 p.p. inc. taxes & fees
BONUS: $50 Onboard credit per stateroom

 

7 Day Southbound Voyage of the Glaciers from Whittier to Vancouver 
August 14 2019 on board the Coral Princess  

Obst. Ocean-view stateroom fares starting at CA $1,118 p.p. inc. taxes & fees
BONUS: $50 Onboard credit per stateroom

 

14 Day Voyage of the Glaciers Grand Adventure Round-trip Vancouver
August 17 2019 on board the Royal Princess   

Balcony stateroom fares starting at CA $2,823 p.p. inc. taxes & fees

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Eat Around the World Aboard Norwegian!

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Get ready for a culinary exploration at Food Republic on Norwegian Cruise Line

Savor a fusion of foods and cultures from around the globe without ever leaving the ship. Travel to Peru to scoop up some ceviche. Jet away to Japan and try a new kind of sushi roll. Or have a hearty helping of noodles from China. Whichever delicious food guests choose, they will enjoy exotic dishes made with the freshest ingredients – and made fresh daily. Food Republic is not a food court, but rather a chef-inspired marketplace where guests order by using a tablet at their table or at the counter.

Travel somewhere new with every delicious bite.  Food Republic can be chosen as one of the specialty dining restaurants as part of the FREE AT SEA promotion or dine a la carte for a per person charge.

Food Republic is currently available on the following Norwegian Cruise Line ships

Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Joy

Norwegian Escape

Norwegian Encore

 

The New Wave Of Cruise Experiences

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Thirteen experiences you didn’t know you could have on a cruise.

Today’s cruising boom is good news for everyone, from aficionados who love setting sail to those ready to give a new vacation style a go. And as cruising’s popularity grows – approximately 27 million people stepped aboard in 2018 – cruise lines have diversified. It’s all about variety these days, not just in ship size – ranging from intimate, 60-passenger yachts to next-level, 6,000-person megavessels – but in style too. You can sip coffee on your balcony as you float down a European river, go searching for wildlife on an expedition ship, or get lost in a floating city at sea. Itineraries are also more creative: Culinary academies and wellness centers on board, for example, pair well with surprising shore excursions, from hiking up mountains to attending orchestra concerts. These 13 experiences are offered by cruise lines that participate in Virtuoso Voyages – an exclusive program that offers complimentary benefits and perks to travelers who book cruises through a Virtuoso travel advisor – and they’ll make you think twice about what you can do on your next sailings.

 

Welcome to the new era of cruising, where almost everything goes.

 

1 – Explore Marine Life From Inside A $3 Million Submarine

Realize your James Bond fantasies with a trip on Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Esprit, a 62-passenger yacht that touts a three-person submersible as one of its water-based activity options. (Jet Skis, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards are also at the ready.) A pilot takes two passengers at a time on explorations up to 1,000 feet below the surface, including on a seven-day, Dubrovnik-to-Venice sailing. The Esprit is an ideal vessel for scuba divers and snorkelers, and its slim size means it can call on smaller ports, including the yacht marina in Kotor, Montenegro; Croatia’s walled city of Dubrovnik; and all the way north to Venice.

Departures: Multiple dates, July 7, 2019, to August 30, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $125 shipboard credit. Submersible experience, $350.

 

2 – Set Sail With Your Pup In Tow

Crossing the Atlantic on Cunard’s eight-day, New York City to Southampton sailing is slow travel at its finest – rest, relaxation, and enrichment, from tango lessons and yoga sessions to fi lm screenings and music recitals. Share the adventure with your four-legged BFF on the 2,620-passenger Queen Mary 2, which has an onboard kennel for 24 pets. Like their owners, cats and dogs receive VIP treatment, including a portrait session, fleece coat, and “turndown service” of freshly baked biscuits. The pet lounge and play area welcome animals from both sides of the pond with a Liverpool lamppost and an NYC fire hydrant.

Departures: Multiple dates, June 7 to December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include private port transfers in New York City and London and an onboard specialty-dining credit.

 

3 – Get Your Daily Cardio In

You’ve worked too hard to let your fitness routine slide for a week. Do as much (or as little) as you like with AmaWaterways, the river-cruise line that stables bicycles for shore excursions and employs dedicated wellness hosts to lead core and circuit training classes on board. On the new, 196-passenger AmaMagna, which debuted in May and is twice as wide as most European river ships, cruisers can log a mile on the top-deck walking track, take a stretching class in the Zen Wellness Studio, hydrate at the juice bar, or get a massage. Disembark on an eight-day, Vilshofen-to-Budapest Danube River sailing to bike along the river or hike to a castle.

Departures: Multiple dates, June 2 to December 29, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a guided tour of Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace.

 

4 – Discuss World Affairs With A Career Diplomat

There’s nothing like sailing with an astronaut, scholar, government official, or filmmaker to vanquish the shuffleboard-and-buffets cruising stereotype. Seabourn raises the intellectual bar with its Seabourn Conversations series, featuring notable guests who don’t just lead onboard lectures, but engage with fellow passengers over meals and excursions as well. Ashok Sajjanhar – India’s ambassador to Sweden and Latvia and president of the Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi – will educate guests on the 599-passenger Seabourn Ovation during a 19-day, Dubaito-Singapore cruise with stops in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.

Departure: December 2, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Mumbai.

 

5 – Stay Out LATE Without Fear Of Missing The Boat

Azamara Club Cruises pioneered overnight port stays, letting guests revel in the local nightlife in addition to the standard daytime scene. The boutique cruise line is amping up its after-dark experiences with a new series of exclusive evening shore excursions, such as taking in an acrobatics performance in Valencia, Spain. On an 11-day, round-trip-from-Athens sailing on the 702-passenger Azamara Pursuit, travelers can attend a traditional Jewish folk music performance by a klezmer group at Jerusalem’s Ashdod Performing Arts Center. It’s part of an immersive, three-day stop in the holy city that includes visits to the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock.

Departure: September 4, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion to Jerusalem.

 

6 – Finally Figure Out The Difference Between A Julienne And A Brunoise Cut

Make tasty use of your time at sea on Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-passenger Marina or Riviera ships by enrolling in a cooking class or three at the onboard Culinary Center. Kick things off with Slice: Mastering Chef Knife Skills to learn the basics of mise en place before trying your hand at making pasta or grilling. The 12-day, Rio de Janeiro-to-Buenos Aires voyage on the Marina offers a balanced diet of cultural excursions in Paraty, Brazil; beach time in Punta del Este, Uruguay; and food and wine tours in Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

Departure: December 7, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include prepaid gratuities.

 

7 – Celebrate Your Anniversary With A Polynesian Blessing Ceremony

Cast away to the South Pacific for the most memorable of occasions aboard the 332-passenger Paul Gauguin Cruises. During an eight-day, roundtrip from Papeete sailing through the Society Islands – full of archaeological sites, lagoons fit for snorkeling, and white-sand beaches – local onboard hosts know as Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins can bless couples in a traditional Polynesian ceremony by reciting a love poem, singing, and after a Champagne toast, wrapping celebrants in a traditional patchwork tifaifai quilt. They’ll also teach you how to say “I do” in Tahitian, dance island-style, and make a basket out of pandanus leaves.

Departures: Multiple dates June 8 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion in Moorea.

 

8 – Spend All Day At The Spa

Bookending stops in Sint-Maarten, Dominica Saint Lucia, Antigua, and Saint Bart’s, four of the 11 days on Regent Seven Seas Cruises 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer’s roundtrip from Miami journey are spent at sea, offering prime time to find some inner peace in the ship’s Canyon Ranch Spa. This at-sea outpost mirrors the famous destination retreat, with yoga classes, seaweed wraps, hot stone massages, reflexology, and hydrotherapy features ranging from saunas to cold rooms. Between oxygen facials and pedicures, check out the ship’s impressive art collection, including several Picasso’s, or learn about the healthful secrets of Mediterranean cooking in the Culinary Arts Kitchen.

Departure: January 8, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint Bart’s

 

9 – Learn How To Steer A Sailboat

Sixteen sails bound to four masts help power the 360 foot Star Flyer clipper ship, one of three throwback vessels in the Star Clippers fleet. Nautical culture meets luxury aboard this 17- passenger vessel, which has two swimming pools on its teak decks. Friendly deckhands, who hoist the sails manually each time the ship leaves port, offer knot-tying classes, ship-maneuvering lectures, and demonstrations on navigating with a sextant – a tool to measure angular distances at sea. Test your newfound skills on a 15-day, Barbados to Panama voyage, which visits Grenada, the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), and Colombia and culminates in a sailor’s dream transit through the Panama Canal.

Departure: November 23, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a $150 shipboard credit or a private shore excursion and lunch in Saint George’s, Grenada.

 

10 – Turn Your Expedition Photos Into Professional Masterpieces

Go beyond VSCO and your smartphone’s filters: The fully equipped Photo Studio aboard Silversea Cruises’ 254-passenger (200 in polar waters) Silver Cloud offers master classes in composition, editing, and Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop programs. High-tech printers encourage shutterbugs to create postcards and panoramic prints, regardless of whether they were taken using an iPhone or a DSLR. Photograph the wildlife that inhabits the bottom of the earth on a ten-day, roundtrip-from-Ushuaia expedition to Antarctica. The ship’s resident photo manager will coach passengers on adjusting shutter speeds so they can capture images of seabirds in the Drake Passage, penguins on the South Shetland Islands, and otherworldly icebergs in the Antarctic Sound.

Departures: Multiple dates, December 10, 2019, to January 20, 2021. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $300 shipboard credit per person.

 

11 – Read Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn On The Mighty Mississippi

The sense of freedom and possibility brought to life in Twain’s iconic novel can still be found on Ol’ Man River, and you’re likely to experience both during American Queen Steamboat Company’s nine-day cruise from New Orleans to Memphis. On board the 436-passenger American Queen, an authentic paddlewheel riverboat, watch the Mississippi roll past from the ship’s decks, read a classic tome in the Mark Twain Gallery, and take in a show in the Grand Saloon. Along the way, holiday themed events and excursions reveal the history and heritage of the U.S. South. See NOLA’s ceremonial lighting of bonfires on the levee, learn how to perfect buttery biscuits in the Natchez home of award-winning chef Regina Charboneau, and more.

Departure: December 15, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception; contact your Virtuoso travel advisor regarding an additional, soon-to-be-announced amenity.

 

12 – Travel Back In Time On The Nile River

From the hand-built pyramids at Giza to tranquil Nile excursions aboard a traditional felucca sailboat, travelers will revel in the ingenuity of past centuries during their time in Egypt. Seven of the 12 days on Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s round-trip-from-Cairo itinerary are based on the elegant 82-passenger River Tosca. Egyptologist-guided excursions decode the colossal statues of Memnon, the mummified remains of King Tutankhamun in his Valley of the Kings tomb, and the hieroglyphics adorning temples from Luxor to Aswan. Changing pace, ride a felucca and take tea at the hotel where Agatha Christie set Death on the Nile. Go now, while tourism is growing, but before the masses return.

Departures: Multiple dates, September 28 to December 28, 2019. Virtuoso Voyages benefits on select sailings include a $200 shipboard credit per person.

 

13 – Get Cooking With A Celebrated Chef

The James Beard Foundation ships out its award-winning chefs and sommeliers on culinary-themed Windstar Cruises sailings, which include cooking demos, beverage pairings, and market tours. Gain firsthand knowledge by joining a talented chef and beverage expert on a ten-day, San Diego-to-Vancouver sailing aboard the 212-passenger Star Breeze, which plies the U.S. West Coast with stops in Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The chef will host a wine-paired dinner, lead a shopping trip, and provide a cooking demonstration. Work off the meals while exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

Departure: May 5, 2020. Virtuoso Voyages benefits include an onboard host and welcome reception and a custom-curated shore event.

 

 

Original Article from Virtuoso Traveler July 2019 issue

New Luxury Guest Accommodations at McKinley Chalet Resort

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 53 0

Holland America celebrates the Grand Opening of their new 99-Room Addition at McKinley Resort in Alaska

Holland America Line held a grand opening ceremony for its new luxury guest accommodations at McKinley Chalet Resort Friday, June 14. Officially dedicating the new Ridge View building that opened for the 2019 Alaska cruise season, the ribbon-cutting celebration was attended by Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation and plc president and CEO; Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK; Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line; Charlie Ball; executive vice president, land operations and customer service for Holland America Group, and several other staff members, business partners and community members. Also attending were representatives from Alaska State Senators Lisa Murkowski’s and Dan Sullivan’s offices and Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker.

The new 99-room addition features the first-ever junior suites at the McKinley Chalet Resort where guests stay on Holland America Line’s award-winning Land+Sea Journeys. Fifty-four of the new rooms are luxurious junior suites with balconies, larger living areas and enhanced amenities including heated bathroom floors and a stunning floor-to-ceiling map of Denali National Park and Reserve.

The new rooms are an extension of Holland America Line’s overland Alaska experience to Denali, which includes the McKinley Chalet Resort hotel and Denali Square, a gathering area to relax, shop, dine and enjoy music and entertainment. The addition is located just west of Denali Square, with views of Mt. Healy and Denali National Park and Preserve.

The new three-story facility, named Ridge View, features junior suites and standard rooms with modern rustic-chic décor. All junior suites have balconies, so guests can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding Alaska wilderness while relaxing on their private deck.

The first two floors have central, open-air lobbies with cozy furniture and gas fireplaces. The third floor has open public deck space with tables and loungers so guests can take in the panoramic scenery.

The new rooms are an exciting addition to the McKinley Chalet Resort, Holland America Line’s magnificent 68-acre hotel property on the Nenana River. The hotel — featuring guest rooms, dining facilities and extensive walking trails — serves as home base for all adventures in and around Denali National Park, such as the full-day Tundra Wilderness Tour included on most Land+Sea Journeys as well as optional flightseeing, ATV adventures, fly fishing, river rafting right from the hotel property and more. All accommodations feature stylish décor and premium amenities.

Alaska-based companies that worked on the project include general contractor Ghemm Company, Inc., based in Fairbanks. Lead architect Heliotrope is based in Seattle, Washington, and also developed Karstens Public House at Denali Square. Heliotrope worked with the Fairbanks office of Alaskan architectural firm Bettisworth North. Costigan Integrated of Seattle served as project manager.

Denali Square Complex Immerses Guests in Alaska Culture
Steps from the new rooms, Denali Square lies at the heart of Holland America Line’s Denali property and is centrally located between the main area of the McKinley Chalet Resort and the riverfront guest rooms.

The largest building in the complex is Karstens Public House, the grand 7,000-square-foot, two-story restaurant showcasing outdoor deck seating and views of the neighboring mountains for dining guests. At the center of Denali Square sits an amphitheater with a covered performance stage and bench seating for guests to enjoy a variety of local shows and ranger talks. Those wanting to quench their thirst or listen to live music can visit Gold Nugget Saloon, home to the Music of Denali Dinner Theater.

Denali Square also features fire pits, outdoor seating, retail shops offering local goods, and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaska native and local artists display and discuss their works. Walking paths in and around Denali Square show off the property’s mountainous landscapes and beautiful setting.

Land+Sea Journeys Offer Most Comprehensive Alaska Adventure
Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Inside Passage or Glacier Discovery cruise with in-depth overland tours to the Yukon and Alaska’s interior.

Holland America Line is the only cruise company to combine must-see sites such as Denali National Park and Preserve — the centerpiece of every Land+Sea Journey — with rare ones such as Dawson City, in the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush Country. Offering up to three days at Denali for wildlife viewing and spectacular scenery, Land+Sea Journeys are designed to highlight the best of Alaska’s wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history.

If you’re looking to visit Denali and book one of these new suites, connect with on of our cruise specialists and discover Holland America’s Land+Sea itineraries today!