5 Reasons to Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site
From awe-inspiring natural wonders to unmatched feats of human engineering, UNESCO’s World Heritage List is your guidebook for the trip of a lifetime. Seabourn Cruise Lines has selected Five Reasons why you need to include a UNESCO World Heritage site to your must-see travel list.
WHAT IS UNESCO?
UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Founded in 1945, it is the arm of the United Nations dedicated to fostering peaceful communication between nations and preserving cherished heritage sites around the world. The agency promotes growth in five core areas: education, culture, natural sciences, social and human sciences, and communication and information.
WHY SHOULD TRAVELERS KNOW ABOUT UNESCO?
In 1972, UNESCO inaugurated the World Heritage List, a prestigious index of places around the world with resounding universal value. The World Heritage sites are bastions of natural beauty, cultural significance, or a combination of both, and they epitomize the values, history, and triumphs of their home countries. With over 1000 sites and counting, the World Heritage List is the ultimate traveler’s guide—a bucket list of destinations worth seeing.
FIVE REASONS TO VISIT:
DISCOVER HIDDEN GEMS
In addition to the landmarks on every world traveler’s radar, like the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu, the World Heritage Committee surfaces sites you’ve likely never heard of. From the wooden churches on Chile’s Chiloé Island to the Jodrell Bank Observatory in northwestern England, the list will broaden your travel horizons beyond the usual tourist destinations.
TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
The World Heritage List unearths some of man’s earliest creations: rock engravings in the Great Plains dating to the Contact Period; the oldest salt mine in Europe; Buddhist cave art from the 5th and 6th centuries. It’s one thing to know that we’ve been around for a long time—it’s another thing altogether to see proof of it.
Preserving the cultural and natural integrity of threatened sites is one of UNESCO’s core objectives. The World Heritage List has a special designation for properties at risk of destruction—whether by natural disasters, armed conflict, or any other forces—and reserves funds to support and protect these sites. The ongoing conservation efforts ensure that cherished cultural landmarks will thrive for generations to come.
MARVEL AT SUPERLATIVE SIGHTS
To make the World Heritage List, a site must pass several stages of rigorous evaluation and meet at least one of 10 selection criteria. In short, every location is unequivocally superb. From archaeological ruins and sacred monasteries to animal sanctuaries and volcanic parks, there are marvels of all kinds for travelers of all interests.
GAIN SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE
The World Heritage Committee works with a range of stakeholders to preserve the integrity of cherished landmarks and foster sustainable tourism. Seabourn has recently extended its partnership with UNESCO, pledging to continue supporting World Heritage sites through philanthropic donations and educational initiatives. As the official cruise partner of UNESCO, Seabourn offers more than 250 shore experiences at over 170 UNESCO designated sites and has also created special World Heritage Discovery Tours at a number of ports worldwide. Lastly, you’ll enjoy enhanced content on seabourn.com thanks to our partnership with UNESCO, aimed to increase awareness of some of the world’s most storied destinations.
Crystal Endeavor Expeditions
On August 10, 2020, Crystal Endeavor will embark on her maiden voyage from Tokyo. The groundbreaking vessel under Crystal Expedition Cruises will sail a remote and remarkable journey through the islands of Japan and the Russian Far East, Antarctica via the Ross Sea; New Zealand and Tasmania; Australia and the Great Barrier Reef; and Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines.
We are most excited for the Crystal Endeavor’s Indonesian Immersive & the Great Barrier Reef that sails for 16 nights from Bali to Cairns on October 15, 2020. You’ll journey through the legendary Spice Islands and Papua New Guinea, to Komodo Island where you may encounter its famous dragons. And of course the breathtaking underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.
Throughout this voyage you’ll want to don your wet suit for fascinating deep water discoveries like Lizard Island, nestled within the spectacular Great Barrier Reef and Ribbon Reef, constituting approximately 125 miles of it. Lizard Island is an ideal spot for expedition adventures that range from snorkeling to rugged hikes through mangroves and acacia woodlands in search of the yellow-spotted monitor lizard and even taking the time to sun yourself along white sand beaches. Ribbon Reef presents opportunities to dive deep into the coves, caves and canyons that house a rainbow of sea life within an isolated haven of turquoise. In Kalabahi, Indonesia, a snorkeling adventure will take you to the coastal waters of Pura Island, where the coral reefs still thrive and tropical fish dart in and out, playing hide-and-seek with visitors. You may also meet some of the local Alor tribe, who farm and fish the land.
There are adventures and eye-opening discoveries in each of these spectacular destination, and even aboard the expedition ship itself.
Cruising to Japan: 11 Incredible Ports to Explore
When you journey to Japan you will experience a land of culture, history and sites beyond your imagination. To ensure you see all you are meant to, read on to discover 11 incredible ports to explore when you sail Japan with Norwegian Cruise Lines
If you’re looking through Norwegian’s Asia cruises, you’ll find no shortage of beautiful and exotic ports, many of which are in Japan. In fact, you can even book a cruise that primarily explores some of Japan’s most iconic destinations. One option is a 13-day cruise from Yokohama. If you’re planning a cruise to Japan, here’s a look at 11 incredible ports in Japan you can’t miss.
1. Shimizu (Mount Fuji)
Shimizu is a popular port because it’s the gateway to Mount Fuji (pictured above), but it’s also one of Japan’s most beautiful ports. Here, you can visit Japan’s first sushi museum, check out the archeological site of Toro that dates back to 200 BC, or wander through a 650-year-old black pine forest. If you’re interested in regional specialties, you’ll find traditional wooden handicrafts, fabrics, and local eats like a sweet jellied confection known as yokan.
Kobe, Japan, is famous for its iconic beef, but it’s also the gateway to the popular city of Osaka. Here you can visit Ikuta Shrine, one of Japan’s oldest shrines, and spend the rest of the day eating and drinking your way through one of Japan’s most beloved food destinations. Enjoy an endless amount of street foods, and don’t miss Kobe’s Nada District, which is the top sake-producing region in the county.
Travelers who want to learn more about Japan’s Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1886, should book a cruise that stops in Kanazawa. This is the second-largest city to survive World War II intact. You can explore the old castle town, the Nagamachi samurai district, and teahouses in the geisha district. You’ll find no shortage of temples and museums, plus a historic market that dates back to 1721.
Sapporo is one of Japan’s youngest cities and was the host city for the 1972 Winter Olympics. World class skiing and the annual ice festival are two reasons people flock to Sapporo, especially in the winter months. From Sapporo, you can also visit other iconic destinations, such as Hokkaido, or mineral-rich hot springs like Noboribetsu.
Beppu is famous for its countless hot springs. The most famous of these is Jigoku, or Hell Circuit, but you won’t be taking a dip here, as it’s only for admiring. Depending on the time of year you visit, you may be able to view thousands of cherry blossoms in the spring or the stunning leaves of autumn. For local food specialties, don’t miss stopping by the historic Tomonaga Panya. This bakery dates back to 1916, and its signature specialty is the wanchan (doggie) bun.
Sasebo was once an old fishing village, but it transitioned into a large naval port in the 19th century. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the wide range of outdoor activities here. Visit the zoological and tropical botanical gardens with over 1,200 plant species and 80 animal species. Love Dutch tulips? Huis Ten Bosch is a recreation of a 17th-century Dutch village, complete with its own tulip fields. For traditional Japanese fare, explore the Yorozu-cho District where you can find a fun market with fresh seafood, produce, and plenty of handmade pottery and clothing.
The best views in Hakodate are seen from atop Hakodate Mountain. You can take a scenic ride up the gondola to the observation deck and marvel at the views below. Don’t miss interesting Hakodate attractions like Fort Goryokaku, built in the shape of a star, or the Hakodate market. Be sure to eat local specialties like kaisen-don, a seafood rice bowl.
The western part of Japan is seafood heaven, and Sakaiminato is the main fishing port for this part of the country. If you’ve eaten succulent snow crab in Japan, it comes from the Sakai Port. Beautiful sculptures from local artist Shigeru Mizuki line Kitaro Road, and the city is famed for its “Yokai” bronze sculptures of Japanese folklore spirit monsters.
Kochi is another fun Japanese port, especially if you want to experience a Japanese beach. Katsurahama Beach is beautiful and is home to the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial that honors the famous Japanese peace negotiator. Settlement in this area started in 1601, and you can visit the area surrounding the historic Kochi Castle. Don’t miss trying Katsuo no tataki, which is a type of tuna tataki.
Okinawa is renowned for its natural beauty, and Miyako-Jima is a beautiful port in the Okinawa Prefecture. Visitors are blown away by the turquoise water and world-class snorkeling. After you’ve worked up an appetite in the water, be sure to try Okinawa soba, a local specialty.
Hiroshima is an emotional port for many travelers. It’s a historically rich region, but also a solemn reminder of World War II. Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, where you’ll find numerous monuments to honor those who perished during the war. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a myriad of outdoor activities like hiking and biking. Hiroshima is renowned for its local cuisine, including okonomiyaki, a crepe-like dish that some people refer to as Japanese pizza. It has vegetables, cabbage, and usually seafood. If you like oysters, don’t miss trying grilled oysters in Hiroshima either.
If your budget and vacation time allows, consider an East Asia cruise that primarily explores some of these ports in Japan. Many itineraries start or end in Tokyo, so you can add extra days to explore one of the world’s most dynamic cities on your own.
Travelling with Kids on the m/s Paul Gauguin
A model on a Paul Gauguin Cruises photo shoot, Elke enjoyed her shipboard experience so much, she returned as a guest—twice. She shares some of the moments that made the voyages so special for her now 11-year-old son.
What comes to mind for you when you think of French Polynesia? Visions of stilted bungalows nestled over the crystal-clear waters of Bora Bora and Moorea? Honeymooners holding hands and strolling under swaying palm trees? For me, it’s the image of my son frolicking in sun-warmed waters, giggling, with a huge smile on his face. As a seasoned traveler, I’m always surprised when people tell me, “We always leave our kids at home when we take a vacation.” I get that couple time is important. To me, though, the amazing life lessons kids learn from travel and the enrichment they receive from local culture stay with them for a lifetime and shape who they become as adults. So, for me, the question is: why wouldn’t you take your kids?
My husband, son, and I have taken the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin twice, and to me, The Gauguin is truly the best way to experience French Polynesia as a family. So many choices filled each day! The only question is: where to begin? I think the easiest way to way to explain how wonderful French Polynesia and The Gauguin are for families is to describe our experiences and adventures in each port.
My son loves history, and Huahine is a great first stop to take in the history of French Polynesia! Starting from the port town of Maroe, we took a tour around the island. From the dock, we stopped at Fare, a sleepy fishing village, where you can see the mountain whose ridge gave the island its name (literally, pregnant woman). At Maeva, there is Fare Pote’e, a replica of an open, traditional house that is a museum with historical and cultural information. Fare was the seat of local power for the island, so there are a host of marae (religious sites built from stone) scattered along the shoreline. This stop was very interesting to my son and transported us back in time to how life was lived here so many moons ago.
If you are interested in how pearls or vanilla are produced, you can easily visit farms for each here and be amazed by their elaborate production processes. My son was fascinated by both! The small boat ride out to the pearl farm was also a lot of fun.
Another stop that fascinated him was our visit to Faie, where you can see and even feed sardines to Huahine’s famous and sacred blue-eyed eels. My son was mesmerized by these friendly and curious creatures swimming around his feet.
French Polynesia is a water playground for all ages because of its calm waters, beautiful sandy beaches, and gently sloping shores. Motu Mahana, The Gauguin’s private islet, is just the place to dip in and enjoy some great snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming. Or you can just lounge on the sandbar or build a sand castle. My son gladly participated in all the motu has to offer! Throughout the day, The Gauguin’s troupe of Tahitian ambassadors, Les Gauguines and Les Gauguin, provided entertainment, demonstrations, and storytelling. The fascinating legend of how the coconut tree came to be was one that children and adults could enjoy equally. And everyone gets a fresh coconut to drink from while lounging under the dappled shade of coconut trees. What could be better or tastier than that?
When we were on Bora Bora, my son the history buff appreciated the stories of World War II and how Bora Bora played a strategic role in the conflict.
And here’s something else he appreciated about Bora Bora: the beautiful coral reefs that make the island an ideal place to snorkel and dive. The Gauguin offers an onboard Discover SCUBA Diving class that can count toward PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification. My son took the class on both voyages so that we could all dive together as a family. The ship’s dive team is very knowledgeable, nice, and thorough, and they put my son right at ease.
Bora Bora and Moorea both have wonderful shallow dive sites for beginners (under 30 feet) where beautiful coral and fish are abundant. The clarity is wonderful to the point that you forget you are underwater! I think I have hundreds of pictures of my son giving me underwater OK and hang-ten hand signals, he enjoyed it so much. He especially loved the blacktip sharks, giant turtles, slews of colorful fish, dynamic coral, little underwater Christmas trees, and blue-lipped clams that closed up as if by magic when he waved his hand over them.
The Gauguin also has a private beach on Bora Bora—a restful spot to lounge in shallow waters with Mount Otemanu in the background. My son played a little trick on me with a coconut that looked like an eel coming out of the water. I guess he WAS paying attention when Les Gauguines told the Polynesian legend of a prince becoming the first coconut tree. If you look at a coconut shell, it really does look like an eel’s face. Uncanny!
Moorea was our favorite island! In fact, we loved it so much, we spent another week there both times after our cruises. We loved visiting the little idyllic motus and snorkeling until our fingers and toes turned into little prunes, which was forever since the water is so warm. My son spent so much time underwater petting the gentle and graceful rays. And what little boy wouldn’t be over the moon to be face to face with blacktip sharks? He definitely had some interesting and adventurous stories to tell his buddies back home!
On our last trip to Moorea, we kayaked out to a little motu and gathered little hermit crabs along the beach and had hermit crab races, ending in a rainbow over the water. Great memories!
By land, make sure you make it up to the Belvedere lookout point, where there are lush and gorgeous vistas of Opunohu and Cook’s Bays and Mt. Rotui. Just before you get there, you can stop at Marae Titiroa to wander among the many preserved marae platforms linked by a walking track. My son loved this trek through the cool dense forest of chestnut trees that shelters these pieces of history. There are lots of signs marking and explaining everything, and the trail is easy for families to follow. The archery platform was his favorite.
Shopping. Shopping. Shopping. Need I say more? My son, the little shopper, loved le Marche de Pape’ete to buy friends, family, and himself beautiful black pearl and shell jewelry, monoi (coconut oils) and fragrant tiare soaps, and colorful island-y trinkets.
Of course, you don’t have to be visiting an island to have a great time! Life aboard ship fleshed out the experience for our family. On each voyage, we were blown away by the kindness of the ship’s crew and how especially sweet they were to my son—always joking with him and genuinely looking after him. I don’t think there was a staff member who didn’t know my son’s name and what he liked to eat and drink.
Their attention to detail is simply incredible. My son has a severe peanut allergy, which can be very stressful when you’re eating out, especially when you’re abroad. Hernie from the dining staff went way beyond the call of duty to make sure my son was safe AND enjoyed the amazing culinary creations on board. My son has broadened his palate, developing a taste for pâté and brie with baguettes, and he ate desserts with abandon. We definitely all tipped the scales a little heavier when we departed the ship!
There’s a lot more to life aboard than just the gourmet-quality local and French foods. We enjoyed interesting lectures about the history, culture, and the environment of the region by very knowledgeable speakers. My son loves the ocean and was very interested in hearing about coral reef restoration by one of the lecturers. We also learned local stories and legends and listened to beautiful songs sung by Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins along the way.
My son and I also had so much fun immersing ourselves in creating crafts with local materials, making several different types of bracelets (shell bracelets, local bean bracelets, and textile bracelets), hand-painted bookmarks and postcards on tapas (paper made from hibiscus bark), and leis (fragrant floral necklaces) with the local mamas of Moorea.
You can also go on land/sea excursions—or simply relax and take in the natural beauty of the lush green islands surrounding you, as you listen to Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins strumming ukuleles as you sit on the pool deck or paddle around the pool.
My son made a friend on board, and we found that our voyage gave us a good mix of family and new-friend time.
It was with heavy hearts that we departed the ship. My son loved The Gauguin, the ports, the activities, and the crew so very much! The amazing people and places we visited linger in our hearts and minds with the melody of the islands, and we are all forever changed as a family by our experiences there. So, yes … definitely take your kids on a trip of a lifetime!
Post c/o the Paul Gauguin Cruises Blog April 12 2019
Original content can be found here
Shore Excursion Highlight: Glacier Walk & Waterfalls
This Mindful Living Tour may be experienced on Seabourn’s Route of the Vikings voyages, British Isles & Iceland, Atlantic Isles Quest, A Viking Summer, Icealandic Summer, Northern Summer Skies, Viking Island Quest, Icelandic & Scottish Adventure, Commonwealth & Viking Route Quest, Atlantic & Maritimes Quest
GLACIER WALK & WATERFALLS: A MINDFUL LIVING TOUR
Live the dream today with this opportunity to walk on an Icelandic glacier.
Leaving the city, relax and enjoy a panoramic drive southeast, passing over Hellisheiði — a mountain that offers a magnificent view of the wide plains formed by glacial rivers. You’re headed towards the town of Hveragerði surrounded by fertile farmland. The south coast of Iceland has some of the fantastic greenhouses built to harness geothermal energy for the food and horticulture industry. The quality and taste of these naturally grown vegetables is fabulous. Continue driving east, passing small villages and farmland. The majestic mountains towering above the coastal plain are your companions. Weather permitting, you might catch a glimpse of snow-shrouded Hekla — the country’s most active volcano. In the distance lies ice-capped Eyjafjallajökull volcano, whose 2010 eruption brought Europe’s aviation industry to a standstill. Beautiful Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is a fun surprise — you can walk behind the falls for a view of the falls’ backside! At Myìrdalsjökull Glacier, meet your expert glacier guides and set out on a hike to the frozen glacial tongue named Sólheimajökull — a rugged, raw and ever-changing river of frozen water. Step onto the glacier and observe the spectacular surroundings as you walk to the ice wall. Here, you will climb the ice, equipped with ice axes, crampons and safety lines that ensure that even if lose your grip, you will not fall. Once the glacier hike is over, head back to Reykjavík, stopping for a late lunch near Skógafoss Waterfall.
Please note: It is essential that you wear warm, layered clothing in order to fully enjoy and participate in this excursion. Outer layer jackets and pants should be waterproof and windproof (jeans are not permitted). Bring gloves, a warm hat and a scarf. Excellent, sturdy hiking shoes are required to fit the crampons. This outdoor activity comes with inherent risks. Waiver must be signed and medical conditions disclosed. The walking takes place on Sólheimajökull Glacier which is a branch of the Myìrdalsjökull Glacier. Lunch is light and includes Icelandic meat soup or soup of the day, bread and dessert with tea or coffee. This is a long walking/hiking tour, suitable only for physically fit participants. The glacier walk does not require any special skills but you must follow the guide’s instruction at all times and keep to the walking paths. Minimum age is 10 years.
As an extension of the Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, this Mindful Living tour is designed to deliver the experience that contributes to mind and body wellness. You are invited to visit the on-board spa to speak to the Mindful Living coach to learn more about Dr. Weil and our holistic wellness program.
The South Pacific Is Made For Families
The South Pacific isn’t just for romantic getaways, it’s a wonderful destination for families. And Paul Gauguin Cruises can help create a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for your family to create memories you’ll relive forever with their Moana Explorer Program
Offered in partnership with Te mana o te moana, a South Pacific marine education and conservation foundation, this exciting new program invites children and teens, ages 7-15, to discover and value the natural wonders of this breathtaking part of the world through hands-on, interactive learning.
Every day of the voyage, there is a combination of naturalist-led island and/or beach excursions, science activities, crafts, games, and other adventures. Depending on their itinerary, your children might learn about underwater life through board games, create natural jewelry, conduct water experiments, go on a treasure hunt, enjoy water games in the onboard pool, go stargazing, design their own Polynesian tattoo, and more.
Best of all, there is no fee* for this special family program! It’s all part of Paul Gauguin Cruises’ extraordinary all-inclusive value.
Tahiti & the Society Islands – 7 nights
July 20; December 21, December 28, 2019
Society Islands & Tahiti Iti – 7 nights
July 27, 2019
Society Islands & Tuamotus – 10 nights
July 10; August 14, 2019
Cook Islands & Society Islands – 11 nights
June 15; August 3, 2019
The Moana Explorer program is only available on select sailings during the summer and holiday and must be reserved at time of booking.
NEW Seven Seas Splendor™ Destination Experiences Unveiled
Experience something new in 2020, sailing aboard Regent Seven Seas newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor, with 65 New Shore Excursions. Spanning 9 countries in various ports across the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, these new explorations — 28 of which are FREE — offer more excitement, deeper learning and even more enriching opportunities than before.
Soar in a helicopter over the gorgeous countryside outside Monaco en route to an unforgettable meal at La Bastide de Moustiers, created by the famed French chef Alain Ducasse, or stay grounded on an electric-bike tour of La Cadiere d’Azur, savoring the bouquets of the many vintages found throughout the vineyards around Toulon, France. Tour the stunning beauty around Sorrento, Italy and edify your soul as you take in Caravaggio’s masterpiece, The Seven Works of Mercy, on display at Pious Mount of Mercy Church in Naples, or come under the tutelage of a master chef in Greenock, Scotland to discover there is much more than just haggis to Scottish cuisine.
Whatever new experience you’re seeking, find it with Regent Seven Seas next year, as you sail aboard the resplendent Seven Seas Splendor. Beginning in 2021, these experiences will be available on European voyages across the fleet.
Here’s a sample of some of the Destination Experiences
OTTOMAN EMPIRE CHALLENGE | FROM SPLIT, CROATIA
Learn about the Croatian victories over the invading Ottomans in the 16th and 17th centuries.Visit a museum in the town of Sinj with enlightening military exhibits. See two centuries-old fortresses where the Croatians battled the Ottoman army. Sample local delicacies such as fresh-baked bread, flavorful cheeses and wine at Stella Croatica.
MAY 12, 2020 – Venice to Rome
JUL 13, 2020 – Venice to Venice
CRUISE TO DELOS & RHENIA | FROM MYKONOS, GREECE
Cruise to the uninhabited island of Delos and explore the wealth of excavated ruins. Peruse the Sanctuary of Apollo, named for the god that was supposedly born on Delos. Enjoy the solitude and beauty of uninhabited Rhenia Island during a leisurely beach break.
JUL 13, 2020 – Venice to Venice
SEP 24, 2020 – Rome to Athens
OCT 4, 2020 – Athens to Istanbul
AN EXCLUSIVE VISIT TO GLENARM CASTLE | FROM BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND
Take in the lovely scenery of the Antrim Coast on the way to Glenarm Castle. Enjoy an exclusive tour of the castle, which has been in the same family for 400 years. Stroll through the castle’s spectacular walled garden on your own.
AUG 18, 2020 – London to London
WITH A SIDECAR THROUGH BARCELONA | FROM BARCELONA, SPAIN
Ride in a motorcycle with a sidecar through Barcelona, taking in the absolute landmarks. See Antoni Gaudí-designed World Heritage sites such the Church of the Sacred Family. Drive down the luxury shop-lined Passeig de Gràcia, the so-called Champs Elysees of Barcelona.
JUN 26, 2020 – Monte Carlo to Rome
SEP 14 , 2020 – Monte Carlo to Rome
MUSSEL TASTING TOUR BY SPEED BOAT | FROM KOTOR, MONTENEGRO
Cruise the typically calm, protected waters of Boka Bay in a speed boat. Meander around the orthodox chapel on the teeny islet Our Lady of the Rocks. Sample freshwater mussels at a farm on the bay that grows and harvests the bi-valves.
APR 30, 2020 – Barcelona to Venice
JUL 6, 2020 – Rome to Venice
JUL 13, 2020 – Venice to Venice
JUL 23, 2020 – Venice to Barcelona
OCT 14, 2020 – Istanbul to Venice
OCT 24, 2020 – Venice to Rome
Many other exciting new experiences are available. One of our Luxury cruise specialists will be pleased to assist you in planning your Regent Seven Seas cruise.
New Luxury Guest Accommodations at McKinley Chalet Resort
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!
Why You Should Cruise Northern Europe With Seabourn
Celebrate summer in Scandinavia’s capitals and quaint towns. Stockholm cafes set tables on the sidewalks. Oslo and Helsinki bloom with brilliant flowers and the sounds of children. Gilded fountains sparkle at St. Petersburg’s Summer Palace. Glide between towering cliffs in Norway’s Trollfjord. There’s no lovelier season than a Scandinavian summer, and no better way to experience it than on Seabourn.
1. Hand-selected itineraries include boutique ports, sheltered coves and hidden harbors where larger ships cannot go
2. Both Seabourn Quest and the Seabourn Ovation will be sailing in the region, giving you a wide choice of itineraries and departure dates
3. In-depth explorations of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, mixing history, the arts and sheer natural beauty
4. Exciting Iceland and Greenland voyages, including many maiden ports on unique cruises to and from Reykjavik, Iceland
5. More optional Ventures by Seabourn™ excursions available in select destinations expressly curated to provide ample opportunities
for active kayaking, Zodiac cruising and scenic trekking experiences
6. Shopping with the Chef excursions in Bergen, Oslo, Dublin, Helsinki, Reykjavík, Nuuk and Stockholm allow you to learn about regional markets and see how the freshest ingredients are selected, with an expert Seabourn chef as your guide
7. Regionally inspired cuisine using local seasonal produce
8. Seabourn’s Signature culinary event, the Galley Market Lunch▲ — a tour de force of temptation guaranteed to please any palate
9. Let’s Dance! deck party, Caviar on the Ice and other special deck events
10. Seabourn Conversations with special guest speakers, including our knowledgeable Expedition Team including Naturalists, a Marine
Biologist, Kayak Guide, Historian, Ornithologist and more
11. Optional 3-day mid-cruise excursion in St. Petersburg, With exclusive content though partnership with UNESCO
12. Optional excursion Exclusive Visit to Stonehenge: A UNESCO Partner Tour, from Portland. Through our partnership, this tour providing you access before the site opens for general admission to venture beyond the ropes and walk among the stones, with your guide
13. Shore excursions to UNESCO World Heritage Sites with enhanced content through an exclusive partnership, including Historic Center (Old Town) of Tallinn, The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, Old and New Towns of Edinburgh and more
14. Expedition team on deck helping spot wildlife, outfitted with high precision, long-range Swarovski Optik binoculars for complimentary use
Enhance and extend your Northern Europe VOYAGE with an optional shore excursion, Ventures by Seabourn excursions or mid-cruise tour. Here is a sampling of some of favorites.
Svolvaer (Lofoten), Norway — Ventures by Seabourn: Lofoten Exploration and Trollfjord by Zodiac
Depart from the ship in Zodiacs, to cruise the spectacular Lofoten Islands and fjords of Norway with a resident naturalist. Artists flock to the Lofoten archipelago for its stunning light, majestic peaks, sea – and skyscapes and lovely beaches. You’ll step ashore at one of these as naturalists interpret the flora and fauna, perhaps including resident moose. Then Zodiac northward to Trollfjord, and
watch Seabourn Quest enter the steep, narrow passage from sea level before re-boarding.
Stavanger, Norway — Ventures by Seabourn: Preikestolen/Pulpit Rock Hike
Perhaps no scene is more iconic to Norway’s fjords than the view from flat-topped Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen, towering 2,000 ft (604
m) above Lysefjord. Take a short ferry crossing to the village of Tau and a scenic transfer to the trailhead at Preikestolhytta. Then a two hour hike of 2.4 miles (3.8 km) ascending 1,100 ft (330 m) will find you standing atop Pulpit Rock and taking in the spectacular view of Lysefjord and the surrounding mountains. Then descend down the trail to return to your ship.
Qaqortoq, Greenland — Ventures by Seabourn: Hvalsey Norse Ruins by Zodiac
Depart Qaqortoq by Zodiac with a resident archaeologist and naturalists, exploring the coastline to the head of the fjord. Landing
at a jetty, scramble up and discover the nearby ruins of the Hvalsey farm and church, where a marriage in 1408 supplied the last written record of Norse presence in Greenland. Amid the ruins, the archaeologist will conjure for you the site as it was in the past,
surrounded by dwarf willows and harebells, perhaps with ghostly icebergs floating just off the gravel beach.
St. Petersburg, Russia — Extraordinary St. Petersburg & Moscow: A 3-Day UNESCO Partner Tour
In St. Petersburg, visit Catherine’s Palace and its Amber Room. Continue to the Peter & Paul Fortress and Cathedral. Then explore
the spectacular Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood before returning to your ship. Next day, take the high-speed train to Moscow to tour the Kremlin’s palaces, cathedrals and resplendent Armory museum, as well as Red Square, before returning by train. On day three, tour the Hermitage Museum in the Winter Palace and its Treasury Diamond Room, and the Summer Palace and fountain gardens at Peterhof.
Exploring the rivers of Europe with Viking
Are you charmed by the idea of exploring Europe but do not want a traditional coach tour? You want to be right in the heart of the towns and villages but still want the comfort of having a guide? Then a river cruise sounds just about perfect for you! Immerse yourself in the Old World as you sail Europe’s most iconic rivers. Discover Danube gems like Vienna and Budapest. See storied Rhine castles. Trace French history along the Seine. From the Main to the Moselle, the Douro to the Dordogne, the Viking experience is unsurpassed.
Why Cruise the Rivers of Europe with Viking?
Viking takes you to the heart of Europe via its grand waterways, providing you with boundless insight into the continent’s cultural and historic treasures. Immerse yourself in the storybook villages, vibrant cultural centers and picturesque landscapes of The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, France, Hungary and Switzerland, and unlock a whole new world of discovery. Here is a sample of what you will see on one of their European river cruises:
- Culinary delights in Lyon, France
- Medieval Prague, “City of a Thousand Spires”
- The elegant boulevards and grand monuments of Paris
- Historic Wittenberg, home to Martin Luther
- Fairytale windmills of The Netherlands
- Wine tastings in the quintas of Portugal’s Douro Valley
- Budapest’s regal Parliament building and Chain Bridge
- Vienna’s inspirational legacy of classical music
- France’s famed wineries in Beaujolais, Bordeaux and beyond
The Viking Difference
Award-Winning Viking Longships – Viking’s Longships showcase innovative engineering, streamlined Scandinavian design with understated elegance, and provide you with unprecedented levels of comfort designed to connect you to your destination.
Unparallelled Staterooms & Suites – with their exclusive patented corridor configuration, Viking is able to offer a variety of stateroom choices that include spacious Veranda and French Balcony staterooms. As well as Veranda and Explorer Suites.
Destination Focused Dining – Menus include regional cuisine and always available classics enhanced with locally sourced ingredients, so you can explore new cultures through food.
Award-Winning Service – Viking has over 7,000 staff members worldwide devoted to making your stay on board as memorable as possible. And with 90% of their staff returning year after year, you can expect the same quality service, cruise after cruise.
Onboard Enrichment Programs – While sailing you’ll want to take advantage of Cultural enrichment programs to supplement your onshore experience such as Guest Lectures & Port Talks, Destination Performances, Craft and Cooking Demonstrations and Destination Insight films available right in your stateroom.
Onshore Experiences – You’ll enjoy an included guided excursion in every port, plus The Viking Way® of exploration.
THE RIVERS OF EUROPE
Danube River Cruises
Coursing through Germany, Austria, Hungary and seven other countries all the way to the Black Sea, the Danube is the soul of Central Europe. Join us along these culture-rich banks, whose scenic vineyards, ancient monasteries and elegant cities have inspired travelers for centuries.
Rhine River Cruises
Raise a glass of Riesling to our acclaimed Rhine River cruises through Switzerland, Germany and The Netherlands. See how the Rhine, Main and Moselle river systems unfold to create a spellbinding display of storybook villages, Dutch windmills, German vineyards and Gothic cities.
Elbe River Cruises
Sail the Elbe to reaches seldom seen in Germany and the Czech Republic. Insights greet you at every bend as you explore majestic Berlin and Prague, delve into Wittenberg’s religious history and contrast the delicacy of Meissen porcelain with the rocky brawn of Saxon Switzerland.
Main River Cruises
Winding between Mainz and Bamberg, the Main passes through 34 locks—16 more connect it to the Danube via the Main-Danube Canal. While this engineering feat enables river travel across the entire length of Europe, it also unlocks a trove of unspoiled landscapes and historic towns.
Seine River Cruises
The Seine meanders on a serpentine path through the Norman countryside, an historic region of great pastoral beauty. Drift along dreamy apple orchards and medieval ruins. Explore elegant Paris. See Monet’s Giverny home. And honor World War II heroes on Normandy beaches.
Moselle River Cruises
The romantic Moselle winds through an enchanting landscape of castles, picture-book villages and terraced slate hillsides that form one of the world’s richest wine regions. With a settled history that predates the Romans, it is yours to discover on one of our Moselle river cruises.
Saône River Cruises
Cruise the Saône with Viking, as gentle countryside and historic cities unfold before you. Savor Lyon, France’s traditional gastronomic capital. Taste ruby-red wines in the lush vineyards of Beaujolais and Burgundy. Join us to experience this rewarding corner of France, up close.
Rhône River Cruises
Enjoy the diverse pleasures of life along the Rhône with Viking. Savor Lyon, France’s gastronomic heart; the Beaujolais wine region; quaint Provençal villages; and historic Avignon and Arles. For those who love fine food, beauty and riveting history, Rhône cruises are pure bliss.
Douro River Cruises
Our Portugal cruises uncover one of Europe’s oldest and most renowned wine regions. Cruise the Douro River through ancient wine estates, passing barcos rabelos laden with casks en route to Porto and Lisbon. A sublimely scenic corner of Europe, with equally sublime food and wine.
And although not traditionally “Europe” river cruises through Russia and the Ukraine are not to be missed!
Russia River Cruises
The Viking fleet is the finest operating along Russia’s rivers today, delivering eye-opening experiences in historic Moscow and canal-laced St. Petersburg. Beyond, see the domed churches of Uglich and Yaroslavl, and witness the seldom seen rural tranquility of this enigmatic country.
Ukraine River Cruises
Uncover Europe’s best-kept secret as you sail Ukraine’s Dnieper River through a maze of whisper-thin tributaries and village-studded bays. Colorful folk traditions, hearty cuisine and rich culture lead the way from the Golden Gates of Kiev to the Odessa Steps of the Black Sea.
Destination focused. Culturally enriching. Carefully curated. Isn’t it time you discover what makes Viking the world’s leading small ship cruise line? Check out Vikings current offers here