Category: Onboard Experience

Disney Wonder at sea

Great News For New Orleans and the Disney Wonder

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 40 0

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.

Families Experience the South Pacific

The South Pacific Is Made For Families

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 82 0

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.

Eat Around the World Aboard Norwegian!

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 94 0

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

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 73 0

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!

 

Recipe: Strawberries on Fire Mocktail

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 120 0

Master Mixologist Rob Floyd has refreshed the cocktail menus across the entire Princess fleet using his unique blend of knowledge, technique and flair for storytelling. Signature cocktails from the master himself join guest favorites to create an experience that will please every level of discerning patron.

Strawberries on Fire (non-alcoholic)
Ingredients:

1 slice fresh jalapeño
1 strawberry
1 oz. lime juice
.75 oz. agave syrup
4 oz. Sprite
Jalapeño and half a strawberry for garnish
Directions:

Muddle jalapeño, strawberry and simple syrup
Add ice then top with Sprite
Garnish with a slice of jalapeño and half a strawberry on the rim

explore4 with Holland America

Why Holland America Line?

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 115 0

Over the years Holland America Line has consistently been a favourite of our valued cruisers and cruise specialists. If you have not cruised before you may be asking yourself “Which cruise line is best for me”.  If you are a seasoned cruiser but have yet to try Holland America you may be asking “Why should I try Holland America when I am happy with the cruise lines I have previously cruised with”. Well, hopefully this answers your question of Why Holland America Line?

 

THE HOLLAND AMERICA GUEST
Holland America Line guests don’t need things like waterslides, go-karts, roller coasters or climbing walls when they cruise. They are explorers, foodies and music lovers of all ages who want to pursue these passions on refreshingly uncrowded ships with one-of-a-kind culinary experiences, the very best in live music and staff that attends to every detail, every day.

 

DESTINATION EXPERTISE & IMMERSION
• Nearly 150 years of experience sailing the world’s oceans
• More than 500 itineraries connecting with over 470 ports of call
• Exclusive Explorations Central™ destination programming that gives guests a deeper understanding of the places you visit

 

UNRIVALED CULINARY EXPERIENCES
• Culinary Council® of world-renowned chefs — plus experts in wine and spirits — who design our onboard dining experiences
• A variety of dining options*, including specialty restaurants, pop-up dining and the exceptional Dining Room
• Live onboard cooking demonstrations
• Culinary shore excursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE® magazine

 

THE BEST IN LIVE MUSIC
• A great cruise deserves a great soundtrack with memorable performances from world-class musicians
• Live music for every taste at Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club, Billboard Onboard, Rolling Stone Rock Room and more*

 

PERFECTLY SIZED SHIPS; RENOWNED SERVICE
• Ships designed with the philosophy that bigger isn’t better, better is better
• Sleek nautical lines, spacious public areas, wraparound decks and sophisticated style
• In every detail, every day, guests experience the best service at sea, with a gracious, friendly staff that’s never in the way but always close at hand

 

When you are ready to Experience the WHY of Holland America don’t forget to contact one of our cruise specialists to help you plan! 

Click here for a list of current Holland America cruise offers for you to take advantage of 

Cruising Alone

4 Tips on Cruising Hawaii Alone

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 414 0

Many people have the misconception that cruising alone is a lonely or scary activity. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Travelling alone can be an epic way to rejuvenate, to gain confidence in yourself and experience the destination in all its glory-all while setting your own agenda! On a Hawaiian cruise, there are many opportunities for single travellers to explore and push the limits, and perhaps learn something new about themselves. The Hawaiian islands accept the lone traveller with open arms, and cruising solo* onboard Pride of America is a blast in itself. So, hey, don’t be afraid to get out there and do your thing! Here are four tips for embracing Hawaii all by yourself.

SAY YES TO ADVENTURE:
So if I’m still not convincing you that travelling alone is fantastic idea (which it is), try easing into it by taking advantage of Norwegian’s Hawaii cruise excursions such as Captain Zodiac Raft, Snorkel & Dolphin Adventure; it’s a guaranteed way to be surrounded by like-minded adventurers! Not to mention, when you’re surrounded by the beautiful features, flora and fauna of Kealakekua Bay off of the coast of Kona, you won’t even be thinking about who is or isn’t standing next to you.

 

DO SOMETHING NEW:
Wait, so you’ve always wanted to try surfing? Then what are you waiting for?! When in Rome…or, should I say, Hawaii…you get the idea. Maui cruises, in particular, have a wide array of surfing programs to choose from for beginner and intermediate surfers. If surfing is something you’re already quite familiar with, why not try kiteboarding? Or windsurfing? Who knows, you might have a hidden talent for extreme sports, and the exhilaration you’ll get from trying is definitely worth falling a couple of times!

 

DON’T BE AFRAID TO DINE ALONE:
Good news: it means more food for you! Hawaii has famously unique food, often with Asian or Hispanic influence. Arguably the most ‘Hawaiian’ delicacy you’ll encounter, poke (pronounced poke-ay), is a must eat. And for those of you who are too shy to sit down by yourself at a table, poke is often grabbed on the go, so munch it down somewhere picturesque! And since you’re indulging yourself with a solo vacation, you definitely have room for the ultimate indulgence: loco moco. Gravy, meat, rice, fried egg—are you drooling yet? Cafe 100 in Hilo is the perfect place to find the loco moco that suits you, with more than 30 different varieties available.

When you’re not out exploring the local delicacies, you’ll still have 19 cruise dining options to choose from onboard Pride of America.

 

TREAT YOURSELF TO LUXURY:
Guess what? You deserve it. After all of the excitement of exploring and adventuring in and around the islands, take a moment to reflect on your vacation with one of Norwegian’s brilliant cruise spa treatments. Loosen up, unwind and meditate on the fact that you’re at one of the most beautiful destinations on Earth. After a good massage, the sunsets will seem even more vibrant, trust me. So park yourself down on a beach, sip on something sweet (and maybe boozy), take a deep breath, and enjoy the time you get to yourself, while you still can!

 

*Pride of America offers award winning Studio Staterooms, specifically designed and priced for the solo traveller.
C/O Norwegian Cruise Lines Offical Travel Blog
Read original article here – https://www.ncl.com/ca/en/travel-blog/hawaii-singles

2020 Dates for the James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 81 0

Award-winning small ship line Windstar Cruises, the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, today reveals six new cruises being added to the James Beard Foundation (JBF) Culinary Cruise Collection for 2020.

All sailings are led by James Beard Foundation-recognized guest chefs, sommeliers and beverage experts with a passion for their destination. The six diverse cruise offerings will explore locavore cuisine on a country-immersive Croatia cruise; get a flavor for the rugged north of Alaska; discover the hidden gems of France, Spain, and Portugal’s Atlantic coast; experience exotic cuisines of Indonesia and the Philippines; delight in the hidden harbors of the Caribbean; and introduce cruisers to the trend-setting foodie scene and wine regions of the U.S. West Coast. The six newly announced cruises are scheduled to sail from January through November 2020, and range in length from 7 to 14 days.

Together, Windstar and the James Beard Foundation are taking guests on epicurean adventures that deliver the best travel and cuisine experiences worldwide, by curating genuine local culinary encounters while drawing attention to the impactful work of the Beard Foundation network which celebrates food and advocates for food sustainability.

“Our exclusive partnership with the James Beard Foundation has allowed us to enrich our culinary experiences giving our guests unparalleled access to the most cutting edge and accomplished culinarians in the industry. Every evening, on every single sailing, our cruise guests enjoy destination-inspired JBF dishes created especially for Windstar by the James Beard guest chefs who have sailed with us. We have proudly hosted nearly three dozen chefs, sommeliers and beverage experts and counting. What is unique is that each one has a special connection to the places they are sailing, whether through food or family heritage, this creates powerful and inspiring personal experiences that our guests will never forget,” said Windstar President John Delaney.

Coinciding with this announcement, and as part of the unique travel-culinary alliance, Windstar sponsors the acclaimed James Beard Foundation Awards, the pinnacle of recognition in the culinary world, happening today at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, IL.

James Beard Foundation President Clare Reichenbach commented, “We are so pleased to have Windstar’s support of our mantra ‘good food for good’, which commits the James Beard Foundation to giving culinary professionals the tools they need to make the world more sustainable, equitable, and delicious for everyone. The JBF Culinary Cruise Collection shines a light on these chefs and wine experts and highlights the important role that food plays in the culture and economies of each of the ports where Windstar sails, the world round.”

A number of Windstar alumni guest chefs are attending the JBF Awards Gala including Chef Danielle Leoni of Breadfruit in Phoenix, AZ. who led guests on a Caribbean cruise adventure in January, and is a James Beard Foundation 2018 Fellow for the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program; also attending is acclaimed Chef Hugh Acheson of Empire State South, Five & Ten, and The National in Atlanta, GA. who headlined a 2017 European JBF Culinary Cruise and is nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur.

Windstar’s Corporate Executive Chef Graeme Cockburn joins an exclusive club of chefs that have been invited to prepare a signature bite for the 1,000 plus guests attending the famed JBF Awards Gala. Chef Cockburn sails aboard each JBF cruise overseeing the culinary operations, and the dishes specially developed by the James Beard guest chefs are featured in Windstar’s restaurants each evening and enjoyed on every sailing. For the JBF Awards Gala, Chef Cockburn has developed a recipe inspired by Windstar’s forays into the alpine areas and glaciers of Alaska and will be serving up Seared Venison Loin & Alaskan Pine Spruce Salad with Nasturtium Pesto and Goat Buttermilk Dressing at the epicurean extravaganza.

Windstar also supports JBF’s Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. A number of the guest chefs who have sailed with Windstar are alumni of the prestigious camp, a part of the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs which are committed to establishing a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy, and thought leadership.

Windstar’s JBF Culinary Cruise Collection Offers Authentic Culinary Experiences

The bespoke portfolio of nine total upcoming sailings in the JBF Culinary Cruise Collection embarking June 2019 through November 2020, are attracting food and wine enthusiasts seeking to fully immerse themselves in the culture, tastes, and flavors of regional cuisines where the ships sail. Each cruise features a James Beard chef, working alongside Windstar’s culinary team. The guest chef acts as an onboard culinary ambassador teaching first-hand tips and techniques during cooking demonstrations, leading “Shopping with the Chef” tours to local markets, and picking out fresh local ingredients to use in featured dishes at a wine-paired gala dinner for all on board to enjoy.

Similarly, the JBF sommelier/beverage expert accompanies tours to local wineries, leads on board tastings of regional wines and spirits, and works with the chefs to create one-of-a-kind pairing menus that celebrate the quaint, small ports that Windstar is renowned for visiting. Guests on board get to know these epicurean experts on a personal level, tasting the dishes and wines they recommend and hearing firsthand what stirs their passion for food, wine, and spirits. One-on-one interactions with the guest chef and sommelier/beverage expert are a given during memorable cruise moments like Windstar’s Signature Sail Away and Signature Deck Party, or on a culinary-focused shore excursion.

The names of the 2020 guest chefs, sommeliers, and beverage experts who are being tapped as the culinary cruise ambassadors will be announced in the coming weeks. Below are the dates and itineraries for the six newly announced 2020 additions to the JBF Culinary Cruise Collection:

  • January 25, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: The Spanish Main: Rise of the New World, Colón to San Juan, 7 days aboard Star Pride
  • May 5, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza, San Diego to Vancouver, 10 days aboard Star Breeze
  • June 8, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: Alaskan Splendors, Vancouver to Seward (Anchorage), 11 days aboard Star Breeze
  • September 19, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: Autumn on the Atlantic Coast, London to Lisbon, 10 days aboard Star Legend
  • October 16, 2020 ‒ James Beard Foundation: Quintessential Croatia, Venice to Venice, 8 days aboard Wind Surf
  • November 2, 2020 – James Beard Foundation: Windstar Crew Hometowns: Philippines & Indonesia, Hong Kong to Bali, 14 days cruise aboard Star Breeze

In addition, following is the super star line-up of award-winning chefs and celebrated sommeliers who will headline the three remaining 2019 JBF Culinary Cruise Collection sailings:

June 22, 2019 – James Beard Foundation: Yachtsman’s Harbors of the Rivieras, 8 days aboard Wind Surf

  • Chef & Restaurateur Jamie Leeds, JL Restaurant Group & Hank’s Oyster Bar in Washington, D.C.
  • Sommelier Jeff Strine, JL Restaurant Group & Hank’s Oyster Bar, and more) in Washington, D.C.

Chef and Restaurateur Jamie Leeds — a James Beard Foundation Chef Boot Camp Alumna and owner of JL Restaurant Group — will be seeking out the freshest French oysters and bringing guests on chef-led visits to lively markets to gather produce, herbs, fish, and more to showcase in cooking demonstrations and a gala evening meal on board. Alongside her will be Jeff Strine, who works closely with Jamie at JL Restaurant Group where he developed a thoughtful and concise wine program for Hank’s Oyster Bar’s seasonal seafood-focused menu.

Both love to travel and are excited to visit lesser-known wine regions and visits to smaller ports such as quaint Sanary-sur-Mer, France. This coastal jewel offers a wine tasting tour above the vineyards in the Provençal hilltop village of Le Castellet, followed by a visit to Domaine de Souviou for tasting the house wines and olive oils grown on the expansive 70-hectares property that is planted with 100-year-old olive trees and rows of vines, cypress trees, and lavender, a treat for all of the senses.

 

September 24, 2019 – James Beard Foundation: West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza 10 days aboard Star Legend

  • Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Bovolo, and Black Pig Meat Co. in Sonoma County
  • Beverage Expert Michael Metzger of Distinguished Vineyards and Wine Partners

Award-winning Chef Duskie Estes is the perfect culinary guide for this first-ever Windstar sailing along the West Coast of America, as she was born in San Diego, raised in San Francisco, and spent eight years in Seattle working for JBF-awarded Restaurateur Tom Douglas before moving to Sonoma County, where she is celebrated as a chef and avid farmer/advocate for “snout to tail” cooking.

Providing wine pairings and insight will be Michael Metzger from Distinguished Vineyards, who works with the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Program as their sustainable wine partner and represents a collection of iconic wineries including the highly acclaimed Argyle Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in Sonoma, and Markham Vineyards in Napa Valley.

As with all Windstar sailings, this first-ever West Coast cruise boasts a myriad of shore-side adventures including specially curated culinary shore excursions from vineyard visits, to food trucks and farmers’ markets. In Seattle, guests will enjoy a behind-the-scenes docent tour of the iconic Pike Place Market; after sailing up the Columbia River, the ship has a two-day overnight stay in James Beard’s native Oregon, where guests can enjoy an “Elevated Foodie Walking Tour” of the Portland culinary scene, or a brewery/cidery tasting tour. An all-day excursion to Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley allows guests to indulge in private tastings at three wineries in the region that put Pinot Noir on the U.S. map. In Sonoma, foodies will delight in a private cave tour with wine and cheese tasting at the Gloria Ferrer Winery, followed by lunch and an afternoon of olive oil and balsamic vinegars tasting at Figone Olive Oil & Production Mill.

Also of note, this U.S. West Coast itinerary is featured as one of the newly announced 2020 culinary cruises but sailing aboard Star Breeze, following her upcoming full ship renovation as part of Windstar’s $250 Million Star Plus Initiative. The May 5, 2020 itinerary will be a reverse version of the 2019 offering with similar culinary-focused shore excursions, but departing from San Diego, CA. and sailing to Vancouver, B.C. instead. Details on chef and beverage experts in 2020 will be announced soon.

October 14, 2019 – James Beard Foundation: Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast, 8 days aboard Wind Surf

  • Chef Chris Pandel of Swift & Sons, Cold Storage, and Dutch & Doc’s in Chicago
  • Beverage Expert Marcello Cancelli of the Boka Group in Chicago

Chef Chris Pandel, a James Beard Foundation Chef Boot Camp Alumnus, has a love affair with Italy and Italian-American heritage, so who better to cruise with and explore the shores of Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro, discovering the charm of Venice, the magnificence of Rome, and the vast beauty of the Dalmatian Coast? While visiting the picturesque seaside resort of Rovinj, a top pick shore excursion lets guests tour the wine cellar of the Matosevic Family, Croatia’s most well-known wine producers.

Offering beautiful wine pairings on this cruise is Marcello Cancelli, a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers who is Area Wine Director for Chicago’s Boka Group, overseeing the wine programs at Swift & Sons, Momotaro, Bellemore, Girl & the Goat, and more. Cancelli will be demonstrating his passion and commitment to great wine and its rightful place alongside a meal.

 

For more information on Windstar’s partnership with the James Beard Foundation, find featured recipes, and view the JBF Culinary Cruise Collection visit: https://www.windstarcruises.com/why-windstar/james-beard-foundation/. To learn more about the Beard Foundation visit: https://www.jamesbeard.org/.

 

Windstar has garnered recent culinary awards, notably being named Best Small Cruise Ships for Dining in Cruise Critic’s 2019 Cruisers’ Choice Awards, and a 2019 Editor-in-Chief Award for Best Cruise Partnership as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation from Porthole Cruise Magazine. Windstar was also voted 2018 Best Small Ship Cruise Line by AFAR readers; scored a top spot as Best Small Ship in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, and was named to the magazine’s prestigious Gold List for 2019; while Windstar’s flagship Wind Surf ranked #1 Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines in the 2018 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.

Uniworld Generations Collection voyages

Generations Collection with Uniworld

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 78 0

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises believes that world travel is a family affair and have created their Generations Collection of voyages to reflect that. Every Uniworld Generations cruise includes special programs, events and excursions designed specifically for your world travellers in training.

SPECIAL GENERATIONS AMENITIES

  • 25% off the fare for travellers 4 to 17 years old when traveling with an adult (suites excluded)
  • Exciting shore excursions tailor-made for families and hosted by local experts
  • Kid-friendly menus for each meal and unlimited beverages onboard
  • Young Travellers’ Table, a special dining table reserved on certain nights just for our younger guests and Family Hosts
  • Onboard activities just for kids, such as cooking classes and dessert-making with the ship’s chef and pastry chef
  • Hands-on craft workshops tailored to the destinations you visit
  • Young travellers’ lounge and game room, complete with PlayStation, games, movies and local treats
  • Two dedicated Family Hosts to oversee all activities for Junior Cruisers (ages 4 to 12 years) and Teen Cruisers (ages 13 to 17 years)
  • Opportunities to “Live the Lingo” and learn words and phrases in other languages from our Family Hosts
  • Kids-only movie nights, where kids can enjoy popcorn-fueled screenings of family-friendly films along with their new onboard friends and Family Hosts
  • A special VIP ship tour with the Captain or Hotel Manager
  • Complimentary bicycles, helmets and Nordic walking sticks for use onshore
  • Young travellers will receive special surprise pillow gifts for each night of the cruise
  • Convenient departures scheduled during summer and winter breaks

Uniworld specializes in personalized travel, with the Generations Collection of voyages they have included extra special options for the younger travellers. Since everyone has different likes there are a range of onshore excursion and onboard activities available. Some are geared toward children while others are tailored for tweens and teens. Options such as these …

ART LOVERS – excursions and hands-on activities to inspire creative expression
Sample: Glassblowing and Mask-making in Venice on select Gems of Northern Italy voyages

CURIOUS MINDS – Excursions designed to cultivate a greater sense of curiosity
Sample: NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam on select Delightful Danube & Prague voyages

LET’S GO – Exhilarating outdoor pursuits geared especially towards tween and teens
Sample: Gondola rowing in Venice on select Gems of Northern Italy voyages

THRILL SEEKERS – Exciting adventures that will appeal to junior adrenaline junkies
Sample: Climbing Forest in Germany on select Castles along the Rhine voyages

ASPIRING FOODIES – Tasty activities for adventourous eaters seeking new flavours
Sample: Pretzel-twisting workshop in Wertheim on select Classic Christmas Markets voyages

MYSTERIOUS STUFF – Excursions for young people who love intriguing tales with a historical twist
Sample: Nuremberg’s secret tunnels on select Delightful Danube & Prague voyages

 

With a Uniworld Generations Collections voyage you can be sure children, teens, tweens and adults alike will come home with memories to last a lifetime.