Category: Theme Cruises

Cunard Partners with the English National Ballet

Cunard Announces New Partnership with the English National Ballet

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Cunard Announces New Partnership with the English National Ballet and Invites Guests to “Dance the Atlantic”

VALENCIA, Calif., November 20, 2018 – Luxury cruise line Cunard is proud to announce an innovative partnership with the prestigious English National Ballet for the first-ever “Dance the Atlantic” Transatlantic Crossing on board flagship Queen Mary 2, sailing from Southampton to New York, August 11-18, 2019 (M924).

Guests on the seven-night Crossing will have the opportunity to meet six lead dancers from the British ballet company, including Lead Principal Erina Takahashi and First Soloist James Streeter. Guests will also have the unique opportunity to watch the dancers’ morning ballet class and drop-in on afternoon rehearsals. A highlight of the voyage will be spectacular performances in the ship’s Royal Court Theater, including extracts from the enthralling all-time classic Swan Lake, the poignant contemporary work Dust and the stunningly visual Le Corsaire – demonstrating the huge breadth of the company’s repertoire.

“We are so excited to have the English National Ballet onboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 in 2019,” said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “For the first time ever, guests will be able to interact with the English National Ballet on the ocean with world-class performances and intimate experiences that will only further enhance the elegance and romance of the Cunard Transatlantic Crossing.”

In another first, dance workshops will run daily throughout the week at sea, offering a special opportunity for guests to learn directly from English National Ballet associates. There will also be Insights talks, offering a fascinating understanding of the dedication and exhilaration of the dancer’s life, along with dance-themed films and documentaries shown throughout the voyage.

“English National Ballet is thrilled to be partnering with Cunard on this exciting voyage,” said Patrick Harrison, executive director of the English National Ballet. “Guests will get to experience the joy of ballet including performances and glimpses of behind-the-scenes. We’re very much looking forward to sharing our art form with the guests on board Queen Mary 2.”

Symphony of the Seas

High-Energy, High-Tech Productions Take Centre Stage On Symphony of the Seas

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Astronaut Clayton C. Anderson Informs New Show ‘Flight,’ Featuring Simulation of Zero Gravity in the First-Ever Stage Replica of the International Space Station

MIAMI, Nov. 20, 2018 – Royal Caribbean International continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in entertainment with the debut of cutting-edge productions on stage, in the air, under water and on ice on board Symphony of the Seas. Headlining the playbill is the all-new show ‘Flight: Dare to Dream,’ a one-of-a-kind journey through the past, present and future of air travel and space exploration that makes history as one of the most ambitious stage productions to date. Guests take off on a spectacular adventure through time, chronicling key milestones in aeronautics, beginning with the first leisure voyage to Mars and ending with a stunning homage to the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk.

A Royal Caribbean Productions original, ‘Flight: Dare to Dream’ introduces cutting-edge 3D flying technology, video and automation to the 1,401-seat Royal Theater. Going where no stage has gone before, space and zero gravity is simulated as actors “float” within a detailed replica of the International Space Station (ISS). The first theater set piece of its kind, the detailed design of Royal Caribbean’s ISS was informed by Astronaut Clayton C. Anderson, who lived 167 days in space and completed 38 hours and 28 minutes over 6 spacewalks in two separate missions. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the first launch of the ISS into space, Royal Caribbean shares a behind-the-scenes look into the making of ‘Flight.’

“I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to relive my five months aboard the International Space Station for this out-of-this-world Royal Caribbean production,” said Clayton C. Anderson, U.S. astronaut, author & speaker. “I worked with Royal Caribbean to ensure the show’s zero gravity simulation, and appearance of the ISS replica were as true to life as possible to further enhance the show’s wow factor.”

Royal Caribbean Productions is the first team to consult with an astronaut that lived in space for a live theatrical production. Complex, high-impact choreography and production also take form in 3D flying with a custom-built recreation of the Wright Flyer that takes off into the house; the set piece has a 22-foot wingspan and single-seat “cockpit.”

“We continue to push the envelope with high-tech, immersive entertainment at Royal Caribbean, and we couldn’t be prouder of how ‘Flight: Dare to Dream’ has brought to life the awe and wonder of flying,” said Nick Weir, Vice President, Entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. “Guests from 5 to 95 years old will not believe their eyes, as all our shows onboard Symphony of the Seas capture their imagination and create jaw-dropping I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened moments they won’t soon forget.”

Three additional headline shows across three distinct stage venues on Symphony of the Seas, include:

  • 1977 in Studio B is the continuation to “1877,” the ice-skating show introduced on sister-ship Harmony of the Seas, featuring the time-traveling hero, Tempus. In his latest adventure, Tempus heads to London where a mysterious jewel thief with special powers has stolen the Queen’s crown jewels on the eve of her Silver Jubilee. Timing is everything in this imaginative original ice show, featuring 48 perfectly choreographed performing drones, high-tech 5K projection mapping images that bring the ‘70s to life on the ice.
  • Hairspray, a guest favorite, gets a makeover for Symphony of the Seas with new choreography and staging of the Tony Award- winning musical. The larger-than-life, Royal Caribbean Productions’ original introduces revolutionary set design, taking the story of loveable teen Tracy Turnblad in 1960s Baltimore, to the next level.
  • HiRO raises the bar on Royal Caribbean’s aqua shows with more high flying feats, unexpected stunts and extraordinary acrobatics than ever before. Brought to life by the world’s best extreme-sport athletes, HiRO pushes the limits of an outdoor theatrical production with cutting-edge technology and choreography; no two shows are the same, making it worth seeing twice. The show features 3D flying technology used by aerialists as they literally soar above the crowd, plus acrobats and professional divers.

Cutting-Edge Entertainment Venues on Symphony

  • The AquaTheater on Symphony of the Seas is the distinct high diving, acrobatic performance space found only on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class of ships, featuring an open-air amphitheater overlooking the ocean and a performance pool – the deepest at seas – with hydraulic lifts and 10-meter diving platforms.
  • Ice shows at Studio B pair world-class skaters performing extraordinary skills against stunning multimedia visuals and audio. Guests watch as the surface of the ice rink transforms before their very eyes, blending fantasy with reality.
  • The Royal Theater is a spectacular, state-of-the-art space seating 1,401 guests, and enlisting cutting-edge technology to create a performance environment that is enthralling and immersive.

Symphony of the Seas made her North America debut on Nov. 9, 2018, sailing into her new homeport in Miami, Fla. Beginning Nov. 17, the adventure-packed ship sails 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from the state-of-the-art new Terminal A at PortMiami.
Symphony combines the iconic seven-neighborhood concept that sister ships Harmony, Oasis and Allure of the Seas are known for, with some of the most modern and groundbreaking amenities and offerings that appeal to guests of all ages. For more information about Symphony, the new sound of adventure, visit: RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com/Symphony

About Astronaut Clayton C. Anderson
Succeeding in one of the most difficult and coveted jobs in the world through perseverance and a never-give-up mantra, Anderson employs NASA’s “Plan, Train and Fly (Execute)” philosophy to all his speaking engagements and projects. Coupled with lessons learned in the areas of leadership, persistence, and passion, he provides unique and “out of this world” insights for those seeking to achieve practical execution.

Clay’s AWARD WINNING book, The Ordinary Spaceman: From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut, children’s books A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet and It’s a Question of Space: An Ordinary Astronaut’s Answers to Sometimes Extraordinary Questions and a special “Astronaut Edition” Fisher Space Pen are available at www.AstroClay.com. For speaking events please reach out at www.AstronautClayAnderson.com and follow Clay on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using @Astro_Clay #WeBelieveInAstronauts

Meet Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel Joins Epic Line-Up of Super Heroes Aboard Disney Cruise Line

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In 2019, with Disney Cruise Line®, you can be one the first to meet Captain Marvel when she makes her debut during Marvel Day at Sea. For the first time ever, Guests will encounter one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel universe as part of an action-packed, day-long celebration aboard select Disney Magic sailings departing Jan. 6 through March 8 from Miami.

Captain Marvel joins the event’s awesome line-up of Super Heroes and villains, including Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Loki, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and more. In addition to these heroic encounters, Marvel Day at Sea features an extraordinary deck show spectacular, themed youth activities, special merchandise, and unique food and beverage offerings.

 

MORE INFORMATION

Take a stand with some of Marvel’s mightiest for a heroic day filled with one-of-a-kind entertainment, unforgettable meet-and-greets and special offerings for the entire family—available on select 5-night cruises from Miami to The Bahamas and the Western Caribbean in early 2019.

Heroic Encounters
Brave photos, meet-and-greets and training sessions with some of Marvel’s mightiest, including Spider-Man, Iron Man and Captain America.

Thrilling Entertainment
Witness a breathtaking Super Hero stunt show, experience the mystic arts with Doctor Strange and join Star-Lord and Gamora inside Fathoms.

Action-Packed Activities
A movie marathon, a costume celebration and unique youth club programs are just some of the Marvel-themed goings-on happening on the ship.

 

Sail Dates
Marvel Day at Sea is aboard Disney Magic sailings from Miami, Florida on the following 2019 departure dates:

5-Night Western Caribbean Cruises
January 6, 20; February 3, 17; March 3 2019

5-Night Bahamian Cruises
January 11, 25; February 8, 22; March 8 2019

 

Ship Locations: Disney Magic
Experience Type: Deck Parties, Character Experiences, Live Shows & Entertainment
Good For: Teens, Tweens, Kids, Families

Seabourn Conversations Line-Up

New Line-up Of Speakers for Seabourn Conversations

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Seabourn Announces Upcoming Distinguished Luminaries For Seabourn Conversations Program

SEATTLE, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is continuing its mission to inspire and inform guests with a new line-up of remarkable speakers for its Seabourn Conversations program during the 2018-2019 cruise season. The popular onboard enrichment program will host distinguished speakers with fascinating stories to share and expertise to enlighten across a wide array of disciplines including space exploration, mountaineering, television production, culinary, history, politics, and the arts.

The impressive line-up of Seabourn Conversationalists includes first-time and returning speakers sure to keep guests engaged and entertained as they explore natural and cultural wonders around the globe, including aboard the line’s newest vessel, Seabourn Ovation, which launched this past May.

“It is always exciting to put together a new roster of engaging personalities to add colorful stories to the experiences our guests have while they travel with us,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “Our highly successful Seabourn Conversations series continues to draw prominent personalities who are excited to share their life’s work and experiences from rarely heard but reliably insider perspectives.”

 

Upcoming select speakers of the 2018-2019 Seabourn Conversations program include:

Richard Stone (Seabourn Ovation, November 14, 2018 voyage) – The Royal Portrait Painter for four decades, Stone has captured most members of the Royal Family on canvas. Starting at 22, he was the youngest Royal portrait artist since 21-year-old Sir Thomas Lawrence in the 1700s. Naturally talented and determined, Stone’s portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in 1992, is his most famous work. In addition to the Royal Family, he has portrayed many other notable international personalities, including Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Luciano Pavarotti, and more.

Bryan Fogel (Seabourn Sojourn, November 19, 2018 voyage) – An Academy-Award winning American film director, producer, author and playwright, Fogel is best known for his 2017 documentary Icarus, which took home the 2018 Oscar for “Best Documentary Feature”.

Captain Scott Kelly (Seabourn Encore, December 3, 2018 voyage) – One of a select group of Americans who have traveled into space, Kelly previously held the record for total days in space by an American astronaut: 520. Like his best-selling memoir, Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars, he has many awe-inspiring stories from space and reflections on leadership, teamwork and testing limits to share.

Dean McFlicker (Seabourn Ovation, December 4, 2018 voyage) – An award-winning producer and director for NBC Entertainment and others, McFlicker will share his experiences creating campaigns for some of the most successful shows on television, including The Voice, This Is Us, Law and Order, America’s Got Talent and more. He has also been a choreographer on Broadway and has worked on countless music videos and international concerts in Hollywood.

Jamie Metzl (Seabourn Ovation, December 22, 2018) – A Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council, as well as a novelist, blogger and syndicated columnist, Metzl is an expert in Asian affairs and biotechnology policy. Among wide-ranging endeavors, he has served as an election monitor in Afghanistan and the Philippines. His works of fiction include the historical novel, The Depths of the Sea, and the genetics thrillers Genesis Code and Eternal Sonata.

Tim & Nina Zagat (Seabourn Ovation, January 19, 2019 voyage) – The Co-Founders of the Zagat Survey, renowned for collecting and correlating the ratings of restaurants by diners, Tim and Nina are also award-winning entrepreneurs and prominent players on civic, cultural and charitable scenes.

Pamela Chen (Seabourn Ovation, January 19, 2019) – With her Taiwanese roots and love of Asian cooking, Chen takes guests on an inspiring and flavorsome journey into Asian cuisine and culture. She combines her love of cooking, design background and cultural heritage to present a unique, authentic experience and fascinating insights that demystifies the delights of Asian cuisine and eastern culture. Through her talks and demonstrations, she shares fascinating – and often funny – stories from a lifestyle that blends eastern and western culture.

Armando Manni (Seabourn Ovation, February 16, 2019 voyage) – The “M” in K+M Extravirgin Chocolate founded with renowned chef and Seabourn partner Thomas Keller, Manni is a film director, gourmet and entrepreneur with a Golden Globe winning film among his work. In 2001, he founded MANNI Oil, a global brand now synonymous with quality, luxury and taste. He also owns Casa MANNI Roma, designed by Adam D. Tihany, who fashioned the interiors of Seabourn Ovation and Seabourn Encore.

Ben Taggie (Seabourn Ovation, March 2, 2019) – A Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Taggie’s specialties are Asian, medieval and classical history. Together with his wife Louise, he is founder of MSA Cultural Tours, which conducts educational tours to venues such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. He is also President of the Mediterranean Studies Association devoted to international education and research.

Paul Deegan (Seabourn Sojourn, March 5, 2019 voyage) – Award-winning author and seasoned climber of mountainous regions on five continents, Deegan was co-leader of the first environmental expedition to Mount Everest at age 18. He returned: once to be embroiled in the greatest tragedy in the mountain’s history, and once finishing on top.

Alison Levine (Seabourn Sojourn, December 10, 2019 voyage) – An adventurer, explorer, mountaineer, “beer muse,” filmmaker, storyteller, and bestselling author, Levine has survived sub-zero temperatures, hurricane-force winds, sudden avalanches, and a career on Wall Street, leaving her well suited to draw relevant parallels between mountaineering and business, and to converse about the same.

Steve Wozniak (Seabourn Ovation, December 21, 2019) – Designer of the hardware, circuit board designs and operating system for the Apple I personal computer, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Hoover Medal in 2014. His autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon, was a New York Times bestseller.

 

For the full schedule of speakers participating in Seabourn Conversations for 2018 – 2019, visit www.seabourn.com.

Celebrate the holidays on a cruise

Cruises Make Happier Holidays

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While Ship’s Crew Does the Work, Guests Get to Relax, Enjoy Special Celebrations, Festive Atmosphere

MIAMI, Sept. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Strange things will be happening on the high seas for Halloween, and Santa Claus will be visiting cruise ships around the world in December. No matter the holiday, cruise lines go all out getting into the spirit with special decorations, traditional food and a plethora of fun activities.
Expect to see your ship done up in black and orange and with goblins and witches wandering around for Halloween; serving turkey with over-the-top trimmings for Thanksgiving; festooned stem-to-stern for Christmas; and becoming the scene for extravagant dress-up parties for New Year’s.

And all you have to do is have fun. No need to entertain, or do the cooking – and cleaning — yourself.

Oktoberfest and Christmas, German style

Experience an Oktoberfest to remember on the high seas with German line AIDA Cruises. The celebration embraces Bavarian tent-style activities from arm wrestling to yodeling. Popular German bands will be onboard AIDAperla and AIDAprima for live performances. Both ships will serve a special Oktoberfest beer brewed in the ships’ own breweries, to be enjoyed while sitting or dancing on benches. Traditional Bavarian culinary fare will include pork knuckle, sausage salad and dumplings. Wearing traditional dress is encouraged.

Christmas and New Year’s sailings bring AIDA Cruises guests to destinations including the Caribbean, Canary Islands, Mediterranean and Southeast Asia. Ships include the brand new AIDAnova, the first ship in the world powered at sea and in port with liquefied natural gas, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. Advent cruises celebrate with Christmas carol singalongs, Advent calendars, trees and other Christmas decorations and gingerbread. Christmas markets take place onboard, making holiday shopping easy. Goose is served on Christmas Eve.

Celebrating with Pirate Patch and The Grinch

For the month of October, Carnival Cruise Line is expanding its already popular “Frightfully Fun” Halloween programming with even more “spook-tacular” activities. The celebration will include costume contests, trick-or-treating and special holiday versions of live deck parties, trivia, Dive-In Movies, arts and crafts, and bingo. The centerpiece of the fun will be Patch, Carnival Cruise Line’s pumpkin pirate, who will stand guard in the atrium on each ship.

Starting in late November, it’s “Grinchmas Time” throughout the Carnival Cruise Line fleet. Though Mr. Grinch may be “a mean one” as part of the line’s exclusive Seuss at Sea program, and decked out in his green “Santy Claus” costume, he’s actually a leader of fun. The young and young at heart can catch a glimpse of the cantankerous curmudgeon as he slinks and slithers throughout the ship, with both scheduled appearances and spontaneous pop-up visits.

Carnival Cruise Line’s 26 ships also celebrate the holidays with ornately decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, mistletoe, caroling and appearances by Santa Claus, as well as traditional food including roast turkey and pecan pie on Christmas Day.

 

British holiday celebrations on P&O Cruises

Beginning in late November, special Christmas Market cruises visit markets around Europe, giving P&O Cruises guests opportunity to stock up on gifts, ranging from fine Belgium chocolates to handmade artisan gifts from Amsterdam and everything in between.

The seven ships in the fleet will be lavishly decorated with a total of 249 Christmas trees, adorned with twinkling lights and more than 44,000 decorations. Christmas dinners, festive-themed entertainment and holiday-themed films get everyone in the holiday spirit. On the line’s family-friendly ships, Father Christmas comes down the ship’s funnel. Guests can choose Christmas sailings in the Caribbean, Baltic and Canary Islands.

Ultra-luxury celebrations on Seabourn

Guests on Seabourn’s five ultra-luxury ships will celebrate the holidays in destinations around the world. There’s Christmas and New Year’s in Australia and the South Pacific or the opportunity to embrace the spirit in the stark white scenery of Antarctica. Guests on Seabourn Odyssey may spend some holiday time beachcombing in the Caribbean, while those on the new Seabourn Ovation will be exploring Thailand and Vietnam.

On all the ships, Thanksgiving brings a traditional turkey dinner. During Hanukkah and Christmas, the Seabourn ships are transformed into holiday wonderlands with gingerbread village displays and evergreen hangings draping railings and balusters. New Year’s Eve brings a formal party with a memorable toast to 2019.

A holiday wonderland on Princess Cruises

It actually snows in the atrium on Princess Cruises ships, even if you’re celebrating the holidays in the sunny Caribbean or other warm local. Passengers mingle with Kris Kringle, as yuletide carolers sing the classics, and the halls are decked with trees with red ribbons – even the ships’ masts get Christmas trees.

There is opportunity to sip eggnog and make gingerbread houses as a family. Christmas dinner brings a choice of roast turkey or goose with all the trimmings. Special holiday parties take place in the youth and teen centers, with cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer on Christmas Eve.

Princess Cruises also goes all out for Halloween, with various spooky decorations, a Fright Night Party and costume contest and a special scavenger hunt for families. Thanksgiving festivities include the ever-popular turkey calling contest.

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is celebrated with a menorah‐lighting ceremony, themed crafts, festive décor and such traditional delicacies as potato latkes. New Year’s brings a countdown party culminating with a balloon drop and celebratory champagne toast.

Relax during New Year’s Day with college bowl championship games shown on the outdoor movie screen and a football tailgate party with game-day treats.

 

Holland America Line ships add holiday sparkle

On the ships of Holland America Line, Halloween is celebrated with a pumpkin-carving contest where passengers vote their favorite. Kids go trick-or-treating around the ship (parents can join in, too) as part of the Club HAL program, and some crew wear costumes. There’s also a costume dance party for guests – with awards (candy) given for funniest, most creative, best team and best overall costumes.

Thanksgiving brings fall décor, spiced pumpkin lattes and an impressive turkey dinner capped with a big selection of pies and desserts.

Whether you are sailing in the Caribbean on the newly launched Nieuw Statendam and other ships or in Australia, Asia, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera or Asia, a highlight of Christmas Eve is a tree-lighting ceremony and Christmas carols in the atrium, with one child chosen to throw “snow” at the tree – a cue for the holiday lights to be turned on. There’s also a Christmas Eve concert featuring international crew members singing carols.

On Christmas morning, Santa arrives and kids, ‘tweens and teens receive wrapped presents. Clergy are onboard leading services for Hanukkah and Christmas.

New Year’s Eve is celebrated with a gala ball and champagne toast, followed by a selection of college football bowl games shown on New Year’s Day.

Embracing tradition with Cunard

A transatlantic or other voyage on a Cunard ocean liner is always an occasion, but even more so when the ships embrace the holiday spirit – especially since the line has nearly two centuries of experience in celebrating.

During the season, Christmas decorations include poinsettias and other seasonal flowers. Gingerbread villages are displayed. There’s a festive buffet lunch on embarkation day, and special menus are created for gala dinners on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Children participate in workshops, decorating cookies and gingerbread.

Holiday cruises Down Under

On the ships of P&O Cruises Australia, Halloween gets spooky with decorations, costumes, themed treats and entertainment for kids and adults alike. Dance enthusiasts can learn routines to iconic tracks such as the “Time Warp” and “Thriller,” before showing off their moves at a special Halloween fright night party. Kids will have a ball with activities that include pumpkin and ice-carving, murder mystery games, scavenger hunts, face painting and a junior Monster Mash party. Expect popup appearances by witches and such.

Christmas on the Australian line’s ships embrace the “throw a shrimp on the barbie” spirit. With the warm summer temperatures, guests can stay in their flip flops while enjoying such activities as carolling, cookie decorating and visits by Santa.

Christmas Eve brings a special variety concert and Christmas Day is all about lunch and dinner. On Boxing Day, the ships sponsor Backyard Cricket on a special pitch at sea. On New Year’s Eve there are parties around the ship including on the top deck, with the South Pacific as the backdrop.

Australia Day on January 26, 2019, is another cause for shipboard celebration, with themed entertainment for guests of all ages – including meat pies and other Aussie eats and an Australian national anthem sing off.

Experience the holidays Italian style

Santa Claus comes onboard to personally host experiences, pose for photos and help make memories at Christmastime on ships from Italy-based Costa Cruises, whether they are cruising in the Mediterranean, South America or the Caribbean. A special show production is themed around the holiday and there are gifts for all kids onboard under a traditional tree. Special menus enhance the festive atmosphere and include a touch of Italian classic tastes – such as Italian panettone or pandoro for dessert.

Memorable New Year’s Eve parties bring surprises, and there is opportunity to celebrate on December 31 at the pool, where the giant LED screen broadcasts New Year’s events in various time zones around the world.

 

Tips for Holiday Cruises

1) Plan ahead. Holiday sailings are popular, so it’s important to book well in advance to get the stateroom of your choice.
2) Splurge on space. Especially if you are bringing the family, you will want room to spread out. Book a balcony and you can feel warm sea breezes in your own space, while you think of your friends and relatives in snowy locales.
3) Leave the bulk of the gifts back home. You don’t want fill your luggage with gifts. Bring one special item for each family member, and plan to open the rest later. Or better yet, seek out surprises in the onboard shops.
4) Bring treats for the crew. These hardworking folks are away from home during the holidays and will appreciate your acts of kindness.
5) Pick up ornaments at each port of call. They’ll help you remember your great holiday experience for years to come.

Holland America Line Partners with Rolling Stone

Holland America Line Partners with Rolling Stone

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Four decades of classic rock takes the stage live nightly in Rolling Stone Rock Room

Seattle, Wash., Sept. 13, 2018 — Holland America Line is introducing Rolling Stone Rock Room, a new classic rock club developed in partnership with Rolling Stone, the world’s leading authority in music. Rolling Stone Rock Room lets cruisers step into a unique experience as a live band chronicles rock history as they kick out iconic hits by favorite rock stars.

Rolling Stone Rock Room will debut as part of the innovative Music Walk area on Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam when it joins the fleet in December 2018 and Koningsdam that same month.

“We are so excited to tap Rolling Stone’s incredible expertise to create a new live entertainment venue that will appeal to all our guests,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Innovative and authentic music experiences are at the heart of all our entertainment offerings and is what distinguishes us in the industry. Classic rock appeals to people across generations because the music is universal, and Rolling Stone Rock Room will bring another incredible live music venue to our ships.”

Rolling Stone Rock Room will feature a live five-piece band playing a collection of hits inspired by the magazine’s top song lists.

“Rolling Stone and Holland America Line are two iconic brands that share the vision of bringing the best in music to cruisers,” said Meng Ru Kuok, CEO of Rolling Stone International. “We’re looking forward to this unique brand experience and the first partnership of its kind for us, to bring the Rolling Stone brand to life in the ultimate live rock venue at sea.”

About Rolling Stone
Five decades since its founding, Rolling Stone today has evolved into a multi-platform content brand with unrivalled access and authority, reaching a global audience of more than 60 million people per month. Staying true to its mission to tell exceptional stories that illuminate the culture of our times, Rolling Stone is an authority for music reviews, in-depth interviews, hard-hitting political commentary and award-winning journalism across print, digital, mobile, video, social and events. Published by Penske Media Corporation, Rolling Stone is the number one global brand in music publishing and media.

Music Walk Live Stages
The innovative Music Walk on Holland America Line ships offers a variety of musical experiences and genres to create a live experience unlike any other at sea. In addition to Rolling Stone on Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam, venues in Music Walk include Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and B.B. King’s Blues Club.

Norwegian Cruise Line Continues to Raise the Bar For Its Award-Winning Beverage Program at Sea

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Norwegian Escape Recognized with Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Norwegian Bliss’ Head Mixologist Named as One of Diageo Global Travel’s Best Bartenders. Cruise Line Launches Third Season of ‘Meet the Winemaker’ Cruises.

Miami – Aug 15, 2018 ~ Norwegian Cruise Line was once again celebrated for its distinguished onboard beverage program with Norwegian Bliss’ head mixologist named as one of the 2018 Diageo Global Travel’s Best Bartenders, and Norwegian Escape’s upscale steakhouse Cagney’s recognized with the “Award of Excellence” by Wine Spectator.

The accolades were announced in advance of the cruise line’s third season of Meet the Winemaker cruises available on select ships and itineraries now through February 16, 2019.

Head mixologist, Razvan Dorel Cordea, of the recently debuted Norwegian Bliss, was one of three cruise industry professionals recognized as a “2018 Diageo Global Travel’s Best Bartender” and as a semi-finalist for “2018 Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year.” After successfully completing two challenges during the semifinals in Miami, Cordea will represent Norwegian Cruise Line at the global finals in Berlin on October 5-8, 2018. There, he will compete against 50 of the world’s best bartenders. This is the third time Norwegian Cruise Line has been represented at this prestigious beverage competition.

The carefully crafted wine selection at Cagney’s on Norwegian Escape was also recognized by Wine Spectator with the “Award of Excellence.” A celebrated favorite among guests, Cagney’s is Norwegian Cruise Line’s classic American-style steakhouse featuring mouthwatering, premium meats and delectable sides including parmesan truffle fries and caramelized Brussel sprouts. To complement the decadent dishes, the wine selection has been fashioned to include over 100 selections from 30 regions around the globe.

“Gastronomy has become such an important element of traveling today that we are more committed than ever to exceptional culinary experiences across our 16-ship fleet,” said Wes Cort, vice president of food and beverage at Norwegian Cruise Line. “I’m proud of our creative and innovative teams both on land and sea who are dedicated to curating programs and partnerships that our guests will remember and look forward to time and again.”

The accolades were announced as in advance of Norwegian Cruise Line’s third season of Meet the Winemaker cruises, which invite guests sailing on select itineraries on Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Dawn, to participate in a robust program of private wine dinners and tastings, seminars and meet-and-greets with experts in the winemaking industry, including Salvatore Ferragamo, Rob Mondavi Jr., and Gerard Bertrand.

“Last season was such a success that we are thrilled to bring back this series of incredible wine cruises,” said Mark Kansley, senior vice president of hotel operations at Norwegian Cruise Line. “It has been a great honor to collaborate with these remarkable industry visionaries and provide an innovative culinary program and a one-of-a-kind cruise experience to our guests.”

Guests have several opportunities to engage with winemakers and other experts through a variety of enriching seminars and activities including open-forum question and answer sessions and meet-and-greets. For a more intimate experience, guided wine tastings, wine-paired dinners and educational seminars are available in The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar and are hosted by the guest winemaker or expert on board. Guests learn about the featured wines through an interactive session where they’ll share tasting notes and learn how best to complement them. The experience features vintages chosen by the expert and brought on board for these exclusive events. The wine tastings are available at $19.95 per person plus tax and gratuity, and the exclusive five-course, wine-paired dinner available for $60 per person plus tax and gratuity. Seating is limited for both the tasting and wine pairing dinners so reservations are highly encouraged and available once on board the ship.

 

The 2018/19 Meet the Winemaker series will be featured on the following sailings:

September 23, 2018 on Norwegian Escape — Aarón Sánchez, celebrity chef and James Beard award winner, is the official ambassador and spokesperson for Moët-Hennessy’s Argentinian wine, Terrazas De Los Andes

October 12, 2018 on Norwegian Dawn — Dina Mondavi, daughter of Isabel and Michael Mondavi, represents four generations of winemaking

October 27, 2018 on Norwegian Bliss — Salvatore Ferragamo, heir of famed Italian fashion house and owner of Il Borro Winery in Tuscany, Italy

December 8, 2018 on Norwegian Bliss — Bob Bertheau, head winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle, has maintained the vineyard’s legacy of crafting awarding-winning Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, while putting his own signature on the wines

January 12, 2019 on Norwegian Bliss — Juan Munoz Oca, head winemaker at Columbia Crest produces the winery’s portfolio of Reserve, H3, and Grand Estates wines

February 16, 2019 on Norwegian Bliss — Gerard Bertrand is the renowned vintner of Languedoc-Roussillo

Meet the Winemaker cruises on Norwegian Bliss take place on the seven-day itineraries to Alaska from Seattle during the summer months, the Mexican Riviera in the fall from Los Angeles and the Eastern Caribbean from Miami in the winter. On Norwegian Escape, the cruises are available on itineraries from New York, and on Norwegian Dawn, they are available on seven-day itineraries from Boston to Canada and New England offering guests a beautiful way to witness the fall foliage.

 

Silversea introduces new Wine Programme

Silversea Introduces Exceptional Wine Programme

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Tastes of Distinction to Travel Deeper: Silversea Has Developed An Exceptional Wine Programme

(Monaco — July 26, 2018) Ultra-luxury cruise line, Silversea, has developed a spectacular wine programme to bolster its reputation as the top purveyor of wines at sea.

Selected by the cruise line’s expert Wine Ambassador, Lawrence d’Almeida, approximately 160 different wines populate Silversea’s wine selection, which is lauded by wine experts for including one of the largest and broadest choices of complimentary wines aboard any cruise ship, with roughly 70 different labels. Every major wine region in the world is represented in the complimentary range, as well as every major wine grape, yet Italian wines are particularly well-represented as an homage to the cruise line’s heritage. When relevant to the ships’ visited destination, local wines are added to Silversea’s wine selection, enabling guests to travel deeper by sampling fine wines from across the world.

Designed with wine-related destinations in mind and hosted either by Silversea’s Wine Ambassador himself or by qualified master sommeliers, the cruise line’s range of themed wine voyages unlocks a number of unique oenological experiences across the world, from onboard lectures and tastings to shore-based excursions. The themed wine voyages enable guests to sample an exceptional range of wines and expand their knowledge, while visiting spectacular destinations and enjoying authentic moments.

Departing October 18 and arriving October 31, 2018, Silversea’s Silver Whisper will cruise between Lisbon and Fort Lauderdale for Silversea’s next wine voyage, for which the cruise line has partnered with Comitato Grandi Cru d’Italia and the American Fine Wine Competition. The cruise will introduce guests to both ‘old world’ and ‘new world’ wines, in line with the ship’s movement across the Atlantic. First, guests will be able to sample approximately 33 different varieties of high-class Italian wines, which will be provided by Comitato Grandi Cru d’Italia – a celebrated committee that unites the top Italian wineries to protect and promote the prestige of the country’s most illustrious wines. Subsequently, an addition 19 varieties of America’s best wines will be available, thanks to Silversea’s partnership with the American Fine Wine Competition. Vintners, journalists, wine magazine publishers and co-founders of the prestigious American Fine Wine Competition (AFWC), Monty and Sara Preiser of Napa and Florida will join the voyage as instructors/hosts. The Preisers will present AFWC’s Double Gold Medal-winning wines and/or bottles from wineries named as ‘Winery of the Year’ to guests of the voyage.

Illustrious members of the ASPI sommelier association, Giuseppe Vaccarini and Gennaro Buono, former best sommelier in the world and the best sommelier in Italy respectively, will each join a segment of the trans-Atlantic voyage – to the great benefit of the guests: Vaccarini will accompany guests on various wine-related shore excursions, while Buono will host an accredited propaedeutic sommelier course, meaning participating guests will disembark Silver Whisper with a recognised sommelier qualification.

A further four wine voyages are scheduled for 2019:

• Departing Auckland on January 20 and arriving in Sydney on February 2, Silversea’s flagship, Silver Muse, will host the first wine voyage of 2019. Hosted by Lawrence d’Almeida, the cruise will introduce guests to various wine varieties and vintages in an intimate environment. In New Zealand, guests will be able to enjoy a half day tour of Gisborne’s wine region; trips to wineries in Picton; and a tour of the Marlborough region. In Australia, guests will experience a trip to the Ghost Rock Vineyard, among other attractions.

• On Feb 2, Silver Whisper will depart Sydney for Bali (Benoa), arriving on Feb 16. Also hosted by Silversea’s expert Wine Ambassador, the 14-day voyage will visit Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin and Komodo. A wide variety of carefully chosen Australian wines will be added to the Complimentary wine selection. Among the enrichments, guests can enjoy a private tour of the iconic Sirromet Winery in Queensland.

• Silversea’s Silver Cloud will cruise between Lisbon and Amsterdam between May 1 and May 13, transporting guests to some of Europe’s prime winemaking regions. Visiting Oporto, La Coruna, Gijon, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Belle Ile, Douarnenez, Saint Malo and Le Havre, the 12-day voyage will also incorporate opportunities to sample fine gastronomy from across the continent, especially in Bordeaux, where guests will enjoy an overnight stay. For this particular voyage, Silversea’s Wine Ambassador will select different wines from each country on the itinerary. Guests will benefit from interesting wine lectures and tastings on board.

• Between May 19 and June 2, Silver Whisper will cruise between London (Greenwich) and Barcelona, stopping at Honfleur, Saint Malo, Bordeaux, Le Verdon (Bordeaux), Bilbao, Lisbon, Cadiz and Malaga. Along the way, guests will be able to participate in the 2019 edition of the onboard accredited sommelier course, meaning they will leave with a recognised qualification. Guests can also partake in private tours of prominent wineries throughout the voyage. “From a rare Italian wine that is virtually unheard of to the very finest bottles that no luxury establishment can be without, our range of wines – both complimentary and premium – is tailored to provide our guests with an insight into the world’s best wines,” says Birgit Vadlau, F&B Director. “Our offering of fine wines is unmatched on any other all-inclusive programme at sea. Our wine voyages exemplify the exceptional range of experiences that guests can enjoy through Silversea and incorporate the finest tastes of the visited destinations.”

Magical Winter Holiday with Disney

A Magical Winter Holiday Awaits Aboard Disney Cruise Line

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CELEBRATION, Fla. (July 17, 2018) – This year, unwrap a holiday adventure for the whole family: a cruise aboard the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy, all decked out with holiday cheer.

Starting early November, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship during Very Merrytime Cruises, with traditional “turkey day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries” and more. During these voyages, special stem-to-stern holiday events include:

“Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic” in the atrium lobby on the first night of the cruise, where Disney characters lead holiday carols and the lighting of the glittering, three-deck-tall tree.

“Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball” in the atrium lobby, where Disney cruisers welcome the guests of honor, Santa and Mrs. Claus, with a grand celebration featuring Broadway-style entertainment, favorite Disney characters and classic holiday tunes. This evening of enchantment is made complete when a special pair of royal sisters joins the party and causes a flurry of “frozen” fun as a magical snowfall overtakes the atrium.

Dickens-inspired carolers carrying the spirit of the holidays throughout the ship while singing holiday classics, sometimes with the help of favorite Disney friends. At the end of the cruise, children will have the opportunity to join the carolers onstage for a special farewell show.

Family holiday activities including building gingerbread houses and meeting Santa Claus.

Youth holiday crafts such as decorating stockings and gingerbread men cookies, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells.

“Deck the Deck Holiday Party,” a tropical celebration with Disney friends leading games such as hula hooping and limbo under oversized candy canes, along with dances for the whole family like the “Yuletide Slide” and a conga line around the pool.

A special holiday edition of the cheerful farewell celebration on the final night of the cruise, with beloved Disney characters and the ship’s crew in an engaging musical finale led by Mickey Mouse.
On Thanksgiving Day, guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast and visits from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. Also during the special Thanksgiving voyages, NFL football games will be broadcast live on the ships’ outdoor, jumbo LED screens – Funnel Vision – located near the family pool.

On Christmas morning at the atrium lobby tree, Santa Claus and his helpers will have a surprise for all the kids, and guests will delight in a special musical performance from the children. A traditional Christmas dinner will be served that night in the dining rooms.

Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Hanukkah services will be held each day, Dec. 2 to Dec. 10.

When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, during the holidays, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music.

To celebrate the holidays, the Disney Magic sails four-, five- and seven-night Bahamian cruises, five- and six-night Eastern Caribbean cruises, and five-night Western Caribbean cruises departing Nov. 10 to Dec. 23; the Disney Wonder sails four-, six- and seven-night Western Caribbean cruises and seven-night Bahamian cruises departing from Nov. 2 to Dec. 21; the Disney Dream sails three- and four-night Bahamian cruises departing from Nov. 9 to Dec. 24; and the Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises departing from Nov. 10 to Dec. 22.

Friends having dinner at a vineyard. California Coast cruises on Princess

Princess Cruises Unveils 2019-2020 California Coast Sailings

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New Season Welcomes Royal Princess for her First Season and Provides Guests Unique West Coast Entertainment and Culinary Offerings on California Coast sailings.

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (June 27, 2018) – The west coast’s leading cruise line, Princess Cruises, returns to the region in 2019-2020 with itineraries visiting top destinations including Monterey, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and San Diego. Princess continues to provide guests new and enriching destination experiences featuring award-winning culinary and entertainment programming while sailing the west coast.

Highlights for the 2019-2020 season include the introduction of one of the line’s newest ships to the California Coast, Royal Princess, for her first full season based in Los Angeles. Royal Princess will offer nine coastal departures including the Classic California Coast itinerary. Royal Princess itineraries offer guests a variety of More Ashore opportunities, allowing guests to spend more time in port , as well as the opportunity to enjoy evenings in San Francisco and San Diego.

“Bringing Royal Princess to the west coast for her first season is just one of the ways we are solidifying our commitment to providing our guests even more opportunity to sail the California coast,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “She joins a fantastic roster of ships sailing the region which are already offering guests some of our newest innovations including SHARE by Curtis Stone, The Salty Dog Gastropub, and entertainment experiences including the Voice of the Ocean.”

As the only cruise line to sail year-round out of San Francisco, Princess offers Grand Princess sailing along the west coast once again in 2019. San Francisco departures for the season include a new five-day West Coast Getaway itinerary featuring a late night departure in San Diego, and a call to Ensenada, Mexico. The ship will also offer two variations of coastal sailings including the Classic California Coast itinerary featuring More Ashore late night calls in Los Angeles and San Diego, and the Pacific Northwest Coast itinerary featuring More Ashore late night calls in Seattle and Vancouver, Canada.

Star Princess will make her return to the west coast in 2019 featuring departures from Seattle and Vancouver. Itineraries include a seven-day Northern California Coast sailing from Seattle with late night calls in San Francisco and Victoria, Canada and a 10-day Coastal sailing from Vancouver with a late night call in Los Angeles and overnight stay in San Francisco.

Other west coast cruises offered in 2019 include six or seven-day Pacific Wine Country voyages between Los Angles and Vancouver aboard Royal Princess, Ruby Princess, Star Princess, and Island Princess. For those guests with less time to get away, Princess also offers shorter coastal sailings of less than five days on eight ships in the region.

Princess guests sailing onboard California Coast cruises will have an exclusive opportunity to get a behind the scenes glimpse into the Hollywood experience as part of the Encounters with Discovery at SEA program, featuring special celebrity speakers showcasing their work in the music and movie industry of Los Angeles. The experience includes an event hosted by celebrity presenters incorporating interactive media, live music, special performances, and hands-on workshops. The program aims to teach guests about the elements required to produce movies and music for the entertainment industry.

Additionally some speakers will be judges on ‘The Voice of the Ocean,” an onboard singing competition for guests that Princess features in partnership with the worldwide TV hit phenomenon. Princess Cruises continually adds guest stars to the Encounters with Discovery at SEA lineup in destinations around the globe throughout the year. Speaker details and additional information on the Encounters with Discovery at SEA program can be found here.

Princess has also developed enhanced shore excursion offerings in collaboration with Bill Esparza, noted author and leading expert on Latin American cuisine. Guests sailing the California coast are invited to sample local cuisine, specifically focused on the Latin American influence in California. Esparza has developed exclusive culinary shore excursions for Princess in Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Ensenada. In addition, Princess offers excursions to the California wine country, visiting local vineyards and winemakers throughout the region.