The New Wave Of Cruise Experiences

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

2 – Set Sail With Your Pup In Tow

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

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

 

3 – Get Your Daily Cardio In

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

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

 

4 – Discuss World Affairs With A Career Diplomat

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

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

 

5 – Stay Out LATE Without Fear Of Missing The Boat

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

7 – Celebrate Your Anniversary With A Polynesian Blessing Ceremony

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

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

 

8 – Spend All Day At The Spa

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

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

 

9 – Learn How To Steer A Sailboat

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

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

 

10 – Turn Your Expedition Photos Into Professional Masterpieces

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

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

 

11 – Read Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn On The Mighty Mississippi

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

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

 

12 – Travel Back In Time On The Nile River

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

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

 

13 – Get Cooking With A Celebrated Chef

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

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

 

 

Original Article from Virtuoso Traveler July 2019 issue

Cuisine of Bea Tollman

Bea Tollman’s legacy of delicious cuisine

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Bea Tollman’s culinary career began in the kitchen of her and her husband’s first hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa—The Nugget. What started out as helping prepare starters and desserts turned into a passion for creating recipes that would become staple dishes for their guests. Since then, her traditional home cooking has dazzled guests for decades, becoming a cornerstone of Red Carnation Hotels and Uniworld River Cruises alike.

 

Crystal Cruises Yachting

Crystal Cruises Unveils Complete Guide To Its Yachting Itineraries

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Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises Releases 2018-2019 Atlas Detailing Global Voyages And Adventures. The comprehensive brochure showcases journeys and onboard experiences of Crystal Esprit, plus a sneak peek of plans for the line’s newest ship, Crystal Endeavor

MIAMI, June 20, 2018 – Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises has unveiled the complete guide to its yachting itineraries. The Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises’ 2018/2019 Atlas features the comprehensive collection of voyages aboard the award-winning Crystal Esprit, showcasing the yacht’s 18 distinctive voyages through the Adriatic, West Indies, the Arabian Peninsula and Holy Land. In addition to itineraries focusing on adventurous experiences and captivating sites to explore, the Atlas highlights the most enticing facets of Crystal Esprit’s onboard experience. The all-suite, all-butler-serviced yacht, which accommodates just 62 guests, epitomizes a boutique yachting lifestyle with visits to famed and secluded locales, replete with Crystal’s signature spacious design, Michelin-inspired cuisine, and personalized attention to detail.

“This is the ultimate planning reference for those looking to experience the Crystal Yachting Lifestyle with the luxurious touches that only Crystal can offer,” says Mark Spillane, Manager of Sales and Marketing, Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises. “Beyond the glamour and intrigue of the world’s yachting playgrounds, the comprehensive scope of the Crystal Yacht Experience is displayed with stunning imagery that will draw travelers into their next adventures.”

The Atlas details the remainder of 2018’s itineraries, including seven-day “Yachting Harbors of Croatia” and “Dreaming of Dalmatia” sailings, which offer intensive exploration of Croatian ports along the northeast Adriatic coastline, as well as Slovenia, Montenegro and Italy. As the journeys do not repeat ports, travelers can easily combine itineraries for extended vacations. Additionally, seven-day “West Indies Yachting Explorer” and “British Virgin Islands Yachting Escape” itineraries, sail round-trip from Saint Martin and call in the pristine waters of coveted island locales like St. Barts, Anguilla, Saba, and Richard Branson’s Moskito Island.

For 2019, Crystal Esprit’s European offerings include a diverse roster of voyages that focus heavily in individual regions, including comprehensive exploration of Spain, with overnights in Valencia and Barcelona; the Côte d’Azur with VIP access to the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix; French and Italian seaside gems with overnights in Nice, France and Livorno, Italy, allowing for ventures into nearby Florence and Tuscany; and concentrated voyages throughout the Cyclades and Greek Isles.

Also new for 2019 will be the yacht’s “Arabian Nights Collection,” which features seven- to 11-day voyages to the Holy Land and Egypt, Oman, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the Greek Isles and Cyprus, and a special New Year’s Eve holiday sailing round-trip from Dubai.

In addition to the vast destination resources, the Atlas includes details of what guests can expect on board during their journeys. Crystal Esprit also features an exclusively outfitted private marina at the back of the ship, with an array of water toys for use in select ports of call.

The Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises 2018/2019 Atlas also features a glimpse of what’s to come for the brand, as Crystal Endeavor, the most spacious luxury expedition yacht in the world is set to launch in 2020. The brochure can be downloaded at crystalcruises.com, and Crystal Esprit itineraries are now available for booking.

Top 10 Reasons to visit Egypt with Lindblad Expeditions

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See why traveling to Egypt with Lindblad Expeditions should be on your must-do list

 
1. The Most Knowledgeable & Experienced Egyptologists: An outstanding team of highly experienced Egyptologists will be with you from the moment you arrive in Cairo and will remain with you throughout your journey. They are passionate about Egyptian culture, art, history and archaeology. With them you’ll simply see, do and learn more.

 

2. The Best Itinerary: Passage Through Egypt includes six nights of cruising the Nile aboard Oberoi Philae to see the sites along the river, and five nights exploring the great city of Cairo.

 

3. The Finest Hotels: At the beginning of your journey, stay at the Nile Ritz-Carlton in Cairo. And at the end of your journey, stay at the Mena House in Giza—dramatically located at the foot of the Pyramids—and enjoy a view of the Pyramids from your balcony.

 

4. The Private, Spacious, Elegant Ship: Oberoi Philae, one of the most luxurious ships on the Nile, is exclusively chartered for Lindblad guests, so you and your small group will have it all to yourselves. Originally designed for 100, Oberoi Philae has been refitted to accommodate just 42 guests in 22 large, well-appointed cabins including 4 suites. All are outside facing.

 

5. Privately Chartered Aircraft: Private flights within Egypt ensure convenient departure times, flexible schedules and a relaxing experience. You will rise at a reasonable hour and travel aboard a turboprop with fifty comfortable seats.

 

6. Carefully Crafted Itinerary: Explore Egyptian culture, history, archaeology, art and modern life on an itinerary that’s been arranged with TLC, to take you to the sites at the most optimal times of day.

 

7. Travel in Small Groups: Our expeditions accommodate a maximum of only 42 guests, and with two guides, there’s one Egyptologist for a maximum of 21 travelers, along with a Lindblad Certified Photo Instructor for the full group. The warm interactions you’ll have with our Egyptologists is a huge part of the learning and enjoyment, and there’s always plenty of time for questions and discussion.

 

8. Wallet Optional: We include just about everything you have the opportunity to do as part of your expedition with us. The only things not included are those of a personal nature, or that interest a limited number of people—alcohol, or an occasional meal in Cairo where you might prefer choices.

 

9. Nourish Your Mind, Body and Spirit: You’ll find expert Egyptologists, excellent English speaking staff, outstanding cuisine, and the highest level of service. Our dedication to this expedition is never at the cost of comfort. The ship and hotels offer full spa services with exercise facilities and swimming pools.

 

10. Extension to Jordan: To make the most out of your time in the region, you’ll surely want to consider an extension to Jordan, which includes the ancient city of Petra.

 

 

 

c/o Lindblad Expeditions