Seabourn New UNESCO Banff National Park and Rocky Mountaineer Journey

Seabourn has announced a new pre-cruise opportunity for guests to explore the beauty of western Canada during the upcoming 2019 season in Alaska and British Columbia through the UNESCO Banff National Park & Rocky Mountaineer Seabourn Journeys package. Guests will experience the grandeur of the majestic Canadian Rockies, the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site of Banff National Park and picturesque Lake Louise, including two days on one of the world’s most spectacular rail journeys in a luxury, glass-domed coach.

The signature seven-day land program is designed along the lines of other pre- and post-cruise Seabourn Journeys around the globe, offering in-depth experiences of local culture, history and natural wonder with transportation and accommodations at first-rate hotels and restaurants included. This exclusive and optional Seabourn Journey is available in conjunction with select departures for the 2019 Alaska and British Columbia cruises on board Seabourn Sojourn.

“This new Seabourn Journey is a perfect example of how Seabourn heightens cruising with land-based exploration of the stunning scenery and culture of the most beautiful places on the planet, with the rail cars being a perfect complement to the overall luxury travel experience,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “For anyone planning a trip to Alaska and British Columbia in 2019 this will be a relaxing, eye-opening adventure in a stunning region that guests will not want to miss.”

Seabourn’s 2019 Alaska and British Columbia season will include a series of 11-, 12- and 14-day voyages between June and October 2019.


Scenic Eclipse First Sailing Date Pushed to April 2019

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has announced that the first sailing date for Scenic Eclipse has been amended to April 13, 2019.

Due to ongoing financial issues at the Uljanik shipyard in Croatia, where the Scenic Eclipse is being built, and a resultant strike by specialist engine and systems commissioning workers, this segment of the ship’s completion has been delayed.  Scenic continues to be in constant contact with the shipyard, the workers’ representatives and the Croatian government to ensure the completion of the ship as soon as possible.

Scenic acknowledges the regrettable impact this has on guests and understands their disappointment at this change in the sailing date. Scenic has committed to providing its guests a full refund for the cost of their Scenic Eclipse cruise and consideration of any other reasonable associated costs incurred with their travel plans. Additionally, Scenic is providing all guests who rebook a Scenic Eclipse voyage a future cruise credit in the value of 25% of the cost of their rebooked cruise.

Scenic has established a dedicated phone number for the affected guests and has begun reaching out to all guests and travel agents to provide details on the process of refunding and offering an opportunity to apply the 25% discount to other voyages.

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours,

Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas, World’s Largest Cruise Ship U.S. Debut

View of the upper deck open pool area of the Symphony of the Sea.

Port Canaveral welcomed the world’s largest cruise ship on November 8, 2018 as Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas made its historic first North American port of call. The massive cruise vessel arrived at the Port’s Cruise Terminal 1 from Malaga, Spain with nearly 5,500 cruise guests and 2,200 international crew members.

“We’re proud of the confidence our partners at Royal Caribbean have in us. Although this ship will be home-ported in Miami, our cruise partner trusted the capabilities of this port for its first U.S. port of call,” said Port Canaveral CEO Capt. John Murray. “As a brand-new ship, coming from a foreign port, it’s important that the customs clearance and Coast Guard inspection operations run smoothly and efficiently to avoid time delays and preserve a positive guest experience.”
Symphony is Royal Caribbean’s 25th ship in its fleet and its fourth Oasis-class vessel. It joins the two-year old Harmony of the Seas, the Oasis of the Seas, which debuted in 2009 and currently is homeported at Port Canaveral, and the Allure of the Seas, which began service in 2010. The 18-deck Symphony outweighs the Harmony, the previous record holder, by about 1,000 gross tons and has more cabins than the Harmony.

Port Canaveral,

1st Modern Riverboat in U.S. History, American Song Inaugural Voyage

American Song, the 1st modern riverboat in U.S. history, departed from the Port of New Orleans this past Saturday, October 6, 2018. Underway at 100% capacity, this historic new riverboat is off to a great start and is cruising the Mississippi River on its 8-day inaugural sailing between New Orleans and Memphis. American Song’s 184 guests will cruise the Mississippi with stops at Oak Alley, Baton Rouge, St. Francisville, Natchez, and Vicksburg, arriving in Memphis Friday, October 12th.

American Song is the first ship in American Cruise Lines’ new modern riverboat series—the 2nd ship in the series, American Harmony, is already well under construction and will be launched in a few weeks. After this week’s inaugural cruise, American Song will continue to cruise the Mississippi throughout 2018. In 2019, American Song will reposition out West to the Columbia & Snake Rivers and 2nd modern riverboat, American Harmony, will begin cruising the Mississippi.

Equipped with every modern advancement, including a unique bow with a retractable gangway, American Song represents the historic evolution of American Riverboats. Showcasing gorgeous interior design elements, from a five-story glass atrium to spectacular spacious lounges, American Song inspires. Designed to bring the outside world in, American Song boasts sweeping views throughout the ship. With the largest staterooms in the industry, floor-to-ceiling glass doors, and private furnished balconies, American Song is the first ship of its kind available on U.S. Rivers.

American Cruise Lines,

CroisiEurope Cruises Adds New Coastal Adriatic Cruise for 2019

CroisiEurope Cruises, has announced their latest new program for 2019, adding to the existing 170 itineraries that take place on over 50 ships on 39 waterways and in 37 countries. In addition to the new ship joining the fleet on the Douro River, CroisiEurope will be introducing a new coastal cruise along the Adriatic on board the MS Belle de l’Adriatique. Prices for this 8-day cruise start at $2,518 per person with cabins on select February and March 2019 departure dates still available.

Highlights of this new program, which will include stops in Croatia, Greece, Albania and Montenegro, include:

Excursions in Albania to sites such as Apollonia, the country’s largest archaeological site; the captivating ancient ruins of Butrint; and city tours of Albania’s capital city, Tirana, and the old town in Gjirokastër, which is one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country;
Discover the hidden treasures of the island of Corfu, Ulysse’s last stop before returning to Ithaca, and the island’s emblematic palace, Achilleion, which was built by the beloved Empress Sissi;
Explore the wild beauty of Montenegro and the ancient city of Bar with its stronghold towers, city gates, gun powder room, Prince’s Palace, and Bishop’s Palace – it’s easy to imagine the impressive town that once stood here

CroisiEurope continues to innovate with new itineraries on river, canal and coast, new theme cruises, new destinations for their hugely popular biking and hiking cruises and a brand new premium rated ship on the Douro. In addition, in 2019 they will continue to offer a diverse range of perennial favourites – such as their cruises from Bordeaux on the Garonne, Gironde and Dordogne, all of which represent great value at a mid-range price.

In 2019 CroisiEurope will offer cruises on the Seine, Garonne & Dordogne, Rhone, Loire, Guadiana & Guadalquivir, Po, Douro, Rhine & Danube, Elbe, Mekong and Lake Kariba in Southern Africa, as well as on the Adriatic and Mediterranean seas and on the French canals. CroisiEurope’s complete 2019 cruise schedule is now up on their website.


2018 Top-Rated Southern Caribbean Destination In The Cruise Critic’s Awards Is

The numbers are in and the three-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique was named a Top-Rated Southern Caribbean Cruise Destination in Cruise Critic’s third annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards. The award is based entirely on consumer ratings submitted with reviews on and as a destination awarded in this category, Grenada received high ratings among cruisers who visited the island in the past year.

“On behalf of Pure Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, we are truly humbled by this award and thrilled to be named a top destination for cruisers,” said Patricia Maher, CEO of Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA). “To be recognized by our visitors is a remarkable honor and one that we do not take for granted. So far in 2018, growth in our cruise sector is trending upward and we will continue to work on elevating the product and experiences, to exceed expectations and keep Grenada top-of-mind with visitors to our shores.”

“Our data regularly shows that whether you’re a first-time cruiser or you’ve sailed dozens of times, destination is a top consideration when shopping for a cruise,” explains Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor of Cruise Critic. “While tropical destinations will always be popular among cruisers, what’s really exciting to see is the rise in esteem of destinations more known for their immersive and experiential offerings.”

Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, boasts the largest online cruise community, with more than 350,000 cruise reviews, covering approximately 500 cruise ships and over 300 worldwide ports. From January through June 2018 cruise arrivals to Grenada increased 26.5%.

Pure Grenada,

Ponant Announces Inauguration of Newest Ship Le Lapérouse

Ponant, a leader in luxury expeditions, has inaugurated its newest vessel, Le Lapérouse. As the first in the line of six new Ponant Explorer ships, the launch of Le Lapérouse also marks the first ship in the industry to feature the Blue Eye – a multi-sensorial underwater lounge. Following her successful maiden voyage out of Reykjavik, Le Lapérouse will continue sailing year-round through Northern Europe, The Mediterranean, Asia, and the Pacific and Oceania with fares beginning at $3,990 based on double occupancy.

Marking a new generation expedition ships, Le Lapérouse comprises 92 staterooms and suites each with their own private balcony or terrace. Life onboard is more akin to a chartered yacht experience with two intimate dining options, a library filled with books and board games, and a wellbeing center offering treatments from Parisian beauty brand Sothys.

In addition to the innovative design throughout Le Lapérouse, the ships crown jewel is undoubtedly the Blue Eye. The first of its kind, the underwater lounge was created by architect Jacques Rougerie in an effort to “let guests become modern-day explorers, following in the wake of Jules Verne, Jacques-Yves Cousteau and the great adventurers.”

Visually, the lounge is evocative of cetaceans and jellyfish with rounded furniture directed toward two large, eye-shaped portholes looking out into the subaquatic world. For a more in-depth look at the surrounding marine life, Ponant also created three non-intrusive underwater cameras that project images of the ocean’s seabed and photo-luminescent organisms onto digital screens integrated into the Blue Eye’s design. Ponant also enlisted contemporary music composer and sound design expert Michel Redolfi to develop hydrophones that transmit the natural symphony of the sea into the lounge. For a true multi-sensory experience, Body Listening Sofas were also installed, each discreetly vibrating in unison with the sounds of the ocean to create an underwater encounter guests can see, hear, and feel.

In total, Ponant has announced plans to expand its fleet to 12 ships with 2,000 crew members and 460 departures by 2021. The next two ships to be added to the Ponant EXPLORER series will be Le Bellot and Le Surville in 2020, joining sister EXPLORER ships Le Laperouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d’Urville, launching throughout 2018 and 2019. Looking further ahead, Ponant will once again revolutionize the cruise industry with the launch of the first electric hybrid cruise icebreaker in 2021. Utilizing an innovative “clean” technology, the ship will travel to never-before explored polar destinations such as the true geographic North Pole.


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