Archive for the ‘cruise vacations’ Category

CLIA Highlights Cruise Destinations in Americas, Caribbean: ‘Cruise Ports in the Caribbean are Welcoming Travelers’

October 21, 2017
St Kitts

St. Kitts is receiving many of the cruise ships which had their Caribbean itineraries impacted by recent hurricanes. Explore 17th and 18th century military architecture and hike into lush rainforests. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

October is Plan a Cruise Month and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is highlighting cruise destinations in the Americas and the Caribbean. While areas in the Caribbean were recently impacted by hurricanes, the industry is reporting that close to 50 destinations are still welcoming cruise travelers. Additionally, there are several other cruise embarkation ports and destinations throughout the Americas.

“First and foremost, our hearts go out to those impacted by the hurricanes; they have been a cherished part of our cruise family for over 40 years,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA.  “Fortunately, the vast majority of ports in the Caribbean are welcoming guests, having sustained minimal or no direct damage from the storms. The Caribbean islands and destinations throughout the Americas rely on tourism and the cruise industry is dedicated to continuing to bring vacationers to these beautiful areas. I’m proud to see how many CLIA Cruise Line Members joined in the relief efforts, providing more than $30 million in financial resources, transporting families and pets as well as a variety of supplies to people in need.”

Highlights of Cruising through the Americas and the Caribbean

Diverse Destinations: From treks down the Mississippi to paddling the Panama Canal, there’s something for every type of traveler in the Americas and Caribbean.

  • Sitka, Alaska: Alaska’s “most exotic” cruise port is full of storied history that includes being home to Tlingit Native Americans and formerly acting as a major pulp mill town. Travelers can visit the totem pole park or walk along Katlian Street on the Sitka Channel waterfront, full of sights of colorful fishing boats and harbor town houses.
  • Montevideo, Uruguay: This South American port city is a hidden gem full of old and new sights to see and architecture to take in, and offers a great spot to relax during a full itinerary with monuments, restaurants, and beaches. Travelers can walk the ultra-modern Plaza Independencia main square or take in afternoon tea in historical Ciudad Vieja.
  • Quebec City, Quebec: This mostly French-speaking Canadian province offers travelers an unexpected taste of Europe with bistro and boutique-lined cobblestone streets. Adventure seekers and nature lovers can indulge in biking tours along famous waterfalls like the Montmorecny Falls, while history lovers can enjoy famed sites like the Basilique Cathedrale.
  • Bonaire, Caribbean: The B in ABC islands, Bonaire is the original leader in ecology and eco-tourism, with bustling sanctuary colonies of flamingos, wild donkeys, and sea horses. Travelers to this island off the coast of Venezuela can participate in windsurfing, kayaking, bird watching, kite boarding, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding or “diver’s paradise” activities like diving and snorkeling.
  • St. Kitts, Caribbean: This West Indies isle, originally discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, offers travelers a peek into preserved history with its 17th and 18th century military architecture. The island also offers lush rainforests, with more than a quarter of its land protected as a National Park.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures: Travelers looking to kayak through glacier water or snorkel along exotic reefs can find a variety of special activities and excursions on a cruise through the Americas or Caribbean.

  • Ride the River: Vacationers yearning to experience U.S. history have a chance of following in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark while viewing classic Americana with a trip down the Columbia/Snake River, complete with trips through Hells Canyon and views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood.
  • Photos in Peggy’s Cove: Peggy’s Cove in Halifax is home to smooth boulders that have buoyed waves for 450 million years, in addition to perhaps the most photographed lighthouse in the world—a must-see and must-photograph spot for photo enthusiasts.
  • Roatan Rum: Rum and sweets-loving cruise travelers can take part in authentic culture with Mayan chocolate and rum cake tastings in Roatan.
  • High on the Haleakala: Nature lovers and photo buffs alike should experience the Haleakala Volcano in Maui, which rises 10,023 feet above sea level and offers some of the most beautiful volcanic sights in the world. Thrill seekers can even bike down the sides. To make the trip a once-in-a-lifetime event, travelers can also see the ahinahina plant, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Any vacation takes planning, and cruising is no different. CLIA has outlined tips for how to take the stress out of cruising in any waters, including the Americas or the Caribbean.

CLIA Travel Tips when Cruising the Americas or the Caribbean

  • Strike a Balance: Cruisers can benefit from striking a fine balance between scheduled excursions or entertainment and leaving time to relax. Travelers should be careful not to overbook their schedules on the ship or in port in order to leave room to enjoy the ship’s many amenities or sight see. Whether it b whale watching or a helicopter ride over active volcanoes, book two to three activities or excursions at most per day, with some downtime in between, when possible, to avoid travel fatigue.
  • Ask the Question: Travelers should never hesitate to stop and ask questions when in doubt. Whether questions are directed at a cruise-certified travel agent while booking a cruise, or to the ship’s staff while aboard – there are knowledgeable resources to help provide answers to any question that arises.
  • Rest Assured while Aboard: Travelers that take advantage of booking with cruise-certified travel agents can rest assured while resting up on any cruise, as a professional travel agent can help if things go wrong while cruising.

October is Plan a Cruise Month – a worldwide campaign, created by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to learn more about cruising and how to plan and take a cruise vacation. CLIA offers insight on the best cruise destinations, special cruise line deals and promotions as well as experts to help navigate the many cruise vacation options available for every travel style and budget. Travelers can find a CLIA-certified cruise specialist at https://www.cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-travel-guide/clia-agent-finder.

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Oceania Cruises’ Newest Ship MS Sirena Makes Inaugural Call to St. Kitts

October 18, 2017
Oceania Sirena

Oceania Cruises’ MS Sirena alongside the Caribbean Princess on Tuesday at Port Zante, St. Kitts

Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 13, 2017) – Oceania Cruises’ newest cruise ship, the MS Sirena, made its inaugural visit to St. Kitts on Wednesday, October 11, bringing more than 600 visitors to the island, who enjoyed the island’s beaches, tours and many attractions.

Launched in 1999, the Sirena is one of Oceania Cruises R-class ships, together with Regatta, Insignia, and Nautica. Until 2016, the vessel was part of Princess Cruises’ fleet sailing under the name “MS Ocean Princess.”

Oceania Cruises is a Miami-based company operating a fleet of premium cruise ships world-wide. The cruise line bills itself as upper-premium line, positioned squarely between the luxury and the premium segment.

Also in port the same day was the Caribbean Princess with a maximum capacity of 3,140 passengers. Last Sunday, October 8, the Adventure of the Seas visited St. Kitts with a maximum capacity of 3,840 passengers.

An estimated 120 vessels are scheduled to visit St. Kitts from October 7 to December 31, 2017.

Several cruise lines, including Regent Seven Seas, which had itineraries that would have visited some of the more impacted Caribbean islands have modified their itineraries to call at St. Kitts.

Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking or ziplining through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are water sports, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach.

For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

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5 Reasons to Book A Cruise Vacation With A Travel Agent

October 7, 2017
Bermuda_100213_024e2 (c) Karen Rubin-RCL-Nor

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines ships docked at the Royal Naval Yard, Bermuda © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

October is Plan a Cruise Month and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the international cruise industry are highlighting the vital role travel agents play in helping travelers navigate the sea of cruise vacation options.

“Travel agents play an important role in the vacation experience for both new and seasoned cruise travelers and can help cruisers create the most unique and personalized trip,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Agents are an integral part of the cruise industry and those interested in cruising will find working with an expert leads to the best overall experience and vacation satisfaction.”

Here are five top reasons to use a travel agent to book a cruise:

  1. A Totally Tailored Trip:  Today, there are more cruise vacation choices and experiences than ever before making it possible for travel agents to tailor trips to each client’s travel preferences. For example, Francophiles with a penchant for cuisine? An agent can help book a perfect Parisian cruise and maybe even provide tips for finding the best crepes and macaroons during onshore excursions.
  2. In Expert Hands: Travel agents are a wealth of information with plenty of real world travel experience. Agents can provide incredible advice for making the most of a cruise like the best onboard cafes or cruise ship activities for children as well as expertise on travel insurance, dining times and cabin location.
  3. Deals & Discounts: Many travel agents have access to deals and discounts that aren’t available to consumers booking directly. Agents sometimes have the ability to book in bulk so clients are privy to lower pricing for booking through an agent.
  4. Perks & Personalized Travel: There really are more perks when working with travel agents! Many agents can offer clients incredible perks like complimentary bottles of wine, vouchers for free specialty meals, prepaid gratuities, and onboard spending money.  In addition to fun extras, agents can also arrange personalized travel details for cruisers like gluten-free dining or post-cruise travel back home.
  5. A Stress-Free Travel Experience: For a stress-free travel experience, contact a CLIA Certified Cruise Agent. These accredited cruise counselors are committed to providing the best travel experience for every client every time. Go to www.cruising.org to find a CLIA Certified Cruise Agent.

Add to this list the fact that a cruise vacation often entails other services, like airplane transportation to or from the departure or arrival; hotel accommodations the night before or after, pre- and post-cruise tours.

To connect with a CLIA-certified cruise specialist to book a cruise vacation, visit: https://www.cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-travel-guide/clia-agent-finder. For more information about Plan a Cruise Month, visit: www.Cruising.org.

 

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October is ‘Plan a Cruise Month’ – Take Advantage of Cruise Deals, Promotions

October 7, 2017
Norwegian Cruise Lines' Breakaway

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway, docked in Bermuda © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

October is Plan a Cruise Month – a worldwide campaign to learn more about cruising and how to plan and take a cruise vacation, when cruise-goers can also take advantage of special cruise line deals and promotions available during the month.

Created by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the program provides insight on the best cruise destinations, special cruise line deals and promotions as well as experts to help navigate the many cruise vacation options available for every travel style and budget.

“Plan a Cruise Month is such an amazing opportunity for anyone who loves to travel to learn more about the variety of today’s cruise vacation options as well as take advantage of deals and promotions as well as guidance from cruise experts,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Today there are cruises to take you around the world from rivers in Asia and Africa to ocean cruises to the Galapagos Islands. A cruise can take you to some of the best global destinations aboard some of the most advanced cruise ships.”

Cruising Destinations Around the World: This year, Plan a Cruise Month is shining a spotlight on the many worldwide cruise destinations including those in: Europe; the Americas and the Caribbean; Australasia and Asia. Each week in October, through videos, online content and expert advice from travel agents, travelers can learn more about cruise destinations around the world. Whether travelers are looking for tours of historic castles or lounging on the best powder sand beaches, a cruise can take vacation seekers to some of the most visited sights as well as those off the beaten path.

Cruise Deals and Promotions: During Plan a Cruise Month, cruise lines are offering exclusive deals and promotions. To take advantage of the Plan a Cruise Monthexclusive offers as well as the expertise from travel agents, travel planners can find a CLIA Certified Travel Agent at cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-travel-guide/clia-agent-finder.

Cruise Experts at the Helm: More than 25 million travelers are expected to take a cruise vacation this year. Of those that take a cruise, seven out of ten (70 percent) leverage the expertise of a travel agent to help navigate the variety of cruise options available today. Travel agents are a wealth of information with plenty of real world travel experience. Agents can provide incredible travel advice, as well as tips for making the most of a cruise including the best onboard cafes or cruise ship activities for children. Find a CLIA Certified Travel Agent at cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-travel-guide/clia-agent-finder.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 24 million passengers who cruise annually and is dedicated to promote the cruise travel experience. Members are comprised of the world’s most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and cruise line suppliers and partners, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services. For more information, visit www.cruising.org or follow Cruise Lines International Association on CLIA Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Opens Reservations on 2018-19 Voyages

February 10, 2017
regent7seas_fil9455e2

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has just announced its summer 2018 through spring 2019 voyage collection, with 113 alluring itineraries aboard Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator, and the newly launched Seven Seas Explorer.

MIAMI – Regent Seven Seas Cruises has just announced its summer 2018 through spring 2019 voyage collection, with 113 alluring itineraries aboard Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator, and the newly launched Seven Seas Explorer. These four luxury ships will call at some of the most fascinating destinations in the world, among which are 28 maiden ports and 23 breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage sites. Guests will immerse themselves in cultures, cuisines and traditions with the line’s free unlimited shore excursions on all voyages and through included three-night, pre- or post-cruise land programs on Asia and Africa sailings. Throughout, each staff and crew member delivers exceptional, personalized service to every guest, for which Regent Seven Seas Cruises is renowned.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ summer 2018 through spring 2019 voyages are now open for reservations.

“We’ve created a highly impressive array of voyages worldwide that will delight and awe our guests,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “For the intrepid traveler, we also introduced a new Grand Voyage that delves into the Northern Atlantic and Arctic Circle, as well as our 13th annual World Cruise. There is no better inclusive-luxury experience than Regent and we look forward to sharing the world with our guests.”

Seven Seas Explorer Inaugurates Africa Voyages

Launched in July 2016 and recognized as the most luxurious ship ever built, Seven Seas Explorer returns to Europe for a second consecutive summer season in May 2018. The ship will sail throughout the Mediterranean, North and Baltic seas on seven- to 12-night voyages and make maiden calls at Portimao, Portugal; Lysekil, Sweden; and Bodo and Haugesund, Norway.

Seven Seas Explorer then commences its maiden Africa season on two epic voyages that showcase the continent’s west coast, a 24-night, Lisbon (Portugal)-to-Cape Town (South Africa) itinerary, followed by a 15-night, round-trip New Years voyage. The ship then heads west to South America for its vibrant rhythms, colors and cultures as it rounds the horn to Los Angeles via the western coast.

Chic Mediterranean and Authentic Caribbean

Seven Seas Voyager also will sail the Mediterranean in summer 2018, with many seven-night itineraries that include calls at some of the region’s most chic destinations, as well as maiden calls at Korcula and Hvar, Croatia; Saint-Raphael, France; Lipari, Sicily, Italy. The ship will winter in the Caribbean, alternating seven- to 12-night, Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, which travelers can combine to immerse themselves in the region. New Caribbean ports-of-call for the line are picturesque Port Antonio, Jamaica, as well as Charlestown, Nevis, the birthplace of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Remote Wonders of the Pacific and Australia

Seven Seas Mariner will offer a variety of adventures throughout the Pacific, starting with Alaska in summer 2018. The ship then charts the South Pacific in the autumn to Asia and Australia, presenting the grand cities and historic, cultural landmarks of the Pacific Rim and Southeast Asia, and calling at Broome, Australia, and Oarai, Japan, for the first time. From Sydney, travelers can join Seven Seas Mariner on the Grand Aussie Adventure, a new 36-night circumnavigation of the continent, sailing Dec. 15, 2018. 

Grand Arctic, Canada and New England, and the World

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ most intimate ship, Seven Seas Navigator, will offer three very distinct programs, starting with an 89-night, Grand Arctic Splendor voyage that begins and ends in New York. The Grand Artic Splendor voyage is comprised of six sailings that call at 63 non-repeating destinations in Canada and New England, Greenland and Iceland, North and Baltic Seas, as well as into the Arctic Circle to reach the White Sea. On this adventure, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and Archangel, Russia, will be maiden ports.

The ship will then sail a range of unforgettable Canada and New England cruises between New York and Montréal to showcase the autumn foliage and exciting cities of Quebec and the Northeast U.S.

To kick off 2019, Seven Seas Navigator will embark on Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 13th World Cruise, an epic 131-night adventure that calls at 62 unique ports across the Hawaii Islands, French Polynesia, Australia, Asia and the Mediterranean. Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 2019 World Cruise is comprised of seven distinct itineraries, calling at 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and making maiden calls at Kingfisher Bay (Fraser Island), Australia; Makassar (Sulawesi), Indonesia; and Puerto Princesa, Philippines.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is one of the world’s most inclusive luxury cruiselines with a four-ship fleet that visits more than 425 destinations around the globe. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is currently undergoing a $125 million fleetwide refurbishment that will elevate the level of elegance found throughout the fleet to the standard set by Seven Seas Explorer, which entered service on July 20, 2016, and has since been recognized as the most luxurious ship ever built. A leader in luxury cruising, the line’s fares include all-suite accommodations, round-trip air, highly personalized service, exquisite cuisine, fine wines and spirits, unlimited internet access, sightseeing excursions in every port, gratuities, ground transfers and a pre-cruise hotel package for guests staying in concierge-level suites and higher. Beginning in summer 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises also will include Business Class air for all intercontinental flights.

For more information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises or specific itineraries, contact a professional travel agent; visit www.rssc.com; or call 1-844-4REGENT (1-844-473-4368).

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Cruisewatch: Why You Should Book a Cruise Five Weeks Before it Sets Sail

October 8, 2016
five-weeks

Data provided by cruisewatch.com (PRNewsFoto/CruiseWatch)

HANNOVER, Germany — A study by cruisewatch.com, a next-generation cruise search engine with an innovative decision support system, finds prices for cruise sailings are cheapest five weeks before setting sail.

Have you ever experienced checking cruise prices and finding they are high and then upon checking again later prices have decreased? The biggest factor you should consider in saving money is to determine the right moment when to book a cruise, says cruisewatch.com. Based on an elaborate study that considered more than 25,000 cruise sailings, cruise prices drop the lowest five weeks before departure, according to cruisewatch.com.

The best discounts, they say, can be found in the weeks prior to sailing, with average reductions of 4 percent for interior and ocean-view cabins. But that is just the average. Not fully sold sailings can be discounted up to 40 percent.

“If you’re flexible regarding the cruise sailing, ship, or departure date, you can save big money by booking short term. But you can only choose between the last unsold rooms. If you are keen to get a special category, especially a suite, you should book your cruise early,” explains Nina Stumpe, a cruise enthusiast and cofounder of cruisewatch.com.

Prices get more dynamic short term; more expensive cabins have less or no price reductions

“Cruiseline’s prices are steered mainly during the last 100 days before departure. During this ‘hot phase,’ the biggest price decreases take place, especially for interior and ocean-view cabins. Interestingly the balcony staterooms, which are more expensive, are reduced less, and suites don’t get any discounts,” Stumpe says.

The search engine cruisewatch.com is offering a free price drop monitoring website that utilizes big data and machine learning to help customers find the perfect time to book their cruise. Users can get notified automatically when prices are reduced or when good deals are coming up. Even a price forecast is included on the webpage.

“Cruise lines invest massive amounts of resources into revenue optimization. We are leveling the playing field and offering consumers up-to-date technology to make the right decisions,” says the cruisewatch.com cofounder. According to our claim right time, right cruise right price.

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October is Plan a Cruise Month, CLIA Shares Top Reasons to Cruise

October 8, 2016
“Cruise travelers know that cruising offers a chance to completely customize your vacation and create the trip of your dreams,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “The benefits of cruise travel over land-based travel are exponential and the cruise industry is excited to share them with travelers in honor of Plan a Cruise Month.”

Five benefits of cruise-based travel versus land-based travel:

o    Convenient Cruising: The cruise industry is constantly expanding availability of ports, both domestically and internationally, meaning travelers have never had so much access to a cruise ship with many of them are within driving distance of major cities. Cruising internationally also offers travelers a less intimidating chance to sample different destinations while negating anxieties about dealing with foreign airports, hotels and transportation. Cruising gives travelers the chance to see, do and experience great things from all over the world, packing as little or as much into their trip as they’d like, but their suitcase only needs to be unpacked once.

o    A Cruise for Every Traveler: A cruise vacation affords travelers a chance to create a trip that is completely customized to their tastes and preferences. Whether a traveler hopes to indulge in a luxe massage every morning or check out a spin class, a cruise can be tailored to every kind of traveler. From yoga classes for kids to craft beer tastings for adults, travelers of all ages don’t need to worry about being bored onboard.

o    Diverse Destinations: Both ocean and river cruising allow travelers to see exotic and unique destinations. Ocean cruisers can look forward to distant voyages around the globe and river cruises offer a chance to sail more intimate spaces.  Whether traveling by ocean or river, cruises offer the chance to visit far ends of the Earth all in one single trip.

o    Experts at the Ready: A certified cruise travel agent help travelers partake in a nearly hands-free vacation planning experience while also lending an ear for questions once onboard. Agents can help travelers maximize their dollars, tailor activities to each guest’s preference, and help scout out the best excursions, among other things.

o    Best Return of Experience: Cruising offers travelers a window to the world within their vacation budget. Instead of having to worry about travel, hotel, transportation, meals and entertainment costs, many cruisers pay one flat fee and travelers are able to enjoy paradise.

For more information about cruise travel or how you could enter to win a cruise of choice from October 1-31, 2016, visit www.cruisesmile.org.

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Redesigned Victoria Jenna Sails China’s Yangtze

August 17, 2016

Victoria Cruises-Jenna

NEW YORK – Having upgraded and transformed its entire fleet – including  the complete overhaul of the Victoria Katarina on two separate occasions in 2010 and 2014 – Victoria Cruises (www.VictoriaCruises.com) is celebrating its latest renovated ship, the Victoria Jenna, after its first major renovation since its launch in late 2009. The six-year-old ship benefits from a complete redesign featuring motifs of modern elegance and a brand new appearance intended to bring the vessel up to speed with the rest of Victoria Cruises’ five-star fleet.

Victoria Cruises retained the same New York-based interior design firm used for its other fleet renovations. As an American-managed company adhering to the strictest Western standards, Victoria Cruises goes to exceptional lengths to ensure the safety, comfort and performance of its vessels exceed the expectation of discerning American and European travelers.

Like its sister ships, all staterooms aboard the Victoria Jenna feature a private balcony from which guests can view the mist-shrouded Yangtze River and the optional Luxury Amenities program is also available for travelers seeking the ultimate experience.

VIP perks provided via the Luxury Amenities add-on include personalized “white glove” service, upper deck placement, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, exclusive happy hour, and enhanced culinary privileges capitalizing on Victoria Cruises’ reputation for gastronomic excellence including a la carte service and wine and beer with dinner.

“Since the launch of the Victoria Jenna in 2009, the vessel has been surpassed by our own innovations as we’ve modernized the rest of our fleet one ship at a time,” said Larry Greenman, manager of public relations and customer service for Victoria Cruises.

“This is a particularly meaningful milestone for us as we’ve restored the six-year-old vessel’s position as the flagship at the forefront of our elegant, five-star fleet. It also signifies the completion of the extensive fleet-wide redesign we began in 2010,” noted Greenman.

The Victoria Jenna rejoined the fleet on April 11 for Victoria Cruises’ popular Three Gorges Highlights program between Chongqing and Yichang which it will continue to sail with twice weekly departures on Mondays and Thursdays.

Starting at $980 per person, based on double occupancy, the Three Gorges Highlights voyage is offered with three- and four-night options (based on river direction), encompassing views of centuries-old temples, pagodas and stone carvings nestled along the river.

A standard shore excursion package is available for $90 per person and includes tours of Shibaozhai’s famous red pagoda and the Three Gorges Dam as well as a scenic journey on a traditional sampan through Goddess Stream, surrounded by beautiful peaks and teeming with local wildlife from monkeys to mountain goats. Excursions may be substituted based on river conditions and other factors.

The Victoria Jenna is featured in tour packages offered by leading U.S. operators combining the charm and mystique of the Yangtze River with segments in historical Beijing, cosmopolitan Shanghai, the ancient Qin Dynasty capital city of Xi’an and other alluring destinations within China.

New York-based Victoria Cruises established new standards of excellence for sailing China’s Yangtze River when its first ship edged out of port in 1994. Victoria Cruises remains the service leader on the Yangtze River with each ship earning the coveted five-star rating from the China National Tourism Administration. Victoria Cruises has earned numerous awards and recognitions over the years including the 2011 TravelAge West WAVE Award Editor’s Pick for Best River Cruise Line as well as Best New River Cruise Ship in 2010 with the launch of the luxurious Victoria Jenna.  In that same year, Travel Weekly also selected the Victoria Jenna as a Silver Award Winner for the Magellan Awards’ River Cruise Ship category.  The cruise line operates a variety of itineraries on the Yangtze ranging from four to nine days.

For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 136-18 39th Avenue, 12th Floor, Flushing, NY 11354; phone (800) 348-8084, (212) 818-1680; fax (212) 818-9889; e-mail contact@victoriacruises.com or visit http://www.victoriacruises.com.

 

 

 

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CruiseCompete Lists ‘Best in Premium Cruise Line Family Suites’

March 10, 2016

DETROIT – CruiseCompete has compiled a list of favorite cabins for families on premium cruise lines: Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.

Princess Cruises – Family Suite with Balcony (Emerald Princess)
Premium accommodations and luxurious appointments are the signature of Princess Cruises’ expansive 460- to 687-square-foot suites. A Family Suite includes a spacious cabin, and large 95- to 241-square-foot balcony, along with special suite-only benefits. Suites feature a separate seating area with a sofabed, walk-in closet, full bathroom and deluxe amenities.

Image courtesy of Princess Cruises

Image courtesy of Princess Cruises

Pricing for suite on the Emerald Princess 7-night Alaskan Cruise starts at $1,397.24 per person, double occupancy, not including port taxes and fees.

Click here to learn more about Princess Cruises.

To see Princess Cruises specials, click here.

To get a quote for Princess Cruises, click here.
Celebrity Cruises – The Reflection Suites

Celebrity Cruises offers an impressive family option with their Reflection Suite, a 2-bedroom suite with 1,636 square feet, plus a 194 square foot veranda. It boasts a panoramic corner location, with a floor to ceiling sliding glass veranda door and window and an incredible sea view bathroom.

Additional suite amenities include 24/7 personal butler service, complimentary mini bar stocked daily, complimentary internet access and complimentary laundry service. Reflection Suite guests also enjoy a dedicated private restaurant, exclusive access to the private Michael’s club, unlimited dining at all specialty restaurants and a complimentary premium beverage package.

Image courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Image courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

The Reflections Suites pricing currently starts at $2,165 per person, double occupancy, per night for a 7-night Caribbean Cruise, not including port taxes and fees.

Click here to learn more about Celebrity Cruises.

To see Celebrity Cruises specials, click here.

To get a quote for Celebrity Cruises, click here.
Holland America Line – The Pinnacle Suite and Family Ocean-View Staterooms

Holland America Line’s Pinnacle Suite is 1,290 sq. ft., including verandah.
As another option, the Koningsdam family ocean-view staterooms are a first for Holland America Line. The 32 new specially designed family ocean-view staterooms will range from 222 to 231 square feet and feature special amenities such as two bathrooms and accommodations for five people.

The line also offers triple and quad staterooms for families of three and four that wish to share a room. Connecting cabins are also available.

The starting rate for the Pinnacle Suite on a Koningsdam, 7-Day Northern Europe cruise is $7,000 per person, double occupancy,  not including port taxes and fees.

The starting rate for the family oceanview stateroom on a Koningsdam 7-Day Europe cruise, departing May 22, 2016, is $1,799.00 per person, double occupancy, not including port taxes and fees… and the kids sail free!

Click here to learn more about Holland America Line.

To see Holland America Line specials, click here.

To get quote for Holland America Line, click here.
Disney Cruise Line – The Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah

Some might argue that every cabin and suite aboard Disney’s ships are a “family suite,” and they wouldn’t be wrong, as this line is known for catering especially to families. However, they have a truly impressive offering in the Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah aboard the Disney Dream. This suite is 1,781 square feet, including the verandah, featuring a separate bedroom and 2 bathrooms, with double sinks, a rain-style shower and a whirlpool tub in the master bath.

Additional amenities include concierge service, complimentary WiFi, a private verandah featuring a whirlpool tub, a pantry and wet bar stocked with water and sodas.

Image courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

Image courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

The starting rate for the Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah on the Disney Dream 4-Night Bahamas cruise, departing May 23, 2016, is $3280.00 per person, double occupancy, not including port taxes and fees.

Click here to learn more about Disney Cruise Line.

To see Disney Cruise Line specials, click here.

To get quote for Disney Cruise Line, click here.

 

All prices quoted are subject to change.

 

For more Family Travel resources, visit  www.cruisecompete.com/resources.php.

Click here to download your copy of the 2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner.

To view what is typically included on these lines, check out an all-inclusive guide here:

allthingscruise.com/all-inclusive

CruiseCompete has been an online cruise marketplace since 2003, where travelers can come to research and book cruise vacations, compare offers, see consumer reviews of agents and agencies responding, then contact travel agents directly for more information and to book cruises. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, which offers the 2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources.

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want in cruise vacations.

For more information, visit www.cruisecompete.com or www.cruisecompete.com/group_cruises

CruiseCompete is an Iowa limited liability company and is not a travel agency nor owned by a travel agency.

 

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Royal Caribbean Offer: Buy One, Get Half Off, plus $200 Credit; $1000 Off Air to Europe

February 13, 2015
Starting Valentine’s Day through Mar. 10, 2015, Royal Caribbean is offering half off a companion, plus $200 onboard credit, plus $1000 ChoiceAir flight credit for Europe Cruises © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Starting Valentine’s Day through Mar. 10, 2015, Royal Caribbean is offering half off a companion, plus $200 onboard credit, plus $1000 ChoiceAir flight credit for Europe Cruises © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

MIAMI – This Valentine’s Day, give a gift of love that everyone can share: a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation. And for a limited time, Royal Caribbean’s new BOGO Wild offer sweetens the savings with additional spending credit. Starting Valentine’s Day through Mar. 10, 2015, vacationers can get half off the second guest’s cruise fare when making a new booking in an Oceanview or higher-category stateroom with a full-fare guest on a five-night or longer cruise, plus up to $200 onboard credit per stateroom to spend on the ship. Guests can apply their onboard credit toward a wide range experiences, including cocktails while lounging by the pool; a milestone celebration in a specialty restaurant; or refreshing with a rejuvenating spa treatment. The BOGO Wild offer applies for most Royal Caribbean ships, sailings from May 15, 2015, through Apr. 30, 2016.

Vacationers who book a new 2015 Europe cruise during the promotional period can enjoy even greater value and receive up to an additional $1,000 stateroom savings, when they use promo code EUROPEAIR and purchase their flights through Royal Caribbean’s competitively-priced, online air-booking system ChoiceAir. Guests booking a new Europe cruise will enjoy an additional $250 savings per Interior and Oceanview stateroom; an additional $500 savings per Balcony and Junior Suite-category stateroom; or an additional $1,000 savings per Grand Suites or higher-category stateroom.  For more information about BOGO Wild, visit http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/DealsandMore.

“Vacationers who take advantage of BOGO Wild now can save more than $2,500 on an incredible Europe cruise for two,” said Vicki Freed, senior vice president of Sales, Trade Support and Service for Royal Caribbean International. “With eight Royal Caribbean ships sailing European waters this summer and autumn season, vacationers have choices among the industry’s most innovative cruise ships sailing to compelling destinations – including our newest technologically advanced Anthem of the Seas and the world’s largest ship, the Oasis-class Allure of the Seas. From summer family vacations to holiday cruises to spring break 2016, now is a great opportunity to book an incredible Royal Caribbean vacation anywhere in the world.”

For new Oceanview and higher-category stateroom bookings made between February 14 through March 10, 2015, on a five-night or longer itinerary, guests will receive a 50-percent savings on the cruise fare for the second guest sharing the same room. Qualifying guests also will receive $100 onboard credit per Oceanview stateroom, or $200 onboard credit per balcony- or suite-category stateroom. The BOGO Wild offer does not include Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, and China sailings.

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 45-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea.  The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, Broadway-style entertainment and programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike.

Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Royal Caribbean International sails 22 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in Bermuda and the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, South America, the Far East, and Australia and New Zealand. World renowned for its friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, delivered by every staff and crew member, Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 12 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards.

For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call 800-ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter @RoyalCaribbean.

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