Archive for the ‘cruises’ Category

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Introduces Wellness Program on Mediterranean Sailings for 2018

May 11, 2017

Regent7Seas2

MIAMI – Experience the Mediterranean with a different perspective, and renew the spirit; clear the mind; and recharge the body on new Seven Seas Wellness shore and spa pairings. Announced in March 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new holistic wellness program is now available for Seven Seas Voyager guests to reserve on this summer’s Mediterranean voyages. Seven Seas Wellness combines a refreshing, low-impact activity in 10 Mediterranean destinations with one of five revitalizing treatments in the onboard Canyon Ranch SpaClub.

“The response to the initial program announcement has been so great that we’ve decided also to offer the Seven Seas Wellness program in 2018,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of the cruise line. “Regent Seven Seas Cruises is delighted to present a holistic wellness program that anyone can join in and provide a new way to take in the Mediterranean’s beauty and heritage. Throughout, Seven Seas Voyager’s exceptional staff and crew will take care of everything so guests can continue to bask in the glow of their Seven Seas Wellness experience.”

Seven Seas Voyager guests can choose among 11 Seven Seas Wellness excursions, ranging from Tai Chi to Yoga, hydrothermal therapy to aromatherapy, and hiking and laughter, on their summer 2017 Mediterranean voyage:

Tai Chi

  • Provence (Marseille), France – De-stress and unwind with the ancient Chinese martial arts in a 19th century palace on Tai Chi in the Imperial Garden.
  • Palma De Mallorca, Spain – Enjoy fresh sea air and breathtaking scenery as guests center their chi from either the Illuetta Bay or Can Antoni Pere Beach on Mallorca Meditation in Motion.

Yoga

  • Corfu, Greece – Experience Corfiot filoxenia, a concept not adequately defined by the word “hospitality,” and learn about local culture, before practicing yoga and deep meditation in one of Greece’s most beautiful estates on The Generosity of Spirit.
  • Monte Carlo, Monaco – Guests will calm the mind, increase focus, strength, and stamina, in the fast-paced, dance-like style of yoga that synchronizes breathing, while enjoying  the spectacular Mediterranean panorama on Vinyasa Yoga on Monte Carlo.
  • Taormina, Sicily – Guests take in the dramatic and contrasting coastlines, cliffs, and Mount Etna, as they practice poses from a high perch overlooking the charming seaside town on Taormina Terrace Yoga.

Hydrothermal Therapy

  • Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy – Soak in the restorative mineral-rich, thermal springs, which has been visited by Popes and Kings throughout its thousand-year-old history on Thermal Baths of Popes.
  • Sorrento, Italy – Enjoy a sprawling spa complex built on the site of an ancient Roman prototype, consisting of warm and cold thermal springs with rock grottos, mineral baths, pools and genuine Roman sauna rooms on Roman Baths and the Burning Fields.

Aromatherapy

  • Venice, Italy – Visit the exhibition at the palace-turned-museum, where one room recreates a 16th century perfumer’s laboratory and guests can learn how to create their own perfume to take home on Venetian Scents at Palazzo Mocenigo.
  • Amalfi/Positano, Italy– Be inspired and invigorated by the island’s calming presence, inherent spirit, and many natural gifts on a highlights tour, before visiting Carthusia, the famous and exclusive perfume laboratory on this full-day Capri for all Senses.

Walking and Laughing

  • Palma De Mallorca, Spain – Enjoy the benefits of lower-impact, body-toning Nordic walk up the hill to the 14th century Bellver Castle on Nordic Morning Walk.
  • Palamos, Spain – Unlock the many health benefits of this atypical Laughter Therapy session, where guests giggle and laugh for a full-scale workout to release stress-busting endorphins on the Wellness of Laughter.

With each Seven Seas Wellness excursion, guests can choose one of five rejuvenating and included treatments by Canyon Ranch SpaClub for a complete body and soul experience:

  • Ocean Scrub – A wonderfully restorative, exfoliating body treatment that cools skin on contact, while antibacterial essence of laurel opens the airways and spirulina intensely hydrates.
  • World of Relief Body Buff – Organic essential oils from around the world combined with organic Dead Sea salts that stimulates and exfoliates, and is finished with an application of biodynamic honey and essential oils that hydrates and nourishes.
  • Vitamin Infusion Facial – This superb treatment delivers nutrients to the skin to reduce the signs of environmental damage from the sun, pollution and stress.
  • Sole Rejuvenation – This deliciously relaxing foot scrub and massage relieves tension, soothes aches and puts the spring back in your step.
  • Tangle Me Up Organic Body Wrap – Powerful antioxidant compounds found in Laminaria digitata algae work to firm and tone the skin, alleviating the appearance of cellulite and signs of aging, while helping to protect against cell damage from environmental toxins.

The new Seven Seas Wellness program on Regent’s Seven Seas Voyager is available on seven- to 10-night Mediterranean itineraries departing May 22 through September 28, 2017, except aboard the July 25, 2017 voyage, and select 2018 sailings. There is a supplemental charge of US$299 per guest per wellness experience and spa service pairing.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is an inclusive luxury cruise line with a four-ship fleet that visits more than 425 destinations around the world. 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 one of the most luxurious ships 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 Seven Seas Wellness, Seven Seas Voyager and Regent Seven Seas Cruises or to make a reservation, contact a professional travel agent, visit www.RSSC.com, or call 1-844-4REGENT (1-844-473-4368).

 

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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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Victoria Offers Up to 52% Off Winter Yangtze Cruises Through Heart of China

December 3, 2015
Victoria Cruises-entertain

Entertainment aboard Victoria Cruises.

NEW YORK, NY  – Victoria Cruises, the only American-managed luxury cruise line on China’s Yangtze River, is offering guests up to 52% savings this winter. Private balcony superior staterooms for the popular three-or-four-night sail between Chongqing and Yichang starts at $470 per person, based on double occupancy, in January and February 2016, representing a savings of $510 per person.

Passengers can upgrade to a private balcony Superior Stateroom with Luxury Amenities for $670 per person, based on double occupancy, also a savings of $510 per person. Luxury Amenities include VIP perks such as “white glove” service, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access and enhanced dining privileges.

By booking the Shangri-La Suite from $1,510 per person, based on double occupancy, guests will receive more spacious accommodations with Luxury Amenities, saving $1,050 per person.

Winter special sailings will sail downstream on Thursdays and upstream on Sundays.  Offering a truly spectacular way to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Victoria Cruises is also offering additional special sailings with downstream departures on Feb. 8 and 9, 2016 and upstream departures on Feb. 11 and 12, 2016 with an additional surcharge of $200 per person, based on double occupancy.

Departing from Chongqing guests will sail to Shibaozhai, known as “The Pearl of the Yangtze,” where they will observe a 12-story, 18th century wooden pagoda built without the use of a single nail. Passengers will also enjoy an educational tour of the Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric project in the world, and a small boat excursion on a traditional sampan along one of the Yangtze’s scenic tributaries.

Shore excursions are not included and cost an additional $90 per person for a comprehensive package featuring three standard excursions (may be substituted based on river conditions and other factors).

Victoria Cruises offers many interesting onboard activities such as Tai Chi lessons, acupuncture demonstrations and discussions on the Yangtze’s history. Nightly entertainment options include traditional Chinese dance and musical performances.

Already earning high marks from passengers, Victoria’s dining has introduced new culinary concepts and menus thanks to the addition of award-winning American celebrity chef Walter Staib. The culinary program for the winter special was designed by Staib and includes both western dishes and a la carte dining.

Chef Staib recently won a 2015 Emmy© Award for his Yangtze River episode of PBS’s A Taste of History,filmed aboard one of the Victoria Cruises five-star ships.

All prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplements are available. Itineraries are subject to change based on river conditions.

For more information or to book, or for a list of tour operators which include the Yangtze River in their value-priced winter programs, contact Victoria Cruises toll-free at 800-348-8084 or visit www.VictoriaCruises.com.

 

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 Crystal Cruises’ Silver Celebration Fares Available for the Holidays

November 18, 2015
Crystal Symphy, Sydney, Australia

Crystal Symphy, Sydney, Australia

In celebration of its 25th Silver Anniversary, Crystal Cruises is featuring an array of luxury cruises just in time for holiday gifting and personal travel – at incredible fares. And, to accommodate last minute shoppers, Crystal Cruises has extended its book now fares deadline for itineraries through 2017 to December 30, 2015 with a bounty of special offers:

  • Savings up to $6,000 per stateroom as well as Silver Celebration “As You Wish” shipboard spending credits up to $500 per stateroom on select voyages. This credit can be used towards onshore adventures, one-of-a-kind dinners in The Vintage Room, treatments at the only Feng Shui-inspired spa and more
  • And, for those with their sights on 2017 voyages, all fares have been lowered for bookings made in the line’s Silver Anniversary year

Itineraries include Antarctica, South America the Caribbean and beyond.

Other enticing Crystal Cruises experiences on all cruises include:

  • Limited-time Book Now Cruise-Only Fares from just $1,485 per person
  • Complimentary select fine wines, champagne and premium spirits
  • Complimentary gratuities for all dining, bar, housekeeping and Penthouse butler staff.
  • Complimentary evening of specialty restaurant dining at least once in Silk Road or the Sushi Bar celebrating the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa, and at least once in Prego. (Additional reservations or visits available for a modest fee*)
  • Complimentary enrichment via the innovative Creative Learning Institute® and the Computer University@Sea® classes in diverse topics such as world affairs, art, wine appreciation, digital photography and iPad filmmaking
  • Complimentary fitness programs with classes in yoga, mat Pilates, Spinning®

Enticing itineraries that travelers can look forward to include a Canary Island Classic, November 13th to 22nd (nine days) – Inviting beaches and lush gardens, exceptional wines and delicious ports are key highlights of this cruise. Guests start-off in the beautiful city of Lisbon and then on November 15th explore Madeira and Funcal. On November 16th, the ship sails to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands and onwards to Arrecife, Lanzarote on November 17th.  Stops will be made in Malaga, Spain on November 19th and then you cruise the Mediterranean Sea before arriving in Monte Carlo where you will stay until November 22nd. Priced at $2,945 per person.

There is also an Iberian Jewels trip from November 29th to December 11th (12 days) – This cruise includes overnights in magical Marseille, Barcelona, Mallorca, Cartagena (Spain), Gibraltar, Cadiz/Seville, Portimao and Lisbon. Guests will be able to savor world-class cuisine in these locations and also visit castles, monasteries and museums. Priced at $3,375 per person.

Crystal Cruises is one of the world’s most awarded luxury cruise lines, having been honored with prestigious accolades from trusted national outlets and their readers such as Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure for more than 20 consecutive years.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

 

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The 10 Most Praised Ultra-Luxury Cruise Ships in 2014 – Insider Report from CruiseCompete

December 24, 2014
Crystal Cruises has two ships in CruiseCompete's list of Top 10 Ultra-Luxury ships.

Crystal Cruises has two ships in CruiseCompete’s list of Top 10 Ultra-Luxury ships.

SeaDream I tops the Top 10 List for ultra-luxury cruise vacations, according to CruiseCompete, which analyzed reviews from thousands of cruise travelers, who provide insight into cruise lines, ships, amenities, service, dining and the destinations visited.

CruiseCompete has tabulated the ratings given to ultra-luxury cruise ship category:

 

  Line  Ship  Rating
 1. SeaDream Yacht Club  SeaDream I  5
 2. Crystal Cruises  Crystal Serenity  4.89
 3. Regent Seven Seas Cruises  Seven Seas Voyager  4.83
 4. Paul Gauguin  MS Paul Gauguin  4.81
 5. Regent Seven Seas Cruises  Seven Seas Mariner  4.78
 6. Regent Seven Seas Cruises  Seven Seas Navigator  4.75
 7. Silversea Cruises  Silver Shadow  4.57
 8. Crystal Cruises  Crystal Symphony  4.56
 9. Seabourn  Seabourn Sojourn  4.56
 10. SeaDream Yacht Club  SeaDream II 4.25

 

Read full reviews of these ships, and others, here.

Want to know more about the worldwide ports these ships visit? Read port reviews here.

One of the most significant aspects of the ultra-luxury lines is the amenities included in their cruise packages. These ships are designed to feel like floating country clubs or boutique hotels; one where a passenger’s every whim is indulged and there’s no need to keep a wallet handy for extra expenses.

To see what’s included on the Ultra-Luxury lines, click here.

To learn more about the luxury lines, or to book and Ultra-Luxury Cruise, visit www.CrusieCompete.com.

 

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CruiseCompete: Last Minute Requests Soar for Warm Weather Destination Cruises in December

December 5, 2014
A Carnival cruise ship sailing out of Miami. Carnival topped CruiseCompete's December list for most popular Premium/Contemporary line and Miami was the most popular departure port for luxury cruises © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A Carnival cruise ship sailing out of Miami. Carnival topped CruiseCompete’s December list for most popular Premium/Contemporary line and Miami was the most popular departure port for luxury cruises © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Carnival Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises and Viking River Cruises top CruiseCompete’s CruiseTrends™ report for the month of December 2014, sponsored by © EyeforTravel Ltd.

Most Popular Cruise Lines
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each cruise line in the given month)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Carnival Cruise Lines
2. Luxury: Oceania Cruises
3. River: Viking River Cruises

In second place is Princess Cruises for premium/contemporary, Cunard Line for luxury and AmaWaterways for river. More…

Most Popular Cruise Ships
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each ship)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Emerald Princess (changed from Regal Princess last month)
2. Luxury: Queen Mary 2
3. River: MS AmaLyra (changed from Queen of the Mississippi last month)

Next in popularity are Regal Princess for premium/contemporary, Oceania Riviera for luxury and Emerald Waterways ships for river. More…

Most Popular Cruise Regions
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each region)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Caribbean
2. Luxury: Europe
3. River: Europe

Next in popularity are North America for premium/contemporary, Mediterranean for luxury and North America for river. More…

Most Popular Cruise Departure Ports
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each departure port)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
2. Luxury: Miami, Fla.
3. River: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Next in popularity are Miami, Fla. for premium/contemporary, New York N.Y. for luxury and Budapest, Hungary, for river. More…

Most Popular Cruise Ports Visited
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each port visited during cruise itineraries, excluding departure ports)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Cozumel, Mexico
2. Luxury: Bora Bora, Tahiti (changed from Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy last month)
3. River: Cologne, Germany (changed from Vienna, Austria last month)

Next in popularity are Nassau, Bahamas, for premium/contemporary, Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy, for luxury and Vienna, Austria for river. More…

Most Popular Countries Visited
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each country visited during cruise itineraries, excluding countries of departure)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Mexico
2. Luxury: United States
3. River: Germany

Second are Bahamas for premium/contemporary, Greece for luxury and France for river. More…

Most Popular Cabin Types
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each cabin type)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Inside
2. Luxury: Balcony
3. River: Balcony
More…

Number of Cabins Requested
(Based on most popular number of cabins per request)
1. Premium/Contemporary: 1
2. Luxury: 1
3. River: 1

Second are 2 cabins for premium/contemporary, 2 cabins for luxury and 2 cabins for river. More…

Most Popular Cruise Itinerary Lengths
(Based on most requested itinerary lengths)
1. Premium/Contemporary: 7 nights
2. Luxury: 7 nights
3. River: 8 nights

Second are 5 nights for premium/contemporary, 10 nights for luxury and 15 nights for river.
More…

Most Popular Sailing Months Requested
(Based on the most requested months)
1. Premium/Contemporary: December 2014
2. Luxury: December 2014
3. River: May 2015
More…

Other data available at the December 2014 CruiseTrends™ report:
• Number of cabins requested
• Most popular cruise itinerary lengths
• Travel insurance requested
• Cruise line past passenger status requested
• Booking window of time

For purposes of the CruiseTrends™ report, cruise lines recognized as premium or contemporary are grouped together as premium/contemporary. The CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ report is sponsored by © EyeforTravel Ltd. and available monthly from CruiseCompete.

To see 12-months’ of cruise trend data, visit  www.cruisecompete.com/cruise_trends.php.

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