Archive for the ‘cruises’ Category

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.

 

 

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

 

 

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.

 

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

 

 

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.

 

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

 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.

 

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

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.

 

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

moralcompasstravel.info

Check out our newest travel site for special deals, insiders’ tips at tidbitts.com: http://www.tidbitts.com/karen-rubin/where-in-the-world

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.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

moralcompasstravel.info

Check out our newest travel site for special deals, insiders’ tips at tidbitts.com: http://www.tidbitts.com/karen-rubin/where-in-the-world

Save Up to 50% Off Winter 2015 Yangtze River Sailings with Victoria Cruises

November 26, 2014
Highlights of Victoria Cruises' onboard experience include cultural entertainment featuring traditional Chinese costumes

Highlights of Victoria Cruises’ onboard experience include cultural entertainment featuring traditional Chinese costumes

Victoria Cruises (http://www.VictoriaCruises.com) is kicking off 2015 by offering steep winter discounts on its popular four- and five-day Three Gorges Highlights program throughout January and February 2015.  Reduced rates will start at $470 per person, based on double occupancy, for a superior stateroom with private balcony – a savings of $510 per person.

Passengers can book superior staterooms featuring Victoria Cruises’ Executive Amenities from $670 per person, based on double occupancy.  Executive Amenities offer VIP perks such as “white glove” service, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, enhanced dining privileges, shoe shine service and reserved seating for evening entertainment.

Victoria Cruises’ Executive Suites, which feature upgraded accommodations and ship placement along with the Executive Amenities previously mentioned, start at $870 per person, based on double occupancy – a savings of $720 per person.

Guests can also cruise in complete luxury by booking the Shangri-La Suite to enjoy even more spacious accommodations with VIP Executive Amenities from $1,510 per person, based on double occupancy – a savings of $1,050 per person.

For a truly spectacular experience, spend Chinese New Year’s onboard with Victoria Cruises’ special holiday with downstream departures on Feb. 19 and 20 and upstream departures on Feb. 22 and 23 with an additional surcharge of $200 per person, based on double occupancy.

Victoria Cruises’ steeply-discounted Three Gorges Highlights winter special sails upstream from Yichang to Chongqing (five days/four nights) as well as downstream from Chongqing to Yichang (four days/three nights) on Victoria Cruises’ lavish five-star vessels.

In addition to spectacular views of centuries-old pagodas nestled along the Yangtze and a scenic passage through the famous Three Gorges, a one-time shore excursion fee of $90 per person (inclusive of all standard excursions) provides travelers with additional experiences including an educational visit to the impressive Three Gorges Dam, a sampan experience along one of the Yangtze’s tranquil tributaries and a trip to Shibaozhai, often referred to as “The Pearl of the Yangtze,” a 12-story wooden pagoda located between Chongqing and Qutang Gorge in Zhong County (may be replaced with a trip to Fengdu, based on weather conditions).

Passengers can also participate in exciting onboard activities such as Tai Chilessons, demonstrations of acupuncture/acupressure and discussions on the Yangtze’s history.  Nightly entertainment options include traditional Chinese dance and musical performances (pictured below).

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.

 

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

moralcompasstravel.info

Check out our newest travel site for special deals, insiders’ tips at tidbitts.com: http://www.tidbitts.com/karen-rubin/where-in-the-world

Ink or Swim: Tattoo-Themed Cruise Sails April 2015 on RCL’s Liberty of the Seas

October 14, 2014
RCL's Liberty of the Seas is the venue for Ink or Swim, a tattoo-themed cruise in April 2015 © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

RCL’s Liberty of the Seas is the venue for Ink or Swim, a tattoo-themed cruise in April 2015 © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

What may be the first-ever tattoo-themed North American cruise, Ink or Swim, will sail April 16 – 20, 2015 from Fort Lauderdale to Cozumel, Mexico on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas®. Produced by REBEL INK, the popular magazine highlighting tattoo lifestyle and ink culture, and award-winning photographer Dan Howell, the first annual cruise will offer guests the exclusive opportunity to sail the high seas while getting ‘fresh ink’ from some of the most in-demand artists in the country, as well attend exclusive Ink or Swim events including onboard Burlesque shows, tattoo contests, complimentary photo shoots and a private beach party in Cozumel.

An impressive roster of tattoo artists will anchor the cruise at Tattoo Alley, an onboard body art showcase and inking experience. Artists already confirmed include: Tatu Baby, voted as one of the world’s sexiest and talented artists and a fan favorite of Spike TV’s “Ink Master”; Sarah Miller, the award-winning owner of famed Wyld Child Tattoo Shop in Pittsburgh, PA and known for her realism style body art; Mark Longenecker, an avid surfer and philanthropist and owner of Endless Summer Tattoo in Cocoa Beach, FL; Amy Nicoletto, the gothic princess of the tattoo world and overnight sensation opposite Kat Von D on “LA Ink”; and Chris Torres, the bad boy of the tattoo industry known for his renowned old-school style and recently opened tat shop, Red Legged Devils in Brooklyn, NY.

“From new reality shows to a growing celebrity status amongst tattoo artists, the ink culture in this country has grown significantly, with recent polls suggesting nearly 20 percent of Americans have a least one tattoo,” says Paul Gambino, Editor-in-Chief of REBEL INK magazine. “With Ink or Swim, we’re creating a brand new concept for an evolving audience, merging the popularity of a classic tattoo conference with an exclusive vacation experience. And in many cases, Ink or Swim guests will be able to jump ahead months or even years in the waiting line to get ink from their favorite artist.”

Bookable online via the Ink or Swim website, rates begin at $970 per person, based on double occupancy and include all Ink or Swim activities, amenities and exclusive events, as well a $100 credit toward an onboard tattoo for the 1st and 2nd guests in each room. In addition to the Ink or Swim experience, rates will also offer guests four nights aboard Royal Caribbean’s recently renovated Liberty of the Seas and access to its 10 restaurants, cafes and lounges, 10 pools and whirlpools including FlowRider® surf simulator, Broadway-style musicals, a Vegas-style casino and complimentary ice shows throughout the cruise. For more information, visit www.inkorswimtattoocruise.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

moralcompasstravel.info

Check out our newest travel site for special deals, insiders’ tips at tidbitts.com: http://www.tidbitts.com/karen-rubin/where-in-the-world

Royal Caribbean International Five-Day WOW Sale

September 26, 2014

Royal Caribbean International has launched a five-day WOW Sale.

For all new individual and named group bookings made in the U.S. and Canada with required deposit from Sept. 27 through Oct. 1, 2014, guests can receive $50 onboard credit per stateroom for five-night and shorter itineraries, $100 onboard credit per stateroom for six- to nine-night itineraries, and $200 onboard credit per stateroom for 10-night and longer itineraries. Additionally, vacationers can reserve a stateroom with a 50 percent reduced deposit – as low as $50 per guest. The WOW sale applies for all open Royal Caribbean International sailings, based on availability, except aboard Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas. For more information, visit http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/DealsandMore.

Vacationers can combine the special five-day WOW Sale with additional concurrent offers for even greater value on a Royal Caribbean vacation. All offers exclude Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas and additional restrictions may apply.

•Holiday Cruise Deal: For all new individual and named group bookings made aboard three- to eight-night Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries, sailing Dec. 15 through 31, 2014, the second guest receives 50 percent off with the first guest at full fare.

•Three Ways to Save: For all new individual and named group bookings made aboard itineraries sailing on or after Oct. 15, 2014, vacationers have a choice of the savings to enhance their Royal Caribbean vacation: enjoy 50 percent off for the second guest with the first guest at full fare, or free cruise fare for the third and fourth guests in the same stateroom, or save up to $1,500 per balcony and suite-category stateroom when purchasing air travel through Royal Caribbean’s ChoiceAir. This offer also excludes itineraries sailing from Dec. 15 through 31, 2014.

“This is the best time to plan a multigenerational family vacation and couple’s getaway aboard some of the world’s most innovative cruise ships,” said Carol Schuster, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “Vacationers have choices of nearly every Royal Caribbean ship sailing around the world, plus additional offers to deliver greater value and savings wherever they choose to go. Throughout, our friendly and engaging staff and crew members will deliver the WOW to every guest to help make memories that will last a lifetime.”

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

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

7 Reasons to Book a Family Holiday Cruise Now

September 19, 2014
A cruise is a fabulous way for families to spend the holidays together.

A cruise is a fabulous way for families to spend the holidays together.

Cruise vacations are ideal for families for the winter holidays, says Crown Cruise Vacations President Ross Spalding. He offers 7 reasons to consider a family holiday cruise this year:

 

  1. Truly festive atmosphere – After Thanksgiving, the cruise lines get in the holiday spirit by decorating their ships from bow to stern. Some cruise lines spend in excess of $100,000 annually on holiday decorations. Christmas trees, lights, garlands and even artificial snow bring the festive season alive at sea. Hanukkah customs and celebrations also are observed. Religious services of all types are often held aboard.2.  Special guests – Christmas-time cruises would not be complete without guest appearances from Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elf friends. They make appearances on many ships during the holiday season in the spirit of fun and relaxation leading up to Christmas Day. As expected, Santa’s bag of goodies is full for the kids on board.3.  New Year’s fun – Ringing in the New Year is a splash aboard a cruise ship. Elaborate parties take place at sea for people of all ages and tastes. Special food, entertainment, toasts, party favors and more make the night memorable. For sports fans, many of the cruise lines offer special all-day tailgate parties to watch New Year’s Day football.

    4.  True relaxation – Leave the hustle and bustle (and accompanying stress) of the holidays behind and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere with the family on a cruise vacation. There is no better way to spend an afternoon in December than lying poolside while sailing across the ocean, or snorkeling through a secluded reef on a cruise line private island.

    5.  Unique gifts – A cruise vacation is one holiday gift that will be truly appreciated. Plus, there is interesting shopping onboard the ship (The Jackie Kennedy Jewelry Collection on board the Golden Princess is quite reasonable and very beautiful) and in various ports. Special shipping arrangements can be made to get the gifts home. If Santa is going to visit the kids, the cruise lines recommend small token gifts that are easy to hide and transport. Leave big gifts at home to open before or after the trip and remember not to wrap presents before you stow them in your luggage, as they may need to be opened for security reasons.

    6.  No snow –– A holiday cruise is ideal for people looking for a change of scenery as colder weather moves in at home. With Caribbean temperatures in the low 80s during this time of year, the closest you’ll come to cold weather on a cruise ship is the air conditioning. (Some ships do feature snow falling in the ship’s atrium, but it is manmade and wonderfully designed to melt before hitting the floor.)

    7.  Great food– Nobody goes hungry on a cruise vacation, especially during the holidays. A variety of eats are available 24/7. Cruise menus fit the season, with world-class chefs preparing traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, plus special kosher foods during Hanukkah. There are no shortages of gingerbread, cookies, pies and other deserts. Even better… you don’t do the cooking!

There are a number of outstanding sailings for families. The specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations offer these sailings as examples of cruises to choose from for a high-seas family holiday:

4-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on the Royal Caribbean International Brilliance of the Seas sailing Nov. 27, 2014, or sailing Dec. 20, 2014: round-trip Tampa, Fla., with stops in Cozumel, Mexico; with two days at sea.

5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas sailing Dec. 24, 2014: round-trip Tampa, Fla., with stops in George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; with two days at sea.

3-Night Bahamas Cruise on the Disney Dream, sailing Nov. 28, 2014: round trip Port Canaveral, Fla., with stops in Nassau, Bahamas; and private island Castaway Cay.

5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on the Disney Wonder, sailing Dec. 21, 2014; round trip Miami, Fla., with stops at Cozumel, Mexico; and Castaway Cay; with two days at sea.

Crown Cruise Vacations was named North America’s Leading Cruise Travel Agent 2013 by the prestigious World Travel Awards, which acknowledges excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Crown Cruise Vacations is the preferred provider of Artful Traveler’s PTV at Sea cruises, which enrich, inspire and entertain with informative programming presented by some of public broadcasting’s most acclaimed personalities.

Based in Princeton, New Jersey, Crown Cruise Vacations specialists are comprised of a unique team of experienced, accredited travel agents and managers with a multitude of years selling leisure travel. For more information, please visit us at http://www.crowncruisevacations.com/.

Cruise specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations provide exclusive offers, value and service and can assist with cruise information and bookings for all types of cruises. For more information and to book a cruise call 877-283-1114 toll-free USA/Canada, 609-945-9801 direct dial or visit www.crowncruisevacations.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures