Archive for the ‘cruiseships’ Category

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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Seven Seas Explorer Celebrates 1st Anniversary; Step Aboard with New 360-Degree Virtual Tour

August 8, 2017
Seven Seas Explorer1

Regent Seven Seas Cruises invites travelers to step aboard one of the most luxurious ships ever built with new 360-degree Virtual Tours

MIAMI – One of the most luxurious ships ever built just turned one. Since her launch in July 2016, Seven Seas Explorer has set a new standard for luxury cruising, and to mark the ship’s first anniversary, Regent Seven Seas Cruises launched a new 360-degree Virtual Tours series on the line’s website www.RSSC.com. The cruise line known for the Most Inclusive Luxury Experience now invites all travelers to tour Seven Seas Explorer’s lavish suites, elegant restaurants and exquisite public spaces.

“The meticulous craftsmanship and artistry behind Seven Seas Explorer are undeniable,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Launched in Monte Carlo a year ago and with nearly 40 sailings, Seven Seas Explorer has exceeded every expectation, thanks to each and every member of the exceptional staff and crew that deliver the highly personalized service for which Regent is renowned. If you haven’t had a chance to sail aboard Seven Seas Explorer, this is a great opportunity to see what you’ve been missing.”

Exquisite Spaces at Sea

Guests are welcomed into the main atrium when they board. A beautiful, circular inlaid marble floor marks the heart of the ship and is steps away from twin grand staircases that draw the eye upward towards a magnificent cascading crystal chandelier. Online visitors can step into the line’s opulent flagship restaurant Compass Rose – the largest specialty restaurant at sea; or go upstairs and stop for a virtual sip at the Cafe; have a twirl in the new Meridian Lounge; and visit the tranquility of the Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Along the way, visitors can enjoy the finest art collection at sea. To embark Seven Seas Explorer’s virtual tour, visit http://my.matterport.com/show/?m=6UGdixgNTk5.

Lavish Acccommodations

Each of the ship’s 375 spacious suites range from the impeccably designed 307-square-foot Deluxe Veranda Suite, to the exquisite 4,443-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath Regent Suite. Offering incomparable and luxurious ambiance, each suite features European king-sized Suite Slumber Beds adorned with sumptuous linens, and oversized bathrooms highlighted by rich marble and decorative tile. Regent Suite guests are ensconced in the best of everything including an industry-first, in-suite spa retreat with unlimited complimentary spa services by Canyon Ranch SpaClub. A custom Steinway Maroque piano designed by Dakota Jackson and a Savoir No. 1 bed add to the suite’s magnificence, while its 270-degree, wrap-around balcony offers guests almost as good a view as the Captain from the bridge. To tour each suite, visit http://www.rssc.com/ships/seven_seas_explorer/suites/.

 Elegant Specialty Dining

Seven Seas Explorer’s launch also debuted the line’s two new specialty restaurants, the fine-dining French Chartreuse and the pan-Asian Pacific Rim. Deriving its name from sultry color of the glass panels adorning the walls, Chartreuse embodies the ambience of a chic Parisian restaurant along the Seine. Pacific Rim guests are greeted with a magnificent, floor-to-ceiling Tibetan-style prayer wheel sculpture at the entrance, and welcomed into a rich dark-color-palette scene with black midcentury metal and wood tables, surrounded by banquette seating upholstered in sumptuous leather. Guests of Regent’s signature steakhouse Prime 7 can muse on the multiple Picassos hanging on the deep-blue wall panels and silver framing as they sink into plush leather chairs, in an atmosphere reminiscent of a private London club. Visitors can peek into Seven Seas Explorer’s specialty restaurants at http://www.rssc.com/ships/seven_seas_explorer/cuisine/.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers one of the world’s most inclusive luxury experiences 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.

A leader in luxury cruising, the line’s fares include all-suite accommodations, round-trip domestic air and business-class air for intercontinental flights from the U.S. and Canada, 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.

For more information about world’s most inclusive luxury experience aboard Seven Seas Explorer, or to make a reservation, please contact a professional travel agent, visit www.RSSC.com, or call 1-844-4REGENT (1-844-473-4368). For the latest news about Regent Seven Seas Cruises, visit www.rssc.com/news; like the line’s Facebook page; and follow @RegentCruises on Twitter.

 

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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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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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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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Royal Caribbean International Takes Delivery of Quantum of the Seas

November 6, 2014
Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the newest addition to the cruise line’s fleet, Quantum of the Seas, from Meyer Werft Yard. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain (pictured right) and Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer (pictured left) attended the official signing ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany

Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the newest addition to the cruise line’s fleet, Quantum of the Seas, from Meyer Werft Yard. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain (pictured right) and Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer (pictured left) attended the official signing ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany

Royal Caribbean International took delivery of the newest addition to the cruise line’s fleet, Quantum of the Seas, from Meyer Werft Yard. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain and Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer attended the official signing ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany.

With Captain Srecko “Felix” Ban at the helm, the ship sailed to Southampton, U.K., where she welcomed her first guests on November 2, for a trans-Atlantic voyage to her home port of Cape Liberty Cruise Port, Bayonne, New Jersey.

Quantum of the Seas will sail from New York harbor to the Bahamas and the Caribbean for her inaugural season before departing for her new homeport of Shanghai (Baoshan), China, in May 2015. Sister-ship Anthem of the Seas will debut in Southampton in April 2015 and sail Mediterranean itineraries.

Quantum-class ships are the world’s most technologically advanced in the world with “boatloads of bandwidth” which allow the cruise line to offer unprecedented connectivity – 500 times more than any other cruise ship; easy-to-use systems that expand guest choices and simplify schedules, plus, RFID technology that speeds up the boarding process and allows guest to track their luggage every step of the way.

The ships offer new unprecedented features, such as RipCord by iFLY, the first skydiving experience at sea; the North Star, an engineering marvel that transports guests more than 300 feet above the ocean; SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; as well as the Bionic Bar powered by Makr Shakr which features the world’s first robotic bartenders.

The ships also showcase the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever, including the industry’s first-ever staterooms with Virtual Balconies, which offer expansive, real-time views of the ocean and exciting destinations from every interior stateroom.

Quantum-class ships span 16 guest decks; encompass 167,800 gross registered tons; carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy; and feature 2,090 staterooms. For more information, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/QuantumoftheSeas.

Fans and enthusiasts are invited to follow Quantum of the Seas’ through daily webisodes on RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com and also by following @RoyalCaribPR on Twitter.

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Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic Orion to Complete Renovations in time for Borneo to Bali Voyage in September

August 12, 2014

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced that National Geographic Orion will undergo renovations to two public spaces during dry dock this September.  The renovations will be made to two public spaces: The Lounge (main) and the Observation Lounge, and are being redesigned to better serve the dynamic, learning-oriented community of guests and staff aboard.

Renovations include:

  • The current library will be removed from The Lounge, providing an additional 20% of space that will enable seating now for all guests and expedition team at once.
  • The Lounge will feature a “circle of truth” in the center (as on National Geographic Explorer), which will serve as the focal area for all presentations and recap discussions by the ship’s expedition team and experts.
  • A newly designed bar.
  • Updating of all furnishings and carpets in a modern, expedition style.
  • Upgrade of all audio and visual functions including large high definition flat screens and contemporary audio system.
  • The Observation Lounge will undergo a complete refurbishment and layout change, and will feature an intimate library, nautical chart table, and a self-serve beverage station.

The renovations are being done by ICF Singapore, a world leader in interior ship design, and will be completed in time for the September 16, 2014 Wild Encounters from Borneo to Bali expedition.

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic launched the 102-guest National Geographic Orion in March 2014. While she has retained all her state-of-the-art comforts, the ship was equipped with a full roster of exploration tools including tandem kayaks, an innovative ROV (remotely operated vehicle reaching depths up to 1,000 feet), snorkeling gear for all, a dive master, scuba gear that can accommodate up to 24 divers at a time, and a glass bottom boat.

For more information or to book Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, visit www.expeditions.com, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1.800.397.3348), or call your travel agent.

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Royal Caribbean 2015-16 Schedule Includes Year-Round Sailings from New York and Galveston

April 18, 2014
Sailing into the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda. Throughout 2015 summer and fall, Liberty of the Seas will sail from Cape Liberty, NJ to Bermuda. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Sailing into the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda. Throughout 2015 summer and fall, Liberty of the Seas will sail from Cape Liberty, NJ to Bermuda. © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean International announced its 2015-16 year-round sailings from the New York-metropolitan area and Galveston, Texas, and seasonal sailings from Tampa and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Still ranked among the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships, Liberty of the Seas will homeport at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. for summer 2015 and offer vacationers the most advanced cruise options to sail from the New York-metropolitan area to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England. Simultaneously, Navigator of the Seas will continue to sail seven-night Western Caribbean cruises throughout summer 2015 and complete two consecutive years of homeporting at Galveston.

In winter 2015-16, Anthem of the Seas will arrive at Cape Liberty for its first season in North America – after finishing its inaugural season in Southampton, U.K. – and offer vacationers unforgettable Quantum-class experiences to the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean. At the same time, Liberty of the Seas will take over weekly Caribbean sailings from Galveston, offering Texas vacationers a newer and larger ship, while Navigator of the Seas will sail six- and eight-night Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale. Furthermore, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will return to Tampa in winter 2015-16 to offer a variety of Caribbean itineraries that all combine to provide extensive choices for exciting Royal Caribbean cruise vacations throughout 2015 to 2016.

Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas’ 2015-16 cruise seasons are now open for booking. Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members have the exclusive privilege to book Anthem of the Seas’ winter 2015-16 season starting April 25, 2014, in advance of the general opening to the public on April 29.

Cruise Vacations from New York

New York is among the world’s top cosmopolitan cities where Royal Caribbean is deploying its most technologically advanced ships. Throughout the 2015 summer and autumn seasons, Liberty of the Seas will homeport at Cape Liberty and offer the best family cruise vacation option in the region. The Freedom-class ship will be the cruise line’s newest and largest ship to offer cruises to Bermuda from the New York-metropolitan area. Liberty of the Seas will alternate a five-night, roundtrip Bermuda itinerary with a nine-night Caribbean itinerary in the summer, and then with a nine-night New England and Canada itinerary throughout the autumn season.

“The Bermuda Tourism Authority is delighted at the news that Royal Caribbean International’s Liberty of the Seas will be making visits to Bermuda for the 2015 summer season,” said Bill Hanbury, CEO, Bermuda Tourism Authority. “Royal Caribbean is an extremely valued partner to Bermuda and is considered a leader in the global cruise market. This latest announcement is a welcome endorsement of Royal Caribbean’s continued commitment to Bermuda and its tourism industry.”

For its winter 2015-16 season, Anthem of the Seas will set sail on October 27 for an eight-night Ocean Voyage from Southampton to Cape Liberty and continue Quantum Class cruising for New York-area vacationers. The ship will sail a range of seven- to 12-night roundtrip itineraries and take guests to the Bahamas and throughout the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean. The 12-night Western Caribbean itinerary is brand new, featuring maiden calls for the Quantum Class at George Town, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Roatan, Honduras.

“The New York-metropolitan area is a very important market for us,” said Adam Goldstein, President and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We are committed to bringing our most advanced ships to this region and delivering our distinctive style of high-quality vacations to our loyal customers, as well as win new converts to cruising. Sailing Anthem of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas from New York fits the bill perfectly.”

Year-round Caribbean Vacations from Galveston

Having just been revitalized in January 2014, Navigator of the Seas offers vacationers the most innovative and modern cruise experience to sail from the Lone Star State. Navigator of the Seas will continue weekly sailings from Galveston until November 2015, when Liberty of the Seas repositions there to offer Texans a larger and more advanced cruise ship for unforgettable vacations. Both ships will alternate a pair of seven-night roundtrip itineraries to the Western Caribbean.

Winter Caribbean Escapes from Florida

Vacationers also have a range of the industry’s most advanced ships for a variety of Caribbean itineraries, sailing from convenient Florida ports during the 2015-16 winter season. Completing two full years of homeporting in Galveston, Navigator of the Seas will reposition to Fort Lauderdale in November 2015 and sail six-night Eastern and eight-night Western Caribbean itineraries.

For its part, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will return to Tampa for their third and second consecutive winter seasons, respectively. Brilliance of the Seas will offer vacationers four- and five-night Western Caribbean itineraries, while Vision of the Seas will sail seven-, nine-, and 10-night itineraries throughout the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean.

 

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Shanghai, China will be Homeport for Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas Beginning in 2015

April 18, 2014

Royal Caribbean International announced that its newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, will make its home port in Shanghai (Baoshan), China. “We’re bringing the company’s most innovative ship to the world’s fastest-growing cruise market,” Adam Goldsein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, said.

The ship will reposition to China in May 2015, following her inaugural winter season sailing out of New York Harbor to the Caribbean. In China, Quantum of the Seas will join Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas in Asia, increasing the company’s capacity in the region by 66 percent.

“Consumers in China have grown to expect the best the world has to offer, and Quantum of the Seas meets that standard like no other ship,” said Goldstein. “We are ready to accelerate the growth of this vital market with a ship that will capture the imagination of travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience.”

“Every trend we are seeing in China tells us we can achieve real long-term competitive advantage and appealing returns on our investments in this fast-growing market by accelerating our presence there,” Goldstein said. “We will have to be nimble, but the ability to move fast is one of our strengths.”

Goldstein said the company was able to make the move because its new-ship pipeline will keep the New York region supplied with top-rate ships as well.
“We are very mindful of the importance of New York, which is why we are bringing Liberty of the Seas and then Anthem of the Seas to this market.”

Quantum of the Seas will debut in November 2014, and will spend its inaugural season sailing from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., before repositioning to China in May 2015. Beginning late June 2015, the ship will sail three- to eight-night itineraries year-round from Shanghai to Japan and Korea.

Liberty of the Seas will then arrive to Cape Liberty to sail to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England for the 2015 summer and autumn seasons. The Freedom-class ship will be the company’s newest and largest ship to offer cruises to Bermuda from the New York-metropolitan area.

Finally, Quantum of the Seas’ sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, which launches in April 2015, will complete her inaugural Europe season from London (Southampton), U.K., before arriving to Cape Liberty in November 2015 to continue Quantum-class cruising to the Bahamas and Caribbean for the winter 2015-16 season.

“These incredible ships will meet the sophisticated expectations of consumers in Shanghai, New York and London. Our mantra for the new Quantum class of ships is ‘this changes everything’ – and upping our game in these key markets achieves just that,” said Dominic Paul, Vice President, International, Royal Caribbean International. “Our distinctive style of high quality innovative cruises has become known to travelers around the world and we will continue to deploy our most technologically advanced ships where the demand is, with the expectation of winning new converts to cruising.”

The groundbreaking Quantum-class ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, will debut a new set of first-at-sea onboard experiences, such as Ripcord by iFLY, a heart-pounding skydiving experience; North Star, a thrilling adventure that transports guests more than 300 feet in the air on a breathtaking journey; cutting-edge transformative venues including SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever.

Guests also will enjoy the new Quantum-class “Dynamic Dining,” a completely new culinary experience that offers a landscape of 18 restaurant concepts as vast and varied as dining in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, including specialty restaurants created with partner-chefs Jamie Oliver, Devin Alexander and Michael Schwartz.

The Quantum Class spans 18 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms. More information on Quantum class is available at http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/QuantumoftheSeas.

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, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike.

Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSE: RCL), the cruise line sails 21 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in 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 11 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards.

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