Archive for the ‘Cruising Europe’ Category

Azamara Club Cruises Offer ‘Azamazing’ Cultural Evenings on 60 Destination-Immersive Voyages for 2014

February 6, 2014
Azamara Journey

Azamara Journey

Azamara Club Cruises believes that destinations are more than just geography, but rather the sights, sounds and tastes of a region.  With its 2014 AzAmazing Evenings (http://tinyurl.com/mpqh675) program on more than 60 voyages, the cruise line is providing guests the opportunity to further their vacation by enjoying an exclusive, authentic and cultural evening event. Whether enjoying a private, three-tenors performance, set in a 19th century opera house in Livorno, Italy, or joining in a local Burmese festival, guests will find themselves immersed and living the culture rather than just seeing it during a brief visit.

Building upon its carefully crafted itineraries that coincide with major world events, the cruise line simultaneously crafts AzAmazing Evening events that reflect those moments. For example, during Azamara Journey’s “Past to Present: Normandy 70 Years Later,” (http://tinyurl.com/oh7x2bf) guests will be treated to an AzAmazing Evenings event of a D-Day Liberation Party at Cherbourg – exactly 70 years to the day that the landings took place.   Later in the year, guests sailing Azamara Journey’s “A Southern Hemisphere Holiday,” (http://tinyurl.com/dxlsze9) will enjoy a Plataforma 1, one of Rio de Janeiro’s leading samba show houses to see samba’s 500-year history come to life in an eye-popping show, complete with caipirinhas, Brazil’s national cocktail.

These signature events are complimentary and held once a voyage, typically ashore during the evening. On select voyages, the sights and sounds of a region are transferred onboard, where the ship serves as a backdrop for an evening of cultural immersion.  For example when calling at Safaga, Egypt, guests will experience an Egyptian Moulid.  This festival is part carnival and part mystical celebration, and includes ritual dancing, chanting, whirling dervishes and circus performers.

AzAmazing Evening events cover a breadth of activities including night access to some of the world’s best-known sites such as Ephesus; St. Michael’s Cave at the Rock of Gibraltar, or the Chateau Giscours in Bordeaux.  Travelers can narrow down their voyage by destinations or choose a voyage with an event that will add to their experiential portfolio.

“Since its launch, our AzAmazing Evenings program has been incredibly well-received and is providing discerning travelers unique, tailor-made experiences at intriguing destinations around the world,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Our guests look for experiential opportunities – they already come to us because we are providing longer stays and more overnights at fascinating destinations. But now after extensive research and collaboration we have created custom experiences that allow our guests to experience a destination in a way they may have otherwise never experienced – from interacting with locals at a street party or by offering them private access to world-renowned sites such as Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum.”

For a full list of Azamara Club Cruises’ 2014 AzAmazing Evening events visit, http://www.azamaraclubcruises.com/AzAmazingEvenings.

Azamara Club Cruises offers distinct destination-immersive experiences for up-market travelers. The cruise line features voyages with longer stays and more overnights at ports to provide guests the opportunity to experience night touring at some of the most compelling destinations of Europe, Asia, South America, West Indies, as well as Central and North America.  On board the intimate Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, guests receive exceptional and personal service and the cruise line’s authentic, exclusive and bespoke AzAmazing Evenings events that showcase the unexpected colors and flavors of a destination.   Guests also enjoy fine cuisine and boutique wines from around the world, as well as more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffee, and teas, as well as complimentary boutique wines, international beers and select standard spirits in the ships’ bars, lounges and restaurants when open; complimentary self-service laundry; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle transportation to city centers in ports, where available.

For more information, travelers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit www.AzamaraClubCruises.com. Connect with Azamara Club Cruises on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AzamaraClubCruises, on Twitter @AzamaraVoyages or follow President and CEO @LarryPimentel.

Azamara Club Cruises is a brand of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSX: RCL), a global cruise vacation company that also owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, and CDF Croisières de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture.  Together, the six brands operate a combined total of 41 ships with four under construction.  They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 460 destinations on all seven continents.

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RCL’s Allure of the Seas to Inaugurate First Full Oasis-Class Europe Season in 2015; Allure of Seas to Homeport in Barcelona

February 6, 2014

For nearly five years, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, sister ships that share the title of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships, have captured vacationers’ imagination and taken more than two million guests to unforgettable Caribbean destinations. Royal Caribbean International have announced that, for the first time since the ship was delivered in Turku, Finland, in late 2010, Allure of the Seas will return to Europe in summer 2015 and homeport at Barcelona, Spain, and take vacationers to new, fascinating Mediterranean destinations for the first, full Oasis-class Europe season. Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members have the exclusive privilege to book Allure of the Seas’ Europe season one week earlier on Feb. 12, 2014.

Additionally, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer three 10- and 11-night Black Sea itineraries from Istanbul, Turkey, and then sail a variety of seven- to 11-night Greek and Turkey itineraries from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy. For its part, Splendour of the Seas will offer seven-night Greek Isle and Turkey itineraries from Venice, Italy. Allure of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas’ summer 2015 season will be open to the general public on February 18, 2014.

“Royal Caribbean will be taking vacationers to spectacular Europe destinations and delivering the WOW aboard the world’s most innovative ships in 2015,” said Carol Schuster, senior vice president of Marketing for Royal Caribbean International. “Each Royal Caribbean ship sailing in Europe has already undergone extensive enhancements as part of our fleetwide revitalization program to deliver some of the most popular concepts that debuted on the unmatched Allure of the Seas.  No matter which Royal Caribbean ship you choose, every member of our friendly and engaging staff and crew will deliver our signature Gold Anchor Service on an unforgettable Europe vacation.”

Starting May 24, 2015, Allure of the Seas will sail every Sunday from Barcelona and sail a seven-night itinerary, calling at Palma De Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseilles), France; and Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Rome (Civitavecchia), and Naples/Capri in Italy. Vacationers can also choose to embark Allure of the Seas for a seven-night sailing, roundtrip from Rome (Civitavecchia).

On board, Allure of the Seas’ guests will enjoy the most innovative and extensive array of onboard amenities contained in seven themed neighborhoods, such as an 82 foot-long zip line, a handcrafted carousel, the Rising Tide elevating bar, a fully-licensed Broadway musical, the high-diving Aquatheater, and Central Park with more than 12,000 live trees and plants, and many more. Allure of the Seas also offers amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean, such as twin FlowRider surf simulators, cantilevered whirlpools, an ice-skating rink, the H20 Zone kids aquapark, and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship and flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques, among many others.

Guests also will enjoy the DreamWorks Experience, an exclusive integrated entertainment program developed with the world-class animated film studio powerhouse DreamWorks Animation. The DreamWorks Experience was first launched aboard Allure of the Seas in November 2010, with beloved character Princess Fiona of the “Shrek” franchise inaugurating the ship as godmother (http://youtu.be/_aKDTH1qEiw), and continues to impress guests and receive accolades. Guest can join in parades, themed activities and themed events based on DreamWorks Animation’s popular feature-film characters, including Po of “Kung Fu Panda;” Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of “Shrek;” and Alex the Lion, Gloria, and the Penguins from “Madagascar.” Allure of the Seas also is equipped with a 3-D movie theater playing the latest DreamWorks Animation films, as well as a dedicated RCTV channel, featuring a variety of the film studio’s popular movies.

Royal Caribbean’s award-winning family programming also will help ensure that guests of every generation can share in an unforgettable Europe family vacation aboard Allure of the Seas. The cruise line’s complimentary Adventure Ocean kids program offers ongoing educational and entertaining sessions for three age groups from three- to 11-year-olds, led by college-accredited counselors from 9:00 to 2:00 a.m.  Two curricula for teens age 12 to 17 years offer more organic programming to offer them the flexibility to help shape their day with peers, as well as teen-only sessions on the FlowRider, Rock Wall and Sports Court. Furthermore, Allure of the Seas’ Royal Babies & Tots Nursery will cater to Royal Caribbean’s youngest guests, age six to 36 months old.

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.

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.

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Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Honors 70th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy

January 9, 2014
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is offering the opportunity to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with an all-inclusive “Paris & Normandy” cruise.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is offering the opportunity to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with an all-inclusive “Paris & Normandy” cruise.

Nearly 70 years ago, a mighty armada embarked on an invasion that forever changed world history. The Nazi grip on western Europe was cracked on June 6, 1944, as brave soldiers crossed a slender ribbon of sea from England into Normandy and initiated one of the most influential battles of WWII. D-Day has been recalled by the veterans who fought it, the newsreels that depicted it, and thousands of dedicated historians – yet few have actually set foot on the infamous beaches.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is offering the opportunity to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with an all-inclusive “Paris & Normandy” cruise. Guests explore the D-Day museum in Mulberry Harbor and venture to the Juno and Omaha Beach landing sites. The American Cemetery serves as a haunting reminder of the Allied forces’ hard-won fight for freedom, and Uniworld guests attend a wreath-laying ceremony and moment of silence to honor the fallen American soldiers.

This itinerary deftly combines history with culture, cuisine and the brilliant landscapes of northern France. Watch the evening lights dance along the Seine River in Paris, marvel at Notre Dame’s sneering gargoyles, and behold the scenery that inspired some of the world’s greatest artists. Breathe in the fragrance of Monet’s garden in Giverny and walk in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise.

“Paris & Normandy” is an 8-day river cruise from Paris to Paris. Prices start at $3,199 per person, land only.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is part of a joint initiative with The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation to encourage sustainable tourism within its family of brands and in the places we visit. To date, TreadRight has donated more than $2 million to sustainable tourism projects around the world (www.TreadRight.org).

For more details about the cruise, visit uniworld.com or connect with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises at facebook.com/uniworldrivercruises or twitter.com/uniworldcruises.

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France Cruises Offers Free Land Tour with Purchase off Cruise and Hotel

November 23, 2013
A guided walking tour of Dijon brings me up to the tower atop the magnificent  Palais de Ducs for the fabulous view of the historic city © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A guided walking tour of Dijon brings me up to the tower atop the magnificent Palais de Ducs for the fabulous view of the historic city © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

For a limited time, France Cruises is offering guests a free land tour with purchase of a cruise and hotel. The free full-day land tour is available in Paris, Carcassonne, Dijon, Avignon, Tours, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Nice.

A France Cruises booking agent will assist either you or your travel agent in arranging all of the trip’s details. Once you have chosen your cruise and land tour, France Cruises will also help recommend and book a hotel for your pre or post cruise excursion.

For more information, call 877-579-7447 or visit http://www.FranceCruises.com.

See our series, Barging through Burgundy on France Cruises:

Barging through Burgundy: A visit to Chagny Market and slideshow

Barging through Burgundy, Day 2: Chateau de Rully and slideshow

Barging through Burgundy, Day 3: Hotel-Dieu, Beaune and slideshow

Barging Through Burgundy, Day 4: Clos de Vougeot, ‘mother church’ of wine and slideshow

Barging through Burgundy, Day 5-6: Walking Tour of Dijon’s Old City and slideshow

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Top 10 Destinations for New Crystal Adventures in Southern Europe; Save up to $4200 for Booking by Aug. 30

July 26, 2013

 

crystal-Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, ItalyWith its Mediterranean cruise season in full swing through the fall, ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises is highlighting 10 top destinations that are springboards for new excursions in Southern Europe.  From exclusive, only-to-Crystal Boutique Adventures that explore the arts to full days of athletic pursuits, nearly 100 brand new Crystal Adventures are available this season in both popular and up-and-coming destinations throughout Spain, France, Italy, the Adriatic, the Canary Islands, and more.  The Crystal Adventures are offered on 25 Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sailings from July through December, with savings of up to $4,200 if booked by August 30.

New outings are featured in:

1.       Castellón de la Plana (maiden call): Hunt for, then feast upon, black truffles from the Morella countryside.

2.       Bilbao:  See areas and exhibits typically off-limits to the public, “backstage” at the iconic Guggenheim Museum.

3.       Montenegro: Bike the Luštica Peninsula around Kotor, past olive groves and the Adriatic coastline, to a lunch of local specialties.

4.       Palermo: Listen to classical strings in the Versailles-like ballroom of a Baroque ancestral palace during an exclusive Crystal-only concert.

5.       Marseille: Master the making of French bouillabaisse or enjoy a French impressionist art show deep inside a limestone quarry.

6.       Cartagena: Learn to sail, with the magnificent Spanish coastline as backdrop.

7.       Venice: Enjoy a private, off-hours view of Tintoretto paintings adorning one of six medieval Venetian “great schools.”

8.      The Canary Islands: Explore the villages and salt flats of Lanzarote by dune buggy or become a certified (or more experienced) scuba divier in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

9.       La Spezia (maiden call): Explore Cinque Terre, lunching or wine tasting along the way.

10.   Barcelona: Go behind-the-scenes from locker room to dugout at Fútbol Club Barcelona’s famous Camp Nou Stadium.

“Whether one is traveling to the area for the first time or his tenth, our collection of adventures offers so many less expected ways to experience the Mediterranean region as never before,” says John Stoll, vice president of land and port operations.

The voyages, ranging from five to 29 days in length, are available in shorter, convenient Crystal Getaways and extended combination cruises for additional savings.  All-inclusive cruise fares start at $1,950 per guest if booked by August 30.  Fares for the new Crystal Adventures start at $48.

Crystal’s passion for creating exclusive, eye-opening luxury shore-side experiences are cornerstones of its Crystal Adventures program, earning the line top ratings for two decades.

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

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Cunard Offers Free Balcony Upgrades for Booking Select European Voyages by July 17

July 13, 2013
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2

European cruises are now available in Cunard Line’s Big Balcony Event. Passengers who book select Cunard Line European voyages between July10-17 will receive free Balcony upgrades.  The promotion is available on select European voyages sailing from Southampton, Venice, Athens and Rome on board Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.

In addition, special Single Occupancy fares from $1,349 are available on 12-day Mediterranean cruises aboard Queen Elizabeth.

Sample Itineraries for the Big Balcony Event European voyages include:

  • Greek Isles & Ancient Wonders, 12 days, 4 October 2013:
    This Mediterranean exploration aboard Queen Elizabeth sails from Athens and includes nine ports of call on an expansive itinerary throughout Italy, Turkey and Greece, including Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu and Naples.  Balcony fares start from $1,499.
  • Mediterranean Adventures, 12 days, 24 October 2013:
    This Queen Victoria voyage, roundtrip from Southampton, circles Spain and Portugal, arriving at such historic ports of call as Lisbon, Cartagena, Barcelona and Gibraltar, before returning to the U.K.  Balcony fares start from $1,899.
  • Mediterranean Odyssey, 12 days, 21 November 2013:
    Roundtrip from Rome, Queen Elizabeth travels an international itinerary, visiting five Greek ports of call, including Athens and Mykonos, plus Messina, Sicily and Naples, before returning to Rome.  Balcony fares start from $1,499.
  • Mediterranean Gems, 10 days, 3 December 2013:
    Passengers aboard Queen Elizabeth will sail from Rome to Southampton, visiting such heralded ports of call as Livorno (for Florence/Pisa), Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Gibraltar and Lisbon.  Balcony fares start from $999.

    All voyage fares are per person, based on double occupancy, and exclude government fees and taxes.  Fares for other dates will vary.  Reference promo code R7F.

For more information about Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Agent, or call Cunard toll-free 1-800-728-6273 or visit www.cunard.com.

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Princess Cruises’ Sale through April 19 Offers “Sky High Savings” on Alaska and Europe Cruise Vacations

April 7, 2013

Princess Cruises is offering a way for passengers to ease the cost of getting to their dream Europe or Alaska cruise with a special “Sky High Savings” sale that offers airfare savings of up to $1,000 for two. Running through April 19, the promotion also offers up to $2,000 off the cruise fare per stateroom, as well as up to $100 in free onboard spending money per stateroom.

The “Sky High Savings” sale offers deals on cruises throughout Europe, including sailings to the Greek Isles, British Isles and Scandinavia & Russia. Travelers will also save on cruises and cruisetours to the natural wonders of Alaska, where they can explore the best of the state by land and sea.

In addition to special fares, passengers booking balcony staterooms or above will receive an onboard credit of $100 (for sailings 10 days or longer) or $50 (cruises up to nine days), and those booking interior or oceanview staterooms can get credits of $50 (cruises 10 days or longer) to $25 (cruises up to nine days).

More information about the cruise sale and pricing can be found at www.princess.com/sale.

Samples of the available Sky High Savings cruise deals include:

  • Greek Isles cruise – 12 days: $1,779 interior (was $2,379); $2,379 balcony (was $3,379). Air savings: $500
  • British Isles cruise – 12 days: $1,839 interior (was $2,439); $2,539 balcony (was $3,439). Air savings: $400
  • Scandinavia & Russia cruise – 11 days: $1.869 interior (was $2,369); $2,669 balcony (was $3,369). Air savings: $400
  • Gulf of Alaska cruise – 7 days: $899 interior (was $1,259); $1,559 balcony (was $2,159). Air savings: $250
  • Alaska cruisetour – Denali Explorer – 10 nights: $1,476 interior (was $1,730); $1,976 balcony (was $2,340). Air savings: $150

Air savings available to passengers booking Princess eZAir flights in conjunction with the cruise. Princess eZAir gives passengers easy and full control of their flights and the ability to seamlessly coordinate them with their cruise itinerary. Featuring real-time pricing and flight availability, immediate flight confirmation, competitive airfares, and next port protection in the event of flight delays, the innovative program provides passengers and their travel agents the ease of a single booking source for both air and cruise reservations. Travelers using Princess eZAir can choose air carriers and flights, as well as select their preferred cabin level and seating, all with no extra customization fee.

All cruise and air prices are per person, based on double occupancy and include government fees and taxes. The “Sky High Savings” sale runs through April 19, 2013, and is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

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Kids Sail Free on 17 Additional Crystal Cruises in Europe this Year

March 13, 2013
Crystal Cruises had added 17 European cruises where kids 17 and under can sail for free sharing parents' stateroom.

Crystal Cruises had added 17 European cruises where kids 17 and under can sail for free sharing parents’ stateroom.

Due to popular demand, Crystal Cruises is adding17 voyages to the ultra-luxe line’s “Kids Sail Free” program. With the promotion, kids age 17 and under can sail for free when sharing a third berth stateroom with two adults.

Previously offered on just four luxury European cruises during June and July, families can now choose from seven- to 15-day voyages in the Mediterranean, Western Europe, North Cape, Baltic, British Isles, Canary Islands, and across the Atlantic from May-December aboard Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.

New Magic Castle at Sea “junior cruisers” shows and classes will be offered on board during summer cruises, in addition to all-ages shows on every cruise.

“While summer break is a key time for a ‘whole family’ vacation, many families enjoy sharing the history, beauty, and educational journey of Europe at non-break times like autumn, when airfares may be more attractive,” says Jack Anderson, Crystal’s senior vice-president of marketing and sales. “With visits to some of Europe’s most storied and breathtaking locales, such as Monte Carlo, Casablanca, Venice, Dubrovnik, Mykonos, Stockholm, and Edinburgh, the additional savings make these voyages an incredible value, sure to create lifelong memories.”

In addition to the new Magic Castle at Sea enrichment, every Crystal cruise offers family-friendly learning and entertainment, from iPad Digital Filmmaking classes (in association with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts) to dedicated on-board kids and teens spaces — a rarity among luxury cruise lines. During school vacation times, junior activities directors host complimentary supervised activities on board, ranging from behind-the scenes tours to cooking classes and scavenger hunts. Every cruise also has babysitting services, “finicky eater” foods, movies, library books, family-friendly excursions, and more available.

All-inclusive, “Book Now” fares for “Kids Sail Free” applicable voyages begin at $2,495/person if booked by April 30. The “Crystal Family Memories” program also offers additional free berths and perks for groups of six or more.

With sophisticated tours worldwide, enriching learning opportunities, international gourmet cuisine, complimentary voluntourism excursions, and a host of other activities for all ages, the Crystal experience gives families exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime access to creating intimate bonds, gleaning a global education, and building lifelong memories while sailing in elegance, making Crystal Cruises the leader in family-friendly luxury cruising.

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

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Royal Caribbean Announces 2014 Northeast America, Northern Europe Sailings

March 6, 2013
Royal Caribbean International has just unveiled its 2014 Northeast America and Northern Europe cruises aboard six ships to New England and Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, and the Baltic, North, Norwegian and Mediterranean seas © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean International has just unveiled its 2014 Northeast America and Northern Europe cruises aboard six ships to New England and Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, and the Baltic, North, Norwegian and Mediterranean seas © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean International has just unveiled its 2014 Northeast America and Northern Europe cruises aboard six ships to New England and Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, and the Baltic, North, Norwegian and Mediterranean seas, respectively. In total, Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, and Legend of the Seas will embark on 87 sailings with a total of 85 unique ports of call on two continents. Royal Caribbean’s 2014 Canada and New England cruises open for sale today while the cruise line’s Northern Europe cruises will open for sale on March 20, 2013.

“We are delighted to unveil these 2014 Royal Caribbean itineraries that cater to family and multigenerational vacationers,” said Lisa Bauer, executive vice president of Global Sales and Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “These six Royal Caribbean ships exemplify the innovative designs for which we are known, and most of them have undergone revitalization to feature some of the most contemporary and popular amenities that were introduced with the world-acclaimed Oasis of the Seas. Combined with these new compelling itineraries to breathtaking destinations, and our signature friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, guests will share in an unforgettable vacation that can only be found on Royal Caribbean.”

Vacationers looking to experience Europe sooner this year can still take advantage of an incredible offer aboard one of nine ships plying European waters in 2013. During the current month-long Europe Extravaganza sale, vacationers who make a new individual booking with deposit through March 31, 2013, will receive $400 onboard credit per suite-category stateroom; $200 per balcony stateroom; $100 per outside stateroom; and $50 onboard credit per inside stateroom. Guests can apply their onboard credit toward an exciting shore excursion or rejuvenating spa session, or celebrate a special occasion during their cruise with a specialty dining experience. Guests taking advantage of this offer must mention appropriate offer code when booking. For more details, please visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/EuropeExtravaganza.

As the U.K.’s largest and most innovative cruise ship, Independence of the Seas will sail roundtrip in 2014 from Southampton on 12- and 14-night itineraries to the Spanish, French and Italian rivieras and offer vacationers exclusive onboard amenities acclaimed for Royal Caribbean’s Freedom-class ships. Guests can enjoy surfing on the FlowRider or relax in the ship’s cantilevered whirlpools, among other exclusive onboard amenities offered at sea by the cruise line, as they pass the Rock of Gibraltar and call at some of the most compelling destinations of Southern Europe. Two sailings, an 11- and a 12-night roundtrip sailing will bring guests to the paradisiacal Canary Islands and Madeira (Funchal), Portugal, departing Oct. 2 and 13.

Independence of the Seas also will sail an eight-night itinerary to the southern fjordlands of Norway on May 17, followed by a shorter six-night cruise to Paris (Le Havre), France, and Bilbao and Gijon, Spain, departing on May 25. Vacationers also can choose a three- and four-night sampler, sailing October 25 and 28 respectively, with calls at Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium, and Paris. Furthermore, Independence of the Seas’ 2014 Europe season is bookended with a 13-night eastbound trans-Atlantic voyage from winter-homeport Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and a 15-night westbound return crossing departing May 4 and Nov. 1, 2014, respectively.

Also to homeport at Southampton, Adventure of the Seas will offer vacationers a panoply of roundtrip Baltic, Iceland and Norway, and Mediterranean sailings, ranging from 12- to 16-nights. On the Baltic Sea sailings, guests will call at St. Petersburg for two days, enough time to explore the ‘Window to the West’ and a take an excursion to inland Moscow. On the Iceland-bound sailings, guests also enjoy a two-day call at Reykjavik to join in the vibrant ‘nightlife capital of the North.’

For a week-long cruise option, vacationers can chose a seven-night Southern Norway cruise, departing May 23, or a seven-night North Sea cruise to France and Spain, departing Oct. 26. Two short cruises, a four-night Belgium and France itinerary, departing May 4, and a two-night Paris (Le Havre) sailing, departing Aug. 29, will offer vacationers a taste of the Voyager-class ships, the first to introduce the cruise line’s iconic rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard of restaurants, lounges and boutiques that stretches nearly the ship’s length. Vacationers also can span two continents on 14-night trans-Atlantic crossings, sailing eastbound from Miami on Apr. 20 and westbound to San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Nov. 2.

In addition to Southampton, vacationers can choose 12- and 13-night Scandinavia and Russia cruises, sailing roundtrip from Harwich, England, aboard Brilliance of the Seas that also features two-day calls at St. Petersburg. A 12-night Fjords & Iceland itinerary, departing July 26, brings guests to southern Norway, Scotland, and the Faroe Islands, as well as calls for two days at Reykjavik. Fourteen-night, Trans-Atlantic crossings also bookend the ship’s Northern Europe season, with the eastbound voyage departing on Apr. 30 from Tampa, Fla., and a westbound voyage departing on Aug. 31 that follows a northerly route to Boston, Mass.

Legend of the Seas heads for the Baltic Sea on April 16 on a 16-night trans-Atlantic crossing from Port Everglades to Copenhagen. Nordic and Baltic enthusiasts then have a choice of Copenhagen or Stockholm, from where they can embark on a seven- or eight-night Norwegian Fjords or Baltic cruise. From Copenhagen, an 11-night Arctic Circle itinerary, departing June 7, calls as far north as Tromsø and Honningsvåg to bring guests into the ‘Land of the Midnight Sun.’ An 11-night Ultimate Scandinavia Russia itinerary, departing Copenhagen on June 18 features a three-day call at St. Petersburg and an overnight at Stockholm for an extensive Baltic adventure.

Autumn Canada, New England, Bermuda and Caribbean from the Northeast America

In autumn 2014, vacationers have a choice of four ships, aboard which to catch the infinite range of colors in the grand Northeast U.S. and Canada’s Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. From Quebec City, four cruises aboard Legend of the Seas will sail 10- and 11-night itineraries, calling throughout the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A 12-night Canada and Bermuda cruise, departing Nov. 3, will include an overnight in Bermuda as the ship repositions to its winter homeport of Port Everglades. Brilliance of the Seas alternatively, will offer six autumn sailings to Canada and New England, sailing roundtrip from Boston to Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on seven-night itineraries.

Explorer of the Seas will offer two nine-night fall-foliage cruises, departing Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. on Aug. 28 and Sept. 11. The ship also will alternate a five-night Bermuda and a nine-night Bermuda & Caribbean itinerary for the convenience of vacationers from the New York metropolitan area.

From Baltimore, Md., Grandeur of the Seas will offer mid-Atlantic vacationers four convenient sailings to catch the fall foliage on an eight-night Canada & New England itinerary. These eight-night sailings will alternate with a six-night Bermuda itinerary that uniquely features a three-day call at the British overseas territory.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming.

The cruise line has a 40-year history of delivery to guests the Royal Advantage – the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 10 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow Royal Caribbean on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter, @RoyalCaribbean.

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Royal Caribbean’s March Europe Extravaganza Offers up to $400 Onboard Credit Aboard 9 Ships

March 6, 2013
Take advantage of Royal Caribbean's March sale to book a cruise that immerses you in the splendor of Venice © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Take advantage of Royal Caribbean’s March sale to book a cruise that immerses you in the splendor of Venice © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

From the Venetian canals to the Norwegian fjords, Royal Caribbean International is inviting vacationers to re-discover Europe this summer, offering up to $400 onboard spending credit in March with its Europe Extravaganza.

Through March 31, 2013, vacationers who make a new booking, six nights or longer, on one of nine ships plying European waters in 2013, also can enjoy an onboard credit to make their Europe cruise even more appealing. There’s no easier way to see the sites of the Old World, delve into its history, culture and cuisine than on a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation. Guests can share their favorite destinations with the whole family or explore a new region together, all while enjoying innovations such as Broadway entertainment, FlowRider surf simulators and rock climbing walls for an experience found only on Royal Caribbean. (For more information about the Europe Extravaganza visit, http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/EuropeExtravaganza).

During the month-long sale, new individual bookings made with deposit will receive $50 onboard credit per inside stateroom; $100 per outside stateroom; $200 per balcony stateroom; and $400 per suite. Guests can apply their onboard credit toward an exciting shore excursion or rejuvenating spa session, or celebrate a special occasion during their cruise with a specialty dining experience. Guests taking advantage of this offer must mention appropriate offer code when booking. Offer codes may be found by visiting http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/EuropeExtravaganza.

The onboard credit is applicable to all 2013 Royal Caribbean International Europe cruises six-nights or longer, including cruisetours. Offer is available only in the U.S. and Canada and applies to all categories available. All bookings must be made and the required deposit must be paid by March 31, 2013, by 11:59 p.m. local time to qualify for the promotion. Onboard credit is in U.S. dollars, has no cash value, is not redeemable for cash, is not transferable and will expire if not used by 10:00 pm on the last evening of the cruise. Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming.

The cruise line has a 40-year history of delivery to guests the Royal Advantage – the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 10 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow Royal Caribbean on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter, @RoyalCaribbean. Travel professionals should visit www.CruisingPower.com or call (800) 327-2056.

For more travel features, visit:

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

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