Posts Tagged ‘CLIA’

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

October 21, 2017
St Kitts

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

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

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

Highlights of Cruising through the Americas and the Caribbean

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

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

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

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

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

CLIA Travel Tips when Cruising the Americas or the Caribbean

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

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

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5 Reasons to Book A Cruise Vacation With A Travel Agent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

October 7, 2017
Norwegian Cruise Lines' Breakaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CLIA Cruise Lines Offer Last-Minute Availability on Easter, Spring Break Sailings

March 25, 2014
Enjoy the thrilling zipline on Labadee, Royal Caribbean's private island on Haiti's north coast © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Enjoy the thrilling zipline on Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private island on Haiti’s north coast © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Easter Bunny, parades, special Easter menus and egg decorating are just part of the festivities and family fun aboard select cruise ships exploring the world this April.

Here are cruises that are still available from the North American fleet of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) for Easter and Spring Break departures:

Follow the Easter Bunny

MSC Cruises’ MSC Divina has a 7-night departure leaving from Miami on April 19 visiting Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Road Town, Tortola; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, with a variety of “Easter themed” activities. Kids “Easter hunt”, costume parades, Easter chef classes, chocolate Easter eggs and special Easter menus in the main restaurants make the week particularly festive. Seven-night departures from Miami on April 12 and April 26 visit Falmouth, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico, and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas for other spring break options. An added plus, is that kids sail free year-round on MSC Cruises.

The Easter Bunny will pass out chocolates and will be available for photo ops on select Holland America Line’s April sailings. There will also be an Easter bonnet competition, egg decorating, a Jelly bean count and Easter mass. The Maasdam will sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale for an 11-day Southern Caribbean itinerary on April 11 with port stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Kingstown, St. Vincent; Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort-De-France, Martinique; Frederiksted; and the private island of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. A 14-day Panama Canal sailing on Westerdam departing on April 15 travels from Fort Lauderdale, FL to San Diego, and will include Cartagena, Colombia; through the Panama Canal; with ports of call in Costa Rica and Mexico, ending in Cabo San Lucas. Also departing on April 15, the 11-day Adriatic Dream itinerary on Noordam departs from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, and includes the Strait of Messina, Italy; Greece and Croatia with an overnight and disembarkation in Venice, Italy.

Celebrate the Sun

Those who have suffered through the cold winter will be especially ready to celebrate spring in the sun. Disney Cruise Lines’ four ships will all be in the Caribbean this April. Disney sails from Port Canaveral with three options: a 3-night Bahamian cruise on April 18 on Disney Magic with stops in Nassau and Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island; a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on April 19 on Disney Fantasy with stops in St. Maarten, St. Thomas/St. John and Castaway Cay; and a 4-night Bahamian cruise with stops in Nassau and Castaway Cay on Disney Dream on April 20. Disney Wonder sails from Miami on April 18 on a 5 -night Western Caribbean itinerary with stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Norwegian Cruise Line is currently offering free Balcony upgrades, reduced deposits and e-coupons worth $300 on these Easter sailings: 7-night Mexican Rivera from Los Angeles on Norwegian Star on April 13; 7-night Western Caribbean from New Orleans on Norwegian Jewel on April 13; 3-night Bahamas from Miami on Norwegian Sky on April 18; 7-night Eastern Caribbean from Miami on Norwegian Getaway on April 19; 7-night Inter-Island Hawaii on Pride of America on April 19; 7-night Western Caribbean from Tampa on Norwegian Dawn on April 20; and 7-night Western Caribbean from Miami on Norwegian Epic on April 20.

Royal Caribbean International‘s Navigator of the Seas sails April 20 from Galveston, Texas, on a 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary, calling at Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. Allure of the Seas sails April 20 from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL, on a 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary, calling at Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private island on Haiti’s north coast. Enchantment of the Seas sails April 18 from Port Canaveral on a 3-night Bahamas cruise, calling at Nassau and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private Bahamian-island. Guests also can combine a cruise aboard Enchantment of the Seas with a 3- to 4-day stay at Universal Orlando Resorts, enjoying savings and inclusive Universal Express Unlimited ride access among many more theme park privileges.

Cultural Odyssey

Guests of Paul Gauguin Cruises’ m/s Paul Gauguin can combine sun with culture when they travel to Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands on a 14-day cruise departing April 12 from Papeete, Tahiti. They’ll experience a true glimpse of the Polynesia of the old including Bora Bora, Moorea, Taha’a (Motu Mahana), and Huahine.

Tauck River Cruising has limited space on its 10-day April 18 departure of “Belgium & Holland in Spring” aboard the ms Treasures. The itinerary begins with an included overnight in Brussels before embarkation in Maastricht and sailing to Amsterdam. Special experiences along the way include Keukenhof Gardens and the Rijksmuseum, a scenic Amsterdam canal boat cruise, the Netherlands American Cemetery, a culinary experience at Chateau Neercanne, chocolate and beer tastings, and a private dinner at and tour of the In Flanders Fields Museum to observe the WWI Centennial.

Silversea Cruises’ Silver Spirit departs April 19 on a 16-day repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona. Ports of call include Bermuda, the Azores, Malaga, Cartagena and Valencia. There is still availability on Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria during the 12-day Transatlantic Crossing from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton, England on April 16.

Guests dine on Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s cuisine while sailing through Japan with Crystal Cruises during the 15-day “Skyscrapers & Shoguns” itinerary. Starting April 16, Crystal Symphony sails from Beijing to Tokyo, with a 3-day overnight land program in Beijing included, followed by visits to Shanghai (two nights docked locally), Nagasaki, Osaka (local overnight), Shimizu, and, finally, Tokyo (local overnight—a rare call for the cruise line.) The cruise is also available without the Beijing land program, and as a shorter 7- or 8-day “Getaway.”

For expert advice, travelers can turn to a CLIA Cruise Agent, who stays current on the latest offerings and trends and is an expert in helping clients selects a cruise of their dreams. To find a CLIA Cruise Agent or Agency in your area, visit www.cruising.org and click on Vacations and use our Cruise Expert Finder.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA represents the interests of cruise lines and travel agents before regulatory and legislative policy makers. CLIA is also engaged in travel agent training, research and marketing communications to promote the value and desirability of cruise holiday vacations with thousands of travel agency and travel agent members. CLIA’s Associate Member and Executive Partner program includes the industry’s leading providers of supplies and services that help cruise lines provide a safe, environmentally-friendly and enjoyable holiday vacation experience for millions of passengers every year. For more information on CLIA, the cruise industry, and CLIA-member cruise lines and travel agencies, visit http://www.cruising.org. CLIA can also be followed on the Cruise Lines International Association’s Facebook and Twitter fan pages, and CEO Christine Duffy can be followed @CLIACEO and cruising.org/ceoblog.

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CLIA Cruise Lines Invite You to Celebrate the Holidays at Sea

December 3, 2013
Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, there’s no better way to enjoy seasonal merriment than getting away with family and friends for a celebration at sea.

Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, there’s no better way to enjoy seasonal merriment than getting away with family and friends for a celebration at sea.

Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, there’s no better way to enjoy seasonal merriment than getting away with family and friends for a celebration at sea.

Following is a sampling of cruises from the North American fleet of Cruise Lines International Association for Christmas and New Year’s guaranteed to bring tidings of comfort and joy with familiar traditions in far-flung locations:

  • Go where few will ever venture. Have a winter wonderland Christmas as Seabourn sails to Antarctica for the first time this fall. On December 11, the Seabourn Quest 24-day cruise departs from Santiago, Chile, sailing to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a Christmas Day landing on the “White Continent”; enjoy two days at South Georgia Island, with its vast rookeries of king penguins and other seabirds, as well as breeding elephant and fur seals.  Crystal Cruises’ new 17-night Antarctica cruise on the Crystal Symphony, departs December 21, visiting Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Falkland Islands, Drake Passage, Cape Horn and the Chilean Fjords, offering chances to fly, hike and zodiac over and on the icy continent and to view the gorgeous glacial scenery of both King George and Ardley Island.
  • Celebrate ancient traditions. Holiday markets, with hand-crafted toys, crafts and festive holiday food and drinks are a tradition dating back centuries and a special treat on many northern European cruises between November and January. Avalon Waterways invites travelers to spend Christmas in Prague and New Year’s in Vienna on its 9-day “Christmastime on the Danube” voyage departing December 25. Experience charming Christmas markets with AmaWaterways, which is offering four land-and-cruise itineraries on the Danube River, the Rhine and the legendary canals of Amsterdam. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering seven holiday cruises ranging from 8 to 13 days, taking travelers along Europe’s great rivers. And Hurtigruten offers itineraries with a chance to experience Norway’s natural beauty and holiday traditions such as indulging in local foods, visits from “Norway’s Father Christmas” and the chance to see “The Northern Lights” of the Aurora Borealis.
  • Discover delightful regional differences. Experience the holiday spirit—southern or Cajun style with American Cruise Lines. The seven-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, Florida on December 21, features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach, while the December 28 New Year’s Eve sailing, departing from Charleston, South Carolina,  features fireworks over Savannah.  The seven-night “Cajun Christmas” cruise on the Lower Mississippi River, departing from New Orleans on December 21, features Oak Alley Plantation in its holiday finery, Christmas Eve bonfires along the levee lighting the way for Santa and a traditional Reveillon-style feast. Or celebrate Christmas and New Year’s in Hawaii with hula and ukuleles on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America seven-day Hawai`i cruise, departing December 21 and December 28 from Honolulu.
  • Find serenity on the South Seas. A seven-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage with Paul Gauguin Cruises onboard the m/s Paul Gauguin departs on December 21 and features a holiday celebration while the New Year’s voyage, departing December 28, picks up the tempo with rock ’n’ roll classics, jazz and original compositions played by musician Robert Thomas as well as a lecture and wine tasting led by vintner Judy Jordan of J. Vineyards & Winery. Holland America Line features in-depth cultural experiences as part of its new fleet-wide “On Location” immersion program on a 28-day “New Zealand and Pacific Treasures Collector Holiday” cruise on the ms Oosterdam departing December 8 from Sydney that explores New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia.
  • Experience exotic Asia and beyond. A 14-night Myanmar, Malaysia and Sumatra voyage with Azamara Club Cruises departing December 23 from Singapore combines a festive Christmas at sea with exotic ports and a relaxing New Year’s Day on the beaches of Phuket, Thailand.  SeaDream Yacht Club offers a seven-night journey departing from Singapore on December 21 on its elegant mega-yacht SeaDream II, featuring golfing, diving and beach time. Oceania Cruises’ 30-day Lands of Grandeur sailing aboard Nautica departing on December 8 from Dubai visits ports in Oman, India, the Maldives and Seychelles as well as Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa.
  • Home for the holidays. Why stay at home when CLIA-member cruise lines are bringing the holidays to you onboard?  Each in its own way, cruise ships are incorporating the traditions and décor of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve into décor, dining and activities.  For example: Carnival Cruise Lines has occasional “snowfalls” in the ships’ atriums, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is known for its magnificent gingerbread house displays, American Cruise Lines has ornament making as well as gift giving and Celebrity Cruises will hold pre-Christmas trunk shows in its boutiques, which are tax-and duty-free.  Starting with November 9 departures, Disney Cruise Line’s “Very Merrytime” Cruises feature a “deck the deck holiday party” with Disney friends.  In addition to holiday themed entertainment, many cruise lines offer special concerts, caroling and festive receptions as well as religious services. Princess Cruises features a tree lighting ceremony and a holiday themed variety show. For families, most lines feature special holiday crafts sessions, parties for kids along with visits from Santa and surprise gifts.
  • ‘Tis the season to book early. Many cruise lines offer early booking specials and discounted pricing on select holiday cruises. For instance, for bookings through December 31, Oceania Cruises offers 2-for-1 cruise fares, free airfare from 26 North American gateways and bonus savings up to $4,500 per stateroom and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is waiving or reducing its single supplement on select holiday cruises to make your Christmas vacation even merrier.

For expert advice, travelers can turn to a CLIA Cruise Agent, who stays current on the latest offerings and trends and is an expert in helping clients select a cruise of their dreams.   To find a CLIA Cruise Agent or Agency in your area, visit www.cruising.org and click on Vacations and use our Cruise Expert Finder.

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CLIA Cruise Lines Celebrate the Holidays with Festive Seasonal Specials

October 30, 2013
Experience the holiday spirit southern style with American Cruise Lines' 7-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, December 21, that features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Experience the holiday spirit southern style with American Cruise Lines’ 7-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, December 21, that features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Whether cruising to Tahiti or Tanzania, Argentina or Antarctica, celebrating the winter holidays at sea is a very special way to get away with family and friends.

Here is a sampling of cruises from the North American fleet of Cruise Lines International Association members for Christmas and New Year’s guaranteed to bring tidings of comfort and joy with familiar traditions in far-flung locations:

Go where few will ever venture. Have a winter wonderland Christmas as Seabourn sails to Antarctica for the first time this fall. On December 11, the Seabourn Quest 24-day cruise departs from Santiago, Chile, sailing to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a Christmas Day landing on the “White Continent”; enjoy two days at South Georgia Island, with its vast rookeries of king penguins and other seabirds, as well as breeding elephant and fur seals.  Crystal Cruises’ new 17-night Antarctica cruise on the Crystal Symphony, departs December 21, visiting Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Falkland Islands, Drake Passage, Cape Horn and the Chilean Fjords, offering chances to fly, hike and zodiac over and on the icy continent and to view the gorgeous glacial scenery of both King George and Ardley Island.

Celebrate ancient traditions. Holiday markets, with hand-crafted toys, crafts and festive holiday food and drinks are a tradition dating back centuries and a special treat on many northern European cruises between November and January. Avalon Waterways invites travelers to spend Christmas in Prague and New Year’s in Vienna on its 9-day “Christmastime on the Danube” voyage departing December 25. Experience charming Christmas markets with AmaWaterways, which is offering four land-and-cruise itineraries on the Danube River, the Rhine and the legendary canals of Amsterdam. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering seven holiday cruises ranging from 8 to 13 days, taking travelers along Europe’s great rivers. And Hurtigruten offers itineraries with a chance to experience Norway’s natural beauty and holiday traditions such as indulging in local foods, visits from “Norway’s Father Christmas” and the chance to see “The Northern Lights” of the Aurora Borealis.

Discover delightful regional differences. Experience the holiday spirit—southern or Cajun style with American Cruise Lines. The seven-night “Historic South & Golden Isles” cruise, departing from Jacksonville, Florida on December 21, features a holiday décor tour of Charleston’s famous mansions and a traditional Sapelo Island holiday oyster roast on the beach, while the December 28 New Year’s Eve sailing, departing from Charleston, South Carolina,  features fireworks over Savannah.  The seven-night “Cajun Christmas” cruise on the Lower Mississippi River, departing from New Orleans on December 21, features Oak Alley Plantation in its holiday finery, Christmas Eve bonfires along the levee lighting the way for Santa and a traditional Reveillon-style feast. Or celebrate Christmas and New Year’s in Hawai`i with hula and ukuleles on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America seven-day Hawai`i cruise, departing December 21 and December 28 from Honolulu.

Find serenity on the South Seas. A seven-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage with Paul Gauguin Cruises onboard the m/s Paul Gauguin departs on December 21 and features a holiday celebration while the New Year’s voyage, departing December 28, picks up the tempo with rock ’n’ roll classics, jazz and original compositions played by musician Robert Thomas as well as a lecture and wine tasting led by vintner Judy Jordan of J. Vineyards & Winery. Holland America Line features in-depth cultural experiences as part of its new fleet-wide “On Location” immersion program on a 28-day “New Zealand and Pacific Treasures Collector Holiday” cruise on the ms Oosterdam departing December 8 from Sydney that explores New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Experience exotic Asia and beyond. A 14-night Myanmar, Malaysia and Sumatra voyage with Azamara Club Cruises departing December 23 from Singapore combines a festive Christmas at sea with exotic ports and a relaxing New Year’s Day on the beaches of Phuket, Thailand.  SeaDream Yacht Club offers a seven-night journey departing from Singapore on December 21 on its elegant mega-yacht SeaDream II, featuring golfing, diving and beach time. Oceania Cruises’ 30-day Lands of Grandeur sailing aboard Nautica departing on December 8 from Dubai visits ports in Oman, India, the Maldives and Seychelles as well as Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa.

Home for the holidays. Why stay at home when CLIA-member cruise lines are bringing the holidays to you onboard?  Each in its own way, cruise ships are incorporating the traditions and décor of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve into décor, dining and activities.  For example: Carnival Cruise Lines has occasional “snowfalls” in the ships’ atriums, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is known for its magnificent gingerbread house displays, American Cruise Lines has ornament making as well as gift giving and Celebrity Cruises will hold pre-Christmas trunk shows in its boutiques, which are tax-and duty-free.  Starting with November 9 departures, Disney Cruise Line’s “Very Merrytime” Cruises feature a “deck the deck holiday party” with Disney friends.  In addition to holiday themed entertainment, many cruise lines offer special concerts, caroling and festive receptions as well as religious services. Princess Cruises features a tree lighting ceremony and a holiday themed variety show. For families, most lines feature special holiday crafts sessions, parties for kids along with visits from Santa and surprise gifts.

‘Tis the season to book early. Many cruise lines offer early booking specials and discounted pricing on select holiday cruises. For instance, for bookings through December 31, Oceania Cruises offers 2-for-1 cruise fares, free airfare from 26 North American gateways and bonus savings up to $4,500 per stateroom and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is waiving or reducing its single supplement on select holiday cruises to make your Christmas vacation even merrier.

For expert advice, travelers can turn to a CLIA Cruise Agent, who stays current on the latest offerings and trends and is an expert in helping clients select a cruise of their dreams.   To find a CLIA Cruise Agent or Agency in your area, visit www.cruising.org and click on Vacations and use our Cruise Expert Finder.

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Cruise Industry Holds Sale of the Year During National Cruise Vacation Week, Oct.20-27; Deals Site Open

October 6, 2013
Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas and Norwegian Cruise Line's Breakaway docked at Bermuda's Royal Naval Dockyard. Thousands of CLIA travel agents and agencies will participate in in National Cruise Vacation Week Oct 20-27 through online travel agency promotions and special live, in-person travel agent events selling specials from 26 major cruiselines © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway docked at Bermuda’s Royal Naval Dockyard. Thousands of CLIA travel agents and agencies will participate in National Cruise Vacation Week Oct 20-27 through online travel agency promotions and special live, in-person travel agent events selling specials from 26 major cruiselines © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Take advantage of National Cruise Vacation Week (NCVW) taking place Oct 20-27, 2013, when hundreds of exclusive cruise deals and incentives from Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) 26 member cruise lines representing more than 200 of the world’s most popular ships including river and specialty cruising are available during what is billed as the “World’s Largest Cruise Sale.”

Thousands of CLIA travel agents and agencies will participate in NCVW through online travel agency promotions and special live, in-person travel agent events.

Information on National Cruise Vacation Week, where to find a CLIA travel agent and agency and to view sample deals are already available at www.cruising.org/vacation/national-cruise-vacation-week-cruise-specials. 

NCVW savings and special offers include credits for shipboard spending up to $500, balcony upgrades, two-for-one fares, complimentary tours and free hotel nights in port cities on thousands of sailings in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Canada/New England, the Panama Canal, South America, Australia and the South Pacific, the Middle East and Asia.

Additional cruise deals are expected to be announced in the days leading up to NCVW as well, so cruisers are advised to stay in touch with their local travel agents.

NCVW participating CLIA member cruise lines include: AmaWaterways, American Cruise Lines, Avalon Waterways, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Hurtigruten,  MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn Cruise Line, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea Cruises, Tauck River Cruising, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Windstar Cruises.

For more information on CLIA, the cruise industry, and CLIA-member cruise lines and travel agencies, visit http://www.cruising.org. CLIA can also be followed on the Cruise Lines International Association’s Facebook and Twitter fan pages, and CEO Christine Duffy can be followed @CLIACEO and cruising.org/ceoblog.

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

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