Tasty Cruises With Star Clippers

Star Clippers is known for calling into smaller ports and harbours, often inaccessible by larger cruise vessels. This means that local cuisine and culture can be found just a few steps from the gang plank, with time to go ashore and wander among the locals. On board the three tall ships in the fleet, guests dine in a free seating restaurant, buffet-style for breakfast and lunch and waiter service for dinner, enjoy deck-top al fresco lunches, beach barbecues. When ashore, here are some of the notable food experiences Star Clippers’ guests can find during a tall ship cruise.

Tom Yum In Thailand

One of the most popular local dishes for guests taking Star Clippers’ sailings through Thailand is Tom Yum, a hot and sour Thai soup that has become globally popular in recent years. Tom Yum is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed chili peppers to which chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp can be added. A big steaming hot bowl of Tom Yung costs around £3 from a Thai food stall or local restaurant.

Share A Big Fat Greek Meze

Star Flyer will spend the next two summer seasons sailing around the Greek islands, in the northern and southern Cyclades. At each island stop, tavernas cluster around the port and harbour fronts where the rich aroma of octopus, squid, sardines and fresh fish roasting on hot coals is ever present. With Greek food it’s not so much what to eat, but how. Meze is the Greek word for small dishes of traditionally prepared savoury meats, fish, vegetables and cheese. Order, eat and share plates of feta cheese sprinkled with oregano, fried meatballs, rice, meat and pine nuts wrapped in vine leaves, local sausages, giant Greek beans in tomato sauce, and dips from taramasalata to grilled aubergine or refreshing yoghurt, mint and cucumber.

Nasi Goreng, Pepes And Tum In Bali

Star Clipper sails east and westbound from Bali through Indonesia’s archipelagos throughout the summer, with plenty of time ashore to stop by roadside stall or call into beachfront restaurant where the food is always colourful and spicy. The nation’s favourite staple is Nasi Goreng, steamed stir-fried mixed with meat, chicken, shellfish or vegetables, scrambled eggs, a blend of sweet soy sauce or kecap manis and hot chili sauce. For munchies on the move, Pepes and Tum use banana leaves to package steam, boiled or fried parcels of meat, fish, tofu or vegetables, wrapped or stitched into the leaves.

Conch In The Caribbean

Big, pink lined conch shells are coveted by tourists as souvenirs while the contents, a meaty sea snail, are devoured in large numbers by locals. Conch can be found right across the Caribbean islands in salads, soups and stews while a local favourite is conch fritters, conch meat mixed with peppers, onion, spices and herbs and dropped into hot oil. With so much ocean and so many islands, seafood is ever present on Caribbean menus, but locals still crave chicken or goat, baked or cooked in stews, served with white rice and black beans, or peas. Both Royal Clipper and Star Flyer will be sailing in Caribbean waters in winter 2018/19.

Rice Balls To Ricotta

A meal in Italy can take a long time. Once seated with an enticing menu of pasta, pizza, fresh fish, roasted meats and salads, it’s hard to move again until it’s time to sail. For those wanting to explore the streets, ports, antiquities and ubiquitous shops, Italy’s version of street food includes pizza tagliata, where varieties of pizza are displayed at the counter. Just point and indicate how large or small to slice. Suppli and its Sicilian cousin, Arancini, can be found throughout southern Italy, fried balls or rolls of rice encased in breadcrumbs, filled with meat, cheese and vegetables. Easy to eat on the move, then complete the day with a coffee, an ice cream or a dolce, such as Sicily’s sponge-soaked Cassata, while waiting for the tender back to the ship.

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Posted in Cruise News, Food and Drink, star clippers

The Celebrity Revolution Begins: Celebrity Cruises Brings Entire Fleet To The Edge

Celebrity Cruises is set to transform the cruise industry with the unveiling of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, a more than $500-million re-imagining of the fleet in partnership with more than 500 leading architects, designers, and engineers designed to bring the rest of the brand’s award-winning fleet to the Edge.

THE SUITE LIFE JUST GOT SWEETER

Transforming the brand’s award-winning ships gave Celebrity Cruises the opportunity to bring its already world-class suite experience on board Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Infinity, and Celebrity Summit to new and lavish heights with the help of visionary British designer Kelly Hoppen, MBE. She will also infuse the Reflection Suite and Signature Suites, found today on Celebrity Reflection, and newly added to Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Equinox, and Celebrity Silhouette, with her signature style – a subtle, coordinated fusion of East meets West, with clean lines, neutral tones, and a warm, inviting opulence.

With Celebrity Edge, the brand introduced an exclusive new sanctuary for all Suite Class guests called The Retreat. And now, Celebrity Cruises is bringing its most luxurious experiences fleet-wide. Every ship will offer The Retreat Sundeck and The Retreat Lounge, both strikingly designed by Hoppen. In imagining The Retreat Sundeck, she has created a chic, open-air hideaway with the feel of a high-end resort, where guests can unwind on plush loungers, sip tantalising cocktails, and savour refreshing treats. At The Retreat Lounge (formerly Michael’s Club), Hoppen has designed a warm and sophisticated atmosphere.

“REVOLUTIONARY” ACCOMMODATIONS

When redesigning the accommodations, every detail has been carefully thought through with guest comfort at the front of mind. Celebrity Cruises collaborated with renowned international hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) to transform the staterooms on board Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Infinity, and Celebrity Summit, plus the staterooms and many of the suites on board Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection into a statement about modern luxury.

All staterooms will feature a fresh, chic design, rivalling the world’s best boutique hotels. They will also be fitted with Celebrity’s eXhale bedding featuring exclusive luxurious cashmere mattresses and RFID locks.

“REVOLUTIONARY” CULINARY

Celebrity Cruises is always looking for new ways to open the world, not only through the places the brand visits, but through globally inspired culinary experience, as well.

Guest-favourite restaurant Qsine will be added across the fleet and completely renovated, now offering the brand’s virtual Le Petit Chef experience, created by the world-famous artists of Skullmapping and presented by TableMation exclusively for Celebrity Cruises. Oceanview Café will be redesigned with an open, airy, marketplace-inspired design offering guests island after island of international delicacies, while the already-stunning Main Restaurant will undergo a beautiful redesign, with new textures and new finishes added throughout.

EVERY DETAIL IS BEING TAKEN TO THE EDGE

Even more ground-breaking innovations are on the horizon with THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, including:

Expansion of the new SEA Thermal Suite – first introduced on Celebrity Edge – to offer an indulgent array of therapeutic spa experiences at sea

Exclusive new shopping experiences featuring sought-after brands and designers, such as Shinola, John Hardy, and Hublot, plus state-of-the-art digital photo galleries that make browsing vacation memories a snap

Elevated bars and lounges, including the newly reimagined Passport Bar and an expansion of Celebrity Cruises’ popular Gastrobar concept, serving more than 40 craft beers, creative cocktails, and gourmet comfort food

More exciting upgrades to public venues all throughout each ship, including The Hideaway, Team Earth, The Library, and more.

Timeline of The Celebrity Revolution

Ship Completion Dates
Celebrity Millennium® – 09/02/2019
Celebrity Summit® – 23/03/2019
Celebrity Equinox℠ – 25/05/2019
Celebrity Silhouette® – 24/01/2020
Celebrity Eclipse® – 01/04/2020
Celebrity Constellation® – 01/05/2020
Celebrity Infinity® – 14/11/2020
Celebrity Solstice® – 01/10/2021
Celebrity Reflection® – 02/02/2023

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Posted in Celebrity Cruises, Cruise News

Sun Princess Debuts NEW Features And Upgrades

Princess Cruises guests aboard Sun Princess will now have access to the newest onboard enhancements following an extensive 14-day, multi-million dollar dry dock in Singapore, continuing the line’s “Come Back New Promise” commitment focused on investing more than $450 million across the global fleet.

From Singapore, Sun Princess is sailing the waters of Southeast Asia before returning to Australia for the 2019 winter season, where her itineraries begin on the Western coast of the island nation before transitioning to eastern coast and New Zealand itineraries.

Sun Princess is the latest ship in the fleet to receive the elegant livery design featuring the Princess Cruises logo, one of the most recognized brand logos in cruising. The design features the smooth and flowing gracefulness of ocean waves and represents the excitement and adventure of discovering the great destinations of the world aboard a Princess cruise.

In addition to displaying the line’s signature logo on her bow, new and enhanced onboard offerings have been added on Sun Princess including:

Club Class Mini-Suites – Sun Princess offers Club Class Mini-Suites, the new premium stateroom category featuring VIP amenities and exclusive dining. This elevated mini-suite category features select perks including new Club Class Dining, a reserved dining area with expedited seating and expanded menu options, as well as priority embarkation and disembarkation.

Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Centre – for cruisers ages 3-17, Sun Princess will offer a reimagined youth centre – Camp Discovery – created in partnership with Discovery™, as part of the cruise line’s Discovery at SEA program. Catering to specific age groups, kids and teens can make new friends and participate in activities specially designed to help them discover, play, create and huddle.

Enhanced Boutiques – guests will enjoy aesthetic enhancements to the Shops of Princess, offering an upgraded shopping experience, such as a branded Effy Fine Jewellery boutique. There will also be new products to choose from featuring a collection of Princess branded athletic wear and logo apparel displayed in a newly designed Logo shop. In the newly renovated branded designer shop, you will find new designer handbags and accessories from Burberry, Coach, Longchamp, and Guess.

Princess Cruises offers guests the opportunity to sail the waters of Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand in 2019 with ships sailing more than 80 departures on 20 unique itineraries to 64 destinations in 14 countries.

A highlight of the ship’s upcoming Australia winter season schedule includes a four-day Sun Princess Australia Getaway departing on January 5, 2019. The itinerary features a maiden call to Moreton Island, located just off the Queensland coast and boasts to be one of the world’s largest sand islands.

Sun Princess guests sailing Southeast Asia will have a chance to witness the storied dragons of Komodo as the ship makes her only call to Indonesia’s Komodo Island during the 15-day sailing departing December 23, 2019.

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Posted in Cruise News, Princess Cruises

Le Lapérouse Christened In Iceland

PONANT has celebrated the inauguration of Le Lapérouse, in the presence of Mrs. François Pinault, the godmother of the ship.

An inauguration with Celtic undertones

Hafnarfjörður, Iceland. Le Lapérouse was christened by the godmother, Mrs. François Pinault, in the presence of prominent political and cultural figures, international media and key partners.

During a vibrant Breton-inspired ceremony – a nod to the origins of PONANT which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year – the Lann Bihoué Bagad’s bagpipes, Breton oboes and drums powerfully reverberated. Breton singer Bleuwenn Mevel gave an emotional acapella rendition of the Breton anthem while the poignant sound of Konan Mevel’s (from famous Breton band Tri Yann) bagpipe resonated at the prow of the ship as she was sailing off.

Another highlight of the day involved Le Lapérouse being greeted as she was sailing from Hafnarfjörður by Le Soléal, another Ponant ship, also positioned in Icelandic waters.

The Blue Eye: an multi-sensorial underwater lounge, the first in the world

Guests on board discovered the Blue Eye, a multi-sensorial underwater lounge located in the hull below sea level, designed in collaboration with Jacques Rougerie, an architect and member of the prestigious Académie Française.

In this exceptional space, through the two portholes made in the shape of a cetacean eye, the passengers watched French free diving champion, Aurore Asso’s aquatic ballet.

With integrated digital screens projecting the live images captured by three underwater cameras, entirely non-intrusive underwater projectors allowing the observation of the sea world without any risk for the ocean life, the Blue Eye also offers a unique sound experience. Captured by hydrophones, the natural symphony of the oceanic world is piped into the lounge and can be felt through the “Body Listening” sofas that vibrates discreetly by corporal resonance.

ABOUT THE PONANT EXPLORERS SERIES

Of small capacity (131 metre-long, 92 cabins and suites all with balconies), and combining exceptional comfort, a sleek line and start-of-the-art technology, the new ship is designed to explore the most remote areas of the world with the upmost respect for the environment (Cleanship and Bureau Veritas certifications). With the new PONANT EXPLORERS series, PONANT, leader in luxury expedition cruises, can not only offer an even wider range of destinations in the polar circles, but also in tropical and sub-tropical areas through new expedition programmes.

Since the end of 2015 and the group’s acquisition by Artémis, François Pinault’s family holding company, the group’s development has considerably accelerated. The fleet will be completed by 5 others sisterships from the PONANT EXPLORERS series, on which construction is under way: Le Champlain is set to depart on its maiden cruise in October 2018, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville will be delivered in 2019, and Le Bellot and Le Surville in 2020.

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Posted in Cruise News, Expedition Cruising, Ponant

Why Are Cruises So Popular?

The popularity of the cruise holiday has grown massively in recent years and for us that eat, sleep and breathe cruising, we really aren’t surprised. A cruise is one of the most cost-effective ways to travel, and I can prove it! It’s great value for money, offers superb dining options, is fun for the entire family and best of all, you can visit numerous destinations in one holiday. Cruising blends a mixture of relaxing sea days with exciting and adventurous shore days across a large selection of cruise ships. Let’s find out why cruises are so popular…

Value For Money

Cruises offer outstanding value for money, especially those that are completely all-inclusive, such as Regent Seven Seas. Your onboard accommodation and food is always included in the cost of your fare, but with some cruise lines, your fare can also include drinks, gratuities, flights, transfers, shore excursions and even pre-or-post-cruise hotel stays. Whatever you want, you can literally have. I think the best value for money all-inclusive option out there right now is with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. You can upgrade for just £15 per person per day!

Incredible Food Choices

Food has always been a big part of cruising and some of the finest dishes in the world are waiting for you at sea. There really is so much choice when it comes to onboard dining. You can have everything from a formal, fine dining experience to a quick burger and fries by the pool. There is an option to suit everyone. Many lines that offer children’s facilities also offer an earlier buffet dinner option for the kids, like P&O Cruises for example, which means you can dine as a couple later in the evening and they can continue to enjoy the kids club.

Perfect For The Whole Family

Cruising is a great option for the entire family, even the youngest kids can usually be catered for. If you are travelling with young children, then the onboard kids’ clubs are your saviour. They are led be a dedicated team of qualified and highly trained members of staff and specific age groups often have their own designated areas. Sometimes, the baby care options do incur an additional cost, but for toddlers through to teens, the clubs are all incorporated in the cost of your fare. Many cruise lines also offer varied excursion options that can include the whole family. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises offer a selection of family-aimed voyages aboard EUROPA 2 that include shore excursions exclusively for kids – no parents allowed.

Several Destinations In One Holiday

A cruise allows you to unpack once and see several amazing destinations all in one holiday. Imagine boarding a luxurious cruise ship, unpacking and waking up the following day in Venice, and then the next day in Dubrovnik. It really is seamless and it’s a great way to uncover destinations that you may decide you want to spend a longer amount of time exploring on another holiday, or maybe even on another cruise by adding a pre-or-post-cruise land stay. For those with more time on their hands, you could even embark on a world cruise and circumnavigate the globe!

Sail from UK ports

There are many options to sail directly from UK shores, cutting out the need to fly which is ideal for those who would rather not have to even look at an airport. In the last 3 years, destinations have become more exotic and further afield, making a cruise directly from the UK even more tempting. You can choose anything from 2-weeks in the Mediterranean to a breath-taking 140+ night sailing taking in just about every destination you could imagine. I don’t like to fly, so sailing from the UK is the ideal choice for me.

This is just a tiny snippet of why cruises are so popular, there are a hundred other things I could add to this list, but we can’t sit here all day, can we?! Have anything to add? Don’t forget to leave a comment. 🙂

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Posted in General Cruise Articles, New To Cruising

P&O Cruises Announces Dining, Entertainment And Atrium Details For Iona

P&O Cruises has released details on Iona’s atrium, dining options and entertainment. Let’s take a look inside…

P&O Cruises Iona’s stunning Grand Atrium makes the sea the star

Having recently announced the name of its latest new ship, P&O Cruises has just unveiled details of Iona’s impressive centrepiece – a stunning Grand Atrium with uninterrupted panoramic views of the sea, framed by glazed walls stretching three decks high.

The Grand Atrium is at the heart of Iona, a lively focal point that encapsulates the spirit of the ship. Spanning three decks each level of the Grand Atrium offers a different destination for guests but with the same views and natural light.

Iona’s glazed Grand Atrium is a new development for P&O Cruises, created by architecture and interior design practice Jestico + Whiles, the creators of W Hotel (London), Aqua Shard (restaurant in the Shard) and The Yas Hotel (Abu Dhabi).  A show-stopping staircase will take guests through the open-area, designed to complement and reflect the outdoor views.

The Grand Atrium is a key entertainment space on board Iona and the sea will provide an ever-changing backdrop to a wide variety of experiences. From morning coffee as the sun rises, to evening drinks as it sets, the Grand Atrium will be buzzing with light and life. And as day moves into night there will be a seamless transition as the designers employ the most modern lighting techniques to create a warm and intimate atmosphere.

The Grand Atrium will be home to The Glass House (Deck 7). With an impressive wine list and menu curated by award-winning wine expert Olly Smith, wines from around the world are served by the glass. Wine connoisseurs will be well taken care of with a new experience, Cellar Door at the Glass House will offer wine talks, tastings and wine-pairing dinners.  Guests can relax with unbeatable views as they watch impromptu aerial and circus performances in the three-storey high space.

P&O Cruises introduces its first ever ‘gastro pub’ on Deck 8, with views over the Grand Atrium and the ocean. The Keel and Cow is anything but an average pub. The unpretentious venue will be delivering all day dining, with traditional favourites, perfectly aged steaks and sharing platters.

Deck 6 of The Grand Atrium brings a choice of places to relax and watch the world go by. At the Vistas Cafe Bar there is a selection of treats from P&O Cruises Food Hero and master pâtissier Eric Lanlard.  The nearby Emerald Bar will offer a stylish living-room feel, with premium cocktails and the buzz of a Covent Garden venue.

Innovative and flexible dining as new Iona restaurants are revealed

A “foodie” market, gastropub and laid-back cocktail lounge will be among new dining and drinking options on board P&O Cruises new ship Iona.

The Keel and Cow will be a brand-new concept for P&O Cruises guests to enjoy, serving perfectly cooked steaks chosen from a glass fronted dry aging fridge and British gastropub dishes. The clean lines of the design will offer incredible views through the three storey high glass walls of the Grand Atrium and will also be open for quick and convenient breakfasts, perfect for guests looking to be first off the ship on a port day.

The debut of a new ‘foodie’ market is another exciting development for P&O Cruises. The Quays piazza will be home to a wide range of self-service and “takeaway” venues, with a lively atmosphere for sociable dining. The Quays is set to be a buzzing destination that will offer cuisines from all around the world, from Asian street food to American diner classics.

With a choice of 30 different venues, many open from early morning until late at night, Iona’s guests will enjoy the widest ever selection of places to eat and drink on a ship built exclusively for the British cruise holiday market

These imaginative new venues join P&O Cruises favourites that are already guaranteed a home on board Iona. Regular guests will be delighted to discover The Glass House with small plates, charcuterie and cheese as well as around 40 wines by the glass chosen by wine expert Olly Smith; the British-Med specialities in Epicurean; contemporary fine dining Indian in Sindhu and the best of British in Brodie’s, among a long list of restaurants, self-service choices, cafes and bars.

As part of a new approach to dining, Iona will exclusively offer Freedom Dining in all of its main restaurants, a first for P&O Cruises. The move is designed to give more flexibility to each guest.  They can choose just where and with whom they want to eat, and when they will sit down for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Welcome to the pleasure dome – Iona will hit new heights as P&O Cruises reveals on board entertainment venues

A stunning glass SkyDome will be the crowning glory on top of P&O Cruises ship Iona, providing a new home for on board entertainment, along with a “hidden” night club and boutique cinema.

Brand new for P&O Cruises, SkyDome is a contemporary entertainment venue.  Located on decks 16 and 17 it promises to be one of Iona’s star attractions, featuring an impressive roof and a pool with retractable stage.

SkyDome offers a unique space whatever the weather.   By day it is the perfect place for relaxation and informal dining.  By night SkyDome comes alive with spectacular aerial performances, immersive shows and deck parties.

Above it all is the glazed dome roof designed by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, the team behind glass masterpieces such as London’s Embassy Gardens Sky Pool and Bulgari’s flagship New York boutique.

Music and cocktail lovers will feel immediately at home in the 710 Club, which is being billed as Iona’s ‘secret spot’.  With the décor and atmosphere of a Convent Garden nightspot, the 710 Club has a stylish cocktail bar and is designed for live and acoustic music.  From classic and modern jazz to swing and Rat Pack covers, guests will enjoy expertly made cocktails whilst relaxing to the sound of top quality performers and special guest stars.

Film buffs will love Ocean Studios, another first for P&O Cruises.  This boutique cinema boasts comfortable seating in a premium style setting.   Four cinema screens will run throughout the day and show a mixture of classics and recent blockbuster with the latest surround sound technology creating a truly premium cinema experience.

Music and cocktail lovers will feel immediately at home in the 710 Club, which is being billed as Iona’s ‘secret spot’.  With the décor and atmosphere of a Convent Garden nightspot, the 710 Club has a stylish cocktail bar and is designed for live and acoustic music.  From classic and modern jazz to swing and Rat Pack covers, guests will enjoy expertly made cocktails whilst relaxing to the sound of top quality performers and special guest stars.

Iona is currently being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg and will be launched in May 2020. Holidays on Iona will go on sale in September

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Posted in Cruise News, P&O Cruises

Six Must-Book Experiences Onboard MSC Meraviglia

MSC Meraviglia, known as the ship for all seasons, returns to the Mediterranean this winter and she the perfect option for enjoying this stunning region. Packed with features, this award-winning ship is a destination in her own right, with around-the-clock entertainment, an incredible family offering, a range of accommodation options, 20 bars and lounges, 12 restaurants and so much more

Exclusive Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows

One of the highlights on board MSC Meraviglia Cirque du Soleil at Sea where guests can enjoy two contrasting shows, created exclusively for MSC Cruises guests.

These unique shows are performed in the Carousel Lounge – a custom-made entertainment venue equipped with the most cutting-edge technology and special rigging that enables Cirque du Soleil at Sea artists to deliver sublime performances.

With sound at its heart, SONOR takes us on an auditory adventure with dancers, acrobats and characters, all moving to the rhythm. Its beat stimulates the senses and fuels our emotions

VIAGGIO is the story of a passionate and eccentric artist who hears the call of his Faceless Muse, a woman he has attempted to paint many times but always in vain. Mysterious and seductive, she beckons the Painter to boldly cross the threshold between reality and illusion into the vivid landscape of his unbridled imagination where he will finally complete his masterpiece

Book in advance to benefit from a discount and enjoy either a speciality cocktail while enjoying the show for €15 or a three-course menu of palate-pleasing dishes served just before the show for €35.

Festive fun during Christmas and New Year sailings

What better way to spend Christmas and New Year than with family or friends on a seven-night sailing around the Mediterranean. Escape the madness of the busy shops and crowded restaurants and spend some quality time together on board a ship that is rich in features and where there will never be a dull moment.

Forget having to cook and entertain friends and family as guests can sit back and enjoy an exquisite Gala Night menu, consisting of traditional seasonal specialities and signature dishes created in collaboration with two Michelin Starred Spanish chef Ramon Freixa.

On top of this, there will be a whole host of festive activities, limited-edition cocktails, a busy entertainment schedule, as well as an appearance from Father Christmas himself.

Gourmet dining from around the world

In addition to the three main restaurants where guests can enjoy sophisticated dining in stylish surroundings and a buffet serving international cuisine freshly prepared by highly-trained chefs, guests can vary their dining experience by trying the gourmet speciality restaurants on board:

The Butcher’s Cut modern American-style steakhouse concept celebrates the skill of a master butcher serving specialty cuts of meats and embraces American heritage where guests can watch specialist chefs work their magic in an open-fronted kitchen.

Kaito Teppanyaki brings modern East-West cooking style of Japanese cuisine to guests via four teppanyaki grills where chefs will create a visual spectacle for diners as they prepare a range of fresh and authentic Asian dishes.

Kaito Sushi Bar, voted as offering the ‘best sushi at sea’ by the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships, serves the freshest sushi, sashimi and tempura created by expert sushi chefs.

Ristorante Italiano and Eataly Food Market by global Italian food expert Eataly serves authentic Italian dishes to transport guests on a journey of discovery through food and wine.

Pre-book a trio dining package to experience three distinct dining experiences and save 34% compared to onboard prices.

Relax and rejuvenate in the MSC Aurea Spa

MSC Meraviglia features an authentic Balinese spa, the MSC Aurea Spa, boasting an exotic interior of natural stone, precious woods and rich mosaics and offers over 75 different treatments.

The spa also offers guests a comprehensive Thermal Area that is equipped with state-of-the-art saunas, Mediterranean baths, cold rooms, a salt relax room and aromatic showers that wash the body with scents and colours.

For the ultimate in relaxation, try the new signature collection of spa treatments created with LAJATICA vinotherapy products from Bocelli Wines. Strengthened by the anti-aging and firming properties found in grapes, these luxurious facial and body treatments are made with natural extracts from the Bocelli family vineyards and blended with Tuscan plants and essential oils.

Pre-book a vinotherapy anti-ageing & rejuvenating spa package that includes 1 Cabernet Body rejuvenating treatment, 1 Vinotheray facial, 1 Mediterranean citrus body treatment and a consultation with the Spa doctor for just €192/$229 – a saving of 35% compared to onboard prices.

Relax like a VIP in the MSC Yacht Club

MSC Meraviglia features an enhanced MSC Yacht Club, the unique “ship within a ship” concept developed for guests seeking added exclusivity and privacy.

With 78 suites including coveted apartment suites with two balconies containing a private whirlpool bath, guests can continue to enjoy the world-class entertainment, speciality restaurants and boutiques that MSC Meraviglia has to offer, before returning to their own private, luxurious haven.

With unparalleled luxury comparable to that of a private yacht, it also provides key benefits including the Top Sail Lounge, an entirely self-contained private club, offering panoramic sea views, and the One Pool Deck, featuring a private pool, whirlpool baths and solarium.

Take home beautiful memories of the cruise

Whilst everyone loves to take photos with their mobile phones, the endless selfies and group shots around the ship, nothing can compare to photos taken by a professional photographer. Throughout the cruise, a team of photographers are on hand to capture those special moments from the first day to the last, including embarkation, meeting the captain, and all the fun moments in between. Guests can download, edit and share photos right away on a smart device, or print them at a discounted price at the kiosks in the photo shop onboard. Save up to 25% by booking the All Inclusive Digital Photo Package before the cruise. Or for couples and families who want to opt for a stylish portrait to share with friends and family back home, book the Family Moments photo package in advance and save up to 47% for 10 professional size high quality prints and their digital files.

Guests wishing to experience the jewels of the Mediterranean this winter can also sail on MSC Sinfonia offering 10, 11 and 12-night eastern Mediterranean and western Mediterranean itineraries calling at stunning destinations including Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Valletta (Malta), Corfu (Greece), Funchal (Portugal) and Tangier (Morocco) among many others.

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Posted in MSC Cruises

The Things I Miss When I’m Not At Sea

There are so many things I miss when I am not at sea. I suppose they are all collectively responsible in a way for my love of all things cruise. Some things that I miss are more obvious than others, such as not having to cook or wash towels and bedding, and not having to set an alarm every day for work. I think these are the things we all can’t wait to get away from, am I right?

For me, there’s so much more to missing my time on the ocean than not having to do dishes or wash a few towels. I miss the life, the people, the atmosphere, the smell – I genuinely miss everything. These are just some of the things that keep dragging me back to the open ocean:

The sunset. There’s nothing more spectacular or relaxing than watching the sunset at sea. Electric colours are cast across the sky and the ocean glimmers like precious stones as the sun slowly shrinks and disappears behind the horizon. In those few previous moments, nothing else in the world matters to me. My mind is clear, all I am concentrating on is what I can see. Any sunset is magical, but ones at sea are something else entirely.

Who can resist the smell of warm teak? I can’t. That smell across the open decks after the ship has been sitting in the sun all day. It reminds me of tropical shores and earlier cruises, it reminds me I’m on a ship. I like it in the evening when you walk outside and it’s still quite humid, the smell is still lingering, as if trapped in particles of air around the vessel. OK, sometimes it can feel like you’re being slowly suffocated if the temperature in the evening doesn’t drop, but you must admit that even if it’s only bearable for a few minutes, it’s unmistakably ship, and it triggers those brain chemicals that make you happy.

 

I miss the ocean, that’s probably my number one reason for going back time and time again. The gentle pitch on smaller ships in moderate seas that sends you to sleep, it’s perfect. But I also like the crashing and banging in a Force 10 or above. It reminds me I am on a ship. If I didn’t want that, I’d stay on dry land. There’s so much we still don’t know about the worlds oceans and seas, and it intrigues me. I like to scan the surface, seeing what I can spot. I watched a submarine surface on a Mediterranean cruise several years ago, and during our transit back to Southampton in April on Black Watch I spotted a huge shark, neither of which are things you normally see every day.

Waking up somewhere new every day. One thing I have always loved about cruising is the ever-changing scenery that goes along with it. I work from home, so I see the same things day in and day out, literally. The same birds in the garden, the same postman making his rounds, the same kids going to and from school. When you’re someone who lives for travel and adventure, it can be difficult to be so still and monotonous in daily life. Thankfully, I love my job (I talk about cruise ships all day, what’s not to love?) so that helps, but that wanderlust never goes away. I am ALWAYS planning the next exciting chapter in my growing portfolio of world travel.

Ship life, as some would call it, is far different from land life and again, it’s something I miss terribly post-cruise. I’ve missed it more recently since returning from my world cruise. Spending so much time on a ship and with the same people creates a real sense of camaraderie onboard. We were a floating town of just a few hundred people, the ship was our home, the people were friends and family, and each destination we visited was a chance for us all to explore and then share our tales of adventure in the evening, once we were again back out at sea.

There are so many other things I could list, but I’ve got a cruise to start packing for!

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Posted in General Cruise Articles

Seabourn Orders Two New Expedition Vessels

Seabourn has announced today that it has signed a Letter of Intent for the construction of two new ultra-luxury expedition ships with a new partnership between shipbuilders T.Mariotti and Damen, who will collaborate on the construction of the vessels under a common name MARIOTTI DAMEN Cruise.

The new ships will be a brand new innovative design, created specifically for the ultra-luxury expedition traveller, and will include many features that have made Seabourn ships so successful as well as a host of unique features designed to enhance the expedition experience. The first delivery is expected in June 2021 and the second ship is anticipated in May 2022.

The 170-metre, 23,000 gross ton vessels will add new capacity for Seabourn in Antarctica, the Arctic and other exotic destinations around the world, while meeting PC6 Polar Class standards. Each will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites, which will be home for up to 264 guests.

Submarines on board

As vessels built exclusively for expedition travel, the ships will offer amenities designed to deliver an unparalleled guest experience in some of the most remote areas in the world. A new and exciting offering will be two submarines carried onboard, providing an unforgettable view of the world beneath the ocean’s surface. The ships will also be designed to carry a complement of kayaks and 24 Zodiac inflatable boats, which have operated as a part of the highly successful Ventures by Seabourn program offered in select destinations around the world.

Seabourn will announce design and service details for the new ships later this year. Specific details about itineraries and booking availability will be released in early 2019. The first ship is currently planned to sail in the Arctic in late summer 2021, with a full winter season in Antarctica to follow.

Professional expedition team of experts

Onboard crew will include outstanding and well-travelled expedition teams comprised of experienced wilderness experts, scientists, historians and Zodiac operators. During each sailing, team members regularly interact with guests, providing keen insight to deliver a rich holistic travel experience. These fascinating, accomplished experts are also part of the Seabourn Conversations program, providing in-depth insights into the history, ecology and culture of the places they visit. Their valuable insights are offered both in complimentary formal presentations on a variety of topics and in more casual conversations over meals or at leisure.

Seabourn continues to represent the pinnacle of ultra-luxury travel with intimate ships offering key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas and all 100% ocean front; superb dining in a choice of venues; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel immediately at home – Seabourn’s ships travel the globe to many of the world’s most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, more than 170 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and lesser-known ports and hideaways – bringing together two worlds, on board and on shore, like no other travel experience.

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Posted in Seabourn, Cruise News, Expedition Cruising

Hurtigruten Celebrates 125 Years Of Exploration

MS Nordlys in Hjørundfjorden on a calm autumn day

July 2nd marks 125 years since Hurtigruten founder Richard With brought the steamer DS Vesteraalen into service along the coast of Norway, establishing a regular sea link for locals and tourists and founding what today is the world’s largest expedition cruise company.

As Hurtigruten mark 125 years of global exploration in 2018, the world leader in exploration travel take guests to more than 200 destinations in 30 countries from pole to pole – in the waters of Antarctica, South America and the Caribbean; the Northwest Passage; Greenland; Iceland; Svalbard; and where it all began: The spectacular Norwegian coast.

“We continue to build on our 125 years of experience and heritage, and we continue to push the boundaries by introducing the world’s first hybrid powered expedition ships. We strongly believe Hurtigruten is the perfect fit for the modern-day explorer, and we experience substantial growth across markets. The expansion we’ve seen so far, is just the beginning,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

To celebrate the anniversary, Hurtigruten will host a birthday party extending over 11,000 nautical miles, from Seattle in the west and Hong Kong in the east, to Svalbard in the High North, and along the Norwegian coast. The birthday will be celebrated in Hurtigruten ports, destinations, ships and offices, without use of any single-use plastic items.

Global green change-maker

As the first plastic-free cruise line in the world, Hurtigruten has banned all unnecessary single-use plastics across their global fleet of expedition ships – from the Arctic to Antarctica. From straws to drinking cups and plastic bags, everything will be replaced by paper, biodegradable material and other sustainable alternatives. In the wake of the announcement, several major cruise lines and shipping actors have followed Hurtigruten’s lead.

“Being world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility for preserving the natural wonders on our itineraries. Plastic pollution is the single biggest threat to our oceans. What better way to tie together our past and future than celebrating our anniversary by removing all unnecessary single use plastic,” said Skjeldam.

Sustainability in core

Hurtigruten’s 14 intimately-scaled, purpose-build expedition ships offer modern-day adventure travellers breath-taking experiences in some of the world’s most spectacular destinations. With the introduction of the world’s first battery hybrid powered expedition ships – along with the conversion of up to nine existing ships to hybrid LNG-battery powered hybrid ships – Hurtigruten also sets a new standard for the future of adventure travel.

“We are committed to remain being the global leader in green adventure travel. Whether we are developing the Hurtigruten product, designing new ships or discussing new itineraries and destinations, sustainability is the core of every detail of the Hurtigruten operation,” said Skjeldam.

Hurtigruten is also advocating a ban on Heavy fuel oil and stricter regulations in pristine destinations, partakes in several research projects, and funds local and global projects through Hurtigruten Foundation.

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Posted in Cruise News, Expedition Cruising, Hurtigruten
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