Serenade of the Seas To Offer The Ultimate 274-Night World Cruise In 2023

Royal Caribbean International is raising the bar for world cruises with the debut of the inaugural Ultimate World Cruise, an epic 274-night adventure that visits all seven continents, more than 150 destinations in 65 countries and 11 great wonders of the world. This rich, immersive experience on Serenade of the Seas is the longest and most comprehensive world cruise out there, sailing roundtrip from Miami on Dec. 10, 2023 and through Sept. 10, 2024. 

Holidaymakers will sail to 57 destinations new to the cruise line and exclusive to the cruise itself. Highlights include Casablanca, Morocco; Qaqortoq, Greenland; and Shimizu, Japan – the gateway to Mount Fuji. Guests can delve deep into many of the world’s breathtaking wonders, from Peru’s Machu Picchu to the Taj Mahal in India, and experience distinct cultures and picturesque shores at every corner of the world all in one spectacular adventure – only on Royal Caribbean.

“This is the world cruise of world cruises,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International “Now more than ever, people have resolved to travel the world and make up for lost time. Royal Caribbean is making that a reality with the ultimate holiday that welcomes those seeking adventure and exploration to taste, dance and dream with us around the world. To travellers asking themselves where they should go next, we say everywhere.”

Guests ready to traverse the world can book the full Ultimate World Cruise today or choose from any of the four expeditions that will offer a wide range of destinations as soon as December 2021 – the Americas, Asia-Pacific, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe:

  • Round the Horn: Americas and Antarctica Expedition

Dec. 10, 2023 – Feb. 11, 2024 – Three continents, 36 destinations, four wonders

The once-in-a-lifetime journey begins in Miami, the cruise capital of the world, and sets course for postcard-perfect Caribbean destinations – like the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) – before heading to glacier-studded Antarctica and around Cape Horn. Holidaymakers can take in four of the world’s stunning wonders along the way in Central and South America, including Chichen Itza in Cozumel, Mexico; the largest art deco sculpture in the world, Christ the Redeemer,inRio de Janeiro – where they’ll celebrate New Year’s Eve – and the largest waterfall system on the planet, Iguazu Falls near Buenos Aires, Argentina. One of the most iconic symbols of ancient Inca civilization and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu, awaits in Peru, while sunshine and glamour will welcome guests in Los Angeles.

  • Wonders of Asia and the Pacific Expedition

Feb. 11 – May 9, 2024 – Three continents, 40 destinations, three wonders

Guests will venture miles from the ordinary in Oceania, Asia and beyond on the cruise’s next showstopping leg. They can discover the beauty and adventure throughout the Hawaiian Islands’ world-renowned mountainous landscapes and black sand beaches before sailing south to Moorea and Tahiti, French Polynesia, for sapphire blue skies and crystal-clear waters. The thrills continue with an exploration of New Zealand, before a deep-dive into Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – the only living thing on the planet that’s visible from space. Pristine natural beauty in Bali, Indonesia, is soon followed by two of the most iconic manmade world wonders, the Great Wall of China and India’s Taj Mahal, and gems of the South Pacific – from Vietnam to Malaysia. Rounding out the expedition are endless possibilities in Japan, with unparalleled culture in Tokyo, street food in Osaka and the tropical beaches of Okinawa.

  • Middle East Treasures and Marvels of the Med Expedition

May 9 – July 10, 2024 – Three continents, 44 destinations, four wonders

This expedition begins in glamorous Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and brings many of history’s greatest mysteries, myths and legends to life. Adventurers can uncover ancient sites and more world wonders from the times of emperors and pharaohs, like Jordan’s lost city of Petra, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Temple of Artemis inEphesus, Turkey, and the Colosseum in Rome. There are also less-traveled places to explore, such as Greece’s Olympia, once a sanctuary site to honor Zeus and the location of the first Olympic games. The journey only continues to even more destinations known for their storied history — like Split, Croatia, and Cannes and Provence in France.

  • Capitals of Culture

July 10 – Sept. 10, 2024 – Three continents, 40 destinations

The final leg of the Ultimate World Cruise is an immersive, cultural experience that begins in the Mediterranean and heads north. At holidaymakers’ fingertips is the opportunity to discover Barcelona’s brilliant architecture, including Antoni Gaudi’s famed Sagrada Familia and whimsical Park Guell, and savor new flavors across continents — such as an indulgent lunch in a Parisian bistro and a dinner of tagine and mint tea in Morocco. Museums, theaters and galleries line the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia, while larger-than-life fjords await in Norway. Guests can reflect on their epic voyage in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland before visiting New York on their way back to Miami.

Globetrotters will explore the world in style on board Serenade, thanks to Royal Caribbean’s award-winning experiences and amenities. And adventurers can stay close to the action with the ship’s acres of glass, which offer panoramic views, as they cruise from one destination, continent and world wonder to the next. From start to finish, guests who book the full Ultimate World Cruise can expect a seamless, world-class travel experience that includes business class airfare, premium transportation as well as an evening of festivities and accommodations at a five-star hotel before setting sail. Plus, Crown & Anchor Society Platinum status members and above will receive a bonus Seven New World Wonders shore excursion package in addition to other perks, including a Deluxe Beverage package, VOOM Wi-Fi, laundry service and more.

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Posted in Cruise News, Royal Caribbean International, World Cruise

Supercruises.com is the UK’s first all-online cruise booking platform and they’ve some AMAZING cruise deals waiting for you!

Looking for the best cruise deal now that cruising is officially back?

Supercruises.com has your back! It is the first fully online cruise booking website in the UK which means you can easily compare and book your dream cruise online 24/7, from any device without waiting for a phone to be answered or dealing with pushy salespeople.

Supercruises.com offers an amazing range of cruises and you can choose from all the major cruise lines offering itineraries such as Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Oceania Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival, Celestyal Cruises, Seabourn and Holland America, to name a few.

Let’s have a look at their TOP 5 Favourite picks right now and why they advise to book them:

1. P&O Cruises: Caribbean, 13 nights, departing on 25/03/2023 onboard Britannia from £1,049pp*.

Fly to Barbados to get onboard this all-time classic and modern ship and discover the Caribbean islands in style before sailing back to Southampton. Choose between the Early Bird Offer for an amazing cruise fare or opt for the Select Fare which offer you onboard credit to treat yourself onboard. Whichever you choose, you’ll be sure to enjoy those world-renowned Afternoon Tea delights!

2. Fred.Olsen Cruise Line: Classic Norwegian Fjords, 8 nights, departing on 06/04/2022 onboard Borealis from £1,099pp*

If you are searching for an intimate way to see the Norwegian Fjords sailing from Liverpool, you should definitely pick this ship. She is considered a small ship and is very stylish, spacious and comfortable, with a great choice of elegant public areas. They are famous for their onboard hospitality and making their guests feel they are home from home. Do not miss the current deal offering free prepaid gratuities and £50pp Onboard Credit.

3. Azamara: Greece Intensive, 10 nights, departing on 10/07/2022 onboard Azamara Onward from £2,106pp*

When you think about Destination Immersion, only one cruise line comes to mind. Azamara gives you more time to discover and fall in love with awe-inspiring destinations, while enjoying authentic service on your boutique hotel at sea. The Azamara Onward is the cruise line’s latest ship and will debut in Spring 2022. Sail from Istanbul and immerse yourself in the fascinating Greek culture – and cuisine -before you disembark in Piraeus. Cruise fares are all-inclusive, and you can get free Wi-Fi if you book by October 31st!

4. Princess Cruises: Spain & France, 7 nights, departing on 23/07/2022 onboard Sky Princess from £649pp*

The cruise line that has perfectly blended ‘old-school’ cruising with modern times, Princess caters to all tastes and ages. When onboard Sky Princess, you’ll enjoy superb food – including the best pizza at sea, experience Movies Under the Stars, take in the hot Mediterranean sun on the pool & sun decks, and so much more. All this from your doorstep, no need for flights. You will also experience the best Wi-Fi at sea and get your own personalised OceanMedallion wearable device to make your life onboard a breeze. Make sure to upgrade your cruise fare to Princess Plus: For only £30pp per day, you’ll get Drinks, Wi-Fi & Gratuities, which are all worth over $90pp per day!

5. MSC Cruises: United Arab Emirates, 7 nights, departing 24/12/2022, onboard MSC World Europa from £849pp*

Ever thought about spending Christmas on a cruise to Dubai on a brand-new ship? MSC World Europa symbolizes the beginning of a new era of cruising as she’ll be powered by LNG, one of the world’s cleanest marine fuels, and featuring breakthrough green technologies. The increased size of this ship has facilitated in creating unique areas, each with their own ambience and experiences: from a tranquil Zen zone for adults to a lively partially open promenade with entertainment, bars, shops, and luxury boutiques, followed by a family zone that houses all the kids’ facilities. We can’t wait to meet this showstopper! She is set to commence her inaugural season in the Gulf in December 2022, so the early bird discount is a bargain deal!

6. Bonus Favourite! Norwegian Cruise Line: Iceland & Ireland, 14 nights, departing on 17/09/2023 onboard Norwegian Prima from £1,840pp*

Yet another new ship coming soon with so many awesome features we can’t wait to explore! Just to give you a little taster, the ship will offer the largest and first ever three-level racetrack with the Prima Speedway. Prima will also feature The Drop, the world’s first freefall dry slide where users will experience a 10-story plunge reaching the highest G-forces of any cruise line – more Gs than an accelerating F1 racecar. She will offer more wide-open spaces as well as new experiences and will also offer the largest variety of suite categories available at sea with 13 suite categories. Sailing from Southampton, this itinerary perfectly combines enough sea days with port visits so you can explore Iceland as well as fully enjoy all the ship amenities! If you book by October 31st, you can secure your cabin with only £50pp deposit while getting a 30% off your cruise fare. It is definitely worth upgrading for £99pp and ‘Take All’ packages: Drinks, Wi-Fi, Speciality Dining, Shore Excursions, and 3rd & 4th Guests sail for taxes only.

Looking for other deals? Supercruises.com has all the major cruise lines onboard and all sailings are bookable totally online. Simply use the intuitive filters on the Search Page to help you find your perfect cruise

and get the best price with ABTA protection. There are no hidden fees, plus you’ll get independent and unbiased advice from their guides.

Don’t forget to subscribe to their newsletter to get the best deals!

Who doesn’t want to search and book a cruise on-the-go, whether that be on the tube to work, waiting to pick the kids up from swimming or even on those nights where you can’t sleep? Now you can.

Booking your cruise all online has never been easier.

* From price is based on lowest available cruise-only fare for double occupancy for each cabin category listed and is subject to availability. Valid at time of publishing. For final pricing, based on your preferences, refer to Step 5 of booking process.

Posted in Cruise News, General Cruise Articles, MSC Cruises, P&O Cruises

Celebrity Cruises reveals new, star-studded culinary experiences on Celebrity Beyond

With a Michelin-starred chef, one of the world’s most famous interior designers and globally-inspired cuisine and cocktails, the culinary experience on board Celebrity Cruises latest ship Celebrity Beyond is set to be “without comparison,” Celebrity Cruises Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, the company’s President and CEO announced today.

Unveiling the dining experience guests can expect on Celebrity Beyond, Lutoff-Perlo also announced a number of showstopping partnerships and collaborations that are set to confirm the new-luxury ship’s status as the most exciting culinary experience at sea.

The company confirmed an extended partnership with the brilliant, double Michelin-starred Daniel Boulud, a spectacular collaboration with interior designer Nate Berkus, and a new concept with alcohol industry giants, Diageo.

What guests can expect

– World renowned chef Daniel Boulud, Celebrity’s Global Culinary Ambassador, has created his first signature restaurant at sea – Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud – inspired by travel wanderlust;

– Distinguished interior designer Nate Berkus has created a supersized internationally-inspired venue dubbed the Sunset Bar;

– Complementing Celebrity Cruises’ world-renowned wine collection, a new partnership with Diageo will have expert mixologists ready to satisfy everyone from curious newcomers to connoisseurs alike at World Class Bar;

– Celebrity Cruises signature spaces including Cyprus Restaurant, the Rooftop Garden’s Rooftop Grill, Cafe al Bacio and Mast Bar are being taken above and beyond with expanded spaces, new designs and new menu offerings.

“Globally-inspired culinary excellence is at the heart of our offering on board all Celebrity Cruises ships. On any holiday, some of your most treasured memories come straight from the dining table you share with friends and family. It matters to us that every aspect of our guest’s onboard experience is truly special. We have always put so much attention into our food and drinks, and it has paid off with numerous awards including prestigious recognition from Wine Spectator for setting the standard at sea,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “Now, we have partnered with the most extraordinary talent to put it all ‘on the table’ and create a complete experience without comparison.”

“On Celebrity Beyond, alone, we are proud to welcome more than 300 talented chefs from over 30 countries, ensuring we can offer truly global cuisine throughout our stunning collection of new-luxury venues,” said Chef Cornelius Gallagher, Celebrity Cruises Vice President of Food and Beverage and a Michelin-starred chef in his own right. “Combined with the remarkable talents of Chef Boulud, I know our guests will taste the difference.”

In total, there will be 32 food and beverage experiences on board Celebrity Beyond, including 15 restaurants, five cafés and 12 bars and lounges.

Le Voyage with Daniel Boulud: Distinguished Chef to Launch His First Restaurant At Sea

Exclusive to Celebrity Beyond will be Le Voyage, created by the world-renowned chef and Celebrity Cruises’ Global Culinary Ambassador Daniel Boulud. The venue is his first signature restaurant at sea, and just as the name implies, travel is the inspiration for Chef Daniel’s incomparable dishes. Globally- inspired flavours will be infused into his menus, transporting guests to the very places that inspired each dish.

From the moment guests step inside Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud, their experience will be so much more than a meal. The ambience of the restaurant is a result of Jouin Manku’s creative talents — the team responsible for designing the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower as well as Celebrity’s extraordinary Grand Plaza, located at the heart of the ship and featuring a stunning chandelier creating different atmosphere experiences from day to night.

For Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud, the aesthetic will be intimate and upscale, featuring soft tones, private banquette seating with textured and graphically lit glass flutes that create an inviting warm glow, and a dedicated entrance and exit creating a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. As a final touch, guests receive a farewell gift at the end of their experience.

The Sunset Bar: Nate Berkus Designs Internationally Inspired Beach Club Destination

Renowned interior designer Nate Berkus has continued his partnership with Celebrity Cruises, designing the globally influenced two-storey Sunset Bar on the aft of Celebrity Beyond.

Working in collaboration with architect Tom Wright of WKK, best-known as the designer of the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, the space is nearly twice as large as previous iterations with unobstructed views. Inspired by the very best of summer days around the world, from Mexico and California, to Greece and Uruguay, Berkus worked to create a casual yet elegant beach club vibe.

Featuring two open-air decks and a pergola covered entrance, guests can pull up to a u-shaped bar or settle under the cool shade of plush daybed niches, in this upscale space that combines elegance and relaxation.

*Clink* Craft Cocktails Abound on Board Celebrity Beyond

Celebrity Beyond’s World Class Bar will boast expert mixologists crafting bespoke cocktails for all tastes, while ensuring that the spectacle of making each drink is just as exciting as drinking them. The venue comes in partnership with Diageo, one of the world’s largest producers of spirits and beers, bringing much-beloved beverage brands from across the spirit spectrum to Celebrity Cruises’ bars.

Inspired by Aphrodite: Fleet Favourite Cyprus Redesigned; Other Signature Celebrity Cruises Spaces Reimagined

Celebrity Cruises’ heritage is deeply rooted in Greece, having been founded by a Greek family in 1988 and with 70% of current marine officers across the fleet hailing from the country. In a nod to this continued tradition, Celebrity has collaborated with Chicago interior design firm Simeone Deary to give its Cyprus Restaurant a fresh new look. Cyprus is a fleet favourite on board Celebrity’s Edge Series® ships, but visitors on Celebrity Beyond will be greeted by a brand-new heavenly ambience that perfectly combines delicate, airy elements with brilliant gold, sculptural accents, taking inspiration from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

Revered British interior designer Kelly Hoppen CBE has been tapped to bring a new, fresh and luxurious aesthetic to several venues onboard Celebrity Beyond including the Rooftop Garden’s Rooftop Grill, the

inviting, piazza-inspired Cafe al Bacio and the popular Mast Bar on the ship’s Resort Deck. All three spaces have been expanded and re-designed with an upscale, resort-like aura.

Welcome Beyond

The third ship in Celebrity’s industry-transforming “new luxury” Edge Series, Celebrity Beyond stands at 17 decks high and 21 metres longer than her innovative predecessors Celebrity EdgeⓇ(2018) and Celebrity ApexSM(2020), making her the largest ship in the Celebrity fleet. Every element of Celebrity Beyond’s look and feel has been carefully curated with newly imagined spaces and expanded versions of the brand’s popular signature spaces, including:

● The Retreat, an exclusive area for suite guests, now featuring a two-storey sundeck;

● Transformational accommodation, from modern two-storey villas with plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas, blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living;

● An expanded Rooftop Garden and stunning resort deck featuring cantilevered float pools;

● A redesigned Grand Plaza at the heart of the ship spanning three decks and creating an airiness never-before experienced within a cruise ship;

● And, the Magic Carpet®, an engineering feat soaring cantilevered above the sea, offering guests uninterrupted vistas while sipping cocktails or having dinner.

Like her industry-changing sister ships, Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex, both of which have been named one of TIME Magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places” following her 2018 debut season, Celebrity Beyond will connect guests to the breath-taking world around them like never before. The ship’s onboard and onshore experiences stand it apart as a new-luxury travel brand without comparison.

Celebrity Beyond will depart on her maiden voyage on 27th April 2022, from Southampton, on a 10-night Western Europe cruise visiting Bordeaux, France; Lisbon, Portugal; and Seville, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain. She will then offer a variety of Mediterranean journeys including nine-night Italian Riviera and France itineraries and 10-night Greek Isles itineraries through early October, when she then heads to the Caribbean.

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Posted in Celebrity Cruises, Cruise News

P&O Cruises releases Arvia SkyDome first-look video

The first look at P&O Cruises retractable roof SkyDome on board new ship Arvia, arriving December 2022, has been unveiled in a new video.

The retractable roof glass SkyDome, a first for P&O Cruises, has been designed to maximise time in the sunshine in the warm climes Arvia will visit,  commencing with a Caribbean maiden season next winter. Every aspect of Arvia has been designed to bring guests even closer to the sea, sky and shore, reflecting its name meaning ‘from the seashore’.

Arvia’s SkyDome will be a relaxed pool environment by day with entertainment by night, including live music, spectacular production shows, DJ sets and blockbuster movies al fresco on SeaScreen.

Arvia’s retractable roof SkyDome, measuring  40.96m by 34.24m,  was designed by Martin Francis with engineering works carried out by award-winning British firm Eckersley O’Callaghan. This renowned engineering company has worked on projects ranging from the Bulgari Glass House in Italy to Apple Park in California and its Steve Jobs Theater; the largest structure in the world supported solely by glass.

The SkyDome was originated on Iona, which launched in May 2021, with Arvia set to feature P&O Cruises first version of the SkyDome with a retractable roof.

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Posted in Cruise News, P&O Cruises

Hands-on with Princess Cruises OceanMedallion aboard Sky Princess

During my cruise aboard Sky Princess the OceanMedallion really took the limelight and I wanted to highlight some of the best bits. Well, the bits that I thought were the best! 😉

Your cruise will ultimately be controlled by this wonderful little device and trust me, it’s not a bad thing! There were a few kinks that still needed to be ironed out within the app, both pre-embarkation and once onboard, but overall, it’s a fabulous concept and I really enjoyed using it.

You can quite literally do everything through the app, including ordering drinks and food to any location onboard, chatting to Guest Services, locating your friends and family onboard, booking dining reservations, virtually exploring the ship and so much more! Honestly, it really is great fun! In fact, I could add that it is literal fun, as you can also use it to join in with Games Under the Stars.

I tried and tested a few different aspects of it during my cruise, including the food ordering option. I placed an order for a turkey sandwich and marked my location as the Wake View Bar. I had waited quite some time (they must have been busy) and decided I’d head back to the cabin and see if it would turn up there. Sure enough, ten minutes after walking through the door, the sandwich arrived.

I had forgotten to pack an international plug for the cruise, but even that wasn’t an issue. Within the app I found a section for housekeeping where you could request additional towels, plugs, robes and more! I really liked that idea. Simple but effective.

The fact it opens your cabin door is an additional bonus. It was nice to not go searching for a card in the bottom of your bag to try and enter the cabin. Once your OceanMedallion is within range, the door opens, all you need to do is bend the handle. I wore mine around my neck on a lanyard for the cruise, but several people had bought wrist straps for theirs.

As I said, there were a few kinks and occasionally it would take several attempts to enter a specific part of the app as it kept crashing or kicking you out. There was one section that I was unable to access at all, it kept telling me to check back closer to my embarkation, but I was already onboard.

Although back from the cruise, I still have the app. There are parts of it that you can still use when not on-ship, including a trivia section and creating or changing your tagalong, mine is a little red seahorse. It’s also worth keeping as you can update your personal preferences between sailings, so all you need to then do is link your booking into the app, fill in some details and you’re done.

Big hats off to Princess Cruises, it’s such a brilliant idea. Thank you for a wonderful cruise Sky Princess!

I was onboard as a guest of Princess Cruises.

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Posted in Princess Cruises

Hurtigruten Expeditions Launches African Cruises

Hurtigruten Expeditions is responding to guest demand for more warm water destinations by adding the West Coast of Africa and its unique archipelagos – the Bissagos Islands and Cape Verde – to its ever-growing list of new destinations. The 13-day itinerary includes four countries: Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal, with MS Spitsbergen based out of Dakar, one of Africa’s most bustling cities.

The expansion follows the cruise line’s recent launch announcement of year-round expedition cruises to the Galapagos Islands starting early 2022. Besides its first-ever African expedition cruises, Hurtigruten will also introduce a series of itineraries to the Canary Islands and Madeira for the 22/23 seasons.

“2022 will be one of the most adventurous years for Hurtigruten Expeditions. We will start the year by launching our Galapagos operations in January, and at the end of the year, we will introduce our first African cruises. We are very excited about expanding to new unique destinations, which complements our Caribbean and South American expedition cruises and strengthens our global position,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen. 

“We know our guests want to explore many different parts of the globe, and our ambition is to offer the world’s most exciting destinations that can best be explored by our small ships. With the Bissagos Islands and Cape Verde, we offer a truly unique and off-the-beaten-track destination that is perfect for an expedition adventure like no other,” said Lassesen. 

Hurtigruten Expedition’s first-ever African adventure will depart on November 27, 2022, and will be the first in a series of expedition cruises to visit Cape Verde and the Bissagos Islands. One of the world’s most untouched destinations, the Bissagos Islands will offer guests a combination of distinctive wildlife and diverse landscapes as they enjoy four days exploring the 88-island archipelago that is home to hippos, dolphins, crocodiles, sea turtles, manatees, and 500 species of birds.

Guests will explore Cape Verde and the Bissagos on board the extremely popular MS Spitsbergen, the best small cruise ship in Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice awards 2018. With fewer than 200 guests, the small expedition cruise ship entered service in 2016, providing an intimate and exclusive setting onboard. The ship also features Hurtigruten Expedition’s signature state-of-the-art Science Center. The industry-leading Science Program includes a wide range of Citizen Science research projects that guests are encouraged to participate in during their trip.

Cape Verde offers a distinctively different scenery compared to the Bissagos. Hurtigruten Expedition’s itineraries spend four full days visiting ports and destinations that no other cruise ships include. The ten rugged volcanic islands that make up the country boast a unique blend of African and Portuguese influences. Besides colonial churches, palatial mansions, and old forts in many of the cities and towns spread out across the archipelago, the islands are also a birdwatcher’s haven with many migratory and endemic species crisscrossing the islands. Other wildlife includes whales, dolphins, and sea turtles.

The itinerary also includes a day in Banjul, the capital of The Gambia, the smallest country in mainland Africa. All cruises out of Dakar include land-based adventures as part of the itinerary. Before departure, guests will explore the impressive island of Gorée, where they will experience the colorful colonial houses, baobabs, and palm trees and immerse in the dark history of this former slave island. A city tour of Dakar is included on the disembarkation day, where guests will experience the charming multi-faceted city while discovering its historical moments and driving along the corniche.

Hurtigruten Expedition’s new African cruises will depart Dakar on November 27, December 9 and 21, 2022, and January 2 and 14, 2023.

While the Canary Islands and Madeira are known tourist destinations among European travelers, Hurtigruten Expedition’s cruises will show a different side of these islands, focusing on great hiking, national parks, and cultural walking tours. Wildlife includes whales, dolphins, and various birds. Madeira is also home to endemic and invasive plant species, with one optional excursion allowing guests to identify and remove invasive species with a local naturalist. The five 10-days sailings to the Canary Islands and Madeira in November 2022 and January through March of 2023.

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Posted in Cruise News, Hurtigruten

UK’s holiday bucket list longer than ever before

Royal Caribbean has revealed the ultimate holiday bucket list for 2021 and beyond, spanning 16,357 miles, taking 11 years to complete and costing a total of £35,790. A survey shows nearly half of UK holidaymakers’ bucket lists are longer than ever before since the pandemic, making it clear the UK’s zeal for holidays and experiences is greater than ever before.

The survey, commissioned by Royal Caribbean and coinciding with the cruise line’s global return to sailing, discovered the ultimate bucket list destinations for UK travellers includes Australia, Canada, Alaska, and the balmy islands of Barbados and The Bahamas. Seeing the northern lights, cruising in the Caribbean, and reaching the top of the Eiffel Tower are some of the most popular experiences holidaymakers are looking forward to today. However, half admit their itinerary is ‘increasing all the time’ and 70% are concerned they won’t ever complete it all.

Ben Bouldin, vice president, EMEA, Royal Caribbean International said: “Having had so much time without holidays, UK families have missed making memories with their loved ones. Royal Caribbean cruises are a great holiday option for those wanting to complete several adventures in one trip. Without even leaving our ships, guests can surf, sky dive, rock climb and go head-to-head with friends and family on the first bumper cars at sea. All of these incredible experiences are on board Anthem of the Seas, which is sailing the British Isles this summer.”

The bucket list survey results have been released on the heels of the return of the action-packed Anthem of the SeasEarlier this month, the chart-topping cruise ship departed from Southampton for the first time in six years and marked a celebratory moment for the cruise line’s return to sailing in the UK after 20 months. Anthem is welcoming guests on a range of summer cruises around the British Isles to charming ports such as the vibrant city of Liverpool, England; the home of maritime heritage, Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Kirkwall, Scotland located off the enchanted Orkney Islands.

When adding a dream destination to their bucket list, UK holidaymakers are keen to ensure it has picture-perfect landscapes, activities, excursions, and opportunities to explore different cultures and delicious food. Just under half (49%) consider ticking off activities and experiences on their travel list as one of their biggest life goals. And as such, 56% said they always take into consideration how they can live out their bucket list when booking a holiday.

Ben Bouldin added: “Our research shows that the average UK holidaymaker has around 12 must-do experiences on their bucket list; with this list growing all the time, they will want to ensure their next getaway packs in as much adventure as possible. Royal Caribbean has a huge range of once-in-a-lifetime onboard experiences and adventures in every destination for families and friends to enjoy together.”

Island hopping in Greece, seeing Mount Fuji and swimming with dolphins are also among the nation’s top 20 bucket list activities. Many of those polled would also like to walk the Great Wall of China, travel on the Orient Express, stay in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives, and take in the views from the Empire State Building.

Sailing with a fully vaccinated crew, Anthem’s limited summer itineraries to the British Isles are open for bookings and only available to UK residents 18 years and older who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and children under the age of 18 with negative test results.

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Posted in Cruise News, Royal Caribbean International

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Names Newest Ship Seven Seas Grandeur

Regent Seven Seas Cruises today announced the name of its highly anticipated new ship as Seven Seas Grandeur. Embodying a 30-year legacy of perfecting luxury travel, the sixth member of the Regent fleet is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2023. Jason Montague, president & CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, revealed the name in an exciting video, which also unveiled the ship’s beautifully reimagined design of Compass Rose, the cruise line’s signature restaurant.

“The culmination of a 30-year heritage of perfection, Seven Seas Grandeur is the latest evolution in luxury cruising. Her refined style, matchless elegance and breath-taking beauty will exceed all expectations of our discerning guests,” said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We are immensely proud that by the end of 2023 we will have welcomed a sixth member to the world’s most luxurious fleet. It’s a testament to the expanding demand for luxury cruising that the Regent brand is driving thanks to our perfectly sized ships offering unrivalled space at sea.”

Seven Seas Grandeur will host only 750 guests and have a gross tonnage of 55,254, providing among the highest space ratios and staff to guest ratios in the industry. She is a sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer®, the most luxurious ship ever built and Seven Seas Splendor®, the ship that perfects luxury. 

Further details about Seven Seas Grandeur’s suites, restaurants, amenities and onboard experiences will be revealed at RSSC.com/Seven-Seas-Grandeur leading up to her 2023 debut, with her inaugural season unveiled and open for reservations on September 22, 2021.

Compass Rose – A Unique Dining Experience Reimagined

Designed by the multi-award-winning Studio DADO, Seven Seas Grandeur’s elevation of luxury travel begins with the cruise line’s signature speciality restaurant Compass Rose, the menu of which allows guests to uniquely curate their own dining experience on every visit.

Restaurants on board all Regent ships are exquisite, but for Seven Seas Grandeur’s Compass Rose we wanted to create a space that was truly a feast for the eyes,” said Yohandel Ruiz, founding partner, Studio DADO. “This new design of Compass Rose will pique guests’ curiosity and sense of wonder before they have even set foot in the restaurant, and go on to delight with a sumptuous, personalised meal in dramatic and

beautiful surroundings. It’s a dining experience that they will regale friends and family with time and again.”

The captivating new design of Compass Rose starts outside the restaurant, with a delicate, cascading waterfall sculpture imbuing tranquillity and fashioned with laser-cut metal and hand-blown glass. Once inside, guests will be greeted by a canopy of interwoven crystal and wood-edge illuminated trees arching overhead, giving the impression of dining in a beautiful and enchanted forest.

As the sun goes down and dinner is served, guests will be awe-struck by the floor to ceiling illumination of the thousands of individually placed crystal-faceted leaves which are encrusted on the kaleidoscope of pillars and branches enveloping the restaurant. A star-dusted view of the ocean is also provided by hundreds of twinkling lights surrounding the windows.

Adding to the atmospheric dining experience will be a custom-designed mural by Confluent Studios. Crafted with gold-leaf and Verre Eglomisé, the mural will depict the flora and fauna at the forest’s edge making the restaurant appear endless.

Ruiz continued, “Our goal was to create a space that is magical and transformative which, much like Compass Rose’s menu, has the potential to delight guests with something new each time they dine.”

Providing more choice than cruise travellers will have experienced before, Compass Rose offers a tantalising mix of new and familiar items on every visit. Guests are able to design their very own entrée from preferred sides, sauces, pastas and main features such as Black Angus filet mignon, New Zealand lamb chops, Maine lobster tail and king sea scallops. The restaurant also has daily changing specials, as well as a wide  vegan and vegetarian menu.

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Introducing Ambassador Cruise Line

Did you know there’s a brand-new cruise line in the UK? Ambassador Cruise Line, based in Essex, is the first new British cruise line to be launched since 2010 and the people behind it have a very clear vision of what they are to represent, and ultimately what they will offer their guests. Ambassador Cruise Line promises to offer an authentic cruise experience and, well, for me, that ticks a very large box indeed. Everyone knows I enjoy the smaller more intimate ships, although I do love the big ones too, there’s just something about small-ship cruising that I find so enjoyable. 

Anyway, enough about me, I want to tell you more about Ambassador Cruise Line

Who is Ambassador Cruise Line?

Ambassador’s staff and crew will be the friendliest, and most diverse, in the industry. Guests will make long-lasting friendships both with fellow guests and crew, creating a community at sea.

Ambassador’s extremely experienced management team includes several members who worked previously with Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) led by CEO, Christian Verhounig supported by Chief Commercial Officer, Christopher Coates, CIO, Gary Hides and CFO, Simon Weeks.

Through funds managed by Njord Partners LLP, London, the company is fully equity-financed (no financial debt). The Chair of the Board of Directors is Gordon Wilson who has over 30 years of experience in the global travel industry. This includes his role as the President and CEO of Travelport until July 2019. He is a member of the Supervisory Board of BCD Holdings which owns global corporate travel management company, BCD Travel. He has been appointed to the Chair of the Board of Interactive Investor, the second largest direct-to-consumer investment platform in the UK.

What is Ambassador Cruise Line?

Ambassador sails for the British market from London Tilbury with a focus on premium-value. Ambassador Cruise Line’s first ship, Ambience, will sail from Tilbury in Spring 2022. After completing its inaugural season in Spring 2023, the cruise line plans to extend sailings from additional regional ports including Liverpool and Newcastle on an ex-UK no-fly range of voyages.

Ambassador Cruise Line is adult-focussed and age-inclusive but primarily aimed at the 50-plus market. The cruise line will run a number of multi-generation cruises over the summer holidays.

Ambassador will deliver distinguished cuisine, fascinating voyages on a classic cruise ship, great entertainment, like-minded guests and treasured destinations. The company will deliver a seamless, authentic, and enriching cruise experience.

Where will Ambassador Cruise Line sail?

All departing from London Tilbury, Ambassador Cruise Line’s carefully curated no-fly programme of 33 inaugural year sailings will visit a total of 88 different ports. Featured destinations will include the British Isles, the Norwegian Fjords, the Baltics and St Petersburg, Greenland, the Arctic and Iceland, plus several short break cruises. For the winter months a range of exploration style voyages will sail to the Canaries, Cuba, the Caribbean, Cape Verde and Scandinavia.

When will Ambassador Cruise Line sail?

The maiden season of Ambience will operate between 6 April 2022 and Spring 2023. Ambience’s inaugural voyage will be a short break cruise to Hamburg on Wednesday 6th April 2022.

How will Ambassador Cruise Line look after guests?

Ambassador’s smaller to mid-sized classic cruise ship – Ambience – offers a higher space to guest ratio, making cruising more relaxed and will provide guests with reassurance.

Ambassador’s health and safety mandate will ensure the crew is vaccinated, and only vaccinated guests will be welcomed onboard. The cruise line will also work closely with all destinations to adhere to local health guidelines and requirements.

Treating our guests right is not just about the booking and onboard experience. In accordance with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, we have insurance cover in place to financially protect all guests booking with Ambassador Cruise Line, for all monies paid either directly or via their travel agent. In addition, we will operate a fully compliant independent Trust Account where guests’ funds are deposited and only released when the cruise departs. Our offer also includes a booking guarantee in the event we are forced to cancel a cruise.

If you want to experience an ex-UK cruise on a mid-sized ship, then why not consider Ambassador? I certainly will! 

You can keep up to date with developments, itinerary release and more by signing up to the Ambassador newsletter.

Sponsored 

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Disney’s Newest Ship ‘Disney Wish’ Will Unlock Enchanting Family Holidays

When the Disney Wish sets sail on 9 June, 2022, families will discover a mesmerising new world created especially for them: a celebration of Disney’s rich legacy of enchanting storytelling that brings to life the fantastical worlds and beloved characters at the heart of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars adventures like never before. 

Families will embark on a splashtacular adventure with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse aboard the first-ever Disney attraction at sea; revel in a royal celebration during a theatrical dining experience with “Frozen” friends; team up with the Avengers on a Marvel cinematic dining adventure; and travel to a galaxy far, far away in a first-of-its-kind Star Wars experience on board a Disney ship.

“With the Disney Wish, we’re continuing our tradition of delivering the most magical and relaxing holidays at sea, combining legendary service and entertainment with imaginative storytelling and all the care you expect from a Disney holiday,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “Our newest ship will celebrate everything that families love about sailing with us, from the incredible dining experiences and character interactions, to dazzling shows and the crew’s thoughtful attention to detail. We can’t wait to welcome our guests aboard the Disney Wish as we expand the reach of our world-class fleet.”

The Disney Wish will sail its maiden voyage — a five-night cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay — on 9 June, 2022, followed by an inaugural season of three- and four-night cruises to the same destinations from Port Canaveral, Florida. Bookings open to the general public on 27 May, 2021.

Wish Upon A Star

The Disney Wish will feature a brand-new, distinctly Disney design concept inspired by timeless tales of wishes come true. The motif of enchantment — a theme found at the heart of so many beloved Disney stories — will manifest in wondrous ways throughout the ship, from the magical forest setting of the Walt Disney Theatre to storybook-inspired staterooms to the fairytale castle-inspired Grand Hall, where a dazzling wishing star descends from the shimmering chandelier above.

“Daring to dream even bigger, our Imagineers are creating a breathtaking new world of enchantment aboard the Disney Wish,” said Laura Cabo, portfolio creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. “This motif provides the perfect platform to infuse Disney storytelling into every aspect of the design, giving the Disney Wish its own unique personality and a completely new look unlike anything else at sea.”

To “Swim”-finity and Beyond

Disney Cruise Line will take fun in the sun to the next level on board the Disney Wish with a brand-new family water attraction and three themed districts that offer dedicated space for families, children and adults alike.

Guests will be immersed in “The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse” animated shorts aboard the first-ever Disney attraction at sea, AquaMouse. Complete with show scenes, lighting and special effects, and splashtacular surprises, this wild water ride is sure to delight everyone in the family as they zig, zag and zoom through 760 feet of winding tubes suspended high above the upper decks.

Families will have more pools, more deck space and more dining than ever before in an expansive district themed to Mickey and friends. In addition to AquaMouse, the area will feature six pools — spaciously staggered among tiered decks and surrounded by lounge chairs — and a fresh take on quick and casual fare with a festive character twist.

Little ones will delight in an all-new Toy Story-themed district designed especially for families with toddlers and young children. This whimsical water wonderland will include a splash zone, wading pool, family waterslide and smoothie bar.

Adults will indulge in sun-drenched serenity at Quiet Cove, a peaceful refuge dedicated to lounging and sipping on refreshing beverages. Set away from the bustle of family activities, this secluded adults-only district will feature a luxurious infinity pool, poolside bar and chic cafe.

Prepared and Served with Flair – A Culinary Cabaret

With the debut of three brand-new family dining concepts ranging from theatrical entertainment to cinematic adventure to sophisticated elegance, dinner on board the Disney Wish will be so much more than a meal – it will be a chance to interact with favourite Disney stories in exciting new ways that only Disney Cruise Line can cook up.

Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is Disney’s first “Frozen”-themed theatrical dining experience that will bring the world of Arendelle to life through immersive live entertainment — featuring favourite characters like Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf — and world-class cuisine infused with Nordic influences.

Worlds of Marvel is the first-ever Marvel cinematic dining adventure, where guests will play an interactive role in an action-packed Avengers mission that unfolds around them, complete with a worldly menu inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

1923, named for the year The Walt Disney Company was founded, is an elegant celebration of the company’s legacy, paying homage to the golden age of animation and offering a tasteful tribute to its Californian heritage with dishes inspired by the state’s unique fusion of cultural flavours.

In addition to elaborately themed, upscale restaurants, the Disney Wish will offer a variety of dining options ranging from quick bites, casual dining and 24-hour room service to specialty treats, gourmet cafes and premium dining exclusively for adults.

A Whole New World of Family Entertainment

Disney Cruise Line is combining innovative design and technology to create immersive entertainment environments that will surround guests in storytelling in new and unexpected ways on board the Disney Wish.

The Grand Hall will evolve from a fairytale gathering space into an environmental theatre through the magic of built-in special effects and the first-ever atrium stage on a Disney ship. Dedicated shows and interactive entertainment will come to life all around the hall, putting guests front and centre as they play a special role in the magic.

Luna is a brand-new entertainment hub that will transition from a daytime setting for family fun into an elegant evening venue for adult-exclusive entertainment, offering a variety of live shows and interactive programming throughout the day.

Hero Zone is a futuristic sports arena where physical activity will blend with imagination during action-packed challenges and game show-style competitions for families to take on together.

The Walt Disney Theatre is an opulent show palace that will come alive with original Broadway-style stage productions developed exclusively for Disney Cruise Line.

The Wonderland and Never Land Cinemas are intimate screening rooms that will provide guests more options than ever to watch classic and first-run films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and more.

In true Disney Cruise Line fashion, the Disney Wish will offer a robust menu of world-class entertainment throughout every voyage, including spectacular stage shows, exhilarating deck parties, one-of-a-kind character experiences, fun family activities, contemporary cabarets and more.

Imaginations, Assemble! Cool Clubs for Kids of All Ages

Aboard Disney Cruise Line, kids get to be the heroes of their own Disney stories. With dedicated clubs for every age group and imaginative programming facilitated with the care and expertise of Disney-trained counselors, children will be immersed in Disney storytelling on board the Disney Wish.

Children ages 3 to 12 will enter the captivating worlds of favourite Disney stories in the reimagined Disney’s Oceaneer Club, a real-life wonderland featuring more spaces and stories than ever before. Expertly developed programming combines deeply engaging, enriching activities with special playtime with Disney friends – and when characters stop by, they stay to play, offering uniquely interactive, memorable character experiences exclusive to Disney Cruise Line.

  • Marvel Super Hero Academy is a high-tech Avengers headquarters where young “recruits” will train to be the next generation of Super Heroes with the help of their own heroes, like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
  • Fairytale Hall is a royal trio of activity rooms where princesses and princes will let their creativity shine at Rapunzel’s Art Studio, read and act out stories at Belle’s Library, and test newfound icy powers at Anna and Elsa’s Sommerhus.
  • Walt Disney Imagineering Lab is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for kids to discover the secrets of world-renowned Disney Imagineers — the creative masterminds behind Disney theme parks, resorts and cruise ships — with hands-on activities and inventive experiments.

For the littlest cruisers ages 6 months to 3 years, It’s a Small World Nursery will offer babysitting services in a whimsical environment inspired by the beloved Disney attraction of the same name.

Edge (ages 11 to 14) and Vibe (ages 14 to 17) are trendy hangouts where tweens and teens will chill and play in their own way, with dedicated programming designed to engage the unique interests of these age groups.

A Trove of Untold Treasures Exclusively for Adults

Adults aboard the Disney Wish will escape, relax, dine and play in more ways than ever with exclusive venues and entertainment tailored just for them, featuring elevated interpretations of Disney stories through sophisticated theming that ranges from subtle inspiration to full-scale immersion.

For the first time on a Disney ship, guests will embark on a space-jumping tour of the Star Wars galaxy at Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge, a high-end bar styled as a luxurious yacht-class spaceship. This richly themed, immersive experience will be reserved for adults every evening, offering interactive tasting experiences and signature beverages inspired by destinations such as Batuu, Tatooine and Mustafar.

Aboard the Disney Wish, guests will savour gourmet meals and exceptional beverages at Palo SteakhouseEnchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement and The Rose, an upscale suite of epicurean excellence exclusively for adults, inspired by the elegant icons of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Beauty and the Beast.”

  • Palo Steakhouse is an evolution of the Palo restaurant that Disney cruisers know and love, now combining the relaxed sophistication of authentic Italian dining with the classic refinement of a modern steakhouse in a genteel setting inspired by Cogsworth, the tale’s majordomo-turned-enchanted-clock.
  • Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement will offer the most luxurious dining experience on board, featuring a gourmet menu crafted by three-Michelin-starred Chef Arnaud Lallement. This romantic and intimate venue will evoke the dazzling spirit of the film’s candelabra maitre d’, Lumiere. 
  • The Rose is a chic lounge at the entrance of Palo Steakhouse and Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement. Inspired by the fateful flower at the heart of the story, The Rose will be an idyllic setting for a pre-dinner aperitif or after-dinner cocktail.

Senses Spa is a tranquil oasis offering indulgent spa and beauty treatments, drawing on the serenity of natural elements to promote pampering and relaxation. The spa will feature private treatment rooms, lavish spa villas, and steam and aromatherapy rooms, while the reimagined Senses Fitness will offer state-of-the-art exercise and wellness facilities. 

Other adult-exclusive spaces on board the Disney Wish will include the Quiet Cove pool district; a variety of gourmet cafes, relaxed bars and upscale lounges; and more.

Artful Accommodations Where Dreams Do Come True

With an all-new look and feel steeped in enchantment and inspired by dreamy Disney stories, every stateroom on board the Disney Wish will be a luxurious, peaceful retreat designed with ample room for families, plenty of storage and upscale amenities. Most will feature Disney Cruise Line’s signature split-bathroom concept for utmost comfort and function.

Most of the ship’s 1,254 staterooms will offer an ocean view — including 877 (70%) with a spacious verandah — and there will be 451 connecting doors that adjoin rooms to accommodate larger families.

The Disney Wish will elevate the concierge experience with more than double the number of premium concierge staterooms and suites, including Disney’s first-ever staterooms located above the bridge, boasting floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal breath-taking ocean views overlooking the bow of the ship. An exclusive lounge with private sun deck will be the perfect place for concierge guests to relax, sip a cocktail and enjoy a premium level of dedicated service throughout the voyage.

The Disney Wish will also debut four royal suites – richly adorned, lavishly appointed suites that accommodate up to six guests and feature extravagant details and first-class amenities. These include a pair of two-story suites, the first of their kind within the Disney fleet, which will feature stunning statement pieces like an elegant spiral staircase and a spectacular two-deck-high stained-glass frieze.

Into the Unknown – Expanding the Disney Cruise Line Fleet

The Disney Wish is the first of three new Disney Cruise Line ships to be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany through 2025. All three ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons, will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. 

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