Full Season Of Alaska Sailings In 2020 For Cunard

Cunard has announced today that it will spend a full season in Alaska from June through to September in 2020 on the newly-refurbished ship, Queen Elizabeth. Cunard is making its long-awaited return to Alaska in May 2019, after a twenty year break. The success of the 2019 programme has led to Cunard doubling the number of voyages in the region for 2020.

This expanded programme will offer ten roundtrip sailings departing Vancouver, ranging from nine to twelve nights, plus one very special cruise to San Francisco including an overnight stay on Independence Day. Guests will have the opportunity to take in the breathtaking beauty of Alaska – the Great Land – with its awe inspiring landscapes and magnificent wildlife whilst enjoying the very best in luxury on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth. Cunard is the epitome of luxury with a unique on board experience offering the freedom of time and space with exemplary service that is second to none.

“We have had an incredible response to Cunard reinstating voyages to the beautiful Alaska frontier and are delighted to be offering more than double the number of Cunard sailings for 2020. Guests will sail on the newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth visiting the most incredible landscapes and Alaskan towns, with longer time in port to enjoy these inspiring and breathtaking destinations.” said Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard.

Each Alaska voyage will feature stunning destinations along the Northwest Pacific coast of Alaska and British Columbia including Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka and more. In addition, the voyages offer more than 120 excursions to choose from including the awe-inspiring scenic cruising in the narrow waterways of the Inside Passage, the Hubbard Glacier and Sawyer Glacier’s twin fjords, Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm.

Guests have the opportunity to combine voyages together, which include the Alaska roundtrips from Vancouver and the North Pacific Crossings to and from Tokyo. The 2020 voyages include:

  • Alaska roundtrip from Vancouver, 10 nights from June 22-July 2
  • Independence Day Celebration, Vancouver to San Francisco with an overnight in port, 3 nights from July 2-5
  • San Francisco to Vancouver, 16 nights from July 5-21
  • Vancouver to Tokyo, 29 nights from August 29-September 27

Cunard continues its partnership with Rocky Mountaineer, offering pre and post cruise tours on the famous railroad. Tours include either three or five nights’ accommodation and two full days on board the train. The expedition travels through a spectacular array of scenery with glacier and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, through winding river canyons, mountain passes and remarkable tunnels. Highlights include the Continental Divide, Kicking Horse Canyon, Spiral Tunnels and the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon.

Guests will also be able to take advantage of the three-night pre-cruise tour Vancouver and Whistler Highlights, taking in the best of Vancouver including Grouse Mountain and Stanley Park, and a full day in Whistler and Shannon Falls via the Sea-to-Sky Corridor.

Guests will enjoy these incredible itineraries on board Queen Elizabeth, the youngest ship in the fleet, which has just enjoyed a refurbishment. This included a new spa concept: Mareel Wellness and Beauty, developed in partnership with industry innovator, Canyon Ranch. The new spa offers a holistic approach with a focus on the healing energy of the sea. The spa offers an extensive new treatment menu with mineral-rich seawater and marine-based experiences as well as a redesign of the entire spa facility. In addition, many public spaces, bars and lounges have been updated and all Grill Suites and Britannia Staterooms have new carpets and soft furnishings. The Royal Court Theatre had a complete technical overhaul; the Royal Arcade has been enhanced to offer an elevated shopping experience and the outdoor decks have new furniture with a new layout on the Sun Deck.

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Posted in Cruise News, Cunard Cruise Line

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ‘No Single Supplement’ Cruise Sale

Holidaymakers looking to set sail on a solo adventure can enjoy ‘no single supplements’ with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines on more than 14 sailings between March 2019 and March 2020, as part of its new ‘Cruise Sale’. Guests can take advantage of this attractive solo offer on all new bookings made by 28th February 2019 inclusive.

It means that solo travellers can relax under the sun in the Canary Islands or explore a stunning European city, without the additional cost of paying a supplement for a twin-room for solo occupancy.

Clare Ward, Director of Product and Customer Service at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“We know that we have a strong appeal to solo travellers, which is demonstrated by the high number of guests who choose to travel solo with us – over 10% of all of our guests.

“Not only do we have amongst the highest proportion of solo rooms in the industry across our ocean fleet, including Suites, but the smaller size of our ships and the attentiveness of our crew makes the holiday experience a more comfortable and less intimidating one for those travelling solo.

“We also know that many solo guests like the option of enjoying a twin room. Travel is such an exciting part of life, and we don’t want the additional cost of single supplements to prevent anyone from exploring the world!”

Itineraries featured in the ‘no single supplement’ offer include:

– Boudicca’s 14-night D1905 ‘Landscapes of the Canary Islands’ cruise, ex Dover on 9th March 2019. Solo travellers can sail from £1,899 per person, with a 0% single supplement on certain grades.

Ports of call: Dover, UK – Leixões (for Oporto), Portugal – Funchal, Madeira, Portugal – Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain – Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain – Arrecife, Spain – Lisbon, Portugal – Vigo, Spain – Dover, UK

For more details: Visit D1905 ‘Landscapes of the Canary Islands

– Black Watch’s eight-night W1912 ‘Isles of Scotland’ cruise, ex Liverpool on 20th June 2019. Solo travellers can sail from £1,399 per person, with a 0% single supplement on certain grades.

Ports of call: Liverpool, UK – Greenock, Scotland – Tobermory, Isle of Mull, UK – Cruising Sound of Mull, UK, Cruising past Duart Castle, UK – Lerwick, UK – Tórshavn, Faroe Islands – Kirkwall, UK – Liverpool, UK

For more details: Visit W1912 ‘Isles of Scotland’

– Boudicca’s 14-night D2005 ‘Islands & Cities of the Mediterranean’ fly-cruise, ex Limassol, Cyprus (flights from London Gatwick/Manchester/Scotland) on 5th March 2020. Solo travellers can sail from £1,999 per person, with a 0% single supplement on certain grades.

Ports of call: Limassol, Cyprus (overnight stay) – Heraklion, Greece – Piraeus, Greece – Valletta, Malta – Palma, Spain – Cartagena, Spain – Malaga, Spain – Leixões (for Oporto), Portugal – Dover, UK

For more details: Visit D2005 ‘Islands & Cities of the Mediterranean’ 

Fred. Olsen is renowned for its friendly, welcoming and attentive staff, who work hard to ensure that those travelling solo do not feel alone once on board.

Solo guests will find events designed exclusively for them to help them to get to know others also holidaying by themselves. This includes seating solo guests together for meals and arranging companions for those wanting to venture ashore. In addition, Fred. Olsen provides dance partners for solo guests, as well as a number of enrichment activities, such as Bridge and arts and crafts classes, which can be enjoyed with other travellers or individually.

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Posted in Cruise News, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Carnival Cruise Line’s ‘Mardi Gras’ To Feature First-Ever Roller Coaster At Sea

In another cruise industry first, Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras will feature the first-ever roller coaster at sea when it debuts in 2020, providing an unforgettable and unique open-air thrill ride on the line’s newest and most innovative ship.

Built by Munich-based Maurer Rides, BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster is a heart-pounding rush of adrenaline offering nearly 800 feet of exhilarating twists, turns and drops with riders reaching speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour.

Taking cruise industry innovation to new heights, BOLT is an all-electric roller coaster that allows two riders in a motorcycle-like vehicle to race along a track 187 feet above sea level, enabling guests to experience the sea in an exciting new way with breathtaking 360-degree views.

BOLT begins with an action-packed launch where riders can achieve race car-like levels of acceleration and culminates with a high-powered hair-pin turn around Carnival’s iconic funnel.  Riders’ speeds are posted after the race, and just like land-based roller coasters, guests have their photo taken during the ride for a memorable keepsake.  And since guests choose their own speed, each ride is unique.

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said that BOLT is the cornerstone of innovations and features being designed for Mardi Gras, which will be the ultimate playground at sea for fun seekers of all ages.

“Mardi Gras will be our most innovative ship ever with some truly special features and attractions, highlighted by BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea,” said Duffy. “BOLT will continue the tradition of Carnival providing exciting new ways for our guests to ‘Choose Fun.’  We are so thrilled to introduce this one-of-a-kind, game-changing, exhilarating attraction – our guests are going to love it!”

Mardi Gras will be based in Port Canaveral, Fla., which will feature a new state-of-the-art terminal.  Itinerary information will be revealed early next month with additional details about Mardi Gras’ groundbreaking features announced throughout the year.  A second XL-class ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.

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Posted in Carnival Cruise Lines, Cruise News

Royal Caribbean Announces 2020-21 Ship Deployments: Oasis Of The Seas To Sail From New Jersey

Royal Caribbean International is charting a new course with its 2020-21 deployment plans, touting a fleet of Royal Amplified ships sailing to exciting destinations. An amped up Oasis of the Seas will greet Lady Liberty and deliver new holidays from Northeast America with 7-night Caribbean itineraries that include an unforgettable day at the cruise line’s highly anticipated private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas. Oasis will be the first ship in her class and the world’s largest to sail from Northeast America.

Celebrating its one-year anniversary in summer 2020, Perfect Day at CocoCay will welcome 10 ships from more ports than any previous deployment, including the newly added Galveston, Texas, as well as Barcelona, Spain on Allure and Rhapsody of the Seas’ transatlantic sailings in November 2020. Adventure seekers from around the world will have more opportunity than ever to discover the thrill and chill experiences that await the whole family, including the tallest waterslide in North America, the Caribbean’s largest wave pool and the highest vantage point in The Bahamas from a helium balloon that rises 450 feet in the air. Delivering on its promise of creating memorable holidays on land and onboard, Royal Caribbean will tout seven ships in 2020-21 that have emerged from the global cruise line’s $1 billion Royal Amplified modernisation program launched in 2018, introducing a wide range of bold, new adventures designed to appeal to all ages.

The Perfect Holiday for all Seasons: Caribbean & Northeast America

Big news for the Big Apple – Oasis of the Seas, the ship that revolutionised cruise holidays in 2009 with game-changing industry firsts, from the unique seven-neighbourhood concept to the iconic AquaTheater performance venue, will undergo a bow-to-stern transformation in 2019 and become the first Royal Amplified ship to sail from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, starting in May 2020. Oasis of the Seas will transport guests to the clear blue waters of The Bahamas all summer with 7-night itineraries, as well as a select number of short cruises north to New England and Canada.

Adventure of the Seas will return to Cape Liberty, sailing a variety of 5- and 9-night summer and autumn itineraries to Bermuda, New England and Canada, The Bahamas and the Caribbean. Guests can extend leaf peeping season on Vision of the Seas, which will offer three 10- to 11-night open-jaw itineraries between Bayonne and Quebec City with an overnight in Quebec’s capital – a UNESCO World Heritage treasure and North America’s only fortified city.

Symphony of the Seas and sister ship Harmony of the Seas, the ultimate family ships, will return to Port Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida, respectively, offering 7-night itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Both ships will feature visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay, the ultimate destination for thrill and chill, on nearly all sailings.

Brilliance of the Seas will light up Boston in the autumn, sailing 7- to 10-night cruises to Canada starting in September 2020, while Grandeur of the Seas continues to offer 9-night itineraries to Canada and New England for autumn foliage from her year-round homeport in Baltimore, Maryland. Grandeur will embark on a combination of 5- and 9-night itineraries to Bermuda and The Bahamas in the summer months, and transition to 9-night Southeast Coast & Bahamas and 12-night Southern Caribbean cruises for the winter.

In 2020, San Juan, Puerto Rico will welcome what will be the newly modernised Freedom of the Seas. The largest ship to ever homeport in San Juan will return for the third consecutive year to sail 7-night itineraries year-round throughout the Southern Caribbean, travelling beyond the typical getaway to exotic destinations like Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; St. Johns, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia and Bridgetown, Barbados. Rounding out the 7-night Caribbean offerings is Liberty of the Seas, which will continue to sail from Galveston to the Western Caribbean ahead of her own highly anticipated amplification in early 2021.

Memory-making Moments: Short Caribbean

No stranger to Perfect Day at CocoCay, two of Royal Caribbean’s Amplified ships – Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas – will continue to elevate short Caribbean getaways all year with 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday itineraries to The Bahamas. Reimagined in 2018, Mariner will continue to sail from Port Canaveral in Orlando, Florida, while an amped up Navigator will remain a resident of Miami, sailing from the cruise line’s state-of-the-art Terminal A. Navigator will be the third ship to be reimagined in February 2019, building on the successes of the brand’s Royal Amplified fleet modernisation program to incorporate a lineup of firsts and Royal Caribbean favourites with new experiences, including an awe-inspiring Caribbean poolscape, two daring waterslides – introducing the longest aqua coaster at sea – the first blow dry bar in the industry, elevated nightlife and dining, and thrilling activities.

Sharing the Texas-sized spotlight, Enchantment of the Seas will, for the first time from Galveston, offer a lineup of sailings to Perfect Day at CocoCay for adventurous guests who want to wrangle first-time experiences that will top any bucket list. Enchantment will continue a mix of 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean sailings in the summer, perfect for short getaways and first-time cruise guests.

Fresh Adventures & Discoveries: Europe

Longtime New York resident, Anthem of the Seas, will make the journey across the Atlantic to Southampton, England returning for the first time in five years. Anthem is set to embark on her biggest adventure yet as the Quantum Class ship visits coastal towns along the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Canary Islands, on 8- to 14-night itineraries. Modernised in 2018, Independence of the Seas will return to Southampton for the season and sail 7- to 14-night cruises around the Norwegian Fjords, Canary Islands and North Africa, Scandinavia & Russia, and Italian Mediterranean, including new destinations Agadir, Morocco and Ponta Delgada in Portugal’s Azores archipelago in the mid-Atlantic. Guests can also revel in the beauty of the Baltic with a 14-night itinerary – a first for a Freedom Class ship – featuring an overnight in Copenhagen, Denmark and two nights in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Royal Amplified will reach the far corners of Europe as Allure of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas debut multimillion-dollar modernisations as they journey across Europe for the 2020 summer and autumn seasons to rediscover legendary landmarks, charming coastlines and the diverse cultures. Allure of the Seas will be the first Royal Amplified Oasis Class ship in Europe, offering 7-night Western Mediterranean itineraries that depart from Barcelona. From Rome, the reimagined Explorer will offer a mix of 7- to 12-night sailings along the Greek Isles, uncovering storied temples, amphitheatres and villages.

Vision of the Seas will join Allure in Barcelona for the summer and autumn seasons to offer guests 12-night cruises across the Mediterranean, as Rhapsody of the Seas returns to Venice, Italy for the summer to offer shorter itineraries, alternating between Greece & Croatia and the Greek Isles. Copenhagen will welcome Jewel of the Seas for the season, as the ship sails a mix of 7-night itineraries through the Norwegian Fjords and Scandinavia & Russia. Brilliance of the Seas will return to Amsterdam for a third summer, sailing 12-night Baltic itineraries and a special 12-night sailing around the British Isles. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, adventurers can board Brilliance for a 15-night artic crossing as the ship repositions from Amsterdam to Boston, Massachusetts.

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Posted in Cruise News, Royal Caribbean International

ITV’s ‘The Cruise’ To Return To TV Screens In January

ITV have confirmed that the sixth series of ‘The Cruise’ will air on a weekly basis from Thursday 3 January at 8:30pm. The six-part documentary was filmed on the 3,560-guest Majestic Princess cruise ship as she sailed to Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Throughout this latest series, according to ITV, viewers will be introduced to a number of new faces including Captain Dino Sagani, a fourth-generation captain who has worked for Princess Cruises for 25 years. He has served as captain on several Princess ships since first being appointed in 2007. Majestic Princess holds great personal importance to him as it was built in Monfalcone, Italy just a few miles north from his hometown of Trieste.
 
ITV say some familiar faces will also take centre stage including Newcastle-born Hotel Services Engineer, Scott Grayson. As well as being filmed helping maintain the 143,000-tonne ship, Scott is seen offering a glimpse into his preparations for heading home to begin a whole new adventure of his own – as a father to a new born baby girl.


Providing the voiceover for the series is actor Anthony Head, who is internationally known for playing Rupert Giles in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and for his role as Geoffrey Howe in Oscar winning film, The Iron Lady.

The Cruise is made by Wild Pictures, one of the UK’s leading factual documentary makers, who also produced the previous five series.

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ vice president UK and Europe, said: “We’re delighted that Princess Cruises will once again feature in The Cruise series on ITV, which offers viewers a wonderful glimpse into the wealth of experiences for our guests both onboard and ashore, and the daily lives of our dedicated crew. We can’t wait for the series to transport viewers to exotic Asia and the stunning landmark locations of Australia and New Zealand on Majestic Princess.”

Join the conversation on social media via #TheCruise

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Posted in Cruise News, Princess Cruises

Largest Carnival Cruise Line Ship Ever Constructed To Be Named ‘Mardi Gras’

In a nod to Carnival Cruise Line’s rich history as America’s Cruise Line, the line has announced that it will name its new XL-class ship to be delivered in 2020 Mardi Gras, bringing back to the fleet the name of the first Carnival Cruise Line® ship that entered service in 1972 and started the wave of cruise vacation popularity in the United States.

In keeping with its tradition of fun, Carnival revealed the name to a nationwide television audience on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune on its signature Puzzleboard at the conclusion of the broadcast.

Mardi Gras will be the largest Carnival Cruise Line ship ever constructed and the first in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s green cruising platform.  At 180,000 tons, the new Mardi Gras will be more than six times the size of its namesake.

Currently under construction at Meyer Turku in Finland, the 5,200-plus lower berth vessel will offer a variety of never-before-seen innovations and attractions.

Itineraries for Mardi Gras will be announced in January and go on sale later that same month.

The original 27,000-ton TSS Mardi Gras, a converted trans-Atlantic ocean liner  purchased by entrepreneur and Carnival founder Ted Arison, ushered in the modern-day cruise industry when it set sail on its inaugural voyage in 1972, helping to transform cruising from an experience once reserved for the elite into a mainstream vacation accessible and affordable to everyone.

“Our first ship Mardi Gras was a historic vessel, introducing a brand new style of cruising to the vacationing public. What better way to pay tribute to our company’s nearly 50-year history of creating wonderful vacation memories than by naming this groundbreaking vessel after our original and beloved ‘Fun Ship,’” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “The new Mardi Gras will follow the trailblazing lead of her predecessor, introducing features and technological innovations that have never been seen before on a cruise ship while setting a new standard for seagoing vacations.”

Carnival previously announced that the ship will be based in Port Canaveral, Florida, which will feature a new state-of-the-art terminal.  A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.

I am looking forward to seeing this ship complete as the original Mardi Gras was built in Newcastle upon-Tyne, which is where I am from. She was built as RMS Empress of Canada in 1960 and her name was changed to Mardi Gras in 1972 when she joined the Carnival fleet.

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Posted in Carnival Cruise Lines, Cruise News

Celebrity Edge Is Named By Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai.

After more than four years of limitless passion and hard work by thousands of engineers, architects, artisans, designers and crew, Celebrity Cruises has set sail into a new era. Celebrity Edge officially joined the fleet after a moving ceremony on 4 December where the ship’s godmother, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, was joined by all on-board to “bless this ship and all those who sail upon her.”

The naming event brought together more than 3,000 guests, employees, crew members and students to commemorate the debut of Celebrity Cruises’ first new ship in six years, and first new ship series in more than a decade.

Yousafzai, who is now a student at Oxford University, is the inspirational co-founder of Malala Fund, which advocates for a world where every girl can learn and lead by investing in local education activists, holding global leaders accountable and amplifying girls’ voices around the world.

She discussed those issues before the ship’s crew and guests in a one-on-one interview with Celebrity Cruises’ president and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. From girls’ education to the power of diversity, both share a profound passion and commitment to these important topics.

Celebrity Cruises is proud to partner with Malala Fund and support them in their mission to see the 130 million out-of-school girls around the world get the 12 years of free, safe, quality education they deserve.

“I’m fighting to ensure millions of girls stuck in situations of poverty or war that they didn’t create can learn what they need to choose a future for themselves. But to continue making progress for girls’ education, we need support from leaders in every sector. I am so grateful to Celebrity Cruises for their generous support and investment in the potential of girls everywhere,” said Malala Yousafzai, co-founder of Malala Fund.

At the naming event, hosted by noted designer Nate Berkus, emotions ran high when acclaimed recording artist Andra Day took to the stage for empowering renditions of her Grammy-nominated single “Rise Up” and Oscar-nominated “Stand Up For Something.” Both anthems were chosen for their bold statements about the power of girls’ education and its role in shaping the future.

Foregoing the traditional champagne bottle at the launch, instead the naming ceremony saw a custom-made 18-litre bottle of Badoit French mineral water smashed across the ship’s Parabolic Ultra Bow. The ship’s long-awaited inaugural season will now get underway, sparking a revolution in the cruise industry, with the ship’s cutting-edge design and first-at-sea offerings.

Celebrity Edge will begin her inaugural season sailing alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries before transporting guests to the stunning vistas of the Mediterranean with a range of seven- to 11-night sailings from the iconic cities of Barcelona and Rome in 2019. Sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Celebrity Edge will make her first maiden voyage on 9 December 2018. Building on Celebrity Edge‘s incredible momentum, she’ll be joined by Celebrity Apex in 2020, and two additional sister ships in 2021 and 2022.

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Posted in Celebrity Cruises, Cruise News

Cunard Launches NEW Holistic Spa Concept

Inspired by the ocean and seamlessly blending natural beauty and timeless luxury, Cunard has announced the launch of its brand new holistic spa concept, Mareel.

Co-created by Cunard and wellness trailblazer Canyon Ranch, Mareel Wellness & Beauty will launch exclusively on board the newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth this December, closely followed by Queen Victoria later in the month and on board Queen Mary 2 from November 2020.

The word ‘Mareel’ is from old Norse language meaning ‘phosphorescence of the ocean’. This description of glowing light from the sea perfectly reflects our new ocean inspired wellness and beauty experiences that will leave guests feeling radiant, from the inside out.

Mareel will offer a brand new luxury space decorated in hues of blue, green and pale coral, creating a sanctuary of calm where guests can soak up the transformational power of the oceans.  Brand new facilities offered by Mareel on board Queen Elizabeth will include:

  • A new couples suite for seaweed bathing rituals
  • A meditation room with acoustic resonance loungers
  • A reconfigured multifunctional fitness centre and studio space
  • New sound therapy facilities in every treatment room

While Cunard sets the standard in maritime luxury, the spa and wellness treatments and expertise will be offered in partnership with Canyon Ranch, with a brand new and extended spa treatment menu featuring mineral-rich seawater and marine based experiences to transform and heal.

Luxury products used within the new Mareel spa have all been selected to offer the very best and meet socially responsible production techniques, with organic treatments featuring ingredients that are sustainably harvested, wild-picked, biodynamic and toxin-free.

The signature treatment of the Mareel spa is ‘Ocean Discovery’, offering the option to combine up to five treatments, or select individual 30 minute treatments if preferred.  Using luxurious marine based products from VOYA which are sustainably harvested from Western Ireland, Ocean Discovery aims to leave guests feeling revitalised and illuminated from the glow of the ocean.

Extending the offering of Mareel beyond the spa space, enhanced wellness experiences will also be offered across the ship’s daily activity programme including stretch and meditation films on stateroom TVs every morning, wellness seminars, activities on deck such as dance and open air yoga.

The new Mareel Wellness & Beauty experience is just one offering following a refurbishment of Queen Elizabeth during a two week period in dry dock in Brest, France.  In addition to the new Mareel spa, many of the guest public areas have been updated and all Grill Suites and Britannia Staterooms have new carpets and soft furnishings. The Royal Court Theatre has had a complete technical overhaul and several public rooms, bars and lounges have also been refitted with new carpets. Outside on deck there is new furniture and the aft sun deck has a new layout.  Finally a fresh shopping experience has been created in The Royal Arcade.

2019 is an important year for Queen Elizabeth. 3 January will see her set sail from Southampton to Australia via Cape Town,  South Africa.  She will be based in Australia until 30 March 2019, then depart for Tokyo, Japan for two voyages exploring the cultural delights of the islands. On 5 May 2019 she will start a transpacific voyage to relocate to Alaska for a maiden season until 30 June 2019. Queen Elizabeth will then head back to Southampton via the Panama Canal.

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Posted in Cruise News, Cunard Cruise Line

Regal Princess Prepares For Princess Medallion

Princess Cruises has announced that it is now preparing Regal Princess as the second ship fully activated with Princess MedallionClassTM experiences that are currently delivering enhanced and personalised cruise holidays to guests onboard Caribbean Princess.

Regal Princess will be fully activated for her Caribbean Season starting February 17,2019. The Princess OceanMedallion, included complimentary, is a wearable device that elevates the guest experience by delivering enhanced experiences and personalised service resulting in high guest satisfaction scores.

Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and recently honoured with a CES® 2019 Innovation Award, the OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that delivers personalised service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.

Princess MedallionClass vacations offer guests a portfolio of experiences specifically designed to enhance their cruise vacation, including:

  • Fast ship boarding with OceanReady™ – guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile have a personalised check-in process that starts their vacation with ease. Personalisation starts pre-cruise by guests becoming OceanReady while at home.
  • On demand beverage delivery: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks using OceanNowTM and have them delivered directly to them throughout the ship and even in their stateroom.
  • The best Wi-Fi at sea: MedallionNet™ is fast, reliable, affordable and unlimited. MedallionNet provides land-like speeds that allow guests to stay connected from anywhere on the ship including staterooms which are each equipped with a Wi-Fi access point.  With MedallionNet guests easily share vacation experiences with friends and family back home, stream TV shows, movies and sports events, and even make voice and video calls.

Other innovative features of the Princess MedallionClass experience include:

  • Keyless Stateroom Entry: Access to staterooms is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated and the door automatically unlocks with personalised greetings displayed on the door portal.
  • OceanCompass™: OceanCompass leverages the Princess Medallion to enable point-to-point wayfinding through-out the ship. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.
  • MedallionPay™: An easy to use payment feature, enabling crew members to focus on meaningful guest interactions.
  • OceanCasino™: On smart devices and select portals, guests can wager real money on games, including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.
  • OceanViewTM: Guests can stream more than 100 hours of award-winning Ocean Original travel shows to their smart device anywhere on the ship at no cost – content which airs nationally on weekends on ABC and NBC.
  • PlayOceanTM: On portals located throughout the ship, guests play family games, including trivia, word jumble, a matching game and Ocean Treks Adventure – an interactive, ship wide digital scavenger hunt. PlayOcean also transforms guests’ mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the massive Movies Under the Stars screen. And, guests can enjoy big screen interactive fun with Games Under the Stars where players enjoy arcade and trivia fun on our “Movies Under the Stars” screen.

Princess MedallionClass experiences activate a travel industry first on an Experience Internet of ThingsTM (xIoTTM) platform using a guest-centric approach that helps maximise a cruise vacation in real-time based on guests’ choices and preferences. The result delivers enhanced personalisation on a large scale across every aspect of a cruise vacation.

The OceanMedallion was first unveiled by Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald at CES 2017 and was a key factor in Fast Company recognising the corporation with two Innovation and Design Awards that same year.

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Posted in Cruise News, Princess Cruises

Crystal Cruises Announces Voluntourism Adventures For 2019

Continuing its tremendously popular “You Care. We Care.” voluntourism adventures into the new year, Crystal is unveiling more than two dozen voluntourism experiences for its 2019 ocean voyages.

Offered on most Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sailings, as well as select Crystal Esprit itineraries in the West Indies, the complimentary excursions invite both guests and crew members to give their time and energy to dozens of worthwhile causes around the world. Following its debut in 2011, Crystal’s “You Care. We Care.” programme has garnered great interest from travellers seeking to connect with destinations on a deeper level, offering visits to some organisations once a year and others visited on multiple voyages, building goodwill and relationships.

The spirit of hospitality is at the heart of Crystal’s “You Care. We Care.” programme, reiterating the company’s commitment to the respectful treatment of the oceans and communities in which it travels. Each programme selected is carefully vetted by Crystal. The criteria for selecting the activities that are part of the experience on each “You Care. We Care.” adventure involve identifying those at which participants can make an immediate positive impact. The organisations determine their greatest needs and then the Crystal team works closely with them on how they would like Crystal to be involved.

The contribution of guests and crew is that of time and care, with no financial obligations requested or required. Crystal also provides financial and other needed resources annually to many of the charities visited during “You Care. We Care.” adventures benefiting the programmes and the people they serve.

For 2019, Crystal guests and crew can contribute to communities around the world with the following “You Care. We Care.” voluntourism excursions including:

  • Assisting at the San Francisco Food Bank, Clatsop Community Action Food Bank in Astoria and Mustard Seed Food Bank in Victoria.
  • Playing games, reading, dancing and participating in an array of other activities with the elderly and children at the Granitos de Paz Foundation in Cartagena.
  • Helping to feed the elderly at Mercy Kitchen in Belize.
  • Assisting with cleaning and caring for the animals at the Samui Animal Shelter in Koh Samui.
  • Getting an up-close look at the wildlife at Territory Wildlife Park and joining the conservation team in maintaining the park’s botanical gardens in Darwin.
  • Participating in tree planting conservation efforts to shelter the yellow-eyed penguins of Dunedin.
  • Assisting with gardening and other household duties at Domus Christi Home for the Elderly in Dubrovnik.
  • Assisting with meal preparation or recreational activities at Smile of a Child in Corinth.
  • Helping prepare food and create ceramic artwork with the disabled at the Pio Monte della Misericordia in Sorrento.
  • Learning about the conservation of marine life and participating in the theoretical rescue of a dolphin at the Rehabilitation Centre of Prat de Llobregat in Barcelona.
  • Assisting with the work at the Gallinas & Focas home for the mentally challenged, tending gardens and olive groves in Palma de Mallorca.
  • Assisting with grounds keeping at the historic Mount Stewart House & Gardens in Belfast.
  • Planting trees at the Heidmork Natural Reserve in Reykjavik.
  • Visiting the Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in St. Peter Port.

Its recommended that Crystal Voluntourism Adventures are pre-reserved in advance.

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