Spring has arrived and the weather warming up, so brides and grooms are beginning to look for different options and destinations to tie the knot. Cruise ship weddings provide an ideal opportunity for couples hoping to celebrate that special day either on the ocean or at an exotic port of call.
More than 2,600 couples each year exchange their vows on Carnival Cruise Line ships, and this year the line has completely revamped its wedding program, with upgraded amenities and new choices for flower arrangements, decorations and photography, as well as new culinary selections and a greater variety of on-island ceremonies. Some of the destinations include Grand Turk and Freeport, complementing Barbados, Grand Cayman, St. Thomas and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay. The “Just You & Me” package provides a ceremony for up to eight people starting at $1,355 and includes a bouquet and boutonniere, tiered wedding cake with keepsake wedding topper, photography service, champagne toast with keepsake flutes and an officiant (couples are also welcome to bring their own clergy).
There are also packages which can cater to larger groups, such as the “Time to Celebrate…Big!” program, which can cater to up to 20 guests and starts at $1,975. All of the amenities of the Just You & Me package are included, along with a one-and-a-half-hour reception, open bar, a selection of hot & cold hors d’ oeuvres and a custom-designed ice carving.
Holland America Line is also offering a variety of wedding services this season, as well as packages for anniversaries and vow renewals. Wedding cruise itineraries include a personalized ceremony with wedding coordinator services, flowers, cake, champagne, a photo album and a keepsake wedding certificate. Photography, music, receptions and pampering appointments can also be added to customize wedding cruise packages.
The programs are available on multiple ships in Holland America Line’s fleet and start at $999 for a simple ceremony for two for North America and Caribbean sailings, or $2,999 for European sailings.
Princess Cruises creates three different wedding itineraries for couples with varying styles. The first package is ideal for couples looking to tie the knot at sea, with a ceremony set in either the chapel or library, depending on the ship. The legal ceremony is performed by the captain, and the package includes a one dozen rose bouquet, boutonniere, 9-inch single layer wedding cake, a bottle of sparkling wine, two Princess logo champagne flutes and a keepsake wedding certificate.
There is also a program designed to cater to couples who may have non-sailing guests, with similar offerings as the sailing package. The ceremony is performed by a local officiant at the specific port of call. For guests looking to take the celebration ashore, there is also an itinerary that includes a beach, garden or glacier ceremony (depending on the port of call), bridal bouquet, boutonniere, specialty cake for two, a bottle of sparkling wine and a keepsake wedding certificate.
Tip: After the initial celebration is over, Princess Cruises also offers a new Honeymoon Wishes Registry, providing a way for friends and family to give newlyweds the gift of personal contributions to cruise fare, beverages, spa treatments, added shore excursions, and photographs.
Royal Caribbean has three different wedding packages for couples to select from, based on their personal preferences. The line’s “Royal Proposals Package” includes a personal event planner, day-of-event coordinator, and sets up a private location of the guests’ choosing. A photography service is optional.
Clients looking for a bit more of a lavish celebration can opt for the “Ultimate Love Story Wedding Package“, complete with priority check-in with pier-to-ship escort for the couple and all guests, a private wedding venue, officiant, photographer, three-tier wedding cake and musical accompaniment. The couple will also enjoy a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and a decorated honeymoon room, among other amenities.
For guests looking to say their vows in a more private setting, the “Just Us” package is ideal. There’s nothing extravagant or over the top with this program, which includes a simple private venue, non-denominational wedding officiant, keepsake wedding certificate, photography service, a bottle of Moet & Chandon and a mimosa breakfast-in-bed for any morning of the couple’s choosing.
Good to know: These packages charge an additional fee for photography service.
Norwegian Cruise Line offers up a variety of wedding packages for that special day. Wedding celebrations can be created on multiple ships sailing through for the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, Hawaii, Alaska or Europe.
Ceremonies can be celebrated with just the couple, or with friends and family, and the line’s wedding planners can also design for vow renewals and set up a honeymoon registry. Wedding photography packages, flower bouquets and boutonnieres, wedding cake choices and enhancements and décor can all be customized to the couple’s preferences. In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line also offers special group cruise discounts for guests booking eight or more staterooms for the ceremony.
The upcoming Carnival Vista, which is set to sail this May, will have a craft brewery through a partnership with Concrete Beach Brewery. Billed as the first brewery at sea in North America, The RedFrog Pub & Brewery will offer guests three craft beers brewed onboard.
The beers, which will be developed by Concrete Beach in conjunction with Carnival, are ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin’ IPA, ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat and FriskyFrog Java Stout. Concrete Beach is the company behind Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles and Coney Island Brewing Co. in Brooklyn, NY, among others.
Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, the line’s first new ship built for the China cruise market, also took a step forward with a preview of its onboard entertainment options.
The ship will sail with Two70, a multi-level greatroom that takes advantage of Vistarama — expansive floor-to-ceiling windows that can be set into any scene, real or imagined, by combining 18 projectors to create an ambient surface over 100 feet wide and over 20 feet tall — six agile Roboscreens and live performers to host technologically advanced performances. Spectra’s Cabaret, an original production by Royal Caribbean International and Moment Factory exclusively for Two70 (also on Anthem of the Seas), features the Maestro and his Agents of Rhythm as they invite the audience to an electric, multi-dimensional cabaret.
The main Royal Theater, which seats 1,300 guests, will host two shows. The Dream is the story of a man who is visited by his departed soulmate, who helps him rediscover his passion for life and gives him the will to pursue his wildest dreams and to find love again. Live. Love. Legs., from the team behind Sequins & Feathers on Quantum of the Seas, combines aerial acrobatics, choreography and vocal performances into an all-new production.
In addition to the main stages, the ship will also host late-night events and parties, as well as the opportunity for younger guests to interact with popular characters from DreamWorks Animation.
Also this week, Viking Ocean Cruises took delivery of Viking Sea, the line’s second ship. The delivery ceremony took place when the ship was presented at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy.
On April 3, Viking Sea will set sail from Istanbul and will make its way through the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic on its way to be officially christened on May 5 on London’s Thames River in Greenwich. Following the christening, Viking Sea will spend its maiden season sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, as well as the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.
Norwegian Cruise Line revealed today details on its new highly-anticipated premier Western Caribbean destination experience, Harvest Caye, Belize. Norwegian Cruise Line is developing Harvest Caye to feature an authentic Belizean environment that provides easy access to beautiful Southern Belize, coupled with luxurious amenities; a variety of eco-activities; the country’s only cruise ship pier for guest convenience and comfort; the opportunity for guests to easily depart to mainland Belize for the adventure excursion or cultural immersion of their choice; and much more.
This spectacular resort-style port of call, set to welcome guests in November 2016, will be the only port in Belize that features a cruise ship pier. Rather than having to spend time tendering to shore, guests will be able to walk off the ship and immediately step into paradise. Harvest Caye will offer guests the beauty and nature of Belize along with all that guests could desire from a tropical destination experience, and also serve as a gateway to the many eco and cultural adventures that lie in mainland Belize. Harvest Caye offers a large marina, where guests can depart for a wide variety of shore excursions to explore this rich destination, including spectacular Mayan ruins, river rafting, nature tours and more.
“Belize is one of the most ecologically and culturally rich gems in the Caribbean, and Harvest Caye will be the perfect destination for guests to experience all that the country has to offer in authentic, unique ways,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “There is so much to do on the island from the spectacular seven acre beach and watersports to interactive wildlife programs. Beyond Harvest Caye, we will strongly encourage our guests to explore Belize through the spectacular eco-adventure and cultural tours this incredible destination has to offer visitors.”
Harvest Caye’s seven acre pristine beach will be the heart of the destination, with white sand and crystal clear waters as the star. Guests who wish to enjoy the day in privacy can opt to rent one of the island’s 11 luxurious beach villas. These indulgent enclosed villas can accommodate up to 10 guests and are the ultimate beach escape, equipped with every comfort including air conditioning, dedicated lounge and dining areas, a private restroom, indoor and outdoor showers, hammocks, and exclusive dining and beverage options with dedicated concierge service so guests never have to leave the beach.
For those that prefer a resort-style experience, Harvest Caye will offer a tranquil, lushly landscaped pool area as the perfect retreat. The sprawling 15,000 square foot pool features a swim-up bar with stools and lounge tables right in the water, surrounded by elegant lounge chairs and umbrellas, along with 15 canopy pool cabanas. The plush pool cabanas, available for rent, feature upscale lounge furniture, privacy drapes and beverage service. A footbridge spans the center of the pool, with a soothing waterfall feature below.
Adventure will be in no short supply for guests who opt to spend their day on Harvest Caye, with the island featuring a 130 foot tall Flighthouse as the central area for a variety of aerial activities including zip lining, suspension bridges, free fall jumps, a tandem “superman” style zip line and stunning views of the verdant hills of the mainland. Harvest Caye’s zip line course will have more than 3,000 feet of zip line, allowing guests to soar through the air with a bird’s eye view of the island and the sea, with stops at three different platforms. To top off the adventure, the Flighthouse will include a challenging but fun ropes course located on a platform in the saltwater lagoon. For a lower adrenaline adventure, guests can also enjoy watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing in Harvest Caye’s shallow lagoon area.
In true Norwegian fashion, Harvest Caye will feature a myriad of dining and bar options, available à la carte. Guests will enjoy five dining and bar outlets that feature a variety of cuisines, including a two-story indoor/outdoor Landshark Bar & Grill. An expansion of Norwegian’s partnership with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, the Landshark Bar & Grill is sure to be an island favorite, with a scenic upper deck and a swim-up pool bar for the ultimate way to enjoy a “boat drink”. Those who want to indulge in authentic Belizean cuisine will be able to enjoy casual street style dining in the shopping village. Additional dining options will include the Laughing Bird Bar & Grill serving the beach, the Manatee Marina Bar & Grill in the marina, the Horse-Eye Jack Bar & Grill servicing the island’s cabanas as well as food and drink delivery throughout the pool area.
No port-of-call would be complete without superior shopping options, and Harvest Caye will offer a shopping village, which will feature popular name-brand retailers as well as items from local Belizean craftsmen.
Guests with an affinity for wildlife will marvel at Harvest Caye’s many opportunities for an up close encounter with this rich eco-destination’s local plants and animals. To learn about the native flora and fauna in this stunning destination, guests can participate in manatee observation tours at the lagoon to learn about the gentle giants; get up close and personal with endangered Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, Belize’s national bird, in the island’s Aviary; wonder at the striking beauty of insects at the Butterfly Garden; and learn more about and view Belize’s indigenous reptiles such as boa constrictors at the educational center. Harvest Caye’s conservation programs and education efforts were developed by award winning author and wildlife expert Tony Garel, the destination’s Chief Naturalist. He will lead many of the island’s educational tours and be available to chat with guests about the incredible array of wildlife in Belize. The island’s aviary will also house a breed and release program for Scarlet Macaws, in an effort to increase the population of the native birds. Harvest Caye features a cornucopia of native plants and trees that all play a part in the destination’s eco-system. To help further the island’s conservation efforts, more than 10,000 new mangroves have been planted throughout the island, serving to increase the natural estuary system that serves as a critical habitat for birds, young fish and other marine species.
Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy Harvest Caye beginning November 2016 on Norwegian’s Western Caribbean itineraries, and on Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ sister brands Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, which will also offer calls at Harvest Caye on select Caribbean sailings.
Chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri, whose Guy’s Burger Joints are on Carnival Cruise Line ships, has expanded his seagoing culinary offerings with a new authentic smokehouse and barbecue venue aboard Carnival Magic, said Carnival in a statement.
Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse is a casual open-air eatery located on Carnival Magic’s Lanai on Promenade Deck featuring a wide variety of BBQ favorites smoked right on board over hickory and cherry wood using Guy’s signature recipes, rubs and spices, according to Carnival.
Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse features a traditional wood smoker which was installed onboard as part of a recent dry dock. Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse also features Fieri’s own unique take on traditional side dishes with deliciously creative offerings like Mac Daddy Mac n Cheese, Old Skool Potato Salad, Scratch-Made Slaw, Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey, and Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon and Burnt Ends. All items at Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse will be available free of charge.
Commented Fieri, “Everyone knows that it takes the finest meats cooked ‘low and slow’ to create truly righteous mouth-watering barbecue. My new ‘Pig & Anchor’ eatery on Carnival Magic is gonna be off the hook! Be sure to grab lots of napkins — it’s gonna get messy!”
“Guy has been a wonderful partner and we can’t wait for our guests to enjoy all the incredible offerings at his Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse which we’re sure will be a huge hit with Carnival Magic guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Open sea days from noon to 2:30 p.m., Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse is part of Carnival Magic’s extensive multi-million-dollar renovation.
Royal Caribbean has announced its 2017 and 2018 Caribbean cruise itineraries.
Harmony of the Seas, the first in a new generation of Oasis-class ships that incorporate some of the tech-friendly amenities of the cruise line’s Quantum-class vessels, will sail its first summer season to the Caribbean. In 2017, Florida will be home to the three largest cruise ships in the world year-round: Harmony and Allure of the Seas in Ft. Lauderdale, and Oasis of the Seas in Port Canaveral. Repositioned to Central Florida from Port Everglades Cruise Port and offering access from Greater Orlando, Oasis of the Seas will sail a new seven-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary in 2017 that calls on ports including Nassau, The Bahamas. Recently launched Caribbean shore excursions include jeep tours to Mayan ruins in Cozumel, Mexico flyboarding in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and a new Royal Extreme Challenge ropes course in Falmouth, Jamaica.
Following multimillion dollar revitalizations in 2016, Adventure of the Seas will sail from Puerto Rico to the Southern Caribbean on seven-night itineraries, and Liberty of the Seas will remain in Galveston, Texas, in 2017, offering a variety of seven-night sailings to the Western Caribbean.
Royal Caribbean has also released some of the highlighted ports of call for its 2017 and 2018 Caribbean season:
Belize City, Belize – Guests can embark on Liberty of the Seas and go from Galveston, Texas, to hiking in the rainforest, cave-and-river tubing, bird watching and exploring Mayan ruins. From the top of El Castillo, one of the tallest Mayan structures in Belize at 130 feet, travelers will be able to take in the lush rainforest of Peten, Mayan Mountains and even see across the border into Guatemala.
CocoCay, Bahamas – Reserved exclusively for Royal Caribbean guests, this 140-acre tropical destination was awarded a Gold-Level Eco-Certification by Sustainable Travel International for its environmentally friendly activities and nature tours. The destination is featured on many of the fleet’s Caribbean itineraries, including recently revitalized ships Majesty of the Seas sailing from Port Canaveral and Enchantment from the Seas sailing from Port of Miami.
San Juan, Puerto Rico – A home port for Adventure of the Seas and a port of call for ships like Harmony of the Seas, guests can enjoy the opportunity to explore the El Yunque Rain Forest, featuring more than 240 species of trees and what was once believed to be the Fountain of Youth.
George’s, Grenada – This unique island offers lush vegetation, mountainous terrain, colorful colonial architecture and a picturesque port. Travelers can choose a guided tour of one of the local rum distilleries or spice estates and try a traditional Grenadian dish, such as callaloo soup, whether sailing from Florida or Puerto Rico.
With 2016 officially underway, Wave Season is kicking into high gear with new cruise offers from Norwegian Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, Seabourn, Oceania Cruises and Silversea Cruises. We’ve rounded up the latest packages and deals you need to know.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Free at Sea” Deal
In conjunction with the cruise line’s new brand campaign, “Feel Free,” Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a new “Free at Sea” deal, which gives guests who book a new cruise vacation through April 10 up to $1,600 in added benefits.
Guests who book a new five-day or longer sailing in any category stateroom on sailings more than 30 days prior to departure can select their preference of four offers, including a free Ultimate Beverage Package, a free Specialty Dining Package, free $50 per port shore excursion credits in up to four ports, or a free 250 minute Wi-Fi package. Guests who book a suite or The Haven by Norwegian will enjoy all four free offers.
Guests who book a new seven-day inter-island Hawaii cruise more than 30 days prior sailing through April 29, 2017, aboard Pride of America in any stateroom category will be able to select one of four offers to enhance their cruising experience, including a free one-night pre-cruise hotel stay, a free Specialty Dining Package, free pre-paid gratuities for the first and second guest in the stateroom, or a free $50 per port shore excursion credits in up to four ports. Guests who book a suite aboard Pride of America will receive all four offers.
“Book Now” Savings From Crystal Cruises
In luxury news, Crystal Cruises is offering special Wave Season savings for guests who book by the line’s February 29 “Book Now” deadline. Two-for-one cruise-only “Book Now” fares start from $1,485 per person, representing a savings of up to $5,435 per person. Additionally, limited-time Book Now Savings between $400 and $4,550 per person are also available. Guests booking by February 29 can also enjoy:
- Exclusive Crystal Society savings of up to $5,435 per person for returning Crystal guests; plus, additional New-to-Crystal Savings of up to $4,350 per person for our first-time cruisers on the line’s Full World Cruise
- Complimentary select fine wines, champagne and premium spirits.
- Complimentary gratuities for all dining, bar, housekeeping and Penthouse butler staff.
- Complimentary evening of specialty restaurant dining at least once in Silk Road or the Sushi Bar celebrating the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa, and at least once in Prego. Additional reservations or visits are available for a fee.
- Complimentary enrichment via the Creative Learning Institute and the Computer University@Sea with classes in diverse topics such as world affairs, art, wine appreciation, digital photography and iPad filmmaking; free Wi-fi and Internet access.
- Complimentary fitness programs with classes in yoga, mat Pilates, Spinning and more
Seabourn’s 2016 Signature Savings Event
Seabourn just announced its 2016 Signature Savings Event, offering savings and a variety of value-added amenities on a selection of voyages throughout 2016 and 2017.
- Reduced deposits
- Complimentary veranda suite upgrades
- Additional savings of up to 15 percent on Combination Voyages
- $1,000 per suite shipboard credit for penthouse and premium suites
- $200 per suite shipboard credit on select Europe voyages
Seabourn’s Signature Savings Event applies to select worldwide cruises in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Antarctica and Patagonia, Atlantic Crossings, Arabia & India, Southeast Asia, Canada & New England, the Caribbean, and Australia and New Zealand.
On January 1, Oceania announced a new OLife Choice promotion, replacing the line’s OLife Early Booking Advantage program.
The OLife Choice promotion provides guests with a variety of complimentary amenities, including free unlimited Internet access and a choice of a beverage package, free shore excursions or a shipboard credit. The number of complimentary shore excursions offered and the amount of shipboard credit is dependent on the length of the cruise — ranging from three shore excursions or a $300 credit for voyages up to nine days to five shore excursions and $500 credit for sailings 14 days or longer. The promotion is valid for six months and is scheduled to conclude on June 30, 2016.
The OLife Choice program is offered on all sailings departing on or after April 25, 2016 and is available to all guests, regardless of suite or stateroom category booked.
Finally, Silversea is offering all-inclusive fares on featured Mediterranean and Africa voyages in 2016. Guests can enjoy the following all-inclusive package amenities:
- Roundtrip economy air travel and transfers
- Two-night pre-cruise hotel stay (for Mediterranean sailings)
- Three-night safari (for Africa sailings)
- Free Silver Shore Select excursions
- Free Wi-Fi (for all 2016 sailings to all regions of the globe)
The all-inclusive air, land, and sea packages are available for new bookings on three Silver Cloud voyages to Africa and the Indian Ocean, plus 30 Mediterranean cruises aboard Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, and Silver Spirit.
All-inclusive packages include a two-night pre-cruise stay at a deluxe hotel in the Mediterranean with transfers between airport, hotel and the ship (or for Africa voyages, a three-night safari in Kenya or South Africa), and roundtrip international economy airfare from over 50 gateways in the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, a business class air upgrade is also available from $999 for transoceanic flights each way for Mediterranean voyages and from $2,749 each way for Africa.
The Silver Cloud Africa and Indian Ocean voyages, departing November 18, December 6, and December 21, 2016, also include a three-night, pre- or post-cruise safari. From Mombasa, the safari includes air travel between Mombasa and Nairobi, one night at the Fairmont Norfolk hotel in Nairobi, and two nights at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club. From Cape Town, the safari includes one night at a deluxe hotel, two nights at a Kruger National Park lodge, and flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Game drives with safari guide, ground transfers, and some meals are also included. The all-inclusive package fare for the 18-day sailing from Dubai to Mombasa, departing November 18 with calls in Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Mumbai, Cochin, Maldives, and Seychelles, starts at $11,850 per person, double occupancy, and includes a post-cruise safari.
Guests may also choose their own airline and schedule with cruise-only fares on new bookings for these select voyages — and they will enjoy free Silver Shore Select excursions and free Wi-Fi. For example, cruise-only fares for a six-day voyage from Barcelona to Rome aboard Silver Spirit, departing April 26 to explore Sète, Sanary-sur-Mer, Monte Carlo, Livorno, and Olbia (Sardinia), start at $2,950 per person, double occupancy, with free shore excursions and free Wi-Fi included.
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced its deployment schedule for its summer 2017 North America, Bahamas and Bermuda itineraries, which go on sale December 22, 2015, for Latitudes Rewards guests and travel partners and on December 23, 2015, for all bookings.
For summer 2017 Norwegian will sail three ships in Alaska on itineraries ranging from seven to 14 nights. Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jewel will offer seven-day Glacier Bay and Sawyer Glacier itineraries, respectively, from Seattle, and Norwegian Sun will sail seven-day Alaska cruises alternating between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seward, Alaska.
New for summer 2017, Norwegian will offer three longer itineraries. On Norwegian Jewel, guests can choose from an eight-day Sawyer Glacier cruise from Vancouver to Seattle on May 5, 2017, with port calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Icy Strait Point, Alaska; Victoria, British Columbia; and a cruise to the Sawyer Glacier. Also on Norwegian Jewel, guests can sail on a 10-day Ultimate Alaska itinerary from Seattle to Vancouver on September 23, 2017. This itinerary begins with a cruise through the Inside Passage followed by calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, and Sitka, Alaska; Prince Rupert, British Columbia; plus a cruise to Sawyer Glacier and Glacier Bay.
Finally, the line will offer a 14-day Ultimate Alaska itinerary from San Francisco to Vancouver on Norwegian Sun, departing on May 15, 2017. This itinerary calls in Astoria, Oregon; Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, and Sitka, Alaska; Prince Rupert and Nanaimo, British Columbia; and cruises through Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, Sawyer Glacier and the Inside Passage.
Bahamas and Florida Cruises
The recently refurbished Norwegian Gem will sail seven-day Bahamas and Florida cruises from New York in 2017, from April 29, 2017 to August 26, 2017. This family-friendly itinerary includes visits to Orlando and the Beaches (Port Canaveral), Norwegian’s private island Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. Along with the addition of Sugarcane Mojito Bar and O’Sheehans Neighborhood Bar & Grill last year, Norwegian Gem also recently received interior enhancements including upgrades to fabrics, fixtures and carpeting in all specialty restaurants, bars, lounges, staterooms and suites.
For a shorter Bahamas cruise option, Norwegian Sky will offer three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas year-round from Miami departing Fridays and Mondays, with free unlimited beer, wine and premium spirits included. Ports of call include: Nassau, Grand Bahama Island, and Great Stirrup Cay.
Norwegian will continue its tradition of sailing from both New York City and Boston to Bermuda between April and October, 2017. Norwegian Breakaway will sail from New York City to Bermuda on seven-day cruises every Sunday from April 23, 2017, through September 24, 2017. From Boston, Norwegian Dawn will sail seven-day cruises, departing every Friday, from May 5, 2017, through September 15, 2017, as well as on October 20 and 27, 2017.
Canada and New England Cruises
Norwegian Gem will again offer two summer Canada and New England roundtrip cruises from New York City in 2017. These seven-day sailings on June 10 and June 24, 2017, call in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Bar Harbour and Portland, Maine.
During prime foliage season, Norwegian Gem will also offer alternating seven-day roundtrip cruises from New York City from September 2 to October 14, 2017, visiting four ports of call: Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Portland, Maine; and Bar Harbour, Maine or Boston, Massachusetts. Sailing from Boston, Norwegian Dawn will offer two seven-day, one-way Canada and New England cruises on September 22 and October 6, 2017, with calls in Portland, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Gaspésie and Saguenay (La Baie), Quebec; ending in Quebec City, Quebec. Norwegian Dawn will also offer two return seven-day cruises from Quebec City to Boston on September 29 and October 13, 2017, with an overnight in Quebec City, followed by calls in Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick; and Bar Harbor, Maine.
Norwegian’s summer 2017 Caribbean and European itineraries will be unveiled in early 2016.
Norwegian will continue to offer the Freestyle Choice promotions on cruises where guests get to select from a variety of amenities to enhance their cruise experience including Unlimited Beverage Package, Ultimate Dining Program, Free Wifi, and Shore Excursion Credits.
Seven new cruise ships are set to launch in 2016. From Holland America Line’s new Koningsdam to Seabourn Cruise Line’s Seabourn Encore, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the new vessels.
Holland America Line — Koningsdam
Set to launch in April 2016, Koningsdam will homeport at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL, sailing seven- to 11-day Caribbean voyages from November 2016 through March 2017. Beginning in November, the ship will offer nine-, 10- and 11-day Caribbean itineraries. A seven-day and nine-day holiday cruise departs on December 23 and December 30, respectively. The ship’s longer cruises showcase more ports in the region and include lesser-visited islands such as Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Jamaica, Martinique and St. Lucia. Two different seven-day itineraries offer six departures in January and February 2017. The first calls at Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private Bahamian island. The second route visits Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Mexico and Key West, FL.
In terms of amenities, the ship will offer a new BLEND winemaking program in collaboration with Washington State winery Chateau Ste. Michelle. Entertainment experiences will range from The Music Walk complex, which will include B.B. King’s Blues Club and the Lincoln Center Stage, to a new theater venue, The World Stage. The new ship’s Culinary Arts Center will offer farm-to-table dinners, and accommodations will range from solo to family cabins.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line –- Ovation of the Seas
The third ship in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class, the Ovation of the Seas will also launch in April 2016, homeporting in Sydney for the winter 2016-2017 season. Tech-focused onboard amenities will range from high speed Wi-Fi to the Ripcord by iFLY skydiving experience, the North Star aerial observatory, which offers 360-degree views more than 90 meters above the sea, and the Bionic Bar, where guests can place orders via tablet and watch as two bionic arms create a mixture in tune to the resident DJ without any human assistance.
The ship will also offer the Two70⁰ lounge, which gives guests the chance to enjoy 270-degree ocean view by day and a multimedia entertainment experience by night. In the SeaPlex indoor sports and entertainment complex, guests can enjoy bumper cars, a basketball court, roller skating and a circus school.
Viking Ocean Cruises –- Viking Sea
The second ocean-ongoing vessel from Viking, Viking Sea is also set to launch in April 2016. Like its sibling ship, the Viking Star, the ship will offer The Kitchen Table hands-on cooking experience, complimentary beer and wine at lunch and dinner, and some complimentary shore excursions.
Carnival Cruise Line — Carnival Vista
The newest ship from Carnival Cruise Line will set sail in May 2016, offering a schedule of European cruises through October. Following a transatlantic crossing, Carnival Vista will operate a pair of voyages from New York in November 2016 and then launch year-round Caribbean departures from Miami later that month.
When it debuts Carnival Vista will be the largest ship in the line’s fleet, offering a variety of features, including a suspended cycling experience called SkyRide, the line’s first on-board brewery and the first IMAX Theatre on a cruise ship. Several unique stateroom options, including the new Family Harbor accommodations and the Havana staterooms and suites, will be included as well.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line — Harmony of the Seas
The third ship in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class, Harmony of the Seas will also be the largest in Royal Caribbean’s fleet when it sets sail in July 2016.
The ship will include the Splashaway Bay interactive aqua park for kids, plus several amenities incorporated from the line’s Quantum class, such as the Bionic Bar, Virtual Balconies in many interior staterooms offering sea and port views, WOWBands with RFID technology and the high-speed VOOM Internet at sea service. Additionally, it will offer Grease as a new, full-blown Broadway production.
For dining, guests can enjoy specialty restaurants Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, Sabor Taqueria and Tequila Bar, and Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine.
The ship will sail its inaugural summer season in Europe on seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries calling on Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy. In November 2016, Harmony will arrive at its homeport of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, offering seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises — Seven Seas Explorer
In terms of luxury cruises, the Seven Seas Explorer will be the largest in Regent’s ship when it launches in July 2016. Accommodations on the all-suite, all-balcony ship will range from the top-tier Penthouse Suites to the Cape Cod-inspired Concierge Suites to the Superior Suites.
Situated on deck five, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub will debut a selection of treatments developed by Canyon Ranch in partnership with lifestyle and beauty experts Red Flower, premiering exclusively on Seven Seas Explorer before expanding across the fleet.
Regent’s signature steakhouse, Prime 7, will be aboard the new ship along with other restaurants, including Compass Rose and La Verada. Compass Rose will act as the ship’s main dining room, and Italian inspired dishes will be served at La Veranda using buffet-style during the day. At dinner La Veranda will become Sette Mari at La Veranda and will expose guests to a fine dining experience. The ship will also offer the line’s first culinary center, the Culinary Arts Kitchen.
Seabourn Cruise Line — Seabourn Encore
Modeled after Seabourn’s Odyssey-class ships and designed by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, the all-suite ship will be configured with one additional deck, new expanded public areas and is expected to carry 600 guests. In addition, every suite will have a private veranda.
The ship, which is set to sail in December 2016, will also include a new restaurant from Thomas Keller.
Celebrity Cruises has debuted its new Europe itineraries for 2017 and 2018 as part of its “Go Celebrity!” cruise lineup. The sailings, which are open for booking to Captain’s Club loyalty members, will open to the general public December 11.
Celebrity will have five ships in Europe for 2017 and 2018: Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Silhouette.
Celebrity’s newest ship, Celebrity Reflection, will sail the French, Italian and Spanish coastlines on a new 11-night “Best of the Western Mediterranean” sailing. The new itinerary offers four different stops in Spain; romantic Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Italy; and popular European destinations Nice (Villefranche), France and Gibraltar, United Kingdom; as well as an overnight stay in Barcelona.
Celebrity Equinox’s seven-night sailings will call at Cannes, France and the Amalfi Coast (Salerno), Italy, as well as Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy and Santorini, Greece. The ship will also debut a new port of call for the brand, Sète, France – known as a beach resort for its eight miles of beaches as well as a charming fishing town with canals similar to those of Venice. Throughout its Europe season, Celebrity Equinox will offer overnight stays in ports of call that can include Barcelona and Ibiza, Spain.
Celebrity Constellation will set out on a variety of new nine- and 10-night sailings that take guests to several Mediterranean destinations, including new ports of call for Celebrity: Monte Carlo, Monaco and Sète.
Signature Event Sailings
On one of Celebrity’s newest Signature Event Sailings, Celebrity Eclipse will takes guests to the French Open. This vacation includes VIP tickets to the men’s and women’s final matches.
Additional Signature Event Sailings will visit The British Open, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Cannes Film Festival.
In port, guests can take part in new, chef-hosted excursions. Vacationers can join one of Celebrity’s chefs on these “Chef’s Market Discoveries” and dive in to learn about the destination’s culture and cuisine as they visit local markets and shops to find the freshest ingredients available for that night’s exclusive dinner onboard.
Additionally, Celebrity Cruises’ Regional Destination Expert Ben Fogle has collaborated with the brand to create unique experiences for travelers. Guests can attend personal appearances and talks by Ben Fogle on select sailings, and take part in several shore excursions Fogle has helped to create, called “Ben Fogle’s Great Adventures.” These include Ben Fogle: Sicilian Gastronomic Tour, Ben Fogle: Croatian Adventure and more.
Onboard, guests can enjoy local performances ranging from Spanish Flamenco dancers to the traditional music, songs and dance of Scotland.
2017-2018 shore excursions include new “Uniquely Celebrity” experiences and more:
- Merchants in Venice – With this Uniquely Celebrity excursion, guests will have the opportunity to mingle with the locals and learn about Venetian cuisine at the colorful Rialto market.
- Paella Lunch at a Traditional Barraca – Foodies can enjoy learning about the roots of Valencia, Spain, as they set out to explore a local “barraca.”
- The Ultimate Greek Indulgence – Vacationers will board a private luxury boat on this “Celebrity Exclusive” and be whisked away to secluded coves and remote beaches.
- Walk in Peterhof Lower Park and Grand Peterhof Spa Hotel – During a visit to St. Petersburg, Russia, culture seekers will explore the palaces, fountains and gardens in the town of Peterhof, and then visit the grand Spa Hotel for some rest and relaxation with a traditional Russian water treatment.
- Treasure Hunt around Kronborg and Helsingor – On this “Family Tour Challenge” in Denmark, guests can experience the sights, tastes and sounds of North Sealand as they explore some of the area’s most notable landmarks, including Kronborg Castle – the setting for “Hamlet.”
Special Cruise Offer
To celebrate the new cruise lineup, Celebrity has launched a special “Go Big, Go Better, Go Best!” offer for nearly all of the brand’s 2017-2018 sailings. Guests who book an oceanview or higher stateroom and “Go Big” can enjoy a free perk from the choice of Classic beverage packages, unlimited Internet packages, gratuities or $150 to spend onboard. Vacationers even can choose to upgrade and “Go Better” to get their choice of two perks or “Go Best” and get all four perks, plus a Premium beverage package upgrade. Full details about this offer are available at celebritycruises.com/gobigbetterbest.
Celebrity will continue to reveal more of its 2017-2018 cruise vacations in the upcoming weeks.
All new bookings made through January 31, 2016 will receive one complimentary specialty dining during the cruise! Call 214-254-4980 to book your Celebrity Cruises vacation with CruiseOne.