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   Cruise Travel - Cruise News

Cruise Club is a free service, and when you join, you will begin receiving weekly updates including the latest cruise news and cruise specialsWelcome to this week's edition of Cruise News, the best place on the Web to find up-to-date information about cruises. To automatically receive Cruise News via email each week, join our Cruise Club.

For up to the minute news, stop by Cruise Talk anytime to post a message or find out what your fellow passengers and industry insiders are saying about a particular ship, cruise line or destination.


Cruise News - November 29, 2021

Princess Honors Women of The Explorers Club Serving as Godmothers of Enchanted Princess
Celebrating the inauguration of a new cruise ship is a time-honored, maritime tradition and Princess Cruises today announced details about the naming ceremony of Enchanted Princess, which is showcased in an original production entitled, "Our World, Enchanted," scheduled to broadcast globally at 1:00 pm PST / 4:00 pm ET on Dec. 13, 2021, on Princess Cruises' YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Hosted by Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan and Enchanted Princess Cruise Director Dan Falconer, the 45-minute show introduces viewers to the innovative features and amenities of the new MedallionClass ship and culminates in the official naming to welcome the ship into the Princess global fleet. It also honors three members of The Explorers Club who serve as the godmothers of the newest ship in the Princess fleet.

"This unique approach to the naming of Enchanted Princess honors our legacy of bringing people together and creating lasting memories on board our cruises by letting us share the excitement of the ceremony with more people than ever and giving Princess fans a more intimate look at our newest MedallionClass ship," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "It also allows us to recognize the contributions our godmothers – Captain Lynn Danaher, Dr. Vicki Ferrini and Jenifer Austin – have made to ocean conservation and stewardship, as the ocean provides our livelihood and serves as the home for our more than 25,000 employees who serve millions of guests while they explore the world on a cruise vacation with us each year."

Since its inception in 1904, members of The Explorers Club have traversed the earth, the seas, the skies, and even the moon, on expeditions of exploration. This multidisciplinary, professional society is dedicated to the advancement of field research, scientific exploration and resource conservation. The three godmothers of Enchanted Princess have been recognized for their achievements in expeditions, oceanography and mapping the oceans and they include:

Captain Lynn Danaher
Captain Danaher has been a United States Coast Guard Licensed Master and Dive Master since 1994. She is a founding member and president of the Pacific Islands Research Institute since 2008 and co-founder of the Friday Harbor Film Festival since 2013. She joined The Explorers Club in 2005 and has served as chair of the Pacific Northwest Chapter for two years and the Board of Directors for six years. She has completed eight Explorers Club Flag Expeditions. Captain Danaher is an officer of The Explorers Club, serving as Vice President: Mission Programming and Chair of the Headquarters Renovation Committee. She is also a licensed Contractor in the State of Hawaii.

Dr. Vicki Ferrini
After completing her PhD in Coastal Oceanography, Dr. Ferrini extended her research interests from the coast to the hidden deep-sea world. The majority of the global ocean is unmapped, unexplored and uncharacterized, and her work aims to help solve that. A Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Dr. Ferrini leads several efforts focused on making sure data are preserved and can be accessed by scientists and the public alike. She is committed to building a vibrant international community of collaborators, and works with colleagues around the world to help build bridges between people and the ocean through data. Dr. Ferrini joined the Explorers Club in 2021 when she was selected as one of the Explorers Club 50 – fifty explorers changing the world.

Jenifer Austin
Jenifer Austin spent nearly 14 years at Google, where she co-led the team that launched the first virtual map of the ocean in the company's consumer products Google Earth and Google Maps and also launched Underwater Streetview in Google Maps and Global Fishing Watch. She then started Oceanagenda.com to help bring together diverse groups to support holistic ocean conservation and stewardship. She is a scuba diver. A fellow of the Explorers Club (FN'14), she has served on the W40 Women's Committee, speaking as a part of the Women of the Deep and hosting a panel in its finale Pathfinders Symposium. Austin is a mother of two children.

"Our World, Enchanted" naming ceremony program includes appearances by newly appointed Princess Cruises President John Padgett, Group President Jan Swartz, Commodore Nick Nash and provides a look into the beautifully designed interiors, elegantly appointed accommodations, world-class entertainment, gourmet dining and craft cocktails available on Enchanted Princess.

The 145,000-ton, 3,660-guest ship represents an evolution of the design platform used for her sister ships – Royal Princess (2013), Regal Princess (2014), Majestic Princess (2017) and Sky Princess (2019) – offering an elevation of spectacular style and elegance that is distinguished by Princess. The ship's inaugural cruise season began Nov. 10, with various 10-day Southern Caribbean itineraries, sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale.

Notable features and entertainment offerings found onboard Enchanted Princess, include:

• Sky Suites – First introduced on Sky Princess (2019), the new luxury Sky Suites offer inclusive amenities, attentive service and a dedicated Suite Experience Manager, luxurious accommodations for up to five guests and a 1,000 square-foot balcony featuring 270-degree views from the cruise line's largest balcony at sea.

• 25 Bars & Restaurants – With extensive al fresco dining options, Enchanted Princess features Bistro Sur La Mer by Three Michelin Star Chef Emmanuel Renaut, Sabatini's Italian Trattoria with its own Pasta Room, Crown Grill Steakhouse and Bar, Crooners, Chef's Table Lumiere, Gigi's Pizzeria, The Salty Dog Gastropub, Gelato, three beautifully appointed Main Dining Rooms and more.

• Aquatic Relaxation - In addition to multiple hot tubs, Enchanted boasts two deep-tank pools, adjacent to the top-deck bar. At the ship's aft end, the infinity-style Wakeview pool and bar offer spectacular views of the horizon, while the Retreat Pool offers a quiet oasis.

• Fan Favorite Original Production Shows – First debuted onboard Sky Princess to rave reviews, Enchanted Princess showcases Rock Opera, featuring incredible costumes inspired by glamorous avant garde fashion with a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theater. In addition, 5-SKIES with its technologically enhanced production features a virtual gaming world, spectacular digital effects and acrobatics, intricate sets and contemporary music for one of the cruise line's most visually advanced shows ever.

• Take Five – First debuted on Sky Princess, Take Five showcases vintage footage, iconic imagery and intimate conversations that transport you to the heart of the jazz era. Guests can enjoy nightly live jazz while sipping cocktail favorites from Master Mixologist Rob Floyd and specialty gin cocktails crafted exclusively for Take Five.

Enchanted Princess also offers signature Princess venues and amenities including the Piazza, Lotus Spa, The Sanctuary, Movies Under the Stars, Princess Live!, Vegas-Style Casino, The Shops of Princess, Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center and Discovery at SEA programs.

Carnival’s BOLT Roller Coaster Recognized With “Best of What’s New” Award by Popular Science Magazine
Proving that the first roller coaster at sea is both fun and a feat of modern engineering, Popular Science magazine has recognized Carnival Cruise Line with its “Best of What’s New” engineering award for the innovation and design work that resulted in the July 2021 debut of BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea on board the line’s flagship Mardi Gras.

Since 1988, Popular Science annually reviews thousands of new products and innovations and chooses the top 100 winners across 10 categories. To win, a product or technology must represent a significant step forward in its category.

“Normal roller coasters use gravity to send thrill-seekers zooming and looping. But if you want to build a ride on a cruise ship—where stable, level ground is far from guaranteed—you have to get creative,” according to Popular Science.

“As you’re whipping around the Mardi Gras’ funnel while riding BOLT, I doubt many people are thinking about how we got the roller coaster built, but this recognition from Popular Science underscores the tremendous work that went into making this happen,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “While ultimately, we’re about providing new ways for our guests to have fun, we’re also honored and appreciative of this incredible recognition for our team.”

A marvel in maritime engineering, BOLT is an all-electric roller coaster encompassing an elevated track across Mardi Gras’ upper decks with 800 feet of exhilarating twists, drops and turns, including hairpin turn around the ship’s iconic funnel. Riders can achieve speeds of up to 40 miles per hour as they enjoy views to the sea 187 feet below.

Established in 1872, Popular Science is one of America’s oldest and most trusted magazine brands with a legacy of bringing readers groundbreaking innovations and discoveries.

Sister ships to Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee will also feature BOLT: The Ultimate Sea Coaster when they debut in late 2022 in Miami and in 2023 in Galveston, Tex., respectively.

Oceania Cruises Debuts Four New Private Dining Experiences
Oceania Cruises, the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, revealed four new culinary experiences for guests to enjoy in Privée, the private dining room aboard the line's acclaimed Marina and Riviera, as a part of its OceaniaNEXT program.

"We're the world's leading culinary-focused cruise line, so we never stop exploring, creating, and innovating. Privée has achieved almost legendary status over the years and is in great demand among our guests who are continually seeking not just new but celebratory dining experiences to enrich their travels," said Bob Binder, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Offering the most exclusive private dining experience at sea, Privée may be reserved for a single party of up to ten privileged guests per evening. Lavishly decorated with oversized white leather thrones, a one-of-a-kind custom-built table by famed architect Dakota Jackson set upon Ferrari-red carpeting and illuminated by a golden Venini chandelier, Privée transforms every aspect of dining into a sensory experience.

Privée now offers guests a total of five scintillating culinary experiences to choose from with a new Degustation Menu, Wine Pairing Menu, Best of Oceania Cruises Menu, Best of Polo & Toscana Menu and even an Executive Chef's Menu with a specially curated selection of gourmet dishes from the onboard culinary team.

A sampling of the Degustation Menu includes:

Amuses-Bouches

Soufflé au Fromage
Cheese Soufflé

Risotto de Homard
Lobster Risotto

Bar en Croûte et Sauce Beurre Blanc
Sea Bass Filet Baked in Puff Pastry Crust with Beurre Blanc

or

Filet de Bœuf Rôti, Sauce Périgourdine
Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Foie Gras and Truffle Sauce

Brie de Meaux aux Noix et Laitue
Nut-Crusted Brie de Meaux with Boston Lettuce Hearts

Mille-Feuilles aux Framboises
Raspberry Mille-Feuille Prepared Tableside

Petits Fours

A sample Executive Chef's Menu might include such delicacies as:

Amuses-Bouches

Potato Fritters, Servuga Caviar, Vodka-Lime Cream

Maine Lobster Ravioli, Vegetable Primavera, Basil Foam

Roasted Teriyaki Black Cod with Sesame-Togarishi Crust

Parmesan Crusted Beef Tenderloin, Mole Negro Demi-Glace,
Truffled Semolina Gnocchi, Glazed Butternut Squash

Chocolate Cecile

Petits Fours & Macaroons

The next phase of enhancements will be unveiled in the coming months, highlighting another new facet of the guest experience.

Original Stage Adaptation of ‘The Little Mermaid’ Headlines All-New Live Entertainment Exclusively Aboard the Disney Wish
Disney Cruise Line has unveiled new details about the two brand-new theatrical productions coming to its newest ship just days after the shows were first announced during a presentation by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro at Destination D23 on Saturday.

Setting sail in summer 2022, the Disney Wish will debut two original stage spectaculars in its state-of-the-art Walt Disney Theatre: an innovative, Broadway-style take on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “The Little Mermaid” and an embarkation day celebration helmed by Captain Minnie, Goofy and an all-star cast of Disney and Pixar characters. Up on deck, guests will rock out to an all-new pirate deck party complete with fan-favorite fireworks at sea.

Stunning Stage Shows at the Walt Disney Theatre

A hallmark of the Disney Cruise Line experience is the unparalleled live entertainment performed in the Walt Disney Theatre. On the Disney Wish, this elegant 1,274-seat show palace will evoke an enchanted forest inspired by scenes from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Fantasia,” with orchestra and balcony seating spanning three decks. The theater will be equipped with state-of the-art technology, including the most robust projection mapping capabilities of any Disney ship and a Dolby Atmos 3D audio system — a first for the cruise industry — to create a transformative theatrical experience rivaling anything on land or at sea.

A Treasure Retold – ‘Disney The Little Mermaid’

“Disney The Little Mermaid” will be an original Broadway-style stage adaptation of the renowned 1989 Disney Animation film developed exclusively for the Disney Wish. During this one-of-a-kind theatrical production, audiences will rediscover the iconic scenes, acclaimed music and beloved characters of “The Little Mermaid” while experiencing the story like never before.

In this modern-day retelling, the curtain will rise on an enchanted treasure chest at the moment it is discovered by a group of storytellers, led by a special young woman who has the power to unlock its magic. As they uncover the whozits and whatzits galore hidden within the trunk, the storytellers will take on the roles of Ariel, Ursula, Prince Eric, Sebastian, Flounder and more, bringing to life the immersive undersea world right before guests’ eyes. They’ll put their own contemporary spin on the timeless story of a young woman’s search for independence, love and a place in the world.

The creative minds at Disney Cruise Line have joined forces with a team of top Broadway talent to bring this treasured tale to life through an elaborate, whimsical and resonant storytelling experience that will offer audiences a brand-new way to be part of Ariel’s world.

“Disney The Little Mermaid” will feature innovative theatrical design, dazzling special effects, artistic choreography, and a reimagined script and score that will surprise and delight guests of all ages.

New orchestrations of favorite songs like “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and “Under the Sea” will enchant audiences with moving ensemble pieces and breathtaking production numbers. Unexpectedly playful scenic designs and state-of-the-art video projections will transform the Walt Disney Theatre into 360-degree undersea environment. Contemporary, interpretive costuming will reflect the show’s unique blending of a modern setting and a mystical, fantastical story. Cutting-edge puppetry will animate fantastical sea creatures and characters such as Sebastian, Flounder, Scuttle, and Flotsam and Jetsam in never-before-seen ways. “‘The Little Mermaid’ is a timeless story, one that transcends generations,” said Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony, vice president, creative and advanced development, Disney Live Entertainment. “Our hope is that this new stage adaptation aboard the Disney Wish continues that incredible legacy, not by simply reenacting the elements that make the original film so powerful, but by reinterpreting it in a way that resonates with the audience sitting in the theater each night.”

Caribbean Princess Welcomes Guests Back Onboard
Enthusiastic cruisers set sail today aboard Caribbean Princess from Ft. Lauderdale for a vacation to the Eastern Caribbean, marking the return to service of the next Princess Cruises ship.

The cruise ship is sailing on roundtrip voyages from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale to the tropical Eastern and Western Caribbean, visiting popular destinations such as St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Princess Cays, the cruise line's private island resort in the Bahamas. Seven-day cruises are combinable for 14-day Eastern and Western Adventurer voyages.

"Caribbean Princess marks our eighth cruise ship to return to service and our teammates are thrilled to be serving our guests back onboard," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "This ship was our very first vessel to offer the innovative Princess MedallionClass Experience and features modernized venues and newly imagined spaces like The Reef Outdoor Splash Zone that offers a tremendous setting for the entire family."

All guests sailing on Eastern Caribbean itineraries visit Princess Cays private island resort for a day of fun, sun, water activities and a beach BBQ, ranked among the "Top Cruise Line Private Island Destinations" by Cruise Critic. The island even offers cabanas with air conditioning and bar service. MedallionNet Wi-Fi featuring reliable and fast connectivity is also available on the island for cruisers who wish to take advantage of an oceanfront office for the day or to share photos and videos with friends and family back home.

Recently modernized to appeal to families of all sizes and age groups, Caribbean Princess immerses guests in the destinations the ship visits offering unique themed food and drink offerings. Camp Discovery, the youth and teen center, offers younger cruisers the opportunity to make new friends, hang out and engage in enriching activities.

Favorite family features onboard include The Reef Outdoor Splash Zone with shade, sun and water activities for the kids; Movies Under the Stars showcasing first-fun movies, sports events and more; and fine and quick-service dining options appealing to all tastes and preferences.

Princess Cruises delivers the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising featuring the world-class dining and entertainment Princess is renowned for, all elevated with the Princess MedallionClass Experience. On all ships in the Princess fleet, it begins with the Medallion™, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best WiFi at sea, as well as stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

Princess Cruises sailings are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. All vaccinated guests must also produce a negative, medically-observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings.

Stock Watch

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.16 - 10.67%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 69.89 - 11.83%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.88 - 22.81%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 20.22 - 12.09%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the last cruise ship completed for the Home Lines and what happened to her?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship sported two names (her official name and her marketing name) on her hull as she sailed the Caribbean and elsewhere during the mid-1990s?

Answer - I believe it was the Vasco de Gamma. The name on the bow still read this, but the brochure referred her as Seawind Crown. courtesy of Louy Lative, Portsmouth, UK.


Cruise News - November 22, 2021

Seabourn Ovation Arrives In The U.S. For The First Time Ever
Fresh from crossing the Atlantic Ocean, Seabourn Ovation made its maiden arrival in the U.S., sailing into PortMiami today. The 600-guest ultra-luxury ship will use Miami as homeport for a series of voyages exploring the Caribbean, Panama Canal and destinations in Mexico and Central America from November 2021 through March 2022.

"A first-time arrival is always special for any Seabourn ship, and Seabourn Ovation's first visit to the U.S. and Miami will be a great start to an exciting season for our newest ship amid the tropical beauty of the Caribbean and Central America," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Miami offers an easily accessible port for North American guests and those coming from Europe, so it will be a perfect getaway as winter settles in across those regions of the world."

Caribbean
Seabourn Ovation's Caribbean series will start with three 11-day Gems of the Leeward Islands voyages round trip from Miami in November and December 2021. The voyages will visit iconic destinations including San Juan, Puerto Rico; the hidden harbors of Dominica; St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda; Saint Kitts and Nevis; and the Great Harbour of Jost Van Dyke, the smallest of the main British Virgin Islands, which still looks as it likely did a century or more ago. Scheduled departure dates are November 18, November 29, and December 10, 2021.

Among many immersive experiences for Seabourn Ovation's guests to anticipate in the Caribbean is the line's popular Caviar in the Surf program, with uniformed team members plunging into the warm, clear waters and emerging with iced Champagne and caviar served via a surfboard bar. There will also be a guest-favorite Marina Day, complete with complimentary watersports available for guests to enjoy from a beach or the unique, retractable Marina platform on the stern of the ship.

Panama Canal and Central America
Following Seabourn Ovation's Caribbean voyages, the ship will explore the Panama Canal and Central America from December 2021 to March 2022. The first is scheduled to depart Miami on December 21, 2021 for a 21-Day Holiday Panama Canal sailing, with visits to Aruba and Curacao on its journey to the Panama Canal – followed by destinations along the Pacific Coasts of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico before arriving in Los Angeles on January 11, 2022. The 19-day return voyage, departing the same day, will include visits to Colombia and Jamaica, arriving at Miami on January 30, 2022.

Seabourn Ovation will then set sail to Central America with four voyages scheduled round trip from Miami starting on January 30, 2022. Guests will have ample opportunities to explore amazing tropical destinations and sites of historic and cultural wonder, including the remnants of ancient Mayan civilizations in Mexico, as well as Costa Rica, Belize and Panama. All of these voyages will also include a partial transit of the Panama Canal.

Upon completion of its Central American series, Seabourn Ovation will depart Miami one final time on March 27, 2022, bound for Europe on a 13-Day Atlantic Spring crossing, with arrival in Lisbon, Portugal on April 9, 2022. The ship will then return to the Canary Islands and visit Morocco and Tangier during a 14-day voyage bound for Monte Carlo and the start of its spring and summer season in Europe.

Like the rest of the Seabourn ships in the fleet, Seabourn Ovation maintains the line's high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service by close to one staff member for each guest on board. Designed by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, Seabourn Ovation features modern design elements and innovations in keeping with Seabourn's reputation for understated elegance.

Nieuw Statendam Returns to South Florida Cruising
Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, today on its first cruise since the industrywide pause last year. The ship marks the fifth Holland America Line vessel to reenter service, joining Rotterdam, Koningsdam, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam.

To commemorate the occasion, Holland America Line held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the terminal to open embarkation, and team members greeted guests with flag-waving fanfare as they boarded the ship. Nieuw Statendam set sail on a seven-day western Caribbean itinerary that will visit Nassau, Bahamas; Ocho Rios and Port Royal, Jamaica; and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's private island in the Bahamas.

Click to Tweet: .@HALcruises' Nieuw Statendam returns to South Florida #cruising today, kicking off its #Caribbean season. The Pinnacle Class ship marks fifth for the cruise line to reenter service.

"Today is another milestone in our return to service, with Nieuw Statendam starting operation just in time for Thanksgiving, and we have a lot to be thankful for this year that we're getting back in the water," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Today is a great day for Holland America Line, and our team members can't wait to welcome guests on board."

Nieuw Statendam will spend from November through April in the Caribbean on cruises ranging from seven to 11 days, all roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades. Guests looking for a longer getaway can embark on a Collectors' Voyage — combined back-to-back itineraries that offer an in-depth exploration covering more than one part of the region.

Every Caribbean cruise includes a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private Bahamian island. This quaint sanctuary has evolved into a tropical playground for cruise guests and features the white-sand beaches; two-story villas and private cabanas; delicious dining venues like Lobster Shack; a children's waterpark; and a variety of fun-filled tours for nature lovers, adventurous travelers and explorers.

Holland America Line has been homeporting from Port Everglades since the 1990s. Operationally, each ship visit contributes $364,000 directly to the local economy in provisioning (fuel, food, flowers, piano tuning, supplies, etc.), port taxes and spending. Holland America Line works with nearly 100 South Florida vendors who supply the company and its ships with goods and services.

Royal Caribbean Makes Hollywood Comeback
Royal Caribbean International is back in California after more than a decade, and it’s rolling out the red carpet for families and travelers of all ages looking to get away on a memorable vacation. The cruise line’s bold and adventure-packed Navigator of the Seas set sail from Los Angeles today, beginning its highly anticipated year-round season of 3-night weekend to 4- and 5-night weekday cruises to Catalina Island, California, and the Mexican Riviera.

Now cruising from the City of Angels, Navigator premieres the ultimate getaway that combines adventures ashore, in destinations like Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and on board – from the longest waterslide at sea to the industry’s first standalone blow-dry bar.

Guests who cruise on Navigator can enjoy a $115 million series of enhancements introduced on board the ship in 2019. There’s a star-studded lineup of never-before-seen experiences and fan favorites, including:

• Resort-style pool – Kids and adults alike enjoy Caribbean vibes from day to night, thanks to vibrant colors, a variety of seating – from in-pool loungers to casitas – live music, and the three-level poolside bar known as The Lime & Coconut.

• The Blaster – The longest aqua coaster at sea propels thrill seekers through more than 800 feet of dips, drops and turns.

• Riptide – The industry’s only headfirst mat racer waterslide joins The Blaster and Navigator’s lineup of top-deck thrills. A highlight, the exhilarating finish through a translucent tube that goes off the side of the ship makes for inspiring ocean views.

• To Dry For – The first standalone blow-dry bar at sea. For a quick fix to seamlessly transition from a day out to getting ready for a night out on the town, there is a menu of services that includes blowouts to hairstyling.

• The Bamboo Room – Royal Caribbean’s take on the tiki-chic bar and lounge serves up spice-infused handcrafted drinks and shareable bites.

• Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – Families can enjoy gameday classics, 50 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, classic arcade hits alongside bar bites, ice-cold beer and zero-proof cocktails for the kids.

• Adventure Ocean and teens spaces – Kids 11 and under have a redesigned venue that sports an open format made for free play and where young travelers can easily switch between types of activity. Teens have an enhanced dedicated space with games, movies, music and more in The Living Room and a private outdoor patio called The Back Deck.

• Royal Escape Room: The Observatorium – A challenge for teams of families, friends or fellow travelers to solve mind-bending puzzles before time runs out

Also new to Navigator as part of its major makeover are Hooked Seafood, serving up fresh New England-inspired dishes like just-shucked oysters, Johnny Rockets Express, Starbucks and Jamie’s Italian, with a menu of rustic Italian recipes – including fresh pastas – from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Many returning favorites take the stage as well, including the FlowRider surf simulator, rock climbing wall, the Studio B ice-skating rink, Far East flavors at Izumi and a new mini golf course.

The biggest, boldest vacation along the West Coast, Navigator features something for everyone to spend quality time together and on their own on a short getaway. And for vacationers looking to take more time off, they can choose from several 7-night sailings that visit beach-lovers paradises like Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, Mexico.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth Embarks on 17 New International Voyages in Early 2022
Cunard announces 17 new international voyages, sailing on Queen Elizabeth between February 20 and June 21, 2022.

Embarking on the new program in early 2022, Queen Elizabeth will visit 32 ports in 12 countries, spending time in the unparalleled beauty of Norway's fjords; island hopping in Spain and Portugal; cruising through the Mediterranean; and finally transiting the Panama Canal onwards to Alaska. The programme includes six overnight port calls and three late evening departures. Extended time in Tromso and Narvik offers the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. A call in Amsterdam on a four-night short break brings an opportunity to explore the city's UNESCO-listed canals by night. Other highlight calls include Genoa, Ibiza, Manzanillo, Grand Turk, San Francisco, before reaching the icy landscapes of Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park and Hubbard Glacier.

"We're thrilled to offer this exciting new Escapes Programme to guests who might long for a voyage that promises a sense of freedom, luxury and style," says Cunard President Simon Palethorpe. "For cruise afficionados or those enjoying their first taste of the vibrant and inviting world of Queen Elizabeth, together with our renowned White Star Service, this program has something for everyone."

Queen Elizabeth 2022 Escapes - Key Voyages

The Canary Islands (Q206N)
This 14-night escape will whisk guests to sun-filled shores and cities teeming with history. Stops in The Canary Islands, Cadiz and Lisbon are complemented by an overnight port call in Funchal, Madeira. Departs Southampton February 20, 2022.

Norway & Northern Lights (Q208N)
Timed to offer guests maximum potential of seeing the Northern Lights, this 12-night voyage will take them into the heart of Norway's fjords, pausing where the aurora borealis most often appears. Departs Southampton March 18, 2022.

Amsterdam (Q209P)
This four-night voyage from Southampton calls overnight in Amsterdam, giving guests the opportunity to experience the city's museums, galleries and canals by day and its highly rated nightlife after dark. Departs Southampton March 30, 2022.

Western Mediterranean (Q211P)v The enchanting old town of Dalt Vila in Ibiza and Rome's historic centre (from Civitavecchia) are two of the standout sights to savour on this 17-night roundtrip voyage, sailing from Southampton. Departs Southampton April 15, 2022.

Westbound Transatlantic Crossing (Q212N)
The Galician port of Vigo with its old town and 'golden mile of art', and an overnight stay in Port Canaveral are highlights to explore on this 12-night Transatlantic Crossing to Fort Lauderdale. Departs Southampton May 2, 2022.

Panama Canal & Alaska (Q212G)
This sensational 43-night voyage offers an itinerary to remember, whisking guests westbound across the Atlantic to the sand beaches of Grand Turk and Aruba, before revealing Alaska's tidewater glaciers. Departs Southampton May 2, 2022.

Paul Gauguin Cruises Announces 2023 Voyages
Paul Gauguin Cruises announces Paul Gauguin's new 2023 schedule featuring Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji, and South Pacific itineraries.

The Gauguin will be showcasing its most sought-after itineraries in 2023: the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands, 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus, 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands, and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands.

The Gauguin will also be returning to Fiji in 2023, offering 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands itineraries. These comprehensive voyages follow in the wake of explorers, encompassing the exquisite Society Islands, home waters of The Gauguin, and the Cook Islands with its unique culture and exquisite lagoons. Other highlights include sailing across the International Date Line, a rare visit to the Kingdom of Tonga, and the stunning Fijian islands. Ports of call on the voyages are Papeete, Tahiti; Moorea, Society Islands; Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands; Aitutaki, Cook Islands; Vava'u, Tonga; Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji; Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji; Beqa Island, Fiji; and Lautoka, Fiji. A 16-night Fiji to Bali (or reverse) voyage from Lautoka, Fiji and continues on to visit Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu; Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Thursday Island (Jan. 21, 2023 sailing only), Australia; Dili, Timor-Leste; At Sea; Komodo Island, Indonesia; and Benoa, Bali, Indonesia.

The Gauguin underwent an extensive renovation in February of 2021. In addition to the ship's staterooms and suites, Studio Jean Philippe Nuel redesigned the ship's public spaces including its Le Grand Salon, restaurants, piano bar, La Palette Lounge, spa and salon, fitness center, boutique, pool deck, and reception area. A reading nook was also added to Deck 5, Deck 6 is now boasting a digital museum featuring over 150 of Paul Gauguin's pieces, as well as updates to the ship's sound and lighting systems.

Designed specifically to sail the pristine lagoons of these islands, The Gauguin provides an up-close, authentic experience of the South Seas and offers an elegant yet casual ambiance with luxurious accommodations, exceptional service, gourmet dining, trademark Polynesian hospitality, private beach retreats, and extraordinary all-inclusive value.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.33 - 8.83%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 79.27 - 7.03%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.14 + 34.12%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 23.00 - 9.84%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship sported two names (her official name and her marketing name) on her hull as she sailed the Caribbean and elsewhere during the mid-1990s?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was out on her sea trials she sported a unique entertainment option on her aft decks. This entertainment option never made it past the sea trials. What was this high flying entertainment option?

Answer - It was a blimp that was supposed to offer rides to passengers but it was lost during the sea trial so RCI decided that it would be too risky to use. courtesy of Ronnie Russo, Tucson, Airzona


Cruise News - November 15, 2021

Azamara Announces New Five-Month World Voyage Aboard the Cruise Line's Newest Ship, Azamara Onward
Azamara announcd this week the launch of its new World Voyage aboard the company's newest ship, Azamara Onward. Starting on January 5, 2024, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the comprehensive sailing offers immersive and intimate experiences to the World's Wonders. The 155-night journey will reach over 40 countries in six continents with 22 overnight stays and 27 late nights in port, giving travelers ample time to fully explore the rich culture and history of each destination.

"We are thrilled to finally unveil our World Voyage. With opportunities to visit the Seven Wonders of the World and other iconic sites such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos, and the Black Sea, we are allowing our guests to check off all their bucket list destinations in one sailing and to connect with more countries and cultures than ever before," says Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara. "Not only are we taking our guests further, but we are also encouraging them to travel deeper with our unique overnight land experiences, designed to bring travelers to the heart of the destination and giving them enough time to appreciate its culture."

Highlights of immersive experiences of the World's Wonders:

• Great Wall of China (three-night land excursion): Travelers will become fully immersed in Beijing with a visit to the Great Wall of China, a guided tour through the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, and a rickshaw ride through the hutongs, or narrow alleys dating back to the 16th century.

• Great Pyramids of Giza (shore excursion): Guests are driven to Egypt's largest city, Cairo. It's here at the Giza Plateau where the Great Pyramids are found, the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence. An Egyptologist will guide guests through this mortuary complex to the mysterious Sphinx. In addition, travelers will explore other sites such as the Museum of Antiquities and cruise down the Nile river.

• Chichén Itzá (shore excursion): Guests will fly over Caribbean waters and the Mayan Riviera's tropical jungle to Chichén Itzá, where a tour guide will lead guests through the ruins and immerse travelers in the ancient Mayan way of life.

• Petra (shore excursion): Guests will walk through the Siq, the narrow, winding gorge that leads to the mysterious desert city of Petra, Jordan. Known as the "Rose Red City" for the color of stone from which it was carved, Petra is home to ancient royal tombs, Colonnaded Street, and the Temple of Qasr al-Bint.

• Taj Mahal (three-night land excursion): Travelers will fly to New Delhi for sunrise and sunset visits to the Taj Mahal. Guests will also explore Agra Fort, the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638, and I'timad-ud-Daulah tomb, the Taj Mahal's precursor.

• Christ the Redeemer (six-night land excursion): Travelers will enjoy a full exploration of Rio de Janeiro, including a visit to Corcovado to view the towering Christ the Redeemer statue, a cable car ride to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain, and a trip to Iguazú Falls to see both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the one of the world's largest waterfalls.

• Colosseum (shore excursion): Guests will travel back in time to the world of gladiatorial glory inside the Colosseum. A local guide will lead the small group through the 2000-year-old amphitheater that once seated up to 55,000 spectators.

Other immersive overnight experiences available on the World Voyage include a stay on a Great Barrier Reef island, complete with glass bottom boat excursions and snorkeling to see the unique wildlife up close; a journey through the cobblestoned streets of Transylvania, Romania to learn about the life of Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula; and an exploration of the centuries-old rock-cut churches and whimsical "fairy chimneys" of Cappadocia, Turkey with accommodation in a cave hotel.

Dr. Lucille O'Neal Named Carnival Radiance Godmother
Dr. Lucille O'Neal – author, philanthropist and mother of Carnival Cruise Line's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal – has been named godmother of the totally transformed Carnival Radiance, set to debut in December following a $200 million dry dock.

Dr. O'Neal will preside over the ship's invitation-only naming ceremony taking place in Long Beach, Calif. prior to its inaugural cruise Dec. 13.

During the festivities, Lucille and Shaquille will cut the ribbon to officially open Big Chicken, the second seagoing restaurant created by Shaquille, featuring dishes based on his family's recipes.

Lucille is an accomplished speaker who donates her time and talent to a wide range of charitable organizations, including serving on the board of the Orlando Ovarian Center Alliance, and president and co-founder of the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players.

She also established the Odessa Chambliss Center for Health Equity on the campus of Bethune Cookman University (BCU) in honor of her late mother, Odessa Chambliss, and focuses on health disparities, social determinants of health, and social justice.

The author of the inspirational biography, "Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go," Lucille O'Neal is a shining example of the importance of education, resuming her studies after raising her children to graduate cum laude with a bachelor's degree from BCU and completing a graduate program from the University of Phoenix. For these efforts, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from BCU.

"When Shaquille was named Chief Fun Officer a couple of years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be named godmother of a cruise ship!" said Lucille. "To think that my name will be forever associated with Carnival Radiance and that I'm joining other esteemed women who have served as a Carnival godmother is truly an honor."

"Lucille's longstanding commitment to caring for others is a reflection of what we look for in a Godmother and as the mother of our amazing Chief Fun Officer, Shaquille O'Neal, we also know she's got some fun in her DNA so she's the perfect choice for godmother of this beautiful ship," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

New offerings added to Carnival Radiance during its bow-to-stern makeover include Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse created by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri; the Heroes Tribute Bar saluting those that serve in the Armed Forces; Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant; Bonsai Sushi; and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub. All of the ship's public spaces have been transformed - including the water park, youth facilities, retail shops, Cloud 9 Spa and a new Liquid Lounge home to Carnival's award-winning Playlist Productions shows.

Carnival Radiance's Long Beach-based schedule includes three-day voyages to Ensenada and four-day sailings calling at Ensenada and Catalina Island. She joins Carnival Panorama operating week-long Mexican Riviera cruises and Carnival Miracle sailing four- and five-day Mexico voyages.

Celebrated Paratriathlete Names New Royal Caribbean Ship, Odyssey of the Seas
It's official: Royal Caribbean International celebrated its newest game-changing ship, Odyssey of the Seas, during the ship's naming ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, Nov. 13. The Caribbean-inspired occasion culminated in the moment Odyssey's Godmother and the first Bahamian paratriathlete to compete in the Paralympic Games qualifiers, Erin Brown, bestowed a blessing of safekeeping on the ship and all those who sail on it for decades to come.

Brown was joined on board by Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain and Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley. The occasion also marked a historic moment for the decades-long Godmother tradition as Brown becomes the cruise line's first Bahamian Godmother.

"Today, we get to show the world what imagination and determination look like when they come together," said Fain. "All of what our teams have done over the past 20 months has led us to this moment when we can finally show the innovation and beauty of Odyssey of the Seas."

A 17-year change agent for those living with disabilities in The Bahamas, Brown is a mother and cancer survivor. The life-long athlete was diagnosed with stage 4 osteosarcoma – bone cancer – in 2004. It was more than a year later, after receiving treatment, when Brown made the decision to amputate her leg above the knee. Having watched her own mother battle lupus linked to cancer for five years, Odyssey's Godmother was determined to come back stronger than ever for herself, her family and others who could be inspired to fight. Brown went on to become the first Bahamian paratriathlete to train in the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and compete in a Paralympic Games qualifier. In addition to her athletic achievements, Brown is a longtime advocate for those living with disabilities and works at the University of The Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor championing the increase of access and opportunities for students living with disabilities.

"It's our honor to welcome Erin as our first Bahamian Godmother," said Bayley. "She is an incredible individual who pushes to change the status quo, making her the perfect choice for a ship as innovative as Odyssey of the Seas. It's also fitting because The Bahamas has been our great partner and neighbor since Royal Caribbean first set sail to the islands more than 50 years ago."

Royal Caribbean cruises have visited The Bahamas and the Caribbean for 52 years and counting. Year after year, guests of all ages can set sail to explore the regions' stunning destinations. In June, The Bahamas was where Royal Caribbean's first cruise back in the western hemisphere set sail after more than a 15-month pause.

On full display during the official naming ceremony was Odyssey itself. The first Quantum Ultra Class ship in North America features a combination of new, thrilling experiences and signature adventures guests know and love. Highlights include a vibrant resort-style pool deck inspired by the Caribbean, the new Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Teppanyaki, the restaurant serving up Far East flavors and making its North America debut; and one-of-a-kind entertainment that pushes the bounds of imagination in the high-tech venue Two70 and the Royal Theater.

"I am immensely grateful to have been selected as Godmother to Odyssey of the Seas," said Brown. "As a proud Bahamian, it is an honor to also represent The Bahamas and share my story with so many others. My experiences have empowered me to reinvent myself and transform my life, and I'm committed to helping ensure others can do the same."

This winter and early 2022, Odyssey is welcoming families and travelers of all ages on 6-night and 8-night cruises to the eastern, western and southern Caribbean as well as the cruise line's private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay. In April 2022, the new, innovative ship will head to its summer home in Rome to sail along the sun-soaked shores of the Mediterranean.

Carnival Resumes Operations From Tampa With Carnival Pride
Continuing its successful restart, Carnival Cruise Line resumed guest operations today from Tampa, Fla. with Carnival Pride. A second ship, Carnival Paradise, will join Carnival Pride, in March 2022.

To commemorate the special day, Carnival held a "Back to Fun" event at the Port of Tampa. Carnival's Vice President of Guest Operations Sarah Beth Reno, Carnival Pride Captain Rino Costanzo, and Port Tampa Bay's Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Raul Alfonso cut a ceremonial ribbon to much fanfare and officially welcomed the first guests on board. Carnival Pride is set to depart today on a seven-day cruise to the Western Caribbean with stops in the Mexican ports of Costa Maya and Cozumel, as well as Belize and Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras.

"We have been a proud member of the Tampa community for more than 25 years, having been the first cruise line to sail from Tampa in 1994, so we're absolutely thrilled to provide our guests an opportunity to get Back to Fun from the port while supporting the local economy," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

"We are so pleased to have Carnival Cruise Line returning to Port Tampa Bay today. The return of cruising has a far-reaching impact on our region, with many local businesses standing to benefit. It's estimated that a ship like Carnival Pride generates an average of $334,000 in passenger and crew onshore spending per call," said Raul Alfonso, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Port Tampa Bay.

Carnival Cruise Line launched the first year-round cruise program from Tampa in 1994 on the since-retired Tropicale, carrying 28,000 passengers a year. The line has since increased passenger capacity nine-fold, making it one of the largest cruise operators in the area. Cruise operations in Tampa are part of Carnival's close-to-home ship deployment strategy which positions ships near large U.S. population centers along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico to make cruising convenient for everyone.

Carnival Pride's offerings from Tampa include six-, seven- and eight-day Western Caribbean sailings.

Cunard Partnership with The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation Returns to commemorate the heroes of World War II
In partnership with The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation, Cunard will again pay tribute to the heroes of World War II, featuring several esteemed veterans on the fourth such powerful enrichment program on board a Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing. This special voyage will depart New York and sail to Southampton, England, June 5 to 12, 2022.

On this 7-night voyage, guests will have the opportunity to attend lectures and interact with several WWII veterans, hearing first-hand about their experiences during the war. From the "Battle of the Atlantic," and the DDAY landings in Normandy, to the last living survivor of Pearl Harbor, these distinguished war heroes will engage in discussions and Q&A's, giving guests a very personal glimpse into the human elements of wartime service.

A special new feature on this Crossing will be the inclusion of veterans from the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars.

"We are honored to continue our relationship with The Greatest Generations Foundation, and to pay tribute to these esteemed veterans and their wartime service. Ever since we first introduced this very special program in 2017, guests have been riveted by their very moving and personal narratives, resulting in standing ovations every day," said Jamie Paiko, vice president, Sales, Cunard North America. "We are both humbled and thrilled to welcome back some returning WWII veterans to our flagship, and to meet some veterans new to the Cunard experience."

Participating veterans scheduled to be on board will include:

• STEVE MELNIKOFF, 102, who experienced the full horrors of Omaha Beach, when he served in 1st Battalion, 175th Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division and who earned three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts for his service.

• MICKEY GANITCH, 102, who served as a Senior Chief Quartermaster in the United States Navy and witnessed Pearl Harbor.and went on the fight in 17 battles throughout the Pacific.

• HAROLD ANGLE, 98, who served in the 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, and who marched down the Champs-Elysées on August 29, 1944, in the Liberation of Paris.

• JAMES BLANE, 98, Corporal of the 4th Marine Division of the United States Marine Corps and served in the battles of Kwajalein (Roi-Namur), Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima.

• HAROLD RADISH, 97, served with the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 90th Infantry Division, as a combat intelligence observer. During the battle of the BULGE, RADISH, a Jewish-American, was captured by the Germans and served the rest of the war as a prisoner of war in Nazi Germany.

• IRVING LOCKER, 97, remembers in vivid detail the brutally cold winter of 1944-45 when he was a 19-year-old staff sergeant with the 116th AAA Gun Battalion of the 1st Army's 7th Corps. They fired 90mm anti-aircraft, anti-tank guns at the Germans in Hitler's last desperate effort to avert inevitable defeat in the European Theater of WWII.

• ROBERT FISHER, 88, is a 1955 Naval Academy graduate and career Marine Corps officer who retired in 1982. At that time, he also studied four guerrilla wars in Southeast Asia and obtained the Malaya Jungle School Syllabus at Johore Bahru and went on to train 20,000 Marines, Navy Seals, Sea-Bees, and Army Special Forces Teams for Vietnam.

• RICHARD PRINCE, 76, was assigned to Delta Company, 1st Battalion 5th Marines and assaulted the Dong Ba Tower in Hue. Pictures of his bravery were featured in Time Magazine and on the cover of Stars & Stripes Magazine during the war. He was severely wounded in the neck and medevac'd out of Vietnam to the United States during this action.

• JESSE "BUD" ALLEY, 80, served two years active duty; a complete twelve-month tour in Vietnam with the First Cavalry Division (Airmobile)-August 1965-August 1966. His award-winning book The Ghosts of the Green Grass documents his experience in the Vietnam War.

• KEVIN BREWINGTON, 38, served with the U.S. Army and was two months into his Afghanistan deployment as an infantryman with the 125th Special Brigade Combat Team when he stepped on a landmine. He woke up four days later in a hospital in Germany. BREWINGTON lost both his legs and part of his right arm in the blast and has spent seven years recovering and rebuilding his life.

Q&A's and other discussions with the World War II veterans will cover topics including:

• The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941

• D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944

• The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944

• Blood Sand: The Battle for Iwo Jima, 1945

• Vietnam War: The Forgotten Generation

• Afghanistan: The Forever War

Jeremy Hubbard, current co-anchor of FOX31 Denver News will join the voyage and act as a moderator of the panels and lectures. Prior to joining the FOX31 Denver News team, Hubbard, a native of western Colorado, worked as a New York-based correspondent for ABC News where he contributed and reported for all ABC News broadcasts including: Good Morning America, World News with Dianne Sawyer and Nightline.

Carnival Announces Brand-New Excel-Class Ship Coming To Galveston In 2023
On the heels of the rave reviews of its newest ship Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Line today announced that its third Excel-class ship – to be named Carnival Jubilee – will be delivered in 2023 and based in Galveston, Tex.

The announcement about Carnival Jubilee was made the same day that Carnival confirmed that all 22 of its U.S.-based ships will be back in guest operations by March 2022. Nineteen ships had been confirmed by February, and now Carnival Sensation will restart from Mobile, Ala. effective Mar. 5, Carnival Ecstasy will restart from Jacksonville, Fla. effective Mar. 7, and Carnival Paradise will restart from Tampa, Fla. effective Mar. 12.

"Carnival was the first cruise line to offer year-round cruising from Galveston in 2000, and we have continued to grow our presence and support of the Port of Galveston's expansion, so we are thrilled to bring our brand-new Carnival Jubilee to Texas and the greater southwest region," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "This beautiful, innovative ship will bring an entirely new cruise experience to our guests, and we've got some great surprises to fun it up in ways we know they are going to love."

Carnival Jubilee will be the third in the Excel-class for Carnival, joining sisters Mardi Gras, sailing from Port Canaveral since earlier this year, and Carnival Celebration, which will be delivered in late 2022 and based in Miami. The ships utilize a liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology platform. Carnival Corp. pioneered the introduction of LNG fuel in the passenger cruise sector as part of the company's ongoing commitment to sustainability and compliance throughout its global operations. Mardi Gras is the first LNG-powered cruise ship to operate in North America, and more information about the technology can be found in this video.

However, this new Excel-class ship will not be the first Jubilee to sail from Galveston. As it gets ready to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2022, Carnival has resurrected some of the names of its previous ships that were popular with guests at the company's inception – such as Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and now, Carnival Jubilee. Celebration was the first year-round ship positioned in Galveston in 2000 and was soon joined by Jubilee in 2002. So now, just more than 21 years later, this new Carnival Jubilee – four times larger than her predecessor – will make her debut at the port ushering new ways for the next generation of cruise enthusiasts to have fun.

Today's announcement was made at the annual CruiseWorld travel advisor conference in Miami Beach, Fla. Creating an extra special moment during the event, Duffy was joined on stage by a seven-foot cowboy who had been positioned around the convention for the previous 24 hours teasing that "something big is coming to Texas." The more than 1,000 travel advisors in attendance cheered as the Carnival team revealed the news and passed out Texas-themed goodies and trinkets.

"We love Texas, and Texas loves Carnival. Galveston is one of our most popular homeports, and we draw guests to Texas from across the Midwest, southwest and western U.S. Bringing a brand-new ship to a market is a big commitment, and it's one we gladly make for the greater Galveston community and entire region," said Duffy.

Carnival Jubilee will arrive at 182,800 gross tons, with a capacity of more than 5,400 guests and 1,700 crew. She'll be sailing seven-day western Caribbean itineraries and will include features from her sister ships that guests know and love including the BOLT roller coaster on the top deck, expanded dining options, new designs for suites and staterooms, and a stunning, three-deck atrium on the starboard side of the ship that overlooks the ocean and converts to an entertainment venue at night. The ship will also have six fun-filled zones like her sisters, two of which will be brand-new concepts to be revealed at a later date. Details on these just-for-Jubilee firsts and other exciting news will be shared over the coming months.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 22.30 - 9.31%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 85.26 - 9.02%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.85 + 19.72%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.51 - 9.67%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was out on her sea trials she sported a unique entertainment option on her aft decks. This entertainment option never made it past the sea trials. What was this high flying entertainment option?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which famous liner came to the assistance of the Andrea Doria after she was struck by the Swedish liner Stockholm in 1956?

Answer - The French Line transatlantic liner "Ile de France" came to the rescue after the collision between the Italian liner "Andrea Doria" and the Swedish Liner "Stockholm" on July 25, 1956. The collision occured in fog off the Nantucket Shoals. courtesy of Larry MacDonald


Cruise News - November 8, 2021

HAL's Rotterdam Kicks Off its Inaugural Season of Caribbean Cruising
Holland America Line's new Rotterdam departs today, Nov. 5, at 5 p.m. EST from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on its inaugural Caribbean cruise — a roundtrip five-day sailing that visits Bimini, Bahamas, and spends two days at Half Moon Cay, the cruise line's award-winning private Bahamian island. The ship arrived at Port Everglades Nov. 3 following its maiden transatlantic voyage that set sail from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Oct. 20.

Rotterdam marks the second ship to return to Florida cruising and the Caribbean for Holland America Line since the industrywide pause began 20 months ago. During November, the ship will be joined at Port Everglades by Pinnacle Class sister-ship Nieuw Statendam and Eurodam, which also kick off their Caribbean seasons. Nieuw Amsterdam began Caribbean cruising from Fort Lauderdale Oct. 23.

"We have been awaiting our return to the Caribbean for a long time, and having Rotterdam and our other ships restart operations out of Fort Lauderdale is an incredible moment for our company," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Rotterdam's maiden voyage from Europe was a huge success and we're getting a lot of positive feedback from guests about the ship."

The cruise line celebrated Rotterdam's Caribbean departure with fanfare to welcome guests on board, and Antorcha was on hand to greet embarking passengers.

Following the Nov. 5 cruise, Rotterdam will sail in the Caribbean through April, with all departures roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. The cruises range from six to 11 days and span the region on southern, eastern, western and tropical itineraries. Guests looking for a longer getaway can embark on a Collectors' Voyage — combined back-to-back itineraries that offer an in-depth exploration covering more than one area.

Every Caribbean cruise includes a call at Half Moon Cay, rated the number-one port of call in the Caribbean by the line's guests. This quaint sanctuary has evolved into a playground for cruisers and features the finest white-sand beaches, two-story villas and private cabanas, dining venues like Lobster Shack, a children's waterpark and a variety of fun-filled tours for nature lovers, adventurous travelers and explorers.

Holland America Line has been homeporting from Port Everglades since the 1990s. Operationally, each ship visit directly contributes $364,000 to the local economy in provisioning (fuel, food, flowers, piano tuning, supplies), port taxes and spending. Holland America Line works with nearly 100 local vendors who supply the company and its ships with goods and services.

Throughout the years, Holland America Line has been actively involved with more than 30 nonprofits in South Florida through giving, shipboard lunches and cruise donations, including Seafarers' House, Henderson Behavioral Health, Coast Guard Women's Leadership Initiative, Symphony of the Americas, The Opera Society and more.

Rotterdam has the highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer restaurant and Grand Dutch Café. The ship introduces the Half Moon Bar, an immersive experience looking at the history of Holland America Line and cruising through the lens of a cocktail.

Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with a collection of world-class performances each night — from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam showcases Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; a museum-quality art collection valued at more than $4 million; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line.

Princess Showcases New Enchanted Princess
Princess Cruises offers a first look at the cruise line's newest MedallionClass ship – Enchanted Princess, the newest ship to join the global fleet. Find video b-roll here and photos here, showcasing beautifully designed interiors, elegantly appointed accommodations, world-class entertainment, gourmet dining and craft cocktails, extensive alfresco dining areas, and expansive views from the cruise line's largest balconies, a feature of the new Sky Suites.

A special naming ceremony celebration will be broadcast on Monday, December 13, on Princess.com, Princess Cruises' Facebook page and YouTube channels with more details to follow.

The 145,000-ton, 3,660-guest ship represents an evolution of the design platform consistent across her sister ships – Royal Princess (2013), Regal Princess (2014), Majestic Princess (2017) and Sky Princess (2019) – offering an elevation of spectacular style and elegance that is distinguished by Princess. The ship's inaugural cruise season begins Nov. 10, with 15 10-day Caribbean itineraries, sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, before heading to Europe.

"Introducing our newest ship – Enchanted Princess – is a significant milestone for Princess and we look forward to the first guests experiencing all this gorgeous ship has to offer," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "Enchanted Princess is our seventh ship to enter service since the global pause, signifying our successful path forward, with many loyal and new guests ready to sail with us and our teammates ready to deliver meaningful and memorable vacations at an incredible value."

Enchanted Princess delivers the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising featuring the world-class dining and entertainment Princess is renowned for, all elevated with the Princess MedallionClass Experience. As with all ships in the Princess fleet, it begins with the Medallion™, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best WiFi at sea, as well as stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

Notable features and entertainment offerings found onboard Enchanted Princess include:

• Sky Suites – First introduced on Sky Princess (2019), the new luxury Sky Suites offer inclusive amenities, attentive service and a dedicated Suite Experience Manager, luxurious accommodations for up to five guests and a 1,000 square-foot balcony featuring 270-degree views from the cruise line's largest balcony at sea.

• 25 Bars & Restaurants – With the most al fresco dining options of any Princess ship, Enchanted Princess features Bistro Sur La Mer by Three Michelin Star Chef Emmanuel Renaut, Sabatini's Italian Trattoria with its own Pasta Room, Crown Grill Steakhouse and Bar, Crooners, Chef's Table Lumiere, Gigi's Pizzeria, The Salty Dog Gastropub, Gelato, three beautifully appointed Main Dining Rooms and more.

• Aquatic Relaxation - In addition to multiple hot tubs, Enchanted boasts two deep-tank pools, adjacent to the top-deck bar. At the ship's aft end, the infinity-style Wakeview pool and bar offer spectacular views of the horizon, while the Retreat Pool offers a quiet oasis.

• Fan Favorite Original Production Shows – First debuted onboard Sky Princess to rave reviews, Enchanted Princess showcases Rock Opera, featuring incredible costumes inspired by glamorous avant garde fashion with a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theater. In addition, 5-SKIES with its technologically enhanced production features a virtual gaming world, spectacular digital effects and acrobatics, intricate sets and contemporary music for one of the cruise line's most visually advanced shows ever.

• Take Five – First debuted on Sky Princess, Take Five showcases vintage footage, iconic imagery and intimate conversations that transport you to the heart of the jazz era. Guests can enjoy nightly live jazz while sipping cocktail favorites from Master Mixologist Rob Floyd and specialty gin cocktails crafted exclusively for Take Five.

Enchanted Princess also offers signature Princess venues and amenities including the Piazza, Lotus Spa, The Sanctuary, Movies Under the Stars, Princess Live! Café, Good Spirits at Sea Bar, Vegas-Style Casino, The Shops of Princess, Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center and Discovery at SEA™ programs.

Celebrity Cruises Continues Its "Journey WonderFULL
Celebrity Cruises continued to 'Journey WonderFULL', with the two latest ships to return to service, Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Constellation, setting sail from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay, respectively, and capping a busy year which saw the new-luxury brand lead the industry back to service in the U.S. following a 15-month hiatus. With these two ships, 10 of the 14 ships within the Celebrity Cruises' fleet have now returned to sailing in 2021, taking guests to awe-inspiring destinations from the Caribbean to Europe and the Galapagos.

Sailing first on Nov. 6, 2021, exactly 600 days to the day from disembarking her last guest in Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades prior to ceasing operations, Celebrity Reflection will now take guests on a seven-night voyage from Fort Lauderdale, with stops in Bahamas, Mexico, Belize and Honduras. Celebrity Constellation set sail a day later on Nov. 7, 2021, from her new homeport of Tampa Bay with stops in Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. Each ship will enjoy nearly six months exploring the Eastern and Western Caribbean before their transatlantic voyages to then embark on itineraries that include many of the most alluring cities around Europe, including stops in Italy, Spain, Greece, and Croatia.

"The past year has been one of remarkable change, but we can definitely say the announcement of the return of these two marvelous ships is a change in the right direction as we invite our guests back on board," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. "The experiences our guests will enjoy aboard these beautiful new-luxury ships will provide the healing power of travel that we have all been seeking."

Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Constellation join eight additional ships in the Celebrity fleet that have been announced as part of its phased restart, including:

• Celebrity ApexSM, relocating from Greece in late October 2021 to now sail seven- to nine-night itineraries through spring 2022 in the Caribbean;

• Celebrity Edge, the first ship to sail from a U.S. Port on June 26, sailing a rotating schedule of Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale;

• Celebrity Equinox, sailing in the Southern Caribbean on six- to 12-night itineraries;

• Celebrity Flora, the brand's award-winning 100-guest luxury yacht and the intimate 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration, sailing Galapagos itineraries.

• Celebrity Millennium, sailing seven-night Caribbean itineraries in 2021 with Alaska itineraries beginning in 2022;

• Celebrity Silhouette, sailing the UK coastline as of July 3;

• Celebrity Summit, sailing three- to five-night itineraries in the Western Caribbean and Bahamas.

Guests setting sail with Celebrity Cruises enjoy unforgettable spaces, world-class amenities and all of the distinct features that make the brand's new-luxury cruises so incredible. A range of stylish accommodations include Concierge Class with extra comforts to further enhance the cruise experience; the spa-inspired AquaClass with exclusive clean cuisine dining at Blu; and a luxurious suite experience, The Retreat, featuring private restaurant dining and a 24/7 lounge. On board dining options include distinctive restaurants with menus crafted by Michelin-starred chefs and an award-winning wine collection. The Spa rivals top land-based offerings with a wide variety of soothing spa treatments and therapies. Celebrity Cruises' guests also enjoy shopping at the finest boutiques and family-fun activities, including cooking classes, recreational games, Silent Disco, and theatrical events.

Simplifying the luxury vacation experience, WiFi, drinks and service charges are now 'Always Included'SM on every Celebrity cruise.

The ships follow all established new health and safety measures in accordance with guidance from public health authorities, government agencies, and its own team of health and safety experts to provide guests with the peace of mind to fully enjoy their voyage.

Viking Announces New Expedition Voyages
Viking today announced the summer 2023 season of its expedition voyages, including a new two-week itinerary in the Great Lakes—as well as additional offerings in North and South America. Debuting in June 2023, the new 15-day Great Lakes Collection itinerary will sail between Toronto and Duluth, providing guests with a complete view of the region and ports of call in all five Great Lakes. As a result of strong demand, Viking has also announced 2023 sailing dates for four existing Great Lakes expedition voyages: the 8-day Niagara & the Great Lakes, Great Lakes Explorer, and Undiscovered Great Lakes itineraries, as well as the 13-day Canadian Discovery itinerary.

Three additional expedition voyages in North and South America will also debut in summer 2023. The new, 16-day Canada & the Atlantic Coastline itinerary will expand offerings along the St. Lawrence River and Atlantic coastline, featuring destinations that include Quebec City, Trois-Rivières, Norfolk, Charleston and more. Guests can discover the natural beauty of Patagonia while sailing from Santiago to Ushuaia on the new 14-day Patagonian Shores & Chilean Fjords itinerary, while guests looking to explore destinations in North, Central and South America, can choose the new 18-day itinerary Panama & Scenic South America.

"In creating 'the thinking person's expedition,' we are offering curious travelers the opportunity to visit some of the most pristine destinations on earth in the most responsible way possible," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "As we prepare to welcome our first guests on board for voyages to Antarctica this coming winter, we are also pleased to unveil even more new journeys closer to home for summer 2023."

New Viking Expeditions Summer 2023 Itineraries:

Highlights of the new itineraries include:

• Great Lakes Collection (NEW) – On this 15-day itinerary, guests sail the historic waterways of all five Great Lakes. Sailing between Toronto, Canada and Duluth, Minnesota, guests will experience culture-rich urban centers and admire the thundering power of Niagara Falls. Along the journey, guests can also explore the granite islands and sheltered inlets of Georgian Bay and traverse the famous Soo Locks. On Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, study the aquatic ecosystems of the lakes and venture into the dense boreal forests that line the shores.

• Canada & the Atlantic Coastline (NEW) – On this 16-day itinerary, guests sail along the legendary St. Lawrence Seaway and the Atlantic coast of the United States on a memorable voyage that combines scenic landscapes and storied cities between Toronto and Ft. Lauderdale. Led by a team of experts, explore the unspoiled wilderness near Trois-Rivières, Louisbourg and Lunenburg by land and water. Experience the bustling metropolis of New York City and immerse yourself in the rich histories of Quebec City, Norfolk and Charleston.

• Patagonian Shores & Chilean Fjords (NEW) – This 14-day itinerary discovers the rugged and untamed natural beauty of Patagonia while sailing from Santiago to Ushuaia. Guests can admire soaring peaks and towering ice shelves while navigating the iceberg-crowded channels of the Chilean Fjords. Follow your team of onboard experts for an up-close encounter with the blue-tinged glaciers that dominate the landscape and gain insight into Patagonian life during stops in the charming towns of Tortel and Castro on this unforgettable voyage through the wild and remarkable region.

• Panama & Scenic South America (NEW) – On this 18-day itinerary, guests will explore cultures and intriguing landscapes of North, Central and South America. On the journey between Santiago, Chile and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, guests will discover the secrets of ancient civilizations of the Yucatán Peninsula and transit between two oceans through the famous Panama Canal. Immerse yourself in lively Lima and enjoy the charms of Iquique, nested between the Atacama Desert and the Pacific.

Viking Expedition Ships

The new Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. Designed by the same experienced nautical architects and engineers that designed Viking ocean ships, the ships are optimally sized and built for expeditions—small enough to navigate remote polar regions and the St. Lawrence River, while large enough to provide superior handling and stability in the roughest seas. The ships will feature public spaces that are familiar to Viking's ocean voyage guests but that have been reimagined for expeditions, as well as new public spaces created specifically for expeditions. Straight bows, longer hulls and state-of-the-art fin stabilizers will allow the ships to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey; ice-strengthened Polar Class hulls will provide the safest way to explore; and U-tank stabilizers will significantly decrease rolling by up to 50 percent when the ships are stationary. Viking's expedition ships will feature modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• The Hangar: An industry first, The Hangar brings true comfort to expedition voyages. This enclosed, in-ship marina permits the launch of small excursion craft through the ship's multiple shell doors. The Hangar's most innovative feature is an 85 ft. slipway that allows guests to embark on excursion craft from a flat, stable surface inside the ship, shielded from wind and waves. There is also a FerryBox, a set of instruments continuously collecting and displaying data on water quality, oxygen content, plankton composition and more.

• The Science Lab: Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, while hosting guests, will also be working research vessels with an onboard team of scientists working on a variety of studies. Developed in consultation with Cambridge University and Viking's other academic partners, The Science Lab, at 380 sq. ft., is designed to support a broad range of research activities and is equipped with wet and dry laboratory facilities, a sample processing area, fume cupboard, freezer and cool storage, comprehensive microscope optics and extensive bench space for analysis-specific instruments. Guests will have supervised access to The Science Lab, which is located in a glass-enclosed mezzanine above The Hangar, to learn from and participate with scientists undertaking primary research, an experience unique to Viking.

• Expedition Equipment: Viking will offer a variety of ways for guests to experience their destination, according to their interests and activity level, at no extra charge. With a robust program of complimentary experiences, expedition equipment available for guests on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will include a fleet of military pro zodiacs designed for professional use in the harshest of environments; a fleet of two-seater Arctic-tested kayaks; and two 12-seater convertible Special Operations Boats. Each ship will also feature two six-guest submarines that feature revolving seats and 270-degree spherical windows for an incomparable undersea experience. Everything guests need will be provided: a Viking Expedition Kit will contain items like boots, binoculars and waterproof pants; each excursion will carry a full range of Safety Equipment, such as satellite phones, VHF radios, ropes, life jackets and a comprehensive shore survival kit; and all guests will receive complimentary use of Viking Excursion Gear, which includes specialty items like trekking poles, snowshoes and skis.

• The Aula & Finse Terrace: Viking has created the world's most advanced venue for learning at sea with The Aula, a stunning panoramic auditorium at the stern. Inspired by the University of Oslo's famed ceremonial hall where the Nobel Peace Prize was historically awarded, The Aula will offer a dynamic venue for lectures and entertainment, with floor-to-ceiling windows and 270-degree views. Adjacent to The Aula is the Finse Terrace, an outdoor lounge area at sea level with comfortable couches and warming lava rock "firepits" – perfect for panoramic views of the surroundings. Together the two spaces can be combined to create an unmatched indoor-outdoor al fresco experience for guests to be immersed in nature.

• Nordic Balcony: A first for polar expedition cruise vessels, all staterooms on board Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform. Harnessing the Norwegian reverence for light and to create the optimal wildlife observatory at sea, the Nordic Balcony's floor-to-ceiling, distortion-free glass at the very edge of the ship lets guests take the views in, while keeping the elements out. Should guests wish to feel even closer to nature, the top of the panoramic glass lowers to transform the stateroom into a sheltered lookout, with an observation shelf at elbow level to stabilize binoculars or a camera. Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 sq. ft to 1,223 sq. ft: Nordic Balcony, Deluxe Nordic Balcony, Nordic Penthouse, Nordic Junior Suite, Explorer Suite and Owner's Suite. All staterooms feature a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom is also equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.

• Expedition Ship Suites: Nordic Junior Suites (322 sq. ft.) and Explorer Suites (580 sq. ft) on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris rival those on Viking's fleet of ocean ships, with abundant wood detailing and amenities that include additional storage and seating, an expanded bathroom with extended shower and double sinks, welcome champagne, a fully-stocked mini-bar replenished daily, complimentary laundry and shoeshine services, priority restaurant reservations and more. Explorer Suites feature two separate rooms, a Nordic Balcony and a full outdoor veranda. Additionally, each ship features one Owner's Suite, which at 1,223 sq. ft, is twice the size of the Explorer Suites. With the most exclusive accommodations and amenities on board, it features two separate rooms – a living room with six-seat dining table and a bedroom – as well as a 792 sq. ft. private garden with a traditional Norwegian badestamp (wood-sided hot tub) and outdoor dining table.

• Aquavit Terrace & Pools: Located at the stern and featuring a retractable glass dome, this indoor-outdoor heated sanctuary will allow guests to be surrounded by their destination as they swim and lounge in three different temperature-controlled pools, including an "inside-out" swimming experience.

• The Nordic Spa & Fitness Center: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Nordic Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind – with a thermal suite that features a Sauna, Snow Grotto and chaise lounges, as well as a warm hydrotherapy pool and badestamp (hot tub), surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. A state-of-the-art Fitness Center will also provide the latest equipment and workout gear.

• Explorers' Lounge: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris have a two-deck Explorers' Lounge at the bow of the ship, offering the perfect spot for taking in stunning scenery through double-height windows over a mug of mulled wine or glass of Norwegian aquavit.

• Dining Choices: Viking's expedition ships will offer an array of dining options that build on the successful venues from Viking's ocean ships, but which have been redesigned for expeditions. The Restaurant will offer fine dining featuring regional cuisine and always-available classics; the casual World Café will be a new "market" concept that offers live cooking, an open kitchen, bakery, grill and premium seafood and sushi choices, as well as a wide range of international flavors; Mamsen's, named for "Mamsen," the Hagen family matriarch, serves Scandinavian-inspired fare; Manfredi's offers the best of Italian cuisine; and 24-hour room service will be complimentary for all guests.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking creating "the thinking person's expedition." As part of that commitment to destination-focused learning, Viking's exclusive partnerships with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology will match leading researchers and educators with each expedition. The onboard expedition program is designed to prepare guests for their onshore experiences, with more than 25 experts accompanying each journey – the Viking Expedition Team (expedition leader and staff, photographer and submarine pilots) and Viking Resident Scientists (biologists, botanists, geologists, glaciologists, oceanographers, ornithologists, polar experts and researchers). On board, guests will enjoy daily briefings and world-class lectures about their destination – and engage with working scientists from renowned academic institutions in The Laboratory or participate directly in citizen science programs. On shore, guests can assist in fieldwork or interact through experiential activities during landings – such as monitoring birds to help identify migratory patterns; accompanying scientists to collect samples; or taking their cameras ashore alongside a professional photographer to learn how best to capture scenic landscapes.

• Sustainable Features: Compliant to all guidelines and regulatory requirements from AECO, IAATO, the Antarctic Treaty System and the Governor of Svalbard, Viking's expedition ships minimize environmental impact and meet the most stringent emissions and biosecurity standards. Additionally, the straight bow reduces fuel consumption, and a dynamic positioning system enables the ship to hover over the seabed without anchoring, allowing access to pristine environments without damage.

Richard Fain Stepping Down as CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group
Richard Fain, whose innovations during more than 33 years as Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) helped shape the modern cruise industry, has decided to step down as CEO on January 3, 2022, the company announced today. Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty will succeed him as CEO and join the Board of Directors. Fain will remain as Chair of the Board of Directors.

The third-longest serving CEO among current S&P 500 leaders, Fain's storied career is defined by the innovations he championed involving every aspect of cruising – from revolutionary ship design to major sustainability efforts to the technologies and ground-breaking features that enriched the onboard experience for millions of guests.

Under Fain's leadership, the Royal Caribbean Group introduced new and distinctive ship categories, with a diverse range of amenities and experiences that transformed the nature of cruising. These transformational ships include Royal Caribbean International's Sovereign, Voyager, and Oasis classes; Celebrity Cruises' Solstice and Edge classes; the highly anticipated Royal Caribbean International Icon class to be introduced in 2023; and Silversea Cruises' "Project Evolution" that will become the industry's first hybrid powered ship when introduced in 2023. Fain, working with Liberty, will continue his involvement in the Group's ship construction program.

Liberty joined the Royal Caribbean Group in 2005 and served in several financial, strategic and operational roles before becoming CFO in 2013. His operational duties have expanded over the years and gone well beyond the responsibilities normally associated with a CFO. Liberty is also responsible for Silversea Cruises, the Group's joint ventures with TUI Cruises and Hapag Lloyd Cruises, as well as the Royal Caribbean Group's strategy, technology, supply chain, port operations and legal functions.

The company also announced that Naftali Holtz will become CFO when Liberty assumes the CEO role. Holtz is currently senior vice president of finance for the Royal Caribbean Group, responsible for corporate, capital and revenue planning and analysis, deployment planning, risk management and treasury.

Fain has steered the company through the global pandemic, and he was a driving force behind the creation of the Healthy Sail Panel, a group of renowned health experts who established safety and wellness protocols to restore confidence in cruising safety.

"Richard has been a visionary leader, who has made innumerable and remarkable contributions to our company and our industry," said Bill Kimsey, lead director of the Board. "Most recently, his stewardship during the COVID pandemic marks him as one of the great CEOs of his generation. The cruising community and all of us in the company owe him a debt of gratitude."

Fain said that he and RCG's Board of Directors had developed a careful succession planning process for when he decided the time was right to step down.

"There are no words to express my admiration and appreciation to the people of the Royal Caribbean Group, who have been the real drivers of our success; and my profound appreciation for the support and guidance of the Board of Directors during good times and bad throughout this long period of sustained growth."

Fain said that with most of the Group's ships operating, a full return to cruising approaching, and the Group's brands under the leadership of exceptional CEOs, it was the right time to step down.

"Given the great depth and breadth of our leadership, and the positive outlook for our business, this is the appropriate time to step aside and have Jason take over," Fain said. "He is a highly versatile and strategic leader, who has been integral to all aspects of the company's accomplishments and performance."

Fain also said that Liberty and Holtz "have done an exceptional job organizing over $12 billion of financing during this challenging period. They did so in a remarkably careful and methodical manner, which will serve us well in the years to come."

"Our success as a business has relied heavily on our culture and on the values we hold dear," said Fain. "Jason epitomizes those values, and I know he will work to build on them in this everchanging world. I couldn't be happier to have such a superbly qualified and principled leader succeed me as CEO. Jason will lead the Group to new heights."

Kimsey noted that Liberty has played "a significant part in every major initiative the company has undertaken for many years, and he was instrumental in helping manage through the pandemic. The Board enthusiastically and unanimously chose him to be the Royal Caribbean Group's next CEO."

Liberty said he was honored and humbled to become CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group. "Our incredible people and culture, combined with our leading brands and the most innovative fleet in the world are what make our organization so successful. I'm grateful to both the board for selecting me, and to Richard, for his friendship, mentoring and guidance. I look forward to building upon the company's remarkable record in the years ahead."

Liberty continued, "Naftali has demonstrated his ability to lead the finance organization and is well prepared to take on the important CFO role."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 24.59 + 6.59%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 93.71 + 6.15%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.71 + 4.41%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 28.24 + 4.32%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous liner came to the assistance of the Andrea Doria after she was struck by the Swedish liner Stockholm in 1956?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Here's another Photo Cruise Trivia - This picture was taken in 1975 in New York City. Can you name the five ships in the photo (...from bottom to top)?


Click Here for a larger version of the picture.

Answer - Sagafjord, Doric, Michelangelo, Oceanic, Rotterdam, Statendam courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselmann


Cruise News - November 1, 2021

A New Apex Reached For U.S. Cruises
Beauty and wonder meet excitement and anticipation as Celebrity Cruises' stunning new-luxury ship, Celebrity Apex, kicks off its inaugural Caribbean season, setting sail from Ft. Lauderdale today. The festivities include the ship's official naming ceremony led by her inspiring Godmother, Reshma Saujani, the founder of groundbreaking non-profit Girls Who Code and author of bestseller, "Brave, Not Perfect."

Celebrity Apex's much-anticipated arrival to U.S ports is a landmark moment for the brand, as the vessel's launch was originally planned for late March 2020. Following a short run of Greek Island sailings earlier this summer, the ship now embarks for the first time from U.S shores on rotating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, where guests will visit the picturesque islands of Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Belize, Grand Caymans and more.

"We are elated to welcome Celebrity Apex to our family of magnificent vessels that push the boundaries of what's possible on a cruise ship," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "As we welcome guests back to the seas aboard the newest Edge class ship, we are excited to deliver the very best vacation experience that is the hallmark of every Celebrity cruise.

"Celebrating Celebrity Apex is certainly long overdue and it's a day I have been waiting to celebrate for quite a long time - 581 days, to be exact. This stunning ship truly represents a new standard in new-luxury travel, and we can't wait for our guests to finally experience it for themselves," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. "As we say in our new brand campaign, we know guests will not only, 'Journey WonderFULL,' aboard this beautiful ship, but that she will also be the industry's most talked about new ship."

Joining the executives onstage, and in keeping with nautical tradition, Reshma Saujani will officially name Celebrity Apex on board the ship in a beautiful ceremony. Also in attendance will be hundreds of guests including local dignitaries from the City of Hollywood and City of Dania Beach; representatives from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard, Broward County Sheriff's Department, and Broward County Fire Rescue, as well as media and invited guests.

The Apex of New Luxury at Sea

Like her multi-award-winning, industry-changing sister ship, Celebrity Edge, named one of TIME Magazine's "2019 World's Greatest Places," Celebrity Apex features innovative outward-facing design and visionary spaces from world-renowned designers, connecting guests to the breathtaking world around them like never before. The ship's onboard experience also stands apart from anything else at sea, and feeds today's travelers' wanderlust with both familiar and new offerings including:

• The exclusive The Retreat with its stunning suite accommodations, a private restaurant, and an exclusive lounge and sundeck to rival any high-end resort. In addition, a dedicated team of Personal Retreat Hosts on-hand 24/7, ensures everything is taken care of while on vacation.

• Transformational accommodations, from modern two-story villas with plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas, that blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living.

• The Magic Carpet, soaring cantilevered above the sea and offering guests uninterrupted vistas while sipping cocktails or having dinner.

• A curated collection of 29 culinary venues including the brand-new Craft Social Bar, offering 40 handcrafted boutique beer selections, creative cocktails and a wide selection of a la carte, gourmet comfort food and bar bites. Globally-inspired menus, crafted by Michelin-starred chefs bring the flavors of the world straight to the plate, providing an epicurean journey unmatched at sea.

• 7,000 square feet of retail offerings featuring such renowned luxury stand-alone boutiques as Bvlgari, Cartier and the first-ever Montblanc lifestyle boutique.

• First-at-sea F45 classes, along with Peloton bikes, and "Women in Wellness" onboard content and experiences from some of the most influential female leaders in wellness augment well-being offerings throughout the ship.

Naming Celebrity Apex

Reshma Saujani follows Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, the first Edge Series Godmother, who inaugurated Celebrity Edge in November 2018, and is renowned for her advocacy of educational opportunities for girls everywhere. Saujani also represents women breaking ground, having led the charge to provide opportunities for women in the traditionally male-dominated tech field. "I can't think of anyone better to serve as Godmother for this ship than the incredible Reshma Saujani," continued Lutoff-Perlo. "Reshma is a visionary, leading the charge to challenge stereotypes and inspire a whole new generation of girls and women to bravely pursue tech jobs; just as Celebrity is working to close the gender gap at sea, growing our percentage of women serving as bridge officers to 30 percent in an industry where the average is 2 percent. It is Reshma's game-changing spirit that makes her the perfect Godmother for a game-changing ship like Celebrity Apex." "It's both thrilling and humbling to serve as the Godmother of Celebrity Apex," said Saujani. "Similar to the mission of Girls Who Code, which is centered around closing the gender gap in tech, Celebrity is leading the way to create a more diverse future in the cruise industry. The brand's commitment to the cause is clear not only through the leadership of its President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, but in its incorporation of on-board STEM programming. I can't think of a more inspiring place to learn about the wonders of the maritime industry than on board Celebrity Apex and Girls Who Code is honored to help in this effort." In honor of Saujani's work, Celebrity Cruises will offer fun, interactive beginning coding activities from the Girls Who Code curriculum as part of the cruise line's onboard Camp at Sea program.

Hometown Cruise Ship Ruby Princess Debuts at Port of San Francisco
San Francisco's hometown cruise ship, Ruby Princess, became Princess Cruises' sixth MedallionClass ship back in service yesterday, setting sail from the Port of San Francisco. The ship welcomed the first guests back onboard with a special ceremony before sailing underneath the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on a seven-day California Coast cruise, returning on Nov. 7.

The cruise ship will be sailing out of the Port of San Francisco to various sought-after destinations including Mexico, Hawaii, the California Coast, Alaska and the Panama Canal on five- to 15-day cruises available for booking through 2023.

"Princess is proud to have our sixth MedallionClass ship back to provide sought-after cruise vacations," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "It's inspiring to see guests enjoying real vacations again, and to watch our teammates deliver such meaningful and memorable Princess vacations."

Ruby Princess offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars and original musical productions, sumptuous dining options from Crown Grill to Sabatini's Italian Trattoria and exciting new top-deck dining venues including Slice Pizzeria and Coffee & Cones. Guests can also relax and renew with rejuvenating spa treatments, the tranquility of The Sanctuary, a top-deck retreat reserved just for adults and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Earlier this month another Princess cruise ship, Majestic Princess, arrived in San Francisco for an overnight port call, marking the first cruise to bring guests to San Francisco since the industry pause. Long-time partners from the Port of San Francisco welcomed the cruise line back, recognizing the financial impact to local businesses. Now, with Ruby Princess' arrival as the city's hometown cruise ship, small and family-owned waterfront establishments will continue to benefit.

"The Port of San Francisco is proud to be the home port of Ruby Princess," said Elaine Forbes, Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco. "For over fifty years Princess Cruises has sailed from the Port of San Francisco connecting our local merchants, Fisherman's Wharf, PIER 39 and our iconic City to communities all-around the world."

Princess MedallionClass vacations deliver the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising. It begins with the Medallion™, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from touch-free boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship.

In addition, guests can share their favorite cruise moments using MedallionNet, the best WiFi at sea, and also stay connected with friends and family back home, work remotely anywhere on the ship, quickly post content and stream favorite movies and shows.

Princess Cruises sailings onboard Ruby Princess are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. All fully vaccinated guests must also produce a negative, medically observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings.

Royal Caribbean Group Reports Third Quarter 2021 Results And Provides Updates On Its Return To Service
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) today reported financial results for the third quarter of 2021 and provided business updates.

Royal Caribbean said that it has worked aggressively to restart its vessel operations. This process is proceeding at a strong pace with two-thirds of our fleet operating. The Delta-Dip caused a delay in our booking progress but did not alter the strong fundamental trajectory.

Third Quarter 2021

Royal Caribbean said that it reported US GAAP Net Loss for the third quarter of 2021 of $(1.4) billion or $(5.59) per share compared to US GAAP Net Loss of $(1.3) billion or $(6.29) per share in the prior year. Royal Caribbean said that it also reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(1.2) billion or $(4.91) per share for the third quarter of 2021 compared to Adjusted Net Loss of $(1.2) billion or $(5.62) per share in the prior year. The Net Loss and Adjusted Net Loss for the third quarter of 2021 are the result of the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business.

Since the last business update, 11 additional ships have returned to service. As of today, 40 ships from the Company's five brands, or approximately 65% of its capacity, have resumed sailing. Royal Caribbean said that it is thoughtfully returning ships into operations at reduced load factors and slowly building to ensure health and safety, a world class guest experience, and financial prudence. Richard Fain, Chairman & CEO said: "We want to show, in a tangible way, the safety and simplicity of cruising. Our strategy continues to focus on getting the flywheel spinning smooth and fast, so that as we turn the year we will enjoy a stable and predictable platform with which to start the WAVE Period."

The ships that operated the Group's core Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe itineraries in the third quarter achieved a load factor of 44%. Core itineraries exclude sailings during the early ramp-up period of up to four weeks and also exclude specialized itineraries implemented during the COVID period (e.g., Singapore, Cyprus). Total revenues per Passenger Cruise Day in the third quarter was up 12% versus record 2019 levels driven mainly by strong onboard revenue performance. Ships in core itineraries in the third quarter were cash flow accretive excluding start-up costs.

"On October 25, 2021, the United States CDC issued a temporary extension of the Conditional Sail Order through January 15, 2022. Thereafter, the CDC has expressed its intention to transition to a voluntary program, in coordination with interested cruise ship operators," said Fain. "We are very pleased with the continued and constructive partnership with the CDC and the U.S. government's COVID-19 interagency group. This is a great example of how close collaboration between the cruise industry and the CDC results in health and safety protocols that have demonstrated cruising can be one of the safest forms of vacation," Fain continued.

Continued Fleet Ramp-Up

The Group anticipates load factors on core itineraries to ramp to 65-70% during the fourth quarter. Royal Caribbean said that it anticipates 6.9 million APCDs for the fourth quarter with overall load factors of 60-65%. The Group expects all ships on core itineraries in the fourth quarter will be cash flow accretive even when including start-up costs. By the end of the year, the Group expects that 50 out of 61 ships will have returned to service, representing almost 100% of core itinerary capacity and approximately 80% of worldwide capacity. The remaining ships are expected to return by the spring of 2022 and return to historical load factors in the third quarter 2022. Mainland China is expected to resume in the spring and we have assumed lower load factors as this important long term market ramps up.

Update on Bookings

Booking volumes have improved significantly since the slowdown this summer due to the Delta variant (the '"Delta Dip"). Royal Caribbean said that it attracted more bookings in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. September was particularly strong, with new bookings for 2022 sailings more than 60% higher than the monthly average during the second quarter.

Sailings for the full year 2022 are booked within historical ranges and at higher prices than 2019. Sailings further out are experiencing more normalized booking trends than sailings closer in. As such, load factors for sailings in the first quarter 2022 are lower than historical levels; are improving but still below average in the second quarter; and are solidly within historical levels in the second half. Pricing remains strong throughout 2022, with or without FCCs.

"As cases have come down, demand has come surging back. Consumers are showing their resilience and desire to vacation, and the growing affinity of Royal Caribbean's leading brands, ships and crew. Although there are many uncertainties going forward regarding COVID-19, as well as cost and supply chain pressures, we continue our pathway forward and anticipate positive cash flow for the Group by spring of 2022 and generating positive earnings for the full year 2022," said Jason T. Liberty, Executive Vice President and CFO.

As of September 30, 2021, Royal Caribbean said that it had approximately $2.8 billion in customer deposits. The comparable figure for the three brands at the same time in 2019 was $3.1 billion. This represents an improvement of about $400 million over the past quarter despite the $300 million of revenue that was recognized during the quarter. Approximately 35% of the customer deposit balance is related to FCCs compared to 40% in the prior quarter; a positive trend indicating new demand. Customer deposits for second quarter 2022 forward sailings are higher than at the same time in 2019.

Cunard announces new itineraries on Queen Elizabeth for 2022
Cunard has announced that a series of new itineraries sailing on Queen Elizabeth between February and May 2022 will go on sale in November. All sailings will depart from Southampton and will include a voyage in search of the Northern Lights, journeys to the Canary Islands and the Western Mediterranean as well as a grand voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Panama Canal and on to Vancouver, Canada.

The new itineraries will replace the existing published schedule. Cunard continues to work very closely with authorities in all the destinations visited to ensure compliance with local health and entry requirements. Unfortunately, based on the most recent advice for cruise guests, and given the complexities of many of the international destinations involved, it will not be viable to maintain Queen Elizabeth's existing schedule and all departures from 20 February to 17 May 2022 inclusive are now cancelled.

Cunard President Simon Palethorpe says, "We hope our guests will be inspired to find a little adventure with these new itineraries. In a single short programme, they offer fantastic variety from the opportunity to experience the wondrous Northern Lights, to sun kissed Mediterranean shores, to a transit of the Panama Canal.

To all guests affected by the cancelled voyages we are sorry for the disappointment this will cause and we hope to welcome many back on board when we return to Japan in 2023."

Guests booked on the affected cancelled voyages will be offered a full refund or future cruise credit worth 125% of the standard deposit terms, and 100% of any additional monies paid.

Carnival Cruise Line Welcomes Bahamas Prime Minister During Mardi Gras' Stop In Nassau
The celebrations on the inaugural cruise for Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras continued today in Nassau as Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy and Captain Vincenzo Alcaras welcomed Bahamas Prime Minister The Honourable Philip Brave Davis, members of his cabinet and local officials aboard for a tour and luncheon meeting. The ship, flying the Bahamian flag, is a symbol of Carnival's commitment to The Bahamas, and is carrying more than 4,300 guests who enjoyed various shore excursions and activities during the day-long visit.

"We are thrilled to be visiting Nassau with our flagship Mardi Gras and welcoming Prime Minister Davis and his leadership team aboard," said Duffy. "Carnival has a longstanding relationship with The Bahamas and we look forward to working closely with the Prime Minister and his cabinet as we continue to restart ships in our fleet, bring more guests to The Bahamas, and demonstrate our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the destinations we visit."

Carnival also announced today that it has reflagged two additional vessels, Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit, to Bahamian registry, bringing the total number of vessels registered in the country to six.

"We value our business relationships across The Bahamas whether our investments in destinations and facilities such as the Grand Bahamas Shipyard, the local tourism and excursion partners that employ many Bahamian citizens, or the Bahamas Maritime Administration that shares our commitment to safety and environmental protection. We're proud and honored to continue to expand the number of ships we have registered here," said Domenico Rognoni, senior vice president of compliance for Carnival Cruise Line. "The Bahamas' insight, cooperation and professionalism in all aspects of our business play a key role in our maritime operations."

Carnival Legend is scheduled to replace Carnival Pride in Baltimore resuming year-round operations Nov. 14, 2021, while Carnival Spirit, based in Australia, is on a pause in guest operations through February 2022. Mardi Gras, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Sensation and Carnival Sunshine are the other Carnival ships registered in The Bahamas.

Mardi Gras was christened during a "Universe of Fun" celebration on Oct. 23 in Port Canaveral, Fla. The celebration marked the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industry's restart this summer.

Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and features BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea. Mardi Gras is sailing year-round from Port Canaveral, offering seven-day itineraries to the eastern and western Caribbean, stopping in Nassau every other week.

Princess Cruises Announces "The Love Boat" Themed Cruise
"Love … exciting and new…come aboard … we're expecting you." A special themed "Love Boat" cruise is setting a course for adventure onboard Majestic Princess with the original ensemble cast, who will celebrate their friend and everyone's favorite cruise ship Captain Stubing with a tribute to Actor Gavin MacLeod. This seven-day cruise sails roundtrip from the Port of Los Angeles (San Pedro) to the Mexican Riviera, February 26-March 5, 2022.

Hosted by Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan (Vicki Stubing), who will be joined by fellow "Love Boat" cast members Cynthia Lauren Tewes (Julie McCoy), Bernie Kopell (Doc), Fred Grandy (Gopher) and Ted Lange (Isaac). Together, they will share their favorite memories from the show, participate in various guest activities and celebrate the late Gavin MacLeod, who served as brand ambassador for Princess Cruises for more than 35 years until his passing in May 2021, at the age of 90.

The voyage will be underway on MacLeod's birthday – February 28 – and sails on the cruise line's signature Mexican Riviera itinerary that was prominently featured during the TV show's 10-year-run from 1977-1986, where Princess cruise ships served as the ocean-going co-star of the series. Guests will enjoy port visits to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

"Reuniting with the cast for this very special themed 'Love Boat' cruise and celebrating the show's lasting impact with guests is sure to be nostalgic, fun and incredibly memorable," said Jill Whelan, Celebrations Ambassador for Princess Cruises. "While we always love to connect with fans this cruise will be extra special because we will also celebrate the life and career of Gavin, our fearless leader, who not only played my dad on TV but was also a true father figure to me beyond the show."

"Love Boat" themed cruise activities include:

• Festive sailaway party including the popular 1970s-inspired Love Boat Disco Deck Party returns exclusively for a "command performance" during this themed cruise.

• Renewal of vows ceremony, hosted by Whelan and the cast on the top-deck

• Q&A with the cast, sharing favorite memories of the show and MacLeod

• Birthday celebration honoring MacLeod

• "Love Boat" episodes airing on Movies Under the Stars and in staterooms

• Love Boat trivia with the Cruise Director

• Cast photo opportunities

• "Love Boat" themed menus and specialty cocktails

• Themed décor, photo backdrops and merchandise

Princess has been connected to "The Love Boat" beyond the setting of the show, reuniting the original cast members for two ship christenings – Dawn Princess (1997) and Regal Princess (2014), appearing on the cruise line's Rose Parade float and sailing on a throwback cruise in 2015 all celebrating the lines 50th anniversary. In May 2018, the six original cast members of "The Love Boat" and Princess Cruises received an honorary star plaque on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition of their contributions to the history of television and support of the preservation of the Walk of Fame.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.07 + 4.77%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 88.28 + 3.97%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.68 - 2.86%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 27.07 + 4.44%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Here's another Photo Cruise Trivia - This picture was taken in 1975 in New York City. Can you name the five ships in the photo (...from bottom to top)?


Click Here for a larger version of the picture.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first steam turbine powered vessel and where did she make her debut?

Answer - Turbinia was the first publicly sailed turbine vessel. She first appeared at the Fleet Review off Cowes, Isle of Wight courtesy of David Muñoz, Miami, FL.


Cruise News - October 25, 2021

Puerto Rico Welcomes Carnival Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line's celebratory cruise following the christening of its new flagship Mardi Gras last Saturday made its first stop with a call in San Juan, Puerto Rico today. As part of the day's festivities, the reigning Miss Universe, Puerto Rico, Estefania Soto-Torres and the incoming Miss Universe, Puerto Rico, Michelle Colón welcomed some very special guests to their home island: Miss Universe Andrea Meza, Mardi Gras Godmother and Miss Universe, Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jiménez and Miss USA Asya Branch, as well as Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy.

Mardi Gras was christened during a "Universe of Fun" celebration on Oct. 23 in Port Canaveral, Fla. The celebration marked the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industry's restart this summer. Godmother Jiménez blessed the ship in both English and Spanish and activated the traditional champagne bottle break, officially naming the ship.

"We are thrilled to be back in Puerto Rico and allow our destinations to participate in the celebration of our new ship," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "And to be welcomed by the current and incoming Miss Universe, Puerto Rico has made it even more special."

Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and features BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea. Guests can enjoy a host of entertainment experiences throughout the ship's 19 decks and six distinct themed zones, including the first shipboard version of the hit TV show Family Feud, and more than two dozen restaurants with venues from Guy Fieri, Emeril Lagasse, Rudi Sodamin and the line's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal. Mardi Gras is sailing year-round from Port Canaveral, offering seven-day itineraries to the eastern and western Caribbean.

Carnival Cruise Line Christens Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line today christened Mardi Gras at Port Canaveral, Fla. at a "Universe of Fun" celebration befitting of the world's most fun cruise ship, in the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industry's restart this summer.

Carnival's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal attended the festivities and cut the ribbon of his first Big Chicken restaurant at sea that debuted on Mardi Gras when she began cruise operations on July 31.

Miss Universe, Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jimenez served as the ship's Godmother and officially named the ship and was joined by Miss Universe, Andrea Meza and Miss USA, Asya Branch who sang the national anthem. The event featured a "World of Nations" flag procession to highlight the diversity of the 120 nationalities of Carnival crew members, and, of course, a Mardi Gras parade with a Second Line Band.

"Today's naming ceremony of our flagship Mardi Gras, the first in the industry since our restart of operations, signifies excitement and optimism as we look to bring our entire fleet back into guest service by spring 2022," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "This ship has been amazing guests during her pre-inaugural season and the celebration today with our Chief Fun Officer Shaq, our Godmother Kimberly, and so many special guests, was extremely gratifying and emotional."

Following remarks by Duffy and Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Carnival friends and partners Romero Britto, Emeril Lagasse, Kathie Lee Gifford, Vanna White and Guy Fieri provided their congratulations on the ship's naming and helped bring the champagne bottle to the ship.

Godmother Jimenez blessed the ship in both English and her native Spanish and activated the traditional champagne bottle break, officially naming the ship. In a celebration of the ship's name, a special Mardi Gras parade with Duffy, Donald and O'Neal leading it, capped off the festivities.

Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and the first to feature a roller coaster. The 180,000-ton ship boasts six distinct themed zones with a variety of food, beverage and entertainment options, including dining venues from Lagasse, Fieri, O'Neal and Rudi Sodamin. Mardi Gras sails weekly from Port Canaveral on alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.

Disney Cruise Line Sets Sail on Streets of New York City
On Nov. 25, Disney Cruise Line's brand-new cruise ship float will embark on its maiden voyage in New York City as part of the 95th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The imaginatively designed "ship" has been christened "Magic Meets the Sea" and is inspired by the fantastical style of the Disney Wish, which sets sail in summer 2022.

"The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a treasured tradition at the heart of family holiday celebrations," said Sharon Siskie, senior vice president and general manager, Disney Cruise Line. "We are honored to collaborate with Macy's for this renowned event and build upon the shared legacy of creating magical memories year after year. Just like the Disney Wish, our float will be a celebration of enchanting Disney storytelling, beloved characters and wishes come true."

During its inaugural Parade voyage, the float will feature 15 favorite Disney friends who represent the stories and experiences on the Disney Wish, including Captain Minnie Mouse, who proudly adorns the ship's bow; Princess Tiana, who cooks up the power of imagination in an all-new interactive adventure aboard the ship; Aladdin and Jasmine, whose story has been reimagined into an original Broadway-style stage show on board; and Cinderella, whose beautiful bronze statue will grace the fairytale-inspired Grand Hall.

Showcasing the grandeur of a Disney Cruise Line vessel, the new float will feature iconic design elements including a Mickey Mouse-inspired color palette, towering red funnels and an intricate filigree motif along the hull.

"The entire Macy's Parade team is thrilled to welcome Disney Cruise Line to this year's outstanding Parade lineup," said Jordan Dabby, producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "This magical float will enchant an audience of millions in New York City, and nationwide on television with Disney's signature brand of imagination and innovation."

More details about Disney Cruise Line's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade appearance will be announced at a later date.

Majestic Princess Celebrates Maiden Call at the Port of Los Angeles
Princess Cruises celebrated the arrival and return to service of Majestic Princess at the Port of Los Angeles today. Princess Cruises and the Port of Los Angeles highlighted the positive multi-dimensional impact cruising has on Los Angeles and surrounding communities. Every cruise ship visit infuses more than $1 million into the local economy.

“We’re pleased to welcome guests aboard Majestic Princess today and celebrate the ship’s maiden voyage from the West Coast,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We have we been sailing out of Los Angeles since our cruise line first began in 1965, and our guests and crew are helping the City of Angels generate substantial revenue for local businesses with our West Coast cruises homeporting from here year over year.”

Princess Cruises, Los Angeles’ hometown cruise line and leader on the West Coast, sails more frequently than any other cruise line in this region, contributing $594 million to the Los Angeles economy in 2019. Over the past decade, Princess had more than 700 ship visits in Los Angeles—the most of any line. The cruise line is also known for its co-starring role on the hit TV series “The Love Boat” and frequently sailed with the beloved cast members and famous guests stars from the Port of Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera.

“Our popularity as a leading west coast cruise port is directly connected to the longstanding partnership we have had with Princess Cruises,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The convenient and premium vacation experience that travelers enjoy on Majestic Princess and other Princess vessels have helped the Port of Los Angeles evolve into a year-around cruise port, and we are excited to be forecasting a record 200 sailings in 2022."

Majestic Princess just completed a partial summer season in Alaska and is scheduled to depart from the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro on 14 roundtrip departures through the end of the year. Cruise itineraries include the Mexican Riviera, California Coast and West Coast Getaways, ranging in length from three to 10 days.

Majestic Princess offers a MedallionClass vacation, delivering the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising. It begins with OceanMedallion™, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from touch-free boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship.

Princess Cruises sailings onboard Majestic Princess from the Port of Los Angeles are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. All fully vaccinated guests must also produce a negative, medically observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 22.02 - 4.80%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 84.91 - 1.13%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.70 - 1.41%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.92 - 0.80%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first steam turbine powered vessel and where did she make her debut?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former White Star liner retained her original White Star name (ending in -ic) and funnel colors well after the two lines merged in 1934 until she was retired in late 1960?

Answer - The White Star liner was the Britanic. courtesy of Rex Oberon, Dallas, TX.


Cruise News - October 18, 2021

Holland America Line Names Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands Godmother of Rotterdam
Holland America Line announced today that when Rotterdam is named next spring, Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands will be the ship's godmother, carrying on a tradition that began in the 1920s.

Holland America Line's connection to The House of Orange goes back nearly a century to Prince Hendrik launching Statendam III in 1929. Since then, members of the Dutch Royal Family have launched 11 more Holland America Line vessels throughout the years, including Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet who named Prinsendam (1972), Nieuw Amsterdam III (1983), Rotterdam VI (1997) and Oosterdam (2003).

"We are deeply grateful that Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet will once again act as godmother to a Holland America Line ship, carrying on a long tradition with the Royal Family that continues to honor our Dutch roots," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Rotterdam will be named in Rotterdam next year, celebrating its namesake city and our historic connection with the Netherlands. We look forward to commemorating the occasion where it all started for Holland America Line."

Additional members of the Dutch Royal Family who are godmothers include Queen Máxima, who named Koningsdam in 2016 and Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010. Then-Queen Beatrix served as Eurodam's godmother in 2008. Rotterdam V was launched in 1958 by Queen Juliana. Then-Princess Beatrix named Statendam IV in 1957 and Prinses Margriet in 1960. Nieuw Amsterdam II was launched by Queen Wilhelmina in 1937.

Rotterdam's maiden cruise departs Oct. 20, 2021, from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and embarks on a 14-day transatlantic journey to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During its inaugural Caribbean season from November to April, Rotterdam will sail a variety of five- to 11-day itineraries that span the southern, western, eastern and tropical regions, all roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. In mid-April, the ship makes a 14-day Atlantic Ocean crossing back to Europe to spend the summer in Norway, the Baltic, British Isles and Iceland, all sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam.

Rotterdam was delivered by the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy July 30, 2021. The date for naming the ship in Rotterdam will be announced in the coming months.

Holland America Line's Rotterdam Departs on Maiden Voyage from Amsterdam
Holland America Line's Rotterdam departed today on its highly anticipated 14-day maiden voyage from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The cruise line celebrated the occasion with fanfare, cheering crew and a ribbon cutting to welcome guests on board the transatlantic cruise.

The 2,668-guest Rotterdam was delivered in July 2021 and is the third in the Pinnacle Class series for Holland America Line. Last week the ship arrived at its namesake city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where it was announced that Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands will be the ships godmother when it is officially named in the spring.

"Rotterdam's maiden voyage has been highly anticipated for months by our guests and team members eager to welcome them aboard," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Rotterdam is a beautiful ship and the fourth in our fleet to begin cruising this year. We are excited to bring her to Florida and the Caribbean soon on her first sailing."

Following the transatlantic crossing, Rotterdam will spend from November through April on its inaugural Caribbean Season, with all sailings roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. The cruises range from six to 11 days and span the entire region on southern, eastern, western and tropical itineraries. Guests looking for a longer getaway can embark on a Collectors' Voyage — combined back-to-back itineraries that offer an in-depth exploration covering more than one area.

Every Caribbean cruise includes a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private Bahamian island. This quaint sanctuary has evolved into a playground for cruise guests and features the finest beaches; two-story villas and private cabanas; delicious dining venues like Lobster Shack; and a variety of fun-filled tours for nature lovers, adventurous travelers and explorers.

Rotterdam has the highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer restaurant and Grand Dutch Café. The ship introduces the Half Moon Bar, an immersive experience looking at the history of Holland America Line and cruising through the lens of a cocktail.

Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with a collection of world-class performances each night — from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam showcases Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; a museum-quality art collection valued at more than $4 million; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line.

Royal Caribbean Introduces Ultimate World Tour
Adventurers seeking to travel far and wide can now set off on a world tour of their own. 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. Bookings for the full Ultimate World Cruise can be made by phone starting today, with an exclusive one-week window through Oct. 26 for Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society Diamond status members and above.

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 vacation that welcomes those seeking adventure and exploration to taste, dance and dream with us around the world. To travelers 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. Travelers 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, in Rio 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 in Ephesus, 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 travelers' 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.

Emerald Princess Debuts as Fifth Princess Ship to Return to Service
Princess Cruises today marked the return to service of the cruise line's third ship in the U.S. – Emerald Princess – departing from of the Port of Los Angeles on a 15-day Panama Canal cruise to Ft. Lauderdale. The very first Emerald Princess guests were welcomed onboard by the crew with a special ribbon cutting ceremony.

"Princess has been a part of so many special memories for us," said Chris and Kathleen Lennon of Monument, CO, the first Emerald Princess guests to board the cruise ship. "This is our 20th cruise and our third time onboard Emerald Princess, and the excitement we felt when we arrived today was overwhelming. It truly feels like coming home."

Emerald Princess is scheduled to arrive in Ft. Lauderdale on October 30, 2021 and will sail a series of 10-day Panama Canal cruises, roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale through December 2021.

Emerald Princess offers MedallionClass vacations, delivering the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising. The Medallion is a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from touch-free boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship. It's been recognized as the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry.

Princess Cruises sailings onboard Emerald Princess are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. All fully vaccinated guests must also produce a negative, medically-observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings. Crew vaccinations are in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Captain Kate McCue To Take The Helm Of Celebrity Beyond
Exciting news today, as Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo announced Captain Kate McCue, the first American female cruise ship captain, will take the helm of Celebrity BeyondSM, the company's third ship in its industry-transforming Edge Series debuting in spring 2022.

The dynamic and decorated captain will usher in a new era for the new-luxury brand, sailing a ship brought to life by a dream team of modern lifestyle icons including multi-award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE; celebrated American designer Nate Berkus; the culinary gifts of Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud; and featuring wellness experiences and products from goop CEO and founder Gwyneth Paltrow, the brand's Well-Being Advisor.

For Captain Kate, the seed to be a captain was planted following a cruise the then-12-year-old McCue took with her family. She told her father that she wanted to be a cruise director when she grew up. His advice to her was that she could do anything she wanted, including captaining the ship.

Since that time Captain Kate has been a pioneer and trailblazer, breaking the gender barrier in 2015 when Lutoff-Perlo named her to be the first -- and still only -- American female to captain a major cruise ship - Celebrity Summit. She moved to Celebrity Equinox before being appointed to helm the exquisite Celebrity Edge in September 2019. On March 8, 2020, McCue further cemented her place in the history books when she captained the history-making, barrier-breaking sailing on Celebrity Edge that comprised a cruise ship's first-ever all-female bridge and officer team.

Captain Kate also led the Celebrity fleet – and the industry – back into operation when, on June 26, 2021, Celebrity Edge became the first cruise ship to sail with guests from a U.S. port in more than a year due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

"This is a day that I've been waiting for since we made the first cut of steel on our beautiful Celebrity Beyond. Captain Kate has transcended what it means to be a captain as a voice and example of inclusivity, diversity, and change," said Lutoff-Perlo. "She constantly thinks about how she can go above and beyond, mirroring the exceptional design and imagination of the ship she will captain. I'm beyond excited to see her take our guests to locations that will open their eyes to the beauty of the world around them and experience travel on a new-luxury ship without comparison."

Since taking on the mantle of captain, McCue has inspired others to shoot for the stars and encouraged people from all walks of life to follow their dreams. The endearing and charismatic McCue has also become a social media celebrity, amassing nearly 3.5 million followers across TikTok, Instagram and YouTube by humanizing the profile of captain and sharing behind the scenes looks at seafaring life. "To be the 'take out' captain for a new vessel is an honor for any captain and it is an absolute dream come true for me. I always say that if you see it, you can be it and I hope that Celebrity Beyond sails as an inspiration for all to see past convention in pursuit of any goal in life," said Captain Kate McCue. "I'm forever grateful to Lisa for entrusting this labor of love to me to captain. The thoughtfulness and imagination she put into this ship is only matched by her forward thinking to move the industry beyond what it is now and see what it should be." Celebrity Beyond will not only hold the title of the largest ship in the fleet, but the distinction as the brand's most luxurious vessel.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.13 - 3.14%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 85.88 - 1.66%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.71 + 20.34%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 26.13 - 0.42%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former White Star liner retained her original White Star name (ending in -ic) and funnel colors well after the two lines merged in 1934 until she was retired in late 1960?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - The two ships in question were the beautiful American Export twins, the Independence and Constitution, the last ships of any flag to use the counter stern. courtesy of Rex Oberon, Dallas, TX.


Cruise News - October 11, 2021

Majestic Princess Maiden Call to San Francisco is First Cruise Ship Visit Since Global Industry Pause
Princess Cruises today celebrated its return to San Francisco with the maiden call of Majestic Princess, the first cruise ship to visit the City by the Bay since the industry global pause of operations. Guests onboard Majestic Princess experienced the iconic attractions of San Francisco during a port call on a seven-day Classic California Coast voyage, sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles.

Long-time partners from the Port of San Francisco welcomed Princess Cruises back, recognizing the beneficial financial impact to local businesses.

"Princess has a long history of visiting the iconic Port of San Francisco with our guests marveling at the bucket-list experience of sailing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Our guests remain eager to be back on board enjoying a safe and real vacation." v"The Port of San Francisco is excited to welcome back a safe return of Princess Cruises and all cruises to our renowned waterfront and city," said Elaine Forbes, Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco. "The city has worked with cruise lines to ensure all CDC guidelines have been met or exceeded. The return of cruise is an important milestone for San Francisco's economic recovery and will support our small and family-owned waterfront businesses."

Majestic Princess offers a MedallionClass vacation, delivering the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising. It begins with OceanMedallion™, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from touch-free boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them, wherever they are on the ship.

Princess Cruises sailings onboard Majestic Princess are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. All fully vaccinated guests must also produce a negative, medically observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings.

Azamara Unveils 2023 and 2024 Itineraries
Azamara cruise line unveiled 39 new itineraries this week across its four-ship fleet for 2023 and 2024. This latest deployment will take Azamara guests to every corner of the world, with each ship embarking in a different location: Azamara Pursuit in South Africa, Azamara Quest in South America, Azamara Journey in Australia and Asia, and Azamara OnwardSM in the Mediterranean and Caribbean regions. Azamara's winter voyages will also feature several new shore excursions, pre- and post- cruise land programs, and AzAmazing Evenings, all designed to bring guests deeper into the heart of each destination and spark a sense of wonder as travelers explore the unique culture of each city.

"With this itinerary release, we are thrilled to offer over 20 maiden ports, dock in smaller destinations that large ships can't access, and most exciting of all, for the first time we will have a ship in every corner of the world. In addition, this November we will be unveiling a new, highly requested offering from Azamara, which involves travel across the globe," says Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara. "From connecting with locals in the tiny village of Boca da Valeria, Brazil; to cycling on the 600-year-old Xian City Wall in China, our new voyages will offer endless opportunities to rediscover yourself through travel and connect to local people and cultures."

Exclusive to Azamara and offered during late-nights and overnights in port, the brand's signature AzAmazing Evenings are designed to connect guests to the local culture of a destination and are uniquely tailored to each location. Highlights of the AzAmazing Evenings include:

• The Living Past of the Amazon: In Manaus, Brazil, guests will discover the living past of the Amazon Rainforest. The four-part show entitled, "North Symmetry. The Glorifications of Nature in the Amazon," will take guests on a journey from pre-Columbian indigenous civilizations to modern times. Through native dances, rituals, and traditional folklore music, guests will be educated on some of the mysteries of Amazon culture.

• Traditional Korean Art Performances: In Busan, South Korea, watch as multiple traditional Korean art forms are combined to create a spectacular show. Enjoy NANTA, one of the most famous non-verbal performances in Korea, which combines Korean folk and modern music to create a unique yet familiar experience; Korean dance performed while wearing the traditional Hanbok; and Taekkyeon, a traditional Korean martial art that uses fluid, rhythmic movements to strike an opponent, all in one captivating performance.

• Italian Arias Performed by Società Filarmonia: In Ravenna, Italy, listen to brilliantly composed, classic arias made popular by internationally renowned opera singer Maria Callas. The arias will be directed by Alfredo Barchi and performed by Società Filarmonia, which was established in 1998 to bring together diverse musical experiences, skills, and emerging talents.

Azamara continues to reaffirm its commitment to Destination Immersion with a diverse selection of new shore excursions. Highlights from the new shore excursions include:

• Santarém, Brazil: In the city known as the "Pearl of Tapajós" for its location at the merging of the Tapajós and Amazon ricers, cruise through Maica Lake and enjoy stunning views of the Amazon Basin. Guests will spot local inhabitants, many species of birds, and possibly even the unique Amazon river mammal, a fresh water pink dolphin (Boto Cor-de-Rosa).

• Dakar, Senegal: Join some of the most well-known Senegalese chefs from the region's local culinary school for a cooking tutorial. Guests will learn how to make signature Senegalese dishes followed by a meet and greet with the head of the culinary school to discuss cooking tips and techniques. The afternoon will conclude with a delicious lunch and recipes to take home to cook Senegalese dishes.

• Tinos, Greece: Spend the afternoon with a renowned Greek chef for a food and wine pairing with island products, like local cheeses such as Tinos Graviera and the king of the cheeses, Kopanisti, a soft cheese with a distinct peppery-hot taste. Indulge in local wines made from Assyrtiko grapes for white wine and Mavrotragano for the red. Island-grown fruits and vegetables, such as sun-dried tomatoes, pears, artichokes, and capers, will also be enjoyed.

For travelers looking to explore the destination beyond their voyage and immerse themselves ever further, highlights of the pre- and-post-cruise land programs include:

• Stay Local in Hong Kong (two-night): Explore the dynamic city of Hong Kong, stopping at the famous Victoria Peak for panoramic views of Kowloon and the surrounding islands, the tranquil Nan Lian Garden – designed in the Tang Dynasty-style with hills, water features, trees, rocks, and wooden structures – and go to the top of the 100th floor of the tallest building in Hong Kong. Additional highlights include a traditional Dim Sum lunch, a visit to Wong Tai Sin Temple, where locals go to pray for good health, and shopping for art products in Stanley Market.

• Experience China's Treasures (four-night): From The Great Wall of China to charming local markets, journey through the ancient wonders and cultural riches of the region. Guests will explore the lakes, pavilions, and pagodas of the Summer Palace, known as the best-preserved royal garden in the world; learn how to make Chinese dumplings with the locals of Hutong, the oldest residential area in Beijing; and visit the Terracotta Army Museum, home to a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of China's first Emperor, who are buried with him to protect the emperor during his afterlife.

Viking Announces Newest Ocean Ship and Three New Itineraries
Viking today announced its newest ocean ship, Viking Saturn, will join the company's fleet in early 2023. The 930-guest sister ship will spend her maiden season sailing three new itineraries in Scandinavian and Nordic countries, including two 15-day journeys, Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada and Iceland & Norway's Arctic Explorer, and the 29-day Greenland, Iceland, Norway & Beyond voyage. In addition to the three new itineraries, Viking also announced today that the company will bring back the popular 8-day Iceland's Natural Beauty itinerary starting in August 2023.

"The thousands of guests who sailed our Welcome Back voyage in Iceland this past summer enjoyed the experience so much they provided record-level ratings," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "These new itineraries are ideal for curious travelers and trace routes of the early Viking explorers to Iceland and other North Atlantic destinations known for their natural beauty. We look forward to welcoming Viking Saturn to our fleet and to offering guests even more ways to explore this unique part of the world in comfort."

New and Returning 2023 Nordic Itineraries:

• Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada (NEW) – This 15-day itinerary spans Iceland, Greenland and the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Sailing between New York City and Reykjavik, guests will admire the volcanic landscape of the Westman Islands, enjoy the relaxed pace of life in Djúpivogur, and stroll the streets of picturesque towns like Seydisfjördur and Akureyri.

• Iceland & Norway's Arctic Explorer (NEW) – On this 15-day journey, guests will discover life in the far north during a voyage across the Arctic Circle and along the distant shores of Norway and Iceland. After enjoying an overnight stay in Viking Saturn's home port of Bergen, follow the footsteps of Vikings as you visit Honningvåg's remote North Cape and explore Longyearbyen, which is home to more polar bears than people.

• Greenland, Iceland, Norway & Beyond (NEW) – Guests can also choose to combine these two new itineraries for an epic 29-day voyage. Departing from the former Hanseatic League city of Bergen, guests will trace the path of Vikings through the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Iceland and Greenland before making their way to Canada and concluding in New York.

• Iceland's Natural Beauty – Returning in 2023, this popular 8-day roundtrip journey from Reykjavik explores the majestic shores of Iceland. Sailing on Viking Star, guests will encounter unparalleled natural beauty, witness cascading waterfalls and pristine fjord landscapes. Follow in the footsteps of the intrepid explorer Leif Eriksson, observe the local wildlife and immerse yourself in nature.

Viking Saturn

Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. Viking's award-winning ocean fleet includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter and Viking Venus. Viking Mars and Viking Neptune will join the fleet in 2022; Viking Saturn will join in early 2023. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking's ocean fleet features modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from 270 sq. ft. Veranda Staterooms, all with private verandas, sweeping views of the destination and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, generously proportioned closets, large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand, free Wi-Fi and award-winning bathrooms with large showers, premium Freyja bath products and heated floors.

• Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. With expansive views from wraparound private verandas, as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category on board, Explorer Suites offer the ultimate sanctuary for guests.

• Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.

• LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.

• Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow of the ship and designed to represent the Scandinavian spirit for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.

• The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.

• Dining Choices: Viking's ships offer eight dining options, all with no additional charge or fee—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a variety of culinary options, and the World Café, which features international fare and regional specialties including a sushi and seafood cold bar—to intimate alternative dining experiences at The Chef's Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and Manfredi's, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. The Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers, while afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden. Mamsen's serves Norwegian deli-style fare, and complimentary 24-hour room service allows all guests to enjoy many signature dishes in the comfort of their stateroom. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking's ocean ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea. Additionally, The Kitchen Table specializes in regional dishes from market to table.

• Cultural Enrichment: Viking experiences from ship to shore are designed for unparalleled access and cultural enrichment. Viking Resident Historians deliver high-level historical and cultural education specific to the journey, offering invaluable insight into the rich history of the destination. Guest Lecturers who are experts in their fields shed light on the destination's art, architecture, music, geopolitics, natural world and more. Destination Performances represent the most iconic cultural performing arts of the region—whether it be Italian opera or Portuguese fado. Resident Classical Musicians—pianists, guitarists, violinists and flautists—perform classical compositions throughout the ships. And Culinary Classes in The Kitchen Table, Viking's onboard cooking school, focus on regional cuisine.

• Nordic Inspiration: Even the smallest details take their inspiration from the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings, reflecting deeply held Nordic traditions. Light wood grains, touches of slate and teak, Swedish limestone and fragrant juniper appear throughout the public spaces and Spa. The Clinker-built design of the Viking Bar mirrors the construction style of the original Viking Longships. A Viking Heritage Center provides history and context from the Viking Age. And characters from Norse Mythology are subtly incorporated into the design, providing curious guests with inspiration to further explore Viking's Nordic heritage.

Disney Cruise Line Announces Return to Favorite Tropical Destinations in the Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexico
In early 2023, Disney Cruise Line will return to top tropical destinations in the Bahamas – including Disney's private island, Castaway Cay – as well as the Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera, delighting guests of all ages with one-of-a-kind vacations at sea. A variety of enchanting itineraries will set sail coast-to-coast from U.S. home ports including Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida; New Orleans; Galveston, Texas; and San Diego.

Vacations to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida

Disney Cruise Line will create even more fun in the sun like never before with an array of departures from the Sunshine State in early 2023, visiting tropical destinations throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean. Two ships will sail from Port Canaveral near Orlando, Florida, and a third ship will depart from Miami. Every cruise from Florida includes a visit to Disney's private island oasis, Castaway Cay.

Departing from Port Canaveral, the Disney Wish will sail into 2023 with three- and four-night voyages to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay. Cruises aboard Disney's newest ship combine enchanting new entertainment and storytelling, with the unparalleled service and magical moments that guests love when sailing with Disney.

Also from Port Canaveral, the Disney Fantasy will begin the year with seven-night sailings to several favorite destinations in the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Plus, one unique eight-night sailing includes two days in beautiful Bermuda, where guests can sunbathe on the island's pristine pink sand beaches, enjoy exhilarating water sports or explore the island's spectacular underground Crystal Caves.

From Miami, the Disney Dream will embark on an assortment of four- and five-night cruises to locales including Grand Cayman, Nassau, Castaway Cay and Cozumel, Mexico. Even more private island enjoyment is on deck with one special five-night cruise that includes two stops at Castaway Cay.

On all Florida departures, guests can delight in a voyage that provides something for every member of the family, combining the adventure and relaxation of tropical destinations, the ease and indulgence of an ocean cruise, and the world-class entertainment and service of a Disney vacation.

Tropical Escapes from Texas and New Orleans

In January and February, the Disney Magic will sail from Galveston, Texas, on a variety of four-, five-, six- and seven-night itineraries to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean. Tropical ports of call on these sailings include Grand Cayman as well as Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico.

In February and March, the Disney Magic is "going down the bayou" for the first time during a debut season in New Orleans. Departing from the heart of the The Big Easy, along the mighty Mississippi River, the four-, five- and six-night sailings will call on the tropical destinations of Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Before or after their Disney cruise, guests can venture into the Crescent City to savor the distinct flavors of famous New Orleans cuisine, revel in the sweet melodies of world-renowned jazz music and recognize the iconic sights and sounds that inspired the beloved animated film "The Princess and the Frog."

All early 2023 Disney Magic voyages include two or three days at sea to enjoy the unlimited fun, entertainment, relaxation and memories onboard.

Baja Peninsula Getaways from San Diego

The Disney Wonder will return to the West Coast, sailing from San Diego in April and May. Cruises to Baja, Mexico and the Mexican Riviera will transport guests to sunny shores filled with vibrant culture, glittering sand beaches, active outdoor adventures and exciting water activities.

Sailings from San Diego will range in length from three to seven nights. Some sailings to the Baja peninsula will call on the charming coastal city of Ensenada, known for its turquoise blue water and rugged mountainous terrain. Many departures will include a visit to Cabo San Lucas, a favorite destination with dramatic rock formations and white sand beaches.

Seven-night itineraries will sail to Mazatlan, the "Pearl of the Pacific," filled with breathtaking natural wonders, thriving culture and colorful history, and to Puerto Vallarta, the beautiful seaside escape nestled along the curve of the Banderas Bay and bordered by the stunning Sierra Madre mountains.

Silversea Launches Its First International TV Commercial
Silversea Cruises has launched its first international television commercial, inspiring curious travelers to rediscover the world. Part of an integrated, multi-channel advertising campaign that includes print, digital, and social media, the 30-second television spot will appear on major national television networks and streaming platforms in the U.S. and the U.K., before rolling out in markets around the world.

The TV commercial, conceived by Silversea's Global Creative Director José M. Vuolo, invites curious travelers to rediscover the world with a renewed passion. Silversea collaborator and world-renowned photographer Steve McCurry, whose photographic storytelling embodies guests' spirit of curiosity, features as the commercial's protagonist, appealing to viewers to embrace their desire to reconnect with the world's authentic beauty. From his suite aboard the ultra-luxury Silver Spirit, McCurry pens an open invitation, addressed "To the Curious," in which he writes: "To all of you who have been yearning to travel: It's time. The world is reopening. Open up to the world."

The television commercial focuses on journeys to discover the Earth's "most precious things," which "aren't things at all." Captivating photography expresses the beauty that can be found at "the edges of the world"—from mystical mountaintops in Bhutan and the frozen wonderlands of Antarctica to graceful wildlife and untouched ancient cultures. These are the types of places and natural treasures that curious travelers are eager to rediscover as the world reopens, and which Silversea unlocks with its celebrated blend of service excellence and luxurious comfort.

"Silversea is facing its greatest expansion ever," says Barbara Muckermann, Silversea's Chief Commercial Officer. "But this growth coincides with a very peculiar moment in the history of travel. The doors of the world were shut on us; now they're reopening and it's our responsibility as the leading ultra-luxury cruise line to reignite our guests' passion for discovery and let them know it's time to start exploring again safely, which is perhaps the greatest luxury of all right now. 'To the curious' is our mantra and our first international television campaign will appeal to curious travelers around the world. After all, our guests are travelers, not tourists; they collect interactions with people and experiences, not monuments. Curiosity is their common denominator, their driving force. Our television commercial enforces this concept with beautiful insights into the most remarkable destinations around the world. This is complemented by our print campaign, which showcases an especially breathtaking selection of images shot by Steve while he was traveling with us. These images are an invitation, almost, though there is hardly a need for one. People are ready to go."

José M. Vuolo, Silversea's Creative Director, says: "Our new 'To the Curious' campaign was designed to empower travelers to indulge their passion for travel with new eyes. A born storyteller with the soul of an explorer, Steve McCurry was the perfect subject for the commercial: Steve is a passionate traveler who is encouraged to seek out the world's most enriching moments – much the same as our guests. Steve's unique take on the world builds feelings of excitement and hope, marking a new beginning in travel. Steve's images are honest, captivating, and inspiring, but most importantly they convey the world in its most authentic form. In the same spirit, our new television commercial showcases the near-endless range of enriching experiences that our voyages unlock. With the reopening of the world, our guests have a renewed hunger to travel to new places, immerse themselves into new cultures, and experience new things."

Steve McCurry is a valued, long-term ambassador of Silversea Cruises. Since the launch of his creative collaboration with the cruise line in 2017, the award-winning photographer has undertaken more than 25 immersive journeys with Silversea, capturing more than 500 images of intriguing cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and unique moments around the globe.

"It felt great to be back on board a Silversea ship again, to film this commercial and to continue our close collaboration as the world reopens," says Steve McCurry. "My curiosity as a traveler encourages me to journey on; my travels with Silversea offer the chance to dive deep into the world, into the heart of fascinating cultures, wild landscapes, and warm-hearted communities. Silversea's television commercial will resonate with those who share my passion for discovery."

The winner of over 40 international awards, celebrated documentary maker Denis Delestrac directed and—in collaboration with ZETA SRL—co-produced Silversea's television commercial. In 2001, after having worked as a writer and a photographer in France and the U.S., Delestrac switched his career to documentary filmmaking in India, where he first met Steve McCurry – with whom he made his first short documentary. Delestrac has previously worked with Silversea and Steve McCurry on a variety of projects.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.88 - 5.80%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.32 - 4.11%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.59 - 9.23%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 26.24 - 4.48%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which was the first cruise/passenger ship to have televisions in every passenger cabin?

Answer - Chandris Line's Anerikanis, built as the Kenya Castle for Union Castle Lines in 1952. courtesy of Robert Westerbrook, Los Angeles


Cruise News - October 4, 2021

Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady Hits The High Seas
Virgin Voyages today embarks on its first official sailing from PortMiami. More than seven years in the making, Virgin Voyages is marking its debut in style. Dubbed the MerMaiden voyage, Scarlet Lady will offer her Sailors an experience of a lifetime, full of surprise and delights, mermaid-forward experiences woven throughout the voyage, and of course, mermaids and mermen celebrating alongside guests.

On the heels of a successful preview season in the UK, Scarlet Lady arrives in Miami to offer consumers a new way to sail the high seas. Featuring a mix of four- and five-night Caribbean itineraries, the brand offers an unparalleled Virgin experience with a mega yacht-inspired boutique hotel at sea. This adult-only experience presents the perfect backdrop for the vacation everyone needs, with no reason to stay home.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, says, "For more than 50 years, Virgin companies have been bringing innovation to industries. Virgin Voyages is very much charting our own path, offering a fresh perspective on cruise travel with a mix of the familiar and a healthy dose of Virgin satisfaction."

Virgin Voyages five-star experience comes without compromise, leading with health and well-being at the forefront. On top of requiring full vaccinations for both Sailors and Crew, all guests will be tested for COVID-19 prior to boarding, a cost covered by the brand. The goal is to ensure the safest possible travel experience, which includes implementing best practices around sanitization, physical distancing, limited occupancy and following local government guidelines in each destination Virgin Voyages sail.

Tom McAlpin, President and CEO of Virgin Voyages, says, "After many years in the making, we are excited to officially launch Scarlet Lady and welcome Sailors in the U.S. aboard for an unforgettable experience. With Michelin-starred dining, incredible spa, phenomenal on-board entertainment and amazing crew, our promise is to deliver a sophisticated, yet relaxed, adult-only experience — free of formality, where ordinary becomes extraordinary. We call this 'Setting Sail the Virgin Way.'"

Virgin Voyages is bringing a sea of change to the cruise industry with a superior value proposition, giving its Sailors more for their money with all gratuities covered, free Wi-Fi, basic beverages and unlimited group fitness classes – all included in the voyage fare. Virgin Voyages unique offerings also include:

• Adult-by-Design, offering a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler

• Relaxed-Luxe, the VV experience is sophisticated, yet approachable with nods of glamour that are perfectly primed for today's discerning, modern travelers

• Dining, Done Differently, 20+ eateries that foodies will love; restaurants that rival your favorites on land; Virgin Voyages bid ahoy to buffets and pre-set dining times, opting instead for endless, À la minute options. Something to suit every palate including menus from Michelin-starred chefs, the world's only Korean BBQ at sea, and a food hall with options ranging from noodles to diner classics for a late-night bite.

• Immersive Entertainment, with groundbreaking acts, original programming and small microplays developed by some of the world's most-talked about producers, directors and artists

• Shake for Champagne™, through the Virgin Voyages Sailor App, Sailors can request Champagne anywhere on-board Scarlet Lady with a simple shake of their phone

• Vitamin Sea, innovative programming with well-being activated through a mix of high-energy moments coupled with relaxation and rejuvenation

Scarlet Lady's "Fire & Sunset Soirées," a four-night cruise, will stop in Nassau and then head to the Beach Club at Bimini, a signature waterfront experience in one of the most alluring Caribbean destinations. Sailors can get that sun-kissed glow and relax with restorative morning yoga classes or lounging by the pool in a private cabana, paired with sunset bonfires and DJ-led floatilla parties.

During her inaugural season, Scarlet Lady will sail a mix of Mexican and Caribbean voyages befitting of any curious traveler's tastes, with five-night "Riviera Maya" sailings to Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen; five-night "Mayan Sol" voyages to Costa Maya, Mexico, and five-night "Dominican Daze" voyages to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

With an impressive 1,330 cabins and 78 RockStar Quarters, 86 percent of the cabins on Scarlet Lady feature a balcony and 93 percent have an ocean view. Intelligent architecture is built into the dynamic design with additional highlights that include rainfall showers, ambient mood lighting and smart controls, adjusting automatically with the ship's geo-navigation system.

Virgin Voyages worked with a Creative Collective comprised of some of the most sought-after interior designers, artists and architects including Roman and Williams, Tom Dixon's Design Research Studio, Concrete Amsterdam, Softroom of London and more. Scarlet Lady's interiors were conceptualized by Ben Christie and David Azurdia from the multi-award-winning Magpie Studio in London. RWD from Beaulieu England, who are leaders in super yacht design, created the iconic red Virgin funnel of the vessel.

Carnival Victory Renamed Carnival Radiance
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it has officially changed the name of Carnival Victory to Carnival Radiance, which is in the final stages of a $200 million bow-to-stern makeover in Cadiz, Spain.

The third in the line’s Sunshine-class series, Carnival Radiance is scheduled to depart Cadiz, Spain, on Oct. 18 starting a seven-week journey to her eventual homeport in Long Beach, Calif., with stops in Miami and a transit of the Panama Canal along the way.

On Dec. 13, Carnival Radiance makes her Southern California debut, kicking off a year-round schedule of three- and four-day cruises to Baja Mexico from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal. On this route, three-day cruises depart Fridays and visit Ensenada, Mexico, while four-day cruises sail on Mondays calling at Ensenada and Catalina Island.

Carnival Radiance features all of the line’s popular Fun Ship 2.0 dining, beverage and entertainment spaces as well as Big Chicken, a casual poolside restaurant created by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal that debuted on Mardi Gras earlier this year. From new dining choices such as the Cucina del Capitano to expanded entertainment venues like the multi-purpose Liquid Lounge and one of the largest and most luxurious Cloud 9 Spas at sea, Carnival Radiance will offer an abundance of ways for guests to Choose Fun from the West Coast.

“The transformation of Carnival Victory has been in the works for quite some time but we’re delighted that she can now be officially be called Carnival Radiance — the newest member of our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival Radiance features all of our most popular spaces and provides a truly unique and exciting vacation option for the Southern California short cruise market.”

A traditional naming ceremony will be held once Carnival Radiance arrives in Long Beach. Additional details will be announced in the near future.

Carnival Radiance joins Carnival Miracle which will reposition to Long Beach Sept. 27 to operate short cruises to Mexico, as well as Carnival Panorama sailing week-long voyages to the Mexican Riviera.

Azamara Makes its Return to South Africa this Winter
Azamara snnounced this week that it will return to South Africa this winter, as the country reopens international cruising in South African waters and ports. Azamara Pursuit will set sail from January to March 2022 with six back-to-back voyages – five of which are Country-Intensive itineraries – and will resume pre- and post-cruise land explorations with leading luxury safari operator, Micato Safaris, recently named the #1 World's Best Safari Outfitter by Travel+Leisure for an unprecedented 10th time.

"A trip to Africa is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the kind of travel Azamara is known for, which is why I am so pleased to confirm our guests are now welcome back to South Africa following the reopening of its ports to international cruising," says Azamara President, Carol Cabezas. "Once again Micato Safaris will deliver unrivaled pre-and post-cruise land programs, as they share Azamara's love of travel, exploration and value of creating one-of-a-kind experiences for travelers."

"Together with Carol Cabezas and her team, we have crafted a series of unique custom programs which showcase the very best of Southern Africa for Azamara's discerning passengers," says Micato Managing Director, Dennis Pinto.

Highlights from Azamara's immersive pre- and post-land programs with Micato include:

Greater Kruger National Park Safari & Winelands (five nights pre-cruise, five nights post-cruise):
Azamara travelers will be introduced to two very different sides of South Africa – first exploring the Kapama Game Reserve, home to more that 40 mammal species, including Africa's Big Five: the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. Then, visit the Western Cape, blessed with the perfect climate for making world-class wines, to explore the country's wine region and sip local vintages from wineries like Vergelegen Estate followed by a gourmet meal from Tokara Restaurant.

Victoria Falls & Chobe Game Park Safari (five nights pre-cruise, five nights post-cruise):
Guests will travel through Zimbabwe to Botswana: Experience Victoria Falls - one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Then continue to Botswana to enjoy both dawn and evening game drives through Botswana's Chobe National Park to scout out wildlife like Cape buffalo, lions, elephants and more.

Azamara's voyages in South Africa will offer 16-late nights and 11-overnights throughout the winter season, as well as five dedicated Country Intensive itineraries, allowing guests to travel deeper and visit more ports in one country.

Highlights of the voyages include:

PerryGolf Sailing:
Azamara's South African voyages will also feature a 12-night Golf Voyage through its continued partnership with PerryGolf, the leading provider of international luxury golf vacations. Providing a seamless and truly integrated golf cruise program, the voyage will include five rounds, beginning with Humewood Golf Club, a true links course in Port Elizabeth which has hosted numerous PGA events, and is one of South Africa's top-rated gold clubs, and will stop for play at notable clubs along the coast, including East London, Zimbali, Durban Country Club and Pearl Valley.

Immersive Destination Programming:
On land, venture ashore on an Azamara shore excursion, operated by Abercrombie & Kent's cruise division, Akorn. Experience Thula Thula, one of the oldest private game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. Join rangers aboard an open-top 4x4 vehicle for a drive through the African bushveld, while watching for elephants, rhinoceros, leopard, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, birds, and more. The day will end with a delicious buffet featuring local African cuisine.

On board, guests will be treated to a District Six themed Cabaret Show as part of Azamara's Destination Celebration – a new program that brings the culture and heritage of the destination to life onboard with health and safety in mind. The show – starring international award winner and recognized veteran of SA entertainment, Alistair Izobell, and special guest Sasha Lee Davids – will take guests on a journey into the heart of District Six for an evening designed not only to entertain but educate through the popular musical production inspired by the rich history of Cape Town's oppressive past that tried to destroy its vibrant community and spirit.

Viking Kicks Off Inaugural China Coastal Cruise From Shenzhen
Viking announced today the maiden voyage of Chinese-flagged ship "CM-Yidun" under a joint-venture with China Merchants Shekou. The ship sets sail from Shenzhen Shekou Port and will cruise to Sanya in Hainan before returning to Shenzhen on an 8-day itinerary, marking the first of a planned series of China Coastal Cultural Cruises.

"It is very exciting that we are able to launch a brand-new product and the first of its kind in China. We have always been about exploring the world in comfort, and now we offer our Chinese guests an opportunity to rediscover their own backyard in a new way – culturally enriching, in elegant comfort and with a unique touch of Nordic hospitality," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.

He added "We believe cruising is a boom industry in China, and that Chinese consumers' demand for cruise travel will continue to grow and become more sophisticated. Our joint-venture partnership with the China Merchants Group will enable us to take advantage of this trend."

In the last five years since Viking entered the China market, it has gained a reputation for offering premium quality cruises with a cultural focus, and for providing thoughtful service that makes guests feel at home. Viking's European river cruises tailored for Chinese guests have won wide industry acclaim and guest loyalty. Under effective pandemic control measures, China has seen a strong rebound in domestic travel, making it the opportune time to launch a "small-ship" domestic cruise for a market that has to date only been exposed to mega-liners cruising to neighboring countries.

While the ship is Chinese-flagged, it features Viking's Nordic-style interiors, and the China Coastal Cultural Cruise experience retains many of the brand's signatures – including a well-curated library of books, enriching lectures, a spa featuring traditional Scandinavian bath rituals, shore excursions featuring several Privileged Access experiences, and original Viking dining concepts like the Mamsen's Norwegian deli, Manfredi's Italian Restaurant, and destination-focused cuisines.

"The experience that we set out to create is one built on what has made Viking a success around the world and popular with our Chinese guests. We then added locally relevant elements to complement it," said Wee-Hoon Tan, Vice President of Product Development & Marketing, the architect of this new product.

For example, since duty-free shopping is not possible on a domestic cruise, the ship's original cosmetic shop has been redesigned into "The Oriental Shop" – a place for guests to discover traditional Chinese crafts with innovative, modern twists. "We have however kept the Nordic Shop, which aims to let Chinese guests get acquainted with both established and niche quality brands reflecting Nordic heritage and culture. Over in our jewelry shop, we are proud to be hosting world-renowned Gübelin from Switzerland and presenting its first-ever retail outlet in China. We are also pleased to have Chow Tai Fook – a household brand in China, which is showcasing on our ship many of its jewelry collections not readily available onshore," said Tan.

Tan added that the ship's entertainment and enrichment content, as well as food and beverage experiences have also been localized. "To complement the Chinese tea experience on our ship, we have added guqin – a very elegant classical Chinese instrument, into our live music mix. Our main restaurant originally serving Western cuisine has been revamped into a modern-style Chinese restaurant, street-style Chinese grilled skewers have been added to our Pool Grill originally serving just burgers, Asian flavors have been blended into our afternoon tea at Wintergarden and feature in The Chef Table menus. Our Torshavn Armagnac bar has also been revamped into Bar 1872, which specializes in Chinese wines and spirits and serves a selection of signature cocktails inspired by the history of the China Merchants Group, which began in year 1872."

CM-Yidun also features one of the most comprehensive COVID-19 protocols in the industry, offering a Health Protection Plan designed to keep every guest and crew member safe throughout the journey. Guests will find many of the same innovative pandemic prevention features on other Viking ships on CM-Yidun, including the ultra-violet light disinfecting robots, face-recognition temperature scanners and more.

Updating the ship to prepare it for these new cruises took about 12 months. "We hope every guest onboard CM-Yidun will appreciate the details that went into the design of this product and continue to feel the same vibe that Viking has come to be known for in China – warm feeling of 'home,' a 'thinking person's cruise'," Tan concluded.

Singapore Welcomes Spectrum of the Seas in 2022
Holidaymakers will have much to celebrate when Royal Caribbean International brings Asia’s largest and most innovative ship, Spectrum of the Seas, to Singapore for the long-awaited comeback of cruising to destinations*. Travellers can look forward to spectacular 3- to 9-night sailings that will visit the best of Asia, starting October 21, 2022. Sailings are now open for bookings.

Built to deliver memorable vacation experiences, the first Quantum Ultra Class ship boasts the cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and adventures – many of which have never been seen at sea.

“We are thrilled to introduce a whole spectrum of new adventures with Spectrum of the Seas, which features groundbreaking escapades exclusively designed for the Asian market, a testament to Royal Caribbean’s confidence in the potential of the cruising industry in the region. We have seen a surge in repeat cruisers, as well as a significant number of new to cruise guests, and look forward to bringing the best of the Royal Caribbean experience to our guests,” said Angie Stephen, vice president, Singapore, Royal Caribbean International. “At the same time, we are excited to extend Quantum’s ultimate ocean getaways once again through early next year to continue catering to the strong demand for sailings from Singapore.”

With more than 50 years delivering innovation at sea, Royal Caribbean introduced Spectrum as an Asian adventure full of feats and firsts. Guests on board Spectrum will savour an exotic array of Asian-inspired cuisine consisting of teppanyaki and hot pot-style dining, as well as an entertainment extravaganza touching on the cultures, colors, music and dance styles of China, Persia and India. Spectrum offers the perfect combination of high-tech experiences, providing adventure-loving guests a wealth of onboard adventures:

• Asia’s first Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline adventure where guests strap in and don a headset to transport themselves to another time and planet.

• Royal Caribbean’s first and exclusive Suite Enclave, which features the exquisite Royal Suite Class Star, Sky and Sea accommodations in a private area supremely positioned at the forward end of the ship. Guests booked in these luxury suites have exclusive floor access, an elevator, private restaurants, and a dedicated lounge area.

• Cutting-edge and transformative venues such as Two70. Boasting stunning 270-degree ocean views by day and transforming into a multidimensional theater by night, this transformative space flaunts six agile Roboscreens, breathtaking live performers and mind-bending aerialists to create unimaginable visuals. Meanwhile, SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, features bumper cars, interactive gaming, laser tag, fencing, archery, and more.

• Star Moment, a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can belt out and sing like stars.

• Spacious and family friendly staterooms, ranging from exterior balcony staterooms to family friendly interconnected rooms, to the signature two-level Ultimate Family Suite, an expansive, multiroom retreat complete with its own ensuite slide and cinema, which also doubles as a karaoke stage.

• A bold lineup of signature activities, including the FlowRider surf simulator, the North Star, an all-glass capsule that ascends 300 feet above the ocean to deliver incomparable 360-degree views; and RipCord by iFly, the first sky diving experience at sea.

• Nineteen distinct dining options serve up flavors from around the world, including Hot Pot, an authentic Chinese dining experience; Teppanyaki, a celebration of authentic oriental flavors cooked in Japan’s traditional teppanyaki style; and Sichuan Red, a new specialty dining experience tailored just for Spectrum, where diners can savour a bold tapestry of authentic spices and Sichuan flavours. Signature classics include imaginative cuisine at Wonderland, top-notch, aged beef at Chops Grille, and authentic rustic fare and handmade pasta at Jamie’s Italian.

The global cruise operator continues to implement health and safety measures as needed, in line with its Royal Promise commitment. In addition to robust onboard ventilation systems, enhanced cleaning and sanitization as well as having its crew vaccinated, the cruise line will also require all guests to be fully vaccinated for all new bookings made from October 1, 2021, and onwards. The vaccine requirement is one of the many layers of measures that safeguard the well-being of guests, crew and the communities at each destination visited, and Royal Caribbean will continue to evaluate and update its measures as circumstances evolve with various government and health authorities.

“I extend my deepest gratitude to the Singapore Government for its collaboration and confidence in Royal Caribbean to deliver a safe cruising. As we continue to evaluate and implement public health recommendations from both our Healthy Sail Panel and the local government(s), we look forward to our guests being able to explore new destinations and enjoy the great guest experience they have loved on board Royal Caribbean,” said Stephen.

Meanwhile, guests can continue to enjoy an extended season of adventures on board Quantum with sailings through April 7, 2022. Guests who book their vacation on Quantum on or before October 31, 2021 can be assured of flexibility in their plans with Royal Caribbean’s Cruise with Confidence program, which allows for changes and cancellations up to 48 hours before the cruise sets sail. As long as holidaymakers cancel at least 48 hours before their sail date, they’ll receive a Future Cruise Credit. The credit is valid for future bookings on or before April 30, 2022, for sailings departing before December 31, 2022, or one year from the original sailing date, whichever is later

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 25.35 - 3.90%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 91.06 - 1.46%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.65 + 8.33%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 27.47 - 3.07%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which was the first cruise/passenger ship to have televisions in every passenger cabin?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service?

Answer - It was the Tropicale from 1982! courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselman


Cruise News - September 27, 2021

Grand Princess First Ship to Set Sail from the Port of Los Angeles
Princess Cruises sails guests from the Port of Los Angeles this afternoon, marking the first cruise vacation departure from San Pedro since the cruise industry's pause in operations early last year. Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, visited Grand Princess to take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially welcoming the first guests on board. Earlier in the week she visited the ship to thank the officers and crew for being the stars of the show harkening back to the cruise lines' history as the ocean-going co-start of the hit TV series "The Love Boat" and its recognition in 2018 by the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Princess Cruises, Los Angeles' hometown cruise line, has been sailing out of the Port of Los Angeles since 1965 and does so more frequently than any other cruise line. Over the past decade, Princess had more than 700 ship visits in Los Angeles—the most of any line in the last decade.

"It is a pride point for us that Grand Princess is returning to service in our hometown port. Our crew members are eager to welcome guests back on board as we continue resuming operations in the United States," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "We are grateful to the Port of Los Angeles for their support during the pause and are excited to be working together once again."

"Princess Cruises is a valued longtime partner, and we are excited to welcome Grand Princess back to Los Angeles for the first passenger cruise since March 2020," said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. "We are a full-service port – with cargo, marina, cruise and visitor-serving businesses -- and every cruise ship call generates more than $1 million dollars in local economic activity. That's especially important to the City and Port of Los Angeles right now."

Grand Princess departs on a 5-Day Cabo San Lucas Getaway, the first of five sailings with this itinerary and the first of 11 sailings from the port of Los Angeles in 2021. Grand Princess offers a MedallionClass vacation, offering the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising. It begins with OceanMedallion™, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from touch-free boarding to locating loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever guests need, delivered directly to them wherever they are on the ship.

Carnival UK Names Sture Myrmell as President
Carnival UK, whose P&O Cruises UK and Cunard cruise line brands are part of Carnival Corporation & plc, today announced Sture Myrmell as its new president, effective Oct. 18, transitioning from his role as president of P&O Cruises Australia and president of Carnival Australia.

Myrmell, who will be based in Southampton, England, will also serve temporarily as president of Cunard during the recruitment for that position. He will report directly to Josh Weinstein, chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation, who also has responsibility for Carnival UK.

In his new role, Myrmell will lead all performance and operational aspects of Carnival UK, the UK's largest cruise operator. In addition, as interim president of Cunard, he will directly oversee Cunard's operations and its three ships – including the world's only operating ocean liner, Queen Mary 2.

"Sture is a two-decade-plus veteran at our company, so we look forward to him bringing his deep experience, excellent leadership skills and proven track record of success to a new leadership opportunity," said Weinstein. "He will play a crucial role in our success in the UK, and we look forward to his contributions as we deliver to our guests the best holiday experiences in the world and as both brands launch new ships including LNG-powered Arvia for P&O Cruises in December 2022."

"I am honored to join the passionate and dedicated Carnival UK team that delivers extraordinary holiday experiences to our guests every day," Myrmell said. "Carnival UK has been at the forefront of the industry for decades, and I look forward to working with our shipboard and shoreside personnel to continue our leadership role in the industry, while providing great holidays for our P&O Cruises and Cunard guests."

With over 20 years of experience with Carnival Corporation, Myrmell has served in multiple positions across the Princess Cruises, Cunard, Seabourn and P&O Australia brands. In his new role with Carnival UK, Myrmell replaces Simon Palethorpe, who will be leaving the company at the end of November after six years for a new opportunity.

"Simon has been a true asset for the company these past years, and we wish him the best with this new opportunity," said Weinstein. "He successfully revitalized the Cunard brand and then ably stepped into the role of president of Carnival UK for the past 15 months, leading both P&O Cruises and Cunard back into guest operations this summer with the Carnival UK executive team."

Effective Jan. 10, 2022, global travel and tourism veteran Marguerite Fitzgerald, most recently serving as the lead for Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) global lodging and leisure practice, as well as its global strategy business, will assume Myrmell's prior position serving a dual role as president of P&O Cruises Australia and Carnival Australia. Fitzgerald, a global travel and tourism veteran bringing deep expertise in all aspects of cruise operations to Carnival Corporation, will be based in Sydney and report directly to Jan Swartz, group president, Holland America Group, who also has responsibility for Carnival Australia.

Carnival Corporation & plc Provides Third Quarter 2021 Business Update
Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "We are very glad to be back doing what we do best, delivering memorable vacation experiences for our guests, while doing so in a way that best serves the interests of public health. Our team members are executing exceptionally well on our return to service, exceeding the expectations of our guests and taking guest satisfaction to new heights. Even at this early stage with intentionally constrained occupancy levels, our voyages are already cash flow positive."

• Voyages for the third quarter of 2021 were cash flow positive and Carnival said that it expects this trend to continue.

• For the cruise segments, revenue per passenger cruise day ("PCD") for the third quarter of 2021 increased compared to a strong 2019, despite the current constraints on itinerary offerings, which did not include many of the destination rich itineraries offered in 2019. The increase was driven in part by exceptionally strong onboard and other revenue.

• Occupancy in the third quarter of 2021 was 54%, building consistently month-to-month from 39% in June to 59% in August.

• Available lower berth days ("ALBD") for the third quarter of 2021 were 3.8 million, which represents 17% of total fleet capacity. ALBDs are expected to be 10.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2021, which represents 47% of total fleet capacity.

Donald noted, "Beyond the enthusiasm of our guests and crew and the unprecedented net promoter scores, it is difficult to demonstrate just how successful our restart effort has been because many cruises, while generating positive cash flow, were limited to scenic cruises without ports of call, and generally priced well below the attractive destination rich cruises we normally offer. Carnival Cruise Line resumed operations in July offering Caribbean and Alaska sailings somewhat comparable to prior years and achieved 20% higher revenue per PCD than 2019 peak levels, despite onboard credits from cancelled cruises. Even with the unusually short booking window and capacity limitations, the brand achieved occupancy of approximately 70%, which speaks to the strong underlying demand for our core product."

Carnival said that it's monthly average cash burn rate for the third quarter of 2021 was $510 million, which was better than previous guidance and in line with the $500 million monthly average cash burn rate for the first half of 2021. The monthly average cash burn rate includes revenues earned on voyages, ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses, restart spend, working capital changes (excluding changes in customer deposits), interest expense and capital expenditures (net of export credit facilities), and excludes scheduled debt maturities as well as other cash collateral to be provided.

As the company continues its return to service, it expects to continue incurring incremental restart related spend, including the cost of returning ships to guest cruise operations, returning crew members to its ships and maintaining enhanced health and safety protocols. Carnival said that it expects the monthly average cash burn rate for the fourth quarter to be higher than the prior quarters of 2021, due to the timing of incremental restart expenditures.

The gradual resumption of the company's guest cruise operations continues to have a material impact on all aspects of its business, including the company's liquidity, financial position and results of operations. Carnival said that it expects a net loss on both a U.S. GAAP and adjusted basis for the quarter and year ending November 30, 2021.

Resumption of Guest Cruise Operations

Donald added, "Being the largest in our industry, it is not surprising that we are now successfully operating at a larger scale than anyone else in the industry. Our protocols have been working well and are enabling us to build occupancy levels as we return more ships to service. Looking forward, we continue to work towards resuming full guest cruise operations by next spring, in time for our important summer season, where we make the bulk of our operating profit."

As of August 31, 2021, eight of the company's nine brands have resumed guest cruise operations as part of its gradual return to service, with 35% of its capacity operating with guests on board. Carnival said that it has already announced plans to resume guest cruise operations with 50 ships, or 61% of its capacity, by November 30, 2021 and 71 ships, or 75% of its capacity, by June 2022, with more announcements forthcoming for the remaining ships. For more detailed information on the resumption of guest cruise operations, refer to the Ships in Service and Announced Restarts by Brand tables at the end of this release.

Consistent with its planned gradual resumption of guest cruise operations, the company continues to expect to have its full fleet back in operation in the spring of 2022. While Carnival said that it will benefit from the disposal of 19 smaller, less efficient ships since the beginning of the pause in guest cruise operations, Carnival said that it is forecasting its ship operating expenses, on a per ALBD basis, for 2022 to be higher than 2019. This is driven by a portion of its fleet being in pause status for part of the year, restart related expenses and the cost of maintaining enhanced health and safety protocols.

Carnival said that it has worked closely with health and medical experts globally and nationally, as well as with authorities in destination countries, to put in place comprehensive health and safety protocols for protection against and mitigation of COVID-19 across the entire cruise experience for all of the company's nine brands. This includes cross-industry learnings and best practices based on the proven health and safety record of industry-wide sailings, and input from top scientists and public health, epidemiological and policy experts. Protocols have been and will continue to be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies. Details about enhanced protocols, including the latest information and requirements for each of the company's brands, is available on their website.

Update on Bookings

Donald added, "Our booked position for the second half of 2022 is at a new historical high, including our seasonally strong third quarter with all our ships planned to be in operation, despite reduced marketing spending. The broader environment for travel, while choppy, has improved dramatically since last summer and we believe it should improve even further by next summer, if the current trend of vaccine roll outs and advancements in therapies continues. We have also opened bookings for further out cruises in 2023, with unprecedented early demand."

Booking volumes for all future cruises during the third quarter of 2021 were higher than booking volumes during the first quarter of 2021, albeit not as robust as the second quarter of 2021, primarily as a result of lower booking volumes in August 2021, reflecting the impact on overall U.S. consumer confidence resulting from heightened uncertainty around the COVID-19 Delta variant. Cumulative advanced bookings for the second half of 2022 are ahead of a very strong 2019 as of August 31, 2021. (Due to the gradual resumption in guest cruise operations, the company's current booking trends will be compared to booking trends for 2019 sailings.)

Total customer deposits increased $630 million to $3.1 billion as of August 31, 2021 from $2.5 billion as of May 31, 2021. For the second consecutive quarter since March 2020, Carnival said that it has continued to see an increase in customer deposits.

Seabourn Encore Now Returning In February 2022
Seabourn has announced Seabourn Encore will resume service earlier than anticipated starting on February 19, 2022, with a series of new 10- and 11-day itineraries to the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean roundtrip from Lisbon, Portugal, during the winter and spring of 2022. The ship, which was set to return on April 17, 2022, will become the third ship in Seabourn's fleet to return to service.

Seabourn Encore will explore and celebrate the beauty and culture of the Spanish archipelago, as well as the charming island of Madeira, between February and April 2022. In addition, the ship will sail on a 15-day voyage along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea from Lisbon to Athens, Greece, where it will be positioned for its originally scheduled Eastern Mediterranean deployment in the summer. Guests in the spirit for a longer cruise to the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean can enjoy a 22- or 26-day Combination Cruise offering in March and April, with all of Seabourn's ultra-luxury trimmings along for the ride, and a 10% discount to sweeten both experiences. Seabourn's new Canary Islands and Mediterranean voyages will be open and available for booking from Seabourn beginning October 5, 2021.

In addition, Seabourn and Belinda King Creative Productions are set to welcome Entertainment Partner Sir Tim Rice on board Seabourn Encore's first return to service voyage on February 19, 2022. Sir Tim Rice will appear live on stage to share his career highlights, tell captivating stories and perform alongside the Seabourn singers and dancers. In addition, Seabourn and Belinda King Creative Productions will premiere "The Kings", a brand new contemporary male vocal group exclusive to the brand. The experience will be offered with limited engagements to showcase not only the best in modern musical theatre but powerhouse pop/rock vocals, taking guests on a unique musical journey for a truly memorable evening. Performances of "The Kings" are currently scheduled to run on the Feb. 19 and March 1, 2022 voyages.

"The Canary Islands are a tropical paradise for sun-seekers and nature enthusiasts, making them a beautiful getaway at this time of year. We saw the opportunity to bring Seabourn Encore back earlier than anticipated in these destinations rich in culture, history, and renowned cuisine, and with our partnership with UNESCO, to help guests discover something special all along the way," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We're also looking forward to welcome Sir Tim Rice back on board to celebrate the ship's first voyage back in service, making for a very memorable holiday that our guests will never forget."

Located near the coast of Morocco in North Africa, the Canary Islands have been considered a bridge between four continents, and thus a critical navigation point. Each of eight islands in the archipelago has a personality all its own, with nature is the main attraction and even the most developed areas remaining untouched and authentic. Destinations for Seabourn Encore include Santa Cruz de La Palma, Puerto de la Estaca, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, San Sebastian de la Gomera, Las Palmas, and Arrecife, plus a call at Funchal, Portugal.

Sailing west from Lisbon and the Atlantic coast of Portugal, Seabourn Encore will offer travelers a relaxing and rejuvenating voyage across the site blue waters of the Mediterranean with visits to small ports that offer the best of their regions – including especially distinctive culinary, with shore excursions including opportunities to shop with Seabourn chefs for fresh ingredients at local markets. Destinations include Barcelona, Spain; Valletta, Malta; Syracusa and Crotone, Italy; and Kérkira (Corfu), Sámi, Thira (Santorini), and Naousa on various islands off the coast of Greece.

Seabourn's new Canary Islands voyages will offer guests an abundance of activities to engage and enjoy both on and off the ship. As the official cruise partner of UNESCO World Heritage, Seabourn Encore will offer a wealth of options for guests to discover remarkable sites of culture and natural wonder at select ports of call, with "World Heritage Tours" visiting World Heritage Sites, and "Discovery Tours" with exclusive and enhanced World Heritage shore excursions. For example, in the Canary Islands, join a North Island Discovery Tour at Santa Cruz de La Palma; discover The Beauty of El Hierro at Puerto de la Estaca; and take A Hike Through Garajonay National Park at San Sebastian de la Gomera, and more.

There will also be wide selections of shore excursions at ports of call throughout the voyages, creating opportunities for guests to discover new places and cultures and jump into new experiences. All shore excursions are carefully curated, led by the best local agents, and feature choice of activities of different durations, contents, and types.

Guests will also have the opportunity to take their travel further with a choice offering from the Seabourn Journeys collection.

Celebrity Cruises Is Putting It All On The Table
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 vacation, 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 cafes 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 flavors 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-story 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 Favorite 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 favorite 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.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 26.38 + 13.51%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 92.41 + 11.39%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.60 + 17.65
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 28.34 + 12.86%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
hat was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
One of the stylish pianos from Cunard's Queen Mary returned to sea a few years back. Where can you find that piano today?

Answer - Answer - The original book was "The Only Way to Cross" by John Maxtone-Graham and the follow up book published in 1985 was called "Liners to the Sun". A third book, "Crossing and Cruising" was subsequently published. courtesy of Keith Brittin


Cruise News - September 20, 2021

Half of Carnival Cruise Line's U.S. Fleet Back in Service
With Carnival Dream and Carnival Glory resuming guest operations on Sept. 19, Carnival Cruise Line now has 11 ships – representing half of its U.S. fleet – sailing again.

Beginning with its return to guest operations on July 3 with Carnival Vista, the line is operating from seven U.S. homeports including Miami, Galveston, Seattle, Port Canaveral, Long Beach, Baltimore and New Orleans, providing guests with a wide range of options to get Back to Fun.

"Having half of our U.S. fleet back in operations provides positive economic impact in our homeports and port of call destinations, along with giving our guests their much-needed vacations and helping our crew support their families back home," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We couldn't have accomplished this without the support of our travel advisor partners, business partners and port and destinations partners."

Carnival Dream became the third Carnival ship to operate year-round from Galveston when it departed this weekend on a six-day Caribbean cruise, while Carnival Glory is the first ship to set sail from the Port of New Orleans, operating a seven-day voyage to The Bahamas.

With 11 ships already in guest operations, including the introduction of Carnival's newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, additional vessels will resume service throughout the fall and into early 2022 as the line's successful restart of operations continues.

Norwegian Prima Debuts Interactive Entertainment And Onboard Experiences
Norwegian Cruise Line raised its curtains to unveil its upcoming multifaceted entertainment and onboard experiences available on Norwegian Prima, the Brand's most in-demand ship ever.

The vessel, the first of the six ships within NCL's all new Prima Class, which debuted with record-breaking sales and applause when it was announced in May earlier this year, reveals Tony Award-nominated musical "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical" as its interactive headlining act. Norwegian Prima will also showcase numerous cruise industry first and new-to-brand elevated onboard experiences when the ship sets sail in summer 2022, including boasting the world's first venue that transforms from a three-story theater into a Vegas-style nightclub, freefall drop dry slides and the largest racetrack at sea.

"We're not just elevating the guest experience, we're giving it an adrenaline rush and multisensory overload," said Harry Sommer, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. "When we launched Norwegian Prima, we aimed at going beyond expectations, providing our guests with more wide-open spaces, elevated service, thoughtful design and a variety of unforgettable experiences, and this latest unveiling of our entertainment and onboard activities lineup is going to have the wow-factor they've yearned for in a much-anticipated cruise vacation."

Immersive Star Power Entertainment From the powerhouse production team that brought "Jersey Boys" with current residence on Norwegian Bliss, comes "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical." This is the story of Donna Summer's meteoric rise from young starlet to the Queen of Disco featuring a score of more than 20 of Summer's mega hits including "Bad Girls," "Last Dance," and "Hot Stuff." The 75-minute immersive production will be a first at sea where the theater itself transforms into a full disco and guests can become a part of the show and dance to Summer's all-time medleys.

Taking guests from the disco glam of "Summer" to the neon lights of "Light Balance Universe" featuring Light Balance the golden buzzer winner from "America's Got Talent," the one-of-a-kind dance crew brings their jaw-dropping visual effects and style to Norwegian Prima. Guests will experience high-energy choreography and acrobatics while partaking in a multisensory light spectacular.

Prima Theater and Nightclub: A Multi-Purpose Masterpiece
All of Norwegian Prima's headlining acts including some of the new onboard experiences will take center stage in this groundbreaking transformational theater. The three-story venue, designed to seamlessly convert the space from a state-of-the art performance stage to expansive dance floor, will feature a customizable seating layout and awe-inspiring moving LED screen that lowers from the ceiling and is nearly half the size of the venue. The extravagant high-energy nightclub's SENSORIA theme provides clubgoers an out-of-body experience where they can dance late into the night and enjoy a kaleidoscope of high-energy music and innovative special effects.

Interactive Real-life Gameshow Extravaganza
Norwegian Prima will push the boundaries of guest entertainment as it rolls out its interactive LIVE on NCL game show experiences that allows the audience to be part of the show and have an opportunity to win incredible grand prizes. These immersive productions powered by Fremantle Media, a world leader in creating, producing and distributing content, takes the Prima Theater and Nightclub and transforms it into a large-than-life production set where guests can be participants in some of the world's most legendary game shows including:

• "The Price is Right LIVE on NCL" where guests will "Come on Down," and bid their way to participate in pricing games and have the opportunity to spin the wheel for a chance to win big in the showcase showdown.

• "Supermarket Sweep LIVE on NCL" the Prima Theater and Nightclub will transform into a full-scale grocery store, where teams of contestants will race the aisles in a fast-paced game show of trivia questions, product knowledge and speed.

• "Press Your Luck LIVE on NCL" brings a suspense at sea to an American family favorite game classic, as guests are up against the big board to answer trivia questions in hopes to win big.

• "Beat the Clock LIVE on NCL" is the ultimate team competition game where guests will need luck, speed and strategy to complete hilarious challenges; all against the clock.

Elevated Activities for Every Kind of Guest
As the only Cruise Line to offer go-karts at sea, NCL will up the ante on Norwegian Prima, offering the largest and first ever three-level racetrack with the Prima Speedway. Featuring a longer straightaway with a racetrack of more than a quarter mile in length (1,378 feet/ 420 meters) and 22 percent larger than the current racetrack on Norwegian Encore, the speedway will now go around and through the funnel of the ship and boasts 14 nail-biting turns where 15 drivers can simultaneously race on the open ocean, reaching speeds of more than 30 mph (50 kph). After racers have completed their ultimate thrill ride, they can unwind at the new Prima Speedway Bar located beneath the racetrack.

For guests looking for the most extreme adrenaline rush at sea, Norwegian Prima will flaunt 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, leaving racer's hearts with the thrill of a lifetime. The edge-of-your-seat experience takes a competitive turn with The Rush, featuring dueling dry slides where guests can race each other for the ultimate in bragging rights.

The Brand's popular indoor virtual gaming complex, The Galaxy Pavilion, also levels up to offer guests 14 attractions to choose from, including four new hyper-immersive simulator experiences only available on Norwegian Prima, two different escape rooms, and a Topgolf Swing Suite, showcasing the only Topgolf Swing Suite available at sea. The Topgolf Swing Suite delivers an immersive gaming and social experience, featuring a variety of Topgolf games, world renowned virtual golf courses, and multi-player games. The Topgolf Swing Suite is powered by Full Swing golf simulator technology, the same simulator used by PGA Tour pros such as Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm.

Norwegian Prima will also debut new additional activities for guests of all ages with The Bull's Eye, an elevated twist on the classic game of darts featuring a sophisticated video tracking system that automatically calculates each guest's score and even offers instant game replays to ensure fun, competitive play. NCL will introduce Tee Time, a supercharged version of minigolf, where guests can enjoy nine interactive holes set among a Vegas-style backdrop and even have a chance to win worth-your-while prizes.

Making its splashing first appearance on Norwegian Prima as part of the ship's Aqua Park and Main Pool area, will be the Brand's first Tidal Wave waterslide featuring gushing surfs where guests can ride an innertube to catch the perfect wave. Guests looking to relax can do so in either one of two infinity hot tubs or under the area's cascading water feature.

Vibe Beach Club, NCL's adult-only area returns on Norwegian Prima providing enhanced experiences including a dedicated bar and two infinity hot tubs where guests can enjoy the ocean's horizon at leisure.

Syd Norman's Pour House, the onboard guest-favorite classic rock club makes its Rockstar comeback on Norwegian Prima after the concept initially debuted on Norwegian Breakaway in 2018. The venue features a stellar house band playing the greatest rock songs of all time from Aerosmith to Led Zeppelin.

There will be laughs on the high seas with The Improv at Sea comedy club showcasing standup performances against an intellectual tongue-and-cheek "Science of Comedy" theme.

Norwegian Prima Homeports in Galveston, Texas
After Norwegian Prima concludes her inaugural year sailing bucket-list itineraries as the industry's newest ship, she will be the only vessel during the winter 2023 and 2024 season offering seven-day voyages to the Western Caribbean out of Galveston, Texas, providing the most extensive port experiences in the region with every itinerary visiting four ports. Norwegian Prima will call to Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Harvest Caye, the Caribbean's premier island destination in Belize and exclusive to guests of NCL; and Roatan Island, Honduras, with all visits featuring between eight and nine in-port hours.

With voyages beginning in summer 2022, Norwegian Prima will be 965 feet long, more than 142,000 gross tons and able to accommodate 3,215 guests at double occupancy.

World's Newest Wonder Sets Course For U.S. And Europe
Paving the way for the biggest adventure yet, Royal Caribbean International has announced the world's largest cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas, will debut in the U.S. and Europe. The highly anticipated ship is set to sail from its home in Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean on March 4, 2022, before making its way to Barcelona and Rome to kick off summer vacations in May. Families and travelers alike have a new wave of possibilities across Wonder's eight distinct neighborhoods, an Oasis Class first, that include all-new features such as the Suite Neighborhood, a cantilevered pool bar named The Vue, and Wonder Playscape – an interactive, open-air kids' play area with awe-inspiring views. With returning favorites also on deck, like The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; Central Park, the neighborhood filled with real plants from end to end; and the vibrant Caribbean-inspired pool deck experience, the innovative, new ship invites adventurers of all ages to reimagine, explore and make memories once again.

"The momentum taking off across bookings and our returning ships in the U.S. and Europe is significant. With half of our fleet sailing again, we are encouraged by what we're seeing. These regions are in the position to welcome a brand-new, innovative ship like Wonder of the Seas," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Wonder will shine bright as the world's newest wonder in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. And what's in store is the ultimate vacation experience that highlights the very best of Royal Caribbean, reimagines renowned favorites and introduces new adventures every guest, no matter their age, can enjoy."

Building on 50-plus years of unparalleled adventures and firsts, Royal Caribbean is setting the bar for the ultimate vacation with more ways to wonder than ever. The renowned Oasis Class neighborhood concept comes to life on Wonder with never-before-seen experiences and returning, bolder favorites, including:

New Adventures and Favorites Gone Bolder

• Suite Class Neighborhood – The eighth neighborhood, only found on Wonder, offers Royal Suite Class guests an elevated Suite Sun Deck in a new location, complete with a plunge pool, bar and plenty of loungers and nooks to kick back; along with favorites such as Coastal Kitchen, the private restaurant, and the Suite Lounge. Plus, the grandest Ultimate Family Suite yet for a family of 10.

• Wonder Playscape – Joining the lineup of next-level thrills for kids, the underwater-themed play area is a whole new adventure with slides, climbing walls, games, an interactive mural activated by touch and puzzles that will make them wonder if any playground will ever be the same.

• The Vue – The happiest of happy hours can be found at this new cantilevered bar. The Vue offers panoramic ocean views from high above on the pool deck all day, and after sunset, it shines bright with a colorful mosaic canopy overhead.

• Pool deck experience – The Lime & Coconut is at the center of the Caribbean vibes, with two poolside bars and live music; while the trio of high-speed waterslides, The Perfect Storm, and kids aqua park

• Splashaway Bay, keep the young and young at heart entertained. Casitas, in-pool loungers and more make for a variety of great places to kick back, especially to catch a movie under the stars at the largest poolside movie screen in the Royal Caribbean fleet.

At the heart of every Oasis Class ship is a combination of unmatched signature features and experiences found from one neighborhood to the next, including the tallest slide at sea, The Ultimate Abyss; the newly designed, dedicated kids and teens spaces at Adventure Ocean, Social100 and The Patio; the FlowRider surf simulator, twin rock-climbing walls and the ten-decks-high zip line. From riding the carousel in the family favorite Boardwalk neighborhood – inspired by renowned boardwalks like Coney Island – to fine dining in Central Park, and the variety of restaurants and showstopping entertainment in between, no day on board will be the same.

The action-packed ship will deliver multiple ways to adventure with 7-night sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, visiting tropical destinations like Cozumel, Mexico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico, and more. No matter the itinerary guests choose, every sailing will visit Royal Caribbean's private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, for a day of thrill and chill unlike any other. May will see an early start to summer family vacations when the wondrous Oasis Class ship heads for the Mediterranean to take center stage for its inaugural European season. From Barcelona and Rome on 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises, travelers have memorable vacations in store as they sail to the sparkling shores of Europe's most iconic and historic destinations, such as Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Capri, Italy.

Carnival Cruise Line First To Resume Sailings From Port Of New Orleans
Carnival Glory is set to depart on a seven-day cruise from the Port of New Orleans this afternoon marking the first sailing from the city since the industry-wide pause in operations 18 months ago.

Carnival Glory's voyage from the Erato Street Cruise Terminal includes visits to three popular Bahamian destinations: Bimini, Freeport and Nassau.

To commemorate the occasion, a "Back to Fun" event was held in the terminal during which Carnival's Vice President of Guest Operations Sarah Beth Reno, Carnival Glory Captain Nicola Iaccarino and Port of New Orleans President and CEO Brandy D. Christian cut the ceremonial ribbon and officially welcomed the first guests on board.

"Carnival Cruise Line has been a part of the New Orleans community for more than 25 years and we're absolutely thrilled to provide our guests an opportunity to get Back to Fun, while supporting the local economy in one of our most popular homeports," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Carnival is the number one cruise operator from New Orleans with the greatest variety of cruise choices and itineraries and we are so happy to bring our unique brand of fun back to this fantastic city."

"Carnival Cruise Line is a valued longtime partner and we are proud to welcome Carnival Glory back for the first oceangoing cruise from New Orleans since March 2020," said Brandy D. Christian, Port of New Orleans President and CEO. "We applaud Carnival's commitment to the New Orleans market and for exceeding health and safety requirements to protect guests, crew and the community. The return of Carnival cruises from Port NOLA will be a boost to our local economy as guests are once again able to experience our famous New Orleans hospitality when they sail from our vibrant city."

Carnival Glory is among the first in Carnival's fleet to feature the line's stunning new red, white and blue hull design that pays homage to maritime tradition and its legacy as America's Cruise Line. Popular features on the ship include Guy's Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, BlueIguana Cantina, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, and a WaterWorks aqua park.

Carnival Cruise Line launched the first year-round cruise program from New Orleans in 1994 and over the years has expanded the number of ships, capacity and cruise options, carrying upwards of 4.5 million guests.

On Nov. 1, Carnival Valor will join Carnival Glory in New Orleans and resume its popular short cruise schedule of four- and five-day cruises to Mexico. With Carnival Glory and Carnival Valor, Carnival Cruise Line expects to carry 400,000 passengers annually from New Orleans – more than any cruise operator.

Carnival's offerings from New Orleans include:

• Six-, seven-and eight-day cruises to the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico;

• Four- and five-day cruises to Mexico;

• 14-day Carnival Journeys featuring a partial transit of the Panama Canal and visits to popular Caribbean destinations.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Returns to Sailing
Regent Seven Seas Cruises began its first voyage in just under 18 months on September 11, 2021, with new ship Seven Seas Splendor cruising from Southampton, England. Sailing with the cruise line's enhanced SailSAFE™ Health and Safety Program - which includes 100% vaccination of both guests and crew - the voyage is believed to be the first to carry international travelers on a UK cruise since the voluntary industry-wide pause in operations began in March 2020.

The cruise line has marked the occasion by creating a return to sailing video, featuring many of the beloved Seven Seas Splendor crew.

"This cruise represents yet another huge step forward as we return to luxury travel. I am so excited for our guests who have waited patiently, and for our crew and team members across our global offices who have worked so hard to get to this moment," said Jason Montague, president and CEO, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "The Regent family is finally reunited, and we are delighted to provide our guests with the unrivaled Regent experience with every luxury included, while sailing the world, once more."

Helmed by Captain Diego Michelozzi, the inaugural sailing circles the United Kingdom with ports of call including Edinburgh, Scotland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Liverpool, England. The ship returns to Southampton on September 22, cruising into the new Horizon Cruise Terminal, before sailing a 14-night voyage to Barcelona, Spain visiting Bordeaux, France and Lisbon, Portugal, among other destinations. Seven Seas Splendor then spends October and November exploring the Mediterranean before crossing the Atlantic for a season in the Caribbean.

The next ship in The World's Most Luxurious Fleet™ to resume sailing will be Seven Seas Explorer on October 15, 2021, from Trieste, Italy. Seven Seas Mariner will resume sailing December 18, 2021, from Miami, Florida, as will Seven Seas Navigator on January 6, 2022. Finally, Seven Seas Voyager will return on February 15, 2022 from Barcelona, Spain.

Luxury travelers from the US, UK and Europe are on board Seven Seas Splendor's inaugural sailing with a number of loyal Seven Seas Society members, including Commodores – guests who have sailed with Regent Seven Seas Cruises for over 2,000 nights.

Regent's president and CEO, Jason Montague, and the cruise line's chief sales & marketing officer, Andrea DeMarco, hosted Seven Seas Society Commodore members Nancy Pflager, Malcolm Myers, and Margaret "Peggy" Nathan for a celebratory gourmet dinner on September 12, in the ship's beautiful Compass Rose restaurant.

Margaret "Peggy" Nathan of New York said "It was so wonderful to see the crew after being away from our Regent family for so long. This inaugural cruise has been an incredibly special way to experience such a beautiful ship."

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Cruise Vacations in Australia Through Mid-January 2022
Princess Cruises announced this week that it is extending its pause in cruise vacations in Australia/New Zealand to January 27, 2022, due to the uncertainty around the return of cruising in the region.

As a result of the pause extension, Coral Princess voyages through January 17 are cancelled and Royal Princess and Sapphire Princess seasons through to March 2022 are being cancelled.

"It became apparent we would not be able to deliver planned deployment of Royal Princess and Sapphire Princess in Australia before they were due to start their published northern hemisphere voyages," said Deanna Austin, Princess Cruises Chief Commercial Officer. "We recognize that guests planning cruises over the popular summer and new year holiday period will be particularly disappointed with the changes, however, we wanted to give guests as much notice as possible so they could plan their holidays with certainty."

For guests booked on a cancelled cruise, guests have the option to move to an equivalent cruise. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests' fare on their replacement cruise. Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD) or a full refund to the original form of payment.

Requests must be received through this online form by October 31, 2021, or guests will automatically receive the FCC option. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by December 31, 2022, and sailing by April 30, 2023.

Princess will protect travel agent commission on bookings that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Confirms World Navigator's Inaugural Antarctica Season To Sail In November 2021
Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that the adventure cruise brand will proceed with the inaugural Antarctica season for its first all-inclusive, luxury expedition ship, World Navigator. From Nov. 2021 through Mar. 2022, World Navigator will sail nine- and 12-night Antarctica expeditions, departing round-trip from Ushuaia, Argentina. World Navigator guests will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the Southern Continent and witness penguins, seals, walruses, whales and large sea birds and awe at the unspoiled landscape and towering icebergs. Innovating Antarctica expeditions, Atlas has chartered its own private jet to bring guests directly to Ushuaia to embark the ship. As part of its All Inclusive All the Way commitment, Atlas' complimentary private charter jet service shortens the travel time it takes for guests to reach and return from Ushuaia and avoids overnights and extended layovers in an international airport, which are common with commercial flights. As required by the Argentinian authorities, all guests and crew are vaccinated on Atlas' Antarctica expeditions. For more information about World Navigator's inaugural Antarctica season, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

"We are happy to proceed with World Navigator's inaugural Antarctica season as planned," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "As the first cruise line to offer private charter jet service, Atlas is establishing a safety bubble in the U.S. and safely flying guests directly to World Navigator in Ushuaia. The benefits of our private charter jet service combined with our proven safety and hygiene protocols were instrumental in clearing our operations from Ushuaia. This innovation is part of Atlas' All Inclusive All the Way, in which we take care of the details and make it more convenient, seamless and safe for our guests."

Aboard World Navigator's Antarctica expeditions, guests can visit places such as Neko Harbour; Deception Island's caldera; and Brown Bluff at the northern tip of the peninsula. The November 28, 2021, journey will bring guests within the umbra of the Moon on December 4, for a rare, Antarctic solar eclipse, while the February 2, 2022, departure features a crossing into the Antarctic Circle in pursuit of marine wildlife-spotting. Guests will enjoy being closer to the waterline to sight Antarctic marine wildlife from World Navigator's Water's Edge Lookout, the lowest ship's observation bow in the industry and the only one with wrap-around, heated benches for extended time out on deck.

Atlas' signature All Inclusive All The Way provides all guests a complete and seamless experience by including complimentary round-trip air travel, unlimited premium wine and spirits, international beers and coffees, prepaid gratuities, polar parkas, regionally inspired gourmet cuisine, emergency medical evacuation insurance, WiFi and L'OCCITANE bath amenities. In every stateroom, guests enjoy robes, slippers and binoculars to use throughout the voyage, personalized coffee, teas and bar service, and butler service in suites.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand designed for discerning, fun-seeking travelers to immerse in unique and awe-inspiring moments in remote and captivating destinations. World Navigator, Atlas' first ship, has begun service and will sail Caribbean, South America and Antarctica for winter 2021/22; and the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Arctic, and Central and South America in summer 2022. The cruise brand's second ship, World Traveller, launches in July 2022, with three additional sister ships, World Seeker, World Adventurer and World Discoverer, to join the fleet by the end of 2023. At 9,930 GRTs, Atlas Ocean Voyages' ships are Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.24 - 0.30%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 82.96 - 1.05%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.51 - 8.93
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.11 - 0.75%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the 1972 book and author that contributed significantly to the renewal of interest in ocean liners and cruise ships? Bonus Question: Name the follow-up book published in 1985.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
One of the stylish pianos from Cunard's Queen Mary returned to sea a few years back. Where can you find that piano today?

Answer - A piano from the RMS Queen Mary is located in the Chart Room Bar of the Queen Elizabeth 2. For many years it was located in The Midship's Lobby by the D Stairway courtesy of Larry P. McDonald


Cruise News - September 13, 2021

Carnival Pride Sets Sail On First Cruise From Port Of Baltimore
Carnival Cruise Line is the first cruise line to set sail from the Port of Baltimore since the industry-wide pause in operations. Carnival Pride is set to depart today on a seven-day cruise to The Bahamas, visiting the popular destinations of Nassau, Freeport and the private island of Half Moon Cay.

Prior to departure, a "Back to Fun" event was held in the terminal during which Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival Pride Captain Maurizio Ruggiero and Port of Baltimore Executive Director William P. Doyle cut the ceremonial ribbon and officially welcomed the first guests on board.

"We're thrilled to be back in Baltimore, providing our guests with the relaxing vacation they've been so patiently waiting for but also supporting the local economy and offering our crew members an opportunity to support their families back home," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Baltimore has been a wonderful partner for more than a decade and we are delighted to get Back to Fun in this key market which serves hundreds of thousands of guests in the Northeast and along the Atlantic Coast."

"What a great day for the Port of Baltimore!" said Port of Baltimore Executive Director William P. Doyle. "We have waited a long time to welcome back the Carnival Pride to Charm City. Baltimore's Cruise Maryland is terrific -- our cruise terminal is directly off Interstate 95 and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is only 15 minutes away. The cruise terminal sits alongside Baltimore's world famous Inner Harbor, as well as Federal Hill, Fort McHenry, and Fells Point. There's plenty of sightseeing, dining, and shopping options. So cruise from Baltimore, enjoy our great city, and sail to some of the most incredible tropical paradises in the world."

Carnival Cruise Line launched the first year-round cruise program from Baltimore in 2009 and since then has carried well over one million guests, making Carnival the number one cruise operator from the port.

In November, a newer ship, Carnival Legend, will replace Carnival Pride in Baltimore when Carnival Pride shifts to departures from Tampa.

Carnival offers the widest array of cruise options from Baltimore, including:

• Six- and seven-day sailings to Bermuda and The Bahamas

• Eight-day voyages to Canada/New England and the Caribbean

• 14-day Carnival Journeys sailings to the Panama Canal and the exotic southern Caribbean.

• A Carnival Sailabration voyage aboard Carnival Legend in March 2022 with special onboard activities and entertainment in conjunction with Carnival Cruise Line's 50th Birthday festivities.

Oceania Cruises Unveils Inaugural Season Voyages For Vista
Oceania Cruises, the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, unveiled the Inaugural Season of voyage itineraries for Vista, the line's newest ship. The 18 Inaugural Season voyages commence in April 2023 and will span more than 24 countries across four continents, from the ancient sands of Asia in the east to the glittering hills of Hollywood in the west. Vista's Inaugural Season voyages are now available for travelers and travel advisors to preview online at OceaniaCruises.com and will open for sale on September 15, 2021. Additionally, President's Circle and Diamond-level Oceania Club members enjoy exclusive privileges that afford them the opportunity to request their preferred suite or stateroom on the Inaugural Season voyages through September 14, 2021.

"Every aspect of Vista's Inaugural Season has been designed to present immersive destination experiences through new and unique perspectives. From the heart of iconic cities such as Venice and London to the rarely trodden shores of Stornoway or Kavala, guests will be enthralled with the diverse array of memories they'll collect along the way," stated Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Inaugural Season Highlights

The gala Maiden Voyage sails from Rome to Barcelona on April 14, 2023

• 18 voyages spanning more than 24 countries across 4 continents

• Spanish, French, and Italian Rivieras; Greek Isles; Holy Lands of Turkey and Israel; Canary Islands; Wine Country of Spain, Portugal, and France; The British Isles & Ireland; Colonial America; and Panama Canal

• Overnight stays in Lisbon, Venice, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Bordeaux, Montreal, and New York City

• Off-the-beaten-path treasures such as Port-Vendres, Bodrum, Kavala/Philippi, Bozcaada, Chania, Izmir, Salerno, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Killybegs, Saint-Pierre, Shelburne, Martha's Vineyard, and Corinto

Vista's Inaugural Voyages

Maiden Voyage – Rome to Barcelona, April 14, 2023, 12 days
Sorrento/Capri, Messina, Valletta, Florence/Pisa/Tuscany, Monte Carlo, Toulon, Port-Vendres, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Valencia

Barcelona to Lisbon, April 26, 2023, 10 days
Alicante, Granada, Arrecife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Tangier, Lisbon (overnight)

Lisbon to Venice, May 6, 2023, 14 days
Seville, Málaga, Cartagena, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Rome, Sorrento/Capri, Messina, Dubrovnik, Venice (overnight)

Venice to Athens, May 20, 2023, 12 days
Split, Bari, Kotor, Mykonos, Kavala/Philippi, Istanbul (overnight), Ephesus, Rhodes, Santorini

Athens to Istanbul, June 1, 2023, 10 days
Santorini, Heraklion, Bodrum, Antalya, Limassol, Rhodes, Ephesus, Bozcaada, Istanbul (overnight)

Istanbul to Rome, June 11, 2023, 14 days
Istanbul (overnight), Izmir, Santorini, Rhodes, Limassol, Jerusalem (overnight in Haifa and visit to Ashdod), Chania, Argostoli, Taormina, Salerno

Rome to Athens, June 25, 2023, 10 days
Naples/Pompeii, Messina, Valletta, Mykonos, Istanbul (overnight), Ephesus, Santorini

Athens to Venice, July 5, 2023, 10 days
Mykonos, Istanbul (overnight), Ephesus, Corfu, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Venice (overnight)

Venice to Rome, July 15, 2023, 10 days
Split, Dubrovnik, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Argostoli, Taormina, Salerno

Rome to Barcelona, July 25, 2023, 10 days
Naples/Pompeii, Messina, Valletta, Florence/Pisa/Tuscany, Monte Carlo, Saint-Tropez, Marseille, Palma de Mallorca

Barcelona to London, August 4, 2023, 14 days
Málaga, Tangier, Seville, Lisbon (overnight), Oporto, La Coruña, Bilbao, Bordeaux (overnight), Saint-Malo

London to London, August 18, 2023, 12 days
Edinburgh, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Glasgow, Belfast, Liverpool, Dublin, Holyhead, Waterford, Portland

London to New York, August 30, 2023, 18 days
Paris, Saint-Malo, Torbay, Cork, Belfast, Dublin, Killybegs, St. John's, Saint-Pierre, Saint John, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport

New York to Montreal, September 18, 2023, 11 days
Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Shelburne, Sydney, Saguenay, Quebec City, Montreal (overnight)

Montreal to Miami, September 29, 2023, 15 days
Montreal (overnight), Quebec City, Saguenay, Sydney, Shelburne, Bar Harbor, Portland, Martha's Vineyard, New York (overnight), Charleston

Miami to Los Angeles, October 16, 2023, 16 days or Los Angeles to Miami, November 3, 2023, 16 days
George Town, Cartagena, Panama Canal, Puntarenas, Corinto, Puerto Quetzal, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada (November 3 voyage operates in reverse order)

Seabourn Announces Updated Restart Date For Seabourn Quest
Seabourn cruise line, continues to work with various global government and port officials to develop plans for a full return of cruise travel. Seabourn has updated the restart of one of its remaining ships, Seabourn Quest, in time for the summer season in the Mediterranean on May 10, 2022.

The ship will resume service in Europe, where it will spend its summer 2022 season homeporting from Venice, Italy. Seabourn Quest will visit the historic countries in the Adriatic and Ionian seas through mid-July before turning west and north to explore coastal destinations across Spain, Portugal, France and the United Kingdom.

"We look forward to welcoming our guests back on board Seabourn Quest in time for summer 2022 travel, where we will have so much to offer in the Mediterranean," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn.

The revised restart date also means the brand is cancelling the 2021-2022 Antarctica and South America season on Seabourn Quest, which also includes the Amazon region. The line is currently operating two of the five ships in its fleet, Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Ovation.

Guests and travel advisors on cancelled voyages will receive specific information applicable to their booking. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available on its website first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.

Holland America Announces Return-to-Service Dates for Final Three Ships in the Fleet
By late spring 2022, Holland America Line will have a complete fleet back to cruising with the restart of operations for Noordam, Oosterdam and Westerdam. Noordam will restart with a March 14, 2022, cruise in Japan; Oosterdam will begin cruising May 1 in the Mediterranean, and Westerdam will return to service May 8 in Alaska.

The ships will join Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam and Zuiderdam, which have returned to service or are slated to restart cruising by December 2021. Volendam and Zaandam will return in May 2022.

"We've been working intensely to get all of our ships back into service, and to have final restart dates that will complete the fleet is rewarding for everyone who has put their all into making this happen," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Our progressive rollout plan allows us to be back in full service over the next several months, and we look forward to welcoming guests on all 11 ships cruising in different regions around the world."

Noordam Plans Return to Service in Japan
Holland America Line is working with Japanese authorities to begin cruising for Noordam next spring in Japan with four sailings scheduled.

When Noordam sets sail in March, the ship plans to offer three 14-day cruises that deeply explore Japan. Sailing roundtrip from Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan, the ship makes several calls around the exotic country and with a one- or two-day visit on each itinerary to South Korea, Taiwan or Russia. The 14-day journeys can be combined to form 28-day Collectors' Voyages.

In April, Noordam will cross the Pacific Ocean and sail a season in Alaska with cruises between Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and Whittier, Alaska.

Oosterdam Returns to the Mediterranean
Guests eager to visit the Med next year can embark Oosterdam beginning with the May 1 departure. The ship will sail the season in the region, cruising between Civitavecchia (Rome) and Venice, Italy; and Barcelona, Spain, and Venice; or roundtrip from Venice on seven- and 12-day itineraries. Oosterdam will explore ports in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, France, Malta and Israel.

Following a transatlantic crossing in November 2022, the ship will transit the Panama Canal and take a southerly route to offer a series of South America and Antarctica expeditions ranging from 14 to 22 days between Buenos Aires, Argentina, and San Antonio (Santiago), Chile.

Westerdam Sets Sail for Alaska
When Westerdam returns on May 8, the ship will embark on a season of seven-day Alaska cruises roundtrip from Seattle, Washington. Come September, the ship will cross the Pacific Ocean and begin a season in the Far East offering a variety of 14-day itineraries from Singapore; Hong Kong, China; and Yokohama (Tokyo).

Guests on January to May 2022 Cruises Will Move to 2023 With these restart dates for Noordam, Oosterdam and Westerdam, cruises in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and South America and Antarctica from January 2022 through the return-to-service departures will be cancelled.

Guests on Westerdam's cancelled transatlantic crossing departing April 18, 2022, will be moved to a comparable crossing on Nieuw Statendam departing April 17.

Guests on Noordam's affected Asia departures in 2022 will be moved to the same itinerary in 2023 aboard Westerdam; guests on Oosterdam's cancelled Australia and New Zealand voyages will be moved to the same itinerary in 2023 aboard Noordam; and guests on Westerdam's cancelled South America and Antarctica Voyages will be moved to the same itinerary aboard Oosterdam in 2023. Guests also may choose to receive a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line.

St Kitts and Nevis is Reopening Travel and Welcoming Major Cruise Ships Back to its Shores
On September 14th, 2021, the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis will host 1,400 passengers of the Celebrity Equinox at its Port Zante. The port call of Celebrity Equinox, which is part of its parent company Royal Caribbean Group, will mark the first call by the Royal Caribbean Group to the twin-island since the onset of the pandemic, announced Lindsay Grant, Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports.

St Kitts and Nevis remains in high demand as a renowned port for its exceptional tours complemented by an unmatched experience. The nation achieved the honorary Marquee Port status two cruise seasons in a row before the pandemic for reaching the one million passenger mark. Funded by the country's Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, Port Zante is one of the few ports in the Eastern Caribbean that can accommodate the world's most prominent cruise vessels, like Carnival Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and P & O Cruises. Another Celebrity Equinox ship will return to Port Zante in early October.

Minister Grant told CS Global Partners that revenue from CBI's Sustainable Growth Fund option has played a pivotal role in keeping the economy afloat during the pandemic through the Poverty Alleviation Programme and it has also aided the preparation to reopen the tourism sector safety. "All signs point to a positive recovery of the economy in St Kitts and Nevis as global businesses begins to grow," he added.

According to officials, St Kitts and Nevis will create a bubble at Port Zante to resume cruise tourism in the country. These safety protocols involve having 95 percent of all crew onboard the vessel fully vaccinated according to the CDC guidelines and ensuring all guests over 12 years of age are fully vaccinated with a World Health Organisation or the US Food and Drug Administration approved vaccine. All individuals must also submit a negative PCR or Antigen test three days before the embarkation of the vessel at homeport at the beginning of the cruise.

Celebrity Cruises Launches Largest-Ever Global Advertising Campaign
Celebrity Cruises, today launched a multi-million-dollar global advertising campaign enticing all consumers to reawaken their wanderlust and reconnect with the people and the world around them.

With the tagline, "Journey Safe, Journey Wonderfull," the campaign taps into the transformative wonders of experiencing the world from the perspective of a Celebrity ship. The campaign blends new luxury experiences with places and people at its heart, doubling down on a message of inclusivity.

The campaign's television spot opens by posing the question, "How many precious moments have we missed?", before taking the viewer on a journey filled with experiences and wonders one might not immediately associate with a cruise.

Set to a remix of Louis Armstrong's iconic life-affirming ballad "What a Wonderful World," the spot draws on the lyrics, enticing the viewer at every moment to return to experiencing the fullness of life.

The spot also reminds viewers that there are new safety considerations in today's travel environment that Celebrity Cruises takes seriously. Like many other travel brands, Celebrity Cruises paused its operations in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold. After nearly 16 months, it became the first cruise operator to sail with passengers from both North America, and then, the first to sail from a U.S. port when Celebrity Edge left Fort Lauderdale on June 26 for a seven-night cruise of the Caribbean.

The brand went on to become a leading advocate for vaccinations in the travel industry, requiring all crew and eligible guests to be fully vaccinated in order to board a Celebrity Cruises ship.

Celebrity Cruises President and Chief Executive Officer Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: "It took enduring a pandemic, where we were literally cut off from each other and the world, to recognize how powerful and meaningful travel is in our lives. It's not just a vacation. Travel is a journey – where our hearts and minds are filled with new people, new experiences, new realizations about ourselves and the world around us. And, as the first cruise line back in service in North America, we saw an opportunity to not just re-emerge, but reframe the Celebrity Cruise experience through this lens."

"Our new advertising campaign poses a question, 'isn't it time?' And with the time and care we have put into our new health and safety measures, we think it is. It is time to see the world and each other, again, on one of the safest vacations possible," Lutoff-Perlo added.

The campaign soft-launched last week with out-of-home executions targeting U.S. Open tennis fans. Utilizing a compelling combination of media channels, the brand begins online placements today that will be complemented by high-impact print and TV. A 60-second version of the television commercial premiering tonight during primetime NFL Football, and can also be viewed online here, seeks to challenge many of the stereotypes and cliches that surround cruising.

Michael Scheiner, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Celebrity Cruises said: "As a new luxury travel company, we're about the fullness of the travel experience. When you choose Celebrity Cruises, you're choosing the best of everything: It's a luxury hotel, it's Michelin-quality dining, it's a luxury spa retreat, it's seeing all four corners of the world and meeting different people from different cultures." He continued, "This campaign tears up every cliche and stereotype that exists about cruising, and this is just the beginning of this type of work."

Even more remarkably, the campaign spots were produced using only library footage and stock videography and "is, in part," Scheiner added, "an allegorical tale of equality and diversity. We wanted the audience to, yes, marvel at the rich fullness of a Celebrity cruise, but we also wanted to draw attention to the diversity of people who travel with us and who you meet on your journey. I think we as an industry need to do more to celebrate and accurately represent in our advertising everyone who travels."

The launch of the ad campaign also kicks off a major brand refresh that will include overhauling the look and feel of Celebrity Cruises' social presence, including a reset of its @CelebrityCruises Instagram account that is representative of the brand's message of Wonderfull experiences that will reignite guests' wanderlust aspirations.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.31 + 1.52%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 83.84 + 5.55%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.56 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.30 + 2.76%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the 1972 book and author that contributed significantly to the renewal of interest in ocean liners and cruise ships? Bonus Question: Name the follow-up book published in 1985.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
One of the stylish pianos from Cunard's Queen Mary returned to sea a few years back. Where can you find that piano today?

Answer - A piano from the RMS Queen Mary is located in the Chart Room Bar of the Queen Elizabeth 2. For many years it was located in The Midship's Lobby by the D Stairway courtesy of Larry P. McDonald


Cruise News - September 6, 2021

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Next Round Of Restart Plans
With eight of its ships already in guest operations, and more restarting in September and October, Carnival Cruise Line today announced the next round of details about additional ship restarts for November 2021 and beyond.

• Carnival Valor will follow Carnival Glory in New Orleans with four- and five-night sailings starting on Nov. 1;

• Carnival Legend will restart Nov. 14 out of Baltimore, replacing Carnival Pride, which restarts guest operations from Baltimore Sept. 12 and then moves its homeport to Tampa following a Panama Canal repositioning cruise;

• Carnival Radiance will have a new maiden voyage date of Dec. 13 out of Long Beach (rescheduled from Nov. 5 due to a revised dry dock transformation plan);

• Carnival Pride's new service from Tampa is scheduled to start on Nov. 14;

• Carnival Conquest's restart from Miami on Oct. 8 has been rescheduled to Dec. 13;

• Carnival Sensation's Oct. 21 restart from Mobile has been moved to Jan. 2022.

"We are very pleased with the progress of our restart which will grow to 15 ships sailing from seven U.S. homeports by mid-November," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We are making slight adjustments to our timeline to take into account supply chain realities and ensure that our destination and shore excursion offerings can meet the strong demand we are seeing from our guests. Our teams, ship and shore, are prepared to continue delivering on our great guest experience and manage all health and safety protocols."

Carnival is also advising guests booked in November and December that it will continue to meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's (CDC) standard of vaccinated cruises and that guests will need to present proof of both vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test at check-in (with a small number of capacity-restricted exemptions granted for children under 12 and other guests who cannot be vaccinated). Carnival is working to set up mobile pre-cruise rapid testing sites at all of its homeports as a back-up alternative for vaccinated guests who aren't able to make arrangements (details forthcoming). In addition, guests will be asked to wear masks in most indoor venues of the ship where people congregate. Full details are available at the Have Fun. Be Safe. page on Carnival.com.

With the extension of Carnival Sensation's restart, five ships operating out of U.S. homeports will be moved to 2022: Carnival Liberty (Port Canaveral), Carnival Sunshine (Charleston), Carnival Paradise (Tampa); Carnival Ecstasy (Jacksonville) and Carnival Sensation (Mobile).

Separate from its U.S. operations, Carnival has cancelled four additional sailings for both Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor out of Australia. Cruises on both ships are now cancelled up to and including Dec. 16, 2021.

Ralph Lauren Home To Style Oceania Cruises' New Ship Owner's Suites And Library
Oceania Cruises unveiled the palatial Owner's Suites and top-of-ship Library aboard Vista, which will be exclusively styled in Ralph Lauren Home. In a first for the line and the industry, Vista will be the first and only ship afloat with a Library exclusively styled in furnishings and artwork from the iconic designer.

"The Owner's Suites and Library are signature elements of our brand and having them styled exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home elevates them into truly iconic spaces. Everything from the furnishings to the accessories and artwork is meant to envelop our guests in style and comfort, creating the ultimate feeling of home," stated Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Library

Atop the ship on Deck 15, the Library, exclusively styled in Ralph Lauren Home, offers an inspired sanctuary for every guest on board to enjoy. Bordered by glass walls offering extraordinary seascapes, the Library invites sybaritic relaxation, the ultimate quietude of a few hours with a bestselling novel, or perhaps the unrivaled indulgence of simply watching the world float by. Polished nickel sconces and chandeliers provide the perfect ambient lighting while classic sepia equestrian prints adorn the walls.

Adjacent to the Library is Baristas, the ship's complimentary gourmet coffee bar, along with the Bakery where guests may indulge in a frothy cappuccino or rich latte and fresh-baked French and Italian pastries.

Owner's Suites

Vista will feature three supremely spacious Owner's Suites, each of which spans the full beam of the ship. Measuring 2,400 square feet and styled exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home, these seagoing estate homes are the ultimate expression of timeless American elegance.

This new generation of Owner's Suites was designed and furnished to feel like ultimate seagoing estates. Embracing their lofty height and commanding views, the spaces feature walls of glass in every room to amplify the open and airy nature while allowing for commanding panoramas wherever in the suite one might be. Thoughtfully layered design elements like traditional millwork on the walls, iconic Ralph Lauren Home furnishings, and signature decorative elements result in an opulent yet soothingly comfortable aesthetic.

The dramatic double-doored entry opens into the foyer and the beautiful dining room that is dominated by a floor-to-ceiling bow-shaped wall of glass that overhangs overlooks the sea. The centerpiece of the room is the elegant Brook Street Salon dining table that is surrounded by a fleet of Holbrook Director's Chairs from Ralph Lauren Home with a polished nickel Chatham pendant chandelier overhead.

The living room borders on decadent with its lustrous wenge walnut flooring, quartered rosewood cocktail bar with hammered nickel countertop, and sumptuous lounging area filled with modern furnishings that showcase a nautical flair. At the end of the living room, a wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling glass wall provides for unequalled vistas while adjacent to the bar, a wall of glass opens onto the expansive teak veranda that is furnished for lounging, entertaining and dining.

The master bedroom is an entire retreat unto itself, featuring a luxurious Cote d'Azur king-size bed, capacious walk-in closets, and an opulent master bath with a large soaking tub and an ocean-view shower. A second teak veranda off the master bedroom promises peaceful solitude amidst the refined elegance.

Vista's Inaugural Season itineraries will be available for previewing on September 9, 2021, and will open for sale on September 15, 2021. Her 18 Inaugural Season voyages begin in April 2023 and will span more than 24 countries across four continents, from the ancient sands of Asia in the east to the glittering hills of Hollywood in the west.

Carnival Glory To Support New Orleans Recovery Efforts From Hurricane Ida
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it has an agreement with the city of New Orleans and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide Carnival Glory for first responders housing through Sept. 18.

Related to this announcement, Carnival will cancel Glory's cruise scheduled to depart on Sept. 12 and will plan to restart its guest operations with Carnival Glory from New Orleans on Sunday, Sept. 19. Carnival had already cancelled the Sept. 5 departure for Carnival Glory.

Carnival Glory arrived at the Port of New Orleans on Friday and underwent a required U.S. Coast Guard inspection. The ship began provisioning food, water and materials to prepare for up to 2,600 hospital workers, first responders, city and utility workers and other emergency personnel to join the ship. The ship will stay in port and serve as emergency housing for frontline workers directly involved in the city's infrastructure recovery and healthcare needs.

"While we want to provide the city of New Orleans with an economic boost by restarting guest operations, we want to first provide this critical housing support to address emergency needs and to get power restored to the region," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We appreciate the understanding of our guests, who we know love New Orleans as much as we do."

Added Brandy D. Christian, President and CEO Port NOLA and CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. "Port NOLA appreciates Carnival's deployment of Carnival Glory to New Orleans. Her berths will accommodate the hardworking first responders and essential personnel working on storm recovery efforts in our region. Port NOLA, our Federal, state, and local partner agencies all support those who are quickly restoring critical infrastructure in the city and helping to get cargo moving again."

Four Holland America Line Ships To Transit Panama Canal in 2022-23
The Panama Canal has been called one of humankind's greatest engineering achievements, and for the 2022-23 cruise season four Holland America Line ships will feature itineraries that include a full transit between Atlantic and Pacific oceans. On board, guests get a front-row seat on the eight-hour daylight journey through the Panama Canal, often cited as a rite-of-passage experience by avid cruisers.

Ranging in length from 14 to 23 days aboard Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Volendam and Zuiderdam, Holland America's Panama Canal voyages depart from several ports, including San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Many of the itineraries have two or three embarkation or debarkation options, enabling guests to stay on for an extended trip or utilize the port that is most convenient.

In addition to the Panama Canal, the itineraries visit several beautiful locales in Central America and the Caribbean, offering a complete tropical vacation with lush flora, exotic fauna, golden beaches and a display of nature's most vibrant hues.

Partial Panama Canal Transits Explore Gatun Lake
Guests looking to explore the Panama Canal on a Caribbean cruise can experience a partial transit aboard Eurodam and Volendam, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on 10- and 11-day cruises. The ships visit tropical ports as they make way to Gatun Lake where cruisers will enjoy a day of spectacular scenic cruising throughout the canal.

2022-23 Panama Canal Highlights:

EURODAM

• Fall 2022: Oct. 8 (Seattle – 21 days), Oct. 9 (Vancouver – 20 days) or Oct. 13 (San Diego – 16 days) departures transiting to Fort Lauderdale. Ports of call in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Aruba.

• Spring 2023: April 9 departure from Fort Lauderdale transiting to San Diego (15 days), Vancouver (19 days) or Seattle (20 days). Ports of call in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Colombia, including an evening departure from Victoria, B.C.

• Fall 2022 – Spring 2023: A series of 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale that feature an exploration of Gatun Lake and partial Panama Canal transit, along with ports in Costa Rica, Columbia and the Caribbean.

NIEUW AMSTERDAM

• Fall 2022: Oct. 2 (Vancouver – 23 days) or Oct. 8 (San Diego – 17 days) departures transiting to Fort Lauderdale. Ports of call in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Aruba and California, including an evening departure from San Francisco, California, as well as a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's private island in the Bahamas.

• Spring 2023: April 9 departure from Fort Lauderdale transiting to San Diego (17 days) or Vancouver (21 days). Ports of call in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Aruba and Turks and Caicos, as well as an evening departure from Victoria for guests on board to Vancouver.

VOLENDAM

• Holiday 2022: Dec. 17 departure on a 10-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itinerary roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, featuring Gatun Lake and partial Panama Canal transit. This cruise can be combined with a seven-day eastern Caribbean itinerary to form a magical 17-day holiday Collectors' Voyage.

• April 15, 2023: Fort Lauderdale transiting to San Diego (17 days) or Vancouver (21 days) including calls in Turks & Caicos, Aruba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico, as well as an evening departure from Victoria for guests on board to Vancouver.

ZUIDERDAM

• Nov. 17, 2022, and April 4, 2023, departures: San Diego transiting to Fort Lauderdale (14 days) including calls in Colombia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Disney Cruise Line Dreams Up First-Of-Its-Kind Funnel Suite Aboard Disney Wish
See the line where the sky meets the sea? It’s calling guests home to the Wish Tower Suite, a first-of-its-kind accommodation set high in the forward funnel of the Disney Wish, which debuts in summer 2022. With an elegant design inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana,” incomparable ocean views and premium Disney service, this 1,966-square-foot penthouse in the sky will be a celebration of the enchantment and spirit of the sea.

“Each of our theme parks has a majestic icon that captures our guests’ imaginations,” said Laura Cabo, portfolio creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. “On a Disney cruise ship, that beacon of magic is our signature red funnels. For the first time ever, guests aboard the Disney Wish will be able to book an incredible two-story suite that’s actually located within one of our funnels. With the Wish Tower Suite, we are creating a breathtaking experience that continues our tradition of the most unique and enchanting accommodations at sea.”

The Wish Tower Suite is the latest addition to the new Disney ship, where every storybook-inspired stateroom will be a luxurious, peaceful retreat designed with ample room for families, plenty of storage and upscale amenities. Every guest will find their perfect home-away-from-home aboard the Disney Wish — 90% of the 1,254 staterooms will offer ocean views, more than 900 rooms will connect to accommodate larger families and more premium concierge accommodations will be available than ever before.

Wish Tower Suite

The Wish Tower Suite will be Disney Cruise Line’s most unique accommodation yet. With nearly 2,000 square feet of living space, it will comfortably sleep up to eight guests with two main bedrooms, a children’s room, a library that converts to a bedroom and four-and-a-half bathrooms.

The magnificent living room will be flanked by an open dining area, a large pantry and a bar, all offering extraordinary views across the upper decks to the horizon through an expansive two-story window wall.

Located on the upper-level loft, the main bedrooms will be lavish and serene with king beds, walk-in closets and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the living area below to the views beyond. The main bathrooms will each have double vanities, soaking tubs and rain showers.

Enchanting Design

The Wish Tower Suite is being designed with artwork, iconography and materials that evoke the Oceania-inspired world of “Moana.” A soothing palette of calm blues, soft whites and deep corals will lay the foundation for family rest and relaxation, while creative ornaments and custom artwork will convey sophisticated nods to the characters and locales of the film.

The piece de resistance will be a hand-crafted porcelain sculpture that comes alive in an only-Disney-can-do way. When guests arrive home to the Wish Tower Suite, they may discover the statue pulsing in myriad hues of green amid soft chimes that recall the film’s distinctive soundtrack, revealing itself as the heart of Te Fiti. The special lighting and audio effects will eventually fill the room to provide a truly magical, one-of-a-kind greeting.

Other film-inspired decorations include a custom canvas piece depicting Moana sailing on the sea; dimensional props that celebrate the treasures of the ocean and the local crafts of Moana’s village; and a glittering sculpture composed of shiny objects – a playful interpretation of Tamatoa’s dazzling collection. The children’s room, which will feature uniquely designed built-in bunkbeds, will enchant kids of all ages with a sparkling constellation pattern that lights up the ceiling to reveal imagery from the movie composed entirely of stars: Moana’s oar, Gramma Tala, Maui’s hook and the heart of Te Fiti.

Unparalleled Service and Amenities

Guests can expect the royal treatment while staying in the Wish Tower Suite, marked by the expert service of a personal concierge team, an elegant array of curated experiences, a delightful selection of daily treats and a private elevator.

The Wish Tower Suite will feature plush Frette duvets, bed linens, bath towels and robes; motorized sheer and block-out curtains; a wet bar stocked with water and sodas; complimentary internet access; and a deluxe menu of hypo-allergenic, feather and therapeutic memory foam pillows. Guests will also enjoy VIP access to the concierge lounge and sun deck with two whirlpools, a wading pool, a bar, lush lounge furniture and the superlative service of a pool deck host.

Maiden Voyage and Inaugural Season

The Disney Wish will sail its maiden voyage on June 9, 2022, followed by a season of three- and four-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, from Port Canaveral, Florida.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 22.96 - 2.84%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 79.43 - 3.00%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.56 - 6.67%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 24.62 + 5.35%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
One of the stylish pianos from Cunard's Queen Mary returned to sea a few years back. Where can you find that piano today?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Prior to S.O.S. a different code was used as the International signal for distress. What was the code, what did it stand for, and what was the first large passenger ship to use it to request help?

Answer - Prior to "SOS" the distress call was "CQD" Some additional facts about SOS and CQD - Contrary to popular belief, SOS is not an abbreviation for anything (...including Save Our Ship or Save Our Souls). According to the 1918 Marconi Yearbook of Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony "...it was adopted on account of its easy radiation and it unmistakable character." The first recorded use of the new SOS call by an American ship was in 1908 by the wireless operator of the ss Arapahoe after the ship lost a propeller. In 1912, wireless operator Jack Phillips first used the CQD call followed by Titanic's call letters MGY. Later, following second Radio Officer Harold Bride's suggestion, Phillips began interspersing SOS with the CQD call.
courtesy of William Smith, New York.


Cruise News - August 30, 2021

Oceania Cruises Resumes Sailing
Oceania Cruise welcomed guests across the gangway for the first time in 524 days. Marina is the first of Oceania Cruises' ships to resume sailing and is also the very first cruise ship to sail from the port of Copenhagen since 2019.

"Today is one of those days we will all remember for a lifetime as we reunite with our shipboard families and our guests to start exploring the world once again," stated Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.

All Oceania Cruises voyages are operating with a requirement that 100% of guests and crew are vaccinated, creating what we believe is one of the safest vacation experiences in the world. The line is undertaking a phased restart with its science-backed plan for a healthy return to service that protects our guests, crew and communities visited. The robust SailSAFE™ Health and Safety Program creates multiple layers of protection against COVID-19 and was developed with guidance from our team of public health and scientific experts including the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council and the Healthy Sail Panel.

Full details on our SailSAFE protocols can be found here. These protocols will be continuously evolved and modified using the best available science and technology.

Marina's first voyage sails from Copenhagen to ports in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland prior to concluding in Stockholm. Marina will spend the remainder of the summer and autumn cruising around Western Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Greek Isles prior to setting sail for Miami where she will arrive on December 1st.

Marina is the first ship to resume sailing for Oceania Cruises and will quickly be followed by Riviera, which resumes sailing in the Greek Isles on October 18, 2021, and Insignia from Miami on December 21, 2021, to kick off the epic six-month-long "Around the World in 180 Days" voyage. Sirena resumes sailing in the Caribbean on January 21, 2022, and Regatta will start sailing on February 5, 2022, in Polynesia followed by Nautica in the Mediterranean on April 1, 2022.

Viking Announces Parallel 2023-2024 World Cruises
Viking today announced its new 2023-2024 Viking World Cruise, which will span 138 days, 28 countries and 57 ports, with overnight stays in 11 cities. As a result of strong demand among guests – with the 2021 and 2022 World Cruises selling out in record time – Viking for the first time will offer a choice of two departure dates for this popular extended voyage. Guests may choose to sail on Viking Sky, which will depart on December 20, 2023, from Ft. Lauderdale – or on Viking Neptune, which will depart Ft. Lauderdale on December 23, 2023; both ships will sail the identical itinerary in parallel.

From Florida, guests on the 2023-2024 Viking World Cruise will journey to Central America, before transiting the Panama Canal and sailing up the West Coast of North America. A shorter 121-day Viking World Journeys itinerary is also available, allowing guests to join in Los Angeles and cross the Pacific Ocean to call in Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, before exploring ports of call in Asia and the Middle East. Finally, the ships will journey through the Mediterranean and conclude the voyage in London.

"We are delighted to once again offer explorers the opportunity to circumnavigate the world in comfort. Our previous World Cruises sold out in a matter of weeks, and we are now seeing more interest in these extended voyages than ever before," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Like me, our guests are curious people; we view travel as an opportunity to discover, learn and grow. With that Viking spirit of exploration, our seamless World Cruises are possibly the greatest of all adventures."

2023-2024 Viking World Cruise Highlights:

Viking's newest World Cruise itinerary visits dozens of the world's most iconic cities, alongside lesser-known destinations, in one continuous itinerary. Overnight stays in 11 ports, such as Sydney, Haifa, and Istanbul, and double overnights in Auckland, Bali, Ho Chi Minh, Yangon, and Mumbai allow guests to delve deeper. While on board, Viking offers cultural enrichment through onboard lectures and entertainment – such as the Viking Resident Historian program, which provides guests with a high-level historical and cultural education specific to their journey. Guests will immerse themselves in the world's rich cultures during included excursions that provide unmatched insight into daily life, as well as Privileged Access visits to cultural institutions. Highlights of the new 2023-2024 Viking World Cruise itinerary include:

• Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii: The Garden Island – Explore the lush vegetation of tropical Kauai, nicknamed Hawaii's "Garden Island." Guests can embark on a scenic drive to Wailua, known as the "Land of the Kings," to admire stunning nature including the 150-foot high ?Opaeka?a Falls, visit Nawilliwilli's Old Town and enjoy a walk along the beach, or peruse the shops of nearby Anchor Cove.

• Sydney, Australia: Iconic Harbor – Experience Sydney's magnificent harbor, the world's largest, and enjoy an overnight stay allowing ample time to explore this culture-rich city, from its world-class opera house to the natural wonders of the nearby Blue Mountains.

• Singapore, Singapore: A Melting Pot of Cultures – Witness the remarkable cultural diversity of Singapore during an overnight stay. Take a tour of the city's eclectic neighborhoods, from Little India to Arab Street, visit the futuristic horticultural park showcasing more than one million plants, or enjoy a Night Safari at the world's first nocturnal wildlife park.

• Mumbai, India: A City of Old and New – While in port in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai for two nights, guests have more time ashore to learn about the life and legacy of activist Mahatma Gandhi, enjoy the Hanging Gardens, one of the prized few parks found in the city, and explore the diversity of its neighborhoods, from the picturesque narrow streets of Old Mumbai to the colorful markets in the city's center.

• Istanbul, Turkey: Where East Meets West – Guests will enjoy ample time to experience this historic city during an overnight stay. Straddled across two continents and the Bosporus Strait, Istanbul offers a wealth of religious sites to explore such as the spectacular Blue Mosque or the legendary Hagia Sophia, and boasts delicious fusion cuisine, combining fresh Mediterranean fare with spices from the Far East and Asia.

• London (Greenwich), England: The Royal Borough – The journey concludes in the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, London on the Thames River, allowing easy access to the regal capital's iconic sights, including the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Viking Sky and Viking Neptune

Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. Viking's award-winning ocean fleet includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter and Viking Venus. Viking Neptune will join the fleet in late 2022. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking's ocean fleet features modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from 270 sq. ft. Veranda Staterooms, all with private verandas, sweeping views of the destination and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, generously proportioned closets, large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand, free Wi-Fi and award-winning bathrooms with large showers, premium Freyja bath products and heated floors.

• Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. With expansive views from wraparound private verandas, as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category on board, Explorer Suites offer the ultimate sanctuary for World Cruise guests.

• Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.

• LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.

• Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow of the ship and designed to represent the Scandinavian spirit for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.

• The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.

• Dining Choices: Viking's ships offer eight dining options, all with no additional charge or fee—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a variety of culinary options, and the World Café, which features international fare and regional specialties including a sushi and seafood cold bar—to intimate alternative dining experiences at The Chef's Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and Manfredi's, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. The Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers, while afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden. Mamsen's serves Norwegian deli-style fare, and complimentary 24-hour room service allows all guests to enjoy many signature dishes in the comfort of their stateroom. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking's ocean ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea. Additionally, The Kitchen Table specializes in regional dishes from market to table.

• Cultural Enrichment: Viking experiences from ship to shore are designed for unparalleled access and cultural enrichment. Viking Resident Historians deliver high-level historical and cultural education specific to the journey, offering invaluable insight into the rich history of the destination. Guest Lecturers who are experts in their fields shed light on the destination's art, architecture, music, geopolitics, natural world and more. Destination Performances represent the most iconic cultural performing arts of the region—whether it be Italian opera or Portuguese fado. Resident Classical Musicians—pianists, guitarists, violinists and flautists—perform classical compositions throughout the ships. And Culinary Classes in The Kitchen Table, Viking's onboard cooking school, focus on regional cuisine.

• Nordic Inspiration: Even the smallest details take their inspiration from the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings, reflecting deeply held Nordic traditions. Light wood grains, touches of slate and teak, Swedish limestone and fragrant juniper appear throughout the public spaces and Spa. The Clinker-built design of the Viking Bar mirrors the construction style of the original Viking Longships. A Viking Heritage Center provides history and context from the Viking Age. And characters from Norse Mythology are subtly incorporated into the design, providing curious guests with inspiration to further explore Viking's Nordic heritage.

Seabourn Announces Updated Restart Date For Seabourn Sojourn
Seabourn continues to work with various global government and port officials to develop plans for a full return to cruising. The line is currently operating two of the five ships in its fleet. As a result of the current environment and forecast for destinations to reopen, Seabourn has updated the restart of one of its remaining ships, Seabourn Sojourn, to open in time for the summer season in the Mediterranean on June 6, 2022.

The ship will resume service in Europe, where it will spend its summer 2022 season sailing the Western Mediterranean and exploring the French and Italian Rivieras, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco, Malta and the Canary Islands.

"Based on input from our loyal guests and those interested to experience Seabourn for the first time, we revised the restart for Seabourn Sojourn to coincide with peak summer 2022 travel," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We know our guests are eager to see the world with us again, and we look forward to welcoming guests back to Seabourn."

The revised restart date means the brand is cancelling the 2022 145-day World Cruise on Seabourn Sojourn, which was originally scheduled to depart on January 11, 2022 from Los Angeles. The 2024 World Cruise itinerary will replicate the highly anticipated 2022 World Cruise. The 2024 World Cruise will be available for booking in October 2021.

Guests and travel advisors on the cancelled 2022 World Cruise voyage will receive specific information applicable to their booking. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available on its website first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.

Holland America Line Announces May 2022 Return-to-Service Dates for Volendam and Zaandam
Travelers looking to get back to sea on their favorite Holland America Line ship can anticipate a restart date of May 2022 for Volendam and Zaandam. The ships will join Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam and Zuiderdam, which have returned to service or are slated to restart cruising by November 2021.

Holland America Line will restart the two ships in May when Volendam will explore Northern Europe and Zaandam will return to the Canada/New England region. With these new start dates, the Grand World Voyage and Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage will not operate in 2022 and will resume in 2023.

"We have been diligently planning and preparing to move our ships back into service, and after an extremely successful restart in Alaska and Europe we are thrilled to have return-to-service dates for Volendam and Zaandam," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "The team members on our ships in service have shared what a positive experience it has been welcoming guests back on board. We look forward to next spring when even more eager travelers can get back to cruising with us."

Volendam and Zaandam Return May 2022

When Volendam returns on May 1, the ship will offer longer explorations ranging from 14 to 35 days to the Baltic, Norway up to North Cape and Spitsbergen, British Isles and Iceland, all roundtrip from Rotterdam, Netherlands. The ship also sails along the Iberian Peninsula to the Mediterranean and down to Egypt and Israel.

Zaandam restarts on May 12 in the beloved Canada/New England region, with a cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Boston, Massachusetts, followed by itineraries between Boston and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The ship will offer the popular 35-day Voyage of the Vikings itinerary in July that sails roundtrip from Boston to Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Ireland.

Grand Voyages Resume in 2023

When the Grand World Voyage departs Jan. 3, 2023, Zuiderdam will debut on the 128-day around-the-world sojourn, offering world cruise guests the opportunity to book a verandah stateroom for the first time. Zuiderdam also features Music Walk's Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King's Blues Club and Billboard Onboard, along with specialty restaurants Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto. Volendam will return for the 74-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage in 2023 that departs Jan. 3, 2023.

Guests who were booked on the 2022 Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage will be automatically moved to the 2023 departure aboard Volendam. Guests who were booked on the 2022 Grand World Voyage aboard Zaandam will be automatically moved to the 2023 Grand World Voyage aboard Zuiderdam.

"Our 2022 Grand World Voyage booked in record time, and with the pent-up demand to get back to world cruising we moved the cruise to Zuiderdam," Antorcha added. "For the first time on a Grand World Voyage our guests will be able to book a verandah stateroom category, which makes for spectacular scenic cruising, breakfast with a view or relaxing outside without leaving your stateroom."

2023 Grand World Voyage Highlights — Zuiderdam

• 128 days. Departing Jan. 3, 2023, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale.

• Crossing the South Pacific to New Zealand and Australia before sailing up the west coast of Africa and charting a path through Northern Europe.

• 61 total ports in 30 countries and island nations, including eight overnight calls.

• 15 calls around the African continent with opportunities for safari experiences.

2023 Grand South America and Antarctica Highlights — Volendam

• 74 days. Departing Jan. 3, 2023, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on an itinerary that circles the continent on a counterclockwise route.

• 34 total ports in 16 countries and island nations, including five overnight calls.

• Daylight transit of the Panama Canal and overland opportunities to visit Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, Patagonia and Iguazu Falls.

• Four days of spectacular scenic cruising in the icescapes of Antarctica.

• 11 calls in Brazil and a journey along the Amazon River to Manaus.

Koningsdam to Assume Popular Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas Cruise in 2023

With Zuiderdam embarking on the Grand World Voyage, Koningsdam will take on that ship's longer, exotic itineraries in 2023. Koningsdam's 25-day Mexican Riviera and Circle Hawaii Collectors' Voyage will move from a Jan. 31, 2023, departure to Jan. 7, 2023, for 24 days. In February, the larger Pinnacle Class ship offers the exotic 35-day Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas itinerary roundtrip from San Diego, and all guests booked for that departure aboard Zuiderdam will be moved to Koningsdam.

Zuiderdam's Panama Canal cruises in January and April 2023, as well as a 10-day Mexico and Sea of Cortez voyage, will be assumed by Zaandam.

Princess Cruises Announces Updated Return to Cruise Operations Timing for Island Princess and Diamond Princess
Princess Cruises is announcing updated restart timing for Island Princess and Diamond Princess. Island Princess will now return to service with a series of cruises to the Caribbean in spring 2022, prior to its 14-day Panama Canal Ocean to Ocean voyage on April 27, 2022. Diamond Princess will also return to service in spring 2022 with a season of Japan sailings. Details of both new programs will be announced shortly.

Island Princess and Diamond Princess join eight MedallionClass™ ships - Majestic Princess, Grand Princess, Ruby Princess, Enchanted Princess, Sky Princess, Regal Princess, Caribbean Princess and Emerald Princess—which have returned to service or are scheduled to restart by November 28, 2021, taking guests to Alaska, the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii, and the California Coast.

"Following our successful restart in Alaska and the UK, we look forward to welcoming our guests back on board as we continue our return to cruise operations, keeping the health and safety of our guests and teammates our top priority," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.

As a result of these changes, Princess Cruises is cancelling its 2021-2022 South America & Antarctica Program on Diamond Princess, and its 2022 World Cruise along with two December 2021 Island Princess cruises.

For guests booked on a cancelled cruise, Princess will offer to move them to an equivalent future cruise with the added benefit of protecting their 2021/2022 fare on their future cruise. Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid or a full refund to the original form of payment.

Requests must be received through this online form by September 30, 2021, or guests will automatically be moved to the default alternate. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Announces World Traveller's Inaugural 2022 Season
Having just successfully launched the cruise brand's first ship, World Navigator, Atlas Ocean Voyages today unveiled the inaugural season for its second expedition ship, World Traveller. Launching on July 15, 2022, at Lisbon, Portugal, World Traveller promises to deliver more exciting experiences and captivating destinations, for which Atlas is known. For her inaugural season, World Traveller will sail 11 voyages, ranging from six- to- 12-nights, and visit a combination of chic and historic destinations throughout the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean seas. In nearly all destinations, World Traveller's small size allows her to dock in or closer to port centers for guests' greater convenience. Additionally, travelers can enjoy early booking savings of up to 20 percent for World Traveller's inaugural season with deposited bookings by September 30, 2021.

"World Traveller's construction is very well along in our Portugal shipyard. We look forward to the timely launch of our second small, luxury expedition ship," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "With World Traveller, Atlas Ocean Voyages will have two small, luxe-adventure ships, covering more of the globe and twice as many compelling destinations, allowing new and returning guests to experience more authentic cultures and breathtaking locales."

Travelers can enjoy up to 20 percent savings when they book World Traveller's inaugural summer season. For all bookings made with deposit by September 30, 2021, travelers will receive 10 percent savings on all World Traveller itineraries and can receive an additional 10 percent savings, for a total of 20 percent, when they pay in full by October 7, 2021.

World Traveller departs Lisbon on July 15, 2022, for a nine-night inaugural voyage, visiting Spain's Costa del Sol and Balearic Islands. Guests will call at Portimao, Portugal; Gibraltar, U.K.; and Spain's Seville (Cadiz), Puerto Banus, Malaga, Formentera and Ibiza. The inaugural voyage concludes at Palma de Mallorca. A shorter, seven-night voyage, departing September 27 from Malaga to Lisbon, showcases the historic side of the region and features the surrounding cities of the Straits of Gibraltar: Gibraltar, U.K.; Cueta, Spain; and Tangier, Morocco.

Following her inaugural voyage, World Traveller charts her course to the chic beach and resort destinations of France's Cote d'Azur and the Italian Riviera. On the July 24 voyage, guests combine the Balearic Islands and the Cote d'Azur on a seven-night itinerary from Palma de Mallorca to Nice, France, while the subsequent nine-night itinerary from Nice to Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, concentrates on the Italian Riviera and features an overnight in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and Rome.

Two voyages combine Greece and Italy's southern Mediterranean coast. The August 9, 10-night itinerary departs Rome (Civitavecchia) for Athens (Piraeus) and connects the Amalfi Coast, Sicily and Greece, and features two nights in Positano, Italy, while the September 7, 11-night voyage charts westward from Athens (Piraeus) to Malta and focuses on the Greek Isles and Sicily. On the following September 18 voyage that departs Malta, World Traveller combines the Balearic Islands with Sardinia, Italy; features a call at Tunis, Tunisia; and concludes with an overnight at Malaga.

Traveler can also choose among two Greece and Dalmatian Coast voyages. The two voyages alternate departures from Athens (Piraeus) or Venice; transit the Corinth Canal; and call at UNESCO World Heritage destinations of Kotor, Montenegro and Dubrovnik and Hvar, Croatia. The 10-night, northbound itinerary, departing August 19, features an overnight at Hvar and adds calls at Delphi (Itea), Olympia (Katakolon), and Corfu, Greece; Butrint (Saranda), Albania; and Korcula, Croatia. The August 29, nine-night southbound voyage includes a call at Rovinj, Croatia, and Gaios, Greece.

World Traveller concludes her inaugural season in the Atlantic, with a six-night Madeira and Canary Islands voyage, departing October 5, from Lisbon to Tenerife. The ship then charts west to Brazil's Rio de Janeiro, calling at Cape Verde's Santiago Island and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.63 + 3.69%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 81.89 + 4.41%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.60 + 3.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 23.37 - 5.12%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Prior to S.O.S. a different code was used as the International signal for distress. What was the code, what did it stand for, and what was the first large passenger ship to use it to request help?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Prior to S.O.S. a different code was used as the International signal for distress. What was the code, what did it stand for, and what was the first large passenger ship to use it to request help?

Answer - Prior to "SOS" the distress call was "CQD" Some additional facts about SOS and CQD - Contrary to popular belief, SOS is not an abbreviation for anything (...including Save Our Ship or Save Our Souls). According to the 1918 Marconi Yearbook of Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony "...it was adopted on account of its easy radiation and it unmistakable character." The first recorded use of the new SOS call by an American ship was in 1908 by the wireless operator of the ss Arapahoe after the ship lost a propeller. In 1912, wireless operator Jack Phillips first used the CQD call followed by Titanic's call letters MGY. Later, following second Radio Officer Harold Bride's suggestion, Phillips began interspersing SOS with the CQD call.
courtesy of William Smith, New York.


Cruise News - August 23, 2021

Carnival Sets Sail on First Cruise from California
Carnival Cruise Line is the first cruise operator to resume sailing from California since the industry-wide pause in operations 17 months ago. Carnival Panorama will depart on a seven-day cruise from Long Beach today. The week-long voyage includes visits to three popular Mexican resort towns including Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas.

As part of the festivities, a #BackToFun celebration was held in the cruise terminal prior to sailing during which Carnival President Christine Duffy and Carnival Panorama Captain Luca Lazzarino cut the ribbon to officially welcome guests back on board.

"Carnival is the leader in West Coast cruising, and we're thrilled that Carnival Panorama is resuming service as the first cruise ship to sail from California," said Duffy. "We've implemented extensive protocols on board to keep our guests, crew and the destinations we visit safe and healthy. We want to thank our partners and local officials in Long Beach for working closely with us to restart our cruise operations from Southern California. We're ready to show our guests the vacation of a lifetime while providing a boost to the local economy."

Added Captain Luca Lazzarino, "This is the moment all of us on Carnival Panorama have been so patiently waiting for – the return of our beloved guests to this beautiful ship. We are ready to welcome our guests on board – our crew members are so excited that we're getting Back to Fun."

Carnival is the number one cruise operator on the West Coast with three ships operating three- to 15-day cruises to Mexico and Hawaii from the Port of Long Beach's historic cruise terminal. In addition to Carnival Panorama's seven-day cruises, Carnival Miracle will resume the line's popular short cruise program starting in September while the totally transformed Carnival Radiance, fresh from a $200 million dry dock, will make its debut from Southern California later this year.

Carnival Panorama debuted in December 2019 from Long Beach and is the newest cruise ship on the West Coast offering a wide range of amenities, including the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea, the SkyRide aerial attraction, a massive WaterWorks aqua park, the Carnival Kitchen culinary experience, a luxurious Cloud 9 Spa and more.

Carnival Cruise Line's onboard protocols exceed CDC guidelines. For more information on our requirements and protocols, visit the Have Fun Be Safe section of Carnival.com.

The Bahamas Welcomes New Crystal Cruises
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is excited to add three new Crystal Cruises voyages to its growing roster of itineraries starting this fall and into the peak winter season. Crystal Cruises has announced its new series of sailings aboard the Crystal Symphony, as the cooler season approaches.

"We are thrilled for continued demand for cruising in The Bahamas and look forward to welcoming those travelers this fall," said the Hon. Dionisio D'Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation. "Crystal Cruises has proved to be a fruitful partnership not only for The Bahamas' cruising industry, but also for the local tourism industry as it allows passengers to get off the ship and explore the business, tour operators and activities across our Family Islands."

The Bahamas will kick off the multi-season long additions, first with a seven-night voyage, Bound for Paradise, launching November 26, 2021, from New York City to Nassau, calling on San Salvador, Great Exuma and Bimini.

Cruisers can start off the New Year right in The Bahamas on December 29, 2021, via the Tropical New Year's Celebration voyage, which includes a 10-night cruise from Miami, Florida to Bimini, San Salvador, Long Island and Great Exuma, with a final stop with our neighboring Caribbean brothers and sisters in Jamaica.

The Blissful Bahamian Luxury voyage will have several departures starting January 22, 2022, from Miami, including stops in Bimini, Nassau, San Salvador, Great Exuma and Long Island. The series will have two additional sailings on February 12, 2022 and March 5, 2022.

Crystal Cruises has changed the way travelers cruise in The Bahamas, allowing passengers to explore the wonders of the Family Islands beyond the beautiful waters, including wildlife, historical landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, local shopping and dining.

Seabourn Venture's Inaugural Itineraries
Seabourn is appealing to adventurers and historians alike with the announcement of Seabourn Venture's new inaugural itineraries, Wild & Ancient British Isles Voyage and Scottish and Norse Legends Expedition, setting sail in April 2022.

The first of the line's two new purpose-built, ultra-luxury expedition vessels, Seabourn Venture is scheduled to depart for its inaugural voyage on April 10, 2022, exploring the United Kingdom in an unprecedented way with a 12-day Inaugural Wild & Ancient British Isles voyage from Greenwich (London), England, to Leith (Edinburgh). The ship will then sail on a 12-day Scottish and Norse Legends Expedition out of Leith (Edinburgh) on April 22, 2022, exploring the coastal beauty of Scotland and Norway en route to Tromso, Norway.

From Tromso, Seabourn Venture will embark on its previously announced deployment for its first summer season in the Arctic, starting on May 4, 2022. The ship will set sail in the Arctic, exploring many far-flung destinations in Svalbard, the North Cape and other locations in Norway, as well as Iceland, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Guests who can't get enough of expedition cruising with Seabourn can combine the two new itineraries into a 24-day British Isles & Norse Legend Expedition voyage. For the even more adventurous, combine the two new itineraries with the following 11-day Svalbard Exploration sailing for an epic 35-day expedition voyage.

"We're looking forward to the dawn of a new era of expedition cruising, and our inaugural Seabourn Venture itineraries through the British Isles, Scotland and Norway are the perfect beginning," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Our first purpose-built expedition vessel, Seabourn Venture, is a ship unlike any other, with a perfect blend of luxury and adventure to break boundaries and create lasting memories in destinations brimming with natural and cultural marvels."

Highlights from Seabourn Venture's inaugural voyages include:

Wild & Ancient British Isles Voyage
The 12-day inaugural voyage starts from the location that gave name to the Greenwich Meridian before setting sail to see world-renowned Tresco Island and its exceptional subtropical plant haven, Abbey Gardens. Visit Dublin, UNESCO's City of Literature, taste whiskey from one of the famous and remote Islay distilleries, and take a Zodiac cruise to see Staffa Island and catch a glimpse into Fingal's Cave. Head to Iona where St. Colomba established an Abbey in the year 563, watch charismatic puffins come and go from their nests on Lunga Island, and explore remote and fascinating St. Kilda – 'the edge of the world' – to discover its history and stories. Round out the adventure with a visit to the ancient archaeological treasures of the UNESCO site on the Orkney Islands and a Zodiac cruise to the vast seabird colonies of Copinsay.

Scottish and Norse Legends Expedition
Set sail to Fair Isle in the North Sea where 70 inhabitants live in traditional crofts amid an island covered with sheep and birds. Visit Mousa and its Iron Age round tower, admire the UNESCO site of Bergen, and take in the beautiful art nouveau city of Ålesund. Cruise by Zodiac through the majestic Lofoten Islands and into narrow Trollfjord, discover the UNESCO site of the Vega Archipelago and the elder ducks that sustain life there, and set foot on Nordkapp, the northernmost end of Europe.

Seabourn Venture will further take advantage of Seabourn's standing as the official cruise partner of UNESCO World Heritage and offer UNESCO Partner Tours that visit a number of World Heritage Sites around the globe. On the first two itineraries, the ship will visit many destinations that are home to UNESCO sites, including:

• Am Bile, St. Kilda, Scotland – A volcanic archipelago with a spectacular landscape including some of the highest cliffs in Europe where large seabird colonies nest. Explore the history and the remains of 2,000 years of human inhabitance in extreme conditions.

• Bergen, Norway – Visit Bryggen, the old wharf where the Hanseatic League ran its trading empire in the 14th century. Old wooden buildings with narrow alleys and small workshops and rooms make for fascinating exploration.

• Dublin, Ireland – The inspiration for renowned authors Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and Nobel Prize-winner James Joyce, with their inspirations woven into the city through named bridges, streets, and buildings.

• Flåm, Norway – Stunningly beautiful fjord landscapes with steep mountains that plunge from 1,400 meters into the pure green sea.

• Greenwich (London), England – Visit the historic town center, Royal Park, and related institutional buildings – architectural symbols of English artistic and scientific endeavors from the 17th to 19th centuries.

• Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland – Home to archaeological treasures including Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, the Stones of Stennes, and Maeshowe tomb.

• Leith (Edinburgh), Scotland – The old town with a medieval fortress and adjacent new town with neoclassical form has far-reaching influences on European urban planning and gives the city its unique character.

Azamara Unveils Full Fleet Voyages for Europe 2023
Azamara – the boutique cruise line dedicated to Destination Immersion experiences – is pleased to announce the launch of its Europe 2023 deployment across its full fleet of ships for the first time: Azamara Pursuit, Azamara Quest, Azamara Journey and new addition, Azamara Onward. With 95 itineraries, including more than 35 country intensive voyages, Azamara will visit over 40 countries and 200 ports throughout Europe. Azamara will introduce new land explorations, further reinforcing the brand's commitment to bringing guests deeper into the heart of the destination. In addition to the release of Europe 2023 itineraries, Azamara has also opened remaining 2022 voyages of the newest member of their fleet, Azamara OnwardSM.

"The 2023 deployment marks a milestone for our brand and its unique offerings in Europe," says Azamara President, Carol Cabezas. "When sailing with Azamara, we are often the only ship in port, and with 75 overnights we are giving guests the chance to follow in the footsteps of locals with less crowds while immersing in the culture, history, and authentic flavors of the destination."

Highlights of the 2023 Azamara Deployment include:

Overnights and Late-Night Ports:
Azamara guests can experience over 315 late nights in cities like Mykonos - known as "the Ibiza of Greece" - where guests can partake in the bustling night life and party scene; or Lisbon, Portugal, to enjoy a sunset cruise on the Tejo River or indulge in an assortment of tapas and wine in the city's Bairro Alto neighborhood for dinner. Azamara will also offer more than 75 overnights in popular European destinations, including Barcelona, to explore La Rambla boulevard for an evening of Catalan cuisine or an excursion at the Palacio del Flamenco for music and dancing; Bordeaux, take a quick drive through the Pessac-Léognan for an exclusive evening at the world-renowned Château de Rouillac; and Monte Carlo, to stroll among luxury yachts at Port Hercule and play a few hands of blackjack at the famed Casino de Monte-Carlo. Country-Intensive Voyages:
Designed to provide travelers more time to explore a single country's hidden gems, Azamara's 2023 deployment will feature over 35 Country-Intensive voyages. These Country-Intensive itineraries will explore the most sought-after destinations in Europe, including Spain, Croatia, Italy, Norway, Scotland and more, allowing travelers to fully immerse themselves into the culture of each city. Azamara will also debut its highly anticipated Black Sea Intensive itinerary, where travelers can explore the history and wonders of ancient cities in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. New Pre- and Post-Land Explorations:
In addition to several existing favorites, Azamara will introduce two exciting new land explorations for guests to extend their adventure before or after their trip: Aboard the Switzerland Glacier Express Train, the new AzAmazing Journey will transport guests through some of the most stunning scenery in Switzerland, crossing 291 bridges and passing through 91 tunnels within eight hours. Additional highlights include a full day excursion to the Alpine world on Mount Rigi to participate in a cheese making workshop, a sunset cruise in Lucerne, and exploring Zermatt, home to Matterhorn, one of the highest summits in Europe. This program is available from Bordeaux or Amsterdam.

Travelers can also opt in for a Stay Local in Gran Canaria for a two-night program. Highlights include visiting the Bandama Crater, one of the largest extinct volcanic craters, followed by a stop in La Atalaya, the prime pottery-producing villages. A lunch of local specialties will be served at the Mirador Las Tirajanas hotel, located in the caldera of an ancient volcano. Also, a stop at La Fortaleza – one of the most relevant archeological settlements in the islands – to visit the sole coffee-producing plantation in Europe and a hands-on Mojo Sauce workshop.

Culinary Sailing:
Guests can book Azamara's Wine & Culture Voyage out of Southampton, England to experience the cuisine, beautiful architecture and spirit of Europe's top wine countries, including two days of wine production education in Bordeaux, France; Bilbao, Spain for a perfect day of sight-seeing and exploring the Guggenheim Museum; and eventually concluding the trip in Lisbon, Portugal to discover must-see highlights like the church of Igreja de São Vicente de Fora, which dates back to the 12th century, Museu Nacional do Azulejo and Torre de Belém.

Sporting Enthusiast Voyages:
For travelers looking to pursue their passion for sports, Azamara will include two voyages for the Grand Prix weekend on its Journey and Pursuit ships, starting May 25, 2023. Throughout the journey guests can enjoy ports that include Rome, Livorno, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, and Barcelona. Additionally, through its continued partnership with PerryGolf – the leading provider of international luxury golf vacations – Azamara's 2023 deployment will include 13 golf voyages, featuring play on marquee courses around the world.

Seven Maiden Ports
Azamara's 2023 deployment will bring guests closer to European destinations with smaller, unique ports that are only accessible to smaller ships, including:

Alta, Norway

Brest, France

Cesme, Turkey

Fredericia, Denmark

Gothenburg, Sweden

Heimaey, Iceland

Mariehamn, Finland

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 22.83 + 0.18%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 80.25 + 2.32%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.57 - 1.72%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 24.64 + 0.04%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Prior to S.O.S. a different code was used as the International signal for distress. What was the code, what did it stand for, and what was the first large passenger ship to use it to request help?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was first cruise ship fitted with a podded propulsion system, and what year did that ship enter service?

Answer - The first cruise ship to be fitted with a podded proplusion system was Carnival Cruise Lines' Elation (number 491), and was delivered in February 1998 from MasaYards in Helsinki, Finland.
courtesy of Steve Perry, Miami, Florida USA


Cruise News - August 16, 2021

Norwegian Prima Marks Float Out
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) today announced that its game-changing new ship, Norwegian Prima was floated out from her drydock at Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera (Venice), Italy, marking a major construction milestone and the first time the new vessel touches water.

To celebrate the occasion, a commemorative coin was welded to Norwegian Prima in a traditional maritime ceremony presided over by Eamonn Ferrin, vice president of international business of Norwegian Cruise Line and Antonio Quintano, shipyard director of Fincantieri.

The float out signifies the completion of external works and painting to Norwegian Prima, including the striking hull artwork designed by Italian graffiti artist Manuel Di Rita, known commonly as "Peeta." Work now continues on Norwegian Prima's interior fittings and guest accommodations, before she is officially delivered to the Cruise Line and commences sailing in summer 2022.

"A ship's float out is always a significant milestone, but this one is particularly special," said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Our 18th ship, Norwegian Prima represents an exciting new chapter for our Brand and the first vessel to be delivered in our groundbreaking new Prima Class. We've worked closely with our partners at Fincantieri to deliver a truly remarkable vessel. Their passion, skill and craftsmanship has brought to life one of the most stylish and innovative ships to ever set sail. I'm thrilled we're now one step closer to welcoming our guests onboard in just 12 months' time," Sommer concluded.

"The float out of Norwegian Prima signifies a renewed confidence in cruise and a new era for shipbuilding," said Luigi Matarazzo, general manager of the merchant ships division of Fincantieri. "We are glad to celebrate not only many months of hard work, but also the true spirit of collaboration between our brands – a partnership that will lead the way for a pioneering class of ships in NCL's Prima Class."

Norwegian Prima is the first of six ships in NCL's highly anticipated Prima Class, the Brand's first new class of vessels in nearly 10 years. At 965 feet long, 142,500 gross tons and with capacity for 3,215 guests at double occupancy, the vessel is designed to put guests first. Norwegian Prima boasts wide-open spaces, thoughtful and stunning design, and a variety of new experiences for the Brand.

Laying claim to the title of the most spacious new cruise ship in the premium and contemporary categories, Norwegian Prima offers the most outdoor deck space and the most expansive accommodations of any new build. She boasts multiple Company firsts, including Ocean Boulevard, wrapping around the entire deck over 44,000 square feet, allowing guests to connect to the ocean while enjoying alfresco dining and unique experiences such as Infinity Beach, where two stunning infinity pools are positioned to take in the vastness of the ocean with uninterrupted views, and Oceanwalk, where two glass bridges will make guests feel as though they are walking on air over the water.

Dining is elevated on Norwegian Prima with the addition of Indulge Food Hall, the Brand's first upscale open-air marketplace offering diverse menu items from a variety of eleven different culinary venues. In addition, Ocean Boulevard hosts three restaurants; Onda by Scarpetta, Los Lobos and The Local Bar & Grill.

Meanwhile The Haven by Norwegian on Norwegian Prima offers the Brand's most exclusive and centralized 'ship-within-a-ship' suite complex. Spanning eight decks of suites and public areas, it is accessible via private elevators and located at the aft of the ship for the very first time.

Designed to be more open to the sea than ever before, every public area in The Haven will offer spectacular views, together with a stunning new infinity pool overlooking the ship's wake and a new outdoor spa with a glass-walled sauna and cold room.

Commencing summer 2022, Norwegian Prima will offer bucket-list itineraries in Northern Europe with voyages from Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Copenhagen, Denmark giving guests the opportunity to explore the stunning Norwegian Fjords and Baltic Sea. She will then sail a 12-day transatlantic voyage from Southampton to New York via Scotland's Shetland Islands, Halifax in Nova Scotia and an extended overnight stay in Reykjavik, Iceland. Through the fall and winter, Norwegian Prima will offer a variety of port-rich Bermuda and Caribbean cruises from New York; Galveston, Texas; Miami and Orlando (Port Canaveral), Fla., including calls to Harvest Caye, the Company's private resort destination in Belize as well as the Company's private island, Great Stirrup Cay, in the Bahamas.

Oceania Cruises Reveals New Restaurants And Culinary Experiences
Oceania Cruises, the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, revealed the restaurants and dining experiences aboard its newest ship, Vista, due to debut in early 2023.

"Vista will present a fresh perspective on the finest cuisine at sea with an astounding array of dining options that range from informal to the extravagant," stated Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Vista will offer a total of twelve culinary venues which is unprecedented for a ship of its size. Of the twelve, four are brand new and exclusive to Vista.

"We have never been content to rest on our laurels, so even the expected has become the unexpected. A dramatic re-inspiration of every dining space from décor to table setting to menu offerings has resulted in a new pinnacle of diversity and creativity for our guests to enjoy," added Binder.

Ember
is the signature addition to Oceania Cruises' family of restaurants. Open for lunch and dinner, Ember is the ideal place to warm your culinary soul. Featuring a menu of inventive American creations blended with time-honored classics, this inviting dining spot will instantly charm you with its alluring ambiance and tantalizing menu. Whether you are looking forward to a leisurely evening of dining or a quick dinner before catching the headline show, Ember is where you want to be. Braised Short Ribs on Polenta, Grilled Swordfish with Asparagus, Crab Cakes with Spicy Aioli, and a Cobb Salad with Smoked Chicken are just a few of the delights designed to tempt the palate.

Aquamar Kitchen
presents a decidedly fresh perspective on dining and the pursuit of wellness. Whether you are a dedicated flexitarian or a die-hard foodie, Aquamar Kitchen offers an abundance of indulgence with none of the guilt. Breakfast selections include cold-pressed raw juices and super-food smoothies, hearty homemade granolas and avocado toasts, organic power bowls, and savory breakfast wraps. For lunch, dozens of tempting, healthy dishes are offered such as Slow-Roasted Organic Salmon with quinoa tabouleh and lemon tahini, Yellowfin Tacos with white cabbage slaw, or even a Crunchy Chicken Sandwich on a freshly baked whole grain bun.

The Grand Dining Room
is the luxurious grand dame of Oceania Cruises' culinary world. Here, guests will savor a leisurely dining experience in a truly magnificent and inspired room whose ambiance soars to equally lofty heights as the cuisine. This signature dining experience has always offered a bevy of delicious Continental dishes, and now a fresh and new array of options brings even more exciting possibilities. Every day presents a realm of choices from signature Jacques Pépin classics to an incredible spectrum of global flavors and an all-new Executive Chef's Tasting Menu. Menus change daily with an expansive choice of at least 10 appetizers, soups and salads and 10 dinner entrées, along with healthy options such as Aquamar Vitality Cuisine.

Polo Grill
delights diners with the ultimate classic steakhouse experience presented with timeless reverence. Richly layered décor and an abundance of custom millwork create an imaginative rendition of tradition set against crisp white linen tablecloths while a cadre of black jacketed servers set the tone for an evening of gracious dining. Each course stands as the very definition of time-honored favorites, most notably the beef dishes, all of which are 28-day dry aged certified Black Angus USDA Prime, while succulent seafood dishes such as grilled swordfish and whole Maine lobster gratinée are also classics in their own right.

Toscana
presents an evolution of Tuscan cuisine in a truly Italian setting of rich Chianina leather, hand-blown Venetian glass and Carrara marble. Evolved from generational family traditions, many of our recipes originated with the mothers and grandmothers of our own Italian culinary staff. Presented on elegant, custom-designed Versace china, masterfully prepared dishes exemplify the essence of Tuscany and celebrate Italy's culinary passion. Perhaps the evening begins with the octopus carpaccio with Champagne vinaigrette or the artichoke and parmesan cheese timbale with black truffle sauce, followed by classic dishes such as the hand-rolled gnocchi with pesto, a rich risotto with lobster medallions and shallots, or a pan-seared sea bass filet finished with Sorrento lemon, chardonnay and capers.

Red Ginger
radiates harmony and tranquility while evoking the boldness and subtleties of the extraordinary Pan-Asian dishes our talented chefs have created. Much like the room itself, the Thai, Korean, Japanese and Malaysian rooted specialties are a mélange of spicy and soothing, savory and sweet to please virtually every palate. Begin with a salad of spicy roast duck and watermelon with cashews, mint and Thai basil. Savor a Malaysian beef penang with coconut rice and paratha roti. Or try Thai vegetable curry with sweet potatoes, aubergine, mushrooms and basil in green curry sauce. In Red Ginger, the gustatory pleasures are as striking as the visual ones.

Terrace Café
is the ultimate informal dining experience any time of day, whether inside the plushily adorned dining room or alfresco at one of the shaded tables on the stylish terrace. At breakfast, Terrace Café features a seemingly never-ending selection of sumptuous savory and sweet temptations including made-to-order eggs, omelets, pancakes and waffles. Come lunch, an expansive menu of international-inspired dishes is complemented by flavorful roasted and rotisserie meats and the magic of the pizzeria's oven. In the evening, you'll enjoy dinner in decidedly relaxed comfort as our chefs serve up an astounding array of dishes. Revel in a bounty of selections from grilled-to-order lobster tails, fish, filets and steaks to freshly made, hand-cut sushi and sashimi. A varied menu of hot and cold specialties changes daily along with our hallmark Chef's Market Dinners featuring locally inspired specialties from the ports of call.

Waves Grill
is a casual, colorful, and perhaps a bit playful setting for dining on all-American favorites. Located in a spacious, shaded area steps from the swimming pool and Terrace Café, Waves Grill offers an extensive and mouthwatering menu during lunch and late into the afternoon for that much-desired snack or meal after an adventurous day of touring ashore. Watch the chefs grill gourmet burgers, succulent seafood and sandwiches to order in the open galley, accompanying them with sides like fresh salads, coleslaw and crispy, hand-cut fries. There is always room for dessert and the selection here is too good to pass up. Try a homemade sorbet, a made-to-order hot fudge sundae or a thick, hand-dipped milkshake.

The Culinary Center
ascends to a new level of gustatory immersion as our passionate Chef Instructors share their enlightening perspectives on culture and cuisine through the lens of food and wine. Here, guests may not only partake in lively hands-on instruction – they may also indulge the pleasures of the palate in the new oceanview Culinary Center Dining Room with private group dinners or one of our many exclusive and highly acclaimed food and wine pairing experiences.

Priveé
is our marquee venue for bespoke, intimate culinary celebrations for a maximum of 10 privileged guests. Dramatic backlit, debossed walls and a blooming flower petal ceiling from which a dramatic chandelier descends over the polished marble slab dining table set the stage for a memorable evening while a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass provides an exhilarating view to complement a most memorable private dinner party that can literally traverse continents.

Baristas
offers the ultimate vistas aboard Vista with its commanding 270-degree views over the sea while guests enjoy complimentary illy espressos, cappuccinos and lattes prepared by our master baristas as well as the delicious pastries, finger sandwiches and homemade biscotti. Just steps away, the new Bakery, with its freshly baked French and Italian pastries, is certain to be an instant hit. As the delicate yet rich scents fill the air, you'll be drawn from the adjacent coffee bar or Library for an indulgent chocolate-almond croissant or sinfully sweet bombolini while enjoying the lost art of people watching or simply gazing out at the azure blue sea.

Royal Caribbean Returns to Servcie From Barcelona
Harmony of the Seas set sail from its new summer home in Barcelona, Spain yesterday, marking Royal Caribbean International’s harmonious return to Western Europe. Joining Jewel and Anthem of the Seas in getting back to delivering the memorable Europe vacations families have missed, Harmony rings in the next milestone in the cruise line’s global return to sailing. Vacationers can book their next vacation on board Harmony here.

The Oasis Class ship – Royal Caribbean’s largest class of ship – embarked with guests on the first of a series of 7-night breathtaking cruises around the Western Mediterranean. Exploring Europe has never come with so many opportunities for excitement, culture and relaxation than with Harmony. From August to October, the innovative ship will whisk away families to the scenic Spanish isle of Palma De Mallorca, Spain before sailing to Italy, where they can explore art and culture in Florence, visit world-renowned landmarks in Rome and experience the beauty of Naples with its iconic skyline defined by the towering Mount Vesuvius. Guests can also choose to begin their vacation in Italy and sail roundtrip from Rome.

Ben Bouldin, vice president for EMEA, Royal Caribbean International commented “We are delighted to welcome back another ship to our European lineup this summer with the return of the award-winning Harmony of the Seas. Harmony is an incredibly popular ship and one of the most revolutionary in our fleet, so families are in for a summer of adventure.”

On Harmony, vacationers have a bold and unexpected lineup of thrilling experiences found nowhere else on land or at sea. Harmony combines the distinct seven-neighborhood concept for which the revolutionary Oasis Class is known, featuring a varied lineup of restaurants serving up a world of flavors, adrenaline-fueled activities, the latest technology and unparalleled original entertainment across stage, water, ice and air.

Highlights include a 10-story plunge down the tallest slide at sea, the Ultimate Abyss; the high-flying zip line nine decks above the Boardwalk neighborhood; the signature FlowRider surf simulators; more than 20,000 real plants at the Central Park neighborhood; as well as deck-defying high diving, aerialists and more at the AquaTheater.

Health and Safety Measures for Harmony of the Seas

Travelers can plan their cruise with peace of mind knowing that Royal Caribbean requires all crew members and guests 18 years of age and older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Children younger than the eligible age can sail with a negative test result and must follow other health and safety protocols. The cruise line’s health measures, such has vaccine and testing requirements, are available here on the Royal Caribbean website and listed by point of departure.

The vaccine policy is one of the cruise line’s multilayered measures that safeguard the well-being of all guests, crew members and the communities at each port of call. These protocols include the ships’ robust ventilation systems, enhanced cleaning and sanitization, and cruising at reduced occupancy as ships initially return to sailing.

Carnival Sunrise Makes Line’s First Call to Jamaica Since Resuming Service
As part of Carnival Cruise Line’s highly anticipated return to guest operations, Carnival Sunrise arrived in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, today, marking the line’s first time back to Jamaica in 17 months. The arrival also represents the reopening of cruising in Jamaica as it is the first cruise ship to call on a Jamaican port since the cruise industry paused operations in March 2020.

Carnival Sunrise’s leadership team joined local officials for a ceremonial plaque exchange to commemorate their return. Ocho Rios is among the featured ports on the ship’s five-day Caribbean cruise that departed PortMiami August 14.

“We are delighted to be the first cruise ship to return to Jamaica and to offer guests an opportunity to experience all of the country’s beauty,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “On behalf of Carnival, I would like to personally thank the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and our partners for working with us to bring safe cruising back to Jamaica.”

“I am very pleased to announce that Jamaica has finally seen the return of cruise today with the arrival of Carnival Sunrise. We welcome this resumption as we know that thousands of Jamaicans depend on the cruise shipping industry, and it will have a positive impact on our economy overall,” added Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett.

Azamara Unveils Full Fleet Voyages for Europe 2023
Azamara announced this week the launch of its Europe 2023 deployment across its full fleet of ships for the first time: Azamara Pursuit, Azamara Quest, Azamara Journey and new addition, Azamara OnwardSM. With 95 itineraries, including more than 35 country intensive voyages, Azamara will visit over 40 countries and 200 ports throughout Europe. Azamara will introduce new land explorations, further reinforcing the brand's commitment to bringing guests deeper into the heart of the destination. In addition to the release of Europe 2023 itineraries, Azamara has also opened remaining 2022 voyages of the newest member of their fleet, Azamara OnwardSM.

"The 2023 deployment marks a milestone for our brand and its unique offerings in Europe," says Azamara President, Carol Cabezas. "When sailing with Azamara, we are often the only ship in port, and with 75 overnights we are giving guests the chance to follow in the footsteps of locals with less crowds while immersing in the culture, history, and authentic flavors of the destination."

Highlights of the 2023 Azamara Deployment include:

Overnights and Late-Night Ports:

Azamara guests can experience over 315 late nights in cities like Mykonos - known as "the Ibiza of Greece" - where guests can partake in the bustling night life and party scene; or Lisbon, Portugal, to enjoy a sunset cruise on the Tejo River or indulge in an assortment of tapas and wine in the city's Bairro Alto neighborhood for dinner. Azamara will also offer more than 75 overnights in popular European destinations, including Barcelona, to explore La Rambla boulevard for an evening of Catalan cuisine or an excursion at the Palacio del Flamenco for music and dancing; Bordeaux, take a quick drive through the Pessac-Léognan for an exclusive evening at the world-renowned Château de Rouillac; and Monte Carlo, to stroll among luxury yachts at Port Hercule and play a few hands of blackjack at the famed Casino de Monte-Carlo.

Country-Intensive Voyages:
Designed to provide travelers more time to explore a single country's hidden gems, Azamara's 2023 deployment will feature over 35 Country-Intensive voyages. These Country-Intensive itineraries will explore the most sought-after destinations in Europe, including Spain, Croatia, Italy, Norway, Scotland and more, allowing travelers to fully immerse themselves into the culture of each city. Azamara will also debut its highly anticipated Black Sea Intensive itinerary, where travelers can explore the history and wonders of ancient cities in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.

New Pre- and Post-Land Explorations:
In addition to several existing favorites, Azamara will introduce two exciting new land explorations for guests to extend their adventure before or after their trip: Aboard the Switzerland Glacier Express Train, the new AzAmazing Journey will transport guests through some of the most stunning scenery in Switzerland, crossing 291 bridges and passing through 91 tunnels within eight hours. Additional highlights include a full day excursion to the Alpine world on Mount Rigi to participate in a cheese making workshop, a sunset cruise in Lucerne, and exploring Zermatt, home to Matterhorn, one of the highest summits in Europe. This program is available from Bordeaux or Amsterdam. Travelers can also opt in for a Stay Local in Gran Canaria for a two-night program. Highlights include visiting the Bandama Crater, one of the largest extinct volcanic craters, followed by a stop in La Atalaya, the prime pottery-producing villages. A lunch of local specialties will be served at the Mirador Las Tirajanas hotel, located in the caldera of an ancient volcano. Also, a stop at La Fortaleza – one of the most relevant archeological settlements in the islands – to visit the sole coffee-producing plantation in Europe and a hands-on Mojo Sauce workshop.

Culinary Sailing:
Guests can book Azamara's Wine & Culture Voyage out of Southampton, England to experience the cuisine, beautiful architecture and spirit of Europe's top wine countries, including two days of wine production education in Bordeaux, France; Bilbao, Spain for a perfect day of sight-seeing and exploring the Guggenheim Museum; and eventually concluding the trip in Lisbon, Portugal to discover must-see highlights like the church of Igreja de São Vicente de Fora, which dates back to the 12th century, Museu Nacional do Azulejo and Torre de Belém.

Sporting Enthusiast Voyages:
For travelers looking to pursue their passion for sports, Azamara will include two voyages for the Grand Prix weekend on its Journey and Pursuit ships, starting May 25, 2023. Throughout the journey guests can enjoy ports that include Rome, Livorno, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, and Barcelona. Additionally, through its continued partnership with PerryGolf – the leading provider of international luxury golf vacations – Azamara's 2023 deployment will include 13 golf voyages, featuring play on marquee courses around the world.

Seven Maiden Ports
Azamara's 2023 deployment will bring guests closer to European destinations with smaller, unique ports that are only accessible to smaller ships, including:
Alta, Norway
Brest, France
Cesme, Turkey
Fredericia, Denmark
Gothenburg, Sweden
Heimaey, Iceland
Mariehamn, Finland

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 22.79 + 0.35%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 78.43 + 1.34%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.58 + 7.41%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 24.63 - 0.12%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was first cruise ship fitted with a podded propulsion system, and what year did that ship enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which commercial steamship company handled the passenger and cargo operations for the N/S SAVANNAH, America's only nuclear powered merchant vessel?

Answer - States Marine Lines was the company that managed passenger and cargo operations for the N/S Savannah. In 1963 after a contract dispute American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines took over the passenger and cargo operations for the N/S Savannah.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - August 9, 2021

Norwegian Cruise Line Celebrates First U.S. Sailing
Norwegian Cruise Line celebrated its highly anticipated return to cruise in the U.S. with Norwegian Encore's inaugural call to Icy Strait Point, Alaska.

The Brand's newest innovative ship Norwegian Encore set sail from Seattle on Aug. 7, 2021 for her first season of voyages to Alaska. Adding to the already momentous milestone, Norwegian Encore is the first in the industry to berth at the new Wilderness Landing pier at Icy Strait Point, which was built in partnership between NCL's parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) and Huna Totem Corporation, the village corporation owned by approximately 1,400 Alaska Native shareholders with aboriginal ties to Hoonah and the Glacier Bay area. Icy Strait Point is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Huna Totem Corporation.

On Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021 a double ribbon cutting ceremony took place to officially open the new Wilderness Landing pier and the first of two gondola systems to be completed as part of the joint investment between NCLH and Huna Totem.

"Our return to Alaska is a monumental moment for not only NCL but for the state's communities as well," said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "The absence of cruising last year was detrimental to these communities, which lost approximately $1.5 billion. Our return represents our continued commitment to Alaska and to the well-being of the destinations we visit. Our investment in Icy Strait Point is providing our guests with more opportunities to experience and understand the natural and cultural beauty of the destination and its people."

A vehicle-free zone, the new Wilderness Landing provides additional forest and beach areas for visitors to explore the natural wonders of the destination. With the opening of the new high-speed Transporter Gondola, guests have easy access to Icy Strait Point's first pier, Adventure Landing, where the Historic Salmon Cannery dating back to 1912 and other local attractions are located. Once completed later this summer, the Mountain Top Gondola will take guests to the top of Hoonah Mountain at 1,600-feet of elevation, where miles of new hiking trails and scenic vistas await.

"Since Icy Strait Point's inception, we've strived to balance the needs of our Alaska Native community with those of Alaska's growing cruise industry and this development was a natural step for us," said Russell Dick, chief executive officer of Huna Totem Corporation. "We are grateful to Norwegian for believing in our vision and we hope our sustainable model can lead the way for positive expansion of the cruise visitor industry in Alaska."

With 23,040 acres of private beach and temperate rain forest to explore, Icy Strait Point offers guests the opportunity to experience authentic Alaska. The island also offers the most accessible coastal brown bear viewing platforms in Southeast Alaska, whale watching, kayaking and the world's largest ZipRider zip line. Located just a mile from the Alaska native community of Hoonah, travelers also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture when visiting Icy Strait Point with exposure to native traditions and dances, oral histories and cooking classes.

Later this week, Norwegian Encore will make her first calls to Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, before returning to Seattle and continuing her season of week-long voyages to Alaska through Oct. 16, 2021.

Cunard Prepares For Return To Sailing
The final touches are being made to Cunard's Queen Elizabeth as the luxury cruise line prepares to return to sailing on Friday, August 13th after a 17 month break.

"I think I speak for the entire team at Cunard when I say how delighted we are to be returning to what we do best as we get ready to welcome our guests back on board," said Cunard President Simon Palethorpe.

"We know how much our guests have been looking forward to our first voyage and we hope that they fully immerse themselves in the Cunard on board experience, as they enjoy some of the most stunning coastlines Britain has to offer," Palethorpe added.

Following a series of other UK voyages, Cunard's international sailings on board Queen Elizabeth will begin in October with a cruise from Southampton to Amsterdam followed by a 14 night voyage to the Canary Islands and Madeira this November.

Royal Caribbean Extends British Isles Sailings
Royal Caribbean International today announced the extension of its British Isles sailings for Anthem of the Seas through October 2021. Since early July, Anthem has been sailing from Southampton and welcoming thousands of U.K. residents on board. Starting in September, eligible international guests will also be able to set sail from Southampton, subject to the latest travel guidelines from the U.K. government and their country of residence.

Guests on board Anthem’s 5- to 7-night British Isles sailings can experience the perfect mix of British culture and breath taking natural scenery at ports of call such as Liverpool, England; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Kirkwall and Glasgow, Scotland. Anthem’s extended season is open for bookings today.

“We are thrilled with the response to our Royal Caribbean holidays from the U.K. Since recommencing sailings in early July, our British Isles itineraries have achieved peak guest satisfaction levels. Anthem of the Seas is an incredible ship and very popular with U.K. guests, so we have seen excellent demand from families wanting a holiday like no other this summer,” said Ben Bouldin, vice president EMEA, Royal Caribbean International. “We welcome the recent update from the U.K. government, which lifted advice against international cruise travel. While this marks a positive step forward in the global return of cruise, there are still complexities to navigate when calling at multiple European ports of call from the U.K. This, coupled with the popularity of our British Isles sailings to date, has led to our decision to extend our sailings around the British Isles, and I’m delighted to welcome international guests to experience these itineraries, starting in September.”

Holidaymakers can continue to expect the signature Royal Caribbean experience, while cruising with peace of mind. The world’s largest cruise line has made every effort to keep guests, crew and the communities visited safe through a comprehensive, multilayered set of health and safety measures, which, for cruises from Southampton, include sailing with fully vaccinated crew and guests 18 and older. All guests must provide negative test results before boarding.

Anthem offers the perfect getaway for the whole family this summer, delivering both relaxation and adrenaline-fuelled adventure. Boasting next-level experiences, such as the RipCord by iFly sky diving simulator and the signature FlowRider surf experience, showstopping entertainment that blends art and music with cutting-edge technology, and mouthwatering flavours from all over the world, Anthem is set to wow and delight all ages.

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.

Mardi Gras Makes First-Ever Call At Nassau
As part of Carnival Cruise Line's return to guest operations, the line's newest ship, Mardi Gras, arrived in Nassau, Bahamas, today, marking the ship's third port of call on its maiden voyage. This is the first time Carnival Cruise Line has called on Nassau in 16 months.

Mardi Gras pulled into port flying the Bahamian flag, a symbol of Carnival's commitment to The Bahamas. The seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise departed Port Canaveral July 31. Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Considered the marine industry's most advanced fuel technology, LNG is among the cleanest fuels in the world, significantly reducing emissions with cleaner exhaust. The ship also features BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea.

"We are excited to make this inaugural call in Nassau and we are delighted to bring a new level of environmental sustainability to the many ports in The Bahamas and Caribbean," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "The restart of our cruising operations in The Bahamas calling on five different Bahamian ports has such wide-reaching economic impact and on behalf of Carnival, I would like to personally thank our partners in Nassau and The Bahamas for their hospitality in welcoming our guests."

"Carnival has enjoyed a very close relationship with The Bahamas for nearly half a century," said Domenico Rognoni, Carnival's senior vice president, ethics and compliance officer who also serves as the Deputy Chair of The Bahamas Shipowner Association. "Our first-ever ship was the original Mardi Gras, and its maiden voyage was to the Bahamas, so we believe that rekindling history in this way and registering the new Mardi Gras with the Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA), is a fitting demonstration of both the value of this relationship for Carnival and our ongoing commitment to the country."

"We are proud of our close collaboration and relationship with Carnival Cruise Line, and we thank them for making the Bahamas its flag of choice for this innovative vessel," said Captain Dwain Hutchinson, BMA managing director and CEO. "As the world's largest flag for passenger ships, we have a deep understanding and extensive knowledge of this sector, and we continue to take a proactive stance and advocacy on passenger ship matters on the international regulatory stage."

"The tourism and shipping sectors are two of the major financial contributors to the Bahamas' economic development, and our longstanding relationship with Carnival, the world's largest cruise line, embodies both of these," said BMA chair Denise Lewis-Johnson. "We value the continued trust that Carnival has shown to the Registry by flagging its newest ship, Mardi Gras, the first LNG-powered cruise ship to operate in the Americas and Caribbean, with The Bahamas. This choice is testament to the quality and expertise of the BMA team. We look forward to continuing to welcome the ship, its crew and passengers to our shores and sharing our world-renowned Bahamian hospitality and customer service."

Mardi Gras guests can enjoy a host of entertainment experiences throughout the ship's 19 decks and six distinct themed zones, including the first shipboard version of the hit TV show Family Feud, and more than two dozen restaurants with venues from Guy Fieri, Emeril Lagasse, Rudi Sodiman and the line's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal. Mardi Gras sails year-round from Port Canaveral, offering seven-day itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 22.71 + 5.82%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 77.39 + 2.53%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.54 + 3.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 24.66 + 4.58%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which commercial steamship company handled the passenger and cargo operations for the N/S SAVANNAH, America's only nuclear powered merchant vessel?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise line used the comedian Victor Borge as their spokesperson?

Answer - Norwegian Caribbean Lines....now called Norwegian Cruise Line.
courtesy of George Robinson, Miami, FL.


Cruise News - August 2, 2021

Mardi Gras Departs On Maiden Voyage From Port Canaveral
To celebrate Carnival Cruise Line's maiden voyage of its newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, Carnival President Christine Duffy and Mardi Gras Captain Giuseppe Giusa led a "Back to Fun" ribbon-cutting ceremony officially welcoming guests on board.

Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship to set sail with guests from Port Canaveral since the industry-wide pause in operations 16 months ago.

As the line's newest flagship, Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and the first to feature a roller coaster. The 180,000-ton ship boasts six distinct themed zones with a variety of food, beverage and entertainment options, including dining venues from Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Rudi Sodamin and its Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal.

"Mardi Gras has been five years in the making so to finally welcome guests on board to experience this one-of-a-kind ship is something that we've been looking forward to for a very long time," Duffy said. "Not only is Mardi Gras providing a truly unique vacation experience to our guests, it's so gratifying to be able to play a role helping the local community by providing much-needed jobs and a boost to the economy."

Added Giusa, "Today was a truly emotional moment for our entire Mardi Gras team. Having the distinction as the flagship of Carnival Cruise Line is a great honor and our entire team is ready to provide our guests with the vacation they have been so patiently waiting for. We are ready to get back to fun!"

Mardi Gras set sail last Saturday at 6 p.m. from Port Canaveral's Cruise Terminal 3 for a weeklong cruise with stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic and Nassau, The Bahamas.

Mardi Gras is the fifth Carnival Cruise Line ship to resume service with additional vessels set to restart operations soon. By October, 15 Carnival ships will be sailing – more than half its fleet.

Princess Cruises Successfully Completes First Voyage Following Extended Pause in Operations
Majestic Princess returned to Seattle today, concluding its sailing to Alaska and marking the first successful United States voyage for Princess Cruises following the extended pause in operations. The ship became the line's first ship to return to service, kicking off the partial season of Alaska sailings departing through September 26, 2021. The round-trip, seven-day cruise visited Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.

In addition to visiting signature ports, glaciers and attractions, guests on board Majestic Princess this summer will enjoy authentic Alaska-themed activities offered throughout the award-winning "North to Alaska" program that brings together local personalities, culture and Alaska seafood to immerse guests in the history and traditions of The Last Frontier. Signature specialty dining, Movies Under the Stars, production shows and Discovery@SEA programs are also available—from original musicals, magic shows, feature films, top comedians and original game shows, guests will be entertained while onboard Majestic Princess.

"Welcome back to Princess, is what I said to our guests while I was cruising with them onboard Majestic Princess for our first Return to Alaska cruise," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "From the very beginning, Alaska has been at the core of Princess Cruises and has really helped shaped the very essence of who we are today. While visiting ports of call, I personally expressed my gratitude to our port partners and elected officials who were instrumental in our return and joined me in warmly welcoming guests to their picturesque communities."

This fall, Princess Cruises will begin sailing from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Ft. Lauderdale. Starting between September 25 and November 28, 2021, cruises onboard eight Princess MedallionClass™ ships will once again take guests to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii, and the California Coast.

Princess cruises sailings through 2021 are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. Crew vaccinations will be in accordance with CDC guidelines.

World Navigator Enters Service
At Last, Atlas Ocean Voyages' first, newly constructed expedition ship World Navigator has launched. Designed for discerning, fun-seeking travelers, World Navigator brings guests on all-inclusive, luxury adventures to remote and captivating destinations around the world and serves up regionally inspired gourmet cuisine; unlimited premium wines and spirits, international beers, and specialty coffees; and a choice of a complimentary land excursion at every port. Atlas' All Inclusive All the Way promise also includes complimentary round-trip air travel and ground transfers for a complete and seamless luxe-adventure voyage. As one of the most anticipated new ships of the year, World Navigator is Atlas' first newly constructed small ship, appointed in retro-chic elegance, for an immersive and personalized travel experience. World Navigator is sailing seven- to 12-night Egypt and Greek Isles voyages for her inaugural summer 2021 season and reposition via the Mediterranean, Caribbean and South America to sail nine- and 12-night expeditions in Antarctica.

"We are happy to welcome Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Navigator into service," said Mário Ferreira, Chairman of Mystic Invest Holding, parent company of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "For more than 25 years, Mystic has grown from a single river boat, offering daytours on the Douro River, to building and operating more than 60 river, ocean and expedition ships, which deliver authentic cultural experiences around the world. Atlas Ocean Voyages is the latest Mystic brand and embodies the company's evolution of superior service, unforgettable experiences and luxuriously designed ships."

World Navigator offers 98 suites and staterooms, ranging from the 183-sq.-ft. Adventure Staterooms to the ship's signature one-bedroom, 466-sq.-ft. Navigator Suite. In March 2022, World Navigator will be the first ship to offer Solo Suites. All suites and staterooms are infused with European sophistication; incorporate modern technological conveniences; and include a stocked mini-refrigerator; L'OCCITANE bath amenities; slippers, robes, and binoculars to use on board; Nespresso coffee; teas; and personalized bar service, and butler service in suites.

"We are proud to launch World Navigator and inaugurate Atlas' distinctive luxe-adventure cruising for discerning, fun-seeking travelers," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Atlas is the industry's first new luxury brand in more than twenty years and World Navigator is designed to bring today's luxury travelers on genuine, cultural experiences and adventures to remote and fascinating destinations around the world. On board, guests can enjoy elegant accommodations, entertainment, dining options, and amenities usually found on larger ships."

World Navigator features SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE, the first luxury L'OCCITANE spa at sea. SeaSpa's holistic, sensorial menu of therapies are hand-performed with authentic ingredients from Provence, certified in origin and proven effectiveness. The 950-sq.-ft. spa comprises two therapy rooms, a detoxing infrared sauna, and a serenity lounge with soothing vistas of the passing oceanscape through expansive windows. Guests also can maintain their daily regimen in the ships Fitness Studio featuring TechnoGym equipment.

The Atlas and Dome Lounges feature lively entertainment, led by accomplished performers who engage guests in pop, stage, and American classics sing-alongs. World Navigator's Entertainment Director, Sean O'Shea, will also perform sensational, feature cabarets in the Dome Lounge in the evenings. Guests also enjoy movies, port presentations, live entertainment, and informative lectures in the Dom Henrique Auditorium.

All guests on all voyages can explore Atlas' regionally inspired gourmet fare through six dining options. Porto celebrates Atlas' Portuguese heritage and is World Navigator's main dining room, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a choice of indoor and al fresco seating. The restaurant also offers the special Alma Portuguese cuisine menu, available on alternate evenings for dinner. 7Aft Grill is World Navigator's chophouse, featuring Black Angus filets and New York strip steak, among others. Paula's Pantry café serves a variety of specialty sandwiches; salads; soups; cookies and cupcakes; specialty coffees made with small batch-roasted, organic, and Fairtrade-certified CaffèMilano beans; Kusmi teas; and fresh detox juices. The Dome Lounge also features afternoon tea and refreshments, and guests can order room service from a breakfast or "always available" menu featuring soups, sandwiches, and salads.

Offering one of the industry's highest space-to-guest, World Navigator is newly constructed with the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into her state-of-the-art, elegant design. All staff and crew are trained in and observe stringent health protocols, and guests participate in health screenings prior to boarding and during the voyage.

All land excursions and tours are conducted in small groups, led by expert and screened local tour guides, with transportation operated at reduced occupancies to provide ample personal space. Whisper Mic radio headsets are also used on land excursions and tours to allow guests to remain socially distant while still enjoying the guides' commentary.

Atlas' signature All Inclusive All The Way provides all guests a complete and seamless experience by including complimentary round-trip air travel, choice of a shore excursion at every port, unlimited premium wine and spirits, international beers and coffees, prepaid gratuities, polar parkas, emergency medical evacuation insurance, WiFi and L'OCCITANE bath amenities. In every stateroom, guests enjoy robes, slippers and binoculars to use on board, personalized coffee, teas and bar service, and butler service in suites.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand designed for discerning, fun-seeking travelers to immerse in unique and awe-inspiring moments in remote and captivating destinations. At 9,930 GRTs, the ship fosters a refined and convivial ambience and is Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified. World Navigator will be joined by sister-ships World Traveller and World Seeker in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer in 2023.

Holland America Line Takes Delivery of Rotterdam from Fincantieri
Holland America Line took delivery of Rotterdam today, July 30, 2021, officially making it the 11th ship in the fleet. A handover ceremony took place at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy the evening of July 29.

The ceremony was attended by the ship's master, Captain Werner Timmers, and Cyril Tatar, Holland America Group's vice president of newbuilding services. Giuseppe Bono, CEO, Fincantieri, and several other executives also attended. Video congratulations were extended by Jan Swartz, president of Holland America Group, and Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line.

"Rotterdam looks stunning and will certainly live up to bearing such an iconic name as the new flagship of our fleet, carrying on a tradition of excellence that our guests have loved for nearly 150 years," said Antorcha. "Thank you to our partners at Fincantieri and our own team members who worked tirelessly to deliver the ship on schedule during what has been the most challenging of times, and also deliver a ship that looks beautiful, is immaculately finished and will be an incredible addition to our brand. We cannot wait to welcome guests on board later this fall."

Upon delivery, Rotterdam will remain in non-guest operations until its transatlantic crossing Oct. 20, 2021, from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where it will then begin its maiden season in the Caribbean. Naming details have not been finalized and will be announced at a later date.

The third vessel in the Pinnacle Class series and the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships. Throughout the ship, Rotterdam will showcase Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by seven of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam delivers the best live music at sea with an exclusive collection of world-class performances nightly at Rolling Stone Rock Room with classic rock hits; Lincoln Center Stage, offering chamber music; Billboard Onboard, where live musicians entertain the crowd with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King's Blues Club, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage, Rotterdam will immerse guests in panoramic visual and sound effects.

In addition to the impressive Dining Room, guests will delight in specialty restaurants Rudi's Sel de Mer, a French seafood brasserie; Tamarind, exploring traditions of Southeast Asia, China and Japan; Nami Sushi with tasty sushi and Asian spirits; Pinnacle Grill, the ultimate steakhouse at sea; Canaletto with family-style Italian dining; and Club Orange exclusively for guests in the Club Orange program.

Additional culinary venues include Grand Dutch Café featuring traditional Dutch coffee and treats and European beer; Dive-In, serving up gourmet burgers and fries poolside; New York Deli and Pizza, offering made-to-order sandwiches and pies; and Lido Market, with themed serving stations that revolutionize the buffet experience.

Holland America Line's first ship was Rotterdam, which sailed its maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York on Oct. 15, 1872, and led to the founding of the company on April 18, 1873. Rotterdam II was built in 1878 for British Ship Owners Co. and purchased by Holland America Line in 1886. Rotterdam III came along in 1897 and was with the company until 1906. The fourth Rotterdam joined the fleet in 1908 and also served as a troop carrier when World War I ended. Following the war it made regular cruises from New York to the Mediterranean.

Rotterdam V, also known as "The Grande Dame," set sail in 1959 and began sailing transatlantic crossings with two classes of service. It later converted to a one-class ship in 1969. She sailed with Holland America Line for 38 years until 1997, including several Grand World Voyages, and currently is a hotel and museum in the city of Rotterdam. Rotterdam VI, the most recent to cruise for Holland America Line, was introduced in 1997 as the first ship in the R Class.

Rotterdam VII is the 17th ship constructed for the brand by Italian shipyard Fincantieri.

Viking Marks Float Out Of Second Expedition Ship
Viking today announced its second expedition ship—the 378-guest Viking Polaris—was "floated out," marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touches water. Scheduled to debut in summer 2022, Viking Polaris will spend her maiden season sailing voyages to the Arctic and Antarctica; her identical sister ship, Viking Octantis, was floated out last December and is set to debut in early 2022 for journeys to Antarctica and North America's Great Lakes. Viking has also developed a series of short videos about the new expedition voyages, ship design and prestigious scientific partnerships, which can be found on its website here.

"We are now one step closer to our launch of 'the thinking person's expedition,' with new voyages that will allow our guests to explore the ends of the world and closer to home—in comfort," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We are grateful for our long-standing partnership with Fincantieri, who has helped us build the world's most beautiful ocean ships and are now helping us perfect expedition cruising. We look forward to welcoming guests on board Viking Polaris and Viking Octantis next year."

The float out is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. The float out ceremony of Viking Polaris took place yesterday, July 27; she was then moved to a nearby outfitting dock for further construction and interior build-out. After final outfitting, Viking Polaris will be delivered at Fincantieri's VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway.

Esteemed explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft will be honored as ceremonial godmothers to Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, respectively. Arnesen, a native Norwegian, became the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole in 1994. Bancroft is the first woman to successfully ski to both poles. Arnesen and Bancroft also became the first women to ski across Antarctica in 2001. Together they co-founded Bancroft Arnesen Explore / Access Water, an initiative that aims to engage and empower more than 60 million minds to create a sustainable tomorrow.

Viking Expedition Ships

The new Polar Class 6 Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. Designed by the same experienced nautical architects and engineers that designed Viking ocean ships, the ships are optimally sized and built for expeditions—small enough to navigate remote polar regions and the St. Lawrence River, while large enough to provide superior handling and stability in the roughest seas. The ships will feature public spaces that are familiar to Viking's ocean cruise guests but that have been reimagined for expeditions, as well as new public spaces created specifically for expeditions. Straight bows, longer hulls and state-of-the-art fin stabilizers will allow the ships to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey; ice-strengthened Polar Class 6 hulls will provide the safest way to explore; and U-tank stabilizers will significantly decrease rolling by up to 50 percent when the ships are stationary. Viking's expedition ships will feature modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail.

Royal Caribbean Releases Schedule For Remaining Ships Returning To Sailing
Royal Caribbean International today announced that its complete lineup of ships will be sailing by spring 2022. Spanning cruises from the Big Apple to the Down Under, the next group of returning ships and itineraries will begin to safely set sail in September with Oasis of the Seas' first sailing from the New York area – a 7-night itinerary to the cruise line's private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Bahamas. The cruise line's continued comeback builds on its months-long success in delivering memorable and safe cruise vacations across Alaska, Asia, The Bahamas, the Caribbean and Europe, and each ship now returning will cruise with the health measures that have safeguarded the well-being of guests, crew and destination communities to date. All 2021 and 2022 cruises are open to book here.

"We are excited and appreciative to be able to say with confidence when all of our ships will return, especially for travelers looking ahead to plan their getaways. More than 110,000 guests have cruised with us since December, and they've done so safely while enjoying the memorable vacations they trust we'll bring to life," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "It's been incredible to see families come together again on board our ships sailing in the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. And to know we'll soon welcome more in a safe manner when our entire fleet is back by spring 2022 is wonderful."

Vacationers and their families can again seek out adventure in Royal Caribbean's diverse range of ships and itineraries that offer a variety of lengths and destinations around the world. The plans for the return of all 26 ships add to previously announced Royal Caribbean milestones coming later this year, including the cruise line's return to California and the start of the first full winter season from Barbados.

Headlining what's in store is Oasis at the tail end of the summer. The ship that revolutionized cruising will sail from the New York area on Sept. 5, becoming the first of the game-changing Oasis Class to do so when it embarks on 7-night itineraries to destinations in The Bahamas like Perfect Day at CocoCay. Soon after, on Nov. 19, Navigator of the Seas will arrive in Los Angeles to set sail with West Coast vacationers on short 3-, 4- and 5-night getaways to Catalina Island, California and Mexico. Setting the stage for a bold 2022, December will bring Royal Caribbean's long-awaited return to two popular destinations on opposite sides of the world. Ovation of the Seas will head back to Australia on Dec. 13 to sail domestic cruises from Sydney, and Grandeur of the Seas will cruise from Bridgetown, Barbados on 7- and 14-night sailings to bucket list-worthy islands as soon as Dec. 5.

Upcoming 2021-2022 Adventures

• Oasis of the Seas – 7-night Bahamas cruises from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, starting Sept. 5; and 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami, beginning November

• Liberty of the Seas – 7-night Western Caribbean cruises from Galveston, Texas, starting Oct. 3

• Serenade of the Seas* – 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Tampa, Florida, starting Oct. 16; and 7-night Caribbean itineraries, beginning December

• Explorer of the Seas* – 7-night Southern Caribbean sailings from San Juan, Puerto Rico, starting Nov. 7

• Navigator of the Seas – 3-, 4- and 5-night Catalina Island, California, and Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico cruises from Los Angeles, beginning Nov. 19

• Grandeur of the Seas – 7- and 14-night Southern Caribbean sailings from Bridgetown, Barbados, starting Dec. 5

• Ovation of the Seas – 2- to 10-night domestic itineraries in Australia from Sydney, beginning Dec. 13

• Brilliance of the Seas – 4- and 5-night Bahamas and Western Caribbean cruises from Tampa, starting Dec. 16

• Enchantment of the Seas – 8-night Bahamas sailings, and select 12-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean from Baltimore, starting Dec. 23

• Vision of the Seas – 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, beginning Jan. 24, 2022

• Voyager of the Seas – 7- and 9-night cruises in Northern Europe from Barcelona, Spain, starting April 15, 2022

• Radiance of the Seas – 7-night Alaska sailings from Vancouver, Canada, beginning April 29, 2022

• Rhapsody of the Seas – 7-night Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries, sailing from Rome starting May 23, 2022

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.46 - 7.34%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 75.48 - 6.68%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.52 - 3.70%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.58 - 9.38%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise line used the comedian Victor Borge as their spokesperson?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise line used the comedian Victor Borge as their spokesperson?

Answer - Norwegian Caribbean Lines....now called Norwegian Cruise Line.
courtesy of George Robinson, Miami, FL.


Cruise News - July 26, 2021

Azamara Quest departs from Glasgow Ahead of Return to Service
Azamara today announced that Azamara Quest was the first of its ships to depart from Glasgow's Peel Port (King George V Dock), on the afternoon of July 26th, following thirteen months docked in the Scottish city.

For over a year, Glasgow has been a safe haven for three of Azamara's fleet, Azamara Quest, Azamara Journey and Azamara Pursuit, and in this time the ships and crew have enjoyed fantastic support from the local people and the authorities, businesses, including taxi companies, hotel owners and grocery stores.

Azamara President, Carol Cabezas comments, "We want to extend our thanks to Peel Ports for hosting the Azamara fleet and to the Glaswegian community who have not only welcomed our ships and crew with open arms but have also made an integral contribution in maintaining and preparing our vessels, ensuring that we can get back to doing what we do best this summer; connecting people to people; people with cultures; and people with themselves. As the ships prepare to return to the oceans, the generosity of Glasgow will be fondly remembered."

The ship sails for drydock in Cadiz, Spain to finalize preparations ahead of its return to service in August with five back-to-back Greece Country-Intensive Voyages; each seven-nights in length and a total of 18-late nights in port, including Santorini, Rhodes and Heraklion, Greece. Bringing the culture and heritage of destinations onboard, these sailings will debut a brand-new immersive onboard program for guests – Destination Celebration – the adaptation of AzAmazing Evenings.

"We've been honored to have had the three Azamara ships docked at KGV over the past year. Their giant presence has been a spectacular addition to the River Clyde scene, drawing sightseers from Glasgow and beyond," says Peel Ports Clyde port director Jim McSporran. "While we're sad to see Azamara Quest leave, followed soon by her sister ships, it is an encouraging sign that the gradual removal of Covid restrictions taking place will soon see the cruise industry return to its pre-pandemic scale of operations."

Celebrity Equinox Returns To Service
Celebrity Cruises' latest ship, Celebrity Equinox, departed for the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale this week, capping an exciting eight weeks that saw the new-luxury brand lead the industry with eight ships back in the water during that time. Celebrity Cruises restarted the North American cruise industry this summer on June 5 with Celebrity Millennium sailing the Caribbean from St. Maarten and quickly followed on June 26 with Celebrity Edge, the first ship to sail from a U.S. port in more than a year.

The recently 'revolutionized' Celebrity Equinox's first sailing features a seven-night Western Caribbean itinerary visiting the beautiful ports of St. Maarten and St. Thomas, along with Nassau, Bahamas. She then rotates between Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

"With each new ship that goes in the water, I'm overwhelmed by the palpable sense of reconnection on board for both our guests and our crew – with each other, their families and the world," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. "Being together, again, and absorbing the beauty around us is what we've all dreamt about for over a year, and now it's really wonderful to be a part of our guests' aspirations to travel again."

"Bringing a large cruise ship back into service isn't as easy as turning the ignition key. It's a multi-dimensional process that involves moving and training crew, large-scale procurement, mechanical adjustments, destination outreach, port availability, sales and marketing and so much more," said Brian Abel, Celebrity's senior vice president of hotel operations. "I couldn't be more proud of the Celebrity team's accomplishments. We were ready and we successfully executed this herculean effort with finesse to welcome our guests back onboard for the Celebrity experience they know and love."

With today's sailing, eight of the 14 ships within the Celebrity Cruises' fleet have returned to sailing in 2021 and are full steam ahead taking guests to the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and the Galapagos, including:

• The Celebrity Millennium, returning to service as the first ship to sail in the Caribbean on June 5 from St. Maarten. In early July, Celebrity Summit took over the service, allowing Celebrity Millennium to reposition for the Alaska season.

• Celebrity Apex, the newest addition to the Celebrity fleet, made her world debut in Athens on June 19, with seven-night sailings to the Greek Isles. The cruise marked a historic return to Greece for the company founded there 33 years ago.

• Apex's sister ship, Celebrity Edge, made history as the first ship to sail from a U.S. port in over a year, restarting the U.S. cruising industry.

• On July 3, Celebrity Silhouette began taking guests from Southampton, UK around and along the British Isles and coastline.

• Celebrity Flora, the luxurious, state-of-the-art mega-yacht, fulfilled guests' bucket lists as it resumed sailing the magical Galapagos Islands on July 4. She was followed into the water by the award-winning Celebrity Xpedition on July 24.

• And, on July 23, Celebrity's long-awaited return to the incomparable natural wonders of Alaska began as Celebrity Millennium embarked on a journey to the Last Frontier.

In addition, the ship boasts:

• Contemporary staterooms and suites featuring Celebrity's eXhale bedding with its luxurious Cashmere™ mattresses;

• Stunningly reimagined restaurants, bars, and lounges offering captivating culinary experiences;

• Over 40 handcrafted boutique beer selections, creative cocktails and a wide selection of a la carte, gourmet comfort food and bar bites at Craft Social;

• A half-acre lawn of real grass at the relaxing and aptly-named Lawn Club, perfect for trying outdoor games like croquet, or simply basking in the sunshine.

Healthy at Sea

Celebrity Cruises has established new health and safety measures in accordance with guidance from public health authorities, government agencies, and its own team of health and safety experts to provide guests with the peace of mind to fully enjoy their voyage.

All Celebrity ships will sail with a vaccinated crew. U.S. guests ages 16 and older must be fully vaccinated and, as of August 1, 2021, all U.S. guests ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated. In Florida, vaccinations are strongly recommended.

AIDA Cruises restarts AIDAluna in September from Kiel
AIDA Cruises today announced that on Sept. 5 AIDAluna will be the seventh ship in the AIDA fleet to restart guest operations in 2021.

Up to and including Oct. 14, 2021, a variety of travel dates for three- and four-day cruises departing from Kiel are now available for booking.

On the four-day voyage, AIDAluna will call at the Polish port of Gdynia after a relaxing sea day passing the island of Gotland, among others.

"Scenic Cruising" is also the motto on the first day of the three-day cruise from Kiel, which leads to the Swedish metropolis of Gothenburg. Both voyages will be offered alternately.

In May 2021 AIDA Cruises opened the cruise season in Kiel with AIDAprima, which is currently sailing seven-day voyages every Saturday in the Baltic Sea calling at Gothenburg, Visby on the island of Gotland and Stockholm until Oct. 23, 2021.

By the end of this year AIDA Cruises plans to have 10 ships sailing, offering travelers a broad range of vacation options -- including its highly anticipated new ship, AIDAcosma, to be delivered in December 2021.

All cruises are carried out in compliance with AIDA's enhanced health and safety protocols, as well as applicable laws and regulations.

Princess Cruises And Holland America Line Kick Off Return To Service In The U.S. From The Port Of Seattle
To kick off their return to service in the U.S., Princess Cruises and Holland America Line held a celebration at the Port of Seattle today. Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, and Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, spoke to what the positive multidimensional impact the resumption of cruising means to Seattle, the local community and Alaska.

Holland America Line will kick off its Alaska season with Nieuw Amsterdam setting sail tomorrow, July 24, and Princess Cruises will follow with Majestic Princess sailing on July 25. Each line will operate ten cruises sailing out of Seattle through September. This marks the return to cruising and Alaska for both lines, which combined have more than 125 years of experience bringing cruisers to The Great Land. Historically, one in two guests who cruise to Alaska sail on Princess or Holland America.

Both cruise lines have been homeporting out of the Port of Seattle for more than 20 years. Operationally, each ship visit directly contributes more than $364,000 to the local economy in provisioning (fuel, food, flowers, piano tuning, supplies), port taxes, and spending during a full season.

Princess Cruises is the world's leading international premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 14 modern cruise ships to 380 destinations around the globe. Princess celebrates more than 50 years sailing to Alaska, bringing more guests to the Great Land than any other cruise line.

Holland America Line has been exploring the world since 1873 and was the first cruise line to offer adventures to Alaska and the Yukon nearly 75 years ago. Its fleet of premium ships visits more than 400 ports in 98 countries around the world, offering an ideal mid-sized ship experience.

Viking Welcomes Guests On Board In Malta
Viking celebrated today its first Welcome Back sailings in the Mediterranean—the latest milestone in the company's return to service. Last week, guests embarked the award-winning Viking Sea and sister ship Viking Venus in the Maltese capital city of Valletta—a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site—where the ships are homeporting this summer. Offered as part of Viking's Welcome Back collection, exclusively available for vaccinated guests, both ships are sailing three new itineraries sailing roundtrip from Valletta. The new voyages include the 11-day Malta & the Adriatic Jewels, the 11-day Malta & Greek Isles Discovery and the 21-day Malta, the Adriatic & Greece itineraries. Viking has also partnered with Lufthansa to offer non-stop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Malta, exclusively for Viking guests—making the transatlantic journey to Europe even easier.

"We are delighted to be back in the Mediterranean and to be homeporting in Valletta. On behalf of the entire Viking family, we thank the government of Malta for its support and partnership in developing these fantastic new voyages," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking, from on board Viking Sea in Valletta. "With its rich history and stunning natural beauty, Malta is truly a gem in the Mediterranean that many American travelers have yet to discover. My daughter, Karine, and I have enjoyed our time in Malta immensely, and we look forward to introducing even more travelers to this wonderful country."

Last month the Maltese Government eased rules for the arrival of international travelers—and now allows vaccinated Americans with CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards to arrive in the country. Full details of Malta's Traffic Light System for travelers can be found on Visit Malta's website here. Also in June, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it has eased travel recommendations for 110 countries and territories. As part of the new recommendations, the CDC specifically ranked Malta as "Level 1" or the lowest for risk of COVID-19.

Viking restarted the company's ocean operations in May 2021 with sailings in England for British guests. By keeping ships in warm layup, Viking was able to restart more quickly than most cruise lines. In June, the company welcomed American guests back on board for new journeys around Bermuda and Iceland. Guests on Viking's Welcome Back voyages have enjoyed the experience so much that they have provided some of the highest-ever ratings in post-trip surveys—a strong indication that experienced travelers are ready to be exploring the world in comfort once again. This month, Viking has also restarted its European river operations with select itineraries in Portugal and France.

Mediterranean Voyages Beginning in July 2021

• Malta & Adriatic Jewels (11 days; Valletta to Valletta; Croatia, Montenegro & Malta) – Discover Malta's millennia of history and visit ancient UNESCO sites. Explore Croatia's captivating coastline and some of the great iconic cities of antiquity. Stroll the majestic city walls of Dubrovnik and visit Diocletian's Palace. Or immerse yourself in nature and the great outdoors during a visit to Krka National Park. Join us for a fascinating journey as you witness rolling landscapes and ancient architectural treasures along Adriatic shores. Multiple sailing dates July through October 2021.

• Malta & Greek Isles Discovery (11 days; Valletta to Valletta; Greece & Malta) – Immerse in the ancient world as you discover the early empires of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. Visit historic UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Maltese capital of Valletta and Rhodes' Palace of the Grand Masters. Enjoy dramatic views of the Parthenon in Athens, uncover the mysteries of the Minoans on Crete and admire the white facades and azure domes of the clifftop villages of Santorini during this enchanting voyage through the centuries. Multiple sailing dates July through September 2021.

• Malta, the Adriatic & Greece (21 days; Valletta to Valleta; Croatia, Montenegro, Greece & Malta) – Follow the routes of ancient mariners as you set out on a voyage through the ages. Discover the early empires of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas as you visit historic UNESCO Sites, such as the iconic Parthenon, the Maltese capital of Valletta and Rhodes' Palace of the Grand Masters. Admire Santorini's clifftop villages and the walled city of Dubrovnik, and witness the rolling landscapes and captivating coastlines as you journey through the Adriatic Sea.

Celebrity Cruises Returns To "The Great North"
For globetrotters who had set their sights on a dream vacation to Alaska, the wait ended today as Celebrity Millennium set sail from Seattle, Washington to take guests on a seven-night itinerary exploring the renowned natural beauty of the Last Frontier. The voyage is the first of a series of 11 sailings roundtrip from Seattle through the beginning of October, and one of the first to return to Alaska's waters in nearly two years.

Aboard the new luxury ship Celebrity Millennium, part of a $500 million fleetwide 'revolution', guests will be treated to an experience that is as beautiful as the scenery they will encounter as they sail past Alaska's breath-taking glaciers and landscapes.

Celebrity Millennium is the second ship in the Celebrity fleet to sail from a U.S. port. It joins Celebrity Edge which became the first ship in the world to sail from a U.S. port since March 2020 when it sailed from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on June 26.

"It's really incredible to return to Alaska, today, to once again support the local culture and to share its stunning scenery with our guests. It is truly deserving of its bucket list status and I have always had a special place in my heart for its incredible people and natural beauty," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. "To be bringing tourism and the cruise industry back to Alaska is an honor and so important for rebuilding the economy of several key Alaskan communities. I am thankful to all elected officials involved for recognizing the need and finding a way to begin to restore their livelihoods."

Sailing the line's popular Alaska Dawes Glacier Cruise, Celebrity's Alaska sailings will take guests to the most unforgettable coastal destinations including:

• Ketchikan – Uniquely nestled at the southernmost entry to Alaska's famous Inside Passage, it is the best spot for a flightseeing excursion of the Misty Fjords;

• Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier – Sailing through this 30-mile-long stretch, guests are surrounded by granite cliffs, mountain valleys and gushing waterfalls before viewing the 600-feet-tall and half-mile wide Dawes Glacier. One of cruising's must-experience highlights, the ship does a full turn here, providing views of this incredible feat of nature to guests on both sides of the ship;

• Juneau – This energetic capital city is home to Mendenhall Glacier and Mt. Roberts, and offers more hiking trails than roads;

• Skagway – Once the heart of the Gold Rush, visitors can explore the Yukon on the White Pass Railway.

• Icy Strait Point – On Chichagof Island just outside the village of Hoonah, this is the port of adventure and culture, providing a glimpse into life in Alaska's largest Native Tlingit village.

Onboard, guests will enjoy Celebrity Millennium's bow to stern transformation with new, contemporary staterooms and suites featuring Celebrity's eXhale bedding with its luxurious Cashmere™ mattresses; freshly appointed restaurants and lounges; and a redesigned spa offering guests unparalleled ways to relax and recharge. At the all-exclusive The Retreat, suite guests enjoy a private sundeck and redesigned lounge offering complimentary beverages, gourmet bites, live entertainment, and around-the-clock butler and concierge service.

And, because holidays should be effortless from the start, Wi-Fi, drinks and tips are now Always IncludedSM on every Celebrity cruise, simplifying the luxury holiday experience.

Oceania Cruises Debuts New 2022 Europe and Tahiti Cruises
Oceania Cruises introduced 16 new Europe and Tahiti voyages for early 2022 aboard the Regatta and Nautica.

When Nautica debuts on April 1st, the ship will have just emerged from an extensive period in drydock and similarly, Regatta returns to service fresh from her recent Re-inspiration. The debut of Nautica and re-start of Regatta heralds the completion of the $100+ million OceaniaNEXT "better-than-new" rebuild of the brand's four 684-guest Regatta Class ships and the brand's full return to service with all six ships sailing the globe once again.

Nautica's April through June 2022 Europe voyages range in length from 10 to 24 days and call on the most iconic destinations in the region, such as the French and Italian Rivieras, the Greek Isles, the Holy Lands, and the Canary Islands. Regatta reprises her perennially popular Tahiti itineraries with the addition of three new 10-day roundtrip Papeete cruises in February 2022. These new sailings will be available online at OceaniaCruises.com and open for reservations on July 28, 2021.

"With such extraordinary demand for travel in 2022, we are pleased to be able to offer our discerning travelers these additional travel options in these most sought-after destinations," stated Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. "With record-setting demand for international travel in the coming year, we are committed to providing our guests with more destination options and our travel advisor partners with even more sales opportunities," added Binder.

Iconic Gems and Hidden Jewels of Europe

These sailings capture the true essence of European travel by showcasing the continent's most iconic treasures, such as Rome, Lisbon, and Athens and blending them with delightful off-the-beaten-path discoveries, like Palamos, Gythion, and Trapani.

Allure of the Rivieras, 10 Days, Rome to Barcelona
Nautica: April 1, 2022
Sorrento/Capri, Taormina, Valletta, Florence/Pisa, Saint-Tropez, Monte Carlo, Provence, Palamos

Canary Islands Mystique, 12 Days, Barcelona to Lisbon
Nautica: April 11, 2022
Alicante, Granada, Arrecife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Tangier, Portimão, Lisbon (overnight)

Spanish Enchantment, 12 Days, Lisbon to Rome
Nautica: April 23, 2022
Seville (overnight), Gibraltar, Málaga, Cartagena, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Provence, Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa

The Adriatic & Italy, 10 Days, Rome to Venice
Nautica: May 5, 2022
Amalfi/Positano, Messina, Valletta, Katakolon, Corfu, Split, Koper, Venice (overnight)

Adriatic & Aegean Gems, 12 Days, Venice to Istanbul
Nautica: May 15, 2022
Ravenna, Split, Kotor, Santorini, Athens, Paros, Rhodes, Ephesus, Pergamum, Istanbul (overnight)

Greek & Turkish Icons, 10 days, Istanbul to Athens
Nautica: May 27, 2022
Mitilini, Ephesus, Bodrum, Antalya, Limassol, Rhodes, Agios Nikolaos, Santorini, Mykonos

Marvels of Greece & Italy, 10 days, Athens to Rome
Nautica: June 6, 2022
Ephesus, Gythion, Corfu, Split, Venice (overnight), Taormina, Sorrento/Capri

Legendary Holy Lands, 14 days, Rome to Istanbul
Nautica: June 16, 2022
Naples/Pompeii, Trapani, Valletta, Agios Nikolaos, Jerusalem (Ashdod), Jerusalem (Haifa – overnight), Limassol, Rhodes, Izmir, Istanbul (overnight)

Grand Voyages for Extended Explorations

These longer cruises are perfect for the insatiable traveler as they offer the luxury of time. Spotlighting one region at length or highlighting multiple distinct regions, these Grand Voyages are the ultimate in destination exploration.

Western Europe Array, 22 Days, Rome to Lisbon
Nautica: April 1, 2022
Sorrento/Capri, Taormina, Valletta, Florence/Pisa, Saint-Tropez, Monte Carlo, Provence, Palamos, Barcelona, Alicante, Granada, Arrecife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Tangier, Portimão, Lisbon (overnight)

Timeless Mediterranean, 24 Days, Barcelona to Rome
Nautica: April 11, 2022
Alicante, Granada, Arrecife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Tangier, Portimão, Lisbon (overnight), Seville (overnight), Gibraltar, Málaga, Cartagena, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Provence, Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa

Southern Europe Escapade, 22 Days, Lisbon to Venice
Nautica: April 23, 2022
Seville (overnight), Gibraltar, Málaga, Cartagena, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Provence, Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa, Rome, Amalfi/Positano, Messina, Valletta, Katakolon, Corfu, Split, Koper, Venice (overnight)

Mediterranean Medley, 22 Days, Rome to Istanbul
Nautica: May 5, 2022 Amalfi/Positano, Messina, Valletta, Katakolon, Corfu, Split, Koper, Venice (overnight), Ravenna, Split, Kotor, Santorini, Athens, Paros, Rhodes, Ephesus, Pergamum, Istanbul (overnight)

European Antiquities, 24 Days, Athens to Istanbul
Nautica: June 6, 2022 Ephesus, Gythion, Corfu, Split, Venice (overnight), Taormina, Sorrento/Capri, Rome, Naples/Pompeii, Trapani, Valletta, Agios Nikolaos, Jerusalem (Ashdod), Jerusalem (Haifa – overnight), Limassol, Rhodes, Izmir, Istanbul (overnight)

The Magical Allure of Polynesia

A true journey for the senses, this 10-day escape to the islands of French Polynesia features warm breezes, fragrant flowers, delicious local foods, tropical adventures, and gorgeous panoramas with each stunning sunrise or sunset promising another fulfilling day in paradise.

Legends to Lagoons, 10 Days, Papeete to Papeete
Regatta: February 5, 2022, February 15, 2022; February 25, 2022 Papeete (overnight), Moorea, Fakarava, Nuku Hiva, Rangiroa, Bora Bora (overnight), Raiatea

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.16 + 17.44%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 80.88 + 16.36%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.54 - 12.90%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 26.02 +18.98%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise line used the comedian Victor Borge as their spokesperson?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
A number of famous liners operated with four funnels (Titanic, Olympic, Lusitania, Mauretania, Kronprinzessin Cecilie, and France of 1912 to name a few...) but only one passenger ship operated with FIVE funnels. Name that ship and the year she entered service.

Answer - The "Great Eastern" was the only 5 ship to have 5 funnels. She was also equipped with sails. She went into service in 1859 and was scrapped in 1890.
courtesy of Laurence Macdonald.


Cruise News - July 19, 2021

Viking Marks Float Out Of Newest Ocean Ship
Viking today announced its newest ocean ship – the 930-guest Viking Mars – was "floated out," marking a major construction milestone and the first time the ship has touched water. Viking also announced that Viking Mars, which is scheduled to debut in early 2022, will officially be named by her ceremonial godmother, Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the eighth Countess of Carnarvon. The ship will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean and in Northern Europe before embarking on voyages in Asia and Australia.

"The day that a new ship meets water for the first time is always a special moment in time, and today is especially meaningful because for the second time, my dear friend Lady Carnarvon will honor us by serving as godmother to a new Viking ship," said Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking. "The last year and a half has been a period of uncertainty for all of us, and it is in those times that you know your true friends. Lady Carnarvon has done so much to help Viking, including opening her home almost weekly for our guests to experience life 'At Home at Highclere' on Viking.TV. She is truly a like the sister I never had. We are delighted to celebrate this important milestone, and we look forward to welcoming Viking Mars to our award-winning ocean fleet next year."

"I am both honored and privileged to be chosen as godmother to the Viking Mars, the latest addition to Viking's beautiful cruise ships. I've no doubt she will delight the many guests who travel with her across the seas and oceans," said Lady Carnarvon.

The traditional float out ceremony took place at Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard and is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. The float out of Viking Mars began at approximately 11:00 a.m. local time when a member of the Viking team cut a cord that signaled water to begin flowing into the ship's building dock. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Mars afloat, she will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.

Royal Caribbean Becomes First To Return To Alaska
The great Alaska adventure is now underway – Royal Caribbean is back and bolder than ever as the first cruise line to sail to the Last Frontier since September 2019. Yesterday, Serenade of the Seas kicked off the highly anticipated comeback of the summer season when it departed on the first of a series of 7-night cruises from Seattle. The sailing marks a celebratory moment for the cruise industry, local workforce, regional suppliers and Alaska's beloved communities that were significantly impacted by the absence of all cruise tourism, which normally represents more than 60% of the state's visitors and generates upwards of $3 billion for its economy each year. Ninety-seven percent of the entire onboard community on Serenade is fully vaccinated.

A local favorite, Serenade sets course for classic cities and quaint towns like Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, Alaska, as well as the jaw-dropping Endicott Arm fjord and Dawes Glacier. The ship will be joined by Ovation of the Seas in Seattle starting Aug. 13, rounding out Royal Caribbean's great Alaska comeback in 2021.

"Cruising in Alaska is finally back, and we are excited to be the first to return. Alaska is one of the most popular destinations among our guests, especially families with young kids – children who are ineligible for the vaccine today," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "We are grateful for the support of our partners, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and other government and health authorities. This is a return that is significantly felt by many, including those whose communities rely on cruise tourism."

Once again, families and guests of all ages can venture out to explore the untouched wilds of Alaska by sea after more than a year. The sights will be in full view on board Serenade, thanks to ocean-facing glass elevators and floor-to-ceiling windows that keep the showstopping scenery – and wildlife sightings – in focus. Plus, there is an exciting lineup of signature guest favorites, including the rock climbing wall that touts ocean views from 40 feet, poolside movie nights under the stars and dining venues inspired by a world of flavors, such as Chops Grille, Giovanni's Table and Izumi. With impressive glaciers, an expansive coastline and mountainous landscape on display between one charming port and the next, Royal Caribbean's cruises to the Last Frontier also offer guests firsthand experiences with local experts that uncover the region's carefully preserved traditions and what has influenced the cultures, both past and present.

Serenade is the cruise industry's first ship to return to Alaska and the second in Royal Caribbean's world-class fleet to welcome back guests in the U.S. after Freedom of the Seas set sail from Miami for a celebratory Fourth of July weekend. Thirteen Royal Caribbean ships will be sailing around the world by the end of August, including Ovation of the Seas, which is set to sail on 7-night adventures to Skagway, Sitka and Juneau, Alaska and through the famed Inside Passage. The cruise line recently extended Ovation's Alaska season into October with four additional sailings. With more to be announced, the largest cruise line's current lineup of returning ships is available here.

Health and Safety Measures for Alaska Cruises
Vacationers sailing to Alaska can cruise with peace of mind knowing that Royal Caribbean requires that all crew members and guests who meet the age of eligibility for the vaccine are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As of Aug. 1, the vaccine age requirement for travelers will be lowered from age 16 to 12. Children younger than the eligible age must undergo testing and follow other health and safety protocols. A full list of the travel requirements for Alaska cruises are available here.

The vaccine policy is one of the cruise line's multilayered measures that safeguard the well-being of all guests, crew members and the communities at each port of call. These protocols include the ships' robust ventilation systems, enhanced cleaning and sanitization, and cruising at reduced occupancy as ships initially return to sailing.

To sail with families and travelers of all ages, including children ineligible for the vaccine, Serenade successfully completed a simulated voyage and received a Conditional Sailing Certificate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The certificate confirms Royal Caribbean's health and safety measures fulfill the CDC's guidance and requirements.

Carnival Cruise Line Makes Plans For Additional Ship Restarts In September And October
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that three more ships will resume guest operations in September, and another four in October – bringing the total number of ships to 15 – as the line's successful restart of operations continues to ramp up. Based on the success of its initial resumption of service and the guest response to the onboard experience and health and safety protocols that have been implemented, Carnival will continue to operate all its ships as vaccinated cruises through at least October.

The three ships for September are Carnival Glory from New Orleans, starting Sept. 5, Carnival Pride from Baltimore, starting Sept. 12, and Carnival Dream from Galveston, starting Sept. 19.

Turning to October, the four additional ships to restart will be Carnival Conquest from Miami, effective Oct. 8, Carnival Freedom from Miami, effective Oct. 9, Carnival Elation from Port Canaveral, effective Oct. 11, and Carnival Sensation from Mobile, effective Oct. 21.

Related to this announcement, Carnival is notifying guests and travel agents of an extension in its pause of operations through Sept. 5 for Carnival Pride from Baltimore, Sept. 11 for Carnival Dream from Galveston, Oct. 4 for Carnival Conquest from Miami and Oct. 16 for Carnival Sensation from Mobile. Cruises on Carnival Sunshine from Charleston, Carnival Ecstasy from Jacksonville and Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral will be cancelled through Oct. 31. In addition, a three-day cruise on Carnival Miracle from Long Beach on Sept. 24 is being cancelled, and then Carnival Miracle will begin sailing from Long Beach on Sept. 27.

"We are very excited about our restart and greatly appreciate the support of our guests, travel agents and port and destination partners," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "By the end of July, we will have five ships in our restart plan, including the introduction of service on Mardi Gras, and we are seeing a great combination of strong demand and strong guest satisfaction scores tied to the positive guest experience on board."

Carnival will continue to welcome unvaccinated guests on board, but all unvaccinated guests including children under the age of 12, will be subject to pre-cruise and pre-embarkation testing and testing again prior to debarkation (on cruises longer than four days) along with a $150 per person charge to cover the costs of testing, reporting and health and safety screenings. At this time, Carnival is limiting operation of its supervised youth programs to vaccinated children and youth 12 years and older. Unvaccinated guests departing from Florida (effective July 31) and Texas (effective Aug. 2) will also need to show proof of travel insurance coverage, based on the itineraries being sailed and the requirements of ports and destinations visited. These additional measures will be in place through at least October but may be extended based on guidance from public health and medical advisors and the requirements of destination partners.

"The decision to sail with vaccinated voyages was a difficult one to make, and we recognize this is disappointing to some of our guests especially the many families with children under the age of 12 who we love to sail, and who love to sail with us," said Duffy. "It's important to remember that this is a temporary measure given the current circumstances. In consultation with our medical experts and advisors, we've determined this plan is in the best interests of the health and safety of our guests, crew and the destinations that we bring our ships to. It's very important that we continue to maintain the confidence of our destination partners, so that we can provide our guests with the optimal cruise experience and sail our itineraries."

"Our plan envisions successfully bringing back our entire fleet by the end of the year, returning to full service – most especially for the millions of families who sail with us – and building back our business for the benefit of our guests, employees and the tens of thousands of jobs and local businesses that depend on our company. We will continue to offer exemptions to our unvaccinated guests on a limited, capacity-managed basis within 14 days of sailing as we finalize the vaccinated guest count. The more bookings we initially secure for our cruises with fully vaccinated guests, the more exemptions we can ultimately offer for those unvaccinated guests already booked and those wishing to sail," Duffy added.

Booked guests and travel advisors are being notified of the plans for the returning ships, the cruise cancellations and the process by which they are being asked to follow to confirm traveler vaccination status and to apply for an exemption to the vaccination standard. Guests who want to change their plans, who are unable to wait to see if they receive an exemption, or who cannot meet the vaccination standards may change their reservation without penalty or request a full refund.

Oceania Cruises Reveals New Ship Suite and Stateroom Designs
ceania Cruises, the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, revealed the design and décor elements of the Veranda Staterooms, Penthouse Suites, Oceania Suites and Vista Suites aboard its newest ship, Vista, due to debut in early 2023.

"As with every one of our ships, our goal is for guests to feel instantly at home from the moment they enter their stateroom or suite aboard Vista," said Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. "Vista's accommodations will offer all the thoughtful amenities and personal touches that we are renowned for and are designed with the style and elegance our guests have come to love and expect from Oceania Cruises."

Vista will set new standards for comfort and residential-style luxury and will feature all veranda accommodations. All staterooms and suites feature beautifully appointed bathrooms with oversized rainforest showers, large vanities, and copious storage space. Penthouse, Oceania, and Vista Suites are ultra-spacious and true sea-going residences with an abundance of living and dining space for entertaining or simply relaxing. In a first for the brand, Vista will feature a new category of Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms dedicated to solo travelers.

The timeless décor of the accommodations reflects the best of residential design aesthetics to present guests with restful homelike spaces to relax and rejuvenate as they explore the world's most fascinating destinations. Bathed in soothing tones and detailed with multiple layers of luxurious furnishings, accents, and artwork, each stateroom and suite is a welcoming home away from home.

Veranda Stateroom
Measuring 291 square feet of living space including the private veranda, Vista's standard Veranda Staterooms are the epitome of spaciousness. Bathed in soft tones of harvest and wheat punctuated with seagrass and bold sienna, each is furnished with a queen size Tranquility Bed piled high with plush linens and plump pillows, a comfortable seating area, private veranda, thoughtful amenities, abundant storage space, and oversized bathroom.

Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom
Vista's Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms envelope guests in lavish comfort. Shades of cream and rich fawn set the tone for a luxuriant respite with an extravagantly dressed queen size Tranquility Bed, sumptuously comfortable sitting area and a private veranda to take in the marvels of the surrounding seascapes. All feature extraordinary closet and storage space, and a marble bath with walk-in rainforest shower. A wealth of additional amenities, such as a dedicated Concierge Lounge, room service from The Grand Dining Room, and free laundry services, elevates the experience to the sublime.

Concierge Level Solo Veranda Stateroom
Solo travelers have a fresh reason to delight in this new category of stateroom designed exclusively for them. Spacious and airy yet cozy, each features all of the comforts and luxuries world travelers expect and feature a seating area overlooking the private veranda, separate sleeping area with a sumptuously comfortable Tranquility Bed and copious storage space. Solo guests, like all sailing in Concierge Level, receive an astonishing array of amenities such as free laundry service and keycard access to the exclusive Concierge Lounge.

Penthouse Suite
An overabundance of space and elevated levels of luxury define the Penthouse Suite experience. Ingenious design and tony furnishings punctuate the space, which is resplendent in rich upholstery, fine leathers and stunning works of art. Measuring 440 square feet, Penthouse Suites feature the added luxuries of a walk-in closet, an oversized bath with dual vanities and of course, a large private veranda overlooking the sea. Penthouse guests also have a dedicated Butler and keycard access to the suites-only Executive Lounge with a dedicated Concierge.

Oceania Suite
Spacious and sophisticated with a metropolitan flair, the 14 Oceania Suites are situated in prime locations atop the ship to offer unparalleled views. Averaging approximately 1,000 to 1,200 square feet, each radiates an ambiance of exquisite residential luxury. Thoughtfully appointed living and dining spaces invite gracious entertaining, including the oversized private teak veranda, while the Master Bedroom provides the perfect retreat for relaxation with its grand king size bed, dressing room and opulent marble-clad bathroom. Each home away from home features the added luxury of a cozy study or guest studio and guest bathroom. Oceania Suites offer a dedicated Butler and keycard access to the suites-only Executive Lounge.

Vista Suite
Offering the loftiest of locations affording sweeping 180-degree views and 1,450 to 1,850 square feet of living space, the eight Vista Suites are designed to be the ultimate seaside villas. Swathed in subtle tones that pay deference to the sea and sky and accented by luminescent marbles, granites and rich weathered oak, each is a true retreat. The airy Living Room is flanked by a handsome Dining Room and bar area which feature commanding views and open onto the expansive teak veranda. An extravagant Master Suite features a capacious wardrobe room and dressing area adjacent to the oversized and sunlit Master Bath complete with porcelain soaking tub. Vista Suites offer an additional layer of pampering with 24-hour Butler service and access to the suites-only Executive Lounge.

Carnival Corporation to Operate up to 75% of Fleet Capacity by End of 2021
Carnival Corporation today announced that it expects to resume guest cruise operations with 65% of its total fleet capacity by the end of 2021 across eight of its world-leading cruise line brands. Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line has announced plans that envision the brand's entire fleet returning to service by the end of 2021, which would further increase Carnival Corporation's total operating capacity to nearly 75% by the end of the year.

Eight of the company's nine brands – AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Seabourn – have announced plans to resume guest operations on 54 ships to date through the end of 2021, with nearly half of the capacity represented by ships homeported in the U.S. In addition to those ships previously announced by the company's brands, Carnival Cruise Line's intent to return to full fleet service in 2021 would add another nine vessels, totaling 63 ships to date that are expected to resume guest operations this year. Further brand restart announcements are expected in coming weeks, including resumption plans for more ships and itineraries for 2021.

Collectively, the brands are continuing to resume operations from ports around the world using a gradual, phased-in approach, including sailings in the U.S., Caribbean, Europe and Mediterranean, along with itineraries planned in Central America and to Antarctica, among others. The cruises include enhanced health protocols developed in conjunction with government and health authorities, and informed by guidance from the company's public health, epidemiological and policy experts.

The following summarizes Carnival Corporation's brand restart announcements to date through the end of 2021.

North America Brands:

• Carnival Cruise Line resumed guest cruise operations with three ships to date sailing out of two U.S. ports, Galveston and Miami, and has announced its intent to have 15 ships in operation by the end of October and to have its entire fleet sailing by the end of the year.

• Princess Cruises will resume guest cruise operations this weekend with its first ship sailing from Seattle to Alaska, and will expand with a series of cruises around UK coastal waters in late July, as well as cruises out of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii and California coast in the fall, with eight total ships expected to be in operation by the end of the year.

• Holland America Line will resume guest cruise operations this weekend with its first ship sailing from Seattle to Alaska, followed by sailings from Greece in August, and from Italy and Spain in September, as well as sailings to Mexico, Hawaii, the California coast and the Caribbean this fall for a total of six ships expected to be in operation by the end of the year.

• Seabourn resumed guest cruise operations with two ships to date sailing from Greece and Barbados, and plans to begin the Antarctica season in November with a third ship.

Europe & Asia Brands:

• Costa Cruises resumed guest cruise operations in May with sailings in Italy and Greece, and the line is now offering sailings to France and Spain, to be followed by sailings to Portugal and Turkey in September for a total of seven ships expected to be sailing in the Mediterranean by the end of the year.

• AIDA Cruises resumed guest cruise operations in March sailing in the Canary Islands and in May with sailings in Greece and Germany. The line is now offering additional sailings out of Germany as well as upcoming sailings in Spain, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands and the Persian Gulf from late July to December for a total of nine ships expected to be in operation by the end of the year.

• P&O Cruises (UK) resumed guest cruise operations with a series of summer sailings around UK coastal waters that started in June, and plans to expand to the Mediterranean, the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean starting in September for a total of four ships expected to be in operation by the end of the year.

• Cunard will resume guest cruise operations in August with one ship sailing UK coastal cruises, followed by sailings to the Iberian coast and Canary Islands, and plans to expand with a second ship returning to service in November with a combination of transatlantic crossings and Caribbean cruises.

The additional voyages build on recent restarts from five of the company's brands, including AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises, which have been sailing in Europe since March and May, respectively, as well as its P&O Cruises brand in the UK. Most recently, the company's Carnival Cruise Line brand resumed in early July from the U.S. along with its Seabourn brand, which restarted earlier this month in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

"With strong ongoing demand for cruising, we look forward to serving our guests with additional ships announced across eight of our brands and nearly three-quarters of our fleet capacity returning by the end of this year, marking an important milestone for our company and all those who rely on the strong economic impacts generated by the global cruise industry," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation.

Frizzell added: "For our entire company, our highest responsibility and top priority is always compliance, environmental protection, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, our shipboard and shoreside employees, and the communities we visit. Our ongoing restart effort closely reflects those priorities, as we continue to work together across the industry and with partners around the world to resume cruising in the best interest of public health."

In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, as well as authorities in destination countries, the company's brands have developed a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols for protection and mitigation across the entire cruise experience for its initial cruises. This includes cross-industry learnings and best practices based on the proven health and safety record of industrywide sailings, and input from top science and health experts and health authorities.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.72 - 17.35%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 69.51 - 17.78%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.62 - 1.59%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.87 - 19.83%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
A number of famous liners operated with four funnels (Titanic, Olympic, Lusitania, Mauretania, Kronprinzessin Cecilie, and France of 1912 to name a few...) but only one passenger ship operated with FIVE funnels. Name that ship and the year she entered service.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
The decorative doors of the Normandie's Grand Foyer survived the ship's fire and sinking. Where can you see those doors today?

Answer - Normandie's famous foyer doors can be seen at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Brooklyn NY.
courtesy of Jeff Fostik.


Cruise News - July 12, 2021

Seabourn Ovation To Operate From Miami
Seabourn announced new itineraries for Seabourn Ovation operated out of Miami between November 2021 and April 2022, coinciding with the ship's first-ever stop in a U.S. port on November 18, 2021.

For the first time, Seabourn Ovation will cruise the Caribbean, starting with three 11-day voyages roundtrip from Miami in November and December 2021. The ship will visit iconic Caribbean destinations, including San Juan, the hidden harbors of Guadeloupe and Jost Van Dyke, St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua and more. Departure dates include November 18 and 29, and December 10, 2021.

Immersive experiences scheduled for guests exploring the Caribbean on Seabourn Ovation include the line's popular Caviar in the Surf, with uniformed crew plunging into the crystal-blue Caribbean Sea to offer iced Champagne and caviar served via surfboard bar, as well as a fun-filled Marina Day, with complimentary watersports from a beach or the unique, retractable Marina platform on the stern of the ship.

Following the Caribbean voyages, the ship will explore the Panama Canal and Central America between December 2021 and March 2022. On December 21, the ship will sail on a 21-Day Holiday Panama Canal voyage from Miami to Los Angeles, followed by a 19-day voyage back to Miami. Both of these voyages will include a full transit of the Panama Canal.

Beginning January 30, 2022, Seabourn Ovation will set sail to Central America with four voyages roundtrip from Miami, offering ample opportunities for guests to discover remnants of ancient Mayan civilizations, vibrant cultures and amazing tropical destinations in Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize and Panama. These voyages also include a partial transit of the Panama Canal, giving guests an opportunity to visit this modern marvel in true luxury.

Prior to its arrival in the U.S. this fall, the ship will offer guests an opportunity to visit the Canary Islands with a 14-day voyage from Barcelona to Lisbon, Portugal, departing on October 23. The ship will then cross the Atlantic Ocean on a 12-day voyage departing from Lisbon to Miami. Seabourn Ovation heads back to Europe with a 13-day crossing from Miami to Lisbon on March 27, 2022. The ship will return to the Canary Islands and also visit Morocco and Tangier during a 14-day voyage departing April 9 from Lisbon to Monte Carlo.

AIDA Cruises Expands Its Cruise Program From Kiel
Due to the high demand for voyages from northern German ports, AIDA Cruises will deploy another Sphinx-class ship from Kiel. On August 15, 2021, the first four-day short cruise to Gdynia will start followed by a three-day cruise to Gothenburg. Both voyages will be offered alternately. A wide variety of travel dates are available up to and including October 14, 2021. The name of the ship will be announced shortly. All new vacation offers are bookable now.

On the four-day voyage, the ship calls at the Polish port of Gdynia after a relaxing sea day passing the island of Gotland, among others.

"Scenic Cruising" is also the motto on the first day of the three-day short cruise from Kiel, which leads to the Swedish metropolis of Gothenburg.

Already in May 2021 AIDA Cruises opened the cruise season in Kiel and is currently offering with AIDAprima every Saturday seven-day trips in the Baltic Sea until October 23, 2021. The destinations include Gothenburg, Visby on the island of Gotland, and Stockholm.

As soon as more destinations reopen for cruise tourism, AIDA Cruises plans to visit more ports on their voyages.

Cunard Announces "Grand Escape Voyages"
Cunard enthusiasts will return to what they love with the line's "Grand Escape Voyages," commencing in October. Cruise vacations range from two to 40-nights, offering guests the chance to enjoy over 40 new 2021 and 2022 voyages, visiting 49 destinations, sailing on board flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria. Guests will revel in the unparalleled Transatlantic Crossing, and then head to the Caribbean, with guests enjoying the flexibility of embarking from either New York, Fort Lauderdale, Hamburg or Southampton. Queen Elizabeth will explore Western Europe, the Atlantic Coast and Asia, while Queen Victoria will sail in Europe and the Baltics.

The Cunard fleet will also spend several overnight port calls in destinations including Amsterdam, Lisbon, Hong Kong, Madeira, Dubai and Barbados, offering more time to explore ashore, while on board brings sparkling entertainment, exquisite fine dining and the luxury of doing whatever one pleases.

"We are thrilled to announce our new 'Grand Escape Voyages,' as we celebrate Cunard's full return to sailing," said Jamie Paiko, Vice President of Sales, Cunard North America. "These new itineraries will not disappoint our dedicated guests who have eagerly been waiting for the opportunity to sail on their favorite ship. They will once again enjoy our distinctive ocean travel experience, hallmarked by new voyage options and our impeccable White Star Service," Paiko added.

Queen Mary 2
Welcomed wherever she sails, flagship Queen Mary 2's style, elegance and freedom of space are legendary. Fresh, light-filled public venues lend the ship an invigorating and airy feel, while contemporary art deco details offer a nod to Cunard's prestigious maritime past. On her signature Transatlantic Crossing, guests even have the coveted option of bringing along their four-legged friends.

Queen Mary 2 will treat guests to time on both sides of the Atlantic with her "Grand Escape Voyages," calling at 15 ports in 14 countries. Embarking on 29 new itineraries, she'll complement a series of Transatlantic Crossings with brief cruises in Western Europe and will spend time in the Caribbean, sailing roundtrip from New York, Fort Lauderdale, Hamburg or Southampton.

Queen Mary 2's Caribbean itineraries appeal to travelers who have been dreaming of a vacation that is both tranquil and intriguing. Guests will bask in the region's turquoise waters and white sands, and explore the many sites including bridge-linked canals through ancient streets steeped in history; storied military architecture in Basseterre; hot springs and volcanoes in Castries; and natural harbors in Curacao. Overnight calls in Bridgetown, Barbados, time ashore in St. Maarten and Dominica, coupled with the delights of St. Lucia and St. Kitts all await.

Queen Elizabeth
Spacious decks offering a true sense of freedom, days filled with possibilities, and evenings where the night is always young, Queen Elizabeth's world is always vibrant and inviting.

Fresh from a summer exploring Britain's coastline, Queen Elizabeth's "Grand Escape Voyages" season will include visits to 41 ports in 21 countries. She will begin in Western Europe before sailing to the Iberian Coast for a series of voyages exploring Spain and the Atlantic Islands. Queen Elizabeth will treat guests to itineraries with overnight port stays in Lisbon and Madeira as well as late departures from Malaga, offering time to experience these destinations after dark. She'll then undertake voyages between London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, including a transit of the Suez Canal and calls to Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Guests will visit colorful bazaars heady with aromatic spices, be captivated by ancient Moorish castles and stretch out on beaches in the dappled shade of palm trees.

Queen Victoria
A guest favorite, Queen Victoria's refined style enchant all who step on board. Guests relish discovering new cocktail blends in the Gin & Fizz bar, radiate in the light-infused Winter Garden, and reinvigorate the senses in the ship's Mareel Wellness and Beauty Spa.

Commencing her Grand Escape Voyages in April 2022, Queen Victoria will mark her official return to sailing with three new itineraries, coupling two Western Europe short breaks with a 16-night exploration of the Baltics. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton, she'll visit 11 countries, treating guests to time ashore in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Tallinn and Gdynia, together with overnight calls in Amsterdam, Lisbon and St Petersburg. Wander atmospheric canals and ancient medieval streets, retrace the past in historic palaces, and explore forward-thinking cities at the cutting edge of innovation.

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Cruise Directors for Next Round of Ships Returning to Service This Summer
As part of its ramp up of returning more ships to service this summer, Carnival Cruise Line announced today the lineup of cruise directors who will entertain guests on the next round of ships entering service in August from Port Canaveral, Miami and Long Beach, marking the start-up of its West Coast operations.

At the helm of the excitement on board will be Gary Blair on Carnival Magic from Port Canaveral, Felipe Couto on Carnival Sunrise from Miami and Lee Mason on Carnival Panorama from Long Beach.

“We are back – and the fun is back – bigger and better than ever, and who better to lead the charge in that fun than our wonderful cruise directors,” said Chris Nelson, vice president of entertainment for Carnival Cruise Line. “As we continue to expand our guest operations and welcome guests back on board, it is so special and exciting to also bring our cruise directors back and to finally give our guests the amazing vacation experiences they know and love.”

Giving Mike Pack and his wife, former Carnival cruise director Emma Nixon, time to enjoy their newborn baby, Chris Williams will serve as Mardi Gras’ cruise director for its first series of voyages.

The line returned to guest operations in early July with Carnival Vista from the Port of Galveston and Carnival Horizon from PortMiami. Sailings on Carnival Breeze begin Thursday and Carnival Miracle later this month, followed by the debut of Carnival’s newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, on July 31.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Names World Navigator's Inaugural Entertainment Director
Atlas Ocean Voyages announced the appointment of industry veteran and entertainment headliner Sean O'Shea as World Navigator's inaugural Entertainment Director. Sean will lead the casually elegant cruise brand's entertainment and convivial ambience aboard Atlas' first small, luxury expedition ship. Additionally, Alyssa Logan has been named World Navigator's Adventure and Club Director and will manage the innovative shoreside experiences designed for fun-seeking, discerning travelers, for which Atlas is known. Alyssa and Sean will both welcome guests aboard World Navigator when she launches on August 4 for her inaugural Egypt and Greek Isles season, which alternates departures from Athens (Piraeus) and Cairo (Alexandria.) For more information about Atlas Ocean Voyages, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

"We are happy to have Sean as the inaugural Entertainment Director and Alyssa as Adventure and Club Director," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Sean and Alyssa are both accomplished cruise ship executives and they will play integral roles in solidifying World Navigator's lively and fun onboard and immersive shoreside experiences."

Sean brings more than 20 years of onboard and shoreside experience to Atlas Ocean Voyages. He has traveled the world; entertained globally; and draws from his extensive travel and cruise leadership experience to create engaging and compelling programs to entertain guests. Sean has also headlined in many major shoreside venues; served as Cruise Director on multiple small, luxury ships; and played the large theaters on many cruise ships. Throughout, he has worked with production teams, musicians and technical staff from diverse cultures and backgrounds to deliver unforgettable entertainment programming.

"It's my sincere pleasure to lead the inaugural entertainment program for World Navigator," said Sean. "Alyssa, the World Navigator team and I will deliver an unforgettable luxe-adventure voyage both on board and in the remote and captivating destinations where we visit. We look forward to welcoming guests on what will be an extraordinary inaugural season."

Alyssa is also an industry veteran and has led land programs on six continents. Her cruising career aboard cruise ships includes Land Programs Manager, Future Cruise Consultant, and Cruise Director for multiple luxury cruise brands. Alyssa will arrange and execute World Navigator's immersive land programs and help guests book their next Atlas luxe-adventure voyage with enticing, exclusive onboard offers. She continues her Atlas career with this latest appointment, after serving as the cruise brand's North American Sales Manager.

Royal Caribbean Updates Vaccine Policy
For cruises departing from all U.S. ports (except Florida ports), Royal Caribbean requires all guests 16 years of age and older to be fully vaccinated, and from Aug. 1, all guests 12 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated. Younger travelers not yet eligible for the vaccine will be able to sail with a negative test result and must follow certain protocols.

On cruises departing from Florida ports, all guests are strongly recommended to be fully vaccinated. Based on our guest surveys, we expect 90% of all our guests to be fully vaccinated. Guests eligible but not fully vaccinated or able to show proof of vaccination will be subject to testing and additional health protocols at their own expense. Children not eligible for vaccines will be subject to complimentary testing and health protocols.

Vaccine requirements are one of the many layers that safeguard the well-being of our guests, crew and the communities we visit. Additional health and safety measures include our fully vaccinated crew, testing, the robust onboard ventilation system and enhanced cleaning.

As we work to finalize all protocols for cruises departing from U.S. ports, in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well state and local authorities, our goal is to fully comply with federal, state and local laws, as we always have. Royal Caribbean will continue to evaluate and update its health and safety measures as circumstances evolve and in compliance with federal, state and local government and health authorities.

Guests and travel advisors looking for information on our measures can visit our website: cruises from the U.S. and Bahamas, cruises from the UK and Cyprus, cruises from Spain and Italy, cruises from Singapore, and cruises from Hong Kong. The vaccine policies, which are in line with local regulations, are currently the following:

• Cruises from Washington and The Bahamas: Guests who are 16 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 and older as of Aug. 1.

• Cruises from Florida: It is strongly recommended that guests set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols at their own expense. Based on our guest surveys, we expect 90% of all our guests to be fully vaccinated.

• Cruises from Texas: Guests who are 12 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

• Cruises from the UK: Sailing UK residents age 18 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 are required to receive negative test results.

• Cruises from Spain, Italy and Cyprus: Guests age 18 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 are required to receive negative test results.

• Cruises from Singapore: Sailing Singapore guests are not required to be vaccinated but must follow the protocols outlined by the Singapore government.

• Cruises from Hong Kong: Sailing Honk Kong residents age 16 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 and older as of Oct. 15. All guests are required to receive negative test results before boarding.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.86 - 8.44%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 84.54 + 1.74%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.63 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 27.28 - 5.93%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
The decorative doors of the Normandie's Grand Foyer survived the ship's fire and sinking. Where can you see those doors today?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
From the late 1800's until the Queen Mary entered service in 1936 the names of almost all of Cunard's fleet ended in a distinctive manner. How did they end and what was the significance of the ending?

Answer - Prior to 1936 almost all Cunard ships' names ended in IA after ancient Roman territories.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe


Cruise News - July 5, 2021

Carnival Cruise Line Kicks Off Its First Cruise From The U.S.
To celebrate Carnival Cruise Line's resumption of guest cruises from the U.S., Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival Vista Captain Andrea Catalani and local officials led a "Back to Fun" ribbon-cutting ceremony officially welcoming guests back on board.

"Seeing our guests board the ship for the first time in over 15 months was a welcome and emotional sight. The excitement our guests have for Carnival cruising knows no bounds and it's great to be able to have them enjoy our unique vacation experience and of course see our amazing crew once again," said Duffy.

Added Catalani, "Having our guests on board again is something we've been looking forward to for a very long time. Our crew is very excited and will provide them with the incredible Carnival vacation they've been so patiently waiting for."

Carnival Vista will set sail this afternoon at 4 p.m. for a weeklong cruise with stops in Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), Cozumel and Belize City.

In addition to Carnival Vista's departure, Carnival Horizon begins sailing from PortMiami tomorrow, July 4, as well as Carnival Breeze from Galveston July 15 while Carnival Miracle kicks off the line's Alaska season from Seattle July 27. Mardi Gras, the line's newest ship, sets sail from Port Canaveral July 31. Other ships in the Carnival fleet will begin service in August.

Carnival Cruise Line was the first cruise line to recognize the incredible potential of Galveston as a homeport, launching the port's first year-round cruises in 2000.

Today, Carnival is the number one cruise operator from Galveston and the only cruise operator with three year-round ships at the port. Carnival Vista, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Dream operate 150 voyages annually from Galveston, carrying an estimated 750,000 passengers a year.

Proudly sailing as America's Cruise Line, Carnival operates from 14 U.S. homeports – the most in cruising – providing consumers with a convenient and affordable way of getting to and from their cruise. Roughly half of the U.S. population is within a day's drive of a Carnival homeport.

Carnival Cruise Line Returns To Guest Operations From PortMiami
Carnival Cruise Line kicked off its first cruise from in almost 16 months from PortMiami today with the departure of Carnival Horizon, providing a significant boost to the local economy and the tens of thousands of jobs in South Florida that are supported by the cruise industry.

Carnival's resumption of service in Miami provides guests with a much-anticipated vacation and is a further boost to the economy both locally and throughout the state. Florida is number one in the nation in cruise embarkations with the cruise industry contributing more than $9 billion in direct purchases and responsible for over 159,000 jobs. In Miami-Dade alone, cruise activity generates approximately $7 billion of spend and 40,000 jobs annually. Of the 437,000 cruise industry-supported jobs in the USA, nearly 37% are in Florida.

Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald and Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald kicked off the festivities with a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially welcoming guests on board. Prior to Duffy's remarks, a moment of silence was held to honor those affected by the tragedy in Surfside.

"PortMiami is our number one homeport in terms of ships and passenger embarkations and today's return to cruising with Carnival Horizon represents an important first step in getting our company back to business while infusing much-needed capital to the thousands of workers who rely on the cruise industry for their livelihood," said Duffy. "The past year has been challenging to say the least and I wish to thank our state and local officials, PortMiami, and our business partners and suppliers for their incredible support and patience during this time."

"The restart of cruise ships from Miami is an exciting day for Miami's longshoremen. We have approximately 800 members at PortMiami and their wages dropped as much as 80% during the nearly 16-month cruise suspension. Today with Carnival Horizon's first sailing, we get back to work and look forward to supporting our families again," said Torin Ragin, president, International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) Local 1416.

Carnival Horizon will set sail today at 4 p.m. for a six-day cruise with stops in Amber Cove (Dominican Republic) and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.

In addition to Carnival Horizon's departure this afternoon, Carnival Vista departed Galveston yesterday, with Carnival Breeze departing from Galveston July 15 and Carnival Miracle kicking off the line's Alaska season from Seattle July 27. Mardi Gras, the line's newest ship, sets sail from Port Canaveral July 31. Other ships in the Carnival fleet will begin service in August.

Royal Caribbean Makes Highly Anticipated US Return
It's official, Royal Caribbean International is back in the U.S. and delivering the long overdue cruise vacations that families and travelers of all ages have missed. A nearly 16-month journey led up to the moment yesterday when Freedom of the Seas became the first Royal Caribbean ship in the U.S. to welcome guests and the first cruise ship to do so from PortMiami, the cruise capital of the world. Sailing with 93% of the onboard community fully vaccinated and just in time for Fourth of July weekend, Freedom set off on the first cruise of a summer-long series of 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday getaways to Perfect Day at CocoCay – the cruise line's top-rated private island destination – and Nassau, The Bahamas.

"We have a lot to celebrate. Families and loved ones can finally come together after more than a year apart, and we're now welcoming them back on board to make up for that lost time," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "For a moment as meaningful as Fourth of July weekend, it couldn't be more appropriate that Freedom of the Seas be the first ship to ring in our return to cruising in the U.S. and delivering the memorable and safe vacations Royal Caribbean is known for. Summer family vacations are back, and we are just getting started."

Marking the most celebratory Fourth of July weekend yet, the eagerly awaited comeback of the world's largest cruise line has only just begun. Royal Caribbean is planning for nine more award-winning ships to return through August, including Anthem of the Seas in the U.K., Serenade and Ovation of the Seas in Alaska, and the brand-new Odyssey of the Seas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In the coming weeks, the cruise line will announce plans to reintroduce its full fleet around the globe by year's end. The complete 2021 lineup to date is available here.

Showcasing its $116 million transformation from March 2020, Freedom has a lineup of new features and amenities in store for guests of all ages, including The Perfect Storm duo of high-speed waterslides, a vibrant, resort-style Caribbean poolscape; the cruise line's first Giovanni's Italian Kitchen and new, dedicated spaces for kids and teens. The amplified ship offers an all-around tropical escape from ship to shore, sailing to Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Bahamas. At Royal Caribbean's game-changing private island destination, there are next-level thrills and ways to chill, from the tallest waterslide in North America to the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, Oasis Lagoon; to the first floating cabanas in The Bahamas at Coco Beach Club. Between the decked-out experience on board and island hopping from one tropical destination to the next, Freedom's 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday summer cruises from Miami are the perfect short getaways for families to maximize every moment of their precious vacation time.

Celebrity Cruises Returns to the Galapagos Islands
Travelers who have waited more than 15 months to experience the wonders of the world set sail today in the breath-taking Galapagos Islands aboard the luxurious, state-of-the-art mega yacht, Celebrity Flora. The first of the new-luxury brand's three ships to resume sailing the extraordinary archipelago, guests will be treated to a curated seven-night itinerary through a world unlike any other.

The sailing will be shortly followed by the award-winning Celebrity Xpedition on July 24 and the intimate 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration on September 18. They will both equally explore the Galapagos with Northern and Southern Loop itineraries, while offering ultimate individual indulgences.

"The Galapagos islands are a treasure and a destination that is incomparable to any other in the world. We couldn't be more excited to welcome guests aboard the most special ship in this region for the very special, bucket-list voyage they have been dreaming of for so many months," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

Combining unparalleled luxury and specular vistas, Celebrity Flora was built specifically to navigate the waters of this natural paradise. Inspired by the islands and built with a variety of natural materials, along with the latest environmental technologies, the ship merges seamlessly with its surroundings. And, to fully immerse travellers in this extraordinary landscape, certified naturalists from the Galápagos National Park are on board to guide the journey.

In this extraordinary destination, unique experiences abound, from hiking otherworldly volcanic landscapes to snorkelling alongside sea turtles in their natural habitat. Guests can also partake in twice-daily shore excursions guided by Galapagos National Park certified naturalists or stay onboard to relax and be treated to locally-sourced cuisine crafted by a Michelin-starred chef.

Princess Cruises Cancels Australia Cruise Holidays Through December 19, 2021
Due to continued uncertainty regarding the timing for the resumption of cruise holidays in the region, Princess is cancelling cruises in and out of Australia through December 19, 2021.

For guests booked on a cancelled cruise, Princess will move guests to an equivalent cruise in 2022. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests' 2021 fare on their replacement cruise. Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD) or a full refund to the original form of payment.

Requests must be received through this online form by July 31, 2021 or guests will automatically receive the FCC option. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022.

Cruises can be booked through a professional travel advisor, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.

Princess will protect travel agent commission on bookings that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.   

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 26.06 - 0.34%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 86.04 + 3.10%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.63 + 14.55%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 29.00 - 0.48%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
From the late 1800's until the Queen Mary entered service in 1936 the names of almost all of Cunard's fleet ended in a distinctive manner. How did they end and what was the significance of the ending?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Here's another Photo Cruise Trivia - This picture was taken in 1975 in New York City. Can you name the five ships in the photo (...from bottom to top)?

Click Here for a larger version of the picture.

Answer - The five ships are from top to bottom: Statendam Rotterdam Oceanic Michelangelo Doric if I'm right the bow of the Sagafjord is visible in the foreground
courtesy of Peter Lemcke-Braselmann


Cruise News - Jume 28, 2021

Celebrity Edge Becomes First Cruise Ship To Sail From A U.S. Port In 15 Months
"#HopeFloats. Today marks the rebirth of our company and our industry, as our beautiful Celebrity Edge sets sail on a new-luxury experience that will - once again - feed peoples' love of travel." Those were the inspirational words tweeted from Celebrity Cruises' President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo today, as the exquisite Celebrity Edge prepared to sail from Ft. Lauderdale at 6.00pm ET, becoming the first cruise ship to sail from a U.S. port in more than a year.

What seems only fitting, now, 15 months after being at the helm of history for the first all-female bridge and officer team sailing in March 2020 and the last sailing before the industry was put on pause, Captain Kate McCue, the first and still only American female to captain a major cruise ship, now leads the fleet – and the industry – back into operation from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades. The ship set sails for Mexico and the Bahamas.

Rarely has a seven-night cruise of the Caribbean come with such symbolism and hope, but there is no underestimating that this is an historic moment for the brand as it cruises back to normal. Celebrity Edge was given the green light - and the honor - to be the first ship back in the water, having met all new standards for providing a healthy and safe cruise experience for its guests and crew.

"This is a momentous sailing and one that we have been preparing for a long time. It's not only a huge honor to be the first ship back in the water, leading the industry in the long-awaited return to U.S.-based cruising, it's also an incredible achievement and testament to the tireless efforts of our shoreside team and onboard crew," said Richard Fain, Chairman of the Royal Caribbean Group, the parent company of Celebrity Cruises. "Travel is a powerful catalyst for positive change in our world. There's nothing more enriching in life than exposing yourself to new cultures, sights, and experiences… and nothing more luxurious than doing it on board a Celebrity cruise ship," he added. "All that's left to say is welcome aboard."

"The significance of this moment is not lost on anyone on our team or the industry. We have longed for this day, not only because it represents a return to service and doing what we love to do most, but because we know that for many the return of cruising is a symbol of the world's return to normalcy," said Brian Abel, Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations for Celebrity Cruises. "For too long, we've had to encourage one another with dreams of 'someday' returning to being together, again. Now, as the world opens up, and we can gather and enjoy our families and friends on an amazing cruise vacation, 'someday' is here."

Named 'one of the world's greatest places' by Time Magazine, Celebrity Edge is widely regarded as the most innovative cruise ship on earth. The ship's onboard experience stands apart from anything else at sea, creating an exciting modern cruising experience with offerings like the incredible Magic Carpet, soaring cantilevered above the sea and transformational accommodations like hyper-lux two-story villas with private plunge pools.

Inaugurated in 2018, Celebrity Edge's unique outward-facing design breaks from traditional shipbuilding. Aboard, guests feel more connected with the sea and the places they visit, whether it's sipping cocktails from the sundeck of The Retreat, a private oasis within the ship, or taking in the stunning vistas from the botanical Rooftop Garden. The ship's amenities and views will infuse new life into passengers that have longed to travel and see the world once again.

"The week after our entire industry was grounded, last March, I started a #HopeFloats tradition of blowing the ship's horn every evening to let the world know that not only were we safe, but we were thinking of those at home and hoping the same for them," said Captain McCue. "Now, the sound of a ship's horn symbolizes rising above from any hardship. The entire crew is so happy to be back and we can't wait to welcome our guests aboard!"

With today's sailing, eight of the 14 ships within the Celebrity Cruises' fleet now have plans to return to sailing in 2021 and are ready to take guests to breathtaking destinations, from the Caribbean to Europe, Alaska and the Galapagos, including:

Celebrity Cruises has established new health and safety measures in accordance with guidance from public health authorities, government agencies, and its own team of health and safety experts to provide guests with the peace of mind to fully enjoy their voyage.

Viking Welcomes Guests Back On Board In Iceland
Viking celebrated today the latest milestone in its return to service as guests were welcomed on board in Iceland. Over the weekend, guests boarded the award-winning Viking Sky in Reykjavík, where the ship will homeport this summer along with sister ship Viking Jupiter. Both ships will sail the new Iceland's Natural Beauty itinerary through early September 2021. Offered as part of Viking's Welcome Back collection, exclusively available for vaccinated guests, the voyage currently underway is the first of 19 sailings roundtrip from Reykjavík. The eight-day circumnavigation of Iceland calls upon coastal towns of Akureyri, Seydisfjördur, Heimaey and more before returning to the capital city.

"On behalf of the entire Viking family of guests and crew, we are delighted to be back in Iceland—and we thank the government for its support as we continue restarting operations," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "This stunning island of fire and ice inspired the original Vikings when they charted new territory, so it especially fitting as a key destination in our 'Welcome Back' collection. We look forward to introducing even more guests to this beautiful Nordic country over the summer."

Viking restarted operations in May and has been sailing in England with British guests since May 22. Nearly 100 percent of guests on these sailings provided exceptionally high ratings. On June 15, the company welcomed American guests back on board in Bermuda. In July 2021, Viking will also launch Welcome Back sailings in the Mediterranean with three ocean ships homeported in Valletta, Malta – and will restart its European river operations with select itineraries in Portugal, France and along the Rhine.

AIDA Cruises opens cruise season in Hamburg on July 31
After Kiel and Rostock-Warnemünde, AIDA Cruises today announced it will open the 2021 season at a third German cruise port, Hamburg, with AIDAmar on July 31. Every Saturday, the Hanseatic city will be the port of departure and destination for seven-day voyages initially sailing to the Dutch metropolises Amsterdam (Ijmuiden) and Rotterdam. In both ports AIDAmar will stay overnight, giving guests additional time for AIDA-organized shore excursions to the Dutch capital Amsterdam and the fashion and culture metropolis Rotterdam.

As soon as more destinations open for cruise tourism, the company intends to complement these voyages with calls at further ports.

New to the program of AIDA Cruises is a 40-day voyage in the Caribbean with AIDAsol from/to Hamburg between October 16 and November 25, 2021, followed by two 43-day "Great Caribbean Winter Break" voyages, also from/to Hamburg starting on November 25, 2021, and January 7, 2022. These two cruises were originally scheduled with AIDAvita.

All cruises are carried out in compliance with AIDA's enhanced health and safety protocols, as well as applicable laws and regulations.

Carnival Cruise Line To Grow Fleet By Two Additional Ships By 2023
Carnival Cruise Line announced plans today to grow its fleet by two additional ships by 2023, taking the delivery position of an Excel-class ship that had previously been assigned to sister line AIDA Cruises that will arrive in late 2023, as well as taking ownership of Costa Magica from another of its European sister lines, with that ship going through a dry dock, renaming and Carnival-branded conversion and joining the fleet by mid-2022.

These two ships are in addition to the new capacity growth represented by Mardi Gras, Carnival's first Excel-class, liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ship which starts sailing from Port Canaveral on July 31 and her sister ship, Carnival Celebration, which will be delivered and sail from Miami starting in late 2022, as part of Carnival's 50th birthday festivities.

The addition of these four ships will bring the Carnival fleet to 27 by year-end 2023, and these ships bring many new amenities and features for guests, as well as environmental benefits and enhancements as Carnival continues to exceed and expand targets for emissions efficiencies.

"We are excited about these additions to our fleet which reflect the strong position that Carnival has established in the U.S., the pent-up demand we continue to see for cruise vacations, and the overall plans by Carnival Corporation to optimize capacity and growth in key markets," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "While our immediate focus is on our restart of guest operations this summer, this is another cause for excitement at Carnival, and we will be announcing more detailed plans about homeports, itineraries and ship names very soon."

Carnival Corporation Provides Second Quarter 2021 Business Update
Carnival Corporation provides second quarter 2021 business update.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "We are working aggressively on our path to return our full fleet to operations by next spring. So far, we have announced that 42 ships, representing over half of our capacity, have been scheduled to return to serving guests by this fiscal year end. We are currently evaluating various deployment options with a focus on maximizing cash flow, while delivering a great guest experience and serving the best interests of public health." More return to service announcements will be coming in the weeks ahead. Donald added. "We can't wait to welcome all our valued guests and crew members back on board!"

The company is uniquely positioned for its phased resumption in cruise travel given its multiple brands which are being restarted independently and tailored to the environment of their respective source market. Eight of the company's nine brands either have resumed or have announced they plan to resume guest cruise operations by the company's fiscal year end, November 30, 2021. 27 ships, or approximately 35% of capacity, have resumed or are announced to resume by the end of the third quarter of 2021 and an additional 15 ships, or nearly 20% of capacity, are announced to resume by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021. Together these 42 ships represent over 50% of capacity. More announcements are expected in the coming weeks which will include additional ship restarts for fiscal year 2021. Consistent with the company's planned phased resumption of guest cruise operations, it expects to have its full fleet back in operation in the spring of 2022. For more detailed information on the resumption of guest cruise operations by brand as well as the specific ships and timing of their restart, see the company press release issued yesterday, June 23, 2021.

The company has been working with a number of world-leading public health, epidemiological and policy experts to support its ongoing efforts to implement enhanced health and safety protocols to help protect against and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 during cruise vacations. Initial cruises are taking place with guidance from the company's roster of medical and scientific experts and enhanced health protocols developed in conjunction with government and health authorities. Consequently, the company's brands have a comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols that facilitate a safe and healthy return to cruise vacations. These enhanced protocols are modeled after shoreside health and mitigation guidelines as provided by each brand's respective country, and approved by all relevant regulatory authorities. Protocols will be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies.

Update on Bookings

Donald added, "Despite our minimal advertising spend, we continue to experience an acceleration in booking trends globally, including capturing significant latent demand for our new sailings this summer. This strong demand affirms confidence in our future. In addition, customer deposits grew this past quarter, a significant milestone on our path to resumption."

Donald continued, "With the aggressive actions we have already taken to optimize our portfolio and reduce capacity, we believe we are well positioned to capitalize on pent up demand and to emerge a leaner more efficient company, reinforcing our global industry leading position."

Booking volumes for all future cruises during the second quarter of 2021 were 45% higher than booking volumes during the first quarter of 2021. Cumulative advanced bookings for full year 2022 are ahead of a very strong 2019 as of May 31, 2021. The company highlights that this level of bookings was achieved with minimal advertising and marketing. (Due to the pause in guest cruise operations, the company's current booking trends will be compared to booking trends for 2019 sailings.)

Total customer deposits as of May 31, 2021 and February 28, 2021 were $2.5 billion and $2.2 billion, respectively. During the quarter, customer deposits on new bookings exceeded the impact of refunds provided.

Liquidity and Refinancing

Carnival Corporation & plc Chief Financial Officer David Bernstein noted, "We ended the second quarter with $9.3 billion of cash and short-term investments. We believe we have sufficient liquidity to get us back to full operations and continue to be focused on pursuing refinancing opportunities to reduce interest rates and extend maturities. To date, through our refinancing efforts, we have reduced our future annual interest expense by over $120 million per year and expect to increase our near-term liquidity by $1.0 billion."

Donald added, "Once we return to full operations, our cash flow will be the primary driver of the company's return to investment grade credit over time, creating greater shareholder value."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 26.15 - 8.79%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 83.45 - 4.52%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.55 - 9.84%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 29.14 - 7.14%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Here's another Photo Cruise Trivia - This picture was taken in 1975 in New York City. Can you name the five ships in the photo (...from bottom to top)?

Click Here for a larger version of the picture.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
For safety and speed reasons, the SS United States, once the fastest ship afloat, was constructed almost entirely of aluminium and steel. In fact, it was said that there were only two items made of wood on board the entire ship. What were those two items?

Answer - If I do remember correctly those 2 items were the grand piano and the butcher block!
courtesy of Peter Lemcke-Braselmann


Cruise News - Jume 21, 2021

Holland America Line Announces Fall Cruise 2021 Plans
Holland America Line is gearing up to restart cruising out of Port of San Diego in California beginning with a season of cruises to Mexico, Hawaii and along the California coast aboard Koningsdam and Zuiderdam. The cruise line has expanded the season with the addition of six new cruise departures for Zuiderdam and two new cruises on Koningsdam, offering a total of 40 cruises from San Diego from September 2021 through April 2022.

With the resumption of service on the West Coast, Holland America Line also is looking toward cruising in the Caribbean with four ships. All sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the season will begin Oct. 23, 2021, with Nieuw Amsterdam. The ship will be joined by the new Rotterdam Nov. 3, Eurodam Nov. 14 and Nieuw Statendam Nov. 21. Caribbean cruises range in length from four to 14 days, span the entire region and include a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private island.

"San Diego has always been an incredible homeport for our ships, and we are eager to restart on the West Coast with two ships operating an expanded season, including the debut of Koningsdam on these itineraries and close-to-home California cruises that our guests are going to love," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "We've also been anticipating announcing our plans for the Caribbean and we're thrilled to have four ships in the region, including our new Rotterdam. Cruising is back and having vaccinated ships for these cruises in 2021 ensures that we can deliver the experience just how our guests remember and expect. We're ready to cruise!"

The on-board cruise experience will offer amenities that are a hallmark of the brand. Dining will be available in all restaurants and specialty venues, as well as room service. Entertainment will be in full swing in the main show lounge, and live music and dancing will be featured in Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King's Blues Club, Billboard Onboard and Rolling Stone Rock Room.

Port-to-Table culinary demonstrations, EXC Talks and other enrichment programming will bring regional cultures on board through engaging activities and special presentations. Guests may choose to explore port destinations independently or on ship-sponsored tours, following the local ports' health guidelines.

Highlights of the 2021-2022 San Diego Cruise Season:

• Zuiderdam: Sept. 18, 2021, to April 22, 2022: 17 cruises from San Diego — eight Mexico, four California coast, three Hawaii and two Panama Canal.

• Koningsdam: Oct. 10, 2021, to April 3, 2022: 23 cruises from San Diego — 15 Mexico, six California coast and two Hawaii cruises.

• Seven-day cruises along the California coast include a new itinerary that calls at Catalina, Santa Barbara and San Francisco for a late evening stay, along with Ensenada, Mexico. Additional "Classic California Coast" cruises include California calls at Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Avalon, and at Ensenada.

• A new 21-day Panama Canal cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam from Seattle, Washington, to Fort Lauderdale departs Oct. 2 and includes calls at San Diego; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama;; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Half Moon Cay.

• All seven-day "Mexican Riviera" cruises feature three Mexican ports of call: Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas.

• "Mexico and Sea of Cortez" itineraries are between nine and 12 days and call at a combination of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas, Guaymas, Topolobampo, Pichilingue (La Paz) and Loreto, Mexico.

• "Circle Hawaii" cruises are 17 or 18 days and call at the Hawaiian ports of Lahaina, Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili and Kona, and Ensenada.

Two 14-day cruises through the Panama Canal from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale on Zuiderdam depart Jan. 2 and Jan. 30, 2022. Highlights of the 2021-2022 Caribbean Cruise Season:

• Nieuw Amsterdam: Oct. 23, 2021, to April 7, 2022: 24 cruises to the eastern, western and southern Caribbean. All itineraries are seven days except a nine-day holiday cruise departing Dec. 30.

• Rotterdam: Nov. 3, 2021, to April 10, 2022: The ship kicks off its maiden season in the Caribbean with a series of 22 cruises, ranging from three to 11 days covering a wide offering of Caribbean ports.

• Eurodam: Nov. 14, 2021, to April 10, 2022: 15 departures, including 12 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer cruises featuring a partial Panama Canal exploration of Gatun Lake and three seven-day eastern Caribbean itineraries.

• Nieuw Statendam: Nov. 21, 2021, to March 27, 2022: 15 cruises to the eastern, western, southern and tropical Caribbean ranging from seven to 11 days.

• All itineraries include a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's private Bahamian island. This quintessential sanctuary features the finest beaches in the Caribbean; a natural 700-acre lagoon; incredible two-story villas and private cabanas; delicious dining venues like Lobster Shack; and a variety of fun-filled shore excursions for nature lovers, adventurous travelers and explorers.

Princess Cruises Continues Plans to Resume Cruising in United States
Following collaboration with government officials, and evolving guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Princess is announcing its intent to return to service in the United States sailing from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Ft. Lauderdale this fall.

Starting between September 25 and November 28, 2021, cruises onboard eight Princess MedallionClass™ ships will once again take guests to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii, and the California Coast.

• Majestic Princess and Grand Princess: Los Angeles once again provides the springboard to a variety of destinations, including the California Coast and Mexico on seven-day cruises, and the Islands of Hawaii on 15-day cruises. Also available are three- to five-day Getaway cruises to the California Coast and Mexico.

• Ruby Princess: Sailing out of the iconic Port of San Francisco, Ruby Princess will start with seven-day California Coast cruises before adding 15-day cruises exploring four distinct island jewels in Hawaii and 10-day Mexico cruises to the lineup.

• Enchanted Princess: Begins with two brand new cruises from Ft. Lauderdale to start her existing inaugural season of 10-day cruises to the Southern and Eastern Caribbean.

• Sky Princess, Regal Princess and Caribbean Princess: From Ft. Lauderdale, guests can island hop through the Caribbean with three-, five-, seven- and 14-day cruises available in the Eastern Caribbean that visit some of the best-known beaches in the world and the Western Caribbean that allows guests to explore Ancient Mayan Ruins and the beauty of unspoiled coral reefs and underwater caves.

• Crown Princess: Travels to the Panama Canal, from Ft. Lauderdale on a series of 10-day cruises to this iconic cruise wonder of the world.

"As we continue our return to service, it is a thrill for us to be able to bring more cruise vacation options to our travel-starved guests," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "We appreciate the support of government and port officials who we worked closely with to make these travel opportunities available, in a thoughtful and safe way, for our guests."

Dining, entertainment, and shore excursion details are currently being finalized and will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Princess cruises sailing through 2021 are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. Crew vaccinations will be in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Viking Prepares To Launch New "Welcome Back" Voyages From Valletta
Viking announced today new details about its upcoming Welcome Back voyages in the Mediterranean that launch in July 2021. Over the course of summer and early fall, Viking will homeport three sister ships—the Viking Star, the Viking Sea and the company's newest ship, the Viking Venus—for three different 11-day itineraries that explore the Mediterranean, roundtrip from the Maltese capital city of Valletta, a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Viking also announced today that it has partnered with Lufthansa to offer non-stop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Malta, exclusively for Viking guests.

Viking's announcement comes as the Maltese Government has eased rules for the arrival of international travelers, including Americans. Like many countries, Malta has developed a traffic light system for arriving travelers. Beginning today, June 17, Malta has added most U.S. states and territories – covering the vast majority of the population – to its "Amber List." Travelers from the Amber List may arrive in Malta with proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test having been conducted at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Full details of Malta's Traffic Light System for travelers can be found on Visit Malta's website here. Yesterday, the European Union recommended that its member countries begin lifting restrictions on American travelers, with a formal announcement expected on Friday. Additionally, on June 7, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it has eased travel recommendations for 110 countries and territories. As part of the new recommendations, the CDC specifically ranked Malta as "Level 1" or the lowest for risk of COVID-19.

"Now that we have successfully restarted operations, welcoming guests back on board in England and in Bermuda, we look forward to launching our new voyages from Malta. We applaud the government of Malta for being such a supportive destination partner and for making the arrival and embarkation process even easier for our guests," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "With its rich history and stunning natural beauty, Malta is truly a gem in the Mediterranean that many American travelers have yet to discover. With our new Welcome Back voyages, combined with Lufthansa flights from Newark exclusively for Viking guests, there has never been a better opportunity to explore the Mediterranean from Malta."

Viking successfully restarted operations in May and has been sailing in England with British guests since May 22. Nearly 100 percent of guests on these sailings provided exceptionally high ratings. Yesterday, the company welcomed its first American guests back on board in Bermuda for the first of eight sailings of Bermuda Escape. Later this month, Viking will launch Welcome Back sailings around Iceland.

With space selling fast, there are limited dates still available in summer and early fall 2021 for Viking's Welcome Back voyages in the Mediterranean, which include:

Mediterranean Voyages Beginning in July 2021

• Malta & Adriatic Jewels (11 days; Valletta to Valletta; Croatia, Montenegro & Malta) – Discover Malta's millennia of history and visit ancient UNESCO sites. Explore Croatia's captivating coastline and some of the great iconic cities of antiquity. Stroll the majestic city walls of Dubrovnik and visit Diocletian's Palace. Or immerse yourself in nature and the great outdoors during a visit to Krka National Park. Join us for a fascinating journey as you witness rolling landscapes and ancient architectural treasures along Adriatic shores. Multiple sailing dates July through October 2021.

• Malta & the Western Mediterranean (11 days; Valletta to Valletta; Italy, Spain & Malta) – Traverse the historic and heritage-rich waters of the Western Mediterranean during a 10-night roundtrip voyage from Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will discover the magnificent Amalfi Coast from elegant Naples, gateway to Pompeii, and visit Messina, Sicily's cultural crossroad. See the storied sites of ancient Rome and immerse in Tuscan Florence and Catalonian Barcelona's art and architecture during your unforgettable journey. Multiple sailing dates in September and October 2021.

• Malta & Greek Isles Discovery (11 days; Valletta to Valletta; Greece & Malta) – Immerse in the ancient world as you discover the early empires of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. Visit historic UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Maltese capital of Valletta and Rhodes' Palace of the Grand Masters. Enjoy dramatic views of the Parthenon in Athens, uncover the mysteries of the Minoans on Crete and admire the white facades and azure domes of the clifftop villages of Santorini during this enchanting voyage through the centuries. Multiple sailing dates July through September 2021.

AIDA Cruises Will Sail to 20 Countries and Four Continents on AIDAsol's new World Cruise
After the great success of past world voyages, AIDA Cruises today announced that AIDAsol will sail its first world cruise in winter 2022-2023, a 117-day adventure that includes rounding Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope and visiting destinations such as Glacier Alley, Tierra del Fuego, Mauritius, Cape Town and New Year's Eve in Sydney. In addition to popular destinations, AIDAsol will make first-time port calls at Suva in Fiji, Nuku'alofa in the Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga, Mystery Island in Vanuatu, Île des Pins in New Caledonia and Geraldton in Australia.

From October 26, 2022, AIDAsol will call at 43 ports in 20 different countries on four continents, pass the International Date Line and cross the equator twice. From Hamburg, the ship will first set course for South America. After calls on the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands, dream destinations such as Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Ushuaia and Chile await guests.

From there AIDAsol continues westward to Tahiti, Bora Bora, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu (Christmas), New Caledonia and Australia to Mauritius. Guests welcome the New Year against the magical backdrop of Sydney.

The last leg of the voyage takes guests aboard AIDAsol via La Reunion to South Africa and Namibia. On the way back to Europe, travellers visit Tenerife and Madeira. The voyage continues via Lisbon and Cherbourg/France, to Hamburg, where it ends on February 20, 2023.

In addition, three legs of the world cruise can be booked. The duration of the voyage varies between 30 and 48 days -- a perfect opportunity to fulfil the dream of a unique voyage in shorter stages. For example, AIDA guests can travel from Hamburg to San Antonio in 36 days, from San Antonio to Mauritius in 48 days or from Mauritius to Hamburg in 33 days.

The world cruise with AIDAsol as well as the partial routes can be booked from June 17, 2021, at travel agencies, at www.aida.de as well as at the AIDA Customer Center at 0381/ 20270707.

The originally planned world cruise with AIDAsol from October 2021 to February 2022 will be postponed. As an alternative, AIDA welcomes guests who had been booked on that cruise to rebook the world cruise from October 2022 to February 2023 with an attractive on-board credit.

P&O Cruises Announces 2021 Deployment
P&O Cruises has announced its expected deployment and phased re-start plan for the remainder of 2021 and into early 2022.

Britannia will begin the planned western Mediterranean itineraries on September 25 and Iona will start her Atlantic coast holidays from the same date. These cruises will follow the series of UK coastal cruises beginning in June.

Ventura's first cruises will be the planned programme of Atlantic islands holidays from October 3.

Following the Mediterranean season, running until October, Britannia will reposition to the Caribbean for her winter season as scheduled, followed by Azura which will begin Caribbean fly/cruises slightly later than published from December 10, 2021.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: "We are very much looking forward to getting Britannia and Iona back to sea for the series of UK coastal cruises – staycations at their best - which are certainly proving very popular and then beginning our international re-start as we phase in each of the other ships.

"As we know the UK Government has developed a traffic light system for holidays abroad this summer. The current situation means that whilst unfortunately there will be a number of cancellations of itineraries on some ships, we are looking ahead and planning for the future with vigour.

"We are confident that destinations will soon open up their borders both for UK travellers and also for cruise ships. Spain and its islands and the Caribbean are both looking very positive and we are seeing, one by one, countries publicly looking forward to welcoming us back."

The length and complexity of Arcadia and Aurora's planned long haul cruises from January next year has forced their cancellation and these two ships will not begin sailing until next year. However a replacement itinerary for Aurora, with winter sun appeal, will be announced shortly.

In addition, following ongoing guest feedback P&O Cruises has reviewed its vaccination policy. For all cruises departing from September 25 to December 31, 2021, all guests 18 years old and over will be required to have completed their vaccination course a minimum of 14 days prior to sailing. All guests 17 years old and below will need to have completed their vaccination course a minimum 14 days prior to sailing or will require a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to travel. All guests will also require a negative COVID-19 test at the terminal. The PCR and COVID-19 test at the terminal will be provided on a complimentary basis. This vaccination and testing policy will be reviewed on a regular basis as the global situation continues to evolve.

The vaccination policy for the UK coastal cruises until September 24 2021, remains that all guests travelling, of all ages, must have completed their vaccination course a minimum of seven days prior to sailing (or 14 days prior to sailing if an approved single dose vaccine).

All guests who have had their cruise cancelled will automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit worth 125% of the standard deposit terms, and 100% of any additional monies paid. This Future Cruise Credit can be redeemed against any new booking made by the end of December 2021, on any cruise on sale at the time of booking. Cruises currently on sale run through to April 2023.

Hurtigruten Expeditions Continues Expansion
Hurtigruten Expeditions announced this week that it is expanding its global offering to one of the most iconic destinations on the planet: The Galapagos Islands.

Famous for its unique nature and wildlife, the isolated archipelago some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador has mesmerized travelers and scientists for centuries. From January 2022, Hurtigruten Expeditions will expand its breadth of destinations to include the Galapagos Islands offering modern-day explorers in-depth adventures described as 'beyond imagination'.

"We are extremely excited to expand our South America offering to one of the most spectacular destinations on the planet. We have seen a clear trend of travelers seeking out truly unique and meaningful travel experiences, with a sharp increase in demand for the type of small ships / big experiences we offer. The pandemic has dramatically pushed this development forward. There is huge pent-up demand for traveling right now, and we are responding with this breathtaking new destination," said Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

To offer guests one-of-a-kind experiences, Hurtigruten Expeditions has entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Ecuador-based Metropolitan Touring, the most experienced and renowned travel company in the Galapagos.

Guests will explore the Galapagos in style and comfort onboard the fully upgraded 90-guest MS Santa Cruz II, adding to Hurtigruten Expeditions' growing fleet of small purpose-built expedition cruise ships.

"This partnership brings together two companies that combine the best of two worlds: Hurtigruten Expeditions as a global player with an excellent reputation in expedition cruises, and our long history and deep knowledge of the Galapagos Islands. We are really excited to welcome the first Hurtigruten Expeditions' guests on board," said Metropolitan Touring CEO Paulina Burbano de Lara.

Metropolitan Touring has offered intimate and unique encounters with the islands' wildlife since they pioneered expedition cruises in Galapagos almost 70 years ago. Hurtigruten Expeditions pioneered expedition cruises in 1896 and has since grown to the world's largest expedition cruise line.

"This is a significant milestone in our 125-year history of exploring. The Galapagos is one of the world's ultimate expedition cruise destinations. It is a perfect match between two companies with a proud history, strong heritage, and passion for the well-being of our oceans and our planet," said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen.

Starting from January 5, 2022, Hurtigruten Expeditions will offer nine-day adventures, visiting some of the most spectacular and iconic sites of the archipelago onboard MS Santa Cruz II, as well as two nights in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito before the six-night cruise. The package also includes a full-day visit to the Cotopaxi National Park, home to the Cotopaxi volcano, the highest active volcano in South America. It is also possible to add a four-day pre-program to Machu Picchu in neighboring Peru before embarking on the Galapagos adventure. To book, please visit Hurtigruten.com, call 866.662.0371 or contact your preferred travel agent.

As part of the partnership, the MS Santa Cruz II – including all suites and cabins, explorer lounge, dining room, bar, and other public areas - will be fully upgraded. A Hurtigruten Expeditions hallmark, a Science Area, will also be added, where guests and the onboard expedition team will create an even deeper understanding of the wonders they explore.

"Our unmatched experience in the Galapagos has enabled us to design and perfect the ideal way to explore the archipelago. Our itineraries are based on the concept of seeing as many of the 'Big 15' species as possible, with exclusive island and site visits. There really is no better way to see the islands," said de Lara.

With both companies sharing common values in investing in sustainability, all Hurtigruten Expeditions cruises to Galapagos are carbon neutral. Hurtigruten Expeditions guests will contribute directly to the protection of biodiverse forests in northwestern Ecuador, named a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 2018.

"The Galapagos has long been regarded as one of the world's greatest natural sanctuaries. It's wild, isolated, diverse, and safe. As in all destinations, we will be working closely with local communities to ensure we play a positive role in long-term sustainability," said Lassesen.

Cruise highlights include exploring the Giant Tortoise breeding center, getting close to sea lions and land iguanas, bird watching, kayaking, and snorkeling, as well as daily lectures to better understand the islands, their history, and animal population both above and below the sea. Overall, the Galapagos is home to more than 9,000 species of wildlife, many of which are native only to the remote archipelago.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 28.67 - 0.28%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.40 - 0.63%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.61 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 31.38 + 1.23%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
For safety and speed reasons, the SS United States, once the fastest ship afloat, was constructed almost entirely of aluminium and steel. In fact, it was said that there were only two items made of wood on board the entire ship. What were those two items?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the former Holland America liner that along with QE2 ended up being one of last two passenger ships to cross the Atlantic on a regular basis. What was her name when she was retired in 1988 and whom did she sail for?

Answer - It was the Stefan Batory of the Polish Ocean Line. It was the former Maasdam of 1952 of the Holland-America-Line and replaced the Batory of 1936.
courtesy of Peter Lemcke-Braselmann


Cruise News - Jume 14, 2021

Viking Continues Successful Restart In Bermuda
Viking welcomed American guests on board for the first time in 15 months today in Bermuda, as the company continues its successful restart of operations. Guests boarded the award-winning Viking Orion in Hamilton and will sail the new Bermuda Escape itinerary. Offered as part of Viking's Welcome Back collection, exclusively available for vaccinated guests, this is the first of eight roundtrip sailings from Hamilton planned for summer 2021. After departing the capital city, the eight-day journey continues with scenic sailing around the British island territory and an overnight call in King's Wharf.

"Today is an extraordinary milestone as the world continues to reopen for international travel. On behalf of the entire Viking family, we are delighted to welcome our loyal American guests back on board," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We applaud the government of Bermuda for its collaboration and support as we have restarted our operations. Bermuda has been a favorite destination among our guests since our ocean ships began calling there in 2017, and we look forward to introducing even more Viking guests to the island's history, culture and phenomenal natural beauty."

Viking successfully restarted operations in May and has been sailing in England with British guests since May 22. Later this month, Viking will launch Welcome Back sailings around Iceland and in the Mediterranean – and will restart its European river operations in July 2021 with select itineraries in Portugal, France and along the Rhine.

Those who sail Welcome Back voyages will also experience Viking's industry-leading health and safety program. Grounded in scientific research, the Viking Health & Safety Program was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking's Chief Health Officer. Dr. Bono is a board-certified trauma surgeon and retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps—and most recently led Washington State's medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing a full-scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship—and a strong network of dedicated shoreside labs for Viking river ships in Europe—all guests and crew will receive frequent quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests. New air purification technology has also been installed on all Viking ships, which have always featured independent air handling units for all guest staterooms. And additional health checks, sanitization and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking guests and crew at all points of the journey.

Carnival Breeze Returns to Service from Galveston
Carnival Breeze returns to service today when it departs on a four-day cruise from Galveston, part of its popular schedule of short cruises from that port. The ship is the line’s third to resume service, following the sailings of Carnival Vista from Galveston and Carnival Horizon from Miami in early July.

“We’re delighted that Carnival Breeze is our first ship to return operating short cruise itineraries and our second ship to resume from the Port of Galveston,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Short cruises are very popular with our guests – roughly half our fleet operates cruises of five days or less – so we are excited to broaden our itinerary offerings to include these convenient and affordable getaways.”

Today’s sailing will visit Cozumel while five-day cruises departing on Mondays and Saturdays call at Cozumel and Costa Maya or Progreso, Mexico.

Later this month, Carnival Miracle begins sailing Alaska cruises and the line’s newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, sets sail for the first time from Port Canaveral.

Carnival Cruise Line was the first cruise line to recognize the incredible potential of Galveston as a homeport, launching the port’s first year-round cruises in 2000.

Today, Carnival is the number one cruise operator from Galveston and the only cruise operator with three year-round ships at the port. Carnival Vista, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Dream operate 150 voyages annually from Galveston, carrying an estimated 750,000 passengers a year.

Royal Caribbean Makes Long-awaited Return To The Caribbean
A milestone more than 15 months in the making: Royal Caribbean International and the communities of the Caribbean are celebrating the cruise line's highly anticipated return to the region as Adventure of the Seas prepares to set sail from Nassau, The Bahamas yesterday. The first of Royal Caribbean's ships to resume cruising in the Western Hemisphere, Adventure welcomed more than 1,000 vacationers on its opening cruise. The ship set sail with fully vaccinated crew and fully vaccinated guests 16 years of age or older, who make up 94% of all guests on board while the remaining 6% are children younger than 16. The ship now begins a summer lineup of 7-night sailings to Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's game-changing private island destination in The Bahamas; Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas; and Cozumel, Mexico.

"The return of Adventure of the Seas marks a start in the tremendous step forward our guests have been waiting for and we've been working toward for more than 15 months. This is all possible thanks to the government of The Bahamas, the support of our partners and the hard work of our teams across Royal Caribbean," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "We are excited to welcome back our guests and crew, and help our Caribbean family regain the benefits of tourism their communities depend on. This is just the beginning, as we get ready to set sail from the U.S. for the first time on July 2."

Hot on the heels of the cruise line's return to the Caribbean, 11 Royal Caribbean ships are set to cruise from the U.S. and Europe once again, beginning in July and August. The complete lineup of Royal Caribbean's 2021 cruises is available here.

Vacationers sailing on Adventure can cruise with peace of mind, knowing that all crew members and guests are tested and fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Travelers 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated, and as of Aug. 1, guests age 12 or older. Vacationers younger than the eligible age must undergo testing and follow other protocols. The vaccine requirement is one of the many layers of measures that safeguard the well-being of our guests and crew as well as the communities we visit. These additional health and safety protocols include our fully vaccinated crew, testing, the robust onboard ventilation system, enhanced cleaning and sanitization

Carnival Cruise Line Confirms First Sailing For Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line today laid out plans for its next wave of the summer restart of guest operations, including the first cruise for Mardi Gras and the return of additional ships in August. Highlights of the plan include:

• Mardi Gras will start operating her seven-day cruises from Port Canaveral on Saturday, July 31, with pre-inaugural sailings to the eastern and western Caribbean.

• Carnival Magic will return from her dry dock – and with her new hull design – and homeport from Port Canaveral where she will pick up four- and five-day cruises to The Bahamas and Caribbean that were previously scheduled for Carnival Elation, effective Aug. 7 through Oct. 7. Guests already booked on Carnival Elation will be re-accommodated on Carnival Magic, and because she is a larger ship, additional stateroom inventory is being made available on Carnival.com and other sales channels. Carnival Magic will also operate three new six-day cruises and one new eight-day cruise from Port Canaveral between Oct. 11-31.

• Carnival Sunrise will enter service from Miami, effective Aug. 14, sailing four- and five-day cruises to The Bahamas and Caribbean.

• Carnival Panorama will enter service from Long Beach on Aug. 21, sailing her seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises.

• Carnival Vista and Breeze (from Galveston), Carnival Horizon (from Miami) and Carnival Miracle (from Seattle to Alaska) will continue with their cruises through August that are part of the line's restart plans in July.

Given the above plans, Carnival has extended its pause for other ships through Aug. 31, 2021, as follows: Carnival Pride (Baltimore), Carnival Sunshine (Charleston), Carnival Dream (Galveston), Carnival Ecstasy (Jacksonville), Carnival Liberty (Port Canaveral), Carnival Conquest (Miami), Carnival Sensation (Mobile) and Carnival Glory (New Orleans). Guests and travel agents are being advised of the August schedule plans and Carnival will be providing more details directly to them next week on guidelines and protocols. Carnival plans to operate these August sailings with vaccinated guests.

"We are very excited to finally welcome guests on Mardi Gras," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "With our desire to preserve summer vacations for our Mardi Gras guests, we are going to find a later date to formally christen her so that we can operate these pre-inaugural sailings just as soon as we can."

Duffy also noted that Carnival intends to expand its initial restart from Florida, Texas and Washington to California, with the return of Carnival Panorama from Long Beach in late August. "We are excited to resume our West Coast operations and intend to sail Carnival Panorama with vaccinated guests starting August 21. We are working with state and local officials to finalize the necessary plans," Duffy said.

Carnival will continue to ramp up more ships and homeports in September and beyond, bringing hundreds of crew on board each week to be vaccinated, complete CDC-mandated quarantine and then begin work to prepare for guests and the return to guest operations.

"Our focus remains on the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve and visit," said Duffy. "We are taking a deliberate approach so we can execute with excellence and deliver a fun experience to our guests, who have been tremendously patient and supportive throughout this pause."

Cunard Announces New Itineraries, Cancellations Across Fleet
Cunard resumes operations from July 19, 2021 as Queen Elizabeth welcomes guests on board for a series of UK voyages from Southampton, England; and beginning October 13, 2021, sailing internationally with new voyages including to the Iberian coast and the Canary Islands. Queen Elizabeth will then leave the UK in mid-February to resume her previously scheduled season in Japan from April 13, 2022.

Queen Mary 2 will resume sailing with a Transatlantic Crossing on November 14, 2021 as per her existing schedule, and will now sail on a series of voyages around the Caribbean between January and April 2022, with embarkation options from Southampton, New York and Hamburg before resuming her existing published schedule on April 24, 2022.

Queen Victoria will embark on three new voyages departing from Southampton from April 22, 2022 which includes Western Europe, the Baltics and the Iberian Coast before resuming her existing published schedule on May 20, 2022.

"On July 19 Queen Elizabeth's crew and I will be welcoming guests on board as at long last we start our return to sailing," said Simon Palethorpe, president of Cunard. "This will be a momentous day for Cunard as after a long pause we finally get back to doing what we love doing, hosting guests for fantastic vacations. To say we cannot wait would be an understatement!"

"Sadly, the path for a return to sailing across international waters is less clear and we are extremely sorry for the huge disappointment cancellations will cause for all guests who have been affected. Unfortunately, there are simply too many international ports of call affected by the ongoing complexities of COVID-19, which has sadly led to this decision."

"We're really excited about the new itineraries mentioned, such as Queen Mary 2's sailings around the Caribbean, and hopefully these will appeal to those looking for some much needed winter sun and those looking for adventure later this year and in 2022."

Due to the ongoing complexities of navigating global travel, Cunard has today announced that they will be cancelling the following voyages:

Queen Elizabeth's sailings from the UK to Australia and her homeport season in Australia from October 18, 2021 up to and including March 9, 2022.

World Voyages on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria in 2022 are now cancelled.

Queen Victoria's sailings from September 10, 2021 up to and including April 29, 2022 are now cancelled.

However, five of Queen Victoria's sailings will transfer onto identical voyages on sister ship Queen Elizabeth. These voyages are V126, V128, V129, V130 and V201.

All guests whose cruises have been cancelled will automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit worth 125% of the standard deposit terms, and 100% of any additional monies paid.

Alternatively, 100% refund is available through completing the form on www.cunard.com

Holland America Line Updates Summer 2021 Europe Cruise Schedule
While Holland America Line continues to work with governments and port authorities in correlation with the phased resumption of cruising, it is canceling the remainder of the summer 2021 European sailings aboard two ships, Nieuw Statendam and Volendam. This affects cruises that were scheduled to depart from September through November, along with the Collectors' Voyages (combined cruises) associated with those departures.

In addition, after an expected on-schedule delivery from the Fincantieri shipyard July 30, Rotterdam will remain in non-guest operations until its Sept. 26 cruise from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Plans for Rotterdam's naming ceremony are being finalized.

Guests currently booked on canceled Nieuw Statendam and Volendam departures automatically will be moved to a 2021 cruise on Eurodam in the Mediterranean, beginning with the Aug. 15 cruise through the Oct. 30 transatlantic crossing, and receive a $100 Onboard Spending Credit per person.

Nieuw Statendam and Volendam guests also can choose to move to an equivalent cruise in 2022 at the 2021 fare or receive a Future Cruise Credit of 110% of any cash paid that will be placed in the guest's loyalty account.

Guests currently booked on a canceled Rotterdam voyage may select an equivalent sailing in 2022 at the 2021 fare paid, or they can choose to receive a Future Cruise Credit of 110% of any cash paid.

Any guest on a canceled voyage also can request a full refund of all monies paid to Holland America Line.

Seabourn Announces "Extraordinary Expedition" Itineraries To Antarctica, Amazon
Seabourn has unveiled new "Extraordinary Expedition" itineraries in Antarctica and the Amazon for Seabourn Venture, ideal for travelers seeking a sense of exploration, with voyages scheduled for fall 2022 through 2023. Between November 2022 and April 2023, the line's first of two ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships will sail the west coast of South America, cross the Drake Passage to Antarctica, tuck into remote South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, and explore deep into the Amazon River all the way to Peru, with untouched destinations for guests to experience throughout.

The new 2022-2023 itineraries include 15 distinct 10- to 21-day Antarctic and Amazon expeditions, with extended voyage options available up to 30 days in length. All Extraordinary Expeditions will feature a variety of opportunities for travelers to discover diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes, and learn about natural wonders, fascinating history, and enduring cultures and traditions.

"Seabourn Venture is the first-ever full luxury, purpose-built expedition ship," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We are looking forward to returning to South America in 2022 and 2023."

Seabourn expedition itineraries come alive through a world-class expedition team of 26 highly regarded wilderness experts, scientists, historians and naturalists on board. These fascinating, accomplished experts are also part of the Seabourn Conversations program, providing in-depth insights into the history, ecology and culture of the places they visit.

Highlights from Seabourn Venture's itineraries from late fall 2022 into spring 2023 include: Chilean Fjords, Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands
Between November 2022 and February 2023, Seabourn Venture will invite travelers on adventures of discovery cruising scenic sounds, fjords, channels and glaciers in Chile, sailing to Antarctica, and crossing back to explore South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. The ship will sail on nine voyages, ranging from 10 to 21 days, to "The Great White Continent" that will include multiple daily operations using the Zodiacs for landings and Zodiac cruises along the Antarctic Peninsula. Optional excursions will also be available, such as kayaking and the ship's submarines, allowing guests to explore the vast frontier below sea level. Guests can look forward to viewing myriad species of penguins, seals and whales; visiting sites of historical and geological interest; gaining firsthand insights into regional scientific research; and enjoying scenic cruising of spectacular waterways and passages.

Two of the Antarctic voyages will also include visits to South Georgia, one of the most far-flung destinations on Earth teeming with massive populations of penguins, fur seals, elephant seals and seabirds. Each of these voyages will also visit the Falkland Islands, located about 400 miles off the southeast coast of South America. Based on the day's weather and most favorable anchorage positions, Seabourn Venture may call at: Saunders Island, the site of Port Egmont, established in 1765 as the first British settlement in the Falklands; Steeple Jason Island, a protected nature reserve highly prized for its exceptional abundance of wildlife, including the world's largest colony of black-browed albatrosses; West Point Island, where guests can meet the Napiers, the island's only occupants and visit rockhopper penguins; and New Island, one of the most remote of the inhabited islands, which lies on the western fringe of the archipelago and supports some of the largest concentrations and diversity of wildlife in the Falklands.

Brazil & The Amazon
In March and April 2023, Seabourn Venture will embark on a series of four 10- to 12-day expedition voyages in Brazil and the Amazon. The ship will visit many colorful colonial cities on the coast of Brazil and sail into the heart of South America through one of the world's greatest rivers, where guests can cruise in Zodiacs along the Amazon River and visit ancient sites and indigenous villages. The voyages will explore a variety of environments shaped by the mighty river itself, cutting through three major regions: Flooded Forests and Blackwater Tributaries – Manaus, Brazil to Rio Jutaí; The Frontier Amazon – Rio Jutaí to Leticia, Colombia; and The Seaport in the Jungle – Leticia to Iquitos, Peru. Guests may also book back-to-back cruises for a longer and more immersive voyage lasting up to 22 days.

Adventures await
Featuring 132 oceanfront suites each, Seabourn Venture and its sister ship are being designed from conception for expedition travel blended with ultra-luxury and personalized service by a world-class team of professionals with great depth of experience in expeditions, hospitality and luxury cruising. Hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany is fashioning the indoor and outdoor guest areas for the ships. Both ships will be designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include a plethora of modern hardware and technology that will extend the ships' global deployment and capabilities. Two custom-built submarines will be carried on board, in addition to expedition kayaks and 24 Zodiacs that can accommodate all onboard guests at once.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 28.75 - 6.93%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.95 - 6.91%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.61 + 10.91%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 31.00 - 6.37%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the former Holland America liner that along with QE2 ended up being one of last two passenger ships to cross the Atlantic on a regular basis. What was her name when she was retired in 1988 and whom did she sail for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Holland America's Volendam and Veendam of 1971 both started life sailing under different names for a different cruise line. What were their original names and what line did they sail for?

Answer - The Volendam and Veendam previously sailed as the Argentina and Brasil for the Moor-McCormack line. They were built in 1958.
courtesy of Larry Macdonald, Belmont, MA


Cruise News - Jume 7, 2021

Mardi Gras Makes U.S. Debut, Docking In Port Canaveral For The First Time
Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras, made her U.S. debut this morning, docking for the first time at Port Canaveral's Cruise Terminal 3, built specifically for this vessel which is the first in the Americas powered by eco-friendly Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and features the first roller coaster at sea.

Port Canaveral-based Carnival Freedom and Carnival Liberty joined Mardi Gras as she made her way down the cruise channel, creating a truly grand and memorable entrance befitting this innovative, game-changing ship

More than 1,500 fans lined Jetty Park, located adjacent to the terminal, to welcome Mardi Gras to the Space Coast, while Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison, Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation COO Josh Weinstein, and Canaveral Port Authority CEO Captain John Murray, along with 300 travel advisors, partners, dignitaries and guests, participated in a welcome reception highlighting the excitement for Mardi Gras' arrival and its impact on the local economy.

A video highlighting the journey of Mardi Gras from construction to today's arrival in Port Canaveral can be viewed here.

"Mardi Gras has been five years in the making and today's arrival is a historic milestone for our company not to mention a truly emotional moment for everyone here at Carnival Cruise Line," said Duffy. "This ship offers so many innovations and ways for our guests to choose fun that we are certain that she will quickly become a guest favorite. And as we look forward to our restart in guest operations, Mardi Gras' arrival is symbolic of the excitement and anticipation we have about the future at Carnival Cruise Line."

"For nearly four years we have been working hard to prepare for Mardi Gras," said Capt. Murray. "As we welcome home this magnificent ship to Port Canaveral, we are filled with pride to see her at berth at our beautiful Cruise Terminal 3."

The company will now begin the process of ramping up Mardi Gras' crew to a full contingent of 1,750 ready to create memorable vacations for guests who will enjoy the widest array of entertainment at sea, including the first shipboard version of the hit TV show Family Feud, and dine in more than two dozen restaurants with venues from Guy Fieri, Emeril Lagasse, Rudi Sodiman and the line's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal.

Guests can enjoy a host of culinary, bar and entertainment experiences throughout 19 decks and six distinct themed zones, as well as a wide range of outdoor attractions, including the longest ropes course and largest water park in the fleet.

Mardi Gras will sail year-round from Port Canaveral, offering seven-day itineraries to the eastern and western Caribbean.

Celebrity Equinox Is The Latest Ship In The Celebrity Cruises' Fleet To Be Approved To Sail From A U.S. Port
Leading the way with the first ship to sail in North America just days ago on June 5, Celebrity Cruises' much anticipated return to sailing continues, as the new ship Celebrity Equinox has now been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to sail from Fort Lauderdale on July 25, 2021. It will closely follow Celebrity Edge's industry-first cruise departure from U.S. waters for the Caribbean on June 26, 2021. With today's announcement, nine of the 14 ships within the Celebrity Cruises' fleet have plans to return to sailing by mid-September 2021 and are ready to take guests to the stunning destinations they have missed from the Caribbean to Europe, Alaska and the Galapagos.

The recently revolutionized Celebrity Equinox will set sail on a seven-night cruise visiting the beautiful Mexican ports of Cozumel and Costa Maya, along with Nassau, Bahamas.

"It is so exciting to announce yet another ship on the heels of Celebrity Millennium leading the industry's Caribbean comeback to rave reviews just this past Saturday. From the outpouring of comments and emotion from our guests and crew on that sailing, it's clear that people are ready to cruise back to normal," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. "We've all been waiting for the day we could get away, again, to the places we've been dreaming of and that 'someday' is here."

Celebrity Equinox joins eight ships in the Celebrity fleet that have been announced as part of its phased summer restart, including:

• Celebrity Millennium, which began sailing seven-night Caribbean itineraries from St. Maarten on June 5; and will reposition to Seattle to sail seven-night Alaska Dawes Glacier cruises beginning July 23.

• Celebrity Summit will then sail the remaining St. Maarten season through August, followed by plans to sail a new series of four- and five-night sailings from Fort Lauderdale to the Western Caribbean through late October.

• Celebrity Apex – sailing seven-night Greek Isles itineraries from June 19;

• Celebrity Edge – sailing a rotating schedule of Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, beginning June 26;

• Celebrity Silhouette – sailing the UK coastline as of July 3;

• Celebrity Flora – returning to the extraordinary Galapagos islands as of July 3, followed by the award-winning Celebrity Xpedition and intimate 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration on July 24, and September 18, respectively.

Celebrity Equinox is part of a $500-million fleet-wide modernization program that has made big waves in the cruise world. Guests will enjoy elevated design concepts, including The Retreat, a private resort-within-a-resort for suite guests that includes The Retreat Sundeck and The Retreat Lounge.

In addition, the ship boasts:

• Completely redesigned, contemporary staterooms and suites inspired by award-winning British interior designer Kelly Hoppen's designs for Celebrity Edge and featuring Celebrity's eXhale bedding with its luxurious Cashmere™ mattresses;

• Stunningly reimagined restaurants, bars, and lounges offering captivating culinary experiences;

• Over 40 handcrafted boutique beer selections, creative cocktails and a wide selection of a la carte, gourmet comfort food and bar bites at Craft Social;

• A half-acre lawn of real grass at the relaxing and aptly-named Lawn Club, perfect for trying outdoor games like Croquet, or simply basking in the sunshine. Healthy at Sea

Celebrity Equinox will sail with enhanced health and safety standards that are the culmination of more than a year of diligent work with public health authorities, government agencies and its Healthy Sail Panel of scientific, medical and public health leaders.

In addition to reduced capacity to allow for more natural spacing, Celebrity has leveraged technology to create new arrival, departure and muster safety drill procedures; and updated onboard and shoreside experiences to reflect new standard health and safety practices; all with the well-being of guests, crew and the communities visited by Celebrity ships at the forefront of the planning process.

As guests and crew work together to promote onboard health and safety, more details of the new measures include:

• Vaccinated Sailings – As with all Celebrity Cruises' ships, Celebrity Equinox meets the highest standards for providing a healthy cruise experience for its guests and crew, sailing with at least 95% of crew and guests being vaccinated. As of August 1, all guests ages 12 and over must be vaccinated.

• Staggered Arrivals and Departures – Terminal arrivals and departures will be staggered by appointment, with guests having the ability to select their preferred times based on travel plans.

• Contactless Transactions – Celebrity's digitally advanced mobile app* transforms the decades-old large-group-gathering Muster safety drill into a personal eMuster experience that guests can complete on their mobile device or interactive stateroom TV, avoiding large group gatherings. The app also expedites the boarding process; and allows guests to read menus and book dining reservations and shore excursions via their smartphone.

• Appropriate Face Coverings – All guests 2 years of age and older will be required to wear an appropriate face covering in the Terminal. Once onboard, and unless otherwise stipulated by local governments in the destinations being visited, masks will not be required of vaccinated guests in accordance with CDC guidance for sailings with vaccinated crew and guests.

Celebrity's new measures may evolve in keeping with current public health standards and may vary in accordance with local guidance in the destinations visited. Guests are encouraged to regularly check the guidance on all health and safety measures across the entire Celebrity Cruises vacation experience at CelebrityCruises.com/healthy-at-sea.

Royal Caribbean Announces U.S. Comeback For Summer
Travelers can once again mark their calendars and set their sights on a summer full of long-awaited cruise vacations. Building on the excitement of its upcoming return to Alaska, Royal Caribbean International has announced that six of its award-winning ships will begin sailing from major U.S. cruise ports in Florida and Texas in July and August. The cruise line's comeback will kick off on July 2 in Miami, the cruise capital of the world, with Freedom of the Seas* embarking on a special Fourth of July weekend sailing to Perfect Day at CocoCay. By the end of August, 12 Royal Caribbean ships will be cruising once again across The Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska and Europe.

On the heels of the first cruise in Royal Caribbean's highly anticipated return to the U.S. will be the debut of the brand-new Odyssey of the Seas* on July 3. The game-changing ship will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on new 6- and 8-night Caribbean cruises, to soon be followed by Allure, Symphony, Independence* and Mariner of the Seas. In the coming weeks, the cruise line will announce its plans to reintroduce its full fleet around the globe by year's end. The 2021 summer cruises are available to book today.

"This is it. Vacationers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone. I would like to sincerely thank our guests and travel partners for their incredible patience and understanding during this very difficult period. Thanks in large part to the successful rollout of vaccines, the world of adventure is beginning to open up, and we are all excited to start delivering great vacations to our guests, who have increasingly told us they are getting vaccinated. As of today, 90% of all vacationers booking with Royal Caribbean are either vaccinated or planning to get vaccinated in time for their cruise," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "We also thank Governor DeSantis of Florida, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Broward County Mayor Steve Geller and Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority board Wayne Justice and board commissioners for their steadfast support of our industry and for providing access to vaccines to the thousands of crew on our ships off the eastern seaboard. This act of understanding and humanity has been deeply appreciated, and we are grateful for their support, which is enabling the health and safety of our guests, crew members and the communities we visit."

Royal Caribbean's newly revealed cruise vacations offer a range of itineraries that vary in length and destination, ease and flexibility in booking, and convenient departure ports across the U.S. Whether departing Florida on two of the world's largest cruise ships, cruising from Texas to discover the best of the western Caribbean or venturing out to cooler temps to explore the wilds of Alaska, there is something for everyone.

Royal Caribbean's full summer lineup:

• Freedom of the Seas* – 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Miami, starting July 2

• Odyssey of the Seas* – 6- and 8-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, starting July 3

• Serenade of the Seas – 7-night Alaska sailings from Seattle, starting July 19

• Allure of the Seas – 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 8

• Ovation of the Seas – 7-night Alaska itineraries from Seattle, starting Aug. 13

• Symphony of the Seas – 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami, starting Aug. 14

• Independence of the Seas* – 7-night Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas, starting Aug. 15

• Mariner of the Seas – 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 23

The expanded summer lineup will go beyond the U.S. to include international ports across the Atlantic, like Barcelona and Rome, when Harmony of the Seas returns to Europe. Starting Aug. 15, the Oasis Class ship will set sail on 7-night itineraries to the Western Mediterranean and visit iconic destinations like Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Provence, France.

The new U.S and Europe cruises extend Royal Caribbean's previously announced plans to return to sailing, which include Adventure of the Seas departing from The Bahamas on June 12 as well as Anthem of the Seas sailing out of the U.K. and Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus in July. The complete list of Royal Caribbean's 2021 cruises is available here.

U.S. Health and Safety Measures

Travelers can plan their cruise adventure with peace of mind knowing that all crew members will be vaccinated against COVID-19. Guests are strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols, which will be announced at a later date. Other measures in place for travelers to cruise with Royal Caribbean include:

• Vacationers sailing to Alaska who are 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 or older as of Aug. 1.

• If departing from an international port, guests must meet the travel requirements of their home country and the country of departure. The most up-to-date policies can be found online on each country's tourism site.

Royal Caribbean is continuing discussions with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and multiple state, local and port authorities in the U.S. and with various destination communities regarding the various requirements for the upcoming sailings. The current process requires each ship to complete a simulation cruise before receiving approval to resume sailing once again from U.S. ports. The applications for simulation cruises are under review and receiving approvals on a rolling basis. The progress made as a result of the ongoing collaboration with and support from the state, local and federal level continues to set the stage for Royal Caribbean to return to sailing this summer as planned. The cruise line will share updates on measures with guests and travel advisors before their departure dates.

Cruises outside of those announced today will be cancelled through the end of August. Booked guests and travel partners impacted will be contacted with further details specific to their sailing, including the option to receive a full refund. For added reassurance, all vacationers who have booked by July 31 are covered by the Cruise with Confidence program. Royal Caribbean is grateful for the patience and loyalty of its guests.

*Note: Freedom, Odyssey, Independence of the Seas' 2021 summer sailings are that of existing itineraries for the following ships: Navigator, Independence, Explorer and Liberty of the Seas, respectively. Guests booked on these ships will be automatically transferred to the new ship.

Celebrity Cruises Begins Caribbean Comeback With First Sailing From St. Maarten
With celebration and fanfare, Celebrity Cruises' much-anticipated return to cruising became a reality today, as the new-luxury Celebrity Millennium set sail from the picturesque Caribbean port of Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Both a first for the industry in North America and the first of Celebrity's fleet to return to sailing, Celebrity Millennium embarks on a seven-night itinerary visiting the treasured islands of Aruba, Barbados and Curacao, thrilling guests who have waited 15 months to experience the wonders of the world by sea.

Celebrity Cruises Begins Caribbean Comeback With First Sailing From St. Maarten Celebrity Cruises Begins Caribbean Comeback With First Sailing From St. Maarten The sailing also represents the first time Celebrity Cruises has homeported in St. Maarten, one of the most beautiful and vibrant Caribbean islands, where the cruise line now begins sailing Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries through August.

"Today, we sail, again! This is such a significant moment for our company, our industry and the Caribbean. That this day has finally arrived for our guests and our crew is truly special – beyond words, really," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. "I am so happy to have our crew back onboard doing what they love and providing amazing vacations and service to our guests. I also am extremely grateful to the leadership of the St. Maarten government for their vision and support to make this moment happen. What an honor to now be the first to enthusiastically say, once again – 'Welcome Aboard!'"

"We couldn't be more excited to welcome our guests back to relax and start enjoying the travel experiences they've been craving all this time. Once onboard, they will discover reimagined accommodation, spa and entertainment offerings, along with considered and thoughtful health and safety measures," said Celebrity Cruises Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations Brian Abel. "The end result of all that we have implemented will make cruises one of the safest ways to explore the world, while enjoying a wonderful and uncompromised vacation experience."

Celebrity Millennium Captain Theodoros Zakkas added, "For the past several months, I had the privilege of maintaining this beautiful ship with a small 75-person crew. Today, with a full crew who were all smiles as we welcomed our guests onboard once again, has been very emotional for me. It has been a beautiful and historic homecoming, one that everyone involved – guests and crew - will never forget."

Celebrity Millennium sails with enhanced health and safety standards that are the culmination of more than a year of diligent work with public health authorities, government agencies and its Healthy Sail Panel of scientific, medical and public health leaders.

In addition to launching its phased restart with reduced capacity to allow for more natural spacing, Celebrity has leveraged technology to create new arrival, departure and muster safety drill procedures; and updated onboard and shoreside experiences to reflect new standard health and safety practices; all with the well-being of guests, crew and the communities visited by Celebrity ships at the forefront of the planning process.

With the new measures, guests return to experiencing all of the distinctive touches they have come to love and expect from a Celebrity cruise: industry-leading ship design with impeccably stylish accommodations and remarkable outdoor spaces; unparalleled culinary experiences in captivating environments; impeccable hospitality elevating personal, friendly service to an art form; and a penchant for wellbeing woven into every aspect of the onboard experience.

As guests and crew work together to promote onboard health and safety, some of the new measures include:

• Vaccinated Sailings – Celebrity will sail in the Caribbean with a vaccinated crew and at least 95% vaccinated guests.

• Staggered Arrivals and Departures – Terminal arrivals and departures will be staggered by appointment, with guests having the ability to select their preferred times based on travel plans.

• Contactless Transactions – Celebrity's digitally advanced mobile app* transforms the decades-old large-group-gathering Muster safety drill into a personal eMuster experience that guests can complete on their mobile device or interactive stateroom TV, avoiding large group gatherings. The app also expedites the boarding process; and allows guests to read menus and book dining reservations and shore excursions via their smartphone.

• Appropriate Face Coverings – During the Terminal check-in and check-out process, all guests 2 years of age and older will be required to wear an appropriate face covering. Once onboard, and unless otherwise stipulated by local governments, masks will not be required in accordance with recent CDC guidance for sailings with vaccinated crew and guests.

Celebrity's new measures may evolve in keeping with current public health standards and may vary in accordance with local guidance in the destinations visited. Guests are encouraged to regularly check the guidance on all health and safety measures across the entire Celebrity Cruises vacation experience at CelebrityCruises.com/healthy-at-sea.

Azamara Reveals 2022 European Voyages
Azamara – the boutique cruise line dedicated to Destination Immersion experiences – is pleased to reveal 22 European itineraries and three new land explorations for the brand's fourth ship, Azamara Onward. Scheduled to set sail in spring 2022 for its inaugural season, Azamara will offer guests the opportunity to join Azamara Onward's maiden and christening voyage, starting in Monte Carlo and concluding in Venice. Azamara Onward will push forward the future of Destination Immersion experiences with half of its voyages being Country-Intensive? itineraries, allowing more time to explore a single country's hidden gems, and 85 late nights and 21 overnight stays in multiple cities across Europe.

"We are thrilled to introduce our fourth ship to our guests and travel partners next year and welcome them to join us for the christening of Azamara Onward on her maiden voyage," says Azamara President, Carol Cabezas. "As the leader in Destination Immersion, we look forward to connecting our guests with people and cultures of the world and bringing guests to smaller, unique ports which are only accessible to smaller ships."

The ship's inaugural deployment will unveil a series of exotic voyages ranging from 7- to 15-nights, where guests can uncover the mysteries of the Black Sea during a visit to Constanta or the famous Potemkin Stairs of Odessa. In addition, enjoy an exceptional PerryGolf Mediterranean voyage and a new selection of land explorations, including an AzAmazing Journey in Greece and another in Cappadocia, along with voyages throughout Croatia, Italy, Istanbul, Spain and more.

Highlights of new immersive pre- or post-land tours include:

• Wonderous Cappadocia (four nights pre-cruise, three nights post-cruise): Guests will enjoy Cappadocia's Goreme Open-Air Museum - a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and an evening at Cave restaurant for The Turkish Night Show. They'll also learn how exquisite Turkish carpets are hand-woven and have a chance to make pottery at a local ceramic and tile center.

• Stay Local in Istanbul (two nights pre-cruise, two nights post-cruise): Travelers can fully immerse themselves in the culture of The City of Four Empires with a half-day tour of Beylerbeyi Palace, and local food experiences including Kebap House, a meal of today's Ottoman cuisine. Followed by a cultural evening where guests will have the chance to witness a spiritual and traditional performance called The Sema Ceremony, which originated in the 13th century as a form of physically active meditation.

• Mythological Greece (five nights pre-cruise, five nights post-cruise): Travelers will have a memorable journey with this new program focused on the Greek gods, mythology and rich history of Greece. They'll will visit several archeological sites in Athens, Olympia, Delphi, and Cape Sounion, including the Acropolis and the Sanctuary of Delphi. Guests will enjoy a traditional Greek folkloric show with live music and dance and a farewell dinner at Dionysus restaurant beneath the Acropolis.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 30.89 + 4.50%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 94.48 + 1.30%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.55 + 3.77%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 33.11 + 3.79%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Holland America's Volendam and Veendam of 1971 both started life sailing under different names for a different cruise line. What were their original names and what line did they sail for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship was severely damaged and almost sank after striking ice in June of 1989?

Answer - The ship involved would have been the Maxim Gorkiy near Spitzbergen.
courtesy of Frank Russel, Washington, DC


Cruise News - May 31, 2021

Silversea Announces New Alaska And Iceland Sailings In July
Silversea Cruises has announced new summer voyages in Alaska and Iceland, starting in July 2021. With the passage of the U.S. Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, which enables cruises to Alaska without required stops in Canada, Silver Muse will resume round-trip sailings from Seattle starting July 29, making Silversea the first ultra-luxury cruise line to operate in Alaska this summer. Silver Shadow will circumnavigate Iceland with the launch of new all-Icelandic itineraries, returning to Northern Europe with three 10-day voyages from Reykjavik, beginning July 30.

"We proudly continue to lead the ultra-luxury cruise industry's healthy return to service and commend the leadership of Alaska and Iceland for taking steps to advance the safe resumption of global travel," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's President and CEO. "The return to service is fast gaining momentum, and we've seen exceptional demand for travel in Alaska and Iceland. We're eager to welcome back our guests to unlock unforgettable experiences aboard Silver Muse and Silver Shadow while contributing to the local economies of the incredible communities we visit."

ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER

Made possible by the passing of the U.S. Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, Silver Muse will set sail on round-trip voyages from Seattle as the first ultra-luxury cruise ship to visit Alaska this summer, following a varied series of 10- and 11-day itineraries. These extended voyages will enable Silversea's guests to journey to some of Alaska's most breathtaking ice structures, including the Sawyer Glacier and the Mendenhall Glacier, as well as experience the state's remarkable landscapes, wildlife, and remote communities, such as Ketchikan, Juneau, Wrangell, Skagway, and Sitka.

A diverse array of experiences are available for an additional fee in each destination in Alaska, including the following highlights. From Juneau, Silversea guests can board a helicopter to experience the world-famous Mendenhall Glacier from the air, before touching down in special glacier boots to walk across this immense ice structure, accompanied by a tour guide who will impart their knowledge on glaciers. Offering an alternative experience of the Mendenhall Glacier, travelers can also participate in a three-hour whale quest from Auke Bay, admiring the vast glacier from the comfort of a catamaran while looking out for marine animals. An onboard naturalist will explain the behavior and habitat of the wildlife guests may encounter – from humpback and killer whales to Stellar sea lions, harbor seals, and Bald Eagles. From Skagway, guests can board a vintage train for an exclusive adventure through Skagway's White Pass and Yukon Route, learning about Alaska's gold rush past while taking in the state's natural beauty.

ICELAND: THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE

According to the Icelandic Tourist Board, cruise travelers arriving in Iceland peaked at approximately 549,000 in 2019, which indicates a burgeoning demand.1 Responding to exceptionally strong guest feedback, Silversea Cruises had previously announced its largest-ever collection of voyages in Iceland as part of its voyage collection for 2021/2022. A revised collection following the pandemic, the three round-trip voyages from Reykjavik include calls in Grundarfjordur, Isafjordur, Siglufjordur, Akureyri, Husavik, Seydisfjordur, and the island of Heimaey. Circumnavigating a land of jaw-dropping natural beauty and geological wonders aboard Silversea's intimate, ultra-luxury Silver Shadow, the cruise line's guests will have the chance to marvel at volcanoes and glacier-sculpted fjords, walk across lava fields, witness magnificent waterfalls and bubbling hot springs, and so much more.

During Silversea's voyages in Iceland, guests will enjoy immersive shore excursions that are included in the fare. Highlight experiences include an insightful half-day tour from Akureyri, during which travelers will discover Iceland's vast lava fields, bubbling hot pools, hissing fumaroles, breathtaking waterfalls, and internationally-acclaimed birdlife; an awe-inspiring Puffin Tour from Grundarfjordur, during which guests will board a small boat before sailing to an island renowned for its large colony of nesting Atlantic Puffins; an all-terrain vehicle adventure from Heimaey, on which travelers will witness the spectacular beauty of the Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago and the Eldfell Volcano; an unforgettable 4x4 glacier safari with an ice cave visit; and an authentic journey into Iceland's herring tradition in Siglufjordur with a tasting.

Silver Muse and Silver Shadow are among the most spacious, luxurious ships at sea. Both feature all ocean-view suites, the personalized service of butlers, and sumptuous cuisine served in multiple restaurants. Enhancing the cruise experience are such all-inclusive amenities as round-trip economy class air (or air credit); pre- and post-cruise hotel night/s, depending on Silversea's air program schedule; transfers and luggage handling; complimentary premium wines and spirits, specialty coffees, bottled water, juices and soft drinks served throughout the ships; in-suite bars, stocked with guests' preferences; a complimentary in-suite, 24-hour dining service; onboard gratuities; and unlimited, complimentary Wi-Fi.

Royal Caribbean Group sets June return for sailing from the U.S.
Royal Caribbean Group has received approval to resume sailings from the United States after more than a year of suspended operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 26, the cruise company will mark a long-awaited return with Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Edge departing from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

"Cruising from the U.S. is back!" said Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO. "After months of working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government officials, our Healthy Sail Panel and industry partners, we can again offer cruise lovers the chance to enjoy the wonders of cruising. We are truly thankful to reach this special milestone."

The cruise company's return is heralded with a sailing on its much lauded, state-of-the-art, luxury ship Celebrity Edge. The ship was given the go-ahead by the CDC to be the first ship back in the water, meeting all new standards for delivering a safe and healthy cruise experience for guests and crew. The inaugural sailing from Fort Lauderdale sets the stage for Royal Caribbean Group to announce additional itineraries, reviving local U.S. port economies and kick-starting the rebound in cruise tourism around the world.

All sailings will depart with vaccinated crew and everyone over the age of 16 must present proof of vaccination against COVID-19; as of August 1, 2021, all guests ages 12 and older must present proof of vaccination.

Regent Seven Seas Announces Return to Sailing
Having already announced the September return of Seven Seas Splendor, Regent Seven Seas Cruises today confirmed its resumption of sailing plan for the rest fleet, which will see all five ships back exploring the oceans by February 2022.

The cruise line intends to preserve already published itineraries as much as possible, beginning with Seven Seas Explorer on October 16, 2021, from Venice, Italy, as the ship takes over five of Seven Seas Mariner's published cruises, with Mariner going into a technical dry-dock. Seven Seas Mariner will resume sailing December 18, 2021, from Miami, Florida, as will Seven Seas Navigator on January 6, 2022. Finally, Seven Seas Voyager will return on February 15, 2022 from Barcelona, Spain.

As part of the return to sail plan, 17 new sailings in Europe and the Caribbean have been created for Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Voyager, which can be viewed at RSSC.com/Regent-returns, and are scheduled to go on sale in early June 2021.

"We thought carefully about how, when, and where reuniting the entire Regent family would enable us to consistently deliver an unrivaled experience with every luxury included, as well as provide exceptional destination explorations," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "We are incredibly excited that all five of our ships will be back on the ocean by early 2022, the year of our 30th anniversary. The World's Most Luxurious Fleet is ready to return, and our crew will be there eagerly waiting to welcome all our guests back onboard once again."

In conjunction with today's announcement, and while considering the global health environment, the cruise line has canceled all sailings up to each ships' respective restart date. Guests with impacted bookings will be contacted directly or via their Travel Advisor.

"We truly sympathize with those guests who have had their much anticipated and deserved cruise experience canceled," continued Montague. "We do hope however that travelers impacted by these changes can find a new reason to sail with us on our newly created cruises in the Caribbean and Mediterranean."

With Seven Seas Splendor embarking on its inaugural season on September 11, 2021 from London (Southampton), England, Regent's four remaining ships will begin their long-awaited return to the ocean from October 2021.

From spacious suites and expansive social areas, to multiple gourmet dining venues and attentive, personalized service, luxury travelers will soon be able to once again enjoy Unrivaled Space at Sea™ and the peace of mind that comes with the multi-layered SailSAFE health and safety program, including 100% vaccination of both guests and crew.

Seven Seas Explorer
Seven Seas Explorer will welcome back guests on October 16, 2021 sailing from Venice, Italy. She will complete two published Mediterranean voyages before crossing the Atlantic to Miami, Florida and, from November 15, 2021, sail a further two published sailings in the Caribbean. The ship then begins a newly created winter Caribbean season featuring eight new sailings, starting December 20, 2021 with a 14-night Southern Caribbean cruise. After a trans-Atlantic crossing, she will arrive back in Europe on April 10, 2022, sailing three more newly created Mediterranean itineraries before embarking on her published 2022 European summer season on May 14.

Seven Seas Mariner
Following her technical dry-dock, Seven Seas Mariner will return to sailing on a published December 18, 2021 itinerary, cruising from Miami, Florida to San Francisco, California where she will begin an epic World Cruise on January 5, 2022.

Seven Seas Navigator
Seven Seas Navigator's resumption will begin January 6, 2022 from Miami, Florida with her published 2022 Southern Caribbean winter sailings, which include multiple round-trip Barbados voyages.

Seven Seas Voyager
Seven Seas Voyager returns with five new Mediterranean voyages, the first from Barcelona, Spain on February 15, 2022, before commencing her published 2022 European summer season itineraries exploring the Mediterranean and Northern Europe from April 15, 2022.

Holland America Line's Eurodam Extends 2021 Mediterranean Cruise Season
Following a series of four cruises to Greece in summer 2021, Holland America Line's Eurodam will assume the previously scheduled cruises of Westerdam that span the Mediterranean. From Sept. 12 through its Oct. 30 transatlantic departure, Eurodam will offer five 12-day itineraries roundtrip from Venice, Italy; between Venice and Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Venice and Barcelona, Spain; or from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bookings open Thursday, May 27, for these cruises.

Guests who were booked on Westerdam cruises automatically will be rebooked on the same departure date aboard Eurodam in a comparable stateroom. As a Signature Class vessel, Eurodam has a slightly larger capacity and will be able to accommodate all Westerdam guests (Eurodam 2,104; Westerdam 1,964).

Holland America Line previously announced Eurodam would restart cruising in the Mediterranean Aug. 15, 2021, and offer three seven-day departures roundtrip from Piraeus and one seven-day cruise from Piraeus to Venice.

Mediterranean Cruise Itineraries (all cruises are 12 days):

• Sept. 12: Venice; Zadar and Hvar, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Argostólion, Crete, Rhodes (overnight), Mykonos and Piraeus (overnight), Greece.

• Sept. 24: Piraeus; Istanbul (overnight) and Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Sarandë, Albania; Dubrovnik, Korcula and Rijeka, Croatia; Koper, Slovenia; Venice (overnight).

• Oct. 6: Venice; Katakolon (Olympia), Piraeus, Rhodes (overnight), Santorini and Crete, Greece; Kotor; Korcula; Venice (overnight).

• Oct. 18: Venice (overnight); Dubrovnik; Kotor; Corfu and Katakolon, Greece; Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome), and Livorno (Pisa/Florence), Italy; Cannes and Marseille (Provence), France; Barcelona.

• Oct. 30: Barcelona, Cartagena, Malaga (Granada) and Cadiz (Seville), Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Funchal, Madeira; Ponta Delgada, Azores; Fort Lauderdale.

The 12-day cruises can be combined to form epic 24-day Collectors' Voyages that offer in-depth exploration of the region. The Mediterranean itineraries were designed to offer nonrepeating ports on back-to-back itineraries to enable guests to visit more ports and more countries on one extended voyage. Booking a Collectors' Voyage represents a significant savings off booking the two itineraries separately.

Immediately following the transatlantic crossing, Eurodam is expected to begin its scheduled Caribbean season of cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. From November 2021 through March 2022, guests can embark on seven-, 10- and 11-day itineraries that explore the eastern, southern and tropical Caribbean, as well as partial Panama Canal cruises that spend a day on Gatun Lake.

These Holland America Line cruises in 2021 to the Mediterranean are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination.

Holland America Line guests will be required to comply with all health and safety protocols in place at the time of departure for travel to and from the ship, as well as all onboard protocols and procedures for visiting ports.

Princess Statement on the Passing of Gavin MacLeod
It is with sadness felt to the depth of the oceans that we mourn the passing of actor Gavin MacLeod our beloved global ambassador, dearest friend and treasured member of the Princess Cruises family for more than 35 years.

From his 10 seasons staring as Captain Merrill Stubing on the hit TV show "The Love Boat" (1977 to 1986) and for more than three decades following the show's final season, Gavin enthusiastically shared his passion about the joys and adventures of exploring the world while cruising. He always reminded us that - like the popular TV series, "cruising gives people something to dream about."

Gavin, who celebrated his 90th birthday in February, officially became Princess Cruises' global ambassador in 1986, appearing in a vast array of advertising campaigns and countless public and media appearances for the company. His role for Princess continued until his passing.

All of us at Princess Cruises and our loyal guests around the world whom, to this day, remain avid fans of Gavin's, send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Patricia (Patti) and his entire family who have lost a loving husband, father and grandfather. We offer our sincerest gratitude to them for sharing Gavin with all of us for so many years.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 29.56 + 5.95%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 93.27 + 8.62%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.53 + 20.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 31.90 + 6.16%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cruise ship was severely damaged and almost sank after striking ice in June of 1989?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship was severely damaged and almost sank after striking ice in June of 1989?

Answer - The ship involved would have been the Maxim Gorkiy near Spitzbergen.
courtesy of Frank Russel, Washington, DC


Cruise News - May 24, 2021

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Plans Return To Cruising From The U.S.
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that it expects to resume cruise operations from the U.S. beginning Aug. 7, 2021 with week-long voyages from Seattle to Alaska, one of the top cruise destinations among its guests.

The news follows the temporary waiver of the Passenger Vessel Services Act, allowing cruising to Alaska to resume upon obtaining the pending Conditional Sailing Certificate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"). In partnership with local governments and guided by the robust protocols of the SailSAFE health and safety program, which at its cornerstone includes that all crew and guests must be fully vaccinated to embark, travelers will once again be able to explore the "Last Frontier" and all its beauty with NCL.

"Seattle has always been our second home, and we are beyond excited to return to this incredible homeport and to once again bring our guests to Alaska," said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Twenty-one years ago, we were the first to offer itineraries to Alaska from Seattle, and we continue to celebrate a strong relationship with our partners in this spectacular destination. We have been waiting for a very long time to announce a resumption of cruising from the U.S. We are so proud to be sailing for the first time in over a year from our special homeport of Seattle to the breathtaking state of Alaska."

This summer, travelers will be able to recommence their cruise adventures to Alaska with week-long voyages aboard Norwegian Bliss. She will sail revised itineraries from Aug. 7, 2021 through Oct. 16, 2021, offering seven to 13 hours of port time in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, Alaska. On select sailings, guests will also have the chance to take in the serene views of Glacier Bay National Park or the Holkham Bay Glacier Fjord.

Guests will also benefit from the opening of the second cruise pier in Icy Strait Point, which NCL's parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., developed in partnership with Alaska Native-owned Huna Totem Corporation. Initially scheduled to open during the 2020 summer cruise season, the recently expanded Wilderness Landing on Icy Strait Point caters to visitors in search of individualized experiences with the land, wildlife and native peoples of Alaska. The enhancements include upgraded retail and restaurants, as well as shore excursion offerings, including the world's largest ZipRider zip line, the most accessible coastal brown bear viewing platforms in Southeast Alaska, whale watching, fishing adventures and walking trails as well as Alaska's first gondola connecting the new Wilderness Landing development to the Adventure Landing and Historic Hoonah Packing Company Cannery. In 2022, the guest experience will continue to evolve with the opening of the Mountain Top gondola that will provide easy, vehicle-free access through the treetops, unlocking additional areas of exploration and spectacular views of icefields, the Fairweather Range and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit people.

"Alaskans are ready to welcome visitors from across the globe to Alaska, where they can personally experience the scenic and cultural wonders that can only be found here," said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. "I am grateful for the teamwork and thoughtful planning that many people from Norwegian Cruise Line, Alaska's local governments, our congressional delegation, tourism industry, and the state's public health team put into preparing for a cruise ship season that promises to be both safe and rewarding for everyone."

Norwegian Cruise Line will continue with its thoughtful approach to redeploying its fleet, working with destination partners and the leading experts of the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council. The Council will regularly evaluate the robust protocols of the SailSAFE health and safety program and make science-based decisions to protect guests, crew and the destinations it visits

Holland America Line Announces Plans to Restart Cruising to Alaska from Seattle in July 2021
Following passage of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, work with Alaska government officials, and recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Holland America Line is announcing plans to restart cruising to Alaska in July roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, aboard Nieuw Amsterdam.

The seven-day "Alaskan Explorer" itinerary calls at Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Sitka and Ketchikan. Scenic cruising in Alaska's iconic locales includes Glacier Bay and Stephens Passage.

Plans for these cruises to fulfill Holland America Line's obligations under the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) are expected to be approved, as are final instructions from CDC, and the company is beginning the return-to-cruising preparation process effective immediately.

"Holland America Line has been cruising to Alaska for nearly 75 years, and we feel deeply committed to trying to help our friends in 'The Great Land' get back on their feet in any way we can this summer," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Given the recent positive collaboration from the CDC, as well as optimism about a resolution with the PVSA, we feel like it's now or never to give ourselves a chance to bring cruising back to Alaska this year.

"We would like to offer our sincerest appreciation to Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young and Governor Mike Dunleavy for their tireless efforts on behalf of the many small businesses that are the backbone of Alaska tourism."

"The Last Frontier is eager to welcome the return of the cruise industry this summer to restart our economy," said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. "Cruising has a tremendous impact on the people of our state and our communities, especially in the southeast, and we're thrilled to finally see a light with the impending return of the cruise ships."

On board, Holland America Line will continue to offer the amenities that are a hallmark of the brand. Dining will be available in all restaurants and specialty venues, as well as room service. Entertainment will be in full swing in the main show lounge, and live music will be featured in Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King's Blues Club and Billboard Onboard. Port-to-Table culinary demonstrations and other enrichment programming will bring Alaska and its culture on board through engaging activities. To accommodate physical distancing, additional performances may be added.

Alaska cruises also feature expanded onboard programming. Guests can engage with an Alaska naturalist, while EXC Talks and special presentations explore local topics such as Alaska's bush pilots and famous Iditarod race. In Glacier Bay, the ship takes on a National Park Ranger and Huna native speaker.

Princess Plans to Resume Cruising with Alaska Sailings Departing Seattle in July 2021
Following passage of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, work with Alaska government officials, and recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Princess, is announcing its intent to return to service in the United States with a partial season of Alaska sailings from Seattle.

Departing July 25 through September 26, 2021, round-trip Seattle, seven-day cruises, onboard Majestic Princess, a MedallionClass ship, will be open for sale on May 21, 2021. These cruises will visit signature ports, glaciers and attractions in Alaska including:

• Glacier Bay National Park – this 3.3-million-acre world-renowned landmark — a UNESCO World Heritage site features the magnificent Margerie Glacier

• Juneau – the 49th state's capital city, with the chance to see humpback whales and Mendenhall Glacier

• Skagway – this Gold Rush-era town is home of the White Pass Scenic Railway

• Ketchikan – this quaint seaside port is known for its infamous Creek Street and as the salmon capital of the world

"We have been working towards this moment to return to service for over a year and starting with our Alaska cruise vacations is incredibly gratifying. We would like to offer our sincerest appreciation to Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young, and Governor Mike Dunleavy for their tireless efforts on behalf of the many small businesses that are the backbone of Alaska tourism," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "In addition, we would like to thank our long-standing partners at the CDC, and in both Alaska and the Port of Seattle who helped make this happen. Our passion has always been to provide our guests with a truly remarkable travel experience. We are thrilled to be able to do that again, safely with confidence."

Plans for these itineraries to fulfill our obligations under the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) are expected to be approved as are final instructions from CDC. Princess is continuing its return-to-cruising preparation already underway.

Dining, entertainment and shore excursion details are currently being finalized and will be communicated in the coming weeks.

"The return of the cruise industry to Alaska is great news for anyone hoping to experience the rugged beauty of the Last Frontier," said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. "More importantly, it signals a hopeful new chapter for the dozens of communities and tens of thousands of Alaskans who rely on cruise industry partners to help them share Alaska with the world."

These Princess cruises to Alaska are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. Crew vaccinations will be in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Royal Caribbean To Sail Alaska This Summer
Royal Caribbean International's U.S. comeback marks its first step forward with the cruise line's return to Alaska this summer. Today, the cruise vacation company announced plans to launch its Alaska season with 7-night cruises – roundtrip from Seattle – on returning favorites Serenade and Ovation of the Seas, beginning July 19 and August 13, respectively. After more than a year with cruising on pause and the significant impact its had on the beloved Alaskan communities, travelers can now chart a course for the culture-rich destinations they have looked forward to discovering while helping revive the local economies. The new summer 2021 Alaska cruises on Serenade and Ovation's existing sailings are available to book today.

"Any traveler who visits Alaska immediately understands how special it is, given its natural beauty, the welcoming locals, and the culture carefully preserved over centuries," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "The past year has been a challenging time for us all, and the Alaskan communities heavily reliant on cruise tourism have felt it deeply. To see the communities, industry and government successfully pass a solution that will help bring these communities back to life shows the great progress and clear paths we can make together. We are confident this is just the first part of our return to cruising from the U.S."

Serenade will begin cruising in July, sailing roundtrip from Seattle – a change from its previously scheduled homeport in Vancouver. On board, the ship will deliver awe-inspiring views from its signature ocean-facing glass elevators and floor-to-ceiling windows as guests travel from one far-flung destination to the next. The week-long itinerary features a lineup of popular ports of call, including Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, Alaska, as well as the jaw-dropping Endicott Arm fjord and Dawes Glacier.

Ovation follows suit in August for a different take on Alaskan adventure, pairing the region's natural wonders and wildlife-filled fjords with a thrilling lineup of experiences on board. From the North Star glass observation capsule to the RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator, vacationers can get their adrenaline pumping as they take in deck-defying sights of the scenic landscape and lush scenery of the destinations, such as Glacier National Park, the Inside Passage, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, from unparalleled viewpoints.

Travelers can plan their Alaska cruise with peace of mind knowing that all crew members and vacationers 16 years of age or older will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and everyone 12 or older as of August 1. Those underage will receive a test prior to sailing. These measures are part of the cruise line's Royal Promise commitment to the health and safety of every guest, crew member and community visited. The measures will be evaluated and updated as public health circumstances evolve. Royal Caribbean will continue to work closely with local health officials on specific measures outlined for the region.

Guests and travel partners impacted by the affected sailings will be contacted directly with their options. These reservations are covered by Royal Caribbean's Cruise with Confidence program.

Carnival Cruise Line Reflags Mardi Gras to Bahamian Registry
When Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Mardi Gras, arrives to her new home in Port Canaveral, Fla. on June 4, she will be flying the Bahamian flag to designate the new ship registry for the first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ship to operate in North America.

Mardi Gras has been the most highly anticipated new ship in the cruise industry for more than a year, with her arrival and inaugural impacted by the extended pause in cruise operations from U.S. ports. But with more and more hopeful signs of a return to guest operations and constructive discussions between the industry and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Carnival is moving the ship to Port Canaveral to get her ready for sailing. The ship will depart from Barcelona on May 21 to start her transatlantic voyage and eventual arrival.

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, thanked the Panama Maritime Authority for their support during the ship’s construction and registration process but said that the move to the Bahamas Maritime Authority made business sense for a number of reasons. “The Bahamas will be a frequent destination for Mardi Gras, and we are pleased to bring this new level of environmental sustainability to the many ports in the Bahamas and the Caribbean that the ship and our guests and crew will be visiting,” she said.

Upon arrival to Port Canaveral, Mardi Gras will continue to bring joining crew members on board, train them on new equipment, technology and procedures, and get ready to welcome guests for her inaugural sailing. On Sunday evening during the global broadcast of the MISS UNIVERSE competition, Carnival named Miss Dominican Republic Kimberly Jimenez as the Mardi Gras godmother. The Dominican Republic destination of Amber Cove will be among the destinations the ship will regularly visit on seven-day itineraries. Along with the new LNG technology, Mardi Gras will boast many other firsts, including the first cruise ship with a roller coaster.

Majestic Princess Crew Members Receive COVID-19 Vaccines At The Port Of LA
Majestic Princess crew members received COVID-19 vaccinations today at the Port of Los Angeles. In partnership with The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Ports America, and Metro Cruise Services, Ambulnz administered 221 COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Brenda Barnetson, Senior Director of Clinical Services for Princess Cruises, visited the crew members who volunteered to take part in an encouraging step in preparation for Princess Cruise to begin offering cruise vacations.

"We're glad to be providing the World Cruise Center as a location where our partners can vaccinate staff in preparation for the return of cruising to Southern California," said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. "This is important to the hundreds of thousands of people who enjoy cruises embarking from Los Angeles annually as well as to our local economy and job market. Each time a cruise ship calls in Los Angeles, it generates more than $1 million to local restaurants, hotels and shops."

Princess Cruises has been working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to define and manage best practices to promote the health of guests and crew as it finalizes its additional plans for return to cruising.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Details World Navigator's Spring/Summer 2022 Deployment
Adventure, nature, history, culture, golfing and fun are what's in store for travelers aboard Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Navigator in 2022. With 24 departures from March through November 2022, World Navigator will sail six- to 16-night itineraries in the Arctic, British Isles, the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and Greenland, the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, and Central and South America. Calling at smaller ports than other brands, World Navigator can ply narrow channels and shallow waters to bring travelers to authentic, off-the-beaten-path locales, as well as dock in city centers for unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experiences in remote and bucket-list destinations. All guests enjoy Atlas' All Inclusive All The Way service, which includes complimentary roundtrip air travel from 16 major U.S. and Canada gateways, choice of a complimentary shore excursion at every port, prepaid gratuities, premium wine and spirits, regionally inspired gourmet cuisine, and more. Additionally, travel advisors can take advantage of a limited time offer and earn a $200 gift card for each new booking with deposit for any of the new 2022 spring/summer itineraries aboard World Navigator. For more information about World Navigator's new 2022 season, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

"World Navigator's second spring/summer season will offer travelers more once-in-a-lifetime moments and more authentic experiences in remote and bucket-list destinations," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Guests will enjoy one of the industry's most inclusive luxury experiences with Atlas' All Inclusive All The Way service."

Travel advisors who make a new booking with deposit between May 18 through 31, 2021, for voyages departing from March 22 onward, can earn a $200 gift card for each booking. All qualifying bookings must be registered with Atlas by June 15, 2021. Travel Advisors can learn more about the new offer at Atlas Advisor Central, the best-in-class online resource dedicated for travel advisors selling Atlas Ocean Voyages at www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

Three South America voyages will start World Navigator's new season, beginning on March 22, 2022, from Ushuaia, Argentina. These six- to 13-night voyages offer a delightful contrast of vibrant cities and picturesque beaches, featuring calls at Brazil's UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Paraty, Fernando do Noronha and Salvador de Bahia. World Navigator then charts her course eastward on April 4 to the tropical island of Tenerife.

Iberian and French Wine Cultures and Mediterranean Delights
Four voyages in April, June and September bring enophiles to immerse in Spanish Andalusian, French Bordeaux, and Portuguese Algarve and Douro wine cultures on seven- to 13-night itineraries. World Navigator combines Casablanca's (Morocco) excitement with Portugal's Algarve coast on a seven-night itinerary, departing Tenerife on April 17. The subsequent voyage, also seven nights in length, brings guests up the Guadalquivir River to call at inland Seville, Spain, as well as to Gibraltar, U.K., and Spain's Costa del Sol.

World Navigator combines Bordeaux and the Douro Valley on the June 8 and September 19 voyage, the first featuring a course up the Thames, docking at the Tower Bridge in London's city center, while the second voyage includes a transit through the Kiel Canal. Both voyages include a call at idyllic Honfleur, France, for excursions to Normandy's beaches and Paris, and because of her small size, World Navigator can dock in Bordeaux's city center for convenient access to the city and beyond.

Three voyages of delight follow in May 2022, showcasing chic destinations along the Spanish, French and Italian Rivieras on eight- to 13-night itineraries. The first two voyages turn around at Rome (Civitavecchia), with the May 1 voyage covering all three Mediterranean rivieras. The May 14 departure focuses on Corsica, the Amalfi Coast and Sorrentine Peninsula. The May 30 voyage embarks at Nice, France, bringing guest via Spain's Catalonian Coast to Lisbon, Portugal.

Ireland and British Isles
Golfers and Anglophiles will revel in World Navigator's British Isles and Ireland voyages. Guests can enjoy playing the links at some of the world's most renowned courses at most ports of call on two 13-night itineraries, departing June 17 and August 13. Ports of call include the Ireland's Cork, Foynes, Galway, and Kellybegs; Northern Ireland's Londonderry and Warrenpoint; and Scottish Invergordon (Loch Ness) and Greenock. These voyages also include overnights at Dublin, Ireland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Edinburgh (Leith), Scotland.

Arctic Expeditions in the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and Greenland
From the British Isles, World Navigator continues north to the Norwegian Fjordlands and further to Svalbard, situated midway in between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole. In Svalbard, World Navigator's expedition team will find the best locations to safely catch sightings of Artic wildlife such as polar bears, walrus, bearded and ringed seals, Arctic foxes, caribou and some of the world's largest whales. Depending on weather conditions, guests can kayak and glacier hike and marvel at the Monaco or Smeerenburg Glaciers. Guests on these voyages will also earn their membership among the ranks of the Order of the Blue Nose, as Svalbard is located well north of the Arctic Circle.

Baltic Discoveries
World Navigator will offer two 12-night itineraries that feature the must-see-and-experience Baltic destinations, such as Riga, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; and Gdansk, Poland. Guests on the August 26 departure will transit the 61-mile Kiel Canal from Hamburg, Germany, into the Baltic and enjoy an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia. The September 7, roundtrip itinerary from Kiel features two nights in St. Petersburg, providing guests three days to explore the local area, as well as an excursion to Moscow, Star City and more.

South America Ecoadventures
To close the season, World Navigator will embark on five voyages, ranging from seven to 12 nights in length, which unveil the authentic cultures and natural grandeur of the Southern Caribbean, Andean cultures and Patagonia. Departing Barbados on October 18, World Navigator will bring guests to the Dutch ABC Islands, Colombia, and Panama, while the subsequent sailing features a bucket-list transit through and an overnight in the Panama Canal to bring guests on ecoadventures in Costa Rica. The November 5 voyage brings guests to explore Ecuador and Peru, which concludes with an overnight at Lima, while the following Peru and Chile voyage also begins with a Lima overnight and features a visit to Pisco (Paracas Bay), where the guests can enjoy the authentic grape brandy, which bears the city's name.

World Navigator's spring/summer 2022 season concludes with a 12-night Patagonia expedition through the Straits of Magellan from Valparaiso, Chile, to Ushuaia, Argentina. Guests will sail through the English Narrows and call at Castro, Chile, where quaint and colorful wooden stilted houses line the waterfront, and Punta Arenas, to explore Tierra del Fuego. World Navigator will also overnight at Puerto Natalas, offering guests extended time to delve into Torres Del Paine National Park, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve with its many varieties of birds and mammals.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 27.90 + 1.38%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 85.87 + 1.57%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.44 - 5.38%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 30.05 + 4.05%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cruise ship was severely damaged and almost sank after striking ice in June of 1989?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cargo liner built in 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel in Kuwait City, Kuwait?

Answer - The ship would be the SANTA PAULA which was built in 1958 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. for the Grace Line of NY. She ended her days as a hotel in Kuwait City eventually being destroyed there by the retreating Iraqis after during the Gulf War.

Her sister was the SANTA ROSA which went on to become the EMERALD owned by Louis Cruises but operated by Thompson Holidays.
courtesy of M. Dunatov


Cruise News - May 17, 2021

Viking's Newest Ocean Ship Officially Named
Viking today named its newest ocean ship, Viking Venus, with a celebration at sea in the English Channel as the ship set sail for her inaugural voyage. As part of the intimate event, the ship's ceremonial godmother, revered British journalist and broadcaster Anne Diamond, offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship—a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years.

In addition to commemorating Viking Venus as the company's newest ocean ship, today's event was also an important milestone as Viking returns to service following 14 months of paused operations. This Saturday, May 22, guests will embark Viking Venus in Portsmouth for the first of five roundtrip sailings of the England's Scenic Shores itinerary in May and June. Part of Viking's Welcome Back collection, the eight-day voyages also call in Liverpool, the Isles of Scilly, Falmouth and Portland. Anne Diamond will also join guests for the first three sailings of England's Scenic Shores and will serve as a guest lecturer with her presentation about the untold story of British radar inventors, including her father, during World War II. Anne's presentation will also be featured on Viking.TV in the future. Following her time in England, Viking Venus will then sail to Malta, where she will homeport for new Welcome Back voyages in the Mediterranean this summer and fall.

Delivered in April 2021 at Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, Italy, Viking Venus is the newest vessel to join Viking's ocean fleet of identical sister ships, which also includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion and Viking Jupiter. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking's ocean vessels have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons and with 465 all veranda staterooms that accommodate 930 guests, the ships feature clean, minimalist Scandinavian design, airy public spaces filled with natural light and abundant al fresco dining options.

"Today is one of the proudest days in Viking's nearly 24-year history. When we became the first cruise line to suspend operations in March 2020, we certainly did not know it would be 14 months before guests would be welcomed back on board. Now, we are among the first to set sail again—and with our industry-leading health and safety protocols in place, we believe there is no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "On behalf of the entire Viking family, we are delighted to celebrate the naming of our newest ship in England. We are also grateful to her godmother, Anne Diamond, for her many journalistic and selfless contributions—as well as for her tireless efforts fostering a community on Viking.TV each week for more than a year."

"It is a huge honor to be chosen as godmother to Viking Venus and to be officially part of the Viking family. Over my many years as a journalist I have reported and been part of many historic events, but I never dreamt I would be godmother to an ocean ship or that I would be celebrating the occasion with my family and friends on board the beautiful Viking Venus on the very first day that we are able to cruise again in the UK," said Anne Diamond. "It is an unforgettable experience, especially as it marks Viking's global restart. I am looking forward to many more voyages with Viking, including the upcoming sailings of the England's Scenic Shores itinerary. I am also looking forward to another year interviewing some of the world's most fascinating people on Viking.TV."

Anne continued: "I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the whole Viking family, to thank Torstein and Karine Hagen. They have worked tirelessly over the past 14 months to ensure that hope has stayed on the horizon and to keep their guests and crew connected and entertained. I find it both reassuring and inspirational to see the lengths to which Viking has gone to ensure that we can all start exploring the world again safely. Welcome back to everyone at Viking—here's to brighter days ahead. As they say at sea, 'I wish you, your guests and crew fair winds and following seas as you return to service.'"

During the naming ceremony festivities this evening, the group of invited guests on board Viking Venus enjoyed scenic sailing along the coast of England, and exclusively recorded concerts from artists that included Sissel Kyrkjebø, one of the world's leading crossover sopranos and godmother of Viking Jupiter; violinist Tor Jaran Apold; and acclaimed English boys choir LIBERA. In keeping with the naming custom, Anne assisted in breaking a bottle of Norwegian aquavit on the ship's hull—using an historic Viking broad axe to cut a ribbon that symbolically held the bottle in place. The event also honored today, May 17, as Norwegian Constitution Day and paid tribute to the Nordic spirit of exploration. Additionally, after speeches by Chairman Hagen and Anne, guests were treated to the unveiling of a custom "Air Fountain" by artist Daniel Wurtzel, which was specifically designed and installed in the ship's Atrium for the event. Best known for his kinetic sculptures and installations using air and lightweight materials that fly, Wurtzel has shown his artworks at the Musée Rodin, the Grand Palais in Paris, the Tate Modern Turbine Hall and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Costa Luminosa Restarts From Trieste
Costa Cruises announced that Costa Luminosa set sail again on May 16 from the port of Trieste, becoming the company's second ship in 2021 to resume operations and the first to resume cruises in the Adriatic Sea and Greece. Overall, Costa has a total of four ships scheduled to resume cruises this summer.

In addition to Trieste, Costa Luminosa's one-week itinerary includes visits to Bari and four beautiful Greek destinations: Corfu, Athens, Mykonos and Katakolon/Olympia. It will be available throughout the coming summer season and part of the autumn until mid-November 2021 for a total of 27 cruises.

Costa Luminosa's restart was celebrated in Trieste by Costa Cruises President Mario Zanetti, together with several local authorities, including the Mayor of Trieste, Roberto Dipiazza; the Councilor of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Pierpaolo Roberti; the Captain of the Trieste Coast Guard, Vincenzo Vitale; and the CEO of Trieste Terminal Passeggeri, Francesco Mariani.

"With the restart of the Costa Luminosa, we are finally bringing cruises back to the Adriatic Sea and Greece, one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations, and reviving a sector of great importance to the economy of many European countries, including Italy, as well as the eastern part of the Mediterranean," said Costa's Zanetti. "Just to illustrate the importance of this restart, before the pause caused by the pandemic, our company generated an annual economic impact of almost €13 billion in Europe, creating over 63,000 jobs. We are particularly pleased to be resuming from Trieste, a city that has always welcomed us warmly, and which will be the home port of Costa Luminosa not only this year, but also in 2022. We look to the future with optimism, and we are working to make Trieste even more strategic for cruises, promoting a sustainable development and a quality guest experience".

Health and safety procedures have been enhanced through the adoption of the Costa Safety Protocol, developed by the company together with scientific experts and Italian authorities, which contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore. The measures include a reduction in the number of guests; swab tests for all guests before embarkation and after half of the cruise; swab tests for the crew before embarkation and regularly during their stay on board; temperature checks every day, every time guests disembark and re-enter the ship, and every time they enter the restaurants; visits to destinations only with protected excursions; social distancing on board and in the terminals; new ways of using onboard services; enhanced sanitation and medical services; and the use of protective masks when necessary.

As for the holiday experience, guests will enjoy new features, including a renewed excursion program, which will allow them to discover off-the-beaten path destinations, exclusively for Costa guests. Guests will also enjoy new menu options that feature dishes specific to the locations that Costa Luminosa will visit.

Costa Luminosa is the second of four Costa ships that will operate in summer 2021, offering cruises in the Mediterranean. On May 1, the flagship Costa Smeralda departed from Savona with an itinerary exclusively dedicated to Italy. On June 26, Costa Deliziosa will restart with week-long cruises in Greece. July 4 will see the departure of the Costa Firenze, the new ship inspired by the Florentine Renaissance, with one-week cruises in Italy. In addition, from 3 July Costa Smeralda will begin sailing in international itineraries, with one-week cruises in Italy, France and Spain.

"Trieste welcomes the return of the Costa Cruises ships. In recent years we have developed a very important collaboration with the company that guaranteed a regular presence of Costa ships in our beautiful city. Trieste is a city with a tourist vocation and the return of Costa rewards us for the work we are doing, but above all it means that tourists are back," said the Mayor of Trieste, Roberto Dipiazza.

"The restart of Costa Cruises from Trieste is one of the many positive signs of recovery for our local economy. Trieste, as all the art cities in Italy, has been strongly affected by pandemic crisis. Now reservations are resuming and there is a gradual return to normality. Trieste and the Friuli Venezia Giulia region are ready to welcome back tourists, thanks also to the safety protocols we implemented"- said the Councilor of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Pierpaolo Roberti.

"The Trieste Cruise Terminal restarts together with the Costa Luminosa. We have done our utmost to ensure the restart of the cruises from Trieste, together with all the authorities and operators, because we are confident that it will support the tourist growth of the City and the Region" -stated Francesco Mariani, CEO of Trieste Terminal Passeggeri.

"We will contribute to implementing the Covid interdisciplinary protocol in 2021, as we did during the last year. I welcome back with great enthusiasm in my port the restart of the cruise service, which is highly strategic for the economy of our country, and I guarantee the absolute commitment of the Trieste Coast Guard Office in contributing to port operations that are strictly respectful of the special rules set up to guarantee safe cruises," - said the Captain of Trieste Coast Guard, Vincenzo Vitale.

Carnival Corporation Brands Resume Cruising in Europe, Caribbean
Seven cruise line brands from Carnival Corporation & plc have announced plans to resume guest cruise operations this summer, with AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises (UK) sailing from global ports in Europe and the Caribbean.

Additionally, as the company continues to work with authorities to resume sailing in the U.S., its Carnival Cruise Line brand has announced possible U.S. restart plans and hopes to begin operating sailings in July on three ships from ports in Miami and Galveston, Texas. The company and several of its brands are also hopeful that cruises will be allowed to sail to Alaska for part of the summer.

Collectively, the brands resuming sailings from global ports over the next several months will be using a gradual, phased-in approach, including limited itineraries that have been announced on 16 initial ships to date, representing nearly 20% of the company's global fleet. The initial cruises will take place with adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed in conjunction with government and health authorities, and informed by guidance from the company's public health, epidemiological and policy experts.

Three Carnival Corporation brands – P&O Cruises (UK), Cunard and Princess Cruises – will each offer a series of cruises this summer sailing around UK coastal waters, including the inaugural sailing for P&O Cruises' new flagship, Iona. Cruises will also resume this summer around the Greek Islands with four of the company's brands – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line and Seabourn. Additionally, Seabourn has announced plans to restart in the Caribbean with a series of new summer sailings out of Barbados.

The newly announced voyages build on recent cruising restarts from the company's Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand, which resumed in late March sailing in the Canary Islands, and its Italy-based Costa Cruises brand, which restarted in May sailing to Italian ports. In addition to dozens of successful sailings from both brands in 2020, the most recent 2021 sailings from AIDA and Costa have demonstrated the effectiveness of enhanced health protocols developed in conjunction with local, national and global experts, and have generated high guest satisfaction scores, measured by detailed net promotor surveys.

"For all of our brands, our highest responsibility and top priorities are always compliance, environmental protection, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, our shipboard and shoreside employees, and the communities we visit," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "We are excited to have the majority of our leading cruise line brands resume sailings this summer, as we are seeing strong pent-up demand from our past guests and consumers in general to get away on a cruise, one of the world's most popular vacations."

Added Frizzell: "The resumption of our cruises marks a critical step in the recovery of our brands and the industry as a whole, which provides a major economic impact and supports jobs across multiple sectors around the world. As our cruise line brands gradually resume cruising, we will continue to work as an industry to share important learnings and best practices to help ensure the resumption of cruise operations is done in the best interest of public health."

In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, as well as authorities in destination countries, the company's brands have developed a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols for protection and mitigation across the entire cruise experience for its initial cruises. This includes cross-industry learnings and best practices based on the proven health and safety record of industrywide sailings and input from top science and health experts and health authorities.

Below is a brief summary of Carnival Corporation's brands resuming guest cruise operations from global ports this summer:

AIDA Cruises
Germany-based AIDA Cruises restarted sailing in the Canary Islands with AIDAperla on March 20, with the season extending through July and offering new voyages departing from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. Two additional ships, AIDAsol and AIDAblu, will restart at the end of May in Germany and Greece, respectively, with short voyages from Kiel, Germany, starting May 22 and seven-day cruises through the Greek Islands from May 23. In July, AIDA Cruises will launch additional new voyages in Germany, with AIDAsol departing from Rostock-Warnemünde through July 18, followed by a fourth ship, AIDAprima, which will restart on July 3, offering seven-day voyages departing from Kiel through October 23. All cruises are carried out in compliance with AIDA's enhanced health and safety protocols, which have been tested by SGS Institut Fresenius, confirmed by the classification society DNV GL and are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Costa Cruises
Italy-based Costa Cruises resumed its cruise operations on May 1 with flagship Costa Smeralda sailing a week-long all-Italian itinerary, officially kicking off the brand's summer season, which will see a total of four Costa ships cruising in the Mediterranean. A second ship, Costa Luminosa, resumed sailing with week-long cruises to Greece on May 16, and will be followed by Costa Deliziosa on June 26, which will also offer one-week cruises to Greece. On July 4, the brand's new ship, Costa Firenze, will debut with a one-week itinerary in Italy, in addition to one-week international cruises from September 12 until mid-October. Alongside the debut of Costa Firenze, from July 3 Costa Smeralda will be back on international itineraries, with one-week cruises in Italy, France and Spain. All sailings will follow the procedures set out in the Costa Safety Protocol, developed by Costa together with scientific experts and Italian authorities, which includes enhanced health and safety measures for all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore.

P&O Cruises UK
P&O Cruises (UK), Britain's favorite cruise line, will resume operations with two of its ships sailing roundtrip from Southampton around the UK coast between June and September. The first of the brand's cruises is set to begin on June 27, with a series of "short breaks" on flagship Britannia through September 19. On August 7, the brand's new flagship Iona will depart on its seven-night maiden voyage around the coast of the island of Iona and the Scottish Isles, offering itineraries running to September 18. Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination program, and strong expressed preference on the part of guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Britannia and Iona will be for UK resident COVID-19 vaccinated guests only. All guests and crew will be required to follow P&O Cruises' enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone on board. These have been developed with guidance from global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies.

Seabourn
Seabourn, the company's ultra-luxury brand, will resume its cruise operations in Greece beginning July 3, with a series of sailings on Seabourn Ovation operating roundtrip from Athens throughout the Greek Isles. A second ship, Seabourn Odyssey, will restart on July 18 with a series of new summer voyages operating roundtrip out of Bridgetown, Barbados, and visiting Antigua, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and St. Kitts. These series of voyages are open to any guests who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Seabourn guests will be required to comply with all health protocols that may be in place at the time of their departure. More details on Seabourn's protocols are available here.

Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises, the world's leading international premium cruise line, will resume operations with two of its ships in the UK, with a series of Seacations on MedallionClass ships, Regal Princess and Sky Princess, sailing roundtrip from Southampton around the UK coast through late September. The first of the brand's ships, Regal Princess, will offer 14 UK voyages beginning July 31, followed by Sky Princess on August 30, which will offer eight UK cruises. Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination program and strong expressed preference on the part of guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Regal Princess and Sky Princess will be available for UK resident COVID-19 vaccinated guests only. All guests and crew will be required to follow Princess Cruises' enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone onboard. These have been developed with guidance from global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies.

Cunard
The company's Cunard brand will restart sailing for UK guests with a series of UK voyages on board Queen Elizabeth. The voyages will be roundtrip from Southampton between July and October, and include British Isles scenic sailings along Britain's coastline as well as special Sun Voyages, lasting between three and 12 nights. Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination program, and strongly expressed preference on the part of guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Queen Elizabeth will be for UK resident COVID-19 vaccinated guests only. All guests and crew will be required to follow Cunard's enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone onboard. These have been developed with guidance from global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies.

Holland America Line
Working in close coordination with the government of Greece, Holland America Line, the leader in premium cruising, will restart cruising from Athens in August with four seven-day departures aboard Eurodam. This first of the brand's voyages will depart August 15, visiting several ports in the Greek Isles. A second unique itinerary departs August 22 to a different set of Greek ports. A seven-day itinerary will also depart Sept. 5 from Athens to Venice, Italy, with calls in Greece and Sarandë, Albania. These sailings from Greece are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior embarkation and have proof of vaccination. Holland America Line guests will be required to comply with all health and safety protocols in place at the time of departure for travel to and from the ship, as well as all onboard protocols and procedures for visiting ports. Additional preventive health measures under Holland America Line's "Travel Well" program will be in place.

Oceania Cruises Unveils New OceaniaNEXT Enhancements
Oceania Cruises has announced the first in a series of inspired new product enhancements rolling out across its luxury fleet as part of its OceaniaNEXT program. With elevated dining experiences and service levels for guests, the Oceania Cruises experience will be better than ever from the first sailing on board Marina when the line resumes operations in August. OceaniaNEXT enhancements will debut aboard Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, Riviera, and Sirena as each vessel returns to sailing.

During the pause in sailing, the Oceania Cruises team has continued to invest in creative ways to evolve the onboard experience and to inspire its guests with a sweeping array of dramatic enhancements to the brand's already renowned Finest Cuisine at Sea and acclaimed service. Whether guests are in the mood for an elaborate dinner at Toscana, or prefer to indulge in the line's exclusive Dom Pérignon Experience, or crave the casual comfort of tacos or fresh poke bowls, every meal on board is given the same thought, care and creativity to ensure it is as mouth-watering as it is memorable. This is just the first of many inspirational new OceaniaNEXT enhancements to be revealed over the coming months.

"These OceaniaNEXT enhancements not only elevate the guest experience, they showcase the creativity and passion our team has for crafting unique and memorable experiences for our guests," stated Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. "We've undertaken this ambitious brand initiative to elevate every facet of the Oceania Cruises guest experience to new levels. From thoughtfully reimagined menus to enhanced service levels to the dramatic re-inspiration of our six ships, guests will find that the Oceania Cruises experience is better than ever," added Binder.

The Grand Dining Room Boasts New Appetizers, Main Courses & Diverse Sunday Brunch In The Grand Dining Room, more than two dozen inventive new dishes have made their way onto the dinner menu. New appetizers include caramelized duck foie gras accompanied by apricot infused with Loire Valley wine, and mozzarella fior di latte panna cotta with aubergines stiletto and fried focaccia. Meanwhile, main courses range from the deliciously tantalizing French monkfish with saffron-tomato-cognac-cream sauce and wild rice, to the hearty veal piccata with sweet and sour lemon sauce, glazed pearl onions and Parisian potatoes.

Other highlights from the updated menu include:

• Porcini mushroom risotto

• Crispy Mediterranean vegetable tart with balsamic onion compote

• Braised black cod, seafood emulsion, stuffed calamari and green pea purée

• Grilled prime rib with bone marrow and rustic vegetable casserole

• Carnaroli truffled risotto with smoked ricotta

• Florida lobster tail with Rémy Martin cognac sauce and rice pilaf

Sunday Brunch is an elegant yet relaxed affair in The Grand Dining Room, and the new menu has been thoughtfully crafted to include a more diverse selection of international dishes as well as a wider range of healthy options. Highlights include a new Asian Noodle Bar, a gourmet Taco Corner, a prepared-to-order Pasta Station, a healthy Smoothie Bar and a Salad Bar with an extensive selection of starches, proteins, greens and raw and cooked vegetables for guests to create their own custom salad combination.

Toscana Dinner Menu Features 21 New Dishes
Refined and romantic with a uniquely modern Italian flair, Toscana specializes in the rich and rustic regional flavors for which Italy is famous. Presented on elegant, custom-designed Versace china, masterfully prepared dishes exemplify the essence of Tuscany and celebrate Italy's culinary passion. As part of OceaniaNEXT, the line has reimagined Toscana's menu with 21 delectable new dishes including:

• Sformatino di Peperoni – roasted bell pepper flan, creamy Parmesan sauce

• Zuppa Fagioli – white bean soup with sausage and pasta

• Tagliolini Carbonara – tagliolini, pancetta, egg yolk-Parmesan sauce

• Agnello Arrosto – stuffed roasted lamb loin with spicy soppressata sausage

• Il Tiramisú ai Frutti di Bosco – red berry tiramisú with mascarpone cream

• Tortino di Cioccolata – molten chocolate fondant with Sicilian blood orange sauce

Greater Choice and Diversity in The Terrace Café and Waves Grill

The ever-popular Terrace Café has also expanded its lunch offering to include locally sourced fish, sausages and marinated meats, including regional specialties from the ports and destinations visited.

For more laidback fare, Waves Grill has added a fresh, prepared-to-order poke bowl station inspired by flavors from around the world including Japan, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, North Africa, France, the United States, and Mexico.

New Evening Canapé Choices and Elevated Service Levels
Canapés served in the lounges and bars after a day of exploring are a much-loved tradition on board Oceania Cruises. The experience now features a wider variety of selections, echoing the gourmet inspiration of the new dishes offered in The Grand Dining Room. The selections will also be presented individually to each table as part of the line's enhanced health and safety measures. Guests in Penthouse, Oceania, Vista, and Owner's Suites may choose from a canapé selection now including the addition of plant-based California rolls, a Mezze Platter and a Taco Trilogy.

Service levels have also been significantly enhanced through a combination of increased staffing and implementation of a new electronic ordering system which ensures that the taking of orders, food and beverage service and table re-setting is seamlessly streamlined. This will allow restaurant staff to focus on providing the exemplary service that guests have come to know and love.

Norwegian Prima Debuts as Brand's Most In-Demand Vessel
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is once again breaking the boundaries of conventional cruising and vacation experiences, with the reveal of Norwegian Prima, which has become the Brand's most in-demand ship ever, with record bookings on the first day and week of sales.

With voyages beginning August 2022, Norwegian Prima, the first of six ships within NCL's all new Prima Class, will offer guests exciting itineraries, the highest staffing levels and space ratio of any new cruise ship in the contemporary and premium cruise categories, and Brand-first experiences with Ocean Boulevard, Indulge Food Hall, The Concourse, Infinity Beach and Oceanwalk.

"Every aspect of Norwegian Prima, from bow-to-stern, was conceptualized with the guest in mind," said Norwegian Cruise Line's President and CEO Harry Sommer. "With this world-class ship, we are providing our guests with more wide-open spaces, elevated service, thoughtful design and a variety of experiences that go beyond expectation. Our record-breaking sales are a clear indicator of our guests' excitement to return to the ocean and of the significant demand for a premium vacation experience."

Norwegian Prima will not only offer the largest variety of suite categories available at sea but will also boast a redefined The Haven by Norwegian, NCL's ultra-premium keycard only access ship-within-a-ship concept. The Haven will feature an expansive sundeck, a stunning infinity pool overlooking the ship's wake and an outdoor spa with a glass-walled sauna and cold room.

"Norwegian Prima is already proving to be a gamechanger for NCL," added Sommer. "Norwegian Bliss, which debuted in 2018 and boasted our biggest booking day ever during her unveiling, has been outpaced by Norwegian Prima, which has doubled the prior record. In addition, nearly 20 percent of bookings are for our Haven suites, indicating the desire for top-of-the-line experiences."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 27.52 - 1.47%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 84.54 - 3.83%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.465 - 15.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 28.88 - 7.41%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cargo liner built in 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel in Kuwait City, Kuwait?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship was the first to provide passengers Internet access?

Answer - In 1999, Norwegian Cruise Lines Norwegian Sky became the first cruise ship to offer their passengers onboard Internet access.
courtesy of Herbert A Rideout, Fallbrook, CA


Cruise News - May 10, 2021

Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Norwegian Prima
Norwegian Cruise Line today opened for sale the first of six ships within its highly anticipated next class of vessels, Prima Class, the Brand's first new class of ships in nearly 10 years.

With voyages beginning in summer 2022, Norwegian Prima, the first of the six ships, will be 965 feet long, 142,500 gross tons and able to accommodate 3,215 guests at double occupancy. The vessel will be a game-changer for NCL, offering guests exciting itineraries, more wide-open spaces, thoughtful and stunning design, a variety of new experiences as well as Norwegian's exceptional service.

Norwegian Prima will offer the highest staffing levels and space ratio of any new cruise ship in the contemporary and premium cruise category, delivering an unrivaled guest experience. She will offer the largest variety of suite categories available at sea with 13 suite categories as well as the largest three-bedroom suites of any new cruise ship and the Brand's largest-ever inside, oceanview and balcony staterooms, including the Brand's largest-ever bathrooms and showers for standard stateroom categories. Norwegian Prima will also offer the most outdoor deck space of any new cruise ship including more total pool deck space than any other ship in NCL's fleet.

The Haven by Norwegian on Norwegian Prima has been elevated to offer the Brand's most exclusive and centralized suite complex. Spanning eight decks of suites and public areas, the ultra-premium keycard only access ship-within-a-ship concept provides guests with private amenities, dedicated services and the most luxurious accommodations on board. For the first time, the Cruise Line relocated all 107 Haven suites to the aft (the rear of the ship) within close proximity of private elevators exclusively reserved for Haven guests. These elevators rise directly into The Haven public areas on decks 16 and 17. For the first time, every public area in The Haven offers stunning sea and destination views. The Haven Courtyard on Norwegian Prima has been transformed into an expansive Haven Sundeck, boasting a stunning new infinity pool overlooking the ship's wake and a new outdoor spa with a glass-walled sauna and cold room.

Furthering the elevated experience that places guests first and understanding the important connection they have with the outdoors and proximity to the sea, NCL reimagined its industry pioneering The Waterfront by doubling the space and adding a greater variety of experiences and dining options than ever before by introducing Ocean Boulevard.

Located on deck eight, Ocean Boulevard at 44,000 square feet long, wraps around the entire deck, allowing guests to walk around the entire ship and experience amazing ocean views while having the choice to partake in numerous exceptional outdoor activities.

Indulge Food Hall
As part of the multifaceted experiences offered on Ocean Boulevard, NCL introduced the Brand's first-ever upscale open-air marketplace with Indulge Food Hall. Created to elevate the guest-sensory experience on Norwegian Prima, Indulge Food Hall offers visitors diverse menu items from 11 culinary venues featuring indoor and outdoor seating.

Ocean Boulevard
Adding to the culinary offerings available on Norwegian Prima's Ocean Boulevard, the site will host three additional dining venues offering both indoor and outdoor seating including Onda By Scarpetta, Los Lobos and The Local Bar & Grill.

The Concourse, Infinity Beach, Oceanwalk and La Terraza
Created to be a destination in and of itself within Norwegian Prima and furthering the elevated guest experiences available on Ocean Boulevard, the Company unveiled additional "firsts" for the Brand including The Concourse, an outdoor sculpture garden featuring seven installations that change as the sun sets, making them perfect for photos and social media posts. Guests can also relax at Infinity Beach featuring two infinity pools, one located on each side of the ship and close to the water line, which is an industry-design first. The two Oceanwalk glass bridges, also new to the Brand, will provide guests with photographic, breathtaking views. La Terraza, an open-air lounge, features a quaint retreat for visitors to catch stellar forward-facing sea views.

Carnival Cruise Line Announces New Red, White & Blue Hull Design
Following the popularity of the stunning red, white and blue livery adorning Mardi Gras, another Carnival Cruise Line ship will soon receive the dramatic hull design that will become a trademark feature across the fleet as Carnival, America's Cruise Line, prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2022.

Carnival Magic will be the first ship to receive the new livery during its current dry dock in Marseilles, France.

Paying homage to maritime tradition and patriotic colors, the eye-catching hull design is highlighted by a stately navy blue hull inspired by officers' uniforms along with vibrant red and white accents running the entire length of the 1,004-foot-long ship. Additional vessels will receive the new livery as they undergo scheduled dry docks. Carnival Glory will be the second ship to receive the new hull design during a dry dock scheduled in June.

"When we first saw the hull design for Mardi Gras, we knew it was something special and, particularly as we get ready to celebrate our 50th birthday, we're delighted to incorporate this stunning livery as a signature exterior design element across our fleet," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "As we look to resume sailing in the U.S., we're coming back with a signature new look as well!"

In addition to the new livery, Carnival Magic will emerge from its dry dock on May 24 with an expanded casino with an even greater variety of slots and other games, as well as a host of enhancements including freshening up the finishes for the WaterWorks aqua park and pools.

Holland America Line to Restart Cruising from Greece in August 2021
Working in close coordination with the government of Greece, Holland America Line has received approval to restart cruising from Piraeus (Athens) in August with four departures aboard Eurodam. Bookings for these cruises will open May 6.

Departing Aug. 15 and 29, the "Idyllic Greek Isles" itinerary features Kotor, Montenegro, plus the Greek isles of Kékira (Corfu), Thíra (Santorini) and Mykonos. "Ancient Wonders" departs Aug. 22 to explore Haifa, Israel, as well as Náfplion, Mykonos and Rhodes in Greece. Both options can be combined to form a longer, back-to-back 14-day Collectors' Voyage.

"Holland America Line to restart cruising in August aboard Eurodam. Bookings for these cruises will open May 6."

A seven-day "Adriatic Allure" itinerary departing Sept. 5 will sail from Piraeus to Venice, Italy, with calls at Mykonos, Katakolon (Olympia) and Crete (Chania), Greece, and Sarandë, Albania. Additional Mediterranean cruises aboard Eurodam through the fall will be announced in the coming weeks and include ports in Italy and Greece. Eurodam returns to the United States to begin sailing its published Caribbean cruises in mid-November.

"Everyone at Holland America Line has been preparing for our return to service, and we are grateful to the government of Greece for allowing us to show that we can safely operate our cruises," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "The beautiful islands of Greece have been a highlight of our Mediterranean itineraries for decades, and we are honored to be able to restart out of Athens and give our guests a memorable vacation after all this time without cruise travel."

"The Greek Islands have been welcoming Holland America Line ships for many years, and we are proud to work together to welcome the cruise line back this summer," said Harry Theoharis, Minister of Tourism of Greece. "We are sure that all visitors to Greece will once again have unique experiences to our beautiful destinations and fully enjoy the rich history, culture and gastronomy of our nation.''

On board, Holland America Line will continue to offer the amenities that are a hallmark of the brand. Dining will be available in all restaurants and specialty venues, as well as room service. Entertainment will be in full swing in the main show lounge, and live music will be featured in Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King's Blues Club, Billboard Onboard and Rolling Stone Rock Room. Port-to-Table culinary demonstrations, EXC Talks and more will bring Greece and its culture on board through engaging activities. To accommodate physical distancing, additional performances may be added to the schedule.

Holland America Line cruises from Greece are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination.

Holland America Line guests will be required to comply with all health and safety protocols in place at the time of departure for travel to and from the ship, as well as all onboard protocols and procedures for visiting ports. Guests can find information about Greece traveler health requirements on the Visit Greece website.

Additional preventive health measures under Holland America Line's "Travel Well" program will be in place, including health screenings, face mask requirements, physical distancing and capacity controls. The ships now feature enhanced environmental sanitation and air ?ltration with upgraded HVAC systems and ultraviolet technology. HEPA ?lters will be used in key areas as a further safeguard. In addition, medical centers will be equipped with COVID-19 testing and treatment capabilities.

Holland America Line's protocols are subject to change as work continues in collaboration with medical experts and government bodies to ensure the practices evolve in line with the latest advice.

To accommodate the new Greece sailings, guests sailing on Eurodam's published Seattle roundtrip Alaska cruises will be moved to similar accommodations on sister ship Nieuw Amsterdam, which is scheduled to sail on the same departure dates. In addition, European cruises departing from July 1 through July 25 on Volendam and July 1 through Aug. 31 on Westerdam will be canceled. Guests who were booked on impacted cruises and their travel advisors are being notified.

Carnival Cruise Line Provides Update on Possible Restart Plan
Carnival Cruise Line today notified its guests and travel advisor partners of cancellations for additional sailings as it works toward plans for a possible July restart in the U.S. on select ships.

Carnival hopes to begin operating sailings on three ships from Florida and Texas, including Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze from Galveston, and Carnival Horizon from Miami. Further, if Carnival can find a solution to allow cruise ships to visit Alaska, Carnival Miracle will assume some of Carnival Freedom's departures from Seattle. Given that there is still some uncertainty in our ability to operate these cruises, guests booked on those sailings who wish to make alternate summer vacation plans may cancel without penalty by May 31, 2021 and receive a full refund.

The company is cancelling sailings on all other ships through July 30, 2021. Guests whose cruises are cancelled are eligible for a future cruise credit (FCC) and onboard credit (OBC) or a full refund.

"We continue to have constructive discussions with the CDC but still have many questions that remain unanswered. We are working diligently to resume sailing in the U.S. and meet the CDC guidelines," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We sincerely appreciate the continued patience and understanding of our guests and travel advisor partners and will share additional information as quickly as we can."

Separately, late last week Carnival notified its guests that Carnival Splendor's pause out of Sydney was extended another month, as it cancelled sailings from Aug. 19 to Sept. 17, 2021.

AIDA Cruises extends Canary Islands season through July
AIDA Cruises is extending AIDAperla's Canary Islands season through July, offering new dates for booking beginning May 7, 2021. The new voyages depart from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria on June 12, 19 and 26, 2021.

Currently, AIDAperla is successfully sailing on 7- and 14-day voyages around the Canary Islands. For many months, the Canary Islands have been one of the few vacation destinations in Europe with consistently low incidence levels. Thanks to the Spanish government's regulations for safe travel, which coincide with AIDA's enhanced health and safety protocols, many AIDA guests have been able to enjoy relaxing holidays in the Canary Islands.

With AIDAblu starting on Greek cruises on May 23, 2021, and AIDAsol starting on May 22, 2021 in Germany, AIDA is able to offer its guests even more exciting destinations for their holiday.

Unfortunately, cruises in other destinations are not possible at the moment. Therefore, all other cruises with a departure date between May 18 and June 10, 2021, have to be cancelled.

AIDA is happy to offer affected guests to rebook to one of the Canary Islands, Greek voyages or cruises from Germany as well as a later voyage from AIDA's diverse offer.

With a testing strategy for guests and crew members already utilized on several cruises, it is AIDA's top priority for all guests to enjoy their vacation safely. The enhanced health and safety protocols -- tested by SGS Institut Fresenius and confirmed by the classification society DNV -- includes a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for detecting viruses and bacteria before traveling, as well as regular health checks, social distance and hygiene rules, medical care including test capacities on board and other measures.

With the "AIDA promise," the cruise company offers guests more flexibility and security in planning. Generous booking options are part of AIDA's commitment to its guests, ranging from small down payments to free rebooking. The "AIDA promise" is included in the travel price for new bookings up to May 31, 2021 and applies to departures up to March. 31, 2022.

All cruises are carried out in compliance with AIDA's enhanced health and safety protocols, as well as applicable laws and regulations for infection protection.

Viking Expands "Welcome Back" Collection With New Mediterranean Voyages For Summer 2021
Viking announced today that it will restart operations in the Mediterranean with new ocean voyages for vaccinated guests beginning this summer. Offered as part of Viking's Welcome Back collection, Viking Venus and Viking Sea will homeport in the Maltese capital city of Valletta—a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site—and sail two different 11-day roundtrip itineraries in the Mediterranean. As a result of strong demand, Viking also announced today it is adding more sailing dates this summer for its Welcome Back voyages around Iceland and Bermuda.

Guests on the new Malta & Adriatic Jewels itinerary will overnight in Valletta and then sail to Montenegro and Croatia, calling in Kotor, Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Šibenik, before returning to the Maltese archipelago, with a stop in Gozo and finally back to Valletta. Guests on the new Malta & Greek Isles Discovery itinerary will also overnight in Valletta and then sail to Greece, calling in Kalamata, Athens, Santorini, Rhodes and Souda Bay, before returning to Valletta. Viking Venus and Viking Sea will sail the itineraries between July and early October 2021. Delivered in April 2021, Viking Venus is Viking's newest ocean ship and will be named in the England on May 17, 2021 by ceremonial godmother and iconic British broadcaster Anne Diamond.

"We thank the government of Malta for its support and enthusiasm as we continue restarting operations," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Malta is a fantastic destination, with ancient history, rich culture and a central location in the Mediterranean. We began calling in Malta in 2016 and look forward to welcoming guests back to some of the most historically significant and naturally beautiful areas of the Med—in both the Maltese archipelago, as well as along the Croatian coast, and around Greek islands this summer."

Today's news follows Viking's recent announcements of Welcome Back ocean voyages in England, Iceland and Bermuda, beginning in May 2021. The company is actively working on developing additional Welcome Back itineraries in a variety of other destinations, with the goal of announcing further 2021 sailings as soon as government approvals are given.

Those who sail these new voyages will also experience Viking's industry-leading health and safety program. Grounded in scientific research, the Viking Health & Safety Program was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking's Chief Health Officer. Dr. Bono is a board-certified trauma surgeon and retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps—and most recently led Washington State's medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing a full-scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship, all guests and crew will receive daily quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests. New air purification technology has also been installed on all Viking ships, which have always featured independent air handling units for all guest staterooms. And additional health checks, sanitization and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking guests and crew at all points of the journey

Azamara Reveals Health and Safety Protocols for Return to Sailing in August
Azamara is pleased to reveal the brand's 'Explore Well at Sea' program ahead of the line's return to service in August.

Through Azamara's commitment to wellness, the cruise line is implementing new standards with the launch of its 'Explore Well at Sea' program to enhance the onboard experience, keeping guests' safety and peace of mind a top priority. With the guidance of the Healthy Sail Panel – a group of the best minds and leaders in public health, biosecurity, epidemiology, hospitality and maritime operations – travelers can expect advanced screening protocols such as fully vaccinated crew and guests, enhanced sanitation measures, and enhanced medical services. Azamara will continue to evaluate these protocols and update them as public health standards and the global situation evolves. Booked guests and travel partners will be advised of the latest requirements prior to voyage departure.

"Since we suspended our sailings over a year ago, we've had time to develop a strong restart plan and build on our existing health and safety protocols to ensure peace of mind for guests and crew, especially when it comes to traveling within our new world," said President of Azamara, Carol Cabezas. "Cruising is one of the safest places to travel, which is attributed to all the enhanced protocols set in place, and we are extremely fortunate to be guided by the Healthy Sail Panel for a healthy return to service in Greece beginning on August 28, with five back-to-back Country-Intensive Voyages and one classic Mediterranean sailing."

'Explore Well at Sea' Program Highlights:

Testing & Screening: All guests will be required to be fully vaccinated two weeks prior to sailing, as an added layer of protection to keep guests and crew safe, in addition to providing a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result. Once aboard, complimentary COVID-19 testing and medical evaluations will be available.

Air Filtration: With new HVAC filtration systems, the air indoors aboard each of Azamara's ships is comparable to the fresh sea air. This advanced filtration system takes in fresh sea air and moves it through a two-stage filter, plus copper coils, to eliminate 99.99% of germs, making the transmission of aerosol particles between spaces extremely low to virtually impossible.

Cleaning Protocols: Advanced cleaning protocols and guidelines approved by the CDC and recommended by the Healthy Sail Panel will be followed. Every nook of the ships, from bow to stern, will be regularly cleaned and sanitized. New standards include enhanced team member training, use of EPA-certified disinfectants, and techniques like electrostatic spraying.

Medical Capabilities: An enhanced medical facility will be found on board each Azamara vessel, with more equipment, a dedicated infectious control officer, and new isolation staterooms to provide comfortable and complimentary care. New agreements will be in place with local governments, hospitals and transportation partners to ensure guests a safe return home.

AIDA Cruises Celebrates Opening of Europe's Largest Shore Power Plant in Germany
AIDA Cruises today announced that Europe's largest shore power plant was officially inaugurated with one of its ships, AIDAsol, in the presence of Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig and AIDA Cruises President Felix Eichhorn during the 12th German National Maritime Conference.

Establishing a shore power supply for cruise ships in Rostock-Warnemünde, Germany, is the result of a joint agreement between AIDA Cruises, the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the Hanseatic and University City of Rostock and Rostock Port signed in September 2018.

"With our green cruising strategy, we have been investing in a sustainable cruise market for many years," said AIDA's Eichhorn. "The shore power plant in Rostock-Warnemünde is another important step after the facility in Hamburg on our way to an emission-neutral cruise that we want to achieve with our fleet. I would like to thank the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and all partners involved for the good and trusting cooperation. Together, we are sending out an important signal, not just in Germany, but throughout Europe."

The shore power plant, which was completed in summer 2020, is currently the largest in Europe. With an output of up to 20 megavolt amperes (MVA), two cruise ships can be supplied with electricity at the same time in Warnemünde at berths P7 and P8. In regular passenger operation AIDAsol needs up to 4.5 megawatts per hour (MWh) of electricity.

The use of shore power to supply ships with energy is a decisive step for AIDA Cruises to reduce local emissions to zero during berthing over time, as a cruise ship typically stays in port around 40% of its operating time.

As early as 2004, when the order for the construction of AIDAdiva was placed, and for all other ships put into service the following years, the company considered the use of shore power as an option for environmentally friendly ship operation.

Since 2017, AIDA Cruises has been using Europe's first shore power plant in Hamburg-Altona with AIDAsol in regular operation. Currently, 10 ships in the AIDA fleet can use shore power where available or are technically prepared for it. The aim is to convert all ships built from 2000 onwards accordingly.

With AIDA Cruises starting a cruise season from Kiel, Germany, on May 22, AIDAsol will also be the first cruise ship to complete the final tests on the newly built shore power plant there. Its construction is the result of a joint initiative by the state government of Schleswig-Holstein, the city and the port of Kiel and AIDA Cruises. AIDAsol is scheduled to arrive in Kiel on the afternoon of May 13.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 26.27 - 5.94%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 83.93 - 4.53%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.055 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 27.95 - 10.39%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship was the first to provide passengers Internet access?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When Carnival's 46,052 ton Holiday was built in 1985 she set the record as the largest cruise ship built in that particular country. In what country was she built? Bonus: Name the shipyard?

Answer - The MS Holiday set the record for the largest ship build in Denmark at Aalborg Vaerft.
courtesy of Byron Clayton, Singapore


Cruise News - May 3, 2021

Costa Cruises Celebrates Restart Of Cruises In Mediterranean
Costa Smeralda, Costa Cruises' flagship, left the port of Savona Saturday, May 1, for a week-long cruise in Italy. It is the first ship of the Italian company to resume operations in 2021, officially kicking off the summer season, which will see a total of four Costa ships cruising the Mediterranean

The restart of Costa Smeralda was celebrated Saturday morning at the Palacrociere terminal, in the presence of Costa Cruises President Mario Zanetti, together with local authorities including the Mayor of Savona, Ilaria Caprioglio; the President of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority, Paolo Emilio Signorini; and the Captain of Savona Costa Guard, Francesco Cimmino.

"This year, May 1 takes on a special meaning for Costa Cruises as our company is resuming its operation, celebrating the resumption of work, for us and for the entire allied industries," said Costa's Zanetti. "We are delighted to be starting off again from a Ligurian port, from the region that has been our home for over 70 years. The cruise and tourism sector is essential for the recovery of the Italian economy. Suffice it to say that, before the pause due to the Covid-19 emergency, our company generated an economic impact of €3.5 billion at national level, with over 17,000 direct and indirect jobs, working with about 5,000 partners. We hope that Saturday's restart will be a sign of a return to normality, for us, for our guests, whom we are pleased to welcome back onboard, and for all the suppliers working in our sector."

Costa Smeralda's first cruise features an all-Italian itinerary, visiting Savona, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Messina, Cagliari and La Spezia. Guests can choose to book the entire itinerary, for a week-long holiday, or split it into three- and four-day mini-cruises, to experience a shorter holiday.

Health and safety procedures have been enhanced through the adoption of the Costa Safety Protocol, the protocol developed by the company together with scientific experts and Italian authorities, which contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore. The measures include: a reduction in the number of guests; swab tests for all guests before embarkation and after half of the cruise; swab tests for the crew before embarkation and regularly during their stay on board; temperature checks every time guests disembark and re-enter the ship and every time they enter the restaurants; visits to destinations only with protected excursions; social distancing on board and in the terminals; new ways of using on-board services; enhanced sanitation and medical services; and the use of protective masks when necessary.

As for the holiday experience, guests will be able to enjoy new features, including a totally renewed excursion program, which will allow them to discover off-the-beaten path destinations, exclusively for Costa guests, and new menu proposals, with dishes related to locations visited by the itinerary.

Moreover, Costa's restart takes place with the most advanced ship in the fleet in terms of reducing environmental impact. Indeed, Costa Smeralda is the brand's first cruise ship to be powered by LNG, the most advanced propulsion technology available for reducing emissions. The ship's entire daily water requirements are met by directly transforming seawater using desalinators; energy consumption is reduced to a minimum thanks to an intelligent energy efficiency system; and waste is managed on board with 100% separate collection for recycling of plastic, paper, glass and aluminum.

Costa Smeralda is the first of four ships that will operate for Costa in summer 2021, offering cruises in the Mediterranean. On May 16, Costa Luminosa will restart, offering week-long cruises to Greece. On June 26, Costa Deliziosa will be back on one-week cruises to Greece. On July 4, Costa Firenze, the new ship inspired by the Florentine Renaissance, will be sailing on a one-week itinerary in Italy. Alongside with the return of the Costa Firenze, from July 3 the Costa Smeralda will be back on international itineraries, with week-long cruises in Italy, France and Spain.

"The restart of Costa Cruises on the occasion of the Labor Day takes on a strong symbolic value and must be a good omen for the recovery of an important economic sector such as tourism," said Ilaria Caprioglio, Mayor of Savona. "The municipality of Savona is pleased to celebrate this restart with Costa Cruises, after very difficult months of health, economic and social crisis, in the 25th year of the Company's presence in Savona. Savona is ready to welcome cruise passengers again."

"I really appreciate the sense of responsibility and the efforts of Costa Cruises to restart again, confirming the port system of Genoa and Savona as one of the main destinations for cruises in the Mediterranean, with over 2.3 million cruise passengers," said Paolo Emilio Signorini, president of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority. "Costa Cruises has developed strict safety protocols with the health authorities that will allow passengers to experience the cruise in a relaxed and full way, both onboard and ashore. I am proud that Savona is Costa Cruises' home port, and I will keep on working to further strengthen this bond. We made significant investments in the terminal and others are coming for the electrification of the docks, welcoming a request for sustainability addressed by the local community. We will also work to improve accessibility to the port, integrating even more the world of Costa into the local reality."

"The resumption of cruise activities with the Costa Smeralda is very important, especially in view of the gradual recovery of the sector," said Captain Francesco Cimmino of the Savona Coast Guard. "The Harbor Master's Office - Coast Guard of Savona completed the onboard inspection activities for the certifications required by the international conventions on safety and security; the activities were carried out by specific teams of inspectors of Savona and Genoa Coast Guard."

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces Return to Sailing
Regent Seven Seas Cruises today announced its return to sailing with Seven Seas Splendor cruising from the UK beginning September 2021. The voyage will mark the cruise line's return to service, as well as Seven Seas Splendor's inaugural season, with the ship having only completed two cruises with guests after being christened in February 2020. With a phased return to sailing for the rest of the fleet, luxury travelers will soon be able to once again enjoy the unrivaled Regent experience with the peace of mind that comes with the multi-layered SailSAFE health and safety program.

"Come September we will have the double celebration of our return to the seas as we also recommence the inaugural season of the ship that perfects luxury, Seven Seas Splendor," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "With immaculate design, luxurious suites, exquisite cuisine, dynamic entertainment and outstanding personalized service, Seven Seas Splendor was one of the most highly-anticipated ships to launch in the history of cruising, and my promise to our loyal and eager guests is that without a doubt she will be worth the wait."

The cruise line intends to preserve originally planned itineraries, as much as the global health environment at the time allows, presenting guests with the exceptional cruise and destination experience which they have come to expect from Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The first cruise in her inaugural season has Seven Seas Splendor scheduled to set sail September 11, 2021 for an 11-night voyage, round-trip from Southampton, England visiting Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. After her initial voyage, the ship will transition to explore the beautiful Mediterranean before crossing the Atlantic to sail in the Caribbean. While many of her sailings are already sold out, there are still opportunities to cruise later in Seven Seas Splendor's European season, and in the Caribbean early 2022.

To ensure a smooth and safe resumption of operations, the remainder of the Regent fleet's return to sailing will be announced at future dates, with voyage suspensions now extended through September 30, 2021 for Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator, and Seven Seas Voyager. In conjunction with today's announcement, Seven Seas Splendor's voyages are suspended up until her September 11, 2021 voyage from Southampton.

Multi-Layered SailSAFE Health & Safety Program

During its voluntary suspension of sailings, Regent Seven Seas Cruises built upon its existing comprehensive health and safety protocols by establishing the SailSAFE health and safety program, a robust and science-backed strategy that creates multiple layers of protection against COVID-19. The Program was developed with guidance from a team of public health and scientific experts including the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council.

"The well-being of our guests, crew and communities we visit has always been of paramount importance, and our SailSAFE health and safety program ensures it continues to be without diminishing the guest experience," continued Montague. "Offering unrivaled space at sea, our ships perfectly balance safety with comfort and freedom through spacious suites, multiple gourmet dining options and expansive social areas."

New Disney Cruise Line Ship Will Unlock Enchanting Family Vacations in Summer 2022
When the Disney Wish sets sail in summer 2022, families will discover a mesmerizing 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 vacations at sea, combining legendary service and entertainment with imaginative storytelling and all the care you expect from a Disney vacation," 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 June 9, 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 May 27, 2021.

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."

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, sipping and soaking. Set away from the bustle of family activities, this secluded adults-only district will feature a luxurious infinity pool, poolside bar and chic cafe.

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 favorite 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 favorite 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 flavors.

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.

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 theater 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 center 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.

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 favorite 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.

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 savor gourmet meals and exceptional beverages at Palo Steakhouse, Enchanté 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 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. 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.

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.

Celebrity Cruises' Reveals Details of Newest Ship, Celebrity Beyond
Today, Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo unveiled the company's third ship in the company's industry-transforming "new luxury" Edge Series -- Celebrity BeyondSM. Designed to give guests endless opportunities to disconnect from the world -- while simultaneously reconnecting with the world that surrounds them -- Celebrity Beyond goes further than imagined possible for a cruise ship, creating a new world of wonder and luxury.

Inspired by a vision to take the cruise industry into the next era of luxury, Lutoff-Perlo assembled a dream team of modern lifestyle icons to bring to life extraordinary experiences that allow guests to connect with each other, the sea, and their journey. Celebrity Beyond showcases the design talents of multi-award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen CBE; celebrated American designer Nate Berkus; and lauded Paris-based design firm Jouin Manku; the innovation of British architect Tom Wright; and the culinary gifts of Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud. The ship will also feature experiences and products from goop CEO and founder Gwyneth Paltrow, the brand's new Well-Being Advisor.

Redefining luxury again, Celebrity Beyond builds on the features and design of its award-winning predecessors Celebrity Edge (2018) and Celebrity Apex (2020) by creating innovative spaces that set the brand apart from others in the industry. Every element of Celebrity Beyond's look and feel has been carefully curated with re-imagined spaces and more luxurious versions of the brand's most popular signature spaces, including:

The Retreat, an exclusive resort-within-a-resort area for suite guests, highlighted by a new two-story sundeck;

• Transformed accommodations from modern two-story villas with private plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas, blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living;

• An expanded Rooftop Garden and stunning Resort Deck featuring unique cantilevered float pools;

• A multi-level, multi-terraced Sunset Bar redefining the ship's aft;

• A first-ever Daniel Boulud fine-dining restaurant at sea;

• A boldly redesigned Grand Plaza spanning three decks, creating an airy and open indoor space;

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

"Celebrity Cruises has always been an innovator at sea, and now we have challenged the status quo with a vessel that goes beyond expectations, beyond imagination," said Lutoff-Perlo. "Celebrity Beyond shatters any and every preconceived notion of the cruising experience. This exquisite ship offers a journey at the intersection of elegance and approachability filled with what's important to our guests today: forward-thinking design, culinary excellence, unparalleled well-being and incomparable service."

"With Celebrity Beyond, we saw an opportunity to take the extraordinary features of Celebrity Edge - like the focus on the connection with the ocean and the grand spaces - and really amplify them," said Richard Fain, Chairman of Royal Caribbean Group, parent company of Celebrity Cruises. "We focused on providing more openness, height and spaciousness throughout the ship's most popular spaces. The end result is a next generation ship that embodies the intersection of architecture and design."

The Retreat: A Resort In and of Itself

One of the most sought-after interior designers in the world, Kelly Hoppen CBE, has reimagined aspects of the design for The Retreat, the unrivaled and exclusive resort space for suite guests, including all new suites, and brought her globally renowned style to outdoor venues such as the Rooftop Garden and the main pool area on the Resort Deck.

The new, two-story Retreat Sundeck will offer more unadulterated outdoor bliss and ways to rejuvenate in the fresh ocean air with secluded cabanas, chic new seating areas, additional water features and the exclusive Retreat Bar. The warm and inviting Retreat Lounge is a newly stylish space to unwind; while Hoppen's new take on the adjacent private restaurant Luminae, now at the front of the ship, becomes a space where every corner provides a new experience with each visit, in keeping with the daily changing menu.

An array of contemporary suite accommodations featuring fresh color palettes and design details by Hoppen await guests of The Retreat, including the redesigned two-story Edge Villas with outdoor plunge pools, and Celebrity's famous Iconic Suites, the largest in the fleet, offering better views than the captain's quarters.

Connecting Two Worlds

Nowhere is more rejuvenating than the open sea, and Celebrity Beyond ensures guests are able to take full advantage of both the luxurious design of the ship while soaking in the world around them.

Perhaps best known for designing the world-famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, lead architect Tom Wright of WKK has expanded the exterior spaces on Celebrity Beyond, transforming them into serene outward-facing sanctuaries leveraging endless ocean vistas and breath-taking panoramas of the extraordinary places the ship will visit. His design both lengthens the ship by 20 meters and raises the ship to 17 decks tall, allowing for the reimagination of The Retreat, the Resort Deck, and the Rooftop Garden – outdoor spaces increasingly important to today's traveler.

The main open deck, 40 percent larger than on previous Edge Series ships, features an enormous living Rooftop Garden designed by Hoppen and includes increased seating offering new private nooks and more spaces for movie watching, enjoying live music and outdoor dining at the expanded Rooftop Grill. A highlight of this area is Wright's incorporation of two spectacular floating pools cantilevered six and a half feet over the side of the ship, taking guests beyond the water's edge.

On the Resort Deck, guests will enjoy a stunning asymmetrical space with a 25-yard lap pool surrounded by a terraced pool deck and new sunken seating areas designed by Hoppen.

Wright also designed the signature Edge Series Magic Carpet, a tennis-court sized cantilevered platform that scales the side of the ship and transforms from open-air lounge or restaurant hovering above the ocean along higher decks to a tender platform for going ashore on lower decks. Featured on Celebrity Beyond, it debuted on Celebrity Edge in 2018 and is still considered one of the most unique design innovations ever for a cruise ship.

Celebrity Cruises' Edge Series Design Ambassador Nate Berkus stepped into the role of designer himself, to imagine one of the most anticipated venues on Celebrity Beyond – the Sunset Bar. Inside this space that is nearly twice as large as previous iterations, Berkus has created a chic, Moroccan-inspired escape that is reminiscent of a modern-day Casablanca.

Guests will enter through a pergola-covered entrance to enjoy one of the hottest spots at sea. With more conversation niches and covered enclaves to allow guests to connect in a more intimate way, the Sunset Bar's cascading terraces will combine to provide the perfect place to soak in spectacular views and create unforgettable memories.

Luxury in Every Detail

The core of Celebrity Beyond's vision of luxury is the Grand Plaza, a transformational place at the center of the ship designed by Jouin Manku — the team responsible for designing the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower — and offering a different experience with every visit. Inspired by the piazzas of Italy that serve as life centers of towns where architecture and social connection become one, the Grand Plaza spans three decks at the heart of the ship, boldly declaring it is the place to see and be seen.

Larger than Grand Plazas on its sister Edge Series ships, the Celebrity Beyond Grand Plaza has an airier atmosphere with more room for intimate seating. The added space allowed designers to move the Martini Bar into the center of the venue as a full, circular bar.

Hanging proudly above the new Martini Bar, the Grand Plaza's iconic chandelier boasts a new, organic shape with hundreds of individual LED lights that cast an inviting glow at all hours—taking center stage with talented bartenders at night during their exciting and theatrical Flash Flair Fusion performance.

Connected to the Grand Plaza is the top table of culinary excellence at sea, the new, intimate 50-seat restaurant by world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Aptly named Le Voyage, travel is the inspiration for the globally inspired flavors within, designed to transport guests to the very places that inspire the Michelin-rated chef. Complementing the menu, world-class sommeliers will pair the perfect wine with every dish from Celebrity Cruises' "most awarded" wine collection at sea.

Complementing Chef Boulud's world-class menu is the restaurant's ambiance, which is also the result of Jouin Manku's creative talents. Intimate seating cocoons are surrounded by luminous portals highlighting the themes of journey and travel, while graphically lit "glass flutes" provide layers of light and texture to create an enchanting experience.

Providing a sense of occasion and flow, the Le Voyage experience begins with a dedicated entrance and concludes with a customized sweet prepared in Daniel's own farewell boutique as guests are wished 'au revoir.'

Rethinking Wellness at Sea

Luxury didn't stop at the architectural design and culinary experience, but extended into how Celebrity Cruises thought of wellness on Celebrity Beyond. New to the ship are AquaClass SkySuites, an immersive living experience that helps guests find their center. From floor-to-ceiling ocean views, private verandas, luxurious bedding and other wellness amenities, Celebrity Beyond has thought of everything to nourish its guests' mind, body, and spirit on vacation.

Celebrity Beyond also sets sail with a new partnership with actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, serving as the line's new Well-being Advisor. All Aqua Class guests across the entire Celebrity Cruises fleet (excluding Galapagos sailings) will be treated to onboard wellness offerings, including fitness kits from Paltrow's modern lifestyle brand goop, aimed at enhancing self-care and collective well-being. Paltrow and her team at goop will also curate onboard wellness programming and participate in the line's new Women in Wellness initiative.

Celebrity Beyond will depart on her maiden voyage on April 27, 2022 from Southampton, England, 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.

Seabourn Charts A 65-day "Grand Pacific Voyage 2022
Seabourn is inviting travelers to explore the "peaceful sea" and myriad islands within it on the brand new Grand Pacific Voyage 2022: A World of Islands. The 65-day adventure is set to depart Vancouver, British Columbia, aboard Seabourn Odyssey on September 30, 2022, and arrive at Sydney, Australia, on December 5, 2022, offering a world of experiences for guests in between with 41 ports, 30 islands, 12 countries, and five overnight stays on the itinerary. Guests will also have the option to embark the voyage in Seattle on October 1, 2022.

The 65-day itinerary of the Grand Pacific Voyage includes stops at notable destinations Seabourn has not visited in over five years, including: Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii; Avatoru, Rangiroa, French Polynesia; Mataiva, French Polynesia; Maupiti Island, French Polynesia; Maroe Bay, Huahine-Iti, French Polynesia; Cook's Bay, Moorea, French Polynesia; Alofi, Niue; Dravuni Island, Fiji; and Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands.

"The Pacific Ocean is a phenomenon all its own – so vast, so beautiful, with such a wide range of destinations and cultures for guests to discover, so demand for this 2022 Grand Pacific Voyage has been very strong," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "French Polynesia and Tahiti belong on everyone's must-visit list, and there is no more appealing way to check them off than on board Seabourn Odyssey."

Once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences available on Seabourn's 2022 Grand Pacific Voyage are endless, with 25 optional, guided Ventures by Seabourn excursions where guests are invited to explore settings of natural beauty via hike, kayak, and Zodiac across the South Pacific. Destinations with the excursions include Maupiti Island, French Polynesia; Ureparapara, Vanuatu; Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands; and Savusavu, Vanau Levu, Fiji, to name a few. There will also be two days of Ventures by Seabourn offerings in Conflict Islands (Panawal Group), Papua New Guinea, and Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Among the featured overnight destinations for guests of the Grand Pacific Voyage to anticipate:

• Honolulu, Hawaii – Experience a vibrant mix of natural, cultural and historic wonders on the island of Oahu, and a blend of cultures in this gleaming city. The famed resort destination of Waikiki Beach will be waiting, as will the volcanic landmark Diamond Head and historic Pearl Harbor, the largest natural harbor in Hawaii, and the only U.S. naval base designated as a National Historical Landmark.

• Conflict Island (Panawal Group), Papua New Guinea – Named by its discoverer for the British ship HMS Conflict, this archipelago of 21 coral atolls off the coast of New Guinea is as peaceful and idyllic as paradise can get. And paradise it is, privately owned by a passionate conservationist, with activities including kayaking, snorkeling and paddle-boarding tailored for full enjoyment of beautiful beaches, bio-diverse reefs, crystal clear and comfortably warm waters, and relaxation on sugary sands.

• Papeete, French Polynesia – The capital of Tahiti was once a gathering place for islanders to fill their calabashes with fresh water. Today, it's a gateway city lively with romantic resorts, fine-dining restaurants, pearl shops, vibrant markets, and boutiques. The mountainous interior of Tahiti beyond has deep valleys and scenic waterfalls, while the rugged coastal lands are dotted with fields of tropical flowers and glorious white- and black-sand beaches.

Sailing the Pacific Ocean is an unparalleled experience. It is the Earth's largest feature – wet or dry – with a total area larger than all landmasses combined. Occupying a full third of the globe and stretching halfway around the world at its widest point, the Pacific plunges to a maximum depth of nearly 36,000 feet. The ocean's ever-moving surface is further embellished with most of the world's islands – some 25,000 in total – leaving no shortage of destinations for Seabourn guests to discover.

In addition, there will be a selection of optional Overland and Seabourn Journeys, offering opportunities to explore treasured sites on land that cannot be accessed on single-day excursions from the ship.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 27.93 + 1.38%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.91 + 1.12%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.055 - 8.33%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 31.19 + 3.21%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When Carnival's 46,052 ton Holiday was built in 1985 she set the record as the largest cruise ship built in that particular country. In what country was she built? Bonus: Name the shipyard?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which was the first cruise ship to be enlarged by having an 85 foot mid-section inserted? As a result of this surgery, her capacity increased from 876 to over 1,200.

Answer - RCCL's the Song of Norway in 1978.
courtesy of Brian O'Leary -- Montreal, Canada


Cruise News - April 26, 2021

Norwegian Cruise Line Prepares for Resumption of Cruising from Barcelona and Rome
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced a further restart of operations in Europe from the homeports of Barcelona and Rome with previously scheduled port-intensive itineraries to the Mediterranean and Greek Isles beginning Sept. 5, 2021.

Guided by the robust protocols of the Sail Safe Global Health and Safety Program, and in partnership with local governments, NCL plans to welcome travelers to experience the warm and vibrant cultures and sites of Spain, Italy and Greece. Currently scheduled to sail from Barcelona, Norwegian Epic will cruise seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries from Sept. 5, 2021 through Oct. 24, 2021, with Norwegian Getaway sailing a mix of 10 to 11-day Greek Isles voyages from Rome (Civitavecchia) from Sept. 13, 2021 to Oct. 25, 2021. With five to eight ports of call, up to 13 hours in each city and no more than two days at sea, guests can spend their days exploring ancient ruins and medieval architecture, admiring artistic masterpieces or simply savoring a variety of local cuisine.

"Europe is a top travel destination, so we are very much looking forward to returning to some of our most beloved homeports, resuming those itineraries and welcoming our guests to experience a vacation of a lifetime in the safest possible manner," said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "We are actively working with our local partners and government officials, as we plan for resumption of voyages in the region with Norwegian Epic and Getaway joining Norwegian Jade this summer. Relaunching Norwegian Epic and Getaway will allow us to provide a greater variety of highly sought-after itineraries for those travelers preparing to take their first cruise vacation in over a year."

"While cruising has not yet restarted from Spanish ports, the Port of Barcelona has been closely working and cooperating with the Spanish Ministry of Health and with the Health Department of the local government of Catalonia towards the same objective: the resumption of cruise traffic following the safest protocols for guests, crew and the inhabitants of Barcelona," said Mercè Conesa, president of the Port of Barcelona. "We are hopeful that we will soon welcome Norwegian Cruise Line and its guests to Barcelona."

Reaffirming the Company's commitment to elevating the guest experience at sea, the Cruise Line will debut an all-new The Haven by Norwegian complex aboard Norwegian Epic, following an extensive refurbishment in Marseille, France at the end of 2020. Norwegian Epic was the first in the fleet to premiere the Brand's key-card access ship-within-a-ship concept in 2010, complete with private amenities, dedicated services and the most luxurious accommodations on board. The recent renovation resulted in 75 reimagined and upgraded suites combined with redesigned experiences including The Haven Restaurant and The Haven Courtyard Pool and Sundeck. Norwegian Epic features one of the largest The Haven complexes in the Norwegian fleet.

"Although we have been unable to connect with our guests at sea, we have used the last year to prepare for their return by investing in our fleet and our onboard offerings," said Sommer. "Norwegian Epic's redesign is a testament to our unwavering commitment to extraordinary quality and elevating the standard of excellence across our fleet."

Oceania Cruises Announces Restart of Cruise Operations in August 2021
Oceania Cruises announced that it will resume cruise operations with the 1,250-guest Marina in August, beginning with sailings to Scandinavia and Western Europe. Marina will resume her originally published voyage schedule, commencing on August 29, 2021 in Copenhagen.

"The entire Oceania Cruises team is excited to now shift our focus to safely restarting operations and ultimately welcoming back our guests to begin exploring the world once again," stated Bob Binder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceania Cruises.

Phased restart dates for the balance of the Oceania Cruises fleet will be forthcoming and itineraries will be evaluated for port availability and adjusted as needed closer to the sailing dates.

Robust, New SailSAFE Protocols

Oceania Cruises is undertaking a phased restart with its science-backed plan for a healthy return to service that protects our guests, crew and communities visited. The robust SailSAFE Health and Safety Program creates multiple layers of protection against COVID-19 and was developed with guidance from our team of public health and scientific experts including the Healthy Sail Panel and the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council.

"At Oceania Cruises, we value health, well-being and safety above all else. Our guests, our crew, and, of course, the many amazing, dedicated people who work with us in the destinations we travel to are the very lifeblood of our business and we'll do everything in our power to safeguard their health and safety," stated Binder.

Full details on our SailSAFE protocols can be found here. These protocols will be continuously evolved and refined using the best available science and technology.

When the line's ships start sailing again, beginning with Marina in August 2021, guests will be delighted with an array of truly surprising enhancements to the brand's already acclaimed culinary experience and onboard service.

"Our guests have been waiting a long time for this moment. We know that when our guests return, we want to not just welcome them back to the Oceania Cruises they remember and cherish, but also to exceed their expectations by elevating the dining experiences and service levels. We'll be sharing more information about these exciting developments in the coming weeks," added Binder.

Azamara Announces Return to Sail with Greek Itineraries Starting in August
Azamara announced this week that Azamara Quest will return to the high seas beginning August 28, 2021 with five back-to-back Country-Intensive Voyages and one classic Mediterranean sailing; each seven-days in length and a total of 18 late-night stays in port, including Santorini, Rhodes and Heraklion, Greece.

"Over the past year, our team – ship to shoreside – continued to connect with our guests and travel partners. Our biggest takeaway is the desire everyone has to sail again, and we are excited to share that we can finally make this dream come true," said President of Azamara, Carol Cabezas. "There's no better way to return to service than in a country Azamara knows best, Greece. Our return to sail wouldn't be possible without the support from Honorable Minister Harry Theoharis, the local government and port authorities, and we are extremely grateful for welcoming us back into this beautiful and culturally rich destination."

"We're looking forward to welcoming Azamara and its guests in Greece in August," says Honorable Minister Harry Theoharis. "We fully support the line's return to cruising in the Aegean waters and we are sure that all of its passengers will have unique experiences in our beautiful destinations.''

Voyages will open for booking on May 11, 2021. With the health and safety of guests and crew being the top priority for the return to sail, Azamara has made the decision to require all guests and crew to be fully vaccinated no later than 14-days prior to departure. Once the sailings open for booking, the upmarket cruise line will reveal protocol guidelines led by the Healthy Sail Panel, to reassure guests a healthy return to service.

With travel requirements remaining unconfirmed throughout most of Europe, all sailings aboard Azamara Journey and Azamara Pursuit will be suspended until September 2021. Current Azamara Quest sailings through October 2, 2021 are also suspended, with the new Country-Intensive voyages beginning August 28, 2021. Guests impacted by summer suspensions will be offered a number of flexible options to rebook or request refunds for current reservations. Guests looking to book these new voyages and other Azamara cruises can still take advantage of Azamara's "Cruise with Confidence" benefits, offering flexibility for fully paid reservations booked by May 31, 2021 for sailings through April 30, 2022.

Greece Highlights:

Medieval, ancient wonders of Rhodes, Greece:  Known as the Island of the Knights, guests can visit ancient wonders including the Colossus of Rhodes, a statue of the Greek sun-god Helios and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Stunning architecture and ruins of Heraklion, Greece: The fourth largest city in Greece, guests can explore Heraklion's architectural marvels including The Bronze Age Palace of Knossos, an ancient palace with ruins dating back to the early Minoan period.

Volcanic splendors and stunning sunset in Santorini, Greece: Santorini was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. Travelers can sail the caldera or discover the ancient ruins of Akrotiri by day and soak in the sunset views from Azamara Quest, as nightfall descends upon the island.

Ancient Delos and beautiful beaches of Mykonos, Greece: Step back in time to mythological Delos, birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and historic UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests can explore the hidden corners and captivating coastline of Mykonos by 4X4 or caique, a traditional wooden boat.

A blend of old and new in the coastal city of Limassol, Cyprus: Travelers can visit the last divided capital of the world, Nicosia, shared by Cyprus and Turkey. Byzantine landmarks, tales of the Crusades, or ventures into the countryside to explore the fruit orchards, olive groves and vineyards await.

Costa Unveils Summer 2021 Cruise Vacations In Mediterranean
Summer is approaching, and with it the desire and the possibility to finally plan moments of leisure, relaxation and vacation with blue sea and yellow sun. These are precisely the colors of Costa Cruises, which today announces its programs for the 2021 summer, with enhanced health and safety protocols and exciting new features for cruises to beautiful destinations in the Mediterranean.

Featuring extended stays at ports of call and organized shore excursions exclusive to Costa guests, the Italian company's Mediterranean cruises will include two ships in the west and two in the east with sailings to Italy, France, Spain and Greece, and itineraries accessible from 13 different ports of embarkation. Each ship will also feature the Costa Safety Protocol, which includes enhanced health and safety procedures for all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore, which were implemented in the past months of cruise operations.

"We have updated our program for this summer based on a scenario of port and destination re-openings that is becoming increasingly clear and that now allows us to better plan our operations and offer extraordinary cruise vacations to the many guests who look forward to relaxing and memorable holidays," said Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Cruises. "We decided to focus on destinations in the Mediterranean, close to our European guests, that can be discovered or re-discovered in a truly unique way. Now we can finally say that the Costa summer begins, and we cannot wait to welcome our loyal guests as well as newcomers – all of whom can count on us for high-quality service, dining and entertainment, wonderful destinations and an exceptional onboard experience with enhanced safety protocols."

The new summer itineraries will feature extended stops in ports of call to allow guests to spend more time on shore. Costa will also introduce a renewed program of excursions that will allow guests to discover off-the-beaten-path locations that are exclusive for Costa guests. The onboard experience will be further enriched by new menu options featuring "destination dishes" linked to the locations visited by Costa ships.

Costa's two newest and most innovative ships will operate in the Western Mediterranean: Costa Smeralda, the LNG-powered flagship, and Costa Firenze, the new ship inspired by the Florentine Renaissance and delivered last December, which will experience a real debut.

As already announced, the first ship to depart will be Costa Smeralda, on May 1, which will take guests to beautiful Italian locations on three- and four-day mini-cruises that will make it possible to enjoy a shorter experience or, alternatively, a week-long cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari. This Italian itinerary will be extended until July 3, when the ship will return to offer week-long cruises visiting Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Palermo and Civitavecchia.

Cruises in Italy will continue to be available on Costa Firenze, which will set sail on her first trip on July 4, with an all-Italian itinerary that includes Savona, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Naples, Messina and Cagliari. From September 12 until mid-October, Costa Firenze will also be offering one-week international cruises including Savona, Civitavecchia, Naples, Ibiza, Barcelona and Marseilles.

On the eastern side of the Mediterranean, two other ships will sail, the twins Costa Luminosa and Costa Deliziosa.

Costa Luminosa is confirmed to depart on May 16 from Trieste, and the following day from Bari, focusing on the Greek destinations of Corfu, Piraeus (Athens), Mykonos and Katakolon.

Costa Deliziosa will resume cruises from June 26, offering a week-long itinerary with Venice, an extended one-day and one-night stop in Mykonos, followed by Katakolon, Corfu and Bari.

Costa is working with the national and local authorities of the countries included in the itineraries of its ships to define in detail the modalities of its operations.

The summer season in Northern Europe and all other cruises scheduled until mid-September 2021 not included in the itineraries updated today, are cancelled due to the level of uncertainty on the reopening of several destinations which does not currently guarantee the feasibility of the itineraries. Costa is in the process of informing travel agents and customers affected by the changes with detailed information ship by ship.

Seabourn, Barbados Partnering To Launch Summer Luxury Cruises From July 2021
Seabourn cruise line, together with the Government of Barbados, is developing plans to restart guest sailings on a second ship through a series of new summer voyages operating round-trip out of Bridgetown, Barbados, beginning on July 18, 2021.

The brand also previously announced plans to resume guest operations in Greece aboard Seabourn Ovation starting July 3. More details on those plans are available here.

Seabourn Odyssey Caribbean

Seabourn Odyssey will operate 7-day cruises from Barbados to Southern Caribbean destinations, including idyllic ports of call in Antigua, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and St. Kitts. The voyages are open for booking on April 21. Guests can also choose a 14-day option, which combines the two distinct 7-day itineraries between Windward and Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea. Previously released itineraries for Fall 2021 sailings include additional port calls in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guadeloupe, and Martinique.

The itineraries include unique Seabourn experiences that become highlights of every traveler's trip. The "Caviar in the Surf" at Carambola Beach has become a perennial favorite, allowing guests to enjoy beautiful beaches while Seabourn team members wade through turquoise water to serve chilled caviar and Champagne. The day also includes a lavish barbeque lunch featuring grilled lobster, fresh fruit and other delicious dishes. A Marina Day is also scheduled, where the ship's staff treats guests to an afternoon of active watersports operated directly from a platform on the back of the ship.

"We are grateful to be working in concert with the Government of Barbados to restart tourism in Barbados and the Caribbean Sea," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "The entire Seabourn family is energized to provide our award-winning service, dining and entertainment on board Seabourn Odyssey starting again this July."

"We look forward to welcoming Seabourn back to our shores and are pleased with the outlook for the restart of the cruise industry," said Sen. the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport for Barbados. "Safe travel is our priority, and placing vaccinations and other key public health travel protocols at the core of our cruise industry restart will not only restore traveler confidence, but also offer comfort to visitors and Barbadians alike."

Each sailing also features a sea day for time spent on board enjoying venues like Earth & Ocean for al fresco dining, cooling off with artisanal gelato made fresh daily by the culinary team, or a host of activities available aboard Seabourn Odyssey. Those who prefer quiet relaxation can find a comfortable chair in Seabourn Square to read or even take time to watch the scenery go by on deck or from their private furnished veranda in their suite.

The series of voyages are open to any guests that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. "Fully vaccinated" is a minimum of 14 days following the first or second dose (for those vaccines requiring two doses) of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines being administered. Proof of vaccination and the dates given will be required. Approved forms of documentation will be confirmed closer to time of departure and must be shown at the terminal prior to boarding. Seabourn team members will also be vaccinated.

Seabourn guests will be required to comply with all health protocols that may be in place at the time of their departure. Travelers should check on travel requirements regularly, for both inbound travel to Barbados and their return home, since policies continue to change based on the latest advice.

Additional initial preventive health measures under Seabourn's "Travel Safe" program will also be in place, including health screening questionnaires, face mask requirements, physical distancing and capacity controls for indoor venues, as well as enhanced environmental sanitation and upgraded high efficiency air filtration in the heating & cooling system. The brand's protocols are subject to change as work continues in collaboration with medical experts and government bodies to ensure the practices evolve in line with the latest advice. Seabourn's priority is to protect the health and well-being of our guests, team members, and the people in the communities the brand visits. More details on the protocols are available on the Seabourn website.

Seabourn is finalizing additional details for these voyages, including more information on the shoreside experiences, and will share them in the coming weeks. They will also be posted on the Seabourn website. Guests are encouraged to book early for best suite selection, and the brand will offer flexible cancellation terms through Book with Confidence as well.

On Earth Day, Carnival Cruise Line Releases Video Showcasing Eco-Friendly LNG Fuel Technology
In conjunction with Earth Day, Carnival Cruise Line today released a new video, "LNG Powers the Fun," highlighting the many environmental benefits of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), a groundbreaking fuel technology that will be utilized on two new ships, Mardi Gras, set to debut later this year from Port Canaveral, Fla., and Carnival Celebration, scheduled to enter service from PortMiami in 2022.

Working closely with the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, its energy and technology partner, Shell, the teams at Port Canaveral and PortMiami, and a host of other parties, Carnival is the first cruise line to bring LNG to North America on these two 180,000-ton Excel-class ships, its newest and most innovative vessels.

Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration are among nine Excel-class ships from Carnival Corporation to employ this eco-friendly fuel, one of the cleanest in the world, significantly reducing emissions with cleaner exhaust.

The video explains how LNG works and why it's a game changer, while detailing the various new technologies and processes, both on board and on shore, necessary for LNG propulsion, everything from engine designs, fuel containment systems, and the accompanying new engine parts to comprehensive training for shipboard officers and engineers.

New terminal facilities were built at Port Canaveral and are under construction at PortMiami. Shell has chartered the state-of-the-art QLNG 4000 fuel barge to facilitate bunkering Mardi Gras while Port Canaveral has also acquired a purpose-built fire boat to support the LNG provider's tug.

LNG is part of Carnival's comprehensive sustainability and environmental efforts to reduce energy consumption and its environmental footprint, underscoring its commitment to preserving and protecting water, air and land resources. These efforts also include advanced waste water treatment systems, advanced air quality systems, shore power connection capabilities, and comprehensive waste management, recycling and energy conservation programs, complementing many initiatives to reduce single-use plastics on board.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 27.55 + 2.45%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 86.94 + 3.77%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.06 + 5.26%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 30.22 + 8.04%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which was the first cruise ship to be enlarged by having an 85 foot mid-section inserted? As a result of this surgery, her capacity increased from 876 to over 1,200.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Just outside of the Britannia Restaurant on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 are a series of metallic, art deco-influenced frescoes celebrating the historical and cultural icons of the continents. In addition to the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol on the "North America" mural there is a very tiny and surprising representative of the continent? Can you name him/her?

Answer - The american pop-culture icon immortalized in the North American mural on QM2 is none other than Homer Simpson.
courtesy of Brian O'Leary -- Montreal, Canada


Cruise News - April 19, 2021

Viking Takes Delivery Of Newest Ocean Ship
Viking today announced it took delivery of Viking Venus, the company's newest ocean ship. The delivery ceremony took place this morning when the ship was presented at Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, Italy. Viking Venus will now make her way to the United Kingdom, where she will be officially named on May 17, 2021 by her ceremonial godmother, Anne Diamond, the esteemed British journalist and broadcaster. The ship will then sail spring and summer departures of the England's Scenic Shores itinerary.

"We are especially proud to welcome our newest ship to the fleet this year. Many of us have stayed close to home for months, so this is an important milestone as we begin to get back out into the world again," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We look forward to celebrating the naming of Viking Venus by her esteemed godmother, Anne Diamond—and to welcoming our UK guests back on board next month."

For more than a year, Anne Diamond has been a key figure on Viking's award-winning enrichment channel, Viking.TV (www.viking.tv). Viking.TV went live in March 2020, in the early stages of the pandemic, and was conceived as a way to build community, stay connected and share positive experiences while people are staying home, rather than traveling. Every Thursday since the launch of Viking.TV, Anne has interviewed a wide spectrum of significant figures with relationships to Viking, including world-renowned cellist and humanitarian Yo-Yo Ma; Xander Parish, principal ballet dancer at the Mariinsky Theatre; the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon; the Duke of Devonshire; explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison, OBE; former PBS MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton, OBE; Downton Abbey's "Mrs. Patmore," actress Lesley Nicol; polar explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft; NASA astronauts Dr. Anna Fisher, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan and Dr. Richard Michael Linnehan; classical musicians Alma and Helen Deutscher; legendary British actor, broadcaster and writer Sir Michael Palin; celebrity chefs Eric Ripert, Andreas Viestad and Ainsley Harriot, MBE; bestselling authors Jeffrey Archer, Claire Cook, Robert Harris and Paul Schneider; and Kyle MacLachlan, Sofia Helin and Alexander Eik, the lead actors and the creator of the new PBS MASTERPIECE series, Atlantic Crossing.

Today's news follows Viking's recent announcement that it is restarting operations with a collection of new itineraries in England, Bermuda and Iceland beginning in May 2021. All of Viking's new Welcome Back voyages are available exclusively for vaccinated guests, in accordance with local entry rules in many of the destinations that will welcome Viking ships—and as a complement to the Viking Health & Safety Program, which was designed to protect guests and crew even while the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is still moving forward.

Silversea Cruises Unveils Details On Its Return To Sailing
With demand at an all-time high, Silversea Cruises today opened sales on brand new voyages aboard Silver Moon to the Eastern Mediterranean, departing from Greece from June 18, 2021. The leading ultra-luxury cruise line unveiled a collection of nine voyages—each 10 days in length—which will sail round-trip from Piraeus (Athens), taking in many of Greece's most beautiful destinations, such as Santorini, Paros, Mykonos, and Crete, among others, as well as Haifa (Israel) and Cyprus.

"The entire team at Silversea, our colleagues at the Royal Caribbean Group, and our loyal guests have been waiting for this incredible news for over one year. We are delighted to open general sales on our new Silver Moon itineraries in the Eastern Mediterranean," says Roberto Martinoli, President and CEO of Silversea Cruises. "Our guests are yearning to continue their travels, exemplified by the unprecedented demand we are currently registering. We are excited to introduce them to our beautiful new flagship Silver Moon, as they travel deep into Greece, Israel, and Cyprus. On behalf of the entire Silversea team and our valued guests, we extend our deepest gratitude to Greece's Honorable Minister Harry Theoharis, Ministry of Tourism – Hellenic Republic; port authorities; and other governing bodies for their valued support and their openness to collaboration. Greece has long constituted a key destination for our cruise line and we are thrilled to resume sailing in this magnificent part of the world."

"We welcome the announcement of Silversea Cruises' restart from Greece,'' says Honorable Minister Harry Theoharis.'' Once again, travellers will have the opportunity to discover our beautiful destinations and create memories to last a lifetime. We fully support the recommencement of cruising, as it is a very important pillar of our tourism strategy."

TRAVELLING DEEP INTO GREECE, CYPRUS, AND ISRAEL

During her inaugural season, Silversea's new flagship Silver Moon will take travellers deep into the Eastern Mediterranean, calling in many of the region's most beautiful destinations. To protect guests' health and safety, guests will only be allowed to leave the ship on Silversea's verified shore excursions which will be included in the fare—one included shore experience per day, from a selection in each port—with premium verified shore experiences available at an additional charge. Offering guests the possibility of combining voyages for extended exploration, the new collection includes the following sample itineraries:

Piraeus (Athens) to Piraeus (Athens) – June 18-Jun 28
Silver Moon's maiden voyage will depart Piraeus (Athens) on June 18, calling in some of Greece's and Cyprus' most beautiful destinations, including Syros, Paros, Patmos, Rhodes, Limassol, Heraklion, and Mykonos, before returning to Piraeus (Athens) on June 28. In Limassol, the ancient grandeur of Cyprus will come alive as guests discover Petra tou Romiou, or 'Aphrodite's Rock', the breathtaking mosaics of Paphos at the House of Dionysos, and the 3rd-century Tomb of the Kings. A verified shore experience in Rhodes will unlock the destination's medieval past, with travellers stepping back in time in the walled Old City, the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Avenue of the Knights, and the Archaeological Museum, among other mesmerising highlights. Two days at sea will enable guests to discover the remarkable enrichments aboard Silver Moon, including those unlocked through the new S.A.L.T. programme, which will take guests deeper into each destination by showcasing the most engaging stories around food and drink. Silversea's President's Ambassador to the Venetian Society, Fernando Barroso de Oliveira, will accompany guests on this momentous voyage, gladly reconnecting with the Silversea family.

Piraeus (Athens) to Piraeus (Athens) – Jun 28-July 8
After departing Piraeus (Athens) on June 28, guests travelling aboard Silver Moon will spend a day at sea, relaxing under the warm Mediterranean sunshine—perhaps with a cocktail on the pool deck. After discovering the delights of Limassol in Cyprus, guests will journey on to Ashdod (Jerusalem) and Haifa (Nazareth) in Israel, before travelling to Rhodes, Aghios Nikolaos and Souda Bay in Crete, and Santorini. Travellers will have the opportunity to visit some of history's most sacred and important sites in Jerusalem, including the Room of the Last Supper, the Tomb of King David, and Dormition Abbey, while touring the Old City. Spectacular scenery and laid-back village life await in Santorini's Oia, considered by many as the Cyclades Islands' most picturesque town. SILVER MOON: PUSHING BOUNDARIES IN ULTRA-LUXURY TRAVEL

Delivered in October 2020, Silver Moon pushes the boundaries of ultra-luxury, immersive travel as the best ship in her class. Taking inspiration from her sister ship, Silver Muse, Silver Moon will maintain the small-ship intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodations that are hallmarks of the Silversea experience, while bringing elements of innovation and an array of enhancements.

With fewer than 300 suites, a personalised service, and a crew-to-guest ratio of almost 1:1, Silver Moon offers unparalleled levels of comfort and physical distancing to ensure guests can travel in unwavering confidence. Among her eight distinct restaurant concepts is the new S.A.L.T. Kitchen, which will serve regionally-inspired cuisine as one of three new venues to comprise Silversea's new S.A.L.T. programme. Elsewhere, guests will continue their culinary discovery of the Eastern Mediterranean's richest food and drink cultures in the S.A.L.T. Bar and the S.A.L.T. Lab—the former of which will serve guests cocktails, spirits and other drinks inspired by the visited destination, while the latter is a test kitchen that will enable guests to get hands-on with the best ingredients from the region.

FULL VACCINATIONS MANDATORY FOR GUESTS AND CREW

Full vaccinations will be mandatory for guests and crew embarking Silver Moon in Greece, forming part of a comprehensive, multi-layered set of science-backed protocols, which, approved by the Royal Caribbean Group's Healthy Sail Panel and the Greek Ministry of Health, will help to safeguard the health and safety of guests, crew, and visited communities. The protocol includes enhanced sanitation procedures, providing the highest standards of cleanliness in travel; increased air filtration to ensure the supply of fresh and filtered air from outdoors; high-quality onboard medical care with state-of-the-art medical equipment; and enhanced medical teams aboard Silver Moon. Silversea will continue to work closely with relevant governing bodies and health authorities to evolve its health and safety procedures, as new health recommendations are issued and as the fluid situation advances.

AIDA Cruises to Offer New Sailings in Greece from May to October
AIDA Cruises today announced it will offer new cruises in Greece from May 23, 2021, with 7-day cruises departing from Corfu and traveling through the Greek islands to Crete and Rhodes, as well as to Katakolon (Olympia) and Piraeus (Athens). Guests can also enjoy the amenities on board with multiple restaurants, bars, cultural activities and sports facilities, as well as organized shore excursions to explore the ports of call.

Greece is one of the most popular vacation destinations for German travelers. From May 14, 2021, the Mediterranean country will reopen for tourism from May 14. Its turquoise waters, fascinating culture, unique Greek flair and more make a vacation in this country so attractive.

Booking starts on 20 April 2021, with 23 dates between 23 May and 24 October 2021 to choose from. The Greek cruises can also be booked as 14-day trips.

In addition to the new offering in Greece, AIDAperla is sailing on seven-day voyages around the Canary Islands through June.

All cruises are carried out in compliance with AIDA's enhanced health and safety protocols, as well as applicable laws and regulations.

With a testing strategy for guests and crew members already utilized on several cruises, it is AIDA's top priority for all guests to safely enjoy their vacation. The enhanced health and safety protocols -- tested by SGS Institut Fresenius and confirmed by the classification society DNV -- includes a mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for detecting viruses and bacteria before traveling, as well as regular health checks, social distancing and hygiene protocols, medical care including testing capacities on board and other measures.

With the "AIDA promise," the cruise company offers guests more flexibility and security in planning. Generous booking options are part of AIDA's commitment to its guests, ranging from small down payments to free rebooking. The "AIDA promise" is included in the travel price for new bookings up to May 31, 2021 and applies to departures up to March. 31, 2022.

Cruises in other destinations are unfortunately not possible at this time, with AIDA canceling the remaining voyages of April through May.

AIDA Cruises wishes for all guests to enjoy their planned AIDA vacation. Thanks to the travel offer on the Canary Islands and in Greece, AIDA can offer all affected guests attractive alternatives

Cunard Announces 2022 Event Voyages
Cunard announced today its 2022 line-up of Event Voyages, offering a rich and compelling variety of themes on board flagship liner Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth. Welcoming back guest favorites including the Literature Festival at Sea in partnership with Cheltenham Literature Festival, The Times and The Sunday Times; and much-loved Anthony Inglis and the UK National Symphony of Orchestra, Cunard also introduces the line's first Art & Design Week, and Beatles and Beyond: Celebrating the Best of British. Also joining the roster is the highly anticipated London Theatre at Sea with the Olivier Awards.

Guests will enjoy an opportunity to meet and mingle with renowned authors, West End theatre stars, wax nostalgic with one the world's top Beatles tribute bands, and learn insider views and latest trends with the line's new Art & Design Week.

Every journey offers the opportunity to delve deeper into an existing passion or discover something new, with an enriching program of interactive workshops, masterclasses, performances, and thought provoking speakers and discussions with fellow guests, truly there is something for everyone on board.

"Cunard is excited to again offer an incredible array of Event Voyages in 2022, which have become an eagerly anticipated hallmark of Cunard's on board experience," said Jamie Paiko, vice president of Sales for Cunard North America. "From art and literature to music and design, our guests enjoy the luxury of time to more deeply delve into their passions, and appreciate the opportunity to meet notable luminaries form all over the world. Anticipation is high for the return of Event Voyage favorites, as well as those new to Cunard, and ones we hope will be equally revered in the future," Paiko added.

Here's a taster of what to expect:

15-22 May 2022, Queen Mary 2: London Theatre at Sea, with the Olivier Awards: This eastbound Transatlantic Crossing, created in partnership with Society of London Theatre, will showcase Olivier award-winning talent, both on and off the stage. This Event Voyage will feature spectacular performances and an illustrious line-up of guests in conversation about their careers, as well as talks on productions, how they are produced, and the theatres themselves

Highlights include a dazzling show with the stars in the Royal Court Theatre in a production looking back at the last 45 years of the Olivier Awards; an immersive workshop about the secrets and techniques of putting on a production; and dance classes lead by world class choreographers.

"In May 2022, we can't wait to welcome guests on the London Theatre at Sea Event Voyage - a blend of performances, workshops, talks, dance classes and some special evening shows combine with an extraordinary array of on and off-stage talent to bring theatre to life. The world leading Queen Mary 2 transatlantic experience together with the very best of London theatre will result in an extraordinary week," said Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre. Fares start from $1,399 per person.

8-17 May 2022, Queen Elizabeth: Beatles and Beyond: Queen Elizabeth will sail a nine-night roundtrip voyage departing Tokyo, tracing the shores of Japan and South Korea, and play host to Cunard's first ever Beatles and Beyond: Celebrating the Best of British voyage. Through music, film, tastings and demonstrations, the sailing will celebrate beloved aspects of British culture, culminating in a spectacular finale in the Royal Court Theatre by the superb Bootleg Beatles, the world's leading Beatles tribute band. Fares start from $1,579 per person.

28 August-4 September 2022, Queen Mary 2: Art & Design Week: Cunard's first ever Art & Design Week is a one-of-a-kind experience that will take guests on a journey celebrating the best of design, past, present and future. Unmissable insights, expert-led masterclasses and special on board exhibitions promise to inspire the inner creative life of those who participate. In addition, guests will have an exclusive opportunity to hear from creative influencers at the forefront of design for Cunard's newest ship. Fares start from 1,519 per person.

25 October-1 November 2022, Queen Mary 2: Anthony Inglis and the UK's National Symphony Orchestra: A regular favorite in the Cunard calendar, the UK's National Symphony Orchestra sets sail again with Maestro Anthony Inglis leading the ensemble in memorable orchestral performances in the Royal Court Theatre. Guests will enjoy an evening of all-American music, including Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" after departing New York; and an evening celebrating the best of British music before arriving into Southampton. Charismatic conductor Inglis leads the audience, guest choir, soloists and orchestra in both concerts, as well as presenting another afternoon concert featuring Ravel's "Bolero."

"The annual Transatlantic Crossing by the National Symphony Orchestra and myself is keenly looked forward to by the musicians, as much as the guests on board the magnificent liner, Queen Mary 2," said Anthony Inglis. "After the year we have all had, the orchestra and I have decided that we need a huge celebration in 2022, not only on behalf of the ship and her wonderful crew, but also the guests we have all missed. Therefore, I have planned some exciting surprises, which will be both hugely challenging and equally rewarding. We look forward to welcoming guests for a gigantic, seven-night party with an orchestra playing some favourite classical pieces of music, a choir made up of the guests, plus many other entertaining events as we cross the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Southampton." Fares start from $1,149 per person.

3-10 December 2022, Queen Mary 2: Literature Festival at Sea in partnership with Cheltenham Literature Festival, The Times and The Sunday Times: This extraordinary eastbound Transatlantic Crossing, crafted by the programming team of The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, will offer book lovers the opportunity to join some of the best-loved authors, historians, poets, and critics, as well as journalists from The Times and The Sunday Times, to bring the spirit of the Festival to the voyage.

"We can't wait to be back on the gorgeous Queen Mary 2 for the 2022 Literature Festival on Sea," said Nicola Tuxworth, Head of Programming, The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. "There is something truly magical about sailing across a vast ocean on a beautiful, luxurious ship and listening to some of the world's best writers sharing their stories. The first Festival at Sea was fabulous, an unforgettable seven days – and the 2022 program will be packed with fascinating events for everyone who loves books and brilliant journalism. Whether you want to hear your favorite author discussing their craft, get behind the day's headlines with The Times, or even have a go at writing yourself, why not join us on board?"

This seven-day program of inspiring literary events celebrates the written word in all its variety with workshops, discussions, and Q&As focusing on literature, art, film, history and politics, all underpinned by the quality of delivery that is Cheltenham's hallmark.

Guests will include bestselling authors Ian Rankin, Maggie O'Farrell, Charles Cumming, Sathnam Sanghera, Mick Herron, and Simon Winchester; revered classicist Mary Beard; acclaimed journalists Damian Barr and Rachel Johnson; and Times Red Box Editor, Matt Chorley. More names to be announced.

Viking Announces Additional Sailings For Mississippi River Cruises
Viking announced today that new 2024 sailings of its Mississippi River cruises are now on sale. The company's first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Viking's first river cruises in the U.S. had been highly anticipated when they were officially announced in April 2020, and several sailings have already sold out through the 2023 sailing season. This strong demand has led Viking to open 2024 sailing dates sooner than originally expected.

"We are pleased with the continued response and support we have received from loyal guests and valued partners ahead of our new Mississippi River sailings," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "As we begin to restart ocean operations this spring, we also look forward to a new chapter in 2022 when we begin sailing our first U.S. river voyages."

Viking's arrival to the Mississippi will represent a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river, with the new cruises expected to bring more than 5,800 guests to the region in 2022 and 17,600+ during the first full sailing season in 2023. Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking's new Mississippi River cruises comprise seven U.S. states: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans and St. Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St. Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St. Paul).

2022-2024 Viking Mississippi Voyages

• America's Great River (15 days; New Orleans to St. Paul)—Experience nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River on this incredible journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the northernmost reaches of the U.S. Relax and enjoy the variety of scenery, foliage and wildlife on this leisurely voyage. Enjoy Southern charm and beautifully preserved homes in Natchez; retrace the steps of Civil Rights leaders in Memphis; ascend the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; and visit "The Norwegian Valley" in La Crosse. Multiple sailing dates are now available in June, July, September and October 2023 and 2024.

• America's Heartland (8 days; St. Louis to St. Paul)—From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian migrations; experience the regional music like polka and Norwegian folk; and taste regional cuisine showcasing local beer, produce and Wisconsin cheese. Multiple sailing dates now available August - September 2023 and 2024.

• Heart of the Delta (8 days; New Orleans to Memphis)—This journey on the Lower Mississippi is infused with American history, culture and heritage. Tour the area where the migrating French and Acadians settled; immerse yourself in the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement; discover the music of the South—jazz, blues and gospel; and experience the life and food culture of the south, from Cajun and Creole to the famed "dry" Memphis BBQ. Multiple sailing dates available in November 2022; additional sailing dates are now available in January – June and October – December 2023 and 2024.

• New Orleans & Southern Charm (8 days; New Orleans to New Orleans)—On this exploration of the Lower Mississippi, walk the historic estates and learn about Civil War history at notable sites. The roundtrip journey from New Orleans will allow guests to sample Cajun and Creole cuisine while taking in the sights and sounds of the French-influenced ports including Baton Rouge, Darrow and more in Louisiana and Mississippi. Multiple sailing dates available in November – December 2022; additional sailing dates are now available in January and December 2023 and 2024.

• Mississippi Holiday Season (8 days; Memphis to New Orleans) – In December 2022, guests will discover the Lower Mississippi during a special holiday voyage. The eight-day journey will include exclusive Privileged Access to Graceland, decorated for the season; Cajun cuisine and shopping excursions; a visit to marvel the light displays and decorated historic homes in Natchez and Baton Rouge. Onboard festivities will include special celebratory regional dining and treats for the holidays. Multiple sailing dates available in December 2022. Viking Mississippi Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking's award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship's cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the most modern cruise ship in the region. Highlights of the new ship include:

• All Outside Staterooms: Guests can choose from an unparalleled seven spacious stateroom categories that range from 268 sq. ft to 1,024 sq. ft: Veranda, French Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite and Explorer Suite. All staterooms feature a private veranda or French balcony, king-size bed with luxury linens, large flat-screen interactive TV, mini-bar, large glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and 24-hour room service.

• Viking Suites: Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites on the river, with every suite featuring two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious sitting room. Guests in Penthouse Jr. Suites (400 sq. ft.) and Terrace Suites (425 sq. ft.) receive early stateroom access; expanded double-sink bathroom; mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water and snacks replenished daily; welcome champagne; and laundry, pressing and shoe shine services. Guests in the expansive Explorer Suites (657 sq. ft. to 1,024 sq. ft) also receive a wraparound veranda and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package.

• Explorers' Lounge & The Bow: Familiar to Viking's ocean guests as one of the most popular onboard public spaces, Viking Mississippi will also feature an Explorers' Lounge near the bow of the ship. The sun-filled, two-story Explorers' Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, a unique outdoor seating area at the front of the ship where guests can relax and enjoy ever-changing riverside views.

• River Café: From American classics to Mamsen's Norwegian specialties, this indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer alternative restaurant dining in a casual al fresco setting.

• Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by many of Viking's ocean and river guests, Viking Mississippi will also feature a revolutionary Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for an American barbecue experience. Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining options on the Mississippi.

• Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to take a dip while fully surrounded by their destination.

• The Living Room: Clean Scandinavian design paired with American influences, the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment. Nearby, the quiet corner of The Library, is a perfect place to discover a new book.

• The Restaurant: This main dining venue on Deck 1 will serve daily-changing menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and always available classics prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Full 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Guests can stroll the entire ship outside on Deck 1, stretching their legs while viewing scenic landscape and regional wildlife.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking creating The Thinking Person's Cruise. A focus on cultural enrichment on board Viking Mississippi means that guests will enjoy Destination Performances that represent the most iconic music of the region—as well as Guest Lecturers that shed light on the region's art, architecture, history, culture, natural world and more. And only The Viking Way of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Privileged Access, Local Life and Working World experiences, opening doors to places otherwise difficult to visit. On Viking's Mississippi River itineraries, guests may choose to take a guided kayaking trip in the Louisiana bayou; visit a working farm in Quad Cities; or immerse themselves in Cajun culture during a Privileged Access excursion to the Rural Life Museum of Louisiana State University. Viking Inclusive Value: Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Cruise fares include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.

Seabourn Reveals Fall, Winter & Spring 2022-2023 Voyages
Seabourn invites travelers to discover regions of remarkable beauty and culture in the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Asia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans, with voyages scheduled during fall, winter and spring 2022-2023.

An innovative range of itineraries is offered throughout each region, with sailings in the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, along the coasts of Australia and New Zealand, and throughout greater Asia, including voyages of seven to 35 days. The entire Seabourn fleet will be on the move to popular cities, hidden gems, and destinations accessible only to smaller ships. Key highlights include Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Ovation sailing to the Caribbean, Seabourn Encore traveling into Southeast Asia from the Mediterranean and Middle East, Seabourn Quest transiting the Panama Canal to explore the western coasts of Central America, and Seabourn Odyssey visiting Australia, New Zealand, and countries throughout the Pacific Rim. Additionally, there will be options to combine cruises to experience even more of our extraordinary world.

"Our guests have asked us to release Seabourn itineraries earlier and earlier to plan future travel. We are excited to have our 2022 and 2023 cruise offerings for guests to book and experience 'the Seabourn Difference' from the Caribbean to the Panama Canal and Australia to Asia," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Every year brings new routes and destinations for our guests to experience the exclusive travel opportunities that we offer."

Seabourn's seasonal itineraries are designed to appeal to travelers of every kind, with a variety of onshore outings available to experience at every port. True maiden ports on the schedule include Port Royal, Jamaica, and Tioman Island, Malaysia, while those the line hasn't visited in at least five years include Hillsborough, Carriacou, Grenada; San Juan de Sur, Nicaragua; Quepos, Costa Rica; Baubau, Butung, Indonesia; and Tsuruga, Toyama, Sakata, Ishinomaki, Hitachinaka, and Miyako, Japan.

Travelers who covet outdoor adventures will also find the Ventures by Seabourn optional for-charge expedition-style excursion program in select destinations, including Australia and New Zealand voyages.

Seabourn voyages for fall, winter, and spring 2022-2023 include:

CARIBBEAN

For the first time, Seabourn Ovation will cruise the Caribbean from December 2022 to April 2023 with three seven-day sailings round trip to Barbados, as well as 10 seven-day voyages between Barbados and St. Maarten. The holidays will shine as bright as the Caribbean sun, with the ship offering a 10-day Antillean Holiday cruise starting December 17, 2022, and visiting the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and more, followed by an 11-day Caribbean New Year voyage starting December 27 and featuring the best of the Caribbean, Martinique, Antigua, Barbuda and more. The ship's Caribbean season will wrap up in April with an eight-day Atlantic Sunrises cruise between Barbados & Miami.

Following a 12-day Autumn Atlantic Sojourn crossing the ocean from Lisbon to Miami, Seabourn Sojourn will sail the Caribbean from November 2022 to January 2023, offering three 11-day Gems of the Leeward Islands voyages and one 16-day Holiday Caribbean Sojourn, all heading round trip out of Miami to visit iconic island destinations such as San Juan, St. Barts, the hidden harbors of Guadeloupe and Jost Van Dyke, and more.

Immersive experiences scheduled for guests exploring the Caribbean on Seabourn Sojourn or Seabourn Ovation include the line's popular Caviar in the Surf with uniformed crew plunging into the crystal-blue Caribbean Sea to offer iced Champagne and caviar served via surfboard bar, as well as fun-filled Marina Day, with complimentary watersports from a beach or the unique, retractable Marina platform on the stern of each ship.

PANAMA CANAL

Seabourn Quest will explore the Panama Canal, sailing four 14-day Panama Canal Quest voyages between Miami and Fuerte Amador (Panama City) during November and December 2022. Beyond its remarkable transit of twisting waterways that were carved through jungle wilderness, the voyages will offer guests opportunities to discover remnants of ancient Mayan civilizations, vibrant cultures that outlived their colonial beginnings in Mexico and Costa Rica, and amazing tropical destinations in Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and more.

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Seabourn Odyssey will sail the coasts of Australia and New Zealand during peak whale-watching season from December 2022 to March 2023, with five 16-day voyages between Sydney and Auckland taking in iconic Fjordland National Park, Kalkoura on New Zealand's South Island, and more. There will also be a single 14-day New Zealand Yacht Harbors voyage focused on great yacht harbors like Timaru, Lyttelton (Christchurch), and New Plymouth, and a 16-day Queensland Coast & Orchard Isles voyage that will head toward Indonesia. Travelers will have the option of keeping their adventure going with a pre- or post-cruise Seabourn Journey to The Red Center & Great Barrier Reef, with exploration of Sydney's historic Rocks precinct and Botanical Garden, as well as a private tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House; a flight to Australia's Red Center region to tour the 500-million-year-old red rock domes of Kata Tjuta and The Olgas; a cruise on the Daintree River and guided forest walk to the Botanical Ark in UNESCO World Heritage Daintree National Park; and a full day of snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef from a luxury catamaran.

ASIA

Following its season in Australia and New Zealand, Seabourn Odyssey will spend spring 2023 in Asia, sailing through Indonesia and the Philippines, and along the coasts of China, Japan and Taiwan with voyages ranging from 14 to 35 days. The 14-day Gems of Indonesia & South China Sea from Bali to Hong Kong will provide an in-depth exploration of Indonesia and Philippines, while the 14-day China & Gems of Japan from Hong Kong to Kobe will feature an overnight in Shanghai, calls in Japan and Taiwan, and a highlight visit to Okinawa, known as "the Japanese Hawaii." The 14-day Island Jewels of Japan will circumnavigate the country, traveling from Kobe to Yokohama with featured destinations including "Japan's Venice" Ishinomaki, where tens of thousands of Jewish refugees fled during World War II. And don't miss The Kuroshio Route, Seabourn Odyssey's 21-day cruise from Yokohama to Vancouver with an overnight in Petropavlovsk in Russia before crossing the north Pacific to Alaska.

Seabourn Encore will explore a different side of Asia, spending December 2022 to April 2023 traveling from Athens to Hong Kong. Offerings en route will include a 17-day Holy Land & Arabian Gems cruise from Athens to Dubai with highlight stops including Petra, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Muscat; and a 16-day Pearls of Arabia & India, from Dubai to Singapore, including an overnight stay in Mumbai. The ship will then offer the line's perennially popular 14-day Vietnam, Thailand & Cambodia voyages between Singapore and Hong Kong, which will alternate with a 16-day voyage visiting the Philippines, China and Malaysia. These highly popular sailings feature visits to Halong Bay in Vietnam and overnight stays in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Manila, and Bangkok, as well as optional overland tours from Sihanoukville to Ho Chi Minh City, and to Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious monument by land area. Seabourn Encore will finish up in Asia with a 19-day Jewels of India & Arabia cruise between Singapore and Dubai, and a 17-day Arabia, Egypt & the Holy Land cruise back to Athens.

Holland America Line Introduces 'Have It All' Premium Package
For travelers who appreciate taking an inclusive vacation with extra amenities factored upfront into the price, Holland America Line is launching a new "Have It All" premium package that includes shore excursions, beverages, specialty dining and Wi-Fi in one base cruise fare.

Available year-round on all itineraries six days or longer except Grand Voyages, "Have It All" is valued at $99 per guest, per day, for a seven-day cruise, and "Have it All" cruise fares represent incredible savings of 50% or more off the included amenities compared to purchasing them individually. "Have it All" fares will be available for booking April 21, 2021.

"We conducted extensive research with experienced cruisers and travel partners to understand what they find most valuable when purchasing a cruise and the results overwhelmingly pointed toward one simple fare that included our top amenities," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Our past promotions that offered these perks have been extremely popular, so we created a premium package that is available all the time and on nearly all our cruises."

More Value and Convenience with "Have It All"

In addition to all of the amenities that typically come with a standard cruise fare, "Have It All" also includes four high-value extras in the fare with more amenities as the length of cruise increase.

Cruises of 6 to 9 days:

• One shore excursion up to $100 value or $100 off any one tour for all guests in a stateroom. Choose from among thousands of tours all over the world – from active ziplining adventures to immersive, historical explorations.

• Signature Beverage Package for all guests in a stateroom. Enjoy a large selection of wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, soda, coffee and more. Up to 15 drinks per day allowed, and bar service charges are included.

• One night award-winning specialty dining for all guests in a stateroom. Pinnacle Grill is the ultimate steakhouse at sea, while Tamarind showcases the traditions of Southeast Asia, China and Japan with sensuous flavors and dishes. Canaletto is a relaxed venue that serves authentic Italian cuisine. Ships with Tamarind receive one night at Tamarind or Pinnacle Grill. Ships without Tamarind receive one night at Pinnacle Grill or Canaletto.

• A Wi-Fi package for the first and second guests in a stateroom.

Cruises of 10 to 20 days:

• All of the extras included in the package for six- to nine-day cruises, PLUS an additional $100 shore excursion or tour credit ($200 per guest total).

• Two nights specialty dining: ships with Tamarind receive one night at Pinnacle Grill and one night at Tamarind. Ships without Tamarind receive one night at Pinnacle Grill and one night at Canaletto.

Cruises of 21+ days (excluding Grand Voyages):

• All of the extras included in the package for 10- to 20-day cruises, PLUS an additional $100 shore excursion or tour credit ($300 per guest total).

• Three nights specialty dining: Ships with Tamarind receive one night at Pinnacle Grill, one night at Tamarind and one night at Canaletto. Ships without Tamarind receive two nights at Pinnacle Grill and one night at Canaletto.

When guests go to book a Holland America Line cruise, the "Have It All" fare is presented as an option with the included perks already factored into the price across all stateroom and suite categories. Guests who prefer to cruise without all of the extras have the option of a standard fare when making a booking. Each guest in a stateroom must book the "Have it All" cruise fare to receive the extras.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 26.89 - 3.10%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 83.78 - 3.77%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.57 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 27.97 - 4.41%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Just outside of the Britannia Restaurant on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 are a series of metallic, art deco-influenced frescoes celebrating the historical and cultural icons of the continents. In addition to the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol on the "North America" mural there is a very tiny and surprising representative of the continent? Can you name him/her?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Morro Castle caught fire in the Atlantic on a Booze Cruise to Havana. 134 Died and the hulk grounded on the Jersey shore.
courtesy of Jeff Fostik


Cruise News - April 12, 2021

Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are Sending Ships to St. Vincent to Evacuate Residents
Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are sending ships to St. Vincent in the Caribbean to evacuate residents currently at risk from a potential eruption of the island’s La Soufriere volcano, which has seen increasing activity in recent days.

Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas docked at the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent to help evacuate residents after the eruption of La Soufriere volcano.

Both cruise lines are working closely with St. Vincent authorities to assist residents most at risk. Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity’s Celebrity Reflection are on their way to the island nation and expected to arrive later this evening to assist with evacuation efforts.

All precautions will be taken to protect the health and safety of the crew and passengers who board our ships.

Holland America Line Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Private Bahamian Island Half Moon Cay
The Caribbean evokes images of white-sand beaches, balmy breezes and sun-kissed skies, but a cruise to the Caribbean with Holland America Line delves beyond the beauty and immerses guests in the local way of life. For the 2022-23 season, seven ships will explore the traditions and tranquility of the region — including the two newest Pinnacle Class ships — on itineraries roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Holland America Line's island-hopping adventures sail from October 2022 through April 2023 and feature five- to 14-day itineraries to the eastern, western and southern regions, including sailings that spend a day discovering the Panama Canal. All Caribbean cruises include a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private Bahamian island, and the 2022-23 season commemorates the 25th anniversary of the line's acquisition of the tropical jewel.

Guests can book a Caribbean cruise aboard Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Zuiderdam and one holiday cruise on Zaandam.

Travel magazines have repeatedly named Half Moon Cay the industry's best private island, and it is consistently ranked the highest-rated Caribbean port by Holland America Line guests. The quintessential and quaint sanctuary has evolved into a playground for cruise guests, and features the finest beach in the Caribbean, a natural 700-acre lagoon, two-story villas and private cabanas, delicious dining venues like Lobster Shack, a children's waterpark and a variety of shore excursions for nature lovers, adventure-seekers and explorers.

During the 2022-23 season, Holland America Line's two newest ships will explore the islands of the Caribbean, offering more guests the opportunity to experience the tropics from the privacy of a verandah stateroom. Plus, family and single staterooms, unique to Pinnacle Class ships, provide additional configurations to meet the needs of guests. The two ships also feature all Holland America Line Music Walk venues and specialty restaurants.

Holland America Line's ships explore the Caribbean on a variety of routes:

Eastern Caribbean

Ports: Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Length: 7 days
Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Zuiderdam

Ports: Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Half Moon Cay
Length: 5 days, one departure Dec. 18, 2022
Ship: Nieuw Amsterdam

Western Caribbean

Ports: Combination of Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth or Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Key West, Florida; Half Moon Cay
Length: 7 days
Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Zuiderdam

Southern Caribbean

Ports: Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curaçao; Half Moon Cay
Length: 7 days
Ships: Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Zuiderdam

Ports: Combination of Basseterre, St. Kitts; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Philipsburg, Sint Maarten; Saint Georges, Grenada; Amber Cove; Aruba; Curaçao; Grand Turk; Half Moon Cay; San Juan; St. Thomas
Length: 9, 10, 11 or 14 days
Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Zaandam

Tropical Caribbean

Ports: Amber Cove, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, Key West
Length: 7 days
Ships: Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam

Partial Sunfarer Panama Canal

Ports: Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Aruba, Curaçao, Half Moon Cay, Panama Canal partial transit (Gatun Lake/scenic)
Length: 10 or 11 days
Ship: Eurodam, Volendam

Holiday Cruises

Eastern: Rotterdam (Dec. 21), Nieuw Amsterdam (Dec. 23), Volendam (Dec. 27), Eurodam (Dec. 28)
Western: Eurodam (Dec. 21), Zuiderdam (Dec. 22), Rotterdam (Dec. 28)|
Southern: Nieuw Statendam (Dec. 17, 27), Zaandam (Dec. 20), Zuiderdam (Dec. 29), Nieuw Amsterdam (Dec. 30),
Partial Panama Canal: Volendam (Dec. 17)

During a December holiday cruise, guests can take part in a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, enjoy traditional holiday meals with all the trimmings and indulge in a special Royal Dutch High Tea with fanciful holiday cookies and pastries. The ships' international crew chorus performs a magical holiday show, while caroling and sing-alongs take place around the ship. Offering something for all ages, kids will delight in a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts. The New Year's Eve sailings are the ideal setting to ring in a new year, featuring a festive holiday ball with a Champagne toast and followed by a day of college football bowl games.

Many of the cruises can be extended into Collectors' Voyages to create the ultimate Caribbean exploration with more economical fares than booking the cruises individually. Ranging from 12 to 21 days, these longer journeys combine nonrepeating, back-to-back itineraries, enabling guests to span more than one Caribbean region and enjoy the ultimate island-hopping journey.

Throughout each cruise, EXC programming brings the Caribbean's local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life. Guests can get an insightful look at life below the water's edge or learn the story of rum at a captivating EXC Talk. Foodies can discover how to get the perfect balance of smoke and spice for authentic jerk chicken at a Port to Table cooking demonstration featuring local fare or participate in an exclusive culinary-themed shore excursion in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine showcasing the region's food scene from a local perspective.

Cunard's Captain Christopher Wells Retires after 20 years
Cunard Captain, Christopher Wells, is retiring after a stellar 20 year career with Cunard, part of 30 years spent working across Carnival Corporation cruise lines. In recognition of his outstanding service he has been awarded the rank of Commodore.

Commodore Wells has spent the last 13 years leading the team on board Cunard's flagship, Queen Mary 2, having originally been a key part of the commissioning of the ship which launched in 2004.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said: "Commodore Wells has been a wonderful ambassador for Cunard, proudly upholding the finest traditions and highest standards of the world's most famous shipping line. It is only fitting, and I am delighted, that he be awarded the rank of Commodore, the highest rank afforded to any seafarer.

"He'll be sorely missed by colleagues and guests alike, evidenced by the vast numbers of cards that have been received wishing him all the very best and noting his much-loved sense of humour as well as the respect he commanded. We thank him for the enormous contribution he has made to Cunard, in a highlight packed career, and wish him an equally successful retirement."

Bournemouth-born Commodore Wells began his career at sea on board tankers and bulk carriers in South East Asia before transitioning to cruise shipping in 1992, first with Cunard then Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia before returning to Cunard.

During his three decades on cruise ships, Commodore Wells has had the pleasure of meeting Her Majesty the Queen at the naming event for Queen Mary 2 and once again as Master at the naming of Queen Elizabeth. Another highlight was in 2017 when Commodore Wells climbed the tallest sail of the Sydney Opera House to mark the 10-year anniversary of Queen Mary 2's very first visit to the Australian city.

Commodore Wells combined his seafaring career with a 25-year commission in the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) and remains an Honorary Captain in the RNR.

Wanderlust & Work: Super-Charged MedallionNet Redefining Remote Working on Princess Ships
In a world where working remotely has become commonplace out of necessity, Princess Cruises is delivering super-charged internet connectivity by leveraging a new constellation of satellites to offer the ultimate remote workstation – an office at sea.

Upon its return to service, every Princess cruise ship in the global fleet will feature land-like connectivity as part of its MedallionNet Wi-Fi service, making remote working, distance learning, and the opportunity to securely conduct important transactions, available all while enjoying the most picturesque video conference backdrop on the horizon thousands of miles from home.

Each Princess MedallionClass ship transmits enough bandwidth per vessel to guarantee a superior connection for each guest and the personal device they are using. MedallionNet’s seamless integration ensures guests can work from their deck chairs as efficiently and effectively as in their office, with access to their cloud-based enterprise applications such as storage, videoconferencing, and email. And because there is an access point in every stateroom, as well as all public areas, guests can move freely around the ship as they work without any frustrating signal drops.

As more than 40% of the American workforce continues to work remotely, and with an expected 36.2 million Americans are projected to telecommute by 20251, an at sea office has never been more feasible and certainly remains very desirable to many.

“As an Internet person who lives her entire life online, I was thoroughly impressed with MedallionNet,” said Chelsea Lankford, creator of fashion and lifestyle blog Truelane. “I’m always impressed by its reliability. I’ve published blog posts, uploaded videos, and streamed Netflix in the middle of the ocean without a glitch.”

In late 2021, Princess connectivity partner – SES – will begin to launch a new constellation of satellites2, O3b mPOWER, that will further super-charge MedallionNet and offer guests the best connectivity possible at sea.

The unmatched bandwidth capacity not only delivers superior Wi-Fi service levels, but also powers the Princess MedallionClass experience onboard. The cruise line’s award-winning OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry, replaces the traditional cruise card to significantly expand touch-free options and personalization on board.

Working professionals will appreciate features and amenities such as: Keyless stateroom entry

• On-demand food, beverage, and retail items delivered anywhere onboard while you continue work or lead a video conference call

• Friends and family locator or chat function to find your travel partner when work is complete

When cruise vacations begin again, Princess will be ready to take guests to the sun-drenched beaches of the Caribbean or Mexico, the awe-inspiring scenery of Alaska, the iconic sites of Europe, the unparalleled California Coast, and many more destinations.

Celebrity Cruises Extends Suspension of Certain Sailings
Celebrity Cruises announced today that it is extending the suspension of some sailings, including all sailings from the United States until June 30, while continuing its measured return to service with more sailings scheduled from different regions around the world.

“Safety is the first priority, and we know that cruising can be safe, as we have seen in Europe and Asia,” said Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO. “The rising number of Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, layered on top of the rigorous health and safety measures we are implementing under the Healthy Sail Panel’s guidance, enables us to create a safe environment to take a cruise. We strongly believe that President Biden’s stated goal for society to reopen in time for Independence Day is a realistic goal.”

While we continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States and government authorities around the world, we have made the following adjustments to upcoming 2021 itineraries:

Celebrity Cruises

• Suspending sailings through June 30

• Excluding all ships which have recently announced many new homeports around the globe

Celebrity’s thoughtful return to sailing continues with announcements in the past 30 days of three more ships that will be welcoming guests beginning in June with sciencebacked protocols, including vaccines.

Celebrity Cruises

• Celebrity Millennium will sail from new homeport St. Maarten with stops in the Caribbean beginning June 5.

• Celebrity Apex will make its debut from Athens with stops around the Mediterranean beginning June 19.

• Celebrity Silhouette will sail from Southampton, England, on 6- to 8- night cruises around Britain’s coastline beginning July 3.

These ships join Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas, which has been sailing safely in Singapore since December 2020, and Odyssey of the Seas, which, as previously announced, will begin sailing from Haifa, Israel, beginning on June 2. Royal Caribbean Group continues to work with our Healthy Sail Panel of globally recognized scientific and medical experts to come back stronger, and we look forward to welcoming all of our guests back on board.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 27.75 - 1.28%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.06 - 2.43%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.57 - 5.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 29.26 - 1.51%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which popular French liner of the 1950's started her career crossing the Atlantic for North German Lloyd Line?

Answer - The fabled LIBERTE of the French Line first saw service as the EUROPA, sistership to the equally fabled BREMEN of 1929.
courtesy of Jeff Fostik


Cruise News - April 5, 2021

Seabourn Receives Approval From Greece To Relaunch Luxury Cruises From July 2021
Seabourn, the ultra-luxury cruise line, together with the Government of Greece is developing plans to restart Seabourn operations in the Mediterranean with a series of sailings operating round-trip out of Athens beginning July 3, 2021.

Seabourn Ovation will operate a series of 7-day cruises exploring beautiful and historic ports throughout the Greek Isles. The voyages are scheduled to open for booking on April 12. Guests will also be able to book longer 14-day voyages, which combine individual 7-day voyages with a variety of different ports on each. Seabourn will take guests to the ports of Agios Nikolaos, Rhodes, Mykonos and Nafplion as well as Limassol, Cyprus on one itinerary. On the other, guests will have the opportunity to experience Patmos, Rhodes, Thira and Spetsai along with a call at Paphos, Cyprus.

Each sailing also includes a sea day for time spent onboard enjoying venues like Earth & Ocean for al fresco dining, cooling off with artisanal gelato made fresh by the culinary team, or a host of activities available aboard Seabourn Ovation. Those who prefer quiet relaxation can find a comfortable chair in Seabourn Square to read or even take time to sit and watch the scenery go by from their private furnished veranda in their suite.

"The entire Seabourn family is truly excited to provide our award-winning travel experience aboard Seabourn Ovation starting again this July in the Greek Isles," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We're grateful to the people of Greece for welcoming Seabourn back to the Mediterranean this summer."

"Seabourn has been visiting Greece for more than 30 years and we look forward to welcoming their ships back to our unique destinations this summer," said Honorable Minister Harry Theoharis, Ministry of Tourism – Hellenic Republic. "Tourism is a vital part of our economy and our plans place a priority on health and safety to help restore traveler confidence to all. We are sure that once again all your guests will have the best experiences in Greece creating memories to last a lifetime."

The cruises are open to any guests that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. "Fully vaccinated" means a minimum of 14 days following the final dose of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines being administered. Proof of vaccination and the dates given will be required. Approved forms of documentation will be confirmed closer to time of departure and must be shown at the terminal prior to boarding.

Seabourn passengers will be required to comply with all health protocols that may be in place at the time of their departure. Travelers should check on travel requirements regularly, for both inbound travel and their return home, since policies continue to change based on the latest advice.

Additional initial preventive health measures under Seabourn's "Travel Safe" program will also be in place including health screening questionnaires, face mask requirements, physical distancing and capacity controls for indoor venues, as well as enhanced environmental sanitation and HVAC upgrades.

Seabourn Ovation will continue to follow stringent health and safety protocols. The brand's protocols are subject to change as work continues in collaboration with medical experts and government bodies to ensure the practices evolve in line with the latest advice. Seabourn's priority is to protect the health and safety of our guests, team members, and the people in the communities the brand visits. More details on the protocols are available on the Seabourn website.

Seabourn is finalizing additional details for these voyages, including more information on the shoreside experiences, and will share them in the coming weeks. They will also be posted on the Seabourn website. Guests are encouraged to book early for best suite selection and the brand will offer flexible cancellation terms as well. Guests with existing 2021 Greek Isles bookings will be notified with specific details for their updated itinerary under the same booking number. Airfare is available for purchase at competitive rates using Seabourn's FlightEase program, which includes complimentary transfers from the airport to the ship. Travelers can also book a private charter flight through Seabourn Private Air, which provides the ultimate in privacy and convenience.

Viking Continues Restart Of Limited Operations With New Bermuda, Iceland And UK Voyages
Viking announced today that it will continue restarting limited operations with a collection of sailings around Bermuda and Iceland beginning in June 2021. As a result of strong demand among past Viking guests in the United Kingdom, Viking has also added two additional sailings of the England's Scenic Shores itinerary in June 2021. All of Viking's new Welcome Back voyages will be available exclusively for vaccinated guests, in accordance with local entry rules in many of the destinations that will welcome Viking ships—and as a complement to Viking's new health and safety protocol enhancements, which were designed to protect guests and crew even while the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is still moving forward. Reservations for the new Bermuda, Iceland and UK voyages are now open.

For the new Bermuda Escape itinerary, Viking Orion will homeport in Hamilton for 8-day roundtrip itineraries; with the new Iceland's Natural Beauty itinerary, Viking Sky will homeport in Reykjavik for 8-day roundtrip itineraries. For both itineraries, the small size of Viking's ocean ships will allow convenient access to both small and large ports in Bermuda and Iceland—and both itineraries will be available for a limited time this summer.

Viking has been working closely with officials in the UK, Bermuda and Iceland for months; these destinations were chosen specifically because of their popularity among Viking guests, as well as their commitment to welcoming Viking ships, offering enriching experiences and reviving the travel industry in their respective countries. The company is actively working on developing Welcome Back sailings in a variety of other popular destinations, including Greece, Turkey and Malta—with the goal of announcing further 2021 sailings as soon as government approvals are given.

"We applaud the governments of the United Kingdom, Bermuda and Iceland for their collaboration and support in restarting the cruise industry safely," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "No other travel company has implemented the same science-led approach that includes a vaccination requirement for all guests, plus frequent non-invasive saliva PCR testing among all guests and crew. Therefore, we believe there will be no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage. We look forward to welcoming guests back on board—and welcoming them back to the world." Today's news follows Viking's recent announcement that it would initially restart operations with domestic sailings in England for UK residents on board Viking Venus beginning in May 2021. These initial sailings sold out within a week.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Return to Cruising with First Voyages in Europe and the Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced its highly anticipated return to service, with new itineraries sailing Europe and The Caribbean beginning July 25, 2021.

The Cruise Line will restart operations at a reduced capacity with Norwegian Jade, Joy and Gem as the first of its 17-ship fleet to welcome guests back on board. Travelers long-awaiting a return to cruise will have the opportunity to spend the summer exploring ancient ruins and sunny beaches with all new seven-day cruises to the Greek Isles on Norwegian Jade from Athens (Piraeus) beginning July 25, 2021. They can also island hop with week-long Caribbean itineraries available from Montego Bay, Jamaica as of Aug. 7, 2021 on Norwegian Joy or from Punta Cana (La Romana), Dominican Republic on Norwegian Gem beginning Aug. 15, 2021.

"Over a year after we initially suspended sailings, the time has finally come when we can provide our loyal guests with the news of our great cruise comeback," said Norwegian Cruise Line's President and Chief Executive Officer Harry Sommer. "We have been working diligently towards our resumption of operations, focusing on the guest experience with health and safety at the forefront. The growing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine has been a game changer. The vaccine, combined with our science-backed health and safety protocols, will help us provide our guests with what we believe will be the healthiest and safest vacation at sea."

Sommer continued, "All guests sailing aboard cruises with embarkation dates through Oct. 31, 2021 will be required to be fully vaccinated and tested prior to boarding our ships. Given the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic, the accelerating rollout of the vaccine, and the speed of scientific learnings, it is premature to make decisions about our health and safety protocols for cruises with embarkation dates beginning Nov. 1, 2021. We will continue to evaluate our health and safety protocols and rely on science and our expert council as we make decisions and evolve our policies and procedures."

While the Cruise Line already had robust health and safety protocols in place, it has spent the past year further developing and refining those protocols, using the latest scientific findings and expert advice. Yesterday, its parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings launched its SailSAFE Health and Safety program, which is founded on three pillars: 1) Safety for guests and crew with vaccination requirements, universal COVID-19 testing and enhanced health screening protocols; 2) Safety aboard with medical-grade air filtration, increased sanitation measures and enhanced medical resources; and 3) Safety ashore through the collaboration with land-based tour operator partners to extend health and safety measures to each destination. As protocols evolve and additional information becomes available, updates will be published at www.ncl.com/sail-safe.

Royal Caribbean Extends Singapore Season
Royal Caribbean International today announced Quantum of the Seas will continue sailing from Singapore through October 2021. Having resumed sailing in December 2020, Quantum's 11-month Singapore season will mark the longest yet for one of Asia's largest and most revolutionary cruise ships. The cruise line introduced Ocean Getaways from Singapore last year with the local government's CruiseSafe Certification, which confirms the sailings meet the comprehensive health and safety requirements developed with the Singapore government. Following a successful run and high marks from guests, Royal Caribbean first extended the season for three months, through June 2021, and is doing it again for an additional four months thanks to the partnership with the Singapore government.

"We have continued to see an overwhelming demand in Singapore to sail on board Quantum of the Seas. With more than 50,000 guests having cruised with us and zero positive COVID-19 cases to date, holidaymakers can rest assured we are focused on delivering safe, memorable cruise holidays," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Royal Caribbean's 30-plus sailings in Singapore offer a real-life, validated model of how cruising can be a unique, safe vacation beyond what many other travel options can offer. I'm confident we'll continue to see how successful cruising can be through a combination of our proven, healthy and safe practices, which are informed by the Healthy Sail Panel's 74 recommendations, and the rollout of vaccines around the world."

Singapore residents can continue to satisfy their feelings of wanderlust on 2-, 3- and 4-night Ocean Getaways and enjoy fun-filled activities, next-generation entertainment and world-class dining on board one of Royal Caribbean's most groundbreaking ships. These new sailings will be available to Singapore residents and open to book on April 13, 2021.

"Our guests have continued to have a fabulous vacation experience with Royal Caribbean, as we continue sailing with our layered health and safety measures developed with the Healthy Sail Panel. In fact, we have seen guest satisfaction ratings jump since we started sailing this past December," said Angie Stephen, vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean International.

Quantum will continue to operate with the same set of comprehensive health and safety measures in place, such as COVID-19 testing, reduced sailing capacity, physical distancing measures, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing processes, and industry-leading contact tracing.

"When we started pilot cruises in Singapore, our aim was to regain the confidence of guests by endorsing cruise operators with rigorous hygiene measures. Singapore's CruiseSafe standards have set a clear benchmark for our cruise partners, who have been diligent in ensuring the measures on board are adhered to. Thus far, we have completed more than 90 sailings with over 120,000 passengers and no reported cases of COVID-19 spreading on board," said Annie Chang, Director, Cruise, Singapore Tourism Board.

Disney Cruise Line Reaches Key Construction Milestone
Today, Disney Cruise Line reached a significant construction milestone marked by the traditional keel laying ceremony of the Disney Wish, the first of three new ships in the line's fleet expansion. Also announced today, the magic of Captain Minnie Mouse will come to life for the first time through whimsical artwork on the bow of the Disney Wish, a hallmark of Disney Cruise Line vessels.

"As we look to the future with anticipation and excitement for continuing our legacy of creating magical vacations for families across the globe, we are thrilled to reach this significant milestone in the ship building process and to unveil Captain Minnie as the beloved character on the bow of the Disney Wish," said Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Cruise Line.

Keel laying takes place when the first block, or section of a ship, is lowered into the building dock, and a newly minted coin is placed under the keel for good fortune. The coin created for the Disney Wish features Captain Minnie, who made her debut aboard Disney Cruise Line ships in 2019 as part of a collection of initiatives aiming to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the cruise industry.

"In maritime tradition, keel laying is the ceremonial beginning of the ship's life," said Philip Gennotte, portfolio project management executive, Walt Disney Imagineering Germany, who placed the coin at the ceremony. "Today marked a momentous occasion for the Disney Wish, and I could not be more proud of our Imagineers, the cast and crew at Disney Cruise Line and the team at Meyer Werft, the shipyard in Germany, who are bringing this enchanting ship to life."

As previously announced, the Disney Wish is scheduled to sail its maiden voyage in summer 2022. Information on itineraries and bookings for the ship will be released at a later date.

The Disney Wish will showcase the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and unparalleled service that only Disney can deliver. The ship will be powered by liquified natural gas, or LNG, one of the cleanest-burning fuels available. At approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, the ship will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Carnival Cruise Line Notifies Guests Of Cruise Cancellations
Carnival Cruise Line is notifying guests of additional cruise cancellations and the extension of its pause in all operations from U.S. ports through June 30, 2021.

Booked guests and travel advisors are being notified directly of the cancellations and the options for a future cruise credit plus onboard credit package, or a full refund. To provide flexibility for guests booked on July itineraries that remain in the schedule, Carnival is extending final payment deadlines for all July sailings to May 31, 2021, with the ability to cancel without penalty.

"We know that this is very disappointing to our guests who continue to be eager to sail, and we remain committed to working with the Administration and the CDC to find a workable solution that best serves the interest of public health. We are asking that the cruise industry be treated on par with the approach being taken with other travel and tourism sectors, as well as U.S. society at large," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "While we have not made plans to move Carnival Cruise Line ships outside of our U.S. homeports, we may have no choice but to do so in order to resume our operations which have been on 'pause' for over a year. We appreciate the continued patience and support from our loyal guests, travel advisors and business partners as we work on a return-to-service solution."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 28.11 + 9.68%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 89.15 + 7.58%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.60 - 1.64%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 29.71 + 13.35%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which popular French liner of the 1950's started her career crossing the Atlantic for North German Lloyd Line?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship was almost destroyed by fire in 1990, ran aground in 1994, and at one time was popular on the 3 and 4 day Bahamas and Mexico run?

Answer - The ship is ex Viking song, ex Sally Albtross, and ex Leeward of NCL, now sailing for Louis Cruise Lines as m/s Cristal .
courtesy of Jeff Lowery


Cruise News - March 29, 2021

Royal Caribbean Welcomes Brand-New Ship
Setting course for a lifetime of adventure, Royal Caribbean International's Odyssey of the Seas completed the final chapter in its construction odyssey today. The highly anticipated marvel officially became the 25th ship in the cruise line's award-winning fleet, following a virtual rendition of the time-honored maritime tradition known as a delivery ceremony. Odyssey will now set the stage for a bold, new way to vacation when it debuts from first-time homeport Haifa, Israel in May 2021 and Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley, and Master of Odyssey of the Seas Captain Per Kristoffersen received the new ship from Meyer Werft Yard's Managing Partner Bernard Meyer and Managing Director Jan Meyer in the customary handover ceremony with a virtual twist.

"Receiving Odyssey of the Seas into the Royal Caribbean family is a welcomed breath of fresh air. The ingenuity, passion and hard work our dedicated crew, teams on land and partners at Meyer Werft put into building a new ship always deliver, and to pull it off so well during a time unlike any other is incredible," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "We are looking forward to delivering the memorable vacations we're known for today on a ship that will mark several firsts for us, from making Israel a first-time homeport to introducing Quantum Ultra Class to North America. Every new ship is a blank slate to go bolder and be different, and Odyssey is bringing the very best of the new and guest-favorites across two continents for the years to come."

Later today, fans will have front-row seats to the ceremony celebration during an untraditional Facebook premiere event – a first in the cruise line's 52-year history. In store is a truly global lineup that includes the ship's blessing led by Seafarers' House at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, a show-stopping performance from signature venue Two70 on board Quantum of the Seas sailing in Singapore, and executives of Royal Caribbean in Florida and Meyer Werft Yard in Papenburg, Germany. The celebration exclusively takes place on Royal Caribbean International's Facebook page at 5 p.m. EDT.

Odyssey is the second Quantum Ultra Class ship, and just in time for summer, it will welcome Royal Caribbean's first guests to cruise from Israel on sailings where travelers above the age of 18 and crew members are fully vaccinated. Israeli residents can embark on 3- to 7-night getaways through October to visit sun-soaked destinations in the Mediterranean, including Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and Limassol, Cyprus. Following its inaugural summer season, Odyssey will embark on a transatlantic crossing for its North American debut this November, where it's slated to offer 6- and 8-night Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale to idyllic ports of call like Aruba, Curacao and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's game-changing private island destination in The Bahamas.

Weighing 169,000 gross tons and measuring 1,138 feet (347 meters) long and 135 feet (41 meters) wide, Odyssey will be the newest and largest ship to homeport in Israel and the first of its kind to call Florida its home later this year. Vacationers of all ages are in for a combination of 12 all-new and first-to-brand experiences as well as the signature adventures guests know and love, including:

• Caribbean-inspired pool deck – Sporting a whole new look across two decks, Odyssey's two open-air pools, four whirlpools and Splashaway Bay, anchored by a Quantum Ultra Class first – The Lime & Coconut bar – are designed for all travelers to enjoy the sun and stars in style.

• SeaPlex – The next-generation of a longtime Quantum Class favorite, this SeaPlex is the largest indoor and outdoor activity center at sea, and debuts this venue's first Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade.

• Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar and Teppanyaki – Two Royal Caribbean restaurants new to North America join the varied lineup of dining options on board. The fresh take on the cruise line's signature trattoria is the first to introduce its new wine bar concept while the other serves up East Asian flavors in the traditional Japanese style for which its named.

• Action-packed top deck – Returning guest-favorites include the gravity-defying SkyPad virtual reality bungee trampoline adventure, FlowRider surf simulator, skydiving with RipCord by iFly, and the iconic North Star all-glass observation capsule that boasts 360-degree views from 300 feet above sea level.

• One-of-a-kind entertainment – In typical Royal Caribbean fashion, Odyssey's full-scale productions take top billing in teched-out venues such as the Royal Theater and Two70, where immersive technology, unparalleled special effects and world-leading performers and aerialists take the stage alongside six agile Roboscreens for a multidimensional live show.

Celebrity Cruises Announces Its Return To Cruising
Celebrity Cruises announced its long-anticipated return to cruising today, as company President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo confirmed that the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, the ship at the forefront of the fleet’s $500 million modernization program and featuring the exclusive open-air hideaway The Retreat, will homeport in the tropical paradise of St. Maarten beginning June 5.

Beginning March 25, eager travelers can turn their vacation dreams into a dream vacation when booking opens for new seven-night itineraries departing through August to some of the best-loved Caribbean island destinations. The ship will sail with vaccinated crew and will be available to vaccinated adult guests and children under the age of 18 with a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of embarkation.

Guests can take advantage of special air and sea pricing offering exceptional savings on all Summer 2021 St. Maarten sailings starting at $1,999* per person for a veranda stateroom. The offer applies to new bookings and flights must be booked through Flights By Celebrity and prices include airfare and taxes. No promotional code is needed.

Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said, “Returning to the Caribbean after more than a year away is such a significant moment for us. It marks the measured beginning of the end of what has been a uniquely challenging time for everyone. We have been in constant contact with the leadership of St. Maarten these past months to support each other and share learnings and best practices. That we’re able to offer people the opportunity to safely vacation onboard the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, is incredible, and that we will sail from the magical island of St. Maarten is very special. I am forever grateful for the support and collaboration of the St. Maarten government.”

“Having a major cruise line such as Royal Caribbean Group’s Celebrity Cruises homeport here is a significant economic milestone for St. Maarten. It’s an historic agreement, the fruit of continuous dialogue and a testament to the strength of our longstanding relationship,” Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever declared. “Celebrity Cruises homeporting here will help rejuvenate our economy and drive opportunities for our people. I would like to thank the management team at the Royal Caribbean Group for their commitment to St. Maarten and their confidence in the Ministry of TEATT as a reliable and responsible partner. I look forward to the successful re-launch of their Caribbean cruising,” Minister de Weever concluded.

HAL's 2022 Canada & New England Cruises Stretch to the Stunning Landscapes of Greenland, Iceland and Newfoundland
Along the East Coast of North America, the sun-kissed skies of summer collide with the jewel-toned hues of autumn, and in 2022 Holland America Line's Zaandam and Nieuw Statendam will be there to showcase nature's most colorful spectacle. Bookings are now open for May through October 2022, enticing guests to discover why a cruise to Canada and New England is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.

Zaandam and Nieuw Statendam offer a series of six- through eight-day "Canada & New England Discovery" departures featuring New England's quintessential towns and Canada's undeniable Old-World French flair. Aboard Nieuw Statendam, guests also can set off on explorations up to 24 days that stretch to Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland, where the region's dramatic landscapes are the star of the journey.

New and Notable in 2022:

• In August 2022, Nieuw Statendam will debut as the first Pinnacle Class ship to sail to Canada, New England and beyond.

• A new 24-day cruise departing Aug. 3 on Nieuw Statendam sails roundtrip from Boston, Massachusetts, and circumnavigates Iceland, making six calls around the country, with additional visits to Greenland, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Ports include Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Saint-Pierre, St. John's, Red Bay, St. Anthony and Corner Brook, Newfoundland; Qaqortoq (Julianehåb) and Nanortalik (Ilivileq), Greenland; and Reykjavík (evening stay), Djúpivogur, Seydisfjörur, Akureyri, Isafjörour and Grundarfjörour, Iceland.

• Zaandam will cruise between Boston and Montréal, Québec, Canada, in both the summer and fall on a series of seven-day "Canada & New England Discovery" cruises with convenient weekend departures. Ports include Bar Harbor, and the Canadian destinations of Québec City, Québec; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Sydney and Halifax.

• Nieuw Statendam will sail six- through eight-day "Canada & New England Discovery" itineraries between Boston and Québec City, with weekend departures. Ports include Bar Harbor, Charlottetown, Sydney and Halifax. The eight-day cruise adds Saint John, New Brunswick.

• Nieuw Statendam offers longer "Newfoundland & New England Discovery" cruises that sail between Boston and Québec City. Ports on the 10-day cruise include Baie-Comeau and Havre-Saint-Pierre, Québec; and Corner Brook, St. Anthony, St. John's, Halifax and Bar Harbor. The 11-day departure calls at Portland, Maine; Saguenay, Québec; and Saint John, Halifax, Corner Brook (evening stay), Charlottetown and Baie-Comeau.

• Both ships will cruise the region in the fall so more guests can view the impressive display of the changing foliage. Itineraries feature scenic cruising through the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Saguenay Fjord.

• Holland America Line, with its perfect sized ships, is one of the only major cruise lines able to cruise the scenic St. Lawrence River, with calls at Montréal and Québec City on nearly every itinerary.

• Zaandam offers nine-day repositioning cruises along the Atlantic Coast between Montréal and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in May and October, while Nieuw Statendam leisurely cruises from Québec City to Fort Lauderdale in October on a 14-day voyage.

Explore Food, Wine and Culture on Culinary Tours
Exclusive shore excursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine showcase the tastes of the region. On Canada and New England cruises, guests can indulge in authentic poutine and maple syrup-infused treats or farm-to-fork cuisine in Quebec City; sail on a classic lobster boat, then dine at a Downeast Maine lobster bake in Bar Harbor; explore the best of Nova Scotia's culinary scene along Halifax's iconic waterfront boardwalk; and sample Prince Edward Island's freshly-shucked oysters, lobster sliders and homegrown mussels.

Cunard unveils Summer at Sea luxury UK voyages
Cunard is offering UK guests the opportunity to spend this summer at sea, with a series of UK voyages on board Queen Elizabeth. Voyages will be round-trip from Southampton, between July and October 2021, and comprise of British Isles scenic cruising and special Sun Voyages, sailing to wherever the sun shines brightest.

Ten British Isles Voyages and three Sun Voyages, lasting between three and twelve nights, are available. Guests will be able to experience the most luxurious summer at sea enjoying exquisite fine dining, the on-board spa and spectacular entertainment while having the opportunity to see the UK's coastline from a unique vantage point.

British Isles Voyages include scenic sailings along Britain's coastline including The Jurassic Coast, England's only natural UNESCO world heritage site, Cornwall including Land's End and Scotland including the Isle of Arran, Mull of Kintyre and Sound of Mull. Four voyages will make various port calls, including Liverpool, Greenock, Invergordon, Belfast, Newcastle as well as a maiden call for Cunard's fleet to the Welsh port of Holyhead.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said: "Cunard's Summer at Sea luxury UK voyages are a truly unique way for guests to have a much-needed break this summer. With international travel not yet fully opened up we're delighted to offer these voyages exclusively for British guests to experience a staycation unlike any other, as they relax in Cunard luxury knowing we will take care of everything.

"Guests can sail along some of the most stunning coastlines anywhere in the world, as Queen Elizabeth provides a unique vantage point, or sail on one of our Sun Voyages where the destination is unscripted and is guided by studying the weather forecast and heading to where the sun shines brightest."

Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination programme, and strongly expressed preference on the part of our guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Queen Elizabeth will be for UK resident Covid-19 vaccinated* guests only. All other voyages on sale currently do not require guests to be vaccinated.

All guests and crew will be required to follow enhanced health and wellbeing measures to protect everyone on board on these cruises. These have been developed with guidance from our global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies. These protocols include enhanced sanitation measures, appropriate social distancing and the wearing of masks in certain areas of the ship. Crew will also undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board. Our protocols are subject to change, as we will continue to work with our experts and with government bodies to ensure all of our practices evolve in line with latest advice, with our primary focus always being to protect the health and wellbeing of our crew and guests and the communities we visit. Travel insurance will also be mandatory for all guests.**

P&O Cruises Australia Extends its Pause Until End of July
P&O Cruises Australia is extending its pause in guest operations until the end of July this year as it remains positive about a pathway for the cruise industry's return to service.

The current rolling pause will affect cruises scheduled from 18 June to 30 July, 2021 (inclusive).

P&O Cruises is also cancelling voyages to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands for the remainder of the year given the uncertainty around borders. Unfortunately, this also affects this year's Cairns season where Pacific Explorer was to be based for two months from October.

Guests and travel agents will be contacted directly with solutions and alternative arrangements that will be tailored on a booking-by-booking basis.

"We are sorry that some of our guests will be unavoidably inconvenienced by these changes to the existing schedule at a time when we remain optimistic about returning to service as society keeps opening up," President of P&O Cruises Australia, Sture Myrmell, said.

"We are continuing our discussions with governments and health authorities to develop a framework for the staged resumption of cruising.

"As those discussions continue, today's changes are necessary as we take a practical approach to the current environment and continue to look forward to better days ahead."

Mr Myrmell said the cruise line was writing to guests affected by the extended pause and the other operational changes to apologise for the disruption to their holiday plans and to let them know of alternative arrangements.

Even amid the challenges of the past year, P&O Cruises has continued its fleet transformation so that it is ready to resume its leading role as Australia's home-grown cruise line.

"This includes preparing for Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure to join the P&O fleet this year to offer a very special cruising experience when we are again able to sail," Mr Myrmell said.

"As always, we thank our guests for their patience and understanding in relation to these changes, and especially for their continued loyalty to P&O Cruises. Our onboard teams can't wait to welcome guests to offer them the amazing cruise holiday experiences for which they are so renowned."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 25.63 - 6.73%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 82.87 - 6.78%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.61 - 7.58%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 26.21 - 8.52%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cruise ship was almost destroyed by fire in 1990, ran aground in 1994, and at one time was popular on the 3 and 4 day Bahamas and Mexico run?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first ocean liner (over 20,000 tons) to have her engines and funnel located far aft?

Answer - it was the SS Southern Cross from Shaw Savill and Albion. Slightly over 20.000 tons she was commissioned in 1955. Under various names the ship was in service for 48 years.
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselmann, Germany


Cruise News - March 22, 2021

Cruise Lines Ready to Sail Again in the United States
CLIA, which represents 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, today called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to lift the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) and allow for the planning of a phased resumption of cruise operations from U.S. ports by the beginning of July. The early-July timeframe is in line with President Biden's forecast for when the United States will be "closer to normal."

"Over the past eight months, a highly-controlled resumption of cruising has continued in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific—with nearly 400,000 passengers sailing to date in more than 10 major cruise markets. These voyages were successfully completed with industry-leading protocols that have effectively mitigated the spread of COVID-19. Additional sailings are planned in the Mediterranean and Caribbean later this spring and summer," said Kelly Craighead, CLIA's President and CEO.

According to the trade association, the very small fraction of reported COVID cases (fewer than 50 based on public reports) is dramatically lower than the rate on land or in any other transportation mode. "This is a testament to the industry's unparalleled expertise, gained over more than half a century, in coordinating movements of guests and crew, efficiently organizing complex embarkations and excursions, and designing vessels that are more technologically advanced and operationally agile than any other mode of transportation," said Craighead.

"The cruise industry has adopted a high bar for resumption around the world with a multi-layered set of policies that is intended to be revised as conditions change. Our Members continue to follow this multi-layered approach to enhancing health and safety that has proven effective, making cruising one of the best and most adaptable choices for travel," she added. Craighead also noted "the accelerated rollout of vaccines is a gamechanger in providing for the health and well-being of the public, especially in the United States, where President Biden expects all adults will be eligible for vaccinations by May 1, 2021."

Following the industry's voluntary suspension of operations one year ago, cruise lines have been prevented from operating in the U.S. by a series of "No Sail Orders" issued by the CDC. The CSO was issued last October, but since then the CDC has not released any further guidance, as called for in the CSO, to support the resumption of U.S. cruise operations. The lack of any action by the CDC has effectively banned all sailings in the largest cruise market in the world. Cruising is the only sector of the U.S. economy that remains prohibited, even as most others have opened or continued to operate throughout the pandemic.

"The outdated CSO, which was issued almost five months