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Travel Blog


Latest Theme cruises articles

Artist's rendering of the first Blue World Voyages ship.

New cruise line devoted to wellness

July 13, 2018

When Blue World Voyages debuts in 2019, it will certainly make waves in the cruise industry with its bold, distinctive Active Lifestyle Cruising theme. The company is following in the wake of other cruise lines that have added more spa, fitness and wellness options to activities, but it is taking it a cardio step farther.

Blue World Voyages will become the first cruise company completely dedicated to active, healthy lifestyles, from ship design to onboard programs, healthy dining options and even the itineraries and shore excursions.

The line’s initial ship will be an all-suite, 350-passenger five-star vessel with luxury standard suites, single staterooms and 26 one- and two-bedroom owners residences.


5 mouth-watering themed cruises for the foodie

January 22, 2018

From www.travelpulse.com via Scoop.it:

Forget the buffet line packed with tasteless fruit trays and warmed-over hamburgers. In fact, forget everything you thought you knew about cruise ship cuisine.

Today's travelers are following their gut, ushering in a foodie-centric renaissance across the industry. On cruise ships, this has translated into a complete overhaul of dining options across nearly every line you can think of. But some lines have gone above and beyond in their attempts to entice the epicurean traveler.

Walter Christen's insight:

Depending upon your passion, there is a food themed cruise that will satisfy your inner foodie. 

Holland America Line- MasterChef Cruise

Cunard Line - British Isles Culinary Discovery Cruise

Oceania Cruises - Jacques Pepin Cruise

Silversea Cruises - Culinary Expeditions CruiseWindstar Cruises - James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise of Spain & France

I would enjoy any of these excellent cruises.


Refurbished Pride of America 'essentially a new ship'

January 22, 2018

From www.travelweekly.com via Scoop.it:

The Pride of America, Norwegian Cruise Line's ship in the Hawaiian Islands, has returned from a drydock during which the ship received new venues, redesigned public spaces and refreshed décor.

The cruise line's president, Andy Stuart, calls the Pride "essentially a new ship."

“This is much more than just a fresh coat of paint and new drapes," Stuart said.

Every stateroom received new bedding, new furniture, new flat-screen televisions and updated flooring.

Walter Christen's insight:

Read this with great interest.  One of the cruises on my wifes bucket list is to cruise the Hawaiian Islands. We have been to Hawaii, although not on a cruise. The Norwegian Pride of America, is on the top of her list as you can fly to Hawaii and cruise the Islands without the long at sea days from Califorinia.

Nice to see that Norwegian has done a complete update of this cruise ship.


The 6 best 'Booze Cruises' in the U.S. and Europe

January 22, 2018

From www.cntraveler.com via Scoop.it:

Get ready to cheers: These grown-up cruises are overflowing with tastings, onboard seminars, and excursions to vineyards, cellars, and breweries.

For cruise lovers, nothing says vacation like the wind blowing through your hair, the horizon hanging just ahead, and perhaps most importantly: your favorite adult beverage, gripped firmly in hand. Happily, many cruises have graduated from the days of "Bahama Mama" umbrella drinks served in tacky souvenir glasses to numerous high-end "booze cruises" that make for surprisingly sophisticated sailings. Here, we round up the most buzzworthy alcohol-themed sailings—whether it's wine, champagne, beer, or spirits that best wet your whistle—spanning a range of ships, large and small. Yes, we'll drink to that.

Walter Christen's insight:

Intersting take on adult beverage themed cruises. While my wife and I do enjoy attending wine tasting events on our cruises, It never occured to me to take a theme cruise related to wine, or any other alcohol beverage for that matter.

Whether your passion is wine, champagne, bourbon, or beer the cruise lines have it covered. Reading the descriptions, I could think of quite a few of my friends that would enjoy these themed cruises


Love craft beer? This new cruise ship has its own brewery!

January 22, 2018

From www.usatoday.com via Scoop.it:

Brewmaster Colin Presby, 31, has a job at sea that no one else has ever had.

He does his beer-making at the Red Frog Pub & Brewery on the new, 3,954-passenger Carnival Vista. It is Carnival Cruise Line's largest ship and the first North American ship to have a brewery.

The action takes place in full view in front of passengers at the Caribbean-themed pub's entrance, on the ship's much-trafficked Promenade Deck.

Mixing grain he just milled into boiling water in one of two large, German-made, copper-topped glass kettles, Presby said his goal is to achieve a "wow" from beer-loving cruisers.

Walter Christen's insight:

Living in the Tampa Bay area, it seems that there is a new craft beer brewery popping weekly.  Actually I am surprised that the cruise industry has not done this before.  Carnival Cruise Lines looks like they will have a winner with this brewery on the new Carnival Vista. 


The best northern lights cruises

January 22, 2018

From www.telegraph.co.uk via Scoop.it:

Our fascination with nature’s grand illuminations never wavers. An Arctic Circle cruise not only brings the Northern Lights within reach, but also offers a holiday that’s enjoyable in so many other ways, not least through participation in some truly out-of-the-ordinary excursions and activities.

The phenomenon

The Northern Lights can be seen from anywhere in the far northern hemisphere. Only last week, displays were visible in Scotland and northern England. Although present year-round, they can only really be seen when the sky is dark at night – from mid-September to early April.

Much has been said about the intensity and regularity of the Lights – or the aurora borealis. The phenomenon is caused by particles on the solar wind interacting with those in the Earth’s atmosphere, but the extent of the display depends on activity on the surface of the Sun, measured over an 11-year cycle. Solar activity has been at its maximum over the past two winters, resulting in some spectacular displays.

 

So is it still worth going? Although the Sun’s cycle may have peaked, its descent into a quieter phase is long and gradual and there’s no reason why dynamic displays should not be seen for at least a couple of years to come. Sightings are not unknown even at times of a solar minimum; conversely, when there is a lot of cloud cover, say, you may not see the aurora during a solar max.

Walter Christen's insight:

Seeing the northern lights is definitely on my bucket list. In fact both Norway and Iceland are on my list so one of these cruises could satisfy let me tick off more than one item on my bucket list.

Cruise lines mentioned that have cruises dedicated to the northern lights are P&O Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Saga, Hurtigruten, Quark Expeditions. 


Whatever floats your boat - the unstoppable growth of themed cruises

January 22, 2018

From www.bbc.com via Scoop.it:

As more and more people go on a cruise aimed at individuals who share a specific interest, we take a look at the increasing phenomenon.

Show-stopping rock band Kiss were always going to go the extra - nautical - mile.

Not content with filling stadiums around the world, and selling more than 100 million records, the face-painted, fire-breathing US hard rockers also have their own navy.

Every autumn Kiss hire a huge cruise liner to sail around the Caribbean for a week with 2,300 of their diehard fans. This year will be their sixth voyage, or Kiss Kruise VI.

The band perform two shows on the ship, and fans get to meet and hang out with the four band members.

Walter Christen's insight:

If you can think of a theme, there is most likely a cruise dedicated to it.  Last year when we were leaving a cruise there were a very large group getting ready to get aboard the same cruise ship we were just on who were harley Davidson motorcycle fans. I have seen cruises advertised or Apple geeks, Walking Dead fans,  Star Trek, Nascar, and many different music themes.

I suggest that before booking a cruise you ask your Cruiseable Travel Advocate if there are any themes on the cruise you want to book. On my next cruise aboard the MSC Divina, I did inquire and found that there was a small country western music theme group that will be aboard.


All Cruise Ships Visiting Monaco for Formula 1 Grand Prix 2016

October 31, 2017

From crew-center.com via Scoop.it:

The Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix is a most prestigious race where every pilot dreams of winning and every F1 fan dreams of watching this race.  It is the most difficult and slowest of all circuits in the F1 World Championship. 

Coming to the Grand Prix in Monaco for Formula 1 race is an unforgettable moment where world’s elite comes to show up their Yachts. Literary there are miles and miles of Super Yachts parked one next to other. Cruise ships are also welcomed to this race. This are some of the most expensive cruises during the Mediterranean season starting from $2,699.00 USD for 5 nights cruise per person, not including the F1 ticket.

Walter Christen's insight:

I have to admit it, I love to watch Formula 1 auto racing and the Monaco venue is one of the best circuits. Some of the luxury cruise lines will be making a stop in Monte Carlo for the race.

Ships that will be making this unique theme port of call include the Azamara Quest, Silversea Cruises Silver Spirit, Windstar Star Breeze, and Windstar Wind Surf,


Cruising the Ohio river

October 31, 2017

From www.travelpulse.com via Scoop.it:

The Ohio River often seems relegated to play second fiddle to the Mississippi, of which it is a tributary. And while nobody can minimize the awesome power and majesty of the mighty Mississippi, the Ohio River can certainly hold its own as an impressive and captivating waterway with much potential for an enjoyable voyage.

Winding through or alongside six states—and with a drainage basin that flows to more than a dozen states—the Ohio River’s path takes you on a journey through a rich and diverse segment of the country, offering travelers the chance to explore a variety of different landscapes and beautiful views. It serves as a major route through the eastern and central part of the United States, and functions as the boundary marker between several states.

For many centuries, this river served as a favored transportation and trading route used by Native Americans, who also established numerous camps and communities alongside its path. Thomas Jefferson is quoted as calling it “the most beautiful river on earth,” citing the smooth, clear and gentle flow of water the river boasted in a nearly unobstructed and undisturbed path in his day.

Walter Christen's insight:

An American Queen Steamboat Company river cruise looks like a cool way to see a historic part of the US.  Many types of music theme cruises plus cruises for autumn color and the history of the region are available. 


Best Honeymoon Cruises 2017

January 19, 2017

From www.brides.com via Scoop.it:

You've said your "I dos," you have your first mate, so now it's time to sail off into newlywed bliss aboard a luxury honeymoon cruise. But cruising is for cheesy Hawaiian-shirt-clad retirees, right? Think again. Each of these stunning ships is packed with once-in-a-lifetime amenities, like ultra-romantic rooms (many with private balconies), Instagram-worthy cuisine, full-service spas, and to-die-for destinations.

We hand-picked these bespoke cruises for their unrivaled access to undiscovered cities and deserted beaches, their diverse range of romance-packed excursions, and their opulent onboard set-ups guaranteed to make you feel like a celeb. Best of all, with minimal planning necessary — the logistics of destinations, activities, and excursions are already mapped out for you! — cruising is the ultimate stress-free honeymoon. (And seriously, after all those guest list battles with your in-laws, who needs more stress?)

If you've never set sail before, here's what you need to know: Cruise experiences can differ greatly on a small ship (fewer than 500 passengers), a midsize one (500 to 2,000), and a large one (more than 2,000). If you and your hubby crave energy, people, and nightlife, choose a large vessel, which will have multiple bars and restaurants, plus often a casino and theater for movies and live shows. If you prefer a sense of community and intimacy, stick to smaller boats, where you get to know your fellow cruisers (but also have less privacy, so plan alone time when you're in port).

Walter Christen's insight:

My wife and I have met many honeymoon couples on the cruises we have been on. Presented in this article are a few exceptional luxury cruises that would appeal to many different types of travelers. Although pricey, many are all inclusive which could make them the ideal choice.

When my wife and I married we did not take a cruise by instead spent 10 days in Hawaii. I have already started the planning for our 30th anniversary.  Choices right now is an around the Hawaiian island cruise aboard the Norwegian Pride of America, or a cruise to one of my favorite islands Bermuda. Only reason Bermuda may be a no go is that our anniversary is during hurricane season for the region.

Have you taken or booked a cruise for your honeymoon?  What was your thought process in selecting a cruise line and/or itinerary?

 

Jonathan Coulton performs at JoCo Cruise, the annual gathering of music and tech nerds at sea. The next JoCo Cruise sails March 4-11, 2017, on Holland America’s Westerdam from San Diego.

The unstoppable growth of theme cruises

December 5, 2016

From www.bbc.com via Scoop.it:

As more and more people go on a cruise aimed at individuals who share a specific interest, we take a look at the increasing phenomenon.

Show-stopping rock band Kiss were always going to go the extra - nautical - mile.

Not content with filling stadiums around the world, and selling more than 100 million records, the face-painted, fire-breathing US hard rockers also have their own navy.

Every autumn Kiss hire a huge cruise liner to sail around the Caribbean for a week with 2,300 of their diehard fans. This year will be their sixth voyage, or Kiss Kruise VI.

The band perform two shows on the ship, and fans get to meet and hang out with the four band members.

Walter Christen's insight:

If you can think of a theme, there is most likely a cruise dedicated to it.  Last year when we were disembarking a cruise there was a very large group getting ready to embark the same cruise ship we were just on who were Harley Davidson motorcycle fans. I have seen cruises advertised or Apple geeks, Walking Dead fans,  Star Trek, Nascar, and many different music themes.

I suggest that before booking a cruise you ask your Cruiseable Travel Advocate if there are any themes on the cruise you want to book. They can also help you find theme cruises. On my next cruise aboard the MSC Divina, I did inquire and found that there was a small country western music theme group that will be aboard.

 

The northern lights dance over a hillside village in Norway as seen from a cruise ship on the coast.

The best northern lights cruises

November 9, 2016

From www.telegraph.co.uk via Scoop.it:

Our fascination with nature’s grand illuminations never wavers. An Arctic Circle cruise not only brings the Northern Lights within reach, but also offers a holiday that’s enjoyable in so many other ways, not least through participation in some truly out-of-the-ordinary excursions and activities.

The phenomenon

The Northern Lights can be seen from anywhere in the far northern hemisphere. Only last week, displays were visible in Scotland and northern England. Although present year-round, they can only really be seen when the sky is dark at night – from mid-September to early April.

Much has been said about the intensity and regularity of the Lights – or the aurora borealis. The phenomenon is caused by particles on the solar wind interacting with those in the Earth’s atmosphere, but the extent of the display depends on activity on the surface of the Sun, measured over an 11-year cycle. Solar activity has been at its maximum over the past two winters, resulting in some spectacular displays.

 So is it still worth going? Although the Sun’s cycle may have peaked, its descent into a quieter phase is long and gradual and there’s no reason why dynamic displays should not be seen for at least a couple of years to come. Sightings are not unknown even at times of a solar minimum; conversely, when there is a lot of cloud cover, say, you may not see the aurora during a solar max.

Walter Christen's insight:

Seeing the northern lights is definitely on my bucket list. In fact both Norway and Iceland are also on my list so one of these cruises could let me tick off more than one bucket list place.

Cruise lines mentioned that have cruises dedicated to the northern lights are P&O Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Saga, Hurtigruten, Quark Expeditions.