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Latest Cruise news articles

Crystal Endeavor is on course to make her inaugural voyage out of Reykjavík on Sunday.

Luxury expedition yacht Crystal Endeavor prepares to sail

July 12, 2021

Stralsund, Germany, July 12, 2021 – Crystal Endeavor, the first “Made in Germany” Polar Class 6 (PC6) luxury expedition yacht, cruised out of MV WERFTEN shipyard in Stralsund this past weekend where she was designed and built. The yacht is now bound for Iceland and her inaugural voyages in the Land of Fire and Ice.

A pier-side sail away celebration was held Saturday at MV WERFTEN for employees and family members who offered a heartfelt sendoff of waving and wishes of “gute reise” and “bon voyage” to the intrepid new expedition yacht. Crystal Endeavor sailed from Stralsund with a full vaccinated crew and is scheduled to arrive in Reykjavík, Iceland, on Thursday.

The ship will depart Reykjavík on its inaugural voyage Saturday after an overnight in the city on the first in a series of five 10-night voyages circumnavigating Iceland.

Jack Anderson, president of Crystal, described the new state-of-the-art expedition yacht as “the most spacious, most powerful and most luxurious expedition ship in the industry.” He said Crystal Endeavor would offer guests “incredible adventures to the far reaches of the globe, with the highest standards of safety and sustainable features that demonstrate extreme care for our guests and the world’s oceans and the destinations we visit.”

 National Geographic Endurance accommodates 126 guests in 69 spacious cabins.

Lindblad launches new polar ship next week

July 12, 2021

Lindblad Expeditions has announced that its new polar expedition ship, National Geographic Endurance, will depart on its maiden voyage on July 21, 2021, from Reykjavik, Iceland.

The first new polar ship built in the line’s history, the 126-guest ship was named in honor of legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton. Originally set to launch in April 2020, National Geographic Endurance sat out the pandemic in Norway.

The 19-day inaugural voyage will begin and end in Reykjavik and will explore Iceland and then sail off the east coast of Greenland, home to polar bears, walruses, and whales. If Greenland’s border opens for visitors, the ship will make landings and explore ashore.

Rates begin at $22,190 per person, based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.

The Atrium on Carnival Vista is a lively spot for taking in the action after a day in port.

Major cruise lines resume voyages from US

July 10, 2021

Over the past week, four major cruise lines returned to the high seas — two of them sailing from U.S. ports — for the first time in more than a year.

Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Seabourn resumed sailings after the pandemic shut down the industry for more than a year. 

Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival Vista Captain Andrea Catalani and local officials led a “Back to Fun” ribbon-cutting ceremony in Galveston, Texas, last weekend to celebrate Carnival Cruise Line’s resumption of guest cruises from the U.S.

“Seeing our guests board the ship for the first time in over 15 months was a welcome and emotional sight,” Duffy said in a statement. “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.”

A seal encountered on an expedition cruise to Antarctica.

Silver Wind readies for expedition voyages

July 10, 2021

Silversea Cruises shared details this week about the conversion of Silver Wind into a luxury ice-class ship that will be the company’s fourth expedition vessel.

Silver Wind is undergoing refurbishments at a shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. The redesign includes an ice-strengthened hull for cruising in polar waters and state-of-the-art technology upgrades. Silver Wind will be outfitted with a new advanced wastewater treatment plant, new food waste treatment facilities and new fuel-saving boilers.

The upgraded Silver Wind will embark on its maiden voyage Nov. 20, 2021, a 22-day journey to Antarctica, in time for a prime viewing position on the White Continent for a solar eclipse on Dec. 4, 2021.

Windstar Cruises' power yacht Star Breeze visits small ports in the Caribbean and South Pacific.

Windstar resumes cruises in Caribbean & Europe

July 9, 2021

Windstar Cruises, the U.S-based small ship cruise line, has resumed voyages with vaccinated crew members and guests in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

The first voyage left in late June from Athens aboard Wind Star, a sailing yacht carrying a maximum of 148 guests. It sailed to Nafplio, Monemvasia, Patmos, Mykonos and Santorini on the Treasures of the Greek Isles itinerary. The ship will sail the same itinerary through October 2021. (See our Wind Star review.)

Wind Star will then begin its Mediterranean Island Mosaic itinerary, sailing from Rome to Portoferraio, Calvi, Mahon and Palma de Mallorca before ending in Barcelona.

Star Breeze quickly followed suit, with sailings from St. Maarten that began in late June on its Beach, Fun & Sun: A Remote Caribbean Getaway itinerary. Ports include Anguilla, Tortola, Noman Island, Virgin Gorda and more. (See our Star Breeze review.)

The cruise line's smaller ships are able to stop at smaller ports, giving its guests the benefit of enjoying these off-the-beaten-track destinations without crowds of tourists that have become common at larger ports in the Mediterranean.

The cruise line is resuming operations with a phased approach. Its six yachts will resume operating in this manner through November. 

— from Cruiseable news services

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An aerial shot of the luxury river ship AmaStella sailing in Passau, Germany.

AmaWaterways to begin family history cruises

July 8, 2021

River cruise line AmaWaterways announced it is partnering with genealogy site Ancestry to provide guests with a way in which to learn about their family history through Ancestry Experience packages. The special voyages include pre-cruise private consultations, onboard presentations, genealogist-led excursions and more.

The first cruise in the Ancestry series, “Heritage on the River: Your Personalized Ancestry Experience,” is scheduled to depart July 30, 2022, aboard AmaStella on a Rhine River itinerary calling at ports in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland.

Guests who sign up for Ancestry Experience packages “will be matched with an expert from AncestryProGenealogists, Ancestry’s professional research division, who will conduct a one-hour welcome call to discuss aspects of their family that are of particular interest,” a spokesman for AmaWaterways announced.

During the cruise, a genealogist will provide presentations that offer perspective on guests’ ancestors and focus on available records to gather information that enables them to delve more deeply into their family histories.

Guests will also be privy to a private onboard consultation with a genealogist to review their family tree and ancestry-themed excursions.

As part of the program, AmaWaterways said it will invite travel advisors on an “Ancestry Heritage River Cruise” familiarization trip from Basel to Amsterdam aboard AmaMora, which departs Aug. 12, 2021.

The cruise will be hosted by AmaWaterways Vice President of Operations Jon Burrows and include onboard sessions led by Ancestry's Kyle Betit, senior genealogist and travel program operations manager, and Angie Bush, a genetic genealogists and genealogist educator.

To see this full post, visit our Agent Studio site.

Entry requirements to European nations vary by travelers' vaccination status.

Entry requirements for travel to Europe

July 5, 2021

Traveling to Europe in the coming months? You'll want to prepare for the vaccination requirements before you go.

Our travel agency partner, Pleasant Holidays, has put together a simple one-page flyer that lays out the entry requirements for U.S. travelers established by the governments of France, Spain, Italy and Greece.

In the guidelines, travelers can see the differing requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors, including the kind of tests needed, additional requirements and what kind of documentation you should bring. 

When entering France, for instance, unvaccinated travelers need to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departing the U.S. and to be able to show the negative test results upon entry. A sworn declaration form is also required. 

Odyssey of the Seas' launch was postponed because some crew members tested positive for COVID-19.

One more hurdle before boarding that cruise ship

July 1, 2021

In the wake of a somewhat rocky re-entry into cruising, Royal Caribbean International is now requiring unvaccinated passengers age 12 and older to show proof of insurance that covers all COVID-19 medical expenses. The move comes on the heels of the discovery of COVID-19 cases on its recent cruises.

In June two teenagers tested positive for the virus on Adventure of the Seas.  And before that two other people tested positive on Celebrity Millennium. In all instances the cruise line covered quarantine and evacuation expenses.

The line also was forced to postpone its launch of Odyssey of the Seas after crew members proved positive for the virus.

Majestic Princess sails to Alaska in the summers and features itineraries along the West Coast and to Hawaii during the winter months.

Princess will sail eight ships starting this fall

June 19, 2021

Princess Cruises has announced that it will resume sailings with eight ships this fall, featuring itineraries along the West Coast and to the Caribbean and Panama Canal.

All that comes on top of Princess's announcement earlier this month that it is returning to Alaska starting July 25 with seven-day Inside Passage voyages round trip from Seattle aboard Majestic Princess.

John Chernesky, senior vice president, announced the following ships' itineraries:

Grand Princess

Grand Princess will be first in the water on Sept. 25, sailing a 5-day Cabo San Lucas Getaway from Los Angeles. The ship will sail 7-day California Coast and Mexico cruises, 15-day Hawaiian Islands voyages and 3- to 5-day getaways. 

Majestic Princess

After the ship returns from Alaska, starting Oct. 6 Majestic Princess will begin 7-day California Coast and Mexican Riviera cruises, 15-day Hawaiian Islands voyages and 3- to 5-day West Coast getaways. 

Silver Muse, the high-end ship from Silversea, offers sailings to Alaska during the summer months.

Silversea resumes ultra-luxury cruising

June 19, 2021

Silversea Cruises, the world’s premier ultra-luxury cruise line, on Friday marked its return to global operations with the maiden voyage of its new flagship, Silver Moon, from Athens (Piraeus). The launch of Silver Moon also represents the unveiling of S.A.L.T., the cruise line’s new culinary program.

The inaugural sailing of Silversea’s new expeditionary vessel, Silver Origin, departs from San Cristobal in the Galapagos today. Silversea’s first destination-specific ship will sail with all-new itineraries in the archipelago.

Silversea said its return to service under safe, healthy conditions, its fleet expansion and enhanced cultural offerings reflect the company’s commitment to international market growth, while meeting rising consumer demand for ultra-luxury travel, following a year-long travel pause.

Disney Magic sails to the Caribbean out of San Juan and Galveston, Texas.

Disney announces itineraries for its five ships

June 19, 2021

Bookings are set to open on Thursday, June 24, for Disney Cruise Line's fleet of ships for when the cruise line resumes sailings in fall 2022. 

The cruise line, geared to family vacations, is taking a conservative approach given the complexities and uncertainties of vaccinations for children during the pandemic. 

Highlights of Disney's itineraries for fall 2022 sailings include theme cruises that will mark Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime Cruises.

Said Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Cruise Line: “With five ships setting sail in fall 2022 from different homeports around the country, we are excited to offer more ways than ever before for families to make special memories with Disney Cruise Line.” 

Here's the breakdown of sailings by ship: 

Disney Wish will mark its inaugural cruise at the start of summer 2022. Fall itineraries aboard the ship are scheduled to depart from Port Canaveral, Fla., with three- and four-night sailings visiting the Bahamas and Disney’s Castaway Cay.

Disney Fantasy also has itineraries leaving from Port Canaveral for six-, seven- and eight-night sailings stopping at Castaway Cay and the eastern or western Caribbean.

Seabourn Quest at sea.

Seabourn announces deployment of its five luxury ships

June 19, 2021

Luxury cruise line Seabourn announced the restart dates for the five ships in its fleet as the cruise line continues to work with various government and port officials.

Based on the latest revisions and travel restrictions, the cruise line announced Seabourn Ovation will depart from Athens, Greece, on July 3 and operate in the Greek Isles, while Seabourn Odyssey will depart from Bridgetown, Barbados, to operate in the Southern Caribbean starting July 18.

In addition, Seabourn Quest will depart from Miami to begin the Antarctica season on November 7, Seabourn Sojourn from Los Angeles to start the World Cruise on January 11, 2022, and Seabourn Encore from Athens, Greece, on April 17, 2022.

“We continue to assess the overall global situation so we can make thoughtful, logical decisions about when each of our ships will restart,” Seabourn president Josh Leibowitz said. “We know guests are beginning to restart travel on some level in their personal lives and we look forward to seeing them again as soon as possible, starting as early as this summer in Greece and the Southern Caribbean.”