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Travel Blog

Latest Cruise news articles

An Avalon Waterways cruise on the Irrawaddy River in Burma offers an amazing adventure

October 30, 2017

From via

Burma is an enchanting land in the middle of a transformation. After decades of harsh rule under a military junta, the Burmese people are riding a wave of optimism as the country, also known as Myanmar, transitions toward a more open relationship with the Western world, and a new government promises more political and economic freedoms.  I was lucky to visit Burma during an adventurous Irrawaddy River cruise with Avalon Waterways on its new ship Avalon Myanmar. It was an amazing experience, seeing a land with such a unique history and people unfailingly friendly and welcoming. Most Burmese people are as interested in new visitors to their little-seen farming and crafts trade villages as we are in seeing how they live and their proud traditions.

Walter Christen's insight:

An Avalon Waterways river cruise aboard the Avalon Myanmar is great way to see and experience the culture and people of Burma/Myanmar. Fascinating sites and history make this a must see region for the adventurous cruise traveler.

Ship photos of the day - Largest cruise ship ever built begins sea trials

October 30, 2017

From via

The largest cruise ship ever built departed the STX France Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France on Thursday for its first set of sea trials.

The Harmony of the Seas is the third ship in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class. At 227,700 GRT, the cruise ship will be just slightly larger than her two sister ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, which at 225,282 GRT are currently the largest cruise ships in the world.

Harmony of the Seas is due back at the shipyard on Sunday following three days of trials meant to test the ship’s power and propulsion. The sea trials involve some 500 engineers and technicians, as representatives from the classification society DNV GL.

Harmony of the Seas is expected to make its maiden voyage from Europe in May 2016. The ship is designed to carry a total of 6,410 passengers and 2,300 crew.

Walter Christen's insight:

I must admit, I do like the very large cruise ships where the ship is a destination as much as the ports of call.  Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is the third Oasis class ship for the cruise line.  I have been with my family on both the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas and we enjoyed sailing on them very much. After dinner strolls through Central Park, the onboard entertainment like the water and ice skating shows were particulary memorable.  And even though the ships hold a lot of other cruisers, I never felt that it was crowded.

The Harmony of the Seas will spend the summer out of Barcelona and in the fall will home port out of Port Everglades.  Seriously considering a family cruise on this ship.

From via

Antarctica Cruise and Travel Guide 2015

October 30, 2017
Antarctica Cruise and Travel Guide 2015 - Travel Antarctica By cruise ship - Antarctica Vacations 2015 Travel Videos HD, World Travel Guide ...
JD Lasica's insight:

I'm not a cold weather fan, but my travel friends tell me a voyage to Antarctica is absolutely life-changing.

Here's my former Sacramento Bee travel editor colleague, Janet Fullwood, offering an extensive travel guide to visiting Antarctica:

Lindblad introduces 7-day cultural cruises in Europe: Travel Weekly

October 30, 2017

From via

The sailings will have an emphasis on food, wine, culture and history as well as the Lindblad staples of nature and the environment.
JD Lasica's insight:

You know, there's adventure travel, and then there's the kind of adventure that's really about immersing yourself in local cultures. I'm not so big on spotting walruses in the Arctic. But I do love a great cultural odyssey with guides who know the local landscape. And Lindblad knows how to do it right.

Crystal Cruises to return to legendary Northwest Passage in 2017

October 30, 2017

From via

Continuing its trend of groundbreaking news, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line will return to the famed Northwest Passage in August 2017. Beginning August 15, 2017, Crystal Cruises’ award-winning ocean ship, Crystal Serenity, will sail a 32-day expedition-style voyage traversing the Arctic Ocean from Anchorage/Seward, Alaska to New York City via the legendary route (500 miles north of the Arctic Circle), first completed successfully by Roald Amundsen more than 100 years ago. The announcement comes shortly after the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line’s plans to reposition Crystal Serenity’s 2017 voyages during the spring and summer to Alaska and coastal itineraries.

The booking window opens on March 7 with all-inclusive “Book Now” fares starting at $21,855 per person, double occupancy, if booked by April 29, 2016.

“We are thrilled to offer intrepid luxury travelers a second opportunity to explore this historical sea passage,” said Crystal’s CEO and President Edie Rodriguez. “Given the tremendous response to our inaugural Northwest Passage sailing in 2016, it’s clear that discerning travelers continue to value rare and memorable experiences as much as they prize unmatched luxury.”

Walter Christen's insight:

Crystal Cruises expedition cruise through the Northwest Passage is a adventure I would love to do.  Imagine cruising on the luxury cruise ship Cystal Serenity, to a place that most people have not been to.

Silver Spirit will take guests to Antarctica or southern Africa as part of the new Couture Collection.

Silversea introduces high-end immersive experiences

October 10, 2017

Wow! Today luxury cruise line Silversea announced a new chapter in luxury cruising with its 2018 Couture Collection, an exclusive series of ocean and land adventures custom-designed for discerning and adventurous travelers.

The offering includes nine pre- and post-cruise land programs of five to 11 days in length designed to provide authentic and immersive travel experiences in the most remote and untouched regions of the Earth.

The Internet Cafe on Carnival Fascination — and dozens of other ships — may be getting faster Internet in the near future.

Carnival Corp. ships to get faster Internet

September 28, 2017

One of my editors took an Alaska cruise this summer and was bummed out about the excruciatingly slow and sometimes non-existent, Internet service on the ship.  So he did what many of us do, went to port in search of cyber cafes to do his business and posting.

Slow Internet service on ships has caused me to be less than ladylike as I try to file articles and photos while watching that little circle spin around and around or get the dreaded "Internet Connection Not Available."

Viking Sun is nearly identical to sister ship Viking Star, shown in Norway.

Viking takes possession of Viking Sun

September 25, 2017

Viking today announced it took delivery of Viking Sun, the company’s fourth ocean ship. The delivery ceremony took place when the ship was presented at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy.

On Oct. 4, 2017, Viking Sun will set sail on her maiden voyage, sailing from Venice through the Adriatic and Ionian seas. In early November, Viking Sun will cross the Atlantic to sail fall itineraries. On Dec. 15, the ship will embark on Viking’s first-ever word cruise. Over the course of 141 days, Viking Sun will journey around the world, visiting 35 countries and 66 ports, before the itinerary ends in London on May 5, 2018. In 2019, Viking Sun will continue to sail the globe on a recently announced second world cruise, which spans 128-days, five continents, 21 countries and 44 ports with 10 port overnights.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of Seas, launched 14 months ago, is the world's largest cruise ship.

World's 10 largest cruise ships (infographic)

August 30, 2017

What are the world's largest cruise ships? Whether you measure by gross metric tonnage (a measure of volume, not weight) or number of passengers, you'll come up with a similar top 10 list.

Cruiseable's Ship Discovery Tool lets you sort more than 400 ships by size (largest, smallest), age, ratings, passenger to crew ratio and roominess index. But for a quick at-a-glance look at the big ships as well as a summary of highlights, it's hard to beat this infographic from Nature’s Water, providers of water treatment systems in Ireland. Feel free to download and share (and click the infographic to enlarge it).

Here are the World's 10 Largest Cruise Ships:

The Explorations Central hub is new to Westerdam, offering destination immersion with interactive screens.

Cruise lines ramp up their offerings

August 21, 2017

In between taking careful peeks at the solar eclipse today, you may want to try to find time to check out some new offerings from the major cruise lines. Look for ocean cruises with winemakers, a South Seas sailing to a new destination, river cruises along the Mekong, a preview of a venue on 2018's Celebrity Edge that changes throughout the day and more. 

New itineraries

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

Viking Sky chases the Northern lights

Oh, those Northern Lights, always a lure for cruisers who love to chase romance in the sky. Viking Ocean Cruises is delivering with a new ocean cruise itinerary that allows guests the rare opportunity to explore the far north during Norway’s winter — peak time for those majestic illuminations that slash across the night sky. Come January 2019, the 13-day “In Search of the Northern Lights” itinerary will begin sailing between London and Bergen on the 930-passenger Viking Sky.

It's Carnival in Rio de Janeiro and dancers take on the colors of the rainforest.

Silversea’s new Silver Muse to do Grand South America Voyage

August 18, 2017

One of my most fantastic experiences was a cruise that included three wet and wild days at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Carnival (or Carnaval) in Rio is surreal. It is one nonstop party where even Rio's infamous pickpockets take time off.

Well, you can indulge in the wild wonders of Carnival in Rio on Silversea's new, enchanting Silver Muse, which is heading south from Ft. Lauderdale on a 69-day Grand Voyage on Jan. 3, 2018 (which is coming up soon, believe it or not).

Viking is the lead sponsor of the Ballet Sun Valley international festival, which runs Aug. 21-24.

Viking Cruises’ summer of cultural programming

August 9, 2017

Viking Cruises on Tuesday announced it has expanded its portfolio of partnerships with premier cultural institutions, with a summer season of events around the country. Viking has signed on to sponsor the United States tour of the acclaimed English boys choir, Libera, and the Ballet Sun Valley international festival this summer. The company has also extended its sponsorship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at The Hollywood Bowl for the fifth consecutive season.

These new partnerships build on Viking’s commitment to drive cultural insight and personal enrichment, with current partners that include National Geographic’s “Genius,” PBS’ Masterpiece, TED, The Metropolitan Opera, BBC, Highclere Castle, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Oslo’s Munch Museum and St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, among others.