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Travel Blog

Latest Cruise news articles

Bill Hare, 73, on the aft deck of Wind Surf during his 99th Windstar cruise in March. He's been sailing on the small-ship cruise line since the mid-1990s.

99 cruises and counting for this diehard Windstar fan

April 5, 2017

You hear stories about cruise passengers who travel so frequently on a particular vessel that it becomes a second home.

If you’re sailing on Wind Surf, the flagship of Windstar Cruises, you’re likely to meet one of those diehard fans.

Bill Hare, 73, of Dallas, will embark June 8 on his 100th Windstar cruise — a Mediterranean itinerary, Barcelona to Lisbon, that’s one of his favorites. With his tousled white hair and gregarious manner, he’s easy to find (“I hide out on the port side”), a pleasure to meet and proud that the yacht’s tight-knit crew considers him family, and vice versa.

Cruiseable caught up with “Mr. Bill,” as he’s known to staff, on a Classic Caribbean itinerary in late March — his 99th Windstar sailing — and wanted to know: Why Windstar, and why Wind Surf in particular?

The advent of MSC for Me promises technological advances for passengers of all ages.

The smartship wars are here!

March 31, 2017

At the Seatrade cruise trade show and conference earlier this month in Ft. Lauderdale, the top brass of MSC Cruises was on hand to outline an ambitious game plan that doubles the size of its fleet and triples its passenger capacity from the current 1.8 million passengers a year to more than 5 million annual passengers by 2026.

MSC's new megaship will have 16,000 points of connectivity, 700 digital access points, 114 interactive screens & 2,244 staterooms that open automatically

Notably, all of the new ships coming online will be next-generation smartships: The sleek new MSC Meraviglia debuts a new class of 5,714-passenger ships in June, MSC Seaside will launch in Miami in December as the first in a new class of 5,179-passenger ships, followed by a Meraviglia Plus class of 6,297-passenger megaships starting in 2019 and a World class of ships starting in 2022. 

What they all have in common is a new set of technologies — rolling out starting in June — that will put MSC Cruises at the forefront of the next generation of smartships. And Swiss-based MSC is betting big that its European stylings, world-class entertainment plus state-of-the-art tech will attract millions of new customers in North America; currently, only 10 percent of MSC’s overall passengers are from North America.

“North America here we come!” MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago declared to the assembled travel writers at Seatrade. 

Canyon Ranch SpaClub aboard Oceania Insignia is a luxurious wellness retreat to help you unwind during your sailing.

Oceania announces tours focused on wellness & healthy living

March 19, 2017

Oceania Cruises, recognized for its culinary-focused voyages and award-winning Canyon Ranch SpaClub facilities, has just announced a ground-breaking wellness and cruise-industry first in the form of exclusive and comprehensive tours focused on wellness and healthy living.

The innovative new tour series, "Wellness Tours Inspired by Canyon Ranch," is the first of its kind in the cruise industry and the most comprehensive. It will debut with Riviera’s and Marina’s sailings on April 9 and April 10, 2017.

Helsinki Cathedral, located in the center of Helsinki, Finland. The church was originally built from 1830-1852 as a tribute to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, the Grand Duke of Finland, before Finland achieved independence in 1917.

Finland plans special events for centenary

March 18, 2017

Finland, which presented its top cruise destinations with Estonia this week at the Seatrade cruise trade show in Ft. Lauderdale, will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its independence this coming Dec. 6. And throughout 2017 the Scandinavian nation is holding a series of special events.

Finland offers a variety of impressive cruise destinations, from the cultural hubs of Helsinki and Turku to getaways in nature in Kotka and Mariehamn. All of the destinations offer special programs and tours during the year.

Oceania Cruises' 1,250-guest Marina sails past El Morro Castle into Havana Harbor.

Oceania Cruises calls on Havana with 1,250 guests

March 13, 2017

Oceania Cruises made history on Thursday when its ship, Marina, pulled into Sierra Maestra cruise terminal in Havana, Cuba carrying 1,250 guests. Oceania made history as the first major North American cruise brand to sail to Cuba.

On board for the historic event was Bob Binder, co-founder and CEO of Oceania Cruises, and Frank Del Rio, Cuban-born founder of Oceania Cruises and CEO of parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. Once the ship docked, Del Rio addressed international media regarding the inaugural voyage. 

Explore the world on Oceania Insignia. The mid-size ship offers guests with a warm, charming atmosphere designed for those who love the luxuries of fine dining and travel experiences.

Oceania announces new world cruise for 2019

March 3, 2017

Oceania Cruises has announced that it will be hosting another 180-day world cruise scheduled to depart on March 1, 2019, aboard its sleek ship Insignia.

The Insignia vessel will carry 684 guests during the 180-day world cruise that covers more than 45,000 nautical miles across two oceans, five continents and 16 seas. In addition, passengers will visit 90 fascinating destinations in 36 countries.

For added flexibility, passengers will be able to embark from New York, Miami or Los Angeles.

Explore King George Falls and the red cliffs of Kimberley, Australia, when you sail with Silver Discoverer.

Discover Australia’s remote Kimberley Coast on an all-inclusive Silversea Expedition Cruise

February 10, 2017

Luxury cruise operator Silversea has announced it's offering adventurous voyages to Australia’s scenic, remote northwest region.

The spectacular natural vistas of the country's northwest have been enhanced by the wettest December on record — seven times greater than normal. For those who want to take an expedition cruise in style to see waterfalls plunging into sun-scorched gorges, you have a choice of five mostly 10-day cruises on Silver Discoverer sailing between Darwin and Broome, Australia. 

Golden Gate Bridge overfly (drone video)

January 30, 2017

Here's one of the most beautiful hi-def drone videos we've come across, a 10-minute flyover of the the Golden Gate Bridge, connecting San Francisco to Marin County. The video runs from Baker Beach across the Golden Gate Bridge to the north Vista Point — some 11,000 feet in distance with the Phantom 3 Professional. (I recently bought a Phantom 4.)

As the comments below the video make clear, these kinds of drone flyovers are becoming harder to do, given the restrictions imposed on their flight by national, state and city parks. (The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a federal park.) 


Mixologists do their thing at Harmony of the Seas’ Wonderland.

Cocktail artistry at Harmony of the Seas’ Wonderland (video)

January 12, 2017

On Monday we ran our feature story on 8 Caribbean drink recipes from a master mixologist, with cocktail concoctions from a veteran bartender on Silversea's Silver Spirit

Today we came across a new 2-minute video from Royal Caribbean showcasing the mixologists who whip up colorful creations at Harmony of the Seas’ lounge-bar Wonderland. As they put it: "Cocktails are more than just drinks – they are masterpieces. These artists use innovative flavors and artisanal ingredients to create cocktails that are almost too stunning to drink!"

Well, not that stunning. Check out the fast-paced video: 


Upper Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria. See it on a Crystal river cruise.

Construction begins on Crystal Debussy & Crystal Ravel

January 9, 2017

Luxury travel provider Crystal Cruises, operator of ships, yachts, river boats and a private jet, today announced the cutting of the first piece of steel for the construction of Crystal River Cruises’ two additional Rhine Class luxury river yachts, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, which are scheduled to sail in spring 2018.   

MV Werften of Mecklenburg, Germany, celebrated  the occasion as the first plates of the extravagant river ships were flame cut in the presence of the Genting Group executive  Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's Economics Minister Harry Glawe and numerous other guests.

The Ocean Medallion will debut on Regal Princess in November followed by Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in early 2018.

Princess Cruises debuts wearable tech

January 5, 2017

In this age of Apple Watches, smartphones, robots and other high-tech gadgets designed to “simplify'” life, Princess Cruises has come up with a device devoted to passenger comfort called the Ocean Medallion — a first-of-its-kind wearable “assistant” that uses interactive technology within the O.C.E.A.N, One Cruise Experience Access Network.

Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald unveiled the Ocean Medallion on Wednesday during his opening keynote in Las Vegas at the CES 2017 consumer technology trade show, explaining that it will be the only accessory needed to heighten passenger experiences.

The 5-star Crystal Serenity carries 1,070 passengers to all regions of the world.

Crystal Cruises adds more than a dozen ‘Clear Choices’ sailing to 2018 itineraries

January 4, 2017

As the the 2017 “Wave Season” gets into gear (that’s when cruise lines offer attractive savings), Crystal Cruises is riding the crest by expanding its popular “Crystal Clear Choices” promotion, with more than a dozen choice opportunities in 2018.

Book by March 31, 2017 to reap savings on nearly six dozen worldwide journeys

If you book by March 31, 2017 you can reap savings on nearly six dozen worldwide journeys aboard Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity, Crystal Esprit and Crystal Mozart that cover several global itineraries.  You can also take advantage of three exclusive Crystal Clear Choices  incentives that provide  savings of up to $1,000 per person, air credit of up to $1,100 per person or shipboard credit of up to $1,250 per person.

The special  promotion  is applicable on several of Crystal’s acclaimed travel experiences such as Crystal Serenity’s second Northwest Passage expedition in August 2017 and South America World Cruise segments through April. New additions for 2018  explore Australia, South Pacific, Panama Canal and Caribbean aboard Crystal Symphony; and Southeast Asia, India and Western Europe aboard Crystal Serenity.