Greetings to the many thousands of readers the past month from across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as well as Russia, France, Germany, Japan, China, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Vietnam and Australia.

Monday, January 2, 2017

CruiseCompetes latest CruiseTrends Reports on winter destinations

(News Release)

Warm-Weather Destinations of Caribbean, Mexico, USVI See Surge in Popularity Heading Into Winter Months

“What is Trending” With Consumers for Ocean and River Cruises

DETROIT – CruiseCompete has released its CruiseTrends™  report for the month of December 2016. This report is sponsored by © EyeforTravel Ltd.

We have mined our wealth of data to provide information on the most popular cruise trends among consumers, including the top ships, lines and travel dates for premium, luxury and river cruising.

The CruiseTrends™ report for December 2016 is detailed below. To see more topics and data, please visit CruiseCompete’s pressroom or click here to see the entire December 2016 report.

Most Popular Cruise Lines
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each cruise line in the given month)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Royal Caribbean International
2. Luxury: Oceania Cruises
3. River: Viking River Cruises (changed from America Cruise Lines last month)

In second place is Carnival Cruise Lines for premium/contemporary, Cunard for luxury and American Cruise Lines for river. More…

Most Popular Cruise Ships
(Based on the total number of quote requests for each ship)
1. Premium/Contemporary: Norwegian Escape (changed from Allure of the Seas last month)
2. Luxury: Queen Mary 2
3. River: Emerald Waterways Ships (changed from America last month)

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings brands all receive approval to sail to Cuba

Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises Will Sail a Collection of
Voyages in Spring 2017 that include calls on Cuba’s Capital of Havana

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Becomes First U.S. Cruise Operator
to Have Full Portfolio of Brands Approved to Sail to Cuba
MIAMI – Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NCLH) has announced that it has received approval from the government of the Republic of Cuba to operate cruises to Cuba, beginning March 2017.

All three of the company’s brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, will offer U.S. travelers the opportunity to visit the culturally and historically rich country on select sailings starting next year.

The voyages will provide guests with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover not only the rich culture, history and natural beauty of Cuba, but more importantly experience the warmth and hospitality of its people.
The company’s first cruise to Cuba will set sail from PortMiami on Oceania Cruises’ Marina on March 7, 2017 with select Caribbean itineraries featuring calls on Havana, including many multiple-day calls to allow guests to explore Havana and its environs.  Seven Seas Mariner, of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet, will call on Havana during two cruises in April 2017. Norwegian Sky will also offer a selection of four-day voyages that will overnight in Havana in May 2017. 

Cunard celebrates World Space Week with a Celestial Voyage in 2017

VALENCIA, Calif. -- Cunard has announced its flagship liner, Queen Mary 2, will offer an extraordinary Transatlantic Crossing to coincide with International World Space Week in October 2017.

To celebrate this international event, Cunard has curated a bespoke voyage which will take guests on an exceptional journey across the Atlantic, featuring a range of space themed experiences including talks from renowned space exploration experts including:
  • Dr Jeffrey Hoffman, NASA Astronaut, Scientist and former Shuttle Pilot
  • Charles Barclay from the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director of Virgin Galactic
  • Ken MacTaggart, NASA Historian
 “Throughout history, the Cunard brand has been synonymous with exporation and adventure,” said Richard Meadows, President, Cunard North America. “We are pleased to offer guests the opportunity to understand, explore and delight in the universe as Queen Mary 2 sails across the Atlantic, giving guests a unique vantage point to discover land, sea and space.”

Princess Cruises announces largest ever fall deployment in Canada and New England

Regal and Royal Princess sail for the first time together departing from New York and Quebec

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. The 2018 Canada & New England cruise season offered by Princess Cruises showcases the fall foliage to iconic destinations along the east coast and offers the largest deployment ever with two of the cruise line’s newest ships – Regal Princess and Royal Princess.

The 3,560-guest Regal Princess and Royal Princess, sailing for the first time together departing from New York and Quebec, offer 10 cruise departures on four unique itineraries, visiting 12 destinations in New England and Canada.

We’re excited to bring two of our newest ships to Canada & New England in 2018, so that more guests can enjoy the gorgeous fall foliage and famed destinations and landmarks in this region,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.

All 2018 Canada/New England are open for sale and highlights include:

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sail away to some exotic lands this year

   Out to Sea for Dec. 31/16

   By Jim and Barb Fox

   Today’s cruise vacations are more than a trip to the beach.
   Think “exotic” and “amazing” as there are nearly 1,000 cruise ports and destinations around the world and that number continues to grow.
   A trip to the tropics might be the first destination that comes to mind but cruise lines are continuously expanding itineraries to reach more exotic corners of the world and hidden gems.
Cruise vacations let travelers explore scenic beaches in Hawaii. (Jim Fox photo)
   “From sunny beaches in Australia to bustling villages in Asia, cruise travel offers more diverse and unique destinations than ever before,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The arch of Cabo San Lucas is a distinctive rock formation at the extreme southern end of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. (Jim Fox photo)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Princess Cruises launches new Celebrations packages

Simplified Online Gifting Capabilities Offer Convenience and Savings

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. One in four guests is celebrating a special occasion with Princess Cruises and now the cruise line is making it even easier to turn “Sailabrations” into lasting memories with new packages and convenient online ordering.

With savings of up to 25 percent off of retail prices, Sailabration packages are a great value and can be added by a guest through the online booking management tool, Cruise Personalizer. Now, Princess Cruises has made it easier than ever for friends and family to browse and order gifts for Princess guests via the new Princess online gifting webpage found at princess.com/gifts.

New packages such as “Pamper Me” with a day at the Lotus Spa, named the Best Spa on a Cruise Ship by Spa finder Wellness 365TM and “Breakfast Lovers” with a deluxe balcony breakfast are available for those looking to relax and recharge or celebrate the joy of mornings at sea.

Carnival Cruise Liine named 'Most Trusted' in America by Reader's Digest

MIAMI – For the second consecutive year, Carnival Cruise Line has been named Most Trusted Cruise Line in America by Reader’s Digest. 
The award is based on a poll of more than 5,000 Americans nationwide who were asked to rate products they trust across 40 different categories in areas such as quality, value, and reliability.  Carnival received more votes than any other cruise line.  The awards are featured in the October issue of Reader’s Digest.
Carnival continues to enhance its onboard offerings, building upon its brand promise of providing fun, memorable vacations at a great value while keeping up with consumer trends and exceeding the expectations of its guests.

Ride the wave and cruise into the New Year with Celebrity’s Sail Beyond event

Guests will save up to $200 per person, plus enjoy up to four free perks while onboard one of
Celebrity’s luxurious ships

MIAMI  Just in time for the new year, Celebrity Cruises’ introduces its Sail Beyond Event inviting all those dreaming of travel in the year ahead to take to the ocean and explore the world.

Now through January 31, 2017, the modern luxury brand encourages travel aficionados to see the globe in style, taking advantage of the exceptional rates on most sailings. Those boldly intent on making resolutions reality need only to select a destination and a date from February 1, 2017 through April 30, 2018 and book to receive savings up to $200 per person, as well as enjoy complimentary perks – like free drinks and Wi-Fi – while onboard.

“We believe our world is better when we open ourselves up and explore through travel,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Our Sail Beyond Event delivers on this promise, celebrating our guests with savings that encourage them to experience the world, checking off travel resolutions.”

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line's sailings to Cuba are now on sale

Norwegian is offering four-day roundtrip cruises from Miami to Cuba in May 2017 on Norwegian Sky, the largest ship sailing to Cuba   
             MIAMI – December 21, 2016 Norwegian Cruise Line today opened for sale the line’s 2017 cruises to Cuba aboard Norwegian Sky, the largest vessel sailing to Cuba, which also offers an overnight stay in Havana.  
            Norwegian Sky will sail a series of five, four-day cruises from Miami to Cuba in May 2017 that will include an overnight in the capital of Havana.

            Itinerary includes an overnight in Cuba’s capital of Havana and a day at Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private Bahamian island

           On Monday, May 1, Norwegian Sky will set sail for her first voyage to Havana, arriving on Tuesday morning and staying alongside until Wednesday evening, allowing guests the opportunity to go ashore and experience the island’s rich cultural traditions through people-to-people exchanges.

Cunard showcases Time, Space and a Life Less Ordinary with new brand film

VALENCIA, Calif., December 21, 2016 -- Luxury British cruise line, Cunard, has today revealed its new brand film to support its 2017 booking campaign - Everything you wanted, nothing you expected.

Stylishly taking viewers through the possibilities and experiences available on its luxurious voyages, the film highlights three key themes; time, space and a life less ordinary, to elevate the experience of cruising with Cunard.

Shot over seven days by creative agency Alpha Century and launching online on December 21, the film transports viewers through a sensorial tour of the iconic Queen Mary 2.
Following the journey of 12 actual Cunard guests as they travel between Southampton and New York City as they cross the Atlantic on Cunard’s Transatlantic Crossing, it highlights the much-loved traditions and new pursuits available to Cunard cruisers and challenging common misconceptions with its vast array of experiences.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

New Vista Class ship to join Carnival Cruise Line fleet in 2019

MIAMI (Dec. 15, 2016) -- A new 133,500-ton cruise ship, which will be the third vessel in the company’s Vista class series, will join the Carnival Cruise Line fleet in late 2019.
The ship, under contract with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, was originally designated for the P&O Cruises Australia brand. In conjunction with this change, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor will be transferred to P&O Cruises Australia in late 2019. 

The ship will offer many of Carnival’s most popular guest features, a wide range of accommodation types and a number of new innovations unique to this vessel.  The ship’s name, homeport and itinerary details will be announced at a later date.  

“We are truly thrilled to have another Vista class ship joining our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival Vista, which was named the best new ship of 2016 in the Cruise Critic Editors Picks awards, has proven to be the most innovative and popular ship we’ve ever introduced.

Make 2017 “Nautical and Nice” by giving the gift of cruise travel – 180 Degrees from Ordinary

Seattle, WA, December 16, 2016 Windstar Cruises tempts travelers to treat a loved one to a luxurious cruise on a sleek sailing yacht with tall sails or an elegant yacht with all-suite accommodations.

Cruisers will enjoy the best savings of the season during the “Nautical and Nice” Holiday Event through Dec. 23. Featuring more than 100 cruises sailing January through September 2017, each guest also receives a bonus gift of $100 shipboard credit to spend on a variety of indulgences, from spa treatments to a bottle of fine wine.
Cruise into Christmas: Windstar’s Nautical and Nice Holiday Event offers the
Best Savings of the Season in the Caribbean, Costa Rica & Panama Canal,
Europe, Transatlantic, and Tahiti
A number of voyages on the promotion feature a spectacular Destination Discovery Event, immersing guests in authentic cultural and culinary delights of the region. Created exclusively for Windstar guests, these complimentary events are crafted to give guests a taste of local life on each cruise.

Popular events include Kusadasi: Evening in Ephesus, a once-in-a-lifetime experience of dining under the stars at the Celsus Library on the Treasures of the Greek Isles cruise; and Bora Bora Celebration Festival, a traditional Tahitian feast complete with fire dancers when sailing the Dreams of Tahiti or the Tahiti & the Tuamotu Islands itinerary.