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Monday, August 29, 2011

Ooh la, la for French-style cruising in Canada-New England; yacht adventures in Hawii, Mexico's Sea of Cortez

   Out to Sea column published in August 2011
   (c) By Jim and Barb Fox

   A French cruise line is adding some joie de vivre to Canadian fall foliage sailings while safari-style cruises offer yachting adventures in Hawaii and Mexican seas.
The French mega-yacht Le Boreal will sail on two 11-day Boston-Montreal itineraries.
   C'est la vie
   Say “bonjour” to luxury line Compagnie du Ponant, the world’s only French-flagged cruise company, as it makes a splash in Canadian and North American waters.
   Calling it “one of the most extensive fall foliage itineraries available,” the yacht-size ships will visit 11 ports of call, nine in Canada, with several only accessible to these smaller vessels.
   “It will certainly have a French feel – with a focus on North American guests – and be similar to being on a private yacht,” said publicist Elliot Gillies.
   Since the cabins were selling out quickly, the cruise line will offer a similar itinerary next year along with a variety of Caribbean cruises this fall and winter.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cunard Guests “Feel Famous” aboard The Most Famous Ocean Liners in the World


Cunard rolls out the red carpet with special voyage offers, a Transatlantic Crossing sweepstakes
and an invitation to sail Cunard and feel famous
25 August 2011 – For Cunard and their guests, the superlative The Most Famous Ocean Liners in the World has distinction and meaning far beyond the notoriety of the line’s famous fleet of Queens.  It’s how the venerable company strives to make each guest feel throughout every voyage aboard flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.

For the new FEEL FAMOUS. SAIL CUNARD. campaign, the storied cruise vacation company is rolling out the red carpet with a variety of compelling offers and an epic cinematic video that is sure to engage the most stalwart land vacationer to consider a voyage with Cunard.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fall foliage cruises, Boston-Montreal, on Compagnie du Ponant luxury yacht

Miami, FL – Luxury yacht cruise company Compagnie du Ponant has announced one of the most extensive Fall Foliage itineraries available from any cruise line – with 11 ports of call, nine of them in Canada, and several only accessible to the yacht-size ships.
Highlights include the small village of Perce, near the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula; Tadoussac, the oldest surviving French settlement in the Americas; Magdalen Islands, home to descendants of the more than 400 shipwrecks in the archipelago; and, of course, the historic cities of Boston, Quebec City and Montreal.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Marrying at sea or retying the knot during a cruise

Out to Sea syndicated newspaper column, originally published in May 2010

 (c) By Jim and Barb Fox
Holland America Lines offers couples beachfront wedding ceremonies on Half Moon Cay, a private island in the Bahamas
   Taking the plunge during an ocean voyage has a new meaning as thousands of couples are "tying the knot" or retying it while at sea.
   In fact, sea-going destination weddings are the rage as an all-inclusive, hassle-free alternative while others deep into matrimony are renewing their vows.
   Some 2,400 couples will marry this year on Carnival's "fun ships" that offer shipboard wedding packages, amenities and planning services.
   Holland America Lines also arranges beachfront ceremonies on its idyllic private island, Half Moon Cay, in the Bahamas. The happy couple also enjoys many onboard amenities including a Pinnacle Grill lunch and private wine tastings.
A newlywed couple shares a kiss on the Promenade Deck after being married at sea on the Caribbean Princess.

Guests Enjoy the ‘Drawing Room by Assouline' aboard Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest


(News Release) A fine book, like fine wine, is best served in a wondrous setting.

Now, guests aboard an Azamara Club Cruises voyage can immerse themselves in spectacular destinations through the exquisitely crafted books by Assouline. Through an exclusive partnership between Azamara and Assouline, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest now feature the Drawing Room by Assouline, where guests can find more than 200 titles of the publisher’s fine illustrated books, luxury editions and gift line dedicated to fashion, photography, art, travel and design.

Celebrity Cruises "takes the keys" to Celebrity Silhouette

MIAMI It’s official: Celebrity Cruises has taken ownership of the sleek new Celebrity Silhouette in a celebratory handoff ceremony with colleagues from shipbuilder Meyer Werft.

Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Celebrity’s parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and Celebrity’s President and CEO Dan Hanrahan participated in the event, which marks the transfer of ownership of the vessel from the shipyard to Celebrity.

Following a formal, invitation-only naming ceremony and cruise July 21-23, Celebrity Silhouette will set sail from Hamburg, Germany, on July 23 on a seven-night cruise to Civitavecchia (for Rome), where the ship will present roundtrip 12-night Mediterranean/Holy Land sailings until November, when the vessel will be the first Solstice Class ship to offer cruises from the New York/New Jersey market.

Compagnie du Ponant dives into the Caribbean with 7-night St. Martin cruise

Miami, FL, August 2011 -- Renowned luxury yacht cruise company, Compagnie du Ponant, who recently expanded their worldwide cruise options to now include 17 Caribbean sailings, is offering guests a seven-night “St. Martin – St. Martin” cruise – with limited time savings of up to 25%. 
The two 2012 sailings aboard the 330-foot mega yacht Le Levant travel roundtrip from St. Martin – noted for white sand beaches, exciting nightlife and French-Indian Cuisine –visiting ports in the British Virgin Islands, French West Indies, Antigua, St. Kitts-Nevis and the municipalities of the Netherlands.
Highlights include The Baths, a collection of grottoes facing the sea in Virgin Gorda; the coral reefs in Tortola; and the volcanic Mount Scenery, which dominates the landscape of Saba.  Fares are currently being offered at a 25% savings under Ponant’s Bonus program – the more in advance the booking, the greater the savings.

Hurtigruten invites cruisers to ring in the New Year "on top of the world."

12-Day “Celebrations in the Arctic” Cruises the Norwegian Coast to the North Cape, Europe’s Northernmost Point
New York, NY, August 2011 – Hurtigruten, the subject of the recent Guinness World Record-breaking “Longest Live TV Documentary,” is inviting travelers to celebrate the start of 2012 by experiencing firsthand what six million viewers tuned in to see – the company’s award-winning Norwegian coastal cruise.
 Departing Dec. 26, the 12-day round-trip “Celebrations in the Arctic” rings in the New Year with several additions to the classic coastal itinerary: a special dinner in Honningsvåg; a full roster of festivities on New Year’s Eve in the North Cape; and a stop in the port of Alta.  Other highlights include the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund, the small fishing villages of the Lofoten Islands, the medieval Viking capital of Trondheim and the western fjords, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Geiranger.  Guests can personalize their holiday with an impressive range of optional excursions that range from a traditional Viking feast to an exhilarating husky ride.  Prices range from $2,255 to $5,252.  Members of the 1893 Ambassador Club, a loyalty club for those who have sailed on Hurtigruten in the past three years, receive 10% savings as well as a range of complimentary onboard benefits.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Smoking will no longer be permitted in guest staterooms; Norwegian balconies still OK


MIAMI – August 09, 2011 - Norwegian Cruise Line today announced adjustments to its smoking policy for each of the line’s 11 Freestyle Cruising ships in response to changing guest preferences. 

Effective January 2012, guests setting sail on a Norwegian cruise vacation are no longer permitted to smoke cigarettes in their staterooms.  Guests who are in a balcony stateroom will be permitted to smoke on the outside balcony; however, cigar and pipe smoking in staterooms and on balconies is prohibited.  Ashtrays will be available for use upon request through housekeeping staff. 
(Editor's note: Carnival, Princess and Holland America earlier announced smoking restrictions. Carnival will prohibit smoking in staterooms, effective Dec. 1, but allow it on balconies as will Holland America on Jan. 15, 2012. Princess is banning smoking in staterooms and on balconies from Jan. 15 next year.)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Social media enthusiasts come together for three days of networking on the high seas


            Norwegian Cruise Line (“Norwegian”) will be the host of its first ever Tweetup at sea dubbed the SeaTweetup Cruise (@SeaTweetup) coordinated by members of the South Florida social media community.  The cruise departs from Miami on Friday, November 18, 2011 and will set sail on a three-day weekend getaway to the Bahamas returning on Monday, November 21.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Celebrity Cruises unveils "Sense-Sational" book

Culinary leader’s “Excite the Senses” allows consumers
to recreate multi-dimensional onboard experience at home
MIAMI – July 28, 2011 – Known for its culinary leadership and commitment to offering guests the absolute best experience during their precious vacation time, Celebrity Cruises now invites them to take that experience home, with an immersive new book, Excite the Senses.

An engaging 400-page book that will find itself right at home on the coolest coffee tables, Excite the Senses provides an up-close and personal look at Celebrity Cruises’ exceptional dining experience, complete with recipes, rich photography, and a host of tips for entertaining and hosting friends and family in Celebrity style at home.

Azamara Club Cruises' guests booking early enjoy fifty percent savings on brochure rates and Land Discoveries all year, plus ChoiceAir credits



MIAMI, August 5, 2011 – Offering more than 60 voyages to exotic destinations around the world, Azamara Club Cruises is enticing up-market travelers to book early for an immersive adventure in the coming year. Travelers can plan ahead for an unforgettable 2012 Azamara voyage and take advantage of 50 percent savings on brochure rates and credits up to $2,000, per guest, for airfare booked through Azamara’s ChoiceAir program for nearly all 2012 voyages booked by December 31, 2011.

Norwegian Spirit captain, officers thank teen who helped with rescue

Norwegian Spirit’s Captain Evans Hoyt presents Alex Giffel with
the life ring that saved a fellow passenger’s life.

NEW ORLEANS – July 26, 2011 – Norwegian Cruise Line and the Port of New Orleans recognized the quick actions of 16-year-old Alex Giffel of Baton Rouge, LA and Norwegian Spirit’s rescue team this past Sunday in a ceremony on the ship in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Princess Cruises blog reveals Essential Experience #41 – Amsterdam

Final Countdown to List of 50 Features “In Step with the Dutch Life”

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (August 2, 2011) – Princess Cruises today revealed Amsterdam, Netherlands as “Essential Experience #41” on its blog, “50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List,”  leaving only nine more experiences yet to be revealed.  This week District Sales Manager Megan O’Toole explores her family heritage while visiting Dutch relatives.

Cunard Line and the Film Society of Lincoln Center bring the Golden Age of ocean travel to life


N E W S 
 Cunard Sponsors “Cinematic Passages: Ocean Liners on Screen,” 26-30 August,
showcasing the glamour of ocean travel through films of the last 50 years

Tickets on sale Thursday, 9 August

4 August 2011 – Paying homage to the heyday of ocean liner travel and the films that celebrated those voyages across the seas, and utilizing that setting for high drama, smart comedy and some of the most famous Fred Astaire dance numbers, The Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) provides New York audiences with a summertime treat by presenting the film series, Cinematic Passages: Ocean Liners on Screen

Sponsored by Cunard Line, the revered ocean liner company whose iconic voyage experience personifies the Golden Age of Ocean Travel, the series runs 26-30 August at the Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street).  Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, 9 August, both at the theatre box office and online at http://www.filmlinc.com/films/series/cinematic-passages-ocean-liners-on-screen.