(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI, Jan. 21, 2022 – Carnival Cruise Line said today that it will be the largest cruise line to use the VeriFLY solution for its operations from U.S. homeports, with a pilot program that will start this Saturday for guests boarding Mardi Gras at Port Canaveral, in addition to finalizing plans to expand in-terminal testing capabilities for vaccinated guests prior to embarkation, specifically for short itineraries of 3- and 4-day voyages. Carnival also said it will continue to operate under its current protocols, sailing vaccinated voyages, requiring pre-embarkation testing and following onboard indoor mask requirements until further notice.
VeriFLY by Daon is now widely used in the airline industry, and it will allow Carnival guests to upload their proof of vaccination and testing information so that it can be verified in advance of the sailing – resulting in a streamlined embarkation experience at the terminal. Once the pilot at Port Canaveral is complete, Carnival intends to move quickly to implement the solution across its fleet.
Carnival is also working to expand testing capabilities at the terminal for vaccinated guests, specifically for short itineraries (3- and 4-day voyages). Once implemented, vaccinated guests will be able to meet the pre-cruise testing requirement as part of the embarkation process. Pre-registration will be required, and there will be capacity limits based on the resources of testing providers. Testing sites to support short itinerary cruises will be phased in and announced by the end of January.
Carnival also said it intends to follow its Have Fun. Be Safe. operating protocols until further notice. Guests and travel agents will be receiving more details on operations for February and beyond over the coming days.
On Jan. 13, Carnival restarted operations from another homeport, with Carnival Sunshine returning to its year-round schedule from Charleston, SC. To date, Carnival has 19 of its 22 U.S.-based ships in guest operation, sailing from eight homeports on the Atlantic, Gulf and West coasts.
(PRESS RELEASE)_SEATTLE, WA, January 20, 2022 – U.S. headquartered small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises has announced the full lineup of James Beard Foundation-affiliated guest chefs for its series of three themed culinary cruises in 2022. The all-female trio includes Atlanta’s Chef Jennifer Hill Booker, San Francisco’s Chef Tanya Holland, and Boston’s Chef Irene Li.
Windstar is the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity, and sustainability. The Foundation firmly aligns with Windstar’s commitment to fresh and local epicurean experiences around the world.
The three themed cruises, detailed at the links below, include two on-board cooking demonstrations as well as four dishes from the JBF Chef available at a hosted dinner with wine pairings. Should ports and health restrictions allow, chefs will also lead a market tour, gathering fresh and local ingredients for dishes served on board. The three chefs will provide multiple recipes to be featured on Windstar’s menus across all cruises, adding to a growing menu of James Beard Foundation-affiliated chefs’ special menu items served across the fleet.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Miami (Jan. 20, 2022) - Glimmering cityscapes, Instagram-worthy beaches, bustling nightlife, and awe-inspiring temples are just a small sampling of the wonders that await guests as Celebrity Cruises sets sail for Asia in 2023-2024. Aboard Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Solstice, guests will be treated to luxurious accommodations and amenities while also being immersed in cultural experiences and treated to breath-taking vistas in the ports they visit across Asia.
Setting sail September 2023 on board the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, guests’ eyes will be opened to some of the most astonishing destinations across Northeast and Southeast Asia, including Japan, China, Malaysia, Thailand and the Spice Route. These 12-night itineraries have been completely re-imagined, offering a return to familiar ports like Lombok, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; while giving guests a chance to explore new departure ports in Benoa, Bali, Indonesia and Mumbai, India along with new ports of call for the brand in Celukan Bawang, Bali, Indonesia; and Hambantota, Sri Lanka.
Joining Millennium in November 2023, Celebrity Solstice will venture to the heart of Southeast Asia on 12-night itineraries that show off the cultural gems of Vietnam and Thailand departing from Hong Kong and Singapore. From the diversity of their city skylines to the pristine beaches, guests will be immersed in these unique cultures, including experiencing local dining and history like never before. For travelers seeking a longer journey to other WonderFULL destinations, Celebrity Solstice will also offer two 17-night transpacific sailings leaving from either Honolulu or Sydney; visiting the fairy-tale scenery of New Zealand as well as the crown jewels of French Polynesia, including Moorea, Tahiti, Fiji and others.
Adding to the allure of these sailings are guests’ opportunities to soak up the culture during overnight stays in ports they visit. Whether it is Mumbai, India; Hanoi, Vietnam; Bangkok, Thailand or one of the many other ports, guests will be able to experience the vibrant nightlife, centuries-old history, or world-class shopping that make for unforgettable moments and put the exclamation point on their “Journey WonderFULL.”
“In 2023 we are returning to some of the world's most treasured destinations within Asia and offering our guests more itinerary options to ‘Journey WonderFULL,’” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. “Travel opens a person’s heart and mind to the unique story of a people and place beyond what is possible from merely looking at pictures. These epic Asia itineraries allow guests to explore some of the world’s oldest civilizations and be transformed by the richness of their cultures.”
Simplifying the luxury holiday experience, Wi-Fi, drinks, and service charges are now ‘Always IncludedSM’ on every Celebrity cruise. For more information on all of Celebrity’s 2023-2024 Asia itineraries, go to www.celebritycruises.com/2023-2024-cruises.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Fort Lauderdale, FL – Jan. 20, 2022 – American Queen Voyages™, part of the Hornblower® Group, announces the cruise line’s Culinary Ambassador, Chef Regina Charboneau, will host eight sailings during the 2022 season. Featuring itineraries stretching across North America including River, Lakes & Ocean and Expedition experiences, Charboneau will put a spotlight on local cuisine through onboard cooking demonstrations and discussions, exploring ports with guests and regional chef friends, in addition to sharing stories and recipes along the way.
The “Regina Charboneau & Friends" 2022 sailings promise culinary adventures and discoveries beyond the Lower Mississippi River. Charboneau made her professional debut in Alaska and will make her return as she sails the Ocean Victory™ maiden voyage from Vancouver to Sitka. Additional sailings will include the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes and Ohio River itineraries.
“Exploring North America through its bountiful cuisine is an enjoyable pastime of mine, and I always love sharing my culinary adventures and discoveries with guests, many of whom become friends,” said Chef Regina Charboneau, the cruise line’s culinary ambassador. “Every city and port has its own iconic dish and I look forward to telling the story of that dish, how it has impacted the community and so much more. Whether we’re dining on local salmon in Alaska or Nashville Hot Chicken along the Cumberland River, guests can expect to leave with new culinary knowledge, full bellies and a smile on their faces.”
Charboneau is best known as the “Biscuit Queen of Natchez” and for her San Francisco restaurants Regina’s at the Regis and Biscuits & Blues, the latter also with an outpost in her Mississippi hometown. The author of “Mississippi Currents: A Culinary Journey Down America’s Greatest River,” a meticulously researched collection of river recipes from St. Paul to New Orleans, will now bring her career full circle to The Last Frontier aboard the May 6 inaugural Ocean Victory sailing. She will also host sailings on all four paddlewheelers in 2022.
(PRESS RELEASE)_EYOS Expeditions, the world leader in private superyacht experiences, announces new departures to Antarctica and the South Pacific on the redesigned superyacht Hanse Explorer in 2022/23. Newly outfitted to explore both tropical and polar regions, Hanse Explorer will allow travelers to reach remote parts of the world on bespoke itineraries led by EYOS’ decade of experience operating private yacht expeditions.
The Yacht: Hanse Explorer
Following a multimillion-dollar redesign by Partnership Design and AROS Marine, the seven-cabin Hanse Explorer features a rugged, steel-hulled exterior, with the highest commercial ice classification, and a newly refined interior with a distinctly modern style. With an indoor-outdoor design that embraces its oceanic surroundings, traditional dark paneling and leather furnishings have been swapped for light woods and a neutral palette of creams, clean whites, and chromed silvers, complemented with nautical navy blue touches. Expanses of glass sliding doors flood spaces with light to allow for optimal viewing of wildlife during expedition, and cabana-style Bali beds were added with the opportunity to sleep under the stars. New amenities also include a saltwater jacuzzi and sauna as well as a cocktail area with Bose sound systems to enjoy after a day of exploring with a meal prepared by the onboard culinary team.
Once strictly a polar yacht, Hanse Explorer is now equally equipped to explore both the tropics and polar regions. A pair of zero speed stabilizers were installed, allowing the yacht to cross the Pacific with minimal motion. Passengers also have access to kayaks, standup paddleboards, diving equipment, and two zodiacs to view these diverse landscapes up close and make remote beach landings. A state-of-the-art dive center will also be added that caters to both beginners and advance divers in order to explore remote reefs rarely visited in the Pacific. Expeditions are guided by a team of experts with decades of experience and in-depth knowledge of these regions.
(PRESS RELEASE)_FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA., Jan. 19, 2022 – Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that the luxe-adventure cruise line will deploy two expedition ships to Antarctica for the winter 2022-23 season. World Traveller will embark on her inaugural Antarctica season, while World Navigator will return to Antarctica for its second. The two ships will offer travelers a choice of 20 expeditions, ranging from nine- to twenty-night itineraries, sailing from November 2022 through March 2023. The two ships will offer different kinds of expeditions: World Navigator will sail shorter nine- to 11-night expeditions, while World Traveller will offer extended immersive itineraries, ranging from 13 to 20 nights. Additionally, travelers who make a new booking through a travel advisor by March 31, 2022, can save up to $2,000 per suite or stateroom on these newly announced itineraries, as well as an additional 20 percent when paying in full. For more information about World Traveller and World Navigator’s winter 2022-23 Antarctica season, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.
“Atlas Ocean Voyages brings travelers to remote and captivating destinations for once-in-a-lifetime and bucket-list experiences,” said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. “In our brand’s second Antarctica season, we offer travelers a choice of two different Antarctica experiences by deploying both recently launched World Navigator and newly constructed World Traveller to the region. Whichever Atlas expedition ship travelers choose, our expert expedition teams will deliver fascinating context and unforgettable experiences on the Southern Continent.”
(PRESS RELEASE)_Seattle, Wash., Jan. 19, 2022 — Holland America Line is giving consumers the confidence to make travel plans through the summer with the extension of its Flexible Cancellation Plan to Sept. 30, 2022. As part of its “Worry-Free Promise,” Holland America Line also will continue to implement best practices for COVID-19 health safety including operating vaccinated cruises and requiring a medically-supervised negative COVID-19 test prior to cruising.
Under the Flexible Cancellation Plan, which was originally offered for cruises departing through the end of April, guests who make a new booking by March 31, 2022, for itineraries that depart on or before Sept. 30, can cancel for any reason and receive a Future Cruise Credit in the amount of any cancellation fees that normally would be incurred. Cancellations must be made up to 30 days before departure. Additionally, final payments for cruises through May 31, 2022, are due at 60 days instead of 75 or 90.
“We want our guests to feel confident when they book a cruise,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “We’ve seen so much excitement from guests who have cruised with us since our return. We want everyone who is looking forward to that next adventure to feel comfortable making those plans, and our ‘Worry-Free Promise’ offers that comfort.”
(PRESS RELEASE)_SANTA CLARITA, Calif., (January 17, 2022) – It’s never too early to start planning for much-anticipated summer vacations, and Princess Cruises is giving guests an added level of comfort when they book a cruise with the extension of the Book with Confidence program, and extended health and safety protocols.
Book with Confidence is now extended to summer 2022 sailings, including all cruises departing through September 30, 2022, for all bookings made by March 2, 2022. The flexible program allows guests to make summer travel plans with confidence knowing that if plans change, their cruise vacation is protected. The program allows guests the flexibility to change their vacation plans up to 30 days prior to the day of departure, receiving cancellation fees as a future cruise credit to then book another voyage when the time is right.
“Planning a vacation gives us something to look forward to and so many of us have an inherent desire to explore the world and experience sought-after destinations,” said Deanna Austin, Princess Cruises chief commercial officer. “With the extension of our Book with Confidence program, we’re giving cruisers the confidence to book a summer vacation now, knowing they have flexibility in case they need to alter their plans.”
Additionally, Princess Cruises will continue to operate vaccinated cruises, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14-days prior to the sailing day and have proof of vaccination.
(PRESS RELEASE)_VALENCIA, Calif., Jan. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Luxury cruise brand Cunard unveils over 150 new international voyages, sailing on its three Queens between April 23 and December 15, 2023.
Across the new itineraries, the iconic fleet of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, will call at 120 unique ports in 35 countries, with 23 late evening departures and 15 overnight stays with voyages between two nights and 37 nights in duration.
Queen Mary 2, the world's only ocean liner, will sail a program of 18 Transatlantic Crossings, with departures from both Southampton and New York. In addition, a Mediterranean season from Barcelona, a series of 10-night roundtrips in Alaska, an Independence Day sailing calling in Boston, a 16-night Baltics voyage with an overnight call in St Petersburg, and a 14-night Canada and New England voyage offering three full days in Quebec are just some of the highlights.
"We're excited to share our 2023 voyage program, with which our guests can rediscover the joy of exploration, visiting long-dreamed of destinations," said Jamie Paiko, Vice President, Sales, Cunard, North America. "Our signature ocean travel experience and White Star Service provide the perfect setting to escape, unwind and feel special."
Carnival Cruise Line’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal helped fans at the Miami Heat game Saturday night get Funderstruck by giving away a cruise in celebration of his and Carnival’s upcoming 50th birthdays in March.
O’Neal surprised the crowd by taking to the court and asked fans if they were ready to get Funderstruck. He then released parachutes carrying T-shirts and QR codes. One lucky fan also found a gift card with their T-shirt that can be applied for a Carnival cruise of their choice. When scanned, the QR codes also gave fans the chance to opt-in for updates on all of Carnival’s Funderstruck moments to come this year.
Showing some extra love to the port where Carnival first began sailing, the line’s newest Excel-class ship and sister to Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, will debut later this year from PortMiami and coincide with the line’s 50th birthday celebration.
“This will be the most Funderstruck year ever, and who better to spread that message than our very own Chief Fun Officer Shaquille,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Miami is where Carnival first started, so we can’t wait to welcome our newest ship Carnival Celebration to our hometown to help us ring in our big 5-0.”
Built upon Carnival’s brand platform Choose Fun, the line recently introduced an entirely new word and marketing campaign – Funderstruck – to describe the unmistakable feeling uniquely experienced when choosing fun on Carnival.
For additional information, please call 1-800-CARNIVAL, visit www.carnival.com, or contact your favorite travel advisor or online travel site.
Stay current with the latest news from the cruise lines.
Follow Gerry Barker
on All Things Cruise.