(PRESS RELEASE)_CALABASAS, CA – (June 17, 2019) – Acclaimed luxury river cruise line AmaWaterways and award-winning Caymus Vineyards—both known for quality and innovation—will share their passion for wine and travel with guests sailing on the new AmaMagna. The seven-night Melodies of the Danube Wine Cruise will depart August 4th from Budapest, Hungary traveling to Vilshofen, Germany. AmaWaterways guests are invited to join Janet Thomas, Wine & Market Relations for Caymus Vineyards, on this specialty cruise with exclusive tastings and shore excursions, insightful seminars and a special onboard wine-paired dinner.
“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with esteemed wineries such as Caymus Vineyards,” says Rudi Schreiner, president and co-founder of AmaWaterways. “Whether they are seasoned wine experts or just beginning to discover the nuances of a great vintage, our guests are treated to an unforgettable river cruise experience highlighting both Europe’s Old World palate and North American New World taste.”
Located in Napa Valley, California, Caymus Vineyards was founded in 1971 by Charles F. Wagner, his wife Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, and their son, Chuck. Today, the Wagner family produces some of the region’s premier Cabernet Sauvignon and many of California’s finest wines.
AmaWaterways’ Wine Cruises invite guests to discover the culture and history of the world’s finest wine regions while learning from, and engaging with, expert hosts like Thomas. These cruises add a unique epicurean dimension to guests’ European river cruise, offering the perfect blend of wine-related activities paired with expertly guided excursions to iconic cities and sights.
Guests joining Caymus Vineyards on this special Wine Cruise will discover why Wine Spectator awarded the winery its prestigious “Wine of the Year Award” for their 1984 Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, and again five years later for their 1990 vintage, making it the only winery to have twice earned the publication’s highest accolade.
“AmaWaterways curates an unparalleled river cruise experience with an intrinsic and thoughtful understanding of the role that food and wine play in discovering a culture and place,” said Thomas. “We feel privileged to sail on the stunning new AmaMagna and share our deep love of wine with AmaWaterways’ guests.”
During the cruise, guests will be treated to two exclusive castle tours with special wine tastings in picturesque towns. Sailing through the UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley, home to some of the finest vineyards in Austria, guests will visit Schloss Gobelsburg and enjoy a taste of their famed Grüner Veltliner and Riesling vintages while taking in the castle’s history, which dates back to the 1700’s. Then, in the medieval After a day of exploration and discovery, guests will return to the luxury and comfort of the AmaMagna which, at twice the width of traditional river cruise ships, boasts four dining venues, five bars, elegant lounges and exceptional spacious accommodations. Suites, measuring between 355 and 710 sq.ft., feature full outside balconies, open seating areas, and luxurious bathrooms complete with double sinks and walk-in showers. AmaMagna’s enhanced entertainment offerings and amenities include an onboard cinema; a large boutique; an expansive Zen Wellness Studio, complete with a large exercise area and classes led by a professionally trained Wellness Host, a juice bar and two massage rooms, along with manicure, pedicure and hair salon services; and an expansive sun deck with a large heated pool, relaxing whirlpool and sky bar.
Sailing between Budapest, Hungary and Vilshofen, Germany, the seven-night Melodies of the Danube cruise immerses guests in the romance and history of the famed Danube River. Itinerary highlights include a tour of Vienna’s majestic Opera House and formal imperial palace; visit to Basilica St. Michael in Salzburg, filming sight for the “Sound of Music;” and exploration of the 2,000-year-old city of Passau. For guests seeking active tour options, AmaWaterways provides guided bicycle and hiking tour options. Pre-and post-cruise stays in Budapest and Prague are also available.
ABOARD CARIBBEAN PRINCESS_"There she blows!"
There was much anticipation as invited media, guests and Princess personnel stood in front of the big blue whale on Deck 17 of Caribbean Princess, docked at Port Everglades.
We were all there for the debut of The Reef Family Splash Zone, a major new feature added after the ship completed a recent drydock.
Of course, we couldn't attend without bringing along an expert in the field to offer her own assessment, and no one is better qualified than our six-year-old granddaughter, Catherine.
(CARNIVAL NEWS)_The totally transformed Carnival Sunrise is the first in the fleet to feature the new casual and authentic Asian venue Lucky Bowl. Located within the ship’s Lido Marketplace, the free-of-charge restaurant is part of its extensive $200 million renovation that added a variety of the line’s popular food, beverage and entertainment innovations.
The new concept replaced the former Asian Mongolian wok station, expanding the offerings to include dishes from China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and other Far East cuisines.
Lucky Bowl features a daily rotating menu of three bowl options with noodles (rice, cellophane, angel hair, chow mein, mung bean, lo mein) or rice, protein (chicken, beef, pork, seafood, egg) and/or vegetables, as well as other unique ingredients.
Sample menu items include:
· Pho – rice noodles, wakame, bok choy, bean sprouts, green peas;
· Pork Stew Shanghai Style – cellophane noodles, sugar snap peas, mushroom, carrots, spinach;
· Hainanese Chicken – jasmine rice, cucumber, miso sauce, crispy fried corn, kimchi;
· Mussels & Clams – chow mein noodles, celery, mushroom, cucumber, shrimp stock.
Guests order at an outlet located mid-ship and adorned with Asian-inspired décor, black and white patterned and red accent panels and a display with the three menu options for the day.
“Asian cuisine really resonates with our guests, and Lucky Bowl, with its ever-changing menu, allows our guests to experience something new and delicious every day,” said Cyrus Marfatia, vice president of culinary and dining for Carnival Cruise Line. “We always strive to cater to all palates, so we created bowls with the classic ingredients our guests know and love like fried chicken, jasmine rice and edamame, as well as some options with more authentic recipes.”
In addition to Lucky Bowl, Carnival Sunrise also features new offerings such as Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in collaboration with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri; The Chef’s Table fine dining experience; the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant; and the classic American steakhouse Fahrenheit 555.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Porto, Portugal – 13 June 2019 – For the fourth consecutive year, DouroAzul, the leading river cruise company in Portugal, was named Europe’s Leading River Cruise Company at this year’s World Travel Awards Gala, held on the verdant island of Madeira. This is the fifth time the river cruise brand was recognized with the honour, with the first time in 2014. DouroAzul is a company owned by Mystic Invest Holding, a Portuguese company that also owns and operates German river cruise company Nicko Cruises, ocean cruise line Mystic Cruises, and the newly established Mystic Cruises USA.
“While this award is specifically attributed to DouroAzul, it reflects our company’s culture and ambitions that are shared throughout our companies,” said Mário Ferreira, Chairman of Mystic Invest Holding. “I’m proud of our achievements, and this emboldens us to continue to exceed our customers’ expectations.”
First established with river boat VistaDouro in 1993, DouroAzul grew steadily to become the leading cruise company in Portugal. Today, the company sails 12 river boats, offering enriching experiences in an elegant manner while navigating the fascinating Douro River. The river boats offer guests elegant cabins and suites, and luxurious onboard amenities, such a spa, sauna and fitness centre, fine dining, lounges and entertainment, while incorporate the latest technology to minimize each boat’s impact on the environment in order to sustain the Douro’s rich and diverse cultural experiences. For more information or to book a river cruise with DouroAzul, please visit http://www.DouroAzul.com.
“We are committed to prioritising our customers’ needs along with preserving the environment, and this has allowed us to become a leading group in the cruise industry,” added Ferreira. “Our successes compel us to continue to achieve new and greater accomplishments in the future.”
World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire. Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region. For more information about World Travel Awards, visit http://worldtravelawards.com.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Seattle, Wash., June 12, 2019 — Cruising has long been known as one of the best vacation values there is for families, extended multi-generational family groups and friends traveling together with their families. You can still enjoy a cruise this summer with Holland America Line’s “Who’s in Your Crew?” promotion featuring fares that are up to 50 percent off select Alaska and Europe cruise fares. Plus, third and fourth children or adults in the same stateroom sail free.
Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private island in the Bahamas, features new mini waterslide, water nozzles and climbable sea creatures in an aquatic playground for younger kids.
On board, there are a wide variety of activities for all ages. Younger travelers can join kids their own age on a treasure hunt with Club HAL while adults get a crash course on European architecture at an EXC Talks presentation. Later, the entire family can come together to share the day’s highlights over freshly made pasta at Canaletto. In port, Holland America Line has crafted family-friendly Shore EXCursions like whale-watching or a trip to Legoland, and at the end of each day guests can unwind in spacious, comfortable accommodations that fit a family perfectly.
“If you want to experience new cultures with family, bring history to life for your children or just have a fun-in-the-sun vacation, then we’re the cruise line for you,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We believe that family travel should be about spending quality time together while enjoying a variety of activities for every interest. Holland America Line truly has something for everyone, both on board and ashore.”
A variety of entertainment options, daily activities and dining venues let everyone in the family enjoy their ideal day. At Club HAL, Holland America Line offers supervised, age-appropriate games, sports and activities on board for kids and tweens, while teens can enjoy an exclusive venue and special events. Elsewhere, the whole family can learn to make tasty treats at a live cooking show or explore the natural world with BBC Earth Experiences.
(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI (June 13, 2019) – Carnival Cruise Line today announced the appointment of the senior officers for its newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and set to debut in summer 2020.
“For a ship as special as Mardi Gras, we’ve assembled an equally impressive team that has been hand-selected to deliver this unique expression of the Carnival vacation experience,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Mardi Gras’ crew will be led by some of the most talented and experienced mariners in cruising who will oversee the final stages of construction and usher in this exciting chapter of Carnival Cruise Line’s history.”
Mardi Gras’ senior officers will include:
· Captain Giuseppe Giusa: A 31-year veteran of the maritime industry, Captain Giusa joined Carnival in 1993 after serving as a sergeant in the Italian Navy. After working his way through the ranks at Carnival and serving on the start-up teams of seven of the company's ships, Giusa was named captain of Carnival Ecstasy in 2004, making him the youngest officer ever appointed to this position. Most recently, he served as captain on Carnival Breeze. "The original Mardi Gras that debuted in 1972 set the tone for Carnival's long history of Fun Ships. I am proud and honored to be a part of what this new Mardi Gras represents – a technologically advanced ship with exciting new ways for our guests to enjoy this truly unique vacation experience,” Giusa said.
· Chief Engineer Ferdinando Ruocco: A graduate of the Nino Bixio Nautical School in Piano di Sorrento, Italy, Ruocco joined Carnival in 1997 following a career in the tanker industry. He was named chief engineer of Carnival Triumph in 2010, and over the past nine years, has served in this capacity for six vessels, most recently Carnival Valor. He has also served as the fleet’s chief engineer working with Carnival Corporation’s Maritime Quality Assurance team to prepare the company for its two new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-powered vessels, which includes Mardi Gras, the first cruise ship in North America powered by this technology. “I am truly proud and honored to be a part of this groundbreaking journey which is a technological advancement for our company, as well as a professional development opportunity for our entire technical team,” Ruocco said.
· Hotel Director Pierre B. Camilleri – Now in his 16th year with Carnival, Camilleri joined the company in 2004 as hotel director after managing a variety of hotel and resort properties in his native Malta, as well as Europe and Asia. He has served as hotel director on several Carnival ships and has been part of the inaugural teams for the line’s last three newbuilds, traveling to Italy to oversee the delivery of Carnival Breeze, Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon. “I am grateful and privileged to be selected to lead our experienced and talented hotel team onboard Mardi Gras. The features on this ship, from food offerings to entertainment venues, have been carefully chosen and are unmatched in the industry. The amazing Mardi Gras hardware, coupled with the extraordinary service for which Carnival is known, will allow us to offer an unsurpassed experience our guests will fondly remember as one of the best vacations ever,” Camilleri said.
These talented professionals will lead a team of more than 1,700 dedicated crew members who will travel to Turku, Finland, to prepare the ship for its inaugural Aug. 31, 2020 voyage – a nine-day cruise from Copenhagen to Southampton. The ship will then reposition to New York for a series of voyages before arriving in Port Canaveral, Fla., for year-round seven-day Caribbean sailings beginning in October.
Mardi Gras will feature a number of innovations as well, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea; the first seagoing restaurant by legendary chef Emeril Lagasse; and a variety of new accommodation choices, including the premium Carnival Excel suites with special amenities and access to a new resort-style, open-air enclave, Loft 19.
(PRESS RELEASE)_CELEBRATION, Fla. (June 13, 2019) – The world of “The Princess and the Frog” will come to life in new ways on the Disney Wonder with the addition of an exciting New Orleans-themed lounge that will transport guests deeper into the heart of the city’s iconic French Quarter. A perfect complement to Tiana’s Place Restaurant on the Disney Wonder, the French Quarter Lounge will feature live music and themed activities for everyone in the family. Also debuting on the Disney Wonder this fall will be a sleek new space for teens and a redesigned café just for adults.
Here’s a look at enhancements sure to enchant:
“The Princess and the Frog” Comes to Life in a New Family Lounge
The French Quarter Lounge will be a perfect companion to Tiana’s Place Restaurant on the Disney Wonder, both inspired by the Disney animated feature “The Princess and the Frog.” The jazzy atmosphere of the French Quarter Lounge will evoke an airy outdoor space in New Orleans, surrounded by touches of iconic architecture such as wrought-iron balconies, classic brick walls and shutter-framed windows. Decorative details including a life-size trolley car and nods to the film, with signs and icons on the walls, add to the ambiance of the space.
Days and nights get a touch of bayou hospitality at the French Quarter Lounge, where guests will enjoy live music on the gazebo stage and sip specialty drinks at an updated whimsical bar. The French Quarter Lounge will be a natural precursor to dinner at Tiana’s Place Restaurant or the perfect destination for entertainment and libations. The story will continue in the lounge all day long with New Orleans-themed family activities, trivia and character encounters. There may even be a glimpse of Princess Tiana herself as she stops by to welcome guests.
Redesigned Retreats for Teens and Adults
Vibe, a club reserved for teens ages 14-17, will transform into a contemporary place to hang out with friends while at sea. The space will be given a timeless feel with an open, bright redesign, a light color palette and industrial metal work. A new coffee bar and updated virtual reality technology add to the list of activities for teens to enjoy in this exclusive club.
Adults will have an updated space all their own in the Cove Café, after a redesign that will transform the look and feel of the café into a local coffee shop, complete with warm, comfortable and trendy décor. Ample seating and a relaxed atmosphere will invite guests to indulge themselves in this peaceful retreat. The newly redesigned Cove Café will be the perfect place to sip specialty coffee or tea throughout the day or partake in wine, cocktails and light bites during the evening.
Adult beverage tastings will be available at select times for an additional fee. Just steps away, Signals Bar is also undergoing a transformation with a similar look.
The new enhancements debut on the Disney Wonder’s four-night sailing from Vancouver to San Diego on Sept. 30, 2019. These additions are part of an overall commitment by Disney Cruise Line to invest in its ships, helping to deliver incredible family vacation experiences for years to come. While making these enhancements, crews perform regularly scheduled and wide-ranging maintenance to keep the fleet in tip-top shape, further demonstrating the unwavering commitment by Disney Cruise Line to continually elevate the guest experience.
Guests sailing on the Disney Wonder can experience a variety of itineraries and ports of call throughout the year, including summer sailings to Alaska, cruises to the Mexican Riviera and voyages to the Caribbean and Bahamas. For the first time, the Disney Wonder will also call New Orleans home in 2020 with Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries departing from this new home port beginning Feb. 7.
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.
(PRESS RELEASE)_SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (June 11, 2019) – Starting today, Princess Cruises is offering its annual Sun-Drenched Deals sale, with savings up to 35 percent and $99 fares for third and fourth guests in the stateroom. The sale offered on cruises departing from Fall 2019 to Winter 2019 includes top worldwide destinations — the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada & New England, Hawaii, Panama Canal, California Coast, Australia & New Zealand, South Pacific, Asia, Mediterranean, Transatlantic, Scandinavia & Russia, South America & Antarctica and Japan.
Guests can book this special cruise deal in all stateroom categories with a deposit of only 10 percent per guest.
Select ships during this promotional period are MedallionClass ships, enabled by OceanMedallion, a complimentary wearable device that elevates the guest experience by delivering enhanced experiences and personalized service resulting in high guest satisfaction scores.
Examples of Sun-Drenched cruise fares per guest, based on double occupancy, include:
Regal Princess to the Western Caribbean, roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale — 7 days: $599 interior (was $749); $899 balcony (was $1,099); departs Nov. 17, 2019
Royal Princess to the Mexican Riviera, roundtrip Los Angeles — 7 days: $699 interior (was $749); $829 balcony (was $999); departs Dec. 14, 2019
Regal Princess to Canada & New England, roundtrip New York City — 7 days: $799 interior (was $1,049); $1,109 balcony (was $1,649); departs Sept. 28, 2019
Ruby Princess to Australia & New Zealand, Sydney to Auckland — 14 days: $969 interior (was $1,999); $1,419 balcony (was $3,149); departs Dec. 13, 2019
Golden Princess to Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific Crossing, San Francisco to Sydney — 26 days: $2,219 interior (was $3,299); $2,869 balcony (was $5,599); departs Sept. 28, 2019
Additional information about the Sun-Drenched Deals sale can be found at princess.com/cruisedeals.
(PRESS RELEASE)_TRUCKEE, CA, June 11, 2019 – Songs have been sung about a special island “where the sky meets the sea.” AdventureSmith Explorations, the international experts in small ship expedition cruising, invites the curious traveler to follow their dreams and take advantage of new travel options and numerous incentives currently being offered throughout the Pacific.
“Asia small ship travel is growing, and for good reason,” said Todd Smith, Founder and President of AdventureSmith Explorations. “The myriad island and river itineraries showcasing endemic wildlife, underwater wonderlands, traditional local cultures and intriguing history present an expanse of options sure to delight travelers looking to sail into remote areas.”
Smith advises considering the following when planning a small ship cruise through Indonesia, New Guinea, the South Pacific (including Tahiti) or Southeast Asia (including Vietnam and Cambodia):
Determine how you imagine engaging with the new worlds you will visit. What’s most important to you? History, culture, wildlife, snorkeling? Then hone in on those itineraries that come closest to your ideas. For example, Flores, Komodo & Bali cruises embrace volcanoes, rainforests, waterfalls white-sand beaches and explorations of traditional lifestyles in quiet coastal villages. Raja Ampat cruises in the Coral Triangle delight snorkelers in an underwater paradise and birding enthusiasts on jungle-clad karst islands. And Mekong River cruises beckon those seeking unique cultures, Khmer temples and some of the world’s most interesting markets, like the floating Cai Be.
Assess the style and size of the ship that will be your home on one of these adventures. AdventureSmith Explorations’ 14 to 120 passenger vessels range from a classic, wooden schooner for 24 guests, Ombak Putih, to the brand new 120-guest Coral Adventurer, a technologically sophisticated, purpose-built, long-distance luxury expedition ship to the 40-guest luxury riverboat, Aqua Mekong. New to Indonesia is a recently refurbished, long-range luxury yacht, the 30-passenger Aqua Blu that in November 2019 begins sailing through Raja Ampat, the Spice Islands and Komodo National Park. With the Blu added to the Southeast Asia vessel lineup, AdventureSmith offers a unique ship for both ocean and river trips for every type of adventure traveler.
Factor in the time of year. Ships cruise Asia year-round; however, they often follow trade winds and weather patterns to sail certain locations during their drier, less-windy months. For example, in Indonesia, Bali is preferred from spring through fall and Raja Ampat October through February. And in Tahiti, look for cruises mostly sailing in the spring.
Plan your cruise far enough in advance to make sure you get on the ship of your choice that’s going where you want to go. For example, Coral Adventurer in 2020 will be utilized on only three Islands of Indonesia itineraries. Kayaking, snorkeling and Scuba diving (optional with lessons and equipment) can be arranged. Guests also seek out glimpses of the prehistoric Komodo Dragon, the largest lizard in the world. The 15-day cruises depart Feb. 27-March 12, March 12-April 1 and April 1-April 15. The per person double rate is from $8,535.
AdventureSmith also suggests taking advantage of current cost-saving incentives that come with certain departures. These include:
About AdventureSmith Explorations - Think Outside the Boat!
Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Truckee, CA, near the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. A recognized leader in small ship cruising, in 2012 owner Todd Smith first joined the ranks of Condé Nast Traveler's prestigious world’s Top Travel Specialists list as the leading expert on small ship expeditions, a distinction that he still enjoys to this day.
(PRESS RELEASE)_SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (June 11, 2019) – From more than 13,000 images submitted by the public in the “Sea to Sky Princess Photo Contest,” Princess Cruises today announced the grand-prize consumer winner and shared the images that embody discovery and inspires exploration. Carol Lahnum from Juneau, Alaska, submitted the winning consumer photo of Brown’s Cave at Mendenhall Glacier, located in the state’s capital.
In addition, Princess Cruises employees also submitted their destination photos and Mark Harris, based a in Seattle, Wash., was named the grand-prize employee winner with his photo of a hidden café in Mykonos, Greece, captured on his Mediterranean cruise. These images and nearly a 1,000 others will be featured in Sky Princess staterooms and stateroom corridors.
“Congratulations to Carol and Mark and the other entrants whose images were selected to showcase the inspiring destinations we visit and be featured onboard our new Sky Princess,” said Rai Caluori, Princess Cruises executive vice president of guest experience and product development. “These remarkable shots share cherished memories traveling the world in the iconic places we take our guests.”
With a destination collection of 380 ports and scenic attractions on seven continents to capture, the “Sea to Sky Princess” contest invited entrants to submit their favorite photos portraying their most treasured vacation vistas. From the vibrant and colorful Caribbean culture, to the landmarks of Europe, to wildlife in Alaska or a scenic shot from a balcony or top deck on board, images were judged by a panel looking for scenic beauty, creativity, originality, style and high-quality images that captured the spirit of connecting to a destination in a meaningful way through discovery and exploration.
“I captured this image one morning when we paddled the two miles across Mendenhall Lake, then climbed up, over, then under the glacier,” said Lahnum. “Around 8 am, after we had climbed down into the cave, the sun started to peak into the entrance of the cave and this image was captured. It’s a long exposure image so that I could capture the flowing waters all around me.”
The new 3,660-guest Sky Princess debuts in October 2019, sailing a series of Mediterranean cruises, followed by a season of Caribbean voyages from Ft. Lauderdale. More details can be found at www.princess.com/skyprincess.
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