PRESS RELEASE_June 18, 2018 – Ahead of its christening voyage this August, Azamara Club Cruises announces Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio – EVP, Chief Revenue Officer of AFAR Media – and Lucy Huxley – Editor-in-Chief of Travel Weekly UK – as the Godmothers of Azamara Pursuit. At the forefront of the travel industry, Asmodeo-Giglio and Huxley are seasoned travelers who have dedicated their lives to seeking new perspectives. Their commitment to adventure and global travel, with almost 50 years of combined expertise from both consumer and travel trade perspectives, makes them the perfect Godmothers for Azamara. In addition, with the US and UK as two key markets for Azamara, Ellen and Lucy have been selected to represent the brand and vessel on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Ellen and Lucy’s fearless dedication to adventure, and respect and admiration for different cultures, aligns with Azamara’s commitment and passion to Destination Immersion experiences,” said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Both Ellen and Lucy are travel influencers in their own right, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them christen our new ship, Azamara Pursuit.”
PRESS RELEASE_Saint-Nazaire, France (June 14, 2018) – MSC Cruises and STX France signed today an order for the construction of a fifth Meraviglia class cruise ship. Due to be delivered in 2023, this vessel will be equipped with a new generation of dual-fuel engines designed to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). She will also feature other innovative environmental technologies, notably including an advanced wastewater treatment system compliant with the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, including the provisions enshrined in Resolution MEPC.227 for the Baltic Sea.
This announcement was made at a unique ceremony held at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard in the presence of Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of the Economy and Finance. STX France and MSC Cruises celebrated three major ship building milestones: the Steel Cutting Ceremony of the 4th Meraviglia class vessel where MSC Cruises announced that the ship will be named MSC Virtuosa; the Coin Ceremony of MSC Grandiosa; and the Float-out of MSC Bellissima. For the first time in Saint-Nazaire’s history, three cruise ships belonging to a single cruise brand are under simultaneous construction at the shipyard.
Speaking before opening the valves to flood the dry dock where MSC Bellissima has been assembled, Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “With the announcement of yet another new vessel, the 13th under our 10-year investment plan, we are affirming our commitment to sustainable growth for our Company. I say this while three more next-generation MSC Cruises are now simultaneously under construction.
Mr Vago added, “Our fifth Meraviglia class cruise ship will bring a new generation of cutting-edge environmental technology to the market, benefiting from a new generation of LNG-powered engines. This will help us further reduce our environmental footprint and advance in our journey of constant improvement. She will be joined at sea by up to four World Class LNG-powered ships, as part of our overall commitment to environmental stewardship through this and other next-generation technologies and solutions deployed fleet-wide.”
The agreement for the additional Meraviglia-Plus ship represents an additional investment of €900 million (≈$1.06 billion USD).
PRESS RELEASE_Seattle, Wash., June 13, 2018 — Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine announced today a three-day Girls’ Getaway cruise on Holland America Line’s newest ship, Nieuw Statendam, Jan. 30, 2019. Oprah Winfrey will embark on the cruise, joined by O, The Oprah Magazine Editor-at-Large Gayle King and other members of the magazine’s editorial staff, who will host special presentations and events on board the ship, currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. Winfrey will serve as godmother of Nieuw Statendam, with an official dedication by Winfrey to take place in a private ceremony at a later date to be announced.
“We are so excited to have Oprah set sail with us again for the Girls’ Getaway cruise in partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine, and we’re deeply honored that Oprah will serve as godmother of Nieuw Statendam,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “The time-honored maritime tradition of choosing a godmother for a new vessel dates back more than 4,000 years and is revered as important in bringing good luck and protection to the ship and all who sail on board, so it’s perfectly fitting that the Girls’ Getaway cruise will take place on Nieuw Statendam. We anticipate the energy and inspirational spirit will be unlike any other cruise experience there is — and life-changing for many.”
The Girls’ Getaway cruise sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and spends a day at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s idyllic private island in the Bahamas. The Girls’ Getaway cruise celebrates the power of friendship and will feature exclusive onboard experiences that honor and pay tribute to the special bond between women.
PRESS RELEASE_Fort Lauderdale, FL (June 11, 2018) – In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, television's longest running must-see summer event, Princess Cruises has transformed Shark Week into a full season, with its first-ever “Summer of Shark” onboard Caribbean Princess for its summer sailings in the Caribbean.
This past weekend Princess Cruises in partnership with Discovery, Inc., unveiled a Phillip Colbert-designed shark decal on the starboard surface of the Caribbean Princess ship during the official launch of its “Summer of Shark” activities, honoring these magnificent underwater creatures.
As part of the Discovery at SEA program, Caribbean Princess will be the one ship in the fleet that will be celebrating sharks all summer. She will have special themed designed public spaces including elevators, restaurants and casino tables. Additionally, select sailings in Alaska and the United Kingdom will have Shark Week rolled out starting July 7. Guests onboard all ships will also get to view programming from Shark Week 2018 including ”Great White Abyss,” available exclusively on Princess Cruises in June, in advance of it airing on the Discovery Channel during Shark Week, which begins July 22.
Children and teens aboard these sailings will have shark-themed fun in the newly redesigned Camp Discovery teen and youth centers. Kids ages 3 – 17 can turn into their favorite type of shark with glitter tattoos and shark face painting, or create arts and crafts to take home, including shark teeth jewelry and shark clay models. Adults can get into the spirit with specialty cocktails that have been carefully curated onboard including a Shark Attack Margarita and the tropical Great Blue Shark.
Beyond these Shark Week themed cruises, those looking to have their very own Shark Week experiences can book the ultimate adrenaline rush with Animal Planet Exclusive and Recommended excursions such as the Princess Exclusive Great White Shark Diving Encounter in Honolulu or Whale Shark Encounter in La Paz, Mexico.
Each year, Shark Week takes fascinated viewers on a week-long journey to the depths of the sea to uncover the secrets of the ocean’s top creature. Airing around the globe, Shark Week is a pop culture phenomenon that thrills fans of all ages with dynamic programming around these often-misunderstood sea creatures.
PRESS RELEASE_Seattle, Wash., June 7, 2018 — Holland America Line has launched a completely reimagined website at HollandAmerica.com centered around a new, intuitive online booking process, easy navigation, bold images that capture the cruise experience and detailed information, making it an up-to-date resource for both consumers and travel professionals.
The focal point of the homepage is a new cruise search toolbar that allows visitors to easily select where they want to cruise, the port of departure, dates and cruise length. The homepage also features a top navigational menu that provides quick access to Holland America Line’s cruising destinations, onboard experiences, cruise fare offers and information for guests who already are booked.
“Just has we have elevated all aspects of the guest experience on board, we wanted our website to be as informative and easy as possible,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “The new website is very intuitive and user-friendly, and those who want to learn more about the Holland America Line experience, research itineraries or make an online booking are going to appreciate the ease of functionality.”
PRESS RELEASE_Deerfield Beach, Fla.- June 11, 2018 – Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line (BPCL) has rolled out high-speed internet services fleet-wide for the shipboard crew, free of charge. In addition to supplying complimentary access, the company has ensured broad coverage by providing WiFi throughout crew spaces, as well as guest areas. Crew members can remain connected with family and friends using popular online services, including video conferencing from the convenience and privacy of their own room or other comfortable locations throughout the ship. Downloadable content and other services previously only available on land can now be accessed onboard.
“As a former shipboard IT Manager, I have long understood the importance for crew members to have regular contact with loved ones while at sea,” explains Richard Coombs, Vice President of IT Services for Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. “I am proud we can now offer this service to our valued crew, delivering the required bandwidth to support services and apps beyond simple e-mail and text messaging.”
To this end, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has implemented a number of measures to ensure that convenient and reliable high-speed internet access is available to all onboard. Sailing between the Port of Palm Beach and Grand Bahama Island, the exclusive itinerary provides Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line with the opportunity to augment conventional, satellite-based connections with high-speed terrestrial circuits, providing a superior online experience for both guests and crew.
Connectivity up to 1GBit per second is available while the ships are in port or in the vicinity of ports of call; however, the cruise line is collaborating with a provider of an innovative new service that will soon expand this level of performance while ships are out at sea. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has also adapted other technological initiatives to further enhance the guest experience, which includes high-speed internet and WiFi in the terminals and check-in for its guests with hand held devices to reduce waiting times.
PRESS RELEASE_Genoa, Italy (June 9, 2018) - This evening, the newest addition to the ever-growing MSC Cruises fleet and new flagship, MSC Seaview, will be christened in true MSC Cruises style with a star-studded line-up, VIPs, key travel partners and international media as well as top management from MSC Cruises and its parent company MSC Group. Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group’s founder and executive chairman as well as the ship owner, will attend together with the Aponte and Aponte-Vago families.
MSC Cruises, Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe and South America, is renowned for hosting spectacular christening events that celebrate the coming into service of the new ships and this event will be no exception with a star-studded ceremony with live entertainment and speeches, fireworks and gala dinner combined with the significant maritime traditions that are so important to MSC Cruises as a family company with a long-standing seafaring heritage.
The christening ceremony will be hosted by star of Italian TV, Swiss-born Michelle Hunziker who will welcome to the stage ‘father of Italian blues’ Zucchero Fornaciari. TV star Lorella Cuccarini will host a special moment on stage, and Italian children’s choir, Piccolo Coro Dell'Antoniano, will perform as the UNICEF ambassadors, to acknowledge MSC Cruises’ important partnership that helps improve the lives of children and their families in developing countries and those affected by crises. Also taking to the stage will be young talent of belcanto, Matteo Bocelli, son of the world-famous Andrea Bocelli who sang at the christening of MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview’s sister ship in Miami last December. Matteo Bocelli will sing during the Officers’ Parade, an important tradition to honor and thank the ship’s crew for their service.
Finishing off the traditional proceedings will be Godmother Sophia Loren as she cuts the ribbon to launch the bottle of champagne to name MSC Seaview, the 13th MSC Cruises ship. As the godmother of all MSC Cruises’ ships, Madame Loren is practically part of the MSC Cruises family and brings a touch of Hollywood glamour and style to each Christening.
Also present at the ceremony will be Ramon Freixa, the Spanish two Michelin-starred chef who has now extended his partnership with MSC Cruises to develop his first restaurant at sea on board MSC Seaview. Pan-Asian chef Roy Yamaguchi, will attend his second MSC Cruises’ ship christening to celebrate his second restaurant at sea, with his first launching on MSC Seaside. Other stars in attendance include Spanish model and actor Jon Kortajarena, Brazlian presenter and actor Giovanna Ewbank and French television personality Ariane Brodier.
Described as a game-changing cruise ship, the vision was to create something truly unique that would enable guests to enjoy the beauty of the Mediterranean sea. The ship is designed to enhance the enjoyment of the open water and sunshine, specifically intended to cruise in warmer climates and to create a very special connection between guests and the sea.
Most cruise ships are planned and engineered to offer entertainment, dining and other experiences inside the ship while MSC Seaview is designed to bring guests outside to the open decks and walkways. Featuring the highest ratio of outdoor space of any MSC Cruises ship, MSC Seaview brings guests closer to the sea and helps them enjoy the outdoors in every aspect of the experience, including staterooms and suites with elongated balconies offering both sun and covered areas, dining and drinking in true Mediterranean “al fresco” style, and outdoor fitness and luxury spa cabanas in the open air.
MSC Seaview is the 15th addition to the MSC Cruises fleet and the third ship to come into service in just 12 months under the Company’s industry-unprecedented €10.5 billion ($12.4 billion USD) investment plan.
MSC Seaview will commence her maiden voyage from Genoa on June 10, offering six embarkation ports in the Western Mediterranean including the popular ports of Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona as well as other much sought after Mediterranean destinations including Naples, Messina in Sicily and Valetta in Malta. After her inaugural season, she will journey to South America to call on a variety of picturesque destinations including in Brazil.
PRESS RELEASE_MIAMI – June 8, 2018 – All 50 ships across the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. fleet will ring in 2019 free of plastic straws. Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, TUI Cruises, and Pullmantur Cruceros are eliminating plastic straws en route to comprehensive plastics elimination programs across their brands.
For over a year now, RCL ships have begun implementing a “straws upon request” policy. That program will be taken a step further by the start of 2019, when guests requesting a straw will receive a paper straw instead of a plastic one. Guests also will begin seeing Forrest Stewardship Council-certified wood coffee stirrers and bamboo garnish picks as part of RCL’s plastic reduction strategy.
“Healthy oceans are vital to the success of our company,” said Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “For over 25 years, our Save the Waves program has guided us to reduce, reuse, and recycle everything we can. Eliminating single-use plastics is another step in that program.”
After straws, stirrers and picks, the company’s next efforts will focus on other single-use plastics such as condiment packets, cups, and bags. A full plastics audit is underway, with the overall plan to be completed in phases by 2020.
Since 1992, RCL’s Save the Waves program has brought best sustainability practices to the company’s ships. The program introduced state-of-the-art recycling centers onboard ships, which are equipped with shredders, balers, and compactors, as well as crushers for glass, light bulbs, tin, and aluminum. Their goal is “zero landfill”, i.e. all waste is reused, recycled or incinerated. RCL already does that for its ships that operate in ports with appropriate facilities. For the rest, the average waste-to-landfill has been reduced to less than 0.5 pounds per day per person – less than 1/8 of the US average.
AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES_In celebration of World Oceans Day today, Azamara Club Cruises is introducing “World Wildlife at Sea” – a guest-facing educational experience on select voyages – to further reinforce the brand’s partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – the world’s leading conservation organization – and commitment to increasing ocean literacy.
Elements of World Wildlife at Sea Include:
WWF Speaker Series
Azamara will relaunch its WWF Speaker Series, which features leading experts covering a range of topics including marine conservation and sustainable agriculture, aligning with Azamara’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint and engaging the global community to raise awareness about the importance of marine and environmental conservation. Among the speakers will be Nancy Labbe, Manager of Ranching & Conservation at WWF, speaking about the impact of food production on the environment, Aaron McNevin, Director of Sustainable Seafood at WWF, speaking about where the seafood on our plates comes from, and Amy Smith, Manager of Wood Sector Engagement, discussing the role rainforests play in regulating our global ecosystem.
Specialized Tours with WWF Speakers
During the WWF Speaker Series voyages, WWF speakers will also provide additional insight into various topics by joining curated land tour experiences that tie back to their expertise. Nancy Labbe will travel with guests on a visit to an Italian dairy farm in the Campania region, where guests will learn about the cheese-making process and sample the region’s signature cheese. Throughout the excursion, she will speak about the methods farms can implement to mitigate their impact on the environment. Back on board the ship, she will speak to guests about the global demand for food and how we can produce more food with less land, less water, and less agricultural inputs.
Crew Ambassador Program
To further reinforce the brand’s commitment to sustainability, a WWF Crew Ambassador program led by each ship’s environmental officer will launch in tandem with the WWF Speaker Series. This program will provide guests with additional opportunities to learn more about Azamara’s efforts to protect the environment through personal interactions with the crew. The Ambassador will also help organize crew activities in port with local organizations that support the goals of WWF.
In addition to its partnership with WWF, Azamara and its parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., will further their commitment to sustainable travel by eliminating plastic straws from all ships by the end of 2018. Currently, Azamara ships only distribute plastic straws upon request. The company will take a step further in 2019 when guests requesting a straw will receive a paper one instead of a plastic one. After straws, stirrers and picks, the company’s next efforts will focus on other single-use plastics such as condiment packets, cups, and bags. A full plastics audit is underway, with the overall plan to be completed in phases by 2020.
PRESS RELEASE_Deerfield Beach, Fla.- June 7, 2018 – Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line (BPCL) is giving jazz and salsa lovers the opportunity to make musical memories on an unforgettable cruise to Grand Bahama Island with special performances by Tito Puente Jr. and his Latin jazz ensemble. Son of the “King of Latin music” Tito Puente, Puente Jr. will entertain guests with several performances throughout the June 20-22 Grand Classica sailing. A special treat for all guests sailing (included in regular cruise fare), Puente will showcase a series of jazz, salsa and mambo hits by both his late father and Latin legend Celia Cruz, performed with special guest Melina Almodovar.
“We are thrilled the great Tito Puente Jr. will be performing for a special sailing on Grand Classica this month and providing guests with a unique and memorable Bahamas vacation” shared Oneil Khosa, CEO of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. “Lovers of jazz, salsa and mambo music won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind cruise, with multiple opportunities to enjoy his hits over the course of two days completely complimentary.”
The son of great mambo musician Tito Puente, Puente Jr. carries on his father’s legacy by presenting much of his repertoire in his own performances.
“I look forward to performing onboard Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s newest ship Grand Classica later this month and this sailing promises to an exciting, non-stop Latin music party,” shared Puente Jr. “I hope guests of all ages will enjoy listening to some of my favorite hits on their way to Grand Bahama Island and back!”
For more information on Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and to book reservations on the June 20 Tito Puente Jr. sailing, please see visit www.bahamasparadisecruiseline.com.
Stay current with the latest news from the cruise lines.