After a stellar debut on the US West Coast, Norwegian Bliss will begin its inaugural season from PortMiami on Saturday.

The littlest member of the godfamily fussed at the last minute, but his parents Carlos and Alexa PenaVega helped son Ocean press the button that sent Champagne smashing on the hull of Symphony of the Seas. And so the world's largest cruise ship was officially christened at PortMiami Thursday night.

Ponant's Le Soléal grounded on Wednesday while transiting Kirke Passage in the Chilean fjords, causing damage to one propeller but no injuries. The ship was under control of a local pilot at the time.

Windstar Cruises is going to lengthen and upgrade Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride in a massive project that will add 50 suites per ship, re-do all accommodations and expand dining choices, the spa, fitness center and pool deck. Further, a re-engining will make the ships far more fuel efficient while adding 4 knots to the cruising speed, opening new destinations for Windstar like New Zealand and Spitsbergen in the Arctic.

Princess Cruises will operate eight ships—from its biggest to smallest—in Alaska in 2020, up from the seven in 2019. The 141,000gt Royal Princess returns for a second year as the largest Love Boat in the Gulf of Alaska. And, at the other end of the size scale, the intimate Pacific Princess will also operate in the Gulf.

Supanee Bencharit, who sadly passed away this week, was a leading figure in the development of cruise tourism in Thailand and across Asia.

Years ago, Holland America Line broke out of cruising's typical fall-foliage-period-only rut in Canada/New England by sending its ships to the region in spring and summer as well.

On a day when Portugal's Mystic Invest signed for €165m in financing from China's ICBC Leasing—which covers sale-lease deals for three expedition cruise ship newbuilds at WestSea Viana—principal Mário Ferreira told Seatrade Cruise News his company is opening a US office to promote expedition and cultural sailings under the Mystic Cruises brand.

Around 100 Carnival Cruise Line sailings are going to call at Havana between now and 2020, from seven US homeports—probably more homeports for Cuba cruises than any other single brand.

When Carnival Radiance emerges in 2020, the totally transformed ship (now sailing as Carnival Victory) will operate 10- to 13-day Mediterranean voyages and Carnival Cruise Line's first Cuba sailings from New York, Norfolk and Port Canaveral. Canada/New England cruises are also planned.

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