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Articles from 2020 In November


Seabourn Venture's new take on The Club and The Sky Bar

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The Club, right, with its outdoor extension, The Sky Bar, at left

Hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany created the spaces for Seabourn Venture, coming in 2021, and its yet-unnamed sister in 2022.

Views and a sushi experience

A popular lounge across the Seabourn fleet, The Club on the expedition ships features expansive windows, making it an ideal spot for scenery- and wildlife-watching. A variety of hand-prepared sushi bites will be freshly made to order every evening.

'Adam has seamlessly adapted the essence of our popular Club into our new expedition ships, allowing guests a breathtaking ocean-front experience,' Seabourn President Josh Leibowitz said.

Artworks inspired by nature

Tihany used brilliant hues of blue and green inspired by the sea and unique art displays, including a coral-inspired mural that extends the feeling of the lounge to its outdoor Sky Bar.

To enter The Club on Deck 9, passengers pass prominent artworks inspired by nature that set the tone for the lounge. Abstract coral shapes will be combined throughout to create dynamic, geometric patterns on the royal blue carpet and embedded in-ceiling lights. Other details include a water-vapor fireplace at the center of the venue and a stage and dance floor for live performances.

The room is furnished with lounge chairs from the Tihany Design Venture collection and banquette seating, accented by colorful decorative pillows arrayed with playful sea-inspired patterns.

A sushi chef will be stationed behind a stone-topped, wood and antique-mirrored counter, serving fresh sushi bites and sake offerings from a bountiful display. Beyond sushi and sake, The Club will offer custom-crafted cocktails and fine wines at cocktail hour, and live music before and after dinner.

Alfresco drinks and whirlpool views

Outside on the aft deck, The Sky Bar will serve drinks from a paneled teak bar, and two whirlpools will provide dramatic views. This is a distinction for the expedition ships, as The Sky Bar overlooks the pool deck on other Seabourn vessels.

 

Caribbean Princess resumes Fort Lauderdale round-trips in summer 2022

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Caribbean Princess at Princess Cays, a stop on eastern Caribbean cruises

With 25 departures and five itineraries to choose from, families can experience top-rated beaches, myriad water activities, Caribbean culture and Mayan history.

Eastern Caribbean beaches

The ship will offer two different seven-day eastern routes, one visiting Princess Cays, St. Thomas (late-night stay) and St. Kitts, the other calling Princess Cays, San Juan, Amber Cove (Dominican Republic) and Grand Turk.

Culture and Mayan ruins

Two different weeklong western routes are available, too. One visits Grand Cayman, Mahogany Bay (Roatán), Belize City and Cozumel. The other stops at Cozumel, Belize City, Mahogany Bay and Costa Maya.

Fourteen-day cruises combine the eastern and western regions.

Discovery and Animal Planet excursions

Princess offers exclusive Discovery and Animal Planet shore excursions that provide more immersive experiences for the whole family, such as visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Mayan ruins at Tulum or Brimstone Hill Fortress in St. Kitts. On-board activities include

Parrots in the Piazza and presentations by shark experts and treasure hunters.

An OceanMedallion ship, Caribbean Princess provides the OceanMedallion wearable device to deliver personalized service and enable touchless interactive experiences and entertainment, along with fast and reliable MedallionNet Wi-Fi.

 

 

Atlas charters private jet for inaugural Antarctica season

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This shortens the travel time to and from the turnaround port for World Navigator during the ship's inaugural Antarctica season. It also avoids layovers.

Atlas said its travelers will experience elegant and engaging service as soon as they board the private jet, all part of the new line's 'All Inclusive All the Way' commitment, which bundles in air travel.

The private air greatly reduces the transit time for North Americans, making the trip more convenient and seamless, according to Atlas President Alberto Aliberti.

Private jet from Orlando

Fares for Antarctica itineraries include air travel from 16 major US and Canada gateways. These connect at Orlando, Florida, with Atlas’ private charter wide-body jet to Ushuaia. The direct service trims at least a day’s travel time when flying from North America to the southern tip of Argentina. On board, suite guests are accommodated in business-class seating, while all travelers will be served premium meals and unlimited beverages.

Upon arrival at Ushuaia, travelers will be escorted through immigration and transferred to World Navigator, while their checked luggage is delivered to their suites and staterooms.

Included gaucho experience before post-cruise flight

At the conclusion of their luxury expedition, travelers will be hosted at a Patagonian gaucho ranch for a farewell meal and experience prior to boarding Atlas’ jet for home.

World Navigator will offer 12 departures of nine-night itineraries to the Antarctic Peninsula, starting Nov. 19, 2021. Two special, 12-night itineraries include the Nov. 28 cruise, featuring solar eclipse viewing and adding the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, while the Feb. 2, 2022, itinerary crosses the Antarctic Circle to initiate travelers into the 'Order of the Red Nose.'

Here's what Swan Hellenic ships will look like, inside and out

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The Observation Lounge — the heart of the ship — with chrome and massive picture windows, plush sofas and easy chairs

The video takes viewers through the ship as they would move when returning from an expedition by Zodiac, starting at the concierge-service Basecamp changing room. Here, travelers leave their expedition clothing and gear for cleaning and sanitizing to prevent biological cross-contamination. But, as the video reveals, it’s also a place to socialize over coffee before and after expeditions, relaxing in a signature décor of airy natural textures and tones.

Natural light, abundance of wood and warm, natural materials

Making their way through the spacious reception with its bold, clean lines, travelers enter the 'vortex of light' that is the main staircase, the sunlight filtering through geometric wooden slat walls.

Reaching the Swan Restaurant with its varied seating choices and dramatic picture windows, travelers encounter the thematic abundance of wood and warm, natural materials. Lighting and table furnishing changes transform its daytime rich casual comfort into a sophisticated evening dining venue.

Heart of the ship

The Observation Lounge — the heart of the ship — is the next stop and a complete contrast, with chrome and massive picture windows, plush sofas and easy chairs. Offering a variety of seating spaces, including cozy niche indoor and outdoor areas, this lounge also features a large LED screen for lectures and a piano and pop-up screens for entertainment and other uses.

Pausing in the Club Lounge, with its round-the-clock sophisticated food, varied intimate seating and holographic fireplace surrounded by panoramic views, the tour then continues to explore the outdoor Pool Bar and Grill. Here are the heated infinity pool and extensive outside decks that allow plenty of room for nature-viewing.

In-room mood lighting, holographic fireplace

Next it’s off to the panoramic sauna and outdoor hot tub.

After that, it's time to discover the understated elegance of a balcony stateroom or suite, a modern medley of pastels, natural textures, high-tech entertainment and multiple mood-lighting options, set off by a holographic fireplace.

Swan Hellenic’s first ship, SH Minerva, is set to arrive in November 2021 for an inaugural Antarctica cruise.

'Defining a new generation of expedition ships for the legendary Swan Hellenic has been incredibly inspiring and rewarding for us,' said Fredrik Johansson, Tillberg partner and executive project director. 'We are

humbled by the trust and confidence that has been placed in us throughout the design process, working closely with a team that has a very clear vision for its iconic brand but which also gave us the creative freedom of a blank slate.'

Focus on the extraordinary views

Tillberg Cruise Newbuild Director Iina Forsblom added: 'The keynotes of the Scandi-design interiors we have created are sophisticated elegance and comfort, while never forgetting that with Swan Hellenic the focus is always on the extraordinary views outside. So we have conceived all the interiors to create a seamless connection with the outside world.'

'We’re delighted with the way these designs have come together,' Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito said, 'creating unique experiences that honor Swan Hellenic’s cultural expedition heritage while bringing it bang up to date in comfort, services and, above all vision, transforming the inward-looking paradigm of classic cruise ships into a world of casual comfort and elegance that looks outwards to see what others don’t.'

International cruise ships ban costs Australia A$2bn

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Jill Abel said regional destinations are ‘crying out’ for more cruise ship visitors

This is according to the annual Economic Impact Assessment commissioned by the Australian Cruise Association and Cruise Lines International Association Australasia.

A further A$3bn at risk

CLIA Australasia MD Joel Katz said another A$3bn is at risk across the economy if the cruise suspension continues into 2021.

Small businesses

‘It is no secret the sector has been devastated by COVID-19, but the impact is also being felt by the many thousands of small businesses, especially in regional communities that rely on a thriving cruise industry,’ he said.

‘These include travel agents, fresh food suppliers, tour operators, hotels, bus companies, baggage handlers, Aussie entertainers and the thousands of other businesses across the country which rely on the cruise industry.’

Lost visitation

Australian Cruise Association CEO Jill Abel said the 2019-20 report, conducted by AEC Group Ltd, research consultants operating in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific, highlights the impact of lost visitation from the more than 1,000 cruise ship visits made around Australia each year.

Abel said some of these ports and destinations are ‘crying out’ for more visitors to support their economic recovery.

‘More than 2.9 million passenger visit days were recorded to 42 different ports around Australia during the 2019-20 summer cruise season, bringing economic benefit to some of the furthest regions of the country,’ she said.

‘Passenger spending in destinations around Australia alone totals more than A$1.1bn, while cruise lines spend more than A$1bn in Australia over a year.’

The release of the Economic Impact Assessment coincides with a call to the Australian government to replace the cruise ship ban with a conditional process that would allow a carefully managed resumption of cruising in 2021.

CLIA proposes replacing Australia cruise ban with path to resumption

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Joel Katz said authorities have been briefed in detail on the industry’s proposed layered strategy to resume cruising

CLIA Australasia MD Joel Katz said extensive new health measures have been outlined to government agencies in detail as the industry responds to COVID-19 and plans a pathway to revival.

A$5bn industry

He said Australia’s relative success in stemming community transmission of COVID-19 and a layered strategy for the resumption of cruising creates an opportunity for a tightly managed and phased revival of the country’s A$5bn-a-year cruise industry.

Local cruises for locals

‘This would initially involve restricted local cruises for local residents only, with limited passenger numbers, 100% testing of guests and crew and extensive screening and sanitation protocols in place,’ he said.

Under the proposals presented to government agencies, cruises would initially operate within state or national borders while travel restrictions are in place.

Australian ‘bubble’

Ships and crew would undergo all quarantine procedures and then remain within the Australian safe-zone or ‘bubble.’

Katz said the plan presented to government is extensive and meets or exceeds the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia guidelines.

Key points to the strategy include:

     Plans to quarantine ships and crew on return to Australia and for ongoing crew movements

    100% pre-boarding health screening and COVID-19 testing for all passengers and crew

    Boarding denied to anyone with exposure to COVID-19 or who has recently arrived in Australia

    Daily health monitoring and temperature checks on board

    Limited passenger numbers and capacity management controls that take into account the size, layout and design of each ship

    On-board venue restrictions to comply with social distancing (use of masks as required)

    Designated crew to serve in buffets (no self-service)

    Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols that meet and exceed all national and state standards for equivalent venues ashore

    Staggered embarkation and disembarkation to reduce crowding

    Distancing and hygiene protocols within cruise terminals to match those on board

    Risk assessments for port visits and shoreside activities

No Antarctica this season for Ponant, 2021 French coasts reprise likely

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All Ponant ships are currently paused, including Le Bougainville, shown here

The Marseille-based French luxury company suspended its 2020/21 Antarctica season, like everyone else.

'Our teams are now concentrating on future routes for our ships, taking into account the fluctuating global context. When necessary, we shall adjust our cruises, itineraries and positionings. In the next weeks, we should have a vision of the situation that's as realistic as possible,' said Hervé Bellaiche, chief sales and marketing officer.

French cruises should be back in 2021

Among the options for next year, the five French coastal itineraries that operated last summer from July 11 were 'quite successful,' according to Bellaiche. Ponant will likely reprise them next summer and is working to refine and enrich them.

Where the fleet is now

Currently, L'Austral, Le Lyrial, Le Champlain, Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier are docked at Marseille. Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d'Urville are at Caen.

In French Polynesia, Le Boréal is alongside in Raiatea, while Paul Gauguin and Le Soléal are docked at Papeete.

Le Lapérouse is in drydock in Singapore, and the emblematic Le Ponant is in Genoa for refurbishment at San Giorgio del Porto.

Each docked ship has about 20 people on board for maintenance.    

Construction of Le Commandant-Charcot continues at Vard Søviknes in Norway.

From Bodrum to Bulgaria to Bermuda, new twists in NCL's summer 2023

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Norwegian Bliss will make its first calls to Norfolk, Virginia, and Bermuda on sailings from New York

Other notable aspects of the itineraries include the debut of Norwegian Bliss at Royal Naval Dockyard during round-trips from New York to Bermuda and Norwegian Jade’s first visit to Bodrum, Turkey, and Paros, Greece, during seven-day round-trips from Piraeus.

Mediterranean

Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Jade will sail a selection of five- to 11-day Mediterranean cruises from May through October. Norwegian Jade's visit to Nessebar is part of the ship's March 30 nine-day round-trip from Piraeus through the Mediterranean and Black Sea. This port-rich 'Extraordinary Journey' has no sea days.

The maiden calls at Bodrum and Paros feature on Norwegian Jade's May 21 cruise, part of a selection of weeklong Greek Isles voyages round-trip Piraeus.

From May 6 through Oct. 13, Norwegian Breakaway will offer port-intensive 10-day Greek Isles cruises round-trip Civitavecchia (Rome). Destinations include Santorini, Dubrovnik, Livorno and Cannes, among others.

More time in port in Northern Europe

Sailing nine-day Baltic cruises from Copenhagen, May 8 through Oct. 17, Norwegian Getaway will stay overnight at St. Petersburg. The itinerary also includes Warnemünde, Tallinn, Stockholm and Helsinki, with extended port times, from nine to 15 hours.

Bermuda and first Bliss call at Norfolk

On its May 21 sailing, Norwegian Bliss will call at Norfolk, Virginia, for the first time. The vessel will also debut at Bermuda's Royal Naval Dockyard on a series of five- and seven-day round-trips from New York. The itineraries include two overnights in Bermuda.

Four ships in Alaska

Once again, NCL plans four ships in Alaska: Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Joy. They'll sail a variety of five- to nine-day voyages from Seattle, Seward and Vancouver, BC, between April 22 and Oct. 15. Every seven and nine-day cruise will offer a glacier experience. Select voyages for Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Sun will call at NCL's new pier at Icy Strait Point.

NCL's new Ward Cove dock near Ketchikan also should be operating. 

Bahamas and Caribbean

Starting June 2 through Dec. 29, Norwegian Sky will sail three- and four-day round-trips from Miami to Freeport, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay.

Cruising round-trip from Miami, Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Sky will offer a mix of five- to nine-day sailings between the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Destinations include Puerto Plata, St. Thomas, Tortola, Great Stirrup Cay, Grand Cayman, Roatán, Cozumel and Harvest Caye, among others. The program stretches from April 16 through Dec. 6.

Canada/New England

Beginning Aug. 27 through Oct. 29, Norwegian Escape will sail weekly round-trips to Canada/New England with calls at Newport, Portland, Bar Harbor, Saint John and Halifax.

Norwegian Pearl will sail seven-day cruises between Boston and Québec City from Aug. 25 through Oct. 13 with stops at Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown and Saguenay.