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Carnival Moving Ships Around For Galveston, Port Canaveral, and Miami in Spring 2016

Written by: Cruise News

June 16, 2015 – Carnival Cruise Line today announced deployment changes designed to enhance its leadership position in two key homeports – Galveston and Port Canaveral, Fla., – while providing exciting “Fun Ship” itinerary choices in time for next summer’s cruise season.

Carnival Breeze will reposition to Galveston in May 2016 and Carnival Magic to Port Canaveral in April 2016, several months earlier than previously announced. Carnival Breeze will assume Carnival Magic’s year-round schedule of seven-day day Galveston cruises beginning May 8, 2016. Carnival Magic will take over Carnival Valor’s current seven-day day Port Canaveral cruise program April 23, 2016.

In turn, Carnival Splendor will assume Carnival Breeze’s six- and eight-day Caribbean schedule from Miami May 1, 2016. Carnival Valor will offer a new series of five- and eight-day departures from Port Canaveral beginning June 4, 2016 instead of October 2016 as previously announced.

“Galveston and Port Canaveral are two important markets for ‘Fun Ship’ cruising and these deployment changes provide our guests and travel agent partners with exciting new options featuring a variety of on-board innovations and visiting top destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Bahamas and Florida,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president.

Carnival Breeze to Launch Year-Round Service from Galveston in May 2016

Carnival Breeze will kick off its new Galveston-based cruise program May 8, 2016, departing every Sunday on three different week-long itineraries: western Caribbean cruises calling at either Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, or Belize, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan) and Cozumel, and a seven-day Bahamas/Florida route with stops in Nassau, Freeport, and Key West.

The line’s newest ship, Carnival Breeze offers such innovations as a multi-dimensional cinema experience called Thrill Theater, the Bonsai Sushi full-service Asian restaurant and WaterWorks, an aqua park that includes a 312-foot-long slide, a 150-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket, the DrainPipe funnel-style attraction and a splash area for younger cruisers.

Carnival Breeze, originally scheduled to reposition to Galveston in December 2016, replaces Carnival Magic which will reposition to Port Canaveral in April 2016.

Carnival Magic to Sail Seven-day Cruises from Port Canaveral in April 2016

Carnival Magic will reposition to Port Canaveral to operate seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning April 23, 2016.

Carnival Magic will offer two distinctly different week-long itineraries from the Space Coast – a western Caribbean route featuring Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan) and Costa Maya; and an eastern Caribbean option calling at St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk and Nassau or Amber Cove. Prior to launching its new seven-day schedule from Port Canaveral, Carnival Magic will operate a special three-day cruise to Nassau April 20-23, 2016.

Carnival Magic was the first cruise ship to feature a suspended ropes course, part of an expansive open-air recreation area called SportSquare, as well as the Cucina del Capitano Italian family-style restaurant and the RedFrog Pub, a Caribbean-inspired watering hole serving the line’s private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red.

Carnival Magic’s previously announced schedule from Port Canaveral was scheduled to begin in December 2016.

Carnival Splendor to Offer Six- and Eight-Day Cruises from Miami in May 2016

Carnival Splendor will launch six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises from Miami May 1, 2016, departing alternating Saturdays and Sundays.

The schedule, which runs through December 2016, includes eight-day southern Caribbean cruises featuring Grand Turk, La Romana (Dominican Republic), Curaçao, and Aruba, along with eight-day eastern Caribbean departures visiting Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. Carnival Splendor will also offer a three-port, six-day option featuring Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Ocho Rios.

Carnival Splendor will offer a nine-day Carnival Journeys cruise round-trip from Miami departing May 26, 2016, and featuring an overnight call in King’s Wharf, Bermuda, as well as visits to Amber Cove (Dominican Republic) and Grand Turk. A number of special on-board activities and programming are planned, as well.

The 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor boasts on-board features like a 21,000-square-foot Cloud 9 Spa featuring a thalassotherapy pool and thermal suite, a retractable dome covering the mid-ship pool, and a classic American steakhouse serving prime steaks and other gourmet cuisine.

Carnival Valor to Offer Three- to Eight-day Cruises from Port Canaveral in May 2016

Carnival Valor will offer a new short cruise schedule from the Space Coast in May 2016 before launching year-round five- and eight-day departures in June 2016.

Three- to five-day sailings will take place throughout May and visit such popular ports as Grand Turk, Nassau, Freeport, and Amber Cove. The ship will also offer a one-time six-day cruise departing May 15 and featuring Nassau, Amber Cove and Grand Turk.
Carnival Valor’s year-round five- to eight-day voyages begin June 4, 2016. Five-day cruises will visit Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Freeport. Eight-day eastern Caribbean cruises will call at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Kitts and St. Maarten; while eight-day southern Caribbean sailings will include Curaçao or Bonaire, Aruba and Grand Turk.

Carnival Valor is currently based in Port Canaveral and scheduled to undergo an extensive dry dock in spring 2016 that will add a variety of Fun Ship 2.0 innovations.

Posted: June 16th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Holland America Line’s ms Noordam Rescues 40 Sightseers and a Park Ranger in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Written by: Cruise News

June 15, 2015 — While in the vicinity of Jaw Point at Glacier Bay, Alaska, Holland America Line’s ms Noordam assisted 41 persons on a disabled sightseeing boat Wednesday, June 10. Noordam responded to a call for aid at approximately 12:35 p.m. local time to assist the 79-foot sightseeing vessel Baranof Wind, which was experiencing mechanical troubles near Johns Hopkins Glacier.

The ship lowered a tender, which collected 40 tourists and one Glacier Bay National Park ranger and returned to Noordam.
 Holland America Line’s ms Noordam Rescues 40 Sightseers and a Park Ranger in Glacier Bay, Alaska
“We are proud of the proficient response Captain van Donselaar and his team executed in assisting the passengers of Baranof Wind,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Our crewmembers are highly trained to respond when needed and we were fortunate to have been nearby to provide support.”

Following lunch onboard Noordam, the sightseers were brought to Bartlett Cove, where the Baranof Wind excursion originated, at approximately 5:30 p.m. local time. Noordam then sailed for its next port of call, Ketchikan, Alaska, where it arrived on Thursday, June 11.

Noordam was in the middle of a seven-day Alaska cruise that sailed roundtrip from Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday, June 6.

Posted: June 15th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Carnival Corporation To Build Four Ships With Record-Setting Guest Capacities

Written by: Cruise News

June 15, 2015 – Carnival Corporation & plc has signed a multi-billion dollar contract to build four new cruise ships that will each hold 6,600 passengers, more than any other current cruise ship. The contract with Meyer Werft is part of a previously announced memo of understanding with the Meyer Werft and Fincantieri S.p.A shipyards, which generally addressed nine new ship orders between 2019 and 2022. Now we know that four of these nine vessels will be in this new class of ships.

Carnival Corporation says the four new ships will be the first in the industry to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). LNG is a very clean burning fuel and represents a major step forward in cruise ship propulsion, which is in line with the ‘green cruising’ design of these vessels. The ships will have approximately 5,000 lower berths and 1,600 berths for third and fourth guests per stateroom. The design involves making more efficient use of the ship’s spaces, which I predict means they will have multi-purpose public areas as was done on the Quantum-class ships of Royal Caribbean – which were also built by Meyer Werft.

The company said two of the ships will go to AIDA Cruises and be built by Meyer Werft at it’s Papenburg, Germany, facility. This will limit the physical size of the ships to around the 180,000 gross ton range, since the Papenburg yard is well inland and relies on a lengthy transit down the narrow Ems River in order to move new ships to the sea. Carnival did not provide information on which of their cruise brands will get the other two ships, but they will be built at Meyer Werft’s Turku, Finland yard, which was previously STX Finland, and where the Oasis-class ships of Royal Caribbean are built.

Posted: June 15th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Royal Caribbean Offering Up To $200 Onboard Credit During Five-Day WOW Sale

Written by: Cruise News

MIAMI, June 12, 2015 – Royal Caribbean International is offering vacationers up to $200 onboard credit per stateroom for all new bookings during a very special five-day WOW Sale, starting Saturday, June 13. Options include Europe cruises aboard Allure of the Seas this summer; a winter escape to the Caribbean from New York aboard Anthem of the Seas, or perrhaps visit Alaska aboard Explorer of the Seas – the largest cruise ship ever to sail the region – in summer 2016. These are just a few of the choices eligible for this promotion.

Guests who take advantage of the WOW Sale can apply their onboard credit toward a shore excursion to explore Europe; or celebrate a special occasion in the ship’s specialty restaurants; or enjoy cocktails as they observe calving glaciers. Vacationers can lock in their reservation with the WOW Sale’s 50 percent-reduced deposit offer – as low as $50 per guest. Details about the special five-day WOW Sale can be found at http://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-deals/offers/wow-sale.

For all new U.S. and Canadian bookings made from June 13 through 17, 2015, vacationers will receive up to $200 onboard credit per stateroom on almost every sailing, departing on or after July 13, 2015. Guests will receive $50 onboard credit per stateroom for five-night or shorter itineraries; $100 onboard credit per stateroom for six- to nine-night itineraries; and $200 onboard credit per stateroom for 10-night or longer itineraries. The WOW Sale does not apply to China departures.

Posted: June 12th, 2015 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces Flexible Specialty Dining Packages

Written by: Cruise News

June 11, 2015 – Norwegian Cruise Line announced today the introduction of new Specialty Dining Packages that allow guests the freedom to savor an array of tastes and unique experiences at the line’s signature specialty restaurants and the flexibility to choose the number of nights they’d like to dine for one set price. Norwegian guests sailing fleetwide from August 7* and beyond can enjoy a Specialty Dining Package ranging from three days to the length of their entire cruise, with pricing starting at $59 per person** for a three-day package when purchased online prior to sailing, providing cruisers with an excellent value.

Guests who purchase a Norwegian Specialty Dining Package can opt to go medium-rare at Cagney’s, Norwegian’s signature steakhouse; make it al dente at a Norwegian’s La Cucina Italian restaurant; enjoy an evening of fine Parisian dining at Le Bistro; and experience fun and fare at Teppanyaki, Norwegian’s signature Japanese Hibachi restaurant.

With Freestyle Cruising and Norwegian’s new Specialty Dining Packages, guests have the freedom to choose how, where and when they’d like to dine. Guests can tailor their taste buds to their cruising schedule and discover a different specialty restaurant each night or find a favorite and dine there a few nights during their vacation. Guests on a seven-day cruise can choose from packages ranging from three to seven nights, to make the most of their vacation experience and at a savings from the restaurant’s individual cover charges.

Specialty Dining Packages are honored in all specialty steakhouses, Brazilian churrascarias, French, Japanese Hibachi and Italian restaurants. Norwegian guests who have purchased a Specialty Dining Package additionally have the flexibility to indulge in their heart’s desire in select à la carte priced restaurants and entertainment-based restaurants for a small upcharge*** including:

Ocean Blue (Norwegian Getaway/ Norwegian Breakaway) – $15
Cirque Dreams (Norwegian Breakaway/Norwegian Epic)- $10 general seats/$15 premium seats/$35 VIP seating on Norwegian Breakaway
The Illusionarium – $10 general seats/$15 premium seats
For the Record: Dear John Hughes (Norwegian Escape)- $15
Bayamo (Norwegian Escape)- $10
Pincho Tapas Bar (Norwegian Escape)- $7
The Raw Bar (Norwegian Getaway/ Norwegian Breakaway) – $7
Sushi Bar (fleetwide)-$7

Specialty Dining Packages can be pre-purchased prior to sailing for additional savings or onboard during the first two days of the voyage; the dining packages are exclusively sold on the first day of the voyage on three-day itineraries only. Norwegian guests who pre-purchase a Specialty Dining Package prior to sailing can reserve their dining reservations online within 90 days of their sail date or go Freestyle and decide when and where to dine once onboard. Specialty Dining Packages are purchased individually and guests traveling in the same stateroom do not need to purchase packages as a group.

*Guests sailing aboard Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Star and Pride of America can purchase packages beginning August 1, 2015. Guests sailing aboard Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Pearl can purchase packages beginning August 2, 2015. Guests sailing aboard Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun can purchase packages beginning August 3, 2015.

**Pricing based on number of dinners purchased in package. An 18% gratuity and specialty service charge is added to all package pricing. Dining packages are not available on 1- and 2-day sailings. Specialty Dining Packages purchased online through MyNCL provide greater savings.

*** Carlo’s Bake Shop items, Ice Cream Bar, Gelato, Chef’s Table, Special Occasion/Holiday menus (New Year’s, Christmas, etc.), and beverages are not included as a part of Specialty Dining Packages.

For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Specialty Dining Packages, visit www.ncl.com/onboard-packages/dining-packages. To book a cruise on Norwegian, guests can contact their travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.
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Posted: June 11th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Carnival Revises Liquor and Beverage Policy

Written by: Cruise News

June 9, 2015 – Carnival Cruise Line has revised it’s policy for liquor and beverages, which primarily affects the items guests can bring aboard and how those items are packaged. The new policy takes effect for cruises starting on or after July 9, 2015. This is an effort to reduce the consumption of “smuggled” alcohol, which can often lead to problems if it is unable to be monitored by trained bar staff and other crew members. As part of the new policy, bottled sodas, juices, and water are no longer allowed to be brought aboard, but they will be acceptable if in sealed cans or cartons. In a major step to make this policy more accepted, Carnival is significantly reducing the price for bottled water purchased either prior to the cruise of once aboard a ship. A 12-pack of 500ml bottles of water can now be purchased for $2.99 (plus tax) prior to the cruise, and for $4.99 (plus gratuity) on the ship. We applaud this policy and would like to see the other cruise lines adopt it.

Details of the new policy are:

• Guests are prohibited from bringing water, sodas and other non-alcoholic beverages onboard that are packaged in bottles.

• A small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages (i.e., sparkling water, sodas, juice, and milk) packaged in cans or cartons may be brought onboard on embarkation day only in guests’ carry-on luggage. A small quantity is considered a maximum of 12 sealed, unopened cans/cartons of 12 ounces each or less per person.

• Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages on board with the following exception:

At the beginning of the cruise during embarkation day only, guests (21 years of age and older) may bring one 750 ml bottle of sealed/unopened wine or champagne per person in their carry-on luggage.

A $15 corkage fee per 750 ml bottle, will be charged should guests wish to consume their wine or champagne in the main dining room, steakhouse or bar.

• All liquor, beer, other forms of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages outside of the above exceptions are strictly prohibited in both carry-on and checked luggage and such items will be confiscated and discarded and no compensation will be provided.

• All alcohol purchased in ports of call or in the Fun Shops will be returned on the morning of debarkation.

• Guests are prohibited from bringing large coolers onboard since screening and movement of large coolers through embarkation is an impediment to the boarding and security process. Small, personal-sized coolers, no larger than 12”H x 12”L x 12”W for the purpose of housing small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages and/or medications are permitted as carry-on luggage.

Bottled Water Pricing has been revised as follows:

o $2.99 (plus tax) for a 12-pack of 500 ML of bottled water for pre-cruise purchase. Please visit www.carnival.com/funshops to place your order before your cruise to ensure we have an ample supply onboard.

o $4.99 (plus gratuities) for a 12-pack of 500 ML of bottled water for purchase onboard.

Posted: June 9th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Carnival Corporation Launches New Brand Named “fathom”

Written by: Cruise News

June 4, 2015 – Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest travel and leisure company, today launched a new brand called fathom™, defining a new travel category it is calling “social impact travel,” that will offer consumers authentic, meaningful impact travel experiences to work alongside locals as they tackle community needs. What sets fathom apart is the long-term, systematic partnership approach with its partner countries paired with the unique business model that allows for sustained impact and lasting development. fathom’s scale and global vision reach beyond what the world has ever seen.

The company’s first destination will be the Dominican Republic, a country known for its spectacular beauty but also a country where the average household income is approximately $6,000 USD a year and more than two million Dominicans do not have access to piped water.

fathom will operate as a standalone brand, the 10th global brand in the Carnival Corporation family.

Beginning in April 2016, fathom will embark on seven-day voyages from PortMiami aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises (UK) for the start-up of the new operation. Depending on their passions, interests and skills, travelers will have the opportunity to choose from a range of social impact activities and experiences both onboard and onshore.

Travel That Creates Enduring, Transformative Social Impact

“fathom will cater to a growing market of consumers who want to have a positive impact on people’s lives, and aren’t always sure where to begin,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We believe travel is a meaningful way to allow for personal growth while making purposeful and engaging contributions to the world. We are so pleased that fathom will give travelers a unique opportunity to work alongside local people as part of a larger scale effort that will demonstrably improve lives. Both our travelers and the local citizens will learn and benefit from the opportunity to serve together.”

Donald brought in a non-traditional, social entrepreneur, Tara Russell, Founder and Chairman of Create Common Good (www.createcommongood.org), a food production social enterprise, to lead this effort. Russell will serve as President of fathom and as Global Impact Lead for Carnival Corporation. Russell established and led the team that has been working on the design and business model for fathom since late 2013.

“We created fathom to meet the real hunger in the world for purpose, while at the same time tackling profound social issues through a sustainable business model,” said Russell. “We harness the assets and resources of the world’s largest travel and leisure company and combine them with the talents and hearts of those working in social enterprises around the world.

“Travelers will work in partnership with proven, trusted local organizations on the ground to amplify their missions for far greater, sustained impact,” Russell said. “Because fathom will bring hundreds of travelers to a destination on a regular basis, fathom can achieve focused and holistic, collaborative contributions in a broad region of the country – allowing fathom travelers to make a collective, transformative impact that they know will extend far beyond their involvement. They also will know they played an important role in ensuring the region flourishes. We are excited about making the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic our first partner destination, and we are optimistic about taking all that is being built in and through fathom to other global destinations and to the broader Carnival corporate family.”

According to Russell, the fathom team took an innovative design-thinking approach to deeply understanding both its travelers, as well as the needs identified by stakeholders across all parts of society in the Dominican Republic, and will continue to leverage the unique approach.

fathom will mobilize, educate and equip up to 700 travelers on every trip allowing for thousands of impact activity days per week – and tens of thousands of travelers a year to communities of promise, providing unprecedented scale for impact,” said Russell. “fathom has been built differently, having worked carefully to ensure any and all efforts fathom travelers engage with are authentically impactful, scalable and sustainable. fathom’s scale allows the opportunity to continuously innovate in the social impact space, while achieving holistic, transformational societal contributions that will help a broad region flourish.”

Based on extensive market research, fathom has identified a sizable and growing market of potential social impact travel consumers – approximately one million North Americans who are strongly predisposed, in addition to global travelers already pursuing service-oriented travel experiences worldwide – who will be interested in this type of travel offering.

In addition, the company believes fathom will attract a significant number of travelers who have never before cruised. According to research, nearly 40 percent of the individuals who will book a social impact trip on fathom might otherwise never have chosen to cruise.

According to Russell, fathom will attract people of all ages and from all walks of life, but especially North American, U.K. and Australian citizens ages 20 to 60 years old who are eager to discover their individual gifts, and unleash their personal passions and talents to improve the world. The company expects to be particularly popular among:

Millennials – people in their 20s and 30s looking to make a difference in the world;

Parents – seeking a way to open their children’s eyes to other parts of the world in a meaningful way (approximately half of travelers are expected to be families); and

Adults 50+ years of age - eager to find rewarding ways to help other people apart from writing a check.

“During the past 10 years, in countless conversations I have had with people eager to serve others and make meaningful societal contributions, there has been a common theme – people struggle to know where they fit in and often people have challenges finding trusted, easy ways to make a difference,” said Russell. “fathom exists to address this desire and to create enduring, life-changing impact, both in the communities where fathom operates, and in the lives of the travelers who embark on one of our journeys, allowing for unique impact experiences before, during and after the trip.”

Dominican Republic identified as fathom’s first social impact partner destination

The new brand selected the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic as its first impact destination based on a number of factors: genuine needs, infrastructure to support social initiatives, enthusiasm for the fathom concept by locals at all layers of society including country officials, its location (proximity to Miami and Amber Cove, the new Dominican destination being launched by Carnival Corporation in October 2015), its innate beauty. The fathom team worked closely with local Dominicans, resident Dominican business and educational leaders, Dominican government officials and leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the country to fully understand the societal needs and determine the best way for fathom to participate in addressing those needs.

fathom has initially identified two lead impact partners in the Dominican Republic – Entrena and the Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral, Inc. (IDDI). Both organizations have deep roots in the country, including long-established programs and strong social connections in the northern Dominican region. fathom travelers will work alongside these organizations across the northern region to help Entrena and IDDI programs achieve much greater impact. Because fathom will regularly transport hundreds of travelers to the country, the support will be significant and sustainable – fathom travelers will make long-lasting contributions to the community.

A portion of every ticket purchase price will go directly to fathom partner organizations to cover on-the-ground activities in the Dominican Republic, including supplies, travel, personnel to assist with the activities and funding to support the partner organizations’ overall missions. This sustained partnership between fathom and its impact partners allows these organizations to have predictable revenue streams to even further amplify their missions.

“Having led the Dominican based non-profit IDDI, for more than 31 years, I have worked with a very large number of corporations ranging from energy, sugar, chocolate and cigar producers, as well as tourism and free-trade zone companies,” said David Luther, founder and executive director of IDDI, a non-profit organization with the mission to help alleviate poverty in rural and urban areas of the Dominican Republic. “I have always insisted on a horizontal relationship based on a win-win partnership, but on many occasions it has taken a great deal of convincing on our part for these to understand the benefits to the private sector of improving the overall well-being of Dominican society.

fathom and Carnival Corporation are without a doubt the exception. They are making a strategic bet on contributing to the development of the Dominican Republic incorporating this initiative into their business plan, which is to me a remarkable step for a corporation of their size. This is not just Corporate Social Responsibility, but a vision of bringing people together as a catalyst for change, be they passengers on a ship or members of low-income communities – very, very innovative. In this, fathom and Carnival Corporation are demonstrating they are willing and capable of creating experiences that transform lives.”

“Entrena is excited about and committed to the fathom concept of impact travel for the north coast of the Dominican Republic,” said John Seibel, founder and president, Entrena, an organization specializing in training, education, and social enterprise. “We believe this concept will enhance sustainable development efforts to foster widespread prosperity among these Dominican communities by improving lives, creating hope for the future, and providing profound and meaningful experiences for fathom and for all Carnival Corporation passengers.”

fathom experience focuses on education, environment and economic development

The fathom journey is a carefully designed, holistic impact journey and will begin with one to two days at sea preparing hearts and minds for the on-the-ground experience, including a wide variety of fun and engaging impact-readiness experiences, ranging from an orientation to the Dominican Republic, conversational Spanish lessons, impact activity training, creative workshops, personal enrichment and much more.

fathom travelers may build their own schedules and will have the flexibility each day to choose from a variety of social impact and recreational activities. At launch, the company will offer a selection of fun, immersive, and meaningful activities focused on education, the environment, and economic development along with all the incredible experiences the Puerto Plata region innately has to offer.

Impact activities will vary in length from a few hours to multiple days. Depending on their passions and skills, travelers may spend up to three days on causes they care about, working alongside locals and fathom partner organizations on one or more projects suitable for a wide range of ages, levels of skill and amounts of physical activity. Sample activities may include:

Economic Development: Help cultivate cacao plants and organic fertilizer at a nursery and assist a local women’s cooperative in producing artisan chocolates. This activity is designed to produce high-quality plants to increase farmers’ yields through sustainable practices and – importantly – create income opportunities for rural women.  Over time, this activity will allow the cooperative to increase their workforce so the cooperative can achieve economic independence.

Educational: Work side by side with Dominican school teachers in classrooms to teach English skills and help boost students’ academic performance; and participate in adult-learning programs to teach small groups of local community members conversational English to help improve their ability to qualify for jobs that provide a higher level of income.

Environmental: Provide hands-on support to craft and build water filters – using clay, a natural resource found locally – and deliver those filters to families throughout the community to provide healthy drinking water. With limited piped water supply, this will make a meaningful difference in the quality of people’s lives throughout the region.

“Together we aim to help communities and travelers flourish by providing immersive, life-changing experiences for travelers and allowing our partner communities to prosper,” said Russell.

When not participating in social impact activities, travelers will enjoy exploring the beauty of the region, experiencing the many Dominican beaches and sites of interest, or participating in any one of an array of different recreational activities available to the entire family of Carnival Corporation brands visiting Amber Cove and the Puerto Plata region.

The onboard experience will be customized to this unique travel market, including specialized, purposeful retail options and amenities, as well as geographically inspired menus, music, and additional onboard cultural immersion. While docked in the Dominican Republic, the fathom ship will serve as a comfortable, convenient home-base for travelers.

Travelers may reserve travel on future fathom voyages

Travelers may reserve a spot on future fathom sailings by calling any travel agent or visiting www.fathom.org or by calling 1-855-9fathom. Prices for the seven-day trip to the Dominican Republic start at $1,540 per person, which includes an exterior cabin with a window, all meals on the ship, onboard social impact immersion experiences, three on-shore social impact activities and related supplies, taxes, fees, and port expenses. Prices will vary by season.

There will be four pricing levels, based on cabin configuration and location – interior cabins, exterior cabins with a window, exterior balcony cabins and suites. Additional recreational activities, cabin upgrades, and dining and beverage packages will be priced separately. Travelers may begin tailoring their trip in fall 2015 (e.g., impact activities selection, cabin selections, etc.).

The future of social impact in Carnival Corporation

In addition to leading the new fathom brand, Russell will work with Carnival Corporation’s nine other brands in her role as Global Impact Lead on social impact strategies and opportunities.

“With fathom, we are building one-of-a-kind, collaborative community social impact models and experiences and a solid network of reputable local and global NGO partnerships that, once established, can be considered for replication across global regions and company brands,” said Russell. “As fathom grows and evolves, we will continue exploring additional fathom destinations and experiences and identify powerful brand partnerships we can establish, both within the Carnival Corporate family, and also more broadly outside the corporation with other like-minded impact brands.

“In addition, we will evaluate these unique fathom assets to determine which models can be scaled across other Carnival brands as a way to bring new experiences to existing cruise line guests.”

Posted: June 4th, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Azamara Club Cruises Announces Major Upgrades For Its Two Ships

Written by: Cruise News

June 3, 2015 – Very exciting news from a highly regarded cruise line. Azamara Club Cruises, a boutique line delivering an up-market experience at sea with unparalleled destination immersion on land, announced today that its two ships – Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest – will undergo “major upgrades” while in dry dock in early 2016, reinvigorating the onboard guest experience. The mid-size ships that accommodate up to 686 guests will be outfitted with new venues, public spaces and technologies to bring fresh services and amenities to guests.  From bow to stern, there is no area on the line’s ships that will be untouched.  The upgrades include all staterooms and suites, dining, spa and entertainment.

“We are best known for our Land Discoveries programs which have enabled us to boast an unprecedented number of repeat guest bookings as well as strong back to back voyage reservations.  As we continue to evolve our destination immersive offerings, we also want to ensure our onboard experience is modernized to meet guests’ every need,” says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises.  “We can’t wait for our ships to come out of dry dock as these major upgrades are going to have an instant impact on our guests’ experience.  Each corner of the ships will have a new look and feel, setting a brighter, more contemporary ambiance, while the new venues will bring guests fresh experiences. We’re also investing in new onboard innovations and have paid close attention to the smallest of details. We really are redefining our onboard experience in every way.”

The Azamara Journey will enter dry dock in January 2016 in the Bahamas, and the Azamara Quest in April 2016 in Singapore.

Be the First to Know #LoveTravel

As Azamara unveils more detailed information regarding its major upgrades, loyal guests and new voyagers can join in the conversation on the line’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram) using a dedicated hash tag – #LoveTravel.

Posted: June 3rd, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Seven Holland America Ships Will Visit Panama Canal in 2015-2016

Written by: Cruise News

June 1, 2015 — Holland America will have seven ships visiting the Panama Canal in 2015-16. Six ships will sail 11 full transits of the Panama Canal and one ship will offer 14 itineraries that feature both the southern Caribbean and partial transits during fall 2015 through spring 2016.

With cruises ranging from 10 to 22 days, Holland America Line provides guests more in-depth ways to experience the Panama Canal than any other cruise line. In the 2015-16 season, the combined full and partial transits will carry more than 44,500 guests through the lakes and locks of the man-made marvel.

“To witness the fascinating operation of the Panama Canal from the deck of a Holland America Line ship is the ultimate way to experience one of the great engineering wonders of the world,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Our diverse itineraries bring travelers to all seven continents and to many of the world’s most compelling marvels; and with 25 departures we offer more ways to experience the Panama Canal than any other line.”

Go Between Oceans on a Full Panama Canal Transit
From September 2015 through May 2016, ms Amsterdam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Oosterdam, ms Veendam and ms Westerdam will make 11 transits between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from six departure cities. Guests can set sail from Boston, Mass.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

In addition to the Panama Canal transit, the 14- to 22-day cruises include a variety of port calls along the way, making each voyage all the more enriching. On the full transits the ships visit destinations in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the Caribbean, along with Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private Bahamian island.

Partial transits include the ‘ABC’ Islands
Besides the full transits, ms Zuiderdam will make 14 partial transits between November 2015 and April 2016. The 10- and 11-day “Panama Canal Sunfarer” itineraries include an exploration of the canal’s Gatún Lake and a combination of southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Bonaire, Columbia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Grand Cayman, Panama and Half Moon Cay.

Go ‘On Location’ in the Panama Canal
On each Panama Canal cruise, guests can enjoy the On Location enrichment program that brings local experiences onto the ships through lectures, presentations, cuisine and entertainment. Guests can learn to weave with palm fronds during Caribbean sea days; and while the ship is in the Panama Canal an expert historian recounts the history and drama of constructing the famous waterway. A Panamanian market and buffet on the Lido Deck is a highlight of the voyage, where guests can indulge in regional delicacies such as empanadas, arroz con pollo, ropa vieja and pastel de tres leches.

For more information about Holland America Line, consult a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit hollandamerica.com.

Posted: June 1st, 2015 under Cruise Ship News.
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Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Freestyle Choice Spectacular” Promotion Offers Up To $1600 In Added Value

Written by: Cruise News

June, 1. 2015: Norwegian Cruise Line is providing guests with the freedom and flexibility to enjoy up to $1,600 per balcony stateroom in added value offers to enhance their cruising experience when they book this summer with Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice Spectacular. The new promotion is heating up the summer season for all guests who book a new three through sixteen night cruise vacation now through July 31, 2015, providing guests who book any category stateroom with the freedom to select up to four great offers† including a free Ultimate Beverage Package*, a free Ultimate Dining Package*, free shore excursion credits, or a free WiFi package. These offers are in addition to Friends & Family Sail Free**, where the third through eighth guest in each stateroom can even sail for free.

During Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice Spectacular, cruisers who book a suite or The Haven by Norwegian™ will receive all four offers and Friends & Family Sail Free. Guests who cruise in an oceanview, balcony or mini-suite stateroom are free to choose one great offer and will receive Friends & Family Sail Free. For the first time, guests who opt to book an inside or Studio stateroom will receive Friends & Family Sail Free and are free to choose one great offer at a modified value, including a free unlimited soda package*, a free $50 dining credit, free shore excursion credit and a free internet package.

Norwegian’s 13 Freestyle ships allow guests to visit the destinations of their dreams with the freedom and flexibility to dine when they want, indulge how they want, laugh how they want or relax how they want.

During Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice Spectacular, guests who opt for a free Ultimate Beverage Package* can enjoy unlimited glasses of their favorite wine, beer and premium cocktails valued up to $11 throughout their entire cruise.

Culinary enthusiasts sailing in an oceanview stateroom or above can opt for a free Ultimate Dining Package* to enjoy the many delicious specialty dining choices on board such as artful sushi rolls at Wasabi, flavorful Certified Angus Beef at Cagney’s Steakhouse or classic French favorites at Le Bistro. Foodie guests sailing in inside or Studio staterooms can choose to enjoy $50 in dining credit for the first and second guests on their reservation.

Whether it’s catching the gold fever in Alaska and trying to strike it rich or snorkeling with colorful fish in the sunny Caribbean, adventure seekers are free to go for their bucket-list experience in up to four different ports with a free $75 shore excursion credit per port, per stateroom in categories of oceanview or above. While inside and Studio stateroom guests can opt to enjoy $50 in shore excursion credit per port, per stateroom.

During Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice Spectacular, guests can now opt to surf the web at their leisure with up to 250 minutes of free onboard internet access***. Norwegian guests can tweet, snap and stream all of their incredible vacation experiences with their friends back home, as Norwegian wifi packages can be used on laptops, tablets and mobile devices while on board.

To book a cruise during Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice Spectacular, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com

Offer valid for US residents only and terms based on itinerary and stateroom category booked. All Pride of America sailings are not eligible for offer. All Norwegian Sky cruises beginning January 1, 2016 are not eligible for offer.

*Guests are responsible for an 18% gratuity for Ultimate Dining Package, Ultimate Beverage Package, or the Soda Package, with pricing based on number of cruise nights. Suites or Haven guests will not be responsible for the 18% gratuities related to the Ultimate Dining Package, Ultimate Beverage Package, or the Soda Package.

**Select sailings offer third through eighth guests free; select sailings offer 50% off fare for third through eighth guest.

***Guests sailing in inside or Studio staterooms receive a 100 minute package. oceanview and above categories receive 250 minute package. One login per stateroom. On Norwegian Breakaway, stateroom receives an internet package of 100/250 minutes or 300/1000 MB of data respectively.

Posted: June 1st, 2015 under Hot Cruise Deals.
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