Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Incentives From Royal Caribbean

It's definitely 'Cruise Offer' season as we approach the New Year, and you can expect a welter of special incentives and new offers in the coming days and weeks. 

Really quick off the mark are Royal Caribbean, who are offering a great family holiday exploring the best of Norway while enjoying FREE parking and up to £200 off per stateroom on their Independence of the Seas next May.

The eight-night ex-UK cruise now costs from just £699 per person (based on two  sharing an interior stateroom) and departs from Southampton on May 17, calling at Skjolden, Flam, Olden, Alesund and Stavanger before returning to Southampton The price includes all meals and entertainment on board and all relevant cruise taxes/fees and the offer is valid until February 28.

More info: call 0844 493 2061 or visit www.royalcaribbean.co.uk.

It is the FINAL DAY of our special New Subscription offer for all new readers of World of Cruising magazine. If you subscribe before the end of the day, you will receive 50% off the normal one-year price AND be entered in a prize draw to WIN a cruise! See all the details on this link.

Monday, 30 December 2013

What New Ship Are You Most Looking Forward To In 2014?

OK, the big poll question is on - there are four major new vessels arriving in 2014, and we want to know which one YOU most like the look of.

We have set up a brand new poll, on our home page (top right), and all readers can vote on one of the four selections, to show the 'Most Anticipated' newcomer of the New Year.

Here are the four contenders:

Norwegian Getaway: the second of the Breakaway class for Norwegian Cruise Line, this will be a similar 146,000 tons and with 4,000 passengers (double occupancy). It arrives in Miami in February and, like her 2013 sister, will feature Waterfront dining, the grand Tropicana Room restaurant and entertainment centre, and award-winning live entertainment, including Burn The Floor and the Wine Lovers musical. It is a glitzy, high-energy package, and it all comes with Norwegian's Freestyle ethos where passengers are not scheduled into a daily routine.

Regal Princess: another follow-up to a proven 2013 success story, Regal follows in the wake of Royal Princess and will make her debut for Princess Cruises in the Mediterranean in May. It will feature casual dining options like the charming Italian-inspired Gelateria and trendy Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar, plus enhancements to passenger favourites like the International Café and Alfredo’s Pizzeria. At 141,000 tons and with 3,600 passengers, it continues the mega-ship trend but with significant refinements, like the expanded Atrium, with its social hub and multiple dining outlets.

Costa Diadema: this will be Costa Cruises' first new ship for two years and is a new design from anything previous, boasting an impressive array of seven restaurants and no less than 15 bars. It weighs in at an Italian cruise ship record 132,500 tons, carrying 3,700 passengers and will feature an immense Samsara Spa and a 4-D Cinema, amongst a wealth of entertainment options. Music fans will be well catered for with a major Disco and a Country Rock Club, while the pool deck will offer a sliding glass roof and a huge video screen. The ship is due to arrive in October.

Quantum of the Seas: the latest offering from Royal Caribbean in November will be an all-
new format featuring some of the most popular features of their gigantic Oasis-class duo and the smaller Freedom class. Plus it will add add some truly novel attractions like the North Star observation capsule to lift passengers 300ft above sea level, the unique Two70 - panoramic lounge by day, spectacular show centre at night - and the SeaPlex recreation room, offering roller-blading, bumper cars and sports court. There will be no shortage of Wow moments once aboard, but it is also the biggest ship of the year at 167,800 tons and carrying 4,180 passengers.

OK, those are the runners and riders - now give us your vote!

Celebrity's New Destination-Rich Options


Destinations are the most important part of a cruise, and it is always interesting to see when cruise lines increase their destination quotient with more or new ports of call. With that in mind, Celebrity Cruises has created two new, destination-rich itineraries for guests on Celebrity Century in 2015. The new sailings will replace three previously scheduled 12 and 14-night sailings in Asia in order to reposition the ship to Europe for the 2015 season.

The new itineraries – a 14-night sailing from Singapore to Dubai departing on March 22, and a 15-night Suez Canal cruise from Dubai to Rome on April 5 – will offer the perfect combination of immersive experiences on land and luxurious days at sea.
 
  • The 14-night sailing from Singapore to Dubai will feature visits to Muscat and Cochinas well as three ports entirely new to Celebrity, New Mangalore, Goa and Mumbai. The sailing culminates with an overnight stay in Dubai.
  • The new 15-night itinerary from Dubai will be highlighted by passage through the Suez Canal and visits to Ashdod, Rhodes and Athens before arriving into Rome.
Guests with bookings on Celebrity's previously scheduled cruises departing on March 22, April 5 and 17, 2015, are being contacted to offer the opportunity to be re-accommodated on the two new sailings or on their choice from among 12 itineraries in Asia on Celebrity Century or Celebrity Millennium. Guests who opt to re-book will be able to do so at the lowest available rate if moving to selected sailings in the same level of accommodation and will receive onboard credit of $200 per stateroom or $400 per suite.

More info: call 0844 493 2043 or visit www.celebritycruises.co.uk.
 
Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? It's the LAST TWO DAYS of a fabulous offer for all new subscribers - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link! 

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Enjoy A Shorter Asian Cruise With Crystal

Those looking for a taste of the exotic but not able to indulge in the longer cruise options for regions like the Far East might be keen to know about something we've just spotted here at World of Cruising, with Crystal Cruises creating 19 new “Crystal Getaways” in Asia and the surrounding region for 2014.

Time-strapped travellers now have almost twice as many options to enjoy an ultra-luxury, all-inclusive cruise in Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Mauritius, Africa and Australia next year. 

The Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity voyages range from five to 10 nights, making them ideal to either enjoy on their own or combine with time ashore. Carved out from longer sailings, the “Getaways” cost from as little as £1,070 per person, double occupancy, if booked by January 3. 

Packed with local overnights, some of the choices include:

5 nights, from £1,070 per person: Feb 17, Shanghai (overnight), Hong Kong (two nights).

6 nights, from £1,836 per person: Apr 3, Ho Chi Minh City (overnight), Chan May, Hong Kong (overnight).

7 nights, from £1,142 per person: Feb 10, Tokyo’s port of Yokohama (overnight), Osaka (overnight), Nagasaki, Shanghai.

10 nights, from £2,861 per person: Mar 10, Singapore (overnight), Jakarta, Mauritius.

More info: call  020 7399 7601 or visit
www.crystalcruises.co.uk.

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? It's the LAST FEW DAYS of our  fabulous offer for this month - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Hurtigruten’s Big 2015 Preview

Working on the theory it is never too soon to start thinking of a cruise in 2015, we have a fabulous early look at Hurtigruten’s advance programme, showcasing their key Norwegian and Explorer voyages with more direct flight charters as well as a new coastal itinerary and an ex-UK ‘Fjord Highlights’ Explorer Voyage. 
 
More importantly, for early bookers there are discounts of up to 25% available on selected Coastal Voyage bookings made by September 30 and Explorer Voyages made by June 30. Here are some of the highlights:

Coastal Voyages
Cruise-only prices start from just £819 per person for the six-day Classic Voyage South for departures from January to March 2015 on full board basis. 

A number of new regional flying options have been added to the programme, with direct charters to Norway now offered from five new regional airports - East Midlands, Cardiff, Newcastle, Dublin and Jersey. Additional charters have also been included from existing regional departure airports, with 69 planned in total for 2015.

The new eight-day ‘Arctic Explorer’ itinerary is ideal for those who want to spend as much time as possible within the Arctic Circle. The trip includes direct flights to Bodo from Gatwick or Manchester, a northbound coastal voyage from Bodo up to Kirkenes and then southbound back to Svolvær, where guests will spend two nights before transferring back to Bodo for the flight home.

The ‘Arctic Explorer’ costs from £1,579 per person for the eight-day trip on full board basis including voyage and two nights accommodation in a hotel, as well as a full day Lofoten sightseeing tour and entrance into the Bodo Air Force Museum.

Explorer Voyages
A one-off ‘Fjords Highlights’ has been added to the programme, departing from Dover on May 1, 2015. The 10-day trip on MS Fram sails over to Norway visiting some of the most beautiful fjords, including Lysefjord, Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord before returning to Dover. Prices start from £1,949 per person on full board basis.

More info: call 020 3582 6642 or visit
www.hurtigruten.co.uk.

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

Friday, 27 December 2013

MSC’s Canaries Winter Warmer

We are very aware how miserable the UK's weather has been recently, hence when we see news of a great deal on a winter sunshine cruise, we are very keen to pass it on!

And MSC Cruises might have just the idea this winter, with the choice of two well-priced cruise itineraries from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on board MSC Armonia  with the opportunity to relax from the word go and explore the various ports of call by pre-booking MSC's shore excursions.

With calls in Santa Cruz de La Palma, San Sebastian, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and an overnight stay in FunchalArmonia's first itinerary from Las Palmas is a perfect way to explore the breath-taking landscapes of the Canary and Madeira Islands. Her second itinerary not only takes in all of the natural beauty of the Canary Islands, but also visits two much-loved destinations in magical Morocco, with a full day in Casablanca plus a call in Agadir.

Cruise prices start from just £549 per person, including flights, for a seven-night cruise departing from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, via Funchal, on January 30. A seven-night cruise via Casablanca and Agadir starts from £599 per person, including flights, from February 21. Flights are available from London Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow. Excursions start from £28 for adults and are designed to make each cruise an even more exciting and memorable experience.

More info: call 0844 561 1955 or visit
www.msccruises.co.uk.

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

 

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

A Merry Christmas To Cruisers Everywhere!

From Editor Simon Veness

There's no Time Spent At Sea blog today - just a wide-ranging and sincere festive greeting to cruise-goers the world over for a peaceful and enjoyable holiday period.

Our man Steve Newman is taking a well-deserved break today and we would like to thank him, especially, for all the work he puts in to our daily cruise blog. He's a great asset to us here at World of Cruising, and is a 'verra canny lad' as they might say up in his part of the country.

So from Steve and myself; from new owners Chris and Matt; from Contributing Editor Gary and World of Spas editor Jo; from our design team and office team; and from all our many expert contributors, we would like to wish you all a very "Happy Christmas!"



Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Get '3 For Free' With Princess



We know you're probably ready for Christmas by now (we might even take a few hours off ourselves!), but we thought we might pass on some tempting new offers from Princess Cruises by way of an early Chrissie pressie!

Passengers booking with Princess by the end of February will benefit from an eye-catching £99 per person deposit and benefit from the company's ‘3 for Free’ promotion. 

It runs from December 26 to February 28 and consists of the following trio of free 'extras': Free balcony upgrades; Free shore excursion credit; and a Free framed formal portrait photo on board. Additional benefits include 3rd and 4th passengers travelling from just £99 per person (when sharing a stateroom). 

Package fares are also available, which include flights, overnight pre-cruise hotel (where required) and transfers to and from the ship and hotel.
 

Highlights of the 2014 programme include:
 

Regal Princess (above), will begin her maiden season in May 2014, sailing first on two new itineraries; a 7-night Maiden Mediterranean & Aegean from Venice to Athens departing May 20, and a 6-night Greek Isles departing May 27.   

Ruby Princess will be sailing on nine 12-night departures of the British Isles from Southampton, and Ocean Princess sailing 8-nights from Dover on three departures.  Five of these cruises will offer the opportunity to see the famed Edinburgh Military Tattoo. All offers are subject to availability.

More info: 0843 373 0333 or visit www.princess.com.


Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

Celebrate Canal's 100th Anniversary With Holland America

August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the stunning engineering achievement that is the Panama Canal (and which will be featuring in World of Cruising later this year). And we are not surprised to see some of the cruise lines offering special commemorative deals to mark the occasion.

Holland America Line are the first, with an offering of a free $100 onboard credit per cabin on select Panama Canal sailings. The offer is available on 28 full and partial transits of the Canal throughout 2014, on five different ships. Ranging in length from 10 to 22 days, the different itinerary options provide guests with more ways to experience this amazing phenomenon than any other line.

An example cruise, eligible for this special anniversary deal, is the MS Westerdam's 14-night cruise, sailing on April 15. Departing from Fort Lauderdale, it calls at Cartagena before transiting the Panama Canal. It then continues to Puerta Caldera, Puerto Chiapas, Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, before disembarking in San Diego.

This 14-night fly-cruise starts from £2,175 per person, based on two sharing an inside cabin and the price includes return flights, full board accommodation, one night’s pre-cruise hotel stay and international transfers.

More info: 0843 374 2300 visit www.hollandamerica.co.uk.

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!





Monday, 23 December 2013

Carnival Boost For Miami

The continued growth of Miami as the leading cruise port in the world is a story we will be covering in the new-look January issue of World of Cruising, and it couldn't be more timely with the news of even more to enjoy from the South Florida port in 2014.
 
Carnival Cruise Lines has announced it will bolster its market-leading position in the region by introducing the 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor for seasonal Caribbean cruises from Miami beginning November 9.
 
The Splendor will be the seventh Carnival ship to be based in South Florida, boosting the line to more than 400 three- to eight-day departures from Miami and Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale), and accounting for approximately 1.2 million guests annually.
 
Carnival’s South Florida programme visits a variety of unique destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas, including the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Mahogany Bay in Isla Roatan, along with tropical island paradises such as Aruba and Curacao on eight-day itineraries.
 
Carnival Splendor’s new Miami-based schedule will encompass week-long cruises departing Sundays, alternating between the eastern and western Caribbean. The eastern routes will call at St Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk, and Nassau, while the western version will visit Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, and Mahogany Bay.
 
Prior to its Miami deployment, Splendor will operate two special eight-day cruises – a New York to San Juan departure calling at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua and St. Maarten departing October 24, and a San Juan to Miami voyage visiting St. Croix, Martinique, Grenada, Dominica and Grand Turk departing November 1.
 
More info: in the UK, call 0843 374 2272 or visit www.carnival.co.uk.
 
Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!
 
 

Balmoral's New Horizons In 2015

We know ex-UK cruises are really popular with our readers at World of Cruising (and here at Time Spent At Sea), and we are always keen, therefore, to highlight new opportunities to enjoy a good quality, no-fly cruise experience.
 
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are among the leading purveyors of cruises round-trip from British ports, and they have just unveiled a selection of new 2015 itineraries for their classic ship Balmoral, which should have signficant appeal and are on sale now.
 
The new cruises include top-rated ports, exciting new destinations and an even greater number of shore excursions than ever before. Guests who book the new itineraries can also upgrade to Fred. Olsen’s ‘all-inclusive’ drinks package from just £10 per person, per night, and relax in the knowledge almost everything is already paid for.
 
Here are two top examples:
 
Balmoral’s six-night France and Spain cruise from Southampton on August 2, 2015: This sunshine cruise will take guests to Getxo, Hendaye and La Pallice, where they can explore quaint towns, relax on beautiful beaches or sample local wines at one of the traditional vineyards. Prices start from £539 per person.

Balmoral’s 13-night ‘Canaries Perseid Meteor Shower’ cruise from Southampton on August 8, 2015: This exciting 'experiential' cruise will give guests the opportunity to view the stunning, multi-coloured Perseid Meteor Shower at the optimum time, whilst visiting the beautiful Canary Islands, Portugal and Madeira. The ship will call at Lisbon, Santa Cruz for an overnight stay, Las Palmas, San Sebastian and Funchal. Prices start from £899 per person.

Prices for these cruises are based on two adults sharing an inside, twin cabin, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes.

More info: call 0800 0355 242 or visit
www.fredolsencruises.com.

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See
this link!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Crystal Highlight Best Of Asia By Land

When it comes to destination-focused cruising, here at World of Cruising we like to think we have our finger firmly on the pulse. And it seems several cruise lines share our passion for destinations, judging by this latest idea for Far East touring from Crystal Cruises.

From February through April, Crystal is offering its largest collection of Overland Adventures in Asia. A total of 15 one- and two-night optional, mid-cruise journeys will take guests far from the ports of Yangon, Shanghai, Laem Chabang, Ho Chi Minh City, Xiamen and Chan May for in-depth, intimate explorations of renowned sites, history, culture and nature.

All Overland Adventures include air, shuttle and/or boat transport to and from ports; meals, featuring traditional fare such as Peking Duck or a Myanmar-style royal dinner and show; and luxury accommodations such as Bangkok’s Peninsula, Siem Reap’s Sokha Hotel and Myanmar’s Aureum Palace Hotel.

Next winter, spring and autumn, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sail through China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and India on 31 five- to 29-night itineraries, including shorter Crystal Getaways and extended combination cruises. Cruise only fares for the 2014 Asia itineraries start from £1,070 per person if booked by January 3. Asian Overland Adventures fares start from $869 per person, double occupancy.

More info: 020 7399 7601 or visit
www.crystalcruises.co.uk.

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!
 

Saturday, 21 December 2013

P&O's Big Arcadia Makeover


P&O Cruises recently completed a big makeover for their eight-year-old Arcadia (just in time for Christmas!) and have followed up with an impressive video of all the refurbishments.

The extensive refit is part of a fleet-wide improvement programme, and Arcadia should look quite spiffy as a result. Here's what they have done:

The Crow’s Nest lounge and bar - this has been completely transformed with new flooring, seating areas, partition walls, furniture, colour scheme, bespoke lighting, low level lamps and new-look extended bar.


The shopping area – this has been extended and dramatically reconfigured with open-plan layout, new glass cabinets, display units and LED lights throughout. With a look and feel more akin to a department store, there’s also appropriate luxury new brands on offer such as Givenchy, benefit, Gerry Weber and Ted Baker.

The Globe - this is now closed off and totally encased to provide a new late-night dancing venue. Designed to improve the sound quality inside and also to reduce the level of noise outside, passengers can party without disturbing other guests.

There are 24 new cabins on Sun Deck - 14 deluxe balcony cabins, 4 inside single cabins, 3 larger inside double cabins, 2 new single cabins with balcony (a first in P&O's fleet and unique to Arcadia), and 1 mini suite.

The introduction of East restaurant (replacing Orchid on sky deck 11) with an Asian fusion menu designed by Michelin-star celebrity chef Atul Kochhar. Exactly the same as Ventura, the Indonesian menu has influences from Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisine.

The introduction of Freedom Dining to the upper tier of the Meridian Restaurant. As on other ships, passengers who opt for Freedom Dining can arrive at any time from 6.30-9.30pm, with whomever they wish. The bottom tier of Meridian will continue to operate as Club Dining.

Refreshed cabins – with new carpets, curtains and 32” or 40” flat-screen TVs in all cabins.

P&O marketing director Christopher Edgington said: “This has been a huge project and a lot of hard work has gone in to make this happen. The outcome is nothing short of outstanding. Arcadia looks incredible.”


Do you agree? Are you cruising on Arcadia any time soon? Be sure to drop us a line and let us know YOUR thoughts here at Time Spent At Sea.

More info: call 0843 374 0111 or visit www.pocruises.com.
 
Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

Hurtigruten's 2-For-1 Deal

If a trip into the Arctic Circle to experience the Northern Lights is on your bucket list, why not make your dream a reality in 2014? Norway is a 'hot' destination even when it's cold, and the choice for winter voyages in the region has never been better (it's also one of the reasons we have an Adventure Cruise feature on it in the forthcoming new issue of World of Cruising next month).

With that in mind, Hurtigruten are currently offering two for the price of one on voyages along the Norwegian Coast during January and for selected dates in February.

From Snowmobile Safaris to a Husky Sledge Adventure or even a visit to a Snow Hotel, there are a whole host of amazing experiences that can be added to your voyage to make it the trip of a lifetime.

The discounts are available on the six-day Classic Voyage South, the seven-day Classic Voyage North and 12-day Classic Round Voyage. 

You can join any one of the daily departures during January of the 7-day Classic Voyage North from Bergen up to Kirkenes on the Russian border for just £472 per person (based on two sharing on full board basis). Return international flights and transfers start from an additional £390 per person.

The offer is subject to availability, valid for new bookings made by December 31 and is not combinable with any other offer. It applies to all cabin types, except suites.

More info: call 020 3582 6642 or visit http://www.hurtigruten.co.uk.

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Have Royal Caribbean/Celebrity/Azamara Got News For You!

It is certainly the season of goodwill right now, but it is ALSO the season of good cruise offers and special deals - AND free parking and city sightseeing with Royal Caribbean.

Families can enjoy free parking and up to £500 off per stateroom as well as exploring Europe’s top sightseeing hotspots on
Adventure of the Seas on a 15-night Central Mediterranean cruise-only, from £1,099 per person (based on two sharing an interior stateroom) if booked by February 28.

This new price includes the cruise from Southampton, which departs on May 8 and calls at Cadiz, Barcelona, Villefranche (for Nice), Livorno (for Florence/Pisa), Civitavecchia (for Rome), Cagliari (Sardinia), Gibraltar and Lisbon; all meals and entertainment onboard; and all relevant cruise taxes/fees. 

More info: call 0844 493 2061 or visit
www.royalcaribbean.co.uk.

And there's more - you can grab a complimentary drinks package, up to $300 onboard spend AND fully paid gratuities with Celebrity Cruises.

Visit the best of the Mediterranean while enjoying any TWO of the following offers: complimentary drinks package, worth up to $1,400; up to $300 credit; or fully paid gratuities with on
Celebrity Eclipse's 14-night voyage, which is now priced from £1,699 per person (cruise-only, based on two sharing a balcony stateroom) if booked by February 28.

The price includes the cruise, which departs on May 10 from Southampton and calls at Malaga, Cannes (for Monte Carlo), Civitavecchia, Livorno, Genoa, Gibraltar and Lisbon; meals and entertainment onboard; and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.

More info: call 0845 456 0523 or visit
www.celebritycruises.co.uk.

And then there's this - holiday in the luxury and culture of the French Riviera, Tuscany and the beautiful French and Italian islands with free shore excursions on board Azamara Club Cruises' Azamara Quest on a seven-night Cote D’Azur to Rome fly/cruise from £1,989 per person (based on two sharing an ocean view stateroom).

The price includes flights from London Heathrow, transfers and a seven-night cruise departing from Nice on May 26 and calling at Monte-Carlo, Livorno, Portoferraio (Elba), Olbia and Porto-Vecchio (Corsica) before arriving in Civitavecchia for the flight home.
 
The cruise also includes selected standard spirits, wines and international beers; complimentary bottled water; soft drinks; speciality teas and coffees; meals and room service; housekeeping and dining gratuities; a bespoke AzAmazing Evenings event; and all relevant cruise taxes/fees. Offer valid until January 31.

More info: call 0844 493 4016 or visit
www.azamaraclubcruises.co.uk.
 
Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

‘You Deserve The Best’ With MSC

'Tis the season of goodwill here at World of Cruising and MSC Cruises is joining in the festive spirit by launching an exclusive ‘You Deserve The Best’ offer. Guests booking a cruise by February 28 will receive a complimentary upgrade from an inside to a balcony cabin. 

Prices for an inside cabin start from just £499 per person, or from £699 per person including flights, and it is the ideal opportunity to discover the delights of their 12-ship fleet, with a choice of tempting itineraries around the world. From the vibrant ports of the Mediterranean and the blue lagoons of the Caribbean (above) to the winter sun of the  Canaries, there is something to suit every cruiser.
 
Guests wanting to taste ‘luxury for less’ are able to upgrade to a luxurious suite at an additional cost of only £300 per person, whilst those wishing to enjoy the MSC Yacht Club are able to upgrade at an additional cost of £500 per person. The MSC Yacht Club comes complete with round-the-clock butler service and offers privacy and personal service combined with an outstanding array of leisure facilities.
More info: call 0844 561 1955 or visit www.msccruises.co.uk. 

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link! 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Viking Star Takes Shape


By Editor Simon Veness
 
Fledgling new ocean-cruise line Viking Cruises took another step towards their big 2015 debut yesterday with the keel-laying ceremony of their first ship, the Viking Star.
 
The ceremony took place at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard outside Venice, where the ship is scheduled to be delivered in early 2015.
 
Viking Cruises is already a major name in European river-cruises, but the 48,000-ton ship (the first of four in the next three years) is a major undertaking for them.
 
Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said: “Our new ocean itineraries are selling at an unprecedented rate, and the enthusiasm we have seen from guests is truly remarkable.
 
"There is undoubtedly interest in an ocean cruise experience that returns the focus to the destination, and Viking is actively planning to meet that demand.” The first steel was cut for Viking Star
in June and the laying of the keel is a formal recognition of the start of construction. 

The 930-passenger vessel will feature state-of-the-art design from experienced nautical architects and engineers. The latest stepping stone follows the announcement on Monday of two more ships for the brand, following their initial two.
 
Next year will also be a busy one for the river-cruise division as the company will launch a record-breaking FOURTEEN new Viking Longship vessels, all at the same launch ceremony in March.
 
More info: in the UK, call 0800 319 66 60 or visit www.vikingrivercruises.co.uk; in the US, 1855 884 5464 or www.vikingcruises.com.
 
Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

Azamara Offer Free Shore Excursions

The imminent arrival of the New Year and the famous 'Wave Season' of cruise bookings and special offers is already well under way, and the latest news to hit the World of Cruising Inbox is a very tempting deal from Azamara Cruises, with the lure of free excursions on one of their Mediterranean voyages in 2014.

The offer is for the line's Azamara Quest on a seven-night Corsica and Amalfi Coast fly/cruise sailing April 30, which is offered from just £1,955 per person (based on two sharing an ocean view stateroom).

The price includes flights from London Heathrow, transfers and the 7-night cruise departing from Civitavecchia (the port for Rome) and calling at Porto-Vecchio, Siracusa, Giardini and Sorrento before returning to Civitavecchia for the flight home. The cruise also includes selected standard spirits, wines and international beers; complimentary bottled water; soft drinks; speciality teas and coffees; meals and room service; housekeeping and dining gratuities; a bespoke AzAmazing Evenings event; and all relevant cruise taxes/fees, as well as the free excursions.

More info: 0844 493 4016 or visit
www.azamaraclubcruises.co.uk.

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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Double Mississippi Value From Bon Voyage


Here’s an unarguable offer for great river-cruise value, with a ‘Buy one, get one free’ on a seven-night cruise along the Lower Mississippi – on board the most opulent riverboat ever built, the American Queen, courtesy of specialist operator, Bon Voyage.

This extra special twin-share deal, worth £2,900 and applicable for all bookings made by December 21, applies to the cruise element of this fly/cruise holiday – which sails from New Orleans to Memphis, and is valid for departures on February 21 and 28, plus March 7, 14 and 21.

This means the first traveller pays £3,650 inclusive of return flights from Heathrow, Manchester or Glasgow, overnight hotel in New Orleans (prior to cruise) and seven nights in a verandah cabin on board American Queen, while the second person pays just £940 to cover the cost of return flights and overnight hotel accommodation.

All meals are included – ranging from superb five-course dinners to intimate jazz brunches – along with wine with dinner and complimentary soft drinks throughout. There’s also night-time entertainment of cabaret, Jazz and Blues and excursions such as the Oak Alley Plantation, with its magnificent antebellum home.

Leisure facilities include swimming pool and fitness centre and River historians are also on board, giving daily lectures on the Mississippi and the Deep South.

More info: call 0800 316 0194 or visit
http://www.bon-voyage.co.uk.

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

More Britannia - Behind The Design



P&O Cruises have been quick to ratchet up the publicity campaign for their forthcoming new ship Britannia, which is due for its maiden voyage in Spring 2015.

Earlier this month (on December 5, in fact), they released their first 'Making Of' video teaser, with a special behind-the-scenes look at the design and construction process, and it proved an immediate hit with British cruise-goers. We featured it here on Time Spent At Sea and it drew hundreds of pageviews (see it on this link).

So, with that in mind, here comes Part 2 of the 'Britannia - Behind The Design' series, with another two and a half minute video that reveals lots of new facts, images and illustrations of Britannia from designers Richmond International.

What to watch out for in Episode 2:
 
  • Atrium – with its wow-factor starburst central feature, three-storey spiral staircase, wide open space, furniture, colour schemes and a totally decadent look and feel
  • Spa – P&O's biggest yet; see the treatments rooms, hydrotherapy pool, relaxation and reception areas
  • Ultra modern cabins with contemporary bathrooms
  • Deck areas – see the pools, the various levels, layout and imagine yourself on those sun loungers!

Britannia will be the largest ship ever built for the British cruise business, at 141,000 tons and carrying 3,600 passengers. Her maiden voyage has yet to be revealed but P&O promise another big announcement in February.

Their latest video is also hosted on the P&O Cruises YouTube channel and can be seen direct on this link (if the above doesn't work):
 
 
More info: call 0843 374 0111 or visit www.pocruises.com.
 
Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

Banish Winter Blues With A Caribbean Cruise!

The cold and dark of winter has now firmly arrived, but here at World of Cruising we're thinking about the sunshine-filled Caribbean. And Holland America Line is, too, as they are offering a bargain seven-night cruise to the region from just £585 per person, departing January 18 – the perfect way to start the New Year.

This round-trip cruise from Fort Lauderdale includes a wonderful range of Caribbean ports of call, kicking off with Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos, famed for its white beaches and coral reef. The next stop is San Juan, Puerto Rico, with its unique cultural history, followed by a call in Dutch Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Guests will then enjoy a relaxing day at Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas, before returning to Fort Lauderdale.

This seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyage on MS Westerdam starts from £585pp, based on two sharing an inside stateroom, and includes full board accommodation. Fly-cruise prices are available direct from Holland America.

More info: call 0843 374 2300 or visit
www.hollandamerica.co.uk.

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Go Ex-UK With VoD


It must be ex-UK cruising week this week as the rush to promote cruises that sail to and from various British ports is definitely on! We highlighted this popular - and growing - phenomenon with Swan Hellenic yesterday and, lo and behold, here are some more ideas from Voyages of Discovery, another specialist line who feature UK ports of departure.

VoD's ‘Classic Baltic’ explores some of Europe’s most beautiful capitals with an extended stay in St Petersburg and a visit to the world-renowned State Hermitage Museum in its 250th year. The chic Scandinavian capitals of Copenhagen and Stockholm, along with Russia’s fascinating capital Moscow, combine to create an itinerary which explores the home of some of the world’s oldest existing monarchies. Prices for this 16-day cruise start from £2,019 per person and it departs on May 30

Or you can join a dramatic full circumnavigation of the British Isles. ‘National Treasures of the British Isles’ is a partnership with the National Trust and explores historic houses, beautiful gardens and remarkable cities. Highlights of the cruise include Royal Edinburgh, Scotland’s vibrant capital, the Giant’s Causeway, one of nature’s most unique works of art, and the ‘Holy Island’ of Lindisfarne. Although close to home, guests will be surprised by the wealth of new experiences they will enjoy. Prices for this 14-day cruise start from £1,569 and it departs on May 4

More info: visit www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk or call 0843 221 8501. 

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!


Want An A-fjordable Cruise? See These Two!

Inspired by our forthcoming feature on Norway in the new-look January edition of World of Cruising, here are two great offers for cruises to the region next May, one from Royal Caribbean and the other from Celebrity Cruises. Both are well worth considering...

Explore the Fjords with Royal Caribbean
Head to Norway and discover amazing scenery and local culture on board Independence of the Seas on an eight-night cruise from just £669 per person (based on two people sharing an interior stateroom). The price is based on a May 17 sailing and includes an eight-night cruise departing from Southampton and calling at Skjolden, Flam, Olden, Alesund and Stavanger before returning to Southampton; meals and entertainment onboard and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.

More info: call 0844 493 2061 or visit www.royalcaribbean.co.uk.

 Enjoy Norway extras with Celebrity
Explore the Norwegian fjords while enjoying any TWO of the following special offers: a complimentary drinks package, worth up to $1,400; up to $300 onboard credit; and/or fully-paid gratuities. These bonuses come with Celebrity Eclipse on an eight-night Norway voyage from just £1,199 per person (based on two sharing an ocean view stateroom). The price is based on a May 2 departure and includes the eight-night cruise departing from Southampton and calling at Bergen, Flam, Geiranger, Alesund and Stavanger before returning to Southampton; all meals and entertainment onboard; and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.

More info: call 0845 456 0523 or visit
www.celebritycruises.co.uk.

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this month ONLY - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!