ROYAL CARIBBEAN REVEALS NAME & HOME PORT OF FIFTH OASIS CLASS SHIP

World’s Largest Cruise Ship to Sail from China

LONDON, UK, Oct 10, 2019  Today, Royal Caribbean International announced the home port and name of its fifth Oasis Class ship. The next ship to join the leading cruise line’s innovative lineup will be named Wonder of the Seas and will set sail from Shanghai, China. 

The details were revealed by Royal Caribbean President and CEO, Michael Bayley, at a global cruise industry conference event held in Shanghai.Debuting in 2021, the world’s largest cruise ship will introduce a new era of cruising as the first of the renowned Oasis Class to sail the Asia Pacific.

“Royal Caribbean is known for its innovation and constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and an Oasis Class ship in China is proof of that,” said Bayley. “Wonder of the Seas will redefine the ultimate vacation and be revolutionary in her own right, and she marks one of Royal Caribbean’s most exciting chapters to come.”

“Royal Caribbean has been a market leader in China for more than 10 years by consistently showcasing bold deployment strategies and driving growth of the new to cruise market,” said Dr Zinan Liu, Chairman, Royal Caribbean Asia. “The deployment of Wonder of the Seas is a manifesto of new era for Royal Caribbean.”

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Image: Royal Caribbean

What to expect onboard

Wonder of the Seas will be part of the Oasis class of ships which are the largest in the world. The new ship will combine the iconic seven-neighbourhood concept that her sister ships feature along with a bold lineup of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology.

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Image: Royal Caribbean

Construction

Today also marked an important milestone for Wonder of the Seas as the ship began construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. During what is known as the keel-laying ceremony, Wonder’s Keel, a 970-tonne block measuring 155 feet by 65 feet, was lifted onto the building dock with a 1,400-tonne crane. This ceremony marks the beginning of her construction.

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1st keel section lifted in to building dock at Saint Nazaire Image: Royal Caribbean

Wonder of the Seas continues the popular Oasis Class ship series, whose last introduction was 2018’s Symphony of the Seas. Royal Caribbean has said Oasis 5 will have the same seven-neighborhood concept, thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, exciting entertainment and the latest technologyMore information on Wonder of the Seas itineraries and brand-new adventures will be announced soon.

No further details of the ship have been revealed but she will be a similar design to her sisters’ ships however comparing the renderings to her earier sister Harmony of the Seas she some significant changes in her design.

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Comparison between Harmony & Wonder of the Seas 
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Note: huge Royal Caribbean Logo 

 

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Sports Deck & Aqua Theater Image: Royal Caribbean

Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean entered into an agreement with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for a sixth Oasis-class ship, to be delivered late in 2023.

The cruise line currently has six cruise ships currently under construction or on order. Odyssey of the Seas will be the next new ship to join the fleet in 2020 and then followed by Wonder of the Seas in 2021. In 2022 the first Icon-Class Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered Royal Caribbean ship will arrive taking the cruise line into a new era of cruising.

Have you sailed on an Oasis class? and are you excited for the fifth Oasis class ship?

As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest post

About Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International is the world’s largest global cruise line, delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous holidaymakers. The cruise line continues to revolutionise holidays with itineraries to more than 260 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s highly anticipated Perfect Day Island Collection including the first private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

UK consumers and travel agents think we’re doing great things… in 2018, Royal Caribbean won over 30 national and international awards including “Best in Cruise ” in the Sun Travel Awards, “Best Cruise Line for Entertainment” and “Best Cruise Line for Suites” in the Cruise Critic UK Editor’s Picks, and “Best Mainstream Cruise Company” in the Globe Travel Awards.

The cruise line sails 26 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in Bermuda and the Caribbean, Europe, Canada and New England, Alaska, South America, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand. 

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady to feature “Shake for champagne” an on- demand champagne delivery service

 Scarlet Lady also unveils Sip, A Luxuriously Effervescent Champagne Lounge

and Caviar Bar

7AM EST- MIAMI, Fla. October 9, 2019 – Virgin Voyages, the new lifestyle brand set to disrupt the travel industry, today announced its exclusive on-demand champagne delivery service, Shake for Champagne. Continuing to create the most irresistible experiences at sea, Virgin Voyages is enabling Sailors to request champagne, anywhere on board Scarlet Lady, with a simple shake of their phone.

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Virgin Voyages App soon to be on your mobile

 

Those looking to take indulgence to the next level, can also treat themselves in the newly revealed luxurious champagne lounge and caviar bar, Sip.

“It is never too early for champagne and there is always something to toast to while aboard Scarlet Lady. We want our Sailors to enjoy a glamorous holiday and what better way to feel like a RockStar than a sip of bubbly whenever and wherever you want it,” said Tom Mcalpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages.

SHAKE FOR CHAMPAGNE

Virgin Voyages is giving its Sailors one more reason to celebrate all of life’s moments with its on-demand delivery service, Shake for Champagne. When the Virgin Voyages Sailor App is shaken, a secret Virgin Voyages Champagne button is revealed and, with just one press, a bottle of Möet Chandon Impérial will be delivered to the Sailor.

“There’s nothing more luxurious than having champagne at your beck and call or even a shake. We are committed to creating the world’s most irresistible travel brand, so we thought long and hard about how to help our Sailors effortlessly get a sip of bubbly during their voyage, and presto Shake for Champagne was conjured up!” said Nathan Rosenberg, CMO for Virgin Voyages.

Delivered in an eye-catching, gleaming Virgin red champagne bucket, which is sure to make everyone around envious, the service includes a 750ml bottle of Möet Chandon Imperial with two glasses. Möet Chandon Imperial is a blend of over 200 crus, mingling the full body of pinot noir with the suppleness of Meunier and the finesse of chardonnay – the perfect pairing for a day or evening sailing in the warm Caribbean sea. 

SIP

Sip is a decadent lounge designed to be enjoyed with a chilled glass of bubbles. Featuring a diverse curation of champagne labels, including Moët Chandon – Virgin Voyages’ featured champagne house. Sailors can opt for a glass of bubbles priced from $9 or splash out on a $1,000 vintage bottle. In a nod to Virgin’s quintessential British heritage and eccentricity, Sip will offer a signature afternoon high tea, which will delight the eyes as well as the taste buds, while celebrating oceanic elements.

Designed by the Virgin Voyages design team, with spatial design by HKS Hospitality Interiors, the lounge was inspired by the glamour and effervescence of champagne. Featuring a long marble bar with rose-gold inlay, Sip encourages Sailors to indulge in one of the most luxurious pairings of them all, champagne and caviar. Gold and rose-pink hues echo the color of the champagnes that will be served, and are beautifully offset by deep watery blues and carrara white marble bars and tables. The deep ocean blue banquette wall and carpet that wraps through the space, will create a chance to revel or relax at all times of day as the ship sails through the ocean’s blue waves.

be sure to check out this great video….. Shake for champagne  ……….

LIMITED-TIME BOOKING OFFER 

Sailors can toast to Virgin Voyages’ inaugural season now through November 30, as those who book April or May sailings will receive a complimentary special Virgin Voyages limited-edition bottle of Möet Chandon Imperial in their cabin upon their arrival. In addition, Sailors who book now can snag their voyage with half off their deposit. Future Sailors and First Mates are invited to check out Virgin Voyages by visiting www.virginvoyages.com.

Are you booked on Scarlet Lady next year? I am loving the look of the interior spaces and SIP champagne bar looks stunning.

As always thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Norwegian Cruise Line Partners with JUST® Goods, Inc. to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic Bottles Across Fleet

Norwegian will be the First Major Global Cruise Company to Become Plastic Bottle Free by January 1, 2020

Miami, FL, US – Sep 25, 2019

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Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel with a 52-year history of breaking boundaries, today announced another first as a result of its partnership with JUST® Goods, Inc., which will enable the Cruise Line to replace all single-use plastic bottles across its fleet by January 1, 2020, beginning with its newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore. 

Over Six Million Plastic Bottles to Be Eliminated Each Year

The decision is the latest sustainable step forward for Norwegian Cruise Line. In 2018, the Company eliminated single-use plastic straws across its 16-ship fleet and private destinations, and as a result of this most recent initiative, it will replace over six million single-use plastic bottles every year. These efforts are driven by the Company’s Sail & Sustain Environmental Program which is its commitment to minimize waste to landfills, reduce its CO2 emissions rate, increase sustainable sourcing and invest in emerging technologies.

“We are a leading Company – one that is in the business of creating memorable experiences for our guests,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “It is imperative that we take meaningful steps to preserve our oceans and the destinations we visit. Partnering with JUST is one of my proudest moments as the head of our pioneering brand. This latest effort – the elimination of single-use plastic bottles across our fleet – is just the latest environmentally responsible action we are taking to reduce our footprint and encourage others to protect our natural resources. While we are aware that this is just the beginning of what we and others need to do to be good stewards of our environment, we are committed to our Sail & Sustain initiatives and will continue to innovate for the overall benefit of the planet and its future.”

Envisioned and founded by American rapper, songwriter, actor and activist Jaden Smith and family, JUST takes an innovative approach to sourcing and packaging the world’s most valued resource – water.  The revolutionary company focuses on an impact model, taking into consideration both how the water is sourced and packaged. JUST is 100% spring water in a plant-based carton. The carton is made of 82% renewable materials – the paper carton is made from trees grown in responsibly-managed forests and the cap and shoulder are made from a sugarcane-based plastic. It is refillable and recyclable. JUST has a global presence with bottling facilities in Glenn Falls, NY; Ballymena, Northern Ireland; and Ballarat, Australia, thus allowing the company to meet demand around the world without shipping water from a single production source. JUST takes care to use the most efficient shipping options available.

“It’s critical that businesses take a leading role in efforts to lighten the impact we have on our planet,” said JUST Goods, Inc. CEO Ira Laufer. “We created JUST to do just that – to be a better option in a category that has created a lot of the damage and continues to do so.  The JUST team couldn’t be happier to now share this goal with our partner, Norwegian Cruise Line. We’re deeply appreciative of Norwegian’s commitment that’s so similar to ours – the Company is pushing the boundaries of what’s always been done because it knows we all need to do better.  We’re thrilled to be taking steps in the right direction alongside NCL.”

For more information about Norwegian Cruise Line ships and their itineraries, visit www.ncl.com.

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Norwegian Encore Image Meyer Werft

I like to cover the environmental side of the cruise industry in my blog so am pleased to see this announcement from another big cruise line. I am especially please to see that the change will be debuted onboard Norwegian Encore as I will be onboard for her preview cruise in October so be sure to follow my social channels.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post

MSC CRUISES AND FINCANTIERI UNVEIL FURTHER DETAILS OF MSC SEASHORE AT COIN CEREMONY

New ship to feature the latest and most advanced environmental technology, including a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and a next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system

–          Further enhanced ship design and intelligently distributed deck space adds new dimensions for guest experience at sea, from accommodations to dining and entertainment including the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in the company’s fleet

seashore-schiffsansicht.8uhyzp71A traditional maritime coin ceremony today took place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, when the keel was laid for MSC Seashore.  At the milestone event, MSC Cruises revealed details of the significantly transformed overall design and new features of the ship.

MSC Seashore will be the Company’s longest ship – 339 metres – when she enters service in June 2021, the first of two enriched “Seaside Evo” Class ships with the latest available environmental technology, extended public spaces, more cabins and the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in the company’s fleet.

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with a length of 339m MSC Seashore will be MSC largest ship Image: MSC Cruises

Long-standing employees Marianna Cicala, Ground Services Planning Manager, MSC Cruises and Silvia Bozzetto, Production Planning & Control Commissioning of the Monfalcone shipyard, performed today’s ritual as godmothers when they placed two coins under the new ship’s keel as the historical maritime sign of blessing and good fortune.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “Today’s ceremony marks another key milestone in the construction of one of our most innovative all-around ships yet. Most importantly, MSC Seashore – which will feature the latest and most advanced environmental technology currently available – represents another proof of our long-standing commitment to preserve the environment in our ongoing journey to minimise and continuously reduce the impact of our operations.”

 MSC Seashore will be fitted, amongst other, with a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and a next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system. SCR’s helps reduce nitrogen oxide by 90 per cent through advanced active emissions control technology. Nitrogen oxide from the engine operations is conducted through a catalyst and converts them into nitrogen and water, both harmless compounds. With AWT’s, wastewater undergoes a comprehensive purification process through a very fine filtration process that transforms it to near tap-water quality.  The system meets the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’ and treats the wastewater to a higher standard than most waste standards available in cities around the world. The new build will also be fitted with shore-to-ship power which connects cruise ships while at berth to a port’s local power grid to reduce further the ship’s emissions.

These new features add to other effective environmental technologies deployed on MSC Seashore and across the Company’s fleet to minimise and continuously reduce environmental impact, including:  cutting-edge hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning systems (EGCS) that removes 98 per cent of sulphur oxide from ship emissions; advanced waste management systems; ballast water treatment systems approved by the United States Coast Guard; latest-technology systems for the prevention of oil discharges from machinery spaces and various effective energy-efficiency improvements – from heat recovery systems to LED lighting.

Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri CEO, commented: “The beginning of drydock works of MSC Seashore, the largest ship so far built in Italy, is for us a source of great satisfaction:  she is the symbol of “Evo”, a successful project for our Group, innovating the already futuristic “Seaside” concept, that created two units highly welcomed by the market. It is a real challenge in terms of structural and managerial aspects, which powers the impressive workload for the shipyard and the local area. We therefore are very pleased for such a celebration which seals the fruitful partnership with MSC Cruises and we are confident that there will be other similar moments in the future”.

MSC Seashore is based on the ground-breaking “Seaside Class” prototype with a range of breathtaking design features enabling guests to connect with the ocean such as the spectacular Bridge of Sighs, stunning panoramic aft lifts and stylish glass catwalks. More than 40 per cent of the ship has been redesigned and enhanced, making MSC Seashore a significant evolution and improvement of sister ships MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview.

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Image: MSC Cruises

Some of the new enhancements are visible to the naked eye and include the 16-metres extended length of the ship, 200 additional cabins, a larger MSC Yacht Club and an additional double-deck aft lounge.  The internal architecture has been completely redesigned with two central meeting points positioned at the middle and forward part of the ship, as well as specific measures to further enhance passenger flows.  Overall the ship has 10,000 square metres of additional deck space for an even greater and more spacious onboard experience.

MSC Seashore will offer more suites thanks to the addition of 28 more terraced suites, two suites with private whirlpools and the MSC Yacht Club – the all-inclusive ‘ship within a ship’ premium concept available on MSC Cruises ships – will see two new cabin categories: 41 Deluxe Grand Suites and two Owner’s Suites with whirlpools.

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Image: MSC Cruises

The ship will feature new cabin designs such as cluster cabins for families that link two or three adjoining cabins and can accommodate between six and 10 people, plus bigger and more spacious cabins for guests with a disability – 75 in total – will be available.

Two brand new restaurants will be introduced, including one exclusively for Aurea guests.  There will be a new location for the five specialty restaurants to allow for waterfront seating on the ship’s breathtaking boardwalk to give guests a greater sea view as they dine al fresco.

  • Main restaurants (dining rooms) offer traditional Italian cuisine and wines. Dining rooms are open for Breakfast (7-9:30 am), Lunch (12-noon – 2 pm_ and Dinner with 2 fixed seatings (7 pm and 9:30 pm) with a 7-course dinner menu that also includes vegan and vegetarian meals.
  • Lido Buffet Restaurant
  • Seafood Restaurant
  • Teppanyaki Restaurant
  • Fusion Restaurant
  • Steakhouse
  • Sushi Bar
  • VIP Restaurant
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Double-decker show lounge Image: MSC Cruises

MSC Seashore will have a new double-decker show lounge at the aft part of the ship, a bigger casino and 20 distinct specialty bars.  The ship will feature a new design of her aft pool design, an enlarged indoor pool and a new interactive waterpark will provide thrills and spills for guests of all ages. Clubs for young children and teenagers have been separated from a larger kids’ zone.

The ship will provide all her guests with latest customer-centric technology, including ZOE – the world’s first-virtual personal cruise assistant and an MSC Cruises exclusive in every cabin – and MSC for Me.

MSC SEASHORE FACTFILE

 

IMO No.: 9843792

Launch: 2021

Shipyard:  Fincantieri (Montalcone, Italy)

Building Cost: EUR 900 million

Hull No.: 6283

Class: Seaside-Evo Class

Sister Ships: 

Length:  339 m

Width: 41 m

Gross tonnage:  169,380 GT

Passengers: 5,632

Staterooms & Cabins: 2270

Decks: 9

Cabin Decks: 6

Crew: 1,648

Cruising speed: 22 knots

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post

VIKING ANNOUNCES NEW OCEAN OFFERINGS & MEDITERRANEAN ITINERARIES FOR 2021, PLUS THE LAUNCH OF VIKING VENUS

London, 18 September 2019: Viking announces its seventh ocean ship, Viking Venus, will join its award-winning fleet in early 2021, further solidifying the company’s standing as the largest small-ship ocean cruise line. The newest 930-guest sister ship will spend her maiden season sailing popular itineraries in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, including British Isles Explorer, In Search of the Northern Lights, Viking Homelands and Into the Midnight Sun. 

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Viking Cruises 2019 built Viking Jupiter see entering Portsmouth on her maiden call in May                         © Andrew McAlpine

“The spirit of exploration is at the heart of everything we do. We have always drawn inspiration from the original Viking explorers, who were the first to use the stars and constellations for long-distance navigation. Many elements onboard our ships honour those Viking explorers, and we are proud to host our guests on itineraries that sail some of those historic trading routes,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “I am pleased to announce that Viking Venus will join our fleet in 2021, allowing us the ability to introduce even more travellers to the Viking way of exploration.”

“Viking offers cruises that allow our guests to explore the world, experience destinations and learn about new cultures, all from the comfort of our small, beautifully designed, Scandinavian-inspired ships. Viking Venus will be identical to our six existing ocean ships, allowing our guests to enjoy a familiar ‘home away from home’ experience wherever they choose to cruise with us.  Demand from the UK market for our ocean cruises is very high so we would advise travellers to book as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment – especially if they would like to sail on Viking Venus in her maiden season,” said Wendy Atkin-Smith, Managing Director of Viking UK.

Viking will also expand its offerings in the Mediterranean with five new itineraries that include stops in Istanbul, marking the company’s return to the iconic city. The new 8-day Ancient Mediterranean Treasures will sail between Athens and Istanbul, with overnight stays in both cities. Guests looking for an extended experience in the region can choose a longer versions of the itinerary, including the 15-day Ancient Adriatic Treasures, which sails between Venice and Istanbul; the 15-day Ancient Mediterranean Antiquities, which sails between Rome and Istanbul; the 22-day Iconic Mediterranean Treasures, which sails between Barcelona and Istanbul; or the 29-day Mediterranean’s Iconic Shores, which also sails between Barcelona and Istanbul and includes stops in Montenegro and Croatia.

Beginning in April 2021 and sailing on Viking’s award-winning 930-guest all-veranda Viking Sky, guests embarking on the new Ancient Mediterranean Treasures itinerary or its longer combination cruise options will witness the origin of civilisation while cruising the fabled Aegean Sea. Highlights of the new itinerary include:

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·         Istanbul, Turkey: Guests begin their journey with an overnight stay in Istanbul, allowing more time to explore the iconic city. Guests can visit a wealth of religious sites including the “Blue Mosque” one of the city’s most recognisable sites, watch the mesmerising whirling dervishes perform at a local venue, or participate in a centuries-old tradition at a hammam, a Turkish bath. Plus, Viking’s Privileged Access offers guests the chance to tour the legendary Hagia Sofia free of crowds.

·         Troy (Çanakkale), Turkey: Guests can explore the nearby well-preserved ruins of Troy, most remembered as the setting of the Trojan War, described by Homer in the Iliad, or visit the nearby Battlefields of Gallipoli, the tranquil memorial site of one of World War I’s longest and deadliest battles.

·         Ephesus (Kuşadasi), Turkey: One of the best-preserved cities of antiquity in the world, Ephesus is rich in history and ancient relics. While in port, guests can visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, walk through the Byzantine Basilica of St. John, or visit the modest home where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary lived out her final days.

·         Rhodes, Greece: While on the island of Rhodes, guests can explore within the city walls of Old Town, Europe’s largest active medieval town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, learn about island culture through a visit to a traditional village home, or head to one of the island’s scenic mountaintops for sweeping views of the island and the Turkish coast.

·         Heraklion, Greece: Located on the island of Crete, Heraklion boasts millennia-old history and was once the strongest fortified city in the Eastern Mediterranean. Guests can take in archaeological splendours whose history is interwoven with the legends of Greek mythology, including the Palace of Knossos and the village of Arolithos, or explore the ruins of the Minoans, Europe’s oldest recorded civilisation.

ATHENS_4_823.jpg·         Athens, Greece: The journey concludes with an overnight stay in Athens, known as “the birthplace of democracy,” where guests can witness iconic sites such as the Hellenic Parliament, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the mighty Parthenon atop the Acropolis. Viking also offers guests Privileged Access to the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation’s exhibit on British naval icon Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson and the chance to tour a reconstructed ancient Athenian warship, the Olympias, once the dominant warship on the Mediterranean Sea from the 7th to 4th centuries BC.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of several recent accolades for Viking. Just this month Viking was named Best River Cruise Line at the Food and Travel Reader Awards and Best Overall Cruise Line and Best River Cruise Line at the British Cruise Awards, as well as being highly commended for its culinary offering.  Earlier in 2019, Viking went straight to the top of the table in a Which? ocean cruise consumer satisfaction survey – the only brand to score five stars for its on-board facilities. Viking is a Which? Recommended Provider for both its river and ocean cruises.  In 2018 Viking was awarded Best Boutique Cruise Line and Best River Cruise Operator at The Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards and, for the 10th consecutive year, rated Best River Cruise Line at the 2018 British Travel Awards, one of the largest and most influential polls of consumer opinion in the UK.

Have you cruised with Viking or are you booked?, I have only visited a couple of their ships which are just amazing onboard.

I love the Scandinavian design and feel of the onboard, below are a few of my favorite spaces.

For more information or to make a booking go to http://www.vikingcruises.co.uk or call 0800 298 97 00.

VIKING VENUS Factfile 

Launch: 2021

Shipyard:  Fincantieri (Ancona, Italy)

Building Cost: EUR 340 million USD 400 million 

Hull No.: 6283

Class: Viking Ocean

Sister Ships: Viking Star, Sea, Sky, Sun, Orion, Jupiter

Length:  227 m

Width: 28 m

Gross tonnage:  47,842 GT

Passengers: 930

Staterooms & suits: 464

Decks: 9

Cabin Decks: 6

Crew: 465

Cruising speed: 20 knots

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post

First steel to be cut for MSC World Class ships

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Image: MSC Cruises 

On 31st October MSC Cruises is set for a joint celebration at the Chantiers de l’Atlantic shipyard in Saint Nazaire.

Firstly, the worlds fastest growing cruise line is set to take delivery of MSC Grandiosa the first of three Meraviglia-Plus class ships.

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MSC Grandiosa seen departing for sea trials Image: MSC Cruises

On the same day the first piece of steel will be cut for the first of MSC’s four World Class ships.

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The two giant cranes 80m high cranes seen from Saint Nazaire town  © Andrew McAlpine

The World Class ships belong to a new class of ship which are the 5th class developed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique for MSC Cruises and will bring to 20 the number of ships delivered by the French yard over the last 15 years.

When the first one is delivered in May 2022, it is set to be the worlds largest passenger ship by capacity. Currently the world’s largest cruise ship is Symphony of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean. Launched in 2017 and built at the same shipyard, she has a passenger capacity of 6,680 but is longer and wider than MSC new class. According to figures released so far the first world class ship who’s name is yet to be announced, will have a passenger capacity of 6,850.

The world class ships will feature what the shipyard calls a innovative ‘G’ bow which together with the streamlined hull form is designed to cut through the water.

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Streamlined hull form and ‘G’ Bow designed to cut through the water Image: MSC Cruises

 

Like many of the cruise ships now on order will feature LNG propulsion. According the the shipyard among the main features developed for these innovative ships, the new LNG propulsion and system of waste management are noticeable. The design implemented by Chantiers de l’Atlantique will allow the passengers first to enjoy an outstanding view over the ocean thanks to the aft Y-shaped structure and also to take advantage of an enhanced comfort thanks to the stem designed specially to increase both stability and aero dynamism. The ship’s other guest-centric innovations include family-friendly ‘villages’, a panoramic aft deck, and a glass pool lounge.

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Image: MSC Cruises 

Take a look at the video to learn more:

MSC World Class Factfile

Number of Ships; 4

Delivery: 1st ship May 2022 (Hull no. W34), 2023, 2024, 2025

Shipyard: Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Saint Nazaire, France

Length: 333.3 m

Gross weight: 205,700

Breadth Moulded: 47 m

Height from keel to mast: 68 m

Design Draught: 9.15 m

Max Speed: 22.7 knots

Decks: 23

Flag: Malta

Passenger Capacity: 6,850

Crew: 2,126

No. of cabins: 2,760

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Image: MSC Cruises 

I will bring you more news on this innovative new class as details are announced.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post.

 

 

MSC Cruises reveals the most Magnificent EX-UK season ever

  • 24 sailings from Southampton for Summer 2021
  • The newly restyled and extended MSC Magnifica will offer more public space, new features and more cabins

London, United Kingdom – 10 September 2019 – MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line revealed today brand-new itineraries for Summer 2021 sailing from Southampton. The newly refurbished MSC Magnifica will undergo a transformation adding 23 meters to the ship that will deliver an additional 7,000 m2 of added space to the ship.

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This will result in 215 extra cabins, bringing the total number of balcony cabins to 63% of the overall ship, a new water park, a redesigned kids area, plus additional features such as two new restaurants and a new shopping area.

The 24 sailings from Southampton beginning in May and ending in October will see the introduction of cruises ranging from 2 to 14 nights with brand new varied itineraries encompassing Canary Islands & Madeira, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Baltic Capitals. Most of the 24 sailings will  begin on a Saturday ensuring guests can make the most of their holiday experience.

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Image: MSC Cruises

Antonio Paradiso MD MSC Cruises UK & Ireland commented, “We are delighted to be further enhancing our guest experience and offering brand new itineraries sailing from the UK. We are committed to providing UK guests with the holidays they want, and travel agents with cruises they want to sell. This announcement is the result of the on-going feedback we have received from agents and guests who want to sail with MSC Cruises from Southampton to new destinations. Our goal is always to provide more opportunities for the trade and more choice for the guest. ”

He added “The UK market is a priority for MSC Cruises and we have shown our commitment consistently over the last few years. Firstly, with our first ever full EX-UK season in 2018, then with the naming of MSC Bellissima in Southampton in March this year and now with another full EX-UK season on a newly refurbished and enhanced ship with brand new itineraries created specifically with the British holidaymakers in mind.”

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Image: MSC Cruises

Highlights include a 12-night cruise that calls at three of the Canary Islands – Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote with their fantastic climate, distinctive landscapes and bustling ports the cruise departing early May is perfectly timed to catch the sun. A 14-night Western Mediterranean cruise in August, including popular destinations for UK guests such as Palma de Mallorca and Monte Carlo will be the perfect choice for the family summer holiday. MSC Magnifica will offer four different stunning Norwegian Fjord itineraries and will call at two brand new destinations; Skagen in Denmark renowned for hours of sun and unique light plus Rosendal, Norway, which is the world’s fourth largest fjord.

In addition to new itineraries MSC Magnifica will be back with all the ‘Best of British’ enhancements that were initially showcased on MSC Magnifica in 2018, including favourite’s such as pie & mash, back bacon and sausages available in the buffet and Kettles in cabins with of course Yorkshire Tea, which is back by popular demand.

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Image: MSC Cruises

This is not the first time MSC Cruises have refurbished and stretched existing ships in the fleet, in 2015 the four much loved Lirica class of ships underwent a significant renovation as part of the €130 million  ‘Renaissance programme’, to improve facilities and enhance the onboard experience.

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Additional section being fitted midships on MSC Lirica 

 

When works are completed, MSC Magnifica will feature two new major and important onboard environmental advances to complement a wide range of existing leading-edge environmental technologies across the company’s entire fleet: a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system.

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Example of how the SCR system works 

SCR technology helps reduce nitrogen oxide into pure nitrogen and water through advanced active emissions control technology. MSC Cruises also took the opportunity to install a state-of-the-art advanced wastewater treatment system on board that meets the highest standards and that purifies used wastewater to near tap-water quality. The system meets the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’ and treats the wastewater to a higher standard than most waste standards available in cities around the world.

To help reduce and continuously minimize emissions also while in port, the ship will be able to ‘plug in’ to the local power grid wherever such systems are available at berth, this is also known as “cold ironing”.

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© Andrew McAlpine 

Cruises will go on sale on the 12th September with prices starting from £149pp on a mini cruise and £549 for a Norwegian fjords cruise. To celebrate the launch of sales MSC Cruises will be offering up to £100 on board credit per cabin depending on the category of cabin booked on all MSC Magnifica EX-UK 2021 sailings. All prices include service charge and taxes. T’s & C’s apply and can be found at www.msccruises.co.uk.

 

Itinerary highlights include:

May Bank Holiday Mini Cruise

This 3-night sailing runs across the late May Bank Holiday and is perfect for a first-time cruiser who wants a taster of a holiday at sea or an experienced cruiser looking to make the most of the bank holiday weekend. Set sail from Southampton late on Friday evening and spend the day in Zeebrugge before returning to Southampton. Prices starting from £219pp based on two passengers sharing an inside cabin with £25pp OBC.

 Baltic Capitals

There are two opportunities to discover the much-loved Baltic Capitals, on a 12-night cruise departing 31st May or on a 14-night cruise departing 11th September. Offering slightly different itineraries with added highlights on the 14-night itinerary including an overnight stay in the Swedish Capital Stockholm, and a visit to Denmark’s Skagen. Both sailings include an overnight onboard stay in St Petersburg and a visit to Norway’s capital, Oslo. Prices starting from £1,569pp based on two people sharing a Balcony cabin with £50pp OBC.

 Norway Your Way

With so many beautiful ports to explore in Norway choose from one of four different Norwegian Fjord itineraries setting sail across the summer season. Explore much loved ports including Flamm and Stavanger and new destinations for MSC Cruises Rosendal and Nordfjordeid. Cruises depart throughout the summer, prices starting from £819pp based on two people sharing an Ocean View cabin with £25pp OBC.

14 nights perfect for families

Following guest and agent feedback this 14-night cruise to some of the Mediterranean’s most loved destinations has been developed with families in mind. Departing on the 7th August this no-fly cruise begins with two sea days to give guests a chance to settle in. Then it’s action packed itinerary allows you to explore seven different ports in nine days including a late sail from the fabulous Palma de Mallorca and a visit to the exclusive Monte Carlo. Prices starting from £3,296 for a family of 4, all food and service charges included in the price, plus £50 OBC per cabin.

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Image: MSC Cruises 

For more information visit www.msccruises.co.uk, see your local travel agent or call 0203 426 3010

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog

 

ROYAL CARIBBEAN REVEALS DELICIOUS NEW VEGAN DINING OPTIONS

So it is with great interest that I saw the latest press release from Royal Caribbean announcing their new vegan food options. I became vegan in 2018 having been vegetarian for one year before, so vegan dining options on board are now of great importance. With the rise of veganism and flexitarian diets cruise lines need to offer new dining options as they are now effectively mainstream.

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OC Plant Based Impossible cheese burger Image: Oceania

A number of lines have offered vegan options for a number of years, In Spring 2017, Oceania Cruises – the world’s largest luxury cruise line launched an a plant based menu which in April this year was extended and now features more than 250 dishes and is available fleet wide in all dining venues. In the same year the German cruise line Hapag-Lloyd Cruises introduced a new vegetarian and vegan menu on Europa 2, which featured more than 80 vegetarian and vegan options.

“As the number of people and families adopting a vegan lifestyle continues to grow, we wanted to formalise our vegan offerings in a dedicated menu (available upon request in the Main Dining Room) where guests can explore options and choose their dish – it’s all part of the dining experience!

“It’s important to us to meet holidaymakers’ dietary choices.”

The vegan menus are now available on board Royal Caribbean’s ships, including its 2020 European flagship Allure of the Seas.

The one route they will not be found on is ships travelling to China.

Plant-based in the Windjammer Buffet 

Royal Caribbean also say that plant-based options will also be available in the Windjammer Buffet in edition to the evening dining options.

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Independence of the Seas in Southampton © Andrew McAlpine

Royal Caribbean Press Release

ROYAL CARIBBEAN REVEALS DELICIOUS NEW VEGAN DINING OPTIONS

The palate-pleasing, plant-based provisions will tantalise taste buds across the entire Royal Caribbean fleet from August 2019*

LONDON, UK, 6 August 2019 – Royal Caribbean International has announced new mouth-watering vegan menus, which will be rolled out across its fleet this month. While vegan options have always been available on board Royal Caribbean ships, the new menus have been added to the Main Dining Room, enhancing the dining choices for every guest.

The three-course menus will be available on request, offering a range of gastronomic delights to cater for diners following the increasingly popular vegan lifestyle. New vegan options include edamame-stuffed Portobello mushrooms, vegan spaghetti “bolognaise” and orzo pasta stew with green vegetables, as well as desserts such as a toffee “cheesecake” with dark chocolate and a peanut butter crust.

“At Royal Caribbean, we’re always looking at how to raise the bar of our dining offerings and we do it with one specific purpose: delivering great holidays for our guests,” said Linken D’Souza, Vice President of Food & Beverage, Royal Caribbean International.

“As the number of people and families adopting a vegan lifestyle continues to grow, we wanted to formalise our vegan offerings in a dedicated menu (available upon request in the Main Dining Room) where guests can explore options and choose their dish – it’s all part of the dining experience! It’s important to us to meet holidaymakers’ dietary choices.”

The vegan menus are now available on board Royal Caribbean’s ships, including its 2020 European flagship Allure of the Seas, when she home ports in Barcelona next summer following a $165 million makeover.

End

Its unfortunate that as yet Royal Caribbean have not released any images of the dishes being served as yet, but check out the latest post from https://vegancruiser.co.uk where Sanna has shared the full 7-day vegan menu.

New Royal Caribbean vegan menu finally here!

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts and whether you have tried the new menu.

As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post.

UK-based Crown Princess confirmed as fourth OceanMedallion-activated ship

 

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Crown Princess sailing from Southampton © Andrew McAlpine

Today 24th July 2019 I was onboard Crown Princess in Southampton after being invited by Princess Cruises to learn more about their new Ocean Medallion technology and take a tour of Crown Princess, read on to learn more about this highly anticipated new technology.

Princess Cruises has confirmed that the 3,080-guest Crown Princess has become it’s fourth Medallion Class ship. Crown Princess becomes the first UK-based ship to feature the OceanMedallion: the vessel is based in Southampton this summer sailing the British Isles on a series of 12-night voyages. 

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My own Ocean Medallion © Andrew McAlpine

The multi-award winning OceanMedallion, which is the same size as a 10p piece, has been designed to deliver an entirely new level of service and create a holiday that is more simple, effortless and personalised with:

·        Princess MedallionClass experience, featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion wearable device 
·        Expedited arrival – Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their holiday started even sooner
·        Touchless stateroom entry – No need to touch, swipe or insert cards or devices into the door handle to unlock the stateroom. As a guest approaches their stateroom the door automatically unlocks
·        On-demand services – Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items such as suntan lotion and have them delivered directly anywhere onboard, including to their stateroom
·        Family and friends locator – Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, OceanCompass leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family onboard. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest
·        Interactive voyage timeline – Available on ship portals and via guests’ smart devices, JourneyView is an interactive timeline that lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage and bookmark activities they’re interested in to their own personalized itinerary. Voyage itineraries are available as many as 60 days in advance, allowing guests to start planning before they leave home.

In addition, Crown Princess now benefits from MedallionNet, which allows guests to stay connected anywhere onboard including staterooms. MedallionNet allows guests to share holiday experiences with friends and family back home; stream TV shows, movies and sports events; and make voice and video calls.

The three other ships which are already MedallionClass vessels are Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess. Ships are fitted with 72 miles of cable and 4,000 sensors to get them OceanMedallion ready. Its implementation requires more than 650 readers and 4,000 interactive portals.

Seven more ships will become MedallionClass vessels up to the end of 2020:

·        Sky Princess on its launch in October 2019
·        Ruby Princess on January 27, 2020
·        Grand Princess on March 29, 2020
·        Enchanted Princess on June 15, 2020
·        Emerald Princess on August 16, 2020
·        Coral Princess on October 16, 2020
·        Island Princess on December 20, 2020

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In 2021 all five European based ships will be Ocean Medallion enabled. Image: © Princess Cruises

Following her UK season, Crown Princess will make her way to Fort Lauderdale in September for roundtrip Caribbean sailings. The ship will return to the UK from May-November 2020, where she will sail from Southampton on a series of voyages to the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and northern Europe.

The vessel has over 1,500 cabins, including nearly 900 balconies, and four swimming pools. It has 19 decks; 18 restaurants, cafes and bars; and at a length of over 950 feet is around the size of three football pitches.

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises vice president UK & Europe, said: “We are so excited to see an OceanMedallion-activated ship in the UK as guests can now see first-hand the huge number of benefits it brings with it. OceanMedallion is intended to make every guest feel like a VIP and helps them relax and enjoy their cruise from the moment they are ready to step onboard.

“From quicker access on and off the ship, to the unprecedented on demand service, to being able to stay in touch with friends and family wherever they are on the ship, all mean guests on Crown Princess can now make the most of every aspect of their holiday with us.”

Princess Cruises is offering a 17-day Mediterranean and Greek Isles voyage on Crown Princess, from £1,699 per person. Departing November 6, 2020 and sailing roundtrip from Southampton, ports of call include Seville, Cartagena (both Spain), Valetta (Malta), Mykonos, Kusadasi and Santorini (all Greece). Includes up to $500 per person spending money.

About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year on 170 itineraries to more than 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England and World Cruises. Itineraries range in length from three to 111 days. 

In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass cruises enabled by the Ocean Medallion – the cruises industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalised cruise, giving guests more opportunity to enjoy their time onboard. Ocean Medallion will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.   

Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship, Sky Princess, under construction and scheduled for delivery in October 2019 followed by Enchanted Princess in June 2020. Princess recently announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests with expected delivery in 2023 and 2025.  Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 & 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year on 170 itineraries to more than 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England and World Cruises. Itineraries range in length from three to 111 days. 

In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass cruises enabled by the Ocean Medallion – the cruises industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalised cruise, giving guests more opportunity to enjoy their time onboard. Ocean Medallion will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.  

Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship, Sky Princess, under construction and scheduled for delivery in October 2019 followed by Enchanted Princess in June 2020. Princess recently announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests with expected delivery in 2023 and 2025.  Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 & 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest blog post.

 

Princess Cruises opens family water playground on Caribbean Princess

Princess Cruises has opened a family water playground on the top deck of the 3,140-guest Caribbean Princess cruise ship. The Reef Family Splash Zone includes a water play area, newly-refurbished pool and lounge area.

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Image: Princess Cruises

The Reef’s family-friendly features comprise:

·         Winnie the Whale’s splashpad: An interactive water playground including a splash pool, water sprays and showers. Winnie the Whale ‘rains’ from her fluke and sprays from her spout. Winnie is also part of Princess’ ‘Animal Planet’ endangered species programme in its Camp Discovery Youth and Teen Centres, where children learn about the anatomy of humpback whales

·         A refurbished spa and bar area including a family pool and jacuzzi. ‘Morgan’s Bar’ has opened with a new child-friendly mocktail menu with drinks on offer such as ‘Crazy Coconut’ and ‘Berry Nice to Meet You’ 

·         A new outdoor lounge area with a range of seating and relaxing options, from single sun loungers to sectional chairs and sofas with tables. The space also has new fixtures, finishes and canopies offering plenty of shade

·         A multi-generational game zone with oversized activities such as giant Connect Four and Jenga

In addition, directly below The Reef in the Camp Discovery outdoor area, children can interact and explore with a destination-themed water table. It features the many locations and iconic landmarks Princess visits including the Sydney Opera House and Golden Gate Bridge and also highlights how a cruise ship moves through water, waves and weather.

Caribbean Princess boasts a wealth of additional family-friendly features, which were recently expanded via a multi-million pound upgrade. They include three youth and teen clubs, each themed around Princess’ partnership with the Discovery Channel; activities and games for children such as hands-on science experiments, mini golf tournaments, talent shows and stargazing; and interconnecting staterooms for use by larger groups of family and friends.

Caribbean Princess was also the first ship in the Princess fleet to be fully OceanMedallion-activated. The multi-award winning OceanMedallion, which is the same size as a 10p piece, has been designed to deliver an entirely new level of service and create a holiday that is more simple, effortless and personalised. It supports a number of features such as a family and friends locator, which allows guests to easily find other people onboard.

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Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises vice president UK & Europe, said: “The Reef Family Splash Zone forms part of our ongoing commitment to offer families a fun and relaxing onboard holiday. Caribbean Princess now has a wealth of features designed to appeal to guests of all ages, perfectly complementing the stunning destinations the ship sails to.”

Princess Cruises is offering a 14-day ‘Circle Caribbean’ voyage on Caribbean Princess, from £1,599 per person including complimentary drinks packages. Departing February 2, 2020 and sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale in Florida, ports of call include St Thomas, St Maarten, St Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Bonaire and Aruba. Includes up to $1,100 spending money for a family of four staying in the same stateroom.

For more information or to book visit www.princess.com, speak to your local travel agent or call 0344 338 8663.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post