Tag Archives: Cruising

Your own ‘Haven’ at Norwegian Cruise Line’s private sanctuary at sea

Hidden away at the top of the ship is The Haven by Norwegian®, an exclusive enclave accessible by private keycard with Norwegian Cruise Line’s most luxurious and well-appointed accommodation offering. It’s like your private abode within the cruise ship, with access to all that the ship has to offer along with additional benefits such as personal service of a concierge and 24-hour butler throughout your stay. On top of that, complete privacy and tranquility are just steps away on a sundeck reserved exclusively for guests of The Haven. From embarkation to disembarkation, boarding of tenders to shore, award-winning shows to unique specialty restaurants; The Haven will make for a unique and unforgettable experience!

Haven Observation Lounge

Also read: When hulk of a ship becomes an artwork!

Escape to private Haven venues

·         The Haven Lounge: Catch up with your fellow Haven members, grab a cocktail from The Haven Bar, or just sit back and relax with a book. The Haven Lounge is your place to get away from it all.

·         The Haven Restaurant: In addition to the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants on board, Haven members also have private dining options available. Enjoy an exclusive array of dishes in The Haven Restaurant or have your butler serve you meals in the privacy of your suite.

·         The Haven Courtyard and Sundeck: Soak up the sun, take a dip in the pool, then let the world melt away as you relax in the hot tub. No matter how you plan to spend your time, this private sanctuary provides the perfect escape.

Need a choice? Read: Which are world’s most popular cruises!

The Haven Restaurant on Norwegian Bliss

Indulge in exclusive amenities

·         Exclusive access: Haven members are offered distinctive platinum keycard that allows them access to private areas onboard along with exclusive access to The Haven Courtyard area with a private pool, sundeck, hot tub and fitness area. Members are also provided a Mobile phone that can be used throughout the ship; this service is available on Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Epic.

·         Concierge service: The Concierge service will help you book dining, entertainment, shore excursions among other activities. Members can skip lines and be personally escorted on and off the ship at the pier and at ports-of-call. Garden Villa guests also get complimentary limousine service from pier to airport.

·         Exclusive dining: Haven members are given priority when reserving restaurants and have access to special Haven menus along with grab and go breakfast items including parfaits, diced fruit in a martini glass, fresh pastries and gourmet meats. They are the privileged ones to get VIP invitations to exclusive breakfast, lunch and cocktail parties on board.

Also read: Experience bliss on a cruise holiday

Haven Courtyard on Norwegian Escape

Ultimate luxurious stay

The 6,694 sq. ft. Garden Villa is the largest 3-bedroom suite on board followed by Deluxe Owner’s Suite with Large Balcony, Courtyard Penthouse with Balcony, Spa Suite with Balcony and Family Villa with Balcony.

·         3-bedroom Garden Villa: A sanctuary of contemporary design featuring a spacious living room, walls of windows, outdoor terraces with a hot tub and a private dining area; these villas sleep up to eight guests.

·         Deluxe Suite: Floor-to-ceiling windows provide an ever- changing view in this chic suite. Includes a bedroom (some ships offer two) with a luxury bath, plus a separate living and dining room.

Also read: Vagabond at cruise- Super star Virgo

·         Penthouse: Beautiful dining and sitting areas, spacious rooms, and amazing balconies make these penthouses unforgettable. Some of the opulent Courtyard Penthouses with Balcony are designed to be a romantic hideaway ideal for two with a round queen-size bed.

·         Family Villas: Chic décor adds a modern twist to this sumptuous villa. The master bedroom provides you with a retreat, while your kids can have their own room with a flat-screen TV and private bath. A private balcony completes this sanctuary at sea.

·         Spa Suite: The perfect way to experience a total spa holiday, the Spa Suites include a king-size bed and additional bedding to accommodate one guest, hot tub, oversized waterfall shower and multiple body spray jets, spa decor, easy access to the adjacent Mandara Spa and fitness centre, as well as complimentary access to the Thermal Spa Suites during regular Spa hours.

Love cruising? Also read: World’s largest cruise ship ready for the first voyage

Haven at Norwegian Bliss

This private keycard-access only for Haven members is unlike anything available at sea, reserved exclusively for guests to relax, dine and enjoy exquisite privacy.

Have you ever travelled in a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship? How was your experience? Share with us in the comments section below.

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Experience bliss on a cruise holiday


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Norwegian Bliss at Port Miami

Planning a holiday with family or friends? Opt for an ultimate cruise holiday. Norwegian Cruise Line’s sixteenth ship ‘Norwegian Bliss’ has been designed for the ultimate cruising experience and will sail to Alaska and the Caribbean beginning June 2018. Take a look at the exciting activities available on board offering best of luxurious accommodations, gourmet dinners, live entertainment and much more.

Two level electric-car race track

Race Track on Norwegian Bliss

Enjoy the blue sky above and turquoise waters below from the largest competitive race track at sea, a first for any North America-based cruise ship. Put your driving skills to test and experience a thrilling ride on the two-level competitive race track built at the top of deck 19, offering guests amazing views while twisting and turning at a speed of up to 30 miles per hour.

Open-air laser tag course

Laser Tag on Norwegian Bliss

Experience the first-ever open-air laser tag at sea on a North American-based ship. Get your friends and family to join you on a mission to search an abandoned spaceship and shoot for the stars in galactic laser tag. 

Heart-racing waterslides

Water slides on Norwegian Bliss

The ship’s Aqua Park includes two multi-story thrilling waterslides- the Ocean Loop which is a free fall slide with exhilarating loops that stretch down to the deck below; and the tandem Aqua Racer slide that allows guests to race side-by-side on inner tubes for more than 360 feet, both offering stunning ocean views. The not-so adventurous guests can enjoy the ship’s expansive pool, sundeck or six infinity hot tubs. Junior cruisers can splatter around and have a blast at the Kids’ Aqua Park, a watery wonderland of splash pads, water cannons, tipping buckets and slides.

Special kid’s zone

Splash Academy on Norwegian Bliss

Tiny cruisers, age six months to just under three years old, have a dedicated space to enjoy aboard Norwegian Bliss with the fleet’s largest Guppies playroom. For children between three to 12 years, Splash Academy offers fun activities while children from 13-17 years can hang out with their peers and make new friends at the Entourage. For video game lovers, Video Arcade is the place to be.

Ultimate pampering experience

Thermal Suite on Norwegian Bliss

After glacier trekking in Alaska or discovering hidden caves and sea pools at the Baths of Virgin Gorda in the Caribbean, Norwegian Bliss guests will be able to revive, refresh and recharge at the ship’s Mandara Spa that offers an ultimate pampering experience with its 24 treatment rooms, a full-service salon, barber shop and thermal suite. The luxurious thermal suite can transport guests to a deep state of relaxation, with unobstructed views of the ocean. Find instant stress relief in the spa’s hydro-therapy pool, whirlpools, steam room, dry sauna, sanarium and salt room.

Vibrant nightlife, Casino and Broadway style entertainment

Bliss Casino on Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Bliss brings the best of live entertainment, electrifying deck parties and an expansive casino featuring hundreds of slot machines and table games to suit the likes of novice and pro gamblers alike. The Social Comedy & Night Club features sets from today’s most popular stand-up comedians, and then transforms into a chic nightclub late in the evening. Enjoy Broadway style live musicals like Jersey Boys, theme parties, grab a drink and groove to the music at legendary clubs and various lounges on the cruise.

180-degree observation lounge

Observation lounge at Norwegian Bliss

Guests will be in sheer awe at the 180-degree indoor Observation Lounge that offers expansive views at sea and features a full-service bar so guests can toast colourful sunsets with their favourite cocktail. More than 3,500 square feet of custom built floor-to-ceiling windows provide spectacular vistas while cruising past snow-capped mountains.

Luxury Spaces

Haven at Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Bliss’ custom design offers guests the freedom and flexibility to ‘imagine Bliss’ and create their ideal experience at sea, with a wide variety of accommodations. The Haven located at the top of the ship is an exclusive enclave with private key-card access to the most luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodations. Studio staterooms with virtual ocean views are ideal for solo travellers and new connecting staterooms are best suited for large group or families traveling together.

Original as well as New Dining Concepts

Norwegian Bliss swimming pool

Foodies and cocktail connoisseurs will be able to dine, sip and savour to their heart’s delight with a breadth of dining and bar options aboard Norwegian Bliss, including signature favourites as well as exclusive new concepts. There are more dining options for you to enjoy than days of your cruise! The Waterfront, an outdoor promenade is designed to enhance guests’ connection to the ocean with al fresco dining, bars and lounge spaces and offer spectacular views of Alaska’s breathtaking scenery, wildlife and the Caribbean’s stunning turquoise waters.

Norwegian Bliss waiting for guests at port

Norwegian Bliss hosts excitement around every corner and delights guests with thrilling activities spanning the entirety of the ship. Get set and pack your bags for this blissful journey!

Have you ever experienced a cruise holiday on Norwegian Cruise Line ship? How was your experience? Please share with us in the comments section below.

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World’s largest cruise ship ready for the first voyage

The world’s biggest cruise-liner, Symphony of the Seas, has left the shipyard of Saint-Nazaire in France to embark on its maiden voyage in the Mediterranean. French shipbuilder STX handed over to U.S. giant Royal Caribbean International on Friday. The ship, which weighs 228,000 tonnes, is 362 metres long just 20 metres shy of the length of the Empire State Building. It is marginally bigger than its sister ship, the Harmony of the Seas, which STX France delivered to Royal Caribbean in 2016.

Love cruising? Read: Which are the world’s most popular cruises!

Majestic view of the Symphony of the seas

The Symphony will head to Malaga in Spain and spending its first season in the Mediterranean before heading to its home port of Miami. Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and Laurent Castaing, General Manager of STX France, led the traditional flag-changing ceremony, which symbolizes the ship’s official delivery from the ship builder to Royal Caribbean.

Crew celebrating the inauguration

Symphony of the Seas will welcome her first guests on Saturday, March 31 for a one-time-only, 5-night preview sailing, calling on Naples and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy. The ship’s maiden 7-night Mediterranean voyage departs Saturday, April 7 from Barcelona, Spain, where the crescendo of thrills will be brought to life by the 2,200 international crew members who proudly represent 77 countries around the world. Symphony of the Seas will homeport in Barcelona for the summer, visiting Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; and Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy.

The 25th ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, Symphony of the Seas is 228,081 gross registered tons, measures 238 feet tall and spans 1,188 feet long. She will welcome 5,518 guests at double occupancy in 2,759 staterooms, including 28 additional balcony rooms that overlook the ocean or signature Boardwalk neighbourhood. One Oasis Class ship, seven distinctive neighbourhoods, the tallest slide at sea with the Ultimate Abyss and countless adventures for guests of all ages, the family adventure of a lifetime has surprises at every turn.

Language of the cruise! Read: Cruise Lingo to help travellers talk the talk!

New Culinary Adventures

• Hooked Seafood: This upscale eatery atop of the world’s largest cruise ship in the Solarium serves up the real taste of New England-inspired seafood and unparalleled ocean vistas to match. Approachable and unassuming, the menu offers classic coastal favorites, such as lobster rolls, crab claws, signature fish sandwich, and a raw bar where oysters are shucked to order.

Playmakers bar at the Symphony of the seas

• Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade: Stretching the length of a reimagined Boardwalk, now touting fresh energy and swagger, the whole family can watch the home team play across 31 big-screen TVs, during the day and into the late night. The indoor and outdoor arcade, packed with over 20 games, offers the opportunity for friendly competition. The on-point menu of classic American bar food features everything from wings, burgers and popcorn shrimp to picture-perfect sundaes; as well as craft beers and cocktails.

• El Loco Fresh: Made-to-order tacos and burritos wrapped with fresh tortillas are among the Mexican “street food” favourites that will hit the spot for adventure seekers looking to fuel up with minimal downtime.

• Sugar Beach: The signature candy and ice cream shop is the sweet spot on the Boardwalk with more than 100 types of candies, a lineup of ice cream flavors and even DIY activities for the aspiring culinary artist.

New destinations for cruise! Read: Adventure seekers can now visit Havana on Empress of the seas

A view from balcony of the rooms around central park

New Ways to Play

• Battle for Planet Z: Royal Caribbean’s first glow-in-the-dark laser tag game brings two teams of eight head to head in an out-of-this-world adventure to determine who will claim the last planet in the galaxy.

• Escape the Rubicon: In the ultimate race against the clock, friends old and new must band together in the Rubicon submarine – a sophisticated, custom-built escape room – to solve a collection of puzzles before time runs out.

Royal suite with a loft

Unparalleled Family Accommodations

  • Ultimate Family Suite: A two-level, 1,346-square-foot suite filled with awesome thrills offers more than enough room for the whole family – and friends – to come together and catch up on “me time.” Features include an in-room slide, a private cinema with an 85-inch HD TV, a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, a 212-square-foot balcony complete with table tennis and a full-size whirlpool. Complete with a Royal Genie, who caters to every whim, there are many more surprises awaiting guests along the way.

Fly into cruise! Read: Cruisefly for Royal Caribbean cruises

A family suite at the Symphony of the seas

Beginning Nov. 10, Miami, FL. will become the ship’s year-round homeport, making Symphony of the Seas the first new Oasis Class ship to sail from the cruise capital of the world using Royal Caribbean’s new state-of-the-art Terminal A. The 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises will call on Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s newly revealed destination in the Bahamas.

Aerial view of the helipad of the Symphony of the seas

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 49-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean, including jaw dropping, state-of-the-art entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike.

Also read: Vagabond at a cruise- Super Star Virgo

On board, guests are catered to with the cruise line’s world-renowned friendly and engaging service by every staff and crew member. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 15 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards. The cruise line sails 25 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.

Have you been on cruise with Royal Caribbean Cruises? Share your experiences in the comments section below!

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Which are the World’s most popular cruises!


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The winners of the 8th annual Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards – naming the most popular cruise ships of the year, based on consumer reviews shared on Cruise Critic over the past 12 months have been revealed. This year’s list of winners has the wide range of ships awarded as the best of the best, explains Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor of Cruise Critic.

Also Read: Vagabond at Cruise- Super Star Virgo

Colleen says, “You have two of the largest ships at sea, alongside luxury yachts and small expedition ships that sail to some of the most far-flung destinations across the globe. As different as these ships are, the common thread is the exceptional ratings they received from actual guests. Whether you’re looking for a mega ship or a more intimate vessel, a port-heavy itinerary or laid-back beach escape, this list is a fantastic resource to guide to you to a ship perfectly suited to your needs.”

Large Ship Category

  • Celebrity Cruises was this year’s big winner in the Large Ship Category, winning five awards, including Best Overall, Best Dining, Best Public Rooms and Best Service for Celebrity Equinox, and Best for Value for Celebrity Silhouette. Celebrity Silhouette sails a number of itineraries, including the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Baltic and has been praised for its wide range of dining and entertainment options onboard.
  • Royal Caribbean International received four awards in the Large Ship Category, including Best Cabins, Best Embarkation and Best for Fitness & Recreation for Harmony of the Seas, and Best Entertainment for Allure of the Seas. Allure of the Seas features a number of chart-topping shows including Mamma Mia! and How to Train Your Dragon performed on ice.

Mid-Size Ship Category

  • Oceania Cruises was awarded the most accolades in the Mid-Size Category, snagging five awards for Best Overall, Best Cabins, Best Dining, Best for Fitness & Recreation and Best Public Rooms for its ship, Riviera. This is the fourth consecutive year that the line was awarded in all five categories. Riviera offers Caribbean, Baltic and Mediterranean sailings, and will begin sailing to Cuba in 2019.
  • Celestyal Cruises won two awards in the Mid-Size Category for its Celestyal Crystal – Best Shore Excursions and Best for Value. The ship sailed Cuba year-round, but will be redeployed to sail in the Mediterranean later in 2018.

Also Read: Adventure seekers can now visit Havana on Empress of the Seas

Small-Mid Ship Category

  • Viking Ocean Cruises was the runaway winner in the Small-Mid Category, winning in every category but one – Viking Sea was named Best Overall, Best Cabins, Best for Fitness & Recreation, Best Shore Excursions and Best for Value; Viking Sky was named Best Entertainment and Best Public Rooms; and Viking Star was named Best Dining and Best Service. Viking Sea was also named Best for First-Timers across all size categories.

Small Ship Category

  • Windstar Cruises won four awards in the Small Category – all for different ships in its fleet. Star Pride was named Best Cabins, Wind Spirit named Best for Fitness & Recreation, Wind Star named Best Service and Star Legend, Best Public Rooms. Wind Star and Wind Spirit are both four-masted sailing ships, while Star Pride and Star Legend are luxury yachts.
  • Silversea Cruises won three awards in the Small Category – Best Overall, Best Shore Excursions and Best for Value – for its 100-passenger Silver Galapagos. The ship is all-inclusive and offers year-round Galapagos cruises.

The winners of the 8th annual Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards are awarded in four ship size classes, based on passenger capacity (Large: 2,000+ passengers; Mid-Size: 1,200 to 1,999 passengers; Small-Mid Size: 400- 1,199 passengers; Small: Fewer than 400 passengers.) The rankings are calculated using ratings published with user-submitted reviews on Cruise Critic.

First-place winners include:

Best Cruise Overall

  • Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
  • Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
  • Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Silver Galapagos (Small) – Silversea Cruises

Best Cruise Ship Cabins

  • Harmony of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
  • Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
  • Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Star Pride (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Also Read: Uniworld’s S.S. Joie De Vivre sets sail on maiden voyage

Best Cruise Ships for Dining

  • Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
  • Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
  • Viking Star (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • National Geographic Explorer (Small) – Lindblad Expeditions
Allure of the Seas

Best Cruise Ships for Embarkation

  • Harmony of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
  • Amsterdam (Mid-Sized) – Holland America Line
  • Pacific Princess (Small-Mid) – Princess Cruises
  • Celebrity Xpedition (Small) – Celebrity Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Entertainment

  • Allure of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
  • Disney Wonder (Mid-Sized) – Disney Cruise Line
  • Viking Sky (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • L’Austral (Small) — Ponant

Also read: Costa Cruise to sail from Mumbai to Maldives and Colombo

Best Cruise Ships for Fitness & Recreation

  • Harmony of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
  • Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
  • Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Wind Spirit (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Public Rooms

  • Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
  • Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
  • Viking Sky (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Star Legend (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Service

  • Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
  • Amsterdam (Mid-Sized) – Holland America Line
  • Viking Star (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Wind Star (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Also read: Dubai gets world’s largest cruise terminal at Mina Rashid

Best Cruise Ships for Shore Excursions

  • Carnival Breeze (Large) – Carnival Cruise Line
  • Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Sized) – Celestyal Cruises
  • Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Silver Galapagos (Small) – Silversea Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Value

  • Celebrity Silhouette (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
  • Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Sized) – Celestyal Cruises
  • Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Silver Galapagos (Small) – Silversea Cruises

Also Read: Most Eagerly awaited Indian Wedding of the year on Costa Cruise

Best Cruises for Families

  • Carnival Breeze – Carnival Cruise Line
  • Best for First Timers
  • Viking Sea – Viking Ocean Cruises

(Source: cruisecritic.com)

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This Earth Day a unique effort from Uniworld for Just A Drop!

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, as a member of The Travel Corporation (TTC) family of brands and an affiliate member of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, is supporting the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, a year-long initiative dedicated to mobilising global awareness and action around the value of tourism to create positive change.

In the spirit of this important initiative, and to observe Earth Day on 22 April, Uniworld will donate US$5 to Just a Drop, an international water aid charity for every booking made with Uniworld so more communities and beneficiaries can receive safe water and improved sanitation.

Just a Drop’s mission is to reduce child mortality by delivering accessible, clean, safe water where it is needed most. The organisation’s projects support communities through the construction of wells, boreholes, pipelines, hand pumps, and latrines and establish health and sanitation programs for some of the poorest and most remote regions in the world.

This year the global UN system, and global community at large, will promote tourism’s role in the following five key areas:

(1)        Inclusive and sustainable economic growth

(2)        Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction

(3)        Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change

(4)        Cultural values, diversity and heritage

(5)        Mutual understanding, peace and security.

“2017 is a unique opportunity for us to promote the contribution of tourism to achieving the future we want – and also to determine, together, the exact role we will have tourism play in the sustainable development agenda, to and beyond 2030,” says Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) . “Promotion, however, must be mirrored by action. Central, therefore, to the success of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development is providing inspiring examples in leadership of tourism businesses across the globe.”

“Earth Day 2017 is a perfect opportunity for Uniworld to actualize Dr. Rifai’s stirring call to action,” explains Ellen Bettridge, President & CEO, Uniworld. “Our sustainability project partners at Just a Drop personify the belief that collectively we can make a huge difference. The fact that they’ve delivered more than 170 projects in 31 countries, helping an estimated 1.5 million children and their families, is resounding proof that this approach is highly effective. Uniworld takes pride in being able to continue supporting their invaluable efforts with our Earth Day campaign.”

Uniworld operates a fleet of 21 river cruising ships. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection—the world’s most luxurious all-inclusive river cruise line – features luxurious ships with an average capacity of 130 guests, exclusive excursions, gourmet cuisine, and one of the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the river cruise industry. Based in Los Angeles, California, Uniworld offers truly all-inclusive itineraries in Europe, as well as voyages in Russia, China, Vietnam and Cambodia, India, and Egypt—a total of 23 rivers in 24 countries worldwide. Uniworld is a member of CLIA and is highly regarded by discerning travelers, media, and cruise industry experts, having most recently been named the #1 River Cruise Line in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2016 readers’ survey. Uniworld guests automatically become esteemed members of the River Heritage Club upon completing their first voyage, eligible for a number of member-only savings and onboard benefits. For guests who book select itineraries by April 30, 2017, the river cruise line is currently offering complimentary stateroom upgrades.

Most eagerly awaited Indian wedding of the year on Costa Cruise

An entire cruise ship has been booked to celebrate a fairy-tale wedding. For the first time ever, a ship from the Costa Cruises fleet has been reserved exclusively for the celebration of a sumptuous wedding. From the 6th to the 9th April 2017, Costa Fascinosa (114,500 gross tonnage and maximum guest capacity of 3,800) will set sail on the Mediterranean as venue for the nuptials of Adel Sajan, son of the Indian industrialist Rizwan Sajan who is Founder and Chairman of the Danube Group, the leading building materials company head-quartered in Dubai. During the cruise, Adel Sajan, director of the Danube Group, will marry the charming Sana Khan, dentist, beauty queen, artist and writer.

Four days of festivities will be held in true “Bollywood” style, which will be executed by India’s leading wedding planners-Wedniksha and will bring together over 1,000 guests, including show business stars and personalities primarily from India and the Arab Emirates. Costa Fascinosa will set sail from Genoa on the 5th of April with the bridal couple, their families and a staff specially selected for the occasion on board; it will dock at Barcelona where on the 6th April the guests will embark and will kick-start the celebration with a welcome dinner. It will then arrive in Marseilles on the 7th of April, where the guests will enjoy the day of excursions around town before bringing in the evening celebrations. The day after that, the cruise will set a course towards Cannes, where, on board the ship anchored in the bay, the marriage will be celebrated. The cruise will end on the 9th of April at Savona.

The cruise programme includes themed parties in many of the different venues on Costa Fascinosa, gala dinners, parties and shows by special guests. The wedding itself will follow the traditional Indian rites in an updated style on board the ship. The Sangeet, planned for Friday 7th April, is the traditional party the day before the wedding itself; a ceremony that originally was organised to prepare the bride for the big day, but which, in time, has become a party in honour of both the bride and groom. It will be held in the Costa Fascinosa theatre, which will be specially adapted to host the event. Saturday 8th April is the actual wedding day, which will include a Baraat ceremony and will be concluded with a Grand Gala dinner on the pool deck. The groom, accompanied by family and friends, will parade across the outer decks of the ship to reach his promised bride, who is waiting for him in a real miniature castle which will be sumptuously decorated for the occasion.

The cuisine on offer will be exceptional: there will over 75 chefs on board the Costa Fascinosa, carefully chosen by the Sajan family. These chefs will have the task of guiding the galley brigade in preparing a multitude of cuisines. These will be added to some typical Italian dishes, which are a distinctive element of the Costa Cruises experience. Moreover, the guests can indulge in a plethora of beverages and spirits including Chivas 18, Blue Label and the best of Champagnes and wines.

Among the stars who will be on-board for the occasion are some of the most popular show business personalities in India, such as the actresses Gauhar Khan, Bollywood star and winner of the latest Bigg Boss’ reality show edition, Shilpa and Shamita Shetty, Dia Mirza, the rapper Badshah, the Meet Bros and Vishal-Shekhar, authors of songs that have also been used as famous Bollywood film soundtracks.

“In our recent history, this is the first time a whole ship has been exclusively booked by a private individual for a family celebration. We are truly delighted and honoured that the Sajan family has chosen Costa Cruises and this is further confirmation of the global appreciation of Italian style and quality. We have, in fact, been the first to introduce cruises in new markets such as China, the Emirates as well as in India, where recently we introduced a new itinerary allowing many countries to discover the best of Italy. We will do our utmost to make this a truly unforgettable wedding” – commented Neil Palomba President of Costa Cruises.

Costa Fascinosa will change its look, and put on the colours and charms of the Indian traditions, with every detail meticulously taken care of. For this event, even the cards used for access to the cabins will be personalised. Furthermore, each guest will be allocated a suite or balcony cabin with the use of the respective internal cabin as a personal wardrobe.

Originating from Mumbai, the Sajan family has been operating in Dubai since the ’90s in the building materials industry. The entrepreneurial capacity of its founder and president, Rizwan Sajan, has developed and expanded the Danube Group, making it now a benchmark for the building industry in the Arab Emirates. For the third consecutive year, Rizwan Sajan appears in the Forbes Middle East ranking as one of the most powerful Indians in the Emirates and held the twelfth place, in 2016.

Costa Cruises is an Italian company that is part of Carnival Corporation & plc, the largest cruise group in the world. For 69 years the ships of the Costa fleet have been travelling the world’s seas offering hospitality and authentic Italian style holidays, distinguished by exquisite food, fine wines, unique shopping experiences, and a comprehensive selection of famous Italian brands. Currently the Costa fleet has 15 ships in service, all flying the Italian flag. Two new latest generation vessels are expected in 2019 and 2021. They will be fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world’s “cleanest fossil fuel”, and a real environmental innovation. Costa represents Italian excellence, and every day surpasses the expectations of its guests with a unique and unforgettable holiday experience. It does this thanks to the approximately 19,000 employees around the world who work to provide the best of Italy on board, with 137 different routes, 261 destinations and 60 ports of embarkation.

Amber Cove to welcome first cruise ship next year

DOPAmber Cove, an exciting new destination located in the heart of the Dominican Republic’s breathtaking North Coast, known as the Amber Coast, just outside the historical town of Puerto Plata – will welcome its first cruise ship when the Carnival Victory arrives on October 6, 2015, for a day-long call. The visit by Carnival Victory is the first of 37 calls by eight different Carnival ships that will take place between October 2015 and April 2016, accounting for more than 100,000 guests during this period. The project is designed to re-establish the Dominican Republic’s North Coast as a popular cruise destination.  The last cruise ship to call at Puerto Plata was nearly 30 years ago. The new two-berth Amber Cove Cruise Center will be able to accommodate up to 8,000 cruise passengers and 2,000 crew members daily.

????????????????????????????????????????Amber Cove will be a featured port on select sailings of Carnival Breeze, Carnival Glory, Carnival Splendor and Carnival Victory from Miami, Carnival Conquest from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Valor from Port Canaveral, Fla., and Carnival Fantasy from Charleston, S.C.  “Amber Cove is destined to become a cornerstone in creating new itineraries from several U.S. home ports,” said Terry Thornton, Carnival’s senior vice president of itinerary planning. “It will provide an unmatched combination of ‘fun in the sun’ activities and eco-tourism opportunities along with unique sightseeing, dining and cultural experiences to create a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories for our guests,” he added.

17-17-13-53-36-1203470Designed to serve as the gateway to one of the world’s most beautiful cruising regions, Amber Cove features dramatic architectural elements that echo the area’s storied Colonial past. The port is situated in a picturesque cove that serves as the backdrop for soaring mountains and lush tropical landscape. Its cobblestone plazas will be lined with a wide variety of retail offerings, including themed restaurants and bars and a marketplace with locally sourced crafts and souvenirs, recreational amenities, and a transportation center for access to land and sea adventures. The facility will offer two berths that can accommodate up to two large post-Panamax cruise ships simultaneously.

FrenchcloistersAmber Cove will feature one of the most extensive shore excursion programs available in the Caribbean, offering a wide array of landside experiences including beautiful beaches, exciting water sports and special culinary, cultural and adventure options. Nearby Ocean World, which is one of the region’s largest marine adventure parks, will offer guests many great ways to experience and interact with a variety of marine animals. Dozens of shore excursions will be available, from cross-country adventures in 4×4 Terracross buggies that traverse the rugged countryside and horseback riding on the beach to snorkeling in crystal-clear waters and swimming in a pristine natural river pool.

Guests can also travel via speedboat to beautiful Paradise Island, one of the Caribbean’s top spots for snorkeling and scuba diving, or visit rural coffee plantations and sample traditional Dominican cuisine, rum and seasonal fruit. Or for the ultimate luxury experience, guests can reserve their own private beachside bungalow with the services of a personal chef, bartender and staff.

AmberCove_MO1_2270R1-Puerto Plata Town smAmber Cove will also provide easy and convenient access to the nearby historic town of Puerto Plata, named by Christopher Columbus when he discovered the island in 1492. Puerto Plata is home to the first fort built by European settlers in the New World. Visitors to the city can shop in the bustling downtown area featuring numerous artist studios and rum and cigar factories or stroll along the famed Malecon, a three-mile-long open air beach-side boardwalk dotted with bars, restaurants and shops.

River cruise on Sabarmati very soon

Hope to get it floating in ten months

17-11-2014_SabarmatiAfter a long delay of four years the project to launch cruise in Sabarmati River in Gujarat is finally going to see the light of the day. So far authorities have been looking for a firm which could prepare a ‘river-cruise’ like Goa but now they hope to provide this ‘fun, food and float’ combo soon. After closing in with the operator, authorities hope to get it operational in next ten months. Once it happens Sabarmati will add to rivers like Ganges, Hooghly and Narmada in India to have a cruise running.

Sabarmati waterfront has been developed a lot in recent years and hence civic authorities here decided to launch a cruise or a floating restaurant facility. Deputy Commissioner of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), M Thennarasan, says that all formalities for the cruise have been completed.  “It will be like a river-cruise that can be seen in Goa. People can have fun in affordable price and spend a happy time enjoying dining facilities,” Thennarasan tells. “People can also take it on rent for organising a party in the floating restaurant.” The cruise will be floating on Sabarmati at the cost of around Rs 3 crore, he said.

Jetty to be built near Sardar Patel bridge

17-11-2014_Sabarmati2The jetty or the parking area for the river-cruise will be built near Sardar Patel bridge in the banks of river Sabarmati, where people can wait for their turn.  Authorities said that two interested parties were short-listed for this facility, one each from Goa and Ahmedabad, but the authorities put their trust in the Goa-based party, which has a vast experience in building such river-cruises.

According to Thennarsan, the Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation Limited (SRFDCL), which has AMC as its mother body, had mooted this facility four years ago. When asked about the delay of four years in the launch of ‘river-cruise’, he said, “We had floated tenders in 2010, but no party with vast experience came to us. This time we got an experienced party, so we have allotted this tender to them.”