The American Queen Steamboat Company Acquires New Ship, Expands Westward and Partners with the National Trust

Featured

American Empress joins fleet, Pacific Northwest Voyages begin April 2014

The American Queen Steamboat Company, owner and operator of the U.S-flagged American Queen, has purchased the Empress of the North from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) for an undisclosed amount. To be renamed the American Empress, the vessel is scheduled to resume sailings on the great rivers of the Pacific Northwest April 2014, calling her homeport Portland, Ore. The American Empress will deliver riverboat opulence on a grand scale, following in the pedigree of the line’s namesake American Queen, and proudly serve as the largest overnight riverboat west of the Mississippi River.

american empress

The American Queen Steamboat Company has added a new boat, the American Empress, to the fleet.


“The American Queen has ushered in a rebirth of U.S. river cruising, welcoming thousands to discover the heartland of the United States and its iconic port cities,” shares Ted Sykes, president and COO of the American Queen Steamboat Company. “Now the American Empress will continue that tradition as an ambassador to the Pacific Northwest, a region equally rich in American and natural history.”

A U.S.-flagged riverboat, the American Empress measures 360 ft. with five towering decks and accommodates 223 guests in 112 staterooms in seven categories. The American Empress will sail the Columbia River and Snake River, offering seven-day voyages between Portland, Ore. and Clarkston, Wash. Ports of call include Astoria, Wash.; Stevenson, Wash.; The Dalles, Ore.; Umatilla, Ore.; and Richland, Wash.

In describing the American Empress, Sykes said: “The staterooms are very spacious and they are all outside. She is not a steamboat, but she is a paddlewheeler, so the look and feel is similar to the American Queen. They are both American icons. The Empress will be refurbished before she is put into operation next April.” He added that there has been huge interest in the new boat by current passengers, and expects that many of the 600,000 Americans who go overseas for river cruising will look to exploring the rivers of their own country.

In describing the all-inclusive nature of the American Empress cruise, Sykes added that there would be some premium shore experiences, such as jet boating on the Snake River, which would carry an extra cost. These would be fully commissionable to travel agents.

The company has also partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which helps preserve American heritage, culture and promote National Treasures. As a key feature to the partnership, the American Queen Steamboat Company will make a corporate donation of five dollars to the National Trust for every river cruise booking as well as give guests the opportunity to match the donation.

Beginning June 30, 2013, American Queen travelers will have the opportunity to learn more about the National Trust’s National Treasure sites, located along the Mississippi River as well as the Pacific Northwest, where the American Empress will launch in April 2014. Special attention to preservation concepts and techniques, as well as the work of architects, historians and other professionals in the field of historic preservation will be highlighted onboard and onshore.

“We are proud to partner with the American Queen Steamboat Company and help bring America’s National Treasures to life,” shares Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust. “These places along our great waterways present the diversity of our nation’s built history and remind all of us of the importance of preserving the irreplaceable places that tell America’s stories.”

Through the partnership with the National Trust, American Queen Steamboat Company will become a contributing sponsor for four of the National Trust’s National Treasures: Mississippi Delta Heritage Area, Manhattan Project Historic Sites in Washington State, Willamette Falls Navigation Canal and Locks in Oregon and a future site to be named at a later date.

“Thousands of guests onboard the American Queen have rediscovered the treasures the U.S. heartland has to offer over the past year,” said Ted Sykes. “We are honored to play a role in the preservation of these sites with the National Trust and add new treasures for our guest experience as the American Empress sets sail in April 2014 on the majestic Columbia and Snake Rivers.”

American Queen Steamboat Company
The American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) is the owner and operator of the U.S. flagged American Queen, the largest, most opulent riverboat in the world. Longer than a football field, towering six decks in height and laced with fanciful gingerbread trim, she is a marvel of modern engineering. Her journeys through the heartland offer a unique perspective on America’s history, culture and landscape with convenient departures from some of America’s most iconic river port cities including Memphis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and St. Paul. In April 2014, the AQSC will begin serving the Pacific Northwest with the opulence and grandeur of the American Empress. For additional information and reservations, contact the American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online or call a professional travel agent.

The American Queen Steamboat Company Unveils Guest Loyalty Program

Featured

The American Queen Steamboat Company Unveils Guest Loyalty Program: “Steamboat Society of America”

Much of the American Queen Steamboat Company’s early success can be attributed to guests sharing stories of their memorable trips with friends, family and booking another voyage shortly after arriving home.

Valued return guests share a passion for U.S. river cruising and can now join the Steamboat Society of America, the company’s loyalty program, for special benefits and rewards on the American Queen and soon-to-be sailing American Empress (April 2014). Among the many benefits, guests receive their 10th cruise free.*

“As I visit with American Queen guests onboard I am always amazed how many have already sailed on multiple voyages with us and are now setting their sights to explore the Pacific Northwest on the American Empress,” shares the company’s President and COO Ted Sykes. “The Steamboat Society of America rewards our most loyal guests and encourages them to share their stories of why they are hooked on river cruising with the American Queen Steamboat Company.”

Among the benefits to the free Steamboat Society of America loyalty program are the following:

· A $100 per guest credit on each cruise and $200 per guest credit towards a future cruise fare when booked with deposit while onboard

· Priority check-in and early vessel pre-boarding

· Member access for breakfast or lunch when American Queen or American Empress are in port near home town and family or friend tours of the boat when sailing **

· Credits toward future cruise fares for members referring friends who book***

· Dedicated reservations line providing special service for members

· Private cocktail party for members-only hosted by the captain and executive officers onboard

*Up to $3,899 per person
**Subject to availability and reservations in advance
***$100 per referred guest booking and $100 per guest booking when providing member’s name at time of booking

To learn more about the Steamboat Society of America, request additional information and make reservations, contact the American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online or contact a professional travel agent.

American Queen Steamboat Company

The American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) is the owner and operator of the U.S. flagged American Queen, the largest, most opulent riverboat in the world. Longer than a football field, towering six decks in height and laced with fanciful gingerbread trim, she is a marvel of modern engineering. Her journeys through the heartland offer a unique perspective on America’s history, culture and landscape with convenient departures from some of America’s most iconic river port cities including Memphis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and St. Paul. In April 2014, the AQSC will begin serving the Pacific Northwest with the opulence and grandeur of the American Empress. For additional information and reservations, contact the American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online

New loyalty program for American Queen guests

American Queen Steamboat Company unveils new loyalty program.

or call a professional travel agent.

MSC Roadshow for Agents

Featured

During the MSC Agent Roadshow, agents can discover the latest highlights about the soon-to-arrive MSC Divina.

In October 2013, MSC Cruises kicks off its North American travel agent road show with presentations in New York, NY, King of Prussia, PA, Miami, FL and Toronto and Montreal, Canada. MSC expects to reach more than 400 agents during the tour. (Dates for MSC’s 2014 road shows are to be announced.)

NOTE: Road show events below are by invitation only and on an RSVP basis as space is limited

Agents will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the MSC sales team, discover the latest highlights about the soon-to-arrive MSC Divina, learn about the company’s overall commitment to the North American market as well as its policies, procedures and overall agency support. All events will include dinner presentations and special giveaways for agents.

“This upcoming road show is part of our ongoing commitment to working with agents and helping them grow their business,” said Ken Muskat, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, MSC Cruises USA. “They are truly our number one resource. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with our loyal travel partners and strengthen our relationships, while giving them a taste of what’s to come in North America.”

For more information, contact sales.service@.

MSC North America Roadshow Dates:

New York, NY
October 9, 2013
6:00-8:30PM
Crowne Plaza
66 Hale Avenue
White Plains, NY 10601
Phone: (914) 682-0050
RSVP: http://bit.ly/WhitePlainsNY

King of Prussia, PA
October 10, 2013
6:30-8:30 PM
Little Italy’s Maggianos
160 N. Gulph Road, Suite 205
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Phone: (610) 992-3333
RSVP: http://bit.ly/KingOfPrussiaPA

Miami, FL
October 15, 2013
6:30-8:30 PM
Intercontinental Doral of Miami
2505 Northwest 87th Avenue
Doral, Florida 33172
Phone: (305) 468-1400
RSVP: http://bit.ly/MiamiFLA

Toronto, Canada
October 29th
5:30-8:30 PM
Sapore by Zafferano
8000 Highway #27
Woodbridge
located just north of Highway #407 on Highway #27
Phone: 905.851.3355

Montreal, Quebec
October 30th
Ristorante Bice
1504 Sherbrooke Street West
H3G 1L3
Phone: 514.937-6009

About MSC Divina
Christened by legendary actress and “diva” Sophia Loren, MSC Divina features 1,751 staterooms, 322,900 square feet of public space, a casino, seven restaurants, 18 bars and lounges, five swimming pools (including an infinity pool), a bowling alley, theater, gym, spa, internet café, conference center, kids and teen areas, and the lines signature ship within a ship, MSC Yacht Club.

American Queen Steamboat Company Celebrates River Traditions with 2013 Old Fashioned Holidays Voyages

Featured

Celebrate the holidays Cajun-style aboard the American Queen.

“ ‘Tis the season” and “deck the halls” aboard the largest, most opulent riverboat in the world on the mighty Mississippi River. The American Queen Steamboat Company is stuffing stockings and celebrating classic Cajun and Creole traditions of the antebellum south. Three Old Fashioned Holidays on the American Queen have limited availability remaining with sailings from New Orleans roundtrip or between New Orleans and Memphis, Tenn.

“This December guests on the American Queen will be immersed in Lower Mississippi holiday traditions celebrated by generations,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President & COO Ted Sykes. “We look forward to sharing these many traditions in luxurious fashion and creating lasting memories all will enjoy.”

Holiday itineraries offer guests authentic experiences including the old Louisiana tradition of bonfires on the levees, special Christmas shows in the Grand Saloon, door-decorating contests, the reading of the Cajun Night Before Christmas and nationally renowned Mississippi woodcarver Jim Moore carving a Victorian Santa onboard. Seasonal culinary delights and decadent desserts including a Creole Réveillon Christmas Dinner, prepared by Culinary Director Regina Charboneau’s team, as well as a shore side Cajun deep fried turkey cooking demonstration will be among the tasty highlights.


Voyages in 2013 are the following:

· The nine-day Old Fashioned Holidays voyage begins in Memphis, Tenn. to New Orleans on Dec. 6 and an upriver voyage is available from New Orleans to Memphis, Tenn. beginning Dec. 20 with itineraries calling on favorites including Vicksburg, Miss.; Natchez, Miss.; and Helena, Ark.

· One special nine-night New Orleans roundtrip Old Fashioned Holidays voyage departs Dec. 13, featuring the ports of Oak Alley, La.; St. Francisville, La.; Houmas House, La; Natchez, Miss.; and Baton Rouge, La.

The culinary highlight of each sailing, the typical Réveillon menu served in homes along the Mississippi River or the fine restaurants of New Orleans’ French Quarter included Daube glace or veal grillades, egg dishes, breads, puddings and often included turtle soup and oysters. Naturally there was always an abundance of wines, cordials and fortified drinks. Eventually this tradition slowly began to disappear like many classic holiday traditions on the river. As the Réveillon is revived on the American Queen steamboat, Chef Charboneau’s menu will include Sazerac and Champagne Cocktails, Tomato Aspic with Fried Oysters, Deviled Eggs with Lump Crabmeat and Caviar, Pheasant Gumbo, Pork Grillades over Savory Grits, Almond Tarts and Bouche Noel. This festive dinner will be re-created in the J.M White Dining Room.

Offering the most inclusive river cruise experience in North America, nine-day Old Fashioned Holidays fares begin at $2,495 per person based on double occupancy. All journeys include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner and a host of other amenities. For additional information and reservations, kindly contact the American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online or call a professional travel agent.

Carnival Pride To Operate Special Sailings

Carnival Pride To Operate Special 10- To 14-Day Caribbean Sailings, Five Day-Bermuda Cruises From Baltimore and San Juan In 2015-16

Carnival Pride


For the first time, Carnival Pride will operate a series of 10- to 14-day Caribbean cruises round-trip from Baltimore and one-way between Baltimore and San Juan featuring some of the region’s most breathtaking destinations, as well as new five-day Bermuda cruises and unique six- and eight-day Caribbean/Bahamas voyages, beginning in October 2015.

“Our guests and travel agent partners have been seeking more varied options from the Northeast – particularly longer length voyages – and we’re delighted to expand our schedules from Baltimore and San Juan to provide these attractive ‘Fun Ship’ cruise offerings from these ports,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “These new voyages not only provide vacationers with an abundance of five- to 14-day cruise choices but also feature a wide range of spectacular island destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda,” he added.

One-of-a-Kind 10- to 14-Day Caribbean Cruises

Carnival Pride will operate a series of 10-, 11- and 14-day cruises either round-trip from Baltimore or one-way between Baltimore and San Juan in 2015 and 2016. The voyages include an 11-day exotic southern Caribbean cruise from Baltimore to San Juan departing Jan. 17, 2016, with stops at Grand Turk, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, and St. Croix; a 10-day exotic eastern Caribbean cruise from San Juan to Baltimore departing Jan. 28, 2016, calling at St. Thomas, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia; St. Kitts and St. Maarten; and a 14-day eastern Caribbean cruise round-trip from Baltimore March 13, 2016, featuring eight different island destinations: Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Maarten.

During these voyages, guests can relax on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, enjoy a host of shopping, dining and sightseeing opportunities, experience unique Caribbean cultures and visit centuries-old landmarks and attractions.

New Five-Day Bermuda Cruises, Six- and Eight-Day Sailings

Carnival Pride will also offer two five-day Bermuda cruises in 2015-16 – one departing Oct. 26, 2015, and another April 10, 2016. These cruises spend two full days at Heritage Wharf, where guests can marvel at the island’s legendary pink sand beaches, enjoy a variety of watersports and visit historic sites such as the Royal Naval Dockyard and Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere.

Additionally, three six-day Bahamas cruises operating round-trip from Baltimore and featuring visits to Freeport and Nassau will be offered. These cruises, which depart Nov. 30 and Dec. 20, 2015, and Feb. 14, 2016, provide consumers with a new short duration cruise option from Baltimore at an incredible value.

Carnival Pride will also offer a new series of eight-day exotic eastern Caribbean voyages departing from Baltimore and featuring Grand Turk, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau, each offering gorgeous beaches and excellent watersports. Departure dates for these voyages include Oct. 18 and 31, and Dec. 26, 2015, and Feb. 20, and April 15 and 23, 2016.

A special six-day East Coast U.S. and Bahamas cruise from Baltimore featuring the line’s first-ever scheduled in-transit call to Charleston, S.C., as well as Port Canaveral, Fla., Nassau, and Freeport, will be offered Nov. 22, 2015.

Fun Ship 2.0 Innovations

This fall, Carnival Pride will undergo a multi-million-dollar makeover that will add a variety of dining, bar and entertainment innovations that are part of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative.

New features will include Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, BlueIguana Cantina serving authentic Mexican fare, EA SPORTS Bar with a 16-monitor video wall and 24/7 sports ticker, and two poolside watering holes – RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar.

For guests of all ages, WaterWorks, featuring Green Thunder, the fastest and steepest slide at sea, as well as the line’s signature Twister slide and a water spray park.

Also added will be Bonsai Sushi serving authentic Asian specialties, RedFrog Pub serving Carnival’s own private label draft beer, ThirstyFrog Red, Library Bar with self-service wine dispensers, and Cherry On Top, offering bulk candy, apparel and other items.

New entertainment options such as Hasbro, The Game Show with larger-than-life adaptations of the company’s iconic games, and Playlist Productions where talented performers interact with spectacular staging and special effects, will be added, as well.

Reservations are currently being accepted on all of the Carnival Pride’s new departures from Baltimore and San Juan. For additional information, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit the website.

Portuscale Offers 2 for 1 Cruise

MV Funchal


Portuscale Cruises is offering a 2 for 1 sale on its 45-day Suez Sojourn Cruise from Barcelona, Spain to Newcastle, Australia, sailing from Jan. 4 to Feb. 15, 2015.

The first cruise guest pays full fare and the companion pays for port charges and fees. The Suez Sojourn cruise starts at $7,098 per person and the second guest only pays $848, a savings of $6,249. This offer is valid until Sept. 5, 2014.

Guests will experience 10 countries during the 45 days at sea, exploring the Mediterranean’s diverse islands to some of North Africa’s oldest and sophisticated civilizations before heading to Southeast Asia with its vibrant culture and people.

While at sea, guests can take a dip in the pool, catch up on some reading in the library, attend presentations and lectures, contact family and friends in the Internet center or simply enjoy a drink in one of the five bars onboard. Dining is a gastronomic delight where no dinner menu is repeated and bread arrives at tables freshly baked. There are evening performances to entertain the guests following dinner.

Cabins include a private ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, bar fridge, safe, flat screen TV and depending on the category chosen, it may also include a sofa and coffee table.

Portuscale pays a minimum of 13% commission on any booking.

For further information, email portuscalecruises@us.sales.com or call 1-800-254-7412.

MSC Cruises Offers Grand Voyage and Wine Theme Cruises

MSC Cruises Offers Grand Voyage and Special Wine Theme Cruises This Fall

MSC Cruises is offering special fall cruise departures featuring a Grand Voyage that explores the capitals of Europe and South America and a series of themed “On The Wine Routes” cruises.

“As MSC Cruises generates greater awareness for the brand and its expansive fleet, North American travelers are also looking for more immersive MSC cruise experiences,” said Ken Muskat, executive vice president of Sales, PR & Guest Services. “These special departures on the MSC Magnifica and MSC Splendida are an ideal way to mix and mingle with a more European base of passengers, while visiting some of Europe’s and South America’s more iconic cities and ports.”

Grand Voyage of MSC Magnifica

The 20-night Grand Voyage of MSC Magnifica departs Hamburg (Germany) November 8, 2014, and includes 12 relaxing days at sea with calls in eight diverse destinations. Following calls at Le Havre (France), and Southampton (England), gateways to Paris and London, the ship will visit Lisbon (Portugal), before setting sail for Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

While MSC Magnifica is docked at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, guests are invited to take part in the first Tenerife Marathon on November 16, 2014. Three scenic options of varying difficulty level are available, including an 8K through the city streets; a half marathon around the town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and along the coastal road; and, a full marathon that starts at the harbor of Santa Cruz, cuts through the city center and along the coastal road. (Application deadline is October 25, 2014.)

Following the Canary Islands is a five-night transatlantic crossing to Brazil, with visits to Recife, Salvador, and Rio de Janeiro; before reaching the final port of Buenos Aires (Argentina). Departures for the Grand Voyage of MSC Magnifica start at $2359 per person for a balcony stateroom.

Wine Themed Cruises on MSC Splendida

Also beginning in November, the MSC Splendida will host three “On The Wine Routes” departures designed to provide immersive wine experiences in ports along the Mediterranean such as charming Provence, buzzing Barcelona or the historic Roman port of Civitavecchia.

The eight-day/seven-night cruises on MSC Splendida will depart from Genoa, Italy, on November 2 and 9, with calls in Naples and Messina (Italy); Tunis (Tunisia); Barcelona (Spain), and Marseille (France); and December 14, making stops in Civitavecchia, near Rome, and Palermo, Sicily (Italy) as well as Tunis; Barcelona, and Marseille. On the Wine Routes sailing packages start at $583 per person.

Every On The Wine Routes cruise includes city tours, enlightening talks, tastings of a wide range of fine local wines and qualified insights by Masters of Wine, leading experts on the art, science and business of wine.

The cruise package includes one excursion to a wine producer or cellar in France, Spain or Italy, and a high quality beverage package, comprising superior wines served with onboard meals* and a bottle of fine sparkling wine on Gala Night.

*Wines will vary between departures but will always reflect the itinerary.

For more information about MSC Cruises, please visit the website

MSC Yacht Club lobby

, call 1-877-665-4655 or contact a travel agent. For MSC Cruises’ latest news and updates, like MSC Cruises’ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/MSC.Cruises.USA or follow along on Twitter at www.twitter.com/msccruisesusa.

Royal Caribbean Invests $2 Million More in ByoPlanet’s Advanced Electrostatic Technology to Keep Passengers Safe

Spraying the cruise deck.


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) has announced that it is extending its contract with ByoPlanet International of Sunrise, FL in a health and safety initiative designed to eradicate dangerous pathogens and protect guests from the debilitating effects of the highly publicized Norovirus and other threatening viruses.

The international cruise line has ordered 350 additional sophisticated electrostatic sprayers as well as the commercial 900 delivery system from ByoPlanet. The CS 900 delivery system was designed specifically for cruise line logistics and the need to disinfect very large areas in very little time. The new order is worth a bit more than $2 million according to ByoPlanet President & COO Rick O’Shea.

New to RCCL’s arsenal this year is the BP 500 Backpack – which allows for an even more mobile technician to hit smaller, hard-to-reach spaces and high traffic areas with complete disinfectant protection.

“Royal Caribbean is taking very proactive steps to disinfect their ships by investing in more of our technology,” said O’Shea. “The cruise line has led the charge in protecting passengers against hidden germs. Using state-of-the-art-technology to treat and protect every touch point against hidden germs is sure to enhance the overall guest experience and safety of both guests and crew.”

ByoPlanet’s latest generation of electrostatics produces small electrically charged droplets of EPA- approved chemical that actually “wrap around” germ-infested areas. The chemicals penetrate deep into the designated target, killing the harshest pathogens in areas impossible for traditional housekeeping methods to reach – providing complete protection.

Royal Caribbean is committed to reducing its environmental footprint. The ByoPlanet electrostatic droplets tend to repel and not overlap one another which results in significantly less product usage compared to traditional housekeeping protocols while still providing superior coverage.

The ByoPlanet process provides a safer approach to sanitization, disinfection and odor elimination and has proven incredibly effective at combating today’s deadliest germs while saving valuable housekeeping resources.

Regent Adds Unlimited Free Internet to All-Inclusive Offerings

REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES ADDS UNLIMITED FREE INTERNET TO ALL-INCLUSIVE OFFERINGS

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ brand of all-inclusive luxury is expanding to include unlimited internet access. For all Regent Seven Seas Cruises voyages setting sail after January 1, 2015, guests booked in Master, Grand, Seven Seas, Horizon, Mariner, Navigator and Voyager suites will receive unlimited complimentary internet access. The free internet access is available for the duration of the cruise and is accessible in all public spaces and suites via the ship-wide Wi-Fi system.

“By introducing the industry’s only unlimited complimentary internet program onboard our ships, we continue to fulfill our guest promise to deliver the most inclusive experience available, at sea or on land,” shared Kunal S. Kamlani, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “The expansion of our free internet program, coupled with widespread enhancements made to the ships during recent dry docks, strengthens the luxury proposition found on Regent Seven Seas Cruises and better prepares us for the arrival of Seven Seas Explorer, which will be the most luxurious ship ever built.”

The addition of free unlimited internet access for upper suites coincides with the completion of a multimillion-dollar upgrade to internet systems on all Regent Seven Seas Cruises ships. The upgrades entail a doubling of available bandwidth to increase internet speed and reliability, and an expansion of the Wi-Fi system to provide connectivity throughout the entire ship, including all public spaces, outdoor decks and suites.

While top tier suites will enjoy unlimited internet access, guests booked in Penthouse and Concierge suites will continue to receive complimentary internet time based on cruise length. For example, guests sailing on a seven-night voyage receive 200-minutes free and the amount of gratis internet time extends to 500-minutes for voyages over 16-nights. Members of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises loyalty program, Seven Seas Society, who achieved gold status or higher will continue to receive unlimited complimentary internet access onboard, regardless of suite selection.

The expansion of the unlimited internet program adds to the most comprehensive list of included amenities in the vacation industry, including round-trip air, a pre-cruise hotel night stay, fine wine and spirits, unlimited shore excursions in every port, specialty dining, ground transfers and gratuities.

About Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world’s most inclusive luxury cruise line. The line’s fares include all-suite accommodations, round-trip air, highly personalized service, acclaimed cuisine, fine wines and spirits, sightseeing excursions in every port, all gratuities, and a pre-cruise luxury hotel package and complimentary Wi-Fi for those guests staying in concierge and higher suites. Three award-winning, all-suite vessels, Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner, and Seven Seas Voyager, are among the most spacious at sea and visit more than 250 destinations around the globe. The line is currently building the 750-guest Seven Seas Explorer, which will be delivered in summer of 2016.

“MasterChef” Cruise Itinerary Unveiled

Chef Graham Elliot


First-Ever MasterChef Cruise Event Itinerary Unveiled

Caribbean Cruise Will Feature Culinary Events and Demonstrations including Mystery Box Challenges, Tag Team Challenges, Meet and Greets and More!

Blind Taste Test With Award-Winning Chef and MASTERCHEF Judge Graham Elliot, Prepare the Perfect Steak with MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Winner Alexander Weiss,Cook Mac-n-Cheese with MASTERCHEF Winner Christine Ha!

The programming lineup for the first-ever MasterChef Cruise was announced today for the seven-day culinary journey sailing to the Caribbean Nov. 8-15, 2014.

Foodies and fans of America’s most-watched cooking competition series MASTERCHEF (Mondays, 8:00pm ET/PT on FOX) will hone their culinary skills while getting up close and personal with their favorite series talent with over 15 hours of event programming including Mystery Box Challenges, MasterChef Trivia, Tag Team Challenges, cocktail parties, meet and greets, demonstrations and more.

Presented by Shine America, producers of the television series, and events company Life Journeys, the MasterChef Cruise features culinary events and demonstrations with world-class Michelin-Star Chef and MASTERCHEF judge Graham Elliot; series winners Christine Ha and Luca Manfe; the first-ever MASTERCHEF JUNIOR winner Alexander Weiss; previous season contestants Becky Reams and Bri Kozior and the current season’s winner (to be revealed on the Sept. 15 finale).

MasterChef Cruise guests will be offered hours of entertaining and instructional events and demonstrations, including:

Christine Ha’s Mac-n-Cheese at Sea Competition – Christine will judge the first-ever Mac-n-Cheese at Sea competition where guests will compete to create their best version of the classic dish.

Blind Taste Test with Graham Elliot – A few willing audience members will have the opportunity to test their taste buds with a challenge led by Graham.

Tag Team Sushi – Get a front-row seat to the famous Sushi Tag Team Challenge featuring the MasterChef Stars.

Master the Macaroon with Alexander – Learn to master Alexander’s signature dessert, the ever-elusive Macaroon.

Designer Pasta – Learn how to make authentic, homemade pasta with a demonstration from Luca Manfé.

Craft Cocktails
– Create craft cocktails with the MasterChef season 5 winner.

The Finale - The MasterChef Stars compete in an all-out food war to see who is crowned the first-ever “MasterChef Cruise Champion.”

For additional details and the full MasterChef Cruise itinerary visit the website.

Many of the activities will take place in the ship’s Vista Show Lounge, which showcases state of the art video equipment, high-resolution LED panels and a seating capacity of 856 guests.

“MASTERCHEF fans and food lovers alike are in for an incredible journey with hours of original live programming that both entertains and instructs,” said Vivi Zigler, President Shine 360° and Digital, Shine America. “Guests will get to live the ‘MASTERCHEF experience with some of the most skilled and beloved talent from the series, while also honing their own culinary skills.”

“We are thrilled to be a partner with Shine America on the official first-ever MasterChef Cruise and can’t think of a more ideal setting than sailing to the Caribbean with such passionate fans of the show,” said Ibis Kaba, executive VP/producer of Life Journeys.

The cruise will set sail from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and visit Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private island in the Bahamas.

Headliner chef Graham Elliot is a self-described “Navy brat” who has traveled the world and all fifty states. He’s a creative culinary wizard with an innate ability to successfully juxtapose four-star cuisine with humor, wit and out-of-the-box artistry. At age 27, he became the youngest Four Star Chef to be named in any major U.S. city and was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs” in 2004. He also is a judge for MASTERCHEF and MASTERCHEF JUNIOR. In recent years Elliot has accrued several prestigious accolades, including multiple James Beard Foundation nominations as well as being named one of Crain’s Chicago Business list of “40 Under Forty.” Elliot operates the award-winning Graham Elliot Bistro in Chicago.

As a special highlight, cruisers will meet the winner of Season 5, who will be revealed in the season finale airing Monday, Sept. 15 at 8:00pm PT on FOX.

Fares for the seven-night “MasterChef” cruise begin at $1,442 per person, double occupancy, and include activities associated with the MASTERCHEF Cruise shipboard programming. Premium programming opportunities are available for an additional cost.

For more information and to make reservations, visit the website or call 1-888-259-9191, ext. 1262.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Announces On-Board Beverage Credit

Europa 2


Hapag-Lloyd Cruises announces ‘on-board beverage credit’ as introductory offer exclusively for its international markets

As an introductory offer for all international guests, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has announced an “on-board beverage credit” for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The credit will be graded according to the length of the cruise. It will apply to all new bookings on board two of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ cruise ships, the luxury cruise ship EUROPA 2 and the expedition ship HANSEATIC. This introductory offer applies to all new bookings after October 1, 2014.

· Up to €200 beverage credit per person/per cruise
· Introductory offer applies to all international markets
· Offer introduced August 1, 2014; applicable to all new bookings after October 1, 2014

The cruise operator Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has not only reaffirmed its commitment to an international strategy but has also evaluated the different needs of its new, international guests. Following EUROPA 2’s first year of operation, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises was able to increase its international guest base by 42 % between 2013 and June 2014. Taking its marketing activity forward, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has identified the United Kingdom, United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and Scandinavia as priority, international target markets.

Karl J. Pojer, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises comments: “I am delighted to see the number of bookings increasing from our international markets. We have received a lot of positive feedback, which is reflected by an overall 97% guest recommendation rate. We would like to embrace further our new international markets and therefore address the different needs of our international guests. From October 1, we will apply this introductory offer to all new bookings, an ‘on-board beverage credit’, to all international markets.”

The value of the beverage credit is dependent upon the length of the cruise: For a cruise up to six nights, a beverage credit of €100 per person is offered. For a cruise lasting for seven to nine nights the international guest will receive a beverage credit of €150 per person. If the cruise lasts longer than ten days a beverage credit of €200 will apply to each guest.

Pojer explains further: “Diversity and choice are two of the main elements which define our high standards on board. For example, we have approximately 500 varieties of wines available on board EUROPA 2 – one of the largest wine menus on the high seas. By offering this ‘beverage credit’ we are ensuring this diversity, however, are also offering our international guest the flexibility to make choices.”

Guests cruising on board Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ EUROPA 2 enjoy many features already included in the cruise fare: a complimentary, in-suite, mini bar with a selection of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks (restocked twice a day); a choice of dining in all seven restaurants – including the specialty restaurants on board, where no additional surcharge applies; and gratuities.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ international strategy:

With its fleet of two ultra-luxury cruise ships and two expedition ships, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is regarded today as one of the leading operators in the luxury and expedition segment in the German-speaking countries. All cruises on board the latest fleet member EUROPA 2 are international operated in both English and German. In its expedition segment, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises also offers a selection of international cruises on board its 5-star-rated expedition ship HANSEATIC. The expansion of marketing activities in international markets goes hand-in-hand with the focus on these areas of luxury and expedition.

Karl J. Pojer concludes: “We are aware of the challenges of the international marketplace; and conscious of existing industry competition. We believe, however, that our concept of combining 5-star plus standards with sophisticated informality and flexible route planning is the key to the way forward and continued success. We understand and are committed to this new way of enjoying relaxed luxury.”

For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ exciting destinations and itineraries, visit the website.

Louis Cruises Launching a New Brand: Celestyal Cruises


Today’s travelers want an authentic experience when they travel. They want unique destinations and a true taste of the culture, gastronomy and history of a place. And, as modern life becomes more hectic, they want a travel experience that dissolves their cares from the moment they depart. They want a temporary home in the stars.

Since 2013, Louis Cruises has kept this idea at the forefront of its efforts, particularly with the inauguration of the ‘Kalimera!’ experience. Throughout the 2013 season Louis Cruises gave passengers the best of the Aegean’s “Iconic” destinations, such as Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes and Santorini, along with revised bar and restaurant menus, new themed programs, peerless onboard entertainment and personalized service that defines Greek hospitality.

Thousands of Louis passengers are saying ‘Kalimera!’ to the real Greek experience in 2014 with itineraries that take them to nine new “Idyllic” Aegean destinations, undiscovered gems such as Chios, Ios, Kos, Milos, Samos, Symi, Syros and the “Turkish Riviera” ports of Bodrum and Cesme.

“Kalimera!” is more than a greeting – it’s a promise, and the company is bolstering its commitment with even more outstanding Greek food and wine, and with themed programs that take passengers deeper into the archaeology, gastronomy, history and music of Greece. In 2015 the company will continue to build on the promise of “Kalimera!” sailing to incredible new ports of call in the Ionian and Adriatic seas and along the Dalmatian coast.

“In September 2014 we will give a name to this promise: Celestyal Cruises. Celestyal stems from celestial,” which means ‘pertaining to the stars’ and ‘heavenly’ or ‘divine.’ By launching Celestyal, we are expanding the Louis Cruises portfolio thereby reflecting the divine, real Greek experience that one enjoys when sailing with us,” said Kyriakos Anastassiadis, CEO of Louis Cruises. “We’ve also chosen this name to honor our ancestors, the Ancient Greeks, who were among the first peoples to use celestial navigation – by the third century BC; Greek mariners were using the Little Bear to navigate their ships.”

This fall the world is invited to say ‘Kalimera!’ to Celestyal Cruises and “Kalimera!” to the real Greek experience.

Louis Cruises’ itineraries can be booked online or through most major tour operators in the U.S. and Canada. For further information or to order the company’s brochure call (877) 568-4787, send an e-mail to cruising@louiscruises.com or visit the company’s website.

About Louis Cruises

Louis Cruises is the only home porting cruise operator in Greece and preeminent cruise line for the Greek Islands and Turkey. From Piraeus and Lavrion, Louis Cruises sails to Chios, Crete, Ios, Kos, Milos, Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Symi and Syros, and to the Turkish ports of Bodrum, Cesme, Istanbul, Izmir and Kusadasi. Two of the company’s ships, the “Thomson Spirit” and “Thomson Majesty,” are under charter to Thomson Cruises of TUI AG. Louis Cruises’ strategic alliances with leading tour operators such as TUI AG have significantly strengthened its position in the international cruising market. In 2011 Louis Cruises became a member of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a worldwide cruise industry alliance that promotes a safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environment. Louis Cruises was named “Passenger Line of the Year” during the annual Lloyds List Greek Shipping Awards in 2010 and has twice been the recipient of the Condé Nast Travelers Choice Award.

Windstar Cruises Launches New Cruisetours

Windstar Cruises Launches New Cruisetours, Including a Four-Day Myanmar Experience


Small luxury cruise offers collection of land and sea experiences

Windstar is launching its first-ever series of Cruisetours, premiering in Asia and Arabia. For those wanting to extend their cruise vacation with a land experience, the Cruisetour collection allows guests to experience the wonders of the Far East without the stress of planning the travel. Starting at $5,299 Cruisetours include: the cost of the cruise, flights to the Cruisetour city, accommodations in a luxury hotel, excursions with an expert guide in each new city, select meals, and transfers.

Guests who book by August 29, 2014 will receive up to a $1,000 airfare credit per person, free hotel and transfers on arrival, a complimentary exclusive Private Event on the voyage crafted solely for Windstar guests, and savings of up to 50% of the cruise fare.

“We’ve applied our philosophy of exploring hidden harbors and secluded coves to our land experiences, handpicking the best excursions to taste the local culture,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Our Cruisetours take care of all the logistics, so our guests can truly relax and enjoy the destination at hand in exclusive Windstar style, both on land and at sea.”

Singapore, the Malay Peninsula, & Myanmar Cruisetour

Cruisetour Experience: Travel to a world long closed to western eyes to enjoy the mystical beauty of Myanmar on this 4-day journey. Guests will visit Yangon and Bangan to explore one of the world’s most revered UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Bagan Archaeological Zone. Highlights include a trip to Phwar Saw Village where locals welcome participants into their homes and share cooking secrets, using the market’s fresh ingredients.
Cruise: Singapore & the Malay Peninsula, 10-day round trip voyage from Singapore
Hotels: 5-Star Sule Shangri-La and 5-star Bagan Lodge
Special Tip: For a limited time receive a FREE hot air balloon ride in Bagan.

Southeast Asia Unveiled & Angkor Wat Cruisetour

Cruisetour Experience: Journey to the ancient temples in Cambodia on this 3-day excursion. Guests will start in Siem Ream, with visits to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Tonle Sap Lake, and Les Artisans d’Angkor. Highlights include a traditional Cambodian feast with a cultural dance performance and a guided tour on board a small shaded vessel moving between floating homes and small fish farms.
Cruise: Southeast Asia Unveiled, a 10-day voyage from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City.
Hotels: Le Meridien Angkor in Siem Reap and Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Special tip: The Angkor Wat Cruistour can be booked either pre- or post- cruise.
Wonders of Civilization Cruisetour

Cruisetour Experience: Explore the ancient city of Cairo on this 5-day excursion. Guests will leave the ship in Luxor before traveling to Cairo to tour the ancient Pyramids of Giza and the mysterious Sphinx. Local highlights include a tour of the Solar Boat, the ritual vessel believed to provide transport for the Pharoah’s soul to the afterlife, as well as a camel ride through the desert.
Cruise: Wonders of Arabia, a 6-day voyage from Athens to Safaga
Hotels: Hilton Luxor, and 5-Star Mena House Hotel in Giza
Special tip: Join Windstar CEO Hans Birkholz as he hosts this Wonders of Arabia voyage.

To learn more about Windstar’s Cruisetours, contact a travel professional, visit the website or call Windstar Cruises at 800-258-7245.

About Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of small luxury cruise ships known for its intimate yacht style experience and unique voyages to the world’s best small ports and hidden harbors. Its three recently renovated sailing yachts carry just 148 to 310 guests and cruise to 50 nations, calling at 150 ports throughout Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and Central America. In May of 2014, Windstar launched Star Pride, the first of three newly acquired power yachts. In May of 2015 the company will launch Star Breeze and Star Legend. The power yachts, with a capacity of 212 guests each, will double the size of Windstar’s fleet, making the company the market leader in small ship cruising with 300 or fewer passengers, with a total of 1,242 berths.

The additional capacity will open up new itineraries such as voyages to Southeast Asia, Arabia, Iceland, and beyond. Windstar was recently listed on Condé Nast Traveler’s prestigious Gold List, coming in as the #3 cruise line in the world.

Carnival and Dallas Cowboys Announce Multi-Year Partnership

Carnival Freedom


Carnival Cruise Lines, Texas’ largest cruise operator, has announced an exclusive, multi-year partnership with the Dallas Cowboys, making Carnival the Official Cruise Line of the legendary NFL franchise and expanding the cruise operator’s already wide-ranging commitment to the Texas market.

Carnival, which will homeport a third year-round ship in Galveston next year, will enjoy extensive branding and visibility through Dallas Cowboys-owned properties and bring its signature brand of fun to fans.
In its new role as the Official Cruise Line of the Dallas Cowboys, Carnival will add fun and memorable fan experiences to tailgaters at home games with its new “Fun Crew,” which tours the lots at AT&T Stadium on branded golf carts, offering exciting prizes to Cowboys fans, including the chance to win one of many cruise vacation giveaways. The Carnival brand will also be highly visible on digital marquees in the stadium and on other Cowboys media and online properties. Fans can also get in on the fun through a host of social media promotions and activities, giveaways and more.

The line’s partnership kicked off with the exclusive sponsorship of the Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Daily News Show airing regionally on Fox Sports Network. During nightly camp updates, new “Carnival 1st & Fun” segments offered an inside look at the fun firsts Cowboy’s reporter Lindsay Cash experienced on her recent Carnival cruise vacation. The segments will also be available at Carnival’s YouTube page (www.youtube.com/carnival).

“Carnival is far and away the most popular cruise line in Texas and millions of Texans have enjoyed exceptional vacations sailing with us from our homeport in Galveston,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Lines. “Partnering with one of the most successful and storied franchises in professional sports makes perfect sense for us as the avid Cowboys fan base is among the most spirited in the country, much like Carnival guests.”

“We’re thrilled to bring Carnival Cruise Lines aboard as our Official Cruise Line,” said Jerry Jones Jr., chief marketing officer of the Dallas Cowboys. “We look forward to enhancing the game-day experience for every Cowboys fan with the unique brand of fun and entertaining activities Carnival will be bringing to our home games.”

The Dallas Cowboys partnership coincides with the line’s upcoming deployment of a third year-round ship, Carnival Freedom, to Galveston in February 2015. With the addition of Carnival Freedom, which recently underwent an extensive multi-million dollar makeover, Carnival expects to carry more than 600,000 guests a year from Texas – the most of any cruise operator.

Carnival Freedom will join Carnival Magic in offering seven-day Caribbean cruises and Carnival Triumph which sails on four and five-day voyages to Mexico.

For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line’s travel agent Internet portal.