Posts Tagged night cruise
16th Dec 2011
With members of the Royal family set to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by touring the globe in 2012, why not follow in their footsteps and embark on a majestic adventure of your own with Royal Caribbean International? Follow in Prince Harry’s footsteps and visit the Bahamas onboard the world’s biggest cruise ship Allure of the Seas, on a nine-night Eastern Caribbean fly/cruise from £1,516.00 per person (based on two people sharing an inside cabin). Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, one-night pre-cruise hotel accommodation, transfers and a seven-night cruise departing Fort Lauderdale (Florida) and calling at Nassau (Bahamas), Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas) and Philipsburg (St. Maarten) before returning to Fort Lauderdale (Florida); meals and entertainment onboard and all relevant cruise taxes/fees are also included. Price is based on 04 March 2012 departure. Follow the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall down Under onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Radiance of the Seas on a 20-night Australia & New Zealand fly/cruise from £2,585.00 per person (based on two people sharing an inside cabin). Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, one-night pre-cruise hotel accommodation, transfers and an 18-night cruise departing Perth (Fremantle, Australia) and calling at Albany (Australia), Esperance (Australia), Adelaide (Australia), Melbourne (Australia), Hobart (Tasmania), Milford Sound (New Zealand), Doubtful Sound (New Zealand), Dusky Sound (New Zealand), Dunedin (New Zealand), Christchurch (New Zealand) and wellington (New Zealand) before arriving into Sydney (Australia); meals and entertainment onboard and all relevant cruise taxes/fees are also included. Price is based on 28 October 2012 departure. Visit Singapore and Malaysia like Prince William and Kate onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas on a seven-night Spice of Southeast Asia fly/cruise from £1,522.00 per person (based on two people sharing an inside cabin). Star of Shrek; Princess Fiona, will also be onboard Voyager of the Seas as part of the DreamWorks Experience, giving guests the chance to meet a real-life Princess. Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, one-night pre-cruise hotel accommodation, transfers and a five-night cruise departing Singapore and calling at Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Penang (Malaysia) and Phuket (Malaysia) before returning to Singapore; meals and entertainment onboard and all relevant cruise taxes/fees are also included. Price is based on 02 June 2012 departure.
Let love lift you up … where you belong when Sydney hosts the world premiere of an Officer and a Gentleman musical. Flight Centre has Sydney holidays, including return airfares flying Air New Zealand, three nights' four-star accommodation and an A Reserve ticket to an Officer and a Gentleman from $1189 ex Auckland, $1209 or $1129 ex Christchurch, a person, twin share. Price subject to availability. Valid for sales until January 31. Travel from may 20 to July 19, July 23-26, July 30 to August 12. Contact Flight Centre on 0800 427 555 or visit www.flightcentre.co.nz Cruise Europe Cruiseabout has a 12-night cruise aboard the Ruby Princess, departing Barcelona and taking in Monte Carlo, Monaco; Florence, Rome, Naples, Italy; Mykonos, Greece; Istanbul, Turkey; Kusadasi; Athens, Greece and Venice, Italy. Also includes all main meals and entertainment on board and a US$85 on-board credit, from $2825 a person, twin share. Price subject to availability. Valid for sales until December 31 unless sold out prior. Cruise departs Barcelona on may 6. Airfares are additional. Gratuities are additional from US$11 a person, a day. Contact Cruiseabout on 0800 22 11 00 or visit www.cruiseabout.co.nz See the UK Student Flights has a 16-day great Britain and Ireland tour, including sightseeing tours of all major cities, a boat cruise on Scotland's Loch Ness, guided walking tour of Belfast, visit to Blarney Castle, traditional English roast dinner in a pub, nightly accommodation, 15 breakfasts, eight dinners and transport in modern air-conditioned coach, from $2899 a person, twin share. Price subject to availability. Valid for sales until December 23 or until sold out. Travel from March 23 to October 5. Airfares additional. Contact Student Flights on 0800 36 44 48 or visit www.studentflights.co.nz Highlights of South America Adventure World has a 19-night tour from $8140 a person. Travelling with an escort, this guided tour journeys from the City of Gold, Lima, right down to Rio de Janeiro, with highlights including exploring the former Inca capital of Cuzco, the Lost City of Machu Picchu, beautiful Lake Titicaca, Buenos Aires and the awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls. Travelling by boat, road and rail, price includes accommodation, selected meals, all transfers, sightseeing as specified and tour escort. Airfares additional. Terms and conditions apply. available for sale until December 31 and for travel until April 20. Phone 0800 465 432 or see www.adventureworld.co.nz
Leaving Sydney On September 24 Next Year, The Trip Begins With Flights To Johannesburg, A Three-Day Safari At Madikwe Taking In The ‘Big Five’, And A Four-Night Stay In Sun Town.
CRUISE in Style has a package combining a week-long tour in S. A. with a 30-night cruise. Departing Sydney on September 24 next year, the trip starts with flights to Johannesburg, a three-day safari at Madikwe taking in the “big five”, and a four-night stay in Sun Town.
After flights to Athens, guests will join Holland America’s Prinsendam for the cruise, calling at ports in Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Greece and Italy including Alexandria, Marmaris, Dubrovnik and Venice, ending in Civitavecchia (Rome) for the flight home.
The package ranges from $10,999 a person , twin share, but the cruise can be shortened to sixteen nights, ending in Civitavecchia mid-way, reducing the fare to $9499 an individual twin share.
Oceania Cruises has launched a program of themed cruises for 2012.
Highlights include a 10-day Jacques Pepin cruise from Barcelona to Rome on Jetty with the respected cook and restaurateur, who is also the line’s culinary director, hosting cooking demonstrations and book signings.
Other options include a 10-day Spring Music Fest cruise from Athens to Barcelona on Nautica on may 14, featuring jazz musicians, and a 12-day Italian Wine Immersion Cruise from Rome to Venice on Regatta, leaving July twenty-seven. there are two cruises with a spotlight on health. one is on Regatta, a 10-day cruise from Venice to Athens leaving on August eight, and the second is from Athens to Istanbul on Quay, leaving on October 24. (02) 9959 1370, oceaniacruises.com.au.
If you haven’t already confirmed plans for the Xmas holidays, there’s still enough time to consider a cruise. PO has two 10-night Xmas cruises, leaving in December from Sydney and cruising the South Pacific, priced from $999 a person , twin share.
Pacific Jewel heads out first on December eighteen, with Pacific Sun hot on its heels the following day. Specialised activities on board both will include laser shows and Christmas concerts, wandering carolers, and a Christmas-themed menu.
Santa will be visiting both ships, distributing gifts to each child on board aged between three and seventeen, and guests can join in beach cricket at the 4 ports of call including Mystery Island and Noumea. Thirteen 24 94, pocruises.com.au.
Cruiseaway has a package mixing cruises on all Cunard’s three Queens and a confirmation of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Festival.
Dubbed “the Treble Queen Triumph”, the 34-night package departs from Australia on may six with an overnight stay in London ahead of the first cruise : 14 nights on the Queen Victoria to Russia and the Baltics. the second cruise, on Queen Elizabeth, is a 13-night exploration of the Mediterranean calling at Sardinia, Gibraltar and Monte Carlo, and the third is a five-night cruise to Belgium and France, incorporating the Queen’s Diamond Festival parties next year.
All three cruises are round trips from Southampton, including an overnight stay between cruises one and two, and the whole package ranges from $9599 a person , twin share, with bonus credit offers. 1300 887 590, cruiseaway.com.au.Profile : Azamara Quest
LAUNCHED Originally in 2002 as Renaissance Cruises ‘ R Seven, then in 2007 as Azamara Search. PASSENGERS 694. REGULAR HAUNTS Pacific Rim, Europe, the Caribbean, South America. BEST FOR Couples. THE DETAILS A 17-night cruise from Singapore to Shanghai, leaving on Feb 29, ranges from $4329 an individual twin share. 1300 369 848, ecruising.travel. 1800 754 five hundred, azamaraclubcruises.com, writes tagza.com.
1. Azamara is dubbed a “luxury lite” hybrid cruise product that sits between premium and luxury. there are many inclusions in the fare such as bottled water, colas and fresh juices, house wines at lunch and dinner, specialty coffees and tips.
2. Accommodation ranges from interior staterooms to suites with non-public balconies. All have a sitting area with a chiller, flat-screen TV and wi-fi. Club Suite guests have extra advantages including servant service, priority check-in, complimentary garment pressing and complimentary seating in specialty restaurants.
3. Findings is an open-seating affair, while Windows Cafeteria is an informal, part-alfresco smorgasboard. Prime C and Aqualina are specialty diners, each with perspectives and a surcharge of $US15 ($14.50) a head.
4. Other facilities include a spacious sun deck and pool with 2 jacuzzis, a fitness centre, a spa, a Western european style cafeteria, the exclusive Michael’s Club for loyalty program members and many bars.
5. the dress code on board is always smart casual.
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Serenade of the Seas.
CLASSIC International has announced Athena’s cruise program for the 2012-13 season, with highlights including new ports of call in Australia and Japan.
The 550-guest ship will be the first cruise ship to visit Portland, western Victoria, on a new five-night, round-trip cruise from Adelaide, with its maiden call on February 5, 2013. Athena will also anchor off the South Australian town of Robe on the Limestone Coast.
Other maiden calls include Kagoshima in Japan, Keelung in Taiwan, Busan in South Korea, Kotor in Montenegro and Durres in Albania. classicintcruises.com.
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Exploring Spain and Portugal
Cruise Express is offering its first escorted fly-cruise tour to Spain, Portugal and Morocco in 2012, including a week-long cruise of the Douro River on Uniworld’s Douro Spirit, a 128-guest luxury river cruiser launched earlier this year.
The full itinerary is 28 days and includes return flights to Morocco, three-night stays in Lisbon and Madrid, a land tour of Morocco, including Rabat and Casablanca, a tour of regional Spain and the seven-night cruise. It’s priced from $12,690 a person, twin share.
Shorter options are available including 22-day and 19-day itineraries or a 13-day package which includes flights, three nights in Lisbon and the cruise, priced from $7690 a person, twin share. 1300 766 537, cruiseexpress.com.au.
Silversea’s new itineraries
Silversea Cruises is shaping up for a busy 2012. besides a new program of Mediterranean cruises, offering combined voyages and some one-off itineraries, the line is also adding more themes and cooking schools.
Several cruises will be dedicated to the game of bridge, featuring a program of contract and duplicate bridge. Options include a 10-day Africa cruise on Silver Wind, a round-trip from Cape Town, departing on January 24 and priced from $4746 a person, twin share.
The Relais & Chateaux cooking schools will feature on 20 voyages next year. Options include an 11-day cruise from Tokyo to Shanghai on Silver Shadow, departing on April 25, priced from $6930 a person, twin share.
More for less with Princess
Princess Cruises is offering savings of up to $2000 on 12-to-75 day cruises of Asia, Australia, Hawaii and Tahiti in 2012, if you book by December 2. Examples include a 35-night Pacific Island cruise to Hawaii and Tahiti on Dawn Princess, with ports of call including Suva, Apia, Bora Bora and Honolulu. Departing Sydney on April 13, it’s priced from $5499 a person, twin share. 13 24 88, princess.com.
Profile: Serenade of the Seas
LAUNCHED 2003. PASSENGERS 2110. REGULAR HAUNTS The Caribbean, Europe. BEST FOR Couples, families. THE DETAILS Serenade of the Seas will sail 17 seven-night round-trip cruises from Dubai between December 2012 and April 2013. Cruises are priced from $739 a person, twin share. 1800 754 500, www.royalcaribbean.com.au.
Need to know
1 Serenade of the Seas was the third in the Radiance-class ships in the Royal Caribbean International fleet and its godmother is the movie star Whoopi Goldberg.
2 Of its 1055 cabins, which range from cosy inside staterooms to lavish suites, three-quarters have ocean views. Suiting families, some staterooms have third and fourth berths. Junior suites are especially spacious with a balcony and a large bathroom.
3 There are many culinary options, including My Time Dining allowing guests to dine when they wish. top picks of the alternative venues include the steakhouse, Chops Grille, and the romantic Italian, Portofino.
4 Amenities include 16 bars and lounges, a spa, a Balinese solarium for adults, three pools, a rock-climbing wall and a nine-hole miniature golf course. Kids are well catered for with clubs including the Royal Babies and Royal Tots programs.
5 Serenade will be renovated next year and will replace Brilliance of the Seas in the Middle East for 2012-13
Port watch: Khasab, Oman
Need to know Located on the Strait of Hormuz at the northern tip of the Musandam Peninsula, Khasab is a fishing village often referred to as the Norway of Arabia due to its mountainous landscape and fiord-like inlets. Ships dock at the local port and to get around beyond the immediate area for sightseeing you will need either to take a tour or rent a taxi as there is no public transport.
Do not miss If you are staying locally, sights to put on your checklist include the picturesque restored Portuguese Fort of Khasab on the bay, the small village of Lima, the majestic Jebel Harim mountain and Seebi Island. a popular option is to take a half-day scenic cruise on a traditional Omani dhow past small fishing villages and the fiords, take a kayak trip, or go diving or snorkelling.
Q & A
I am thinking of taking a cruise but live in Adelaide. are there any ships operating from there?
A growing number of ships are visiting or starting cruises from Adelaide this season. true North has an eight-night expedition cruise departing in January; Classic International’s Athena has several cruises in January and February; and the Queen Mary 2 has a 20-night circumnavigation of Australia departing in February. Visiting ships include Pacific Sun, Radiance Of The Seas, Celebrity Century, Volendam, and a number of others will be calling by on world cruises.
Cruises from Sydney – pareeericaWhich cruise ships will be cruising in the path of the total solar eclipse occurring in November 2012?
According to the NASA Eclipse website, a total solar eclipse will take place between November 13 and November 14, 2012. One of the best locations to view this eclipse will be from northern Australia and the South Pacific Ocean on November 14th between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. ship's time. Here are some cruises that offer solar eclipse viewing.
Princess Cruises Solar Eclipse Cruise
Princess Cruises offers an 11-day Queensland, Australia cruise on the Dawn Princess that will feature an opportunity to see a total solar eclipse. this round trip cruise departing Sydney, Australia on November 6, 2012 visits the Australian ports of Brisbane, Willis Island, Airlie Beach, Townsville and Port Douglas. There are four sea days on this cruise including November 14, the day of the eclipse.
P&O Cruises Australia Solar Eclipse Cruises
All four of P&O Cruises Australia's ships have itineraries that will be close to the path of the solar eclipse in November 2012.
Pacific Dawn – the Pacific Dawn departs Brisbane, Australia on November 10, 2012 for a seven-night cruise. the itinerary visits Airlie Beach, Yorkeys Knob (Cairns), Port Douglas and Willis Island. the ship is scheduled to be in Port Douglas on November 14, 2012, the morning of the solar eclipse.
Pacific Magic – the Pacific Magic departs Sydney, Australia on November 12, 2012 for a 10-night cruise. the itinerary visits the new Caledonia ports of Noumea, Isle of Pines, Mare, and Vila. the ship is scheduled to be at sea between Sydney and Noumea on November 14, 2012.
Pacific Sun – the Pacific Sun departs Sydney, Australia on November 4, 2012 for a 10-night cruise. the itinerary visits the new Caledonia ports of Isle of Pines, Mystery Island, Vila, Mare and Noumea before returning to Sydney on November 14, 2012. Passengers will be able to see a partial eclipse during the morning while in Sydney.
Pacific Pearl – the Pacific Pearl departs Sydney, Australia on November 9, 2012 for a 14-night cruise. the itinerary visits the Caledonia ports of Noumea, Mystery Island, vila, Port Denarau, Suva, Dravuni Island, Isle of Pines before returning to Sydney. the ship is in Vila on November 14, 2012.
Celebrity Cruises South Pacific Eclipse Cruise
Celebrity Cruises offers a 20-night South Pacific Eclipse Cruise on the Millennium. Departing Honolulu, Hawaii on November 2, 2012, the itinerary includes Hilo, Hawaii; Pago Pago, American Samoa; Tauranga, new Zealand; Auckland, new Zealand; Bay of Islands, new Zealand and ends in Sydney, Australia. There are 10 sea days on this cruise including November 14th when the ship is somewhere between Fiji and Tauranga, new Zealand.
Holland America Solar Eclipse Cruise
The 14-day Solar Eclipse cruise on the Oosterdam departs Sydney, Australia on November 7, 2012. the itinerary includes seven sea days and stops in Newcastle, Australia; Brisbane, Australia; Hamilton Island, Australia; and new Caledonia. Holland America's website indicates that the Oosterdam will feature solar eclipse viewing between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on November 14, 2012. the ship's location will be somewhere between Hamilton Island, Australia and new Caledonia.
Other cruise lines with ships in the Australia market during the November 2012 eclipse include Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines. Royal Caribbean offers an 18-night cruise on the Voyager of the Seas and a seven-night cruise on the Rhapsody of the Seas. Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Spirit will also be in Australia.
Pay just $1999 per person, twin share, at a time when otherproviders are charging up to $3279 for the cruise alone.
The package includes:
-12-night cruise from Sydney to Auckland-One-way flight from Auckland to Sydney on Emirates-$200 voucher toward any 2012 cruise for those who bookonline (per booking)
Concierge Staterooms feature floor-to-ceiling windowsopening to a verandah, flat screen TVs, a Hansgrohemassaging showerhead and plush amenities. To welcome youaboard, the rooms come with fresh-cut flowers, fresh fruitand sparkling wine.
Concierge Class guests also enjoy priority check-in, earlyembarkation and debarkation, evening hors d'oeuvres, nightlyturndown service and more.
Departing from Sydney, the cruise takes in popular portsincluding Hobart, Fiordland National Park, Wellington,Dunedin and the Bay of Islands.
Valid for departure on 30 November. Limited availability,book by 23 September.
This deal is part of a wider last-minute sale fromCruise1st.com.au, including discounts of up to 40% offcruises such as a 7-night Caribbean cruise for $699, a3-night Sydney taster cruise for $439 including gratuitiesand a 12-night Auckland to Sydney cruise for $999 (inside,twin share).
To book this exclusive offer with Cruise1st.com.au, clickthe link:http://www.travelzoo.com/au/newsflash/86310215-1101114/
Subject to availability. Restrictions may apply.
Departures from Melbourne and more short breaks are features of P&O Cruises massive new 2012-13 program.
On sale from March 31, the new program is P&O Cruises’ biggest ever and features a record 126 voyages between June 2012 and April 2013, with great value fares from $749* per person for a seven-night cruise from Brisbane and $1199* per person for a 10-night cruise from Sydney.
The program offers 24 cruises of less than a week, including more of the themed cruises that have proven such a hit with passengers, such as food and wine getaways and comedy cruises.
Highlights include a three-night Australia Day long weekend cruise from Sydney in January 2013 onboard Pacific Pearl, plus a new four-night Christmas shopping cruise from Sydney to Melbourne in early December on Pacific Sun, with fares on the shopping cruise priced from $649* per person.
The new program also features two new Australian ports of call, with Pacific Sun visiting Port Lincoln and pristine Kangaroo Island in South Australia on a coastal cruise. Fares start from $899 per person quad share for a nine-night cruise from Fremantle to Sydney departing on October 23, 2012.Meanwhile, P&O Cruises has added Melbourne to its line-up of homeports, with the cruise line returning to the Victorian capital to offer seven summer cruises from late 2012, in addition to regular voyages from Sydney, Brisbane, Fremantle and Auckland.
Jenny Lourey, Senior Vice President of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, said the new program offered more cruise itineraries than ever before, with destinations ranging from Asia to Tasmania, as well as the Pacific islands.“Not only do we offer great places to visit, our ships are a destination in themselves. No matter where you’re cruising, the fun begins the moment you step onboard a P&O Cruises’ ship,” Ms Lourey said.
“Whatever your age, our ships offer a great range of features to make your holiday memorable – from spectacular aerial circus acts and great kids’ clubs through to delicious meals at Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill Restaurant and relaxing treatments in the spa.”
The new program also offers travellers front-row seats for the total solar eclipse in November 2012, with Pacific Jewel and Pacific Dawn sailing to the Pacific islands and northern Queensland to ensure the ships offer the best vantage points for the eclipse. Fares start from $799 per person quad share for a seven-night cruise onboard Pacific Dawn departing November 10, 2012.
Meanwhile, Brisbane will see 36 cruise holidays on offer onboard Pacific Dawn and Pacific Sun, including 25 of the popular seven-night cruises to the Pacific Islands or exploring the Queensland coastline. Cruises start from $749 per person quad share for a seven-night Queensland cruise onboard Pacific Sun departing July 8, 2012.Fremantle will welcome home Pacific Sun for a third season of cruising in 2012, offering a mix of short breaks, Western Australian cruises and longer voyages to Asia between August and October 2012.
Twelve-night cruises to Indonesia calling at Bali and Komodo Island are priced from $1099 per person quad share.
Pacific Pearl will return to Auckland for another season of cruising from new Zealand, sailing five cruises of between three and 15 nights between April and may 2013. Fares start from $1299 per person quad share for a 10-night cruise to the Pacific Islands departing may 8, 2013.
Australian travellers will also have the chance to celebrate the birth of cruise holidays, with two special voyages planned in August 2012 to mark 175 years since the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company signed its first contract to deliver mail by sea and 80 years since P&O Cruises’ first Australian cruise.
Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel will meet in Sydney Harbour on August 22 and set sail in tandem on special heritage cruises, featuring tailored entertainment including a 175th Anniversary Gala dinner, a heritage art display and fascinating guest speakers. Fares on the nine-night Pacific Jewel cruise start from $1199 per person quad share.
For more information, Cruiseoffers on 1800 616 434 or visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au
* Fares are quad share. Subject to availability, conditions apply.
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Best for couples … the Douro Spirit cruise ship.
CRUISE EXPRESS has two packages next year that allow you to cruise to Singapore on one ship and return home on another.
The first is a 35-night package priced from $5399 a person, twin share, starting with a cruise from Sydney to Singapore departing on March 9 on P&O’s Arcadia. After a six-night stopover, you return on Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas departing on March 29, cruising for 15 nights.
The second is a 44-night deal departing from Sydney on February 29 and priced from $6999 a person, twin share. it starts with a 24-night cruise on the Queen Elizabeth, ends with the same 15-night cruise back on Rhapsody of the Seas and has a five-night stay in Singapore in between. 1300 766 537, cruiseexpress.com.au.
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Into the wilderness
Wild Earth is offering a series of voyages to Antarctica on the eco-luxury yachts Le Boreal and L’Austral during the 2011-12 season. There are 11-day cruises departing between November and February, priced from €3600 ($4680) and three 16-day cruises departing on November 24, December 21 and January 5, featuring stops at the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, priced from €5400. Both fares are per person, based on two sharing. +64 3 365 1355, wildearth-travel.com.
Azamara Journey is also venturing to the white wilderness next year. Departing on January 13, an 18-night fly, cruise and stay package from Cruiseco includes return airfares to Buenos Aires, a two-night pre-cruise stay and a 16-night cruise. Priced from $8480 a person from Sydney if booked before September 31. (02) 9492 8520, cruising.com.au.
New in food
P&O has launched a cookbook titled Holidays. Featuring more than 60 recipes provided by the line’s culinary team, they include a mix of signature dishes and passenger favourites from appetisers to desserts served across its Australian fleet. Holidays is for sale for $40 on board all P&O ships.
Lovers of wine and tapas on board Oceania’s gourmet ship, Marina, can enjoy a new culinary event held at the exclusive La Reserve by Wine Spectator venue. Taking place between noon and 2pm on as many days as possible during a cruise, the event pairs tapas with four specially selected tasting glasses of wine at a cost of $US15 ($14) a person.
Princess Cruises has a new feature on its Facebook page (facebook .com/princesscruises) called Roll Call, allowing passengers to connect before or after they cruise, whether to ask for advice or organise get-togethers on board.
Royal Caribbean has introduced an all Access Tour, visiting areas normally not accessible to passengers including the theatre backstage, the galley and engine control room. The 3½-hour tour is available fleet-wide and costs $150 a person. royalcaribbean.com.au.
Silhouette, the fourth ship in Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice class, has been launched in Hamburg with some new and unusual features. one is The Alcoves – eight private cabanas accommodating two to four guests next to the popular Lawn Club, which can be rented for a full day or the entire cruise, starting from $US99. celebritycruises.com.
Profile: Douro spirit
LAUNCHED May this year. PASSENGERS 128. REGULAR HAUNTS Portugal and Spain. BEST FOR Couples. THE DETAILS an 11-day cruise from Lisbon to Porto is priced from $3358 a person, twin share, with departures through to November 13. Contact your travel agent or visit uniworldcruises.com.au.
Five things to know
1 The ship cruises the Douro River Valley, a main river on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the world’s oldest winemaking regions, with fortified port a specialty.
2 There are 10 shore excursions on offer during a typical cruise, led by expert local English-speaking guides, including a tour of Lisbon and wine tasting with a traditional Spanish lunch and flamenco show in Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage city.
3 All staterooms have river views, french balconies, L’Occitane toiletries, robes and slippers, with complimentary bottled water delivered each day. The decor is minimalist modern.
4 The fare includes two dinners and two onshore lunches, wines, on-board entertainment and transfers on embarkation and disembarkation days.
5 There is one dining venue operating on an open-seating basis, and a lounge with a bar and dance floor. In between ports of call you can relax on the sun deck, in the spa or pool, browse the gift shop, surf the internet, work off cruise food in the fitness centre, or have a relaxing massage.
I am thinking of booking a balcony stateroom on my next cruise. do you think it’s worth the extra money?
A. Tillman, Sydney.
If your budget can stretch to it, private balconies are a great way to be outdoors without the crowds and offer added enjoyment when cruising scenic parts of the world such as Alaska. They are also worthwhile if your itinerary features many sea days and if you are a smoker, you can sometimes smoke on a balcony, if not in your stateroom. Deals come around occasionally offering free upgrades, so keep an eye out for these as they will save you money.
Port watch: Mytilini, Greece
Need to know Lesvos is the third-largest Greek island, with an undulating landscape rich with mineral hot springs and a capital city — Mytilini — wrapped around a sheltered harbour. Ships anchor here, which means you need to take a tender to shore. The town is easy to negotiate on foot and only a few hours are needed to see the main sights.
Do not miss Besides relaxing in a taverna, Mytilini’s top attraction is an Ottoman castle. one of the largest in the Aegean, it’s an imposing structure perched on a hill offering stunning views. Pick of the excursions include a visit to the Petrified Forest, believed to be 20 million years old and the only forest of its kind in Europe; a tour taking in one of the many hot springs on the island; and a transfer to Thermi beach.