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Costa Crociere brings Costa neoCollection slow cruising to Mediterranean

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Latest offers

Costa Crociere, the talian unit in the Carnival Corp & plc group, says it marks the advent of ‘slow cruising’ with the introduction of its Costa neoCollection Mediterranean cruises. "Available on board Costa’s smaller ships bound for destinations off the beaten track, the first of these cruises will be combined with the Festival of Mediterranean Cuisine, a special programme devised in collaboration with the renowned Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo (Cuneo, Italy as a tribute to the extraordinary Mediterranean gastronomic heritage," the company said in a statement.

This academic institution was set up by Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food, a global grassroots movement created to counter the rise of fast food and to work towards goals of sustainable foods and promotion of local small-scale producers that safeguard local traditions and high quality products.

The Festival of Mediterranean Cuisine, which will be held from 11 April to 25 May in conjunction with the 12-day Hidden treasures of the Mediterranean cruises on Costa neoRiviera, is a unique gastronomic journey of the highest quality in pursuit of authentic taste sensations in the heart of the Mediterranean, in the very places where these culinary treats were first conceived: from Liguria (Savona) to Provence (Toulon), Catalonia (Barcelona), Sicily (Porto Empedocle), Malta (La Valletta) and Campania (Salerno).

On board Costa neoRiviera, the Festival of Mediterranean Cuisine offers guests different events linked to the appreciation of typical local food and wine; staples of the Mediterranean tradition. There are food and wine seminars and tasting of PDO (protected designation of origin) olive oil from five Italian regions, preserves made from local orchard produce, as well as wines and sweets typical of the coastal areas and islands visited. In Salerno, pasta makers from the Amalfi Coast will give a practical demonstration of the traditional method of preparing fusilli.

The homage to Mediterranean taste also involves all the à la carte restaurants and buffets on board Costa neoRiviera, with offerings including moscardini alla ligure (baby squid), traditional Provencal bouillabaisse, stoccafisso alla livornese (stockfish), coniglio all’ischitana (rabbit), crema catalana (low fat crème brûlée) and cassata al forno (cake made with ricotta). 

The menus consist of dishes and recipes selected in partnership with the Università delle Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo and are designed to foster the regional traditions of the destinations visited by using local produce and specific ingredients protected by Slow Food Presidia, such as Cetara anchovies and Conio beans.

The Festival of Mediterranean Cuisine programme gives guests the chance to indulge in food & wine tasting, dinners in typical local restaurants and exclusive neo experienceshoreside excursions for small groups of less than 25 people, specially devised in line with Costa’s new slow cruising philosophy

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The Costa neoCollection combines great attention to detail on board with the discovery of cultural heritage and scenic nature ashore. On the ship everything is designed to allow each guest to experience the cruise at their own pace. With more flexible dining hours in the restaurant, lighter entertainment and original services like high tea, brunch on days at sea, dinner under the stars or the new concierge providing assistance in the choice of custom-made solutions for shore side tours and special services.

The itinerary

The 12-day Hidden treasures of the Mediterranean itinerary on Costa neoRiviera departs from Savona (and also offers the possibility of joining the cruise in Porto Empedocle, Salerno and Livorno) to discover new destinations in Italy, France, Spain and Malta.

 

Costa neoRiviera sails from Savona, where guests can visit Finalborgo and Noli to see a special cooking lesson devoted to farinata (chickpea pancake) and pesto alla genovese. The next stop is Toulon, where guests can visit romantic Provence, including the pearls St. Tropez and Cannes, or discover the little island of Porquerolles, an un-spoilt natural paradise with white sandy beaches and pine forests. Enthusiastic epicures will be especially interested in the renowned Soviou estate, where they can sample wine, olive oil and olives.

The following day, the destination is Barcelona. This gives art lovers the opportunity to visit the Dali Museum at Figueres, Salvador Dali’s hometown, before spending a night out on the town soaking up the Catalan city’s pulsating nightlife, thanks to a made-to-measure late night excursion. The next destination heads to Sicily in Italy with a visit to Porto Empedocle, the gateway for unforgettable tours to celebrated temples. Highlights include the Valle dei Templi, the archeological sites of Segesta and Selinunte, Erice, San Vito Lo Capo and Modica, where guests can sample the famous chocolate made by Dolceria Bonajuto.

The following port call in Malta also offers exceptional culinary experiences. The ship will dock at La Valletta until midnight, giving guests the chance to dine at the famous Ristorante Rubino. Another highlight is the stopover in Salerno, with a whole day until 2amdevoted to exploring the famed Amalfi Coast and enjoying one of the finest views on the coast on the Belvedere terrace with an aperitif at the Michelin-starred Ristorante Rossellinis.

A must-see during this port call is Amalfi, with its main local monument the Duomo – characterised by the splendidly decorated, almost gaudy façade and steep flight of stairs – dominating the piazza. Finally, Livorno is ideally placed for excursions to Pisa and Florence, offering the best of the Italian Renaissance. Here, guests can choose to end this very special gastronomic journey in style with a visit to the Argentinean winery and the opportunity to try fine wines accompanied by a delicious selection of ham, cheese and fresh crusty bread, Costa said.

Royal Caribbean seeks UK blogger for Allure of the Seas' Mediterranean season

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Latest offers

Are you looking for a whole new challenge? Do you think you can take on the longest zip line at sea, the tallest floating rock climbing wall, discover a new destination nearly every day and try out over 20 restaurants in one month? If you answered ‘yes’ to any or all of the above then Royal Caribbean International’s ‘Blogger-On-Board’ opportunity could be the challenge of a lifetime for you.


Royal Caribbean International is inviting one lucky person to become a guest blogger aboard the innovative cruise ship Allure of the Seas in the Mediterranean in 2015.


The ‘Blogger-On-Board’ will be whisked away to join the ship for a whole month during summer 2015.  Charged with reporting on life aboard a ship as well as the destinations visited, the opportunity promises an awe inspiring backdrop to the experience including  a real outdoor park longer than a football pitch complete with real grass; a zip wire; 20 pools and whirlpools, and an outdoor AquaTheater and of course an ever changing postcard destination every day.

To be in with a chance to win, would be bloggers simply need to visitwww.royalcaribbean.co.uk/awaywithwords/ and in no more than 500 words or a 60 second video explain what their most ‘WOW’ travel experience involved. For full terms and conditions and details regarding the judging stages please visitwww.royalcaribbean.co.uk/awaywithwords/.

For those who might not want to take a month’s break from everyday life, Allure of the Seaswill be offering a full season of seven-night cruises, from 3 May 2015 when it arrives in Barcelona.  . Prices for a seven night cruise cruise-only will start from £799 per person. For more information please visit www.royalcaribbean.co.uk.

Princess Cruises offers up to 40% off with Summer Super Savers

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Latest offers

Princess Cruises is offering special fares on memorable summer vacations with a special Summer Super Savers promotion offering cruise deals of up to 40% off. More than 150 summer cruises are featured in the sale, including sailings to the Caribbean, the Great Land of Alaska and Princess new Japan sailings. The March 4 to April 1, 2014 sale also features a special reduced deposit of only $100 per person.

More information about the summer cruise sale and pricing can be found at princess.com/sale.

Sample summer vacation cruise deals include:

– Alaska Voyage of the Glaciers cruise: 7 days: $579 interior (was $979); $1,070 balcony (was $1,749)
     
– Alaska Inside Passage cruise:  7 days: $649 interior (was $899); $1,199 balcony (was $1,399)
     
– Caribbean cruise:  7 days: $699 interior (was $1,049); $999 balcony (was $1,399)
     
– Japan:  9 days: $1,299 interior (was $1,989); $1,999 balcony (was $2,989)

Additional information about current cruise deals and promotions can be found at princess.com/topcruisedeals.

All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy. The Summer Super Savers sale runs from 12:01 a.m. PST on March 4 through 11:59 p.m. PST on April 1, 2014 and is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at princess.com.

Royal Caribbean International rolls out family-friendly offers for March

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Latest offers

Royal Caribbean International, the cruise line known for its award-winning family programming, is enticing vacationers to set sail in 2014 with a selection of enticing incentives. From March 1 through 31, 2014, vacationers can choose from among three offers, including kids sailing for free, complimentary upgrades and 50 percent-reduced deposits aboard select ships sailing Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean and Europe, departing May 1 through Dec. 15, 2014. For more details, please visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/KidsSailFree.

Kids sail free

Families can indulge in a healthy dose of sun and sand with Royal Caribbean’s “Kids Sail Free” limited-time offer, which provides free cruise fare for third and fourth guests of all ages in triple or quad occupancy staterooms. Guests aboard the cruise line’s innovative ships will enjoy signature Royal Caribbean features and amenities, such as FlowRider surf simulators, ice skating rinks, rock-climbing walls and cutting-edge entertainment that are sure to WOW.  The “Kids Sail Free” offer is available fleetwide, excluding Quantum of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas. Third and fourth berth staterooms are limited on select sailings and the offer is only applicable while inventory last.

Complimentary upgrades and 50 percent-reduced deposit

Travelers looking to get away this year can book a Royal Caribbean cruise and enjoy the opportunity to sail with an upgraded view. Guests may book a balcony stateroom for the same price as an ocean view stateroom on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of Seas, Radiance of the Seas, and Serenade of the Seas, or an ocean view stateroom for the price of an interior stateroom on Enchantment of the Seas, Legend of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas, Vision of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.

Families and vacationers of all ages who book a Royal Caribbean cruise aboard the ships noted above also will enjoy 50 percent-reduced deposit, starting at $50 per guest. Onboard all Royal Caribbean ships, guests can experience a sea of leisure, dining and entertainment options.

 

Amawaterways' top 10 offers in UK

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Latest offers

22
nd April, 7 night Douro cruise saving £840 – with free flights from Birmingham
Luxury river cruise operator AmaWaterways has trimmed the cost of a 7 night cruise along Portugal’s Douro river by £840 per person. Departing in Porto on 22nd April 2014 the cruise now costs £1569 per person, including a scenic 7 night voyage down the Douro river, free flights from Birmingham and transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with free flowing wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner, daily excursions and tours, free wi-fi. Contact AmaWaterways on0808 256 8422www.amawaterways.co.uk
 
 
23rd April, Tulip Time Cruise, saving £710pp
Cruise through the carpets of brightly coloured tulips, past picturesque windmills and enjoy daily tours and excursions in Holland and Belgium. AmaWaterways’ `Tulip Time’ sailing can now be booked with a £710pp saving, from just £1579pp including free flights from London and transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with free flowing wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner, daily excursions and tours, free wi-fi, complimentary use of on board bicycles. Regional flights also available. Contact AmaWaterways on 0808 256 8422www.amawaterways.co.uk
 
 
5th May, 7 night, 5 country Black Sea Voyage, saving £666pp – with free flights from Manchester
Take a 5 country, 7 night cruise, starting in Budapest on 5th May, cruising through Croatia, Serbia, Romania and to arrive in Rousse, Bulgaria. The cruise price of £1999 (was £2659) saves £665pp and includes free flights from Manchester and transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with free flowing wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner, daily excursions and tours, free wi-fi, complimentary use of on board bicycles. London flights also available. Contact AmaWaterways on0808 256 8422www.amawaterways.co.uk
 
 
8th May, RAIL & SAIL : Paris & Normandy by luxury river cruiser – with £660pp saving, free Eurostar and complimentary D-Day excursions
AmaWaterways are offering a saving of £660pp, free Eurostar travel and complimentary excursions to visit the beaches and landmarks associated with the D-Day landings, as part of a luxury 7 night river cruise from Paris to Normandy, embarking in Paris on 8th May 2014. The sailing, which now costs from £1799pp, saving £660pp, includes free Eurostar travel from London, transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with free flowing wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner, daily excursions and tours, free wi-fi, complimentary use of on board bicycles. Regional flights also available. Contact AmaWaterways on 0808 256 8422www.amawaterways.co.uk
 
 
8th May 2014, RAIL & SAIL : Provence river cruise, with optional ghost walk and £770pp saving
Save £770pp off a 7 night cruise from Arles to Lyon, departing on 8th May 2014, including free rail travel, transfers and daily guided tours and excursions that include the chateaux, towns and vineyards that accompany the constantly changing riverside vista; participate in a ghost walk through the town of Viviers, join a Van Gogh tour in Arles or a wine tasting in Provence. The cruise price of £1779pp saves £770pp and includes free rail travel from London, transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with free flowing wine, beer & soft drinks  with lunch and dinner, daily excursions and tours, free wi-fi, complimentary use of on board bicycles.  Regional flights also available. Contact AmaWaterways on 0808 256 8422www.amawaterways.co.uk
 
 
10th May, 11 night Russian Waterways cruise, Moscow to St. Petersburg, saving £475ppAmaWaterways is offering a £475pp saving off an 11 night cruise along the Volga-Baltic waterways between Moscow and St. Petersburg, including free daily excursions that include city tours, the chance to dine with a Russian family, take Russian lessons on board, or visit farming villages, cities, cathedrals and palaces. The price of £2459pp includes a £475pp saving, free Russian visas, flights from London, transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with free flowing wine  beer & soft drinks with dinner, daily excursions and tours, free wi-fi. Regional flights also available. Contact AmaWaterways on 0808 256 8422www.amawaterways.co.uk
 
 
20th May 2014, 3 cities, 4 countries, 7 night Danube cruise, saving £310pp
Cruise from Budapest, visiting Bratislava and Vienna, before sailing through the picturesque Wachau valley visiting the magnificent monastery at Melk and the towns of Linz and Passau, disembarking in Vilshofen. This spectacular Danube cruise is now offered with a £310pp saving, now £2079pp including free flights from London, transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with free flowing wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner, daily excursions and tours, free wi-fi, complimentary use of on board bicycles. Contact AmaWaterways on 0808 256 8422,www.amawaterways.co.uk
 
 
23rd June, Amsterdam to Basel 7 night Rhine cruise, saving £330pp
AmaWaterways have trimmed £330pp off the price of a 7 night cruise along the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel, taking in Cologne, the Rhine Gorge, and the scenic Alsace and Black Forest regions. This spectacular cruise is now offered with a £330pp saving, now £1929pp including free flights from London, transfers,breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with free flowing wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner, daily excursions and tours, free wi-fi, complimentary use of on board bicycles. Contact AmaWaterways on 0808 256 8422www.amawaterways.co.uk
 
 
8th July 2014, 7 night, 5 country Danube cruise, saving £330pp
Departing on 8th July 2014, AmaWaterways are offering a £330pp saving off their Romantic Danube luxury river cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest, cruising through Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The price of £1939pp includes free flights from London, transfers,breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with free flowing wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner, daily excursions and tours, free wi-fi, complimentary use of on board bicycles. Contact AmaWaterways on 0808 256 8422www.amawaterways.co.uk
 
21st July 2014, 7 night Legendary Danube cruise, saving £385pp
Save £385pp off a week long luxury river cruise along the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest, visiting Linz, Passau, Melk, Vienna and Budapest, watching the world pass by from panoramic windows and taking part in daily complimentary tours and excursions. The price of £2179pp includes flights from Manchester,transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with free flowing wine with lunch and dinner, daily excursions and tours, free wi-fi, complimentary use

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