MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line, is enhancing its range of cruises from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the introduction of a second ship, MSC Lirica. Featuring new extended cruises of 11 nights and 14 nights, MSC Lirica will be making her debut in the UAE in November 2018, offering longer itineraries, two overnight stays in Dubai, as well as cruises to India for the very first time. MSC Splendida will also sail the UAE region during winter 2018/2019, offering shorter 7-night itineraries. The addition of MSC Lirica to the winter 2018/2019 itineraries offers guests the opportunity for extended winter cruise vacations, and the chance to discover more new and exotic destinations.
“This will be our seventh season in the UAE and we have seen strong demand for our quality product offering from Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “Our modern ships and distinctive, quality cruise experience are an appealing way for travelers to explore the rich and diverse experiences that the UAE can offer.”
“Introducing India to MSC Cruises’ winter 2018/2019 itineraries demonstrates how our significant investment plan is enabling us to expand our global footprint and establish a presence in a high-potential market, one that we expect to grow considerably over the coming years,” continued Onorato.
Carnival Triumph will operate a diverse itinerary schedule in 2019-2020, with a wide variety of 4- to 14-day departures from New York, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Norfolk, Va., visiting nearly two dozen destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas, Canada, New England, Bermuda and the Panama Canal.
“We’re delighted to offer this unique schedule on Carnival Triumph which will operate an array of cruise durations and varied itineraries departing from three convenient homeports along the East Coast,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “With such an array of cruise choices vacationers have the opportunity to enjoy short, valued-packed getaways to tropical destinations to longer length departures visiting spectacular ports of call,” she added.
Four- to 14-day cruises from New York
Carnival Triumph will offer the wide variety of itinerary choices from the Big Apple with four- to 14-day voyages departing in the summer and fall 2019 visiting beautiful destinations in Bermuda, The Caribbean, Canada and New England, as well as the unforgettable opportunity to visit the Panama Canal.
Five four-day “long weekend” Bermuda cruises depart May 23, June 20, July 18, Aug. 15 and Sept. 12, 2019, and offer guests a full day to experience the island while a six-day Bermuda cruise departs Sept. 16, 2019, and spends two full days at the island. An eight-day cruise departing June 24, 2019 offers two full days in Bermuda, as well as a stop in Grand Turk. Three seven-day cruises will also be offered, departing Sept. 22 and 29 and Oct. 6, 2019 and featuring day-long calls in throughout New England and the Canadian Maritimes.
Carnival Triumph’s schedule from New York also includes two distinctly different exotic eight-day Caribbean itineraries: one featuring Grand Turk, San Juan and Amber Cove (Dominican Republic) with departure dates of July 2, 10 and 30, Aug. 7 and 27, Sept. 4, 2019, the other visiting San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk and departing July 22 and Aug. 19, 2019.
There’s also a 10-day exotic eastern Caribbean itinerary departing June 10, 2019, calling at San Juan, Tortola, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk, as well as a 14-day Carnival Journeys cruise that departs May 27, 2019, and includes the opportunity to visit the Panama Canal during a call in Colon (Panama), as well as visits to Grand Turk, Grand Cayman, Limon (Costa Rica), and Half Moon Cay. Guests sailing on Carnival Journeys cruises enjoy unique local dining and entertainment experiences and a number of shipboard enrichment activities.
Four- and 5-day cruises from Fort Lauderdale
As part of its new schedule, Carnival Triumph will offer a series of four- and five-day cruises from Fort Lauderdale in April 2019 and, following its summer schedule of cruises from New York, will also operate these itineraries from November 2019 through April 2020. Carnival Triumph will be the only Carnival ship to operate a short cruise itinerary from this port. On this route, four-day “long weekend” voyages depart Thursdays and visit Nassau and the private Bahamian destinations of Half Moon Cay or Princess Cays. Five-day sailings departing Saturdays call at Grand Turk, Nassau and Half Moon Cay or Princess Cays, while five-day voyages departing Mondays feature Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman.
Five- and 6-day cruises from Norfolk
Carnival Triumph’s schedule will also include five- and six-day Bahamas voyages departing from Norfolk’s Half Moone Cruise Center. Two five-day voyages will depart May 12 and 17, 2019 calling at Nassau and Freeport while six-day cruises depart May 6, and October 14 and 20, 2019, visiting Half Moon Cay, Nassau and Freeport.
Prior to the launch of this program, Carnival Triumph will undergo an extensive multi-million-dollar refurbishment that will add a variety of exciting food, beverage and entertainment innovations.
Carnival Victory is in the midst of an extensive, multi-million-dollar dry dock that is adding a wide variety of food and beverage innovations, as well as two luxurious Captain’s Suites and new deluxe ocean view staterooms.
The new spaces, which are being added during a 17-day dry dock taking place Jan. 4-21, 2018, in Freeport, The Bahamas, include:
– Guy’s Burger Joint: a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a décor that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture.
– New Accommodations: Several new cabin categories will be added to Carnival Victory, including 260-square-feet Scenic Ocean View staterooms and 320-square-foot Scenic Grand Ocean View accommodations as well as Captain’s Suites, spacious 820-square-foot cabins offer a large extended balcony, two full-size bathrooms, separate sleeping quarters and a large living room.
– RedFrog Rum Bar: a poolside watering hole offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red.
– BlueIguana Cantina: a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar.
– BlueIguana Tequila Bar: a fun and festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin’ by the pool.
– Bonsai Sushi Express: the success of the full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurants has spawned this casual, convenient yet equally tasty offshoot featuring a mouth-watering array of sushi, sashimi, rolls and more.
– Re-Branded Deli: the ship’s deli has been completely renovated with an updated design and new menu offerings, including seven sandwiches such as meatball, buffalo chicken, and The Cubano, along with Southwest chicken, falafel and turkey wraps.
– Cherry on Top: The “sweetest spot on board,” Cherry on Top is the gateway to the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun-and-fanciful gifts, just-because novelties, colorful custom apparel and more.
These spaces complement Carnival Victory’s numerous other onboard amenities, including a 14,500-square-foot spa, a 214-foot-long water slide, a Punchliner Comedy Club offering adults-only and family-friendly performances, and Seuss at Sea, an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
Carnival Victory operates year-round three- and four-day cruises from PortMiami. Three-day cruises depart on Fridays and call at Nassau, while four-day voyages depart Mondays and visit Key West and Cozumel or Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.
MV Werften celebrated the commencement of the construction on Crystal’s new luxury expedition yacht, Crystal Endeavor, with the cutting of the first piece of steel at their Stralsund site on January 15. Employees and guests watched as the flame cutter was launched by Genting Hong Kong Chairman and CEO, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay; Crystal President and CEO, Tom Wolber; Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Economics Minister, Harry Glawe; and Stralsund Mayor, Dr. Alexander Badrow.
“The Crystal Endeavor is a truly exceptional ship. We are proud to be able to implement this project and are particularly pleased to, once again, be starting shipbuilding activities in the Stralsund shipyard, creating hundreds of new jobs,” said Jarmo Laakso, CEO of MV Werften.
“We look forward to this innovative expedition yacht with great anticipation in the Stralsund shipyard,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Genting Hong Kong Chairman and CEO. “A highlight is our investment of over 20 million euros in new equipment so that the Stralsund shipyard will be able to build cruise ships efficiently in the future.”
Set to debut in 2020, Crystal Endeavor will be the largest and most spacious purpose-built Polar Class ship featuring Crystal’s legendary service and hospitality, all-suite, butler-serviced accommodations, and unmatched choices for bold adventure in the world’s polar and most remote destinations.
"With the first steel cutting in Stralsund, MV Werften successfully continues the course it has forged in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The further development of shipbuilding in the state will be the next stage of this company. Every newly built ship helps to safeguard the region's future. Important industrial jobs are being created in Western Pomerania," stated Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Economics Minister Harry Glawe.
Azamara Club Cruises has launched three new Land and Sea packages in South America that explore bucket list destinations with the brand’s signature passion for Destination Immersion cruise experiences. These new packages include a Galapagos immersion with sister brand, Celebrity Cruises. Azamara provides guests with the opportunity to discover exotic ports and extend their voyage in some of 2018’s top regions to visit.
All three locations – the Galapagos in Ecuador, Machu Picchu in Peru, and Iguaza Falls in Argentina and Brazil- are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, while Machu Picchu is acknowledged as one of the New Wonders of the World. For both first-time South America travelers and return visitors, these experiences provide guests a chance to fully connect with locals and discover the local heritage, art and culture.
“The new pre- and post- South American experiences are an exciting and natural extension of the Azamara brand, celebrating local cultures and encouraging travelers to take a deep dive into the destinations they visit,” said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “With the new addition of our third ship, Azamara Pursuit, we look forward to offering our guests more Land and Sea packages, and to continue to push the boundaries of what unique locations are accessible from our intimate ships. Machu Picchu will also enable us to visit all Seven New Wonders of the World in 2018-2019, yet another milestone that our brand will be celebrating as we look to explore all corners of the world.”
The Galapagos: In partnership with sister brand Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Pursuit guests are afforded a post cruise experience in the Galapagos. The 11 Night Colombia, Panama & Peru voyage takes travelers to experience the islands on a 10-Night Galapagos Inner Loop, all-inclusive package, on the 100-passenger Celebrity Xpedition. Guests will explore two destinations per day with several options for activities on the island with all tours led by a certified Galapagos National Park naturalist. As the Galapagos were deemed the “living laboratory of evolution” by Charles Darwin, guests will take in the pristine environment and unique wildlife first hand, enjoy the chance to swim with sea lions, walk along barren volcanic landscapes and snorkel with penguins.
Machu Picchu: The five-night Machu Picchu package follows the footsteps of the ancient Incans and tells the story of Peru’s rich history through the eyes of local communities, ancient ruins and artists continuing the legacy of their ancestors. Guests will have the opportunity to visit with local Peruvian artists at both a ceramic and weaver’s workshop, to explore the Maras Salt Mines and to view the Huaypo Lagoon. Visits to the religious site of Machu Picchu, the Temple of the Sun and Inca Bridge will take up the second half of the land stays that ends in Cusco, the capital of the Incan Empire.
Iguazu Falls: The four-night Iguazu Falls experience will explore the most expansive waterfalls in the world through both the Argentinian and Brazilian perspective. Guests will embark on an exhilarating boat ride through the water formations, journey to the Jasy Pora Guarani Indigenous Village in the middle of the Yriapu rain forest and learn about the Guarani way of life that emphasizes a self-sustainable mindset.