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Carnival Victory to introduce new features after multi-million-dollar dry dock

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

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 begins construction of Crystal Endeavor

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

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 Pursuit unveils three new Land and Sea packages in South America

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

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.

Keel laid for the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection newbuild

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

In accordance with longstanding maritime tradition, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection this morning celebrated the milestone keel laying of its inaugural yacht at the Hijos De J. Barreras Shipyard in Vigo, Spain. Representing a unique first for a luxury hotel operator, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection brings the brand’s legendary service to the seas with a bespoke yachting experience and today, drew one step closer to its anticipated launch in Q4 2019.

“We are delighted to commemorate this milestone as we embark on our journey to bring The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to life,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “The keel laying marks the realization of a longstanding dream for The Ritz-Carlton brand as we bring our guest experience and service ethos to the seas through these highly unique luxury vessels and one-of-a-kind on-board amenities and experiences.”

Celebrating the official start of a ship’s construction, the keel laying ceremony was historically used to mark the initial placement of a central beam, which served as the vessel’s backbone. Today, as ships are built in a series of modular components, the symbolic ceremony is used to mark the lowering of the first module into place in the building dock.

As part of this exciting occasion, Douglas Prothero, Managing Director of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, and Timothy Grisius, Global Real Estate Officer for Marriott International, were joined by HJ Barreras Shipyard’s Chairman José García Costas, and Tillberg Design of Sweden’s Owner and Executive Project Director Fredrik Johansson as the commemorative coins were unveiled and welded to the hull. Representing a symbolic process in the keel laying, the coins are meant to bring good fortune during construction and throughout the ship’s travels. Also in attendance was Anthony Capuano, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Development Officer for Marriott International, alongside The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection executive team and members of investor group Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.

“The keel laying is a significant moment in the ship building process and signals that we are well on our way to redefining luxury at sea with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection,” said Prothero. “The intimate size of our ships and compelling itineraries will give our guests the opportunity to explore unexpected destinations, all while enjoying the legendary Ritz-Carlton service. This is an exciting new venture and we look forward to celebrating the many more milestones to come.”

“The opportunity to design The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has been extremely exciting as we have been able to start from a blank piece of paper and create a whole new brand from scratch. Our guiding principles for all aspects of the yacht's design have been spacious privacy and personal comfort” said Johansson. “The keel laying celebrates how far we have already come in the design process, and in creating the most exclusive and serene experience possible at sea.”

Reservations for the first of three lavish yachts in this series will open in May. The inaugural ship will cruise a wide variety of destinations depending on the season, including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. The specially designed, small capacity vessels will measure 190-meters and feature 149 luxury suites to accommodate up to 298 passengers. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will offer voyages ranging from seven to ten days, combining signature Ritz-Carlton service and amenities onboard with uniquely curated destination experiences. The ships of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection are also available for private charter.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to ring Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. will ring the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 11, 2018 to celebrate the five-year anniversary of its initial public offering in 2013 and its recent listing on the NYSE. The Company began trading on the NYSE on December 19, 2017 under the ticker symbol “NCLH”.

"We are proud to ring the opening bell on behalf of our entire team around the world, from ship to shore, and our investors to celebrate the fifth anniversary of our initial public offering and our recent listing on the New York Stock Exchange,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “Ringing the bell at the NYSE is an honor and an incredible way to celebrate the significant milestones we have accomplished over the last five years.”

Mr. Del Rio will be joined by several members of the management team to ring the opening bell at 9:30am ET on January 11, 2018. A live feed of the NYSE Opening Bell® (9:26 a.m. ET) can be found at http://new.livestream.com/NYSE. Photos and video of the NYSE Bell Ringing Ceremony will also be available, courtesy of the NYSE, on Facebook (NYSE), Twitter (@NYSE and @NYSECam), and YouTube (nysetv1).

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