Beginning in December, Un-Cruise Adventures’ 64-guest Safari Voyager will offer four new cruise itineraries in Mexico’s Sea of Cortés. The two weeklong itineraries sail round-trip from San José del Cabo, another sails round-trip from Guaymas and a two-week cruise sails between San José del Cabo and Guaymas. The vessel will sail Luxury Adventures year-round in Mexico’s Sea of Cortés.
This winter is the inaugural season of the newly acquired Safari Voyager, which is undergoing renovations before joining the Un-Cruise Adventures fleet. Travelers who book by Aug. 2 a Mexico cruise departing December through June get a $400 travel credit per couple.
The weeklong “Cousteau’s Aquarium of the World” sails round-trip from San José del Cabo in Baja, Mexico, and visits Loreto and La Paz.
Guests can search for or even snorkel alongside whale sharks. The trip also includes a visit to Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, remote island hiking, a bonfire ashore, a mule ride into the arroyo with a ranchero and snorkeling with sea lions. Holiday cruises depart on Dec. 21 and Dec. 28; it operates again from April to June.
Rates begin at $2,695 per person, double occupancy.
Sailing round-trip from San José del Cabo, a highlight of the “Baja’s Whale Bounty” week-long cruise is an included trip to Bahia Magdalena for a panga ride to see gray whales up close. Expedition cruising in the Sea of Cortés includes time at Gordo Banks, a sea mount teeming with marine life including humpback whales. Cruises depart Jan. 4-March 29. Rates begin at $2,695 per person, double occupancy.
The week-long “Milagros Maritimos de Baja California” sails round-trip from Guaymas to the Midriff Islands in the northern part of the Sea of Cortés. A full week of expedition cruising, minus any port calls, allows time for water sports activities and searching out birds and marine life such as whales, whale sharks and sea turtles. Cruises depart July 5-Aug. 23, 2014, and Oct. 4-25, 2014. Rates begin at $2,495.
The two-week “Isla Esencial: Baja California Sur y Norte”expedition sails between San José del Cabo and Guaymas twice a year — north on June 21, 2014, and south on Oct. 25, 2014, combining “Cousteau’s Aquarium of the World” with “Milagros Maritimos.” An added port call in Santa Rosalia includes a guided walking tour of the historical mining town. Rates begin at $4,795.
Activities include hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and skiff excursions. Inclusive fares include from-the-vessel activities and equipment; a massage; meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; transfers; and all port charges, taxes and fees.
Holland America Line has hired New York-based RWS and Associates Entertainment Inc. to produce five new productions for the remodeled theaters on the Eurodam and Westerdam. RWS is known for producing shows for theme parks, including Six Flags and Cedar Fair.
Each original show will feature 12 singers and dancers performing amid new sound and lighting systems and a digital LED scenery package. RWS says many of its performers, directors and choreographers have performed on Broadway.
Crystal Cruises is adding six new themes to its 2014 Experiences of Discovery program. The new themes focus on thrill seeking, elegance, the Roman Empire, maritime history, magic and microbrews. In all, 23 Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity voyages will feature theme-focused enrichment, with hands-on activities, performances, educational presentations, and expert instruction on board, as well as optional Crystal Adventures ashore (where available) centered on one area of interest.
The new “Extreme Thrill Seekers” theme cruise will feature shark divers, underwater photographers, deep-sea treasure hunters, and more. It will depart March 10 and sail from Singapore to Cape Town. The “Explorations in Elegance” voyage, April 18 from London to Rome, will feature auction house experts discussing jewels, wines, and over-the-top international real estate.
The “Gladiators & Empires” theme cruise, sailing May 18 from Venice to Barcelona, will celebrate the Roman Empire and its influences on art, religion, law, war, social structure, science, and architecture.
The “Up Close & Magical” voyage, which expands on Crystal’s Magic Castle at Sea program, will feature magicians and illusionists. This cruise departs Dec. 11, 2014, and sails round-trip from Miami.
The “Maritime: Past, Present & Future” cruise will explore the lavishness of luxury liners to the boldness of battleships. The trans-Pacific voyage departs San Diego Oct. 28, 2014, and cruises to Auckland.
The final new theme cruise, “Wine & Food: Microbrews,” departs Nov. 5, 2014, and sails from New York to Miami. This culinary theme embraces the growing popularity of microbreweries, with experts, tastings and cuisine pairing. Until June 28, all-inclusive “Book Now” fares for 2014 theme cruises start at $1,995 per person, with additional savings available for groups of six or more.
Anchorage, Alaska – Alaska is best known for its pristine natural beauty, and Anchorage is the most convenient starting point for an exploration of Alaska’s beautiful glaciers, abundant wildlife, rich Alaska Native culture and vast national parks. New flights, new ways to explore Alaska history and culture and freshly remodeled hotels make summer 2013 the perfect time to come to Anchorage.
Several carriers have added new routes or increased the frequency of service into Anchorage for summer 2013. Virgin America has announced summer nonstop service between San Francisco and Anchorage. San Francisco connects to six other Virgin America destinations: Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Austin and San Diego. Flights begin June 6 and run through Sept. 8. Alaska Airlines plans to increase the frequency of its nonstop service from Los Angeles, Calif. Delta also announced new flights out of Los Angeles. JetBlue, in addition to nonstop flights between Anchorage and Long Beach, Calif., will add nonstop flights from Anchorage to Seattle.
For travelers from the East Coast, United will fly nonstop from Newark to Anchorage between July 6 and Aug. 31, and Delta adds a nonstop flight from Atlanta between June 21 and Aug. 31.
Museum Adds Historic Aircraft
The new aircraft coming into Alaska are not limited to commercial air service. The Alaska Aviation Museum has added three historic aircraft to their hangars. The museum is dedicated to the history of flight in Alaska and restoring vintage aircraft to airworthy condition; especially noteworthy since 2013 is the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Alaska.
A comprehensive rebuild and restoration of a 1931 Fairchild Pilgrim has been completed.
The plane carried cargo across Alaska for nearly half a century before falling into disrepair and retirement in 1985. The fully restored aircraft made its debut this spring and is one of only four aircraft that are listed on the National Historic Register.
The museum also adds two storied World War II-era aircraft: an AT-6 Texan trainer and a Japanese Mitsubishi Zero fighter. www.alaskaairmuseum.org
From Iconic Wings to Native Ways
The Anchorage Museum’s summer exhibits mark Alaska’s aviation anniversary, and also celebrates the culture of Southcentral Alaska’s first inhabitants. “Arctic Flight: A Century of Alaska Aviation” runs through Aug. 11, 2013.
The exhibit chronicles pioneers of aviation, World War II flyers and modern day adventurers. Co-curated with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, artifacts include footage from the first flight over the North Pole, military aviation uniforms and gear, and a 1928 Stearman biplane brought to Alaska in 1928. Late summer visitors can check out the first comprehensive exhibition about Dena’ina Athabascan people, the Native Alaskans who call the area around Anchorage home. “Dena’inaq’ Huch’ulyeshi: The Dena’ina Way of Living,” opens September 2013 and will feature about 200 Dena’ina objects from museums across the globe, including caribou skin clothing adorned with fine quill work, puffin beak rattles and birch bark cradles. Art, music, storytelling, re-created settings and hands-on activities will chronicle Dena’ina history and culture. www.anchoragemuseum.org
Dig into the Gold Rush
There is a new way to tap into Alaska’s gold rush history and get a look at a modern mine too. Gold Mine Safari Tours drives into the heart of mining in Girdwood, Alaska.
Aboard Pinzgauers, six-wheeled trucks named after a breed of sturdy horses famous for their skill in mountain terrain, guests explore two gold mines surrounded by 7,000-foot peaks in the Chugach Mountains.
Pan for gold, trace the Historic Iditarod Trail to learn about early trailblazers and keep a sharp eye for Alaska wildlife. Guests explore historic Crow Creek Mine, which began operation in the 1890s and also get exclusive access to an active modern gold mine.
Visit www.alyeskatours.com for details.
The Millennium Alaskan Hotel has completed the first phase of a four part, $5 million renovation that will completely renovate and update the hotel. Phase I consists of a refresh of the restaurant, bar and lobby including lighting, carpet, wall covering as well as new furniture. The lobby looks incredible and guest rooms, meeting spaces, restaurant and common areas are next on the list. Phase II will begin in May, with the hotel upgrading guestroom corridors with new carpet, wall covering, lighting and furniture, as well as the deck overlooking scenic Lake Spenard. Phase III will remodel the banquet facilities later in the summer. Each of the Millennium’s three conference rooms will be freshly renovated and ready for their debut in time for the busy fall meeting season.
Then in October, Millennium will completely remodel all 248 guest rooms to include new bedding, carpet, wall covering, linen, air conditioning, televisions, cabinetry and bathrooms. All of the upgrades are planned for completion by early March 2014. See link.
South of Anchorage near Seward, Alaska, Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge has resumed construction on their remodel project.
The lodge’s new 3,300-square-foot building is repositioned on the apex of the beach on Fox Island.
The redesigned lodge will feature immense windows overlooking Resurrection Bay, as well as a new spacious dining area and lounge.
Work will be completed and the lodge ready for guests beginning June 1, 2013.
Visit Anchorage’s mission is to attract and serve visitors to the Municipality of Anchorage.
With more than 135 miles of paved trails, the nation’s third largest state park, first-class amenities and a blend of cultures found only in Alaska, Anchorage lives a Big Wild Life™. For more information on Anchorage’s wild adventures and urban delights, visit
Compagnie du Ponant Introduces 21 Itineraries to Five Continents for Winter 2013/2014 Sailing SeasonJune 19, 2013 on 7:39 am | In Cruise Boats | Comments Off
MARSEILLE — Compagnie du Ponant, the French-flagged cruise line has just released their new Winter 2013/2014 brochure featuring 21 different itineraries sailing the near and far reaches of the globe. Cruises to Asia and Antarctica, Africa and South America and beyond follow in the footsteps of the great explorers and allow travelers to go on their own seafaring voyages of discovery.
Joining the five-star fleet for the winter season will be Compagnie du Ponant’s brand new yacht-style expedition liner, Le Soléal. Launching in July 2013, the 132-stateroom state-of-the-art Le Soléal will embark on her maiden sailing season, joining her sister ships Le Boréal and L’Austral. Le Ponant, the line’s more intimate three-masted 32-stateroom yacht, will be sailing for the very first time around the Cape Verde Islands.
The smaller size of the ships, which can accommodate from 64 to 264 passengers, offer more personalized service and a private yacht feel, along with the ability to visit exotic ports not accessible to larger vessels. This allows for a travel experience that is highly intimate, luxurious and authentic, and inventive itineraries filled with once in a lifetime experiences.
For the winter season, from October 2013 to April 2014, Compagnie du Ponant offers 21 different itineraries and 50 departure dates to destinations in South America, Caribbean/Central America, Asia, Antarctica, and Western Africa, on cruises ranging from 6-nights in South America, up to 15-nights to Antarctica and 17-nights in Asia.
Sail around the world with Compagnie du Ponant:
South America – Explore the vast continent from Machu Picchu in Peru to the Atacama Desert in Chile, from the Andean landscapes of the Tierra del Fuego, to the mythical passage around Cape Horn. Spotlight South America cruises include:
13-nights Valparaiso, Chile to Ushuaia, Argentina: A breathtaking cruise along the Pacific Shores of South America
14-nights Recife, Brazil to Cayenne, French Guyana: Explore the mysterious waterways of the Amazon
Asia – Follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo, with 10 different itineraries throughout Asia, from India to Indonesia, Hong Kong, to Japan and Singapore, Vietnam, Colombo and Kuala Lumpur. Discover new empires and ancient kingdoms, modern metropolis and temple filled jungles. Spotlight Asia cruises include:
7-nights Otaru to Osaka: Explore Japan’s traditions, beliefs and lifestyles, from Otaru to Kanazawa, and Hiroshima, passing by Busan, to Osaka, the new center of Japan.
13-nights Bali to Singapore: Discover the “island of the gods” in Indonesia, sail the beaches of the Gili islands, view the famous Komodo “dragons” and explore Makassar with its Bantimurung waterfalls and lush vegetation.
13-nights Kuala Lumpur to Colombo, Sri Lanka: Sail from the vibrant and captivating ancient royal city of Kuala Lumpur to Colombo in Sri Lanka, known as the “happy” or “radiant” land, with ports of call in Thailand and Myanmar.
Caribbean and Central America – Revel in the charm of these islands where time seems to stand still. Golden beaches, turquoise seas and the surrounding flora are home to many natural treasures and abundant marine and wildlife. Spotlight Caribbean and Central America cruises include:
7-nights Fort de France, Martinique to St. Martin: Enjoy a special GOLF themed cruise while visiting the islands of Dominique, Antigua, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, and St. Barts.
7-nights Cartagena to Fort de France: Sail from Colombia to Martinique, with ports of call in Curaçao, Venezuela, Grenada, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia.
14-nights Guayaquil to Cartagena: Sail from Ecuador to Columbia with ports of call in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala before crossing from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Panama Canal.
Antarctica – Discover the mysterious White Continent, that extreme land on the edge of the world, explored by man since only 1820. This vast icy continent offers spectacular mountain scenery, the world’s biggest icebergs and an extraordinary array of wildlife.
Spotlight Antarctica cruises:
10-nights and 15-nights Ushuaia, Argentina to Ushuaia, Argentina: Sail through waters that are sometimes frozen, often escorted by seals, humpback whales and other sea life to reach the “sixth continent.” The route goes through the famous Drake Passage to reach the Polar Front which marks the meeting of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, then continues further south to the spectacular Lemaire Channel.
Western Africa – For the very first time, the 3-masted sailing yacht Le Ponant offers cruises to the coast of West Africa and the beautiful islands of Cape Verde.
Spotlight Western Africa cruise:
7-nights Praia to Praia: At the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Africa and South America, the Cape Verde islands offer a landscape of volcanic plains and alpine valleys and a proud mixed race heritage. Visit the islands of Brava, Fogo, Mindelo, Porto Novo and San Nicolao in the archipelago island chain.
Each of ships in Compagnie du Ponant’s chic fleet offer the essence of private luxury yachting, along with attentive service from a bi-lingual crew fluent in English and French, and refined culinary artistry.
Amenities and services on Le Soléal, Le Boréal and L’Austral also include:
A choice of 132 luxurious staterooms or suites with sea views and private balconies, including the elite Deck 6 that is home to 13 spacious suites with 24-hour butler service
A welcoming main foyer with a boutique, reception desk and excursion desk
Two restaurants, offering dining from casual to fine, complete with wine pairings and a fine wine cellar, a bar and lounge, and 24-hour in-room dining
A full-service SOTHYSTM spa with signature treatments, hammam, hair salon, tea room and fitness center
An outdoor pool with bar, panoramic terrace adjoining the indoor bar and lounge, library with Internet stations, medical center, WiFi, in-room and on-board flat screen satellite TV with complimentary on-demand movies
A 250-seat theater for live entertainment, film screenings and presentations
A fleet of expedition Zodiac boats outfitted with satellite tracking
To reserve or learn more, please call 1-888-400-1082 or visit http://en.ponant.com. To download the Winter 2013-2014 brochure, go to http://en.ponant.com/Brochures.
About Compagnie du Ponant
Since its founding by two Merchant Navy officers in 1988, Compagnie du Ponant has taken to the sea with intimate ships that offer the essence of private luxury yachting with inspired French sensibility and custom technology to preserve fragile marine ecosystems. This year, the cruise line is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the July 2013 launch of its fourth state-of-the-art vessel, the 132-stateroom Le Soléal, and introducing new itineraries in the Arctic and Asia.
Able to sail in waters not accessible to larger ships, the four sleek Compagnie du Ponant yachts visit exotic ports not found on many itineraries, allowing 64 to 264 guests to discover engaging new experiences aboard and ashore during 3- to 21-night cruises that span the globe. Options abound, from five-star polar expeditions, cultural cruises and ocean voyages to music – (jazz, classical, opera and more), golf- and culinary-themed cruises. All cruises feature attentive service from a convivial crew, luxuriously appointed staterooms and suites, gourmet cuisine and fine wine, and carefully curated excursions.
Compagnie du Ponant’s North American sales office is located at 2 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 2470, Miami, Florida 33131. For reservations and more information, please call: 1-305-398-9849 or toll free: 1-888-400-1082; email: USreservations@ponant.com , or visit http://en.ponant.com.
Avalon Waterways in 2014 will offer more suites than staterooms on its Europe river cruises operated by eight “Suite Ships.” Each Suite Ship features two full decks of 200- and 300-square-foot Panorama and Royal Suites.
“Instead of listening to accountants who wanted more people and less space, inspired by our travelers, we did the opposite,” said Avalon Managing Director Patrick Clark. “We understand that each stateroom should be an oasis for guests to escape to, not escape from.” Clark said Avalon’s Panorama Suites offer 30 percent more space than the industry standard. But they also offer more storage, closet space and under-bed storage, he said.
Avalon’s suites feature a wall of windows 11 feet wide with a seven-foot opening. Cruisers can slide the doors open essentially turn the entire suite into an open-air balcony. The open-air balcony, which is available in 80 percent of the staterooms on Suite Ships, are 30 percent larger than others, Clark said.
“Other cruise companies have chosen to sacrifice room space in order to provide travelers a small, often cramped, balcony,” Clark said. “In contrast, our Open-Air Balconies make full use of the intended balcony experience — in any weather condition, in any season — without compromising room space. And when the curtains are drawn in the evening, the expansive space is available for our guests’ comfort.”
Clarkalso said that Avalon angled the beds to face the windows so guests can watch the views from bed: “We’re the only cruise line that’s done that,” he said.
Avalon’s Suite Ships will sail the Danube, Rhine and Main rivers in 2014. The Suite Ships, and the year they entered service, are Avalon Panorama (2011), Avalon Vista (2012), Avalon Visionary (2012), Avalon Artistry II (2013), Avalon Expression (2013), Avalon Impression (2014), Avalon Illumination (2014) and Avalon Poetry II (2014).
The voyage departs from Los Angeles on Jan. 5, 2015, and will visit 50 destinations in 30 countries on five continents.
The cruise will explore French Polynesia, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the Seychelles, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Cape Town, Walvis Bay and Dakar. The voyage crosses the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale, highlighted by visits to St. Lucia, St. Bart’s and Puerto Rico. Overnight calls are scheduled in Papeete, Sydney, Fremantle, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Singapore, Mombasa and Cape Town.
Guests can add on a pre-cruise Panama Canal voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles (17 days), or continue from Fort Lauderdale to New York (three days) or Southampton (15 days).
Fares start at $58,950 per person, double occupancy. Full World Cruise bookings include a Bon Voyage reception, dinner and overnight stay at a luxury hotel, baggage valet service, complimentary business-class air (or air credit) and transfers (between home, airport, and Silver Whisper), a $4,000 onboard spending credit per suite, complimentary laundry service, Internet package and commemorative gifts.
For guests sailing the full 115 days, there will also be two complimentary Silversea Experiences, including a dinner under the stars in the Namib Desert from Walvis Bay, and three complimentary shoreside events. These include a cocktail reception and evening performance at Sydney’s famous Opera House, a scenic journey by vintage train in Sri Lanka to explore the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, and a tour of Cape Town’s Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, followed by a visit to the historic Résidence de France for lunch in its garden.
Artful Travelers has scheduled a cruise centered on the public television show “Nova” on Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Mariner. The 14-night cruise will sail from Miami on Jan. 25 and arrive in Lima, Peru, on Feb. 8.
The itinerary includes ports in Curacao, Aruba, Colombia and Ecuador. It will include private dinners, receptions and shore excursions with speakers, who also will participate in panel discussions and presentations in the areas of science, politics, culture, current events and the arts.
Fares begin at $9,749 per person, double occupancy, and include airfare, unlimited shore excursions, beverages including wine and premium spirits, pre-paid gratuities, ground transfers and more. To book, call 855-788-7880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Availability still remains on Artful Travelers’ final program for the 2013 season onboard Seven Seas Voyager. The “Indian Ocean Odyssey” Dec. 3-22 journey explores Dubai and ports in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Singapore. The cruise focuses on “Frontline” and “American Experience” and will feature David Fanning of “Frontline,” Mark Samels of “American Experience,” electoral analyst Charlie Cook and more.
All-inclusive fares begin at $9,249 per person, double occupancy.
It is the second in the line’s new “Cruising for a Cause” series that devotes an entire sailing to a charitable cause.
Sailing Feb. 10-15 aboard Ruby Princess on a Western Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale, the voyage will offer onboard features themed around heart health awareness, including guest speakers, educational activities and programs to foster healthy living.
A portion of each passenger’s cruise fare, totaling approximately $500,000, will be matched by Princess with an additional $500,000, for a total of $1 million.
Cruise fares range from $599 to $1,649 per person based on double occupancy.
A tax-deductible portion of each fare ranging from $100 to $300 per person, depending upon cabin category, will be donated to the American Heart Association.
The first “Cruising for a Cause” voyage, to support U.S. veterans, will sail Nov. 5-9 aboard Caribbean Princess.
As specialists in small-group nature expeditions, we can help you navigate the many Antarctica travel options out there — and direct you to the premier small-ship cruises that get you face to face with Antarctica’s legendary wildlife. (Guests aboard large ships aren’t even allowed to disembark!)
And right now, when you choose your preferred itinerary aboard the Sea Spirit, we’re offering $1,000 off per person — plus a free half-day tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park — on these select 2013/2014 voyages:
Nov 2-23: Falklands, South Georgia, & Antarctica: Explorers and Kings
Dec 2-18: South Georgia & the Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari
Dec 17-Jan 5: Crossing the Circle via Falklands & South Georgia: Epic Antarctica
Jan 4-14: Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent
Jan 14-25: Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent
Jan 24-Feb 7: Antarctica Peninsula East & West: Explorers’ Route
Antarctica stands alone when it comes to its sheer magnitude of raw wilderness. Icebergs tower 20 stories high.
Penguins nest in colonies thousands strong. Seals haul out on ice floes while humpback whales leap from the clear, frigid seas.
Aboard the Sea Spirit, you’ll discover it all in exceptional comfort.
This luxury all-suite ship designed for polar waters carries just 114 guests with a full complement of naturalists and expedition crew.
Choose a voyage focused on the Antarctic Peninsula, or make it epic and include the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, home to a million Emperor penguins!
In any case, you’ll get $1,000 off, plus a half-day guided tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park! Just outside Ushuaia, you’ll explore the park’s lakes, rivers and beech forests as you survey the Beagle Channel and the peaks of Patagonia.
Don’t miss out on this rare offer –
it must be booked by July 31st, so call us today at 1-800-543-8917 to reserve your space on an incredible adventure to the bottom of the world!
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