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News & Notes

July 2019

Riviera River Cruises’ Exclusive Sailings for Solo Travelers

Riviera River Cruises, who debuted their exclusive solo traveler cruises in 2018, have added two additional departure dates for their 2019 itineraries, and three additional itineraries for 2020. Solo traveler cruises are in higher demand than ever and Riviera has stepped up to answer the wishes of solo travelers everywhere. Catering to this growing segment of travelers, Riviera has made solo cruising an affordable option at an exceptional value.

“As interest in solo travel has grown in recent years, we’re proud to be the only European river cruise line offering departures exclusively for guests who are on their own – on these cruises, that means single occupancy in every cabin and suite across the ship, with no single supplement,” said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera River Cruises’ Vice President Sales and Marketing North America.

Embrace river cruising, and exchange travel stories with fellow solo travelers, as you enjoy Riviera’s highly rated five-star products, spacious cabins and suites, relaxed atmosphere, exceptional culinary experience, and captivating excursions. Peruse Riviera’s exceptional selection of 2019 and 2020 solo traveler cruises below!

Riviera’s fall 2019 solo traveler cruises:*

  • The Blue Danube River Cruise for Solo Travelers: Eight days starting at $2,189 per person, with departures on Oct. 28, Nov. 1, and Nov. 4.
  • Burgundy, the River Rhône & Provence River Cruise for Solo Travelers: Eight days starting at $2,529 per person, with departures on Oct. 14 and Oct. 31.
  • The Douro, Porto & Salamanca River Cruise for Solo Travelers: Eight days starting at $2,889 per person, with departures on Nov. 8 and Nov. 10.
  • Rhine, Strasbourg & Heidelberg River Cruise for Solo Travelers: Eight days starting at $3,109, with a departure on Oct. 21.

Riviera’s 2020 solo traveler cruises:*

  • Amsterdam, Kinderdijk & the Dutch Bulbfields River Cruise for Solo Travelers: Five days starting at $1,389 per person, with a departure on March 30.
  • The Seine, Paris & Normandy River Cruise for Solo Travelers: Eight days starting at $2,959 per person, with a departure on March 31.
  • Medieval Germany River Cruise for Solo Travelers: Eight days starting at $2,999 per person, with a departure on Oct. 24.
  • The Blue Danube River Cruise for Solo Travelers: Eight days starting at $2,079 per person, with departures on March 30, April 3 and Nov. 2.
  • Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence River Cruise for Solo Travelers: Eight days starting at $2,679 per person, with a departure on April 2 and Nov. 3.
  • Rhine, Strasbourg & Heidelberg River Cruise for Solo Travelers: Eight days starting at $2,459 per person, with a departure on Oct. 31.
  • The Douro, Porto & Salamanca River Cruise for Solo Travelers: Eight days starting at $2,729 per person, with departures on Nov. 8 and Nov. 13.

Additionally, if the dates for the solo traveler cruises don’t line up with your travel schedule, or you prefer a different itinerary to what’s offered above, there are a limited number of cabins available single-supplement-free on every Riviera departure throughout the year.

Contact your Vacation Consultant to find out more about these exciting itineraries, or to book your unforgettable solo traveler cruise today!

*Terms and Conditions: Tour prices are in CAD. Restrictions apply, contact your Vacation Consultant for pricing information and full terms and conditions.

Celebrity’s Most Eco-Friendly Ship Makes Its Debut

The highly anticipated Celebrity Flora has finally made its debut! As the largest and most luxurious accommodations sailing the Galapagos Islands, this 100-passenger mega yacht proves why it was awarded the 2018 “Gold Award for Best Overall Cruise Ship”, in the small ship category, from Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards.

Every stateroom on the Celebrity Flora is a suite that offers an array of exquisite features, unrivaled services, and state-of-the-art amenities. Full room automation, private verandas, a personal suite attendant, locally sourced chocolates, organic bath amenities, and premium linens are just a few of the luxurious features available to every guest. Each suite also features their innovative outward-facing concept that allows for a truly immersive experience at each destination along the way.

An Environmental Focus

As one of the most eco-friendly ships of its size in the Galapagos Islands, it was only fitting that Yolanda Kakabadse was chosen to be Celebrity Flora’s Godmother. Recognized as a prominent environmental leader and a global champion of sustainable development and biodiversity preservation, Kakabadse is a former Minister of Environment for the Republic of Ecuador and a former president of both the International Union for Conservation of Nature and World Wildlife Fund International.

“The Galapagos Islands are an ecological treasure and I am excited to showcase its one-of-a-kind biodiversity through Flora,” said Kakabadse. “I am proud to partner with a company that is committed to sustainability in the Galapagos and showing leadership on an issue critical to sustain this beautiful ecosystem, and food waste.”


As the first vessel in the Galapagos to be equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic equipment, Celebrity Flora will be helping scientists to gather and measure crucial data on ocean circulation dynamics, surface temperatures, and information critical to the prediction of El Niño and La Niña.

Galapagos Glamping

Can you think of a place more breathtaking to go glamping than the Galapagos? Guests onboard the Celebrity Flora will enjoy the first sunset-to-sunrise experience of its kind in the Galapagos Islands. A delectable dinner, featuring campfire-themed delights and cocktails, will be followed by a guided stargazing session under the constellations of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Finally, retire for the night as you enjoy the tranquility of sleeping under the stars and waking up to the sunrise and a private breakfast!

Novurania Yacht Tenders

You haven’t seen tenders like this before! Celebrity Flora’s custom-built Novurania tenders transport you to the shores of the Galapagos Islands in comfort and style. Each tender features stairs with a metal railing that fit flush against the open aft, a hydraulic ramp that is used as a platform to make getting on and off for snorkeling easier, and storage space for snorkel gear. The tenders also feature interior seating for those who aren’t comfortable sitting on the sides.

Contact your Vacation Consultant to explore the Galapagos Islands in style with Celebrity Flora!

Holiday River Cruising with American Queen Steamboat Company

Escape the crowds this holiday season and embark on a magical and unique holiday experience aboard the American Queen. Draped in Victorian culture and Southern traditions, watch the holidays come to life on the iconic steamboat that sails along the Mississippi River. Below are the top reasons to choose a holiday river cruise with American Queen.


Festive trees with enchanting ornaments, lighted garlands, illuminating twinkling lights, and perfectly wrapped gift boxes are just a few of the sights that guests will see onboard American Queen. A floating winter wonderland will surround you throughout your entire journey as the holiday spirit radiates throughout the ship.


A holiday river cruise with American Queen comes complete with holiday music, caroling, and singalongs that truly make the holidays special. Plus, guests will enjoy captivating main stage shows led by top entertainers and old screenings of classic holidays movies in the Grand Saloon. Be sure to head over to the gingerbread decorating and ornament making stations afterwards as you fully immerse yourself in all the holiday activities offered on every holiday river cruise.

Exclusive Nottoway Plantation Gala

Guests will enter the stunning White Ballroom, one of the most lavish and luxurious settings the South has to offer, to watch a mesmerizing dance demonstration depicting the extravagant Southern balls held during the planation era. Once the demonstration is complete, guests will make their way to Nottoway’s beautiful Randolph’s Ballroom to enjoy decadent desserts or tantalizing hors d’oeuvres and a special holiday gala presented by the Steamboat Syncopators and the American Queen ensemble.

Complete this experience in style as you enjoy a ceremonial bonfire on the way back to the ship, as well as a magical fireworks display.

Christmas Markets

American Queen’s exclusive Christmas markets offer something for everyone – including music, seasonable goods, and locally produced products. These markets will be held at Rosalie Mansion in Natchez, Mississippi, and at Nottoway Plantation.

Don’t miss out on your chance to experience the holidays aboard the American Queencontact your Vacation Consultant today!

Oceania Remains at the Forefront of Culinary Development

2019 has been an exciting year for Oceania as they’ve proven to the world, once again, why they are the leading culinary and destination focused cruise line. Already known for their culinary masterpieces, using the best ingredients and the most talented chefs, Oceania continues to pride themselves on serving the finest cuisine at sea.

Exclusive Dom Perignon Pairing Dinner

Oceania Cruises, in conjunction with the culinary team at La Maison Dom Perignon, has created a first of its kind dining experience. Pairing six palate piquing courses with Dom Perignon’s acclaimed vintages, guests aboard the Marina and Riviera will be the only travelers in the world to enjoy this exclusive experience.

“We’ve gone to exceptional lengths to pair the flavors of the dishes and the accompanying vintages to bring out the best in each other, and even surprise the palates of our dinner guests. This will be an experience I hope our guests are talking about, with the fondest of memories, twenty years from now,” stated Bernhard Klotz, Vice President of Culinary Operations for Oceania Cruises.

Due to the exclusive nature of this experience, which is limited to 24 guests per sailing, it’s highly recommended to request a reservation booking through your Vacation Consultant.

New Plant-Based Cuisine

Vegetarian and plant-based food lovers rejoice! Oceania has unveiled its expansion of healthy and innovative dishes with more than 200 new healthy menu selections. In addition to their already acclaimed vegetarian and Canyon Ranch Healthy Living selections, these new plant-based options will be available upon request during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

“These new plant-based options are flavorful, colorful, bold, and creative. Our hallmark finest cuisine at sea now provides an innovative and appealing menu of choices that reflects our guests’ evolving palates and heightened focus on wellness while balancing our more decadent and extravagant dishes,” stated Bob Binder, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises. 

Eliminating Plastic Water Bottles with Vero Water

With the announcement of the partnership between Oceania and Vero Water, the luxury cruise line took a massive step in reducing its carbon footprint. As part of its OceaniaNEXT enhancement, the ground-breaking sustainability initiative will eliminate millions of plastic water bottles per year.

“By introducing Vero Water to the Oceania Cruises experience, we are not only taking a quantum leap forward environmentally, we are providing our guests with the gold-standard of still and sparkling water,” stated Bob Binder, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises. 

The Vero Water services will be implemented in two phases: phase one will focus on onboard water services in suites, staterooms, restaurants, lounges, and bars; phase two will focus on water services ashore. Guests will be provided with their own re-usable Vero Water bottle, which will be theirs to take home once the cruise is complete.

Don’t miss out – contact your Vacation Consultant today and experience the best that Oceania Cruises has to offer!

Discover the Beauty of North America with Collette


From coast to coast, Canada is a country rich in history and raw natural beauty. From the peaks of the Canadian Rockies to the beautiful cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, your Canadian vacation will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression. Explore the majestic Banff National Park in Alberta, travel the spectacular lighthouse route in Nova Scotia, or walk the pristine beaches of Prince Edward Island – there is so much to see and do that you’ll be planning your second vacation to Canada before the first is over.

Must see destinations in Canada:

  • Niagara Falls: Known around the world as one of the most impressive collection of waterfalls, Niagara Falls is three waterfalls that straddle the border between Canada and the United States of America. If you’re lucky you may even catch the fireworks above this majestic natural beauty. Contact your Vacation Consultant today for The Best of Eastern Canada featuring Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Niagara Falls & Toronto tour, starting at $2,749 per person.*
  • Newfoundland Icebergs: Iceberg Alley, one of the best places in the world to see 10,000 year old floating glacial blocks, is a must see for anyone visiting Canada. Whether you’re traveling by boat, kayak, or even simply hiking along the coast, the sheer size of these glacial blocks will take your breath away. Contact your Vacation Consultant today for the Wonders of Newfoundland featuring Lighthouses, Iceburg Alley, and Gros Morne tour starting from $5,099 per person. While you’re there, don’t forget to try the popular Iceberg Beer!

The United States of America

Once you’ve explored Canada, head down south to visit their neighbours – the United States of America. The United States is one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet and is the birthplace of modern jazz, rock, and blues. From coastline to coastline you’ll find incredible beaches, dramatic mountain ranges, mouth-watering food, and quaint towns rich in history. Whether you are young or old, a sport enthusiast, foodie, musician, historian, or natural lover, the United States has something for everyone!

Must see destinations in the United States:

  • Grand Canyon: Drawing nearly 5 million visitors each year, this western wonder is a breathtaking panoramic beauty telling the story of millions of years of Earth’s geological past. Rising over 5,000 feet, the Grand Canyon is a unique combination of vibrant colours and erosional forms. To experience this extraordinary marvel, contact your Vacation Consultant and inquire about America’s National Parks & Denver tour, starting from $5,899 per person.*
  • Washington, D.C: A trip to the United States would not be complete without a visit to the capital. Walk past the iconic White House – home to America’s president, climb the steps of the Lincoln Memorial – a marble monument to the 16th president, and gaze at Washington Monument – a towering tribute to George Washington. Once you’ve explored the history of Washington, D.C, head over to the eclectic neighbourhoods as you indulge in savoury dishes. Experience this and more by contacting your Vacation Consultant for the Spotlight on Washington, D.C Exploring America’s Capital your, starting from $2,399 per person.*

Contact your Vacation Consultant today to learn more about exploring the beauty of North America with Collette!

*Terms and Conditions: restrictions apply, contact your Vacation Consultant for pricing information and full terms and conditions.

Solo Savings on Select Expedition Cruises with Hurtigruten

Calling all solo travelers! For a limited time, save on select 2019 voyages and pay no single supplement on your next Hurtigruten vacation to Antarctica, North America, Svalbard, Central America, or the Caribbean. Solo adventurers who prefer their own stateroom, while still sailing with other like-minded travellers, have the opportunity to embark on the journey of a lifetime – at a great value!

2019 Voyages with no single supplement*:

  • 23 Days Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica - The Ultimate Expedition
  • 17 Days Antarctica - White Christmas with Penguins
  • 17 Days Antarctica and Falklands - Southern Hemisphere Adventure – Southbound
  • 28 Days Patagonia, Chilean Fjords, Antarctica - Voyage of Discovery – Southbound
  • 18 Days Chilean Fjords, Antarctica and Falklands - Great Explorers and Wildlife
  • 25 Days Greenland, Newfoundland, Labrador - Untouched Wilderness and National Parks
  • 14 Days Svalbard and Norway - Circumnavigation and North Cape
  • 6 Days Spitsbergen - Polar Bears and Arctic Adventure (Monday - Saturday)
  • 6 Days Spitsbergen - Polar Bears and Arctic Adventure (Thursday-Tuesday)
  • 15 Days Norway, Murmansk and Franz Josef Land - Sailing North of 80° to the Russian Arctic
  • 17 Days Andean Coast – From Rainforest to Mighty Peaks
  • 17 Days Andean Coast – Expedition from Jungle to Desert
  • 12 Days Caribbean Sea – Discover Cayes, Coves and Reefs (New York to Puerto Limon)

About Hurtigruten

A hallmark of the Norwegian coast since 1893, Hurtigruten’s 13 ships sail to the Arctic, Antarctica, and many destinations in between. Beautifully appointed staterooms, spacious public spaces, and stunningly decorated restaurants with unique dining concepts, are just a few of the amenities and experiences awaiting you on your next Hurtigruten sailing. Certain expedition cruises even include an expert Expedition Team, to safeguard both explorers and the pristine environment, as you traverse the open waters of your breathtaking destination.

Most ships have been renovated in the past few years, with a few remaining to be refurbished in 2020 – MS Finnmarken will go through the biggest single upgrade in Hurtigruten’s history in 2020. Whether you wish to chase the magnificent Northern Lights in Norway, roam the land of fire and ice in Iceland, or explore the historical cities of Europe, Hurtigruten has a cruise or expedition for you!

Don’t wait – contact your Vacation Consultant today to book your unforgettable solo Hurtigruten voyage!

*Terms and conditions: From prices are per person, based on full occupancy of an inside twin cabin, on a full-board basis. Offer is valid on new bookings, valid for travel on select departures, as noted above. Offer is subject to availability and not valid on suites or for group bookings. Hurtigruten operates a flexible pricing system and prices are subject to change at time of booking. Offer is combinable with the Ambassador Member discount.

Cozy Up at Couples Resorts Jamaica with Vacation Express

Picture yourself lounging by a serene pool, teeing up on a golf course overlooking the magnificent Caribbean Sea, or laying on the sun-kissed white sandy beaches of Jamaica. Now picture doing all of this with the love of your life and at an exceptional value! Couples Resorts Jamaica offers four luxurious resorts that truly emphasize their all-inclusive concept. Whether you’re traveling to Negril or Ocho Rios, save big when you package these amazing all-inclusive resorts with Vacation Express’ exclusive non-stop flights from 6 cities across the United States.

All-inclusive luxury experience at Couples Resorts include:*

  • 24-Hour Gourmet Dining
  • Unlimited Premium Brand Spirits
  • Golf & Tennis
  • Unlimited Scuba Diving
  • Unlimited Watersports
  • Catamaran Cruise
  • Area Excursions
  • Trip to Popular Sunset Bar
  • Trip to Dunn’s River Falls (At Couples Tower Isle & Couples Sans Souci)
  • Shopping Shuttle (At Couples Sans Souci)
  • And much more!


Couples Negril

As Couples Resorts most intimate property, Couples Negril is located on 18 acres of Jamaica’s breathtaking west coast. Offering fresh and modern guest rooms, a quaint treehouse spa, delectable farm-to-table cuisine, and unlimited golf, it’s easy to see why this resort is a popular option for those traveling to Jamaica. Lively and low-key, this oceanfront haven will leave you relaxed, rejuvenated, and more in love than ever.

Couples Swept Away

The largest of the four Couples Resorts, Couples Swept Away is beloved by active guests. Located on 19 acres on the world-famous Seven Mile Beach, this resort is home to the island’s largest sports and fitness complex featuring 10 tennis courts, 2 squash and racquetball courts, a fully equipped gym, and much more! Enjoy sensational fresh daily gourmet meals, endless activities, and tranquil relaxation before you retire to your luxurious Caribbean suite. These bungalow-style suites, decorated with beautifully crafted island cedar furnishings, are the embodiment of simplicity and elegance.


Couples Sans Souci

Known as the “Jewel of Jamaica”, travelers will be hard pressed to find a resort as romantic as Couples Sans Souci. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, this oceanfront oasis has its own mineral grotto, mineral spring pool, and an iconic Piano Bar. Although the breathtaking natural beauty would be enough to make this the vacation of your dreams, a world-class spa, renowned fresh cuisine, and beautifully spacious suites with island flavor, will complete your luxurious all-inclusive getaway.

Couples Tower Isle

The iconic Couples Tower Isle was Couples Resorts first all-inclusive Jamaica resort. Located on its own private island, this flagship resort boasts all new and chic guestrooms adorned in vintage-inspired pastels, which open onto private balconies and patios. Choose to stay in one of their ultra-exclusive Oasis Spa Villas, for 3 nights or longer, and enjoy unlimited spa treatments. Enjoy 6 restaurants, 5 bars, 4 swimming pools, 4 jacuzzis, sports and fitness facilities, and much more, all along acres of pristine white-sand beaches.

Don’t miss out – contact your Vacation Consultant to save big on your romantic getaway to Couples Resorts Jamaica with Vacation Express.

*Terms and conditions: Additional restrictions apply. Contact your Vacation Consultant for full terms and conditions.

Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Is Reversing the Tide

Expedia CruiseShipCenters continues to grow its network of over 290 retail travel agencies with no plans to slow down. Bob Tipple, Vice President of Franchising at Expedia CruiseShipCenters, addresses a big myth of owning a retail travel agency and the growing demand of knowledgeable travel professionals. Read the latest article here.

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*Expedia Extras offers are per stateroom (unless otherwise stated) on select sailings, based on double occupancy, apply to new bookings only, are not combinable with any other offer, are capacity controlled and may be withdrawn without notice. Certain restrictions may apply. For full terms and conditions, click the specific Expedia Extra offer or contact your Expedia CruiseShipCenters Vacation Consultant.

Prices are per person (based on 2 passengers in the same stateroom), cruise only in USD dollars. Airfare, transfers, taxes, fees and port expenses are additional (unless otherwise stated). Prices vary by ship, stateroom type and sailing date. Prices and offers are subject to availability and change without notice, and are capacity controlled. Fuel supplement may apply. Expedia CruiseShipCenters is not responsible for errors that may occur due to the transfer of information from selected third parties, technical error, or human error.

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