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Kurt von Schleicher
Cruise & Vacation Consultant

News & Notes

July 2018

Inaugural Season Itineraries Reservations Open Aboard Regent’s Seven Seas Splendor

Luxury travelers can now book inaugural season itineraries aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ newest ship, launching in February 2020. Seven Seas Splendor will set a new standard for luxury by striving for the ultimate achievement – perfection, and will be the best way to travel to the world’s most beautiful destinations.

The all-suite, all-balcony ship will boast some of the highest space ratio in the cruise industry and elevate the industry standards for luxury travel with intricate marble, soaring ceilings, elegant design, and authentic craftsmanship. The same discernment that went into the design of the ship was applied to the creation of the inaugural season itineraries. The first voyage beginning on February 7, 2020 will take guests on an unforgettable 14-night transatlantic journey from Barcelona to Miami.

“For Seven Seas Splendor’s inaugural season, we included voyages to destinations that are as extraordinary as the ship herself,” said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Sea Cruises. “Based on guest response to our current itineraries through the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and North America, we anticipate these new offerings will be popular among both new and repeat guests wanting the exclusive opportunity to be one of the first to sail on the newest luxury ship in our fleet”.

Panama Canal & Caribbean Journeys

The Seven Seas Splendor will cross the legendary Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles on February 25, 2020, and calls on storied places like Cartagena, and anchors along the stunning coastline of Cabo San Lucas. Guests will have the opportunity to traverse the mighty canal from the West to the East when the Seven Seas Splendor sails from Los Angeles to Miami on March 14, 2020.

Mediterranean Perfected

Starting on April 30, Seven Seas Splendor will begin its inaugural Mediterranean season with the distinct advantage of being the perfect size to reach the region’s most intimate boutique ports, from Palamos to Toulon, to Kotor. The first of these voyages is a 12-night cruise from Barcelona that culminates with a romantic stay in Venice. Sail across the glamourous ultra-fashionable Riviera on May 28, 2020 for 7 nights departing from Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona.

Reservations for Seven Seas Splendor’s inaugural season are now open. For more information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises, please contact your Vacation Consultant today.

Experience Stewards of Nature Family Program Onboard Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, is offering a way for families to explore Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific together this summer and during the holidays through a joint program with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The South Pacific is more than a dream destination; it is also a fascinating getaway where families can share activities, strengthen bonds, and create memories to last a lifetime. Through Paul Gauguin Cruises’ partnership with WCS, the Stewards of Nature family program invites children and teens between 7-17 years of age, as well as family members, to discover and value nature through hands-on, interactive learning.

Every day of the voyage, there is a combination of naturalist-led island and/or beach excursions, science activities, crafts, games, and other adventures. Depending on the itinerary, children might learn about underwater life during a snorkeling excursion, observe the ocean or the stars through binoculars or an onboard telescope, and learn about different kinds of marine life and their habitats. Other activities include going on a dolphin-watching expedition, swimming with sharks and rays, playing beach games, enjoying a Tahitian dance performance on board, and learning what it means to be a Steward of Nature.

All of the activities with the program are included for children and teens through a nominal fee ($349-$399, depending on length of voyage). Family members are invited and encouraged to participate in most activities for the additional cost of the shore excursions.

The Stewards of Nature family program onboard Paul Gauguin is available on the following voyages:

7-Night Tahiti & the Society Islands

  • June 16, 2018
  • June 23, 2018
  • July 28, 2018
  • December 22, 2018 (Holiday Cruise)
  • December 29, 2018 (Holiday Cruise)

7-Night Society Islands & Tahiti Iti

  • June 30, 2018

10-Night Society Islands & Tuamotus

  • June 6, 2018
  • July 18, 2018

11-Night Cook Islands & Society Islands

  • July 7, 2018

For more information about how you can experience the Stewards of Nature program and all that Paul Gauguin Cruises has to offer, contact your Vacation Consultant today!

Drinks On Us with MSC Cruises

Set sail to the Caribbean with MSC Cruises on MSC Seaside, MSC Divina, or MSC Meraviglia, and receive unlimited drinks, a value of over $250 per person! Enjoy drinks from their selection of bottled and draft beers, house wines by the glass, house brands of vodka, rum, gin, whisky, and non-alcoholic beverages for the duration of your cruise. It’s the ultimate in convenience and value!

Book a 7-night Caribbean Cruise with MSC Cruises starting from $509 per person, and receive the following Expedia® Extras*:

Expedia® Extras*

  • Unlimited drinks

Contact your Vacation Consultant today to enjoy unlimited drinks on your next Caribbean getaway with MSC Cruises!

*Rates are cruise only per person based on double occupancy (with the exception of FLA & FLP categories) and quoted in USD. Offer valid for U.S. & Canadian residents. The lead rate of $509 is for Category I1 and applicable for the following dates on MSC Seaside: 4/28/18, 5/26/18, 8/18/18, 9/1/18, 9/15/18, 9/29/18 and 10/27/18. Government fees and taxes (GFT) of $108 are additional per person. COMBINABLE DISCOUNTS: One (1) of the following discounts may be applied as applicable per stateroom: MSC Voyagers Club Discount; Military Discount; Interline Discount. Applicable to active and retired U.S. and Canadian military, civil service and interline personnel and their spouses, dependent children, parents, and parents-in-law. Offer is capacity-controlled, subject to availability, cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion and may be withdrawn without notice. MSC Cruises reserves the right to pass on any fuel surcharge without prior notice to all guests. MSC Cruises reserves the right to refuse to honor any prices/sailings that are erroneously printed or quoted. Other restrictions may apply. DRINKS ON US: Available for all Caribbean cruises on MSC Seaside, MSC Divina and all MSC Meraviglia cruises from New York and Miami. Excludes Cuba. The DRINKS ON US package is not available in the Champagne Bar on MSC Seaside. Included items are subject to change. When ordering a drink onboard, you must present your Cruise Card or wearable wristband. The DRINKS ON US package does not include service charges. A 15% service charge on the original and nominal price of the drinks ordered will be automatically added to your onboard charges and final statement. For example, if you order a drink that would normally cost $5.00 (however, free to you), you will be charged $0.75 (15% service charge), which will automatically be added to your onboard charges statement. Ask for “DRINKS ON US” promotion when booking. Offer Expires: August 31, 2018. Ships’ registry: Panama and Malta.

Magical Summer Escapes to Disney with TravelBrands

Summer has arrived and there is no better time to plan a special getaway with loved ones. Spend quality time together in a magical place before the laid-back days of summer fade away! Whether you are young or young at heart, the magic of Disney will captivate you as you relive childhood memories and create new ones. With so many new and exciting things to experience at all four theme parks, it couldn’t be a better time to book your Walt Disney World Resort enchanted escape. Plus, those who are looking to make their Disney dreams come true can jump on the chance to save up to 25% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels. These outstanding resorts and hotels allow you to be right in the heart of all the action and adventure of the coveted theme parks. Get ready to explore the enchantment of four unique theme parks all in one magical world of dreams for the whole family. 

Magic Kingdom Park

Children of all ages will thrive at Magic Kingdom Park. Delight in classic attractions, dance alongside musical parades, and meet your most beloved Disney Characters across six whimsical lands. When the sun goes down, enjoy a breathtaking firework show unlike any other over the iconic Cinderella Castle. See dream become a reality as you explore Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Main Street. Zoom through space, conquer mountains, and even cruise down an exotic jungle river!

Epcot

Travel through different worlds and times when visiting Epcot. Here, guests can explore exciting attractions and enchanting international pavilions. Celebrating the human spirit, Epcot has two distinct realms: Future World and World Showcase. Future World features technological innovations while World Showcase shares the culture and cuisine of 11 countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the U.S., Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Movie magic comes to life at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Whether you are admiring the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, or stepping into the action of top blockbuster movies and shows – guests are constantly surrounded by exciting entertainment. With the vibrancy of a bustling movie set, this park features 7 sections: Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Muppet Courtyard, Sunset Boulevard, Commissary Lane, Pixar Place, and Animation Courtyard area.

The newest addition arriving this summer is Toy Story Land. A larger-than-life setting of Andy’s backyard, this whimsical place will show you what it’s like to be a toy, with all-new attractions, colorful landscapes and beloved Toy Story Characters such as Woody, Buzz, and Jessie!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Discover the beauty at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.  Home to more than 2,000 animals across 300 species, the park is filled with authentic adventures and world-class entertainment. Explore six enthralling lands, each one alive with its own unique magic: Oasis, Discovery Island, Africa, Pandora – The World of Avatar, Asia, and DinoLand.

After long and exciting days exploring these four magical parks, there is nothing better than winding down at one of the many Walt Disney World Resorts. Offering distinct amenities, services, eateries, and room types, these resorts and hotels keep your Disney dreams a reality long after the parks are closed. With so many options to choose from, there is an ideal Disney resort designed for you and your travel needs.

Book with TravelBrands at select Walt Disney World Resort properties by September 7, 2018 for a stay between August 2 and October 7, 2018 and enjoy the following Expedia® Extras*:

Expedia® Extras*

  • Save up to 25%

TravelBrands can assist in booking your entire vacation – from flights to park tickets and even meal plans. Now the question is, what are you waiting for? Contact your Vacation Consultant today to experience the magic of Disney this summer with TravelBrands!

Terms and Conditions: *The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length of stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Discounts vary by resort and category. Additional per adult charges apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Advance reservations required. No group rates or other discounts apply. Certain categories are excluded from this offer. Everyone in the same room must be on the same package. Theme park tickets must be used within 14 days of first use. As to Disney artwork, logos and properties: © Disney

Explorations – Small Group Travel Reinvented by Collette

Are you ready to experience travel in a whole new way? Collette Explorations tours are smaller, and more intimate - with just 12-24 passengers, these personal adventures are the ones that today’s cultural explorers dream about.

Explorations is More Than a Trip, it's About Living
This is your moment to develop a deeper, more meaningful connection to the cultures of the world, an opportunity to learn, discover, and to experience a slice of everyday life that somehow feels extraordinary.

It’s About the People You Meet
You often won’t recall the places you see as much as the people you’ve met — the connections you made. Explorations does more than show you a new place. It connects you to new cultures, and shows you a fresh perspective of the world.

It’s About Savoring Local Flavor
Local cuisine is so much more than taste and texture. It’s about the experience and ambiance served up alongside a mouth-watering meal. Explorations seeks to delight the entire palate, creating an unforgettable and hard-to-replicate epicurean adventure.

It’s About Experiencing a Little Adventure
Go ahead, say “yes” to something new. Try something a little outside your comfort zone. Explorations lets you follow your sense of adventure to discover a whole new world of possibilities.

It’s About Staying in Authentic Surroundings
Explorations provides you with access to unique places to rest up and rejuvenate. Whether you’re relaxing after a long day of exciting activities, or enjoying a leisurely morning coffee, these special hotels reflect the true personality of a destination.

Featured Tours with Collette:

Northern Lights of Finland From $5,269* 8 Days • 11 Meals Come to know Finnish culture in bustling Helsinki and the quiet beauty of the remote Lapland region that lies within the Arctic Circle as you search for the Northern Lights.
Italy’s Bella Vita From $4,999* 9 Days • 11 Meals From the cradle of the Renaissance to the romantic majesty of Lake Como, experience the historic and cultural gems Northern Italy has to offer.
Plains of Africa From $6,964* 14 Days • 33 Meals Enjoy Kenya’s scenic vistas and magnificent wildlife as you traverse the African plains on an intimate safari adventure.

Don’t miss out on this chance to see the world and explore the benefits of small group travel with Collette. Contact your Vacation Consultant today to find out more!

Terms and Conditions: *Pricing is per person, land only, and double occupancy.

Avalon Waterways Charts a Whole New Course of Action and Discovery in 2019

Everyone travels to see new things. For those who travel to do new things, Avalon Waterways offers an engaging collection of Active DiscoverySM river cruises. Along the Danube, Rhine, and NEW! Rhône Rivers, you can hike, bike, and engage in your surroundings in unimaginable ways. From interactive discoveries to more energetic experiences, these fascinating cruises offer something for all interest, energy, and fitness levels, allowing you to tailor a vacation to suit your personal taste – and pace.

Engaging Experiences

For those who believe that life is about trying new things, Avalon presents an inspiring selection of interactive excursions created for the different kind of “doer.” These hands-on experiences include joining a painting class in Amsterdam, tasting locally produced cheese and beer in an ancient abbey, or saying “good morning” to Vienna on an early riser walk to a quaint café for breakfast like a local. Local traditions come to life as you shift from observer to participant in a variety of creative outings.

Exploration in Motion

For the traveler who thrives on motion and action, Avalon has created a broad menu of energetic excursions. You might find yourself jogging through Amsterdam, on a biking tour around Vienna, or even on a canoe trip on the Danube. From a climbing trip up to a medieval castle, to hiking in the forest, these included excursions pack a real get-up-and-go for those who like to do the same.

Chart Your Course and Make Your Cruise Your Own with Avalon ChoiceSM

Avalon has designed a variety of included excursions and onboard activities for a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you the most, so you can experience your cruise your way.

Discovery: We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities designed to speak to your interests—from cooking classes, to painting workshops—to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Classic: Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Active: Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go—from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Contact your Vacation Consultant today to find out more about Avalon Waterways’ new engaging collection of Active DiscoverySM river cruises!

The Expedia Franchise Discovery Process

Are you looking for a career change that’s aligned with your passion for travel? You could open your own Expedia CruiseShipCenters retail travel agency franchise, and do what you love while building equity in your business. The Expedia franchise discovery process is designed to educate potential franchise owners through educational content, videos, webinars and phone calls with the help of a Franchise Advisor guiding you throughout the process to determine if an Expedia Franchise is the right opportunity for you!

Click here to continue reading about the franchise discovery process.

Cover Story

Kicking off in 2019, Celebrity Cruises will invest $400 million over a span of five years to complete a modernization of its entire existing fleet.

Affordable Luxury

Go ahead and take a break from your routine to embark on a journey with Oceania Cruises that will leave you awestruck with their award-winning vessels, world-class service, the finest culinary creations, lavish complimentary amenities, and the most immersive itineraries throughout the world.

Land Vacations

Treat yourself to a 24-hour, all-inclusive vacation experience at RIU Hotels & Resorts in Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central America!

Sea Fare

Vegetable Panini

Explore a Cruise line

Terms & Conditions

*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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Kurt von Schleicher
Cruise & Vacation Consultant