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News & Notes

December 2019

New Exciting Stateroom Options on board Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean is introducing two new stateroom categories onboard as part of their commitment to creating unforgettable vacation experiences for their guests.

Spa Stateroom

An entirely new accommodation category is about to become your private retreat for relaxing and recharging. Introducing the Spa Stateroom, where every detail has been considered for your wellbeing and to create a sense of rejuvenation that will resonate long after your vacation. All Spa Staterooms feature an ocean view balcony and cushioned, upgraded balcony furniture. Each room also has unique and relaxing decor featuring succulents, aromatherapy, elevated art, and more. A range of calming in-room amenities such as fresh fruit on embarkation day, daily bottled water, coffee, and teas, and upgraded features like lush bath products and luxurious bedding will let you fully unwind.

Guests staying in a Spa Stateroom are also eligible for 50% off the spa treatment of their choice (one per stateroom)* at the Vitality Spa, with priority reservations and special offers. Spa Staterooms will be available on all on Radiance Class ships and above as of May 2021.

Ultimate Panoramic Suite

There’s plenty of room for awesome in the Ultimate Panoramic Suite coming onboard the Amplified Oasis of the Seas — 914 square feet to be exact. Take in sweeping 200-degree views from wall to wall and floor to ceiling glass windows, enjoy ample space for your belongings in the walk-in closet, and an upgraded bathroom with panoramic views of its own. Enjoy exclusive amenities such as luxury bath amenities by L’Occitane, plush spa bathrobes, a Duxiana mattress, Frette linens, a Nespresso coffee maker, and complimentary in-suite movies.

Plus, as part of Royal Suite Class, the Ultimate Panoramic Suite gives you all the top-tier Star amenities, such as exclusive complimentary dining, complimentary Ultimate Beverage Package, all-day access to suites-only Coastal Kitchen, still and sparkling water replenished daily, complimentary Coca-Cola beverages and water, and access to exclusive activities such as the bridge, galley and backstage tours.

Best of all, helping you navigate through all the fantastic privileges of your Ultimate Panoramic Suite and looking after all of your vacation needs onboard is your personal Royal Genie – a dedicated Concierge who will make all your wishes come true.

The Amplified Oasis of the Seas with the Ultimate Panoramic Suite starts sailing this fall from Miami and New York in May 2020. But don’t wait too long – there are only two Ultimate Panoramic Suites onboard, early booking is a must if you want to one of them!

Contact your Vacation Consultant today to book on board Royal Caribbean in one of their new and exciting stateroom options!

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

Sail to the British Isles with Cruise & Maritime Voyages

Cruise & Maritime Voyages is a British cruise line with an emphasis on small ship cruising, traditional leisure pace, and personalized service. Although the company’s itineraries have a global reach, it’s in the UK where the cruise line shines, offering fantastic opportunities to explore the fascinating history that has bequeathed the island nation with a remarkable heritage.

Made up of over 6,000 islands boasting spectacular coastlines and beautiful landscapes, the British Isles is rich in diverse cultures, customs, and traditions. The following are two highlight itineraries offered by Cruise & Maritime Voyages in 2020 onboard the Columbus.

Grand British Isles Discovery

This 11-night cruise departs from Tilbury on May 8th, 2020, sailing to the Orkney Islands, Isle of Mull, Isles of Sicily, and Guernsey in the Channel Islands, as well as European ports of Rotterdam, Honfleur, and Antwerp.

British Isles Discovery

This 11-night cruise departs from Tilbury on June 16th, 2020, sailing to the Invergordon, Isle of Skye, Isle of Mull, Belfast, Cork, Isles of Scilly, Guernsey, as well as Rotterdam and Honfleur. A 10-night departure on July 9th, 2020 (without Belfast & Cork) is also available.

Although carrying just 1,400 guests, the intimate Columbus still offers a wealth of amenities including seven bars and lounges, two speciality coffee and tea shops, and two deck bars. The Dome Observatory, Nightclub and Palladium Show Lounge host nightly performances by the talented Columbus show team and renowned guest stars. There is even a large floor for ballroom dancing! But you’ll always find a quiet retreat - whether you choose to read a good book in the library, get creative in the Crafter’s Studio, get energised at the fitness center, or unwind with a relaxing massage, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for ‘me-time’.

Columbus offers a wide variety of interior and oceanview staterooms, deluxe balcony cabins, junior suites as well as a large selection of solo staterooms. Dining is also a feast of delight. Start the day with a full English breakfast, move onto a leisurely lunch, and finish with a sumptuous five-course dinner featuring a blend of traditional cuisine ad international flavours. For specialty dining, choose from Fusion serving Indian cuisine, or The Grill for prime dry-aged cuts. A wine-pairing multi-course Chef’s Table dinner is also available for purchase. 

Your British Isles cruise fare includes all meals, afternoon tea and late-night snacks, as well as self-service tea and coffee from 6am to 10pm daily. There are complimentary Captain’s cocktail parties, lectures by guest speakers, arts & crafts, big show entertainment, cabarets and classical interludes, port to cabin porterage, and port taxes. A full array of comprehensive excursions are available to help guests enhance their experience ashore.

Contact your Vacation Consultant for more information on Cruise & Maritime Voyages and their British Isles sailings!

Great Lakes Cruising with Victory Cruise Lines

Victory Cruise Lines is a leader in all-inclusive coastal cruising along the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence, and the North American and Canadian coasts. In particular, its Great Lakes Cruises are a series of thrilling expeditions along the historic five Great Lakes, visiting time-honored ports brimming with natural beauty and maritime history.

One popular Great Lakes Cruises is the Niagara Falls to Chicago Cruise. This dynamic 9-day itinerary covers Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan. Begin your journey with a premium experience at Niagara Falls. Tour progressive Cleveland, spirited Detroit, proud Green Bay and cultured Chicago, which blend comfortably with peaceful throwback oases such as Mackinac Island and Muskegon for a vacation that’s just right for any taste. This itinerary will operate between May and August 2020.

Sailing the Great Lakes is the M/V Victory II, newly refurbished in 2019, carrying 202 guests. She features spacious public spaces and classic staterooms that feel like a home away from home. Every stateroom has an ocean (or in this case, lake) view, ranging from 150 square-feet to the 335 square-foot Owner’s Suite with a semi-private terrace.

Elegantly plated, multi-course meals are served in the Coastal Dining Room, and casual buffet-style fare can be found at The Grill. Menu items reflect regional flavours made with locally-sourced ingredients. A host of additional onboard amenities awaits your discovery. Mingle over a pint at cozy, English-style Tavern, take in afternoon tea and happy hour at The Compass Lounge. Lounge on The Sun Deck, get a good workout in the Fitness Center, or pamper yourself at the Spa and Salon.

Your Great Lakes cruise includes pre-cruise hotel night, onboard meals with regional cuisine, daily afternoon tea and cocktail hour, complimentary standard beers, wines and spirits, tea, coffee, and soft drinks. Also included is a shore excursion at each port of call, nightly entertainment, onboard enrichment, and Wi-Fi in public areas.

For more information about Victory Cruise Lines and their spectacular Great Lakes Cruises, please contact your Vacation Consultant today.

American Queen Steamboat Company Introduces New Ship and Themed Sailings

Discover the beauty of the Mississippi River and relive the adventures of Mark Twain on authentic paddlewheelers operated by American Queen Steamboat Company. In 2020, the iconic cruise line introduces a new ship and new themed cruises. 

American Countess

The American Countess is the latest authentic paddlewheeler to join the American Queen Steamboat Company fleet. She offers comfortable interior and balconied staterooms, a grand dining room, theater, fitness center, card room, and a spacious sun deck with a walking track.

Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style at the River Grill or traditional waiter-service in the Grand Dining Room. Dinner is served in the Grand Dining room, while the River Grill transforms into a specialty restaurant. Wine and beer at dinner are complimentary, as is 24-hour room service. Menus are inspired by America’s heartland infused with cultural influences, made from fresh, local ingredients. The warm hospitality of an all-American crew looks after guests’ every need.

A full roster of historians and guest speakers bring the culture and heritage of the American South to life through lectures and story-telling. And in the evenings, nightly Broadway-style performers blend toe-tapping entertainment with the history of the heartland. Ashore, take advantage of a complimentary hop-on, hop-off tour in every city, or reserve an enhanced premium excursion for an additional charge.

The American Countess will sail along the Mississippi between New Orleans and as far north as Minneapolis, as well as the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers, with sailings ranging from 8 to 15 days.

Food and Wine Themed Cruises

Realizing that food and wine play an integral role in the river cruise experience, American Queen Steamboat Company has curated a series of themed sailings in 2020, focusing on the gastronomy of the river regions. In April, the American Culinary Experience cruise will sail nine days between St. Louis to Cincinnati, where guests can interact with the ship’s culinary team through lectures, cooking demonstrations, and feast on authentic regional cuisine. Special events include a presentation with the Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis, a barbecue smoker event, and a Cincinnati-style chili hot dog cookout.

Fans of barbecue can rejoice onboard one of five American River BBQ Challenge sailings on the Northern Mississippi between Memphis and St. Louis. Throughout each sailing, guests will witness – and become tasting judges of – competitions between the ship’s culinary team and regional BBQ masters. These eight and nine-day sailings depart in May, July, August, September, and October 2020.

Columbia and Snake River sailings bring guests to the wine country of the Pacific Northwest through three wine-themed cruises in March 2020, hosted by wine educators and certified sommeliers. Gain insight into the world of viniculture, wine pairing, tastings, and mixology through onboard lectures, demonstrations, and trivia events. Departures are nine days in length, sailing between Vancouver and Clarkson, WA.

Contact your Vacation Consultant to find out more about these themed sailings from American Queen Steamboat Company and learn all about their newest ship!

Celestyal Cruises Sails to the Adriatic in 2020

Celestyal Cruises has been bringing guests to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean through authentic and immersive experiences both onboard and ashore. Home-based in Athens, Celestyal Cruises has received plenty of accolades including awards in 2018 from Cruise Critic for best shore excursions, value, service, and entertainment.

In 2020, Celestyal Cruises will set sail in the Adriatic for the first time with its new seven-night Romantic Adriatic itinerary, departing roundtrip from Venice. Each of the four departures – December 05, 12, 19, and 26 - visits Corfu and Patras in Greece, Kotor, Dubrovnik, and Split in Croatia at a time when these popular destinations are far less crowded than during the summer months. Highlights of this voyage include visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites, stops to experience the Christmas markets in Venice, the Game of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik and Split, and an excursion to medieval Kotor. With port stays ranging from eight to 20 hours including late-night stays, there will be plenty of time for guests to fully immerse in the local culture, linger over a meal or drink, and enjoy the nightlife long after other ships have departed.

Taking guests there will be the 1,664-guest Celestyal Olympia, small enough to sail into intimate ports, but large enough to offer all the comforts of a floating resort. Along with genuine and highly personalized service, Celestyal Olympia offers restaurants, lounges, bars, fitness center, and shops offering an array of traditional Greek products and tax-free goods. Comfortable accommodations range from interior staterooms to those with ocean views, and balconied suites.

A cruise onboard Celestyal is an all-inclusive experience with an unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks package, all meals onboard, daily activities, nightly entertainment, select shore excursions, port and service charges and gratuities included in the fare. These added-value elements are sure to bring peace of mind and a stress-free vacation to travelers who are tired of being nickeled and dimed during their holiday! Contact your Vacation Consultant today to learn more about Celestyal Cruises!  

Save Big in 2020 with Apple Vacations

There’s nothing like a vacation to paradise. And when you book with Apple Vacations, you’ll know you’re traveling with the leading name in all-inclusive vacations!

Apple Vacations was the first to offer all-inclusive packages to the Caribbean and Mexico and is also a leader in travel to Hawaii, Central and South America.  Choose from amazing resorts in stunning tropical destinations like Cancun, Punta Cana, St. Lucia, and Panama City, and let Apple Vacations take care of the rest!

Each Apple Vacations package includes roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations, and in-resort transfers are ALWAYS included. Plus, all meals, drinks, entertainment, and tips are included at all-inclusive resorts! Many of our vacation packages are loaded with extra values like complimentary private transfers, exclusive cocktail parties, food, beverage, and spa credits, and so much more. So, leave your wallet behind and enjoy a vacation where everything is right at your fingertips.  

Choose from world-renowned brands such as AMResorts, Bahia Principe, RIU, Hard Rock Hotels, and more. Each all-inclusive resort has a multitude of dining venues serving international cuisine, and a variety of bars and lounges. You’ll dine in gourmet restaurants without ever paying a bill, and sip unlimited hand-crafted cocktails at beautiful beachfront bars and cozy lounges. Spend the day enjoying non-motorized watersports, world-class spas, refreshing pools, and pristine beaches; and revel in the evenings with floor shows, live music, nightclubs, and more! Apple Vacations has resort options for every budget, with choices for couples, families, groups, wedding parties and honeymooners!

Travel with Apple Vacations today and take advantage of competitively priced packages that stand out among the rest. When it comes to all-inclusive vacations, there’s simply no comparison. But don’t take our word for it – for years, vacationers have been saying that Apple Vacations is the best, and many of the nation's most reputable travel authorities have made it official. We’ve been awarded Best Tour Operator to Mexico and the Caribbean by readers of Travel Weekly, Recommend Magazine, and TravelAge West for more than a decade in a row.  

Come see for yourself why a holiday with Apple Vacations is a winner. Check out some of your favorite destinations and save big now through 2020 while enjoying extra perks. Contact your Vacation Consultant today for more details!

Expedia Franchise awards 300th Franchise Agreement

Expedia CruiseShipCenters is rapidly expanding and announced the signing of our 300th Center. This achievement is a testament to our strong Franchise Owners and dedicated 140+ corporate support team. The 300th franchise awarded has built momentum towards the overall growth plan to reach 500 Expedia franchise locations in North America over the next several years. Read more about Expedia’s record and the growing cruise industry 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.

For Bookings Made in Quebec: Travel Agents’ Customers Compensation Fund FICAV (0.10% or 1$ per 1000$ of tourism products).

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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