Cruise

Cruise wrap: NCL bumps up Bahamas funding, Mirren christens Scenic Eclipse, MSC Bellissima’s Swarovski fit-out + MORE!

In need of a Hump Day shine-up? We’ve got just the thing (and just the sparkly story) to rev you up in all the right ways right here.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings increases commitment to Bahamas hurricane relief to US$2 million

Image: Supplied by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. NCL Cruise Line, Pride of America, Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii
Image: Supplied by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. ‘NCL Cruise Line, Pride of America, Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii’

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. has announced the increase of its total commitment to its Hope Starts Here Bahama hurricane relief campaign in partnership with All Hands and Hearts, to US$2 million, inclusive of its matching contributions.

All Hands and Hearts will use these funds for the emergency response efforts across the Bahamas, including debris clean-up and removal, and the rebuilding of community infrastructure such as houses or schools.

This follows Norwegian’s pledge of a minimum of US$1 million, earlier this week, toward immediate short-term relief for those affected by Hurricane Dorianwhich decimated the Bahamas early last week.

To celebrate the start of the Earlybird Season, Norwegian has also announced its best offer to date.

Australian and New Zealand guests can enjoy 20 per cent off their cruise fare, plus receive five free offers on over 230 sailings departing in 2020, including on destinations like Europe, Asia, Hawaii, Alaska, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

This never-before seen offer can also be combined with NCL’s popular ‘Take 5 Free’, giving guests who book a Balcony stateroom or above all five ‘Free at Sea’ offers – in addition to receiving reduced deposits on select sailings for a limited time, with guests receiving up to US$2,800 in overall added value.

NCL’s ‘Take 5 Free’ offer is available across its 16-strong fleet for a limited-time, and offers guests a free beverage package, free shore excursion credit, free specialty dining package, free Wi-Fi package and access to NCL’s ‘friends and family sail at a reduced rate’ on a wide range of departures.

In other news, GRAMMY Award-winning artist and superstar Kelly Clarkson will serve as the godmother to Norwegian’s newest ship, Norwegian Encore, debuting in Miami in November.

Dame Helen Mirren christens Scenic Eclipse

Scenic Eclipse Christening 1 media
Image: Supplied by Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours.

Heralding a new era for Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours in ocean cruising, the cruise line has celebrated the official christening of Scenic Eclipse – the World’s First Discovery Yacht™.

Having set sail on her maiden voyage from Reykjavík Iceland, Scenic Eclipse arrived at Pier 88, Manhattan Cruise Terminal, set against the world-famous backdrop of New York City.

Scenic Eclipse godmother Dame Helen Mirren was joined by husband Academy Award-winning director Taylor Hackford and welcomed on board by the ship’s co-owners Glen and Karen Moroney.

Five reasons to choose a this Christmas Silversea cruise 

Image: Supplied by Silversea Cruises
Image: Supplied by Silversea Cruises

Silversea Cruises is inviting guests to celebrate the festive season aboard Silver Muse with a range of special offers, including all-inclusive fly/cruise fares for a 14-day sailing from Auckland to Sydney starting from just AUD$9,900 per person, based on double occupancy in a Vista Suite.

Here are five further reasons to consider a Silversea cruise:

  1. Included Business Class flights and transfers for bookings before 30 September 2019
  2. All-inclusive fares, including fine food and butler service for each suite
  3. US$1,000 (approx. AU$1,457) board credit per suite towards shore excursions, spa treatments and more
  4. Complimentary upgrade when booking by 31 October 2019; and
  5. 50 per cent family cruise savings for guests aged two to 17 years old.

To mark its largest European season to date in 2020, Silversea Cruises is also launching a promotion: Business Class flight upgrades are now available from just $3,998 per person – a $1,000 saving on last year’s offer.

In addition, the first 10 agents to sell three Europe 2020 sailings by 29 November 2019, will guarantee themselves and a guest a luxury suite aboard Silver Muse for an all-inclusive 3-night cruise from Melbourne to Sydney, from 31 December 2019 to 2 January 2020.

MSC reveals new crystal cabin on board MSC Bellissima, fit with Swarovski crystals

MSC Meraviglia_Swarovski staircase photo credit Ivan Sarfatti
Image: Supplied by MSC Cruises

Guests on board MSC Cruises’ recently launched MSC Bellissima will be more dazzled than ever before.

MSC has announced that their newest flagship will now feature the world’s first crystal cabin adorned with 700,000 glittering Swarovski crystals.

The Swarovski staircases have been an iconic feature of MSC Cruises’ ships for more than ten years and with this new collaboration with Swarovski on board MSC Bellissima, the cabin will bring a touch of extra sparkle and glamour to MSC Cruises’ beautiful flagship.

The new crystal cabin will be situated in the MSC Yacht Club, the premium ship within a ship concept and will be recognisable thanks to a crystallised number on the outside of the cabin door. Every element has been carefully chosen to add elegant touches and complement the cabin design, including crystallised furniture, such as the bedside tables, sideboard and coffee table.

The wall sconces have been specially designed, offering stunning lighting throughout the cabin. Even the walls feature a touch of glamour, with beautiful coral artwork sparkling with crystals.

In addition to the new cabin and the 96 breath-taking steps with more than 61,000 crystals from Swarovski on board MSC Bellissima, other details include crystal detailed wallpaper in the MSC Yacht Club and a crystallized Active Panel illuminated by custom LED with 500,000 crystals per square metre built into the design of the Champagne Bar to add an extra touch of refinement to the sophisticated bar on deck 7.

Azamara and Celebrity Cruises keynote Luxury Showcase

Image: Supplied by Royal Caribbean International
Image: Supplied by Royal Caribbean International

Celebrity Cruises and Azamara have delivered the keynote speech at the Travel Associate’s Luxury Showcase on Friday 6 September, sharing insights and inspiration to travel agents ahead of the upcoming season.

Touching on the theme of ‘Connections’, representatives from the cruise lines spoke about the “care” and “commitment” they have to the areas they sail to and the ocean they sail on.

Agents had the opportunity to learn more about Azamara’s destination immersion focus, AzAmazing Evenings and the initiatives the cruise line carries out in the places it visits.

One example referenced during the speech was the donation from Azamara’s Hotel Director of 20 Azamara bikes and helmets to a children’s shelter in Cape Verde, one of the cruise line’s port locations.

Agents also learned about Celebrity’s commitment to championing for women in travel, taking strides towards achieving gender equality by increasing women representation in its fleet from 3 per cent in 2015 to 22 per cent in 2019.

First-look at Evergreen Cruises & Tours’ Mekong River ship, Emerald Harmony

Image: Supplied by Evergreen. Sun deck
Image: Supplied by Evergreen Cruises & Tours. Sun deck view.

Evergreen Cruises & Tours first Mekong River ‘Star-Ship’ welcomed her first guests on board on 31 August 2019. Emerald Harmony, the line’s first custom-built Star-Ship outside of Europe, has been specially designed to cruise into Ho Chi Minh City, offering river access into the heart of the city.

To mark the inaugural sailing, “first look” images of Emerald Harmony’s stylish and contemporary interior have been released, showcasing the spacious suites and public areas, the signature sun and pool decks, the Horizon Bar & Lounge, the Lotus Lounge and Reflections Restaurant.

Image: Supplied by Evergreen. Horizon Bar
Image: Supplied by Evergreen Cruises & Tours. Horizon Bar

Agents can be among the very first people to enjoy a Vietnam and Cambodia experience on board the region’s newest Star-Ship this season, with a lead in offer of just $2,375 per person on an 8 day cruise, with flexible options to add city stays or a comprehensive tour of Vietnam to the cruise starting at just $3,945 per person.

Key itineraries include:

  1. 8-day Majestic Mekong River Cruise
  2. 13-day Majestic Mekong Discoverer
  3. 17-day Treasures & Temples of Vietnam & Cambodia; and
  4. 21-day Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia.

Aurora Expeditions gives a sneak peak of the interior of the Greg Mortimer

Image: Supplied by Aurora Expeditions. Greg Mortimer Library and Multimedia room
Image: Supplied by Aurora Expeditions. Greg Mortimer Library and Multimedia room

Aurora Expeditions has announced it has taken delivery of the Greg Mortimer; the company’s highly anticipated ship, which is set to “redefine expedition cruising” with its revolutionary patented ULSTEIN X-BOW®.

Image: Supplied by Aurora Expeditions. Greg Mortimer Lecture Theatre
Image: Supplied by Aurora Expeditions. Greg Mortimer Lecture Theatre

Named after Aurora Expeditions’ co-founder, Greg Mortimer, the 104m ship is the first expedition vessel to feature the patented Ulstein X-Bow, an innovative marine technology that allows for gentler sea crossings, improved comfort and reduced emissions.

The ship is now ready to make her way to Ushuaia in anticipation of the christening and inaugural voyage to Antarctica on 31 October, 2019.

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