Welcome to the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Blog where we keep you up to date with things about cruises that are part of cruise news, useful, interesting and even irrelevant but fun in the world of cruises and cruising.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ MS EUROPA Wins Prestigious Award for the Third Year In a Row

For the third time in a row, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ MS EUROPA is the only cruise line in the world to be awarded the prestigious six star diamond award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences is renowned worldwide for awarding excellence in the global travel and luxury services sector. Each year the Academy bestows its coveted International Star Diamond Award exclusively to five star establishments that are deemed to be the pinnacle of quality by its esteemed Board of Trustees.

“The MS EUROPA is the only ship amongst our members deserving of the six star diamond recognition, it’s the most elite of its kind, said Academy president, Joseph D. Cinque. “We believe the MS EUROPA is one of the most beautiful yachts in the world and has earned its right as a six star diamond award recipient for three consecutive years.”

EUROPA is the first “all-suites” cruise ship, with staterooms that are never less than 290 square feet, 80% of them having their own veranda, assuring privacy and relaxation. The EUROPA is one of the few ships in the cruise industry that offers guests the largest space per passenger, as well as one of the highest staff passenger ratios, with 280 staff members for max. 408 guests.

The EUROPA offering international cruises (German/English) ensures English-speaking passengers feel comfortable from the moment they step on board.

See the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine profile of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, or for more information on the EUROPA’s ‘10-’11 bilingual itineraries visit www.hl-cruises.com

Photo Courtesy Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Name for American Canadian Caribbean Line

Big changes have happened at American Canadian Caribbean Line these past couple of months, not the least of which is the change of name to Blount Small Ship Adventures.

According to President Nancy Blount, a second-generation owner of this family business founded in 1966, the re-branding of American Canadian Caribbean Line is a natural outgrowth of many positive changes taking place at the company.

“Over the past year, we placed an enhanced focus on developing new destinations and types of cruise experiences,” she states. “We made a concerted effort to stay true to our roots while delivering the kinds of cruise itineraries today’s travelers want. Our primary goal was, and still is, to create adventures to places few others can get to."

Operating three US-registry and US-crewed ships, Blount Small Ship Adventures specializes in unique coastal itineraries throughout the US, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America.

Each ship (66-98 passengers) features patented designs such as a retractable pilothouse and shallow-draft bow landing ramp that enable them to access remote destinations larger ships cannot.

For more information visit the official web site at www.blountsmallshipadventures.com

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oceania Cruises in Alaska to Feature Regional Dishes

In 2011, guests abord Oceania Cruises m/s Regatta will be treated to a selection of regional delicacies as regional seafood, game, poultry and berries highlight the menus - fresh ingredients, simply prepared, with influences from Asian and Native American traditions

The Pacific Northwest cuisine will be featured during lunch in the casual Terrace Café which offers both indoor and al fresco seating and in the ship’s gourmet Grand Dining Room as well. In the evenings, regional specialties will be showcased in all four of the ship’s gourmet, open-seating restaurants; all of which are available with no surcharge.

“Oceania Cruises is virtually synonymous not only with fine cuisine, but culinary diversity,” stated Bob Binder, the line’s president.

Fine cuisine is no stranger aboard Oceania Cruises. Jacques Pépin, the legendary celebrity chef and Executive Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises has already brought his legendary cuisine and unique artistry to the gourmet restaurants on board Regatta’s sister ships Marina, Insignia and Nautica. See his recipe for Tomato and Zucchini Salad in Cruise Food at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine.

Highlights of Oceania Cruises’ maiden Alaska season include two full days of glacier cruising and a mix of marquee and off-the-beaten-path Inland Passage ports, the latter a hallmark of the brand. With two-for-one rates and free airfare, 10-day voyages start at $3,499 per guest, based on double occupancy.

Oceania Cruises’ 684-guest Regatta is an intimate ship acclaimed for its open-seating gourmet dining (no surcharges), luxurious public rooms and accommodations, and warm, attentive service.

For reservations or to order a brochure, contact a travel agent, visit OceaniaCruises.com

Photo Courtesy Oceania Cruises

Monday, June 21, 2010

Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine relaunches

Days into the relaunch of the popular Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine - the reaction has been positive.

Travel writers and cruise fans all agree that the new design with larger fonts, easier navigation and hundreds of new pages of information hits the spot!

"Wow! The new-look website is much cleaner and tidier and really jumps out at the viewer, with much clearer and easier to read type, thanks not least to the plain white background. An all-round thoroughly professional job. Well done! " - Robin Short - Journalist

"The newly designed web site looks fantastic" - Hadley Schroll of The Brandman Agency

"Really looks great. I like the section on cruise safety and really give you credit for discussing the subject." - Kendall Carver of the International Cruise Victims Associationc(ICV)

Exploring the world of cruises and cruising, Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine explores different types of cruises with cruise articles and reviews, the latest cruise news, and information on cruising, cruise lines, cruise ports, cruise crime, with cruise tips and advice and cheap cruise deals.


Safety at Sea - A view from Commander Mark Gaouette

Still on the subject of safety at sea, Prow's Edge presents a new View from the Bridge this time from Maritime security consultant to the Department of Homeland Security, and author of "Cruising for Trouble", Commander Mark Gaouette who offers his views about safety at sea.

An expert in this field, Commander Mark Gaouette (USNR -Ret.) was also Director of Security for Princess Cruises and Cunard Cruise Lines, where he oversaw the implementation of the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Codes and the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) regulations on Princess cruise ships and port of calls worldwide.

He pioneered the deployment of the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRADs) on cruise ships to repel pirates.

Cdr. Gaouette is a former Special Agent of the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DSS) and served as a Regional Security Officer (RSO) at five U.S. embassies including Moscow, Russia, Beirut, Lebanon and Sana'a, Yemen. As a reserve naval intelligence officer, he served with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) during Operation Enduring Freedom.

In the latest View From the Bridge article "Cruising for Trouble" Cdr Mark Gaouette offers readers of Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine his views on the true state of safety at sea

Cruising for TroubleCdr. Gaouette is the author of the book Cruising for Trouble: Cruise Ships as Soft Targets for Pirates, Terrorists, and Common Criminals published in March, 2010 by Praeger Publishing."

New Safety Boss for Holland America Line

With awareness of safety at sea and environmental issues becoming more of an issue for the media and for cruise passengers around the world, the cruise lines are starting to take note.

Merging both the issues of safety and the environment, Holland America Line has created a new department that combines Environmental Management Systems with Safety/Training and Regulatory Compliance to be headed by Bill Morani, Vice President, Safety and Environmental Management Systems.

Morani came to Holland America Line after a distinguished 28-year career in the U.S. Coast during which he became recognized as one of the most experienced marine accident investigators. He retired after 28 years as a captain.

For more information about safety at sea visit the Safety at Sea section at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine with important news and tips about cruise ship crime, cruise victims, and safety on a cruise ship.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's BIG but is it Beautiful?

Norwegian Cruise Line has now accepted delivery of its largest and most innovative ship to date, Norwegian Epic, from STX FRANCE SA. Norwegian Epic at 153,000 gross tons is the largest ship ever constructed in St. Nazaire and therefore represents a major milestone for STX.

It is certainly big - but is it beautiful?

With the mania for size in the cruise industry, and ever trying to create the even bigger cruise ship than the last one to float out of the dockyards, Prow's Edge wonders if this quest for size is really what cruise passengers are after!

Norwegian Epic will be christened by legendary entertainer Reba McEntire on July 2 followed by a two-day inaugural cruise. Norwegian Epic will be the host venue for the 34th Annual Macy's 4th of July Fireworks event taking place on Sunday, July 4. The event includes a national, one-hour, live entertainment broadcast on NBC-TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

Another BIG event!

Let us know here at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine how you feel about this.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Entertainment in a Class of its Own

"Seeing, learning and doing more" has always been the fundamental character of a cruise with Voyages of Discovery - and the ethos is central to the new entertainment program for the Voyages of Discovery’s Winter 10/11 program.

Expressly designed to deliver engaging, informative classes which empower guests to experience the destinations from new perspectives, the new entertainment program offers passengers the chance to spend more time with like-minded passengers who share their interests.

For the budding Turner, a range of artistic workshops includes a watercolor painting course, which takes place in the luxurious surroundings of the yacht club with exquisite panoramic views for inspiration. The class is designed to build skills, confidence and visual creativity so passengers can paint their very own pictures of the stunning landscapes, wildlife and flora and fauna of the exotic and dramatic locations.

A choir at sea is open to singers of all abilities, whether experienced musicians or first timers. Participants needn’t read music as skilled choir masters will quickly have passengers singing in tune and learning as they go along.

Craft workshops include jewelry-making, sewing work and embroidery so that guests can try their hand at replicating the skills and handicrafts of the cultures they experience or create some truly unique souvenirs. The Digital World course allows passengers to free their cameras from the auto setting and capture their experiences and memories as they truly intended before sharing the photographs with friends and family through the information super-highway.

While Discovery is perhaps most famous for the quality of the lectures delivered by its expert guest speakers, the quality of the friendly tuition from artists and crafts teachers is no less impressive. The classes and workshops are welcoming and far-removed from the over-bearing razzmatazz that is sometimes associated with cruising. The classes take full advantage of the benefits of small ship cruising, giving guests the peace and quiet they require and bringing them closer to the inspirational scenery.

For more information on cruises with Voyages of Discovery please visit : Voyages of Discovery

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Costa Cruises on Travelocity

Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, is now available on Travelocity, one of the world’s leading online travel retailers. Current 2010 itineraries and future 2011 routes from Costa’s global product may be purchased on the site or by phone with specially-trained Costa product specialists.

“Travelocity’s reach and audience will bring the niche aspect of Costa Cruises to a much wider range of travelers looking to plan their next cruise getaway,” said Maurice Zarmati, president and ceo of Costa North America. “They are a very well-respected brand in the industry with a team that is committed to understanding the key aspects and attributes of our product. We’re thrilled to be aligned with them.”

”We’re excited to be offering Travelocity shoppers the chance to now book a Costa cruise,” said Alex Goldman, vice president, cruises, Travelocity. “They offer such a unique cruising experience and we are looking forward to working with their team for many years to come.”

Costa, the Italian brand of Carnival Corporation, offers a “true European experience” to travelers, combining the charm of the old world with incredible innovations of today. This special brand of Italian warmth and European sophistication makes cruising with Costa much more than a voyage to a new and exciting destination – it’s an experience that creates lifetime memories that linger and make guests smile at unexpected moments. From delectable fresh pastas, warm cappuccinos, international guests who become friends from around the world and charming Italian greetings travelers hear such as “buongiorno” and “buonasera,” sailing with Costa brings the passion and vitality of Italy to sea.

For the latest news about the cruise lines and for the best in things all about cruising, take a look at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another blog for cruise lovers - this time from Oceania Cruises

For the first time ever, Oceania Cruises, the award-winning, upper-premium cruise line, affords an insider’s view and insights into what takes place behind the scenes through the line’s new blog – Taste the Wonderful World of Oceania Cruises.

The new blog is a home on the Internet where past guests and those interested in learning more about Oceania Cruises can read the latest news about onboard and onshore happenings, product enhancements, interact with key executives, team members and more.

The line’s executives and bloggers-at-large will take readers behind-the-scenes, granting them insider’s access to the ships and the world’s most scenic ports, including videos and still images taken at the Italian shipyard where Marina and Riviera are being built. Oceania Cruises also welcomes its past guests and crew to become guest bloggers.

According to Senior Vice President of Marketing James Rodriguez, “Oceania Cruises is incredibly fortunate to have such loyal past guests and travel agent partners. This new blog is an exciting new way for us to engage them in ongoing open dialogue and provide them with unique insights.”

For more about James Rodriguez, take a look at his View from the Bridge contribution for Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine in which he talks about "Discovering the World in Style"!

To check out the new Taste the Wonderful World of Oceania Cruises blog, go to www.oceaniacruisesblog.com

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Food Network at Sea with Celebrity Cruises

Everybody loves the Food Network and all its popular TV shows.

Now Celebrity Cruises has announced that they will be pairing the top-rated megaship, Celebrity Solstice, with invitation-only events sponsored by Food Network and designed for culinary enthusiasts, through the first “Food Network at Sea” program.

The only cable channel dedicated to connecting viewers to the power and joy of food, Food Network established Food Network at Sea to allow consumers to not only watch the network, but to experience it firsthand, on the August 22, 2010, seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing of Celebrity Solstice.

In addition to exclusive participation in engaging culinary demonstrations led by star chefs Cat Cora of Iron Chef and Aaron Sanchez of Chefs vs. City, guests who purchase the special cruise package also will have the opportunity to savor the following:

• VIP pierside check-in
• Red carpet “welcome aboard” reception
• “Battle of the Celebrity Solstice Chefs” competition event
• “Dine-around” experience featuring samplings of favorite Food Network recipes
• Access to the Food Network VIP Lounge and screening room
• Caribbean cocktails on Celebrity Solstice’s Lawn Club
• Pre-paid gratuities and special turndown gifts

Complementing the activities offered by Food Network exclusively for guests who book the Food Network at Sea package are the industry-first attributes that guests, travel agents and press have praised about Celebrity Solstice, including its half-acre Lawn Club with real grass, a glassblowing show and studio developed with The Corning Museum of Glass, unrivaled dining venues offering trendsetting cuisine and design, and widely varied entertainment. The 2,850-guest vessel also has spacious staterooms and bathrooms, and several categories of accommodations, including Celebrity’s spa-inspired AquaClass staterooms.

To book the inaugural Food Network at Sea cruise on Celebrity Solstice, call Food Network Travel at 866-951-9925, or visit www.foodnetworktravel.com. The unique Food Network at Sea experiences are available only to guests who book through these avenues.

For cruise ship recipes take a look at the Cruise Food section at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine that is packed full of recipes from celebrated executive chefs like Jacques Pépin and Georges Blanc from all the major cruise lines.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tahiti Photography Workshops on the Paul Gauguin

Where better to take photographs than in the most beautiful part of the world - Tahiti!

Paul Gauguin Cruises has announced a collaboration with award-winning commercial photographer Roger Paperno, whose work is in demand by Fortune 100 companies and fine-art photographer Jesse Kalisher, whose work is in the permanent collections of the Louvre, the Smithsonian, and other museums around the country.

Guests aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin during the August 7th sailing to Tahiti and the Society Islands, as well as the August 14th sailing to the Society Islands and Tuamotus, are invited to participate in a learning opportunity that covers an incredible range of photographic challenges and lessons through an elite photographic tour of the paradise that is French Polynesia. The Tahiti Photography Workshops are the first of many themed sailings in the South Pacific focusing on a variety of subjects and interests.

Celebrated photographers Jesse Kalisher and Roger Paperno and accomplished graphic designer and artist Helen Kalisher share their knowledge about their art as they lead an unparalleled photo-expedition that covers everything from tropical flowers and white-sand beaches to magnificent views of Cook's Bay, Mt. Rotui, and an ancient Tahitian stone temple.

The course will cover every aspect of photography on islands that deliver one amazing photograph after another. Through the photography-themed sailings, participants will learn:

- How to capture movement when photographing local flora
- When to use a wide-angle lens or a telephoto lens
- How and where to add perspective
- How to find the perfect shot
- How photographers capture the majesty of this spectacular landscape
- How to control light to create beautiful portraits in magnificent settings

Famed photographer Roger Paperno believes in the “Zen of photography,” and how emotion and energy can impact a photograph. His class teaches photographers how to approach each photo with a calm, clear state of mind to improve the quality of their work. Paperno will teach guests about basic photography and techniques, and will also illustrate how the feelings behind the photo are essential to the art of photography.

Jesse Kalisher will engage his fellow photographers in an exploration of how he sees the world through the camera lens, as well as basic tips and tools for every level participant. Kalisher has taught this class around the world and believes that the secret to capturing fantastic photos is found in the joy of the moment. He will share some tips that have made his photography famous, coveted by museum curators around the world.

Helen Kalisher teaches the basics and tricks of Photoshop, where she has created logos and web pages for Apple Computer and travel guides for Dorling Kindersley. Kalisher has successfully combined an artist’s eye with her love of photography, translated through her mastery of Photoshop.

The photographic tour also includes exclusive shore excursions, private portfolio review, a hosted dinner, and round-table discussions. The cost for the photography workshops are $350 per person.

For rates and reservations for Paul Gauguin Cruises, contact a Professional Travel Agent, call 1-800-848-6172, or visit www.pgcruises.com.

Monday, June 7, 2010

30% Savings on 7 nights Fijian Dateline Cruise

Captain Cook Cruises is celebrating its 40th Birthday in 2010 with a massive sale offering up to 30% off Fiji Northern Dateline cruises.

The sale is valid to 30 August 2010 and valid for travel until 31st March 2011. As an extra bonus for families a separate children’s bunk cabin is available at no additional charge with payment of two or more children 3-17 years with accompanying parents or guardians.

The Northern Fiji Dateline Discovery Cruise is an amazing cruise that reveals the unique history, art and culture of the Northern Fiji Islands and allows passengers the ultimate experience of standing’ on the International Dateline.

Developed after months of extensive research and searching for secluded and exclusive locations, passengers are taken beyond the Yasawa Islands to very remote and exotic tropical Fijian islands.

Day trips include the historic island of Ovalau which still features 19th Century colonial architecture and waterfront promenades from colonial rule, the Bouma Waterfall lagoon on Taveuni Island, the extinct volcanic crater, hot springs and thriving markets on Savusavu, a special choral church service at Waiyevo and of course the 180th Meridian – the arbitrary Dateline between today and tomorrow on Taveuni Island.
There is plenty of swimming, snorkelling and diving off picturesque islands including Tivua, Nanuyakoto, Savusavu Bay, Nananu-I-ra and Manava Island.
One of the most endearing features of this cruise is the generous welcome from Fijian village locals living on islands rarely visited by tourists. Passengers will be given the extraordinary opportunity to experience village life and partake in a kava ceremony, enjoy a traditional ‘lovo” (earth oven) feast and dance to the drum of the meke (dance).

The 7 night Northern Fijian Dateline Cruise package departs in 2010 on 3rd August, 7th September, 5th October and 2nd November and is priced from $1749 per person twin share, normally from $2499.

Price includes shipboard accommodation, all meals, guided village and island tours, glass bottom boat excursions, on board entertainment and use of the ship's facilities.

Take a look at the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine cruise line profile for Captain Cook Cruises or visit the Captain Cook Cruises website or email at: mailto:fiji@captaincook.com.au

Friday, June 4, 2010

2-for-1 and Run-of-Boat Specials for Galapagos Explorations

AdventureSmith Explorations, a small ship adventure specialist that secures matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of small, expedition ships is offering two better-bang-for-bucks offers in the Galapagos.

The first is a two-for-the-price-of-one in a shared cabin; and the second is a run-of-boat special at a reduced rate when the client selects a departure date but agrees that the vessel assignment can be made on the basis of available cabins at time of boarding.

The two-for-one Galapagos Evolution Cruise applies for the December 2 to 12, 2010 departure in specified cabins and the December 9 to 19 departure for all cabins. This program that waives the second fare can save between $4,395 and $5,695.

The two-for-one Galapagos Grace Cruise applies for the August 19 to 29, 2010 departure in specified cabins, the September 2 to 12 departure for all cabins, the September 23 to October 3 departure in specified cabins and the December 2-12 departure for specified cabins. This program that waives the second fare can save between $5,195 and $5,945.

The Galapagos Run of the Boat Special aboard the Grace or Evolution can save between $1,250 and $2,950 per person, depending on cabin category.

AdventureSmith Explorations is the global leader in small ship, adventure cruise vacations. Company founder Todd Smith helped pioneer the concept of wilderness cruising that combines the comforts of a small cruise ship with the adventure of sea kayaking, hiking and exploring remote wilderness areas ashore.

AdventureSmith Explorations dedicates its efforts to small footprint, sustainable travel and has launched a carbon free cruising initiative. The company was named by National Geographic Adventure as one of “The Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” and is the recipient of Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious “World Savers Award.”

To book, phone 800-728-2875 toll-free or 530-583-1775; email travel@AdventureSmithExplorations.com or visit AdventureSmith Explorations

For more information on adventure cruises, visit the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine page on adventure cruises

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Royal Caribbean Targets Europe with 11 Ships from 11 Ports in 2011

With an eye on the buoyant European cruise market, Royal Caribbean is offering vacationers 11 ships sailing from 11 popular and historic European port cities in 2011.

It is deploying more ships in the Mediterranean with 47 additional Europe cruises in 2011-12 aboard Splendour of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas, totaling 27 unique itineraries with calls at 30 unique ports in 12 countries.

Sailing roundtrip from Venice, Splendour of the Seas will offer a new series of 10- and 11-night Greek Isles and Turkey itineraries. Mariner of the Seas will homeport in Rome (Civitavecchia) and offer a variety of Western Mediterranean, Egypt and Holy Land itineraries ranging from six to 13 nights.

Additionally, vacationers can choose a Royal Caribbean Europe cruisetour land package, which combines a voyage aboard either ship with an escorted land tour to explore inland cities and attractions. Bookings for these 2011 Europe cruises and cruisetours are now open.

In Venice, Splendour of the Seas will join Voyager of the Seas – the first Voyager-class ship ever to sail from the port – from April through November 2011. In addition to Voyager of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas will be joined by Liberty of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas, which will sail their maiden Europe seasons from Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain, respectively.

Independence of the Seas will continue its year-round service from Southampton, U.K. and, with Liberty of the Seas, make two Freedom-class ships to sail European waters as the region’s largest and most innovative cruise ships. Navigator of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas will sail a variety of Mediterranean itineraries, while Jewel of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will ply the Baltic and North seas.

For more information visit the official Royal Caribbean International web site