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.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Christmas ‘The More the Merrier’ Rates from MSC

Because MSC Cruises believes holidays are meant to be shared with families and friends, the cruise line is offering a special “The More the Merrier” rate with significant savings on the Christmas sailing of MSC Poesia in the Caribbean.

The special rate is available on MSC Poesia’s December 19, 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary from Fort Lauderdale.

With “The More the Merrier” rates, guests in the first stateroom pay the early booking rate while guests in the second stateroom pay 50% off the early booking rate. For those booking an inside stateroom, for example, rates start as low as $649 per person for the first stateroom and $324.50 per person for the second stateroom. Rates for a balcony stateroom begin at $949 per person for the first stateroom and $474.50 per person for the second.

The cruise-only rate is applicable when four guests book two staterooms at the same time. Government fees and taxes are additional. Offer expires on October 15.

MSC Poesia’s December 19 roundtrip cruise from Fort Lauderdale includes calls at Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and a Christmas celebration at sea.

MSC Poesia features sophisticated and elegant decor, attention to detail, the finest in international entertainment and Italian hospitality and an eco-friendly design. Of the 1,275 staterooms, of which 80 percent are outside staterooms and 65 percent have a balcony. The ship has a generous 236,000 square feet of public spaces, two pools and four hot tubs, plus a 13,000-square-foot Balinese spa. Guests can select from four restaurants, including a Sushi Bar alternative dining restaurant.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit www.msccruisesusa.com, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Special “2-for-one” Antarctic Voyage Offer

If you’ve ever hankered after seeing the extraordinary wildlife of Antarctica and its breathtaking scenery, Oceanwide Expeditions has just made it easier for you with a special “2 for the price of 1” offer on two 18-nights voyages to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula in November and December.

The “book one person and get the second place free of charge” offer is on Oceanwide’s new vessel Plancius from November 4 to November 22, and again from November 22 to December 10.

Cruise rates for these voyages are:

Quadruple cabin: US$8,250 per person (this cruise price will now cover 2 persons)

Twin cabin: US$9,990 per person (now the cruise price for 2 persons).

Superior cabin: US$11,550 per person (ditto – now the cruise price for 2).

Prices include accommodation aboard the vessel, all meals, excursions and harbour fees. Prices exclude flights and any pre- and post tours.

Originally built as an oceanographic research vessel, the Plancius was completely rebuilt in 2009. It accommodates 114 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple private cabins, 39 twin private cabins (ca. 15 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins are outside cabins with porthole or window. The Plancius offers a restaurant/lecture room on deck 3 and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) on deck 5. M/v "Plancius" has large open deck spaces providing great opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife.

Oceanwide also offers travellers a 10-days all-inclusive Antarctica cruise aboard “Plancius” during Christmas from 20 to 29 December or a New Year voyage from 29 December to January 7). These voyages include flights from Miami, hotels, transfers and cruise for only US$6,990 per person in a twin cabin and US$6,150 per person in a quadruple cabin.

The Plancius Antarctica voyages start and end in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located in the shadow of the Andes and right at the Beagle Channel shore. The Plancius sails through this scenic waterway during the afternoon.

For more information about Oceanwide Cruises and details of these four voyages go to http://www.oceanwide-expeditions.com/

For a brief overview of Oceanwide Cruises take a look at the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine profile of Oceanwide Expeditions.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How Important is Food on a Cruise ?

Take our poll at the top right corner and help us figure out just how important food is on a cruise to most cruise passengers.

Although everyone talks about it, and tell you how much weight they put on over the 7 days of their last cruise - we suspect that this may be a case of the Emperor's clothes and that many of you don't actually care that much about the food.

The challenge is on - let us know!

Norwegian Cruise Line to air 44 regular season football games

If you just don't want to leave the game behind – Norwegian Cruise Line will be the host of America’s favorite pastime as the National Football League (NFL) season kicks off this fall. Norwegian will broadcast 44 NFL regular season games including three exciting match ups on Thanksgiving Day.

In addition to the Sunday and Thursday night games, eight playoff games, the NFC and the AFC conference championships, and the ultimate battle for the championship ring, the Super Bowl, will be broadcast on the line’s fleet of Freestyle Cruising ships (except Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Gem while in Europe).

Guests can pack their jerseys and support their favorite NFL teams while relaxing in one of the many Freestyle venues on board Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Star, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Spirit and Pride of America.

To book a cruise call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), visit www.ncl.com, or contact a travel professional.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Yangtze Spectacular

Always on the lookout for something different for cruise passengers, Prow's Edge brings you news of the Yangtze Spectacular from Victoria Cruises.

The Yangtze Spectacular begins in Beijing where highlights include Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City as well as the less obvious Temple of Heaven and a culturally authentic rickshaw ride through the ancient alleyways of the Hutong – a traditional 700-year-old cottage neighborhood – culminating with lunch at a local family’s home.

Continuing on to Xi’an, travellers will be impressed by the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit, which includes more than 6,000 life-sized statues buried near the first Qin Emperor more than 2,000 years ago. Guests will also enjoy a special Dumpling Banquet, colorful Tang Dynasty Show, sightseeing at the Ming Dynasty Wall and a visit to the Shanxi Provincial Museum. A Xi’an Night Tour will lead participants to the fascinating Muslim Quarter Market, providing travellers with a unique perspective.

Guests will then fly to Yichang where they will board the luxurious Victoria Queen (or similar five-star Victoria Cruises vessel) for a four-night Yangtze River sailing. In addition to marvelous views of centuries-old temples and pagodas nestled along the mist shrouded Yangtze, travellers will enjoy exciting Cultural Entertainment and many onboard activities such as morning Tai Chi lessons.

Cruise excursions include the Three Gorges Dam in Sandouping, an extraordinary feat of engineering, as well as the “Ghost City” of Fengdu at Mingshan Hill, complete with statues of spirits and demons.

The highlight of the cruise experience is sure to be a journey through the impressive Small Gorges of the Daning River, one of the Yangtze’s tributaries. The scenic voyage will bring passengers to a floating dock near Dachang, where they will disembark to board a traditional sampan for a tranquil ride through the “Mini Gorges” of the Ma Du River, a tributary of the Daning (Daning River excursion may be substituted with Shennong Stream depending on river conditions).

Passengers will disembark in Chongqing, where they will have an opportunity to see the charming Panda Exhibit at the Chongqing Zoo prior to their flight to Guilin.

In Guilin, travellers will enjoy a tour of Fubo Hill and 180-million-year-old Reed Flute Cave, followed by a Guilin Cultural Show on their first evening in the city. The next morning features a delightful cruise on the picturesque Li River, which disembarks in Yangshuo where guests can check out the colorful local market. Visitors will also enjoy views of the Rice Paddies and Country Landscapes as well as a Guilin Night Tour to Pedestrian Market.

Upon arrival in Shanghai the following day, passengers will immediately head off to Suzhou, often referred to as the “Venice of the East.” A visit to the Master of Fishing Nets Garden and cruise tour of the Suzhou Canal will prove most rewarding. A stop at a unique Silk Factory will be followed by lunch and visit to the delightful Water Village of Tongli, a town with a history spanning more than 1,000 years. The programme also includes a Suzhou Night Tour.

Finally, the trip culminates in Shanghai where highlights include the historic waterfront promenade known as The Bund, classical Yu Yuan Garden and the ultra-modern Pudong Development Zone. Travellers will get an up-close look at the famous Oriental Pearl TV Tower and enjoy a Huangpu River Night Cruise.

Guests will have a free day in Shanghai at the end of the programme to pursue individual interests. Optional activities may include the Nanjing Road shopping district or the 2010 Shanghai World Expo (only available though Oct. 31). Lunch is by travellers’ own arrangement on the final day, however, a China Farewell Dinner will provide a memorable conclusion to this once in a lifetime experience.

For more information or to book, consult your local travel agent, contact China Star Holiday toll free at 866-388-1188, or by visiting the tour operator’s website at www.chinastarholiday.com.

For more information abo0ut Victoria Cruises contact Victoria Cruises at 57-08 39th Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377; phone (800) 348-8084, (212) 818-1680; fax (212) 818-9889 or visit http://www.victoriacruises.com.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

October Wine & Culinary Adventure

Exceptional scenery, exquisite wining and dining, kayaking and an all-inclusive experience round out a perfect week of discovery and adventure on American Safari Cruises’ Wine & Culinary cruise.

The October 2, 2010 departure features Cordon Bleu-trained Executive Chef Kirsten Dixon of Alaska’s Winterlake Lodge, guest Sommelier, private wine tours and tastings, and complimentary massage and yoga classes.

All guests will receive a signed copy of Chef Dixon’s cookbook, a signed copy of the Wine Trails of Washington by wine expert Steve Roberts and a 40 page hard cover photo book depicting images from the cruise (one per stateroom). In addition, an onboard drawing will be held for a post-cruise hosted wine party valued at $1,500 to be held at the winning guest’s home. American safari Cruises will supply the Sommelier, wine and certificates for future cruise savings for all party attendees.

The seven-night Wine & Culinary cruise is offered aboard the exquisitely appointed 36-guest yacht, Safari Explorer, traveling one-way between Portland, Oregon, and Lewiston, Idaho. Cruising down the scenic and historical Columbia River, highlights include the mesmerizing Palouse River Canyon, kayaking in hidden channels, a visit to Multnomah Falls, a thrilling jet boat ride into Hell’s Canyon and five private wine tours. Rounding out each day of adventure is a sommelier hosted onboard wine tasting of classic wines from the Pacific Northwest. Swirl, smell, sip and enjoy.

Prices begin at $4,895 per person, double occupancy. For additional information visit http://americansafaricruises.com or to book an American Safari Cruises’ voyage for your client call 1-888-862-8881.

The 36-guest Safari Explorer offers an on-deck hot tub, sauna, exercise equipment, two-person kayaks and motorized shore boats for close-up exploration, a wine library, and a large-screen TV in the main salon. Exceptional cuisine is prepared with fresh, local ingredients, and the complimentary bar offers premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews. All staterooms offer Tempur-pedic mattresses, flat screen TV and DVD players and an iPod docking station. The guest-crew ratio is 2 to 1, with an all-American crew that includes professional naturalists and Captains with extensive local knowledge.

About American Safari Cruises
American Safari Cruises pioneered yacht cruising in Alaska 12 years ago; the company is owned by InnerSea Discoveries, based in Seattle, WA. For more information call: 888-862-8881.

Cruise those Unused Vacation Days

It’s hard to believe, but did you know that many Americans only take up to three quarters of their vacation days. This actually means that over-worked Americans give up an average of 459 million vacation days each year.

This is not a good thing.

Based on these overwhelming facts, Royal Caribbean is encouraging consumers to use their hard-earned vacation days and reminding them that even The President - a person with arguably one of the hardest jobs in America - needs to get away every now and then.

"Vacations are not a luxury, they're a necessity," says John de Graaf, Executive Director of Take Back Your Time, a nonprofit organization that studies issues related to overwork. "Men who take them are 32% less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who don't. For women, it's 50%. And women who don't take vacations are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression. Pass them by at your peril."

For more information about the Royal Caribbean International drive to make sure Americans don’t leave their vacation days behind, take a look at the Prow’s Edge Cruise Magazine news item at CRUISE THEM OR LOSE THEM

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Her Majesty the Queen to Name Queen Elizabeth

Cunard Line is pleased to announce that Her Majesty The Queen will name the company’s new Queen Elizabeth, the third Cunard ship to bear the name, at a ceremony to take place in Southampton, England on Monday, 11 October 2010.

The naming will be a milestone in British maritime history and will be a major event of worldwide interest.

“The naming of a Cunard Queen is a very special occasion and this will be an historic event in the true sense of the word,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “The Queen launched Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1967 and named our current flagship, Queen Mary 2, in 2004. We are both honoured and proud that Her Majesty will name our new liner, Queen Elizabeth,” added Shanks.

Her Majesty was also present at the age of 12 at the launch of the first Queen Elizabeth on 27 September 1938 when she accompanied her mother, Queen Elizabeth, to Clydebank for the launch.

The Naming Ceremony will take place in Southampton on Monday, 11 October and Queen Elizabeth will set sail on her Maiden Voyage the following day.

Other historic namings of Cunard ships by British royalty over the Line’s 170-year history include the following:

Her Majesty The Queen, as Princess Elizabeth, launched Caronia, the ‘Green Goddess,’ in 1947.

Her Majesty Queen Mary, wife of King George V, launched Queen Mary in 1934 – and in so doing became the first British Monarch ever to launch a merchant ship. His Majesty King George V accompanied his wife.

The late Queen Mother, as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, launched Queen Elizabeth in 1938. Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret accompanied their mother.

HRH The Princess Margaret launched Carinthia in 1955.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall named Queen Victoria in Southampton in December 2007. HRH The Prince of Wales was also in attendance.

For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273) or go to http://queenelizabeth.cunard.com/.