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, February 28, 2011

Oceania Cruises in South America

Oceania Cruises was recently awarded Best South America Itineraries in Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 12th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

President Bob Binder and Captain Dimitrios Flokos accepted the award from Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Bill Panoff.

“Oceania Cruises is an optimum choice for cruisers wishing to explore South America,” said Bill Panoff, publisher and editor-in-chief of Porthole Cruise Magazine. “The line’s exciting and exotic itineraries combined with the luxurious atmosphere and amenities on board make Oceania Cruises a perfect fit for travelers to this region. I congratulate them on their much-deserved win.”

Oceania Cruises, known for its off-the-beaten path ports of call and exciting shore excursions, offers four sensational South America itineraries ranging from 12-19 days. These voyages include celebrated cities such as São Paulo and Buenos Aires, as well as rare glimpses into ancient worlds in Lima and Machu Picchu.

For more information or to order a brochure, contact a travel agent, visit OceaniaCruises.com or call Oceania Cruises toll-free at 800-531-5658.

For an overview of Oceania Cruises visit the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise Line Profile - Oceania Cruises

New Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Web Site

Sometimes a cruise is much more than just a holiday; longer cruises, with a host of destinations and several weeks spent at sea, can be a genuinely life-enhancing experience.

One such cruise is Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ‘New World’ grand voyage in 2012, aboard cruise ship Balmoral. To offer guests a foretaste of this longer cruise, and convey some of its magic, Fred. Olsen has produced a dedicated microsite at www.fredolsencruises-southamerica.com

The new microsite gives an idea of the scale and scope of this fascinating 89-night cruise, L1201, which leaves Southampton on 5th January 2012, and does not return until 3rd April 2012.

The ‘New World’ microsite is colourful, easy to navigate, full of useful information, and creates a sense of excitement and exoticism, as it unveils a tantalising taste of the cruise to come. The site’s animated introduction opens out like a gift being unwrapped, showing the cruise itinerary. The segments of the microsite cover every aspect of the cruise: the destinations visited and their individual cultures; the ship itself, with video of life on board Balmoral; the entertainment you can expect during the cruise; details of every port of call; and much more, including testimonials from real-life Fred. Olsen guests, as well as practical details, such as dates and prices.

For an overview of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines visit the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise Line Profile - Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NCL Design Award

Norwegian Cruise Line is the first in the cruise industry to be honored by Travel + Leisure, the popular guide for world travelers with the largest audience of any travel magazine, with its distinguished Design Award. The recipients of the seventh annual award represent the best new examples of design in a range of categories from hotels and transportation to luggage and travel fashion.

Norwegian Epic was awarded “Best Transportation” for its innovative Studio staterooms, a private key-card access complex on two decks consisting of 128 staterooms and the Studio Lounge.

The concept was pioneered by Norwegian and designed and priced specifically for solo travelers, allowing them the comfort and convenience to travel without the industry’s single supplement cruise price. Priestmangoode, a design firm in the United Kingdom, designed the Studios for Norwegian.

“The Studio staterooms on Norwegian Epic have been extremely well received and we are pleased to be able to offer solo traveler’s an opportunity to visit great destinations while experiencing Freestyle Cruising on board our most innovative ship,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer.

Each Studio stateroom, at approximately 100 square feet of living space, features a contemporary design with a full-size bed and separate areas for the bathroom, sink and shower.

In addition, guests in the Studios have private access to the exclusive Studio Lounge. Here, guests can grab a cup of coffee in the morning, meet up with fellow cruisers and plan their day or relax with a drink in the evening. Since many of the Studio staterooms are connecting, there is also the opportunity for friends to travel together while giving each their own private space.

For more about Norwegian Cruise Line take a look at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise Line Profile - Norwegian Cruise Line, or visit the NCL web site at http://www2.ncl.com/

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chef Lineup for Celebrity Cruises

In 2011, Celebrity will present a total of 12 guest chef theme cruises on its award-winning Solstice Class ships with food-and-wine themed activities emphasizing the love of fine food and wine.

Activities may include a meet-and-greet cocktail reception, guest chef-led cooking demonstrations highlighting techniques and ingredients, book signings, and a “Star Chefs” cook-off featuring an interactive cooking competition, complete with a special recipe booklet featuring the guest chef’s creations. For a fee, guests also can participate in hands-on cooking classes led by the guest chef in the ship’s galley, or enjoy an exclusive food-and-wine-pairing dinner designed and presented by the guest chef in either Murano or Tuscan Grille, two of the five specialty restaurants onboard.

Guest chefs include celebrity Chef Sara Moulton; Chef Dean James Max of 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and five other restaurants; Chef Timon Balloo of Sugarcane in Miami; Chef Govind Armstrong of 8 Oz. Burger Bar in Louisiana, Los Angeles, and Miami’s South Beach;
Chef John Suley of Gotham Steak at Miami’s Fontainebleau Resort; Chef Angel Palacios of La Broche in Madrid, Spain; and Chef Jordi Valles of The Ritz-Carlton in Cancun, Mexico.

Rates for the remaining 2011 Savor Your Destination guest chef theme cruises start at $699 per person.

More information is available at www.celebritycruises.com. and for the latest in cruise food news from all the cruise lines take a look at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Food News

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For Next Valentines Day

In case you are already planning for the next Valentine's Day - only 364 days to go - and are thinking of taking a cruise, you might want to consider Princess Cruises with whom it has become a tradition to take part in a renewal of vows ceremony.

In the photo here, couples gather in the atrium of Crown Princess for the special Valentine’s Day renewal of vows ceremony. To add a playful touch, some ships outfitted passengers with veils and bow ties to wear during the ceremony.

Performed by the captain, this annual celebration on all Princess Cruises ships has thousands of couples participating fleetwide.

Other romance-themed shipboard festivities held on Valentine's Day include a festive holiday dinner capped off by one of the line’s most popular desserts “The Princess Love Boat Dream,” Valentine games, and romantic films.

For an overview of Princess Cruises, take a look at the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise Line Profiles - Princess Cruises.

Or visit the official Princess Cruises web site at www.princess.com

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sale on Northern Fiji Discovery Heritage Cruise

Captain Cook Cruises is offering 20% off their 7 nights Northern Fiji Discovery Heritage cruise, where passengers can enjoy the unique experience of standing on the International Dateline. The sale is available until 31 March 2011 and valid for travel until 31 March 2012.

The Northern Fiji Dateline Discovery Cruise is an amazing cruise that was 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 where they learn about the unique history, art and culture of Northern Fiji.

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 children’s choral church service at Wairiki 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, Savusavu Bay, Nananu-I-ra and Sali Sali 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 Northern Fiji Discovery Heritage cruise has seven scheduled sailings for 2011 departing on 05 April, 03 May, 05 July, 06 September, 01 November, and two scheduled departures so far for 2012 departing on 03 January and 06 March.

Sale prices for the 7 nights Northern Fiji Discovery Heritage cruise start at only $1399 per person, twin share and the cruise departs Denarau Marina at 2.00pm.

Prices includes shipboard accommodation, all meals, guided village and island tours, glass bottom boat excursions, on board entertainment and use of the ship's facilities including a swimming pool, spa, sauna, sun deck, cocktail bar and much more.

For an overview of Captain Cook Cruises visit the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise Line Profile for Captain Cook Cruises or contact Captain Cook Cruises toll free from Australia on 1800 804 843; Int +61-2-9206 1111, Email: or visit www.captaincook.com.au.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Crystal Cruises Brings Stieg Larsson to Life in Stockholm

Tattoos. Murder. Secrets. And Stockholm. Only one of these things is normally associated with a luxury cruise line, but with Crystal Cruises' new Crystal Adventure, "Stieg Larsson's Stockholm," guests can discover a little Scandinavian intrigue first-hand in 2011.

With over 46 million books sold worldwide, deceased Swedish author Stieg Larsson's Millennium book series has made him the biggest novelist to come out of Europe since J.K. Rowling. The first of his trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, has already been turned into a critically acclaimed film that is now getting a big-budget Hollywood remake by renowned director David Fincher, and starring Daniel Craig and Robin Wright.

Crystal's Larsson-focused shore excursion will take guests to the Stockholm island of Södermalm for a walking tour centered around his novels' content. Much like the successful real-life Da Vinci Code tours that dot Europe, the tour will be spiced with factual information and intriguing stories that tie the real Stockholm to Larsson's works of fiction.

This unique city view will be offered on three summer Baltic voyages on Crystal Serenity: May 22-June 2's "Baltic Explorer"; June 2-13's "Regal Treasures"; and June 27-July 8's "Jewels of the Baltic." All three itineraries include overnights in Stockholm, as well as visits to Estonia, St. Petersburg, Finland, Germany, and Copenhagen.

"Stockholm and Sweden play such a starring role in the novels, we thought this tour was not only a great, new way to showcase the area for Larsson fans, but also something different for those who've visited the city before," says Crystal's Vice President Land and Port Operations, John Stoll. "This excursion puts you in the plots, and really brings the Millennium stories to life."

Outing price is $118/person, and includes additional panoramic Stockholm highlights.

Crystal Cruises' passion for creating unique luxury experiences both on land and at sea have earned the company top ratings from international travelers for two decades. Two-for-one cruise fares, starting at $6,730/person, include free round-trip air transportation from more than 20 North American gateways, and $2,000 per couple in "All Inclusive—As You Wish" shipboard credit, with additional savings for new-to-Crystal guests.

For more information about Crystal Cruises see the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise Line Profile for Crystal Cruises

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hurtigruten - World's Best Small Ship Experience

Hurtigruten, an award-winning cruise company, well known for operating fascinating cruises to remote destinations, was selected by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine as one of only 20 cruises to make the prestigious list of best “Small Ship” experiences for 2011.

The award specifically honors the cruise company’s MS Nordnorge, a modern 691-passenger cruise ship, designed for sailing the narrow channels of Norway’s fjord-filled west coast, an itinerary called the “world’s most beautiful voyage” by Lonely Planet. The ship boasts Art Nouveau and Art Deco interiors, a large Panorama Lounge so guests can sit comfortably and take in the stunning vistas, and all the amenities expected on a top-ranked expedition ship. In addition to their Classic Norwegian Voyage, Hurtigruten also operates an impressive roster of exciting and educational cruises in Spitsbergen, Greenland, Antarctica and Europe, with dozens of unique shore excursions – from Viking feasts to floating in dry suits in the Barents Sea -- personalizing each cruise experience.

This honor follows closely behind Hurtigruten’s award at the Globe Travel Awards for “Best Specialist Cruise Company,” which had them in competition with both ocean and river cruise lines. As the only awards voted for solely by travel agents, the annual Globe awards are considered to be a high honor amongst those in the travel industry.

Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway's coast and Europe in the spring. The company’s fleet of 14 intimate ships, carrying 100 to 646 passengers, allows passengers to enjoy unique destinations in a relaxed atmosphere.

For an overview of Hurtigruten take a look at the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise Line profile of Hurtigruten.

Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten's visitor-friendly web site, www.hurtigruten.us; or by phone: 877-301-3117; fax (888)-524-2145; for brochures (800) 582-0835, 24 hours a day.

Crystal Cruises offers six warm-weather getaways

While many travelers are digging themselves out of record-setting winter weather, Crystal Cruises is offering six warm-weather getaways through the Panama Canal in 2011, the first departing as soon as February 23. With four of the tropical voyages leaving from easy-to-get-to U.S. cities such as Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and several recently announced savings promotions, the winter and fall sailings offer a stress-free, luxury escape to see the historic locks for less.

Bonus fare sales, bring-a friend programs, free air, “All Inclusive – As You Wish” shipboard spending credits, new-to-Crystal savings, family group offers and other promotions are offered on all or some departures. Travelers have a choice of 11, 14, or 19-day sailings, departing on February 23, March 6, March 17, August 25, November 6, or December 21.

“Besides offering wonderfully tropical weather and beautiful scenery, the daytime Canal transit itself is a marvel,” says Bill Smith, Crystal’s senior vice president, sales & marketing.

The varied itineraries on both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity promise a fusion of Afro-Caribbean and Spanish flavors against a backdrop of velvet-soft Caribbean beaches and lush rainforests. Ports-of-call include idyllic islands such as Aruba, St. Barth’s, Grand Cayman, Antigua, and Turks and Caicos; increasingly trendy Cartagena, Colombia and Huatulco, Mexico; celebrated U.S. beach communities San Diego and Charleston; and classic tourist hotspots Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta. Crystal’s “Grand Caribbean Holiday” cruise, round-trip from Miami, anchors in Panama just as dreams of sugarplum fairies are wearing off on December 26.

A destination expert will be on board all sailings to fully enlighten guests on the history and remarkable engineering of the Canal and its lock coordination.

To add to the milieu, the late-March and early-November Miami-LA sailings have been designated “Science & Technology” Experiences of Discovery voyages, with prominent scientists, astronauts and educators on board to lead stimulating, interactive discussions on the latest technological developments and scientific topics. The August San Francisco-New York voyage will be “Film and Theater”-themed and feature special performances and presentations by stage and film personalities and theater experts.

With Crystal’s two-for-one promotion, fares start at $3845/person, double occupancy.

For an overview of Crystal Cruises visit the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise Line Profile for Crystal Cruises.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Stateroom Upgrades with Celebrity Cruises

For those travelers who tend to postpone booking a luxurious getaway by telling themselves, “there’s always next year,” Celebrity Cruises is saying “there’s no need to wait” through a booking promotion focused on free and $49-per-person stateroom upgrades.

Celebrity’s “Upgrade Your View” promotion, popular for making it easier for vacationers to make the most of their precious vacation time by enjoying relaxing views of the sea, has expanded to include, for the first time, select Mediterranean cruises. The promotion runs through February 28 on new bookings only, also will continue to offer stateroom upgrade opportunities on select Caribbean cruises.

During the month of February, guests who book select 10-, 11- and 12-night Mediterranean cruises sailing between May and September of this year will be eligible to enjoy free upgrades from an oceanview stateroom to a veranda stateroom. One of these sailings is a “Savor Your Destination” theme cruise on Celebrity Solstice on October 11, 2011, featuring a guest chef who will offer a variety of onboard experiences highlighting his/her cuisine, including interactive cooking demonstrations, specialty dining experiences and more.

Guests seeking a Caribbean escape can take advantage of stateroom upgrade offers on select sailings departing in March, April, October and November of this year as well as January and February of 2012. Guests can enjoy free upgrades from an oceanview to veranda stateroom on 7-night cruises on Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Eclipse, or $49 per person upgrades from an inside to oceanview stateroom on 7-night cruises on Celebrity Summit or 4- and 5-night cruises on Celebrity Century or Celebrity Millennium.

In the Caribbean, several theme cruises are included in this promotion. On April 4, 2011 on Celebrity Eclipse and December 11, 2011 on Celebrity Solstice, guest glass artists will demonstrate their expertise at the Hot Glass Show at The Lawn Club, the iconic real-growing-grass relaxation area on the top deck of the ship. On March 26, 2011 and December 10, 2011, Celebrity Eclipse will host Savor Your Destination guest chef theme cruises.

Celebrity’s Mediterranean vacation rates begin at $1,499 per person. Celebrity’s Caribbean sailings start at $349 per person. Prices are per person, cruise only, based on double occupancy in an inside stateroom, and subject to availability. Itineraries and prices are subject to change without notice. Other terms and conditions apply.

For an overview of Celebrity Cruises take a look at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise Line Profile for Celebrity Cruises

Or visit the Celebrity Cruises web site at http://www.celebritycruises.com/

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cunard Line’s First Female Captain

Danish-born Inger Olsen made history on 1 December 2010 by becoming Cunard Line’s first female Captain in its 171-year history of sailing luxury cruise vacations. Yesterday, she continued her historic maiden sailings as Captain of Queen Victoria, as she brought the ship back to the Port of Los Angeles.

Captain Olsen and Queen Victoria are coming off the heels of the momentous Cunard Royal Rendezvous in New York City on 13 January, where all three of Cunard’s Queens met for a spectacular fireworks display in front of the Statue of Liberty before departing on their respective voyages.

Olsen joined Queen Victoria just prior to the commencement of the ship’s debut Americas season, departing from New York and sailing to Los Angeles. During this first 17-day voyage, the ship called on Ft. Lauderdale and Bonaire, traversed the Panama Canal, and visited three ports in Mexico – Huatulco, Acapulco and Manzanillo – before arriving into Los Angeles yesterday.

Queen Victoria's Americas season continues until 18 March, and features additional transits through the Panama Canal, four total calls to Los Angeles, two roundtrip voyages from Los Angeles to Hawaii, and one Getaway voyage to Mexico.

Forty-three-year-old Captain Olsen was raised in the Faroe Islands, which accounts for her maritime abilities, and she joined Cunard in 1997 as First Officer on board Caronia. In 2001 she transferred to sister-brand Seabourn. She sailed on Seabourn Sun and Seabourn Spirit before being promoted to the rank of Staff Captain on Seabourn Pride in 2003.

Following some years with other companies within the Carnival Corporation family, Captain Olsen returned to Cunard in August this year as Deputy Captain of Queen Victoria. When not at the helm of the majestic Cunard ocean liner, Captain Olsen lives in Denmark.

For an overview of Cunard Line visit Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise Lines profile of Cunard Line

For more information about Queen Victoria and to book a voyage, consult your travel professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273) or go to www.cunard.com