Cunard Line Celebrates 175th Anniversary Year in 2015 with Special Cruises

Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 in Sydney, Australia.  In 2015, she will meet sister ship Queen Victoria Down Under in Sydney to celebrate the company’s 175 years of service.  Photo Courtesy of Cunard Cruises
Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 in Sydney, Australia. In 2015, she will meet sister ship Queen Victoria Down Under
in Sydney to celebrate the company’s 175 years of service. Photo Courtesy of Cunard Cruises

In 2015, Cunard will commemorate the 175th year of the company’s founding, and the global voyages will celebrate this significant milestone in style. This festive time will include several Cunard Royal Rendezvous events during the World Voyage itineraries: Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth will depart Southampton together on 10 January; on 12 March, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will meet in Sydney; and on 3 May, all three Queens will return from their World Voyages to Southampton.

Cunard’s 2015 World Voyages and Exotic Cruises Programme will feature voyages from eight days to 127 days aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Plus, passengers will have the option to combine itineraries into and out of Sydney, Australia across two ocean liners to create customised World Voyage options with a land portion in between. Passengers have the opportunity to visit South Africa or the South Pacific, to circumnavigate Australia, and to discover Japan and Southeast Asia. Together, the ships will visit 82 unique destinations in 46 countries, from major cities to less visited locations.

The programme opens for pre-registration today and opens for sale on 5 September at 5:00am PT.

“Cunard continues its tradition of being the world voyage leader,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We have completed more circumnavigations and taken more passengers on this incredible journey than any other cruise line. And no other ships are welcomed around the world as warmly as the Cunard fleet. Our ships’ arrivals into port attract well-wishers in the thousands – on the water and ashore – it is part of the magic of the Cunard world voyage experience.”

Queen Mary 2
With four maiden calls and an enhanced East-West loop including New Zealand, flagship Queen Mary 2 kicks off her exciting 113-night World Voyage from Southampton and will visit 38 ports of call in 21 countries.

Destination highlights will include celebrating Chinese New Year in Sanya, China; travelling through the Suez Canal; extensive cruising of New Zealand’s Fjordland and iconic city waterfronts; Sydney Harbour; and an East-West loop that includes Auckland, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Maiden calls will include Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), Bitung (Indonesia), Sanya (China) and Sihanoukville (Cambodia).

Overnight calls will include Sokhna, Dubai, Hong Kong, Auckland and Cape Town.

Regional Voyages provide passengers the opportunity to enjoy Cunard’s exclusive World Voyage experience in a shorter time frame, ranging from eight to 24 days with fares starting from $1,599, and will include:

20-day Southampton to Dubai – includes an overnight in Sokhna and Dubai
14-day Dubai to Singapore
8-day Singapore to Hong Kong
19-day Hong Kong to Sydney – includes an overnight stay in Hong Kong
13-day Sydney to Sydney – includes an overnight stay in Auckland
24-day Sydney to Cape Town – includes an overnight stay in Cape Town
15-day Cape Town to Southampton
Full World Voyage fares for Queen Mary 2 start from $16,399.

Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria’s 103-night Pacific Exploration itinerary will visit 33 ports in 21 countries, including two Panama Canal transits and two Transatlantic Crossings. Additional options include a South Pacific cruise starting in Los Angeles or San Francisco, visiting Sydney, and then returning to Los Angeles. Guests will also have the chance to view other city waterfronts such as New York, Sydney Harbour and Auckland with one overnight call in Sydney.

Queen Victoria will make five maiden calls during her World Voyage: Akaroa (New Zealand), Bora Bora, Puerto Limón (Costa Rica), Rarotonga (Cook Islands) and San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua).

Exotic Cruises range from eight to 27 days, with fares starting from $1,499, and will include:

13-day Southampton to Fort Lauderdale
17-day Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco
15-day Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles
21-day Los Angeles to Sydney
19-day San Francisco to Sydney
27-day Sydney to Los Angeles – includes an overnight stay in Sydney
19-day Los Angeles to New York
15-day Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale
12-day Fort Lauderdale to Southampton
8-day New York to Southampton
Full World Voyage fares for Queen Victoria start from $12,699.

Queen Elizabeth
In 2015, Queen Elizabeth will sail a 112-night Western Circumnavigation itinerary that will visit 38 ports in 26 countries, including her sail past Gallipoli on 24 April 2015 to commemorate ANZAC Day and the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign of World War One.

In addition, passengers will travel through the Panama Canal and Suez Canal and under the Golden Gate Bridge, and visit the iconic city waterfronts of New York, San Francisco, Sydney Harbour, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Overnight calls include San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong and Instanbul.

Queen Elizabeth will make one maiden call to Yorkeys Knob (Queensland).

Regional Voyages range from 8 to 22 days with fares starting from $1,499, and will include:

11-day Southampton to Fort Lauderdale
8-day Southampton to New York
21-day New York to San Francisco – includes an overnight stay in San Francisco
18-day New York to Los Angeles
18-day Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco – includes an overnight stay in San Francisco
15-day Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles
22-day San Francisco to Sydney
15-day Sydney to Yokohama – includes an overnight stay in Sydney
16-day Yokohama to Singapore
10-day Singapore to Dubai
20-day Dubai to Southampton – includes an overnight stay in Instanbul
Queen Elizabeth will make one maiden call to Yorkeys Knob (Queensland).

Regional Voyages range from 8 to 22 days with fares starting from $1,499, and will include:

11-day Southampton to Fort Lauderdale
8-day Southampton to New York
21-day New York to San Francisco – includes an overnight stay in San Francisco
18-day New York to Los Angeles
18-day Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco – includes an overnight stay in San Francisco
15-day Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles
22-day San Francisco to Sydney
15-day Sydney to Yokohama – includes an overnight stay in Sydney
16-day Yokohama to Singapore
10-day Singapore to Dubai
20-day Dubai to Southampton – includes an overnight stay in Instanbul
Full World Voyage fares for Queen Elizabeth start from $15,499.

All fares quoted are per person, based on double occupancy.

World Voyage Land Tours include:

The Wonders of Middle Earth: Three nights in New Zealand visiting the glow-worm caves of Waitomo and The Hobbit movie set

Cape Town & Safari: Two nights including game drives in the Aquila Game reserve

Hong Kong and a Taste of China: Three nights including a tour of The Peak and a glimpse of the Terracotta Warriors at Shennzhen

San Francisco: Two nights including a Redwood tour, a visit to the artist district in Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge

Traditional Singapore: Three nights including a city tour and afternoon tea at the Raffles Hotel

Sydney – Tall ships and Beaches: Three nights including an 1850s tall ship harbor cruise and a wildlife park visit

Enhanced Benefits Programme
Passengers who book their 2015 World Voyages and Exotic Cruises adventure before 28 February 2014 will receive an On Board Credit of up to $3,000 per stateroom on Full World and Liner Voyages, and will also receive a reduced deposit.

In addition to On Board Credit, World Club members will receive additional savings of up to $2,000 per person for bookings made before 28 February 2014.

White Star Premier Package
Cunard introduces the White Star Premier Package for Full World Voyage guests and offers roundtrip Economy airfare credit, pre-cruise hotel, transfers, White Star Luggage service, additional On Board Credit, Internet and pre-cruise World Concierge Services. Princess Grill and Queens Grill Suite guests who purchase the White Star Premiere Package will be upgraded to Business Class airfare credit and executive car transfers. The White Star Premiere Package starts from $4,300 per person.

For more information and to book a 2015 Cunard World Voyage and Exotic Cruise aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, call Cunard toll-free at 1-800-728-6273 or visit www.cunard.com.

Cunard gives North American Military Personnel a great deal on cruises

Cunard announced a new benefit for those who serve in the armed forces in North America. The new programme grants On Board Credits of up to $250 per person to members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserves, and the Canadian National Defense. Military personnel who are active, retired or disabled veterans are eligible with proper documentation.

The credits apply to all published voyages aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth and are combinable with other On Board Credit offers. The amount of each credit varies with cruise length: $50 per person for a cruise of six days or less; $100 per person for cruises of seven to 14 days; or $250 per person for those 14 days or longer.

Under the terms of the programme, retired status applies to enlisted personnel or officers with a minimum of 20 years of service, medical retirees and the 100 percent disabled. Veterans with an honourable discharge and a length of service that meets certain minimums also are eligible to apply. Military status must be confirmed prior to embarking on the voyage to be eligible for credits.

Cunard has a distinguished history with the military. During World War II, the Queen Mary served as a British Royal Mail Ship and, along with the original Queen Elizabeth, as a troopship. In addition, Winston Churchill credited Cunard with ending the war one year early because of the troop transfer services that both ships provided.

For more information go to Cunard.com

Royal Caribbean contest offers a chance to sail with Madagascar

In conjunction with the arrival of DreamWorks Animation’s 3D feature film Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted in theatres this week, Royal Caribbean International is offering a chance to sail with Alex, Gloria, King Julien and the Penguins on select ships featuring the DreamWorks Experience offered exclusively on Royal Caribbean.

Consumers can visit Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean through June 20 to enter the “Madagascar at Sea” sweepstakes for a chance to win one of two grand prizes of either a seven-night cruise for four to Europe or the Caribbean, while one daily winner will earn a $25 gift card for correctly answering trivia about the cruise line and the “Madagascar” franchise.

To celebrate the release of “Madagascar 3” Royal Caribbean ships featuring the DreamWorks Experience, Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, will host special screenings of the movie in 3D throughout the summer, plus offer exclusive content – including movie trailers and behind the scenes videos – as well as the chance to win prizes, such as movie posters, DVDs, character photos and more during daily trivia and other onboard activities.

The DreamWorks Experience – which offers cruisers exclusive character breakfasts, meet and greets, photo opportunities, parades, live and filmed entertainment and more – first debuted onboard Allure of the Seas in 2010 and was subsequently introduced on Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas in 2011, highlighted by the star-studded at-sea premiere of Puss in Boots onboard Allure of the Seas. The partnership also will expand to Voyager of the Seas later this year.

Guests interested in sailing with the gang from “Madagascar” can join Liberty of the Seas this summer as she sails Mediterranean itineraries from Barcelona, Spain or Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas offering 7-night Caribbean itineraries from Ft. Lauderdale and Port Canaveral, FL. For more information on itineraries please visit royalcaribbean.com.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit RoyalCaribbean.com or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

Special deals offered for ‘World’s Largest Cruise Night’

Most cruise lines are offering some sort of special deal for the World's Largest Cruise Night on Oct. 13. Some offers are only good for deals booked that day and some last a bit longer. Pick your ship, see what sort of deal you can get and plan your next getaway. Photo by Matt Roseboom

By Jackie Roseboom

The Cruise Lines International Association is holding a special World’s Largest Cruise Night this Oct. 13. Travel agents across North America will be hosting a special events in partnership with several cruise lines. Some amazing deals are being offered. As the event gets closer, more deals will be offered. Here are the ones already showing up:

Carnival is enticing vacationers with cruise upgrades on virtually all “Fun Ship” departures through December 2011. To sweeten the deal, Carnival will offer up to a $200 onboard credit per stateroom for all Carnival Magic Europe voyages booked on Oct. 13. The Carnival Magic Europe offer includes best available upgrades and a $100 onboard credit per stateroom for seven-day Europe sailings and a $200 onboard credit per stateroom for nine- and 12-day sailings.

Celebrity is hosting a three-day sale beginning Oct. 13 for sailings departing April through December 2011 for select seven- to 14-night sailings. Look for onboard credits of $50 per stateroom for oceanview accommodations; $100 per stateroom for veranda accommodations; and $150 per stateroom for AquaClass (only on Solstice-class ships), suites, and Concierge Class.

Costa is offering a $50 onboard credit per stateroom on any sailing. The offer is valid only on Oct. 13.

Crystal Cruises is offering a $100 per person additional savings incentive on most 2010-2011 departures for new bookings made from Oct. 1 to 31.

Cunard is offering an onboard credit (per stateroom) of up to $300 for Queens & Princess Grill accommodation; up to $200 for Balcony staterooms; and up to $100 for Oceanview/Inside staterooms, depending on length of voyage. Bookings made during the Cruise Sale will receive a waiver of the deposit on the second guest.

Holland America Line is offering shipboard credits that can be combined with group amenities or cruise night offers. Plus deposits are only $100 per person for cruises of seven to 36 days.

For booking between Oct. 13 to 27, MSC will offer exclusive shipboard credits, such as $25 per passenger for inside cabin/oceanview bookings; $50 per passenger for standard balcony/superior balcony accommodations; and $100 per passenger for suites bookings.

Oceania Cruises is celebrating its maiden season in Alaska with two-for-one cruise fares, plus free round-trip air and bonus savings up to $1,000 per stateroom.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering a $100 per person ($200 per suite) shipboard credit booking incentive. This offer is valid for any new reservation on a 2010 or 2011 departure of seven nights or longer booked between Oct. 1 and Nov. 15.

Silversea Cruises is offering a $100 per guest ($200 per suite) savings on any 2010, 2011 or 2012 cruise booked during the month of October.

Windstar is offering a $100 per person shipboard credit on any Wind Spirit, Wind Star or Wind Surf sailing in the Caribbean or Costa Rica between Jan. 2 and April 2, 2011. The offer is valid for new bookings made between Oct. 13 and Nov. 15, and the credits may be combined with all nationwide offers including two-for-one offers.

On the Web: visit cruising.org for more information or check with a CLIA-member travel agent.

Luxurious Seabourn Sojourn debuts

The new, 450-guest Seabourn Sojourn arrived at London’s Cable Wharf this week to begin her inaugural voyage. Image courtesy Seabourn

By Michael Coleman

British supermodel Twiggy was among the 700 attendees during christening ceremonies for the new 450-guest Seabourn Sojourn, which debuted in London last week.

Sojourn is the second of three new luxury cruising vessels to join Seabourn’s fleet. Sister Seabourn Odyssey was unveiled last summer in Venice. Seabourn Quest will debut in 2011.
Sojourn is presently operating 12- to 14-day voyages during the summer to the Baltics, Scandinavia, Russia, Norwegian Fjords and Scotland, as well as several Mediterranean voyages in the fall.

The line is celebrating her launch — Twiggy was named Godmother — with a number of special value fares during the remainder of 2010.

For a limited time look for special fares on a 14-day Norwegian Fjords and Scotland, departing August 8; a 12-day Grand Norwegian Fjords, departing September 15; a 12-day Maiden Transatlantic, departing November 3; an 11-day Maiden Caribbean, departing November 19; and a 10-day The Yachtsman’s Caribbean, departing November 30. Nine-to-12-day voyages in Northern Europe start from $4,999 per person, cruise-only or $6,400 with inclusive air.

The launch of Sojourn brings the number of ultra-luxury yachts in the Seabourn fleet to five. Sojourn offers travelers highly personalized service in a relaxed, sociable and luxurious atmosphere. Like its sister Sojourn features 225 spacious suites, 90 percent of which have private verandas.

All suites feature separate living areas and bedrooms, writing desks with personalized stationery, iPod and MP3 connections and spacious granite bathrooms with separate bath and shower and twin sinks.

The two-deck, state-of-the-art Spa at Seabourn features a Spa Villa for hours of indulgence and relaxation, as well as a Kneipp Walk, an herbal bath facility and an aroma steam bath with salt inhalation.

The new vessel has four dining venues featuring menus by celebrity Chef Charlie Palmer, as well as six bars and lounges serving a full range of beverages including fine wines and spirits with Seabourn’s compliments.

On Jan. 5, 2011, Sojourn will embark on a world cruise from Los Angeles to London via the South Pacific, New Zealand, around Western Australia, Indonesia and Southeast Asia, India, Arabia and the Mediterranean. Rates for the full 111-day world cruise begin at $49,995 per person, based on double occupancy, and include a number of additional benefits and amenities such as a pre-cruise Bon Voyage event with dinner and luxury overnight in Los Angeles, special shoreside events and exclusive complimentary shore excursions, Personal Valet luggage shipping service, and shipboard credits.

For a limited time, Seabourn is also offering two-for-one cruise fares with include round-trip air, or cruise-only fares featuring savings up to 65 percent. The promotion is valid for Seabourn voyages in Europe departing between June and November 2010.

On the web — www.seabourn.com

Cruising offers the ultimate in romance

Whether your idea of romance is a nice dinner, playing games in the casino or relaxing on a beach, a cruise offers it all. Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises.

By Matt Roseboom

With breakfast in bed, dining under the stars and dancing until dawn, you can’t get much more romantic than a cruise. If you haven’t already made plans for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day, surprise them with a romantic cruise.

Here’s a sampling of Valentine’s Day-inspired offers, programs and activities:

Carnival Cruise Line

In addition to a huge number of balcony staterooms on its ships, Carnival offers tables for two in the main dining rooms. Try a couples massage in the spa.

Costa Cruises

Costa makes it affordable at $75 per day, or up to 60 percent off regular fares. An authentic Italian style of service sets the perfect backdrop for a romantic cruise.

Crystal Cruises

From special dinner requests to “Crystal Private Adventures” shore excursions to renewal ceremonies, couples can arrange pretty much anything they’d like for a romance package. In penthouse accommodations, guests can request dinner for two to be served by their personal butler on the verandah.

Cunard

Where better to follow in the footsteps of such starry-eyed couples as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor or Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, than aboard a Cunard ocean liner? Luxurious couples massages, ballroom dancing and elegant dining add to the intimate appeal.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney offers romantic dining experiences specifically for adults. High atop both ships, Palo, Disney’s signature restaurant at sea, treats adults to sweeping ocean views and northern Italian specialties.

Holland America

Some of the special romance packages offered include breakfast in bed, champagne and caviar, cuddly stuffed bears proclaiming “I Love You” and the Valentine’s Red and White Ball in the Crow’s Nest.

MSC Cruises

From elegant Italian ambiance to evenings filled with dancing and live entertainment throughout the ship, MSC sets the mood. They also offer a seven-course gourmet dinner and breakfast served on your private veranda.

Norwegian Cruise Line

NCL offers several “Romance” packages such as intimate dinners for two, customized “dream dates” ashore and couples massages.

Princess Cruises

Princess will be holding its first ever Romance Summit aboard Crown Princess during the Valentine’s week cruise, Feb. 13 to 20. Passengers will be treated to romance-themed events and activities, including a renewal of vows ceremony and a gala Valentine’s Ball.

Seaborne

A Seabourn yacht cruise offers gourmet dining, whether in the ship’s elegant restaurant or at a private candlelit table on your suite balcony.

Silversea

Silversea’s intimate ultra-luxury ships provide a uniquely appealing option for those seeking a truly indulgent, romantic getaway. Couples are welcomed onboard with a glass of champagne and then escorted to their richly appointed suite.

Windstar

Windstar offers unique romantic adventures in the Caribbean this winter – seven day voyages from Barbados or Saint Maarten  and seven-day explorations of Costa Rica. A variety of romance, honeymoon and wedding vow renewal packages are also available.

Cruise Guide: Cruising with a group brings many benefits

Cruising with a group of family, friends or coworkers can bring many benefits such as discounts on special excursions. Photo by Matt Roseboom
Cruising with a group of family, friends or coworkers can bring many benefits such as discounts on special excursions. Photo by Matt Roseboom

By Matt Roseboom

cruiseguideheadersmallWhether it’s a family reunion, a wedding at sea, a business meeting or a gathering of fans, cruising with a group can bring a great many benefits.

Besides ease of planning and the fun and everlasting memories you’ll create, group cruises can bring financial benefits as well. Most cruise lines offer incentives for groups. In addition to benefits for the whole group, those arranging the trip may receive a free cabin or generous cruise credits. Continue reading “Cruise Guide: Cruising with a group brings many benefits”

Regent unveils enticing 2010 offers

Luxury cruise operator Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering a host of incentives — two-for-one cruise fares, free roundtrip airfare and complimentary shore excursions — on all 2010 voyages aboard Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator, shown here. Image courtesy Michael Coleman
Luxury cruise operator Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering a host of incentives — two-for-one cruise fares, free roundtrip airfare and complimentary shore excursions — on all 2010 voyages aboard Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator, shown here. Image courtesy Michael Coleman

By Michael Coleman

cruiseguideheadersmallRegent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) is offering a series of all-inclusive, year-long perks for guests sailing aboard her three luxury ships in 2010.

Look for two-for-one cruise fares, free roundtrip airfare and free unlimited shore excursions on all 2010 departures. Guests won’t have to worry about signing chits for soft drinks, bottled waters, fine wines, premium spirits or even gratuities when onboard: each is included in the cruise fare. Continue reading “Regent unveils enticing 2010 offers”

Cruise Guide: You deserve to save money on a cruise

By Matt Roseboom

cruiseguideheadersmallYour alarm clock goes off early. You’re late to work and get reprimanded by your boss, who makes you work late, which makes you get home late, which makes your spouse and kids unhappy. This chain reaction won’t happen every day, but just one of these things may make you think to yourself, “I deserve a cruise.”

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) agrees and it’s teamed up with its cruise line members for the “You Deserve a Cruise” promotion. Most of the top cruise lines are offering special limited-time deals. Here’s a sampling: Continue reading “Cruise Guide: You deserve to save money on a cruise”

Cruise Guide: Top ten reasons to book your cruise today

Cruising is all about choices without worry. You can choose to relax by the pool, partake in the poolside games, pull up a seat next to the buffet or just do nothing. It’s all up to you. Photo by Matt Roseboom
Cruising is all about choices without worry. You can choose to relax by the pool, partake in the poolside games, pull up a seat next to the buffet or just do nothing. It’s all up to you. Photo by Matt Roseboom

By Matt Roseboom

cruiseguideheadersmallAnytime is a great time to take a cruise, but with the economy the way it is, now’s an especially great time to start planning your next cruise. The deals are unheard of. You’ll find bargains ranging from free excursions to bringing kids for free, to just great prices.
If great deals aren’t enough to convince you, here are the top ten reasons to book a cruise. Continue reading “Cruise Guide: Top ten reasons to book your cruise today”