Silversea buys the Galapagos Explorer II, will be refurbished and renamed

The Silversea Group has purchased Canodros S.A., the premier Ecuadorian tourism company that operates in the Galapagos Islands, and their upmarket expedition ship, Galapagos Explorer II.

Silversea plans to add Galapagos Explorer II to its ultra-luxury fleet of six ships next year, after the all-suite, 100-guest vessel undergoes a major refurbishment in September 2013 and is given a new name, steps that will ensure consistency with the standards of the Silversea fleet.

Until that time, Galapagos Explorer II will continue on its planned schedule of cruises and will continue to be operated by Canodros, which is based in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Canodros will also continue handling reservations for Galapagos Explorer II, as well as sales and marketing through its established network of travel companies and tour operators.

Its existing expedition ship, Silver Explorer, is regularly deployed in the polar regions, and the addition of a second vessel, offering year-round unique luxury expedition cruises in the Galapagos archipelago, means Silversea will have the opportunity to offer the adventure traveler a broader portfolio of itineraries, encompassing some of the world’s most desired and least explored regions.

The 4077-ton Galapagos Explorer II offers the stylish elegance of a mega-yacht, attentive onboard service and an enriching naturalist education program. All of its 50 spacious suites feature ocean views and 24 include private balconies. Public spaces include a restaurant, piano bar, library and Internet station, main lounge, outdoor bar, two outdoor whirlpools, and a marine observation deck.

Guests sailing aboard Galapagos Explorer II will continue to enjoy the same exciting itineraries, luxury accommodations, shipboard amenities, informative lectures and sustainable tourism for which Canodros is known.

Potential guests and travel agents interested in booking a Galapagos Explorer II voyage should visit galapagosexplorer.com for more information.

Guests currently booked on Galapagos Explorer II, and travel agents or tour operators with clients booked on the ship, should continue to liaise through their normal channels with Canodros for any needed assistance with their reservation.

In the coming months, Silversea will announce more details concerning plans for the ship after it is renovated and renamed.

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.

Holland America’s ms Amsterdam played host to composer Marvin Hamlisch and the Seattle Symphony

Marvin Hamlisch, seated, aboard ms Amsterdam at the Amstel Cafe piano bar. Pictured with him are John Delaney, senior vice president, Seabourn (far left); Stein Kruse, president and CEO, Holland America Line (left of Hamlisch); and Ashley Brown, vocalist and broadway performer (far right).

Holland America Line welcomed the Seattle Symphony and special guest, acclaimed composer Marvin Hamlisch, on board ms Amsterdam last Friday, June 1, 2012, in Seattle for the organization’s annual spring recital. This is the second time the line has hosted this event. Continue reading “Holland America’s ms Amsterdam played host to composer Marvin Hamlisch and the Seattle Symphony”