Cruise Guide: The world is yours – Cruise lines unveil global itineraries

By Mike Coleman

The world of luxury cruise ship travel has never looked better. We have yet to say goodbye to 2005 and three major players in the luxury field have already announced ambitious plans for world cruises in 2007.

Silversea, Radisson Seven Seas and Holland America are wowing potential guests with impressive globe-trotting itineraries and perks one would expect from top-shelf lines.
Crystal Cruises will not be far behind. Their plans are expected to be announced soon.

Silversea will debut its world cruise – the line’s first full circumnavigation – aboard Silver Shadow in 2007. Departing Jan. 15 from Ft. Lauderdale, the 126-day voyage will cross three oceans, seven seas and six continents, visiting 61 different ports before concluding in New York City on May 22.

“World voyages are all about cultural exploration, new adventures, and having time to get to know your fellow travelers,” said David Morris, Silversea’s senior vice president of North America sales. “Silver Shadow’s smaller, more intimate design, offers the perfect ambiance where guests can mingle and form lasting friendships, as they journey in award-winning luxury to discover those fascinating and secluded places that are too far off the beaten path for larger ships to visit.”

During the four-month, nine-segment odyssey, guests will enjoy spacious, ocean-view accommodations, most with private verandas, award-winning gourmet cuisine, personalized service, Italian hospitality and Silversea’s selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits, 24-hour room service, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet and all gratuities. Complimentary butler service is provided in the grand, royal, Rossellini and owner’s suites.

Meanwhile, the 700-passenger Radisson Seven Seas Voyager will embark on a 111-night global itinerary the most extensive circumnavigation the company has ever offered exploring 45 destinations in 26 countries on five continents in six-star luxury. The ship will sail roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, Jan. 9 to April 30, 2007. The cruise will also mark the line’s return to southern and eastern Africa for the first time since 2003.
¨”The 2007 itinerary is a result of feedback from our past guests who are seeking a less traditional world cruise, yet a unique blend of wonderful destinations and cultures on five continents,” said Mark Conroy, president of Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. “We’ve ambitiously responded with an exceptional, convenient voyage roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale.”

During the six segment journey, guests will enjoy 14 overnight stays in popular ports. Acclaimed for her all-suite, all-balcony design, the ship features accommodations ranging from 356 to 1,403 square feet of living space including walk-in closets, large marble-appointed bathrooms featuring separate glass shower stalls and full bathtubs.

Holland America, meanwhile, will expand its grand voyage program in 2007 to include two ships and three voyages. The 1,380-guest Amsterdam will circle the globe in 105 days and the 793-guest Prinsendam will explore icescapes and cities on a circumnavigation of South America and Antarctica for 66 days followed by a 56-day sojourn traversing the Atlantic to ports in Europe and North Africa. The two ships will chart different courses to their respective destinations but will be docked, side-by-side, April 11 in Croatia.

“We are consistently listening to past guests and building innovative itineraries,” said Richard D. Meadows, Holland America’s senior vice president, marketing and sales.

“With two different ships and more extended port stays than ever, these epic cruises feature diversity, luxury and a sophisticated experience.”

The Amsterdam will depart Ft. Lauderdale Jan. 15 on its 33,400-nautical-mile journey to 38 ports in 26 countries and six continents. On her first of two region-specific voyages, the Prinsendam will cruise 17,400 nautical miles to 33 ports in 14 countries, departing Jan. 5 from Ft. Lauderdale. Her second roundtrip journey departs Ft. Lauderdale March 12 and returns May 7.

Guests who prefer a longer voyage can combine both of Prinsendam’s cruises for a 122-day journey.

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