Azamara Journey to sail to the Titanic wreck site on the anniversary of her sinking

The Azamara Journey will be sailing to the site of the Titanic wreck on the anniversary of her sinking. Guests will be able to see live images of the ship beneath them. Photo courtesy of Azamara Cruise Line.

By Jackie Roseboom

Guests aboard the Azamara Journey on the April 9, 2012 sailing from Boston are in for a unique cruise. Journey will sail to the wreck site for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. In addition to the guests aboard the ship, children in elementary and middle schools will also be given an opportunity to view the Titanic up close from their classrooms, while learning about a pivotal event in history.

An expedition ship, stationed at the Titanic wreck site prior to the arrival of the cruise ship, will be outfitted with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The ROV will carry a 3D high definition camera designed to penetrate the bow and record images from the interior of the ship. These images will be sent via an interactive link to Azamara Journey, allowing guests to see Titanic as she rests today on the ocean floor.

Two-hour shows will be produced with project partner Bob Sitrick Productions for streaming into schools throughout interested nations. Each show will consist of an hour of pre-recorded expedition footage, including scenes from the Titanic wreck. The rest of each broadcast will be a live link, so students may ask questions of the expedition team via Skype. These broadcasts will be aired on school days prior to and immediately following the anniversary of Titanic’s sinking (April 14-15, 2012).

Lesson plans are being developed by National Board Certified Teachers who are currently professional educators. “It is exciting to create a venue where future generations can learn the story of Titanic. All people we study on the Titanic were once as alive as we are this very minute and their stories need to be kept in the hearts and minds of future generations” said Dr. Melinda Ratchford, associate professor at Belmont Abbey College in Charlotte, NC, and life-long advocate of sharing the Titanic story. “These lesson plans are geared for students in grades 3 to 7 but teachers can modify these to augment the learning experience for all students. I have yet to find anyone between the ages of 4 and 104 who have not been entranced at some level by this magnificent ship.”

Lessons will cover the core curriculum subjects of science, mathematics, history/geography and language arts. Schools wishing to participate may subscribe for a nominal fee, which includes downloadable lesson plans and suggestions for how to get involved.

“It is our goal to have one million scholastic members join us on our expedition,” said Bill Willard, president of willTiger Corp. and coordinator of the anniversary cruise. “We look forward to working with educators and students, and allowing them to be a part of history.”

Guests wanting to book this cruise into history, must book quickly – it’s filling up fast. Passengers aboard the Azamara Journey will enjoy the cruise line’s signature service and more inclusive onboard amenities, such as included gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffee, teas, and more.

For more information, visit the cruise website, voyages-to-remember.com.

Cruise Guide: Luxury passengers eye Caribbean

caribbean cruises

By Michael Coleman

The premium and luxury cruise lines, like their mass-market counterparts, are preparing for another busy Caribbean season. Here’s what’s ahead for those who seek to be pampered under a hot Caribbean sun in 2010.

Azamara Cruises – Azamara Journey will sail a variety of Caribbean, Panama Canal and first-ever Sea of Cortez voyages beginning in November 2010. The season features 23 ports in 13 different countries. The 12-night Caribbean itineraries are roundtrip from Miami, visiting ports in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, St. Kitts, Guadeloupe, St. Barts, St. Lucia and Dominica. Sixteen-night Panama Canal voyages sail between Miami and San Diego.

Celebrity Cruises – The 2,850-passenger Celebrity Equinox, the company’s newest arrival, makes her debut in the Caribbean this winter with 10- and 11-night cruises from Port Everglades. Celebrity guests also have more East Coast ports to choose from, including Baltimore, Charleston and Bayonne (for Bermuda cruises) and can take advantage of lower airfares to San Juan where Celebrity Summit visits no fewer than five ports in a week. Celebrity Solstice will sail year-round in the Caribbean starting this winter.

Holland America Line – Offering diversity and a breadth of itinerary lengths from seven to 14 days, Holland America has nine ships sailing the Caribbean on 126 cruises from January to May and October to December. The line’s newest ship, Nieuw Amsterdam, will offer seven-day western and eastern itineraries. Homeports are Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa. Some cruises include the Panama Canal and nearly all include the line’s award-winning private island of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

Oceania Cruises – Three of Oceania’s seven Caribbean itineraries for 2010/2011 will be new, including a 10-day “Mayan Mystique” voyage of the western Caribbean; a 14-day “Southern Treasures” cruise featuring overnights in Bermuda and Charleston; and a new springtime Panama Canal sailing. In addition, there will be two departures —November 27 and March 19 — for the 24-day “Amazon Adventure” and a 12-day holiday voyage. An introductory offer expiring March 31 includes free air and two-for-one pricing.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises — Ultra-luxury Regent will be offering a full season of Caribbean cruises from December to April this winter aboard the newly-refurbished Seven Seas Navigator. The ship is presently in dry dock receiving two brand new restaurants (Prime 7 and La Veranda) as well as a Canyon Ranch SpaClub. All roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, the cruises feature 2-for-1 fares, free air from 22 North American gateways and free unlimited shore excursions.

Windstar Cruises — The line will be introducing a new 7-day St. Martin roundtrip itinerary this winter on the 148-guest Wind Spirit. Each week from December through March, look for port calls to include St. Kitts, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and St. Barts. The 312-guest Wind Surf will be offering 7-day roundtrip sailings from Barbados.