Cruise Guide: NCL to feature series of Bermuda cruises

By Mike Coleman

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has unveiled a series of Bermuda-bound itineraries from five East Coast cities in 2008. It’s the largest such deployment in company history. 

Look for Norwegian Dawn to sail from New York and Norwegian Dream to depart from Boston. Norwegian Majesty, meanwhile, will sail to the island from three cities: Philadelphia, Baltimore and Charleston.

Beginning in mid-April 2008, Norwegian Dawn will embark on a series of seven-day sailings through Aug. 24 and then again from Sept. 28 through Oct. 26. Departing on Sundays, the cruises feature three days in Bermuda at King’s Wharf.

Norwegian Dream begins an inaugural season out of Boston, offering a series of seven-day sailings to Bermuda departing on Sundays from May 11 through Aug. 24, 2008 and again from Sept. 28 to Oct. 26. Norwegian Dream replaces the Norwegian Majesty, which has been sailing out of Boston to Bermuda since 1998.

Norwegian Majesty, meanwhile, will begin sailing seven-day Bermuda cruises from Charleston on April 19, 2008, followed by a five-day Bermuda cruise on June 14, 2008. On June 21, 2008, the ship returns to Baltimore for the first time since 2004 and embarks on a series of nine seven-day cruises from Baltimore to Bermuda, departing on Saturdays. A six-day sailing from Baltimore to Bermuda on Aug. 23, 2008 is scheduled before the ship repositions to Philadelphia. On Aug. 30, 2008, the vessel begins a series of five seven-day sailings to Bermuda from Philadelphia, with Saturday departures.

PGA Tour Partner

Meanwhile, in an effort to drive awareness of NCL golf programs in Bermuda and Hawaii, the line has inked a partnership deal with the PGA Tour.

The three-year agreement also provides NCL the right to use the PGA name in advertising, as well as to share in promotional and tournament hospitality opportunities built around both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour.

“In our continuing effort to embrace new and innovative marketing programs, we expect that this partnership with the PGA Tour will let golfers around the world know that you can combine a great cruise vacation with top golf experiences at the best courses in the world on NCL,” said Scott Rogers, NCL’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Headquartered in Miami, with a fleet of 14 ships in service and under construction, NCL also operates NCL America and Orient Lines. The company recently took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Pearl, and is currently building Norwegian Gem for delivery in October 2007.

Cruise Guide: Bermuda beckons cruise passengers

By Mike Coleman

Bermuda, the secluded island paradise in the Atlantic Ocean, has been one of the world’s most popular cruise destinations since the 1960’s and for good reason: Ideal weather, world-class golf, tennis, shopping, colonial history, picturesque pastel-colored towns and villages, pink sand beaches and a welcomed proximity to North America.

 Through November, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) will send a number of ships to one or more of Bermuda’s three ports – Hamilton, St. George’s and King’s Wharf. In fact, most visits are five-to seven-day Bermuda-only itineraries from Baltimore, Boston, New York (Brooklyn), New Jersey (Cape Liberty), Philadelphia and Norfolk.

“Its history, natural beauty and ideal location gives Bermuda a character unlike any other cruise destination in the Americas,” said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA, the chief marketing organization for a host of premier cruise lines and travel agencies. “And, for millions of passengers sailing from the East Coast, it’s a destination that requires no air travel because Bermuda cruises are offered from so many homeports.”

Through October, Celebrity Journey makes seven-day cruises from Cape Liberty featuring one-night stays in St. George’s and two-night stays in Hamilton. Two transatlantic itineraries, and two Caribbean itineraries in April, October and November on Celebrity ships also include Bermuda port calls.

On November 9, Crystal Serenity departs on a 10-day repositioning cruise from Lisbon to Miami – complete with a Big Band theme, featuring the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. The itinerary includes a port call in the Azores’ Ponta Delgada, as well as an overnight in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Offering one of the most comprehensive Bermuda cruise schedules, Norwegian Cruise Line features three ships – Norwegian Crown, Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Majesty – that sail nine separate itineraries to Bermuda on five, six and seven-day sailings. Departures through November are available from New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Charleston, with port calls in Hamilton, King’s Wharf and St. George.

Princess Cruises’ summer season includes six Eastern Caribbean itineraries that include port calls to Bermuda’s west end. The nine-day itineraries, aboard Crown Princess between May 12 and September 6, sail roundtrip from Brooklyn and also visit San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk.

Bermuda is featured on seven Royal Caribbean ships offering transatlantic and Caribbean repositioning cruises, Bermuda-only itineraries and Bermuda and Caribbean voyages, through October. Bermuda-only cruises ranging from five- to seven-nights depart from Baltimore, Cape Liberty, Norfolk and Philadelphia. Look for eight-night sailings from Philadelphia and Norfolk to also feature Caribbean port calls.

CLIA is North America’s largest cruise industry organization, representing the interests of 21 member lines and 16,500 travel agencies.