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P&O Cruises launches free balcony upgrade promotion weekend

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

For a special Valentines treat this weekend, P&O Cruises is offering free balcony cabin upgrades for new bookings made on a selection of cruises departing between April and September 2012, the company said in a statement.

"The Balcony Giveaway is available for bookings made between February 10 – 13, on a selection of 22 cruise holidays on board Aurora, Azura, Oceana and Ventura.  All cruises in the promotion depart from Southampton and are between three and 17 nights in duration, to a choice of destinations such as the Central Mediterranean, Baltic, Iceland, Greenland, Western Mediterranean and the Canary Islands."

Savings are available of up to £1,267 per person for a 14 night Norway, Greenland and Iceland cruise on Aurora (R207) departing June 19, 2012, and prices start from £349 per person for a three night cruise break on board Ventura, departing July 20 (N217N).

Celebrity Cruises launches Celebrity Life Plus programme on Transatlantic voyages

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Celebrity Cruises says its is launching “Celebrity Life Plus”, an extension of the “Celebrity Life” activity programme which will be available to guests on transatlantic sailings. Guests can enjoy a wide range of immersive activities, including Riedel comparative wine glass workshops, cooking competitions, from Rosetta Stone language lessons and iPhoto classes.


“Experienced cruisers know that transatlantic cruises offer an ideal opportunity to spend luxurious days at sea learning new things, exploring new tastes, recharging, or simply having fun,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations, Celebrity Cruises. “The introduction of Celebrity Life Plus takes everything our guests already love about these sailings and about Celebrity Life and marries the two, resulting in the most comprehensive, enriching, exciting and fun long cruises, offering incredible speakers and other exclusive activities.  Never before have we had such a wide array of offerings and activities on one sailing.”


Highlights of the Celebrity Life Plus programme include:




  • The opportunity to hear from guest chefs and wine educators, who will present cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, book signings, food-and-wine pairing dinners and more, on each transatlantic cruise
  • Speakers from Smithsonian Journeys, the programme known for its experts who deliver Celebrity Cruises’ destination lectures on many of the regular cruises throughout the year
  • Astronomy experts David Hughes and Steve Maran will speak on select sailings, as will art history expert Allison Jessing
  • Former Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter and professional basketball player Nancy Lieberman will share their experiences in the world of sports
  • Additional special interest speakers include naturalists, oceanographers and guest artists. The first of these will be the first at-sea appearance by the palette knife artist Graham Denison, a contemporary impressionist whose work has been prominently featured by The Walt Disney Company and other leading consumer brands. Denison will be on the first 2012 spring transatlantic sailing painting live in a studio setting, offering guests an interactive class and hosting question-and-answer sessions
  • Guests can participate in additional interactive classes including jewelry making, mosaics, drawing, Chinese brush painting and watercolor
  • Celebrity Cruises will also introduce the popular Latin and internationally inspired dance-fitness class “Zumba Fitness”. Celebrity Life Plus will offer two classes a day – Zumba Gold (for the active older adult) and Aqua Zumba, which Zumba calls “the ultimate pool party”


The cruises that will feature Celebrity Life Plus are:

·         14-night sailing on Celebrity Solstice, departing Fort Lauderdale ( Florida ) on 15 April 2012 and arriving in Barcelona ( Spain ) on 29 April

·         10-night cruise on Celebrity Eclipse, departing Miami (Florida) on 21 April 2012 and arriving in Southampton (England) on 1 May from £1,221.00 per person (based on two people sharing an inside stateroom). Price includes one way flight from London Heathrow and one night’s pre-cruise hotel accommodation in Miami.

·         15-night cruise on Celebrity Constellation, departing Fort Lauderdale on 5 May 2012 and arriving in Amsterdam ( Holland ) on 20 May

·         14-night cruise on Celebrity Equinox, departing Fort Lauderdale on 16 April 2012 and arriving in Rome (Civitavecchia, Italy) on 30 April

·         Nine-night cruise on Celebrity Silhouette, departing Cape Liberty ( Bayonne , New Jersey ) on 22 April 2012 and arriving in Rome ( Civitavecchia ) on 1 May

·         13-night cruise on Celebrity Eclipse, departing Southampton on 27 October 2012 and arriving in Fort Lauderdale on 9 November from £1,338.00 per person (based on two people sharing an inside stateroom). Price includes one way flight from Miami to London Heathrow.

·         14-night cruise on Celebrity Equinox, departing Rome ( Civitavecchia ) on 26 November  2012 and arriving in Fort Lauderdale on 10 December

·         15-night cruise on Celebrity Constellation, departing Southampton on 30 November 2012 and arriving in Miami on 16 December

·         15-night cruise on Celebrity Silhouette, departing Rome ( Civitavecchia ) on 1 December 2012 and arriving in Fort Lauderdale on 16 December



TUI Cruises adds golf package to Western European cruise

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

TUI Cruises, the German premium markert operator, will offer a golf package on a western European cruise in the spring, the company said in a statement. It includes an opportunity to play the game on courses at Cadiz, Lisbon, La Coruna, Southampton, Le Havre and Zeebrugge on a cruise that Mein Schiff 2 will undertake from 22 April to 3 May this year. The package costs 890 euro per person and includes e.g. transfers and green fees.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines extend call centre opening hours

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines says it will be extending the opening hours of its Reservations Department, with effect from Monday 5th MarchThe new opening times will be as follows:-


·         Monday to Friday                     08.00hrs to 20.00hrs

·         Saturday                                  09.00hrs to 17.00hrs

·         Sunday                                    10.00hrs to 16.00hrs


The move has been made in response to increased demand from both travel agents and Fred. Olsen guests.


Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:


“These days, we all expect to be able to shop, do our banking, contact suppliers, and handle a host of other transactions at a time that suits us. This may be early in the morning, or later in the evening, to fit in with the working day, or at the weekend, when we are less pressurised.


“As a dynamic operator, we must listen to our guests and our travel agent partners, and respond to their needs. These extended hours will allow us to provide an improved and even more customer-friendly service all round.”


MSC Cruises opens up new destinations in Guadeloupe and Martinique

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

With the introduction of the French Antilles as a new destination for the 2012-2013 winter season, and the prospect of a vast array of fascinating shore excursions, MSC Cruises has created a unique opportunity for guests to experience the very best of this idyllic region.

The 59,000 gross ton MSC Lirica features 780 cabins, a sophisticated and elegant decor, superb attention to detail in all areas, the finest Mediterranean and international cuisine and a dazzling selection of entertainment. The ship boasts 4 restaurants, 8 bars and lounges, the 1,000 m² MSC Aurea Spa, a running track, a mini golf course, numerous boutiques, a casino, a 700-seat theatre, a nightclub, and a children’s club.

On 30 November 2012 MSC Lirica will depart from Genoa, Italy for a 15-night cruise, arriving at her new homeport in Martinique just over two weeks later. MSC Lirica’s course will take her from the Mediterranean Sea through the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, with scheduled stops in Marseilles, France, Barcelona, Spain, Funchal, Portugal and, after five full days at sea, Bridgetown, Barbados. Scheduled stops then follow in Saint George in Grenada, Basseterre in Saint Kitts and Nevis and Castries in Saint Lucia, with MSC Lirica arriving in Fort-de-France in Martinique on 15 December 2012. With a total of 7 full days at sea, this cruise provides guests with the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the many impressive facilities on board the luxury ship.

From 15 December 2012 through to 16 February 2013, MSC Lirica has a full schedule of ten 7-night cruises, departing every Saturday from Fort-de-France, Martinique, and every Sunday from Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.

The French Antilles will say farewell to MSC Lirica on 23 February 2013, when she starts her 15-night return cruise from Fort-de-France in Martinique to Genoa in Italy. Scheduled stops are, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, Castries, Saint Lucia, Funchal, Portugal, Malaga, Spain, Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.

During the Caribbean experience, guests on board MSC Lirica can enjoy the region's most charming attractions and discover not only the breathtaking beauty but also the rich history of the islands, with scheduled stops in St John’s in Antigua and Barbuda, Road Town in Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, Santo Domingo and La Romana in the Dominican Republic, and Philipsburg in St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles.

Itineraries offer up the perfect balance of relaxation, adventure and historical discovery through a diverse choice of shore excursions.

The adventurous will not be bored, with spectacular bird’s eye views of the rainforest on offer in the zip-lining Canopy Tour, and opportunities to swim and snorkel with stingrays, discover the region on horseback, swim with dolphins in a natural lagoon, kayak, go off-road in 4 X 4 Jeeps, river raft and ride along the coast in a speed boat.

Learning about the region, its history and culture is easy and enjoyable with the many informative excursions on offer. You can visit the fishing village where Christopher Columbus landed in 1502, historic plantations and distilleries, and take the Chocolate Tour to the Caribbean’s largest organic cocoa processing plants where only the most exquisite raw materials are used. Discovering historical Philipsburg is especially enjoyable on the bicycle tour, and you can revisit the 1950s on the Creole Bus Sensation Tour, as well as appreciating the enchanting views of Sabana Grande de Boyá which also commemorates the region’s fight to abolish slavery.

By providing so many imaginative options, MSC Cruises is confident of offering guests an unforgettable Caribbean adventure.