Orion Purchase to Boost Lindblad’s Capacity by 18%
Lindblad Expeditions acquired Australia-based Orion Expedition Cruises for an undisclosed cost. Orion, the company’s one ship, will begin operation as a Lindblad vessel in March 2014, increasing Lindblad’s passenger capacity by 18%. Lindblad currently owns five ships and charters an additional five for seasonal expeditions.
Sarina Bratton, founder of Orion, will leave the company after completing her current contract on April 19. Orion will continue to be run out of the company’s office in Sydney, Australia.
“Following two straight years of record revenues, it was the natural progression for company growth,” said Sven Lindblad, President and Founder of Lindblad Expeditions. “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to offer global expedition cruising to Australians and we intend to bring the full weight of our experience and that of National Geographic to the Orion organization and the ship.”
MSC Expands North America Sailings
The MSC Divina will begin sailing year-round from Miami beginning in November. The schedule change gives MSC Cruises its first year-round cruise offering in North America. This also marks the first time the MSC Divina will sail from North America and the first time MSC has sailed from Miami. Itineraries will be announced soon.
Crystal Grows Its Solo Program, Adds West Coast Excursions
More than a dozen itineraries have been added to Crystal Cruises’ Sole Occupancy savings promotion. Single supplements of up to 10% are available, along with low single occupancy fares. Solo savings are available on 26 Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony voyages, from June to December. In other news, the line has added nearly a dozen Crystal Adventures on West Coast sailings, from Vancouver to Los Angeles. They include tours of private art studios and sailing San Francisco Bay aboard an America’s Cup yacht. In addition, three complimentary voluntourism opportunities will be offered on an April 29 cruise.
Regent Launches Agent & Consumer Promotion
A new Why Choose When You can Have It All promotion from Regent Seven Seas Cruises gives guests who book one of 15 eligible Europe 2013 voyages free unlimited Internet, a $300 per suite shipboard credit and business class air from $699. Agents will receive a $100 gift card for every new booking made under this promotion, which is available until May 31.
Uniworld Christens New Vessel
The Queen Isabel, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises’ new ship on Portugal’s Douro River, was christened by celebrity Andie MacDowell on March 22. The Queen Isabel’s maiden voyage begins March 28, operating Uniworld’s 10-night Portugal, Spain and the Douro River itinerary.
Century Paragon Launched in the Yangtze
Century Cruise launched the new Century Paragon on the Yangtze River, departing Tuesdays for three-night downstream cruises and Fridays for four-night upstream cruises. The new vessel holds 398 passengers and features a seven-story atrium lobby, Wi-Fi, and an indoor pool.
Princess Details 2014 Offerings
Princess Cruises’ 2014 Europe program will feature the maiden voyage of the Regal Princess in June. Its sister ship, Royal Princess, will sail Northern Europe on an 11-day Scandinavia and Russia itinerary. A 14-day Scandinavia and Russia itinerary is available on the smaller Ocean Princess. The Crown Princess will offer a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary in Alaska.
New Med/Black Sea Voyages From Cruise & Maritime
Several new Mediterranean and Black Sea cruises are available from Cruise & Maritime Voyages, with up to 47% in savings and an additional onboard credit. The 12-night Mediterranean Odyssey cruise sails on September 25 and is priced from $1,999 per person. The 10-night Black Sea Discovery trip is priced from $1,679 per person while the 11-night Treasures of the Black Sea journey is priced from $1,489 per person.
Crystal Previews 2014-2015 Lineup
Crystal Cruises’ released its cruise program for 2014 and early 2015. A new Worldwide Cruise Atlas describes 78 itineraries that include new theme cruises, 14 maiden port calls, an increase in port-intensive itineraries and shorter sailings.
New Late Night Show From Celebrity
Sin City Comedy is the latest entertainment offering available on the Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Silhouette, a late-night show offered by the award-winning Sin City Comedy at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The show is open to guests ages 18 and older and will rotate to the Celebrity Solstice in May.