Queensize Riverboat Heading for New Orleans
American Cruise Line’s deluxe new paddlewheeler, Queen of the Mississippi, has received its Coast Guard certificates and is en route to New Orleans where it will begin service in early August. Most staterooms on the 150-passenger riverboat feature private balconies with sliding glass doors. According to the cruise line, the Victorian-style riverboat can travel at higher speeds than others in the region, minimizing night travel and making longer port visits possible. Itineraries will encompass the entire Mississippi System, going as far north as St. Paul on the Mississippi and as far east as Pittsburgh on the Ohio.
Uniworld Announces New Ships for Asia in 2013
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises will have three new ships in Asia in 2013, offering itineraries along the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia and along the Yangtze River in China. In Vietnam, the new River Orchid will join the River Saigon, which started service in January. Both have 30 staterooms and feature a French colonial design. In China, two new ships, the Century Paragon and Century Legend, will feature an executive deck and indoor pool/spa area.
Royal Caribbean to Deploy Mariner of the Seas in Asia
Royal Caribbean International will deploy the recently refurbished Mariner of the Seas in Asia in 2013, offering various itineraries calling in China, Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea throughout the year. The ship will be the line’s second 3,114-passengers vessel in China, joining the Voyager of the Seas.
Scenic Tours Adds to ‘Space-Ship’ Fleet
Scenic Tours commissioned the seventh ship for its ‘Space-Ship’ fleet based in Europe. To be christened the Scenic Jewel, the new ship will undertake an inaugural voyage in 2013 along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest. In April, Scenic Tours launched the Scenic Crystal and plans to relocate the Scenic Emerald to Southern France for the 2013 season. Both the Jewel and Crystal feature private balconies, walk-in showers and other touches.
Crystal Sets New Menu of Shorter Med Cruises
Crystal Cruises will offer 12 new, short Mediterranean itineraries with departures from July through December 2012. The new options include five- to eight-day cruises on the Crystal Serenity, starting at $1,310 per person, and calling at ports throughout the Mediterranean as well as the Canary Islands. Countries visited include Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel. Morocco, Portugal and Spain. Crystal will also call at seven maiden ports in Europe this summer, including destinations in Iceland and Lithuania.
Carnival Takes Delivery of 24th Ship
Carnival Cruise Lines took delivery of the 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze, the 24th ship in its fleet. The ship departed on its inaugural cruise from Venice on June 3, operating a special 12-day cruise ending in Barcelona on June 15. Following a schedule of Mediterranean cruises ending on Oct. 25, the ship will reposition to Miami for six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises starting Nov. 24. The Breeze is the first in the Carnival fleet to offer several new entertainment features, including the Thrill Theater, an immersive, multi-dimension special effects experience designed to make viewers feel they are part of the movie.
Princess Designs Art Connoisseur Cruises
Princess Cruises’ new series of Art Connoisseur Cruises will feature artists such as bas relief sculptor Bill Mack and Russian-American contemporary artist Viktor Shvaiko. The cruises will include a variety of events with the artists, including meet-and-greet sessions, art classes, demonstrations and special art unveilings. Artists such as pop fusion painter Eric Waugh will entertain audiences with live painting sessions set to music. Upcoming cruises this year include itineraries in Europe and in Canada/New England with departures from July 17 to Oct. 26.
Variety Cruises Debuts Yoga-Themed Itineraries
Small-ship cruise line Variety Cruises announced two Yoga Retreat on the Riviera itineraries departing Aug. 11 and 18, 2012. Both are roundtrip from Nice, France. The seven-day cruises are on the 72-passenger Variety Voyager and will include a variety of yoga classes as well as meditation sessions and lectures. Ports of call include Portofino, Monte Carlo, Elba and Ile Rousse. Fares start at $1,690 per person, double occupancy.
Paul Gauguin Introduces Tahiti Cruise-Hotel Package
Paul Gauguin Cruises announced a new 10-day hotel and cruise package in Tahiti that includes a three-night, pre-cruise stay at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa; a seven-night Tahiti and Society Islands cruise on The Gauguin; transfers and roundtrip air from Los Angeles. The 2013 departure dates are Jan. 2, May 8, July 31 and Oct. 23, with rates ranging from $4.270 to $5.070 per person.