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1/19/2017  |  by Daniel McCarthy

Hotel barge company European Waterways is adding a new 12-person barge that will sail Scotland’s Caledonia Canal.

When the “Spirit of Scotland” enters service on June 4, it will instantly become one of the largest in the company’s fleet, with three-levels, six staterooms and a single tour leader cabin.

Its middle deck will feature a saloon with dining areas, a bar and a forward wheelhouse with a view. An outside aft deck will offer a sheltered dining terrace and a heated Jacuzzi.

Onboard dining includes selections of local ingredients, such as wild salmon and venison, along with fine wines and Scottish cheese. A selection of single malt whiskies, including Dalwhinnie 15 year old and Singleton of Glen Ord 15 year old, also will be offered.

This will make European Waterways’ second hotel barge, joining the eight-passenger Scottish Highlander.

Prices for an all-inclusive six-night cruise start at $4,450 per person for a double cabin or $49,500 for a full 12-passenger charter. Passengers who book before March 31 for sailings in June and July will get 10% off all cabins and charters.

1/18/2017  |  by Daniel McCarthy

Windstar has named 30-year cruise industry veteran Peter Tobler as its new director of marine hotel operations.

Tobler, who begins with Windstar immediately, will oversee hotel management for Windstar’s six ship fleet including food and beverage operations, product development and employee training.

In the past, Tobler has managed hotel operations for Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Cunard. He got his start in cruising as the hotel manager at Seabourn on ships that now sail for Windstar including the former Seabourn Pride (now Star Pride).

1/12/2017  |  by Daniel McCarthy

As Rogue One climbs to a $1 billion box office run, Disney Cruise Line has decided to once again bring the Force to sea.

Disney Cruise Line will add Star Wars Days to 15 Caribbean itineraries from January through April, 2018. The sailings, which will be on the 4,000-guest Disney Fantasy, include a day packed with Star Wars-themed events including a deck party, fireworks display, food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise. Kids will have the chance to take part in Jedi Training and face off against Darth Vader and the Seventh Sister.

The sailings are scheduled for January 6 and 20; February 3 and 17; March 3, 17 and 31; and April 14, in the western Caribbean, with stops at Cozumel, Falmouth, Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay.

Star Wars day also will be included in the eastern Caribbean itineraries with stops in Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay departing on January 13 and 27, February 10 and 24, March 10 and 24, and April 7.

1/12/2017  |  by Daniel McCarthy

Starting in 2018, AmaWaterways will sail three new Rhine and Moselle itineraries.

There’s a 10-night Basel to Amsterdam itinerary aboard AmaPrima, an 11-night Amsterdam-to-Basel cruise aboard AmaPrima and a 7-night Luxembourg-to-Basel cruise aboard AmaDante. The sailings include excursions to Germany’s Black Forest and France’s Vosges Mountains, as well as complimentary bicycles for exploring ports.

Passengers can save up to $1,500 per stateroom by taking advantage of AmaWaterways’ early booking program, Early Bookings Rewards.

1/11/2017  |  by Daniel McCarthy

Major cruise lines are slashing prices and offering big perks for January.

1/11/2017  |  by Daniel McCarthy

The move lines up a successor to Southwest’s current CEO. 

1/10/2017  |  by Daniel McCarthy

Crystal Cruises celebrated the cutting of the first piece of steal for its new Rhine Class luxury river yachts, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, at a ceremony in Germany yesterday.

The ships, which are being built at MV Werften’s shipyard in Wismar, Germany, are set to start sailing in spring 2018. Both are being built specifically to sail European rivers including the Rhine, Danube, Mein and Moselle.

The ships, both measuring 135 meters in length, boast butler service in every suite, king-sized beds facing panoramic balcony-windows, walk-in closets, full-length mirrors, flat-screen TVs and Nespresso machines. Each ship also offers a choice of dining options, including the Waterside Restaurant, Bistro cafés and Vintage Room, as well as the Cove Bar and Palm Court lounge.

1/10/2017  |  by Daniel McCarthy

Princess Cays is operated by Carnival Corp.’s Princess Cruises.

Six Carnival Cruise Line itineraries will stop at the private Bahamian destination Princess Cays starting in May 2017.

Seven-day sailings on Carnival Pride departing from Baltimore; five-day sailings on Carnival Ecstasy from Charleston; eight-day sailings on Carnival Conquest from Fort Lauderdale; five-day sailings on Carnival Elation from Jacksonville; four-day sailings on Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral; and four-day sailings on Carnival Sensation from Miami will all stop at Princess Cays.

The port, located on the island of Eleuthera, is operated by Carnival Corp.’s Princess Cruises. It offers white-sand beaches, an observation tower that offers panoramic views of the island, bars, restaurants and retail shops.

1/6/2017  |  by Daniel McCarthy

The nation’s biggest international gateway will become ‘a unified, interconnected, world-class airport.’

1/6/2017  |  by Daniel McCarthy

Ken Muskat, former executive vice president of MSC Cruises, will take the reins at SkySea Cruise Line, the new joint venture from Royal Caribbean and China’s largest online travel agency, Ctrip. He will start in his new role in mid-January.

SkySea was launched in China last year with one vessel—SkySea Golden Era, which previously sailed for Celebrity Cruises as Century.

Muskat, who helped plan a rapid expansion at MSC that will add 11 new ships over the next decade, will help SkySea compete with other lines trying to get a foothold in China’s growing cruise market.

“There is no challenge I like better than creating a winning business proposition in a competitive market,” Muskat said in a statement. "I appreciate the confidence shown in me by the owners of SkySea, and I look forward to using my experience to help this exciting new brand grow to be a leader."