Princess Cruises Will Sail To Greenland From NYC In 2019

January 3, 2018.

For those who have always wanted to visit Greenland in comfort, Princess has a way to do it.

The Caribbean Princess will do a 16-day cruise from NYC departing August 19, 2019.  The ports will include Nuuk, Qaqortoq, and Nanortalik in Greenland.  The cruise will also visit Halifax, Sydney (Nova Scotia, not Australia), and St. John’s Newfoundland.

Nuuk, Greenland

Fares for the trip start at $2,499 per person plus $220 in port fees and tax.

Details can be seen here.

Royal Caribbean Increasing Automatic Gratuities (Again)

December 27, 2017.

Last week the Royal Caribbean International websites in the U.K. and Asia detailed an increase in daily gratuities that was coming on January 2.  This was reported in several cruise blogs,  which caused the U.S. based headquarters for the company to say they hadn’t announced anything.  Then came yesterday (Tuesday, December 26) when the cruise line indeed announced the rate increase.  This happens quite often with Royal Caribbean, where the non-U.S. websites post changes to policies before corporate is ready to spring the news.  Seems like they need to revisit their internal change management procedures, especially the part about controlling the release of information.

Anyway, come January 2 the daily gratuities charged will increase by $1 per person per day.  Junior Suites, balconies, oceanview, and inside cabins will pay $14.50, and those in Grand Suites and higher will see the lofty sum of $17.50 per person, per day.  The increase makes Royal Caribbean’s automatic gratuities the highest among mass market cruise lines.  For example, for standard cabins Carnival adds $12.95 per person, per day, Princess Cruises $13.50, and Norwegian Cruise Line  $13.99.

I received an email from Royal Caribbean detailing the change, and it used some curious reasoning for the increase:

“Royal Caribbean is constantly reviewing our competitive environment and this adjustment positions us in-line with our competitors. The additional gratuity collected will be disbursed to our onboard crew.”

So let me see if I understand this correctly.  Royal Caribbean is saying that having the highest gratuities makes them more competitive?

As always, guests can pre-pay gratuities for existing bookings prior to January 1 and get the old price.  And once aboard the ship you can also go to Guest Relations and change or remove them entirely.

Granted this is not a tremendous increase, but these incremental things tend to add up over time.  This is the third increase in three years at Royal Caribbean, and as reported by USA Today “With the coming increase, the line’s gratuity fee will have jumped by nearly 21% since May 2015. That’s more than five times the rate of inflation in the USA over the same period. ”

At Cruising.News we never support stiffing the hard working crews on cruise ships.  But constant increases in the gratuities automatically added to your account “as a convenience” can adversely affect the crew’s income as more and more people say “enough!” and remove the gratuities entirely.

Norwegian Announces Summer 2019 Itineraries

December 19, 2017.

Highlights include Norwegian Breakaway sailing to the Caribbean from Miami; Norwegian Getaway returning to Copenhagen to cruise the Baltic; Norwegian Gem sailing to Bermuda from Boston; and the youngest fleet sailing to Alaska including a new Glacier Bay itinerary for Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Cruise Line today revealed the fleet’s lineup of summer 2019 itineraries.  Norwegian will have five ships sailing in Europe; three cruising to Alaska; two calling on Bermuda; as well as itineraries that include the Bahamas & Florida, the Caribbean, Canada & New England and the Hawaiian islands.  The new itineraries are open for sale now for returning guests and will be available tomorrow, December 20, to the general public.

Alaska

Norwegian will once again return to the region in summer 2019, with Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jewel all cruising to the Last Frontier.

After making her debut in summer 2018, Norwegian Bliss will return for her second Alaska season, sailing new seven-day Glacier Bay voyages departing each Sunday from Seattle beginning May 5 through September 22, 2019.

Norwegian Pearl, which recently underwent an extensive renovation earlier this year as a part of the Norwegian Edge® program, will sail seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle departing on Saturdays from May 18 through September 21.

Rounding out the Alaska fleet, Norwegian Jewel will return to Vancouver and Seward after a bow to stern enhancement in fall 2018 to sail the popular seven-day Glacier Bay northbound and Inside Passage southbound Alaska highlights voyages, offering guests the opportunity to combine back-to-back sailings for an immersive 14-day roundtrip cruise.

Bahamas & Florida

For the first time since 2010, Norwegian Dawn will return to her very first homeport of New York City as essentially a new ship, after undergoing bow to stern enhancements in late 2016. Norwegian Dawn will set sail from Manhattan on seven-day cruises to the Bahamas & Florida from May 25 to August 31, 2019.

Bermuda

In summer 2019, Norwegian will once again offer guests two convenient departure ports from which to set sail for the pink sand beaches and turquoise blue waters of Bermuda.  Guests sailing from Boston will enjoy exploring this exotic Atlantic island from a newer and larger ship, Norwegian Gem,  from March 29 through November 8, 2019.

Norwegian Escape, which moves to New York City for summer 2018, will continue her stay in the Big Apple through the summer 2019 season, sailing to Bermuda from April 14 until October 20, 2019.

Canada & New England

Early summer is the best time to enjoy the beauty and stunning scenery of New England and coastal Canada.  Norwegian Dawn will offer four, seven-day cruises to this spectacular coast line in May and June 2019, with calls in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick; Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; and Newport, Rhode Island.

Caribbean

After returning from her first winter season in New Orleans, Norwegian Breakaway will reposition from the Big Easy to PortMiami for the first time ever.  The ship will homeport in Miami for her summer 2019 season and cruise a mix of Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Norwegian Breakaway’s seven-day Western Caribbean itineraries will visit Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; and  Harvest Caye, Belize. Norwegian Breakaway’s seven-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary will feature  St. Thomas, USVI; Tortola, BVI;  Nassau, Bahamas and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Europe

Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Spirit will all be cruising Europe in 2019.

After a one year hiatus, Norwegian Getaway will once again return to the Baltic, sailing  incredibly popular bucket list itineraries departing from Copenhagen that feature several calls in Scandinavia with an overnight in Russia.  From June 7 through August 27, 2019, Norwegian Getaway will sail a variety of nine-day sailings with ports-of-call that include Berlin (Warnemünde), Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia and a day cruising past the Stockholm Archipelago.

The Norwegian Epic will return to Europe in summer 2019 to sail seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises, with embarkation available in either Barcelona and Rome (Civitavecchia), with departures from May 12 through November 3, 2019.

Following an extensive renovation in 2017, Norwegian Jade will spend her summer 2019 season cruising the Greek Isles & Italy from May 12 through October 24, 2019.  Norwegian Jade’s 10- and 11-day itineraries from Rome (Civitavecchia) will feature a look into some of the world’s most ancient civilizations with calls in Santorini, Athens (Piraeus), Mykonos, and Crete (Chania), Greece; Valletta, Malta; Messina, Sicily; as well as Naples and Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy.

Norwegian Star, which will undergo a refurbishment in spring 2018, will also sail the Greek Isles and Eastern Mediterranean, offering primarily seven-day cruises with a small selection of nine-, 10-, 11-, and 12-day sailings departing from Venice, Italy from May 12 through November 10, 2019. Norwegian Star will call on some of Greece’s most enchanting island destinations including Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Cephalonia, as well as the outstanding Adriatic destinations of Kotor, Montenegro and Dubrovnik, Croatia on the glimmering Dalmatian Coast.

Norwegian Spirit will home port in Southampton for the summer of 2019 and sail a selection of 10-day or longer itineraries journeying to the British Isles, Iceland, Norwegian Fjords, the Arctic Circle, and the Baltics. Full itinerary details will be released when the ship opens for sale in mid-January.

Hawaii

Norwegian is the only cruise line that offers a seven-day inter-island itinerary, on the US-flagged Pride of America. Guests will have an itinerary that offers nearly 100 hours of port time in Hawaii’s main islands, including an overnight in Kahului, Maui; a call in Hilo; Kailua, Kona; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kauai; and an afternoon cruising past the breathtaking Nãpali Coast. Norwegian’s Pride of America will depart from Honolulu every Saturday through April 2021.

Azamara Pursuit Will Offer Unique Mediterranean Voyages in 2019

December 7, 2017.

Our favorite all-inclusive luxury cruise line is Azamara Club Cruises and they have just announced new voyages for their newest ship, the Azamara Pursuit.  Wait to you read about the shore excursions!

Azamara Pursuit was purchased earlier this fall and the brand has been working tirelessly to curate new itineraries to new parts of the world, with longer stays, more overnights and stops in smaller ports.  Given the number of smaller ports in the Mediterranean – ports that only small cruise ships can visit – it is easy to see why Azamara chose to focus on the region for their newest vessel.

In 2019, the Azamara Pursuit will:

  • Visit 74 countries and 276 ports
  • Add 27 ports and 2 countries not offered by other ships in 2019
  • Visit maiden ports in Alghero, Sardinia, Italy; Trieste, Italy; Paula, Croatia
  • Offer Country Intensive Voyages to Greece, Italy, Croatia, Spain, France and Israel
  • Offer 77 late nights and 20 overnights during 176 days in port

Shore Excursions highlights include:

  • Monemvasia, Greece – Cooking Class at Liotrivi Historic Mansion: At Liotrivi Historical Mansion, guests will explore the cultural heritage and enjoy a cooking lesson of 5 traditional dishes under the instruction of an experienced chef set against the backdrop of gardens and olive trees.
  • Portofino, Italy – Rapallo Foodie Experience with Guido: Liguria is home to some of Italy’s most iconic foods and no one is more passionate about ‘pasta, pesto, focaccia & co.’ than local host Guido. Guests meet him at the Musical Kiosk with its fanciful fresco, before continuing on to Rapallo’s vibrant food market to explore the produce and herbs. The tour continues to a nearby artisanal pasta factory, followed by a stop for street food at Guido’s favorite focaccia baker serving the cheesy, decadent treat hot from the iron with a glass of local Vermentino wine. For the final stop, guests follow Guido to his own bottega, a veritable emporium filled with delicacies where guests will have the chance to make pesto alla Genovese.
  • Pula, Croatia – Truffle Hunt: Guests visit the small village of Mala Huba for the special experience of truffle hunting! After the “truffle hunt” experience of almost 60 minutes with a local guide and truffle-sniffing dog, guests return to village of Mala Huba for light repast and wine tasting and the chance to buy truffle products.

Top itineraries include:

  • 5 Night Riviera Weekend Voyage, May 2019: This voyage travels from the heart of the French Riviera to the Eternal City with a late-night stay in Marseilles and Saint-Tropez.
  • 10 Night Greece Intensive Voyage, June 2019: A powerhouse line-up of ancient sites, friendly seaside tavernas and shops and whitewashed villages.
  • 9 Night Italy to Greece Voyage, May 2019: This nine-night sailing showcases the exceptional beauty of the Adriatic and gorgeous Grecian ports with stops for Gondola rides, medieval city tours and a visit to the world’s largest underground canyon.

Carnival Sunshine Repositions To Charleston Starting May 2019

 

December 7, 2017. 

Carnival Cruise Line will position a newer, larger ship to Charleston when the 3,002-passenger Carnival Sunshine kicks off a year-round schedule of four- and five-day cruises in May 2019.

Carnival Sunshine features one of the widest arrays of food, beverage and entertainment options within the Carnival fleet, including the WaterWorks aqua park and SportSquare recreation area, a three-deck-high adults-only retreat featuring a waterfall and adjoining pool, several specialty restaurants and more than 550 staterooms with private balconies.

Carnival Sunshine will commence the four- and five-day cruise program from Charleston on May 18, 2019, and is expected to carry approximately 220,000 passengers annually from that port.

Four-day cruises will visit Nassau while five-day voyages will feature Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.

Guests sailing aboard Carnival Sunshine can enjoy a array of food and beverage choices, including Ji Ji Asian Kitchen with an extensive menu of Far East favorites, Havana Bar offering refreshing Cuban cocktails and live Latin music, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri.  The ship also features the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Bonsai Sushi, as well as BlueIquana Tex-Mex cantina.

The ship’s family-friendly options include Seuss at Sea operated exclusively with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Hasbro, The Game Show with larger-than-life adaptations of the company’s iconic games, and complimentary children’s programs for kids in three age groups.  Entertainment and activity choices are just as varied with high-tech Playlist Productions revues, the Punchliner Comedy Club offering adults-only and family-friendly performances, legendary deck parties and live musical performances throughout the ship.

Top-deck attractions include WaterWorks highlighted by Speedway Splash with its dual-racing slides, SportSquare with a suspended ropes course offering breathtaking views to the sea 150 feet below, a miniature golf course, and a three-deck-high Serenity adults-only retreat with oversized umbrellas, and comfortable chaise lounges and chairs, as well as a waterfall and its own pool.

In addition to the short cruise program from Charleston, Carnival Sunshine will operate an 11-day Carnival Journeys cruise round-trip from Charleston Dec. 3-14, 2019, calling at St. Thomas, Aruba, Bonaire, Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay.  In addition to visiting spectacular destinations, the longer-length Carnival Journeys cruises offer unique on-board experiences where guests can enjoy local cuisine, entertainment and cultural opportunities within the various ports of call.  Activities focusing on topics such as photography, cooking and arts and crafts and a 1980s-themed “Throwback Sea Day” will be offered, as well.

Carnival Ecstasy, which currently sails from Charleston, will shift to Jacksonville, Fla., to operate year-round four- and five-day cruises beginning in May 2019.   Carnival Elation, currently based in Jacksonville, will reposition to Port Canaveral, Fla., in May 2019, as well, to operate a new schedule of four- and five-day voyages, providing an exciting new vacation option from the Space Coast.

Princess Cruises Continues Summer Caribbean Cruises in 2019

December 6, 2017.

Princess Cruises will continue offering summer Caribbean cruising from Florida in 2019,  featuring the cruise line’s popular seven-day Eastern Caribbean and seven-day Western Caribbean itineraries aboard Caribbean Princess.

The May through July 2019 summer season features 17 cruise departures roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, visiting seven ports on four unique itineraries including an East/West Adventurer which combines seven-day itineraries into an immersive 14-day voyage.

Princess Cruises is a recognized destination leader in the cruise industry, named “Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean” by U.S. News & World Report for 2015 and the cruise line’s private beach in the Bahamas, Princess Cays, was ranked among the “Top Cruise Line Private Island Destinations” by Cruise Critic for 2017.

Deployment Highlights

  • Seven-day Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean voyages, combinable for a 14-day Caribbean East/West Adventurer
  • Calls to the cruise line’s private beach resort, Princess Cays, in the Bahamas on every seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise
  • More Ashore late-night stays in St. Thomas on every seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise and in Cozumel on every seven-day Western Caribbean cruise
  • Access to the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on every Western Caribbean cruise
  • Other noteworthy sites accessible through shore excursions include Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John, Blackbeard’s Castle in St. Thomas, Stingray City in Grand Cayman, and the Mayan Ruins at Tulum
  • Unique features aboard Caribbean Princess include exciting specialty dining options such as Planks BBQ, Steamers, World Fresh Market, Coffee & Cones as well as Camp Discovery, themed youth and teen center for kids of all ages

Captain’s Circle Savings and Early Booking Deposit

Princess guests holding Captains Circle Elite status will have the opportunity to secure their booking on Dec. 13, a day earlier than the general public, which goes on sale Dec. 14, 2017. A reduced deposit of 10 percent is available for Captain Circle guest’s bookings made by August 31, 2018.

Princess Celebrates 50th Year of Alaska Cruises with Largest Deployment Ever in 2019

December 5, 2017.

Princess Cruises is celebrating 50 years sailing to the Alaska with its largest deployment ever,  featuring the debut of Royal Princess.  With 2019 cruises and cruisetours on sale December 14, 2017, all guests in North America, Asia and Australia can take advantage of a 50 percent reduced deposit for any 2019 Alaska voyage.

Seven ships will sail to Alaska with the inaugural season of Royal Princess, bringing the largest Princess ship ever to sail the region. In addition, 76 percent of all voyages sail to Glacier Bay National Park. To enhance the cruise experience and to see more of Alaska, guests can also choose from more than 23 cruisetour while visiting Princess Wilderness Lodges and another must-see national park – Denali National Park.

While on board, guests will encounter a variety of ways to engage in authentic experiences through the award-winning North to Alaska program, featuring Cook My Catch, an exclusive culinary program allowing guests to return from select Princess fishing excursions to have the chef prepare their very own catch of the day. Also offered, the crowd-favorite Puppies in the Piazza, where real Alaska sled dog puppies are brought on board in Skagway for guests to interact with.

The 2019 program also features the first full season of an exclusive treehouse experience at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge built by Pete Nelson of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters. In addition, lodge guests will hear first-hand tales from mountain climbers who have conquered Denali as they tell their stories in the Hudson Theater.

Highlights of the 2019 May–September Alaska program include:

Alaska Cruises

  • Voyage of the Glaciers – Princess’ most popular  sailings between Vancouver and Whittier features two glacier-viewing experiences on every voyage, with visits to the UNESCO-listed Glacier Bay National Park plus either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. These seven -day cruises are offered aboard Royal Princess and Golden Princess (departing Saturdays) and Coral Princess and Island Princess (departing Wednesdays). Every northbound Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary on Island Princess includes Icy Strait Point.
  • Inside Passage –This awe-inspiring part of Alaska, known for its lush scenery and pristine fjords, will be featured on seven-, 10-and 12-day roundtrip voyages from Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles:
    • Seven-Day Roundtrip Seattle – Ruby Princess departs on Saturdays and sails to Glacier Bay. Star Princess departs on Sundays and visits Tracy Arm Fjord. All Inside Passage voyages from Seattle offer More Ashore late-night calls in Juneau.
    • 10-day Roundtrip San Francisco – Grand Princess
    • 12-day Roundtrip Los Angeles – Three voyages aboard Royal Princess, Ruby Princess and Star Princess Roundtrip Cruises from Vancouver – Four seven-day Inside Passage sailings on Coral Princess, Island Princess and Golden Princess; Two four-day Alaska Samplers on Golden Princess and one five-day Alaska Sampler on Island Princess, .

Alaska Cruisetours

In 2019, Princess offers guests more than 23 cruisetours to experience more of Alaska. Combine a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with 3 to 8 nights on land with stays at Princess Wilderness Lodges, exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service, plus visits to the top two attractions in Alaska – Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park. Guests also have the option to purchase a pre-paid meal package for the land portion.

Four categories of cruisetour options include:

  • Denali Explorer – As Princess’ most popular and best value cruisetour, these itineraries feature multiple nights at the line’s Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Most offer Princess’ exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between the ship in Whittier and the Denali area all in one day, plus the opportunity to explore Fairbanks and/or Anchorage.
  • On Your Own – An affordable option for independent-minded travelers, these itineraries offer a flexible way to see the heart of Alaska. Tours follow similar routes as Denali Explorer options, but do not include any pre-planned excursions, giving travelers the opportunity to customize their own experience.
  • Off the Beaten Path – These itineraries are designed to take travelers beyond Denali to sought-after, remote regions of the state such as the Kenai Peninsula and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
  • Connoisseur – The line’s highest level of service, these tours provide a truly immersive experience. With a professional tour director, most meals included and enhanced sightseeing; guests experience the best of the Great Land.

Heart of the Rockies Plus Rail – This 14-night cruisetour originates in Calgary and includes daylight Silverleaf rail service on the Rocky Mountaineer. The fully escorted land tour combines with a seven-day northbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise on Royal Princess and Golden Princess and includes most breakfasts and dinners. Spectacular overnight accommodations are offered at Fairmont Calgary Palliser Hotel, Banff , Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and Four Seasons Vancouver

Captain’s Circle Savings and Early Booking Deposit

Princess guests holding Elite status will have the opportunity to secure their booking a day earlier than other past guests and the general public, which goes on sale December 14, 2017. In celebration of the 50 years in Alaska, all passengers in North America, Asia and Australia can take advantage of a 50 percent reduced deposit for any 2019 Alaska voyage. This reduced deposit offer expires April 30, 2018.

 

 

 

Royal Caribbean Expands Sailings To Cuba In 2018-2019

November 30, 2017.

The Malecón in Havana

If anyone thought travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens had been severely curtailed recently, fear not.  Royal Caribbean International will double down on Cuba next summer, with two ships – Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas – and two new destinations added to itineraries.

The added sailings and the new ports of Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos on the southeast coast give cruisers even more ways to immerse themselves in the culture and history of the island.  Cuba’s historic cities of Havana, Santiago and Cienfuegos will be among the destinations on an array of 4- to 8-night Caribbean adventures on Empress of the Seas that open for sale today.

Departing from Miami year-round, Empress cruise vacations will include 7-night Best of Cuba itineraries to Cienfuegos, Havana and Nassau, Bahamas; 5-night sailings visiting Key West, Florida and spending the night in Havana; and an immersive 8-night journey to Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman, and Labadee, Haiti.   Majesty of the Seas will continue the 4- and 5-night offerings to Havana that include day and overnight stays, departing from Tampa from April to October 2018, and Ft. Lauderdale from November 2018 to March 2019. All sailings to Cuba will offer shore excursions designed for guests to experience the destination and to comply with the people-to-people educational exchange activities requirement as set forth in the U.S. regulations.

Cienfuegos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site established in 1819 with a wide array of visually-stunning attractions, including acclaimed Botanical Gardens with more than 2,000 plant species on display, impressive neoclassical architecture, a 950-seat opera house and the bustling Santa Isabel Boulevard.

Santiago de Cuba is a gateway to Cuba’s revolutionary and religious history, with adventures such as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Castillo del Morroto, the Sierra Maestra foothills, El Cobre – one of the most significant religious destinations in Cuba – and historic sites like Revolution Square.

 

Princess Cruises to Name Next Ship ‘Sky Princess’

November 30, 2017.

Sky Princess Scheduled to Debut in the Mediterranean in October 2019

 

Princess Cruises announced today its fourth Royal-class ship will be named Sky Princess. Sister ship to Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess, Sky Princess is scheduled to debut in October 2019 on a series of Mediterranean voyages.

The 143,700 ton, 3,660-passenger vessel will feature an evolution of the successful design platform used for previous Royal-class ships. Sky Princess will include signature elements that have become synonymous with the brand’s best-in-class guest experience, and bring together the best features found on her Royal-class sister ships – Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess.  Highlights will include a soaring central Piazza-style atrium, Princess Live! entertainment venue, the relaxing adults-only Sanctuary, Camp Discovery youth and teen centers, and a wide variety of guest-favorite dining venues including the Salty Dog Grill, Alfredo’s Pizzeria, Vines Wine Bar, Chef’s Table Lumiere, and World Fresh Marketplace, with updated décor and design throughout the ship. Sky Princess will also feature the outdoor “Movies Under the Stars” theater, and 80 percent of all staterooms will have balconies. Finally, some exciting new innovations which will enhance the guest experience even further will be revealed in the coming months.

The inaugural Mediterranean deployment of Sky Princess features 10 cruise departures on eight unique itineraries. First up, is a seven-day Mediterranean & Adriatic cruise from Athens (Piraeus) to Barcelona departing on October 20, 2019. This voyage is combinable with a seven-day Mediterranean Barcelona to Rome (Civitavecchia) voyage for a 14-day Inaugural Western Mediterranean & Adriatic Medley from Athens to Rome.

In addition, Sky Princess will sail on a new seven-day Mediterranean roundtrip Rome voyage, combinable with a seven-day Mediterranean Barcelona to Rome for a 14-day Western Mediterranean Medley voyage calling in some of the most iconic ports in the Mediterranean Sea.

The culmination of Sky Princess’ inaugural Mediterranean season will be a 14-day Spanish Passage from Barcelona to Ft. Lauderdale, combinable with the seven-day Mediterranean and/or the seven-day Mediterranean roundtrip Rome voyages for a 21-day or 28-day Grand Adventure across the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Sky Princess Mediterranean inaugural cruise itineraries include:

  • October 20, 2019: Seven-day Inaugural Mediterranean & Adriatic – departs Athens (Piraeus), visiting Kotor, Corfu, Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii) and arrives Barcelona
  • October 20, 2019: 14-day Inaugural Western Mediterranean & Adriatic Medley – departs Athens (Piraeus), visiting Kotor, Corfu, Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii), Barcelona, Gibraltar, Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Genoa (for Milan), Florence/Pisa (Livorno) and arrives Rome (Civitavecchia)
  • October 27, 2019: Seven-day Mediterranean – departs Barcelona, visiting Gibraltar, Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Genoa (for Milan), Florence/Pisa (Livorno) and arrives Rome (Civitavecchia)
  • October 27, 2019: 14-day Western Mediterranean Medley – departs Barcelona, visiting Gibraltar, Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Genoa (for Milan), Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Kotor, Corfu, Valletta (Malta), Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii), arrives Rome (Civitavecchia)
  • November 3, 2019: Seven-day Mediterranean – Roundtrip Rome – departs Rome (Civitavecchia), visiting Kotor, Corfu, Valletta (Malta), Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii) and returns Rome
  • November 3, 2019: 14-day Western Mediterranean Medley – departs Rome (Civitavecchia), visiting Kotor, Corfu, Valletta (Malta), Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii), Rome, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Genoa (for Milan), Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Gibraltar, arrives Barcelona
  • November 3, 2019: 28-day Western Mediterranean Grand Adventure – departs Rome (Civitavecchia), visiting Kotor, Corfu, Valletta (Malta), Sicily (Messina – for Mt. Etna & Taormina), Naples (for Capri & Pompeii), Rome (Civitavecchia), Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Genoa (for Milan), Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Gibraltar, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Seville (Cadiz), Lisbon, Madeira (Funchal) and arrives Ft. Lauderdale
  • November 10, 2019: Seven-day Mediterranean – departs Rome (Civitavecchia), visiting Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Genoa (for Milan), Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Gibraltar and arrives Barcelona
  • November 10, 2019: 21-day Mediterranean Grand Adventure – departs Rome (Civitavecchia), visiting Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Genoa (for Milan), Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), Gibraltar, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Seville (Cadiz), Lisbon, Madeira (Funchal) and arrives Ft. Lauderdale
  • November 17, 2019: 14-day Spanish Passage – departs Barcelona, visiting Valencia, Malaga, Seville (Cadiz), Lisbon, Madeira (Funchal) and arrives Ft. Lauderdale

Sky Princess Mediterranean voyages are available for booking starting December 14, 2017. Princess guests holding Elite status in the line’s Captain’s Circle loyalty program will have the opportunity to secure their booking a day earlier than the general public, on December 13, 2017. A reduced deposit of 10 percent is available for bookings made by August 31, 2018.

The fifth Royal-class vessel is also currently under construction at Fincantieri and will debut in 2020.

MSC Cruises Takes Delivery Of MSC Seaside, Announces Two New Seaside EVO Ships Ordered

November 29, 2017.

Today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, MSC Cruises officially took delivery of its new flagship MSC Seaside. The delivery ceremony took place in the presence of Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, Graziano Delrio, Italy’s Minister of Infrastructures and Transports as well as other authorities and dignitaries.

MSC Seaside “the ship that follows the Sun”

During the delivery ceremony of MSC Seaside, the Company’s second newly-built to come into service in 2017, MSC Cruises and Fincantieri also signed firm orders for the construction of two Seaside EVO ships, a further evolution of the Seaside Class prototype, for a total investment of €1.8 billion EUR.

Following the new agreement between MSC Cruises and Fincantieri, the initial slot reservation agreement to build a third Seaside Class ship to be delivered in 2021 has been replaced to instead build the first of two Seaside EVO ships. The second ship is set to come into service in 2023.

Key specs for the new Seaside EVO are as follows:

  • Length/beam: 1,060 ft. / 134 ft.
  • Gross tonnage: 169,380 GRT

In addition to offering even more space, Seaside EVO ships will have greater dimensions, more cabins, an even larger Yacht Club – with an additional deck and larger cabins — and will be hosting up to 5,646 passengers. At the same time, just like the Seaside Class, the Seaside EVO ships will be equipped with the latest advanced environmental technology, including: a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, an advanced active emissions control technology system, that significantly reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) into harmless nitrogen (N2) and water; exhaust gas cleaning (EGC) technology to meet the strictest exhaust regulations in port and in operating areas; state-of-the-art waste management and recycling systems; advanced water treatment systems – going above and beyond regulatory standards and meeting the highest industry standards; and, an advanced energy and heat recovery system.

Across the ships, there will be the latest generation of energy-saving devices and all areas will feature LED lighting. The ships will be ultra-hydrodynamic and thanks to optimized hull lines, propellers and rudders, combined with the latest anti-fouling paint, wave resistance will be further reduced, and greater fuel-efficiency will be achieved.

With the addition of these new ships, the Company’s already industry-unprecedented investment plan will now account for 12 new ships to be built between 2017 and 2026, for an overall investment of EUR 10.5 billion.

MSC Seaside is the first ship in the Seaside Class and a completely new prototype pushing the boundaries of innovative ship building and design. At 153,516 GRT and with a guest capacity of 5,119, she is the second newly-built next-generation mega cruise ship in the MSC Cruises fleet and the first one to be delivered by Fincantieri.

MSC Seaside will be homeporting in Miami and will begin her first sailing in the Caribbean where she will call at various ports in the East and West Caribbean.

Fresh on the heels of MSC Seaside, her sister ship MSC Seaview will come into service in June 2018, starting her summer season in the Mediterranean. Today at the delivery ceremony, Mr Vago also announced thatMSC Seaview will be christened in Civitavecchia, Italy, on June 2, 2018.