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Cunard Announces 2020 Cruise Schedule



Cunard has unveiled their “Oceans of Discovery” program, featuring sailings from November 2019 to April 2020. The line’s three ships will call in 123 destinations in 48 different countries, including 10 maiden calls in Japan, Australia, and Papua New Guinea.

Whether it’s a two-night break or a full 113-night world voyage, the fleet will offer a blend of iconic cities along with smaller, lesser-known but equally charming destinations. “Oceans of Discovery” includes:

  • The World Voyage: Pioneering the concept of world cruising in 1922, Cunard has sent more ships around the globe than any other passenger line. In 2020, Queen Mary 2 will offer the only true World Voyage, lasting between 99 and 113 nights.
  • Grand Voyages: These itineraries offer more days at sea with the luxury of time, and call on the world’s most iconic ports.
  • Regions of the World: These carefully curated voyages showcase the most fascinating regions on earth, balancing the exploration of shore days with plenty of time at sea.

Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 will operate Cunard’s only World Voyage in 2020, and will undertake her classic east-west voyage to Australia and Asia, including the Mediterranean, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean, and Southern Africa. The World Cruise can be taken as a round-trip from either New York (113 nights) or London (99 nights). Shorter options range from 1 to 3 weeks, and can be combined in many ways so that guests can create their ideal experience.

The beginning is routed via the Mediterranean Sea and Suez Canal to the Arabian Gulf and across the Indian Ocean, entering Asia via the Malacca Straits. From there, the ship will head north via Vietnam to Hong Kong before heading to Australia via South Africa. The trip includes more overnight stays than in any of Queen Mary 2‘s world cruises in the past 10 years.

Queen Elizabeth

In December 2019 and the first half of 2020, Queen Elizabeth will offer a series of round-trip cruises from international ports with richer and more regionally-focused itineraries. Between these deployments, there will be exotic grand voyages that capture the imagination and spirit of adventure in travel lovers around the world.

The ship will operate six round-trip cruises from Melbourne and two from Sydney, covering the popular regions of South Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand as well as a new itinerary that features Papua New Guinea with maiden calls in Conflict Island and Kiriwina. The ship will offer multiple sailings in Japan, making five maiden calls to Japanese ports in 2020.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria‘s winter deployment consists of a series of European departures in November and December 2019, following by a round-trip experience to South America. The ship will offer longer stays in ports like Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, as well as overnights in Manaus, Rio, Buenos Aires, and Callao for guests to immerse themselves in the vibrancy of South American culture. Scenic cruising will include the Amazon River, Magellan Straits, Cape Horn, the Chilean Fjords, and the Panama Canal.

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photo: Cunard

World Voyage Benefits

Those booking the Queen Mary 2 World Voyage from New York or Southampton, departing on January 3 and 10 respectively, or the Queen Victoria South America Voyage from Hamburg, Southampton, or Fort Lauderdale, departing January 2, 10, and 21 respectively, will receive the following benefits:

  • Welcome aboard reception
  • Services of a World Voyage Concierge and use of a private lounge
  • Unique commemorative gift
  • World Voyage cocktail parties
  • Shoreside Gala Dinner/Cocktail Party
  • Daily Gratuities

Early Booking World Voyage Benefits

Those traveling on a full World Voyage receive a variety of exclusive benefits in addition to Cunard’s standard of quality and aim for perfection on every voyage. Full World bookings made by November 30, 2018 will receive the following:

  • Reduced deposit
  • Onboard credit of up to $3,000 per stateroom
  • Complimentary Captain’s Wine Reception for those staying in an oceanview, balcony, or Grill Suite stateroom
  • Alternative Dining Credit for those staying in an oceanview, balcony, or Grill Suite
  • Ground transfers (in oceanview and balcony) and upgraded private transfers (in Grill Suites)
  • Laundry service for oceanview, balcony, and Grill Suites

Guests booked in the Grill Suites on voyages 7 nights or longer will receive free gratuities and free drinks. Promotion may not be combined with other offers. The promo code is ZED.

World Club members will be able to book beginning on March 19, 2019, and booking will open to the public on March 20, 2018. For more information, click here.

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Instagram Posts Reveal Cruise Secrets



According to a new study, if you’ve sailed on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, there’s a pretty good chance you not only took a lot of pictures but posted them to Instagram. The same can be said for folks who sailed on Carnival Cruise Line, who reportedly Instagrammed the second most photos. But those same posts reveal all kinds of information about who’s going where… and what they’re doing once they get there.

Over 1.8 Million Cruise Photos Were Studied

Harmony of the Seas docked in Nassau.

By studying nearly two million photos, the booking site SeaHub was able to figure out now only which lines had the biggest representation on the wildly popular photo-sharing app, but extrapolate info regarding popular destinations, which group is more likely to party and how long people tend to spend on shore while in port.

As of early January, Royal Caribbean cruisers had posted over 630,000 photographs to Instagram, while Carnival’s passengers clocked in at just under 500,000. Rounding out the top five were Disney (319,000), Princess (112,000)  and Celebrity (102,000). Breaking things even further down, SeaHub was able to determine which ship within the various fleets was most popular with Instagrammers… and which were the least popular.

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READ MORE: 7 Gorgeous Pics Of Sunsets At Sea

Where Royal Caribbean was concerned, Harmony of the Sea proved to be the most popular ship, with Rhapsody of the Sea coming in last place. For Carnival, Vista took the top spot while Ecstasy was on the bottom. Norwegian Cruise Line saw their Escape in first place, with the Bliss in dead last. And while this at first seems surprising, given how much buzz there is regarding the new ship, it’s important to remember that the rankings are based on photos posted, and those are few-and-far-between where the new build is concerned!

Carnival Claims The Party Prize

Carnival Vista

By looking at the hastags and terminology used in the posts, the informal study was able to reveal which cruise lines were associated with certain buzzwords. Carnival took the top spot when you looked at the word “party”, but Norwegian knocked them off the throne if you instead looked at “drinks.” When it came to “food” and “dinner”, Princess was the big winner… but “breakfast” went to Carnival. And while it sometimes seems as if lobster is the most talked-about menu item on cruise ships, it only ranked No. 5 when SeaHub analyzed what food is most posted/buzzed about on ships. (To be fair, “seafood” came in at No. 1, and that could include lobster.) The rest of the top 5 food items? Dessert was second, chocolate clocked in at No. 3 and the ubiquitous buffet earned the fourth spot.

What are you most likely to post pictures of when you cruise? 

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Cruise Line Cuts Ship In Half [PHOTOS]



Well, here’s something you don’t see every day: A cruise ship being sawed in half like a magician’s assistant. Why? So that a new 49-foot segment can be inserted.

What Does It Take To Cut A Ship In Half?

Silversea Cruises

Photo via Silversea Cruises.

This week in Palermo, Italy, the folks at the Fincantieri Shipyard have been executing the kind of thing you sort of have to see to believe: Thanks to the marvels of modern engineering, they are cutting Silversea’s Silver Spirit right down the middle, separating the two halves and then inserting a pre-built block into the ship before welding the whole thing together in so seamless a fashion that none will be the wiser.

Photo via Silversea Cruises.

So what does it take to accomplish such a feat? Well, breaking it down by the numbers, here’s what you get:

  • Over 500 workers
  • 450,000 man hours
  • 846 tons of steel
  • 360,892 feet of cabling
  • 26,247 feet of piping

And why would one undertake such a monumental task? Believe it or not, it’s actually cheaper than buying an entirely new ship… and will result in the Silver Spirit being able to increase their capacity by 12 percent. At the same time, she’ll undergo a massive refurbishment that will in essence transform her into an entirely new vessel.

How The Ship Will Be Refurbished

Photo via Silversea Cruises.

The entire project was inspired by the line’s flagship, Silver Muse (which not coincidentally was built at the same shipyard) and is serving as the focal influence of a fleet-wide renovation. “The lengthening and refurbishment of Silver Spirit will replicate the modern elegance of our latest vessel to make for a more luxurious travelling experience,” said Barbara Muckermann, chief marketing officer for Silversea. “This ambitious project will amplify the onboard features that matter most to our guests.”

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Photo via Silversea Cruises.

That includes dining options, which will see several dining options introduced, resulting in an 8-restaurant configuration. Up on the sky deck, the pool area will also be expanded from 98 feet to 148 feet to not only offer more space for sunworshippers, but also add a new aerobics area. The renovation will also see two new public spaces added, The Arts Cafe and Dolce Vita. Finally, all of the suites will be refurbished and upgraded.

And how cool is this? Just before arriving in Palermo to undergo her surgical procedure, the Silver Spirit stopped in Chaina, Crete, so that furniture that was being replaced could be donated to some of the charities on the island.

The ship will return to service on May 6, 2018, with 7-day sailings between Civitavecchia (Rome) and Barcelona. For more on the ship and her itineraries, click here.

“Witnessing these breathtaking phases of the Silver Spirit lengthening project has filled us with pride and excitement,” said Muckermann. And now you, too, can be wowed by the scope of the project by watching the video below.


Featured Photo via Silversea Cruises.

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Cruise Trends: What’s Topping Travel Wish Lists



When it comes to trends in cruising, Alaska is hot… and so is living the suite life. That’s according to newly released data based from the Travel Trends Survey. What else did the survey reveal about the places cruisers want to go — and what they want to do when they get there? Read on to find out.

Alaska Claims The Top Spot

Un-Cruise Adventure

While in the past, land-based vacations to places like Las Vegas and Orlando claimed the top domestic spot, the survey of over 1,300 travel agents (conducted by Travel Leaders Group) showed that Alaskan cruises are the current hot ticket. In looking at international travel, cruises to the Caribbean came in at the No. 1 spot, while there was also a sharp rise in the level of interest travelers expressed toward river cruises. The results certainly indicate that the cruise industry’s efforts to convince the public that cruising is a better value than land-based vacations seem to be paying off in spades. “Cruises are continuing to soar as a popular vacation choice for North Americans,” said Ninan Chacko, CEO of Travel Leaders Group.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide To Planning An Alaskan Cruise

The survey also revealed that interest in cruises to Cuba has increased about 10 percent over last year, which is certainly reflected in how the various lines are approaching the port. While there was some concern that recent changes in the political arena might have a negative impact on the cruise industry where Cuba was concerned, execs at the recent Seatrade Global Cruise Convention said the opposite is proving true. Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said that his line would be doubling their capacity to the region in 2018, adding, “Cuba has been great for the industry.”

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Cruisers Like The Suite Life


Photo via Carnival.

The survey also indicated that when it comes to suites, more and more passengers are booking the higher-end staterooms. In fact, 30 percent of the travel agents responding to the survey indicated that they had seen an uptick in suite bookings. Meanwhile, when asked what type of question cruisers ask most often, the respondents said shore excursion-related queries topped the list, which again is very much in keeping with what executives have indicated is happening industry-wide. During quarterly earnings calls, numerous executives from the cruise lines have indicated that when they look at onboard spending, passengers are increasingly spending their money to purchase experiences as opposed to material things.

While 72 percent of the travel agents surveyed indicated put shore excursions as the No. 1 question, other topics they were frequently grilled on by clients included shipboard activities, pre- and post-cruise travel arrangements and specialty restaurants.

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