(top photo: Crystal Cruises)
Holland America Line Opens 2021 Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage
In 2021, Volendam embarks on a 74-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage, which visits 34 ports in eight countries and various Caribbean islands. The circumnavigation includes extensive exploration of two juxtaposed natural wonders: the Amazon River and Antarctica. Overnight calls include two nights at Callao (Lima), Peru; and single nights at Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, Brazil.
The roundtrip Fort Lauderdale voyage departs Jan. 4, 2021, and transits the Panama Canal before heading to Ecuador, Peru, Chile, the Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and the Caribbean before returning to Fort Lauderdale.
European Waterways Announces New Themed Cruises in 2020
Responding to the ever increasing demand for experiential travel, European Waterways announced that it is now offering a wider range of new themed cruise departures for 2020 that can be booked on a per-cabin basis. Cruises eligible for cabin bookings include the April 5, 2020 Whisky Trail cruise aboard the Scottish Highlander and the April 26, 2020, Golf Cruise aboard the Spirit of Scotland, both on Scotland’s Caledonian Canal; the April 12, 2020 Wine Appreciation Cruise aboard L’Impressionniste in Burgundy, France; and the August 16, 2020 Opera Cruise aboard La Bella Vita, which sails out of Venice.
Silversea Launces Unprecedented Collection of Grand Voyages
Silversea launches a new collection of Grand Voyages for late 2020 and 2021, which includes three exceptional expedition cruise options. Purposely designed for travellers who prefer a more immersive travel experience, Silversea’s Grand Voyages offer extended journeys of up to 70 days, with multiple overnight stays, a range of exclusive events, and many life-defining experiences.
Following below is a recap of each Grand Voyage:
•Grand Australia 2020, Sydney Round Trip – 30 Ports/3 Countries.
•Grand South America 2021, Fort Lauderdale Round Trip – 37 Ports/20 Countries.
•Grand Southern Expedition 2021, Ushuaia to Lautoka, Fiji – 26 Ports/8 Countries.
•Grand Tropical Expedition 2021,Lautoka, Fiji, to Cochin, India – 36 Ports/9 Countries.
•Grand Northern Expedition 2021, Cochin, India, to Tromsø – 47 Ports/15 Countries.
AmaWaterways New State-of-the-Art Ship Four New Itineraries
Joining AmaWaterways’ flourishing European fleet, the new 156-passenger AmaLucia, sister ship to AmaSiena (2020), will feature signature twin balconies, connecting staterooms and multiple dining venues including The Chef’s Table, among other luxurious amenities. Celebrating spring in the Netherlands and Belgium, AmaLucia begins her journey March 16, 2021 sailing a series of Tulip Time cruises before setting sail on the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle rivers.
In response to the growing demand for more French itineraries, AmaWaterways announced the repositioning of three ships – besides the award-winning AmaKristina moving to the Rhône, AmaDante will join AmaLyra on the Seine and AmaCello will sail a new itinerary on both the Rhône and Saône rivers. Lastly, AmaBella and AmaVerde will rejoin AmaWaterways’ European fleet sailing the Dutch & Belgian Waterways and the Danube.
Four New European Itineraries Plus New Pre- and Post-Cruise Land Programs
In 2021, AmaWaterways will debut four new cruise itineraries:
•Impressions of the Seine & Paris sailing on board AmaDante from Paris to Le Havre.
•Essence of Burgundy & Provence sailing on board AmaCello from Chalon-sur-Saône to Arles (or reverse).
•Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps sailing on board AmaMora and AmaSerena from Amsterdam to Basel (or reverse).
•Best of Holland & Belgium sailing on board the AmaSerena round-trip from Amsterdam.
MSC Grandiosa Makes First Call to Rotterdam
The Port of Rotterdam has recently welcomed the first call of MSC Grandiosa, one of the most environmentally-advanced ships at sea yet.
MSC Grandiosa was delivered on 31 October at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France and is heavily equipped with a comprehensive range of leading-edge environmental technologies and other solutions as with this ship MSC Cruises marks another significant step in its journey towards zero-emissions operations.
The newest flagship features a state-of-the-art selective catalytic reduction system which helps reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 per cent through advanced active emissions control technology. Nitrogen oxide from the engine operations is conducted through a catalyst – a high-density device made from noble metals – and converts them into nitrogen and water, both harmless compounds.
MSC Grandiosa will also be fitted with shore-to-ship power which connects cruise ships while at berth to a port’s local power grid to further reduce the ship’s air emissions while in port to zero. This is a feature that has come as standard across all MSC Cruises new builds since 2017.
These new features add to other effective environmental technologies deployed on the ship and across the Company’s fleet to minimise and continuously reduce environmental impact, including: cutting-edge hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) that remove up to 97 per cent of sulphur oxide from ship emissions; advanced waste management and wastewater treatment systems; ballast water treatment systems; latest-technology systems for the prevention of oil discharges from machinery spaces and various state-of-the-art energy-efficiency improvements – from heat recovery systems to LED lighting.
Currently, MSC Grandiosa and 10 other ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet of 17 ships are equipped for cleaner emissions with hybrid (closed-loop) EGCS. The line’s six other ships will be retrofitted with the technology by the end of 2023.
MSC Grandiosa will be deployed in the Western Mediterranean for the next 12 months before MSC Grandiosa is deployed to South America for winter 2020.
Viking Announces New Ocean Offerings for 2021: Viking Venus and Additional Mediterranean Itineraries
Viking has recently announced its seventh ocean ship, Viking Venus®, will join its award-winning fleet in early 2021, further solidifying the company’s standing as the largest and world’s best small-ship ocean cruise line. The newest 930-guest sister ship will spend her maiden season sailing popular itineraries in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, including British Isles Explorer, In Search of the Northern Lights, Viking Homelands and Into the Midnight Sun.
Viking will also expand its offerings in the Mediterranean and today announced five new itineraries that include stops in Istanbul, marking the company’s return to the iconic city. The new 8-day Ancient Mediterranean Treasures will sail between Athens and Istanbul, with overnight stays in both cities. Guests looking for an extended experience in the region can choose a longer versions of the itinerary, including the 15-day Ancient Adriatic Treasures, which sails between Venice and Istanbul; the 15-day Ancient Mediterranean Antiquities, which sails between Rome and Istanbul; the 22-day Iconic Mediterranean Treasures, which sails between Barcelona and Istanbul; or the 29-day Mediterranean’s Iconic Shores, which also sails between Barcelona and Istanbul and includes stops in Montenegro and Croatia.
Beginning in April 2021 and sailing on Viking’s award-winning 930-guest all-veranda Viking Sky®, guests embarking on the new Ancient Mediterranean Treasures itinerary or its longer combination cruise options will witness the origin of civilization while cruising the fabled Aegean Sea. Highlights of the new itinerary include: Istanbul, Troy (Çanakkale), Ephesus (Kuşadasi), Turkey and Rhodes, Heraklion and Athens, Greece.
This announcement comes on the heels of several recent accolades for Viking. For the fourth consecutive year, Travel + Leisure readers voted Viking® to the top of its categories in the 2019 World’s Best Awards. In 2019, the company’s first five 930-guest sister ships dominated the Cruise Critic® 9th Annual Cruisers’ Choice Awards, receiving 11 First Place honors. Viking was again named the #1 River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards – and has also been honored as “Best Cruise Line for Luxury Ocean Cruises” and “Best Luxury River Cruise Company” in Luxury Travel Advisor magazine’s 2018 “Awards of Excellence” for a second consecutive year.