Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.
When Viking River Cruises christened a dozen new river ships on Tuesday, it brought its river cruise fleet to a whopping 60 ships — maintaining the cruise line’s reign as the largest river cruise line in the world. The 12 new vessels will be sailing along the Rhine, Danube, and Elbe Rivers this year, including a 14-night Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest. Haven’t sailed with Viking yet? No fear. Six more ships are planned for next year, meaning no want of options for cruising.
July rates for the Grand European Tour start from $4,362 per person, based on double occupancy.
Just in case you still weren’t sure about the future of cruising, here’s another sign that it’s going full steam ahead: Carnival Corporation is building nine new “next-generation” cruise ships. Besides the fact that the ships will join several different fleets, Carnival is keeping details close to the vest for now — but we know that the company includes the lines Princess Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, and Seabourn. The ships will set sail between 2019 and 2022, heading for ports in North America, Europe, and China. (Didn’t we tell you Asia is all the rage these days?) Stay tuned for more…
For the first time ever, Disney Cruise Line will be venturing into the British Isles in June 2016. The 2,700-passenger Disney Magic will visit Scotland, England, Ireland, and France — promising everything from Highlands culture to castles galore. We especially love that a port call to La Havre, France, will serve as an excursion opportunity to Paris, and a visit to Guernsey means the chance to experience the charming Channel Islands, too.
Rates have not yet been released.
It’s five o’clock somewhere. That’s the newest mantra on Norwegian Cruise Line‘s Norwegian Star — or at least it is at the ship’s new Margaritaville-themed lounge and music venue. The aptly named Five o’Clock Somewhere Bar, part of the enhancements added during the ship’s recent two-week spruce-up, will be serving up Caribbean-inspired cocktails when it cruises Northern Europe this summer. (The restaurant has also been added to the new Norwegian Escape sailing next October.) Who’s up for a Who’s to Blame margarita?
A seven-night Norwegian Fjord cruise in June starts from $999 per person.
Here’s a new and unusual itinerary for cruisers eager to visit Iceland, one of the year’s hot travel destinations. Expedition line Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic is hosting a five-night journey that begins on July 15 with a few days in Reykjavik, followed by a cruise that heads to the country’s wild west coast and to Hornstrandir, Iceland’s northernmost point. Sven Lindblad, well-known environmentalist and company founder, will be leading the trip with expert knowledge, too.
Rates begin at $4,999 per person.