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.
There’s another new mega-ship on the high seas. Royal Caribbean International‘s 4,180-passenger Anthem of the Seas, sister ship to the acclaimed Quantum of the Seas, is now cruising to its summer homeport of Southampton, England. In November, it’ll reposition to New Jersey’s Cape Liberty Cruise Port and sail winter cruises to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England. The ship boasts many of the high-tech delights that were introduced on the Quantum, like the 300-foot North Star observatory, RipCord skydiving simulator, and adults-only Solarium deck.
A 14-night August itinerary in Italy and the Mediterranean starts from $2,699 per person.
It’s not too early to plan for 2016. In fact, luxury tour and river ship operator Tauck is giving a very good reason to book a Europe voyage for next year right now — it says it’s lowered rates by as much as $1,200 per couple compared to this year’s cruise fares. What’s more, the company will also launch two new 130-guest ships next spring: Grace, which will ply the Rhine, and Joy, which will sail the Danube.
A 10-day Rhine, Swiss Alps , and Amsterdam cruise (aboard Grace) starts from $4,690 per person, with the rate reduction.
Norwegian Cruise Line is sending its 1,936-passenger Norwegian Sun to South America in December, traversing between Santiago, Chile, and Buenos Aires on 13-night journeys. Passengers can opt for one of three new cultural tour add-ons, too. We especially like the romantic two-night Tour & Tango tour in Buenos Aires, which includes an overnight, city tour, and show and lesson from professional dancers. And, speaking of Norwegian, the cruise line is getting rid of its dining fee for the Asian eateries across the fleet — meaning popular dining spots such as Shanghai’s Noodle Bar and Jasmine Garden are now complimentary for all guests.
In mid-December, the 16-night cruise and tour price starts at $2,104.
Is a multi-generational trip in the works this fall and winter? We’ve always liked the structured children’s and teen’s programs on Crystal Cruises luxury ships, but its latest promotions makes a family wayfaring trip even more tempting. On sailings from September through December, kids under 17 sail free in a third berth with two full-fare adults, while families of six or more receive shipboard credits of up to $400 per stateroom plus a $500 credit toward a shore excursion. The deals must be booked by April 30 and are available for Mediterranean, Western Europe, New England & Canada, South America, and Caribbean sailings.
From $1,875 per person, depending on the itinerary.