Porthole Cruise News Briefs – Dec. 16, 2016
- Asian river operator Pandaw is welcoming a new ship to their fleet, a 12-cabin, Saigon-built cruiser originally named L’Amant. The ship will be renamed Kapuas Pandaw, refitted, and delivered to West Kalimantan, Borneo, in February 2017.
- Holland America Line is going deeper with its immersive destination experiences using Explorations Central, or EXC. The new program encompasses EXC Talks on local customs and landmarks; EXC Port Guides providing tips, maps and handbooks; EXC Encounters bringing local experts onboard to prepare guests for their visit; and an EXC Channel showing documentaries. Starting with ms Westerdam, the Crow’s Nest will be transformed to Explorations Central, an information hub featuring digital storytelling and interactive video on subjects ranging from travel and food to the arts, along with a virtual bridge displaying real-time data from the ship’s actual bridge.
- Country music fans will be flocking to Carnival Imagination in April 2017 to hear Carrie Underwood perform as part of the Carnival LIVE concert series. She’ll appear in the Dynasty Lounge while the ship is docked at Catalina Island during a 4-day cruise departing Long Beach, California, on April 2, 2017. This show follows Underwood’s invitation-only concert for military families aboard Carnival Vista last month.
- MSC Cruises is welcoming wellness on board with the first-ever Weight Watchers cruise, Rejuvenation Vacation at Sea. The 7-night cruise aboard MSC Divina includes customized fitness programs, SmartPoints-friendly meals, Weight Watchers meetings at sea, seminars, and more. In April, the line is launching a Wellness Experience in partnership with Technogym, which includes one-on-one health assessments, a personal fitness program, time with Master Trainers, recommended activities and shore excursions, laundry for workout gear, and special food and drink selections.
- Crystal Cruises CEO Edie Rodriguez will host the annual President’s Cruise in 2017 aboard Crystal Symphony, traveling from Rome to Dubai on November 4. The 18-day voyage marks the line’s return to the Holy Land and Arabian Peninsula, calling on Limassol, Cyprus; Haifa and Ashdod, Israel; transit of the Suez Canal; Aqaba, Jordan; and Salalah and Muscat, Oman.
- River cruise company Scenic is having a busy week. They’ve teamed up with Trek Travel, an “active vacation” company, to offer 7-night Bike & River Cruise sailings on the Danube and Rhine rivers. And they also held a steel-cutting ceremony for their new discovery yacht, Scenic Eclipse, a unique 228-passenger ship designed for polar expedition cruising. Once completed at Uljanik Shipyard JSC in Pula, Croatia, the luxury expedition ship will hold her maiden voyage in August 2018.