Week in Review: New Ship Details and Itineraries; Seabourn's New President

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Sun Princess ship

21 June, 2023

Celebrity Cruises revealed more details about Celebrity Ascent, its newest Edge-class ship, which will debut later this year. The ship will sail during winter 2023-2024 from Port Everglades (Greater Fort Lauderdale), FL.

Celebrating its parent company's 50-year history, Virgin Voyages will offer "The Virgin Celebration Voyage” hosted by Sir Richard Branson in the eastern Mediterranean. Sailing roundtrip from Athens on August 27, 2023, Resilient Lady will call at Santorini, Rhodes and Mykonos, Greece, as well as Bodrum, Turkey.

In an on-site report, Travel Agent detailed the new "Epicurean Experiences" approach of Atlas Ocean Voyages. That effort is designed to attract gastronomically-minded guests to the line’s non-polar voyages in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.

Appointed as Seabourn’s new president in March 2023, Natalya Leahy revealed her vision and plans for the ultra-luxury brand in a one-on-one conversation with sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor.

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Variety Cruises, a veteran member of the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA), is celebrating Pride Month and says that Constantine Venetopoulos, Variety’s director of communications and public relations, a third-generation family member of the Greek/family-owned cruise line, will join guests on a “Limited Collection” LGBTQ+ itinerary, departing October 28, 2023.

For its 2024/25 Asia season, Holland America Line will offer departures from Hong Kong, China; Yokohama, Japan; and Singapore to 10 countries with a strong focus on Japan.

In winter 2024-2025, Crystal Cruises will return to Port Everglades, FL, for homeporting of the revitalized Crystal Serenity, while Silversea Cruises has gained environmental management certification within Ecuador's Galapagos Islands.

Paul Gauguin Cruises announced its line-up for 2025 South Pacific voyages. One highlight is a new 10-night "More Tuamotus & Society Islands" itinerary, which includes the line’s first-ever overnight stay in Fakarava, Tuamotu Archipelago, a UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve.

Government officials in Valdez, Alaska, publicly told the media that “the City of Valdez profoundly regrets to announce the cancelation of all Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) port calls to Valdez, Alaska, for the remainder of the 2023 season.” That involves 11 Norwegian Spirit calls for June, July and August.

"While we try to maintain original itineraries as much as possible, at times modifications are made to optimize the itinerary or to accommodate certain circumstances. As such, the remainder of Norwegian Spirit’s 2023 scheduled calls to Valdez, Alaska will be canceled. The ship will instead call to Sitka or Icy Strait Point, Alaska, based on port availability," a spokesperson for Norwegian told Travel Agent. "We apologize for any inconvenience this disruption may have caused and we appreciate the understanding of our loyal guests and travel partners.”

UnCruise Adventures announced significant progress for repairs on on its Wilderness Discoverer, damaged in an engine room fire earlier this month. No passengers or crew were injured.

With input from Celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse, its chief culinary officer, Carnival Cruise Line is expanding variety within its main dining room menu offerings. Nearly 60 new entrees will be introduced on rotation. The program is being piloted this month on Carnival Dream with a fleetwide rollout expected by this fall.

Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, who retires at the end of this month, sold 300,000 of his NCLH shares valued at $5.5 million, according to Seatrade Cruise News. The shares were sold at a 52-week high price. Del Rio still directly owns 926,505 shares of common stock, plus holds 27,875 shares indirectly through a family trust.

Communicating to guests booked on Celebrity Apex’s voyages between October 23, 2024, and November 23, 2024, Celebrity Cruises said that it’s canceling those cruises due to a change in drydock availability, resulting in the need for deployment changes. Guests have been offered alternate sailings.

In a statement provided by Rossella Mercuri, general counsel for Vantage World Deluxe Travel, the travel company refuted media reports that it had ceased operations or stranded travelers.

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