Week in Review: Seatrade Week Begins, New Luxury Moves

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Orient Express

28 March, 2023

Cruise line executives, travel industry leaders, tourism board officials, travel advisors and media have begun arriving in South Florida for this week’s annual Seatrade Cruise Global conference. During Tuesday's General Session, top cruise company executives will offer their “State of the Global Cruise Industry” insight. Look for our coverage of the show this week from the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

Pre-conference events are under way now. On Sunday, Holland America Line’s President Gus Antorcha hosted media including Travel Agent aboard Nieuw Amsterdam at Port Everglades, FL. He and others talked about the brand’s 150th anniversary, its premium cruise approach, and what’s new on the culinary and deployment fronts.

Luxury Developments

The new Crystal, owned by A&K Travel Group, has launched an “Exceptional Initiative.” While this new luxury cruise line has no legal obligation to reimburse guests for monies lost when the former owners of Crystal Cruises ceased operating, it's making an effort to assist. Eligible guests who hold a verified claim in the Crystal Cruises LLC court case against the former ownership will be able to apply for a credit to use toward future Crystal voyages on board either Crystal Symphony or Crystal Serenity.

Silversea Cruises will add more suites—including two new categories of suites—to Silver Endeavour, as the expedition ship heads for drydock later this week. Sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor has more information about what's planned.

Windstar Cruises is partnering with the National Health Association (NHA) to create a new vegan menu onboard its luxury fleet, starting in June 2023. The new, plant-based, gluten-free offerings will also be prepared without added salt, oil and sugar.

SeaDream Yacht Club has partnered with a global operator to offer National Geographic Day Tours in 11 destinations in 2023. These small group experiences will provide for more immersive exploring in: Amalfi, Naples and Sorrento, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Corfu, Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal; and Kusadasi, Turkey.

Executive Changes

In other news, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) promoted David Herrera who will become the brand’s new president effective April 1, 2023. Currently in that post, Harry Sommer was promoted to president and CEO of parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), effective July 1, 2023. Both moves follow the announcement that Frank J. Del Rio, current NCLH president and CEO, will retire on June 30, 2023.

New on Global Rivers

On the river cruise front, Scenic has added a 15-day “Christmas & New Year's” voyage from Amsterdam to Budapest on December 19, 2023. It also will offer earlier-than-usual Christmas Market cruises on the Danube and the Rhine rivers.

Viking will introduce a new “Paris and D-Day 80th Anniversary” voyage on France's Seine River in 2024.

Due to strong demand for its first “Soulful Epicurean Experience,” celebrating African/Black history and culture, AmaWaterways has added three more cruises with that focus this year—two in Europe, one in Egypt.

Recently, Travel Agent sailed along the Mississippi River during the American Queen Voyages' “President’s Cruise.” Sailing were Cindy D’Aoust, the line’s president; John Waggoner, founder and CEO; Angela Composto, vice president of sales; and Regina Charboneau, culinary ambassador. The executives provided insight into the AQV product, culinary enhancements and more.

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More Cruise News: Seadream Yacht Club Unveils 2023 'National Geographic Day Tours'

SeaDream Yacht Club

SeaDream Yacht Club has partnered with a global operator to offer “National Geographic Day Tours” in 11 destinations this year. The small-group tours will visit Mediterranean destinations including Amalfi, Barcelona, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Funchal, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Naples, Rhodes, Santorini and Sorrento.

Accommodating between three and 26 guests, and available to already booked SeaDream travelers on a limited availability basis, each program explores a distinct theme, such as “History and Heritage,” “Photography, Gastronomy & Wine,” “Nature & Wildlife,” and “People & Culture.” The tours will be led by National Geographic-trained guides and photography guides. Here are a few highlights:

  • Funchal from Past to Present – Photography Tour” – Available on select May and November calls, learn about the photography legacy of Madeira Island through the eyes of a National Geographic photography guide.
  • Landscapes of Corfu – Photography Tour” – Available on select June and August 2023 Mediterranean sailings, guests visit the most picturesque locations of the island, including Kaiser William II Observatory, the Paleokastritsa MonasteryLa Grotta Jetty, and the Corfiot countryside with a National Geographic photography guide.
  • Cooking with the Mujo Family” – Available on select June, July and August sailings that call on Dubrovnik, guests are immersed in the daily life of the Mujo family—a traditional Lovorno Village family—who give guests exclusive access to their home to gain insight into local customs, culture and traditions.
  • Influential Women in Turkey – From Past to Present” – Available on select July and September 2023 voyages to Kusadasi, visitors explore powerful female figures who have influenced the local Turkish society through the ages.
  • Mykonos Tradition & Modernity – Photography Tour” – Available on select June, July and September calls to this Greek island, learn the secrets of photography through customized tips from a National Geographic photography guide.
  • A Deep Dive into Ancient Roman Life – Oplontis & Pompeii” – Available on most August 2023 “Italian Romance” calls from Valletta to Civitavecchia, as well as calls to the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento, guests can discover ancient cities and learn about the daily lives of ancient Romans through the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Oplontis and Pompeii.
  • Bluetopia: A Marine Biology Experience” – On select June and October 2023 Israel and Greece itineraries that call on Rhodes, guests can join marine biologist and Bluetopia founder to learn about the sustainability and conservation of the marine environment, its biodiversity, and the human threats to it.
  • Meet the Locals in Santorini” – On select June, July, September and October 2023 itineraries that call on this Greek isle, two local families will open the doors of their homes exclusively for “National Geographic Day Tours” travelers and tell their stories about living and working on the island of Santorini for generations.
  • MNAC: The Secrets of Restoration” – Available on select October and November 2023 Mediterranean sailings that call on Barcelona, travelers will visit the Museum Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) for an exclusive visit to the private restoration area, accompanied by one of the museum restorers.
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