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the review: cruise

Cruise Update

A&K’s cultural cruises

CRUISE NEWS IN BRIEF French-owned cruise line PONANT has joined forces with Relais & Châteaux to offer three gourmet cruises in 2020. Relais & Châteaux chefs will be onboard cruises to Brittany (September 11), Canary Islands & Cape Verde (October 11) and China and Vietnam (October 28). ponant.com

ANDY HARMER, CLIA UK & Ireland Director

Cruise lines are increasingly focussing on delivering the best possible cruise experience, asking ‘what will our guests love?’ to create holidays that offer extraordinary experiences both onboard and ashore. Conversations are moving away from the physical narrative of a cruise – for example, sailing across the Atlantic for a week – towards what happens onboard and during the sailing. When listening to customers talk about cruises you’re more likely to hear experiential references first, such as visits to private Caribbean islands, bars staffed by robots, food cooked in the restaurant of a celebrity chef, visiting relatively unknown and exotic climes, and a raft of adventurous adrenalinefilled sports such as ziplining. In order to reach yet-tocruise travellers, we should change our language to focus on these experiences, rather than focussing too much on ‘maritime language’, such as how many decks a ship has and the size of the cabins. So entice more people to cruise for the first time by pointing out innovation in both the onboard experience and the landbased excursions. cruiseexperts.org

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BY STEVE HARTRIDGE

Abercrombie & Kent has expanded its 2020 portfolio of Luxury Expedition Cruises, a move it says is in response to fast-growing interest in immersive cultural journeys. The new Cruising the Baltic Sea: Copenhagen to St. Petersburg (July 16-28, 2020) aboard Le Dumont d’Urville (limited to 148 guests), will stop in seven countries: Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Estonia, Finland and Russia. Guests will choose from a range of experiences such as a Nordic food experience in Stockholm sampling Swedish specialties from local purveyors, a Finnish sauna and nature walk and a cooking class and palace visits in St. Petersburg. The 13-day cruise starts from £13,050pp. A Wonders of Japan Cruise (June

13-26, 2020) will explore Japan’s four main islands. Those aboard Le Soleal (limited to 199 guests) will be treated to a private geisha performance in Kanazawa’s Higashi Chaia district, as well as a private performance by the worldrenowned Kodo taiko drummers. The 14-day cruise, priced from £15,999, also visits Gyeongju, South Korea. “Our approach to expedition cruising is culturally immersive,” said Bob Simpson, Abercrombie & Kent’s Vice President, Expedition Cruising. “We start with selecting the best ship for a destination, then craft a thoughtful itinerary that provides ample time in each port and offers a good understanding of the region’s history.” abercrombiekent.co.uk

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is to debut more than 200 gourmet plant-based selections on menus across its fleet, beginning October 1 2019. New dishes will include wild mushroom tart, poke bowls and falafel fritters. rssc. com Canadian cruise line One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) will again run its eight-day Scotland and Ireland Golf Expedition Cruise next summer after a successful first sailing this June. Priced from $5,595pp, it will sail from Dublin to Leith from June 6-13. oneoceanexpeditions.com The two-day annual CLIA River Cruise Conference will return to Amsterdam this November (10-11) after being staged in Paris in 2018. cruiseexperts.org

Winnie the Whale splashes down on Princess Cruises Princess Cruises has opened a family water playground on the top deck of its 3,140-guest Caribbean Princess. The Reef Family Splash Zone includes a water play area, a pool and a lounge. Key features are an interactive water playground (called Winnie the Whale’s splashpad) with water sprays and showers, and a spa and bar area including a family pool and jacuzzi.

‘Morgan’s Bar’ has a new childfriendly mocktail menu with drinks on offer such as ‘Crazy Coconut’ and ‘Berry Nice to Meet You’ . A 14-day ‘Circle Caribbean’ voyage on Caribbean Princess is priced from £1,599pp. It departs from Fort Lauderdale on February 2, 2020 and ports of call include St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Bonaire and Aruba. princess.com

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Profile for BMI Publishing Ltd

Selling Travel July/August 2019  

The world in one magazine Cover Story: Caribbean, plus how to sell... Mediterranean • South Africa • Middle East • California • Canada • Na...

Selling Travel July/August 2019  

The world in one magazine Cover Story: Caribbean, plus how to sell... Mediterranean • South Africa • Middle East • California • Canada • Na...