CRUISE FALL 2023
SILVER NOVA DAZZLES
Thrilling Expeditions with
ATLAS OCEAN VOYAGES
THE LUXURIOUS SEABOURN OVATION EMERALD’S YACHTING LIFESTYLE
CRUISE EDITION FALL 2023 Tel: 416.365.1500 Toll-free: 1.855.392.8820 www.travelweek.ca Content copyrighted 2023 by Concepts Travel Media Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part by any means without expressed written permission from the publisher is prohibited. While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this directory, Travelweek cannot accept responsibility for any errors, omission or inadvertent misrepresentations.
Devin Kinasz firstname.lastname@example.org
Fantastic adventures at sea
Legendary rivers await
Ships in the news
Kathryn Folliott email@example.com
Cindy Sosroutomo firstname.lastname@example.org
ART/PRODUCTION Graphic Designer
Jason Gouveia email@example.com
Marketing Coordinator Cindy Chen firstname.lastname@example.org
IT and Digital Coordinator Eduard Gabai email@example.com
SALES VP Media & Content Strategy Annie Cicvaric firstname.lastname@example.org
20 24 30
SILVERSEA DAZZLES Introducing a Nova way to sail
Business Development Manager
A YACHTING LIFESTYLE
Emerald Azzurra sails in Italy
SEABOURN OVATION SHINES A taste of luxury at sea
Michelle Zimmer email@example.com
Marie Mercado firstname.lastname@example.org
Glen Harwood email@example.com
THE CRUISE EDITION Publishing and Editorial Director Vanessa Lee, Cruise Strategies Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org
Art Director C.Nicholson
Editorial Contributors Victoria Bowden, Ming Tappin, Vanessa Lee and Robin Robinson Print Solutions 197 Arichat Road, Oakville, ON. L6J 5N5 Travelweek on social media
ATLAS OCEAN VOYAGES
On the cover, World Traveller in the Arctic, courtesy of Atlas Ocean Voyages
A thrilling Arctic Circle cruise
Delightful culinary choices
SE Their life. Their love. Their dreams. It all matters. They’re what feeds their souls. At Sandals® Resorts, we bring them closer to what matters most. The exhilaration of adventure. The serenity they long for. A meaningful connection. It’s all here in this utopia with its thousand shades of blue.
TO WHAT MATTERS MOST
JAMAICA | ANTIGUA | SAINT LUCIA | THE BAHAMAS | GRENADA | BARBADOS | CURAÇAO | SAINT VINCENT & THE GRENA DINES Sandals® is a registered trademark. Unique Vacations, Inc. is the affiliate of the worldwide representative of Sandals Resorts.
Join Ponant and the Explorers Club PONANT is joining forces with The Explorers Club, a prestigious organization founded in 1904 dedicated to scientific exploration on land, sea, air and space, to deepen discovery and promote scientific enrichment among the next generation of explorers. A curated list of 10-week-long expeditions has been created to take travellers to the world’s most remote parts, including the Northwest Passage, Papua New Guinea and the icy depths of Antarctica. Trips are accompanied by expert members of The Explorers Club including research biologists, bio-acousticians, storm chasers, cave explorers and specialists in manatee conservation in Belize. In addition to sharing their experiences during onboard conferences, they will also invite guests to participate in their research through activities on the ship, at sea or on shore.
Australis announces its 2024 season Australis, a leading expedition cruise operator renowned for its voyages through the Southern Hemisphere, has kicked off its 2023/2024 season in Cape Horn and Tierra Del Fuego. From now till April, sister ships Ventus and Stella Australis will operate their exciting cruises from Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia at the tip of Argentina. Travellers will experience the wonders of Patagonia and the natural beauty found on the edge of South America and the world’s spectacular Southern end. Both ships carry no more than 210 guests and offer six stateroom categories with ocean views. Itineraries range from two 4-night voyages, including the Patagonian Explorer Route and The Fjords of Tierra del Fuego route that offer Zodiac landings throughout the region, including Wulaia Bay, Tuckers Islets and Pia Glacier. Guests can combine two 4-night sailings for an extended 8-night voyage. Australis has a rich heritage of navigating the waters in this region, sailing in the Magellan Strait, Cape Horn, and the Beagle Channel – all of which provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience to travellers of all ages.
A leader in polar adventures, Quark Expeditions has announced its new global membership in the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade association. Quark has been a pioneer in expedition cruising for more than 30 years, taking guests to the Arctic, Antarctic and other remote destinations. As the growth in this segment continues to rise, a partnership with CLIA is a natural next step for the line. “CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a secure, healthy and sustainable cruise environment, promoting positive travel experiences for guests around the world,” said Andrew White, President of Quark Expeditions. “That mission mirrors the values that have fuelled the passion and expertise of Quark Expeditions since we took our very first guests to the North Pole in 1991.” 6 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
PHOTOS COURTESY PONANT, AUSTRALIS, QUARK
Quark Expeditions joins CLIA
CRUISES ICELAND AND GREENLAND
Photo: Peter von Sassen
ount Up to 20 % Early Bist rd Disc until Dec 31 , 2023 r USD 200 onboard credit fo ely shore excursions exclusiv for your customers. Use code TWP23!
Unforgettable journeys, authentic experiences and personal onboard atmosphere – Iceland ProCruises oﬀers unique soft expedition cruises in Iceland and Greenland Iceland Circumnavigation
Adventure West Greenland
Hot Springs and Eternal Ice
Discover the island of contrasts with Icelanders! Watch out for puffins and enjoy endless hours of daylight during the midnight sun! 9 days from USD
Explore remote places that can only be reached by Zodiac on Greenland‘s west coast.
Experience Iceland and Greenland! The Highlights of both islands will be combined on this voyage.
8 days from USD
19 days from USD
all prices cruise only 2O24
A PLUS FOR TRAVEL AGENTS • Authentic products • Attractive commission • Easy handling of requests
ORDER THE BROCHURE NOW FOR FREE:
CRUISES ICEL AND AND GREE
Call us: +1 678 701 5830 E-Mail: email@example.com www.icelandprocruises.com
R I V E R
C R U I S I N G
Avalon Waterways will sail in Portugal Sloping hillside vineyards, sleepy, historic villages, ancient churches and the beauty of Salamanca and Porto await onboard Avalon Waterways. A river cruise in Portugal is the line’s newest offering with the debut of Avalon Alegria in March 2024. Purpose-built for the Douro River, the new Suite Ship offers 37 Panorama Suites on two decks and 14 deluxe staterooms, accommodating 102 guests along with 33 crew. Eight-day itineraries sailing roundtrip from Porto take in the charms of the river and provide ample time to sample local wines and cheeses while relaxing on deck. There’s also a pool on the top deck for sunny days. With Portugal growing in popularity, sister company Globus offers several coach tours in 2024, featuring a treasure trove of explorations. Add-on extensions to the Azores and Madeira are also available.
Avalon Alegria Sky Deck
VIVA Two Restaurant
VIVA Cruises unveils special groups promotion VIVA Cruises has great news for travel advisors and group planners as it unveils a special groups promotion featuring bonus commissions and free berths. Book and deposit a group with a minimum of 10 travellers by Dec. 31, 2023, and earn a booking bonus of $500 for each new group booked on a 7-night or longer cruise, plus the 10th traveller cruises for free. This special is offered on the river line’s 280+ cruises scheduled for 2024 on the Rhine, Main, Danube, Moselle, Rhône and Seine Rivers. In 2024, VIVA will be offering 85 different itineraries on its eight vessels with sailings for all tastes, from short four-night city breaks and Christmas and New Year’s itineraries, to the brand’s popular themed cruises and VIVA ENJOY’s maiden voyage. Three of its ships will also sail year round. VIVA offers an all-inclusive experience with a shore excursion in every port, including beverages, all meals, Wi-Fi and gratuities. 8 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
In the ever-evolving world of luxury travel, new entrant Riverside Luxury Cruises has emerged on the rivers of Europe. Brought to you by the esteemed Seaside Collection, a German-based family-owned luxury hotel group known for its European boutique properties, Riverside has successfully acquired five luxury river ships previously owned by Crystal Cruises, promising a unique and unparalleled experience for discerning travellers. The Riverside Mozart set sail on the Danube this past spring, while the Riverside Ravel is navigating the Rhône River in southern France. In the coming year, the Riverside Debussy will grace the waters of the Rhine, Main and Moselle rivers, with the Riverside Bach and Riverside Mahler joining the fleet in 2026 and 2027, respectively. Elegance and luxury are hallmarks across the fleet with allsuite ships and king-size beds, personalized 24-hour service and a butler for every expansive suite offering a 1:1 crew-tosuite ratio. The Ravel and Debussy accommodate up to 110 guests and offer three restaurants and 24-hour in-suite dining, several bars, a gym and an indoor swimming pool. The opulent Riverside Mozart, double the width of traditional river ships, offers its 162 guests four restaurants, two bars, a connoisseur’s club (cigar lounge), a full gym and spa and 24-hour in-suite dining. The experience on board each Riverside ship is bespoke with Michelin-inspired cuisine and premium beverages, including wine, spirits, Champagne and cocktails, Wi-Fi and daily shore excursions.
PHOTOS COURTESY AVALON, VIVA, RIVERSIDE LUXURY CRUISES
Welcoming a new luxury river line
Owner’s Suite Terrace
La Cucina Dining
2024-2026 Luxury Yacht Cruising A new dimension in luxury yacht cruising, experience Emerald Cruises’ award-winning reputation and service as you sail the world’s oceans and coastlines on board our two luxury yachts, Emerald Azzurra and the brand-new Emerald Sakara. Our yachts are custom designed to allow intimate access to fascinating ports and harbours that only small vessels can reach, providing our guests with a unique cruising experience. Whether you prefer to head off the beaten track or immerse yourself in cosmopolitan life, an Emerald Cruises luxury yacht cruise gives you the freedom to explore. Introducing our new and exciting destinations including the Seychelle Islands and the Red Sea. Plus the return of our best-selling Mediterranean, Adriatic and Caribbean cruises. Start planning your dream escape with our 2024-2026 Cruise Calendar. You’ll find detailed itineraries on our website.
Book today and receive FREE Economy or Premium Airfare plus Save up to $1,000 per couple*
Contact us at 844 626 4303 or visit emeraldcruises.ca to learn more *Terms and conditions apply. Visit emeraldcruises.ca to learn more about our offers and pricing. © EMERALD CRUISES | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED | BC CONSUMER PROTECTION #40178.
Melia Hotels Expands in Punta Cana What do you get when one of the world’s leading hoteliers – Melia Hotels International – teams up with a global entertainment company – Falcon’s Beyond? A creative new resort concept dubbed “resortainment,” of course. Recently opened on the Dominican Republic’s popular Bavaro Beach, Falcon’s Resort By Melia is a luxury all-suite, all-inclusive property brimming with unique guest experiences. These include access to the adjacent Katmandu Park, considered the Caribbean’s first world-class theme park, as well as a shopping, dining, and entertainment district. The innovative resort is part of a multi-phase, US$350-million transformation of two existing Meliá properties in Punta Cana – Paradisus Grand Cana and Garden Suites by Meliá. Phase one includes 432 sleek suites, three swimming pools, nine specialty restaurants, the elegant Maia Spa and a fitness centre. Phase two adds an additional 10 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
190 suites set to open later this year. Measuring 800 to 2,990 sq. ft., the bright, spacious suites are ideal for family vacations. Each suite has a furnished private balcony or terrace, a dining area and bar counter, and lounge space with a Smart TV and comfortable seating. Accommodations in standard suites come with a oneuse pass to Katmandu Park per guest. Those who upgrade to the Beyond Suite Experience enjoy additional perks including a personalized concierge, priority reservations for activities and restaurants, a poolside dinner, multi-day passes to Katmandu Park, and upgraded accommodations such as a swim-up suite with a private terrace and jetted tub. There is plenty to keep children of all ages busy at Falcon’s Resort, such as the Habitat Club, BLAST! Waterpark, family yoga, teddy bear crafting, painting workshops and mini baseball, while Katmandu offers immersive storytelling, 4D rides, a challenging outdoor ropes course, an indoor obstacle course, and more.
PHOTOS COURTESY MELIA
FS EI LAVTEUR RNEO T V AH I S
M A K I N G WAV E S | S H I P S I N T H E N E W S
St. Lawrence Cruise Lines offers Discovery Cruises
A new star on the horizon Princess Cruises has announced the coming of Star Princess, a sister ship to the lovely Sun Princess and the third ship in its history to carry this celestial name. With 21 decks and a guest capacity of 2,150, Star Princess will be the second in Princess’ Sphere Class when it debuts in August 2025, sailing an inaugural season of Mediterranean itineraries. The ship will include the popular new Dome, also found on Sun Princess, featuring spectacular views in the Piazza, as well as Signature Collection Suites and the “see it to believe it” Princess Arena, whose high-tech, configurable main theatre will allow for cutting edge performances. Guests will also love the stunning new dining room situated aft where they can enjoy fabulous wake views.
PHOTOS COURTESY ST. LAWRENCE CRUISE LINES, PRINCESS CRUISES
Well-known Canadian brand St. Lawrence Cruise Lines has introduced two new cruises in 2024 onboard the classic Canadian Empress. Focusing on history, guests can expect onboard presentations and an educational component with both of these Discovery Cruises. ‘Discover the River’ will sail from May 12-16, while the ‘1000 Islands Fall Cruise’ departs on Oct. 15 from Kingston, returning on Oct. 19. Bookings can be made for the 2024 season on various calm-water itineraries ranging from 4, 5, 6 and 7 nights, departing from Kingston, Quebec City or Ottawa. The Canadian Empress has 32 rooms and offers a charming Canadian onboard program along the St. Lawrence.
LUXURY RETURNS TO THE RIVER FEATURING:
LUXURY WITHOUT BOUNDARIES INCLUDES:
The largest average suite size with king-size beds
All ages are welcome
A personal butler for every suite
Gratuities, port charges & roundtrip airport transfers
Exceptional cuisine prepared à-la-minute
Complimentary Starlink Wi-Fi
Top-shelf liquor including champagne and cocktails
Variety of daily shore excursions
Multiple dining venues and 24-hour room service
um Einsatz, wo
Die Logovariante mit Deskriptor ist die
bevorzugte Variante, insbesondere überall THIS IS THE LUXURY RIVER CRUISE LINE YOU’VE BEEN WAITING TO SELL: eingeset
pruch der Marke wo die Marke noch nicht bekannt ist. Book by November 31, 2023 and Save Up to 40% Off!* • No single supplement for bookings in 2023 & 2024* Refundable deposits until final payment • Groups: 1 free for every 9 full-fare guests
Das könn oder die
*Terms & conditions apply.
WWW.RIVERSIDE-CRUISES.COM/TA RIVERSIDE LOGO AND DESCRIPTOR
P – 7
Höhe min. = 10 mm
RIVERSIDE LUXURY CRUISES
FOR MORE INFORMATION, SALES SUPPORT, TRAINING, QUOTES/BOOKINGS CONTACT: Peter Ouzounov, Director of Sales, Canada: 778 994 1833 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Reservations: +1 833 305 3313 | email@example.com
M A K I N G WAV E S | S H I P S I N T H E N E W S
Chef Masahura Morimoto
Catch of the day! The award-winning cruise company Holland America Line has launched a Fresh Fish program on board its ships, in partnership with famed Chef Masahura Morimoto. This first-of-its-kind culinary offering features locally sourced fresh fish from 60 ports worldwide and will serve 80 types of fresh fish and shellfish on board, going from ‘Port to Plate’ in less than 48 hours. The menus will include an amazing array of local seafood wherever the company’s ships sail. The line will add specific fish dishes to its Main Dining Room featuring Chef Morimoto’s cuisines and will also offer ‘pop-up’ dinners dubbed ‘Morimoto by Sea’ once weekly in its alternative restaurants, Tamarind and the popular Pinnacle Grill, for a surcharge of US$55 per diner.
AmaWaterways offers Colombia River cruises Yet again breaking barriers, the highly regarded and innovative river cruise line AmaWaterways will set sail on the magnificent Magdalena River and venture through Colombia in 2024. The AmaMagdalena and the AmaMelodia will offer two brand new, 7-night itineraries between Cartagena and Barranquilla. While on daily excursions, guests will explore the rich history, traditions and local delicacies of Colombia, brimming with life and colour and offering vibrant culture deeply rooted in the heritage of South America, all while enjoying the excellent service and care that AmaWaterways is known for. Both newly-designed ships feature elegant and spacious accommodations with balconies and tasty cuisine with local flair, and offer space for just 60 or 64 guests in a boutique hotel atmosphere.
14 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
PHOTOS COURTESY HOLLAND AMERICA, AMAWATERWAYS
your expedition LET US GUIDE YOU ON
of a lifetime.
Explore Greenland by helicopter
Incredible Antarctic wildlife
Explore where so few humans have ever set foot. We draw on 32 years of innovative travel in the Polar Regions to create the most unique itineraries possible, such as South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari, Essential Patagonia: Chilean Fjords and Torres del Paine, and Greenland Explorer: Sail and Soar the Alpine Arctic. With Quark Expeditions, you will explore remote parts of the Arctic and Antarctic by ship, helicopter, Zodiac, kayak and on foot!
Spectacular fjords of Patagonia
Explore Antarctica and the Arctic with the most experienced expedition team in the industry. Travel on the technologically-advanced Ultramarine —unmatched by any other polar ship. Choose from the widest range of off-ship adventures in the Polar Regions.
WE’LL TAKE YOU ON A WILDERNESS EXPEDITION THAT NO ONE ELSE CAN To find out more, contact your local travel advisor.
M A K I N G WAV E S | S H I P S I N T H E N E W S
Seabourn Pursuit redefines ultra-luxury expedition travel
Seabourn’s new ultra-luxury expedition ship, Seabourn Pursuit, is now sailing expedition journeys in coastal South America, the Amazon and Antarctica. As the second expedition ship to debut for Seabourn in the past two years, the Pursuit is purpose-built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and technology, indoor and outdoor guest areas with nearly 270-degree views, and a 4K GSS Cineflex Camera mounted on the mast of the Constellation Lounge that’s capable of broadcasting imagery from up to five miles away on monitors located throughout the ship. Guests will enjoy an exclusive luxury small-ship experience that features a wide range of expedition activities led by an expert 24-person team of scientists, scholars and naturalists, as well as complimentary Zodiac cruises, hikes, nature walks, scuba diving, snorkelling and more. Following its inaugural Antarctic season, Seabourn Pursuit will head to the South Pacific and Australia, including the Kimberley region in northern Australia.
Oceania’s 2025 Summer Collection of Voyages is on sale now, featuring over 100 new voyages across all eight of its ships. Renowned for its leading culinary and destination-focused cruises, the collection includes an array of curated European voyages, classic Canada and New England cruises, adventures to the Great Land of Alaska, and blissful South Pacific sailings to French Polynesia and beyond. Adding to the mix is the highly anticipated arrival of Allura and its maiden Mediterranean season. Oceania’s first season in Alaska offers the guest-favourite Riviera on more than a dozen explorations. In Europe, guests will enjoy a stunning series of Iceland and Greenland-intensive itineraries with nine voyages to this emerging and popular region. Additionally, 10 new boutique ports are included in the 2025 Summer Collection. 16 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
Oceania Vista Pool Deck
PHOTOS COURTESY SEABOURN, OCEANIA
Oceania Cruises announces 2025 Summer Collection of Voyages
The flowing transition from tension to relaxation.
Discover Europe’s most beautiful rivers with us. Always with you, our VIVA All-Inclusive, consisting of full board with multi-course gourmet menus right at your table and flexible meal times, all day high-quality drinks from the entire bar menu, daily replenished minibar in your cabin, welcome bottle of sparkling wine, Wi-Fi and gratuities. Get more information about VIVA Cruises at your travel agency, online at www.viva-cruises.com or simply scan the QR-code.
M A K I N G WAV E S | S H I P S I N T H E N E W S
Virgin Voyages adds new itineraries and destinations
Virgin Voyages will be abuzz with activity through April 2025, adding 19 new ports and 27 new itineraries to all corners of the globe. New offerings include a return to the UK, incredible new ports of call in Australia as well as new seaside gems in the Caribbean. In total, the line’s fleet will offer a total of 63 itineraries, including new repositioning voyages that make up the ‘Seachange Series.’ During the season, Resilient Lady will sail three itineraries from Athens from May through July 2024, and will also return to its British brand roots with 3- to 6-night sailings in mid-August through September with ‘English Sights and European Delights’ highlights. The Lady will then head to Australia on a 44-night repositioning sailing, and once Down Under, sailors will have the option of 15 brand new itineraries and nine new ports. Scarlet Lady will soak up the sun in the Med between May and October 2024 before sailing to Miami for a series of winter voyages through the spring of 2025. Valiant Lady will sail from San Juan between January and March 2024 on two southern Caribbean voyages originally scheduled for Virgin Voyages’ fourth ship, Brilliant Lady, which has been delayed.
For guests interested in sailing in Iceland and Greenland on a small ship, Iceland ProCruises’ fleet flagship, Seaventure, accommodates just 164 cruisers and provides a truly authentic and immersive experience. Casual clothing is the order of the day, local expedition teams offer exciting and informative tours, and guests can enjoy local food, culture and entertainment along with interesting lectures about these fascinating destinations. Shore excursions include hikes, off-road coach tours, whale watching, horseback riding and day tours to well-known highlights. A new tour in 2024 titled ‘Adventure West Greenland’ takes guests to remote harbours on the western Greenland coast, and several combo tours cover both countries. 18 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
PHOTOS COURTESY VIRGIN, ICELAND PROCRUISES
Iceland ProCruises offers authenticity in the lands of ice and fire
THE AVALON WATERWAYS
DIFFERENCE Avalon Waterways isn’t just different; it’s the new standard for river cruising.
• Open-Air Balconies: Industry exclusive! Our Avalon Suite Ships® offer 30% more living space with wall-to-wall panoramic windows. • Personalized Excursions: Choose from Classic, Active, or Discovery experiences to tailor your client’s onshore adventure. • Dining Flexibility: Regional delights, familiar favorites, and world-class wines — all with relaxed seating times. • More Unique Port Cities: Discover hidden gems with more time in each destination. • Less is More: Shorter distances between ports, more daytime sailing, and fewer passengers for a more intimate experience. • Effortless Elegance: Experience relaxed luxury where top-tier service and the expertise of our Cruise Directors & local guides combine with a laid-back, yet sophisticated, ambiance on-board.
WE ARE YOUR TRUSTED PARTNER. Quick and easy bookings | Our Business Development Managers are 100% trade- focused One system, one team, one set of policies | High commissions–paid early! | Most guaranteed departures in the industry
TO LEARN MORE OR BOOK YOUR CLIENTS NEXT VACATION: AGENTLINGO.CA or call 800.268.1639
The Dusk Bar
ULTRA-LUXURY AND INNOVATION THE NOVA WAY Silver Nova, a remarkable new ship from Silversea, is dazzling By Vanessa Lee
a few days on board Silversea’s newest ship, the ultra-glamorous and ultra-luxury Silver Nova. I joined the vessel in Venice a few days before its inaugural cruise on Aug. 14, and spent three nights sailing to Zadar and Trieste in the lap of luxury. The Nova is like no Silversea ship before it. It’s in a class all to itself until, that is, the arrival of sister ship Silver Ray in 2024. The verdict from all on board was unanimous: this beautiful, gorgeous, sophisticated and modern ship offers guests a superb and elevated experience at sea with ultra-luxurious style and panache. Where to start? Well, the Nova has been built in an asymmetrical style, and unlike other Silversea ships where the suites and public rooms share decks, the Nova offers four decks of suites (Decks 6 through 9), while public spaces, restaurants, bars and lounges are scattered on Decks 3, 4, 5 and 10. The ship offers wide open spaces, and there is glass everywhere, allowing light to come in and for the 728 guests on board to see across from port to starboard on many decks. The two glass elevator banks are also on the side of the ship. Everything is wide and high, and the space is spectacular and impressive.
20 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
PHOTOS COURTESY SILVERSEA
REPARE FOR A series of superlatives to describe
Atrium and Arts Café The Marquee
CRUISE EDITION FALL 2023 21
22 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
PHOTOS COURTESY SILVERSEA
A magnet for diners at lunch and dinner, the stunning Marquee Grill on Deck 10 combines old favourites Spaccanapoli Pizza and Hot Rocks. A resort feel emanates across this deck (think Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons), with the breathtaking pool on one side, and ample chaises, couches, seating areas and a pool bar nearby. The beautiful S.A.L.T. Bar, a guest favourite and a petite gem on Silver Moon and Dawn, has been moved to this resort deck and now has 42 seats with great views, excellent mixologists and a fantastic vibe. The S.A.L.T. Lab, which is available for cooking lessons and turns into The Chef’s Table at night, is adjacent. It’s a must-do, reservations-only dinner venue offering an incredible menu of many courses created by three chefs in full view of fortunate diners (18 max). Add the new, delightful Dusk Bar at the ship’s aft for spectacular sunsets, and this deck becomes the go-to spot on the Nova. Decks 4 and 5 are at the ship’s heart, where many of the most popular lounges and venues are located, including La Dolce Vita, La Terrazza for fine Italian cuisine, the Panorama Lounge and the intimate Silver Note supper club. Silversea has added an Atrium here, opening up the ever-popular Arts Café, essentially the new meeting point. Also new to this vessel is a Champagne Bar on Deck 3 named The Shelter. The theatre, the Venetian Lounge, now has windows and two levels, making it an even more striking venue that’s ideal for daytime lectures and presentations. The Nova is a game changer in the luxury space, and with its all-inclusive onboard experience, nine fabulous dining choices (six included in the fare) and a remarkable array of itinerary choices, it will be very desirable to past and new-to-Silversea guests, not to mention a highly coveted younger demographic that will find it irresistible. I certainly did.
what if every moment was a mileston e? LET YOUR CLIENTS DISCOVER THE AUTHENTIC BEAUTY OF ALASKA IN 2024 ABOARD SILVER NOVA. For more information, contact your Area Sales Director or Silversea’s Inside Sales Team 877.353.2363
TO THE CURIOUS
A YACHTING LIFESTYLE 24 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
Enjoying the highlights of Italy on a carefree, casual cruise aboard Emerald Azzurra By Victoria Bowden
HE UNIQUE ALLURE of
small-ship cruising is undeniable, particularly when your ship is a sleek yacht carrying no more than 100 fortunate guests. We’ve set sail on the nimble Emerald Azzurra by Emerald Cruises from Dubrovnik to Rome with 85 companions, and we all very quickly settle into a relaxed and carefree rhythm that would accompany us throughout the week. With fewer guests and fewer decks, the onboard camaraderie is similar to river cruising (remember, Emerald Cruises also has an excellent selection of river ships). It’s a highlight of small-ship cruising as we call on a different port daily. We embark in dazzling Dubrovnik, justifiably called the Pearl of the Adriatic. Its old town is charming and historic, very walkable, and the friendly locals speak CRUISE EDITION FALL 2023 25
excellent English, are happy to see us and offer us delicious cuisine and good local wine. I recommend at least two nights here before or after a cruise, a meal at the renowned seafood restaurant Proto, lunch or coffee at the Festival Café, and a drink with fantastic views at the Buza Bar, situated on a rocky cliff and accessed through a gate in the old town wall. While on board, La Cucina is the main restaurant, open for three meals daily with casual, come-asyou-are seating and tables for two, some high tops and lots of fours and sixes so one can dine with newfound friends. There’s also a terrace to enjoy when the weather obliges. Lunches are buffet-style, and the dinners are à la carte with excellent and personable service from the staff. Guests gather each evening in the Amici Lounge and Bar, both pre-and post-dinner, to enjoy live music, learn information about upcoming ports and available excursions, and participate in some fun games. It’s also the perfect place, of course, to enjoy an aperitif and Sky Deck
26 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
share stories of the day. Azzurra also boasts a fitness room, spa and ample outdoor deck space, including a small infinity pool and loungers to enjoy the warm weather. The comfortable, wellequipped staterooms, most with a balcony, have a small fridge, plenty of cupboard space and hangers, a good-sized bathroom, a very comfy bed, a sitting area, an Illy coffee maker and a kettle, two refillable water bottles and an HD TV. The yacht also has an underused Observation Lounge, the perfect spot for quiet reflection and sea views, reading or board games and cards. Everyone is soon on a first-name basis. Paul is the terrific Hotel Manager who hails from England, as does Chloe, our delightful Cruise Director. Lewis is the Restaurant Manager, while another Paul who calls Scotland home is the talented Head Chef. His cacio e pepe pasta is the best I had ever tasted – and I’ve sampled plenty of pasta in Rome! Our affable and charming Captain from Dubrovnik regales us with many stories of his life at sea, including the time he returned to land during the 90s Balkans war to become a tank commander to defend his country. You know when you meet the Captain (as one often does on this yacht) and he kindly tells you to call him ‘Robert,’ you’re in for a relaxed, mellow cruise where friends are quickly made. As we set sail, our amiable band of sailors and 76 crew falls into an enjoyable laidback mood. We total 10 Canadians, 23 Aussies, 42 Americans, a smattering of Brits and a few Europeans, all of whom have come together to explore mostly smaller or lesser-known ports in Italy. Many of us are retired or semi-retired and well-travelled with stories to tell, and 28 of us will stay for a 14-day cruise (what a great idea!), onward to Nice from Rome. We are joined by some younger Aussies taking their first European cruise, and they are a delight. Everyone mixes
PHOTOS COURTESY EMERALD CRUISES, AMALFI AND DUBROVNIK: ISTOCK
Now we’re seeking
We’re giving your Sailors up to 30% off of our award-winning, exclusively adult voyages, and up to $600 in free drinks. Send them on dreamy vacations through the end of 2024, and they can revisit Caribbean favorites or explore new Australian destinations. Earn a brilliant commission of 16% on voyage fare (with no NCFs!), plus 10% commission on pre-voyage bookables.
LEARN MORE ON FIRSTMATES.COM
Best Overall Cruise Line
and mingles as they should. Yachting is an ideal way to visit stunning places that other ships won’t or can’t call at – they are too small for the most part, yet so appealing. On a petite yacht like the Azzurra, it’s very much about the itinerary and the ports visited. We have six on our schedule, all in Italy, and three are new to me – Monopoli, Otranto and Gallipoli. We dock at the first three and three more are anchorages, a highlight of yachting that involves the crew lowering the marina platform to allow guests to play in the water. A wide array of equipment is available to enjoy, including kayaks, paddelboards, seabobs and snorkels and flippers. Guests can happily enjoy the aft deck with its Aqua pool and casual lounge beds and chairs to enjoy a light lunch of mostly burgers and flatbreads, accompanied by the day’s cocktail, a glass of wine or a beer. There’s also ample deck space on Deck 7 at the Sky Bar, boasting a popular Jacuzzi and a great spot where guests may gather for a sailaway. Emerald Cruises includes a daily guided shore excursion, such as a walking tour to explore these charming ports followed by time to wander independently. We use a Quietvox, which enables everyone to hear the guide along the way, and it can be recharged in one’s stateroom every day. There are optional tours, too, for a fee in most ports. In Sorrento, many chose to spend an entire day at Pompeii, and in Otranto, the ‘Discover More’ option is an excursion to stunning Lecce, which received rave reviews and cost US$139. After crossing the Adriatic, we dock at Monopoli. We love the old town with its small streets, charming squares and a baroque Cathedral. We enjoy a lovely lunch on a piazza in the sunshine, and the next day explore Otranto in Apulia, also a delight. It’s home to a 15th-century castle and an 11th-century cathedral. Together, we explore alleys 28 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
Dubrovnik’s Old Town
Aqua Pool Deck
A terrace suite
Sometimes, ‘I do’ changes to ‘I don’t’. It happens. That’s why there’s the Manulife Premium Protection Plan®. Whether your customers are travelling for a destination wedding or a luxury vacation, your customers are looking to you to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible before and during their trip. Sometimes, unexpected events pop up and your customers travel plans have to be cancelled or interrupted. Or, if they are on their well-planned trip, and an unexpected medical emergency happens, it’s important that your customers have coverage for those emergencies that can cost thousands of dollars a day. “Our best plan that offers the most coverage, particularly for trip cancellation and disruption, is our Premium Protection Plan, known as PPP. It is only available through our travel agency partners.” says Jennifer Waver, Director, Affinity National Sales. “It is designed as a top-tier coverage plan to cover more of the travel surprises that come up in today’s world, beyond the usual list of specific covered events.” The Premium Protection Plan includes a Cancel for any Reason benefit that covers up to 80% of the covered amount for any prepaid, non-refundable travel arrangements. It also includes up to CAD $10 million for emergency medical coverage for
unexpected medical emergencies during your trip. Please ensure your customer meets the requirements to purchase the Premium Protection Plan and be sure to point out the few exclusions that may apply to this extensive coverage. Waver advises “Premium Protection Plan is the best coverage in its class!” Another great benefit included in the Premium Protection Plan at no extra cost is Manulife Flight Assistance, an automatic flight delay benefit. Working together with our service provider Blink, when your customers register their flights with Manulife Flight Assistance, they will receive instant payment when their flight is delayed for 3 hours or more, along with an additional payment after 6 hours of delay or total cancellation. We know that the best travel adventures can often be filled with unexpected surprises. That’s why it’s important that your customers have a top-quality insurance plan to protect their trip investment. Ensure your customers have more memories and less worries with Manulife Travel Insurance.
To learn more, please contact your Business Development Manager
*Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions apply. See policy for details. Underwritten by
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife) and First North American Insurance Company. Manulife, Manulife & Stylized M Design, and Stylized M Design and Manulife Premium Protection Plan are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license. © 2023 The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. All rights reserved. Manulife, P.O. Box 670, Stn Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2J 4B8.
Old town Otranto 30 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
and streets and a very grand piazza with fabulous sea views before sailing to Gallipoli in southern Italy and wandering through its Baroque old town. We then set sail to Sicily and one of my all-time much-loved places, Taormina. It’s incredible and very much worthy of our time. With all its shopping and dining, we could have easily spent three days there, not just a few hours. From there, it’s on to the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento, one of Italy’s most remarkable and exquisite regions and a highlight of any cruise. The unique pleasures of sailing on a yacht include the casual and informal lifestyle and the intimacy of a small ship. The inclusions in the fare – gratuities, wine and beer with lunch and dinner and complimentary Wi-Fi – are also much appreciated, as are the friendly, always happy-to-help staff and the terrific port-intensive itinerary. It’s time to try yachting – either in the Med, the Caribbean or Central America (and new further-afield itineraries are coming). The Emerald Azzurra has now been joined by a sister ship, the Emerald Sakara, so there are twice as many opportunities to pick a yacht and set sail in warm, calm waters.
The sense of warmth and camaraderie from dedicated staff.
E XQ U I S I T E LY C R A F T E D C U I S I N E .
The thrill of becoming awestruck as you arrive at a fabled destination for the first time.
C U R AT E D T R AV E L E X PE R I E N C E S .
The joy of celebrating life, with indulgent cuisine. It’s the personal experiences that will last a lifetime. CALL 855-OCEANIA (855- 623-2642) | VISIT W W W.OCEANIACRUISES.COM/AGENT
S M A L L S H I P LUXU RY.
THE LUXURIOUS WORLD OF SEABOURN
Caviar in the Surf
Seabourn Ovation shines brightly during a festive cruise in the Caribbean
FTER A FEW YEARS OF
absence, I have joyfully returned to one of my favourite cruise lines and its newest ship – the fabulous Seabourn Ovation, by Seabourn. I first sailed the 600-guest Ovation during its inaugural year in 2018 and now we are in Barbados, boarding a 10-day Caribbean cruise. This gorgeous vessel is as beautiful as ever, and every guest’s 32 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
welcome is as genuine and warm as one could want. The extraordinary world of Seabourn is flourishing. This time, we are sailing during the festive season to rest, rejuvenate and soak up the sun and enjoy Seabourn’s intuitive and impeccable service. We have about 450 companions and a crew of more than 350. We crave the renowned pampering for which Seabourn is known. Plus, it’s our first Christmas cruise, so we
are keen to see how it feels to spend the festive season at sea (spoiler alert: it’s fantastic!). Let me set the stage: when you sail with Seabourn, you enjoy a luxurious but never-pretentious atmosphere that is congenial, charming and caring. Seabourn guests enjoy fine wines, premium spirits and Champagne, and there’s no upcharge for any dining venue, including The Grill by famed American
PHOTOS COURTESY SEABOURN
By Vanessa Lee
CRUISE EDITION FALL 2023 33
34 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
Seabourn Signature suite
clear that our ship is the main attraction for this festive getaway. Our sailing takes us from Barbados to Castries in St Lucia, then Basse-Terre in Guadeloupe and onward to one of my favourite days featuring a unique Beach BBQ and Caviar In The Surf on Carambola Beach in St. Kitts and Nevis, the highlight of any Seabourn cruise. After enjoying a catamaran and snorkelling excursion to Shitten’s Bay, we join the other guests on a golden arc of sugary sand for a fabulous beach barbeque complete with lobster, burgers, baked potatoes, corn, salads and sweet treats. There’s ample room on the sand to find a comfy chaise and order a drink, or you can enjoy the barbecue under the shade of a covered restaurant.
Seabourn pool deck
But the highlight is the arrival of Champagne and sustainable caviar via Zodiac. My companions and I happily splash into the water, and the servers and Maitre d’ oblige us by pouring Champagne and serving blinis with sour cream, onion, egg white and, yolk and, of course, the caviar. There’s also plenty of time for watersports at the beach. The ship’s Marina Platform is lowered as the ship anchors. Snorkelling, paddle boarding and kayaking are all offered. It’s all very decadent and fun, a much-anticipated special event that serves as an example of how Seabourn offers “above and beyond” experiences. As they say, “This is Your Moment.” Next, it’s a sea day with time for pampering in the spa, book reading
PHOTOS COURTESY SEABOURN, WILLEMSTAD: ISTOCK
Chef Thomas Keller. Gratuities are included, as is complimentary WiFi, so vital for today’s guests. From coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice on our veranda in the morning, to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the early evening (and the occasional glass of Champagne), our suite becomes a gracious home-away-from-home retreat. Each luxuriously appointed suite is oceanfront, thoughtfully curated and well-designed, and we enjoy the service of our Suite Hostess and Suite Attendant throughout the cruise. They take excellent care of us, noting our preferences for our in-suite mini-fridge and following our schedule, which is very relaxed! We also love our spacious bathroom with its two basins, separate shower and bathtub, plus lots of room for storage. We lack for nothing and have ample room (and hangers) in our walk-in closet, lots of charging ports, excellent lighting for reading and space to do our thing, together and separately. The onboard camaraderie is also an enjoyable part of the experience when sailing on smaller, inclusive ships. The rarified world of Seabourn embraces you onboard their intimate vessels, of which they have five in the Classic fleet ranging from 450 to 600 guests and two in the Expedition fleet, Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit, each hosting 250 guests. It’s easy to dine with others, perhaps an al fresco lunch on the aft deck, afternoon tea or an aperitif with new friends. There are no bills to sign, and everyone can choose their preferred wine at dinner, which is included in the fare. Premium wines may be ordered for a charge if it’s a special occasion and guests may dine when, where and with whom they please. Reservations are only necessary for The Grill. The days are as busy as one might wish, and many of us had cruised in the region before. We’re here for a respite, as are many other repeat guests on board. While the itinerary may be appealing, it’s
by the pool and a visit to the heart of the ship – Seabourn Square – for coffee, pastries, ice cream and gingerbread treats (it is Christmas, after all!). It’s the primary gathering spot to discuss future shore excursions, meet with the Seabourn team, do a puzzle, check the news, or sit outside and snooze the day away. Another good way to spend your time on board is by attending one of Seabourn’s ‘Conversations’ with fascinating guest lecturers. Topics on my cruise range from “The Dutch in the Caribbean” to “The Evolution of Wildlife Art,” and from an Expedition Specialist, “Mutiny on the Bounty.” All are well-attended and well-received. Entertainment on our cruise is varied and enjoyable, including an endearing Christmas Eve show, De-
troit City Sounds featuring Motown classics, a talented cellist, terrific vocalists, a dance party on deck (always well attended) and – the pièce de résistance – an evening with EGOT winner Sir Tim Rice called “The Circle of My Life.” Sir Tim narrates his musical journey featuring segments from such works as Jesus Christ Superstar, Aladdin and the Lion King. Performed by cast members hailing from Broadway and London’s West End, the concert-style show is peppered with Rice’s notes, stories of inspiration and immersive, bespoke visuals. It’s a must-see! And on we sailed, arriving at the charming ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao), all known for their Dutch-influenced buildings and cuisine. We enjoy an outstand-
ing catamaran and snorkelling excursion in Bonaire, where the reefs are teeming with underwater life. Numerous excursions are offered at every port, including a zip-line safari, scenic railway, submarine ride, a highlights tour, Segway, and a rum distillery visit. Prices range from US$49 up to $179 for a hiking adventure in St. Lucia to La Soufrière Volcano. Guests may choose more bespoke outings such as touring in a private car, which can cost up to $699. We indulge by renting a cabana at The Retreat one afternoon, considered a place of quiet serenity where guests relax with an emphasis on well-being. This lovely, private deck area offers 15 private cabanas, which can be reserved for a full or half day ($169 and $149, CRUISE EDITION FALL 2023 35
respectively). Each cabana has two chaises, a dining table with chairs, a couch and a TV with headphones. It’s a fab spot and offers guests a bespoke menu of cocktails, drinks and food. During our 10-day cruise, there are two formal nights during which some gentlemen wear tuxedos, but most choose dark suits while the ladies opt for cocktail dresses. Guests do not have to dress for dinner and may prefer to dine at a more relaxed venue, such as Earth and Ocean by the pool, or The Colonnade (inside and outdoor seating). We enjoy dressing up as people celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas. The dinners in the Restaurant are fabulous, with terrific cuisine and an expansive menu with many choices. It is our preferred dining spot during our cruise, and the ser36 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
vice is excellent and personable. For a special evening, I recommend a reservation at The Grill by Thomas Keller. It’s a classic American restaurant featuring updated versions of iconic dishes. Think Caesar salad, Gulf prawn cocktail and Maryland-style crab cake followed by lobster thermidor, Dover sole, a prime New York strip steak, lamb saddle and more. The service is terrific, the wine list is good and reasonable, plus the venue is gorgeous. We also spend many an evening both before and after dinner in the adjacent bar, listening to piano tunes and meeting fellow guests. Dining and lounge venues on board include Earth and Ocean, featuring an eclectic evening menu poolside. The Colonnade offers themed buffet lunches and
tasty dinners such as barbecue, Italian, Greek, Indian, Thai and other mouthwatering dishes. The sushi restaurant opens for lunch and dinner. There’s also the Grill and Sky Bar, The Club and the fabulous 270-degree Observation Lounge, the perfect spot for a sail away accompanied by music (music and tasty treats are everywhere). Guests find the spaces that suit them; there are a lot of choices, both inside and outdoors. Seabourn continues to spoil its valued guests and offer them a remarkable experience at sea, delivering everything from fine service to outstanding cuisine, great entertainment and fantastic ports of call. Above all, the timeless elegance of the Ovation and the attention given to even the smallest things ensure a marvellous cruise experience.
PHOTOS COURTESY SEABOURN, WILLEMSTAD: ISTOCK
The Grill by Thomas Keller
TOGETHER, W E T R AV E L I N G O O D C O M PA N Y.
I N T I M AT E YA C H T I N G E X P E D I T I O N S ™ At Atlas, we have set a new course for expedition cruise travel, curated for spirited explorers, led by expert guides, and enhanced by a genuine and caring crew who share a desire to connect with people, places, and our cherished natural world. From bold adventures in the Arctic and Antarctica to cultural and epicurean expeditions year-round, travelers return to the yachts to savor moments well-lived, among new friends in a relaxed, après expedition atmosphere. Begin exploring at AtlasOceanVoyages.com ANTARCTICA / PATAGONIA + THE FALKLANDS / SOUTH AMERICA / CARIBBEAN / TRANSOCEANIC / HOLY LAND + EGYPT MEDITERRANEAN / NORTHERN EUROPE / ICELAND + GREENLAND / ARCTIC
ATLAS ALWAYS INCLUDED:
Expedition Guides + Enriching Experiences, Gratuities, Culinary + Wine Tastings, Unlimited Wines + Spirits, and more.
SECOND GUEST SAILS FREE PLUS BONUS SAVINGS OF UP TO $4,000 PER STATEROOM To Book, Contact our Voyage Specialists at 844.442.8527 BONUS SAVINGS OF UP TO $4,000 PER STATEROOM ($2,000 PER GUEST) APPLIES TO NEW BOOKINGS MADE BY DECEMBER 31, 2023. BONUS SAVINGS VARIES BY EXPEDITION AND SUITE OR STATEROOM SELECTED AND IS COMBINABLE WITH SECOND GUEST SAILS FREE. SPECIAL OFFERS AND INCLUSIONS ARE CAPACITY CONTROLLED AND MAY BE CHANGED OR WITHDRAWN FROM ANY VOYAGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY. FOR FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS, CONTACT YOUR PREFERRED TRAVEL ADVISOR OR ATLAS OCEAN VOYAGES. © 2023 ATLAS OCEAN VOYAGES. SHIPS’ REGISTRY: PORTUGAL 2653_10.16.23
AT L A S O C E A N VOYAG E S
SAILING THE UNFORGETTABLE ARCTIC OCEAN By Vanessa Lee
38 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
HE EXPEDITION LEADER tells us there is a polar bear in
sight. We are sailing again after our first Zodiac excursion, where we saw walruses ashore and frolicking in the waves, tusks up high and flippers flapping. There is a rush to the forward decks at the polar bear announcement, as this is what many of us are anxious to see. It’s a lone bear on a spit of land, and he’s rather far away. Out come the binoculars (provided in our rooms) and the huge camera lenses as we gather for this impressive sighting. Our bear looks healthy other than a gash on his face. Perhaps, we imagine, he got into a tussle with a walrus and one of those dangerous tusks! CRUISE EDITION FALL 2023 39
AT L A S O C E A N VOYAG E S
Vanessa Lee on Ella Island, Greenland
We are sailing in the Arctic Circle at a Latitude of 79 Degrees, 44 Minutes and 33 Seconds, high in the magnificence of the Norwegian Svalbard Archipelago, where the glistening snow seems to meet the moody sky. It can be stark and foreboding, yet a surreal splendour surrounds us. We have gone further north than many on our planet ever will and are searching for the unforgettable. Whether nature or wildlife, all these sights are magical and wondrous. We hear the ice cracking and heaving through the impeccable silence. We search carefully for any signs of life, and there, as arctic terns glide overhead, a harbour seal pops up, wondering what all the fuss is about. Zodiacs slowly meander in coves and along the bays, all of us in what must look like bright green space suits (aka our Atlas parkas), huddled in many layers to protect against the brisk weather. It’s about 2-4 degrees Celsius much of the time, and it’s only early September. Our intimate and delightful expedition yacht is the World Traveller, almost a year old, and the second ship of six to join the impressive Atlas Ocean Voyages fleet. We love our new home-away-from-home as we begin our 10-day Expedition from Svalbard to Greenland and Iceland, seeing parts of the world many will never discover, and we are all pleased to have chosen this cruise line and vessel. Our luxe yacht is an impeccably maintained nautical charmer with great décor, 40 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
comfortable lounges, terrific accommodations, and a happy, warm and efficient crew. The cuisine is tasty and varied in the Lisboa Restaurant, and if we were in warmer climes, we could also have dined on the aft terrace. The experience on Atlas Ocean Voyages is all-inclusive, with drinks, wine, and Champagne poured freely and gratuities included in the fare. This makes for a relaxed and enjoyable time and enhances the onboard camaraderie. There are 164 of us with more than 60 repeat guests, many of whom are doing both poles in a year (and who rave about their Antarctica experience on Atlas), and 124 staff to ensure we lack for nothing (and we don’t). There is a joyful exuberance, which seems to be a rite of passage for expedition sailings, as we embark on an exciting journey of discovery. Our expedition team has eight knowledgeable guides who teach us about the wild and bird life, how to accomplish a wet landing with finesse, the different varieties of flora and fauna, how fjords, glaciers and icebergs form, and so much more. We receive a wealth of information on the three countries, the Inuit of Greenland, who make up almost 90% of the population, and the sights each land has in store for us. Although Greenland is the largest island in the world, much of it is uninhabitable. It would be the world’s 12th largest if it were a fully independent country.
PREVIOUS SPREAD, ISTOCK. VANESSA LEE, ROB MCPHERSON. OPPOSITE, PHOTOS COURTESY ATLAS OCEAN VOYAGES
Exploring Scoresby Sund, Greenland
We also quickly learn the difference between a cruise and an expedition. A cruise has set ports of call and a specific timeline. An expedition must contend with nature to a higher degree, and so our days can change. We may not be able to enter that fjord, nor predict where we might see the Northern Lights. What about our polar plunge? There’s so much to take into consideration. We must be nimble, and our Captain knows this as we continue our search of discovery and set forth in nature’s stillness to discover the unexpected. The Arctic is full of light; sometimes, at this time of year, we see the sun till past 11 at night, and it appears very early the next day. Acting as a mirror, reflecting the remarkable translucency of the ice, whether in a towering iceberg or a massive glacier hugging the cliff face until it is inexorably pulled into the sea – we are in a constant state of wonderment and feel fortunate to be so. Each evening, we attend an expedition briefing to review our day and to hear what’s in store for tomorrow. We learn a lot and appreciate the insights and knowledge of our expedition team – about the Arctic, the people, the ice, the animals and more. They are an interesting, helpful bunch with a love for what they do. Our first landing is on Day 4 as we were interrupted in our journey by the effects of Hurricane Idalia (yes, this far north), and we must make a dash across the Greenland Sea from Svalbard before the stormy seas hit. As we sail southwest, we see massive ice fields in the sea and dolphins leaping by. This part of Northern Greenland is impenetrable, and the ice fields cover the land and much of the sea. The plan is to seek out calm fjords in the massive Northeast Greenland National Park, where we can enter, take refuge and explore. We always explore! We finally make a wet landing at Ella Island at the northern end of King Oscar Fjord and hike, noting some of our expedition team positioned high on hills to watch for polar bears while other guides check the waters in Zodiacs. Each has a rifle they never hope to use and a warning gun to scare off predators. We are thankful for their presence as we can roam, hike in peace, and enjoy the breathtaking vistas – omnipresent and awe-inspiring. We also become fascinated by scat and wonder if it’s from a musk ox, a polar bear, or maybe a big dog. Musk Oxen is the correct answer, and we have seen some of these big woolly beasts on cliffs nearby as our yacht takes us on more adventures. The weather improves, the sun shines, making the plentiful icebergs even more astounding, and we finally see our first sunset – many rushing outside from dinner for more photos. As our journey southward continues, we arrive at Ittoqqortoormiit (EETO – CORE - TOR – MEET) for an immersive cultural experience. We practice pronouncing this strange word and anticipate landing at this settlement, where we meet the Inuit, see husky sled dogs, explore the museum, and
Atlas Lounge onboard Atlas Ocean Voyages’ World Traveller
CRUISE EDITION FALL 2023 41
PHOTOS, COURTESY ATLAS OCEAN VOYAGES
AT L A S O C E A N VOYAG E S
42 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
Dome Observation Lounge
shop for souvenirs and hand-crafted items. Some who greet us are even dressed in East Greenlandic attire. More breathtaking polar landscapes await us, each seeming more beautiful as the days unfold. While on board, we enjoy informative lectures and are entertained by playing Team Trivia or Name that Tune, relaxing in the lovely Dome Observation Lounge with 270-degree views, reading, playing cards, chatting, and enjoying piano tunes and afternoon tea. We are very spoiled. One sunny day, we sit in the sunshine (in our parkas or jackets) and enjoy a lovely BBQ lunch on deck as we sail past gorgeous scenery. One night, we’re told we might see a Northern Lights display, likely around 2 or 3 a.m. And we do, all racing up the stairs to the top deck to catch sight of this incredible sky, no one complaining about a disrupted sleep. A highlight is Scoresby Sund, the world’s biggest fjord, iced over from October to June. The walls can reach 2,000 metres, 350 kilometres long, and depths can reach 1,447 metres! We marvel, yet again, at the glaciers and massive bergs as our Zodiac navigates an ice field, never tiring of our stunning 360-degree views. And then it’s Polar Plunge time, and 59 of us are daring enough to take the plunge. We wrap ourselves in bathrobes and join the queue for this exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking event. It is exhilarating, and we are happy we did it. We each get a photo, a shot of tequila and a Certificate of Achievement! As our journey ends, we arrive in lovely Iceland and tour some of the beautiful Western fjords, seeing more seals and birds. And was that a whale out there? We spend a night on our yacht in Reykjavik, taking the terrific and memorable Golden Circle tour before saying farewell to our newfound friends and our lovely crew. We tell them we will return, as have many others before us. It has been a remarkable, life-changing experience, and we are all the better for it. The Arctic has not only taken our breath away but has also stolen our hearts.
VIVA NORWEGIAN With its 19th ship launched this summer, Norwegian Cruise Line continues to deliver culinary diversity By Ming Tappin
NE COULD ALWAYS count on Norwegian
Cruise Line to elevate the guest dining experience with each new classa of ships. Onboard the newly launched Norwegian Viva – the second vessel of the six-ship Prima class – the company has once again knocked it out of the park with an impressive collection of dining venues that will answer every craving.
44 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
SPECIALTY FEASTS For a special occasion or just because you’re on vacation, suggest one of Viva’s eight specialty restaurants. Guests will find French haute cuisine at Le Bistro, Italian specialties at Onda by Scarpetta, fine cut meats at Cagney’s, fresh seafood at Palomar (try the whole fish baked in sea salt with herbs), Mexican at Los Lobos (with fresh guacamole made table-side), Asian fusion at Food Republic, sushi and sashimi at Nama, and entertaining slice-and-dice at Hasuki teppanyaki. Seating between 46 and 150 guests, these specialty restaurants exude an intimate ambiance, and every dish is cooked to order. Onda, Los Lobos and Palomar also have outdoor seating, perfect for warm-weather cruises. All specialty restaurant pricing is à la carte,
PHOTOS COURTESY OF NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
COMPLIMENTARY EATS Two beautiful main dining rooms – The Commodore Room and Hudson’s – are open daily, with the latter wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows proffering 270˚ views. Both feature continental and international cuisine that blends traditional flavours with modern twists. Late risers and night owls will rejoice in having The Local as a place for all-day pub food and snacks (the chicken wings get rave reviews), and the Surfside Café and Grill is the traditional buffet. But the venue that has most guests flocking to is Indulge Food Hall. An upscale food court with indoor and outdoor seating, Indulge features eight action stations cooking up noodles, tapas, barbecue, Indian, Latin-American, salads and desserts. All menu items and beverages are listed on a table-side tablet - simply order away and servers will deliver everything to your table. Introduced on Viva’s sister ship Norwegian Prima last year, Indulge was so popular that the designers reconfigured the layout to add more than 100 extra seats for Viva.
Onda by Scarpetta
Onda by Scarpetta
Indulge Food Hall
CRUISE EDITION FALL 2023 45
Palomar 46 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
COCKTAILS WITH A PURPOSE Norwegian Viva’s culinary creativity even extends beyond restaurants. One of the most popular bars onboard is the Metropolitan Bar. Its specialty? Sustainable cocktails! Key ingredients of each drink include items that otherwise would have been discarded. Cucumber and banana peels, imperfect croissants, pineapple and watermelon rinds, pepper tops, spent coffee grounds, and surplus Champagne are collected from Viva’s galleys and turned into syrups, cordials and mixers. In addition, every spirit and liqueur served at Metropolitan Bar is responsibly sourced from suppliers with the highest sustainability practices. The result is a collection of delicious cocktails that taste great and are environmentally friendly. The sizeable menu includes Sustainable Spritz, Pineapple Surplus, Cucumber Cool, Pulp Art, Café Replay, or El Padrino - The Godfather, created to honour Viva’s godfather Luis “Despacito” Fonsi, who will christen the ship in Miami this November. The bubbly for the occasion will surely be a ‘66 by Norwegian Prosecco DOCG, created in partnership with top Italian Prosecco producer Bottega and introduced onboard Viva. The ‘66 refers to the year Norwegian Cruise Line was founded, and nearly 60 years later, we can raise a glass to Norwegian and Viva as they continue to satisfy foodies on the high seas.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
except for Hasuki, which has a flat cover charge. Norwegian’s popular Free at Sea pricing promotion includes at least one specialty dinner per cruise, so that’s another good reason to try one.
NOW ON SALE
L E AV E THE WORLD BEHIND AT THE EDGE OF THE LESSER ANTILLES, NESTLED BETWEEN TWO SEAS, LIES SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES: A LUSH TUCKED-AWAY ISLAND, RIPE FOR DISCOVERY. IN THE RESPLENDENT RAINFORESTS, A NATURAL SYMPHONY OF TROPICAL BIRDS, CASCADING WATERFALLS, AND THE RUSTLING OF NATIVE GREENERY PROVIDE THE PERFECT SOUNDTRACK FOR EXCITING EXPERIENCES TOGETHER.
Sandals® is a registered trademark. Unique Vacations, Inc. is an affiliate of Unique Travel Corp., the worldwide representative of Sandals Resorts. 8191/1023