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Viking Star and Her Sisters: A Superstar Fleet in the Making

Not content with dominating the world’s rivers with his ships, Viking founder Torstein Hagen has firmly established his brand on the planet’s oceans with the Viking Star and the five siblings due to arrive by the end of 2020. (The Viking Sea will be christened in May 2016, the Viking Sea in 2017.) In her debut season (Spring 2015), the Star lived up to her name as she was awarded the cruise industry’s highest accolades. She was named Best New Ocean Ship and received a 5-star rating by the editors of Cruise Critic; received the highest rating in the...

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The Quarantine of Delos

“And I live here…fishing with my son, around the small Delos and the Great Delos.” ~Captain Panagiotis D. Faroupos As soon as Panagiotis D. Faroupos, the captain, and his splendid ship, The Quarantine of Delos, come into my view, I know that the gods have smiled upon me. What I do not know is that I am about to embark on an adventure that few people ever dreamed of and that it will be one of the most enchanting experiences of my many odysseys in Greece.  The Quarantine of Delos. What a beauty. What a seductress. Only two of...

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Amber Cove: A New Spot of Caribbean Blue for Cruisers

Going somewhere for the first time holds a special allure for many travelers. Discovering a place for the first time is often memorable and can lead to more trips over time. For well-traveled Caribbean cruisers, new has been tougher to come by, until now. Amber Cove is the Caribbean’s first new cruise destination in nearly 10 years. The new port marks the return of regularly scheduled cruise ships to the north coast of the Dominican Republic after an almost 30 year absence. Amber Cove Eight different cruise lines including Carnival, Princess, Holland American and newcomer Fathom™, are expected to...

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Regent Seven Seas Explorer: The World’s Most Luxurious Cruise Ship

Though Regent Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer will not debut until Summer 2016, the ship’s top category Regent suite had already been booked for 14 of the ship’s first 15 sailings back in August. The $10,000-a-night price tag apparently did not deter fans of Regent’s brand of all-inclusive luxury as they purchased a cruise experience that was bound to be unique and memorable. At 54,000 gross-registered tons and at a cost of $450 million, the all-suite Seven Seas Explorer will be the most expensive luxury ship ever built. Carrying only 750 guests, the ship will have the highest space ratios...

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Cruising Southern France with Viking River Cruises

I read the email aloud to my husband with growing dismay. Staying in Avignon, France, on our own as a prelude to boarding the Viking Delling with Viking River Cruises and cruising the Rhone River for their Portraits of Southern France cruise, we learned that we would not be cruising anywhere anytime soon. River cruising in Europe is one of the most wonderful ways to see the individual countries but, sometimes, when the snow in the Alps is especially deep and melts into the Rhone River in the spring, it means the river is too high for cruising. Because...

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Float Your Way Through Europe Aboard the AmaSerena

European vacations are exciting and exhausting at the same time. When you’ve traveled a long way, you want to see and do it all, but living out of one hotel to the next can take the excitement out of any trip. How do you make vacation easy and entertaining? Keep fun afloat along the Danube River aboard AmaSerena. River cruising is growing in popularity, but it’s still a new concept to many travelers. Along with the clear benefit of un-packing once, when you dock, instead of looking at a touristy port, it’s the destination you see from your cabin...

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A Cruise Vacation can be a Healthy Vacation

Yes, that’s right: A cruise vacation can be a healthy vacation. Sure, a generation or so ago, a cruise vacation was often an excuse to drink too much and overeat, not only during breakfast, lunch and dinner — but also at the legendary midnight buffets. Today’s health-conscious traveler will find it easy to eat well (and deliciously) on a cruise and drink fine wines, without overindulging. Exercise options onboard can be fun and there is enough to do so there is little risk of eating out of boredom. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recently listed the following 12 reasons why taking...

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My Continuing Love Affair with Viking River Cruises

Me: “I’ll take ‘Unforgettable Vacations’ for $2000 please, Alex.” Alex Trebek: “And the clue is: This cruise line recently received its 9th win as the Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising by the prestigious travel industry publication, TRAVELAGE WEST; was awarded ‘Best Luxury River Cruise Company’ by Luxury Travel Advisor in their annual Awards of Excellence; and was declared ‘Best River Cruise Line’ in 2014 by Cruise Critic’s discerning international team of editors.” Me: Frantically pushing my little button thingy as I excitedly exclaim: “Having just returned from a fantastic cruise with them, I so have this one!...

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Cruising the Islands of New England with Blount Small Ship Adventures

If you have never visited New England, as my husband and I hadn’t, a cruise of the area is the best way to visit and really enjoy your trip. And the Islands of New England cruise on the Grande Caribe from Blount Small Ship Adventures is the best cruise to take. One of the best things about cruising is that you can take your cozy, comfortable cabin along with you on your travels! Spend your week relaxing on board as you cruise, visiting some of the most well-known locations in New England. The Grande Caribe is not a huge...

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Island Magic: A Welcome Cruise Addition

My wife Maralyn and I have always loved cruising. During our most recent Caribbean trip on Holland America’s ms Eurodam, in March, 2015, we were delighted to watch the steel drum quartet from Trinidad known as “Island Magic.” On a week’s cruise, during evenings after dinner, we usually plan to see two sessions of the ship’s singers and dancers. This time, we decided to take a fling and also see an unknown band, the Island Magic. We weren’t sure whether this was reggae or calypso. Either would be okay, though reggae wasn’t our first love, as Broadway-style singing and...

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Galapagos Islands Dive Boat Luxury

During a shark-filled week on a live aboard dive boat in the Galapagos Islands, the luxuries are less about boosting thread count and more about boosting your pulse rate. The captain and crew of the M/V Galapagos Sky live aboard dive boat were wasting no time. As soon as her 16 passengers, from Hong Kong, Austria, Switzerland, Ecuador and the United States were settled on board we were underway—headed to the far northern reaches of the Galapagos Islands, where mega currents attract schools of hammerhead sharks so dense they block out the sun. Whale sharks the size of 18-wheelers appear...

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