Paul Gauguin Cruises Awarded “#1 Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Line” in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017

Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, is pleased to announce that the line was awarded “#1 Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Line” in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017 readers’ survey for the second consecutive year.    

Paul Gauguin Cruises has been recognized by notable publications in travel and lifestyle. In addition to being voted “#1 Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Line” by readers in the Travel + Leisure  World’s Best Awards 2016, the line was also awarded #2 in the category of “Top Small Cruise Lines” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards and recognized on the publication’s 2016 “Gold List.” Paul Gauguin Cruises was also selected as “Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” in Global Traveler’s Leisure Lifestyle Awards in 2016 and 2017, and recently received top honors as the “#1 Cruise Line for Honeymooners” in BRIDES Magazine’s 2017 Honeymoon Awards.

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Cunard Receives Travel + Leisure 2017 World’s Best Award

Cunard named Best Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line in the Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2017 readers’ survey.

Luxury Cruise Company Cunard has earned a new accolade in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017. This year, readers named Cunard as No. 1 in the Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line Category. Since 1995, the readers of Travel + Leisure, the largest travel magazine brand in the United States, vote on their favorite destinations, hotels, resorts, spas, airlines, cruise lines and more in its World’s Best Awards survey.

For 177 years, Cunard’s three Queens—Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth—have voyaged the world on epic sailings, offering effortless ways to experience the world, seamlessly connecting iconic destinations in the utmost style. Cunard holds a unique place in the cruise landscape, continuing a long legacy of great ocean liners and transatlantic travel.

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Crystal is ‘World’s Best’ – Again and Again and Again

Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises take top Travel + Leisure honors, as Crystal Cruises continues to shine 

            Crystal CruisesFrom the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line™ come two more awarded luxury travel experiences, as Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises earn top accolades from Travel + Leisure. In the lauded magazine’s 2017 “World’s Best Awards,” Crystal River Cruises was voted “Best River Cruise Line” and Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises was voted “Best Small-Ship Ocean Cruise Line.” Crystal Cruises continues to shine as well as it has once again been named as one of the Best Large-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines.  The coveted accolades are awarded by thousands of jet-setting T+L readers, who rated ships on accommodations, service, destinations/itineraries, activities, cuisine and value. The complete results of the prestigious annual survey are published in the magazine’s August 2017 issue.

The first stunning vessel of Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line™, Crystal Mozart debuted for Crystal River Cruises in summer 2016, marking an entirely new standard of luxury on the rivers of Europe and in the river cruising industry overall. The elegant 154-guest vessel is appointed with the plush amenities, butler service, Michelin-inspired, farm-to-table cuisine served in multiple open-seating venues, and unsurpassed crew-to-guest ratio for which Crystal has been celebrated for more than 27 years. Among the ship’s amenities exclusive to Crystal are a pop-up bar on the top “Vista” deck with a vanishing screen for movie nights al fresco; a fully appointed Crystal Life Spa and fitness center; an indoor pool; two custom-built Italian private yachts for intimate private excursions on the river.

Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises’ Crystal Esprit offers an intrepid luxury yachting experience in the waters of the West Indies and British Virgin Islands. Accommodating just 62 guests, the yacht boasts an intimate atmosphere of butler-serviced amenities and abundant options for adventurous and active travelers.

Complimentary and optional pursuits in every destination appeal to guests seeking all manner of thrills, while the yacht’s own high-tech marina is equipped for water sports including snorkeling, scuba, paddleboarding, kayaking, and even the industry’s first private submersible.

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Silversea Launches Expedition Leadership Training Academy

Silversea Expedition CruisingLuxury expedition cruise specialist Silversea has established a new leadership training academy aimed at recruiting and developing high-quality talent to join its expedition teams. Featured on every expedition voyage, expedition teams include some of the world’s most knowledgeable and experienced specialists in the areas of wildlife, biology, anthropology, geology, history, and more. They give lectures, run workshops, lead Zodiac® trips and guide nature walks, activities all designed to ensure an enriching experience for guests.

The multi-phase training initiative begins with remote skills development through webinar sessions focusing on various aspects of working as a Silversea expedition guide including life at sea, and guest relations. Practical experience will deal with the fundamentals of boat handling, first aid, and safety at sea courses and certification. Participants will be invited to train for approximately 6 weeks aboard the newly refurbished Silver Cloud when the ship joins the expedition fleet in mid-November for her first season in Antarctica.

Aboard Silver Cloud, core competencies will be further developed through intensive hands-on training. Attention will also be given to cross training in various academic disciplines, environmental and ecological knowledge, sustainability protocols and cultural sensitivity as well as further skills development which includes boat handling, practical field first aid, and “how to guide” training. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from experienced expedition staff as well as additional educators that will be traveling on board the vessel.

After successfully completing a tiered system of increasing responsibility, participants will have the opportunity to work the balance of the Antarctic season as members of the expedition team and, ultimately, on expedition voyages to other regions of the world.

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Keel Laid for HANSEATIC nature

On June 20th, 2017 the next construction stage of HANSEATIC nature, the first of two expedition new-builds, has begun with the keel laying. At the VARD shipyard in Tulcea, Romania, Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, placed a coin inside the steel block; the coin was welded into the block and will accompany the ship on all its future cruises. This ship-building tradition is believed to bring luck to new ships.

The christening and maiden voyage of HANSEATIC nature are planned for April 2019. The second ship, HANSEATIC inspiration, which will serve the international markets, will launch six months later in October 2019. As soon as August 2017, interested guests will receive a cruise overview featuring the upcoming expeditions of both new ships and they will be able to place reservations. The bookings can be confirmed after the publishing of the first official brochure in January 2018.

The new expedition ships, which will be positioned in the five-star-segment, are being built by Norwegian company VARD Group, which is a subsidiary of the Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri. The ships’ hulls will be constructed in the Romanian shipyard location of Tulcea and afterwards be towed to VARD Langsten in Norway, where the outfitting and the finishing of the interior will take place. Both HANSEATIC nature and HANSEATIC inspiration will be fitted with cutting-edge equipment and environmental technology and will each accommodate up to 230 guests (or up to 199 guests on Antarctica cruises). PC6, the highest ice class for passenger ships, makes it possible to conduct expeditions far into Polar waters, with tropical destinations such as the South Seas and the Amazon. Sixteen on-board Zodiacs and E-Zodiacs with eco-friendly electric drive systems allow for landings in remote expedition areas, regardless of the vicinity to a port.

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Crystal Mozart is the ‘Best of the Best’ According to Robb Report

Distinguished luxury publication honors Crystal River Cruises’ first vessel in annual guide 

           Crystal MozartThe first stunning vessel of Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line™, has earned top recognition from one of the most distinguished authorities on luxury lifestyle. According to Robb Report, Crystal Mozart is among the “Best of the Best” travel experiences available to discerning travelers, in a spotlight piece that highlights the return of “slow travel.” Crystal Mozart debuted for Crystal River Cruises in summer 2016, marking an entirely new standard of luxury on the rivers of Europe and in the river cruising industry overall. The elegant vessel is appointed with the plush amenities, butler service, Michelin-level culinary options, and unsurpassed crew-to-guest ratio for which Crystal has been celebrated for more than 27 years.

            Robb Report’s annual “Best of the Best” guide highlights the world’s finest new automobiles, yachts, hotels, watches, wines and much more, including exclusive travel experiences. The complete guide is published in the magazine’s June 2017 issue, available now.

River cruising has always represented a relaxed, elegant manner of travel, boasting numerous opportunities to disconnect and immerse oneself in new cultures. With the launch of Crystal Mozart, Crystal River Cruises focuses on elegance and seamless luxury on board, and exclusive, inclusive experiences ashore that suit virtually every type of traveler. With dozens of complementary options that explore various facets of each destination, as well as optional expanded shore-side options, guests can enjoy the exact European river voyage of their dreams.

Since embarking on her maiden voyage in summer 2016, Crystal Mozart has earned the acclaim of the world’s most discerning travelers and experts alike. Crystal’s acclaimed butler service is offered for every room category, along with plush king-sized beds, ETRO robes and slippers, wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs, and Nespresso machines. Additional enticing features include complimentary shore excursions, Michelin-inspired, farm-to-table dining in multiple, open-seating eateries, and a full-service spa and separate fitness center, equipped with modern machines and cardio equipment as well as free weights.

Crystal Mozart also holds the distinction as the most technologically advanced vessel on Europe’s rivers. Throughout the ship, digital signage puts available services and port information at guests’ fingertips, including weather forecasts for the day, available spa appointments and dining reservations. Each suite offers Apple® iPad devices that serve as Digital Directories for virtually all of guests’ on-board needs, from dry cleaning and butler service to room service and dining reservations, as well as concierge and Crystal Adventures inquiries. Bathrooms also feature TOTO Washlet personal cleaning systems, offering heated seats, automatic open/close, aerated water and warm air dryer.

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Cunard Reveals Completion of $40 Million Refurbishment of Queen Victoria

AFT LIDO SUN DECK: This stunning lounge space has been extended to provide guests with additional deck space and access to the rays from sunrise to sunset. Windbreakers and additional sun loungers and luxury cabanas have also been introduced to accommodate sunseekers on board, while the shaded area has been extended for those looking to dine al fresco. Full beverage service is also available throughout the day and into the evening to enjoy alongside live entertainment.

WINTER GARDEN: A beautiful room for relaxation located in the heart of deck 9. Guests can sip their favourite tipple on the elegant lounge furniture while looking out through the floor to ceiling windows at the stunning view. In addition, the comfort and décor has been further refined, with a statement floor and glorious glass canopy.

BRITANNIA CLUB STATEROOMS: In a prime mid-ship location on decks 7 and 8, all staterooms have been upgraded and refreshed with newly-designed carpets featuring a contemporary geometric design as well as the addition of new soft furnishings. New flat screen TVs and, by popular request, tea and coffee making facilities, have also been added to upgrade the stateroom experience even further. The additional 43 balcony staterooms will be further enhanced with premium balconies and a nine-pillow concierge menu to ensure maximum comfort for guests on board.

BRITANNIA CLUB DINING: The new Britannia Club restaurant has gone through a full interior re-design and will offer guests the flexibility to dine whenever they choose. Located in the space of the former Chart Room, the new restaurant resides alongside the main Britannia restaurant on Deck 2.

PENTHOUSE SUITES: Five of Queen Victoria’s elegant Penthouse Suites have been completely redesigned to maximize space and luxury, and raise the quality of guests’ experience even further. The new suites feature floor to ceiling windows and doors, private balcony with stunning sea views, additional storage space and beautiful bathrooms with luxurious whirlpool baths. With butlers and concierge also on hand to take care of every need, the luxurious suites are among the finest accommodation available at sea.

GRAND SUITES: The Aquitania, Berengaria, Mauretania and Laconia Suites have been redesigned to maximize space, with similar square footage to those on Queen Elizabeth at approximately 1,436 sq.ft. Mirroring a luxurious residential apartment, refreshed designs include floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, a separate snug room with TV, beautiful lounge, master bathroom with sea views and dual aspect balcony, as well as a second bathroom and walk-in wardrobe, providing guests with supreme luxury and comfort whilst on board.

CHART ROOM: A new concept introduced as part of the Queen Victoria refit, the Chart Room is located just off the Grand Lobby and will provide guests with illy coffee, Godiva chocolate treats and light bights by day, before transforming into a luxurious cocktail lounge by night, with delicious tipples whipped up by Cunard’s stellar bartenders.

Cunard’s iconic ship Queen Victoria, made her much-anticipated return to Southampton yesterday, showing off an array of stunning new features following an impressive $40 million refurbishment.

First-look photography released today reveals the fruits of Cunard’s labor, from large mesmerizing enhancements to the subtle details, impeccable care and diligence has been taken to ensure passengers are greeted with the ultimate luxury experience from the moment they step on board.

Exquisite interior design takes centre stage in the new Britannia Club Restaurant and continues to triumph within the new 43 spacious Britannia Club staterooms. Further enhancements on board include beautifully refined and redesigned Grand and Penthouse Suites, as well as a luxurious new sun deck offering space and tranquillity and a stunning enhanced Winter Garden.  Every stateroom has been refreshed, including the installation of large flat screen TVs and much requested tea and coffee making facilities.

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Crystal River Cruises’ Expansion of ‘Rhine Class’ Continues with Keel Laying of Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel at Germany’s MV WERFTEN Shipyard

Crystal Debussy and Crystal RavelCrystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line, ushered in the next phase for its expanding “Rhine Class” fleet of river vessels, as the keels were laid for the company’s next two new-builds, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel at a ceremony at MV WERFTEN shipyard in Wismar, Germany. In spring 2018, the two all-balcony, all-suite vessels are set to embark on their maiden voyages along Europe’s mightiest rivers: the Rhine, Main and Danube.

In the presence of Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman and Chief Executive of Genting Hong Kong; Jarmo Laakso, Managing Director of MV WERFTEN; Josef Lumetsberger, Crystal River Cruises’ General Manager of Operations; Manfred Korous, Managing Director of Future Development and Director, Crystal River Cruises; and Harry Glawe, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Economics Minister, plus numerous distinguished guests, the first sections of the luxury vessels were ceremoniously lowered into position on keel blocks.

Tan Sri Lim and Minister Glawe placed the traditional lucky coins on the keel blocks before the first two sections, each weighing 170 tons, were laid down.

All-Suite, All-Balcony, All-Butler

The most prominent features aboard Crystal’s “Rhine Class” river vessels: the river cruising industry’s first all-balcony, all-suite designs boasting every category of accommodation perched above the waterline. All four river yachts will also offer Crystal’s acclaimed butler service in every room category, plush king-sized beds that face toward the Panoramic Balcony-Windows, walk-in closets and dual vanity in the bathrooms in most categories, ETRO robes and slippers, wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs, and Nespresso machines. Additional enticing features include Crystal’s farm-to-table, Michelin-inspired cuisine in multiple, open-seating eateries: the elegant Waterside Restaurant, namesake Bistro cafés and the exclusive Vintage Room; and the Palm Court.

              Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel will measure approximately 135 meters in length and 11.5 meters in breadth, accommodating 106 guests in Crystal’s signature, all-suite luxury.  Beginning in spring 2018, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, respectively, will sail routes of seven, 10 and 14 days between Amsterdam, Basel and Vienna.

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Seabourn Odyssey Debuts Signature Restaurant, The Grill By Thomas Keller, And Mindful Living Program By Dr. Andrew Weil

Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, has announced major enhancements to the travel experience aboard Seabourn Odyssey, including the new addition of its signature restaurant, The Grill by Thomas Keller, and the new mindful living program created by Dr. Andrew Weil.

The programs are launched following a recently completed dry dock period for Seabourn Odyssey, where many surfaces and spaces aboard the ship also underwent meticulous, thoughtfully designed updates. Among them, The Spa has been refreshed, and the Fitness Center features new equipment. All suites have been recarpeted, and Seabourn’s new bespoke luxury mattresses have been added. Newly designed furniture has been placed in the Wintergarden, forward Owner’s and Signature suites. Guests will also find new carpet, furniture, teak flooring, and refinished woodwork throughout the ship.

Inspired by the classic American chophouse, The Grill by Thomas Keller is a collaboration between three-star Michelin chef Thomas Keller and designer Adam D. Tihany, exclusively for Seabourn.

The ship is also launching Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, a mindful living program offering guests a holistic spa and wellness experience that integrates physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being. Eventually destined for every ship in the Seabourn fleet, Dr. Weil’s program is the first-ever of its kind available at sea.

The Grill by Thomas Keller
Located on Deck 8, The Grill by Thomas Keller focuses on updated versions of iconic dishes where guests are treated to American chophouse classics as well as a range of other steakhouse favorites. The timeless menu draws on many artisan purveyors, while the wine list of domestic and old world labels personally curated by Chef Keller complements each dish.

The interior design by Adam D. Tihany enhances the dining experience with spaces that are distinctive to the ship, yet defined by intimate settings with an elegant and warm masculine quality. The Grill by Thomas Keller is located in newly renovated spaces formerly occupied by Restaurant 2, which was extensively refit during the dry dock period.

Chef Thomas Keller began his partnership with Seabourn in 2015 and underlines the luxury cruise line’s commitment to offering outstanding guest experiences. The Grill is now featured on Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Quest, and Seabourn Odyssey, with Seabourn Sojourn scheduled for opening in late 2017. Seabourn Ovation will launch with the restaurant in May 2018.

Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil
Created in conjunction with The Onboard Spa by Steiner, Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil will be led by Seabourn Odyssey’s onboard Mindful Living Coach, a certified yoga and meditation practitioner whose role is to inspire and educate guests throughout the voyage.

Central to the program is the daily practice of meditation and yoga, with some sessions offered on a complimentary basis. Guests can experience Mindful Meditation, which will introduce positive affirmations and mantras they can reflect on throughout the day. Yoga classes will be varied, offering guests the ability to choose classes that focus on various physical issues, such as yoga to heal back and joint pain, headaches and body alignment, as well as yoga to enhance creativity, mental focus and happiness.

The wellness program will also offer guests some complimentary Mind and Body seminars designed to educate guests on philosophies and practices that are aligned with the program’s mission. Onboard seminars adapted from Dr. Weil’s best-selling books and research include: Spontaneous Happiness & Spontaneous Healing; Anti-Inflammatory Foods; Healthy Aging; and Introduction to Mindful Meditation. Individualized one-on-one wellness sessions on select topics are also available for a fee.

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Awarded “Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” by Global Traveler Magazine

Paul Gauguin Cruises received the award for “Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” for the second consecutive year during Global Traveler’s 5th Annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards ceremony on May 18, 2017, at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

Paul Gauguin Cruises was also recently selected #2 in the category of “Top Small Cruise Lines” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards and was recognized on the publication’s 2016 “Gold List.” Readers also voted Paul Gauguin Cruises “#1 Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Line” in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2016

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