Cruise News – May 16, 2014

Cruise News – May 16, 2014

New Viking Ocean Ships

Viking Ocean Cruises hasn’t even launched its first ship yet, but is already tripling its fleet. The ocean-going arm of Viking River Cruises has ordered two sister ships to Viking Star, which is set to debut in May 2015. Viking Sea and Viking Sky will both set sail in 2016. There’s strong customer demand for the product, officials said.

All three ships will carry 930 passengers in all-veranda staterooms (the smallest, 270 square feet) and two-room Explorer Suites (the largest, 1,163 square feet). Special features include an infinity pool off the stern, a main dining room with windows that open, and a “snow grotto” in the spa. Shore excursions, wine and beer with lunch and dinner, and WiFi are included in the cruise fare. Like their sibling, the new ships will sail destination-focused itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, Western and Eastern Mediterranean, and, new in 2016, the British Isles.


George Takei
George Takei

Mr. Sulu Heads to Sea

Trekkie alert: Actor George Takei, known to Star Trek fans as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the starship Enterprise, will be aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 trans-Atlantic voyage, embarking July 28.

A social media superstar with more than 7 million “likes” on Facebook, Takei will present twice as part of the Cunard Insights program. At “George Takei: Embracing Change,” he’ll speak about being in a Japanese-American internment camp as a child, the cast and creators of Star Trek, and his role as a leader in the Asian-American and LGBT communities. At “George Takei in Hollywood,” he’ll focus on his 50-plus years in show business, including his many Star Trek memories.

Both presentations will be in the ship’s Royal Court Theatre and will include a Q&A session. The 8-day cruise is from New York to Southampton.


Get Running with Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises is inviting runners to lace up their sneakers and hit the pavement on escorted running tours. Debuting on Europe cruises this summer, and expanding to destinations around the world, the 5-10k Site Running excursions have passengers jogging past such attractions as Peter the Great’s summer garden and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg and Anne Frank’s house and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.


Regent Seven Seas’ video wall

That’s Entertainment on Regent

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the latest cruise line to update its show productions – in this case with a full-stage LED video wall enhancing the special effects. Jean Ann Ryan Productions is behind the new shows, which include aerialist performances and musical productions like The Piano Man, an original show featuring the music of Billy Joel and Elton John, aboard Seven Seas Navigator.


Science at Sea

Cruise passengers won’t see it, but new equipment installed on Celebrity Equinox during a dry dock in Spain is helping scientists at the University of Miami track climate change. The ship is the latest to participate in the OceanScope program, recording and transmitting, via satellite, data on ocean temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll concentration, among other things. Other ships participating in the research-gathering include Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas.