Porthole Cruise News Briefs – Mar. 18, 2016

Porthole Cruise News Briefs – Mar. 18, 2016

  • Japan’s largest cruise organization, Peace Boat, introduced the world’s most sustainable cruise ship, Ecoship, at the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference 2016. The 55,000-ton, whale-shaped ship is planned to sail in 2020, powered by 10 retractable solar-paneled sails and retractable wind generators as well as a future-ready hybrid engine. Guest traveling on the unique “floating village” will enjoy activities centered on experiential learning and communicating between cultures in exotic ports around the world. To design the green ship, Peace Boat hired more than 30 engineers, shipbuilders, and technologists, including Dr. Amory Lovins, founder and chief scientist at Rocky Mountain Institute, and Spanish naval architects Oliver Design. Peace Boat currently runs three around-the-world cruises out of Japan per year, and has organized more than 90 voyages on chartered ships with 300,000 passenger days per year. The organization’s founder and director, Yoshioka Tatsuya, is financing Ecoship with Singapore-based firm Six Capital using an innovative crowd-sourced funding scheme.
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises will be debuting world-class shows aboard the ultra-luxury ship Seven Seas Explorer when it launches in July. Led by Julliard-trained musical director Jeremy Fenn-Smith and performed by a talented cast of 12 singers and dancers accompanied by a live seven-piece orchestra, the productions include: Peggy Lee (a tribute directed by William Whitener), Burn the Floor (a musical look at the era of the British Invasion), Paradis (a burlesque review choreographed by Patricia Wilcox), and A Day in Hollywood (a Tony-winning celebration of great movie songs). In the coming months, each ship in the fleet will add groundbreaking entertainment from Broadway-style theatrical shows to comedic productions.
  • Guy Fieri is expanding his Carnival Cruise Line offerings with an open-air smokehouse at sea. Passengers on Carnival Magic will be able to enjoy hickory- and cherry wood–smoked chicken, pork butt, beef rounds, Andouille sausage, and other of Fieri’s savory favorites at Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse. The traditional smoker was installed on the Lanai on Promenade Deck during a recent dry dock.
  • Couples looking to tie the knot or honeymoon at sea should check out Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest partnership with gift registry website Honeymoon Wishes. The full-service registry allows friends and family to contribute to gifts to be delivered aboard the couple’s honeymoon sailing. Cruising couples can now register for memorable experiences such as a couples’ massage at the Mandara Spa, a romantic dinner at one of Norwegian’s signature specialty restaurants, or an adventurous shore excursion. Engaged couples can even have friends and family contribute to their cruise fare, to help send them on the honeymoon of a lifetime. The line also offers legally recognized weddings at sea performed by the ship’s captain aboard Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Escape, and Norwegian Epic, with the couple’s marriage license issued by the Bahamas.
  • Seabourn made a triple announcement this week, unveiling design details of “serene space” The Retreat on Seabourn Encore, an agreement with world-renowned mixologist Brian Van Flandern, and the look of the new signature restaurant, The Grill by Thomas Keller, which will debut May 2016 aboard Seabourn Quest.Seabourn Encore The RetreatThe Retreat, located under a distinctive flower-shaped canopy on Deck 12, will be ringed with 15 private cabanas designed as individual luxury living rooms that each feature a large HD flat-screen television and a refrigerator stocked with a personalized selection of beverages. In the center, a whirlpool with step-up access to water maintained at an inviting temperature, sun loungers for 28 guests, and Champagne and cocktails custom created by Seabourn mixologists.

    Speaking of which, cocktail pioneer Van Flandern will be upgrading drink offerings across the fleet, transforming cocktail menus with fresh produce and botanicals, and expanding the spirits list to include more premium and ultra-premium whiskeys, tequilas, and other spirits. The founder of a New York–based cocktail consultancy, he has trained bartenders in the art of mixology at some of the finest restaurants and resorts around the globe.

    New specialty restaurant The Grill by Thomas Keller will showcase classic American chophouse cuisine in surroundings designed by Adam D. Tihany. The restaurant will be open for dinner daily on all Seabourn vessels, and guests will have the opportunity to secure reservations online beginning in April 2016 for May sailings on Seabourn Quest. In keeping with Seabourn’s all-inclusive rates, there will be no additional charge to dine at The Grill.

  • Princess Cruises has announced its longest Japan cruise season yet, with 5- to 17-night voyages from Tokyo and Kobe in 2017 that circumnavigate the country and maiden port calls to Tsuruga, the gateway to Tojinbo Cliffs and Eiheiji Temple. The 39 departures between April and November offer opportunities to explore UNESCO World Heritage sites and to participate in some of Japan’s most celebrated cultural festivals. Japanese-built Diamond Princess calls on 31 destinations in six countries, including South Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. In addition, two Land and Sea Vacation packages will take travelers into Kyoto, Tokyo, and the UNESCO creative city of Kanazawa.

Photo: Peace Boat

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