What’s in the Blue Lagoon? … and more – Cruise News, Sept. 19, 2014

What’s in the Blue Lagoon?
Cruise News – Sept. 19, 2014

Porthole is in Reykjavik this week, attending the Society of American Travel Writers annual conference. So we took the opportunity to visit the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s manmade, geothermal spa. While we feared it might be overly touristy, turns out it’s a real must-do.To get there, you drive through a landscape of moss-covered volcanic rock. Then, in the middle of the lava field you see steam rising before arriving at a milky-blue saltwater oasis.

FranInBlueLagoonPhotoThe operation at the Blue Lagoon is fine-tuned. The spa has lockers and showers, and there’s a shop and café that are very high-tech efficient. Even among the crowd of people, the outdoor pool (which is heated by volcanic activity) is large enough that you can enjoy the mineral-rich water, smear on a glob of silica on your face to form a mask, and make the rest of the world disappear. And even in slightly chilly temperatures, relaxing in the warmth is an ahhh moment.



  • Jacques-PepinFoodies take note. Jacques Pepin, famed master chef and executive culinary director for Oceania Cruises, will be hosting a special sailing on Riviera next July. Pepin will be joined by his family, including daughter Claudine, known as co-host with her dad of the award-winning “Cooking with Claudine” TV series. The 10-day cruise from Lisbon to Rome embarks on July 7, 2015….
  • Silversea Cruises ships will sail a 115-day world cruise (Silver Shadow) and a 66-day circle of South America (Silver Spirit) in 2016. The ultra-luxury line is also jumping on the “hot” market of Myanmar with three cruises on Silver Shadow featuring multi-day stopovers, giving passengers a look at golden pagodas, temples, and such….
  • Viking Ocean Cruises hasn’t launched its first ship yet but construction has officially begun on its second ship, Viking Sea, in Italy. Viking Star debuts next April, Viking Sea in 2016….
  • Royal Caribbean International announced that its third Quantum-class ship will be named Ovation of the Seas….
  • NCLBreakawayPlusKeelLayingNorwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan laid the traditional “lucky coin” at the keel-laying of Norwegian Escape, the first Breakaway-Plus vessel, with an expected delivery date of October 2015.


— Fran Golden





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