Sunday, April 29, 2012

Travel Bus Visits Cruise3Sixty Conference

Get America Moving
Vote Travel

We've just returned from the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) successful annual cruise3sixty conference at the Broward County Convention Center.   

Stopping at the convention center was the U.S. Travel Association’s (USTA) “Vote Travel – Get America Moving” travel bus which is making its way across America to get its message out during this election year.  In fact the bus will travel 20,000 miles to raise awareness of the significant economic impact of the $1.8 trillion U.S. travel industry.  Travel supports 14.4 million American jobs that cannot be outsourced, which is why we need policies that allow the travel industry to thrive.

USTA is encouraging the public to get out and vote for candidates and elected officials that will support the travel industry.  Speaking to cruise3sixty delegates earlier, USTA president and CEO, Roger Dow, said, “We are galvanizing support and asking all Americans to “Vote Travel” this election season."

CLIA's President and CEO, Christine Duffy, said “Travel is a bipartisan industry.  Vote Travel is not an endorsement of any political candidate or political party; it’s a vote to Get America Moving.  The cruise industry’s economic contribution is substantial, contributing more than $40 million annually to the U.S. economy and generating more than 350,000 jobs a year. It’s vitally important that this industry and the public stand up and advocate for the importance of travel and tourism.”

Everyone love's travel, but we often take for granted the impact we can have on our nation.  So, please visit the USTA website to learn more about this grassroots movement.  Perhaps the travel bus will be visiting near you soon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cruise Industry Safety Standards Changes

Concordia Disaster
Brings More Changes

In the wake of the Costa Concordia accident, the cruise industry has examined the current safety standards and made modifications.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and European Cruise Council (ECC), have jointly announced new recommendations.  The new policies address issues related to personnel access to the bridge, passage planning and life jackets - all of which came under scrutiny during the Costa Concordia investigation.

Bridge Access

The new policy announced by CLIA states "bridge access will now be limited to those with operational functions during any period of restricted maneuvering or when increased vigilance is required." 

The period for increased vigilance is defined  as "any time a vessel is constrained in its ability to freely navigate, such as in a restricted waterway/channel, entering a port, or an area where there is an unusually high volume or compression of vessel traffic." 

The policy changes will most likely impact bridge tours, which are often part of "behind-the-scenes" activities offered to certain passengers, such as those with higher loyalty status with the cruise line.

Passage Planning

Voyage plans have always been a requirement under the International Maritime Organization's SOLAS conventions, however consistency and level of detail in the plans was previously not detailed in the formal polices.  The new language, adopted by CLIA and ECC, explicitly requires for the plan to be "drafted by a designated officer and approved by the master" well in advance of the sailing,  Recall that the master of Costa Concordia claims that he was authorized to do the "sail by salute".

Life Jackets 

The change in life jacket policy calls for ships to carry more life jackets than are currently legally required.   SOLAS currently dictates that ships carry life jackets for every berth, which may be higher than the number of persons onboard, plus five percent. In practice, the majority of cruise ships carry many more life jackets than is required, but the new policy will raise the official mandatory minimum. 

Some Concordia passengers indicated that they had to return to the cabins in the dark in order to retrieve their life jackets.   The new limits will mean the muster stations will be required to increase the quantities available for passengers unable to return to their cabins in an emergency to retrieve their life jackets.

Related Posts:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Celebrity 2012 Canadian Rockies Cruisetours

Break away from the expected with an exhilarating
Canadian Rockies Cruisetour this year.

Welcome to the land of unspoiled scenery, fresh air and abundant wildlife. Available before or after your 7-night Inside Passage cruise aboard Celebrity Century®, this land tour takes you high into the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Explore the breathtaking views of Banff National Park as you travel past Mt. Robson, the highest and most prominent mountain in the Canadian Rockies.

Travel in luxury as you enjoy Sleeper Touring Class aboard the VIA Rail®. Marvel at stunning views through picture windows in your private sleeping cabin and glass domed railcars. Nostalgic dining cars provide gourmet made-to-order meals. Sink into luxury as you relax in deluxe Fairmont hotels and lodges nestled against the rugged mountain wilderness.

DATES 2012
Cruisetour #1CB 12-Night Canadian Rockies Pre-Cruise May 8, 15, 22, 29;
Jun 5, 12, 19, 26;
Jul 3, 10, 17, 24, 31;
Aug 7, 14, 21, 28;
Sep 4
Included Activities – Calgary Tower, Banff Highlights Tour, Columbia
Icefield Tour, Vancouver City Tour.
1 night Calgary, 1 night Banff, 1 night Jasper, 1 night VIA Rail & 1 night
Cruisetour #1CB 14-Night Canadian Rockies Pre-Cruise Sep 11 9-NIGHT ULTIMATE ALASKA CRUISE
Included Activities – Calgary Tower, Banff Highlights Tour, Columbia
Icefield Tour, Vancouver City Tour.
1 night Calgary, 1 night Banff, 1 night Jasper, 1 night VIA Rail & 1 night
Cruisetour #1CB 15-Night Canadian Rockies Pre-Cruise Sep 20 10-NIGHT WINE CRUISE
Included Activities – Calgary Tower, Banff Highlights Tour, Columbia
Icefield Tour, Vancouver City Tour.
1 night Calgary, 1 night Banff, 1 night Jasper,
1 night VIA Rail & 1 night Vancouver
Cruisetour #2CA 12-Night Canadian Rockies Post-Cruise

May 13, 20, 27;
Jun 3, 10, 17, 24;
Jul 1, 8, 15, 22, 29;
Aug 5, 12, 19, 26;
Sep 2, 9, 16
Included Activities – Calgary Tower, Banff Highlights Tour, Columbia
Icefield Tour, Vancouver City Tour.
1 night VIA Rail, 1 night Jasper, 1 night Lake Louise & 1 night Calgary
Cruisetour #2CA 13-Night Canadian Rockies Post-Cruise

Included Activities – Calgary Tower, Banff Highlights Tour, Columbia
Icefield Tour, Vancouver City Tour.
1 night VIA Rail, 1 night Jasper, 1 night Lake Louise & 1 night Calgary
Cruisetour #5CB 13-Night Canadian Rockies Pre-Cruise

May 26; Jun 9, 23;
Jul 7, 21; Aug 14, 18;
Sep 1, 8
Included Activities – Calgary Tower, Banff Highlights Tour, Columbia
Icefield Tour, Vancouver City Tour, Victoria and Buchart Gardens
1 night Calgary, 1 night Banff, 1 night Jasper, 1 night VIA Rail, 1 night
Vancouver & 1 night Victoria

Itinerary subject to change without notice. ©2011 Celebrity Cruises Inc. Ships’ registry: Malta and Ecuador.

 Ship Profile | Itineraries & Pricing | Deck Plans | Dining Menus 

  Wine Lists | Ship Reviews | 360 Tours | Photos 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Alaska Family Adventure 2013

Experiencing Alaska through the eyes of a child

Alaska Family Adventure — 2013 Celebrity Millennium®

We invite you to bring the entire family with you on a Celebrity Cruisetour to Alaska's interior.
You will be greeted by a local expert who will serve as your tour guide throughout your land-based portion of your vacation. 

Cruise Ports

Departing from Vancouver, British Columbia; Inside Passage (Cruising); Ketchikan, Alaska; Icy Strait Point, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska; Hubbard Glacier (Cruising); Seward, Alaska

Cruisetour Cities

Seward, Alaska; Alyeska (Girdwood), Alaska; Anchorage, Alaska; Denali, Alaska; Fairbanks, Alaska

Dates: May 24; Jun 7, 21; Jul 5, 19; Aug 2, 16, 30


• Exclusive Rail travel between Seward & Anchorage
• Included Activities – Alaska SeaLife Center, Resurrection Bay Wildlife Cruise, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Mt. Alyeska Tram Ride, Anchorage Museum & Imaginarium Discovery Center, Discover Denali Tour, Gold Dredge No. 8
• 1-Night The Hotel Alyeska, 1-Night Anchorage, 2-Night Denali & 1-Night Fairbanks

Experience much more of Alaska
 Watch our "Cruisetours: The Complete Alaska Vacation Experience" video

See what a difference a Tour Director can make.
 Watch our "Alaska Cruisetours the Celebrity Way" video

Monday, April 23, 2012

Celebrity Cruisetours to Hubbard Glacier in 2012

Alaska Cruisetours
Celebrity Millennium®

See Hubbard Glacier 
& so much more

Most people thought of a cruise to Alaska as the ultimate vacation, to be completed sometime later in life, perhaps when the children are grown and on their own.   Now, that thinking has changed and many families go to Alaska as an educational experience while the children are living with you.

Whichever situation applies to you,  we are happy that you are exploring an Alaska cruise vacation.  Our blog and Facebook page has a wealth of information to get you started on your investigation.  We are Certified Alaska Experts and can help you plan a worry-free trip that will satisfy the requests of everyone in your group.

We encourage you to extend your cruise by adding one of the many Cruisetours which can be added before or after the cruise portion of your trip - or even both if you have the time.  Here is just a sampling of Cruisetours on Celebrity Millennium, one of our favorite ships.

See how Celebrity visits Alaska in this video

DATES 2012
Cruisetour #3
10-Night Anchorage, Talkeetna &
Alyeska (Motorcoach & Rail) and
Southbound Hubbard Glacier cruise
onboard Celebrity Millennium®
6/1, 6/15, 6/29; 7/13, 7/27; 8/10, 8/24 Day 1: Arrive Anchorage
Day 2: Talkeetna/Anchorage
Day 3: Anchorage/Alyeska
Day 4: Alyeska/Seward
Days 5-11: Celebrity Millennium®
Southbound Hubbard Glacier cruise
Cruisetour #20
10-Night Fairbanks & Denali (Motorcoach)
and Southbound Hubbard Glacier cruise
onboard Celebrity Millennium®
6/8, 6/22, 6/29; 7/6, 7/20;
8/3, 8/17, 8/31
Day 1: Arrive Fairbanks
Day 2: Fairbanks/Denali
Day 3: Denali
Day 4: Denali/Anchorage/Seward
Days 5-11: Celebrity Millennium®
Southbound Hubbard Glacier cruise
Cruisetour #21
14-Night Seward, Anchorage, Talkeetna,
Denali & Fairbanks (Motorcoach & Rail)
and Northbound Hubbard Glacier cruise
onboard Celebrity Millennium®
6/1, 6/15, 6/29,7/13, 7/27; 8/10, 8/24 Days 1-7: Celebrity Millennium®
Northbound Hubbard Glacier cruise
Day 8: Seward
Day 9: Seward/Anchorage
Day 10: Anchorage/Talkeetna
Day 11: Talkeetna/Denali
Day 12: Denali
Day 13: Denali/Fairbanks
Day 14: Fairbanks
Day 15: Depart from Fairbanks
Cruisetour #17
13-Night Seward, Alyeska, Denali,
Talkeetna & Anchorage (Motorcoach & Rail)
and Northbound Hubbard Glacier cruise
onboard Celebrity Millennium®
6/8, 6/15, 6/29; 7/13, 7/27; 8/10, 8/24 Days 1-7: Celebrity Millennium
Northbound Hubbard Glacier cruise
Day 8: Seward
Day 9: Seward/Alyeska
Day 10: Alyeska/Denali
Day 11: Denali
Day 12: Denali/Talkeetna
Day 13: Talkeetna/Anchorage
Day 14: Depart from Anchorage

Be sure to check out our Exploring Alaska page on Facebook

Ship Profile | Itineraries & Pricing | Deck Plans | Dining Menus |
  Wine Lists   | Ship Reviews | 360 Tours | Photos 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cruise Lines and Earth Day 2012

Earth Day 2012

Are these floating cities, we call cruise ships, eco-friendly?

As we mark the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2012, we turn our focus to the cruise industry.  Each day, thousands of passengers sail to destinations across the globe in these vessels which  have the potential of conserving or wasting our national resources.   A lot depends on the efforts of the cruise lines and the cooperation of those that sail.

Today we turn our focus to programs which have been put in place by many of the CLIA member cruise lines.  Here is a sample of what the major lines are doing in the name of protecting the earth.   Consult the websites of your favorite cruise line to see what they are doing.

Celebrity Cruises & Royal Caribbean

Happy Earth Day! Royal Caribbean is committed to environmental stewardship not just today, but every day. Find out how we help keep our oceans blue by running green with the help of Jamie Sweeting, Vice President for Environmental Stewardship and Global Chief Environmental Officer.

Save the Waves® 
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Reduce the generation of waste material, reuse and recycle wherever possible, and properly dispose of remaining wastes.

The Ocean Fund
 In 1996, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (which operates Celebrity Cruises) established the Ocean Fund to support global marine conservation efforts. 

Outreach & Achievements

Keeping our oceans clean doesn't just make good business sense. It's critical to the future of our planet. And you don't have to look far to find examples of our efforts on our ships. 

Environmental Initiatives

Carnival Corporation & PLC / Holland America 

In collaboration with the Marine Conservation Institute - a national and globally focused nonprofit organization based in Washington State dedicated to maintaining healthy, living oceans - Holland America Line will debut an in-stateroom video series onboard all its 15 cruise ships highlighting the importance of ocean conservation. 

The "Our Marvelous Oceans" videos can also be viewed at or at the Marine Conservation Institute website at Find more information on Twitter, Facebook and on the blog Marine Conservation News.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Happy Earth Day! At Norwegian we are so passionate about preserving our oceans that we’ve made environmental protection one of our core company values. We’re leading the cruise industry with the innovative environmental policies and technologies we’ve implemented—from garbage, waste and recycling programs to preventing incidents involving pollution to reducing our operational impact on the environment—just to name a few. In 2011 alone we recycled: 345 Tons of cardboard, 576 tons of scrap metal, 2,035 tons of glass, 720 tons of aluminum and 476 tons of plastic!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Costa Concordia Removal Plans

Removal Contract Awarded 
 Refloat & Tow Concordia
Costa Crociere and the Costa Concordia Emergency Commissioner's Office announced that the tender for the removal of the ship from Giglio Island has been awarded to Titan Salvage in partnership with the Italian firm Micoperi. The work will begin in early May subject to final approval from the Italian authorities and is expected to take about 12 months.

Titan Salvage is an American-owned specialist marine salvage and wreck removal company, part of the Crowley Group, and is a world leader in its field. Micoperi is a well-known Italian marine contractor with a long history as a specialist in underwater construction and engineering.

Main Objectives:
  • Minimal risk
  • Minimal environmental impact, 
  • Protection of Giglio's economy and tourism industry
  • Maximum safety of the work
"We are very pleased to announce another important step toward salvaging the wreck from Giglio Island," said Costa Crociere S.p.A. Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi. "As was the case with the removal of the fuel, we have sought to identify the best solution to safeguard the island and its marine environment and to protect its tourism. We would like also to thank Smit Salvage and Tito Neri for succeeding in defueling and caretaking operations."

Salvage Crew Based in Civitavecchia 

The plan also includes measures to safeguard the island of Giglio's tourism and wider economy. Salvage workers' presence will not have any significant impact on the availability of hotel accommodation on the island during the summer season. The main operating base will be located on the mainland at nearby Civitavecchia, where equipment and materials will be stored, thereby avoiding any impact on Giglio's port activities.

Once floated, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port and dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Italian authorities.

Costa Crociere, Carnival Corporation & plc, London Offshore Consultants, and the Standard P&I Club formulated the plans by reviewing  bids from six companies. The Titan Salvage/Micoperi proposal best fulfilled the main objectives stated above. Once the main work is complete, the sea bottom will be cleaned and marine flora replanted.

Overall updates of the Costa Concordia disaster are being made on the following blog post:   

Allure Adds to 2012 Mishaps

Allure of the Seas
Minor Engine Fire

The year 2012 continues to have its share of cruise ship mishaps.   Friday, while on its way back to its homeport of Port Everglades, Florida, Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas experienced a small, short-lived engine fire.  There were no injuries as a result of the fire.  It broke out around 7:45 PM according the the cruise line.

High-tech Fire Protection

Allure of the Seas, weighing in at 225,282 Tons and accommodating up to 6,360 Passengers, along with her sister ship Oasis of the Seas, is the largest cruise ship in the world.   The ship was built with state-of-the-art features, which played a key role in this event. The ship's high fog system was immediately activated, which contained and extinguished the fire.

Allure of the Seas continued under its own power from St. Maarten and is expected to arrive in Fort Lauderdale on schedule Sunday.   The ship sails 7-night Caribbean itineraries each week.

Related Blog Posts:

We are happy to hear the no crew or passengers were injured in the incident.  There have been no reports of upcoming delays or cancellations in connection with the engine fire, but we will keep watch for any breaking news.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Azamara Quest Resuming Cruises

Azamara Quest
April 24 Sailing

An engine fire on March 30, 2012, suspended cruises on Azamara Quest until the damage could be repaired.  Read more...
Azamara Quest Engine Room Fire

Azamara Quest departed Singapore and is currently in route to Mumbai (Bombay), India. Azamara Quest is expected to arrive in Mumbai in time for its next scheduled sailing on Tuesday, April 24.

14 Night Eastern Mediterranean - Itinerary

Azamara Quest's return to the sea begins with a pre-voyage stay in Mumbai, the India of entrepreneurs, Bollywood films, beautiful temples and grand colonial architecture. Then it’s time to relax at sea, enjoying an array of spa services and evenings of leisurely dining and onboard entertainment. A late night stay in Safaga lets guests visit the great temple complex in Karnak and the Valley of the Kings where Tut’s tomb was discovered.

The ship has an overnight stay in Aqaba, Jordan where one can visit the ancient rose-red city of Petra, filled with stunning architecture. In Sharm El Sheikh, guests can explore the famous coral reefs or visit St. Catherine’s Monastery to view priceless early Christian art and manuscripts. The voyage ends in Sokhna, close to Cairo’s treasures, including the pyramids.

Azamara Update on Injured Crew Member

"We are pleased to report that the condition of the Azamara Quest crew member that was more severely injured continues to improve. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with our crew member and his family. Azamara Club Cruises would like to thank everyone for their thoughtfulness and concern regarding our injured crew member."

Many of you have asked for a way to make a donation to assist our injured crew member. If you would like to make a donation, please make the check payable to Azamara Club Cruises, write "Crew Donation/Azamara Quest" on the memo field, and mail to the address below. One hundred percent of all contributions will go directly to the fund we have set up for our injured crew member.

Dorothy Aloma
Azamara Club Cruises
1050 Caribbean Way
Miami, FL 33132

Monday, April 16, 2012

Viking Njord Delayed Again

Viking River's Njord
Longships Overdue
Delays Cancel 
April 24th Sailing

Viking Njord - God of the Wind

Viking River Cruises has cancelled the April 24 departure of the Viking Njord due to continuing construction delays at the Neptun Werft shipyard in Rostock, Germany. The April 24 “Tulips & Windmills” departure becomes the latest cancellation which included March 28 and April 6 sailings.

First Sailing Now May 3rd

The ship is now scheduled to enter service May 3, 2012. As we reported in our previous blog post, Viking Longboats Christened, four of the longboats were scheduled to be christened at the same time and begin sailing in March.  Two ships were named in Amsterdam while the Viking Freya and Viking Njord were named the same day in the shipyard in Rockstock instead.

Six Additional Longships Ordered

On March 14, 2012, Viking River Cruises announced that it has commissioned six more Viking Longships for delivery in 2013.  The Longship series have been designed by celebrated maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten and Los Angeles based Rottet Studios. They are all being built at the Neptun Yard in Germany, part of the Meyer Neptun group.

Refunds & Future Credits

These delays, caused by local strikes at the shipyard, are costing the company money.  Impacted passengers, on the cancelled cruise, have been contacted and offered a full refund plus credit for a future European cruise worth 25 percent of the amount paid.

Related Blog Posts

Saturday, April 14, 2012

100th Anniversary of Titanic Sinking

RMS Titanic Remembered
Events Around the World

Events across the world are marking the Centenary of the Titanic Sinking in the Atlantic.  The RMS Titanic was a British steamliner built by the White Star Line. For her time, she was the largest passenger steamship in the world. It employed the latest technology available at the time, and was thought to have been "unsinkable". Unfortunately, as you know, that wasn't the case.

The Titanic left Southampton, UK on April 10, 1912, with 2,200 passengers and crew onboard. This was the maiden voyage of this amazing new steamship. Four days after leaving Southampton, the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank. Over 1500 people perished making it one of the most deadly peacetime disasters in history. The high casualty rate was later believed to be due to the insufficient number of lifeboats onboard, something that has been corrected in modern day cruise liners.
Titanic Belfast - Opened March 31, 2012
Just in time for the Centenary of the Titanic sinking,  a large interactive exhibit, Titanic Belfast®, has opened in Northern Ireland.  It extends over nine galleries, complete with special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions, and other interactive features for the visitor to explore everything about the Titanic.
Your visit starts with the conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. The journey goes beyond the aftermath of the sinking, to the discovery of the wreck and continues into the present day with a live undersea exploration centre.  This will surely be a must-see attraction for years to come.  
Harland and Wolff Shipyard - builder of the Titanic
For most of the century following the Titanic disaster, it was a taboo to mention the "T-word" in Belfast, Northern Ireland, site of the shipyard that built that ship and her two sister ships, Olympia and Britannic.  It was a reminder of the industrial failure that followed the disaster.
The cranes are silent now in the shipyard, as their focus shifted to servicing ships and marine infrastructure.  They are staying out of the spotlight on the anniversary of the Titanic.  The only involvement is sponsoring a requiem mass.  Some 16,000 people packed the Belfast slipways where the Titanic was built for a free, open-air concert Friday ahead of the 100th anniversary of the luxury liner’s sinking.

Observances in Belfast include a choral requiem at the Anglican St. Anne's Cathedral and a nationally televised concert at the city's Waterfront Hall on Saturday, where  thousands were expected to attend.


Southampton, England was the departure port for the ill-fated Titanic.   The anniversary is being marked by an orchestra which will play composer Gavin Bryars' work "The Sinking of the Titanic".

About 600 of the Titanic's approximately 900 workers hailed from Southampton, a port city in England. More than 500 from the city died.

Maritime Museum, Southampton

The Maritime Museum, Southampton hosts a permanent exhibition featuring the story of Titanic’s crew.  Visitors can find out about the Titanic crew roles onboard and personal stories.  The Museum has collections of audio of crew member’s memories of the night Titanic struck the iceberg and the consequences for them and their families.  

Titatnic distress call

At Sea in Atlantic

The MS Balmoral and Azamara Journey are enroute to the spot where Titanic sank (41°43'57"N, 49°56'49"W) where a memorial service will be held some 400 miles (640 kilometers) off the coast of Newfoundland.   Miles Morgan Travel offered two cruises, Anniversary Cruise from New York on the Journey, and  Memorial Cruise from Southampton on the Balmoral.
According to details released by Miles Morgan, at 2:20 a.m. ship's time on Sunday — 0547 GMT or 12:47 a.m. EDT — a minister will lead prayers, floral wreaths will be thrown into the sea and a shipboard band, which has been entertaining guests in the evenings during the cruise, will play "Nearer My God To Thee," the tune the Titanic's band kept up as the vessel went down.

In 1912 "ship's time" was determined by predicting when the sun would be at its highest point and making that moment midday. On some vessels the clocks were constantly updated.

It is an outdated practice but to ensure that the memorial is held at exactly the right time, the Balmoral's clocks have been put back to four hours and 27 minutes before BST. That means the ship is now effectively on Titanic time.


Halifax, Nova Scotia, has a grim connection with the Titanic disaster.  The White Star Line chartered several ships to assist in recovery efforts following the sinking of the Titanic. Two Halifax-based ships, the MacKay-Bennett and the Minia, were part of that recovery fleet. The ships' crews recovered 328 bodies, with 209 being returned to Halifax. The badly damaged or deteriorated bodies were buried at sea. Of the 119 buried at sea, 60 were unidentified at the time and 49 remain unidentified today.

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has an extensive exhibit, Titanic: The Unsinkable Ship and Halifax, which was recently updated. The exhibit, recognized as the world's finest collection of wooden artifacts from the vessel, has 20 artifacts and dozens of photographs, including many that had never been published or displayed before. Two well known articles in the exhibit are the only intact Titanic deck chair and the shoes of the Titanic unknown child. Consult the museum's Research Page for more Titanic information.

Besides the exhibit at the museum, visitors to Halifax can also visit the graves of the Titanic victims buried there. Read more

Related Blog Articles:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Retracing Titanic Cruise

Titanic Memorial Cruise
April 08, 2012

The MS Balmoral set sail Sunday from Southampton, England, loaded with 1,039 passengers, the same as the ill-fated RMS Titanic. Relatives of those who lost their lives, relatives of survivors, historians and journalists were among the passengers on this memorial cruise. Miles Morgan Travel offered two cruises, Anniversary Cruise from New York, and this one, Memorial Cruise from Southampton.

The two cruises were marketed with the slogan "Be part of a once in a life time historical event". The Memorial Cruise planned to sail past France and stop in Cobh, Ireland, before continuing it's Atlantic crossing. The captain planned to reach the Titanic's wreck site in the North Atlantic for a memorial ceremony to mark the moment the liner struck an iceberg on April 14, 100 years ago, where a memorial event will take place.

Doomed by Bad Luck?

The Memorial Cruise has had two delays thus far, and there is a feeling that it might be doomed by bad luck.  The first delay was caused by gales and 30ft waves just hours into its voyage as it crossed the Irish Sea after leaving Southampton on Sunday. After stopping in Cobh, Ireland, the MS Balmoral was heading out into the Atlantic when it had to change course back towards Ireland after BBC cameraman Timothy Rex fell 'seriously ill'. He was experiencing chest pains and it was thought he might have suffered a heart attack. Mr Rex, 56, was airlifted by coastguard to hospital when the ship reached the helicopter's range – 130 miles from land.

Passengers in Period Costumes     Courtesy AP
Reliving History

The Titanic hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912 and sank the following morning, claiming the lives of 1,517 passengers and crew.

During this historic voyage, passengers will gather for a memorial ceremony at 11.40 PM, the time the ship hit the iceberg, and again at 2.20 AM the following morning to mark the moment it sank. After visiting the wreck site, it will go to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where some of the Titanic's victims are buried, and then on to New York, the intended destination of RMS Titanic.

The Balmoral is operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, whose parent company, Harland and Wolff, built the Titanic in Belfast.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter 2012

Easter Greetings - Tulip Easter Greetings

Today marks the most solemn day in the Christian calendar. Unlike Christmas, Easter is a movable feast occurring the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. It can therefore occur between March 22 and April 25. We hope that you saw the full moon two nights ago - it was fabulous.

Christians gathered in churches today, across the world, and rejoiced because He is Risen from the Dead. This Good News has been handed down from generation to generation and is based on the scriptures recorded more than 2000 years ago.

Cruising Europe

We have had the good fortune to cruise in Europe on several occasions.  Our most recent European cruise was to the Mediterranean and Greek Isles.   We began our vacation with a pre-cruise stay in the ancient city of Rome.   

One of the highlights while in Rome was our visit to the Vatican.   We began with the Vatican Museum and continued with St. Peter's Basilica.   This image was from one of the murals in the museum.

Throughout Europe one has the opportunity to visit many impressive churches and basilicas.   These structures have withstood the test of time.  Many of them were damaged during the World Wars and rebuilt.

This year there are many cruises to chose from ranging from just a few nights to several weeks.  You can select from large modern ships which hold thousands of passengers to river cruises with about one hundred passengers.  We suggest extending your stay in Europe before your cruise.   This gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the history of the region.

Visit our Facebook Fan page for images of Europe.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

See Alaska with the Whole Family

 Plan An Alaska Cruisetour for the Family

Royal Caribbean’s Alaska Family Style Northbound Cruisetour brings together the Last Frontier’s best family experiences by land and sea, in one easy-to-book vacation.

Royal Caribbean's Alaska "Family Style" Cruisetour packs an abundance of educational opportunities and experiences in with a whole lot of fun. Expert Adventure Specialists create an intimate setting for all families traveling together, providing family focused insider tips and suggestions throughout the journey.

Your 12 night Alaska Cruisetour package includes the 7-night Northbound Alaska cruise onboard Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas with the Adventure Ocean program, fabulous onboard entertainment and a visit to the mighty Hubbard Glacier. The cruise is complimented with a 5-night escorted land tour featuring rail travel on the Wilderness Express® glass domed  railcars along the scenic journey between Seward and Alyeska. Two nights in Denali provide the younger travelers with ample opportunities to engage in the all the National Park has to offer. In addition the hotel properties have been carefully chosen to provide families with comfortable accommodations as well as easy access to all the sites and attractions unique to each of the stops along the way.

"Family Style" Cruisetour includes the following Alaskan experiences:
  • Alaska Sealife Center (Seward)
  • Bay Wildlife Cruise and lunch at Fox Island (Seward)
  • Wildlife Conservation Center (Alyeska)
  • Mt. Alyeska Tram (Alyeska)
  • Museum and Imaginarium Discovery Center (Anchorage)
  • Denali Program (Denali)
  • Dorado Gold Mine (Fairbanks)

Somethings, like Alaska, are best shared together.  Watch this video to see what a cruise vacation can include on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (activities vary by ship).

We would be happy to tell you more about an Alaska Cruisetour
Just Select the Time and We'll do the Rest
Alaska bookings are open through 2013 currently

Sunday, April 1, 2012

King's Wharf Bermuda

Bermuda Images of King's Wharf

Time to turn the pages on your 2012 Extraordinary Vacations calendar...

This month we feature King's Wharf, Bermuda.  Sail from New York or Boston to this lovely island, whose pink-sand beaches are unlike any others in the Caribbean.  Norwegian Cruise Line offers several cruises to Bermuda.   We loved Bermuda, especially the friendly people.  We invite you to read more about Bermuda and consider that destination for your next Caribbean adventure.

Your NCL cruise will dock at King's Wharf, where you can explore beaches, golf courses, restaurants, shops and historic monuments at your leisure.  Or try out one of the many water sports offered in and around this gorgeous harbor.

After your day of exploring the island, return to your ship for a massage, dinner, relaxing by the pool, or enjoy the evening's entertainment.  Whether you want to dance the night away or simply relax, there's something for you to do either onboard or back onshore.   Your ship is your floating hotel for the week.

Swim With the Fishes

Our favorite excursion was Hartley's Helmet Dive.  The Hartley family invites you to join them on their famous "Undersea Walk".   Here you will don a helmet and and walk among the fishes as they swim up to greet you.   In fact, they might even do some tricks for you.

Read more about this underwater adventure in our blog post: 
NCL Dawn Bermuda - Hartley's Helmet Dive

There's lots of adventure that is reachable from your ship's berth in King's Wharf.  We sailed on Norwegian Dawn when we last visited Bermuda.   Here are some articles detailing our visit.
Dining and Entertainment on your NCL Ship