It is safe to say we are ready for cruises to return. Although exact timing remains uncertain for many cruise lines we can rest assured cruising as an industry is coming back quicker than we had anticipated. Here is the latest and greatest news to hit the sea.
ADVENTURE IS BACK: ROYAL CARIBBEAN MAKES LONG-AWAITED RETURN TO THE CARIBBEAN
A milestone more than 15 months in the making: Royal Caribbean International and the communities of the Caribbean celebrated the cruise line’s highly anticipated return to the region as Adventure of the Seas set sail from Nassau, The Bahamas. The first of Royal Caribbean’s ships to resume cruising in the Western Hemisphere, Adventure welcomed more than 1,000 vacationers on its opening cruise. The ship set sail with fully vaccinated crew and fully vaccinated guests 16 years of age or older, who make up 94% of all guests on board while the remaining 6% of guests are children younger than 16. The ship now begins a summer lineup of 7-night sailings to Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s game-changing private island destination in The Bahamas; Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas; and Cozumel, Mexico.
Hot on the heels of the cruise line’s return to the Caribbean, 11 Royal Caribbean ships are set to cruise from the U.S. and Europe once again, beginning in July and August.
Health and Safety Measures for Adventure of the Seas Bahamas Cruises
Vacationers sailing on Adventure can cruise with peace of mind, knowing that all crew members and guests are tested and fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Travelers 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated, and as of Aug. 1, guests age 12 or older. Vacationers younger than the eligible age must undergo testing and follow other protocols. The vaccine requirement is one of the many layers of measures that safeguard the well-being of our guests and crew as well as the communities we visit. These additional health and safety protocols include our fully vaccinated crew, the robust onboard ventilation system, enhanced cleaning and sanitization.
Royal Caribbean will continue to evaluate and update its measures as circumstances evolve and in compliance with various government and health authorities. With cruises sailing to and from different destinations that have different sets of laws and guidelines, protocols will vary accordingly.
Princess Cruises Unveils New On-Demand Feature that Lets Guests Call a Crew Member to Their Location for Assistance on MedallionClass® Vacations.
Princess just introduced a new on-demand service that allows guests to call a crew member to their exact location to make an in-person request for assistance.
CrewCallTM service on demand is available on stateroom TVs as well as the MedallionClass app and leverages the innovative OceanMedallion wearable to guide a crew member to a guest’s exact location to be of service to the guest. The new capability is yet another example of how Princess is leveraging MedallionClass technology to increase high-touch and personalized service versus replacing it. The corresponding CrewCall Chat feature lets guests text their specific question or request using a smart device to be answered or actioned virtually by crew.
Both CrewCall features expand the OceanNow® digital experience guests use to place food, beverage, retail and amenity orders for delivery directly to their location.
CrewCall is part of a new array of TrulyTouchlessTM conveniences that will be available to guests when Princess returns to sailing starting July 25 aboard Majestic Princess in Alaska, and aboard Regal Princess and Sky Princess with “seacations” in the UK starting July 31.
The feature is the latest of several enhancements recently added to the Princess MedallionClass experience to deliver an effortless and more personalized vacation. The award-winning OceanMedallionTM wearable elevates the guest experience by enabling touchless embarkation and disembarkation, frictionless commerce, and keyless stateroom entry, as well as additional contactless capabilities accessible using smartphones and tablets, including wayfinding; family and friends locator; first-run movies and live TV; an interactive events and activities planner; and interactive fun.
SILVERSEA CONTINUES TO LEAD THE RESTART OF ULTRA-LUXURY CRUISING WITH NEW ALASKA AND ICELAND SAILINGS IN JULY
Silversea Cruises, the first cruise line to return to global ultra-luxury cruising with voyages in Greece and the Galápagos from June, has announced new summer voyages in Alaska and Iceland, starting in July 2021. With the passage of the U.S. Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, which enables cruises to Alaska without required stops in Canada, Silver Muse will resume round-trip sailings from Seattle starting July 29, making Silversea the first ultra-luxury cruise line to operate in Alaska this summer. Silver Shadow will circumnavigate Iceland with the launch of new all-Icelandic itineraries, returning to Northern Europe with three 10-day voyages from Reykjavik, beginning July 30.
ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER
Made possible by the passing of the U.S. Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, Silver Muse will set sail on round-trip voyages from Seattle as the first ultra-luxury cruise ship to visit Alaska this summer, following a varied series of 10- and 11-day itineraries. These extended voyages will enable Silversea’s guests to journey to some of Alaska’s most breathtaking ice structures, including the Sawyer Glacier and the Mendenhall Glacier, as well as experience the state’s remarkable landscapes, wildlife, and remote communities, such as Ketchikan, Juneau, Wrangell, Skagway, and Sitka.
A diverse array of experiences are available for an additional fee in each destination in Alaska, including the following highlights. From Juneau, Silversea guests can board a helicopter to experience the world-famous Mendenhall Glacier from the air, before touching down in special glacier boots to walk across this immense ice structure, accompanied by a tour guide who will impart their knowledge on glaciers. Offering an alternative experience of the Mendenhall Glacier, travelers can also participate in a three-hour whale quest from Auke Bay, admiring the vast glacier from the comfort of a catamaran while looking out for marine animals. An onboard naturalist will explain the behavior and habitat of the wildlife guests may encounter – from humpback and killer whales to Stellar sea lions, harbor seals, and Bald Eagles. From Skagway, guests can board a vintage train for an exclusive adventure through Skagway’s White Pass and Yukon Route, learning about Alaska’s gold rush past while taking in the state’s natural beauty.
ICELAND: THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE
According to the Icelandic Tourist Board, cruise travelers arriving in Iceland peaked at approximately 549,000 in 2019, which indicates a burgeoning demand.1 Responding to exceptionally strong guest feedback, Silversea Cruises had previously announced its largest-ever collection of voyages in Iceland as part of its voyage collection for 2021/2022. A revised collection following the pandemic, the three round-trip voyages from Reykjavik include calls in Grundarfjordur, Isafjordur, Siglufjordur, Akureyri, Husavik, Seydisfjordur, and the island of Heimaey. Circumnavigating a land of jaw-dropping natural beauty and geological wonders aboard Silversea’s intimate, ultra-luxury Silver Shadow, the cruise line’s guests will have the chance to marvel at volcanoes and glacier-sculpted fjords, walk across lava fields, witness magnificent waterfalls and bubbling hot springs, and so much more.
During Silversea’s voyages in Iceland, guests will enjoy immersive shore excursions that are included in the fare. Highlight experiences include an insightful half-day tour from Akureyri, during which travelers will discover Iceland’s vast lava fields, bubbling hot pools, hissing fumaroles, breathtaking waterfalls, and internationally-acclaimed birdlife; an awe-inspiring Puffin Tour from Grundarfjordur, during which guests will board a small boat before sailing to an island renowned for its large colony of nesting Atlantic Puffins; an all-terrain vehicle adventure from Heimaey, on which travelers will witness the spectacular beauty of the Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago and the Eldfell Volcano; an unforgettable 4×4 glacier safari with an ice cave visit; and an authentic journey into Iceland’s herring tradition in Siglufjordur with a tasting.
Silver Muse and Silver Shadow are among the most spacious, luxurious ships at sea. Both feature all ocean-view suites, the personalized service of butlers, and sumptuous cuisine served in multiple restaurants. Enhancing the cruise experience are such all-inclusive amenities as round-trip economy class air (or air credit); pre and post-cruise hotel night/s, depending on Silversea’s air program schedule; transfers and luggage handling; complimentary premium wines and spirits, specialty coffees, bottled water, juices and soft drinks served throughout the ships; in-suite bars, stocked with guests’ preferences; a complimentary in-suite, 24-hour dining service; onboard gratuities; and unlimited, complimentary Wi-Fi.
CRUISE WITH CONFIDENCE
With Silversea’s flexible booking policy, guests who book before August 31, 2021, will be able to cancel their cruise up to 30 days prior to departure for all voyages (except World Cruises) until April 30, 2022, without penalties when selecting a Future Cruise Credit. Complete details on Silversea’s Cruise with Confidence program are posted on the cruise line’s website.
All guests and crew will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before embarking Silver Muse in Alaska and Silver Shadow in Iceland, as part of Silversea’s comprehensive, multi-layered set of science-backed protocols that will help to safeguard the health and safety of guests, crew, and visited communities. Silversea will continue to work closely with relevant governing bodies and health authorities to evolve its health and safety procedures, as new health recommendations are issued and as the fluid situation advances.