Recommend December 2017 - 91

Left: Rendering of Ponant's Blue Eye underwater,
multi-sensory lounge.
Right: Rendering of the spa plunge pools on board
the Scenic Eclipse. Below: The Azamara Pursuit
will debut early next year.

the winter season 2017-2018, Oceania is
offering its largest assemblage of itineraries
to date, a total of 172, with more than 370
ports of call.
A recent study from CLIA reports
that ever-favored Alaska showed the
most destination growth in the 2017
cruise scene, and that clients are showing
increased interest in expedition sailings and
"something new and out of the box," from
luxury to adventure.
And cruise wizards are on it. After
an absence of more than two decades,
Windstar will return to Alaska, premiering
its Expedition Program, a first for the line.
From May to Sept. 10, Star Legend will sail
the Last Frontier, with a choice of Zodiac
or kayak explorations embarking from
Windstar's watersports platform. Also on tap
are new pre- and post-cruise Denali National
Park land tours.
Aiming to be first in line, UnCruise
Adventures will head to Alaska in April,
remaining until early September. Notes Van
Aken, "The early spring sailings will offer
less crowds, drier weather, the chance of
seeing wildlife, and shorter days that make
potential sightings of the Aurora Borealis
possible. They'll also continue their Kids in
Nature family-friendly itineraries to attract
multi-generational travelers."

Indeed, the multi-generational boom
shows no signs of letting up. "Many lines are
now offering select itineraries catering to
families with special excursions and onboard
activities," says Lori Foster, independent
vacation specialist with Cruises Inc.
"AmaWaterways and Adventures by Disney
have been very successful with their family
river cruise itineraries."
Where to tuck in these generations?
Carnival is one of the companies in the
accommodations forefront with its Family
Harbor, featuring suites for five with two
bathrooms, plus a lounge for hanging out.
Notes Adolfo Perez, the line's v.p. of trade
sales and marketing, "Our newest ship,
Carnival Horizon, is set to debut April 2 in
Europe. It will be a sister ship to Carnival

Vista, with our first-ever Dr. Seuss water
park and family favorites like the SkyRide
aerial attraction. It will also have the popular
Family Harbor with the extra-roomy cabins
and dedicated family lounge."
Aboard Royal Caribbean's Symphony of
the Seas, scheduled to bow in April, look for
what RCI calls "the world's most adventurous
and interactive family suite." Which may
well be the case, considering that the 2-level
suite will encompass such eye-poppers as a
slide from the kids' bedroom to the living
room below, a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, an
air-hockey table, and hidden nooks
for chilling.
Then there's Celebrity's new Celebrity
Edge, to debut in the fall. "Families will
appreciate the ship's Iconic Suites," says ➤

Azamara Pursuit:
New Destinations, Exclusive Experiences

With Azamara Club Cruises, says Larry Pimentel, the cruise line's president and CEO,
"we set out to create a different kind of product, a no-cruise cruise-it's all about
destination immersion." And with the new Azamara Pursuit debuting next year, the
line will be able to explore even more destinations in its unique way. As Pimentel
points out, "The third ship [in the fleet] gets us to about 40 percent more destinations.
All in all, with the Pursuit joining the fleet, we'll be going to 81 countries and all
seven continents."
In its first year, the Pursuit will offer 15 maiden calls including to Agadir, Morocco;
Monemvasia, Greece; San Antonio, Chile; Fowey, UK; and Seyoifjorour, Iceland. There
will be 61 more destinations on the lineup, with 48 late nights and 26 overnights.
"Upwards of 22 percent of our guests," notes Pimentel, "have never even been on a
ship. They are coming simply because they want to see destinations in more depth, not
for a few hours, but overnight or late night, where there are so many types of unique
experiences that we can offer."
These new voyages will offer the opportunity to go stargazing in Chile's Atacama
Desert; dine in the oldest inhabited house in all of the Americas in Peru; and take
an elevator into the magna chamber of a dormant volcano in Iceland. "This is slow
cruising," says Pimentel, "exposing people to culture in every which way."
- Paloma Villaverde de Rico
december 2017 91



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend December 2017

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