THIS HAS CERTAINLY BEEN A BUSY YEAR for me, with quite a bit of travel and more yet to come. It’s been a year
full of cruise and river ship launches as well, and there are still four trips on the horizon during which I’ll see some of these brand new beauties.
Nothing is slowing down and cruise lines of all kinds are building fabulous ships, all designed to take our breath away. Each is unique and remarkable in and of herself. The pace is beyond hectic and it seems almost every month we have a new ship launching. These range from small river ships with just 100 to 150 guests, to behemoths such as Symphony of the Seas from Royal Caribbean which accommodates more than 6,000. I will be sailing on her in November this year when she arrives in our waters, and I’ll be sure to give you the inside scoop.
Others I’ll be seeing include the much-anticipated Celebrity Edge from Celebrity Cruises. Talk about a game-changer – this will be one for sure. You can watch for a piece on her in the February issue of the magazine. This new class of ship will offer guests even more remarkable onboard experiences and an amazing array of dining options as well as phenomenal entertainment – it’s mindboggling.
I’m also lucky enough to be sailing on one of the new Explorer yachts from Ponant Cruise Line. With just 184 guests, Le Champlain is one of six vessels in this class which will all be launched between now and 2020. Much is happening in this segment of the cruise world so Cruise & Travel Lifestyles is putting a fresh new focus on Expedition cruising. We know that many of our readers want to experience this kind of vacation.
Later this year, the venerable Holland America Line, which has just celebrated its 145th birthday, will be launching their newest Pinnacle Class ship – the Nieuw Statendam, a sister to the absolutely wonderful Koningsdam which came out a few years ago. I will be sailing on her as well to “test the waters” and I will report back in an issue next year.
We can never forget that river ships keep appearing at a regular pace too, and one I’m very excited about is the new AmaMagna from AmaWaterways which launches on the Danube in May, 2019. She’ll be the first “double-wide” river ship ever – twice as wide as any other ship on the rivers, with far more spacious staterooms and suites, a fabulous spa and a watersports platform (another first) as well as five dining choices. Things are certainly happening with this highly regarded company!
There’s much still to discover – and it’s not all about cruising. We know that people who cruise tend to take a few other vacations each year as well, even if they are short weekend getaways. Last year, I experienced a Monograms guided sightseeing tour and hotel program in two iconic cities in South America and it was wonderful – you can read about it on page 46 in this issue.
We also spent some time in the South of France and Paris, book-ending a French river cruise, and it reminded me of how much I love driving vacations and having time to explore on one’s own schedule. Whatever your vacation preference, I trust the articles and news items we offer in each of our magazine issues will capture your interest, spark your imagination and help you and your travel advisor plan a perfect holiday choice.
PS – Please use our website as a valuable tool for our latest news, articles and views and do sign up for our monthly newsletter which we will mail to your inbox. www.cruiseandtravellifestyles.com.
Originally published in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Fall/Winter 2018 issue.