Happy National Plan a Cruise Month Adventurers. If you are in need of an excuse to plan a cruise, this is it for sure. Cruising is HOT and only growing in popularity and diversification. We have the big mainstream brands bringing bigger and bolder ships to the market with ICON of the Seas debuting early January 2024. Premium medium sized lines releasing ships that feel more like a 5-star hotel then a cruise ship. They are also offering more diverse ports of call, late night stays and more all-inclusive offering. And you certainly can’t forget the smallest and most intimate of ships. Cruising the rivers of the world and exploring in the ocean to the furthest most remote regions, they are adding more and more capacity and always at the forefront of innovation.
It is an exciting time for the cruising industry and for me, your trusted travel advisor. So, what exactly has me excited during National Plan a Cruise Month? I can’t name just one so how about I give you 6. Be sure to read all the way to the end because that number 6 is AMAZING!
1. With the roaring success of the 14-night Grand Danube itinerary from AmaWaterways, they have recently announced that they will be offering not 1, not 2, but 4 grand sailings starting in 2025: Grand Rhine & Dutch Canals, Magnificent Europe, Grand Seine & Bordeaux, and Grand Seine and Rhone. These amazing new itineraries are all currently offered under an early booking savings of 5-20% off .
2. Uniworld announces the addition of 2 ships the S.S. Victoria, which will set sail in 2024, and the S.S. Elisabeth, which will follow in 2025. These breathtakingly beautiful ships will both be setting sail on the Rhine with the Victoria also sailing on the Moselle. As sister ships, they will have a similar ambiance of contemporary luxury and the largest suites on the rivers of Europe. The ships are full charters from Seaside Collection and under a three-year bareboat charter agreement for each ship. The ships will have an all-Uniworld staff as well as the brand’s trademark touches and amenities they are so well known for.
3. Oceania released over 100 exciting new itineraries for 2025 including those for their June 2025 inaugural sailing of the Allura. Oceania continues to offer their guests unparalleled experiences. With longer in port stays and the best dining at sea it is hard not to be inspired to plan a cruise. Since Oceania never repeats an itinerary, they are among my favorite to do back, to back sailings with. Oceania has also announced that they will be replacing the 670 passenger Nautica for Summer 2025 with the 1250 passenger Riviera will be spending Summer 2025 in Alaska allowing for more capacity for their very popular Alaska cruises.
4. These last few years have brought forth several brand-new cruise lines many which look very impressive from where I sit. The one that has gripped my attention most recently in the Ocean category is Explora Journeys. This luxury product being offered by the MSC group, has been met with rave reviews. From the stunning ship designs to the dedication to their culinary program, Explora has big plans for expansion and should be on every cruisers radar for a need to try experience for the next time they are ready to plan a cruise.
5. Lindblad Expeditions released their 2025 itineraries earlier this fall and boy am I loving these itineraries. As the pioneers of expedition travel, they continue to be on the cutting-edge floor with their newest announcement. In 2024 they will be teaming up with Food & Wine magazine to deliver a Pacific Northwest journey on the Columbia and Snake River. These intimate journeys with a maximum of 62 guests, will explore the beauty of the Pacific Northwest alongside a team of experts with deep knowledge of the geology and history all while dining on locally sourced sustainable ingredients on their gourmet menu along with the over 40 of the region’s best wines. Who wants to go with me?
6. I recently attended both the invite only Avoya Million Dollar Showcase as well as the Avoya Travel annual conference. We were given a presentation by Atlas Ocean Voyages which has been on my radar for some time. Their presentation at our conference gave me my number one takeaway from the combo event, the Atlas Ocean Voyages Military Edge Savings Program. This exclusive program offers the most robust program aimed at ALL U.S. Veterans-former, active, reserve, and retired. On select sailings they offer 10- 20%. Yes, you read that correct, 20% savings AND it is combinable with select offers. This unprecedented offer has me so impressed especially when some of the most recognized names in Cruising offer zero.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s celebrate National Plan a Cruise Month together. I celebrated by booking a pre-inaugural sailing on the new Icon of the seas this January 2024, now it is your turn. Let’s plan a cruise together!
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