Δευτέρα, 29 Μαΐου 2017
Small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises continues to make big changes to its deployment, announcing eight new itineraries in Northern Europe and 12 new Mediterranean itineraries, bringing Windstar’s total unique itineraries in Europe for 2018 to an impressive 40. The itineraries beget 26 new European ports, increasing the company’s global number of maiden ports to 93 for 2018.
The sailings, running April through October, include a bevy of unique “small ship-only” experiences, like cruising the impossibly narrow Trollfjord in the Lofoten Islands; docking in downtown London near the Tower of London, where guests can marvel at Tower Bridge as they sail underneath the iconic structure; or tucking into exclusive San Remo on the Riviera of Flowers, known as Italy’s own Monte Carlo.
“These 20 new itineraries are just the latest development in response to our growing customer demand, we’re keenly focused on offering more and varied sailings that effectively leverage our fleet of six small ships,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “Our team constantly seeks out new experiences, lesser known ports and harbors everywhere we sail — hidden treasures that only true small ships can access. Unveiling these new itineraries further demonstrates our commitment to destination authenticity – delivering incredible experiences in a highly customized way.”
Windstar’s three all-suite power yachts have opened up new places for the company to explore, including more ports in Northern Europe and smaller, charming ports in the Mediterranean. The yachts are perfectly suited to sailing into smaller harbors and fjords, scenic coastal cruising, and traversing larger distances at higher speeds.
Windstar’s destination expansion brings a ship to Asia later this year on a host of new itineraries, also on tap for 2018 are recently announced new voyages in Alaska, Canada and New England.
Europe 2018 cruises will have something for everyone, from shorter week-long sailings to epic multi-week voyages. Here are a few notable highlights in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean for 2018 (see below for a full list of the new Europe 2018 sailings):
Secrets of the Faroe, Shetland & Ork ney Islands – Difficult to get to and often listed on “the traveler who has done it all’s must-see list,” the remote islands of the North Atlantic are perfectly suited to exploration by small ship. Most cruise ships merely stop briefly on their way to Iceland, but Windstar is the only cruise line to offer a seven-day journey (round trip from Edinburgh) to these wild landscapes, with access to Shetland ponies, Atlantic Puffins, and the opportunity to meet the laird of a castle.
Norway’s Famous Fjords – With a focus on scenic cruising in some of the best fjords in Norway, this eight-day, round-trip journey from Copenhagen puts guests into ports like Geirangerfjord and Sognafjord, which are stunning from every angle. Windstar will ensure guests can take advantage of the region’s hiking, kayaking, and fishing opportunities, as well as immerse them in the traditional mountain lifestyle with visits to local sheep farms.
Sailing Southern Italy & Croatia – Windstar’s -newday exploration11 of both coasts of Italy and the Croatian Riviera lets guests take in medieval walled cities, glittering resort towns, and some of the finest cuisine in the Mediterranean. From Rome to Venice, the itinerary includes two stops in trendy Puglia’s whitewashed villages – Bari and Brindisi.
Hidden Harbors of the Côte d’Azur – From Nice to Barcelona over eight days, this sailing visits less-frequented port of call along the famous coastline. With stops in Bastia, Corsica; Le Lavandou, Marseille, and Sanary-sur-Mer in France; as well as Palamos in Spain, guests can enjoy plenty of palm-lined promenades, local delicacies like Provençal bouillabaisse, and an eclectic mix of art and architecture.
Ladies European Tour star Noemi Jimenez will take time out from her busy tournament schedule to help Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf & Spa celebrate Women’s Golf Day alongside hundreds of golf venues around the world next month.
The 23-year-old Spanish ace wil host an exclusive golf clinic for female golfers of all ages and abilities as part of Finca Cortesin’s Women’s Golf Day event on Tuesday, June 6.
Costing €35 per person, beginners and more experienced players can enjoy a two-hour lesson with Jimenez – who was ranked third in the world amateur rankings in 2015 before turning professional – in a fun and friendly setting at the deluxe Spanish resort.
Ladies also have the chance to play nine holes on Finca Cortesin’s award-winning 18-hole championship course before everyone attending can round off the four-hour afternoon event in style with a well-deserved cocktail.
Women’s Golf Day is one of the most exciting additions to the global golf calendar in recent years with 660-plus venues in 46 countries so far signed up to host events on June 6.
Launched last year, the global initiative encourages women and girls of all abilities to participate, with female golfers from 28 countries in 485 locations taking part in the inaugural event.
Opened in March 2009 and set across a vast 532-acre estate, Finca Cortesin is regarded among Europe’s most exclusive modern golf and lifestyle destination resorts, and was recently named as the ‘Best Golf Resort in Europe’ by users of the respected website.
The resort’s acclaimed championship course – which was designed by world-renowned architect Cabell Robinson – has hosted numerous high-profile tournaments including the Volvo World Match Play Championship in 2009, 2011 and 2012, while complementing the par-72 layout are outstanding practice facilities including a state-of-the-art Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy.
Located in the rolling hills of southern Spain between Marbella and Sotogrande, with the Mediterranean to one side and the tranquil Casares Mountains to the other, Finca Cortesin’s other world-class facilities include an elegant 67-suite hotel, Hotel Cortesin, a 6,000sqm Beach Club and an award-winning spa featuring Spain’s only snow cave, with bespoke treatments by French beauty brand Boilogique Recherche.
Hotel Cortesin offers the choice of four restaurants including El Jardin de Lutz, serving authentic Spanish cuisine, and the Michelin-starred signature Japanese restaurant Kabuki Raw. The development also features an exclusive collection of villas which are available for purchase or rental.
MSC Cruises – the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa – revealed the names and concepts for the two exclusive Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows that will be performed on board MSC Cruises’ new next-generation flagship, MSC Meraviglia. The long-term partnership between MSC Cruises and Cirque du Soleil will set new standards in live entertainment at sea and will see the world’s leader in artistic entertainment create a total of eight original shows that will be exclusively available on MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia generation ships, coming into service between June 4, 2017 – with MSC Meraviglia – and autumn 2020.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are committed to creating unique experiences that elevate the guest experience to new heights and, for this, we work with innovative, world-class leaders in their sector. It was thus only natural that, when it comes to entertainment, we would look to partner with Cirque du Soleil.”
Mr Onorato continued: “Today we are delighted to reveal the concepts and inspiration behind the Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows that will soon premiere on our new flagship MSC Meraviglia. By creating two different shows for each of the four Meraviglia and Meraviglia-plus generation ships, we will make available exclusively to our guests something new and exciting with each ship’s launch. Moreover, these shows will be a true first at sea.”
Yasmine Khalil, President 45 DEGREES, Cirque du Soleil’s Events and Special Projects Company, stated: “After years of hard work, our team is very excited to unveil the names and visuals of the two first productions of our partnership with MSC; two concepts very different from one another, both showcasing Cirque du Soleil’s “savoir-faire”. Guests of MSC Meraviglia are definitely in for a treat!”
Two original shows
Cirque du Soleil sat out to create two very different, contrasting shows, each with a different concept, ambiance, storyline, costumes and make-up. The shows will be performed twice a night for six nights so that guests can take the opportunity to see both shows.
VIAGGIO, the first of the two shows, is the story of a passionate and eccentric artist who hears the call of his Faceless Muse. Mysterious and seductive, she beckons him into the vivid world of his unbridled imagination to complete his masterpiece. With each stroke of his paintbrush, the Painter reveals the details of his grandiose tableau. Electrifying colours fill the space with intriguing motifs and rich textures. Majestic acts transform the theatre into a living canvas. Before our very eyes, a masterpiece comes to life.
With sound at its heart, SONOR – the second show – takes guests on an auditory adventure with dancers, acrobats and characters, all moving to the rhythm. It conjures a world of unique sensations, astonishing sounds, bold music and immersive projections and culminates in a grand finale for the senses.
Each show will offer its own unique cocktail or dinner experience
Mr Onorato concluded, “We wanted to elevate the experience even further for our guests and for this we have worked hand in hand with the creative team from Cirque du Soleil to create the first Dinner & Show experience on our fleet.”
The dinner experience will be a gastronomic delight, where every detail from the table settings, the costumes, the music and visual effects through to the menus have been specially designed to complement each pre-show experience.
The dining experience will start one hour before the show performance begins and will be a treat for the senses with surprise animation from performers, live music, stylish table settings topped off with a table d’hôte three-course menu of eclectic creative dishes.
The dining experience to complement SONOR guests will be invited into a parallel world where culinary creations will not only trick the eye but the senses, whilst VIAGGIO will immerse guests in a universe of colour, testing the imagination of guests from beginning to end.
Other guests will be able enjoy a Cocktail & Show experience that will begin 30 minutes before the performance starts and will include a specially designed signature cocktail and tempting treats.
Cirque du Soleil at Sea needs to be pre-booked by guests either before the cruise or once on board. Places in the theatre are limited to 413 seats so it is important for guests to book early to make sure to have a chance to live the experience.
The €20 million Carousel Lounge high-tech theatre
MSC Meraviglia will become the first cruise ship ever to feature an entertainment lounge designed to be able to meet the unique needs of Cirque du Soleil also whilst at sea. The Carousel Lounge was designed by MSC Cruises together with the Architect Marco De Jorio to meet these very specific needs.
Equipped with the most cutting-edge technology and special rigging, the Carousel Lounge will enable Cirque du Soleil performers to deliver sublime performances for the exclusive enjoyment of MSC guests. The Carousel Lounge is a very intimate space, hosting up to 413 guests for each performance, one of the smallest venues for Cirque du Soleil, making the interaction between the guests and performers even more special.
The name carousel was chosen to convey the combined spirit of MSC Cruises offering unforgettable experiences and of Cirque du Soleil’s unique performances, conjuring up festive and magical emotions. A carousel is associated with childhood memories of festive outdoor fairs. There is something inherently captivating about a carousel. Music, colours, lights, movement all combine in a unique, breath-taking experience.
In honor of National Burger Day today, Holland America is paying homage to the American classic that has become a worldwide favorite. Both meat lovers and vegetarians will find a burger to love among the cruise line’s gourmet options at Dive-In at the Terrace Grill, as well as in the Pinnacle Grill and main dining room. There’s even a burger featured in America’s Test Kitchen.
With 20 unique options onboard, Holland America’s selections take guests on a tasty adventure that goes far beyond cheese, pickles, and ketchup. There are four styles at Dive-In, a signature burger at Pinnacle Grill, and 14 rotating selections on the main dining room lunch menu. On a seven-day cruise, it’s estimated that the line serves over 4,000 burgers!
Dive-In on the lido deck offers a menu of made-to-order beef burgers that are served with Holland America’s secret Dive-In sauce. These are the four choices:
- Cannonball: the most popular burger is served with gouda cheese, applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, chop-chop lettuce, and sliced tomato on a toasted brioche bun
- High-Dive: American cheddar cheese, chop-chop lettuce, and sliced tomato on a brioche bun
- Gainer: A mound of crispy, frizzled onions, chop-chop lettuce, and sliced tomato on a brioche bun
- Freestyle: This vegetarian “burger” consists of a grilled portobella mushroom topped with cheddar and gouda, chop-chop lettuce, avocado, and sliced tomato on a toasted whole wheat bun.
Pinnacle Grill Perfection
Guests looking for the ultimate gourmet burger will find it in the Pinnacle Grill. The burger includes bacon jam, garlic chipotle aioli, Beecher’s cheddar cheese, cabernet red onions, and avocado.
American’s Test Kitchen
Through Holland America’s partnership with America’s Test Kitchen, guests can attend onboard cooking shows produced with the long-running television show. One featured recipe is a black bean burger with chipotle mayo. In the show kitchen, guests can learn how to make it from the onboard chefs that were trained by America’s Test Kitchen culinary experts.
Main Dining Room Options
For lunch in the main dining room, 14 burgers are offered in a cycle; one per day. Guests on most cruises could try a different one every day and not run out of choices. The options are:
- Trattoria Burger with Roasted Bell Pepper, Pesto Mayo, and Mozzarella
- Melted Brie Bistro Burger
- Mushroom Fontina Burger
- Bacon Egg Burger
- Gouda Burger with Cabernet Onions
- Andouille Burger with Crumbled Blue Cheese
- Avocado and Bacon Burger
- Cheeseburger on Sourdough
- Cowboy Burger with Grilled Mushrooms
- Onion Barbecue Burger
- Cordon Blue Burger
- Mozzarella Burger with Arugula Pesto
- Mushroom and Onion Burger
- Blue Cheese Burger with Crispy Onions
Aeroflot has for the seventh time successfully passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit to comply with IOSA standards. The IOSA certificate and IOSA-registered operator status have been extended through October 2019.
Auditors from Aviation Quality Services GmbH (AQS) conducted an extensive five-day audit of Aeroflot’s operations. The audit confirmed unanimous conformity with international standards, placing Aeroflot among the elite of the global aviation industry.
AQS auditors noted a significant improvement in Aeroflot’s operations compared to the last IOSA audit of Aeroflot in 2007.
The latest recertification marks the seventh successful IOSA audit for Aeroflot. The first too place in 2005, when Aeroflot became the first IOSA-certificated operator in Russia. Other Russian carriers later followed Aeroflot’s lead.
IOSA standards are regularly updated in response to new challenges and demands of global aviation. The tenth revision of the standard is currently in effect.
IOSA-registered operator status is granted for two years, and can be further extended through recertification. This status is obligatory for an airline to be eligible for IATA membership as well as SkyTeam membership. IOSA certification is also requested by potential partner airlines to conclude or prolong code-share agreements.
Aeroflot has once again proved its reputation as one of the safest airlines in the world, and one which is trusted by its passengers and partners both at home and abroad.