Norwegian Escape itinerary eagerness after Keel laying ceremony

Norwegian Escape itinerary excitement with Keel laying ceremony

The Norwegian Escape Keel laying ceremony took place a few days ago, and as a result has now given people a renewed interest in looking at what itineraries are available for this new Norwegian Cruise Line ship once she enters service in October 2015.

The first of 86 blocks was laid down with a lucky coin being placed beneath this 400-ton block. This is a tradition that has gone on for yeas, and happens each time a new cruise ship has her Keel laid.

Norwegian Escape itinerary eagerness – With the Norwegian Escape progress now set to start ramping up because of hitting this milestone, we suspect that there has now been more people looking to see what the inaugural cruises are for this new ship, and how much they are likely to cost.

Norwegian Escape itinerary excitement

This information is available on Norwegian’s official page for their new ship, the Escape, which is the first Breakaway-Plus class vessel. While the choice may not be extensive at this time, you still have the option to sail to the Caribbean from Miami, although if you would rather cruise on her maiden voyage, then that will be from Southampton to Miami, Florida, US.

Themes breathe new life into river routes

By Michelle Baran
Insight It isn’t easy to reinvent the wheel, so one has to give it to the river cruise lines for getting creative with itineraries that go up and down the same rivers week in and week out by crafting unique and engaging themed departures.

River cruise companies have been toying with themed river cruises for years —holiday-themed winter cruises came onto the scene several years ago as a way to extend the river cruise season and continue to be a mainstay in all the river cruise lines’ brochures — but they’re getting more innovative with themes and definitely having more fun with it.

AmaWaterways’ wine-themed cruises have become so popular that the line now dedicates an entire brochure to its In Celebration of Wine cruises. The company also hosts Jewish heritage cruises, chocolate-themed cruises and even knitting cruises: AmaWaterways will have a “Knitting New Year’s Cruise” this year on the Danube, which will showcase the latest in luxury yarns, forums on fashion trends, and classes on new stitch patterns and techniques. The knitting cruise was suggested by one of AmaWaterways’ travel agent partners and will be hosted by Barry Klein, owner of Trendsetter Yarns in Los Angeles. MichelleBaran

For 2014, Avalon Waterways increased its special-interest cruises by 30% to meet demand, adding beer-tasting, golf, wellness and World War I history cruises to an already innovative roster of themed cruises. They also offer cruises based around the themes of art and impressionism, authors, food, wine, music, Jewish heritage and history. Tauck, too, has culinary, art and music-themed cruises.

There are also themes that are more timely, such as the 70th anniversary of D-Day, which many river cruise lines have incorporated into their France itineraries, including Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection.

And stateside, American river cruise lines have endless themes to enhance their Mississippi and Pacific Northwest river itineraries. The American Queen Steamboat Co. has cruises centered on baseball legends, Mardi Gras, music of the 1950s and 1960s, Elvis, bourbon and bluegrass, and many others.

American Cruise Lines has Mark Twain, Lewis and Clark and Civil War cruises, and for the American foodie, lobster cruises and crabfest cruises.

Not convinced by river cruising? Perhaps you’ll be lured in by your love of shellfish … or knitting … or bourbon. Pick your poison.

AmaWaterways introduces 2014 Myanmar itineraries

AmaWaterways introduces 2014 Myanmar itineraries

By Michelle Baran
After teasing the news earlier this year that it had plans to enter the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar (aka Burma), AmaWaterways is now taking bookings on two new Myanmar river cruises that will take place on the 56-passenger AmaPura.

The two new itineraries are a 11-day Golden Treasures of Myanmar trip and a 15-day Hidden Wonders of Myanmar, which are outlined in the company’s “River Cruises through Myanmar (Burma) 2014-2016” brochure as well as on the company’s website.

The cruises will include stops in Bagan, home to more than 2,200 temples, stupas and pagodas; Mandalay, the country’s former imperial capital and its second-largest city; the ancient royal city of Inwa, which was the capital of Burma for more than 400 years; Amarapura, known for having the world’s longest teak bridge; and Yangon, the country’s capital.

Launching on the Irrawaddy River in November 2014, the all-suite AmaPura will feature 28 suites, all with either a French balcony, a step-out full balcony or indoor/outdoor twin balconies. The ship’s public areas include a restaurant, main lounge and bar, gift shop, spa, pool and a sun deck for lounging.

AmaWaterways is also offering an optional four-night post-cruise extension, featuring three nights in Inle Lake and one night in Yangon. A two-night pre- or post-cruise extension in Bangkok is also available.