Crystal Cruises’ new adventure ship emerges from the shipyard

Image result for crystal endeavor

The latest Crystal Cruises’ adventure ship Crystal Endeavor has been rolled out of a German shipyard eight months before it is due to enter service.

The 200-passenger polar class expedition vessel touched water for the first time at the MV Werften yard in Stralsund.

The all-suite ship is due to set off on its first cruise from Tokyo on August 10, 2020.

Crystal Endeavor will feature helicopter pads and a submarine capable of carrying seven passengers 980ft underwater.

Other facilities include chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma & Sushi Bar; a spa and fitness centre; mud rooms and a helicopter lounge.

Itineraries are available until early 2023 range from the Arctic, Antarctica and Australia to Africa, Europe and Indonesia.

Crystal Cruises’ president and chief executive Tom Wolber said: “Each milestone marked in the journey to introducing Crystal Endeavor to the world becomes more thrilling, as we know that the most adventurous luxury travellers are eagerly awaiting the unforgettable experiences that lie ahead, just as we are.

Princess Announces 2019 Japan Cruise Program

Diamond Princess

Princess Cruises announced its 2019 program in Japan, featuring the Japanese-built Diamond Princess returning for her sixth season, sailing roundtrip from Tokyo (Yokohama) and Kobe.

The March-November 2019 season features 60 departures on 40 unique itineraries, visiting 41 destinations in seven countries, more ports than ever before.

“Japan is a culturally rich country with an abundance of local entertainment, historical sites and culinary experiences for our guests to embrace,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia group president. “Cruising is the best way to explore this island nation and Princess has been recognized the number one international cruise line in Japan.”

Deployment includes first-time port calls at Gamagori, Himeji, Matsuyama, Niigata, Miyako and Takamatsu as well as nine departures during the popular Spring Flowers season, visiting many top cherry blossom and spring flowers sites throughout all of Japan.

Seven departures provide access to some of the most popular summer festivals in Japan including the Aomori Nebuta Festival, Kochi Yosakoi Dance Festival and Akita Kanto Festival, Princess said.

Three voyages include viewing of the Kumano Grand Fireworks Festival visible from the decks of the Diamond Princess, a display of over 10,000 fireworks

There are five voyages with late-night stays in Aomori during the Aomori Nebuta Festival, which features Nebuta float figures, traditional music, and many vibrant dancers, easily accessible on foot from the port.

And their voyages provide access to many August festivals including Akita Kanto Festival, Kochi Yosakoi Dance Festival and Tokushima Awa Dance Festival.

Variety of Southern Islands cruises allowing guests to experience a different climate and culture, with calls to the isles of Okinawa and Ishigaki or Miyakojima, and to Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan.

There are multiple circles Hokkaido cruises including late-night stays in Hakodate, home to the Mt. Hakodate cable car.

There is also a nine-day circle Japan or Sea of Japan voyages circumnavigating the country.

Princess to offer land packages with Japan cruises

Princess Cruises said it will offer pre- and post-cruise land tours for 2016 Japan cruises on the Diamond Princess.

When Princess launched cruises from Japanese homeports in 2013, they were designed for Japanese travelers, but they have proved popular with North Americans.

The new multi-day land packages explore the departure cities Kyoto and Tokyo. The Kyoto tours will include sightseeing at Nijo Castle, the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and popular Japanese gardens, Princess said. In Tokyo, there will be city tours as well as visits to Mt. Fuji, Togendai and Lake Ashi.

The 2016 season will again run from April through October and feature four- to 20-day cruises, including circumnavigations of Japan, two new ports of call on the island of Kyushu, along with visits to Korea, Taiwan and Russia.

Although the cruises have found an international audience, Diamond Princess remains customized for Japanese guests. The ship features a traditional Izumi Japanese bath, a restaurant with made-to-order sushi and a large selection of sake, a traditional Japanese breakfast omelet, noodle stations and unique Japanese entertainment offerings such as “rakugo” storytelling performances and origami classes.

Sales for the 2016 Japan cruises open April 16.