Category Archives: cruises

Six Bonuses of Sailing on a Fall Foliage Maine Windjammer Cruise

Each month has its draws, but for many, fall is the best time of the year for a cruise with the Maine Windjammer Association fleet.  © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Maine’s Midcoast, and the Penobscot Bay region glows in the harvest hues of Mother Nature’s fall colors from mid-September through October.  From the water, the Maine Windjammer Association captains watch as color sets in and the reds, yellows, and oranges of the hillsides bathe the entire region in fall foliage vistas.  Add in a fabulous fall sunset and you can only imagine the beauty of fall cruising along the coast of Maine.  Each month has its draws, but for many, fall is the best time of the year for a cruise with the Maine Windjammer Association fleet.  For those not quite sure, here are six reasons to book a fall cruise this year.

Fall fleet events are among the favorites

The Camden Windjammer Festival, which is typically celebrated annually on the Friday and Saturday before Labor Day, is canceled this year. Instead, the fleet has organized an event called the Windjamboree where the fleet gathers at a destination they choose the day of the event, and small boat shenanigans are organized that evening. Captain, crew, and guests all partake in the race in hopes to win the coveted Oar Award.

Then, just a few days later, the Maine Windjammer fleet finishes out the season at the WoodenBoat Sail-In on September 11, 2021.  The whole fleet gathers, with a few additional windjammers, at WoodenBoat School for the annual end of the summer mussel feed. Enjoy more small boat shenanigans fun, fine music, and lots of laughs and conversation with other guests. Dancing encouraged!

There’s still availability for last-minute planners

While availability changes daily, and not every cruise still has openings, it’s worth asking.  You don’t have to assume that there’s no room on the boat because you wait to make your plans.  The early bird may get the best choice of cabins, but the last-minute planner can still find cabins available. Call your favorite windjammer directly to learn more about availability this fall.  

Best sleeping weather

There’s just about nothing better than sleeping on a boat.  Whether you choose to enjoy a cozy bunk or to sleep on deck with the stars and moon to light your night, that gentle rocking of the boat will put you to sleep quickly.  Add in a fabulous day, pulling lines on deck or exploring islands and taking in the ideal September temps, a great dinner, and it’s no wonder you sleep well on a windjammer.  September and October offer cooler nights and days too.  You’ll enjoy snuggling under the covers, perhaps with a good book.  We challenge you to get through more than a few pages before you nod off, snug as a bug in a rug….  And that’s another reason….no bugs in September.

From music to mocktails and lighthouses in-between – great fall-themed cruises

Whether you seek a where-the-wind-takes us or a themed cruise, you’ll find it in September within the Maine Windjammer Association fleet.  From a lighthouse cruise on the Schooner Mary Day to learning the art of bar craft on Schooner Ladona to the Wine Dine & Chocolate cruise on the Stephen Taber, and music cruises galore in the Victory Chimes, you’ll find just the right cruise in September.  Some like a more structured cruise while others love the idea of getting up in the morning and the captain deciding where the boat will go that day. Some cruises include a little of both elements!  From structured to unstructured and from help-the-crew to relax-with-a-book and take in the foliage views, you’ll be treated to a great cruise in September.

Harvest cuisine

From apple pies to squash dishes and hearty roasts, you’ll enjoy fresh fall fare on your September and October cruises.  Talented chefs scour the markets for the freshest produce, meats, and offerings, and you can be assured that feasts aboard your September and October cruises will be delicious.  From soups enjoyed on deck as you cruise at 10+ knots down Penobscot Bay in a fresh fall breeze to Pumpkin Pie for dessert, your fall feasts will be among the greatest memories you bring home from your windjammer cruise.

Maine’s brilliant fall foliage

There are few sights more beautiful than seeing the changing fall colors in the hills as they slope to the sea.  Mother Nature’s harvest hues paint a patina of color that will mesmerize the mind when seen from the water.  There are not many ways to capture this view other than from the deck of a windjammer.  For those who yearn to experience the sight of New England’s fall foliage, seeing it from the deck of a windjammer simply can’t be beaten.  The longer you go into October, the more brilliant the colors get.  What day will the leaves turn? We’d be rich if we knew the answer to that question.  Fall colors depend on a number of factors including summer temps, rainfall, changing daylight hours, and more.  However, generally by late September, the leaves will start to turn and by mid-October, the colors will be approaching peak.  The later in September or early October you cruise, the better the fall colors.

You can visit each of the Maine Windjammer Association’s individual vessels online at their websites by clicking below.

Schooner American Eagle

Windjammer Angelique

Schooner Heritage

Schooner J & E Riggin

Schooner Lewis R. French

Schooner Ladona

Schooner Mary Day.

Schooner Stephen Taber

Schooner Victory Chimes

See also:

MYSTERY ON THE HISTORIC MAINE WINDJAMMER VICTORY CHIMES

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Tauck Quadruples River Cruises Featuring Floriade Horticultural Expo for 2022

The Netherlands’ Once-Every-Decade Festival Drew 2,000,000 Visitors in 2012

Tauck Tours’ MS Andorinha. Ten years after Tauck saw exceptional bookings for its European river cruises featuring the Floriade International Horticultural Expo, the Connecticut-based company is preparing to capture even stronger anticipated demand for the 2022 iteration of the Netherlands’ once-every-decade festival. 

WILTON, CT – Ten years after Tauck saw exceptional bookings for its European river cruises featuring the Floriade International Horticultural Expo, the Connecticut-based company is preparing to capture even stronger anticipated demand for the 2022 iteration of the Netherlands’ once-every-decade festival.  Where Tauck offered just a single itinerary that visited Floriade in 2012, it will feature the festival next year on a total of four different river cruises.

According to Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, the basis for the company’s bullish enthusiasm is two-fold.  “Our excitement is rooted in both our past experience with Floriade, and in the really incredible plans we’ve seen for the 2022 expo,” said Mahar.  “Our guests’ interest in attending Floriade is such that we essentially – and rather quickly – sold out our entire inventory in 2012,” he explained.  Mahar also noted that the 2012 edition of Floriade drew more than 2,000,000 total visitors, or some four times the attendance at the 2010 performances of the Oberammergau Passion Play, another popular, once-every-decade cultural event featured on Tauck river cruises. 

Next year’s Floriade, explained Mahar, will be far more than a simple flower show.  The expo’s theme is “Growing Green Cities,” and it will showcase elements ranging from green architecture and environmentally-friendly food production to renewable energy and healthy living.  The expo will be situated on 148 acres of land in the city of Almere that was raised and reclaimed from the sea, and following the festival’s conclusion late next year, its various buildings and facilities will collectively function as an enduring, environmentally-friendly urban center.  “An apt comparison for the 2022 Floriade and its forward-looking emphasis on the cities of tomorrow would be Walt Disney’s vision for EPCOT,” said Mahar, noting how closely the EPCOT acronym (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) aligns with Floriade’s “Growing Green Cities” focus.

The Floriade expo will have more than enough to satisfy those with strong horticultural interests, including landscapes, gardens and greenhouses highlighting a vast collection of flowers, trees, shrubs, plants and crops from more than 40 countries.  The festival will also feature live entertainment, themed cultural programs and exhibits, a host of international pavilions, a range of restaurants, food trucks and specialty tastings, and a diverse campus connected by gondolas, trains, bridges and walkways.

EARLY ADMISSION AND A PRIVATE SMALL-GROUP TOUR

Tauck guests will enjoy a full day at Floriade, highlighted by early-access admission one hour before the expo opens to the general public, and a 90-minute, small-group guided tour of key attractions hosted by a Floriade expert.  Each guest will also receive a Tauck-issued, 25-euro Floriade credit card allowing them to enjoy lunch in their choice of dining venues, or purchase mementos of their visit if they prefer. 

Tauck has also secured docking privileges in nearby Huizen, a short ten-minute drive from the Floriade grounds.  For guests’ convenience and flexibility, private round-trip shuttles will be provided between the riverboat and the expo campus.  The visit to Floriade, including expo admission, shuttle transportation, and the Floriade credit card, is included in Tauck’s cruise pricing, as are all other shore excursions, all gratuities, all onboard wine and spirits, airport transfers, luggage handling and more.  The four Tauck river cruises featuring a visit to the Floriade expo include two 15-day itineraries, “Amsterdam to Budapest by Riverboat” and “The Rhine and Moselle,” along with two eight-day trips, “Belgium & Holland in Spring” and the new-for-2021 itinerary “Cruising the Dutch Waterways.” 

LESSONS FROM THE OBERAMMERGAU PASSION PLAY

Information on Tauck’s four 2022 river cruises featuring Floriade has recently been posted on the company’s website, and can also be downloaded in an eight-page e-brochure.  As Tauck begins to ramp up its promotional efforts for Floriade, CEO Mahar is urging those interested to make their plans quickly.  “For most travelers, attending something like Floriade or the Oberammergau Passion Play is a true once-in-a-lifetime experience, and because they’re only available once every ten years, the opportunities to attend are really quite limited,” said Mahar.  “Understandably, that creates a real sense of urgency among our guests that prompts them to act fast.  With the Oberammergau Passion Play, we were 90% sold out before we started to actively promote it, and we’re fully expecting our Floriade trips to generate that same kind of response.”

Founded in 1925, Tauck Tours is a world leader in upscale guided travel, with more than 150 river cruises, small ship ocean cruises, land tours and safaris to 70+ countries and all seven continents.  In each of the last 23 years, Tauck has been honored in Travel + Leisure magazine’s annual “World’s Best Awards” celebrating the very best in luxury cruises, tours, hotels and more.

For more information, contact your local travel professional, call Tauck at 800 468 2825, or visit www.tauck.com.

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Lindblad Expeditions Resumes Voyages to Galapagos, Alaska This Summer

Lindblad Expeditions is resuming voyages to the Galapagos on the National Geographic Endeavor this summer (photo provided by Lindblad Expeditions).

New York – Lindblad Expeditions, the global provider of small ship expeditions cruises and adventure travel experiences, has announced that they plan to resume operations for the 2021 season in Alaska and Galápagos in June.  In keeping with Lindblad’s focus on exploring remote places, they will return to nature in the pristine wildness of these two iconic destinations.  

In making the announcement, Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions, reflected on the experiences of the past year, its impact on many, and how “we have always turned to nature, in times of collective stress and trauma, for the restoration of our spirits, believing in what Thoreau called the healing “tonic of wildness.”

“Our internal team has spent the last year examining every single aspect of our operation to be prepared to operate in the ‘new normal.’ Led by our resident medical expert, Dr. David Lorber, we have enlisted the assistance of many health and safety experts and met with authorities in the regions we intend to explore to ensure we are welcome and meet or exceed their expectations. We will also require that all guests 16 years of age and over be vaccinated prior to travelling onboard,” he stated.

A complete list of health and safety protocols are listed here.  Key components include: two negative COVID-19 tests, daily guest temperature checks, and thorough sanitation protocols.  From start to finish, guests will travel exclusively with their expedition community, all equally tested.

In resuming travel to Alaska, Lindblad intends to head deep into the wide-open spaces, into the far reaches of her straits and waterways—to where bears, glaciers, eagles and whales will be guests’ only ‘companions.’ They will begin the season with 6 and 8-day itineraries aboard their 100-guest sister ships National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venturewith the first departures June 5th and June 6th.

Similarly, guests will explore the remoteness of the Galápagos archipelago to visit volcanic isles inhabited by some of the most charismatic wildlife on earth on a 10-day itinerary set aboard the 96-guest National Geographic Endeavour ll.  The first Galápagos departure is set for June 4th.

Guests will return to an exhilarating expedition experience they have come to know and love. They will search for wildlife, revel in the wonders of the natural world, and explore the legendary Alaska and Galápagos archipelago landscapes under the guidance of our amazing expedition team.

For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions voyages to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth, visit www.expeditions.com, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1-800-397-3348) or contact your travel advisor. Find us on FacebookTwitter, InstagramYouTube and Pinterest.

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Kontiki Expeditions Inaugural Sailings to Seldom-Visited Ecuadorian Coast

Kontiki Expeditions is introducing two itineraries on the luxury yacht, M/Y Kontiki Wayra, to five provinces of the seldom-visited Ecuadorian coast.

(Manta, ECUADOR) At a time when traveling to uncrowded areas is more desirable than ever, Kontiki Expeditions is introducing two itineraries on the luxury yacht, M/Y Kontiki Wayra, to five provinces of the seldom-visited Ecuadorian coast. Kontiki’s small  size, only 198 feet long, allows visits to off-the-beaten-track areas to one of the most biodiverse places in the world. With only nine staterooms carrying a maximum of 18 guests, Kontiki Expeditions offers “NEO Luxury” both above and beneath sea level. Sailings begin this summer.

The yacht sails two seven-night routes along the Ecuadorian coast, Toquilla and Spondylus, and takes full advantage of the country’s wealth of birds, animals, flora, fauna, indigenous foods and cultural traditions while adhering to a NEO luxury philosophy of sustainability and giving back to communities.

Kontiki’s 10 crew members and two local experts including wellness professionals, naturalist guides and a local chef – a nearly 1:1 crew to guest ratio – add to the distinctive Kontiki experience.  Gastronomic experiences feature local chocolate, seafood and produce; nature-loving guests can expect to see the country’s blue-footed boobies, sea lions and howler monkeys… without the crowds.

The M/Y Kontiki Wayra yacht offers luxury with a sundeck, gourmet salon, two outdoor lounges, bar, Jacuzzi, and a gym and fitness area. Staterooms are well appointed and include WiFi, on-demand entertainment and sustainable local amenities.

Pricing begins at $7245 per person per week, based on double occupancy, and includes all activities, meals, transfers to and from ports, park entrance fees, guided expeditions and more. Private charters and solo rates are available.

Health and safety precautions are paramount with all protocols prior to boarding, on ship and on land strictly maintained and updated as required. Sailings have met The Safe Travels accreditation by WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council). Sanitization and wellness protocols are summarized at https://kontikiexpeditions.com/en/health-policy/

For more information, visit www.kontikiexpeditions.com/en, call +5933984364149; email info@kontikiexpeditions.com.

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PONANT Announces World Affairs Cruise in the Baltic

The 184-passenger PONANT explorer yacht,  Le Jacques-Cartier (StudioPONANT-Laure Patricot)

PONANT, a world leader in luxury expeditions and itineraries to ports of call that only small ships can navigate, has announced a compelling World Affairs Cruise in the Baltic​. Scheduled for July 17 to 25, 2021, the eight-night cruise is an offering within PONANT’s Quintessential Collection, a series of cruises that delve deeply into a subject and destination. The cruise, aboard the newly launched PONANT EXPLORER yacht, Le Jacques-Cartier, will travel to six countries, beginning in Stockholm, Sweden and ending in Copenhagen, Denmark. Fares start at $7,070 per person (inclusive of 20% PONANT Bonus Savings). 

The itinerary will be matched by an equally captivating on-board experience with an opportunity to interact with leading thinkers and policy makers about the current state of U.S. relations with the rest of the world. The timely program will feature lectures and discussions by four distinguished speakers among which include:

Robin Wright is a foreign affairs analyst, author and highly decorated journalist who is noted for her coverage of wars, revolutions and uprisings. She has served as contributing editor to The New Yorker since 1988 and was previously a diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and CBS News. During her 40-year career, she has reported from more than 140 countries. 

Ambassador Douglas Lute served as the U.S. Ambassador to NATO from 2013-2017. In 2007, President George W. Bush named him Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan. The New York Times referred to him as the “War Czar,” due to his senior advisory position overseeing the wars. Lute served six years in the White House having also worked under the Obama administration. 

Jane Holl Lute is the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations where she has held several positions in peacekeeping. Lute also acted as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013. She was responsible for the U.S. department’s efforts to prevent terrorism, enhance security and manage the nation’s borders.

The cruise will visit the great cities that edge the Baltic Sea, a fascinating comingling of metropolitan life with centuries of rich history dating back to the Vikings. The ship will first dock in Helsinki, internationally recognized for its striking modern architecture, followed by two full days in St. Petersburg, where virtually the entire city is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During a stop in Tallinn, Estonia, explore the 13th-century Dome Cathedral and see the “My Free Country” exhibit at Maarjamäe Palace, which takes visitors on a 100-year journey through the Liberation War, Soviet occupation and restoration of independence.

Ports-of-call also include Gotland, Sweden, the largest island in the Baltic Sea to tour the preserved medieval town of Visby with its 12th century defense wall – the oldest surviving non-religious building in the Nordic countries. The final stop is Szczecin, a city in Poland nearly destroyed during World War II, which has since been completely rebuilt. Here, guests will meet with the first democratically elected President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Lech Walęsa, for an exclusive discussion onboard the ship. Walęsa is known for leading the effort in 1989 to end the communist rule in Poland and ushering in the conclusion of the Cold War.  

The 184-passenger Le Jacques-Cartier debuted in July 2020 offering a sleek, super-yacht feel with each of the 92 staterooms and suites outfitted with balconies or private terraces. The ship also offers an industry first: The Blue Eye – a multi-sensory lounge that allows guests to experience the sub-aquatic world through sight, sound and feel. Evocative of cetaceans and jellyfish with rounded furniture directed toward two large, eye-shaped portholes in the shape of whale eyes, the lounge features digital screens displaying feeds from three underwater cameras along with a collection of Body Listening Sofas that vibrate in unison to the sounds of the ocean. Guests enjoy attentive service, gourmet French-inspired cuisine under the direction of Ducasse Conseil, and a relaxed, congenial ambiance.

The ship is certified as a “CLEANSHIP” and meets the highest environmental standards for energy conservation and resource management. 

In collaboration with the IHU (Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire) Méditerranée Infection of Marseilles, one of the world’s leading centers in the field of infectious diseases, and Bureau Veritas, PONANT has developed a “Covid-Safe” protocol based on health standards that exceed international regulations. Discover PONANT health protocol.

Created in 1988, by officers of the French Merchant Navy, PONANT offers worldwide itineraries to the Arctic, Antarctica as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Asia, Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, Eastern Asia, Oceania, Central and South America, visit www.ponant.com, call1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

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Luxe-Adventure Atlas Ocean Voyages Provides Complimentary Shore Excursion At Every Port On All Sailings When Launches in 2021

Launching in July 2021, Atlas’ first newly constructed, small, expedition ship, World Navigator, will bring guests on once-in-a-lifetime, luxury adventures, which includes 285 complimentary Atlas Ashore options in 107 port calls

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. – Atlas Ocean Voyages announced that the all-inclusive, luxe-adventure cruise brand designed for experienced and fun-seeking travelers is including more. All guests on all sailings will enjoy a choice of complimentary shore excursions at every port, known as Atlas Ashore, and is part of the Atlas Ocean Voyages’ ALL Inclusive ALL The Way commitment.

Launching in July 2021, Atlas’ first newly constructed, small, expedition ship, World Navigator, will bring guests on once-in-a-lifetime, luxury adventures, which includes 285 complimentary Atlas Ashore options in 107 port calls in the Holy Land, the Black, Mediterranean, and Caribbean Seas, and South America. Additionally, travelers who make a new booking between now and Mar. 31, 2021, will enjoy 50 percent-reduced deposits and receive a complimentary one stateroom-category upgrade and an additional $600 per stateroom, based on double-occupancy, to apply toward pre-cruise purchases of additional shore excursions. For more information about Atlas Ashore, visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com/offers.

“Atlas Ocean Voyages is already one of the industry’s most-inclusive luxury brands and we now deliver even greater value to all of our guests with the new Atlas Ashore program,” said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. “Atlas’ unique itineraries to less-traveled and bucket-list destinations provide travelers the highly anticipated return-to-cruise that they are planning right now. And Atlas Ocean Voyages’ Atlas Ashore augments our already distinctive All Inclusive All The Way experiences, as we continue to add more complimentary Atlas Ashore options.”

Atlas’ Plan With Confidence flexible travel policy provides travelers a 100 percent refund of deposited funds up to 91 days prior to sailing. Plus, they can change their reservation as many times as they want, up to 15 days before their voyages’ sail date. They can even change their destination and sail with Atlas in another part of the world or choose to cancel at least 15 days or more prior to the departure date and be assured of a 100 percent future cruise credit.

 Its signature All Inclusive All the Way provides guests a complete, seamless and worry-free experience by including complimentary round-trip air travel, shore excursion at every port, prepaid gratuities, polar parkas, emergency medical evacuation insurance, premium wine and spirits, international beers and coffees, Wi-Fi, L’OCCITANE bath amenities, and regionally inspired gourmet dining. In every stateroom, guests enjoy binoculars to use on board, en suite coffee, tea and personalized bar service, and butler service in suites.
 
 Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand designed for experienced and fun-seeking travelers to immerse in exciting and awe-inspiring moments in less-visited, bucket-list destinations. At 9,930 GRTs, World Navigator fosters a refined and convivial ambience for up to 196 guests and features the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into her state-of-the-art design.

World Navigator is Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified and her construction is on schedule for delivery in July 2021. World Navigator will be joined by World Traveller and World Seeker in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer in 2023.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is welcoming travelers to ‘come back to something new’ in the brand’s new marketing campaign “At Last… Atlas” (www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com/itstime.) To learn more, visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com. Also, follow Atlas Ocean Voyage on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AtlasOceanVoyages), Twitter (www.twitter.com/atlascruises), Instagram (www.instagram.com/AtlasOceanVoyages), and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/atlascruises). Travel Advisors can call 1.844.44.ATLAS (1.844.442.8527) to book their clients on an unforgettable luxe-adventure expedition.

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Lindblad Expeditions Introduces First Ever Voyages to Japan

Imperial Palace, Tokyo. Lindblad Expeditions will explore the fascinating region of Japan on two new adventurous itineraries in 2021, set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion,inaugural voyages that mark Lindblad’s first foray into Japan and promise a wealth of exceptional experiences. (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK —  Lindblad Expeditions will explore the fascinating region of Japan on two new adventurous itineraries in 2021. Set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, these inaugural voyages mark Lindblad’s first foray into Japan and promise a wealth of exceptional experiences. 

This iconic island nation holds fast to age-old traditions while embracing today’s cutting-edge technologies. As they sail through 400+ years of history—from the influential Edo period and the Meiji era to WWII and beyond—guests will forge a deeper understanding of how these two worlds thrive in harmony. Roam shores brimming with temples, teahouses, and ancient traditions; discover a seldom-seen wild side on sub-tropical islands where azure waters meet verdant forests; plus, get a taste of Taiwan and Korea too.  Only 400 of Japan’s nearly 7,000 islands are inhabited, and Lindblad will take guests beyond the populous borders of Honshu into wilder realms.

With the state-of-the-art National Geographic Orion as base, plus the company of cultural specialists, historians, and a top expedition team, these two extraordinary adventures offer an incomparable way to discover a truly inspiring place.

Highlights of the two new voyages include:

Coastal Japan: Imperial Dynasties and Modern CultureStep back in time on a voyage into Japan’s riveting history, from the historic castle towns of the Edo period to the elegant shrines and merchant districts of the Meiji era, to the poignant sites of World War II. Trace the shores of Honshu and the islands of the Seto Inland Sea, venture into the homes of samurai and feudal lords and discover exquisite centuries-old gardens of Kenroku-en, Koraku-en, and Sengan-en. Get inspired on the art-filled island of Naoshima, and visit museums and studios dedicated to artists and traditional handicrafts in Matsue and on Shikoku. Take a detour to South Korea to spend a day exploring the rich cultural legacy of Korea’s Silla Dynasty among the incredible ancient ruins of ancient city of Gyeongju. 14 nights/16 days, departs September 15, 2021.  Rates begin at $20,800 per person based on double occupancy in a category one cabin.

Sailing the East China Sea: Japan, Okinawa, And Taiwan:  Island-hop your way from Japan to Taiwan, experiencing a wide array of natural wonders, historic sites, and cultural treasures along the way. Experience some of Japan’s most cherished sites, from Himeji Castle and the historic merchant towns of Ozu and Uchiko to the “floating” torii gate at Miyajima. Explore Naoshima, an island transformed by art and cutting-edge architecture, and visit the culinary hub of Shodoshima. Snorkel the coral reefs of Kerama Island and venture into the mangrove forests of the Yaeyama Islands by Zodiac or kayak. Hike among ancient cedar trees in Yakushima’s rainforest and marvel at the incredible hoodoo spires in Taiwan’s Yehliu Geopark. 13 nights/15 days, departs September 28, 2021.  Rates begin at $19,320 per person based on double occupancy in a category one cabin.

For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions’ voyages, visit www.expeditions.com, call 800-EXPEDITION (800-397-3348) or contact your travel advisor.

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Two Historic Maine Windjammers Begin Sailing this Season

Maine Windjammer cruise aboard the historic Stephen Tabor (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.

Rockland, ME – Two of the eight members of the historic Maine Windjammers fleet have opted to meet the stringent standards in wake of the COVID-19 health emergency and sail in 2020: the Stephen Tabor and the Ladona.

Usually the “fit out” season to get boats ready for sailing goes from March through late May with a Memorial Day start to the season for the Maine Windjammer Association, the largest fleet of working windjammers in America. This year, it’s taken until mid-July for boats to start sailing, but the hurdles to start the season have gone well beyond fit-out.  The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt until July 1st when Governor Janet Mills allowed overnight windjammer cruises in Maine to re-open.  Throughout that time, members of the Maine Windjammer Association were busy working with the Dept of Marine Resources to create guidance for a safe sailing environment. 

To sail in 2020, the overnight windjammer trips need to meet guidelines for lodging, restaurants and windjammers on top of the rigorous Coast Guard licensing requirements. To date, two of the eight members of the fleet have opted to sail in 2020.

No sector of the tourism industry is required to meet such stringent guidelines, yet for Captain Noah Barnes of the Schooner Stephen Taber, the guidelines ensure that passengers will be safe. “We’ve taken it one step further than the already stringent protocols, and are asking every guest who comes sailing with us to attest to a negative COVID-19 test,” said Captain Noah.  “This is one way we can safeguard the guests and crew on board this summer,” he added. In addition, stringent sanitization and cleaning, social distancing and safety protocols will be in place for those sailing this summer.  For complete information on COVID-19 safety procedures and protocols aboard Schooners Ladona and Stephen Taber, click here.

The Schooner Ladona was the first to set sail on Saturday, July 18.  Schooner Stephen Taber’s first trip departed on July 23 with live entertainment provided by the Charlie Nobles Band.

“We’re doing everything we can do to help people get out and enjoy a sailing vacation on board a beautiful windjammer this summer,” said Captain Noah. “We’ve put safety measures and cleaning protocols in place and changed itineraries to visit more remote uninhabited islands to give plenty of room for social distancing while ashore,” he added. “Will it be the same kind of windjammer cruise everyone knows and loves? Hey, you can’t take the beauty of the Maine coast or the freedom of sailing by wind power away. The rush of jumping off the bowsprit into refreshing Maine harbors and knuckling down on a lobster baked on the beach will still be ingredients of your windjammer trips this summer,” he added.

Six of the Maine Windjammer Association fleet captains have opted to cancel trips this season and are looking toward 2021.  Many issues played into their decisions.  All members of the Maine Windjammer Association have already created 2021 schedules, available on SailMaineCoast.com for those who like to plan trips in advance.

“We’ve had some huge hurdles to overcome in order to leave the dock this week,” said J.R. Braugh, Captain of the Schooner Ladona. “We’re glad that we’re going to be able to offer guests the ideal summer vacation in Maine – sailing aboard a beautifully restored wind-driven schooner taking in Maine scenery and allowing Mother Nature to soothe stressed bodies, minds and souls in the perfect unplugged vacation,” he added.

For more information on the schedules for 2020 and 2021 sailing seasons, and to learn more about the Maine Windjammer Association fleet, visit https://SailMaineCoast.com.

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Lindblad Expeditions Becomes First Self-Disinfecting Fleet in Cruise Industry

Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endurance.

NEW YORK, NY, – Lindblad Expeditions, a global leader in responsible tourism, has become the first self-disinfecting fleet in the cruise industry.  In keeping with their legacy of sustainability and protecting the places they explore, they have announced that they are now implementing Premium Purity fleetwide, a unique cleaning system which creates a cleaner, healthier ship while drastically reducing the impact on the environment.

The new system, ACT CleanCoat™, is a photocatalytic process that works when illuminated, breaking down unwanted microbes such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and airborne allergens.  It can be applied to all surfaces which become self-disinfecting after application. Created by ACT.Global A/S, a Copenhagen-based company, the antibacterial spray is transparent, odorless, and activated by light, and protects a room like an invisible insulation – plus purifies and deodorizes the air for up to one year. Video

Chemical free, the product uses the ACT ECA water system created by electrolysis of salt and water, to clean the rooms which is completely harmless to guests, staff and the environment.

“As the oldest and most experienced expedition travel company in the world, we go to some of the most pristine places on the planet.  We are very conscious of the waste we produce, and how the cleanliness of our ship and protection of our guests onboard is vital to a healthy environment,” said Bruce Tschampel, Vice President, Hotel Operations for Lindblad Expeditions.

“Premium Purity is unlike anything we have seen out there.  Our ships are truly pristine and healthy, and we already have measurable results to prove it from our initial pilot program on one ship.  We reduced guest reported illness by 50%; eliminated over 1,000 plastic bottles of cleaning products; and dramatically reduced water usage by 1.1 million gallons per year.  The crew is raving about how much healthier the ship is and how effective it is to use this solution,” he continued.   

The fleetwide rollout is another step in Lindblad’s commitment toward defining travel industry standards for sustainability and environmentally responsible operations.  In 2019 they become a carbon neutral company, offsetting 100% of emissions from their ships, all land-based operations, employee travel, offices in New York and Seattle, and other contributors. They successfully eliminated guest-facing single-use plastics fleetwide in 2018 and have operated a sustainable seafood program aboard the fleet for many years. Other related sustainability initiatives include building new ships that reduce emissions while increasing efficiency; mandating supply chain solutions to eliminate plastic; sourcing and serving local, organic produce; and making crew uniforms from recycled plastic.

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Cruise Industry Contributes Nearly $53 Billion to U.S. Economy in 2018

Norwegian Spirit departing New York Harbor (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Washington DC) –The cruise industry is an increasingly dominant player in the U.S. tourism sector according to a new study from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade association. The CLIA 2018 Economic Impact Analysis found the cruise industry in the U.S. had an economic impact of over $52.7 billion in total contributions in 2018 alone, marking an increase of over 10 percent since 2016. 

The increasing popularity of cruising to and from the United States is evident throughout the report, as is the inextricable correlation between the industry’s growth and its economic impact across the country. Nearly 13 million cruise passengers worldwide embarked from ports in the United States in 2018—an increase of nearly nine percent from 2016. 

“There’s no doubting the enormity of the cruise industry’s contributions to the U.S. and global economies. The 2018 Economic Impact Analysis highlights the incredible impact the industry continues to have on American businesses and individuals, as well as the growing popularity of cruising amongst passengers of all nationalities and backgrounds,” said Kelly Craighead, CLIA’s president and CEO. “There is simply no better way to experience the world, and the cruise industry is proud to have such a positive impact on the people and communities we visit here in the United States.” 

With increased embarkations come increased onshore spending. In 2018, cruise lines, their passengers and crew spent a record $23.96 billion in the United States—a 33 percent increase since 2010. Additionally, 2018 saw a new peak in the cruise industry’s U.S. expenditures, generating 421,711 jobs across the United States and contributing more than $23.15 billion in wages and salaries, a nearly 13 percent increase since 2016. 

Combined, these numbers reflect the growing consensus cruising has evolved into a mainstream choice for travelers of all means and backgrounds, as well as a leader in the tourism sector. The cruise industry recognizes with growth comes added responsibility to ensure the destinations we visit remain a welcoming and beautiful place to both live in and visit for generations to come. 

For more information about the cruise industry, the full 2018 CLIA Economic Impact Analysis, and details on the cruise industry’s economic impact in each of the top ten states, please visit: CLIA 2018 Economic Impact Analysis. 

2018 Economic Impact Analysis by the Numbers

Total U.S. Economic Impact: The U.S. cruise industry had an economic impact of over $52.7 billion in total 2018 contributions – marking an increase of over 10 percent since 2016. 

Direct Impact: $23.96 billion in direct purchases made by passengers, crew, and cruise lines.

Indirect & Induced Impact$28.7 billion in indirect supply purchases and merchant payments, as well as induced economic benefits from cruise line and supplier purchases of consumer goods and services.

Advancements in Embarkation: Nearly 13 million cruise passengers worldwide embarked from ports in the United States in 2018—an increase of nearly nine percent from 2016.

Florida and California: With a total of nine cruise ports between them—accounted for 68 percent of the U.S embarkations in 2018. Meanwhile, embarkations from the two cruise terminals in New York increased 12 percent since 2016 and ports in Galveston also experienced a 13 percent embarkation increase in 2018 compared to 2016.

Increased Onshore Spending: In 2018, cruise lines, passengers and crew spent a record $23.96 billion in the United States—a 33 percent increase since 2010.

U.S. Expenditures: The cruise industry generated 421,711 jobs across the United States and contributed more than $23.15 billion in wages and salaries, a nearly 13 percent increase since 2016. 

Top Ten States Benefitting Economically from the Global Cruise Industry

Florida

California

Texas

New York

Alaska

Washington

Georgia

Illinois

New Jersey

Louisiana

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. The association has 15 offices globally with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 30 million passengers who cruise annually and is dedicated to promote the cruise travel experience. The CLIA Community is comprised of the world’s most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and cruise line suppliers and partners, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services. The organization’s mission is to be the unified global organization that helps its members succeed by advocating, educating and promoting for the common interests of the cruise community. For more information, visit www.cruising.org or follow Cruise Lines International Association on CLIA Facebook and Twitter pages.

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