ALTHOUGH THE UNITED STATES ELIMINATED its cruise travel to Cuba in June, affecting some 800,000 passengers, travel by sea shows no sign of slowing worldwide, and cruise lines are expanding their fleets and destinations for 2020, expected to be a record year. North Americans will make up nearly half of the expected 30 million passengers in the coming year, an increase spurred on by the continuing popularity of cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, along with the rising tide of river cruises and expedition-style sailing.
A score of brand-new ships, ranging from luxury-laden yachts to lavish floating resorts, will take to the waters in 2020. Virgin Voyages launches its first vessel, the 2,800-passenger Scarlet Lady, while The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection introduces the first of its three yachts, the 298-passenger Azora. Princess Cruises will showcase its newest ship, the 3,660-passenger Enchanted Princess, on 21 alternating seven-day Caribbean sailings out of Fort Lauderdale starting in November 2020.
In most cases, new ships mean added luxuries and novel features. Celebrity Cruises’ new ship for 2020, the 2,800-passenger Celebrity Apex, will feature the “Magic Carpet,” a movable deck cantilevered over the side of the ship that elevates from decks 2 to 16 to serve as a restaurant and embarkation plat- form. P&O’s new Iona, powered by liquid natural gas, includes a half-mile-long lanai deck featuring 17 eateries, 12 bars, 13 entertainment venues, 16 whirlpools and four swimming pools.
Silversea Cruises will debut two new ships in 2020, the 596-passenger Silver Moon and the 100-passenger Silver Origin, an ultra-luxury expedition ship specially designed for Galápagos cruising, with eight Zodiacs and butler service for all suites.
Among other full-luxury expedition ships christened next year are Lindblad Expeditions’ 126-passenger National Geographic Endurance, with saunas, yoga rooms and infinity Jacuzzis; Crystal Cruises’ 200-passenger Crystal Endeavor, designed for polar exploration with helicopters and a submarine aboard; and Scenic Cruises’ 228-passenger, all-suite Scenic Eclipse II, also with its own submarine and helicopters as well as 10 dining options, a gym and butler service.
While smaller ships with bigger luxuries are leading the way in 2020, new mega-ships have not been pushed aside. Royal Caribbean will launch another in its line of behemoth cruisers, the 4,246-passenger Odyssey of the Seas, complete with room for bumper cars, robotic bartenders and “virtual balconies” for its inside cabins. MSC Cruises’ MSC Virtuoso is laden with 6,334 passenger berths, a fine arts museum, “cluster cabins” for families, Cirque du Soleil performances and a double-deck amusement park. And Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Mardi Gras, coming August 2020, will accommodate 6,600 passengers, a new world record.
Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, a light breeze dancing on your face, and views so beautiful you begin to think it is a simulation. The United Kingdom is teeming with unique accommodations that will please your eyes. Check out these stays with stunning views on your next U.K. adventure.
AdventureWomen, the travel company specializing in adventure tours for women, announced a partnership with African Wildlife Foundation. The organization supports the conservation of Africa’s wildlife through education, community development and sustainability projects. As part of the partnership, the two organizations will host a women’s safari to Zimbabwe in May 2022.
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, where innovative wellness and balanced indulgence come together in one extraordinary beachfront setting, recently partnered with First Responders Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization providing financial support to children and families of first responders. This partnership formed the Carillon Cares: Summer of Heroes offers, including a donation to the foundation for each stay booked, which supports giving back to those who fought on the front lines during the pandemic.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Although much changed in the past year, Cancún still has the joie de vivre we need right now after months of cabin fever — even with safety measures in place. In fact, the first half of 2021 may be a good time to rediscover Mexico’s home-grown Caribbean resort town in a slower, more relaxed mode that contrasts its rollicking “spring break” reputation of old. One place to take in Cancún at its best is JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, a mile up from the convergence of night clubs, chain restaurants, souvenir emporiums and shopping malls along Avenida Kukulkan.
June marks Pride Month, largely credited to bisexual activist Brenda Howard who organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade in 1970, one year after the Stonewall Riots. The parade eventually become the New York City Pride March, leading to Pride Month and similar parades and marches around the world.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Haven Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, an all-suite, adults-only, all-inclusive oceanfront resort, announces a new experience suited for epicurean travelers: The Chef’s Table. At Haven’s fine-dining restaurant Olios Mediterranean, The Chef’s Table offers the best seats in the house, right in front of the chef’s working station and open, top-of-the-line kitchen. And the actual table is beautiful in its own right: made from reclaimed wood and complemented by a turquoise glass chandelier.