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.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
Tribute Portfolio helps friends celebrate Friendsgiving with special stay bundles available through Nov. 30. The limited-time bundles feature locally inspired Thanksgiving dinners and amenities.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Marriott recently announced the purchase of W New York – Union Square. The company paid $206 million for the 270-guestroom property, with intentions to transform the hotel into a better representation of the W brand.
Now, travelers in United Polaris class enjoy complimentary baggage delivery service when flying between Newark (EWR) and London (LHR) and staying at one of five Marriott properties.
Get to know Mexico with ONE FREE NIGHT With Fiesta Americana Get to know Mexico with the largest hotel company in the country, offering more than 185 options in the best city and resort destinations. Book at any of our hotels with the best available rate at the time of booking and get one night free.
Believing human connection makes life more meaningful, Kimpton recently launched its Stay Human Project in Europe. As part of the project, the brand transformed one guestroom from each hotel with the aim of using it to help guests connect to each other, themselves and locals. The unique guestroom experiences are currently available for booking in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands until the end of the year.