FEW HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS are more lavish and exhilarating than those held on special cruises, especially when it’s cold at home. Fortunately, many cruise lines offer seasonal galas in the winter, especially in the Caribbean during the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s holidays. While it’s too late to book such a cruise this winter, plenty of notable holiday cruises will make it easy to shake off the chills in 2019.
Princess Cruises, for example, ensures a white Christmas in warm waters by providing a snowfall every day in December on its ships in the Caribbean, courtesy of a snowmaking machine in the Atrium. Carols, parades, eggnog, a “gingerbread challenge,” virtual yule logs in every cabin and a special Mass add to the festive atmosphere, as Santa Claus comes aboard on Christmas Day bearing gifts for the children.
It’s snowing on other cruise ships in December as well, including those of Disney Cruise Line, all aglitter with stockings hung, carolers afoot, gingerbread houses aglow, a three-deck Christmas tree alight and Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball in full swing. The snow spreads to Disney’s private Caribbean island, Castaway Cay, where the tram transforms into Santa’s sleigh and cartoon characters join in the flakey frolic. Meanwhile, on Celebrity Cruises, the snow machine is just one of many seasonal treats in a lineup featuring elves, choirs, carnivals, parades, “reindeer games” and Santa himself on deck.
Christmas also moves full steam ahead on Azamara Club Cruises (with holiday buffets, cookies, carols by the crew and a Christmas Day show), on Holland America Line (renowned for Santa’s late-night milk and cookies), on Regent Seven Seas (hosting a European Christmas market on Christmas Eve and a traditional American feast on Christmas Day), on Silversea Cruises (with master chefs in costume and holiday shows in the lounge) and on Windstar Cruises (the whole ship enwrapped in blinking lights, wreaths and Christmas trees as the crew churns out the carols).
Thanksgiving is another cold-weather holiday that engenders warm-water cruising with traditional dinners (and in the case of Celebrity Cruises, a turkey pardoning by the captain). Celebrity Cruises also puts on a New Year’s celebration to cap the winter holiday season, getting out the clackers, streamers and party hats; hosting a Champagne toast; and performing a balloon drop to mark the transition. And nearly all the best cruise lines celebrate Hanukkah (Dec. 22–30, 2019) during the grand holiday season, too, with menorahs, latkes and onboard rabbis.
All in all, winter is the most tempting time to undertake a mitten-free holiday cruise. Next time around, leave the snow shovel at home and instead try a warm-weather, fully catered holiday at sea.
The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua recently announced the final phase of a $100 million resort-wide transformation, set to be unveiled by the end of 2022. Located across 54 acres of pristine, wide-open space overlooking Honokahua Bay, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua is a sanctuary for guests seeking a luxurious escape.
Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.
Banyan Tree Group recently announced its first-ever expansion into Japan with five new properties across four concepts. The hospitality group’s partnership with Wealth Management Group saw Dhawa Yura and Garrya Nijo Castle launch in June, with two more properties slated to open now through 2026. Another partnership with Terraform Capital sees plans to build Cassia, a property in the ski resort of Niseko.
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Wilderness Reserve, an 8,000-acre estate of historic and charming properties, woodlands and lakes, invites visitors to its newly launched YOXMAN, a three-day, Michelin-starred dining experience. Four United Kingdom chefs come together to prepare an array of different cuisines throughout the weekend, and guests are treated to plenty of entertainment throughout the experience.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts adds to its growing collection with Rosewood Hotel Bauer, slated to open in Venice in 2025. Led by Venice-based architect Alberto Torsello and interior design group BAR Studio, the property will lie in the city’s historic San Marco district.