BILLING ITSELF AS “the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line,” Seabourn celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and remains highly popular with passengers seeking modern, understated elegance. Its far-flung all-inclusive cruises visit more than 170 UNESCO World Heritage sites from Australia and Asia to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Each of its ships accommodates just 458–600 guests, all staterooms are suites with spacious bathrooms and walk-in closets, most drinks are complimentary, gratuities are included, waiting lines are kept to a minimum, and service is intensively personalized — all in keeping with the founders’ intent to create a yacht-like atmosphere.
Starting this year, Seabourn enhances its spa and wellness offerings with a new program designed by Dr. Andrew Weil emphasizing yoga and meditation. It is also opening the doors to a new specialty restaurant, The Grill by Thomas Keller, featuring American dishes from the 1950s and 1960s (at no extra charge). On stage it will present new shows created by Tim Rice, composer of songs for Broadway’s Aladdin and The Lion King.
Meanwhile, Seabourn’s five-ship fleet continues to enhance its itineraries worldwide. Seabourn Odyssey heads to Europe this summer after 18 weeklong cruises in the Caribbean. Seabourn Quest spends autumn in Canada and New England before turning south to the Panama Canal, Antarctica and the Amazon. And after completing cruises in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific, a third ship, the year-old Seabourn Encore, sails the summer of 2019 in Europe and the Mediterranean.
For guests preferring longer voyages and more exotic ports of call, a fourth ship, Seabourn Sojourn, offers world cruises of up to 128 days that can be booked in shorter segments or as a single package. Sojourn’s next long sojourn begins Oct. 15 in Los Angeles, with notable ports of call across Oceania, Africa and Asia. Similar extended explorations aboard the aptly named Seabourn Sojourn are available for 2019.
The recent launch of Seabourn’s fifth ship, the 600-passenger Seabourn Ovation, enriches these options as the luxury cruise line enters its fourth decade. Boasting even more deck space and expanded public areas, Ovation will spend its inaugural season in the Mediterranean and Europe before steering a course through the Middle East to India, Sri Lanka and Singapore. This winter, Ovation conducts five 14- night cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong, followed in March 2019 by voyages to Dubai and Athens, where a second European season begins in late April.
With a more full roster of familiar and exotic locations than ever before, Seabourn positions itself as a top choice for cruise passengers wanting to explore the world in truly exceptional style.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
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.
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Swiss-Belhotel International boasts an impressive portfolio throughout 22 countries, including 10 ASEAN member countries. This growth is continuing with the group’s new plans to debut four properties in Thailand.