NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE, one of the world’s largest cruise operators, sails a 21st-century fleet of 16 ships, all dedicated to delivering a full resort experience. NCL pioneered its contemporary freestyle cruise mode a quarter-century ago. Quite casual and sporty, Norwegian voyages are rife with recreational facilities and “eat what you want, when you want, where you want” dining, designed to appeal to active adults and families on a spree.
Norwegian brings its “South Beach Miami” experience primarily to the world’s two most popular cruising destinations, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, ideal waters for a vacation. Such ships as the 4,266-passenger Norwegian Epic sail from Miami into the Caribbean, stopping to party at NCL’s private resort island in The Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay. North Americans are also booking NCL’s Mediterranean cruises at an accelerating rate, as cruises to Europe are on an upswing. Due to this rising demand, NCL redeployed its 3,929-passenger Norwegian Getaway from Miami to the Baltic Sea. And next summer the 4,028-passenger Norwegian Breakaway will relocate to Copenhagen for nine-day Russian and Scandinavian sailings.
Norwegian Cruise Line keeps a strong presence, too, in Alaska, Hawai’i, North America, Australia and Asia. The 3,900-passenger Norwegian Joy, launched this year, is specially designed for the Chinese market. The 2,376-passenger Norwegian Jewel, based in Australia, offers several itineraries throughout the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. The 2,186-passenger Pride of America is the only cruise ship of its size to offer regular cruises in Hawai’i, which it does weekly (although this ship has not met with universal acclaim). Norwegian also conducts cruises to New England, eastern Canada, Florida, Bermuda and The Bahamas from New York. And next year, NCL will launch its latest creation, the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss, from its home port in Seattle. The Norwegian Bliss will become the largest cruise vessel serving Alaska, with summer 2018 cruises originating from Seattle’s Pier 66, a port NCL helped redevelop and will manage for the next 15 years.
NCL’s fleet is divided between its mid-sized resort ships, carrying about 2,000 passengers, and its large resort ships, with about double that capacity. Facilities vary somewhat, but don’t be surprised to find Las Vegas-style entertainment, acrobatic dinner shows, dozens of small eateries and wine bars, spacious spas, casinos, water parks, climbing walls, even bowling alleys. It’s basically a towering tropical resort with a lively waterfront boardwalk reshaped to fit inside a watertight hull.
Whichever ship and whatever its destination, passengers can expect to be bombarded with all the freestyle options and non-stop activities that make up an NCL playground at sea. But many ships offer at least one onboard escape: The Haven, a ship-within-a-ship of suites with private restaurants, pools, sun decks and butler services, is perfect for those desiring a partial escape from the madding crowds.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Nice, France, with us.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
It’s not even 9a.m. in the sleepy fishing village of Rawai on Thailand’s famous Phuket Island, but already the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea swarm with local fishermen casting their lines and releasing their nets from the bows of rustic long-tail boats. The scents of lemongrass, incense and sweet pandan leaves season the air as the villagers slowly rise from their beachside bungalows to start their day. In just a few more hours, the fishermen will return with their catches, filling the stalls of the iconic Rawai Seafood Market with buckets of shellfish and displays of fresh filets. Visitors line up each afternoon for the catch of the day, selecting their fish with care before hauling their purchases across the well-worn road to the restaurants opposite the market to have the fish cooked for 100 Thai baht per kilo.