ELVIS MAY HAVE LEFT the building, but it’s only because his ship’s come in, and you can join the King on a number of upcoming Elvis-themed cruises. A five-night Bermuda cruise departing Baltimore Oct. 14 this year aboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas is just one example. Elvis imitators and tribute artists will also entertain passengers during Royal Caribbean’s week-long 14th Annual Memories of the King Birthday Cruise aboard the Allure of the Seas sailing the Eastern Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale come Jan. 21, 2018.
Cruises with a theme rate among the most popular offerings at sea, with literally hundreds of special-interest itineraries available. Themed cruises sell out fast, filling staterooms with fans and fanatics of music, food, wine, crafts, sports and even cats, so book early. Some themed cruises cast their spell over an entire ship, and some are simply add-ons appealing to some passengers during a regular cruise. Either way, a theme, if it’s close to one’s heart, can enhance, if not consume, a voyage.
Music lists among the top cruise themes. Elvis imitators are just a few of the stars joining Holland America’s lineup on the Malt Shop Memories Cruise through the Caribbean on the ms Eurodam Nov. 5–12. Expect tributes to Dion, Brenda Lee, Jay and the Americans, the Coasters, Buddy Holly and many more, along with an all-hands-on-deck sock hop. Blues lovers might prefer Holland America’s Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise #29 departing Oct. 21 from Fort Lauderdale, while Celebrity Cruises announced The Moody Blues Cruise will kick off its 2018 sailings Jan. 2 that year. And connoisseurs of the classics might be tempted by Ponant’s many music-themed cruises, including the Athens-to-Venice Homage to Callas, the curtain rising May 3.
Wine fanciers have plenty of chances to slake their palates this year. There’s Silversea’s Trentadue Winery Cruise & Tuscany voyage April 22, Regent Seven Seas’ Sbragia Wine Cruise May 31, Seabourn’s America Wine Society & Sullivan Vineyards – Tuscany Tour and Wine Cruise July 4 and AmaWaterways’ St. Francis Winery & Vineyards – Paris & Normandy Aug. 5, just for starters.
Dancers, too, can delight in themed cruises, ranging from Royal Caribbean’s Dance Cruise Europe – British Isles venture June 27 to Carnival’s Polka Dreams @ Sea – Polka Cruise April 2. Those with money in the bank can invest in a financial-themed cruise, such as Crystal Cruises’ 2018 Chairman’s Circle Wealth Cruise May 16 or Princess Cruises’ The Stock Whisperer Trading Cruise July 9. Sky watchers are the perfect observers of Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2’s World Space Week blasting off Oct. 6. And motor sport fans can rev up for Azamara’s Monaco Grand Prix 2017 voyage May 24 (or be at the starting line for next year’s cruise May 21, 2018).
There are hundreds of other choices. Every cruise line has its own special themes. Not even cat lovers are excluded. The annual Meow Meow Cruise, featuring mixers, group dancing, trivia contests and scavenger hunts (but no cats) will be held on board Carnival’s Victory on a four-night, round-trip cruise from Miami Oct. 23 as it claws its way across the Western Caribbean.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
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.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
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.
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.