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CRUISE NEWS

Catch up on the latest cruise industry news

Queen Mary 2 enters dry dock for

significant upgrades

One of the icons of the cruise world, and despite today's floating resorts, still one

of the biggest cruise ships on earth, the Queen Mary 2, will spend the next three

weeks in the dry dock for an upgrade that will cost several million pounds. The

ship, which is part of UK-based cruise line Cunard's fleet, arrived in the German

port of Hamburg at the end of last week to undergo the much-needed revamp.

The vessel, which has a gross tonnage of 150,000, will get a host of upgrades, as

well as several new features during its stay at the Blohm & Voss Shipyard. Work

should be completed by 21st June 2016. Some of these upgrades include a totally

new Veranda Restaurant, a restyled Carinthia Lounge, 30 additional Britannia Club

staterooms, 15 extra single cabins, an enlarged kennel section, fresh carpets, new

trademark colour schemes, new furnishings, and also more attractive fixtures and

fittings throughout the ship. Apart from the upgrades to the interior of the vessel,

the Queen Mary 2 will also receive a brand new coat of paint as well as a variety of

technical upgrades. The first passengers who will get a chance to enjoy the virtually

new ship will be those joining a two-day sailing from Hamburg to Southampton

after the dry dock visit. The ship will later offer a couple of trans-Atlantic cruises

from the German port to New York City. Although she is 13 years old, the Queen

Mary 2, with a passenger capacity 2,640, is still Cunard Line's undisputed flagship;

and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is still her godmother.

Carnival Vista boasts huge Cloud 9 Spa

The Carnival Vista is certainly an impressive ship, and the cruise line is quite rightly proud

of its many amazing features. Probably one of the vessel's most remarkable features

is the large Cloud 9 spa, which offers two decks of bliss with many unique features,

including Hammam, and Infrared Heat Chambers. A one-of-a-kind feature of the Infrared

Heat Chamber is that its walls have a built-in heating system, so only approximately

20 per cent of the heat in the room comes from infrared. This delivers a significantly more

effective temperature management system by keeping the air at a lower temperature

than in a conventional sauna. The Hammam Chamber is another first for one of the cruise

line's ships, although strictly speaking the Ottoman Empire used it long ago to cleanse

the body and the soul. Prepare yourself to have warm water poured all over your body

until it reaches a temperature of 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Applied in a slow manner, this

therapy helps to loosen the muscles and joints. The Carnival Vista has a gross tonnage

of 133,500 and a passenger capacity of 3,936, which means it is the biggest ship in the

cruise line's fleet. It embarked on its maiden voyage earlier this month and between

now and the end of October 2016, it will be sailing in the Mediterranean. Apart from the

normal array of services and amenities, a significant number of the ship's cabins boast

their own private spas, taking onboard relaxation and luxury to new levels.

Princess Cruises releases 2017-2018

winter season details

If you are dreaming of a winter cruise to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, or the

coast of California, with the possibility of passing through the Panama Canal

during your voyage, do not look any further than Princess Cruises. The cruise

line recently released its itineraries for the winter of 2017/18, and it offers

all these locations and more. According to the announcement, one of the

highlights during this period will be the Caribbean Princess' inaugural season,

offering 10-day voyages passing through the locks of the Panama Canal.

Roundtrip sailings from the California Coast, which depart from Los Angeles,

will in future also visit the port of Monterey. Additionally, the Emerald Princess

will embark on a selection of 11-night round trip sailings to Alaska from Los

Angeles during the spring of 2018. Princess Cruise's fans will in future also be

able to choose from more mini-cruises, with departures from both the East-

and West coast of the U.S. The Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess will offer

four- and five-day cruises from Los Angeles, including an overnight stay in Cabo

San Lucas (five-day sailing only). The Crown Princess, meanwhile, will launch

brand new four-night sailings from Fort Lauderdale to the Western and Eastern

Caribbean. Princess Cruises' president, Jan Swartz, said that their 2017/18

Americas season offered exciting voyages, providing their passengers with a

choice of departures ports in the US and Canada. She concluded by saying:

"Recognized for our award-winning itineraries, we're always evolving our cruise

options so our guests can immerse themselves in the local cultures and enjoy

new experiences while in port."

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