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Travel News March 2017



A TOUR guide from Dublin has won the experience of a lifetime, after being selected from over 75,000 UK and Irish applications to travel the world over a three week period as Royal Caribbean International's official Instagrammer.

Lucky Ciara Flynn, who earns a living working as a tour guide for European coach network Busabout, will spend three weeks travelling three oceans, on three ships this summer; with all of her food, drink, accommodation, entertainment, flights and expenses covered by Royal Caribbean. In addition, the budding snapper will also receive £3,000.

The search to find someone to fulfil the Instagram ‘Intern-Ship’ was launched by Royal Caribbean in January.

The campaign was the brainchild of Ben Bouldin, Royal Caribbean’s Managing Director UK & Ireland, and came in response to data showing that more and

Celebrity Reflection won Best Overall, Best Cabins and Best Value at the Cruiser’s Choice Awards


Choice Awards. C

The line's newest ship, Celebrity Reflection, won Best Overall, Best Cabins and Best Value. Celebrity Silhouette received Best Service and Best Public Rooms.

Meanwhile, Celebrity Infinity, which offers sailings to destinations such as the Panama Canal, Africa and Colombia, was commended in the Best Shore Excursions category.

Cruise Critic's annual Cruisers' Choice Awards are based solely on the ratings from everyday cruisers' reviews. This year's awards include reviews submitted for cruises taken during 2016, and they're given in four categories: Large (2,000 passengers or more), Mid-Size (1,200-1,999), and Small (1,199 or fewer).

Once again, Oceania Cruise’s Riviera scored highly in the Mid-Size category, with the line maintaining all of its six first place rankings from 2016, including Best Overall, Best Dining, and Best Service. Thomson Cruises’ Thomson Spirit also took three Mid-Size awards for Best Entertainment, Best Shore Excursions, and Best Value.

In the Small Ship category, Viking Ocean Cruises has continued to impress cruisers, riding the waves with eight accolades. The line’s first ship, Viking Star launched in 2015, followed by Viking Sea in 2016. Viking Star took awards for Best Overall, Best Embarkation, Best Public Rooms, Best Service and Best Value, while Viking Sea won Best Cabins, Best Entertainment and Best Fitness and Recreation. Voyages to Antiquity’s Aegean Odyssey won Best Shore Excursions.

Royal Caribbean’s 2016 launch, Harmony of the Seas, which is famed for its 10-story dry slide, The Ultimate Abyss, and currently the largest ship in the world, was rated Best for Families. The line’s Freedom of the Seas took Best for First-Timers.Best UK Cruises Overall. The Awards were:

ELEBRITY Cruises has been named the top- rated cruise line across the most categories in this year's Cruise Critic UK's annual Cruisers'

Celebrity Reflection (Large) Riviera (Mid-Size) Viking Star (Small)

Best UK Cruise Ship Cabins Celebrity Reflection (Large) Riviera (Mid-Size) Viking Sea (Small)

Best UK Cruise Ships for Dining Norwegian Jade (Large) Riviera (Mid-Size) Saga Sapphire (Small)

Best UK Cruise Ships for Embarkation Harmony of the Seas (Large) Riviera (Mid-Size) Viking Star (Small)

Best UK Cruise Ships for Entertainment Norwegian Epic (Large) Thomson Spirit (Mid-Size) Viking Sea (Small)

Best UK Cruise Ships for Fitness & Recreation Ovation of the Seas (Large) Oriana (Mid-Size) Viking Sea (Small)

Best UK Cruise Ships for Public Rooms Celebrity Silhouette (Large) Riviera (Mid-Size) Viking Star (Small)

Best UK Cruise Ships for Service Celebrity Silhouette (Large) Riviera (Mid-Size) Viking Star (Small)

Best UK Cruise Ships for Shore Excursions Celebrity Infinity (Large) Thomson Spirit (Mid-Size) Aegean Odyssey (Small) Best UK Cruise Ships for Value Celebrity Reflection (Large) Thomson Spirit (Mid-Size) Viking Star (Small)

Best UK Cruises for Families Harmony of the Seas

Best UK Cruise Ships for First Timers Freedom of the Seas

Silver Muse completes sea trials

SILVERSEA Cruises, the world’s leading luxury cruise line has celebrated the successful completion of sea trials by its new flagship, Silver Muse. Rigorous assessments were conducted from Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa where the ship is currently under construction.

Ahead of its formal christening in Monaco on 19 April 2017, the ultra-luxury ship underwent extensive speed, vibration, noise, endurance and propulsion tests with Silver Muse successfully passing all assessments in accordance with international rules and regulations. “The successful completion of sea trials marks yet another significant milestone in Silver Muse’s development. In just a matter of weeks we will be welcoming guests from around the world on board the

newest member of the Silversea family, with our new flagship set to offer the highest expression of excellence in elegance and comfort at sea,” said Roberto Martinoli, CEO at Silversea Cruises. Calling at 34 countries and 130 ports in 2017 alone, Silver Muse will redefine ocean travel, enhancing the small-ship intimacy with spacious all-suite accommodations that are the hallmarks of the Silversea experience. A remarkable 52 UNESCO World Heritage Sites feature in Silver Muse’s 2017 itinerary, from ancient Greek temples through to historic Caribbean fortresses.

The addition of Silver Muse will expand Silversea's fleet to nine ships and will, once again significantly raise the bar in the ultra-luxury cruise market.

more people were using social media channels as inspiration when booking their holidays, and Royal Caribbean recognised Instagram as an opportunity to reach its audience in new ways.

He said: “Ciara’s entry was everything we were looking for when we launched our Instagram ‘Intern- ship’ and we’re thrilled to be able to offer this experience to someone already with such passion for the travel industry. Her image has strong visual appeal, originality and inspires viewers to jump out of the ordinary and explore the world.

“Most importantly, it also captures a subtle but amazing moment that draws the viewer into her story. We’re confident that throughout the ‘Intern-ship’, Ciara will be able to skillfully shoot similarly amazing moments onboard our fleet, capturing the imaginations of the younger generation and inspiring them to consider cruising as their next big adventure.”

Crystal targets Alaska’s Last Frontier

CRYSTAL Serenity’s Alaska voyages are offering far more than the comprehensive exploration of the Last Frontier that has drawn travellers to the region for years. For all seven 2017 Alaska cruises aboard the award-winning vessel, luxury travellers can enjoy a host of value propositions and savings that specifically apply to families traveling with children and multiple generations. The voyages sail between Vancouver and Anchorage from June through August on seven-, nine- and 10-night itineraries that call in some of the region’s most spectacular destinations.

Crystal’s “Kids Sail Free” offer allows kids aged 17 and under to sail in a complimentary third berth with two full-fare adults, while the “Crystal Memories” programme provides additional perks for larger families travelling together, with one free berth for every 10 full- fare guests and shipboard credit for each guest. Additionally, “Crystal Clear Choices” allow travellers to

tailor the savings to best suit their needs, with the option to select shipboard credit or cruise fare savings. “Summer voyages to Alaska have always been a favourite among families with children, who are seeking adventure with all the luxuries included in the Crystal Experience,” says Crystal Chairman, CEO and President Edie Rodriguez. “These savings opportunities make a family holiday with the best in the world even more appealing for guests who crave the natural wonders that are so abundant in Alaska.” Aboard Crystal Serenity, junior cruisers enjoy numerous entertainment and enrichment options, just as their parents do, with dedicated facilities and programmes for younger kids and teens. Ashore, there are dozens of Crystal Adventures ashore that showcase this natural beauty in ways to suit virtually any interest, from virtually every vantage point – by air, land, sea and even glacier.

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