Cirque Dreams Travels The Country, Tours Military Bases Worldwide

cirque dreams

The first-ever Cirque Dreams World Tour performed at 17 U.S. military bases throughout ten countries in January. Now, Cirque Dreams Holidaze promises to light up the 2012 holiday season transforming stages at five military bases in Korea and across the United States into a magical holiday wonderland.

This is not your mother’s Christmas pageant either. The traditional elements are there but that’s about where tradition ends. Gingerbread men flip in mid air and toy soldiers march on thin wires. Snowmen, icemen, penguins, Christmas tree ornaments and dancing puppets all come to life to an original music score.

Honoring tradition, seasonal favorites accompany hundreds of astonishing costumes and holiday dreams in a setting of gigantic gifts, colossal candy canes and 30-foot towering soldiers creating a wonderland of spectacle.

Fans won’t have to travel far to see the international cast of multi-talented and brilliantly costumed artists come to life and perform astonishing feats of disbelief.

The Cirque Dreams Holidaze U.S. tour begins on November 13 in Abilene, Texas, then travels up the West Coast, down through the Midwest, into the South and ends in Schenectady, New York, on December 30.

Here’s a preview:




Cirque Dreams’ stable of popular shows include Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, Cirque Dreams Illumination, Cirque Dreams & Dinner onboard Norwegian Epic and upcoming Norwegian Breakaway, Cirque Dreams Rocks, and Cirque Dreams Holidaze, now in its fourth consecutive touring season and success from The Kennedy Center.

[Photo Credit: Cirque Productions]

Cruise Line Can’t Build New Ships Fast Enough

cruise line


Norwegian Cruise Line announced this week a plan to build one, maybe two more new ships, their biggest yet, on the heels of their two Project Breakaway ships that are still under construction. Citing the buzz among cruise travelers and travel professionals in Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway as reason enough to build the 163,000 ton ships, the cruise line is as confident as ever.

“Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway have garnered significant attention in the marketplace with their innovative design, rich stateroom mix and world-class amenities,” said Norwegian President and CEO Kevin Sheehan in a Seatrade Insider report.

Indeed, Norwegian has had a laser focus on the deployment of their next ships. Dedicating Norwegian Breakaway to year-round service from New York City, the cruise line brought on board pop artist Peter Max to paint the ships hull with the New York skyline. About a month ago, Norwegian announced the Godmothers of Norwegian Breakaway, the New York City Rockettes. Sister ship Norwegian Getaway will sail year-round from Miami in 2014 and a close tie to Miami and South Florida is expected there as well.

Norwegian’s new Breakaway Plus ships to be delivered in 2015 and 2017 if an option for a second ship is triggered put two more giant ships in service, these weighing in at 163,000 tons, carrying about 4,200 passengers. The ships will be built at Meyer Werft’s Papenburg, Germany shipyard and financed by a German bank.

“Building on that momentum, along with Meyer Werft’s expertise and efficiency in the design and construction process, we are extending the excitement and anticipation with a new, larger edition Breakaway Plus-class ship to further distinguish the Norwegian brand,’ said Sheehan.
At a price tag of €700m (getting close to $1billion each), Breakaway Plus will host a continuation of the signature Norwegian Cruise Line Freestyle Cruising guest experience and focus on technical and sustainable environmental advances as well.



[Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Lines]

Cruise Line Taps Top Artist For Hull Design

cruise lineNorwegian Cruise Line today released the first image of the hull art planned for its next ship, 144,000 ton Norwegian Breakaway, designed by pop-artist icon Peter Max.

Covering 40,000 square feet of the ship’s exterior, the New York City-themed design features images of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.

“The Big Apple is known for its love of art and its many galleries — and now, Norwegian Breakaway becomes a floating piece of that art that will cruise in and dock every Saturday on New York’s West Side,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian president and CEO in a statement.

Artists and art at sea is nothing new, Peter Max was along for the ride on inaugural sailings of Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas and an on-board Britto store with works from Romero Britto, is featured on the ship.

Sister line Celebrity Cruises has a similar focus on the arts, offering hands-on instruction from experts in drawing, painting and beading, as well as the art of food with culinary-themed classes on their Solstice-class ships.
Currently under construction in Germany, Norwegian Breakaway will debut in April 2013. The ship is scheduled to sail year-round from New York to Bermuda and the Bahamas and will be the largest ship ever to be based year-round in the city. That adds one more drive-to-the-port option for cruise passengers in the often under-served New York market.

Embarking on seven- to twelve day cruises to the Bahamas and Florida from October 2013 to April 2014, ports include Nassau, Great Stirrup Cay, Orlando and Port Canaveral. Two 12-day Southern Caribbean voyages and two “Weekend Escape” cruises in January 2014 are also scheduled with the 12-day itinerary incorporating visits to San Juan, St Thomas, Philipsburg, Castries, Bridgetown and Basseterre.




Photo courtesy Norwegian Cruise Line

Cruise Lines Court New Yorkers With More Ships, Better Value

New YorkersNew Yorkers and most of the upper east coast of the United States have had few cruise ships to choose from. Traditionally, cruise lines sailed most of their ships from warmer, southern ports, which added the cost of a flight to a cruise vacation package too. Now, cruise lines are positioning more ships from upper east coast ports with a special focus on the New York market. The end result is, and will continue to be, more choices, better pricing and the best value ever to New Yorkers.

Norwegian Cruise Lines‘ new 4,000-passenger ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will sail from her homeport of New York City to the Bahamas, Florida, and the Caribbean for her inaugural winter season in 2013. That adds one more drive-to-the-port option for cruise passengers in the often under-served New York market.

“Norwegian Breakaway is one of the most highly anticipated new ships and has seen great demand for her summer sailings to Bermuda,” Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan told TravelDailyNews. “We are also excited to announce that the ship will stop at our newly enhanced private island, Great Stirrup Cay, offering an exclusive beach experience.”

Embarking on seven- to twelve day cruises to the Bahamas and Florida from October 2013 to April 2014, the line is taking in ports including Nassau, Great Stirrup Cay, Orlando and Port Canaveral. Two 12-day Southern Caribbean voyages and two “Weekend Escape” cruises in January 2014 are also scheduled with the 12-day itinerary incorporating visits to San Juan, St Thomas, Philipsburg, Castries, Bridgetown and Basseterre.

As the largest ship to homeport year-round in New York City, Norwegian Breakaway is expected to bring 140,000 additional embarking passengers into New York City over two years creating an estimated $35 million in direct spending.

In another move, Carnival Miracle, once a seasonal ship, started sailing year-round from New York this month, marking the line’s first year-round sailings from that port.

“New York is one of the highest-rated homeports for Fun Ship cruising. Carnival Miracle’s new year-round, eight-day departures offer consumers the best of both worlds – a choice of three attractive year-round Caribbean and Bahamas itinerary options with the opportunity to depart from one of the world’s great cities,” Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill told BreakingTravelNews.

Carnival Miracle will offer three different eight-day itineraries that visit popular islands throughout the Caribbean and Bahamas. The itineraries include Eastern Caribbean departures to San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk, offered on a rotating basis April through October with a series of Bahamas sailings featuring stops at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Nassau. November through April, Carnival Miracle sails to the Bahamas along with a stop in Florida with port calls to Port Canaveral (Orlando), Nassau and Freeport.

On board, travelers will also find some new programming with an upscale New York flair.

The Taste Bar is Carnival’s newest casual dining option introduced this month on Carnival Miracle with fleetwide implementation expected to be completed by summer 2013.

The Taste Bar features complimentary bite-size offerings inspired by line’s Fun Ship 2.0 initiative dining venues, along with a signature cocktail tied to that eatery’s particular theme available for purchase for $5.

Sample offerings may include roasted pork tacos; meatballs and hand-whipped ricotta bruchetta; fried malanga (sweet potatoes) filled with ginger-scented pork and lime aioli; grilled ham and provolone cheese melt; and short rib croquettes with chipotle aioli.

Also on Carnival Miracle, the debut of the Punchliner Comedy Club Presented by George Lopez, part of a recently announced partnership with the comedian who serves as the line’s “curator of comedy,” acting as a consultant on the vetting and hiring of both established and up-and-coming comedic talent.

The Punchliner Comedy Club will offer five 35-minute shows on multiple nights during each voyage with at least two comedians performing each night. Two early-evening shows are geared toward a family audience, while the later performances feature R-rated, adults-only comedy.

Carnival Miracle’s year-round schedule of eight-day Caribbean voyages from New York with three different eight-day itineraries are offered:

  • Eastern Caribbean departures to San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk;
  • Bahamas sailings featuring stops at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Nassau
  • Bahamas/Florida cruises with port calls to Port Canaveral (Orlando), Nassau and Freeport.

“The cruise industry continues to be an economic boon for the City, and today’s announcement that the Carnival Miracle will start offering year-round cruises from New York City will do even more to stimulate our economy, bringing additional visitors and generating nearly $13 million in direct spending,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky in a release.

Also sailing seasonally from New York, beginning May 25, 2012, Disney Magic will sail 20 cruises from New York with three unique and varied itineraries. No stranger to Disney Ships, here is new Disney Fantasy arriving in New York earlier this year for inaugural festivities before heading south to her new home in Florida.

Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship Docks in NYC

[Flickr photo via Dr.DeNo]

The Haven By Norwegian a new boutique hotel chain, at sea

The Haven by norwegianNorwegian is known as the cruise line of Freestyle Cruising, a concept that is all about giving passengers the freedom of choice to have their own style of vacation. Last year’s debut of Norwegian Epic brought in a new era in at-sea entertainment, dining and accommodations. Looking forward to 2013 and 2014, Norwegian has two new 4000-passenger ships called Project Breakaway in the works. Recently, the line revealed some details of the new ships and an innovative luxury ship within a ship area full of suites called The Haven by Norwegian.

“Norwegian was the first cruise line to introduce the ship within a ship complex with the introduction of Norwegian Jewel in 2005,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer in a release. “These private enclaves at the top of the ships are home to our most luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodations offering the utmost in service and elegance. With the introduction of the suite complex on our Breakaway ships, we felt it was appropriate to brand this space as The Haven by Norwegian to better identify and describe the unique luxury cruising experience we offer.”

Officially called The Haven by Norwegian, the company announced that the suite complexes on five of its existing ships, Norwegian Epic, Gem, Pearl, Jade and Jewel, will also bear the same name, contributing to a boutique hotel sort of feel.

Guests booked in the luxury accommodations will enjoy an array of amenities, including private 24-hour International Institute of Modern Butlers-trained butlers and concierge service. The Line is also adding a poolside valet in the private Courtyard area who will provide more personalized service poolside. In-suite dining has been enhanced to white tablecloth service too.

Guests booked in The Haven by Norwegian ship-within-a ship will also enjoy priority embarkation and disembarkation, a distinctive platinum keycard, a priority boarding of tenders to shore, in-suite espresso/cappuccino machines, gourmet treats delivered each evening, the Bliss Collection by Norwegian pillow-top mattress, fine linens, feather duvet and pillow menu along with plush bathrobes, slippers, over-sized towels and more.

“When I described the design theme for Breakaway’s staterooms recently I called it ‘modern boutique hotel meets the sea'” added Sheehan. “Now with The Haven by Norwegian, we truly have our own private boutique hotel on Norwegian Epic, Gem, Pearl, Jade, and Jewel, along with our new Project Breakaway ships, offering the ultimate in luxury and service at sea.”

Details of the two Project Breakaway ships will be released in the coming months and Norwegian has set up websites with more details of Project Breakaway and The Haven.

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