June 18, 2024

Windstar Returning to Alaska

The new Star Seeker will be in Alaska in 2026.


Small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises revealed today it’s planning to send its newest ship, Star Seeker, cruising to Alaska and Japan when it joins the fleet in 2026. Windstar last sailed in Alaska and Japan in 2023 before it redeployed Star Breeze to be the year-round ship in Tahiti.

“We are really happy to be able to bring back Alaska and Japan for our guests,” said Windstar’s President Christopher Prelog. “We know these are popular destinations, and we have many people asking us to return there. We can’t keep this secret any longer.”

Star Seeker will sail in Alaska from May through August on 7-, 10-, and 11-day cruises between Juneau, or Seward, Alaska and Vancouver, B.C. Pre- and post-cruise land tours to Denali will be available as well. After departing Alaska in late August, Star Seeker will sail to Japan to begin the line’s popular 10-day Grand Japan cruises sailing between Tokyo and Osaka. The ship remains in Japan through November.

Windstar plans to have Star Seeker’s new deployment details, including Alaska and Japan, online and bookable in early August 2024.

In Alaska, Windstar will employ expedition leaders on board to lead its Signature Expeditions as it did on previous Alaska deployments. To explore remote wilderness areas such as Misty Fjords, guests can book hiking, kayaking and skiff expeditions through the ship to enjoy up-close adventures in small groups led by an expert guide to provide context during the journey. Expedition leaders will also give presentations on board the ship bringing Alaska’s rich history, culture, flora and fauna to life.

“These immersive, small group expeditions are a key part of our Alaska program and bring our guests closer to the beauty of Alaska,” said Prelog. “Being on the water and seeing the topography from that viewpoint brings the grandeur of Alaska into perspective. It’s also quiet and meditative to be out in these wild places. You never know what wildlife you might see.”

In April Windstar announced the addition of two new ships – Star Seeker and Star Explorer – to its fleet of boutique yachts. Each will have 112 suites for a guest capacity of 224 and will be similar to the line’s current Star Class motor yachts. Star Seeker will be delivered to Windstar in December 2025 and Star Explorer in December 2026.

Norwegian Cruise Lines expanding fleet

The new Norwegian Viva, 143,000 tons, is the second of six new Prima class ships in the NCL fleet.


Norwegian Cruise Line unveiled in May the most comprehensive new build order in its history—a total of eight state-of-the-art vessels, representing nearly 25,000 additional berths, with new classes of ships for each of its three award-winning brands—and the construction of a multi-ship pier at Great Stirrup Cay, the Company’s private island destination in the Bahamas and its top-rated Caribbean port of call. This unprecedented decade-long strategy enhances its product offering, guest experiences, and operational infrastructure, supporting the Company’s sustained leadership in delivering innovative cruise vacations.

The new ship orders across all three brands are scheduled for delivery over a ten-year period, between 2026 and 2036. Following the delivery of four Prima-Plus class ships from 2025 through 2028, Norwegian Cruise Line is expected to take delivery of four approximately 200,000-gross-ton ships, each with a capacity of nearly 5,000 guests, in 2030, 2032, 2034 and 2036, which are subject to financing1. Building on the success of its Allura Class ships, the last one being delivered in 2025, Oceania Cruises is scheduled to take delivery of two 86,000-gross-ton ships, each with a capacity of 1,450 guests in 2027 and 2029. Lastly, following the award-winning Explorer Class ships, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is scheduled to take delivery of two 77,000-gross-ton ships, each with a capacity of 850 guests, in 2026 and 2029. Details regarding the ships’ amenities, staterooms, dining, recreational, efficiency, sustainability and other features will be announced in the coming months.

“This strategic new-ship order across all three of our award-winning brands provides for the steady introduction of cutting-edge vessels into our fleet,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are likewise excited with the addition of a new pier at Great Stirrup Cay to support our increased capacity in the Caribbean and multiple ships to call on the island, enhancing our guest experience and bringing seamless and reliable access to our private island year-round.”

Diamond Princess extends Asia itineraries

Diamond Princess will offer several new cruises to Asia in 2025.


On the heels of record-breaking travel to Japan by U.S. visitors in 2023, and another strong season underway this year, Princess Cruises today announced it will extend the number of itineraries in Japan during the 2025-26 season.

The 2025-26 cruise season to the must-see island nations of Japan and Southeast Asia onboard a Princess ship has just been announced. On sale now, Japan-built Diamond Princess returns featuring an expanded Japan season showcasing the region’s breathtaking fall foliage, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and more.

“We truly make it easy to travel to Japan and Southeast Asia on our Diamond Princess Love Boat to experience these amazing destinations,” said Terry Thornton, chief commercial officer for Princess Cruises. “For our fall 2025 through winter 2026 season, we’re thrilled to expand our Japan cruises from Tokyo (Yokohama) during the beautiful fall foliage season and continue to Singapore to highlight the best of Southeast Asia. Plus, our guests only need to unpack once to experience these storied countries while enjoying vibrant shore excursions and our regional culinary and entertainment offerings onboard.”

From ancient temples and castles, to bustling markets and breathtaking gardens, cruisers experience the best way to see Japan with Princess with a new fall 2025 season offering 11 new voyages ranging in length from nine to 22 days, visiting 25 destinations throughout the Land of the Rising Sun, as well as stops in Korea and Taiwan.

For the ultimate Japan exploration, guests can combine these 18- to 22- day itineraries for an unforgettable 40-day adventure

Following her extended Japan season, Diamond Princess will sail to Singapore on a 12-day Southeast Asia & Japan cruise featuring Taipei (Keelung) and Hong Kong to kick off three roundtrip Singapore sailings.

Diamond Princess:
Built in Japan, the 2,670-guest Diamond Princess offers a unique experience tailored to the region. Guests enjoy authentic cuisine at Kai Sushi, sip Japanese-inspired cocktails created by mixologist Rob Floyd, soak in the traditional Izumi bath and enjoy folkloric shows, regional entertainment and Japanese holiday celebrations.

Cunard’s New Queen Anne ship christened

Cunard’s new Queen Anne will cruise around the British Isles in 2024.


Cunard’s new ship Queen Anne was officially named at a ceremony in Liverpool as the cruise line’s 249th ship sailed into the River Mersey, escorted by fire tugs.

It will be berthed at the city’s cruise terminal. Crowds at the ceremony were in the thousands at the event, which also included a performance from tenor Andrea Bocelli.

The 113,000 tonne ship, which houses 3,000 guests and has 14 decks, set off on its maiden voyage from Southampton and has stopped off in Liverpool as it travels around the British Isles.

The company’s headquarters were based in Liverpool from 1840 until 1967. Captain Inger Thorhauge said the ceremony marked a “milestone” for the company as it moved into the future with new technology, more modern features and more dining venues and bars onboard.

“It started in Liverpool. Liverpool is our spiritual home. This is where the whole thing started. Everyone is always very excited to come back to Liverpool.”

HX Hurtigruten Expeditions upgrades guest offerings

The Roald Amundsen is a 2018 Hurtigruten ship carrying 530 passengers.


HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions), the global leaders in expedition cruising, have announced plans to further enhance their onboard guest offering.

As part of a phased approach, starting with Antarctica & Galápagos expeditions departing in October 2024, they will be introducing an ‘all-inclusive’ offering as standard across the whole fleet from November 2024, covering all destinations.

Since rebranding to HX last December, this product evolution is one of many new initiatives that seek to combine their renowned exploring heritage with the modern-day guest experience.

The ‘all-inclusive’ offering ranges from including expert-led daily expeditions, access to a whole series of science-led activities both on board and out in the wild, to alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and even professional photographs. These changes look to enhance the guest experience onboard, part of a larger project aimed at crafting the ultimate expedition cruise experience, but importantly simplify the product offering for trade.

Alex Delamere-White, HX Chief Commercial Officer, states: “Expedition cruising can be a complex product for agents to sell, given the unique destinations we visit and varying experiences by operator. We’re confident that by including so many elements as standard in the price, we can simplify life onboard and enhance our trade-friendly focus.”

“We want our guests to fully embrace being curious travellers when they’re with us. By making things as easy as possible, they can focus on exploring remote parts of the world and learning from our expert team. We believe adventure should be all-inclusive, which is why our daily expeditions, talks and access to the science centre come at no extra cost, alongside delicious food and drink.”

For guests booking a HX expedition, starting with Antarctica & Galápagos expeditions departing in October 2024, their regular grade cabin will now include:

Daily expeditions and activities such as hikes, community visits, talks and more
Full board dining, including breakfast, lunch and dinner with house wine and beer
Wine, beer, spirits and cocktails available across the day and evening
All-day coffee, tea & soft drinks
Free Wi-Fi
Gratuities
Our interactive science programme, Science Centre and activities both on and off the ships
Access to sauna, hot tubs, fitness room and more
Professional photos from the onboard photographer
Opportunities to engage with and support local communities and environmental initiatives through Hurtigruten Foundation.

Celebrity Infinity gets make over

Celebrity Infinity, 2170 passengers and launched in 2001 , will get a make over this year.


Celebrity Cruises announced the modernization of Celebrity Infinity, just in time for a year of unforgettable European exploration. The newly modernized Celebrity Infinity will allow travelers to experience Europe in style, with transformed spaces to explore onboard.

Travelers seeking wanderlust and adventure across Europe in 2024 can enjoy the intimacy and service provided to guests of The Retreat, which has been reimagined onboard Celebrity Infinity.

These include:
A refreshed look to The Retreat Lounge (formerly Michael’s Club)
The boldly elegant Luminae at The Retreat has been expanded, giving more space for suite guests to indulge in sumptuous food and drink offerings
Brand-new Sunset Suites located in the aft of the ship, offering expansive views with large private balconies to enjoy the beautiful sunsets across Europe’s most sought-after destinations

Celebrity Infinity guests will enjoy a blend of premium experiences, making their European journey an unforgettable adventure. What sets The Retreat apart is its personalized service, ensuring that guests’ every need is met – whether it be on board or during their shore excursions. From securing reservations at the finest restaurants to arranging exclusive journeys, the dedicated team is committed to enhancing the overall experience for each guest.

The Retreat Lounge now boasts a captivating new color palette, designed to create a warm and intimate atmosphere for guests to unwind and socialize in style, offering a range of amenities including complimentary beverages, gourmet bites, live entertainment and more.

The brand-new Sunset Suites with an extra-large private balcony offer endless ocean views, allowing guests to enjoy fresh sea breezes, and soak in breathtaking sunsets with Europe’s picture-perfect destinations as the backdrop. Guests will enjoy exclusive amenities of The Retreat, including Butler service, dining at the expanded Luminae at The Retreat, and access to The Retreat Lounge throughout their stay.

Those looking to experience the modernized Celebrity Infinity will have a variety of itineraries to choose from, offering multiple opportunities to discover new vacation destinations whether guests are craving the warmth of summer days or escaping to enjoy winter sun, Celebrity Infinity promises an unforgettable experience in every season.

Popular itineraries include 7-night Greek Isles & Turkey sailings exploring the eastern Mediterranean coasts. Highlights include Santorini for a taste of the idyllic Aegean isles as well as the ancient sites of Kusadasi before sailing to Rhodes and stunning white-sand lined isles including Mykonos and Hydra.

For those looking for a longer escapade, guests can discover the southernmost corners of Europe on a 12-night Canaries, Morocco, & Spain sailing. Before reaching the Iberian coast, guests will call at three of the formerly known Fortunate Isles, the Canaries.

From black-sand beaches, to lesser-known delicious cuisine, and pristine nature reserves, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, and Tenerife. Celebrity Infinity then sails up to Morocco’s most renowned port cities of Tangier and Casablanca where an array of shore excursions are available to learn about the cities’ architecture, and history, and enjoy all that Moroccan culture has to offer.

Guests can also explore the rich history of southern Spain’s Andalucia (Al-Andalus) and visit the sites of vibrant Seville, indulge in the best of Spanish cuisine in Cadiz, or explore the Moorish architecture of Malaga or nearby Granada.

HAL opens 2025 Mexico and Pacific Coast cruises

The 2006 Noordam will be cruising to “bear country” in 2025.

Holland America Line opened its 2025-2026 Mexico and Pacific Coast seasons, including longer calls at unique ports like Mexico’s Loreto and Topolobampo, and a new seven-day Great Bear Rainforest itinerary — a rarely cruised route that reveals the beauty of British Columbia, Canada. Cruises run from August 2025 to May 2026 and range from one day up to a 29-day Collectors’ Voyage.

Holland America Line has long been known as a leader in cruising in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, and a seven-day “Great Bear Rainforest” itinerary that hasn’t been offered in decades showcases a distinct take on cruising in this region. Departing Oct. 5, 2025, and April 19, 2026, aboard Noordam, travelers seeking a more intimate experience can become immersed in the culture, nature and rare wildlife of Ketchikan, Alaska, and Prince Rupert, Nanaimo and Victoria, British Columbia.

“This in-depth exploration of the PNW takes guests through the historic Inside Passage, sailing through some of the most confined waters our ships have ever sailed, said Paul Grigsby, vice president of deployment and revenue planning for Holland America Line. “This is the true Inside Passage, the storied route between Seattle and Alaska that ships have been sailing since as far back as the gold rush era. It is a first for our company to plan a sailing focused on this fjord-like waterway that maximizes a daylight transit to allow best opportunities for wildlife sightings,” added Grigsby.

The roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, “Great Bear Rainforest” itinerary calls at Ketchikan before heading south to thoroughly explore ports in British Columbia. The ship overnights in Prince Rupert before scenic cruising in Greenville Channel, past the first nation’s village of Bella Bella, Johnstone Strait and Seymour Narrows. While cruising, guests can view wildlife like whales, eagles and the rare Kermode bear — also known as the spirit bear. A maiden call at Nanaimo and visit to popular Victoria give guests the opportunity to deeply explore many different communities in British Columbia.

Ten additional itineraries along the Pacific Coast highlight the region’s stunning scenery and sail from San Diego, California, to Seattle or Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Cruises call at popular ports like Astoria, Oregon; Santa Barbara, California; and Ensenada, Mexico; and select itineraries feature an overnight in San Francisco, California.

For those seeking some fun under the sun, Holland America Line’s Mexico season provides the perfect escape. Cruises are roundtrip from San Diego or between San Diego and Vancouver, taking travelers to Mexico’s iconic ports like Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, while also granting access to even more of the Sea of Cortez with calls at Guaymas and Santa Rosalia, Mexico. Late-night calls on select itineraries allow guests to discover historic sites in Loreto and take in Topolobampo’s dramatic scenery.

“Our Mexico cruises are favorites among many guests due to the incredible weather and beautiful landscapes, with ports boasting on average 300 days of sunshine a year,” said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer for Holland America Line. “And there’s so much more to experience beyond the scenery. Guests can delve deep into the culinary delights of the region through shore excursions, while also enjoying local fresh fish like yellowfin tuna on board.”

HAL adds 55 ports to 2024 Asia cruise season

Holland America Line’s Westerdam will be visiting over 55 ports on various 2025 Asia itineraries.

Holland America Line’s Westerdam is heading to Asia, where it will explore 11 countries from September 2025 through April 2026. The itineraries have a strong focus on Japan with 24 different ports around the country, as well as visits to Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Cruises in the Far East depart from Hong Kong, China; Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan; and Singapore to some of Asia’s most iconic cities — with up to 12 ports in a single cruise. Late departures and overnight stays allow extra time for guests to sample the nightlife, local cuisine and rich cultures of the region.

“For travelers looking to discover Asia, our 2025-2026 season provides an opportunity to explore the region in-depth via cruise,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “We have diversified the number of ports to more than 50 across several itineraries. We want to ensure our guests have an authentic glimpse into the diverse cultures of each country, creating immersive moments and deeper connections to those destinations.”

Seabourn Fleet Now Equipped with Starlink

Seabourn Cruises, the highly rated luxury cruise brand, has updated their ships with Starlink for high-speed internet.

Seabourn has announced that its fleet of ultra-luxury ships has been equipped with next generation Wi-Fi connectivity with SpaceX’s Starlink, the leader in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology.

The upgraded technology provides Seabourn’s guests with faster service, greater connectivity and more reliable Wi-Fi wherever Starlink’s services are available.

“Following the positive feedback we received from our guests from the successful rollout of Starlink’s enhanced connectivity on our expedition ships, we are thrilled to share that both our ocean and expedition ships in our ultra-luxury fleet now feature Starlink. Our guests can now choose to connect or disconnect as they wish during their extraordinary journeys with Seabourn,” said Natalya Leahy, president of Seabourn.

Starlink is now available on Seabourn’s two new purpose-built ultra-luxury expedition ships, Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit, as well as its ocean ships, Seabourn Sojourn, Seabourn Quest, Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation.

Seabourn’s fleet of ultra-luxury ships visits a perfect blend of iconic destinations and hidden gems, ensuring an indulgent and unforgettable voyage for luxury travelers. Guests can discover Antarctica, the Arctic, the South Pacific, the Kimberley region in Australia, and the legendary Northwest Passage aboard Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit. They may also explore marquee destinations and boutique ports in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Alaska and more on Seabourn’s ultra-luxury ocean ships.

Celebrity Cruises Unveils Culinary Experiences for Ascent

Celebrity, always known for excellent cuisine, ups its game on newest ship Ascent.

Celebrity Cruises, an award-winning premium cruise line, unveiled details of the culinary and beverage program planned for its highly-anticipated new ship, Celebrity Ascent. The fourth vessel in the line’s Edge Series, Ascent, will delight travelers with redesigned restaurants, a new immersive dinner experience, expanded food and cocktail menus, a new whiskey tasting experience, and a plant-based multi-course dinner.

“The memories we make with family and friends while sharing food and drink has long-been one of the most memorable parts of travel, and with Celebrity Ascent we sought every opportunity to make these experiences richer and exciting for our guests,” says Laura Hodges Bethge, Celebrity Cruises’ President. “Onboard Ascent there is something to delight every guest, whether it is the fine dining connoisseur with a palate for the world’s best wines or the wellness-minded traveler desiring more plant-based, healthy options.”

A New Le Voyage: Chef Daniel Boulud’s Exclusive Restaurants at Sea

World renowned chef, Daniel Boulud, Celebrity’s Global Culinary Ambassador, will bring his highly acclaimed restaurant concept at sea to Celebrity Ascent. The second installment of the highly rated fine dining venue, Le VoyageSM will feature an all-new design that creates a stunning scene and ambiance, featuring a new chandelier, captivating neutrals, plush banquet seating, and gold tones throughout. Guests will experience a global menu that offers dishes from his personal travels and favorite places around the world. For the ultimate culinary experience, groups can reserve the Chef’s Table – a private, 6-seat dining room that treats diners to a multi-course tasting dinner complete with exceptional wine pairings.

Plant-Based Flavors and Options Pop

One of the most captivating venues onboard Edge Series ships, Eden, is a window to the world, featuring three levels of experiences completely wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows. The multi-use venue offers a casual lunch café, a cocktail bar, an entertainment space, an outdoor terrace and a signature restaurant – all of which come alive at night with a fusion of music, libations, and performances. One of the highlights of Eden is its signature restaurant, offering a culinary journey rooted in untouched, fresh and seasonal ingredients. With the arrival of Ascent, travelers will have the opportunity to experience global cuisine in its most pristine and untouched form through a new seven-course plant-based tasting menu. Each dish features ingredients that have been sourced from their original place of origin and presented in the most natural state. Menu highlights include dishes like the Golden Beet-Tomato Ceviche, Ajoblanco Panna Cotta, Roasted and Glazed Celeriac Steak, and Dry Rose Petals Masala Curry. Enjoyed as a tasting menu, or a la carte, diners can also opt for organic and vegan wine pairings.

Expanded Offerings at Main Dining Rooms and Redesigned Cosmopolitan Restaurant

With the Edge Series ships, Celebrity presented a new dining room concept, expanding offerings from one main dining room to four main dining restaurants –each offering a different style of cuisine and signature dishes. Onboard Ascent, travelers will continue to enjoy the option for New American cuisine at Cosmopolitan restaurant; Mediterranean at Cyprus; French contemporary at Normandie; and Italian at Tuscan. Combined, the four main dining restaurants offer travelers more than 84 different dishes to choose from. Guests of Cosmopolitan will be delighted by its new design inspired by the culture of champagne, featuring a new layout and seating throughout.