Thursday, June 30, 2016

More Cruise Lines Cancel Turkey Calls Following Istanbul Attack - June 30, 2016

Cruise lines have cancels calls in Istanbul in the wake of Tuesdays terrorist attack on Ataturk International Airport, USA Today reports. Celebrity Cruises has said that two vessels that were scheduled to use Istanbul as a base will instead be based out of Piraeus, Greece (Athens). Windstar Cruises will sail the Wind Star out of Piraeus instead of Istanbul, as well as cancel calls at Kusadasi (Ephesus), while Cunard Line has cancelled all calls in Istanbul for the rest of the year. Seabourn has moved Seabourn Odyssey Saturday sailing, which was set to depart from Istanbul, to depart from Piraeus instead. The line has not changed for other Istanbul departures over the rest of the summer and fall, and the line will still continue other Turkey calls. Neither the UKs Foreign Office nor the U.S. State Department have changed their travel device for the country. This is important because new travel alerts or warnings generally trigger companies to change their travel plans. 

Holland America Line and Princess Cruises  still have calls in Turkey that are going ahead as scheduled. 
Other cruise lines have already cancelled or altered Turkey calls over the past year. Crystal Cruises has cancelled calls in Turkey. In January, MSC Cruises suspended all calls in the country, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) has suspended Turkey calls for all three of its brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. 

Terrorists opened fire on Istanbuls Ataturk International Airport late Tuesday, exchanging fire with police and then detonating a suicide bomb. The attack is the second in an Istanbul tourist area this summer, following a car bomb in the historic Beyazit Square neighborhood earlier this month.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Reasons To Use A Professional Cruise Agent To Book Your Cruise

Seven out of ten travelers use a travel agent to plan and book cruise vacations.   
Travel professionals work equally well with new-to-cruise travelers and veterans of the seas and rivers. Long-time cruise lovers wouldn’t have it any other way. They understand the amazing value and benefits of working with a knowledgeable Professional Cruise agent.  
Here are a number of reasons why a travel professional should be your first call when considering a cruise vacation.  

Oceans of Knowledge: Professional Cruise Agents take regular training in all aspects of cruising as well as products and destinations. They have answers to everything from, “Which type of cruise ship is best for my family of four?” to “Will the chef know to prepare gluten-free entrees?” Cruise professionals are experts and can help you plan your ideal vacation, from a vast sea of choices.  
The Real Deal: Cruise travel agents plan and oversee multiple cruise vacations every week. They are aware of the best deals and discounts. They often have access to discounts unavailable to direct bookings. And in most cases, there is no cost for the service. Where else can you get professional advice for free?  

More Than Just $: In addition to finding the best rates, Professional Cruise Agents save clients another valuable resource: time. By all means research the type of cruise and the destinations that strike your fancy. But there is no need to spend hours on the web looking for the best deal. Agents have the most up-to-date offers and information. Let them do the legwork, from finding the perfect cabin to suggesting awesome excursions.  

Concierge Service: By using a Professional Cruise Agents, you can plan out many of your trip’s little details prior to boarding the ship. Instead of waiting in line at the surf-simulator or having to rush to the ship spa to book an appointment, when there’s an agent planning your trip you can enjoy a nearly hands-free experience where the details have been taken care of in advance.    

Professional Cruise Agents Got Your Back: Stuff happens. Professional Cruise Agents  are the best resource when it comes to trouble-shooting unforeseen travel glitches like lost luggage, cancelled excursions or travel delays. If a flight is missed or an excursion cancelled, an agent has the knowledge and tools to efficiently handle many of these situations.

Your Ship, Your Trip: A Professional Cruise Agents can create a perfect travel experience based on your preferences, tastes and travel dreams. They’re always armed with the most current information on how to find the right ship, right itinerary, right cabin and right cabin location.  

Up-to-Date Updates: Professional Cruise Agents are privy to a cruise line’s updates in real time and know the fastest ways to get up-to-date information. This can range from anything from new spa offerings to changes in the ship’s itinerary. They’ll help you take advantage of the latest onboard offerings or onshore excursions – and handle any last-minute concerns.  

For more information and to make reservations, contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email: and receive  exclusive rates and amenities, 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Viking Ocean Cruises: The Next Big Thing in Cruising Value is Here

Viking Cruises  continues to make waves and now it is on the high seas with its new Viking Ocean Cruises ships. The company’s mission is simple: luxury level cruise travel offered at an astounding value.
At first glance, Viking cruises aboard the new Viking Star and Viking Sea are approaching luxury pricing, and certainly quality, but when one considers the breadth of inclusions, the per diem breakdown puts it much closer in line to lower premium level cruise costs. Inclusions start with the usual meals and basic drinks but extend well beyond to alternative restaurants; 24-hour specialty coffees, teas and room service; wine, beer and soft drinks during lunch and dinner; self-service laundry (full-service for suites); Wi-Fi internet and one shore excursion in every port. The latter two are usually only included with the upper echelon of cruising.
Even all port charges and government taxes are bundled in, and the spa and fitness center facilities are also free of charge. Only treatments cost extra. Otherwise, the ships fantastic thermal suite, therapy pools, snow room, steam room and sauna are available gratis.
Perhaps the biggest factor is how the it compares to upscale cruise lines like Azamara Club Cruises and Oceania Cruises. Viking Ocean Cruises already has two brand new ships sailing, with another four scheduled through 2020. Viking ships  with fresh amenities such as all-veranda accommodations and more spacious showers. 
Viking Cruises founder and chairman Torstein Hagen said, The thing that differentiates ourselves from competitors  is what incredible value we are. Its not immediately obvious to everybody because so much is included in what we offer. 
They really defies categorization, sitting somewhere between upscale and luxury companies at premium line prices. In reality, Viking is defining its own version of luxury that is more casual and homey. Viking is wise to avoid classifying itself as a luxury line, however, realizing that luxury means different things to different people. Of course, the service standards onboard are so high though that guests feel greatly pampered regardless.
The bottom line is consumers need to look, well, beyond the bottom line, to recognize the Viking value found in its remarkable inclusions, hardware and software alike. 

Clients of can take advantage of an Early Booking Discount on 2017 and 2018 itineraries, including 2-for-1 cruise fares plus up to $1,000 per person off flights.
For more information and to make reservations on Viking Ocean Cruise, contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email:  For  exclusive rates and amenities.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Viking Cruises Unveils New Ocean Itineraries to Cuba and More, Names Fifth Ship

Viking Cruises continues to expand from the rivers to the oceans, its fleet expands. The Viking Star and Viking Sea are already sailing the ocean waters, and the Viking Sky and Viking Sun will follow in early and late 2017 respectively. Six ships are planned to launch in total through 2020, and the fifth has now been named Viking Spirit for a 2018 debut.
In 2017 and 2018, 10 new itineraries will be offered, adding over 30 new ports of call. Itinerary highlights will include Europe and the Americas as well as the Caribbean and even Cuba. The Viking Suns’ maiden voyage in December 2017 will be a 141-day world cruise, also featuring Cuba and sailing from Miami to London across five continents, 35 countries and 66 ports.

The guests on Viking ships are experienced travelers who are curious about the great art, history and cultures of the world.  Besides the world cruise, the 10 new itineraries, ranging in length from eight to 22 days.
Among some of the itineraries are:
Trade Routes of the Middle Ages  (From Bergen to Barcelona on Viking Star; September 2017, May 2018): The 15-day sailing will trace trade routes of the Middle Ages, departing Norway. Seven countries and 10 ports will highlight Amsterdam, Paris, and two calls each in England, Portugal and Spain. Veranda staterooms start at $3,999 per person.
Venice, the Adriatic and Greece – (From Venice to Athens on Viking Sun and Viking Spirit; October 2017, July-August 2018): The eight-day itinerary will feature the Adriatic Sea coast from Italy to Greece, beginning with an overnight stay in Venice. Ports will include stops in Croatia, Montenegro and more in Greece. Veranda staterooms start at $2,499 per person.
South America and the Caribbean – (From San Juan to San Juan on Viking Sea and Viking Sky; October-December 2017, January-March 2018): The 11-day voyage covers the southernmost Caribbean and even the northern part of South America. Six countries and seven ports will include the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curacao, Cartagena and Santa Maria, Columbia and Caracas, Venezuela. Veranda staterooms start at $3,199 per person.
New York, Bermuda and the Western Indies – (From New York to San Juan on Viking Sea and Viking Sky; October 2017, September 2018): The 15-day itinerary heads from New York to the Caribbean, visiting nine countries and ports along the way. Ports will include Bermuda, Guadeloupe, St. Kitt’s, St. Martin, St. Thomas and others with stops at UNESCO World Heritage Sites also. Veranda staterooms start at $3,599 per person.
Iconic Cities of the Western Mediterranean – (From Barcelona to Rome on Viking Sun and Viking Spirit; November-December 2017, January, February, April, July and September 2018): The eight-day cruise will sail for the French Riviera and Italian highlights in the Mediterranean with stops at Barcelona, St. Tropez, Monte Carlo, Tuscany and Rome. Veranda staterooms start at $1,999 per person. 
Central American Shores and Cuba – (From Miami to Miami on Viking Sun; December 2017): The eight-day round-trip sailing covers the Western Caribbean, four countries and five specific destinations including two days in Havana, Cuba. Other ports will include Cozumel, Mexico and Belize City, Belize to explore Mayan ruins. Also highlighted will be charming Key West, Florida. Veranda staterooms start at $2,499 per person.
From the Caribbean to the Amazon – (From San Juan to San Juan on Viking Sea; December 2017): The extensive 22-day cruise explores the Caribbean and South America. Ports will include a vast range from Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico to the Amazon River in Brazil. Veranda staterooms start at $5,999 per person.
Southern Mediterranean Discovery – (From Rome to Barcelona on Viking Star; December 2017, January-March 2018): The eight-day voyage sails the southern Mediterranean from Italy to Spain, encompassing the likes of Sicily and Sardinia as well as Tunis and the Casbah of Algiers, before ending in Valencia and Barcelona. Veranda staterooms start at $1,999 per person.
British Isles Explorer – (From Bergen to London on Viking Sun; May and August 2018): The 15-day cruise covers northern and southern British Isles as well as Viking outposts: Shetland and Orkney Islands. Also showcased will be the Scottish Highlands, Wales and the cities of Dublin, London and Bergen. Veranda staterooms start at $5,999 per person.
Italian Sojourn – (From Rome to Venice on Viking Sun and Viking Spirit; April and July-August 2018): The eight-day cruise starts in the Eternal City and ends in the legendary Italian port city with seven stops between Italy and Croatia. Highlights will include Sicily for Mt. Etna and Bari, Italy and Sibenik, Croatia for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Veranda staterooms start at $2,599 per person.

Clients of can take advantage of an Early Booking Discount on 2017 and 2018 itineraries, including 2-for-1 cruise fares plus up to $1,000 per person off flights.
For more information and to make reservations on this, contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email:  For  exclusive rates and amenities.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Viking River Cruises FREE All-Inclusive Air on all Europe Departures

Book by June 30, 2016 

RHINE GETAWAY - 8 DAYS ABOARD LONGSHIP EIR - Fares from $1,999 per person
Departure dates available throughout 2017 
Itinerary: Basel, Switzerland • Breisach, Germany • Strasbourg, France • Heidelberg & Speyer, Germany • Koblenz & Rüdesheim, Germany • Cologne, Germany • Kinderdijk, The Netherlands • Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Fares from $3,899 per person - Departure dates available throughout 2017 
Itinerary: Budapest, Hungary • Vienna, Austria • Melk & Krems, Austria • Passau, Germany • Regensburg, Germany • Nuremberg, Germany • Bamberg, Germany • Würzburg, Germany • Miltenberg, Germany • Koblenz, Germany • Cologne, Germany • Kinderdijk, The Netherlands • Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ROMANTIC DANUBE - 8 DAYS ABOARD LONGSHIP FREYA - Fares from $1,999 per person - Departure dates available throughout 2017 
Itinerary: Budapest, Hungary • Vienna, Austria • Krems, Austria • Passau, Germany • Regensburg, Germany • Nuremberg, Germany

DANUBE WALTZ - 8 DAYS ABOARD VIKING LONGSHIPS—VILI, VE OR SKADI - Fares from $1,999 per person - Departure dates available throughout 2017 
Itinerary: Passau, Germany • Linz, Austria • Melk & Dürnstein, Austria • Vienna, Austria • Bratislava, Slovakia • Budapest, Hungary

LYON & PROVENCE - 8 DAYS ABOARD VIKING LONGSHIP HEIMDAL - Fares from $2,099 per person - Departure dates available throughout 2017 
Itinerary: Lyon, France • Mâcon, France • Lyon, France • Vienne, France • Tournon, France • Viviers, France • Arles, France • Avignon, France

PARIS & THE HEART OF NORMANDY - 8 DAYS ABOARD VIKING LONGSHIP ROLF  - Fares from $1,999 per person - Departure dates available throughout 2017
Itinerary: Paris (Le Pecq), France • Paris, France • Giverny & Vernon, France • Rouen, France • Normandy Beaches, France • Les Andelys, France • Paris (Le Pecq), France • Paris, France

Cruise fares listed are for cruise and cruisetour only in US dollars, per person and fares/discount offers are based on double occupancy for US residents only. Prices are based upon lowest price point and category at time and are subject to change without notice. Valid on new bookings only  subject to availability and may not be combinable with any other offers  Air does not have to be purchased to get cruise/tour offer. Additional restrictions may apply. Viking reserves the right to correct errors and to change any and all fares, fees and surcharges at any time. Additional terms and conditions apply.

For more information and to make reservations on a Viking River or Viking Ocean Cruise & receive  exclusive rates and amenities, contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Holland America Anniversary Sale Extended Until July 1

Holland America Anniversary Sale Extended Until July 1

Book by July 1st, & SAVE up to $1,000 per stateroom, and receive REDUCED DEPOSITS, plus:* 
FREE $100 Beverage Card*
FREE Gratuities*(Hotel Service Charges)
FREE or Reduced Fares for Friends & Kids*(Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses are additional)
PLUS, receive 200 FREE Internet Minutes and up to $500 FREE Onboard Spending Money

restrictions may apply
For more information and to make reservations for this Holland America promotion,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email:  And receive other exclusive rates and amenities.

Azamara Cruises with 50% off the second Passenger

AZAMARA CRUISES Booking Aug 30, 2016 - Buy One, Receive up to 50% off the second guest’s fare  PLUS –Receive a Private Cocktail Party and an Exclusive Shore Event!

Applicable Sailings:
11 Night West Indies Hideaway - Azamara Quest • 1/4/2017
Round-trip Miami, - Oceanview from $2,999 per person

12 Night Baja California Sea of Cortez - Azamara Quest • 2/9/2017
Round-trip San Diego, California - Oceanview from $3,549 per person

12 Night Azaleas & Bourbon Street - Azamara Quest • 3/21/2017
Round-trip Miami, Florida - Oceanview from $3,749 per person

7 Night Along the Iberian Peninsula - Azamara Journey • 6/7/2017
Barcelona Spain, to Lisbon, Portugal - Oceanview from $2,499 per person

12 Night Scotland to the Baltics & Russia -Azamara Journey • 8/1/2017
Leith, Scotland to Stockholm - Oceanview from $5,099 per person

12 Night Baltic Sea to London- Azamara Journey • 08/23/2017
Stockholm to Southampton - Oceanview from $5,199 per person
Taxes, fees and port expenses of $287.92 are additional.

All rates are per person, based on double occupancy, cruise only. Rates may vary by ship, departure date, and stateroom category. All rates, savings offers and itineraries are subject to change without notice. Savings offers may be withdrawn at any time. Government taxes, fees & port expenses are additional.
2nd Guest 50% Off promotion provides 50% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as a first guest who books at full fare. All other charges are additional and apply to all guests.. Reservations must be made by August 31, 2016 ©2016 Azamara Club Cruises. Ships registered in Malta.  For more information and to make reservations for any Azamara Cruise ,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email:  And receive exclusive rates and amenities.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line > FREE amenities on board

Norwegian Cruise Line > Book by- June 30, 2016

Select from these FREE Amenities when you book a Balcony or Mini-Suite on a sailing of 5+ Nights
KIDS FREE (select sailings -) 
Studio and Inside staterooms may choose one of the above offers.*Choices differ on Hawaii (Pride of America) sailings

PLUS Exclusive from receive as much as $1000.  On board credit 

NORWEGIAN ESCAPE - 7-Day Eastern Caribbean -Round-trip from Miami > sailing 9/3/2016 - 5/6/2017 
Balcony Stateroom from $1,099 per person - Taxes, fees, expenses: $129.50 additional per person 

NORWEGIAN GETAWAY - 7-Day Western Caribbean - Round-trip Miami > 9/4/2016 - 4/23/2017 
Balcony Stateroom from $1,049 per person -Taxes, fees, expenses: $146.50 additional per person 

NORWEGIAN EPIC - 7-Day Western Mediterranean - Departs from Barcelona, Rome or Provence 
6/22/2016 - 10/23/2016 
Balcony Stateroom from $1,299 per person - Taxes, fees, expenses: $104.00 additional per person 

11-14 Day Grand Mediterranean - Departs from Barcelona or Venice > 6/12/2016 - 12/9/2016 
Balcony Stateroom from $1,499 per person - Taxes, fees, expenses: $185.00 additional per person 

PRIDE OF AMERICA - 7-Day Hawaii - Round-trip from Honolulu > 6/18/2016 - 12/30/2017 
Balcony Stateroom from $2,099 per person - Taxes, fees, expenses: $115.70 additional per person 

Offer is not applicable to Guarantee cabins. 7 night sailings & longer. Restrictions, ships, sailing dates & cabin categories apply. New  reservations only, not valid with other promotions, coupons or discounts.  May be withdrawn without notice. All guests in stateroom must choose same offer. Government taxes, port expenses & fees, discretionary on board service charges are additional. Cancellation Fees apply This offer has no monetary value, is non-refundable and non-transferable. Not combinability with other promotional offers & is subject to change at any time Ultimate Beverage Package     Applicable to guests 1-2 on the reservation. Guest must be at least 21 years of age at time of sailing to qualify. Not responsible for typographical errors or omissions. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016


Extensive upgrades to Norwegian's private island Great Stirrup Cay include a new family recreation area; addition of a 1,000 foot-long zip line; expanded dining options; and an exclusive access lagoon retreat with private air-conditioned villas to open by Summer 2017
They have announced details of the new experience that awaits guests at the company's 250-acre private island oasis, Great Stirrup Cay. The cruise line is revolutionizing the destination to provide new luxurious amenities, new adventure activities, enhanced and expanded dining options that, together, will present an upgraded atmosphere for guests visiting the island.

Great Stirrup Cay's 10 acre beach will soon feature a new half mile oceanside boardwalk that will span the length of the shore with more than 100,000 square feet of pathway, offering easy access to the white sand beaches, as well as access to new shaded areas with benches for relaxation. Just adjacent to the beach, guests looking for a more active island experience can visit the new half-acre entertainment and activity complex, featuring a stage for live music, games and entertainers; basketball and volleyball courts, complete with bleachers; ping-pong tables; and a shaded picnic area where families can play board games or relax together. A new air-conditioned reception area will serve as the central hub for family-fun where guests can plan their day, reserve activities, rent board games and have access to expansive changing rooms. Guests seeking heart-pumping adventure will soon be able to enjoy a new zip line course featuring more than 1,000 feet of zip line, allowing guests a bird's eye view of the island and the sea as they soar through the air.  The island's two parallel zip lines offer the chance for some friendly competition and high-flying races. Those who prefer to take to the sea for exploration can snorkel through the island's new mystical underwater sculpture garden.  Using a waterproof map as a guide, adventure seekers can discover nautical creatures that tell tales of the deep from beneath the sea.
From the many new shaded lounge and picnic spaces, to new restrooms and lockers at the tender marina, guests will find a whole new experience by January 2017.

All dining and bar venues will be updated island-wide, adding new resort-style decking, shaded areas, high-top seating at all bars and family-style seating that will add  50 percent more seating capacity at all dining outlets. A new complimentary taco bar, Abaco Taco,will be added near the island's entertainment hub, where guests can create their own favorite tacos. The island's 8,500-square foot buffet will be redesigned to provide faster and more efficient service for guests, and the deck surrounding the buffet will be expanded so  guests can enjoy their lunch at new seating areas. The center of the island will feature a shaded lounge area with modern chic furniture and bar service, for guests who want to enjoy paradise in style. Building on the brand's partnership with Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Great Stirrup Cay will also feature a LandShark Bar & Grill. Inspired by the traditional beach bars of the Atlantic Coast, LandShark Bar & Grill offers the perfect mix of casual dining, free-flowing drinks and fun with panoramic ocean views and indoor and outdoor seating. Menu items will be available à la carte. 

Guests seeking the ultimate island luxury will experience a retreat like no other at Great Stirrup Cay's exclusive lagoon enclave, beginning in Summer 2017.  This private area of Great Stirrup Cay features a secluded, pristine beach; ocean view restaurant; a posh Mandara Spa; sheltered family area; and 22 air-conditioned private villas available for reservations, ranging in size from studios to two-bedrooms. The lagoon will be available on a complimentary basis to The Haven and Suite guests, along with guests who purchase an on-island Mandara Spa service.  In addition, a limited amount of passes to the Lagoon will available for purchase on each sailing. The Lagoon experience begins as guests are welcomed by staff at a modern, air-conditioned reception area complete with beach chic décor that features floor to ceiling windows overlooking the area's expansive private beaches. From the reception building, guests can reserve activities, rent equipment, or relax in the shade on the outdoor terrace or an additional shaded seating area nearby that can be accessed by the lagoon bridge. The center of the lagoon will feature a floating swim up bar for guests to enjoy their favorite cocktails without ever having to leave the water. Both children and parents will enjoy a shallow, partitioned family beach area along with grassy areas for active play, swing sets, and picnic tables. Those guests celebrating a special occasion or traveling in a large group can reserve an expansive, well-appointed private room for private functions of up to 75 guests, with food and beverage service available. Guests looking to refresh and recharge during their private island getaway can indulge in the full range of treatments offered at the lagoon's luxurious Mandara Spa, with four treatment rooms offering signature spa services. Guests who purchase a reservation for one of Great Stirrup Cay's luxury beach villa will enjoy a completely pampered experience from ship to shore, as they will be whisked away by one of several air-conditioned shuttles running from the tender marina to the lagoon reception area. Studio villas feature an outdoor terrace, private bathroom and living/dining area, and can accommodate two to four guests. One bedroom villas accommodate four to six guests and feature a bedroom, private bathroom, living and dining areas and outdoor terrace with a hot tub. The ultimate island escape, Great Stirrup Cay's two bedroom villas can accommodate up to 10 guests and feature two bedrooms, two private bathrooms, living and dining areas, and an expansive outdoor terrace with a dining area and hot tub. Exclusively for guests of the lagoon retreat, the two-story Silver Palm restaurant will offer complimentary dining  in a stunning setting, with both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a rooftop terrace overlooking the area's expansive ocean views. All luxury beach villas will also include food and beverage service for guests who wish to enjoy refreshments in the privacy of their villa.

For more information and to make reservations for a Norwegian Cruise Line ship,  contact The Cruise Professionals at at 203-288-1884 or email:  And also receive exclusive rates and amenities.