Cruise News: As Ships Return, Sailings Get Far More Interesting – Condé Nast Traveler

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In the need to adapt to resume sailing, cruise lines are reimagining their itineraries—creating a dynamic new approach to how and where they sail. Eager-to-return travelers, in turn, are snapping up staterooms—not just for 2021, but well beyond. “Countries around the world began opening to vaccinated travelers, which opened the door to ships finding new homeports,” says Colleen McDaniel, Cruise Critic’s editor-in-chief. “We’re hearing from cruise lines that demand is high.”As cruising returns this year, expect ship makeovers and new debuts right alongside these innovative itineraries. Ship-hop through epic river journeys, explore world affairs with distinguished diplomats, dive deep into a single country—and that’s just for starters. Here, we share our favorite new voyages coming up on the cruise front.All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.Ponant: A World Affairs Cruise in the BalticThis sailing on the 184-passenger Le Jacques Cartier stars global affairs heavyweights who will lead riveting discussions on U.S. relations with the world. Esteemed experts include Robin Wright, contributing writer to The New Yorker and former U.S. ambassador to NATO; former Deputy National Security Advisor Ambassador Douglas Lute; and Jane Holl Lute, special advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. In Szczecin, Poland, former Polish President and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Lech Wałęsa comes onboard for an exclusive presentation and discussion. This nine-day Stockholm to Copenhagen cruise includes two full days in UNESCO World Heritage-site-rich St. Petersburg, and a visit to the beautifully preserved medieval town of Visby on Gotland, the Baltic Sea’s largest island. Departs July 17, 2021.Book now: From $7,070 per person; us.ponant.comAmaWaterways will sail seven European rivers on its boutique ships
Courtest AmaWaterwaysAmaWaterways: Seven River JourneySail seven rivers through 14 European countries on a whopping 46-day Spring Edition cruise via three ships sailing between Avignon, France, and Giurgiu, Romania; the Summer Edition sails on four ships between Paris and Giurgiu. Revel in the Rhône, Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube, Schedlt, and Maas (the latter two are Dutch and Belgian) rivers. With a dedicated cruise manager overseeing the entire journey, guests seamlessly transfer between ships and locations. Expect exclusive experiences and surprises solely for Seven River Journey guests, and perks like complimentary laundry. Due to limited availability, a Fall Edition looks promising. The Spring Edition departs April 20, 2023, the Summer Edition departs June 1, 2023.Book now: From $24,999 per person; amawaterways.comSilversea: Athens to AthensBask on balmy Greek islands during a 10-day Med sail on Silversea’s 596-passenger Silver Moon with Athens as homeport. The ultra-luxury line’s new flagship debuts its ambitious S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) gastronomic program, with a destination-dedicated restaurant, a bar showcasing locally inspired cocktails, and a regionally minded interactive culinary lab with workshops, lectures, and demonstrations. Expect stops to halcyon islands like Syros, with its 16th century monastery and old Venetian mansions; and Paros, inhabited since 3200 B.C., notable for its stunning marble Byzantine church and a marble hiking trail dating to 1,000 A.D. Departs June 18, with multiple departures into September, 2021.Book now: From $7,800 per person; silversea.comIntegrity operates this yacht for off-the-beaten-path sailings
Courtesy Integrity CruiseIntegrity: 9-Day Galápagos AdventureIf cruising this bucket list destination either privately or with a small group is on your list, the 16-passenger luxury yacht Integrity, operated by INCA (U.S.-based International Nature & Cultural Adventures), offers an eight-day east-west Galápagos itinerary roundtrip Baltra, with a hotel overnight on mainland Ecuador prior to departure included. A naturalist guide leads passengers on hikes, kayaks, and snorkeling, exploring the native wildlife. The 141-foot U.S.-built yacht may be tiny compared to cruise ships, but it’s cushy, with a crew of 10 posh staterooms, elegant dining with plated lunches and dinners, Wi-Fi, happy hours, and a sundeck with a Jacuzzi. Unlike many Galápagos yachts, Integrity features heavy-duty stabilizers for smooth sailing. Operates weekly, year-round. Book now: From $6,995 per person; integritygalapagos.comWindstar: Beach Fun & Sun: A Remote Caribbean GetawayWindstar’s 312-passenger Star Breeze has emerged from a major makeover and ship lengthening. Its new layout stars an infinity pool, two new dining venues (including the much-awaited modern Spanish Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso), re-envisioned spa, and all ocean-view suites with granite-countered bathrooms. With St. Maarten as its gateway, Star Breeze’s seven-day itineraries meander away from bustling big ship ports to idyllic destinations like Tortola and Jost Van Dyke. Excursions promise private speedboats to Little Bay, Anguilla’s smallest and most-private beach; transfers to pinkish-sand Shoal Bay (dubbed one of the world’s most stunning beaches); and a chance to pilot an RIB (rigid inflatable boat) along Norman Island’s craggy coastline. Departs June 26, July 3, July 10, July 17, and July 24, 2021.Book now: From $1,499 per person; windstarcruises.com
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