Happy August! Now that summer is winding down, we’re thinking about back-to-school—and specifically, to college. This month, we’re talking about a new trend we’ve been seeing lately: Families taking special trips with their college-bound kids. And speaking of bonding travel, we’re also highlighting our recent retreat in Puerto Rico—including our top hosting tips. And finally, rounding out this edition is a great Q&A with Qatar Airways, which was recently honored with the distinction of “World’s Best Airline.” We hope the rest of your summer is fun and relaxing!
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
Ever since we launched our cruise division in the fall, first-time bookers have been flocking. If you’ve never cruised before, the timing is perfect to contact us.
We’re in the middle of “Wave Season,” when cruise lines offer their best and widest offers. The variety, pricing, and experiences have never been more enticing.
Talk about cruising reaching new heights! In November Crystal Cruises introduced its next-level offering: Crystal Aircruises. Passengers climb aboard a luxury Boeing 777 for a cruise experience in the sky. The all-inclusive, around-the-world trips range from 15 to 29 days.
Expedition and adventure cruising is on the rise. Ponant, the leader in polar expeditions, is introducing a new itinerary this year on its 5-star ships. The “Ultima Thule” departs August 21 for a 16-night voyage along the Canadian High Arctic, to see narwhals and the Northern Lights, and visit with Inuit villagers in Greenland.
Cuba is the hottest new destination for cruisers. Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas has a five-day Cuba cruise departing Miami on April 19, as well as a seven-day cruise from Tampa departing April 30 and a five-day cruise leaving Tampa on May 20. Azamara Club Cruises will overnight in Havana on a 12-day Azamara Quest departure from Miami on March 21. Oceania Cruises will explore Havana on March 9 as part of a 14-day Caribbean cruise.
River cruising is gaining steam including inside the US. American Queen Steamboat Company is launching a second boat on the Mississippi River this year. Avalon Waterways is introducing a Danube cruise that includes cooking and ballroom dancing classes in Vienna, biking in Budapest, and hiking along a World War ll smugglers route in Germany.
Local and gourmet offerings are also taking more of a starring role in 2017. Seabourn is expanding its partnership with celebrity chef Thomas Keller to add The Grill by Thomas Keller to a second ship in its fleet, Seabourn Encore, in 2017. Princess Cruises just announced it is working with three-Michelin star Chef Emmanuel Renaut to develop the cruise line’s next specialty restaurant concept. In April, “La Mer – A French Bistro by Emmanuel Renaut” will debut aboard Majestic Princess.