Want To Cruise Antarctica? Join Me On Seabourn Quest, Plus Viking Star's Christening In Bergen

Join Me For A Special Cruise To Antarctica, February 3, 2016

When people ask me about my favorite cruise destination, the answer is nearly always Antarctica. During the past three years, I've made two trips to the White Continent, one on Silver Explorer and the other on Seabourn Quest. Though they differ, what each ship showed me and my fellow passengers was essentially the same: the awe-inspiring grandeur of a vast and forbidding continent.

I'll be returning to Antarctica for a third time on February 3, 2016 as the host of a 21-day voyage on Seabourn Quest, sailing from Santiago (Valparaiso) to Buenos Aires. In the coming weeks, I'll be telling you more about this trip. If you're at all interested in joining me, take a look at some of the special offers available between now and May 31, 2015 or call 1-800-300-4567.

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Prelude To A Viking Christening

The excitement in the air is almost overwhelming here in Bergen, Norway, and it was noticeable even before I stepped out of the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Bergen this morning. Not only is it Norwegian Constitution Day here in Norway, but we’re just hours away from …

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Viking Star Christening Voyage, Day 1: Embarkation in London

Viking Cruises first-ever oceangoing cruise ship, the 930-guest Viking Star, is a stunning antidote to the homogeneousness that seems to infect a certain portion of the industry. In an age where most mainstream cruise ships look and even feel more similar …

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Uniworld's Maria Theresa: Day 4, Open-Air Balconies Make All The Difference

During my tour of S.S. Maria Theresa's stateroom 425 yesterday, I promised to show you a video of my favorite stateroom feature, the open-air balcony. I've seen similar balconies on river cruise vessels, but Uniworld did an exceptional job with the concept on S.S. Maria Theresa. Catch up with on my journey on Uniworld’s S.S. Maria Theresa and follow along …

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Viking Star, Two Ways

This past week, the Avid Cruiser's own Ralph Grizzle has been sailing onboard Viking Cruises' brand-new (and first-ever) oceangoing cruise ship, Viking Star. During that time, he's filed an amazing series of reports, including a firsthand video look at what makes this new ship so exciting.

• Day 1: Boarding in Barcelona; a Tour with Tor

• Day 2: Departing Barcelona; Understated Elegance - for less than Oceania

• Day 3: Cartagena, Spain, Has Viking Created a New Category of Ocean Cruiser

• Day 4: A Peek Inside My Penthouse aboard Viking Star

• Day 5: Avid Cruiser's Viking Star Introduction Video

• Day 6: Lisbon, Portugal; End of a Journey; Summing Up Viking Star

As in-depth as Ralph's reports are, we always like to cover every concievable angle - particularly with a new ship like this. So this week, we're trading places. I'll get my own shot at Viking Star as I sail aboard her from Greenwich (London) to the Hanseatic port of Bergen, Norway, to witness her christening ceremonies on Sunday, May 17, 2015.  To fully understand why she's such a special ship, you first have to understand the Norwegian propensity for tenacity.

Once upon a time, there was a Norwegian man by the name of Roald Amundsen. Born in the small parish of Borge in 1872, he would go on to become one of the world’s most daring and successful polar explorers of all time.

He also had a great talent for doing what others couldn’t: Despite centuries of failed expeditions to the North and South Poles, Amundsen ending up claiming both victories for himself and for Norway in 1926 and 1911, respectively. He also singlehandedly succeeded in discovering the fabled Northwest Passage in 1906. A one-man-wrecking-ball, Amundsen was a huge thorn in the side of contemporaries like Scott, Shackleton, and Mawson simply for his freakish ability to succeed in the face of extreme odds.

Viking Cruises founder Torstein Hagen is a bit like Amundsen – and not just because he’s of Norwegian descent. 

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Six Tips To Extract More Joy From Your Cruise

In this free special report, I’ve put together a half dozen actionable items that can make the difference between cruise vacations that are memorable and others that fail to measure up to all you had hoped they would be. I’ve cruised on hundreds of ships, as a solo traveler and with family and friends.  — Ralph Grizzle, The Avid Cruiser

Click to download the report.

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Complete this thought: My best packing trip for cruises is ... click here to answer.

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