Crystal Cruise to get new ship, Silversea launches speciality expeditions, and we look at going ashore in Marseille in a photo a day.

Crystal's new cousin? Regent's Seven Seas Mariner in Kotor, Montenegro. Genting Hong Kong will soon own Crystal and has a big stake in Regent also. photo courtesy of Regent Seven Seas

Crystal Cruises' New Owner Major Shareholder In Regent & Oceania, Implications?

The news caught me by surprise: Crystal Cruises To Get New Owners, New Ship

Not the new ship promise (since taking the helm as Crystal Cruises’ president and COO in 2013, Edie Rodriguez has been promising a new ship). It was the change of owners that surprised me. Japan’s NYK has owned Crystal since 1988, and I thought the marriage was a happy one.

The acquisition does make sense, though. NYK is primarily shipping company whereas Genting Hong Kong has major interests in cruise lines.

The parent of Asia’s Star Cruises, Genting HK is also a major shareholder in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which recently added Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises to its portfolio. I’m not certain of the implications, if any, of Genting owning Crystal and having stake in one of its competitors, Regent.

Both company's have strong brands, so I doubt there would be a merger of any sort, but there could be synergies to be gained. Then again, Genting's involvement in both companies may have no implications at all, except for Crystal getting a new ship.

Any thoughts? Share yours here.

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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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Silversea's New Collection Of Specialty Expedition Cruises

Silversea's New Collection Of Specialty Expedition Cruises

I’ve done a handful of Silversea’s expedition voyages, and I have loved them all. A little more than a year ago, I explored Antarctica on Silver Explorer, a life-changing experience that showed me the White Continent for the first time. This past August, Silver Discoverer took me across the Bering Sea to Russia’s Far East. And though Russia may be questionable for some travelers these days, my visit to a place that is closer to Nome (233 miles) than to Moscow (3,970 miles) rewarded me with cultural encounters with native people and abundant wildlife sightings: a few hundred walruses in a single Zodiac outing, more than 20 bear in one day, countless whales, and hundreds, yes hundreds, of Orca one morning.

Now, Silversea Expeditions has launched new collections of specialty expeditions, each offering a focus on such activities as birding, photography, scuba diving, wellness, and gastronomy. 

Read more.

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marseille

Shore Excursions From Marseille: A Photo A Day Series

Marseille a gateway port to a lot of wonderful experiences, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Avignon, the world-class wines of Chateaunuef du Pape and the charm of Aix-en-Provence. There's a lot more but there is also Marseille itself, and that's where our photo-a-day series begins. Marseille is France’s second largest city and the country’s oldest city. It has a history …

Read more.

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Breaking News: Crystal Cruises To Get New Owners, New Ship

Breaking News: Crystal Cruises To Get New Owners, New Ship

Today, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Crystal Cruises’ parent company since its inception in 1988, announced it has entered into an agreement with Genting Hong Kong (GHK), under which Crystal Cruises will be acquired by GHK. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015. With the support of GHK’s financial strength and expertise in ship design, Crystal Cruises’ …

Read more.

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