New expedition vessels announced last week, PLUS we preview Crystal's new jet & see what's coming to Koningsdam on the newly revitalized Eurodam & a new Adventures Ashore video

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Seatrade Global 2016 In Review: Refits, Luxury Expeditions and New Destinations

Seatrade Cruise Global, the cruise industry’s premier conference, took place just steps away from the cruise terminal in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this week. While the conference’s tone was predictable (cruising is great and a great value, execs told us), this year revealed perhaps more than ever just how ever-changing the industry is – and how flexible it remains in adapting to shifting economic and political climates. We analyze three trends that are shaping the future of cruising in the years to come  …

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Adventures Ashore, Season 1: Barcelona, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Katakolon, Kusadasi, Livorno, Marseille, Monte Carlo and Naples

In season one of Adventures Ashore, we feature shore activities in (or from) Barcelona, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Katakolon, Kusadasi, Livorno, Marseille, Monte Carlo and Naples. View all of our destination videos from season one in one convenient player.

Watch now.

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Crystal Cruises Launches Its First Jet & Unveils Crystal Endeavor

Crystal had previously announced it would begin offering air service with two Boeing aircraft: a Boeing 777 and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. But the plane sitting in the hangar at the private aviation terminal at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was a small Bombardier Global Express BD-700 Business Jet. And it’s just another prong in Crystal’s aggressive expansion plans.

With the Bombardier Business Jet, Crystal is offering guests the ability to charter their very own business jet to one of Crystal’s ocean or river cruises. Pricing starts at US$8,000 per hour, but if you’re splitting that between the plane’s occupancy of six, that’s just over $1,000 per hour, per person – and that could be worth it for couples looking to splurge on airfare to Europe.

But the plane was just one announcement for the evening. Also coming to Crystal: a new expedition vessel  …

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In Depth: The 'New' Eurodam & Why Holland America Is A Special Place For Me

On Sunday, I stepped aboard Holland America Line’s Eurodam for a look at the fresh new innovations that were recently added to the ship. These include substantially refreshed suites and brand-new, Koningsdam-esque innovations that revolve around Holland America’s new Music Walk concept that has been created in conjunction with Lincoln Center and Billboard Onboard.

The results are truly fantastic. Eurodam has been left with a fresh, new look and vibrant new features that are not only exciting and entertaining, but also lovingly designed to highlight the best aspects of the Holland America Line cruise experience in a way that will appeal to the line’s loyal Mariners and new guests alike.

I mention loyal Mariners because I myself am one. I started cruising with the line long before I ever started writing about cruises professionally. In 2005, I discovered the Oosterdam on a quickie Pacific Northwest cruise from Vancouver to Seattle, and it began my love affair with the line that quickly evolved to taking one or two “dam-ship” cruises every year.

My late grandmother, though, was the one who truly got me hooked on Holland America – even before I was old enough to ever book a cruise. Together with her late husband, she’d sail to Alaska religiously nearly every year, on the old Noordam and Nieuw Amsterdam of 1983 and 1984. Accordingly, I have old coffee mugs that still list the old Rotterdam on them. I have daily programs from the Nieuw Amsterdam’s June 1993 sailing to Alaska. And ones from 1995. And ones from 1997 …

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We See What's New On Holland America Line's Eurodam & Get A Taste Of What's To Come On Koningsdam

Holland America Line’s ms Eurodam got some pretty major enhancements during a 14-day dry dock in the Bahamas this past December. Yesterday, during a tour of Eurodam, which was docked in Port Everglades, media got to see some of the changes firsthand. We were on board for a few hours to check out the new additions and to sample some of the food and drink that will debut on the new Koningsdam, due out this spring …

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Adventures Ashore, Season 1: Naples, Italy (short version)

Join me as I explore Sorrento, Capri and the beautiful Amalfi Coast as well as the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

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Thank You!

Thank you to the 100+ of you who put down $5.99 to purchase my new e-book, My Six Favorite Cruises Of 2015. It was gratifying to see that enough of you saw sufficient value in the ebook to purchase it. Each of my six favorite cruises proved to me that river cruising truly does offer something for everyone. A big thank you for your support.

Happy to have your e-book. Thanks so much in helping me decide where to go. — Margaret Lyford

Six Favorite River Cruises

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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

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

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