Announcing Seabourn Encore 2016-2017 Voyages

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Earlier this month we introduced you to the Seabourn Encore which is one of the new luxury ships that will begin sailing in 2016!

Today we are thrilled to share with you a first look at their planned itineraries!

seabourn encore maiden voyages


Following are a few of the great new sailings that the Encore will be taking!

Don’t forget our team can always provide you with more details and more sailings when you reach out via the contact form or via phone.

What to expect on a Transatlantic Cruise

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Less than a century ago, ocean liners were the only way to travel between the United States and Europe. During the early 20th century, ship lines like White Star and Cunard competed for the honor of having the fastest and most elegant ships at sea.

Cunard Transatlantic Cruise


Today, when you can reach London from New York City in less than six hours by air, a six-day Transatlantic voyage is a luxury, a once-in-a lifetime experience, not just a mode of transportation.

Viking River Cruise On The Mississippi

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The Vikings are on the move again.

Last week, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and officials from the Port of New Orleans announced that Viking River Cruises will be coming to the Mississippi.

Operating from New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, Viking will introduce six new vessels to cruise through America’s heartland beginning in 2017.

Will Viking's Mississippi vessels resemble its European vessels? Veranda Suite 308 on Viking Aegir features two rooms, including a spacious sitting room, which, like the bedroom, features a large, flat-panel television. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Will Viking’s Mississippi vessels resemble its European vessels? Veranda Suite 308 on Viking Aegir features two rooms, including a spacious sitting room, which, like the bedroom, features a large, flat-panel television. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

What is a “Hosted” Cruise?

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We like to say that our hosted cruises tours are like two fabulous vacations in one.

In addition to exploring some of the most fascinating destinations on earth, you get to travel among friends with a fun-loving host, enjoying the camaraderie of folks as passionate about travel as you are.


Hosts Steve and Wendy Bodenheimer here on a wildlife shore excursion in Cailao, Peru.


Key Differences Between Crystal Cruises & Regent Seven Seas Cruises

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In my last post, I looked at key differences between Silversea Cruises and Seabourn Cruises, both small ship luxury.

This week, let’s look at larger luxury cruises: Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Crystal Cruises.

MAR Ship Kotor 3443Seven Seas Mariner in Kotor, Montenegro. photo courtesy of Regent Seven Seas


What differentiates these two cruise lines from one another?

Meet World Cruisers Ran and Scott

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Think a world cruise is only for those who’ve retired?

Ran and Scott would disagree!!


The two friends met during their time at Ohio State and realized each was not only excited about travel, but determined to make it part of their lives!

The Cruise Specialist team met Ran and Scott during our send off dinner in Fort Lauderdale for the Holland America Line 2015 Grand World Voyage. We’re excited to share more of their thoughts and adventures once the trip is complete!

Lowering Single Supplement Charges

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Cruise fares are priced based on the assumption that each cabin will be occupied by two passengers.

So, for example, if the cruise fare for each person in a cabin is $10,000 then the cruise line pricing assumes they will be paid $20,000 in total fares for the cabin.

Since cabins occupied by only one passenger do not bring in as much revenue, cruise lines levy a “single supplement” charge to make up for some of the lost revenue the additional passenger would have paid.

Understanding “pre-paid gratuities”

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Gratuity is a fancy sounding term that cruise lines use for tips.

Just like in restaurants and hotels, guests on many cruises are generally expected to leave tips for certain cruise staff members serving them.

Prepaid gratuities means that we {Cruise Specialists} have negotiated a special offer for you and you are not expected nor will you be charged for tips.

Key Differences Between Seabourn & Silversea

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They both begin with the letter “S,” and they’re both big contenders in the luxury cruise segment. Of course, we’re talking about Seabourn and Silversea.


Seabourn Quest and Silver Wind anchored of Saint-Tropez. © Ralph Grizzle

To the casual observer, these two lines may appear to be a lot alike. After all, both operate all-inclusive (we’ll get back to that in a moment) vessels, each carrying fewer than 600 guests (we’ll come back to that in a moment too).

The Benefits of Travel Insurance

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Travel is more than just a simple diversion—it’s an investment that enriches your life. And like any other investment, such as a house or car, you should have your travel plans insured, particularly when embarking on a world cruise or grand voyage.

The long, extensive and we hope life-changing journeys need to be covered for a variety of reasons!

Consultant Michelle Boots books many first time world cruisers each year and here are a few of the reasons she recommends they all invest in travel insurance:

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