World Cruising: The Ultimate Dream

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Each year, in its annual Travel Dreams Survey, Virtuoso Life magazine asks savvy travelers to name the “experience of a lifetime.” Topping the ambitious list year after year: a World Cruise.

This doesn’t surprise any of us at Cruise Specialists. As North America’s go-to agency for World Cruises since 1987, we’ve sent more than 8,000 inquisitive travelers around the globe to pursue their ultimate dream.

HAL Amesterdam on Easter Island from Tom Mullen

Amesterdam on Easter Island from Tom Mullen

Sailing with Holland America

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Cruise Specialists is proud to partner with Holland America Line for their world cruises. Our guests continually tell us they love the atmosphere, the service and the destinations!

In case you’re wondering what makes these sailings so extra ordinary, here are just a few of the reasons our hosts, consultants and guests enjoy Holland America Line.


It’s a philosophy that guides everything they do – from crafting interesting itineraries and designing passenger-friendly ships to creating a warm and welcoming onboard ambiance.

What’s Coming For Seabourn Encore

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What can we expect from Seabourn’s newest ships?

I met with designer Adam D. Tihany in his New York studio to discuss what he’ll bring to the Seabourn’s twin ships, Seabourn Encore to launch in 2016 and Seabourn Ovation to launch in 2018.

First, it’s important to note that the ships’ designs will be evolutionary, not revolutionary. The new ships will build on the success of the Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest, which were introduced between 2009 and 2011. Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation will maintain Seabourn’s high ratio of space per guest and many of the same features as the existing vessels.

River Cruising with Scenic Tours – An in depth look

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At times, we pedaled alongside Scenic Jasper © 2015 Ralph Grizzle

Scenic Jasper on the Danube. © 2015 Ralph Grizzle


Earlier this week, I was in Vienna for the christening of a new river cruise vessel from a company that I knew little about. Scenic (formerly Scenic Tours) launched its new Scenic Jasper alongside the Danube River in the lovely Austrian city.

As is customary at such events, the godmother, Australian novelist and comedienne Kathy Lette, made a speech and cut a ribbon that sent a bottle of champagne smashing against the hull.

Meet our World Cruise Hosts

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Cruise Specialists is known worldwide for its hosted World and Grand Voyages.

The secret to our success: fabulous hosts.

Since these seasoned travelers sail a good part of the year, they have an ever-expanding portfolio of experience and knowledge about the itineraries – which they delight in sharing with our clients.

Plus, with any hosted group voyage, you’ll enjoy the unique Cruise Specialists touches you’ve come to appreciate, such as assistance with pre-arranged dining reservations and stateroom special requests.

A New River Cruise Itinerary: The Loire In France — On A Paddle-Wheeler

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The beautiful Loire. © 2015 Ralph Grizzle

The beautiful Loire River. © 2015 Ralph Grizzle

Been there? Done that when it comes to cruising?

Here’s something you haven’t done: six- and eight-day itineraries along the Loire River, with visits to the region’s storied palaces — on a modern-day paddle-wheeler.

The paddle-wheels at work. © 2015 Ralph Grizzle

The paddle-wheels at work. © 2015 Ralph Grizzle

I just stepped off of the new Loire Princesse in Nantes, France.

Summer Cruising – Where to go and what to see

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Spring has sprung, which means now is the perfect time to start thinking about where you want to spend your summer!


The Draw: Amazing wildlife, in-your-face glaciers, iceberg strewn bays and outsize adventures.

Ever since the gold rush, our largest state has attracted folks with a thirst for adventure. Today’s explorers will discover riches on a grand scale: towering Mt. McKinley (aka Denali), the highest peak in North America; some 100,000 glaciers – including more than 50 named glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve; a wealth of UNESCO World Heritage sites; a staggering array of creatures – from black bears and bald eagles to humongous whales; and some of the most incredible seafood on the planet.

3 More Cruise Lines Announce New Ships

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It seems like everyone is coming out with a new ship in the coming years!

Avalon Panorama Suite

Avalon Panorama Suite

We couldn’t be more excited to see all the new ways we can all enjoy cruising and convince even our most skeptical friends that it’s the best form of travel.

Did you see the in depth look at Regent Seven Seas Explorer? Or the Oceania Cruises Serena? Or the Seabourn Encore?

And now we have three more ship announcements in the last month!

Oceania’s Best Suites

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Owners Suite bedroom. courtesy of Oceania Cruises

Owners Suite bedroom. courtesy of Oceania Cruises

As far as suites go, Oceania Cruises sets the bar higher than most with its exquisite Owner’s Suites aboard its two newest vessels, Marina and Riviera. Though spacious, they’re not the biggest suites afloat, nor are they the flashiest.

What they are, however, is a modern take on the opulent and grand suites of the glory days of transatlantic ocean travel – and they’re some of my favorite accommodations at sea.

A day aboard Holland America Line Grand World Voyage

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What kind of food is served? What is there to do all day? Who else is on board?  These are just a few of the many world cruise questions we receive all year long from curious cruisers.

Holland-America-Line ms Amseterdam

Today we are excited to provide you with look at what our clients are experiencing right now on the Holland America Line Grand World Voyage, thanks to host Tom Mullen.