MSC floats out the new MSC Seaside

MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside floated out last weekend. It will be one of the largest ships at sea and is designed to bring guests closer to the ocean – there will be a 360° ocean level promenade, panoramic glass elevators and a 98 foot bridge on the top deck. Also, 73 per cent of the staterooms will have balconies.

Like Norwegian Cruise Line and Dream Cruises, the MSC Seaside will also have the MSC Yacht Club, a ship-within-a-ship concept. VIP guests will have access to a private sun deck, a private lounge and a private restaurant. The MSC Yacht Club expands over five decks and also has two apartment suites that include a living room, balcony with a dining area and a private whirlpool.

Some of the food options include Mediterranean and international cuisine in 11 different dining venues. Celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi has partnered with MSC Cruises to create a Pan-Asian specialty restaurant.

For entertainment, there is a large theatre offering four performances a night as well as an aqua park with four slides as well as a zip line.

The MSC Seaside will be based in the Caribbean. It’s sister, the MSC Seaview will enter into the market in 2018 and be based in the Western Mediterranean and a third Seaside generation ship, will be delivered by 2021.

Sushi is on the menu onboard the new Seabourn Encore

The luxurious Seabourn Encore which was delivered this week, will have the line’s very first dedicated sushi restaurant. To be named ‘Sushi’, the restaurant will feature Hamachi, tuna, prawns and other seafood from Japan. It will be served a la carte for dinner while at lunchtime, the restaurant will offer three varieties of bento boxes: meat, seafood and vegetarian. There will also be a private dining area for smaller groups looking for a more intimate experience. The beautiful restaurant will be overlooking the ocean and Seabourn Encore designer Adam D. Tihany said the space will be beautiful and intimate. The 600-guest Encore will cruise Australian waters during its first season and she will be sailing from Darwin to Geelong between January 22 to March 17, 2017.

Princess Cruises launches its North America itineraries

One of Australia’s favourite lines Princess Cruises has launched its North America cruise programs including an increase in capacity to Alaska in 2018, Between May and September 2018, seven Princess Cruises’ ships will sail Alaska’s pristine waters on 130 cruise departures from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, B.C. and Anchorage (Whittier). New offerings include a full season of calls to Icy Strait Point, a unique and remote wilderness experience, by Island Princess as well as two 12-day roundtrip cruises to Alaska from Los Angeles. While on board, guests will encounter a variety of ways to engage in unique Alaska experiences through the award-winning North to Alaska program, featuring Cook My Catch, an exclusive culinary program allowing guests to return from select Princess fishing excursions to have the chef prepare their very own catch of the day. Also on offer is the crowd-favourite Puppies in the Piazza, where real Alaska sled dog puppies are brought onboard for guests to interact with.

P&O and The Good Beer Co. team up to help the Great Barrier Reef

Family-fun cruise brand P&O has partnered with The Good Beer Co to help conserve the Great Barrier Reef. A regular visitor to the reef, P&O was the first company to back The Good Beer Co, which is dedicating at least half the profits from its Great Barrier Beer to the reef conservation work of the Australian Marine & Conservation Society. The pale ale is on sale across P&O’s five ships with the cruise line inviting guests to “have one for the Reef” during the cruise this summer. P&O has a number of itineraries heading towards one of Australia’s natural wonders where many cruisers visit to learn about the importance of our reef.