News Archive - February 2012

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2-24-12 For One Day Only Princess Cruises Leap Day Sale Offers a Free Day in Alaska Passengers Can Also Receive Up to $100 Onboard Credit

It only comes once every four years, and Princess Cruises is marking February 29 with a special Leap Day Sale. This one-day-only sale offers passengers extra discounts off of current wave season prices equal to a free day in Alaska when they book a land and sea cruisetour vacation, plus as much as $100 onboard credit.

"For travelers who've always dreamed of experiencing the heart of the Alaska wilderness, the majesty of Denali, and the spectacular vistas of Glacier Bay, this is the day to turn 'someday' into 'today,'" said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

In addition to sale fares equal to one day free off the current price of their cruisetour, passengers booking interior or oceanview staterooms can receive an onboard credit of $50, and in balcony staterooms or above can get credits of $100. All onboard credits are offered per stateroom.

Examples of cruisetour fares during the Leap Day Sale include:

  • 10-day On Your Own cruisetour: $1,438 balcony (Launch Fare was $1,798)
  • 13-day Denali Explorer cruisetour: $1,930 balcony (Launch Fare was $2,298)
  • 16-day Off the Beaten Path Kenai cruisetour: $2,509 balcony (Launch Fare was $2,698)

All fares are per person based on double occupancy.

The Leap Day Sale runs from 12:01 am to 11:59 pm PST on February 29, 2012. Sale prices are available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Deposits made under this promotion are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at

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2-23-12 Celebrity Cruises Weekend Sale This Saturday and Sunday if you book a cruise with Celebrity Cruises you will receive up to $400 in onboard credit which you can use any way you choose. This offer only applies to Caribbean or European cruises that sail at anytime, but they must be booked this weekend, February 25 - 26, 2012. For more information, visit The 2-day Getaway Sale's Webpage on will be active Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012.

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2-21-12 Silversea Launches New Fares and Generous Onboard Spending Credits on Selected 2012 Voyages Complimentary Business Class Flights with Selected 2012 Voyages

Leading cruise operator Silversea, renowned for its ultra-luxurious ships and exotic destinations, has announced new fares on select voyages sailing from March to November 2012. The new fares, which start from £2,299, will be available on voyages spanning the globe fromAfrica, Alaska and the Americas to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe and include generous onboard spending credits of up to $1,000 per suite . The credits can be used towards a wide range of onboard purchases, including shore excursions, spa treatments and dining. A sample of 2012 voyages offering the new fares include:

  • Silver Explorer departs Colón, Panama on 4 April 2012 for a 10-day expedition cruise to Barbados with calls in San Blas Island, Cartagena,Santa Maria, Los Roques, Port of Spain and Bequia. Fares from £1,999.
  • Silver Shadow departs Vancouver on 7 June 2012 for a 7-day sailing to Seward with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Sitka. Fares from £2,299 and include an onboard spending credit of $500 per suite.
  • Silver Wind departs Athens on 24 September 2012 for a 7-day sailing to Venice with calls in Monemvasia, Corfu, Kotor and Split. Fares from £2,299 and include an onboard spending credit of $500 per suite.

A full list of voyages can be found at:

Also new for 2012 is the offer of complimentary Business Class return flights on a selection of Silversea's Mediterranean and Northern European voyages throughout 2012. The offer will ensure that guests feel rested, relaxed and completely pampered before even boarding their Silversea ship. Having arrived at the departure destination in true style, guests will step on board for an elite and intimate Silversea experience with fewer passengers and superior levels of personalised service.

Award-winning all-suite accommodation, butler service and all-inclusive indulgences, such as gourmet cuisine inspired by Relais & Châteaux, combinewith itineraries to the most vibrant and intriguing of destinations. Silversea's smaller ships allow access to rarely seen harbours off the beaten track and can also dock right in the heart of a city rather than anchoring offshore, allowing guests more time to explore.

Silversea's complimentary Business Class flight offer is available with select voyages from various U.K. gateways for a limited time only and subject to availability. Voyage prices start from £2,599 per person based on a 7-day itinerary.

Complimentary Business Class Air is offered on the below 2012 Silversea voyages:

8 May Monte Carlo to Rouen: Silver Cloud (12 days) - £3,599 20 May Rouen to Copenhagen: Silver Cloud (10 days) - £2,999 30 May Copenhagen to London: Silver Cloud (12 days) - £3,699 18 Jun Copenhagen to St. Petersburg: Silver Whisper (7 days) - £2,599 25 Jun St. Petersburg to Copenhagen: Silver Whisper (7 days) - £2,699 30 Aug Copenhagen to Stockholm: Silver Whisper (7 days) - £2,799 5 Sep Barcelona to Civitavecchia, Rome: Silver Cloud (9 days) - £3,099 8 Oct Istanbul to Piraeus, Athens: Silver Spirit (7 days) - £2,599 10 Oct Istanbul to Piraeus, Athens: Silver Wind (9 days) - £2,899 15 Oct Piraeus, Athens to Civitavecchia: Silver Spirit (7 days) - £2,599

22 Oct Civitavecchia, Rome to Barcelona: Silver Spirit (7 days) - £2,599 29 Oct Barcelona to Las Palmas: Silver Spirit (9 days) - £2,999 31 Oct Istanbul to Piraeus, Athens: Silver Wind (12 days) - £3,499

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2-17-12 Paul Gauguin Cruises Completes $7 Million Renovation

Paul Gauguin Cruises (, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, is proud to reveal the completion of a $7 million renovation â€" the largest in the ship's 14-year history. The renovation took place during the ship's 10-night crossing from Tahiti to Brisbane, Australia, as well as during the 11-night drydock that followed, when extensive enhancements were made to both the interiors and exteriors of The Gauguin. Renovations throughout the ship include new flooring and replaced carpeting, elegant new furniture, new window treatments and decorative wall panels, and new signage, providing a lighter, brighter feel. Additionally, all suites and staterooms feature new teak railings on the balconies and new bathroom flooring. On the culinary front, La Veranda offers guests a redesigned entrance, refinished indoor and outdoor furniture, and solar shades throughout. Le Grill boasts new decorative partitions and divider walls, as well as a new buffet area and new lighting. L'Etoile also features a redesigned entrance in addition to video equipment for conferences. Promenade Deck 5 boasts a new built-in banquette and expanded casino in Le Casino, and Deck 6 received a new integrated display case for books and art. La Palette features a decorative stone band along the front of the bar and an updated lighting system, as well as new outdoor furniture. Le Grand Salon and La Palette offer refurbished dance floors to provide the perfect venue to dance the night away. Guests now cruise aboard a vessel that has been thoroughly updated and redecorated for even greater luxury and comfort, reflecting Paul Gauguin Cruises' level of commitment to the ship and the importance of the overall guest experience.

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2-16-12 The New Disney Fantasy Sets Sail to Begin Her Cross-Atlantic Journey The Disney Cruise Line updated its Disney Fantasy web page to include a video journal showcasing the ship's progress as it comes to America. The Disney Fantasy was just completed at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and delivered to the cruise line. The vessel will be christened in New York on March 1st in anticipation of her maiden voyage departing on March 31st from Port Canaveral, Florida.

Follow the video blog at Disney Cruise Line's website by clicking here.

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2-14-12 Carnival Legend to Operate Wide Array of Exciting European Cruises in 2013, Including Line's First Extended Program from UK Schedule Features Variety of Itineraries, Including Baltic, Mediterranean, British Isles, and Norway

Carnival Cruise Lines will launch its widest array of European itineraries ever with Carnival Legend offering an exciting choice of options, including the line's first Norwegian fjords itinerary and its first extended program from the UK, as well as cruises to the Baltic, Mediterranean and British Isles, beginning in spring 2013. Carnival Legend's schedule will encompass 12-day voyages to Norway/Western Europe, the British Isles and the Baltic departing from Dover (London), along with 12-day Mediterranean cruises departing from Venice, Barcelona and Dover. In total, Carnival Legend will operate 17 European cruises between April 22 and Oct. 31, 2013, visiting 34 ports across 18 countries. "For the Carnival Legend's 2013 European season, we've assembled a truly outstanding collection of ports that offer our guests an exciting diversity of experiences, from viewing breathtaking Norwegian fjords and the lush Irish countryside to visiting centuries-old landmarks and exploring UNESCO World Heritage cities such as St. Petersburg and Tallinn," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. Norway/Western Europe, British Isles Cruises Round-Trip from Dover For the first time, Carnival Legend will offer an extended series of voyages from Dover (London) with 12-day cruises to Norway/Western Europe, the British Isles and the Baltic, each offering a spectacular array of interesting and awe-inspiring ports of call, from quaint villages to cosmopolitan cities. The program includes a "Norway & Western Europe" cruise offering a unique combination of ports, as well as the unforgettable experience of sailing the Norwegian fjords. The voyage will operate Sept. 1-13, 2013, and visit Alesund, Bergen, Stavanger, and Oslo, Norway; Hamburg, Germany; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Zeebrugge (Bruges), Brussels, Belgium; and Le Havre (Paris), France. A "British Isles, Norway & France" voyage will depart Sept. 13, 2013, and feature stops at Stavanger, Norway; Edinburgh, Invergordon, and Glasgow (Greenock) Scotland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; and Le Havre (Paris), France. Six "Baltic Wonders & St. Petersburg" cruises will also be offered, visiting Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia (overnight call); Tallinn, Estonia; and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Departure dates include June 21, July 3, 15 and 27, and Aug. 8 and 20, 2013. The June 21 departure will visit Zeebrugge (Bruges), Brussels, Belgium, instead of Amsterdam. 12-day Mediterranean Cruises Several different Mediterranean cruises will also be offered, providing guests an opportunity to experience and explore some of the region's most popular and picturesque ports of call and enjoy a wide variety of dining, shopping and sightseeing choices. The schedule includes 12-day cruises from Venice to Barcelona departing May 4 and 28, and Oct. 31, 2013. On these voyages, guests can tour medieval castles, sample delicious local cuisine, and marvel at ornate churches and other historic architecture as they visit Dubrovnik, Croatia; Messina, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome), and Livorno, Italy; and Marseilles, France. The May 4 and Oct. 31 departures also include Athens, Greece; and Izmir, Turkey; while the May 28 voyage stops at Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Carnival Legend will also operate 12-day Western Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona to Dover June 9-21 and from Dover to Barcelona Sept. 25-Oct. 7, 2013. These cruises offer guests the chance to sample all the region has to offer with extended visits to stunning seaside destinations in five countries, including Marseilles, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Livorno and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Malaga, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal. Also featured are three "Grand Mediterranean" voyages sailing from Barcelona to Venice April 22, May 16 and Oct. 19, 2013. These voyages feature stops at Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Marseilles, France; Livorno, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Messina, Italy; and Dubrovnik, Croatia, along with an overnight call in Venice to provide guests with ample opportunities to explore this world-class city. The Oct. 19 voyage will include a stop at Olbia (Sardinia), Italy, instead of Monaco. Rounding out Carnival Legend's 2013 Europe program is a 12-day voyage round-trip from Barcelona Oct. 7-19, 2013, with calls at Marseilles, France; Livorno, Civitavecchia (Rome), and Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Venice (overnight call) and Messina, Italy. 15-Day Transatlantic Crossings in April and November 2013 Carnival Legend will operate a 15-day transatlantic crossing departing Tampa on April 7 and arriving Barcelona April 22, 2013. Featured ports on this voyage include King's Wharf, Bermuda; Ponta Delgada (Azores), Portugal; and Malaga and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Following its European schedule, the ship will operate another 15-day transatlantic crossing from Barcelona to Tampa Nov. 12-27, 2013, calling at Palma de Mallorca and Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay. From Tampa, Carnival Legend will sail on a special four-day cruise before resuming seven-day Caribbean service Dec. 1, 2013. The week-long cruises call at Half Moon Cay; Nassau, The Bahamas; and Key West, Fla.; or George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; Mahogany Bay, Roatan; and Belize City, Belize.

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2-13-12 Crystal Cruises Delves Deeper Into Christianity with New European Adventures For its upcoming European season, ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises is offering new, interactive ways to explore the rich Christian history of the continent via new Christian Heritage Tours. Travelers cruising to the Mediterranean, western Europe, or the North Cape will have nine new opportunities to make a pilgrimage, attend mass, contribute to charitable works, or learn about the relics and architecture of centuries-old sites of religious renown, with more tours still in the works.

Among the Crystal Adventures being introduced from April to December are:

  • Dubrovnik, Croatia: Make a pilgrimage into Bosnia, where reported visions of the Virgin Mary have made Medjugorje's Apparition Hill a top sacred site for Catholic pilgrims.
  • Barcelona: Attend private mass with Crystal's onboard priest at Gaudi's infamous Sagrada Familia (a cruise-industry first).
  • Leknes/Lofoten, Norway: Choose from three different trips to see the 18th century, wooden Russian-style Flakstad Church.
  • Sorrento, Italy: Assist the 400 year-old charity brotherhood of Pio Monte della Misericordia, via a complimentary "You Care, We Care" voluntourism excursion.
  • La Coruna, Spain: View the UNESCO World Heritage town of Santiago de Compostela from the rooftop of the largest Romanesque church in Spain.
  • Southampton/London: See the carved, canopied choir stalls of the almost 1000 year-old Winchester Cathedral, once the seat of Anglo-Saxon and Norman royal power.
"This program expansion builds upon our incredibly popular Jewish heritage tours offered around the world," says John Stoll, vice president of land and port operations. "Religious-related shore excursions are just one more way our guests can experience the unique history and culture of a destination, and perhaps even connect with their own personal ancestry, as well."

Until February 28, per-person "Book Now" fares for Crystal Symphony or Crystal Serenity's all-inclusive, luxury European cruises start at $1,360 per person/double occupancy, with attractive air add-ons from more than 90 North American airports. A one-week sale ending February 11 also offers up to $800 per stateroom in shore excursion credits on select European voyages.

Crystal Cruises' passion for creating unique luxury experiences both on land and at sea have helped earn the company top ratings from international travelers for two decades.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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2-8-12 For Valentine's Day, Norwegian Celebrates Romance At Sea Surprises Boston Couple Who Met On Norwegian Spirit with a Dream Honeymoon

Todd O'Neil and Erin Picard of Peabody, Mass.

This Valentine's Day, Norwegian Cruise Line is celebrating romance at sea by surprising a very special couple, Erin Picard and Todd O'Neil of Peabody, Mass., who fell in love on board Norwegian Spirit in 2010, with a dream honeymoon following their wedding this summer. In 2010, Erin Picard was going through a very difficult time. She had just endured an extremely painful breakup and was caring for a sick grandparent, all while working tirelessly at three separate jobs as a registered nurse. Erin dedicated her life to making sure others were happy and comfortable, while silently she suffered through her own very emotional situations. To break free from it all, she and her best friend decided to take a cruise vacation on board Norwegian Spirit from Boston to Bermuda on September 10, 2010. Seven days after boarding Norwegian Spirit, Erin excitedly called her mother, Lee Bryant of New Hampshire, and exclaimed, "I met the man of her dreams on this cruise!" Bryant recalls the phone call, "She went on to tell me how the accommodations were spectacular, and the food was amazing. She told me that the Norwegian staff was some of the nicest people she had ever met. She had had the time of her life and met her true love. Erin sounded more excited and happy than she had been her in a very long time." Coincidentally, it was one of Norwegian's amazing team members that made this love connection happen. At the start of the cruise, O'Neil jokingly asked Bar Waiter Reynaldo "Rey" Atizado from the Philippines if he knew of any nice women on board. Rey, not skipping a beat, walked directly to Erin and her friend and introduced them to Todd and his friend, and that's where their love story began. Two years later, Picard is marrying O'Neil, the man of her dreams and the couple couldn't be happier about it. To celebrate their incredible love story, Norwegian is sending Erin and Todd on a dream honeymoon to Europe on board Norwegian Spirit, the ship on which they met. They will visit five different countries, including Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Turkey on Norwegian Spirit's unrivaled 12-Day Grand Mediterranean voyage from Barcelona to Venice, following their July 6, 2012 nuptials. "We are so excited to be going back on board the ship where we met and to visit such romantic destinations in Europe," said Picard. "We wouldn't have been able to take a honeymoon right now, so we are so thankful and thrilled." For others looking to find love on the high seas, Norwegian offers cruises to Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Panama Canal and more on board 11 Freestyle Cruising ships. Guests who make a new cruise reservation from now through March 31, 2012 on any of Norwegian's sailings will receive up to a 4-category upgrade fleet-wide, reduced deposits and electronic e-coupons with on-board savings of up to $400. Between February 14, 2012 and February 17, 2012, as part of Norwegian's DASH sale, guests will also receive up to a $250 on board credit, based on stateroom category booked. For those sailing with their sweetheart, there are many ways to spoil your special someone on board. From Romantic dinners in Norwegian's signature French restaurant, Le Bistro, to a night of dancing in any of Norwegian's many bars and lounges, to intimate couples' massages in one of the line's relaxing spas, there is no better place to celebrate love than on board a Norwegian cruise. Romance Packages to Fall in Love With Norwegian takes the stress out of planning the perfect Valentine's Day celebration with two romance packages to choose from including: · The Romance Package: sparkling wine and strawberries in stateroom upon embarkation, a traditional spa pedicure and manicure for one, two 25-minute half-body Seven Seas Massages and tea service in stateroom. $249 per stateroom. · The Deluxe Romance Package: sparkling wine and strawberries in stateroom upon embarkation, choice of Exotic Frangipani Body Nourishing Wrap or Exotic Coconut and Milk Ritual Wrap for one, two 25-minute half-body Seven Seas Massages, tea service in stateroom, breakfast in bed, a keepsake portrait, and a romantic dinner for two with a complimentary bottle of wine in Norwegian's signature restaurant, Le Bistro. $329 per stateroom. To celebrate romance at sea with a cruise for your Valentine, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or visit

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2-6-12 Sapphire Princess Begins Service After Extensive Makeover Ship Now Offers Signature Princess Cruises Features, Including Piazza Atrium, Movies Under the Stars, Alfredo's Pizzeria

Sapphire Princess now features a new Piazza-style atrium.

Sapphire Princess set sail this weekend after an extensive three-week makeover to add a host of signature Princess Cruises' signature features to the ship.

Currently sailing on a cruise to Hawaii, Sapphire Princess passengers can now enjoy a brand-new Piazza atrium with the International Café and Vines wine bar, plus the new Alfredo's Pizzeria. On the top deck, the cruise ship now features a giant Movies Under the Stars screen, and passengers can also relax in the ship's "pocket of tranquility," the adults-only Sanctuary.

"Making these changes to Sapphire Princess was an important step to ensure that our signature shipboard features can be found wherever our passengers want to sail," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

An album of photos of the renovation process is now available on Princess' Flickr page.

The many changes to Sapphire Princess include:

New Piazza Atrium РThe ship's atrium space has been redesigned to include this signature Princess feature Рa European-inspired social hub of the ship combining always-changing quick bites and light meals, beverages, entertainment, shopping and guest services. The Piazza features the International Caf̩ for pastries, fresh panini sandwiches, salads, fresh-baked cookies and a variety of coffee drinks. Passengers can also enjoy a new Vines wine bar offering a selection of more than 30 wines by the glass, plus a selection of tapas and sushi, and a wine shop where they can purchase their favorite bottle.

Alfredo's Pizzeria – Introduced last year aboard Grand Princess, Alfredo's has now expanded to its second location on Sapphire Princess. The sit-down pizzeria serves up an enticing menu of freshly prepared, hand-stretched, individual-size pizzas. Named for the line's master executive chef, Alfredo Marzi, the pizzeria features an open kitchen where passengers can watch chefs create their custom-made pies.

Movies Under the StarsSapphire Princess has become the final ship in the current Princess fleet to introduce Movies Under the Stars on board. The giant poolside movie screen now showcases feature films, concerts, awards shows and sports events, and passengers can enjoy their viewing on padded loungers under warm, fleece blankets. Complimentary popcorn and other treats enhance the al fresco entertainment experience.

The SanctuarySapphire Princess was also the final ship to receive The Sanctuary, a tranquil retreat exclusively for adults. Added prior to drydock, the new Sanctuary space has already received an enthusiastic welcome from passengers enjoying the enhanced comforts of this peaceful oasis, as Serenity Stewards attend to their every need, offering refreshing beverages, light snacks, pre-loaded MP3 players, and the cooling mist of an Evian atomizer.

Also part of the ship's renovation were several relocated and upgraded venues, including the Art Gallery, Internet Café and Library, and the Photo-Video Gallery. New carpet, upholstery and tile work was added throughout the ship, and staterooms now feature new flat-screen televisions.

Sapphire Princess set sail on February 4 on a 14-day Hawaiian Islands cruise roundtrip from Los Angeles.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at

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2-1-12 SeaDream Yacht Club Offers Upper-Amazon Voyage in 2013 SeaDream Yacht Club is offering a unique, 7-day voyage on the Upper-Amazon River in 2013. The voyage sails from Iquitos, Peru roundtrip, March 16 - 23, 2013. "There are currently no other luxury vessels of SeaDream's size sailing the Upper-Amazon. In addition to it being a unique itinerary, its ideal for those preferring just a week-long voyage to explore this amazingly diverse area" said SeaDream's President, Bob Lepisto. The intermediary ports for voyage #21310 include Leticia, Columbia; Panelas, Brazil; Jutai, Brazil; Santo Antonio do Ica, Brazil; Amatura, Brazil; Monkey Island, Columbia and Pebas, Peru. SeaDream has arranged for a team of local experts to sail onboard including, naturalists, a botanist, a historian and an expedition leader. This "expedition team" will be taking guests on complimentary zodiac safaris, village walks and jungle treks in the Upper-Amazon. The team will also provide daily lectures and presentations, sharing their immense knowledge of the Amazon Rainforest and River. Near Leticia, Colombia guests will arrive by zodiac to "Monkey Island", a sanctuary for monkeys and an opportunity to hand feed squirrel monkeys. In Panelas, Brazil guests on zodiacs will skim past massive lily pads and peer up at towering ceiba trees as they are taken to an area noted for its sloths, monkeys and Tamandua anteaters. At the end of each day's jungle adventures, guests return to their comfortable expedition base, SeaDream II. To compliment this voyage, guests may book a pre or post land based travel program to Machu Picchu. SeaDream has teamed up with experienced local partners and together have created insightful excursions through Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu. Tours include accommodations in five-star hotels, transportation on the Orient Express luxury train, the Hiram Bingham and more. Expertly escorted by specially selected local licensed guides, these are authentic cultural experiences designed for the sophisticated traveler. Accommodating a maximum of 112 guests, SeaDream's voyage fare includes river view accommodations, all gourmet meals, wine with lunch and dinner, open bar with selected premium brands, gratuities, use of water toys, mountain bikes, golf simulator and more. For details on 2012 and 2013 Amazon voyages contact your Travel Professional, visit or call (800) 707-4911.

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