Destination Spotlight: Icy Strait Point, Alaska

Icy Strait Point, one of Alaska’s newest ports of call, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and that may not mean much. Certainly, more established tourist stops, like circa-19th-century Skagway and Juneau, would seem to have the historic advantage. But to our surprise, our first-ever visit to Icy Strait last week felt more historically layered [...]

Live from….Oceania Regatta: 5 Surprises

Although it’s been several years since we’ve sailed with Oceania Cruises, our experience has encompassed every ship in the line’s five vessel fleet. Our last two trips were on 1,200-plus passenger Marina and Riviera, the first built-from-scratch ships Oceania’s ever had. We’ve also been on the three 684-passenger ships that started the line – Insignia, [...]

Live from…. Bordeaux: Hits & Misses

With the debut of cruises this year by both Viking River and Uniworld, Bordeaux, near France’s southwest coast, is the newest river itinerary for mainstream lines in Europe. Like France’s Seine, which offers Paris-based trips, and the Rhone, which trawls through Provence, the experience is highly food and wine influenced (absolutely a good thing!), and [...]

A Closer Look: Royal Caribbean Celebrates Oasis 3 Keel-Laying

If the most momentous surprise at today’s keel-laying for Royal Caribbean’s third Oasis-class ship was the announcement that company executives had just signed a contract for a fourth vessel in the series, it took nothing away from the real reason we’d traveled to STX France, the St. Nazaire-based shipyard. Here to attend Oasis 3’s keel-laying [...]

Live From… Windstar Star Pride: Hits & Misses

Since 1986, Windstar Cruises has enjoyed the distinction of a fleet with billowing sails that could, along with engines, power its ships. This week, the company took a major step when it introduced its first-ever “power” yacht: the 206-passenger Star Pride. Until last month, the vessel had sailed as Seabourn Pride; Windstar gave it a [...]

Live From….Emerald Sky: Hits & Misses

In all the hoopla of this year’s river season – here at Cruise Critic, our team has gone from one christening ceremony to another – this week’s latest launch has the biggest potential of all. That’s because the shining new ship, the 190-passenger Emerald Sky, belongs to Emerald Waterways, the first cruise line to be created [...]

Live from….Uniworld’s S.S. Catherine: Hits & Misses

Uniworld’s fleet of river ships is known for being grand and elegant, in eye-popping ways. The 159-passenger S.S. Catherine, which debuted last week in the French city of Lyon, only raises the bar on their trademark design qualities. S.S. Catherine has similar amenities to S.S. Antoinette, its most immediate predecessor. There’s an indoor swimming pool, [...]

Live From….Douro River with Viking: Meet the “Baby” Longships

On an overnight aboard Viking River Cruises’ newest Longship — Viking Hemming, just christened on Portugal’s Douro last week – we figured that there’d be no big surprises, having cruised on the 30 odd other nearly identical vessels. We were wrong. Viking Hemming, along with twin Viking Torgil, also named in Douro, is the line’s [...]

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