But, indeed, 2007 is going to be a big year for the 3.5-year-old line. It's getting a multi-million dollar makeover and will trek some new trails, adding more options for hotel stays in ports and overnight calls in which the ship is the hotel.
In between its sailings to each port, its 650 passengers (351 cabins and suites) will enjoy five lounges, a fitness room and spa, a movie theater, library, Internet cafe, two pools, three restaurants and more. Staples to the Discovery's stellar reputation are experiencing local port's cultures onboard as well as on land, including local entertainment, wine and cuisine.
Six new itineraries for 2007 include:
January: a 13-night itinerary explores the Galapagos Islands, departing from Puerto Limon, Costa Rica and arriving in Quito, Ecuador.
April: a 12-night itinerary to the Galapagos, plus two 16-night cruises that include ports in Peru and Chile. Two combination tours with these itineraries: 30 nights pair the Galapagos with Antarctica; 24 nights to the Galapagos, the South Pacific and Panama Canal.
15 nights to Antarctica with a team of scientists, naturalists and Antarctica explorers as the passengers' guides. Option: add the Chilean Fjords to make for a 20-night tour; and a 34-night combination includes both the Antarctica and remote South Pacific islands.
16 nights to Robinson Crusoe, Easter and Pitcairn islands, and French Polynesia's Bora Bora and Tahiti with a two-night hotel stay in Santiago included. Two combination voyages combine Polynesia, Peru and the Galapagos. A 29-night cruise tour operates from Tahiti to San Cristobal, Ecuador. A 37-night variation, which includes a Panama Canal transit, begins in Tahiti and concludes in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.
May: Nassau to London (Harwich), England. Twenty-six itineraries cruise to the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Russia and the Middle East. Ten- to 33-night itineraries will call at ports as diverse as Benghazi, Libya; Narsarsuaq, Greenland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Koper, Zadar and Hvar, Croatia; Beirut, Lebanon; Batumi, Georgia and Tartous, Syria.
September: 31-night Grand Mediterranean from London to Istanbul; 22-night Italy, Adriatic and the Aegean cruise; 24-night Adriatic, Aegean and Black Sea; November: 23-night London to Lisbon voyage featuring Petra, Jordan; Luxor, Karnak and Giza, Egypt; and Leptis Magna and Cyrene, Libya.
So while most ships are focused on upgrading their luxurious high-thread-count linens and plush bathrobes, Discovery is proud to extend the best luxury of all: the time to explore the sights and sounds of these exotic locales.