June 28, 2013
Georgia a No Go
Savannah, Georgia, has spoken and the verdict is no $70 million cruise ship dock. The City Council voted unanimously against any further studies regarding a proposed cruise terminal, effectively putting the kibosh on the possibility of cruise ships visiting the Georgia city in the future.
Oceania Cruises will become the third cruise line to join the banana train, committing to call at Banana Coast in Honduras in 2014. Riviera , will visit the Western Caribbean port in March 2015. Silversea and Holland America also will make calls at Banana Coast in 2014, which boasts a multimillion dollar passenger reception center, shopping mall and a slew of shore excursions including eco-tours.
Silversea Cruises is delivering streaming movies and live television straight to passengers' mobile devices. The free service, available on Silver Cloud, can be accessed on any Wi-Fi-enabled laptop, smartphone or tablet and includes access to a library of classic and recent Academy Award-winning feature films, as well as several TV shows. For those who don't have their own devices, a limited supply of complimentary iPad minis is also available (first-come, first-served). The service will roll out to Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Wind and Silver Galapagos by the end of 2013.
Add Two Sticks of Butter
As major companies send Paula Deen overboard following her controversial admission regarding racially charged language, Alice Travel is adding a second theme cruise with the chef in 2014 in response to high demand from Deen's fans. Anticipated for summer 2014, according to the official Web site, the second Paula Deen Cruise will follow one already set for January 18 onboard Celebrity Reflection.
Ready, Set, Steel
Construction is underway for Viking Cruises' first ocean cruise vessel, after the first steel was cut for the 938-passenger Viking Star at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard outside Venice. Set to launch early 2015, Viking Star will sail Scandinavian, Baltic, Atlantic and Mediterranean itineraries. It is the first of two new ocean cruise ships to be built by the line.
From Air to Sea
After 15 years of nonuse, Hong Kong's Kai Tak airport officially reopened as a cruise terminal earlier this month. The half-mile long cruise terminal has two berths and, in the next few months, will boast a rooftop garden with 360-degree views of the city. Cruise ships, including Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas, have already begun calling at the port.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor; Gina Kramer, Associate Editor; and Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant