(3:00 p.m. EDT) -- Every week we catch wind of so much cruise news, we don't always know what to do with it all, but a few standout bits sometimes catch our attention. Here are some interesting snippets we think you might like to know about.
Bermuda or Bust
The pink sands of Bermuda will soon see an influx of cruisers, as Holland America Line returns to the island nation for a series of seven-night cruises onboard Veendam in 2015. Sailing from Boston, the six sailings will depart May through June and feature three days and nights in Hamilton.
Royal Caribbean has signed an agreement with Taiwan International Ports Corporation, a government-owned entity, to take control of 51 percent of a project that will see a cruise pier built on Penghu, an island archipelago just west of mainland Taiwan. The undertaking, estimated to cost $33 million, is slated for completion in 2016 and will be able to accommodate ships as large as Oasis of the Seas. Royal Caribbean is building its presence in Asia, opening a new sales office in Hong Kong and placing its newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, in the region in 2015. An older ship, Voyager of the Seas, will homeport in Hong Kong in summer 2015 and sail 22 cruises from the Asian port city.
Protect and Serve
Seabourn Cruise Line has committed to raise $1 million for UNESCO to help preserve and protect World Heritage sites. As part of the partnership, Seabourn will bring lecturers onboard to speak to passengers about current and future World Heritage sites. In addition, fares for Seabourn optional excursions that include UNESCO World Heritage sites will include a small donation to UNESCO's World Heritage Fund. The move by the Carnival Corporation-owned line follows Carnival's decision to donate $2.5 million to The Nature Conservancy for the group's healthy oceans campaign.
A Swell Newcomer
Alaska and British Columbia will be welcoming a new face to its waters in 2015 when Maple Leaf Adventures' tugboat, Swell, debuts. The difference between Swell and other expedition cruising vessels is the level of privacy and space with only five cabins -- allowing no more than 10 passengers on at a time. Aside from all the bells and whistles typical of expedition cruises (kayaks, included excursions, local guides, etc.), passengers onboard Swell will have exclusive access to off-limit areas, take part in local customs, forage for wild food and more.
-- By Ashley Kosciolek, Ports and Copy Editor, Jamey Bergman, UK Production/Rivers Editor, Gina Kramer, Associate Editor, and Dori Saltzman, News Editor