Cruise News Shorts: Charleston Lawsuit Tossed, Crystal and Azamara Add Tour Options & Other Cruise News

April 18, 2014
Crystal's Bike Tours (12:12 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.

Lawsuit Toss
A South Carolina judge has tossed out a lawsuit challenging plans for a new cruise terminal in downtown Charleston. According to a South Carolina affiliate of ABC News, the judge ruled the coalition of preservation groups and neighborhood activists lacked the standing to challenge the state permit granting port authority the right to build the new terminal. The lawsuit, which was filed in 2011, claims the cruise ships visiting the city are a public nuisance and violate city rules and regulations. This is the latest victory for cruise terminal advocates, which last year saw the South Carolina Supreme Court dismiss several claims brought against Carnival Cruise Lines.

Tour Like an Insider
Azamara Club Cruises is introducing two new "immersive" shore excursion experiences beginning in 2014 on the line's European sailings. The Insider Access program gives passengers a way to engage with locals who will share "colorful stories and historic tales of their home destination on a personal level." The second program, Nights and Cool Places, makes the most of the line's longer stays in port and overnights with a night touring program. These after-dinner experiences give passengers the chance to visit world-famous museums after hours, such as Malaga's Picasso Museum or enjoy the nightlife at a local hot spot, such as Rio de Janeiro's Scenarium.

By Pedal
Attention all pedal pushers. Crystal Cruises is expanding its 2014 lineup of active shore tours with 16 bicycle Crystal Adventures. The half- and full-day excursions will visit destinations throughout Northern and Western Europe, as well as the Mediterranean between May and September. Sample excursions include: a 12.5-mile route in Malta that tracks the western coastline toward the country's highest point, the Dingli Cliffs; a nine-mile bike ride in Bordeaux combining flat and hilly roads in the village of Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site; a five-mile ride through Barcelona's bustling streets; and a five-mile ride from Copenhagen through a forest en route to a 500-year-old amusement park. Prices for the excursions range from $89 to $249 per person and include guides, helmets, bottled water, refreshments in most locales and terrain-appropriate bikes.

Australia Bound
Princess Cruises' Golden Princess is bound for Australia in 2015, bringing the total number of Princess ships in Australia in 2015 to five. When it arrives, the 2,600-passenger ship will become the largest ship to homeport in Melbourne. Golden Princess will sail from Melbourne from October 2015 to March 2016, joining Diamond Princess, Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess.

Dessert Time
In response to overwhelming demand, Carnival Cruise Lines is adding its much beloved creme brulee and Grand Mariner souffle desserts to the American Table menu. An additional soup and salad option are also being added.

World Peace
Holland America Line has donated $100,000 to the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, "in honor of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's work to spread peace, justice and democracy around the globe." Tutu recently sailed on a segment of Amsterdam's Grand World Voyage as a guest lecturer. The DTPF celebrates people ages 17-22 who are changing the world as the next generation of peacemakers in the U.S.

--By Dori Saltzman, News Editor and Jamey Bergman, U.K. Production Editor