Where in the World Wednesday: May 25, 2016

Can you guess what city this is from the clues below?

Picture Clue

Tivoli Garden in Copenhagen

Word Clue

This city has two twin towers with angled facades, which are in close proximity to the international airport and form a focal point on this city’s impressive skyline. Only one other country shares its border. The strange circular suburbs here are a study in optimizing high density populations in a rural setting. This country pays among the highest taxes in the world (including a 100% tax on gasoline), yet this city has twice been voted the world’s happiest. It’s one of its continent’s oldest cities and one of the safest cities in the world.

Where in the World is this Destination?

The destination is (scroll down to see)…

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Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is most famous for its Little Mermaid Statue inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson tale. You can see it situated on a rock in the Langelinie Harbour. Copenhagen is also famous for the 170 year old Tivoli Gardens amusement park (the picture clue!)  which Walt Disney used as inspiration for Disneyland. Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Eclipse both visit Copenhagen on a variety of Scandinavia/Russia cruise itineraries each year from April through August.

Why Summer is the Perfect Time to Cruise to Europe

Trying to figure out your summer vacation plans? Or want to go to Europe, but feel overwhelmed by the planning logistics of such an endeavor? Consider a relaxing, entertaining, and culturally rich cruise. Here’s why summer is the perfect time to cruise to Europe.

The Weather

Summer in the Greek Isles
Summer in the Greek Isles

This is a big one. The weather during the summer months is sunny and warm. You’ll get to soak up that lovely Mediterranean or Baltic sun while exploring a variety of different ports. Summer in Europe can also tip into the hot category. If you’re in Europe during a heat wave, you’ll be glad you have your air-conditioned stateroom to get back to at the end of the day since many hotels in Europe don’t have air conditioning.

More Action and Activities

Wine tasting in Santorini.
Wine tasting shore excursion in Santorini.

Many of the towns and cities by cruise ports in Europe come alive during the summer months with festivals and summer markets. In addition, restaurants and other businesses that close during the winter now fling their doors open in welcome.

The Whole Family Can Come

Family Fun Onboard and in Port During a Europe Summer Cruise
Family Fun Onboard and in Port During a Europe Summer Cruise

Make your vacation a family affair by going in the summer when kids are often out of school. A cruise is a great, stress-free way to show your children the art, history, and wonder of Europe since there are many shore excursions and activities onboard tailored to children and teens.

You’ll also be able to introduce your family to many different countries, but not have the hassle of figuring out transportation in between – the ship has that easily handled while you simply enjoy quality time together in the evenings onboard.

Transportation Between Countries

Celebrity ship in Dubrovnik
Celebrity Cruises Ship in Croatia

Country hopping can be part of the fun of going to Europe. There are so many different cultures and languages all within such close proximity to each other, making it easy to experience several even if you don’t have a ton of vacation time.

However, getting between these countries can sometimes be frustrating and expensive – even if you don’t have kids in tow like mentioned above – because of the many tourists vying for plane and train seats, and the inevitable worker strikes that often happen in summer, or other unforeseen circumstances.

With a cruise, you unpack once and know your ship is waiting for you to effortlessly transport you to your next port of call (usually overnight) while you enjoy the summer sea breeze while sipping a glass of wine on your balcony or the ship deck, and then sleep in a comfortable bed.

More Itineraries

Sail to Copenhagen and other ports during a Scandinavian and Russian cruise.
Sail to Copenhagen and Other Ports During a Baltic Cruise

You won’t find many Baltic cruises in the winter and Mediterranean cruise itinerary options are also more limited so sail around Europe in the summer when you can find your dream itinerary thanks to more port of call options to choose from.

There are some amazing shore excursions offered on summer cruises, too, like seeing the castles of Denmark via a private helicopter ride or taking a high-speed train from St. Petersburg to Moscow where you can see the colorful St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Find Your Perfect Summer Cruise

If this all sounds pretty wonderful, you’re in luck – there are still last minute cruises available to Europe this summer. You can check out all the itineraries at www.CelebrityCruises.com, including the President’s Cruise onboard the Celebrity Silhouette that departs June 7.

If you sail on the President’s Cruise, you will visit different Baltic capital ports of call alongside Celebrity Cruises President Lisa Lutoff-Perlo while also getting the opportunity to partake in special President Cruise activities like the Mariinsky Gala Event.

There’s a reason why Travel Weekly readers recently named Celebrity Cruises as the “Best Cruise Line in Europe” for the 6th consecutive year in a row. Find out for yourself why by sailing through Europe this summer.

Why Celebrity Cruises is a Great Vacation for Families

Celebrity Cruises is known for being an innovative brand that is an ideal vacation for spa lovers (thanks to the AquaClass staterooms), food and wine lovers (wine classes and gourmet cuisine are offered onboard), or anyone looking for some Modern Luxury. What you may not know is that Celebrity Cruises is also an amazing experience for families. Who does know? The Global Traveler Leisure Lifestyle Readers Choice Awards, who just bestowed Celebrity Cruises with the prestigious Best Cruise Line for Families award.

Onboard Entertainment for Kids

Celebrity has various programs onboard for kids tailored to different ages. There’s the Shipmates for ages three to five, cadets for ages six to eight, and Ensigns for ages nine to 11. Each program provides a place where kids can be signed in to a safe environment (so parents can go enjoy the adult activities onboard!) that have age-appropriate activities, including games, sports, crafts, music, and more.

Teenagers onboard will have a blast participating in Celebrity Cruises’ iTake video project, which shows teens how to create a documentary from start to finish, including putting together storyboards, filming the story they come up with using a GoPro Hero 3, and then learning how to edit the video into a final product in the Celebrity iLounge. They’ll even get to participate in a film festival and awards ceremony for the videos complete with prizes.

There’s also entertainment for children under the age of three thanks to the Toddler Time room.

Basically, there’s something for every age onboard Celebrity Cruises! As Celebrity Cruises Director of Market Sales West Scott Clifton puts it:

“Celebrity Cruises award-winning cruise experience is designed for all ages and interests, offering the perfect vacation for families and multi-generational groups. Our youth and teen programs are geared to specific age groups and supervised by experienced youth staff members. One of our most popular activities is Celebrity’s iTake, the coolest video project afloat. Teens are armed with a GoPro Hero 3 HD video cameras to film their vacation and then learn to edit and produce their own video in our cyber iLounge. Additionally, youth and teens can learn scratch DJ techniques, participate in X-Box tournaments, basketball, pool volleyball, youth cooking classes, movie nights, pizza parties, gaming theme nights and teen only late night dances.”

Family Shore Excursion Fun

Celebrity Cruises offers a variety of fun and unique shore excursions and that includes ones tailored specifically for families. From zipline adventures to GPS treasure hunts to exciting teamwork challenges, Celebrity’s family shore excursions foster fun and engagement to create lifelong family memories.

Autism Friendly Certification

Celebrity Cruises is also an excellent vacation fit for families that have a member with autism. Celebrity has achieved the Autism Friendly Cruise Line status, having completed Autism Friendly Certification with Autism on the Seas™. Autism Friendly Certification is awarded to cruise lines for their efforts to ensure their products and services are accessible for inclusion and participation by the autism and developmental disability community.

Celebrity Cruises offers autism friendly interactive initiatives for families living with autism. This includes sensory friendly films and toys, dietary menu options, and overall autism friendly training for Fun Factory staff and more.

Comfortable Staterooms

The staterooms onboard Celebrity Cruises are also great for families. Scott Clifton explains why: “Many of the staterooms onboard Celebrity Cruises can accommodate families of three, four or even five guests in the same stateroom. Guests beyond the first two in a stateroom enjoy significantly reduced cruise rates (often 50% discount), a free 40-minute Internet package and free Classic Non-alcoholic Beverage Package and most shore excursions offer special child rates, offering a great value for families and multi-generational groups.”

Want to find out more about how to book your family cruise vacation? Visit www.CelebrityCruises.com.

What European Cruise Port Should You Visit?

Find out what Europe cruise port you’ll enjoy cruising to based off of your favorite west coast city.

Love Portland? Cruise to Barcelona, Spain

Keep Portland weird, they say? Well, in Barcelona you’ll find some weird architecture. Ok, it’s not so much weird as amazing thanks to the architectural genius of the late Antoni Gaudi, but you’ll see some buildings and one very famous cathedral (the still being built Sagrada Familia) in Barcelona unlike any others you’ve come across. Like Portland’s culinary-rich Richmond neighborhood and proximity to lush forests, Barcelona also has a myriad of restaurants and mesmerizing natural sites to see, from the many tapas bars on La Rambla to the Montserrat rocks a short distance from the city center.

The interior of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
The interior of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Love San Diego? Cruise to Malaga, Spain

Though not quite as world-famous as its Barcelona neighbor to the north (similar to San Diego compared to LA), Malaga, Spain, has a Spanish charm and ambiance all its own – mostly thanks to its gorgeous beaches. Like the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, the city of Malaga has a vibrant downtown area. Stretching out from the city center are miles upon miles of sandy beaches. Resorts and small beach neighborhoods dot the coastal landscape as waves from the Mediterranean sea crash upon the shoreline.

Love Los Angeles? Cruise to Cannes, France

Not only is Cannes home to a famous film festival, it also has the upscale yet laidback prestige that Los Angeles is known for. Cannes also has beaches and boardwalks bordering bistros and gourmet restaurants. You can find a variety of high-end shopping down La Croisette. Though Cannes doesn’t have LA’s sprawl, you’re still in driving distance of a variety of different types of neighborhoods and scenery. Just like from LA you can access the hiking trails and wine tasting rooms of Malibu or high-end country life of Calabasas, in Cannes you can drive a short distance to the vineyards of Provence or the promenade of Nice.

Love San Francisco? Cruise to Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal

Hilly San Francisco and its charming cable cars has a counterpoint in Lisbon thanks to the Portuguese city’s bright yellow tram that zigzags visitors up and down hills through the city. In San Francisco you can head to Golden Gate Park for panoramic views while in Lisbon, the best viewpoint is from the ruins of St. George’s Castle. San Francisco has a variety of eclectic neighborhoods, ranging from Chinatown to Fisherman’s Wharf. You’ll find a variety of neighborhoods in Lisbon, too, with the most popular one to seek out being the medieval, meandering, cobblestoned Alfama District, which is also a popular area to find some of the local Fado music performances.

Love Seattle? Cruise to Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden

Seattle has a marvelously scenic location thanks to being sandwiched between the salt water inlet of the Puget Sound and fresh water of massive Lake Washington. Seattle is also surrounded by many islands that are a short ferry ride away, ranging from wooded Bainbridge Island to the orca-habited San Juan Islands. If you love the way that water is entwined with the city of Seattle, you’ll also like Stockholm, a beautiful, stately city situated across 14 islands on an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. Stockholm has a bustling Old Town area with colorful medieval buildings and other historical sites. You can also explore the more natural side of the city by taking a boat around the islands and visiting Stockholm’s numerous gardens and parks.

Love Las Vegas? Cruise to Monaco

Ok, Las Vegas isn’t technically on the coast, but it’s close enough to be in driving distance of most of the cities listed so far. If you love Vegas getaways due to the glitz and gambling, you’ll love visiting Monaco. This tiny European principality is home to a glamorous casino plus gorgeous beaches and boulevards. If you enjoy Vegas entertainment, time your cruise to arrive in Monaco during the Monaco Grand Prix – you’ll get a fantastic show of cars and probably some prime viewing of the rich and famous.

Ready to book your cruise to one of these ports? Celebrity Cruises has a variety of itineraries that visits all of them. Visit www.CelebrityCruises.com to find out which one is best for you.

 

Where in the World Wednesday: May 18, 2016

Can you figure out the destination based off of the clues below?

Picture Clue

Where in the World Wednesday Image Clue

Word Clue

This medieval walled city was once the best fortified on its continent. This city was originally known by a different name and put on the world map in the 12th century by an Arab cartographer. The city’s present name was derived from the word meaning castle/town. Evidence of human existence here dates back 5,000 years and its first fortress was built in the 11th century. Historically Protestant, this is one of the least religious countries in the world, with only 14% of its residents declaring religion an important part of their daily life. This city has a humid climate with warm, mild summers and cold, snowy winters.

Where in the World is This Destination?

(Scroll down to find out!)

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It is Tallinn, Estonia!

Located on the Gulf of Finland, Tallinn is 50 miles south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm, and west of St. Petersburg, Russia — all cities visited on Celebrity Cruises Scandinavia/Russia itineraries. Top picks for sites not to miss include Tallinn’s magnificent Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Viru Gate, Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor & museum, Toompea Hill (best views of Tallinn), Oleviste Church (be sure to climb in tower stairs to the top) and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Cruise Embarkation Port Spotlight: Seattle

Explore Seattle Before Your Alaska Cruise

Did you know there are cruise itineraries that depart out of Seattle? This makes it so easy to explore a new area of Alaska (or revisit it!) as most major airports around the U.S. offer direct flights to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Or, if you live in or near the Pacific Northwest, you can even drive to your cruise ship, making for a more budget-friendly trip since you’ll save on airfare.

Not only is Seattle convenient to get to, it’s also a fun city to explore. Get into the city a couple days before your cruise leaves and explore all the sights. Here are some top things to do and see before you sail to glaciers and mountain towns.

Pike Place Market

Pike Place is a bustling market bristling with energy and seafood. You’ll find massive fish available to purchase alongside pretty knit apparel and Pacific Northwest inspired souvenirs. Keep an eye out for the fishmongers in bright orange overalls tossing fish – maybe you’ll even get to give it a try!

Seattle’s Iconic Space Needle

Looking for an epic place for dinner while in Seattle? Head to the top of the Sky Needle. You’ll get great 360-degree views – literally, since the restaurant atop the Space Needle slowly rotates on an axis while you’re dining. You can also head to the top just to see the view without dining, though the getting a meal there is a memorable way to eat; be sure to make a reservation.

Seattle Breweries

Though it hasn’t quite caught up to the prestige of neighboring Portland, Seattle still has quite a prominent craft beer scene. Head to the Seattle neighborhoods of Fremont or Ballard to find some of the best breweries plus explore two towns that are rapidly growing in popularity among locals and new transplants to the city.

Take a Ferry Ride

You’ll be departing on a cruise to Alaska from Seattle so you’re probably in an ocean frame of mind. Get an early taste of being on the water by taking a ferry ride across the Puget Sound from Seattle to Bainbridge Island for lunch. The ferry ride is less than an hour and provides gorgeous views of the Seattle skyline, while the main town of Bainbridge is darling to walk around.

Snoqualmie Falls

If you have a car and love the mountains, head 40 minutes southeast of Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls, a powerful waterfall rushing down along the base of the Cascade Mountains. You’ll also learn about how water is used for energy thanks to the helpful information boards by the viewing platform, and you can also take a moderately easy hike down to the base of the waterfall if you’re feeling more adventurous.

Green Lake Park

If you’re traveling with kids, the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle is a great place to spend some time. You’ll find many local parents here, who frequent the hip, but child-friendly restaurants, and take leisurely walks around the pretty lake at the center of the community. This urban park and comes complete with a playground for kids plus canoes and paddleboats available to rent and use on the lake which older kids may enjoy.

Whatever you decide to do in Seattle, you’ll be able to find a fun experience before leaving from the Port of Seattle for your Alaska cruise. You’ll be all primed and ready to explore the rugged terrain of Alaska and its gorgeous icy straits.

To see which Celebrity Cruises Alaska sailings depart from Seattle, click here.

Where in the World Wednesday: May 11, 2016

Can you figure out the destination based off of the clues below?

Picture Clue

Word Clue

This beautiful archipelago, with nearly 300 miles of pristine white sand beaches, was first discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, but Columbus wasn’t exactly enamored with the place. He spent two days here, declared it part of Spain, and never returned. Here you will find a tiny tree frog with a high-pitched, chirrupy song that can be heard for miles. These frogs sing from dusk to dawn. Interestingly, they have somehow made their way to Hilo, Hawai’i. Many believe that the tiny frogs were inadvertently imported in plants by a national retailer. This city’s port is one of the largest cruise ports in its hemisphere.

Where in the World is This Destination?

Scroll down for the answer!

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The destination is…Puerto Rico!

Puerto Rico, known as the ‘Island of Enchantment’ is a Caribbean island, situated east of the Dominican Republic and west of the British Virgin Islands. Over 3.9 million people inhabit the island of Puerto Rico, making it one of the most densely populated islands in the world. Despite its population density, Puerto Rico is a relatively small place, roughly the size of Connecticut, and its standard of living is amongst the highest in the West. Two interesting facts… two of the oldest churches in the Americas are located in Old San Juan and 70% of the Rum sold in the U.S. comes from Puerto Rico.

Tips for Planning a Last Minute Alaska Cruise

May is here and that means an exciting time in the cruise world — the Alaska cruise season is underway. Alaska cruises are becoming more and more popular every year. Some sailings for 2016 have sold out, but if you’re ready to plan your last minute Alaska cruise this summer, you’re in luck as there is still some availability. Here’s how to best go about planning your Alaska cruise.

Choose Your Embarkation Port

Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia: an embarkation port for Alaska cruises

One nice thing about Alaska cruises, particularly for those living on the west coast, is the ease with which passengers can get to the ship.  Many west coasters are just a short flight away from Seattle or Vancouver, both of which are ports Celebrity Cruises sails out of. You can also fly a bit farther north and start or end your cruise right in Alaska.

How to decide between a more south or north departure port depends on what you’re most looking to get out of the cruise. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, would you prefer to save on airfare and drive or take the train to the harbor? Then a Seattle or Vancouver departure that is roundtrip may be best for you. Do you not mind a flight, but want to spend more of your vacation time right in the heart of Alaska? Then one of the one-way itineraries may be best for you; for example, you’ll depart from the port of Vancouver and then end your cruise all the way up in Seward, Alaska.

Prioritize Alaska Cruise Ports

Explore the port cities of Alaska.
Explore the port cities of Alaska.

Have you always dreamed of seeing the capital city of Juneau, or the charming stilted main street of Ketchikan? Make sure the cruise you choose stop in the ports you most want to see. If you’re having a hard time narrowing it down, a good way to figure out what you  might enjoy most is to read through some of the shore excursion descriptions for each port — which port has the ones that sound most appealing to you? Pick an itinerary that includes as many of those ports as possible.

Choosing a Stateroom

Couple on balcony sailing onboard Celebrity Cruises
Enjoy views of Alaska from your own verandah.

When booking a last minute Alaska cruise, it’s helpful if you can be flexible on your travel dates. One benefit of booking earlier is a better choice of stateroom locations and categories. If you dream of staying in a verandah stateroom, but they’re all sold out for the sailing you’re looking at, consider another date. (Tip: a stateroom or suite with a verandah is the way to go on an Alaska cruise for those days sailing the straits and alongside glaciers when you’ll want to soak in as much of the view as possible!)

Book When There’s a Last Minute Alaska Cruise Deal

One benefit of waiting until the last minute to book an Alaska cruise is that there are often deals to be found! Check the Celebrity Cruises Specials page for current offers.

Where in the World Wednesday: May 4, 2016

Can you figure out the destination based off of the clue below?

Destination Clue

This global city is of significant financial, diplomatic and human rights importance, yet has a population of less than 200,000 residents. It boasts one of the shortest commuting times of any major city in the world. This city dates back more than 4,000 years and is situated on the banks of a picturesque lake. French is its predominant language and its Old Town is a maze of quaint streets filled with cafes, restaurants, museums and historical sites.

Where in the World is This Destination?

Scroll down to find out!

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The Destination is…

Geneva, Switzerland!

Situated against the majestic Swiss Alps and Lac Léman, also called Lac de Genéve (hence its English name Lake Geneva), this city seems to have it all. Geneva is the French speaking part of Switzerland, located in the western part of the country and is the gateway to the Alps where skiing, hiking and breathtaking scenery await. The “Jet d’Eau” (water sprout) has always dominated the Geneva skyline. An awe-inspiring sight to see lake water pumped to a height of 400 feet, especially when there is a strong wind blowing. Although Geneva is neither the largest city, nor capital of Switzerland (Bern is the capital and Zurich is the largest city), Geneva has gained international renown as it is home to the United Nations European office as well as the International Red Cross and the World Health Organization.

Geneva is often considered the most international city in the world, as 40% of its residents come from outside Switzerland.

A great place to try Geneva’s local cuisine is at the Café du Bourg de Four, famous for its rösti, a potato dish considered by many Swiss as their national dish, located at the Place du Bourg de Four in the old town.

This is also the city where the Geneva Conventions were signed, which chiefly concern the treatment of wartime non-combatants and prisoners of war. The 3-legged chair that looms opposite the “Palais des Nations” is a must-see when visiting. Standing 40 feet high, The Broken Chair is a reminder of the tragedy caused to human lives and limbs by land mines.

Along with The Broken Chair and the famous St. Peter’s Cathedral, other must-see places are Maison Tavel and the Old Arsenal located in front, Place du Bourg-de-Four, and The Treille Promenade. The altitude of Old Town is some 80 feet higher than the lake, so expect a bit of a climb. Geneva is also known for its watch making tradition.

Celebrity Cruises West Coast 2016 Events

Find Out What Festivals and Other Fun Events Celebrity Cruises West Coast Will Be at Next!

Have you seen Celebrity Cruises at an event recently? If you’ve been to a wine, food, or film festival on the west coast lately, there’s a good chance we’ve been there! We love going to local events and sharing information about cruising with attendees — and pouring some wine or cocktails! Sometimes we even have a delicious menu item served in one of our ship’s dining rooms for attendees to try. Here are some highlights from recent events we’ve been at and some coming up that you may want to get a ticket to. They’re a lot of fun!

Recent Events

Newport Beach Film Festival

The Newport Beach Film Festival was a fabulous affair full of fun and  — of course — films. We had wine and our own Celebrity film to share  and enjoyed chatting with attendees about movies and traveling.

If you want to have your own little film festival at home, you can find some great food tips here from one of our Celebrity Cruises chefs for pairing dinner with a movie at home (similar to “A Taste of Film” event done onboard select Celebrity Cruises ships).

Seattle Food and Wine Festival

Up north in Washington, the Seattle Food and Wine Festival was an exciting day full of samples from some of Seattle’s top restaurants and wineries from nearby regions like Yakima and Wall Walla. Celebrity Cruises served a delicious smoked salmon dish and cocktails made from a recipe served onboard our ships. Attendees took a break from the tasting booths to relax with a drink on the relaxing couches Celebrity had set up.

Upcoming Events

We will be at many exciting and fun events later this year. Here are a sample of some of the ones you can attend from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest.

Farm to Fork’s Taste of Summer event in Sacramento from June 3 through June 5 is the next big event we have coming up. We are excited to be a sponsor at this delicious event, which features a variety of dinners and wine tasting events.

The California Wine Festival is always a fun time and the next one is coming up in Santa Barbara on July 16 (followed by the California Wine Festival at Sea sailing to Alaska with Celebrity Cruises). Many local wineries and restaurants from the Central Coast of California will be exhibiting alongside our Celebrity Cruises lounge.

Farther north in San Francisco, you can find us at Eat Drink SF from August 26 through 28. Eat Drink SF is an annual festival that features food, wine, and spirits from all around the bay area.

A unique event that still has tickets available is WineSong in Fort Bragg, California. WineSong is a food and wine tasting event that is also a charity auction to raise money for Mendocino Coast District Hospital. Celebrity Cruises will be a sponsor at its Pinot Noir Celebration on September 9 where guests will sample over 25 wineries with an emphasis on Pinot Noir, which will be paired with Little River Inn’s cuisine.

If you want to try some wine and food in paradise, head to the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival in Oahu, Hawaii this October 28 and 29.

We have several other events coming up this year, too. Check them all out on our About page. We hope to see you at one!