Where in the World Wednesday: October 26, 2016

Can you guess where in the world this destination is from the word and picture clues below?

Word Clue

This famous steam train has been featured in several movies. The 84 mile journey crosses a 100 foot high viaduct with 21 arches. Right between the two mountains crossed on this beautiful route sits a majestic lake. The steam train was built in the late 1800s and has been crossing the West Coast of this country twice a day, ever since. Give yourself bonus points if you can name one of the movies that featured this famous steam train and viaduct.

Picture Clue

Photo courtesy of David Brossard via Flickr.
Photo courtesy of David Brossard via Flickr.

Where in the World is This Destination?

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Jacobite Steam Train and the Glenfinnan Viaduct, in Lochaber, Scotland

Everybody who has seen the Harry Potter movies remembers the legendary Hogwarts train, that leaves from Platform 9 ¾. Although its real name is the Jacobite Steam Train, the Scotland route is known as the Hogwarts train. The beautiful film scenery, though, is real.

The train route goes from Fort William to Mallaig, crossing the West Coast of Scotland. The most significant area of the 84-mile journey is the Glenfinnan viaduct, which has 21 arches. This is a well known spot from the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets movie. Because it was filmed during winter, it created a surreal scenery.

Yet another beautiful place is the Loch Shiel lake, which is right between the two mountains crossed by the route. The Jacobite Steam Train route also includes a special monument dedicated to Prince Charles at the Glenfinnman station. However, it is the interior of the train that creates an incredible experience for passengers.

Each compartment looks just as it did during the filming of the Harry Potter sequel. From old fashioned walls and comfortable seats to carriages and vintage doors, everything sends people to another world. Also, the train runs by the power of the steam, which improves the experience and creates the legendary white smoke often seen in the Harry Potter movies.

Even though the journey only lasts for one and a half hour, it is definitely worth the €32 fare. Scotland’s outstanding scenery, mountains, lakes, and the well known Glenfinnan viaduct, make this trip unforgettable. Celebrity Cruises visits Scotland on numerous British Isles sailings.

Which Celebrity Cruises Explorations Vacation is Right For You?

Celebrity Cruises Explorations itineraries let you see the world by both land and sea, making for a unique and memorable vacation. Expert guides and cultural excursions will give you an in-depth view of what makes the place you’re visiting so special. With Celebrity Explorations you can be assured that you’ll be traveling in luxury, whether going from port to port on a cruise ship or spending the night in an opulent hotel. Here’s what else you can expect.

What’s Included in a Celebrity Explorations Vacation

  • Airfare
  • Luxury Hotel Stays
  • 7+ Night Cruise on Award-Winning Celebrity Cruises
  • Guided Excursions and Tours
  • Celebrity Destination Concierge Assistance
  • Most Meals
  • All Transfers
  • Cruise Taxes and Fees

Celebrity Cruises has three different Celebrity Explorations that can take you on an adventure to the top of the Northern Hemisphere or on a safari through Africa, along with travels to some of Europe’s most beautiful sites. Here are the Explorations you can choose from and which might be best for your personality.

Africa and Europe Exploration

Who It’s Good For: Adventurous animal lovers who like luxury on their exciting travels.

You’ll have seven days in Africa on this unique travel itinerary before jetting off to London where you’ll meet your cruise ship. The African adventure part of the vacation will include a safari in Tanzania, during which you’ll have the opportunity to see lions, elephants, baboons, and more. When you’re not out searching for animals across the Serengeti, you’ll be able to relax at the luxurious safari lodge. This Explorations vacation has a variety of different cruise options depending on what date you travel. Choose between cruises that visit the Canary Islands along with either Lisbon, Spain, or Azores; or stay farther north and sail along the Norwegian Fjords or through Scandinavia and Russia.

See departure dates and the full itinerary here. 

Iceland Midnight Sun Exploration

Who It’s Good For: Adventurous culture seekers who enjoy both time in nature and in the big city.

Iceland is quickly becoming one of the world’s hottest travel destinations. Get there before everyone catches on it’s the place to be by going on the Iceland Midnight Sun Exploration, which guides you through Iceland before you fly to your choice of one of four cruises to depart on that takes you to Scandinavia and Russia or the British Isles. Bonus Tip: Love festivals? Choose the Signature Event Sailing cruise that takes you to Edinburgh during the Edinburgh Military Tour. There’s also a Midnight Sun Exploration departure that coincides with the Signature Sailing for the 146th Open Championship – a must-do for golf lovers.

See departure dates and the full itinerary.

Iceland Northern Lights Exploration

Who It’s Good For: Those who want beautiful views from the sky to the beach.

This itinerary also goes to Iceland and takes you around the country to see its top sites, but it comes with a Northern Lights twist. On your first night in the country you’ll go to a small fishing village for an Icelandic lobster dinner, and then on your way back to your hotel your guide will stop along the way at some of the best spots to see the Aurora Borealis, also called the Northern Lights. After your three days in Iceland are done, you’re in for some tropical bliss as you’ll board a cruise that takes you to some of Spain’s most stunning regions and to ports around the exotic Canary Islands.

See departure dates and the full itinerary.

To book your Celebrity Explorations vacation, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

Where in the World Wednesday: October 19, 2016

Can you guess where in the world this destination is from the clues below?

Image Clue

Photo courtesy of David Leo Veksler via Flickr.
Photo courtesy of David Leo Veksler via Flickr.

Word Clue

It’s not often that a single attraction has the ability to capture the curiosities of art lovers, history buffs, and adrenaline junkies, but this ancient fortress and UNESCO World Heritage Site towers more than 1,000 feet above sea level and does just that. Once an ancient capital nearly 1,600 years ago, this massive 600-foot-tall vertical granite peak has since functioned as a palace, a monastery, a royal residence and, now, as one of the most-visited attractions in its country.

You need to carve out at least two hours to ascend to the top and shaky spiral staircases and narrow paths may serve as the only barriers between climbers and the thick jungle below. But the reward is worth the climb — several fresco paintings are preserved on the western side of the rock, and a nearby “Mirror Wall” (once thought to have been used as a reflection tool by the ancient king) provides breathtaking contrast to the rugged beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Where in the World is This Destination?

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Sigiriya, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Sigiriya (pronounced see-gi-ri-yə) ) is also called “Lion Rock” and towers 660 feet above the jungle below. The island nation of Sri Lanka (pronounced shiree-lan-ka) is located in southeast Asia near southeast India and the Maldives. Sri Lanka’s documented history spans 3,000 years with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. Its geographic location and deep harbors made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II. Celebrity Constellation visits Colombo, Sri Lanka on her Best of India and Sri Lanka cruise each January.

Winter is Coming…So Cruise to These Exotic Destinations

Winter is coming…and even if you live somewhere that gets a milder winter, there’s no denying the appeal of tropical islands or countries south of the equator that are currently celebrating summer during these North America winter months. Do you have your winter getaway planned yet? If not, here are some places to set off to for a blissful and relaxing cruise this winter – some of these places you might not expect to be able to cruise to so get ready to start daydreaming about some exotic travels.

Australia and New Zealand Cruises

Celebrity Solstice in Sydney, Australia
Cruise to Sydney, Australia and other ports in Australia and New Zealand.

While North America is hunkering down for winter, the South Pacific countries of Australia and New Zealand are basking in their summer. Though geographically close to each other, you’ll find Australia and New Zealand are quite different and makes it interesting to do a cruise to the region when you can effortlessly visit both countries, from the tropical wonderland of northeast Australia to the lush wildness of New Zealand’s South Island; and don’t forget about the Great Barrier Reef, vibrant Sydney (Australia’s capital), gorgeous Wellington (New Zealand’s capital), and the beautiful wine regions and beaches in driving distance of several of the cruise ports on a New Zealand and Australia cruise. Here are a few itineraries to check out this winter that visit New Zealand and Australia.

For those of you that want to spend time in both countries, this 14-night Auckland to Sydney cruise visits eight ports in New Zealand and three in Australia.

If New Zealand is your main focus this New Zealand Cruise (that sails roundtrip from Sydney) travels all the way around the country from the northern tip of the North Island and down and around the less-visited bottom curve of the South Island with many port stops along the way.

Looking to explore the amazing beaches and water of Australia? Then you’ll love the Great Barrier Reef Cruise that sails round the eastern and northern coast of Australia this winter.

South America Cruises

Sail to Rio de Janeiro and other South America destinations with Celebrity Cruises.
Sail to Rio de Janeiro and other South America destinations with Celebrity Cruises.

Another area south of the equator you can travel to and take advantage of a flip-flopped summer in this winter is South America. While Panama Canal cruise are often well touted, did you know you can also cruise to Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, and even Antarctica?

This special Brazil-focused cruise sails around the country plus has an overnight stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina. To make it even more exciting and memorable, this cruise coincides with Brazil’s famous and festive Carnaval celebration.

Want to visit all seven continents in your lifetime? This South America cruise departs from Argentina and takes you all the way to Schollart Channel, Paradise Bay, and Elephant Island in Antarctica, before heading onto the Falkland Islands and back north to Uruguay and Argentina.

Explore the western side of South America on this 15-night cruise that takes you from Fort Lauderdale all the way to Chile with stops in Panama, Ecuador, and Peru along the way.

Caribbean Winter Cruises

Spend part of the winter on a Caribbean beach.
Spend part of the winter on a Caribbean beach.

Then there is the glorious Caribbean. If you’re looking for a tropical island vacation to escape the winter cold, it’s hard to go wrong with the Caribbean. With dozens of islands that vary greatly in look and culture, there is an island that is the right fit for everyone. If you can’t decide between all those lovely islands, a cruise is the perfect way to go, as you’ll stop at several different islands. While in port, head to a beach to lounge on or partake in an adventurous shore excursion like ziplining over rainforest canopies, off-roading through jungles, or snorkeling in clear turquoise water.

Visit some of the Eastern and Southern Caribbean’s most beloved islands on this 7-night Caribbean cruise, that includes stops in Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. You’ll also start and end your cruise in Puerto Rico, meaning an ideal opportunity to take a couple extra days to explore charming San Juan and its surrounding beaches.

For those who want to experience the South Caribbean, but depart from mainland USA, there’s the 14-night Exotic Southern Caribbean Cruise itinerary that leaves from Miami, Florida, and does a roundtrip cruise to St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, and Barbados plus the extra sunny islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. (Aruba is particular is known for its more arid – rare for Caribbean islands!)

Want to leave from Florida and explore the Caribbean, but only have one week for your vacation? Check out the western Caribbean cruise itineraries that don’t have to travel as far from Florida embarkation ports, including this one that stops in Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica; before returning to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Does one of these winter cruises sound appealing? Hurry and book! Winter will be here before you know it and prime staterooms for some of these cabins are already selling out. To book, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

Where in the World Wednesday: October 12, 2016

Can you guess where in the world this destination is based off of the clues below?

Image Clue

Photo courtesy of Brian via Flickr.
Photo courtesy of Brian via Flickr.

Word Clue

This is one of the largest canyons on its continent, formed by six rivers that merge into one and flow into the ocean. Explorers discovered this canyon in the early 17th century and encountered indigenous people who still live in remote areas of the canyon today. Mining for gold and silver ensued as did the spread of Christianity. There is a famous train here which traverses the canyon through more than 100 tunnels and bridges.

Where in the World is This Destination?

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Copper Canyon (Barrancas del Cobre), Chihuahua, Mexico

The Copper Canyon is four times larger than the Grand Canyon in the United States and in some spots, 1,000 feet deeper. The Copper Canyon is comprised of six distinct canyons and six rivers which flow into the Rio Fuente and empty into the Gulf of California. The walls of the canyon are a copper color with some green, which is where the name originates.

Excursions to the Copper Canyon are available from cruise ships visiting Topolobampo in the Sea of Cortez via the famous Chepe train. Chepe connects the region through more than 80 tunnels and over 40 bridges with outstanding views of the Copper Canyon.

Celebrity’s Sommeliers Make Every Cruise a Wine Cruise

faYou likely expect that you’ll be able to get a good glass of wine on a cruise. But you might not expect to leave your cruise having a deeper appreciation for wine and feeling like more of an expert on different varietals, flavor notes, and more regarding wine — or having the opportunity to order an $8,000 bottle of wine if you so choose! This heightened wine knowledge is all thanks to the sommeliers onboard Celebrity Cruises, who can transform any cruise itinerary into a wine-focused cruise if that’s what you desire.

Learn more about wine from sommeliers.
Learn more about wine from a skilled sommelier on Celebrity Cruises.

A sommelier is a wine steward who has studied wine and been trained in all aspects of winemaking, plus passed a certification exam in order to get the title of sommelier. The sommeliers on Celebrity Cruises bring their wine expertise to guests through a combination of wine events and dinner assistance.

Before we get into what those wine experiences entail, here are some fun facts about the sommeliers and wine on Celebrity Cruises:

  • Celebrity Cruises employs one of the largest teams of certified sommeliers (200) in the world and the largest team of sommeliers in the cruise industry.

  • Celebrity Cruises has 23 sommeliers plus one CellarMaster on each Solstice Class ship and 12 sommeliers plus one CellarMaster on each Millennium Class ship. (CellarMasters oversee the entire wine program onboard including the wine cellar.)

  • Speaking of that wine cellar…Each Celebrity Cruises ship has a 10,000+ bottle wine cellar carrying over 400 labels of wine — meaning the sommeliers have to know their stuff!

  • The sommeliers onboard are trained by Master Sommelier Michael Jordan.

  • All Solstice Class ships boast a remarkable two-story tall wine tower, a radiant structure of glass and steel created by renowned designer Adam Tihany. Each holds 1,800 bottles of wine at the perfect serving temperature.

    The elegant 2-story wine tower onboard Celebrity Cruises' Solstice-class ships.
    The elegant 2-story wine tower onboard Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class ships.
  • 400 labels of wine are carried on each ship, ranging from $21 per bottle to over $8,000 per bottle. There are also 100 wines offered by the glass.

  • Celebrity Cruises has a rare wine collection including Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1898, Heidsieck Monopole Champagne 1907, Chateau Latour 1929, Chateau Margaux 1929, Chateau Petrus 1978 and Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

  • Celebrity has won 30 of the 34 Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence awarded in the Cruise Industry, and every one of Celebrity’s Main Dining Rooms Restaurants have won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence

  • And last, but not least — Celebrity Cruises Sommelier Andey Ziff just set the world record for “World’s Largest Sommelier Wine Lesson” certified by the Guinness Book of World Records!

Night of the Guinness World Record being set for "World's Largest Sommelier Wine Lesson" on Celebrity Infinity.
Night of the Guinness World Record being set for “World’s Largest Sommelier Wine Lesson” on Celebrity Infinity.

Yes, the wine experiences on Celebrity Cruises are so popular they are now setting world records!

Wine Experiences on Celebrity Cruises

Wine demonstration at Cellar Masters, Celebrity Cruises' wine bar.
Wine demonstration at Cellar Masters, Celebrity Cruises’ wine bar.

Wine experiences onboard are part of the Celebrity Life Activities and range from beginner tasting classes to wine and food pairings to lessons on choosing the right glass for each wine varietal. Sommeliers lead each of these events and are on-hand to answer questions about wine as they lead guests through interesting tasting experiences.

Wine tasting experience onboard Celebrity Cruises.
Wine tasting onboard Celebrity Cruises.

Here are some of the wine experiences with sommeliers you can expect to find on a Celebrity cruise:

Port Wine Tasting: A sommelier will teach you about the different kinds of port from the Douro Valley in Portugal while you taste different labels.

World Wine Tour: Try wines from all around the world and learn how flavors differ among wine regions in a fun, social setting.

Italian Food & Wine Pairing: Learn how to choose the best wine to go with Italian cuisine, plus learn the basics of food and wine pairing in general.

Private Wine Tasting of Premium Wines: Want to sip more exclusive, high-end wines? This tasting experience is for you.

Riedel Crystal Comparative Wineglass Workshop: The glass your wine is poured in makes a difference in how it tastes. Learn more in this interesting wine workshop.

 Some of these wine experiences can sell out so be sure to sign up for the ones you want to do soon after boarding the ship.

Sommelier serving wine to a group dining onboard Celebrity Cruises.
Sommelier serving wine to a group dining onboard Celebrity Cruises.

During dinner, sommeliers are located in each restaurant — both the main dining room and specialty restaurants — and will personally stop by your table to help you pick out a wine to enjoy with your meal. The sommelier will also expertly seal up your wine bottle for you and store it if you don’t finish the bottle, and then deliver it to your table wherever you’re eating on the following evening.

Wine stored in the Celebrity Cruises wine tower onboard Solstice-class ships.

Before or after your meal (or whenever you’re in the mood for a glass of wine) you can stop by Cellar Masters for more wine excitement. Cellar Masters is the wine bar on Celebrity Cruises, and the sommelier behind the bar there will answer any questions you have about wine and will help you find the best one to fit your taste.

Pour your own tasting at Cellar Masters.
Pour your own tasting at Cellar Masters.

Celebrity Cruises Drink Packages

Celebrity Cruises Sommelier

An easy and often budget-friendly way to experience wines while sailing with Celebrity Cruises is to take advantage of one of the beverage packages.

The Classic Beverage Package (offered as a free amenity with Celebrity’s GoBig/Better/Best pricing) provides wine by the glass up to $9 plus a 15% discount on bottles of wine (even from our prized Reserve Wine list and Rare Wine list.) Upgrading to a premium beverage package is just $10 per day extra and includes wine by the glass up to $13 and a 20% discount on bottles of wine.

The Classic and Premium Beverage Packages include beer and spirits as well. If you’re just interested in wine, you may find Celebrity’s Classic, Premium, and Build-Your-Own Wine Packages more appealing.

Ready to meet some of Celebrity Cruises’ sommeliers and have a wine-centric cruise? Find your perfect cruise itinerary at www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your local travel agent.

Where in the World Wednesday: October 5, 2016

Can you guess where in the world this destination is based off the clues below?

Image Clue

Photo courtesy of Dennis Matheson via Flickr.
Photo courtesy of Dennis Matheson via Flickr.

Word Clue

This medieval village, first populated around 2,000 BC as a commune, is perched like an eagles nest on a narrow rocky peak 1,400 feet above sea level. This ancient fortified village is still crowned with the ruins of its 12th-century fortified castle which was torn down in the early 1700s. The village forms a circular pattern around the base of the castle. Old buildings and narrow streets are very well restored, with high stone walls and narrow roadways of red-brick centered stone. When visiting this quaint village you can tour the two local perfumeries, peruse shops carved into the stone, and enjoy the breathtaking views this village offers.

Where in the World is This Destination?

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Èze, France

This medieval village is perched 1,400 feet above the Mediterranean Sea. The commune is located on the French Riviera, extending from the Mediterranean Sea (Eze-sur-Mer) to the hilltop medieval village of Eze-Village along the Côte d’Azur. Saint-Laurent-d’Eze connects these villages. Èze is easily reachable from the port city of Nice, France.

Drive to Your Next Vacation Thanks to West Coast Cruise Departures

Want an easy way to get to your next vacation? If you live on or near the west coast of the United States, you’re in luck. Here is a list of cruise ports that do roundtrip sailings from the west coast of North America. You can drive right to the cruise port, park your car, and easily get back to it after your cruise ends. No hassle with long lines at the airport or worrying if your luggage will get lost while flying to your cruise.

Seattle

Cruise to Alaska from Seattle.
Cruise to Alaska from Seattle.

Pacific Northwest residents can easily drive to this cruise port, located right in the gorgeous city of Seattle, Washington. Celebrity Solstice sails out of Seattle and does 7- to 9-night itineraries to Alaska. Sail up the Inside Passage and past Tracy Arm Fjord with Alaska ports of call in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, plus a stop in Victoria, British Columbia.

Parking is adjacent to both Pier 61 and Pier 99 at the Port of Seattle cruise terminal (Celebrity Solstice docks at Pier 99). The cruise terminal is located in between the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, making it conveniently located for cruisers who want to explore Seattle for a bit before or after their cruise.

Vancouver

Cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia
Cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia

Just a few hours north of Seattle is another popular cruise port for Alaska, that is easy for those in the northwest USA or southwest Canada to drive to. If coming from the United States, be sure to give yourself extra time for the border crossing as it can be backed up (though it’s always good practice in general to arrive at your embarkation cruise port a few hours early before boarding begins).

The Celebrity Infinity does 7-night roundtrip cruises out of Vancouver. Similar to sailings out of Seattle, you’ll get the opportunity to see the sights of Ketchikan, Juneau, and the Inside Passage. You’ll also see Icy Strait Point and Hubbard Glacier before your ship returns to Vancouver.

Short on time? You can also take this 5-night cruise out of Vancouver that stops in Ketchikan and sails past gorgeous scenery on the way up and back down, including the Inside Passage. You’ll also have a port of call in Victoria before heading back to Vancouver.

Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Solstice also occasionally sail itineraries out of Vancouver.

Cruise ships leave from the Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver, which is located in downtown Vancouver — making it easy to do some sightseeing before your cruise departs! Canada Place has both short term (for those who finagled a friend or family member into dropping them off and picking them up from their cruise) and long term parking (for those leaving their car at Canada Place while they cruise).

Los Angeles

A Pacific Coastal Cruise is a great way to see popular cities on the west coast of North America. The Celebrity Infinity sails 7-night and 8-night itineraries out of Los Angeles that stop in the California cities of Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Franciso, and Catalina Island, plus Ensenada, Mexico. Soak up the beaches and sunshine, and do some shopping and sightseeing in each port of call, before your ship returns you to the City of Angels. The 8-night itinerary also has a day at sea, which gives you a chance to spend more time checking out the wonderful amenities onboard the Celebrity Infinity, including the luxurious Canyon Ranch SpaClub and relaxing pool area.

You’ll depart on your Pacific Coastal cruise from the World Cruise Center, part of the Port of Los Angeles, which is located on the southern end of Los Angeles in the San Pedro neighborhood of LA, close to Long Beach. Overnight vehicle parking is available for the duration of your cruise near the terminal and shuttles transport passengers between the car lot and cruise terminal.

Ready to book your cruise that departs from a from a west coast city? Visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.