Category Archives: Cruise Destinations

Cruise to the Caribbean with West Coast Resident Rates

Special Pricing! Get Low Resident Rates for Oceanview Caribbean Cruises

Yes, you read that right. The Caribbean is open for business and you can get a great resident rate if you sail there this winter.

The recent devastation caused by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria to the Caribbean may have travelers wondering if a cruise to the Caribbean is still possible this winter. What travelers may not be aware of is that the Caribbean is still 90% open to travelers — most islands in the Caribbean were unaffected or had only minimal damage from the hurricanes.

Celebrity Cruises is doing its part to help this region by providing aid to islands needing relief while also continuing to sail to the islands that are able to accommodate visitors since many residents of these islands depend on tourism to make a livelihood.

So where can you sail this winter to find some sunshine and sandy beaches?

Here are some choices:

7-Night Southern Caribbean Cruise: Enjoy Thanksgiving at sea on this cruise that departs San Juan, Puerto Rico on November 18, 2017. You’ll visit the U.S. Virgin Islands, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, and Grenada before returning to San Juan.

7-Night Southern Caribbean Cruise: Relax after the Thanksgiving chaos on this roundtrip cruise that departs November 25, 2017, also from San Juan, Puerto Rico. You’ll stop at ports in Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, and St. Kitts and Nevis.

7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise: Sail away on the Celebrity Silhouette as it journeys roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and visits ports in Puerto Rico, and St. Kitts and Nevis, plus provides two blissful days at sea.

11-Night Dutch Antilles Caribbean Cruise: Experience the Dutch Antilles and beyond on this longer cruise vacation that sails from San Juan and visits the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Curacao, Bonaire, and an overnight stay in Aruba. This tropical cruise departs December 12, 2017.

7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise: Depart from Miami, Florida on December 16, 2017, and sail around the exciting islands of the Western Caribbean on board the Celebrity Equinox. Caribbean ports of call you’ll visit include Puerto Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and a stop in Key West, Florida, before returning to Miami.

10-Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise: On this exotic cruise, you’ll spend two days sailing at sea and enjoying ocean views before visiting ports in Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the U.S. Virgin Islands before enjoying another two relaxing days at sea on board the luxurious Celebrity Reflection. This sailing departs December 8, 2017, from Fort Lauderdale.

Special Resident Rates

As for that special deal mentioned at the top of this post, stay in an oceanview stateroom or higher category and take advantage of low resident rate pricing on the above sailings and other Caribbean itineraries. These special resident rates are only available for a limited time and are applicable for all west coast states.

To see all the itineraries available for these low resident rates and the special pricing, click here.

How You Can Help Islands Affected by the Hurricane

While the above mentioned islands and other Caribbean islands are ready to greet cruise passengers, there are parts of the Caribbean that are still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Irma and Maria. Celebrity Cruises has a hurricane relief program that will match contributions up to one million dollars. To make a contribution and help the Caribbean islands affected by the hurricanes rebuild and recover, click here.

Cruise Port of Call Spotlight: Malaga, Spain

Malaga isn’t as well known as some of Spain’s other hot spots, but you don’t want to overlook this cruise port located on Spain’s southern coast that is an ideal starting point for exploring the Andalusia region of Spain. Not only is the city of Malaga adjacent to the Costa del Sol stretch of coastline with its gorgeous beaches, but it is also in close proximity to some of Spain’s most desirable attractions.

The Port of Malaga

Before we get into all those sites, here’s what you need to know about arriving in port in Malaga.

The cruise port is modern and is less than two miles from the city center. Cruise ships anchor for the day on the Eastern dock. You can easily walk to the city center from the cruise port or take a shuttle that drops you off in Plaza de la Marina, a large and pretty square located in the city center. Another option is to sign up for a Malaga shore excursion through the cruise line, which takes some of the hassle out of your day.

What to During a Malaga Port of Call

If you’re in a beach mood, take a taxi or excursion if offered to one of Malaga’s sandy beaches. You can also walk along the main boulevard of Costa del Sol for some seafood and souvenir shopping.

If you’re curious about the actual city of Malaga, the Malaga City Tour shore excursion is a great way to spend your day. You’ll learn what makes this Phoenician founded city great. The origins of Malaga date back to the 8th century and during your tour of the city you’ll learn about its history and gothic and renaissance influences plus see its best sites, including the birthplace of Pablo Picasso.

If you’d rather explore one of Spain’s other iconic sites or charming villages, you’re still in an ideal port to do so. Two of the most popular excursions outside the city of Malaga are to Alhambra Palace or the village of Mijas.

Alhambra Palace is one of Spain’s most popular sites to visit for travelers and for good reason – the 14th century palace is a Moorish architecture marvel. Upon arriving at this UNESCO World Heritage Site you’ll first be awed by the cupolas and ornate décor on the outside of the palace buildings. Inside, you’ll be mesmerized by mosaics, latticework, wood-carved ceilings, and a variety of artwork. The gardens are also impressive to walk around and feature flowers and fountains amid a series of scenic pathways.

Visit Alhambra Palace on a shore excursion and get the added bonus of hearing about its history from a local guide.

Mijas is home to cobblestoned terraces and whitewashed buildings situated 1,280 feet above sea level. From Mijas you’ll be able to see panoramic views of the sea and surrounding countryside. On the Village of Mijas shore excursion you’ll be escorted through the village with a knowledgeable guide who will tell you the vast history of the village and escort you the best historic sites and viewpoints in the area.

Cruise Itineraries that Visit Malaga

Celebrity Cruises ship sailing a Mediterranean itinerary.

When looking for a Celebrity Cruises sailing that visits Malaga, look for Mediterranean itineraries that focus on the western side of the Mediterranean Sea. Some options coming up include:

Best of Western Mediterranean: An 11-night itinerary on board the Celebrity Reflection that sails roundtrip from Rome, Italy and visits Gibraltar, United Kingdom; Malaga, Spain; Cartagena, Spain; Ibiza, Spain; Barcelona, Spain (with an overnight there!); Nice, France; and Florence, Italy.

Western Mediterranean Cruise: A 12-night cruise that focuses on Spain, France, and Italy. The sailing departs from Barcelona, Spain and travels to Valencia, Spain; Alicante, Spain; Gibraltar, United Kingdom; Malaga, Spain; Provence, France; Nice, France; Florence, Italy; Rome, Italy; and Naples, Italy, before returning to Barcelona. There are also a couple of days at sea which give you an opportunity to relax and explore the gorgeous Celebrity Eclipse you’ll be sailing on.

To book your Mediterranean cruise that stops in Malaga, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

What to Expect from a Galapagos Cruise: Tips and Itineraries

Travel to the Galapagos with Celebrity Cruises for Unforgettable Experiences

Traveling to the Galapagos is a bucket list item for many people. The Galapagos Islands are full of rugged beauty and wildlife both in and out of the sea. Located off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands are accessible by boat and a cruise there is an amazing way to experience it.

Cruise to the Galapagos on Celebrity Xpedition

Because this region is so special, Celebrity Cruises even has a special fleet of ships for it that are small ships and built to be able to ideally navigate the volcanic archipelago where the Galapagos Islands are located.

What You’ll See During a Galapagos Cruise

Iguana in the Galapagos

The animals that live in the Galapagos have an enviable home since the way the archipelago and islands are situated means they’re protected from certain predators, giving them the freedom to frolic in the waves and on land. You’ll get the chance to snorkel with sea lions and sea turtles, smile at colorful birds (including the dancing blue-footed booby, marvel at large iguanas, and admire the Galapagos’ famous giant tortoises – and that’s just some of the animals you may see. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and whales, too.

Giant tortoises in the Galapagos, which you can see during a vacation with Celebrity Cruises

From a scenery perspective, you won’t be disappointed on a Galapagos cruise. The islands of the Galapagos are made up of mesmerizing black volcanic rock and vibrant fields of green. Combine that with the contrast of the deep blue-green ocean lapping at the shores of the islands and you’ll have plenty of photo ops to take your camera out for.

Galapagos Cruise Itineraries

When cruising to the Galapagos, you can choose an Outer Loop itinerary or a Southern Loop itinerary. Many of the ports of call are similar, but the Outer Loop will travel to the islands of Floreana and Espanola (which you may want to prioritize visiting if you want to see the Waved Albatross) while the Inner Loop skips those islands and visits Santiago Island (which is bypassed on the Outer Loop). There is also the Southern Loop itinerary that typically bypasses the northern part of Isabella Island and instead includes ports of call on San Cristobal island. The Northern Loops itineraries include a jaunt up to Darwin Bay.

All cruises depart straight from the Galapagos and Celebrity Cruises will help arrange your airfare from Quito, Ecuador to the embarkation port.

You can also turn your Galapagos cruise into a cruisetour package that visits Peru and Machu Picchu or Quito, Ecuador before or after your cruise.

What Your Onboard Experience Will Be Like During a Galapagos Cruise

Celebrity Cruises has three ships that sail the Galapagos: Celebrity Xpedition, Celebrity Xploration, and Celebrity Xperience.

Celebrity Xpedition

Celebrity Xpedition

The Celebrity Xpedition is the largest of the three ships and the original Celebrity Cruises Galapagos ship. Though it’s larger (carrying 100 passengers), Celebrity Xpedition is still a small ship experience so you won’t find dozens of restaurants and lounges on board like you may have come to expect from other cruises. Instead, you’ll find that the ship is tailored to be an accent to the destination and improve your experience in the Galapagos by providing an up-close, in-depth journey through the region. The common rooms and staterooms and suites are all luxuriously appointed and guests are provided with an all-inclusive vacation experience while on board.

For dining you’ll be served delicious cuisine in Darwin’s Restaurant each day where you can sit on your own or with new friends. The cuisine often includes local fruits and vegetables and freshly caught fish by Galapagos fishermen. You can also choose to dine in your room and take advantage of the room service or in-suite dining options.

When it’s time to relax you can head to the Discovery Lounge for good drinks and live music or the Panorama Deck for fresh air and gorgeous scenery. To really unwind head to the hot tub on the Sunset Deck or take advantage of the onboard massage service.

Celebrity Xperience

Celebrity Xperience Cruise Ship Sails to Galapagos

The Celebrity Xperience is a newly refurbished ship that has 24 double occupancy staterooms. Each stateroom is stylishly decorated and has ocean views. When you’re not relaxing in your stateroom you can mingle with other guests in the comfortable lounge bar or cozy library.

The dining room has laidback elegance and serves three buffet-style meals a day that include high-quality, sustainable seafood and other cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients. You can also partake in al fresco dining on deck for breakfast and lunch or on select nights for Dinner Under the Stars.

Celebrity Xploration

Celebrity Xploration ship provides trip to the Galapagos Islands in stylish comfort.

The Celebrity Xploration is the smallest of the three Celebrity ships that sail around the Galapagos. Holding just 16 guests, Celebrity Xploration provides an intimate journey to the sights of the Galapagos Islands. Each of the eight staterooms provide ocean views via a window or veranda and are luxuriously appointed.

Celebrity Xploration also features an inviting sun deck, relaxing lounge, al fresco dining for breakfast and lunch, and a sunny dining room that serves fresh ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible.

One more neat thing about Celebrity Xploration: it was recently announced that Nathaly Albán was named captain of Celebrity Xploration, which continues Celebrity Cruises’ dedication to advancing the role of women in leadership. This will be the first time in cruise industry history that a female seafarer will navigate the archipelago of the Galapagos as captain.

Included on All Celebrity Cruises to the Galapagos

Galagos Excursion
Galagos Excursion

Galapagos cruises are all-inclusive with Celebrity Cruises. That means all meals, drinks, and gratuities are included in the price of your cruise plus two daily guided excursions and shore landings. You’ll also get complimentary Wifi service while on board. In addition, your adventures off the ship will be even easier to have thanks to free use of snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, walking sticks, and binoculars.

Those wanting to learn more about the incredible region you’re sailing around will love the fact that certified naturalists from the Galapagos National Park will be traveling with you on your cruise. You can listen to lectures given by them during your cruise or chat with them in the dining room or lounge.

Book Your Galapagos Cruise

Interested in booking a cruise to Galapagos? Plan ahead and don’t wait to reserve your spot. Galapagos cruises often sell out months, and even years, in advance. To book your Galapagos cruise, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

Cruise Port of Call Spotlight: Sitka, Alaska

Things to Do in Sitka, Alaska During a Cruise

Sitka is a small port town located in southeast Alaska on an outer island just slightly southwest of Alaska’s capital city of Juneau. Sitka is known for its beauty – thick spruce forests line the perimeter of the coast and the water of the calm Sitka Sound glimmers under the vast Alaskan sky.

For animal lovers, Sitka is an especially exceptional port of call since it provides many opportunities to get up close to a variety of animals.

Sitka’s History

Sitka has an interesting historical aspect as well. It was controlled by Russia until the mid-1800s and you’ll see Russian influence in the architecture of the city center and through performances by local dancers and artists that pay homage to Russian culture. Long before Russia and America ever made its mark in Sitka, though, the land served as the home for the Tlingit clan. You can still find an incredible array of Tlingit culture in Sitka today, including hand-carved totem poles and traditional clan houses.

Top Sitka Things to Do: Easy to Do via Shore Excursions

Here are some ideas on what you can do during a day in port in Sitka with Celebrity Cruises.

Wilderness Sea Kayaking Adventure

This excursion gets you out onto the water in a thrilling way. You’ll start your day with a boat ride to a base camp and during the boat ride, you may even see whales and other sea creatures.

Once at the base camp, you’ll get situated in a two-person kayak and paddle off to explore a protected cove located near Sitka. Breathe in the fresh air and take in the scenery while you keep your eyes peeled for wildlife both under and above the sea.

Alaska Raptor Center and Cultural Discovery

See one of Alaska’s most coveted residents, the bald eagle, and learn about the cultural background of Sitka on this in-depth excursion.

You’ll first take a motor coach ride along a scenic roadway during which you can take in the rugged scenery before arriving at the Alaska Raptor Center, a sanctuary that is home to a number of bald eagles. You’ll tour the facility and learn about the rescue and rehabilitation side of the sanctuary, plus have time to tour the flight center and outside deck habitat area. After learning much more about these amazing birds, you’ll head onto the Sitka National Historical Park.

Sitka National Historical Park is on the land where the 1804 “Battle of Sitka” was fought between Russian settlers and the Tlingit clan. Today, you can see many historical and cultural sights in the park, including totem poles and carving rooms along with other cultural exhibits.

Next you’ll head to a folk dance and song performance before ending your day in downtown Sitka at St. Michael’s Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church which is home to impressive Icon Artwork from the 16th century.

Sea Otters, Raptors, and Bears Oh My

This tour also takes you to the Alaska Raptor Center, but eagles aren’t the only native Alaska wildlife you’ll see during your day in Sitka if you opt for the Sea Otters, Raptors, and Bears Oh My shore excursion. You’ll also get the fun adventure of boarding a catamaran cruise and taking it around Sitka Sound, where you’ll likely see sea otters frolicking in the water. You also may see whales, seals, porpoises, and sea lions. During the cruise you’ll also learn about Alaska’s water ecosystem from a naturalist guide.

Back on land, you’ll be introduced to the Alaskan brown bear at the Fortress of the Bear rescue center. You’ll learn interesting facts about the Alaskan brown bear while viewing orphaned bears from the observation deck.

Sitka Salmon Sportfishing

Sitka Sound is home to a large number of salmon and sportfishing is a fun pastime to do while in port. You’ll take off in a sportfish cruiser to a prime fishing spot where you can try and reel in a fish. You can either catch and release the fish, or opt to have it professionally processed and shipped back to your home to enjoy eating after your trip.

To book your Alaska cruise to Sitka, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

Italian Dreaming: Top Shore Excursions in Italy

Italy is one of the countries on a Mediterranean cruise that people dream about visiting. A cruise makes it easy to visit several of Italy’s most popular destinations all on one trip. Here are some of the most loved ports to visit and excellent shore excursions to do while visiting these beloved Italian ports.

Portofino: The Jewel of Italy’s Northern Coast

The harbor hugging town of Portofino is iconic for its candy colored beauty. But soaking in the views isn’t all there is to do there. On the Portofino, Rapallo, and St. Margherita: the Three Pearls of Paradise Gulf shore excursion you will visit a castle, historic church, delicious café, three different town centers each with its own charm, and incredible scenic viewpoints.

Another place to head while in Portofino is the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This small coastal area gets its name from the five tiny towns that dot it as Cinque Terre means Five Lands. Each of the five towns has its own ambiance and unique look and layout. You can visit the five towns via car, but most people start in Riomaggiore, the southern most town, and hike or take the train to each of the next four towns. Those who don’t want to deal with crowds and logistics can opt for the convenient Cinque Terre shore excursion that escorts you to the towns via coach, boat, and foot.

Venice: Explore the City Built on Water

Venice Shore Excursions

Part of the allure of Venice is getting lost in its myriad of streets. For cruise passengers on a strict timeframe, wandering aimlessly may not be the smartest way to spend your day in Venice. That’s where the Secret Venice Walking Tour shore excursion comes in. You’ll be escorted down alluring side streets and through hidden passages as you explore lesser visited plazas and sites before making your way to the famous Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge, and St. Mark’s Square.

If arts and crafts are more your thing, head to the nearby islands of Murano and Burano. The rhythmic names are home to some impressive art forms. In Murano you’ll find skilled glass blowers doing demonstrations and selling their wares. The famous Murano glass makes for a great souvenir and you can find creations of the glass that range from jewelry to vases to even clocks. In Burano, you’ll learn about the history of lace making in the area and can shop for some beautiful lace pieces, while also exploring Burano’s colorful streets.

And no visit to Venice would be complete without a gondola ride. Take in the sights of Venice as you drift along its waterways while being sung to on the Evening Gondola Serenade shore excursion.

Naples: Port of Call for Beauty and Ancient Worlds

Capri, Italy Shore Excursions

There are so many places you can visit while your ship is docked in Naples since it’s close to favorite destinations like the Amalfi Coast, the island of Capri, and the ancient site of Pompeii.

If you can’t make up your mind which to visit while in port, see them all on the Capri, Sorrento, and Pompeii shore excursion. You’ll take a boat ride to Capri where you’ll board the funicular to head up the island’s hillside to Capri Town to explore and shop. You’ll then head back to the mainland and be escorted on a drive down the Amalfi Coast to gorgeous Sorrento, a famous resort town of pink and orange hued buildings seemingly stacked on top of each other along the side of a hill overlooking the Bay of Naples. Next, you’ll be taken to Pompeii where you’ll learn about the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that preserved this city in ash thousands of years ago.

Livorno: Gateway to Famous Architecture and a Famous Countryside

When you’re in port in Livorno, you are within easy driving distance to Florence and Pisa. Experience both the Renaissance vibe of Florence’s architecture and the famous tower of Pisa on the Exclusive Pisa and Florence shore excursion.

If country ambiance is more your thing, spend your time in port in Livorno amid the beauty of Tuscany on the Tuscan Countryside San Gimignano and Volterra shore excursion. You’ll get the chance to visit these hilltop towns and take in the medieval architecture and sites of San Gimignano and see the beautiful Palazzo dei Priori in Volterra. During the shore excursion you’ll also get the opportunity to visit a local farmhouse to try some Tuscan cuisine.

Rome: Can’t Miss Historical Sites

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City
St. Peter’s Basilica

You’ll arrive for your time in Rome in the city of Civitavecchia, which is the gateway port to Rome for cruisers. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s hard to see a lot of Rome’s main sites in a day as well since there are so many of them! Still, those who want to maximize their time in the city and see as much as possible will be impressed with the Exclusive, Best of Rome shore excursion. You’ll visit the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Which shore excursion would you most want to go on? You can do so on a European cruise with Celebrity Cruises. Visit www.CelebrityCruises.com to find your perfect itinerary or speak with your travel agent.

Why Celebrity Cruises Sails to Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord

Celebrity Cruises strives to visit the best areas of a destination. In Alaska, that means being very selective about which glaciers to visit. Glacier Bay is often considered the most well-known glacier area in Alaska, but Celebrity Cruises doesn’t sail to it. Why? Because we think our passengers will be much more impressed and have a more memorable time seeing Sawyer Glacier (via Tracy Arm Fjord) and Hubbard Glacier. Here’s what makes these towering glaciers stand out from others.

Tracy Arm Fjord and Dawes Glacier: Alaska’s Premier Fjord with Iceberg Galores

Cruising Tracy Arm Fjord
Cruising Tracy Arm Fjord

Sawyer Glacier is accessed via Tracy Arm Fjord, which is located about 45 minutes south of Juneau. The 23-miles Tracy Arm Fjord route itself is full of natural wonders and gorgeous sights, with Sawyer Glacier being the pinnacle view.

When cruising with Celebrity, you’ll visit Sawyer Glacier on board the Celebrity Solstice, the first of Celebrity’s award-winning Solstice-class of ships, which will have you navigating the waters of Alaska in stylish comfort while offering plenty of viewing platforms to see the rugged scenery you’ll be passing. Some ships go just inside Tracy Arm Fjord and then offer shore excursions to get closer to Sawyer Glacier, but Celebrity Solstice sails up as far as possible.

The icebergs by Sawyer Glacier are formed from underwater calving by Sawyer Glacier and are the most impressive in Alaska. You’ll pass hundreds as your ship makes its way to Sawyer Glacier along Tracy Arm Fjord. However, it’s often the above water calving at Sawyer Glacier that people come to gawk at.

Calving occurs when large sections of ice breaks off from the glacier. When that happens above sea level it makes for a jaw-dropping spectacle as massive pieces of white-blue ice separate from the main glacier and fall into the sea below. It’s not only an incredible sight to behold – and one that happens regularly at Sawyer Glacier — but it’s also a remarkable thing to hear. The noise made by the calving is referred to as “white thunder” which gives you a sense for just how loud it can be! The largest chunks also create huge wakes in the water after they fall.

To make sure all passengers get prime viewing of the glacier, the captain of Celebrity Solstice pivots the ship so that balconies on the left, and then on the right, have a perfect view of the glacier and calving.

You’ll also witness a multitude of waterfalls as you make your way through Tracy Arm Fjord. How many waterfalls you’ll see glistening in the daylight depends on the amount of recent rainfall.

As for wildlife, you’ll likely see a variety of animals. Celebrity Solstice crosses the bar to Tracy Arm Fjord at sunrise and often there are whales that can be spotted at the entrance. Bald eagles make their nests along Tracy Arm Fjord, which you’re more likely to see from May through July. Also from May through July you’ll get the chance to see harbor seal pups and their mothers hanging out in the water and on glaciers. When the tide goes out along Tracy Arm Fjord you’ll get the opportunity to witness animals coming down to feed on the sea critters left behind on land; you also may even see bears feeding along the mud flats.

In the event that too much ice is along Tracy Arm Fjord and prevents the cruise ship from navigating it,  Celebrity Solstice visits Dawes Glacier via Endicott Arm instead of Tracy Arm Fjord and Sawyer Glacier. Like Tracy Arm Fjord, Endicott Arm is also part of the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness. And like Sawyer Glacier, Dawes Glacier is mightily impressive.

Dawes Glacier is roughly the same size as South Sawyer Glacier (the part of Sawyer Glacier that cruise ships typically visit) and also has consistent calving that often involves large pieces of ice crashing into the frigid water below. Getting to Dawes Glacier exposes cruise passengers to the sheer beauty of narrow fjord cruising with the ultimate reward of seeing a tidewater glacier that still produces awe-inspiring iceberg formations that are hard to find anywhere else in southeast Alaska.

Here are some other reasons visiting Sawyer Glacier or Dawes Glacier on board Celebrity Solstice is such a memorable experience:

-Naturalist and ocean scientist Brent Nixon provides informative, expert commentary throughout the transit of the fjord and also provides six or seven captivating talks on Alaska’s history, diverse wildlife, glaciers, and more during the duration of your cruise.

-Weather permitting, you can watch the spectacular calving from the helipad on board, which has a prime viewing location on the front of the ship. While you gaze at the glacier, Celebrity Cruises butlers bring out hot chocolate for you to sip. How cozy does that sound?

-There are sections of the fjord that are quiet zones, so no announcements are allowed to be made so passengers can enjoy the beauty of Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness area in silence.

Whether you end up sailing to Sawyer Glacier or Dawes Glacier, you won’t be disappointed in the wild, frozen landscape that awaits you.

Hubbard Glacier: The Giant Galloping Glacier

Cruising by Hubbard Glacier in Alaska
Celebrity Millennium by Hubbard Glacier

If the calving at Sawyer Glacier sounds exciting, then you’ll definitely want an itinerary that visits Hubbard Glacier, located in Disenchantment Bay between Seward and Skagway.

Hubbard Glacier is an advancing tidal glacier, which means it is moving toward the Gulf of Alaska through Disenchantment Bay, and it is the largest tidal glacier in North America – it is as large as Rhode Island! This also means it has some truly impressive calving as glaciers calve more when they are advancing (as opposed to the ones in Glacier Bay, which are receding). Hubbard Glacier calves about every 15 minutes and at times, sheets of ice as large as 10 or 15 stories tall will break off with a thunderous crack and cascade into the sea right in front of your eyes.

Nicknamed the Galloping Glacier for how fast it’s advancing (about 33 meters a day), Hubbard Glacier is a highlight for many cruisers and is actually the biggest glacier you can see from from a cruise ship. When visiting Hubbard Glacier with Celebrity Cruises, you will spend about 90 minutes at the face of Hubbard Glacier and the ship will rotate during her time at Hubbard Glacier, providing every guest from both side of the ship’s outer decks and private verandas spectacular viewing opportunities.

Though Hubbard Glacier is the highlight, the journey to get to it through Disenchantment Bay is also memorable since nine of the sixteen tallest peaks in North America are visible on approach to Hubbard Glacier. These peaks are part of the Wrangell St. Elias mountain range, which includes the famous Mount Fairweather. From Disenchantment Bay, Mount Fairweather is even more visible than from Glacier Bay.

You can visit Hubbard Glacier with Celebrity Cruises on board Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Infinity, and Celebrity Millennium.

Here are some other “cool” facts about Hubbard Glacier:

-It takes about 400 years for ice to traverse the length of the glacier.

-Hubbard contains enough ice that it could cover all of the Los Angeles Basin in six feet of ice.

-Hubbard Glacier is 76 miles long and spans six to seven miles wide and 25 to 30 stories tall at its face.

Ready to Go?

If you’re still not swayed that Hubbard Glacier and Sawyer Glacier are the glaciers you want to see while cruising Alaska, here are some more reasons Glacier Bay is worth skipping when visiting Alaska with limited time:

-Glacier Bay is a National Park so it has restrictions on announcements and activities.

-It take six hours to get up the bay to see two glaciers, both of which are receding and will likely have little to no calving while you’re there.

-Johns Hopkins Glacier is off limits to park visitors during the summer months, so you miss great wildlife viewing.

-In the 1920s, Glacier Bay was full of ice, however, 60 miles of ice have melted in the last 10 years so there is not much left to see now.

To summarize, Glacier Bay just isn’t what it was 25 to 30 years ago, due to the fact that most glaciers in Glacier Bay are now “hanging” glaciers, which have long since receded far back into the mountainside. People still associate Glacier Bay with Inside Passage cruising due to its history, but travelers in the know seek out the wonders of Hubbard Glacier, Sawyer Glacier, and Dawes Glacier.

A view of Hubbard Glacier.
Sailing by Hubbard Glacier during an Alaska cruise.

Alright, so now are you ready to book your cruise to see these iconic glaciers and fjords? Then visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent. Due to the limited length of the Alaska cruise season (May through September), popular sailing dates and the best cabins book up quickly so don’t delay if you’re ready to see these iconic glaciers up close.

Cruise Port Spotlight: Skagway, Alaska

Skagway, Alaska is located on the southeast strip of Alaska, and a cruise is a great way to visit this vibrant little city along Alaska’s famous Inside Passage water route.

Skagway is located north of Juneau, Alaska, and is a popular stop for Alaska cruise itineraries sailing the Inside Passage. Skagway is a fun town to wander in since it has an old wild west feel to it thanks to the building facades on the main street and an emphasis put on its gold rush past.

If your cruise stops there, here’s what you need to know about spending a day in this rugged port of call.

Getting into the Port of Skagway

The port of Skagway is a compact port to navigate, making it easy to get around and explore during your time in Skagway. Skagway has three docks and if cruising with Celebrity Cruises, your ship will likely pull into port at the Railroad Dock, which is an easy 10-15 minute walk from the main part of town.

Things to Do in Skagway

The Klondike Gold Rush that began in 1897 played an important part in Skagway’s history. At the Klondike Gold Rush National Park you can learn about this time period and how it influenced the town. This isn’t a typical park as it is more than just greenery – it also includes a historic building area where you can see preserved buildings from the Gold Rush era. The nature highlight of the park is Chilkoot Trail, which leads hikers to the Yukon goldfields. The entire hike is 33 miles one way, so the whole hike is not something you can achieve while in Skagway for a day, but you can explore the part of it close to the trailhead during your cruise port of call in Skagway.

Glacier Hike

Part of the thrill of Alaska is seeing monstrous glaciers, and Skagway is close to Harding Glacier and Denver Glacier The best way to hike one of the glaciers is to partake in a shore excursion that takes you there, either via train and a hike or a view-filled helicopter ride. You can even do a shore excursion that combines a helicopter ride to Denver Glacier and dog sledding.

A Vintage Train Ride

Amble over to the historic train depot where you can jump on a vintage train run by the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad and take it through mass forests and up the mountainside for gorgeous views. Turn your train ride into an adventure with the White Pass Railway and Trail Camp Adventure shore excursion, which adds on a jaunt down to a historic gold rush camp where you can try your hand at panning for gold.

Skagway by Water

Skagway isn’t just known for what’s on land. The water lapping at the port town’s edge is also great for exhilarating recreational and wildlife viewing opportunities. The Eagle Preserve Rafting Wildlife Quest shore excursion gets you out onto the water via an 18-foot raft, which your guide will navigate to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Watch for these majestic eagles flying overhead and also keep your eyes peeled on the shoreline for the chance to possibly see a bear or moose.

How You Can Visit Skagway on a Cruise

The Alaska cruise season goes from May to September. Celebrity Cruises currently has itineraries sailing to Skagway in 2018 on board the Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Millennium, and Celebrity Infinity. Itineraries depart from Seattle, Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Seward, Alaska. Click here to view itineraries and find your perfect one.

To book your Alaska cruise vacation, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

South Pacific Cruise Ports West Coasters Will Love

Don’t miss out on these cruise ports in Australia, New Zealand, and beyond

The South Pacific is sometimes overlooked when it comes to cruise destinations, but this gorgeous part of the world shouldn’t be. For guests on a Celebrity Cruises sailing around the South Pacific, the focal point of the region is typically the magnificent ports of Australia and New Zealand. Here are some of the ports west coasters will especially enjoy when cruising this area of the South Pacific.

If You Love Napa, California…
You’ll Love a Cruise to Picton, New Zealand

Picton is similar to the city of Napa in that it has a charming and walkable downtown area with restaurants and art galleries, and it is also a good jumping off point to world-class wines. For Picton, that wine region is Marlborough where you can sample the crisp, fruity flavors of the region’s beloved Sauvignon Blanc plus many other varietals.

If You Love San Francisco, California…
You’ll Love a Cruise to Sydney, Australia

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

San Francisco has the iconic Golden Gate Bridge amidst harbor views while Sydney has the Sydney Opera House gleaming against a water and sky filled frame. But just like in San Francisco, that’s not all there is to see in Sydney, and city lovers will find endless entertainment during a cruise in this cosmopolitan city. Partake in Sydney excursions that let you experience both historic and modern architecture, cuisine and wines, various forms of art, and even world-class beaches.

If You Love Cannon Beach, Oregon…
You’ll Love a Cruise to Hobart, Tasmania

Hobart, Tasmania
Hobart, Tasmania

The Oregon coast is home to rugged beaches, scenic lookout points, delicious oysters, and cute towns to walk through. Its close proximity to Willamette Valley also means it’s easy to find local wine or even a wine tasting shop. If you love those aspects of the Oregon coast, you’ll also enjoy a day in Hobart, Tasmania, a unique island off the coast of Australia where you’ll find panoramic mountainous views, wineries, historic architecture, and fresh oysters.

If You Love Hawaii…
You’ll Love a Cruise to Cairns, Australia

Cairns, Australia is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site teeming with colorful underwater life that offers some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world. Like Hawaii, it also has natural wonders on land as well. Visit a relaxing beach or hike through the Daintree rainforest.

If You Love Seattle, Washington….
You’ll Love a Cruise to Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland has a large harbor, happening dining scene, a sea life aquarium, and even a space needle! Ok, not quite on the last one, but Auckland is home to the Sky Tower, which slightly resembles Seattle’s famous Space Needle due to its skinny base and circular viewing tower. You can see all of Auckland’s best sites during a city highlights excursion while visiting.

If You Love…well…Anywhere By the Ocean…
You’ll Love a Cruise to French Polynesia

Select Australia and New Zealand itineraries for Celebrity Cruises also make detours to the lush, exotic islands of French Polynesia. In French Polynesia, cruisers who visit the main island of Tahiti can explore its bustling market or head to one of its seaside resorts for the day. If your cruise stops in Bora Bora, you definitely don’t want to miss getting in the clear, warm lagoon that glistens in mesmerizing shades of turquoise.

To find your dream South Pacific cruise to Australia and New Zealand that visits one of these cruise ports, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

Cruise Port Spotlight: Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Philipsburg, St. Maarten is the cruise gateway to the gorgeous island of St. Maarten / St. Martin. Why the dual spelling? Because this tropical Caribbean island is the smallest island in the world to be inhabited by two nations: French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten. When visiting, it’s easy to cross between the two sides and no matter which part of the island you’re exploring, you’ll find lots of friendly locals and gorgeous beaches. Each side of the island definitely has a different feel though, reflective of its home country – with a good dose of Caribbean charm thrown in. Here is a summary of what to expect and things to do when your ship has a port of call in Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

Getting to Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Your ship will dock on the Dutch side of the island in Philipsburg. To get to the central part of Philipsburg, you’ll need to depart the ship and join your shore excursion group or take the small water ferry across the bay. It’s a short ride and you’ll be deposited right by all the shops and restaurants of Philipsburg. Spend time browsing and shopping, then go for a walk on the sandy beach. If you’re feeling more adventurous, opt for a shore excursion while in port to have a more adventurous time.

Things to Do in St. Maarten / St. Martin

Besides walking around Philipsburg, here are some other things you may want to do while visiting the island of St. Maarten / St. Martin during your cruise.

Horseback Riding: A memorable way to explore the coast of St. Maarten is via a horseback riding excursion. There are scenic seaside trails you’ll go down atop your horse before riding right into the Caribbean water.

Sunset Cruise: The water surrounding St. Maarten consists of beautiful clear shades of aquamarine and turquoise. Watch the colors of both the sea and sky change from day to night on a sunset catamaran cruise, complete with Champagne.

Beach Excursion: If you’re all about beach time during your day in Philipsburg, opt for the Buccaneer Beach shore excursion, which effortlessly takes you to one of St. Maarten’s most popular beaches. You can lounge on the white sand, pop into the beach bar for a cool drink, or splash around in the warm water.

ATV Adventure: Feeling the need for some fast-paced action during your time on the island? Spend your day zooming around on an ATV. Drive your ATV up the hillside for scenic views and then back down to the coast for time on the beach.

Celebrity Cruises Active Adventure Ziplining

Ziplining: On the French side of the island up on Pic Paradis, the highest peak on the island, you’ll find Loterie Farm nature preserve, which hosts a thrilling adventure course over the treetop canopy with ziplines, bridges and rope swings.

The Newest Ship Sailing to St. Maarten

When your day is done in St. Maarten / St. Martin you’ll board your ship and enjoy the fun nightlife and luxe lounges that Celebrity Cruises is known for – which may be on Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, Celebrity Edge, since it will be offering an itinerary that has a port of call in St. Maarten when the ship begins sailing at the end of 2018.

Magic Carpet on Celebrity Edge
Celebrity Edge

This Celebrity Edge itinerary is a 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing that is scheduled to stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. You can visit even more ports of call and make your vacation a 14-night one by booking back-to-back sailings that includes Celebrity Edge’s other itinerary for the Western Caribbean and also visit Key West, Florida; Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; and George Town, Grand Cayman.

To find out more about Celebrity Edge, including its innovative Infinite Veranda staterooms and the industry-first Magic Carpet, a cantilevered terrace that “floats” between the decks serving as both a waiting lounge for tender boats while in port and a unique oceanview restaurant experience in the evenings, click here.

To book your Celebrity Edge or other Celebrity Cruises sailing to Philipsburg, St. Maarten visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

 

Where to Travel the Last Half of 2017

2017 is already half way over, but that still leaves plenty of time to fit in a vacation that will keep this year memorable for you. Not sure where to go? Here are some great ideas on where to travel during the last half of 2017, whether you’re looking for a winter getaway or a last minute summer cruise.

Keep Chasing the Warm Weather in 2017

If you’re already dreading the end of summer, keep the sunshine continuing with a cruise to a tropical or exotic destination.

The last half of 2017 is going to bring colder weather for most residents of the west coast. Luckily, the Caribbean isn’t too far away. Escape to the gorgeous islands of the Caribbean when the weather starts getting really bad in November and December before the craziness of the holidays hits on these sailings:

  • 12-Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise: Departs from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Castries, St. Lucia; St. George’s, Grenada; Bridgetown, Barbados; Roseau, Dominica; Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis.
  • 10-Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise: Departs from Fort Lauderdale with stops in St. Johns, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
  • 11-Night Dutch Antilles Caribbean Cruise: Departs from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and visits St. Croix, USVI; Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Johns, Antigua; Willemstad, Curacao; Oranjestad, Aruba; Kralendijk, Bonaire; and Charlotte Amelie, St. Thomas.

Been there, done that when it comes to the Caribbean? Consider traveling to the desert….in Asia. This Arabian Coast Immersion cruise from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will have you the envy of all your friends when you come back talking about seeing the wonders and scenery found in Muscat, Oman; Sir Bani Yas, UAE; Dubai, UAE; and multiple nights in port in Abu Dhabi.

That’s not the only cruise you can do in Asia out of Abu Dhabi. This roundtrip Arabian Sea and India Cruise which sails from Abu Dhabi in December is a unique way to see Goa, India; Mumbai, India; Muscat, Oman; and Dubai, UAE.

Always dreamed of visiting Southeast Asia? The 14-night Southeast Asia Immersion Cruise departing on December 10 on Celebrity Millennium from Singapore visits Bangkok, Thailand; Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and Hanoi, Vietnam, before ending in Hong Kong, China.

You can also make your Southeast Asia vacation a holiday cruise by getting on the ship when it’s in Hong Kong on December 24 and sailing on a roundtrip cruise that visits Hanoi (and Halong Bay), Vietnam; Hue, Vietnam; Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Hualien; Taiwan; and Taipei, Taiwan.

Another “it” destination to go to during the remainder of 2017 is the Galapagos, and a cruise is an amazing way to see it, especially on Celebrity’s Xpedition cruise ship, a smaller ship that expertly navigates the waters and islands of the Galapagos.

If you’re looking to escape winter weather, keep in mind our winter is summer in the southern hemisphere, which you can take advantage of with a December cruise around New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand in particular has been growing in popularity as a travel destination since the Lord of the Rings trilogy came out and now is the time to get there before it becomes even more popular.

Last Minute Cruises this Summer

If you haven’t yet gone on a vacation this summer, but still want to go on one, a last-minute cruise may be the perfect solution for you.

Alaska cruises only run from May through September, making them an ideal choice for a summer vacation that you can’t do at another time of year. Though Alaska cruises tend to book up fast, you’re in luck — there are still some staterooms and suites available on summer cruises to Alaska. Check out these two Alaska itineraries sailing the end of August:

Europe is also a coveted place to travel in summer thanks to gorgeous weather and sunny seaside towns.

This last minute sailing to the Mediterranean departs from Rome, Italy, on July 31 and visits Florence, Italy; Nice, France; Barcelona, Spain; Malaga, Spain; Gibraltar, United Kingdom; Cartagena, Spain; and Ibiza, Spain.

Thinking you’d rather travel somewhere in northern Europe? This last minute 12-night itinerary departs from Amsterdam, Netherlands, this August and has ports of call in Inverness, Scotland; Edinburgh, Scotland; Liverpool, England; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; Cork, Ireland; and Bruges, Brussels.

Feeling overwhelmed about booking last minute airfare to Europe? Call Celebrity Air Agents or your travel agent and enquire about Celebrity’s ChoiceAir option that offers competitive rates for airfare and is easy to add onto your cruise booking.

To book your cruise or find out more information about 2017 sailings with Celebrity Cruises, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.