Thursday 2 May 2013

From golden beaches to breathtaking glaciers: where our Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises ships spend the Australian winter

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Ever wonder where our cruise ships head to after the heady days of an Australian summer? Cruise ships follow the sun and for Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas, and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice, they make a beeline for the Alaskan summer.

There are few things quite as breathtaking as seeing Alaska by sea, and no better way to do so than on a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity cruise. Both cruise lines have just announced their line-up in 2014, so if an Alaskan cruise is on your bucket list, there are plenty of sailings and land tours to choose from.

Experiencing Alaska with Royal Caribbean International in 2014
After 25 years of sailing the region, Royal Caribbean International knows a thing or two about delivering the magnificence of the Alaskan frontier on land and sea.  The 2014 Alaska cruise and cruisetour season is Royal Caribbean’s 25th season and the recently revitalised Radiance of the Seas andRhapsody of the Seas will return to Alaskan waters offering 34 sailings on exciting seven-night itineraries from Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington.  For a range of short webisodes about Royal Caribbean’s Alaska experience, please visit

Radiance of the Seas
  • Radiance of the Seas will alternate North- and Southbound seven-night itineraries from Vancouver and Seward, respectively. Guests will cruise the Inside Passage and the monumental Hubbard Glacier, as well as call at Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska.
  • Radiance of the Seas’ Alaska season will be bookended with a seven-night itinerary, sailing roundtrip from Vancouver on May 9 and Sept. 5, calling at Icy Strait Point, Juneau, and Ketchikan, and cruising up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier. 
Rhapsody of the Seas
·         Rhapsody of the Seas will sail seven-night, roundtrip itineraries to Sawyer Glacier from Seattle, Wash. Guests will cruise the Inside Passage and call at Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, British Columbia.
·         Two similar seven-night itineraries that call at Ketchikan instead of Victoria will sail from Vancouver to Seattle on May 16 and vice versa on Aug. 29.

Fares for a seven-night Alaska Southbound cruise on Radiance of the Seas departing 23 May 2014 starts from AU$769 per person, while fares  for a seven-night Alaska Northbound cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas departing 16 May 2014, start from AU$849 per person.

Shore Excursions
Guests can choose from an extensive list of shore excursions to further explore the untamed Alaskan frontier.
  • At Icy Strait Point, adventure seeking guests can ride the world’s longest ZipRider zip line – 1,615m long – that accelerates up to 96.5km per hour over a lush forest to the beach 394m below.
  • For the whole family, the Gold Rush Sled Dogs and White Pass Train Adventure in Skagway is an exciting ride on the world-famous, narrow-gauge White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, followed by meeting a veteran Iditarod musher and his dogsled team with a chance to pet some pups, or the opportunity to go off-roading through Tongas National Park and canoeing in Lake Harriet Hunt on Backcountry Jeep and Canoe Safari from Ketchikan.
Celebrity Cruises offers modern luxury Alaskan cruising in 2014
Celebrity Cruises will offer even more ways to see Alaska in modern and luxurious style in 2014, introducing exclusive new shore excursions and the services of Destination Concierges with specialised knowledge about the region. Three sleek Celebrity Cruises ships – including Celebrity Solstice, the largest ship to be based in Alaska - will provide guests with Celebrity’s modern luxury ambience combined with the breathtaking vistas and exhilarating experiences available only in Alaska:
  • The flagship of Celebrity’s brand-defining Solstice Class fleet, Celebrity Solstice, will present seven-night roundtrip cruises from Seattle, Wash., with cruises through Alaska’s Inside Passage and visits to Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjord/Sawyer Glacier, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, along with Victoria, B.C. The ship’s Alaska season will begin May 8, 2014, with an eight-night sailing from Vancouver ending in Seattle, while the season will conclude with an 11-night cruise departing Seattle September 12, 2014, ending in Vancouver.
  • Celebrity Millennium will offer seven-night sailings from Vancouver, B.C. and Seward, Alaska, each featuring cruises through the Inside Passage, several hours beside the breathtaking, ice-blue Hubbard Glacier, and visits to Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, and Ketchikan.
  • Celebrity Century will present seven-night vacations roundtrip from Vancouver, featuring  cruises through the Inside Passage, several hours beside Hubbard Glacier, and visits to Juneau, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point. The ship also will offer an 11-night voyage from Vancouver to San Francisco, complete with visits to five Alaskan destinations and Victoria, B.C., followed by a 12-night Golden Gate and Alaska sailing roundtrip from San Francisco, Calif., with visits to six Alaskan destinations, as well as Victoria, B.C. 
Fare for a seven- night Alaska Hubbard cruise on Celebrity Century departing 18 May 2014 start from AU$909 per person, a seven- night Alaska Northern Glacier cruise on Celebrity Millennium departing 23 May 2014 start from AU$809 per person and an-eight night Alaska Sawyer Glacier cruise on Celebrity Solstice departing 8 May 2014 starts from AU$1119 per person. 

Shore excursions
Celebrity also is introducing an exclusive and entirely new collection of elite land-based adventures, available nowhere else. Named “Celebrity Exclusives,” the collection will feature personalized experiences for individuals or small parties no larger than 15 guests. Some Celebrity Exclusives in Alaska include:
  • An adventure from Juneau to Alaska’s famed Taku Glacier Lodge, an isolated location accessible only via seaplane. The flight transports guests over five breathtaking glaciers flowing from the Juneau Icefield, deep blue crevasses, snow-capped mountains, and the lush Tongass National Forest, topped with an authentic Alaskan King Salmon feast amidst a glacier view, followed by whale watching aboard an expedition-style deluxe catamaran.
  • Modern luxury meets wilderness, beginning with SUV limousine transportation from the pier to a floatplane that flies over the rugged Tongass National Forest, ice-blue glaciers and the Misty Fjords National Monument. While interacting with the pilot through two-way communication on noise-canceling headsets, guests will view walls of granite plunging 914m into the fjords; lush forests of spruce, hemlock and cedar on snowcapped mountain peaks; bald eagle sightings, and an exhilarating landing with a picnic lunch in the fresh mountain air.
Every Celebrity ship in 2014 will offer the services of a Destination Concierge, an expert with in-depth knowledge of the ports of call on every itinerary. They will be able to guide Celebrity’s guests through every aspect of their adventures on land, including Celebrity Exclusives, or to create special excursions tailored precisely for individual guests’ preferences.

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