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Wave Season Offers Cruise Passengers Bonus Amenities

It’s a new year and that means cruise lines are rolling out new wave season sales through the end of March. So, it’s also a perfect time for travelers interested in the glaciers of Alaska, the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean, or the sunny Mediterranean to explore opportunities with ships that are new for 2018.

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas launches its maiden voyage in April, with room for nearly 7,000 passengers. The ship is divided into seven neighborhoods designed for relaxation and entertainment, including tree-lined Central Park, the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, and the Royal Promenade, with its luxury shopping. Attractions include the Ultimate Abyss, a 10-story slide, and Splashaway Bay, a water park designed for kids. Symphony of the Seas will sail throughout the Mediterranean this summer before heading to Miami in November, where she’ll embark on cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.

Norwegian Bliss, the newest ship from Norwegian Cruise Line, sets sail for Alaska this summer and, beginning in November, travels to the Eastern Caribbean from its port in Miami. The ship, which can accommodate 4,000 passengers, will have a 180-degree observation lounge designed to provide spectacular views of Alaska’s mountains and glaciers, as well as the Caribbean’s turquoise waters. Passengers can put their driving skills to the test in electric go-carts on the largest racetrack at sea, play a game of laser tag set in an abandoned spaceship, or try their luck in the ship’s casino.

Known for its popular river cruises, Viking is expanding its fleet of oceangoing ships. The all-veranda Orion launches in July with room for 930 guests. The design pays tribute to the company’s Scandinavian heritage. A Nordic-style spa includes a traditional sauna as well as a snow grotto, with snowflakes gently descending from the ceiling. The Orion’s itineraries include Barcelona to Rome and Venice to Athens. And the ship’s programming will feature the cultural enrichment for which Viking is famous, from vintage wine and food inspired by its ports of call to talks that focus on local history. 

Also in 2018, Travel Leaders Group will expand its Distinctive Voyages, cruises that offer exclusive, bonus amenities such as private cocktail receptions, an onboard host, and carefully curated shore events that enable passengers to connect with local culture. Seabourn’s Ovation, which will spend the summer in Europe, offers 12 Distinctive Voyages cruises beginning in May. The Azamara Pursuit will sail in Europe and South America, as well as make transatlantic crossings, beginning in August after undergoing a complete makeover. There will be five Distinctive Voyages in 2018. In December, Celebrity Cruises launches the Celebrity Edge, which will sail in the Caribbean. Among the features are two-story Edge Villas and the Magic Carpet, a cantilevered, floating platform rising 13 stories above sea level that will offer a full bar and live music. Non-hosted amenity sailings will be offered at first, with Distinctive Voyages added later.

For help planning a cruise in 2018, contact Travel Leaders COS at 800-273-0793, locally 719-597-0004, or send us an email at

© Travel Leaders Group