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Cruise Lines Offering Free Airfare on Select 2020 European River Cruises



Grand Circle Cruise Line has unveiled a new offer for free or low-cost airfare, available from all U.S. cities, on its Spring 2020 river cruises in France. The bargain applies to departures from March through June 2020 that are booked by September 30, 2019.

Also today, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection likewise announced its own limited-time offer for free airfare out of many U.S. gateways when travelers book select 2020 European and Russian sailings by October 31, 2019. As part of the promotion, customers can also upgrade to business-class air for $1,999 per person.

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Grand Circle’s award-winning fleet of privately-owned ships traverses iconic waterways all across Europe, offering a warmer, more intimate onboard atmosphere than other cruise operators. Small-ship vessels carry between 86 and 162 passengers, with land explorations and excursions led in groups of 38 to 45 by dedicated Grand Circle Program Directors, who accompany guests throughout the trip to provide an insider’s perspective on the unique sights and scenery of each destination.

The company’s Exclusive Discovery Series events take visitors deeper into the culture of their destination, offering a firsthand look at locals’ day-to-day lives through Home-Hosted meals, visits to local schools through Grand Circle Foundation’s World Classroom initiative and more. Each itinerary also incorporates ample free time for travelers to make their own meaningful memories and personal discoveries.

The Free Airfare to France promotion applies to the following itineraries from March through June 2020:

The Seine: Paris to Normandy – Thirteen days from $2,695 USD, which includes free airfare from all U.S. cities (a savings of up to $3,000 per couple)

Cruising Burgundy & Provence to the Cote d’Azur – Thirteen days from $2,995, which includes free airfare from all U.S. cities (a savings of up to $3,200 per couple)

Passengers on the Seine River Cruise will begin in Paris and wend their way into France’s heartland, soaking in the lovely landscapes of Giverny and spending a day in Normandy examining the area’s WWII legacy.

The Rhone River Cruise also starts out from Paris aboard Grand Circle Cruise Line’s newest fleet addition, the luxurious M/S River Chanson, which boasts all outside cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows. Highlights along the route include a tour of historic Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an in-depth look into the ancient history of Vienne, which was once a major center of the Roman Empire, and remains well-known for its Roman amphitheater and Corinthian columns.

Prospective Grand Circle Cruise Line passengers should call 1-800-221-2610 and mention code RICP 100 by September 30, 2019, to take advantage of these seasonal savings.

U by Uniworld The B on the Seine
U by Uniworld will no longer focus just on millennials for its black riverboats, such as The B.

The Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s free airfare offer applies to eighteen of its European and Russian itineraries, with over 50 available departure dates available in 2020. Eligible itineraries must be booked by October 31, 2019, to take advantage of this promotion.

Uniworld cruise-goers can also receive a further ten percent off the price of their trip with an early booking discount when they reserve by September 30, 2019, and pay in full at the time of booking.

Uniworld’s free airfare offer applies to the following itineraries:

Enchanting Danube – Eight days from Budapest to Passau

Remarkable Rhine & Historic Holland – Eleven days from Amsterdam to Basel

Tulips & Windmills – Ten days from Amsterdam to Antwerp

Alluring Amsterdam & Vienna – Fifteen days from Vienna to Amsterdam

Holland & Belgium at Tulip Time – Eight days from Brussels to Amsterdam

Rhine, Moselle & Blissful Baden-Baden – Twelve days from Baden-Baden to Frankfurt

Rhine & Moselle – Ten days from Strasbourg to Frankfurt

Castles Along the Rhine – Eight days from Basel to Amsterdam

Paris & Normandy – Eight days from Paris to Paris

Brilliant Bordeaux – Eight days from Bordeaux to Bordeaux

A Portrait of Majestic France – Fifteen days from Paris to Bordeaux

Burgundy & Provence – Eight days from Avignon to Lyon

Gems of Northern Italy – Ten days from Milan to Venice

Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy – Eight days from Venice to Venice

Highlights of Eastern Europe – Ten days from Budapest to Bucharest

Delightful Danube – Eight days from Budapest to Nuremberg

Delightful Danube & Prague – Ten days from Budapest to Prague

Imperial Waterways of Russia – Twelve days from Moscow to St. Petersburg

Customers must call Uniworld directly at 1-866-211-4588 to take advantage of free economy-class airfare included in their rate.

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Cruise Ship Denied by Two Caribbean Ports Amid Coronavirus Outbreak



An MSC Cruises ship was turned away from at least two ports in the Caribbean on Tuesday after a crew member fell ill amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to The New York Times, MSC Meraviglia was denied from docking in both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands after port authorities learned that a crew member from the Philippines was ill. However, the Associated Press reported that the employee was believed to be sick with the common seasonal flu.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled,” Dwayne Seymour, health minister of the Cayman Islands, said in a statement.

The cruise line expressed frustration over the repeated denial, claiming that the ill crew member and all passengers on the ship had passed a health screening prior to embarking.

“The crew member had traveled to Miami from Manila, via direct connection in Istanbul,” MSC Cruises said in a statement to the Times. “He developed symptoms of common flu and tested positive to Type A influenza after he visited the ship’s 24/7 Medical Center while already on board. He has no other symptoms.”

The ship, which is carrying more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members, is in the midst of a 15-day roundtrip sailing from Miami that had included scheduled stops in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras.

MSC Meraviglia isn’t the first ship to be turned away from port amid fears of the spreading coronavirus and likely won’t be the last. Tuesday’s unexpected hiccup comes just one week after MSC Cruises updated MSC Bellissima’s Grand Voyage itinerary to Asia.

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