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Travel Experts Share 5 Reasons to Book a Cruise

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Cruise lines continue to up the ante for travelers, offering new options, exciting destinations and upgraded services and amenities that, together, create amazing value and an exciting vacation.

Travel advisors know the ins and outs of each cruise line and can help travelers match the right cruise to them. For those curious about what a vacation at sea has in store, a couple of experts weigh in on some the best reasons to book a cruise now.

A Getaway for Everyone

Cruises provide a great option for families, providing alone time for both kids and parents.

“Most cruise lines have incredible programs designed just for younger travelers,” said Lauren Cardinale, Travel Design Co., affiliated with Oasis Travel Network.

“Family vacations are great-but so are parents’ getaways,” Cardinale added. Perhaps you’re not able to arrange for a sitter to watch the children while you get away for an anniversary weekend. Take the kids with you! They can enjoy the kids’ club during the day while the two of you spend time together.”

Exciting Entertainment

From shows and dancing to culinary classes and language lessons, there is seemingly no end to the activities available.

PHOTO: Go-Kart Race Track aboard Norwegian Joy. (photo via Norwegian Cruise Line)

“There are many options for entertainment onboard,” said Cardinale. “You can take in a Broadway-style show; laugh the night away at a comedy show; take part in a cooking class, wine tasting, or mixology lesson; visit an art gallery and partake in a live auction; try your hand at the craps table or a game of poker in the onboard casino; and join other guests in daily games like trivia, ring toss, the Newlywed game, and dance contests.”

Adventure-lovers will also find activities just for them.

“Thrill-seekers can soar high above in a zipline, on a ropes course, or race down a waterslide,” she said. “The options are endless—and they’re typically included with the price of the cruise.”

Culinary Explorations

PHOTO: Jag_cz/iStock/Getty Images Plus (photo courtesy of Jag_cz/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Cruises offer a wealth of culinary adventures where everyone can find something they love to eat.

“Cruises provide endless dining options for even the pickiest of eaters,” said Cardinale. “From soft-serve ice cream bars and fries at the buffet to a five-course steak dinner, there is something for everyone. You also have the choice to dine together or separately. Cruise lines are even accommodating to all dietary needs, with advanced notice.”

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Flexibility

“While consulting a travel advisor to pre-book your specialty dining and excursions is recommended, it isn’t necessary in order to enjoy the vacation,” said Cardinale. “I have worked with many couples and families who decide not to pre-plan anything and they come back saying it was the best vacation they’ve taken.

Leaving yourself free to explore and discover can be very relaxing.

“Our lives are over-scheduled so taking a cruise where the schedule is already made for you, dining is available when and where you want it, and all you have to do is walk off to explore the port towns or hail a taxi for the nearest beach, might be exactly the vacation you need,” she said.

Unmatched Value

“The value of cruising is unmatched,” said Kameish Stanley, vice president of marketing for SmartCruiser.com. “For example, most cruise lines include amenities such as beverage packages, internet access, gratuities, specialty dining and even kids-sail-free perks.”

While onboard options abound, there are also a variety of destinations to choose from.

“Cruises offer the convenience of visiting multiple destinations, but only needing to unpack once,” said Stanley.

No two cruise lines are alike either, meaning there is a lot of variety from which to choose.

“With hundreds of ships and multiple cruise lines ranging from contemporary to luxury to river cruising, there is something for everyone,” Stanley noted.

“Cruising is the best value for travelers when you consider all of the inclusions,” added Cardinale. “Comparing the price of a cruise complete with inter-island transfers, overnight accommodations, all meals and beverages, and entertainment, a cruise will almost always come out on top.”

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source |

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Cruises

Viking Extends Suspension of Cruising Through August 31

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Viking has further suspended operations through Aug. 31, 2020. The company initially announced it would stop cruising on March 11.

“We were the first cruise line to announce a temporary suspension of operations. We have continued to evaluate the situation, responding accordingly,” Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen wrote in a May 28 post on the company website. “While restrictions related to COVID-19 are beginning to ease in some countries, travel remains complicated. Therefore, we have made the decision to extend our temporary suspension of operations through Aug. 31, 2020.”

The company is offering 125 percent credit to passengers booked on canceled voyages. “It is fully transferable, allowing you to gift it to someone with whom you would like to share the joys of travel. It can be applied within the next 24 months to any river, ocean or expedition cruise,” Hagen wrote. “If you are unable to use your voucher by the expiration date, simply return your expired voucher to Viking, and we will send you a refund equal to the original amount paid to Viking.”

For more details on credits and refunds, click here.

Hagen said the company is developing new safety protocols and taking care of its crew members.

“We have always had the highest standards for health and cleanliness—and are now developing additional protocols to make traveling with Viking even safer. We will be sharing more information about this very soon,” he wrote. “Also, during this time of non-operation, we are further training our crew and preparing our fleet to welcome you onboard again. Since our first announcement, many of you have expressed concern for our crew, and I want to reassure you that we are continuing to take good care of them.”

Hagen said he is seeing signs of hope in Europe. “I am delighted to note that in the past couple of weeks, hope has emerged here in Europe. In Switzerland, restaurants and shops opened two weeks ago, and I must admit it was a great treat to go to my favorite Italian restaurant the other day. Last week, I had my first day in the office – with a mask and proper distancing. It now also looks as though the local borders in Europe are starting to open up.”

Viking plans to launch the ocean ship Viking Venus Early next year and, in 2022, will welcome new expedition vessels, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, that will sail the Arctic, Antarctic and North America’s Great Lakes, and a modern river vessel, Viking Mississippi.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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