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Crystal River Cruises New Savings Program!

It’s no secret that cruise lines and tour operators are going to have to put out some really good deals to lure people back into travel.  While 2020 may still be up in the air, there’s some good deals surfacing for 2021.  Crystal Cruises just put out a FANTASTIC opportunity!

Crystal River Cruises has a new Advance Purchase Savings program for select 2021 sailings where you could save up to 50% on a wide variety of European river cruises.

On over 60 sailings from March through December 2021, the promo offers a non-refundable fare of $3,699 per guest for the best available suite at the time of reservation, and the flexibility to change travel dates.

The key words here are NON-REFUNDABLE FULL PAYMENT which is fully due when you book.  So if you booked today, you’re total amount is due and it’s non refundable.  BUT, it is flexible so you can change to another date if you must.  Even with these terms, the deal is unbelievable!

Choose from 10 unique 7-night itineraries and explore the Danube and Rhine rivers on the Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel.

Example of a sailing: 

May 2, 2021 Budapest to Vilshofen Danube River sailing in a Deluxe Suite with Panoramic Balcony (S1) is $3,699 per person.

The normal rate per person is $7,799.

This savings program is capacity controlled and will be honored on a first-come first-serve basis.  It can end anytime.

Crystal River Cruises is:

  • All-Inclusive
  • Ultra Luxury
  • Europe’s only all-suite with Butler Service
  • Sailing with just 106 guests (most river cruise lines are anywhere from 140 to 190)

This is a fantastic opportunity to sail on Crystal for as low as $3,699 per person.  

Please call, text, Whatsapp Jerzy at 646-276-2727 with questions.

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Prediction: What the future of travel looks like in 2040

Here’s a fun and interesting article I came across.  There’s a new report released by Allianz Travel Insurance (they are a fantastic company providing travel insurance and a host of other things).  The article is “Future Travel Experience” which predicts what the travel industry will look like in the year 2040.

It’s written by renowned futurologist Ray Hammond who has 40 years experience writing about trends in the future.  He’s got a long record of accurate foresight and the UN has awarded him the Gold Medal of Services to Futurology in 2010.

Here’s what Ray Hammond predicts:

Virtual & Augmented Reality

Multi-sensory virtual reality will allow you toe “step into” your cruise ship and walk around.  Explore a city that you’ve been thinking about visiting. Walk around a museum half way around the world.  I know it may sound as if VR & AR will be taking the place of travel but that’s not the case. This may help you decide on what you’d like to experience in real life. 

 

Instant check-in thanks to new technology

Facial pattern recognition systems are already in experimental use at airports, and within 20 years computer systems that can reliably identify your face will be in widespread use to check-in seamlessly.

 

Hotel software assistants

While some luxury hotels will greet their guests with a human face, many business and budget hotels will use automated check-in and guidance to rooms provided by software assistants. Some hotels will even provide robotic baggage carriers to move luggage.

 

Super-fast trains

Cross-border train journeys will be smoother and much improved in many parts of the world. Computer networks and the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) will manage national and international rail networks, allowing trains to run faster and closer together. Train speed will also increase on most rail networks, with most high-speed trains running at speeds above 125 mph.

 

On-site 3D clothes printing

In 2040, it will be possible to send your measurements to your hotel in advance of your arrival and heavy or bulky clothes (e.g. raincoats or shoes) will have been printed out to await your arrival, reducing the amount of luggage the tourist of 2040 will have to transport. The low cost of 3D printed garments means travelers will be able to leave the clothes behind for local recycling.

 

Sustainable cruises

Cruise ships will be far more environmentally friendly than today’s giant ocean liners. Vessels will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), a light fossil fuel with almost no greenhouse gas emissions, transforming cruise vacations into one of the greenest ways to travel the world. The range of cruise destinations will also continue to grow, with Asia proving particularly fertile ground.

 

Space as a regular destination

For some travelers in 2040, the world may not be enough as it may not offer a sufficiently large choice of destinations. By that time, it’s likely that tourists will be flying to and from the Moon on a regular basis as they seek the experience of seeing the Earth from space.

A lot of these do not sound too far fetched, even space travel…

Let’s check back here in 2040 and we’ll see how Ray’s predictions came out!

New River Cruise Ships Coming in 2020

As you may know, the AmaMagna was the IT ship for 2019.  It’s a wonderful ship that sails the Danube River.  I talked a little about this in a podcast last week.  It’s twice the width of the average river ship.  It’s currently sailing on it’s inaugural season and it’s a wonderful ship!

So, what’s new for 2020?

AmaWaterways launched 3 new ships for 2019 including the AmaMagna.  For 2020 they’ll be introducing 1, the AmaSiena in July.  The AmaSiena will sail on the Main, Rhine, and Mosel.  Ama builds their own ships which is not a common practice.  Most river cruise lines lease ships.  Ama builds and owns them so they have all the say in how they want them build.  And they win awards all the time!

Tauck (luxury tour company in operation since 1925, fully all inclusive, and one of the best tour operators and river cruises in the world, these guys do it right).  Tauck is launching a new river ship for the Douro, ms Andorinha.  Very intimate with just 84 guests.  A beautiful ship to sail on Portugal’s river of gold.

Uniworld is going to be super busy in 2020.  They have 4 new ships (well, 3 new and 1 complete renovation).  Uniworld is ultra luxury and has a distinctive interior design that’s classically modern European elegance.

– S.S. La Venezia sails in Italy on the Po River.  This is their former ship, the River Countess.  It’s being completely redone and made into a Super Ship.  Uniworld has been busy refitting some of their older ships.

– S.S. Sao Gabriel will sail on the Douro.  Also intimate with just 84 guests.

– S.S. Sphinx launches on the Nile in Egypt this January 4.

– Mekong Jewel sets sail on the Mekong on January 3.  I did a Mekong river cruise last year and it was one of my favorite trips.  I highly recommend it.

And of course, there’s hardly a year without a new Viking river ship.  Viking has 1 coming in 2020, the Viking Osiris sailing on the Nile.

In the U.S.:

American Queen Steamboat company is introducing the American Countess sailing on the Mississippi.  This is a true paddlewheeler with a classic decor and that brings you back to another time.  It’s not completely new, the hull dates from 1995 but American Queen Steamboat Company is stripping it down to the steel frame, adding a new 60 foot midsection, so it’ll essentially be a new ship.

American Cruise lines has the American Jazz coming in August 2020 and the American Melody soon after.  Both will sail on the Mississippi – contemporary style and modern with a unique opening bow and retractable gangway at the front of the ship.

Feeling a bit more adventurous?  An Amazon River Cruise should be on your bucket list. It’s the wold’s second longest river and more than a third of the world’s animal species live in this vast river basin’s rainforest.

Aqua Expeditions (they sail luxury river cruises and yachts) is introducing the Aqua Nera.  Small ship with no more than 40 guests.  It’s a stunning ship, i’ll link some photos in the show notes.

New Ocean Cruise Ships Coming in 2020

There are several new mega ships coming out next year.  Virgin Voyages (new cruise line started by Sir Richard Branson) has the Scarlet Lady which is the first of 3 ships coming to Virgin, Celebrity has the Apex (not sure how much I like that name), Princess has the Enchanted Princess, Carnival has the Mardi Gras, MSC has Virtuosa, Royal Caribbean has the Odyssey of the Seas.  And there are another handful of new mega ships already slated for 2021.

But what about the smaller ships.

Hurtigruten has a new hybrid expedition ship coming.  This year they introduced the MS Roald Amundsen and a sister ship joins in 2020, the MS Fridtjof Nansen to sail on all corners of the globe including the polar regions.  Both ships are names after 2 heroes of polar expeditions.

 

Regent has the Seven Seas Splendor debuting in February.  With 750 guests it’s not exactly small ship but it’s a super luxurious and beautiful ship.

Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection is launching their new yacht line.  The first of 3 ships start sailing in February, called the Azora.  This yacht is amazing.  Under 300 guests.  World class accommodations and amenities.  Michelin starred chef, marina at the back of the ship.  Helicopter.  It’s not a ship, it’s a yacht!

Ponant is introducing 2 new ships – Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier).  They’ll have 6 new yachts since 2018 so they’ve introduced 2 every year the last few.  Ponant is a French luxury cruise line sailing to all corners of the world including the polar regions.  Their ships are named after French explorers.  Ponant’s unique feature to their ships is a multi-sensorial underwater lounge called the Blue Eye lounge.  Located beneath the water line, here you’ll be able to see and hear the passing marine life.  This is a world’s first and it looks totally amazing.  I’ll include a link to see some photos in the show notes and on my website, upclosetravel.com

Scenic is introducing the Scenic Eclipse II.  The Scenic Eclipse I debuted this year.  Scenic is an ultra-luxury river cruise line sailing all over the world.  They’re new to ocean cruising but the ships look magnificent.  They are a 5-star experience.  So, I have no doubts that their ships will be a huge hit.

Silversea will replace its Galapagos island ship with the new Silver Origin.  This new ship will be environmentally conscious while sailing in this delicate region.  But it is Silversea, so you can expect luxury, all suite, butler service, and the best Ecuadorian inspired cuisine.

Crystal Cruises is launching the Crystal Endeavor.  This is Crystals first expedition ship.

Lindblad is building their first new polar ship in its line’s history.  The National Geographic Endurance is coming in early 2020.  Fully stabilized with the highest ice class (PC5 Category A) of any purpose-built passenger vessel.  This means the Endurance will provide access to more polar environments opening previously unexplored opportunities.

Quark is also building a new ship designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, the Ultramarine.  2 twin engine helicopters on board, a robust portfolio of adventure activities – the Ultramarine will sail in Antarctica when it launches in 2020.

Viking Ocean has been on a tear building new ships. They’ve built 6 since 2015.  They have none scheduled for 2020 but starting in 2021 they have 12 scheduled over a 6-year period.

These are some amazing ships!

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us anytime at 305-814-8184.

Before you book your next trip online! Consider a Travel Advisor

Ready to plan your trip?  You may think that the best place to plan and book your trip is using a site like Priceline, Kayak, Expedia or any of those other online.

I’m here to tell you that you’ve got another option.  A travel advisors.  Yes, we are still out there!   

Many people think that the internet wiped us out.  But it actually made us stronger and better at our jobs! 

There are several advantages to booking with a travel advisor: 

  • Speak to a real life human.  We can give you recommendations, other options you may not have thought about, and we can answer questions that you have now, or later on after you’ve booked your trip. 
  • Access to us.  When you book with me, you have my cell number and can reach me 7 days a week by phone call, text, or email.   
  • Exceptional service.  Like having your very own travel concierge. 
  • A better rate!  Most people think that you’ll get the best rate by booking on those other sites online.  99% if the time, a travel advisor will do better!   
  • We don’t cost you anything!  You’re not paying a penny more for the better service.   

There’s many more pluses!  Contact me to find out more.  And if you prefer to call someone else, there’s tens of thousands of us all over the country! 

And one more thing, by using a travel advisor, you’re supporting a small business!  I thank you for that!

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