Emirates revamps its premium offering in First and Business Class

Emirates has refreshed its premium offering with new luxury products in First and Business Class for a more comfortable travel experience. The new products stem from collaborations with BYREDO skincare, Bowers & Wilkins and Emirates’ longstanding partnership with Bulgari for its refreshed amenity kits.

BYREDO for Emirates Wellness kit

Emirates First Class customers will find the BYREDO travel wellness range of skincare in their private suites. The Chamomile collections were exclusively created for Emirates for a relaxing and hydrating experience inflight. The collection by European luxury brand, BYREDO, was first introduced in Emirates’ new fully enclosed suites on the Boeing 777 last year and is now being rolled out across the fleet. All the products in the collection are manufactured using the best raw materials with a distinct focus on craft and quality.

Products included in the BYREDO for Emirates Wellness kit are:

  • Cleansing Face Towelette, leaving a clean base to enjoy the maximum benefit from skincare.
  • Facial Toner brings freshness and essential hydration, improving overall skin texture.
  • Eye Cream gently hydrates sensitive skin around the eye leaving it softer and suppler.
  • Chamomile roll-on Sleep Oil to apply on pulse points to ease into relaxation.
  • Chamomile Pillow Mist spray for textile to create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere
  • The kits are paired with a faux leather notebook and branded pen.

Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones

To amplify the viewing experience on ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system, the airline is rolling out brand new Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones in First Class. These headphones were designed by award-winning audio brand Bowers & Wilkins and created exclusively for Emirates using a unique hybrid noise cancellation technology optimised for the Emirates First Class cabins.

The headphones are lightweight and made of the finest materials, including aluminium and sheepskin leather for a comfortable fit. Customers can use the headphones to view up to 3,500 channels of on-demand entertainment on a 32-inch TV screen. The entertainment selection on ice across all classes includes up to 950 movies, 400 TV channels and 2,400 music and podcast channels. The headphones’ sound quality can also be tested on The Bowers & Wilkins Superior Sound playlist, a selection of tracks selected for their acoustic excellence available on ice. 

Bulgari Amenity Kits

Emirates continues its longstanding partnership with Bulgari for the latest designs of the airline’s exclusive kit bags. The new set of amenity kits for both First and Business Class feature Bulgari’s fragrance – Eau Parfumée Au Thé Vert (Green Tea) – and contain skincare essentials to keep customers feeling fresh and pampered throughout the flight.

The First Class kit bags, made from faux leather, come in eight designs with a new range of colours for men and women. Eight additional designs are available in Business Class – four for men and four for women. The amenity kits are available on long-haul overnight flights and designs are refreshed every nine months. The bags have been designed for multipurpose uses after the flight to store headphones, make up or jewelry.

In addition to the Bulgari amenity kits, First Class customers will also be given Hydra Active moisturising sleep suits on long haul overnight flights.

Fans of the First Class experience can purchase the Emirates sleep suits, First Class blanket or the Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones from the Emirates Official Stores.

Fine dining on Emirates

On all Emirates flights, customers can enjoy a selection of the finest cuisine prepared by gourmet chefs, accompanied by some of the most exclusive wines, champagnes and spirits in the world. Emirates recently revamped its spirits offering across all classes to include exclusives like the Hennessy Paradis Imperial and introduced the Emirates Vintage Collection – a selection of fine wines which have been stored for up to 15 years. This includes the Château Cheval Blanc 2004, Château Haut Brion 2004, Château Mouton Rothschild 2001 and Château Margaux 1998 served in First Class on select routes.

In Business Class, Emirates is serving exclusive champagnes like the Moët & Chandon Rosé Imperial served on all flights from Dubai later this month. A global on board exclusive, Veuve Clicquot Extra Brut Extra Old, will also be available for a limited time on select routes.

Emirates’ premium onboard experience is complemented by on ground comfort with a network of 42 dedicated Emirates Lounges located within major airports around the globe, including its newly-opened Cairo lounge, refurbished New York lounge at John F Kennedy International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport lounge. First and Business Class passengers can also travel to and from the airport via Emirates’ complimentary Chauffeur-drive service – available in over 70 cities including Hong Kong and the latest destination Santiago.

To book a journey, or for more information, please visit www.emirates.com/hk.

 

Emirates pioneers web virtual reality technology

Emirates has introduced 3D seat models on emirates.com, becoming the first airline to introduce web virtual reality (VR) technology on its digital platform. The 3D seat model is a visualisation engine that displays an immersive 3D 360 degree view of the interior of the Emirates A380 and the Emirates Boeing 777, giving customers a chance to explore their seats, the spacious cabin and the Emirates onboard product.

This new feature available on emirates.com allows users to navigate through the Economy, Business and First Class cabins, as well as the iconic Onboard Lounge and Shower Spa on the Emirates A380 using navigational hotspots.

Alex Knigge, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand (Digital), said: “As we continually invest to provide our customers with an unmatched travel experience onboard and on the ground, we also work very hard to give our customers a world-class digital experience. We are pleased to be the world’s first airline to introduce this cutting edge web VR technology, which offers our customers an immersive opportunity to learn more about the fantastic Emirates experience before they step on board. In our usability tests with customers, we found that they particularly appreciated the 3D seat and cabin models when selecting their seats.”

The high-quality 3D generated graphics offer an outstanding render that is close to reality. The immersive experience is now available for the three class Emirates A380 but will soon include renderings of Emirates’ entire fleet including all configurations of the A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft.

The 3D 360 degree views of the cabins also feature a virtual reality element for a more immersive experience. Users can enjoy hands-free cabin navigation and seat selection by using any VR headset like Google Cardboard.  This award-winning technology is compatible with all devices without the need for external applications or plugins. The 3D seat models were created in partnership with Renacen who were awarded the Crystal Cabin for the best visionary concept for this project at the recent Crystal Cabin Awards.

Customers accessing emirates.com via their mobile devices or the Emirates app for iOS and Android will also be able to explore their seats before checking in online with the 3D seat map. The tool allows customers to navigate from one seat to another, and even allows would-be customers to book their preferred seats from within the 3D environment.

In addition to the new 3D cabin models, new product videos are available on emirates.comwhich illustrate the end to end travel experience across all cabins. The videos serve as a guide, giving new customers a clear idea of all the unique features of the Emirates travel experience. Emirates also continues to conduct frequent usability studies with customers and frequent flyers in different geographies to identify further opportunities to enhance its digital user experience.

About this technology, please visit https://www.emirates.com/english/experience/seating/3d-seatmap/

 

PEREGRINE ADVENTURES’ FIRST NEW BUILD STARTS CRUISING THE GALAPAGOS

Peregrine Adventures’ first custom-built expedition vessel has begun cruising the Galapagos as part of the company’s burgeoning small-ship Adventure Cruising program which has grown 35 per cent year to date.

One of the newest and most sustainable ships operating in the Galapagos, Grand Queen Beatriz, named after the matriarch of the Galapagueno family who built and own the vessel, departed on her maiden voyage from Puerto Baquerizo Morena in San Cristobal on Saturday July 1.

The first voyage was a combination of Peregrine’s 10-day Classic Galapagos and six-day Galapagos Encounter, offering guests the chance to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin with a hike on Bartolome, iguana and sea lion spotting at Plaza Sur and Santa Fe, and encounters with ancient giant tortoise at San Cristobal.

The 30-metre vessel has been designed with comfort and space in mind. The ship’s nine cabins have outward-facing windows, ensuite bathrooms, are on average double the size of similar accommodation found on other boats in the region and are spread over three decks with separate communal areas, offering extra privacy and space. The 300-tonne boat is also home to a dining room, two bars, lounge and TV area, and a sun deck with a jacuzzi. The upper deck boasts private balcony rooms.

With a maximum of 16 guests and eight crew, the ship offers a ratio of one crew member to every two guests.

As a carbon-neutral travel company which prides itself on a low-impact travel model, the dedicated Peregrine vessel has solar panels to assist with power generation and is fitted with the latest technology ensuring the best fuel efficiency possible. The boat has been designed by a local boat builder, making use of local materials and creating local jobs.

Peregrine banned single-use plastics onboard its adventure cruises this year, with passengers given reusable water bottles to fill using drinking water available on the ship.

Filippos Venetopoulos, Peregrine’s Adventure Cruising general manager, says Queen Bea, as she has become known, was launched in response to demand from environmentally-conscious travellers in the region.

“While we have been cruising the Galapagos for more than 20 years, now that we have our own boat, we can offer an even more authentic Peregrine experience at sea; a small group of no more than 16 guests, an immersive experience focusing on discovery and education, comfort and space, insightful and attentive guides and the newest and most sustainable cruise experience available in the region,” Venetopoulos said.

“Peregrine’s style of cruising is all about immersing yourself in a place, learning about the culture and visiting spectacular natural environments. Queen Bea will offer a boutique expedition cruising experience including multiple shore activities each day from leisurely beach walks to volcanic treks, and open water or beach snorkelling offering the chance to swim with sea lions and turtles.”

“We were thrilled to see that the majority of guests on the maiden voyage hailed from Australia and expect to see Australian and New Zealand travellers continue to make up about 40 per cent of guests on Queen Bea.”

Grand Queen Beatriz is offering a combination of six, 10, 13 and 17-day Galapagos itineraries departing from Quito with the six-day Galapagos Encounter Central Islands priced from $3491* per person twin share.

The vessel will also offer Peregrine’s new action-packed 13-day Treasures of the Galapagos – Western & Central Islands, which offers great opportunities for wildlife viewing and interaction.

Peregrine Adventures launched its first season of small-ship cruising in Europe and the Americas in 2017 and expanded the program to South East Asia this year.

With the itineraries designed for environmentally-conscious travellers and more mindful explorers, Peregrine only charters small ships with capacity for 50 or less travellers, which can call at smaller ports that large cruise ships can’t access.

All trips are accompanied by Peregrine Adventures’ local leaders and include onboard kayaks, all transfers and excursions, as well as most meals.

Peregrine will continue to carbon offset all trips through a range of renewable energy projects.

For more information or to book visit https://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/adventure-cruising

*Subject to availability, conditions apply.

Experience the absolute British luxury with complimentary upgrade to First

Enjoy the one-way complimentary upgrade to First when purchase British Airways Club World business class ticket from just HK$36,960 by 16 July

British Airways is treating its Club World business class passengers from Hong Kong to a complimentary one-way upgrade to its luxurious First cabin on one sector of their flight to London, the UK and Europe. The limited offer is available for booking until 16 July 2018 and is valid for travel from 1 June to 31 December 2018.

The Club World business class return fares start from HK$36,960 and customers are encouraged to book now to secure their seats by calling +852 3071 5083.

Noella Ferns, British Airways’ executive vice president for Greater China and the Philippines, said, “We want to reward our loyal premium customers with the opportunity to experience the unprecedented level of comfort and service our First cabin has to offer, at the price of business class fares. The long travel window enables our customers to enjoy UK’s wonderful summer period throughout to the magic of the wintertime.”

The First Suite

Each individual suite in the renowned First cabin features a 6ft 6” bed that is 60 per cent wider and a personal wardrobe. Taking inspiration from the private jet industry, each First customer will have their own personal electronic window blind, to enhance their ownership of the space and control the amount of light flooding their suite. A Turndown Service is offered by cabin crew who will lay out a 200-thread count Egyptian cotton mattress accompanied by a 400-thread count duvet and pillow.

The First-class dining and the amenity

Customers can expect to be spoiled with the full ‘a la carte’ menu designed by leading chefs from around the world and the finest of wines and champagne. Customers can also freshen up at any time with our range of premium skincare products from the Aromatherapy Associates in the stylish Liberty London First amenity kit.

The newly opened First Wing

All flights from Hong Kong will be landing at British Airways’ award-winning hub at London Heathrow Terminal 5. Premium customers can enjoy the facilities at the Arrivals lounge, which includes showers, breakfast and complimentary Elemis spa treatments. Our First customers and Gold Executive Club members departing from Terminal 5 can also enjoy the exclusive ‘First Wing’ check-in area which was opened just last year. The ‘First Wing’ includes a dedicated two-lane security channel and direct access to the Galleries First Lounge and Concorde Room for the first time. A relaxed seating area is located after security for our First customers to gather their possessions in an unhurried atmosphere.

The revamped Concorde Room

Our First customers will be delighted by our revamped flagship Concorde Room which was reopened last November. Taking inspiration from the very best of British Design, the refurbishment included re-upholstering iconic pieces of furniture and adding new feature pieces to the room, all of which are illuminated by hand-blown glass lighting with bone linen shades and ochre silk linings. Customers will still be able to dine before they fly in private booths with a full waiter service. If they wish to unwind ahead of their flight, private cabanas with a day bed and en-suite are available to book.

British Airways is investing £4.5 billion for its customers over the next five years, covering the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline is also investing £600 million specifically in its Club World business class. In addition to the new catering and luxurious White Company bedding, a new seat with direct aisle access will also be introduced in 2019.

A New Star in the Airport Lounge Scene

The United Polaris Lounge Opens at Newark Liberty International Airport

The lounge joins an exclusive portfolio of business class lounges, featuring daybeds, shower suites, private dining and more.

Beginning June 4, customers traveling in United Polaris®, the airline’s international premium cabin travel experience, will be able to relax and dine before their travels in the new United Polaris lounge at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Building on the airline’s concept to be uniquely United while embracing the energy of the Newark/New York metropolitan area and the exciting destinations served from it, this United Polaris lounge exhibits distinct local flair throughout. When visitors first enter, they will be greeted with a vibrant lighting fixture created by Brooklyn-based art and design laboratory Richard Clarkson Studio that is meant to mimic the constellations of the 12 zodiac signs.

In a nod to the city’s recognition for preeminence in the world for craft cocktails, the bar is the stand-out gem of this United Polaris lounge, both in terms of size and the array of cocktails offered. The thoughtful cocktail list includes the United Polaris Old Fashioned, a fresh take on the classic, complete with J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey, a house simple syrup, Dale DeGroff bitters with a muddled orange wheel and Luxardo cherry, just like the legend himself — Dale DeGroff— makes it. A custom-designed a la carte dining menu blends international comfort foods, such as Moroccan-spiced braised lamb, with staples like the United Polaris Burger, which will be on the menu at all United Polaris lounges.

United Polaris Lounge at EWR Facts & Highlights

  • More than 27,000 square feet
  • 455 seats
  • 15 different types of seating
  • 570 power outlets and 450 USB ports
  • 4 private phone rooms
  • 10 private daybeds outfitted with Saks Fifth Avenue bedding
  • 10 luxurious shower suites, featuring rainfall showers and Soho House & Co’s Cowshed Spa products
  • Personal valet services, including steaming garments
  • A private dining area with table service for up to 48 guests featuring a menu that blends global trends with familiar comfort foods, developed by New York Chef John Glowacki. Menu items include: potato latkes, polenta fries, wild mushroom risotto with a balsamic reduction, and the “Brookie,” a playful combination of a brownie and cookie served with milk.
  • A bistro-like buffet that includes a do-it-yourself bagel bar plus sandwiches and wraps such as a curried salmon salad with cucumber raita and baby spinach on a pumpernickel roll as well as a charcuterie board and chicken parmesan.
  • A cocktail menu with signature drinks such as the Fernet About It, a unique version of the Cuba Libre containing the Italian libation, and the United Polaris Star, featuring house-made anise-infused vodka. Other house-made items include oolong-steeped bourbon, lavender syrup, vodkas and vermouth.

“More United customers begin their journey in the New York/New Jersey region than in any other of our hub cities. From here, our route network reaches across the globe, and we are thrilled to now offer our customers traveling in United Polaris business class a best-in-class lounge experience,” said Jill Kaplan, President, New York/New Jersey for United Airlines. “We continue to add new international destinations from Newark, including Porto, Portugal and Reykjavik, Iceland, which we launched this month. The addition of the United Polaris lounge for our customers traveling on long-haul flights strengthens our service offering in Newark for the most enjoyable experience.”

The opening of the United Polaris lounge at New York/Newark closely follows the debut of the United Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport in April. The United Polaris lounge at George Bush Intercontinental in Houston will open this summer, followed by the lounge at Los Angeles International Airport this fall.

The focus behind the United Polaris experience has always been to provide long-haul travelers with what they’ve asked for: better sleep in the sky. On average, United plans to add one aircraft with the new United Polaris business class seat every 10 days from now through 2020. Beginning July 1, every seat in the United Polaris cabin will be provisioned with a cooling gel pillow. The gel pillow, previously available by request, has proven to be one of the most popular items of United Polaris bedding.

United Polaris lounge at Newark Liberty International Airport is conveniently located in Terminal C, following security screening, between Gates C102 and C120.

Emirates ‘Year of Zayed’ aircraft landed in Hong Kong

Emirates has landed six of its special ‘Year of Zayed’ livery aircraft on six continents early this week for the centennial birthday of the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, including Hong Kong.

This tribute to the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was first unveiled in November 2017 on the fuselage of Emirates’ 100th A380 aircraft, commemorating the 100th year of HH Sheikh Zayed’s birth. A total of 10 Emirates aircraft carry the special livery for 2018. The ‘Year of Zayed’ Emirates aircraft have circled the globe to over 90 cities on over 1,800 flights.

DREAM CRUISES LAUNCHES TASTE THE DREAM – WINE AND DINE AT SEA ON WORLD DREAM

Cruise debut of six celebrity chefs in collaboration with the Dream Culinary Team

Dream Cruises redefines the concept of haute cuisine with Taste the Dream – Wine and Dine at Sea, a culinary extravaganza featuring the unprecedented collaboration between six Asia-based celebrity chefs and the Dream culinary team. From June to November 2018, guests who book and stay in “The Palace” suite accommodations on board World Dream will have the opportunity to indulge in limited-edition tasting menus.  The Palace is World Dream’s “ship within a ship concept” and offers 154 spacious suites with European Style butler service and private dining and lounge areas among other inclusive benefits.  These menus will be included in the complimentary daily dining options for all guests who stay in The Palace suites on World Dream.   There will also be an exclusive Chef’s table and interactive workshops with the celebrity chefs available to all guests throughout the cruise.

The six celebrity chefs who will make their cruise debut on World Dream are:

  • Alvin Leung, triple Michelin-starred expert in molecular gastronomy
  • Chan Kwok Keung (KK), Michelin-starred Chef and World Champion of the Chinese Cuisine World Championship
  • Vicky Cheng, the youngest chef to receive a Michelin star in Hong Kong and master of French-Chinese fusion cuisine
  • Christian Yang, globe-trotting food lover, also known as the “culinary magician”
  • Wan Tat Kong, Master of Chinese Food Culture and member of the International Jury Committee, World Association of Chinese Cuisine
  • Martin Yan, world-renowned celebrity chef and host of the award-winning cooking show “Yan Can Cook”

“To debut our new signature dining campaign, we are proud to showcase the outstanding talents of these six culinary experts on World Dream, where they join forces with our Dream Cruises Chefs and galley teams, led by fleet executive chefs Reinhard Mammes and Lee Eng Heng, as well as the executive chef of World Dream, Supachai Saisoigeon to create an exquisite gourmet experience at sea,” said Mr. Thatcher Brown, President of Dream Cruises. “We look forward to reimagining the enjoyment of food and wine at sea with a multifaceted ‘Wine & Dine; experience that is truly Asian at heart and international is spirit.  We look forward to exceeding the expectations of our discerning guests.”

From June to November, guests on World Dream will have their palates enticed and delighted by exquisite “4-hand menus” – joint collaboration of two chefs – inspired by the themes of ocean and sailing and crafted by the celebrity chefs and the Dream culinary team. The menus will showcase different highlights from each celebrity chef including molecular gastronomy, modern Cantonese cuisine, French-Chinese fusion food art, thematic banquets based on Chinese literature classics and more.

Each 4-hand menu will also be complemented by a fine selection of wines and spirits curated by the professional sommelier on World Dream. The limited-edition tasting menus will be available exclusively in on-board specialty restaurants, which guests of The Palace may enjoy on a complimentary basis as part of their daily dining privilege. A selection of thematic dishes will also be featured in a-la-carte menus, as well as in the complimentary buffets of inclusive restaurants.

For private dining, the exclusive Vintage Room will feature a curated gourmet menu for up to 10 guests highlighted by a special visit by the guest celebrity chef on designated weekend sailings. Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy up-close-and-personal interactions with the celebrity chefs, who will host interactive workshops based on their personal interests and expertise.

Pearl Seas Cruises’ Complimentary Pre-Cruise Packages For Cuba Sailings

Pearl Seas Cruises is pleased to offer complimentary pre-cruise packages for new bookings on Fall 2018 Cuba sailings from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The complimentary package includes a one-night premium hotel stay in Ft. Lauderdale and transportation to the ship. Currently, the Line also has savings of up to $3,000 off per stateroom on select Fall 2018 sailings and is waiving port charges and fees. The 11-night Cuba Cultural Voyages are scheduled November through December 2018, with additional sailings in 2019. All cruises are round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale and recent Spring testimonials have been resoundingly positive.

Pearl Seas Cruises is one of the only lines that circumnavigates Cuba and offers 2 days to enjoy historic Havana. The 11-night Cuba Cultural Voyage stops in Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Casilda, El Cobre, and Santiago de Cuba. Pearl Mist guests experience an all-inclusive cruise with onboard lecturers and experts, guided shore excursions, excellent cuisine, cocktails every evening, and beer and wine served with lunch and dinner.

Pearl Mist’s 11-night Cuba Cultural Voyage follows a “people-to-people” cultural exchange program during which guests engage directly with the warm Cuban people at each port. Pearl Mist passengers have the opportunity to meet local musicians, historians, and artists; experience Havana in a classic American car; enjoy a pottery demonstration in Trinidad; and take a guided excursion in Cojimar, the fishing village that inspired Ernest Hemingway’s famous novel The Old Man and the Sea.

About Pearl Seas Cruises:

Pearl Seas Cruises provides an intimate cruising experience and highly personalized service on its 210-passenger ship, Pearl Mist. The Line offers unique itineraries to the Canadian Maritimes, St. Lawrence Seaway, The Great Lakes, New England, and Cuba. To learn more about Pearl Seas, visit www.pearlseascruises.com or call 800-983-7462.

Air New Zealand launches emoji travel tips

Air New Zealand has developed an interactive online experience allowing people to explore the best New Zealand has to offer using emojis.

Users will be asked to comment on Air New Zealand #EmojiJourney Facebook or Twitter posts with a combination of emojis which would best describe their perfect New Zealand getaway. This will then automatically generate a link to a personalised map of New Zealand for them, with emojis highlighting points likely to be of interest.

Clicking on each of the emojis on the personalised map will provide more information about destinations and activities on offer – such as food and beverage hot spots, shopping, art and culture, adventure pursuits and things to do in the outdoors.

Air New Zealand General Manager Global Brand and Content Marketing Jodi Williams says people, particularly millennials and Generation Z, love to use emojis in their day to day life and the #EmojiJourney is designed to inspire travel to and within New Zealand using social media.

Twitter’s Managing Director for ANZ Suzy Nicoletti says, “Emojis have become almost ubiquitous on Twitter as everyone from politicians, to sports stars, to brands are using these expressive images to communicate.  When you can convey emotion faster and in less characters than words, it’s no wonder they are so popular.

Air New Zealand’s #EmojiJourney experience can be found on the airline’s social channels.

Victory Cruise Lines Victory Cruise Lines Launches World’s First All-Inclusive Cruise and Land Experience in Mexico

The ‘Grand Mayan Experience’ is the first cruise itinerary to visit all three states of the Yucatan PeninsulaFor the discerning travel-experience collector, Victory Cruise Lines has created a nine-night all-inclusive cruise between Miami and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that features three of the country’s most celebrated Mayan archeological sites as well as the cultural and historical highlights of the Mexican states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche.

During the inaugural season — January to May 2019 — the package has an all-inclusive three-day two-night pre or post cruise stay at Campeche, Mexico, creating an 11-night all-inclusive cruise and land experience for the cost of the cruise alone. Guests who book a winter 2019 cruise by May 31, 2018 receive a $1,000 per person discount for a total savings of $2,000 per cabin.

The inaugural Grand Mayan Experience cruise departs The Port of Miami Jan. 4, 2019 on the newly remodeled, 202-passenger Victory II, the sister ship of the popular Victory I.

During the first season, Victory Cruise Lines will operate The Grand Mayan Experience cruises to the Yucatan Peninsula from January through early May 2019. The second season begins in November 2019 and ends in May 2020.

Exclusive features of the cruise include a private sunrise experience at Chichen Itza, an exclusive light and sound show at Campeche and a rare visit to a traditional Mayan healing ceremony.

The Quintana Roo portion of the cruise includes a full-day exploration from the quaint town of Puerto Morelos in the heart of the Riviera Maya — a favorite of U.S visitors. In addition to visiting the Tulum archeological site, one of two evenings in Puerto Morelos will feature the stunning “Xcaret Mexico Espectacular” a journey through Mexico ́s history from the pre-Conquistador era.  For information visit http://rivieramaya.com/en/mayanworld-2/

After Puerto Morelos, guests travel inland to the state of Yucatan, visiting Chichen Itza and the “Magic Towns” of Valladolid and Izamal. Near Chichen Itza, guests will see one of the best of 6,000 cenotes — beautiful rock formations that have formed water pools with underground rivers of amazing natural beauty.

After touring Valladolid, guests will overnight at one of the most unique hotels in Mexico. The Mayaland Hotel was built to create the feeling one is staying in a traditional Mayan village. The hotel is located within the archeological zone of Chichen Itza, the most famous Mayan site on the Yucatan Peninsula, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

Following a gourmet dinner at the hotel, Victory guests will experience the Chichen Itza Sound & Light Show, considered the best of its kind in the Americas. The next morning begins with an exclusive visit to Chichen Itza before it opens to the general public for a “Sunrise with the Mayans Experience.”

The itinerary continues with a stroll through Izamal, a colonial town built over Mayan ruins that was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1993. In preparation for the pope’s visit the entire city was painted Vatican yellow and has maintained that color ever since. It is now widely known as “The Yellow City.”

The Victory II enters the Yucatan State at the port of Progreso where guests will spend two days exploring Merida, a colonial masterpiece founded in 1542. In addition to exploring the cultural center of Yucatan, guests will visit one of the last working Haciendas in the region, Sotuta de Peon and Mayapan, a lost Mayan city and one of the best archeological sites in Mexico, before participating in an ancient Mayan cleansing ceremony.

“Victory cruise guests are known for their cultural curiosity, so we were pleased to work closely with the line to develop this authentic exploration of Mayan history,” said Saul Ancona Salazar, Minister of Tourism for the State of Yucatan. For more information visit http://www.yucatan.travel

Next is the state of Campeche, where guests will be welcomed into the colonial wonderland of the Walled City of Campeche. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Campeche is an enclave of perfectly restored pastel buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, fortified ramparts and well-preserved mansions. Either before or after the nine-night cruise on Victory II, guests will stay at the Hotel Plaza Campeche within the walled city for three days and two nights. The stayover provides an all-inclusive immersion into Mexican history and culture, including an exclusive folkloric ballet show for Victory guests at the beautiful Toro Theatre.

“Campeche is the perfect beginning or end of your Grand Mayan Experience,” said Campeche Secretary of Tourism Jorge Manos Esparragosa. “Not only for the incredible fortified colonial city, but the gastronomy, culture and the warmth of its people. This makes of Campeche a unique and perfect sample of the real Mexico. Campeche is your home. Welcome to Campeche.” For more information visit: http://www.campeche.travel/en/

Victory Cruise Lines’ Grand Maya Experience is a unique cruise and land vacation that includes all shore excursions, hotel stays, food and beverages during all land portions including Chichen Itza and Campeche. Like all Victory cruises, the nine-night cruise portion of the journey includes five-star cuisine and service, and unlimited house wines and spirits. The added all-inclusive three-day, two-night stay in Campeche creates an 11-night vacation for the price of a nine-night cruise with special inaugural season rates that make it the best travel value of winter 2019.

Check out our newest ship, Victory II, and the newest cruise vacation in the western Caribbean, the Grand Mayan Experience.