STAR CRUISES ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL HOMEPORT IN LAEM CHABANG

Star Cruises, “The Most Popular Cruise Line in Asia”, announced the new homeport deployment of SuperStar Gemini to Laem Chabang at a launch event on 28 March at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Center. SuperStar Gemini will be based in Laem Chabang International Terminal beginning 17 December 2017 through to 27 April 2018.

On hand to witness the announcement were invited Thai Travel Trade & Airline Partners, Media and executives from Genting Hong Kong.

“We are excited to announce Star Cruises’ return to The Land of Smiles with the deployment of SuperStar Gemini at Laem Chabang,” said Mr Ang Moo Lim, President, Star Cruises. “Our long history with Thailand stretches all the way back to 1995 when we first called upon Phuket and, today, we are proud to be able to call Laem Chabang our new home come 17 December this year.”

Throughout Star Cruises long history with Thailand, the cruise line has brought over millions passengers to visit the nation’s many wonderful sites including Hua Hin, Ko Chang, Krabi, Pattaya, Phi Phi Island, Songkla and Sri Racha. With this new deployment, Star Cruises will continue to shine the spotlight on Thailand as a premier destination in Asia for the fly-cruise market to help support the local inbound and outbound tourism industry.

“Thailand has the largest number of tourists of all ASEAN countries and the two airports of Bangkok serve more than 85 million passengers every year,” added Mr. Ang. “This is a perfect location for fly-cruise passengers and we will work closely with inbound agents to package cruises with land vacations – providing tourists yet another reason to visit Thailand. We will make Bangkok the “Gateway to IndoChina” due to its superior air and tourist infrastructure. “

During her deployment, SuperStar Gemini will embark on 3-night cruises to Sihanoukville and Ko Samui, departing every Sunday, 2-night cruises to Sihanoukville, departing every Wednesday, and 2-night cruises to Koh Kong Island, departing on every Friday.

Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Cambodia’s premier beach town, Sihanoukville’s white sand beaches and warm Gulf of Thailand waters combine with a laid back, beachy atmosphere to provide a  great little tropical getaway.

Koh Kong Island, Cambodia

Cambodia’s largest island, Koh Kong Island is famous for its unspoiled wilderness, pristine beaches and stunning cascading waterfalls. The island is the perfect destination for water activities, relaxation and exploration.

Ko Samui, Thailand

Ko Samui is the premier island destination in the Gulf of Thailand featuring beautiful beaches and a variety of activities to cater to a wide range of interests.

On board SuperStar Gemini, guests can enjoy a “free and easy” cruise experience unbound by restrictive schedules and itineraries.
Embark on an all-inclusive gastronomic journey with up to six complimentary meals daily or dine at a choice of over 10 F&B restaurants and bars serving global culinary cuisines all masterfully prepared by exceptional award-winning chefs.

In between destinations, guests can enjoy thrilling performances by international artists at the Stardust Lounge or re-energize at the King Neptune Health Club. SuperStar Gemini also features a wide range of shopping options from signature boutiques to jewelry outlets and its very own duty free shop for designer items at attractive prices.

Luxury meets comfort throughout Superstar Gemini’s range of accommodations including the spacious surroundings of the Executive Suites with their own living rooms and bedrooms with a queen size bed or the panoramic views from the private sanctuary of each Oceanview Stateroom.

Whatever the choice, every voyage is a chance to experience the signature Asian hospitality for which Star Cruises is renowned for.

In the future, guests can also look forward to the launch two new “Global Class” cruise ships as part of the Star Cruises fleet. Designed for worldwide cruising, each ship will measure 201,000 gross tons and contain 5,000 lower berths. Delivery of the “Global Class” series of ships will commence between 2020 and 2021.

For more information about Star Cruises, please visit www.starcruises.com.

 

A SPARKLING START TO FLYING FIRST WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS

The airline took home the coveted top spot of Best Overall Wine Cellar
By Business Traveller’s Cellars in the Sky 2016 Awards

sparkling wine

British Airways introduces its first-ever English sparkling white wine to its First class menu between February and September. This smooth and full-bodied Vintage Blanc de Blancs comes from the West Sussex-based winery Bolney Wine Estate. The English sparkling wine will join Laurent-Perrier Grande Siècle and Jacquart Mosaique Rose NV on the Champagne and Sparkling Wine menu. The airline also took home five awards at Business Traveller’ “Cellars in the Sky 2016 Awards”, including the Best Overall Wine Cellar.

“We are thrilled to receive five awards at The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky 2016 Awards. They represent a great form of recognition from the international wine community. All of our wines are blind tasted by experts to ensure we serve the very best and offer our customers the most enjoyable in-flight dining experience,” said Colin Talbot, British Airways’ head of catering.

Meanwhile, the new addition to the airline’s celebrated wine list – the Vintage Blanc de Blancs – not only works well as an aperitif, it also complements dishes served in First this month such the Loch Fyne Kinglas smoked salmon with tartar sauce, watercress panna cotta and Oscietra caviar. The wine also works well with the fresh seasonal salad with the optional blue cheese dressing.

“We are delighted to be adding Bolney Wine Estate’s Vintage Blanc de Blancs as our guest Sparkling Wine. This is the first time we have offered an English Sparkling white wine on board and we think our customers are going to love it,“ Talbot added.

Sam Linter, managing director and lead master wine maker at Bolney Wine Estate said: “We are absolutely delighted that British Airways considers our Blanc de Blancs one of the finest wines available. It is such a privilege that it will be sampled by British as well as international flyers. We feel this partnership shows the strength of the English wine industry and we are very much looking forward to continuing our relationship with British Airways.”
British Airways’ full list of award at The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky 2016 Awards
1. Best Overall Cellar – Gold Medal
2. Best Business Class Cellar – Silver Medal
3. Best Business Class Sparkling – Silver Medal – Champagne de Castelnau Brut Reserve, NV, France
4. Best First Class Red – Silver Medal – Escarpment Kupe Pinot Noir 2012, Martinborough, New Zealand
5. Best First Class Fortified/Dessert – Bronze Medal – Mullineaux Olerasay Number One, NV, Swartland, South Africa

The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky 2016 Awards recognise the best business and first class wines served by airlines worldwide. Business Traveller contacted more than 75 airlines in summer 2016, and 33 entered. Blind tastings took place at the Crowne Plaza London Kensington in December, with four judges independently scoring the wines. Along with Charles Metcalfe, the judges were: Tim Atkin, Sarah Abbott and Peter McCombie who co-chair the International Wine Challenge.

Last year British Airways’ First customers consumed more than 160,000 bottles of champagne, 133,000 bottles of red wine and 150,000 bottles of white wine on board flights. The airline also introduced new washbags earlier this year. Top British brand Liberty London created an exclusive range of washbags for customers traveling in First.

Emirates turns the spotlight on women

Emirates is giving centre stage to its women employees on the upcoming occasion of International Women’s Day. Women make up close to 44% of the airline’s workforce and have been an integral part of the success story of Emirates over the last 31 years.

Emirates currently employs more than 29,000 women from over 150 nationalities. Women employed at Emirates come from diverse backgrounds and work across the entire spectrum of airline operations. Over 18,000 work as cabin crew, while the rest are represented across technical as well as in professional and leadership roles. Close to 2.5% of the total female staff occupy managerial positions in the airline, and women are also increasingly working and advancing in functions that were more traditionally represented by men. Over the past decade, the number of women employees at Emirates has increased in line with the airline’s growth. The proportion of women as part of the airline’s total workforce has also grown by 6% during the same period.


Abdulaziz Al Ali, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Emirates said: “Emirates is committed to providing equal opportunities at the workplace for both women and men across all business functions. We are proud of our women colleagues and their immense contribution to the growth and success of the airline. We hope that they can continue to inspire and be role models for girls and women across the globe interested in pursuing careers in aviation.”

From pilots to aircraft engineers, cargo supervisors to flight dispatchers

Emirates’ female cockpit crew come from 24 nationalities and are aged between 20 and 59 years, including pilot cadets. Watch Captain Nevin Darwish from Egypt and First Officer Alia Al Muhairi from the UAE fly the iconic Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft from Dubai to Vienna. Captain Darwish is the first woman of Arab origin to have captained the Airbus A380. First Officer Al Muhairi, a UAE national, is currently the youngest Emirati female pilot operating the Emirates A380 aircraft.

In Emirates Engineering, women work as licensed aircraft engineers, mechanics, and technicians for aircraft maintenance and repairs. Women also work at critical positions in flight operations both on the ramp as operations managers, turnaround coordinators, aircraft loading supervisors and load controllers as well as in the operations centre as flight dispatchers and duty managers.

Korean Air unveils its First B787-9 Dreamliner

Korean Air has unveiled its brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner today at Incheon Airport. Walter Cho, president of Korean Air, was present at a ceremony at the Korean Air hangar to unveil Korea’s very first Dreamliner to the public.

The aircraft which Korean Air is introducing will provide a whole new experience for passengers. The internal cabin pressure has been decreased to the equivalent of 1,800m (6,000ft) altitude instead of 2,400m (8,000ft) on conventional aircraft. Furthermore, the humidity level will be set in the 15%~16% range, which will significantly improve passengers’ comfort compared to the maximum humidity of 11% in current aircraft.

Korean Air is planning to utilize the aircraft for long-haul routes with high demand for leisure travel. First, the airline is scheduled to launch domestic flights between Seoul’s Gimpo Airport and JeJu Airport for a month as part of the required certification period, before launching long-haul international routes from Seoul’s Incheon Airport to Toronto, Madrid, and Zurich later this year. Korean Air’s Boeing 787-9 will be operated with a total of 269 seats; 6 first class seats, 18 Prestige class seats and 245 Economy class seats.

Improved Passenger Experience

The interior design of the Dreamliner cabin is quite different from conventional aircraft. The “Premium Cabin Interior” uses the latest LED lighting technology to adjust the color and brightness of lighting based on time and environment. It has five different modes: for take-off, dining, sunset/sunrise, sleeping, and landing. The modes will create a more comfortable atmosphere for passengers.

Another noteworthy feature is the size of the cabin windows: they are 78% larger than conventional aircraft, allowing passengers to have a better outside view. The manually operated window covers are gone and instead there are buttons to adjust the transparency of the windows in five different levels. A specially developed gel has been inserted within the windowpanes to control the transparency.

Eco-friendly Aircraft

Dreamliner is famous for being the first commercial airplane with composite materials in most of its airframe components. The aircraft is made of 50% carbon fiber composites along with aluminum alloys for a reduced weight and greater durability, thereby consuming 20 percent less fuel and generating 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplane it replaces. For this reason, it is fair to label the Dreamliner an eco-friendly aircraft.

Each component of the aircraft has been designed to be environmentally friendly. Its particular wing design – known as “raked wingtips” – is aimed at increasing the aerodynamics and thus the fuel efficiency. The engine uses a new technology for the cowl that covers the engine, which significantly decreases noise from the engine slipstream – again increasing the comfort of passengers. Another notable technology found on the Dreamliner is a system that automatically detects whenever the plane encounters turbulence and adjusts the flight status to reduce sudden cabin movements.

Parts Production

A remarkable fact is that Korean Air’s Aerospace Division is a Boeing partner on the 787 program, suppling components for the Dreamliner. Since 2006, the carrier’s Aerospace Division has been manufacturing six core parts, such as raked wing tips, after bodies and flap support fairing, for the Dreamliner. Korean Air is also the partner on the 747-8 programs and one of two suppliers producing the new 737 MAX Advanced Technology Winglet.

Korean Air is scheduled to introduce five 787-9 Dreamliners to its fleet this year, with another five joining the fleet by 2019.

Grand Dame of Fashion Set to Sail on Cunard’s Transatlantic Fashion Week

Luxury cruise brand Cunard has announced fashion royalty Iris Apfel will join its line-up of fashion icons set to sail onboard Queen Mary 2 for the cruise line’s second annual Transatlantic Fashion Week from August 31 to September 7, 2017.

At 95, Iris is a jet-setting celebrity known for her individual style and joyful flair. Featured in cutting-edge style campaigns for Macy’s, MAC, Kate Spade, Swarovski and other big-name brands, Iris has become renowned for her signature look of bold round glasses, oversized bangles and necklaces, and rich, flamboyant, colourful garments.

Over the course of Transatlantic Fashion Week, Iris will be presenting a Q&A session and will introduce a showing of ‘Iris’, a documentary featuring fashion, creativity and her soaring free spirit.

“I’ve lived quite a life of fashion and can’t wait to experience style at sea,” Ms Apfel said.

“I look forward to being inspired by the elegance and glamour of the occasion and life onboard, especially the formal nights on my voyage across the Atlantic.”

Transatlantic Fashion Week 2017 will also feature designer Julien Macdonald OBE, fashion historian Colin McDowell MBE and consultant to the international fashion industry Gail Sackloff OBE as well as top models from Storm Model Management.

The unique fashion voyage invites guests to enjoy the glamour of Queen Mary 2, while being treated to seven days of runway shows, dinners and exclusive unveilings before sailing into New York for Fashion

Week.

Fares on Queen Mary 2’s Transatlantic Fashion Week voyage departing Southampton on August 31, 2017 start from $1949* per person twin share.

For more details visit www.cunard.com phone 132 441 or see a travel agent.

Turkish Airlines Delivers Chinese New Year Surprise

‘Widen your world’ with cheap fares from
Hong Kong to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Budapest, London and Venice!

Turkish Airlines, Europe’s best airline for six consecutive years according to the last Skytrax Passenger Survey, is offering special fares from Hong Kong to Europe, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Budapest, London, and Venice, to wish you a happy Chinese New Year!

Turkish Airlines is offering fares starting from HKD2,790* available from now till 15 February 2017. Travellers can enjoy travelling under our CNY promotion until 30 June 2017.** With the widest worldwide network in terms of countries and international destinations reached, than any other airlines and open jaw policy, passengers can choose to return to Hong Kong from any of the 110+ European destinations that Turkish Airlines serves. Passengers are also invited to enjoy a free city tour with a local guide during their layover in Istanbul.***

Whatever your choice of destination this CNY, Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines wishes you a happy and prosperous New Year. We look forward to introducing Hong Kong to our world-famous Turkish hospitality, and help you discover and connect with delightfully different cities, cultures and cuisines as you widen your world with our industry leading 295 and growing global destinations in 2017.


For more information about our CNY promotion and the different destinations serviced by Turkish Airlines, please visit www.thy.com.hk or contact Turkish Airlines Hong Kong Ticketing Office for booking: hkgticketing@thy.com

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Silversea’s World Cruise 2017

ETS MILESTONE WITH FIRST-EVER SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTURE

Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises’ Silver Whisper embarked on her 116-day World Cruise 2017 last Friday from the Port of San Francisco, marking the first time in the company’s history that a World Cruise has been launched from the city renowned for its picturesque harbor and iconic Golden Gate Bridge. January 6 also marked the first-ever visit of Silver Whisper to the city, an occasion celebrated by a plaque exchange between port officials and Mark Conroy, Silversea’s managing director for the Americas, and Silver Whisper’s staff captain, Zbigniew Jaszewski.

The evening prior to embarking on their epic journey to Monte Carlo, Silver Whisper’s guests enjoyed a gala bon voyage dinner and live music presentation hosted in the elegant main ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco. The dinner is one of several special complimentary benefits for World Cruise guests, including exclusive cultural events in Honolulu, Hawaii, Xi’an, China, and Abu Dhabi, UAE — plus a three-night Grand Finale cruise aboard the new Silver Muse, sailing from Monte Carlo to Rome.

The all-suite Silver Whisper’s refurbishment, which took place during a dry dock in the Bahamas last month, features an array of enhancements ranging from elegant new carpeting in all the guest suites to new wall treatments and rejuvenated wood flooring in the restaurants, Connoisseur’s Corner, Panorama Lounge, Spa and Beauty Salon. The Restaurant and La Terrazza have also been outfitted with newly upholstered chairs. A new marble-topped bar and stylish new wood display cases grace the Observation Lounge, which has been refreshed with rich new wood panelling and wood accents.

The pool deck has been upgraded with the installation of two new whirlpools.  Plus, beautiful new synthetic turf has been placed on the jogging and spa decks, creating an inviting setting for outdoor activities.

WORLD CRUISE 2018

Next year, Silver Whisper will embark on a 121-day World Cruise, sailing from Los Angeles to Rome. Departing January 6, this magnificent odyssey will showcase 60 destinations in 21 countries across the globe, including virtually every highlight recommended by the line’s veteran world cruise guests. Plus, with 17 overnight calls and 13 late-night stays, guests will have ample time to fully immerse themselves in local culture.

The unique voyage, titled “La Grande Bellezza,” will sail west across the Pacific to the beautiful lands of Hawaii, French Polynesia, and New Zealand, then weave a path through the Java Sea to fascinating Bali, Probolinggo, Semarang, and Borneo, and to a host of exotic isles in the Philippines. After two nights in Hong Kong and overnight stays in Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok and Singapore, Silver Whisper will follow the route of ancient spice traders to Sri Lanka, India, and Oman. Then she will continue through the Red Sea to fabled Luxor and Petra, storied islands in Greece, and along the coast of Italy to Rome.

United Airlines to Offer Boeing 777-300ER Services for Sale

United adds Boeing’s latest generation Boeing 777 aircraft, the 777-300ER, to its fleet for 2017

The 777-300ER’s modern, spacious cabin will be the first to feature the all-new United Polaris direct-aisle seats, part of the airline’s sleep-enhancing business class experience

United Airlines will add the Boeing 777-300ER to its 2017 flight schedules this weekend, with the airline’s newest aircraft type featuring the all-new United Polaris business class seats starting regularly scheduled service in February 2017. The aircraft’s entry into service will also mark the debut of United’s new wide-body cabin design.

With the flight schedule update this weekend, United will offer one round trip six days each week between Newark Liberty International Airport and San Francisco International Airport between Feb. 16 and May 4. The airline expects to begin 777-300ER intercontinental service between San Francisco and Hong Kong on March 25, with the aircraft replacing a Boeing 747-400 currently being used on the route. Flight and aircraft schedules are subject to change.

United expects to place into service all 14 aircraft in its 777-300ER order in 2017.

The world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line

The world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line Seabourn has unveiled the first images of its newest all-suite vessel, Seabourn Encore, which launched in Marghera, Italy, earlier this month.

Designed by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, the 40,350-GRT vessel features modern design elements and innovations in keeping with Seabourn’s reputation for understated elegance.

The ship’s 600 guests, who reside in 300 elegantly appointed suites each with a private verandah, are treated to the line’s extraordinary levels of personalised service, with a high staff to guest ratio.

Seabourn Encore will be officially christened at a ceremony in Singapore on January 7, 2017, before sailing to Australia where she will spend almost two months cruising local waters.

When Seabourn Encore arrives down under on January 22, it will be the youngest ultra-luxury ship to visit Australia.

Seabourn Encore will return to Europe in April 2017 to spend the northern summer cruising the Mediterranean.

A sister ship, Seabourn Ovation, will join the fleet in 2018.

For more on Seabourn Encore visit http://encore.seabourn.com/

Santa Claus drops in on Genting Dream helipad to meet the ship’s Captain

MERRY CRUISEMAS WITH DREAM CRUISES

It was a few days before Christmas and out on the deck of Genting Dream, the new luxury cruise ship of Dream Cruises, to the distant sound of jingle bells a strange but magical sight was to behold. Out of the sky heading down to the ship’s helipad, who else but Santa Claus himself!

We wondered how Santa, at such a busy time of year, could find a moment to come all the way from the North Pole to visit us. “Ho, Ho, Ho” he laughed, “I wouldn’t miss seeing this amazing new cruise ship for the world. It certainly looks more comfortable than my sleigh!”
Santa was welcomed on board by Captain Magnus Gottberg, who remarked, “It’s wonderful to be welcoming Mr. Claus to our new cruise line. He seemed to be very impressed with all that is on offer to guests onboard Genting Dream, so much so that perhaps, for those of who have been very good this year, he might be including some tickets of Dream Cruises as Christmas presents!”

As an icon for the magical dreams of so many people across the world, both young and old, the man in the big red coat with the big white beard symbolises what Dream Cruises offers to its guests, the chance to live their dreams. Except of course that, unlike Santa’s sleigh, Genting Dream will be operational all year long, transporting its guests on an inspirational journey of a lifetime between Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Da Nang and Halong Bay.

Embark on a Memorable Yuletide Dream Voyage
Get that holiday feeling until 30 December when Santa Claus and his ‘Santarinas’ will be distributing candies and posing with guests for free Christmas photos at Santa Grotto and ‘Little Dreamers’ can enjoy a delightful bedtime story from Santa at the Little Pandas Club. On Christmas Eve, kids can enjoy a special Christmas Carol sing-along at the Little Pandas Club while the kid-at-heart can party during late-night Christmas celebrations at Zouk Night Club on 23 to 24 December.

Book now to reserve your dream Christmas vacation! From now till end of December, enjoy Genting Dream’s 2-Night Weekend Getaway from HKD1,999 per person, departing every Friday; or 5-Night Vietnam Cruises to Da Nang and Halong Bay from HKD5,935 per person and half price for the second twin share guest, departing every Sunday. No holiday surcharge will be applied for 5-Night sailings departing on 25 December 2016 and 1 January 2017!