Viking's new expedition ships
New expedition line Viking Expeditions will start sailing its first purpose-built vessel, Viking Octantis, in January 2022 on voyages to Antarctica and North America's Great Lakes.
Viking's second vessel, Viking Polaris, will follow in August 2022.
The vessels will feature Scandinavian-style public spaces, which will be familiar to Viking's ocean cruise guests, and new additions created specifically for expeditions, including in-ship marina The Hangar, two submarines, kayaks and inflatable boats. The ships are working research vessels with onboard laboratories.
All expeditions are open for booking, with prices starting from $9095 for the eight-day Great Lakes Explorer and $20,995 for the 13-day Antarctic Explorer.
Carnival bans 'offensive' attire
Carnival Cruise Line has banned cruisers from wearing "offensive" clothing while on board its ships.
An update to dress code guidelines posted on the company website states: "Items worn during the cruise should not contain any message that may be considered offensive or contain nudity, profanity, sexual innuendo/suggestions. In addition, clothing/accessories should not promote negative ethnic or racial, commentary, or hatred or violence in any form."
The change in dress code came "after some incidents were reported in the media about other travel sectors where customers were wearing clothing with very threatening messages", said Vance Gullisken, Carnival Corporation spokesperson.
"We want to make sure that all of our guests feel comfortable when cruising with us ... We will evaluate situations on a case-by-case basis," adds Gullisken.
Gwyneth Paltrow partners with Celebrity Cruises
Set sail with Gwyneth Paltrow as her lifestyle brand Goop comes on board Celebrity Cruises' newest ship, the Celebrity Apex, in 2020.
The wellness-themed Goop at Sea will debut on the ship's 11-night Mediterranean sailing, departing 26 August 2020 from Barcelona.
You'll get the opportunity to meet Goop's healers and join in conversations led by Paltrow, as well as smaller group sessions targeting mind, body and soul.
"We've had massive success with In Goop Health, our wellness summit, that translates Goop's content into a tangible, high-touch experience. This partnership with Celebrity Cruises allows us to bring Goop to new audiences and to meet readers where they are," said Paltrow. Tickets to the event are US$750 and only available to guests who book suite class.
Amsterdam tourist tax increase
As of 1 January 2020, visitors to Amsterdam staying overnight in hotels, Airbnbs and even camping will be hit with a new tourist tax in addition to the city's current rates.
This will impact on cruisers looking to include pre- or post-cruise stays in the city.
The new tax will cost (e)3 per night at hotels and short-term rentals, on top of a seven per cent tax. Campers will pay an extra (e)1 per night. The city which is a popular embarkation and disembarkation point for cruises already has one of the highest taxes in Europe.
Amsterdam, which is one of the most visited places in Europe, first started taxing daytrippers from cruise ships in January 2019. For stays less than 24 hours, cruise operators were charged (e)8 per person, which was then passed onto passengers.
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