Weather. The global political situation. New industry developments. It all impacts the world of cruising. Here’s a quick look at what’s new this week in cruising, and how it could impact your next trip…
Next month the first ship arrives at Amber Cove, Carnival Corp.'s new $85 million, 25-acre port just outside Puerto Plata on the Dominican Republic's north coast. The region hasn't seen a regular schedule of ship visits in nearly 30 years, but will soon be included in Caribbean itineraries of Carnival’s eight brands. We got a firsthand tour of the port, and it's pretty fab -- passengers will walk off the ship into a fort-like welcome center, among colorful Victorian- and colonial-style buildings housing shops, bars, and eateries. Right onshore, there's lots of local shopping and a massive pool with a water slide, zipline, private cabanas, and a bar; to get the the beach, take a cab or opt for a shore excursion. The place may not be wealthy, but it's ruggedly beautiful -- and, for cruisers, someplace new.
Speaking of which, pending Cuban government approval, Carnival Corp.'s do-gooder cruise line, Fathom, will be bringing volunteerism-focused passengers to Amber Cove every other week starting in May (or perhaps even earlier). The brand was announced earlier this summer without many itinerary details, but we've learned that the 700-passenger MV Adonia will call at Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba.
Beginning in June, guests on Silversea Cruises' luxury expedition cruises in places such as Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Russian Far East will get a new perk: a jacket created by innovative outdoor clothing brand Haglöfs. Of course, the cruises cost big bucks -- but at least you'll be warm.