Here’s a quick look at what’s new this week in cruising, and how it could impact your next trip…
Cruises are not a sedate experience -- you can get active onboard ships in state-of-the-art fitness centers, on jogging tracks, and even with such "extreme" activities as rock climbing. Of course, ports of call present endless opportunities, too, but new sailings from Windstar Cruises are boosting the active factor even further. The upscale cruise line has teamed with sister company VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations for a new program, Italy Tour & Cruise, that combines a cruise with either a hiking or biking vacation -- with discounts and perks, of course. For next spring and fall, the cruise will be on the 212-passenger Star Breeze, and the land portion will bring travelers to places like the Amalfi Coast and Tuscany. From $4,984 per person, based on double occupancy, for 15 nights (excluding special offer of two free hotel nights).
Get on a cruise ship and create your own wine. Onboard Holland America Line's 2,650-passenger Koningsdam, which debuts in April, will be a wine-blending venue appropriately called BLEND. Your personal blend gets bottled with a stopper and your own label design, and you can enjoy your creation on board if you wish. Reservations are required; fee TBD.
Azamara Club Cruises is adding spa suites to the 684-passenger Azamara Journey in January and sister ship Azamara Quest in April. Expect elegant staterooms done up in "organic and muted colors" and boasting ocean views throughout -- including from the shower and tub. There will be special spa access and amenities, too. All together now: "Ahhh, spa."