Nostalgia reigns with Regal Princess naming ceremony

ABOARD THE REGAL PRINCESS-The naming ceremony of the Regal Princess transcended just the official christening of a brand new ship. In addition to celebrating a long-standing maritime tradition, the naming ceremony became a 1970s TV shows cast reunion, which was exactly what everyone onboard was hoping for. When the original The Love Boat cast was named as the official godparents of the Regal Princess ship, everyone expected a nostalgic nod to the television show that quite literally …

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Regal Princess christening and inaugural sailing

My first thoughts of cruising are thanks to watching The Love Boat. You can’t think of The Love Boat, though, without thinking of Princess Cruise Lines. So what better way to christen the latest Princess Cruise Lines’ ship – the Regal Princess – and get ready for the company’s upcoming 50th anniversary than to celebrate with the cast of the iconic travel show. I’m heading to Ft. Lauderdale this week to celebrate the christening of the Regal …

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Day five – Touring Saint-Emilion and Bordeaux’s wine appellations

ABOARD THE VIKING FORSETI — The new Chateaux, Rivers and Wine itinerary from Viking River Cruises includes a visit to Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The medieval lanes of the charming town twist and turn through ancient storefronts, many of which feature local wines from the Saint-Emilion appellation. The Romans planted vineyards here back in the second century AD. You will only find red wines produced in the region. Taking a taste exploration through the wines …

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Day Four – Viking Cruises Bordeaux

ABOARD THE VIKING FORSETI — The Bordeaux region is well known for wine, but today, I am anxious to explore its cognac. While there are tours to explore the area wineries, I have chosen an optional tour to go into the city of Cognac, just an hour and a half drive away. I signed up for the tour when I heard we’d have the rare opportunity to create our own personal blend of cognac, bottle it, and …

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Day Three – A New Bordeaux Itinerary for Viking

ABOARD THE VIKING FORSETI — We are docked outside of the Place de la Bourse, a massive public square overlooking the Garonne River. The stunning Bordeaux Palais De La Bourse, which reminds me somewhat of Versailles, dominates the skyline.   The people of Bordeaux are not looking at the historical monuments, though. They are more captivated by us, the Viking Forseti, as we make the inaugural cruise of the new Chateaux, Rivers and Wine itinerary.   From …

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A historic christening for Viking River Cruises

“I don’t know how we can outdo ourselves next year,” joked Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises. After a day of grand celebrations and a new Guinness World Record, the christening of 16 new Viking Longships was a rousing success. I was fortunate to witness one part of the christening celebration today in Avignon, France. Three ships – the Viking Heimdal, Viking Buri and Viking Hermod – were celebrated on the banks of the Rhone River with …

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Getting Ready for the 2014 Viking River Cruises Christening

Along the banks of the Rhone River in Avignon, France, three Viking River Longships are docked under the shadow of a medieval Pope’s palace. With railings festooned with rows of red and white balloons, the gleaming new Longships being christened this year are a bit of a contrast to the walled city seen just off in the distance.   It is a mixture of yin and yang, the very old and the very new. Yet it works. …

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Viking Cruises will set a record christening 18 Viking Longships on one day

Soon, the world of river cruising will be changed forever. On March 18, in Avignon, France, Viking Cruises will be christening another 18 of its Viking Longships. The christening ceremony will set a new Guinness Book of World Records for the most ships christened by one company in one day.  It’s a pretty impressive feat. I should know because I was there to see it happen last year, too! Viking Cruises is by far the most popular …

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Day 6 – Saying Goodbye

ABOARD THE ROYAL PRINCESS-Our port today is Istanbul. For days, everyone onboard has talked about how beautiful it is to sail into Istanbul. Sailing out of Venice is a tough act to follow, but I have to admit sailing into Istanbul comes a close second. Our expected time of arrival was 8 a.m., so for anyone wanting to see the great views while arriving, I’d suggest getting up about 6:45 or 7 a.m. The spires of the …

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Day Five – New and improved at sea

ABOARD THE ROYAL PRINCESS-There are plenty of things that are new or improved on the Royal Princess, compared to other Princess ships or the cruise industry in general. Some are small tweaks, others are massive changes. For instance, The Pastry Shop – the largest at sea! Located adjacent to Horizon Court, The Pastry Shop is your anytime fix for something sweet. Trays of treats are on display. They’re a definite temptation for the kids who are playing …

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