Disney Cruise Line is promising its most diverse itineraries in the line's history for 2010 with sailings in Mediterranean, Northern European, Caribbean and Bahamian waters. The line is working closely with local tour operators to create family-friendly Port Adventures at culturally rich and exotic locales.
New touches on these tours include more scheduled breaks, complimentary snacks and beverages, and port journals for kids. While every port of call will offer Port Adventures, many tours integrate separate activities for children and adults. While kids are engaged in age-appropriate activities supervised by youth counselors from the ship, parents are given the opportunity to explore cultural sites and points of interest in greater depth.
For the 2010 European season, each itinerary will include at least one tour that features Disney characters and rich storytelling to help bring local culture and customs to life. Itineraries also will showcase authentic cultural experiences in intimate, upscale settings during Signature Collection tours.
Port Adventures exclusive to Disney Cruise Line guests include:
At one port of call, on both Mediterranean and Northern European itineraries, a magical, one-of-a-kind experience brings local history and stories to life with the help of some Disney friends.
For example, in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Catherine Palace provides the setting for an elaborate Royal Ball. The noble estate served as Russia's imperial family summer residence for more than 200 years. The Palace is the stage for a grand gala hosted by Disney princesses such as Cinderella, Snow White and Belle. Arriving by horse-drawn carriages, the princesses and their princes will entertain guests in the gilded Grand Ballroom. Live musicians and royal courtiers resplendent in period costumes and powdered wigs add to the ambiance and lead guests in song, dance and regal revelry.
Something for Everyone
At many ports of call during the 2010 European season, at least one Port Adventure will bring youth counselors from the Disney Magic ashore to join the tour and direct special activities for children. While kids are enjoying "mini adventures" designed just for them, adults on the tour continue on with a more in-depth exploration of the destination. Everyone reconnects later in the tour to share their experiences.
During a tour of Florence, families experience city highlights together then divide into separate groups for their own style of fun. Children spend about an hour honing their skills as the next Michelangelo as they create their own traditional Italian fresco painting. During this time, parents are free to explore the rest of the impressive Palazzo Vecchio and take a deeper dive into the masterpieces of this Florentine palace.
The Sidi Bou Said Treasure Hunt in Tunis guides families throughout focal points of this popular destination by following clues. This quest brings to life the culture, sites, sounds and flavors of the city.
As part of this Port Adventure, families visit a traditional Tunisian house, learn about the origin of Sidi Bou Said from a local storyteller, receive a hand-painted henna tattoo, bargain with local merchants for a keepsake water vessel, sip freshly prepared mint tea and get their name written in Arabic as a souvenir.
Signature Collection tours are found on all Disney Cruise Line itineraries and will be available as part of the 2010 European season. These exclusive tours are customized for guests seeking deluxe experiences ashore in intimate, upscale settings.
In Florence, the Tuscan Cooking School and Wine Tasting takes guests on a northern Italian culinary journey. An authentic Tuscan farmhouse is the venue where guests learn how to create delectable Tuscan cuisine using fresh, local ingredients.
An Italian chef provides one-on-one instruction and guides the hands-on participation. Guests then enjoy their culinary creations such as antipasto, grilled meats, pasta, focaccia and cantucci - traditional Tuscan almond biscotti. A sampling of wines bottled onsite at the farmhouse provides the perfect pairing to the regional feast.