This Week in Cruise: 5 Top Headlines in 2015 and 2016 Bookings

koningsdamThis week in cruise travel news saw some major announcements in terms of bookings for the 2015 and 2016 season. Here's the latest. 

Holland America Line opened bookings for the 2016 Caribbean cruises of its newest ship, Koningsdam, set to launch in April 2016.

Koningsdam will homeport at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL, sailing seven- to 11-day Caribbean voyages from November 2016 through March 2017. The seven-day Caribbean cruises visit popular ports in the region, while the longer nine-, 10- and 11-day itineraries provide more time for exploring off-the-beaten-path islands, Holland America said.

Holland America also announced the lineup for its 2015 - 2016 Caribbean season, with eight ships sailing itineraries of up to 21 days on roundtrip cruises from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa.

Seven of the line's premium ships will sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, while Veendam will return to the Caribbean in January 2016 to sail roundtrip from Tampa. 

From October 2015 through April 2016, Eurodam, Maasdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Veendam, Westerdam, Prinsendam and Zuiderdam sail a total of 98 seven-, 10-, 11-, 12- and 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 14 to 21 days. The itineraries span the Caribbean on eastern, western and southern routes, as well as a partial transit of the Panama Canal.

All Fort Lauderdale include feature a call at Half Moon Cay, the line’s private Bahamian island.

For the fall, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic announced the addition of a new expedition to New Guinea, departing September 22. The 20-day, 17-night voyage on the 102-passenger National Geographic Orion will explore Raja Ampat, the Trobriand Islands and the Asmat

For 2016, Silversea announced the line would add a slate of new all-inclusive package amenities to its Asia cruises onboard Silver Shadow:

- Free shore excursions
- Free Wi-Fi
- Roundtrip economy air travel and transfers
- Two-night, pre-cruise hotel stay

The all-inclusive packages are available for new bookings made on or after June 24, 2015, on 17 cruises, including, for example, a seven-day voyage to Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Sailing roundtrip from Singapore on February 6, the cruise starts at just $4,550 per person, double occupancy.

Finally, MSC Cruises and Etihad Airways announced a new "Fly and Cruise" partnership agreement for guests traveling to Abu Dhabi.

Under the new agreement, MSC Cruises guests will be able to fly to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways to cruise in the region during the winter of 2015 to 2016 on MSC Musica

From December 13, 2015, to March 27, 2016, MSC Musica will sail 16 seven-night cruises in the region from Abu Dhabi, calling at Khor al Fakkan, Muscat, Khasab and Dubai.

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