This Week in Cruise: Four Itinerary Announcements for the Holidays and Beyond

disney holiday cruiseThis week in cruise travel news saw another slate of important itinerary announcements. Here's the latest. 

Disney Cruise Line announced its lineup of holiday cruises, which kick off this November onboard the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

To celebrate the holidays, the Disney Magic sails four- and five-night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises departing November 11 to December 23. The Disney Wonder sails four-, six- and seven-night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises departing November 6 to December 24. The Disney Dream sails three- and four-night Bahamian cruises departing November 9 to December 24. Finally, the Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises departing November 14 to December 19.

During these Very Merrytime Cruises, guests can enjoy stem-to-stern holiday events that include a tree-lighting ceremony, holiday parties and family-friendly arts and crafts. 

On Thanksgiving Day, guests will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day feast, as well as visits from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. Also during the special Thanksgiving voyages, NFL football games will be broadcast live on the ships’ outdoor, jumbo LED screens – Funnel Vision – located near the family pool.

Christmas morning at the atrium lobby tree Santa Claus and his helpers will have a surprise for all the kids. There will also be a special musical performance from the children. A traditional Christmas Dinner will be served that night in the dining rooms.

Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Hanukkah services will be held each day, December 6 to December 14.

Also for 2015 and 2016, Silversea Expeditions will operate a series of Antarctica voyages to mark the centenary of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance expedition. Famous explorers Rebecca Stephens MBE and Michael Palin CBE will be supporting the event with Silversea Expeditions and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

In November 2015, marking 100 years since the stricken expedition team managed to endure 138 days in one of the most inhospitable places on earth, the first in a series of unique Silversea expedition voyages will depart Ushuaia, Argentina, to retrace Shackleton's journey to Antarctica. Explorer and journalist Rebecca Stephens MBE, who was the first British woman to climb Everest and the Seven Summits, will be on Silver Explorer as part of the onboard enrichment program providing an insight into her experiences while trekking in some of the most remote regions on the planet.

Continuing the centenary celebrations during November Silversea, in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), will host a unique Shackleton experience at the RGS headquarters for one evening in central London with the renowned travel writer, broadcaster and actor Michael Palin CBE as guest of honor.

In May 2016, Carnival Corp.'s new social impact travel brand, Fathom, will launch its first seven-day itinerary to Cuba

Fathom will sail to Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba on the new itinerary, which begins May 2016. Reservations are now open for the inaugural voyage. Shore activities will focus on supporting cultural exchange and economic development for the Cuban people and include a variety of artistic, educational and humanitarian events.

A sample seven-day itinerary is available here

Looking further ahead, Costa Cruises has cemented plans to up its capacity in the Indian Ocean by doubling the number of cruises for the winter 2016-17 season. 

The first of a total of 11 cruises is scheduled to depart on October 15, 2016, and the last on March 4, 2017. The 14-day itineraries onboard the Costa neoRomantica will include longer stopovers to allow guests to enjoy more extended visits of the islands, Costa said. 

The cruise will depart from Mauritius and sail to the Seychelles, where the ship will berth for two days and two nights. The cruise will continue to Madagascar, with day calls at Nosy Be, Diego Suarez and Tamatave. The next stop, one day and one night, will be the island of Réunion, before the ship returns to Mauritius, with a final one day and one night call, and sails back to Europe.

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