This Week in Cruise: New Itinerary, Renovation and Business News From MSC, Windstar and Hurtigruten

MSC Cruises' MSC Orchestra will be taking part in a new Grand Voyage in 2015, traveling from the United Arab Emirates to Asia and Australia. The 33-night voyage begins on Feb. 21, 2015, first calling at Mumbai and Cochin, India before arriving in Colombo. MSC Orchestra will then visit Phuket, Thailand, followed by a stop in Langkawi. The ship will stay overnight in Singapore, and Benoa, in Bali, will be the ship’s last stop in Asia.

The ship will then arrive in Perth, Australia, on March 26, 2015. The Grand Voyage to Australia comes with three all-inclusive packages, complete with three all-day and two half-day excursions to Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Windstar Cruises recently unveiled major renovations for Star Pride’s public spaces, suites and dining venues. The Star Pride will be delivered on April 17, 2014, and is the first yacht of Windstar’s 2013 purchase of three luxury cruise ships. The work to transform Star Pride into Windstar’s private yacht style will take place in Barcelona immediately following handover. Star Pride’s inaugural voyage embarks May 5, 2014.

Windstar is working in partnership with Alan McVitty and Trimline Interiors, both of whom played a part in the success of Windstar’s recent $18-million sailing fleet-wide renovation, to complete Star Pride’s stem-to-stern transformation that will renovate public spaces, dining venues and suites.

Hurtigruten announced the establishment of a new Seattle-based Reservations Call Center (800-323-7436), as well as expanding and adding resources to its existing Travel Agent Support Center, also in Seattle. The call center was opened on Jan 6, 2014, and was established to assist with travel agent calls, taking the place of center that had been based in Scandinavia. 

The move will allow for more convenient operating hours, faster response times and well-trained staff focused on the needs and preferences of North American travelers and their Travel Agents. The new call center in Seattle, hosted by Global Voyages Group, will be headed by industry veteran Josh Martin Arians. Josh has worked for Hurtigruten for four years, most recently as the Reservation Manager in the European office.

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