Ship: Cuba Cruise’s Celestyal (Louis) Cristal.
Where: Cuba (Havana, Santiago, Holguin, Cienfuegos & Trinidad) and a stop in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Who: Chris Gray Faust, Destinations Editor.
Why There? Canada-based Cuba Cruise is the first cruise line to allow Americans to visit Cuba through a partnership with several non-profit organisations, such as the Fund for Reconciliation and Development. I’ll be traveling on a people-to-people license, which stresses culturally-oriented shore excursions and meet-ups with Cubans (although I’m sure there will be time for a mojito or two).
We Can’t Wait: Long off limits to regular American tourists, Cuba has a mystique that sets it apart from the rest of the Caribbean. Even though the rest of the world has been able to visit, I’m looking forward to seeing the classic 1950s cars of Havana, listening to Cuban music and exploring the countryside.
Ship: P&O Cruises Britannia.
Where: Mediterranean (Monte Carlo, Civitavecchia for Rome, Ajaccio (Corsica), Cartagena (Spain), Cadiz (Spain).
Who: Adam Coulter, UK Editor.
Why There? We’ll be checking out P&O Cruises’ new flagship – Britannia, which is currently on its maiden cruise, after being named by none other than HM The Queen.
We Can’t Wait: To sample the delights of Britannia’s gastronomic restaurant, Epicurean; Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar’s Sindhu restaurant and sample a few of wine guru Olly Smith’s chosen wines in The Glass House. Not to mention trying to create my own half-decent cuisine at the first ever Cookery Club at sea! We’ll also be wine tasting in Ajaccio and exploring the Roman ruins of Cartagena.
Ship: Avalon Waterways’ Avalon Tapestry II.
Who: Louise Goldsbury, Australia Editor.
Why There? For the christening of this new ship before its first season of river cruises from Paris to Normandy in the north and Côte d’Azur in the south.
We Can’t Wait: To lie on our bed and watch the passing views, indulge in French food and wine, and visit historic sites such as the D-Day landing beaches, Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, and Napoleon and Josephine’s Château de Malmaison.
Ship: AmaWaterways’ AmaSonata.
Where: We’ll be sailing from Amsterdam on a quick trip through northern Holland.
Who: Jamey Bergman, Production Editor.
Why There? Kristin Karst, the co-owner of AmaWaterways, is holding an ‘AmaZing Showcase,’ and will be talking about the soon-to-launch ships, AmaSerena, AmaVista, and AmaDara as well as literally where the line will be going in 2016 and 2017.
We Can’t Wait: I haven’t personally been onboard an AmaWaterways ship before, and I’m excited to get to see one of AmaWateways’ newest. I’m even more excited to learn about what’s next for the line.
Cruise Critic staffers set sail every week, traveling the globe to bring you the latest cruise ship trends, port sneak peeks and onboard observations.
(Got questions about any of the ships we’re boarding or ports we are visiting? Ask us in the comments!)
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