The world’s largest cruise ship — Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas — began sea trials this week, departing the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The ship needed six tugs to get out of the dock and into the Saint-Nazaire estuary; the ship’s captain, along with three pilots, then guided Harmony of the Seas into open water. Sea trials, which are standard for all new vessels, will assess the ship’s seaworthiness, machinery and engines. Harmony of the Seas debuts in Southampton, U.K. on May 20.
Tall ship cruise line Star Clippers will ply Indonesian waters for the first time in 2017, with six new itineraries and a choice of 19 departures, beginning on May 6. Sailings will range from one to two weeks, and itineraries will include Bali to Singapore (or reverse) and round-trip cruises from Bali. Off-the-beaten-path ports of call reachable by the line’s small ships include Satonda, a natural volcanic island and a marine national park surrounded by coral reefs; Wera, home to traditional Indonesian sailing ships called ; and Central Java with its early Buddhist temple compound. The new Indonesian itineraries include complimentary water sports such as snorkeling, kayaking and canoeing.
American Empress, the paddlewheel owned by American Queen Steamboat Company, will hold several wine-themed cruises on their Pacific Northwest sailings on the Snake and Columbia Rivers. The “Vineyards, Vintages and Varietals” cruises — taking place November 12 through November 19 and November 19 through November 27 — will bring local winemakers onboard for exclusive tastings and pairings. Fares for the nine-night sailings begin at $2,649, based on double occupancy. Trips include one night in a hotel before the trip, shore excursions, and beer and wine with dinner.
Passengers sailing on Regent Seven Seas Explorer will be treated to bath amenities from French perfume house Guerlain. The amenities are available to passengers staying in Penthouse Suites and above on the new Regent Seven Seas ship, set to debut in July 2016. Amenities include shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, body lotions and vegetable white soaps. Passengers staying in the Regent Suite, Master Suite, Grand Suite and Explorer Suite also will receive a bottle of Eau de Cologne Imperiale, a citrus fragrance designed in 1853. The amenity collection will debut on Explorer but will roll out to the rest of the fleet soon.