Author Archives: Ralph Grizzle

There are 370 articles by Ralph Grizzle published on this site.


Cunard 2020 Alaska Voyages

Cunard will spend a full season in Alaska from June through to September in 2020 on the newly-refurbished ship, Queen Elizabeth. The cruise line is making its return to Alaska in May 2019, after a 20-year break, and will double its program in 2020.

This expanded program will offer ten roundtrip sailings departing Vancouver, ranging from nine to twelve nights, plus one cruise to San Francisco including an overnight stay on Independence Day. Read the rest of this entry »

River Cruise 101: Crystal River Cruises

Crystal is a name that’s been synonymous with cruising for 25 years, but it wasn’t until 2016 that the company entered the river cruise market with Crystal Mozart, an older ship refitted to suit the line’s plans. Crystal Mozart made a big splash, boasting a width twice the size of the other river cruise ships and allowing for grander public areas like the Life Spa, fitness center, an indoor pool, plus king-sized beds in every stateroom. Read the rest of this entry »

Voyage Preview: Antarctica On Silver Cloud

Next week, I’ll embark on my third visit to the White Continent. My upcoming voyage, however, is quite different from the others.

For starters, the weather forecast for the Antarctica Peninsula looks to be bone-chilling. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute, which arguably gives the most accurate forecasts for Antarctica, is showing -24°C for Thursday, November 8. That’s -11.2°F. We won’t be in Antarctica until the following week, so hopefully it will warm a bit. Read the rest of this entry »

My 12 Favorite Cruises

One afternoon in 2015, cinematographer Chris Stanley and I pulled our rental car into the dusty parking lot of the Arkadi Monastery. We were here to film the monastery for Seabourn, which offered a visit to these historical grounds on shore excursions from Heraklion and Chania. Read the rest of this entry »

Antarctica. If it’s not on your bucket list, it should be. I’ve been fortunate enough to have cruised Antarctica twice – see my posts from those trips Antarctica On Silver Explorer and Antarctica On Seabourn Quest. I’ll be headed back for the third time in November (2018) on the recently refurbished Silver Cloud. – Ralph Grizzle

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Crystal Cruises announced its full lineup of 2021 luxury sailings aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. In all, 68 all-inclusive voyages span the globe to 238 destinations in 53 countries.

From Crystal Serenity’s 139-day “Ancient Dynasties & World Wonders” comprehensive World Cruise to 10 seven-day sailings through the Mediterranean aboard Crystal Symphony, travelers will find opportunities to explore destinations both famous and less visited in 2021. Staying true to Crystal’s philosophy of offering guests numerous choices, including shorter sailings that are easily combinable with other cruises – without repeating ports – for those seeking an extended vacation. Read the rest of this entry »

Our Barge Cruise In Photos: Abundance Of Nature

Somewhat surprising was the abundance of wildlife during my September barge cruise from Sete to Arles. As we barged along the canal, we saw flamingos, egrets, herons along with wild horses and cattle. They all live in the Camargue, a natural region south of Arles that spans more than 360 square miles. That expanse makes the Camargue the largest river delta in western Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

Barging From Sete To Arles: A Photo Journal

I’ve just returned from France, where I spent a week hosting 20 guests on CroisiEurope’s Anne-Marie, barging from Sete to Arles. Eleven of us also did a four-day pre-barge trip from Paris through the beautiful Perigord region of France to Sete. Following are a few photos from our trip. Next week, I’ll have an extensive report from our time in France. Read the rest of this entry »

Frank del Rio: Mind The Curve

Recently, I spent an hour gleaning cruise industry insights from Frank del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., the parent of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

From the perspective of del Rio’s prism, the cruise industry is experiencing some of its best years ever, and for cruise companies like his, bookings are robust, with consumer demand high. Read the rest of this entry »

Cruise Deal Roundup: September 2018

Those looking to make travel plans from now until November 2018 can take advantage of a few cruise deals provided by Seabourn, Holland America Line, Silversea, and Regent Seven Seas. Whether a percentage off a booking, a drink package, or a category upgrade, these deals are a great way for travelers to save money on their next voyages. Read the rest of this entry »

Crystal Cruises is pumping out the videos this week. We recently posted a video from Crystal Endeavor’s keel-laying event in Germany. The newest video features an extremely compelling expedition ship (and program). We’re impressed by Endeavor’s sophisticated public areas and stylish staterooms and suites. In case you missed it, be sure to check out Crystal Endeavor To Boast Expedition’s Highest Space Ratio, where execs tout Endeavor’s key differentiator in the expedition market, space. Read the rest of this entry »

This past Tuesday at Germany’s MV Werften Shipyard in Stralsund, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would like to sail on Crystal’s new expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor. Wouldn’t we all? Not only is the lineup of itineraries enough to make any wanderer salivate – see Crystal Endeavor Now Open For Booking – but Endeavor itself is nothing short of gorgeous – see Crystal Endeavor To Boast Expedition’s Highest Space Ratio.

Merkel was among the VIPs who placed coins in Endeavor’s keel, a time-honored tradition meant to bring the vessel good fortune. Below, I’ve posted a photos and short video from last Tuesday’s keel-laying festivities. Read the rest of this entry »

When Holland America Line’s O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life Cruise sets sail for the Caribbean Oct. 28, 2018, aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, guests are in for an inspiring week with some of the magazine’s editors and world’s leading visionaries.
Senior Editor Molly Simms and Beauty Director Brian Underwood from O, The Oprah Magazine will be cruising along with “The First Lady of Nutrition” Ann Louise Gittleman, Unplug Meditation teacher Christina Huntington, best-selling author and transformational speaker Lori Harder and Functional Life Coach creator Mastin Kipp. Special programming during the roundtrip Fort Lauderdale cruise will allow guests to gain insight and knowledge from this team of thought leaders and learn from their expertise. Read the rest of this entry »

Princess Cruises Presents New Drink Menus

Princess Cruises has revealed the line’s new beverage menus, featuring globally inspired cocktail offerings created by mixologist Rob Floyd. In addition to the new cocktails, the line has added 20 spirits, 39 wines by the glass, and 17 international and craft beers to the new menu. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: A Journey Along The Loire River

The Loire is one of France’s most beautiful rivers, but because of notoriously shallow depths, the river has been largely unnavigable for river cruisers – until recently. Strasbourg-based CroisiEurope developed a paddlewheeler that can propel itself along the Loire, and now for the first time ever, this beautiful river is possible to experience on a river cruise. Read the rest of this entry »

Crystal Offers Savings For Select Voyages

Crystal Cruises’ new Book Now Savings program offers reduced fares featuring limited-time savings up to $2,000 per suite on hundreds of Crystal voyages, with fares increasing once the designated expiration date is reached. Book Now Savings are available on select 2018, 2019 and 2020 voyages aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, as well as on Crystal River Cruises and the line’s yacht, Crystal Esprit. Read the rest of this entry »

Emerald Harmony Will Cruise The Mekong

Emerald Waterways soon will have a new ship on the Mekong. Featuring authentic Asian design fused with modern amenities, Emerald Harmony will navigate the waters of the Mekong River between Vietnam and Cambodia beginning in August 2019 with 13-, 17- and 21-day cruise and tour packages. Read the rest of this entry »

Polar explorer m/v Ortelius could be called, “The Little Ship that Could.” Certainly, it was hats off to the ship, captain and crew when a tricky Antarctic mission met with success on my November, 2017 sail. Passengers were treated to a rare Antarctic sight thanks to savvy navigation and Ortelius’ ice-strengthened hull. Two onboard helicopters did their part as well. And though Ortelius is a hero of a ship, she’s not a princess. Passengers looking for a polar expedition featuring cruise ship-style amenities won’t find them here. The magic wand of design has not graced this ship, and although crew are friendly and helpful, they won’t be delivering champagne and hors-d’oeuvres to your cabin at 5 p.m. Read the rest of this entry »

On the heels of announcing two new expedition vessels, Seabourn promoted veteran expedition leader Robin West to Vice President, Expedition Operations & Planning. Those of us who know Robin could not be more pleased.

I had the pleasure of cruising Antarctica with Robin in 2014. When the photo accompanying this post was taken, Robin was educating me about the Drake Passage. The notorious body of water between South American and Antarctica requires that ships travel nearly 600 miles across open ocean. I’ve heard stories of swells raging up to 90 feet, but those are extremely rare, and expedition vessels won’t cross during such conditions. Still, the Drake Passage can make for a rocky passage almost anytime, but not always. Read the rest of this entry »

AmaWaterways July News Brief

AmaWaterways’ Co-Founders and Owners Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst believe in the motto “under promise and over deliver,” and that desire to “over deliver” translates into actions throughout the AmaWaterways’ fleet. Here’s what’s going on with AmaWaterways right now. Read the rest of this entry »

The Danube River travels nearly 1,800 miles through Eastern and Central Europe, from the Black Forest in Germany to the coast of Romania where it empties into the Black Sea. Along the way, it traverses eight countries and touches four capital cities. For 2019, Emerald Waterways has added two new Danube river itineraries that allow guests to spend more time in favorite ports or visit new destinations along this route. Read the rest of this entry »