Lifestyle Travel Briefcase the Jan/Feb 2020 issue

Cruising

With the launch of these three new ships, cruising just got a lot more interesting.
By Carrie Williamson Posted on January 15, 2020

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Virgin Voyages The indefatigable Richard Branson has a new cruise line, Virgin Voyages, which will begin sailing through the Caribbean for the fall and winter 2020-21 season on its first ship, the Scarlet Lady. RockStar Suites (the name a nod to their music theme), have nautical blue hues, bespoke furniture, marble bathrooms and vinyl turntables. The 20 onboard eateries range from haute cuisine to casual fare. Branson is creating waves in the cruise industry by ditching the traditional upcharges for specialty restaurants and eliminating buffets. Embracing the sailor tradition, the Scarlet Lady will have the first onboard tattoo parlor, part of the cruise line’s “Adult-by-Design” experience. virginvoyages.com

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Quasar Expeditions In the fall, this expedition cruise line will launch a third boat, the M/Y Conservation, that will offer a weeklong conservation-focused itinerary through the Galapagos. Quasar partnered with the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park to get their input on how to minimize the M/Y Conservation’s impact on the increasingly fragile marine ecosystem. As a result, Quasar is instituting a number of eco-friendly initiatives, including using solar power and electric energy and designing a new model of engine that decreases gas pollutants. Naturalists will lead the land excursions and give onboard lectures, and the ship will also host scientists, volunteers and students working on conservation projects. There are 10 spacious cabins for18 passengers max and a spa and hot tubs for relaxing after a day of exploring. quasarex.com

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Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours Last September, Dame Helen Mirren christened the Scenic Eclipse, a new ship that has raised the standards for expedition and luxury cruising. Equipped with two six-person helicopters, a six-person submarine, kayaks and zodiacs, the ship provides passengers a variety of ways to explore destinations like Panama and Columbia, Iceland and the Arctic with experts on wildlife, history and culture. Luxury is on equal footing with adventure on this cruise ship, which carries only 228 passengers and has an almost 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio and butler service for all guests. There are 114 suites, all of which have a veranda; 10 places to dine, including Asian Fusion, French fine dining and a Chef’s Table; and a spa that boasts a gym, yoga and Pilates; and indoor and outdoor plunge pools. scenicusa.com

The Scenic Eclipse

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