Tag: Cruising

Birth of a Birder

Birth of a Birder Photo by Eva Holland

Eva Holland never got too excited about birds. But then she found herself gazing up at the sky in the Galapagos.

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The Ferries and the Last Frontier

Alaska ferry Photo: Eva Holland

In a four-part series, Eva Holland explores Southeast Alaska by state ferry

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What’s the Etiquette for Abandoning Ship?

As we’ve heard, the evacuation of the Costa Concordia didn’t go well after the ship ran aground last week off Italy. Slate asks: What’s the etiquette for abandoning ship? Are there maritime laws that must be followed?

In short, yes. They were issued by the International Maritime Organization.

If an evacuation alarm sounds, cruise-ship passengers are supposed to proceed to the loading area and board a lifeboat that was assigned to them based on their cabin numbers. Some evacuations are far more chaotic than that, and the crew just loads whoever is ready to go. In those emergency situations, men sometimes step aside for the women to go first, but it’s not a matter of maritime law, nor is the tradition observed in many parts of the world.


Audio From the Costa Concordia Disaster*

In this newly released audio, the Italian Coast Guard appears to order the Costa Concordia captain back on board the ship after it ran aground Friday off Italy. According to the latest Cruise Critic report, 11 people have died and 24 are still missing.

* Update (Wednesday, Jan. 18): Today’s New York Times reports that a quote from the audio—from Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio Maria de Falco—has “already become an icon” in Italy:

The behavior of the two captains, the journalist Aldo Grasso wrote in the newspaper, contrasted the “two souls of Italy”—one of them represented by a “cowardly fellow who flees his own responsibilities, both as a man and as an official” and the man who tries to bring him back to his responsibilities. A sentence loosely translated into English as “Get back aboard! Damn it” that Captain De Falco shouted in Schettino’s ears has already become an icon in Italy, emblazoning T-shirts for sale on the Web.

A Visit With the Emperors

A Visit With the Emperors Chris Epting

Lured by the possibility of seeing penguins, Chris Epting ventured to Snow Hill Island in Antarctica

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The Titanic: ‘Stories Without Lessons’

The Smart Set’s Morgan Meis shares a few of the stories that continue to, er, surface from the Titanic nearly a century after its sinking, and contemplates the ship’s enduring ability to generate narrative:

It would seem that Titanic was more of a giant floating (and sinking) narrative-machine than a boat. Even today, the basic plotline is difficult to believe. Largest ship ever built, filled to the gills with notable names of the time, sinks on its maiden voyage. It takes a few hours for the boat to go under and about a third of the passengers are saved on the insufficient lifeboats, thereby guaranteeing that so much will have happened in the final hours, and so many will have witnessed it, that the world will talk about it for generations. We have.

The most compelling aspect of Titanic, to me, is the degree to which it multiplies stories without lessons. It is, of course, tempting to draw out a lesson about hubris from Titanic, and many have made the mistake of trying to do so. Here is man, challenging nature and the gods with a vessel that would tame the seas, and with beautiful carved mahogany interiors to boot. This behemoth proclaimed itself invincible, unsinkable, and then promptly went under at the hands of a silent and dumb chunk of ice. If frozen water could laugh, there’d have been some icy chuckling in the North Atlantic that night.

Meis goes on to debunk the hubris narrative. It’s a good read.

(Via The Daily Dish)

Video You Must See: Cruising in Stormy Waters

When the Pacific Sun hit a heavy storm in the South Pacific, furniture and passengers went flying

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Cruise Passengers Rescued from Northwest Passage

The Canadian Coast Guard removed 110 passengers from a cruise ship stranded in the Arctic Ocean this weekend. The ship was exploring the Northwest Passage when it got hung up on an unmapped rock—presumably, we’ll see more of these incidents as the passage becomes increasingly viable, so Canada, keep your icebreakers sharp.

Cruise the Middle East with James A. Baker and Bill Moyers

You don’t see too many cruises with such an impressive roster of intellectual heavyweights aboard (with the notable exception, of course, of the historic 2007 “Gimme Three Days” Concert Cruise featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special).

It’s called the World Leaders Symposium Middle East. From the Abercrombie & Kent release that landed in my in-box this morning:

Abercrombie & Kent presents the World Leaders Symposium Middle East, an extraordinary journey through countries that remain a mystery to many Westerners, in the company of those who know it best, including former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III; former Egyptian first lady Jehan Sadat and veteran journalist Bill Moyers. Travel beyond the headlines on this once-in-a-lifetime trip (December 29, 2010-January 12, 2011) to engage in dynamic discussions with these and other experts who offer authoritative analysis and personal perspectives on the rich culture of the Middle East; the current political situation; and the ideas, people and possibilities shaping the future.

Designed for travellers who seek a deeper knowledge and appreciation of this complex region, this Marco Polo Club Invitational features a seven-night cruise aboard the luxurious ‘Silver Wind’ that originates in Dubai and includes stops in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Prices start at a cool $19,990.

Which Way to the Promenade?

On the changing cruise industry and the joys of promenades past

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Photo You Must See: Setting Sail in Shanghai

Photo You Must See: Setting Sail in Shanghai REUTERS/Nir Elias

The Azamara Quest cruise ship leaves Shanghai over the weekend. The sailing marks the first gay cruise to depart from China.

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World Travel Watch: Dubai’s Burj Khalifa Closed, Alternate Routes to Machu Picchu and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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Where no Travel Writer has Gone Before

star trek graphic By Doug Mack

In a five-part series, Rolf Potts joins Trekkies aboard a "Star Trek" theme cruise to Bermuda

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Video: Where No Travel Writer Has Gone Before

Rolf Potts introduces his five-part series about a Star Trek-themed cruise

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The Titanic Memorial Cruise: Tasteless or Touching?

Miles Morgan Travel, the company behind the Titanic Memorial Cruise, tells Reuters it has “come in for a little bit of criticism,” but stresses the upcoming trip is meant to be “a commemoration not a ghoulish recreation of the original journey.”

It may or may not be ghoulish, but it is a recreation. The cruise will depart Southampton, England on April 8, 2012, 100 years to the day after the original Titanic’s departure. On April 12, 2012, it will stop at the exact spot Titanic sank.

“I’ve had several people in tears on the phone,” Miles Morgan said. “I was reading the itinerary to one woman and she literally broke down.”

Alaska and the Cruise Industry Go to Court

With several major cruise lines headed into the courtroom to challenge Alaska’s $50-per-cruise-passenger “head tax,” Rob Lovitt takes a broader look at the uneasy relationship between the cruise industry and the state. Here’s his take on a return visit to Skagway after a 20-year absence:

I was gobsmacked by the changes. Instead of one ship, there were three, each of which probably carried 2,000-2,500 passengers. With 6,000-plus cruisers unloading simultaneously, Broadway was more or less impassable, and while the Sweet Tooth and Red Onion were still there, they were joined by the likes of Del Sol, Tanzanite International and other absurdly out-of-place outposts of Caribbean kitsch.

And it’s not just Skagway. A recent editorial in the Juneau Empire bemoaned the “yuck factor” created by the dozens of jewelry stores and trinket shops along the city’s main tourist drag. Written, surprisingly enough, by a local economic development booster, the piece didn’t single out the cruise industry, but it doesn’t take an advanced degree in tourism management to realize that cruise ships and curio shops go together like buffet lines and bulging waistlines.

Are Cruises Green?

That’s the question being tackled in Slate’s latest Green Lantern column. The short answer: No.

Obama Administration Wants Controls on Antarctic Tourism

Obama Administration Wants Controls on Antarctic Tourism Photo by individuo via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wants to limit landings in Antarctica from ships carrying a lot of tourists in an effort to save the continent from further environmental degradation, Reuters reports. Speaking to a joint session of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and the Arctic Council, Clinton also said the U.S. is offering new rules for lifeboats, to better protect passengers in stranded or sinking cruise ships. One cruise ship was already stranded this past winter, while some 150 crew and passengers had to be rescued in late 2007 after their ship struck ice and sank.

Saving ‘Cleopatra’s Beach’ and a Jewel of the Aegean

Saving ‘Cleopatra’s Beach’ and a Jewel of the Aegean Photo by haruncagan via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by haruncagan via Flickr (Creative Commons)

I’m not surprised that the beautiful Gulf of Gökova off the southwestern coast of Turkey has practically been loved to death. The Aegean blue water and soft beach sand (which Mark Antony allegedly imported to Gökova from Egypt for Cleopatra) is the stuff of sea-loving tourists’ dreams.

Over the years, yacht tours polluted the bay, illegal fishing depleted its marine life, and all those sunbathers started eroding that queenly beach sand. The European-funded Gökova Integrated Coastal Management program banned the sunbathers from the beach in 2007 and is now working to support sustainable fishing, protect the bay’s natural flora and fauna, and keep the Gökova waters clean. (Via Treehugger)

A Day at Cruise World

A Day at Cruise World Photo by Tom Swick

Contemplating and celebrating the world of travel

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