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Groups on Cruises: Treats from the galley

American Cruise Lines has announced a new “Culinary Cruise Collection,” selected sailings that place special emphasis on the traditional cuisine of specific cruising regions:  Alaskan King Crab Cruises from Juneau, Lobster Festival Cruises on both Maine and New England Islands itineraries, Crabfest Cruises on Chesapeake Bay, Culinary and Wine Cruises on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, plus Savories of the South Cruises on select Mississippi River itineraries.

During Holland America Line’s summer cruise season, Food and Wine Magazine’s Culinary Arts Center program will host five of the world’s most celebrated chefs, who will showcase their expertise and share tips with guests.  Chef Kevin Sbraga, Food Stylist Denise Vivaldo, Entrepreneur Sonia Hunt, Chef Angelo Sosa, and Chef Jonathon Sawyer will be aboard five of the line’s ships in July and August as part of the line’s Culinary Arts Program, which offers culinary enrichment opportunities on more than 500 cruises annually.  During their cruises, the experts will perform complimentary cooking demonstrations in the Culinary Arts Centers, state-of-the-art show kitchens aboard each ship.


Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection received top honors in Travel and Leisure’s Annual Readers’ Poll highlighting 2012 “World’s Best Service.”  Uniworld received a score of 93.26, earning the number one spot in the ‘Top Cruises: River’ category.  Elsewhere, The Spa aboard Silversea Cruises’ Silver Spirit was chosen by the readers of Conde? Nast Traveler as the top spa at sea in the magazine’s 2012 Spa Poll.  Silver Spirit was the only ship in the poll to score a perfect 100 for its treatments.

At a ceremony on May 21, Holland America Line was presented a gold 2012 Benkert Environmental Protection Award from the U.S. Coast Guard in recognition of the line’s environmental leadership, and for successfully achieving several environmental objectives established by the company that exceed standard regulations.

On May 18, Costa Crociere S.p.A. and Italo-American consortium Titan-Micoperi, presented their plan to remove the wreck of Costa Concordia from the coast of Giglio Island.  The project, which has already begun, is expected to last about 12 months.  Titan Salvage, an American-owned specialist in marine salvage and wreck removal, is a world leader in its field.  Micoperi is an Italian marine contractor with a long history as a specialist in underwater construction and engineering.

The plan to refloat the hull in one piece gives top priority to minimizing environmental impact, protecting Giglio’s economy and tourism industry, and maximizing safety.  Once removal is complete, the sea bottom will be cleaned and marine flora replanted.

At Princess Cruises, the name Gavin MacLeod is naturally associated with the famed TV captain of “The Love Boat.”  Interestingly, however, the line also has a real-life officer with the same name.

When Island Princess Third Officer Gavin MacLeod, who hails from Inverness, Scotland, joined Princess in 2010, he reportedly never gave much thought to the fact that he shared a name with the actor who made the role of “Captain Stubing” a part of television history.  But when Island Princess called recently at Los Angeles, the two men met on the ship’s bridge, enjoyed lunch together at Sabatini’s Restaurant, and signed several navigational charts to be auctioned for charity.

Filmed aboard Princess ships throughout its 1977-1986 run, “The Love Boat” is given much credit in popularizing cruising nationwide.  The actor has continued his association with Princess ever since, serving as an ambassador who travels regularly aboard the line’s ships and represents the company at a variety of special events.