Tag: Ships

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How Cunard Pulled Off an Epic At-Sea Photoshoot with the Queen Mary 2

March 17, 2014 at 2:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

"She is an iconic ocean liner—the only one of its kind in service."

An iconic ship needs a photoshoot worth of a diva for a decade of service and, in the case of Cunard's Queen Mary 2 10th Anniversary, that's exactly what she got.

In case you haven't yet seen the incredible photos, check them out right now because we've got a video of exactly how the at-sea photo stunt was made possible.

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Cruise Ship Photos Don't Get Any Better Than This

Where: Bali, Indonesia
March 10, 2014 at 10:37 AM | by | Comment (1)

She may not be the largest cruise ship in the world any longer, but the Queen Mary 2 is by far the most photogenic.

2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the Cunard liner's christening, one blustery day in January 2004 when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II smashed champagne on the bow. It's that bow which is again the focus, as the ship posed for an anniversary portrait featuring Captain Kevin Oprey standing not on the ship's bridge, but on her bulbous bow.

The image was taken as the ship anchored 1 mile off the coast of Bali, Indonesia. The weather and sea conditions were perfect for such a risky shot, and The Daily Mail has the details:

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Will This Floating City Actually Become a Reality (and Full of Permavacationers)?

December 11, 2013 at 5:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Imagine a city that is bouyant enough to float on water, yet big enough to be home to thousands of residents with all the creature comforts of our favorite city and a fully functioning airport. Now, if all of this sounds like it was pulled from a futuristic sci-fi book from the middle of last century, you'd be only half right. This vision, known as Freedom Ship and designed by Florida engineer Norman Nixon, will be just that: a self-contained floating city, and it might not be as far-fetched as you think.

Originally conjured up in the late 1990s, Freedom Ship was designed as gigantic ship-like vessel sold as a city. The 4,500 foot-long city will be four times longer than the Queen Mary and have a capacity for 40,000 permanent inhabitants over 25 stories. The floating metropolis will sport shops, restaurants, hospitals, schools and even an airport on the top big enough for small regional turboprops to take-off and land.

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'The Love Boat' Won't Be Making Another Run, Heads for the Scrapyard

August 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM | by | Comments (0)

As the song goes, "The Love Boat soon will be making another run / The Love Boat promises something for everyone."

For decades that song meant fun in the sun onboard a cruise ship, one ship in particular: the Pacific Princess. According to USA Today's Cruise Log, the ship is headed to the scrappers in Turkey after 42 years of sailing the ocean blue.

Although she began life as the Sea Venture with Flagship Cruises, it wasn't until 1975 that she achieved TV stardom as the Pacific Princess with Princess Cruises. Giving modern ships a run for their money, she sailed with Princess all the way up until 2002, at which point she was sold to yet another cruise line and renamed yet again, to Pacific.

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Why Kate Middleton Smashed a $2,000 Bottle of Champagne

June 13, 2013 at 4:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

When you're a royal princess, christening ships is just part of the job. Having the ship (sorta) named after you is also simply an additional perk, as HRH Kate Middleton now knows after smashing a bottle of champagne to christen the newest Princess Cruises ship, the Royal Princess.

Her Royal Highness headed down to Southampton to tour the 141,000-ton, 3,600-passenger ship with Captain Tony Draper, and cut the cord to send the champers sailing into the side, officially welcoming the ship to the open seas. The Royal Princess will only be under the gray sky of England until it departs to begin her inaugural season of 12-night cruises around the Caribbean.

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Throwback Thursday: A Travel Blog in 1908

April 11, 2013 at 3:50 PM | by | Comments (0)

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

Millions of travel blogs exist online. Actually the number is more likely in the billions, a staggering amount considering civilization has only had the ability to create weblogs since the early 1990s. Prior to this, travelers sent a steady stream of letters home, or *gasp* wrote entire books of their journeys. These handwritten journals or published, typed tomes often sit forgotten in an attic, in the stacks of suburban libraries, or rotting under heaps of trash sifted away from the jewelry and other hockable bits of estates.

Recently we got our hands on one such book, saved from the last fate as it turned up in an auction, forgotten in the bottom of a box.

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Throwback Thursday: What The Shanghai Bund Looked Like in 1930

Where: Shanghai, China
March 14, 2013 at 6:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

When next you're in Shanghai, standing on The Bund and staring out into the Huangpu River with its parade of digital billboard barges and the backdrop of the soaring skyscrapers of Pudong, close your eyes and, for a moment, imagine it all as it was in this postcard from 1930.

For several months at the start of 1930, the Hamburg-American line ship S.S. Resolute sailed an around-the-world itinerary, placing a great focus on Asian ports of call. Instead of placing the responsibility of mailing postcards onto each passenger, the ship offered a service whereby they would mail postcards for you, at each port. The messages were the same, only the neatly typed addresses differed. By the end of the voyage, your friends back home would have amassed a stack of exotic postcards without your having lifted a pen.

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An Abandoned, Rusting Ship is Reborn Under Street Art

March 4, 2013 at 5:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

Put an abandoned site together with street art and it's like travel photography gold. Mark the derelict ship Duke of Lancaster on your must-visit map as it's the newest place to add graffiti to its rusting hulk. We can smell the Instagram "likes" already.

Located in the Dee estuary near Mostyn, on the north coast of Wales, the Duke of Lancaster has sat unused and seemingly unloved since 1979. It was only recently that former street artist Maurice Blunt spotted the ship while traveling on a train, and formed the idea to turn her into a canvas for street art.

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Wish You Were Here: A Ferry Boat on the Bosphorus

February 21, 2013 at 8:44 PM | by | Comments (0)

New York has its Staten Island Ferry, Venice the Vaporetto and Bangkok the Chao Phraya River Bus, but no city ferry line seems quite as regal as that of Istanbul.

Last night, we hopped a Vapur (the name for these old ferries) for the first time, traveling from the docks at Eminönü near the Spice Market to about 25 minutes up the Bosphorus to Ortaköy, a neighborhood just before the towering Bosphorus Bridge. Though a private water taxi charges 120 Lira ($67 USD) for a one-way ride between these points, sharing the ferry means a far budget friendlier cost of only 3 Lira ($1.67) each way.

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Video Interlude: A Time-Lapse Trip on Scandinavia's Ultra Fancy, Duty-Free Ferry

Where: Finland
February 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you think cruise shops are pretty fancy, then you haven't stepped onboard a Scandinavian ferry. Indeed, ferries aren't what they used to be—they're so much better, as musty waiting room-like spaces are being replaced with comfortable lounges, entertainment spaces and even airport-style shopping.

The latter is the highlight of the crossing between Stockholm, Sweden and Turku, Finland onboard the Viking Line ferry M/S Grace. The boat stops in Marihamn, a port town which sits pretty on the Åland Islands between the two Baltic Sea cities. These islands are one of those weird territories travelers love to visit, as they have their own government, flag, stamps and patriotism, but still come under some jurisdiction of another country (Finland, in this case). The draw for the ferries and their duty-free shops is that these boats are exempt from Europe's VAT tax. It's literally a booze cruise—buying it, not so much consuming it.

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What It's Like to Be Stuck Onboard a Crippled Cruise Ship

Where: Mexico
February 12, 2013 at 10:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yikes. If you haven't already heard, there's a Carnival Cruise ship drifting without electricity (and, thus, propulsion) in the Caribbean. It's the Carnival Triumph, a megaship which embarked on a 4-night cruise from Galveston, Texas over the weekend, only to be crippled by an engine room fire on Sunday. Not much was known about the state of the ship and onboard conditions for the passengers until several were able to place phone calls when a sister Carnival ship came to the Triumph's aid with backup food and water.

The ship is being pushed by two tugboats from her position off the coast of Mexico and she should reach Mobile, Alabama on Thursday.

Still, this is one more entry into our series of "The Evolution of Cruise Ships," as events like this do happen as much as you pray they won't on your cruise. In fact, one of our friends suffered a similar fate on her cruise, though it took place before the age of cellphones/internet/immediate news dissemination.

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The Evolution of Cruise Ships, from 1975 to 2013: The Ship Itself

February 8, 2013 at 12:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

Imagine a cruise. Now picture yourself on that cruise. Are you playing shuffleboard and gobbling rum cakes? God, let's hope not. Over the next several days, we're going to dig back into the era responsible for creating these cruise stereotypes—the fun-in-the-sun 1970s, when ocean liners turned into cruise ships and voyages into vacations. In sharp contrast, we'll look at cruising 2013-style onboard the newest ship on the seas, the Celebrity Reflection.

The Cruising 1975 vs. 2013 Series:

1. Activities
2. Technology
3. Dining and drinking
4. Cabins and suites
5. The ships themselves

The average ship of 1975 had eight guest decks, none of them named with any creativity (ex: "Main Deck," "B Deck") while the Celebrity Reflection and similar megaships regularly boast of 13 or 14 guest decks with names ("Solstice Deck") that sound more natural than naval.

Sure, 13 decks to explore sounds like quite a bit, but then consider that the number of cabins has also risen from 500 in 1975 to 1,500 in 2013, so all that fresh space means more room for more new friends. Oh, and the chance of scoring a cabin with a verandah? Nearly 0% in 1975, depending on your ship. Heck, having a large window was living in luxury, and a dinner plate-sized porthole was far more common. In 2013, the percentage of cabins with private verandahs has skyrocketed to an impressive 85% on the Reflection, and even portholes on the lowest decks have expanded to dimensions approaching picture windows.

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