Posts tagged with "Cruise"

Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use of 360 Magazine

THE RISING DEMAND FOR LIFE ON THE SEA

Private residence ships on the rise appealing to record numbers of remote workers

Condos on residential yachts and ships increasing in popularity as people look for new ways to live and work

People have more flexibility to work and study remotely than ever before, causing a sudden demand for apartments on residential yachts and ships. As travel resumes, many are making new lifestyle choices rather than returning to the daily grind. While pre-pandemic digital nomads embraced travel as a lifestyle, they found the jet lag and living out of a suitcase to be wearisome. Condo ships claim to have the answer: unpack once and travel the world from the comfort of home. There are several residential ships on the horizon. Here’s an overview of what’s on the market.

‘Narrative’ by Storylines is a new-build, liquid natural gas (LNG) powered ship launching in 2024. The ship is 741’ long with 533 residences. The smallest condominiums available at press time start at 237 sq ft and go for $360k for a 12-year lease, with annual fees of $60k. The largest units currently available are 1,529 sq ft condos and can be purchased for $7.7M with annual fees of $205k. Fees include housekeeping, laundry, meals, beverages, medical visits and spa services. With green technologies, a hydroponic garden and a zero-waste market, it will be one of the most environmentally sustainable ships at sea. The itinerary is focused on leisurely circumnavigating the globe every three-and-a-half years with 3-5 days in most ports. The ship has office space for remote workers and an education program for families with kids. For people who want to pay a reasonable amount on a new ship with a diverse community, more time in ports, and don’t mind waiting, this ship is an excellent option. 

The World’ by ResidenSea was launched in 2002. At 643 feet with 165 residences, there is plenty of room for the select few ultra-high net worth individuals on board. The smallest 290 sq ft flats start at $2M and the largest residences are in excess of $10M. The annual fees range from $150k-$1M which does not include food and beverages. Many of the larger residences have full kitchens. With a full-sized tennis court at sea and a putting green, there is plenty to love about this ship, but the main appeal is that it’s already in the water. Potential residents must also have a land-based residence and a minimum $10M net worth. For those who meet the criteria, are okay with a 20-year-old oil burning ship and are itching to launch their lifestyle at sea immediately, this is an excellent, well-established option.

Njord’ by Ocean Residences is the top of the line. It’s a brand new, LNG powered ship with all the latest green technologies. Delivery is expected in 2024. At 925 feet with just 118 residences, it’s no wonder the units start at $8M for the smallest 1,249 sq ft two-bedroom apartments. All of the residences have full kitchens, a rare amenity in this market. Expect a lot of over-the-top perks, with not one but two helicopters, a 5-star PADI dive center, Quadrofoil, observatory, crew to resident ratio of 2:1, limo tenders, scientific research laboratories, and butler suites that you can rent for your private butler, nanny or nurse. For ultra-high net worth individuals who don’t mind a homogeneous demographic and are looking for a newer and more environmentally sustainable ship than ‘The World,’ this one is worth the wait. 

‘Blue World’ by Blue World Voyages is refurbishing a ship that’s approximately 700’ long and 20 years old. The ship has 40 residences and 225 cabins and hopes to launch in 2021. The one-bedroom 800 sq ft units are $2.35M and the two-bedroom 1,200 sq ft units are $3.35M. The annual fees range between $200k-$300k. As with all older ships, it will burn either marine diesel or heavy bunker fuel. There are no cooking facilities for residents. With a focus on fitness, the ship dedicates a full deck for sports and boasts a seawater lap pool. The itinerary is somewhat restricted to Europe and Latin America due to its primary use as a tourist cruise ship, with no plans for global circumnavigation. For fitness enthusiasts who don’t mind sharing their ship with a high turnover of younger people coming and going every week, and who are hoping to start this lifestyle sooner rather than later, this company has an established founder (‘The World’) and could be an excellent fit.

‘Utopia’ by Utopia Residences has been in development for at least 12 years (ordered in 2009) and the launch date has been delayed multiple times. It was designed to be 971 ft long with 190 residences and 206 hotel suites. The smallest 1,439 sq ft residences started at $3.9M and the largest 6,143 sq ft residence was $36M. It had a paddle tennis court, rock climbing wall and outdoor movie screen, as well as ‘wine and fur storage’. An itinerary was planned which involved crisscrossing the globe to world events such as Wimbledon, Carnival, America’s Cup, Running of the Bulls and Cannes Film Festival. For people who prefer the traditional architectural style of the ship and its interiors and don’t mind visiting crowded places, this ship might be an option someday.

Chicago illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Chi-Guide

By: Emily Bunn × Armon Hayes × Vaughn Lowery

360 Magazine recently visited The Windy City to sight-see, socialize, and of course, enjoy some classic Chicago deep dish pizza. Below, we’ve complied a guide of our must-see stops in Chi-Town. Whether you’re planning your next vacation or prepping for a day trip into the city, 360 is sure to point you in the right direction.

Hornblower Seadog Cruises

Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Seadog Speedboat Tours in Chicago provides exciting excursions where tourists can steady their sea legs. Their boat is propelled by two V-12 motors and pushes about 2000 HP. This boat tour venue is a bit cheaper than the other traditional tours in the area. Furthermore, Seadog Cruises are also much more interesting.

Our cruise guide was extremely comical and entertaining, which made for an enthralling trip. He possessed a charismatic and energetic zeal that was infectious to our entire tour group. Yet, the most attractive part of the route was the stunning view of the Chicago skyline. 

Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe

196 E Pearson St, Chicago, IL 60611

Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe (established 2004) is one of the most well-known breakfast spots in The Windy City. Their high-quality level of service and ability to produce an impeccable pancake is unmatched.

We dove into many of their dishes and secondary orders– like their turkey bacon, sausages and muffins, as well as fruit cups. If you visit, Wildberry’s fresh-pressed orange juice is a must-try. This fine eatery is handled like a well-oiled machine. Although it took a while to sit down, once we ordered our food came out right away.

Sidetrack

3349 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

Sidetrack is a high-energy, alternative discothèque experience. This extremely diversified and non-intrusive venue welcomes all guests. Cheap booze and good music are provided so that customers can get their groove on. The venue hosted a polite doorman and a bartender with access to several rooms.

On Sunday, Sidetrack possessed a highly mixed ratio of men and women of all genders, beliefs and cultures. 360 Magazine strongly recommends this spot for a memorable night of dancing. On the whole, the crowd was friendly, funny and fabulous. Sidetrack is the perfect spot to break the ice.

The Signature Room at the 95th®

875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

The Signature Room is a premium, fine dining room with 360° views over Chicago’s breathtaking city center. If you’re dressed to impress (since The Signature Room does enforce a dress code), head straight to the restaurant’s living room for an intimate and decadent culinary experience. To pair with your dish, The Signature Room offers many delicious specialty cocktails. As compared to any other top-class steakhouse, The Signature room is moderately prices and provides superior foodie selections. 360 Magazine was waited on by staff who was attentive, professional and amicable.

While their cuisine is amazing, the restaurant’s expansive views take the cake. The elevator pushes you to the building’s 95th floor in minutes–so if you fear heights, think twice. Regardless, The Signature Room is a Windy City staple. A must-visit.

Windy City Nails & Spa

5316 N Milwaukee Ave ste g, Chicago, IL 60630

360 Magazine stayed at nearby Airbnb in this neighborhood and wanted to get a last-minute pedicure. Windy City Nails & Spa saved the day! This nail salon and spa follows all CDC guidelines, and even took our temperature while wearing masks. This no-frills facility offers nail, waxing, and eyebrow services.

When it came time to pay, Windy City’s doting service and pedicure cost us $28. The nail tech took her time to perform the manicure with gentle care and precision. This nail parlor is great option, if you don’t want to go into downtown Chicago and pay the downtown prices.

Gorilla Sushi Jefferson Park

4945 N Milwaukee Ave #2, Chicago, IL 60630

Gorilla Sushi is a hidden gem in Jefferson Park near Merta Station. If you’re looking for Asian cuisine to tantalize your tastebuds, look no further. With tasty selections like gyoza, sushi rolls, and sashimi, even the pickiest eaters are sure to find a dish they love.

For a sushi spot, Gorilla Sushi is very inexpensive. This restaurant provides excellent service paired with picturesque presentation. Fresh, fast, and affordable, this sushi joint is a lesser-known treasure of Chicago.

The Underground

56 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654

The Underground Chicago (15) is one of the most legendary nightclubs in the Midwest. Frequented by A-listers like like Justin BieberUsherLaBron JamesDavid BeckhamWill.I.Am, and Miley Cyrus– The Underground provides unmatched, elevated entertainment experiences. Beats reverberated throughout the energetic club all night, thanks to the state of the art sound system. Paired with pyrotechnics and projections, this nightclub truly knows how to put on a show.

This venue has premium bottle service, welcoming staff, and a fashionable porter. On the day we visited, Lil Jon DJ’d alongside Emmy award-winning TV host, actor and personality, Billy Dec. If you’re ready to party after the pandemic, be sure to visit here.

Beat Kitchen on the Riverwalk

91-95 E Riverwalk, Chicago, IL 60601

Beat Kitchen is the perfect pit stop for a cold can on a hot day. 360 Magazine quickly stopped in at this restaurant, and was impressed by their quick and extremely hospitable service. All of the staff was very welcoming.

While Beat Kitchen is a little expensive, you are paying for quality cooking that is surely worth the price. The restaurant of the atmosphere is lively and hip. Beat Kitchen creates an enjoyable ambience with their eclectic array of Afro Latino music.

H&M

840 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

H&M on Michigan Ave offers a boutique service experience and a plethora of stylish pieces. All of H&M’s clothing at this location is clean and easy to find. The merchandise was well organized and offers fashionable, budget-friendly styles for all sizes and ages.

H&M has a consistent supply of merchandise that is well-outfitted for travel and tourism. For hip adults and teens, H&M has all the trendy styles one could desire. Whether you’re looking for business casual duds or a new swimsuit for vacation, H&M has your back.

Lou Mitchell’s

565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661

Lou Mitchell‘s lives up to its prestigious reputation as one of the best diners in Chicago. In 2018, Lou Mitchell’s received a Michelin star. This restaurant and bakery constantly beckons in customers with their excellent service, food and ambience. Lou Mitchell’s does their own baking, so customers can enjoy freshly baked breads and marmalade selections.

360 Magazine loved sitting outside in the sunshine while we enjoyed your meal. However, the inside of Lou Mitchells offers a more retro, vintage diner feel. We recommend their fluffy, delectable flapjacks!

Giordano’s

1340 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

The legendary Giordano’s is located in Chicago’s South Loop. All other pizza shops pale in comparison when stood next to this iconic pizza shop. Giordano’s stuffed (AKA deep-dish) pizza is truly unbeatable. Layered with fresh cheese, a buttery, flaky rind, mouthwatering tomato sauce and chicken sausage, every bite is meant to be savored. 

Giordano’s offers local craft beer selections to pair with their pizza pies. No matter how hungry you come in, it will be extremely difficult to eat all the pizza. The portion sizes here are very generous. However, Giordano’s pizza makes for delicious leftovers that can easily be reheated in the oven. 360 Magazine will definitely be back to enjoy another tasty slice from this iconic pizza shop.

MCCB Chicago

2138 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

Modern Chinese Cookbook (MCCB) creates magical dishes that will instantly take you to Beijing. MCCB’s Sichuan and Canton style cuisine is authentic and mouthwatering. This Asian eatery has all the ingredients for a wonderful gastronomic experience: friendly staff, Michelin-starred chefs and carefully designed appetizers. We recommend trying the restaurant’s signature dish, charcoal-grilled whole fish.

Praise for MCCB continues to flow year by year, thanks to their fine food and hospitable service. If we could embrace the owners for creating such a pleasant atmosphere, we would. 360 Magazine will surely come back to MCCB soon!

deep dish pizza image via Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine
Travel illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine
DJ illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine
Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use of 360 Magazine

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces “EMBARK – The Series”

The third episode of the five-part docuseries provides a behind-the-scenes look at how onboard and shoreside team members are coming together to prepare for a defining moment in the brand’s 55-year history. The episode showcases how NCL is preparing for its great cruise comeback with contactless technologies designed to enhance the guest experience and support elevated health and safety protocols as well as highlight new product offerings and experiences. Viewers will also have a first look at the Company’s new cruise terminal at Port Miami, an iconic beacon on the Miami skyline.

This “All Hands on Deck” episode also follows executives including Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and Harry Sommer, brand president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, as they visit Norwegian Gem to discuss the upcoming renovations to the ship. Norwegian Gem will be the first ship to sail from the new NCL terminal in Port Miami, when she returns to service on Aug. 15, 2021.

“The last year has been an incredible journey, and we are beyond ready to welcome our guests back in just a few weeks when Norwegian Jade becomes the first ship in the fleet to return to service,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Our return has been 500 days in the making, and now we are putting the finishing touches on every detail of the guest experience to ensure we come back in the best and safest way imaginable.”

“All Hands on Deck” will stream live on Thursday, July 29 at 8 p.m. ET here and on their Facebook. Viewers will also find the first two episodes of “EMBARK – The Series” and the full suite of EMBARK with NCL episodes, spotlights and stories highlighting the passionate people and partners of NCL on the site.

NCL will commence voyages beginning July 25, 2021 in Europe and Aug. 7, 2021 in the U.S. The Company’s restart efforts continue in partnership with local governments and are guided by the robust protocols of the SailSAFE™ health and safety program, which at its cornerstone includes that all crew and guests must be fully vaccinated to embark voyages through Oct. 31, 2021. Working with the leading experts of the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council, the robust protocols will regularly be evaluated and modified as needed, making science-based decisions to protect guests, crew and the destinations it visits. As protocols evolve and additional information becomes available, updates will be published here.

Travelers seeking the latest details about NCL’s redeployment should click here.

For more information about the Company’s award-winning 17-ship fleet and worldwide itineraries, or to book a cruise, please contact a travel professional, call 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit here.

Cruise illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Visit Iceland and The Fagradalsfjall Volcano

Everyone is talking about the volcanic eruption happening in Iceland right now. Iceland ProCruises/ProTravel are the premiere travel companies in Iceland, offering soft expedition-style cruises circumnavigating the Island. They announce their availability arrange a trip to the volcano before and after a cruise so travelers can visit this amazing display of nature while visiting Iceland.

The Land of Ice and Fire is once again living up to its name; a new eruption is occurring in Iceland! From Geldingadalur valley, just south of Fagradalsfjall volcano, gleaming lava can be found running in molten rivers and spurting in spectacular jets.

Making this phenomenon even more exciting is its location. The Reykjanes Peninsula is familiar to all travelers to Iceland, as it connects Keflavik International Airport with the country’s capital, Reykjavik; the region is also home to the Blue Lagoon. It is the most accessible eruption in Iceland since the country has become a major tourist destination.

There is a website available to answer the questions of potential visitors and Iceland ProCruises stand ready to make arrangements for a pre or post cruise stay in Iceland. Their expertise assures visitors of a safe and splendid tour of the volcano.

There are hiking tours with guides; some at night which show the breathtaking fountains of fire and vivid orange rivers of lava which are even more striking against the dark sky. Those who want a more personalized experience can also organize private tours. While tourists can visit without an experienced guide, it is not recommended, as no roads lead directly to the site, meaning you’ll have to hike for several hours; only certain operators have permission to drive closer. This is very challenging for those who are not knowledgeable of the local area, particularly considering the rugged terrain and unpredictable weather. It’s best to have a reputable agency make plans for you.

More information at HERE, including rates and schedules for 2021.

Art by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Cruise Industry Declines Following Pandemic

Cruise Industry to Generate $6.6B in Revenue in 2021, Almost Five Times Less than in 2019

The COVID-19 had a devastating impact on the global cruise industry, with cruise lines practically disappearing after the pandemic hit and all operators witnessing double-digit sales drop.

However, it seems that 2021 might bring a new hit to the sector, which is already on its knees. According to data presented by StockApps, the entire cruise industry is expected to generate $6.6bn in revenue in 2021, almost five times less than in 2019.

Confidence in the Cruise Lines Plummeted Amid Pandemic, The Number of Users Down by 76% in Two Years

When the COVID-19 hit, cruise ships immediately suffered high infection rates among passengers and crew. Thousands of people were stranded on board, spending months in quarantine. By the end of April 2020, more than 50 cruise ships confirmed hundreds of COVID-19 cases. It didn’t take long for cruises to be depicted as places of danger and infection.

In 2019, the entire cruise industry generated $27.4bn in revenue, revealed the Statista data. After the pandemic struck, revenues plummeted by 88% in a year to $3.3bn in 2020. Although this figure is expected to almost double and hit $6.6bn in 2021, it still represents a massive 77% drop compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Statista data indicate it will take years for the cruise industry to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. By 2023, revenues are projected to reach $25.1bn, still $2.3bn less than in 2019. In 2024, cruise line revenues are expected to rise to over $30bn.

As people lost confidence in the entire cruise industry amid the pandemic, the number of cruise line users plunged to the deepest level in years. In 2019, almost 29 million people worldwide had chosen cruise lines for their vacation. Last year, this figure dipped to 3.4 million. Although the number of cruise line users is forecast to recover to 6.7 million in 2021, it still represents a massive 76% drop in two years.

Combined Revenues of Top Five Cruise Markets Still $16B Under Pre-COVID-19 Levels

The Statista survey revealed that, despite a $10.24bn revenue drop in 2020, the global cruise giant Carnival Corporation remained the largest player in the market with a 45% market share in 2021. Royal Caribbean Cruises ranked second with a 25% share. Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises follow, with 15% and 5% share, respectively.

Analyzed by geography, the United States represents the world’s largest cruise industry, expected to generate around $2.8bn in revenue this year, 78% less than in 2019.

Revenues of the German cruise line market, the second-largest globally, are expected to hit $830 million in 2021, compared to $2.8bn before the pandemic struck. The UK’s cruise companies are forecast to generate $650 million in revenue, down from $2.4bn two years ago. Chinese and Italian markets follow, with $570 million and $218 million in revenue, respectively.

Statistics show that combined revenues of the world’s five largest cruise markets are expected to amount to over $5bn in 2021 or $16bn less than in 2019.

The full story can be read here at StockApps’ website.

cruise illustration by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Iceland is Open For Business

Iceland is Open for business!

Iceland and Greenland specialist Iceland ProCruises announce these great reasons to book a trip to Iceland in 2021. These trips on-board the OCEAN DIAMOND are soft expedition cruises accompanied by an Icelandic expedition team, who speak English.

  1. Travelers will receive free airfare for booking the Iceland Circumnavigation 10 day cruise available from $4,299.Cruise dates: 11th Jul – 20th Jul 2021 and 29th Jul – 7th Aug 2021
  2. Iceland ProCruises invites solo travelers to book a cruise on certain dates in 2021 with no single supplement charge. This means no extra cost for a private cabin aboard the OCEAN DIAMOND on several dates on the Iceland Circumnavigation 10 day cruise available from $4,299 Cruise dates: 11th Jul – 20th Jul 2021, 29th Jul – 7th Aug 2021
  3. Family Special valid for 2 adults and maximum 2 children on any 2021 departures. Includes 2 bedrooms with 2 beds each, a bathroom with tub and shower and picture window which is perfect for families visiting this island country.
  4. While in Iceland, guests should plan some time to visit the currently erupting Volcano and Lava Field.  The Land of Ice and Fire is once again living up to its name with this new eruption. Photo credit

From Geldingadalur valley, just south of Fagradalsfjall volcano, gleaming lava can be found running in molten rivers and spurting in spectacular jets. There are various ways to visit the volcano – private guides, helicopter tours, etc. As part of Iceland ProTravel, Iceland ProCruises is happy to help with organizing tours to the volcano, the Blue Lagoon, and many points of interest in Iceland. They have access to exclusive tours, the best hotels and transportation available. Descriptions of pre and post tours can be found at this link: https://www.icelandprocruises.com/pages/excursions/pre-and-post-tours

Shore excursions add to the charm of Iceland ProCruises. Guests can experience waterfalls, volcanoes, glacier-choked lakes, horseback riding, trekking, sea kayaking, boat tours, museums and historic sites, whale watching, birding, bus tours, culinary tastings and more. The many options available allow each guest to choose their favorites at each port. No trip to Iceland is complete without these experiences.

Bookings may be made with a local travel agency or directly at +1 678 701 5830. More information at www.icelandprocruises.com,including rates and schedules for 2021.

Travel to Iceland from foreign countries is now allowed. Rules as of May 10, 2021 are:

People who present a vaccination certificate or a certificate of previous infection are allowed to enter the country. More information about the rules currently in effect by the Government of Iceland can be found here https://www.covid.is/categories/travel-to-and-within-iceland

 

Cruise illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Mother’s Day Cruise

CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY ON THE WATER WITH A PREMIER BRUNCH CRUISE ABOARD CITY CRUISES  

Book an unforgettable experience aboard a City Cruises vessel this year, featuring signature cocktails, specialty food offerings, and spectacular city views 

Mom figures of every kind deserve only the best, especially given this past year. City Cruises announced today its Chicago port will be offering specialty cruises celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 9. Mom, grandmother, aunt, or any Mom figure you hold near and dear to you, will be swept off their feet this upcoming holiday with an exclusive brunch or dinner cruise aboard one of the spectacular City Cruises vessels, paired with a selection of specialty cocktails and city views to make them swoon. 

Families of every kind are invited on board to enjoy a delicious Sunday meal, all while taking in unmatched views of the city skyline from the Chicago River or Lake Michigan and create unforgettable memories together. 

Mother’s Day experiences offered in Chicago include:

DATES: Sunday, May 9, 2021
CRUISING TIME: Early Brunch: 10:00am – 12:00pm (9:30am boarding) or 
Afternoon Brunch: 2:00pm – 4:00pm (1:30pm boarding)
Tickets Available HERE

RATE: Early Brunch: $101.90 (Adult/Window Table); $81.90 (Adult)
            Afternoon Brunch: $109.90(Adult/Window Table); $89.90 (Adult)

INCLUDES:              

  • Two-hour premier brunch cruise on Lake Michigan
  • Delicious plated brunch with freshly prepared entrees, salads and desserts
  • Unlimited coffee, hot tea, iced tea and water
  • Bottomless mimosas for guests 21+

Spectacular views of the city skyline and local landmarks

Guaranteed table for your party size

Onboard entertainment

Flower for mom and two souvenir champagne flutes

EXTRAS AND UPGRADES:

  • Creative cocktails, wine and beer from our well-stocked cash bar
  • Window table reservations for the best views
  • Additional upgrades to customize your experience

This cruise departs from Navy Pier. For more information or to purchase tickets, please City Experiences or call (888) 957-2634.

MOTHER’S DAY PREMIER DINNER CRUISE ON THE CHICAGO RIVER

DATES:                     Sunday, May 9, 2021

CRUISING TIME:   7:00-9:00pm (6:30pm boarding) Tickets Available HERE

RATE: $151.90 (Adult/Window Table); $126.90 (Adult)

INCLUDES:  

  • Two-hour dinner cruise on the Chicago River
  • Delicious plated dinner with freshly prepared entrees, salads and desserts
  • Unlimited coffee, hot tea, iced tea and water
  • Spectacular views of the city skyline and local landmarks
  • Guaranteed table for your party size
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Flower for mom and two souvenir champagne flutes

EXTRAS & UPGRADES: 

  • Creative cocktails, wine and beer from our well-stocked cash bar
  • Window table reservations for the best views
  • Additional upgrades to customize your experience

This cruise departs from Chicago River Esplanade, right in front of the NBC Tower on the River (north side) or 455 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit City Experiences or call (888) 957-2634.

To provide reassurance in the current pandemic environment, City Experiences has expanded its industry defining SafeCruise by City Cruises program, building on already stringent sanitation processes, to incorporate further health-driven measures to guard against the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting local regulatory initiatives against the spread of COVID-19
  • Mandatory daily crew member health screening and wearing of appropriate PPE.
  • Revised boarding and ticketing procedures to allow for social distancing and touchless entry.
  • Requiring guests to wear face masks while cruising, except while eating and drinking.
  • Reducing the number of guests on board, as supported by local government, and adapting all seating and table spacing to allow for a minimum 6-foot distance between guests.
  • Implementing enhanced sanitation and disinfection procedures, with hand sanitizing stations available throughout the vessel. 

Hornblower Cruises and Events Chicago Port Information 

  • Anyone who self-reports any of the noted COVID-19 symptoms or has completed travel in any of the restricted Travel Order states over the past 14 days, will not be able to join the cruise. 
  • All Crew and all Guests ages 2 and older are always required to wear face coverings while on board our vessels, except while dining or exempted by the local health authority. 
  • To reflect current requirements some of the usual elements dining cruises may not be permitted or offered. 
  • Chicago cruises will operate indoor dining at 40% capacity with a maximum of 50 guests per deck. 
  • All prices quoted are per person, subject to availability and exclude fees and taxes. 
  • Cruises depart Chicago River Esplanade, right in front of the NBC Tower on the River (north side) 455 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive Chicago, IL 60611
  • If looking to organize a private festive celebration in Chicago, City Cruises’ luxurious fleet is ideally suited family events or corporate outings alike and can easily accommodate a range of group sizes in accordance with current limitations. 
  • Visit City Experiences for more information on experiences available or call (888) 957-2634. 

About City Experiences

City Experiences represents Hornblower Group’s expansive portfolio of water- and land-based experience companies and includes two sub-brands: City Cruises and City Ferry.  City Cruises companies operate dining, sightseeing and private events across 22 destinations in the U.S., Canada and the UK.  City Cruises companies also operate cruises on behalf of the National Park Service and the Niagara Parks Commission and currently hold service contracts to provide ferry service to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, Alcatraz Island and Niagara Falls.  City Ferry companies offer specialized knowledge and expertise required to transport passengers, vehicles and other cargo safely across inland and coastal waterways, serving as operator of NYC Ferry and Puerto Rico ferry system, among others.  City Experiences’ portfolio of companies also offers a range of land-based experiences including shore excursions, partner-offered experiences, multi-port packages, with companies including Cruising Excursions, ShoreTrips and Walks products.  For more information visit City Experiences.

About Hornblower Group

Hornblower Group is a global leader in world-class experiences.  The corporate entity of Hornblower Group is comprised of American Queen Steamboat Company and City Experiences.  Seaward Services, Inc., a marine services company specializing in the operation, maintenance and repair of government and privately owned vessels, is also a subsidiary of Hornblower Group, operating and maintaining U.S. Navy Ranges and port facilities, including local oil spill response.  Today, Hornblower’s footprint spans 111 countries and territories, and 125 U.S. cities, with offerings including water-based experiences, land-based experiences, overnight cruise experiences, and ferry and transportation services.   Hornblower Group is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with additional corporate offices in Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; London, United Kingdom; New Albany, Indiana; New York, New York; and across Ontario, Canada. 

About SafeCruise by City Cruises

Established over 25 years ago, SafeCruise by City Cruises delivers industry-defining standards for health, safety and security across all of our City Cruises operations. Continuously improving, the program follows the most up to date government and industry guidelines and applies decades-long operational expertise to ensure a safe environment for guests and crew members, while maintaining City Experiences’ excellent record of safety. For more information visit SafeCruise.

cruise illustration by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Soneva In Aqua Experience

SONEVA INTRODUCES SAILING EXCURSIONS TO THE MALDIVES’ UNSPOILED GOIDHOO ISLAND

Four-Day Soneva in Aqua Experience Includes Surfing Uncrowded Breaks, Diving Among Shipwrecks, Spotting Marine Life and Snorkeling In Untouched Reefs

Setting sail from Soneva’s original barefoot luxury resort Soneva Fushi, the new four-day, three-night Goidhoo experience aboard the Soneva in Aqua yacht offers an ultra-luxury escape to this unspoiled island in the south of the Baa Atoll, 30 miles from Soneva Fushi. As the island of Goidhoo, which can only be reached by boat, is not often frequented by divers and surfers, it offers a rare untouched paradise full of vibrant marine life and corals.

Soneva in Aqua is a refined yacht that combines Soneva’s iconic barefoot luxury with the sense of freedom and adventure associated with a private boat charter. The 75-foot yacht sleeps a maximum of four adults and two children and has two spacious bedrooms with en-suite showers, while the master cabin has a glass-bottomed spa tub set into the floor for viewing the marine life. There is also an on-deck Jacuzzi, daybeds for lounging, dining area, bar, lounge and library. The crew consists of the captain, mechanic, head chef, wellness therapist and signature Soneva Barefoot Butler. A dive master, surf instructor, photographer and astronomer can be added on request.

Diving and snorkeling sites around Goidhoo include the Corbin, a 400-ton French ship that set sail from St. Malo in search of trade in the East, but met its end off the shores of Goidhoo in 1602. Guests are welcome to search for buried treasure and bars of silver that the ship was supposedly carrying. The Naamuli Wreck can also be explored, with remnants of an old steel ship spanning approximately 164 feet over the reef.

The entrance of Goidhoo Corner offers diverse marine life, including Napoleon fish, lobster, nurse sharks and turtles. The Rose Garden is a shallow snorkeling site that offers a spectacular display that looks like a huge underwater garden of rose-shaped coral. Protected inside a lagoon, the Inside Tilla is best explored at night when all the nocturnal marine creatures come out and the reef comes to life. The Soneva in Aqua crew have often spotted manta rays and whale sharks while anchored within the lagoon.

When it comes to surfing, the Goidhoo Pass is well known for producing some of the best waves in the Baa Atoll, with local surf competitions often being held here. Guests can also visit a local island for a cultural experience, or even join in on a soccer match with locals.

The cost of the Goidhoo four-day, three-night charter is priced at $9,900 for three nights, which includes all food and beverages for the duration. This cost excludes standard dive and surf instructor rates, which are priced at $750 and $600 per day, respectively, for two guests.

For more information about Soneva, visit this website.

ABOUT SONEVA
Soneva is a pioneering family of hospitality properties, offering holistic encounters in luxurious and inspiring environments – from world class resorts to outstanding natural locations.  Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva in Aqua in the Maldives, and Soneva Kiri in Thailand rebuke the traditional concept of luxury and instead promise the luxury of time, purity and solitude. Every day, guests are encouraged to discover sandy feet, inspired minds and full hearts. Combining luxury with a conscientious approach to sustainability and the environment, and proactively changing the nature of hospitality, it delivers intuitive service and meaningful experiences to the guests.

Cherry Blossom illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Cherry Blossoms Celebrated

FROM HUMAN CHESS TO PADDLEBOARDING:
UNIQUE WAYS CHERRY BLOSSOMS ARE CELEBRATED THROUGHOUT JAPAN

With the much-anticipated arrival of their delicate pink flowers, the cherry trees blossoming in Japan is a yearly spectacle. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, cherry blossoms in Tokyo are expected to bloom on March 15th this year. Associated with renewal and the coming spring, the cherry blossoms (or sakura) spur a variety of unique celebrations and experiences throughout the country, with many cities and towns forming their own yearly traditions and unique ways to see the cherry blossoms.

Cruise the Matsukawa River, Toyama Prefecture

Travelers can enjoy hanami (the custom of flower viewing in Japan) as well as the beautiful landscapes of Toyama Prefecture on a special cruise along the Matsukawa River. During cherry blossom season, cruises on the river drift along with the relaxing current and make their way through tunnels of cherry blossom trees. Cruises begin and end outside of the Matsukawa Tea House, so travelers can enjoy a nice cup of tea after a peaceful afternoon of hanami.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride Through Kitakami Tenshochi Park, Iwate Prefecture

A massive park spanning over 700 acres, the Kitakami Tenshochi Park has been a favorite for hanami among both locals and travelers for decades. 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the park’s opening and there is a myriad of ways for travelers to see the cherry blossoms, such as taking a riverboat cruise, or taking a ride on a horse-drawn carriage underneath the “tunnel of pink.” Cherry blossom branches stretch out from the trees on both sides of the walkway and form a floral tunnel that travelers can traverse

Human Chess Match at Tendo Sakura Matsuri, Yamagata Prefecture

Ninety percent of Japanese chess pieces, or shogi, are produced in the city of Tendo. Every April, as over 2,000 cherry blossoms bloom, locals and travelers gather to watch a human chess match, or shogi battle, in Maizuru Park, where two professional chess players compete with humans dressed as samurai and servants in place of chess pieces. The festival also features taiko (Japanese drum) performances and delicious festival food like yakisoba noodles and takoyaki balls.

Stand-up Paddleboarding in Shiga Prefecture

In Kyoto, travelers who want to partake in hanami can go stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Biwa to see cherry blossoms bloom along the coast. Shirahage SUP at the Shirahige Beach Campsite offers travelers the opportunity to see the cherry blossoms directly from the crystal blue waters of Lake Biwa.

Moka Railway Ride in Tochigi Prefecture

The city of Moka in Tochigi Prefecture is perhaps most known for the Moka Railway, which has been operating for over 100 years. During the spring when cherry blossoms begin to bloom, the railway line becomes a popular attraction since its track is almost completely surrounded by cherry blossoms and rape flowers. Travelers can book a trip on the scenic railway between Mogi station and Shimodate station for an unforgettable hanami ride.

Boating Under Hirosaki Castle, Aomori Prefecture

Hirosaki Castle is well-known as a top destination for hanami. Since local apple farmers prune the cherry trees the same way they do apples, the trees end up with two to three times more flowers than normal. To see the lush, pink flowers, guests often rent a rowboat and sail it out on the river surrounded by cherry blossoms. The sparkling river coupled with the towering castle and the bright petals makes for a fairy tale to come to life.

Noh Plays at Night, Tokyo

Under the lovely cherry blossoms of Yasukuni Shrine, a stage is set and traditional plays called noh are performed. These plays often date back to the 14th century and include kyogen (comedic spoken dramas) and maibayashi (a shorter version of noh with music). Performed, under the yozakura (cherry blossoms at night), the plays are enhanced by the atmosphere of the lit-up blossoms and the bonfire, two integral elements of this experience. Japan’s top actors and actresses are known to take the stage.

Events and experiences above are subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For updates on travel restrictions to Japan, please visit the website.

 

cruise illustration by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

CruiseCompete Expands Cruise Offerings

CruiseCompete Adds 2 More Expedition Cruise Lines to Its Collection of Cruise Offerings

Expedition Cruise Ship requests are up 148% over 2019 according to the travel experts at CruiseCompete. The destinations offered by these expedition lines include Antarctic, Arctic, Asia, Africa, Canada, Europe and all the Americas (Central, North, South). To see a comprehensive listing of expedition, explorer and yacht types of ships visit All Things Cruise here.

CruiseCompete, the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003, lauded by the press and consumers alike, has added two more expedition cruise lines to its expansive offerings:

The lines added are Atlas Ocean Voyages and Lindblad Expeditions. Click to see Atlas Ocean Voyages Cruises’ expedition ship World Navigator.

See Atlas Ocean Voyages expedition cruise specials here.

About
Atlas Ocean Voyages is innovating the industry by focusing on authentic, active and adventurous experiences in some of the world’s most captivating destinations, such as Antarctica, Baltic, Mediterranean, and Central and South America. The line’s luxurious and intimate small ships will bring inspired travelers on exciting itineraries for invigorating at-sea and shoreside adventures, while employing the latest sustainability technology to help preserve the waters they ply for future generations to enjoy. Read more on their website.

Lindblad Expeditions and the Lindblad Legacy of Respectful Tourism

When Lars-Eric Lindblad set out with the first groups of expedition travelers in the late 1950’s, he was following his passion to discover unknown places and to share the unique cultural and environmental aspects of these places with others. These first adventure travel expeditions led many to define him as the father of “eco-tourism.”

CruiseCompete welcomes Atlas Ocean Voyages and Lindblad Expeditions to our collection of expedition cruises. Browse all cruise lines and expedition ships on CruiseCompete here. Expedition ships on CruiseCompete are designated with an (E) after the ship name to signify Expedition. Click here to search all cruises on CruiseCompete.

CruiseCompete member-advisors are the most well-educated, forward-thinking and trusted cruise specialists in the industry. It’s simple to use: Find the desired cruise. Request quotes. Compare personalized offers, prices, upgrades, cabin credits and more. Contact member-advisors with questions and to book. If you’d like more information or assistance planning a future cruise or a cruise tour, please visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor™ or Live Help.

About CruiseCompete
CruiseCompete has been the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003 (see media praise here).

Consumers come to CruiseCompete to research and book cruise vacations. Almost 2 million users have generated close to 4 million requests from consumers, and member-advisors have delivered nearly 18 million quotes since 2003. They can compare offers from trusted travel advisors, see consumer reviews of advisors and agencies, and then contact travel advisors directly for more information and to book cruises. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, the leading authority and resource for family travel information, and is home to the Sea Tales 2020 Family Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources.

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want in cruise vacations.

CruiseCompete takes top honors in Travel + Leisure’s “Top 60 Best Apps and Websites for Travelers” with an honorable mention. The Wall Street Journal praised CruiseCompete as “Best Cruise Travel Site,” The New York Times says, “… independent travel advisors compete to offer you the best deal,” following similar praise from Travel + Leisure, Kiplinger and The Washington Post. The Street says, “Score luxury cruises at bargain prices.”

For more information, please visit their website. To check out group cruise options, click here.

CruiseCompete is an Iowa limited liability company, is not a travel agency or owned by a travel agency.