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Holland America Line held a grand opening ceremony for its new luxury guest accommodations at McKinley Chalet Resort Friday, June 14. Officially dedicating the new Ridge View building that opened for the 2019 Alaska cruise season, the ribbon-cutting celebration was attended by Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation and plc president and CEO; Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK; Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line; Charlie Ball; executive vice president, land operations and customer service for Holland America Group, and several other staff members, business partners and community members. Also attending were representatives from Alaska State Senators Lisa Murkowski’s and Dan Sullivan’s offices and Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker.
The new 99-room addition features the first-ever junior suites at the McKinley Chalet Resort where guests stay on Holland America Line’s award-winning Land+Sea Journeys. Fifty-four of the new rooms are luxurious junior suites with balconies, larger living areas and enhanced amenities including heated bathroom floors and a stunning floor-to-ceiling map of Denali National Park and Reserve.
“Holland America Line is continually enhancing our hotel offerings in Denali, and the latest addition of this incredible new building with junior suites offers our Alaska guests some of the best rooms in Denali with stunning balcony views,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Many of our Alaska cruise guests are seeking premium accommodations and culinary experiences on their land tour just like those on their cruise, so we were thrilled to celebrate the opening of the new Ridge View building at our McKinley Chalet Resort. These new rooms and suites – in addition to the amazing Denali Square we opened a few years ago with dining, shopping, entertainment, fire pits and more – create an authentic and relaxing lodge-resort experience that makes our guests’ Alaska trip even more memorable.”
The new rooms are an extension of Holland America Line’s overland Alaska experience to Denali, which includes the McKinley Chalet Resort hotel and Denali Square, a gathering area to relax, shop, dine and enjoy music and entertainment. The addition is located just west of Denali Square, with views of Mt. Healy and Denali National Park and Preserve.
The new three-story facility, named Ridge View, features junior suites and standard rooms with modern rustic-chic décor. All junior suites have balconies, so guests can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding Alaska wilderness while relaxing on their private deck. The first two floors have central, open-air lobbies with cozy furniture and gas fireplaces. The third floor has open public deck space with tables and loungers so guests can take in the panoramic scenery.
The new rooms are an exciting addition to the McKinley Chalet Resort, Holland America Line’s magnificent 68-acre hotel property on the Nenana River. The hotel — featuring guest rooms, dining facilities and extensive walking trails — serves as home base for all adventures in and around Denali National Park, such as the full-day Tundra Wilderness Tour included on most Land+Sea Journeys as well as optional flightseeing, ATV adventures, fly fishing, river rafting right from the hotel property and more. All accommodations feature stylish décor and premium amenities.
Alaska-based companies that worked on the project include general contractor Ghemm Company, Inc., based in Fairbanks. Lead architect Heliotrope is based in Seattle, Washington, and also developed Karstens Public House at Denali Square. Heliotrope worked with the Fairbanks office of Alaskan architectural firm Bettisworth North. Costigan Integrated of Seattle served as project manager.
Denali Square Complex Immerses Guests in Alaska Culture
Steps from the new rooms, Denali Square lies at the heart of Holland America Line’s Denali property and is centrally located between the main area of the McKinley Chalet Resort and the riverfront guest rooms.
The largest building in the complex is Karstens Public House, the grand 7,000-square-foot, two-story restaurant showcasing outdoor deck seating and views of the neighboring mountains for dining guests. At the center of Denali Square sits an amphitheater with a covered performance stage and bench seating for guests to enjoy a variety of local shows and ranger talks. Those wanting to quench their thirst or listen to live music can visit Gold Nugget Saloon, home to the Music of Denali Dinner Theater.
Denali Square also features fire pits, outdoor seating, retail shops offering local goods, and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaska native and local artists display and discuss their works. Walking paths in and around Denali Square show off the property’s mountainous landscapes and beautiful setting.
Land+Sea Journeys Offer Most Comprehensive Alaska Adventure
Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Inside Passage or Glacier Discovery cruise with in-depth overland tours to the Yukon and Alaska’s interior.
Holland America Line is the only cruise company to combine must-see sites such as Denali National Park and Preserve — the centerpiece of every Land+Sea Journey — with rare ones such as Dawson City, in the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush Country. Offering up to three days at Denali for wildlife viewing and spectacular scenery, Land+Sea Journeys are designed to highlight the best of Alaska’s wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history.

To find out more contact your nearest Mondo Travel Specialist on 0800 110 108.

Source: Francis Travel Marketing 

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

The spectacular paddlesteamer, the PS Emmylou, the world’s only wood-fired cruising paddlesteamer, was relaunched on the 1st September 2018.  Following a specially designed luxury upgrade and fit out, the Emmylou launched with an extended 3 – 4 night programme. Looking to expand, Director, Craig Burgess approached Francis Travel Marketing to represent Murray River Paddlesteamers in New Zealand. 

"We are delighted to be working with Francis Travel Marketing as Tony and his team have consistently been market leaders in the wholesale cruise space and represent many outstanding cruise companies around the world" said Craig Burgess. "Small boutique river cruising is a fast growing segment of cruising worldwide and we think Paddlesteamer Emmylou provides a unique way for New Zealanders's to experience a river cruise close to home."

Taking passengers through some of the most pristine and intact ecological forests, to places of geographic, historic and Aboriginal cultural significance, the PS Emmylou travels along the world’s third longest navigable river, to world heritage wetlands, and the world’s largest red gum forest.  

With only nine cabins, and the Murray River as muse, this boutique steam-powered cruise, is able to moor alongside outstanding river wineries, drop in to local producers, pause to explore heritage sites such as the 1860's Perricoota Station, and access ancient Murray River tributaries on the MV Kingfisher with an environmental specialist.  

The refitted contemporary cabins include fine linens topped with silky duvets, with the boats’ premier cabin, the Emmylou Suite located on the front Upper Deck, with French Doors opening to a private deck and 180 degree views of the river.

Onboard dining, prepared by the Emmylou’s Chef, features local food and wine from across the Heathcote and Perricoota wine regions.  Riverside campfires are offered in the evenings, with stunning night skies to complete this unique experience.

River Cruises:
1-Night for ‘Weekend Escapes’
2-, 3- & 4-Night Upper Murray River Cruising:
·         2-Night ‘Highlights’ with an eco and wine focus
·         3-Night offers ‘Discovery cruise’
·         4-Night offers ‘Explorer cruise’ covering 160 river kilometres

New onshore experiences in the 2-, 3- & 4-night river cruises include:
·         Overnight mooring at historic Perricoota Station with guided tour, and dining in the mansions Packing Shed
·         Guided eco tour aboard MV Kingfisher at the World Heritage Listed Barmah Wetlands with over 230 bird species
·         Wine and providore tours, visiting local farms with outstanding artisanal produce
·         Lunch at the award-winning riverside Morrisons Winery

Transport and Accommodation from Melbourne:
·         Echuca Moama set along the Murray River is just two and half hours from Melbourne by car; regular train services are available from Melbourne and/or Bendigo.
·         A private limousine can be arranged to pick up guests directly from Melbourne hotels with delivery to the Emmylou.
·         Return transfer to and from Melbourne including stay at Hilton Doubletree available.

In the early 1800's, 110 paddlesteamers travelled along the Murray in Echuca. Today, only five wood fired paddlesteamers remain, with the PS Emmylou the world’s only remaining wood-fired paddlesteamer to offer overnight cruises. The PS Emmylou is driven by a restored 1906 steam engine and calls the historic Port of Echuca home, where the largest number of working paddlesteamers in the world are moored.

For more information and bookings, please contact Mondo on 0800 110 108.

Source: Francis Travel Marketing

submitted by -- Tony Terrill



Carnival Cruise Line announced today an exclusive partnership with the world-famous basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters, serving as the group’s official cruise line sponsor worldwide. 

Combining the Harlem Globetrotters’ high-flying athleticism, theatrical stunts and comedic acts with Carnival’s role as the family cruise leader, the two ambassadors of fun will bring a new level of excitement to more than 150 of the team’s shows across the country. 

The Harlem Globetrotters’ always entertaining exhibition games will be enhanced by Carnival’s signature brand of fun through in-game integrations, giveaways and joint marketing efforts such as a designated Choose Fun Zone seating area with branded signage, playful décor, special player interactions and more. This partnership will also provide Carnival with traditional marketing assets to support their charitable partners’ initiatives.

A video shot on board Carnival Horizon featuring Harlem Globetrotters stars Hammer Harrison and Dragon Taylor showcases the dynamic duo’s impressive skills as they make shots from high above Carnival’s SkyRide aerial attraction and Lido Deck. The video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/Ke36j-QUMto.

“For more than nine decades, we’ve used basketball as a means to bring laughter, joy and fun to our fans worldwide,” said Howard Smith, Harlem Globetrotters president. “When we heard about the opportunity to partner with cruise industry leader Carnival, we couldn’t wait to use our combined love of entertaining audiences to make our games more fun and memorable than ever.”

“The Harlem Globetrotters are synonymous with fun, helping families create wonderful memories – and our brands align so well together,” said Scott Becher, vice president, head of partnerships for Carnival Cruise Line. “We look forward to seeing how everyone will ‘Choose Fun’ Globetrotters-style.”

Inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and known for their incredible dribbling, shooting and dunking skills as well as their crowd interaction, the Harlem Globetrotters have performed for more than 148 million fans in 124 countries since their inception in 1926. Now performing 400 shows each year, the team has become a worldwide icon and pioneer in the sports industry showcasing some of the best basketball players in the world.

To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, please contact us on 0800 110 108 / E: info@mondotravel.co.nz


submitted by -- Gayle