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Here’s some of what to expect from the cruise industry in the coming year.

The MS Elbe Princesse II
CroisiEurope has announced the start of construction on the MS Elbe Princesse II, the third paddlewheel riverboat that will join the company’s fleet. This will be the second ship operating between Berlin and Prague on the Elbe and the Vltava Rivers.

The 331-ft.-long, 34-ft.-wide ship features a sleek, contemporary design, much like the MS Elbe Princesse, which launched in 2016. Open spaces, large picture windows and modern colors will bring an air of elegance to the 90-passenger vessel, which offers 45 outward-facing cabins of more than 150 sq. ft. with French balconies on the upper deck. Amenities include a 1,184-sq.-ft. restaurant, a 1,560-sq.-ft. panoramic lounge, a patio and an almost 11,000-sq.-ft. sun deck.

Slated for delivery in February 2018, the MS Elbe Princesse II will cruise roundtrip between Berlin and Prague on a 9-day itinerary starting at $3,202 dbl. The unique itinerary between Germany and the Czech Republic visits Potsdam, the gardens at Sanssouci Palace, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Meissen and its famous porcelain, Litomerice, and “Golden” Prague. Rates include all meals, excursions mentioned in the itinerary, a gala dinner, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and all entertainment. For more information, visit croisieuroperivercruises.com.

Silversea Cruises has completed a major renovation of Silver Whisper.
Silversea Cruises has completed a major renovation of Silver Whisper.

The Silver Whisper
Silversea Cruises has completed a major renovation of Silver Whisper just in time for the all-suite ship’s 116-day World Cruise 2017 from San Francisco to Monte, which departed on Jan. 6.

The reimagined ship features an array of enhancements from new carpeting in all the suites to new wall treatments and refurbished wood flooring in the restaurants, Connoisseur’s Corner, Panorama Lounge, spa and beauty salon. The Restaurant and La Terrazza have also been outfitted with newly upholstered chairs. A new marble-topped bar and stylish new wood display adorn the Observation Lounge, which has been refreshed with new wood panelling and wood accents. In addition, the pool deck has been upgraded with the installation of two new whirlpools. Plus, new synthetic turf has been placed on the jogging and spa decks.

The Silver Whisper’s renovations represent the third phase of a $170 million fleet refurbishment program, the largest in the company’s history. As part of the initiative, the Silver Discoverer and Silver Wind have also received comprehensive makeovers this year. And the Silver Cloud is scheduled for refurbishment in late 2017, which will include converting the vessel to an ice-class expedition ship. For more information, call (877) 215-9986 or visit silversea.com.

Princess Cruises Teem Lounge
Princess Cruises has announced plans to expand its Discovery at Sea partnership with reimagined youth centers.

Princess Cruises’ Newly Reimagined Youth and Teen Centers
Princess Cruises, in partnership with Discovery Consumer Product, has announced plans to expand its Discovery at Sea partnership with reimagined youth centers including new experiences and center designs. This multi-million investment is currently rolling out fleet-wide through 2018 with program implementation beginning early this year and new center designs planned for installation during scheduled ship renovations.

There are three center themes where kids and teens can make new friends and participate in activities, including Camp Discovery for cruisers ages 3-12, featuring The Treehouse (formerly Pelicans) a bright, whimsical forest and animal-themed center for kids ages 3-7 and the outdoor-inspired Lodge (formerly Shockwaves) for ages 8-12. Teens ages 13-17 can hang out in their own contemporary surf-themed lounge called The Beach House.

New youth and teen center programming includes “MythBusters” science activities with three hands-on challenges, featuring the show’s star Tory Belleci. In addition, new Camp Discovery destination-themed programs focusing on the Caribbean, Alaska and Europe will immerse young cruisers into the culture, nature and customs of these regions, such as Survive Alaska, where kids invent tools to survive the harsh environment of The Great Land; and Discovery at Sea theme days with activities inspired by Shark Week and Animal Planet. There will also be a family fair in the Piazza featuring carnival-like booths and activities, family trivia, Stargazing with Discovery at Sea, family game night and new soon-to-be announced family-themed programs.

Grand Princess, sailing year round from San Francisco, is the first ship to offer young cruisers and teens, ages 3-17, this new center. The next ships to receive newly renovated youth centers include Caribbean Princess (March) and Regal Princess (April), Sea Princess (October) and Island Princess (November). For more information, visit princess.com/family.

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