Posts Tagged With: Alaska

Celebrity and “Top Chef”, a Foodie Dream

Are you a foodie? If you are, yesterday’s news from Celebrity Cruise Line and Bravo’s “Top Chef” might just be your dream come true.  The two announced a partnership that will bring a taste of the Emmy® Award-winning culinary competition while sailing the seas on 10 of Celebrities’ modern luxury ships. This will be the cruise industry’s first Top Chef-themed licensing partnership on a large scale.

dish-020414-top-chef-at-sea_0“Embodying passion for creativity and culinary excellence,‘TopChef’ perfectly complements our already exceptional culinary line-up and innovative dining that guests enjoy while vacationing with us,” said Lisa Kauffman, VP of Marketing, Celebrity Cruises. “We are thrilled to offer new, diverse experiences in the coming year that invite vacationers to engage in their favorite entertainment and culinary options exclusively onboard Celebrity.”

Celebrity will launch four special cruises that will feature former “Top Chef” contestants. Guests on these sailing will have the opportunity to participate in complimentary cooking demonstrations, the show’s famous, interactive Quickfire Challenges and other activities. Guest will also have the opportunity to enjoy private cooking classes and events hosted by the former contestants at an additional fee. These four sailings are:

  1. July 27 2014 on the Celebrity Summit sailing to Bermuda.
  2. August 15, 2014 on the Celebrity Solstice sailing to Alaska
  3. September 19, 2014 on the Celebrity Infinity sailing to: Paris (Le Havre), France; Bordeaux(La Rochelle),France; Bilbao, Spain; Vigo, Spain; Porto (Leixoes), Portugal; and Harwich, England departing from Harwich, England.
  4. November 15, 2014 on the Celebrity Reflection sailing to: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Miami, Florida departing from Miami, Florida.

In addition to the four exclusive cruises with “Top Chef” alums, Celebrity will also introduce Quickfire Challenges and “Top Chef”-inspired menu evenings to its modern luxury vacations on all sailings departing July 2014 – June 2015.

“‘Top Chef’ viewers are constantly asking for their chance to get a taste of the show first-hand,” said Jamie Cutburth, SVP of Partnerships, Bravo & Oxygen Media. “With their commitment to and excellence in providing top-tier gastronomic experiences, the partnership with Celebrity Cruises is a delicious way for us to satisfy this request for Bravo’s loyal and passionate fan base.”

The four exclusive cruise will be sure to fill up fast so, if you want to experience this, you should book your cruise soon.

Author: Nathan Nehmer

Info courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line

Categories: Celebrity, Celebrity Cruise Line News, Cruise | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ketchikan Activities? Here’s Some Ideas.

Last post I tough briefly on the city of Ketchikan, Alaska the first port of call on our Alaska Cruise Tour 2013. This time I will highlight some of the activities you can participate in while you are in port. Most of what I will tell you is shore excursions offered by either the cruise line or a separate shore excursion company, but you can also go of and explore the town on your own. You can visit Creek Street and see the unique shops that now occupy the bars and brothels that were there during the gold rush days. There is a free shuttle taking cruise passengers downtown from berth 4.


Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

If you like the more organized tours of your port of call, you can check out the many shore excursions offered in Ketchikan.  The cruise lines offer you the ability to pre book your excursions online or even book them while on board the ship.  They offer you the assurance that you will make it back to the ship in time for departure.  There are a few shore excursion providers not affiliated with the cruise lines that now offer the assurance that they will get you back to port.


Some excursions are designed for people who are active while others are designed for those who like a challenge.  One of the easier excursions is to take a Lighthouse, Totems, and Eagles boat tour.  After a short bus rides from the dock you will board a vessel and see Tongass National Forest, historic Ward Cove Cannery, Guard Island Lighthouse, and Totem Bight State Park. You can enjoy the sights from either the heated cabin or from the observation deck.


Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International


Another one of the easier options is to experience what crab fishermen do. You will board the Allutian Ballad, a crab-fishing vessel that was featured in season two of the “Deadliest Catch”, where you will watch the crew pull a crab pot filled with crab. They will also pull other types of traps and pots used to catch other species.


photo courtesy of Princess Cruise Line

photo courtesy of Princess Cruise Line


If you Like fishing you can go on an Alaskan Fishing and Wilderness dining Expedition. You will be outfitted and take out to experience bottom fishing. Then you will enjoy a meal of freshly caught fish before returning to your ship.


The Alaskan Bear and Adventure flight excursion takes you by float plane into the Tongass National Forest and after a ¼ mile walk you will be able to spend time watching Bear fish for salmon. You will also get the opportunity to see eagles waiting for scraps left by the bears or even catching their own fish dinner.  When doing an excursion dealing with wildlife you need to keep in mind that seeing wildlife is not guaranteed but they do all they can to make it happen.

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International


With all these activities there is plenty to look forward to at our first stop on our Alaska Cruise Tour 2013. You can learn more about our cruise tour at:

Author:  Nathan Nehmer –


Categories: Alaska, Cruise, travel, vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Welcome to Alaska – Ketchikan

Map from

Map from

On our Alaska Cruise Tour 2013, after we Vancouver and spending a day at sea, we will spend the day in Ketchikan, Alaska. The town of Ketchikan is the southeastern most town in Alaska and has a population of around 14,000.  Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “First City,” because it is the initial port for cruise ships coming up from the south. For most visitors stepping ashore, this is their first view of Alaska. The economy for Ketchikan relies heavily on tourism with the cruise industry gracing its harbors during the summer months. On certain days, there could even be 6 cruise ships in Ketchikan at the same time.


Ketchikan is also well known as the salmon capital of the world. Fishing is king here. In fact the city of Ketchikan was founded as a fishing outpost. Later the mining industry exploded and so did the population of Ketchikan.  With the mining boom came a new industry for Ketchikan that since has disappeared with mining history. Creek Street was bustling with bars and brothels that miners frequented when they came into town.

Ketchikan, Alaska, Creek Street

Creek Street; Photo courtesy of Princess Cruise Line

Ketchikan’s weather is affected by the being on the cost. While it is pretty far north, the Low temperatures do not dip as far as you would think. January has the lowest average low temperature at almost 29 0F .  When talking about the cruising season, the average high temperatures range from 50 0F – 65 0F with July being the warmest.  June and July are also the driest averaging about 7.5 inches of rain per month.

Ketchikan, Alaska's "Liquid Sunshine Gauge." * Photograph by Robert A. Estremo, copyright 2002.

Ketchikan, Alaska’s “Liquid Sunshine Gauge.” * Photograph by Robert A. Estremo, copyright 2002.

My next post will dive into the activities to do when you arrive in Ketchikan. There are many of them ranging from easy to more adventurous. We will talk more about Creek Street and Totem Bight State Park.

By Jim Nista (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jim Nista (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Categories: Alaska, Cruise, Princess Cruise Line, travel, vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alaska Wilderness by Sea

I wanted make time to write a series of blogs talking about the spectacular region of the Alaska Inside Passage. Taking in the Alaska wilderness is something that is best done by a cruise. Many areas along the coast can only be seen from the water or by air.


The Denali Explorer cruisetour starts off with a 7 day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise on the Coral Princess. This is a northbound cruise leaving from Vancouver and visits the towns of Ketchikan, AK; Juneau, AK; and Skagway, AK before arriving in Whittier, AK. The cruise will also visit Glacier Bay National park and College Fjord where you will get an up close look at some of the most breathtaking sights in the world. After arriving in Whittier and disembark the ship, we will be whisked away by rail to explore the amazing wilderness of Denali National Park.


I am going to go into more details of this unspoiled land in my next few blogs in this series but for this post I want to talk about the Inside Passage. The Inside Passage is a network of passages, used by ocean going vessels, which weave through the islands of the Pacific coast of northwest North America. Some of the passages get pretty narrow so this is the chance for you to see natures best right up close. Bears coming down to catch fish, moose getting a dink on the shore, and not to mention the whales that spend the summer in the Alaskan waters.

Map from

Map from

This is one destination that you would want to upgrade to a balcony. Imagine sitting on your private balcony enjoying your coffee in the morning and seeing a bear catching a fish at the edge of the water. Or eating a private lobster dinner while a pod of whales play just off the ship. The balcony really adds to what already is your trip of a lifetime.

Mt. McKinley, Alaska


Categories: Alaska, blogs, Cruise, Princess Cruise Line | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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