BOSTON, Feb. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Alan E. Lewis, Chairman of Grand Circle Cruise Line, the leader in small ship cruising worldwide, today announced that the 89-passenger M/V Clio will begin cruising this summer following a $5M refit beginning in May. The M/V Clio will operate four European itineraries, including two new itineraries: a Small Ship Cruise Tour along the west coast of England, Wales, and Scotland, and the east coast of Ireland—and later, an itinerary from Lisbon, Portugal to Barcelona, Spain. Grand Circle acquired the small ship, formerly called the M/V Tera Moana, from Paul Gauguin Cruises last year for an undisclosed price.
"American boomers and seniors are increasingly interested in traveling by small ships—and in even smaller groups," said Lewis. "We define small ships as those with 150 or fewer passengers, and the trend we're seeing is very different from the industry's move to bigger and bigger ships. To create even smaller groups of travelers, we assign our local Program Directors to no more than 25 travelers, which creates a more intimate experience and more easily fosters engagement with local people, cultures and their ways of life. We are proud to introduce the M/V Clio—a 4-star experience at a 3-star price and the best value in the industry."
The M/V Clio will operate the following new itineraries:
Coastal Charms of England, Wales, Ireland & Scotland
Ports of Call: England: London, Poole, Falmouth; Wales: Fishguard, Holyhead; Ireland: Dublin; Isle of Man; Scotland: Islay, Oban, Arran, Glasgow, and Edinburgh
15 days from $7195 ($480/day), including international air from JFK
FREE or Low Cost Single Supplements
Departures: August-September 2016
Optional Trip Extensions:
London, England: 3 nights from $895
Edinburgh, Scotland: 3 nights from $895
On this journey to the island nations of England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and the Isles of Man, travelers will discover the windswept landscapes and delightful cultures of this magnificent region. Highlights include a visit to the Eden Project, a massive, climate-controlled biome in Cornwall (hamlet of Bedelva)—a region known for innovation—as well as exclusive Discovery Series events designed to enrich travelers' understanding of local culture. Among these events are lunch with Welsh community members on Holy Island and a slate-splitting demonstration and conversation about the history of this industry in the region. Travelers will also transfer by Zodiac craft to the Island of Islay, home to 3,000 residents, to visit one of the island's whiskey distilleries and learn about the history of distilling and its importance to the island.
Grand Circle's Coastal Charms itinerary includes 11 exclusive tours—all with personal headsets—of London, the Eden Project, Fishguard, Caernarfon Castle, Dublin, Isle of Man, Isle of Islay, Oban, Isle of Arran, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.
What's Included: Accommodations: 2 nights in London , 10 nights aboard the Clio, and 1 night in Edinburgh; 36 meals, including Captain's Welcome and Farewell receptions and dinners, and beverages—including beer, wine, and soft drinks—during all onboard lunches and dinners); Grand Circle's expert, local Program Directors—1 assigned to a maximum of 25 travelers; 11 exclusive tours with personal headsets; Exclusive Discovery Series events; Airport transfers; All port charges; Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers on your main trip; Baggage handling for 1 piece of luggage per person, including tips; 5% Frequent Traveler Credit toward one's next Grand Circle trip—an average of $449.
Voyage to Iberia: Lisbon to Barcelona
Ports of Call: Portugal: Lisbon, Portimao; Spain: Seville, Cordoba, Malaga, Cartagena, Valencia, Mallorca, Menorca, and Barcelona
14 days from $7395, including roundtrip international air from 5 U.S. cities (Boston, Miami, New York, Newark, and Orlando)
FREE or Low Cost Single Supplements
Departures: October-December 2016
Optional Trip Extensions:
Lisbon, Portugal: 3 nights from $695
Barcelona, Spain: 3 nights from $745
On this new Small Ship Cruise Tour, travelers will journey to the cultural capitals of Portugal and Spain. Included in the itinerary are Grand Circle's exclusive Discovery series and other activities designed to connect travelers with local people and cultures. Travelers will learn some basic Portuguese during an included Portuguese language lesson, explore Triana Market, a lively, indoor market in Seville, and share dinner at a family's home in Malaga. They will also visit a working bull ranch owned by an Andalusian torero (bullfighter), where they'll learn about Spain's bullfighting tradition and enjoy a typical ranch lunch. Travelers will also visit the island of Menorca, where they'll lunch in a fishing village and visit an albarcas factory to see how traditional Menorcan shoes are made.
Tours include Lisbon, Sagres, Lagos, Seville, Cordoba, Malaga, an Andalusian bull ranch, Ronda, Cartagena, Valencia, Mallorca, Menorca, and Barcelona.
What's Included: Accommodations: 1 night in Lisbon and 11 nights aboard the M/V Clio; 35 meals, including Captain's Welcome and Farewell receptions and dinners, and including beverages—including beer, wine, and soft drinks—during all onboard lunches and dinners; Grand Circle's expert, local Program Directors (one Program Director assigned to a maximum of 25 travelers); 13 exclusive tours with personal headsets; Airport transfers; All port charges; Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers on one's main trip; Baggage handling for 1 piece of luggage per person, including tips; and 5% Frequent Traveler Credit toward one's next Grand Circle trip—an average of $449.
In addition to the two new itineraries, the M/V Clio will operate several recently-added departures of two previously sold-out itineraries that employ Grand Circle's 98-passenger M/V Corinthian: the 15-day Maritime Jewels of the British Isles & Ireland, and the18-day Spain's Northern Coast and the Bay of Biscay.
About the M/V Clio
The ocean-cruising M/V Clio is 328 ft. long and carries 89 passengers in 45 outside-facing cabins. The cabins range in size from between 194 sq. ft. and 205 sq. ft., with a single cabin measuring 161 sq. ft. While the majority of cabins include a window, nine also feature a sliding glass door and balcony. The cabins also have a queen-size bed that can be converted into two twins, closet, flat-screen satellite TV, DVD/CD player, telephone, mini-refrigerator, safe, and a private bathroom with shower. An elevator serves all passenger decks. Common areas include a dining room, lounge and bar area, indoor/outdoor veranda, Sun Deck, Sky Deck with whirlpool, library, and shop. Additionally, complimentary wireless Internet is available throughout the ship—as it is on all GCCL owned river and ocean ships.
Grand Circle Cruise Line will assume operations of the M/V Clio in May and will begin a $5.0M refit to refurbish the ship to its unique style of small ship cruising designed for American travelers. Grand Circle will operate the ship with its own multi-national nautical and hospitality crews—as it does on all of the ships it owns.
In addition to the M/V Clio and M/V Corinthian, Grand Circle Cruise Line small ships include the M/V Artemis, Arethusa and Athena. These three, 4-star-plus, 50-passenger sister ships operate in the Adriatic and Mediterranean and in 2014 were named, respectively, the #1 , #2 and #5 World's Best Small Ships in Condé Nast Traveler's Cruise Poll.
For more information, please visit Grand Circle Cruise Line or call 1-800-221-2610.
About Grand Circle Cruise Line
Established in 1998, Grand Circle Cruise Line offers 16 River Cruises and Cruise Tours throughout Europe as well as 16 Small Ship Cruise Tours to Antarctica, Panama, Europe, the Dalmatian Coast, Greece and the Greek Islands, the Aegean, Adriatic and beyond. The cruise line is a division of Grand Circle Corporation, which also is comprised of Overseas Adventure Travel (est. 1978) and Grand Circle Travel (est. 1958). Grand Circle has more than 30 offices worldwide and approximately 3,500 associates, guides, and crew serving more than 110,000 travelers per year. In 1992, owners Alan and Harriet Lewis established the nonprofit Grand Circle Foundation to support communities in which Grand Circle works and travels, including some 300 humanitarian, cultural, and educational endeavors worldwide—among them, 100 schools, in 50 countries. The Foundation is an entity of the Lewis Family Foundation, which has pledged or donated more than $141 million since 1981.
SOURCE Grand Circle Cruise Line