▪ Viking Ocean Cruises is headed for North America. In September, Viking Star — the first ship in the oceangoing branch of Viking River Cruises, will make a repositioning cruise from Norway to Montreal, then cruise from Montreal to New York and New York to San Juan. Puerto Rico will be the ship’s homeport for a series of 11-day Caribbean cruises until February, when it will sail for Barcelona and a season of cruises in Europe.
The 930-guest Viking Star was christened in May. Viking Ocean Cruises’ second ship, the Viking Sea, is set to join the fleet in the spring. Details: www.viking cruises.com.
▪ Just weeks after the Norwegian Escape debuted, with meals at the first Margaritaville at sea included in the cruise fare, the line has switched the restaurant to a la carte pricing. Norwegian Cruise Line had said it might start charging diners if the Jimmy Buffett restaurant became too popular. Demand was “overwhelming,” the line said in announcing it would charge $2.99-$8.99 per food item.
• Crystal Cruises has opened booking for cruises by its luxury river yachts, the first of which will begin sailing in July. The new branch of the luxury cruise line will debut the Crystal Mozart — an existing ship that is being redesigned — mid-summer on the Danube. Four newly built yachts will join the fleet in the summer of 2017. Reservations are being accepted for trips through 2018. Details: www.crystal cruises.com.
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▪ For the third season of its Carnival Live! shipboard concerts, Carnival Cruise Line has added a different kind of entertainment: performances by comedian Kathy Griffin. Griffin will take the stage for two shows while ships are docked in Cozumel — Carnival Fantasy Feb. 24 and Carnival Breeze Feb. 25. Tickets are $50 general admission, $200 VIP. Her performances are in addition to concerts aboard 11 Carnival ships in spring and summer 2016. Details: www.carnival.com/ CarnivalLIVE.
MIAMI HERALD STAFF