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If you are planning to cruise in 2020 it is highly likely they will. Two players, one completely new, and one born again with an infusion of investment, will be shaking up the luxury cruise market in some major ways. The fact is that some of the very best luxury ships are currently on the planning boards and under construction. Virgin Modern Ship Sketch BX

The new line is Virgin Cruises, the brainchild of British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. The new company, headquartered in Plantation, Florida is headed up by Tom McAlpin who led  Disney Cruise Line during its successful launch. McAlpin also served as CEO of Residensea, the  company that owns the highly successful “The World”, a ship that continually sails around-the-world with apartments that are all privately owned. Selecting a dock Line that serves your sole purpose is very essential to get the best from it. Hence, always be careful to choose the right make and model. Talking about this, it needs to be mentioned that getting one in the right size is also a matter of great importance. The general norm applicable for selecting the size is 1/8″ of line for every 9′ of boat. Never ever pick one that is bigger than the size you want, because otherwise your purpose would not be served.  You can find more information about The Importance Of Dock Lines through this site This is unlike boat anchors where selecting bigger size is recommended. After size comes the length of the dock line. It is suggested that it should be 2/3 the length of your boat. This helps in keeping your boat snugly to the dock, while maintaining its flexibility. Though one rope is enough to tie your boat to the dock, you should keep two for emergency situations like heavy/stormy conditions. You can consider doubling your lines for more effectiveness. However, to get the best from your docking lines, it is suggested that you use chafe guards. These protective gears are good for extending the longevity of your dock/spring lines. This is quite important as you all know that these ropes don’t come cheap. For this protective quality of theirs, these are also known as ‘sacrificial’ chafe guards, as they themselves wear to save your dock lines. These are available in many different configurations, style and make. Apart from being super functional, they also add beauty in your marine vessel. Hence, get one of these if your line dock is exposed to high abrasive conditions. The online destination is a great source for getting the best ropes including the climbing rope, cable pulling rope and dock lines that are suitable for your applications. Here, you can get nylon rope lines that have great strength and are resistant to all types of abrasions. Get an 8 Plait rope that is stronger than traditional three-strand lines.

Virgin has signed a letter of intent to build three identical ships each 110,00 Gross Tons with a passenger capacity of 2,860 guests. Branson has said that he wants to “shake up the cruise industry to deliver a new kind of cruise experience that our guests will love.” Easy words, but Branson has done it before with investments in airlines, top luxury islands and resorts, and  sold out departures to take tourists into outer space via Virgin Galactic. Virgin Cruises Branson McAlpinHe is partnering on this cruise venture with Bain Capital and there is serious money behind his efforts. The Virgin brand will appeal to a different kind of younger, casual, technology oriented affluent demographic. Look for major changes in the way that dining, shore excursions, and on-board entertainment are presented. The ships will be built with feedback from potential guests at  The first of the three ships will be launched in 2020 and based in Miami.

The “reborn” line is Crystal Cruises which was recently purchased by the Malaysian investment group Genting Hong Kong from the large Japanese shipping firm, NYK. Soon after the purchase went through in March, 2015, Genting’s Chairman promised to provide “financial resources …to build a new ship that will set the highest standards in luxury travel.” CRYSTAL EXCLUSIVE CLASS ARTIST'S DRAWING AHe under-promised and over-delivered. In July, 2015, Crystal’s President, Edie Rodriguez, joined Genting Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok is a startling announcement that Crystal will launch an entirely new class of three 1,000 guest “Exclusive Class” luxury cruise ships, to be built by the German shipbuilder Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven AG. These new luxury ships will feature a crew of 1,000, which will result in luxury cruising’s first one-to-one space passenger-crew ratio. The top decks of each ship will house 48 Crystal residences with 9 ft. ceilings and its own restaurant, reception, and owner-only facilities. Amenities on-board are still in the planning stages but you can count on small submarines, one or two helicopters, and a number of zodiacs.

Crystal Espirit Expedition ShipAt the same time that Crystal was announcing a virtually new cruise line (they made it clear that the line’s present ships, the Crystal Symphony and Serenity would be sold), they also announced that Crystal is launching a 62-passenger Expedition Yacht. It will be all-suite, 3,000 GRT and will include a two-person on-board submarine, as well as zodiacs and a wide range of toys for boating and diving enthusiasts. The boat is already built and it will be delivered to Crystal as the Crystal Espirit as the first Crystal Yacht Cruises vessel in November of 2015.

Crystal announced that its luxury brand would also include a specially-designed Boeing 787 Dreamliner designed to offer non-stop flights from the USA on longer, more exotic itineraries where standard air is unavailable.Crystal Cruises 787

Finally, came the rather startling news that Crystal will be entering the European River cruise market with the launch of two new river boats as “Crystal River Cruises,” This is the most secretive of the new divisions but it is known that the first “six-star” Crystal; river boat will launch in the spring of 2017. has Crystal Cruises rated lower than most reader polls or crowd-sourced review sites. We just think that the line’s current ships, each more than twenty years old, are a bit long in the tooth and poorly designed for absolute top-tier # 1 or # 2 rankings. But that could all be changing.

Virgin will be different – very different we suspect appealing to a new demographic of young money wanting an informal, connected, experience at sea. Both of these ventures will shake up the luxury brands but their ships are still several years away.


Excerpted from, our exclusive site for Churchill & Turen preferred guests:



Originally Appearing in Travel Weekly “The National Newspaper of the Travel Industry” Protected by copyright Northstar Media Inc.
By Senior Contributing Editor Richard Bruce Turen


The news was starting to get to me. Too much negativity. The world seems to be in a knot, a twisted, convoluted series of pressure points, any one of which can explode at any moment. My clients have concerns. I have concerns for them as they travel the globe. I needed to get away with the family, away to the safest place I could find on this angry planet of ours.

So we packed up and flew fourteen hours on a new Airbus 360 to a place where I knew we would be safe and where I hoped we would find a pleased and productive populace.

Norway would have been nice but I wanted a place safer than that. After months of following the news at home the tinkling of cow bells in a small Swiss village might have been soothing, but I wanted to go to a place that might be better for families.

This was an important family vacation. Safety and cleanliness were my primary concerns, along with great hotels and world class restaurants. I wanted to spend two weeks in a place where I would never encounter rudeness or obscenity, a place where we could take our nine year-old daughter anywhere without concern. I was hoping to find a place on this planet where crime is virtually non-existent, a place where you didn’t have to use your hotel safe, where locals leave the front door unlocked.

I suppose you could say that I was looking for the safest place on earth.

I flew the national airline. It had a lounge at the rear of the plane where I spent two hours talking with various crew members who had left their homelands to move to the place where we were headed. The airline required it.

It struck me that each person I spoke to seemed thrilled with the decision and several told me that I had, indeed, found the safest place on earth.

We landed at a large, busy airport, unlike any I had ever experienced. What was it, I wondered, that was different?

It was the quiet, the calm order of things that seemed to characterize everyone’s behavior. Dozens of people waited in line to approach the customs desks staffed entirely by men in white.

Our driver took us to the home of our friends who moved to this place three years ago and never want to leave.

As we drove to their home, we passed through a belt of incredible architecture, all of it appearing to be newly built. Skyscrapers reached up to the sky, a gathering of giants with seemingly unique characteristics. Here a high-rise twisted like a pretzel with the middle narrowed to a single condominium – and then, in perfectly symmetry, unraveling floor by floor. There, a series of beautiful buildings where the window shades open and close automatically based on the position of the sun and the outside temperature.

We would have ten days here. As I looked out the window during my first hour after arrival I noticed something. I could not find a piece of paper on the streets or along the highway. I was in some super-city of the future where the cleaning people had just left.

In the days that followed, I came to realize that I had indeed chosen a vacation location that was safe. But I mean that in a very specific way. This place has never had any terrorism. There is no theft. There are no bad neighborhoods to avoid.

I started to really wonder about the phrase “Paradise on Earth”. What would it mean, what would it entail?

Well, first of all, it would need to be a healthy place. Check. It turns out that all of the citizens of this country have cradle to grave complimentary medical care, much of it of a superior quality and much of it imported. But let’s say that a citizen becomes ill with a malady for which in-country treatment is not available? No problem: The citizen is flown, at government expense, to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where treatment is covered.

Paradise would have to have a well-educated citizenry. Check. Education is free up to and including University. The literacy rate is significantly higher than ours and is rapidly improving. Ours has remained stagnant for the last ten years.

There would have to be beaches, world-class beaches. Check. This place sits on the sea and where there is construction they simply add water where necessary. Most of the better hotels are built on islands with nearly every deluxe room having sea views. Cruise ships have recently started sailing from the harbor, Azamara, Holland America, and Royal Caribbean among them.

There would need to be great housing opportunities and truly memorable hotels in my travel paradise. Check. This place has the world’s top-rated, seven star hotel. I stayed in the worst category of room they had, a two-floor suite with butler overlooking the sea with dining room, living room, fully equipped office, a few bathrooms, and exquisite service. I stayed at several other hotels that were each among the finest I have ever experienced anywhere in the world.

Most of the locals live in small, gated communities of twenty to forty homes. In the local culture, it is considered rude to show off one’s money  or assets with the possible exception of the cars their drivers drive. One night I saw a Rolls parked on a crowded street that was silver. I don’t mean it was painted silver – it was silver-plated. I was told that there are several gold-plated Rolls around town.

Paradise would have to have things that a family can enjoy. Check. During our stay, my daughter rode a donut boat, assisted at a falconry hospital, rode a formula model at Ferrari World, and went waterskiing. She also got to visit a kid’s paradise in a shopping mall. The kid’s area is set up as its own country and kids are issued a passport. When they enter they find a miniature city filled with all sorts of municipal and private businesses. You walk in to any business that interests you and receive about ten minutes of training. You then must fulfill certain tasks. You are then issued payment which can be redeemed at the local toy store. My daughter was a hotel clerk, a model, and a disc jockey.

But since the place was located in the world’s largest shopping center, with over 1200 stores and restaurants, she could have had other options like playing hockey on a full-size rink or walking through a major aquarium.

I took this trip just after the mid-term congressional elections in the States. That involved months of carping, mean-spirited personal attack ads. Paradise would have none of that. Was there, I wondered, a place left on earth where virtually the entire population supported its rulers totally on the basis of their intent and competence? Check. This place has that. In an interview, the country’s leader was asked why he felt the need to move so fast. Why, he was asked, was it necessary to have the world’s best airline, its busiest airport, its tallest tower and highest per capita income of nationals?

“Why not”, he replied “if it took New York 150 years, why must it take us 250 years.”?

In fact it hasn’t. I found the world’s safest place just 150 miles from Iran, just south of the Sea of Hormuz. I am in the United Arab Emirates, spending my vacation in two of the seven Gulf States, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

This is a very safe place in a dangerous neighborhood. It is a wonderful example, I think, of perception versus reality when it comes to those critical decisions regarding where we ought to be sending our clients.

In 1973, this place had no currency, no tourism, and the economy was based on a tribal barter system. To arrive and see what they have accomplished under the leadership of two royal families anxious to use their wealth to improve the life of their citizens, is, I think, an amazing story.