Constellation Changing Its Stars

In our haste to tell you last week about seven wine cruises on the Celebrity Constellation next year in Europe, we neglected to dig beneath the news and tell you why this is happening.

It’s because of the Holy Land where, believe it or not, they do like wine…we have a bottle of red from Tel Aviv to prove it. That notwithstanding, the wine cruises are replacing already planned trips on the Constellation to ports in the Holy Land and Greece/Turkey.

It just happens those areas have been subject to unrest in recent weeks, and that can’t be a coincidence. Travelers on cruise ships can be extremely adventurous but when you’re talking fear for their safety — real or imagined —they’d rather go somewhere else.

That’s the message Celebrity was apparently getting.

So even though cruise lines schedule itineraries two years or more in advance, they can respond to what the customer wants on relatively short notice…these modified or changed cruises all run from May to November, 2012.

Nine “Holy Land” cruises turned into eight Mediterranean cruises, with more ports, overnight stays in Venice for all eight, and the option of a full refund for those who’d already booked. There are still ports in Greece, though not in Turkey, but the real jewel in the change is being able to spend two days in Venice.

Anybody who has stayed there knows hotel rooms in what is arguably Italy’s most compelling city come at a premium.

And did we say there’ll be no shortage of wine?

Holland America Volendam
14 nights
November 21, 2011
Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia
Inside $989

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