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Elvis…Far From The Mississippi

It’s 1974. You’re Elvis Presley — many wished that for almost two decades. You’re not at the height of your career, but you’re still packing them in wherever you go. Some people actually are “Elvis Presley”…as impersonators are beginning to pop up. Your country is in an awful war (like there are any other kind), in Vietnam.

Fast forward 42 years.

Elvis is long gone. The impersonators are not. In fact, there are more Elvis look-a-likes than ever. Some of them are even pretty good performers, not just in Vegas and assorted venues ranging from small theaters to street corners.

One is doing it in Vietnam.

His real name is Damian Mullin and he’s an Australian…crikey! He’s the best of Australia’s Elvis impElvis impersonators, having won the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and he has the seal of approval from Elvis Presley Enterprises, which means The King’s company has a financial interest in the performances in…Vietnam.

The event will take place over eight days in September, on board La Marguerite, a river cruise ship that sails under the flag of AmaWaterways through its Australian partners, on the Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam.

“It’s an opportunity to present something different with a more intimate atmosphere,” said Jodie Quick, director of The Cruise Gallery, the Australian agency that’s selling the tour. “Most music cruises are on larger ships…[this one] gives passengers the chance to travel somewhere more adventurous and exotic with the comfort of Elvis’ crooning!”

The cruise is called Rockin’ the Mekong.

You can only imagine what Elvis would be thinking.

Today at portsandbows.comCelebrity Solstice back to Australia for 2017-18


Carnival Magic
7 nights
January 31, 2016
Galveston (return): Key West, Freeport, Nassau
Inside: $549
Cost per day: $78
www.carnival.com

Cruise Internships For ‘Students’

Call it an industry within an industry. Or call it an opportunity to see distant shores and get paid. Or just call it an unbelievable opportunity.

‘It’ is a cruise internship.

The industry has grown to the point that there are websites dedicated to helping students who are looking for an internship in the cruise business, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise since there are websites dedicated to…well, you name it. For those of us with some vintage, it’s like turning the clock back a few decades and wishing these things were available then.

Of the internships we’ve been reading about — most of them cater to young people attending maritime schools or wanting to work in the hospitality business — one jumped out.

The one from CroisiEurope.

Yes, right, who really has heard of CroisiEurope. More about that later. First, the opportunity…

CroisiEurope has a three-month internship (just one) for a student who is “passionate 7743_12_90_0_phpLZa2otabout travel and has a knack for photography and writing…”

Aha, a future cruise blogger!

“…to explore 14 countries across Europe and Asia aboard 10 ships as they develop their writing and photography skills.”

One student only, from the U.S. or Canada. Applications close in three weeks, on March 22. Here’s the link: Photo Tour Internship.

CroisiEurope?

It’s billed as the largest river cruise line in Europe, with 41 ships (hmm, Viking had 52 last year). CroisiEurope is going to be 40 years old next year. It has ferried more than 200,000 passengers along the rivers of Europe and Asia. It’s a family-owned business, launched in 1976 by Frenchman Gérard Schmitter. It claims to have the “best value in river cruises at great prices.”

While comparing rivers and ships is not an exact science, we found a CroisiEurope “Romantic Rhine” cruise in July starting at $250 per day and a Viking “Romantic Danube” cruise in the same month starting at just over $335 per day.

All of which makes “cruise internship” even better.

For students, that is. However, there’s no age restriction.

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
15 nights
April 11, 2015
Tampa, Key West, Funchal, Gibraltar, Malaga, Barcelona
Inside: $599
Cost per day: $39
www.royalcaribbean.com

New in 2015 — Viking Star

Second in a series about new ships

This is what happens when river-ship people get into the ocean-ship business. Viking River Cruises is about to become just Viking Cruises (on the water) and what makes this first crossover venture a game-changer that will be watched world-wide is that all suites on the Star (270 square feet minimum) have balconies and cruises will depart late at night or stay over in ports.

Launch date: April 11

Capacity: 930

Sister ships: To come — Viking Sea and Viking Sky, both in 2016

Maiden voyage: Istanbul to Venice in nine days

Home port: Do river ships even have homes?

Ships then in Viking ocean fleet: 1

Interesting: Small by ocean standards, the Star comes out of the gate with a whopping 49-day cruise…yes, it can be broken into sections. The ship emphasizes simplicity, with gathering places named The Restaurant, The Kitchen Table and The Living Room. Several of the company's popular riverboat features are included — the Aquavit Terrace and an alfresco dining venue — and Viking is taking its commitment connecting customers and destinations to a new level by going ocean. With fewer than 1,000 passengers, the Star’s likely to feel spacious.

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Carnival Conquest
6 nights
March 1, 2015
Fort Lauderdale (return): Key WestGrand CaymanCozumel
Inside: $329
Cost per day: $54
www.carnival.com

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