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Exploring Tortola with Disney Cruise Line

posted on October 27th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

Starting in late December, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands will be a new destination for cruisers on select Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyages from Port Canaveral.


Whether your family is looking to swim with dolphins, explore centuries-old ruins, revel in the natural beauty of Sage Mountain National Park, or simply relax, Tortola is filled with fun for everyone. Port Adventures offer a variety of ways for you to enjoy tranquil beaches, stunning scenery and authentic Caribbean fare. Here are a few of my top picks for family-friendly excursions in Tortola …


Rib Boat Adventure – A high-speed cruise takes you across the Sir Francis Drake Channel for an up-close view of the island’s picturesque beaches, cliffs, caves, wildlife, historical shipwrecks and magnificent villas. Along the way, your captain will give great local insights, share rich British Virgin Islands pirate stories and slow down the boat for superb photo opportunities. This adventure includes one hour of free time on a beautiful sandy beach, making it the perfect mix of exhilaration and relaxation!


North Shore and Pussers Island Tour – A great overview of Tortola’s island paradise, this Port Adventure includes countless scenic vistas, stunning photo stops and a chance to relax waterside or shop for souvenirs. You’ll travel across mountain tops, through tiny hamlets and quaint coastal fishing villages, and along the island’s north shore. Highlights include stops at Mountain View – the entrance to Sage Mountain National Park – and Pusser’s Landing – an iconic shopping and dining destination. You won’t want to miss your chance to taste the famous Pusser’s Rum!


Tour to Virgin Gorda – One of the area’s must-see sights, The Baths, is a magnificent beach area with sea caves on the island of Virgin Gorda. Here you’ll discover awe-inspiring boulders, secluded beaches, hidden caves, and spectacular grottoes formed by volcanic activity and flooded with seawater. Your adventure begins with a scenic cruise to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, followed by a journey through twisting roads and up to the stunning overlook of Savannah Bay. Once you arrive to The Baths National Park, your next few hours can be spent swimming in pristine turquoise waters or basking in the sun on the sandy beach of Devil’s Bay.

We’re developing additional Port Adventures for this gorgeous destination, so stay tuned for more suggestions. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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Adventures in Martinique with Disney Cruise Line

posted on September 4th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

The Disney Wonder’s first call on the French island of Martinique is just around the corner. As part of our return to the Southern Caribbean in January, Disney cruisers will have the chance to experience the “Flower of the Caribbean” on exciting Port Adventures that showcase the island’s natural beauty and cosmopolitan culture of French and Creole influence. If you’re joining us in Fort de France, Martinique, here are some of the excursions your family is sure to enjoy:


Saint Pierre and Rum Distillery with Lunch – The seaside town of Saint Pierre, once demolished by a volcano eruption in 1902, is one of the most popular destinations today in Martinique. During your visit, you’ll learn about this historic event at the fascinating Volcanological Museum. Another highlight of this tour is the Saint James Rum Distillery, one of the most famous distilleries on the island, where adults have the opportunity to taste the Agricol rum of Martinique and explore the local museum. This full-day excursion includes a delicious Creole lunch and countless photo opportunities of the island’s charming fishing villages.


Beach and Snorkel at Bat Cave – Nature lovers won’t want to miss this chance to snorkel Martinique’s crystalline waters! Your adventure begins with a boat ride across the bay of Fort de France to the beach of Anse-Dufour for swimming and snorkeling. Next, you’ll visit the famous Bat Cave, a premiere snorkeling destination only accessible by boat, to discover tropical marine life such as parrot fish and angel fish at the coral reef. This Port Adventure combines fun and relaxation, giving you plenty of time to soak up the Caribbean sun and enjoy views of the island’s stunning coastline.


Historic Plantation and Tropical Garden – For a taste of Martinique’s history and nature, this excursion includes visits to an authentic plantation house and one of the island’s best gardens. First, you’ll tour the exceptionally well-maintained Clement Plantation House and remnants of its sugar cane and rum distillery. Then, your countryside journey takes you to a banana plantation field, followed by the Church of Balata, a small-size replica of Sacré-Coeur Basilica in France with views over the city and surrounding country. Lastly, you’ll explore the Botanical Garden of Balata where you can enjoy a bird’s-eye-view of the gardens from a tree-top footbridge.

Departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Disney Wonder will sail four seven-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean. In addition to Martinique, these cruises call on the exotic islands of Antigua, Grenada, Barbados and St. Kitts. For more Port Adventure recommendations, check out my previous posts:

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A Taste of O’ahu and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 26th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

I hope you’ve been enjoying my suggestions for excursions to take during your Disney cruise in Hawaii. Last but not least, let’s check out what you can experience on the lush island of O’ahu. Not only is O’ahu abounding in natural beauty like the rest of the Hawaiian islands, it is steeped in rich history and home to Honolulu’s thriving modern metropolis, providing Port Adventure options for every interest.


Honolulu is also your gateway to the world’s newest Disney resort and spa, Aulani, in nearby Ko Olina. I highly recommend booking a stay here before or after your cruise, depending on which of our two Hawaiian voyages you join. What’s more, you can reserve a room just for your Honolulu port day with the Be Our Guest at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina Port Adventure. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience the magic and amenities of this first-class resort!


Those who want to venture a little farther out will love our Explore And Taste Oahus North Shore Honolulu Port Adventure. We take you on a tour of the coast to see famous places, including the Dole Pineapple Plantation and the picturesque Byodo-In Temple located at the base of 2,000-foot cliffs. You’ll also travel to the surfing mecca of the world, visiting the North Shore’s Sunset Beach and Waimea Valley, before stopping at Haleiwa Beach Park where Green Sea Turtles occasionally rest on the golden sand or swim in the aquamarine water close to shore.


If you want to see iconic sights, excursions like our Waikiki Beach Break and Diamond Head Crater Summit Adventure take you to the area’s popular spots to enjoy nature. Other options, including the Arizona Memorial & City Tour and the Pearl Harbor VIP Military Base Tour take you back in history and give you the chance to pay your respects at important landmarks.

That concludes my series on Port Adventures in Hawaii. Fantastic options, don’t you agree? If you missed my other posts, take a look back so you can start planning your trip of a lifetime. Aloha!

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Experiencing the Incredible Sights and Tastes of Maui on a Disney Cruise

posted on May 19th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

Now that I’ve given you suggestions for adventures on both the Big Island and Kaua‘i, let’s look at what you can do in Maui during your Disney Hawaiian cruise. Our call on Kahului gives you access to explore the many famous parts of the island, including pristine rainforests and beaches, Haleakalā National Park and the twisting road to Hana.


With lunging cliffs and dazzling waterfalls, the Road to Hana is one of the most famous leisure drives in the world. On our Hana Picnic Port Adventure, you’ll enjoy the journey in a luxury limo van at a leisurely pace with many stops along this spectacular sea-coast drive. This relaxed tour includes a scrumptious chicken and fish three-course lunch in Hana with time after to stroll, sunbathe or swim in a freshwater pool under a cascading waterfall. A similar excursion, Hana Cave Quest, also gives you the chance to hike through Ka‘eleku Cavern, an enormous subterranean lava tube.


Several of our Port Adventures take you to experience the magnificent Haleakalā Crater, the highest point on the island of Maui at 10,023 feet above sea level. Our many options include during the daytime or at sunset, by land or by air, and with or without kids. A unique adventure is our Haleakalā Summit Lavender & Winery Sojourn that also includes a visit to breathtaking lavender fields, a beautiful vineyard and the Hawaiian “cowboy” town of Makawao. Your day includes a three-course lunch, the chance to sip Hawaiian wine and time for relaxation and shopping.


For an authentic Hawaiian experience, you won’t want to miss our Old Lahaina Luau Port Adventure where a spectacular ocean view adds to the ambiance of this celebration. The evening is filled with traditional Hawaiian cuisine, music and cultural dances, giving you a genuine reflection of Hawaii’s rich history. You’ll have the chance to enjoy a brilliant Hawaiian sunset, tropical drinks, traditional chants, ancient hula and more. One of the highlights of the evening is gathering at the water’s edge to unearth the Kalua pua’a (pig) from the Hawaiian underground oven before your luau feast.

Next I’ll give you suggestions for Port Adventures during our stop at O‘ahu. With tours around the world-famous Honolulu and excursions to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, there’s plenty of family-fun to be had on this island. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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Spectacular Kaua’i Adventures on a Disney Cruise to Hawaii

posted on May 12th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

Last week I gave you Port Adventure recommendations for exploring the Big Island on our Hawaiian cruises. Another gorgeous destination on these voyages is Nawiliwili, located on the spectacular island of Kaua‘i. The area is, put simply, a natural wonderland! It is filled with untouched beaches, lush jungles, idyllic waterfalls and sweeping landscapes.


The dramatic Waimea Canyon is often described as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and there’s no better way to take in its majesty than a helicopter ride. Our Heaven & Earth – the Ultimate Kaua‘i Helicopter & North Shore Experience gives you a bird’s-eye view of the colorful canyon, along with the green valleys, magnificent waterfalls and breathtaking Nā Pali Coast that have made the “Garden Isle” a favorite location for feature films. The second part of this adventure includes a drive along Kaua‘i’s coconut coastline by the North Shore beaches where you can see the picturesque Kīlauea Lighthouse. You’ll have the chance to stroll along the Hanalei Pier for an unforgettable view of the bay and beaches before relaxing during a picnic lunch at Anini Beach Park.


The Hidden Valley Falls Kayak Adventure Nawiliwili is an excursion for the adventurous, as it combines kayaking, hiking and waterfalls. After a 2-mile, downwind kayak trip, you’ll hike a mile through the valley to a secluded area of waterfalls and natural swimming holes. Here you can swing on a rope into a deep-water mountain pool and enjoy snacks and cold drinks by the waterfall. For the return trip, rather than paddling your kayak into headwinds, you’ll kick back and cruise down the river on your motorized Hawaiian canoe for the perfect end to your adventure mixed with fun and relaxation.


Want to dive into Hawaii’s gorgeous waters? Try your hand at surfing or snorkeling! Our Po‘ipū Beach Surfing Lessons give you the chance to learn from Hawaiian pros at a surf school owned by Chava Greenlee —one of Kaua‘i’s most famous professional surfers. Your expert instructors will teach you all the basic surfing techniques before giving you time to catch some waves on your own. Our Seafun Beach Snorkel takes place at a protected reef where you’ll swim from one of Kaua‘i’s beautiful beaches. Your tour guides will help you discover an abundance of fish, sea turtles and other amazing creatures in what is sure to be an adventurous marine life experience.

Stay tuned for my suggestions on what to do in Kahului, centrally located on the gorgeous island of Maui, home to world-famous beaches and pristine wilderness. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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Exploring the Big Island of Hawai‘i on Two Special Disney Cruise Line Voyages

posted on May 5th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

This September, we’re returning to Hawai‘i with two unforgettable 10-night cruises. These voyages will visit the four major Hawaiian islands—the Big Island, Maui, O‘ahu and Kaua‘i. Over the next several weeks, I’ll tell you about some of the exciting Port Adventures you can join to discover the scenery and experiences found on each island. Let’s start today with excursions in historic Hilo, your gateway to the beauty and culture of the Big Island of Hawai‘i, including Volcanoes National Park.

Disney Wonder Calls on Hawaii for the First Time

The park is home to Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. On our Volcano National Park Odyssey & Macadamia Nut Factory tour, your adventure starts with a drive along the 11-mile crater rim that circles most of Kilauea’s summit caldera and craters. Stops allow you to view smooth and jagged lava, lava tubes, sulfur banks and bleak desert areas. Next up is the Jagger Museum where there are spectacular overlooks into Kilauea Caldera and Halema‘uma‘u Crater, videos of volcanic eruptions and other geologic displays for you to enjoy. Last is a visit to the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory, the perfect place to shop for delicious gifts.


If you’re looking for a more active way to explore the area, you won’t want to miss our Kilauea Volcano Bicycle Adventure that takes you around the crater rim on two wheels. In addition to eight miles of cycling, you’ll hike through an incredible rainforest that leads you directly through an amazing lava tube. With steam surrounding your feet, you’ll witness the heart of the volcano at Halema‘uma‘u Crater. This Port Adventure also includes a visit to the Jagger Museum, plus samples of the Island’s fresh fruit and macadamia nuts.


Those of you who want a taste of the Hawaiian lifestyle will absolutely love our Culinary Hawai‘i Home Tour. This one-of-a-kind adventure is a progressive island brunch, showcasing local ingredients, in the homes of three Big Island residents. You’ll savor the flavors of the Islands, like passion fruit, mango, coconut and Kona coffee, and find out what it’s like to live in paradise. During your insider look at islander living, your guides will share details about each home, local trivia and stories of life in paradise.

Up next, we’ll venture over to the island of Kaua‘i to see the adventures you can enjoy from Nawiliwili. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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Soak in the Great Outdoors of Skagway with Disney Cruise Line

posted on April 27th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

Last week, I shared with you some of our brand-new Port Adventures coming to Juneau during this summer’s Alaska sailings. Today, I’m excited to tell you about ways your family can experience Skagway’s great outdoors with Port Adventures new for this summer.


Nature-lovers will find breathtaking views at every turn on the Skagway Adventure Hike, trekking through the alpine forest and snow-capped mountains of White Pass. In the Alpine Lake Canoe Adventure on Summit Lake, panoramic views of Alaska’s most enchanting scenery include towering mountains, lush green forests and crystal-clear water.

Klondike Campfire Breakfast

Cooked up exclusively for Disney cruisers is the mouthwatering Klondike Campfire Breakfast at Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp. This is a great way to start your day. Who wouldn’t want to kick off their fun with a meal of steak, eggs and sourdough blueberry pancakes? After savoring breakfast, you’ll pan for gold, with everyone guaranteed to find the precious metal in every pan.

Klondike Family Challenge

If your family is more on the competitive side, you’re going to love Skagway’s new Klondike Family Challenge, where you’ll pan for gold, interact with dogs training for sled dog races and tour a brewery, among other experiences. Each part of this Port Adventure includes some friendly competition with other families, like seeing who can pan the most gold or who can pan the fastest. No matter who wins, at the end of the day each family gets to leave their mark by etching their names onto a wooden plank to be hung on the wall at the Klondike Gold Fields.

These new experiences join a spectacular collection of Port Adventures for Alaska, from exploring glaciers and whale watching to a high-energy lumberjack show and exciting crab fishing tour. What’s on your family’s can’t-miss list?

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Exciting Expeditions in Juneau with Disney Cruise Line

posted on April 20th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

In just a few short weeks, we’ll be returning to Alaska where the Disney Wonder will sail through breathtaking scenery and stop at incredible ports of call. This year, we have a selection of brand-new Port Adventures, and I’m so excited to be sharing some of Juneau’s newest excursions with you today!


The famous gold rush of the late 1800s put Juneau, Alaska’s capital city, on the map. In fact, the city was named after a prospector named Joseph Juneau, who was one of the first men to strike gold in the city.

Your family can have its own gold-seeking adventure on the Family Gold Exploration and the Mendenhall Glacier and Mine Ruin Exploration expeditions. Only Disney cruisers encounter an eccentric prospector mining the hills and join him at his camp. You’ll enjoy the miner’s stories around the fire before leaving with tips of the trade from the prospector himself.


On the Family Gold Exploration, your family will also explore the Treadwell Mining District, pan for gold and garnets at the Alaska Gastineau Gold Mine and journey into the abandoned mine at the Maggie Kathleen Tunnel.
In the Mendenhall Glacier and Mine Ruin Exploration, you’ll discover even more mine ruins and trails at Douglas Island’s Treadwell Mining District and take in the astonishing sights of the Mendenhall Valley complete with snow-capped mountains and lush green forests.


Teens get their own thrilling adventure on the exclusive teen only Canopy and Zip Line Expedition. Disney Cruise Line youth counselors accompany teens for off-road adventure which includes zip lines and two towering sky bridges, ending with an exhilarating rappel from the treetops.

Next week, I’ll share with you some of Skagway’s newest Port Adventures, from a campfire breakfast to some friendly competition. Who’s looking forward to kicking off the Alaska season with us?

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Storybook Adventures in Copenhagen, Denmark with Disney Cruise Line

posted on April 13th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

Copenhagen, Denmark is an enchanting seaside city with storybook townhouses, lush parks, ancient cobbled plazas and distinguished culture. It’s no wonder Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen drew much inspiration for his fairytale world from the city of Copenhagen, where he penned “The Little Mermaid.”

Not only is Copenhagen the homeport for several of our European voyages this summer, it’s also a stop on our 12-night Northern European sailings. A day in port at this vibrant city gives Disney cruisers the chance for so many adventures!


Copenhagen by Canal

A popular way to explore Copenhagen is on the water. Our Fairytales Canal Cruise In Copenhagen is a one-of-a-kind boat tour, hosted by a character from one of the famous works of Hans Christian Andersen, where you’ll see sites connected with some of his stories that served as inspiration for Disney films like “The Little Mermaid” and “Frozen.” During this story-filled voyage, you’ll pass by landmarks such as Amalienborg Palace, the statue of The Little Mermaid and the historic canals, all while looking for visual clues and listening to the memorable fairytales.

Another fun way to explore the city by canal is our Kayaking in Copenhagen excursion, which takes you on a journey through Frederiksholms and Christianshavn canals and by Nyhavn Canal. You’ll see the oldest part of the city and get up-close views of the Christiansborg Palace, National Museum, Thorvaldsen Museum, the Old Stock Exchange and many other historic landmarks and cityscapes.


Exclusive Experiences at Tivoli Gardens

The famous Tivoli Gardens is the original park that inspired Walt Disney to build Disneyland park, so its only fitting that we offer experiences here exclusive for Disney cruisers. Set in the heart of Copenhagen, Tivoli features a serene garden and an amusement park with the world’s tallest carousel and thrilling carnival rides. On our signature tour Tivoli Gardens All Inclusive – Behind The Scenes And Taste Of Denmark, you’ll visit behind-the-scenes areas, be the first ones to enter the park, enjoy an exquisite Danish lunch and have all rides included during your day of fun.

The Footsteps Of Walt Disney At Tivoli Gardens includes these same perks, plus it gives you the unique opportunity to chat with one of the few employees of Tivoli Gardens that met Walt Disney during a visit in the 1950s. You’ll hear stories about the visit, see areas in the park where Walt visited and delight with many of the original structures that inspired Walt Disney in the design of Disneyland park.

We offer several other ways for you to explore the renowned Tivoli Gardens, even a tour just for teens! The Teen Experience at Tivoli Gardens is a great way for cruisers ages 14 to 17 to hang out with their new friends they met onboard while enjoying a thrill-themed tour with Disney Cruise Line youth counselors.


Renaissance Castles Of Denmark

Those of you looking for a royal experience won’t want to miss our Renaissance Castles Of Denmark tour. It begins with a scenic drive through the countryside to Frederiksborg Castle, considered by many to be the finest example of Danish renaissance architecture and the most magnificent castle in Denmark. Originally built in the early 17th century by King Christian IV, this Renaissance castle now serves as the Danish National Museum of History.

Your next stop is at the charming village of Fredensborg where you’ll have the opportunity to photograph the outside of the elegant Fredensborg Palace, the Danish royal family’s summer residence. The royal tour concludes at the seaside town of Elsinore, where you’ll visit the renowned Kronborg Castle, made famous as the Castle of Hamlet in Shakespeare’s play.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my series on Port Adventures for our Northern European sailings this summer. Take a look back at my recent posts for more suggestions. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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Fairytale Experiences in St. Petersburg, Russia and Stockholm, Sweden with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 30th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

We’re just two months away from our first Baltic cruise of the summer season! In my last post, I told you about adventures in Helsinki and Estonia, so today I’ll give you a glimpse into the family fun we offer in St. Petersburg and Stockholm. We’ve developed special fairytale experiences to immerse your family in the royal and storybook settings you’ll find throughout these culturally rich cities.


St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great, who was inspired to build a metropolis like the cultural centers of Western Europe. The city has retained much of its opulence and historic architecture and is renowned for its storied history and cultural heritage.


To experience the majesty of the area firsthand, you won’t want to miss our Royal Ball at Catherine’s Palace, one of the world’s most amazing royal palaces. You’ll be greeted by Royal Guards before entering the lavish palace, where you’re invited to relive the luxury of the 18th-century Imperial Russian court. After a welcome reception and time to explore the immense collection of fabulous art work and furnishings, the highlight of your evening will include mingling with “Catherine the Great” and dancing along with the “Royal Court” in the Grand Hall, set to the sounds of classical music with a live orchestra!

Another spectacular experience that will make you feel like royalty is our evening at the Hermitage Museum with a private concert. This tour of the world-famous Hermitage Museum, founded by Catherine the Great with her personal art collection, is privately reserved for Disney cruisers, giving you the chance to view the museum’s beautiful collections without the crowds. It concludes with an exclusive performance by the incredibly talented State Hermitage Orchestra.


Stockholm is a picturesque city with fascinating medieval sites, lush parks and a charming waterfront area. The city is built on several islands at the mouth of Lake Mälaren and boasts more than 100 museums devoted to the preservation and display of European paintings, sculptures and handicrafts. In the city’s Old Town (“Gamla Stan”), you’ll discover ancient streets, centuries-old churches and cathedrals and breathtaking palaces and mansions.


On our Ice Bar and Old Town excursion, not only will you have the chance to experience the grandeur of Gamla Stan’s baroque, medieval and renaissance-style construction, you’ll also visit the unique Ice Bar in the heart of Stockholm. Kept to a cool 23 degrees Fahrenheit, the interior, drinking glasses and chairs are made of pure ice. But don’t worry about turning into ice yourself since you’ll don a warm fur poncho and mittens before entering!

Those of you traveling with little ones will love visiting the Junibacken Children’s Museum, a fairy-tale museum dedicated to Sweden’s much-loved author Astrid Lindgren, who has written around 100 children’s books. Both our Knights and Fairytales and Skansen Museum and Swedish Fairytales Port Adventures take you to this whimsical museum where your family can play in Pippi Longstocking’s funny house and take a trip on the Story Train to meet more of the author’s beloved characters.

Of course these are only some of the many exciting excursions we offer in St. Petersburg and Stockholm. Those of you joining us this summer, which Port Adventures are on deck for your family?

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