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Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures in Sicily, Italy

posted on February 26th, 2014 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


With so many new destinations for Disney Cruise Line in Europe this summer, the past several months have been very busy for me as I’ve worked with my team and tour operators in each port to design shore excursions like only Disney can do. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing some of the new Port Adventures with you, starting today with a few in Sicily.

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An autonomous region of Italy, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. Looking at a map, it’s the island that looks like it’s being kicked by the “boot” of Italy. One of the distinctive geographical features of the island is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe.

For the first time ever in 2014, Disney Cruise Line will call on Sicily’s port in Catania, the gateway to exploring the island’s ancient churches, beautiful palazzos, lush gardens, magnificent beaches and of course, Mount Etna. I know Disney cruisers will be thrilled with their Port Adventure options on this unique island!

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Mount Etna Summit – Families who enjoy active adventures will love summiting the top of Mount Etna. The journey begins with a drive through the beautiful countryside and villages built along the slopes, followed by a cable car ride further up the volcano. From there you’ll be driven by alpine guides in special motor vehicles equipped to navigate the “lunar“ landscape of black dunes to the highest point available for visitation, which is just under the summit. At approximately 8,859 feet above sea level, you’ll have the chance to walk around, observing possible steam/gases and learning about the volcanic system apparatus and lava flows.

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Cooking Lesson at a Sicilian Home – There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the culture than to go into the home of a local! There you’ll get a hands-on cooking demonstration on how to prepare delicious Sicilian dishes before indulging in your creations. This adventure, which takes place in one of the picturesque villages on the slopes of Mount Etna, is a must-do for adults and older teens who love cooking (and eating!) We also have another adventure called “Sicilian Cooking for Families” for those of you with younger children.

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Sicilian Puppets for Families – Many of our excursions in Sicily are family-friendly, but I am most excited about this one designed especially for those traveling with kids. After a visit to a Puppet Lab to see how the famous Sicilian puppets are built, your family will learn the history of this folkloric art and enjoy a portion of a show at the Puppet Museum. Adding to the cultural experience, you’ll hear the beautifully articulated, theater-style presentation in Italian while your English-speaking guide gives a synopsis of the intricate moves of the onstage scene.

I hope you enjoyed this sampling of the many unique experiences your family can have together in Sicily. As I always say, when the ship’s in port, be sure to venture ashore!

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and Disney Cruise Line Facebook page, and follow @DisneyCruise on Twitter for more about Disney Cruise Line’s voyages in Europe. While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtag #DCLEurope.

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Sitka Port Adventures on a Disney Cruise to Alaska

posted on February 19th, 2014 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Last week, we started the 100-day countdown until the first cruise of our Alaska season. This will be our fourth year sailing to Alaska, and I, like Disney Parks Blog author Jonathan Frontado, am just as excited as I was the first year about these amazing voyages.

New to the 2014 season, and a first for Disney Cruise Line, is a special 9-night cruise that calls on Sitka, Alaska. Like the other destinations we visit in Alaska, Sitka is a beautiful and charming seaside town filled with rich history and thriving culture. Today I want to tell you about some of the Port Adventures your family can do if you’re joining us on our very first cruise of the season departing May 24.

Wilderness Sea Kayaking Adventure With Disney Cruise Line in Alaska Wilderness Sea Kayaking Adventure With Disney Cruise Line in Alaska

Wilderness Sea Kayaking Adventure – This active adventure is a fantastic way for your family to experience the breathtaking beauty of Alaska up close. While sea kayaking amidst a gorgeous wilderness backdrop, you’re likely to spot wildlife like bald eagles and herons and possibly even porpoises and humpback whales that occasionally surface for air. I can’t even imagine how incredible of an experience that would be to see those animals so close in the wild!

Jet-Cat Wildlife Quest and Beach Exploration With Disney Cruise Line in Alaska Jet-Cat Wildlife Quest and Beach Exploration With Disney Cruise Line in Alaska

Jet-Cat Wildlife Quest and Beach Exploration – Another great option for spotting wildlife is on a catamaran adventure. Your family can search for whales, sea otters, puffins, bald eagles and brown bears from either inside a warm, spacious cabin or out on the open deck guided by an expert naturalist. Next, you’ll visit a remote island where you can explore the shore’s colorful tide pools, look for wildlife tracks and simply enjoy the pristine beauty around you.

Sitka Culture, National Park & Raptor Center With Disney Cruise Line in Alaska Sitka Culture, National Park & Raptor Center With Disney Cruise Line in Alaska

Sitka Culture, National Park & Raptor Center – For families wanting a cultural experience with their wilderness adventures, this Port Adventure combines three popular destinations in Sitka. The first stop is the Alaska Raptor Center where you’ll see exhibits with bald eagles, owls, falcons and other birds of prey. Next up at the Sitka National Historical Park you can explore the natural Alaskan rainforest through a guided walk, see totem poles and learn about the ancient Tlingit people at the park museum. Lastly, you’ll visit a Tlingit Clan house for an educational and entertaining heritage experience of storytelling through dance, songs and native clothing.

For more on sailing to Alaska with Disney Cruise Line, check out the “Mom’s Take” video series:

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and Disney Cruise Line Facebook page, and follow @DisneyCruise on Twitter for more about Disney Cruise Line’s voyages in Alaska. While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtag #DCLAlaska.

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A Day in Nassau, Bahamas with Disney Cruise Line

posted on December 12th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Nassau, Bahamas is a port Disney Cruise Line has called on every year since our inaugural sailing in 1998. Just one visit here, a city of Old World colonial charm mixed with unique Caribbean style, makes it easy to see why this tropical destination is a guest favorite.

With the Disney Dream, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic all calling on Nassau in the early part of next year, more and more guests are inquiring about the best things to do during a day in this port. We offer dozens of great Port Adventures and narrowing them down to the best is difficult, but here’s a look at some of my favorite activities.

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Dolphin Swim at Atlantis Resort
It’s likely you’ve heard about Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, home to world’s largest open-air marine habitat and tons of other unique family-friendly activities. We offer numerous tours that allow you to spend the day here, but some of the most popular are ones that include playtime with dolphins. You can choose between a shallow water interaction and a deep water swim, combined with another adventure like an afternoon at the Aquaventure water park or a stroll through the underwater tunnel to see sharks and barracudas.

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Journey to Blue Lagoon Island
Dolphin and sea lion encounters are also offered at the picturesque Blue Lagoon Island, a secluded destination only accessible by boat, boasting pristine beaches and an all-natural ocean habitat. Another popular choice is to have a relaxing beach day here, soaking up the sun in a lounge chair, swimming in the clear waters, exploring the lagoon by kayak or water bike, or just laying back in a hammock under the shade of palm trees. Often a favorite part of the day for guests is the catamaran ride through turquoise waters to get to the island.

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Exploration of Local Culture and History
For culture and history lovers, there are several Port Adventures that it make it more convenient for you to experience island life, with visits to quirky shops and the straw market, and to see remnants of the island’s British colonial past, like historic government buildings and old forts. One excursion combines a visit to the beautiful Ardastra Gardens with a city tour, and another Port Adventure includes two fort visits and an inside look at the National Cultural Festival of the Bahamas. Or those who want to plan their own itinerary around the island can book a private vehicle with a driver/guide for a day completely customized to your family’s tastes.

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Royal Treatment at the Graycliff Hotel
Originally built as a mansion in 1740 by a famous pirate of the Caribbean, the Graycliff Hotel is now one of the must-visit historical landmarks in the Bahamas. We give Disney cruisers special opportunities to experience it uniquely and be treated like royalty at this five-star oasis. Families can relax poolside in an enchanted garden setting, adults can browse one of the largest private collections of fine and rare wines in the world and chocolate lovers can learn the art of chocolate making. No matter which Graycliff Port Adventure you choose, you’re sure to leave with a full stomach from either a gourmet, multi-course meal or your delicious hand-crafted chocolates.

If you’ve joined us at Nassau before, tell us, what’s your favorite adventure here?

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Unique Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures in Jamaica

posted on June 18th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


In my last post, I told you about how excited I was when I found out Disney Cruise Line is going to Jamaica, a destination full of history, flavor and nature-filled experiences!

Today, I want to tell you about our Signature Collection Port Adventures, tours that have been specifically designed for and are exclusive to Disney Cruise Line guests.

Bamboo Raft Captain for a Day with Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures in Jamaica

Bamboo Raft Captain for a Day – Traveling down the Martha Brae River on a two-person bamboo raft is quite a popular excursion in Jamaica, but have you ever wondered what it is like to be the captain? On this experience, only Disney Cruise Line guests will follow a bamboo raft captain, learn how to build the raft and navigate these clear waters.

Family Pottery Painting and Studio Tour with Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures in Jamaica

Family Pottery Painting and Studio Tour – Local art is one of the best ways to understand Jamaican culture, past and present. On this amazing experience nestled around an 18th Century Great House, families will enjoy a hands-on pottery painting activity hosted by a local renowned artist.

Chukka’s Amazing Race with Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures in Jamaica

Chukka’s Amazing Race – Combining some of the most exciting experiences offered around the Plantation estate, guests will solve clues and experience a multitude of thrills: kayaking, tubing and zip lining. Lots of fun!

No matter what you decide to do there, a visit to Jamaica is certain to be a memorable one. Now that you’ve seen some of the great options, which Port Adventures are the most appealing to your family?

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Countdown Begins for the Arrival of Disney Cruise Line to Jamaica

posted on June 5th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Like many of you, each year my team looks forward to the big news of which destinations Disney Cruise Line will visit next. Also like many of you, I was so excited when I heard we are going to Jamaica for the first time! I immediately thought of the beautiful natural scenery I experienced when I visited years ago on vacation, and I couldn’t wait to get started on the project of planning Port Adventures.

Now, with just four months until our first cruise calls on Jamaica, I want to show you some of the exciting and iconic experiences Disney Cruise Line guests can enjoy from the historical port of Falmouth.
Bobsled Jamaica - Visiting Jamaica with Disney Cruise Line

Bobsled Jamaica and Dunn’s River Falls – I am sure the young ones are thinking – bobsled in Jamaica? Moms and dads, help me out here! This incredible mountain coaster offers an exciting thrill along with amazing views of the sea, all inspired by the famous Jamaican national bobsleigh team, which debuted in the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Chukka Horseback Ride and Swim - Visiting Jamaica with Disney Cruise Line

Chukka Horseback Ride and Swim – One of the few places in the world that offer such a unique activity. For horse lovers, this is the ultimate fun in the sun combination.
18th Century Great House and Plantation Tour - Visiting Jamaica with Disney Cruise Line

18th Century Great House and Plantation Tour with Lunch – Care to “taste” some of the history? Tour one of the best-preserved Great Houses in Jamaica and the Plantation. Next, savor the world-famous jerk spices during a delicious lunch!

No matter which Port Adventure you choose, Jamaica’s lush green forests and awe-inspiring mountain vistas are sure to captivate! This port is the perfect addition to the Disney Wonder’s 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary, with stops in Cozumel and Grand Cayman, departing out of Galveston, Texas, this fall.

Look out for my next post, when I’ll tell you about our Signature Collection tours in Jamaica. Don’t forget, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!


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Exploring Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast with Disney Cruise Line

posted on April 24th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Last week, I told you about several ways to see the “Pearl of the Adriatic” when Disney Cruise Line calls on Dubrovnik, Croatia, this summer and next. Today, I’ll give you a look at ways you can have fun in the sun off the gorgeous Dalmatian Coast, a peninsula of pristine beaches with a forested backdrop and islands that dot the turquoise waters.

Explore Sveti Jakov Beach on Croatia's Dalmatian Coast with Disney Cruise Line Dubrovnik Scenic Cruise and Beach Time with Disney Cruise Line

For beach lovers, we have the Dubrovnik Scenic Cruise and Beach Time. Not only will guests get time to explore Old Town, they’ll also be whisked off to Sveti Jakov Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Dubrovnik. This serene spot sits in a high-rising cove beneath the beautiful church and abbey of Sv. Jakov (St. James). It is a pebble beach with a tremendous view of Dubrovnik and the Lokrum Island.

Adriatic Sea Adventure on Croatia's Dalmation Coast with Disney Cruise Line

For water lovers, we have different ways to play in the ocean, including the Adriatic Sea Adventure. Guests take a scenic boat ride to Kolocep Island to snorkel in the Modra Spilja Cave. Next, they’ll head to the other side of the island toward the settlement of Donje Celo for more swimming and relaxation on the warm, sandy beach.

Exploring Cavtat and Dubrovnik on Croatia's Dalmatian Coast with Disney Cruise Line Exploring Cavtat and Dubrovnik on Croatia's Dalmatian Coast with Disney Cruise Line

For those who don’t want to get wet but still want to enjoy the beauty of the sea, we have a trip to the charming seaside resort town of Cavtat. Here guests have the opportunity to walk along the beautiful seafront promenade or peruse the shops and many cafés along the coast. As the tour name suggests, Cavtat and Dubrovnik, also includes a guided walking tour of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, which as I mentioned in my last post is not to be missed on a visit to this ancient walled city!

Now that I’ve shown you different ways to enjoy Croatia, which one entices you most?

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Adventures in Croatia with Disney Cruise Line

posted on April 17th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


For the first time in 2013 and again in 2014, Disney Cruise Line is calling on Dubrovnik, Croatia, an ancient walled city on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. As we near the start of our summer in Europe, I want to tell you about some of what our guests will enjoy in this beautiful locale, coined the “Pearl of the Adriatic” by famed English poet Lord Byron.
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Surrounded by impressive fortifications that once served to fend off invaders, and filled with stunning baroque architecture and marble walkways, a visit to Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a must-do. Disney Cruise Line offers several ways to see and experience the beauty, history and culture of the area.

Adventures in Croatia with Disney Cruise Line, Featuring the Panoramic Dubrovnik and Old City Tour Adventures in Croatia with Disney Cruise Line, Featuring Walking Tours

First up, guests can take a walking tour of the town with a knowledgeable guide on several of our Port Adventures. Many of the tours, including the Panoramic Dubrovnik and Old Town City Tour, also stop at Park Orsula, a scenic viewpoint from a cliff 650 feet above sea level overlooking Dubrovnik and its riviera.

Adventures in Croatia with Disney Cruise Line, Featuring Adriatic Cruises Adventures in Croatia with Disney Cruise Line, Featuring Dubrovnik Cable Cars

In addition to a guided walking tour, the Riviera Cruise and Cable Car add two more ways to view the town, from the sea and sky. The adventure begins on a wooden motor sailor boat cruise on the clear waters of the Adriatic to the Old Town entrance. Following a walking tour and leisure time, guests hop on a cable car that takes them high above Dubrovnik for a breathtaking view of its signature rooftops and the Dalmatian coastline.
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For an even more unique view, guests can join Walking the City Walls and do just that! The walls, completed in the 13th century, are still intact and encircle the old city with a circumference of more than a mile and a half. Guests will walk the entire length, seeing the gorgeous Minceta Fortress, St. John`s Fortress, Bokar Fortress and Maritime Museum all along the way.

Stay tuned for another post next week about how you can enjoy fun in the sun off Croatia’s gorgeous Dalmatian Coast. Until then, if you’ve visited Dubrovnik, tell us what you loved most about this ancient city!

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Discover Alaska’s Annette Island with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 28th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


It is no secret by now that our voyages to Alaska offer some of the most amazing Port Adventures available in our entire portfolio, worldwide. Every year we search for new ways to excite our guests and help them discover the rich culture and diversity of our ports of call.
Discover Alaska’s Annette Island with Disney Cruise Line
For our 2013 summer season, we’ve added two new Port Adventures from Ketchikan to Annette Island, home to the only native reservation in Alaska. These excursions, which offer a rare glimpse of a working village, will immerse guests in the culture of the Tsimshian people, whose ancestors followed Anglican missionary William Duncan in ocean-going canoes to settle on this rugged uninhabited island in 1887.
Discover Alaska’s Annette Island with Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line guests on the Exclusive Annette Island Native Discovery will tour Father Duncan’s Church and Cottage (a museum), hear interesting stories of the village’s totem poles, explore local arts and crafts, and see a local native dance group perform traditional and contemporary dance ceremonies in their clan house.

The Annette Island Cultural Celebration with Family Activity excursion offers guests even more immersion with a unique hands-on experience. Families will construct their very own drum and learn how Tsimshian people teach youngsters about their ancestors using drum beats, song and dance.
Discover Alaska’s Annette Island with Disney Cruise Line
What’s more, on the catamaran cruise to Annette Island, guests have yet another opportunity to view some of Alaska’s wildlife, like seals, eagles and dolphins, just to name a few. Hidden gems such as Annette Island are yet another reason why when the ship is in port, you must venture ashore!

Check out these posts to learn more about voyages to Alaska with Disney Cruise Line:

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Explore Alaska’s Wildlife with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 27th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


Wildlife exploration is one of the top activities in Alaska, so for this summer Disney Cruise Line has added brand new tours in Juneau that allow guests to witness the very best of the Inside Passage’s marine and coastal wildlife.
Explore Alaska’s Wildlife with Disney Cruise Line

The new Wilderness Safari & Beach Exploration excursion starts out on a high-speed, water-jet powered vessel that can venture to areas unreachable by conventional boat. Whales, sea lions and brown bears are just a few of the species guests may spot that thrive in this pristine environment. The tour also includes a visit to the remote coast of Admiralty Island, where guests can relax or explore while enjoying the area’s stunning beauty.
Explore Alaska’s Wildlife with Disney Cruise Line

Also in Juneau, like most Disney Cruise Line destinations, guests have the option to explore the port of call privately through our Signature Port Adventure Collection. Our private arrangements are a great option for large parties traveling together, families who want to create their own itineraries, or those would like a more in-depth experience with a private guide.
Explore Alaska’s Wildlife with Disney Cruise Line

New this year in Juneau is the Private Whales, Fishing and Wildlife Adventure, where guests can enjoy Alaska’s coast up close and personal, customizing their experience with iconic activities such as whale watching and fishing. Groups have their very own captain and private vessel with several amenities like snacks and beverages, binoculars and fishing gear, plus other VIP options that can be added upon request!

Whether you do it with a group or on a private port adventure, when the ship’s in port, venture shore!


Thinking about sailing to Alaska with Disney Cruise Line? Learn more in these posts:

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Join Donald Duck and Pan for Gold in Skagway, Alaska, with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 26th, 2013 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Port Adventures Manager


I love when we here at Disney Cruise Line are able to combine the magic of our Disney characters with the rich culture of our ports of call. It is not a simple process, but when that formula is right, we are sure to create memorable experiences, like the Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp and Salmon Bake Featuring Exclusive Disney Character Experience.
Disney Cruise Line Port Adventure: Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp and Salmon Bake Featuring Exclusive Disney Character Experience

A guest favorite for the past two seasons, this Port Adventure returns this summer to tell the story of the prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush. Guests will visit a trail camp complete with gold panning, great family entertainment and an all-you-can-eat outdoor feast featuring Alaskan salmon. Visiting the camp and in full local attire is Donald Duck, bringing along a few surprises.

Disney Cruise Line Port Adventure: Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp and Salmon Bake Featuring Exclusive Disney Character Experience Disney Cruise Line Port Adventure: Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp and Salmon Bake Featuring Exclusive Disney Character Experience

 
After all this, guests will still have time to explore Skagway or take part in the many other options in this quaint and pristine corner of the Alaskan inside passage.

As I always say, when the ship’s in port (especially in Alaska!), venture ashore!


Check out these posts to learn more about voyages to Alaska with Disney Cruise Line:

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