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Wallace Immen

A reporter for Canada’s nationwide Globe and Mail newspaper for many years, Wallace’s  travels have taken him to more than 100 countries and both poles and he has experienced and written about well over 100 cruises.  His column 'Cruise Control' runs every Monday.

RECENT ARTICLES

5 WAYS THE ROALD AMUNDSEN IS MAKING ELECTRIFYING MARITIME HISTORY
07 OCT 2019: “In my imagination I created an electric ship that could break through all kinds of ice, that nice and elegantly, fearful and irresistible, could sail through the Arctic oceans all the way to the Pole.” –Roald Amundsen in 1882, at age 10. It’s taken 138 years, but the childhood dream of the intrepid Norwegian polar explorer is finally becoming a reality. The MS Roald Amundsen from Hurtigruten is the first cruise ship to be hybrid-electric powered.   MORE

VIRGIN VOYAGES CREW WILL SPORT HARD TO MISS UNIFORMS ON SCARLET LADY
30 SEP 2019: Virgin Voyages certainly wants its crew to stand out. Tradition-breaking uniforms by maverick British fashion designer Gareth Pugh will be the on-board look for the cruise line’s first ship Scarlet Lady, coming in 2020. MORE

DECODING THE NEW DRESS CODES
As cruise lines continue to go casual
23 SEP 2019: Dressing up for dinner is something that’s always been special about cruising. Ships are their own floating worlds and every night can be a party where people are dressed in their best. While the glamor remains, the formality has faded on many ships, as generations who have grown up in jeans take to cruising.   MORE

LHOTEL
The ultra romantic Paris apartment of your wildest dreams
16 SEP 2019: Everything in moderation, even moderation. Oscar Wilde said it first, and it’s still true at an opulent jewel box of a hotel tucked away on a quiet side street on Paris’ Left Bank. MORE

AMAMAGNA
Twice as much to love on a romantic Danube River cruise
09 SEP 2019: It’s a remarkable feat as the captain eases AmaMagna gently and precisely into a lock on the Danube. There doesn’t seem to be more than a couple inches of clearance on either side of this new ultra-wide ship in a lock that would normally handle two river ships side by side. The unique ship that maxes the space possible on a European river cruise has just been named one of the World’s Greatest Places by Time Magazine for its quality, innovation, sustainability and influence. MORE

SEABOURN PASSENGERS MEET THE HORNY, THE CUDDLY AND THE WEIRD IN NORWAY
26 AUG 2019: As if we didn’t need a reminder that things are different north of the Arctic Circle, our first sight as we got off Seabourn Ovation in the surprisingly bustling city of Tromso was a reindeer, calmly strolling along the main street of town. The guide who met us on the pier said it’s an animal that strayed from a domestic herd. MORE

FIVE REALITY CHECKS
On Venice's latest proposed ban on big cruise ships
19 AUG 2019: The most beautiful view from a cruise ship anywhere in the world has to be the slow glide past Venice, with its intricate ballet of gondolas and speedboats on the canals and its eternal skyline that’s inspired centuries of artists. MORE

SILVER MOON WILL BE A SILVERSEA SISTER
With her own distinct personality
12 AUG 2019: Silversea has revealed details of the 596-guest Silver Moon that echo the elegance of the cruise line’s current flagship, Silver Muse, and add significant enhancements that give the ship its own personality. MORE

PAUL GAUGUIN JOINING PONANT
09 AUG 2019: Luxury expedition cruise company Ponant is acquiring Paul Gauguin Cruises, whose ship specializes in French Polynesia and the South Pacific. Under the agreement, the two cruise lines will keep their management. Diane Moore, as CEO of Paul Gauguin Cruises and her team will remain based in Bellevue, Wash. and Navin Sawhney, as CEO Americas of Ponant will be based in New York. MORE

AMAMAGNA, THE SMALL SHIP WITH BIG AMBITIONS
And room to roam
29 JUL 2019: AmaMagna is a clear departure from any river cruise ships you’ve sailed on in the past. It’s twice as wide as what has until now been the standard for European river ships. It’s got four restaurants, a pool and whirlpool on its top deck and even a cinema. And more than half the accommodations are suites that are larger than the premium suites you’ll find on even the most luxurious ocean cruise ships. MORE

WILL BERMUDA BE ABLE TO WEATHER A SURGING TIDE OF CRUISE SHIPS
22 JUL 2019: There was a time not long ago when your cruise ship might be the only one visiting Bermuda on any given day. The tiny mid-Atlantic island strictly limited the number of cruise ships allowed to visit at the same time. All that’s changed almost overnight. MORE

EIGHT LUXURIOUS DINING OPTIONS
Make every meal special on Silver Muse
15 JUL 2019: Prime steaks, Asian, Italian; a floor show or a quiet table for two?  Whatever you’re in the mood for tonight, there’s a table waiting on Silversea Cruises’ flagship. Silver Muse breaks with tradition in its approach to dining. Most ships until now centred on a main dining room, with alternatives that could be difficult to get a reservation for. Muse has eight dining venues, each with a different theme, and guests can score a table at most of them any evening  they’d like. MORE

FLOWERS AND CHOCOLATE
Regent tour discovers the sweet spots of Ecuador
08 JUL 2019: It’s always summer in Ecuador, the country named for the fact that the sun’s always nearly straight overhead. If you can’t get tropical flowers to grow here, you’re not trying; but the farmers here have become close to fanatical about perfection. MORE

AZAMARA IS MAKING A SEA CHANGE
02 JUL 2019: Azamara is adding an exclusive range of land options in a rebranding and refocusing of their cruise options. “We’re venturing beyond the sea,” said Larry Pimetel, president and CEO of Azamara, which is part of the Royal Caribbean International family. The company founded in 2007 will be dropping the term Club Cruises from its brand name. Pimentel said it more clearly defines the brand’s new focus on being “more than a cruise, it’s a cruise plus a land component.” MORE

THREE FASCINATING PORTS IN JAPANS NORTH THAT DESERVE TO BE BETTER KNOWN
24 JUN 2019: Banging a taiko drum is harder than it looks. Flail away on the three-foot tall drum head with big sticks using just your arms and you’ll tire out immediately. The trick is to use your whole body in a rhythmic dance, and even then, it’s a full body workout to get the proper thundering roar from the massive drum. MORE

VIRGIN IS CONFIDENT YOU ARE A RECRUIT For a different kind of cruise
17 JUN 2019: Hey sailor. Yes, you. Virgin Voyages thinks you’re a perfect recruit to ship out on their new cruise ship, the Scarlet Lady. All you need to be is an adult who’s looking to enjoy a few high-energy days of music, food and relaxed inhibitions. Tattoos and dancing on the tables are optional. MORE

FIVE INNOVATIONS
That make Silver Muse a game changer in luxury cruising
10 JUN 2019: Where do you go after you’ve sold your personal yacht? For one couple aboard Silver Muse who have sailed around the world on their own luxury plaything, Silversea Cruises’ new ship became a perfect alternative. MORE

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
Twin sea days on Silver Muse create fascinating deja vu
03 JUN 2019: How many times in life do you get a chance for a do-over of an entire day, particularly a wonderful one? On Silver Muse en route from Siberia to Alaska when Tuesday ends, Tuesday begins again. The time warp happens because we’re crossing the imaginary mid-Pacific International Date Line. If you cross it heading west on a Tuesday, the next day is somehow Thursday. If you cross it in the direction we’re going, from west to east, the day after Tuesday is still Tuesday. MORE

IT IS ALWAYS BLOSSOM TIME
On a ramble around Tokyo's Imperial Gardens
27 MAY 2019: Tokyo can be daunting, with its forests of high rises and streets filled with seemingly endless processions of business men and women dressed in co-ordinated dark suits and immaculate white shirts. Modern Tokyo has taken the West quite literally in its architecture, efficiency and business attire. But in the rush to the future, there are continual bows to the traditional past. MORE

ROYAL CARIBBEAN LETS GUESTS CREATE A UNIQUE PERFECT DAY AT COCOCAY
21 MAY 2019: Royal Caribbean has officially opened the first of what the cruise line envisions will be a collection of islands that let guests create their optimum beach experience. Perfect Day at CocoCay is the result of a $250-million transformation of the line’s private island in The Bahamas and will be a featured stop on 11 of the line’s ships. MORE

THE CLEAREST VIEW OF THE UNIVERSE
Climbing Chile's Highway to the Stars
13 MAY 2019: You don’t need to know much Spanish to grasp the meaning of a sign as we start our perilous zigzag climb up a cactus-covered mountain in Chile. Precaucion: Zona de curvas y pendientes fuertes. Caution, curves and steep slopes, or more to the point: If you miss a turn, it’s a long, long way down. MORE

TWO SHIPS CHARTING A NEW ERA
Of stylish Galapagos Islands exploration
06 MAY 2019: They’re small and rugged adventurers, purpose-built to protect the delicate ecology of Ecuador’s unique Galapagos Islands. And with the elegance and service of their parent lines, they’re about to open a new chapter of luxury cruising. MORE

OLD SAN JUAN PUTS ON A HAPPY FACE
As Puerto Rico comes bouncing back
29 APR 2019: You’ve never seen old San Juan so immaculate. Businesses and restaurants are sporting fresh coats of paint in pinks, golds and blues. Brigades of volunteers in matching fluorescent shirts patrol the streets with brooms and rolling trash bins picking up every last scrap. And the stores are filled with brand new merchandise. It all seems so sparkly and fresh it could be a stage set. MORE

SEABOURN IS DESIGNING ULTRA LUXURY
Into ships exploring the world
22 APR 2019: Design a ship ready for adventure anywhere in the world, but make it oh so very sexy. That was the challenge facing noted ship and restaurant designer Adam Tihany as he imagined expedition ships that are rugged enough to break through ice at the poles but provide the grace and ultra-comfort guests expect from Seabourn Cruise Line. MORE

A TREND TAKES ROOT
Oceania rolls out 200 plant based menu options
15 APR 2019: Oceania Cruises has created the most extensive plant-based menus at sea as part of their latest innovations in the OceaniaNEXT program to revitalize their fleet. The cruise line is featuring more than 200 new meatless menu selections in addition to its current gourmet offerings. MORE
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