NASCAR plans to ‘sailgate’ aboard Norwegian Pearl this winter

August 6, 2016

What’s the most fun a NASCAR fan can have away from the track?

It has to be aboard Norwegian Pearl this winter, when the inaugural NASCAR: The Cruise sets sail from PortMiami.

Hosted by former NASCAR driver and TV analyst Kyle Petty, the Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 cruise will give fans the opportunity to meet some legends, including Hall of Famers Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace, Bobby Allison, Dale Inman and 2017 nominee Robert Yates. Also aboard will be drivers Donnie Allison, David Ragan, Ken Schrader, Mike Wallace and Michael Waltrip.

Headlining the entertainment will be The Beach Boys and 38 Special.

The pool area will be transformed into a NASCAR infield, with corn hole competitions, barbecue and brews. On the big screen under the stars will be NASCAR movies — “Talladega Nights” anyone?

For more details, prices and booking, visitwww.nascarthecruise.com.

A partnership between the two companies will give young cruisers the opportunity to create a stuffed bear (or other furry friend) while at sea. The program recently launched on Carnival Dream, and it will go fleet-wide by the summer of 2017.

Pop-up workstations can be found in Camp Ocean facilities, where youngsters can customize their bears with outfits and accessories, including vacation wear like bathing suits and sunglasses.

A Build-A-Bear at Sea party for guests will feature music, bear-themes snacks and photo opportunities.

And what’s the bear tab? Prices for the stuffed animals start at $20, with outfits and accessories costing $5 and up.

* Chinese artist Tan Ping will design the artwork for Norwegian Joy, which debuts in the summer of 2017. The ship, built for the Chinese market, will homeport in Shanghai and Beijing.

The artist’s subject is the phoenix, a mythical bird believed to reign over all the birds in the world. The motif can be found in Chinese art throughout the centuries.

* Carnival Cruise Line’s new Vista Class ship, scheduled to be delivered in March 2018, has been named Carnival Horizon. No information yet on the ship’s home port or itinerary.

Its sister ship, Carnival Vista, debuted this spring and will begin sailing from Miami in December.

Holland America Line recently cut the first steel for its newest ship, ms Nieuw Statendam. The 15th ship in the HAL fleet will carry 2,650 guests and is scheduled for delivery in November 2018. The ship is the second Pinnacle Class vessel, and sister ship of ms Koningsdam.

* July was also a big month for Crystal Cruises, which launched its first Crystal River Cruises ship in Vienna. The all-suite Crystal Mozart — the largest European river vessel — will accommodate 154 guests and will sail itineraries along the Danube River.

Crystal plans to add four more “river yachts” to the fleet by the end of next summer.