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March 31, 2005

MSC Cruises Adds New Flagship To North American Fleet



TORONTO (MARCH 31, 2005) - Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises USA, has announced that in response to the overwhelmingly positive reaction from North American guests to the Caribbean sailings of MSC Opera and MSC Lirica, that MSC Musica, the cruise line's latest new build, will also sail from Ft. Lauderdale during the 2006/07 Caribbean season. "We are thrilled with the success of the 2005 Caribbean season and the prospect of adding MSC Musica to the North American fleet is very exciting", says Sasso. "We've received great feedback on our product and service, including standing ovations at our nightly entertainment and a great many compliments and significant interest in our music, baseball and comedy theme cruises." Encore Cruises represents MSC Cruises exclusively in Canada and will be adding MSC Musica to the four ships they offer currently – MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Opera and MSC Sinfonia.

MSC Musica, an 89,000-ton Panamax vessel currently under construction at Chantiers de l'Atlantique in France, will be the largest member of MSC Cruises' fleet, with nearly 1300 guest staterooms accommodating 2,550 guests and more than 242,000 square feet of public area. 80% of the staterooms will be outside with 845 of those offering balconies. Under the direction of Genoa-based De Jorio Design International, special attention has been given to the creative use of space and location of the various public areas and the interior will continue to reflect the tradition of refined elegance used for MSC Lirica and MSC Opera. Scheduled to debut in the Mediterranean in spring of 2006, MSC Musica will make her westbound transatlantic crossing to her North American home in Ft. Lauderdale in the late fall of 2006.

MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Opera and MSC Sinfonia will sail 5- to 11-night Mediterranean itineraries this spring and summer with ships departing from Rome, Venice and Genoa. For the first time MSC Lirica will sail seven-night roundtrip cruises from Rome featuring stops at Sicily's Messina, Tunisia's Tunis, Spain's Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, France's Marseille and Genoa in Italy. Along with cruise only offers, Encore Cruises has packaged Lirica's Rome sailings in conjunction with Air Canada flights and a selection of Rome hotels under the brand "Rome Adventure."

"Europe, and specifically the Mediterranean, is not just a destination for MSC Cruises, it is our home, so who better to serve as guide?" asks Sasso. "An MSC Cruises vacation allows guests to experience the treasures and heritage of Europe while enjoying the legendary warmth and personal attention of classic Italian service."

Press Release By MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises European Cruise Information
MSC Cruises Caribbean & Panama Canal Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 03:50 PM

MyExcursions.com to offer a complete range of shore excursion services worldwide to meet your needs and exceed your expectations

MyExcursions.com to offer a complete range of shore excursion services worldwide to meet your needs and exceed your expectations

MyExcursions.com was founded by Tim Harwood a cruise industry veteran with nearly 20 years experience in planning and operating shore excursions worldwide with many of the world's leading cruise lines including NCL, Royal Viking Line, Cunard, Pearl Cruises, Silversea and Radisson Seven Seas Cruises.

With his experience and a global network of reliable and innovative tour operators, Harwood is able to offer a comprehensive program of shore excursions and shore side events to meet the needs of travel agents, affinity travel groups, corporations, incentive and charter planners for their discerning clients or employees.

MyExcursions.com has available thousands of excursions and experiences ashore, which can be delivered as standard programs or tailored to provide truly personalized programs for the individual traveler, family reunions, groups, incentives and full ship charters.
From a single port to a world cruise, MyExcursions.com offers the same level of service. In addition to excursions, transfers and optional hotel and pre/post land programs are also available.

Harwood offers a unique perspective in that he understands the intricate working of the cruise lines' shore excursion operations, so his planning ensures smooth dispatch from the pier and returning to the ship well ahead of the scheduled departure time.

MyExcursions.com website is easy to navigate and is constantly updated to provide expanded destination information. A sampling of programs is available on the website for the Mediterranean and Black Sea along with Northern Europe and the Baltic. Other destinations will follow - but all regions of the world are available for quotations and programming.

Custom web pages are available to feature a groups' program details and allow for booking online via PayPal. Individual private arrangements are also available to book directly for the Baltic and Russia. This service will be available to other destinations in the near future.

Harwood further envisions MyExcursions.com as a resource to feature all cruise destinations and works with port authorities and tourist boards, providing support to all cruise friendly destinations.

While other shore excursion providers focus on the Caribbean and Alaska, MyExcursions.com offers in depth programs worldwide. By offering a total choice of tours and experiences, they offer clients the comfort that the details are taken care of and the experience that awaits them is truly theirs. Clients will return saying that they really were "My Excursions".

Press Release By MyExcursions.com

Posted by Denise at 09:12 AM

March 30, 2005

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Junior Star Seeker Winners



MIAMI (March 25, 2005) - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has chosen winners in the categories of instrumental, vocal and dance for the company’s second annual “Junior Star Seeker” guest talent competition. The winners include Andy Xue, an eight-year-old from Plymouth, Minn., Tessa Moore, a 12-year-old from Azle, Texas and Krista Pioppi, a 13-year-old from Succasuna, N.J. The three Junior Star Seeker winners each won a free NCL cruise for four during which they will perform their winning routine in the ship’s main theater.

Junior Star Seeker contestants perform a three-minute routine showcasing their talent before a panel of judges consisting of the ship’s hotel and cruise directors, plus a musician and a guest performer from the ship’s entertainment staff. The judges select the winners based on each performer’s entertainment value and the audience’s reaction.

Andy Xue, a third-grader at Plymouth Creek Elementary, was awarded the prize in the instrumental category for his piano performance of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” aboard Norwegian Sun on the August 2 sailing. He has been playing piano for three and a half years and loves to perform in front of an audience. “I like to play piano because music expresses feelings and tells stories,” Xue said. “Playing on a big ship is very cool.”

First place in the dance category went to Tessa Moore, a home-schooled sixth-grader. Moore has been studying dance since she was two and a half years old and is currently studying ballet, jazz and lyrical. Moore was triumphant on the August 8 sailing on Norwegian Sea thanks to her creative dance routine to “I’ll Be There for You.” “It’s awesome that NCL has this type of contest,” Moore said. “It was so exciting to dance in front of an audience.”

The winner of the vocal category went to Krista Pioppi, an 8th-grader at Eisenhower Middle School, for her performance of “On My Own,” from the musical Les Miserables, during the August 8 sailing on Norwegian Dawn. Pioppi has been singing on stage since the age of five and recently won the “Be Wicked” singing contest at the Gershwin Theater in New York City. She is currently busy playing the roles of Samantha and Kaye at the American Girl Place Theater in New York City. “I am very excited NCL selected me as the Junior Star Seeker winner and cannot wait to perform again on my free cruise,” Pioppi said.

"We have seen such success with NCL's fleetwide Adult Star Seekers program that we decided to launch a 'junior' version," said Keith Cox, NCL's vice president of entertainment and onboard programming. "In its second year, the Junior Star Seeker program continues to garner tremendous talent and participation, while our passengers get to experience the future STARS of tomorrow."

The summer 2005 Junior Star Seeker program begins in June, runs through August and will be offered on every NCL ship. The program will feature talent in three separate categories: voice, dance and instrumental. One winner for each category will be selected for the grand prize of a family cruise, for up to four members, and a spot on the ship’s variety show to perform their winning routine.

Press Release By Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line Alaska Cruise Information
Norwegian Cruise Line Europe Cruise Information
Norwegian Cruise Line Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
Norwegian Cruise Line Hawaii Cruise Sale
Norwegian Cruise Line Holiday Cruises

Posted by Denise at 11:07 AM

March 29, 2005

SeaDream Yacht Club Announces Its 2006 Schedule



Caribbean January through April
Europe May through October

2006 Caribbean Highlights:

French West Indies, British Virgin Islands,
Netherlands Antilles

2006 European Highlights

Croatia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania, Egypt,
Cyprus, North Africa, Spain, Mediterranean, Greek Islands

2006 Year-End Holiday Highlights

Christmas: French West Indies and the Grenadines
New Year’s Eve: French West Indies

SeaDream Yacht Club, operator of the twin, ultra-luxury, mega-yacht cruisers SeaDream I and II, has announced its schedules and itineraries for 2006. They include:

  • The French West Indies, Netherlands Antilles and British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean;

  • Croatia, Ukraine, Romania, Egypt, Cyprus, North Africa, Spain the Mediterranean and the Greek Islands in Europe.

SeaDream I and II will sail in the Caribbean from January through April 2006 and from November through the end of 2006 and onward. They will sail in European waters from May through October 2006.

“This is the most ambitious schedule we have put forth since we began late in 2001,” said Larry Pimentel, CTC, President and CEO of SeaDream Yacht Club. Included for 2006 are classic cities and resort destinations and intriguing small and exclusive yachting ports. Most sailings are seven days but the schedule also features some shorter sailings ideal for those with time constraints.

New Caribbean ports for 2006 include: La Romana, Dominican Republic; Saba, Netherlands Antilles; Bequia and Union Island in the Grenadines; Port Antonio, Jamaica and Portsmouth, Dominica.

New European ports for 2006 include: Trieste and Viareggio, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Port Said and Alexandria, Egypt; Casablanca and Agadir, Morocco.

Home ports with turnarounds in the Caribbean are San Juan, St. Thomas, Bridgetown, Antigua and St. Martin. The Antigua and St., Martin voyages in February, March and April of 2006 are new for SeaDream and are substitutions for previously announced sailings along Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Belize.

Home ports with turnarounds in Europe are Nice, Monte Carlo, Venice, Athens, Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Alexandria, Naples, Seville and Rome.

In 2006, year-end holiday sailings of SeaDream I and II will include Christmas Eve in Marigot and St. Martin or Union Island in the Grenadines; and New Year’s Eve at St. Martin or St. Barts.

In both the Caribbean and in Europe SeaDream has frequent late evening port departures or overnights. Pimentel commented: “It’s a shame to force guests back aboard and to depart in the early evening hours when in many ports the action doesn’t get started until quite late.”

“Antigua and St. Martin will support SeaDream’s excellent growth of European guests. Air transportation from Europe is extensive as it is from North America,” Pimentel said. SeaDream’s complete 2006 schedules and itineraries may be found on their website or by calling #1-800-738-8837.

SeaDream Yacht Club is the yachting venture by Norwegian entrepreneur Atle Brynestad who founded Seabourn Cruise Line, and Larry Pimentel who was president of Seabourn under Brynestad and later president and CEO of the merged Cunard and Seabourn. Pimentel is President and CEO of the Coconut Grove, Florida-headquartered SeaDream Yacht Club and a co-owner. Brynestad is Chairman. The company operates SeaDream I and SeaDream II, twin, ultra luxury, mega yachts that operate on seven-day sailings in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Dalmatian Coast and the Black Sea. The yachts are not only ideal for discerning travelers seeking an unstructured and casual holiday experience but also for small meetings and incentive groups or individual private family gatherings. They are available for full charter. SeaDream I and II shared the top Five-Star Club award in the Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships 2003, 2004 and recently in the 2005 guidebook. For this guidebook author Douglas Ward created a special category “Utterly Exclusive” for only three vessels he said to be above luxury. Of the three, two were SeaDream I and II.

Press Release By SeaDream Yacht Club

SeaDream Yacht Club Europe Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 04:31 PM

March 28, 2005

Westmark Hotels Put Out Alaska/Yukon Welcome Mat


Westmark Hotels Put Out Alaska/Yukon Welcome Mat

Month Of May Marks Six Summer Openings; 5 Hotels Open Year-Round

Seattle, WA (March 23 , 2005) – Westmark Hotels, a subsidiary of Holland America Line, announces Open Season on Alaskan Hospitality. The largest hotel group in Alaska and the Yukon Territory, with 11 hotels in 10 communities, provides a mountain of services to business and leisure tour travelers. Six properties — located in Skagway, Tok, Denali, Whitehorse (Klondike Inn), Dawson City and Beaver Creek are open mid-May through mid-September. Travelers to Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, Whitehorse and Sitka will find a warm Northern welcome 12 months a year.

“Westmark Hotels is committed to Alaska and the Yukon,” said Steve Leonard, Vice President, Westmark Hotels. “Five properties—Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, Whitehorse and Sitka—are open year round. We cater to business and tourist travelers who want the best of the Great Land.”

Westmark Inn at Beaver Creek Traditionally the roadhouse, this property was an integral part of the social fabric of the Northwest providing lodging, meals and news of the era. This tradition is kept alive at the Westmark Inn Beaver Creek where travelers also enjoy comfortable lodgings and the popular Rendezvous Dinner Show May 19 to September 12, 2005.

WestmarkInn Dawson City The newly renovated Westmark Inn in Dawson City provides visitors with spacious and comfortable accommodations just blocks from legendary Diamond Tooth Gertie's gambling hall in the heart of this lively gold rush community. The hotel is open for summer travelers from May 19 through September 13, 2005.

Westmark Klondike Inn This Whitehorse landmark, located in the historic capital of the Yukon Territory, is the ideal base for excursions to the many tourist attractions nearby — the Yukon Gardens, the McBride Museum, the SS Klondike National Historic Site and more. The Inn is open to summer travelers from May 20 to September 7, 2005.

Westmark Inn Skagway The mere mention of Skagway brings to mind those rough and ready days of Jack London and miners scrambling over the Chilkoot Trail in search of golden dreams and elusive riches. The Westmark Inn, open May 21 to September 10, 2005, reflects the charm and personality of those days with Victorian decor, rustic setting and warm Alaskan hospitality.

Westmark TokThe town of Tok is the first community inside the U.S. border along the famous Alaska Highway. The hotel, open from May 19 to September 14, 2005, offers an inviting retreat for travelers heading north to Fairbanks or southwest to Anchorage.

Westmark Hotels take great pride in offering consistently top-notch service, considerate and helpful staff and comfortable accommodations that invite a great night’s rest.

Press Release By Holland America Line

Holland America Alaska Cruise Information
Holland America Alaska Cruisetour Information
Holland America Mexican Riviera Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 01:26 PM

March 25, 2005

MSC Cruises' Pagliacci Bring Impromptu Fun, Excitement To True Italian Signature Cruise Experience



A one-of-a-kind entertainment troupe has been sparking fun and activities throughout MSC Cruises’ MSC Opera and MSC Lirica on Caribbean sailings. This fun-loving, animated group is known as the Pagliacci (Italian for clowns, pronounced paliachi) and has earned rave reviews from guests.Pagliacci is also the title of a famous Italian opera written by Ruggero Leoncavallo in which a troupe of strolling players arrive in a Sicilian village to perform a comedy; Pagliacci is one of the characters in the play.Like the troupe in the opera, the Pagliacci onboard MSC Cruises’ ships stroll through the vessels, sharing their energy and talents. Guests never know where they may turn up next – impromptu fun may be right around the next corner!“They are like a catalyst, the spark that helps get things going,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises USA. “Their enthusiasm is contagious. It’s almost impossible not to have fun when you’re surrounded by that kind of excitement.”Already being regarded as some of the best entertainment at sea, MSC Cruises takes shipboard entertainment to an even higher level. Guests obviously agree. Here is what some have had to say:

“I can’t say enough about this energetic team! They were amazing. These guys and gals always looked like they were having such a great time and I just wonder where they get all their energy.”

“They were everywhere at all hours, interacting with passengers and trying to make sure everyone had a great time”

“This group really made this a lively ship … This is no exaggeration when I say that this ship might be the most lively I have been on. The lively atmosphere seemed to float into every lounge where the staff seemed to be everywhere at the same time, getting everyone up and dancing.”

The Pagliacci is an integral part of the “True Italian Signature” experience guests will find with MSC Cruises. It is an experience that includes Italian officers, authentic Italian specialties on the menu each evening, and nightly entertainment with a distinctively international flair.“Our objective was to provide North American guests with a cruise unlike anything they might experience on any other cruise line, from the ambiance to the cuisine to the entertainment – and everything in between,” says Sasso. “Guest reactions confirm that, from the nightly shows to the performers in the lounges and the Pagliacci strolling the decks, we have succeeded.” MSC Opera completes her inaugural Caribbean season with seven-night sailings from Fort Lauderdale through March 26 before embarking April 2 on a 17-night transatlantic crossing. MSC Lirica wraps up her second Caribbean season with 11-night Panama Canal sailings through April 22. She sets sail for Europe May 2 on a 17-night transatlantic crossing.Both ships will join the five other ships in the MSC Cruises’ fleet to sail Europe/Mediterranean itineraries through fall 2005. MSC Opera and MSC Lirica are slated to return to the Caribbean for the 2005-2006 season with an exciting new lineup of itineraries.

Press Release By MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises European Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 09:10 AM

March 23, 2005

Four More NCL Ships To Feature Dynamic Hull Artwork



MIAMI (March 16, 2005) – Today at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Conference in Miami Beach, NCL Corporation unveiled the designs for four more dynamic artwork designs for the hulls of two its new ships and two existing ships. Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Jewel and Pride of Hawai`i will all feature NCL’s signature colorful hull artwork. Cruise passengers will see Norwegian Jewel’s artwork in August when she is delivered, Norwegian Spirit’s artwork in October 2005 after her dry dock, Norwegian Sun’s artwork in April 2006 after her dry dock and Pride of Hawai`i will sail out of the shipyard with her artwork design in the summer of 2006.

The inspiration for each design varies, at times reflecting the ship’s name like Norwegian Star and at other times reflecting the destination where she sails like Norwegian Dawn.

“Our hull artwork helps set our ships apart from the rest of the industry and is another opportunity for the company to differentiate itself,” said Colin Veitch, NCL’s president and CEO. “Our guests love the artwork, our ships stand out in port and in marketing materials; the illustrations give each ship an individual personality and flair. Most importantly, our painted hulls convey the sense of fun and freedom that guests will find inside every ship.”

Norwegian Jewel's hull artwork design features colors reminiscent of precious stones, including emeralds, rubies, canary diamonds and sapphires.

Norwegian Sun’s artwork will boast a radiant sunburst of red, orange and yellow with colorful streamers adorning the hull.

Norwegian Spirit's hull graphic will depict a voluptuous Sea Nymph happily chasing two playful dolphins through the surf.

Pride of Hawai`i features iconic images of Hawai`i with a hula dancer on one side and a conch shell blower on the other side. Each are joined by the quintessential symbol of Hawai`i’s gracious welcome, a flower Lei. The Lei features Hibiscus flowers in yellows, reds and oranges.

By the end of 2005, NCL will feature seven big, modern ships representing 70 percent of the company’s capacity. With three more panamax ships on the horizon, including Pride of Hawai`i, scheduled for introduction next year, and two new builds planned for 2007, the company is on track to achieve its objective of sailing the youngest fleet in the industry by 2010.

Press Release By Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line Alaska Cruise Information
Norwegian Cruise Line Europe Cruise Information
Norwegian Cruise Line Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
Norwegian Cruise Line Hawaii Cruise Sale
Norwegian Cruise Line Holiday Cruises

Posted by Denise at 12:14 PM

March 21, 2005

Holland America Line Debuts Down Under


Holland America Line Debuts Down Under

Cruising To Australia, New Zealand Plus Asia & The South Pacific

Seattle (March 21, 2005) – From the Great Barrier Reef and cosmopolitan Sydney to pastoral New Zealand and the exotic Orient, Holland America Line now offers intriguing escapes throughout the Pacific Rim aboard the 1,258-guest, five-star ms Statendam. Cruises visit Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, Japan, China, Korea and Russia from November 2005 through May 2006 and from September through December 2006.
“Our new Pacific and Asia cruises arc the Pacific Rim from Peru to Russia featuring extended sailing on a series of Australia/New Zealand and China/Japan cruises,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. “At Holland America Line, we are experts at exploring the world’s most exotic destinations in the timeless style afforded by the luxurious life aboard ship.”

35-day South America/South Pacific Repositioning Cruise. An extraordinary 35-day itinerary from San Diego combines ports in Mexico and South America with dreamy South Sea isles. Port visits to Manta (Quito), Ecuador and an overnight in Callao (Lima), Peru offer colonial history, while mystery pervades a stop at Easter Island off Chile. Statendam then sails past Pitcairn Island of Mutiny fame calling on Tahiti, Bora Bora and Tonga followed by Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Guests set sail from San Diego on November 17, 2005 and arrive in Auckland, New Zealand on December 22, 2005.

Ten Cruises Explore Australia and New Zealand. Ten cruises in 2005-06 feature the lands of kiwis and kangaroos. Guests will enjoy New Zealand on eight ports of call featuring Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Captain Cook’s Ship Cove, Picton, Christchurch (Tranz Alpine Express tour option), Dunedin (Queenstown tour option), and Milford Sound as well as scenic cruising of Mercury, Aldermen, and White Islands and a full day in Fjordland National Park sailing Dusky, Doubtful and Milford sounds. In Australia three ports of call are featured including Burnie in Tasmania, Melbourne and Sydney.

Kicking off in 2005, a 16-day holiday celebration cruise departs Auckland, New Zealand on December 22, after ringing in the New Year; guests have an overnight in cosmopolitan Sydney. Four 14-day options are then available on Jan 7 and 21; Feb 4 and 18, 2006. The ship repeats the itinerary in the fall of 2006 on five departure dates: Oct 27, Nov 10 and 24, and Dec 8 and 22, 2006.

16-day Australia, Orient & China Cruise. A myriad of sights and sounds await in Brisbane, Australia; unique cultures in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia; and lush palm-fringed Philippine lush palm-fringed shores create an exotic tapestry. Guests embark in legendary Sydney on March 4 and sail for 16 days to the skyscrapers, sampans and duty-free shopping of Hong Kong arriving March 20, 2006.

Three Cruises and Three Overnight Stays on 14-day China/Japan Voyages. Three adventurous cruises through the meditative Orient sail between the bustling world ports of Hong Kong and Osaka on March 20, April 3 and 17, 2006. In depth exploration invites with overnight stays in both Shanghai and Xingang (Beijing), People’s Republic of China and in Osaka, Japan. Cruisers will also visit Dalian, China; Pusan, South Korea; Nagasaki, Japan and enjoy scenic cruising on the Inland Sea of Japan.

North Pacific 18-day Sailing Visits Russia. On May 1, 2006, the Statendam makes a one-of-a kind 18-day voyage from Japan to Russia, crossing the International Date Line en route to the Aleutian Islands and Alaska. Highlights include an overnight in Tokyo, scenic cruising of the Kuril Islands, a visit to Petropavlovsk, Kamchatha, Russia, and unusual calls at Alaska’s Dutch Harbor and Kodiak Island.

Customized South Pacific Crossing from 18- to 28-days. After summering in Alaska the Statendam returns to Australia/New Zealand with a Pacific crossing. Embarkation options include Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Honolulu. The voyage visits Christmas Island, crosses the Equator and the International Date Line, and calls at Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji. Departures are on Sept 29, Oct 2, 3 and 9.

Asia/Pacific 2005-2006 fares start at $1,999 per person, double occupancy for a 14-day cruise. Guests will enjoy all Signature of Excellence™ amenities including the Greenhouse Spa, Culinary Arts Center and the Explorations Café – powered by The New York Times. For More Information Click Here!

Press Release By Holland America Line

Holland America Alaska Cruise Information
Holland America Alaska Cruisetour Information
Holland America Mexican Riviera Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 07:33 PM

March 17, 2005

Oceania Cruises - What's New in 2005



New Destinations: Libya, Tunisia and Morocco
Debut of Nautica and voyages to the Far East and China
New Concierge Level Staterooms


Oceania Cruises is proud to present two very special voyages aboard Regatta and Insignia that visit the Mediterranean’s hidden jewels, including Libya, Tunisia and Morocco. These extraordinary voyages offer sophisticated travelers a remarkable opportunity to discover the rich cultural diversity and historical treasures of Tripoli and Benghazi in Libya while transporting them through centuries of history and ancient civilizations. Brimming with intriguing ports of call, these exceptional itineraries have been perfectly tailored to appeal to those discriminating travelers seeking exotic destinations and far-flung adventures. Having been off-limits to Americans for more than two decades, travelers can once discover the region’s wealth of incomparable archaeological treasures as they explore lands settled by the Romans, Phoenicians, Greeks and other great civilizations.

Regatta’s 12-day voyage sails from Barcelona to Lisbon on November 5, 2005. Ports of Call include:

Benghazi - Tripoli (overnight) - Valletta - La Goulette - Gibraltar - Casablanca - Seville

Insignia’s 10-day voyage sails from Athens to Barcelona on November 17, 2005. Ports of call include:

Benghazi - Tripoli (overnight) - Valletta - La Goulette - Monte Carlo - Marseille

While space aboard Regatta’s voyage to Libya is extremely limited, prime accommodations are available aboard Insignia’s November 17th voyage. Including Free Air, 2-for-1 cruise fares aboard Insignia’s November 17th voyage begin at $1,799 per guest for an inside stateroom.


Oceania Cruises’ Nautica, the third and newest member of its highly acclaimed 5-Star fleet, charts a distinctly different course as she undertakes her inaugural season of voyages to Asia. Debuting on November 27, 2005, Nautica sets sail for the Far East and China, enchanting lands that overflow with centuries of history and culture. Offering more overnight port stays than any other premium cruise line, Oceania Cruises presents a comprehensive, in-depth travel experience. Overnight port stays in Beijing, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kyoto, Bombay, Luxor and Dubai provide two full days and an evening in each of these ports, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the local culture, history, lore and cuisine of these magnificent cities and surrounding regions. And to allow them more time to explore the extraordinary cities that we embark and disembark in, they may take advantage of pre- and post-cruise hotel stays or extended land tours of three to nine days to such mystical locales as Chiangmai, Myanmar, Guilin, Siem Reap, Beijing and The Great Wall, Xian and the Yangtze River.


A tasteful example of understated elegance, our new Concierge Level staterooms boast a private teak veranda, as well as a preferred location on Decks 7 and 8 of Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. They offer such extraordinary amenities as a welcome bottle of champagne; a refrigerated mini-bar; 20” color television and DVD player; personalized stationery; our exclusive Tranquility Bed, featuring 350 thread count Egyptian cotton linens; cashmere lap blanket; plush cotton robes and slippers; a complimentary tote bag; and exclusive bathroom fixtures including a hand-held hairdryer, Hansgrohe hand-held massaging shower heads and Concierge Grade toiletries.

In addition to the stateroom amenities, Oceania Cruises’ Concierge Level staterooms also offer guests special service enhancements: priority embarkation with a dedicated check-in desk and priority luggage delivery, priority restaurant reservations for Toscana and Polo Grill, and complimentary shoeshine service. Oceania Cruises’ new Concierge Level staterooms are yet another example of our continual efforts to provide our guests with an unrivaled cruise experience.

Press Release By Oceania Cruises

For Additional Information About Oceania Cruises European Cruises Click Here!
For Additional Information About Oceania Cruises Asia Cruises Click Here!

Posted by Denise at 08:28 PM

March 14, 2005

Seabourn Creates Personal Shopper Services



MIAMI - Ultra luxury cruise pioneer Seabourn Cruise Line has introduced an innovative new series of Seabourn’s Personal Shopper(SM) shoreside services in prime shopping cities around the globe. The optional program will provide expert local guidance to sources of the finest quality merchandise for travelers when they visit appealing ports of call aboard the intimate, all-suite Yachts of Seabourn. Personal Shopper services can be booked in advance and are commissionable to travel agents.

Combining dedicated transportation with invaluable local shopping savvy, Seabourn’s Personal Shopper takes the worry and hassle out of indulging in one of the favorite activities of many of the company’s well-traveled clientele. It is not designed for garden-variety souvenir shopping, but rather for those seeking the shops, boutiques and ateliers of the finest local designers, craftsmen and artists.

“Shopping is an important part of a vacation to many of Seabourn’s guests,” noted Deborah L. Natansohn, Seabourn’s president. “Whether for personal items or for gifts for loved ones at home, many travelers have a wish-list of things they’d like to pick up while they are in Florence or Copenhagen or Bangkok,” she continued. “A taxi is fine if you know exactly what you want and where to get it, but we thought it would be nice to introduce our guests to a local shopping maven who can help them make the most of their time and direct them to the best things the place has to offer.”

In Florence, for example, a shopper could probably locate the flagship stores of Ferragamo or Gucci, but with Seabourn’s Personal Shopper, selections in their sizes can be ready and waiting when the shoppers arrive at top-line stores, for their consideration. Also, individuals on their own might well miss the nearby frescoed chapel that houses a chemist’s founded by monks in the 16th century, which offers exquisite perfumes and essences created for Caterina de’ Medici and lotions and soaps in elegant packaging.

In Istanbul, there’s no shortage of advice on shopping from strangers in the street, but will they really direct you to the finest antique shops in the Cukurcuma or Horhor areas?

Seabourn’s Personal Shopper tours provide transportation by luxury private car and the services of a knowledgeable, English-speaking shopping specialist. They can be arranged as half-day or full-day events, and tailored to the interests and wishes of the shoppers. Full days include reservations for luncheon in a favorite local restaurant.

Seabourn’s Personal Shopper programs are currently offered in Florence, Rome, in several ports on the Cote D’Azur including Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo, in Athens, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Bangkok, Hong Kong and St. Petersburg, Russia. Others are planned. Prices range from $295 to $895, depending on the location and duration.

Seabourn’s Personal Shopper is another in a continuing series of thoughtful enhancements to shipboard and shoreside services called Signature Delights that add luxury and value for guests aboard the three 208-guest Yachts of Seabourn: Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. Signature Delights already include complimentary service of spirits and wines including French champagne throughout every cruise, gourmet cuisine created by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer, indulgent Pure Pampering therapeutic bathing selections from Molton Brown and an Exclusively Seabourn complimentary shoreside experience on every cruise.

Seabourn has been consistently honored on Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s Gold List and placed at the top of the luxury cruise category by readers of such prestigious magazines as Departures, published exclusively for American Express Platinum and Centurion Card members; the United Kingdom newspaper The Telegraph and the annual Travel Star survey of Swiss travel agencies.

The Yachts of Seabourn sail cruises of seven to 21 days or longer on award-winning itineraries worldwide. With Early Booking Savings of up to 50 percent, fares start from $2,498 per person, based on double occupancy.

Press Release By Seabourn

Silversea Cruises European Cruise Information
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Posted by Denise at 11:37 AM

March 11, 2005

Crown Princess to Debut Line's First Roundtrip Caribbean Sailings from New York


Crown Princess to Debut Line's First Roundtrip Caribbean Sailings from New York

New Ship Marks Princess' Return to Bermuda, Introduces Two New Ports of Call

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (March 10, 2004) - When Crown Princess debuts next summer, the vessel will introduce Princess' first ever roundtrip Caribbean sailings from New York. This inaugural sailing season will feature nine-day roundtrip voyages to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean and will include Princess' return to Bermuda.

Beginning June 14 and running through October 18, 2006, Crown Princess will offer 10 sailings on an Eastern Caribbean itinerary with calls at Bermuda (West End), San Juan, St. Thomas and a new port of call for Princess, Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In addition, the lineup includes five sailings on a Western Caribbean itinerary with stops at another new port for Princess, Port Canaveral, as well as Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, and Grand Turk.

"Having Crown Princess sail from New York during her inaugural season is tremendously exciting and offers a brand new cruise option for our customers," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "We're especially pleased to once again offer passengers a regular opportunity to enjoy the British flavor and pink sand beaches of Bermuda plus introduce our passengers to Grand Turk and Port Canaveral."

Princess last offered regularly scheduled calls in Bermuda in 2002. On this new itinerary, Crown Princess will call on the island during weekends, offering a less congested experience for passengers as most cruise ships make Bermuda calls during the week.

In Grand Turk, Crown Princess will be one of the first cruise ships to call upon the completion of the island's new cruise terminal and welcome center, which will offer a variety of guest services and attractions, including a recreational area with private beach and swimming pool. The terminal will serve as the gateway to an unspoiled, remote island experience featuring some dramatic diving/snorkeling opportunities. Port Canaveral calls will enable passengers to explore the nearby Kennedy Space Center and other local attractions.

The 116,000-ton Crown Princess will introduce a number of new design innovations to the Princess fleet, including a dramatic new piazza-style atrium, new casual dining venues and expansion of some favorite shipboard areas. Within the new street café environment of the atrium, passengers will find an International Café serving up fresh pastries and baked goods in the morning and assorted other offerings throughout the day, as well as a wine and seafood bar. Several signature Princess venues have been further enhanced, including an expanded Trattoria Sabatini with a new piano lounge area and the addition of pub fare to the trademark Wheelhouse Bar. A new Steak and Seafood restaurant expands on the Sterling Steakhouse concept with an open, theater-style kitchen where chefs will custom-prepare steamed shellfish and cooked-to-order steaks and chops.

The ship will also feature the many hallmark featu! ! res that define the Princess experience, including the dramatic Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, multiple dining and entertainment options, Personal Choice Dining featuring traditional or Anytime seating, a two-story Lotus Spa with fitness center, an extensive children and teen's center, a wedding chapel and nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies.

Crown Princess sailings will be open for booking on April 1, 2005. Additional information about Crown Princess is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.

Press Release by Princess Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 08:50 AM

March 10, 2005

Seabourn's Second Week Free Monte Carlo Offer A Sure Bet




MIAMI (February 28, 2005) -Seabourn Cruise Line takes the gamble out of getting the most luxury for your vacation dollar this summer in Europe. All-inclusive, ultra luxury cruises aboard its intimate, all-suite ships already provide extraordinary value compared to the cost of a luxury vacation paid for in Euros this year. And now, the company has upped the ante with an offer of a second week free when you cruise round trip from Monte Carlo aboard the award-winning, 208-guest Seabourn Legend.

“Monte Carlo is such a glamorous, exciting place to embark on a Seabourn yacht,” noted Deborah L. Natansohn, Seabourn’s president. “When you step aboard there it sets the tone for a fabulous fortnight of pampering and fascinating ports of call along the Cote D’Azur and the coast of Spain. Why would you only stay for one week when the second week is free?”

The itinerary includes Riviera highlights such as Cannes, Marseille and St. Tropez, as well as Seabourn surprises Sanary-Sur-Mer, Port Vendres, Le Lavandou and the island of Porquerolles. The Spanish visits include a full day in Barcelona, both Balearic Islands: Mallorca and Menorca, plus Valencia and Palamos.

Guests will enjoy two complimentary Exclusively Seabourn shoreside experiences during the two weeks. At Valencia, they’ll be treated to a private concert and cocktail reception in the courtyard of the magnificent Monastery of Santa Maria de El Puig. In Port Vendres, guests will enjoy a tour of the Royal Castle of Collioure, followed by cocktails in this one-time summer residence of the Kings of Mallorca.

The Second Week Free offer is being extended for four departures sailing from Monte Carlo on July 10th, August 7th, September 4th and October 2nd, 2005. Fares for the 14- day voyages are equal to full fare for 7-day cruises between Monte Carlo and Barcelona and start from $5,996 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite.

Press Release By Seabourn

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Posted by Denise at 09:21 AM

March 08, 2005

MSC Opera: Mediterranean Leadership In The 2005 Berlitz Guide Classification




Four ships of the MSC Crociere fleet clinched 4 stars in the ranking of the prestigious Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2005 Guide published by Berlitz.

MSC Opera, the new MSC Crociere flagship christened in June 2004, took four stars in the classification of the prestigious guide. The new standard-bearer of the Italian-style cruise line, following hot on the heels of its sister ships MSC Lirica and MSC Armonia, won the leadership position among all ships regularly operating in the Mediterranean with departures from Italy, surpassing its major competitors in the ranking.

This is an outstanding result for the new ship of the MSC Crociere fleet. It took over the leadership role in its market of reference in less than a year from the time it entered service. The excellent placing in the Berlitz Guide classification of MSC Opera, MSC Lirica and even MSC Armonia – acquired last year by MSC and brought up to the fleet’s high standards of quality within a few months’ time – is also tacit proof of the value of the MSC Crociere product acknowledged on an international level. The company is strengthening its leadership position in the Mediterranean market year after year not only with the continuous attention it devotes to improving and developing its offer, but also with its fleet’s progressive growth. MSC Sinfonia, already included in the Berlitz classification and awarded 4 stars, will be christened in March 2005, and MSC Musica will be inaugurated in 2006.

The Berlitz guidebook, which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is the most authoritative “snapshot” of the world cruise scene. Approximately 250 ships are examined every year. The assessment, which is made by awarding up to 2,000 points, takes into account parameters such as the ship’s characteristics, the comfort of its cabins, the quality of its food, its level of service, the variety of entertainment offered, and the choice of itineraries and excursions.

The 4 stars awarded to MSC Opera, MSC Lirica, MSC Armonia and MSC Sinfonia testifies to the fact that MSC Crociere’s growth process is constantly carried forward dictated by its commitment to quality. Today MSC Crociere is well-known and identified the world over as the only Italian cruise line able to meet the needs of whoever truly wants to “travel Italian-style”.

MSC Crociere has a fleet of seven ships: MSC Sinfonia (coming into operation in March 2005), MSC Opera, MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Melody, MSC Rhapsody and MSC Monterey. The fleet will grow to nine ships by 2007. MSC Crociere offers itineraries in the Mediterranean Sea, Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, South America and South Africa. MSC Crociere is the largest cruise company backed by only Italian capital. With MSC, Italy travels with you…

Press Release by MSC Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 11:15 AM

March 07, 2005

Silversea Cruises Announces 2006 Worldwide Cruise Schedule



Highlights Include 23 Exciting New Ports of Call

Ft. Lauderdale, FL (February 25, 2005) - Silversea Cruises has just announced the full-year 2006 worldwide itineraries for its four ultra-luxury ships. Complete day-by-day itineraries for all voyages can now be found at www.silversea.com.

The award-winning luxury cruise line is set to visit 318 different ports in 100 countries, offering over 145 itineraries. Highlighting the 2006 schedule are inaugural calls in: Eden, Exmouth and Kangaroo Island, Australia; Khasab, Oman; Kura Kura, Indonesia; Pusan, South Korea; Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina; Ilheus, Brazil; Bocas del Toro, Panama; Costa Maya, Mexico; Grand Turk Island, Turks and Caicos; St. Eustatius Island, Netherlands Antilles; Ventura, California; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Derna and Tobruk, Libya; Iskenderun, Turkey; Zante, Greece; Andalsnes and Ulvik, Norway; Brest, France; and Isafjordur, Iceland.

“Next year our focus is on offering our guests fresh and intriguing worldwide experiences in combination with destinations that are traditional favorites,” said David Morris, Silversea’s Senior Vice President, North America Sales. “With 23 brand new ports of call throughout the world, our 2006 schedule is one of the most diverse we’ve ever offered. We continue to break ground with innovative itineraries that are the perfect complement to our all-inclusive, ultra-luxury shipboard experience, personalized service and genuine Italian hospitality.”

Silver Cloud

The 296-guest Silver Cloud will begin 2006 with a series of cruises to South America, followed by a Caribbean and transatlantic voyage. From April to early November, the ship will take part in a total of 21 cruises through the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, ranging from seven to 15 days. Highlighting Silver Cloud’s extended summer schedule are three-day stopovers in historic St. Petersburg, Russia, plus inaugural calls in Brest, France; Isafjordur, Iceland; Andalsnes and Ulvik, Norway; Tobruk, Libya; and Iskenderun, Turkey. In the fall, the ship transits the Suez Canal and explores the Arabian Peninsula, making an inaugural call in Khasab, Oman before setting a course through the Indian Ocean to Australia.

Silver Wind

The 296-guest Silver Wind starts the year exploring South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, the Seychelles and the Arabian Peninsula. From March to early November, the ship will offer 25 cruises through the Mediterranean, ranging from seven to 16 days. Highlighting the ship’s extended summer schedule are return visits to exotic destinations like Beirut, Tartous and Tripoli, as well as inaugural calls to Derna, Libya and Zante, Greece. In the fall, the ship makes a transatlantic crossing to South America for a series of five cruises from seven to ten days, giving Silversea guests a chance to explore the new ports of Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina and Ilheus, Brazil.

Silver Shadow

A series of cruises to Australia, New Zealand and the Far East will kick off the year for 382-guest Silver Shadow. Highlighting the winter and spring voyages are first-ever calls to Eden, Exmouth and Kangaroo Island, Australia; Kura Kura, Indonesia; and Pusan, South Korea, plus return visits to China, Japan, Cambodia and Vietnam. During the summer, the ship returns to ever-popular Alaska and the Pacific Coast, offering a series of ten cruises with an inaugural call in Ventura, California. During the fall, the ship transits the Panama Canal en route to the Caribbean, where guests will have a chance to discover the unique beauty and charm of Bocas del Toro (Panama), Costa Maya (Mexico) and Grand Turk Island (Turks and Caicos) – all new ports for Silversea.

Silver Whisper

During winter, Silver Whisper visits the sun-drenched beaches of the Caribbean and Mexico on 14 different itineraries, ranging from four to 15 days, highlighted by Silversea’s first-ever call in St. Eustatius Island, Netherlands Antilles. The 382-guest luxury ship transits the Panama Canal twice and makes an inaugural call in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua before crossing the Atlantic. From May through October, the ship will offer 18 cruises through the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, including several three-day stopovers in the celebrated city of St. Petersburg. In the fall, Silver Whisper transits the Suez Canal and sets a course for the Far East, featuring calls in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The line’s new Voyage Atlas, featuring complete day-by-day itineraries from spring 2005 through spring 2006, is scheduled to be published in mid-March.

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. For the eighth year, Silversea was named “Number One” small-ship line in the 2004 “Readers’ Choice” survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. For the sixth time, Silversea was selected “World’s Best” small-ship line in the 2004 Travel + Leisure readers’ poll

Press Release by Silversea Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 08:00 AM

March 06, 2005

European Voyages on Oceania Cruises Offer Unprecedented Value



Select 2005 European Voyages Available At Extraordinary Savings

Miami, FL (March 2, 2005) – European cruises have never represented a better value than this year. With airfares rising dramatically and an exchange rate that makes land travel in Europe increasingly expensive, Oceania Cruises is pleased to present a selection of voyages it believes to be the best value in European travel. While many of our 2005 European voyages are sold out, consumers may still take advantage of Free Airfare and thousands of dollars in cruise fare savings on select voyages. “Travel in Europe need not be exorbitantly expensive. With the inclusion of free airfare, gourmet meals and transportation throughout Europe, Oceania Cruises is breaking down the barriers to European travel,” stated Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. For a limited time, consumers may choose from a variety of Mediterranean and Western European voyages with cruise fares starting at $1,799 per guest. “Sailing to Europe’s most alluring ports of call, Oceania Cruises offers its guests the unique opportunity to explore as many as twelve different cities in a single voyage, without the unnecessary expense of inflated hotel and restaurant prices or expensive land travel arrangements,” added Del Rio.

As a leader in destination cruising, Oceania Cruises offers extraordinary voyages to the most fabled ports of call in Europe. Through overnight port stays and in-depth shore excursion programs, guests have the unique opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the history, culture and cuisine. This allows for a better understanding and appreciation of the regions visited and creates the most memorable travel experience possible. And Oceania Cruises’ unique blend of casual elegance and affordable luxury perfectly complements the grandeur and splendor of Europe. “Discerning travelers are in search of luxury and value. Luxury does not necessarily equate to high prices; rather it is a combination of superb cuisine, exceptional service and intriguing destinations,” stated Bob Binder, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Oceania Cruises. “We’re committed to providing our guests with the highest quality, luxury cruise product at fares that are extraordinarily affordable,” added Binder.

Free Airfare and 2-For-1 Cruise Fares!

For a limited time, Oceania Cruises is offering Free Airfare and 2-for-1 cruise fares on the following voyages. Reservations must be made no later than March 31, 2005, and space is limited.

10-Day Sailings:

Barcelona to Athens - November 7, 2005 - Veranda staterooms from $2,699 per guest

Athens to Barcelona - November 17, 2005 - Inside staterooms from $1,799 per guest

12-Day Sailing:

Barcelona to Lisbon - May 17, 2005 - Inside staterooms from $2,299 per guest

14-Day Sailings:

Barcelona to Istanbul - April 1, 2005 - Inside staterooms from $2,799 per guest

Lisbon to Venice - August 25, 2005 - Inside staterooms from $3,499 per guest

16-Day Sailing:

Barcelona to Stockholm - May 23, 2005 - Inside staterooms from $3,499 per guest

About Oceania Cruises:

Oceania Cruises is the highest rated premium cruise line according to the readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine in the 2004 “World’s Best Awards”. Oceania Cruises ranked among the top five large ship cruise lines in Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s 2004 Readers’ Choice Awards and was featured as one of the world’s best cruise lines on the 2005 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List. In 2004, American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders voted Oceania Cruises a “Reader’s Favorite” in Departures, the official publication for American Express Platinum and Centurion Card Members. Featuring three intimate and luxurious 684-guest ships, REGATTA, INSIGNIA and NAUTICA, Oceania Cruises is setting a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising with the finest cuisine at sea, exceptional personalized service, grand style, and luxurious accommodations coupled with extraordinary value.

Press Release By Oceania Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 03:18 PM

March 05, 2005

Celebrity Cruises Partners With National Geographic



Guests See World Through Acclaimed Photojournalists' Eyes

Miami - The magazine known for presenting stunning images from around the world, National Geographic Traveler is bringing its imagemakers to Celebrity Cruises.

The two organizations have teamed up to bring noted photojournalists onboard for the line's "Celebrity Discoveries" series, one of the most extensive enrichment programs at sea, presenting up to four lecturers on every cruise, discussing topics ranging from world affairs and finance to art and music.

"National Geographic Traveler is legendary for offering rare insight into the world's most intriguing places," said Celebrity's Director of Entertainment and Cruise Programs Michael Thomas. "They are the perfect partner to enrich our guests' cruise experience as they travel to exciting and exotic destinations."

The three lecturers scheduled thus far include:

Daisann McLane - Infinity, February 13 - Journalist, traveler and photographer, McLane has been encouraging readers to explore the world and its cultures in unconventional ways for more than 20 years. A contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler, her column "Real Travel" appears in every issue of the magazine.
Pablo Corral - Infinity, February 27 - Corral is a photojournalist, publisher, and author of five photographic books, Bare Earth, Silent Landscapes, Ecuador, From Magic to Horror, Ecuador and Andes. A native of Quito, Ecuador, Corral's work has appeared in National Geographic, among other magazines.
Michael Melford - Infinity, March 13 - Photographer Melford first picked up a camera while studying engineering in college, and found photography the "perfect marriage" of his technical and creative sides. Melford works for numerous international magazines and advertising agencies and is best known for his location photography. He recently finished work on a book for National Geographic entitled Treasures of Alaska.
In partnership with the magazine, Celebrity also will introduce a National Geographic channel on its in-stateroom TV system to present some of what National Geographic considers its best programming. Celebrity guests will receive an exclusive subscription offer to National Geographic Traveler, as well as an opportunity to win a framed, limited edition National Geographic print.

Celebrity's ConciergeClass and suite guests will receive a complimentary book from the onboard lecturers, and an invitation to a private autograph session.

Press Release By Celebrity Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 10:23 AM

March 04, 2005

Royal Caribbean Opens New Attraction On Labadee


Royal Caribbean Opens New Attraction On Labadee

LPirate-Themed Water Playground Makes Splash at Lines' Private Destination

MIAMI - A new attraction is changing Royal Caribbean's exclusive port of call Labadee from a private paradise to a privateer's paradise. The line has opened a new pirate-themed water playground, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, featuring a "sunken" pirate ship and a new mascot, Labadee Luc, who will appear on signage throughout the peninsula.

"The new Splash Bash is the perfect addition for guests who want to become pirates of the Caribbean for the day," said Craig Milan, senior vice president, Land Operations, for Royal Caribbean International. "With Labadee's buccaneer past, the Labadee Luc character and the water park's pirate theme will spark imaginations and add to the enjoyment of our private paradise."

Labadee Luc's Splash Bash drips, drizzles and drenches with ground geysers, toppling water buckets, and water archways. Would-be pirates can stage mock battles with four water cannons mounted on the climb-aboard ship and connected wharf, or follow the splash pad's painted-on treasure map trail.

The Splash Bash also features a special play area for kids ages 3 to 5 with a central pipe that sends water into three separate play areas with dams, water wheels and other fun activities designed to keep young children captivated. Admission to the new water playground is $5 per guest for a two-hour period.

After getting soaked at the Splash Bash, guests can dry off during hot competition on one of two new volleyball courts or relax in the shade on the spectator bleachers. Plenty of beach chairs also are available for weary buccaneers who want to bask in the sun.

The new Splash Bash and volleyball courts are the latest additions to the abundant activities available at Labadee. The exclusive port of call also offers an Aqua Park with inflatable, floating challenges, including rock-climbing walls, balance logs and trampolines; snorkeling amidst exotic marine life; kayak and WaveRunner® tours; banana boat rides; and parasailing.

Located on the mountainous, secluded north coast of Hispaniola, Labadee is a 260-acre wooded peninsula that features five spectacular beaches, nature trails, open-air dining areas, beachside bars, native entertainment and a marketplace complete with fine arts and crafts.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 19 ships in service and two more under construction. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe.

Press Release By Royal Caribbean International

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Posted by Denise at 02:06 PM

March 03, 2005

Tommy Dorsey Orchestra Headlines Big Band Trans-Atlantic Journeys Aboard Crystal Cruises in 2005


Tommy Dorsey Orchestra Headlines Big Band Trans-Atlantic Journeys Aboard Crystal Cruises in 2005
Luxury Line Hosts Centennial Celebration for the "Gentleman of Swing"

LOS ANGELES (March 1, 2005) - The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra will celebrate the centennial of the legendary Tommy Dorsey aboard two Crystal Cruises trans-Atlantic journeys dedicated to the sounds of Big Band. Led by the inimitable Buddy Morrow of "Night Train" fame, the orchestra will regale guests with the irreplaceable swing and Dixieland tunes, sentimental ballads and jazz music that made Tommy Dorsey famous. The orchestra will be featured on a cruise to Europe on April 25 and from Europe on November 16.

"A trans-Atlantic itinerary is ideally suited for a Big Band theme, allowing for late nights of dancing and camaraderie followed by relaxing days of enrichment, luxurious comfort and pampering service from our award-winning staff," says William Smith, Crystal's senior vice president, sales and marketing.

Special guest lecturer Dan Morgenstern, author of the recently published "Living with Jazz" and Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, adds colorful anecdotal stories about the history of jazz during Crystal Symphony's April crossing. Morgenstern's personal experiences with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Lena Horne, Jimmie Crawford, Sarah Vaughan, Roy Eldridge and others, provide a deeper appreciation for the love of jazz music.

On April 25, 2005, Crystal Symphony will travel across the Atlantic from Ft. Lauderdale to Lisbon. Crystal Serenity departs Lisbon on November 16, 2005, on a 10-day itinerary en route to Ft. Lauderdale with calls in The Azores and Bermuda. A special celebration is planned to commemorate the November 19th birthday of the "Gentleman of Swing." Cruise fares begin at $1,795 and $2,795, respectively for double occupancy accommodations.

Crystal's theme cruises are an integral component of the line's renowned Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program - and its Big Band cruises feature daily activities such as afternoon dances, trivia contests, swing lessons, special lectures, presentations, and more.

In Big Band history, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra is recognized as one of the best all-around dance bands, especially renowned for its ballads. Today, the orchestra's repertoire embraces not only the classics of the original Dorsey Orchestra, but also the spectrum of popular music from Dixieland, rhythm and blues, progressive jazz, and contemporary.

The Crystal Difference
Aboard the luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity refined elegance meets casual simplicity. With an emphasis on innovative product differentiation, the renowned Crystal experience is distinguished by classic service, abundant space, extensive choice, and quality, providing worldwide vacations that bridge the best of land and sea.

The 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Symphony and the 1,080-guest, 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity are among the most spacious and luxurious vessels cruising in the luxury market. Their unique size allows for smooth sailing and a wide range of innovative facilities, generous amenities and elegant accommodations. The Six-Star rated liners feature grand lounges, a lavish spa outfitted in accordance with the principles of Feng Shui, extensive exercise facilities, complimentary golf, yoga and Pilates instruction, Asian and Italian specialty restaurants, the only Caesars Palace at Sea® casino afloat, and the popular Computer University@Sea®, offering 24-hour e-mail and internet access, as well as hands-on instruction, expansive decks, two pools, award-winning cuisine and entertainment, and exquisitely appointed staterooms, more than half of which offer private verandahs.

The luxury liners have consistently earned the travel industry's most distinguished hospitality awards and guidebook ratings, including the best large-ship line award in the most recent readers' surveys conducted by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines.

Press Release By Crystal Cruises

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Posted by Denise at 08:50 AM

March 01, 2005

Experience A Sailing Legacy – Explore The Baltic On Holland America Line


Experience A Sailing Legacy – Explore The Baltic On Holland America Line

Sail to St. Petersburg with the “Best Cruise Line for Europe”

Seattle,WA (February 24, 2005) — For Holland America Line, with more than a 130 years of sailing experience, Europe isn’t just another destination, it’s home. Intriguing 10-day “Gems of the Baltic,” 12-day “Treasures of Scandinavia and Russia,” and a 12-day “Vikings & Czars” itinerary showcases the line’s expertise.

Cruise the Baltic July through September this summer with the leader in premium cruising and discover the exciting possibilities. Every Baltic cruise provides two days in St. Petersburg for a night at the opera or a day trip to Moscow. Classic luxury aboard the 1,848-passenger Vista-class, ms Westerdam and the elegant 1,316-passenger flagship, ms Rotterdam heightens every pleasure.

“Our Baltic cruises are special because they reflect who we are,” stated Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. “Holland America Line’s history encompasses the traveler’s spirit. Today, our cruise offerings and sailing heritage provoke exciting new adventures in timeless style for modern-day voyagers. And for cruisers seeking and celebrating their roots, our European cruises can be more than a vacation, we make it a journey home,” promised Meadows.

10-day “Gems of the Baltic” Cruises European culture reached its zenith in the North despite waves of immigration, World Wars and an Iron curtain. Tallinn in Estonia sports medieval spires and an onion-domed cathedral. An overnight in St. Petersburg allows time to soak up centuries of artistic accomplishment at the Hermitage or to explore the Soviet citadel—Moscow’s Kremlin. Westerdam cruises roundtrip from merry Copenhagen on July 30, August 9, 19, 29 or September 9, 2005, the itinerary also visits Helsinki in Finland, Stockholm and Visby in Sweden, and Warnemünde, Germany.

12-day “Treasures of Scandinavia & Russia” This well-balanced vacation combines the man-made glories of great Northern cities with the spectacular natural beauty of Norway’s Fjords—the sights along the sparkling Oslofjord will fill a dozen digital memory cards. With an overnight stay in St. Petersburg, guests will experience dancing fountains, ornate palaces and a timeless culture in transition. Rotterdam sails from Copenhagen to Rotterdam on July 2 and 26, 2005. A reverse 12-day itinerary, the line’s “Vikings & Czars” cruise sails from Rotterdam to Copenhagen July 14 and August 7, 2005.

“The Best Cruise Line for Europe”Travel Weekly magazine hails Holland America Line as the best choice for cruising Europe. Elegant, less crowded ships carry fewer guests than any other major line and offer larger staterooms and more verandahs. The Explorations Café powered by The New York Times and the Explorations Speaker Seriesprovide insights and background into ports of call. Award-winning Medallion shore excursions can be booked early online and offer unique events and experiences, while a variety of pre- or post-cruise packages create a complete European experience.

Both the Rotterdam and Westerdam boast all Signature of Excellence™ product enhancements from the premium line. Amenities include everything from a choice of fine dining venues—both elegant and casual—to multiple swimming and soaking pools and a lavish Greenhouse Spa and fitness center. Comfortable plush robes, towels and bedding and fresh flowers in deluxe staterooms complement lively casinos, spectacular shows and all day entertainment featuring the innovative Culinary Arts Center. Holland America Line’s luxurious, spacious ships offer all the comforts and conveniences demanded by today’s sophisticated traveler including wi-fi hot spots.

Value is another benefit of touring Europe with Holland America Line. Cruise guests save versus land-based vacations with most everything included and they beat the exchange rate against the Euro by paying for everything in U.S. Dollars. And for those purchases made ashore, a convenient onboard Foreign Exchange Service is available. Cruise fares start at USD$1,799 per person, double occupancy for a 10-day cruise.

Press Release By Holland America Line

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Posted by Denise at 07:11 PM