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April 30, 2005

Oceania Cruises Rides A Wave Of Success In 2005

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OCEANIA CRUISES RIDES A WAVE OF SUCCESS IN 2005

Upper-Premium Line Experiencing Great Demand For Award-Winning Cruises

Miami, FL (April 6, 2005) – Oceania Cruises is pleased to announce that year-over-year business has increased an average of 64%. The volume of new reservations taken during the week of March 28 through April 2, 2005 set an all-time high for the line and provided a spectacular conclusion to a record setting first quarter. Booking levels have exceeded management’s expectations as the 2005 European season is on target for 100% occupancy and resulted in the 2006 European sailings being released two months ahead of schedule. The recent introduction of the line’s third ship, Nautica, has generated a tremendous amount of interest and the line reports that 80% of the available inventory for her inaugural season of voyages to Asia has been sold.

In the past year, Oceania Cruises has received many of the travel industry’s most prestigious awards. Most recently, Oceania Cruises was featured as one of the world’s best cruise lines in the 2005 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List and received Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 2005 Editor-in-Chief Award for “Most Exotic Itineraries”. Ocean & Cruise News, the official publication of the highly respected World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society, recently published its 25th anniversary Ship of the Year awards where Regatta ranked #1 for cuisine. Regatta’s overall ranking was #4, eclipsing the entire fleets of Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn, Silversea Cruises and virtually every ship belonging to Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line and Radisson Seven Seas Cruises.

“There’s an increased demand and renewed confidence among consumers for travel to foreign locales. The bookings for Asia, the Mediterranean and Greeks Isles are beyond brisk, and in some cases, off the charts. Recent business levels only serve to bolster our confidence and tell us that wave season may very well last the entire year at Oceania Cruises,” stated Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Citing the line’s exceptional onboard product and tremendous value, Del Rio was not surprised when the line quickly garnered the industry’s most celebrated accolades. “Our guests and travel partners alike have been quick to praise our cuisine, service and luxury accoutrements. And they recognize that Oceania Cruises is the best value in luxury cruising. The fact that Oceania Cruises has expanded to three ships at a time when luxury operators are rationalizing their fleets speaks to the strength of our product and placement within the industry,” added Del Rio.

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

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

Posted by Denise at 07:39 PM

April 29, 2005

Crystal Cruises Sets 2006 Value Collection

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Crystal Cruises Sets 2006 Value Collection
Luxury Line Offers Up to 50% Off 13 Sailings

LOS ANGELES (April 27, 2005) - Luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has announced its 2006 Value Collection sailings, allowing savvy travelers the opportunity to plan ahead and realize extraordinary savings of up to 50% off regular cruise fares aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. New in 2006, Crystal Society benefits (repeat guest savings and rewards) and onboard bookings discounts are combinable with Value Collection sailings.

Crystal's Value Collection features sailings of seven to 16 days on 13 diverse and exciting itineraries, including South America, Panama Canal, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Trans-Atlantic crossings.

"The Value Collection provides a strong incentive to those who have never sampled Crystal Cruises, and even Crystal's veteran cruisers tend to add Value Collection sailings to their vacation plans because these values are so hard to pass up," says Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Offered on select cruises from April through December, Value Collection sailings provide seasoned and first-time cruisers a chance to experience the award-winning hospitality and luxury of Crystal with up to two-for-one savings. With fares starting at less than $200 per person per day, the Value Collection includes itineraries such as a nine-day Miami to Lisbon Trans-Atlantic crossing, an 11-day Athens to Monte Carlo sailing, a 15-day Panama Canal voyage from Tampa to Los Angeles, and a 16-day South American cruise from Buenos Aires to Miami.

The 2006 Value Collection includes cruises aboard each of the luxury line's ships - six aboard Crystal Symphony and seven aboard Crystal Serenity. Itineraries listed below offer up to 50% savings except where noted.

South America


April 13; Buenos Aires to Miami; 16 days starting at $2,995 - up to 45% (Crystal Symphony)

Northern Europe


May 5; Round-trip London; 10 days starting at $3,140 (Crystal Serenity)
May 15; Round-trip London; 10 days starting at $3,530 (Crystal Serenity)

Mediterranean


May 8; Lisbon to Athens; 10 days starting at $2,795 (Crystal Symphony)
October 13; Rome to Athens; 11 days starting at $3,550 (Crystal Serenity)
October 24; Athens to Monte Carlo; 11 days starting at $3,550 (Crystal Serenity)

Trans-Atlantic


April 29; Miami to Lisbon; 9 days starting at $2,270 - up to 40% (Crystal Symphony)
November 15; Lisbon to Miami; 10 days starting at $2,875 (Crystal Serenity)

Caribbean


December 5; Round-trip Miami; 10 days starting at $2,950 - up to 45% (Crystal Serenity)
December 15; Round-trip Miami; 7 days starting at $2,165 - up to 45% (Crystal Serenity)

Panama Canal


November 12; Ft. Lauderdale to Caldera, Costa Rica; 12 days starting at $2,380 (Crystal Symphony)
November 24; Caldera, Costa Rica to Tampa; 12 days starting at $2,380 (Crystal Symphony)
December 6; Tampa to Los Angeles; 15 days starting at $2,930 (Crystal Symphony)

Note that all fares are per person, double occupancy.


The Crystal Difference

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

Crystal Cruises to Alaska
Crystal Cruises to Mexico
Crystal Cruises to Europe

Posted by Denise at 01:03 PM

April 26, 2005

MSC confirms talks for post-Panamax ships

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MSC confirms talks for post-Panamax ships

April 25, 2005 - MSC Cruises confirmed it is in negotiations with shipyards for two large vessels of 1,600 cabins each.

‘Discussions are on-going with three different shipyards for post-Panamax ships for 2008 and 2009,’ MSC Cruises USA president and ceo Rick Sasso told Seatrade Insider. Sasso declined to specify the yards or other details.

Last month, Seatrade Insider reported that Chantiers de l’Atlantique was developing a 3,000-plus passenger ship design for MSC Cruises, citing an unnamed source at the French yard.

Chantiers is currently building a pair of 90,000gt vessels for MSC. Delivery for MSC Musica is scheduled for early June 2006, while the MSC Orchestra will follow in April 2007.

Press Release By MSC Cruises

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

Posted by Denise at 09:10 AM

April 25, 2005

Holland America Line Goes Wild For Alaskan Salmon

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Holland America Line Goes Wild For Alaskan Salmon

Cruise Guests Experience Destination through Cuisine, Too

Seattle, April 20, 2005 – Holland America Line will launch a new Alaskan culinary experience on its seven Alaska-bound ships during the 2005 season. Holland America Line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin has developed an industry first with “Going Wild for Salmon,” which will feature an extensive menu rotation of Alaskan salmon dishes during each cruise. The “Going Wild for Salmon” program will also include special on-board culinary events, cooking demonstrations, and seminars.


“I recently spent some time in Anchorage and I realized that when our guests disembark in Alaska’s ports, they are met with fabulous salmon preparations of all kinds,” said Master Chef Rudi Sodamin. “Bingo! I thought. We must bring more of Alaska’s delicious, fresh favorite fish to our guests so they can experience their Great Land adventure through cuisine, too.

“Every night they will get a whole new range of tasty salmon choices from the cruise line that offers more Alaskan salmon dishes than any other cruise line,” Sodamin adds.

Sodamin and the Holland America Line culinary team developed 50 distinctive recipes to showcase on dinner menus, which already offer poached, sautéed or baked salmon as an alternative to featured menu choices. The “Going Wild For Salmon” menu additions will be available five nights a week in the Main Dining Rooms, Lido Restaurants, and Pinnacle Grills on all Alaska cruise ships.

“We are delighted to introduce our guests to the world’s most intriguing destinations through cuisine with this tailor-made culinary program,” said Rick Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sale. “Our culinary team is always looking for ways to deepen the experience for our guests and to provide the authentic flavors of the regions we visit. Our guests can experience Alaska with their eyes, their ears, and their palate.”

“Going Wild for Salmon” dishes will include both appetizers and entrees, such as Thin Salmon Scallops with Fresh Herb Dressing, Hazelnut-crusted Salmon with Sorrel Sauce, Salmon & Lobster Chowder, Salmon Baked in Phyllo with Shitake Mushrooms & Champagne Sauce, and Sesame Crusted Teriyaki Salmon with Braised Bok Choy & Sake Rice.

The leader in Alaska cruises and CruiseTours, Holland America Line will sail seven ships on 134 cruises in 2005. The company’s premium ships offer unmatched spaciousness, carry fewer passengers than any other major cruise line and offer the most entries into Glacier Bay National Park of all cruise lines. Itineraries include 7-day Alaska Explorer cruises roundtrip from Seattle; Glacier Bay Discovery journeys between Vancouver, B.C., and Seward, Alaska; and Glacier Bay Inside Passage sailings roundtrip from Vancouver. Prices start at $729 per person, double occupancy, for the ms Veendam 9/11/05 departure.

Press Release By Holland America Line

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

Posted by Denise at 09:44 PM

“Live With Regis And Kelly” Teams Up With NCL America For A Groundbreaking Full Week Of Shows

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“Live With Regis And Kelly” Teams Up With NCL America For A Groundbreaking Full Week Of Shows

First New U.S.-Flagged Cruise Ship in Half a Century Will Make a Special Trip To America’s Historic East Coast Cities

Regis and Kelly Give Away One Thousand Cruises
For Viewers to Join “Live” Onboard Pride of America

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From June 18-24, 2005, "Live with Regis and Kelly" hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa will take on their most exciting adventure yet, as the top morning talk show becomes the first national program to broadcast a full week of shows (airing June 20-24) from aboard a cruise ship. "Live" is partnering with NCL America and their stunning new ship, Pride of America, cruising the historic ports of the Eastern United States on her maiden voyage.

Pride of America is the first new U.S.-flagged cruise ship in a half a century and is the biggest passenger ship ever built for the US registry. The ship boasts an all-American crew and celebrates a 'Best of America' theme, with public rooms inspired by the diverse regions of the United States.

Regis and Kelly have commandeered the whole ship, and are giving away free cruises to 1,000 contest winners and fans to join them for this spectacular weeklong vacation at sea through "Live's Pride of America Cruisin Reunion" watch-to-win contest. Every day from May 16 to June 10, Regis and Kelly will give away 20 cruises to one lucky winner, so they can create their own reunion and invite a group of 20 family members and friends to come along on the Pride of America. Viewers can log on to www.liveregisandkelly.com for full contest details. In addition, "Live" affiliates also will offer the chance to win, with local contests in each city.

"This cruise will be one of our most exciting location events," noted Michael Gelman, executive producer of "Live." "It's the first time we've ever done shows live from a moving ship, and the first time we've given away a thousand trips to our viewers. There's nothing more all-American than a family reunion, and it's going to be amazing to see all of these happy groups of families and friends joining us for the week on this gorgeous new ship."

"This is an unprecedented event for the cruise industry and we are very excited to be working with 'Live with Regis and Kelly' on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity aboard the new Pride of America," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO, NCL Corporation. "We look forward to welcoming aboard Regis and Kelly, all of their contest winners and their invited family and friends. NCL America is proud to share with them this momentous occasion, as we launch the largest US flagged cruise ship in maritime history."

The special "Live with Regis and Kelly" cruise aboard Pride of America will set sail from New York on June 18th, with a special one-time-only itinerary up the East Coast, only possible because Pride of America proudly flies the Stars and Stripes. The cruise will travel north from New York to Boston, then head south for stops in Philadelphia, Norfolk and Miami. A "Live with Regis and Kelly" broadcast will originate from each location, with one show live from the high seas. After the "Live" cruise, Pride of America will make her way to her homeport of Honolulu.


Pride of America is the biggest U.S. flagged cruise ship ever built and the first in 50 years. From the Capitol Atrium to a New Orleans' Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge to a Hawaii-themed Aloha Café and Waikiki Bar, passengers will be able to experience the flavor of the US while visiting the beautiful 50th state

The ship features the innovative attributes of NCL's newest Freestyle Cruising fleet. She features eight restaurants offering two main restaurants plus multiple alternative dining venues, from formal to casual including a 24-hour dining location.

Pride of America has over 660 balcony staterooms, a wide range of family-friendly interconnecting cabins, a new category of Family Suites, state-of-the-art entertainment venues, three pools, extensive children's facilities, an abundance of spacious public rooms and the largest dedicated meeting facilities at sea. All inspired by the diverse regions of America.

NCL America is one of three brands under NCL Corporation ("NCL"), an innovative cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida, with a fleet of 16 ships in service and under construction. The corporation oversees the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America, and Orient Lines.

"Live with Regis and Kelly" is executive produced by Michael Gelman, and has been distributed in national syndication by Buena Vista Television since 1988. Produced by WABC-TV in New York, "Live with Regis and Kelly" airs in more than 200 markets across the country.

Press Release By NCL America

Posted by Denise at 11:00 AM

April 21, 2005

Grandeur of the Seas Update

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April 24, 2005 - Grandeur of the Seas Update - 8 p.m.

Repairs to Grandeur of the Seas were successfully completed today and the ship is sailing to New Orleans, where it is expect to arrive at midday Monday, April 25. The ship underwent a full safety inspection and approval prior to departing Costa Maya.

Guests onboard the ship who needed to return to New Orleans before Monday were flown back on charter flights. Guests who had more vacation time remained onboard and are returning to New Orleans with the ship. Guests on this sailing received a $250 per-stateroom onboard credit.

Grandeur of the Seas' seven-night sailing scheduled to depart New Orleans on Saturday, April 23, will delay its departure until 8 p.m. Monday, April 25. Guests should arrive for boarding after 5 p.m. that day. Guests booked on this sailing have been contacted regarding the change to their revised five-night itinerary. The revised itinerary will include port calls in Key West, Florida, Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Cozumel, Mexico, Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Guests who sail on this cruise will receive a $300 per-stateroom onboard credit. Guests who choose to cancel their cruise will receive a full refund.

Grandeur of the Seas struck the pier in Costa Maya, Mexico, at approximately 1 p.m. (E.S.T.) Wednesday, while the ship was docking in 15-knot winds and a 3-knot current, which contributed to the incident. All guests and crew members were completely safe, and none were injured in the incident. The ship had a football-shaped puncture in the bow, on its starboard side, that was approximately 42 feet long and 5 feet wide at its widest point. The puncture was in the first deck, approximately five feet above the waterline.

The ship safely docked and was otherwise fully operational with all amenities. Royal Caribbean immediately notified the U.S. Coast Guard and other authorities regarding the incident and is fully assisting in their investigations.

Grandeur of the Seas departed New Orleans Saturday, April 16, on a seven-night sailing, carrying 2,030 guests and 740 crew members. The ship visited Cozumel, Mexico, Monday; Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Tuesday; and Costa Maya, Wednesday. The ship was scheduled to be at sea Thursday and Friday, before returning to New Orleans Saturday, April 23.

Guests or travel agents with questions regarding Grandeur of the Seas may contact a special help desk established to assist them. The toll-free phone number to the help desk is 1-888-837-5676.

Royal Caribbean International will continue to closely monitor this situation and update this information should there be any new developments.

April 23, 2005 - Grandeur of the Seas Update - 10 a.m.

Repairs to Grandeur of the Seas are proceeding smoothly. Royal Caribbean International continues to expect the ship to be repaired and able to depart Costa Maya, Mexico, Saturday evening, April 23. The ship is still expected to arrive in New Orleans at midday Monday, April 25. The ship will undergo a full safety inspection and approval prior to departing Costa Maya.

Guests onboard the ship who need to return to New Orleans before Monday are being flown back on charter flights. Guests who have more vacation time will remain onboard and return to New Orleans with the ship. Current guests also will receive a $250 per-stateroom onboard credit.

Grandeur of the Seas' seven-night sailing scheduled to depart New Orleans on Saturday, April 23, will delay its departure until 8 p.m. Monday, April 25. Guests should arrive for boarding after 5 p.m. that day. Guests booked on this sailing have been contacted regarding the change to their revised five-night itinerary. The revised itinerary will include port calls in Key West, Florida, Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Cozumel, Mexico, Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Guests who sail on this cruise will receive a $300 per-stateroom onboard credit. Guests who choose to cancel their cruise will receive a full refund.

Grandeur of the Seas' seven-night sailing scheduled to depart New Orleans on Saturday, April 23, will delay its departure until 8 p.m. Monday, April 25. Guests should arrive for boarding after 5 p.m. that day. Guests booked on this sailing have been contacted regarding the change to their revised five-night itinerary. The revised itinerary will include port calls in Key West, Florida, Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Cozumel, Mexico, Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Guests who sail on this cruise will receive a $300 per-stateroom onboard credit. Guests who choose to cancel their cruise will receive a full refund.

The ship safely docked and has been otherwise fully operational with all amenities. Royal Caribbean immediately notified the U.S. Coast Guard and other authorities regarding the incident and is fully assisting in their investigations.

Grandeur of the Seas departed New Orleans Saturday, April 16, on a seven-night sailing, carrying 2,030 guests and 740 crew members. The ship visited Cozumel, Mexico, Monday; Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Tuesday; and Costa Maya, Wednesday. The ship was scheduled to be at sea Thursday and Friday, before returning to New Orleans Saturday, April 23.

Guests or travel agents with questions regarding Grandeur of the Seas may contact a special help desk established to assist them. The toll-free phone number to the help desk is #1-888-837-5676.

Royal Caribbean International will continue to closely monitor this situation and update this information should there be any new developments.

April 21, 2005 - Grandeur of the Seas Update - 1 p.m.

Royal Caribbean International’s Grandeur of the Seas struck the pier in Costa Maya, Mexico, at approximately 1 p.m. (E.S.T.) Wednesday, while the ship was docking in 15-knot winds and a 3-knot current, which contributed to the incident. All guests and crew members are completely safe, and none were injured in the incident. The ship has a football-shaped puncture in the bow, on its starboard side, that is approximately 42 feet long and five feet wide at its widest point. The puncture is in the first deck, approximately five feet above the waterline.

The ship is safely docked and otherwise fully operational with all amenities. Royal Caribbean immediately notified the U.S. Coast Guard and other authorities regarding the incident and is fully assisting in their investigations.

A team of technical experts, including regulatory authorities, have arrived at the ship. Their full evaluation of repairs, including the amount of time needed to complete them in Costa Maya, is expected at approximately 6 p.m. (E.S.T.) today. Based on all the information now available, Royal Caribbean is currently making contingency plans to assist guests in returning to New Orleans by either Saturday or Sunday with complimentary flight arrangements – should the ship be unable to return to New Orleans this weekend. If that were the case, guests who have additional vacation time are welcome stay onboard and return with the ship.

The Grandeur of the Seas’ seven-night sailing scheduled to depart on Saturday, April 23, will be delayed in its departure. Guests booked on that sailing are being contacted now. Details regarding its departure date and time will be available later this evening on Royal Caribbean’s website – www.royalcaribbean.com.

Grandeur of the Seas departed New Orleans Saturday on a seven-night sailing, carrying 2,030 guests and 740 crew members. The ship visited Cozumel, Mexico, Monday; Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Tuesday; and Costa Maya, Wednesday. The ship was scheduled to be at sea today and Friday, before returning to New Orleans on Saturday.

Press Release By Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International Alaska Cruise Information
Royal Caribbean International Mexico Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 04:51 PM

April 20, 2005

Norwegian Dawn Update

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Norwegian Dawn News Update

April 17, 2005 - Norwegian Cruise Line is pleased to report that Norwegian Dawn left Charleston, South Carolina at 12:30 a.m. last night after completing successful repairs to the two windows that were broken on Saturday morning. U.S. Coast Guard inspected the repairs and the vessel is now on its way to New York.

The company estimates that the ship will arrive at noon on Monday and embarkation will commence at 3 p.m.

Further to the tentative itinerary that was announced 4/16/05 for the voyage commencing 4/18/05 of Norwegian Dawn the company has an important update.

First, please be assured we are doing everything we can to ensure we have three strong ports of call this week to maximize guest satisfaction.

The itinerary currently published, was selected because all three ports on the itinerary (Port Canaveral, Miami and Nassau) are ports where Norwegian Dawn docks rather than anchors. That is important because it provides us with a high level of confidence that no further changes to the itinerary will be necessary. When tendering in Great Stirrup Cay, our private island, the wind does not have to pick up very much for us to have to cancel the call.

We recognize, however, that Great Stirrup Cay is an extremely popular call on this itinerary. Because of the additional distance from Great Stirrup Cay to New York, versus the distance from Nassau to New York, it is not possible to offer a port call in Great Stirrup Cay on Friday April 22nd. The ship has to leave Great Stirrup Cay first thing in the morning in order to meet our scheduled arrival time in New York, leaving no possibility for our guests to spend the day there.

However, one feasible option to provide a full day in the private island is to replace Miami with Great Stirrup Cay. Norwegian Dawn's Captain will implement this change this coming week, in the event that the forecast on Wednesday (when we are in Port Canaveral) is such that we can be reasonably certain that the weather will not prevent us from offering a safe and comfortable tendering operation in the private island.

In the event the weather is in our favor this week, the itinerary will therefore be as follows:

Day - Port - Arrive - Depart
4/18 - Mon New York, NY - 5pm
4/19 - Tue - At Sea
4/20 - Wed - Orlando (Port Canaveral), FL - 11am - 9pm
4/21 - Thu - Great Stirrup Cay - 9am - 6pm
4/22 - Fri - Nassau, Bahamas - 7am - Noon
4/23 - Sat - At Sea
4/24 - Sun - New York, NY - 10am

There is no such thing as 100 percent certainty, but if we wait as long as possible to make the decision we can offer an itinerary with the best possibility of three good port calls including what to many of our guests is the highlight of the cruise - Great Stirrup Cay. Please understand, however, that in the event that the weather looks like the tendering operation in our private island may not be feasible, then we will continue to Miami and complete the itinerary currently announced including, Port Canaveral, Miami and Nassau.

We very much appreciate the patience and understanding of our guests as we plan the schedule for this week that delivers the very best possible itinerary.

Norwegian Dawn News Update

April 16, 2005 - Last night on her return to New York, Norwegian Dawn experienced extremely rough weather. Although the weather had become slightly calmer at daybreak, the ship was hit by a freak wave that caused two windows to break in two different cabins. There was flooding in 62 cabins and four passengers were hurt with cuts and bruises.

The safety and integrity of the ship was in no way compromised by this incident.

Norwegian Dawn has diverted to Charleston, South Carolina to conduct repairs. Passengers whose cabins were flooded are being flown home from Charleston.

Once repairs are complete, the ship will continue to New York. At this time, the company estimates that the ship will arrive around noon on Monday. As things stand now, embarkation will commence at 3 p.m. on Monday. However, the embarkation time will be finalized once the ship has a definitive arrival time so passengers and travel agents should monitor the NCL Web site.

NCL is working to contact all travel agents with guests sailing on the April 17 cruise to inform them of the details.

The tentative schedule is below:

Day - Port - Arrive - Depart
4/18 - Mon - New York, NY - 5pm
4/19 - Tue - At Sea
4/20 - Wed - Orlando (Port Canaveral), FL - 11am - 9pm
4/21 - Thu - Miami, FL - 9am - 6pm
4/22 - Fri - Nassau, Bahamas - 7am - Noon
4/23 - Sat - At Sea
4/24 - Sun - New York, NY - 10am -

In accordance with Norwegian Dawn's Winter Weather Guarantee, guests on the upcoming cruise will receive a $100 per person ($200 maximum per stateroom) onboard credit and additionally, the cruise fare will be prorated by one day, which will be refunded to the passenger's onboard account along with the onboard credit.

The company will provide updates as they become available.

Norwegian Dawn News Update

April 16, 2005 - Last night on her return to New York, Norwegian Dawn experienced extremely rough weather. Although the weather had become slightly calmer at daybreak, the ship was hit by a freak wave that caused two windows to break in two different cabins. There was flooding in 62 cabins and four passengers were hurt with cuts and bruises.

The safety and integrity of the ship was in no way compromised by this incident.

Norwegian Dawn will be diverting to Charleston, South Carolina to conduct repairs. The ship will arrive late on Saturday afternoon. Passengers whose cabins were flooded will be flown home from Charleston.

Once repairs are complete, the ship will continue to New York. At this time, the company is unsure of the exact departure time of Norwegian Dawn from Charleston. The earliest the ship can arrive in New York is Monday morning.

Travel agents with passengers on the April 17th cruise are being contacted to inform them of the delay. In addition, updates will be posted on the Web site.

The company will provide updates as they become available.

Press Releases 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 04:20 PM

April 19, 2005

Oceania Cruises Launches 2006 European Cruise Collection

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OCEANIA CRUISES LAUNCHES 2006 EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Luxury Line Increases Capacity In Europe To Meet Demand

Miami, FL (April 1, 2005) - Oceania Cruises will offer travelers an even broader array of Europe vacation options in 2006, when the line deploys three ships across the historic continent. Oceania Cruises’ Regatta, Insignia and Nautica will sail a diverse and wide-ranging array of classic itineraries throughout Mediterranean and Northern European regions, while also introducing a mélange of intriguing new ports such as Saint-Tropez, Kotor, Port-Vendres, Reykjavik and Delos. To celebrate the launch of the 2006 European Collection, Oceania Cruises is offering free airfare and 2-for-1 cruise fares on all 2006 European voyages.

Nautica joins her sisters, Regatta and Insignia, to present 10- to 16-day voyages that call on Europe’s bustling metropolises and picturesque, seaside villages. “Adding a third ship in Europe speaks to our bullish outlook on the growth of Americans traveling to Europe. Our 2005 European season was such a phenomenal success, we’re in need of additional capacity just to keep pace with the demand for our product,” stated Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. The deployment of Nautica in Europe is in keeping with Oceania Cruises’ philosophy of developing new and different itineraries to meet the wants and needs of its guests. “As the Oceania Cruises fleet expands, so does our ability to offer an incredible variety of award-winning itineraries. With a three-ship fleet in Europe, new and repeat guests alike are assured of finding the perfect cruise to fit their European travel plans,” added Del Rio.

With a scintillating selection of more than 50 voyages visiting 81 ports, Oceania Cruises continues to set the benchmark for destination cruising in Europe with more overnight port stays than any other cruise line in its class. This unique and trend-setting approach to cruising provides travelers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich and abundant history, culture and cuisine of Europe’s most alluring cities. As the only cruise line to offer the one-of-a-kind combination of mid-size luxury, big-ship amenities and a destination focused experience, every aspect of the line’s 2006 European Collection has been meticulously planned with the discriminating traveler in mind. “The sophisticated traveler wants an in-depth, enriching travel experience. We have not only created the ideal blend of itineraries, we have sought out the premier ports interspersed with hidden gems to present our guests with the most rewarding vacation possible,” stated Bob Binder, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Extraordinary Value With 2-For-1 Cruise Fares and Free Airfare To Europe

10- to 16-night European voyages with free round-trip economy airfare and 2-for-1 cruise fares begin at just $2,199 per guest. Our indulgent Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms, replete with a bounty of creature comforts, begin at $3,499 per guest. Of course, suites are the most popular accommodations and thus, sell out quickly. You may wish to take advantage of these privileged accommodations, which are the best value in luxury cruising, with air-inclusive, 2-for-1 cruise fares beginning at just $4,499 per guest. 2-for-1 cruise fares and free airfare offers are available for a limited time only and subject to availability.

2006 European voyages go on sale April 1, 2005. Detailed itineraries and fares are available at OceaniaCruises.com

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 01:49 PM

April 17, 2005

Princess to Name Next 'Gem' Emerald Princess

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Princess to Name Next 'Gem' Emerald Princess

Sister Ship to Crown Princess and Caribbean Princess will Debut in Spring 2007

SANTA CLARITA, CA - Princess Cruises' next new ship will be named Emerald Princess when she debuts in Spring 2007. Sister ship to Caribbean Princess and the upcoming Crown Princess, the 116,000-ton vessel will be constructed at Italy's Fincantieri shipyards.

"We're very pleased to be able to welcome another sparkling gem to our fleet," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "Emerald Princess will continue the hallmark Princess features that have made our Grand Class of ships so popular among passengers."

Emerald Princess will include the many innovations 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 variety of alternative restaurants, a relaxing Asian-style Lotus Spa with fitness center, an extensive children and teen's center, a wedding chapel and nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies.

Details about the ship's inaugural season deployment will be announced soon. For additional Princess information, contact #1-800-738-8837.

Press Release by Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises Alaska Cruise Information
Princess Cruises Europe Cruise Information
Princess Cruises Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
Princess Cruises Tahiti & South Pacific Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 09:29 PM

April 15, 2005

New Ports Of Call Join MSC Cruises' Caribbean Lineup

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New ports join MSC’s Caribbean lineup

MSC Cruises’ MSC Opera and MSC Lirica will return to Caribbean waters in 2005-06 with new itineraries that feature port calls at two destinations in the Dominican Republic.

La Romana and Cayo Levantado are not often found on ‘typical’ Caribbean itineraries, noted MSC Cruises USA president and ceo Rick Sasso. Cayo Levantado is a small stretch of land off the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic in Samana Bay. Known for its white sand beaches and natural rainforest vegetation, it is also on the winter migration path for thousands of humpback whales.

La Romana on the east coast offers beaches and water sports, an artists’ village, wildlife and flora reserves, horseback riding and internationally renowned golf courses.

MSC Lirica departs Genoa Nov. 23 on a 17-night trans-Atlantic sailing that calls at Malaga, Funchal, Martinique, Grenada, Antigua, St. Thomas and San Juan before arriving in Fort Lauderdale Dec. 10. The ship’s inaugural calls at La Romana and Cayo Levantado will take place during the Dec. 10 seven-night Caribbean cruise, which also visits San Juan and St. Maarten. MSC Lirica will also offer 11-night ‘Deep Caribbean’ and Panama sailings, in addition to a six-night and a 10-night departure.

MSC Opera departs Genoa Dec. 27 on an 18-night trans-Atlantic/New Year’s crossing, calling at Valencia, Funchal, Grenada, Margarita Island, Martinique, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and San Juan before arriving in Fort Lauderdale Jan. 14. MSC Opera will call at La Romana and Cayo Levantado 12 times in 2006, sailing a series of seven-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale that also visit San Juan and St. Maarten.

Press Release By MSC Cruises

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

Posted by Denise at 12:31 PM

April 14, 2005

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

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MSC CRUISES' PAGLIACCI BRING IMPROMPTU FUN, EXCITEMENT TO ‘TRUE ITALIAN SIGNATURE' CRUISE EXPERIENCE

Fort Lauderdale, FL ( March 17, 2005 ) - 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
MSC Cruises Caribbean & Panama Canal Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 12:10 PM

April 12, 2005

Holland America Line Offers Best-Value Pricing For Peak And Shoulder Season Alaska Cruises And Cruisetours

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Holland America Line Offers Best-Value Pricing For Peak And Shoulder Season Alaska Cruises And Cruisetours

Seattle (March 31, 2005) – Holland America Line has traveled from the north coast to the southeast coast, through the interior, and up into the Arctic Circle to locate the most memorable destinations in Alaska and the Yukon Territory to share with Cruise and CruiseTour guests. To ensure a favorite itinerary and preferred month, travelers should secure bookings now. Alaska offers amazing wilderness, wildlife and glacier viewing. As a matter of fact, Holland America Line can get guests to more National Parks than anyone else, including Tombstone Territorial Park – new in 2005. And, by booking now, guests take advantage of Holland America Line’s very attractive pricing for May 2005 Cruises and CruiseTours.


“Most visitors to Alaska are seeking a wilderness experience, especially in the national parks of Alaska and the Yukon. May offers abundant wildlife viewing and the opportunity to see new arrivals such as cubs, calves and kids,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. “Since May is one of the two driest, sunniest months of the year, it's a photographer's dream. Great values, abundant sunshine and the grandeur of the Alaskan landscape make for an exceptional combination.”

With 58 years of experience in Alaska, Holland America Line offers the most comprehensive itineraries of any cruise line in the industry, covering the most popular ports to hidden attractions. Offering three cruise itineraries and 28 CruiseTours, they cover just about anywhere a guest has dreamt of exploring. May pricing for the seven-day Glacier Discovery Cruise, one-way between Vancouver and Anchorage, starts at $599; Glacier Bay Inside Passage, roundtrip Vancouver, starts at $749; and Alaskan Explorer, roundtrip Seattle, starts at $840. Great CruiseTour values in May include 11- to 15-day Great Land CruiseTours from $1,669, and 11- to 14-day Glacier Discovery CruiseTours from $1,799.

There are also exceptional values for extended families. Holland America Line offers a Family Reunion Program that is available to families booking five staterooms or more on any cruise. The program features such benefits as special group pricing; a Fountain Soda Package for every member of the family (unlimited soft drinks throughout the voyage); a family photo per stateroom; and dinner for the entire family in the line’s alternative Pinnacle Grill Restaurant.

Early and Late Alaska Periods
While July and August tend to be the fastest booking months, the early and late seasonal periods are wonderful times to visit Alaska. Besides offering attractive values, there is still snow on the mountains in May, which allows for amazing topographical contrast with mesmerizing evening shadows, as well as abundant daylight. September offers stunning colors as autumn commences showing off burnt orange, red and gold vegetation, and wildlife activities tend to increase with animals feeding in anticipation of the upcoming winter season.

With seven ships and 134 departures from Seattle, Vancouver, British Columbia and Seward, Alaska, there are numerous choices. Holland America Line offers more cruises and cruisetours featuring Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park than any other company, and offers comprehensive excursion choices from historical tours to kayaking, helicopter flightseeing and glacier walkabouts, gold panning and Alaska Salmon bakes. For more information or to book a Cruise or CruiseTour call #1-800-738-8837 or visit www.Cruising2Alaska.com.

Press Release By Holland America Line

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

Posted by Denise at 02:22 PM

April 10, 2005

MSC Opera - Review

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MSC CRUISES

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MSC OPERA - REVIEW

Stateroom and public areas:

  • The standard outside cabin is small (about 140 sq.ft.), not large enough to accommodate a coffee table nor a couch except for a chair.
  • Shower area extremely restrictive, but the bathroom has ample storage spaces.
  • In-room safe, hair dryer, small fridge are standard features. Linens and towels are soft and fluffy but bathrobes are not provided.
  • Fruit basket provided and replenished regularly but there is a charge for the bottled water
  • Sufficient closet space and drawers.
  • Woolen blankets and bedspreads are used, not duvets.
  • The ship has a very contemporary décor, lots of brass, mirror and glass. Very little art works, fresh flowers, paintings or sculptures. Lots of lounges with sitting areas but most people congregate in only a few popular lounges before and after dinner for music, dancing and cocktails.
  • This was a Music Themed cruise, and I must commend them for the variety of listening and dancing music provided in no less than 4 lounges throughout the evening. There were big band, ballroom, rock, vocalists, strings and quartets, and the dance floors were of very good size.
  • The main theatre is spacious (no pillars) with graduated steps and it offers a good view of the stage from all angles.
  • The shows were of European productions in either Italian or French. There were musicals, vocalists, dancers, comedians, magicians and acrobats. I found them quite a refreshing change from the usual North American shows.
  • There is one other smaller lounge for alternate shows and which is also used as a movie theatre.
  • Their staff and crew are mainly Italians and Eastern Europeans. Their Animation Team is a lot of fun as they run activities with the passengers every night in one of the dance lounges which proved to be very popular.
  • The Spa offers both steam and sauna rooms with no extra charge. The gym is a good size and there is a charge for yoga and pilates classes.

Dining:

  • There are 2 main dining rooms for 2 sittings every night, as well as a buffet restaurant, a pizzeria, a grill and free ice cream station by the pool.
  • No Specialty restaurant.
  • Special coffees (even with meals) cost extra and there is a coffee corner serving very good lattes and cappuccinos at a minimal cost of $1.50
  • The food in the buffet restaurant is very mediocre, and cannot compare with Holland America or Celebrity. Trays are not provided, no specialty teas, nor juices during lunch. On the day of embarkation, they ran out of coffee mugs and we had to use paper cups.
  • Food in the dining room is better. The menu is mostly Italian and Continental with pasta every night.
  • Lunch and breakfast in the dining room is always open seating, in fact, we seat ourselves instead of being led to our table.
  • All the waiters in the dining rooms wear a white coat and bow tie day and night, and on formal nights, its white glove service.
  • Afternoon tea is provided every day in one of the lounges with music. Very informal and relaxing.
  • Gratuities are not expected and is an optional matter

The ship definitely has a very Italian feel to it. The atmosphere on board is resort casual, not stuffy and informal although the passengers are mostly elegantly dressed and well mannered. I was told by the staff that about 20% of the passengers are Italians.

Even though the cruise line call themselves a Premium cruise line, I would not rate them at par with Celebrity or Holland America. However, they offer very good value and I would definitely recommend them to people who want something different.

Written By Vivienne Cheng

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

Posted by Denise at 08:00 PM

April 07, 2005

Royal Caribbean International's Freedom Of The Seas Open For Sale

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ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL'S FREEDOM OF THE SEAS OPENS FOR SALE

MIAMI (March 17, 2005) - Royal Caribbean International has opened general bookings for its much-anticipated Freedom of the Seas. The line's largest and most innovative ship to date, Freedom will sail year-round, seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean's private destination, Labadee, Hispaniola.

The flagship of Royal Caribbean's new Freedom class, Freedom of the Seas will offer exciting and unique new attractions and amenities to complement the ground-breaking features first introduced on the line's Voyager-class ships. Freedom will feature an ice skating rink; the Royal Promenade interior shopping, dining and entertainment street; and the largest version to date of Royal Caribbean's signature rock-climbing wall. Freedom of the Seas also will offer wireless technology throughout the ship for Internet and cell phone access, as well as flat-panel televisions in all staterooms and public areas.

The line will begin sharing many of the new features to be introduced on Freedom of the Seas in early May - a year out from the ship's debut. At 158,000 GRT and holding 3,600 guests double-occupancy, Freedom will be the largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts.

Royal Caribbean will take delivery of Freedom of the Seas in late April 2006. She will be named in May, following a series of pre-inaugural previews for trade and media, and her maiden voyage will be June 4, 2006. Prices for Freedom of the Seas start at $1,299 per person double occupancy for an inside stateroom during peak summer season and $699 in the fall.

Here are just a few teasers of what's in store for Freedom of the Seas. Check back for updates!

  • Extensive WiFi capabilities and connectivity for cell phones. Because when you're on vacation it's great fun to let the folks at home know what they're missing.

  • Staterooms and balconies that are among the largest in the industry. Plenty of room to relax and plan your adventures.

  • A full-size, flat-screen TV in every stateroom. But then again, with all the incredible vacation activities to explore, try not to be too disappointed if you have trouble finding time to turn it on.

Freedom of the Seas will be sailing year-round, 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami. Ports of call will include Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Labadee®, Hispaniola. So basically, we'll be ready to set sail to tropical paradise whenever you need a vacation.

Press Release By Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International Alaska Cruise Information
Royal Caribbean International Alaska Cruisetour Packages
Royal Caribbean International Mexico Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 06:24 PM

April 06, 2005

C.L.I.A. Cruise Lines Ride The Wave Of Unprecendented Growth

CLIA CRUISE LINES RIDE THE WAVE OF UNPRECEDENTED GROWTH

Miami Beach (March 16, 2005) - The good news just keeps getting better for the 19 cruise lines and 16,500 travel agencies that are members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Spurred by a strong upsurge in cruise travel, the tally for passengers choosing to sail last year surpassed – by far – all previous booking records. In all, a record 10.5 million people took a cruise in 2004, it was announced today at the 20th annual Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention. CLIA predicts just over 11 million travelers will cruise in 2005.

The numbers break down as follows: 8,870,901 North American passengers sailed on CLIA-member line ships in 2004, compared with 7,990,246 in 2003 – which represents a year-to-year increase of 11 percent. In 2004 1,589,936 international passengers sailed on CLIA lines, compared with 1,536,714 in 2003.

“Bookings for 2005 are coming in at a fast and furious pace, far in advance of departure dates,” said Terry L. Dale, President and CEO of CLIA – the cruise industry’s chief marketing organization and North America’s largest travel industry association based on agency membership. “Many of the positive trends we saw emerging in January are becoming firmly entrenched. The booking window continues to narrow, consumer demand continues to rise, and travelers are flocking to more far-flung destinations like Europe and Asia.”

RIDING THE ‘WAVE’ Although there are more cruise departures and itineraries than ever before – 68 vessels will have debuted between 2000 and the end of 2005 – CLIA’s member line ships are sailing at a remarkable 104 percent occupancy rate. Furthermore, CLIA-member lines report that the robust bookings generated during this year’s Wave Season – the period from January to March during which cruise lines capture their largest share of annual bookings – is bringing record numbers of new passengers into the cruise fold.

“Bookings are so robust that some of our member agencies are scrambling to find staterooms on certain itineraries requested by their clients,” Dale said. “While there are still exciting itineraries and a choice of staterooms available on many sailings, consumers should act fast.”

To ensure that passengers obtain the ship, stateroom and itinerary of their choice, Dale suggests travelers book at least six months in advance. Booking further out also entitles consumers to attractive early booking opportunities typically unavailable to cruise guests who reserve space closer in to sailing dates.

THE EUROPE BOOM Travelers are flocking to Europe in droves – and choosing to cruise to insulate themselves from the sticker-shock of European land vacations. Cruise vacationers in Europe pre-pay in U.S. dollars, which protects them from the effects of the weak dollar abroad. In fact, the high cost of the euro against the U.S. dollar, coupled with extraordinary early booking opportunities, is transforming 2005 into a banner year for cruising in Europe.

THE VALUE EQUATION Cruise vacations offer the travel industry’s greatest inherent value. One price covers everything – accommodations, all meals, snacks and entertainment. Furthermore, CLIA cruise lines constantly up the ante on features and amenities. Today’s ships have cutting-edge facilities that equal or surpass those found at the best land-based resorts. Guests can revel in a host of cutting-edge nightclubs and discos, find tranquility in state-of-the art spas, or gaze at the stars while watching a movie on a 300-square foot poolside screen. CLIA member line ships feature multiple dining venues and unlimited activities – from ice-skating to acting classes to scuba diving. All the while, cruise guests have the opportunity to travel to ports across the globe.

HOME SWEET HOME Since CLIA’s inception in 1975 the number of North American “homeports” – cities from which cruise ships offer regular departures – has nearly tripled. Vacationers now have a staggering 30 homeports from which to choose because CLIA’s member cruise lines recognized North Americans’ desire for departure ports within driving distance, which eliminate the expense and hassle of flying and reduce the overall price of a cruise.

A FUTURE BRIGHT WITH PROMISE

Always seeking new ways to address its guests’ vacation desires, the cruise industry will continue to grow through continued fleet expansion throughout this year and beyond. CLIA fleets will introduce 20 more cutting-edge ships between now and 2008.

“CLIA will continue to support the travel agent community’s cruise sales efforts and initiatives by providing the travel industry’s premiere educational curriculum and cruise marketing strategies,” said Dale. “We will also continue to promote CLIA-member agencies as the ‘best choice’ for North American vacationers to plan, select and book a cruise.”

Press Release by C.L.I.A.

Alaska Cruise Information
Europe Cruise Information
Mexico Cruise Information
South Pacific Cruise Information

Posted by Denise at 12:28 PM

April 04, 2005

Crystal Harmony To Move Within The NYK Cruise Division

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Crystal Harmony To Move Within The NYK Cruise Division

LOS ANGELES (March 30, 2005) - Crystal Cruises announces that in December 2005, following its scheduled dry-dock, Crystal Harmony will join its parent company's Japanese cruise division. Crystal Cruises, which also operates the ultra-luxury ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, announces it is developing plans to replace Crystal Harmony with a new ship. The luxury line has established a shipbuilding team and is already involved in developing new designs for the future.

"With this transfer, we have an opportunity to provide an excellent and larger ship to our sister company, meet the growing demand, and keep her in the family," says Gregg Michel, Crystal's president. "At the same time, this paves the way for new tonnage for Crystal. We will return to a three-ship operation."

Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), Crystal Cruises' parent company, will replace its cruise ship, Asuka, with Crystal Harmony, in April 2006. The luxury vessel will be renamed Asuka II, operated by its Japanese cruise division, NYK Cruises. The 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Harmony is the award-winning line's first ship and has been in service since 1990.

"By contemporary standards, Crystal Harmony is better suited for the Japanese market and Crystal Cruises' product will be more consistent," adds Michel. "Crystal Harmony represents a significant asset for NYK Cruises and, at the same time, Crystal can move forward with a new generation of luxury ships."

Since Crystal Harmony's launch, the ship has garnered Six-Star ratings, awards for "World's Best Mid-Sized Cruise Ship" and numerous accolades from industry critics. As recently as fall 2002, Crystal Cruises spent millions on major design upgrades including a lavish spa and fitness facilities, to maintain the highest luxury standards. The ship's hardware has been supported by exquisite service and impeccable attention to detail, which include its rich appointments and soft goods of superior quality. Nevertheless, the line's newer ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity boast, among other features, larger bathrooms and more penthouse accommodations.

With 2,020 berths in 2006, Crystal Cruises will remain the industry's largest luxury operator. For 2006, Crystal Serenity will maintain her schedule as released, while Crystal Symphony's January-May schedule has been revised to include an additional winter Panama Canal transit, new Amazon cruises, Cape Horn and East Coast South America cruises, an Atlantic crossing and an additional 10-day May Mediterranean cruise before resuming her previously announced pattern beginning on May 18. In all, in 2006, the Crystal fleet will cruise the Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Amazon, South America, Baltic, British Isles, North Cape, Western Europe, Mediterranean, Canary Islands, New England/Canada and Caribbean, as well as an 11th annual World Cruise aboard Crystal Serenity that will call in Western South America, the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

NYK, the largest shipping company in the world, operates more than 800 ships, including the cruise division, one of its core businesses. NYK Cruises is currently operating one ship, the 592-passenger Asuka for the Japanese market, a market that has greatly expanded with demand far exceeding supply. By shifting Crystal Harmony and refitting the ship for Japanese guests, NYK can increase capacity to meet the needs of this growing market.

"NYK's investment in the Crystal Cruises' fleet through such recent extensive refurbishments of Crystal Symphony and our plans for new tonnage demonstrates our commitment to our cruise divisions," says Koji Miyahara, president of NYK. "Cruising remains a core business for NYK."

Renowned for its quality, choices, space and service, Crystal Cruises has been a leader in the luxury cruise industry since the company's inception. Its most recent honors include an unprecedented ninth year of "World's Best Large-Ship Cruise Line" awards from the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure.

"Crystal Harmony was our first jewel and she made such a strong impact on the luxury travel market when she was launched," comments Michel. "We will always have fond memories of her, as will the travel community and her huge base of Crystal Society fans. I have no doubt that 2005 will be marked by a series of meaningful reunions for the repeat guests who want to enjoy Crystal Harmony's warm ambiance one more time."

Press Release By Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises to Alaska
Crystal Cruises to Mexico
Crystal Cruises to Europe

Posted by Denise at 03:19 PM

April 03, 2005

2005 Europe Cruises On C.L.I.A. Lines: Demand Is At All-Time high - So Book Now

2005 EUROPE CRUISES ON CLIA LINES: DEMAND IS AT ALL-TIME HIGH – SO BOOK NOW

New York (March 14, 2005) - Europe cruises will deliver a one-two punch this spring, summer and fall – the end result of which translates into a double whammy in value. The high cost of the euro against the U.S. dollar – coupled with extraordinary early booking opportunities – make 2005 Europe cruises doubly tempting.

“Travelers who plan land vacations in Europe will pay more this year and perhaps experience sticker shock. However, travelers who opt for all-inclusive cruise vacations will pre-pay in U.S. dollars, significantly insulating them from currency fluctuations,” said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the premier marketing association for 19 leading North American cruise lines and 16,500 affiliated travel agents.

There is another reason to book early, said Dale. “Executives from CLIA-member lines are reporting that Europe itineraries are selling faster – and sooner – than virtually any time in history. To get the best deal and the cruise and cabin of their choice, it would be extremely judicious for travelers to book their cruises as soon as possible.”

There is a style of ship and itinerary to meet any prospective vacationer’s desires. Travelers can choose between luxury yachts that carry as few as 100 passengers or contemporary mega ships that can hold up to 3,000. Cruise guests also have the option of extending their holiday with land tours before or after their cruise, which can also be paid in U.S. dollars before departure.

Following is a rundown of the diverse portfolio of Europe cruises CLIA-member lines are offering travelers this year.

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES For the first time ever, Carnival Cruise Lines will offer a series of Mediterranean voyages featuring extended visits to some of Europe’s most charming and historic ports of call beginning this summer on the new 110,000-ton Carnival Liberty. The ship will sail on eight 12-day Mediterranean itineraries roundtrip from Rome from July 20 to Oct. 12. Featured ports include Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy. Carnival Liberty’s 15-day transatlantic itinerary on Oct. 24 will position the ship in Fort Lauderdale.

CELEBRITY CRUISES The line’s Century, Constellation, Galaxy and Millennium will operate in Europe and the Mediterranean this year. Century will sail a series of 12-night Baltic cruises roundtrip from Amsterdam, a Norwegian Fjords cruise, and several 10- and 11-night Mediterranean cruises out of Barcelona. Constellation will operate on a series of 14-night Scandinavia and Russia itineraries and several 14-night British Isles and Norwegian Fjords cruise. Galaxy, meanwhile, will set sail on 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings while Millennium will offer its own set of Mediterranean sailings of 12, 13 and 14 nights.

COSTA CRUISE LINES Costa – Europe’s largest cruise line – will deploy its entire 10-ship fleet in the region from April through November. Travelers can choose from cruises departing from Civitavecchia, Savona, Venice, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Itineraries of three to 16 nights visit the Eastern and Western Mediterranean; Canary Islands; Spain and Portugal; Russia and Scandinavia; the Norwegian Fjords, North Cape and Iceland; and Scotland and the British Isles. The highlight of the Europe season will be the debut of the line’s newest flagship, Costa Magica, which begins her inaugural season with seven-night cruises from Civitavecchia.

CRYSTAL CRUISES Collectively, the line’s Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony will offer 29 Europe itineraries. Crystal Serenity will operate on an extensive program – 18 itineraries in all – of Eastern and Western Mediterranean itineraries from spring through fall. Crystal Symphony will offer 11 itineraries, including three new seven-night Mediterranean sailings. Cruises range from seven to 22 days. Mediterranean itineraries include at least one overnight in port. The line has added the several new ports of call, including Alesund, Norway; Belfast, Ireland; Oban, Scotland; Porto Venere, Italy; Monemvasia, Greece; Sámos, Greece; and Nesebur, Bulgaria.

CUNARD LINE Cunard Line’s legendary Queen Elizabeth 2 – the longest serving Cunard express liner in the company’s history with 35 years of service – is based in Europe year-round, save for her annual World Cruise. Cruise guests can choose from 14 wide-ranging itineraries that visit ports in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and Canary Islands. Famous big sister Queen Mary 2, which celebrated her first birthday in January 2005, will operate on four European voyages interspersed with her transatlantic schedule. In all, the line’s Europe sailings range from 11 to 31 days in length.

MSC CRUISES This year marks the first time the line has positioned seven ships – MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Opera, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Rhapsody, MSC Melody and MSC Montery – on European and Mediterranean itineraries. Also, this year MSC Cruises will use Civitavecchia as a homeport for the MSC Lirica and MSC Opera, which will sail primarily on seven-night voyages to the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, respectively. The line’s itineraries range from one to 11 nights in length with the fleet sailing out of the ports of Venice, Genoa, Rome and Copenhagen.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel, which is scheduled to begin sailing in August, will debut in Europe. The ship is the company’s fourth purpose-built vessel offering Freestyle Cruising. It will operate on a 13-day “Mediterranean Treasures” itinerary roundtrip from London on Aug. 10; a 12-day “Baltic Capitals” sailing roundtrip from London on Aug. 23; and a 10-day “Path of the Vikings” voyage from London to New York on Sept. 4. As a Freestyle Cruising ship, the 92,000-ton Norwegian Jewel will feature 10 restaurants, two Garden Villas and Courtyard Villas with concierge lounge.

NORWEGIAN COASTAL VOYAGE An alternative to traditional cruises, the Norwegian Coastal Voyage is a unique combination of first-class cruise ship, working ship carrying local passengers and cargo between ports, a lifeline to remote coastal towns and villages, and a major tourist attraction. Eleven ships, carrying from 171 to 674 passengers, sail daily year-round between Bergen and Kirkenes, calling at 34 ports along the 1,250-mile west coast of Norway. Passengers have a choice of seven-day northbound, six-day southbound and 12-day roundtrip sailings. The 12-day roundtrip is ideal for passengers interested in an in-depth Norwegian experience.

OCEANIA CRUISES The line’s Regatta and Insignia head eastward to Athens, Rhodes, Olympia, Kusadasi and Istanbul, Mykonos, Corfu and Santorini. Westward, itineraries visit Dubrovnik, Seville, Monte Carlo and Portofino. Northward voyages call on the Baltic capitals of Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and St. Petersburg. For the time, Regatta and Insignia will sail to Libya, Tunisia and Morocco. Regatta sails the Mediterranean, Western Europe and Scandinavia while Insignia will sail to the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, Greek Isles and the Black Sea. Nautica debuts Nov. 28 with a 24-day maiden voyage from Piraeus to Singapore.

ORIENT LINES Orient Lines has added several new sailings to its roster of Mediterranean CruiseTours, which include pre- and post hotel stays in such cities as Athens, Rome and Barcelona. This year Orient will offer a total of 10 Europe itineraries aboard Marco Polo, which include: the 10-day “Aegean & Adriatic,” 12-day “Italy & the Rivieras,” two 16-day “Iberia & French Highlights,” 17-day “Enchanted Cities I,” a 10-day “Baltic & Russia” sailing, a 10-day “Medieval Cities” voyage to Stockholm or Copenhagen; 17-day “North Cape & Fjords” sailing; and a 10-day “Scandinavia & Russia” sailing.

RADISSON SEVEN SEAS CRUISES Seven Seas Voyager will sail the Mediterranean and Baltic, Radisson Diamond will operate on Mediterranean itineraries, while Seven Seas Navigator sails the Baltic, Iceland and Greenland. Seven Seas Navigator will also embark on the line’s first “Top of the World” voyage, roundtrip from New York. Sailing a series of northern passages to Iceland, Greenland, and the Baltic, the 56-night adventure is available in five segments, ranging from 10 to 14 nights. The line is also adding a host of new calls this year: Heimaey, Iceland; Gdansk Poland; Angmassalik, Greenland; and Tripoli, Libya.

PRINCESS CRUISES Princess Cruises will offer its most extensive Europe season yet, with four vessels sailing in the region. Grand Princess will sail on 12-day “Grand Mediterranean” sailings and two different 12-day Greek Isles sailings. Star Princess will operate itineraries from Copenhagen on two routes that showcase the best of the Baltic seacoast. Golden Princess will sail to the British Isles and Western Europe, offering three 10-day itineraries from Southampton. Sea Princess will offer voyages from Southampton that range from 14-day Mediterranean and Northern Europe routes to new seven-day voyages to Iberia and Scandinavia.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL In 2005, Royal Caribbean is once again offering exclusive European cruise-tours, pairing land trips to some of the most historic and beautiful regions of England, France and Spain with European cruises on Brilliance of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas in the Mediterranean and Jewel of the Seas in Northern Europe. Land-tour portions, ranging from three to five days, are escorted by knowledgeable, local tour directors. They include four- and five-star hotel accommodations and guided tours of top cultural attractions, as well as plenty of free time to pursue individual interests.

SILVERSEA CRUISES Silver Cloud will operate on 19 cruises of seven to 16 days, calling in France, Italy, Monaco, Portugal, Spain and Northern Europe. Silver Wind will offer 19 cruises of six to 16 days, calling in Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Monaco, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. Silver Shadow will operate on 27 cruises of seven to 11 days, calling in Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Monaco, Montenegro, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. Silver Whisper will operate on 15 cruises of six to 12 days, calling in France, Italy, Monaco, Portugal, Spain and Northern Europe.

SWAN HELLENIC Swan Hellenic’s Minerva II is offering more than 15 European cruises in 2005. The ship’s Europe season starts in April and runs through October. Cruises vary from eight to 15 days. Destinations include Malta, Italy, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Tunisia, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, the U.K., Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Norway, Finland, Channel Islands, Azores, Madeira, Ireland and Iceland. Swan Hellenic’s inclusive fares cover roundtrip flights between Minerva II and select U.K. gateways. Also included are special tailor-made excursions in each port.

WINDSTAR CRUISES All three Windstar ships will sail in Europe this year, operating on Mediterranean and Greek Island itineraries. Lisbon, Barcelona, Rome, Nice, Marseille, Venice, Monte Carlo and Malta will serve as homeports. Wind Star will sail 10 seven-day Mediterranean cruises from June through August, a 10- and 11-day Mediterranean voyage in the spring and three seven-day cruises in October. Wind Spirit will sail three seven-day cruises in April and again in October and November. Wind Surf will spend April through November sailing six- to 11-day Mediterranean itineraries, for a total of 27 voyages.

YACHTS OF SEABOURN Seabourn Pride will begin the Europe season with a pair of 16-day Mediterranean cruises between Iberia and Istanbul. Seabourn Pride sails the “Rivers of Western Europe” from Lisbon to London, then spends the balance of the summer sailing 14-day cruises in the Baltic, Russia, the British Isles and the fjords of Norway roundtrip from London. Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend will sail the Mediterranean from early spring until late autumn. A series of seven-day cruises may be combined for two, three, four or five weeks of cruising with different port content.

Press Release By C.L.I.A.

More Information On European Cruises

Posted by Denise at 12:29 PM

April 02, 2005

Seven-segment 93-night Seven Seas Mariner "Grand Circle Pacific" voyage sails Sept. 7 from Vancouver to Los Angeles

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Seven-segment 93-night Seven Seas Mariner "Grand Circle Pacific" voyage sails Sept. 7 from Vancouver to Los Angeles.

Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society lecture program on every segment Geothermal mysteries of the Pacific Rim, ancient treasures of the Far East, wonders Down Under and idyllic Tahiti are among the highlights of the Seven Seas Mariner's 93-night "Grand Circle Pacific" voyage from Vancouver to Los Angeles, departing September 7. The seven-segment extended voyage features Spotlight themes, Le Cordon Bleu culinary workshops, complimentary shore events, and a lecture series with famed ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society.

Reaching 41 ports in 14 nations, the Seven Seas Mariner's "Grand Circle Pacific" voyage will visit some of the most intriguing lands of the Pacific Rim and Australasia in combinable seven- to 19-night segments.

Luxury goes exploring the Pacific with full-cruise guests enjoying complimentary first class air from 86 North American gateways, up to $2,000 per suite shipboard credit, plus free private car transfers in ports of embarkation/disembarkation, visas, and luggage delivery service.

Individual segments offer Early Booking Savings or two-for-one pricing; even greater savings are available when guests combine two or more segments.

Lecturers from Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society will be aboard all seven segments of the "Grand Circle Pacific" voyage. This exclusive program will focus on the ocean's vital importance to survival of all life on the planet.

The all balcony-suite ship will depart Vancouver September 7 on a seven-night Alaska and the Inside Passage segment, enchanting guests with the majestic wildlife and vast beauty of "The Last Frontier," as well as the first of a series of Spotlights, "A Musical Passage to Well-Being," with guest chefs, physicians and musicians exploring the music and mind-body connection.

Plying onward along the Aleutian Islands and across the Bering Straight to Petropavlovsk in the Russian Far East, the Seven Seas Mariner sails 11-nights to Tokyo on September 14 while culinary aficionados will have the opportunity to hone their cooking skills in optional hands-on Le Cordon Bleu workshops ($395 per person).

An onboard overnight in Tokyo September 26 kicks off 14-night segment three, highlighted with a complimentary hotel night in Beijing at the Shangri-La including tours of the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Mao's Mausoleum in Tiananmen Square. With two onboard overnights in Shanghai and one in Hong Kong, guests have ample time to explore the two cities where old British charm meets modern skyscrapers.

Shipboard overnights abound on the October 10, 14-night segment with extended calls in Hong Kong, Hung Gai (Hanoi), Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Laem Chabang (Bangkok) and Singapore. A complimentary shore event in Bangkok treats guests to a hotel stay at the Shangri-La, in the heart of the bustling city. During days at sea an "Oriental Flavors" Spotlight on Cuisine will explore the foods of Thailand, Vietnam and China with guest chefs, visits to local markets and cooking demonstrations.

Enjoy the romance of the Java Sea cruising to Bali on the October 24 fourteen-night journey to Sydney. Join the search for the legendary Komodo Dragon during a complimentary shore event before exploring the Aussie Outback and discovering the Great Barrier Reef. Le Cordon Bleu cooking workshops are available on this segment.

On the November 7, 14-night segment, an onboard overnight in Sydney is followed by a call in fashionable Melbourne, where a shore event peeks behind the scenes of a Melbourne Symphony Orchestra rehearsal. The splendors of New Zealand next unfold cruising through the fjords of Milford Sound, and calls in Dunedin, Christchurch and Auckland. Top Aussie and Kiwi winemakers plus guest chefs will complete the cruises' Spotlight, "Taste of the Grape in the Land Down Under."

Departing November 21, the 19-night Auckland to Los Angeles transpacific sailing features at-sea serenity and calls in the Cook and Society Islands, Tuamotus and Marquesas, with a "Tamure Welcome at a Sacred Marae" in Nuku Hiva. A Spotlight on Movies will feature flicks about the South Pacific, with chefs recreating classic film meals. Le Cordon Bleu workshops are available and Jean-Michel Cousteau's lectures will be featured.

Pre- and post-cruise land programs are available on select segments, as are optional overland programs to interior countrysides and cities.

PRICES:
Per person prices for the 93-night Vancouver to Los Angeles voyage are from $34,995 and include first-class air from 86 North American gateways, up to $2,000 per suite shipboard credit, private car transfers, visa costs, and luggage delivery service in addition to a variety of complimentary shore events.

Per person Early Booking Savings prices for the seven-night September 7 Vancouver to Whittier segment start at $2,757. The 14-night September 26 Tokyo to Hong Kong, October 10 Hong Kong to Singapore, and November 7 Sydney to Auckland segments start at $6,956. The 14-night October 24 Singapore to Sydney segment starts at $6,521.

Two-for-one prices for the 11-night September 14 Whittier to Tokyo cruise start at $3,898, and the 19-night November 21 Auckland to Los Angeles segment starts at $4,998 per person.

All fares include shipboard gratuities, wine with dinner and in-suite bar set-up.

Press Release by Radisson Seven Seas Cruises

Read A Review On Seven Seas Mariner
Information On Radisson Seven Seas Alaska Cruises
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Information On Radisson Seven Seas Tahiti Cruises

Posted by Denise at 12:46 PM