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November 25, 2005

NCL Takes An Even Bigger Bite Out Of The Big Apple Debuting Second Year-Round New York-Based Vessel



MIAMI, FL – (November 18, 2005) - NCL Corporation (NCL) has big news for the Big Apple. As part of the line’s ongoing commitment to homeland cruising and specifically the New York market – which Norwegian Dawn has served since 2003 – NCL is proud to welcome its second ship year-round, New York-based ship, Norwegian Spirit, to her new home. The recently renovated Norwegian Spirit features NCL’s signature Freestyle Cruising as well as eight restaurants, 12 bars and lounges, a state-of-the-art spa and fitness facility, a pirate-themed activity complex for kids, a teen center, basketball court, golf driving net, casino and conference center among other amenities.

"I am pleased to welcome the Norwegian Spirit to New York City,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “The addition of Norwegian Spirit helps foster the tremendous growth the cruise industry is experiencing in the City, where last year alone the industry supported more than 3,000 jobs and contributed more than $600 million to the local economy. With New York City as her home port, I am confident Norwegian Spirit will experience the same level of success as Norwegian Dawn has sailing out of New York harbor.”

“NCL’s deployment of Norwegian Dawn year round out of New York has helped make the city NCL’s leading home port in the mainland United States,” said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL Corporation. “Demand has been remarkably strong, and our partners have been clamoring for an expansion. We are thrilled to be able to deliver, and look forward to offering a variety of Bermuda, Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries just a short cab ride away for New Yorkers.”

From New York, Norwegian Spirit will rotate 10- and 11-day Exotic Southern Caribbean itineraries beginning in December 2005. The 10-day itineraries call at St. Thomas, Antigua, Barbados, St. Maarten and Tortola. The 11-day itineraries call at St. Thomas, Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Dominica and Tortola. Rates for either itinerary start from $949 per person.

In early 2006, the ship begins rotating her itinerary to include year-round, 7-day itineraries from New York to the Bahamas and Florida. Ports of call include Miami and Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida and Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

From May through September 2006 Norwegian Spirit will rotate a 6-day Bahamas and Florida Itinerary with an 8-day Bermuda and Eastern Caribbean itinerary. Ports of call on the 6-

day itinerary include Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida and Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Stops on the 8-day itinerary include St. Thomas, USVI; Tortola, BVI and Bermuda.

That’s The Spirit

Norwegian Spirit accommodates 1,966 passengers and features 18 spacious suites and nearly 600 oceanview staterooms, of which more than 65 percent offer private balconies.

Suites feature sweeping ocean views, private bedrooms, bathrooms with separate shower and whirlpool bathtubs, living rooms with dining areas, stereos with CD/DVD library, computer access with internet connection and butler and concierge services.

All staterooms feature NCL’s standards in cabins, with rich cherry wood finishing, remote controlled TVs, tea and coffee makers in every room, and a much larger bathroom unit than other ships, containing separate WC, shower, and washstand compartments separated by sliding doors.

A Stellar Line-Up of Culinary Options

As part of NCL’s Freestyle Cruising program, this ship offers the flexibility of eight different restaurants. Guests can choose from two main restaurants and an array of six alternative restaurants, including:

  • Windows Restaurant – One of the ship’s two main restaurants, the opulent Windows offers five-course feasts and panoramic views through two-story windows;

  • The Garden Room – A contemporary-styled main restaurant featuring a traditional dining experience;

  • Shogun – Three dining experiences in one, Shogun features a teppanyaki room, sushi bar and sit-down Asian Fusion restaurant. Additionally, the restaurant features a Tatami room where guests sit on the floor for a traditional Japanese dining experience;

  • Le Bistro – NCL’s signature upscale French restaurant offering an a la carte menu of modern classical and classic French cuisine;

  • Cagney’s – A traditional American steak house featuring Angus beef, pork, lamb, seafood and grilled chicken;

  • Blue Lagoon – An indoor/outdoor 24-hour food court-style eatery featuring everything from hamburgers and hot dogs to fast wok dishes and traditional fish and chips with malt vinegar;

  • Raffles Court & Terrace – Buffet-styled “food action stations” featuring prepared-to-order breakfast, lunch and themed dinner items including omelets, waffles, pastas and ethnic specialties;

  • La Trattoria – Located in Raffles Court & Terrace as an evening-only option; a casual Italian restaurant serving pasta, pizza and other traditional Italian fare.

    In addition, Norwegian Spirit offers an array of casual snacking and café outlets, including an on-deck grill, a coffee shop, and 24-hour room service.

    Mind, Body and SPIRIT

    Norwegian Spirit provides plenty of opportunities for physically active passengers. The Sports Deck features golf driving nets, shuffleboard and basketball court.

    The Roman Spa and Fitness Center features state-of-the-art cardiovascular workout equipment, an exercise area, steam and sauna rooms and two AquaSwim jet-current exercise pools.

    Norwegian Spirit is also family-friendly with a huge children’s center complete with a playroom, movie theater, computer rooms, teen center, video arcade, a nursery and toddlers’ nap room. Buccaneer’s Wet and Wild Children’s pool area is complete with slides, a paddling pool and a hot tub just for kids.


    Guests aboard Norwegian Spirit have an all-new entertainment adventure ahead of them. In addition to scheduled activities, Norwegian Spirit touts a variety of amenities for guests including:

  • Stardust Theater – Offering the ambience of a European opera house, this multi-level theater is the site of spectacular Broadway- and Vegas-style shows;

  • Maharajah’s Casino – This state-of-the-art casino features favorite tables like Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, 3 Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker and Craps tables with lines that offer favorable odds that pay out 3, 4 and 5 times the amount of money bet. The casino also features games other lines don’t offer, such as Pai-Gow Poker, Pai-Gow Tiles and even a Big Baccarat table, which are available only by special request prior to sailing;

  • Galaxy of the Stars – Offering panoramic windows allowing sweeping views of the ocean, this room features a dance floor, live music and plenty of entertainment for everyone;

  • Starlight Video Arcade – Teens can enjoy non-alcoholic drinks and snacks while enjoying state-of-the-art video games and the latest music;

  • Celebrity Disco – A high-energy dance club dedicated to teens.


    From relaxing lounges to an elegant champagne bar to a European-themed pub, Norwegian Spirit offers an array of entertainment including:

  • Shanghai Bar – A Karaoke pub featuring seven private karaoke rooms set within this modern lounge, letting guests be the star of their own show;

  • Bier Garten – Bavarian ambience; offering beer, cocktails and refreshing drinks; serving Bavarian food such as Weisswurst and pretzels;

  • Champagne Charlie’s – Champagne Bar serving martini cocktails, caviar, pâté de foie gras and, of course, champagne;

  • The Café – Café serves frozen coffees, espresso, cappuccino, tea, pastries and cookies;

  • Maharini’s Lounge & Nightclub – A two-room modern lounge and nightclub inspired by the design and architecture of India. Features premium cocktails, day beds with cushions and pillows, a dance floor and plasma screens;

  • The Smoking Room – Art Deco Cigar club offering hand-rolled premium cigars, cognacs and spirits;

  • Henry’s Pub – Traditional English pub featuring an extensive assortment of beer and whiskey, dart boards and large screen televisions.

    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

    Posted by Denise at 07:08 PM
  • November 24, 2005

    ms Amsterdam Seventh Holland America Line Ship to Receive All Signature of Excellence Enhancements


    ms Amsterdam Seventh Holland America Line Ship to Receive All Signature of Excellence Enhancements

    Seattle, WA (November 10, 2005) – Holland America Line’s ms Amsterdam recently completed a drydock to receive all of the company’s $225 million Signature of Excellence product and service enhancements. Physical ship upgrades included the addition of the Exploration Café — powered by the New York Times, Culinary Arts Center presented by Food and Wine Magazine, a teens-only Loft and Oasis lounge and deck area, refurbishment of the Crow’s Nest observation lounge, and an expanded Greenhouse Spa and Salon.

    The Amsterdam is Holland America Line’s seventh ship to receive the Signature of Excellence enhancements. The ms Ryndam, ms Prinsendam, ms Zaandam, ms Rotterdam, ms Westerdam and ms Statendam have been transformed by Signature of Excellence. The remaining ships already feature soft good and service enhancements and will receive major public area additions later this year and during 2006 in scheduled drydocks.

    The Amsterdam also has all new cabin amenities such as plush Euro-top Mariner’s Dream Beds, flat screen TVs, DVD players and deluxe waffle/terry cloth robes. Other items featured in staterooms are magnifying make-up mirrors with halo lighting, massage shower heads, professional hair dryers, and complimentary fruit basket.

    “More than half the fleet is now fully equipped with all Signature of Excellence enhancements,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales, for Holland America Line. “These additions and upgrades have been well received by all. Guest satisfaction with the ships and service has never been higher.”

    Highlights of the recently added upgrades are:

    The Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine, where more than 60 celebrated chefs and culinary experts per year will provide cooking demonstrations and intimate classes in the new state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen. Guests in the audience can get an up-close view of the cooking action on large, plasma screens, while other guests also may watch these events from the comfort of their staterooms.

    The new Explorations Café – powered by The New York Times offers guests an opportunity to sip coffee, browse through one of the most extensive libraries at sea, enjoy a wide selection of music at one of several listening stations or surf the Internet. They also can work The New York Times’ crossword puzzles and access “TimesTalks” events and the NYTimes.com website.

    Younger cruisers now enjoy supervised, age-specific activities in a more comprehensive Youth Program and expanded Club HAL designed for kids ages 3 to 12. The younger ones can enjoy creative activities at art tables, watch big-screen television and play on a fun slide. Older kids, ages 8 to 12, have an area featuring arcade games, air hockey, foosball, Karaoke, Internet access and Sony Playstations.

    Teens, ages 13-18, can enjoy The Loft, a teens-only lounge designed to resemble a New York artist’s loft. It connects via a special passageway to a secluded, teens-only sun deck called The Oasis, which features a waterfall and wading pool.

    Under the Signature of Excellence initiative, the Amsterdam also adds elegant amenities in each stateroom including premium Euro-Top Mariner’s Dream Beds, deluxe waffle and terry cloth bathrobes, flat-panel televisions, DVD players and complimentary fresh fruit bowls.

    Dining choices now include the Pinnacle Grill restaurant, featuring Pacific Northwest fare and fine wines, and four dining times in the main dining room.
    The expanded Greenhouse Spa and Salon features more treatment rooms, a thermal suite and hydro-pool, as well as a new spacious fitness facility. In addition, the salon features an accessible treatment room so all guests may enjoy the facility.

    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 12:13 PM

    November 18, 2005

    Portofino, Latitudes and La Veranda Menus Evolve and Diversify


    Portofino, Latitudes and La Veranda Menus Evolve and Diversify

    FT. LAUDERDALE, FL (November 14, 2005) - From romantic Tuscan dining to a burst of exotic Asian flavors and expanded Le Cordon Bleu feasts, food connoisseurs have a lot to look forward to as menus at Latitudes, Portofino, and La Veranda on Radisson Seven Seas Cruises' Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator and Paul Gauguin have been further refined and diversified to seduce even the most demanding culinary aficionados.

    The first cruise line to introduce permanent Le Cordon Bleu restaurants-at-sea aboard the all-balcony suite Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner, Radisson Seven Seas is expanding its relationship with the venerable Parisian cooking school with a new menu at La Veranda on the elegant 320-guest Paul Gauguin, which sails the stunning islands of Tahiti and French Polynesia year-round.

    The chefs of Le Cordon Bleu are bringing their high kitchen arts to the South Seas with a menu that not only explores the culinary highways and byways of France, but also offers an extraordinary dining experience that captures the food-loving heart of the country. La Veranda's à la carte menu is artfully assembled to take guests on a gastronomic journey from Provence to Normandy and from Alsace to the Loire Valley. In addition, to accommodate every taste and concern about healthy eating, Le Cordon Bleu has created lighter sauces and vegetarian options. Further enhancing the menu are specially selected wines and beautiful views of Tahiti and Her Islands.

    Buon appetito! The 490-guest all-suite (90% with private balconies) Seven Seas Navigator welcomes aboard a new dining concept in Portofino, featuring regional Italian specialties served in a casually elegant, yet festive atmosphere. A maximum of 80 guests are welcomed to this authentic Italian experience with live music and elaborate tastings set up throughout the restaurant. As guests meander from setting to setting (and region to region), they will savor a variety of Italian antipasti and a selection of complimentary wines chosen to best match the featured dishes. Once all are seated, a celebratory ambiance ensues with musicians inviting guests to sing along to such classics as "Arrivederci Roma" and "I Found My Love In Portofino." The set menu, delectably prepared and plated by the restaurant's two Italian chefs - and served by seven singing Italian waiters, features Minestrone alla Genovese, Tagliatelle Gamberi e Zucchine and Risotto Ai Funghi Porcini, plus a choice of two main courses including Aragosta Catalana, and dessert. The Portofino experience is a refined evolution of the popular Don Vito's concept from the Radisson Diamond®, including some of the original creators.

    With tastes to reflect the cuisine of regions visited on select itineraries, Latitudes, the most intimate of restaurants on the 700-guest Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner, now serves a distinctly Indochine-styled cooking influenced by a broader Asian palette. Authentic Vietnamese fare is prepared using French cooking techniques, served in traditional family-style by Asian waitresses. The set menu - with portions sized to invite tasting and sharing - features five appetizers (e.g., fresh Imperial Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Roll and Fried Vegetarian Won Ton with Shaoxing Rice Wine), one soup and salad plus three main courses (e.g., Aromatic Prawn Curry with Lemongrass and Piquant-Garlic, and Galangal-Marinated Chicken Thighs), framed by side dishes like Chiang Mai Fried Rice and Fried Egg Noodle with Vegetables, topped off by a dessert. Fine wines paired with the Indochine menu will be poured on a complimentary basis.

    Radisson Seven Seas Cruises creates an incomparable program of exploration and discovery reaching over 300 ports on six continents, including Antarctica. Its vessels are intimately designed, with a shipboard ambiance that is personal, individual and accommodating. All ships share certain distinctions in accommodations, service, dining and amenities that elevate them to their lofty six-star status. All voyages include wine with dinner, all shipboard gratuities, an in-stateroom/suite bar set-up, plus juices and soft beverages. There is never a charge for any alternative restaurant throughout the fleet.

    Radisson Seven Seas Cruises was voted "Best Large Cruise Line" by readers of Departures magazine in 2004.

    Press Release by Radisson Seven Seas Cruises

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

    Posted by Denise at 09:15 AM

    November 16, 2005

    Silversea Cruises Wins Top Award From Readers Of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine



    Silversea Sweeps Condé Nast Awards on Both Sides of the Atlantic

    (Ft. Lauderdale, FL - October 18, 2005) Silversea Cruises has again been voted the number-one "Small Ship Cruise Line" in the 18th Annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards. The results of the recently announced 2005 readers' survey placed Silversea, with an overall score of 92.4, above all other small-ship lines. This is the ninth time Silversea has been voted number one in the prestigious readers’ poll.

    Silversea has swept the Condé Nast awards on both sides of the Atlantic this year having recently been voted the top "Small Ship Cruise Line" in the Eighth Annual U.K. Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards (October 2005).

    "It is a tremendous honor to again receive this award, especially on the heels of our recent award in the United Kingdom," said Albert Peter, Silversea's chief executive officer. "To receive this prestigious endorsement in our two strongest markets--North America and the United Kingdom--is further validation that we are succeeding in our efforts to deliver an ultra-luxury vacation experience of unsurpassed quality."

    Guests sailing aboard Silversea's four elite, intimate ships enjoy spacious, ocean-view accommodations (most with private veranda), inspired gourmet cuisine, personalized service, warm Italian hospitality, and Silversea's unmatched selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, 24-hour room service, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet and all gratuities. Plus, complimentary butler service is provided in the Grand, Royal, Rossellini and Owner's Suites.

    Each year Condé Nast Traveler, whose motto is “Truth in Travel”, polls its subscribers to determine the world’s very best travel companies and properties based on certain characteristics. Cruise lines are evaluated in the six categories of Activities/Facilities, Cabins, Crew/Service, Design/Layout, Food/Dining and Itineraries. The complete results of this year’s survey will appear in the magazine’s November 2005 issue, which goes on newsstands October 25th.

    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

    Silversea Cruises Europe & Mediterranean Cruise Information
    Silversea Cruises Alaska Cruise Specials

    Posted by Denise at 11:07 AM

    November 15, 2005

    Silversea Cruises Set To Offer First-Ever Relais & Chateaux Wine-Themed Restaurant At Sea



    Saletta and Le Champagne to Feature Brand New Menus Designed to Celebrate the World's Finest Wines

    (Ft. Lauderdale, FL - October 12, 2005) Guests dining in Silversea's alternative gourmet restaurants Saletta and Le Champagne will soon experience a bold, new twist on traditional culinary protocol. Instead of wine taking a back seat to cuisine, some of the world's most treasured vintages will start stepping into the spotlight as the company rolls out the first-ever Relais & Châteaux wine-themed restaurant at sea -- featuring a new collection of dishes designed specifically to complement great wines.

    In Saletta, the alternative restaurant aboard Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, and its counterpart, Le Champagne (aboard Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper), award-winning wines are set to become the centerpiece of an extraordinary dining experience that reveals the historical, cultural and culinary nuances of wine. The new concept will debut aboard Silver Whisper in late November, followed by Silver Shadow in early December, and will be expanded to the line's other ships early next year.

    "The focus of these restaurants is wine appreciation and the menus will feature all-new dishes that perfectly complement the finest vintages from our Epicurean Collection," said Albert Peter, Silversea's chief executive officer. "Guests will enjoy a different glass of wine with each course, so this will be a great opportunity to explore some very rare and expensive wines, while only paying a nominal fee to dine in the restaurant."

    Added Peter, "The cozy and intimate ambiance of Saletta and Le Champagne offers the perfect setting for an exclusive dining experience -- among friends and fellow wine lovers -- that celebrates the world's finest wines."


    Each restaurant will feature enticing new culinary selections designed around a central theme: "A Celebration of Wine by Relais & Châteaux," and will give guests a chance to enjoy a different wine with each course, carefully selected by Relais & Châteaux-trained sommeliers. On every cruise, the menu will reflect those regions of the world renowned for their rich wine heritage, such as France, Italy and Europe, while voyages visiting the Americas, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand will also include menus that celebrate some of the finest vintages and culinary traditions of those regions.

    The collection of new dishes designed exclusively to accompany the featured wines of Saletta and Le Champagne are being developed in close consultation with master sommeliers trained in the member establishments of Relais & Châteaux -- Relais Gourmands, the distinguished association of boutique lodgings and restaurants. These outstanding sommeliers will hold court in each restaurant, entertaining and enlightening guests with their insights into the origin and craftsmanship of each vintage, offering a deeper appreciation of the harmony that exists in food and wine that is properly paired.

    Saletta and Le Champagne are open for dinner only and reservations are recommended, as seating is limited. Since the featured wines are not included among the line's complimentary selections, a nominal fee will be charged to the guest's shipboard account, which will vary depending on the evening's particular wines and regions presented.

    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

    Silversea Cruises Europe & Mediterranean Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at 10:22 AM

    November 11, 2005

    Princess Debuts Innovative Web Tool to Make Finding the Perfect Sailing Easy


    Princess Debuts Innovative Web Tool to Make Finding the Perfect Sailing Easy

    "Searchlight" Takes Guesswork Out of Matching a Cruise with Consumer Travel Needs

    SANTA CLARITA, CA (November 2, 2005) - Today Princess Cruises debuts a revolutionary cruise planning tool on the princess.com web site, giving users a new and improved way to find just the perfect sailing.

    Called "Searchlight," the innovative tool is a quick and intuitive way to search for and compare up to three cruises at a time with just a few mouse clicks. The custom-designed proprietary program quickly and easily finds a cruise that meets a consumer's travel parameters using four different criteria - destination, date, ship and duration - and displays the results to help choose the best voyage in seconds.

    "This is an exciting, next-generation cruise planning tool," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "We did extensive user studies to find out what consumers really want on a web site and overwhelmingly they told us they'd like the ability to easily find the cruise they want, and to make a comparison with other sailings - we've given them both."

    With just a mouse click, users can instantly see what ships go where, when and for how long, eliminating the guesswork that has typically defined the cruise search process. Searchlight also enables users to do a side-by-side comparison of up to three separate cruises, considering such elements as price, cabin category and itinerary. After finding the perfect sailing, booking the cruise online is also easy.

    "No one in the industry is making it as easy as Princess to research and plan a cruise online," added Swartz. "Our new web feature gives people exactly what they're looking for - an easy way to identify the perfect cruise that matches their personal vacation criteria. The old way of searching for cruises using pull-down menus and the hunt-and-peck system as you guess about which ships go where, when, is thankfully now obsolete."

    The feature is part of a new web site re-design for Princess, meant to give the user a cruise planning and booking experience that directly correlates to the actual way people research and plan their vacation. The site is organized to intuitively offer the options that web users look for, and the information-rich site now offers five distinct sections to facilitate the full cruise shopping process. Users can "Learn About Our Cruises," "Find and Compare Cruises," "Book a Cruise," "Prepare for Your Cruise" or access "Customer Care."

    "Users can move through our web site as they would prefer, and not have to follow a flow of information that we prescribe," said Swartz.

    Press Release by Princess Cruises

    Princess Cruises Europe Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Europe Cruisetour Information
    Princess Cruises Alaska Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Alaska Cruisetour Information
    Princess Cruises Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Tahiti Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at 02:19 PM

    November 09, 2005

    Melania Trump Christens WORLD’S Largest, Most Luxurious Gem - Norwegian Jewel


    Melania Trump Christens WORLD’S Largest, Most Luxurious Gem – NCL’s Norwegian Jewel

    MIAMI, FL (November 3, 2005) - Tonight, at an official ceremony at the Port of Miami, Melania Trump christened the world’s largest gem, NCL’s Norwegian Jewel. The newest vessel in NCL’s Freestyle Cruising fleet, Norwegian Jewel boasts a luxurious suite complex plus 10 distinct restaurants, 13 bars and lounges, three swimming pools and a state-of-the-art spa.


    The evening ceremony included presentations by Star Cruises Chairman Tan Sri KT Lim, President and CEO of NCL Corporation Colin Veitch and the ship’s Godmother Melania Trump. Additionally, NCL’s talented cast of singers and dancers performed various vignettes to celebrate Norwegian Jewel’s diverse ports of call in the Caribbean, Europe, the Mediterranean, Egypt and Greek Isles.

    “We are so proud to present our newest ship to the world, and we are privileged to have such an iconic beauty as Melania Trump serve as her Godmother,” said Star Cruises Chairman Tan Sri KT Lim. “As NCL’s fourth purpose-built ship for Freestyle Cruising, Norwegian Jewel is our newest, most innovative masterpiece and we’re extremely excited to see her shine.”

    “Norwegian Jewel is truly setting a new standard for cruise accommodations across the industry,” said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL Corporation. “Her Garden Villas and Courtyard Villas are a new brand luxury offering and she is the first ship in the industry to offer this exclusive class of accommodations.”

    “I am honored NCL selected me to christen Norwegian Jewel and to serve as her Godmother,” said Melania Trump. “At 93,502 gross tons, she is by far the largest, most luxurious Jewel I have ever seen and is absolutely stunning.”


    Norwegian Jewel features 10 Courtyard Villas – which along with the ship’s two Garden Villas – make up the largest, grandest, most luxurious, most innovative suite complex at sea. The suite complex boasts a private courtyard and sundeck and both Courtyard and Garden Villa guests have a concierge lounge available to them. Dedicated butlers offer continental breakfast, refreshments all day, canapés and drinks before dinner and a concierge available around the clock to take care of all arrangements both on and off the ship.

    The vessel also features the most versatile, family-friendly accommodations afloat as well as an array of amenities including 10 restaurants, three swimming pools, a contemporary spa and more. Additionally, Norwegian Jewel features a new concept for NCL – a “Bar Central” – featuring a martini bar, a champagne and wine bar, and a beer and whisky pub all connected but with three distinct personalities, plus 10 other bars and lounges for passengers to enjoy. Norwegian Jewel will sail Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries out of Miami through April 2006. Eastern Caribbean sailings call in San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. John’s, Antigua; St. Thomas, USVI and NCL’s Private Island, Great Stirrup Cay. Western Caribbean itineraries will call at Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Roatan, Honduras. Norwegian Jewel will spend summer of 2006 in Europe sailing Mediterranean, Egypt and Greek Isles itineraries.

    NCL Corporation ("NCL") is an innovative cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida, with a fleet of 15 ships in service and under construction. The corporation oversees the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America, and Orient Lines. The company is currently building three ships, including one more for the NCL America brand in Hawai`i - Pride of Hawai`i (delivery in April 2006), and two further Norwegian Jewel class ships are scheduled for delivery in 2007.

    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

    Posted by Denise at 09:11 PM

    November 07, 2005

    Celebrity Cruises Retains Role In Top Trio In Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards



    Miami, FL - (October 18, 2005 ) - Celebrity Cruises received "celebrity treatment" last night in New York, where Condé Nast Traveler presented results of its coveted annual "Readers Choice Awards" to an elite group of finalists.

    Celebrity Cruises was honored once again as the world's top-rated premium line in the magazine's "Top 25 Cruise Lines: Large Ship Lines" poll (November edition). Celebrity ranked third overall, sharing the spotlight with luxury lines Crystal Cruises and Radisson Seven Seas.

    "We are thrilled to have the endorsement of the experienced readers of Condé Nast Traveler, and honored to be in such good company," said the line's President Dan Hanrahan. "We congratulate our shipboard colleagues, in particular, for this recognition, because it is undoubtedly the spectacular service they consistently deliver that inspired the magazine's readers to rate Celebrity so highly."

    Condé Nast Traveler's annual poll asks subscribers to evaluate cruise lines on a combination of itineraries, crew/service, cabins/design, food/dining, activities/excursions and entertainment/events. Nearly 32,000 readers were surveyed, with Celebrity Cruises receiving a rating of 85.3 out of 100. Celebrity has continuously improved its standing every year since 2001 (76.7).

    "We view these awards as the industry's Olympics; to be one of the three finalists invited to the ceremony is a tremendous honor in itself," said Celebrity's Senior Vice President, Fleet Operations Dietmar Wertanzl. "This is wonderful reinforcement that a growing number of vacationers appreciate the 'new luxury' that Celebrity provides."

    Celebrity Cruises is the industry's highest rated premium cruise brand with a taste of luxury. The cruise line has 10 ships sailing in Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. In addition, Celebrity Xpeditions offer exotic travel experiences in the Galapagos Islands.

    Press Release by Celebrity Cruises

    Celebrity Cruises Alaska Cruise Information
    Celebrity Cruises Alaska Cruisetour Packages
    Celebrity Cruises Canadian Rockies Cruisetour Package
    Celebrity Cruises Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
    Celebrity Cruises European Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at 06:26 PM

    November 06, 2005

    Cruise Ship Escapes Pirate Hijack Attempt


    Cruise Ship Escapes Pirate Hijack Attempt

    A luxury cruise liner carrying more than 300 passengers fended off an apparent attack by pirates early Saturday, the vessel's owners said.

    The Seabourn Spirit was 160 kilometres off Somalia when two speedboats closed in on the vessel and opened fire with machine-guns and a rocket-propelled grenade, say witnesses.

    Mike Rogers of British Columbia, among 18 Canadian citizens and permanent residents aboard the vessel, said he first realized they were under attack while he was still in bed.

    "It was about 5:30 in the morning and we were awakened by the sound of what we figured out was bullets ricocheting off the side of the boat," Rogers told CTV Newsnet.

    The captain came on the speaker shortly thereafter to warn passengers and the crew of the attack.

    Rogers said the captain told them: "This is not a drill. We have a boat alongside that appears to be armed. Please get low to the floor and stay away from the windows."

    Rogers told a Vancouver radio station that the captain tried to run one of the boats over. He said each speedboat had about four or five people on it.

    "He (the captain) said he was going to do anything to stop them from getting on board."

    One crew member was slightly injured by flying debris before the pirates were repulsed, said Seabourn Cruises.

    "The ship's crew immediately initiated a trained response and as a result of protective and evasive measures taken the occupants of the small craft were unable to gain access to the ship," Seabourn Cruises spokesman David Dingle said.

    The Bahamian-registered vessel suffered only minor damage. It was apparently hit by bullets, but it's unclear if the rocket-propelled grenade made contact.

    According to Dingle, no passengers were injured, although some were in shock.

    Americans and Britons were also believed to be on board the Seabourn Spirit, which was on a 16-day cruise out of Alexandria in Egypt.

    The Seabourn Spirit was on its way to Mombasa in Kenya when it was attacked. The cruise will instead end at the Indian Ocean islands of Seychelles on Monday.

    The crew was reportedly able to fend off the attack by using an on-board loud acoustic bang, making the gunmen believe they were under fire, the BBC website reported.

    Dingle said there was no reason to believe that this was a terrorist attack. He said all evidence pointed to pirates.

    The Somali coast is known to be infested with pirates, who are becoming more and more brazen.

    According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), at least 23 hijackings and attempted seizures have been recorded off Somalia's coastline since mid-March.

    Two days ago, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned that such activity had hampered delivery of relief supplies to more than 500,000 people in the region.

    Due to its impact on tourism, the Seafarers' Assistance Programme (SAP) is planning to convene Monday to discuss this latest attack -- the first on a cruise ship off the Somalia coast.

    Somalia has been without a functioning government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Said Barre, and is now overrun by warlords.

    Information From CTV.ca News

    The Yachts of Seabourn Europe Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at 12:36 PM

    November 05, 2005

    Introducing 2: A New Dining Style On The Yachts Of Seabourn



    MIAMI, FL (October 11, 2005) - When they introduced a stellar set of dinner menus designed by celebrity chef/restaurateur Charlie Palmer, The Yachts of Seabourn won the first-place Diamond Award from Onboard Services magazine. In the most recent Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, the intimate, all-suite ships scored number one and two for cuisine. And now, these celebrated cruise ships are introducing an innovative new concept that will re-define the “alternative” in casual alternative shipboard dining.

    Starting in March of 2006, the popular Veranda Café, high atop each Seabourn yacht, will be transformed nightly into 2: a stylish, contemporary dining venue serving imaginative multi-course tasting menus. Each dinner at 2 will be made up of playful pairings of dishes, reflecting culinary inspirations gathered from around the world.

    In the newly expanded galley at 2, two chefs will turn out a taste-tempting array of small plates, mostly designed to be served two to a course, creating an intriguing variety of flavors and sensations during a five- or six-course meal.

    To start, for instance, diners at 2 might be presented with a Bouquet of Spring Rolls with soy, Thai and chili dipping sauces, side-by-side with a Soba Noodle and Seaweed Salad with sesame vinaigrette. Then an aromatic Lobster Bisque “Presse” appears, graced with black truffle cappuccino, combined with a savory Seafood Croquette dressed with white truffle oil. A salad of Baby Mesclun Leaves in orange vinaigrette with tapenade croutons accompanies a selection of Prawn Variations with a sweet mustard dip. One duo of entrees includes Grilled Striped Bass with a roasted vegetable medley beside Braised Beef Short Ribs with celery-potato mash and beef jus. Goat Cheese Pops with caramelized honey and drunken grapes is paired with a Port Wine Shooter and lemon sorbet as a penultimate course. Finally, a decadent dessert duet combines Vanilla Beignets sauced with caramel apple, fudge and chocolate with Ice Pralines of white and milk chocolate.

    Novel lighting effects that transform the room’s décor, fanciful table settings by Rosenthal and even the wait-staff uniforms at 2 will reflect a relaxed, refined sensibility, embodying classic quality and a spare, serene modernity.

    As in each ship’s open-seating Restaurant, a selection of wines will be poured free of charge to accompany dinners at 2. In addition, 2’s sommelier will suggest premium wines available for purchase to pair with each night’s menu. Six different tasting menus will be offered, and while the menus will not be themed, they will take advantage of regional influences in the areas where the ships are sailing.

    Suggested attire for dining at 2 will remain slightly more casual than that suggested for The Restaurant: Casual for most evenings and Elegant Casual (jacket, but no tie required for gentlemen) on those evenings when the Restaurant suggests Black Tie.

    Tasting dinners at 2 will be available, by reservation, to about 50 of the yachts’ 208 guests nightly, at no additional cost.

    Travelers can enjoy all of Seabourn’s Signature Delights, including more casual alternative dining nightly at 2, on worldwide cruise itineraries of seven to 72 days or longer exploring landmark ports and lesser-known gems where larger ships cannot go.

    Press Release by The Yachts of Seabourn

    The Yachts of Seabourn Europe Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at 04:41 PM

    November 04, 2005

    62 Night "Grand Circle South America" 2006


    62 Night "Grand Circle South America" 2006

    FT. LAUDERDALE, FL (November 2, 2005) - A kaleidoscope of thrilling images and adventures await guests of the Seven Seas Mariner's "Grand Circle South America"

    Jean-Michel Cousteau and His Ocean Futures Society To Guest Lecture On Four Combinable Segments of 12 - 20 Nights " voyage departing Ft. Lauderdale January 10, 2006, on a roundtrip 62-night journey - which is also available in four 12- to 20-night combinable segments. Aboard and ashore, the all balcony-suite Seven Seas Mariner's six-star luxury experience will be enhanced by a series of enrichment programs with famed ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society experts, plus a selection of new "Concierge Choice" shore excursions.

    From a captivating photo tour to heart-pumping "flight-seeing" over the Falklands to sultry samba and tango lessons, "Concierge Choice" excursions are tailored to a variety of popular interests, offering guests the opportunity to go beyond traditional land and city tours and explore South America in greater depth. Available to a limited number of participants, groups are kept intimate to ensure personalized experiences.

    Sizzling South America

    The 700-guest Seven Seas Mariner begins her tropical exploration of South America on January 10 with a 12-night voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to Manaus (onboard overnight), calling at St. Barts; Dominica; Barbados; Devil's Island (French Guiana); Macapa, Alter Do Chao and Parintins (Brazil). On this segment, the "Concierge Choice" "Capture Barbados Photo Tour" invites guests to see the Caribbean through the eyes of renowned Barbadian photographer Ronnie Carrington as he leads photo pros and novices alike across the island, through quaint villages and into "Scotland District" in search of the perfect picture.

    From the depths of the rural Amazon River basin to three of South America's most cosmopolitan cities, the Seven Seas Mariner's 17-night January 22 voyage from Manaus (overnight) to Buenos Aires (overnight) features the best of both worlds. A bevy of shoreside choices are available throughout this sailing reaching Boca de Valeria, Santarem, Fortaleaza and Salvador de Bahia (Brazil); Punta Del Este and Montevideo (Uruguay).

    In Rio de Janeiro, guests can explore "Lesser Known Rio and its Favelas," some 550 mysterious steep hillside communities; or learn the seductive samba at the city's most famous dance classroom during "Samba Lessons and Sights of Rio." "Concierge Choice" options also include a drive to UNESCO-protected "Colonia del Sacramento" in the Uruguayan countryside; and a journey back in time through the life of Argentina's first lady Eva "Evita" Peron with the ¿Evita!¿ tour. In Buenos Aires, enjoy a rare opportunity to ride at "El Retiro Polo Club and School" with a chance to assist in a formal polo match; or feel the rhythm of the night through expressive dance with "Tango! Tango! and Lesson."

    Encounter the true "Deep South" aboard the Seven Seas Mariner's February 8, 20-night voyage from Buenos Aires (overnight) to Lima, calling at West Point Island, Port Stanley (Falkland Islands); Ushuaia (Argentina); Punta Arenas (overnight), Puerto Chacabuco, Puerto Montt, Valparaíso (Santiago) and Coquimbo (Chile); and Pisco (Peru). Enjoy nature in its purest form with the "Sea Lion Helicopter Experience;" or travel around Stanley like royalty with "The Governor's Taxi" tour, escorted in a restored burgundy London Cab used by dignitaries. And the "Tololo Observatory and Elqui Valley" excursion offers breathtaking views at the Southern Hemisphere's largest astronomical observatory (6,000 feet above sea level).

    On February 28, the last "Grand Circle South America" segment departs Lima (overnight) for Ft. Lauderdale on a 13-night sailing calling at Salaverry (Peru); Manta (Ecuador); Fuerte Amador, Gatún Yacht Club (Panama); Puerto Limón (Costa Rica); Santo Tomás de Castilla (Guatemala); and Belize City (Belize). "Concierge Choice" options include a day flight to Quito to explore ancient Incan treasures during "Art Galleries Tour and Lunch;" plus the chance to visit the only wildlife refuge devoted to the enigmatic sloth during the "Sloth Sanctuary and Canoe Ride" excursion.

    The four-segment South America sailing will also feature environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, who is scheduled to sail the Amazon, the Falklands and the Chilean Fjords. Cousteau, along with associates from his Ocean Futures Society, will share his broad knowledge of this colorful, diverse continent through onboard enrichment programs and a range of captivating shore excursions.

    Per person prices for the 12-night January 10 voyage start at $4,946; the January 2217-night segment starts at $7,796; the 20-night February 8 segment starts at $8,921; and the 13-night February 28 segment starts at $5,396. Complimentary wine with dinner, an in-suite bar set-up upon embarkation, and all shipboard gratuities are included.

    Press Release by Radisson Seven Seas Cruises

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    Posted by Denise at 10:57 AM

    November 02, 2005

    Sapphire Princess Review





    When we first arrived at noon we were hungry and although we had lots of choices we decided we would try the International Dining Room which was serving lunch until early afternoon and offered ocean views and generous seating. The lunch menu offered cold and hot starters from seafood and salads to soup. Main courses enjoyed were pasta and prime rib. When asked to provide a change to dessert due to an allergy, they happily obliged and provided extra fruit of the other varieties. The dining room host greeted us happily upon arrival, and we were given a lot of other dining options other than the dining room such as the Horizon Court buffet dining, and the pool side pizza or burgers and fries at Prego and Trident Grill.

    Breakfast in the dining room was excellent with lots to choose from –eggs any style, omelet’s, pastries and breads, pancakes, French toast, bagels with salmon, bacon, sausage and hash browns all in large portions and they stayed open late for guests on disembarking day.


    Dinner was excellent in Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria; we had made reservations early in the day for 7pm and dinner finished around 9:30pm. We were served one sample of every dish on the menu, with exception to the main course where we had to choose from a selection of 7 different entrees of chicken, veal or seafood for only a $20 service fee. Dishes came quickly one after the other and allowed us to try many different Italian dishes like bruschetta, prosccuito, crab cakes, mussels, spaghetti, cannelloni, gnocchi, tiramisu, and lots more. Friendly staff, with a definite Italian/European feel made it a unique experience.
    Another specialty restaurant, Sterling Steakhouse was offering steak and prime rib for a nominal fee. There were 5 other dining rooms in which to eat in that offered the same menu as the International Dining room – so many options for dining and eating! During the day we snacked on freshly made burgers and fries by the pool from the Trident Grill and could have even had ice cream and pizza too!


    The Sapphire Princess offers 5 lounges and 2 bars in which to be social or find a quiet spot and enjoy a drink. Early in the evening we went for drinks at the Wheelhouse Bar and enjoyed cocktails and martinis, with live music jazz and Latino style and if we felt like it we could have got up and danced on a large hard wood floor. The décor was den like with dark woods, leather chairs and sofas with windows looking out at the ocean and board games to play.
    After dinner we went to Club Fusion and watched as guests got up and sang their favorite songs to karaoke. Denise even got up and belted out a famous heart break song. The entertainment staff was friendly and out going trying to bring the audience into it and even allowed a little girl to sing because it was her birthday! Everyone from families to party goers enjoyed the live entertainment and even participated. The décor was bar/lounge style with a dance floor and a stage with plenty of seating at tables or booth style. We could watch the performance live or from the large flat screen TVs displayed throughout the room and there was even a large projection screen behind the dance floor. Smoking was permitted here.

    Next we caught the late performance of the show Piano Man showcasing music of Elton John, Liberace, and Billy Joel. The singers and dancers were quite good giving it a Broadway- style feel. The Princess theater is quite large allowing for many guests and still allows a good view by even the guests at the very back. Performers at one point even left the stage and brought the audience into the performance by appearing in the audience.

    After the show we wondered up to the top floor of the ship and entered Skywalkers Nightclub which has part of it overhanging above the ocean! A large night club with popular top 40 and disco style music had plenty of seating and a large dance floor. Crew were there to make sure you got up dancing and servers made sure you always got a drink if you wanted one. Drinks all over the ship were reasonably priced from $2.50 for a beer to only $5.50 for a martini or $6.00 for a glass of wine. Other entertainment was offered throughout the ship including a comedian, and live singing and of course the Grand Casino.


    Public Areas:
    With such a large ship there were plenty of places to go, to find solace and relaxation or fun and activities and never feel crowded. Sapphire Princess has 4 swimming pools, 2 large and 2 smaller that offer something no one else has, fresh water pools. There is one in a solarium that has a retractable roof so you can swim when the weathers not so great or when you just prefer to be indoors. All of the pools have bars and places to eat nearby. Comfy lounge chairs surround the indoor Calypso Pool and plenty of seating is offered at both. 6 hot tubs ensures that you will always get a space when its time to warm up and relax. There are 2 smaller pools and hot tubs located at the stern of the ship that offer more privacy with plenty of space to soak up the sun as well.
    For those wanting to stay in shape while on vacation, can use the gym and fitness areas onboard that offer state of the art equipment and fitness classes with certified instructors. Prefer to play outdoors? There is a jogging track on the top of the ship or how about some golf or tennis on large enclosed courts at the top decks?

    For those who want to take it slower Sapphire Princess offers a world class art collection and art auction with art from many renowned artists all on display in the gallery. Get in touch with family at home with the 24 hour Internet Café for a fee or learn about computers with ScholarShip@Sea program that offers enrichment classes on various subjects for a fee.


    Although kids and teens usually just want to hang out by the pool, Sapphire Princess offers The Fun Zone, Off Limits, Pelican’s Playhouse, Pelican’s Pool and Splash Pool to provide supervised entertainment and fun geared to kids of all ages. The Playhouse and Pool offer an enclosed area just for kids with games, furniture, toys, a pool and more.

    Back inside of the ship are plenty of areas for just sitting and enjoying. Whether it’s the ocean view from a lounge chair by the window, or in the atrium doing some people watching with live music from a professional pianist, or in one of the many lounges.

    And the ultimate in pampering onboard comes from the Lotus Spa, where you can get your hair and nails done, massages and facials, aromatherapy, hydro therapy in the swim against the current pool or just sit back and relax and take in some steam. And although we didn’t take part in any of the facilities there were plenty of specials and promotions and a staff member even took us on a tour at our request.


    Our room was an ocean view double with balcony, which meant we had a larger room over 217 square feet, a queen bed that could convert into 2 singles and our own private balcony on which we could sit and enjoy the ocean view from our room. The décor was modern with oak colored wood, a sitting area with desk, mini bar, lots of mirrors, large closet, side table with drawers, bathroom with a shower that had a massage head on it. Toiletries were provided in the bathroom which is great for those trips where you’ve forgotten something – they provided soap, lotion, shampoo and conditioner for us. Upon arrival in our room was a couple of dessert treats for us and when our bed was turned down at night they brought us chocolates for our pillows. When we first arrived our bed was one queen size and we required it to be 2 singles so we called our steward and after a couple of phone calls we arrived back late that night to find our request had been granted: even late at night after 11pm when I had called the second time.

    Looking into several other rooms we found that size seemed to be the common denominator, all of the rooms seemed to be larger than average and nicely decorated. The balconies below us were even larger providing sitting areas with small to full size tables – we even saw a couple out dancing on theirs just before sunset, how romantic!


  • Large ship with lots of space gives you the room to do what you want, where and when you want to and never feel crowded or have to wait.
  • Many bars and lounges give you more choice on your preference of style and ambiance.
  • 4 pools and 6 hot tubs allows you to be where the action is or not, inside or outside.
  • Personal Choice Dining – is just that – it’s up to you where and when you eat. Do you prefer traditional or do you want the freedom to eat by your own schedule? Lots of choices of dining rooms allows for many tastes to be satisfied.
    Modern, large staterooms with over 700 balconies will ensure you enjoy your vacation from anywhere on the ship including your own room.
  • Entertainment that’s high caliber, exciting, and fun in several different venues will make sure you are never bored.


  • We had some service issues due to communication problems when ordering food/drinks and dealing with one person at the Passenger Services Desk.
  • Food in Sabatini’s was very good, but we had to pay extra to try it.
  • Food in dining room was good but did not exceed any expectations (when I ordered crackers and cheese my crackers came wrapped)

    Written By Tara Helps

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    Posted by Denise at 10:26 AM
  • November 01, 2005

    Holland America Line Increases Mexico Sailings, Adds Third Ship And More Sea Of Cortez Cruises In 2007


    Holland America Line Increases Mexico Sailings, Adds Third Ship And More Sea Of Cortez Cruises In 2007

    Seattle, WA (October 25, 2005) – Holland America Line is expanding its sun-splashed cruises to Mexico in 2007 by offering more wildlife-abundant Sea of Cortez sailings and adding a third ship featuring Mexican Riviera cruises. The ms Zaandam returns to the Mexican Riviera to join the ms Oosterdam and ms Ryndam in 2007 to offer a total of 42 Mexico cruises – 10 more than in 2006 – sailing roundtrip from the convenient homeport of San Diego.


    In 2007 Holland America Line will continue to be the only major cruise line sailing the pristine Sea of Cortez on 10-day, roundtrip San Diego cruises. The Ryndam will feature 11 such departures in winter/spring and fall, providing a wide range of dates. The Oosterdam continues to sail the popular seven-day Mexican Riviera itinerary, offering 28 cruises. The Zaandam will add two 10-day Mexican Riviera cruises – and the Ryndam will sail one – in the fall for guests who have more time to explore as far south as Acapulco.

    “From vibrant Mexican Riviera ports to amazing wildlife in the Sea of Cortez, and with several hundreds of exciting shore activities to choose from, Holland America Line continues to offer more diverse premium cruise choices for Mexico travelers,” said Richard D, Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. “In addition, Holland America Line’s Mexico cruises offer the convenience of sailing from San Diego’s cruise port, just minutes from the city’s airport, and a popular city for pre- and post-cruise options.”

    Seven-day Mexican Riviera Cruises

    The 1,848-guest Oosterdam features 28 Mexican Riviera cruises with Saturday departures from Jan. 6 to Apr. 21 and Sept. 29 to Dec. 15, 2007. These seven-day sailings visit the popular Mexican Riviera ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, providing a full day in each port for guests to explore. Cabo offers sea kayaking, whale-watching and snorkeling/diving opportunities;Mazatlán is renowned for its golden beaches and cosmopolitan resort flavor; and Puerto Vallarta provides a mix of colonial charm, bustling markets and superb shopping.

    The itinerary also includes three relaxing days at sea when guests can pamper themselves at the Oosterdam’s Greenhouse Spa and Salon and laze in the sun around the ship’s two outdoor swimming pools. The ship accommodates families well with its comprehensive Youth Program including Club HAL for kids ages 3 to 12 and The Loft, a teens-only lounge. Cruise fares start at US$749 per person, double occupancy.

    10-day Sea of Cortez Adventures

    The 1,258-guest Ryndam showcases the Sea of Cortez with seven spring cruises from Feb. 21 to Apr. 22 and four fall sailings from Oct. 11 to Nov. 10, 2007. These 10-day itineraries combine a taste of Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán with highlights of the Sea of Cortez including Topolobampo and Loreto, an exclusive Holland America Line port call.

    From Topolobampo, guests can opt for the full-day excursion to Mexico’s spectacular Copper Canyon, and in Loreto they can visit historic San Javier Mission, founded in 1697 as Mexico’s first Jesuit mission. Then they enjoy scenic cruising past the Sierra de la Giganta mountains to call at La Paz and Cabo San Lucas. Exciting shore excursions are offered in each port, from snorkeling at Los Islotes (home to a sea lion colony) near La Paz to sport-fishing for tuna, marlin and billfish in Cabo San Lucas. Cruise fares start at US$1,049 per person, double occupancy.

    10-day Mexican Riviera Sailings

    For guests seeking more than seven days on the Mexican Riviera, the 1,432-passenger Zaandam offers two cruises departing Oct. 1 and 26 and the Ryndam features one cruise departing December 13, 2007. These leisurely 10-day sailings call at Manzanillo, a perfect “10” (like the movie filmed here) for its flawless beaches; Acapulco, international glamour magnet; Zihuatanejo, tranquil fishing village just five miles from modern resort Ixtapa; Puerto Vallarta; Mazatlán; and Cabo San Lucas. En route, guests enjoy three full days at sea to relax and enjoy all the shipboard amenities and services. Cruise fares start at US$1,049 per person.

    Press Release by Holland America Line

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    Posted by Denise at 04:56 PM