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December 31, 2008

Crystal Returns To Alaska for the First Time in Three Years

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LOS ANGELES, December 29, 2008 - Crystal Cruises returns to Alaska for the first time since 2005 with a single early season itinerary departing Yokohama April 16. The 22-day voyage also marks the first time Crystal Serenity has ever visited the Great Land, with calls at Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Seward and Ketchikan. Crystal Adventures will highlight the region's magnificent scenery and wildlife - taking guests zip lining through the Tongass National Forest, flightseeing above the Misty Fjords and yachting off Kodiak to view the region's wildlife.

"Crystal has designed more than a dozen new Crystal Adventures that showcase Alaska's greatest assets - its breathtaking landscape and indigenous wildlife," said John Stoll, director, land programs.

New Alaska Crystal Adventures include:

ˇ Ketchikan - Zip lining along a series of cables suspended between the tall spruce, hemlock and cedar tress bordering Tongass National Forest.
ˇ Ketchikan - Flying above the spectacular Misty Fjords, spotting bears, timber wolves, seals, sea lions and whales en route.
ˇ Kodiak - Exploring Abercrombie State Park with an expert naturalist pointing out the sounds of songbirds, eagles, puffins and gulls.
ˇ Kodiak - Observing horned and tufted puffins, harbor seals, otter, sea lion and a variety of birds from a private yacht.
ˇ Seward - Discovering preservation efforts of Alaska's one-of-kind ecosystem at one of the region's top research centers.
ˇ Seward - Cruising across Resurrection Bay into the heart of Kenai Fjords National Park.

Guests will also be treated to generously expanded programming, which is totally unique to the World Cruise and its segments, including celebrity guest lecturers Richard Dreyfuss and Ed McMahon, as well as Crystal's exclusive Interactive Literary Review and language and music classes offered by Berlitz and Yamaha, respectively.

The 22-day itinerary departs from Tokyo en route to Los Angeles, calling at Otaru, Japan; Petropavolovsk, Russia; Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia; and San Francisco. The full 106-day "Pacific Circle Celebration" World Cruise departs Los Angeles on January 21 and is available in seven individual voyages ranging from 12 to 22 days. Cruise fares start at $11,160 per person, double occupancy.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent at #1-800-738-8837.

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Posted by Denise at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2008

NCL Introduces Freestyle Resolution Sales Event With Unprecedented On-Board Credits Up To $500

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NCL's Wave Season promotion to help fuel travel partner sales

Miami - Dec 19, 2008 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has launched its biggest ever Freestyle Resolution Sales Event, three weeks ahead of the traditional start to Wave Season, the period from January through March when the majority of cruises are booked. The early release and enticing offer is another facet of NCL's Partnership 2.0, a company-wide initiative to further strengthen its relationship with travel partners.

Travel partners who make a reservation from now through February 1, 2009 on any NCL sailing can offer their clients up to a $500 on-board credit. The amount of the on-board credit varies depending on the length of cruise* and category of stateroom booked. For example, on sailings of six days or longer, the on-board credit ranges from $50 for an inside stateroom; up to $150 for a balcony and $500 for a suite or villa. For three to five day sailings, the on-board credit ranges from $30 for an inside stateroom up to $150 for a suite/villa.

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"With Wave Season fast approaching, we wanted to help jumpstart our travel partners' business by putting together a consumer promotion that offers a fantastic value for their clients," said Andy Stuart, NCL's executive vice president, global sales and passenger services. "NCL's Wave Season promotion combines a strong consumer offer, with extremely competitive travel partner compensation, the benefit of the recently suspended fuel supplement and incremental investment in marketing to drive customers into travel agencies across the country - we believe this is a winning combination."

During the promotion, travel partners can find more information and numerous marketing tools to help promote the Freestyle Resolution Sales Event at www.bookncl.com . Here, travel partners can download flyers and banner ads, forward customizable emails and play the Freestyle Resolution photo game for their chance to win one of five seven-day cruises for two. Travel partners registered as NCL U students will receive emails, bulletins and widget updates on the promotion.

To support the promotion and drive consumers to travel partners' doors, NCL is launching a multi-faceted national marketing campaign, along with Hispanic targeted efforts, which include banner ads on popular consumer travel sites, radio advertising, direct mail and email. In addition, NCL will make available incremental co-op marketing funds to travel partners who are looking to invest in incremental marketing during this forthcoming Wave Season.

On December 30, NCL will take to the Internet and the streets of South Florida asking consumers to declare their New Year's resolutions in an effort to promote its Freestyle Resolution offer. Consumers who log onto www.nclresolutions2009.com or visit the resolution wall from noon to 9 p.m. at Bayside Marketplace (Miami) on December 30 and 31; Lincoln Road (Miami Beach) on January 1 and 2; or Sawgrass Mills Mall (Sunrise) on January 3 and 4 will be entered to win a four-day Bahamas cruise, round-trip from Miami, on Norwegian Sky.

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*One and two-day sailings are excluded from NCL's Freestyle Resolution promotion.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is the innovator in cruise travel with a 42-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising which has revolutionized the industry by allowing guests more freedom and flexibility.

Today, NCL has the youngest fleet in the industry with 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

NCL is presently building a new third generation Freestyle Cruising project known as F3, for delivery in 2010.

Posted by Denise at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

Holland America Line Increases 2010 Bermuda Cruises to 24

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Roundtrip New York Sailings Begin in April Now

Seattle, WA, December 18, 2008 ? Holland America Line announced it will more than double its previously announced Bermuda cruises in 2010 from 11 to 24 beginning on April 25, 2010. Sailing roundtrip from New York aboard ms Veendam, the cruises will visit both Hamilton and St. George?s, Bermuda?s cultural and shopping hubs.

?This is a wonderful development for Holland America Line and Bermuda,? said Richard D. Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. ?We are thrilled to homeport a ship in New York City to sail to Bermuda and our extended season to the islands will be very exciting to our guests.?

When the 1,350-guest ms Veendam sails in April on the first of 24 seven-day roundtrips to the island, it will mark Holland America Line?s return to New York City as a home port and to Bermuda as a destination. Additionally, guests of Holland America Line will have an opportunity to fully experience Bermuda?s British charm and its unique island culture by day and by night with multi-day stays in Hamilton and St. George?s. The itinerary calls for approximately two and half days in each port. The season lasts until October 10, 2010.

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?Veendam is ideal for this itinerary,? Meadows noted. ?She is a premium mid-size ship, the perfect size to navigate the narrow entrances to the harbors in Hamilton and St. George?s. Veendam?s guests are able to step off the ship right in the center of each town. Ships larger than Veendam must tie up at the Dockyard facility a considerable distance from both towns.?

Bermuda offers many activities for the entire family, from historic discoveries, active pursuits such as horseback riding and kayaking and wonderful beaches with swimming and snorkeling. The island is also known for world-renowned golf courses.

Holland America Line worked closely with the Bermudian government to form the partnership that takes Holland America Line back to the island that it first visited more than 70 years ago. In 1926, Veendam II, with a guest capacity of approximately 500, left New York on the company?s first Caribbean cruise. During the summers of 1930 and 1931, Veendam II sailed on five-day roundtrip cruises between New York and Bermuda.

Founded in 1609, the town of St. George?s in the northeast area of Bermuda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second oldest settlement in North America. Only Jamestown in the United States is older. Narrow, twisting streets and pastel-painted houses create a European feel. The oldest Anglican Church in North America is in St. George?s and many other historic buildings, most made of stone, have been preserved. More than a dozen forts dating to the 17th century are scattered in the hills surrounding the town.

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Hamilton, the major commercial hub and seat of government, is in the geographic center of the island and is close to south shore beaches. Veendam will dock at the town?s front door just steps from Front Street and its colorful array of shops and restaurants. Hamilton is home to a massive 19th-century, neo-Gothic cathedral and the Georgian-style Sessions House dating to 1815.

For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.


- www.hollandamerica.com -

About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)]
Holland America Line's fleet of 14 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 320 ports in more than 100 countries, territories or dependencies. Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents, and highlights include Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal. A 15th ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, is scheduled to join the fleet in 2010.

Fleetwide, the company features Signature of Excellence enhancements, a commitment totaling more than $525 million, that showcase the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine - a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations and classes - Explorations Café powered by The New York Times, teens-only activity areas and all new stateroom amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush Euro-top Mariner's Dream Beds.

Worlds Leading Cruise Lines
The highest-rated premium cruise line in the world, Holland America Line is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line and Costa Cruises. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, these lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. The World's Leading Cruise Lines offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.

Posted by Denise at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

NCL and STX Europe Reach Agreement On F3 Project

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F3 to debut in late May 2010

Miami & St. Nazaire - Dec 18, 2008 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and STX France Cruise SA, STX Europe's French shipyard, announced today that they have reached an agreement and are moving forward with the construction of the F3 cruise ship project.

NCL and STX Europe have agreed to revise the original F3 order. STX France Cruise is now building one F3 ship at 150,000-tons with a total of 4,200 passenger berths, representing the largest ship in NCL's fleet. This will mean a continuation of the original hull which is currently in the early phases of construction, with delivery set for late May 2010, as originally scheduled. The planned second vessel, currently only in the preparatory stages, will not be built. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"With this agreement, we can all focus on completing the new vessel successfully," said Kevin Sheehan, NCL's president and CEO. "We are looking forward to the arrival of our much-anticipated F3 ship as it represents a major step forward for NCL in terms of ship size, design and innovation."

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"We are pleased that the ongoing construction of the ship for NCL will continue. We, along with our subcontractors, will now make the necessary adjustments to our plans for this project," said Jacques Hardelay, president of STX France Cruise SA.

To date, information has only been revealed regarding F3's staterooms and nightlife. NCL plans to unveil the full F3 story in the near future. Further information can be found online at www.f3.ncl.com.

Today, NCL has the youngest fleet in the industry with 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

NCL is presently building a new third generation Freestyle Cruising project known as F3, for delivery in 2010.

STX Europe ASA (former Aker Yards ASA) is an international shipbuilding group with a leading position for deliveries of cruise ships and offshore vessels. The group has a strong position in terms of developing state-of-the-art concepts, technology, processes and products for customers around the world. STX Europe ASA comprises 15 shipyards in Finland, France, Norway, Romania, Brazil and Vietnam, and is also a part owner of three yards in Germany and Ukraine. STX Europe has approximately 16,000 employees. Formerly known as Aker Yards ASA, the group changed its name to STX Europe in November 2008.

STX Europe's principal shareholder, the international industrial group STX, has approximately 39,000 employees and aims to be a global top player in its core areas; shipping and trade, shipbuilding and machineries, plant and construction, and energy. www.stxeurope.com

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Posted by Denise at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

Norwegian Pearl Recognized By Travel Channel As One Of The "Great Cruises"

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Miami - Dec 17, 2008 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) sets sail in the Travel Channel's one-hour special entitled Great Cruises: Norwegian Pearl, hosted by Brook Lee, Miss Universe 1998. The show, filmed in high-definition during a seven-day Alaska cruise aboard Norwegian Pearl, will premiere during the network's Alaska-themed night on Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 10 p.m. EST.

"With the first bowling alley at sea, a world-class spa, numerous specialty restaurants and a host of other amenities, Norwegian Pearl has so much to offer cruisers, especially in Alaska where guests can enjoy the glaciers, waterfalls and wildlife all from the comfort and convenience of the ship," said Kevin Sheehan, NCL's president and CEO. "We are pleased that the Travel Channel has recognized Norwegian Pearl as a great cruise ship and has chosen to feature the ship and its awe-inspiring Alaska itinerary in this special."

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The show allows viewers to vacation alongside Lee through Alaska's Inside Passage with breathtaking stops in Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan, Alaska. While on board, she explores the ship's amenities including bowling in Bliss Ultra Lounge; dining in several of the ship's specialty restaurants including dinner at Cagney's Steakhouse and Teppanyaki, a jazz lunch at Le Bistro, and tapas and cocktails at Mambos; dancing the night away in Spinnaker Lounge at NCL's White Hot Party; rock climbing; plunging into one of the steaming whirlpools while sailing through Glacier Bay; taking in a show at the Stardust Theater and relaxing in the spa with a hot stone massage after a day ashore.

While off the ship on NCL's shore excursions, Lee journeys into Juneau to take in the impressive sight of Mendenhall Glacier and sets off on a wildlife quest where she sees orca and humpback whales, seals, salmon and eagles. In Skagway, she indulges in Alaskan king crab at the Skagway Fish Company and sets off shopping in the quaint town. Then, Lee embarks on a Bering Sea crab fishermen's tour in Ketchikan onboard the Aleutian Ballad, one of the fishing boats featured on Discovery Channel's hit show "Deadliest Catch."

Throughout the hour-long show cruise and travel experts provide their expertise including Gene Sloan, USA Today's cruise editor; Philip Levine, cruise industry expert and entrepreneur; Michael Andre Adams, travel writer; Jennifer Doncsecz, president of VIP Vacations, Inc.; and Jon Ashton, celebrity chef, amongst others.

In 2009, Norwegian Pearl sails seven-day Alaska cruises through Glacier Bay round-trip from Seattle; Norwegian Star sails seven-day Alaska cruises through Sawyer Glacier round-trip from Seattle and Norwegian Sun sails seven-day Alaska cruises through Sawyer Glacier round-trip from Vancouver. NCL's seven-day Alaska cruises are priced from $599 per person. Guests can extend their cruise with an unforgettable visit to Alaska's Denali National Park with a pre- or post-cruise land package.

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Great Cruises: Norwegian Pearl is scheduled to air again on Travel Channel Saturday, December 27, 2008 at 10 a.m. EST; Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 2 p.m. EST; Friday, January 16, 2009 at 10 a.m. EST; and Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 10 p.m. EST.

Today, NCL has the youngest fleet in the industry with 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

NCL is presently building a new third generation Freestyle Cruising project known as F3, for delivery in 2010.

Posted by Denise at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

Princess Ships Will Connect to Shore Power at Port of Vancouver in 2009

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Ships to Turn Off Engines While Docked at Canada Place to Reduce Air Emissions
Environmental Initiative Result of Partnership with Government Agencies and Sister Cruise Line

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (December 17, 2008) -- Expanding its commitment to reduce air emissions, Princess Cruises has announced it will turn off its ships' engines and instead use clean hydroelectric power supplied from ashore when calling at the Port of Vancouver during the upcoming 2009 summer cruise season.

The innovative technology is being made possible through a partnership with several Canadian project partners and sister company Holland America Line.

Princess will use hydroelectric power from the city's grid instead of the ships' diesel-powered engines to run all onboard services for its four ships docking at the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal during day-long turnaround calls. The new shore power installation is the very first use of this technology in Canada and is the result of a $9 million cooperative partnership among Port Metro Vancouver, Transport Canada, Western Economic Diversification Canada, British Columbia Ministry of Transportation, British Columbia Hydro, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.

Princess' shore power program made history when it first began operations in Juneau, Alaska in the summer of 2001. It expanded to Seattle in summer 2005 and is planned to roll out in other ports that have made commitments to the technology, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. Currently nine of the line's ships are outfitted with the capability to "plug in" to a shoreside power source.

"We're very pleased to have worked with Holland America and our Canadian partners to make shore power a reality in Vancouver," said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. "We know that local air quality issues are important to the community and we applaud all who have been involved in this important environmental initiative."

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Four Princess ships will use shore power in Vancouver during the 2009 Alaska season. The vessels -- Coral Princess, Diamond Princess, Island Princess and Sapphire Princess -- will call in Vancouver 36 times between May 16 and September 7, 2009 as they sail on seven-day Gulf of Alaska cruises. Approximately 35 metric tons of turbine engine fuel will be eliminated per ship call by connecting to shore power, for an estimated reduction of 1,260 metric tons of fuel over the summer season.

"By shutting off our ships' engines when in Vancouver, we're reducing our usage of fuel and therefore also the emissions that are produced as a result," said Ball. "This is an exciting program for Vancouver and Princess is proud to play a part."

To create this unique power system, Princess outfitted nine of its ships with custom-built, state-of-the-art connection cabinets that connect the ship's electrical network to the local electrical system ashore. Since 2001, Princess has invested nearly $7 million in equipment alone to enable its vessels to connect to shore power. The ships currently equipped with this technology include:

  • Coral Princess
  • Dawn Princess
  • Diamond Princess
  • Golden Princess
  • Island Princess
  • Sapphire Princess
  • Sea Princess
  • Star Princess
  • Sun Princess

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    Also known as "cold ironing," shore power uses electrical power transmitted from a landside transformer to the vessel via four 3?-inch diameter flexible electrical cables. The actual cable connection on a vessel is a traditional, though quite large, male/female plug and socket. The length of time needed to connect a ship to shore power and shut down the vessel's diesel generator is approximately 40 minutes. Once connected, the ship's engines are powered down and, simultaneously, the necessary amount of power, provided by BC Hydro, will be used to run the ship's services while in port.

    "We're looking forward to sharing the expertise we've gained in developing shore power in other ports to contribute to the success of the program in Vancouver," said Ball. "When we first launched shore power nearly eight years ago, there were challenges because it was the first of its kind and there was no existing blueprint. But now, our successful track record has helped guide this project and we're thrilled to see it get underway for the upcoming cruise season.

    Posted by Denise at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)
  • December 23, 2008

    Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises Celebrate Stellar Series of Awards

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    Miami - (December 12, 2008 ) - This holiday season, Celebrity Cruises and sister brand Azamara Cruises believe the gift that keeps on giving is the host of awards and honors the brands have received this year from travel partners, press, cruise guests and noted authorities in some of the industry's most prestigious surveys and readers' polls around the world.

    Last night, Celebrity took top honors as "Best Premium Cruise Line," further confirming the brand's longtime lock on that position, while sister brand Azamara Cruises' Azamara Journey earned "Best Premium Ship" honors at the annual Travel Weekly awards gala.

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    "This has been an extraordinary year for Celebrity, with the widely-heralded launch of Celebrity Solstice, and an unprecedented series of awards won for the entire fleet," said Celebrity's President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. "We're also very proud of Azamara Cruises, which, in its first full year of service, has generated meaningful recognition from esteemed travel agent and readers' surveys, as well as from our guests."

    In addition to last night's awards, Celebrity received the following honors in this year alone:

  • "Best Cruise Line - Cuisine" and "Best Cruise Line - Spa" -Recommend magazine's 12th Annual Readers' Choice Awards (December)

  • "Top Cruise Line: Premium" - Travel Trade's First Annual Readers' Choice Awards (December)

  • "Outstanding Incentive supplier and Platinum Partner" - Incentive magazine

  • "Best Casinos" and "Best Northern Europe Itineraries" in Porthole's 10th Annual Readers' Choice Awards (December)

  • "One of the top five cruise lines for spas" - Spa magazine's readers' poll (November/December)

  • "Best Cruise Line" by the readers of the Daily Telegraph (UK) (November)

  • "One of the World's top 10 Cruise Lines" in the large-ship category - Condé Nast Traveler's "Top 100 Best in the World" Readers' Poll (November)

  • "Best Healthful and Alternative Dining" - CruiseCritic's Annual Editors' Picks Awards (October)

  • "Best Premium Cruise Line" - Agent@Home Readers' Choice Awards (October)

  • "Best Cruise Line" - The Guardian and Observer (UK) Annual Travel Awards (October)

  • "Best Cruise Line" in the large-ship category - Conde Nast Traveller's (UK) Annual Readers' Awards (September)

  • "Best Premium Cruise Line" as named by CruiseOne/Cruises Inc. (September)

  • One of the "World"s Best Cruise Lines" in the large-ship category - Travel + Leisure (August)

  • "Best Cruiseline for Health, Wellness and Spa" and "Editor's Pick for Best Cruise Line for Overall Guest Satisfaction" - TravelAge West's Annual Awards

  • "Recycler of the Year" as named by the City of San Diego in its 16th Annual Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards

  • One of the top five in Celebrated Living's annual "Platinum List" poll of best large resort ships

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  • For the third consecutive year, the readers of Condé Nast Traveler (February) voted Celebrity Constellation the number-one large ship in the world; Celebrity Summit second, Celebrity Millennium third, and Celebrity Infinity sixth, placing every Millennium-class ship in the top 10, retaining Celebrity's position as the world's top-rated premium cruise line.

  • One of the "World's Best Cruise Lines" - Condé Nast Traveler's annual "Gold List" (January)

  • "Best Premium Cruise Line" - Agent@Home Readers' Choice Awards
    Top honors in BACARDI Cruise Competition's Rocks/Highball Cocktail category
    The Lawn Club on Celebrity Solstice - Greenroofs.com?s "Hot Trends Top 10 List"

    Meanwhile, deluxe brand Azamara Cruises, whose Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest marked one year in service this year, netted the following honors, in addition to those from Travel Weekly:

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    "Smart Luxury Award" - ShermansTravel.com Annual Smart Luxury Awards
    "Best Itineraries" - Best-in-Class/Best Cruise Ships category - CruiseCritic Editors' Picks Awards
    "Best Luxury Cruise Line" as named by Cruise One/Cruises Inc.
    "Best Cruise Line for Expedition Cruising" - Travel Age West WAVE Awards

    Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal and South America. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Australia, Canada, Europe and South America. Noted for four of the top 10 "Top Cruise Ships in the World" in the large-ship category, as voted by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler (February 2008 readers' poll), Celebrity's fleet ? including the new Celebrity Solstice ? will be joined by Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111.

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    Azamara Cruises unlocks the hidden corners of the world for those who desire to immerse themselves in the rich details of every voyage. The deluxe ships ? Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest ? offer an intimate experience, while allowing access to exotic destinations experienced travelers long to reach. For the 694 guests on each Azamara Cruises ship, every moment at sea embodies the pinnacle of luxury, and each footstep on shore accentuates the difference between visiting a place and getting a true sense of place. This year, Azamara Cruises presents the best of enchanting Europe, elite Asia, and the most captivating Caribbean and the Panama Canal. The line also offers unique cruisetours in Asia and Europe. For more information please call #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)
  • December 08, 2008

    NCL Suspends Fuel Supplement

    Miami - Dec 4, 2008 - In response to the current continued decline of fuel prices, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced today that it is suspending the company's fuel supplement effective immediately for all voyages departing in 2009.

    NCL will refund the fuel supplement in the form of an on-board credit for all 2009 bookings within the final payment period. All existing 2009 bookings outside of the final payment period will be adjusted to remove the fuel supplement and NCL will revise the final payment amount.

    "Global fuel prices have dropped to a level where we can now suspend the fuel supplement, making an NCL Freestyle Cruising vacation an even greater value," said Andy Stuart, NCL's executive vice president, global sales and passenger services.

    NCL will continue to closely monitor global fuel prices to assess whether a reinstatement of the fuel supplement will be necessary in the future. The company reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests should the price of light sweet crude oil according to the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange Index) increase above $65 per barrel.

    Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is the innovator in cruise travel with a 42-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising which has revolutionized the industry by allowing guests more freedom and flexibility.

    Today, NCL has the youngest fleet in the industry with 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

    NCL is presently building a new third generation Freestyle Cruising project known as F3, for delivery in 2010.

    Posted by Denise at 05:21 PM | Comments (0)

    Princess Passengers Pick Favorite Caribbean Excursions

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    Line's C.R.U.I.S.E. Service Awards Honor Best Tours and Guides

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (December 5, 2008) - Princess Cruises is once again recognizing the important role local tour operators play in the overall cruise experience by announcing the winners of its 2007-08 C.R.U.I.S.E. service awards for the Caribbean. The 10th annual awards honor passenger choices for best tours of the season plus favorite tour guides in many of the ports where Princess ships call.

    A number of tours have topped the list for several years, and one -- the Americas Cup 12-Metre Yacht Regatta tour in St. Maarten -- has now been voted 'Shore Excursion of the Season' for the 10th year in a row.

    C.R.U.I.S.E. service award winners are determined primarily through positive feedback on passenger surveys, and the awards are presented to both tour companies and individual guides from Princess' extensive line-up of more than 800 shore excursion options throughout the Caribbean.

    "Because we place such a great emphasis on high service levels, we feel it's important to recognize those local tour operators who do a great job of continuing Princess' commitment to service when our passengers are in port," said Steve Nielsen, Princess' vice president of Caribbean and Atlantic shore operations. "These local guides and companies are ambassadors for both Princess and their respective destinations."

    Begun in 1999 as part of Princess' C.R.U.I.S.E. (Courtesy, Respect, Unfailing In Service Excellence) customer service program, these tour operator awards cap off a season-long effort to recognize the role that local tour partners play in passengers' cruise experiences. Tour Guide of the Season award winners receive $100, a letter of commendation, a ship tour and lunch onboard with their family, a specially designed C.R.U.I.S.E. pin. Operators of the Shore Excursion of the Season receive a plaque and a letter of commendation, a tour of the ship, and lunch onboard for company officials. Winning tours will also be highlighted in next year's shore excursion booklet. A full list of winners is below:

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    ANTIGUA, Antigua and Barbuda
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Pirates of Antigua: The Black Swan, Coral Island

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Circle Antigua by Sea, Tropical Adventures

    ARUBA
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Atlantis Submarine Expedition, Atlantis Adventures

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Aruba Countryside Horseback Ride, DePalm Tours

    BARBADOS
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Tiami Five-Star Catamaran & Turtle Encounter, Tiami Cruises, Ltd

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Barbados In-Focus Photography Tour, Foster & Ince

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Ronnie Carrington, Foster & Ince

    BEQUIA, Grenadines
    Tour of the Season:
    Bequia Sail, Snorkel & Beach, Corea & Co.

    BONAIRE, Netherlands Antilles
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Samur Sail & Snorkel, Bonaire Destination Service

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Bonaire Land Sailing, Bonaire Tours

    CARTAGENA, Columbia
    Tour of the Season:
    Panoramic Cartagena, Folkloric Show & Shopping, Seico

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Pedro Bossio, Aviatur

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    COZUMEL, Mexico
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Coba Mayan Ruins, Turismo Aviomar

    Low Volume Tours of the Season:
    Cozumel Segway Adventure, Sunshine Tours
    Dolphin Swim, Dolphin Discovery

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Alan Ceballos, Sunshine Tours

    CURACAO, Netherlands Antilles
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Curacao See & Sea Tour, Atlantis Adventures

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Culinary Delights of Curacao, Funbini

    DOMINICA
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Rainforest Aerial Tram & Trafalger Falls, Rainforest Aerial Tram

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Dominica River Tubing Excursion, Fun Sun Inc.

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Jemimah Fevrier, Wrave LTD

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    GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Allura Catamaran Sail to Stingray Sandbar, Nautilus

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Sea Trek Coral Canyon Helmet Dive, Sea Trek Cayman

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Phillip Cassingham, Sea Trek Cayman

    GRAND TURK, Turks & Caicos Islands
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Chukka Beach Horseback Ride & Swim, Chukka Caribbean Adventures

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Gibb's Cay Beach & Stingray Encounter, Oasis Divers

    GRENADA
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Grenada River Tubing, G.F. Huggins

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Five-Star Sail, Snorkel & Beach, Best of Grenada

    HUATULCO, Mexico
    Tour of the Season:
    Rural Communities & Traditions, Turismo Nautico

    ISLA MARGARITA, Venezuela
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Fiesta Party Bus Across the Island, Novel Tours S.A.

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Dolphin Encounter & Sea Lion Swim, Skylimit Travel

    LIMON, Costa Rica
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Original Canopy Tour Limon, Original Canopy Tour

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Golden Bean Coffee Tour, TAM Travel

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Eric Picado, Swiss Travel

    MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Croydon Plantation, World Tours

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Chukka Horseback Ride 'n' Swim, Chukka Caribbean Adventures

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    OCHO RIOS, Jamaica
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Ocho Rios Highlights & Dunn's River Falls, World Tours

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Chukka 4WD Safari, Chukka Caribbean Adventures

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Gary Dalling, Chukka Caribbean Adventures

    PANAMA CANAL
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    The Panama Canal Experience by Boat, Aventuras 2000

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Authentic Embera Indian Village, Shorex Panama

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Jeronimo Welch, Aventuras 2000

    PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago
    Tour of the Season:
    Port of Spain Highlights & Angostura Distillery, Trinidad and Tobago Sightseeing

    PUERTO QUETZAL, Guatemala
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Colonial Antigua, Kim' Arrin

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Filadelfia Coffee Estate & Colonial Antigua, GreyLine Tours

    PUNTARENAS, Costa Rica
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Costa Rica's Favorites, Elite Eco Tours

    Low Volume Tours of the Season:
    The Original Canopy Tour at Mahogany Park, Original Canopy Tour
    Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary & Mangrove Boat Tour, TAM Travel

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Porfirio Hidalgo, Swiss Travel

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    ST. KITTS, St. Kitts & Nevis
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    St. Kitts Scenic Railway, St. Kitts Railway,LTD.

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Nevis Sail Away, Kantours

    ST. LUCIA
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    St. Lucia Tranopy Adventure, Rain Forest Sky Rides

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    4X4 Safari & Waterfall Adventure, J.A.G. Inc.

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Showane Williams, J.A.G. INC

    ST. MAARTEN, Netherlands Antilles
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    St. Maarten "America's Cup 12-Metre Yacht" Regatta, 12-Metre Enterprises N.V.

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Explorer Cruise to Marigot & Island Drive, Eagle Tours

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Hopeton Morgan, 12 Metre Ent, N.V.

    ST. THOMAS, US Virgin Islands
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Turtle Cove Sail & Snorkel Adventure, Fun Water Tours

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    BOSS Underwater Adventure, Aqua Adventures

    Tour Guide of the Season:
    Becca Lee, Fun Water Tours

    TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    The "Baths" at Virgin Gorda, Romney Associates

    Low Volume Tour of the Season:
    Dolphin Swim, Romney Associates

    VIRGIN GORDA, British Virgin Islands
    High Volume Tour of the Season:
    Virgin Gorda Sail & Snorkel, Romney Associates

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent by calling 1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)

    December 05, 2008

    Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Removes Fuel Supplement

    MIAMI ? December 5, 2008 ? Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced the suspension of its fuel supplement for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, anywhere in the world.

    The decision reflects the recently sustained lower price of fuel.
    Effective Monday, December 8, guests making new bookings for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, will not be charged the fuel supplement.
    Guests already booked on sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, will receive a refund of any fuel supplement paid, as follows:

    Guests with existing bookings for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, and who are now paid in full, will have the supplement automatically refunded to them in the form of an onboard credit during their sailing.

    Guests with existing bookings for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, and who are not yet paid in full, will have the supplement automatically removed from their outstanding balance.

    The company reserves the right to reinstate fuel supplement charges if the price of West Texas Intermediate fuel exceeded $65 per barrel, on the quarterly milestone dates mentioned in the company?s October 24, 2008, press release.

    The company announced on October 24, 2008, that no fuel supplement would be charged for new bookings made on or after November 10, 2008, for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2010, unless there is an upturn in fuel prices. Today?s announcement does not affect those previous terms.

    Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Cruises and CDF Croisieres de France. The company has a combined total of 38 ships in service and six under construction. It also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America.

    Posted by Denise at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Carnival Corporation Removes Fuel Supplement

    Fuel Supplement Update

    As fuel prices continue to decline, Carnival Corporation has announced that it will suspend fuel supplements for its six North American brands, including Princess Cruises, for all voyages departing on or after December 17, 2008.

    For these sailings, a refund of the fuel supplement will be made in the form of a shipboard credit for all bookings within the final payment period. All bookings outside of the final payment period will be adjusted to remove the fuel supplement, and passengers will be provided with a revised final payment amount.

    The company reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all passengers at up to $9 per person per day if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $70 per barrel even if the fare has already been paid in full.

    Posted by Denise at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

    December 04, 2008

    Princess Ships Prepare for a Festive Season at Sea

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    Snow Flurries Again Provide Holiday Magic, Along with a Gingerbread Housebuilding Challenge and Turkey Carving Training from the Experts

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (December 1, 2008) -- As the holidays draw near, Princess ships are preparing for another festive season at sea, and weather conditions are again pointing to unusual snow flurries onboard. After an extremely popular debut last year, snow will again magically fall in the ship's atriums, transforming the vessels into a winter wonderland throughout December.

    "What's better than the romance of a white Christmas, especially when it's an unexpected surprise?" said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. "Our snowfalls were such a huge hit last year that this has now become a new tradition on Princess ships."

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    The innovative snow-making process creates falling flakes that vanish on contact, letting passengers enjoy the excitement of snow flurries without the need to bundle up. Princess' daily snowfall will occur on all ships except for the lines' three small vessels -- Pacific Princess, Tahitian Princess and Royal Princess -- which do not have large, multi-story atriums.

    Even when the snow isn't coming down, Princess ships will feature a merry atmosphere. Vessels are decked out in holiday decor -- even including a Christmas tree on the vessels' masts -- and strolling carolers fill the air with the sounds of the season.

    Passengers can once again participate in a "gingerbread challenge," where teams test their holiday housebuilding skills in a fun-filled competition to construct the most creative gingerbread structure. Or they can test their holiday craft skills by creating a personalized photo ornament. And new this year is a turkey-carving demonstration from the onboard culinary experts to prepare passengers to do the honors at their next holiday feast.

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    Special events also include a reading of "The Night Before Christmas" by either the captain or cruise director, and a holiday variety show adds a seasonal element to the ship's entertainment offerings. For those who can't get enough of Christmas carols, the ships' Princess Pop Star talent show will feature a holiday edition where competitors can croon their favorite seasonal songs.

    Religious services are held as well, and passengers can attend midnight mass or an inter-denominational church service performed by onboard clergy. Passengers will receive a stocking turndown gift and can enjoy classic holiday films or even relax in front of a traditional burning Yule log ... on their stateroom television!

    Holiday Feasts -- Each Princess ship's culinary team will delight the senses with spectacular holiday displays and will serve up several delicious feasts. A sumptuous Christmas brunch includes complimentary eggnog. On Christmas Day, passengers will sit down to a dinner of traditional holiday fare including roast turkey and all the trimmings. Freshly prepared stolen and Christmas cookies (even some for Santa) round out the seasonal treats.

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    Christmas For Children -- Junior cruisers can count down to the big day with special holiday activities. Santa Claus makes an appearance with his sack full of toys, and a fun-filled holiday fair in the atrium offers youngsters the opportunity to try their hand at Christmas cookie decorating, balloon making, face painting, games and other competitions. The youth centers will host holiday parties for each age group, and kids can make decorations to display on the center's Christmas tree. Youngsters can get creative with other holiday-themed arts and crafts projects throughout the cruise, and they will have an opportunity to sing Christmas carols for passengers. For parents who want to stay up later to celebrate the holidays, free late-night group kid sitting sessions will be available on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

    Hanukkah -- Ships will also offer festivities for passengers celebrating the Festival of Lights. A special area of the ship is reserved for those participating in Hanukkah events and ships will display menorahs and fresh flower arrangements decorated in blue, silver and white. Children will enjoy themed arts and crafts pertinent to the holiday.

    Happy New Year -- Passengers will ring in a fun-filled 2009 with festive New Year's Eve parties, complete with music, confetti, noise-makers and a balloon drop to count down to the new year. Earlier in the evening, the dinner menu will feature special treats just for New Year's Eve. On New Year's Day, football fans will be pleased to know they won't miss the holiday's traditional college bowl games, as the telecasts will be shown (as available by satellite) in a shipboard lounge or on some vessels' giant Movies Under the Stars top-deck screen.

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    The 17-ship Princess fleet will cover the globe this holiday season, with sailings to the Caribbean, Mexico, the Panama Canal, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, South America, Hawaii and the South Pacific.

    Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent by calling #1-800-738-8837.

    Posted by Denise at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)