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May 26, 2009

Blue Man Group To Headlines Norwegian Epic's Entertainment Offerings

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Company continues legacy of innovation by revolutionizing cruise ship entertainment with world-class brands and acts in specially designed venues only on Norwegian Epic

Miami - May 20, 2009 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) today announced it is changing the face of cruise line entertainment on its next generation of Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic. In another industry first, the company will welcome Blue Man Group, performing in the 685-seat Epic Theater. Blue Man Group is best known for their wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts which combine music, comedy and multimedia theatrics to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. The blissful party atmosphere created at their live events has become the trademark of a Blue Man Group experience and beginning in the summer of 2010 will be seen for the first time ever at sea only on Norwegian Epic.

"Norwegian Cruise Line has spent 42 years breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising and redefining what it means to be innovative. Now, with Norwegian Epic, we are re-inventing cruise ship entertainment by offering multiple entertainment options for every taste and age," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "Having a world-class creative organization like Blue Man Group headline the entertainment on Norwegian Epic will provide our guests with a sensory experience unlike any other at sea."

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More Entertainment Venues, Offerings
Norwegian Epic will have multiple, specially-designed entertainment venues throughout the ship so that guests can choose from a wide variety of entertainment each evening of their cruise. No longer will entertainment be focused on two nightly shows in one large main theater. Norwegian Epic takes Freestyle Cruising to the next level by offering a number of entertainment options in specially-designed venues, some offered for the first time ever at sea, with choices to appeal to a broad audience.

Spiegel Tent: On Norwegian Epic, guests will find the only "big top" at sea. In this intimate 265-seat theater-in-the-round, famed producer/director Neil Goldberg will present Cirque Dreams® and Dinner. This one of a kind interactive theatrical dining experience will be performed in the air, while juggling dinner courses, with music, mayhem and acrobatic imagination. During this two-hour show, guests will marvel in amazement and become part of a celebration of spectacle and fantasy. The entire experience will be unlike anything else at sea.

Headliners Comedy Club: This 280-seat comedy club will feature the hilarious improvisational comedy of The Second City, as Norwegian continues its exclusive partnership with the famed troupe. For nearly 50 years, The Second City has honed the skills of comedic legends such as Bill Murray, Chris Farley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gilda Radner and John Belushi. The ensemble will perform a special customized comedy revue of satirical skits, hilarious songs and inventive improvisation. The venue's design centers on a show lounge format with a small raised stage, concrete floors and brick walls with a full bar.

Fat Cats: Guests on board Norwegian Epic can sit back and relax listening to the cool vibes of jazz and blues in this 200-seat jazz club. Fat Cats will feature nightly live blues and jazz performances by world-class talent. The urban setting creates a hipster vibe complete with full bar and comfortable leather sofas and chairs.

Epic Casino: This appropriately named casino is Norwegian's largest casino at sea, spanning more than 13,000 square feet. It features an elegant Monte Carlo inspired design theme and is open to Taste, the Atrium restaurant below, and to the excitement of Bar Central above. Here, guests will find many opportunities to try their luck including 340 of the latest slot machines; along with gaming tables featuring poker, black jack, roulette and craps. And, with the most rewarding Players Club Program at sea there will be something for everyone, from the novice to the high roller. Cascades Bar, with a grand central crystal chandelier, serves as the casino's centerpiece.

Epic Theater: In addition, the theater will be home to another featured show which will be announced later this year.

A special online video presentation of all Norwegian Epic's entertainment offerings is available for viewing on demand at http://epic.ncl.com/the-latest/webcasts and features renderings and video clips of the world-class entertainment.

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Epic Goes On Sale
Starting May 21, 2009, Norwegian Epic's 2010 inaugural sailings are open for sale, with cruise fares starting at $699 per person. The first Eastern Caribbean sailing from Miami is scheduled for July 17, 2010 and the ship's alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries are available through April 2011. Norwegian Epic's Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes calls in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. The ship's Western Caribbean itinerary includes calls in Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. Guests can make a reservation a travel professional at 1-800-738-8837. More information about the ship, her itineraries and offerings can be found at epic.ncl.com.

The 4,200-passenger Norwegian Epic incorporates many innovations including several new types of accommodations - the curved New Wave staterooms; the largest ship-within-a-ship suite complex at sea, comprising 60 suites and villas on two private decks at the top of the ship; a new category of inside staterooms for the value-conscious traveler - The Studios and Living Room; and spa and family-friendly accommodations. The ship also boasts unique nightlife options with the first Ice Bar at sea and Spice H20 with non-stop entertainment day and night; an expansive Aqua Park with the only tube slide and largest bowl slide at sea - The Epic Plunge; seven decks of Freestyle Family Fun with highlights including a 33-foot high, 64-foot wide extreme rock climbing wall and the first ever rappelling wall at sea; the most bowling lanes at sea with six in two venues; a mixed-use sports deck with the ability for guests to engage in eight different athletic activities; as well as three separate kids' and teen activity areas and the first squash court at sea. In addition, Norwegian Epic will offer the next generation of Freestyle Dining with 14 restaurant choices the most at sea and 18 bars and lounges.

About Norwegian Cruise Line
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 Norwegian Epic, a third generation Freestyle Cruising ship, for delivery in 2010.

About Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group is best known for their wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts which combine music, comedy and multimedia theatrics to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. The blissful party atmosphere created at their live events has become the trademark of a Blue Man Group experience. Currently, their theatrical shows can be seen in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, Berlin, and Tokyo.

Blue Man Group's satirical rock concert Megastar World Tour has toured arenas across the United States, and has played extensively in Canada, France, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Korea. In fall and winter, Blue Man Group MegaStar World Tour continued its international travels in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Portugal, and is currently headed to England and Israel.

The company has applied its unique creative process to a wide variety of projects, including the recording of five albums: the Grammy-nominated Audio, The Complex, Live At The Venetian® - Las Vegas, How To Be A MegaStar Live!, and Canta Conmigo.

Blue Man Group has ventured into toy development (with their Keyboard Experience and Percussion Tubes, produced by ToyQuest), film and TV scoring (The Jury, Robots, and Space Chimps), commercial campaigns, television programs (including Scrubs and Arrested Development), and a children's museum exhibit, Making Waves, which is currently touring the U.S.A.

As the company grows, it remains true to its vision of providing exciting experiences in a variety of media, which appeal to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds.

Posted by Denise at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2009

Guests Have 'Gotta Dance' On A Royal Caribbean Vacation

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New Hip Hop Dance Program Offers Guests Of All Ages The Opportunity To Live The Dream

Miami - May 21, 2009 - A new Hip Hop dance adventure that transcends all ages, languages, and skill levels is taking Royal Caribbean ships by storm. Royal Caribbean International's new Gotta Dance program is offering guests the opportunity to let loose, chase a dream, and 'wow' their cruisemates with cool new dance moves. Based on the documentary film by Dori Berinstein, awardwinning director and producer of film, theater and television, the guest-participatory Gotta Dance experience is being exclusively offered by Royal Caribbean International and will be offered fleetwide in summer 2009.

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"Gotta Dance is the newest Royal Caribbean International program that offers guests an opportunity to try something different on their vacation regardless of age and experience," said Peter Compton, vice president, Entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. "Every age is welcome and no experience is necessary. As with many of our onboard programs, Gotta Dance helps bring families closer together and build lasting relationships among guests for an unforgettable cruise vacation."

Royal Caribbean's Gotta Dance is inspired by the award-winning documentary film of the same name, which will hit the big screen across the United States beginning in July 2009. Gotta Dance (www.GottaDanceTheMovie.com) chronicles the first-ever senior-citizen, hip-hop dance troupe for the New Jersey Nets Basketball Team. Just like the film, Royal Caribbean's Gotta Dance program will offer guests, from the young to the young-at-heart, a chance to grab their moment in the spotlight.

Kicking off each cruise will be a special screening of the film. Guests sailing on select ships before the nationwide roll-out of the movie will be treated to an advanced viewing of Gotta Dance. Participants will then be divided into teams and, over the course of their vacation, will learn choreographed routines with a member of the Royal Caribbean dance team in rehearsals during sea days. The program will culminate with the main event - a farewell show on the last evening of the cruise, whereby each of the teams will perform their routines in the ship's main theater.

Each of the groups will perform a different routine, all of which were choreographed by New Jersey Nets Dance Coach Kimberlee Garris, who also appears in the Gotta Dance film. For each song an easy and more complex choreography has been designed, and Royal Caribbean's Gotta Dance instructors will have the option of tweaking these versions further based on group skill level. Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 20 ships currently in service and two under construction. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

Posted by Denise at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2009

CELEBRITY CRUISES? CELEBRITY MILLENNIUM TO RECEIVE $10-MILLION ?REFRESHMENT? - Victoria, BC, Canada

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Victoria, British Columbia - May 20, 2009 - Known for its exceptional style and design, Celebrity Cruises is rolling out a series of new design schemes on Celebrity Millennium during a $10-million refresh this year, beginning during its scheduled drydock period this week.

Consistently ranked among the top 10 large ships in the world since its launch in 2000 - and so beloved by cruise enthusiasts that she?s been affectionately dubbed ?Millie? in social networking venues - Celebrity Millennium will emerge May 22 from a 12-day drydock in Victoria, B.C., with new carpeting throughout the entire ship, and new upholstery embellishing every stylish stateroom, the Lido deck, the Celebrity Theatre, and the dramatic, sweeping main dining room.

All marble and stone floors and counter areas will be renewed with a gleaming finish, and all wood hand rails on the ship?s verandas and pool deck areas will be newly varnished.

Celebrity Millennium?s sun worshipers are likely to take notice of the work completed in exterior areas, too, as new bolidt - an alternative to traditional teak decking - is being installed across the pool deck, outdoor stage, dance floor and jogging track.

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Every suite will be equipped with 32-inch LED flat-panel TVs, while every plush Concierge Class stateroom will boast 26-inch versions of the high-tech product. Additionally, new drapes, bed skirts and bed throws in warm, natural hues will further enhance every suite and stateroom.

By October of this year, new upholstery also will adorn furnishings in the ship?s retail areas, the sweeping Grand Foyer, and every lounge, including Celebrity?s chic, signature Martini Bar, and all staterooms will boast 26-inch LED flat-panel TVs.

The newly-refreshed Celebrity Millennium embarks on this year?s Alaska season May 22, on a seven-night cruise roundtrip from Vancouver, B.C., prior to a series of seven-night Southbound Alaska sailings to and from Vancouver and Seward, Alaska, through September.

Travelers eager to experience the refreshed Celebrity Millennium have no better opportunity than now, with select staterooms on several Alaska sailings starting at $57 per person per day, when booked by May 31, through ?The Celebrity Starring You Promise.?

Celebrity Millennium also presents the opportunity to delve deeper into Alaska?s breathtaking wilderness on unique Celebrity Cruisetour vacations. These in-depth packages pair a spectacular Celebrity cruise with a fully escorted pre- or post-cruise land-based experience, and offer unsurpassed values this spring and summer.

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Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale vacation experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, 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, 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 Conde Nast Traveler (February 2009 readers? poll), Celebrity?s fleet - including the new Celebrity Solstice - will be joined by Celebrity Equinox this year, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012. For more information, call a travel agent at #1-800-738-8837.

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

May 08, 2009

Princess Ships Spotlight Alaska Culture This Summer for State?s 50th Anniversary Year

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Passengers Will Experience Local Flavor Right Onboard with Alaska Cuisine, Guest Experts, Cultural Presentations and Special Children?s Programs

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 8, 2009) - When Princess Cruises ships begin their Alaska season this weekend, the line will offer passengers more local tastes and culture onboard than ever before, giving them a rich ?Great Land? experience not only on land, but also while at sea.

?Alaska?s 50th anniversary year is the perfect time to celebrate the wonders of this magnificent state,? said Jan Swartz, Princess executive vice president. ?And this summer, especially, our passengers will enjoy a multi-faceted shipboard program to immerse them in the flavors, culture, history and natural wonders of Alaska throughout their cruise.?

Princess? extensive onboard Alaska program includes:

Sanctuary Glacier Viewing Experience - Aboard Golden Princess, Star Princess and Island Princess, The Sanctuary will become a prime location for glacier viewing of the unforgettable Glacier Bay or Tracy Arm. The exclusive Sanctuary experience will offer passengers a variety of amenities to make their glacier experience comfortable, with deluxe padded lounge chairs, plush fleece blankets, ear muffs and binoculars. Park rangers and naturalists will also provide private commentary for guests in The Sanctuary, and will be available for one-on-one meetings to answer questions. A variety of special food and beverage offerings will be available exclusively in The Sanctuary, including Mimosas and Bloody Marys, specialties such as Alaska Rockfish Chowder and freshly fried "Beaver Tail? pastries.

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Tastes of Alaska - Passengers can experience the flavors of Alaska with a number of special opportunities to enjoy Princess? Signature Alaska Cuisine. Throughout the Alaska fleet, chefs will create a bounty of flavorful dishes that reflect the state?s culinary delights, featuring fresh local fish, savory meats, and an assortment of seafood specialties. Passengers will find ample opportunity to sample these treats, with a number of special culinary events throughout the cruise.

  • Glacier Bay Champagne Breakfast - Passengers can enjoy the majestic views of Glacier Bay from the comfort of their private balconies, while indulging in an exquisitely prepared Alaskan breakfast or brunch. The feast includes smoked salmon and an Alaskan crab quiche plus fresh pastries, fruit and forest berries along with a half bottle of champagne, served right on the stateroom balcony as the ship passes breathtaking scenes of this natural wonder.

  • Glacier Bay Gala Buffet - While ships sail among the stunning scenery of Glacier Bay, a lavish lunch buffet fuels passengers with a variety of Alaskan specialties, including hot and cold smoked salmon carved at the buffet, crab salad, and grilled fish, plus ice carvings and other special decor.

  • Alaskan Dinner - In the dining rooms, the special Alaskan Dinner features a number of local tastes and regional influences, including salmon, a celebrated seafood soup and loin of venison.

  • On Deck Fish Barbecue - On one port day, cruisers will return to the ship to find a festive poolside fish barbeque serving up such specialties as grilled prawns on skewers, fresh Alaska halibut brochettes, crab cakes, and venison chili.

  • Reindeer Chili & Rockfish Chowder Cook-off - A sea day cook-off between two chefs gives passengers the opportunity to sample these local tastes.

  • Warm up on Deck - Hot chocolate and mid-morning bouillon are served daily on open deck to help passengers warm up as they take in the scenery.

  • Alaskan Beers/Hot Toddy - To top off any meal, diners can pair their Alaskan feasts with local beers - such as Alaskan Amber and Alaskan Summer Ale - or an Alaskan Hot Toddy. Beers can be served in an exclusive etched pint glass with the Alaskan Brewers and Princess Cruises logos.

  • Chef's Table - The ships? chefs will be creating special menus for the exclusive Chef?s Table featuring mouth-watering specialties.

  • Culinary Demonstrations - Passengers can learn the tricks of the trade from Princess chefs at a demonstration featuring the flavors of Alaska such as Farfalle Pasta with Hot Smoked Alaskan Salmon.

    Local Experts - Passengers can learn about many aspects of life in Alaska and the state?s natural wonders from a variety of special guests onboard:

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  • Iditarod Champion Libby Riddles: Sled Dogs and Adventure - Libby Riddles, the 1985 Iditarod sled dog race champion and first woman ever to win the famous Anchorage to Nome trek, will be onboard for her ninth Alaska season. Riddles has become a Princess favorite, enthralling passengers with exploits from her days as a musher. In her exclusive appearances for Princess, Riddles joins each of the line?s Alaska ships during its call in Juneau. Taking passengers behind the scenes into the world of dog mushing, she shares her Iditarod experiences while describing what it?s like to live in a native Inupiat village near Nome. Riddles? approximately hour-long presentations are held aboard the ship in the afternoon, followed by an opportunity for passengers to ask questions, get autographed copies of her books or pose with her for photos.

  • Alaska Naturalists - On each Alaska sailing, passengers have the benefit of the expert guidance from a dedicated onboard naturalist throughout their cruise. These veteran guides include biologists, writers, adventurers, professors and Alaska Natives, among others, who give informative presentations about local wildlife, glaciers, oceanography, marine life, native Alaskan cultures, history and many other local topics of interest. Naturalists often provide colorful bridge commentary as well and help with spotting wildlife.

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  • Park Ranger Programs in Glacier Bay - Park rangers present a variety of programs for passengers of all ages while ships sail among the dramatic ice fields of Glacier Bay National Park. National Park Service rangers join the ship for the day, offering a live commentary from ship?s bridge throughout the visit to Glacier Bay, pointing out the natural wonders and wildlife sightings. Rangers also give an informative shipboard presentation with videos of Glacier Bay?s environment. They also meet with passengers at a dedicated booth, offering reference books and other information to further inform interested visitors about Glacier Bay?s natural and cultural history.

  • USDA Forest Service Partnership - Ketchikan/Misty Fjords - Passengers have the opportunity to learn more about the nation?s largest National Forest - Tongass National Forest - with a special onboard presentation by rangers from the U.S. Forest Service about the resources and management of the forest. A naturalist station will be set up throughout the afternoon each ship is in Ketchikan, and passengers are invited to special presentations for adults and children as the naturalists share information about Southeast Alaska and this important national treasure.

    Award-winning video presentations - Passengers can learn more about the wonders of Alaska from the comfort of their own stateroom, with these specially produced videos, including a series of Telly Award-winning port videos.

  • ?The Heart of Alaska? - Produced by Princess, this unique documentary beautifully depicts the land, wildlife and people of Alaska with dramatic visuals and music. The 26-minute film features fascinating interviews with some of the people who make the state unique - including rangers, Alaska natives, homesteaders and dog mushers who share an insiders? perspective of life in the 49th state. The film also brings the audience up close to the wildlife of Denali National Park, and soaring photography takes viewers high above the world?s tallest peaks, including ?The Great One,? Mt. McKinley. The film won a ?Best Cinematography? award at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival. ?The Heart of Alaska? is shown on stateroom televisions and is available for purchase onboard.

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  • Glacier Bay Videos - Developed in close cooperation with the National Park Service, Princess presents an exclusive video presentation hosted by a National Park Service Ranger. Offered on stateroom televisions before the call to Glacier Bay, the film explains what passengers can expect to experience during the day in the national park. Passengers will learn about the history, geography and marine biology of the park to help enhance their visit.

  • Alaska Port Presentations - Not only can passengers get port information from the onboard port lecturers, but can also enjoy Princess? series of Telly Award-winning videos about the ports they will visit. Destinational videos include the ports Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway, Anchorage, Vancouver and Victoria. These videos highlight the history, culture and geography of each city.

    Alaska Youth Program - Special programs especially for younger cruisers will give them an appreciation for the wonders of the state?s wildlife, people and natural beauty.

  • Glacier Bay Junior Ranger/Teen Explorer - Princess ships also offer special Glacier Bay activities for the ships? younger passengers. The enriching Junior Ranger and Teen Explorer program is designed to bring Glacier Bay and the Alaska wilderness to life for the thousands of children who cruise each summer. This joint effort between Princess and the National Parks Service is designed to encourage young cruisers to explore Glacier Bay?s natural and cultural history through fun interactive projects. Children ages 3-12 and teens ages 13-17 can participate in special programs customized for their age group and take home specially developed activity books. Kids who participate in a certain number of events and activities can earn Junior Ranger status, which is commemorated with an official badge and certificate.

  • Ketchikan/Tongass National Forest - In addition to the general presentations onboard in Ketchikan, the Forest Service will also offer special information and materials designed for children to help them understand important forest.

    Alaska Mementos - Princess ships offer a number of opportunities for souvenirs and unique Alaska gifts.

  • Alaska?s 50th Anniversary Statehood Commemorative Souvenirs ?In celebration of Alaska?s 50th Anniversary of Statehood, Princess will offer a special collection of apparel and souvenirs for this commemorative event each cruise. Featuring the official logo commissioned by the Alaska government to honor and celebrate Alaska?s Native heritage and history, the collection includes t-shirts, caps, totes and mugs.

  • Art Auctions to Feature Alaskan Wildlife - Art lovers can take home unique works celebrating the marine mammals of Alaska created by the renowned artist Wyland.

  • Exclusive Cruise Companion Book/Map and Video - A Princess exclusive, the ?Alaska Cruise Companion? book and map set was created especially for the line by author and long-time Alaskan Joe Upton. The insightful guide lets passengers follow along on their cruise as the detailed map and information-packed guidebook are organized to match Princess? itineraries. Loaded with facts and colorful stories about each port and coastal features along the way, the set is a favorite with Alaska passengers each year. An accompanying video, also produced by Upton, is shown throughout the cruise in shipboard cabins, following the cruise route with beautiful photography and entertaining narration.

  • Gold Rush Marketplace - For passengers seeking the perfect memento of their Alaskan adventure, Princess ships offer a one-time special event each cruise - the Gold Rush Market Place. This unique shopping opportunity offers a comprehensive collection of exclusive Alaskan merchandise representing the 49th state?s many cultures and resources, with items such as gold nuggets and quartz, cozy totem blankets, hand crafted figurines depicting Alaska's natural wildlife, authentic Russian souvenirs from Sitka, Native Alaskan dolls, and totems all manufactured by local Alaskan artisans. Exclusive Alaska apparel represents the rich history and culture of Alaska with designs only available on Princess ships.

    Princess? 2009 Alaska season begins May 9 and runs through September 14, featuring a total of 130 sailings aboard Diamond Princess, Sapphire Princess, Coral Princess, and Island Princess traveling on the line?s signature Gulf of Alaska sailings; Golden Princess, Star Princess and Sea Princess sailing the Inside Passage routes from Seattle and San Francisco and Pacific Princess offering the line?s small ship experience on 14-day Connoisseur voyages to some of the state?s less-visited ports.

    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)