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Cruise News
January 1-31, 2013

Click the following links to the cruise news stories...

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What's on Cruise Diva's mind? A bit of editorializing, news, announcements, and travel tips...find that and more in Cruise Diva's Blog. Recent headlines appear below.

Cruise Diva

Princess Cruises Passengers Inspire New "Celebrations" Campaign

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan. 18: Princess Cruises has debuted a new look at how and why passengers cruise as told through videos from Princess passengers themselves. Focusing on celebrations, these passenger accounts unveil many reasons for escaping completely on a cruise vacation. Princess put video cameras in the hands of passengers who then show us what inspired their cruise. These storytellers, who were sailing in diverse worldwide destinations, including the Panama Canal, Europe, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Australia, describe different occasions that celebrate love, change and life itself. With these videos, passengers take the viewer along as a companion on their vacation, documenting their favorite onboard experiences as well as the memorable places they visited.

"Usually people think of 'celebrations' as birthdays, anniversaries, or graduations," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "But as we listened to these passenger stories, we recognized a great opportunity to expand the definition. From a newly adopted child to overcoming adversity such as cancer, there are many occasions in life to celebrate. And we aim to offer the best cruise experience for life's most important celebrations."

The videos form the centerpiece of a new "Celebrations" campaign which launched today. Stories can be viewed at, and Princess passengers who have recently celebrated a special occasion on board can submit their own stories at before March 31, 2013 for a chance to win a 7-day Caribbean cruise for two aboard the new Royal Princess.

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Less Is More: 26 New, Shorter Ways To See Europe On Crystal

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 17: Due to the overwhelming success of Crystal Cruises' new shorter "Getaways" cruises, the ultra-luxury line has added 26 voyage options throughout Europe from April to November this year. The new 5- to 8-day cruise segments provide more opportunities for time-strapped travelers to enjoy Crystal's all-inclusive, luxury vacation experience.

Twelve Mediterranean, 10 Baltic, and four Western Europe cruise "Getaways" offer a plethora of choice for compact, port-packed visits to the Greek Isles, Eastern Europe, Russia, Italian and French Rivieras, the Iberian Peninsula, French wine country, Scandinavia, Germany, North Cape, and the UK - in addition to 37 seven- to 15-day Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony itineraries already offered in the continent in 2013. "Getaways" fares start as low as $1,895 per guest if booked by February 28, with one or more local overnights on most sailings, as well as time on board for relaxing rejuvenation and pampering.

"Our 'Getaways' have proven to be very attractive to travelers from all over the world who are younger, busy professionals, first-time Crystal cruisers, and/or want to combine cruising with longer stays on land," explains Jack Anderson, senior vice president of marketing and sales. "With great destinations, plus the luxury and service for which Crystal is knownincluding complimentary beverages and gratuities, a world-class spa, stylish accommodations, and even Nobu's cuisineour 'Getaways' are a great way to tour Europe while simultaneously indulging in our 'World's Best' vacation experience."

New European "Getaways" set for 2013:

5-day, April 21: Barcelona (overnight)-Monte Carlo-Florence-Rome
5-day, June 3: Lisbon-Bordeaux (overnight)-London
June 25: Stockholm (overnight)-Helsinki-Tallinn-St. Petersburg (overnight)
5-day, June 30: St. Petersburg (overnight)-Berlin-Copenhagen (overnight)
5-day, July 20: Stockholm (overnight)-Tallinn-Helsinki-St. Petersburg (overnight)
5-day, July 25: St. Petersburg (overnight)-Berlin-Copenhagen (overnight)
5-day, July 30: Copenhagen (overnight)-Berlin-Helsinki-St. Petersburg
5-day, Aug. 4: St. Petersburg (two overnights)-Tallinn-Stockholm (overnight)
5-day, Aug. 9: Stockholm (overnight)-Tallinn-Helsinki-St. Petersburg (overnight)
5-day, Aug. 14: St. Petersburg (overnight)-Visby-Copenhagen-London
5-day, Aug. 17: Mallorca-Cartagena-Gibraltar-Seville-Lisbon (overnight)
5-day, Aug. 22: Lisbon (overnight)-Bilbao-Bordeaux (overnight)
5-day, Sept. 2: London-Guernsey-Bordeaux (overnight)-Lisbon

6-day, April 26: Rome-Sorrento-Sicily-Trogir-Venice (overnight)
6-day, May 9: Rome-Sorrento (overnight)-Sicily-Santorini- Kusadasi (overnight)
6-day, June 27: Rome-Sorrento-Sicily-Mykonos-Santorini-Kusadasi
6-day, July 13: Rome-Sorrento-Sicily-Constanta-Odessa
6-day, July 19: Odessa (overnight)-Yalta-Sochi-Istanbul (overnight)
6-day, July 28: Kusadasi-Malta-Sicily-Sorrento (overnight)-Rome
Aug. 27: Bordeaux-Lorient-St. Malo-Guernsey-Honfleur (overnight)-London
6-day, Oct. 20: Athens-Navplion-Katakolon-Kotor-Trieste-Venice (overnight)
Nov. 9: Barcelona-Castellon de la Plana (maiden call)-Cartagena-Gibraltar-Seville-Lisbon (overnight)

7-day, July 13: Tromso-Lofoten-Alesand-Olden-Bergen-Stockholm (overnight)
7-day, Aug. 10: Barcelona (overnight)-Palamos-Monte Carlo (overnight)-St. Tropez-Mallorca
7-day, Nov. 2: Rome-Florence-Porto Venere-Monte Carlo (overnight)-Palamos-Barcelona (overnight)

8-day, July 5: Copenhagen (overnight)-Geiranger-Murmansk-Honningsvag-Tromso

The new European options join other 5- to 11-day Getaways already offered in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and North America in early 2013. Pre- and Post-cruise Hotel Programs further expand vacation options in many coveted European cities. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Silversea Announces New Shorter Voyages

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Jan 17: In its continuing mission to provide guests with more choices, ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has just announced a new collection of eight shorter cruises for 2013. These convenient 4- to 7-day voyages to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean are designed for time-strapped working professionals, travelers who like to combine a cruise with a land program, and individuals who may be new to luxury cruising and would like a taste of Silversea's award-winning, all-inclusive experience.

"Many travelers today have busy schedules that make it difficult to fit in time for an extended luxury cruise vacation," said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea's president of the Americas. "It's important for us to offer options that cater to these consumers as well as those who have time for longer voyages."

Silversea's new shorter voyages for 2013 include:

-- Northern Europe Voyage 1318B: Silver Cloud, June 15-19, Hamburg to Copenhagen, with calls in Warnemünde (Rostock) and Helsingborg.
-- Mediterranean Voyage 2307C: Silver Wind, March 16-20, Barcelona to Rome, with calls in Monte Carlo and Livorno.
-- Mediterranean Voyage 2314A: Silver Wind, May 14-18, Rome to Monte Carlo, with calls in Bonifacio, Calvi, and Livorno.

-- Mediterranean Voyage 2307B: Silver Wind, March 11-16, Lisbon to Barcelona, with calls in Málaga, Cartagena, and Valencia.
-- Mediterranean Voyage 2314B: Silver Wind, May 18-23, Monte Carlo to Barcelona, with calls in Sóller de Mallorca, Ibiza, and Valencia.

--Northern Europe Voyage 1318A: Silver Cloud, June 9-15, Southampton to Hamburg, with calls in Honfleur, Oostende, Antwerp, and Amsterdam.

-- Mediterranean Voyage 5309B: Silver Spirit, April 16-23, Lisbon to Barcelona, with calls in Portimão, Cádiz, Málaga, Ibiza, and Valencia.
-- Mediterranean Voyage 5314B: Silver Spirit, May 25-June 1, Athens to Rome, with calls in Katakolon, Corfu, Kotor, Dubrovnik, and Sorrento.

Aboard Silversea's intimate, all-suite ships, guests enjoy spacious ocean-view accommodations, sumptuous gourmet cuisine, the personalized service of a butler, and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet, and all gratuities. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent, call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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American Cruise Lines Introduces New Eagle Society Benefits

GUILFORD, CT, Jan 17: American Cruise Lines, operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, is pleased to announce the introduction of a renewed loyalty program, featuring new premium benefits for members. The Eagle Society is the line’s way of recognizing and rewarding returning guests by providing a more personalized and enhanced cruise experience. The Eagle Society now features an expanded list of special benefits, including:

Complimentary cruise – Upon completion of 10 cruises with American Cruise Lines, Eagle Society members are rewarded with a complimentary cruise.
Complimentary shore excursions – After an Eagle Society member has cruised three times, shore excursion fees are waived on all cruises booked thereafter.
Special Eagle Society gifts – Member gifts range from customized officers jackets to champagne, and are always a guest favorite.
Membership identification – Customized luggage tags indicate Eagle Society belongings and special nametags indicate the number of cruises taken by each member.
Invitations to exclusive Eagle Society cruises – Each year, several dates are chosen for exclusive Eagle Society member cruises. These unique sailings are hosted by company executives and include special tours, receptions and entertainment.
Hometown VIP access – When a ship is in a port near a member’s hometown, American Cruise Lines extends a VIP invitation to come aboard for lunch or dinner.
Non-guest visitation and dining– When in port, members may invite friends or family aboard for a tour of the ship or to join them for meals.
Eagle Society-only savings and promotions – Members are privy to various special offers.

“As far as we can tell, American Cruise Lines has the highest repeat customer rate in the industry," said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “We want to reward our repeat guests for their loyalty with benefits that create the most memorable and enjoyable cruise experience possible, and one which gets better with each cruise they take.”

2012 was a tremendous year for American Cruise Lines and attracted more passengers than ever with the launch of its newly-built paddlewheeler Queen of the Mississippi, its debut season in Alaska, and the introduction of its newest itinerary, Puget Sound & San Juan Islands. In addition, consumers and travel agents voted American Cruise Lines the World’s Leading Small Ships Cruise Line, a highly coveted award distributed by travel excellence organization, World Travel Awards.

“Many of our guests have already begun to take advantage of the new benefits, following the well-received 2012 initiatives,” added Beebe. “This year will be extremely rewarding for our Eagle Society members and we look forward to welcoming them aboard.”

American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, operates the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships in America and offers more than 35 unique itineraries along the rivers and inland waterways of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, the Mississippi River and the U.S. East Coast, from Maine to Florida. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit or call 800-814-6880.

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Voyages to Antiquity Offers Attractively Priced Supplement of 10% and Stateroom Savings to Single Travelers

Fort Lauderdale, FL, Jan 17: Voyages to Antiquity, the cruise industry’s premier specialty enrichment cruise brand, introduces an enticingly low single supplement of 10% on three itineraries if booked by Feb 28, 2013.

“Demand among single travelers has been so strong that we’ve increased the number of dedicated single cabins to 26, which represents 12 percent of the ship’s total inventory, and offer cabins in a variety of categories from inside to deluxe outside with balcony,” said Voyages to Antiquity’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Jim Applebaum. “Single travel is one of the fastest growing segments in the travel industry, especially in the case of destination travel brands where the demographic is generally the mature market.”

Sailings offering this promotion include:

Athens to Venice (April 24, 2013)
This 14-day cruise-tour encompasses a full day in Athens for touring the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. The voyage then takes guests to the great sites of Classical Greece, including Mycenae, Monemvasia and Ancient Olympia in Katakolon where the first Olympic games began in 776 BC. After visits to Corfu and Butrint, an 8th-century BC Roman settlement in Sarande, Aegean Odyssey sails the Dalmatian Coast’s Kotor Bay with stops in Dubrovnik and Split – home of one of the greatest of all Roman sites, the Palace of Diocletian. The journey includes a visit to Venice with a private evening visit to see the spectacular mosaics of St. Mark’s.

Venice to Rome (May 6, 2013)
This voyage begins in Venice highlighted by the Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace culminating with an exclusive nighttime visit to St. Mark’s for a private tour. Then it is on to Croatia calling in Split where guests explore Diocletian’s Palace, the birthplace of Marco Polo in Korcula and a tour within the city walls of Dubrovnik to visit the Church of St. Blaise and Cathedral. From there guests discover the treasures of Sicily including the Greek theater in Syracuse, the Norman Royal Palace, the Palatine Chapel and the dazzling mosaics of Monreale Cathedral. After cruising past volcanic Stromboli the excavation sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum await. Guests disembark in Rome for a two-night hotel stay in the Eternal City with guided tours to the Roman amphitheater, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the sumptuous Basilica of St. Peter’s in Vatican City.

Rome to Cannes (May 16, 2013)
This itinerary includes a two-night pre-cruise hotel stay in Rome, after which the journey continues to Elba – the island of Emperor Napoleon’s exile from 1814-1815, the mighty Papal Palace at Avignon, the museums and galleries of Renaissance Florence, the extraordinary architecture of Barcelona, the magnificent cathedral in Palma and the medieval stronghold of Carcassonne. A highlight of this cruise-tour is the stunning natural beauty of the Maddalena Archipelago off the coast of Corsica. A fitting end to this journey is an overnight in Cannes for ample time to explore.

Grand Voyage (May 6, 2013)
Guests can combine the May 6 and 16 itineraries for an unforgettable 24-day Grand Voyage across the Mediterranean featuring 10% single supplements.

About Voyages to Antiquity: Inspired by The Middle Sea, authored by Lord John Julius Norwich, Voyages to Antiquity was created to offer sophisticated travelers an unparalleled destination immersion and educational experience combining the very best in cultural travel in a tranquil, informal atmosphere. For information about the itineraries and to make reservations, call (877) 398-1460 or visit

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Alabama Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Music Festival at Sea

ATLANTA, GA, Jan 16: With over 73 million records sold, 43 #1 singles, and more than 150 music industry awards, there is still one thing country music legends Alabama have not accomplished - setting sail on vacation with their biggest fans for a country music festival at sea. In celebration of the band’s 40th Anniversary of their first show at The Bowery, Alabama is teaming up with Sixthman, the industry leader in music festivals at sea, to invite some of their favorite bands and fans to join them on board Norwegian Pearl for a four-night cruise from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas, on Oct 24, 2013.

Guests sailing with Alabama will enjoy two outdoor concerts from the full band, performances from each of the individual Alabama band members and one autographed cruise poster per stateroom. Guests in each stateroom will also get a rare opportunity to take a photo with the band. In addition, Alabama will be hosting more than a dozen other music acts to celebrate with them on board, treating guests to amazing performances and artist-hosted activities throughout the course of the festival.

Entertainment, meals, and access to Norwegian Pearl’s outstanding amenities, including two pools, hot tubs, rock climbing wall, and fitness center are included in the fares. Beginning today, fans can read more about the event and sign up for the Alabama & Friends Festival at Sea pre-sale at Staterooms go on sale to the public on March 20, 2013.

"I'm looking forward to enjoying my very first cruise! We have some exciting things in-store for the fans and look forward to making this a lifetime memory for everyone onboard. This will be a one of a kind experience where we truly get to share time together with our biggest supporters over the years. We pride ourselves on creating unique experiences and are excited to embark on this new venture which will not disappoint. I'm bringing my extra large belt because I hear the food is great. Hope you can join us!" -Teddy Gentry, founding member of Alabama.

Norwegian Pearl offers 13 bars and lounges, 19 dining experiences, two pools, a waterslide, four hot tubs, and a luxurious spa. Onboard concerts aren’t the only things that rock on Norwegian Pearl - guests looking for more activities can visit the outdoor climbing wall, bowl a few frames, or tempt lady luck in The Pearl Club Casino. Guests of the Alabama & Friends Festival at Sea will also have the opportunity to explore the sandy beaches of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, during their very own private island getaway. A host of beachside activities and games, the gigantic “Hippo” slide, private cabana, and access to food and beverage service will make the stay on Great Stirrup Cay an unforgettable experience.

Announcements regarding the festival are scheduled to follow soon detailing additional performing artists, artist-hosted activities, theme night information, contest additions, activity details and more! For full details and to sign up for the pre-sale, fans should visit

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Windstar Cruises Completes Fleet-wide Renovation

SEATTLE, Jan. 16: With the completion of Wind Spirit's dry dock on December 22nd, Windstar Cruises' $18 million fleet-wide renovation project is now finished. The project, which began in December of 2011, encompassed all three sailing yachts in a stem-to-stern renovation that enhanced public spaces, dining venues, staterooms and suites, as well as new sails.

The 148-passenger Wind Spirit, the last of the fleet to undergo refurbishment, was updated with new furnishings, upholstery, art, lighting, wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, window treatments, and floor coverings during the month-long renovation. The design palette, staying true to the other two yachts, combine sand and marine colors that contrast elegantly with the warmth of wood finishes, elevating the look and feel to stylish luxury at sea. AmphorA, the fleet's new fine-dining experience featuring international cuisine, took the place of The Restaurant. The yacht also received enhancements in The Lounge, Casino, Reception, Pool Bar, and Library.

Wind Surf, the company's 310-passenger flagship, completed its renovation in early December. Wind Star, the sister yacht to Wind Spirit, was fully renovated in April of last year. The staterooms and suites of all three yachts were refurbished in spring of 2012.

"With the completion of the renovation, we are truly delivering on our promise of a unique luxury cruise experience that feels like your own private yacht," said Hans Birkholz, CEO of Windstar Cruises. "So far our guest feedback has been excellent; our guests are just as excited as we are to have the fleet completed."

June Baker, a recent guest onboard Wind Surf agrees. "I sailed last year with Wind Surf¸ and, this time, you could really see the changes. Everything was so new and fresh," she said. "We had the best time onboard, it was my husband's first time with Windstar Cruises and it was just the best vacation. We are already planning our next cruise."

To celebrate the completion of the renovation, Windstar Cruises threw a party onboard the Wind Surf's Flavors of the Caribbean voyage in December. The guests onboard the company's premier Caribbean itinerary were treated to a spectacular fireworks show in Le Marin, Martinique, provided by the Martinique Tourism Authority. In addition, Birkholz and other Windstar executives sailed on board the newly renovated yacht, mixing and mingling with guests and collecting initial feedback.

"We will continue to develop the best vacation experience possible on board our unique sailing yachts," said Birkholz. "2013 is looking bright for Windstar, with most of the cruise industry focusing on bigger ships, we will continue to invest in small-ship opportunities and intimate yacht-style cruising." To learn more about Windstar Cruises, please visit

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Celebrity Cruises Presents New Specialty Dining Packages

MIAMI, Jan 16: Celebrity Cruises continues to make it easier for guests to fully enjoy their modern luxury vacation through a wide variety of options that can be booked in advance. From shore excursions to beverage packages to spa appointments to dining times, Celebrity’s range of choices are all designed to make guests’ vacations that much more carefree. The latest in the culinary leader’s lineup are new Specialty Restaurant Packages that represent a discount of up to 31 percent when compared with the cost of booking reservations individually onboard, and allow guests to bundle their specialty restaurant visits into one convenient price.

“We know our guests really enjoy our world class specialty restaurants and the exceptional quality of our food, and our latest packages allow them to experience all this with more value and convenience than ever,” said Celebrity’s Vice President of Food & Beverage Operations Scott Steenrod. “Our guests’ vacation time is precious, and we’re committed to making it as easy as possible for them to thoroughly enjoy every minute of that time.”

Celebrity’s new series of packages vary slightly by ship, as they were created based on each ship’s specific collection of restaurants. The new series includes:

“Three Dinners Specialty Package,” allowing for three dining reservations per person (not available on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection)
“Four Dinners Specialty Package,” including four dining reservations per person (offered exclusively on Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Silhouette)
“Five Dinners Specialty Package,” encompassing five dining reservations per person, offered across the fleet
“Ultimate Specialty Package,” which can be purchased only onboard, and features unlimited dinners in specialty restaurants of guests’ choice, at least one specialty restaurant lunch, one admission to “Champagne High Tea,” and unlimited breakfasts, lunches and dinners in “Bistro on Five” and, on Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Silhouette, also at “The Porch”

Celebrity’s Specialty Restaurant Packages include cover charges and dining gratuities; all other charges, such as beverages and beverage gratuities, are additional, with Celebrity’s award-winning Beverage Packages an option available to all guests. Complete details, including the specifics of which restaurants are included in each package on specific ships and pertinent pricing, are available on Celebrity’s website

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Holland America Line Adds Canaletto Restaurant And Enclosed Wintergarden To ms Prinsendam

Seattle, Jan. 15: Holland America Line recently completed the addition of the line's casual Italian restaurant Canaletto and transformed the Lido Terrace into an enclosed Wintergarden aboard ms Prinsendam. Named for the famous 18th-century Venetian artist, the award-winning Canaletto is located in the Wintergarden, which is adjacent to the Lido dining area. The restaurant serves classic Italian fare with tableside service for dinner only, and reservations are encouraged. With the addition of the eatery to Prinsendam, Canaletto is now on all 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet.

“We continue to invest in our fleet and the onboard experience to offer the best premium cruise experience,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Prinsendam has one of our most loyal followings, so the new Wintergarden and popular Canaletto will certainly be appreciated by our guests.”

In addition to Canaletto, the 835-guest Prinsendam’s aft Lido terrace was enclosed and remodeled into a covered Wintergarden. The new area increased the dining capacity of the Lido and provides the venue for Canaletto. The ship also received other cosmetic enhancements during its dry-dock in Freeport, Bahamas, including new balcony decking and balcony dividers.

For more information about Holland America Line, contact a travel professional or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Silversea Unveils 'Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs' Cooking School Series For 2013

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Jan 15: Acclaimed culinary trainer David Bilsland, a former instructor at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London, is again set to host Silversea's exclusive "Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs" interactive cooking school in 2013. On 14 ultra-luxury voyages across the globe, Chef Bilsland will present a program developed in collaboration with Jacques Thorel, a consulting Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux. Silversea enjoys the privilege of featuring the only "Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs" cooking school at sea. The innovative programwhich is offered completely free of chargeprovides guests with a special culinary curriculum, including hands-on instruction, and entertaining events.

With the curriculum for each of these cruises carefully designed to celebrate the cultural flavor of the ship's itinerary, participating guests may prepare Cajun-spiced shrimp, vegetable fritto misto, or spanakopita, as well as other international delicacies. Highlights include specialized workshops covering an array of topics from basic knife skills and kitchen terminology to sauces and baking; cooking demonstrations with wine pairings and interactive Q&A sessions; lively cooking competitions between Chef Bilsland and the ship's own culinary team; a "Lunch and Learn" event offering small groups of guests a chance to sample a delicious meal of specially prepared dishes; and inspired "Take It Home" recipes that will give guests an edge when entertaining at home. Also offered on certain voyages, when the itinerary permits, is a "Market to Plate" experience that provides an escorted tour of a local market followed by a cooking class, and a "Culinary Outing," an instructor-escorted excursion to a local restaurant, hotel or other venue where guests can enjoy a unique culinary exploration.

"What's really great about our L'École des Chefs cooking school is that it's free, fun and entertaining," said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea's president of the Americas. "And it lets our guests get hands-on training, working side by side with an accomplished chef to learn new cooking techniques and sample delectable dishes."

Following is a small selection of the L'École des Chefs voyages for 2013:

Silver Wind departs Las Palmas Dec 3 on an 18-day sailing to Cape Town with calls in Porto Novo, Praia, Dakar, Takoradi, Walvis Bay, and Lüderitz.

Silver Shadow departs Tokyo Sept 29 on a 10-day sailing to Shanghai with calls in Hiroshima, Busan, Jeju, and Tianjin (Beijing).

Silver Shadow departs Tokyo Oct 19 on a 12-day sailing to Hong Kong with calls in Osaka, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Shanghai, and Xiamen.

Silver Wind departs Rome Nov 19 on a 7-day sailing to Málaga with calls in Sorrento, Trapani, Valletta, La Goulette, and Cartagena.

Silver Wind departs Málaga Nov 26 on a 7-day sailing to Las Palmas with calls in Cádiz, Casablanca, Agadir, Arrecife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Santa Cruz de la Palma.

Silver Explorer departs Lisbon April 29 on a 14-day "Flavors of Europe" voyage to Portsmouth with calls in Oporto (Leixoes), Vigo, Santander, St. Jean de Luz, Bordeaux, Quiberon, Saint-Malo, Guernsey, and Honfleur.

Silver Cloud departs Southampton June 9 on a 10-day sailing to Copenhagen with calls in Honfleur, Oostende, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Warnemünde (Rostock), and Helsingborg.

Silver Spirit departs Los Angeles Feb 1 on a 31-day roundtrip odyssey exploring the enchanting isles of the South Pacific with calls in the Marquesas Islands, Rangiroa, Society Islands, Kiribati, and Hawaii.

Silver Shadow departs Vancouver Sept 12 on a 16-day transpacific voyage to Tokyo with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Kodiak, Petropavlovsk (Kamchatka), and Hakodate.

For a complete list of L'École des Chefs voyages, visit Silversea online. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent, call toll-free (877) 215-9986, or visit

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Norwegian Breakaway Gets A New “Boss”

MIAMI, Jan 15: Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that Master Baker Buddy Valastro, star of the popular TLC television series “Cake Boss” and “Next Great Baker,” will open an extension of his family business, Carlo’s Bake Shop, on the new Norwegian Breakaway, coming to New York City in May 2013. Featuring all of the delicious treats and confections that the original bakery is known for, Carlo’s Bake Shop on Norwegian Breakaway will also give guests the opportunity to pre-order custom specialty cakes for celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries. For a challenging and fun experience, Carlo’s will offer cupcake decorating classes, where guests can learn some of Valastro’s tricks of the trade.

“The New York area is known for its outstanding bakeries,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “As with all features of this new incredible ship, we wanted to bring not just a taste of the region to our guests, but the very best out there. Buddy is known as the ultimate baker, so we knew he was the best choice for our new bakery on Norwegian Breakaway. We are thrilled to welcome Buddy to the Norwegian family.”

“Spending time with family is one of the most important things. A cruise is a wonderful opportunity for a family to relax and have fun together and that is one of the reasons why I wanted to bring Carlo’s aboard this fantastic cruise ship,” said Buddy Valastro. “I am thrilled to begin this partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line and open Carlo’s Bake Shop on Norwegian Breakaway, the ultimate ship for families.”

Carlo’s Bake Shop will be located on Deck 8 in the former Cakestand location. Featured menu items will include freshly baked cookies, cakes and pies, such as Buddy’s famous Oreo, Dark Chocolate Mousse and Purple Groovy Fondant cakes; Italian butter cookies; biscottis; and an assortment of cupcakes. Luscious chocolate and vanilla cannolis, cream-filled lobster tails, and individual treats such as strawberry cheesecake, chocolate truffle and tiramisu round out the menu. The delectable goodies will be available for purchase à la carte.

About Buddy: Buddy Valastro is an accomplished fourth generation baker born into the business owned and operated by his parents since 1910. He grew up in Hoboken, New Jersey in an old-fashioned Italian family. He showed a flair for cake decorating at an early age.

For Valastro, 35, mixing eggs, sugar, butter and flour means a lot more than “making a cake.” As a fourth generation baker, it’s a constant source of pleasure, pride and creativity. Creating amazing cakes connects Buddy with the memory of his father Buddy Sr. and his extended Italian family history. His talent and passion for the family business, Carlo’s Bakery, has earned the straight-talking cake expert the moniker, and TLC TV show, Cake Boss.

In December 2010, TLC premiered the spin-off series, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, now in its third season, where Buddy challenged bakers from around the country to compete for a chance to work alongside the Valastro family at Carlo’s. Proven he’s a master when it comes to sweets, in Buddy’s third TLC show, Kitchen Boss, he welcomes viewers into his kitchen to demonstrate he’s just as skilled at savory items, preparing his family favorite Italian recipes.

Norwegian Breakaway: Designed as New York’s ship, Norwegian Breakaway will bring the best of NYC to sea when she arrives to her year-round homeport in early May 2013, offering the high-caliber dining and entertainment options that New York is known for worldwide. To date, the company has revealed the ship’s groundbreaking design, including an open-air boardwalk, The Waterfront, and 678 Ocean Place; a wide range of indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that will create a whole new complex at sea that enhances guests’ connection with the ocean. Norwegian Breakaway’s entertainment will include three Broadway shows: five-time Tony nominated ROCK OF AGES; the dance sensation BURN THE FLOOR; and CIRQUE DREAMS & DINNER JUNGLE FANTASY. The famed comedy troupe The Second City, Howl at the Moon dueling pianos, and New York’s own Slam Allen will perform on the vessel. Norwegian Breakaway will also feature an exciting fireworks show on every cruise that will dazzle guests on the second to last night at sea each week, and will be the grand finale of a decadent 1980s-themed deck party.

Celebrity Chef and Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian will also debut his first restaurant at sea on Norwegian Breakaway: Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian. The ship will feature a total of 28 dining options on board and an Ice Bar, which will be kept at 17 degrees Fahrenheit and feature New York City-inspired specialty cocktails, as well as ice sculptures of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and the Chrysler Building to pay homage to New York City.

The top decks of Norwegian Breakaway will feature the first Aqua Park at sea with five full-size water slides, including twin Free Fall slides, the first ever at sea, and a three-story sports complex that includes the largest ropes course at sea, a nine-hole miniature golf course, basketball court, rock climbing wall and more.

The ship will also feature a rich mix of stateroom options including The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 Suites at the top of the ship and 18 additional Suites located throughout the ship; the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; the re-introduction of Oceanview staterooms, Balcony and Mini-Suites; along with Spa Balcony, Mini- Suites and Suites in close proximity to the spa.

For more information on the incredible features and accommodations on Norwegian Breakaway, visit To book a cruise on Norwegian Breakaway, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 800-327-7030 or visit

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Hollywood Hits The High Seas Aboard Crystal's 2013 Film & Theatre Cruise

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 15: From Monroe to Gleason to Burton, Crystal Cruises is planning a red carpet line up for its November 2 Film & Theatre voyage, presented in partnership with the award-winning Center Theatre Group of Los Angeles. A marquis rich with Old Hollywood immersion features more than a dozen performers and industry speakers with material created just for Crystal, including a special spotlight on one of the industry's most glamorous, and legendary, figures: Marilyn Monroe.

While Crystal Symphony sails along America's colonial coast from New York to Miami, playbill highlights include:

Legends Brought to Life on Stage:

-- Internationally acclaimed Marilyn Monroe tribute artist Susan Griffiths will bring her uncanny talent to sea for the first time ever with a new live cabaret show created exclusively for Crystal, Marilyn—Memories, Music and Magic.
-- Crystal fan favorite Jim Brochu returns with Character Man, his newest tribute to some of Broadway's greatest character actors, like Jackie Gleason and Zero Mostel.
-- LA's Troubador Theatre Company, or "Troubies," will perform multiple commedia dell'arte productions onboard, including a satirical Shakespeare-meets-cinema-disco musical theater performance of Midsummer Saturday Night's Fever Dream.

Iconic Insights: Presentations from guests such as actress Kate Burton—daughter of Richard and the current U.S. vice-president on hit TV show Scandal—and Center Theatre Group's artistic director Michael Ritchie will provide insider tales from the show business front. A dedicated in-stateroom television channel will broadcast classic motion pictures, theater documentaries and theme presenter insights throughout the voyage. Interactive trivia games will also provide opportunities for guests to show off their entertainment knowledge.

Dinner with Marilyn: A multi-course dinner in the ship's uber-intimate Vintage Room, featuring extraordinary wine pairings, will be hosted by "Marilyn Monroe" (Griffiths) and Marilyn fan club president, Greg Schreiner, sharing tales of Tinseltown and the star's life.

Red Carpet Beauty Tips: Premier red carpet make-up artist William Squire will present celebrity beauty secrets for guests' everyday lives and onboard photo opportunities, including ways Marilyn hid flaws and enhanced her beauty to create her signature style—and how her look still influences style today.

Famous Fashions: Original costumes from some of Hollywood's greatest films will be showcased in a special musical theater production created just for Crystal, featuring Broadway veteran Karen Morrow and other special guests.

The Silver Screen: The ship's recently-redesigned Hollywood Theatre will feature movie marathons of classic and recent films, including some of Marilyn's greatest hits—with Turner Classic Movies film historian Jeremy Arnold providing fascinating behind-the-scenes commentary.

"It's a privilege to collaborate with the Center Theater Group on such a unique program of entertainment and enrichment for film and theater-philes," says Christopher Escamilla, manager of entertainment operations. "Whether you love the songs, cinema, style, stars, or just Marilyn, everyone is bound to have an amazing time feeling like a star with the Six-Star Crystal treatment throughout."

The convenient East Coast and Caribbean itinerary visits New York, Baltimore, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville (maiden call), Turks & Caicos, Curaçao, Aruba and Miami. Crystal Cruises' award-winning entertainment offerings include a range of venues and performances, from cabaret nightclub to piano bar saloon; acclaimed productions to headline entertainers; and sophisticated enrichment activities to in-room Blu-ray-viewing, for all world travelers. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Seabourn Launches New 'Seabourn Conversations,' Offers Insights, Entertainment

SEATTLE, Jan 14: Seabourn has launched "Seabourn Conversations," a new concept for onboard enrichment and special guest entertainment aboard its award-winning fleet of six all-suite ships. The program will include a stellar lineup of celebrities and guest experts, augmenting Seabourn's already diverse entertainment.

"Conversation has always been central to the Seabourn experience," noted Richard Meadows, Seabourn's president. "Our guests are interesting people with interesting life stories, and they really enjoy chatting in the relaxed camaraderie made possible by our small ships," he continued. "We recruit explorers, heralded chefs, authors and scholars, celebrated performers and renowned experts from every arena of the arts, sciences, politics and the humanities with particular talents or expertise. Onboard they will lecture or perform, and take part in Q&A interviews, but on Seabourn they also enliven the social scene - and join the conversation."

On Seabourn's intimate ships, these luminaries share the journey. They each provide skilled presentations of their expertise for guests to enjoy. But just as importantly, they may share meals, adventures ashore and casual chats with the other guests throughout the voyage.

Seabourn Conversations topics can be broken down into categories. "Culinary Conversations," for instance, will include chefs such as Michelle Bernstein and Robert Irvine, winemakers or master sommeliers like Catherine Fallis, restaurant critics or experts in gastronomy. "Arts Conversations" will include topics such as theater, dance, film, literature, music or the plastic arts, and personalities such as stage and screen actress Penelope Ann Miller, singer/composer Patti Austin or satirical author Christopher Buckley. Explorers such as Dr. Lawrence Blair or mountaineer Paul Deegan, as well as historians, anthropologists and geographers will participate in "Culture & Destination Conversations," while diplomacy, international relations, politics and economic affairs will be categorized as "Current Affairs & History Conversations," and feature guests such as Ambassador Robert Smolik or Captain Peter Martin of the Royal Australian Marines.

Guests will enjoy Seabourn Conversations enrichment, along with a variety of other entertainment options, on all six ships. All of them offer key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas; superb dining in a choice of venues; open bars throughout the ship; fine wines poured at lunch and dinner; the aforementioned award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board. A list of currently scheduled Seabourn Conversations guests can be viewed online.

Seabourn's ships travel the globe throughout the year, sailing to many of the world's most desirable destinations. Cruises of seven days to world cruises of more than 100 days visit hundreds of ports, including marquee cities and lesser-known ports and hideaways. For more details about the award-winning Seabourn fleet, or to explore the worldwide selection of Seabourn cruising options, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Kicks Off New Year with "123 go!"

MIAMI, Jan. 10 The countdown to the New Year may be over, but the countdown to an exceptional modern luxury vacation is just beginning. Celebrity Cruises today launched "123 go!"the brand's biggest promotion to-date, featuring three powerful offers allowing consumers to select what they value most in a Celebrity vacation. The three exceptional options include:

-- Free "Classic Beverage Package" for two, allowing guests to pair Celebrity's delectable cuisine with their favorite beverages; representing a value of up to $616 for two guests, based on a 7-night sailing, and including coverage of beverage gratuities; or,
-- Free gratuities, allowing vacationers to fully relax, knowing tips for Celebrity's expert staff are covered; representing a value of up to $210 per stateroom based on a 7-night sailing and includes coverage of stateroom, waiter, assistant waiter and head waiter gratuities; or,
-- An onboard credit of up to $300 per stateroom, depending on the selected itinerary length, and available for guests to apply to shore excursions, specialty dining, wine tastings, spa treatments, boutique items, or any other onboard purchase.

And, if a Celebrity vacation in Europe wasn't already enticing enough, guests booking a cruise on one of the line's five modern luxury ships in the region have the opportunity to select two of the three special options.

Celebrity's "123 go!" offers are valid for oceanview stateroom and higher bookings on all ships (with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition), and all sailings from February 2013 through April 2014—with nearly 450 sailings to choose from—providing the cruise is booked between Jan 7 through Jan 27, 2013.

"To complement our incredible new promotion in a fun and engaging way, we've also introduced an interactive online program called, 'Experience it,' which—like our '123 go!' offer—puts consumers front and center," said Celebrity's Vice President of Marketing Lisa Kauffman. "The video invites them to see and select where they want to go from among Celebrity's sailings in all continents, then to click on what they want to do onboard, whether it's relaxing in the AquaSpa or playing in the fitness center; enjoying a cooking class or cocktails; indulging in a culinary journey at Qsine or open-air barbecuing at The Lawn Club Grill."

Celebrity partnered with Blue State Digital (BSD) to create "Experience it," which can be viewed here: For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit, or call your travel agent.

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American Cruise Lines Announces New 2013 Theme Cruises

GUILFORD, CT, Jan 10: American Cruise Lines, operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, announced today the addition of three brand new theme cruises for 2013, including a Gold Rush theme cruise in Alaska, a Civil War Eastern Theater theme cruise to complement the Western Theatre cruise offered on the Mississippi River, and a new Enrichment theme cruise to relax the mind, body and soul of our guests aboard the New England Islands itinerary. The new theme cruises are the latest additions to American Cruise Lines’ portfolio of theme cruises around the country.

Gold Rush—Alaska Inside Passage: On this extraordinary cruise, guests will experience rugged mountains and stunning glaciers as they explore Gold Rush history. They’ll even board the historic White Pass Yukon Railroad, a narrow-gauge railroad built in 1898 during the Gold Rush to transport miners. On the train, they’ll enjoy the alpine scenery and amazing views. A stop in Skagway, a newly added port of call, allows guests to discover Klondike Gold Rush National Park. Throughout the cruise, guests will spot an array of land and marine wildlife native to the wondrous Inside Passage. Featured Date: July 20, 2013

Civil War Eastern Theater—Historic South & Golden Isles: Following the popularity of Civil War theme cruises on the Mississippi River, American Cruise Lines has introduced the theme to the East Coast. On this new cruise, guests will discover the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, visiting pivotal cities of the South such as Charleston, where some of the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861. In Savannah, guests will enjoy an eye-opening tour of its Colonial, Revolutionary and Civil War history; as well as its many fascinating historic buildings and monuments. They’ll visit historic battle grounds such as the site of the Battle of Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Featured lecturers will entertain guests and offer added insight while onboard. Featured Date: April 6, 2013

Enrichment: Mind, Body & Soul—New England Islands: The moment our guests step aboard this new theme cruise, they will relax and unwind in their spacious and elegantly appointed staterooms. An assortment of unique onboard and onshore activities are offered, which will energize and revitalize our guests: Morning yoga classes, walking groups, painting sessions and a presentation on health-conscious cooking and cuisine. A menu of recommended spa treatments in port will be provided at the beginning of the cruise for advance booking. Featured Date: July 6, 2012

“Theme cruises are extremely popular as they add an extra element of connectivity between our guests and the areas we travel,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “It’s rewarding to provide a cruise experience centered on the shared individual interests of our guests. They enjoy the cruise even more.”

Additional theme cruises offered in 2013 include:

Lobster Festival Cruise: An American Cruise Lines specialty theme offered on both the Maine Coast & Harbors and New England Islands itineraries, guests enjoy a traditional lobster bake in Rockland, ME and the opportunity to board a lobster boat for a hands-on demonstration of the catching process. Featured Date: July 20, 2013

Culinary & Wine Themed Cruise: Culinary masters aboard the Queen of the West on the Columbia & Snake Rivers create a delectable all-American menu, and a wine connoisseur joins guests aboard for lessons on wine making, tasting and food pairing. In port, various different wineries are visited in both Oregon and Washington. Featured Date: May 4, 2013

Savories of the South Cruise: Local historians, culinary experts and featured chefs will educate passengers on the rich history of some of the South’s most vibrant cities, such as New Orleans, and their famous cuisines. While in port, guests will be privy to exclusive cooking demonstrations and tastings. Featured Date: March 2, 2013

More information on theme cruises available here. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit or call 800-814-6880.

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Cunard Line to Welcome Cutting-Edge Speakers from the Worlds of
Books, Business & Biology in 2013

January 9: Renowned for its award-winning Cunard Insights on board enrichment program , Cunard Line has announced that leading luminaries in their fieldsauthor Bill Bryson, business guru Lord Digby Jones and eminent Professor of Science and Society Lord Robert Winstonare among the featured speakers aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth beginning this spring.

“The quality of our speaker program on board our ships is something which sets Cunard apart,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We are delighted to welcome three such pre-eminent and internationally respected figures to our line-up for 2013 who will add an extra dimension to our passengers’ experience on board.”

Delving into a variety of compelling and relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to accomplished experts and visionaries who reflect the Line's legacy of adventure and prestige while sailing a luxury cruise vacation. Sail dates for these cutting-edge Cunard Insights speakers, as well as the voyage itineraries, are as follows:

Lord Digby Jones, Queen Victoria, Adriatic Explorer, 15 May, 17 days: Southampton; Palermo for Sicily; Korcula, Croatia; Venice; Dubrovnik; Corfu; Messina for Sicily; Valencia, Spain; Southampton.

Lord Robert Winston, Queen Elizabeth, Norwegian Fjords and North Cape Explorer, 26 May, 14 days: Southampton, Stavanger, Flaam, Alesund, Trondheim, Honningsvag for North Cape, Tromso, Geiranger, Bergen, Southampton.

Bill Bryson, Queen Mary 2, Autumn Colors, 15 October, 12 days: New York; Newport, Rhode Island; Boston; Bar Harbor, Maine; St John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Québéc (overnight stay); New York. Fares start from $1,999 per person.
All fares quoted are per person, based on double occupancy.

Bryson, Lord Jones and Lord Winston complement the array of speakers lined up for Cunard’s current four-month World Voyages, who include:

Queen Mary 2: journalist and war correspondent Martin Bell; ex-Formula 1 driver Sir Jackie Stewart; former Chief of the General Staff General Dannatt; and “Human Planet” BBC documentary producer Dale Templar

Queen Elizabeth: Roger McGuinn, lead singer of The Byrds; Royal commentator Jennie Bond; former ambassador and high commissioner Sir Alan Collins; and polar explorer Felicity Ashton

Queen Victoria: former politician and broadcaster Edwina Currie; author and “queen of cakes” Jane Asher; and cartoonist Gerald Scarfe

These 2013 Cunard Insights speakers join Cunard's legacy of welcoming world-famous guests and experts on board, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Buzz Aldrin, James Taylor, Jean Chatzky, Tina Brown, Baz Luhrmann, Rona Barrett and E.L. Doctorow. For more information about Cunard Insights or to book a voyage aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, consult your Travel Agent, call Cunard toll-free at 1-800-728-6273 or go to

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Princess Cruises Unveils New Blog with Tales of People “Linked by the Sea”

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan 9: Princess Cruises has launched a new blog, “Linked by the Sea,” exploring the many relationships that begin, or are rekindled, at sea. Featuring touching stories from both passengers and crew members, the blog will recount personal tales of friendship, romance and meaningful connections forged at sea. On the heels of the line’s two popular yearlong blogs that captured the attention of millions of readers—“50 Essential Experiences” and “Inspired to Cruise,”—this new blog, found at, will chronicle a new story each week throughout 2013.

“A cruise often includes the discovery of new friends or rekindled relationships that lead to meaningful or lifelong bonds,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “We frequently hear amazing stories from our passengers and crew about people they connect with at sea. These moving tales provided the perfect theme for our third blog and we know they will touch readers.”

In the first post, passenger Steve Deas tells how wearing a kilt on board became an icebreaker that led to an ongoing friendship with Princess Maître d’ Generoso Mazzone. This friendship led to a unique opportunity for Steve to surprise his wife with a secret vow renewal ceremony during a visit to Emerald Princess. What was supposed to be a friendly visit became an anniversary to remember.

Blog readers are encouraged to share their own “Linked by the Sea” stories through the blog as well. Submissions to  will be considered for future blog posts. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Vacationers Who Resolve to Travel More & Share More Memories Enjoy up to $400
Onboard Credit with Royal Caribbean

MIAMI, Jan. 9: Make this year’s resolution to travel more and share in more unforgettable experiences with Royal Caribbean International. With all of 2013 ahead, there is no better time than right now to plan an unforgettable vacation aboard the cruise line known for the most innovative ships, sailing to exciting destinations around the world. Vacationers who act now can enjoy up to $400 onboard credit to spend on their Europe, Caribbean, Bermuda and trans-Atlantic cruise with Royal Caribbean International.

“This is the best time for vacationers to get the best value and plan an unforgettable 2013 Royal Caribbean cruise,” said Vicki Freed, senior vice president of Sales, Trade Support and Services, Royal Caribbean International. “Our valued travel agent partners and we stand ready to help vacationers plan the perfect 2013 cruise, whether it’s for a family reunion, a couple’s getaway or the trip of a lifetime that can only be found on Royal Caribbean. Guests can take advantage of the onboard credit offer to celebrate in an onboard specialty restaurant; rejuvenate with a Vitality spa session; or share in an invigorating shore excursion to help make their Royal Caribbean vacation extra special.”

The onboard credit offers apply to bookings made on Jan. 1 through Feb. 15, 2013 for sailings six nights or longer in 2013. Vacationers can enjoy onboard credit up to $200 per stateroom when they book a 2013 Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean or trans-Atlantic cruise and request one of the following option codes: SKY1 to receive $50 onboard credit per Oceanview Stateroom; SKY2 to receive $100 onboard credit per Stateroom with Balcony; SKY3 to receive $200 onboard credit per Suite-category Stateroom.

Additionally, vacationers can take advantage of up to $400 per stateroom when they book a 2013 Europe cruise and request one of the following option codes: SKY4 to receive $100 onboard credit per Oceanview Stateroom; SKY5 to receive $200 onboard credit per Stateroom with Balcony; SKY6 to receive $400 onboard credit per Suite-category Stateroom. Offers are not combinable with any other promotion and additional restrictions may apply.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming. The cruise line has a 40-year history of giving guests the Royal Advantage – the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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KISS Kruise III To Set Sail for Halloween 2013

ATLANTA, GA, Jan 9: Rock legends KISS have partnered with Sixthman once again to reunite the KISS Navy for Halloween 2013's KISS Kruise III. The "kruise" will take place Oct 28-Nov 1, 2013, with KISS fans sailing roundtrip from Miami, FL to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas on board one of Norwegian Cruise Line's youngest ships, Norwegian Pearl.

The 4-night festival at sea kicks off with a special acoustic "unmasked" sail away concert on the pool deck featuring KISS performing sans make-up. Other highlights of the kruise include a theater show, full of the theatrics you've come to expect by one of the world's biggest recording artists and the opportunity for fans to have their picture taken with the band in full costume and make-up. Building off the success of last year's KISS Kruise II, each band member will also host their own onboard activity while also sitting for the immensely popular Q&A session on the pool deck.

New for 2013 is a unique "meet and greet" opportunity for the youngest sailors in the KISS Navy. Limited to children ages 2-14, each child will receive an autograph on one item of their choice, along with a group photo with the band. No parents allowed! Sixthman has also implemented a brand new automated ticketing system to better help guests select their reserved seats for the theater performance.

The KISS Kruise III begins at $750 per person based on double occupancy, plus taxes and fees. Prices include entertainment, meals, and access to Norwegian Pearl's outstanding amenities, including outdoor pool, hot tubs, rock climbing wall, and fitness center. Beginning today, fans can read more and sign up for the KISS Kruise III pre-sale at . Staterooms go on sale to the public on March 15, 2013. Kids sail for taxes and fees only during the pre-sale and families are encouraged to check out one of the new Family Mini-suites, also available only during the pre-sale.

With 15 decks of fun, Norwegian Pearl offers guests access to 13 bars and lounges, 19 dining experiences, one outdoor pool, four hot tubs, and spa treatments to help forget about the world left behind. Onboard concerts aren't the only things that rock on Norwegian Pearl - passengers looking for more activities can visit the outdoor climbing wall, bowl a few frames at the onboard lanes, or tempt lady luck at The Pearl Club Casino. KISS Kruisers will also have the opportunity to explore the sandy beaches of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, their very own private island getaway. A host of beachside activities and games, the gigantic "Hippo" water slide, and access to food and beverage service will make the stay on Great Stirrup Cay an unforgettable experience.

Forthcoming announcements are scheduled to follow detailing artist-hosted activities, theme night information, contest additions, activity details and exciting Halloween plans! For full details and to sign up for the pre-sale, fans should visit

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InnerSea Discoveries + American Safari Cruises Unveils
New Company Name: Un-Cruise Adventures

Seattle, WA, Jan 8: Marking another milestone in its 16 year evolution, adventure cruise line InnerSea Discoveries/American Safari Cruises has officially changed its name to Un-Cruise Adventures. The line operates seven boats carrying 22-88 guests in Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia and Snake Rivers and Coastal Washington and British Columbia.

“We’ve experienced phenomenal growth and success over the last four years,” said Dan Blanchard, principal and CEO. “What began as yacht cruising under the American Safari Cruises name has now expanded to include more styles of Un-Cruise Adventures, and this name change reflects that growth.”

The company has three yachts offering Luxury Adventures—22-guest Safari Quest, 36-guest Safari Explorer and 86-guest Safari Endeavour—an inclusive, upscale experience along with adventure activities. The 88-guest Safari Legacy, a replica Victorian steamer, debuts in August 2013 and will offer inclusive Heritage Adventures focusing on Living History aboard and ashore through presentations and tours. Three expedition vessels—60-guest Wilderness Adventurer, 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer and 76-guest Wilderness Explorer—offer Active Adventures for those desiring more outdoor explorations at a lower price point. Charter Adventures are also offered on all boats.

“Un-Cruise Adventures reflects the distinct nature of our small group travel by boat,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Luxury of Experience really speaks to what Un-Cruise Adventures is all about. With a cap of 88 guests, we are able to experience more of the destinations through a wide range of activities – kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and hiking under our Luxury and Active Adventures or reenacting history with Heritage Adventures.”

New in 2013: In 2013, the 88-guest Safari Legacy begins operating in Alaska and then sails on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in fall and spring. It debuts Heritage Adventures—a new style of Un-Cruise Adventure with a focus on Living History aboard and ashore. In November 2013, the Wilderness Explorer will begin sailing Active Adventures in the Hawaiian Islands between Oahu and Hawaii, the Big Island. And three Alaska Unleashed departures are scheduled for the Wilderness Adventurer in Alaska for adventurers desiring an amped up week of high adventure.

Moving forward, all company materials will change to reflect the new name of Un-Cruise Adventures. The company’s website URL will change to To book an Un-Cruise Adventure or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or the company directly at 888-862-8881 or email .

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Launches New Blog: Luxury Goes Exploring

MIAMI, Jan 8: Yesterday, Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced its new blog, Luxury Goes Exploring. The blog, which launches today, celebrates the tastes and traditions of the places that the all-inclusive luxury line visits along with valuable insider tips and destination information guests can use when planning their cruise vacation.

“Our discerning guests share our passion for exploring the world and learning more about the people, the culture and the food of the more than 300 ports of call we visit a year,” said Randall Soy, the line’s executive vice president. “The new blog and our enhanced social media efforts on Facebook and Twitter will provide guests with fascinating and useful information about the ports they will visit and give them a more intimate experience with cultures and customs of the world.”

As part of this effort, the line announced the appointment of Mara Papatheodorou as its special contributing editor. Papatheodorou, a taste and traditions expert, will provide a regular blog feature called Sail, Sip & Savor. A former editor at Bon Appétit magazine who oversaw the magazine’s international and entertaining stories, Papatheodorou will explore the history of cuisine and culture in popular ports of call and will also provide suggestions on where to dine locally and shop for special ingredients and other products unique to the region.

From Papatheodorou's extensive travels with a culinary perspective, she knows it is all there for the tasting whether it is limoncello in Capri, pizza in Naples, herbs in Provence, honey in Greece, whiskey in Scotland, paella in Valencia or gelato in Florence. As Papatheodorou says, "the joy of travel mixed with the intrigue of ingredients of a country’s culture and cuisine is a delicious and unforgettable combination." She will also share her insights on the line’s Facebook page and Twitter feeds.

Other regular blog features include More to Explore, an inside look at the best tours and excursions for every destination, and Insider, a behind-the-scenes look at the line from executives, staff and crew as well as special announcements on topics relevant to travelers.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world’s most inclusive luxury cruise line. Fares include all-suite accommodations, round-trip air, highly personalized service, acclaimed cuisine, fine wines and spirits, sightseeing excursions in every port, a pre-cruise luxury hotel package and gratuities. Three award-winning, all-suite vessels, Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner, and Seven Seas Voyager, are among the most spacious at sea and visit more than 300 destinations around the globe.

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Norwegian Breakaway will Light Up the Night with Captivating Fireworks Show
 on Every Cruise

MIAMI, Jan 8: Norwegian Cruise Line is starting off 2013 with a “bang” by announcing that Norwegian Breakaway, the line’s newest ship debuting this May in New York City, will feature an exciting fireworks show on every cruise. The environmentally-friendly pyrotechnics display will dazzle guests on the second to last night at sea each week, after the ship departs Bermuda during her summer inaugural season. Building on the electrifying theme of the ship’s headlining Broadway show, ROCK OF AGES, the awe-inspiring fireworks will be the grand finale of a decadent 1980s-themed deck party and will be set to a specially-selected playlist of classic 1980s hits by artists like Madonna, Devo, and Prince.

“All the incredible entertainment and amenities on Norwegian Breakaway are going to wow our guests,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO. “We wanted one additional element that would really blow them away and this incredible fireworks show is going to take the cruise to a new level of excitement.”

As guests party the night away at the high-energy party under the stars in the open-air Spice H20 venue at the aft of the ship, they will be transported to the 1980s, where music and fun reigned supreme. In a breathtaking finale, a mesmerizing color-filled fireworks show will light up the night sky, right above the ship. The fully-produced show is a visual masterpiece that is set to a playlist of classic 80s hits including “Comeon Feel the Noise,” by Quiet Riot; “Whip It,” by Devo; “Cherish,” by Madonna; “Final Countdown,” by Europe; and “Purple Rain,” by Prince. As the fireworks blast to the beat of the music, guests will enjoy an experience unlike anything else offered at sea on New York’s ship.

The 4,000 passenger Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in her year-round homeport of New York City on May 7, 2013. The ship will begin weekly summer 7-day cruises to Bermuda on Sunday, May 12, 2013 and the fireworks will be held on the second to last night of the cruise, after the ship departs Bermuda. From October 2013 through April 2014, New York’s ship will offer voyages from the heart of Manhattan to the Bahamas & Florida and the Southern Caribbean.

To date, the company has revealed the ship’s groundbreaking design, including The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place; a wide range of indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that will create a whole new complex at sea that enhances guests’ connection with the ocean. Norwegian Breakaway’s entertainment will include three Broadway shows: five-time Tony nominated ROCK OF AGES; the dance sensation BURN THE FLOOR; and CIRQUE DREAMS & DINNER JUNGLE FANTASY. The famed comedy troupe The Second City, Howl at the Moon dueling pianos, and New York’s own Slam Allen will also perform on the vessel. Celebrity Chef and Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian will also debut his first restaurant at sea on Norwegian Breakaway: Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian.

The top decks of Norwegian Breakaway will feature the first Aqua Park at sea with five full-size water slides, including twin Free Fall slides, the first ever at sea, and a three-story sports complex that includes the largest ropes course at sea, a nine-hole miniature golf course, basketball court, rock climbing wall and more.

The ship will also feature a rich mix of stateroom options including The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 Suites at the top of the ship and 18 additional Suites located throughout the ship; the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; the re-introduction of Oceanview staterooms, Balcony and Mini-Suites; along with Spa Balcony, Mini- Suites and Suites in close proximity to the spa.

For more information on the incredible features and accommodations on Norwegian Breakaway, visit To book a cruise on Norwegian Breakaway, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 800-327-7030 or visit

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New York City-Inspired Advertising Campaign Promotes
New York's Ship Norwegian Breakaway

NEW YORK, Jan 7: Norwegian Cruise Line has debuted a New York City-inspired advertising campaign themed, “The Best of NYC Sails to Sea” to promote its new ship, Norwegian Breakaway which will be the largest cruise ship to homeport year-round in New York City. The new campaign includes an eye-catching, state-of-the-art digitally animated television commercial, print advertisements, various out of home elements, online media and new digital experiences on the Breakaway microsite that artfully render the New York City experiences found on board.

The Norwegian Breakaway television spot shows striking visuals of the Manhattan skyline cruising by the Statue of Liberty and out to sea atop Norwegian Breakaway, visually conveying that the best of NYC will sail to sea on Norwegian Breakaway. The new television spot will air on various networks throughout the winter and spring in New York, Boston and Philadelphia and can be viewed on the line’s YouTube channel. There is also a Spanish version of the television spot that will air on Telemundo and Univision in the New York market. In addition, Norwegian has enhanced with new digital experiences that highlight the New York City experiences found on board and demonstrate how Norwegian Breakaway brings the best of NYC to sea. Site visitors can watch as a theater on Broadway is transformed into the Breakaway Theater and as New York’s popular SOHO Neighborhood transitions into The Waterfront on board Norwegian Breakaway. Additional transformations will be launched later in January including Central Park being morphed into the ship’s Aqua Park.

“It’s so exciting to be launching this dynamic advertising campaign promoting our new ship, Norwegian Breakaway, during the start of Wave Season, the best time to book a cruise,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Our goal with the campaign is to show the ship’s strong connection to New York City in a visually striking way that will inspire everyone to want to come aboard and experience all that Norwegian Breakaway has to offer beginning May 12.”

Designed as New York’s ship, Norwegian Breakaway will bring the best of NYC to sea when she arrives to her year-round homeport in early May 2013, offering the high-caliber dining and entertainment options that New York is known for worldwide. The line also announced that it is an official partner of the popular NYC & Company programs: NYC Restaurant Week and Broadway Week, further strengthening Norwegian Breakaway’s strong ties to New York City. To generate additional awareness and buzz throughout the city, Norwegian, in partnership with NYC & Company, is creating four interactive “Breakaway Warming Stations” that will pop-up in different locations throughout the city in January.

As part of the partnership, Norwegian is prominently featured in the NYC Restaurant Week and Winter Broadway Week promotional booklets, on, and in advertising, including bus shelters and on light pole banners throughout the city. In addition, on select dates in January, New York City residents and visitors are invited to visit one of Norwegian Breakaway’s “Warming Stations,” where they have the opportunity to get a “break” from the cold weather and a hint of the warm weather and sunshine the ship will offer guests when she sails from New York year-round to Bermuda, Bahamas & Florida and the Caribbean. Guests can learn about the ship’s exciting amenities or take a photo amongst a beach-themed setting, which can be uploaded and shared on Facebook right from the station. Photos from the Warming Station events can also be viewed on the line’s Facebook page. To add to the excitement, visitors can also win special prizes hourly, including tickets to see the Broadway smash-hit Rock of Ages, or dinner at Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant, The National.

The Norwegian Breakaway Warming Stations will take place between 9 am and 4 pm on the following dates:

· January 14: Flatiron Plaza;
· January 22: Ninth Ave. & 14th Street in Chelsea Plaza;
· January 28: Times Square on Military Island.

For location updates and the chance to win additional prizes, everyone is encouraged to follow Norwegian on Twitter at @cruisenorwegian.

To celebrate the company’s involvement in NYC Restaurant Week and Broadway Week, Norwegian is giving foodies and entertainment lovers the opportunity to win one of two cruises for two on the May 12, 2013 maiden voyage of Norwegian Breakaway as part of the “Best of NYC Sails to Sea Sweepstakes.” The lucky winners will also receive a one night hotel stay in Manhattan, two tickets to a Broadway show and dinner at Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant The National the night before departure. To learn more and enter to win, stop by one of Norwegian’s “Warming Stations” or visit either  or

The Breakaway advertising campaign, slated to run through May, is a continuation of the Cruise Like A Norwegian concept, developed by Norwegian Cruise Line and The Martin Agency in 2011. For more information on the incredible features and accommodations on Norwegian Breakaway, visit To book a cruise on Norwegian Breakaway, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 800-327-7030 or visit

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Oceania Cruises Celebrates 10th Anniversary in 2013

MIAMI, Jan 7: On January 6, 2013, Oceania Cruises marked its 10th anniversary, kicking off a year of special events, designated sailings, engaging social media initiatives and onboard celebrations. Founded by cruise industry visionaries Frank Del Rio, Bob Binder and Joe Watters in 2003, the line’s mission was to deliver destination-rich itineraries, “best in class” cuisine, an inviting country club atmosphere, and luxurious accommodations all at an extraordinary value. With the addition of Marina in 2011 and Riviera in 2012 to the fleet of Regatta (2003), Insignia (2004) and Nautica (2005), Oceania Cruises has built an entirely new segment of the industry with its elegant, award-winning, mid-size ships and exceptional personalized service.

“Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Oceania Cruises is an achievement made possible by the loyalty of our guests, employees, crew and travel partners,” said Frank Del Rio, the line’s founder, and chairman and CEO of parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings. “Because of their support, the next 10 years – and beyond—are filled with just as much promise and opportunity to continue to evolve the Oceania Cruises experience and the modern cruise vacation for our guests.”

Guests will have the opportunity to sail with company founders and top executives on four specially designated “Anniversary Sailings.” Each voyage will feature a different executive who will host an anniversary cocktail reception, celebratory caviar brunch and gala dinner with private label 10th anniversary wine served complimentary. Frank Del Rio, Joe Watters, Bob Binder, vice chairman of parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings, and Kunal S. Kamlani, Oceania Cruises president, will sail. Anniversary sailings are:

Marina’s 14-day Scandinavian Serenade departing from London to Stockholm on June 11, 2013 with Bob Binder. In addition to a 3-day stay in St. Petersburg, Russia, the cruise visits Amsterdam, Netherlands; Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany; Riga, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland.
Riviera’s Italian Escapade with Kunal S. Kamlani, departs on July 3, 2013, from Rome for a 10-day voyage to Venice. Ports include Florence/Pisa/Tuscany (Livorno), Italy; Sorrento/Capri, Italy; Amalfi/Positano, Italy; Taormina (Sicily), Italy; Corfu, Greece; Kotor, Montenegro and Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Regatta’s 7-day Coastal Alaska with Frank Del Rio on July 5, 2013 from Seattle to Seattle with calls at Ketchikan and Wrangell, Alaska; and Prince Rupert, Canada.
Nautica’s Roman Legends with Joe Watters, departs Sept 6, 2013 for a 10-day voyage from Barcelona to Athens. Visits include Provence (Marseille), France; Portofino, Italy; Florence/Pisa/Tuscany (Livorno), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Sorrento/Capri, Italy; Taormina (Sicily), Italy; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey and Santorini, Greece.

The company will celebrate fleet-wide with a special 10th Anniversary dessert called ZEN, a Manjari Chocolate Bar with Milky Gianduja-Yuzu and Hazelnut Croquant featured in the Grand Dining Room and a menu of Canyon Ranch SpaClub® 10th anniversary treatments available on all ships.

Throughout the year, Oceania Cruises’ fans will find profiles of crew members who will also pass the 10-year mark with the company on the line’s Facebook page. Nearly 100 crew members are reaching this milestone and past guests will find a number of pictures and stories from many of their favorite officers, staff and crew. Oceania Cruises’ past guests will also be invited to share pictures and memories from sailings over the past 10 years on the company’s Guest Book on its Facebook page. The company will be tweeting 10th Anniversary updates and news throughout the year at #OceaniaCruises10. For more information, visit To make a reservation, see your travel agent or call toll-free 800-531-5658.

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New MTN Contracts Reinforce Value, Innovation & Service Delivery to
Luxury Segment of the Cruise Market

MIRAMAR, FL, Jan. 7: MTN Satellite Communications (MTN) announces new contracts and activities with luxury cruise operators around the world. The continued relationships with these exclusive brands further solidify MTN's position as the leading communication provider delivering on value, innovation, and service excellence. For more than 30 years, the company has provided maritime customers with very small aperture terminal (VSAT) satellite network solutions as well as voice, data, Internet, news, entertainment, and financial services. These solutions enable MTN's customers to enhance their overall business operations, as well as ensure passenger satisfaction and crew welfare initiatives.

Recent contract wins and activities in the cruise market include the following brands that look to MTN for VSAT services, television and special events, and Internet and calling solutions for passengers and crew:

-- Windstar Cruises, a sailing luxury small ship cruise line based in Seattle, Wash.
-- Paul Gauguin Cruises, owned by Pacific Beachcomber S.C., French Polynesia's leading luxury hotel and cruise operator
-- The World, the only residential ship at sea that continuously navigates the globe
-- Freewinds, a 440-foot chartered ship based in the Caribbean, with the home port of Curacao

"Our team at MTN recognizes that no two customers are alike and it is our job to develop communication solutions that not only meet, but exceed their unique communications requirements," said Brent Horwitz, senior vice president and general manager for MTN cruise and ferry services. "The fact that these prestigious cruise lines chose to use MTN for delivery to customers who demand only the best is a testament to our ability to lead market innovation when it comes to high-quality, reliable maritime connectivity solutions."

To learn more about MTN's cruise solutions, visit

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MSC Cruises Creates Signature Soundtrack to Enhance Onboard Experience

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Jan 4: MSC Cruises today announced its new signature soundtrack, a comprehensive playlist designed to reflect and evoke the company’s core personality, its Mediterranean roots and the region’s celebrated values of warmth, humanity and authenticity. As part of its commitment to providing guests with an enhanced onboard experience, MSC Cruises joined forces with DMX, a global leader in creating engaging sensory services, to offer a unique compilation of distinct sounds from around the world, reflecting a broad array of musical styles and nationalities created for the enjoyment of its international clientele.

The soundtrack, which includes a mix of contemporary and classical tunes that appeals to all ages, is also tailored to reflect the mood and time of day in public areas, such as the main reception and bar, restaurants, outdoor areas, the gym and Spa. Guests enjoying spa treatments can tailor music to their individual tastes. Popular artists on the soundtrack include Brigitte Bardot, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Manu Chao, Ojos De Brujo, Celine Dion, Cesaria Evora, Nelly Furtado, Serge Gainsbourg, The Gipsy Kings, Sophia Loren, Dean Martin, Yannick Noah, Luciano Pavarotti, Laura Pausini, Edith Piaf, Eros Ramazzotti, Amalia Rodrigues, Nino Rota, and Shakira, among many others.

The new soundtrack will be played on all ships across the fleet, including the MSC Poesia, currently sailing from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the MSC Divina, which will be sailing from PortMiami, beginning Fall 2013. For more information, visit or call 1-877-665-4655.

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Top 10 Unexpected Destinations And Adventures To Broaden Travelers' Crystal Cruises
Experiences In 2013

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4: Crystal Cruises is inviting travelers to try something different in 2013. The ultra-luxe line is taking its well-traveled guests off the beaten paths—often literally—to historically significant, naturally extraordinary and culturally diverse destinations and landmarks. The line is shaking up 2013 with countless experiences from Asia to Antarctica. "Top 10" unexpected travel opportunities with Crystal in 2013 include:

1. Málaga, Spain: The lesser-known neighbor to Madrid and Barcelona that serves up classic Andalusian cuisine with a heaping side of architecture and history, named by Departures magazine one of the world's most "under the radar" destinations;
2. New England/Canada: A rare spring voyage through the region, trading more familiar fall foliage for spectacular spring blooms and landscapes;
3. Yalta, Ukraine: The rugged, mountainous Crimean peninsula and lush forest by 4x4 or horseback, a picturesque contrast to the historic urban landscape for which the city is known;
4. Hong Kong, China: An invigorating hike through the lush Dragon's Back Trail for an escape from the city's bustling Central District;
5. Oslo, Norway: An Olympian's view from the wheel bob track in Lillehammer;
6. Sainte Agnès, France: For one's French Riviera bucket list, a jaunt to the highest coastal village in Europe offers breathtaking views and medieval charm;
7. Edinburgh, Scotland: A quest for the Holy Grail, tracing the steps of the centuries-old tale connecting the Knights Templar to the Grail and visiting sites featured in The Da Vinci Code ;
8. St. Petersburg, Russia: An interactive look at Russia's modern art—an alternative to the city's famous palaces and classical museums—concludes with a master class in giclee painting technique;
9. Padua, Italy: A bird's eye view of Italy's second most ancient city from hot air balloon;
10. Reykjávic, Iceland : Trekking across Icelandic lava fields atop one of the country's characteristic small horses.

Crystal Cruises' passion for creating unique luxury experiences both on land and at sea have helped earn the company top ratings from international travelers for two decades. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Costa Cruises to Offer Six New Itineraries for Winter 2013-14

HOLLYWOOD, FL, Jan. 3: Costa Cruises is offering six new itineraries for the 2013-14 winter season that span the Canary Islands and North Africa, United Arab Emirates, eastern and western Mediterranean, the Caribbean and South America. Costa’s global strategy for the 2013-14 winter season focuses on supporting development of emerging markets as well as continuing to offer the line’s most popular cruise destinations.

"Costa Cruises is always looking to expand our itinerary offerings to entice first-time and repeat guests to explore new destinations while enjoying our famous Italian style of cruising," said Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America. "This new line-up of cruises means there’s something new next year in virtually every market where we sail."

The new itineraries include 10- and 11-night cruises on Costa Classica to the Canary Islands and Morocco, departing from St. Cruz de Tenerife with overnight calls allowing for two full days at Casablanca, Morocco, and Funchal, Madeira, and seven-night cruises on Costa Fortuna from Dubai, UAE, with overnight calls with two full days at Muscat and Khasab, Oman, and Abu Dhabi, UAE.

In the Med, Costa neoRomantica will feature new 11-night cruises in Greece and Turkey that include calls at Athens, Smyrna and Crete. Costa Pacifica sails seven-night cruises in the western Mediterranean, with a new call at Leghorn (Livorno), Italy, in addition to calls at Savona, Italy; Marseilles, France; Barcelona, Spain; Palma de Mallorca, and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.

New tropical winter itineraries include two seven-night cruises on Costa Mediterranea departing from Guadeloupe that include calls at St. Barts, St. Maarten, Dominica, Tortola, Martinique, Barbados, Grenada, Antigua and Catalina Island. These cruises can be combined into one 14-night voyage, allowing for an extended Caribbean vacation. Costa Fascinosa heads back to the southern hemisphere with new six- and eight-night cruises in South America that include northern Brazil and Argentina.

Visit for more details about Costa's cruises for the 2013-14 winter season.

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Paul Gauguin Cruises New Ship the m/v Tere Moana Christened in St. Martin

BELLEVUE, WA, Jan. 2: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, christened its new luxurious ship, the m/v Tere Moana, in an official ceremony held dockside on December 29, 2012, in Marigot, St. Martin. Cruise guests, local dignitaries, and media were in attendance.

Mireille Bailey, The Moana's godmother and wife of Richard Bailey, Chairman of Paul Gauguin Cruises and President and CEO of Pacific Beachcomber S.C., presided over the festivities, delivering a moving speech before christening the ship with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Champagne. Mr. Bailey along with Diane Moore, President of Paul Gauguin Cruises, and Captain Rajko Zupan, the ship'sMaster, spoke during the ceremony, which included plaque presentations by St. Martin's Vice President of the Collectivite, Port Chairman, Port Director, and Tourist Board. St. Martin's Father Samson Dorival delivered the ship's blessing, and ceremony attendees were serenaded by the festive music of a Caribbean steel drum band.

After the ceremony, a Champagne reception followed by a gala dinner was held aboard The Moana before the ship set sail on its inaugural 7-night Caribbean voyage to visit islands in the French West Indies, British Virgin Islands, and St. Kitts & Nevis. In January and February, The Moana embarks on 13- and 14-night Panama Canal cruises. From April through November, the ship operates a variety of 7-night European voyages. During spring and fall, 14-night transatlantic crossings are available between Europe and the Caribbean.

Like The Gauguin, The Moana offers an elegant yet casual ambiance, luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining, trademark Polynesian hospitality, and extraordinary all-inclusive value. At 330 feet long and 46 feet wide, The Moana has a draft of 11.5 feet, and accommodates 90 guests with a staff of 60. The ship's45 oceanview staterooms, 8 of which offer private balconies, feature a king-size bed donned with fine linens and feather-down duvet; a flatscreen TV; DVD/CD player; iPod® docking station; in-stateroom refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer, and bottled water; robes and slippers; spacious closets; and a bathroom with sumptuous bath products.

The Moana offers two elegant dining venues and incorporates regionally infused cuisine of destinations visited featuring fresh ingredients from local markets. Evenings feature live piano music in Le Salon, the perfect place to enjoy cocktails and unwind after a day of adventure. The ship's Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm delivers signature spa treatments, and a fitness center is equipped with the latest cardio and weightlifting equipment. The ship's outdoor decks feature a swimming pool, hot tub, chaise lounges, and Balinese beds. In select ports,kayaking and paddleboarding are available from the ship's watersports marina. And the ship's La Boutique features jewelry, apparel, sundries, and souvenirs.

For rates or more information on Paul Gauguin Cruises, please contact a Travel Professional, call 800-848-6172, or visit

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