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Cruise News
March 1-31, 2012

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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

American Queen Rolls Full Steam Ahead On First Test Run

NEW ORLEANS, LA, March 30: The American Queen steamboat had a successful cruise last night on the Mississippi River as it ran through its first set of builder’s trials. For the first time in almost five years, the paddle wheel achieved 17 revolutions per minute with plenty of steam in reserve. The American Queen cruised the Mississippi River along the French Quarter for three hours before conducting berthing trials in front of the famed Café Du Monde on the Riverwalk.

“The new propulsion and control system operated perfectly during last night’s trial,” according to the Great American Steamboat Company’s EVP of Vessel Operations Greg Brown. “There was a significant reduction in vibration and noise thanks to the newly added technology.”

On April 13 the American Queen embarks on her first voyage and on the 19th will depart New Orleans, traveling up the Mississippi River to her homeport of Memphis at Beale Street Landing, where christening festivities led by Godmother Priscilla Presley will take place April 27, 2012. After the christening, the American Queen will depart for her inaugural voyage up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River with stops in Henderson, Ky., Louisville, Ky., and Madison, Ind., before arriving in the disembarkation city of Cincinnati. In Louisville she will take part in the time-honored tradition of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Great Steamboat Race with the Belle of Louisville and Belle of Cincinnati.

For additional information and reservations, contact the Great American Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online at or call your professional travel agent.

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Offers Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program for 2012

BELLEVUE, WA, March 30: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, offers oceanographer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program on several voyages this summer.

Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, and his Ocean Futures Society created the Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program, which is a unique, groundbreaking program that introduces young travelers to the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia through direct, hands-on, interactive learning. The mission of the Ocean Futures Society is to explore our global oceans, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for their protection.

Under the guidance of expert Ocean Future Society naturalists, young Ambassadors (ages 9-17) will explore coral reefs, learn about volcanic islands and forest ecology, experience Polynesian culture, hike rainforest trails, visit marae (ancient Polynesian temples), and more. Parents have an option to join their children on eco-excursions and other activities aboard and ashore. The Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program is available on summer voyages and is also available on select holiday cruises for a nominal fee of $299 per child.

2012 Voyages Featuring Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program:

-- 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands Cruises: June 2, 9, 16, 23; July 21 & 28; Aug 4 & 11
-- 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands Cruise: June 30
-- 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus Cruise: July 11
-- 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands Cruise: Aug 18
-- 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands Holiday Cruises: Dec 22 & 29

For additional information on Paul Gauguin Cruises, please visit

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Chef Regina Charboneau Delivers Sneak Peek of American Queen Cuisine

MEMPHIS, TN, March 30: The Great American Steamboat Company’s Culinary Director, Chef Regina Charboneau, is putting the finishing touches on the American Queen menus as the crew prepares to welcome its first guests. A native of historical Natchez, Mississippi, one of the steamboat’s stops on Mississippi River voyages, Charboneau will often be onboard overseeing the multiple dining venues, sharing stories of the region’s rich culinary history and holding court with chef friends from New Orleans and other port cities.

Drawing inspiration from America’s heartland, Chef Charboneau’s dishes will take advantage of the bountiful Mississippi River region, which offers an abundance of ingredients to work with including sustainable fish and seafood, farm-raised quail, free-range chicken, artisan cheeses, wild pecans, rice, honey, and stone-ground grits.

“My vision is to re-create many American classics using the best seasonal ingredients and what our location on the river has to offer,” explains Culinary Director Chef Regina Charboneau. “I also want to create new dishes that become synonymous with the American Queen.”

Menu highlights include:

· Andouille Hash; savory sausage hash topped with poached egg and sharp cheddar served with corn cake
· Bananas Foster Stuffed French Toast; cream cheese stuffed French toast topped with sautéed bananas, brown sugar and cinnamon
· Crabmeat Beignet; petite beignet topped with crabmeat in a classic Mornay sauce
· Salmon Salad; seared salmon on seasonal greens laced with bacon-molasses vinaigrette
· Grilled Catfish or Shrimp Poboy; shredded lettuce, tomato and jalapeno tartar sauce
· Peppered Brisket of Beef; tender brisket in savory gravy with cracked black pepper served with mash potatoes and creamed spinach
· Pompano En Papillote; local pompano topped with julienne of spinach, sweet red peppers and carrots, lump crab meat, caper-lemon butter encased in parchment paper
· Classic Bread Pudding with whiskey sauce

The largest steamboat ever built will offer multiple onboard dining options with the centerpiece being the opulent J.M. White Dining Room, destined to be a favorite of culinary enthusiasts. Diners can indulge in classic favorites any time at The Front Porch of America which offers 24-hour dining or delight in grilled fare paired with spectacular views at the alfresco River Grill. Classic cocktails, enjoyed by such authors as Mark Twain and Tennessee Williams, have been painstakingly researched by Chef Charboneau’s team of mixologists to deliver authentic libations in the main Lounge and Engine Room Bar. Regina’s Jazz Brunch will be a highlight of each voyage and her elegant Southern Tea will be offered every afternoon at 4 PM.

Mississippi River Water in Her Veins
Great American Steamboat Company Culinary Director Chef Regina Charboneau is a seventh generation Natchezian with a passion for Southern hospitality. Her illustrious career has taken her from a “camp cook” in the bush of Alaska earning money for Paris culinary school to becoming the first woman hired by Club Corporation of America as an executive chef at the Tower Club in Anchorage.

A fixture in the San Francisco culinary scene for many years her restaurants included the theater district favorite Regina’s at the Regis, Chi Chi Beignet and Biscuits & Blues nightclub along with Regina’s Sonoma in the wine country. During this time, Regina was the Chef de Cuisine for Uncommon Journeys two vintage rail cars, The Los Angeles and The Houston.

In mid 2000 Regina came full-circle to her hometown of Natchez to be a part of the prestigious Monmouth Plantation. Regina and her husband then purchased and restored historic Twin Oaks, circa 1832 where they reside. She is the author of “Regina’s Table at Twin Oaks” cookbook and a contributor to The Atlantic Monthly.

Authentic Steamboating
Steeped in history, nostalgia and tradition, the American Queen will offer an unrivaled All-American hospitality experience from its elegant staterooms to its palatial public spaces. A variety of voyage lengths, ranging from three nights to ten nights, and fares offer exceptional value and convenience, with little or no flying required. A pre- or post-cruise luxury hotel stay, all bottled water and soft drinks, wine and beer at dinner, and complimentary shore adventures are included in each port of call. For additional information and reservations, kindly contact the Great American Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online at or call your professional travel agent.

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Rhapsody of the Seas Completes Revitalization to Offer
Unprecedented Dining & Entertainment

MIAMI, March 29: After a month-long $54 million dry dock, Royal Caribbean Intl's Rhapsody of the Seas has emerged from Singapore's Sembawang Shipyard (a subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine Ltd.) as a virtually new ship. The newly revitalized Rhapsody of the Seas will deliver guests a host of exciting new dining options, visually stunning entertainment and unique amenities after the ship's bow-to-stern transformation. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy all of Rhapsody of the Seas' new signature features as they sail in awe-inspiring Alaska this summer or vibrant Australia in the fall.

"Rhapsody of the Seas' dry dock is part of Royal Caribbean's multi-ship enhancement and revitalization strategy to deliver the world's most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries and world-renowned Gold Anchored service to our guests, also known as the Royal Advantage," said Betsy O'Rourke, senior vice president, Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. "With every inch of Rhapsody of the Seas renewed, five new dining restaurants added, the evolution of entertainment in our iconic Centrum, plus an array of new touches, guests will be wowed by what is virtually a new ship."

The all-encompassing revitalization introduces a range of guest amenities and premium experiences that are sure to wow even the most experienced cruiser. From the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery designed for the cruise line's youngest guests, 6 - 36 months old, a Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members, a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top-tier loyalty guests and completely refreshed staterooms, the onboard revitalization was comprehensive. Guests also will find that staying connected at sea will be easier with Wi-Fi availability throughout the ship and enjoy a host of technology enhancements that include, flat-panel televisions in all staterooms, an outdoor LED movie screen on the pool deck, as well as a digital way-finding system all of which debut on Royal Caribbean's latest and world's most innovative sister ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

For guests looking to tickle their taste buds, Rhapsody of the Seas features an array of new dining options with the addition of five of the fleet's most highly acclaimed dinning concepts, including Giovanni's Table, Izumi Asian Cuisine restaurant, Park Cafe deli-style restaurant, Chop's Grille steakhouse and the exclusive 14-guest Chef's Table. Concept overviews and pricing are as follows:

-- Giovanni's Table: An Italian trattoria featuring Italian classics served family-style (open for lunch, $15, and dinner, $20)
-- Izumi Asian Cuisine: Featuring mouthwatering flavors and a sushi bar with hot-rock cooking, the pan Asian cuisine restaurant is a no-hassle, authentic dining experience (open for lunch and dinner, $3.00 cover charge for lunch and $5.00 for dinner plus a la carte menu pricing)
-- Park Cafe: An indoor/outdoor gourmet market featuring salads, sandwiches, soups and pastries (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, complimentary)
-- Chops Grille: Royal Caribbean's signature steakhouse offering premium cuts and quality meats (open for dinner, $30 per person)
-- Chef's Table: An exclusive and private experience co-hosted by the executive Chef and Sommelier for a wine pairing dinner of five courses (open for dinner, $95 per person).

Guests looking for a jaw-dropping entertainment experience need to look no further than the reinvented Centrum, featuring enriching daytime activities, dazzling nighttime entertainment and a new high-flying entertainment experience where aerialists glide through the five-story atrium as guests enjoy a cocktail in the 60's inspired R Bar, a new bar concept first introduced onboard Splendour of the Seas. Guests also can take in the newly re-imagined Viking Crown Lounge, which features a stunning new design concept as well as a new menu featuring bite size goodies.

Rhapsody of the Seas will embark on a 15-night voyage from Singapore to Sydney, Australia. From there, she will sail across the Pacific via Hawaii to her Alaska season in May 2012. In Alaska, Rhapsody of the Seas will sail every Friday on seven-night, round-trip cruises from Seattle, calling at Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, and Victoria, B.C. Guests also will transit Alaska's Inside Passage, as well as venture up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.

For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Inaugural Sailing of Mountain Song at Sea, The Only Bluegrass Festival
Experience on the Ocean

MIAMI, March 29: The first ever Bluegrass Festival at sea will set sail on board Norwegian Sky from Miami to the Bahamas on Feb 1-4, 2013. Mountain Song Productions and Steep Canyon Rangers have partnered with Sixthman to present the inaugural voyage of Mountain Song at Sea, the only bluegrass festival experience on the ocean.

Guests will experience Freestyle Cruising with more than a dozen bluegrass, folk and acoustic artists, including The David Grisman Sextet, Del McCoury Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, Tim O'Brien & Bryan Sutton, The Kruger Brothers, Peter Rowan, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, The Travelin' McCourys, Shannon Whitworth, Della Mae, Town Mountain, and more.

“This floating festival is a whole new way to experience bluegrass,” said John Felty of Mountain Song Productions. “We are very excited to launch the inaugural sailing of Mountain Song at Sea and bring together great artists and like-minded fans for an unforgettable experience.”

With stages around every corner, fans will enjoy intimate performances, collaborations, spontaneous jams, activities, and Q&A sessions with the artists, all while cruising from Miami on the beautiful Norwegian Sky to Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas reserved just for Mountain Song at Sea guests.

"We have been big fans of the Mountain Song Festival and it is a privilege to be able to bring it to life in this unique way at sea" said Andy Levine, Founder and CEO of Sixthman.

Bluegrass fans can sign up now for exclusive pre-sale booking before tickets are available to the public in mid-May. Mountain Song at Sea fares include entertainment, meals in the complimentary restaurants, and access to many of Norwegian Sky’s amenities, including pools, hot tubs, spa, casino, sporting activities, and the fitness center. Visit their website for more information.

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 Celebrity Cruises' 2013-14 Winter Destination Lineup Focuses On Warm, Exotic Places

MIAMI, March 28: There's no better time than winter to seek out sun-soaked, exotic destinations, and there's no better way to experience them than immersed in modern luxury. That's exactly what Celebrity Cruises is offering with its 2013-14 winter itinerary line-up, which will feature a multitude of ways to make the most of precious vacation time on its stunning, award-winning ships, six in the Caribbean and five around the globe in Australia and New Zealand, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, South America and the South Pacific. During the winter season, Celebrity Cruises' guests will visit 170 ports in 42 countries from 20 different departure ports, while enjoying open and airy onboard spaces with careful attention to detail, luxurious accommodations, fresh and innovative cuisine, and genuine and personalized service. Celebrity also will offer a variety of cruisetour vacation options, pairing a land-based experience with a cruise to create the ultimate winter getaway.

Unique elements of Celebrity's 2013-14 winter destination offerings will include a 35-night circumnavigation cruise of Australia and New Zealand, departing from Auckland, New Zealand in February 2014 and ending in Sydney, Australia in March 2014. This trip of a lifetime will take place on Celebrity Solstice, the ship that introduced modern luxury style and design to the cruise industry when she debuted in 2008. Celebrity Solstice also will offer two Pacific Island cruises roundtrip from Sydney in October 2013 and April 2014, featuring stops at ports such as Lautoka and Suva, Fiji; Lifou, Loyalty Islands; and Noumea and Isles of Pines, New Caledonia.

A new offering will be 4- and 5-night Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida on Celebrity Constellation, which was "Solsticized" in drydock last year to include guest-favorite enhancements such as the Tuscan Grille specialty restaurant, CellarMasters wine bar and Cafe al Bacio and Gelateria, among other venues. Prior to the 2013-14 winter season, new AquaClass accommodations with exclusive access to the Mediterranean specialty restaurant, Blu, will be added to the ship. Celebrity Constellation will offer Bahamas cruises featuring stops in Key West, Florida and Nassau, Bahamas, and Western Caribbean itineraries featuring stops in Key West and Cozumel, Mexico, all roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale from December 2013 through April 2014.

In addition to Celebrity Constellation's short Caribbean cruises, voyages through the region's vibrant blue waters will be offered on four of Celebrity's five Solstice Class ships and one additional Solsticized Millennium Class ship in the winter of 2013-14. Three of these ships will offer 7-night cruises:

-- Eastern Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Miami, Florida on Celebrity Reflection, currently under construction and debuting later this year with Celebrity's first-ever AquaClass Suites and the ultra-luxurious Reflection Suite and Signature Suites
-- Alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on Celebrity Silhouette, the ship that introduced the interactive Lawn Club Grill and private cabanas known as The Alcoves to vacationers
-- Port-rich Southern Caribbean cruises on the recently Solsticized Celebrity Summit, roundtrip from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Two Solstice Class ships will offer longer cruises with even more ways to maximize vacation time by enjoying all that Celebrity offers onboard, along with the relaxing vibe of the Caribbean:

-- Celebrity Eclipse will offer a 14-night Exotic Southern Caribbean itinerary roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale from November 2013 to April 2014.
-- Celebrity Equinox will repeat her 2012-13 10- and 11-night "Ultimate Caribbean" cruises sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale from December 2013 to April 2014.

Another new option will be a series of cruises out of Los Angeles on Celebrity Century, for the first time since 2010. Hawaii departures and an entirely new Pacific Costal Wine Cruise itinerary which will visit the new port of Santa Barbara, California, and will include an overnight stay in San Francisco, are highlights of Celebrity Century's October 2013 to May 2014 West Coast season. While in the region, Celebrity Century will offer 15-night Hawaii sailings out of San Diego and Los Angeles, California, and 15-night Panama Canal cruises between San Diego and Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale, Florida in December 2013 and January and February 2014.

Celebrity's 2013-14 winter season will be rife with opportunities for vacationers seeking experiences in trip-of-a-lifetime destinations. Cruises and cruisetours in South America will be offered on Celebrity Infinity, which was Solsticized last year as part of Celebrity's $140-million initiative to incorporate iconic Solstice Class elements into its Millennium Class ships. From the eclectic Qsine specialty restaurant to Celebrity's first AquaClass staterooms to be added to a Millennium Class ships, among other elements that were added, Celebrity Infinity will provide a luxurious setting from which to gaze upon the majestic landscapes of South America. There, she will offer 14-night cruises between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Valpraiso, Chile during December 2013 and January and March 2014. Two 14-night Antarctica sailings roundtrip from Buenos Aires in February 2014 will offer breathtaking views as the ship sails around and through Paradise Bay, the Gerlache Strait, and Elephant Island. Two Panama Canal sailings on each end of the season will also be offered, sailing eastbound between San Diego and Miami, Florida in November 2013 and April 2014, and westbound from Miami to San Diego in November 2013 and March 2014.

Celebrity's South America cruisetours can extend a vacation, thereby offering an even richer opportunity to relax and recharge, by pairing a fully escorted land-based tour with a cruise. Guests who wish to have the ultimate modern luxury South America vacation experience can book one of these cruisetours for the start of their vacation and the other to take place after their cruise.

-- A Buenos Aires-based 3-night pre- or post-cruise land tour to Iguazu Falls features one night in Buenos Aires and two nights in Iguazu Falls
-- A Valparaiso-based 5-night pre- or post-cruise land tour to Machu Picchu features two nights in Urubamba, located in the Sacred Valley in Peru, with access to Machu Picchu, as well as two nights in Lima, Peru and one night in Santiago, Chile.

Celebrity Solstice will sail a second consecutive Australia/New Zealand season consisting primarily of 12-night cruises between Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand, from October 2013 to April 2014. Four- and 5-night fully escorted land tours can be paired with these to offer a more immersive Downunder experience; these feature destinations such as Ayers Rock, Port Douglas (with a visit to the Great Barrier Reef), and the cosmopolitan city of Sydney. The circumnavigation of Australia and cruises to the Pacific Islands will round out Celebrity Solstice's Australia/New Zealand season.

Celebrity Millennium, being Solsticized in May of this year, will offer a second consecutive Asia season, sailing a southerly route across the Pacific Ocean to Australia at the start of the season, where she will offer a 17-night cruise between Sydney and Singapore in November 2013. This itinerary will offer overnight stays in Cairns (Yorkey's Knob), Australia and Singapore. From there, Celebrity Millennium will present guests with 14-night cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong. Two 14-night Indonesia cruises roundtrip from Singapore will be offered in January 2014. These voyages will feature multiple in-port overnight stays in cities including Bangkok, Thailand; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Hanoi (Halong Bay), Vietnam; Bali, Indonesia; Singapore; Hong Kong, China; Shanghai, China; Beijing, China; and Tokyo, Japan. A more extensive Asia vacation can be enjoyed by combining a fully escorted land tour with the cruises sailing from or ending in Hong Kong. A 5-night pre- or post-cruise out of Hong Kong features two nights in Xian, where guests will visit the famed Terra Cotta Warriors, and three nights in Beijing, where guests will access the Great Wall of China, among many other highlights.

The ever-popular 92-guest mega-yacht Celebrity Xpedition will continue to offer a variety of vacation options in the Galapagos Islands, each including naturalist-led explorations and excursions throughout the region.

Celebrity's 2013-14 Caribbean cruises will open for booking on April 11, 2012,the 2013-14 Australia and South America cruises will open for booking on April 4, 2012, and the Asia itineraries will open on April 18, 2012. The Galapagos Islands sailings opened for booking in March. For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit, or call your travel agent.

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‘Must-See’ Sites Included on Two New Regent Seven Seas Voyages

MIAMI, March 28: The Taj Mahal… Agra Fort… the Pyramids of Giza… the Sphinx… these legendary sites and more are among the “must-see” sites travelers can discover on two special Regent Seven Seas Cruises voyages. And, with the all-inclusive luxury line’s two-for-one fares, free air, free pre- and post-cruise land programs and bonus savings, travelers can visit these once-in-a-lifetime destinations at a once-in-a-lifetime value.

“Many travelers have a wish list of places they want to visit,” said Mark Conroy, the line’s president. “Our guests can experience some of the world’s most breathtaking sites on one cruise that combines the Indian Sea, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden. All the while, they will be exploring these exotic places in all-suite comfort, enjoying our signature service and cuisine.”

Choose from Fall or Spring Sailings
The 17-night Arabian Adventures, departing Nov 14, 2012, is a voyage from Safaga, Egypt, to Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Guests will have the opportunity to visit Petra in Jordan; Muscat and Salalah in Oman; Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; and Doha, Qatar. The reverse itinerary, departing April 18, 2013, is called Red Sea Rendezvous (16 nights).

With as many as 44 complimentary shore excursions offered on each sailing, guests can explore the striking desert scenery of Wadi Rum, where T.E. Lawrence began his revolt against the Turks in 1917 and where the desert scenes in “Lawrence of Arabia” were filmed; discover the seventh-century rock-cut temples of Elephanta Caves outside of Mumbai; and search the sacred site of “Jebel Qarra,” said to be the tomb of the biblical Job in Salalah.

Pre- & Post-Cruise Land Programs
Guests who book by June 30, 2012, will also receive complimentary 3-night land tours both before and after the voyage. Highlights include:

Pharaoh’s Treasures: Highlights include one night in Cairo where guests will have an opportunity to visit the Egyptian museum, the Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx, and the Citadel followed by two nights in Luxor where guests will discover Karnak Temple, the largest religious temple ever built by man; Luxor Temple; Hatshepsut Temple; Medinet Habu; and the Valley of the Kings, home to more than 60 tombs of pharaohs and nobleman.

The Golden Triangle: in addition to visiting the magnificent Taj Mahal, guests will visit the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah and Agra Fort, a World Heritage Site credited to Emperor Akbar; the open-air royal observatory Jantar Mantar in Jaipur; and New Delhi, including Humayun’s tomb and the Qutub Minar.

Travelers visit these wonders of antiquity aboard the all-balcony, all-suite Seven Seas Voyager, which received a multi-million dollar refurbishment in September 2011. The suites on the award-winning, 700-guest ship are among the most spacious and luxurious at sea ranging in size from 356 to 1,403 square feet.

Fares include free round-trip air transportation, free unlimited shore excursions, free unlimited beverages including fine wines and premium spirits, free pre-paid gratuities, and more.
To receive a brochure or for more information, see a professional travel agent, visit or call toll-free 800-285-1835.

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2013 Alaska Un-Cruises Unveiled: More Adventure, More Itineraries with
InnerSea Discoveries & American Safari Cruises

Seattle, WA, March 28: With more vessels and itinerary choices in Alaska than any previous year, un-cruise adventure operator InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises has unveiled 2013 rates and dates for its fleet of expedition vessels and yachts. New in 2013, a refurbished Safari Legacy joins the fleet of yachts and InnerSea Discoveries schedules three Alaska Unleashed cruises for the utmost in active adventures.

The 88-guest Safari Legacy, an elegant vessel reminiscent of a gold rush coastal steamer with Victorian décor, debuts with American Safari Cruises in summer 2013. Sailing weeklong cruises between Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska, the vessel visits Skagway, Haines, Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell, Glacier Bay and the remote fishing village of Pelican. On board, a Living History program focuses on the storied past of Alaska including the Klondike gold rush and historical characters such as naturalist and author John Muir, outlaw Soapy Smith and prospector Skookum Jim. Legacy Leaders and local guest storytellers bring the history and spirit of the past alive with period reenactments and lively presentations.

“The Safari Legacy will be unique within our fleet and adds an option for those interested in exploring the port towns and history of Alaska,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We’ll also offer more days inside Glacier Bay National Park with six boats making regular visits, most for multiple days of exploration.”

Adventurers interested in more technical hikes, longer kayaking trips and more opportunities to be active out in the wilderness can choose to sail on one of three weeklong Alaska Unleashed cruises aboard the Wilderness Adventurer. On these exclusive adventures, guest capacity is reduced from 60 to 36 guests to enable a more rigorous slate of outdoor activities. Dates are June 8, July 13 and August 10.

Specializing in active adventures in the wilderness, InnerSea Discoveries’ three expedition vessels include the 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer and 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer and Wilderness Explorer. The upscale fleet of American Safari Cruises includes the 12-guest Safari Spirit, 22-guest Safari Quest, 36-guest Safari Explorer, 86-guest Safari Endeavour and 88-guest Safari Legacy.

Expedition ships in Alaska
From May to September, InnerSea Discoveries’ three expedition vessels offer weeklong active adventures in Alaska sailing between Ketchikan and Juneau (and reverse) or Juneau and Sitka (and reverse). With three different itineraries, un-cruises may now be combined for 15-day or 22-day adventures. Guests enjoy exploring nature on kayaking and hiking excursions, paddle boarding and skiff tours.

Upscale yachts in Alaska
Four yachts sail weeklong, inclusive un-cruises roundtrip Juneau from May 17 through Sept 8, 2013. The yachts forego port calls and instead explore remote wilderness areas to maximize time for up close encounters with nature and wildlife. Two days are spent exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park with a park ranger on hiking, kayaking and skiff excursions. From May through August, 2013, the 88-guest Safari Legacy sails weeklong “Alaska’s Golden History” cruises between Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska. The vessel will then spend fall and spring sailing on the Columbia and Snake rivers roundtrip Portland, Oregon. Rates and dates will be available spring 2012. To book an un-cruise or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or InnerSea Discoveries at 877-901-1009 or .

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Princess Cruises to Enter Japanese Market with Largest Deployment
 Ever by a Global Cruise Line

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 27: Responding to the growing interest for cruising in Japan, Carnival Corporation is introducing the largest deployment ever by a global cruise line in the Japanese market when it brings Sun Princess to Japan for a spring to summer season of cruising in April 2013. One of the world’s leading cruise line brands, Princess Cruises, is launching an 87-day program featuring a total of nine cruises on seven different itineraries operating April through July of next year from both Yokohama and Kobe. The cruises will be from nine to 12 days in length.

The unique itineraries have been customized for the Japanese vacation market, and will launch with the most significant national holiday of Golden Week, a nine-day cruise on April 27, 2013 which includes two days in Hakata during the renowned Dontaku Festival.

Underscoring the importance of Japan in the growing worldwide cruise market, Carnival Japan, Inc. has been formed to sell the Princess Cruises brand and certain other Carnival brands in Japan, with Princess Cruises being the brand to launch this largest cruise season in the Japanese market. Carnival Japan, Inc. is part of Carnival Corporation & plc, a global cruise company and one of the largest vacation companies in the world. Carnival Japan will be based in Tokyo and overseen by Eiko Kijima, who will be on the board of directors of Carnival Japan.

“Our new Japan deployment is three times larger than that of any competitive international cruise program, with superior itineraries specifically designed for the Japanese market,” said Alan Buckelew, Princess Cruises president and chief executive officer. “It’s the very first time a global cruise line is offering a full season of cruises from April to July designed specifically for passengers from Japan. We believe that our unique itineraries and onboard experience will prove extremely popular and will help to introduce cruise vacations to a growing number of Japanese vacationers.”

Approximately 18,000 passengers are expected to be carried during this first season of cruising in Japan. Highlights of other itineraries include overnight stays at cities with popular annual festivals, destinations known for their natural hot springs, northern ports of Japan and foreign ports in Korea and Taiwan, among others. The 2013 Japan homeport program features the following cruises:

-- 9-day Golden Week: Departs April 27, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama with calls at Hiroshima (overnight); Nagasaki; Busan, South Korea, and Hakata (overnight).

-- 12-day Round Japan with Festivals: Departs May 6, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama with calls at Aomori, Busan, Kanazawa (overnight), Sakaiminato, Maizuru, and Nagoya.

-- 9-day Korea & Taiwan: Departs May 18, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama and June 23, 2013 sailing from Yokohama to Kobe, with calls at Busan and Cheju, South Korea; and Kaohsiung and Taipei, Taiwan.

-- 9-day Round Japan with Onsens: Departs May 27, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama with calls at Nagoya, Kobe, scenic cruising of Japan Inland Sea, Matsuyama, Busan, Kagoshima and Beppu.

-- 9-day Kyushu & Korea: Departs June 5, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama with calls at Koshi, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Cheju, Busan and Hiroshima.

-- 9-day Hokkaido & Russia: Departs June 14 and July 14, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama with calls at Kushiro, scenic cruising of Shiretoko Peninsula; Korsakov, Russia; Otaru, Hakodate and Aomori.

-- 12-day Round Japan: Departs July 2, 2013 sailing from Kobe (overnight) to Yokohama with scenic cruising of Japan Inland Sea and calls at Hiroshima (overnight), Busan, Sakaiminato, Maizuru, Kanazawa, Aomori and Sapporo.

The cruise experience will be substantially the same as the Princess Cruises product offered around the world, providing an impressive array of dining and entertainment options in addition to the line’s signature innovations such as its popular Movies Under the Stars poolside theater and The Sanctuary, an exclusive top-deck retreat.

However modifications will be made including introducing key passenger-facing positions which will be filled by Japanese-speaking crew members. Dining room menus will offer international Princess cuisine while additional offerings will cater to Japanese tastes, and an a la carte sushi bar will be opened. A specially designed enrichment program will include an expert lecture series on art, culture, and history. Other amenities such as the shopping selection and spa treatments will also be tailored to Japanese preferences, and onboard collateral items and stateroom information will be translated into Japanese. An extensive array of shore excursions will be available to complement the itineraries so that Sun Princess passengers can experience all the ports have to offer.

The 77,000-ton Sun Princess carries 2,022 passengers and features a high number of staterooms with private balconies, Lotus Spa, steakhouse, wine bar, patisserie, pizzeria, boutiques, and internet café among other amenities.

This new season of cruises will open for sale on April 16, 2012 and the sailings, along with all other cruises sold in the Japan market for Princess’ worldwide destinations, will be sold in Japanese Yen. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at

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Oceania Cruises' New 'Riviera' Completes Successful Sea Trials

MIAMI, March 27: Oceania Cruises' 1,250-guest Riviera, scheduled to be christened in Barcelona on May 11, 2012, has successfully completed her sea trials, which included three days of sailing the Mediterranean. During the sea trials, technicians and engineers from Fincantieri's Sestre shipyard along with Oceania Cruises' marine and technical teams performed a comprehensive evaluation of the vessel's functionality, including speed, maneuverability, hydrodynamics, propulsion and safety systems.

"Riviera exceeded all of my expectations. While underway the ship handled perfectly in all sea conditions and power settings" said Captain Luca Manzi, the ship's master. "Riviera cruised at more than 21 knots with ample reserve power."

Now that sea trials are concluded, the 66,084 ton ship will dock at the outfitting berth, where workers will put the finishing touches on her interiors as well as exterior.

"Riviera's sea trials were a resounding success," stated Robin Lindsay, the line's executive vice president of vessel operations, who was on board during the sea trials. "With the sea trials behind us, we will turn our undivided attention to the final details of the interior. Guests on our May 16 maiden voyage are certainly in for a treat."

Poised to take its place as another "game-changer" for the upper-premium segment, much like its sister ship Marina which debuted in February 2011, Riviera is the second new ship launched by Oceania Cruises in under 18 months. Designed for epicureans, Riviera features 10 dining venues - six of which are gourmet restaurants, plus a Bon Appétit Culinary Center for hands-on learning and La Reserve by Wine Spectator, a professional facility for wine-tastings and wine-pairing dinners.

Riviera sets sail on May 16 on her 10-day maiden voyage from Venice to Pireaus that calls at Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Monemvasia, Crete, Santorini, Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Delos and Mykonos. To learn more about Riviera, contact a travel professional, visit or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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Eat, Drinks & Be Merry This Summer on a Host of New Silversea Tours

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 27: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is rolling out several new shore excursions in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe this summer designed for those travelers whose wanderlust is guided by a passion for fine food and wine. New options, such as a sunset stroll and wine tasting in one of Croatia's largest vineyards, a hands-on lesson in Ukrainian cookery, and an exquisite lunch at a two-Michelin-star restaurant in Bordeaux, are joining an already expansive collection of shore tours tailored to the traveler who is a gourmet at heart.

"These new tours are a great way for our guests to attend dining events and wine tastings or learn about new cooking techniques in the destinations they visit," said Darius Mehta, Silversea's vice president of air and land programs. "They tap into a growing trend among travelers to seek out unique food and wine experiences as a way to understand and connect with other cultures, traditions and people."

Over the years, Silversea's destination experts have developed dozens of culinary and wine excursions that have become hugely popular with the line's guests. A cooking class covering French provincial cuisine in Marseille, an Italian cooking class with a countess in Venice, a wine tasting at a bodega in Ibiza, and a cooking class focused on Moroccan cuisine in Casablanca are just a few examples. Some of the NEW tours taking their place alongside these proven epicurean favorites include:

-- Sunset Wine Tasting (Dubrovnik): In southern Dalmatia, the magic of a setting sun provides the perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll and wine tasting set amid one of the region's largest vineyards, owned by Dubrovnik Cellars winery. Participants will savor locally produced smoked ham, cheese, olives and bread as they sample fine wines and learn the history of the winery.

-- Castle to Culinary Delights (Bodrum): Travelers enjoy panoramic views of the Aegean Sea from atop the Castle of St. John before heading to a popular seafood restaurant for a hands-on cooking experience. Participants learn the secrets of Mediterranean cuisine as the chef of the Denizce restaurant shares his techniques, special ingredients and family recipes.

-- Culinary Gothenburg: Gothenburg's largest indoor market, Saluhallen, with its 40 stores and eateries, and Fiskekyrkan (the Fish Church), an indoor fish and seafood market, are showcased on a city tour that culminates with lunch at the elegant Sjömagasinet restaurant. Originally an 18th-century warehouse of the East India Company, this storied waterfront restaurant offers visitors the freshest fish and seafood delicacies cooked to perfection.

-- Odessa and its Cuisine: Travelers cap off a tour of Odessa's historical and architectural monuments with a cooking class and lunch at one of Frantsuzsky Boulevard's iconic 19th-century mansions. The Dacha restaurant, housed in a former summer residence of Odessa's nobility, offers a class in Ukrainian cookery that lets participants join in the preparation of a sumptuous lunch that they will enjoy after class, accompanied by a glass of Ukrainian vodka, a local wine, tea or coffee.

-- Dinner at Classified Wine Château Haut-Bailly (Bordeaux): Sitting majestically overlooking a 30-hectare vineyard in the heart of the Graves and Pessac-Léognan region, Château Haut-Bailly, Grand Cru Classé, stands at the gates of the city of Bordeaux and offers an elegant and intimate setting for a wine tour, tasting and four-course gourmet dinner.

-- Chocolate Flavors of Dubrovnik: Designed for chocolate lovers, this walking tour of Dubrovnik's Old Town, fabled for its cobbled streets and medieval architecture, culminates with a decadent chocolate tasting at the Dubravka restaurant. Participants will enjoy a rich palate of typical local sweets flavored with a selection of dark and white chocolates, fruit, nuts and Mediterranean herbs.

-- Médoc & Château Cordeillan-Bages Lunch (Bordeaux): Following a scenic drive through one of France's most famous wine-producing regions, travelers will learn the techniques of winemaking and sample two vintages at the Château Lynch-Bages winery. Afterwards, a three-course lunch is provided next door at Château Cordeillan-Bages, a Relais & Châteaux boutique hotel that has earned two Michelin stars for its cuisine.

For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent, call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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P&O Cruises Launches New Loyalty Scheme

The countdown is on until April 1, when P&O Cruises will launch its new loyalty scheme, the Peninsular Club, which will replace current scheme, The Portunus Club. The new club, which will launch first on board Ventura on April 1, has six distinct tiers; Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Baltic and Ligurian, and significant new benefits.

Once launched on Ventura, the Peninsular Club will then be rolled out over the remainder of the fleet, launching on board Oceana on April 4, Adonia on April 9, Oriana on April 10, Aurora on April 12, Azura on April 15 and finally on board Arcadia on April 27.

Points from the previous loyalty scheme, which had three ‘tiers’ ruby, sapphire, and gold, will be automatically transferred to the new P&O Cruises Peninsular Club. The new club and tier names endorse the brand’s heritage and its world-wide footprint. In 1837 the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company won the mail contract from the British Admiralty and this is the time from which P&O Cruises can trace its roots. The tier names come from oceans and seas of the world - all sailed countless times by P&O Cruises ships. These are arranged in order of size with the smallest being Ligurian. This club tier is reserved exclusively for P&O Cruises most loyal and frequent cruisers.

P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow said: “We are excited that the time has come to launch the new look loyalty club. The Peninsular Club has been shaped with our passengers in mind and we trust that the benefits they will reap will see them continuing to cruise with P&O Cruises time and time again”.

The wide range of benefits of the new club vary by tier, and include an on board discount ranging from 5 -10%, a complementary pressing service and discounted laundry, as well as early embarkation, an exclusive travel insurance offer, early booking offers and early cabin access. In the new scheme, the Baltic and Ligurian tiers will be exclusive to the most loyal passengers who have a total points value of more than 2500. Entry to these tiers is not only reliant on points but also on a requirement for the passenger to have spent over 80 nights on board any P&O Cruises ship within the three years prior to the start of their cruise.

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A Lord, a Trainer, and Gandhi Walk Onto Crystal Cruises...

LOS ANGELES, March 26: Gandhi, U.S. Generals, novelist Jeffrey Archer, and the casting genius behind Modern Family are just a few of the highly-esteemed enrichment speakers scheduled to appear aboard ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises in Europe this year. The top-caliber Special Interest, Destination and Celebrity Guest Speakers will provide insight into global topics, local culture or their own life and wisdom on individual Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony voyages from May through December. From PBS to Fox, presenters' reputations are the cream of the crop in their fields, with such luminaries as:

-- Arun Gandhi (May 9 Barcelona to London) - Peace activist, founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
-- General Anthony Zinni (May 21 London to Hamburg) - Four-star U.S. Marine Corps General and former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).
-- Jeff Greenberg (May 24 London to Rome) - Emmy Award-winning Casting Director of Modern Family and Frasier.
-- Lord Jeffrey Archer (Jun 19 Venice to Istanbul) - Bestselling author of fifteen novels such as Kane & Abel and the recent Clifton Chronicles series.
-- Joel Harper (Oct 12 Athens to Venice) - Celebrity trainer for Dr. Oz, Olympic medalists, and PBS's best-selling Firming After 50.
-- Owen Ullman (Jul 23 Stockholm to Copenhagen) - News editor of USA Today.
-- Dinesh D'Souza (Jul 13 Monte Carlo to Lisbon) - Top public policy-maker and political conservative author.
-- Paula Pryke (Jul 25 Lisbon to Rome, "Floral Design" theme) - Celebrity floral designer from Britain
-- Eric Burns (Nov 5 Istanbul to Barcelona) - Emmy Award-winning NBC News correspondent and former host of Fox News Watch.
-- General Nick Halley (Aug 25 London Round-Trip) - Military commander during Vietnam, Grenada, and Desert Storm, and now leadership and terrorism expert.
-- Jon Sigurdsson (May 8 NY to London) - Icelandic geologist who studies glaciers and volcanoes throughout Europe.

Other noteworthy names joining Crystal's European cruises include Astronaut Mark Kelly and wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and legendary football coach Don Shula and a host of other presenters, instructors, and entertainers. As part of a new "Local Insights" program this year, Crystal is also bringing aboard local European dignitaries and experts to share "insider" information on the region's life and customs.

"Our world travelers are not only adventure-seekers, they're knowledge-seekers, so our on-board presenters need to deliver smart, stimulating, and shrewdly entertaining enlightenment that not only provides food for thought, but also sparks lively discussion among guests throughout our voyages," says Chris Corrigall, manager, entertainment. "As the 'World's Best' cruise line, we bring nothing but the world's best minds aboard to enrich guests' overall vacation experiences."

Crystal sails through Europe on 35 7- to 14-day voyages from March to December 2012, offering intimate, luxury access to the eastern and western Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Black Sea, northwest Africa, western Europe, including Iceland and the British Isles, the Middle East, the western and eastern Baltic Sea, Scandinavia, and Arctic Circle. Several voyages offer themed activities and entertainment, such as "Wine and Food," "Golf," Big Band," and "Emerging Artists."

Crystal's award-winning, luxury cruises always include a diverse selection of thought-provoking, scholarly, and sophisticated enrichment activities that provide extensive onboard choices for cultured world travelers. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Seabourn Unveils Its Full 2013 Europe Cruise Season

SEATTLE, March 26: Seabourn has unveiled an exciting 2013 Europe season featuring more than 100 departures aboard its six intimate, all-suite ships, visiting many of Europe's captivating cities and hidden gems from April through October next year. From the sun-blessed resorts on the Mediterranean coast to the shining polar ice pack in the Arctic Ocean, the line's award-winning ships will carry travelers to more than 180 ports on voyages ranging from seven to 21 days in length.

Seabourn's 2013 Europe season will offer a variety of new itineraries, including a 21-day cruise beyond the Arctic Circle on Seabourn Pride, 10- and 11-day Mediterranean cruises round-trip from Venice on Seabourn Spirit, and 10-day Mediterranean cruises from Athens, Monte Carlo and Barcelona on Seabourn Quest. The program will also feature overnight stays in many popular cities, such as St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Venice, Malta, Barcelona, Istanbul, Edinburgh and Dublin, allowing guests ample time to explore these magnificent destinations.

"There is so much to see and experience in Europe, and we're pleased to offer a diverse range of itineraries, featuring our hallmark mix of well-known marquee ports and hidden gems," said John Delaney, Seabourn's senior vice president of marketing and sales. "Our cruises offer the best of both worlds: explore many of Europe's historical and cultural treasures from the incomparable elegance and ease of the world's highest-rated cruise line."

Seabourn's fleet will visit many landmark cities and picturesque seaside towns that dot the coast of the Mediterranean. Seabourn Legend will offer alternating 10-day Western Mediterranean voyages between Monte Carlo and Rome. These popular cruises highlight the best of the Italian and French Rivieras and will stop at yacht harbors and quintessential Mediterranean islands. The itineraries will also include the popular Marina day, where guests can take to the water and enjoy a variety of watersports right from the ship's exclusive marina. The 10-day cruises can be combined for a 20-day vacation with different ports at extra savings. The ship will also operate four new 7-day cruise itineraries in the spring from Rome, Nice, and Monte Carlo.

Seabourn Quest will traverse the entire Mediterranean on a series of 10-day cruises from Barcelona, Athens and Monte Carlo, visiting a host of fascinating ports and cities. The voyages can be easily combined into longer voyages of up to 30 days without repeating ports of call, providing the ultimate Mediterranean cruise experience.

Seabourn Spirit will visit the best of the Adriatic and Dalmatian coasts on alternating 10- and 11-day cruises from Venice. Guests will be able to explore the region's picturesque villages and enjoy an onboard overnight in the romantic city of Venice at the end of each voyage.

In the Eastern Mediterranean, Seabourn Odyssey will explore the Greek Isles and Turkey on 7-day cruises alternating between Athens and Istanbul, and Venice and Athens. The ship will also operate three 7-day voyages to the Black Sea, featuring a full day and overnight onboard in Istanbul.

Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Pride will be based further to the north in the Baltic and Scandinavia. Seabourn Sojourn will operate a series of 7-day Baltic cruises between Copenhagen and Stockholm and feature three days in the majestic city of St. Petersburg, a signature Seabourn offering. The ship will also operate a pair of cruises to the beautiful Norwegian fjords, as well as a 21-day cruise from Dover to Montreal, visiting quaint towns and ports in Ireland, Scotland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador, Newfoundland and Québec.

Seabourn Pride will offer longer Baltic cruises, with 12- and 14-day voyages that include overnight stays in St. Petersburg. The ship will also operate a new 21-day North Cape cruise, venturing into the Arctic Ocean, calling on Longyearbyen and Ny Aalesund in the dramatic Norwegian Spitsbergen islands and skirting the shining polar ice pack. In addition, Seabourn Pride will sail on a 15-day British Isles voyage round-trip London with overnight stays in Edinburgh (Leith) and Dublin.

Seabourn's 2013 Europe cruises are now available, and itineraries, fares and other details can be viewed on For additional information or reservations, contact your travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit the Seabourn web site.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Stars in New Reality Show: "Love For Sail"

MIAMI, March 23: Norwegian Cruise Line stars in a new dating reality series, “Love for Sail,” which premieres on Lifetime Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at 10 pm ET/PT. In each episode of “Love for Sail,” four adventurous women will board a spectacular Norwegian Cruise Line ship and set sail to exotic locations surrounded by a group of equally-eager single men ready to embark on what they hope to be the voyage of their lives. The show is being produced by Studio Lambert (“Undercover Boss”).

With the help of series’ Cruise Directors Bucko and Carmen, the women meet their suitors at an opening mixer where the matchmaking begins. Throughout the cruise, the singles participate in a variety of romantic dates on board, mixer parties and adventurous excursions in beautiful ports of call such as Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Nassau, Bahamas. Some will make love connections, but for others, it’s not always smooth sailing. Either way, viewers will enjoy the fun and drama behind the competitive courtship among the women and men, all of who are hoping to hook-in a mate on this once in a lifetime journey.

"We are thrilled to work with Lifetime and our friends at Studio Lambert on a unique series that showcases the many aspects of cruising from lavish suites and incredible dining options to innovative on board activities and exciting shore excursions," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “There is such romance in being at sea; this show will do a great job of showcasing that and sharing the stories of these guests who may find the love of their life aboard.”

“Love for Sail” features three of Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising ships. Norwegian Epic, the line’s newest and most innovative ship to date, hosted the women in The Haven by Norwegian, the line’s exclusive suite complex on three private decks at the top of the ship. Viewers will catch an intimate glimpse of Posh, The Haven’s luxurious beach club and The Haven Courtyard. Mandara Spa, the largest spa at sea; Bliss Ultra Lounge, Epic’s hot nightclub; and Spice H20, the ship’s adult-only pool area, will also be featured as the women search for love at sea. The women sailed on Norwegian Epic’s cruise to the Eastern Caribbean, calling on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten and Nassau, Bahamas from Miami, Florida.

Norwegian Pearl also has a starring role in “Love for Sail,” with the women staying in The Haven by Norwegian in the largest suite at sea – the luxurious 5,000 square foot, three-bedroom Garden Villa, complete with a private living and dining room, sundeck and hot tub. Various aspects of the ship will be highlighted including the Great Outdoors bar; La Cucina, the ship’s Italian restaurant; the pool deck; Maltings Beer & Whiskey Bar; Summer Palace and Bliss Ultra Lounge, among others. Love was in the air as Norwegian Pearl sailed to the Western Caribbean from Miami, Florida, visiting Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico.

Norwegian Star also makes a cameo appearance. Four women board the ship in Los Angeles, California on a Mexican Riviera cruise that stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. A trailer for the show will be airing on board Norwegian vessels in the next week. More information on the series “Love for Sail” and Norwegian Cruise Line will be available beginning April 2, 2012 at

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Unveils m/v Tere Moana's 2013 Itineraries

BELLEVUE, WA, March 23: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, unveils 2013 itineraries for the cruise line's second ship--the 90-guest m/v Tere Moana--which will offer voyages in Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. In the tradition of Paul Gauguin Cruises, cruise fares for The Moana are all-inclusive with gratuities, soft drinks, select wines and spirits included. Also, with superior dining options, a luxury spa and a staff of 54 serving just 90 guests, the experience aboard The Moana will be nothing short of first class.

After undergoing a multifaceted renovation to be completed in December 2012, The Moana will set sail under the Paul Gauguin Cruises' banner on December 29, 2012, on a gala 7-night Caribbean voyage with chairman Richard Bailey aboard.

The Moana will sail 13 itineraries in 2013. Like The Gauguin, The Moana will specialize in warm-weather destinations, with an emphasis on delivering unique voyages that larger ships cannot offer and exploring hidden ports throughout these regions. The ship will sail during the summer months in Europe and winter in the Caribbean and Latin America.

The Moana's European Itineraries:

Seven-night voyages from Barcelona, Spain, to Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, visit Sete, France; St. Tropez, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Portofino, Italy; Florence (Livorno), Italy; and Elba (Portoferraio), Italy. Departures: Apr 20 and Aug 17, 2013.

Seven-night voyages from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, to Venice, Italy, visit Lipari, Italy; Taormina (Giardini Naxos), Italy; Corfu, Greece; Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Hvar, Croatia. Departures: May 11 (Chairman's Cruise) and Aug 24, 2013.

Seven-night voyages from Venice, Italy, to Athens (Piraeus), Greece, visit Zadar, Croatia; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Greece; Delphi (Itea), Greece; Corinth Canal, Greece; and Hydra, Greece. Departures: May 18, Jul 6, and Aug 31, 2013.

Seven-night voyages between Athens (Piraeus), Greece, to Istanbul, Turkey, visit Delos, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Patmos, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; and Canakkale, Turkey. Departures: May 25; June 8; and Jul 13, 27; and Sept 7, 2013.

Seven-night voyages roundtrip from Istanbul, Turkey, visit Nessebur, Bulgaria; Constanta, Romania; Odessa, Ukraine; Yalta, Ukraine; and Sinop, Turkey, with one day at sea. Departures: Jun 1; and Jul 20, 2013.

Seven-night voyages between Athens (Piraeus), Greece, and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, visit the Corinth Canal, Greece; Ithaca, Greece; Fiskardo (Kefelonia), Greece; Taormina (Giardini Naxos), Italy; Lipari, Italy; and Sorrento, Italy, with one day at sea. Departures: Jun 15; Aug 3; and Sept 21, 2013.

Seven-night voyage between Rome, Italy, and Barcelona, Spain, visits Elba (Portoferraio), Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Nice, France; Cannes, France; Bandol, France; and Sète, France. Departure: Oct 19, 2013.

Seven-night voyage between Lisbon, Portugal, and Barcelona, Spain, visits Portimao, Portugal; Seville, Spain; Ceuta, Spain; Motril, Spain; Ibiza, Spain; and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Departure: Nov 2, 2013.

Seven-night voyage from Barcelona, Spain, to Malaga, Spain, visits Valencia; Cartegena; Almeria; Motril; and Ceuta, Spain, with an overnight in Malaga, Spain. Departure: Nov 9, 2013.

The Moana's Caribbean Itineraries:

Seven-night voyages roundtrip from St. Martin, F.W.I., visit Tortola, B.V.I.; Jost Van Dyke, B.V.I.; Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.; Basseterre, St. Kitts/Nevis; Les Saintes, F.W.I.; and St. Barts, F.W.I. Departures: Dec 29, 2012 (Chairman's Cruise); March 9, 16, 23; Nov 30; and Dec 7, 14, 21, 28, 2013.

The Moana's Latin America Itineraries:

Thirteen- and fourteen-night voyages between St. Martin, F.W.I., and Puerto, Caldera, Costa Rica, visit St. Barts, F.W.I.; Les Saintes, F.W.I.; Willemstad, Curacao; Oranjestad, Aruba; Cartagena, Columbia (overnight); Panama Canal, Panama; Isla de Coiba, Panama (January 5 sailing only); Marenco, Costa Rica; and Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, with three days at sea. Departures: Jan 5 and Feb 24, 2013.

The Moana's Transatlantic Itineraries:

Fourteen-night voyage from St. Martin, F.W.I., to Lisbon, Portugal, offers nine days at sea and visits Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Spain; and Madeira, Portugal. Departure: March 30, 2013.

Fourteen-night voyage from Malaga, Spain, to St. Martin, F.W.I., offers ten nights at sea and visits Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Spain; Les Saintes, F.W.I.; English Harbour, Antigua; and St. Barts, F.W.I. Departure: Nov 16, 2013.

About Paul Gauguin Cruises
Owned by Pacific Beachcomber S.C., French Polynesia's leading luxury hotel and cruise operator, Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the 5+-star cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin, providing a deluxe cruise experience tailored to the unparalleled wonders of Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific. The Gauguin was built at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. The ship, 513 feet long and 71 feet wide, has a draft of 16.9 feet and can accommodate 332 guests with a staff of 217. It is one of the top Exclusive Charter and Incentive Group venues in the industry and has completed more than 570 South Pacific cruises, serving more than 176,250 guests, including more than 15,000 honeymooners, since its inaugural sail in 1998. The Gauguin has undergone more than $25 million in enhancements, with an additional $7 million completed in January 2012. The cruise line's second ship, the m/v Tere Moana, will begin sailing under the Paul Gauguin Cruises' banner in December 2012 after completing a multifaceted renovation. The ship, 330 feet long and 46 feet wide, has a draft of 11.5 feet and can accommodate 90 guests with a staff of 54.

Paul Gauguin Cruises is currently offering 50% off standard cruise fares for 2013 voyages on The Moana. 5% Paul Gauguin Society Savings are available to past guests of the m/s Paul Gauguin on all Moana sailings with 10% Paul Gauguin Society Savings available to past guests on select Moana sailings (Jan 5; March 30; April 20; July 6; Aug 17; Nov 2, 16; and Dec 7, 2013) when booked by Sept 1, 2012. For additional information on Paul Gauguin Cruises, please visit

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Norwegian Breakaway to Feature Line’s Largest Youth & Teen Areas

MIAMI, March 22: Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will debut the largest youth and teen dedicated facilities in the fleet. For the first time, the youth area, named Splash Academy, will span two decks that are conveniently located adjacent to the family-friendly staterooms and feature areas designed specifically for three specific age groups. Teens will have their own dedicated space as well, Entourage, located at the top of the ship on Deck 16. Babies and toddlers under age three, along with their parents, will also have their own dedicated play space with activities.

“The best family vacation will get even better when our new ship Norwegian Breakaway launches in April of next year,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We know how extremely important it is for families to offer engaging, interactive programs for children and teens in a comfortable, well-equipped environment. Norwegian Breakaway will incorporate our biggest youth facilities with the best youth programming at sea with our new Splash Academy and Entourage programs.”

Splash Academy is centrally located on Decks 12 and 13 adjacent and easily accessible to the family-friendly staterooms. The reception area, located on Deck 12, is in close proximity to the forward elevators. As parents enter, they will utilize Norwegian’s e-Youth tablet-based electronic registration which allows them to swipe their keycard and input a password to sign in their children. Just past the brightly-colored and welcoming reception area, the three to five year olds will have their own space decorated with vibrant, engaging colors along with child-sized furniture. Wall mounted activities will keep little hands busy in between organized programming. In a separate area decorated with fun graphics to captivate children’s imaginations, the six to nine year olds will enjoy building block activity centers. An interactive dance mat with corresponding large video screen will encourage lots of activity. In addition, a dedicated space houses popular video game stations, along with a relaxing video viewing lounge.

Upstairs on Deck 13, the 10 to 12 year olds will have their own space designed specifically for older children. It will include a multipurpose visual dance space with a touch screen jukebox, plenty of moveable tables for activities and comfortable bean bags for lounging. An activity zone will include everything needed for arts and crafts and more. There is also a “hang out” area with dedicated gaming stations that will feature the latest video games. Rounding out the space will be a cool and comfortable lounge area with sofas and chairs in vibrant colors creating the perfect atmosphere to chill out.

Entourage is Norwegian Breakaway’s high energy, exclusive teen zone for ages 13 through 17, located on Deck 16. This hip, sophisticated area was designed to give teens their own funky space that includes air hockey; foosball; and an arcade center with five separate areas featuring large screens to play the latest video games while lounging on comfy sofas. In the evening, Entourage transitions into a teens-only nightclub with a dance floor, large screen television and music, including a video jukebox. Entourage has the advantage of being located next to the video arcade and a step away from an outdoor eatery and refreshment area to round out the teens’ experience.

Entering service in April 2013, Norwegian Breakaway will sail from her year-round homeport of New York City to Bermuda in the summer and The Bahamas & Florida and The Caribbean in the winter. More information can be found at

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Norwegian Cruise Line Selects Names For Its New Youth & Teen Programs

MIAMI, March 22: Following the “Up2YOU” naming contest that received entries from thousands of cruisers, Norwegian Cruise Line has selected the names for its new Youth and Teen programs. Splash Academy is the new name for its enhanced Youth program and Entourage is the new moniker for its revitalized Teen program. Names were also selected for the four age groups in the Youth program: Guppies for ages up to 2; Turtles for ages 3 to 5; Seals for ages 6 to 9; and Dolphins for ages 10 to 12. The company announced its new enhanced youth and teen programs earlier this year that launched on Norwegian Gem in February and are currently being rolled out to all the ships in the Norwegian fleet.

The grand prize contest winners are Misty Horning of Princeton, Kentucky who first submitted Splash Academy and Lili Kabelitz of Sag Harbor, New York who first submitted Entourage. Each will receive a seven-day Caribbean cruise for a family of four. Those who submitted the winning names for the age groups will each receive a $100 American Express® gift card.

“We introduced our new Youth and Teen programs on Norwegian Gem to rave reviews from parents and kids alike,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “The winning names capture the spirit and fun-filled nature of the new exciting programs that are designed to be educational and interactive.”

The enhanced curriculum focuses on team building and assisting in developing children’s interpersonal and confidence-building skills. With activities that are tailored specifically to each age group, the new youth and teen programs focus on creative and unique activities, along with more sporting events, through a partnership with King’s Foundation and Camps. A highlight of the program is a circus school in partnership with Hilario Productions Cirque du Jour, a New York-based company that specializes in teaching children real circus skills. The overall curriculum focuses on team building and assisting in developing children’s interpersonal and confidence-building skills.

Both Splash Academy and Entourage will feature a different theme every day. Whether it’s ocean-related, pirates, space cowboys, jungle fever or circus, every day will offer a new surprise that is tailored to the individual age groups with a variety of themed activities. Specific emphasis is being placed on sports through the partnership with The King’s Foundation and Camps, a United Kingdom-based organization that provides high quality sport and activity programs designed to make a positive impact on children. A large variety of sports activities and workshops are being offered including soccer skills; physical challenges; and icebreaker action games. For teens, bowling tournaments, soccer challenges and dodge ball under the stars are just a few of the active offerings. There is also a chance for the whole family to play along with a variety of sports including dodge ball, sports court fun, tug-of-war and King’s Camps’ family challenges.

Creative arts also play a big role in the program. With a focus on theater and the arts, young cruisers will have the chance to participate in puppet shows, mini improvisational acting classes and the ability to act out their favorite spy or survivor in themed activities such as Superspy Mission Impossible and Desert Island Adventures.

Through the partnership with Hilario Productions Cirque du Jour, Norwegian is offering circus workshops for the whole family teaching a variety of skills such as balancing feathers, juggling, plate spinning and even stilt walking. Classes will take place within the youth program and there is also a family circus school performed in a circus ring, hosted by a ringmaster. Hilario Productions Cirque du Jour was established by a team of performers from the famed Ringling Brothers, so kids and parents can learn from some of the best circus entertainers.

Additional offerings for families to participate in together include cupcake decorating; pizza making; a variety of family game shows; family charades; Family Deck Party; and a special Family White Hot Party.

Splash Academy also offers activities for cruisers under three and their parents who can enjoy sensory play classes which include baby art featuring “Wee Can Too” organic art products. There are also fun events such as parent and baby “Rhyme Time” where a storyteller recites popular nursery rhymes featuring puppets or “Motion in the Ocean,” a parent and baby mini workout.

Norwegian’s youth counselors have a degree or relevant in child care or sports education. The company has recruited staff with leadership qualities and those who can serve as positive role models. The counselors will continue to use cute, catchy nicknames which the children enjoy.

Splash Academy and Entourage are currently available on Norwegian Gem and are rolling out to all of Norwegian’s ships. Launch dates are as follows: Norwegian Jewel on April 21; Norwegian Star on May 6; Norwegian Dawn on May 25; Norwegian Epic on May 27; Norwegian Pearl on June 17; Norwegian Jade on June 30; Norwegian Sky on July 16; Norwegian Sun on July 24; Norwegian Spirit on August 14 and Pride of America on August 25. Norwegian Breakaway launching in April 2013 will also feature the new youth and teen programs.

Further information on Norwegian’s family offerings can be found at Families wanting to book a cruise on Norwegian to a variety of family-friendly destinations such as the Caribbean, Bermuda, Alaska, Europe and more, should contact a travel professional, call 866-234-7350 or visit

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Carnival Conquest to Operate Year-Round 7-Day Caribbean Cruises
From Miami Beginning in November 2013

Carnival Conquest, the next ship in line to receive the extensive dining, bar and entertainment enhancements that are part of the company’s ongoing Fun Ship 2.0 initiative, will reposition from New Orleans to Miami in November 2013 to operate year-round 7-day Caribbean departures from that port. On its new Miami-based schedule, Carnival Conquest will depart every Sunday, offering two distinctly different Caribbean itineraries beginning Nov. 24, 2013. Week-long eastern Caribbean cruises call at Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Grand Turk, while the western route features extended stops at Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, and Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan).

Prior to the start up of its Miami-based program, Carnival Conquest will operate two special departuresa 7-day exotic eastern Caribbean cruise from New Orleans to San Juan Nov. 9-16, calling at Grand Turk, La Romana (Dominican Republic); Tortola, and St. Thomas, as well as an 8-day southern Caribbean voyage from San Juan to Miami Nov. 16-24, visiting St. Kitts; Dominica, St. Maarten, Antigua, and Grand Turk.

Carnival Conquest’s dry dock will take place Oct. 14-28, 2012 and incorporate a wide variety of exciting on-board features, including:

RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside version of the RedFrog Pub offering a variety of the Caribbean’s top rums and beers, which are enjoyed in a laid back island-infused atmosphere
BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a friendly rival to the RedFrog Rum Bar, this lively and engaging watering hole specializes in frozen cocktails and Mexican beers, in a fun and festive environment
Alchemy Bar, a cocktail pharmacy where highly trained mixologists create custom cocktails using interesting flavors and ingredients
EA SPORTS Bar, an interactive sports bar where patrons can view live action, play popular EA SPORTS video games and keep up with the latest scores on the 24/7 sports ticker
Guy’s Burger Joint, a complimentary poolside venue offering fresh-made burgers, hand-cut fries and innovative toppings and condiments created in partnership with Food Network personality and chef Guy Fieri
BlueIguana Cantina, a free-of-charge Mexican cantina with authentic tacos and burritos that can be personalized by diners at an extensive salsa and toppings bar
The Punchliner Comedy Club & The Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez, who is taking Carnival’s popular comedy offerings to the next level with hilarious, side-splitting comedians and a humorous twist on the traditional mid-morning culinary feast
Hasbro, The Game Show, where guests are the stars of the show through larger-than-life adaptations of the company’s iconic and popular board games presented in the ship’s main show lounge
Playlist Productions, takes Carnival’s legendary revues to another level incorporating high-tech special effects with live performances to create a memorable entertainment experience
DJ IRIE, the celebrity spin-master and official DJ of Carnival Cruise Lines whose Spin’iversity is training the line’s shipboard DJs so they can place their own distinctive musical stamps on the line’s nightclubs and other venues

Carnival Conquest will continue its schedule from New Orleans through Nov. 9, 2013, before repositioning to Miami. With the Carnival Conquest, Carnival will have five ships based year-round in Miami, as well as one operating on a seasonal basis. Collectively, these six vessels will carry more than a million guests from the Port of Miamithe most of any Carnival homeport.

As previously announced, Carnival Conquest will be replaced in New Orleans by the Carnival Sunshine (the ship is currently sailing as the Carnival Destiny but will be renamed following an extensive 49-day refit that begins next winter). Reservations are currently being accepted for the Carnival Conquest’s various departures from Miami, New Orleans and San Juan. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Costa Concordia Defueling Operations Conclude; ‘Caretaking’ Operations Commence

HOLLYWOOD, FL, March 22: Costa Crociere, the municipality of Giglio Island and the Costa Concordia Emergency Commissioner’s Office announce that the operations to remove the fuel from Costa Concordia have successfully been completed.

Defueling operations, which were carried out by experts from the Neri/Smit Salvage team hired by Costa Crociere, began at 5 p.m. Feb. 12 and continued around the clock whenever sea and weather conditions were favorable. The removal of the fuel from 17 tanks of the ship will be completed by Friday night March 23. The operations used a system of pumps and valves to remove the fuel. “Hot tap” valves were attached to the side of the ship, a hole was drilled into the tank and a pipeline was attached. This enabled the oil to be heated and pumped out while seawater was pumped in to maintain the ship’s stability. Minimal amounts of fuel cannot be pumped out of the bulkheads of the tanks, but they pose no significant environmental risk.

“After the tragic incident involving the Costa Concordia we took immediate action to guarantee the least possible environmental impact and protect the environment of Giglio and the island’s economy and tourism industry, working productively and in full cooperation with the Emergency Commissioner’s Office and the Municipality of Giglio,” said Costa Crociere S.p.A. President Gianni Onorato. “We appointed the world’s leading salvage company to carry out the defueling operation, and this has been done successfully, preventing a potential ecological disaster.”

Onorato said that Costa Crociere is pleased with the results, and the company will continue to work with the same commitment during the next stages of the salvage mission until all the necessary operations are completed.

“The reliability and expertise of our company are shown by the professionalism with which we manage projects like this one,” said Onorato. “I wish to reiterate that the Costa Concordia incident was a one-off extraordinary event, extremely serious but unrepeatable, and I wish to express our condolences to the families of the victims and our closeness to all the people who suffered because of this incident.”

“We have observed and monitored the total commitment of all the parties involved in the efforts to prevent even the slightest environmental impact on the island and today we can see that our optimism was not misplaced,” said the Mayor of Giglio Sergio Ortelli. “The fact that the various operations and measures have been jointly agreed and implemented has enabled us to achieve what is a great result for the future of Giglio Island. We cannot forget the tragedy that occurred here and our thoughts are continuously with the families of the people who died or are missing. At the same time, the efficiency and effectiveness of the response to the emergency, combined with the fact that the daily analysis conducted by ARPAT and ISRA has confirmed that our waters are still crystalline, means that we can now look to the future with greater peace of mind.”

The people of Giglio are confident, continued Ortelli, that the next stage of the salvage operation, which will be more complex, will be handled with the same team spirit that has emerged to date and that this will lead to the same positive result that is the common goal. “I wish to thank the inhabitants of Giglio, who, at such a difficult time, have shown a tremendous sense of responsibility,” he said.

Costa Crociere made a multimillion-euro investment in defueling operations, with the primary focus on removing the fuel from the ship as quickly and cleanly as possible. Now that the fuel has been successfully pumped out of the tanks, and ahead of finalization of the wreck removal plan, attention is now focused on “caretaking” operations. The intention is to guarantee environmental monitoring and protection with the assistance of experts using dedicated means and resources, and to clean up the seabed and the area around the hull. Caretaking will be conducted by Neri/Smit Salvage technical staff appointed by Costa Crociere and will last one to two months.

As previously announced, regarding removal of the ship, the six working plans submitted by the March 3 deadline are being evaluated. A short list is being developed and the best plan will be selected and announced in early to mid April. All of the plans submitted prioritize the need to minimize the environmental impact, protect Giglio’s economy and tourism industry, and guarantee safety. The operation to remove the wreck is expected to take from 10 to 12 months, depending on which plan is chosen.

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Chef Kirsten Dixon to Share Secrets of Alaska Cuisine With Silversea Guests

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 22: Award-winning chef Kirsten Dixon, who has been cooking and living in the backcountry of Alaska for more than 20 years, will host a Culinary Arts enrichment program aboard Silver Shadow's Voyage 3213, sailing May 17 to 31, Tokyo to Seward, with calls in Hakodate, Kushiro, Petropavlovsk, Dutch Harbor, Kodiak and Homer.

Dixon and her family own Within the Wild Adventure Company, which operates three remote wilderness lodges in Southcentral Alaska (Winterlake Lodge, Redoubt Bay Lodge, Tutka Bay Lodge); the Cooking School at Tutka Bay; a home goods boutique, RusticWild; and La Baleine, a café in Homer, Alaska. Dixon spends time at all three lodges during the summer. She frequently teaches cooking lessons in the kitchen at Winterlake Lodge or at the Cooking School at Tutka Bay. (Most of her time is spent at Winterlake in the winter when the other two lodges are closed.) Dixon attended culinary school at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, and earned a master's degree in gastronomy from Adelaide University in Australia. She has written two cookbooks, including The Winterlake Lodge Cookbook, for which she won the "Best Female Chef USA" award at the Gourmand International Cookbook Awards in 2004.

"We're delighted to be able to showcase the talents of Chef Dixon on one of our Culinary Arts voyages," said Christian Sauleau, Silversea's executive vice president of fleet operations. "These culinary theme sailings are a great way for guests to perfect their cooking skills, learn the secrets of master chefs, and discover the unique flavors and ingredients of a particular region."

On Culinary Arts enrichment voyages, celebrity chefs display their exceptional talents during dynamic and informative cooking demonstrations. The voyages also feature escorted provisioning trips to international markets (when the itinerary permits), food and wine pairings, creative regional dishes, and a five-course grand gourmet dinner. Throughout these special sailings, the featured guest chef and Silversea’s executive chef are on hand to share their culinary expertise and answer any questions. Travelers with a passion for food will be pleased to know that this Silver Shadow voyage will also feature the exclusive "Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs" interactive cooking school, hosted by Silversea culinary trainer David Bilsland.

For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent, call toll-free (877) 215-9986, or visit

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Viking River Cruises Christens First Four New Viking Longships

LOS ANGELES, March 22: Marking a landmark year of innovation and expansion, Viking River Cruises, the world's leading river cruise line, yesterday proudly christened the first four of its new Viking Longships at a spectacular event in Amsterdam. Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of the PBS series "Masterpiece," which includes the hit show "Downton Abbey," and Joanna Lumley, the British actress famous for her role as "Patsy Stone" on "Absolutely Fabulous," joined the celebration as the ceremonial "godmothers" for the Viking Freya and Viking Odin. Renowned Harvard physicist Dr. Lisa Randall and Viking's most traveled passenger, Gail Wiswedel, served as godmothers for Viking Idun and Viking Njord.

"As we celebrate our 15th anniversary in 2012, we're proud to say this is the biggest day in our company's history. The christening of four new Viking Longships is the first step toward an exciting new horizon in our future," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking River Cruises. "By the end of 2013, we will have launched an unprecedented 12 new Viking Longships in two years, and today we are thrilled and honored to have had such an eminent and sophisticated group of women helping us christen the first four of those vessels."

The christening of the four new Viking Longships represents the first time in modern history that four cruise ships have been christened at once, with Viking Odin and Viking Idun christened in Amsterdam and Viking Njord and Viking Freya christened via satellite from the Neptun shipyard in Germany. Guests at the christening ceremony enjoyed remarks by each godmother and presentations by Hagen and Yran & Storbraaten, the celebrated maritime architects and Viking Longship designers. The ceremony concluded with an onboard dinner and maiden voyage cruise around the Amsterdam harbor.

Viking Godmothers
Each of the four Viking Longships was appointed a godmother who represents a key pillar of Viking River Cruises' heritage: Eaton represents culture and heritage; Lumley represents inspiration; Randall represents discovery; and Wiswedel represents journeying.

Emmy, Peabody and Golden Globe winner and Academy Award-nominee, Rebecca Eaton, has been the executive producer for "Masterpiece" for 25 years. Under her influence, the series has presented some of its most popular and enduring dramas, including "Prime Suspect," "Bleak House," "Sherlock" and the Emmy-award winning "Downton Abbey." Eaton's commitment to enriching, high-quality programming perfectly complements Viking River Cruises' cultural offerings. Eaton was listed in 2011's "TIME 100," TIME Magazine's list of the year's most influential people, and was profiled in the January 2012 issue of Vanity Fair. "As executive producer for 'Masterpiece,' I'm proud to have Viking River Cruises as our sponsor," said Eaton. "And what an honor to be asked to participate in the christening of the new Viking Longships."

Actress Joanna Lumley is best known for her work on the BBC hit comedy "Absolutely Fabulous," which was recently re-introduced to the air. She has also fronted several television travel documentaries, starred in multiple theatre productions, and has written several books. Lumley's creativity, humor and skill have made her an icon, and reflect the value placed on inspiration in all Viking cruises. Awarded an OBE in 1995, Lumley is also recognized for her human rights activism and charity, and she has campaigned on the behalf many important causes. "What an honor to serve as godmother to a ship that will sail through the heart of Europe on its most historic waterways," said Lumley. "I've always been inspired by experiencing new destinations, and what better way to do so than on a modern cruise ship named for a Viking god!"

Dr. Lisa Randall is a professor of physics at Harvard University, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is one of the most influential and highly cited theoretical physicists. Revered as a leading expert on particle physics and cosmology, Randall is the author of two bestselling books on the nature of the universe, including the recent "Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World." She has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions, including being named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. "River cruising is about observation and inquiry--learning about places from the inside out. As a particle physicist, these are goals that very much resonate with me. I'm delighted to be associated with this launch, and the appreciation of physics expressed by all involved," said Randall.

Gail Wiswedel, of Saugatuck, Michigan, is a longtime honorary member of the Viking River Cruises family. As Viking's most-traveled guest, Wiswedel is an invaluable source of insight and inspiration. When asked for her reaction to being named godmother, Gail exclaimed, "I'm so honored. I honestly feel like the Viking staff are part of my family...they care; they truly care." In addition to serving as a Viking godmother, Wiswedel already has two Viking cruises planned for later this year.

New Viking Longships
Viking Longships integrate patent-pending* design and cutting-edge technology with comfortable amenities that reflect guest preferences and current travel trends, such as:

-- Two Explorer Suites, which will be the largest river cruise suites in Europe at 445 square feet, each featuring a separate living room, bedroom and private wraparound veranda, offering 270-degree views.
-- Seven two-room Veranda Suites with a full-size veranda in the living room and a French balcony in the bedroom.
-- Thirty-nine Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas.
-- Twenty-two French Balcony Staterooms.
-- A revolutionary new all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace, which reinvents the onboard lounge experience by bringing the panoramic outdoor river scenery indoors with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors allowing guests to enjoy the scenery and dine al fresco.
-- New premium in-cabin amenities that include heated bathroom floors and mirrors, Sony HD TV's and premium bath products.
-- Sustainability upgrades, such as solar panels, an onboard organic herb garden and energy-efficient hybrid engines that reduce vibrations for a remarkably smooth ride.

Accommodating 190 passengers, the ships are scheduled to sail four of Viking's most popular European itineraries, including the 10-day Tulips & Windmills, 8-day Romantic Danube, 15-day Grand European Tour and 8-day Danube Waltz. Each of the new Viking Longships will be 443 feet (135 meters) long and feature 95 staterooms per ship.

Just last week, Viking announced it has commissioned six additional Viking Longships for delivery in 2013, bringing the total number of new ships to be launched in two years to 12. With the six additional vessels, Viking will have invested more than $400 million in its fleet development program over three years. For more information, visit

*Corridor configuration registered designs patent pending numbers 1832106-0001 to 1832106-0011.

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Princess Celebrates Record-Breaking Bookings for New Royal Princess

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 21: Princess Cruises had the biggest booking day in its history for a new ship’s inaugural season with the anticipated debut of Royal Princess. Opening the books on its 2013 Mediterranean season on March 15, sales for the new Royal Princess reached an all-time record for the most bookings of any ship’s maiden season voyages.

“We’re thrilled to see such enthusiasm for our new Royal Princess,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. “The volume of bookings we received on Thursday is a testament to the huge support of the travel agent community, our loyal past passengers, and those first-time Princess cruisers excited to experience Royal Princess.”

The ship’s 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruises between Barcelona and Venice begin on June 23, 2013. Preceding these cruises, Royal Princess sails on her inaugural voyage, a 7-day Iberia cruise from Southampton to Barcelona departing June 16.

“Offering our newest ship on our most popular Europe itinerary, the Grand Mediterranean, has clearly proved popular with consumers and we’d like to thank everyone who has booked a cruise on the new Royal Princess,” added Swartz. “The combination of an extraordinary onboard experience with these iconic European ports is sure to give passengers the cruise of a lifetime.”

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises. Among the new features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; the dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway on the ship's starboard side extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; a dazzling water and light show; an expanded version of Princess' signature adults-only haven, The Sanctuary; and the popular poolside theater, Movies Under the Stars. Eighty percent of the ship’s staterooms will feature a balcony. More information about the ship is available at

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American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the Mississippi Successfully Completes First Sea Trial

GUILFORD, CT, March 20: American Cruise Lines, the leader in small ship cruising, is pleased to announce that on March 18, a bright and sunny Sunday, the Queen of the Mississippi left the pier at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland, for its first sea trial. The vessel performed perfectly as the huge paddlewheel churned the water and onlookers lined the riverbanks to watch.

“The Queen of the Mississippi sets a new standard in river cruising and raises the bar for grand travel on the Mississippi River,” said Charles A. Robertson, President of American Cruise Lines. Robertson also revealed that the new riverboat is slightly faster than expected and is now nine weeks ahead of schedule.

The Queen of the Mississippi will be completed in May, with its inaugural cruise scheduled for August 11, 2012 from New Orleans to Memphis. Currently, the interior is well underway with carpeting being installed throughout the ship and furniture beginning to go onboard. All sliding glass doors leading to the private balconies are in place and painting is nearly complete.

The Queen of the Mississippi carries 150 guests in spacious staterooms, many of which are twice the size of those on any other Mississippi riverboat. Staterooms feature large private balconies with sliding glass doors and all of the amenities today’s travelers expect, while maintaining the elegance of classic late 1800s Mississippi riverboats. American Cruise Lines will operate the authentic paddlewheeler over the entire Mississippi River System, including the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. The Queen of the Mississippi will also be able to travel at significantly higher speeds than all other Mississippi riverboats, minimizing night travel and making more itineraries possible with longer visits to the river towns. A number of unique riverboat journeys are planned that take passengers as far north as St. Paul, MN on the Mississippi River and as far east as Pittsburgh, PA on the Ohio River. To learn more, visit or call (800) 814-6880.

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Royal Caribbean to Transfer Monarch of the Seas to Pullmantur

MIAMI, Mar. 20: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced the transfer of Monarch of the Seas from its Royal Caribbean International cruise brand to its Pullmantur brand, a cruise and tour operator based in Madrid. Monarch of the Seas will transfer to Pullmantur on April 1, 2013, following its last sailing for Royal Caribbean International, which departs on March 29, 2013.

“We are very proud of Monarch of the Seas for delivering great service and outstanding destinations to vacationers since her maiden voyage,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “She will go on creating wonderful travel memories through her final sailings for our brand through next March and then continue doing the same for Pullmantur’s guests.”

With the incorporation of Monarch of the Seas, Pullmantur will increase its total guest capacity by nearly 25 percent and meet a rising demand for the brand’s distinctive All Inclusive-style cruise holidays.

‘‘The transfer of Monarch of the Seas will reinforce Pullmantur in our Latin American growth strategy, and help us become one of the most widely recognized brands,’’ said Pullmantur’s President and CEO, Gonzalo Chico Barbier.

Monarch of the Seas was built at Chantiers de L’Atlantique (now STX France) in St. Nazaire, France and sailed its maiden voyage on November 17, 1991. The ship is part of the Sovereign class of cruise ships, which were the world’s largest and most innovative of their time.

Pullmantur is the leading Spanish Tour Operator and Cruise Company, founded in 1971, and famous for introducing the ‘All Inclusive’ concept to cruising. Pullmantur is leader of the cruise market in Spain and Portugal, currently operating a modern fleet of four vessels, with a daily passenger capacity of 9,000, cruising worldwide, and calling on approximately 100 destinations. The company offers a unique door-to-door flight service, operated by its in-house air travel division with a fleet of four Boeing 747-400. Pullmantur Air provides charter flights to the European Cruise Port Embarkations and long-haul flights between Spain and the Caribbean Sea for the company’s tour-operation division. Spain based Pullmantur, operates through satellite offices in Brazil, Mexico, Portugal and France.

For additional information, visit

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All Inclusive Arrives in Elegant Fashion to Crystal Cruises

LOS ANGELES, March 20: After a year of planning, Crystal Cruises has now officially begun its transition to an all-quality "All Inclusive." Launched with the start of Crystal Symphony's Miami to Lisbon Trans-Atlantic cruise yesterday, guests can now enjoy a generous and impressive selection of complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, as well as open bar service in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities for all housekeeping, butler, bar and dining staff. Crystal Serenity follows suit with her spring Trans-Atlantic sailing on May 8.

To satisfy the most discerning of palettes, Crystal's gratis "well" liquors offer superior brands, such as Grey Goose, Maker's Mark, Macallan Select, Hennessy V.S.O.P., and Herradura Silver. Wines and champagnes include higher-end vintages from both boutique makers and big-name wineries, including Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay, St. Michael-Eppan Sauvignon Blanc Lahn, Edge Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2008, Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva, Castello di Bolgheri Varvara, Chateau Macquin St. Emilion, and Jacquart Brut Mosaique, Reims, France. Dinner restaurants offer recommended pairings nightly, and sommeliers certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers remain on hand to assist with wine selections. There is no corkage fee on board if one wishes to enjoy wine purchased ashore.

An optional Connoisseur menu features award-winning, renowned and/or rare vintages, select single malt whiskeys and other aged spirits at reasonable in-store prices, as opposed to traditional upscale restaurant and hotel rates. Vintage Room experiences further tap into Crystal's extensive wine cellar. Silver and Gold Connoisseur Packages of four and six fine wines, respectively, are also available for on-board gifts.

"Our 'All Inclusive' offers a luxuriously comfortable guest experience that focuses, as always, on incredible quality and impeccable execution," says Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president, operations. "This 'All Inclusive' transition further enhances the extraordinary ease and value of a Crystal vacation."

Crystal's passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more "World's Best" awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Banana Coast Unveils Diverse Shore Excursion Program

MIAMI, March 19: Principals of Banana Coast, Honduras, the only new Caribbean cruise destination under construction, unveiled the port's initial tours in a diverse shore excursion program designed to offer something for everyone, including cultural, soft-adventure and eco-tour offerings.

The tours enable guests to explore the area from land, air and sea. In addition to the signature tour—Campo del Mar Nature Park & Beach Break—highlights include a VIP airplane ride to the Mayan ruins at Copan, a zipline that runs through a lagoon, rainforest and over the beach; a snorkeling adventure at a beautiful starfish bank, and kayaking in the pristine Guaimoreto Lagoon. Guests looking to stay on land have the chance to discover the port’s appeal through an exciting mountain ATV ride, a culinary tasting tour or a trolley ride through the colonial town of Trujillo.

“Banana Coast Tours has put together a collection of shore excursions that highlight the charms of the colonial Spanish town of Trujillo, the historic surrounding areas, the beautiful seashore and the lush tropical rainforests,” said Shannon McKee, director of Banana Coast Tour Company. “There are few Caribbean cruise destinations that are able to offer cruise lines such a wide array of shore excursions as Banana Coast.”

Initial shore excursions include:

Adventure Tours
Guaimoreto Zipline Adventure: Travel at exhilarating speeds through a labyrinth of 18 towers while enjoying incredible views of the Guaimoreto Lagoon with its system of mangroves, canals and a multitude of bird and animal species.

Jungle ATV Extreme: Ride through the jungles of Honduras on your own all-terrain vehicle. Relish this off-road adventure through the magnificent cloud forests with spectacular views and unlimited fun. Cool off with an ocean dip and then indulge in an outdoor barbecue party.

Reef & Starfish Snorkel: Experience the waters that Christopher Columbus discovered 500 years ago in the Cayo Blanco eco-system. Here you’ll experience the underwater magic of colorful coral and vibrant fish before you continue your travels over the azure seas to the unique starfish bank. Dive beneath the pristine waters to get your own “touch” experience with these beautiful ocean creatures.

Ruins of Copan: Soar via private plane over the breathtaking mountains and rainforests of Honduras on your way to the legendary ruins of Copan, a feature attraction with its rich stone sculptures and intricate hieroglyphics. Discover with a private guide this Mayan civilization that flourished for more than 2,000 years and was thought to be one of the most lavish cultural centers in the New World.

Tried & True
Trujillo by Trolley: Discover the highlights of the colonial town of Trujillo on board an open-air trolley train. You’ll learn about Christopher Columbus’ landing here in 1502, American filibuster William Walker, the Santa Barbara Fort, the escape of the Garifuna people and more, all while relaxing in the cool ocean breeze. Hop-on. Hop-off. Discover the sights at your leisure.

Best of Trujillo: Combine the history of the trolley train, cultural diversity of the Garifuna, the flora and fauna of Campo del Mar, the intricate eco-system of the Guaimoreto Lagoon and the natural wonders of the hot springs — and you’ll experience the best of Trujillo.

Taste of Trujillo: Local cuisine, wine, bitters and chocolate — all made the traditional way. Journey through time on a tasting tour that will take you to the days of the banana boom, the tall ships with their controversial cargo and finally, the legendary Mayans. Experience how it was done not just 100 years ago, but 1,000 years ago. An educational, yet deliciously satisfying, sensation for your taste buds.

Fun in the Sun
Campo del Mar Nature Park & Beach Break: Circulate among the 22 acres of flora and fauna, drink from a coconut, make a few animal friends and just bask in the warmth of the sun on the unspoiled beaches to truly immerse yourself in the delights of Campo del Mar. Cool off with an ocean dip for a perfect day.

Waterfall & Lagoon Adventure: With two large mountains and multiple rivers, waterfalls are everywhere at Banana Coast. Trek through a small local village, wade through streams, hike quartz-filled hills to discover the hidden waterfalls and lagoon of Betulia. Swim in the refreshing mountain stream lagoon, snorkel for fresh-water shrimp or explore the riverside.

Guaimoreto Lagoon Kayak: Discover the delicate bio-diverse ecosystem found in the mangroves as you kayak through the fascinating Guaimoreto Lagoon, which encompasses a complex area of wetlands rich in birdlife, flora, fauna and indigenous Central American animals.

The $30 million Banana Coast project, led by Grande Trujillo Authoridad, Desarollos Vision de Vida and Miami-based Global Destinations Development, currently is in the site-work stage with dredging, marine works and site-fill under way. Plans for Banana Coast call for construction of a two-berth, Post-Panamax dock and a 50,000-square-foot shopping facility and transportation hub on 10 acres of beachfront land. Themed “Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea,” Banana Coast is in talks with several cruise lines and expects to accept its first cruise ship reservations for the 2013 season.

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Holland America Line Introduces Three New Alaska CruiseTours for 2012 Program

SEATTLE, March 19: As part of its 2012 Alaska CruiseTour program, Holland America Line has introduced three new options, including the industry's only three-night Denali experience and CruiseTour departures featuring one-night Denali adventures. Ranging in total length from 10 to 20 days, all CruiseTours combine a 3-, 4- or 7-day Inside Passage Holland America Line cruise with in-depth overland tours. CruiseTours are designed to highlight the best of Alaska's wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history. While nearly all offer a choice of one, two, or three nights at Denali, six tours also feature Canada's Yukon Territory with its Klondike Gold Rush heritage and pristine national parks such as Kluane National Park and Tombstone Park. Departures range from May through September.

"By expanding our CruiseTour program with three new experiences, we can now meet the desires of guests who want more time to see all that Denali has to offer, as well as guests who just want a quick visit," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. "Our CruiseTours continue to be a popular vacation choice because they merge the best of both worlds for guests who want to see Alaska by both land and sea."

The new tours provide unique opportunities to explore Denali with an emphasis on both value and convenience - including a direct, same-day connection between Denali and the ship and luxury travel aboard Holland America Line's McKinley Explorer dome train.

Express Tours U1 & U2
Holland America Line's first-ever round-trip Seattle CruiseTour offers guests a choice of one or two nights at Denali. The tours feature scenic cruising throughout Prince William Sound and Alaska's famed Inside Passage. Additionally, this itinerary includes sailing through the ice-studded fjords of Glacier Bay National Park for a full eight hours as a Park Service Ranger narrates. Guests also have the option to stay in Haines for a more intimate experience or travel to Skagway for a day of shopping or a shore excursion. Rates start at $1,399 per person based on double occupancy.

Express Tour U3
The line's first ever Triple Denali CruiseTour includes three nights and two full days in one of Alaska's top attractions. Guests board the McKinley Explorer train to Denali where they can spend the evening exploring the area on their own. On the second day in Denali, guests travel deep into Denali National Park during the Tundra Wilderness Tour. The tour, narrated by a naturalist, ventures 53 miles into Denali National Park to the Toklat River. Guest also will visit Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan - famous for its rich native culture, salmon fishing and scenic fjords - before returning to Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Rates start at $1,299 per person, double occupancy.

Denali Sampler Tour U4
The Denali Sampler Tour is the line's first ever one-night Direct to Denali Adventure, with just enough time to have the essential Denali experience. During this tour guests will sail from Vancouver and enjoy scenic cruising throughout Alaska's Inside Passage before calling at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Glacier Bay. Park Service Rangers narrate for a full eight hours as guests enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Glacier Bay. While in Denali, guests can spend the day exploring Denali National Park before boarding the McKinley Explorer train bound for Anchorage. Rates start at $899 per person based on double occupancy.

Unique to the Holland America Line cruise experience, highly trained and knowledgeable interpreters, Tour Concierges and Alaska travel guides are present on most CruiseTours and Alaska sailings, and National Park Rangers provide extensive commentary and guided programs at Glacier Bay National Park. Tour Concierges travel throughout the land portion on longer CruiseTour itineraries. For more information on Holland America Line's cruises and CruiseTours, consult a professional travel seller, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Silver Shadow In Minor Collision

Silver Shadow was involved in a minor incident on March 16, 2012 at around 4:20 GMT as it was approaching the pilot station in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. There was contact between Silver Shadow and a local commercial vessel. Silver Shadow incurred limited minor dents and guests' safety was never compromised. The ship was fully operational and continued on its course to Ha Long Bay where all shore tours operated normally.

Silversea will carry out a full investigation into the incident.

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Legendary Rockers KISS Set Sail Halloween 2012 on Norwegian Pearl

NASHVILLE, TN: Join the KISS Navy for the wettest, wildest, and most rockin’ adventure at sea, 2012's KISS Kruise II. Legendary rock band KISS has partnered with Sixthman again to offer music fans another unforgettable rock ‘n’ roll experience, following the infamous inaugural voyage last fall. This year’s sequel will take place aboard the beautiful Norwegian Pearl Oct 31 through Nov 4, 2012 with fans rocking from Miami, Fl., to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, Norwegian’s private island reserved just for KISS fans. Following an exclusive booking period for KISS Fan Club members, a limited number of remaining staterooms go sale to the public beginning March 15, 2012.

The four night cruise includes many features of the phenomenal 2011 voyage, as well as exciting new attractions, including each member of the band leading their own onboard activity. KISS Kruisers will have the rare opportunity to explore Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas. Guests will receive an exclusive autographed KISS Kruise II print and a photo of themselves with the band and their cabin mates. KISS will perform a live concert in Norwegian Pearl’s main theater, as well as a special unmasked acoustic show on the ship's pool deck. The KISS Kruise II also includes a Q&A with the band, costume contests, wild theme nights, and of course, an insane Halloween blowout, surpassing any music fan's wildest dreams. The Kruise also includes special performances from Big Rock Show, Radiolucent, and Yacht Rock Revue. Stay tuned for announcements regarding shows, contests, activities, and additional guest performers to round out this extraordinary event.

Fares include entertainment, meals in the complimentary restaurants, and access to many Norwegian Pearl amenities, such as the two pools, hot tubs, massive spa, rock climbing wall, sports deck and fitness center. Select balcony staterooms and luxury suites in The Haven by Norwegian, including the largest suite at sea – the 5,000-square foot Garden Villa that sleeps up to eight, are also available, featuring incredible views, private hot tubs, and butler and concierge services. For more information visit:

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Princess Cruises Announces 2013 Europe & Alaska Cruise Seasons

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 15: Princess Cruises today opened the books on its 2013 Europe and Alaska cruise seasons. Featuring the debut of the new Royal Princess in the Mediterranean and Grand Princess’ first-ever Alaska season, passengers will find a rich array of itinerary options in these popular summertime destinations.

In Europe, Princess will be sailing its youngest fleet ever in the region, with seven ships plying the waters of the Mediterranean, Baltic, and Northern Europe. The line’s newest ship, Royal Princess, will sail on Princess’ popular Grand Mediterranean route, while passengers can take advantage of a variety of other intriguing Europe cruise options across the fleet, including the British Isles, Holy Land, Black Sea and Scandinavia & Russia.

In Alaska, the seven-ship Princess fleet will feature the recently remodeled Grand Princess sailing on its first West Coast summer, with cruises from San Francisco. The fleet will offer the most balcony staterooms in Alaska, perfect for taking in the spectacular scenery, including Glacier Bay to which Princess will again take more passengers than any other cruise line. Alaska visitors can also choose from more than 20 Princess cruisetour options, all featuring the state’s number one land attraction – Denali National Park.

“With seven-ship fleets in both regions, passengers have an abundance of choice to explore either one of our classic summer destinations,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Whether they choose the variety of historic and cosmopolitan ports of Europe or the amazing wildlife and stunning glaciers of Alaska, we have the perfect itinerary to take them there.”

The 2013 Europe program features seven ships sailing on 60 itineraries with 124 departures to 135 destinations:

Royal Princess, the line’s newest ship, debuts in June sailing on Princess’ signature 12-day Grand Mediterranean itinerary.
Ruby Princess debuts three new 7-day Mediterranean Interlude sailings that can be combined into longer voyages. The ship will also sail on the popular 12-day Greek Isles itinerary.
Crown Princess will sail from London (Southampton) on a variety of cruises to the Mediterranean as well as Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea.
Caribbean Princess will be offering more departures of its 12-day British Isles cruises, plus will sail to the Norwegian Fjords.
Emerald Princess again sails on 11-day Baltic Sea cruises from Copenhagen, featuring the 2-day Experience in St. Petersburg.
The intimate Ocean Princess debuts a new 14-day Iceland & Norway itinerary to off-the-beaten- path ports in Iceland, plus will offer more 8-day British Isles sailings and a longer Baltic route.
Small sister ship Pacific Princess again offers a full season of Holy Land sailings and will offer more departures on Black Sea cruises.

Mediterranean – In addition to Princess’ classic itineraries – Grand Mediterranean and Greek Isles – Ruby Princess will debut three new 7-day Mediterranean routes sailing from Venice, Athens or Rome, that can be combined into 14- or 21-day voyages.

Holy Land – Princess remains the leader in Holy Land departures with 13 cruises aboard Pacific Princess, including opportunities for overland exploration in Israel and Egypt.

Baltic Sea – Three unique itineraries offer more choices than ever for sailings in the Baltic Sea, including visits to intriguing ports in Scandinavia and Russia. Emerald Princess will sail on the line’s 11-day roundtrip voyage from Copenhagen, while Ocean Princess and Crown Princess will offer 14-day itineraries. Ocean Princess’ Scandinavia & Russia Collection route features some unique ports of call, including Riga in Latvia and Klaipeda in Lithuania. All three options include the 2-day Experience in St. Petersburg for more time in this historic Russian city.

Northern Europe – Ocean Princess debuts a new 14-day Iceland & Norway itinerary that visits off-the-beaten-path ports in Iceland, as well as a maiden call to Klaksvik in the Faroe Islands. Caribbean Princess and Crown Princess will also offer cruises to the northern reaches, including the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and Greenland.

British Isles – Princess will offer more departures on British Isles sailings with two itinerary options – a 12-day route on Caribbean Princess from Southampton and an 8-day option from Dover aboard Ocean Princess. Six of these departures will include the opportunity to attend the famed Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Black Sea – Pacific Princess will offer more departures on the Black Sea route, for a total of three cruises on this intriguing itinerary which includes a 2-day Experience in Istanbul.

New Ports: Maiden calls for the season include Toulon, France for Provence; Bourdeaux (Le Verdon), France; Heraklion, Greece on the island of Crete; Trapani, Italy on Sicily; Milford Haven, Wales; Kirkeness, Norway; Klaksvik, Faroe Islands; and Skjolden, Norway.

Cruisetours: Princess also offers three European cruisetours which combine certain sailings with a fully-escorted land tour to explore some classic Italian destinations, Ireland’s wild west and the breathtaking Ring of Kerry, the remarkable Swiss Alps and Lake Como, or the imperial treasures in Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin.

Cruises – Passengers have a variety of options for exploring “The Great Land,” with seven ships sailing on five itineraries to more than 15 destinations. In total, the line will offer 124 Alaska cruise departures in 2013.

Voyage of the Glaciers – The line’s signature Gulf of Alaska route between Vancouver and Whittier (for Anchorage) features two glacier-viewing experiences on every sailing, with visits to Glacier Bay National Park plus either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. Ships also call at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. Diamond Princess and the recently remodeled Sapphire Princess sail on Saturdays, Island Princess offers Monday departures and Coral Princess sails on Wednesdays for a total of 72 sailing choices between May 13 and Sept 18, 2013.

Inside Passage from Seattle – Golden Princess and Star Princess offer convenient weekend departures on two different 7-day roundtrip itineraries from Seattle along the scenic Inside Passage. Both visit Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, B.C., and passengers will enjoy dramatic glacier viewing in either Glacier Bay National Park (Star Princess) or Tracy Arm (Golden Princess). The two ships will sail on 38 departures between May 11 and Sept 15, 2013.

Inside Passage from Vancouver – Island Princess and Sapphire Princess each offer a sailing on this 7-day roundtrip cruise from Vancouver, taking in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan plus glacier viewing in Glacier Bay National Park. Island Princess sails on Sept 16 and Sapphire Princess departs on Sept 21.

Inside Passage from San Francisco – Grand Princess’ first Alaska season features sailings from the “City by the Bay” on 10-day roundtrip cruises. The ship offers 13 voyages from San Francisco featuring the scenery of Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm, with calls at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria (with some sailings substituting Haines, Sitka or Icy Strait Point). Departures sail between May 10 and Sept 7, 2013.

Cruisetours – Princess cruisetours offer passengers more than 20 itinerary options for a complete land and sea Alaska experience ranging from 10 to 15 nights. All cruisetours include a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers sailing including a visit to Glacier Bay National Park, plus at least two nights in the Denali National Park area with stays at Princess’ riverside wilderness lodges.

Denali Explorer – Princess’ most popular cruisetour option, Denali Explorer packages feature multiple nights at the line’s Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, plus the exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between the Whittier cruise terminal and the dramatic Denali National Park area. Most also offer the opportunity to explore Fairbanks or Anchorage.

On Your Own – An affordable option for independent-minded travelers, these tours offer a flexible way to see the Heart of Alaska. Tours do not include any pre-planned excursions, giving travelers time to create their own experience.

Off the Beaten Path – For those who want to explore Denali and beyond, these tours offer options to the Kenai Peninsula with stays at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge or Wrangell-St. Elias National Park with stays at Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge. Passengers can even choose to venture to the state’s far north into the Arctic Circle and Prudhoe Bay.

Connoisseur – These cruisetour options offer the services of a professional tour director and additional time for passengers to experience the Great Land. Offering the highest level of service, these tours include most meals and enhanced sightseeing options as well.
Full details of the Europe and Alaska schedules can be found in Princess’ new downloadable overview brochures for Alaska, Mediterranean and Northern Europe.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at

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Holland America Line Makes Summer Cruising in Alaska & Europe
an Affordable Family Vacation Option

Seattle, Wash., March 14, 2012 — Holland America Line is making an Alaska CruiseTour or European cruise a more affordable vacation option this summer with limited-time savings and special offers. Guests who book select 2012 Alaska CruiseTours or European itineraries by March 31, 2012, are eligible to receive up to a $500 air credit per stateroom or a shipboard credit of up to $200 per suite, as well as complimentary stateroom upgrades from an inside stateroom to an oceanview or from an oceanview stateroom to a verandah. Families looking to take a summer vacation can take advantage of an exclusive offer that lets kids between the ages of two and 17 cruise free on select Europe itineraries when sailing as a third or fourth guest in a stateroom.

“Savvy travelers know that cruising is an incredible value when it comes to vacation options,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “But when you add these extra incentives it makes it possible for more guests and families on summer holiday to enjoy an unforgettable cruise experience.”

For the summer Europe season, seven Holland America Line ships sail 44 unique itineraries that span from the northern tip of Norway to the Black Sea and eastern and western Mediterranean. Five new maiden ports of call and four new itineraries make their debut, and guests can enjoy overnight visits in 17 cities, including Hamburg, Germany; Istanbul, Turkey; St. Petersburg, Russia; Stockholm, Sweden; Dublin, Ireland; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Venice, Italy; and Bordeaux, France.

Families with less time who are looking for a cultural and scenic adventure can opt for a 7-day sailing to the fjords of Norway or a Mediterranean adventure. Roundtrip cruises sail from Dover (London), England; Barcelona, Spain; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; and Rotterdam and Amsterdam, Netherlands. Additional Holland America Line Europe itineraries enable guests to be among the few to cross the Arctic Circle, transit Germany’s Kiel Canal, explore the ancient pyramids of Giza, and take a dip in the famous “Blue Lagoon,” Iceland’s unique geothermal seawater.

In summer 2012, the line will have seven ships sailing three different Alaska itineraries, as well as nine CruiseTours that combine an Inside Passage Holland America Line cruise with in-depth overland tours. Ranging in total length from 10 to 20 days. CruiseTours are designed to highlight the best of Alaska’s wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history. New for 2012, three new CruiseTours highlight Denali National Park with the only three-night Denali experience available; the line’s first-ever round-trip Seattle, Wash., CruiseTour departures; and one-night Denali adventures. Six tours also feature Canada’s Yukon Territory with its Klondike Gold Rush heritage and pristine national parks such as Kluane National Park and Tombstone Park.

For cruise brochures or for more information on the Alaska CruiseTours and European itineraries, consult a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Cruise Shipping Miami's State of the Industry Session Tackles Industry Issues

MIAMI, March 14: The opening plenary session of the 28th annual Cruise Shipping Miami event got under way Tuesday with a full range of cruise industry issues and topics addressed by top cruise executives. Since last March, the cruise industry reached record passenger levels, sailing to more than 120 countries, establishing new destinations, implementing the latest on-board technologies and building innovative ships. The future couldn't be brighter. But that doesn't change the fact that the Costa Concordia accident is still top of mind for most of the cruise industry.

Daniel Read, director of UBM's Cruise Shipping Group, began Tuesday morning's "State of the Industry" session with somber acknowledgement of the tragedy. "Recent months have been challenging," he said. He tempered his reflections with hope for continued growth.

Keynote speaker Howard Frank, vice chairman and COO of Carnival Corp. & plc and CLIA chairman, said the Costa Concordia tragedy affected not just one company, but the entire industry. He offered his deepest sympathies for the families and loved ones of the victims, some of whom he visited personally. He also paid tribute to the heroic efforts of Concordia's crew as well as the residents of Giglio Island, who opened their homes to passengers. He also thanked everyone in the industry for their confidence and support. On a personal note, Frank mentioned that whenever he visits a Carnival company, he wears that company's lapel pin. For the last two months, however, he said he's only worn his Costa pin. He said he couldn't be more proud of Costa and firmly believes the cruise line will come back even stronger.

Frank also spoke of the global response to the Costa Concordia tragedy and how safety is CLIA's number-one priority. He mentioned a top-to-bottom industry safety review, which so far has resulted in a mandatory muster of all embarking passengers prior to departure. This new policy exceeds existing legal regulations and has been voluntarily initiated by cruise line members of CLIA, the European Cruise Council and the Passenger Shipping Association. Frank added that the industry has every reason to look to the future. Last year a record 16 million passengers throughout the world went on a cruise, and he expects this growth to continue. He also reminded those in the industry they have the privilege of bringing joy to passengers as well as the responsibility to provide a safe and secure environment for all.

The State of the Industry forum took on a different format this year, with the CEO panelists taking part in a round-table discussion rather than making individual presentations. Topics, as well as questions submitted to moderator Christine Duffy, president of Cruise Line International Association, touched on a range of subjects and were addressed throughout the session by the six cruise line executives.

In light of the Costa Concordia incident in January, the discussion began with industry safety and regulations policies. Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, spoke about bridge management and the need for continuous improvement in safety practices, even with the industry's excellent safety record. Royal has gone as far as to implement a new training program in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to bolster their bridge practices and techniques.

Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line, agreed with Goldstein that the industry is fundamentally very safe, yet he believes that we need to do a better job of communicating and explaining safety successes.

"Our primary focus is on prevention," said Gerald Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines. "But sometimes things can go wrong, and we have to be prepared with a flexible plan." Carnival's plans include identifying people to perform certain duties in the event of an emergency and training those people who are both shipboard and shoreside.

Carrying mostly European clientele, MSC Cruises pays careful attention to their ability to communicate in a variety of languages should an emergency arise, said CEO Pierfrancesco Vago. The line features in-cabin videos, booklets and door plaques in several languages, and trains crew to communicate with guests.

All panelists agreed that shipboard crewmembers are well prepared in emergency-response and crisis situations because of their regular drills and training. Kevin Sheehan, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, suggested that having the officers be more visible would help ease safety concerns among guests.

The session then turned to public health, a topic that continues to plague the industry due to norovirus outbreaks. However, Dan Hanrahan, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, was quick to point out that the U.S. Public Health organization is a great partner to the industry and that it is incumbent upon the lines to get the word out about health practices aboard ships.

Corporate social responsibility also plays an important role with lines. Cahill noted that often when a natural disaster hits a port, the cruise industry is one of the first responders. Goldstein added that the industry also often supports the recovery process, such as his line building a school in Haiti,  long after the situation is out of the news.

Social responsibility goes beyond aiding in recovery, however. Sheehan, who also is chairman of Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, spoke about that organization's ability to raise funds to donate Christmas gifts to needy children. Social responsibility also includes building port infrastructure, guests shoreside spending and commitment to the environment.

Goldstein recently met with the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss regulations regarding emissions-control areas that go into effect Aug. 1, 2012. The new laws will require lower-sulfur fuel options or some type of equivalent, said Goldstein, and he's hoping the meetings will help EPA understand how cruise lines make decisions. Kruse is scheduled to meet with EPA this week to continue the talks, and he's hoping the agency understands that the lines have assets that can move, which could be devastating to smaller ports.

When discussing earnings, Cahill said bookings looked good and not so dismal as they are being made out to be. In fact, the line is ahead of where it was at the same time last year. Hanrahan said Celebrity regularly conducts surveys of potential cruisers, and the number of "cruise rejecters," or people who will never cruise, hasn't changed despite recent industry challenges. Norwegian Cruise Line, said Sheehan, has not seen a change in cancellations since the Concordia incident.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Major New Innovation On Norwegian Breakaway:
The Waterfront & 678 Ocean Place

MIAMI, March 14: Norwegian Cruise Line today unveiled a major innovation in ship design: The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place on its newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, launching in April 2013. This new concept includes an oceanfront boardwalk lined with shops, restaurants and bars, combined with three expansive, flowing decks of dining, bars, entertainment, gaming and more. The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place will take cruising to new heights and offer an unparalleled experience with a unique connection to the ocean.

“With our newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, we are continuing our tradition of innovation with a brand new ship design that will provide our guests with a unique experience unlike anything else at sea,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “The heart of Norwegian Breakaway and the elements that truly set it apart are The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place. Guests will enjoy al fresco dining while admiring the beauty of the ocean, along with the excitement and exhilaration of three expansive action-packed decks, as everything is designed to flow seamlessly."

Located on Deck 8, The Waterfront is a revolutionary outdoor experience that adds a whole new dimension to the line’s signature Freestyle Cruising, by offering a number of seaside venues that feature breathtaking views and a sense of connection with the ocean. The hub of the ship is 678 Ocean Place, a space that uniquely flows, intertwines and connects three decks of daytime and nighttime amusements. There will be a total of 17* dining venues combined on both 678 Ocean Place and The Waterfront, along with 12* bars and lounges. Norwegian will also introduce a new dining concept on Norwegian Breakaway, Ocean Blu, the line’s first ever all-seafood restaurant, which will include a premium raw bar, along with a separate sushi bar.

The Waterfront
The Waterfront will feature eight outdoor dining and lounging options, including signature Norwegian favorites like Moderno Churrascaria; Cagney’s Steakhouse; La Cucina; Shaker’s Cocktail Bar; Malting’s Beer & Whiskey Bar; and the newest addition, Ocean Blu on The Waterfront, with outdoor seating and a special takeaway menu. The Waterfront will also feature another first for Norwegian – a gelato bar serving a selection of flavors of the delectable frozen treat. Guests will enjoy this creamy confection as they take a leisurely stroll along The Waterfront. A yet-to-be-announced entertainment venue will also have an outdoor space.

678 Ocean Place
On Deck 8, 678 Ocean Place connects the excitement of The Waterfront outdoor spaces with interior dining venues for Moderno; Cagney’s; Shaker’s; La Cucina; Malting’s and Ocean Blu, including the raw and sushi bars. An elegant modern take on an ocean-inspired theme with a glamorous feel, Ocean Blu is the newest addition to Norwegian’s Freestyle Dining lineup. Featuring a premium raw bar and a sushi bar, Ocean Blu will offer seafood lovers a culinary treasure. “In a recent guest survey, our guests chose a seafood restaurant as the number one type of restaurant they would like on board our ships,” said Sheehan. “We listened to that feedback when planning the dining on Norwegian Breakaway and will launch Ocean Blu as our newest signature restaurant concept.”

La Cucina celebrates the Tuscan countryside and will continue to serve Norwegian’s delicious Italian dishes to guests who choose dine either al fresco on the outdoor patio on The Waterfront, in the main restaurant or the interior terrace option, giving guests the opportunity to dine along the interior walkway beneath twinkling lanterns, exposed wooden beams and greenery.

Moderno Churrascaria is Norwegian’s signature Brazilian-style steakhouse. Whether guests dine indoors or out, they will feast from a huge salad bar, followed by a variety of grilled and slow-roasted meats that are carved tableside by passadors. Overlooking the Manhattan Room is another Norwegian signature establishment, Cagney’s Steakhouse, which will feature succulent grilled steaks, perfectly cooked double cut lamb chops and other steakhouse favorites. Guests will dine in style amidst warm wood tones as they enjoy watching the chefs prepare their meals in the open kitchen. Located between Cagney’s and Moderno, Prime Meridian will offer guests the opportunity to order a signature cocktail and soak in the action taking place around them on 678 Ocean Place. Guests will also find retail outlets, the photo gallery, and the Humidor Cigar Lounge on Deck 8. A three-story open atrium with an exquisite LED chandelier with light changing effects will serve as the centerpiece of 678 Ocean Place with openings to all three decks and glass staircases connecting the levels.

Spanning more than 18,000 square feet on Deck 7, the contemporary Breakaway Casino will have a stylish sophistication created by the use of rich materials, luxurious ornamental lighting and highly decorative artwork including gold tiles and upscale finishes. Breakaway Casino will offer guests the opportunity to try their luck on more than 300 of the latest slot machines; along with 26 gaming tables featuring poker, black jack, roulette and craps. With the most rewarding Casinos At Sea Players Club program, there will be something for everyone, from the novice to the high roller. Bar 21, located adjacent to the Casino, is a stunning, intimate bar featuring video poker and multiple plasma television screens.

Reminiscent of a private New York City supper club, The Manhattan Room is a complimentary restaurant on Deck 7 that will feature a dance floor as its focal point. As guests dine on cuisine that reflects the elegant and romantic nature of the room, they will enjoy live music and dancing. The two-story high restaurant showcases floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows looking aft.

Due to the popularity of the noodle bar on Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway will feature Shanghai’s Noodle Bar, the largest noodle bar at sea. This exciting dining concept will offer all counter seating around an open kitchen and will serve traditional Chinese noodles, wok-fried dishes and dim sum.

Another guest favorite, O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, returns on Norwegian Breakaway. This complimentary 24-hour a day neighborhood sports bar and restaurant will serve classic American favorites and comfort food. It will feature a giant two-story screen, perfect for watching sports and movies, along with miniature bowling, pool and air hockey tables and interactive games.

A popular hotspot on several Norwegian ships, Bliss Ultra Lounge has been re-designed on Norwegian Breakaway to resemble a true hotspot, similar to trendy New York clubs. Guests will feel the excitement as they walk through the LED-lit tunnel entrance to the illuminated bar, LED walls and pulsating dance floor where they will dance the night away. Savor, one of the three complimentary main dining options on Norwegian Breakaway, will feature cuisine that is traditional with a contemporary flair. Across from Savor, is where guests will find Taste, another complimentary main dining venue. Taste will serve a variety of culinary delights to please every palate. Both restaurants feature clean lines and upscale, contemporary décor. Located between Savor and Taste is Mixx Bar, the perfect, pre- or post-dinner gathering place, with a modern twist to a classical design.

Norwegian’s signature Teppanyaki restaurant will continue to dazzle guests on Norwegian Breakaway with the addition of a traditional Japanese rock garden, featuring bamboo plants and bonsai trees to promote a pleasing aesthetic ambiance. With 96 seats surrounding 12 flat top grills, Teppanyaki chefs will showcase their knife-wielding skills while cooking exhibition-style Japanese cuisine. Guests will be amazed by the masterful chefs while they enjoy an appetizing meal.

Le Bistro, Norwegian’s signature French restaurant, will feature an elegant indoor setting, along with a European sidewalk-style dining opportunity which will overlook the social hub of the ship, 678 Ocean Place. Guests will marvel at the three-story cascading LED chandelier above them, along with the constant flow of people as they dine on classic French favorites.

Within the Atrium, located on Deck 6, guests will find a two-story video wall along with the Café and Bar at The Atrium. The Café will offer specialty coffees and fresh baked treats. The Bar at The Atrium will feature mixed drinks, along with a self-service wine bar. The Shore Excursion Desk, Internet Café and Art Gallery will be located in close proximity to the Atrium, along with two meeting rooms, card room and library.

Additional dining options and bars not located within 678 Ocean Place will be announced in late April. There will also be a number of exciting entertainment venues located within 678 Ocean Place that will be revealed at a later date this spring.

In order to showcase all of Norwegian Breakaway’s features, the company launched the Norwegian Breakaway microsite today at Entering service in April 2013, Norwegian Breakaway will sail from her year-round homeport of New York City to Bermuda in the summer and The Bahamas & Florida and The Caribbean in the winter. To book a cruise on Norwegian Breakaway, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 800-327-7030 or visit

*One dining venue and one bar will be announced at a later date, along with all of the entertainment venues.

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Princess Cruises Unveils Main Dining and Specialty Restaurant Features
 Aboard New Royal Princess

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 13: Princess Cruises today revealed more details about several of the main dining room and specialty restaurant options that will be available aboard Royal Princess when the cruise ship debuts in June 2013, including new special venues and experiences, plus fresh twists on some Princess favorites. Among the new options are several distinct dining spaces, including a special Chef’s Table Lumiere surrounded by a curtain of light to take the Chef’s Table experience to a new level, as well as wine cellar-inspired private dining spaces in the main dining rooms.

The ship will offer a larger Horizon Court buffet with a brand-new layout, new action stations, intriguing new bistro options – such as a crab shack and fondue restaurant – and even a dedicated pastry shop, an industry first. For a full evening experience, several restaurants and lounges have been located together, including the Crown Grill which has been combined with the Wheelhouse Bar, and Sabatini’s Italian restaurant which is now adjacent to Vines wine bar.

“These evolutions of our dining program will offer some exciting new options, as well as showcase our signature features which have become passenger favorites,” said Jan Swartz, executive vice president for Princess Cruises. “Royal Princess certainly will take our dining options to the next level.”

The main dining room and specialty restaurant features include:

Chef’s Table Lumiere – Known for creating the first-ever chef’s table at sea, Princess will be setting a new standard for this popular event with the debut of the Chef’s Table Lumiere. Taking the chef’s table to a new level, passengers will be magically surrounded by a curtain of light – providing a soft wall of privacy that envelopes a custom-made glass table located within the Concerto dining room. The table will be set with elegantly designed china, cutlery and table accessories for an extraordinary dining experience.

Wine Cellar – Diners in the Symphony and Allegro dining rooms will enjoy a private experience in a wine cellar-inspired space. Surrounded by wine bottles, the circular area, which seats up to 12, will offer a unique atmosphere for private functions and special celebrations. Wine Cellar specialty menus are being developed in conjunction with noted winemakers, and will be designed to pair with hand-selected wines. Menu items will include classic carved meats such as Crown of Veal Rack and Baron of Lamb.

Horizon Court Buffet – Royal Princess’ buffet eatery will be redefined with a completely new layout and double the amount of seating over the line’s newest class of ship, with 900 seats indoors and 350 seats outside on the open deck. The larger space will not only offer more seating but more table choices, such as tables for two and counter-height bistro-style dining tables. New action stations will also provide additional dining options, including choices such as Asian cuisine, Mediterranean dishes, a pasta corner and salad-tossing stations. Passengers will also find more “grab and go” options such as pastries, breakfast sandwiches or yogurt and granola parfaits. Those who love to sleep in will even find a special “late, late risers” breakfast section.

Horizon Bistro – Dinner in the Horizon Court will offer an interactive experience with themed events and specialty dinners. On certain nights passengers may find a Brazilian churrascaria, Argentine gaucho theme, European bistro or British pub. Actions stations will include a hibachi grill, rotisseries and carving stations, a taqueria, and a sandwich bar. The Horizon Court will also house several new specialty dining options including a crab shack complete with mallets and bibs, or an opportunity to try fondues from around the world.

Horizon Bistro Pastry Shop – The Horizon Court will also introduce an industry first – a dedicated pastry shop. Here passengers can indulge in fresh-baked goodies throughout the day, including croissants, pastries, hot desserts, freshly baked waffles and French toast at breakfast; classic and modern desserts at lunch and dinner; cookies, desserts and waffles at tea time; and special show pieces and flambés in the evening. This completely separate space will feature its own unique design, décor, function and seating area, plus a dedicated specialty coffee section. Passengers will even get to see Princess’ pastry chefs in action as they demonstrate their skills in chocolate work and cake decorating.

Horizon Court for Kids – The Horizon Court will have a special area just for kids, where they can feel comfortable with seating that is suited to them in size and décor. Here kids can eat, play, and sit in their dedicated section with the rest of their family still nearby. The space will also be used by the Youth Center for activities such as pizza parties and ice cream socials.

Crown Grill & Wheelhouse Bar – The Crown Grill seafood and chop house will be blended together with the popular Wheelhouse Bar for a complete evening of dining and entertainment in one location. These traditional spaces feature a new contemporary look that modernizes the rich club-like atmosphere of the Crown Grill and the nautical Wheelhouse Bar. With its signature theater-style open kitchen, the Crown Grill will set the stage for a menu of chops, seafood and premium Sterling Silver steaks. Meanwhile the Wheelhouse Bar will offer a comfortable place to sip a drink and enjoy live piano entertainment.

Sabatini’s – Princess’ signature Tuscan-inspired specialty restaurant, Sabatini’s will feature a fresh menu of sophisticated Italian favorites with an a la carte experience. Sabatini’s will be located adjacent to Vines wine bar, offering diners a convenient venue to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail. With elegant décor merging glass, marble, wood and mirror details, the centerpiece of the new space will be a grand wine display, featuring an impressive selection of “Super Tuscan” wines, some of the most prestigious and sought-after wines in the famous Tuscan wine region, such as Sassicaia, Tignanello, Ornellaia, Solaia, Masseto and more. Sabatini’s will also be the venue for a new “Super Tuscan Tasting,” a wine event designed to introduce passengers to these rich, internationally acclaimed wines.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises. Among the new features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; the dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway on the ship's starboard side extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; a dazzling water and light show; an expanded version of Princess' signature adults-only haven, The Sanctuary; and the popular poolside theater, Movies Under the Stars. Eighty percent of the ship’s staterooms will feature a balcony. More information about the ship is available at The line also released a preview video of the dining options featuring Princess Cruises Executive Vice President Rai Caluori and Vice President of Food and Beverage Operations Peter Tobler, which can be viewed at  Additional information about other ship features will be released in the coming months.

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MSC Cruises Welcomes MSC Preziosa to the Fleet

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL: MSC Cruises continues its rapid expansion with the announcement that the company has finalized negotiations with STX France and signed a contract to take over a 139,400-ton cruise ship following the termination of the agreement with the original owner. The new ship is named MSC Preziosa and will become the 13th addition to the MSC Cruises fleet, as well as the precious fourth vessel in the series of Fantasia-class ships, which include MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida and the long-awaited MSC Divina. MSC Divina, the sister ship of MSC Preziosa, is currently having her final touches applied in the STX ship yard in St. Nazaire, France before her christening in May 2012.

“The new ship represents an investment of €550 million and will be delivered at the end of March 2013. Negotiations with STX France have lasted over nine months; a significant but understandable period of time considering the importance of the investment and the unexpected nature of the takeover,” said Mr. Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO, MSC Cruises. “When MSC Preziosa is delivered we will have four ships of every class, giving us a total capacity of over 40,000 berths and the strength to sail in all seas. MSC Preziosa herself will sail the Mediterranean, exploring the beauty of Greek Islands, which represent the highlight of European cruising.”

MSC Preziosa will boast 1,751 staterooms, 17 guest elevators – including a private elevator for MSC Yacht Club guests – and 14 guest decks. Guests will be able to enjoy four main restaurants, including two speciality restaurants, 21 bars, a casino, four swimming pools, including an infinity pool, 12 whirlpools, mini-bowling, a sports area with game courts, a Fitness Center, a children’s area and the superb MSC Aurea Spa.

An exclusive feature of MSC Preziosa – and of all Fantasia-class ships – is the MSC Yacht Club. Privileged guests staying in the 69 exclusive MSC Yacht Club suites will be able to take advantage of the private sun deck which includes The One Pool & Bar as well as two whirlpools; and the spectacular glass-walled Top Sail observation lounge with amazing ocean views. Butlers provide assistance with luggage during embarkation and debarkation; unpack and pack guests’ belongings upon request; serve traditional English afternoon tea; arrange for fine cigars, wines and spirits; and make dining room reservations as well as reservations for MSC Aurea Spa services; coordinate ad hoc shore excursions; and even plan private parties.

Forty-five percent of MSC Preziosa’s total construction is now complete, and her mechanical zones are 70% complete. The best, however, is yet to come! MSC Cruises will soon begin the fitting and furnishing of the 1,094-foot long, 124-foot wide ship and work its unique Mediterranean magic on turning MSC Preziosa into a stylish masterpiece and a perfect mix of advanced technology, elegance and exclusive services.

Cruise guests who want to play their part in reducing carbon emissions can also relax in the knowledge that MSC Preziosa’s green features, including an advanced waste water treatment system (AWT) and advanced energy saving systems, with a focus on air-conditioning, will gain the same impressive industry-leading ecoship and cleanship credentials as her sister ship MSC Divina.

MSC Cruises is the world’s leading cruise company in the Mediterranean, South African and Brazilian markets and operates across the globe. Its modern fleet comprises eleven ships MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia (the largest ships ever built for a European ship owner), MSC Magnifica, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica, and MSC Melody. The fleet will increase in size with the addition of the MSC Divina which will be christened on May 26th, 2012 in Marseille, France. The fleet cruises year-round in the Mediterranean and seasonally in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, South America, the Indian Ocean, South and West Africa, Abu Dhabi and the Emirates. MSC Cruises is the only company in the world to receive the "6 Golden Pearls" award from the Bureau Veritas in recognition of its high level of quality management and environmental responsibility. MSC has also achieved ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 certification for the quality and food safety of all aspects of its catering, both on shore and on board. MSC Cruises cares about the welfare of children, and as a responsible market leader believes in making a positive impact in the regions where it operates. To this end, the company recently formed a partnership with UNICEF to fund a community project aimed at providing disadvantaged children in Brazil with a quality education.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises to Launch New Restaurant on All Three Ships

MIAMI, March 13: This summer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises kicks off its 20th anniversary season with the debut of Sette Mari at La Veranda. Translated from the Italian “Seven Seas,” the new restaurant will offer a casual dining experience that broadens the all-inclusive, luxury line’s diverse gourmet dining options. Each evening, La Veranda, a popular breakfast and lunch buffet venue, will transform into Sette Mari at La Veranda, where guests will enjoy an extensive menu of authentic antipasti and Italian specialty items paired with distinctive Italian wines. Using fresh, gourmet ingredients, each hand-crafted dish is prepared al momento (cooked to order) by Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ talented chefs. Al fresco dining is also available so guests can dine under the stars.

As guests enter Sette Mari they will be presented with a sampling of antipasti, including aged Parmesan cheese and marinated olives, bruschette, veal meatballs and savory pastry stuffed with tomatoes and mozzarella. Additionally, an elaborate antipasti bar will also be available for guests to select from. A first course might be the specialty pasta of the day, prepared by a chef at the pasta station on the buffet or guests may order a traditional pasta dish from the menu. These include Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Penne Rigate alla Bolognese, Gnocchi de Patate al Pesto and Lasagna al Forno. Secondi piatti – or entrées – will include Cioppino, the classic Italian seafood stew with lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels and calamari, served in a garlic, white wine, parsley and fresh tomato broth, along with plenty of crusty Italian bread for dipping. In addition, guests can order delicacies such as veal chops, lamb chops and Mediterranean sea bass, among other choices. For dessert, the perennial favorite of Tiramisu will be offered along with other traditional and delicious Italian sweets.

“This new restaurant concept is a substantial enhancement to current menu items featured for dinner in La Veranda,” according to Bernhard Klotz, culinary director for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

“Sette Mari will not require reservations based on guest feedback and offers the perfect complement to the dining venues on our ships,” stated Mark Conroy, the line’s president. “After a full day ashore, guests can select appetizers and the house-made pasta on their own and be finished in as little as 45 minutes or enjoy a leisurely evening ordering specialties from the menu.”

Long a leader in culinary innovation, Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers a delicious array of dining venues as part of its all-inclusive, ultra-luxury experience including: Prime 7, a contemporary American steakhouse; Compass Rose, the ship’s elegant main dining room serving Continental specialties; and Signatures restaurant serving authentic French cuisine (available on Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager only). Sette Mari will debut on Seven Seas Navigator (May 30), followed by Seven Seas Voyager (July 2) and Seven Seas Mariner (July 13). Sette Mari is open for dinner only; reservations are not required.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is widely recognized as the world’s most inclusive ultra-luxury cruise line with airfare, all-suite accommodations, award-winning cuisine, premium spirits and fine wines, live entertainment, shore excursions, gratuities and taxes, and a pre-cruise hotel stay included in cruise fares. To receive a brochure or for more information on Regent Seven Seas Cruises, see a professional travel agent, visit or call toll-free 800-285-1835.

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Royal Caribbean Unveils New 2013 Alaska Adventures On Sea, Land & In The Air

MIAMI, Mar. 13: For its 24th consecutive season, Royal Caribbean Intl will ply Alaskan waters in summer 2013 with the cruise line’s recently revitalized ships to offer vacationers a virtually new fleet in the region. Soon to be revitalized Rhapsody of the Seas will offer guests refreshed staterooms, expanded technological conveniences, and nearly quadrupled dining options on 7-night round-trip cruises from Seattle, Wash. Radiance of the Seas, revitalized in 2011, will alternate 7-night north- and southbound itineraries from Vancouver and Seward, Alaska, respectively. Guests will be awed by nature’s grandness; encounter thriving wildlife; and enjoy Royal Caribbean’s Gold Anchor Service for an incredible adventure in the Last Frontier. Royal Caribbean’s summer 2013 Alaska cruises and Cruisetours are now open for sale.

“Royal Caribbean has been delivering majestic Alaska to adventurers for nearly a quarter century and we are glad to announce our 2013 Alaska cruise and Cruisetour program,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing for Royal Caribbean International. “Our newly revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas offer guests what they’ve always loved, and now, so much more. Along with our friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service delivered by every member of our staff and crew, the best way to explore Alaska is with Royal Caribbean.”

To fully experience all that Alaska can offer, vacationers can choose a Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruisetour, which combines a Radiance of the Seas’ sailing with a pre- or post-cruise land tour that totals to a 10- to 13-night land and sea adventure that ranges as far north as Fairbanks. For the land tour portion, guests are escorted by a dedicated Royal Caribbean Tour Director, who knows what to see, where to eat and how to experience the most of Alaska. Royal Caribbean Cruisetours include premium hotel accommodations, motorcoach transportation, admission into select attractions, and peace of mind – Royal Caribbean takes care of all the details. Almost all 2013 Alaska Cruisetours also include a leg aboard the Wilderness Express, Royal Caribbean’s luxurious, glass-domed train cars that offer incomparable views of the unfolding and untamed Denali National Park.

Vacationers also can choose a 13-night Canadian Rockies Cruisetour, which features independent travel aboard Canada’s VIA Rail to Calgary, Banff, Jasper, Vancouver and Victoria. Furthermore, vacationers can choose an 18-night Cruisetour that combines Alaska and the Canadian Rockies for a truly grand Pacific Northwest expedition.

Every Friday from May 17 through Aug 30, 2013, Radiance of the Seas will alternate 7-night north- and southbound itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska. Alaskan ports of call include Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, and Skagway. Additionally, guests will cruise the Inside Passage as well as get an up-close view of Hubbard Glacier.

Rhapsody of the Seas also will sail every Friday on 7-night, round-trip Alaska cruises from Seattle, calling at Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, and Victoria, B.C. Guests also will transit Alaska’s Inside Passage, as well as venture up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.

In port, Royal Caribbean offers guests more than 160 Alaskan shore excursions that help delve into Alaska on land, at sea or in the air. At additional charge, guests can choose a helicopter tour from Skagway, which lands on a glacier for a quick walk around, or an exhilarating flight down a mountainside on the world’s largest zip line at Icy Strait Point. Royal Caribbean shore excursions also offer a large menu of experiences that feature Alaska’s fresh seafood, as well as a slew of choices to witness the wildlife, from whales to moose to bald eagles and everything in between, on land and sea. Guests also can choose experiences to learn about the history and culture of native Alaskans, as well as Gold Rush-era to modern lifestyles – on some, guests can actually pan for real gold.

Guests aboard Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas enjoy all the new amenities, dining and entertainment that were introduced when each ship was revitalized. Both ships will feature refreshed staterooms with interactive flat-panel TVs, a new Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, oversized LED screen on the pool deck, bow-to-stern Wi-Fi service, and more dining and entertainment options than ever before on an Alaska cruise. The cruise line’s suites guests and loyal Crown & Anchor Society members also can enjoy newly installed Diamond Lounge and Concierge Lounge aboard both ships. Radiance of the Seas’ guests have more than double the dining options prior to its 2011 revitalization, and now the ship features eight specialty dining options, among them the exclusive Chef’s Table, Royal Caribbean’s signature steakhouse Chops Grille, Izumi sushi and Asian fare, and casual deli-style Park Café. When Rhapsody of the Seas completes its revitalization at the end of March 2012, guests also will be dazzled by a new form of spectacular, high-flying entertainment in the ship’s Centrum, first introduced aboard Splendour of the Seas in 2011. Choreographed aerialists dance and glide throughout a five-deck atrium, telling a story just above the heads of guests enjoying a cocktail in the R Bar, another new lounge concept.

For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Celebrity Cruises Reveals Details of Enticing European Season; Plans To Bring
 Solstice Class Style To Alaska In Summer 2013

MIAMI, March 13: When considering a vacation, the first question typically is, “Where do you want to go?” In the summer of 2013, Celebrity Cruises – named “Best Large-Ship Line” in the elite Condé Nast Traveler’s Annual Readers’ Choice Awards – will present more answers to that question than ever before, offering its broadest lineup of modern luxury vacation options in Europe, and bringing Solstice Class style to Alaska for the first time.

Broad and varied experiences in Europe on new and newly Solsticized ships
In the summer of 2013, Celebrity will offer its most widely varied array of modern luxury cruises and cruisetours on one of the newest fleets of ships in Europe. Those six ships will visit 25 countries from seven departure ports and visit a total of 88 destinations in Europe alone, six representing Celebrity ‘firsts.’ The first-time destinations include Liverpool, England, famed home of “The Beatles”; Waterford, Ireland, known for the fine crystal bearing its name; Torshavn, Faroe Islands; Varna, Bulgaria, the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast; Sevastopol, the second largest port in Ukraine, after the Port of Odessa; and Kristiansand, Norway, named in 1641 for its founder King Christian IV, and today known for major events ranging from the Bragdoya Blues Festival to the Quart Festival headlined by world-renowned rock artists.

Celebrity’s summer 2013 Europe portfolio:
· Celebrity Reflection – which sets sail in October of this year, complete with the brand’s first “Signature Suites” and jaw-dropping, two-bedroom “Reflection Suite,” complete with a sea-view bathroom extending out over the edge of the ship, a veranda tub with soothing rain shower, and panoramic views courtesy of the wraparound veranda – will present a full season of 10- and 11-night sailings roundtrip from Rome. The 10-night itinerary features visits to Sicily, Italy; Athens, Greece and the Greek Isles, and Kusadasi, Turkey, while the 11-night sailing also features an overnight stay in Istanbul.

· Celebrity Silhouette – honored with a Gold award for “Best Premium Ship” in Travel Weekly’s annual Magellan Awards, and the first to enhance Celebrity’s industry-first Lawn Club with The Lawn Club Grill, The Porch, The Alcoves and the Art Studio – will offer a blend of 10- to 13-night roundtrip sailings from romantic Venice, as well as voyages to and from Venice and/or Rome. With one to two days at sea on each sailing, the itineraries were expressly designed to offer a destination-rich vacation, including towns along the Adriatic coast, as well as multiple locations in Greece and Turkey.

· Celebrity Infinity – the second of four Millennium Class ships to complete Celebrity’s ambitious, $140-million ‘Solsticizing’ initiative, incorporating a host of guest-favorite venues and experiences from the Solstice Class, such as the hip Celebrity iLounge, the eclectic Qsine specialty restaurant, and AquaClass accommodations with exclusive access to the Mediterranean specialty restaurant, Blu – will make her European debut in 2013, offering new 10- and 11-night British Isles, Norwegian Fjords and Iceland & Fjords itineraries roundtrip from Harwich, England. And, in Sept 2013, Celebrity Infinity will present the “Immersive Europe Wine Cruises” that premiere on Celebrity Constellation this fall during harvest season, complete with overnight stays in Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), France; Bilbao, Spain; and Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France.

· Celebrity Constellation –also featuring the guest-favorite enhancements incorporated in the line’s Solsticizing initiative, including the eclectic Qsine specialty restaurant, AquaClass accommodations with exclusive access to the Mediterranean specialty restaurant, Blu, CellarMasters wine bar and the hip Celebrity iLounge, among other new venues – from May through Aug 2013 will present seven Scandinavia/Russia cruises, an Arctic Circle voyage and a Norwegian Fjords sailing, all roundtrip from Amsterdam. Then, from Istanbul, the ship will set sail on two new 12-night Black Sea & Greek Isles sailings, highlighted by an overnight stay in Odessa, Ukraine; visits to Sevastopol and Yalta, Ukraine, and Celebrity’s first visit to Varna, Bulgaria. Celebrity Constellation will round out her summer season with four 12-night Greek Isles & Turkey voyages, all roundtrip from Istanbul.

· Celebrity Equinox – one of three Solstice Class ships to mesmerize guests with The Hot Glass Show offered in association with The Corning Museum of Glass – will present a full season of 12-night sailings roundtrip from Barcelona, Spain, with the majority of the cruises featuring visits to Florence (Livorno), Naples and Adriatic ports, in addition to an overnight stay in Venice. The ship’s alternating itineraries include visits to Naples, Athens, Ephesus (Kusadasi), the Greek Isles and Valletta, Malta.

· Celebrity Eclipse – the first ship to debut the hip Celebrity iLounge and the eclectic Qsine specialty restaurant – will continue to offer a mix of distinct 14-night Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Russia, Iceland/Norwegian Fjords and Canary Islands/Azores holidays roundtrip from Southampton. The ship’s Baltic season in 2013 will be expanded slightly, with the Iceland/Norwegian Fjords itinerary featuring an overnight stay in Reykjavik, Iceland, and a full-day visit to Akureyri, Iceland.

For even deeper immersion into the endlessly appealing region, Celebrity’s summer Cruisetour options in Europe in 2013 range from 12 to 18 nights in length, when pairing the cruise and land-based experience, and include six tour patterns, all fully escorted by expert Tour Directors. Among the highlights are an entirely new four-night Istanbul and Cappadocia, Turkey, package; enticing Italian experiences in Lake Como, Venice, Florence and Rome; vibrant options in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain; and alluring Northern Europe packages featuring stays in London, Paris and Amsterdam.

Celebrity Solstice to bring Solstice Class ‘sizzle’ to Alaska, Canada & California in 2013
The sleek, 2,850-guest flagship of the Solstice Class fleet, Celebrity Solstice will become the first of its class to offer vacations in Alaska in the summer of 2013, joining Celebrity Century and Celebrity Millennium in pairing Celebrity’s chic style and design, signature cuisine, exciting activities and extraordinary service with the region’s breathtaking, inspiring scenery.

· Celebrity Solstice will present 7-night Tracy Arm Fjord sailings roundtrip from Seattle, with visits to the charming Alaskan towns of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, as well as Victoria, British Columbia, and transiting the scenic Inside Passage. Preceding the Alaska season will be a 9-night “West Coast Wine Cruise” from Ensenada, Mexico, to Seattle in May, and rounding out the season will be a 10-night “America’s Cup Wine Cruise” in September, when guests on Celebrity Solstice will have a commanding view of the boats participating in the finals of the world-famous sailing race in San Francisco Bay, complete with an overnight stay.

· Celebrity Millennium – the fourth Millennium Class ship to complete Celebrity’s Solsticizing initiative this year, adding AquaClass accommodations with exclusive access to the specialty restaurant, Blu, the Celebrity iLounge, CellarMasters wine bar, and Bistro on Five creperie, among other new venues – will reprise Celebrity’s in-demand, alternating Northbound and Southbound 7-night Alaska sailings between Vancouver and Seward, highlighted by spending several hours near the picturesque, ice-blue Hubbard Glacier.

· Celebrity Century – the first ship to debut the “icy-cool” Martini Bar – will reprise her summer series of 7-night Hubbard Glacier vacations roundtrip from Vancouver from May through August, 2013. The ship’s Alaska season will be capped with an 11-night “Ultimate Alaska” voyage departing roundtrip from Vancouver September 15, 2013, including visits to Prince Rupert and Victoria, British Columbia. A special 11-night Wine Cruise will be offered September 26 from Vancouver, ending in San Diego.

Celebrity’s 10- to 13-night Cruisetour packages in the summer of 2013 will include 16 tour patterns associated with Celebrity Millennium’s Northbound and Southbound Alaska sailings. All Cruisetours – including the new “Alaska Family Style Cruisetour” designed to enthrall family members of every generation – visit famed Denali National Park, with six including a two-night stay in Denali, while 15 include travel on Celebrity’s plush Wilderness Express domed railcars. All Celebrity Alaska Cruisetours are escorted by expert, personal Tour Directors.

Celebrity’s Cruisetours in the Canadian Rockies and Whistler Mountain in 2013 include five tour patterns offered in association with sailings on Celebrity Century and Celebrity Millennium, and range from 10- to 13-nights, when combined with the cruise. Each is highlighted by the opportunity for guests to independently enjoy the sheer beauty of Banff, Calgary, Lake Louise, Jasper, Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler. The Canadian Rockies tours feature travel onboard VIA Rail train cars in sleeper touring class, with hotel accommodations at elegant Fairmont properties.

Rounding out Celebrity’s 2013 summer season: the beauty of Bermuda & the enchanting Galapagos Islands

· Celebrity Summit – which, in February 2012 became the third in Celebrity’s Millennium Class fleet to complete the brand’s noted Solsticizing initiative, adding Qsine, the Celebrity iLounge, AquaClass accommodations and exclusive access to Blu, CellarMasters wine bar, and more – will return to Cape Liberty, NJ, in 2013 to present its fourth season of Celebrity’s in-demand 7-night vacation experiences to Bermuda, known for its exquisite, pink-sand beaches and turquoise waters. The ship will cap the season with three 14-night Canada & New England vacations beginning in September, featuring to two full days in Quebec City, Quebec.

· The intimate, 96-guest Celebrity Xpedition – ranked among the top small ships in the world in Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Ships in the World” readers’ poll this year – will continue to offer the once-in-a-lifetime vacation experiences the brand has offered year-round since 2004 in the enchanting Galapagos Islands. Bookings are open.

Loyalty has its rewards
Celebrity will again reward the members of its Captain’s Club loyalty program with an exclusive onboard credit offer ranging from $200-600 per stateroom/suite on voyages of 16 nights or longer; $150-500 per stateroom/suite on sailings of 10- to 15-nights, and $100-400 per stateroom/suite on cruises of six to nine nights, with the credit amount dependent upon the category of accommodations booked. This exclusive offer applies for 2013-14 bookings made from March 15 to May 18, 2012.

Celebrity’s summer 2013 Northern Europe vacations open for booking March 16, 2012, with the balance of its summer 2013 European vacations opening for booking beginning March 27, 2012; Celebrity’s 2013 Alaska vacations open for booking March 14, 2012; Celebrity’s 2013 Bermuda bookings open April 11, 2012. For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit, or call your travel agent.

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American Cruise Lines Building Third New Riverboat

GUILFORD, CT, March 13: American Cruise Lines, the leader in small ship cruising, announced today that it will be building another brand new riverboat due to the high demand for its U.S. river cruises. A contract has been signed and construction has already begun. The new riverboat will be slightly larger but similar in many respects to the 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi, which is nearing completion at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD.

“We recognize a considerable strength in river cruising and have observed an increased interest in our U.S. river cruises over the last several years,” said Charles A. Robertson, CEO of American Cruise Lines. “We look forward to introducing yet another new authentic paddlewheel riverboat to meet this demand.”

Robertson attributes the success of the company’s river cruise business to its “newer, low-density vessels, each built to meet the highest industry standards in comfort, safety and technology.”

American Cruise Lines’ third new riverboat will feature a similar capacity to that of the Queen of the Mississippi and will also boast the most spacious staterooms in the industry, entirely private balconies – all with sliding glass doors, a center atrium with a grand staircase, various lounges and numerous amenities including:

• Fully-functioning authentic paddlewheel
300+ square foot staterooms
Private balconies with sliding glass doors
Various unique lounges, libraries, and cafés
Fine hotel-style bathrooms
Room Service
Wi-Fi in all staterooms
Satellite TV and DVD player in all staterooms
Single sitting, open seating dining
Complimentary cocktail hour

As of yet, no decision has been made as to where the new riverboat will operate other than on U.S. rivers. Additional details and information will be announced in the coming months.

American Cruise Lines offers more than 35 unique itineraries on inland waterways and rivers across the United States. Over the last several years, American Cruise Lines has continued to add new itineraries and ships to accommodate demand. Its newest river itineraries are offered on two authentic paddlewheelers – the 120-passenger Queen of the West operating on the Columbia and Snake Rivers of the Pacific Northwest, and Queen of the Mississippi, American Cruise Lines’ brand new authentic paddlewheeler. With a capacity of 150 guests and offering numerous never-before-available amenities, the authentic paddlewheeler is set to debut on the Mississippi River this coming August and is the first new riverboat built for the Mississippi River in nearly 20 years.

American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, operates the newest fleet of small ships in the industry and offers more than 35 unique itineraries along the inland waterways and rivers of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, the Mississippi River System and East Coast of the United States, from New England to Florida. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit our Website at or call (800) 814-6880.

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45+ New Ways to See the Mediterranean Via New Crystal Adventures

LOS ANGELES, March 13: Croatian noble lands, Crimean Tartars' stomping grounds, Madrid and Odessa's art worlds, colorful Italian Riviera cliffs, and Dubrovnik-by-air are just a few of the worlds to be explored in more than 45 new "Crystal Adventures" shore outings offered during Crystal Cruises' 2012 Mediterranean season. With 19 voyages planned from the Canary Islands to southwest Russia this March to December, travelers have plenty of 7- to 14-day (or longer, if combined) options to explore the region from the luxurious base of the world's best cruise ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.

New active and cultural off-ship experiences along the western and eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea include:

-- Dubrovnik: Snorkel secluded coves, ride horses through wealthy Konavle countryside, visit the former Ranjina noble family estate, enjoy the coastal view from a helicopter 1000 feet up, or make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Bosnia, known for six reported Virgin Mary sightings.
-- Split: Climb the vertical coastal cliffs of outdoorsy hotspot, Omis.
-- Sevastopol: Explore coastal Ukraine's military history, join the Black Sea Navy Ensemble in local folk songs and dances, or tour the homes and tombs of Crimean Khans.
-- Odessa: Study Odessa's art history at its modern art museum and renowned local galleries, or soak in an evening concert designed exclusively for Crystal guests at the Philharmonic Society Concert Hall.
-- Porto Venere/La Spezia: Trek the narrow, medieval streets, beaches, and cliffsides along Cinque Terre's Monterosso.
-- Valencia: Zoom to Madrid's "Fifth Avenue" via high-speed train for clothes and art browsing, or stay close-to-home sampling local delicacies in a tapas crawl.
-- Barcelona: Attend a private mass with the ship's priest at Gaudi's infamous Sagrada Familia.
-- Monte Carlo: Play 18 holes of golf overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at championship Monte Carlo Golf Club.
-- Palamos: Walk through Greco-Roman ruins in Empuries, Salvador Dali's surreal castle refuge in Pubol, or Santa Clotilde Garden atop Costa Brava cliffs.
-- Corfu: Top off a day of local lace-making and private estate wine tasting with hands-on Greek cooking lessons, including baking bread in a traditional olive wood-fire outdoor stove.
-- Samos Island: Share a traditional Samian feast with local villagers or survey Hellenic archaeological ruins.
-- Zadar: Be welcomed into the village of Burni for a taste of small-town Dalmatian life.
-- Arrecife: Voyage underwater in a submarine discovery of Canary Island waters, or go where plant and animal life are almost void amongst the lunar-like, volcanic landscape of Rimanfaya National Park.

Local overnights on most voyages offer expanded opportunities to explore the stunning region's diverse activities and sites, day or night. Guests can review all Crystal Adventures, including new, more intimate Private Options for many popular group activities, at

"Crystal specializes in creating unique ways to experience destinations," says John Stoll, vice president of land and port operations. "With more than 400 total 'Crystal Adventures' available in the area, we're offering travelers not only the most luxurious, easy, and safe way to explore 'The Med' this year, but also the most innovative ways to intimately access the land and people. Our shore opportunities create memories that are once-in-a-lifetime for all guests, whether visiting for the first time, or the tenth."

Until April 30, "Book Now" fares for Crystal's luxury Mediterranean cruises offer additional savings for combining select voyages. Attractive air add-ons are also available from more than 90 North American airports. Crystal's passion for creating exclusive, eye-opening luxury shore-side experiences are cornerstones of its Crystal Adventures program, earning the line top ratings for two decades. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Holland America Line’s Onboard Digital Workshop Curriculum Expanded
to Feature Latest Technology

Seattle, WA, March 12: Holland America Line has expanded its Digital Workshops powered by Microsoft Windows enrichment program with the latest technology and classes for all skill levels. The popular complimentary workshops, led by Microsoft-trained “techsperts” on all 15 ships in the Holland America fleet, teach guests with varying levels of computer and camera experience how to take better vacation photos, make movies, edit pictures and create online scrapbooks. Guests also learn how to share digital memories via email, keep a more secure PC at home, stay connected through instant messaging and webcams, find the best PC for their budget and lifestyle, and navigate new features of Windows 7, Microsoft's latest operating system.

“The Digital Workshops have consistently been a favorite and the perfect way for guests to share their cruise experience with friends and relatives,” says Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Our partnership with Microsoft means that our guests will always have access to the latest software and tools, in addition to highly trained ‘techsperts’ who can show them the ins and outs of their computers — for no charge.”

The curriculum currently offers ten 50-minute workshops, including:

· “Camera Basics” teaches guests the best ways to use their digital cameras.
· “Transferring Photos” demonstrates how to easily get pictures from a camera to a PC with Windows Live Photo Gallery.
· “Introductory Photo Editing” illustrates how to improve the look and feel of photos with Windows Live Photo Gallery.
· “Creative Photo Editing” shows how to apply artistic touches to pictures with Windows Live Photo Gallery.
· “Making Movies” lets guests create slide shows and videos with Windows Live Movie Maker.
· “Photo Sharing” covers how to email and store pictures to share with others using Windows Live Mail.
· “Stay Connected” shows how to keep in touch with friends and family using Windows Live Messenger.
· “Windows 7” provides an inside look at Microsoft’s newest PC operating system.
· “PC Buying” helps guests discover the right Windows 7 PC for varying lifestyles and budgets.
· “PC Security” explains how to protect information with the safety features of a Windows 7PC.

Two new sessions also have been developed: “Files, Folders and Sharing” and “Introduction to the Cloud.” They will teach guests how to better manage the contents of their computers through file and folder management and how to create and share files with Office Web applications and Skydrive.

The digital workshop showcases state-of-the-art technology provided and maintained by Microsoft, including Windows 7-certified computers, printers, scanners and a wireless network. The workshops also feature flat-screen TVs for easy viewing of videos and “techspert” demonstrations.
Guests can choose to attend all or just some of the workshops, with each offered at various times and days throughout every cruise. Multiple workshops are held every day. In addition, one-on-one coaching, called “Techspert Time,” also is available for more than 20 hours each week for guests to stop by with questions.

For more information on Holland America Line’s cruises and cruisetours, consult a professional travel seller, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Norwegian iConcierge” Smart Phone Application to Connect Guests

MIAMI, March 12: Norwegian Cruise Line, in partnership with Allin Interactive, is launching a revolutionary smart phone application which will allow iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows7 users to interact with Norwegian Epic’s on board guest information and service systems during their cruise. The application will also give guests the ability to communicate with other smart phone users via voice and text message on the same sailing.

Guests who download the free application will be able to conveniently interact with Norwegian Epic’s systems from anywhere on board using their smart phone to make shore excursion and dining reservations, gather information about on board services and review their folio activity all from the palm of their hand. In addition, Norwegian iConcierge will be the industry’s first mobile application that allows guests to easily find and communicate with fellow cruisers. Guests who have the application installed on their SIP capable smart phones will be able to make and send unlimited calls and messages to each other while on board, at an introductory rate of $7.95 for the entire sailing.

Norwegian iConcierge is a free download and will soon be available through Apple, Android, and Windows7 smart phone application stores. Currently, the application is exclusively for guests sailing on board Norwegian Epic beginning March 24, 2012 but deployment to the remaining fleet is expected in the near future.

Enhancements to the application for near-term deployment also include ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship calling capabilities using advanced voice over IP technology. Currently, “off-ship” calls using the existing cellular networks can be costly, but soon, Norwegian iConcierge users will have the opportunity to make even these calls at much more affordable rates.

This latest innovation is in line with the company’s impressive history of technological innovations. In 1999, Norwegian was the first cruise line to offer Internet access at sea; in 2002, Norwegian was the first in the industry to provide remote wireless Internet access to guests fleet-wide and in 2006 Norwegian became the first cruise line to fully implement cell phone service fleet wide.

Norwegian Epic currently sails from Miami on 7-day cruises to Eastern Caribbean through April 7, 2012, calling on Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. On April 14, 2012, Norwegian Epic will embark on an 11-day transatlantic sailing to Europe; and from April 29, 2012 through Octo 14, 2012, the ship will sail a series of 7-day Western Mediterranean Cruises from Barcelona, Spain. Ports of call include Naples, Italy; Rome, Italy; Florence/Pisa, Italy, Nice, France; and Provence, France, some of Europe’s most spectacular destinations. To book a cruise on board Norwegian Epic or any of Norwegian Cruise Line’s vessels, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or visit

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SeaDream Yacht Club’s Just Released 2013 European Schedule Includes the Black Sea

Miami, FL, March 12: SeaDream yacht club just released their 2013 European voyage schedule, first giving their past guests advance notice, then going out to the public at large. From May through October 2013, SeaDream I & SeaDream II will sail to Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro, Malta and Portugal. New routes and destinations include Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Russia.

Highlights of SeaDream’s 2013 European season include:

· Voyage # 11323: June 5-16: Yachting the best ports of Turkey, Greece and Croatia in 11-nights.
· Voyage # 11333: Aug. 17-30: 13-nights, full circumnavigation of The Black Sea including Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Georgia and the north coast of Turkey.
· Voyage # 11334: Aug. 30-Sep.7 An educational, 8-night voyage visiting ancient Troy and the Gallipoli battlefields in Turkey and Greece’s archaeological site of Mycenae.
· Voyage # 11335: Sep. 7-13: “Mamma Mia” comes to life with calls to Skiatos Island, Volos, Kayala and Thassos Island, Greece.
· Voyage # 11338: Oct. 2-12: 10-nights, featuring fabulous Greek Islands, Turkey’s stunning Turquoise Coast and a rare call to the island of Cyprus.

“All voyages are designed to make one feel as if they are aboard their own private yacht. In 2013, when calling on St. Tropez, France we’ll be doing a wet landing on the famous Pampelonne Beach; the place to see and be seen. SeaDream also stays late in lively St. Tropez. It’s a different experience to see a port after dark” said SeaDream’s President, Bob Lepisto. In 2013 SeaDream also stays late in Portofino, Mykonos, Santorini and Sorrento to name a few. Lepisto added “In 2013 we’ve not only broadened our mix of destinations, we’ve added voyages of varying lengths starting with our 7, 10 & 20-night Amazon River voyages. I think 2013 offers something for everyone.” 

Chic and stylish, SeaDream’s 56-stateroom twin yachts are favored for their elegant informality, state-of-the-art facilities, personal service provided by a crew of 95, inclusive open bar and gratuities, ocean-view accommodations, luxury spa and world class cuisine. Itineraries include the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Amazon. “It’s yachting, not cruising” Enjoy the difference. All 2013 European routes have just been posted on SeaDream’s website. SeaDream suggests reserving early to ensure the best possible tariff. For further details contact your travel professional, visit, or phone 800 707-4911.

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Six Plans Submitted for Removal of Costa Concordia

HOLLYWOOD, FL, March 9: A total of six working plans to remove the hull of Costa Concordia were received by the deadline of March 3. Of the 10 world-leading salvage companies invited to tender for the contract, three decided not to bid due to previous commitments and two have joined forces to present a joint project.

An update on the tender process was given during a meeting in Rome March 6 with Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Costa Crociere S.p.A., and Prefetto Franco Gabrielli, the head of the Civil Protection Department and managing commissioner for the Costa Concordia shipwreck.

The six plans involve different approaches and techniques. However, they all share a focus on ensuring the least possible environmental impact and protecting tourism and business activities on the Island of Giglio with maximum safety. Given the complexity and extraordinary nature of the operation, the projects vary in duration, and estimates of 10 to 12 months, including a safety margin, have been presented.

The selection process will respect timing estimates. Technical assessments of the six plans are already under way and a short list will be drawn up by mid-month, from which the best plan will be selected, with the final decision made public in late March or early April.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Unveils 2013 Summer Collection

MIAMI, March 8: Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ has begun accepting reservations for cruises from April 2013 to December 2013. The ultra-luxury line’s Summer Collection features more than 50 itineraries in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Alaska, plus fall cruises to New England and Canada and an Amazon River itinerary. Highlights include new ports of call, extended voyages of up to 43-nights, two-for-one fares and bonus savings of up to $13,000 per suite and Business Class air for just $999 each way when booked by June 30, 2012. Guests in Penthouse suites or higher will enjoy free Business Class upgrades on transatlantic flights.

Regent Seven Seas’ cruise fares are the most inclusive in the cruise marketplace and include all gourmet dining venues without any surcharges, fine wines and premium spirits, a selection of shore excursions in all ports, onboard gratuities, air transportation from more than 25 gateway cities and a complimentary overnight stay in a luxury hotel prior to the cruise.

“The 2013 summer collection is among the most exciting in our history,” said Mark Conroy, the line’s president. “Our three award-winning ships visit many of the world’s most popular destinations, and our new longer voyages offer more opportunities for our guests to fully immerse themselves in the culture and lifestyle of these diverse regions.”

2013 Summer Collection Highlights

Seven Seas Voyager begins the season in Iceland and the Norwegian fjords before heading to the Baltic for a series of 7- to 10-night sailings between Copenhagen and Stockholm, all offering 2-night calls in St. Petersburg. Extended voyages from 19- to 36-nights combine the best of the British Isles, Norwegian fjords, and Western Europe.
Seven Seas Mariner plies the Mediterranean from April to November offering guests the picturesque coastlines of Costa del Sol and the French Riviera, the Tuscan and Provençal countryside and ancient landmarks of Greece, making maiden calls at Ajaccio, Corsica; Genoa, Italy; and two ports in the Canary Islands–Lanzarote and St. Cruz de Tenerife. Leisurely voyages of up to 30 nights cruise the Black Sea, Mediterranean, and across the Atlantic to South America in December 2013, with calls in Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
Seven Seas Navigator offers a full Alaska season, including two, 12-night positioning cruises between San Francisco and Vancouver, a 7-night round-trip Vancouver cruise and 12 sailings between Vancouver and Seward. Extended voyages of up to 43 nights combine the best of Alaska and Panama Canal. In fall, Seven Seas Navigator returns to New England and Canada with four cruises before embarking in Miami on a 24-night Amazon adventure.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is consistently rated among the world’s best cruise lines by readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines. The line’s all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager received a multi-million dollar refurbishment in May 2011 and September 2011, respectively. The intimate Seven Seas Navigator will be refurbished in May 2012.
To receive a brochure or for more information on Regent Seven Seas Cruises, see a professional travel agent, visit or call toll-free 800-285-1835.

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American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the Mississippi Nearly Complete

GUILFORD, CT, March 7: American Cruise Lines, the leader in small ship cruising, announced today the latest development in the construction of its brand new authentic 150-passenger paddlewheeler, the Queen of the Mississippi, as it nears completion at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland. Last week, the massive 23-ton, 28 foot-wide paddlewheel built specially for the new riverboat was lifted and installed.

“This marks an important step in the creation of this authentic riverboat,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “The paddlewheel is one of the most important elements of classic riverboats, and this one isn’t just cosmetic – it’s fully functioning.”

The Queen of the Mississippi will be completed in May, with its inaugural cruise scheduled for August 11, 2012 from New Orleans to Memphis. Currently, the interior is well underway with carpeting being installed throughout the ship and furniture beginning to go onboard. All sliding glass doors leading to the private balconies are in place and painting is just about complete. Wood work trim and antique-style accessories are bringing the period interior to life. Sea trials are scheduled to begin later on this month.

The Queen of the Mississippi carries 150 guests in spacious staterooms, many of which are twice the size of those on any other Mississippi riverboat. Staterooms feature large private balconies with sliding glass doors and all of the amenities today’s travelers expect, while maintaining the elegance of classic late 1800s Mississippi riverboats. American Cruise Lines will operate the authentic paddlewheeler over the entire Mississippi River System, including the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. The Queen of the Mississippi will also be able to travel at significantly higher speeds than all other Mississippi riverboats, minimizing night travel and making more itineraries possible with longer visits to the river towns. A number of unique riverboat journeys are planned that take passengers as far north as St. Paul, MN on the Mississippi River and as far east as Pittsburgh, PA on the Ohio River.

American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, operates the newest fleet of small ships in the industry and offers more than 35 unique itineraries along the inland waterways and rivers of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, the Mississippi River System and East Coast of the United States, from New England to Florida. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit our Website at or call (800) 814-6880.

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Oceania Cruises Unveils Summer 2013 European Voyages

MIAMI, March 7: Oceania Cruises’ summer 2013 itineraries feature three ships – Riviera, Marina and Nautica – deployed to cultural, scenic and exotic ports throughout Europe. Including voyages from April through September, the summer 2013 European season is available for booking on March 7, 2012, and features first-time ports, new itineraries and the addition of extra sea days, allowing guests to fully indulge in the line’s onboard culinary and enrichment experiences.

All summer 2013 voyages booked by June 30, 2012, feature two-for-one cruise fares and free air transportation, bonus savings of up to $3,500 per stateroom and, for added value, two-for-one deposits on bookings made by March 31, 2012. With the upper-premium line’s recently introduced beverage packages, priced from $29.95 per guest, per day, and new shore excursion options with savings up to 40 percent for an unlimited package of tours, guests can enjoy enhanced value and convenience to further customize the ideal cruise vacation.

“Oceania Cruises’ 2013 Europe schedule offers extraordinary experiences in spring, summer and fall,” stated Kunal S. Kamlani, the line’s president. “With Riviera returning for a full season, we continue to provide our guests with the most exciting and unique itineraries throughout the Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Black Sea and Scandinavia.”

Explore the Mediterranean & Black Sea
Riviera, which makes her debut in Europe in May 2012, returns in 2013 to explore the Western and Eastern Mediterranean with new 7-, 10- and 12-day cruises, from vibrant Barcelona to exotic Istanbul. Featured itineraries include the 10-day Italian Escapade (July 3 and August 28, 2013) from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Venice with stops in Florence (Livorno), Sorrento and Amalfi along the Amalfi coast, Taormina (Sicily), Corfu, Montenegro and Dubrovnik (Croatia) and a full day at sea before reaching Venice for an overnight stay.

Marina offers a new 10-day Treasures of the Ancients itinerary, that sails round-trip from Barcelona (November 10) calling at Valencia and Palma de Mallorca in Spain; Algiers, a new port for Oceania Cruises; Palermo, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Florence (Livorno), Italy; Monte Carlo and Provence (Marseille).

Discover Northern Europe & Baltic Capitals
Marina and Nautica venture throughout Scandinavia and the Baltic, including a visit to the Polar Ice Barrier. Marina’s Baltic Odyssey, a new 10-day itinerary from Stockholm to Copenhagen with visits to Helsinki, St. Petersburg (three full days), Tallinn, Gdansk, and Berlin, departs June 25, July 5, and Sept 3, with a special Oceania Club Reunion Cruise on Aug 24.

On July 4, Nautica will offer an 18-day Voyage of the Midnight Sun from London to Copenhagen visiting 12 ports in Norway with overnight stops in Honninsvag (North Cape) and four sea days. Nautica’s July 22 Medieval Marvels, a 10-day cruise from Copenhagen to Stockhom, features the new port of Klaipeda, Lithuania, a picturesque seaside city at the mouth of the Dange River and Baltic Sea.

Cruise Continental Europe in Grand Style
Rounding out the European itineraries, Marina and Nautica feature 7-, 10- and 12-day itineraries that capture “the best of the best” ports of call. “Cultural Connoisseur” – which departs September 27 – on Marina is a 12-day voyage from London to Barcelona, and on June 6, European Treasures on Nautica is a 14-day cruise from Rome to London.

For more information on summer 2013 cruise itineraries, see a professional travel agent, visit or call 800-531-5658.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Dazzles Guests With Upscale Chef’s Table Experience

MIAMI, March 6: Norwegian Cruise Line has unveiled an intimate, once-in-a-lifetime gourmet dining experience by introducing the Chef’s Table fleet-wide. Guests who attend the Chef’s Table dining experience will marvel in an incredible culinary adventure as they feast on a nine-course, upscale menu consisting of unique and contemporary creations using the highest quality ingredients, sophisticated cooking techniques, flavor compositions and captivating presentations. All courses are accompanied by wines that are specially paired by the line’s Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson.

The two-and-a-half hour Chef’s Table dining experience begins with an intimate reception where guests enjoy a glass of champagne as they mingle with the ship’s Executive Chef, Food and Beverage Director, Restaurant Manager, Assistant Maître d’ and Head Wine Steward. Following the reception, guests are invited to take a group photo before sitting down to begin their gourmet culinary experience in a luxurious and intimate restaurant setting that provides privacy and exclusivity. The Executive Chef welcomes the group and then goes on to describe the first two courses: an Amuse Bouche ‘Molecular Gastronome’ consisting of Spherical Mango, Vodka & Jalapeno Ravioli and an Orange-Wasabi Glazed Ahi Tuna Tartar with freshly-baked Sesame Crisp.

Courses one and two are accompanied by the Master Sommelier’s expertly-paired wine selection. Asparagus Cream is served for course three, followed by the fourth course, a Short Crust Tartlet and a delightful Grapefruit and Moscato Granite is served as course number five. As the Executive Chef describes the ingredients and technique used to create courses three through five, the second wine selection is served and the Chef invites questions about the dishes. Course six consists of a Plantain- Crusted, Pan Seared Sea Bass accompanied by Mango, Papaya & Avocado Salsa and Lobster Veloute and a Milk-Fed Veal Chop with Anna Potatoes, Sautéed Spinach and Truffle Veal Jus rounds out course number seven. A specially-selected cheese platter that boasts an assortment of gourmet cheeses is served as course eight and the grand finale, course nine, is dessert, which consists of either a Yogurt-Mousse Dome with Lychee Raspberry Crème, Hazel Sablee and Lime Vanilla Reduction; or a Chocolate Log with ‘Spiced’ Dark Rum, Infused Banana and Cocoa Mousse.

This exclusive dining experience is offered for a cover charge of $75 per person, including gratuities, a behind-the-scenes galley tour, one group photo and an individual photo with the Executive Chef. The Chef’s Table is limited to 12 guests per exclusive dining experience and is offered once per cruise on board Norwegian ships fleet-wide, with the exception of Norwegian Jade which rolls out March 22, 2012.

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Priscilla Presley Named Godmother For Great American Steamboat
 Company's American Queen

MEMPHIS, TN, March 6: The Great American Steamboat Company announces Priscilla Presley as the godmother of the steamboat American Queen. Presley, who is synonymous with Graceland in the steamboat's homeport of Memphis, will name her in a christening ceremony at the revitalized Beale Street Landing on April 27. Highlights of the festivities will include performances by local musicians, a bottle of champagne crashing against the stern, and the sounds of the American Queen Calliope as she steams off up the Mississippi River.

A daughter of an Air Force officer, Priscilla Presley attended high school in Germany, where she met her future husband, Elvis Presley. In 1979 she became co-executor of the Presley Estate growing it from a burgeoning entity into a phenomenally successful organization consisting of the famous Graceland Mansion, a worldwide licensing program, merchandising, music publishing, television and video projects.

In addition to being a savvy businesswoman, producer and actress, Presley is an ambassador of the Dream Foundation, helping to fulfill the dreams of adults battling terminal illnesses. She became aware of the organization after helping to grant recipients' wishes to visit Graceland. The organization is the only one of its kind working with adults as well as helping to create lasting memories for their family and friends. Priscilla has also joined Hollywood celebrities in an important fight against the overmedication of children. She is an advocate for Citizen's Commission on Human Rights and a percentage of all purchases on are donated to support these two worthy charities.

"It is quite a thrill for Memphis as steamboating returns once again with the arrival of the American Queen," explains Presley. "I look forward to her guests visiting Graceland and experiencing true Southern hospitality, which is why this city holds such a special place in my heart."

The Great American Steamboat Company shares a common passion with Presley, which is its homeport of Memphis. Earlier this month the company hosted a job fair at the Memphis Cook Convention Center hiring 300+ new employees to work onboard the American Queen or at its downtown headquarters. An annual economic impact of $89 million for the region is expected with the largest and most opulent steamboat ever built returning to the heartland's iconic rivers.

"Priscilla Presley's efforts leading Elvis Presley Enterprises exemplify both grace and dignity, two adjectives befitting the American Queen," explains Great American Steamboat Company CEO Jeff Krida. "Both are stunning ambassadors to Memphis and we are humbled to bring our steamboat family and the Presley family together."

After a sunset christening, the American Queen will depart for her inaugural voyage up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River with stops in Henderson, Ky., Louisville, Ky., and Madison, Ind., before arriving in her disembarkation city of Cincinnati. In Louisville she will take part in the wonderful tradition of the Kentucky Derby Festival's Great Steamboat Race with the Belle of Louisville and Belle of Cincinnati.

The Great American Steamboat Company has also entered into an exclusive partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises. This collaboration will present the first Elvis Cruise on the American Queen from Memphis to New Orleans this December, as well as signature Graceland experiences for guests.
Steeped in history, nostalgia and tradition, the American Queen will offer an unrivaled All-American hospitality experience from its elegant staterooms to its palatial public spaces and celebrated Southern cuisine of famed Chef Regina Charboneau, the line's Culinary Director.

A variety of voyage lengths, ranging from three nights to ten nights offers exceptional value and convenience, with little or no flying required. Pre- or post-cruise luxury hotel stay, all bottled water and soft drinks, wine and beer at diner and complimentary shore adventures are included in each port of call. For additional information and reservations, kindly contact the Great American Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online at or call your professional travel agent.

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Carnival Destiny to Undergo Dramatic Transformation During
Massive $155 Million Refit in Early 2013

MIAMI (March 6, 2012) – Representing Carnival Cruise Lines’ most ambitious refit and transformation project ever, Carnival Destiny will undergo a $155 million makeover next year that will incorporate all of the line’s “Fun Ship 2.0” dining, bar and entertainment features, as well as a variety of exciting innovations unique to this vessel. The refit will also include a reconfigured layout, the addition of a partial deck and the expansion of two other decks within the forward section of the ship, providing the opportunity to incorporate a number of new and exciting on-board spaces. One-hundred and eighty-two cabins will be added, as well.

The redesign will be so extensive and wide-ranging that the ship will be renamed Carnival Sunshine following the 49-day dry dock, which will take place from February to April 2013. The refit work will be completed by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. Following the dry dock, Carnival Sunshine will embark on a schedule of 9- and 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona and Venice from April to Oct 2013 then launch year-round 7-day Caribbean departures from New Orleans beginning Nov 2013.

“This is our most ambitious ship conversion project to date and it will radically transform the Carnival Destiny into essentially an entirely new ship offering a variety of exciting dining and beverage choices, spectacular outdoor spaces and entertainment options, and on-board innovations not available anywhere else,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.

Here’s a look at some of Carnival Sunshine’s many features:

Wide-Ranging On-Board Dining Choices

• Guy’s Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network p ersonality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries in an atmosphere that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture
BlueIguana Cantina, a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic, freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas that can be personalized with a variety of salsas and toppings
Fahrenheit 555, a classic American steakhouse offering mouth-watering steaks and gourmet appetizers, entrees and desserts, all enhanced by understated ambiance and impeccable service (venue will carry a surcharge consistent with other steakhouses in the Carnival fleet)
Cucina del Capitano – or “The Captain’s Kitchen” – with Italian favorites and new Carnival classics served family-style in a fun and engaging atmosphere reminiscent of a cozy Italian home (during the day, the venue will serve as a free casual lunch-time pasta bar with a nominal charge for dinner)
A stunning new full-service Asian restaurant inspired by the line’s popular Mongolian wok casual eateries that will feature an extensive menu of delicious favorites from the Far East, along with a striking Asian-themed décor (no charge for lunch with a nominal fee for dinner)
An expansive casual poolside eatery, Lido Marketplace, offering a seemingly endless array of delectable favorites from around the world, from paninis and pizza to a deli offering piled-high sandwiches and just about everything in between
A new casual dining option, “The Comfort Kitchen,” located within the Lido Marketplace and offering a tempting array of American-style “comfort food” entrees and side dishes
Completely renovated main dining rooms that will offer extensive menus and wine lists, with a tantalizing selection of salads, appetizers, entrees and desserts nightly, including Carnival’s legendary chocolate melting cake
A newly designed coffee bar, serving a wide range of sweet and frothy concoctions such as cappuccinos, lattes, espressos and other caffeinated favorites, along with delicious pastries and other decadent confections

Innovative Bar and Beverage Concepts

• RedFrog Pub where guests can enjoy the Caribbean’s best rums and beers – along with Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red private label draft brew – and island-inspired pub fare while soaking up the distinct British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West ambiance
RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside adaptation of the RedFrog Pub offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red
BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a fun and festive outdoor watering hole offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin’ by the pool
EA SPORTS Bar, a sports and video game lovers’ paradise where guests can catch live sporting events, check out scores on the real-time 24/7 sports ticker, and play the latest EA SPORTS games on a 16-screen video wall
Alchemy Bar, a vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy” that’s the go-to spot for guests seeking a unique experience with mixologists who “prescribe” concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients or guests’ own custom-created cocktails
The Library Bar, a warm and cozy venue offering full bar service for those seeking a more intimate spot for before- or after-dinner drinks
An exciting new lounge, Havana Bar, a tropical-inspired nightspot located aft within Lido Marketplace featuring a panoramic ocean view from its floor to ceiling windows and offering a unique and memorable venue for cocktails, live Latin music and dancing
The new Sunshine Bar, an elegant lounge with sun-splashed interiors located at the lobby level of the ship’s towering atrium where guests can enjoy a cocktail, dance and listen to live music
A new cigar bar concept, with plush, comfortable surroundings, along with fine cigars and a variety of brandies, cognacs and liqueurs, ideal for pre- or post-dinner drinks and conversation

Outdoor Fun and Relaxation

• Carnival’s first three-deck-high Serenity adults-only retreat, an oasis of tranquility offering plush chaise lounges and chairs, a whirlpool, a cascading waterfall, teak-planked decks, a pool, a complimentary dining area with freshly made salads that can be customized by guests, and, of course, magnificent sea views
SportSquare, Carnival Sunshine’s new open-air recreation complex that includes such attractions as a ropes course, mini-golf course, a lighted half court for basketball and volleyball, jogging track, ping pong, pool, and foosball tables, and bar with a large flat-screen for those who want to check out the action on TV
WaterWorks, a “splash-tastic” top-deck attraction that’s sure to be a hit with guests of all ages with wet ‘n wild thrills such as the line’s iconic “Twister” water slide, a Splash Zone kids water play area, an all-new thrill slide and other fun features
Carnival’s Seaside Theatre, a poolside 270-square-foot high-tech LED screen offering nightly “Dive In Movies,” along with a variety of concerts, sporting events and other programming, all of which are enjoyed in the fresh sea air

That’s Entertainment!

• Playlist Productions, which builds upon Carnival’s reputation for high quality entertainment by combining captivating live performances and spectacular staging and special effects to create enthralling music revues produced by the top directors and choreographers in the industry
Hasbro, The Game Show, where guests are part of the show through a series of larger-than-life productions and entertainment activities based on the company’s iconic and popular games and presented in the ship’s remodeled main show lounge
Piano Bar 88, a new twist on Carnival’s popular piano bar concept that will amp up the excitement with themed nights, an engaging new décor and opportunities for spontaneous sing-along fun
The Punchliner Comedy Club Presented by George Lopez, featuring a hilarious line-up of both established and up-and-coming talent evaluated and vetted by the popular TV personality who serves as Carnival’s “curator of comedy”
The Punchliner Comedy Brunch, for those who want a little merriment in the morning, serving up laughter along with delicious cuisine

Staterooms, Shopping and More

• All staterooms will be fully revamped and feature a new tropical décor that pays homage to the ship’s Caribbean itineraries with a combination of bright colors and soothing pastels, with 182 new staterooms to be added across a broad range of accommodations from interior to balconies, including 96 new spa staterooms
Newly designed play areas catering to kids in three age groups, part of the line’s top-rated children’s programs – Camp Carnival (2-11), Circle “C” (12-14) and Club O2 (15-17), with enthusiastic counselors and fun supervised activities for each group, along with popular elements of Carnival’s new partnership with Hasbro
The FunHub, featuring dozens of flat-panel stations for keeping up with the latest Carnival Sunshine happenings, surfing the Web, and staying in touch with friends and family back home
Cloud 9 Spa – Designed as the ultimate refuge for rest and relaxation, this newly constructed facility will set a new standard in oceangoing wellness with a sophisticated menu of exotic therapies, an elaborate thermal suite with varying degrees of soothing warmth, private treatment rooms, and the latest exercise equipment
Cherry On Top, which celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more
Ocean Plaza, a stunning café and entertainment venue where guests can meet new friends, listen to music, enjoy drinks and light snacks, participate in a wide range of activities and people watch.

Exciting European and Caribbean Itineraries
Carnival Sunshine will launch a series of Mediterranean cruises beginning with a 14-day voyage departing from Venice April 12 and arriving in Barcelona April 26, 2013. The ship will then operate a series of 18 nine- and 12-day Mediterranean cruises either round-trip from Barcelona or sailing between Barcelona and Venice. These departures will visit a wide variety of the Mediterranean’s most spectacular ports, including Marseilles, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Livorno (Pisa/Florence) and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Carnival Sunshine will then sail on a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing departing Barcelona Nov. 1 and arriving New Orleans Nov. 17, 2013, positioning the vessel for its year-round deployment from the Big Easy.

Following a special 6-day cruise from New Orleans Nov. 18-24, 2013, Carnival Sunshine will launch its year-round 7-day cruise schedule from that port Nov. 24, 2013. Three different week-long itineraries will be offered – an exotic western Caribbean route to Belize City, Belize; Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan, and Cozumel, Mexico; a Bahamas/Florida schedule to Key West, Fla., and Freeport and Nassau, The Bahamas; and western Caribbean departures to Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel.

Carnival Sunshine will replace Carnival Conquest, which is currently based in New Orleans. Additional details on the Carnival Conquest deployment will be announced in the near future. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Six Theme Cruises With Travel Credit Kick Off Safari Endeavour’s Inaugural Season
 With American Safari Cruises In 2012

Seattle, WA, March 6: Guests booking one of six theme cruises aboard American Safari Cruises’ Safari Endeavour this summer in Alaska will receive a $518 travel credit per couple. The travel credit celebrates the vessel’s inauguration into the upscale fleet during a May 18, 2012 christening ceremony in Seattle. The 86-guest Safari Endeavour sails weeklong adventure cruises roundtrip Juneau, Alaska from June to August and spends two days exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park with opportunities to hike and kayak with park rangers. Six theme cruises feature guest presenters and performers.

• June 24, 2012, Among Giants with Flip Nicklin: Explore whales and photography with this world-renowned whale photographer who also contributes to National Geographic. Guests will receive a signed copy of his book, “Among Giants, A Life with Whales.”
July 8, 2012, Found: John Muir’s Alaska: Professor Paul Hunter brings John Muir’s and Jack London’s Alaska alive. Includes a dog sledding tour in Juneau.
July 22, 2012, Seeing Beyond the Obvious: Learn new photography techniques from award-winning photojournalist PF Bentley whose documentary career spans 30 years.
July 29, 2012, Smooth Sailing—Smooth Jazz: Jazz lovers unite for live entertainment in the lounge on select evenings. Paul Richardson plays keyboard and Josephine Howell sings—both top artists currently playing in the Pacific Northwest.
August 5, 2012, Travel Photography: Peter West Carey brings his passion for travel and photography together to share tips, tales and techniques.
August 19, 2012, Napa Valley Reds—Wine and Culinary: Cyril and Blakesley Chappellet present their legendary Cabernet Sauvignon and other highly acclaimed wines. Enjoy wine and food pairings on select evenings along with a special dinner.

“Adding these experts and performers on board injects another exciting element to each cruise,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s an added value for guests, and the travel credit is one more incentive to encourage both past guests and new to try an Alaska adventure on the Safari Endeavour—the newest addition to our upscale fleet of yachts.”

The Safari Endeavour will be fresh from a major renovation project adding American Safari Cruises’ yacht-like amenities on board including a wine bar, library, four suites with step-out balconies, massage rooms and hot tubs. The inclusive cruise explores Icy Strait, Chichagof Island, Baranof Island, Frederick Sound, Thomas Bay, Ford’s Terror and Endicott Arm and spends two days exploring Glacier Bay. Kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are available for excursions. Skiff rides will explore shoreline, wildlife and glaciers up close. Expert naturalists and guides lead excursions on land and sea.

Travelers making a new reservation aboard one of the Safari Endeavour’s theme cruises receive a $518 travel credit per couple. The credit is good for bookings made between March 1 and May 18, 2012. The inclusive cruise includes all from-the-yacht activities and equipment; transfers; exquisite meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; one massage, and all port charges, taxes and fees. An all-American crew has a guest-crew ratio of 2.5 to 1. Yachts can be booked as a private charter or by individual stateroom. To book a yachting adventure or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or American Safari Cruises at 888-862-8881 or email .

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Queen Mary 2 Crosses Paths with the Endeavour

March 5: Yesterday, Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 was saluted by another historic vessel also currently circumnavigating Australia – the Endeavour – as the two vessels crossed paths off the coast of Victoria.The encounter with the small ship, a replica of Captain James Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour, occurred between Cape Duquesne and Cape Nelson, just outside Portland, Victoria, as Queen Mary 2 sailed from Adelaide to Melbourne where she is making her maiden visit today. Carrying approximately 4,000 guests and crew, and rising 62 metres above the water, the 151,400-ton Queen Mary 2 dwarfed the 397-ton Endeavour, which is carrying 54 people and stretches 39 metres to the top of its mast.

While Queen Mary 2 will take 20 nights to circumnavigate Australia (Fremantle to Fremantle), the Endeavour is taking 13 months on its journey around the country. Both circumnavigation voyages by Queen Mary 2 and the Endeavor take place more than 200 years after the first circumnavigation of Australia undertaken by Captain Matthew Flinders in 1801-03.

“Queen Mary 2’s maiden voyage around Australia has been a fantastic experience for all on board and we have very much enjoyed being part of history," said Commodore Christopher Rynd, master of Cunard’s flagship ocean liner. “To sail by the Endeavour – a replica of Captain Cook’s ship – and to see her size really brought home how brave and adventurous explorers were just two centuries ago.”

For more information about Queen Mary 2 or to book a voyage, call toll-free 1-800-728-6273 or visit

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Seabourn Unveils Europe Suite Sale

SEATTLE, March 5: Seabourn has launched a 2012 Europe Suite Sale, featuring savings up to 50 percent or more and complimentary veranda upgrades on popular voyages in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. More than 100 voyages feature an array of different promotional benefits and amenities such as generous air credits from a wide variety of U.S. & Canadian gateways on select cruises, and shipboard credits on bookings of premium category suites on others. The Europe Suite Sale includes cruises this summer and fall aboard Seabourn's award-winning fleet of intimate ships. From beautiful seaside towns, yacht harbors and elegant cities along the French and Italian Rivieras to the fjords of Norway, the line's six ships will visit more than 160 European destinations, landmark cities and beautiful natural splendors on voyages from April through November.

"Seabourn is the highest-rated cruise line to sail in Europe, and in 2012 we have more spacious veranda and ocean-view suites on more fascinating itineraries than any other ultra-luxury line," said John Delaney, Seabourn's senior vice president of marketing and sales. "Our Europe Suite Sale, combined with our all-inclusive cruise fares, offers travelers tremendous value on award-winning cruise vacations to Europe."

On select sailings, air credits up to $1,000 per suite are available on Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend, applicable to air transportation purchased through Seabourn. Complimentary upgrades to Veranda category suites are available on select cruises on Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest.

Following are examples of savings and offers on Seabourn Europe cruises this summer and fall:

• Seabourn Quest and Seabourn Odyssey - seven-day Greek Isles, Turkey and Adriatic sailings from $2,999 per person with a complimentary veranda upgrade.
Seabourn Spirit - 10-day Adriatic and Dalmatian cruises from $3,499 per person with an air credit of $800 per suite.
Seabourn Sojourn - seven-day Baltic and Norway cruises from $3,899 per person with a complimentary veranda upgrade.
Seabourn Pride - 14- to 16-day Baltic, Russia and Norway voyages from $5,499 per person with an air credit of $1,000 per suite.
Seabourn Legend - 10-day French and Italian Rivieras voyages from $3,499 per person with an air credit of $800 per suite.

Seabourn's six intimate, award-winning ships offer key elements that set Seabourn 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; award-winning personalized service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board.

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. Cruise fares are subject to change without notice. Air credits and other promotional amenities are available on select voyages. Certain other restrictions apply. For more information or reservations, call Seabourn at 1-877-303-9419 or visit

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation
 with Commemorative Summer Sailings

MIAMI, March 5: To celebrate 20 years of delivering the most coveted luxury experiences to its guests, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is marking its 20th Anniversary this summer with a special collection of sailings in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and Alaska. Ranging from seven to 14 nights, these commemorative sailings on each of the ultra-luxury line’s three all-suite shipsSeven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigatorinclude an array of memorable surprises for guests. Depending on the cruise, travelers can enjoy bonus savings of up to $8,000 per suite when booked by March 31, 2012. In honor of this two-decade milestone, guests will also receive specially designed luggage tags and commemorative pins, and a gala 20th Anniversary dinner will be hosted on each voyage.

As with all Regent Seven Seas Cruises sailings, guests enjoy unlimited and complimentary shore excursions in every port, from the elegance of Monte Carlo and the archeology of ancient Greece to the wilds of Croatia’s Konvale Valley and the rugged coastline of Scotland’s Orkney Islands. Regent Seven Seas’ cruise fares are the most inclusive in the marketplace and include gourmet dining without surcharges, open bar, a selection of tours in all ports, onboard gratuities, a luxury hotel stay prior to the cruise and air transportation from more than 25 cities.

Sail with Regent’s President – at the Helm for all 20 Years
Guests on two special sailings will be joined by Regent Seven Seas Cruises President Mark Conroy, who holds the distinction of being the longest-standing president of any cruise line. At the helm of the line since 1992, Conroy will celebrate the occasion with guests aboard Seven Seas Mariner on the 10-night sailing from Rome to Istanbul departing June 16 and then again on the 14-night sailing from Lisbon to Venice departing August 23. Guests can get to know Conroy personally at Town Hall forums and intimate cocktail receptions during the voyages. Guests will also receive an engraved crystal Tiffany plate, which will be showcased as part of an onboard display and sent to guests upon their return home.

“Twenty years is a long time to be with the same company, and I am so proud of our commitment to luxury, innovation, and enrichment in cruising,” says Conroy. “I can’t think of a better way to mark this milestone with Regent Seven Seas Cruises than to share it with our guests while exploring some of the most beautiful destinations in the world.”

Fly in Business Class
Depending on the departure date, guests in suite categories D-H can upgrade to Business Class air on transatlantic flights for $499 or $999 per person, each way, if reservations are made by March 31, 2012. Guests in Penthouse and higher suites receive free Business Class air.

20th Anniversary Commemorative Sailings
· Riviera Hideaways departs from Monte Carlo April 23 for a 7-night voyage to Florence/Pisa, Rome, Sorrento/Capri, Sardinia, Saint-Tropez, Provence/Marseille, and Barcelona with up to 26 complimentary shore excursions available.

· Gondolas & Gladiators departs Venice May 3 for a 10-night voyage that ends in Rome, with stops in Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greece; up to 35 complimentary shore excursions are available.

· Idyllic Retreats sails May 30 from Rome to Barcelona, visiting 10 ports in 10 nights, including Cinque Terre, Italy; Monte Carlo; and Port-Vendres, France, with an overnight call in Barcelona. Up to 42 complimentary excursions are available.

· Celtic Charms departs from Southampton June 3 for a 10-night journey to England, Ireland, and Iceland with up to 35 complimentary shore excursions available.

· President’s Cruise ~ Classical Collection – 10 nights, departing June 16, from Rome to Istanbul via ports in Italy, Malta, the Greek Isles, and Turkey. Up to 43 complimentary shore excursions are available on this cruise.

· Hellenic Reflections and Greek Isle Sojourn – these 7-night voyages visit Hellenic treasures such as Istanbul, Mykonos, Santorini and Athens. 23 plus complimentary shore excursions available on each sailing. Business Class air upgrades per person, each way are $999 on June 26 and $499 on July 13 departures.

· White Nights departs July 2 from Stockholm with visits to Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, as well as an extended stay in St. Petersburg. Guests can choose from up to 43 complimentary excursions.

· The Baroque Baltic and Imperial Visions departing July 12 and July 29, these 10-night voyages from Copenhagen to Stockholm include visits to Berlin; Rønne, Denmark; Visby, Sweden; Riga, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg; and Helsinki, Finland with the choice of up to 42 complimentary tours.

· Venetian Dreams departs July 20 and visits Athens; Ephesus, Turkey; Santorini; Olympia, Greece; Corfu, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; plus an overnight aboard ship in Venice. Up to 23 complimentary shore excursions available.

· Jewels of the Baltic and Scandinavian Sojourn – these 7-night Stockholm to Copenhagen cruises visit Helsinki; Tallinn, Estonia; Visby, Sweden; Berlin and Copenhagen, with an overnight call in St. Petersburg. Up to 35 free shore excursions available.

· Dalmatian Discovery departs for a 10-night voyage from Venice to Monte Carlo July 27, with calls in Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, France, and Monaco. Up to 33 complimentary tours are available on this sailing.

· Tuscan Dreams departs August 6 for a 7-night sailing from Monte Carlo to Barcelona including Sorrento/Capri, Saint-Tropez, and Provence as highlights. Up to 30 complimentary excursions are available.

· Iberian Tapestries is a 10-night cruise departing Barcelona August 13 and visiting several ports in Spain, Morocco, the Canary Islands, and Casablanca before reaching Lisbon, where the ship remains overnight. Guests can select from 27 complimentary shore excursions.

· Northern Harbors departs from Copenhagen August 15, offering guests up to 72 different free tours in such ports as Berlin; Rønne, Denmark; Visby, Sweden; Riga, Latvia; Helsinki; St. Petersburg; Tallinn, Estonia; and Stockholm.

· West Coast Passage departs August 22 for a 12-night voyage from Vancouver to San Francisco, offering up to 67 complimentary shore excursions throughout Alaska, Oregon, and Western Canada. Scenic highlights include cruising the Inside Passage and Outside Passage.

· President’s Cruise ~ Renaissance Rhapsody departs Lisbon August 23 for a 14-night voyage with calls at ports in Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Greece, and Croatia. Includes an overnight in Venice prior to disembarkation, as well as up to 49 complimentary shore excursions to choose from.

· North Sea Serenade departs Stockholm August 25 for a 12-night voyage to Southampton, with port calls throughout the Baltic, including an overnight aboard ship in St. Petersburg, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Up to 77 complimentary shore excursions are available.

To receive a brochure or for more information on Regent Seven Seas Cruises, see a professional travel agent, visit or call toll-free 800-285-1835.

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Oceania Cruises Returns to Alaska for Summer 2013

MIAMI, March 5: Oceania Cruises will return to the great state of Alaska from May through mid-August 2013 after a one-year hiatus. For the first time Seattle will provide the point of departure for many northern voyages. In addition to two-for-one cruise fares, free air and bonus savings of up to $3,500 per stateroom, Oceania Cruises is offering two-for-one savings on its new Unlimited Passport Collection package. The special tour package promotion, which has a value of up to $999, will be available for those guests who book an Alaska cruise by June 30, 2012.

“Regatta is one of the smallest ships operating in Alaska providing our guests with a unique and intimate experience,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, the line’s president. “With two-for-one savings on our unlimited shore excursion package, these voyages offer great value for travelers who wish to truly explore the The Last Frontier.”

Scenic highlights include cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage, the awe-inspiring Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord. The destination experience can be further enhanced with excursions such as a sea kayaking adventure in Kachemak Bay State Park, a day of fishing followed by an outdoor salmon bake or an expedition aboard a sled pulled by a husky team through Alaska’s rainforest.

Travelers can choose from seven itineraries:

· Gateway to Alaska – 9 days between San Francisco and Vancouver, visiting Astoria, Oregon, Sitka, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Departure: May 9

· Fjords & Frontiers – 7 days roundtrip from Vancouver. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka and Wrangell. Departure: May 19

· Majesty of Alaska – 10 days between Vancouver and Seattle, a maiden port for Oceania Cruises, calling at Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, Hoonah and Ketchikan. Departure: May 26

· Alaskan Wonders – 7 days between Seattle and Vancouver, with visits to Sitka, Ketchikan and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Departures: June 5, June 12, June 29, Jul 6

· Alaskan Wilderness – 10 days roundtrip from Seattle. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Hoonah, Sitka and Victoria, BC. Departures: June 19, Jul 13

· Glacial Passage – 7 days between Seattle and Vancouver, calling at Sitka, Wrangell and Ketchikan. Departures: Jul 23, Jul 30, Aug 6

· Alaskan Grandeur – 10 days between Vancouver and San Francisco, visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Victoria, BC and Astoria, Oregon. Departure: Aug 13

Travelers will discover Alaska aboard Oceania Cruises’ 684-guest Regatta – an intimate ship acclaimed for its open-seating gourmet dining (no surcharges), luxurious public rooms and accommodations, and warm and attentive service. For more information, visit To make a reservation, see your travel agent or call toll-free 800-531-5658.

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Princess Cruises Puts Royal Princess Inaugural Cruise Tickets up for Auction

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 2: As time nears for bookings to open on Princess Cruises’ highly anticipated new ship, Royal Princess, the line is holding an unprecedented charity auction for a chance to secure a stateroom aboard the ship’s inaugural sailing on June 16, 2013. The auction, which opens on eBay today under the eBay Giving Works program, will enable one lucky bidder to become the very first passenger booked on the ship, while at the same time raising money to support worldwide charitable causes. All proceeds from the eBay auction will go directly to the Princess Cruises Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity, which supports causes around the globe.

The winning bidder will secure a coveted cruise for two on the maiden voyage, a 7-day, 4-port Iberia sailing from Southampton to Barcelona with calls at Vigo, Lisbon, Gibraltar and Malaga. The lucky passengers will sail in a new class of accommodation debuting on Royal Princess, a deluxe balcony stateroom offering additional space, a sofa bed and enhanced amenities. Bidding starts at just $1, and the 10-day auction will close with the highest bid winning the cruise on March 12, 2012. Anyone with an eBay account, regardless of location, may bid on the cruise.

“We don’t open the books on Royal Princess until March 15, but we know many passengers are eager to reserve their stateroom,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “This auction will give someone the unique opportunity to be the very first passenger booked aboard the ship’s maiden voyage while at the same time supporting the worldwide charities that benefit from the work of the Princess Cruises Community Foundation.”

Princess today also revealed details about Royal Princess’ staterooms and a number of updated features inspired by suggestions made by the line’s passengers. Among the changes are more contemporary décor, larger showers and hand-held shower heads, pillow top mattresses, upholstered headboards, bigger television screens, energy efficient lighting and card readers to help conserve electricity. A slideshow of stateroom images is available at royalprincessstaterooms.

“Our passengers really did design these stateroom additions, because we’ve incorporated many small changes that they’ve requested over the years,” noted Swartz. “And often the smallest changes make the biggest difference.”

Royal Princess Staterooms & Amenities
Deluxe Balcony: Debuting on Royal Princess, this new category of stateroom is an extra spacious balcony cabin with a comfortable sofa bed and some of the upgraded amenities found in a mini-suite stateroom, including enhanced bathroom amenities, waffle bathrobe, and an upgraded duvet. Royal Princess will feature 358 deluxe balcony staterooms throughout the ship.

Mini-Suite: In addition to featuring the new general stateroom amenities, mini-suites will offer a decorative central lighting fixture, a privacy curtain between the bed and sitting area, and marble-topped counters.

Suite: Suites will feature larger televisions, two sinks in the bathroom, accent lighting and a glass-paneled shower. Suite passengers can also take advantage of Royal Princess’ new Concierge Lounge, offering an exclusive space to enjoy refreshments, make reservations for dining, spa services and shore excursions.

Stateroom Amenities: All staterooms will include a variety of subtle changes based on feedback from passengers. Room décor will feature contemporary and rich finishes, modern carpet patterns, and soft, soothing colors. Bathrooms will offer larger shower spaces and hand-held shower heads. Sinks will be square in shape to provide more vanity space, mirrors will feature built-in vanity lighting, and beds will have pillow top mattresses and upholstered headboards. Decorative wall sconces will provide enhanced lighting and televisions will be larger and wall-mounted.

Royal Princess will be one of the most balcony-rich ships afloat, with 80 percent of all cabins including this popular feature. Some changes have also been added to make traveling with technology easier. Electrical sockets have been spaced farther apart to accommodate multiple plugs and now offer a 220-volt socket. Additionally, energy-saving features have been built in to the staterooms, including a card reader that activates the room’s lighting, plus low-energy LED lighting fixtures. Families traveling in more than one cabin can take advantage of another new option with the addition of 50 adjoining staterooms.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises. Among the new features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; the dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway on the ship’s starboard side extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; Alfredo’s Pizzeria, a gelateria, Bellini’s cocktail bar, Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar, Vines Wine Bar, a dazzling water and light show, and an expanded version of Princess’ signature adults-only haven, The Sanctuary, and the popular poolside theater, Movies Under the Stars. More information about the ship is available at royalprincess.

All proceeds from the eBay auction ( will go to the Princess Cruises Community Foundation, a nonprofit public benefit corporation that provides financial and in-kind support to non-profit organizations dedicated to children, education, the environment, disaster relief and community health in ports visited by Princess ships, in regions where Princess seafarers reside, and locales from which Princess operates. More information about the Foundation’s work is available at Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at

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Oceania Cruises Launches Culinary Discovery Tours

MIAMI, March 2: With the launch of Riviera in May 2012, Oceania Cruises is expanding and enhancing its culinary enrichment program with the introduction of Culinary Discovery Tours to more than 25 ports worldwide. Uniquely designed for each port, the new tours provide guests with the opportunity to explore local food markets in small groups side-by-side with an expert chef.

“It was ground-breaking when Oceania Cruises introduced the first hands-on culinary school at sea with the launch of Marina,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, the line’s president. “Now with the introduction of sister-ship Riviera we are taking culinary enrichment to a whole new level to solidify our reputation as the cruise line for epicureans.”

Guests may visit an artisanal cheese maker, chocolatier, wine vineyard, or a fish market. Tours also incorporate mini-lectures, demonstrations or lunch before returning to the ship’s Bon Appétit Culinary Center for a cooking class drawing inspiration from the local market.

“In Athens, guests will visit the Agora meat and fish market followed by lunch in the Plaka,” said Kathryn Kelly, culinary enrichment director of Oceania Cruises. “When in Barcelona, we enjoy a Spanish olive oil tasting, shop at Santa Caterina Market and then finish the day with lunch at a top tapas restaurant.”

Culinary Discovery Tours will launch this spring in Europe aboard Riviera and Marina and can be booked prior to departure. The program will roll out in Asia, South America and the Caribbean in winter 2012-13. Prices start at $175, including the escorted market tour and cooking class.

Bon Appétit Culinary Center
The Bon Appétit Culinary Center on Oceania Cruises’ Riviera and Marina features 24 fully equipped work stations. Induction cook tops and convection ovens afford participants the opportunity to gain a hands-on cooking experience. Classes cater to all levels of aptitude, from beginner to master-chef level. On the line’s smaller ships – Regatta and Nautica – Culinary Discovery Tours will combine excursions to local markets with hands-on cooking experiences at a shore-side cooking school or a well-known restaurant kitchen. In Istanbul, as an example, guests will follow their tour with a cooking class at Cooking Alaturka.

New Curriculum, “Hot Topics” Classes
New classes for the Bon Appétit Culinary Center include Oceania Highlights, which features favorite recipes from Oceania Cruises’ signature restaurants: Jacques, Red Ginger, Polo Grill and Toscana; Healthy Cooking, inspired by the line’s collaboration with Canyon Ranch; and Emerging Cuisines, focusing on Moroccan, Peruvian and Asian-fusion dishes.

For 2012, the culinary center will introduce one-hour classes that focus on “hot topics” in the culinary world, including Beyond Brie: the Innovative Cheeses, where guests learn how to assemble a cheese plate or Favorite Pairings with Favorite Foods, which showcases innovative finger foods paired with cocktails and beer. Additionally, the curriculum will feature a new series of technique classes based on Jacques Pépin’s new book, Essential Pépin. Beginner classes focus on basic knife skills, French sauces and proper technique for cooking fish. Advanced classes concentrate on the sous vide and pressure cooking methods. Guests enjoy wine tastings with every class and leave with a packet of recipes to bring home. Two-hour cooking classes are priced at $69 and one-hour classes start at just $39.

Chef Kelly, along with Fleet Corporate Chef Franck Garanger, have recruited master chefs from Greece, Italy, Ireland, France, Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Peru and India, to join the culinary center team on Riviera and Marina in 2012.

Culinary Enrichment Enhancements
Oceania Cruises is introducing Cuisines of the World programming fleet-wide. With each new port, the Grand Dining Room and Terrace Café will feature the culinary highlights and local signature dishes from that country. In addition, the ship’s daily newsletter will highlight port-specific food facts, provide cuisine recommendations and offer other tidbits of gastronomic knowledge. During most voyages, guests can also attend cooking demonstrations in the ship’s main lounge. These cooking demos will highlight a particular method of cooking, a “mystery” ingredient from a recently visited market or one of the signature dishes from an Oceania Cruises’ restaurant. The demos are open to all passengers and free of charge.

For more information on Oceania Cruises, see a professional travel agent, visit or call 800-531-5658.

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Celebrity Chef Cat Cora Named Godmother For Oceania Cruises' Riviera

MIAMI, March 2: One of America’s most generous, personable and ground-breaking chefs will step into the honored role as godmother to Oceania Cruises’ newest ship, Riviera. Chef Cat Cora will name the ship in Barcelona at a lavish, invitation-only christening ceremony on May 11, which will culminate with a 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar of champagne, custom-made by Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, commemoratively breaking against the hull of the 1,250-guest ship.

Poised to take its place as another “game-changer” for the upper-premium segment, much like its sister ship Marina which debuted in February 2011, Riviera is the second new ship launched by Oceania Cruises in under 18 months. Designed for epicureans, Riviera features 10 dining venues – six of which are gourmet restaurants – plus a Bon Appétit Culinary Center for hands-on learning and La Reserve by Wine Spectator, a professional facility for wine tastings and pairing dinners.

“Cat Cora’s passion for fine cuisine and her focus on the dining experience captures the essence of what we do every day,” stated Kunal S. Kamlani, Oceania Cruises’ president. “We are all excited to have her christen our newest ship and are proud to welcome her to the Oceania Cruises family.”

Cora made television history as the first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and this spring, steps into a role as co-host of Bravo’s new television show “Around the World in 80 Plates” with Curtis Stone debuting in May. The show follows 12 chefs competing in a culinary race across 10 countries in 44 days. Many of the countries featured in the show include destinations her new ship, Riviera, will visit during its inaugural season. In addition to her television credits, Chef Cora operates four restaurants: Kouzzina at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort in Orlando, CCQ, in partnership with Macy’s in Costa Mesa, California and Cat Cora’s Kitchen in San Francisco and Houston. A third Cat Cora’s Kitchen location will be opening at the Salt Lake City International Airport later this month. In addition to being a restaurateur, she also has her own branded olive oils, vinegars, sauces, tapenades and cookware, a collection of wines and is the author of three best-selling cook books and a children’s book.

“It’s an honor to have been asked to serve as the godmother for the beautiful Riviera,” said Cora. “Oceania Cruises has done an incredible job of developing ships custom-designed for food lovers, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it all.”

Oceania Cruises chose Chef Cora as godmother to Riviera, a role revered for its historic and symbolic value, also in recognition of her many philanthropic efforts to support emergency, educational and hunger-related causes. Cora is the president and founder of Chefs for Humanity, which she started in response to the devastating Tsunami that hit Indonesia in 2004. The organization is dedicated to reducing hunger worldwide by supporting humanitarian relief and promoting nutrition education.

After the Christening Cruise concludes in Venice, Riviera sets sail on May 16 on her maiden voyage, a 10-day cruise that includes an overnight in Venice before visiting Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Monemvasia, Crete, Santorini, Kusadasi (gateway to Ephesus), Delos, Mykonos and Athens.

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Mariah Carey Christens Disney Cruise Ship During Star-Studded New York City Ceremony

NEW YORK, March 2: The Disney Fantasy, the fourth ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, was christened last night during a star-studded christening celebration at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. On a night filled with celebrity performances from the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Neil Patrick Harris, Nick Cannon, and Heather Headley, it was Disney Fantasy godmother, Mariah Carey, who took center stage for the christening moment. Similar to the famed New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, Carey led the audience in a countdown that triggered a 6-foot tall bottle of champagne in the Atrium Lobby to erupt and shower onlookers with confetti and streamers as a traditional bottle of champagne broke against the ship's hull.

"The Disney Fantasy is a spectacular addition to our fleet and builds on the creativity, innovation and artistry that are hallmarks of the Disney Cruise Line," said Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger. "Like her sister ship, the Dream, the Fantasy will connect guests to iconic Disney characters and storytelling, creating unforgettable, one-of-a-kind vacation experiences for the entire family."

"At Disney Parks and Resorts, we strive to be the most trusted and highest quality provider of shared travel and leisure experiences in the world," said Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs. "From stem to stern, the Disney Fantasy was designed and built with the singular purpose of surprising and delighting our guests, helping them make memories to last a lifetime."

When the Disney Fantasy begins sailing on March 31, 2012, it will continue the innovative approach Disney Cruise line brought to family cruise vacations with a collection of new guest experiences specifically developed for the ship's 7-night itinerary. Highlights include:

Technological Wizardry. . .
Animator's Palate on the Disney Fantasy brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room with a new show called "Animation Magic." At dinner, families are encouraged to draw a character of their own on a specially designed placemat. Once the placemats are collected, the magic begins as Mickey takes to the screens and brings the guests' characters to life as they march across screens around the dining room and even step into scenes from beloved Disney movies side-by-side with characters such as Mickey Mouse, Jiminy Cricket, Cinderella and Snow White.

The Muppets are coming to the Disney Fantasy! Guests can join the world-famous Muppets for interactive adventure quest to find missing show props by uncovering clues via more than a dozen pieces of Enchanted Art around the ship. Guided by a map and holding a unique game card in front of select pieces of Enchanted Art, guests unveil games and clues to find the missing items. "The Case of the Stolen Show" is a self-paced adventure game that features several possible endings and multiple randomized events – so each time a guest plays, they have a different game experience.

Splashtacular Family Fun. . .
Soaring above the upper decks of the Disney Fantasy, guests will find the AquaDuck a 765-foot long, twisting-and-turning water coaster that has been a huge hit with guests sailing on the Disney Dream. Several new water surprises are set to debut on the Disney Fantasy including AquaLab, a water play area on the upper deck filled with a variety of water "experiments," created by Donald Duck's nephews, designed to drench, soak and saturate guests. This fanciful 1,800-square-foot space features pop jets, geysers, bubblers, falling water, squirting walls and more.

On Deck 13 forward, guests 18-years of age and older will find a new relaxing respite. Satellite Falls is a circular splash pool with benches and a gently falling rain curtain that provides cool comfort and is surrounded by ample deck space where adult guests can soak up the sun in loungers or relax in the shade under a canopy.

World-Class Entertainment. . .
The launch of a new Disney ship includes the premiere of two new Broadway-style stage spectaculars in the lavish Walt Disney Theatre. The signature show "Wishes" is a 45-minute musical journey about three best friends who discover the secret to being a grown-up is staying connected to their inner child. "Disney's Aladdin–A Musical Spectacular" is a fast-paced musical comedy where Aladdin, the "street rat" of Agrabah, meets a Genie who grants him three wishes, battles the evil Jafar and falls in love with Princess Jasmine.

Club Hopping Across Europe. . .
Nightlife takes a European twist with Europa – an entertainment district of high-energy, sophisticated clubs and lounges inspired by the night spots of Italy, France, Ireland and London. Europa is a continent of adult nighttime fun without borders. La Piazza is a lounge that draws inspiration from stylish Italian plazas. Skyline is a chic bar that provides ever-changing birds-eye views of European cityscapes. O'Gills Pub is a rollicking Irish bar and Ooh La La is an elegant French champagne bar. The Tube transports guests to a vibrant metropolitan club reminiscent of swinging London.

The Disney Fantasy will sail from Port Canaveral, Fla. on seven-night Caribbean itineraries that alternate eastern (St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and western (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel). All itineraries will include a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.

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Rhapsody of the Seas Enters Singapore's Sembawang Ship Yard for a
$54 Million, Month-long Revitalization

Singapore, March 2: Royal Caribbean International’s Rhapsody of the Seas has entered Sembawang Shipyard (a subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine Ltd.) in Singapore to begin a month-long, $54 million drydock where she will undergo a major revitalization and emerge with an array of new amenities. The ship revitalization is the largest of its kind ever to take place in Singapore and will employ more than 800 local workers from the region. Part of the cruise lines Vision Class of ships, Rhapsody of the Seas will receive a host of new dining and entertainment venues as well as an assortment of technological upgrades. The ship also will receive a bow-to-stern refresh of all furniture, carpet and upholstery, including renovated staterooms. The revitalizations are part of the Royal Advantage – the cruise line’s commitment to offer vacationers the world’s most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned, friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service.

“Rhapsody of the Seas’ drydock is part of Royal Caribbean’s commitment to continue to deliver the Royal Advantage to our guests,” said Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “With our $300 million investment through 2014, no ship in our fleet will go untouched and our guests will have an unrivaled vacation experience no matter which destination in the world they visit or on what ship they sail on.”

Similar to sister-ship Splendour of the Seas, which underwent its revitalization in Nov 2011, Rhapsody will receive new dining venues, including Chops Grille, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Chef’s Table experience, and Park Café. Additional offerings include a Diamond lounge for Crown and Anchor loyalty guests, a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top tier loyalty guests, a transformed Viking Crown Lounge and the popular Royal Babies and Tots Nursery.

New offerings for guests include ship-wide Wi-Fi, a digital way finding system, electronic mustering, an outdoor movie screen, as well as iPad’s in every stateroom featuring content about the ship’s amenities and activities, ensuring a seamless cruise experience for guests. The ship’s Centrum, with its sweeping views and central location, will transform into a new chic and sophisticated venue featuring enriching daytime activities, dazzling nightly entertainment and jaw-dropping aerial spectacles. The ship’s Champagne Bar, located in the Centrum, also will reemerge as the R Bar, featuring a sophisticated 1960s vibe, complete with iconic furnishing and signature cocktails mixed by a savvy and personable mixologist.

When the enhancements are completed on March 28, Rhapsody of the Seas will sail a 15-night voyage from Singapore to Sydney, Australia. From there, she will sail across the Pacific with a combination of cruises from Australia and Hawaii, before beginning her Alaska season in May 2012. In Alaska, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer 7-night open-jawed itineraries from both Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington. She will join Radiance of the Seas, which was revitalized in May 2011, offering guests in Alaska an unparalleled cruise vacation experience.

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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Crystal Cruises' Early-2014 Itineraries Now Open for Booking

LOS ANGELES, March 2: With other luxury cruise lines yet to dip their bows into 2014's seemingly far-off waters, Crystal Cruises' early-2014 preview itineraries are now open for booking. Seventeen voyages visiting 74 ports in 34 countries are available for January to April 2014 on Crystal Serenity and January through May on Crystal Symphony. "Book Now" fares offer savings of up to $2,000 per couple off attractive 2-for-1 brochure prices until June 30, 2012.

Distinctive, less-cruised, less-easily-accessible lands like Ghana, Mauritius, Brunei, Burma, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Sao Tome, Senegal, Namibia, and Angola complement vacation favorites like the Cayman Islands, Panama Canal, Thailand, and Hawaii. Crystal is not only maiden calling in Luanda, Angola; Lombok, Indonesia; and Malacca, Malaysia, but also returning to several destinations not visited in years, such as the Andaman Islands, India; Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan; the UK's Pitcairn Islands; and Jakarta, Surabay, and Ujung Pandang, Indonesia.

All voyages but one offer overnights in local ports-of-call, including "double overnights" (two consecutive nights) in Yangon (Myanmar/Burma), Yokohama, Ho Chi Minh City, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai. Winter/spring voyages range from 12 to 26 days, in addition to a five-segment, 89-day World Cruise.

"We were the first cruise line out of the gate to share 2014 itineraries last December, and travelers have been anxious to book ever since," says Crystal Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing Jack Anderson. "Experienced cruisers recognize that Crystal not only offers incredible value for a luxury vacation, our itinerary offerings for 2014 are incredibly innovative, with easy, intimate access to authentic cultures and vacation memories." New routes include:

World Cruise

-- L.A. to London's port of Southampton (Jan 18)
-- Rare visits to USA's Mariana Islands and Guam.
-- Multiple Asian segments, one with three Vietnamese stops.
-- Rounding Africa from Mauritius Islands to Morocco, with three South African stops and a maiden call in Luanda, Angola.
-- Combine with Jan 5's Panama Canal voyage beforehand to sail all the way from Miami to the UK.


-- Back-to-back Polynesian explorations, beginning with an unusual southern Trans-Pacific cruise, stopping at Easter Island, Pitcairn Islands, Mo'orea, Papeete, Tahiti (overnight), then continuing on to the Cook Islands, Tonga, and Fiji. (Jan 8 & 20)
-- 15-day Tokyo to L.A. ocean-crossing, with just one stop/overnight in Honolulu, for sea day lovers. (May 1)

Unusual Asia

-- Java/South China Seas: Four Indonesia ports-of-call, including a Bali overnight, plus Malaysia and Brunei visits. (Feb 28)
-- Andaman Sea: 14-day Southeast Asia cruise with three stops in Malaysia, an Andaman Islands visit, and two nights in Myanmar. (March 12)
-- "All-China": 10-day Chinese voyage features a Hong Kong overnight, double overnight in Shanghai, and optional three-day, add-on land package to Beijing. (April 9)
-- Japan-China: Three stops in China and four in Japan, with one night in Osaka and two in Shanghai. (April 19) Until June 30, 2012

Crystal Cruises' resort experience always includes a host of complimentary amenities, from enlightening enrichment speakers and fitness classes to pampering pillow menus and specialty restaurant dining including the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa. Starting this spring, vacations will also include complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, open bar service in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff. Crystal's passion is for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality, and choices. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Paul Revere & the Raiders and Gary Lewis & the Playboys To Headline the
American Queen’s Mother’s Day Voyage

MEMPHIS, TN, March 1: Springtime on the river is a special time as the azaleas are in full bloom and the Calliope of the steamboat American Queen can once again be heard off in the distance. The Great American Steamboat Company is highlighting its first Mother’s Day voyage with featured entertainment by Paul Revere & the Raiders, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, and decadent Southern cuisine by Natchez’s favorite mom, the line’s Culinary Director, Chef Regina Charboneau.

“The popularity of our inaugural season has been overwhelming and it is a delight to see so many travelers looking to explore America’s heartland once again,” explains Christopher Kyte, president of the Great American Steamboat Company. “This voyage clearly illustrates how and why American Queen has become THE river-cruise experience for unrivaled entertainment and lovers of fine dining, something other boats simply can’t match.”

-Cincinnati to Memphis Mother’s Day-
The 7-night Springtime on the River voyage from May 8-15, 2012, begins in Cincinnati, Ohio, and features performances by the ’60’s sensation Paul Revere & the Raiders in the American Queen Grand Saloon, a replica of Washington D.C.’s historical Ford’s Theatre. The band’s many hits include “Indian Reservation,” which topped the charts in 1971 as well as favorites heard on Dick Clark’s “Where the Action Is,” where they appeared on 520 episodes from 1965 to 1966. Also taking the stage throughout the journey will be Gary Lewis & the Playboys performing ‘60’s pop classics including their first single and chart topper “This Diamond Ring.” The band, led by the son of comedian Jerry Lewis, promises to have favorites “Count Me In,” “Save Your Heart for Me” and “Everybody Loves a Clown” on the set list.

The first stop will be Madison, Ind., as guests will explore the Schroeder Saddletree Factory filled with antique machinery followed by a tour of The Lanier Mansion and the town’s historic district. The next day the American Queen will arrive in Louisville, Ky., where guests can enjoy one of the line’s signature hop-on-hop-off “Steamcoach” tours, which will take them to see the Muhammad Ali Center, Kentucky Museum of Arts & Crafts, the Louisville Slugger Museum and other highlights.

The following day, the American Queen will float down the Ohio River and arrive in Henderson, Ky., on day five. Home to John James Audubon, reminders of his famous bird painting are around every corner, along with turn-of-the-century mansions. The American Queen will tour Paducah, Ky., on a special Mother’s Day and explore its lively Lowertown Arts District, the renowned River Heritage Museum and of course the elegant displays at the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society.

Back onboard, Culinary Director Chef Regina Charboneau’s team will present a special menu that will make any mom onshore envious. Next, the steamboat pulls into New Madrid, Mo., where guests will board their “Steamcoach” and tour sites such as the Bessie Bend at the New Madrid Observation Deck and Hart-Stepp House Art Gallery. The voyage concludes in Memphis where a luxury hotel stay, tour of Graceland and dinner at Charles Vergo’s world-famous Rendezvous are included.

Fares for this 10-day holiday begin at $1,995 per person, based on double occupancy, and include both a pre- and post-voyage hotel stay, a farewell dinner at Charles Vergo’s world-famous Rendezvous in Memphis and complimentary shore tours in each port of call. Single Occupancy fares begin at just $2,394 per stateroom. For additional information and reservations, kindly contact the Great American Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online at, or call your professional travel agent.

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