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Cruise News
April 1-30, 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

Norwegian Breakaway Reaches New Heights With Three-Story Sports Complex

MIAMI, April 27: Norwegian Breakaway will take recreation and outdoor fun to new heights when it launches in April 2013. The ship’s top decks will feature the first Aqua Park at sea with five full-size water slides, including twin Free Fall slides, the first ever at sea, and a three-story sports complex that includes the largest ropes course at sea, a nine-hole miniature golf course, basketball court, rock climbing wall and more. The line also announced that the ship will feature Nickelodeon experiences for the whole family and will include a Nickelodeon themed Kids’ Aqua Park.

“Norwegian Breakaway’s outdoor decks will offer spectacular fun and thrills for the entire family,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “As a sports enthusiast, I am so excited about the extraordinary recreation and the over-the-top ways to play on this incredible new ship. From the amazing Aqua Park to the thrilling ropes course with its ‘plank’ feature, Norwegian Breakaway has been designed to ensure that our guests will have the time of their lives.”

The Aqua Park is Norwegian’s biggest yet and features five multi-story water slides. Norwegian Breakaway is the first cruise ship to feature the Free Fall--two side-by-side slides where guests will stand up and have the floor drop from underneath, propelling them into a thrilling loop. Offering another first with a twist are two additional side-by-side twister slides – called The Whip--that deliver an unforgettable adrenaline rush as they plunge guests on a spiral race to the finish line. For those who prefer a more relaxing ride, there is a family-friendly open-flume body slide.

The Aqua Park also features a Kids’ Aqua Park, two swimming pools, four hot tubs and the Breezeway Bar & Grill, a semi-open air eatery. In the Kids’ Aqua Park, children can cool off with colorful, whimsical and larger than life Nickelodeon characters from Bikini Bottom, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick, Squidward and more. The tropical area will include a kid-sized pool and slide, along with multiple water features that squirt and shower guests with delight.

The three-story sports complex will be Norwegian’s largest and feature the line’s first ever ropes course, the largest one at sea. The ropes course with its multi-level structure will challenge guests to more than 40 different elements, including a zip track. For a thrill like no other, guests will confront The Plank, a platform that extends eight feet over the side of the ship. Those who choose to test their courage on The Plank will be rewarded by having their photo taken after conquering this heart-pounding, yet breathtaking, feat. Kids will be challenged as well with a special ropes course just for them. In another first for the line, the nine-hole ocean-themed miniature golf course is located beneath the ropes course, offering family fun with friendly competition. A rock climbing wall, bungee trampoline and spider web, a 24-foot enclosed climbing cage complete with a spiral slide, round out the activities.

Nickelodeon Experiences
Norwegian Breakaway will be the fourth Norwegian ship to offer Nickelodeon experiences, including the all-new Pajama Jam Character Breakfast, Dora’s Dance Party, where kids will have the chance to sing and dance to their favorite songs with Dora the Explorer and Team Nick; Nickelodeon Character Meet and Greets; Story Time with Dora; and Nickelodeon Arts and Crafts. Nickelodeon also hits the main stage with entertainment everyone can enjoy. In addition, Nickelodeon’s Splash Mobs add an element of surprise with spontaneous, impromptu games that are exciting for the whole family with pies, slime and other surprises. Nickelodeon characters and themed activities will also be featured in Splash Academy, the ship’s two-story youth area offering merriment for kids ages three to 12.

Adult Only Areas
Norwegian Breakaway will also feature adult-only outdoor enclaves. Spice H2O, located at the back of the ship on deck 16, is an adult-only escape with contemporary Asian influences offering day-time relaxation and night-time exhilaration. A bevy of sun loungers surround a huge video screen, complete with two hot tubs and a soothing dual waterfall feature, perfect for cooling off from the sun. At night, guests can dance under the stars or chill at the bar with accompanying lounge area, featuring comfortable seating while admiring the ocean views. On deck 17, guests ages 18 and over will have the opportunity to enjoy another private retreat – Vibe Beach Club – by purchasing an access pass. Complete with ocean views, an oversized hot tub, luxurious chaise loungers and a relaxing water feature, Vibe Beach Club will be the ideal spot for adults to relax and unwind in a serene, comfortable setting while soaking up the sun. A full-service bar, water spritzers and chilled towels complete the exclusive experience.

Casual Dining
When hunger strikes, while enjoying all the outdoor activities, guests can venture to the Garden Café, on deck 15, which will offer an abundant assortment of delicious menu items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is Norwegian’s signature action station casual restaurant where chefs cook fresh, prepared-to-order food as guests watch, featuring seafood, pizza, fruit, soups, pasta, ethnic specialties, burgers and desserts; offering extensive and varied selections.

Currently under construction at Meyer Werft, Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in her year-round homeport of New York City in early May 2013. The ship will begin weekly summer 7-day cruises to Bermuda on Sunday, May 12, 2013. From October 2013 through April 2014, the ship will offer voyages from the heart of Manhattan to the Bahamas & Florida and the Southern Caribbean. For more information on the incredible features and accommodations on Norwegian Breakaway, visit To book a cruise on Norwegian Breakaway, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 800-327-7030 or visit

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MSC Cruises to Bring its Newest Ship To its Newest Departure Port

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, April 27: MSC Cruises will be bringing its newest ship, MSC Divina, to its newest departure port – PortMiami – beginning in the fall of 2013. When MSC Cruises begins its inaugural season homeporting at PortMiami, MSC Divina, which becomes the twelfth ship in the MSC Cruises fleet in May 2012, will sail a series of itineraries featuring Caribbean destinations.

Named in honor of MSC Cruises’ “godmother,” Italian film icon Sophia Loren, MSC Divina features the exclusive MSC Yacht Club ship-within-a-ship concept found on the line’s two other Fantasia-class ships, MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida.

“We’re very excited to kick off our new relationship with PortMiami with the newest of our Fantasia-class flagships,” said Richard E. Sasso, President and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc. “In addition to enjoying the sophisticated design, international entertainment, Mediterranean cuisine, exotic MSC Aurea Spa and international experience that are the hallmarks of MSC Cruises, guests will now have the opportunity to depart from Miami to enjoy the MSC Yacht Club private haven of luxury suites that previously had only been available on European sailings,” Sasso said.

With 1,751 staterooms hosting 3,502 guests (double occupancy) on the 139,400-ton ship, MSC Divina will be the largest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet.

Like her sister ships, MSC Divina will feature the exclusive MSC Yacht Club. With 69 suites in this “ship-within-a-ship,” guests indulge in comfort and convenience, from their own personal butler to complimentary wines and spirits available any time of the day in the MSC Yacht Club’s exclusive lounges and pool area. This oasis of tranquility includes several private venues, including Le Muse panoramic restaurant, Top Sail Lounge, pool and relaxation area as well as private access to MSC Aurea Spa.

All MSC Divina guests have access to three restaurants and a Tex-Mex alternative dining restaurant, Aqua Park (with 150 fountains and water jets, whirlpools and pool bar), MSC Aurea Spa with Balinese-inspired treatments, children’s and teen areas, interactive 4-D Cinema, virtual Formula 1 auto racing, acclaimed international entertainment in the 1,603-seat Pantheon Theater and much more. Among the new features on the ship are The Garden infinity pool and Zen area in the aft, with spectacular views of the ship’s wake, and cutting-edge technical advancements that assure less environmental impact.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit us online at, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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Oceania Cruises Takes Delivery of ‘Riviera’

GENOA, ITALY, April 27: Oceania Cruises took delivery today of its new 1,250-guest Riviera at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard near Genoa. The line’s newest entry to the upper-premium cruise segment comes just 15 months following the launch of her highly acclaimed sister ship, Marina.

“The handover of Riviera represents a milestone achievement thanks to the loyalty of our guests, our strong partnership with the travel agent community and the dedication of every member of the Oceania Cruises family,” stated Kunal S. Kamlani, the line’s president.

The newest addition to Oceania Cruises’ expanding fleet of mid-sized ships, the 66,172-ton Riviera is purpose-built to engage and inspire epicureans with 10 dining venues, including Jacques, the namesake restaurant of the world-renowned Master Chef Jacques Pépin. The ship also boasts a Bon Appétit Culinary Center for hands-on learning and La Reserve by Wine Spectator, a professional facility for wine tastings and pairing dinners.

In just 14 days, on May 11 in Barcelona, Riviera will be officially christened, presided over by godmother Cat Cora, a master chef, restaurateur, humanitarian, author, and co-host of Bravo’s new “Around the World in 80 Plates.” Riviera departs on her 10-day maiden voyage from Venice to Athens on May 16, 2012. From May 16 through November 29, 2012, she will offer a total of 20 Mediterranean voyages, calling at ports in France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Turkey as well as Israel, Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Morocco and Monaco, with maiden calls in Cephalonia (Argostoli), Motril (Granada) and La Palma, Canary Islands. To learn more about Riviera, contact a travel professional, visit or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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All Hands on Deck as Oceania Cruises' New 'Riviera' Nears Completion

Miami, April 27: Anticipation grows as Oceania Cruises’ newest ship, Riviera, nears completion at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard near Genoa, Italy. The line’s founder and chairman, Frank Del Rio, and the vessel operations team has been on-site for the last two weeks focused on every detail. Among those on hand for the countdown to the May 11, 2012, christening in Barcelona are celebrated interior designers Dakota Jackson and Susan Bednar Long who are putting the finishing touches on the ship’s spacious suites. Jackson is personally supervising the installation of the Vista and Oceania suites, which feature more than 40 custom pieces of furniture and lighting. In addition, a team from Greenwich, CT-based S.B. Long Interiors is overseeing the installation of the ship’s three Owner’s Suites, each measuring more than 2,000 square feet with furnishings from the acclaimed Ralph Lauren Home Collection.

“Riviera looks simply gorgeous and has been custom built to deliver the Oceania Cruises experience to our guests,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, president of Oceania Cruises. “A mid-size ship that can access the world’s most unique ports, multiple gourmet dining venues and un-matched, personalized service are the hallmarks of our brand.”

Oceania Cruises’ newest entry in the upper-premium category blends the line’s signature country club casual atmosphere with the sophisticated elegance of a luxurious private estate. Several one-of-a-kind features distinguish Riviera, including a museum-worthy collection of more than 100 works by some of Latin America’s most accomplished and admired contemporary artists; the Bon Appétit Culinary Center, a cooking school at sea offering hands-on learning; La Reserve by Wine Spectator, a professional facility for wine tastings and pairing dinners, as well as 10 dining venues including Jacques, the namesake restaurant of the world-renowned master chef, Jacques Pépin.

The ship’s gala christening ceremony in Barcelona will be presided over by Riviera’s godmother, Cat Cora, who is a master chef, restaurateur, humanitarian, author, and co-host of Bravo’s new “Around the World in 80 Plates.” Following the inaugural festivities, the ship sails a 10-day Maiden Voyage on May 16 from Venice to Athens. Through November 2012 Riviera will offer 12 distinctive itineraries on a total of 20 Mediterranean voyages, calling on ports in France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Turkey as well as Israel, Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Morocco and Monaco, with maiden calls in Cephalonia (Argostoli), Motril (Granada) and La Palma in the Canary Islands. To learn more about Riviera, contact a travel professional, visit or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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Canada Cruises Aboard Carnival Glory

MIAMI, April 27: With less than six weeks until the startup of Carnival Cruise Lines’ first extended schedule from Boston aboard the Carnival Glory, the cruise line and Cruiseport Boston have announced that the ship will return to the refurbished Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in 2013 to operate a series of cruises to Atlantic Canada next summer. When Carnival Glory arrives in Boston next year, it will offer a variety of new dining, bar and entertainment options that are being added during a dry dock in November 2012 as part of the line’s ongoing “Fun Ship 2.0” enhancement program.

Carnival Glory’s 2013 schedule from Boston will encompass 4-day cruises to Saint John, New Brunswick, departing Sundays and 5-day voyages to Saint John and Halifax, Nova Scotia, departing Tuesdays and Thursdays, from June 4 to July 7. Carnival is the only cruise line offering short cruises from Boston. Carnival Glory will also offer three 7-day cruises departing June 9 and July 14 and 21, 2013, visiting Portland, Maine; Saint John; Halifax; and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

New features to be added to the Carnival Glory during its upcoming dry dock include:

Guy’s Burger Joint, a complimentary poolside venue offering fresh-made burgers, hand-cut fries and innovative toppings and condiments created by 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
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
RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside Caribbean-themed watering hole offering a variety of the region’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 poolside bar specializes in frozen cocktails and Mexican beers, in a fun and festive environment
The Punchliner Comedy Club & 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 part of the show with larger-than-life adaptations of the company’s iconic and popular board games presented in the ship’s main show lounge
Playlist Productions, which takes Carnival’s legendary revues to another level incorporating high-tech special effects with live performances to create a memorable entertainment experience
The Taste Bar, a new casual dining option featuring complimentary bite-size offerings inspired by “Fun Ship 2.0” dining venues, along with a signature cocktail tied to that eatery’s particular theme available for purchase.
Cherry On Top, which celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more

“Consumer response to our initial Boston cruises aboard the Carnival Glory has been exceptional as these convenient and affordable departures provide residents of the Northeastern U.S. with a fun, memorable vacation option – right from their own backyard,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. “We’re pleased that the Carnival Glory will return to Boston next year with even more fantastic dining, bar and entertainment innovations for our guests to enjoy,” he added.

The Massachusetts Port Authority recently spent $11 million in capital improvements to its Cruiseport Boston Black Falcon Cruise Terminal with the expectation that the investment would pay dividends in a busier terminal.

Unforgettable Shoreside Experiences Within Atlantic Canada
Saint John, featured on four-day cruises, is a nature lover’s paradise highlighted by such landmarks as the Bay of Fundy, with its backdrop of rugged rock formations, and Reversing Falls, where the highest tides in the world intersect with the Saint John River and force it to flow backwards twice daily. Also popular is the city’s Historic District, lined with stately Victorian homes, elegant churches and quaint boutiques and eateries.

Five-day cruises call at both Saint John and Halifax, Nova Scotia’s charming and historic capital offering a host of outstanding restaurants, shops, and museums and unique cultural experiences. Guests can also visit Peggy’s Cove, a rustic fishing village famous for its granite coastline, tour the city’s many lighthouses, or observe the changing of the guard at The Citadel, a centuries-old fortress.

Seven-day cruises feature visits to Saint John and Halifax, as well as stops at Portland, Maine; and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Located on the south coast of Maine, Portland is widely known for its rugged landscape and delectable cuisine, particularly lobster. Guests can experience this waterfront city’s diverse culture and heritage or visit nearby Kennebunkport, a coastal town offering picturesque views and a variety of recreational activities.

Sydney, Nova Scotia, is a charming city with plenty of attractions, museums and shopping opportunities. It is also located within close proximity of the historic Cabot Trail, named after explorer John Cabot who discovered the region in 1497 and offers breathtaking views of the North Atlantic seaboard and its awe-inspiring natural beauty.

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Great American Steamboat Company's American Queen Arrives in Homeport of Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN, April 26, 2012 – The Great American Steamboat Company’s American Queen arrived in its homeport of Memphis today after her first voyage up the Mississippi River since 2008. The U.S.-flagged steamboat was welcomed to the revitalized Beale Street Landing marking the return of overnight cruises on the great rivers of America’s heartland and the continuation of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company legacy. Originally built in 1995 by the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, the American Queen is the largest and most opulent steamboat ever built accommodating 436-guests. Steeped in history, nostalgia and tradition, the steamboat offers 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.

“Today is a dream come true as we revive the fabled steamboat experience, introducing river communities to thousands of travelers, especially our hometown of Memphis,” shared Great American Steamboat Company President Jeff Krida. “The smiling faces greeting us here in the ‘Capital of Southern hospitality’ is humbling and it is no surprise most of our crew calls Memphis home.”

As the American Queen approached downtown Memphis, it was met by the city’s residents and family members of the crew. The Great American Steamboat Company has hired 300+ employees from the area, including the steamboat crew, and an economic impact of $89 million is anticipated for the region.

Guests began disembarking to explore sites including Graceland and the legendary ducks of the Peabody Hotel boarded the vessel for an honorary inspection on behalf of Memphis. Friday, April 27, Priscilla Presley will serve as godmother of the American Queen in an afternoon christening ceremony at Beale Street Landing. Presley and the Great American Steamboat Company share a common passion towards the city of Memphis which will be a theme of the festivities featuring performances by local musicians, the sounds of the American Queen Calliope and a bottle of champagne crashing against the hull.

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 her disembarkation city of Cincinnati, Ohio. On May 2 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.

A variety of voyage lengths, ranging from three nights to ten nights, offer exceptional value and convenience, with little or no flying required. With departures from iconic cities of Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, this legendary mode of travel is easy to enjoy. 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, call your professional travel agent, or visit online at

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Princess Cruises Raises the Curtain on New Royal Princess Entertainment Venue

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 26: Princess Cruises today raised the curtain on Princess Live!, a new type of cruise ship entertainment venue that passengers will enjoy aboard the new Royal Princess. Taking the audience behind the scenes to share the excitement of a working television studio, the high-tech Princess Live! will showcase live television broadcasts, intimate performances from musicians, and special events such as cooking shows, plus will feature an adjacent café.

Located on Royal Princess’ deck 7 just aft of the Piazza, Princess Live! will be a flexible, 280-seat venue based on a television broadcast studio. When the ship debuts in June 2013, Princess Live! will serve as a venue for daily broadcasts of “The Wake Show” with a new twist--a daily live audience. This popular daily show staring the cruise director and special guests from around the ship is a staple across the Princess fleet, but is rarely staged live. The colorful Princess Live! studio will also host a variety of events, including game shows, interactive cooking shows, art house films, enrichment classes, murder mysteries, trivia, and “Meet the Experts” presentations from the crew. Additionally, Princess Live! will serve as a more intimate performance venue for onboard musicians who will offer “unplugged” and “in-the-round” shows, providing an opportunity for entertainers to connect with the audience in a unique environment.

“Princess Live! will be an exciting new experience for passengers,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Not only will they enjoy the high energy of being part of a live television production, but they also will have a new opportunity to see more intimate performances from many of our onboard entertainers.”

The adjacent Princess Live! Café will surround passengers with interactive, wall-mounted screens showing the ship’s position, ports of call, points of interest and even international newspapers. The café will serve up specialty coffees, teas and freshly squeezed citrus juice, plus will offer a selection of fresh-baked croissants and pastries in the morning.

Royal Princess will also feature the line’s largest Princess Theater ever, with unobstructed sight lines from every seat, plus will see the return of an updated Vista Lounge at the aft of the ship to serve as an alternate evening performance venue.

The line has released a preview video showcasing Royal Princess entertainment venues, hosted by Princess Cruises Executive Vice President Rai Caluori and Vice President of Entertainment Martin Hall, available at Additional information about other ship features will be released in the coming months.

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; more dining options including a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, wine cellar dining area and an expanded Horizon Court with pastry shop. Eighty percent of the ship’s staterooms will feature a balcony. More information about the ship 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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Holland America Line Offers Extensive South America Program
In Fall 2012 & Winter/Spring 2013

Seattle, WA, April 25: Guests looking for vibrant ports of call, historical adventures and an extreme range of climates can chart a southerly course to South America aboard three Holland America Line ships come fall 2012. ms Veendam, ms Maasdam and ms Prinsendam head to South America on a series of cruise expeditions featuring exceptional scenic cruising around the continent. The popular itineraries range from 13 to 68 days and include a new 49-day extended, port-intensive Amazon and Carnival Voyage aboard Maasdam in early 2013. A 23-day Amazon Explorer Cruise in November 2012 and a 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage in January 2013 aboard Prinsendam are additional highlights of the line’s 2012-13 South America cruise schedule.

“South America remains a guest favorite because it offers everything in one region – from exotic ports of call to well-known cities, and from the warmth of the Amazon to the snow-capped glaciers of Antarctica,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Holland America Line offers travelers an opportunity to explore the cultures and natural treasures of South America via an extraordinary premium cruise experience at an exceptional value.”

From November 2012 to March 2013, the 1,350-guest Veendam will sail a series of six 13-day and one 17-day itineraries between Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The sailings include multiple days cruising the scenic fjords of Chile, calls at exotic locations such as Ushuaia (the southernmost town in the world), sailing around Cape Horn and a visit to the Magellan Strait, gateway to Antarctica.

In addition to Veendam’s series of cruises, two non-repeating itineraries also are available throughout the season: a 14- or 18-day South America cruise departing Boston, Mass., or Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile, Oct. 20 and 24, 2012, respectively; and an 18- or 21-day South America cruise departing Valparaiso to Fort Lauderdale or Boston, April 13, 2013. These itineraries include a full transit of the Panama Canal in addition to extended port calls at Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama, and Callao (Lima), Peru.

Veendam also sails a 21-day South America and Antarctica Explorer Holiday cruise departing Rio de Janeiro to Valparaiso Dec. 20, 2012, and a 20-day South America and Antarctica Explorer cruise departing Valparaiso to Buenos Aires, Jan.10, 2013. A 21-day South America and Antarctica Explorer cruise returns from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso on Jan.30, 2013. All voyages include scenic cruising throughout the spectacular Antarctic Peninsula and an overnight call at Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires.

Explore the Amazon, Experience Carnival on Maasdam
Aboard Maasdam, guests will sail one unique 49-day Amazon and Carnival Explorer Voyage, conveniently sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 18, 2013. Guests will spend 49 days exploring 25 ports throughout all three of the “ABC Islands”—Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao—Barbados, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Dominica, French Guiana, Trinidad and Tobago, crossing the equator twice during the voyage. A highlight of the voyage is Carnival, a festive 4-day celebration often referred to as the world's largest party that happens Feb. 9-12. Extended calls at seven ports—Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curaçao; Buenos Aires, Callao (Lima), Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Manaus and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil allow extra time ashore to enjoy historical and local attractions.

Shorter segments of Maasdam’s Amazon and Carnival Explorer Voyage are available for guests with less time. The 23-day segment departs Fort Lauderdale for Rio de Janeiro Jan. 18, 2013, and a 26-day segment departs Rio de Janeiro for Fort Lauderdale Feb. 10, 2013 that includes cruising down the Amazon River and crossing the equator. The 26-day itinerary also includes a two-night call at Rio de Janeiro where guests can experience exciting Carnival.

Departing January 5, 2013, Prinsendam sails south once again on a 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. During the voyage, Prinsendam will circumnavigate the continent and spend seven full days cruising the Amazon River and four days of scenic cruising in Antarctica. Overnight calls include Callao, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus. Shorter segments are available.

Shore Excursions, Overland Tours in South America
Holland America Line guests can experience some of the most iconic and world-famous South America attractions and destinations by taking an award-winning shore excursion or in-depth overland tour, many of which visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A selection of the featured tours include:

• Iguazu Falls: Natural Wonder of the World—This unforgettable tour enables guests to see the awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls, located at the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Guests will ride a train to Devil's Throat (a cliff at Iguazu Falls) and take a guided walk to view the falls. The spectacular display is made up of 250 giant cascades twice the height of Niagara Falls.
• Cuzco & Machu Picchu Overland Adventure—This fascinating excursion includes a sightseeing drive through colonial Cuzco to see the main square and cathedral, followed by a Vistadome train ride along the Urubamba River and a coach ride to Machu Picchu—the Lost City of the Incas—at an elevation of 7,874 feet.
• Patagonian Experience: Otway Sound & Penguin Reserve—During this adventure, guests will take a motor coach ride across mostly unpaved roads and farms bordering Otway Bay for magnificent views of the Pinto Range. The tour also allows guests to get up close and personal with thousands of Magellan penguins near their caves and nesting areas.
• Drive to Tierra del Fuego National Park—Tierra del Fuego encompasses the city of Ushuaia, Cape Horn, the Magellan Strait and is a gateway to Antarctica. This national park was created to protect the southern portion of the sub-Antarctic forest. Today it provides visitors the opportunity to enjoy the Andes and the region’s forests, rivers, lakes and is home to a wide variety of birds. A short stop at Lapataia Bay, the southernmost place that can be reached by road, also is included in this tour.

For a 2012/2013 brochure that includes South America, or for more information on Holland America Line, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Cruise Industry Announces Three New Safety Policies at EU Conference

WASHINGTON, DC, April 24: On behalf of the global cruise industry, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council today announced that the cruise industry has adopted three new safety policies which are to be implemented with immediate effect. The announcement was made by Chairman of the European Cruise Council (ECC) and Member of the CLIA Executive Committee, Manfredi Lefebvre. Speaking at a major European Commission-organized Passenger Ship Safety event in Brussels, he outlined how these policies have been agreed to by the industry and represent the third such announcement arising from the cruise industry’s Operational Safety Review.

These three new policies, which go beyond even the strictest of regulatory requirements, address issues related to passage planning, personnel access to the bridge and lifejackets. Each of these three policies will be reported to the United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO) for consideration at their next session in May.

“As highlighted by these wide-ranging policies, we continue to take proactive measures to improve the safety of passengers and crew across the globe,” said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA. “We look forward to working collaboratively to identify any additional operational issues that will achieve our longstanding goal of of continuous improvement and innovation in shipboard operations and safety.”

The three policies govern:

1) Passage Planning – Although cruise lines have followed IMO guidance on passage planning for many years, our policy now deems this to be a mandatory minimum requirement and enhanced by endorsement of the best practices contained in the International Chamber of Shipping’s Bridge Procedures Guide. Furthermore, under this policy each passage plan is to be thoroughly briefed to all bridge team members well in advance of its implementation and it is to be drafted by a designated officer and approved by the master.

2) Personnel Access To The Bridge - To minimize unnecessary disruptions and distractions on the bridge, we have adopted a policy that bridge access is to be limited to those with operational functions during any period of restricted maneuvering or when increased vigilance is required.

3) Lifejackets – In addition to the statutory requirement of carriage of lifejackets for each person onboard, we have adopted a policy of carrying additional adult lifejackets onboard each cruise ship in excess of these legal requirements so that the number of additional adult lifejackets to be provided must not be less than the total number of persons berthed within the ship’s most populated main vertical fire zone. This ensures that the number of lifejackets carried is far in excess of the number of persons actually onboard the ship.

These policies were reviewed by CLIA’s recently-announced panel of outside maritime and safety experts who are evaluating suggested policy improvements as part of the association’s continuous efforts to review and improve safety measures by developing comprehensive best practices for industry-wide implementation and ultimately, formal submission to the International Maritime Organization, as appropriate.

Manfredi Lefebvre said: “Today’s European Commission event is in perfect alignment with our industry efforts to improve cruise ship safety. I am pleased to be given a chance by European Commissioner VP & Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas to outline how the industry and the regulators can move forward together in our common goal of preventing future accidents.” He added, “The cruise industry is highly regulated and it is this regulatory regime, complied with onboard by our professional and committed officers and crews, that has given the cruise industry a truly remarkable safety record. But as the Concordia incident demonstrates, there is no such thing as perfect safety. We do strive for a perfect commitment to safety. And as part of our commitment to a safety culture, the industry – both individually as cruise lines and collectively through CLIA and the ECC – beginning January 27 launched an Operational Safety Review to learn the lessons from Concordia and to conduct a top to bottom safety review.”

Lefebvre continued: “By bringing forward voluntary initiatives such as these, we significantly and immediately improve safety standards. These initiatives are, we believe, fully supportive of the Commission’s goal of re-launching their ‘Quality Shipping Campaign’ through voluntary partnership agreements with the shipping industry as set out in its Maritime Policy 2009-2018. Specifically, we very much hope that the results of the Operational Safety Review as they are delivered over the coming months will give us fertile ground to grow our partnership with the Commission” He concluded: “We are convinced that this approach will achieve concrete, practical and significant safety dividends in the shortest possible time and fully reflects the measured and responsible progress on future safety initiatives by both the Commission and European Parliament following the Concordia tragedy.”

The new policies follow the industry’s announcement on January 27 of an Operational Safety Review in response to the Concordia incident and as part of the industry’s continuous efforts to review and improve safety measures, and represent the third such announcement. The previous two related to the new Muster Drill Policy (February 9, 2012) and Enhanced Reporting Requirements to Ensure Consistency, Transparency of Marine Casualty Data (March 21, 2012).

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More Extensive Explorations Inside Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park With
InnerSea Discoveries & American Safari Cruises

Seattle, WA, April 24: Holding more Glacier Bay National Park entry days than any other cruise line, un-cruise adventure operator InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises offer guests two or three days of in-depth exploration inside the Park throughout summer 2012. Designated as a Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay is a wilderness sanctuary with tidewater glaciers, deep fjords, towering mountains and a variety of wildlife including whales, seals, sea lions, bears, mountain goats, sea birds, sea otters and moose.

From May through August, four yachts of American Safari Cruises offer luxury adventures sailing 57 weeklong Alaska cruises roundtrip Juneau with two days spent inside Glacier Bay: 12-guest Safari Spirit, 22-guest Safari Quest, 36-guest Safari Explorer, 86-guest Safari Endeavour (new in 2012). Longer 15-day cruises between Seattle and Juneau (and reverse) are offered in spring and fall and also include a 2-day exploration inside the Park.

From June through August, the 76-guest Wilderness Explorer, an InnerSea Discoveries expedition vessel joining the fleet in spring 2012, sails 12 weeklong active adventure cruises between Juneau and Sitka, Alaska (and reverse). The itinerary includes three full days exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park including the lesser visited but equally spectacular East Arm with McBride Glacier and Muir Glacier. An innovative human-powered watercraft—a new amenity only aboard this vesselmay be taken out for low-impact, up-close exploration powered by two peddlers and up to six paddlers.

“We’ve been operating our yachts on extended explorations inside the Park for 15 years and many of our captains have even longer histories of experience there,” said Captain Dan Blanchard, principal and CEO. “This summer, a new human-powered watercraft aboard the Wilderness Explorer will allow guests to explore inlets inside the park that are closed to motorized traffic.”

Unlike most guests aboard cruise ships or tour boats, guests enjoying Alaska un-cruise adventures with InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises have the privilege of disembarking the boat to go hiking ashore, exploring via a small inflatable boat or kayaking—all accompanied by a National Park Ranger and shipboard expedition guides. A Park Ranger boards each boat at the park entrance and stays on board for the full two or three days overnighting on the boat (except for the 12-guest Safari Spirit). The Ranger takes the lead on narration and interpretation of the park’s history, native culture of the Hoonah Tlingit, geology, flora and fauna.

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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Cruise Industry Continues to Build on Successful Track Record as
Environmental Stewards of the Seas

WASHINGTON, April 23: In honor of Earth Day, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is proud to highlight the recent and ongoing efforts of its member cruise lines to protect and preserve the environment in which they operate.

“In the 37 years since CLIA was established, our industry has made significant progress in reducing our environmental impact by implementing responsible practices and investing hundreds of millions of dollars in new technologies that are having a tremendous impact today,” said CLIA President and CEO Christine Duffy. “We believe it is our responsibility to protect the environment in which we operate, and we take great pride in the strides our industry has made to chart a sustainable course for future generations.”

CLIA members have been at the forefront of wastewater treatment, emissions reduction and developing innovative technologies to further reduce the environmental impact of cruising. As more fuel efficient ships have come into service, CLIA members have been systematically reducing air emissions, including sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and particulate matter. In the near future, international regulations will further reduce sulfur limits, helping to reduce air emissions across all oceans. To meet these standards, the industry has been investing in new technologies that manage the use of energy more effectively, such as testing the first ever cruise ship engine exhaust gas scrubbers and developing engines that run more efficiently.

“Our industry has a vested interest in protecting the environment, not only because it is the socially responsible thing to dobut because the very nature of our product depends on a healthy natural environment -- clean oceans and beaches are essential to the cruise experience. CLIA has made great strides to become a leader in the maritime industry with responsible practices and innovations that are reducing environmental impact,” Duffy said.

Cruise ships have adopted rigorous programs to tackle waste disposal in an environmentally friendly manner, including doing all we can to minimize the potential waste coming on board ships. We also take extensive measures to recycle as much waste as possible by using segregated on-board collection bins. CLIA lines recycle approximately 80,000 tons of solid waste annually, comprised largely of paper, plastic, aluminum cans and glass. Other waste, such as hazardous waste and oily bilge water receive special treatment as well.

A number of lines have invested heavily in the use of shore-based power, allowing ship engines to be shut down while at port. A handful of ports on the North American west coast are now equipped with the necessary, and technically rather complex, facilities for ships to ‘plug-in’ when they are in port. CLIA members are involved at the international regulatory level to explore a universal approach toward shore power that would overcome current obstacles, which involve the source of shore power, the connection adapter itself, as well as electrical disparities from one country to the next.

For CLIA members, environmental stewardship is an important initiative for passengers and crew members alike. In an effort to raise awareness among guests and promote conservation, a number of CLIA member lines offer programs to specifically raise passenger awareness, including behind the scenes videos, onboard activities, educational partnerships in ports of call, and eco-friendly excursions. Along with these onboard programs, member ships promote recycling and the importance of conservation efforts.

CLIA member lines meet and often exceed all applicable environmental regulations on a ship’s voyage. Each country, and often states and localities, a ship visits may have its own rules and regulations and therefore cruise lines and their environmental staff must ensure the ship is compliant at all times. The Fleet of 2012 demonstrates the industry’s continued commitment and dedication to the environment. To learn more about Cruise Lines International Association and our environmental initiatives, visit

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Celebrity Cruises Secures Rights to Air Olympic Games Onboard, 'Live' From London 2012

MIAMI, April 23: It's estimated that more than one-billion people will tune in for this year's Olympic Games in the host city of London, and Celebrity Cruises has arranged the rare opportunity for guests sailing on its modern luxury fleet to be among them. From the eagerly anticipated Opening Ceremony July 27 to the celebratory Closing Ceremony August 12, Celebrity will broadcast 'live' via satellite the swimming, diving, gymnastics, rowing, cycling, athletics, and basketball events, in addition to airing daily compilations of highlights from all 26 sports featured in the Games of the XXX Olympiad. On Celebrity ships sailing in North America, the events initially airing live also will be re-broadcast during more convenient times of day for guests to enjoy.

Whether sailing on Celebrity Constellation in Scandinavia and Russia; in Iceland and the Fjords on Celebrity Eclipse; in the Eastern Mediterranean on Celebrity Equinox; in the Adriatic on Celebrity Silhouette; in the Mediterranean from Venice on Celebrity Solstice; in Bermuda on Celebrity Summit; or in Alaska on Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Infinity and Celebrity Century, Celebrity's guests can stay on top of the Games while vacationing.

Celebrity's guests will be able to view the Olympic Games within the comfort of their stylish staterooms and suites, or in several hip bars and lounges on every Celebrity ship (with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition, which sails year-round in the Galapagos Islands). The specific locations and event times will be listed within each Celebrity ship's daily newsletter. For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit, or call your travel agent.

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Costa Concordia: Structural Integrity Key To Success Of Salvage Operation

PORT EVERGLADES, FL, April 23: Joseph Farrell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Resolve Marine Group, Inc., among the world's foremost maritime emergency and disaster response, salvage and ship wreck recovery companies, says, "Removal of the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship from the Tuscany coastline is one of the largest undertakings of its kindthis is a massive and complex operation which the entire world will be watching."

For more than 30 years, Resolve Marine Group has conducted hundreds of seafaring salvage and ship wreck removal operations. His company has responded to ship collisions, vessel fires and disabled, capsized and sunken vessels. Among Resolve's historic headline missions is the oil spill cleanup operation following BP Deep Water Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and its recovery of the aircraft and human remains at the Value Jet Flight 592 crash site in the Florida Everglades.

Resolve Marine Group also owns and operates the globally recognized Resolve Maritime Academy. Since 1994, it has trained on-board firefighting techniques to more than 18,500 professional mariners from numerous major cruise lines and scores of oil tanker and cargo companies. The Academy has also trained ship firefighting to hundreds of members of land-based port firefighting units. Recently, the Academywhich has focused primarily on training marine firefighting, hazardous materials response and vessel damage controlexpanded its curricula to include navigational safety-related programs.

Farrell says, "Resolve Marine Group has worked with Titan Salvage on a number of important maritime ship wreck projects." Titan is the Pompano Beach, Florida, USA company that was awarded the Costa Concordia project along with the Italian marine contractor Micoperi.

"The Costa Concordia is a massive, international assignment that will involve hundreds of personnel including naval architects and engineers, highly experienced salvage masters and a variety of specialists such as environmental consultants. Based on my experience, Titan and Micoperio are staffed with qualified teams for this mission, which, I suspect, will require dispatching equipment and crews from around the globe," explains Farrell.

"The plan to upright the capsized craft; then slowly tow it to a port near Rome could take more than a year to complete," says Farrell. "Because of the magnitude of this project, unlike other salvage operationsand because the cruise ship is so close to landthe Costa Concordia requires special attention to the environmental concerns and to limiting disruption to the community, which relies almost entirely on tourism for its economic livelihood." Farrell continues, "The salvage team has to be extremely careful not to cause adverse effects to the environment. Rolling and then refloating the ship in one piece rather than dismantling it piece-by-piece will be quite a feat. The main concern will be to not further compromise the ship's structural integrity, so that it can be maneuvered off the coast and to another port."

Farrell started in the maritime salvage and recovery business with one tug boat more than three decades ago. He has grown Resolve Marine Group into a global company with offices or affiliates in major port cities on America's Atlantic Seaboard; on the nation's Great Lakes; its Gulf Coast and Pacific Coastline. Resolve maintains offices and affiliates around the globe.

In March 2012, Resolve Maritime Academy opened its 7,000 square foot new Simulation Training Center which includes a 240 degree, Class A Full Mission Bridge Simulator, suite of mini bridges and ECDIS lab. The Center was designed to accommodate the training needs of a Resolve client company, one the leading cruise line companies in the world. The simulation technology can realistically simulate the depth and visually recreate the topography of every seaport in the world. It can create various weather, wave and other conditions. Simulator training is proven to advance the navigational skills of officers and crews; improve their abilities at collision avoidance; better develop the efficacy of command communications and enhance concentration and leadership abilities.

"Human error, poor decision-making and fractured command leadership are among the leading causes of most maritime disasters," says Farrell. "This advanced new navigational training combined with a focus on human factors, and strict adherence to U.S. Coast Guard and International Maritime Organization safety and sailing regulations is proven to save lives."

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Cruise Season Kicks Off at Cruiseport Boston with a Boatload of New Itineraries

BOSTON – Cruiseport Boston’s 2012 season gets underway on April 21st when Norwegian Dawn sets sail on a special 6-day cruise to Bermuda, the first of 22 weekly cruises to the island. This is the second year for the 2,224 passenger ship to sail the ever-popular 7-day itinerary. The season also brings with it a boatload of new itineraries giving vacationers many more cruising options from Boston. The main newcomer at Cruiseport Boston is Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,974-passenger Carnival Glory, which will sail a series of 4-, 5-, and 7-day itineraries to New England and Atlantic Canada during the months of June and July. The first Carnival cruise leaves Boston June 3 heading out for 7 days to Portland, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia. Thereafter Carnival Glory will sail a series of 4-day “long weekend” cruises to Saint John, New Brunswick, and 5-day cruises to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick.

“We’re going to have a very busy season at Cruiseport Boston this year,” said David S. Mackey, Massport’s Interim CEO & Executive Director. “In 2010 we completed an $11 million renovation of the facility to bolster our appeal to the cruise lines, and that investment is paying off with all the new itineraries being offered from Boston.’’

Another indication of the popularity of the renovated Cruiseport Boston facility is the number of passengers starting and ending their cruise vacation in Boston is now 60 percent, compared to the Port-of-Call passengers who visit the city for the day. That increase is helped by the entry of Carnival Glory. Carnival is known as “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®,” with 23 “Fun Ships” giving their guests the sense that they're crossing over into a whole new world of fun every time they walk up the gangway. The 13-deck Carnival Glory was launched in 2003 and offers spacious accommodations, a 270 square foot poolside Seaside Theatre LED screen showing movies, concerts and other programming; a 13,300 square foot spa, four swimming pools – one with a 214-foot-long Twister Waterslide; expansive, modern play areas for children, ’tweens and teens; and Serenity, an exclusive adults-only retreat. Several dining options are also available such as a 24-hour pizzeria, a patisserie, and a classic American steakhouse.

“We’re looking forward to launching our first extended cruise schedule from Boston aboard the Carnival Glory in June,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO. “These 4- and 5-day cruises not only provide our guests with a convenient and affordable ‘Fun Ship’ cruise choice departing from one of America’s great cities but also offer an opportunity to visit two of Atlantic Canada’s most charming and picturesque destinations, Halifax and Saint John,” he added.

In addition, Holland America’s Veendam, and three luxury cruise lines: Compagnie du Ponant’s LeBoreal, Seabourn’s Seabourn Soujourn and Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony will all offer new itineraries to Canada & New England ports. As will Norwegian Dawn upon completion of regular weekly Bermuda cruises. Veendam will also offer an 18- and 31-day repositioning cruise to South America via the Panama Canal, and Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas will now sail weekly on Sundays to Canada & New England rather than Saturdays.

This new season has the widest array of cruise options in the 26 year history of the Terminal, with something to appeal to all ages and every budget. In 2012, 112 ship calls are scheduled, and Massport anticipates a third consecutive year of more than 300,000 passengers traveling through its Black Falcon Cruise Terminal and an expectation to break the 2010 passenger record high of 322,161. The 2012 cruise season runs from April to November.

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In Time For Earth Day 2012 Holland America Line Debuts "Our Marvelous Oceans" Video Series In Partnership With Marine Conservation Institute

Seattle, WA, April 20: In collaboration with the Marine Conservation Institute – a national and globally focused nonprofit organization based in Washington State dedicated to maintaining healthy, living oceans – Holland America Line will debut an in-stateroom video series onboard all its 15 cruise ships highlighting the importance of ocean conservation. Titled “Our Marvelous Oceans,” the series was developed to educate Holland America Line guests on important marine conservation issues and feature topics that relate to the oceans around them. The first video in the series introduces these important subjects and the partnership between the Marine Conservation Institute and Holland America Line. The second video showcases Holland America Line’s sustainable seafood program and the importance of choosing sustainable seafood options.

“Our partnership with the Marine Conservation Institute is instrumental in our continued quest to help protect and preserve the oceans on which we sail,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president of marketing, sales and guest programs at Holland America Line. “These videos are just one more element in our extensive conservation program, and we hope our guests take a few moments to watch them and learn more about our efforts and what they, personally, can do while on board and once they leave our ships.”

The additional short videos address important ocean conservation issues in key Holland America Line cruising regions, protecting ocean life, destructive fishing practices, climate change, and Holland America Line’s environmental protection efforts.

“Holland America Line has been a committed partner in marine conservation. These short videos will help spread the word on all that we, Holland America Line, and its guests can do to protect the marine environment,” said Dr. Elliott A. Norse, president and founder of the Marine Conservation Institute. “This is just one element of the program, but it will extend our message to hundreds of thousands of guests every year. We thank Holland America Line for its dedication to protecting our oceans.”

The video series is an extension of “Our Marvelous Oceans,” a three-year program announced in 2010 that commits to the exclusive use of sustainably-sourced seafood on Holland America Line’s menus, guest and staff education, and support for critical marine conservation biology research. Support for the Marine Conservation Institute’s education program also includes annual grants to graduate students and young scientists working in historical marine ecology.

Holland America Line’s environmental efforts have been recognized throughout the industry. The line was named the World’s Leading Green Cruise Line at the World Travel Awards in London in 2011, received a 2010 Rear Admiral William M. Benkert Gold Environmental Protection Award from the U.S. Coast Guard, and received a Blue Circle Award from the Port of Vancouver. Other awards include the 2010 Marine Environmental Business of the Year from the Port of Seattle and a 2009 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award.

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

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Aboard Oceania Cruises’ ‘Riviera,’ Casual Elegance Meets Style & Sopistication

Miami, April 20: Design details aboard Riviera, Oceania Cruises’ newest entry in the upper-premium category launching in May, reveal a seamless blend of the line’s signature country club casual atmosphere with the sophisticated elegance of a private yacht. Two of its most noteworthy design features are visible from the moment guests embark in the ship’s reception area: a specially commissioned two-story Lalique Grand Staircase and a custom-crafted Italian chandelier accented by 380 crystal spheres. Together they form a dramatic design statement that underscores Oceania Cruises’ commitment to creating experiences that will “inspire and engage our guests,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, Oceania Cruises’ president.

The ship’s magnificent Grand Staircase is a striking focal point. Designed by Lalique, the fabled French glassware firm, it features double-curved staircases and a balcony with balustrades of crystal medallions and scrolled iron. Six crystal pillars rising from the landing enhance the two-story, glass elevator surround. An Italian-made, 1,300-pound chandelier measuring 78 inches tall by 80 inches in diameter adds a dramatic focal point. Its decorative spheres cast a radiant glow that reflects off the staircase and illuminates the reception area.

Each of Riviera’s 625 suites and staterooms are imbued with a warm and smart contemporary look. Veranda and Concierge staterooms – at 282 square feet among the most spacious at sea – feature a defined sitting area and balcony furnished with a chaise lounge, armchair and table. The 124 Penthouse suites measure an industry-leading 420 square feet. The layout includes a living/dining room separate from the sleeping area, walk-in closet and bathrooms with a double vanity.

Oceania Cruises partnered with preeminent American designer Dakota Jackson, who fashioned more than 40 exquisite pieces of furniture and lighting to lend the Vista and Oceania suites the feel of a chic city apartment. Exuding style and innovation, they feature surfaces combining glass, stone, wood and metals together with rich, weighty fabrics such as mohair and silk chenille. Three Owner’s Suites measure more than 2,000 square feet, spanning the beam of the ship, and feature furnishings from the acclaimed Ralph Lauren Home collection.

Though Riviera mirrors her sister ship, Marina, in many ways, she has several distinctive design details that set her apart, including:

· The spa deck at the Canyon Ranch Spa Club now features a new thalassotherapy pool as well as expanded changing areas
· On Deck 14, ceilings in the Polo Grill and Toscana restaurants have been raised to add to each restaurant’s spacious ambience
· In the staterooms, designers added a glass partition to the tub and a hand-held showerhead that can function as second shower

The ship is also a showcase for more than 100 works by some of Latin America’s most accomplished and admired contemporary artists, a collection personally curated by Frank Del Rio, the line’s founder and chairman and CEO of parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings. Original and highly expressive works by renowned artists from Cuba’s Vanguard Movement, from 1927 to 1950, among many other notable works, are integrated through-out the public areas of Riviera and positioned to provide surprising and delightful touches throughout the ship.

Following a gala christening ceremony and event in Barcelona, the ship’s inaugural schedule begins with a 10-day Maiden Voyage May 16 from Venice to Athens. From May 16 through Nov 29, 2012, Riviera will offer 12 distinctive itineraries on a total of 20 voyages, calling on ports in France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Turkey as well as Israel, Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Morocco and Monaco, with maiden calls in Cephalonia (Argostoli), Motril (Granada) and La Palma in the Canary Islands. Many of the itineraries feature overnight calls, affording an in-depth, enriching destination experience and allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the cuisine, culture and history of that port. Following the Mediterranean sailings, in November Riviera will cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean where she will operate a series of winter cruises. To learn more about Riviera, contact a travel professional, visit or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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Royal Caribbean Announces Summer 2013 Vacations Aboard Freedom of the Seas

MIAMI, Apr. 19: Royal Caribbean Intl has announced 26 new sailings for Freedom of the Seas from May through October 2013. Freedom of the Seas will alternate 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, sailing round-trip every Sunday from Port Canaveral on Florida’s Space Coast. Families on their summer vacation will enjoy Royal Caribbean’s award-winning entertainment, including the DreamWorks Experience, featuring Alex the Lion, Po the Dragon Warrior, Shrek and Fiona, and other favorite characters from the animation studio’s popular movies. In summer 2012, Freedom of the Seas will be among the three Royal Caribbean ships in the Caribbean to exclusively feature Madagascar 3 in 3-D when the movie is in theaters. Freedom of the Seas summer 2013 season is now open for bookings.

On the Eastern Caribbean sailing, guests will call at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island paradise in the Bahamas. The Western Caribbean itinerary calls at Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination on the north coast of Haiti.

Guests of all ages also enjoy the newly installed oversized video screen overlooking the main pool deck, while the youngest of the cruise line’s guests, six to 36 months old, are catered to in the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery. Freedom of the Seas also is the first in a class of ships that debuted an onboard FlowRider surf simulator, cantilevered whirlpools, the H2O Zone kids aqua park, and the four-bedroom, four-bathroom Presidential Family Suite that can accommodate up to 14 guests.

Vacationers also can combine a 3- or 4-night stay at Universal Orlando Resort with a 7-night Eastern or Western Caribbean cruise aboard Freedom of the Seas and enjoy unparalleled savings. The package to experience the best of land and sea in one amazing vacation includes hotel and shipboard accommodations, multi-day passes to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, complimentary admission to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk and ground transfers between airport, hotel, theme parks and the ship at port. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Royal Caribbean Announces 2013-14 Adventures Down Under

MIAMI, Apr. 19: While there’s nothing like Australia, there’s also nothing like experiencing Australia with Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean International today announced its winter 2013-14 Australia vacations aboard three of the region’s most innovative cruise ships for a second consecutive season. Vacationers can choose among 55 sailings that call at 56 beautiful South Pacific ports on 53 distinctive itineraries aboard Voyager of the Seas and the recently revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas, with departures from Sept. 2013 through April 2014. Vacationers also can choose a Royal Caribbean Australia Cruisetour to couple an escorted land tour with a Royal Caribbean cruise for a grand Outback adventure. Royal Caribbean’s winter 2013-14 Australia cruises and Cruisetours are now open for booking.

“There’s no better way for families and adventurers to experience Australia and New Zealand than with Royal Caribbean,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing for Royal Caribbean International. “Unpack once, visit multiple destinations in this fascinating region and sail aboard the industry’s most innovative ships, where guests enjoy new award-winning dining and exclusive entertainment, and our renowned personal, friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. Royal Caribbean’s Explorations shore excursions and Cruisetours also will help guests delve deeper into the metropolises and frontiers for an unforgettable Australia adventure.”

The more comprehensive way to experience the best of Australia and New Zealand is on a Royal Caribbean Australia Cruisetour. A cruisetour combines a Royal Caribbean cruise with a pre- or post-cruise escorted land tour to the must-see attractions that lay inland or is restrictive for cruise ships to enter. Guests have opportunities to explore the Great Barrier Reef; come face-to-face with the awesome Ayers Rock; walk Australia’s Great Outback; or delve into New Zealanders culture and landscapes on more than four itineraries, all escorted by a dedicated Royal Caribbean Adventure Specialist who knows what to see and where to go. Royal Caribbean takes care of all the planning, premium hotel accommodations, included activities, all motorcoach and air transportation, select meals, and time for independent exploration and shopping for a stress-free Australia adventure.

Voyager of the Seas will sail from Singapore to Sydney on a 14-night cruise on Oct 24, 2013, which begins with an overnight in Singapore and calls at Kuala Lumpur (Port Keland), Malaysia, and Darwin and Brisbane, Australia. The ship then homeports at Sydney to offer nine sailings to New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia, ranging from 9- to 14-night itineraries. A 9-night Tasmania cruise, sailing Feb 4, 2014, features an overnight at Hobart on this one-time only itinerary. At the end of the season, Voyager of the Seas will sail a spectacular 18-night Australia and New Zealand itinerary to Perth, and return to the Far East on a 14-night sailing on March 27 to Singapore, via Bangkok.

Exclusively offering the DreamWorks Experience in the Far East and South Pacific, Voyager of the Seas offers vacationers the most unique and innovative Australia and New Zealand cruise experience. Popular DreamWorks Animation characters, such as Po the Warrior Dragon from Kung Fu Panda, Shrek and Fiona, and Alex the Lion and Gloria the Hippo from Madagascar, will delight guests in Character Breakfasts, themed activities, surprise appearances, and plenty of unforgettable photo opportunities. The ship also is the first among a class of ships that revolutionized the industry by introducing the active cruise vacation, debuting the first onboard ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall, and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that runs nearly the ship’s length; flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques; and where parades and evening street parties are held.

Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas also will be homeported at Sydney from October 2013 to early May 2014, offering vacationers a wide variety of itineraries, ranging from 7- to 15-nights to Australia’s Tasmania and Queensland, New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. Radiance of the Seas also will circumnavigate twice around Australiacomprising a 16-night north coast and 17-night south coast and New Zealand sailing eachdeparting Oct 24, 2013 and Feb 14, 2014. Trans-Pacific crossings between Vancouver, B.C. and Sydney bookend both ship’s winter 2013-14 Australia season, comprising a 12-night Hawaii and a 16- or 17-night South Pacific sailing, departing Sept 13, 2013 and April 10, 2014 aboard Radiance of the Seas, and Sept 6, 2013 and April 18, 2014 aboard Rhapsody of the Seas.

In between exciting ports of call, just-revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas offer guests a wide spectrum of the most contemporary dining and entertainment options. Referred to as the culinary ship, Radiance of the Seas was revitalized in 2011 to offer eight restaurants – Park Café, Boardwalk Dog House, Chef’s Table, Giovanni’s Table, Izumi, Rita’s Cantina, Samba Grille and main dining roomand the new Quill & Compass Pub.

Rhapsody of the Seas features a new high-flying Centrum entertainment experience, where aerialists glide through the five-story atrium as guests enjoy a cocktail in the new 60’s-themed R Bar on the ground floor. In the evenings, guests can catch a small bite in a chic new Viking Crown Lounge, offering a cutting-edge, modern dance club atmosphere. Both ships also newly feature an oversized LED video screen overlooking the main pool, the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, bow-to-stern WiFi service, and completely refreshed staterooms with new flat-panel interactive TVs, and a Concierge Lounge and Diamond Club for suite and Crown & Anchor Society member guests.

Younger guests can join in informative and entertaining programming from morning to late night in the cruise line’s award-winning Adventure Ocean and Kids program. College-accredited counselors lead kids in stimulating activities designed for five age groups, 3-5, 6-9, 10-13, and 14-17 years, where teens have their own dedicated space to hang out with peers.

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

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Panel of Experts Appointed to Evaluate Recommendations of
Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review

WASHINGTON, DC, April 19: The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) today announced it has appointed a panel of maritime and safety experts to provide an impartial assessment of the recommendations developed by the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review, launched in January 2012. This Panel of Experts will evaluate suggested policy improvements as part of our continuous efforts to review and improve safety measures by developing comprehensive best practices for industry-wide implementation and ultimately, formal submission to the International Maritime Organization, as appropriate.

“Our number one priority is the safety of passengers and crew. The launch of the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review was consistent with our industry’s longstanding tradition of taking proactive measures to strengthen safety practices and procedures,” said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA. “The impartial opinions and advice of these distinguished experts will help achieve our goal of continuous improvement and innovation in shipboard operations and safety.”

The distinguished members of the Panel of Experts are:

1. Mark Rosenker, former Chairman of the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a retired Major General, United States Air Force Reserve, and former Director of the White House Military Office.
2. Stephen Meyer, Admiral Royal Navy, retired. Former Commander of a number of Royal Navy ships, and former head of the United Kingdom Marine Accident Investigation Branch.
3. Dr. Jack Spencer, former Chief, Office of Marine Safety, United States National Transportation Safety Board. Dr. Spencer has more than 40 years of experience with the U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board. He has also been on US delegations to the IMO for 30 years.
4. Willem de Ruiter, former head of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). In 2003, Mr. de Ruiter was appointed as the first executive director of EMSA and charged with building up the organization, after a distinguished career in the Dutch government and at the European Commission.

Each panel member brings deep experience in the maritime, regulatory and accident investigation fields. The Panel is balanced geographically with equal representation from the United States and Europe.

CLIA announced the launch of the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review on Jan 27, 2012. The Review has included a comprehensive assessment of the critical human factors and operational aspects of maritime safety. As part of the Review, in February, CLIA members instituted a new policy requiring mandatory emergency muster drills for embarking passengers prior to departure from port. In March, CLIA members also put forth recommendations to the IMO supporting enhanced reporting requirements to improve the consistency and transparency of marine casualty data. Additional best practices and policies developed through the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review will be announced and implemented on an ongoing basis. For more information about CLIA, the cruise industry, and CLIA-member lines and travel agencies, visit

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Viking Ocean Cruises and Fincantieri Sign Agreement for Two New Ocean Cruise Ships

LOS ANGELES, April 19: Viking Ocean Cruises, sister company of Viking River Cruises, the world's leading river cruise line, and Fincantieri, world leader in cruise shipbuilding, today announced the signature of a Memorandum of Agreement for the construction of two new luxury ocean cruise ships. The memorandum also includes an option for a third vessel.

In line with Viking's intimate, destination-focused approach to cruising, the new ocean ships will be small by today's standards at approximately 45,000 GRT and will host 998 passengers in 499 cabins. The first ship is scheduled for delivery in late 2014, the second one in late 2015.

The parties have reached an agreement on the financial and technical aspects of the deal and expect to sign the contract shortly, once the final documents and conditions are finalized.

Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking, commented on the announcement: "We started Viking River Cruises to offer great destination experiences, and we are excited to bring this same destination focus back to ocean cruising. The ship designed by Fincantieri has a fresh and innovative design well suited to deliver the award-winning Viking experience."

Viking Ocean Cruises is a sister company of Viking River Cruises, the world's leading river cruise line. Viking Ocean Cruises has been established by the same management team that has delivered consistent award winning destination travel since 1997. For additional information, contact Viking River Cruises at 1.877.668.4546 toll-free or visit the company online at

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Comedian Carlos Oscar Chosen as Princess Cruises’ First-Ever Entertainer of the Year

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 18: Passengers aboard Ruby Princess have voted, and have picked comedian Carlos Oscar as the first-ever Princess Cruises Entertainer of the Year. Five finalists performed aboard last week’s sailing and passengers cast their ballots onboard. As the winner, Oscar receives a cash prize of $5,000 and now holds the title of the line’s “2011 Entertainer of the Year.”

In addition to performing aboard Princess ships, Oscar has appeared on “The Tonight Show,” HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. According to Bill Cosby, “Carlos is a comedy treasure…the only four letter words you'll hear from Carlos are debt, kids and help!"

“Congratulations to Carlos on being voted our first-ever Entertainer of the Year,” said Martin Hall, vice president of entertainment. “All finalists did a fantastic job of entertaining Ruby Princess passengers, and they really showcased the variety and quality of the performers on Princess ships.”

Passengers sailing on Ruby Princess April 8-15 were able to see live performances from each finalist during the Entertainer of the Year cruise. The Entertainer of the Year cruise will become an annual event, with another sailing for next year to be announced at a later date.

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

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Port of Miami & Norwegian Cruise Line Announce Miami Will Be Home
to New Norwegian Getaway

MIAMI, April 17: Port of Miami and Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that Norwegian Cruise Line’s new state-of-the-art 4,000 passenger ship, Norwegian Getaway, will make Miami her year-round home port. Norwegian Getaway, which will be the largest ship ever to home port year-round in Miami, will embark on weekly cruises beginning in the spring of 2014. Miami-Dade County officials joined Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan today at Port of Miami on board Norwegian Spirit for this announcement. Norwegian Cruise Line was the first cruise brand to sail from Miami.

“Port of Miami is pleased to be the home of the most modern and innovative ships on the seas today. Norwegian Getaway will be a great addition to our fleet,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “We are anxious to welcome Norwegian Getaway to the Cruise Capital of the World.”

“Miami has been the home of this Company since our beginning in 1966. Therefore, we are so excited to bring one of our two new Breakaway-class ships here to Miami to homeport year-round,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan. “Norwegian Getaway will embrace all that the Magic City has to offer and will offer an extraordinary cruise experience to the more than 4,000 guests who will sail on her each week beginning in spring 2014.”

Port of Miami Director Bill Johnson said, “Norwegian vessels will generate more than one million passenger moves annually through the Port once Norwegian Getaway arrives, contributing an estimated $500,000,000 each year to Florida's economy. Norwegian Getaway alone is expected to generate 450,000 passenger moves each year.”

Norwegian Cruise Line has been sailing its ships from Port of Miami longer than any other cruise brand, since the company’s origins in 1966. Norwegian currently has three ships sailing seasonally from Miami, including Norwegian Epic, the line’s largest vessel carrying more than 4,100 guests. Norwegian Sky has been sailing three and four-day itineraries to the Bahamas year-round from Miami since 2007.

Being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Getaway will be 144,000 gross tons and is scheduled for delivery in spring 2014. Norwegian will announce the ship’s inaugural itineraries and on-sale dates later this year. Norwegian Getaway’s sister ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will begin sailing from her year-round home port of New York City in May 2013. To book a Norwegian Cruise Line sailing, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 800-327-7030 or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Expands Opportunities to Enjoy Luxury Ashore

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Celebrity Cruises' modern luxury vacations is the authentic, personalized service onboard. Celebrity took that same individualized approach to the exploration of 13 of the world's most compelling ports of call when it introduced private shore excursions several years ago. Now, the program has expanded significantly to offer private shore excursions in over 70 ports of call around the world, offering even more ways for guests to make the most of their time ashore by enjoying the luxury and convenience of a private vehicle with a driver or a driver and a tour guide. By exploring a destination at their own pace, guests who opt for Celebrity's private shore excursion options also enjoy a more immersive port experience focused on the places that interest them most.

Now available in over 50 ports of call in Europe and over 20 ports of call throughout Alaska, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, and South America, Celebrity's private shore excursion arrangements give vacationers a way to personalize the way they experience some of the world's most compelling ports, in the comfort of a private car or van. These arrangements are available for purchase online pre-cruise, for either a half-day or full day of exploration. The day's itinerary is at the guest's discretion and is coordinated directly with the driver and/or guide on the day of the tour, so meals and visits to local attractions can be chosen on-the-spot.

Celebrity also offers customized arrangements in any destination it visits around the world. These arrangements allow guests to create their own full itinerary for the day, and, if they wish, include meals and entrance fees to local attractions. The itinerary, arranged in advance, can be highly flexible in terms of numbers of hours, and is offered in every one of Celebrity's ports and destinations worldwide. Vehicles for both options generally include a car that seats up to three guests, a van that seats four to eight guests, or a minivan that seats eight to 10 guests; this varies in different regions, which may offer alternative transportation arrangements.

Private shore excursions can be booked online a minimum of four days before the cruise, at Custom arrangements can be booked through Celebrity's shore excursions team by emailing a minimum of 30 days before the cruise. In addition to private shore excursion arrangements, Celebrity offers an extensive range of shore excursions taken with other cruise guests, including convenient shore excursion packages in Alaska and Europe.

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Crystal Cruises and Y&R:CALIFORNIA Announce the Launch of
"Begin A New Story" Brand Campaign

LOS ANGELES, April 17: Crystal Cruises and Y&R:CALIFORNIA jointly announced today the launch of their highly anticipated brand campaign, "Begin A New Story," the first work produced by Y&R:CALIFORNIA since winning the Crystal Cruises' advertising account in September 2011.

The fully integrated campaign positions the Crystal Cruises brand as a luxurious blend of discovery and adventure, but not just on the sea, where typical cruise line messaging begins and ends.Y&R:CALIFORNIA's campaign juxtaposes Crystal's luxurious on-board service and world-class fine dining with the very personal, land-based experiences that Crystal guests are able to discover at its many ports across the world.

At the campaign's core is the notion of the travel journal, a very personal set of reflections, memories and mementos that travelers collect to remind themselves of their treasured vacation. The campaign challenges the reader to "begin a new story," to start their own journal of memories on their select Crystal Cruise adventure.

"The whole idea of sharing the amazing stories of our own Crystal guests to 'invite' luxury travelers to experience Crystal completely breaks the mold of traditional cruise communications," said Crystal Cruises' Vice President of Marketing Nitsa Lewis. "With this innovative campaign, Y&R has created a unique platform to articulate the personal, individual nuances of the Crystal brand through dialogue among the travelers themselves. It is artful and beautiful, bold yet understated, just like our ships."

The campaign consists of print advertisements, online banners, brochures and literature. In addition, Y&R:CALIFORNIA is also producing a 60 - second animated film that brings to life three individuals' personal experiences in destinations across the globe, all beautiful examples of the opportunities available on a Crystal Cruise. These films will run online and will also be available via smartphone through the print campaign and emerging Aurasma technology.

Joe Kayser, Y&R:CALIFORNIA's Chief Creative Officer added, "as we all go through life, experiencing events both big and small, what we're really doing is collecting stories, the stories that make up our lives. 'Begin a new story' is an invitation to travelers from Crystal to write a new chapter in their lives by exploring our beautiful world; an invitation that is delivered through the campaign's voyeuristic view into other people's reflections and stories."

Crystal Cruises and Y&R:CALIFORNIA are also extending the story telling theme of the campaign with a free App to be launched in May. The campaign will break on April 16 and runs throughout 2012 and into 2013.

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MSC Divina Completes Sea Trials

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, April 16: MSC Divina successfully completed her initial sea trials yesterday, returning to the Louis Joubert dock after 3 days on the open seas off the coast of Brittany, France.

The ship performed to the full satisfaction of the MSC Cruises team. The rigorous trials involved around 360 people and more than 60 separate tests, covering everything from speed and manageability to sound levels and vibration. Further testing will be performed continuously up until the next big event in MSC Divina’s busy schedule: the flag changing ceremony on May 19 in Saint-Nazaire.

A maiden cruise to Marseille will then bring the new ship to her grand christening on May 26. The spectacular evening of entertainment and celebration will be dedicated to the Mediterranean and the passion of its people, and will again see Italian screen legend Sophia Loren cutting the ribbon as the godmother of the MSC Cruises fleet.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Launches Kids Free Shore Excursions For All 2012 Sailings

MIAMI, April 16: Just in time for summer vacation planning, Norwegian Cruise Line is launching an exciting offer for families who book a 2012 cruise from today through May 13, 2012. With the “Little Norwegian’s Explore For Free” offer, children 12 years and younger will receive complimentary Norwegian-sponsored shore excursions* and teens (13 to 17 years old) will receive half-off shore excursions* when in the same stateroom with a paying adult on the same excursion. This applies to all 2012 sailings fleet-wide for all ports of call. Families can whale watch in Alaska; explore ancient cities in Europe; or have fun in the sun on a snorkel excursion in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, or Hawai’i.

In conjunction with this exciting offer, Norwegian has partnered with popular kid’s clothing retailer, The Children’s Place, on “A Place in the Sun Sweepstakes,” where participants can enter online at or in retail stores to win a 7-day cruise to the Caribbean or Bermuda for a family of four. In addition, those who qualify for the complimentary shore excursion promotion will receive an e-coupon for 20% off a purchase of $50 or more at The Children’s Place (valid in the U.S. and Canada).

Norwegian’s array of Freestyle Cruising options gives families the flexibility to experience the vacation they’ve always wanted including family-friendly accommodations and a variety of entertainment and dining options. Guests of all ages can enjoy Nickelodeon activities and shows on board Norwegian Jewel’s sailings to Alaska from Seattle; Norwegian Epic’s voyages to the Western Mediterranean from Barcelona or to the Caribbean from Miami; and Norwegian Gem’s sailings from New York to the Bahamas & Florida or the Caribbean.

The line recently announced enhancements to its youth and teen programs, Splash Academy and Entourage. 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 - 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 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. 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.

All shore excursions for adults and children related to this offer must be pre-booked prior to sailing. Guests can reserve shore excursions using their MyNCL account ( for each member of the family online once a new reservation is made. The children and teen rates will automatically be deducted in the shopping cart upon checkout.

To book a family cruise vacation with Norwegian during the “Little Norwegian’s Explore For Free” limited time promotion, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit

*Motorized flight tours, golf, Orlando theme parks, and Atlantis in the Bahamas excluded.

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Crystal Cruises Expands Jewish Heritage Tours in Europe 2012

LOS ANGELES, April 15: Crystal Cruises is offering almost 30% more Crystal Adventures exploring Europe's extensive Jewish heritage in 2012. A predecessor to the ultra-luxe line's new Christian heritage tours, the popular program gives Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony travelers the opportunity to intimately experience Jewish culture and history. The boutique outings visit neighborhoods, museums, monuments, synagogues, and more somber sites in/near Palamos, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, Rome, Odessa, St. Petersburg, and Israel.

Highlights include:

-- Haifa: A kibbutz, the ancient holy city of Safed, Golan Heights, and a second-century Jewish burial ground.
-- Girona: El Call, one of Europe's best-preserved Jewish Quarters, by Segway or foot.
-- Dublin: The homes of Dublin's Jewish Lord Mayors and ex-Israeli President Herzog, the first dedicated day school, and Jewish cemetery.
-- Stockholm: The Jewish Museum and three local synagogues, from Stockholm's first (1790) to one whose interior is originally from another synagogue in Hamburg.
-- Berlin: Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, the Grosse Hamburger Strasse deportation area, Otto Weidt's broom-making factory, and the 205,000-square-foot Holocaust Memorial (two different excursions).
-- Athens: Athens' Jewish Museum, containing 8,000+ domestic and religious artifacts from 2,300 years of Greek Judaism.
-- Odessa: Kosher refreshments, Ukraine's only Jewish history museum, Shomrei Shabbos synagogue, and Beit Grand Jewish Cultural Center.
-- Hamburg: Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, home of 100,000+ WWII prisoners.
-- Ashdod: Jerusalem's Western Wall, Old City, and Holocaust artifact-filled Yad Vashem memorial.

"Due to their enormous popularity, we're continuing to develop niche excursions that connect travelers to their special interests," says Vice President, Land and Port Operations John Stoll. "Our Jewish guests welcome the opportunity to experience their heritage around the world. However, even non-practitioners of the faith relish gaining first-hand insight into different cultures, and Jewish culture is particularly fascinating for its long and storied impact upon so many areas of the world."

Half-day and full-day adventures start at $75 per person, with two-person Private Options also available in Rome, Haifa, Berlin, and Odessa. Crystal Serenity's October visit to Israel further offers trips to Galilee, Tel Aviv, and other Jewish-related areas, by coach or helicopter. 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.

Thirty-five, 7- to 14-day all-inclusive, luxury European cruises offer limited-time Book Now, Cruise-Only fares if booked by April 30. Optional air add-ons are available, with additional savings for groups of six or more, combining cruises, and Crystal Society member-sponsored, new-to-Crystal guests. Kosher options and Jewish services are also available on select Crystal cruises. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 Embarks on Eighth Transatlantic Season

April 12: With major refurbishments throughout, Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 is set to sail her eighth Transatlantic cruise season beginning May 2012. This year she will sail 19 classic 7-day Crossings between New York and Southampton, and six 9-day extended voyages between New York and Hamburg. The only liner to provide regularly scheduled Transatlantic service, Queen Mary 2 offers the ultimate luxury cruise vacation, rich in classic British traditions, fine cuisine and stimulating on board enrichment. This year’s season includes several new offerings, such as new theatrical productions, jazz workshops, lecture programs, dining menus and spa treatments.

“As travelers seek more relaxing, hassle-free ways to travel, we’ve seen tremendous interest in our Transatlantic Crossings,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “In addition, these legendary voyages have wide appeal to first time and return Cunarders who want to experience the glamour and elegance of this unmatched ocean travel experience.”

Juilliard School of Jazz: New Jazz Appreciation Workshops
Musicians from the Juilliard School of Jazz return to provide entertaining experiences. New this year will be a series of Jazz Appreciation Workshops on select cruises throughout the season, whereby guests can interact with Juilliard musicians, appreciate music with open discussions and demonstrations of various musical instruments, and learn the history of jazz. Guests sailing on the Fourth of July Getaway on 1 July will experience a Big Band Voyage with a performance by 16 musicians from the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra.

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Cunard Line partner, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), continues its popular on board program and will sail six performance troupes aboard Queen Mary 2 during her Transatlantic season, presenting new productions of three of Shakespeare’s most renowned plays, including The Merchant of Venice, Richard the Third and the timeless classic, Romeo and Juliet.

In addition, RADA actors will perform three versions of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, after which the audience will determine which performance was the best. Guests can also spot RADA actors strolling the decks dressed as “pilgrims,” singing on their way to Canterbury. Finally, the company will once again run three one-hour-long workshops, continuing the storytelling theme from The Canterbury Tales. Each workshop features a different element and technique to storytelling, offering guests unprecedented access to RADA’s accomplished cast members.

Cunard Insights
Guests can also take advantage of the popular Cunard Insights enrichment program, which offers lectures by famous authors, historians, celebrities and personalities. This season’s line-up includes such guests as former BBC news anchor and Royal correspondent, Nicholas Bowen; chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, Kenneth Walsh; and Steve Rivellino, TV producer and former vice president and general manager of New York’s Radio City Music Hall™.

Canyon Ranch SpaClub
Along with Cunard’s impeccable White Star Service, guests revel in the luxury of time as they enjoy the countless unique amenities on board, including the many treatments offered by the Canyon Ranch SpaClub. New this year are the spa’s Healthy Feet services which include:

• Gait & Footwear Analysis: Guests meet with a highly trained foot expert for a complete evaluation including video analysis of gait and a precise assessment of the biomechanics of one’s feet while walking across an orthotics mat. Upon completion of the analysis, a foot expert will recommend appropriate shoes.
Instant Relief: This treatment helps to alleviate painful symptoms associated with heel or arch pain, sore Achilles tendons, Morton's neuroma, shin splints or pain in the ball of the foot. A therapist tailors a massage for each guest.
Foot Rescue: This therapeutic treatment begins with a soothing foot bath in herbal salts. The spa technician focuses on the three “C's” of pedestrian wear and tear: calluses, corns and cracked dry skin, restoring damaged skin and nails.

Todd English Restaurant
Patrons of Queen Mary 2’s specialty restaurant, Todd English, can now enjoy the acclaimed chef’s lunch and dinner offerings a la carte, replacing the original prix-fixe menu. One of the most celebrated chefs in the world, Chef English offers Mediterranean cuisine featuring “common ingredients prepared in uncommon ways.” Guests can enjoy such popular appetizers as “Todd’s Truffled Potato Love Letters,” mouth-watering pasta pillows prepared with parmesan and madeira glaze; “Lobster and Baby Corn Chowder,” with parsnip purée, roasted corn and bacon; and “Tender Lettuce Salad of Boston Bibb and Mâche,” with shaved white onions, toasted walnuts, shallot dressing and Danish blue cheese. Signature entrees include “Paella,” with shrimp, mussels, clams, saffron rice, chorizo and chicken; and “Grilled Beef Tenderloin,” with braised oxtail ragù, whipped truffle potato, glazed baby carrots and tempura fried French beans. Desserts include “White Chocolate Bread Pudding” and Todd’s ever-popular “Chocolate Fallen Cake.”

During her 2012 Transatlantic cruise season, Queen Mary 2 will also offer European sailings to the Baltic, Norway, the North Cape, Iberia and Spain. These Europe itineraries can be combined with a Transatlantic cruise on either end to create a Grand Voyage, where North American guests can revel in glamorous on board experiences with an extended roundtrip luxury cruise vacation.

Queen Mary 2’s recent refurbishment included significant décor enhancements in all staterooms and suites, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, the Queens Grill and Princess Grill Restaurants, the Commodore Club, the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, Sir Samuel’s Bar and Lounge and the children’s Play Zone. The popular Golden Lion Pub also was completely redesigned.

For those planning to attend the 2012 Olympic Games in London, select East and Westbound Transatlantic Crossings afford guests a relaxing travel experience, as they avoid the jet lag of crossing five time zones in one day. Westbound Crossings also offer the “25-hour day” as guests gain time during the voyage, allowing for more socializing, enrichment, relaxation and rest. Guests also can extend their vacation to Paris upon arrival in Southampton with a convenient transfer to the Eurostar (via St. Pancras train station) for travel via railway between London and Paris.

Cunard’s hotel program offers a variety of packages for guests booking a Crossing, and include accommodations in centrally-located properties, porterage, transfers between airport, hotel and ship, and the hospitality services of a Cunard representative. Participating hotels include:

• New York: The Waldforf-Astoria, Hilton New York
London: The Goring, St. Ermins, Renaissance Chancery Court
Hamburg: Hotel Atlantic Kempinski, Grand Elysee Hamburg

Guests who enjoy spending time in New York City before or after their Crossing can find one- and three-day itineraries for first-time guests, families with kids, foodies, LGBT visitors, and avid shoppers. Visit

For more than 170 years, Cunard Line’s Transatlantic Crossing has appealed to a broad range of sophisticated travelers with a love of glamour, elegance and tradition. Each Crossing features a series of Royal Nights themed balls held in the Queens Room, which features the largest dance floor at sea, and each evening, the Royal Court Theatre presents West End-style musical revues and guest performers. For more information about Queen Mary 2 or to book a voyage, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-728-6723 or go to

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New Dining, Entertainment Options Debut with Carnival Miracle's Launch of
Year-Round Service from New York

MIAMI, April 12: Several exciting new dining and entertainment choices, including The Taste Bar complimentary appetizer program, The Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez and The Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez, will debut on the Carnival Miracle, which launches the line’s first year-round schedule from New York today. The program features three different eight-day itineraries, each visiting a diversity of tropical destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

The Taste Bar – New Complimentary Appetizer Program
Carnival’s newest casual dining option, The Taste Bar, is being introduced on Carnival Miracle with fleetwide implementation expected to be completed by summer 2013. The Taste Bar features complimentary bite-size offerings inspired by the newest and most popular “Fun Ship 2.0” dining venues, along with a signature cocktail tied to that eatery’s particular theme available for purchase for $5. Sample offerings may include:

Roasted pork tacos with green chili salsa and aged cotija cheese, and chicken, avocado, and lime tortilla soup, inspired by the BlueIguana Cantina that debuted on Carnival Liberty, with a refreshing Blue’s Blue Margarita as the accompanying drink
Nonna's meatballs and hand-whipped ricotta bruchetta, patterned after the family-style offerings at the Cucina del Capitano Italian restaurant introduced on Carnival Magic, with the eatery’s house Chianti served from an oversized barrel on wheels
Fried malanga (sweet potatoes) filled with ginger-scented pork and lime aioli, and pepper pot soup with cilantro sour cream, similar to what is served at Carnival Magic’s RedFrog Pub, with a Rum Jumper as the suggested beverage
Grilled ham and provolone cheese melt on buttermilk brioche and cream of tomato soup, from the new Comfort Kitchen option debuting on Carnival Breeze, served with Lynchburg Lemonade
Short rib croquettes with chipotle aioli and guava and tomato relish, served with pumpkin bisque with sour cream, available with a Manhattan cocktail representing Carnival’s classic American steakhouses

The Taste Bar cuisine samples will be offered on a rotating basis from approximately 5 pm to 8 pm on sea days and select port days. Location will vary by ship, with Carnival Miracle’s Taste Bar selections offered on Promenade Deck in a recently renovated venue that formerly housed the vessel’s sushi bar. Sushi will be one of the featured Taste Bar themes and sushi will also be offered at the Carnival Miracle’s poolside restaurant nightly during dinner service.

Debut of Punchliner Comedy Club Presented by George Lopez
Also making its Big Apple debut is the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez, part of a recently announced partnership with the popular comedian who serves as the line’s “curator of comedy,” acting as a consultant on the vetting and hiring of both established and up-and-coming comedic talent. The Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez will offer five side-splitting 35-minute shows on multiple nights during each voyage, with at least two comedians performing each night. Two early-evening shows offer fun for the whole family while the later performances feature R-rated adults-only comedy.

Lopez has recorded a number of fun, light-hearted greetings that will be shown on Carnival Miracle’s in-cabin televisions and played during introductions of comedy club performances. New employee uniforms and signage, each bearing the distinctive The Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez branding, have been created, as well.

Laughter, Pancakes & More Served at Punchliner Comedy Brunch
For those who prefer a little merriment in the morning, there’s the new Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez, which debuts on the Carnival Miracle and offers up heaping servings of laughter along with a new twist on the traditional culinary feast. Taking place on sea days in the main dining room, The Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez is a free dining option that features five- to six-minute performances each hour by hilarious comedians who entertain guests as they enjoy a variety of delicious mid-morning favorites prepared by Carnival’s master chefs.

Many items are inspired by Lopez’s Mexican heritage, including Carne y Huevos, filet mignon topped with two eggs and béarnaise sauce; Hen Alla Diavola, grilled chicken with lemon and pepper; and Mexican-style churros. Two special “George’s Recipes” dishes created by the comedian himself are also offeredhis own take on Huevos Rancheros that features a chicken quesadilla topped with fried eggs and manchego cheese, and a breakfast burrito filled with scrambled eggs, beans and chorizo.

Appropriately enough, menu item descriptions have a comedic slant, as well, with playful interpretations of traditional brunch offerings that are listed under categories such as Opening Act with dishes that include Flamin’ Tomatoes Soup and Caesar Salad; Headliners featuring Funny French Toast, Pappardelle Pasta, and Mac & Cheese available with applewood smoked bacon, chicken or steak; and Punchline, a decadent dessert menu with caramelized cheesecake, banana crème pie and other confections. A variety of custom-made omeletes, as well as standards like Eggs Benedict and sides, are also available. The menu features a Bloody Mary Bar offering several variations of the traditional brunch-time favorite.

Eight-Day Cruises Year-Round from the Big Apple
Beginning April 12, 2012, Carnival Miracle kicks off its year-round schedule of 8-day Caribbean voyages from New York. Three distinctly different 8-day itineraries are offered: eastern Caribbean departures to San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk; Bahamas sailings featuring stops at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Nassau, and Bahamas/Florida cruises with port calls to Port Canaveral (Orlando), Nassau and Freeport. Each of these itineraries offers beautiful beaches, excellent shopping and dining experiences, world-famous landmarks, historical sites and attractions, and myriad sightseeing and shore excursion opportunities, including snorkeling, scuba-diving, and water sports.

Carnival Splendor will assume Carnival Miracle’s year-round 8-day schedule from New York in March 2013 when Carnival Miracle repositions to the West Coast to operate the line’s Alaska, Hawaii and Mexican Riviera programs. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Royal Caribbean Announces 2013 Bermuda & Caribbean Voyages
Aboard Explorer of the Seas

MIAMI, Apr. 11: Royal Caribbean International has announced Explorer of the Seas’ summer and autumn 2013 line-up, featuring 30 sailings to 17 spectacular ports of call on seven distinctive itineraries. New York metropolitan vacationers, and vacationers from around the world who have always wanted to combine a visit to the Big Apple with a cruise, can choose a sailing aboard Explorer of the Seas to Bermuda, Caribbean and Canada and New England from April through October 2013. Continuing to homeport year-round at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, NJ, Explorer of the Seas ranks as one of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships, featuring iconic Royal Caribbean onboard amenities such as an ice-skating rink, nine-hole mini-golf course, a rock-climbing wall, full-size basketball court and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship, flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques, and where parades and night-time street dance parties are held. Explorers of the Seas’ summer 2013 cruises are now open for booking.

From April through August 2012, Explorer of the Seas will alternate five-night Bermuda and nine-night Bermuda & Caribbean itineraries. The five-night itinerary will feature an overnight at Kings Wharf, Bermuda, while the nine-night sailing calls at Kings Wharf; St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private destination on the north coast of Haiti. From September through October, vacationers can choose a seven-night Bermuda itinerary, which uniquely features three days and two nights at Kings Wharf to enjoy more of the 181-island nation.

Explorer of the Seas also will offer vacationers a special Canada and New England sailing to catch the arrival of autumn and the changing of the leaves. Departing August 31, guests will call at Boston, Mass.; Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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

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Crystal Adds "Experiences of Discovery" Theme Cruises for 2013

LOS ANGELES, April 10: Adrenaline junkies; shutterbugs; film, theater and jazz buffs; foodies; political opinionators; whole body lifestylists; amateur gardeners; lifelong learners; golfers; ballroom dancers; and other zealous hobbyists need only look to Crystal Cruises for luxury vacations that indulge their passions next year. Fourteen "Experiences of Discovery®" themes are being offered on 28 Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony voyages in 2013, expanding 2012's program with two new themes and more theme cruises overall. Travelers can explore their interests with complimentary, hands-on activities, rousing performances, educational presentations, and expert instruction on board, as well as optional Crystal Adventures ashore (where available).

New motifs include:

-- Photography: Top international photographers shall lead presentations, hands-on workshops, and shooting expeditions along North America's East Coast.
-- Esprit du Grand Prix: VIP Monte Carlo Grand Prix experiences ashore will be accompanied by presentations on Formula One racing, royal Monaco, or other related topics.

Returning themes include Big Band and Ballroom Dance; Film and Theater; Wine and Food; Golf; Jazz; Ocean Views (world affairs expert panel discussion); Comprehensive Creative Learning Institute (enhanced enrichment curriculum); Emerging Artists (young performers from LA Music Center's Spotlight); President's Cruise (hosted by Crystal President Gregg Michel); Crystal Society (gathering past Crystal cruisers); and Gardens and Floral Design, which expands its theme to include gardening design and technique classes, as well as visits to stunning local gardens. After taking 2012 off, Mind, Body, and Spirit has also been brought back by popular demand, with three voyage options for 2013.

"From exclusive expert access to just meeting other travelers with similar interests, our guests love the many sophisticated ways Crystal offers to revel in, and satisfy, one's intellectual, artistic, and physical thirsts on an Experiences of Discovery cruise," says Jack Anderson, Crystal's senior vice president of marketing and sales.

Crystal's award-winning, luxurious offerings always include a diverse selection of thought-provoking, scholarly, and sophisticated enrichment activities that provide extensive on-board 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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Oceania Cruises Hosts Culinary Stars on Bon Appétit Wine & Food Festival Sailings

Miami, April 10: This October, Oceania Cruises will welcome culinary stars and wine experts on two 10-day “Bon Appétit Wine & Food Festival” European cruises. Chef Stephen Lewandowski of New York’s famed Tribeca Grill and Chef Ken Oringer of Clio in Boston, ranked one of “America’s Best New Restaurants” by Esquire, will offer demonstrations, hands-on cooking classes and market tours in select ports along with wine tastings and dinners featuring recipes from Bon Appétit. Part of the line’s new Signature Sailings program, the Bon Appétit Wine & Food Festival voyages depart Oct 14 from Athens to Rome with Chef Lewandowski and Oct 22 from Athens to Istanbul with Chef Oringer.

Chef Stephen Lewandowski, executive chef of Drew Nieporent’s famed Tribeca Grill in downtown Manhattan, has polished his craft at Gotham Bar & Grill and then with Ritz Carlton for several years. His earthy, elegant contemporary American cuisine is the hallmark of Tribeca Grill, winning acclaim for Chef Lewandowski and the restaurant.

James Beard Award winner Chef Ken Oringer has worked in some of the finest kitchens in the U.S., including alongside accomplished chefs such as Jean-George Vongerichten and David Burke. Chef Oringer has created distinctive culinary experiences at his six restaurants in Boston and one in Maine, each showcasing an original and inventive cuisine that reflects his international travels and adventures.

“We are delighted to welcome Chef Lewandowski and Chef Oringer onboard Marina and Riviera. Both have vast culinary experience to share with our inquisitive, culinary-minded guests,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, the line’s president. “These new ‘Signature Sailings’ offer a special opportunity for guests to delve more deeply into their passion for fine cuisine.”

Hands-On Cooking & Learning Opportunities
Chef Lewandowski and Chef Oringer will host several cooking demonstrations throughout their sailings. For aspiring cooks, both chefs will also be guest instructors at the Bon Appétit Culinary Center as well as lead Culinary Discovery Tours to local markets in select ports.

The Oct 14 festival with Chef Lewandowski is Oceania Cruises’ Ancient Grandeur cruise, which visits Kusadasi (Ephesus), Monemvasia, Cephalonia (Argostoli), Taormina, Sorrento/Capri, an overnight in Livorno (Florence/Pisa/Tuscany), Marseille (Provence) and Monte Carlo, on the line’s new Riviera, which launches in May 2012.

Chef Oringer will host the Oct 22 Temples & Palaces voyage onboard Marina, which calls at Patmos, Ashdod (an overnight stay provides time to visit Jerusalem), Haifa, Limassol, Rhodes and Kusadasi (Ephesus) with an overnight in Istanbul prior to disembarkation.

Discover the World in Comfort and Style
The 1,250-guest Marina and, launching this May, Riviera are purpose-built for epicureans with six open-seating, gourmet restaurants,including a French bistro by Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Interior design highlights include a Lalique-designed grand staircase, elegant public rooms, spacious accommodations and Owner’s Suites furnished exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home.

The Bon Appétit Culinary Centers on board both ships, the only hands-on cooking schools at sea, feature 24 fully equipped work stations. Classes cater to all levels of aptitude, from beginner to master-chef level. For more information on the Bon Appétit Wine & Food Festivals cruises and other Signature Sailings, see a travel professional, visit or call 800-531-5658.

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Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Journey Marks Maiden Call in New York

NEW YORK, April 10: Azamara Journey arrived yesterday in New York City calling at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal for the first time. The intimate 694-passenger ship overnighted in the heart of the city before concluding its current itinerary and embarking on a chartered Titanic Memorial Voyage, marking the 100th anniversary of that voyage.

Azamara Club Cruises is a destination-immersive cruise line for up-market travelers who want to not only see the places and cultures they visit, but to live them. Azamara’s two intimate, 694-guest ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, with a combination of 347 suites and staterooms, offer a European-boutique hotel ambience with extraordinary service, fine cuisine and wines from around the world, and wellness and vitality programs, all while sailing to a host of destinations larger ships cannot reach.

Azamara Club Cruises sails European destinations, including the Baltic and Scandinavia, British Isles, Western Europe, French and Italian Rivieras, Greek Isles, Croatia, Holy Land and Black Sea, as well as Asia, South America and lesser-traveled islands of the West Indies, with more overnight and late-night stays in every region.

Travelers also can choose even more immersive experiences with Azamara cruisetours in eight of the world’s most exciting destinations, including Rome, Athens, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Istanbul, Jordan and Israel, India, and China. For more information, travelers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit Azamara Club Cruises at

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Apple iStudy Now Available Across Cunard Line Fleet

April 9: Cunard’s highly popular Apple iStudy courses are now available on all three Cunard ocean liners, following the recent opening of the Apple Learning Centre on board Queen Victoria. The centers offer the latest iMac machines for confidence-boosting seminars and workshops that aim to familiarize guests with the latest technology, from Facebook to iPads, in a fun and interactive way. The iStudy program has been a feature of flagship Queen Mary 2 since October 2011, while Queen Elizabeth has had an Apple centre on board since her introduction in 2010. The workshops have proved a particularly strong draw on Queen Mary 2’s Transatlantic Crossings between New York and Southampton, with many guests bringing along their own iPads to use during the sessions.

“We are delighted to offer this additional attraction on board our ships. We find that guests today are increasingly computer savvy and iStudy is an innovative new program designed to introduce and showcase the latest Apple technology,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “The concept is great for those who are already confident with Apple products as well as for those who want to try out an iPad or learn how to get the best out of devices they already own. Apple computers were selected because of their versatility in toggling over to a PC/Windows environment, allowing instructors to teach classes on both computer platforms.

Course creator and iStudy Presenter trainer Richie Litchfield said, “All the seminars and workshops are fronted by specially trained presenters to make learning fun, in a positive and relaxing environment. There is something for everyone, from the beginner to the more advanced, and our aim is for guests to walk out of the iStudy feeling enriched and more confident.”

Aboard Queen Elizabeth, Cunard also features an iRange store as an Authorized Apple Reseller at sea. Guests can experiment with the latest Apple devices at their leisure, and Apple trained staff are available to give specialist advice on all the products offered for sale on board, including iPods (Shuffle, Nano and Touch), iPad 2, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, as well as accessories such as cases, bags, sleeves and speakers. It is hoped that these iRange Stores will also be opened on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria in the future.

The iStudy program on all three ships aims to take advantage of today's technology and present computer-based learning in an accessible and non-intimidating way. All Guest Computer Services Managers have been trained on the latest Apple technology to offer Apple courses to interested guests. In addition, the sessions offer a great way for Windows users to test-drive Apple programs and to compare Windows and Apple software side-by-side.

Designed exclusively for Cunard, the Apple iStudy program offers three levels of learning:

First Steps provides hands-on learning for basic computer skills, both Mac and Windows, as well as an introduction to many of Apple’s iLife applications.
Next Steps covers more creative or advanced topics. With workshops on photo editing, building a family tree, DVD and movie-making courses, guests are able to edit photos and videos of their voyage when they return home.
• iStudy Seminars provide a taster on all aspects of new technology, from Facebook to iPads.

In addition, the top Grand Duplex Suites in the Queens Grill accommodation category on all three ships have been fitted with iPads for their guests to download the newspaper of their choice and use to browse the Internet. For more information and to book a cruise on Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-728-6273 or go to

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Oceania Cruises to Showcase Contemporary Latin American Artists on New ‘Riviera’

Miami, April 6: When she sets sail on her maiden voyage in May 2012, Riviera, Oceania Cruises’ newest entry in the upper-premium category, will further confirm the line’s status among art lovers and epicureans. Riviera will showcase a museum-worthy collection of fine art focusing on the works of some of Latin America’s most accomplished and admired contemporary artists. More than 1000 works will adorn the mid-size ship.

The world-class collection is a nod to the Cuban heritage of Frank Del Rio, the line’s founder and chairman and CEO of parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings. More curator than collector, Del Rio went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that “every inch of the ship was designed to showcase paintings, glassworks and sculpture that will spark conversation and contemplation among our guests.”

The ship’s collection includes original and highly expressive works by renowned artists from Cuba’s Vanguard Movement, from 1927 to 1950. During this period artists such as Wifredo Lam, Cundo Bermudez, René Portocarrero and Servando Cabrera were celebrated with exhibitions at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and in private galleries in New York and abroad. These seminal works are displayed side-by-side with contemporary Cuban artists, including Julio Larraz, Carlos Luna, Humberto Benitez, Manuel Mendive and José Grillo. Works by French painter Pierre Boncompain, Mexican painter Luis Zesatti, Peruvian artist Daniela Wicki and Catalonian master, Eduardo Arranz-Bravo, are also featured.

The works will be prominently featured throughout the ship, but also “tucked in the most unexpected places to promote a sense of discovery,” says Del Rio. Wherever guests roam, from the Bon Appétit Culinary Center to the restaurants to the onboard Canyon Ranch SpaClub, they will find the ship’s rich woods, abundant marble and granite and fine wool carpets complemented by Del Rio’s “evolving collection.”

Del Rio commissioned José Grillo to create a painting inspired by the title, “Yellow Submarine,” which will be displayed outside Jacques restaurant. “El Caretas,” another Grillo work, occupies a prominent place by the reception desk. Carlos Luna has several paintings throughout Riviera, including “Lovers” at the entrance to the Riviera Lounge. Renowned Miami artist Humberto Benitez was commissioned for several pieces in Horizons Lounge and for his sentinel piece, “The Feast,” fittingly enough hanging in La Reserve, the ship’s über gourmet dining venue.

Like her sister ship Marina, the centerpiece of Riviera is a stunning Lalique Grand Staircase, designed by the fabled French artists of jewelry and crystal. It features double-curved staircases and a balcony with balustrades of crystal medallions and scrolled iron with a brass banister topped by a mahogany handrail. Six crystal pillars rising from the landing enhance the two-story, glass elevator surround. To learn more about Riviera, contact a travel professional, visit, or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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Windstar Announces New Look, New Places for 2013

SEATTLE, April 6: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts introduces its new 2013 collection of luxury sailing voyages in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Northern Europe, Italy, Mediterranean, Greek Isles, and Transatlantic Crossings. Leading Windstar's new offerings for 2013 are seven entirely new voyages, each designed to provide guests a unique sailing experience in extraordinary destinations. The 2013 schedule is highlighted by two 11-day voyages, Footsteps of Faith, exploring origins of world religions between Athens and Alexandria, and Scandinavian Tapestry, which includes scenic sailing in the Norwegian Fjords and Stockholm Archipelago. New voyages also include intimate explorations through the British Isles, the French coasts, and the Canary Islands.

Three New Voyages in the Mediterranean

Casablanca & the Canary Islands: From the magic of Morocco to the tropical serenity of the Canary Islands, this voyage is a perfect blend of indulgences. Seven-day sailings from Lisbon, Portugal visit Casablanca and Agadir, Morocco, as well as Lanzarote and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, concluding the voyage in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Wind Surf departs Nov 16, 2013. Wind Spirit departs Nov 25, 2013.

Provence & Cote d'Azur: The French have a word for this beautiful region - magnifique. Seven-day sailings between Nice and Barcelona include Cannes, France; Sanery Sur Mer, France; an overnight stop in Marseille, France; Sete, France; Port-Vendres, France; Palamos, Spain; and Barcelona, Spain. Wind Star sails Nice to Barcelona on July 13 and Barcelona to Nice on July 20, 2013. Wind Spirit sails from Nice to Barcelona on Nov 10, 2013.

Footsteps of Faith: This 11-day voyage through the Holy Land, origin of many of the world's great faiths, traces the mythologies of ancient Greece and Egypt to the Judeo-Christian traditions of today. Sailing aboard Wind Spirit the journey includes Athens, Greece; Patmos, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; Rhodes, Greece; Antalya, Turkey; Larnaca, Cyprus; Haifa, Israel; Ashdod, Israel (with visit to Jerusalem); and Alexandria, Egypt. Athens to Alexandria departs on Oct 5, 2015. Alexandria to Athens departs Oct 16, 2013.

Four New Voyages in Northern Europe

Europe's West Coast Odyssey: The dramatic coastline between Lisbon and Portsmouth challenges the imagination with terraced hillsides, soaring chalk-white cliffs, sweeping white sand beaches, and the tower turrets of Mont St. Michel. Eight-day voyage aboard Wind Surf includes Lexio/Porto, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; A Coruna, Spain; Brest, France; St. Malo, France; and Cherbourg, France. Wind Surf sails from Lisbon on July 3 and from Portsmouth on Sept 7, 2013.

Idyllic British Isles: Explore England's most charming counties, Devon and Cornwall, and the best of Wales and Ireland in this enchanting 7-day cruise. Wind Surf sailings include Portsmouth, England; Dartmouth, England; Falmouth, England; Scilly Isles, England; Milford Haven/Pembroke, Wales; Waterford/Dunmore East, Ireland; Holyhead, Wales; and Dublin, Ireland. The voyage departs from Portsmouth on July 11 and from Dublin on Aug 31, 2013.

Gaelic Explorers: From the pubs of Dublin to the castles of Edinburgh, this voyage includes hills and highlands, idyllic islands, and lyrical landscapes. Ports of call include Dublin, Ireland; Isle of Man, UK; Portrush, Ireland; Stromness, Scotland; Invergordon, Scotland; Peterhead, Scotland; and Edinburgh, Scotland. Wind Surf sails from Dublin on July 18 and from Edinburgh on Aug 24, 2013.

Scandinavian Tapestry: The eleven-day voyage includes the stunning beauty of Norway's fjords, as well as sparking Scandinavian capital cities and charming villages in the region's heartland. Wind Surf's itinerary includes Edinburgh, Scotland; Kristiansand, Norway, through Norwegian Fjords to Oslo, Norway; Marstrand, Sweden; an overnight stay in Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde, Germany; Visby, Sweden; Sandhamn, Sweden; and an additional overnight stay in Stockholm, Sweden. Cruises depart from Edinburgh on July 25 and from Stockholm on Aug 13, 2013.

Also new for 2013 - More Transatlantic Options

Transatlantic Crossings: Sail across the Atlantic Ocean reconnecting, recharging and indulging in Windstar luxury. Transatlantic travelers may choose from a variety of sailings for 2013. Wind Surf sails from Philipsburg, St. Maarten, to Lisbon, Portugal for a 14-day crossing on March 30, 2013, and for a 14-day sailing from Tenerife to St. Maarten on Nov 23, 2013. Wind Star also offers two options, sailing eight days from Colon, Panama to Hamilton, Bermuda on March 30, 2013, and from Hamilton, Bermuda, to Lisbon, Portugal, on April 7, 2013. Wind Spirit will sail from Tenerife to Barbados in a 12-day crossing on Dec 2, 2013.

All New Finishings and Furnishings: Along with an enticing collection of voyages, Windstar also unveils the complete renovation of the line's three sailing yachts - Wind Star and Wind Spirit, each hosting 148 guests, and Wind Surf, welcoming 312 guests. All three yachts will feature completely redesigned staterooms, owner's suites, corridors, and public spaces for 2013 sailings. The four-masted Wind Star and Wind Spirit will also introduce new design in The Restaurant, Veranda, Lounge, Pool Bar, Library, and WindSpa. Wind Surf, a five-masted sailing yacht, will feature newly designed style in The Restaurant, Degrees, Veranda, Compass Rose, WindSpa, Yacht Club, and Pool Bar. The $18 million renovation will bring a new level of casual elegance to Windstar's landmark cruise experience, large enough to provide guests with world class service and entertainment, yet small enough to access small coves and hidden harbors larger vessels cannot reach.

2-for-1 Fares, plus Additional 5% Savings: Windstar's new 2013 collection of luxury sailing voyages visit enchanting destinations and provide unforgettable experiences at exceptional values. In addition to receiving the exceptional 2-for-1 savings fares, guests who book by May 31, 2012 will receive an additional 5% savings on back-to-back cruises. Windstar's Foremast Members receive an additional 5% discount on all itineraries. For more information including rates and itineraries, contact a travel professional or call Windstar at 800-258-7245, or visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Cunard Line Announces 2013 Voyage Program

April 5: Cunard Line today announced its 2013 Voyage Program, offering an extensive range of sailings across its three ships featuring 106 voyages visiting 99 ports in 35 countries. Highlights include several maiden calls and overnight stays, and multiple departures for its most popular itineraries, including the St. Petersburg & Baltic Explorer, Fjords & Waterfalls and Greek Isles & Mediterranean Treasures voyages.

Cunard brings over 170 years of maritime heritage to the youngest, luxury fleet at sea – flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth – acquainting guests with captivating destinations and the Line’s enduring grandeur, glamour and elegance. For those seeking to experience a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard, the Line’s classic traditions and legendary White Star Service coupled with contemporary and sophisticated on board offerings provide an unmatched ocean travel experience.

Queen Mary 2 will continue to offer her legendary Transatlantic Crossings between New York and Southampton, as well as to Hamburg, while Queen Victoria will spend her full 2013 season sailing Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and Atlantic Isles, Iberia and Morocco, with a new 24-day voyage to the Black Sea and Turkey; and Queen Elizabeth will spend much of her season travelling from Southampton to Northern Europe and sailing the Mediterranean from Venice, Athens, Rome and Southampton.

“In addition to our superb White Star Service and glamourous on board experiences, Cunard is famed for its extensive itineraries with visits to the world’s most stunning ports of call,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We’ve expanded next year’s programme to include multiple departures for our most popular itineraries, plus new ports of call and overnight stays to satisfy customer demand for these favoured regions.”

Queen Mary 2
The grandest ocean liner at sea, Queen Mary 2, will sail a total of 17 Transatlantic Crossings between New York and Southampton from May 2013 to January 2014. In addition to the flagship’s popular seven-day Transatlantic voyages, Cunard introduces two eight-day Crossings, providing guests the most of Queen Mary 2’s exceptional travel experience and more time to enjoy the unique sense of timelessness that only a Transatlantic voyage can provide. Extended nine- and ten-day Crossings between New York and Hamburg will also be available.

These longer Crossings offer additional time to explore the ship’s extensive on board amenities and activities, including lectures through the award-winning Cunard Insights programme; stargazing in the only planetarium at sea; white-gloved afternoon tea served in the Queens Room or a spin around the dance floor during a Royal Nights themed ball; taking in a performance or workshop by members of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; or perusing the 8,000 volumes in the largest library at sea.

Guests travelling select European itineraries also may opt to combine their voyage with Transatlantic Crossings on either side, creating a “Grand” voyage. Queen Mary 2 will also continue ventures to Northern Europe, plus roundtrip New York departures to New England and Canada – featuring an overnight stay in Quebec – and a visit to the Caribbean just in time for the holidays. Maiden calls for Queen Mary 2 include Andalsnes, Norway and Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda.

Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria will sail a range of voyages from Southampton to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Isles, Iberia and Morocco, including the popular seven-day Fjords & Waterfalls itinerary (Norway) and the St. Petersburg & Baltic Explorer voyage, with an overnight stay in St. Petersburg.

Additionally, Queen Victoria will sail a series of Mediterranean voyages ranging from 12 to 17 days and, new for 2013, a 24-day voyage to the Black Sea and Turkey. Maiden ports include Agadir, Morocco; Isafjordur, Iceland; Palau–Costa Smeralda, Italy; Torshavn, Faroe Islands; and Warnemunde, Germany. Overnight stays include St. Petersburg, Istanbul and Madeira (two nights).

Guests sailing aboard Queen Victoria enjoy many distinctive features including the first private theatre boxes at sea (Royal Court Theatre); the classic art of fencing; Cunardia, a museum display of historic artifacts; and nods to HM Queen Victoria including original etchings drawn by The Queen and Prince Albert.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth’s 2013 schedule will take her to Iceland, the Norwegian Fjords, the British Isles and the Baltic Sea. Later in the season, she will reposition to the Mediterranean and embark on eight voyages from Venice, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Athens (Piraeus). These popular itineraries again include the Greek Isles and Holy Land voyages, and maiden ports include Akureyri, Iceland; Goteborg, Sweden; Isafjordur, Iceland; Izmir, Turkey; Marseilles, France; Reykjavik, Iceland; Salerno, Italy; Split, Croatia; Valencia, Spain; and Warnemunde, Germany. Overnight calls include St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Copenhagen and Venice.

See Cunard’s 2013 Voyages Preview Calendar online at Reservations for Cunard’s 2013 voyages will open for booking on 24 April 2012. For more information and to book a voyage, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-728-6723 or go to

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Royal Caribbean Announces Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas,
and Serenade of the Seas to Sail European Waters in 2013

MIAMI, April 3: Royal Caribbean Intl today announced that Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, and Serenade of the Seas will be among the cruise line’s ships in 2013 to deliver the culture, history, delectable cuisine and hard-to-resist retail opportunities that Europe has to offer. This latest deployment opening offers 121 sailings on 25 itineraries that call at 30 beautiful ports. When added to already announced Independence of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas’ deployment from Southampton, U.K., Royal Caribbean’s 2013 Europe vacation offerings already feature five of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships, sailing to the must-see destinations that make a most exciting and enriching Europe vacation. Royal Caribbean’s 2013 Europe cruises and Cruisetours for these five ships are open for booking and additional deployments in the region will be announced in April.

“Royal Caribbean is the perfect choice for couples and families to experience and share all the wonders, flavors and colors of Europe,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing for Royal Caribbean International. “Coupled with our renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service from every staff and crew, these ships already offer vacationers so many amenities that other operators do not, such as the DreamWorks Experience aboard Liberty of the Seas, or a real ice-skating rink featuring breathtaking shows aboard Navigator of the Seas, and even self-leveling pool tables aboard Serenade of the Seas. In fact, Royal Caribbean will be the only cruise line to feature Madagascar 3 in 3-D at sea in Europe this summer aboard Liberty of the Seas, making it a perfect option for families.”

As the only ship in Europe to offer the DreamWorks Experience, as well as featuring the first-run Madagascar 3 in 3-D, Liberty of the Seas will delight guests with onboard entertainment featuring the lovable and irreverent characters from DreamWorks Animation’s popular films. Guests can catch DreamWorks Animation’s films in 3-D in the ship’s onboard 3-D theater. Shrek and Fiona, Alex the lion, Po the Dragon Warrior, and many more characters also join in daily to greet guests; offer photo opportunities; and lead themed-activities with kids and young-at-heart guests.

Vacationers also can choose a Royal Caribbean Europe Cruisetour to experience the not-to-be-missed destinations that lie inland in Spain and Italy. Royal Caribbean Cruisetours combine a sailing aboard one of the cruise line’s innovative ships with a land tour itinerary, escorted by a regional Adventure Specialist that brings guests to the best attractions to see, at the right time to see them, and get the most of their Europe vacation. Guests stay in premium hotels; and enjoy a stress-free experience where Royal Caribbean makes all the arrangements including transportation, activities and select meals. Vacationers can choose a five-night Venice, Florence & Rome Cruisetour, which features tours of the must-see attractions in the three cities followed by a sailing aboard Navigator of the Seas, or a four-night Madrid & Barcelona Cruisetour, which is coupled with a sailing aboard Serenade of the Seas.

Sailing roundtrip from its homeport of Barcelona from April through October 2013, Liberty of the Seas will begin with a series of 5-night, Western Mediterranean cruises with calls in France and Italy. Liberty of the Seas will then sail every Sunday on 7-night Western Mediterranean itineraries, which call at ports on the French and Italian rivieras, including Provence (Toulon) and Nice (Villefranche), France; and Italy’s Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), and Naples. Furthermore, vacationers can choose to embark on a 7-night cruise aboard Liberty of the Seas at Provence (Toulon) or Naples. Called interporting, the option offers guests the flexibility to board a cruise at secondary embarkation ports. In turn, guests are required to sail the itinerary roundtrip back to their respective port of embarkation and enjoy the full cruise experience.

Among the Voyager class of ships which first introduced onboard amenities that catered to an active cruise vacation, Navigator of the Seas will sail 7-night roundtrip itineraries from Rome (Civitavecchia) and in the Eastern Mediterranean. Ports of call include Sicily (Messina), Italy; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; and Athens (Pireus) and Chania (Souda), Crete, in Greece. Vacationers also can choose to embark their 7-night Eastern Mediterranean cruise roundtrip from Sicily.

Serenade of the Seas offers vacationers a choice of 12-night Mediterranean Greek Isles and Mediterranean Venice itineraries, both sailing round trip from Barcelona. Vacationers can choose among several variations, but nearly all Mediterranean Greek Isles itineraries feature calls in Cannes, France; Italian cities of Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), and Naples (Salerno); and Greek ports of Athens (Piraeus) and Santorini; and Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey. The Mediterranean Venice itinerary also offers several variations, but all feature an overnight call in Venice, as well as calls in Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples, and Ravenna, Italy, and a call at either Cannes, France, or Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Immediate Europe 2012 Offers
Vacationers and the cruise line’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members can take advantage of Europe Plus, limited-time offers on a variety of sailings for an exciting Europe vacation this year. From April 2 through 15, vacationers can choose highly competitive, air and cruise pricing aboard more than 75 Europe sailings in 2012. On nearly all the select Europe 2012 sailings, U.S. and Canadian vacationers also enjoy balcony staterooms for the price of an outside stateroom. Offer details can be found at Furthermore, Crown & Anchor Society members in outside or higher category staterooms aboard the select 2012 Europe sailings can enjoy a 10 percent savings on all shore excursions, as well as receive up to $125 onboard credit per stateroom for introducing Royal Caribbean to first-time family and friends on the same sailing. Bring-a-Friend offer details can be found at For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit, or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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MSC Cruises Unveils Maiden Red Sea Itineraries

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, April 3: With the introduction of new Red Sea itineraries for 2012-2013, MSC Cruises has created a unique opportunity for guests to experience the rich, historical region, from the crystal clear waters to the golden dunes and pristine beaches.

On Nov. 2, 2012, MSC Armonia will depart Venice on an 8-night cruise to her new homeport of Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, with stops in Ancona, Italy; Heraklion, Greece; and Marmaris, Turkey as well as a transit of the Suez Canal. MSC Armonia will then begin a series of weekly roundtrip 7-night cruises from Nov. 10, 2012 through April 6, 2013, each stopping at Safaga, Egypt; Elat, Israel, Aqaba, Jordan; and Sokhna Port, Egypt.

On each itinerary guests will find breathtaking beauty, rich history and culture, relaxation and adventure through a diverse choice of experience. The golden sands and crystal clear waters are ideal for sunbathing and discovering underwater worlds. Enjoy the therapeutic effect of floating on the high-saline waters of the Dead Sea or taking an invigorating clay bath. More adventurous guests can ride desert trails on a Jeep or camel. Sample local sweet tea at Bedouin settlements or admire beautiful mirages, rocky outcrops and glorious sunsets while touring the Arabian Desert. Experience rugged wilderness and endangered wildlife in the Arava Valley or Timna Park. For a look into the region’s past, visit Mount Sinai, the Wadi Rum Valley, which has been inhabited since prehistoric periods, or the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra, the rose-red city. Tour some of Egypt’s famous sites, from the pyramids and the Nile to Saladin’s Citadel. A drive-and-fly tour to Jerusalem offers a close-up look at the Holy City.

On April 6, 2013, MSC Armonia departs on a 9-night return to Venice, with stops in Sokna Port, Egypt; Limassol, Cyprus; Antalya, Turkey; Rhodes and Heraklion, Greece; and Kotor, Montenegro. MSC Armonia has 777 staterooms, sophisticated and elegant décor, 4 restaurants, the MSC Aurea Spa, the finest in Mediterranean and international cuisine and international entertainment, a mini-golf course, casino, children’s club and much more.

For more information about MSC Cruises and its new Red Sea itineraries, visit online at, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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Norwegian Cruises to an Extended Wave Season

Norwegian Cruise Line is extending its popular “Norwegians Take it to the Next Level” sales event through Sunday, April 15, 2012, providing guests with an additional opportunity to take advantage of spectacular cruise savings. All new cruise reservations on all ships booked through April 15, 2012, will receive a free upgrade within the same stateroom category, along with e-coupons providing on-board savings worth $400 (for sailings taking place before Dec 31, 2012). As a special bonus, the line is offering cruisers the opportunity to “take it to the next level” with a mini-suite for the price of a balcony; balcony staterooms for the price of an oceanview, and oceanview staterooms for the price of inside staterooms on all ships and destinations. Cruise deposits during this time for sailings of three days or longer are reduced by 50 percent.

The offer is available on new reservations booked on any of the line’s Freestyle Cruising® ships to popular destinations such as Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, Bermuda, Bahamas/Florida, Caribbean, Canada/New England, and the Panama Canal, along with transatlantic crossings. For more details on the “Norwegians Take it to the Next Level” sales event or to book a cruise, visit, contact a travel professional, orcall Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784).

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