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Cruise News
May 1-31, 2013

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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

Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 Recalls the 1 June Maiden Arrival
of the Original Queen Mary into New York – 77 Years to the Day

30 May 2013 -- When Cunard Line's flagship Queen Mary 2 sails into New York harbour on Saturday 1 June, at the conclusion of her current Transatlantic Crossing from Southampton, she will arrive on the 77th anniversary of the maiden call of the original Queen Mary in New York in 1936.

Queen Mary’s Maiden Voyage began in Southampton on 27 May 1936 when she departed to the sounds of gleeful bands and ecstatic crowds. On board were the famous bandleader, Henry Hall, scheduled to give a series of live radio broadcasts during the Crossing; the virtuoso harmonica player, Larry Adler; and well-known singer, Frances Day, who performed a song written especially for Queen Mary by Henry Hall. Interestingly, Miss Day was doubtful of the ship’s ability to provide fresh eggs throughout the voyage, and so brought along her own chickens.

Seventy-seven years later, flagship Queen Mary 2 left Southampton last Saturday, 25 May, for New York. On board to speak is Jeffrey Weinberg, adviser to seven U.S. Presidents; and passengers still enjoy Cunard’s renowned on board entertainment, including presentations from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Today, the eggs – all 45,000 of them – are fresh and plentiful, and the Line’s legendary Transatlantic Crossings live on.

"During her nearly 10 years in service, Queen Mary 2 has proudly continued the Transatlantic legacy of elegance and glamour that Queen Mary so beautifully exemplified during her long reign of service," said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.

"On this special anniversary, we are also pleased to continue to call New York our U.S. homeport, a city which has embraced our ships throughout the decades and played a prominent role in many Cunard milestones," Shanks added.

Queen Mary would cross the Atlantic another 1,000 times during her 31-year career before being retired in 1967. Queen Mary 2 will sail her 200th Crossing on 6 July – from New York – during this, her ninth year on the Atlantic.

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Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation and Cruise Canada New England Alliance
Raise $9,100 for One Fund Boston

BOSTON, May 30: The Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation (CICF) and the Cruise Canada New England Alliance will donate $9,100 to The One Fund Boston, which was established to assist families of the victims who were killed and victims who were most seriously affected by the tragic events at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, and related events on April 18(th) and April 19(th).

Cruise Lines International Association CEO Christine Duffy, whose members support CICF, announced a donation of $5,000 on behalf of CICF at the annual Cruise Canada New England Symposium, held May 21-23 in Boston. At that event, conference attendees raised another $4,100 through a raffle, and those proceeds will go directly to The One Fund Boston.

"With more than 300,000 cruise passengers per year, the Port of Boston and the City of Boston are important contributors to the North American cruise industry, and we are happy to be able to do our part to give back to this important port community in the wake of this spring's tragedy," Duffy said.

"I am proud of the contributions our alliance's members to The One Fund Boston. This is a great demonstration of the effectiveness of our partnership," said Rene Trepanier, Executive Director of Cruise the Saint Lawrence and Chairman of the Cruise Canada New England Alliance.

Cruise industry stakeholders of the Boston area, including Porter Airlines, Holland America Line, Go Helico and Cruise Canada New England partnered together to sponsor the raffle. The winner won a trip for two that includes a cruise, airfare, hotel stays, and onshore activities.

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Royal Caribbean Signs Contract For Third Quantum-Class Cruise Ship

MIAMI, May 30: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today that it has signed a contract with the Meyer Werft shipyard to construct a third Quantum-class cruise ship for delivery in mid-2016. The price and terms of the new ship are similar to the price and terms of the first two Quantum-class ships and the contract is subject to financing conditions.

The company recently unveiled details of this new class of ship and was gratified by the public response to the design innovations. It also said that the new design included an advantageous configuration which includes a greater proportion of higher priced staterooms and that it achieves some of the greatest energy efficiencies at sea.

"We are creating a compelling experience for vacationers with innovative design, winning service, and appealing destinations around the world," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Brian J. Rice, vice chairman added, "This order follows our stated goals of moderate growth, driving improved returns and leading to an investment grade rating."

"We are encouraged by the very positive response we received from travel agents and consumers when we first announced some of the unprecedented offerings on Quantum Class last month," said Adam Goldstein, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean International. "The Quantum class will offer vacationers more unexpected activities in the most extraordinary spaces, and a third ship will offer even more opportunities for vacationers to experience Quantum cruising."

The yet-unnamed Quantum-class vessel will join the Royal Caribbean International fleet, alongside Quantum of the Seas, which will make its maiden voyage in 2014, and Anthem of the Seas, scheduled to debut in 2015.

Quantum ships span 16 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms. Quantum cruising will dazzle guests with never-before onboard features, such as a skydiving experience, a thrilling adventure that transports guests more than 300 feet in the air on a breathtaking journey; cutting-edge transformative venues including the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line's largest and most advanced staterooms. These new, larger staterooms enable innovation in design, storage and comfort, including the industry's first interior staterooms with Virtual Balconies, ensuring that every stateroom on Quantum of the Seas will have a view. To see the reveal film that introduces at-sea "firsts" to debut on the Quantum Class, please go to

"We are excited to construct these tremendous ships to meet guests' demand for an exceptional cruise experience," said Bernard Meyer, managing partner Meyer Werft. Meyer continued, "And we are honored by our long partnership with Royal Caribbean, a true innovator in modern ship design."

Including today's contract and existing ship orders, projected capital expenditures for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 are $700 million, $1.2 billion, $1.2 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively. Including Quantum III, the company's capacity growth rate from 2012 to 2017 will be approximately 4% per annum.

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Veterans History Project to Collect Wartime Stories aboard Princess Cruises’ Veterans Sailing

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 29, 2013) – Representatives from the Veterans History Project will be sailing aboard Princess Cruises’ first veterans cruise in November to facilitate the recording of first-hand interviews with passengers who served during times of conflict. These stories will be added to the Project’s ongoing collection of wartime memories that are preserved and made accessible by the Library of Congress.

Princess Cruises president and CEO Alan Buckelew kicked off the initiative yesterday in Washington DC by recording his own story as a soldier in Vietnam. Buckelew was in the nation’s capital to speak at the Memorial Day ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

Throughout this special voyage departing November 5, veterans will be offered the opportunity to be recorded on video to capture as many first-hand accounts as possible. In addition, the professionals from the Library of Congress will be onboard to train passengers to record the histories of their family and friends who have served. Passengers will get tips on how to record the histories and learn to preserve these important stories for posterity.

“It’s so important to record the wartime experience from many points of view, and we’re pleased that representatives from the Veteran’s History Project will be with us to capture remembrances from as many of the veterans cruising with us as possible.” said Buckelew. “We’re honored to play a role in helping to preserve veterans’ memories for future generations.”

The Veterans History Project (VHP) of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center is primarily an oral history program that collects and preserves the first-hand interviews of America's wartime veterans. VHP relies on volunteers, both individuals and organizations, throughout the nation to contribute veterans’ stories to VHP. In addition to audio- and video-recorded interviews, VHP accepts memoirs, collections of original photographs and letters, diaries, maps, and other historical documents from World War I through current conflicts. More information about the project is available at:

Princess’ first-ever fundraising cruise will sail November 5-9, 2013 roundtrip from Houston aboard Caribbean Princess to the Western Caribbean. The sailing is expected to generate $1 million for two organizations committed to U.S. veterans – Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Inc. and Operation Homefront Inc. In addition to the Veterans History Project, a number of special guests will be aboard, including former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen (Ret.); retired senior officers from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force; an award-winning war correspondent; and other respected speakers, authors and panelists. More information and the latest line-up of special guests can be found at

The cruise will offer passengers the opportunity to honor those who have served in the military as well as active duty military personnel. In addition to the line-up of impressive military guests and speakers, there will be special performers, celebrities, unique topic panels and a military film festival. Princess will offer onboard activities such as a Stars and Stripes Sailaway, a military themed show, a Red, White and Blue Gala, and more – to celebrate U.S. veterans.

Cruise fares range from $549 to $1,649 per person based on double occupancy. A portion of each passenger’s cruise fare expected to reach approximately $500,000 will be matched by Princess Cruises for a total of $1 million earmarked for the two veterans’ organizations to share equally. As part of Princess’ ongoing Military Cruise Benefit Program, active and retired military personnel choosing to book this cruise will receive a $50 onboard credit.

The cruise launches Princess Cruises’ new “Cruising for a Cause” initiative where the company will dedicate entire sailings to support select charitable causes. This new, industry-leading program will provide the line’s passengers, many of whom are looking for opportunities to make positive contributions to their communities and the world, a way to make a difference even as they vacation. Additional information about the special “Cruising for a Cause” sailing supporting U.S. veterans can be found at

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Costa Cruises to Celebrate Italian Republic Day on Select Ships

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. May 29: Costa Cruises -- the only Italian-flagged cruise line -- is making Costa Fortuna, Costa Luminosa and Costa Atlantica available to the Italian international diplomatic service for onboard celebrations marking Italian Republic Day, June 2. The three ships will provide venues for receptions organized by Italian embassies and consulates in six European countries and Singapore.

La festa della Repubblica commemorates June 2, 1946, when the people of Italy voted in the country's first-ever national referendum for a republican system of government instead of a monarchy. Each year Costa Cruises and its guests celebrate the birth of the Italian Republic by toasting the historic event as the Italian national anthem plays from the bridges of all 14 ships of the fleet.

"Costa Cruises is an Italian company by birth and vocation," said Costa Crociere S.p.A. President Gianni Onorato. "Over the last 65 years our Italian-flagged ships have taken the tricolore to all [seven] continents, offering millions of guests from more than 180 different countries an experience permeated by the quality, beauty, art and hospitality that typify Italy.

"We are proud to make our ships -- Italian territory for all intents and purposes -- available to celebrate this important national occasion with our diplomatic service, guests and crew members."

The first event marking Italy's national day was held today at Le Havre, France, on Costa Fortuna. Celebrations will continue May 31 at Oslo, Norway, on Costa Luminosa; June 2 at Copenhagen, Denmark, on Costa Fortuna, and June 5 at Singapore on Costa Atlantica.

Those Italian Republic Day celebrations will be followed by other initiatives. When Costa Luminosa calls at Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden, and Tallinn, Estonia, the Italian embassies in each city will host onboard events for the local community.

For more than 65 years Costa Cruises' ships have showcased Italian-made excellence throughout the world with their quality of service, variety of entertainment, range of fine food and wine, and exclusive onboard art collections.

For bookings call a travel professional at 800-GO-COSTA, visit

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Golfers Can Enjoy Championship Play & PGA Pros With New Crystal Itinerary
 In New England & Canada

LOS ANGELES, May 29: For the first time in three years, Crystal Cruises' popular Golf themed cruise is revisiting New England/Canada, with a new itinerary and new courses along the way. From Boston to Montreal, golf enthusiasts can relish the New England Indian Summer while playing at premier clubs and gleaning tips from golf legend Billy Casper and PGA coach John Clark. The 10-day cruise aboard Crystal Symphony departs September 16, 2013 and features maiden visits to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and Baie-Comeau, Quebec, plus overnight stays in Boston and Montreal.

Guests can practice their swing at:

-- NEW: The Algonquin at St. Andrews-by-the-Sea (New Brunswick) - A
historic course with a back nine waterfront sequence that has been
challenging golfers of every skill level for more than 100 years.
-- NEW: Le Blainevillier (Montreal) - Set in dense forest, with each of the
36 challenging holes isolated from each other.
-- NEW: Chester (Lunenburg, Nova Scotia) - A classic New England par 70,
where golfers tee off right on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
-- Granite Links (Boston) - One of Golf Digest's "50 Best," with rolling
fairways and greens elevated to nearly 300 feet above sea level,
providing impressive views.
-- La Tempete (Quebec City) - Quebec City's first metropolitan world-class
course, spanning 200 picturesque acres.
-- Kebo Valley (Bar Harbor) - A haven for precise golfers, with small
greens and long terrains, right by Acadia's Cadillac Mountain.

"This itinerary and golf program provides a fantastic opportunity for golfers to conveniently play in six of our eight ports of call, and learn valuable insights from high caliber PGA pros throughout," says John Stoll, vice president of land and port operations.

The full scope of Crystal's theme program is available for guests purchasing three or more rounds of golf with Crystal, and includes a VIP Golfers welcome cocktail reception; welcome kits with course info and gifts; complimentary storage and cleaning of clubs and shoes; and private group clinics with the golf pro. Golfing excursions include roundtrip transportation to each course accompanied by a Crystal escort or pro; 45-minute warm-up; golf carts or caddies (where available); and pre-/post-round refreshments and cocktails. Casper also plays with all guests, speaks about his life and career, and hosts a final awards party. Practice putting greens, driving ranges, golf clinics, and private lessons are available on every Crystal cruise. Guests can ship their own clubs to and from the ship with Luggage Concierge.

Crystal's passion for creating exclusive, eye-opening luxury shore-side experiences are cornerstones of its Crystal Adventures program, earning the line top ratings for two decades. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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BELLEVUE, WASH.  May 29: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, and the newly launched m/v Tere Moana, releases its new Voyages by Gauguin 2014 Collection brochure. The brochure features 26 itineraries and 62 voyages by the cruise line’s two deluxe small ships, which both offer an elegant yet casual ambiance, luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining, trademark Polynesian hospitality, and extraordinary all-inclusive value. Fleet distinctions, dining venues, entertainment, activities, destination guides, deck plans, and sailing schedules are also highlighted.

For 2014, seven- to 14-night voyages are offered on both ships, with The Gauguin sailing in French Polynesia, the South Pacific, and Southeast Asia, and The Moana offering voyages in Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

New itineraries on The Gauguin include an 11-night Fiji to Australia voyage, a 12-night Australia to Fiji voyage, and two 14-night voyages between Australia and Southeast Asia. Maiden ports include: Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; Kieta, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea; Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea; Thursday Island, Australia; Darwin, Australia; Komodo Island, Indonesia; Benoa, Bali, Indonesia; Semarang, Indonesia; Singapore; and Maupiti, Society Islands.

Returning favorites on The Gauguin include: 12- and 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands; 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands; 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands.

In 2014, The Moana offers a variety of new 7-night itineraries: Roundtrip Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, to Nice, France; Roundtrip Nice, France; Nice, France, to Barcelona, Spain; Colón, Panama to St. Martin, F.W.I.; and Roundtrip Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica. New ports include: Mahón, Menorca, Spain; Palamós, Spain; Villefranche, France; Sanary-sur-Mer, France; Antibes, France; Ponza, Italy; San Remo, Italy; San Blas, Panama; Isla Gamez, Panama; Golfito, Costa Rica; Drake Bay, Costa Rica; Quepos, Costa Rica; and Isla Tortuga/Curú Wildlife Reserve, Costa Rica.

Next year, The Moana will again offer a seven-night Colón, Panama, to Philipsburg, St. Maarten, voyage; a seven-night Roundtrip St. Maarten itinerary; 14-night Transatlantic cruises; and 7-night European sailings in the Greek isles, the Spanish isles, the Dalmatian coast, and coastal France, Italy, and Spain.

Paul Gauguin Cruises is extending savings of 50% off standard cruise fares on all voyages of both ships, plus included airfare from Los Angeles on m/s Paul Gauguin itineraries. Past guests of Paul Gauguin Cruises will enjoy additional savings of 5% off final cruise fares on any sailing of either ship or 10% on select sailings, when booked by September 30, 2013. To order the Voyages by Gauguin 2014 Collection brochure, please contact a Travel Professional, call 1-800-848-6172, or view it at

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Princess Cruises Exotics Sailings Cover Six Continents

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 28) – Just open for sale today, Princess Cruises’ 2014-15 Exotics program offers a world of options for globetrotting travelers. The line’s global itineraries will take passengers to the colorful ports of Asia & Africa, Australia & New Zealand, Tahiti & the South Pacific, and South America – plus even a special connoisseur itinerary in the Caribbean.

The lineup also includes Princess’ first-ever World Cruise sailing roundtrip from North America and additional capacity in Tahiti & the South Pacific. In Australia, Princess will continue to offer the biggest choice of ships, homeports and itineraries with four ships deployed in the region. The West Africa itinerary, returning to the lineup due to popular demand, will add a new port to Princess’ roster of more than 300 around the world, with a maiden call to the island nation of São Tomé.

In total, the fall 2014 to spring 2015 program spans six continents and calls to more than 145 worldwide destinations. Eight ships will cover the globe with 114 departures of 37 itinerary options.

“Worldwide cruising has long been a Princess specialty,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Our expertise in these exciting destinations offers passengers the perfect way to check that ‘must-see’ place off their bucket list.”

Princess’ 2014-15 Exotics program includes:

Asia & Africa

Sapphire Princess in Asia – Sailing between Beijing and Bangkok or Singapore, the 17-day Grand Asia itinerary is the line’s most popular Asia cruise. Sapphire Princess will offer three departures in fall 2014 – each including an overnight stay in spectacular Hong Kong as well as calls to Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Busan, and Nagasaki. Cruise departures run from October 7 to November 10, 2014.

Ocean Princess to Asia and Africa – Small ship Ocean Princess sails through the Indian Ocean along the coast of West Africa in spring 2015. The ship’s 32-day Singapore to Cape Town voyage is followed by a 30-day Cape Town to London (Dover) voyage featuring visits to a number of intriguing destinations in West Africa. True world travelers can combine these voyages for a 62-day cruise to a variety of exotic calls such as Ghana, Togo, Namibia, Senegal, and Princess’ maiden call to the island nation of São Tomé. Sailings depart April 3 and May 5, 2015.

Land & Sea Vacations – In Asia, passengers can add to their cruise with a land tour to the top attractions in China – including UNESCO sites like Beijing’s Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, The Great Wall, Xian and the Terra Cotta Warriors – as well as three nights on a Yangtze River cruise.
Australia & New Zealand

Diamond Princess in Australia & New Zealand – The ship once again sails on this favorite itinerary between Sydney and Auckland. The 12- or 13-day voyages include calls in both countries, and spectacular cruising through the dramatic Fiordland National Park. Departures run from December 16, 2014 through February 15, 2015.

Diamond Princess Round Australia – For the first time, Diamond Princess offer a full 28-day circumnavigation of the Australian continent. Featuring Princess’ largest ship ever on this route, the Sydney to Sydney voyage offers two departures – November 18, 2014 and February 27, 2015.

Australia Homeport Cruising – Sun Princess, Sea Princess and Dawn Princess will offer sailings from three homeports – Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne – on a series of New Zealand, Fiji, South Pacific and Tasmania cruises geared especially for local tastes.

Australia & Asia – Diamond Princess and Ocean Princess offer Australia & Asia departures between Sydney and Singapore featuring the Northern Territory, Queensland as well as ports in Vietnam and Indonesia.

Land & Sea Vacations – Travelers can add more of the wonders of Australia with land tours that visit iconic UNESCO sites such as Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kakadu National Park in the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, and cosmopolitan Sydney.
Tahiti & South Pacific

Small Ship Cruising in French Polynesia – Princess returns to the blue waters of Tahiti & Polynesia with two ships for increased capacity in to this beautiful destination. Intimate sister ships Pacific Princess and Ocean Princess offer the small ship cruising experience in fall and spring on a 10-day Tahiti & French Polynesia itinerary roundtrip from Tahiti (Papeete). Each departure includes two full days in Bora Bora as well as Moorea, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Huahine – all selected in Condé Nast Traveler’s 10 best islands in the South Pacific. Sailings depart between October 9, 2014 and February 16, 2015.

Pacific Princess to Marquesas & Polynesia – Pacific Princess will also feature three departures of a 10-day Marquesas & Polynesia itinerary featuring the remote island of Nuku Hiva – famed as the island where Herman Melville penned his first book, Typee, about life on a Polynesian island. Departures are offered on October 29, November 28 and December 28, 2014.
South America & the Caribbean

Golden Princess in South America – Two itineraries aboard Golden Princess offer passengers the best of Southern Hemisphere cruising. Sailing between Santiago (Valparaiso) and either Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires, the Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan or Route to Rio itineraries each include the dramatic cruising of the southernmost tip of South America and the Chilean Fjords. Sailings depart between December 20, 2014 and February 28, 2015.

Golden Princess Andes & South America – At the beginning and end of the season, Golden Princess will also sail between two continents and cross the Equator on two departures of a Andes & South America itinerary between Los Angeles and Santiago, featuring calls in Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica and an optional overland tour to magnificent Machu Picchu. Departures are offered on December 3, 2014 and March 14, 2015.

Ocean Princess Caribbean Connoisseur – A special 14-day Caribbean Connoisseur voyage aboard Ocean Princess over the holidays adds a new sailing choice from Ft. Lauderdale. A unique opportunity to enjoy small ship-cruising in the Caribbean, this voyage includes calls at small gems such as St. Barts, Martinique and Virgin Gorda. Ocean Princess departs on December 19, 2014.

Land & Sea Vacations – Land tour options offer the opportunity to explore dramatic UNESCO sites like Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian-Argentine border or mysterious Machu Picchu in the Andes in addition to a South America cruise.
World Cruise

World Cruise on Pacific Princess – For the first time, Princess’ World Cruise will depart and return from North America. The 111-day voyage aboard Pacific Princess sails roundtrip from Los Angeles, with an option for a 94-day itinerary from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale. Spanning six continents and featuring more than 34 destinations to 25 countries, this unique World Cruise includes four overnight calls in Sydney, Hong Kong, Dubai and Barcelona. Overland excursions and day excursions will be available to see some of the most iconic destinations such as Sydney Harbour, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal and Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Pacific Princess sets sail on January 23, 2015.
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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Atlanta, GA (May 23, 2013) - Country music legends ALABAMA, in conjunction with Atlanta-based company, Sixthman, are inviting fans to join them for their first ALABAMA & Friends Festival at Sea, a musical extravaganza aboard the Norwegian Pearl. The four night luxury cruise will take place October 24-28 and will travel from Miami to Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

Joining them for some amazing performances and artist-hosted activities will be country stars Diamond Rio, Craig Morgan, Randy Travis and Meghan Linsey (Steel Magnolia), along with DJ DU, Joe Bachman, Scott Munns, Striking Matches, Hudson Moore, Natalie Stovall Band, Rockit City (with Teddy Gentry), and Jeff Cook and the AGB. For pricing and stateroom options, visit

In addition to the musical entertainment and fun-filled activities, fans will have the once-in-a-lifetime chance of meeting members of ALABAMA and other celebrity guests in an up close and personal setting. Fans will also take home rare memorabilia from the experience, including an autographed cruise poster.

Once leaving the port in Miami, the ship's first stop will be in Nassau, where guests will have the option of combing the pristine local beaches or exploring the largest city and commercial center of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. They will also have the opportunity to explore the secluded beaches of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, for their very own private island getaway. A host of beachside activities, games and more will help to make the stay on Great Stirrup Cay an unforgettable experience.

Norwegian Pearl offers guests access to 13 bars and lounges, 19 dining experiences, one outdoor pool, four hot tubs and spa treatments to help forget about the world left behind. On board concerts aren't the only things that rock on Norwegian Pearl - passengers looking for more activities can visit the outdoor climbing wall, bowl a few frames at the on board lanes, or tempt lady luck at The Pearl Club Casino.

With more than 73 million records sold, 43 #1 singles and accumulating over 150 industry awards, ALABAMA's success continues to build decades after first taking the stage back in 1973. They are currently selling out venues on their highly popular Back to the Bowery Tour, which celebrates their 40th anniversary of making music together. The group's Randy Owen, Jeff Cook and Teddy Gentry have also been in the studio putting finishing touches on their new album, Alabama and Friends, which is slated for release later this year.

For more information on ALABAMA and a complete list of Back to the Bowery Tour dates, visit

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Cunard’s Queen Victoria to Celebrate 100th Anniversary  of
the Maiden Voyage of the “Ship Beautiful”

22 May 2013 – A highlight of Cunard Line’s 2014 Voyage Programme will be the overnight stay of the intimately luxurious Queen Victoria in Liverpool, England, in May – the first two-day call in Cunard's spiritual home made by a Cunard ship in almost 50 years. Taking place during her 13-day Around the British Isles cruise, departing roundtrip Southampton on 23 May 2014, Queen Victoria will arrive in Liverpool on 30 May. That day she will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Maiden Voyage of Aquitania – a Cunard legend that became known as the “Ship Beautiful.”

The largest liner in the world at the time of her 30 May 1914 Maiden Voyage, Aquitania is considered one of the most beautiful liners ever built, and certainly the most beautiful four-funneled liner ever. She became one of the longest-serving Cunarders in history – 36 years – and was the only major liner to serve in both World Wars. In fact, Sir Winston Churchill credited her and her two contemporaries, the original Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, with shortening World War II by a year. The service length and miles sailed (three million) of Aquitania were both only surpassed by Cunard’s iconic Queen Elizabeth 2.

“Each visit of a Cunard ship to the River Mersey is reason to celebrate, and the city and crowds of Liverpool never let us down,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “The maiden voyage of Aquitania is still something to be proud of and something to celebrate 100 years later, and we intend to do that in true Cunard style on the actual day of the anniversary."

On 30 May 2014, Queen Victoria will remain in port for a rare overnight stay in Liverpool, the city that was Cunard’s original home port for much of the Line’s early history, before continuing on her Around the British Isles cruise. She will also call at South Queensferry, Invergordon, Kirkwall (maiden call), Greenock, Dublin, Cobh and St. Peter Port before arriving back in Southampton on 5 June 2014.

Greenock on the Clyde also has a close connection with Aquitania, as the ship was built at the famous John Brown Shipyard located there. Additionally, when Queen Victoria arrives in Cobh, an earlier Cunard ship, Lusitania, will be remembered for her loss in World War I, as is becoming the custom when Cunard ships call there.

For more information about Queen Victoria and to book a cruise, contact your Travel Agent, call Cunard toll-free at 1-800-728-6273, or go to

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (May 22, 2013) – Travelers seeking exceptional value for Caribbean getaways next spring can now sail in divine bliss by taking advantage of MSC Cruises’ new Divine Balcony Deals. MSC invites cruise lovers to celebrate the upcoming U.S. debut of MSC Divina and enjoy their own private balcony at the price of an interior stateroom on board one of our finest and most dazzling vessels. Prices represent savings of up to 25%.

Make it an unforgettable family vacation, romantic couple’s getaway or a fun week with friends. Divine Balcony Deals make it easy to relax and enjoy the best views the Caribbean has to offer. Choose from select sailings, starting from $829.

· 7-night Western Caribbean cruises calling at Falmouth, Jamaica, Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Mexico with private island experience at Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, departing Miami on April 12th,26th and May 10th.

· 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruises calling at Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and private island Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, departing Miami April 19th and May 3rd.

· 7-night Bermuda sailing calling at Nassau, Bahamas and King’s Wharf in Bermuda, departing Miami May 17th.

When MSC Divina arrives in PortMiami to sail Caribbean itineraries in fall 2013, she will be the first of the line’s Fantasia class of ships to sail North American waters. A keystone of the Fantasia class is the MSC Yacht Club, a luxurious “ship-within-a-ship”, featuring 24-hour Butler Service, concierge service, select complimentary wines and spirits, and several exclusive venues, including gourmet restaurant, Top Sail Lounge, pool and relaxation area as well as private access to the Balinese-inspired MSC Aurea Spa.

MSC Divina is one of the largest ships in the MSC Cruises fleet, with 1,751 staterooms hosting 3,502 guests (double occupancy). Guests can enjoy an Infinity Garden Pool and “beach zone” in the aft, with spectacular views of the ship’s wake, three restaurants and a Tex-Mex alternative dining restaurant, Aqua Park (with 150 fountains and water jets, whirlpools and pool bar), children’s and teen areas, interactive 4-D Cinema, virtual Formula 1 auto racing, MSC Aurea Spa, acclaimed international entertainment in the 1,603-seat Pantheon Theatre and much more.

Cruises must be booked by September 30, 2013. All rates are cruise only, per person based on double occupancy for U.S. and Canadian residents. Government fees and taxes are additional. All cruises offer just a $100 deposit. Offer is subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit us online at

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Cruise Industry Adopts Passenger Bill Of Rights

WASHINGTON, May 22: Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) today announced that its Board of Directors approved the adoption of a "Cruise Industry Passenger Bill of Rights" detailing CLIA members' commitment to the safety, comfort and care of guests in a number of important areas.

The CEOs of CLIA North American member cruise lines are each immediately verifying in writing that they have adopted the Passenger Bill of Rights, which is a condition of membership in the Association. CLIA also will submit the Passenger Bill of Rights to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), requesting formal global recognition and applicability under the IMO's authority over the international maritime industry. The Passenger Bill of Rights will be effective immediately for U.S. passengers who purchase their cruise in North America on CLIA's North American member cruise lines, regardless of itinerary.

CLIA and its member cruise lines are actively communicating the Passenger Bill of Rights to the public and cruise line guests. CLIA and its member lines will post the Passenger Bill of Rights on their respective websites, and CLIA has provided to its nearly 14,000 travel agent members materials to communicate the Passenger Bill of Rights to current and prospective customers looking to book a cruise.

"The Cruise Industry Passenger Bill of Rights codifies many longstanding practices of CLIA members and goes beyond those to further inform cruise guests of the industry's commitment to their comfort and care," said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA. "By formally adopting industry practices into a 'Passenger Bill of Rights,' CLIA is further demonstrating consistent practices and transparency across CLIA member lines. The cruise industry is committed to continuing to deliver against the high standards we set for ourselves in all areas of shipboard operations."

In addition to adopting the Passenger Bill of Rights, other recent and proactive initiatives by the cruise industry to focus on passenger safety, comfort and care include:

-- Establishment of an industry-wide Operational Safety Review in 2012
resulting in the adoption of 10 safety-related policies that were
submitted to the IMO;
-- Launch of a Preparedness Risk Assessment in March 2013 to review and
address redundancies related to power systems that provide essential
services in the rare event of a loss of main power; and,
-- Successful completion in early April of a multi-day emergency drill
involving authorities from the U.S. and Bahamian governments, led by the
U.S. Coast Guard.

Following is the full text of the Passenger Bill of Rights, as adopted by CLIA's members unanimously.


The Members of the Cruise Lines International Association are dedicated to the comfort and care of all passengers on oceangoing cruises throughout the world. To fulfill this commitment, our Members have agreed to adopt the following set of passenger rights:

1. The right to disembark a docked ship if essential provisions such as
food, water, restroom facilities and access to medical care cannot
adequately be provided onboard, subject only to the Master's concern for
passenger safety and security and customs and immigration requirements of
the port.
2. The right to a full refund for a trip that is canceled due to mechanical
failures, or a partial refund for voyages that are terminated early due
to those failures.
3. The right to have available on board ships operating beyond rivers or
coastal waters full-time, professional emergency medical attention, as
needed until shore side medical care becomes available.
4. The right to timely information updates as to any adjustments in the
itinerary of the ship in the event of a mechanical failure or emergency,
as well as timely updates of the status of efforts to address mechanical
5. The right to a ship crew that is properly trained in emergency and
evacuation procedures.
6. The right to an emergency power source in the case of a main generator
7. The right to transportation to the ship's scheduled port of
disembarkation or the passenger's home city in the event a cruise is
terminated early due to mechanical failures.
8. The right to lodging if disembarkation and an overnight stay in an
unscheduled port are required when a cruise is terminated early due to
mechanical failures.
9. The right to have included on each cruise line's website a toll-free
phone line that can be used for questions or information concerning any
aspect of shipboard operations.
10. The right to have this Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights published on
each line's website.

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Costa Cruises Offers Group Savings on Select 2013-14 Cruises

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. May 22: Travelers looking to take a family vacation, cruise with a group of friends, host a reunion or a company incentive can take advantage of the Costa Cruises special group promotion on select winter 2013 and a variety of 2014 voyages throughout the fleet. The group bookings must be deposited by June 30, 2013.As part of the program, guests can reserve at a low lead-in rate that includes seven-day Mediterranean sailings on Costa Pacifica from just $599 and 10-day Caribbean sailings on Costa Luminosa from $749, all per person, double occupancy.

"Our ships offer diverse itineraries and extensive onboard amenities that appeal to all generations, making Costa the perfect choice for a family vacation or company incentive," said Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America. "With these extra perks, now is the time for travel agents to reach out to their clients and talk with them about group vacations and taking advantage of the excellent rates."

A group booking comprises a minimum of eight double-occupancy cabins with at least 16 guests in those cabins. For reservations as well as more information on Costa's Groups programs, call your travel professional or 800-GO-COSTA, visit

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Eight Blissful Bites Of Brazil With Crystal Cruises

LOS ANGELES, May 22: With 11 Brazilian ports on its fall cruise calendar, luxe Crystal Cruises has set dozens of cool ways to explore the country's hot culture, culinary arts, and landscape.

Sugar Loaf, samba, and snorkeling may be most famous, but guests can take in such varied Crystal Adventures as:

1. Learning the secrets of making Moqueca, a traditional Brazilian seafood
stew, from a local instructor in Rio de Janeiro.
2. 4x4-ing to swim in waterfalls and lagoons otherwise only accessible by
foot, followed by cachaca- tasting at a local Paraty distillery.
3. Reveling in the charms of Buzios, know as Brazil's St-Tropez, via foot,
land trolley or ocean schooner. (Brigitte Bardot famously fell in love
with this charming old fishing village!)
4. Strolling the cobblestone walkways of Paraty's pedestrian-only historic
core, an UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its beautifully
preserved colonial architecture.
5. Sampling multiple varieties of caipirinhas while sailing along beaches
and an ecological preserve in Ilha Grande, local forro and samba band in
the background.
6. Attending a private, Crystal clergy-led Mass at the base of Rio's famous
Corcovado: Christ the Redeemer statue.
7. Marveling at the magic of capoeira, an African-Brazilian mix of martial
arts and dance, in Natal.
8. Hiking through the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest to a hidden waterfall,
in Ilha Grande.

Crystal begins its South American cruise season with a 16-day, November 23, Miami-to-Rio voyage, followed by a 12-day, December 9, Rio-to-Buenos Aires sailing. To savor more South America, as well as Crystal's delicious, award-winning experience, travelers can combine the two voyages for an additional 5% savings. In all, Crystal Symphony's Brazilian calls include Belem, Fortaleza, Natal (maiden call), Maceio, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro (overnight), Buzios, Ilha Grande, Paraty, Santos/Sao Paulo, and Rio Grande du Sol. Depending on the departure, the cruises also include ports in the Caribbean, Uruguay and Argentina.

"Our itineraries are designed to showcase the many flavors of Brazil," says John Stoll, vice president of land and port operations. "On the December cruise, Rio and Sao Paulo may be familiar star destinations, while Buzios is a less familiar delight. What makes this cruise itinerary even more unique is that we stay in Buzios into the night because of its wonderful evening cafe scene."

Travelers can save 5% off cruise fares when combining the two cruises. Travelers also have a choice of Crystal Getaways carved from each voyage: 12 days starting November 27 from Barbados to Rio de Janeiro, or seven days starting December 14 from Santos to Buenos Aires. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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MIAMI, May 22, 2013 – With more game-changing “firsts at sea” being introduced on Royal Caribbean International’s new Quantum class of ships, vacationers will be hard pressed to find another experience that delivers the “WOWs” like Quantum of the Seas. The cruise line known for introducing incredible signature onboard offerings, such as the rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, FlowRider surf simulator, zip-lining and a park with more than 12,000 plants and trees, today unveiled Quantum of the Seas’ first 18 Caribbean sailings, ranging from seven to twelve nights, with the official inaugural voyage set for November 23, 2014. Bookings will be available to Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members beginning May 28, 2013 before opening to the general public on June 4.

Vacationers in the New York-metropolitan area and around the world can choose among seven- and eight-night Bahamas, eight- to 11-night Eastern Caribbean, and 11- and 12-night Southern Caribbean itinerariesaboard Quantum of the Seas. The groundbreaking new ship will sail roundtrip from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. to the most popular Caribbean destinations through April 2015, and debut new unprecedented features, such as a skydiving experience; a thrilling adventure that transports guests more than 300 feet in the air on a breathtaking journey; cutting-edge transformative venues including the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever.

“Royal Caribbean is proud to partner with some of the Caribbean’s premier destinations for the inaugural season of Quantum of the Seas,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “The Quantum class of ships will combine a new set of truly exciting and first-at-sea innovations that can only be found on Royal Caribbean, with some of the most incredible destinations in the region. We can’t wait to WOW vacationers with Quantum cruising.”

On the Bahamas cruises, guests call at Port Canaveral, Fla., Nassau and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private tropical island paradise. The Eastern Caribbean cruises will include ports of call among San Juan, Puerto Rico; Samana, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas; St. Kitts; and St. Maarten. Guests on the Southern Caribbean cruises will call at San Juan, St. Maarten, Martinique, Barbados and St. Kitts. On most Caribbean sailings, Quantum of the Seas also will visit Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s very own highly-rated private beach paradise on the north coast of Haiti.

Building on a legacy of more than 40 years of innovation and creative design, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class of ships will take a dramatic leap forward, introducing more game-changing “firsts at sea,” such as RipCord by iFly, the first skydiving experience at sea, which allows everyone from first-time flyers to seasoned skydivers to enjoy the sheer thrill and exhilaration of skydiving in a safe, controlled and simulated environment. North Star, an engineering marvel, will take guests to new heights – literally – with a jewel-shaped, glass capsule, transporting them on a spectacular journey more than 300 feet above the ocean and over the sides of the ship to deliver awe-inspiring 360-degree views.

The new Quantum class also will introduce new cutting-edge, transformative venues, including Two70° (, a multi-level great room aptly named for its magnificent 270-degree panoramic sea views through three-deck high, floor-to-ceiling glass walls at the stern of the ship; SeaPlex (, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and circus school with trapeze; and Music Hall (, a two-story performance hall, inspired by the spirit of rock and roll, and the hottest live music venue on Quantum class.

Quantum class also will offer Royal Caribbean’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever, including the industry’s first interior staterooms with Virtual Balconies, ensuring that every stateroom on Quantum of the Seas will have a view. For multi-generational families, Family-Connected staterooms deliver more flexibility, using three different stateroom categories that connect to form a special layout that provides separate bedrooms and bathrooms for all. Royal Caribbean also will introduce new Studio staterooms – some featuring balconies – for single travelers, three new Junior Suite categories, and larger Loft Suites. For an informative overview of Quantum of the Seas’ new stateroom concepts, please see

Quantum class will debut in fall 2014 with Quantum of the Seas, followed by her sister-ship Anthem of the Seas in spring 2015. Quantum ships span 16 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms. More information on Quantum of the Seas is available at

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Un-Cruise Adventures’ 2014 Deployment Largest Yet

Seattle, WA, May 21, 2013— Un-Cruise Adventures’ expanding fleet offers more departures and a larger variety of cruise itineraries in 2014 than any previous year. Eight vessels carrying 22-88 guests specialize in small-group adventure cruises in Alaska, Hawaiian Islands, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia & Snake Rivers and Coastal Washington & British Columbia. A new all Washington itinerary, the addition of an eighth vessel to sail year-round in Mexico, and new Heritage Adventures in Alaska and on the Columbia and Snake Rivers significantly increases the line’s offerings in 2014.

“We have a passion for exploring the world on small group adventures,” said Dan Blanchard, CEO and principal for Un-Cruise Adventures. “Our itineraries pull together the natural beauty, wildlife, culture and history of a destination in unforgettable ways.”

Mexico’s Sea of Cortés

Joining the fleet in December 2013, the renovated 64-guest Safari Voyager will sail Luxury Adventures year-round in Mexico’s Sea of Cortés on four different itineraries—all new. A weeklong Cousteau’s Aquarium of the World cruise sails roundtrip from San José del Cabo and visits two ports—Loreto and La Paz—with an emphasis on encountering whale sharks. A weeklong Baja’s Whale Bounty cruise roundtrip from San José del Cabo includes a trip to BahÍa Magdalena for a panga ride to see gray whales up close. Humpback whale watching takes place at Gordo Banks and encounters with blue, pilot, fin and other whale species add to the bounty. Milagros Maritimos de Baja California is a weeklong cruise sailing roundtrip Guaymas, Mexico visiting remote, scenic areas along the mainland’s Pacific coast. A two-week expedition, Isla Esencial: Baja California Sur y Norte, sails between San José del Cabo and Guaymas (and reverse) twice a year.

Coastal Washington & British Columbia

New in 2014, an all Washington itinerary, Explore! Olympic Wilderness and San Juan Islands, sailing roundtrip Seattle, Washington explores the Olympic Peninsula and San Juan Islands, including extended time in Princess Louisa Inlet, in spring and fall. The weeklong Active Adventure aboard the 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer visits South Hood Canal, Port Townsend, Deception Pass, Lopez Island, Orcas Island, Friday Harbor and Sucia Island. The 22-guest Safari Quest sails British Columbia’s Yachters’ Paradise roundtrip Seattle in spring and fall. The weeklong Luxury Adventure explores Washington’s San Juan Islands and British Columbia.

Hawaiian Islands

The 36-guest Safari Explorer yacht returns for its third season sailing Luxury Adventures among the islands between Moloka’i and Hawaii, the Big Island (and reverse) from November-April. Weeklong Hawaiian Seascapes explore four islands—the Big Island, Maui, Lana’i and Moloka’i. Guests enjoy a full complement of water sports activities, night snorkeling with Giant Pacific Manta rays, exclusive tours on Moloka’i and encounters with dolphins, whales and turtles.


Seven vessels cruise Alaska on 12 different itineraries ranging from one to three weeks from homeports of Seattle, Washington; Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka, Alaska from April-September. Three upscale vessels—22-guest Safari Quest, 36-guest Safari Explorer, 86-guest Safari Endeavour—sail Luxury Adventures roundtrip Juneau, Alaska. Three expedition vessels—60-guest Wilderness Adventurer, 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer, 76-guest Wilderness Explorer—sail Active Adventures out of Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka, Alaska. The 88-guest S.S. Legacy sails Heritage Adventures between Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska. Itineraries may be combined to create longer voyages and two-week cruises are offered in spring and fall between Seattle and Juneau. Multiple days exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of many itineraries.

Columbia & Snake Rivers

The 88-guest S.S. Legacy, a replica coastal steamer, sails Heritage Adventures along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in spring and fall. Weeklong Legacy of Discovery cruises sail roundtrip Portland, Oregon with a focus on Living History—Lewis and Clark’s Expedition, Oregon Trail, Native Americans and early pioneers. Highlights include a jet boat tour into Hells Canyon, tastings at three wineries, Fort Walla Walla and Fort Clatsop, Maryhill Museum and transit of eight locks.

Active and Luxury Adventures include adventure activities: kayaking, hiking, skiff excursions and paddle boarding; snorkeling is included in Mexico and Hawaii. Heritage Adventures include shoreside tours. Charters and group incentives are available. To book or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or Un-Cruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or .

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The American Queen Steamboat Company Announces Westward Expansion

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 21, 2013 – The American Queen Steamboat Company, owner and operator of the U.S-flagged American Queen, announces the purchase of the Empress of the North from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) for an undisclosed amount. To be renamed the American Empress, the vessel is scheduled to resume sailings on the great rivers of the Pacific Northwest April 2014 calling her homeport Portland, Ore. The American Empress will deliver riverboat opulence on a grand scale, following in the pedigree of the line’s namesake American Queen, and proudly serve as the largest overnight riverboat west of the Mississippi River.

“The American Queen has ushered in a rebirth of U.S. river cruising, welcoming thousands to discover the heartland of the United States and its iconic port cities,” shares Ted Sykes, president and COO of the American Queen Steamboat Company. “Now the American Empress will continue that tradition as an ambassador to the Pacific Northwest, a region equally rich in American and natural history.”

A U.S.-flagged riverboat, the American Empress measures 360 ft. with five towering decks and accommodates 223 guests in seven stateroom categories. The American Empress will sail the Columbia River and Snake River, offering seven-day voyages between Portland, Ore. and Clarkston, Wash. Ports of call include Astoria, Wash.; Stevenson, Wash.; The Dalles, Ore.; Umatilla, Ore.; and Richland, Wash.

The American Empress was built in 2002 and operated by Majestic America Line from 2002 to 2008, sailing Alaska’s Inside Passage and the Pacific Northwest. Just as the American Queen brought luxury and grandeur to river cruising America’s heartland, the American Empress will do the same for the Pacific Northwest.

To order a brochure, request additional information and make reservations, contact the American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online at

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Irish Politics And German Filmmaking: Crystal's New Boutique Access In Northern Europe

LOS ANGELES, May 20: Crystal Cruises is expanding its uber-exclusive collection of intimate "Boutique Adventures" during summer Northern Europe cruises with two new experiences in Belfast and Berlin. The shoreside outings - none of which are available on any other cruise line - offer intimate access to Northern Ireland's political leadership and Germany's Soho -- Soho House, that is, along with visits to film locations around the city. The excursions--which are limited to 15 guests max--will be held during five June to August Crystal Serenity cruises visiting:

-- Belfast: Go behind the closed doors of Stormont, the seat of Northern
Ireland's governing Legislative Assembly, and symbol of hard-won peace
solidified by 1998's "Good Friday Agreement." A friendly three-course
lunch with an Assembly member follows, at an almost 200-year-old
Georgian manor and working farm.
-- Berlin: From the port city of Warnemunde, travel to Berlin to be led by
a local film expert through the city's most famous movie locations, from
films such as The Bourne Supremacy, Inglourious Basterds, and Run, Lola,
Run. A champagne "wrap party" and private screening of Billy Wilder's
One, Two, Three will be held at the ultra-swanky Red Room inside
members-only Soho House, formerly the home of the Soviet Politboro.

Launched in the Mediterranean this spring, Crystal's new "Boutique Adventures" are crafted just for Crystal guests and provide opportunities for deeper cultural connections when visiting destinations.

"Oftentimes, there's no better way to understand a place than by talking to its people," says John Stoll, vice president, land and port operations. "These excursions not only offer ample opportunity for conversation on very niche topics, but also take travelers inside the hidden halls of these countries' tastemakers, be they the most private of club members to lawmakers on a national stage."

The Belfast excursion is offered during August 26's 7-day Dublin to London British Isles voyage. The excursion from Warnemunde to Berlin is offered on four, 10-day Baltic sailings between Copenhagen and Stockholm departing June 15 and 25 and July 20 and 30. All-inclusive fares for the sailings start at $4,145, with up to $1,500 in savings on select voyages, if booked by June 28. Boutique excursion rates vary depending on access fees and distance traveled. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Viking Launches New Ocean Cruise Line

When Viking Cruises launches its ocean product line, Viking Ocean Cruises, it will mark the introduction of the travel industry's first new cruise line in nearly a decade. Developed from the ground up to focus their cruises on the destinations, Viking Ocean Cruises will begin sailing in May 2015 with its first vessel—Viking Star—embarking on maiden voyages in Scandinavia and the Baltic and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.

Better known for their river cruises, Viking Cruises has aggressive expansion plans in both the ocean and river cruise categories, with a second ocean ship on order for delivery in 2016 and conditional orders and options for four more additional ocean vessels. The ocean ship order follows the company's continued rapid fleet expansion in the river cruise sector, with 10 new river ships recently christened in March of this year and 12 new river ships planned to launch in 2014. Before going any further, those ambitious plans sound somewhat familiar...remember Renaissance Cruises? From 1998 to 2001, the now-defunct line introduced eight extremely popular mid-sized ships. Hopefully, the Vikings have a larger war chest. But I digress.

Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises, shares his vision, "It is our view that in the race to build bigger ships, many cruise lines have lost sight of the destinations to which they sail. With our new ocean cruises, we are applying the same principles behind our award-winning river cruises to our itinerary and ship design; privileged-access excursions; and onboard experiences to make destinations the true focus."

Leveraging extensive feedback and input from Viking River Cruises passengers, Viking Ocean Cruises was developed with experienced travelers in mind. Itineraries are curated for maximum time in port, often with late evenings or overnights, so guests can experience local nightlife or evening performances. Ports include both cosmopolitan cities and "collector ports," and appeal to those with an interest in history, art and culture. In addition, all-inclusive pricing provides unparalleled value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Passengers also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; wi-fi; self-service laundry, and 24-hour room service—a value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise.

Viking Star
Classified as a "small ship," the new 928-passenger all-veranda Viking Star is engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports, so guests have easy and efficient embarkation and debarkation.

Viking Star Technical Details
Length overall: 745.4 ft.; beam 94.5 ft.; draft 20.7 ft.; air draft 131.2 ft.; gross tonnage (GRT) 47,800 t; deadweight 3,640 t; service speed 20.0 kn; number of decks 14; classification: Lloyds Register.
The ship has been designed by experienced nautical architects and engineers, including an interior design team of London-based SMC Design, and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios. The first of two ocean ships on order, Viking Star will be built by Italy's Fincantieri shipyard. The ship's understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design is crafted for maximum guest comfort. Highlighted features include:

-- All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from a 270 sq. ft. veranda stateroom, all with private verandas, king-size beds, large showers, and LCD TVs.
-- Explorer Suites: Viking Star's 14 Explorer Suites are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,448 sq. ft. and offer sweeping views from wrap-around private verandas as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category onboard.
-- Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable dome permitting any-season swimming, Viking Star features one of the only infinity pools at sea, allowing passengers to swim surrounded by their destination in a glass-backed pool cantilevered off the stern.
-- The Spa: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Spa onboard Viking Star is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind, from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a "snow grotto" where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.
-- Explorers' Lounge & Wintergarden: Spaces designed to facilitate mingling and storytelling, the two-deck Explorers' Lounge at the bow of the ship is the perfect spot for taking in scenery through double-height windows over a glass of aquavit or pint of local craft beer; and the Wintergarden is a serene environment in which to relax and enjoy afternoon tea service complete with a curated tea selection.
-- Dining Choices: Viking Star offers multiple restaurant locations and food choices--from The Restaurant and the World Cafe, serving a variety of global cuisines and regional specialties--to intimate dining experiences at The Chef's Table, Italian Grill and The Kitchen Table, all serving meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking Star offers more al fresco dining than any other ship.
-- Enriching Entertainment: Connecting passengers to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking Cruises, and Viking Star's onboard venues include a dramatic three-deck atrium where passengers can enjoy musicians playing regional and classical music; the Star Theater, home of enrichment lectures from scholars and experts; an onboard cooking school where guests can learn local specialties; and the Viking Piano Lounge, where guests can relax, mingle, and exchange stories after a day of exploring.
-- Sustainable Features: Designed with the environment in mind, Viking Star features energy-efficient hybrid engines, a hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency, onboard solar panels, and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations.

Itineraries and pricing are outlined on the Viking Ocean Cruises web site at and Viking is offering an introductory Early Booking Discount in the U.S. market for the 2015 maiden season with 2-for-1 pricing on cruise departures and savings of $2,000 per couple on international air. The 2015 maiden season is initially being offered only in the U.S.; Viking will begin marketing the new ocean cruises in the UK, Australia and New Zealand later this year.

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American Cruise Lines Introduces the Fall Cruise Collection

GUILFORD, CT – May 16: American Cruise Lines (, operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, announced today its Fall Cruise Collection, a selection of cruises handpicked to showcase the beautiful 2013 fall season. Cruise itineraries include the Columbia & Snake Rivers, the Upper Mississippi River, Hudson River, and American Cruise Lines’ newly launched itinerary, Puget Sound & San Juan Islands.

Columbia & Snake Rivers: In October of 1805, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery paddled down the Columbia River on the famous expedition into the West. Today, the autumn colors and migratory wildlife that Meriwether Lewis described in his famous journal are much the same aboard Queen of the West, as it follows their exact route. Autumn is the perfect time to relive the historic expedition and experience the Northwest’s rich tapestry of landscapes and fascinating human endeavors. Featured Dates: October 12, 26

Upper Mississippi River: Autumn time cruising on the Mississippi River is a spectacular time to experience the American Heartland. The upper portion of the river features stunning scenery and quaint historic rivertowns. Guests will take a relaxing journey aboard the elegant Queen of the Mississippi, their minds wandering back in time on this authentic riverboat, as they glide by the colorful display of changing foliage and take in the breathtaking views around every bend of the river. Featured Dates: October 19, 26

Hudson River Fall Foliage: Surrounded by the Catskill Mountains on the western shore and the Taconic and Berkshire Hills to the east, the Hudson is rich in both history and beauty. This popular cruise showcases the bright changing colors and towering mountains for which the Hudson River Valley is so well known. The cities and towns along the way feature some of the most magnificent architecture in America. Featured Dates: October 19, 25

Puget Sound & San Juan Islands: Guests will leave relaxed and rejuvenated after eight days enjoying the delicious crisp autumn air of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. In autumn, clear skies and sparkling water offer a powerful contrast with the colorful coast where nestled between Canada’s Vancouver Island and the U.S. mainland are hundreds of islands that are home to a diverse natural wonderland filled with wildlife. Featured Dates: October 12, 19

“The fall season is one of the best times to experience small ship cruising with American Cruise Lines,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “This cruise collection showcases one of the most beautiful and anticipated seasons in America with various sailings offered during peak foliage. Each cruise offers an experience unlike any other.”

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

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Norwegian Breakaway Makes Maiden Call to Bermuda

HERITAGE WHARF, BERMUDA – May 15, 2013 – Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship that is making headlines as a “game changer” for the cruise industry, today made her inaugural stop in Bermuda, on her first seven-day voyage which departed New York on Sunday. Carrying 4,000 guests, Norwegian Breakaway, the largest ship to ever port in Bermuda, docked at Heritage Wharf at approximately 8 am local time. Bermuda’s Premier Craig Cannonier and local officials greeted the ship and Captain Evans Hoyt amidst much fanfare.

“On behalf of the people of Bermuda, we are so pleased to welcome Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda,” said Cannonier at a press conference held on the dock. “We thank Norwegian Cruise Line for bringing their magnificent new vessel to our beautiful island. The ship’s guests and crew are of the utmost importance to us and we will show them all that Bermuda has to offer.”

The 146,600 gross ton ship was christened on Wednesday, May 8 during an exclusive ceremony featuring Premier Cannonier, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City icons The Rockettes®, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, and Master Baker Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s “Cake Boss,” among others. Her signature hull art featuring a large sun, planets and the New York skyline was designed by legendary artist Peter Max.

“Bermuda is a world-class summer destination for our world-class ship,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We thank Premier

Cannonier, the government of Bermuda and all of her residents for welcoming our new ship with such gracious hospitality. We know our guests are going to have an amazing time on this beautiful island.”

This voyage is the first in a series of 22 cruises to Bermuda through October 6. Weeklong cruises on this incredible new ship start at $1049 per person, double occupancy. Norwegian Breakaway spends three days in Bermuda and offers more than 30 unique shore excursions. Guests can go reef fishing at night, bike the original Bermuda railway trail and explore the spectacular scenery by paddleboard. Norwegian Breakaway guests will also have the opportunity to experience several excursions exclusive to the ship, including the opportunity to explore Bermuda’s natural beauty and hidden treasures in a more personalized setting and at their own pace with a private boat tour.

Beginning October 13, Norwegian Breakaway will offer seven-day voyages from the heart of Manhattan to the Bahamas and Florida, as well as two 12-day sailings to the Southern Caribbean.

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

Celebrity Chef and Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian has also debuted his first restaurant at sea on Norwegian Breakaway: Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian, along with two additional venues, The Raw Bar and Ocean Blue on the Waterfront. Buddy Valastro, star of the TLC series “Cake Boss,” opened an extension of his popular bakery, Carlo’s Bake Shop, onbard. The ship features a total of 27 dining options on board and an Ice Bar, which is kept at 17 degrees Fahrenheit and features New York City-inspired specialty cocktails, as well as ice sculptures of the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty to pay homage to New York City.

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

The ship also offers a rich mix of stateroom options including The Haven™ by Norwegian, comprised of 42 Suites at the top of the ship and 22 additional Suites located throughout the ship; the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; Oceanview staterooms, Balcony and Mini-Suites; along with Spa Balcony, Mini-Suites and Suites in close proximity to the spa.

For more information on the incredible features and accommodations on Norwegian Breakaway, visit

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MIAMI, May 15, 2013 – Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas has reemerged from a $30 million drydock ready to WOW guests. The 2,100 guest ship will now offer vacationers signature Royal Caribbean amenities first introduced aboard Oasis-class ships including five new dining concepts, an exhilarating aerial entertainment experience and technology advancements allowing guests to stay more connected than ever before. Brilliance of the Seas will debut her newest innovations this summer as she sails from Harwich, England, offering Northern European itineraries that visit some of the Baltics’s most sought after destinations such as Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland.

Doubling her dining options, Brilliance of the Seas now offers guests a wide variety of culinary experiences from family-style festivity at the Italian trattoria, Giovanni’s Table, to the intimate and exclusive multi-course Chef’s Table. Guests can expand their palettes at a multitude of other dining venues including Royal Caribbean’s signature Izumi Asian Cuisine, Park Café and Rita’s Cantina.

In addition, the five-story Centrum – which is the focal point of the ship – has been transformed into a spectacular new space featuring the Centrum experience, which includes the addition of the 60’s-inspired R Bar as well as a multitude of entertainment experiences including enriching daytime activities, dazzling nighttime entertainment and a new high-flying entertainment experience where aerialists glide through the vertical space of the atrium.

The ship also features a new location for the Concierge Club for suite guests, a Diamond Club for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members, a new English pub and the popular Royal Babies and Tots Nursery giving parents more opportunities to enjoy the ship’s amenities with peace of mind that their babies are being tended to by qualified care givers. Guests also will find that staying connected at sea will be easier with Wi-Fi access throughout the ship and enjoy a host of technology enhancements that include flat-panel televisions in all staterooms, an outdoor LED movie screen on the pool deck, as well as an interactive digital way-finding system. Old favorites such as the self-leveling pool tables, the adults-only Solarium and the Vitality Spa and Fitness Center can still be found onboard and are sure to delight guests of all ages.

Beginning today, Brilliance of the Seas’ Northern Europe season includes eight sailings that offer the best of the North and Baltic seas, calling at Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; Talinn, Estonia; Gothenburg, Sweden; and offering an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia. An 11-night Norwegian Fjords and Iceland itinerary, sailing July 27, will call at Bergen and Geiranger, Norway; Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland; Klaksvik, Faroe Islands; with an overnight in Reykjavik, Iceland. Brilliance of the Seas departs for Boston, Mass. on August 31 on a 15-night itinerary, calling at Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), France; Portland, Dorset, UK; Cork (Cobh) and Dublin, Ireland; Klaksvik; with an overnight at Reykjavik.

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Oceania Cruises Launches "Win Your Way" Sweepstakes

MIAMI, May 15, 2013 – Continuing the worldwide celebration of its 10th Anniversary this year, Oceania Cruises is launching a sweepstakes that will award hundreds of instant-win prizes and one grand prize of a 10-day cruise for two. To enter the “Win Your Way” Sweepstakes, entrants should visit and complete and submit the registration form. Once they have entered the grand prize drawing, contestants may play an instant-win game where they can win one of 50 Riviera ship models or one of 500 Jacques Pépin “Taste the World” recipe books.

The “Win Your Way” Sweepstakes runs from now until July 14, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EST with the grand prize winner being selected in a random drawing on or around July 16, 2013.

Oceania Cruises celebrating a decade at sea

In 2013, guests will have the opportunity to sail with company founders and top executives on four specially designated “Anniversary Sailings.” Each voyage will feature a different executive who will host an anniversary cocktail reception, celebratory caviar brunch and gala dinner with private label 10th anniversary wine served complimentary. Frank Del Rio, Joe Watters, Bob Binder, vice chairman of parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings, and Kunal S. Kamlani, Oceania Cruises president, will sail.

Oceania Cruises’ fans will find profiles of crew members who are also passing the 10-year mark with the company on the line’s Facebook page, www.facebook/OceaniaCruises. Nearly 100 crew members are reaching this milestone and fans can find a number of pictures and stories from many of their favorite officers, staff and crew.

Oceania Cruises’ past guests are also invited to share pictures and memories from sailings over the past 10 years on the company’s Guest Book on its Facebook page. The company is tweeting 10th Anniversary updates and news throughout the year at #OceaniaCruises10.

Oceania Cruises' “Win Your Way” Sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of the United States (including District of Columbia) and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are at least 18 years old at the time of entry. The winner list will be posted after winner confirmation is complete.

To make reservations or for more information, visit

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Seattle, Wash., May 15: From steel drum lessons in the Caribbean to tai chi on deck with a master in Asia, Holland America Line is bringing local culture and cuisine on board like never before through its new “On Location” program. The itinerary sets the scene for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time on board as culturally enriching as visiting the ports of call.

On each cruise, a Location Team from the region either visits the ship or sails on board and shares unique, personal insights with guests through lectures, demonstrations and performances. They provide information about local customs, the way of life, off-the-beaten-path port highlights and secrets that only a local would know.

“Our guests are global explorers, and the On Location program enables us to offer exclusive and intimate cultural experiences that become an indelible part of the overall cruise experience,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest programs for Holland America Line. “With the On Location events on board, our guests will enjoy ports of call with a deeper understanding of local customs and the unique nuances of the area.”

Through the end of the year, the On Location program will roll out across the fleet in destinations around the globe. Each region will feature specialists and experiences that are deeply connected to that part of the world such as stargazing with an astronomer in the South Pacific, learning to tango with a professional in Argentina or playing a didgeridoo in Australia. For example, guests on cruises to Hawaii might learn how to hula, make a fresh flower lei or get a ukulele lesson from a local, while cruisers on voyages to Mexico are entertained with an authentic mariachi band during a Mexican fiesta on deck.

When it comes to getting a taste of local flavor, nothing brings a culture to life more than live entertainment. From fiddlers in the Canadian Maritimes and Balinese dancers in Indonesia to the drums of Polynesia and the gauchos of Argentina, through the On Location initiatives Holland America Line will enhance its program of showcasing the finest entertainment from around the world.

On Location experiences won’t stop with the onboard enrichment and entertainment programs. Guests on each itinerary will be delighted with an array of regionally focused food and drink options before even stepping ashore. Each day Holland America chefs will create local dishes with regionally sourced items. Food lovers can indulge in a bowl of freshly steamed mussels after a cool autumn day in Canada or get adventurous in Scotland and sample haggis. Bars and lounges will feature famous local drinks like a caipirinha in Brazil, limoncello in Italy, ouzo in Greece or sake in Japan.

Holland America Line’s award-winning Culinary Arts Center will also come alive like never before as visiting chefs from along the route add local flavor to cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes. Guests can prepare the perfect salmon in Alaska, roll sushi in Asia or enhance dishes with the spices of the Caribbean. Wine lovers can pair food with the ideal bottle as experts from the vineyards in which they are produced host tastings throughout Europe, Australia and Chile.

And guests should not be surprised if they are greeted by shipboard staff with a bonjour, hola, ciao or konnichiwa rather than “hello,” depending on the region where the ship is sailing.
For more information about the On Location program, consult a professional travel seller,  visit

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Costa Cruises North America Issues 'Cruising Italian Style' Guide

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (May 15, 2013) -- Costa Cruises North America has released a "Cruising Italian Style" guide that provides a thorough overview of Costa's internationally flavored cruise product. The first printed brochure the line's North American sales and marketing office has produced in three years, the piece is intended to have an extended shelf life by omitting itinerary and pricing information usually found in cruise collateral. The 40-page "timeless" sales tool is designed for both travel agents and consumers, and defines the Costa brand via the line's unique onboard experience and itineraries, and includes deck plans and ship facts on the 14-vessel fleet.

"This beautifully illustrated booklet enables agents to familiarize their clients and prospects with the essential brand attributes of a Costa cruise," said Scott Knutson, Costa Cruises' vice president of sales and marketing. "The Costa product appeals to the desires of a variety of different vacationers, from those seeking new and exciting destinations to spa aficionados, wine lovers, foodies and those wanting to celebrate life in a fun, stylish and contemporary international setting."

The guide includes sections on the line's 65-year history and heritage, Costa's European experience and its value proposition as well as what it really means to "Cruise Italian Style." Shipboard activities and amenities are covered, as well as Costa's groundbreaking Samsara Spa and shipboard innovations such as its golf and Grand Prix simulators and 4D Cinema.

The "Where We Sail" section covers the regions where the line operates -- western and eastern Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Caribbean, Dubai and the Red Sea, the Far East and South America -- but does not give itineraries and pricing details that are subject to change.

The section on Costa's ships covers its characteristic shipboard décor and styling as well as staterooms and cabin categories, finishing with detailed ship deck plans and descriptions.

The final chapter answers frequently asked questions, and has information on the CostaClub for frequent cruisers.

To order the Costa Cruise guide, e-mail or view the e-brochure at

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MIAMI, May 14, 2013 – Today, Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced changes to its Fall 2014 itineraries for Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager. The company launched 10 new cruises with expanded itineraries that include cruises to sought-after destinations such as Tahiti and South Africa. It has been four years since a Regent ship called in South Africa and almost three years since one of its ships visited Tahiti.

“We continually speak with our guests and travel agent partners looking for feedback on our itineraries and product offerings. I recently sailed on Seven Seas Mariner and heard from several loyal guests of their desire for expanded voyages to the South Pacific and Southern Africa,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “To meet our guests’ wishes, we have shortened the 2014 Mediterranean season to feature new voyages to these exciting destinations.”

The new sailings on Seven Seas Mariner include an 18-day Los Angeles to Papeete TransPacific cruise, a 10-day round-trip Papeete voyage and a 16-night Papeete to Auckland cruise. This will be the first time in the company’s history that Seven Seas Mariner will conduct a turnaround in Tahiti.

For the Seven Seas Voyager, the company added a 30-day Dubai to Cape Town cruise where guests will enjoy breathtaking scenery, discover big game on guided safari tours, and relax on luxurious beaches. This exciting itinerary includes overnight calls in Mumbai, India; Male, Maldives; Port Victoria, Seychelles; and Cape Town, South Africa with visits to Mombasa, Kenya; Zanzibar, Tanzania; Maputo, Mozambique; and Richard’s Bay and Durban, South Africa.

The company has also created a number of Mediterranean sailings that have a similar itinerary as previously offered. Listed below are the new itineraries.

Seven Seas Mariner cruises:

· September 23, 2014: Mediterranean Jewels, Venice to Rome, 10 Nights
· October 3, 2014: Iberian Tapestries, Rome to Lisbon, 10 Nights
· October 13, 2014, Atlantic Crossings, Lisbon to Miami, 21 Nights
· November 3, 2014: Coast to Coast, Miami to Los Angeles, 16 Nights
· November 19, 2014: Pacific Ocean Wonders, Los Angeles to Papeete, 18 Nights
· December 7, 2014: Pearls of Polynesia, Papeete to Papeete, 10 Nights
· December 17, 2014: South Pacific Discovery, Papeete to Auckland, 16 Nights

Seven Seas Voyager cruises:

· October 21, 2014: Mediterranean Mystique, Rome to Istanbul, 10 Nights
· October 31, 2014: Legendary Sands, Istanbul to Dubai, 21 Nights
· November 21, 2014: Indian Ocean Odyssey, Dubai to Cape Town, 30 Nights

Seven Seas Mariner’s previously-scheduled Mediterranean cruises from September 23 to December 18, 2014 as well as Seven Seas Voyager’s October 21 to November 28, 2014 cruises have been cancelled to allow for the new cruises. Guests on the previously-scheduled sailings are being notified and assisted with re-booking their voyages. To receive a brochure or for more information on Regent Seven Seas Cruises, visit

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Crystal's New Explorer Combinations Offer Longer Vacations for Less

LOS ANGELES, May 14: For those for whom one luxury cruise just isn't enough, Crystal Cruises is offering incredible new discounts of up to 25% off the best cruise-only fares for combining select 2013 and 2014 voyages. The new Explorer Combinations promotion boasts savings of up to $12,200/person for travelers who combine two to three of the Crystal Serenity Mediterranean cruises back-to-back. Itineraries feature calls in Dubrovnik, Sicily, Montenegro, Malta, Mykonos, St-Tropez and more, with overnight stays in Venice, Monte Carlo, Lisbon, Istanbul, Barcelona and Sorrento.

"Extending one's vacation via an Explorer Combination allows one to see more of Europe, in an extremely convenient and luxurious way," says Jack Anderson, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "All-inclusive fares start from just $217 per person per day - an incredible value for a Six-Star vacation visiting so many of Europe's most storied and charming locales."

Combo options include:


-- October 17 & October 26: Istanbul to Rome (16 total days) from $3,770
-- October 26 & November 2: Venice to Lisbon (20 total days) from $4,535
-- October 17, October 26 and November 2: Istanbul to Lisbon (29 total days) from $6,320


-- May 30 & June 8: Barcelona to Venice (16 total days) from $3,975
-- June 8 & June 15: Rome to Istanbul (14 total days) from $3,640
-- May 30, June 8 and June 15: Barcelona to Istanbul (23 total days) from $5,795

All fares are per person, and must be booked by June 28, 2013. Individual cruises and Crystal Getaways offer luxury vacations starting from just five days in length in the Mediterranean, as well as the Baltic, North Cape, Western Europe, British Isles, and Black Sea. Crystal also offers 5% savings for all other back-to-back cruises.

Crystal Cruises' award-winning "World's Best" ocean resort experience always includes a host of complimentary amenities, from enlightening enrichment speakers and fitness classes to pampering pillow menus and specialty restaurant dining, featuring the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa and all-inclusive beverages and gratuities. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Princess Cruises Announces 2014-15 Americas Program

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 14, 2013) – Today Princess Cruises opened the books on its Americas program – including Caribbean, Panama Canal, Canada & New England and West Coast cruises. The new sailings include Regal Princess’ debut in the Caribbean as well as Royal Princess’ first cruises to Canada & New England roundtrip from New York. On the West Coast, new roundtrip sailings from Vancouver add another departure port for Hawaii and California Coastal cruises, and Crown Princess, the line’s newest ship on the West Coast, will offer its first full season sailing from Los Angeles.

In total, 11 ships will sail on 355 departures of 46 itineraries to more than 70 destinations. In the Caribbean, passengers can choose idyllic vacations from three to 28 days, with roundtrips from Ft. Lauderdale and Houston. West Coast cruises sail from Los Angeles, San Francisco and now Vancouver to Hawaii, Mexico, the South Pacific, and along the California coast. For the first time Royal Princess will take passengers to Canada & New England, becoming the line’s largest ship sailing on these fall foliage cruises, joining Ruby Princess, also new to cruising the Eastern Seaboard. And Princess will continue to lead the way in Panama Canal cruising aboard favorite ships Coral Princess and Island Princess.

“Whether travelers have just three days or are ready for a 28-day adventure, they can enjoy the Princess cruise experience from a variety of close-to-home departure ports,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “These North America cruises offer great opportunities to enjoy our newest ships along with some amazing destinations.”

Princess Cruises’ 2014-15 Americas program includes:

Caribbean – Five ships will be sailing the balmy waters of the Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale including, for the first time, the new Regal Princess offering the line’s popular seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises. Sister ship Royal Princess will sail on 10-day Caribbean itineraries for the first time, on both Eastern Caribbean Voyager and Southern Caribbean Medley routes, which can be combined for a 20-day sojourn among the islands. In addition, Ruby Princess will offer a season of seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean departures that can be combined into a 14-day vacation. Emerald Princess will sail on seven-day Western Caribbean voyages from Houston. Those looking for a shorter vacation option can choose from four- and five-day getaway voyages on Caribbean Princess to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. In total, passengers can choose from 204 departures on 16 itineraries to 24 tropical destinations.

West Coast Sailings – Four ships will take passengers along the West Coast and to destinations such as Hawaii and Mexico from three homeports – Los Angeles, San Francisco and now Vancouver. Grand Princess will debut two new roundtrip Vancouver itineraries offered both in the fall and spring, sailing to either the tropical paradise of the Hawaiian Islands, or along the California Coast – including an overnight stay in San Francisco. For the remainder of the season, Grand Princess will be based in Los Angeles sailing on 15-day Hawaii cruises. Crown Princess, Princess’ newest and most innovative ship on the West Coast, will also sail from Los Angeles for a season of voyages along the California coast, to Mexico, and on Princess’ popular 28-day Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa adventure. In addition, the ship will offer a series of three- and four-day Getaway sailings. Golden Princess will also offer the shorter Getaway sailings from Los Angeles during the fall. Star Princess will be based in San Francisco, sailing to Hawaii, Mexico and the California coast. In total, Princess will offer a total of 104 cruise options from West Coast ports.

Canada & New England – Royal Princess becomes Princess’ largest ship ever to sail Canada & New England when it offers these cruises for the first time in fall 2014. With four departures from New York in September and October, the ship will take passengers on a seven-day itinerary to the New England ports of Boston, Bar Harbor and Newport and the Atlantic Canadian ports of Halifax and Saint John. For more time enjoying the fall foliage, Ruby Princess also sails for the first time to Canada & New England on the line’s popular 10-day Classic Canada & England itinerary featuring an overnight in spectacular Quebec City, and a new port of Gaspé, Quebec – an off-the-beaten path destination featuring a charming seaside village known for the picturesque Percé Rock. The ship will also offer a 12-day Colonial America & Canada itinerary between Quebec and Ft. Lauderdale. Passengers can choose to enhance their cruise vacation with cruisetour options featuring Colonial America sites or fascinating Canadian cities like Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.

Panama Canal – Coral Princess and Island Princess will once again lead the way in Panama Canal cruising with full seasons sailing through this wonder of engineering. Passengers can choose either a 11-day roundtrip itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale or a longer journey between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles or Vancouver for the full-transit Panama Canal experience. Between them the two ships will feature 36 departures, to 21 destinations in the Caribbean, Central America and along the Pacific Coast.

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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Windstar Cruises Introduces New Yacht and Voyage Collection

Seattle, May 14, 2013 – Windstar Cruises, a leader in yacht-style cruising, announces the debut of its new all-suite yacht, Star Pride, and the 2014 Pride Voyage Collection. The new voyages open for sale today, and feature four new itineraries exclusive to the all-suite yacht, including Windstar's new itinerary through the Black Sea. Star Pride’s nine distinctive voyages highlight small-ship ports throughout the Mediterranean seas and French Riviera, tucking into tiny harbors and hidden coves that others can’t reach. The collection features voyages from May 5 to October 21, 2014.

“We are thrilled to welcome Star Pride to our fleet in Spring 2014, enabling Windstar to cruise a global set of itineraries to new destinations including our new Black Sea Tapestry voyage,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “With a maximum of 212 guests on board, Star Pride delivers our promise of the private yacht experience in a casually elegant setting, all while exploring some of the world’s most legendary destinations and hidden harbors.”

The four exclusive Star Pride 2014 European voyages include:

Black Sea Tapestry

For the first time, Windstar offers the enigmatic, once hidden, wonders of Europe's Black Sea in signature Windstar yachting style. This seven-day, roundtrip voyage from Istanbul, Turkey departs June 13, 20; and September 8, 2014, and visits five new ports including Yalta, Sevastopol, and Odessa, Ukraine; Constanta (Bucharest), Romania; and Nessebar, Bulgaria. Highlights include: Istanbul’s elegant Blue Mosque; Swallow’s Nest Castle in Yalta; the intriguing Potemkin Steps in Odessa; Sevastopol’s beautiful beaches; and medieval Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its impressive collection of historic churches.

Pride of the Aegean

Explore the breadth of the Aegean Sea, from the southernmost azure tip of Crete to the soaring spires of Istanbul, in one comprehensive nine-day sailing departing from Athens, Greece or Istanbul, Turkey on June 4, and 27; August 30; September 15 and 24; and October 3, 12, and 21, 2014. Star Pride visits Monemvasia, Chania, Santorini, and Rhodes, Greece; and Bodrum, Kusadasi, and Cesme, Turkey. Highlights include: Chania’s beautiful Venetian mansions and churches; the whitewashed buildings and blue domes of Santorini; the ancient Acropolis of Lindos in Rhodes; Cesme’s 14th century Genoese castle, as well as the marble, myths, and magic of Athens and Istanbul’s world-famous Grand Bazaar.

Riviera Enchantment

Discover the glamour, the enchantment, the excitement, and the exquisite élan of the world's most famous yachting playgrounds on this seven-day voyage roundtrip from Rome, Italy departing May 21; and August 6, 2014. Rome sets the stage for this exciting cruise which visits some of the world’s most glamorous ports along the French Riviera including Cannes, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Portoferraio, Portofino, and Portovenere, Italy. For an added thrill, guests sailing on the May 21 departure can add Windstar’s Grand Prix Cruise Package and experience the perfect combination of luxury cruising and Formula One racing.

Venetian Passageways

Uncover the wonders of Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic, as Windstar overnights in this magical city on this nine-day voyage along the ancient trade routes through the narrow Corinth Canal, to the ancient oracle of Delphi, and into the majestic fjords of Montenegro. Star Pride departs July 6; and August 21, 2014 from Athens, Greece or Venice, Italy visiting Hydra, Corinth Canal, Delphi/Itea, and Zakynthos, Greece; Butrint, Albania; Kotor, Montenegro; and Dubrovnik and Hvar, Croatia.

Also new for 2014, is Windstar’s Sicilian Splendors voyage. Sail around the Isle of Sicily and discover wonders from the ruins of Pompeii and Capri’s Blue Grotto to Baroque marvels and the breathtaking beauty of the Amalfi Coast with this 10-day sailing roundtrip from Rome, Italy departing May 11, 2014. This new 2014 voyage visits five new ports including Catania, Porto Empedocle, and Trapani, Italy; and Valletta and Gozo, Malta; as well as Lipari (Sicily), Sorrento, and Capri, Italy, and also spends one romantic night at sea. Highlights include: the ancient city of Syracuse in Catania; historic tapestries and armor in Valletta’s Palazzo Parisio; and some of the world’s best-preserved Greek ruins at the Valley of the Temples in Porto Empedocle.

In addition, Star Pride will offer many Windstar favorites including:

· Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast: Discover the magic of Venice, the grandeur of Rome and the captivating island of Capri before cruising the privileged waters of the Ionian Sea with visits to the breathtaking fjords of Montenegro and the sundrenched shores of Croatia on this eight-day cruise departing from Rome or Venice on July 15 and August 13, 2014.

· Glitter & Glam of the Rivieras: From the sparkling cities of Marseille and Portofino to the chic style of Monaco and Cannes, Star Pride explores the legendary ports of the world’s most privileged yachts on this seven-day voyage departing from Rome or Barcelona on July 23 and 30, 2014.

· Enchanting Greece & the Amalfi Coast: This seven-day cruise departing May 28, 2014, explores the idyllic islands, charming cobbled villages, spectacular scenery, and intriguing history of the heart of the Mediterranean.

Star Pride, with a guest capacity of 212 in 106 suites, will undergo several upgrades and changes in styling and décor to align with Windstar’s brand. Star Pride will showcase many signature Windstar experiences, including the line’s famous Sail Away party, Yacht Deck Barbecue gala and Open Bridge policy.

For more information about these new itineraries, hotel and land packages, and to book, contact a travel professional, call Windstar at 800-258-7245 or visit

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Seattle, Wash., May 13, 2013 — Holland America Line is rebranding its popular Alaska CruiseTour program with the new name Land+Sea Journeys. This change reflects substantial program updates designed to appeal to the desires of today’s travelers. With more time in the marquee destinations and less overland travel time, Holland America Line guests will have more opportunities than ever to explore and personalize their Great Land vacations.

Land+Sea Journeys offer the benefit of combining the “must-see” of Denali National Park with the “seldom seen” wonders of the Yukon, including one- or two-night stays in the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush Country. Holland America Line will employ a refreshed approach to add to guests’ leisure time so they can further engage in their own personal discoveries and experience more highlights en route.

Perhaps the most significant program enhancement for 2014 is a convenient one-hour flight that brings Fairbanks, Alaska, and Dawson City, Yukon closer together — replacing up to two days of motorcoach travel and a hotel overnight. Other notable elements include a new McKinley Explorer dome rail schedule between Anchorage and Denali that departs later in the morning northbound to Denali and arrives before dinnertime nearly three hours earlier heading southbound to Anchorage.

Between Denali and Fairbanks, luxury motorcoaches will provide swifter service that maximizes the guest experience in both destinations. At Westmark Fairbanks, Anchorage and Skagway, Holland America Line has begun substantial renovations that will include extensive room updates, soft goods, hotel decor and some expansion in the Skagway property.

“The name Land+Sea Journeys clearly communicates what these tours are all about, which is combining a premium Holland America Line Alaska cruise with an equally exceptional overland adventure,” said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line’s executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest programs. “Land+Sea Journeys feature what we do best in Alaska and the Yukon and guests get the most in-depth experiences and maximum time in beautiful and unique destinations.”

In 2014, the Land+Sea Journeys run May through September and are simplified with just 12 options ranging in total length from 10 to 20 days in two distinct series: Yukon+Denali Land+Sea Journeys and Denali Land+Sea Journeys. All Land+Sea Journeys combine a three- to seven-night Holland America Line cruise with an overland adventure that includes a one-, two- or three-night stay at Denali National Park as a centerpiece of the Alaska experience.

Each Land+Sea Journey goes off the beaten path and showcases places such as Dawson City in the heart of gold rush country, charming Seward, the five-star Alyeska Resort, pristine Kluane and Tombstone Parks, colorful Skagway and the historic narrow-gauge White Pass and Yukon Route railroad.

The five Land+Sea Journeys in the Yukon+Denali series range in length from 10 to 20 days and travel roundtrip Vancouver, British Columbia, or between Vancouver and Anchorage, Alaska. During these journeys, guests will enjoy scenic cruising throughout the Inside Passage and/or Glacier Bay before calling at Ketchikan, Juneau, Haines or Skagway. In addition to Denali National Park, the overland portion includes Whitehorse, Fairbanks and Dawson.

The seven Denali series journeys range in length from 11 to 14 days and travel between Vancouver and Fairbanks or Anchorage. Included is Glacier Bay scenic cruising where guests can explore the ice-studded fjords of this national treasure for a full eight hours as a U.S. Park Service ranger narrates. Ports of call on the cruise portion include Haines or Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan.

On all Triple and Double Denali Journeys and Denali Journeys in both series, the guided six- to eight-hour Tundra Wilderness tour is included as a comprehensive overview of Denali National Park with its abundance of wildlife and the opportunity to see Mount McKinley, the highest mountain peak in North America. For adventure-seekers, there also are plenty of optional excursions to go hiking, rafting, flightseeing and fishing.

In 2014, ms Oosterdam will bring more verandah stateroom availability for Land+Sea Journeys that include a seven-day premium cruise element. Land+Sea Journeys also feature luxurious glass-domed McKinley Explorer railcars with comfortable, forward-facing seats and expert commentary by guides on the trip between Denali and Anchorage.

Unique to the Holland America Line cruise experience, Alaska-inspired cuisine is featured throughout both cruise and land components. Additionally, knowledgeable interpreters, Journey Hosts and Alaska travel guides enhance the guest experience on many Land+Sea Journeys and Alaska sailings.

Pricing for Land+Sea Journeys begins at $999 per person for an 11-day itinerary. For more information about the new Land+Sea Journeys program and Holland America Line, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit A new Land+Sea Journeys brochure and planner tool will be available on the website at the end of May to help travelers explore all the options for their Alaska vacation.

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Icy Strait Point welcomes Alaska cruise visitors with new tour & Huna Tlingit hospitality
for 10th season

Icy Strait Point, an Alaska Native cruise ship destination near Hoonah, Alaska, welcomed the first cruise ship of the 2013 season last week. As if on cue four humpbacks began bubble net feeding about 50 feet off shore as the first tender full of passengers arrived.

This summer approximately 135,000 travelers will step onto shore at Icy Strait Point near Hoonah, Alaska’s largest Tlingit village. Each one will notice that there’s something different about this port of call — from the locally run gift shops featuring regional artists to the restaurants serving up locally inspired dishes.

Case in point is Icy Strait Point’s newest excursion, the Ancient Oceans and Newborn Forests Walking Tour.

Just one of 23 cultural and adventure excursions offered at Icy Strait Point, the walking tour is led by one of Hoonah’s most respected scientific observers and brings the history of Chichagof Island and the survival of the Huna Tligit people to life for visitors.

For 1.5 hours, guests walk the rocky beach and meander into the dense temperate rain forest, while their guide shares the stories unfolding around them. Those stories range from how traditional food sources are harvested by locals to how area plants are used for medicinal purposes to the telltale signs used for spotting wildlife.

“This is truly a local’s way of looking at the land that we’re sharing with guests,” said Icy Strait Point Vice President of Operations Tyler Hickman.

Since its inception in 2004, Icy Strait Point has been on a mission to share the Huna Tlingit culture with its guests. An understanding of the area and its people’s relationship with the land is one of the most important lessons a visitor can take away.

With 90 percent of employees coming from Hoonah, Icy Strait Point guides naturally share the story of their home and way of life with guests, often through personal anecdotes or family history.

“There’s a sense of pride in sharing our lives with visitors,” Hickman said. “Whether guests go whale watching with us or take a ride on our mile-long zip line, we want to make sure visitors have a real sense of this place and of Alaska when they leave.”

Opened in 2004, Icy Strait Point is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Huna Totem Corporation, the village corporation owned by approximately 1,350 Alaska Natives with aboriginal ties to Hoonah and the Glacier Bay area. Located 50 miles west of Juneau and 22 miles south of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Icy Strait Point is the only privately owned cruise ship destination in Southeast Alaska. The former Hoonah Packing Co. Cannery building complex was restored to house the destination’s museum, gift shops, restaurants and theater. For more information on visitor activities, please visit

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (May 13, 2013) - This summer, MSC Armonia will be delving into the mind of the Mediterranean, uncovering ancient and architectural treasures on a stimulating tour of philosophical thought and the birthplace of western civilization.

From June 7 through November 1, 2013, MSC Armonia will be sailing from Venice, Italy for a series of 8-day/7-night cultural and historical cruises around the eastern Mediterranean calling in Ancona in Italy, Dubrovnik in Croatia, Corfu, Gythion and Kefalonia in Greece and Kotor in Montenegro.

As a complement to the many historical and cultural day trips on offer, MSC Cruises has just added a new shore excursion: an unforgettable day trip from Dubrovnik to the beautiful, small town of Medjugorje in Bosnia. Medjugorje acquired global popularity as a religious pilgrimage site in 1981 after news broke that the Virgin Mary had appeared to six local Catholics. Today, it is recognized by many as one of Europe’s holiest places given its history of reported religious apparitions. More than a million believers make pilgrimages each year to this renowned site. Designed to include an extra-long call in Dubrovnik each Sunday, MSC Armonia’s updated itinerary gives travelers the chance to visit Medjugorje and spend a day in spiritual reflection, while exploring the history of this intriguing site.

On a panoramic drive along the lovely Adriatic coastline, travelers enjoying this unique day trip can explore Medjugorje’s key attractions, including St. James’ Church, the statue of St. Leopold, and various impressive bronze plaques illustrating the mysteries of the rosary adorning the stony path up to Apparition Hill. Travelers can visit with an informative guide or take time to reflect and appreciate the mystical atmosphere of such an extraordinary place.

Other highlights of MSC Armonia’s rich itinerary include the trove of historical treasures that is ancient Ancona, the spectacular natural beauty of the island of song Corfu and the unspoiled fishing village of Gythion, the perfect gateway from which to discover the town of Sparta and venture into the very heart of Greek identity. Travelers will also be enthralled by the setting of Louis de Bernière’s best-selling novel ‘Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Kefalonia, the stunning old Mediterranean port and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kotor, and the romance and architectural splendours of Venice.

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Carnival Splendor's Year-Round Schedule Expanded to Include
Widest Variety of Itinerary Choices from New York

MIAMI (May 13, 2013) – Beginning in 2014, Carnival Cruise Lines has significantly diversified Carnival Splendor’s year-round offerings from New York, adding new four- and five- day Canada cruises, seven-day Canada/New England departures, and the only program of eight-day eastern Caribbean voyages operating one-way between New York and San Juan.

These new voyages complement the ship’s popular year-round eight-day departures that showcase top destinations in the Caribbean, The Bahamas, and Central Florida.

In total, Carnival Splendor will offer 10 different itineraries visiting more than a dozen scenic destinations throughout the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S. Atlantic Coast, providing consumers with an incredible array of “Fun Ship” vacation choices.

“New York is a favorite homeport of Carnival guests and we’re delighted to expand our offerings from the Big Apple to include a diverse array of itineraries, from historic and charming cities in Canada and New England to a host of tropical island destinations throughout the Caribbean,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “At the same time, we’re also pleased to offer these special one-way cruises between New York and San Juan which provide our guests with an even greater variety of exciting destinations from which to choose,” he added.

Four- to Seven-Day Canada/New England Cruises from New York

Carnival Splendor will operate a schedule of four-, five- and seven-day Canada/New England cruises running from June to October 2014.

Four-day weekend cruises depart June 5, July 3 and 31, and Aug. 28, 2014, calling at Saint John, New Brunswick, while five-day cruises depart Sept. 1 and Oct. 11, 2014, calling at both Saint John and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Five week-long “fall foliage” Canada/New England cruises will also be offered, featuring extended stops at Boston, Portland, Maine; Saint John and Halifax. Departure days for the seven-day voyages include Sept. 6, 13, 20, and 27 and Oct. 4, 2014.

These attractive Canada/New England voyages provide guests the opportunity to view centuries-old architectural structures, explore awe-inspiring natural wonders, and visit interesting historical landmarks.

Unique One-Way Cruises Between New York and San Juan

For the first time, Carnival Splendor will offer a series of one-way voyages between New York and San Juan. The eight-day itineraries will operate from New York to San Juan or vice versa, with stops at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua, and St. Maarten. Three New York-to-San Juan cruises will depart Oct. 24, 2014, and Jan. 12 and Feb. 13, 2015, while three San Juan-to-New York voyages will depart Nov. 1, 2014, and Jan. 20 and Feb. 21, 2015.

On these one-of-a-kind voyages, guests can visit some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and participate in a wide range of activities, from snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking to zip-lining across the lush Caribbean countryside.

Eight-day Voyages Round-Trip from New York

These new options complement Carnival Splendor’s wide array of eight-day cruises round-trip from New York offered throughout the year. These include a Bahamas/Florida itinerary calling at Port Canaveral, Fla.; and Freeport and Nassau, The Bahamas, along with two different eastern Caribbean routes, one featuring San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk, and another visiting Grand Turk, Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.

In addition to outstanding beaches, guests sailing on these cruises can experience unique dining, shopping and cultural opportunities and tour a variety of historic landmarks and attractions.

The 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor offers a variety of on-board features and facilities, highlighted by a two-level 21,000-square-foot Cloud 9 Spa, along with four swimming pools, a cascading water slide and free, supervised programming and facilities catering to kids in three age groups. Dining options include two two-level main dining rooms, a classic American steakhouse and an expansive poolside restaurant offering a variety of international cuisines and a 24-hour pizzeria.

Carnival Splendor also offers a wide range of accommodation choices, including spectacular suites and Cloud 9 Spa staterooms, with more than 60 percent of all staterooms offering either an ocean view or private balcony. There are even inter-connecting staterooms that are perfect for families or guests travelling together.

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MIAMI, May 13, 2013 – Offering the most ships and sailings from Sydney seasonally,Royal Caribbean International today announced the cruise line’s winter 2014-15 Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific season, with three extensively revitalized ships that offer the widest range of onboard dining options, breathtaking entertainment and exclusive amenities that deliver the most contemporary vacation experience in the region. From Sydney, families and adventurous vacationers can choose among Voyager of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas on two- to 17-night itineraries throughout Australia and the South Pacific for adventures Down Under that can only be found on Royal Caribbean. For a webisode about Royal Caribbean’s Australia vacation experience, please see Royal Caribbean’s winter 2014-15 Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises are now open for sale.

Royal Caribbean guests will revel in the cruise line’s award-winning family programming, from the Royal Babies & Tots Nursery for six- to 36-month olds, to the complimentary Adventure Ocean kids’ and teen programs led by college-accredited counselors. Additionally, young and young-at-heart guestsaboard Voyager of the Seas can join in the DreamWorks Experience – only on Royal Caribbean – exclusively featuring themed parades, activities, and plenty of photo opportunities with Po the Kung Fu Panda, Shrek and Fiona, and other lovable DreamWorks Animation characters. With a range of signature Royal Caribbean onboard amenities from which to choose, siblings can take friendly rivalry to new heights atop the rock-climbing wall; play a game of pool on Radiance of the Seas’ self-leveling tables; or go for a spin on a real ice-skating rink on Voyager of the Seas.

Guests will enjoy a range of new and modern amenities as part of Royal Caribbean’s fleetwide revitalization. Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas already has received their upgrades and Voyager of the Seas will receive yet-to-be-announced, ship-wide enhancements before its 2014-15 Australia season. On the dining front, foodies have a range of up to 10 signature Royal Caribbean restaurants aboard Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas, including the Chef’s Table, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Chops Grille Chicago-style steakhouse, Giovanni’s Table Italian trattoria, Park Café gourmet deli, and more.

By day, guests can take in a rejuvenating session in the Vitality Spa; enjoy the new oversized movie screen as they relax by the main pool; surf the Internet through the bow-to-stern Wi-Fi system; and see what’s going on throughout the ship at any time on the new Digital Signage. Royal Caribbean’s loyal Crown & Anchor Society members and suite guests also can enjoy the exclusive Diamond Club and Concierge Club lounges, respectively. Throughout, every staff and crew stand ready to deliver Royal Caribbean’s world-renowned friendly and engaging GOLD Anchor Service.

At night, the main theater features Royal Caribbean’s award-winning Broadway-style entertainment, a variety of lounges in which to dance into the night, and Vegas-style action in the Casino Royale. Rhapsody of the Seas also features the cruise line’s latest aerial-acrobatic production in the five-deck high Centrum atrium. In one moment of surprise and delight, angels float down in sparkling chandeliers to pour champagne into glasses of guests observing from the new retro-chic R Bar below.

At ports of call, Royal Caribbean offers a wide range of shore excursion options that help families create fond memories on an Australia shore excursion. Whether it’s ascending the arch of Sydney Harbour Bridge to catch an panoramic view from 440 feet in the air; swimming among the rich sea life in the Great Barrier Reef – named one of the world’s seven natural wonders; or zipping across the Noumea bays in a Zodiac boat for a relaxing New Caledonia beach day on Duck Island, guests have peace of mind that the guides and tour operators are reputable, experienced and insured.

Vacationers also can choose a grand Australia adventure and combine a sailing aboard Voyager of the Seas or Radiance of the Seas with a four- or five-night land tour to the continent’s must-see, in-land attractions on a Royal Caribbean Australia Cruisetour. On these fully escorted cruisetours, guests will see Australia’s indigenous wildlife, such as koalas, kangaroos and saltwater crocodiles, as well as have a more immersive experience while exploring the Outer Barrier Reef, Kuranda’s Rainforestation Nature Park, Ayers Rock, and capital-city Sydney. Throughout, guests can enjoy their adventure while Royal Caribbean plans and arranges all the transportation, hotels and select dining experiences.

Among its seven- to 17-night cruises, Radiance of the Seas will offer two pairs of circumnavigation cruises, comprising a 16-night northern coast sailing from Sydney to Fremantle, and a 17-night southerly return sailing to Sydney via New Zealand. One pair of circumnavigation cruises departs Oct. 20, 2014 and the other on Feb. 26, 2015.

Rhapsody of the Seas also will sail four Queensland cruises throughout the season. These 11-night itineraries focus on taking guests to the compelling destinations of Australia’s northeast coast, including an overnight at Cairns and a call at Airlie Beach for plenty of time to explore the Great Barrier Reef.

At the beginning and the conclusion of the Australia season, vacationers also have a variety of sailings that brings each ship to their homeport of Sydney. Voyager of the Seas will sail a 13-night itinerary from Singapore to Sydney on Nov. 25, 2014 via the Coral Sea. The ship departs Sydney on Mar. 16, 2015 to the Far East via a 16-night southerly route to Fremantle, before continuing onward to Singapore on Apr. 1.

For their parts, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas also will each offer a pair of trans-Pacific cruises from Vancouver, Canada, to Sydney via Hawaii. Rhapsody of the Seas will depart for Hawaii and the South Pacific on Sept. 5, 2014 and Radiance of the Seas will sail one week later on Sept. 12. The two ships will return to Vancouver at the end of the season, with Rhapsody of the Seas departing Sydney on Apr. 17, 2015 and Radiance of the Seas on Apr. 19.

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Banana Coast Cruise Port Signs First Cruise Line for Multiple Calls

MIAMI (May 13, 2013) -- Banana Coast has signed Holland America Line as the first cruise line to schedule regular calls at the first mainland Honduras cruise port at Trujillo. Holland America Line's 1,260-passenger Ryndam is slated to call at Banana Coast 11 times between 2014 and 2015 on its western Caribbean itineraries. The ship's Nov. 19, 2014, call is Banana Coast's first scheduled visit by a cruise ship, followed by the Dec. 17, 2014, call from Silversea Cruises' Silver Cloud.

Themed "Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea," the $30 million Banana Coast project is the newest cruise destination in the western Caribbean. Construction on the passenger-reception and shopping center was completed in February and a full slate of shore excursions has been designed. Future plans call for construction of a two-berth, post-Panamax pier.

"Having a premium cruise line like Holland America Line recognize the exciting opportunities of regularly calling at Banana Coast is a testament to the work we've put into making the port the hottest new destination in the Caribbean," said Randy Jorgensen, general manager of Grande Trujillo Authoridad, which owns the port. "Banana Coast has so much to offer and we look forward to welcoming Holland America Line guests to our beautiful shores."

In March 2012 Banana Coast developers unveiled a diverse shore excursion program designed to offer something for everyone, including cultural, historical, soft-adventure and eco-tour offerings.

"Banana Coast is a fresh, exciting destination with limitless potential, tucked inside the calm, protected waters of the Bay of Trujillo," said Simon Douwes, director of deployment and itinerary planning at Holland America Line. "The innovative and diverse portfolio of shore excursions will surely appeal to all interests, and those seeking rest and relaxation will find it on one of Banana Coast's beautiful beaches."

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American Queen Steamboat Company Completes Technology Upgrade

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 10, 2013 – Guests keeping up on the latest headlines via tablet or documenting their American Queen voyage to friends on Facebook are now assured of a stronger and more stable internet experience onboard the world’s largest riverboat. The American Queen Steamboat Company recently installed a new satellite ball instantly improving internet speeds throughout the vessel. Additionally, in-room entertainment options have been added with new television channels and a 24-hour movie channel.

“Staying connected to friends, family and business is a priority,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “We recognize how important this is for our guests and that is why we made an investment in this upgrade.”

Remaining complimentary for guests onboard, the Wi-Fi upgrade is the latest in a series of upgrades to the 436-passenger riverboat, as she continues her second season on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers. During her winter layup this past January, many improvements were made to the American Queen including a an elegant marble and granite entryway to the J.M. White Dining Room, the addition of the Front Porch Café for an alternative dining option, mahogany plantation shutters to all stateroom French doors, works of art by American marine artist Michael Blaser and wallpaper and carpeting throughout the riverboat.

To order a brochure, request additional information and make reservations, contact the American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online at

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NEW YORK – May 9, 2013 – Norwegian Cruise Line continued its legacy of innovating cruise ship entertainment as it announced that the seven-time Tony Award nominated musical LEGALLY BLONDE will be featured on Norwegian Getaway, along with an additional Broadway show: the dance sensation BURN THE FLOOR and an all-new stand-up comedy program in partnership with Levity Entertainment Group, the largest producer of comedians in the world. The line also introduced all of the varied and exciting entertainment acts and venues that will debut on the ship, including Howl at the Moon at Headliners Comedy Club. These exciting entertainment experiences are in addition to Norwegian Getaway’s Illusionarium and Grammy Experience, as previously announced.

“Norwegian has truly raised the bar when it comes to entertainment at sea and that is why it was extremely important to me that Norwegian Getaway feature high caliber entertainment that will continue to exceed our guest’s expectations,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “With LEGALLY BLONDE performing in the Getaway Theater, along with BURN THE FLOOR, world-class comedy by THE LEVITY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, magic in the previously announced ILLUSIONARIUM, THE GRAMMY EXPERIENCE, and all of the other entertainment offerings, we continue our commitment on Norwegian Getaway to offer guests the best entertainment experience possible.”

Headlining the 787-seat Getaway Theater is the seven-time Tony Award nominated Broadway musical, LEGALLY BLONDE. Liverpool Confidential has called the show, “Kind-hearted, comical and camp, Legally Blonde – The Musical is right up there with Mamma Mia! and Hairspray.”

LEGALLY BLONDE tells the story of Elle Woods who, after being dumped by her boyfriend, follows him to Harvard Law School to win him back. With the help of some new-found friends, she learns that it’s so much better to be smart.

The show opened on Broadway at the Palace Theater on April 29, 2007 and closed in 2008 after playing 595 performances. The show was also one of London’s most popular West End shows, where it played at the Savoy Theatre and won three Laurence Olivier Awards, including one for “Best New Musical.”

In addition to being a bona fide Broadway hit musical, LEGALLY BLONDE is a global success and is currently touring in Australia.


Offering shows in both the Getaway Theater and more intimate performances, dance sensation BURN THE FLOOR will dazzle guests with their re-invented ballroom dancing.

Beginning with, and maintaining all the wonderful traditions and the social history of the Ballroom dance art form, BURN THE FLOOR is a groundbreaking show, serving as a melting pot of styles, energy and excitement for today’s generation of dancers. It is Ballroom “supercharged.”

During the course of the show, the dancers perform all the Ballroom and Latin styles, including The Waltz, Cha Cha, Samba, Salsa, Rumba, Foxtrot, Quickstep,

Mambo, Tango, Swing, Jive, Lindy Hop, Viennese Waltz, and Paso Doble. The music is eclectic, from Swing and Waltz classics to J-Lo and Credence Clearwater. Two vocalists perform in many languages during the show, including English, Spanish and Portuguese.

The show premiered in London in 1999 and toured the US for the first time in 2000, including performances at Radio City Music Hall. After touring around the world, in a variety of countries, including Japan, Singapore and Australia, BURN THE FLOOR premiered on Broadway in 2009. Originally intended to be a limited run, the show opened to rave reviews in New York and extended its original run into January 2010, performing 193 shows. Already staged in more than 300 cities globally, BURN THE FLOOR is currently in the midst of its World Tour of the Broadway Production with dates in Holland, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan, and will return to the US later this year before joining Norwegian Getaway in 2014.

Norwegian Getaway will feature multiple, specially-designed entertainment venues throughout the ship so that guests can choose from a wide variety of entertainment each evening of their cruise with choices to appeal to a broad audience.


Headliners Comedy Club on Norwegian Getaway will feature top-tier comedians presented through the line’s new partnership with Levity Entertainment Group, the world’s largest producer of live comedy. Levity employs over 300 artists nationwide each week, creating special events, original tours, and television specials with some of the biggest names in comedy, including Daniel Tosh, Amy Shumer, B ill Cosby, Gabriel Iglesias and Jeff Dunham, who is currently the most successful touring comedian worldwide. Levity packages and produces best-in-class talent for all live experiences, including premium comedy clubs, international comedy festivals, corporate events and large-scale arena and stadium shows. Levity will bring a new level of comedy entertainment on board Norwegian Getaway, offering 12 shows per week.

The world’s greatest rock n’ roll dueling piano show, Howl at the Moon, which received rave reviews on Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Breakaway, will also be featured in Headliners on board Norwegian Getaway. This total entertainment experience features talented piano players who not only entertain the guests; they make the guests part of the show. The fun is centered around two baby grand pianos and a full out rock show with Howl’s entertainers playing the best music from 70’s rock to hip-hop for four hours per show. Howl at the Moon, with multiple locations across the United States, encourages people to channel their inner rock star, so guests should get ready to clap, sing, dance and howl.

Currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Getaway will be 146,600 gross tons and offer a wide range of accommodations. The ship represents an opportunity for the Norwegian guest to “get away” from the routine of work, school, and daily stress, and find a true respite at sea that reflects the energy and culture that Miami is known for worldwide.

To date, the company has revealed the ship’s groundbreaking design, including The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place; a wide range of indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that create a whole new complex at sea and enhances guests’ connection with the ocean. Celebrity Chef and Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian will also open three dining concepts on Norwegian Getaway: Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian; Ocean Blue on the Waterfront and The Raw Bar, that were recently launched on Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway’s New York -based sister ship. Norwegian Getaway will also be the first to have the GRAMMY® Experience at sea which will feature artifacts chosen and curated by the GRAMMY Museum® along with live performances by past GRAMMY winners and nominees, among others. The ship will also feature an all-new dining and entertainment experience, The Illusionarium. A first of its kind at sea, The Illusionarium will envelop guests in the fascinating world of magic, inviting them to experience the astonishing illusions of world-class magicians and supernatural special effects. In addition, every Norwegian Getaway sailing will feature a dazzling fireworks show in Spice H20.

The 4,000 passenger ship will also feature a rich mix of stateroom options, including The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 Suites at the top of the ship in an exclusive, private key-card enclave and 22 additional Suites located throughout the ship; the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; a wide range of Oceanview staterooms, Balcony and Mini-Suites; along with Spa Balcony, Mini-Suites
and Suites in close proximity to the spa. Norwegian Getaway’s sister ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will begin sailing from her year-round home port of New York City in May 2013.

Norwegian Getaway will sail seven-day cruises from Miami to the Eastern Caribbean beginning on February 1, 2014, with ports of call including Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. Information on Norwegian Getaway’s accommodations and itinerary can be found at

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NEW YORK – May 8, 2013 – Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, was christened by the legendary Rockettes® during a ceremony officiated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Buddy Valastro, star of the TLC series “Cake Boss,” hosted the highly anticipated ceremony.

Throughout the christening ceremony, which was simulcast in ten venues thoughout the ship, Norwegian Breakaway’s spectactular onboard amenities and entertainment were showcased in front of more than 4,000 guests. From live performances by Slam Allen, Howl at the Moon, Cirque Dreams & Dinner Jungle Fantasy, along with Burn the Floor and a show stomping finale featuring Rock of Ages, Norwegian Breakaway, the largest ship ever to homeport in Manhattan, kicked off its arrival to New York City in style.

“New York’s ship is home where she belongs,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We’ve been anticipating this moment for more than two years and are so thrilled to finally have Norwegian Breakaway amongst New York City’s greatest icons. We thank the City of New York for the warm welcome and are looking forward to a very successful inaugural season.”

Boasting hull artwork designed by pop icon and America’s most popular living artist, Peter Max, Norwegian Breakaway was designed as New York’s ship inside and out. On board, guests will enjoy the high-caliber dining and entertainment options that New York City is known for worldwide, including three new restaurants by Food Network star and acclaimed New York chef Geoffrey Zakarian. The ship’s groundbreaking design also includes an open-air boardwalk called The Waterfront, the largest aqua park at sea, with five waterslides, and a wide array of accommodations including 60 suites in The Haven, innovative studios for solo travelers, ocean view staterooms, balcony and mini-suite staterooms for families.

Norwegian Breakaway will begin her weekly seven-day cruises to Bermuda, throughout the summer, on Sunday, May 12 with a special guest onboard, Kevin Sheehan, the line’s Chief Executive Officer. From October through April, Norwegian Breakaway will offer seven-day voyages from the heart of Manhattan to the Bahamas and Florida, as well as two 12-day sailings to the Southern Caribbean.

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Carnival Triumph To Depart Mobile For Freeport Dry Dock

MIAMI (May 8, 2013) — Carnival Triumph is scheduled to depart Mobile, Ala., this afternoon under its own power bound for Freeport, Bahamas, to enter a dry dock facility where final repairs and shipboard operating enhancements will be completed, along with implementation of a variety of new Fun Ship 2.0 features. The ship is expected to arrive at Grand Bahama Shipyard on Saturday, May 11.

Following the dry dock, Carnival Triumph is slated to re-enter regular service from Galveston, Texas, June 13, 2013.

“With the ship temporarily out of service for repairs, we decided to take the opportunity to add a host of new dining and bar venues that are part of our tremendously popular fleetwide Fun Ship 2.0 enhancement program,” said Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines.

Fun Ship 2.0 is a $500 million product-enhancement initiative being gradually rolled out across the Carnival fleet. New features being added to Carnival Triumph during its dry dock include:

--Guy’s Burger Joint, a complimentary poolside venue serving fresh-made burgers and hand-cut fries created by Food Network personality and chef Guy Fieri.
--BlueIguana Cantina, a free-of-charge Mexican cantina with custom-made 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-themed lounge where patrons can view live action, play popular EA SPORTS video games and keep up with the latest scores.
--RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside Caribbean-themed watering hole offering a variety of the region’s top rums and beers in a laid-back island-infused atmosphere.
--BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a lively and engaging poolside bar serving frozen cocktails and Mexican beers in a fun and festive environment.

In addition to installation of the Fun Ship 2.0 features and other repairs, as part of a $300 million fleetwide program announced in April, Carnival Triumph is being outfitted with new systems to improve operating reliability to further prevent a potential loss of primary power, an upgrade in fire detection and suppression systems, and, in the rare event of a loss of main power, additional emergency backup power to provide core hotel services to ensure guest comfort.

When Carnival Triumph resumes year-round service from Galveston June 13, the ship will sail four-day cruises to Cozumel, Mexico, and five-day cruises to Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico. For additional information and reservations on any of Carnival’s “Fun Ship” vacations, visit

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Cunard Line Gives Credits Where Credit Is Due

8 May 2013 – Cunard Line is pleased to announce a new benefit for those who serve in the armed forces in North America. The new programme grants On Board Credits of up to $250 per person to members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserves, and the Canadian National Defense. Military personnel who are active, retired or disabled veterans are eligible with proper documentation.

The credits apply to all published voyages aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth and are combinable with other On Board Credit offers. The amount of each credit varies with cruise length: $50 per person for a cruise of six days or less; $100 per person for cruises of seven to 14 days; or $250 per person for those 14 days or longer.

Under the terms of the programme, retired status applies to enlisted personnel or officers with a minimum of 20 years of service, medical retirees and the 100 percent disabled. Veterans with an honourable discharge and a length of service that meets certain minimums also are eligible to apply. Military status must be confirmed prior to embarking on the voyage to be eligible for credits.

Cunard has a distinguished history with the military. During World War II, the Queen Mary served as a British Royal Mail Ship and, along with the original Queen Elizabeth, as a troopship. In addition, Winston Churchill credited Cunard with ending the war one year early because of the troop transfer services that both ships provided.

For more information about Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth or to book a voyage, consult your Travel Agent, call Cunard toll-free 1-800-728-6273 or visit

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MIAMI – May 8, 2013 – Revealing an addition to its series of premium collaborations, Celebrity Cruises has joined forces with Microsoft’s Xbox to integrate the leading destination of video game entertainment into guests’ modern luxury vacations. Slated to introduce one of the industry’s largest Xbox experiences at sea, Celebrity’s alliance boasts entertaining Xbox-themed spaces across its fleet, offering families interactive Xbox Games experiences for children, teens and even the kid in every adult.

Guests can anticipate enhancements to existing venues and onboard programming as soon as this summer, with the inclusion of Xbox-featured activities and gaming areas in the youth program’s Fun Factory and X-Club facilities. For youth who have been registered to participate by their parents, the Celebrity Xbox experience will offer exciting age-appropriate games and themed nights ranging from sports and dance to adventure and racing on Xbox 360 and Kinect for Xbox 360.

Adults also have the opportunity to connect and enjoy the Xbox experience through free play and at scheduled themed events, including Zumba® parties and sports tournaments, available on traveling Kinect for Xbox 360 consoles in different venues throughout the ships.

“As a premium vacation brand, Celebrity is dedicated to providing guests with what they want while on vacation, whether relaxation, entertainment or staying connected – it’s readily available,” said Greg Purdy, Celebrity Cruises’ SVP of Operations. “Joining existing offerings like the Celebrity iLounge, a hip approach to the standard Internet lounge and the first Authorized Apple® Specialist at sea, the Celebrity Xbox experience expands our technology offering with even more engaging ways for the whole family to enjoy a modern luxury vacation.”

To celebrate the launch, one lucky family of four will win a seven-night cruise onboard the Celebrity ship of their choice, with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition, and an Xbox 360 prize pack as the grand prize of the Celebrity & Xbox Experience Sweepstakes. For a chance to win, guests enter online through June 18, 2013 at Participants also can win four Xbox 360 prize packs, each including an Xbox 360 with Kinect and a month of Xbox Live Gold membership.

“The Celebrity Xbox voyage is unlike any journey Xbox has embarked on,” said Grover Holtzclaw, US Xbox Director. “With Xbox’s first exclusive experience at sea, two great brands have come together to develop the ultimate family vacation: the best gaming entertainment combined with the modern luxury Celebrity provides its guests.”

The newly “Solsticized” Celebrity Constellation is the first of Celebrity’s ten ships to introduce the complete onboard Xbox experience when it re-entered service on May 5, 2013, after completing its scheduled drydock - just in time for families planning their summer vacations. The remaining Celebrity ships will offer Xbox 360 and Kinect for Xbox 360 this summer, and will unfold the full Xbox experience by the end of 2013.

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Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 7: Silversea Expeditions is offering travelers the opportunity to take advantage of special cruise and land packages for its 2013 Galápagos program. Eight new shorter Silver Galapagos voyages of just 3 and 4 days have been combined with pre- and post-cruise South America land adventures to create a collection of enticing vacation packages of 8, 10 or 11 days.

"These new cruise and land packages are convenient options for the luxury traveler who wants to experience a Galápagos cruise adventure and also explore some of the most intriguing regions of South America -- but who may not have time for a lengthy vacation," said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea's president of the Americas.


The new 4-day, Baltra-to-San Cristóbal expedition voyages, encompassing the islands of Santa Cruz, Genovesa, and Seymour Norte, are:

8301A: September 28 - October 2
8307A: November 9 - 13
8309A: November 23 - 27
8311A: December 7 - 11

The new 3-day, San Cristóbal-to-Baltra voyages, tracing a route through the islands of Española, Santa Cruz, and Plazas Sur, are:

8303B: October 16 - 19
8307B: November 13 - 16
8309B: November 27 - 30
8311B: December 11 - 14

Silver Galapagos expedition cruises offer adventurous travelers the life-enriching chance to discover a wild, pristine paradise that has long been regarded as a natural laboratory of evolution. On complimentary expeditions ashore guided by an experienced expedition team (certified by the Galápagos National Park Service), Silversea's guests may experience up-close encounters with an abundance of wildlife that includes sun-basking land iguanas, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, colorful marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and Darwin's famous finches.

The cruise and land packages include an expedition voyage aboard the luxurious, all-suite Silver Galapagos, Silversea's Galápagos air package (between Quito or Guayaquil and Galápagos), the Galápagos National Park entrance fee, plus pre- or post-cruise South America land extensions. The land programs include deluxe hotel accommodations, all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals. While air travel between guest's home and Lima, Quito or Guayaquil is not included, optional roundtrip air packages from select U.S. and Canadian gateways to South America are available through Silversea.


Below is a sampling of the new Galápagos cruise and land package options (prices are per person, based on double occupancy):

8-Day Machu Picchu & Galápagos Package

Guests will enjoy 2 days surrounded by the history and culture of Ecuador's vibrant capital on the "Quito Discovery" land extension before embarking on their 3-day Galápagos expedition cruise. After witnessing the natural treasures of the Galápagos Islands from their base of luxury aboard Silver Galapagos, guests will then journey to Peru to spend 3 days exploring the glorious Lost City of the Incas on an exciting "Machu Picchu Explorer" land adventure, highlighted by a scenic journey in Peru's Vistadome train.

10-Day Puno, Lake Titicaca & Galápagos Package

The magnificent Andes and Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, are the setting for an exciting 4-day "Puno & Lake Titicaca" pre-cruise adventure. Highlights include a visit to the Sillustani tombs, a cruise to the floating reed islands of the Uros people with their centuries-old way of life, and a visit to Taquile Island to admire ancient weaving traditions. Guests then embark Silver Galapagos for an unforgettable 4-day expedition voyage through the Galápagos Islands, followed by 2 days absorbing the fascinating sights and attractions of Ecuador's capital on the "Quito Discovery" post-cruise land extension.

11-Day Amazon Explorer & Galápagos Package

Guests enjoy 2 days taking in the artistic, cultural and historic attractions of Ecuador's capital on the "Quito Discovery" land extension before embarking on their 3-day expedition voyage aboard the elegant Silver Galapagos. Following the Galápagos program is a unique 6-day journey to Peru's Amazon basin where it's possible to witness pygmy marmosets, howler monkeys, colorful toucans and other exotic wildlife that inhabit the region's lowland forests. Participants will cruise the Amazon in all-suite luxury aboard m/v Aqua, dining on perhaps the finest Amazonian-Peruvian gourmet cuisine on the river. Expert naturalists will be on hand to share insights about this amazing and fragile ecosystem.

For more details on the new Galápagos cruise and land packages, visit

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Costa Cruises to Sail First-Ever World Cruise

 HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (May 7, 2013) -- Costa Cruises will offer the first-ever round-trip world cruise from China in 2014. Departing Shanghai March 22, Costa Atlantica will sail an 83-day journey that spans five continents and three oceans, and calls at 23 destinations in 16 countries.

The 2,680-guest, 85,700-ton Costa Atlantica will first stop at Vietnam, then take a westerly course to Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean before journeying north to Egypt and Europe for calls at Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. Costa Atlantica will then sail a trans-Atlantic crossing to New York before heading south to Miami, Fla., and Central America, transiting the Panama Canal to enter the Pacific Ocean and continue on to the Hawaiian Islands and Guam, Marianas Islands. Eighty-three days after its departure, Costa Atlantica will return to Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal June 13, 2014.

"As a pioneer of the cruise industry in China and the first international cruise line to operate homeport cruises out of Shanghai since 2006, we are always challenging ourselves to bring more innovative holiday options to this market," said Pier Luigi Foschi, Chairman and CEO of Carnival Asia. "China's first around-the-world cruise is a perfect example of this and is the lynchpin of our Asia strategy over the next couple of years. It heralds a new milestone in China's cruise industry."

Costa Cruises will partner with Shanghai Airline Tours on the world cruise, a division of China Eastern Airlines Corporation Ltd. that engages in touring, travel and transportation.

"With our partners at Shanghai Airlines Tours, we will offer our Chinese guests the chance to explore the world in a way that has never been possible before," Foschi said.

At a press conference today in Shanghai a contract-signing ceremony between Costa Cruises and Shanghai Airlines Tours was held. Participants included Xu Baoan, deputy director-general of Shanghai Tourism Bureau; Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation Asia; Buhdy Bok, vice president Pacific Asia and China for Costa Cruises; Dong Bo, marketing director of China Eastern Airlines Corporation Ltd., and Shen Dayi, general manager of Shanghai Airlines Tours.

"We are confident that the partnership between SAT and the world-class Costa Cruises will be a strong one, and we firmly believe that the 83-day, around-the-world cruise in 2014 will be a huge success," said Shen Dayi of Shanghai Airline Tours.

With the arrival of Costa Atlantica May 3 at Singapore, Costa Cruises now has two cruise ships deployed in Asia. The line has operated the 2,394-guest Costa Victoria year-round from Shanghai since May 2012. With the addition of the 2,680-guest Costa Atlantica, Costa has a combined total guest capacity of 5,074 — a 67 percent increase — serving the Asia region.

From May to June Costa Atlantica will sail three- and four-night cruises to Thailand and Malaysia from Singapore. In June, the ship will homeport at Keelung, Taiwan, for two special five-night cruises to Japan and South Korea. From July until year's end, Costa Atlantica will sail from Shanghai on four- and five-night cruises to Fukuoka, Cheju, Kagoshima and Kobe, Japan, and Pusan and Incheon, South Korea.

On its maiden call at Singapore, Costa Atlantica hosted 300 guests, including government and industry officials, local dignitaries and VIPs, for an onboard dinner reception marking the opening of Carnival Corporation & plc's Far East office. The regional headquarters house Carnival Asia, which oversees the company's Far East operations, led by Carnival Asia Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi.

In 2011 Costa Crociere S.p.A. established the cruise industry's first wholly owned foreign enterprise (WOFE) in China. The company is located in Shanghai, Costa's homeport city in China, and offers commercial and financial services such as marketing, ticketing and collection to local travel partners and cruise guests.

For bookings as well as more information on Costa Cruises, call your travel professional or 800-GO-COSTA, visit

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Norwegian Breakaway Arrives Home to New York City

NEW YORK – May 7, 2013 – Following months of anticipation, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, arrived early this morning to her year-round homeport of New York City. The 146,600 gross ton ship, which is the largest ever to call Manhattan its home, will be christened on Wednesday, May 8 during an exclusive ceremony featuring New York City icons The Rockettes®, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, Master Baker Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s “Cake Boss,” and New York City officials, among others. Her signature hull art, designed by legendary artist Peter Max, is highly visible from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal’s Pier 88.

“Norwegian Breakaway is New York’s ship and we are thrilled to finally have her home,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “From world-class dining to high-caliber entertainment, we’ve definitely encapsulated the best of New York onboard Norwegian Breakaway and are looking forward to welcoming guests on May 12 for her first seven-day cruise to Bermuda.”

More than 4,000 guests will take part in the ship’s Christening Ceremony at 2 pm ET on Wednesday, May 8. A live webcast of the ceremony will be available at In addition, fireworks will light up the skyline (taking place near the Statue of Liberty) at approximately 8:30 pm Wednesday evening.

Norwegian Breakaway’s journey to New York began on April 25 in Bremerhaven, Germany after Norwegian Cruise Line officially took delivery of the ship. Norwegian Breakaway left the port of Bremerhaven and, following several inaugural events in Rotterdam and Southampton, she embarked upon a transatlantic cruise to New York City. On May 12, she will sail to Bermuda to start her series of seven-day cruises through October. In the fall, Norwegian Breakaway will offer seven-day voyages from the heart of Manhattan to the Bahamas and Florida, as well as two 12-day sailings to the Southern Caribbean.

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Seattle, Wash., May 6, 2013 – Holland America Line has renewed its partnership with Microsoft to continue offering its popular on-board computer and digital camera enrichment classes. The Digital Workshop powered by Windows® shares the latest technology and offers sessions for all skill levels. On-board workshop venues will be renovated and rebranded and new Windows 8 session material and hardware will be added.

The complimentary workshops, led by Microsoft-trained “Techsperts” on all 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet, introduce guests with varying levels of computer and camera experience to photo editing, movie and slideshow creation, PC organization, cloud storage with SkyDrive, and much more.

“These free classes are very popular and teach skills that are new to many of our guests,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Microsoft is an incredible partner, and their Techsperts help guests go home with valuable knowledge and an enjoyable onboard experience.”

The new Windows 8 curriculum will offer more than 20 different 50-minute workshops in a variety of genres. Guests can choose to attend some or all of the workshops, which are offered at various times and days throughout every cruise. Multiple workshops are held every day.

Many new workshops focus on the latest and innovative features of Windows 8. “Meet the New Windows” highlights some new features of Windows 8 and shows how to make your PC truly personal while “Learn to Navigate Windows 8” reviews how to get around Windows 8 using touch and traditional mouse and keyboard. An introduction to how to use Microsoft SkyDrive in the “Discover SkyDrive” session shows guests how easy it is to upload and share files with friends and family.

In addition to these sessions, guests looking to learn more about computers can attend “Find the Right PC for You” to discover the right Windows PC for varying lifestyles and budgets, or “Brush Up on PC Basics” to learn ways to navigate a PC and how to keep their PC clean and organized.

“Learn to Use Your Digital Camera” is perfect for guests looking to become familiar with the best ways to use their digital camera. “Edit Your Photos Like a Pro” illustrates how to improve the look and feel of photos with Photo Gallery and “Keep Your Photos Organized” demonstrates how to easily get pictures from a camera to a PC with Photo Gallery.

More advanced guests can learn how to apply artistic touches during “Get Creative with Photo Editing” or create slide shows and videos with Movie Maker during the “Create Movies and Slideshows” class. In addition, one-on-one coaching called “Techspert Time” also is available 7 hours each week so guests can stop by with questions. Those in need of more in-depth assistance can attend these help sessions.

The Digital Workshop showcases state-of-the-art technology provided and maintained by Microsoft, including Windows 8-certified PCs, and a wireless network. The workshops also feature flat-screen TVs for easy viewing of videos and Techspert demonstrations.
For more information about Holland America Line’s cruises and cruisetours, consult a professional travel seller; call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425); or visit

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Carnival Corporation Officially Opens New Asia Regional Office in Singapore

SINGAPORE (May 3, 2013) -- Carnival Corporation & plc today officially opened its regional office in Singapore. The Singapore office houses the new Carnival Asia unit which was created to oversee the company’s expansion in Asia.

To commemorate the occasion, Carnival Asia Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi led a ribbon-cutting ceremony which also featured a traditional “lion dance” performance, a centuries-old Asian tradition designed to usher in prosperity and represent dynamism and tenacity.

This was followed by a reception and dinner in the evening on board the Costa Atlantica which made its maiden call to Singapore today. Singapore’s Minister (Prime Minister’s Office) and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry, Mr. S. Iswaran, was the guest of honor at the event.

Among the more than 300 guests in attendance were Singapore government officials, local dignitaries and VIPs as well as senior representatives from the travel industry such as Christine Duffy, president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association.

“Asia is one of the world’s fastest-growing cruise regions, and the establishment of our regional office in Singapore underscores Carnival Corporation & plc’s significant step towards developing these markets,” said Foschi. “We intend to capitalize on our global expertise and work closely with our valued partners in order to grow the benefits of cruising in the region.”

As part of its expansion strategy for the region, Carnival Corporation & plc brands Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises continue to grow their operations in Asia.

Costa Atlantica, the biggest ship in the Costa fleet to be deployed in the region, set sail to Asia for the very first time this week, joining Costa Victoria and more than doubling Costa’s capacity in Asia. Costa Atlantica will set sail from Singapore to Malacca and Penang for three-night journeys, and it will also operate four-night trips to Phuket and Langkawi.

Princess Cruises will be introducing the largest deployment ever by a premium cruise line in the region when it brings Sapphire Princess to Singapore for four months starting November 2014. The itineraries, which vary from three to 11 days, will combine various destinations such as Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, and Ko Samui.

“The market potential for cruising in Asia is huge as the total potential number of cruise passengers could reach 3.7 million by 2017, and double to over seven million by 2020,” said Foschi.

Foschi also noted that the benefits of growing the regional cruise industry to homeport destinations are significant, providing direct and indirect economic impact and employment in providing goods and services to ships, passengers and crew, as well as adding to tourist arrivals with the influx of North American and European guests vacationing in the region.

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Costa Atlantica Celebrates First Call at Singapore

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (May 3, 2013) -- With Costa Atlantica's first call at Singapore today, Costa Cruises doubled its fleet capacity in Asia and marked the opening of Carnival Asia's new offices. The 85,700-ton, 2,680-passenger Costa Atlantica will operate alongside the 75,200-ton, 2,394-passenger Costa Victoria, which is already cruising the region. The two ships will sail a total of 125 cruises in Asia in 2013, carrying approximately 220,000 guests.

"Since 2006, when Costa Cruises was the first Western company to market cruises in Asia, we have further strengthened and tailored our product to our local clients' needs and wishes," said Gianni Onorato, president of Costa Crociere S.p.A. "The successful results we have obtained until now have encouraged our company to further expand in the region.

"With the double positioning of Costa Atlantica and Costa Victoria, Asia becomes the third-largest source market for the Costa brand in terms of capacity."

On its maiden call at Singapore, Costa Atlantica hosted 300 guests, including government and industry officials, local dignitaries and VIPs, for an onboard dinner reception marking the opening of Carnival Corporation & plc's Singapore office. The regional headquarters house Carnival Asia, which oversees the company's Far East operations, led by Carnival Asia Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi.

From May to June Costa Atlantica will sail three- and four-night cruises to Thailand and Malaysia from Singapore. In June, the ship will homeport at Keelung, Taiwan, for two special five-night cruises to Japan and South Korea. From July until year's end, Costa Atlantica will sail from Shanghai on four- and five-night cruises to Fukuoka, Cheju, Kagoshima and Kobe, Japan, and Pusan and Incheon, South Korea.

Royal Caribbean's Newly Revitalized Grandeur of the Seas Begins
Year-Round Service From Maryland

BALTIMORE, May 3: The Port of Baltimore today welcomed Royal Caribbean International's Grandeur of the Seas to Maryland, where she replaces Enchantment of the Seas and offers six-, to 10-night cruises year-round to Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Eastern and Western Caribbean, as well as Canada and New England. Originally deployed in Baltimore from 2004 to 2009, Grandeur of the Seas was welcomed back today with a special proclamation from Governor Martin O'Malley, who declared May 3, 2013 as 'Royal Caribbean Cruise Day' in Maryland.

"Maryland welcomes the new and improved Grandeur of the Seas to our state," said Governor O'Malley. "Royal Caribbean's decision to place this beautiful ship here is another strong vote of confidence in the Port of Baltimore, the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland as one of the top cruise markets in the nation, providing approximately $90 million in economic activity and generating about 200 direct jobs in Maryland."

Grandeur of the Seas is fresh from a $48 million bow-to-stern revitalization, which incorporated six new specialty dining options, technological upgrades and new entertainment features, as well as a refresh of all furniture, carpet, upholstery and staterooms. Families with toddlers can take advantage of the newly installed Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, which caters to the cruise line's youngest guests, ages six months to 36 months. Guests can also enjoy a 220-square foot poolside movie screen and take in a new high-flying experience whereby aerialists glide through the ship's six-story atrium.

"Royal Caribbean International thanks Governor Martin O'Malley and the Maryland Port Administration for their ongoing support of the cruise vacation industry in the great state of Maryland," said Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Maryland's rich history and diverse cultural attractions make it an unmatched destination to pair with a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation. We are delighted to mark the beginning of Grandeur of the Seas' year-round service from Baltimore on 'Royal Caribbean Cruise Day' in Maryland."

Throughout the year, vacationers can choose among a variety of itineraries to Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Eastern and Western Caribbean. In the summer, the itineraries alternate between seven-night Bermuda sailings, featuring a two-night call at Kings Wharf, and seven-night sailings to the Bahamas, calling at Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island paradise in the Bahamas. In the fall, Grandeur of the Seas will alternate between six-night Bermuda and eight-night Canada and New England sailings. The winter season will consist of rotating 10-night sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, as well as eight-night sailings to the Bahamas.

The Port of Baltimore's cruise facility, with its unique location immediately off Interstate 95 and close to Interstate 70, has become a convenient drive-to cruise port for many residents throughout the mid-Atlantic and into the Midwest. Last year, more than 240,800 travelers sailed on 100 cruises from the Port of Baltimore. Baltimore has 96 scheduled cruises for 2013.

In 2011, the Port of Baltimore ranked fifth for cruise passengers among East Coast cruise ports, 11(th) in the U.S. and 20(th) in the world. Recently, the Port began using a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled, enclosed passenger boarding bridge. The bridge is mobile and flexible to accommodate various sized cruise ships. Since beginning a year-round cruise schedule in 2009, nearly every cruise ship that has sailed from the Port of Baltimore has left at full guest capacity.

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MIAMI – May 2, 2013 – Upscale consumers eager to visit one of the nation's hottest new entertainment spots should pack their bags for a modern luxury cruise to Bermuda. That’s because Celebrity Cruises today announced an exclusive partnership with Manhattan’s noted “54 Below,” which will bring guests on Celebrity’s newly “Solsticized” Celebrity Summit the industry’s most comprehensive, direct-from-Broadway entertainment experience while sailing to the pink-sand paradise of Bermuda.

54 Below – ensconced in a cool, cozy cellar space beneath the legendary, disco-era “Studio 54” – has been dubbed “a throwback to the heyday of authentic New York nightlife,” and “the hot new stage attracting Broadway’s brightest stars.” Now, those stars will light up the stage of Celebrity Summit during its Bermuda vacation season from Cape Liberty (Bayonne), NJ, from this Sunday, May 5, through October 2013.

"We are incredibly excited to partner with 54 Below, offering our guests a unique theatrical experience featuring world-class Broadway talent in cabaret style performances," said Celebrity's Director of Entertainment Eric Bohus. "This is another outstanding addition to the Celebrity entertainment lineup and perfectly complements our other new offerings announced this year, including late-night Las Vegas style entertainment with Sin City Comedy and engaging music activities through our partnership with Billboard."

Among the top-notch talent slated to appear on Celebrity Summit through 54 Below are Faith Prince, Tony Award winner for Best Actress in a Musical for Guys & Dolls; Tony Award winner for Best Actress in a Musical in A Chorus Line, Donna McKechnie; Anthony Rapp, best known for originating the role of “Mark Cohen” in Rent; Jarrod Spector, who starred as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys; Alice Ripley, who won a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for Next to Normal, and also has appeared in Les Miserables and Sunset Boulevard; star of the hit TV show Glee (“Wes”) Telly Leung, whose Broadway credits include Rent and Godspell; the original “Annie,” Andrea McArdle, who went on to also star in Les Miserables, Starlight Express and Beauty & The Beast; three-time Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas, recognized for her roles in Oklahoma and On Your Toes; Elizabeth Stanley of Company, Cry Baby, Million Dollar Quartet; Shoshana Bean, whose credits include Hairspray and Wicked; Darius DeHaas of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Rent and Carousel; Tom Wopat of TV's The Dukes of Hazzard, City of Angels, 42nd St., Guys & Dolls, Chicago and Sondheim on Sondheim; Brent Barrett, whose credits include West Side Story and Chicago; Ann Hampton Callaway, Tony-nominated for her role in Swing; Liz Callaway, nominated for a Tony for her role in Baby, and who also performed in Cats and Miss Saigon; Gregg Edelman, a four-time Tony nominee, including nods for Best Actor in a Musical for City of Angels; three-time Tony Award nominee for her roles in Passion, Ragtime and Kiss Me, Kate, Marin Mazzie; Karen Mason, who has appeared in Mamma Mia and Hairspray and is best known for her portrayal of “Norma Desmond” in Sunset Boulevard; and Emily Skinner, whose credits include The Full Monty and Billy Elliot. Additional acts yet to be announced will also appear on Celebrity Summit this season through Celebrity’s unique partnership with 54 Below.

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Holland America Line Employees Receive President’s VOLUNTEER Service Award

Seattle, Wash., May 2, 2013 — Holland America Line employee volunteers recently received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for their work with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska. At a reception at Hotel Deca in Seattle April 23, Vice President of Guest Programs Tim Murphy and Administrative Assistant Sherri Warner accepted the award on behalf of their fellow employee volunteers.

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was established in 2003 to recognize valuable contributions volunteers are making in their communities and to encourage more people to serve. The council created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who have inspired others to engage in volunteer service.

“Volunteerism is a large part of the culture at Holland America Line and we are both proud and honored to be recognized for supporting our local community,” said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line’s executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Our employees have a passion for devoting their time to great organizations such as the Seattle Ronald McDonald House, and we’re humbled by this award.”

Holland America Line employees sponsored and served evening meals at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House during 2012, donating more than 200 hours of service time. Volunteers also hosted game and craft activities for the children. Members of Holland America Line’s Guest Programs Department have volunteered to sponsor and serve meals again in 2013.

The Seattle Ronald McDonald House is available to families with seriously ill children undergoing treatment at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The House can accommodate up to 80 guests per night and relies on the generosity of donors and volunteers to provide its many services, including meals.

For more information about Holland America Line, contact a travel agent, visit

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Seattle, Wash., May 1, 2013 — Holland America Line has selected two leading firms to create the interior spaces of the line’s new 99,000-ton ship that is slated for delivery in February 2016. The first in a new Pinnacle Class of vessel, the ship will showcase decors by designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjorn Storbraaten.

Tihany will join Storbraaten, who successfully worked with Holland America Line on ms Eurodam and ms Nieuw Amsterdam, in designing the ship’s public rooms. The new ship will feature exciting new public areas and dining venues, as well as a stunning onboard ambiance created in partnership with these two leading firms. Several new concepts are under development that have never been seen before on a Holland America Line ship, and as they evolve more details will be revealed.

“We are fortunate to bring together such distinguished professionals for our next-generation ship,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “The ambience of a ship is an essential part of the cruise experience and we are confident that Adam, Bjorn and their teams of experienced designers and architects will strike the right balance between contemporary and traditional that is the hallmark of the interiors of Holland America Line ships.”

About Tihany Design: Adam D. Tihany is regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent hospitality designers. After attending the Politecnico di Milano School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tihany apprenticed at design firms in Italy. In 1978, he established his own multidisciplinary New York studio and in 1987 became co-owner of Remi restaurants. Tihany was a pioneering designer in collaborations with celebrity chefs, creating multiple signature restaurants for such well-known chefs as Wolfgang Puck, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud and Charlie Palmer. Tihany also created a collection of eight signature restaurants for the legendary Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque.

Over the last 30 years, Tihany Design has become a leader in creating luxurious and innovative interiors at some of the world’s most iconic properties, such as the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles and One & Only Cape Town. In addition, there are numerous hotels showcasing signature venues by Tihany, including The Breakers, The Broadmoor and Hotel Cipriani in Venice to name a few. In 2011, Tihany was appointed art director of the Culinary Institute of America, taking the lead on contemporizing the Hyde Park campus.

About Yran & Storbraaten Architects: Founded in 1985, Yran & Storbraaten Architects is one of the world’s leading architectural firms, specializing in cruise ship design. Known for working in a diversity of styles, the firm has developed a long international client list. As partners, Bjorn Storbraaten and Petter Yran have been pioneers in developing the luxury segment, achieving Y&S`s standing as one of the industry’s best. Storbraaten worked on both ms Nieuw Amsterdam and ms Eurodam, as well as the Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest, providing conceptual and architectural designs of restaurants, outdoor areas, lounges, theaters, nightclubs and bars.

For more information about Holland America Line, visit

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Unless otherwise noted, all news items are sourced by individual cruise lines,
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Cruises Guide & Cruise Forum featured on ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA — In case you missed the story, you can still watch it online at
ABC News.

CDC Inspection Scores for all ships inspected

Cruise News Archive
Past cruise news items listed by month

Unless otherwise noted, all news items are sourced by individual cruise lines,
 cruise-related industries, and their agents.


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