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Cruise News
1-31, 2013

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Make it a Homerun This Season with MSC Cruises'
2013-2014 Baseball Greats Caribbean Sailings

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., July 31: Baseball fans can celebrate the sport of baseball with a unique opportunity to meet and mingle on a complimentary basis with all-time legends, representing leading teams on select2013-2014 Caribbean sailings of MSC Divina. While sailing the Caribbean, guests interact with former Major League Baseball stars in a variety of clinics and scheduled events. Free autograph sessions are one of the most popular aspects of the Baseball Greats experience. Nicknamed the "Bahnsen Burner" for his famed fastball, former New York Yankees star pitcher, Stan Bahnsen, is host and emcee for all onboard activities on each cruise.

This is the ninth year MSC Cruises has hosted these popular cruises with a changing lineup of players. MSC's Caribbean cruises sail roundtrip from PortMiami, featuring the following itineraries and baseball greats. (Lineup of players is subject to change):

-- Nov 23: 7 nights calling at the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Frank Howard (two-time, American league home run king), Ferguson Jenkins (Texas Rangers hall-of-fame pitcher), Tommy Davis (National League batting champion, Los Angeles Dodgers), Kevin Seitzer (All-Star third baseman for Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians) and Stan Bahnsen (New York Yankees star pitcher).
-- Jan 12: 6 nights calling at Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, Georgetown, Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico. Ken Griffey, Sr. (Cincinnati Reds All-Star), Art Shamsky (New York Mets "Miracle Mets") Cookie Rojas (All-Star shortstop, Philadelphia Phillies and Kansas City Royals) and Stan Bahnsen.
-- Feb: 7 nights calling at Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Mexico, Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Rudy May (starting pitcher for the Angels, Orioles, Expos, Yankees), Jim Fregosi (All-Star shortstop with the California Angles and manager for four teams), Amos Otis (All-Star, Gold Glove center-fielder for Kansas City Royals) and Stan Bahnsen.
-- March 15: 7 nights calling at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Bill Russell (Los Angeles Dodgers' star shortstop and manager), Ed Kranepool (New York Mets, major league record as pinch hitter) and Stan Bahnsen.
-- May 10: 7 nights calling at Falmouth, Jamaica, Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Mexico and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Gorman Thomas (Milwaukee Brewers American Leagues' Two Time Home Run King), Gary Peters (White Sox, 1963 Rookie of the Year and All-Star pitcher), Randy Hunley (Chicago Cubs, All- Star and Gold Glove catcher, set numerous records, invented the hinged catcher's mitt and Fantasy Camps) and Stan Bahnsen.

"Baseball Greats" offers free guest/player activities, including a player-hosted trivia game, question-and-answer session, guest pitching contest and lively storytelling session. Baseball players host hitting, fielding, base running, and defense strategy clinics. For more information about MSC Cruises "Baseball Greats" theme cruises, visit online at

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Norwegian Cruise Line First Major Cruise Line to Adhere3 to
International Standards for Seafarers

MIAMI – July 31, 2013 – Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it is the first major cruise line to be certified in and in compliance with the requirements of the International Labor Organization’s Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) 2006 that provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for the world's more than 1.2 million seafarers, including Norwegian’s more than 17,000 crew members working onboard its 11 international vessels.

“We value our hard working crew and consider them our most important and greatest asset,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief executive officer. “We employ more than 17,000 Seafarers from almost 100 different countries around the globe; respecting each individual for the unique talents they bring into our organization. We offer a career path to reach the highest levels in our shipboard organization to each person without distinction. Being the first major cruise line to successfully implement the new labor standards demonstrates that Norwegian also leads the industry when it comes to taking care of its crew members.”

The convention sets out seafarers' rights to decent conditions of work on a wide range of subjects, and aims to be globally applicable, easily understandable, readily updatable and uniformly enforced. It has been designed to become a global instrument known as the "fourth pillar" of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It consolidates and updates more than 68 international labor standards related to the Maritime sector adopted over the last 80 years.

Lloyd's Register Group Limited, the company that inspected and audited Norwegian’s international fleet for compliance, stated: “MLC, 2006 is a comprehensive convention which fundamentally improves the living and working conditions of seafarers. Norwegian Cruise Line's full compliance with MLC, 2006, well in advance of the mandatory compliance date, is indicative of visionary leadership and a commitment to excellence. The Norwegian Cruise Line team embraced the spirit and intent of the convention while embedding continuous compliance practices into their management process. This marks a significant achievement by Norwegian.”

Lloyd’s Register assisted Norwegian Cruise Line with their preliminary preparations through a formal gap analysis, review of the Declaration of Labor Compliance and subsequently carrying out vessel certification inspections of their fleet.

In order to celebrate this milestone event, Norwegian has donated $10,000 USD to the Virlanie Foundation in Manila, the Philippines. The Virlanie Foundation is dedicated to rescuing street children in Manila, by providing shelter, food, education, and most importantly, a home. The organization relies on donations from around the world and currently operates 12 homes and outreach programs in the Philippines.

“One of the most important aspects of the Maritime Labor Convention is the Seafarer’s social welfare,” added Sheehan. “As a socially responsible company, we give back to the community. A majority of our shipboard employees hail from the Philippines, so we are proud to continue to support the important work that the Virlanie Foundation does on an ongoing basis.”

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New Itinerary By Un-Cruise Adventures Explores Washington State’s Islands & Shoreline

Seattle, WA, July 31: Beginning spring 2014, active travelers seeking to explore Washington State’s coastal shores from South Hood Canal to Olympic Peninsula and San Juan Islands, may choose a weeklong expedition with Un-Cruise Adventures aboard an expedition vessel. Weeklong cruises sail roundtrip Seattle, WA and include adventure activities. The new itinerary, Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands, explores South Hood Canal, Olympic Mountains, Quilcene Bay, Deception Pass, San Juan Islands, Lopez Island, Orcas Island, the towns of Port Townsend and Friday Harbor, and Sucia Island, Washington.

Thirteen departures in 2014 sail from April 5-May 3 and Sept 13-Nov 1, 2014. An Active Adventure, the 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer expedition vessel carries a full complement of adventure gear for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking and skiff excursions. A custom made kayak launching system allows four kayaks at once to quickly and safely launch off a stable platform.

“The inlets and islands in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea are incredibly scenic and ideal for adventure travelers,” said Dan Blanchard, CEO and principal for Un-Cruise Adventures. “We can hike a mountain trail in the morning, pick up anchor and be kayaking among islands in the afternoon.”

Highlights of the itinerary include hiking in the Olympic Mountains, Mt. Constitution and Washington State Parks. Waterborne expeditions by kayaks, skiffs and paddle boards explore glacial fjords and the San Juan archipelago. In Quilcene Bay, a local family hosts a home-grown oyster and clam tasting. Guests enjoy free time in scenic Friday Harbor and discover Native cultures in Port Townsend. Travelers spend the week searching out and seeing marine life and seabirds up close. Gray whales, orcas, seals, sea lions, bald eagles and tufted puffins are all found in the area. A knowledgeable team of expedition guides leads excursions and provides interpretation along the way.

After a full day of adventure, guests may enjoy a soak in the hot tub. Yoga classes take place on deck each morning. The vessel has fitness equipment, a resource/DVD library and massage is available for a fee. An underwater camera mounted on the ship’s bow streams video from the underwater world to flatscreen televisions in all guest rooms and the lounge. Healthy and hearty meals feature fresh ingredients including locally sourced produce and seafood.

A Washington craft beer theme cruise scheduled for the April 19, 2014 departure features guest experts Kendall Jones and Kim Sharpe Jones, authorities on the Seattle craft beer scene. Guests will enjoy nightly tastings of select craft beer from nearby breweries aboard the vessel, presentations by the Jones’ and beer recommendations matching the evening’s dinner menu.

Charters and group bookings are available. For additional information, visit

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American Cruise Lines Announces 14-night Grand Heartland River Cruises

GUILFORD, CT, July 30: American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, announced today the introduction of its Grand Heartland Cruise. The 14-night cruise on the Mississippi will be offered at a 10-night price with a host of other complimentary extras to provide the greatest value on the River. This ultimate American river adventure begins on the scenic upper Mississippi and ends in Memphis, TN, stopping in 13 of the American Heartland’s most unique towns and cities along the way. The new 14-night cruise package includes:

4 nights free – a savings of up to $4,000 per person
Complimentary shore excursions
Complimentary pre-cruise hotel stay for one night
Complimentary cocktail hour each evening

During the 15-day journey, guests enjoy views of a diverse landscape and spectacular fall colors as they make their way down the Mississippi River. Onboard, they’ll enjoy Queen of the Mississippi’s numerous and distinct amenities, including the most spacious staterooms in the industry and private balconies with sliding glass doors. They’ll also experience American Cruise Lines’ unique open-seating dining plan, which allows guests to enjoy meals in a single seating and at the time of their choice, while surrounded by panoramic views of the river. For the duration of the cruise, an all-American crew caters to passengers’ every need, while daily educational events and themed entertainment help paint a picture of what life on the Mississippi was like in days gone by.

“It’s been evident that our guests enjoy viewing more than one portion of the Mississippi River at a time, and often back-to-back,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “With this new offering, we provide a unique opportunity to do just that on the most beautiful portions of the River, while enjoying major savings and added value.”

The 14-night sailing departs on Oct 26, 2013 aboard the Queen of the Mississippi. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit

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Holland America Line Announces 'Explore 4' Early Bookings Savings For 2014

SEATTLE, July 29: Holland America Line is enticing travelers to book early for the 2014 season with four exceptional offers under the "Explore 4" early booking promotion. Explore 4 focuses on four value-added exclusive extras for guests who book on select December 2013 holiday cruises and 2014 sailings. To receive all four offers together, bookings must be made by Oct. 15, 2013. The Explore 4 benefits include a free Signature Beverage Package or beverage card, a free specialty restaurant dinner, free or reduced fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom, and 50 percent reduced deposits. Guests may receive all four offers when booking a qualified itinerary.

"With the Explore 4 promotion, there is a real benefit to planning ahead and booking that dream cruise well in advance," said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line's executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "These offers add even more value to the Holland America Line experience, and by giving our guests four perks under one promotion, we're showing how worthwhile it is to book early."

Guests looking to take advantage of the Explore 4 program can choose select itineraries to nearly all of Holland America Line's global destinations, including Alaska and Alaska/Yukon Land+Sea Journeys, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Europe, Mexico/Hawaii, Panama Canal, South America/Antarctica, the South Pacific and holiday cruises.

Depending on the cruise selected, guests receive either a free Signature Beverage Package or a beverage card. The beverage package, which is excluded on Caribbean and Mexico sailings, is valued at $100 per stateroom ($50 per person), per day and includes wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, sodas and coffee. The beverage card is applied to Caribbean and Mexico sailings and is valued at $100 per stateroom ($50 per person) and applies to alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The beverage offer is only applicable on the cruise portions of Alaska Land+Sea Journeys.

The complimentary specialty dinner includes either the award-winning Pinnacle Grill for guests in an ocean-view stateroom or above, or the Italian restaurant Canaletto for guests in an interior stateroom. The Pinnacle Grill offers a tantalizing menu featuring Pacific Northwest steak and seafood dishes ranging from cedar-planked halibut with shrimp scampi to bone-in rib eye steaks. Canaletto showcases cuisine from regions throughout Italy.

With free or reduced third and fourth guests, a family of four can take a dream vacation to Europe, a tropical holiday to the Caribbean or longer journey to an exotic destination. By taking advantage of the 50 percent reduced deposit offer, guests will have more flexibility and time before paying the final deposit on their cruise. For more information about Holland America Line and the new Explore 4 program, visit

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Moody Blues Cruise II Announced For April 2-7, 2014

Miami, FL, July 29: The Moody Blues have announced The Moodies Cruise, Return to the Isle of Wight, a fan vacation and musical celebration hosted by of one of the world’s most iconic rock bands. The cruise is themed around the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, considered to be one of the greatest classic rock festivals in history. The festival took place over three days in this quaint English isle, drawing over 600,000 fans, far surpassing the attendance of Woodstock.

Several artists from the festival will be joining Justin, John & Graeme, recreating memories from 44 years ago in this celebration of one of rock’s most unforgettable events. However, this time, fans will enjoy the music and create new memories aboard the spectacular MSC Divina, visiting Grand Turk Island, Turks & Caicos and Nassau, Bahamas on an unprecedented 5-night cruise journey.

The current guest artist list includes Isle of Wight Festival alumni Carl Palmer from Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Lighthouse plus other special guests to be announced very soon. In addition, The Zombies, Glass Hammer, The Prog Orchestra, Danny Vaughn, Heavy Mellow and Mellow Yellow will treat fans to special performances on multiple venues throughout the ship.

Fans will have access to private concerts, Q & A sessions, Karaoke Bar, special events & activities plus musical guests that influenced the music of the 70s and beyond. This is not just a “concert cruise”…. It is a fan experience celebrating the years of incredible music since The Moody Blues’ legendary set at Isle of Wight Festival. This is certainly an event that fans will not want to miss.

Tickets will be going on sale in approximately two weeks and fans can stay informed regarding all the details by joining the mailing list today at As the on-sale date approaches, important announcements about the cruise will be communicated to all those who have registered. The Moody Blues Cruise is a playground for the serious fan where music and a luxury cruise hook up for the vacation of a lifetime. Tickets for the Moody Blues Cruise will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis and will only be available at the link above.

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Country Artist Rockie Lynne to Perform During Princess Cruises’ Veterans Charity Cruise

SANTA CLARITA, CA, July 25: Country singer Rockie Lynne has been announced as a featured performer during Princess Cruises’ first-ever fundraising cruise to support U.S. veterans. Lynne, a veteran himself who frequently supports military causes, will perform with his five-piece band during the Nov 5-9 sailing.

Lynne’s debut single, "Lipstick," spent an impressive 10 consecutive weeks in the #1 slot on Billboard’s Country Singles Sales chart. He is also co-founder of an annual charity motorcycle ride called TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS, which has raised more than $250,000 in aid to families of the fallen. One third of the proceeds from his new album, “Songs for Soldiers,” will benefit troop-related charities. The inspiration for the album was his 21-day tour of Afghanistan, Southwest Asia, and The Persian Gulf, where he and his band entertained U.S. troops stationed abroad.

During the cruise, Lynne and his band will be headliners in the ship’s Princess Theater, and will also offer an up-close performance in Club Fusion.
Lynne joins a number of special guests who will be aboard the cruise, 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 Lynne and 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 Red, White and Blue Gala, and more—to celebrate U.S. veterans. Also throughout the voyage, representatives from the Veterans History Project will be onboard to assist veterans interested in working with families and friends to record personal accounts of their service experience for preservation with the Library of Congress.

The groundbreaking sailing will raise funds for two respected veterans’ organizations—Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Inc. and Operation Homefront Inc. The voyage sails roundtrip from Houston aboard Caribbean Princess to the Western Caribbean, and is expected to generate $1 million for the two charities. 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. 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. More information about “Cruising for a Cause” sailings can be found at

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Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian to Host Dining Experiences at Sea

MIAMI, July 25: Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that Celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian will host a number of special activities on board Norwegian Breakaway during two of the ship’s upcoming sailings: Nov 3 and Dec 1, 2013. These sailings will feature an exclusive opportunity to meet and interact with the Iron Chef in his on-board restaurant, Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian.

While sailing on board Norwegian Breakaway from Nov through 10 and Dec 5 through Dec 8, Zakarian will offer Norwegian guests a variety of unique and interactive opportunities. He will host an exciting meet and greet session, giving guests the chance to take a photo with their favorite Iron Chef and a dynamic cooking demonstration, followed by a personalized book signing of his latest cookbook. The special event of each cruise will be the opportunity to attend an intimate dining experience* where a limited number of guests will enjoy a specially-curated Ocean Blue tasting menu served by the Iron Chef himself.

Geoffrey Zakarian recently launched three brand new seafood-centric restaurants on Norwegian’s New York City-inspired ship, Norwegian Breakaway: Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian, an elegant seafood dining experience that focuses on premium ingredients and expert culinary techniques; The Raw Bar, an adjacent bar that highlights crustaceans, crudos, cocktails, and wines by the glass; and Ocean Blue on The Waterfront, a more casual dining option that serves fun and easy fare. All three of these unique venues utilize the freshest ingredients and finest techniques that Zakarian employs in his land-based restaurants, truly bringing the best of New York City dining experiences to sea on board Norwegian Breakaway. Showcasing his eye for details, Zakarian also orchestrated every element of the restaurant from menus, to uniforms, to glassware and utensils.

Zakarian's taste, style and passion for fine cuisine have defined his career, which has spanned more than 25 years. An accomplished chef who has presided over some of the country's top kitchens, he currently has two popular restaurants in New York City—The Lambs Club and The National; one in Atlantic City—The Water Club at Borgata; and a highly acclaimed cookbook “Geoffrey Zakarian’s Town/Country: 150 Recipes for Life Around the Table.” Zakarian emerged victorious in the recent fourth season of Food Network's The Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs. He appears regularly on Iron Chef America, demonstrating a razor-sharp knowledge of culinary techniques in this fast-paced cooking competition. When he's not battling in kitchen stadium, Zakarian stays busy filming CHOPPED, where he is featured as a recurring judge, and highlights his favorite dishes on The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

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

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Crystal Unveils Entire 2015 Through Early 2016 Itineraries

LOS ANGELES, July 24: Sailing to all seven continents, luxury global cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has revealed its complete and comprehensive collection of cruises for 2015 through Winter/Spring 2016. In 2015, Crystal will celebrate its 25th anniversary with 64 voyages calling in 248 ports in 79 countries, with its most ever maiden calls. Crystal Symphony begins 2016 immersed in South America and Antarctica, while Crystal Serenity kicks off the year with a grand Panama Canal cruise that precedes a new World Cruise.

Until now Crystal had only released itineraries through spring 2015, which include a dazzling Asia series and a 108-day "Silver Celebration" World Cruise circumnavigating the globe round-trip from Miami.

Among the new and distinctive highlights for 2015 are:

-- 22 maiden calls to lesser-known locales like Albany, Australia; Ambodifotatra and Taolanaro, Madagascar; Burgas, Bulgaria; Chania/Souda, Greece; Macapa, Brazil; Richards Bay, South Africa; Rijeka, Croatia; Sanary-sur-Mer, France; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Aomori, Japan; Archangel, Korsakov and Solovetsky Islands, Russian Federation; Belawan, Indonesia; Bodo, Narvi and Oye/Hjorundfjord, Norway; Helgoland, Germany; Kochi, Japan; Sanya, China and Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago.
-- Overnight stays with most itineraries - often conveniently scheduled in the port of embarkation or disembarkation and several feature double overnight calls (three days!) in Shanghai, Bordeaux's port of Bassens, Hong Kong, Monte Carlo, St. Petersburg, and Yangon, Myanmar.
-- A dozen voyages are conveniently round-trip from the world's most coveted destinations like New York, London's port of Dover, Monte Carlo, Singapore, Los Angeles, Montreal, and, for the first time, Copenhagen (for a new Baltic route) and Istanbul (for a new Black Sea cruise).
-- Brand new 18-day North Cape & White Sea cruise from Reykjavik features five maiden calls.
-- New Holy Land & Mediterranean cruise visits Ashdod and Haifa, Israel.
-- New European cruises to and from Amsterdam and Marseille.
-- New TransAtlantic cruise calling overnight in Bermuda.
-- Both ships will cruise the British Isles with a new combination of ports.
-- Mexico is back on the roster, along with an expanded convenient Caribbean collection.
-- Approximately a third of the cruises are 10 days or less.
-- A new Christmas/New Year cruise from San Juan to Rio de Janeiro joins
Crystal's popular holiday roster.

In keeping with its recent practice to release its full year schedule with the first quarter of the following year, Crystal is also revealing the first quarter of 2016, which includes:

-- Two January/February cruises cruising Antarctica and South America, including a new route round-trip from Buenos Aires.
-- New Panama Canal cruises: from Chile to Miami and Miami to San Francisco.
-- New Caribbean cruises that begin and/or end in Colon, Panama.
102-day World Cruise that, for the first time, follows a route round-trip from San Francisco, with segments beginning in Sydney, Bali, Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo.

Crystal's 2015/early 2016 cruise schedule is available for savoring and planning at

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Gearing Up For Seabourn's Ultimate Antarctica

SEATTLE, July 23: Seabourn has launched "Seabourn's Adventure Outfitter," a convenient online site providing suggested lists of equipment and clothing for guests preparing to join the company's "Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia" voyages later this year on the Seabourn Quest. The company has teamed up with an experienced polar outfitter to create a site for guests who wish to purchase expedition wear or to make arrangements to have the specialized insulated boots suggested for Antarctica available to them directly on the ship. This eliminates the need for guests to pack and carry these somewhat heavy and bulky boots which are only needed during the time in Antarctica. The outfitting site offers a full range of expedition gear with convenient direct to ship delivery and can be reached from

"All guests on these cruises will be provided a beautiful complimentary Seabourn expedition parka and a handy daypack for secure, hands-free carrying of cameras and other items during the beach landings," noted John Delaney, Seabourn's senior vice president of marketing and sales. "Guests seeking other cold-weather pieces may also purchase additional clothing either as a package or by the piece on the website. All of the items available for sale have already been tested and are suitable for excursions ashore in the chilly Antarctic climate."

Temperatures will vary between Austral summer conditions in South America to chillier winter conditions during the five days in Antarctica where temperatures are expected to average in the mid-thirties Fahrenheit. Wind and precipitation can affect comfort, as well. Guests will also want to be on deck during cruising in the Chilean fjords, around glaciers and at other times, so suitable clothing will help them make the most of the entire cruise.

A selection of suggested books, field guides and maps is also available from the site for guests who wish to prepare in advance for the adventure.

Beginning Nov. 20, 2013, Seabourn Quest will sail on a series of four 21- to 24-day voyages between Valparaíso, (Santiago) Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina. They include days exploring the Chilean coast and fjords, Beagle Channel, Glacier Alley, the breathtaking Torres del Paine National Park, Cape Horn, the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, Montevideo and five days of cruising and landings on the Antarctic Continent in uncompromised Seabourn luxury. A 24-day Holiday version, departing Dec. 11, 2013, will include a rare visit to the sub-Antarctic wildlife Eden of South Georgia Island, renowned for its beauty and its vast, teeming rookeries of king penguins and other seabirds, as well as breeding elephant and fur seals.

Seabourn's new Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia sailings are now open for sale. For more information, visit

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Say “I Do” At Sea With Norwegian Cruise Line

MIAMI, July 23: Norwegian Cruise Line announced today three new, customizable destination wedding experiences for guests wishing to celebrate their nuptials on one of Norwegian’s ships or in one of the line’s spectacular destinations. In partnership with Vancouver-based Royal Ocean Events, Norwegian offers couples the opportunity to have the wedding of a lifetime during their cruise, whether they choose to tie the knot overlooking the sparkling ocean, atop a majestic glacier in Alaska, or under a canopy of palm trees on an exotic Caribbean beach.

Couples planning their dream destination wedding with Norwegian can choose from three wedding ceremony options: “Symbolic,” performed on board while at sea; “Harborside,” performed on board while the ship is docked in select ports of call; or “Destination,” performed on shore in select ports of call.

Ceremonies are available in a wide range of ports, including Norwegian’s domestic embarkation ports, as well as beautiful destinations in Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. From a romantic, intimate ceremony in Santorini, Greece to an elaborate portside affair with hundreds of guests, brides and grooms sailing with Norwegian can commemorate the most important day of their life as they’ve always imagined it.

With packages starting at $1600, Royal Ocean Events offers everything that couples need for their perfect celebration. The happy couple can relax, as an experienced wedding coordinator will assist them every step of the way during the planning process and, once on board, they will enjoy their big day stress free, as Norwegian’s on-site wedding coordinators handle all of the day’s details.

All packages include an officiant or ship officer to perform the ceremony, on-site wedding coordinator, private ceremony location, ceremony vows, bride’s bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, prerecorded ceremony music, a bottle of sparkling wine, keepsake wedding certificate and wedding cake.

Norwegian also offers a wide selection of enhancements and services that couples can choose from to further personalize their celebration, including spa and beauty treatments, flowers (including custom orders), décor and ceremony enhancements, live music, photography and videography, transportation to and from the ship or wedding location, priority check-in, and a variety of wedding reception options, ranging from an elegant cocktail reception with gourmet selections and open bar to a four-course sit-down luncheon with wine service.

For couples who wish to re-confirm their love while at sea, Norwegian’s “Vow Renewal” package offers married couples the opportunity to celebrate their love all over again with a group vow renewal ceremony performed by a crew member. The package starts at $299 and includes a bottle of private-selection sparkling wine, a celebration cake for two, a commemorative vow renewal certificate, dinner for two in the line’s very romantic signature French Restaurant, Le Bistro, an 8x10 professional portrait, sparkling wine and chocolate-covered strawberries delivered to their stateroom and a bouquet of flowers or $50 on board credit to use towards photo prints. Those couples who want a more personal experience can select the “Deluxe Vow Renewal,” offering a private ceremony by the ship’s Captain, an invitation from the Captain to tour the bridge while the ship is in port, plus all of the amenities included in the Vow Renewal package.

For those looking to “pop the question” while at sea, Norwegian and Royal Ocean Weddings can arrange the ultimate proposal. The “Engagement” package includes an ideal proposal setting onboard, a bouquet of classic red roses, sparkling wine and strawberries waiting for the couple in their stateroom, two 25-minute half-body Swedish massages, in-room tea service, breakfast-in-bed for two, and dinner for two in Le Bistro, with pricing starting at $399.

Honeymooners, too, can take advantage of all that Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising has to offer including romantic dinners for two in the line’s signature restaurants; pampering couples spa treatments in Norwegian’s award-winning Mandara Spas; and adventurous excursions in exciting ports of call.

For additional information, availability and package pricing for weddings please contact Royal Ocean Events at 1-888-475-5511 (Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:00pm PST) or email . For any questions regarding Vow Renewal and Engagement Packages, please contact Norwegian’s Group Events Department at . For more details on weddings with Norwegian, visit

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Windstar Offers Ultimate Grand Prix of Monaco Experience

Seattle, July 23: Windstar Cruises combines its distinctive yacht style cruising with the glamour and excitement of the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix to offer guests a VIP experience during this world famous Formula One event. Guests have two voyage options to choose from: a complete Grand Prix themed cruise on the May 21, 2014 Grand Prix of Monaco voyage onboard Windstar’s newest yacht Star Pride; or a Grand Prix excursion package on the May 20, 2014 Yachting the Riviera cruise onboard Wind Surf, the largest of Windstar’s three sailing yachts.

“Windstar’s Grand Prix of Monaco packages offer the ideal opportunity for guests to cruise through all the pleasures of the Riviera combined with a chance to take part in one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “These experiences are just another way Windstar is able to bring its guests closer to the local flavor of each region we sail to.”

The Grand Prix themed cruise onboard Star Pride will be hosted by John Bisignano, a former Formula One pit reporter and includes the chance for guests to cheer on their favorite driver from Grand Stand seats during the qualifying races on Saturday, May 24, 2014, and the finals on Sunday, May 25, 2014; as well as delighting in a post-race cocktail reception at the luxurious Hotel de Paris in the heart of Monte Carlo. Before arriving along the French Riviera, guests will also enjoy a special cocktail reception and Grand Prix dinner in addition to other onboard surprises including a Grand Prix gift package. Star Pride’s seven-day Grand Prix of Monaco voyage sails round-trip from Rome/Civitavecchia, Italy on May 21, 2014, and visits Portoferraio, Portofino and Portovenere, Italy; Cannes, France; and Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Guests onboard the 310-guest flagship Wind Surf Yachting the Riviera voyage also have the opportunity to attend these unforgettable races with Windstar’s Grand Prix excursion package, which includes Grand Stand seats for the qualifying races and finals, as well as an exclusive onboard cocktail reception and a Grand Prix gift package. Wind Surf’s seven-day Yachting the Riviera voyage sails from Rome/Civitavecchia, Italy on May 20, 2014, to Nice, France and visits Portoferraio, Portofino and Portovenere, Italy; Nice, France; and Monte Carlo, Monaco.

For more information about Windstar Cruises’ Grand Prix of Monaco experiences, visit

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SeaDream Yacht Club now Taking Bookings for late 2014 & early 2015 Voyages

Miami, FL, July 23: SeaDream Yacht Club just released their November 2014 through April 2015 voyage schedule, first giving their past guests advance notice before going out to travel agents and the public at large. From November 2014 through April 2015, SeaDream I & SeaDream II will sail the British Virgin Islands, the French West Indies, the Grenadines and other sublime islands. After a hiatus of several years, SeaDream is returning to St. Croix, U.S.V.I. Those looking for unique ports of call will enjoy St. Kitts, St. Lucia and Dominica to name a few.

Highlights of SeaDream’s 2014/2015 Caribbean season include:

Frigate Bay and Friars Bay, St Kitts; the island’s best beaches, located along the southeast coast.
After several years off SeaDream’s schedule, Anegada, British Virgin Islands is back. Known for Horseshoe Reef, the largest barrier coral reef in the Caribbean.
After several years off SeaDream’s schedule, Christiansted, St. Croix is back. Christiansted’s National Historic Site, preserves the island’s European heritage.
Cockleshell Bay, St Kitts will be a new stop for evening beach parties and bon fires. Reggae Beach at Cockleshell Bay is rated number one beach on the island.

“All voyages are designed to make our guests feel as if they are aboard their own private yacht. When calling on St. Barts, F.W.I, we’ll be staying overnight. It’s a different experience to go ashore in the evening and enjoy the island night life” said SeaDream’s President, Bob Lepisto. “In 2015 we’ve broadened our mix of destinations and we’ve included voyages sailing from Barbados, St. Martin, St. Thomas and San Juan. Our selection of complimentary watersports equipment, including stand up paddle boards and wave runners are ideal for the warm Caribbean waters.” All 2014 and early 2015 routes have just been posted on SeaDream’s website. SeaDream suggests reserving early to ensure the best possible tariff. Click here for further details SeaDream’s 2014/2015 Caribbean Voyages.

Chic and stylish, SeaDream’s 56-stateroom twin yachts are favored for their elegant informality, state-of-the-art facilities, personal service provided by a crew of 95, inclusive open bar and gratuities, ocean-view accommodations, luxury spa and world class cuisine. Itineraries include the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Costa Rica, Asia and the Baltic “It’s yachting, not cruising” Enjoy the difference. For further details, visit

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Un-Cruise Adventures Offers Four Holiday Cruises in 2013—Hawai & Mexico’s Sea of Cortés

Seattle, WA, July 22: Unwind over the winter holidays this year on one of four weeklong yacht cruises offered by Un-Cruise Adventures in the Hawaiian Islands or Mexico’s Sea of Cortés. Holiday departures are scheduled for December 21 and 28, 2013 aboard the 64-guest Safari Voyager in Baja, Mexico and the 36-guest Safari Explorer in Hawaii.

Whether travelers are looking for an escape from the busyness of the holiday season or simply a new place to enjoy the company of friends and family, activities are adapted for each trip. Tasteful holiday decorations, special holiday menus, parties and the possibility of an appearance of Santa at sea if desired by young guests bring the fun on board while leaving the work to the crew.

The 36-guest yacht Safari Explorer explores the Hawaiian Islands on a new itinerary sailing one-way between Moloka’i and Hawai’i, the Big Island or reverse. Weeklong Luxury Adventure cruises in Hawaii include activities and tours while exploring four islands—Moloka’i, Lana’i, Maui and Hawai’i, the Big Island. Highlights of the Hawaiian Seascapes cruise include a night snorkel with Giant Pacific Manta rays, snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook was slain in 1779, a visit to the sacred Halawa Valley on Moloka’i and searching out marine life in the Humpback National Marine Sanctuary.

New to the Un-Cruise Adventures fleet, the 64-guest Safari Voyager sails roundtrip from San José del Cabo in Baja, Mexico on two holiday cruises. The weeklong Cousteau’s Aquarium of the World itinerary visits two ports—Loreto and La Paz—along with Isla Cerralvo, the famed Cousteau Island. On this route, guests have a good chance at seeing—and even snorkeling alongside—whale sharks and will visit Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park. Remote island hiking, a bonfire ashore, a mule ride into the arroyo with a ranchero and snorkeling with sea lions are all included.

“Holidays aboard our yachts are special—intimate and joyful times whether you are traveling alone, as a couple or part of a group,” said Dan Blanchard, CEO and principal for Un-Cruise Adventures, who spent his last holiday aboard in Mexico. “You’ll leave with a new group of friends and experiences you won’t forget.”

The yachts carry a full complement of water sports equipment for guest use and a swim step provides a convenient and safe launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards, or jumping in for a swim. Guests can be as active as they like and activities include hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, sailing and skiff excursions. Expert naturalists provide interpretation on guided excursions ashore and at sea. An experienced and attentive crew provides a guest-crew ratio of almost 2 to 1. Charters and group bookings are available. For additional information, visit

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Carnival Cruise Lines Will Launch Carnival Vista in 2016

Carnival Vista is the name selected by Carnival Cruise Lines for its new 135,000-ton ‘Fun Ship’ scheduled to enter service in 2016. To be built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, the 4,000-passenger Carnival Vista will be the 25th vessel in the line’s fleet.

Carnival Vista will offer a wide variety of dining, bar and entertainment options that are part of the line’s groundbreaking Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative, along with a number of innovations unique to the vessel. Additional design details regarding Carnival Vista, as well as homeport deployment and itinerary information, will be announced at a later date.

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Celebrity Cruises Mixes It Up With New Craft Cocktails

MIAMI, July 19: Celebrity Cruises is shaking up the bar scene onboard by significantly expanding its selections of the beverage world's favorite comeback kid—the cocktail—with a selection of 30 entirely new craft cocktails offered exclusively on Celebrity's ships. Already known for its popular Molecular and Martini Bars, Celebrity's new craft cocktail experience was developed through an alliance with artisanal cocktail developers Hawthorn Beverage Group, founded by noted cocktail creator Josh Durr.

The new craft cocktails blend vintage-style liqueurs with fresh ingredients, organic juices and the finest artisanal spirits, resulting in a combination of new-school libations and updated old-school favorites. A new line-up of "zero-proof" (non-alcoholic) cocktails also will be introduced'Sparkling Mint Lemonade' or 'Raspberry Fizz,' anyone?along with an assortment of fine wines by the glass. Celebrity's current list of international beer selections will be expanded, too, to join Celebrity's industry-first offering of craft beers in an even more well-rounded variety of styles, from pale ales and IPA's to Belgian ales and premium lagers.

"Together with Josh Durr and the highly skilled mixologists at Hawthorn, we worked to create flavor profiles that vacationers will thoroughly enjoy, while also focusing on the details, quality of ingredients, and craftsmanship," said Celebrity's manager of Beverage Development Chanelle Duarte. "Through our creative guidance and the methodical specifications of Josh and his team, Celebrity is 'stirring up' an authentic, trend-forward craft cocktail bar experience for our guests."

Growing up in a culture tied to the bourbon distilleries of Kentucky, Durr's passion for the art of spirits mixology began at a young age, ultimately inspiring him to pursue a career that fully immersed him in the craft. He has since been honored with a "Rising Star Award" from Cheers magazine, and editorial recognition in The New York Times, Playboy, Forbes, Wine Spectator, Chicago magazine, and Cheers magazine, and has landed a client list that includes Apiary, Diageo, Pernod, Remy Cointreau and Ruth's Chris, among others. Durr attributes his success to focusing on three key pillars: staying relevant and ahead of trends, masterfully developing cocktail programs to provide brand-unique experiences, and joining forces with staff to execute the programs with precise attention to detail and quality.

Celebrity's guests will have the opportunity to indulge in the full, new craft cocktail experience across its modern luxury fleet by the end of 2013. For more information, visit

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Senior Officers Announced for Regal Princess

SANTA CLARITA, CA, July 18: Princess Cruises has announced that Captain Ed Perrin will be at the helm of its next new ship, Regal Princess, leading a senior officer team with more than 100 years of seagoing experience among them. The senior four-stripe team will also include Relief Captain Dino Sagani, Relief Captain John Foster, Chief Engineer Rosario Segreto, Hotel General Manager Dirk Brand, and Staff Captain Aldo Traverso.

Following in the wake of sister ship Royal Princess, Regal Princess launches in June 2014 for a season of Mediterranean cruising. The ship will offer the same dramatic features that have already made headlines on Royal Princess, including a soaring atrium, the dramatic over-water SeaWalk, the new Princess Live! television studio, a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, and balconies on all outside staterooms.

“It takes a talented team to bring out a new vessel of this caliber,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “These skilled officers bring considerable seagoing and management skills to the new ship’s maiden season.”

Captain Ed Perrin – Captain Edward Perrin has been in command of numerous Princess ships since 2006, beginning with the former Tahitian Princess sailing in French Polynesia. Captain Perrin attended the College of Maritime Studies in Southampton and worked aboard several types of cargo ships before setting off aboard cruise ships. He then joined Princess in 1996.

Staff Captain Aldo Traverso – Head of the deck department and second in command to the captain, Staff Captain Aldo Traverso joined Princess in 1998 aboard the original Regal Princess. His Princess career began as an able seaman fireman, after which he rose swiftly through the ranks to his current position.

Relief Captain Dino Sagani – Captain Dino Sagani commanded a variety of Princess vessels, including Sea Princess, Dawn Princess, Sapphire Princess, Diamond Princess, and most recently as relief captain on Royal Princess. He joined Princess Cruises in 1995, where he quickly climbed the ranks and was promoted to captain in 2007.

Relief Captain John Foster – Captain John Foster has most recently commanded Sea Princess and Grand Princess. Foster started his seagoing career as an officer cadet with Esso tankers at the age of 16. After completing his cadetship, he joined his first Princess ship – the original Royal Princess. He was also assigned to the new build projects of Dawn Princess, Grand Princess and Island Princess.

Chief Engineer Rosario Segreto – Chief Engineer Rosario Segreto has held this position for Princess Cruises since 1999 and is now one of the most senior chief engineers in the Princess fleet. In 2010, he was asked to participate in the design and development of the new class of ships, Royal Princess and Regal Princess, and has spent the past several years working extensively with the shipbuilding team. He joined Princess Cruises in 1988.

Hotel General Manager Dirk Brand – Hotel General Manager Dirk Brand will oversee all hotel functions aboard Regal Princess, a position he has held aboard a variety of Princess ships, including most recently Royal Princess and Ruby Princess during the ships’ inaugurals. He has also worked aboard the ships of sister company Cunard.  Brand began his career at sea in 1998 as a senior assistant food and beverage director during the inaugural season of Grand Princess.

Regal Princess, will debut on June 2, 2014 with a 7-day inaugural voyage from Venice to Barcelona. The ship will then sail on a 10-day Mediterranean & Aegean cruise, followed by a season of Princess’ signature Grand Mediterranean cruises, with two itinerary choices. Additional information is available by visiting the company's website at

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Norwegian Cruise Line First to Install Scrubbers on Two New Builds

MIAMI, July 18: Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that its two new Breakaway Plus class ships will be the first new builds in the cruise industry to feature innovative scrubber technology developed by Green Tech Marine (GTM), a world leading marine scrubber supplier. The two new vessels will be built by MEYER WERFT GMBH in Germany and delivered to the fleet in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

Green Tech Marine will provide five scrubbers per ship for the engines which range from 14.4 to 16.8 megawatts. This installation will be the largest scrubber plant in the world with a total engine power of 76.8 megawatts.

“Norwegian Cruise Line has a history of innovation along with a commitment to utilizing green technology whenever possible,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Installing scrubbers from Green Tech Marine on our new Breakaway Plus vessels is a smart decision and one that will ensure these ships are as eco-friendly as possible.”

The GTM-R scrubbers are compact, making it possible for the builds to avoid the loss of cabin space or other service areas. GTM uses one smaller scrubber for each engine instead of a large multi inlet scrubber serving several engines, and the scrubber also replaces the silencer, which is very suitable for cruise ships. The GTM-R scrubbers hold all necessary certificates to ensure these vessels are compliant with the 0.1% sulphur limit in Emission Control Areas (ECA) beginning in 2015. GTM has previously delivered scrubbers to Norwegian’s Pride of America which sails year-round in Hawaii. The scrubbers were installed during the ship’s dry dock refurbishment in March and are scheduled to be fully operational later this year.

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Explore Iconic Australian Sights Between Voyages on Two Cunard Ships

July 17: Cunard Line understands that even the most ardent cruise aficionados enjoy going ashore to find new adventures. Now travelers may combine World Voyage Segments on two different Cunard liners—Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth or Queen Victoriawith an exciting Australian Land Stay excursion that explores the continent’s most iconic destinations.

This unique offering allows travelers to experience a perfectly timed land excursion and voyages aboard two Cunard ships during one seamless vacation. Interested guests will sail on one Queen to Sydney and, upon arriving, spend nine to 14 days exploring some of Australia’s top attractions, before boarding a second Queen to complete an unforgettable itinerary. This arrangement is possible because during the ships’ 2014 World Voyages, all three Queens will make stops in Sydney.

Between sailings, Cunarders will have the opportunity to explore the very best of Australia’s extraordinary urban and natural wonders. The smartly-arranged itineraries will take travelers through a panorama of landscapes, a kaleidoscope of history, and breathtaking excursions by various means of conveyance.

“In the splendid tradition of elegant travel, each destination in the Cunard Australian Land Stay excursion offers the ultimate mix of comfort and adventure, a combination sure to create lifelong and life-changing memories,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “Adventurers will come away from their explorations with a deeper appreciation for the vast Australian ecosystem, culture and history.”

The excursion will begin in Sydney with leisurely tours of the city’s sightsthe historical Rocks area, Kings Cross, Double Bay, Sydney Tower, Queen Victoria Building and the world-famous Sydney Opera House. Next, a full-day tour of the Blue Mountains will stop at both the Waradah (formerly, Koomurri) Aboriginal Centre and Featherdale Wildlife Park, home to more than 300 species of Australian wildlife. In the Outback pioneering town of Alice Springs, guests will discover the unique birds and animals of the Australian desert before venturing on to Uluru (formerly, Ayers Rock), the World Heritage Site and unique archeological rock formation in Central Australia, which is also home to some of the world’s starriest skies.

The excitement continues as a high-speed catamaran ventures to the Great Barrier Reef for snorkeling, swimming or an excursion on a semi-submersible submarine. The land journey also extends to tropical Port Douglas, where leisurely strolls along the turquoise waters and expansive beaches are matched in beauty only by forays into the pristine rainforest nearby. After a flight to Cairns, Queensland, guests will tour the mountaintop Kuranda Village and ride the scenic Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, then experience the breathtaking descent where the cableway’s gondolas soar over the rainforest canopy before stopping at the Rainforest Interpretive Centre.

The excursion also includes a guided tour of the magnificent Olgas region where guests can take in the more than 30 conglomerate domes that rise above the desert plains.

Australia Land Stay excursion cruises in 2014 include:

Queen Mary 2 + Queen Victoria: 14-night Land Stay between Feb 10 and March 5
Queen Mary 2 + Queen Elizabeth: 11-night Land Stay between Feb 19 and March 2
Queen Elizabeth + Queen Mary 2: 12-night Land Stay between March 2 and March 14
Queen Victoria + Queen Mary 2: 9-night Land Stay between March 5 and March 14

For more details about Cunard’s unique Australian Land Stay excursion offerings, please visit

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Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday with Disney Cruise Line

CELEBRATION, FL: This holiday season, give a gift that’s both nautical and nice: a cruise on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, or Disney Fantasy, all decked to the “raft-ers” with holiday cheer. Starting early November, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship, with traditional “turkey day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries” and New Year’s Eve galas. But the best part might just be relaxing on deck instead of shoveling snow.

To kick off the holiday cheer, special Very Merrytime Cruises begin Nov. 9 with a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy and a 7-night Bahamian cruise on the Disney Wonder, followed by a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Magic and a 4-night Bahamian cruise on the Disney Dream departing Nov. 10.

During these voyages through the new year, special stem-to-stern holiday events include:

• “King Triton’s Tree Lighting Ceremony” in the atrium lobby on the first night of the cruise, where a young guest helps Disney characters light the glittering, three-deck-tall tree.
• Family holiday activities including building gingerbread houses and meeting Santa Claus and his elves.
• Youth holiday crafts such as decorating stockings and gingerbread men cookies, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells.
• Holiday storytellers sharing tales of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Plus, a story just for Disney Cruise Line guests about the magical feeling of the holidays on a ship.
• “Deck the Deck Holiday Party” (Disney Fantasy/Disney Magic/Disney Wonder), a tropical celebration with Disney friends leading games such as hula hooping and limbo under oversized candy canes, along with dances for the whole family like the “Yuletide Slide” and a conga line around the pool.
• “Til We Meet Again” features a special holiday edition of Disney Cruise Line’s cheerful farewell on the final night of each cruise with beloved Disney characters and the ship’s crew in an engaging musical finale led by Mickey Mouse.

On Thanksgiving Day, guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and friends dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire and a special turkey towel animal in their stateroom upon turndown. Also during the special Thanksgiving voyages, big NFL football games will be broadcast live on the ships’ outdoor, jumbo LED screen–Funnel Vision–located near the family pool.

Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Hanukkah services will be held each day, Nov. 28-Dec. 5. Christmas morning at the atrium lobby tree Santa Claus and his elves will have surprises for all the kids. Later in the day, guests will enjoy caroling from the crew choir plus a special musical performance from the children. A traditional Christmas Dinner will be served that night in the dining rooms.

When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, during the holidays, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music.

For an extra sprinkle of holiday joy, mini Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, red berries, mini carnations and a bow topper, in addition to special holiday-themed gift packages and treat baskets, are available for purchase prior to the voyages for stateroom delivery. Plus, during the holiday cruises, Disney Cruise Line’s holiday merchandise collection, along with the popular Disney Cruise Line ornaments, will be available onboard in the gift shops.

To celebrate the new year, voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2014, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown with balloon drops.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line, visit

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Crystal Cruises Earns Green Kudos From Port Of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, July 17: The Port of Los Angeles has honored Crystal Cruises for successfully complying with the harbor's 2012 Vessel Speed Reduction Program (VSRP), contributing to a greener, cleaner port. By Crystal lowering its vessel speeds when sailing in and out of the area, the luxury cruise provider has contributed to significant decreases in environmental emissions and to an overall healthier air quality around San Pedro Bay. Both Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony earned accolades for their pollution-reduction efforts while visiting L.A. last year.

The port's distinctive program is designed to reduce emissions from ocean-going vessels by slowing their speeds as they approach or depart the port at either 20 nautical miles from Point Fermin or as far as 40 nautical miles offshore. In 2012, these voluntary actions helped reduce 73 tons of diesel particulate matter (DPM), as well as 740 tons of sulfur oxide (SOx) and 981 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

"Our Crystal Clean ethos permeates all of our operations worldwide," says William Boehm, Crystal's director of marine compliance. "From greener approaches to sailing, to our 'Nothing Overboard' policy and You Care, We Care voluntourism program, we are continually seeking out opportunities to reduce our ecological impact and enhance environmental stewardship wherever we sail."

Los Angeles is just one of several international ports that have recognized Crystal for its environmental efforts in recent years. Additional awards have included the Venice Blue Flag award, Stockholm's Environmental Buoy Diploma, and San Francisco's Cruise Ship Environmental Award.

A cornerstone of Crystal Cruises' culture is its genuine hospitality and service that has been internationally celebrated for two decades. This spirit of generosity extends to its respectful treatment of the environment, oceans and communities in which it travels. For more information, visit

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Study Shows U.S. Cruise Industry A Substantial Contributor to U.S. Economy

WASHINGTON DC, July 16: The North American cruise industry continued to be a substantial contributor to the U.S. economy in 2012 according to an independent study commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The study shows that CLIA’s 26 North American member lines and their passengers and crew contributed over $42 billion in total U.S. economic impact, a 4.6 percent increase from 2011. In addition, the cruise industry generated 356,311 jobs, paying a record $17.4 billion in wages to American workers.

After a strong rebound in 2010 and 2011 from the recession induced impacts of 2009, the North American cruise industry continued to expand in 2012. According to the study, CLIA’s North American member cruise lines carried a record 16.95 million passengers on cruises worldwide in 2012, a 3.8 percent increase from the previous year. More than 10 million passengers embarked on their cruises at U.S. ports — another all-time high — delivering significant economic benefits to local and port communities nationwide. Every week, cruise ships provision in U.S. ports prior to embarking on an itinerary and purchase products and services from American business across the nation.

“The cruise industry is a growing contributor to our nation’s economy and the economic benefits of cruising go beyond port communities as all 50 states benefit from the cruise industry’s direct and indirect spending,” said Christine Duffy, CLIA’s president and CEO. “Various businesses nationwide contribute products and services that are integral to the cruise experience. The study demonstrates that cruising, aside from being a fun and affordable vacation option, continues to spur U.S. economic growth.”

“The State of the North American Cruise Industry in 2012” was prepared for CLIA by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) of Exton, Pennsylvania. Key findings include:

· Total economic impact on the U.S. economy grew by 4.6 percent to $42.3 billion in 2012, with direct spending by the cruise industry growing by 4.0 percent to $19.6 billion.
· During 2012, CLIA’s North American cruise line members carried nearly 17 million passengers on cruises around the globe. This represented a 3.8 percent increase from the previous year.
· An estimated 10.1 million cruise passengers embarked on their cruises at U.S. ports, accounting for 59 percent of the CLIA North America member cruise line global embarkations and representing a 2.5 percent increase from 2011.
· The North American cruise industry benefited every state in the nation through direct purchases of goods and services, with approximately 80 percent of the impact concentrated in ten states—Florida, California, Texas, New York, Alaska, Washington, Georgia, Massachusetts, Illinois and New Jersey.

Key data points for the top five states impacted by the cruise industry include:

#1: Florida ports handled approximately 6.1 million embarkations and accounted for 60 percent of all U.S. cruise embarkations in 2012. Florida businesses received $7 billion, or 36 percent of the direct expenditures generated by the cruise industry in the U.S.
#2: California cruise ports combined generated just under 837,000 passenger embarkations during 2012, 8.3 percent of total U.S. embarkations. As a result of the activity of the cruise industry, direct expenditures generated total economic impacts of 42,833 jobs and $2.4 billion in income throughout the California economy during 2012
#3: The primary cruise port in Texas is Galveston, which had 604,000 embarkations, or 6 percent of total U.S. cruise embarkations, in 2012. Cruise activity in Texas accounted for $1.24 billion in direct spending and 19,745 jobs paying $1.1 billion in income.
#4: New York accounted for 6.3 percent of the industry's direct expenditures with $1.24 billion – and this spending generated an estimated 16,342 jobs paying $944 million in income.
#5: Alaska ports received about 3.55 million cruise passenger visits, approximately 65 percent of all port-of-call cruise passenger visits at U.S. ports. Direct expenditures in Alaska generated total economic impacts of 22,632 jobs and $1.03 billion in income during 2012.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Confirms Order For Second Breakaway Plus Vessel

MIAMI, July 16: Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it has confirmed an order for a second “Breakaway Plus” cruise ship with MEYER WERFT GMBH of Papenburg, Germany for delivery in spring 2017. Along with the first Breakaway Plus ship, which is scheduled for delivery in October 2015, these two new vessels will be the largest in the line’s fleet at approximately 163,000 gross tons and 4,200 passenger berths each and will be similar in design and innovation to the line’s current Breakaway class, the first of which, Norwegian Breakaway, launched in New York in early May.

The combined contract cost of the two Breakaway Plus class ships is approximately €1.4 billion. The company has export credit financing in place that provides financing for 80 percent of the contract price.

“The incredible response we’ve received from guests, travel agents and media regarding Norwegian Breakaway only reinforced our decision to add a second Breakaway Plus vessel to our fleet,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “With groundbreaking elements, yet to be announced, and an additional deck to incorporate further innovations, our two Breakaway Plus ships will provide guests even more ways to experience all that the new Norwegian has to offer.”

MEYER WERFT delivered Norwegian Breakaway, the first of Norwegian’s two new 146,600 gross ton, 4,000-passenger Breakaway class vessels on April 25, 2013; and will deliver Norwegian Getaway, in mid-January 2014.

“We’re very pleased to build all these innovative ships for Norwegian Cruise Line,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of MEYER WERFT.

Prior to the Breakaway class ships, MEYER WERFT built Norwegian’s four Jewel-class ships—Norwegian Gem delivered in 2007, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jade delivered in 2006, and Norwegian Jewel delivered in 2005. These two new Breakaway Plus vessels on order will be the tenth and eleventh that the Company will build with MEYER WERFT.

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Silversea Cruises Reveals 'Grand Voyages' For 2015

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, July 15: Following on the heels of the unveiling of its World Cruise 2015 last month, ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises today opened the books on its two Grand Voyages for 2015, offering a further tantalizing peek at the line's soon-to-be-announced schedule for the full year.

Silver Shadow will depart Jan 7 on a 62-day "Circle South America" roundtrip voyage from Fort Lauderdale with calls in Key West, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Falkland Islands, Uruguay, Brazil, French Guiana, Barbados, Grenada, Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas. Highlighting the itinerary's 36 intriguing destinations is a crossing of the Panama Canal, two days cruising Chile's majestic fjords, a two-night stopover in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, overnight stays in Callao and Punta Arenas, plus many late-night port departures.

On Jan 22, Silver Spirit will set sail on a 64-day "Southern Cross" roundtrip voyage from Los Angeles to explore a collection of 32 exotic and marquee destinations mostly in the South Pacific, including the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji Islands, Samoa, Kiribati, and Hawaii. Highlights include sailing New Zealand's scenic Dusky and Milford sounds, overnight stays in Papeete, Melbourne, and Sydney, plus several late-night port departures.

A Host of Added-Value Amenities
And for the first time, Silversea is extending special perks to guests sailing full Grand Voyage itineraries. These include a gala Bon Voyage dinner and pre-cruise overnight stay at a luxury hotel, a $2,000 onboard spending credit (per suite), and commemorative gifts. Plus, for guests on the full "Circle South America" voyage, there will be a complimentary Silversea Experience in Devil's Island and an exclusive event at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Similarly, full-cruise guests will be treated to a complimentary Silversea Experience in Fanning Island (Kiribati) and an exclusive event at the Sydney Opera House on the "Southern Cross" voyage.

"On Grand Voyages, our guests spend exciting days ashore exploring magnificent destinations at a leisurely pace, always returning to the easy-going luxury and special camaraderie of a small ship," said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea's president of the Americas. "They are perfectly suited to those avid travelers who have the time and desire to indulge their wanderlust on a grand scale."

Whether sailing completely around South America or cruising the warm waters of the South Pacific, Silversea guests on these unique journeys will experience fascinating places and cultural encounters from the comfort and luxury of elite, all-suite vessels specifically designed for fewer guestsjust 382 on Silver Shadow and 540 on Silver Spirit. Each ship features spacious ocean-view accommodations, sumptuous gourmet cuisine, the personalized service of a butler, and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet, and all gratuities. For complete itineraries, please visit

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Silversea Cruises Offers Exciting 'Australian Open' Tour Package

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, July 11: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is offering an optional pre-cruise "2014 Australian Open" land package for tennis enthusiasts sailing on Silver Shadow's Jan 19, 2014 voyage. The first of four major international tennis events held annually (the others being the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open), the Australian Open attracts the best tennis players from around the world--all competing for the first Grand Slam title of the year.

"Tickets for the Australian Open are not expected to go on sale to the general public until early October, making this a very exclusive opportunity," said Darius Mehta, Silversea's vice president of air and land programs. "We're delighted to offer our guests this unique chance to witness some of the biggest names in tennis going head-to-head as they battle for the top prize."

On Jan 17 and 18, the middle weekend of the competition, Silver Shadow guests will have the opportunity to experience the tournament's thrilling action at Melbourne Park, enjoying reserved seating in the Rod Laver Arena, access to all outdoor courts, meals at select dining venues, an official Australian Open tournament program, access to exclusive bars, facilities and services, plus access to the Melbourne Park precinct for night sessions.

The three-night program includes three nights at the luxurious Sofitel Melbourne hotel on Collins Street, a short walk from major shopping, entertainment and business areas. Some meals at the hotel are included. Transfers between the airport, hotel, Australian Open and Silver Shadow are also included. Priced at $3,689 per guest, based on double occupancy, this special land adventure is only available on Silver Shadow's Jan 19, 2014 voyage (#3402), sailing from Melbourne to Bali. It requires advance booking through Silversea's reservations department.

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American Cruise Lines Introduces Newly Developed 2013 Holiday Cruises

GUILFORD, CT, July 11: American Cruise Lines, operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, announced today the details and events of its 2013 holiday cruises. Brand new Christmas and New Year’s Eve cruises will offer festive onboard and onshore activities that showcase the beautiful regions cruised as well as the spirit of the holidays.

Southern Christmas – Offered on Historic South & Golden Isles Cruises, Dec 21:

-- Oyster Roast on the beach at Sapelo Island
-- Tour of the Ritz Carlton’s famous gingerbread houses on Amelia Island
-- Special Holiday tour at the Jekyll Island Club
-- Charleston Festival of Lights
--Southern holiday décor mansion tour in Charleston

-- Gingerbread House and ornament Making
--Specialty Christmas cookies served throughout the cruise
-- Southern Holiday décor on the ship (trees made with citrus fruit and magnolia leaves)
-- Christmas Carol sing-along
-- Gifts for guests 18 and under

Cajun Christmas – Offered on Lower Mississippi River Cruises, Dec 21:

-- Guests experience the Christmas Eve tradition of Bonfires on the Levee
-- Christmas Concert at the JN Stone House in Natchez
-- Christmas décor and lights tours at Oak Alley and Houmas House Plantations

-- Reveillon Traditional Dinner (a New Orleans Creole tradition)
-- Gingerbread house and ornament making
-- Specialty Christmas cookies served throughout the cruise
-- Christmas Carol sing-along
-- Gifts to guests 18 and under

Old Fashioned New Year’s Eve – Offered on Historic South & Golden Isles, Lower Mississippi River, Dec 28:

-- Fireworks display over Savannah, GA (Historic South & Golden Isles)
-- Christmas décor and lights tours at Oak Alley and Houmas House Plantations (Lower Mississippi River)

-- New Year’s Eve specialty cocktail hour
-- New Year’s Eve dinner with entertainment
==Midnight countdown and champagne toast
--Festive New Year’s Day brunch

Other holiday-themed cruises are also planned for the 2013 season, including Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit

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Un-Cruise Adventures Explores Four Islands by Yacht on New Hawaii Itinerary

Seattle, WA, July 11: From November 2013 to April 2014, Un-Cruise Adventures’ 36-guest yacht Safari Explorer explores the Hawaiian islands on a new itinerary sailing one-way between Moloka’i and Hawaii, the Big Island or reverse. Weeklong Luxury Adventure cruises in Hawaii include activities and tours while exploring four islands—Moloka’i, Lana’i, Maui and Hawaii, the Big Island. New this season, Moloka’i—a quieter, less-visited island—takes center stage as the beginning or ending point for the line’s cruises. Exclusive cultural activities are included for guests on Moloka’i with the vessel spending an evening at dock to allow for a full day of activities and cultural immersion.

“Moloka’i is like stepping back in time to the Hawaii of yesteryear,” said Dan Blanchard, CEO and principal for Un-Cruise Adventures. “It’s incredibly scenic and values its culture and heritage which we’re proud to be able to share with our guests.”

Anakala Pilipo invites guests to Moloka’i’s historic and scenic Halawa Valley for a hike to a secluded waterfall or a relaxing day on his land “talking story,” learning the traditions of his family’s ancient taro patch and a visit to a nearby beach. In the evening, an authentic Pa’ina (feast) at the Moloka’i Museum and Cultural Center features local cuisine including fresh fish, poi, seaweed, Moloka’i sweet potatoes and other staples of the Hawaiian diet. Local musicians join in the celebration along with a kumu hula dancer.

Highlights of the Hawaiian Seascapes cruise include a night snorkel with Giant Pacific Manta rays and snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook was slain in 1779. A tour to the Lana’i Culture and Heritage Center introduces guests to the history of the island. In the Humpback National Marine Sanctuary, expedition cruising allows time for searching out marine life—humpback whales, dolphins, turtles and other marine life. In Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, an afternoon is free to explore the historic town.

The yacht carries a full complement of water sports equipment for guest use and a swim step provides a convenient and safe launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards, or jumping in for a swim. Guests can be as active as they like and activities include hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, sailing and skiff excursions. Expert naturalists provide interpretation on guided excursions ashore and at sea.

Travelers booked by August 2, 2013 for travel November 2013 through April 2014 receive a US$700 per couple travel credit. Inclusion of premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews, superb hand-crafted meals featuring local Hawaiian flavors, massage, yoga, guided tours geared toward small groups, from-yacht activities and equipment, whale and dolphin encounters, transfers, lei greeting, and port charges and taxes are all wrapped into the cruise fare.

An experienced and attentive crew, many from the islands, provides a guest-crew ratio of 2 to 1. Charters and group bookings are available. For additional information, visit

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Orders New Luxury Cruise Ship

MIAMI, July 10: Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced today that it has entered into a definitive contract with Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard to build the most luxurious cruise ship in the era of modern cruising with delivery scheduled in summer 2016. Accommodating just 738 guests, the new ship will be named Seven Seas Explorer and will be the luxury line’s third all-suite, all-balcony ship. At 54,000 gross-registered tons, Seven Seas Explorer will be the largest vessel in the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet. The contract price for the vessel is approximately US$450 million, making Seven Seas Explorer the most expensive luxury liner ever built. Financing for the project is being arranged by Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank with support from SACE, Italy’s export credit facility.

“This new ship order represents an exciting time of growth for our company as we build the next generation of cruise ships for the world’s most inclusive luxury cruise line,” said Frank J. Del Rio, Prestige Cruise Holdings Chairman and CEO. “Seven Seas Explorer will be the most luxurious cruise ship ever built, boasting one of the highest space ratios and staff-to-guest ratios ever seen in the modern era of cruising enabling us to deliver the highly personalized service and extraordinary experience that is the hallmark of the Regent brand.” According to Del Rio, “The moment you step aboard, you’ll know you’ve arrived somewhere special. The ship’s upscale yet timeless design, extreme use of exotic stones and polished woods, designer furniture, rich fabrics and sophisticated lighting combined with what promises to be a museum-quality, eclectic art collection will clearly position Seven Seas Explorer as the new standard in luxury cruising.”

Seven Seas Explorer will feature spacious and sophisticated designer suites, ultra-elegant public areas, a wide-range of gourmet dining options, a world-class spa and many other amenities all created with the personality, warmth and soul of classic and timeless design. “At Regent, we believe more is best,” Del Rio quipped.

World-renowned architectural and interior design firms Tillberg Design AB, RTKL Associates and ICrave are designing the vessel, which will feature 369 suites ranging from 300 square feet to 1,500 square feet, six open-seating gourmet restaurants, Regent’s signature nine-deck atrium, the two-story Explorer Theater, three boutiques and an expansive Canyon Ranch SpaClub®.

The specifications for the ship call for a hull 732 feet long, with a beam of 102 feet and a draft of 23 feet. The ship will be powered by diesel-electric engines with a service speed of 20 knots. Seven Seas Explorer will be a “green ship” employing the most advanced environmental systems and state-of-the-art technology. With the Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ overall fleet capacity will grow nearly 40 percent, making the brand the world’s largest luxury cruise line.

“This new ship order is part of our disciplined growth strategy to expand our footprint in the luxury market,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Since we purchased the Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand in 2008, the ships have sailed full with industry-leading yields. We strongly believe that now is the right time to expand our fleet as our loyal guests have asked for a greater array of itineraries and our travel partners have proven that there is pent-up demand for a new Regent ship.”

Further details about the ship will be announced in the coming months. Seven Seas Explorer will join a fleet of three award-winning luxury vessels that appear continuously on annual “world’s best” and “top” awards lists by noted media.

Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager carry guests in luxury to ports in Australia, Europe, Asia, South America, Alaska, New England, Canada, Africa, India, South Pacific and the Caribbean. Public areas are resplendent with rich fabrics, textures and furnishings. Guests can choose to dine in several open-seating gourmet restaurants, including Prime 7, a contemporary American steakhouse and Sette Mari at La Veranda, the line’s Italian dining experience. Amenities include elegant bars, a show lounge, casino, library, Internet center, card room, outdoor pool and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub®. For more information, visit

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Seabourn Conversations to Host Highly Acclaimed Culinary Talents

SEATTLE, July 10: Seabourn has announced an exciting line-up of highly acclaimed chefs and an award-winning winemaker for "Seabourn Conversations," the line's onboard enrichment and special guest entertainment program aboard its award-winning fleet. They include Lars Kronmark, executive instructor at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in California's Napa Valley; Jeremy Bloor, executive chef at London's OXO Tower Restaurant; Paso Robles winemaker Gary Eberle; Kaushik Chowdhury, executive pastry chef at the Fairmont Dubai hotel; and Marisol Simon, destination chef, writer and media personality.

These culinary luminaries will be on board to socialize with the guests and present events such as cooking demonstrations and wine tasting parties on board. In addition, they may share meals, adventures ashore and casual chats with guests throughout the voyage.

"We're excited to welcome this very gifted group of individuals on board our ships," said John Delaney, Seabourn's senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Award-winning cuisine and great wines are important elements of a Seabourn cruise, and our guests will enjoy the insights and knowledge these culinary stars are able to provide."

Seabourn's 2013 line-up of guest culinary talents includes:

- Lars Kronmark, executive instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone; Seabourn Pride, July 4-25
- Jeremy Bloor, executive Chef at OXO Tower Restaurant in London; Seabourn Sojourn, Sept 3-24
- Gary Eberle, winemaker, Eberle Winery, Paso Robles, California; Seabourn Sojourn, Sept 3-24
- Kaushik Chowdhury, executive pastry chef at the Fairmont Dubai; Seabourn Odyssey, Oct 12-30
- Marisol Simon, destination chef, writer and media personality; Seabourn Legend, Nov 7-25

These guest chefs are only one portion of the stellar lineup of onboard enrichment and entertainment planned for guests sailing on the line's intimate, all-suite ships. "Seabourn Conversations" topics are broken down into several categories: arts, celebrity, culinary, culture and destination, current affairs and history, and science.

Seabourn's intimate, all-suite ships offer key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas; superb dining in a choice of venues; open bars throughout the ship; fine wines poured at lunch and dinner; the aforementioned award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board.

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

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Crystal's Expanded 2014 Asia Season: 2 Ships, 34 Voyages, 4 Maiden Calls
 & Countless New Highlights

LOS ANGELES, July 9: Crystal Cruises is vastly expanding its presence in the exotic ports of China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei next year. With a choice of 34 voyages (vs. just four in 2012), the five- to 29-day luxury Asia cruises offer a host of itinerary firsts and varied options, as well as tremendous added value, including a brand new 2-for-1 airfare bonus for select Crystal Symphony Asia cruises and Book Now bonus savings of up to $2,500 per person for bookings made by Aug 30, 2013.

New for Crystal's 2014 Asia season include:

-- Two ships in the region - Both the award-winning Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will be sailing the region in winter, spring and fall 2014.
-- New itineraries -Brand new routes include Crystal's first-ever cruises that begin and/or end in Bangkok and a two-week voyage round-trip from Singapore. Bali, introduced as a "turnaround" port in 2013, begins or ends four cruises in 2014 (vs two in 2013).
-- New destinations -Crystal will make maiden visits to Malacca, Malaysia; Lombok, Makassar/Ujung Pandang and Surabaya, Indonesia.
-- Return to less visited locales - The expanded menu of itineraries features calls in ports visited infrequently or not in several years, including returns to Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei; Jakarta and Komodo Island, Indonesia; Yangon, Myanmar; Koh Samui, Thailand; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan.
-- China & Japan Focus - For the first time in five years, two voyages will explore more of Japan, as well as China, such as Crystal Serenity's Crystal Symphony's Beijing-Tokyo voyage with Osaka, Nagasaki, and Shimizu, Japan; Shanghai and Dalian, China; and a complimentary Beijing land package.
-- Christmas/New Year Options - A brand new holiday cruise, round-trip Bangkok, celebrates New Year's Eve with a spectacular light show in Hong Kong. Guests can extend their vacation with a preceding voyage beginning in Bali, without repeating ports.
-- Shorter Vacation Options - Shorter Crystal Getaways offer new Asia cruises for as little as five days, starting at just $1,520 per person.
-- More overnights and port time - Every 2014 Crystal Asia voyage features at least two overnight stays, with most also offering one or more two-night stays in rich destinations like Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Yangon and Shanghai.
-- UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Throughout the region, rich shore-side excursions visit sacred and revered sites.
-- BONUS SAVINGS - Until August 30, travelers can enjoy 2-for-1 airfare add-ons with select Crystal Symphony voyages and save thousands with extra special Book Now fares.

For more information, visit

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Monsters of Rock Cruise III to Sail March 29-April 2, 2014

Miami, FL, July 9: The Monsters of Rock Cruise is back again for 2014, featuring heavy metal legends from the 80’s and beyond. Cruising aboard the remarkable, new MSC Divina, guests will sail from Miami, FL to Monster Island, an exclusive “secret” private island occupied only by Monsters of Rock guests. In addition, the cruise will visit the gem of the Bahamas, Nassau/Paradise Island for a full day of fun and sun.  This incomparable hard rock voyage sails from Miami, Florida on March 29–April 2, 2014, showcasing rock legends including Tesla, Ratt, Cinderella, Kix, Y & T, Firehouse, Slaughter plus Winger celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album with performances by all of the original band members. In addition, the Monsters of Rock Cruise will feature special "Icon Series" performances by legendary drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer fame, giving passengers a rare opportunity to experience a true 70's rock legend. Fans can expect an explosion of big hair and glam style coupled with non-stop 80’s style hard rock music, entertainment and fun. Tickets go on sale on July 16, 2013, so fans are encouraged to visit the website now to join the mailing list for notifications and updates at

Joining the “Monster” headliners is an epic Metal lineup featuring artists from around the world, including The Winery Dogs, Great White, Loudness, Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel, Dangerous Toys, Doro, London Quireboys, Quiet Riot, Faster Pussycat, Love/Hate, Femme Fatale, Rough Cut, Tuff, Tyketto, Charm City Devils, Mike Tramp, Eric Martin, John Corabi, Joel Hoekstra, Ron Keel, Richie Kotzen, Moby Dicks (featuring members of Whitesnake, Foreigner, Vince Neil and Lynch Mob), The Iron Maidens, Heavy Mellow, Cheap Thrill and more to be announced. In addition, radio personalities including Eddie Trunk, Luc Carl, Nikki Blakk and DJ Will plus world-renowned rock photographer Mark Weiss add even more to the fan experience.

The cruise is based on the legendary rock festival at Castle Donington, England where thousands of rabid fans converged on the soggy turf of Donington Park and became part of rock history as a memorable event was born...the Monsters of Rock! Fast forward to the present...the tradition of the Monsters of Rock continues, this time in the Bahamas aboard a luxury cruise ship, showcasing the greatest floating 80s hard rock festival in history.

For one all-inclusive price, fans will enjoy a myriad of special Heavy Metal concerts, events and activities, designed to please the most discerning rock & roll metal-head. While the music is the centerpiece, this is more than a “Concert Cruise” is fantasy camp designed for interaction between artists and fans. The fun will begin the moment fans begin to board the beautiful MSC Divina, meeting new friends poolside during the kickoff Sail Away Concert.

In addition, fans will experience inviting Music Venues & Events, featuring artists performing all day and night on the Main Stage plus the famous Monster’s Acoustic Stages, Back-Alley Stage and a Monster’s first...the largest cruise ship Pool Stage in the world for partying under the stars. Plans are in the works for many more fan experience events and activities, all of which will be announced over the weeks to come.

The Monsters of Rock Cruise is a playground for the serious Heavy Metal fan where music and a luxury cruise hook up for the vacation of a lifetime. Additional information including rates and cruise details will be available on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at Cruise reservations will open at the same website on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. Staterooms will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis exclusively through the Monsters of Rock website.

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Cunard’s Flagship Queen Mary 2 Celebrates 200th Transatlantic Crossing

July 9: Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 is making her historic 200th Transatlantic Crossing, having sailed from New York on Saturday July 6 en route to her homeport of Southampton, England, arriving  July 13. To mark the beginning of the historic voyage from New York, Queen Mary 2 performed a sail-by of the world’s most iconic statue atop Liberty Island. On board are keynote speakers presenting talks about the ship’s design, as well as special Big Band performances, and a celebratory Gala Dinner to be held on July 11.

Queen Mary 2 is the largest, longest, tallest, widest and most expensive liner ever built. Today, she is the only ocean liner in service and is the fastest passenger ship in the world. Since entering service in 2004, she has cemented her place in maritime history as the most famous passenger ship afloat today.

In the course of Queen Mary 2’s 200 Transatlantic Crossings, Cunard Line estimates that a half-million passengers have consumed 8.4 million cups of tea; 980,000 scones; 481,000 bottles of champagne; 644,000 eggs; and 253,605 gallons of milk. In total, 22.4 million meals have been served over 600,000 nautical miles, excluding the ship’s annual World Cruise and sailings to the Canaries, Fjords, Iceland, the Low Countries, around Britain, up to Montreal and Québec in Canada, and among the Caribbean islands. Also noteworthy, over the course of Queen Mary’s 200 Transatlantic Crossings, more than 1,000 dogs have been pampered in the only kennel facilities aboard a passenger ship.

“As each year in service passes, Queen Mary 2 becomes even more special and we will continue to celebrate and cherish her milestones and history,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “Looking at Cunard’s earlier Queens, Queen Mary crossed the Atlantic 1,001 times, Queen Elizabeth crossed 896 times and QE2 crossed 812 times. Queen Mary 2 achieved the milestone of 200th in this, her ninth season, and has many seasons and Crossings still ahead!”

To commemorate the 200th Crossing and as part of the line’s award-winning Cunard Insights on board enrichment program, Stephen Payne OBE, who was largely responsible for the overall design of Queen Mary 2, is presenting a fascinating insight into the ship’s construction. He will also be guest of honor at the formal Gala evening dinner on July 11.

Also speaking during the milestone Crossing is BBC newsreader and Classic FM presenter Nick Owen; and getting into the swing of things are a dozen musicians, plus a band leader and vocalist from the world-renowned Juilliard School of Dance, Drama and Music. The group is performing as a jazz orchestra, providing a selection of Big Band, Swing and Glen Miller style music and smaller ensemble pieces. They will perform at an evening event in the Royal Court Theatre with full orchestra and vocalist, an afternoon tea dance, lunchtime jam sessions featuring an ensemble in the Chart Room, and a late evening ensemble in Illuminations. In addition, two jazz masterclass talks and a Q&A are being held with the bandleader and members of the orchestra.

For more information, go to

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Five New China Offices Established to Support Princess Cruises’ Expansion in Growing Market

SANTA CLARITA, CA, July 9: Carnival plc has announced the opening of five new offices in China that will represent Princess Cruises and support the brand’s increased passenger sourcing in this growing market. The new offices are located in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

The offices will be overseen by Cherry Wang, who has been appointed Princess Cruises country director for China. She will be based in Shanghai. Wang was previously general manager of Princess Cruises’ ISA group in China, the international sales agent for Princess Cruises and Cunard Line since 2005. Prior to this, she managed sales for several travel agencies and hotels, including Zhejiang International Business Travel Co. Ltd.; Zhejiang Overseas Travel Company; American Bazza Scarf Co. Ltd. Zhejiang office, and Shangri-la Hotel Hangzhou.

“The cruise vacation market is in its infancy in China, and therefore we see this region as one with exciting growth potential,” said Alan Buckelew, President and CEO of Princess Cruises. “The new offices in China will support Princess’ marketing efforts to increase the number of Chinese passengers sourced for our global cruises.”

These new offices have been opened by the China branch of Carnival plc, which has been established by Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise operator. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by visiting the company's website at

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Oceania Cruises Announces Its Inaugural Around the World Cruise

MIAMI, July 8, 2013 – Oceania Cruises, the award-winning upper-premium cruise line, announced today its first ever Around the World in 180 Days cruise, a star-studded, port-intensive 180-day voyage aboard the 684-guest Insignia, setting sail round-trip from Miami on Jan 10, 2015. This extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime voyage visits five continents, 44 countries and 89 ports of call and will feature 11 overnight calls plus 4 two-night calls in Cape Town, South Africa; Yangon, Myanmar (Burma); Singapore, Singapore; and Shanghai, China. Insignia’s 180-day journey begins by visiting boutique ports in the Caribbean then steers south to South America and east to Africa before heading to India, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Hawaii before returning via the Panama Canal to Miami on July 8, 2015.

“As the leading specialist in destination cruising, we wanted to create a unique port- intensive voyage that reflects the dreams of the true explorer, rather than speed across the seas racing to the next convenient port as is the norm in a typical 100- to 110-day world cruise,” said Kunal S. Kamlani, the line’s president. “By eliminating the 100-day time constraint, we freed ourselves to conceive a remarkable dream voyage designed to visit the world’s most fascinating destinations.”

In addition to crossing the equator four times and sailing through all 24 time zones, the Around the World in 180 Days cruise will traverse three oceans and 10 seas, call on 45 islands and offer the chance to visit 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Of the 89 ports visited on this extraordinary cruise, 13 are new to Oceania Cruises, including Corinto, Nicaragua; El Guamache (Isla Margarita), Venezuela; Langkawi, Malaysia; Santa Marta, Colombia; and Xiamen, China. Guests will also enjoy a one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Miami and free exclusive shoreside events in Walvis Bay, Namibia; Myanmar; Bangkok; Beijing and Honolulu.

Bookings for the Around the World in 180 Days cruise open at 8 a.m. EST on July 17, 2013, and feature two-for-one cruise fares, free FIRST CLASS round-trip airfare and free pre-paid gratuities. Additionally, guests will receive a free visa package including entry visas for 16 countries, unlimited Internet and laundry service, luggage delivery, round-trip transfers and free onboard medical service, a first for the industry. Guests must book by 9 p.m. EST on September 17, 2013, to receive early booking fares.

“We expect that many of our Around the World guests will be experienced cruisers and therefore will be over the age of 60,” Kamlani added. ”In order to eliminate the stress of worrying about everyday medical issues, we have included free onboard medical service for our Around the World guests for the duration of the cruise.”

Around the World guests will cruise aboard the Insignia, an elegant mid-size ship. Insignia is spacious enough to offer every modern comfort and amenity of larger ships, yet small enough to call on secluded bays and chic, seaside hamlets not accessible to most vessels. Gourmet cuisine crafted by acclaimed master chef Jacques Pépin is served in four open-seating restaurants, all at no additional charge. The ship features spacious, modern accommodations and a state-of-the-art fitness center, casino, boutique, large pool and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub®. For more information visit

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Holland America Line Offers Four Grand Voyages That Span The Globe In 2014

SEATTLE, July 3: On Jan. 4, 2014, Holland America Line's ms Amsterdam kicks off the new year with a 113-day journey that calls at 38 ports across five continents. The Grand World Voyage is just one of four Grand Voyages featured by the line in 2014. Amsterdam and ms Prinsendam each sail two itineraries designed to discover and explore remarkable destinations on every traveler's list.

Following its 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage in January, Prinsendam will begin its eastward journey across the Atlantic Ocean for a 57-day Grand Africa and Mediterranean Voyage. In September, Amsterdam departs Seattle, Wash. on a 78-day Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage.

"Our Grand Voyages are dream cruises because they offer extensive explorations in all parts of the world," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. "Africa is highlighted on two 2014 Grand Voyages, and there are numerous additional unique opportunities for our guests, both new and loyal repeaters, to be excited about."

Holland America Line's Grand Voyages make taking a longer vacation easier and more affordable. In addition, for those guests residing in the United States there is no need to fly internationally to board the ship if taking the full cruise except on the Grand Africa and Mediterranean Voyage. Whether visiting one or several global destinations, the voyages feature famous landmarks, new destinations and extended time in port with late departures, overnight calls and overland tours.

Each Grand Voyage also offers grand experiences on board. Guests can relax and unwind during leisurely days at sea, taking advantage of the extra time to indulge in a massage at the Greenhouse Spa, take in a lecture by a renowned expert, enjoy a cooking demonstration by a celebrated chef in the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, learn how to share photos at a class in the Digital Workshop powered by Windows®, or simply lounge on deck and watch the world sail by. Evening shipboard activities shine as well with local cultural entertainment. Festive gala balls and formal nights create memorable moments, along with an exclusive Captain's Grand Voyage Dinner for full-cruise guests. Dining is elevated on each Grand Voyage, with menus that change daily and are seldom repeated, featuring local ingredients and regional cuisine.

Grand World Voyage
Amsterdam departs Jan. 4 on its 2014 Grand World Voyage that sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Rather than taking a traditional course back through Europe, Amsterdam crosses the equator four times and sails a route that deeply explores the Southern Hemisphere. The ship begins the journey by sailing west with a daylight transit of the Panama Canal followed by two full overnights at Callao, Peru. After calling at beautiful islands in the South Pacific, Amsterdam continues along the east coast of Australia up to Micronesia, the Far East and Indian Ocean. Adding to the adventure, the ship then travels south to explore several ports in east, south and west Africa before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean en route back to South Florida.

Eight segments ranging in length from 20 to 86 days are available from departure ports along the route for guests who have less time to travel. The seven overnight calls included in the 2014 Grand World Voyage give guests an opportunity to visit Machu Picchu from Callao (Lima); snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef from Sydney, Australia; shop at the night market in Hong Kong, China; and go on a safari from Cape Town, South Africa. Additional overnight calls include Papeete, Tahiti; Victoria, Seychelles, and Singapore.

Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage Prinsendam returns to South America, Antarctica and the Amazon in 2014 on a 68-day itinerary sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Jan. 5. After passing through the Panama Canal, the ship will reach South America's Pacific coast and continue on to circumnavigate the continent.

During the voyage, Prinsendam will spend seven full days cruising the Amazon River and four days of scenic cruising in Antarctic, weather permitting. The 2014 itinerary also features overnight calls at Manaus, Brazil, in the Amazon; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina, and two full nights at Callao (Lima). Segments of 32 and 36 days between Fort Lauderdale and Buenos Aires also are available.

Grand Africa & Mediterranean Voyage
Immediately following its Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage, Prinsendam departs on a 57-day Grand Africa and Mediterranean Voyage that sails from Fort Lauderdale to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy. The ship visits the Caribbean before crossing over to Africa and making calls at Cape Verde, Gambia and Dakar. Following the Canary Islands, Prinsendam explores northern Africa, Spain, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, Greece and Turkey. Calls in the Holy Land allow for a visit to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Israel, or the Giza Pyramids in Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt.An overnight call at Venice, Italy, allows ample time for shopping, exploring and a traditional gondola ride.

A 27-day segment from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona, Spain, and a 30-day segment from Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome) are available. This voyage can be combined with the Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage for an extended 120-day cruise.

Grand Pacific & Far East Voyage
In fall 2014, Amsterdam will wrap up the year with a 78-day Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage sailing from Seattle, Wash., to San Diego, Calif. Departing Sept. 21, the ship takes a northerly route to Alaska before extensively exploring Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Jakarta, Bali and Indonesia. The voyage continues to Australia before circling back and visiting ports in the South Pacific and Hawaii en route to San Diego. This voyage includes eight overnight calls along the way at Tokyo, Japan; Incheon (Seoul), South Korea; Xingang (Beijing), Shanghai and Hong Kong, China; Singapore; Sydney, and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Reservations can now be booked for 2014 Grand Voyages Reservations are currently being taken for all of Holland America Line's 2014 Grand Voyages, and early-booking bonus amenities for full-cruise guests include prepaid hotel service charges, shipboard credit, luggage delivery service and a complimentary shore excursion or event when booking select stateroom categories. Amenities vary by cruise, stateroom category and booking date. For guests based in North America, book a Penthouse Suite or Deluxe Verandah Suite on the full Grand Africa and Mediterranean Voyage and receive complimentary domestic business class air with deluxe transfer or $1,000 per person additional cruise savings. This offer expires July 31, 2013.

Rates start at $19,999 for Amsterdam's 113-day Grand World Voyage; $13,399 for Prinsendam's 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage; $9,999 for Prinsendam's 57-day Grand Africa and Mediterranean Voyage, and $11,499 for Amsterdam's 78-day Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage. Cruise fares are per person, double occupancy. The four grand voyages are available to book for the full cruise or in segments ranging from 27- to 86-day sailings.

While at port, guests can choose from a multitude of diverse shore excursions including Overland Adventures, off-the-beaten-track explorations, Signature Collection private-car touring and exclusive Medallion Collection excursions. For more information on the 2014 Grand Voyages, visit

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Crystal To Return To Antarctica For Ultimate White Christmas & And New Year's Cruise

LOS ANGELES, July 2: Crystal Cruises is planning a magical winter wonderland holiday with a new Antarctica Christmas/New Year's cruise. In addition to three days sailing Antarctic waters, the Dec 21, 2013 Buenos Aires-Valparaiso voyage aboard the award-winning Crystal Symphony sails through Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Falkland Islands, Drake Passage, Cape Horn, and the Chilean Fjords, with multiple excursions to the Antarctic continent. Generous booking savings are available until August 30 for the unique voyage, the only one of its kind for 2013 and 2014. Crystal is one of the few cruise lines permitted to sail to Antarctica, due to the strict environmental regulations, for which Crystal has incurred extra cost and planning efforts.

"We are always very environmentally conscious of the destinations we visit," says Anita Hodson, Crystal's director of nautical and port operations. "We're thrilled to be able to meet the new standards required to bring guests to this spectacular region this year.

Guests can fly, hike, and zodiac over and on the icy continent, viewing Air Force homes, penguin breeding grounds, and the gorgeous glacial scenery of King George and Ardley Islands. Extremely-limited Crystal Adventures also explore more of Antarctica, taste local specialties, and overnight at the Chilean Eduardo Frei Antarctic Base (INACH).

The 18-day cruise is filled with opportunities to explore nature in all ports, from seeing volcanos, waterfalls, humpback whales, and marine elephants to kayaking the Strait of Magellan and visiting working farms in the Falklands and Patagonia - as well as to explore wine, cuisine, and culture in major South American cities. Onboard speakers include an Antarctic expedition book author, climate change researcher, shark conservationist, and CBS News correspondent.

The itinerary visits Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Puerto Madryn, Port Stanley, Ushuaia (overnight), Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, and Valparaíso. As guests' warm and cozy home for the holidays, Crystal Symphony will be luxuriously decorated throughout, offering abundant space to celebrate with gourmet Christmas feasts, a champagne New Year's gala, religious services, junior cruiser events (including Santa), and more.

Similarly decked-out and celebratory Crystal Serenity will spend the holidays cruising the tropics, with a round-trip Miami voyage also departing December 21, and calling in Turks & Caicos; Curacao; Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia; Roatan Island, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and Key West, Florida.

All-inclusive cruise fares for South America and the Caribbean and include $600 and $800 per person in savings, respectively, if booked by August 30. For more information, visit

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Holland America Line Commemorates 100th Anniversary Of The Panama Canal
With 28 Voyages In 2013-14

SEATTLE, July 2,: Six Holland America Line ships will sail 28 full and partial transits of the Panama Canal during the fall 2013 through spring 2014 season, which coincides with the canal's 100th anniversary. Ranging in length from 10 to 22 days, the extensive itinerary options provide guests with more ways to experience the Panama Canal than any other cruise line.

From September 2013 through April 2014, ms Amsterdam, ms Statendam, ms Veendam, ms Westerdam, ms Zaandam and ms Zuiderdam will transit the canal from six departure cities, including Veendam's new departure from Boston--going between the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

"The Panama Canal is a 'must see' for many travelers because of the historic technology and beautiful scenery," said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line's executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest programs. "The Panama Canal changed travel by enabling easy travel between oceans, and it's exciting for us to make several canal cruises in the season celebrating its 100(th) year."

Sailing through the Panama Canal with Holland America Line is more than moving through the locks and lakes that make up this man-made marvel. The itineraries feature ports with attractions such as walking along the ramparts of a colonial Spanish castle, exploring ancient Mayan ruins or going on a "skywalk" in the Costa Rican rainforest.

Six Holland America Line Ships Make Full Transits between Two Oceans: Veendam makes the most Panama Canal transits for Holland America Line this season with four, including a new departure from Boston. The ship sails Oct. 19, 2013, from Boston or Oct. 23 from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego on a 21- or 17-day cruise, respectively. The ship will call at Port Canaveral and Key West, Fla.; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cartagena, Puerto Caldera, Corinto, Puerto Quetzal, Puerto Chiapas, Huatulco and Puerto Vallarta.

Veendam returns to San Diego on a 14-day transit departing Feb. 8, 2014, then sails back to Fort Lauderdale Feb. 22 on an itinerary that includes scenic cruising in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, one of three tropical fjords in the world. The two February departures can be combined for a grand 29-day Panama Canal Collectors' Voyage. The ship makes its final transit of the season March 30 from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale on a 15-day journey that calls at Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Puerto Quetzal, Corinto, Puerto Caldera, Cartagena and Half Moon Cay.

Zaandam sails from Vancouver, British Columbia, or San Diego, Calif., to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on an 18- or 15-day transit depending on embarkation port. The ship departs Sept. 15 or 18, 2013, respectively, and calls at Astoria, Ore.; Cabo San Lucas, Santa Cruz, Huatulco and Puerto Chiapas, Mexico; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, and Cartagena, Colombia.

Sailing from Vancouver or San Francisco, Calif., to Fort Lauderdale, Zuiderdam departs Sept. 28 or Oct. 1, 2013, respectively, on a 20- or 17-day transit. As the ship sails from west to east, it will call at Astoria, Cabo San Lucas, Santa Cruz, Huatulco, Puerto Chiapas, Puerto Caldera; Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama; Cartagena and Half Moon Cay, the line's private Bahamian island. The ship will overnight at Fuerte Amador so guests can get an in-depth experience of Panama City's sights, sounds and flavors.

Zuiderdam sails back to the West Coast April 18, 2014, from Fort Lauderdale on an 18- or 22-day transit to San Diego or Vancouver calling at Half Moon Cay, Curacao, Aruba, Puerto Caldera; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Puerto Chiapas, Huatulco and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; San Diego and Victoria, B.C.

Guests looking for a shorter transit can take Westerdam's 14-day cruise from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale departing Oct. 19, 2013. The ship will call at Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Puerto Chiapas, Puerto Caldera and Cartagena. This itinerary also can be combined with a seven-day round-trip Fort Lauderdale cruise to Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten; and Half Moon Cay, making it a 21-day Collectors' Voyage.

Westerdam returns to the West Coast April 15, 2014, with a 14- or 18-day transit from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego or Seattle, Wash. The trip includes calls at Cartagena, Puerto Caldera, Puerto Chiapas, Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, San Diego and Victoria.

Statendam transits from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean Jan. 15, 2014, on a 15-day cruise from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale. Calls on that voyage include Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Puerto Quetzal, Corinto, Puerto Caldera, Cartagena and Half Moon Cay. The ship immediately returns to San Diego from Fort Lauderdale on a 15-day transit departing Jan. 30 that calls at Half Moon Cay, Cartagena, Puerto Caldera, Corinto, Puerto Quetzal, Zihuatenejo (Ixtapa), Mexico, and Cabo San Lucas, including scenic cruising in Golfo Dulce.

Making the last transit of the season, Amsterdam sails from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego, Seattle or Vancouver on a 15-, 19- or 20-day voyage, respectively. After departing April 28, 2014, the ship calls at Half Moon Cay, Cartagena, Puerto Caldera, Corinto, Puerto Quetzal, Puerto Chiapas, Cabo San Lucas and Astoria.

Convenient Roundtrip Panama Canal Cruises Offered from Florida Rounding out the Panama Canal offerings with 16 cruises from October 2013 through April 2014, Zuiderdam features 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries that sail roundtrip Fort Lauderdale and explore the southern Caribbean with a partial transit of the canal. The 10-day route highlights the partial transit and calls at Half Moon Cay; Aruba; Curacao; Colon, Panama, and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, while the 11-day cruise features the same ports of call with an addition of a port call to Cartagena, Colombia.

Destination Brought to Life through On Location On-board Program During the sailings, guests can enjoy all of the onboard experiences that are exclusive to the premium cruise line. For example, with the new and engaging On Location program, guests can enjoy steel drum lessons or learn to weave and craft with palm leaves during Caribbean cruise days and listen to an authentic mariachi band during a Mexican fiesta on deck while visiting Mexican ports. In the Panama Canal, an expert historian recounts the history and drama of constructing the famous waterway. The itinerary sets the scene for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time on board as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.

For more information about the Panama Canal itineraries and Holland America Line, visit

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International Maritime Organization (IMO) Adopts Additional Measures from
Global Cruise Industry to Enhance Passenger Ship Safety

WASHINGTON, July 1: Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) today announced that the IMO has implemented three additional safety-related policies from the 2012 Global Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review at the recently completed IMO Maritime Safety Committee meeting. All ten policies from the Review have now been included in formal IMO standards specific to Passenger Ship Safety.

"As a result of our relentless focus on passenger safety and comfort and our ongoing mission of continuous improvement in shipboard operations, cruising remains one of the safest vacation experiences available today," said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA. "We look forward to working closely with the IMO, its Secretary-General, the Maritime Safety Committee and the 170 IMO Member States around the world to make a safe industry even safer for the over 20 million global passengers that cruise each year."

The global cruise industry launched the Review, a comprehensive assessment of the critical human factors and operational aspects of maritime safety as part of its longstanding efforts to continuously raise the bar on safety matters. The global cruise industry introduced ten new safety policies during the Review and each policy exceeded current international regulatory requirements upon their announcement. All policies have been adopted by members of CLIA. Throughout the Review, CLIA and its members received input from an independent Panel of Experts with extensive experience in maritime, regulatory and accident investigation fields. This Panel continues to assist the industry in providing ideas, guidance and impartial analysis and is actively engaged through CLIA's many Technical and Regulatory Committees.

A full list of the policies adopted during the Review is online here. An executive summary of the Review is online here.

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A Faroe First for Cunard Line

July 1: Captain Inger Olsen, Cunard Line’s first female Captain, took her ship home to her birthplace when Queen Victoria made her maiden call to the Faroe Islands in Denmark, with visits to Klaksvik on June 26 and Torshavn the next day.

Captain Olsen was born in Vestmanna in the Faroe Islands, which lends some explanation for her maritime abilities, and she joined Cunard in 1997 as First Officer on board Vistafjord. In 2001, she transferred to the Seabourn fleet, which at that time was part of Cunard. She sailed on Seabourn Sun and Seabourn Spirit before being promoted to the rank of Staff Captain on Seabourn Pride in 2003. Following some years with other companies within the Carnival group, Captain Olsen returned to Cunard in August 2010 as Deputy Captain of Queen Victoria and was then appointed Captain in December that year.

Queen Victoria in Klaksvik: On June 26, 2013, landfall at Klaksvik was made at 17:30 hours with Queen Victoria remaining there until 04:00 hours. Throughout the ship’s visit there, all the shops remained open during the evening and a barbeque was held in the town square with live music and dancing. Queen Victoria then sailed the short distance to Torshavn, where she arrived at 09:30 and remained there for eight hours. Events on board while there included the traditional Plaque Exchange ceremony, before guests enjoyed lunch in the ship’s new Verandah Restaurant.

“The undoubted highlight of my career so far was taking command of Queen Victoria in December 2010, thus becoming the first female Captain in the 170-year history of Cunard. That was a thrill I thought would never be overtaken,” said Captain Olsen. “But I have to say, taking Queen Victoria – ‘my ship' – home was on a par with first taking command. Not many people have the chance to take a 90,000-ton liner, and a Cunard liner at that, home! It was a proud moment for me and an event I was pleased to share with nearly 3,000 passengers and crew, and thousands more fellow countrymen.” Captain Olsen added, “Queen Victoria's passengers have been intrigued to see and hear about the Faroes and I'm so pleased that it was possible to include calls at two of the islands so that our passengers can get more of a sense of what living in such a remote and rugged part of the world is really like.”

The Faroe Islands are an island group and archipelago under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark, situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Norway and Iceland. The total area is approximately 540 sq. miles with a 2010 population of almost 50,000 people. Queen Victoria’s passengers were able to enjoy a range of tours that included the countryside of Eysturoy, “Klaksvik past and present,” “Scenic Faroes and Pancakes,” and the island of Vagar.

Queen Victoria will return to the Faroe Islands on July 2, 2014 as part of her 14-night Geysers and Glaciers cruise, which departs on 22 June and calls at Flam, Alesund, Akureyri, Isafjordur, Reykjavik and Kirkwall.
For more information about Queen Victoria or Cunard Line,  go to

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