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Cruise News
September 1-30, 2012

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

Cruise Diva

Princess Cruises Reveals Top Deck Features Aboard Royal Princess

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Sept 28: Princess Cruises has unveiled additional details about the outdoor entertainment features that will be found on the top deck of the new Royal Princess, including the dramatic SeaWalk, the pool areas, an evening light show and a 30 percent larger Movies Under the Stars poolside theater.

“We’re placing even more emphasis on our outdoor entertainment options with this new ship,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “With all of these exciting features on the top decks, passengers will truly enjoy their time under the sun – or stars.”

Among the new top-deck features of Royal Princess are:

Sea Walk – Extending 28 feet beyond the starboard side of the ship, the SeaWalk will be one of the ship’s most striking features. At 60 feet long and hovering 128 feet above the ocean, this dramatic glass-bottomed walkway offers unparalleled views available on no other ship. Just as the captain on the bridge can look through glass panels in the floor of the bridge to get a look at the sea conditions below, passengers will now have that same sense of stepping out from the side of the ship for a breathtaking experience. Across the ship the SeaView Bar also extends over the waves for cocktails with unbeatable vistas.

Fresh Water Pools – Directly adjacent to the SeaWalk on the ship’s expansive top deck area passengers will find a host of lounging options, beautiful palm trees, and two fresh water pools flanking an island area between them. During the day passengers can relax and rejuvenate poolside in a variety of seating options, including circular loungers, garden-style furniture, bar-height tables and stools, and chaise lounges. In the pool areas, entertainment options will include games and live music inspired by the ship’s ports of call.

Water and Light Show – At night, the top deck of Royal Princess will transform with architectural lighting effects to set the mood. The island area between the two pools will become a stage showcasing an interactive sound and light show featuring dancing fountains. With a sophisticated lighting and sound system, and a computerized fountain featuring 85 water jets, passengers will marvel as streams of water shoot 33 feet into the night sky.

Movies Under the Stars – Princess’ signature poolside theater will feature a 30 percent larger screen for true widescreen viewing, coupled with a high-tech visual and audio system for an unforgettable open-air movie-going experience. Passengers can enjoy movies, sporting events, and concerts while relaxing on a comfortable chaise lounge, complete with pillow, blanket, and free popcorn. For those who’d like to watch from the water, the ship’s large whirlpool spas above the pools offer great sightlines for enjoying Movies Under the Stars while soaking.

Evening Entertainment – On select evenings, the island will be transformed into an outdoor dance floor and will play host to the popular Ultimate Deck Party. Perched two decks up on a special balcony, a DJ will get the crowd moving with an energetic music mix.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises. Among the special features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; a dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; the new Princess Live! television studio; a pastry shop; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms. The ship’s 2013 maiden season will include cruises on the line’s signature Grand Mediterranean itinerary throughout the summer, followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the fall. More information and video previews of the ship are available at

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American Cruise Lines Introduces the Spring Cruise Collection

GUILFORD, CT, Sept 28: American Cruise Lines, operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, announced today its Spring Cruise Collection, a various selection of cruises handpicked to showcase the beautiful 2013 spring season. Cruise itineraries include the Mississippi River, Historic South & Golden Isles, Columbia & Snake Rivers, Great Rivers of Florida, and American Cruise Lines’ brand new itinerary, Puget Sound & San Juan Islands. The addition of this new cruise offering makes the Spring Cruise Collection the most extensive one offered to date.

Lower Mississippi River: Springtime cruising on the Mississippi River is a spectacular time to experience the American Heartland. Historic river towns come alive as sprawling acres of gardens bloom with regional flora. Guests will take a relaxing journey aboard the elegant Queen of the Mississippi, their minds wandering back in time on this authentic riverboat, as they soak up the warm Mississippi sunlight and marvel at the breathtaking views around every bend of the river. Featured Dates: March 23, April 6 (New Orleans - Memphis)

Historic South & Golden Isles: Spring in the South is an awakening of color and wildlife. Azaleas line shady lanes and plantation gardens erupt with color. Migratory birds and waterfowl soar above while guests travel through the vivacity of spring on the Intracoastal Waterway, and visit the historically-rich gem cities of the South along the way, including Savannah, Charleston and Hilton Head. Featured Dates: March 30, April 13

Columbia & Snake Rivers: Aboard Queen of the West, an authentic paddlewheeler, guests are introduced to the stunning springtime beauty of the Pacific Northwest and its rich tapestry of ever-changing landscapes, thriving wildlife habitats and fascinating human endeavors. Deep river canyons, lush forested slopes and sparkling waterfalls make this a place like no other, and one best experienced in the spring. Featured Dates: April 6, April 20

Great Rivers of Florida: This cruise along the St. Johns River is the perfect escape to a tropical paradise. In the springtime, Florida is a botanical haven, with bright, blooming flowers amid the palm trees that border the river. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy close-up views of indigenous wildlife from the top deck of the ship including manatee and alligators. Warm mineral springs, sub-tropical blooms and historic ruins make this the perfect spring getaway. Featured Dates: March 9, April 13

Puget Sound & San Juan Islands: Guests will leave relaxed and rejuvenated after eight days enjoying the delicious crisp springtime air of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. They’ll feel the warm sun on their backs and the cool calming wind as they explore one of the most magnificent cruising regions in the U.S. Nestled between Canada’s Vancouver Island and the U.S. mainland, are hundreds of islands – many of which are uninhabited – and home to a diverse natural wonderland filled with wildlife, including sea lions, hawks, and whales. Both refreshing and enlightening, this itinerary is perfect for a relaxing springtime adventure. Featured Dates: April 13, April 20

“The springtime is one of the best times to experience small ship cruising with American Cruise Lines,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “This particular collection rounds up a selection of unique itineraries which sail through some of the most beautiful places in the U.S., most enjoyable in the spring months. Each cruise offers an experience unlike any other.”

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

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Sydney Harbour Officials Short-List Crystal Cruises-Appointed Vessels in the
"Best Dressed" Award Category for the Sydney New Year's Eve Celebration

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28: Adding to the exclusivity of Crystal Cruises' guest participation in Sydney, Australia's over-the-top New Year's Eve fireworks celebration this year, the city's Harbour of Light Parade™ committee has chosen Crystal Cruises' appointed vessels to be among its top-ranked participants. The committee has short-listed Crystal's exclusively-appointed, luxurious, glass-walled cruising vessels (for its guests in the evening's grand flotilla) in the "Best Dressed" group. The vessels have been further designated a viewing spot on the eastern side of the Sydney Harbour bridge adjacent to Sydney Cove-- considered the premiere vantage point for the fireworks spectacle. Crystal's ultimate holiday "boat party," entirely complimentary, occurs during its Christmas/New Year's guests sailing from Auckland to Melbourne.

To be evaluated for the "Best Dressed" designation, the flotilla's 52 select vessels submitted proposals for rope light ship decorations related to the evening's official theme of "Embrace." Based primarily on color and design, 10 vessels were then short listed for consideration as "Best Dressed." Crystal's appointed-vessels' design won two of the coveted slots for a motif of pulsing hearts and fiery red lights adorning the ships' wraparound decks and open rooftops. After parading around the Harbour, the two cruising vessels will settle inside an exclusive "off limits" Exclusion Zone on the eastern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge adjacent to Sydney Cove, near the famous Opera House and Bridge, for the city's premier viewpoint of the midnight pyrotechnics. Premium open bar, live music, dancing, and gourmet food will add to the posh, private party.

Kylie Minogue, Australia's Queen of Pop and Creative Ambassador for the city event, is encouraging revelers to embrace Sydney, embrace the possibility, embrace love, and embrace the moment on New Year's Eve.

"We're providing a premier vantage point and an intimate atmosphere for travellers to embrace once-in-a-lifetime memories with loved ones this New Year's, in what may be our most lavish Eve celebration yet," says John Stoll, Crystal's vice president of land and port operations.

The exotic, warm-weather luxury cruise begins December 20 with an overnight in Auckland before calling in Tauranga, Napier, Christchurch, and Dunedin, New Zealand, then spends two nights in Sydney and one in Melbourne. The recently-redesigned Crystal Symphony will be lavishly trimmed for the holidays, setting a spirited stage for carols, Santa, religious services, and extravagant meals featuring all the traditional fare.

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

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Historic First For Silversea In Corfu

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sept 27: For the first time in the 18-year history of Silversea Cruises, three of the ultra-luxury line's ships—Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, and Silver Spirit—called in the same port on the same day. The historic convergence of the three ships took place today in beautiful Corfu, a Greek island renowned for its lush green hills and pure white beaches. Surrounded by the sparkling turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind and Silver Spirit greeted each other by sounding their whistles as they sailed into this charming and sophisticated port.

Corfu (or Kérkyra in Greek) is the second largest of the Ionian islands, and a land rich in history and myth. It was likely the last stop for Homer's Odysseus on his fabled journey back to his homeland of Ithaca. For Silversea, Corfu will always carry special significance as the port that hosted an important milestone in the company's own unfolding story.

Silver Wind and Silver Spirit are on 7-day sailings in the Greek Isles. Both itineraries include stops in Croatia and Italy, as well as Montenegro for Silver Wind. Silver Cloud is sailing from Venice to Barcelona on a 12-day Mediterranean voyage. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent, call toll-free (877) 215-9986, or visit

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Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat Addresses Students Participating in Carnival's Workplace Mentoring Program

Chris Bosh, a member of the 2012 NBA Champion Miami HEAT, was the guest speaker at the kick-off event for Carnival’s Scholarship & Mentoring Program, which matches Miami-Dade County high school students with a member of the company’s management team to provide students with a first-hand look at the business world.

A seven-time NBA All-Star, Bosh offered an inspirational and thought-provoking speech to more 90 students and their mentors that focused on the challenges he faced growing up, the importance of education and what it takes to be successful. Following Bosh’s comments, he opened up the floor for questions by the students and posed for photos.

Now in its sixth year, Carnival’s Scholarship & Mentoring Program is operated in conjunction with Big Brothers Big Sisters and includes an opportunity for students to apply for full four-year college scholarships purchased by Carnival through the Florida Pre-Paid Scholarship Program. Thus far, Carnival has awarded 43 scholarships to graduating seniors and has purchased a total of 135 scholarships worth an estimated $1.5 million.

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FAIRFAX, Va., Sept. 27: Just 75 days after it was announced, the inaugural SOUL TRAIN CRUISE has exceeded expectations by selling out so quickly. In response to the overwhelming demand, a second seven day cruise has been scheduled for 2013, departing from San Diego on October 5th and traveling to Cabo San Lucas, with two days in Puerto Vallarta and a scenic cruising of Baja Magdalena. Luxury cabins aboard Holland America's m/s Westerdam will go on sale on September 27.

Artists confirmed to perform onboard include Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, Jeffrey Osborne, The Whispers, Freddie Jackson, Sugarfoot's Ohio Players, Jennifer Holliday, Billy Paul , ConFunkShun, Jody Watley, Regina Belle, The Bar-Kays, The Dazz Band, The Mary Jane Girls, The Original Lakeside, A Taste of Honey featuring Janice Marie, DW3, Comedian Alonzo Bodden and DJ extraordinaire Biz Markie.

Excitement is already running high as the legendary acts look forward to the historic trip and meeting their fans. Earth, Wind & Fire declare, "Soul Train is an American institution. The weekly show not only was one of the longest running series in the history of television it changed us and pop culture forever. We are looking forward to celebrating the legacy on the SOUL TRAIN CRUISE!" Jeffrey Osborne says, "I can't wait for the second SOUL TRAIN CRUISE to set sail in October of 2013. I will be on board performing and hanging out with all of the wonderful passengers as we visit places like Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas."

Jennifer Holliday remarks, "Performing on the SOUL TRAIN CRUISE is a very special way for me to personally thank and honor the legacy of Don Cornelius. I'm proud and thrilled to join the newest 'Hippest Trip In America' as we jump the track and climb aboard this beautiful ship to celebrate a music icon and set sail in the name of 'Love, Peace & Soul'." And Freddy Jackson agrees, adding, "What an honor it is to be performing on the SOUL TRAIN CRUISE. I will say a prayer on board for all that God has done for me as I give place to the memory of Don Cornelius with 'Love, Peace & Soul'."

Guests will also be invited to non-stop parties, special events, meet and greets with legendary R&B acts and more. CENTRIC Television (a part of BET Networks, a division of Viacom) returns to the Hippest Trip at Sea as a media partner and presenting sponsor. Continues Osborne, "I'm also looking forward to hosting a celebrity golf tournament in Puerto Vallarta. Make your reservations now. This one is gonna be incredible!"

The seven day luxury cruise will depart from San Diego, CA on October 5th, traveling to Cabo San Lucas, with two days in Puerto Vallarta and a scenic cruising of Baja Magdalena, before returning on October 12th. The Inaugural SOUL TRAIN CRUISE, featuring Patti LaBelle, The O'Jays and Jeffrey Osborne, and many more, has been sold out since early summer and will depart on February 17th from Fort Lauderdale before returning on February 24th.

The SOUL TRAIN CRUISE West will be aboard Holland America's m/s Westerdam as was the inaugural SOUL TRAIN CRUISE. The m/s Westerdam is an internationally recognized luxury cruise ship with more than two-thirds of the cabins featuring verandas. Cruisers will enjoy world class dining, and will attend concerts by an incredible array of R&B legends such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, Jeffrey Osborne, The Whispers, Freddie Jackson, Jennifer Holiday, Billy Paul, Regina Bell and Jody Whatley among many others. This year will also feature a who's who of funk bands including Sugarfoot's Ohio Players, ConFunkShun, The Bar-Kays, The Dazz Band, The Mary Jane Girls, The Original Lakeside and A Taste of Honey, featuring Janice Marie.

Back-to-back concerts by legendary artists are just part of the non-stop events scheduled aboard the SOUL TRAIN CRUISE. Guests will also be invited to wildly fun Soul By The Sea beach parties, a Solid Gold Theme Ball with the iconic Soul Train Line led by Original Soul Train Dancers who actually danced on the iconic show, and DJ extraordinaire Biz Markie spinning classic R&B and current hits on deck all transporting them back in time to the early days (and outrageous fashions) of the original TV series. Cruisers will also participate in onboard games such as the beloved Scramble Board and other retro-fueled contests, vie for Soul Train DVD, t-shirt and CD giveaways all while enjoying world class meals, sun and fun, and much, much more.

Soul Train has been an integral part of popular culture since its debut in 1970 and continues be a vital force in entertainment with its all-star Soul Train Awards shows. Soul Train is also one of the most successful shows ever created, holding the record for the longest, first-run, nationally syndicated television show ever and remains popular to this day. Vintage episodes continue to air on CENTRIC (a SOUL TRAIN CRUISE Presenting Sponsor), nearly 500,000 DVDs have been sold, and the Soul Train Awards draw international superstars to its ceremony every year. Reservations for cabins on this cruise may be made now by visiting or calling (toll free) (855) SOUL TRAIN (855-768-5872).

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Alaska 2013: Unscripted Un-Cruise Adventures With InnerSea Discoveries
 & American Safari Cruises

Seattle, WA, Sept 26: InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises unveils an expanded schedule of adventure cruises in Alaska for summer 2013 with three expedition boats and four upscale yachts, including the new-to-the-fleet Safari Legacy. Guests may choose an Active Adventure aboard the expedition boats or a Luxury or Heritage Adventure aboard the yachts. From May to September, seven boats sail 11 different itineraries from 7- to 21-nights long. Alaska homeports include Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka.

Joining the fleet in August 2013, the 88-guest Safari Legacy will sail two 11-night cruises between Seattle, WA and Juneau, AK. The boat introduces a new style of Un-Cruise Adventure called Heritage Adventure with port calls and a focus on discovering gold rush history and culture of the Inside Passage.

“With the addition of Heritage Adventures, we now offer three Un-Cruise styles of adventure in Alaska,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Whether on an Active, Luxury or Heritage Adventure, guests will experience eye-to-eye wildlife and one-on-one culture.”

Active Adventures
From May 4 through September 14, InnerSea Discoveries’ expedition boats offer weeklong Active Adventures in Alaska sailing between Ketchikan and Juneau (and reverse) or Juneau and Sitka (and reverse). With three different itineraries, Un-Cruises may now be combined into 14-night or 21-night adventures.

InnerSea Discoveries’ three expedition boats—Wilderness Discoverer, Wilderness Adventurer, Wilderness Explorer—carry 60-76 guests and offer Active Adventures in Southeast Alaska. Un-Cruise Adventures specialize in rare up close explorations of nature and wildlife in remote wilderness areas. Kayaking, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, skiff explorations and whale watching are top activities. New in 2013, the Wilderness Adventurer hosts three Alaska Unleashed cruises with guest capacity reduced from 60 to 36 guests for high-gear adventures. Sailing between Ketchikan and Juneau (and reverse), the itinerary promises longer and more exhilarating hiking and kayaking adventures in daily small-group excursions.

Luxury Adventures
Three yachts—22-guest Safari Quest, 36-guest Safari Explorer, 86-guest Safari Endeavour—sail weeklong, inclusive Luxury Adventures roundtrip Juneau from May 24 through September 8, 2013. The yachts forego port calls and instead explore remote wilderness areas to maximize time for up close encounters with nature and wildlife. Two days are spent exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park with a park ranger on hiking, kayaking and skiff excursions.

Heritage Adventures
The 88-guest Safari Legacy joins the yacht fleet in August and will sail two 11-night Gold Rush Legacy cruises between Seattle and Juneau, AK (and reverse) on August 11 and August 22. The replica Victorian steamer features a Heritage Adventure program combining on board presentations with tours ashore—all coordinated by on board Legacy Leaders. Stories and characters from the past are brought to life through educational presentations, expert guest speakers and character reenactments. The Safari Legacy calls on historic ports along the route and includes a tour in each town. Guided visits to museums and historical sites provide another view into the past and a chance to visit with local people and historians.

Cruise fares include transfers and all activities except optional excursions. To book an Un-Cruise or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or InnerSea Discoveries/American Safari Cruises at 888-862-8881 or .

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Costa Cruises Introduces New Stateroom Category Plan

HOLLYWOOD, FL, Sept 26: Costa Cruises is introducing a new stateroom categorization plan beginning on December 2012 sailings that provides new benefits for both travel sellers and guests. Cabin categories will be reduced to fourClassic, Premium, Samsara and Suitesoffering a price point and amenity level for every cruiser.

"By reducing our cabin categories down to four, we're hoping to eliminate a lot of the frustration and confusion that can happen when there are too many options and levels of accommodation," said Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America. "With the enhanced cabin categorization plan our guests can select to new added-value benefits, while our travel partners have higher available earning potential."

Classic category includes standard-size cabins where guests enjoy all of the standard services of the ship. They offer the most affordable prices and are located on the lower decks of the ship.
Premium staterooms are on the upper decks and provide the best choice of cabin location, confirmed dining times, complimentary in-room breakfast, 24/7 room service and double Costa Club points, plus a 10 percent future cruise discount.
Samara cabins and suites are located inside or near the spa area and feature unlimited access to the spa, an exclusive restaurant, welcome ritual and a series of wellness treatments. This category also receives all benefits of a Premium cabin.
Suites provide first-class services for a luxury vacation. Suite guests receive all Premium benefits plus many other exclusive services and amenities. Guests in Suites also are entitled to priority boarding, a dedicated valet (excluding Mini Suites) and a bottle of sparkling wine.

Members of Costa Club, Costa's complimentary loyalty program for past guests, also qualify for tailor-made privileges including complimentary cabin amenities, on-board discounts, preferential boarding and disembarkation, luggage delivery and shore tour privileges, plus priority restaurant seating.

For 64 years Costa Cruises’ ships have sailed worldwide, offering the best in Italian style, hospitality and cuisine. The line’s ships visit 250 destinations throughout the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Baltic, Caribbean, South America, United Arab Emirates, Far East and Indian Ocean. The line has 15 ships in service and one new 130,000-ton ship on order from Fincantieri for delivery in October 2014. For more information about Costa Cruises, contact a travel professional, call 800-GO-COSTA or visit

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Norwegian Breakaway to Feature Cutting-Edge Spa & Fitness Experiences

MIAMI, Sept 26: Norwegian Breakaway will redefine relaxation and fitness at sea when the ship launches in late April 2013, featuring an expansive spa with the first-ever salt room at sea and state-of-the-art fitness facility offering a variety of exciting and innovative fitness options. The combined spa and fitness area spans two decks, encompassing more than 23,000 square feet.

Offering the ultimate in indulgent experiences, Norwegian Breakaway’s tranquil Mandara Spa and thermal suite will offer guests the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of New York City and will feature the first-ever salt room at sea. Popular in top spas around the world, salt room therapy has been proven to alleviate respiratory and skin ailments, strengthen the immune system, promote better sleep and have a long-term positive impact on overall lung function. Spa guests visiting the Salt Room will be immersed in a dramatic grotto setting as they enjoy this unique, indulgent and beneficial spa experience. The tranquil thermal suite also offers guests spectacular unobstructed views of the ocean, the opportunity to melt away on one of the 13 heated loungers, vitality pool, whirlpools, sauna, solarium and steam room, along with a full-service salon and barber shop.

The 22 treatment rooms will feature more than 50 signature services for both men and women including Elemis signature facials such as the luxurious “24 Karat Gold Facial,” massages such as the Thai Herbal Poultice Massage, the Bamboo Massage and the Freestyle™ Massage; and two bliss® services: the bliss® triple oxygen treatment and the bliss® fatgirlslim. Norwegian Breakaway will also offer acupuncture, teeth whitening and cosmetic medical treatments, performed by a licensed medi-spa doctor, such as Botox® Cosmetic, Dysport™, Restylane® and Perlane®. The full service salon will offer hair, nail, waxing and special kid-friendly services. The area also features a full service Barber Shop, exclusively for men, offering treatments including haircuts and traditional warm shaves.

Fitness enthusiasts and active New Yorkers will delight in the variety of cutting-edge fitness programs offered on board Norwegian Breakaway. Inspired by an “urban New York City playground,” guests can choose from a range of innovative fitness options to really get their heart pumping. The ship will feature the first-ever Nexersys® interactive fight training modules at sea, offering guests the opportunity to engage in high-intensity, interval training against an avatar, through the use of a simulator. Boxing lovers will also enjoy Norwegian’s all new “Freestyle Fight Klub,” which combines Nexersys® training with a cardio boxing class, utilizing the fitness center’s 12 heavy bags.

Those who prefer biking will delight in the first-ever “Black Light Spinning” class at sea. Guests will jump on their spinning bike and pedal away to the hottest music in a room lit entirely by black lights and neon graffiti art, giving riders a once-in-a lifetime adrenaline rush. The fitness center will also offer a variety of all-new low-impact classes such as “Spirals,” a Pilates-inspired class that utilizes weighted balls for added resistance; and “Chi Balls,” a group class inspired by traditional Chinese medicine, combining elements of yoga, tai chi and meditation that completely exercise both the mind and body. Additional fitness offerings include TRX, the biggest fitness phenomenon of 2012, kettle bell training, yoga, Pilates, reformers and body sculpting boot camp style classes. Guests will also have the opportunity to participate in a fitness class developed by the Rockettes, one of New York’s most illustrious and beloved icons, who will christen Norwegian Breakaway as the official Godmothers. Personal training sessions will also be available, along with nutritional consultations and metabolic testing.

Guests who prefer to workout independently will enjoy the latest Technogym® cardio equipment and weights. All cardio equipment synchs to iPod music devices and features a large, HD screen from which guests can watch television, follow a set training program or navigate the playlist on their iPod.

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

To date, the company has revealed the ship’s groundbreaking design, including The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place, a wide range of indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that will create a whole new complex at sea that enhances guests’ connection with the ocean. The top decks of Norwegian Breakaway will feature the first Aqua Park at sea with five full-size water slides, including twin Free Fall slides, the first ever at sea, and a three-story sports complex that includes the largest ropes course at sea, a nine-hole miniature golf course, basketball court, rock climbing wall and more.

The ship will also feature a rich mix of stateroom options including The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 Suites at the top of the ship and 18 additional Suites located throughout the ship; the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; the re-introduction of Oceanview staterooms, Balcony and Mini-Suites; along with Spa Balcony, Mini-Suites and Suites in close proximity to the spa. For more information on the incredible features and accommodations on Norwegian Breakaway, visit To book a cruise on Norwegian Breakaway, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 800-327-7030 or visit

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Azamara Club Cruises Announces 2014 Voyages Program

MIAMI, Sept. 25: Offering more late-night and overnight stays in port, the award-winning Azamara Club Cruises today announced the 2014 deployment of its twin boutique ships Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Up-market travelers can choose among 72 new voyages, ranging from four to 17 nights and visiting 240 fascinating destinations in 66 countries throughout Europe, the Far East, Central and South America, the Caribbean and the Western U.S. coast. The cruise line’s new 2014 program enables guests to experience the nightlife of compelling destinations around the world that larger ships cannot reach, and includes a record-45 maiden port calls, such as the UNESCO World Geopark Langkawi, Malaysia; Maura in the Sultanate of Brunei; and the charming island-village Vila do Abraao, a favorite Brazilian getaway.

“Azamara’s staff and crew stand ready to deliver our authentic and personable service along with immersive experiences to up-market travelers,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “One hundred percent of Azamara’s 2014 voyages feature late night and overnight stays in port to offer guests the opportunity to enjoy the nightlife of some of the world’s most vibrant places. There is no better way for travelers to immerse themselves in a destination than with Azamara.”

Most of Azamara’s voyages are designed so travelers can combine two or more consecutive voyages for an extended travel experience and not repeat a port call. Azamara Journey will sail 12- to 17-night voyages throughout the East and South China seas from January through April 2014, alternating departures from Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai and Chennai. On these voyages, guests will visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Halong Bay, Borobudur, Parambanan and Sangiran, and revel in the nightlife of worldly cities, such as Tokyo, Shanghai and Bangkok to name a few, during their overnight stays. The ship then repositions via the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal to arrive for its Europe season in May.

For its part, Azamara Quest will offer a pair of trans-Panama Canal voyages between Miami, Fla., and Costa Rica, plus a new series of Sea of Cortez and Central America voyages, ranging from 10 to 14 nights. A unique 8-night Coastal California Wine Country voyage departs roundtrip from Los Angeles on Feb 10, 2014, to explore the 31st State’s famous wine region plus a three-day call at San Francisco. Azamara Quest also will sail an 11-night voyage to less-trodden, jewel-islands of the Caribbean, such as St. John’s, St. Barth’s, and Virgin Gorda, before returning to Europe in April.

Both Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest will again sail European waters throughout summer 2014, offering travelers immersive adventures at some of the region’s most exciting destinations and cultural celebrations. Azamara Quest will sail a 15-night trans-Atlantic voyage from Miami to Nice, France, while Azamara Journey will reposition via the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal.

Azamara Journey will sail 4- to 14-night voyages, ranging throughout the Mediterranean, North and Baltic seas. On the May 19 sailing, Azamara Journey will rendezvous with Azamara Quest at St. Tropez and Monte Carlo, where, for the first time, guests aboard both ships can join in the excitement of the Monaco Grand Prix. Travelers also can choose among three Baltic voyages of different lengths in July to suit their timing: a 7-, 10-, or 12-night itinerary, which all feature three full days at St. Petersburg, Russia. Gourmands should not miss the 14-night Food and Wine voyage, departing Southampton, UK, on Aug 20, which features 2-night stays at Nantes (Loire Valley) and Bordeaux, France. Azamara’s ships are ideally sized to sail into more-inland destinations like these so guests need only disembark the ship to shop, dine and join in the nightlife.

Azamara Quest will sail mainly in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Aegean and Black seas, on seven- to 12-night voyages. A unique 11-night Mediterranean Easter sailing, departing April 11, offers guests an overnight at Civitavecchia, the gateway to Rome for an opportunity to attend Palm Sunday mass in the Vatican, and at Livorno for Easter Sunday in Florence. Travelers also can choose among a 7-, 9-, and 12-night Black Sea voyage, sailing from Istanbul. The August 20 voyage takes guests on a comprehensive 12-night itinerary throughout the region, including a call at Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 winter Olympic Games.

In late November, Azamara Journey will depart from Spain’s Costa del Sol to the beautiful Brazil via the Canary Islands. Travelers can celebrate Christmas and the New Year as they sail from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro. Azamara Quest will retrace the Spice Route to the Far East and ring in the New Year in Hong Kong.

Guests aboard Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest enjoy more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffees, and teas, as well as complimentary red and white boutique wines to accompany lunch and dinner; complimentary self-service laundry; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle transportation to city centers in ports, where available. For more information, travelers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit Azamara Club Cruises at

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New Interactive, Social Online Game & Sweepstakes Highlights Celebrity Reflection

MIAMI, Sept 25: Celebrity Cruises’ modern, luxurious ships are known for taking guests to exciting destinations while they enjoy airy staterooms, award-winning cuisine created by a James Beard-featured chef, stylish spaces in which to relax, and personalized service. Celebrity’s new interactive, social experience, “Celebrity Reflection Launch to Luxury Game and Sweepstakes,” lets vacationers and travel agents have fun while learning about Celebrity Reflection, the latest in Celebrity’s award-winning Solstice Class of ships, debuting later this year. Players have the opportunity to win a cruise on Celebrity Reflection and weekly cash prizes.

”Launch to Luxury” offers different incentives for different players. All players have the opportunity to win a seven-night Caribbean cruise for two in an AquaClass stateroom on Celebrity Reflection. Members of Celebrity’s loyalty program, Captain’s Club, who play “Launch to Luxury” will also be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a stateroom on one of the ship’s invitation-only preview cruises in Miami this December. Travel agents who participate will also be entered into a drawing for a seven-night Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Reflection in an AquaClass stateroom.

The game is played in stages, with a new set of levels opening each week that the game is live. Players earn points for correctly answering trivia questions and sharing the game with friends; each point earns a sweepstakes entry for the cruise and cash prizes. The player with the highest score becomes “Captain” of Celebrity Reflection and the “Captain” at the end of the game wins a seven-night Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Reflection in an AquaClass Suite – one of the newest suite categories found exclusively on Celebrity Reflection. All the answers to the questions can be found on Celebrity’s website; even the player with little to no knowledge has an opportunity to find what they need to advance in the game.

The game can be played online from September 24 through October 26, 2012, and is open to residents of the US and Canada (excluding Quebec). To play the game and for official rules visit

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Grand Prix Pit Lane Access Among Crystal's New VIP Adventures In Monte Carlo

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 24: Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises announces four new privileged opportunities for guests to experience the fast cars and glamorous events of next spring's legendary Monaco Grand Prix. Three options offer different, intimate ways to watch the world's most prestigious automobile race: from either the uber-exclusive driver/team-prep paddock area, a chic private verandah/residence above the renowned Casino, or the best of the fan grandstands near the start/finish line, overlooking the stunning port. A fourth new excursion brings guests to the official Formula One VIP party celebrating the race's end, where guests can dance 'til dawn. The four Crystal Adventures were created exclusively for Crystal Serenity's May 18-30 Esprit du Grand Prix-themed Mediterranean cruise. The itinerary features two days positioned in Monte Carlo, from Sunday, May 26, the race's last day, through May 27.

"At Crystal, luxury and choice are two of our biggest brand definers," says Thomas Mazloum, Crystal's senior vice president of hotel operations. "With the Monaco Grand Prix considered one of the most exciting events in the world, we planned a cruise that would not only take our worldly travelers there, but also bring them inside, with a variety of incredible options to enjoy the festivities."

In addition to premiere locales from which guests can watch the race, the viewing Adventures include gourmet/catered meals and knowledgeable hosts to enlighten guests on the events and escort them to-and-from locales, with premium champagne, open bar and indoor-outdoor comfort also offered for the two more private options. The most exclusive "Team Paddock" viewing choice also brings guests shoulder-to-shoulder with Team Ferrari or Team Pirelli, to the pit lanes for driver-eavesdropping, behind-the-scenes to the garage, and to a private stand and hospitality area to watch the Driver Parade.

After the cars finish winding through Monte Carlo's streets, many drivers and audience elite head to the posh Amber Lounge for the F1 party--and Crystal guests can, too, via the fourth Prix Adventure, which offers a VIP table, unlimited Dom Perignon, exquisite three-course dinner, free-flowing cocktails, dancing, and a private vehicle to take you "home" whenever you choose. Prices for the four May 26 outings range from $829 to $14,199 per person.

The 12-day Crystal voyage gives a wide sampling of the Mediterranean's most popular destinations, including Mykonos, Santorini, Sorrento, Corsica, and Florence, in addition to overnights in Istanbul and Barcelona at voyage's start and end. Crystal Cruises' passion for creating unique luxury experiences both on land and at sea have helped earn the company top ratings from international travelers for two decades. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Windstar Cruises Heats up the Tropics with 2-For-1 Cruise Fares

SEATTLE, Sept 24: Windstar Cruises is offering a two-for-one cruise fare, plus bonus savings of up to $1,000 per stateroom on select tropical itineraries. Guests can sail through the Caribbean islands, cruise the Panama Canal, or just enjoy the casual elegance on board any of Windstar’s three sailing ships starting at $1,299 per person, based on double occupancy when booked by Oct 27th, 2012. The winter season also marks the completion of the company’s $18 million fleet-wide renovation project with all yachts sailing with stem to stern enhancements.

Windstar explores the eclectic Caribbean, sailing from Dutch St. Maarten and visiting Le Marin, Pigeon Island, Roseau, Falmouth Harbor and Gustavia on Wind Surf’s seven-day Flavors of the Caribbean voyages. The voyage starts in St. Maarten and continues on to Le Marin, Pigoen Island, Roseau, Les Saintes and St. Kitts. Guests will also sail past the majestic volcanic spires of the Pitons

Guests discover a yachtsman’s paradise while visiting exclusive ports like glamorous Tortola and the enchanting British Virgin Islands on Wind Surf’s Yachtsman’s Caribbean voyages. For those looking for local flavor, a trip to Soper’s Hole Wharf – Blackbeard’s old stomping ground, is the highlight. Others may prefer to mingle with the glitterati in St. Barts. The seven-day voyage leaves from St. Maarten and visits Falmouth, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke (overnight), Virgin Gorda (overnight) and Gustavia.

The third Caribbean voyage offered in the two-for-one promotion is the Jewels of the Windward Islands where guests can sail on Wind Spirit to the unspoiled Grenadines and discover the rugged natural beauty of St. Lucia. Leaving from Barbados, Wind Spirit visits Bequia, Tobago Cays (overnight), Mayreau, Pigeon Island and St. George’s. For those looking for the untouched islands, this is the perfect voyage.

Natural and man-made wonders combine to make The Passage Through Panama an exotic voyage. Leaving from Colon, Wind Star visits San Blas before sailing through the Panama Canal. The ship also visits Isla De Coiba, Golfito, Bhaia Drake and Puerto Caldera on this seven-day cruise. Guests can dive into the waters surround Isla de Coiba to explore one of the Pacific Coast’s most amazing coral reefs, or learn more about the surrounding wildlife from the local Naturalist who comes on board.

The Wind Star transatlantic crossing, the perfect opportunity to relax, is also available on the special two-for-one pricing. To book a sailing now, contact a travel professional or call Windstar Cruises at 800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Princess Cruises Announces Winners of 2012 Alaska Shore Excursion Awards

SANTA CLARITA, Ca, Sept 21: As the Alaska cruise season comes to a close each year, Princess Cruises celebrates the year’s favorite local tour operators with special shipboard ceremonies. The winners of the line’s 13th annual C.R.U.I.S.E. service awards have just been announced, honoring the best shore excursion experiences and guides in each port on Alaska itineraries, based largely on passenger feedback throughout the season.

The awards recognize the most popular tours, individual guides and dock representatives in the communities where Princess ships call. Chosen from the extensive line-up of Alaska shore excursions offered to Princess passengers, the awards highlight the important role local tour operators play in each community as part of a passenger’s overall cruise experience. Winners are determined largely by tour scores and comments made on passenger surveys.

“Shore excursions, especially in such an exciting destination as Alaska, are so important in providing passengers with the unforgettable moments that highlight an Alaska vacation,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “We’re proud to have such a long-running program in place to recognize the contribution these local tour operators make to providing our passengers with the best shore experience possible.”

The C.R.U.I.S.E. program is the longest running customer service program in the cruise industry. The Alaska awards began in 2000 and cap off a season-long effort to recognize the role that Alaskan-owned tour partners play in passengers' cruise experiences. Tour Guide of the Season and Dock Representative of the Season award winners receive $100, a letter of commendation, a plaque, a ship tour and lunch onboard with their family. Operators of the Shore Excursion of the Season receive a plaque and a letter of commendation, a tour of the ship, and lunch onboard for company officials. The 2012 winners are:

Co-Shore Excursion of the Season

Helicopter Glacier Trek, NorthStar Trekking
Taku Lodge Feast & 5-Glacier Seaplane Discover, Wings Airways and Taku Lodge
Alaska’s Ultimate Zipline & Canopy Adventure, Alaska Canopy Adventures
Back Country Zodiac Expedition, Ketchikan Outdoors
Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour, Commercial Fishing Adventures
Rainforest Canopy & Zipline Expedition, Alaska Canopy Adventures
Glacier Discovery by Helicopter, TEMSCO Helicopters
Golden Glassblowing Experience at Jewell Gardens, Jewell Gardens
Heli-Hike & Rail Adventure, Packer Expeditions
Sealife Discovery & Crab Extravaganza, Seaquest Explorations

Co-Tour Guide of the Season

Shaynee Seipke, Gold Rush Tours / TEMSCO Helicopters
Adriane Honerbrink, Gastineau Guiding Company
Don Andrews, Alaska Amphibious Tours
Rob Holston, Lighthouse Excursions
Aaron Schmidt, Jewell Gardens
Matt Hayashida, Gold Rush Sled Dogs / Klondike Gold Fields

Dock Representative of the Season

Jackie Schulz, juneau jeep adventures
Jill Gates, The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
Karin Lombard, Klondike Gold Fields

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

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Carnival Cruise Lines to Bring Even More Fun to New Orleans as
Presenting Sponsor of 'Boo at the Zoo'

Tickets are now on sale for Boo at the Zoo Presented by Carnival Cruise Lines! The annual Audubon Zoo Halloween event for children up to age 12 features trick-or-treat houses with candy, a Ghost Train, a haunted house (scary and non-scary), games with prizes and entertainment and even more fun from Carnival Cruise Lines. All games and treats are free with $17 admission (for children and adults), excluding concessions. Tickets are now available at or at any Audubon attraction ticket window.

Boo at the Zoo Presented by Carnival Cruise Lines will be held on four nights over two weekends including: Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20, Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27 from 5:00-9:00PM each night. To ensure that each little ghost and goblin has the best possible experience, a limited number of tickets will be sold for each evening. Those interested in attending are encouraged to order tickets early for this highly popular, often sold-out annual event.

Children’s Hospital and Audubon Zoo are proud to welcome Carnival Cruise Lines, a long-standing supporter of New Orleans and the local community, as the presenting sponsor of Boo at the Zoo. New Orleans’ leading cruise line will bring its signature brand of fun for all to the event, with exciting family-friendly activities and entertainment including a jack-o-lantern-filled Fun Ship replica nearly 70 feet long, pumpkin carving creations, children’s decoration stations and tropical-themed treats. Carnival, which offers 4-, 5-, and 7-day voyages year-round from New Orleans, next month will welcome back Carnival Conquest from a two-week dry dock with a host of exciting new dining, bar and entertainment options as part of the company’s Fun Ship 2.0 initiative.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Children’s Hospital and Audubon Zoo, two terrific organizations serving the families of New Orleans and the Gulf area,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Lines. “Giving back to our homeport communities is extremely important to us and at this year’s Boo at the Zoo event, we look forward to providing everyone a Halloween-themed taste of the fun and excitement our guests experience aboard a Carnival cruise – all while supporting a great cause.”

New to Boo:Visitors can enjoy many new features this year:

o Carnival Cruise Lines welcome booth offering the first “treats” of the night
o A spectacular giant Carnival cruise ship Halloween display and light show
o Perfect a Perfect Pumpkin the Carnival Way decorating stations
o Three entertainment stages: Carnival Cruise Lines performers on the Capital One Stage

o Local favorites Papillion, Johnette Downing and Dennis & Co. in the Toddler Area in Audubon Zoo’s Cool Zoo (Note: no water will be running)
o Star Wars performers return at the Shell Wildlife Theater
o Zombie-themed Ghost Train Ride
o Elephant shows until dusk
o Mascot appearances and activities courtesy of the New Orleans VooDoo Arena Football League team
o Videogaming Experience by Games2U Nola (October 26 and 27 only)
o Family photos by Lakeside Camera Photoworks for $6
o New Orleans Hornets basketball team’s Mathmobile and Bookmobile
o A Haunted Maze returns by a-MAZE-ing
o Included in admission: Dinosaur Adventures exhibit and Endangered Species Carousel!
o Expanded areas for games and activities

Event Information at a Glance:
Ticket prices are $17 per person (adult or child). Handling fees apply. Adults must purchase tickets as well as all children over the age of 12 months. Children under 12 months of age are admitted free. Adult and children tickets are the same price. Event is from 5:00-9:00 PM. Ticket holders may enter at any time during event hours. A ticket is required for each person to be admitted. Event is held rain or shine. Boo at the Zoo Presented by Carnival Cruise Lines is a fundraiser for Children's Hospital and Audubon Zoo. Should a ticket holder be unable to attend, the purchase should be considered a donation. There will be no refunds nor will tickets be honored at another time.

No outside food and beverages allowed. Please note that the Zoo is not open during Boo at the Zoo Presented by Carnival Cruise Lines. A special bag will be distributed to each child upon admission for trick or treating throughout the event, so there’s no need to bring additional bags. NOTE: GHOST TRAIN RIDE MAY CLOSE AS EARLY AS 8 PM DEPENDING ON VOLUME OF GUESTS WAITING! Train ride can be scary for children under 8 years of age. Tickets will be honored ONLY for the date purchased. Those ticket holders attempting to enter on another night will be not be allowed entry. Audubon Zoo will close at 3 pm each day to prepare for the evening event.

Tickets can be purchased online at or at any Audubon attraction ticket window. A “print at home” option allows tickets to be e-mailed and printed from any computer. Tickets also can be placed at Will Call. No tickets will be mailed.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Toasts the Holiday Season with Sun-Kissed Itineraries

MIAMI, Sept 20: This December, Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers guests an extra dash of merriment with all-inclusive holiday sailings to the South Pacific and South America. Each ultra-luxury voyage offers Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ incomparable value of two-for-one fares, free round-trip air, unlimited complimentary shore excursions and bonus savings.

“Touches of holiday spirit can be felt at every corner of our ships from eggnog, cookies, and yuletide carols to festive décor, themed entertainment, and our magnificent gingerbread house displays,” said Mark Conroy, the line’s president. “Our dedicated crew delivers the same comforts and luxuries our guests enjoy at home and with warm climates and exotic destinations as the backdrop, celebrating the holiday season with Regent Seven Seas Cruises will be unforgettable.”

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ team of talented chefs will serve special European and American tasting menus on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Sample menu items include lobster and ricotta ravioli, Christmas goose, roasted turkey on chestnut-stuffing, Bûche de Noël, and traditional pumpkin pie. An interdenominational service is also held on Christmas Eve.

Holiday Sailings
Toasting the holiday season, travelers will sail along the mighty Amazon aboard the line’s all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner for a 22-night cruise from Rio de Janeiro to Miami departing Dec 16. The Ultimate Amazon sailing offers up to 43 free shore excursions and visits eight different ports in Brazil, French Guiana, Barbados, St. Barts and Puerto Rico. Guests who book by September 30, 2012 can receive additional bonus savings up to $10,000 per suite and Business Class Air upgrades for $1,499 one-way to Rio de Janeiro.

Departing Dec 19, the 21-night South Pacific Secrets voyage from Bali to Auckland aboard the 700-guest all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Voyager showcases the best of Australia and New Zealand. In addition to the 28 complimentary shore excursions including a winery tour in Western Australia, mountain biking in Tasmania, and discovering sea lions on Kangaroo Island, guests can also enjoy the choice of a free three-night, pre-cruise land program in Bali or an three-night, post-cruise hotel program in Auckland. Bonus savings up to $12,600 per suite and Business Class Air upgrades from $2,299 to Bali and $2,799 from Auckland are also available when booked by Sept 30, 2012.

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

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Silversea Unveils Itineraries for World Cruise 2014

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sept 20: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has taken the wraps off its World Cruise 2014, an incomparable 113-day odyssey from Los Angeles to Barcelona aboard Silver Whisper, January 6 to April 30, 2014. Silversea celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2014 and will launch the festivities with this far-reaching and stimulating exploration of the world now available for reservation.

Guests aboard World Cruise 2014 will journey in unrivaled luxury as they visit 54 destinations in 29 countries, enjoying 12 overnight stays along the way. Silver Whisper will follow a westward path across the Pacific to call on lush Polynesia and lands Down Under, including Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Australia and New Zealand. From there, the ship will sail up to the remote island of Koror and then head west to spend a month exploring fascinating Asian cultures -- from China, Japan, and Vietnam to Thailand, Singapore, and India -- including three days in Yangon, Myanmar. Silver Whisper will conclude her global tour calling on modern capitals and ancient cities in the Mediterranean.

"We designed the itinerary for next year's World Cruise based on input from our past guests," said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea's president of the Americas. "It's a world voyage crafted for connoisseurs. With several overnight visits and late-night departures, our guests will have plenty of time for in-depth cultural exploration in places that most travelers only dream about."

Since extended visits in port offer travelers the chance to truly immerse themselves in local culture, World Cruise 2014 will not only feature two-night stays in Yangon and Hong Kong, but overnight calls in Sydney, Cairns, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Singapore, Istanbul and Barcelona. Silversea is offering guests the option to extend their World Cruise by adding a pre-cruise Panama Canal voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles (17 days), or extend from Barcelona to Lisbon (7 days) or Southampton (16 days).

Full World Cruise guests will enjoy a variety of special amenities, including a gala Bon Voyage evening at a luxury Beverly Hills hotel, baggage valet service, complimentary Business Class air and transfers (or air credit), a generous onboard spending credit, complimentary laundry service and commemorative gifts.

There will also be exclusive complimentary shoreside events:

--The Rising Dragon: This elegant evening event in Hong Kong will be hosted at the spectacularly situated Four Seasons Hotel, where guests will savor fine cuisine in a richly decorated setting that reflects both traditional and contemporary elements of this vibrant metropolis.
--Sunset Over Angkor Wat: From Bangkok guests will fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to explore the magnificent temple complex at Angkor Wat, enjoying overnight accommodations at a 5-star hotel, and dinner surrounded by colossal statues in the spectacular Bayon Temple.
--Supper in a Sultan's Palace: Highlighting this immersive experience in Istanbul is a panoramic cruise along the Bosphorus, bordering Asia and Europe, followed by an atmospheric dinner in the glorious Ciragan Palace, once home to powerful sultans of the Ottoman Empire.

Plus two complimentary Silversea Experiences will showcase the fascinating cultures of Fanning Island, Kiribati, and Alotau, Papua New Guinea. Guests will also have the chance to meet and mingle with distinguished destination experts, academics, journalists, diplomats and other specialists. Local entertainment, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and regional specialties will provide further immersion in each global destination.

The intimate Silver Whisper is the perfect escort to the far corners of the globe. She can sail along secluded waterways or into small harbors for authentic, life-changing encounters with nature, wildlife and the seldom-seen.

All-Inclusive Silversea distinctions include:

--Intimate, ultra-luxury ship for just 382 guests
--All-suite accommodations, over 80% with verandas
--Butler service for every suite
--Complimentary wines and spirits
--Included onboard gratuities
--Complimentary transportation to town (most ports)

To view the complete itinerary, visit

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Global Cruise Industry Announces Latest Safety Policy

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20: On behalf of the global cruise industry, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council (ECC) today announced that the cruise industry has adopted an additional safety policy. This policy, which exceeds current international regulatory requirements, addresses issues related to the loading of lifeboats by crewmembers for training purposes. It is an outcome of the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review, which was launched in January 2012.

The Life Boat Loading for Training Purposes policy requires the launching and full loading of a lifeboat at least once every six months for crew training purposes for all oceangoing members of CLIA and ECC, effective immediately. During the training, the lifeboat is filled to capacity with crewmembers and maneuvered in the water to facilitate familiarization with lifeboat operations. It is mandatory that all crewmembers involved in operating or loading of lifeboats attend the drill. Smaller ships with less than 300 crewmembers will conduct similar training as appropriate.

"The cruise industry continues to work on a global level to improve the safety of passengers and crew, which is our number one priority," said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA. "Since January of this year, and in keeping with our efforts to continuously improve operational excellence, the global cruise industry has voluntarily adopted seven wide-ranging safety policies. We remain fully committed to exploring further enhancements in a number of areas that will add to the industry's excellent safety record."

Commenting on the new policy Manfredi Lefebvre, ECC Chairman said, "The Cruise industry's Operational Safety Review demonstrates our on-going determination to ensure that cruise ships remain the safest vacation option and the safest part of the shipping industry. This policy, like all the policies that have already been developed by the Operational Safety Review, exceeds current international regulatory requirements and has been externally verified by world renowned independent experts." He added: "Our industry is committed to improving our safety performance in the short, the medium and the long term. I believe our approach supports the goal of the European Commission re-launching their 'Quality Shipping Campaign' as set out in its Maritime Policy 2009-2018."

The Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review receives advice and input from a panel of outside maritime and safety experts. These individuals are evaluating suggested policy improvements as part of the cruise industry's continuous efforts to review and improve safety measures by developing comprehensive best practices for industry-wide implementation and, ultimately, formal submission to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as appropriate. This policy will be submitted to the IMO for consideration at its next session in November.

A full version of the Life Boat Loading for Training Purposes policy can be accessed at All CLIA policies can be viewed at

CLIA announced the launch of the Review on January 27, 2012. As part of the Review in February the global cruise industry instituted a new policy requiring mandatory emergency muster drills for embarking passengers prior to departure from port. In March, the industry put forth recommendations to the IMO supporting enhanced reporting requirements to improve the consistency and transparency of marine casualty data. In April, it announced three policies addressing issues related to passage planning, personnel access to the bridge and lifejackets. In June, the industry announced policies related to the recording of passenger nationality and the common elements of musters and emergency instructions. Additional best practices and policies developed through the Review will be announced and implemented on an ongoing basis.

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New York Icons The Rockettes® Named Godmothers of Norwegian Breakaway

NEW YORK, Sept 18: Norwegian Cruise Line and MSG (Madison Square Garden) Entertainment announced today that the Rockettes®, one of New York’s most illustrious and beloved icons, will christen Norwegian Breakaway as the official Godmothers, further strengthening the ship’s strong ties to New York. The christening ceremony will take place in New York City on May 8, 2013 on board Norwegian Breakaway, the largest ship to homeport year-round in New York. The partnership with the Rockettes will include Norwegian Cruise Line as the designated “Official Cruise Line” of the Rockettes and Radio City Music Hall, and as the “Official Partner”of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. As part of their role as Godmothers, two Rockettes will sail aboard the first six sailings of Norwegian Breakaway, beginning May 12, 2013, and the first sailing of each month thereafter, taking part in special events for guests to enjoy.

“Norwegian Breakaway is being designed as New York’s ship and we want everyone to know that this is the “must-sail” cruise ship from New York in 2013 and beyond,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “I strongly believe that the Rockettes, one of the most beloved and recognizable New York icons, are the perfect choice to serve as the ship’s Godmothers. The Rockettes not only epitomize New York, they are known as strong role models and talented stars. We couldn’t be more pleased to have these renowned dancers as the Godmothers of New York’s ship, Norwegian Breakaway.”

The larger partnership across the MSGE properties, Radio City Music Hall, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the Rockettes, will create expansive brand exposure for Norwegian Cruise Line at Radio City Music Hall, including onsite venue presence during the 2012 production of the Christmas Spectacular. Guests attending this year’s Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall can participate in the “Spectacular Sweeps,” a sweepstakes that can be entered right from their seats with the opportunity to win one of two cruises for a family of four on Norwegian Breakaway. Norwegian Cruise Line will have a year-round display in Radio City Music Hall’s Grand Lounge that features an 11-foot replica of Norwegian Breakaway, along with information on the ship’s unique attributes, entertainment, dining, destinations and more.

Onboard Norwegian Breakaway, the Rockettes, with their unparalleled grace, athleticism and precision technique that has made them part of the fabric of New York City for 85 years, will be showcased with a variety of offerings, including a historical retrospective in the ship’s library, exclusive fitness class designed by the Rockettes, featured beverages and more. On select sailings, guests will have the exclusive opportunity to meet two of the Rockettes. Sailing on the first six cruises from New York, as well as the first sailing of every month, two Rockettes will offer special fitness classes, photo opportunities, meet and greet speaker series and more.

“Having two Rockettes on board select sailings is going to be a very special opportunity for our guests to have more interaction with these incredibly talented and dynamic women,” added Sheehan. “This truly takes the role of Godmother to a new level as the Rockettes will be a special part of Norwegian Breakaway’s unique cruising experience.”

Starting with their inaugural New York City performance in 1927, the Rockettes have wowed audiences for the last 85 years. From appearances on the Tony Awards, Project Runway, Dancing with the Stars and the Super Bowl Halftime Show to Presidential inaugurations, the Rockettes are the epitome of teamwork and the embodiment of the belief that “together we're better.” Each dancer achieved their lifelong dream of becoming a Rockette through hard work, determination, dedication and dreaming big. Known for their rich history, unrivaled talent, strength, dynamism, precision and athleticism, the Rockettes have become one of the nation's most beloved icons. As the stars of the annual Christmas Spectacular production, the Rockettes entertain more than one million people each year and have played to 75 different cities across the country with the national touring production.

Known as the showplace of the nation, Radio City Music Hall has hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment and music since it opened its doors on December 27, 1932. More than 300 million people have come to the Music Hall to enjoy stage shows, movies, concerts and special events, as well as the annual Christmas Spectacular production. The 2012 edition of the Christmas Spectacular invites audiences to take part in the Rockettes Celebration! This year’s production commemorates 85 years of the past, present and future of the Rockettes featuring dazzling dance numbers, beloved favorites, breathtaking special effects and a brand new showcase featuring the Rockettes' most extraordinary costumes through the years, alongside beloved favorites that have been in the show since its inception.

Norwegian Breakaway
The 4,000 passenger Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in her year-round homeport of New York City in early May 2013. The ship will begin weekly summer seven-day cruises to Bermuda on Sunday, May 12, 2013. From Oct 2013 through April 2014, New York’s ship will offer 7-day voyages from the heart of Manhattan to the Bahamas and Florida, as well as two 12-day sailings to the Southern Caribbean.

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

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

The ship will also feature a rich mix of stateroom options including The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 Suites at the top of the ship in an exclusive, private key-card enclave and 22 additional Suites located throughout the ship; the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; the re-introduction of Oceanview staterooms, Balcony and Mini-Suites; along with Spa Balcony, Mini-Suites and Suites in close proximity to the spa.

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

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Batter Up! Fans Get Ready To Meet & Mingle with ‘Baseball Greats’ on
MSC Cruises’ 2012-2013 Caribbean Sailings

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Sept. 18: Baseball fans will have the opportunity of a lifetime to cruise with baseball legends representing leading teams on select 2012-2013 Caribbean sailings of MSC Poesia. Guests can interact with former Major League Baseball stars as they sail to incredible Caribbean destinations onboard MSC Poesia on several “Baseball Greats” theme cruises. This is the ninth year MSC Cruises has hosted these popular cruises with a changing lineup of players.

Host and emcee for all of the onboard activities on each cruise is former New York Yankees star pitcher, Stan Bahnsen. “Baseball Greats” cruises offer free guest/player activities including a player-hosted trivia game, a question-and-answer session, a guest pitching contest and a lively storytelling session. Baseball players host hitting, fielding, base running, and defense strategy clinics. A free autograph session is one of the most popular aspects of the “Baseball Greats” experience.

These Caribbean cruises sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale and feature the following itineraries and baseball greats (the lineup of participating players is subject to change):

• 10-night “Southern Caribbean Dream,” calling at San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. John’s, Antigua; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Roseau, Dominica; Philipsburg, St. Maarten and Freepost, Bahamas, with 3 days at sea. Jesse Barfield, Glenn Beckert, Bill Russell, Dave Campbell and Stan Bahnsen. Dec. 11, 2012

7-night “Eastern Caribbean Enchantment,” calling in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Nassau, Bahamas, with 3 days at sea.
Feb. 9: Ken Griffey Sr., Jim Fregosi, Stan Bahnsen, Ed Herrmann, Larry Parrish
Feb. 23: Tommy Davis, Cookie Rojas, Stan Bahnsen, Clarence Jones, Juan Marichal
March 9: Gorman Thomas, Gary Peters, Stan Bahnsen, Wallace Johnson, Rico Petrocelli

7-night “Colors of the Caribbean,” calling at St. John’s, Antigua; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Freeport, Bahamas, with 3 days at sea. Randy Hundley, Stan Bahnsen, Jack Billingham, Ellis Valentine. April 6, 2013

For more information about MSC Cruises and its “Baseball Greats” theme cruises, visit us online at, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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Celebrity Cruises’ 3,030-Guest Celebrity Reflection Leaves Meyer Werft Shipyard

MIAMI, Sept 17: Celebrity Cruises’ highly-anticipated Celebrity Reflection has left the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and is sailing to the North Sea. The 1,047-foot long, 121-foot wide vessel crossed the Ems River in about 10 hours, an amazing feat, considering the scale of the ship and the geography of the shipyard required the Captain to steer the ship backward, assisted by tugboats fore and aft.

Preparations for the transit, known as “the conveyance,” include removing power lines and railway tracks that normally pass over the river, to allow the ship to pass through. The journey must take place when wind conditions are calm and at high tide to ensure ample depth of water in the river to prevent the possibility of the ship scraping its multi-million-dollar paintwork.

Thousands of spectators lined the river to watch and enjoy the conveyance. Traveling at less than four miles per hour, Celebrity Reflection joins four award-winning Solstice Class sister ships which have made the same complex journey prior to officially entering service. Following sea trials and the completion of finishing work while in Emshaven, The Netherlands, Celebrity Reflection will host an invitation-only preview sailing before embarking October 12 on her first cruise from Amsterdam.

Celebrity Reflection boasts a number of industry firsts, including AquaClass Suites, Signature Suites and the ultra-luxurious Reflection Suite--the first to include a glass shower extending out over the edge of the ship. The ship also will feature designer boutiques, Celebrity’s signature specialty dining venues and glamorous main dining room, and expanded AquaSpa by Elemis experiences.

After presenting vacations from Amsterdam to Belgium and France to Barcelona, ​Celebrity Reflection will cross the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in Miami Dec 1st and depart for its inaugural Caribbean sailing Dec 5th, following invitation-only promotional sailings. The sleek, new ship will offer guests a series of seven-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Miami, Florida.

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Royal Caribbean Brings Popular Culinary Offerings & Experiences to Even More Ships

MIAMI, Sept 17: Royal Caribbean International continues to provide its guests with the ultimate vacation experience by enhancing its onboard dining options with the addition of Oasis-class amenities to even more ships. Next in line is Serenade of the Seas, which is scheduled for an extensive revitalization this fall. Serenade of the Seas will wow guests in December when she re-emerges from her dry dock with a new lineup of specialty restaurants, which will include Giovanni’s Table Italian restaurant, Izumi Asian cuisine and the intimate Chef’s Table dining experience, as well as dining packages for guests to enjoy all of them at incredible value. Guests will have the option of choosing the Royal Choice Dining Package, which includes dinner at Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table and Izumi for $55 per guest, or the Chef’s Table Dining Package for $130 per guest, which includes all of the specialty restaurants as well as the Chef’s Table.

Serenade of the Seas also will offer additional dining deals at Giovanni’s Table. Groups of four or more can take advantage of the Celebration Dining Deal, which is valid for the first two nights of each sailing and allows groups of four or more to enjoy a delicious meal plus a $30 beverage credit at a cost of $20 per person. Groups of eight or more can opt for the Set Sail Dining Deal which includes dinner on the first night of their cruise for $14 per guest.

Further enhancing its onboard culinary offerings Royal Caribbean is expanding its partnership with renowned wine producer Domaines Barons de Rothschild by offering the exclusive Lafite Wine Tasting Experience onboard. Available for $23 to $25 per person, depending upon ship and itinerary, the experience, which was first introduced onboard Allure of the Seas, offers guests a unique tasting showcasing the renowned vintages from France’s Bordeaux region. Developed in conjunction with Château Lafite Rothschild, the premier estate under the Rothschild name, and Master Sommelier John Blazon, the Lafite Wine Experience aims to expand guests’ understanding of growing regions within Bordeaux. A Royal Caribbean cellar master leads the tasting, sharing details about the wines and the winemakers and the history and suggestions for food pairings. A souvenir packet allows guests to take a piece of the experience home with winemakers’ notes, recipes and more.

The Lafite Wine Tasting Experience is now available for pre-booking on select ships, including Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas. Guests can book the Serenade of the Seas dining packages or the Lafite Wine Tasting Experience online at

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Gray Line of Alaska announces 2013 tour packages in Alaska & Yukon

SEATTLE, Sept. 17: Gray Line of Alaska is now taking reservations for its 2013 tour packages and has added four new "add-on" tours to enhance any Alaska and Yukon vacation. Gray Line is also offering a special early booking discount of $600 per couple for trips booked by Nov. 30 that are six days or longer. The new "add-on" options range from one-day tours with sightseeing excursions on the Kenai Peninsula to three-day motor coach tours with an overnight stay in Seward and a Kenai Fjords glacier cruise. These options can be added to any trip beginning or ending in Anchorage.

"After more than 65 years of providing tour packages and vacation solutions to national and international travelers, we're at the forefront of the Alaska and Yukon tourism industry," said Joe Witsoe, director of sales and marketing for Gray Line of Alaska. "We have strong confidence in our products and are excited to be able to continue offering them, and newer ones, after all these years."

In 2013, Gray Line will feature a total of nine package tours and more than 30 variations of Denali rail tours and sightseeing options from Anchorage, Fairbanks and Denali. All package tours include a visit to Alaska's top-rated destination, Denali National Park and Preserve. Gray Line motor coaches and its private luxury glass-domed railcars travel along the regions' most famed highways and backcountry wilderness. Gray Line of Alaska's early booking discount of $600 per couple ($300 per person) is available on tours of six days or longer. To receive the early booking savings, trips must be booked and deposited by Nov. 30, 2012, and reference promotion code YM1. Gray Line of Alaska tour highlights in 2013 include:

Denali Rail Tours: These 2- to 5-day tours are available round trip or one way from Anchorage, Fairbanks or Seward. Guests travel via deluxe motor coach and/or private, luxurious railcars and overnight in Denali, the Talkeetna area or both. Pre- and post-night hotel stays in Anchorage and Fairbanks are available. Fares start at $269 per person.

Explorer Tours: Gray Line's most popular tours focus on the Denali corridor, with six- and seven-day itineraries. Guests can opt for the seven-day Denali-Kenai Explorer, Gray Line's "Best of Alaska" tour that combines Denali National Park with Seward, including a cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park. Other Explorer packages allow travelers to combine a visit to Denali with a cruise on Prince William Sound, or experience the remote Denali Backcountry Lodge. Fares start at $1,235 per person.

Alaska & The Yukon Tours: In-depth vacation packages cover both Alaska and Yukon, Canada. Guests can choose a 10-day option that features Beaver Creek, Yukon, or an 11-day itinerary with stops in Tok, Alaska and Dawson City, Yukon. Both include stays in Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks, Whitehorse, Skagway and Juneau. Guests travel via our private railcars, pulled by the Alaska Railroad between Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks and deluxe motor coaches in the Yukon, with a unique trip on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad into Skagway. Fares start at $2,529 per person. ?

Escorted Tours: For travelers who prefer to explore the Great Land while enjoying the camaraderie of a group, Gray Line offers two eight-day escorted itineraries. Guests enjoy the convenience of an accompanying tour guide to handle logistics and provide information while traveling via private, glass-domed railcar, day boat and deluxe motor coach, with most meals included. Fares start at $2,455 per person.

Sightseeing Tours: Gray Line offers sightseeing and day tours in Anchorage, Fairbanks and the Denali area. Tour options include city and museum tours, a riverboat cruise, gold panning and a glacier cruise to Portage Glacier.

Group Tours: Gray Line plans custom tours for groups of 15 people or more. A group may wish to add a trip to Denali following their cruise, or take an extensive tour of Interior Alaska and the Yukon. Gray Line can customize trips with the addition of sightseeing tours, transportation and lodging. Itineraries can be tailored to fit group needs and preferences, including flexible departure times and routes.?

Gray Line of Alaska has been a premier tour operator in Alaska for over 65 years, and in 2010, received the Gray Line Worldwide Award for Innovation. In 2013 the company will continue to offer multiple-day package tours and sightseeing tours in Alaska and the Yukon. For more information, see your travel agent or call 800-544-2206 or visit The company has a long history as a leader in Alaska and Yukon tourism, offering day trips and multi-day package tours.


Crystal Cruises' Educational "Field Trip" For Grown-Ups

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17: For inquisitive travelers, even one "segment" of a Crystal Cruises' World Cruise can be a voyage of learning and self-discovery. While this winter's 74-day World Cruise aboard the ultra-luxe Crystal Serenity treats guests to literally hundreds of hours of expert instruction, one need only sail on a single leg--such as the Feb 2nd 24-day segment from Lima to Buenos Aires--to enjoy dozens of stimulating classes, hands-on lessons and interactive workshops in everything from golf to global affairs, from Pilates to painting, from memoir writing to magic.

From Lima, Crystal's "Southern Fjord Exploration" offers almost a hundred shore-side excursion choices and an expanded--and complimentary--onboard "Creative Learning Institute" curriculum. Guests can try something new, pursue their passions, and, at lively "Ocean Views" discussion panels, engage with some of the world's leading current affairs specialists. During the journey, Crystal travelers can learn:

-- How to tango, from pro dance instructors, and enjoy it firsthand in its Buenos Aires birthplace;
-- How to make a movie of the breathtaking Chilean fjords with an iPad, through USC's School of Cinematic Arts' Digital Filmmaking classes;
-- How to cook a traditional Peruvian meal at a Lima culinary school;
-- How to perform magic tricks from the "Magic Castle at Sea" master magicians;
-- How to connect via Partner Yoga, or explore inward in other tailored yoga sessions, including Men's Yoga;
-- How to paint the dramatic landscapes of Patagonia at watercolor lessons;
-- How to strengthen your core with Pilates Reformer classes;
-- How to appreciate Chilean wine through visits to Chile's Napa-like Casablanca Valley;
-- How to perfect your swing in PGA pro-led golf clinics;
-- How to improve computer skills through Crystal's own Computer University@Sea;
-- How to play the keyboard, thanks to Yamaha's Passport to Music program;
-- How to tread lightly in Antarctica, with a choice of two excursions to the remote continent;
-- How to tell your story during reflective memoir-writing workshops.

Crystal's new South American voyage takes guests to Montevideo, Uruguay, two ports in Peru, five ports in Chile, and three ports in Argentina; cruises through some of the most dramatic Chilean Fjords and Cape Horn; and offers optional visits to Antarctica.

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

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Costa Cruises Collaborates with Singapore Tourism Board & Changi Airport Group to Tap Asia's Growth Potential

SINGAPORE, Sept. 17: Costa Cruises now offers extended cruise itineraries from Singapore with Costa Victoria in 2012 and Costa Atlantica in 2013. Costa Atlantica will sail into Southeast Asia for the first time in May 2013 with Singapore as its homeport. To cap off these new offerings, Costa Cruises is partnering with the Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport Group to tap into the growth potential in Asia by developing the passenger source markets for cruises out of Singapore.

Plans are in place to conduct marketing initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region to promote Costa's cruises out of Singapore. To heighten awareness of cruising as a desired travel option, advertising, product seminars for travel industry partners and brochures will be launched in markets across the region including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and India. As the first international cruise company to enter the Asian market, Costa Cruises recognizes Asia as an important growth market. In particular, Singapore holds a key position in the region and has been gearing up to become a major cruise hub in Asia.

"Singapore is a unique world city, famous for its blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture. We are excited to have this Asian world-class partner on board," said Gianni Onorato, president of Costa Cruises. "We are committed to a long-term partnership, which will allow our companies to pursue our future growth in the cruise industry across the Asia region."

According to Singapore Tourism Board sources, Singapore welcomed 394 ship calls and 942,000 in passenger throughput in 2011. From 2002 to 2011, the compounded annual growth rate in cruise passengers was 3.6 percent. During 2012-13, the cruise landscape is set to become even more exciting with major cruise lines either increasing their presence in Southeast Asia or deploying new vessels to Singapore.

Having seen strong potential in the Singapore market, Costa Cruises recently launched 3-, 4-, 7- and 14- night itineraries on Costa Victoria from Singapore to Malaysia and Thailand. In May 2013 Costa Cruises will deploy a second cruise ship, Costa Atlantica (85,700 gross tonnage, 2,680 total guest capacity), to the region. The dual positioning of Costa Victoria and Costa Atlantica in Asia demonstrates the continued commitment of Costa Cruises to the region, boasting a combined daily passenger capacity of 5,074, which represents a 90 percent increase in Costa's "Italy at Sea" inspired cruises.

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Carnival Celebrates Grand Opening of Port Canaveral’s New Terminal 6, Donates $10,000 to United Way of Brevard During Event

Continuing its support of its homeport communities, Carnival Cruise Lines made a donation of $10,000 to the United Way of Brevard during the grand opening festivities of the new Terminal 6 at Port Canaveral, Fla. Carnival also provided a 7-day Caribbean cruise for two from Port Canaveral aboard the Carnival Dream to one lucky attendee of the event, which kicked off the United Way of Brevard’s fall campaign.

Carnival’s Chief Marketing Officer Jim Berra served as the keynote speaker for the event, which featured a fun Wizard of Oz theme with characters from the legendary film interacting with guests and the new terminal decorated to resemble the fabled Emerald City.

Berra’s comments highlighted the outstanding, mutually beneficial relationship between the cruise line and the Canaveral Port Authority that dates back more than 20 years. With three ships based year-round and two additional ships visiting the Space Coast as a port of call, Carnival is Port Canaveral’s number one cruise line, accounting for nearly 800,000 passengers annually.

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Oskar Blues Brewery & Sixthman Team Up To Cruise

ATLANTA, GA/LONGMONT, CO, Sept 14: Oskar Blues Brewery and Sixthman have joined forces to send music loving beer drinkers to Sixthman's newest sea-based music festival; Mountain Song at Sea sailing to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas in February 2013.

The partnership will create a national sweepstakes to send fans of Dale's Pale Ale and Sixthman on the inaugural sailing of Mountain Song at Sea. The promotion is integrated on five million "Celebrating Ten Years" CANiversary cans of the brewery's flagship Dale's Pale Ale, which started the craft-beer-in-a-can craze ten years ago. The hoppy pale ale will then be featured on Norwegian Sky, the ship that will play host to the first "Mountain Song at Sea" bluegrass music festival. The national presence of Dale's Pale Ale with music fans along with Sixthman's reputation for producing one of a kind music festival experience at sea fuels the collaboration. To sweeten the pot, the partnership celebrates Oskar Blues Brewery's recent announcement that they will be opening an additional brewery in Brevard, NC, the home of Mountain Song Productions who began Mountain Song Music festival in the small town of Brevard, NC and is working with Sixthman to create the first ever bluegrass music festival at sea. The is the landing page for a chance to win a cabin on the cruise. Follow Oskar Blues and Sixthman on facebook for additional chances to win.

Music has been a big part of the Oskar Blues Brewery experience and factored heavily in how the brewery has engaged and built relationships with their fans throughout its thirteen year history - from partnerships with PASTE Magazine, daily music performances at Oskar Blues locations to their "Songs from the Silo" ( cable tv/web series. The brewery's weekly "Bluegrass Pick" and "Old Timey Music Pick," have cultivated the perfect audience to promote the Mountain Song at Sea music festival while Rolling Stone called Oskar Blues "The hottest place to be on a Saturday night in Colorado." in 2008.

In conjunction with Mountain Song Productions, Sixthman's inaugural Mountain Song at Sea will be the company's 49th full ship charter and features an incredible line-up of bluegrass luminaries such as David Grisman, Del McCoury, Larry Keel and Peter Rowan while also showcasing modern standouts in the bluegrass world like The Punch Brothers, Steep Canon Rangers, and Town Mountain. Scheduled to depart Miami on Feb 1st, Norwegian Sky sails to the private island destination of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas before returning to Miami on Feb 4th. While onboard, Mountain Song at Sea guests will have experience like no other including performances in intimate venues, spontaneous artist collaborations, jams, and interactions with all the artists traveling with the event. Performers on the ship will host Q&A sessions and other activities like a poker tournament with Steep Canyon Rangers, beer and wine tastings, workshops, and games. More information about the event can be found at"

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Cunard Line Unveils World Voyage Passenger Video Series

Sept 14: With its 2014 World Voyage Season now on sale, Cunard Line has unveiled the first of a new video series highlighting some of their frequent World Voyage passengers. In this first video, Michigan residents Richard and Pat Donahey (Belleville), Dr. Martin and Linda Weissman (Birmingham) and Maryland residents Peggy and Pamela Zirkle (Berwyn Heights) share some of their favorite World Voyage experiences and memories.

Highlights include guests sharing how they came to first sail on a Cunard World Voyage, and why they have frequently sailed since then; what they enjoy about life on board; and the many interesting people they’ve met over the years, from globally known personalities such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to their many friendships that have developed with people from all over the world. One guest speaks enthusiastically about her love for dressing up on formal nights and such events as Cunard’s Black & White Ball, and even gives viewers a peek into her “cruise closet,” replete with gowns reserved only for her Cunard voyages.

Coming in October, the second video will highlight the travel experiences of these guests, ranging from exploring India’s Taj Mahal and touring the Egyptian Pyramids, to walking on the Great Wall of China and climbing Australia’s famed Sydney Harbour Bridge.

“For nearly a century, Cunard has served the adventure-seeking traveller with unrivaled access to the world’s most storied regions since the advent of our World Voyage Programme in 1922,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “These World Voyage guests provide a glimpse into this legendary experience and explain why Cunard compels so many guests to return to the World Voyage year after year.”

Cunard’s 2014 World Voyage Season will cover more than 116,000 nautical miles across six continents and visits to 85 unique ports of call in 40 countries. The program features three World Voyages ranging from eight to 133 days aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, with embarkation points in Southampton (England), New York, Fort Lauderdale and San Francisco.

Guests sailing a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard Line delight in the experience of the voyage itself, not just the destination. By day, guests enjoy voluminous libraries, world class spas, white-glove afternoon tea service and engaging award-winning Cunard Insights guest enrichment programs; by night they are entertained by Royal Nights themed balls, West End-style theatre productions and Veuve Clicquot champagne cocktails. To view the complete 2014 World Voyage schedule, visit

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"Top Chef: The Cruise" Adds New Chef'testants & Announces First Onboard Activities

 NEW YORK, Sept. 12: The recently announced "Top Chef: The Cruise" is gaining momentum with the addition of four new chef'testants to an already impressive roster of Top Chef Alums. "Top Chef All Stars" winner Richard Blais, "Top Chef Just Desserts" season one winner Yigit Pura, "Top Chef: Texas" winner Paul Qui, and "Fan Favorite" winner Fabio Viviani join hosts Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, along with 11 previously announced Alums, on this first-ever culinary journey setting sail April 11, 2013 from Miami, Florida. For sneak peek of the cruise visit

During the voyage, guests will have a chance to participate in interactive events and onboard activities. Guests will have the ultimate "Top Chef" experience with behind-the-scenes kitchen tours, and a chance to experience what it's like to be on the hit competition series by watching and participating in live "Quickfire" challenges. Fans will also have the chance to ask their burning questions to the judges, Masters and chef'testants, who will participate in a Q&A session. Additionally, DJ and Top Chef Master, Hubert Keller will host an evening dance party, and passengers can put their taste buds to the test with an exclusive "Dining in the Dark" experience that will surely enlighten the senses.

Last month, Bravo Media, Celebrity Cruises, Magical Elves and Rose Tours announced the inaugural launch of "Top Chef: The Cruise" aboard the modern, luxurious Celebrity Constellation. Taking place from April 11-15, 2013, the one-of-a-kind culinary vacation experience invites fans of the Emmy-winning "Top Chef" reality competition series the chance to break bread and rub elbows with the show's judges and chefs.

Blais, Pura, Qui and Viviani join previously announced hosts, Colicchio and Simmons, and past chef'testants of "Top Chef," "Top Chef Masters" and "Top Chef Just Desserts," Hubert Keller, Tim Love, Jennifer Carroll, Tiffany Derry, Chris Hanmer, Michael Isabella, Spike Mendelsohn, Hosea Rosenberg, Angelo Sosa and Casey Thompson. With the most recent chef additions, fans of the franchise will be treated to the entire cast of Bravo's upcoming docu-series "Life After Top Chef," Blais, Carroll, Mendelsohn and Viviani, premiering October 3 at 10pm ET/PT, who will be onboard the cruise.

The culinary journey aboard the Celebrity Constellation sails roundtrip from Miami, Florida, with stops in Key West, Florida and Cozumel, Mexico. Staterooms are on sale at Additional information can also be found at the site.

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Cabo Wabo Tequila & Sixthman Join Forces At Sea

SAN FRANCISCO: Music festivals at sea have never been more rock 'n roll. Cabo Wabo®, the original Rock 'n Roll Tequila, has partnered with the industry leader in music and theme cruise experiences, Sixthman as a premier spirits partner for a series of rock focused music festivals at sea. Legendary and rising star acts rocking the high seas on upcoming Sixthman and Cabo Wabo partnered music cruise events include KISS, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Doobie Brothers, Outlaws, Sister Hazel, NEEDTOBREATHE and 311.

As a premier spirits partner, Cabo Wabo Tequila provides signature cocktails that will be featured throughout a number of Sixthman's cruise events. Additionally, Cabo Wabo and Sixthman will build consumer awareness for their rock 'n roll inspired cruises with promotions and special events leading up to select festivals at sea. Events include consumer sweepstakes and bartender cocktail competitions with the winning Cabo Wabo cocktail recipe featured on cruise drink menus.

"Guests of Sixthman festivals at sea LIVE LOUD. We couldn't be more thrilled to be in partnership with Cabo Wabo Tequila, an authentic rock-n-roll brand with a renegade spirit that blends so well with the experiences we aim to deliver our guests as they celebrate truly unique vacations with their favorite artists and other passionate fans." said Anthony Diaz, Chief Marketing Officer, Sixthman.

This Halloween weekend, Oct 27 to Oct 31, Cabo Wabo Tequila will join Lynyrd Skynyrd and friends on the Simple Man Cruise from Miami, FL, to Key West and Great Stirrup Cay, a private island in the Bahamas along with some of the band's most passionate fans who will experience an unforgettable up-close-and-personal rock-and-roll vacation. Lynyrd Skynyrd will be joined by special guests the Doobie Brothers, Outlaws, Blackberry Smoke, Bonepony, Dirty Guv'nahs, Drake White, Caddle and many more.

Following a sensational inaugural voyage last fall, the world-renowned rock band KISS and Sixthman have partnered again to unite the KISS Navy for the 2012 KISS Kruise II. Cabo Wabo Tequila will set sail with KISS on Halloween Oct 31 to Nov 4, 2012 joining fans rocking from Miami, FL, to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. KISS will perform live concerts in the ship's main theater, as well as a special unmasked acoustic show on the lido deck. KISS Kruise II also includes a Q&A with the band, costume contests, wild theme nights, and the most insane Halloween blowout any KISS fan could dream of.

From Feb 24 to March 1, 2013, Cabo Wabo Tequila will join forces with The Rock Boat: The World's Greatest Floating Music Festival. Embarking on it's thirteen sailing, The Rock Boat, hosted by Sister Hazel, will bring special guests NEEDTOBREATHE along with a line-up of over 25 other artists performing across multiple stages while sailing from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.

The Simple Man Cruise, KISS Kruise II and The Rock Boat all set sail aboard Norwegian Pearl. Guests can book their staterooms now at, or Fares include entertainment, meals, and access to many Norwegian Pearl amenities, such as two pools, four hot tubs, massive spa, rock climbing wall, bowling alley, casino and fitness center. In addition to collaborating on The Simple Man Cruise, KISS Kruise II and The Rock Boat, Cabo Wabo Tequila and Sixthman will be creating other ways to create moments that rock for guests and tequila enthusiasts such as exclusive video content and engaging promotions.

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Successful Inaugural Season in Alaska for American Cruise Lines

GUILFORD, CT, Sept 12: American Cruise Lines, operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, announces the conclusion and great success of its inaugural 2012 season in Alaska. The 100-passenger American Spirit, the newest small ship in Alaska. operated numerous weekly roundtrip cruises this summer from Juneau. Following wonderful guest reviews, the Alaska Inside Passage cruises will resume again in the summer of 2013 on June 1. In addition, beginning in the spring on April 13, the American Spirit will operate American Cruise Lines’ newest itinerary, Puget Sound & San Juan Islands, offering seven-night roundtrip cruises from Seattle.

The inaugural season in Alaska was extremely well received by guests who were the first to enjoy Alaska in the comfort, elegance and intimacy of the American Spirit. While onboard, they encountered towering glaciers at close range and spotted wildlife including humpback whales, brown bears and bald eagles. Guests also enjoyed the company and insight of an onboard Alaskan expert and naturalist, offering daily lecturers and presentations on Alaska’s history, culture and natural wonders. Guests were greeted by the port towns, with a special welcoming event held for the inaugural visit to Alaska’s famed Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

A complimentary shore tour package and pre-cruise hotel stay will be offered again in 2013 on all Alaska Inside Passage cruises. Ports of call will include Glacier Bay, Icy Strait/Hoonah, Skagway, Petersburg and Tracy Arm. The American Spirit offers a full range of onboard amenities, including an elevator to all decks, numerous glass-enclosed lounges and oversized staterooms, the majority of which have private balconies which offer unobstructed views of the Alaskan scenery. The ship offers an intimate and refined onboard atmosphere perfect for guests who seek enriching travels and share their passion for exploration, adventure and discovery.

Developed in response to passenger demand, American Cruise Lines looks forward to offering its Alaska Inside Passage cruises again in the 2013 summer season, and to continue delivering on its promise to provide the most unique and personalized cruise journeys available. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit or call 800-814-6880.

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Debuts New Blog On Website

BELLEVUE, WA, Sept. 12: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, and the newly acquired m/v Tere Moana, debuts a new blog called "Blog by Gauguin."

The new blog will offer news, behind-the-scenes coverage, in-depth destination reports, interviews with guest hosts, travel tips, recipes, photos, videos, and more about Paul Gauguin Cruises. Guest bloggers will also be featured chronicling their voyages on The Gauguin or The Moana.

The blog is located at and can be accessed from Paul Gauguin Cruises' website at where you will also find rates and other information.

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Dry Dock Begins for Carnival Dream; New Features to Include
RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar

This past weekend, Carnival Dream began a two-week dry dock that will add two new bars—RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar—along with Cherry on Top, a retail outlet specializing in confections, custom apparel and other merchandise. Workers have already begun the process of preparing the Carnival Dream’s Lido Deck for the addition of the two new poolside watering holes which are part of Fun Ship 2.0, a $500 million enhancement program that is adding a number of exciting innovations across the line’s fleet.

RedFrog Rum Bar offers the quintessential Caribbean vibe, with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s private label draft brew, ThirstyFrog Red. Just across the deck will be BlueIguana Tequila Bar, providing a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere offering delicious tequila-based frozen drinks and Mexican beers. Cherry on Top celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun-and-fanciful gifts, just-because novelties, colorful custom apparel, and more.

These new options complement the wide variety of on-board features available on Carnival Dream, including an expansive WaterWorks aqua park, an indoor/outdoor café/live entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza, and The Lanai, a half-mile wraparound outdoor promenade with whirlpools that extend out over the ship’s sides. Following the dry dock, Carnival Dream is scheduled to resume its year-round seven-day Caribbean schedule from Port Canaveral, Florida, Sept. 22.

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Crystal Symphony Debuts World's First Living Wall at Sea

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 11: In an industry first, ultra-luxury Crystal Cruises has unveiled the world's first self-contained, free-standing living wall at sea, created and crafted by UK-based ANS Group Europe. ANS Group Europe spent two days installing the living wall on the 922-guest Crystal Symphony as the ship sailed from Portland to Dover to complete its 11-night "British Isle Brilliance" voyage.

Designed for an al fresco area in the ship's Deck 11 Trident Grill, the unique living wall uses a varied and diverse selection of indoor plants to display a world map. The living wall is 37.7 feet (11.5 meters) long and 7.9 feet (2.4 meters) high and will receive regular maintenance by Crystal Symphony's onboard team of florists.

"In keeping with our ongoing focus on design, we wanted to create a focal point that was both highly contemporary and visually stunning," says Alexandra Don, Crystal's vice president, hotel design and services. "The end result is a living wall that brings the Trident Grill to life and serves as an eye-catching backdrop to the incomparable service and choices that always characterize a Crystal holiday."

Joel Nash, marketing manager for ANS Group Europe added, "This bespoke project is an exciting and exhilarating scheme. Installing living walls on a cruise ship is taking us to a completely new level and opens up all sorts of possibilities. When you think this wall will be travelling as far north as Lapland and down to Cape Horn, it takes your breath away."

A living wall is a vertical garden that is pre-planted in panels and then attached to the wall or facade of a building. Plants stay intact in their vertical positions because their root structures are anchored in two to four inches of soil kept within the panel.

The installation of the wall on Crystal Symphony is yet another example of Crystal's "Crystal Clean" environmental and educational efforts both onboard and on shore. A living wall acts as a bio filter, enhancing air quality by breaking down harmful airborne contaminants and transforming them into clean oxygen. By absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, it reduces greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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

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Chefs for Humanity Receives $50,000 Donation From Oceania Cruises

MIAMI, Sept 10: Chefs for Humanity,, a nonprofit founded by Celebrity Chef Cat Cora, today announced a $50,000 donation from Oceania Cruises, a upper-premium cruise line with four ships sailing to more than 330 destinations worldwide. Chefs for Humanity was founded by Cat Cora to galvanize culinary enthusiasts worldwide around a shared goal of reducing hunger and improving nutrition.

“We are delighted that Cat Cora is now part of the Oceania Cruises family—her passion for fine cuisine captures the core of what we do every day,” stated Kunal S. Kamlani, Oceania Cruises’ president. “We are immensely proud of Cat’s philanthropic endeavors outside the kitchen and the work she is doing to reduce hunger across the globe. It is an honor to make this commitment to Chefs for Humanity in celebration of her role as godmother to Riviera.”

In May, Cat Cora christened Oceania Cruises’ newest ship Riviera, the second new ship launched by Oceania Cruises in under 18 months. Designed for epicureans, Riviera features 10 dining venuessix of which are gourmet restaurantsplus a Bon Appétit Culinary Center for hands-on learning and La Reserve by Wine Spectator, a professional facility for wine tastings and pairing dinners.

Chefs for Humanity was founded by Cat Cora in 2004 in response to the tsunami disaster in Indonesia. The nonprofit has provided relief and assistance following disasters in New Orleans and Haiti and has made recent mission trips to Ethiopia and Haiti.

“It is inspiring to have such generous support from Oceania Cruises,” said Chefs for Humanity founder Cat Cora. “Smart philanthropy from organizations like Oceania can make an enormous difference in providing and implementing solutions to impact hunger and malnutrition. Chefs for Humanity is honored to be a partner with Oceania Cruises in this fight against hunger.”

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Royal Caribbean & Barbie Set Sail Together

MIAMI & EL SEGUNDO, CA, Sept. 10: Royal Caribbean International, in partnership with Mattel, is bringing the signature pink style of Barbie, the world's most popular doll, to the world's most innovative cruise line. The pop culture icon will come to the high seas for the very first time to invite girls to see what happens when Barbie becomes a part of their cruise vacation. The all-new Barbie™ Premium Experience, available exclusively on Royal Caribbean ships, is making its stylish splash aboard the cruise line's entire global fleet of 22 ships starting in January 2013 on select ships and rolling out to the remainder of the fleet by March 2013.

"Barbie remains the most popular doll of all time and a powerhouse brand among girls of all ages," said Lisa Bauer, Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. "She is everywhere girls are today, so it only makes sense that girls can now find her at sea exclusively aboard Royal Caribbean's fleet of world-class ships."

The partnership with Barbie will encompass a host of activities in the cruise line's award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program as well as a Barbie Premium Experience. Girls participating in the cruise line's award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program can be part of the complimentary version of the Barbie program. The experience offers Barbie Movie Night, Barbie Story Time and other complimentary themed activities, plus Barbie movies on their stateroom televisions.

The Barbie Premium Experience is the ultimate indulgence for Barbie enthusiasts. Girls can enjoy staterooms decorated in the iconic doll's signature style as well as exclusive, themed activities throughout the duration of their cruise - from an invitation-only tea party and mermaid dance class to a fashion design workshop and Barbie Girls fashion show. Highlights of the Barbie Premium Experience include:

· A Barbie stateroom, adorned in the doll's signature style and featuring keepsakes such as a Barbie® doll and fashions, blanket and pillowcase, tote bag, toothbrush and toiletries bag. From the moment they step into their staterooms, girls will be drawn into Barbie's distinct world of style - and of course, pink!
· Tiaras & Teacups party, an invitation-only affair, featuring a whimsical palate of pink pastries and pink lemonade served on dainty dishes all while having fun learning tips on table etiquette.
· Mermaid dance class where girls can shimmy and shake while learning the latest dance moves from the hit movie Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2.
· Fashion Designer workshop where girls can channel their inner fashion designer with Barbie inspiration boards and sketch materials. Girls also will have the chance to sketch and create their very own Barbie doll fashions.
· Fashion Show where girls can dress up to walk a pink carpet to the admiration and applause of their family and friends. Girls also will have the chance to perform their amazing dance routine as well as display their Barbie fashion creation. It's the ultimate celebration of a truly memorable experience with Barbie and Royal Caribbean.

"Barbie is truly a lifestyle brand that is part of a girl's world from her bedroom to playroom, computer to closet," said Lori Pantel, Vice President Barbie Global Marketing. "We're excited to extend that brand experience to family cruise vacations with a fantastic partner - Royal Caribbean."

Guests interested in the Barbie Premium Experience can visit  to get more information and may book the experience by calling (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN or contacting their travel agent starting October 2012. The cost of the Barbie Premium Experience is $349.00.

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Ultra Modern Cruise Facility Planned For Barbados

Barbados has unveiled plans to construct an ultra-modern cruise facility, in the capital city of Bridgetown. Totally Barbados has been informed that, when completed, the Sugar Point Cruise facility will allow the tourism-driven country to welcome some of the largest cruise ships in the world. Another advantage of the facility is that it will in effect separate cruise and cargo activities, thereby addressing complaints about the two competing for limited space within the port.

The development will take place along Trevor's Way and involve reclaiming 15 acres of land from the sea, 100,000 square feet of which will be provided for commercial activity. Dredging is slated to begin in November. Minister of International Business and International Transport George Hutson said the project will be done in two phases, the first of which is estimated to cost 300 million dollars. He said the initial stage will include two cruise piers, arrival and departure facilities, along with parking lots.

The two-year project will be spearheaded by Barbados Port Incorporated in a joint venture with a consortium comprising Barbadian company SMI Infrastructure Solutions Incorporated and Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited, the world's second largest cruise operator.

A minimum of 200 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase, with 500 more added through related commercial activities. Once completed, the facility is also expected to feature Barbados rum and sugar culture as a major theme throughout. Minister Hutson said the government is banking on the new facility to attract more cruise ships, with a view to increasing the revenue generated from their passengers. He pointed out that for Barbados to effectively compete with new and emerging tourism markets, it must improve the customer experience and satisfaction. It is with that in mind, that the new facility will be constructed in such a manner as to offer the opportunity to experience local music, cuisine and even see local artisans prepare their products for sale.

The facility will bring Bridgetown to cruise passengers, the minister said. He also said that the development would assist Barbados' efforts to become a hub for cruise tourism. Cruise tourism in Barbados has grown from just over 127,000 in 1985 to 726,543 last year. The highest number of cruise passengers 812,863 was recorded in 2004. According to the latest Central Bank of Barbados figures, which are for the first half of this year, the number of cruise passengers rose slightly, by 2.5 percent, although 21 fewer cruise ships visited.

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Debuts Its 2013 Voyages By Gauguin Brochure

BELLEVUE, WA, Sept 8: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, and the newly acquired m/v Tere Moana, debuts its colorful and comprehensive 2013 Voyages by Gauguin brochure. The 86-page brochure showcases a variety of dream cruises to enchanting destinations and can be viewed on-line at The brochure outlines five award-winning itineraries in French Polynesia that are available aboard the elegantly renovated Gauguin and 13 new itineraries encompassing the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe on the cruise line’s new luxury small ship, The Moana. Detailed itineraries are grouped by region and include cruise schedules, maps, highlights, and fares.

The Gauguin’s voyages in exotic French Polynesia feature a host of exquisite islands with white-sand beaches, aqua lagoons, mist-laden mountains, and warm Polynesian culture. Itineraries include: 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands; 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; 11-night Australs & Society Islands; and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands.

December and March, The Moana offers 7-night Caribbean voyages roundtrip from St. Martin visiting a mix of sophisticated islands and unspoiled gems in the French West Indies, British Virgin Islands, and St. Kitts & Nevis. In January and February, The Moana’s 13- and 14-night Latin American cruises feature a classic transit of the Panama Canal; Cartagena, Columbia; and the wildlife reserves of Costa Rica.

From April through November, The Moana operates a variety of European voyages. Highlights include 7-night cruises in the Black Sea and Greek Isles; a roundtrip Spanish Coast voyage; and scenic sailings along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and French and Italian Rivieras. Three special voyages transit Greece’s Corinth Canal—an experience available only to small ships like The Moana. During spring and fall, 14-night transatlantic crossings are offered between Europe and the Caribbean.

In addition to unique itineraries, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ fleet distinctions, accommodations, dining venues, entertainment options, activities, shore excursion sampler, pre- and post-cruise hotel program, air/sea program, deck plans, and general information are also featured.

Hallmarks of the cruise line include an elegant yet casual ambiance, luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining, and trademark Polynesian hospitality. All-inclusive fares include complimentary beverages featuring select wines and spirits; an in-room refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer, and bottled water; and onboard gratuities for room stewards and dining staff. Additionally, Paul Gauguin Cruises offers extraordinary value with savings of 50% off all-inclusive standard cruise fares on all voyages of both ships, plus included airfare from Los Angeles on French Polynesia itineraries. Past guests of The Gauguin, enjoy additional savings of 5% off cruise fares aboard either vessel, as a member of the Paul Gauguin Society. And guests who book select departures by Nov 1, 2012, can enjoy double the Paul Gauguin Society benefit, for total savings of 10% off final cruise fares. For a complimentary copy of the 2013 Voyages by Gauguin brochure, please contact a Travel Professional, call 800-848-6172, or visit

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Azamara Club Cruises to Refine Destination Immersion
Through Fleetwide Renovation

MIAMI, Sept 7: Azamara Club Cruises, the cruise line that has set the bar for delivering destination immersive experiences to up-market travelers, today announced plans for the renovation of its two European boutique hotel-style ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Both ships are scheduled separately to enter drydock in 2012 and 2013, respectively, where each will receive a shipwide facelift and a new profile with a new dark-blue hull. Guests will delight in the beautifully refreshed ships, along with Azamara’s signature exceptional personal service from every staff and crew member, exciting destinations around the world where larger ships cannot reach, and more late night and overnight stays in port to be immersed in the nightlife of the destinations.

“Azamara Club Cruises is offering up-market travelers more of what they love about our brand,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Our distinctive destination-immersion proposition and the warm and authentic personal service from every staff and crew member have really resonated with up-market travelers. Guest satisfaction has consistently pushed 100 percent, and we are going to continue to deliver travel in a way that will surmount all guest expectations – on land and on board.”

Shipwide renovations will include new carpets, upholstery, and a new color palette in public spaces reflecting the cruise line’s inviting atmosphere; new mattresses and upgraded veranda furniture for suites and staterooms; and a resurfaced pool, and new sun loungers and pool towels on the outer decks. The Casino Bar also will be expanded and enhanced with new furniture, while the Spa and fitness center will be refreshed with a new steam room, showers, and state-of-the-art Life Fitness cardio equipment. Furthermore, a range of enhancements will be made behind the scenes in the staff and crew area to add to the comfort of the cruise line’s most valuable asset.

On the culinary front, guests onboard will soon enjoy a new caviar and champagne bar within Aqualina, one of the ships’ two specialty dining venues, as well as a new Chef’s Table concept featuring three wine degustation menus – Italian, French, and Californian. At Mosaic Café, the ships’ central gathering spot, guests will be able to purchase a freshly brewed cup of bespoke coffee.

Azamara Quest will spend eight nights in drydock at Navantia Shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, starting Nov. 7, 2012. With renovations complete, Azamara Quest will then sail a 13-night Madeira and Canary Islands voyage, beginning Nov 15, followed by a 4-night Spanish and Northern Africa voyage on Nov 28. The ship then departs on Dec 2, to embark on a 16-night, trans-Atlantic voyage to Rio De Janeiro for its South America season.

Following, Azamara Journey will enter Singapore’s Sembawang Shipyard (a subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine Ltd.) on Jan. 6, 2013, for a 7-night renovation drydock. Azamara Journey will then continue its Asia season with a 13-night Indonesia voyage round-trip from Singapore on Jan 13.

In addition to receiving exceptional scores from guest surveys, the cruise line has continuously been recognized with some of the industry’s most coveted accolades since its rebranding more than two years ago. Guests aboard Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest enjoy more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffee, and teas, as well as complimentary red and white boutique wines to accompany lunch and dinner; complimentary self-service laundry; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle transportation to city centers in ports, where available.

Azamara Club Cruises is a destination-immersive cruise line for up-market travelers who want to not only see the places and cultures they visit, but to live them. Azamara’s two intimate, 694-guest ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, with a combination of 347 suites and staterooms, offer a European-boutique hotel ambience with extraordinary service, fine cuisine and wines from around the world, and wellness and vitality programs, all while sailing to a host of destinations larger ships cannot reach. Azamara Club Cruises sails European destinations, including the Baltic and Scandinavia, British Isles, Western Europe, French and Italian Rivieras, Greek Isles, Croatia, Holy Land and Black Sea, as well as Asia, South America and lesser-traveled islands of the West Indies, with more overnight and late-night stays in every region. Travelers also can choose even more immersive experiences with Azamara cruisetours in eight of the world’s most exciting destinations, including Buenos Aires, Istanbul, India and China. For more information, travelers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Launches Spanish Version of

Norwegian Cruise Line announced that the company’s North American website and booking engine is now available in a Spanish language version. Approximately 35 million residents in the United States speak Spanish as their native language and it is the world’s third most commonly used language on the Internet. Therefore, the launch of the Spanish language version of reinforces Norwegian’s commitment to this audience by making it easier for Spanish-speaking guests to make a Norwegian cruise reservation.

The new version of the site features the same key elements as, including ship and destination content, booking engine and online check-in. The new site also features a unique toll-free number that connects Spanish-speaking callers to Spanish-speaking cruise representatives so that guests can make cruise reservations and have questions answered in their preferred language.

To develop the Spanish-language site, Norwegian partnered with South Florida-based MotionPoint Corporation, a company that specializes in website translation and localization for large consumer brands.

Spanish speaking guests can access the new Spanish version of the line’s website directly at or by clicking the “Español” link on’s homepage header.

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North American Cruise Industry Continued to Expand Contribution to U.S. Economy

Washington, DC, Sept 6: The North American cruise industry continued to expand its contribution to the U.S. economy in 2011 according to an independent study commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Direct purchases by CLIA’s 26 member lines and their passengers and crew totaled approximately $19 billion resulting in $40.4 billion in total economic impact. The related cruise industry spending generated nearly 350,000 jobs paying $16.5 billion in wages to American workers.

After a strong rebound in 2010 from the recessionary impacts of 2009, the North American cruise industry continued to expand in 2011 at a pace that matched the growth for key operating metrics the previous year. The continuing expansion allowed the industry to reach new highs for capacity and the number of passengers sailing on CLIA member cruise lines, with the North American cruise industry outpacing the growth of overall economic activity in the U.S. America continued to be the economic driver for the industry, providing close to two-thirds of all global passengers and 60 percent of all cruise embarkations.

“In this uncertain economic environment, we are pleased to demonstrate the importance of the North American cruise industry to the U.S. economy in creating jobs and positively impacting the residents of all 50 states through direct and indirect spending,” said Christine Duffy, CLIA’s president and CEO. “These findings are further evidence that the industry’s ability to provide outstanding choice and value that resonate strongly with consumers work in beneficial ways for the country’s economy as well.”

“The Contribution of the North American Cruise Industry to the U.S. Economy in 2011” was prepared for CLIA by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) of Exton, Pennsylvania. The key findings include:

Total economic impact on the U.S. economy grew by 6.8 percent to $40.42 billion in 2011, with direct spending by the cruise industry growing by 4.8 percent to $18.9 billion; total employment grew by 5.4 percent to 347,787 and wages and salaries jumped by 8.3 percent in 2011.

The North American cruise industry benefited every state economy through direct purchases of goods and services, with approximately 80 percent of the impact concentrated in ten states – Florida, California, New York, Texas, Alaska, Washington, Georgia, Massachusetts, Illinois and Colorado.

#1 Florida cruise passenger and crew visits totaled 8.94 million in 2011, a 2.6 percent increase, with direct spending of $6.7 billion and 130,950 jobs that generated $5.76 billion in income.
#2 California cruise passenger and crew visits totaled 979,000, generating $1.86 billion in direct spending and creating 42,254 jobs that paid $2.3 billion in wages.
#3 New York, with 896,000 passenger and crew visits, accounted for 6.6 percent of the industry’s direct expenditures ($1.25 billion), generating 16,608 jobs paying $944 million in income.
#4 Texas received just over $1.12 billion in cruise industry direct spending, creating 17,316 jobs paying $917 million in income.
#5 Alaska received just over 4.8 million passenger and crew visits in 2011, a 1.4 percent increase over the previous year, which accounted for 5.4 percent of the industry’s direct spending ($1.02 billion generating 22,493 jobs paying $962 million in wage income.

Worldwide, 16.3 million people took cruise vacations on CLIA member lines in 2011, an increase of 10.1 percent over the previous year. U.S. cruise passengers totaled 10.4 million, or 63.5 percent.

U.S. ports handled 60 percent of all global cruise embarkations, with 9.83 million passengers sailing from American ports, a 1.4 percent increase over 2010.

The top ten U.S. cruise ports – Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, New York, Galveston, Tampa, Seattle, Long Beach, New Orleans, Los Angeles – accounted for nearly 86 percent of all U.S. embarkations.

Net capacity, measured by lower berths, grew by 4.1 percent in 2011 to 320,304
Capacity growth remained concentrated in Europe – 18 percent

Within North America, deployed capacity increased by 5.4 percent, led by Bermuda (36 percent), Hawaii (32 percent) and Alaska (19 percent)

Further information about the contribution of the North American cruise industry to the U.S. economy may be found at

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Pride of America to Receive Major Enhancements
Including New Suites and Studio Staterooms

MIAMI, Sept 5: Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that the latest vessel in the company’s ship revitalization program, Pride of America, will enter dry dock in March 2013 for major enhancements, including the addition of new luxurious suites and studio staterooms.

“As the only large US-flagged cruise ship, Pride of America offers a unique and extraordinary vacation to four of Hawai`i’s most popular islands,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We want to ensure that we are continuing to enhance the guest experience on this one-of-a-kind vessel. Therefore, we are making a major investment – over $30 million – in enhancing this ship with beautiful new suites, studios for solo travelers, new restaurants and more.”

Pride of America enters a 14-day dry dock on March 23, 2013 in Honolulu, Hawai`i. The 2,124-passenger ship will receive major renovations including the addition of 24 ultra-luxurious suites, four Studio staterooms and four inside staterooms; Moderno Churrascaria, the line’s signature Brazilian-style steakhouse; ship wide wireless internet connectivity; new carpeting throughout; flat screen televisions in all staterooms; updated décor; upgrades to the fitness center; new directional signage; renovations to the gift shop, photo gallery and art gallery; and much more.

The 24 new suites on Deck 13 will be outfitted with premium custom furnishings, fabrics, carpets and ultra-luxurious bathrooms. Two of the 24 suites will be Deluxe Owners Suites. These 566 square foot suites, sleeping up to four guests, will feature a large bedroom, separate living area and a state of the art bathroom featuring custom mosaic tiles. The remaining suites will be Family Suites ranging from 363 to 416 square feet, most sleeping up to six guests. The two Deluxe Owners Suites will have connecting doors to the adjacent Family Suites, sleeping up to 10 guests when combined, the perfect option for families or groups who wish to travel in luxury together. Two of the Family Balcony Suites will be ADA compliant to accommodate guests with disabilities. One of the many highlights of the suites will be their expansive balconies, ranging from 245 square feet for Family Suites to 410 square feet for the Deluxe Owners Suites, giving Pride of America’s suite guests the largest balconies in the fleet, perfect for taking in the jaw-dropping Hawai`i scenery.

In addition to all of the incredible features in the suites, guests will enjoy pampering service from dedicated butlers and concierge, plus an array of exclusive amenities such as luxurious Tranquility mattresses from the Bliss Collection by Norwegian, Lavazza Espresso Makers, Elemis bath products, private dining for breakfast and lunch, and more.

Guests wishing to travel solo in Hawai`i can now do so in one of four new Studio staterooms on board Pride of America. Designed and priced for the solo traveler, these staterooms will feature a full-size bed, along with a separate bathroom area. Four new inside staterooms will also be added to the area on Deck 13. All of the new suites and staterooms will go on sale Oct 1, 2012 for sailings beginning Sept 7, 2013.

Additional refurbishments include:

· Upgraded flat screen televisions in all guest and crew staterooms broadcast on a digital signal;
· Wireless internet access throughout the entire ship, including crew areas;
· Replacement of carpet throughout the ship in guest staterooms and public areas;
· Video, sound and light enhancements throughout the ship;
· Upgrades to fitness center equipment;
· Décor updates in the Aloha Cafe, the ship’s buffet restaurant;
· Lazy J’s Steakhouse converted to Norwegian’s signature steakhouse, Cagney’s;
· Updated signage throughout the ship;
· Renovations to Photo and Art Gallery

Pride of America will return to her 7-day Hawaii itinerary departing from Honolulu every Saturday when she returns to service in early April 2013. Ports of call include an overnight in Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawai`i; Kona, Hawai`i; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kaua`i; and an afternoon cruise past the breathtaking Nãpali Coast. To book a cruise on Pride of America, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit

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Disney Cruise Line Offers Even More Vacation Options with New 2013 Itineraries Departing from Galveston, Texas

CELEBRATION, FL, Sept 5: In early 2013, Disney Cruise Line will offer a variety of new itineraries departing from Galveston, Texas, providing even more cruise options for guests. In addition to six-night Western Caribbean sailings, new choices include four-night Caribbean getaway cruises and eight-night itineraries that take guests to Walt Disney World Resort and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

“We are excited to add even more variety to our offering of itineraries from the Port of Galveston,” said Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. “The addition of shorter getaway cruises and voyages that call on our most popular port of call, Disney’s Castaway Cay, rounds out an impressive array of itinerary options from Galveston.”

Highlights of the 2013 Galveston itineraries include…

2013 Galveston Schedule

In the early part of 2013, the Disney Magic will sail from the Port of Galveston to the Western Caribbean and Bahamas with 4-, 6-, and 8-night itineraries.

• NEW: Four-night Caribbean sailings are perfect for guests looking for a quick getaway and include two days at sea to sample the one-of-a-kind Disney Cruise Line shipboard experience.
Ports: Galveston, Cozumel; Departure dates: Feb. 1, 5, March 15, 19, April 12, 16

Six-night Western Caribbean cruises offer a tropical vacation with world-class entertainment and impeccable guest service found only on Disney Cruise Line.
Ports: Galveston, Grand Cayman, Cozumel; Departure dates: Jan. 12, 26, Feb. 9, 23, March 9, 23, April 6, 20. May 4

NEW: Eight-night Bahamas sailings include a day at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay; and a stop at Port Canaveral, Fla., giving guests an opportunity to visit the nearby Walt Disney World Resort. As part of this itinerary, each guest will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and roundtrip transportation between their Disney ship and the resort.
Ports: Galveston, Castaway Cay, Port Canaveral, Key West; Departure dates: Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 1, 29, April 26, May 10

Eight-night Western Caribbean cruises include stops in Mexico and Key West Fla.
Ports: Galveston, Key West, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel; Departure dates: Jan. 4

Later in 2013, the Disney Wonder is scheduled to sail 7-night cruises from Galveston to Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.

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Record August "Heat" For Crystal Cruises

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 5: Reservations for Crystal Cruises surged this summer as the ultra-luxe line finished the month with its highest ever August booking week and month in its history. With the expiration of its August 31 "Book Now" fares, travel agents booked more than 110% more revenue than any prior year during the same week and for the entire month of August.

Effective September 1, Crystal has launched a new "Book Now" deadline of October 31, 2012 for its worldwide lineup of 2012, 2013 and early 2014 cruises. While the new series of "Book Now" fares offer generous bonus savings of as much as $3000 per person, the line has also increased fares for 29 cruises - representing a record number of increases in any "Book Now" period.

Crystal's Senior Vice President, Marketing & Sales Jack Anderson attributes the booking success to a compelling confluence of factors: Crystal's unparalleled reputation, strong travel agent support and many powerful initiatives, like its price/all-inclusive value equation, a new contemporary brand campaign, earlier-than-ever release of itineraries and support material, global sales and marketing efforts, the chic "extreme makeover" of its ultra-luxe ships, repeat guest loyalty and referral, attractive family initiatives, and an expanded choice of cruise destinations and lengths of cruises. Veteran cruisers appreciate Crystal's World Cruise (which is boasting its own record numbers with more than 400 full World Cruisers in 2013) and the ability to enjoy a longer cruise experience when combining cruises without repeating ports. New-to-Crystal cruisers have responded to Crystal's increase in shorter cruises, as almost 50% of its 2013 cruises are 10 days or less.

"We thank the thousands of travelers and their travel agents who have responded so favorably to this year of new developments at Crystal Cruises," said Anderson. "We are optimistic about 2013 and beyond, and our guest satisfaction is at an all-time high. It's a safe bet that cruises that are booking ahead of expectations, and there are quite a few, will see price increases in another 60 days. Once again, we're stressing, book now."

For more information on Crystal Cruises and reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Cunard Line Announces Cross the Pond Sale, September 6-10

Sept 5: For those looking to experience a luxury cruise vacation aboard flagship Queen Mary 2 or Queen Victoria, Cunard’s Cross the Pond Sale, featuring the Line's iconic Transatlantic Crossings, provides just the opportunity. Starting Sept 6, the five-day sale will offer a reduced deposit, Complimentary Balcony Upgrades, and up to $150 in On Board Credit on this classic travel experience, with regularly scheduled Transatlantic service only offered by Cunard.

Savings on Queen Mary 2 seven-day Crossings include Balcony fares from:

Oct 28, 2012 – $849
Nov 20 & 27,2012 – $799
Dec 15, 2012 – $749
Jan 3, 2013 – $749

Queen Victoria’s 8-day westbound Transatlantic Crossing, departing Southampton on Jan 10, 2013, features Balcony fares from $899.

In addition to exceptional savings, guests on board Queen Mary 2’s voyages will enjoy dynamic enrichment opportunities through the Line’s award-winning Cunard Insights program, including:

Oct 28, 2012 – Riveting series of performances by the acclaimed Julliard School of Jazz, as well as guest lectures by celebrated television and film industry veteran, George McGhee; James A. Thurber, Distinguished Professor of Government and founder and director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University; and the Royal Astronomical Society’s Mark Butterworth, an expert in presenting current astronomical concepts through their historical background

Nov 20, 2012 – An exclusive auction of rarely before seen items belonging to iconic actress Greta Garbo, as well as a guest lecture on her private life by her great-nephew Derek Reisfield

Nov 27, 2012 – Guest lecture by Captain Paul Eschenfelder, a pilot, adjunct professor at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and a disciple of history and world cultures with over 40 years of global travel experience

Guests sailing a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard Line delight in the experience of the voyage itself, not just the destination. By day, guests enjoy voluminous libraries, world class spas, white-gloved afternoon tea service and engaging award-winning Cunard Insights guest enrichment programmes; and by night are entertained by Royal Nights themed balls, West End-style productions and Veuve Clicquot champagne cocktails.

All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Each promotional voyage also offers the option to receive up to $150 in On Board Credit per stateroom. The sale runs through Sept 10. For more information about Queen Mary 2 or Queen Victoria or to book a voyage, consult your Travel Agent, call Cunard toll-free 1-800-728-6273 or go to

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CLIA Lines Offering More Choice, Value With New Shorter Cruises

FORT LAUDERDALE, Sept 5: While that most famous of circumnavigators, Phileas Fogg, inspired the notion of sailing around the world in 80 days, most people today are lucky if they can take a two-week vacation. In response to an increasingly time deprived society, many members of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), including luxury and specialty lines, report a trend towards new short, or shorter, cruise sailings in all parts of the world. These “mini” or “sampler” cruises are proving popular with frequent as well as first-time cruisers.

“Lifestyles are changing. Consumers have extraordinarily busy schedules but they also want to travel and are savvy about getting their money’s worth. As the cruise industry continues to grow, the convenience, affordability and incredible choice of short cruises are tremendously appealing,” said Christine Duffy, CLIA’s president and CEO.

In a recent CLIA conducted survey, the association’s cruise line member lines say that short cruises have strong appeal for a broad range of vacationers of all ages, from the new-to-cruising set, to families, working professionals to honeymooners to independent travelers seeking to combine a cruise with land programs. And, perhaps because they are less expensive compared to longer voyages offered by the same cruise line, shorter cruises can stimulate last-minute travel decisions.

Driving the trend are a number of factors at home and abroad. The increase in domestic ports of embarkation—more than 30 in North America—has opened up the world of cruising to a far greater vacation market. Carnival Cruise Lines, for example, estimates that half the population of the U.S. is now within driving distance of a cruise port. Short cruises, historically the “entry” market for the industry, are effective in building interest in the newer ports and cruise lines have responded with more offerings. Carnival officials indicate that 50 percent of the company’s capacity is devoted to short cruises.

Globalization of the industry also has driven the increase in short cruises. The Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexico/West Coast, traditional short cruise markets, remain strong, but travelers looking to sample the cruise experience or to find a vacation that fits a busy work life will discover new short cruises in other destinations such as Europe where many CLIA members have increased capacity, even year-round deployment, in order to attract European vacationers.

In addition to the increase in itineraries of one-week or less offered by the “large ship” cruise lines, Europe’s river cruise companies also have had success with shorter voyages. Avalon Waterways, for instance, offers 4-day voyages on the Danube, 4-night Christmas cruises, and short “cruise-only” options that are particularly popular, according to company officials, with independent travelers who want to combine a short cruise with land arrangements or who may want to sample river cruising.

CLIA points out that shorter voyages also can represent significant savings, with a strong value proposition that extends across all price categories of cruises. The ultra-deluxe Crystal Serenity offered 5- to 8-day voyages in the Mediterranean this summer and the company says it will continue to have more short-length cruises going forward. Silversea Cruises, another top of the line luxury company, offered a six-night itinerary this year.

Paul Gauguin Cruises recently introduced 7-day itineraries in the Caribbean and Europe on its new, intimate m/v Tere Moana. Oceania Cruises, another luxury line, features 7-night voyages in Europe, and the American West Coast. And luxury travelers can sample Regent Seven Seas Cruises on 7-night itineraries in Europe, Alaska, and Scandinavia. Even SeaDream Yacht Club, famous for its two ultra-luxury yachts, has a 5-day Caribbean voyage.

Many vacationers, even experienced cruisers, may be surprised to discover the extensive choice of short cruises on the market. Holland America Line, for over 100 years noted for roaming all over the world, including world cruises, offers voyages as short as one day. Cunard Line features an annual five-day Fourth of July Getaway from New York to Canada and New England as well as its popular six-day transatlantic crossings on Queen Mary II. Celebrity Cruises will introduce 4- and 5-night cruises to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale on the “Solsticized” Celebrity Constellation in 2012. Louis Cruises, one of the newest members of CLIA, enables travelers to discover the Greek Islands in four days and three nights. MSC Cruises offers 3- to 5-night voyages in the Mediterranean, South America and the Caribbean. And, in 2012-2014, Princess Cruises will offer a new series of 3- to 5-day sailings from Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles on two ships, the Ruby Princess and the Golden Princess. Holiday itineraries and repositioning voyages often are other opportunities to enjoy a shorter cruise.

Bringing the world of cruising to more and more consumers, short cruises will be an increasingly important part of the menu of choices. They will not replace other cruisesmany lines have added longer voyages as well and world cruises represent a very strong growth marketbut, for many travelers, a “taste” of cruising will be an unforgettable experience and, in more cases than not, the beginning of a lifetime of vacations at sea.

About CLIA: The nonprofit Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry organization. CLIA represents the interests of 26 member lines, 15,000 travel agents, and 100 executive partners before regulatory and legislative policy makers, supporting measures that foster a safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environment. CLIA is also engaged in travel agent training, research and marketing communications to promote the value and desirability of cruise vacations with thousands of travel agency and travel agent members across North America. For more information on CLIA, the cruise industry, and CLIA-member cruise lines and travel agencies, visit

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Norwegian Breakaway's Hull Artwork by Legendary Iconic Artist Peter Max Unveiled

MIAMI, Sept 4: Norwegian Cruise Line today revealed Norwegian Breakaway’s signature hull artwork designed by pop icon and America’s most popular living artist, Peter Max. This is the first time Norwegian has commissioned a well-known artist to paint the hull artwork on one of its ships. Launching in April 2013, Norwegian Breakaway will be the largest ship to homeport in New York City year-round. Max’s signature artwork will cover approximately 40,000 square feet of Norwegian Breakaway’s hull. Photo here.

“While it has been an honor to have my art exhibited in museums and galleries, I have also enjoyed creating giant ‘canvases’ for public view, including my 600 ft. Woodstock stage, a giant World’s Fair mural, the body of a Continental 777 super jet, and now, the hull of Norwegian Breakaway,” said Peter Max from his New York studio. “The artwork is a composite of New York City and cosmic imagery— the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline, a giant sunburst, planets, stars, and musical notes. That’s my New York! And now Norwegian Breakaway is my New York cruise ship ‘canvas.’”

“Norwegian Breakaway is New York’s ship and this colorful artwork by Peter Max will make the ship an instant icon,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “The Big Apple is known for its love of art and its many galleries – and now, Norwegian Breakaway becomes a floating piece of art that will cruise in and dock every Saturday on New York’s West Side. With this distinctive design, unlike anything else on the water, the ship will be recognizable to the millions of New Yorkers who will see her as she journeys up and down the Hudson River each week.”

Peter Max
With paintings on exhibition in hundreds of museums and galleries worldwide, Max and his vibrant colors have become part of the fabric of contemporary culture. Max has been successively called a Pop Icon, Neo Fauvist, Abstract Expressionist and the United States’ "Painter Laureate."

Max has achieved his place in history having painted for various Heads of State, including six U.S. Presidents. From art that appeared on the first U.S. 10-cent stamp bearing the title “Preserve the Environment,” to 235 U.S. Border murals greeting millions of people entering America each year, Peter Max seeks to capture themes of America at its finest in his art.

He has a long-standing career as the preeminent Pop artist in America. His art has appeared on a Continental Boeing 777 jumbo jet; a 600-foot stage for the Woodstock Music Festival; the covers of Verizon's New York City yellow and white pages; and a giant mural unveiled at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Max has also been designated Official Artist of five Super Bowls, six Grammy Awards, World Cup USA, The World Series, the United Nations Earth Summit, and numerous other events. Max was honored at the Jefferson Awards with an award for his lifetime dedication to America, and its charitable causes.

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

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

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

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

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

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Celebrity Chefs Spice Up Silversea Voyages

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sept 4: Renowned chefs and food writers are set to share some of the world's finest gastronomic traditions on seven upcoming Culinary Arts voyages aboard ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises. These unique culinary theme cruises showcase the skills of culinary experts and award-winning chefs of top dining establishments from around the world, including the internationally acclaimed chefs of Relais & Châteaux, the distinguished international association of charming properties and gourmet restaurants.

"We're delighted to feature some of the world's top chefs and rising stars on our Culinary Arts voyages," said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea's president of the Americas. "For inquisitive luxury travelers who appreciate fine food and wine, these culinary theme cruises are a great way to travel and learn."

The Flavors of Europe
A special Culinary Arts voyage titled "The Flavors of Europe," will take place aboard Silver Explorer's Expedition Voyage 7309, sailing April 29 to May 13, 2013, from Lisbon to Portsmouth, offering an array of culinary demonstrations and activities on board and ashore.

On this unique culinary sea adventure, guests will have the opportunity to visit a farm near Bordeaux dedicated to the cultivation of heirloom fruits and vegetables; learn how to prepare Basque pintxos (bite-sized delicacies); partake in a gastronomic celebration at Château Kirwan in the Bordeaux countryside; experience an authentic afternoon tea at a manor house in Guernsey; and join Silversea's culinary team for a provisioning excursion to a seafood market in Santander, Spain. The voyage will be hosted by Chef Rudi Scholdis, Silversea's culinary director; Chef David Bilsland, culinary trainer for the "Relais & Châteaux L'Ecole des Chefs" cooking school aboard Silversea; and Conrad Combrink, Silversea's director of expeditions.

On all Culinary Arts enrichment voyages, celebrity chefs will display their exceptional talents during dynamic and informative cooking demonstrations where guests can taste and learn firsthand the secrets of enticing signature dishes. These voyages also feature escorted provisioning trips to international markets (when the itinerary permits), food and wine pairings, creative regional dishes, and a five-course grand gourmet dinner. Throughout these special sailings, the featured guest chef and Silversea’s executive chef are on hand to share their culinary expertise and answer any questions.

These chefs have been tapped to host Culinary Arts voyages in the coming months:

Ying Compestine: Born in China, she is an authority on Asian culture and cuisine, an award-winning author and former food editor for Martha Stewart's Whole Living magazine, and the author of four cookbooks, including Ying's Best One-Dish Meals and Cooking with Green Tea. She will host a culinary presentation on Silver Shadow's transpacific Voyage 3227, Sept 6-23, 2012, Vancouver to Tokyo.
Eyvind Hellstrøm: This Norwegian superstar chef, who earned two Michelin stars for Oslo's legendary Bagatelle restaurant, will share his talents aboard Silver Wind's Arabia and Indian Ocean Voyage 2237, Dec 5-22, 2012, Dubai to Mauritius.
Robert Wemischner: Based in Los Angeles, this pastry chef and culinary educator has always been intrigued by the flavor potential of ingredients, from turmeric to tea and from cumin to coffee. Author of four books including his latest, The Dessert Architect, he will share his expertise aboard Silver Spirit's Voyage 5303, Jan 17-Feb 1, 2013, Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles.
Dale Gartland: A native of Shropshire, England, Gartland is group executive chef for Relais & Châteaux member properties The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown, New Zealand. The award-winning chef will share his modern European cuisine with guests on Silver Shadow's Voyage 3302, Jan 18-Feb 1, 2013, Auckland to Sydney.
Aaron Patterson: This top chef won his first Michelin star at 23 and has been head chef since 1991 at Hambleton Hall, a Relais & Châteaux member property in Rutland, England. Known for using the finest seasonal ingredients to create sumptuous modern British cuisine, he will host a cooking program on Silver Shadow's Singapore-to-Hong Kong Voyage 3305, Feb 25-March 6, 2013.
Shane Delia: One of Melbourne, Australia's most innovative chefs, he has authored a cookbook and regularly appears on TV. His restaurants include the much-awarded Maha Bar & Grill and recently launched St. Katherine's. He will be highlighting cuisine with an Asian twist for guests on Silver Shadow's Voyage 3311, April 22-May 6, 2013, Hong Kong to Tokyo.

Silversea Cruises, which is chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, is recognized as an innovator in the luxury cruise line industry, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and Silver Spirit – all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the inclusion of the expedition ship Silver Explorer, Silversea Cruises' itineraries encompass all seven continents and feature worldwide luxury cruises to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, both polar regions and over 450 fascinating destinations in between. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent or visit

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Seabourn & Swiss Brand Hublot Announce Partnership

Seattle, Sept 3: Hublot, the luxury Swiss brand which brings the "Art of Fusion" to watchmaking, has been named the Official Timekeeper of the award-winning ultra luxury cruise line Seabourn. Guests enjoying voyages on any of Seabourn's six intimate, all-suite ships will now be kept abreast of the current ship's time by means of handsome Hublot wall clocks, designed and finished with the same flair and elegance that have made Hublot's wristwatches multi-faceted icons of a constantly evolving Swiss watchmaking tradition, which pay tribute to it by connecting it with the future. The clocks are a perfect complement to the stunning beauty of the ships themselves, adding a luxurious accent and an eye-catching cachet to various locations throughout each vessel.

"Hublot's distinctive porthole-styled timepieces are crafted with a commitment to innovation grounded in respect for tradition," noted Seabourn's president Richard D. Meadows. "They display a dedication to excellence and an attention to detail that resonates with Seabourn's mission. Our companies share a common goal - to be the very best at what we do."

"This partnership is a story of friendship, a human story. It is about mutual great respect based on a shared passion for the sea, a love of sport and the quest for performance and excellence," added Hublot's Chairman of the Board Jean-Claude Biver. "Hublot and Seabourn share many core values. Hublot has always been close to the sea world, through its very name of course, which is the French word for a porthole, but also through prestigious partnerships such as with the Yacht Club of Monaco, the Monaco Oceanographic Museum and the Real Club Nautico de Palma to name just a few of them. Today, teaming up with Seabourn is an honor and forms a perfect extension."

In addition to the ship's clocks, Hublot will represent a stylish presence on Seabourn's website and in other marketing materials, and the ships will host select trunk shows of Hublot timepieces to guests on selected cruises. Seabourn and Hublot share a reputation for excellence that has earned both companies recognition and awards from authoritative critics and loyal support from a discerning clientele.

Seabourn's intimate ships and genuine, intuitive style of personalized service have consistently placed it at the top of readers' polls and rankings by knowledgeable cruise experts. For more information on Seabourn, consult a professional travel agent or visit

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